But Magnets Don’t Work That Way!
I’d originally envisioned Friendly Fire as an opposites-attract kind of story. Superficially, that’s what it seems like in the beginning of the book. There’s Elliot McKenzie, dapper lawyer-turned-self-help guru who sells his particular brand of wisdom to everyone who feels like they need help at a second chance. Then there’s Lennox West, former army Ranger, currently employed by a company that sells home security systems and “personal defense accessories” (yeah, totally code for a bunch of freaking weapons), currently in therapy for his PTSD. One guy seems hard, the other seems soft. One seems like the great communicator, the other the strong, silent type. One of them has a dog, the other one probably couldn’t keep a goldfish alive. So they must be attracted to each other, right? That’s how these stories work!
It turns out I like similarities as much as I like differences. Case in point: both of my guys are upfront about how interested they are in each other. There’s no playing coy or gnashing of teeth at the thought of people discovering them together, there’s just a discussion of, “How can we make this work? Especially since our situation seems kiiiinda precarious right now?” Both guys like kids and are happy to include Lennox’s teenage daughter when they can, rather than put her off. Both of them can be reasonable about other people’s safety, and completely unreasonable about their own. Both of them really like shower sex. Wait, too much information? Or do you like that kind of thing too? 😉
The truth is, of course, that characters are people, and people are complicated. There are inevitably going to be things that a pair have in common, which is nice to use to build up a firm base of support from when you start striking sparks with their differences. I love the process of blending two new people together (in a totally non-Hannibal kind of way), seeing where they fit together beautifully and where their edges will never be flush. Their relationship isn’t a puzzle of just two pieces. They each have their own baggage, mental and emotional, as well as their own people. The romance between them doesn’t ignore the complexity of their situation, it embraces it. I think it’s more realistic that way, and since I was shooting for realism in my first contemporary novel, I feel pretty good about the way it turned out.
Plus, it’s hot. Super bonus!
Title: Friendly Fire by Cari Z.
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, M/M, Romance, Suspense, Thriller
Length: 352 pages/Word Count: 82,800
Elliot McKenzie is the king of reinvention. Five years after losing his job and his lover and almost going to prison, his self-help program, Charmed Life, is more successful than he’d ever dreamed. He thinks he’s put his sordid past firmly behind him, until he starts receiving cryptic threats . . . and realizes it might not be as over as he’d hoped.
Security expert Lennox West has been lost since a deadly skirmish in Afghanistan led to his forced retirement from the Army. His PTSD makes helping his ex raise their daughter a challenge. When his ex’s sister asks him to set her boss up with a security system, Lennox isn’t expecting anyone like Elliot McKenzie—a man who captures his attention and makes him feel relaxed for the first time since leaving the service.
But Elliot is dangerously stubborn. Even as the threats against him escalate, he refuses to involve the police, and Lennox fears that stubbornness could kill him. A battle of wills ensues that brings them closer to each other than either man expected. But if the threats turn real, they might not live long enough to get their future together.
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Purchase Link: Riptide Publishing
Cari Z was a bookworm as a child and remains one to this day. In an effort to combat her antisocial reading behavior, she did all sorts of crazy things, from competitive gymnastics to alligator wresting (who even knew that was legal!) to finally joining the Peace Corps, which promptly sent her and her husband to the wilds of West Africa, stuck them in a hut, and said, “See ya!” She also started writing, because some things she just thought she could do better. She’s still climbing that ladder, but can’t stop herself from writing, or from sharing what she creates.
Cari enjoys a wide range of literary genres, from the classics (get ‘im, Ahab) to science fiction and fantasy of all types, to historical fiction and reference materials (no, seriously, there are so many great encyclopedias out there). She writes in a wide range of genres as well, but somehow 90% of what she produces ends up falling into the broad and exciting category of m/m erotica. There’s a sprinkling of f/m and f/f and even m/f/m in her repertoire, but her true love is man love. And there’s a lot of love to go around.
Cari has published short stories, novellas, and novels with numerous print and e-presses, and she also offers up a tremendous amount of free content on Literotica.com, under the name Carizabeth.
To celebrate the release of Friendly Fire, one lucky winner will receive a copy of Friendly Fire signed by Cari Z! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on October 22, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour and don’t forget to leave your contact info!