The release of The Hate You Drink has far exceeded my expectations of how this book would be received. I was wary of how such an angsty book, dealing with real and horrible things, would be received after a comedy like Upside Down. But people are loving it!! It went to #1 on release day, and as of yesterday (Sunday), it was #1 in seven countries (US, UK, AUS, CA, FR, IT, Germany) and #2 in Brazil and #7 in Japan.
And I have to say folks, that’s just freaking crazy!!
And it just proves something that I’ve been saying for years… I really do have the best readers!!
For those who might have missed it, you can find The Hate You Drink at this Universal Link
And in Audio news, Clarity of Lines is OUT NOW!! Nick Russo does a SUPERB job narrating Tom and Cooper’s story. I couldn’t have chosen a better voice to bring their books to life. <3
Okay folks, that’s it for this week. I’ve sent my next book to my editor, and I need to immerse myself in my Work in Progress and get some words down. It’s a little (or a lot) out of my comfort zone so I’m second guessing every word… Ugh. I just need to get out of my own head and write ALL the words!!
Until next week!!
THE HATE YOU DRINK
★★★ O U T N O W ★★★
Erik Keston, son of the Keston Real Estate empire, knows what it takes to be successful. Despite his inherent wealth, he holds his own. He works hard, he’s grounded, he’s brilliant. He’s also secretly in love with his best friend.
Monroe Wellman lost his parents three years ago and never grieved, never recovered. Inheriting the family company and wealth means nothing, and his spiral of self-destruction is widespread and spectacular. Dubbed Sydney’s bad boy, he spends more days drunk than sober, and the only person who’s stuck by him through it all is his best mate.
But when Monroe hits rock bottom, Erik gives him an ultimatum, and his entire world comes to a grinding halt. It’s not until the haze lifts that Monroe can truly see what he’s been searching for was never in the bottom of a bottle. It’s been by his side all along.
* * *
An 80,000-word friends-to-lovers story about fighting the demons within and trusting in the love that takes its place.
“Because when all you drink is hate, that’s all there is inside you.”
I’m suuuuuuper excited for you all to meet Erik and Monroe! The early reviews have been FABULOUS and it’s already #1 in Australia!!
Love you guys!! <3
It’s release week for The Hate You Drink!! I’m super excited for the world to meet Erik and Monroe! I’ve had some ARC reviews come in and it’s been overwhelmingly positive, which is wonderful and a huge relief. LOL
It’s hard to know how books will be received, especially those that deal with real life issues like addiction. It’s an angsty read, which is a 180 change in direction after Upside Down. But those who have been following me for a while will know, I don’t actually get much choice about the stories my characters want written. LOL
Given release day is almost here, I thought I’d share an excerpt…
I didn’t need to see the photographs of the wrecked car or the glass and metal strewn across the gutter. I didn’t need the reminder of how close it had been this time. I closed the newspaper, folded it in half, and slid it across the counter and let out an exhausted sigh. I didn’t want to meet Jeffrey’s disappointed gaze. I knew that look. I’d seen it more times than I could count. Jeffrey Kwon, a distinguished Korean-Australian man with short greying hair and a kind face, had been a close friend of Monroe’s parents as well as their trusted lawyer for thirty years, and Jeffrey assumed the same role for Monroe when his parents died. He was no-nonsense and astute, but he had a heart of gold and everyone knew Monroe would be lost without him. Well, everyone but Monroe.
“Where is he?”
“Still asleep,” I replied. I walked over to the nearest couch and all but fell into it, my head in my hands.
“You haven’t been to bed yet?”
I was too tired to even scoff. “Nope. It was after three by the time we left the police station. And then I had to get him into bed.” I didn’t tell him that I’d sat on the end of Monroe’s bed when he’d passed out, trying to calm my anxiety. How many nights had I got a phone call from him, drunk, needing help or a lift, to pick him up from a bar or the police station? A quick glance at my phone told me it was just after eight. The morning sun was up and glaring angrily over the Pacific like it could feel my mood. I scrubbed my hand over my face, feeling the minutes of sleep I’d missed. “How he didn’t hurt himself or someone else, I’ll never know.”
