Secrets and Sins: Gabriel, my new romantic suspense from Entangled Publishing, releases today! Mah birthday, by the way! Hee-hee! Just thought I'd throw that out there! And to kick off the Gabriel "Boston Strong" Blog Tour that runs from June 24th to July 24th, I'm guest blogging with my awesome chapter, Southern Magic! Come meet my hero, Gabriel Devlin!
Castle. Being Human. Cleaning the cat litter box. Crocheting.
All things I’d rather be doing on a Monday evening instead of standing outside this South End pub near the District D-4 police precinct. Sigh. But when you’re a newbie journalist with From the Writer’s Desk—one of the publishing industry’s premier ezines—it’s not like you can just pass up an opportunity like interviewing a New York Times Bestselling author…well I could, but then I’d have to find another place to live that doesn’t expect rent every 30th of the month…
Damn. I need to just bite the bullet and go in. Stop being such a wuss. I mean, it’s not like an assignment like this drops into a person’s lap every day. It is Gabriel Devlin, author of the phenomenally popular and successful Michael Rice legal thrillers. I feel like an insensitive ass, but it’s just…God. What do you say to a man who had his entire family wiped out in a tragic accident and became one of the most infamous recluses for the past two years? Hey, what’s new?
Can’t stand out here all night though. Gotta drag my big girl panties on and get inside there. Sighing, I pull open the door. And my stomach knots than sinks faster than Mitt Romney at a Sesame Street taping. There he is. And from the scowl on his face as he catches sight of me, he’s not in the least bit happy about being here.
Me: (pulling out a chair across from him and lowering into it) Hello, Mr. Devlin. It’s so nice to meet you. I’m—
Gabriel: Yes, I know. (beckons a waitress over) Do you want a drink?
Me: Oh, sure. Yes. Whatever you’re drinking is fine.
Gabriel: (arches a brow then turns his attention to the waitress) Two more virgin rum and cokes, please.
He glances back at me as if waiting for my objection. The hell I’m saying anything. Even though I could really use a shot of…God, whatever. As long as it’s “proof”. I rummage up a smile for our server as she places our glasses in front of us before turning back to Gabriel. And trying again.
Me: Thank you. (I take a sip of soda.) I’m not much of a drinker either, Mr. Devlin.
Gabriel: (snorts) Oh I’m quite the drinker. That’s the problem. And it’s Gabriel.
O-kay. Open mouth, insert size eight.
Me: I-I’m sorry. I didn’t…
Gabriel: (grunting) Forget it. How about we get this interview started, okay?
Fumbling a little—Could this have gotten off to a worst start?—I start the recorder on my Ipad and slip out my notepad and pen.
Me: Yes. Let’s do that. So, could you tell our readers a little about your writing process?
Gabriel: (leans back in chair and crosses arms) Sure. I wake up, fix coffee. Drink the coffee. Write until I’m exhausted. Go to bed. Then wake up and start the delightful cycle all over again.
Silence. He’s kidding…he has to be kidding. Then I look into his hooded, blue gaze and know. Oh Jesus, he’s not kidding. This interview is going to hell in gasoline drawers.
Me: Uh. Are you hard at work on a new Michael Rice novel then?
Gabriel: (cocks head to the side) I’m hard at work on staying sane.
Me: Mr. Devlin…I mean, Gabriel…
Gabriel: (slices a hand through the air) Next question.
I swallow the weak, ineffectual apology lodged in my throat.
Me: What was the best piece of advice you’ve received?
Gabriel: (a corner of his mouth quirks) Get your ass in the chair.
Blink. Blink. Wow. If that little, wry hint of a smile is that charming, I need to count myself lucky he hasn’t treated me to the full Monty. Like a genuine grin.
Me: Who told you that?
As quick as it appeared, the curve of his lips straightens, and the brooding author returns.
Gabriel: Leah. My…friend. After my wife and son…(he closes his eyes and a spasm of pain flashes across his face) Anyway, I was finding it difficult to cope. I wasn’t…doing well. After about six months, she snatched the covers off my bed, poured my bottle of Scotch down the sink and ordered me to get my ass in the chair and write. That if I was going to waste away at least I could have a post-humus bestseller. So, I did. I started writing again.
Me: (shaking my head, awed) Wow. She sounds—amazing.
Gabriel: (murmurs) She is.
Another pall of silence descends over the table. Finally, Gabriel sighs and ruthlessly rubs his eyes with his thumb and finger. He looks…tired. Of everything.
Me: I just have a few more questions, and then we can wrap this up. It’s the section of the interview most of our readers look forward to.
Gabriel: (drops his hand and again, and that small smile reappears) Shoot.
Me: What is your favorite word?
Gabriel: End. As in The End.
Me: What is your least favorite word?
Me: What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
Me: What turns you off?
Gabriel: Bad breath.
Me: What is your favorite curse word?
Gabriel: Motherf***er. It can be a noun, adjective or verb. And as a writer, I appreciate its versatility.
Me: What sound or noise do you love?
Gabriel: Coffee percolating.
Me: What sound or noise do you hate?
Me: What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
Gabriel: A career thief. Like George Clooney in Ocean’s Eleven.
Me: What profession would you not like to do?
Gabriel: Mimes. They’re just damn freaky.
Me: If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
Gabriel: (a heartbeat of quiet passes) They’re right here waiting for you.
Me: (bowing my head so he can’t see the moisture that stings my eyes) Thank you, Gabriel.
He nods, lifts his glass to his mouth, and I quietly pack up my things and head out of the bar. Earlier, I was leery of walking into the pub. I can’t truthfully say it was the most comfortable interview I’ve conducted, but for some reason it seems as if it will be the most…changing. As I get into my car I can’t help the fanciful, ridiculous thought that passes through my mind.
God, I hope he gets his happily-ever-after.
If anyone deserves it, Gabriel Devlin does.
Secrets and Sins: Gabriel by Naima Simone
“Emotional, suspenseful, and sexy, with wonderful characters…”—Christy Reece, New York Times Bestselling Author
Twenty years ago, Leah Bannon's beloved Uncle Richard vanished without a trace. Leah, now a private investigator, begins to suspect it was murder. When she reopens the cold case, Gabriel Devlin—-the man she loves but can never have—-inexplicably stands in her way.
Only four people know the truth about Richard’s mysterious disappearance—-Gabriel and three childhood friends...who have all sworn to take that secret to the grave. But a hidden enemy wants those shocking secrets brought to light...even if he has to kill to make it happen.
After experiencing an unimaginable loss two years ago, Gabriel refuses to put himself through the pain of loving someone who could be gone in an instant. But as he thwarts Leah’s investigation at every turn—-both to keep his friends’ pact, and to keep her safe from danger—-the sexy PI makes it impossible for him to protect his secrets. Or his heart...
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Remember, it would be a sin not to join me for the official Gabriel Blog Tour starting June 24th through July 24th! There are several ways to enter the blog tour contest through the Rafflecopter below… But don't cheat yourself, my publicist is gaw-geous, has a whip and isn't afraid to use it! LOL! I'll be giving away a Boston Strong T-shirt, Secrets and Sins: Gabriel swag pack and an Amazon gift card!
Naima Simone is a multi-published author in contemporary and erotic romance. She’s a member of RWA’s Southern Magic chapter, mother of the Dynamic Duo, lover of everything Vin Diesel and wife to the fabulous husband who tolerates this affair. Come visit Naima on her website, Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.