Thursday, February 20, 2014

Review and Giveaway: Second Star to the Right by A.F. Henley

Guest post by A.F. Henley!

Welcome to the new visitors of the tour, and hello again to my returning friends. As I've been explaining throughout, Second Star to the Right is a romance story about a man seeking to define himself, an escort caught between the desire to find connection yet keep himself grounded, and how the brilliance of love can be the brightest light in dark skies if we're willing to let it burn.



So... in an effort to attempt something a little different for this blog tour, I decided it might be cool to connect with you, the reader, and explain how I define myself. I sent out a call, asking "Inquiring Minds" to throw some questions at me, and offered to do my best to answer them. Let's light up the sky together, and hopefully have a little fun in the process...


(Be sure to read through to the end for details on the release, as well as a chance to WIN your very own ebook copy.)


Anonymous asks: With all the characters out there that you could choose to tell a story about, why would you choose an escort? Hasn't that been done to death?


Henley replies: Maybe? Yes? No? I guess it depends on your perspective. I tend to ask myself a bunch of things about a character before I dive in. For example:  do I have something new to say about the trope I'm looking at exploring? Is there something about—in this case the sex industry—that is relevant/important to the story I want to tell? Can this novel be made better by turning it into some kind of horror story? If I can come up with reasonable answers to the first two questions, and a no to the third, then I write it. Besides, it's 2014. People have been writing for a long, looooong time. If you can find a single premise out there that hasn't been done before, I'd love to hear about it.


Darkprism asks: Have you ever been to a psychic? If yes, what happened and if no, why not?


Henley replies: I have had my palms read once, and my cards read twice. The palm reader told me I was going to have two sons, one that would wear a uniform, possibly for the armed forces, and that I should look at a career in the medical field because I had what he referred to as "Healer's Hands." Errm... not likely.


The first time I had my cards read, I asked about these two sons I was supposed to have and she told me the cards didn't see any children in my life whatsoever. I asked about financial interests for the following year, and she told me I should warn my partner away from throwing money away on flashy toys. Errm... really?


The second time I had my cards read it was by an eerily accurate friend of mine. I won't go into details about what was actually said, but suffice it to say, it freaked me the hell out. I guess it just goes to show you that there a lot of people out that there that fake at having ties to what exists outside of our realm, but when you come across someone that has a gift, there is no question about the validity of it. It jumps up, smacks you in the face, and makes you question every doubt you've ever had.


Coterie asks: Have you always wanted to be a writer? If not, what did you want to be when you were little and what changed your mind?


Henley replies: I have always wanted to be a writer. I was published for the first time when I was eight. (It was a poem. And just for a small religious magazine. But my mother was thrilled.) That being said, I also spent a lot of time trying to talk myself out of that desire. My father was more than vocal about how writing was never going to make enough money to pay the bills. "It's hard to be successful with published works. It's almost impossible to be successful with mainstream publications." What he didn't realise is that with a desire that strong, it's more about the calling than it is about the payout. You can't not do it. You'll drive yourself mad if you try.


Lavender Wynter asks: What software programs do you work with from the creation of a story idea to the published product?


Henley replies: I am ... challenged when it comes to certain things. I work with an antiquated version of Word on my desktop (I can't even open a docx), and if I'm too lazy to get up from my laptop I will reduce myself to working with WordPad. Oh yes, I will. Although, GoogleDocs and its always accessible, always free, plethora of interwoven apps is making me a very happy camper these days.


Second Star to the Right
By AF Henley



Be it unrequited fascination with his straight best friend or impossible fantasies of rekindled interest with his heartbreaking ex, Mason has no clue why the perfect connection seems to keep slipping through his fingers. When another lonely holiday seems like too much weight to shoulder, Mason gives up on romance and seeks out the next best thing—rented company. Jack is everything a person could want in an escort: willing, hot, and built like an angel.


Mason can't resist. After all, who wouldn't be interested in a guy who loves kid's movies, is a self-professed Peter Pan, and has no problem throwing caution to the wind at a moment's notice. But then interest quickly blooms into a whole new emotion—an emotion that Mason knows far too well, especially when Jack has no interest in returning it, preferring to keep his heart safely tucked away in Neverland.


  • Word count: 43,000
  • Pairing: M/M
  • Content: Contains some explicit content.




About the Author:


Henley was born with a full-blown passion for run-on sentences, a zealous indulgence in all words descriptive, and the endearing tendency to overuse punctuation. Since the early years Henley has been an enthusiastic writer, from the first few I-love-my-dog stories to the current leap into erotica.


A self-professed Google genius, Henley lives for the hours spent digging through the Internet for ‘research purposes’ which, more often than not, lead seven thousand miles away from first intentions but bring Henley to new discoveries and ideas that, once seeded, tend to flourish.


Henley has been proudly working with LT3 since 2012, and has been writing like mad ever since—an indentured servant to the belief that romance and true love can mend the most broken soul. Even when presented in prose.


Find me at:









The Giveaway


As a thanks for reading, I'm offering up an ebook copy of Second Star to the Right, in the format of the winner's choice. Simply leave a comment below to be entered in the draw.


