Hi peeps, we have B.A. Tortuga by today with her upcoming release Real World, the second book in her Love is Blind series. B.A. chats about what she misses about Texas and we have a great new excerpt, so check out the post and enjoy! <3 ~Pixie~
Dan White is trying to acclimate to civilian life after a long career in the military with multiple combat deployments.
Now he’s home in the Austin area, living with his brother Dixon, Dixon’s husband, Audie, and their two nine-year-olds. During the New Year celebration, Dan meets Abraham Weldon, and the connection is instant.
There’s a kiss. There’s a dance. There’s a proposition.
Then Dan finds out Weldon is bisexual.
And a dad.
With five kids. Five kids, one of whom is a blind fifteen-year-old.
Weldon has been in love twice in his life—with his high school best friend, Blake, and with his wife, Krista, who he met in a Dairy Queen as she was crying over a positive pregnancy test. Love number three hits Weldon like a hammer when he meets Dan.
But since Dan isn’t interested in a guy with kids, they might only get one night together.
Hill Country Thoughts
Hey, it’s BA Tortuga, resident redneck and lover of all things cowboy and redneck.
One of the things you have to know about me, is that I’m a dyed in the wool Texan. It’s weird because really, it’s been three years since I left. This is my fourth summer here, in New Mexico. I have my drivers license. I have my voters registration card. Hell, I even have the tan.
Still, there’s a part of me that just says I just got here.
I mean, Texas is still home, you know? You can take a girl out of Texas, but you can’t take Texas out of the girl.
I guess that’s one of the reasons that I was really drawn to write Austin again when I started thinking about writing Real World and former soldier Dan White and where he’d retire to. Would he come home to Texas? Would he go to the Hill Country? Would he go stay with Audie and Dix?
Weldon and Dan live on the outskirts of Austin (Hutto and Pflugerville, for those of y’all in the know), and I did a little reminiscing about all the things that I love there.
For instance, Tex-Mex. Oh my God. Now let me tell you, the Mexican food here in New Mexico is fabulous and I love it, but it’s all flour tortillas and green chile and weird nachos, and I would kill for real Tex-Mex food. Seriously.
I dream about salsa. No shit.
Then there’s the bluebonnets. The square in Georgetown. The Café Java in Round Rock and Round Rock Donuts. There’s the drive from Hutto to Salado where the longhorns are plentiful.
There’s the Stetsons upside down on the dash, the burnt orange everything, Whataburgers on every corner, and Barton Springs pool.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I love it here. The 6% humidity. The mountains. The people. I love the constant sunshine and the art and the cactus gardens and Santa Fe.
Still, I have to admit.
I miss my Hill Country.
Good thing I have my boys to remind me of it.
Dan followed Weldon out of the bar, the silence a shock to his system once they got to the parking lot.
“Man, it’s quiet out here. I’m in the green GMC, pardon the mess. It’s my work truck.”
“No worries. So, where do you live? Is that rude?” He sucked at small talk.
“Of course not. I’m on a ranch outside of Hutto, right north of Pflugerville.”
“Yeah? Cool. That’s right up there near Audie and Dix.” He knew north Austin pretty well, but Hutto was a ways out.
“It is. Just about a ten-fifteen-minute drive from them.”
“Oh, that’s not bad at all. How many acres do you have?”
“Twelve. Enough, you know. There’s animals, a workshop, enough to justify a riding lawnmower.”
“Hell, twelve is enough to justify a little tractor.” Audie had a wee John Deere. Dan loved it.
“Yeah. Someday. It’s on my bucket list.”
“I bet.” The truck wasn’t anywhere near gross, just full of tools and sawdust. In fact, the front seat was cleaned off and there was a towel on the seat to protect his delicate butt.
Dan chuckled. “The towel is a nice touch.”
“I know, right? I’m all classy and shit.”
“You totally are.” He winked. “What’s your favorite pancake?”
“Blueberry. I’m a total whore for a blueberry pancake.” Weldon pulled out of the parking lot, taking it easy, driving the truck like it was second nature. “You?”
“Gingerbread.” He loved the weird mixture of sharp and sweet.
“Spicy, huh? I’m gingerbreaded-out from Christmas.”
“I didn’t get any this year. No one bakes but Mom, and she broke two fingers about two weeks before.”
“Oh my God!” He got a quick glance. “What happened?”
“Oh, she was out walking her new baby poodle and a big old lab came out of nowhere. She grabbed his collar, and he wasn’t biting or anything, but he popped her fingers. She says condo living is way more dangerous than hobby farming.”
Dan could see Weldon fighting the laughter with all he was, shoulders shaking.
“I know, right? Llamas never broke her bones.”
The sound that burst from Weldon was vaguely like a hippopotamus stepping on a duck—loud, weird, and a little squooshy.
Dan chuckled along, nodding to the music on the radio. Much more his thing than weird jazz. He liked Tim McGraw on a cellular level.
The traffic was crazy, but Weldon didn’t scream or fuss. Talk about deep water. He’d thought Audie was unflappable. Dan would have been pounding the dash by now.
“Man, I hope my little brother isn’t out in this.” Dalton would be homicidal.
“Which one? You have one that’s just turned twenty-one, huh?”
“Yeah. Total amateur.” Though Dalton had grown up driving in and out of Dallas. “Hopefully his frat brothers are partying there at the house, or walking. It’s not that far to Sixth Street.”
“That’s it. I bet he’s a smart kid. Dix says so.” Weldon hit the ramp for the restaurant.
“Yeah, I guess.” Of course, they were all spectacular numbnuts in their own ways, the White boys. Dixon was the one with serious music addiction. Damon and his little gal seemed intent to populate Texas. Dalton was hip-deep in party central, and then there was him. Army to the bone.
“He seems decent enough.” The frontage road was always longer than it looked, the turn into the parking lot almost hidden.
“He’s a kid. It’s almost like we have two separate families—me and Dix, Dalton and Damon, you know?”
“I do.” Weldon chuckled. “Kids are funny, huh?”
“Yeah. Have you met Randi and Grainger?” Those two were… damn.
“I have. They come out to the house a lot.”
“That’s pretty cool. They’re amazing, but so much energy. I’m not cut out for kids, I don’t think.” He loved kids, he did, but he wasn’t sure he could have them around all the time. Randi and Grainger exhausted him sometimes.
“No?” Weldon gave him a grin. “It’s good to know what you can tolerate and what you can’t.”
“Yeah. I guess I raised enough green kids in the Army, right?” He’d done his duty for God and country, so no one should care if the queer ex-soldier reproduced.
“There you go.” Weldon parked the truck under one of the parking lot lights. “Let’s go eat pancakes and tell Dix how much we liked his set.”
“Sounds good.” In fact, it sounded like the best offer he’d had in a long time.
Well, except for that dance and kiss at midnight.
That had rocked his world.
Texan to the bone and an unrepentant Daddy’s Girl, BA Tortuga spends her days with her basset hounds and her beloved wife, texting her sisters, and eating Mexican food. When she’s not doing that, she’s writing. She spends her days off watching rodeo, knitting and surfing Pinterest in the name of research. BA’s personal saviors include her wife, Julia Talbot, her best friend, Sean Michael, and coffee. Lots of coffee. Really good coffee.
Having written everything from fist-fighting rednecks to hard-core cowboys to werewolves, BA does her damnedest to tell the stories of her heart, which was raised in Northeast Texas, but has heard the call of the high desert and lives in the Sandias. With books ranging from hard-hitting GLBT romance, to fiery menages, to the most traditional of love stories, BA refuses to be pigeon-holed by anyone but the voices in her head.
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