Excerpt: The Botanist

Amazon

Are you serious about this leaving shit?” Trace sat across from him at one of their favourite bars in Coronado—McP’s Irish Pub. “I thought you’d be in until you hobbled out with no hair or teeth, clinging to your walking frame.”

“They pay you by the joke?” Wyatt flicked one of his onion rings across the table at him. “I’m done—nothing left for me to accomplish.”

“Weak sauce. Utter fucking weak sauce.” Trace leaned forward with his elbows on the table. “It’s the gay thing, isn’t it?”

Wyatt didn’t even blink in response. He waved the bartender over for another round of Guinness; Hamish had gotten all of the SEALs hooked on it. “What gay thing?”

“The fucked up policy that says you can’t serve if you’re open about who you are.” Trace pushed the plate of nachos to the side. “None of us give a shit who you fuck—or who you love.”

Wyatt knew the men under his command respected him, thought of him as a friend. SEAL teams were almost always tight-knit units. They only had each other to count on in the middle of treacherous missions. “None of you?”

“None of our element.”

Review: The Botanist

A story filled with lots of emotion, heart, and tenderness. Wyatt just knew that slow and easy was the only way he could go to in order to aid Aled in his survival from the traumatic and horrific events that he had endured. Wyatt was totally on board with his desires & instincts to help Aled succeed; a very satisfying story in this series. After all he was a former Seal and success was all that he knew.

5 Stars, Amazon Reader

Review: The Botanist

“This is a gentle story that starts from an act of extreme violence.  Of one man working to free another from the walls of fear and the horrors of his torture that now bind him.  Along the way they fall in love.  It’s the trust, the easing into each others lives, and finally the bravery to go forward…this time in tandem.

This is more a romance, there’s very little actual sex. That makes sense when you consider that most of the story Aled is so damaged that he is not feeding himself.  To have them jump into sex would destroy any authenticity the author is building up between her characters and her readers.  No, the beauty lies in tthe concisenessof the narrative and the future unfolding for them both.

” 4.75 stars from Melanie M. at Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words

Review: The Sin Bin Series

Tracy and Mari from Bayou Book Junkie were kind enough to do a series review of Books 1 – 4 of The Sin Bin.  Here are a few their thoughts on the books:

The Wanderer

“The story is well-written and although a little slow-paced in places, it was an extremely enjoyable read filled with laughter, love and a little steamy sex, as well. ” 4.5 Stars

The Caretaker

“Overall, the book was really good. Fun and enjoyable, sweet and hot and intense, just remember that there are some BDSM elements in it, in case you’re not into it. Very recommendable!” 4 Stars

The Botanist

” Fast paced and easy to read, perfect for a lazy afternoon lounging around. I love the back and forth banter between Wyatt and his fellow Seals as well and Wyatt and Aled. They were funny and had me chuckling throughout.” 4 Stars

The Royal Marine

“Overall, I absolutely loved this book. It was angsty, sweet, fun, hot and passionate. I’m really enjoying every installment and getting to meet this group of great men.” 4.5 Stars

 

Sloppy Seconds.

Or, why I love secondary characters. lol

If nothing else in my stories stands out, I hope what does is the depth and diversity of personalities. The goal is always to make readers want to know more about the characters—and not only the main couple. The word is so rich and diverse so should the books we write.

I write a quirky collection of characters.

Love writing them.

Love reading them.

L.O.V.E. Them.

One reason why I often include bits and pieces of personalities of people that I’ve met or observed is it adds authenticity. Maybe it’s because I’m autistic, but I’m always drawn to the odd ones. I enjoy building those types of people into my stories.

One of my favourite examples of brilliant secondary characters comes from The Botanist and The Royal Marine. Both are stories where I introduce a group of retired military men and women into The Sin Bin series. They’re an interesting bunch who never shies away from making their presence felt.

For example:

“That explains why I found him underneath his desk snoring like a busted engine and cuddled up to an empty bottle.” Lily propped her feet up on his desk. “I thought you two stopped overindulging after that time in London when you were in your twenties.”

“Lils.” Hamish had tried to block out the memory of getting so wasted that their clothes, wallets, and even socks had been nicked off them. Lily had rescued both of them before their commanding officer had found out. “What happened to being sworn to secrecy? Hadn’t we decided to chalk that up to youthful enthusiasm and stupidity?”

“Stupidity being the keyword. Okay, okay.” She sipped her coffee; her green eyes alight with pure amusement. “So, Earp tells me you met someone last night.”

Some of my other favourite characters are Francis’ grandmother, in After the Scrum. She’s a riot. Her personality shone through from the very beginning.

Dr. Gen who makes her first appearance in The Wanderer is another example. She initially started out as someone who I only intended to be in a few chapters, but her personality brought her to the forefront in The Caretaker.

Genevieve turned her gaze away from Taine and smirked at Freddie. “You’ll thank me later when you’re thinking more clearly.”

Freddie choked on his last bite of spring roll. “Yes, thanks. Twmffat.

“I heard that, Whittle,” she called over her shoulder. “You will thank me later—with a bottle of wine. You know the kind.”

The pets of The Sin Bin are definitely shining stars in their own right. From Speedy the hamster to Ganesh the cat to  Zeus the Yorkie. They bring humour and life, filling in gaps. In many ways, Aled’s plants are equally as important—at least to him.

“I keep telling you not to mock Ringo. You’ll hurt his feelings, and he’ll stop growing.” Aled brought in a tray with two unmatched mugs and a plate of chocolate treats. He set it down and pointed around the room at the various flora. “Mr Navy SEAL, you’ve already meet Ringo, Paul, John, and George. Have I not introduced you before?”

“And you called me bizarre?” Wyatt accepted the Frodo mug, resigning himself to the dubious pleasure of hot tea, and studiously ignored the tightening in his jeans at the brush of their fingertips. “Do you always name your plants?”

“Friends have names.”

For Aled, his plants are important enough that it seems wrong not to treat them as characters in their own right.

What do you love most about secondary characters in novels?

Review: The Botanist

“This story is wonderfully written, perfectly paced and deals with a relationship at its most intimate level without sexual intimacy! I don’t remember a more beautiful love story involving the basic themes of hurt and recovery or a more patiently developed relationship. Wyatt’s overwhelming feeling is that Aled is “his botanist” no matter how long it takes, how many years, and that of “good fortune that no one else ever realized how amazing Aled is before they met”.” Mainely Stories, 5 Stars.