And! As an extra bonus! All participators in the blog tour giveaway will AUTOMATICALLY BE ENTERED in a future-dated contest for a signed print copy of the novel, and a genuine Swarovski pendant, hand-picked for Second Star to the Right significance. Stay tuned to any of the above-referenced AF Henley sites for details.


Rules:


  • Please ensure Books on Silver Wings has a way to notify you of the win.
  • Contest is open from now until February 28th, 2014.
  • Winner will be picked using a random number generator.
  • By commenting below you guarantee that you are legally able to accept the prize.


~*~


A huge thank you to Books on Silver Wings for having me today, as well as to the readers, friends, associates, and followers who stopped by to take part. Here's hoping you have an awesome and adventurous day. And off we go...


Second Star to the Right, and ... (you take it from here)


:D


AF Henley <3

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Adina Falling

4 stars

Mason is a hard working guy that owns a large company and a boring businessman. He fits in so well with the stereotypical, rich businessman that he has a hard time connecting with anybody emotionally. On his vacation, he buys a companion for a week after some serious urging by his friend. His companion just might make him live life and be free. 

I like how Henley takes this old trope and makes something new and interesting out of it. The characters are this book's strength. And without the theme of "rich man buys a whore," Mason and Jack would never have met, put up with each other for a few days, or fell in love. 

Mason is successful businessman, but also a boring one. In fact, he's bored of the life he's living but don't know how to quit. He's always being the nice guy, rarely misses a get together with friends, plays tennis even though he dislikes it, and watches baseball with his straight friend even though he hates the sport. If his straight friend haven't talked him into buying a companion for his one week vacation in the countryside, he would have been lonely and living like a hermit. 

His first meeting with Jack is like a clash of stubborn, old man stuck in their ways. But Jack makes Mason feel beautiful, attractive, and sexy even though he doesn't fit the ideal of beauty for gay men. Through living with Jack, Mason relearns how to express his likes and dislikes for sex, work, and people. I like how Jack makes Mason more selfish, but that is a good thing.

Jack, on the other hand, is an unusual companion. He's approaching 30 with no other skills except in the sex industry. He sets strict rules for his clients, shies away from intensity beyond his job hours, and strongly opposes the idea of love. At the first breach of his rules/barriers, he runs away. In many ways, he is also need of someone to open him up. I love how he's not the stereotypical companion. He is so much more confident and positive attitude on life than Mason, but still needs the other man in his life. Their reconciliation is rushed and the significance is lost, but they get a HEA!

Overall, this is a sweet romance that builds on a common trope and leaves a sweet impression after reading the story. 

14 comments:

  1. I adore rent boy stories - this looks yummy :) Thanks for the excerpt and a chance at winning a copy.
    lgrant1@san.rr.com

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    1. Thank you for your interest and your comment, Lisa G. Best of luck with the giveaway. :D

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  2. Thank you so much for hosting, and for the great review. It's an honour to be visiting your site again. :D

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  3. This blog tour is so awesome! I wish it would never end. What a great idea to make it this way. :)

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    1. Thank you very much, Raphael! But comments and questions are always welcome on my website, so feel free. XD

      Good luck!

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  4. *shudder in horror at Henley's description of antiquated Word*
    I can barely function at work because they have Office 2002. I mean come on! 12 years old?

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    1. Hello, Ashley! Then you will be pleased to hear that yesterday I finally got myself a new laptop... and... upgraded to Windows 8! Oh, the calamity. Oh, the stress. Oh, the pretty pictures and squares... *panics*

      Thanks for the comment and good luck with the giveaway! :D

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  5. These are interesting questions on this blog tour! Thanks for the interview and giveaway.

    jen.f {at} mac {dot} com

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    1. Thanks, Jen! Glad you're enjoying. Good luck with the giveaway :D

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  6. Maybe it's just me but it's not the age of the software, it's what you want to do with it. If you have no use for the new things in Word, then the old one is good enough.

    That being said I personally use OpenOffice. It can open docx. xD

    I've never been to anyone who said anything of a reasonable nature to make me believe in psychics. Yet I often have a lot of fun with people by telling them very personal things about themselves that I shouldn't know. No I'm not psychic, people just give a lot away when you engage them in conversation. :D And no I can't tell much about you yet. So I can't demo.

    Once again, very awesome.

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    1. How did you know I was going to ask you to do that?! (See what I did there? *grins*)

      Thanks for following the tour, Frost. Good luck with the giveaway! :D

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  7. I can relate to the old office software stuff...the book sounds excellent!

    vitajex(At)Aol(Dot)com

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    1. *highfives* Thank you so much for the comment and the kind words. Good luck with contest :D

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  8. Congratulations, Jack, you're the winner of the ebook copy of Second Star!

    My thanks to everyone for playing along. And just a reminder, don’t forget that that all comments have been listed as automatic entries for the secondary giveaway of a print copy of the novel and a Swarovski pendant. Please keep an eye at AFHenley.com for details regarding the start date of that contest, and best of luck to everyone!

    Thank you again for hosting me. It was a lot of fun. <3

    AFH

    ReplyDelete