“It’s only a matter of time before he does.” Jeffrey’s tone was as sharp as his suit, whereas I felt like Monroe’s crumpled wreck that had been winched onto the tow truck last night.
I nodded, because he was right. We all knew he was right. Everyone, that was, but Monroe.
“I’ll have the insurance forms sent over this afternoon,” Jeffrey said. He rarely let his emotions show, but I could tell he was angry and disappointed. He was probably a dozen different emotions right now. What he wasn’t was surprised. This was far from the first time.
“Thanks, Jeffrey. He does appreciate it.”
He gave a nod and walked toward the grand foyer, but he stopped before he got to the door. “Does he? Does he appreciate all you do for him?”
I didn’t answer. Even if I knew what to say, I couldn’t get the words out. But Jeffrey didn’t wait for a reply. The soft click of the front door was loud in the silence.
My heart was a weighted lump in my chest. My ribs felt too tight like I couldn’t breathe properly. Like I hadn’t been able to breathe properly in years. The space of Monroe’s house was vast—tiled floors, high ceilings, glass walls overlooking the ocean, no expense spared—yet the vast emptiness was overwhelming. A mansion worth several million dollars, on every elite real-estate list in Australia, was a hollow void of loneliness and grief, much like the man who owned it. Who was, at that very moment, passed out drunk in his bed.
The heaviness of the last twelve hours settled over me, and I slumped down on the couch, pulled a cushion under my head, and closed my eyes.
* * *
“Hey, sleeping beauty, wake up.”
I startled and shot up. Disoriented at first, until I remembered I was on Monroe’s couch. He was standing at the end of the sofa with his arms full of brown paper bags, and then I could smell something.
“I was starving,” he said. “And Uber Eats is a gift from the gods. Shuffle up.”
I slid up the couch a little and he parked himself next to me, shoved the bags and a pizza box onto the coffee table, then pulled it toward us. “I didn’t know what you felt like, so I got that wood-fired pizza you like and some curry and—”
“What time is it?” I asked. Usually the view out the window was a good indication of the time, but it had come over cloudy. Summer storms usually rolled in around four.
“Shit. I didn’t mean to sleep that long. I was supposed to go into the office today.”
Monroe shrugged like he did to most responsibility. “Here, get this into ya.” He opened the pizza box and turned it to face me.
I took a bite and moaned. It was so good. “How long you been up?”
“An hour or so.”
His black hair was damp and he smelled of salt water. “I didn’t hear you swim.” Which was surprising considering the living room opened up into the pool area.
“Stealth mode,” he said with a grin, his blue eyes sparkling. “Nah. You were dead to the world.”
I didn’t bother explaining that I didn’t get to sleep till after eight. I studied his face; there was a small scratch on his forehead and marks on his hands, probably from the glass or air bag. “How you feeling?”
And that was his problem. He always woke up feeling fine. Maybe if he’d ever suffered just one hangover in his life, he might think twice about drinking so much.
“Your picture’s in the paper,” I said. “And photos of the car.”
He grimaced for half a second before he took another forkful of curry. “You see Jeffrey?”
I nodded. “He was here before eight this morning. He brought the paper with him.”
Monroe stirred his curry, frowning. “Was he mad?”
“Yep. Said he’ll have the insurance papers sent around for the car.” I took a bite of pizza and swallowed it. “Wanna tell me what happened last night?”
He sighed. “Not really. I had one too many. You know how it is.”
“Okay, a few.”
“And you drove.”
“I was fine.”
“Your blood alcohol level was high range.”
He frowned again, this time stabbing a piece of curried beef. “I was fine. I didn’t feel drunk at all.”
I knew there was no point in arguing with him, so I tried a different approach. “You could have hurt yourself, Monroe,” I said gently. “Or someone else. You’re lucky it was a pole you hit and not a pedestrian or a car full of kids.”
“Yeah, it was stupid, I know. I won’t do it again.”
“Well, no, you can’t. Because now you don’t have a car or a licence.”
He pointed his fork at me. “That is true. Well, there’s the old Discovery in the garage,” he said. “Haven’t driven that in a while.”
