Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Guest Blogger ~ Lexi Ander: Keeping Faith

Holidays Traditions 
Around this time of year we all participate in traditions whether it’s an age old activity that has been handed down year after year such as searching for the perfect Christmas tree or baking that one special dish only made at this time of year. My sister puts her Christmas tree up on November 1st. I like making all kinds of candy that I can't possibly eat. (Well, except for the peanut brittle. I'll hoard that all to myself.) One of my brothers follows our parent's holiday traditions. I married and later converted, so we celebrate Chanukah with eight nights of feasting. My nieces and I will sit around and talk while crocheting scarves, hats, and gloves that we gift all the way through January.

Every family has an activity that is special to them whether it's gorging on holiday movies with a vat of caramel corn or volunteering at the local soup kitchen. The list is diverse and vast. What one of your favorite holiday traditions? Can fruitcake be a holiday tradition? I'm one of those crazy people who love fruitcake and every year I sample as many as I can looking for the perfect fruit cake. :)

While writing Keeping Faith, I wanted the Trent, Brock, and AJ to have a tradition all their own. They come from different backgrounds. They've had varying experiences that have had an impact on who they are and what they desire for their future. Plus, they are still growing together, learning what it means to become a family unit.

I probably should say, Keeping Faith is a holiday story that isn't… well… a typical holiday story. Most of the stories set in this time of year are cute and fun. Keeping Faith does have some of the sweet and fuzzy moments but then it shoots down the nail-biting road of, "Holy crap! What just happened?" Hopefully, you'll come out on the other side with a, "Wow," and an, "Aww". Hopefully. *grins*

~ Lexi

Publisher: Firborn Publishing, LLC
Release Date: November 28th, 2014
Genre: Action/Adventure, ADVISORY—Contains moderate violence, Category Length Novel, Comedy/Humor, Contemporary, Family Drama, Happy Ending, HEAT, Holiday-Winter, Male/Male, Ménage, Mystery/Suspense, Part of Series, Romance
Heat Level: 3 Flames

Trent, Brock, and AJ are excited to spend Christmas together in their new home but secrets and dark dealings by Trent's estranged father interrupt their plans. Brock is kidnapped and Trent and AJ scramble to find a way to get Brock back before it is too late.

Several months after Trent Harte was drafted into the NFL, he, AJ Barnes, and Brock Everette are settling into their new home in Miami. Christmas is approaching and they are excited to share another holiday season with each other. Unbeknownst to them, William Harte, Trent's estranged father double-crossed a deadly adversary and then disappeared. To draw William out of hiding, Trent becomes a target. In a horrible twist of fate, the kidnappers grab Brock instead leaving AJ and Trent scrambling to find a way get Brock back. Detectives believe Trent is responsible, and with each passing hour the likelihood of Brock returning home alive dwindles.

Brock traded his safety to ensure his lovers were out of harm's way. He would do it again even knowing he'd end up captured and restrained in a part of town that no one in their right mind would willingly go. The kidnappers are terrifying, but Brock is a fighter, holding onto hope with both hands. He must decide to either wait to be rescued or find a way to escape. Stuck between the wills of a ruthless assassin and an insane mob thug, something needs to happen soon or he'll never see Trent and AJ again.

Trent puttered around the kitchen waiting impatiently for Brock and AJ to get their butts out of bed. This was Day One of their surprises for the holidays. On the six days counting down to Christmas they gave each other something small, either fun or serious, but always inexpensive. The tradition started the first year they were together in college. With their crazy schedules and limited time, Brock was the first one to hide gifts all over the apartment for them. Most of the presents were gag gifts, or just plain gross, but always meant to give them a laugh or two. Not without manners, unless Trent wanted his mother to track him down and string him up, he hesitantly reciprocated Brock's gesture even though he was unsure how his humor would be taken by his new lovers. He shouldn't have worried.

The first Christmas they went their separate ways for the holidays. AJ flew to Iowa. Trent stayed with his mother, making the obligatory day trip to his father's on Christmas day. That year he'd left his father's in an angry huff. Instead of returning to his mother's Trent went back home to the apartment to be alone only to discover Brock had never left.

Initially, Trent had been angry Brock hadn't told them he had nowhere to go, no family to visit and celebrate with. He'd cleverly deflected questions regarding his holiday travels without him or AJ catching on. Trent called AJ who made arrangements to fly home early and they spent the rest of the holiday break together.

The next year he and AJ joined Brock in the fun of leaving gifts around the apartment for each other, beginning the tradition of six days of surprises before Christmas Day. Trent looked forward to seeing the expressions on AJ's and Brock's faces when they opened what he got them. The holiday seasons with his father had been cold and sterile. His mother did her best to add warmth to the season and Trent loved her all the more for the effort but it didn't compare to what he had here with Brock and AJ, his real family.

Trent poured a cup of coffee, adding some cream and sugar before he wandered into the living room. In the corner stood a real conifer tree lending a piney scent to the room. He plugged in the tree lights and stepped back, watching the tree flicker to life as he sipped his coffee.

Brock had overruled them on what they would be decorating with. The theme was heavily the NFL Dolphins' team colors mixed with other homemade ornaments sent to them by AJ's sister, Susan. Strangely, Brock had latched on to them like they were made of gold. Trent sometimes wondered if Brock's love for the holiday came from the lack of holiday spirit as he grew up in foster care or because he remembered the holidays with his family before the tragedy.

The floorboards upstairs creaked and Trent's heart sped up with his rising excitement. He gulped his coffee too fast, scalding his tongue when Brock somehow skidded down the last four steps of the stairs, closely followed by AJ. Both were shirtless, wearing only PJ pants.

"Good morning, Trent," Brock said absently, not glancing at him but his gaze slowly travelled around the room, searching.

Trent smirked into his cup. AJ followed Brock into the room, looking behind and under things. There were like a couple of kids on an Easter egg hunt. Once the living room had been thoroughly searched, both AJ and Brock glanced back up the stairs at the same time, making Trent laugh aloud.

About Lexi:
Lexi has always been an avid reader, and at a young age started reading (secretly) her mother’s romances (the ones she was told not to touch). She was the only teenager she knew of who would be grounded from reading. Later, with a pencil and a note book, she wrote her own stories and shared them with friends because she loved to see their reactions. A Texas transplant, Lexi now kicks her boots up in the Midwest with her Yankee husband and her eighty-pound puppies named after vacuum cleaners.

Find Lexi Here

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