Hi guys, we have L.J. LaBarthe popping in with her upcoming release Book, Line, Sinker. L.J. Brings along a great excerpt so you can check out the story for yourself, so enjoy the post! <3 ~Pixie~
Hook, Line, Sinker
After seventeen years serving in the Australian Army, Ash returns to his childhood home in the outback town of Quorn. Filled with the desire to live a happy life in peace and with loved ones, Ash is grimly determined to beat his PTSD and tackle his flashbacks.
What Ash isn’t prepared for is Jaxon, the new librarian in Quorn. Jaxon is calm, gentle, kind, and a rock for Ash’s battered psyche. Ash finds himself falling for the handsome newcomer, even as his mind and memories of the past torment him.
When he has the idea for a mobile library to bring books and entertainment to remote communities in the far north, Ash is delighted that Jaxon is with him every step of the way. But though the library, called Book, Line, and Sinker, takes off, Ash’s past continues to plague him. Can Jaxon’s love be enough to keep them together until Ash is strong enough to stand on his own?
“I agree. So how do you feel, now that you’re back in Australia?”
Ash hesitated. He let out a slow breath. “I’m still adjusting,” he said finally.
“Understood.” To Ash’s surprise, Jaxon didn’t push it. “So what sort of things are you looking at getting in Port Augusta?”
“Furniture, mainly. I need new things. I want to get rid of the old stuff—it’s been sitting there since the eighties, and it’s time for a change. I mean, I don’t know if I’ll keep living here, I might want to get my own place on the edge of Quorn, but right now….” Ash trailed off, not sure how to express what he was feeling.
“Right now, you need to be with people who know you and love you unconditionally, so you can adjust,” Jaxon said.
“Yeah.” Ash was surprised once more. Jaxon had seen into the heart of Ash’s worries and spoken aloud what Ash shied away from.Even more remarkable, in Ash’s opinion, was that Jaxon’s voice held no hint of scorn or judgment. Just an honest recognition of how Ash felt.
“I haven’t been to war like you, and I would never try and demean what you’ve seen, but I’ve seen that look you’ve got in your eyes before. I’ve seen it in other returned soldiers’ eyes, and in the eyes of aid workers in Cambodia.”
Ash quirked an eyebrow, even as he felt himself go on the defensive. “What look?”
“War weary, my granddad used to call it. He fought in World War Two, so I guess he’d know. The look of a person who’s seen a lot in a short space of time and hasn’t had the liberty to process all that’s been witnessed. The look that says, ‘I’m still figuring this out,’ and sometimes, that means needing to be alone, as far from human contact as possible.”
“Dude, are you a bloody psychic?” Ash was astounded. His defensive shield lowered a little. “I have never heard anyone put it like you have and you’ve got it bang on perfect, just how I feel.”
Jaxon shrugged. “Not a psychic—I just read a lot. I’ve got family who’re returned servicemen and women. And I was in Cambodia. If life and love doesn’t teach you something then you’ve got shit-all, don’t you reckon?”
L.J. LaBarthe is a French-Australian woman, who was born during the Witching Hour, just after midnight. From this auspicious beginning, she went on to write a prize-winning short story about Humpty Dumpty wearing an Aussie hat complete with corks dangling from it when she was six years old. From there, she wrote for her high school yearbook, her university newspaper, and, from her early teens to her twenties, produced a fanzine about the local punk rock music scene. She loves music of all kinds and was once a classical pianist; she loves languages and speaks French and English and a teeny-tiny smattering of Mandarin Chinese, which she hopes to relearn properly very soon. She enjoys TV, film, travel, cooking, eating out, abandoned places, urbex, history, and researching.
L.J. loves to read complicated plots and hopes to do complex plot lines justice in her own writing. She writes paranormal, historical, urban fantasy, and contemporary Australian stories, usually m/m romance and featuring m/m erotica. She has won a Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention and another award for Best Historical Gay Novel.
L.J. lives in the city of Adelaide, and is owned by her cat.
You can find her at the following places: