Thank you all for following the Absinthe of Malice blog tour! This is the fifth novel in the series and well, is a different kind of book. This is a beginning of sorts, a resurrection for most of the band members and the first step in a journey they will take together. Miki, Damie, Forest and Rafe in a van. Together. Cross-country and playing their hearts and souls out.
With a bit of trouble and love along the way.
I hope you enjoy it and like Applejack Shots and Beer, the story I’ll be telling across the blog tour.
OH! And the giveaway! Because we always need a giveaway. And there will be ONE winner for EVERY blog tour stop!
Enter by June 26th and win:
A $20 gift certificate to the online store of your choice
AND an audiobook code from Audible
(which you can use on any audiobook or save for Tristan’s voicing of Absinthe)
See you on the Other Side.
Applejack Shots and Beer Part 7
He found me on a staircase of steel.
Nowhere near Heaven, a Devil making a deal.
Come on down, son, my Satan said with a grin.
Come with me and we’ll make Sinner’s Gin.
— Gin and Demonic
The music player was old. Or at least in tech years. Its case was cracked in one corner and its back was scraped down deep across the top but it still played when hooked up to a pair of throwaway speakers Miki’d picked up from a swap meet down in Half Moon Bay. It only had enough storage for less than fifty albums and seemed permanently stuck on shuffle no matter how much Miki monkeyed with its settings.
It seemed to really like Bob Seger and on rainy days, shuffled Queen up to the top of its play list more often than not but every once in a while, its tiny, mercurial brain grew maudlin and Miki found himself listening to his own voice pumping out of the player’s enormous speakers.
He could never reach the player quick enough to stop it before the bass and drums kicked in. Some days, it was all he could do not to toss it off the rooftop while some days he ached to hear Johnny’s husky laugh through the lyrics or Dave’s deep rolling baritone singing back up vocals, always slightly off-key.
It’d been one of the things he’d been handed after he’d been discharged from the hospital, a remnant of their final night together shoved into a crinkled up padded envelope, his name scrawled over the flap with a thick black marker. Their final night celebrating their bond…their union. A platypus’ lifetime of gigs, bad food, fatigue and long roads. Gone in an instant under a crush of stupidity, rubber and steel.
And curse his damned soul, Miki’d just agreed to do it all over again.
The player, perverse and contrary, began the opening bars of Gin and Demonic and the San Francisco skies opened up to drown out Miki’s pain. Protected under the thick roof Kane erected to shelter the rooftop enclave and its vast nest of oversized cushions, he shoved himself further back into the soft pile and watched the sheets of rain swallow up the city stretched out around him.
A shape emerged from the misty deluge…dark enormous, and familiar. With the sun doused by the thick veil of storm clouds, Miki had only the faint glow from the street lamps to see but the sleeping dog by his feet didn’t stir at the sound of the man’s heavy footsteps stomping across the roof’s slate floor which could mean it could only be one of two people intruding on his solitude. The flecks of silver in the man’s black hair was Miki’s first clue then the comfort of the older man’s strong, thick Irish murmuring curse damning the heavy rain confirmed his suspicions.
Donal, the only man besides Kane, Dude didn’t perk up and double-check before letting him approach Miki.
“Yer perched in here snug and tight.” The Morgan patriarch ducked under the raised platform’s roof, shaking the excess water off as he handed Miki a heavy thermos. “Dinner’s up in an hour. Brigid’s brought ye all in a pot roast. Said she’d made too much but ye know as well as ah do, she cooked that up special for ye.”
“So she can snoop,” Miki grumbled, cracking open the thermos. The coffee inside was ripe with whisky and sugar, a bit of cream in its depths to lighten up its tones. “Got a cup?”
“Ye’ve got something ah should be worrying about, Miki boy?” Donal crooked an eyebrow up as he settled down into the cushions, dwarfing Miki with his bulk. Dude nattered in his sleep, curving around the man’s booted foot.
“Nothing your son didn’t give me,” he shot back, sniffing at the thermos. The whisky burned his nose but promised to warm his belly.
“Drink from the lip then pass it over. Pretend yer an Irishman.”
Miki’s nose was right. The whisky passing itself off as coffee seared his throat and lodged embers in his stomach. Gasping at the lack of air in his lungs from the single sip, he passed the thermos over to Donal who patted him gently on the back.
“Let it sit. Ye’ll be fine in a few bits.”
“Jesus, I can’t breathe,” he rasped, struggling to sit up. The wind kicked in but the niche sat between the aircon units and a maintenance shaft, protecting it from most of the chill. A tendril of cold hit Miki’s face and he sucked at it, soothing the fire in his chest. “So other than trying to kill me, did you come up here to talk me out of the tour?”
“No, Mick boy,” Donal took a swig from the thermos, smacking his lips appreciatively then pressing the steel container into Miki’s hands. “Ah’m here to be talking you into going.”
Absinthe of Malice
by Rhys Ford
Those five words send a chill down Miki St. John’s spine, especially when they’re spoken with a nearly religious fervor by his brother-in-all-but-blood, Damien Mitchell. However, those words were nothing compared to what Damien says next.
And we’re going on tour.
When Crossroads Gin hits the road, Damien hopes it will draw them closer together. There’s something magical about being on tour, especially when traveling in a van with no roadies, managers, or lovers to act as a buffer. The band is already close, but Damien knows they can be more—brothers of sorts, bound not only by familial ties but by their intense love for music.
As they travel from gig to gig, the band is haunted by past mistakes and personal demons, but they forge on. For Miki, Damie, Forest, and Rafe, the stage is where they all truly come alive, and the music they play is as important to them as the air they breathe.
But those demons and troubles won’t leave them alone, and with every mile under their belts, the band faces its greatest challenge—overcoming their deepest flaws and not killing one another along the way.
Purchase Absinthe of Malice at these and other fine booksellers:
Follow the Absinthe of Malice Tour and Enter to Win on Each Blog!
13 June: Sinfully Gay Romance Book Reviews (http://sinfullymmbookreviews.blogspot.com/)
14 June: MM Good Book Reviews (https://mmgoodbookreviews.wordpress.com/
15 June: Prism Alliance (http://www.prismbookalliance.com/)
16 June: It’s About the Book (http://itsaboutthebook.com/)
17 June: Under the Covers Book Blog (http://www.underthecoversbookblog.com/ )
18 June: The Blogger Girls (http://thebloggergirls.com/)
19 June: Rainbow Gold Reviews (https://rainbowgoldreviews.wordpress.com/)
20 June: Boy Meets Boy (www.boymeetsboyreviews.com)
21 June: Joyfully Jay (http://joyfullyjay.com/)
22 June: The Novel Approach (http://thenovelapproachreviews.com/)
Rhys Ford was born and raised in Hawai’i then wandered off to see the world. After chewing through a pile of books, a lot of odd food, and a stray boyfriend or two, Rhys eventually landed in San Diego, which is a very nice place but seriously needs more rain.
Rhys admits to sharing the house with three cats of varying degrees of black fur and a ginger cairn terrorist. Rhys is also enslaved to the upkeep a 1979 Pontiac Firebird, a Toshiba laptop, and an overworked red coffee maker.
I want to give a great big Thank You to Ryhs Ford for letting us take part of this tour and for the chance to help promote the boys of the Sinner’s Gin series.