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Monday, October 5, 2015

Review Request & Excerpt: Where the Grass Is Greener by Debbie McGowan & Raine O’Tierney

Where the Grass is Greener (Seeds of Tyrone, #2)
Author Name: Debbie McGowan & Raine O’Tierney
Book Name: Where the Grass is Greener
Release Date: September 28, 2015
Pages or Words: 75,000 words
Categories: Bisexual, Contemporary, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Cowboy



Publisher: Beaten Track Publishing



Mistakes were made, that’s for sure. But was it the night of passion? Or walking away afterward?That’s the question Seamus Williams must face when he gets a late night phone call from someone he never expects to hear from again.
“I miss you, Shay.”
Chancey Bo Clearwater is a cowboy through and through. He spends his days finding work on whatever ranch will take him and his nights at the pool hall. He’s always done what needed doing and never thought much about what he wanted. ’Til that drunken night with Seamus.
A world of problems now stand between Seamus and Chancey exploring what might have been, the least of which being the Atlantic Ocean. On one side there’s Chancey’s daughter who mood swings from angel to demon in two seconds flat; on the other there’s the new lodger, hogging Shay’s telly and his cornflakes, and making private Skype time hard to come by. 
Is this relationship doomed before it ever begins? Or can a surprise announcement from Seamus’s brother be enough to help the two find their second chance?
Where the Grass is Greener features Seamus Williams – the older brother of Patrick from Leaving Flowers. This book can be read independently from Leaving Flowers.

Reviewed by: Ray
My Rating: 3 of 5 Stars


This is the story of an Irishman named Seamus who worked on a ranch in Kansas with an American named Chancey, had sex with him once, and hurried back to Ireland without saying good-bye.  The story is about their getting together again.  There are complications, mostly in the form of the Chancey's thirteen-year-old daughter, and his bitch of an ex-wife who takes pleasure in screwing with their heads, not to mention their lives.

The two men reconnect physically, when the Seamus flies to America to attend his brother’s wedding to another man, and Chancey joins him at the wedding.  They spend the night in a hotel, wearing each other out sexually, and talk about a wedding of their own—in Ireland. The daughter throws a hissy fit about moving to Ireland, and things get rocky for a while, but it all works out in the end when she and her father move to Ireland.

This could have read better were it not for a few things that distracted this reader. One, the story was overly full of depictions of Chancey and Seamus having cyber sex, using Skype.

Second, not wanting to sound nitty gritty but, the authors attempted to use some Americanisms in the story. Unfortunately they didn’t always get it right.  For example, one of the characters refers to “the I-70.”  On television, we often see characters in Los Angeles refer to “the 410" or “the 5,” but they never say “the I-410.”  Nor does anyone else in America.  Referring to “the 5" is a peculiarly west coast custom.  In the rest of America people refer simply to the interstate highways as “I-70" as in “We took a long drive up I-70.” Also there was the use of Wal-Mart instead of Walmart. I know these are not bad but it distracted too much and got me off track through the unfolding story. 

Third, it is impossible for this reader to ignore the fact that, instead of talking to each other, the characters utter; mutter; growl; groan; and snap at each other, to name a few.

The story is interesting enough, especially when several minor characters were involved.  Unfortunately, the story did not rise above the bad dialogue, and way too much explicit sex. 

I’ll stop now.

Note: Copy provided by authors for an honest review.

EXCERPT

“You’re quiet today, Seamus. What’s up?” the landlord asked.

“Just tired, is all. Got a leaky roof and the fecker was drippin’ all the damn night. And didn’t I get up this morning and kick the bucket?”

“You look alive and well to me, so you do. I say well…you look like shite.”

“Yeah, thanks very much. Think I’ll go join the lads, see if I can’t get a few more insults thrown at me.”

Seamus gave the landlord a wry grin and went over to the others, who were already well into the first of the three games they got in every lunchtime. He watched one of them take a bad shot and accidentally pot the black, the clunking of the ball as it rolled its way through the machinery of the table setting Seamus’s teeth on edge. John was right: he was dog-tired and probably did look like shite. He’d barely slept after the missed call, trying to decide whether to return it or not. His mind played tricks on him, one minute convincing him it was urgent and he should call back, the next telling him to stay strong. He’d made the move. He’d come back to Ireland. That’s what he’d wanted all along.

