A warm Love bytes welcome to author Jackie Keswick joining us today to talk about her new release “Leap of Faith”.
Jackie talks to us about one of her main characters “Kieran” and shares an excerpt.
Welcome Jackie 🙂
Thank you so much for hosting a stop on the Leap of Faith Blog Tour and for giving me the chance to talk about my FireWorks boys, Kieran Ross and Joel Weston. Since I’ve been talking about Joel during yesterday’s tour stop, we’ll make today all about Kieran.
Kieran Ross is the character that started the story for me. He was the first character the writing muse handed me and I fell in love with him in very short order. I love fresh start / second chance stories and characters who struggle with events in their past and Kieran fits that perfectly. Though when Kieran comes to Lissand after losing his friend and work partner and his whole career he is not actually looking for a new beginning. He’s just looking to get away.
Until something stops him in Lissand. Maybe he catches the vibe of defiance in a town that is just finding its way back from neglect to prosperity. Maybe he’s inspired by the people he meets. He stops and in a very short time he’s pulled himself back from the brink and has decided to start over. That fresh start brings him to FireWorks Security and into the orbit of his new partner, Joel Weston. And it brings a whole different set of trouble in its wake.
Because keeping your hands and mind off your gorgeous partner shouldn’t be so difficult. Kieran, who’d wanted to drag Joel into the nearest storage closet on the day they met, has walked that tightrope for four years. In the beginning it was easy. He and Joel fought like cats and dogs. On a number of occasions, they even almost came to blows.
Then they became friends. Close friends who had each other’s backs and shared everything life threw at them.
These days Kieran frequently wakes in Joel’s spare bedroom. And on the days he’s at his home there’s a good chance Joel’s asleep a floor below him in Kieran’s spare bed.
They keep half the contents of their wardrobes at each other’s houses. Kieran’s cupboards are stuffed with hostess cupcakes and chocolate bars he doesn’t eat, while Joel’s fridge usually contains all the ingredients to make Kieran’s favourite sandwich, a Cubano.
There’s heartland rock on Kieran’s iPod and rap and salsa on Joel’s. They live in each other’s pockets and Kieran, for one, wouldn’t want it any other way. He’s content and mostly happy and the only thing that scares the socks off him is the thought of anything happening to Joel. He’s quite sure he couldn’t deal with that.
And of course, in the way stories go, that’s one of the dilemmas he’s going to face in Leap of Faith.
Injuries aren’t uncommon their line of work, and both Joel and Kieran have clocked hours on hospital chairs, but this time it feels all different. For one, Kieran isn’t exactly on the spot when Joel is hurt. Then, when he gets to Joel, his friend isn’t conscious. And Kieran’s mind – his biggest enemy and then some – chooses that time to remind him of his old partner’s death.
It doesn’t stop there, either. Over the next days, as events spiral almost out of control, Kieran is reminded more and more often of the investigation that claimed his career and his friend’s life. Not that he can or wants to talk about it. His first priority is Joel and he’d do almost anything to keep his partner alive, safe and out of the line of fire.
But Kieran he has stubborn streak a mile wide, so it will take a lot more than secrets in his past to keep him down. And once he knows that Joel isn’t just alive and recovering, but prepared to listen to him and accept his story, once he’s been reminded that Joel has his back no matter what… well, I’m thinking there’s little that can stop him from putting that whole mess to bed. Even if he finds it more than difficult to keep his hands off his gorgeous partner.
- Genre: Contemporary M/M Action/Thriller
- Length: 41,600
- Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
- Release Date: 5th April 2017
Close friends and partners at FireWorks Security, Joel Weston and Kieran Ross know each other’s strengths and weaknesses. They have each other’s backs, make a formidable team, and carefully ignore their volatile chemistry.
When Kieran struggles with the aftermath of an assignment gone wrong, Joel is there to help. When Joel is caught in an explosion, Kieran jumps into a burning marina to rescue the man who means so much to him. But they never discuss what’s closest to their hearts, not prepared to risk their friendship for the mere possibility of something more.
Faced with bombs, assassins, and old ghosts, Joel and Kieran must find out why they’re targets, who is coming after them, and—most of all—how each would feel if he lost the other. Should they continue as best friends, or is it time to take a leap of faith?
Spending a few hours with friends and food had been a good idea. Kieran’s headache was almost gone and the tight knot between his shoulder blades had unraveled a few notches. Well fed and a little mellower than he’d been all week, he huddled into his leather jacket as they meandered around Lissand’s harbor and enjoyed the thin, watery March sunshine.
It was colder this far north.
Much colder than Miami, where he’d grown up, or the South American cities where he’d worked. But after the warmth of the restaurant, the breeze blowing off the water was a welcome caress on Kieran’s skin.
A wave of chuckles made him turn his head. Cass Gallagher, their resident tech expert, was busy bombarding Joel with small missiles. They looked like the wrapped mints she lived on while she worked—and Joel picked each one out of the air as if he had eyes in the back of his head.
“I needed that,” Tom Hartnett admitted, and all Kieran could do was nod. The normalcy of the day did them all a world of good after the nightmare of the previous week.
“The food was good too.”
“I’m not sure about that weird-looking concoction Cass was having. Was that even food?”
“She seemed to enjoy it.”
“It was squid-ink risotto. Honestly, you guys have no idea what you were missing,” Cass called from behind them. She sounded a little breathless as she now played a friendly game of tag with Joel and used Aaron Rigby’s broad frame as a shield.
Joel, with his army training, and Cass, who hadn’t yet met a surveillance system she couldn’t manipulate or a computer she couldn’t make sit up and beg, had bounced back fastest from the difficult week and its harrowing ending. Or maybe they just faked it better than Hartnett, Rigby, and Kieran, who’d all come to FireWorks from one law enforcement agency or another.
Cass and Joel did their best to keep the other three from thinking too much. They dragged them along the pier to shoot hoops, bet on duck races, and—in Joel’s case—overdose on ice cream and cotton candy. It felt so totally incongruous that even Kieran started to relax and unwind in the end.
“You were right,” Kieran said when he and Joel waved good-bye to the others and headed toward the parking lot beside the mall where Joel had left his car.
“I’m always right,” Joel quipped as expected, but then his voice softened. “About what, precisely?”
“Just being there doesn’t make it any better. Or easier. Or less tragic.”
It was an old discussion they’d had one night when Kieran had shared a few details of the case that had claimed his former partner’s life.
Joel walked closer until he almost nudged Kieran’s shoulder with his own. “And then again,” he said, letting his own scars show for a heartbeat or two, “sometimes it does.”
Jackie Keswick was born behind the Iron Curtain with itchy feet, a bent for rocks and a recurring dream of stepping off a bus in the middle of nowhere to go home. She’s worked in a hospital and as the only girl with 52 men on an oil rig, spent a winter in Moscow and a summer in Iceland and finally settled in the country of her dreams with her dream team: a husband, a cat, a tandem, a hammer and a laptop.
Jackie loves unexpected reunions and second chances, and men who don’t follow the rules when those rules are stupid. She blogs about English history and food, has a thing for green eyes, and is a great believer in making up soundtracks for everything, including her characters and the cat. And she still hasn’t found the place where the bus stops. For questions and comments, not restricted to green eyes, bus stops or recipes for traditional English food, you can find Jackie Keswick in all the usual places: