Title: Bowerbirds (Nested Hearts #2)
Author Name & Publisher: Ada Maria Sota (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: August 26, 2015 – 60,790 Words
Two very different men have a chance at happiness, but only if they can let go of their painful pasts and allow love to take precedence.
After spending his teens and twenties raising his son, James Maron is now dating Gabriel Juarez, the wealthy and sophisticated CFO of the TechPrim technology empire. But after a life of proudly holding his head above the poverty line with the ethos of work, priorities, responsibility, and thrift, he is not looking for a Sugar Daddy, he does not need to be rescued, and Gabe’s wealth is as terrifying as feeling love for the first time.
Gabe has never been good at balancing his high pressure job with his relationships. Money usually clears most of the bumps, and when a boyfriend walks away, Gabe figures it’s for a good reason. But James isn’t like other boyfriends. He doesn’t want Gabe’s money for one, and if Gabe wants to keep his relationship together he will have to finally face the ghosts of his own past and reconsider his priorities.
James is a single dad who has done a great job raising his son Dylan. Gabe is the CFO of a tech company. Polar opposites but they like each other and date. It was a bit of a boring book for me. I couldn’t feel the connection between James and Gabe and the intimate scenes were very non descriptive and boring. The story had a lot of potential just fell short. I loved Dylan he was the only character I could feel and connect with. All and all just so-so for me.
When I first read Empty Nests a got to the end I was shocked to find it had a cliffhanger. I don’t usually read book that has a cliffhanger until all books have come out. At least it wasn’t ages before the next book showed up.
I absolutely love this book. The writing was excellent. The biggest thing I loved about this book was that the relationship/love was slow to develop. Too many stories now days have pretty much instant love. The writer took the time to allow the love and relationship to grow over time. Many stories like this one become very boring because the author seems to put in what I call filler scenes. This book had lots of detail but it didn’t get boring. I loved Dylan, James’s son and the relationship between them was humorous and very well written.
The love between Gabe and James was off for me once in a while, but it was great to see it develop and grow. Then it ended. Not another cliffhanger but I certainly would love to see more books about James and Gabe.
The thing I didn’t like was James appear very immature. I realize he had his son at a very, very young age and has been raising him by himself but that in itself shows me that James should have been more confidante. Hopefully we can get more of James and Gabe.
FOR THE millionth time, a load of baseball gear left by the apartment door nearly sent James tumbling. It was one of the very few things he would not miss when Dylan left for college. He checked his watch and saw it was pushing five in the afternoon. He could technically still make it to the laundromat and get a couple of loads through, but the place filled up quick after five and it became difficult to get the good machines. Ada Maria Soto
Dylan came out of his room, his hair sticking up at odd angles from his postpractice shower. “Hey, Dad. I was starting to worry. How did the concert go last night?”
As a last-second surprise, Gabe had gotten them tickets to the California Honeydrops at the Fillmore. After a couple glasses of wine, Gabe had even talked him into dancing. “It was good. Stop leaving your gear by the door.”
“Good?” Dylan tried for a scolding look, but there was too much humor in his eyes. “No, just good does not end with you coming home… um… twenty-one hours later than expected.”
Dylan had been nagging him about getting a social life and a boyfriend for years, but James hadn’t realized he would become so nosy about it once it happened.
You’d think he was the parent here. “The concert ran a bit late, and we got a room in the city.” Then they decided not to leave that room until a few hours after the normal checkout time, followed by a late lunch.
“Does it matter?” James asked as he picked up Dylan’s baseball gear.
“The Saint Francis,” James muttered, deciding to risk a Monday wash.
“Again? Well, here’s to scoring a sugar daddy.”
“What?” James froze for a second as he tucked a baseball bat under his arm.
Dylan headed for the kitchen and rummaged around the fridge. “I mean, a guy with a steady job is a good thing these days, but one who can score you concert tickets and hotel suites on a whim is a pretty sweet deal.”
He pulled an apple from the veggie bin.
James felt his phone buzz in his pocket. He juggled around the gear until he could pull it out and saw he had missed a call ten minutes earlier.
“He’s not what?
“Hi. It’s me. Stuck in traffic. Seriously, traffic on a Sunday. I think the Niners are playing or something. Don’t worry, I’m on the hands-free setup. Just wanted to say I had a really nice time this weekend. The concert was a lot of fun. The other activities were fun too. Don’t know how busy I’m going to be this week, but I’d love to be able to come up there for lunch or dinner. Catch a movie or something. Oh, Tamyra left me nine messages, the last one informing me that I’m getting ‘Genie in a Bottle’ for my new ringtone. I’m hoping I can pass it off as a postmodern ironic statement or something. Oh look. Traffic is moving. Well, I’ll talk to you later. Drive carefully. Bye.” Bowerbirds
James kept the phone to his ear even after the message ended. Dylan stared at him, one eyebrow raised. He had a funny feeling Dylan practiced that look in the mirror. James hung up the phone. “You know what? My love life is none of your business.”
- Can you describe in detail what your writing environment is like?
It is cluttered and probably a bit too much like my childhood bedroom. I’ve got random posters and pictures all over the wall in front of me. I inherited my partners old 24 inch monitor. Half the household books and DVD’s are crammed into my office because the toddler is a climber and likes pulling things off shelves. Hopefully when she’s four or so we can move it all out and give me a bit more space. It’s also full of my knitting stuff which is more than I really need but any knitter will tell you there’s no such thing as too much yarn.
- Is there one of your characters that you relate to (from any of your works)? Why?
I can relate to James to a certain extent just because he’s a parent but I started writing him before I had a kid and when I was still swearing I’d never have a kid so it’s a bit weird to say that.
- If you couldn’t be an author, what would you do instead?
Does writing for TV count as not being an author? I’d probably like to be a theater director which is what I originally studied in college.
- Is there anything that you learned during the writing process that you wish you had known before hand?
Just how long the editing and release process takes. Somewhere in my head I thought it would all go way faster but I’ve been told that a six month turnaround is actually pretty quick. Now that I know this I can work out my grand five year plan a little more accurately, I hope.
- Is there anything that you wish you could change about your book now that it is out?
I’m not sure if I ever managed to really properly articulate James’s fear in the last third of the book. He’s truly scared shitless but I’m not sure if I managed to get that across despite all the rewrites I did.
- How do you come up with new ideas for your story?
I take long showers. Bang my head against the wall. Stare blankly at my computer screen. Complain to my partner that I have no ideas. Rewatch old TV shows and just hope my subconscious coughs up something useful.
- What’s next for you as a writer?
I’m working on a contemporary MM BDSM piece. I don’t know if it’s going to be a novel, multiple novels, three novellas. I don’t seem to have a lot of control over where the story is going or how long it’s going to be. It’s 60k and I don’t think I’m half done.
- Where do you live? Do you think this influences how or what you write?
I live in Auckland, New Zealand. I don’t think it influences my writing as much as I would like it to. I think this is a tricky time to be an expat writer. The days of Hemmingway and Graham Greene are long dead and gone. Everyone is now much more aware of the outsider gaze and the baggage that comes with it. I think it’s hard to write about a place or culture you didn’t grow up in without worrying about getting something wrong and offending the very people you are trying to assimilate into. I could write a few thousand words on the topic but this isn’t the time or place for it. And honestly Auckland is just one more sprawling city and I live in the suburbs.
- What is your favorite genre outside of the one you write in? Why?
Science Fiction. I was raised with it. My mother was/is a trekie. Family TV viewing was Star Trek. My dad was into more classic science fiction and got me into it as well. Ray Bradbury is still one of my all-time favorite writers, closely followed by Douglas Adams. A step sideways from that is Terry Pratchett who is another favorite.
- Do you have any vices? Shoes, coffee, shopping…etc?
I like TV. I really do. I like TV probably far more than any novelist should admit to. That doesn’t mean I’ll watch anything. Reality TV can suck it. But I also have a lot of Just for Fun shows like Doctor Who or Agents of SHIELD. I get really into the quality shows as well. I loved Hannibal while it lasted. BoJack Horseman is exceeding good if you are willing to appreciate the meta of it. I could go on for a long time. I also like coffee quite a lot.
ADA MARIA SOTO is a born and raised Californian Mexican-American currently living as an expat in the South Pacific with her toddler and partner.
She has studied and worked in theater, film, and television with all the usual crummy side jobs of a struggling artist.
She has dysgraphia and phonological dyslexia but refuses to let that slow down her writing.
She is a sports fan dedicated to the Oakland A’s, San Jose Sharks, Auckland Blues, USA Eagles, New Zealand All Blacks, New Zealand Black Caps, and the Chennai Super Kings.
She loves to hear from her fans, or really anyone who has read her work.