Title: Brick by Brick
Author Name & Publisher: June 29, 2015 (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: June 29, 2015 – 62,000 Words
They say that time heals all wounds, but losing Parley, his one true love, left Zach with a hole in his heart that no one else can fill. After forty-eight blissful hours alone together as teens in an abandoned house, Parley disappeared. Parley is what he is, and the pray-away-the-gay camp his parents ship him to won’t change that. However, finding the balance between accepting his true nature and not losing his family means tough sacrifices.
Sixteen years later, Zach is thunderstruck when Parley stands on the front doorstep of his house—the house that had been their refuge, which Zach restored. But Parley isn’t alone, and Zach wonders if he’s found Parley only to lose him a second time. If they can overcome the terrors of the past and the situation of the present, maybe they can build a new relationship just as Zach rebuilt the house—brick by brick.
ZACH FELT as if he was floating. He’d been planning this escape for weeks, but now that it was actually happening, it didn’t seem real. He chanced a quick look at Parley as they merged onto the highway. What could possibly be better than running away with his best friend?
He’d had his doubts that Parley would actually come with him. After being turned down the first time, Zach had prepared himself for disappointment, but now they were leaving together and Zach couldn’t have been happier.
“Where should we go?” Zach asked. He had some vague ideas in mind, but he wanted his friend’s input more than anything.
“I don’t know. Somewhere we can’t be found?” Zach was right on board with that.
“That’s a good idea. We’ll go for a bit on this highway, then we’ll exit and take some back roads, maybe head toward the interior.”
Parley dropped his head back against the seat. “Perfect.” After a time, he said, “I still can’t believe we’re doing this.”
“I still can’t believe you came with me,” Zach countered.
“I can’t either. I must be insane.”
“Or brilliant. It’s usually a fine line,” Zach teased.
“My parents are going to have an absolute meltdown once they’ve found out what I’ve done. They’re going to be so upset.”
Parley’s voice was quiet, barely above a whisper. Zach had seen him like this once before when he’d thought he’d lost his weird CTR ring with the spinner chain in the band.
“It’ll all be okay.” Zach tried to soothe him, to bring him back to the present, and rested a gentle hand on Parley’s knee. “Everyone flies from the nest sooner or later. We just did it in an unconventional way. I really do think this is what’s best, though, for both of us.”
Zach’s reassurance seemed to work. Parley blinked slowly a few times and then a somewhat disheartened smile crept onto his face. “I know, but my family is just… different.”
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.
Cate Ashwood wrote her very first story in a hot-pink binder when she was in the second grade and found her passion for writing. Her first successful foray into romance writing came five years later when she wrote her best friend, who was experiencing a case of unrequited love, her own happily ever after.
Cate’s life has taken a number of different and adventurous roads. She now lives a stone’s throw from the ocean, just outside of Vancouver, British Columbia with her husband, her little boy, and their two cats. Her life is filled with family and friends, travel, and, of course, books.