“Old? It’s two years old,” I said. “And you’re not driving it anywhere. You get caught driving unlicensed now and the judge will likely throw the book at you to prove a point. Not to mention that unlicensed means uninsured.”
“Where’s your sense of adventure?” he asked, giving me that sly grin that usually got him out of all kinds of trouble.
“My sense of adventure is keeping you out of jail.”
He chuckled and nudged me with his shoulder. “Always looking out for me,” he said. “Thanks, by the way, for coming to get me last night.”
“I should have left you there,” I said, nudging him back. “In a cell with two guys named Warthog and Donk.”
He laughed. “Sounds like a dream I had once. It didn’t end badly, let’s just say that much.”
I snorted, unable to stay mad at him. And that was my problem. I could never stay mad at him.
He put his curry down and took a slice of pizza, biting into it. “Mmm, this is good too. Hey, we should go out tonight. There’s a summer blues night on at the Wharf.”
I shook my head, but he was, like always, relentless and charming and so fucking cute, and I could never say no to him. Which was another one of my problems.
“Come on, it’ll be fun. It’s summer. We’ll have a swim, laze about for the afternoon, have a nap, then we can go out later. Who knows, you might even find some random to take home.”
I forced a smile, like I always did. “Unlikely.”
“Dunno why,” he said, oblivious. “You don’t look half bad,” he said with a smirk and a nudge. “If a young Robert Redford is your thing and you have more money than God. And fuck knows guys throw themselves at you.”
“More money than God?”
“Shut up, you know you do.” He pushed the pizza box away. “You know what your problem is, Erik?”
Actually, I did. But I played along. “Nope, tell me what my problem is.”
“You’re too picky.”
I snorted. “Is that right?”
“Yep. So tonight, when a guy looks twice at you, take him into the bathrooms.”
“Not really my style, but thanks.”
He laughed and stood up, then walked toward the pool. The glass doors were all pushed back, transforming the inside living area into a huge outdoor living area. He peeled off his shirt and stopped to face me. He looked even better in the sunlight. “Are you gonna lecture me about swimming after eating?”
“Wouldn’t dream of it.”
“Then get your arse into the pool with me. It’s too nice a day and life is too damn short.” He tossed his shirt and dived into the pool.
And there were both our problems laid bare. His was that he shirked off all responsibility, drank far too much, and lived like every day was his last, which in his case, with his drinking problem and reckless nature, it very well could be.
My problem was that I couldn’t stay mad at him and I couldn’t say no to him.
Oh, that, and I was absolutely head over heels in love with him. Had been since we were eighteen years old. I was so in love with him, I’d let him treat me like a doormat if it just meant he’d keep me around. It was a sickness.
He had his addiction, and he was mine.
His addiction to alcohol was killing him.
And watching him slowly spiral out of control, being so close to him but so far away, was killing me.
Addiction, in all its forms, fucking sucked.
The paperback will be available the same day, or a day after, depending on how distribution pans out from Ingram. The gorgeous cover by Cover Me Darling is soooooo pretty!!
My current WIP is at a very slow 11,000 words. There is a lot of research that makes it slow, and my self-doubt makes it even slower. Buuuuut, onward I will press. I’m still confident this will be a trilogy of novellas but that’s something only time will tell. I can tell you the main character’s names are August and Jacob. August is a grumpy detective, Jacob is a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, but very competent and intelligent, senior constable. It’s set in Australia, and I’m actually enjoying writing it, despite my hesitation and reluctance to write a mystery/crime story.
Some days I wish my brain would just cut me a break. LOL
Okay folks, that’s it for this week. I’ll be back with buy-links for The Hate You Drink on release day! <3
It’s been a busy week in world of audio! Elements of Retrofit AND Blind Faith are out now, and I’m so excited to FINALLY be getting my backlist organised for audio. Blind Faith was first released in 2012, so it’s been a long time coming, and my Thomas Elkin series was 2013. Audios are rather expensive to produce and I have a LOT of books, so planning which books and when hasn’t been easy.
But I’m so freaking happy how these turned out.