He had wanted it. Ever since Mam died, his sights had been set on coming home. He’d only stayed for Paddy’s sake, and now Paddy had Aidan there was nothing to keep Seamus in the States, although he was no further away from his brother now than he had been in Kansas. Never mind that he’d already made the decision before he knew Aidan even existed. No. It was a good decision. He was just—

He already knew, before he pulled his phone from his pocket: same Kansas number, same caller. His thumb hovered over the red button. Reject the call. Reject the call.

He answered.

“Seamus Williams.”

“At last! I thought I was calling a wrong number. Man, it’s so good to hear your voice.”

“Er, yeah. Yours too. What’s up? Has something happened?”

“Nothing new. I just…”

The rapid-hard thump of Seamus’s heart filled the pause, two seconds, three, four, and more. He drew breath to speak, but there was nothing to be said. Or nothing he should say.

“I miss you, Shay.”

***

The first call had been a drunk dial. Thank the heavenly father that Seamus Williams hadn’t picked up. Lord, the shit that might have come tumbling out of Chancey’s mouth. Now he was dead sober, but only slightly more composed. Had he really just said he’d missed Seamus? He tried for a laugh. It sounded as fake as it felt. Well he had missed Seamus. Nothin’ wrong with that.

“You gonna say somethin’?” He knew he was putting on the accent. Drawing out his vowels, droppings his g’s. His grandmother—who was from south Texas and who had an accent so deep it was digging itself a hole to the centre of the Earth—used to yell at him when he’d get lazy with his words.

You jus’ sound ign’rant, Chancey Bo Clearwater. Full name, cue snickering cousins, and young Chancey sank down low in his chair, ashamed at the way he sounded despite the fact they all talked just alike. The accent followed him when he moved to Oklahoma, where he picked up a whole set of strange ‘O’s, and even having lived in Kansas now for the better part of his life, it was still there underneath, just waiting to crop up in stressful situations.

“I didn’t expect to hear from you, that’s all.”

“Surprise.” He was trying for friendly, for calm. Trying to keep the I wanna put my fist through the wall and did you really mean to let me find out through Lulu? out of his voice.

“Isn’t this call costing you a million dollars?”

“Skype. On my phone. I bought minutes, y’know?”

“Is that right then?”

“But I didn’t think. It’s probably charging you too.”

“It’s fine.”

Is it? Seamus sure as hell wasn’t saying much. There was a long pause as Chancey considered his next move. He’d called because he’d wanted to talk. Not talk. Not like that. Nothing to say on that front. Seamus had made it all as clear as crystal dropped in the mud when he’d left his parting message with Lulu down at the pool hall, Rack ’Em. In a last-ditch effort, Chancey said the only thing he could think: “Boss Tina asked after you the other day when I went around for work.”

That got a laugh out of Seamus, which gave Chancey more relief than he cared to admit.



Meet the authors:
DEBBIE McGOWAN is an author and publisher based in a semi-rural corner of Lancashire, England. She writes character-driven, realist fiction, celebrating life, love and relationships. A working class girl, she ‘ran away’ to London at seventeen, was homeless, unemployed and then homeless again, interspersed with animal rights activism (all legal, honest ;)) and volunteer work as a mental health advocate. At twenty-five, she went back to college to study social science— tough with two toddlers, but they had a ‘stay at home’ dad, so it worked itself out. These days, the toddlers are young women (much to their chagrin), and Debbie teaches undergraduate students, writes novels and runs an independent publishing company, occasionally grabbing an hour of sleep where she can.

RAINE O'TIERNEY wants to change the world…one sweet story at a time.

Known as "The Queen of the Sweetness" (well, a few people have said it anyway!) Raine loves writing sweet, character-driven stories about first loves, first times, fidelity, forever-endings and...friskiness? In addition to her solo works, she’s one half of a collaborative team with author Debbie McGowan.

When she’s not writing, Raine is either playing video games or fighting the good fight for intellectual freedom at her library day job. She believes the best thing we can do in life is be kind to one another, and she enjoys encouraging fellow writers.

Contact her if you’re interested in talking about point-and-click adventure games or discussing which dachshunds are the best kinds of dachshunds!

Where to find the authors:

Debbie's Social Media Links


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