Nick Russo narrated Elements of Retrofit and he is the perfect Thomas and Cooper. The job he’s done on these two guys is perfection. And it can’t have been easy… Tom and Cooper grace a lot of people’s ‘favourite couples’ lists and readers have LOVED these characters for a long time. That makes for some pretty big shoes to fill, but he far exceeded my expectations. When he sent me the first few chapters for my opinion/proof, my reply to him was something like ‘OMG don’t change a thing!’ 🙂
Clarity of Lines (Book Two in the series) has been submitted to ACX and should be out in a few weeks.
My Blind Faith series was the first books I self-published. After going through the mess that was Silver Publishing, I withheld passing this series onto another publisher because I would have been going from having nine books published to none, and my newer publisher said they’d take a year or more to re-publish. I know things with publishers take longer, but there was no way I was not having any books out there in the world while I waited. So I gave the new publisher six titles and kept the Blind Faith boys and thought I’d give this self-publishing thing a go (best decision I ever made).
That was 2012.
Isaac and Carter are very special to me, and Michael Pauley did an amazing job narrating these boys. We all know Isaac is a prickly character, and a lot of readers probably hated him LOL so I was interested to see how Michael handled that. But it was fantastic, and I’m so thrilled he agreed to narrate them. He really is perfect for them!
You can find Blind Faith at Audilbe and it should be up at iBooks any day (no link yet, sorry)
Book Two shouldn’t be too far away either! I’m so excited, guys. I will let you all know when I know more!
That’s it for this week! Release of The Hate You Drink is getting closer and I’m super excited for that too! I’ve had some mixed feedback on my next manuscript so I’m not sure what to do with that yet, and my current WIP is a disaster. LOL Hopefully I’ll have more news on that next week!
I’m super excited to announce that I’ll be attending RARE2020 in Edinburgh next year! The dates are June 26-27th which THANKFULLY coincides with my kids’ two-week school holidays so we could even consider it (my daughter will be in her final year and these holidays are just before the midyear exams). I need to plan the whole trip, but at the moment it looks like I’ll be taking my kids because a trip to Europe from Australia is the trip of a lifetime, right? 😉 Well, that and there’s NO way my daughter would let me go without her LOL and my son is suuuuuper excited as well. They’re old enough to explore the city by themselves during the signing, but I’m hoping we can squeeze in some sightseeing after even though the trip is going to be extremely short and jam-packed.
I want to see EVERY country in Europe but obviously that’s not possible on this trip. Or probably ever, given I live on the opposite side of the planet. 😛 But I’m seriously STOKED to be invited and attending RARE2020. It’s going to be a huge event – a gazillion fabulous authors from all genres. Reader’s are in for an absolute treat!!
I will post more information when I have it. I’m not certain about pre-orders yet, or any finer details yet. I have a LOT to organise first, but fear not. I will be yelling it from the rooftops when I know. So please stay tuned!!
Release day for The Hate You Drink is getting closer!!! I’m aiming for May 23rd but that’s depending on a few factors. But I will keep you all updated if the date changes. It will be in KU first and then it will go to other retailers.
We’re slowly getting my new website up and running. The whole website debacle has been one nightmare after another, and I’m much happier now it’s back in my hands… and when I say ‘my hands’ I mean my awesome assistant Jenn is doing it for me LOL But no, I definitely won’t be using a “web-master” or “site-designer” ever again. They can all sod off, as far as I’m concerned. Considering my odds are two for two, I’ll take a hard pass on ever trusting anyone else to do it ever again. LOL
In WIP news, I’ve sent my last WIP to some beta-readers who have given me some great feedback. I’m letting it simmer for a bit, and I’ll be starting a new one this week!!! I’m really nervous about this one though – I was supposed to write it in 2017 but I freaked out and put it on hold. I think it’s their time now… hoping their resolve holds (and mine) and I can do it justice 😉 I can say it’s a cop/cold case story that I *think* will be a trilogy. Not sure…. just getting the trilogy vibe. LOL
Okay that’s enough from me. I’m off mid-week taking my daughter and her friend to Post Malone in Sydney <best mother of the year>
Have a great week!! <3