Release Tour, Excerpt & Giveaway:
A Summer Without Rain
By Christie Gordon
Shannon loves Ciaran, his loyal best friend, but loving him proves to be a dangerous game.
It’s 1920 in Ireland and Shannon Sullivan finds himself in love with his best friend, Ciaran. But after a disastrous affair with a teacher that left him abused by the town priest, shunned by the townspeople, and abandoned by the man who’d started it all, he’s loath to let himself act on his feelings for Ciaran.
Ciaran O’Kelly only sees the good in others, including his best friend, Shannon. He doesn’t understand why everyone treats him so poorly and why Shannon feels the need to lash out or hide himself. After Ciaran’s mother suddenly dies, Shannon is the one who brings him comfort.
After the death of Ciaran’s mother, Ciaran’s father sends the boys on a journey to Dublin to bring an heirloom to Ciaran’s aunt. With the Irish war of independence in full swing, train travel is disrupted and the two must travel by horse and cart. On the journey, a drunken night in an inn starts another journey – one of discovery, awakening and peril. Can Ciaran and Shannon escape clashes with the British army, while keeping their newfound love a secret?
Ciaran blinked tired eyes while he stood in front of his house, busying himself with packing the small, horse-drawn cart. I’m going to Dublin. It would take two days, but so what. He was still going to Dublin. He quirked his lips in a quick grin. The morning sun warmed the top of his scally cap, filtering through to his hair, and the birds provided a symphonic melody floating overhead in the trees.
While he set pillows atop folded wool blankets, Shannon’s behavior in the barn flooded his mind, the embrace, the look. What sort of a look was it anyway? It reminded him of something he’d read in one of his mother’s romantic poetry books. And Shannon had a hold on him like one of the women he’d dated.
He strode over to bales of hay, piled at the side of the barn, picked one up and brought it to the cart. Although Shannon’s behavior disturbed him, something else bothered him, too. It had forced him to confront Shannon yesterday. Did I want something more from him, more than a comforting hug? No, that’s absurd. Stop thinking about it. I’d just been upset is all.
He threw the hay in the back of the cart and strode off to grab his suitcase, sitting by the door of the house. But Shannon had a stiffy, didn’t he? Or was it just the shadows playing a trick on him? He frowned. It was hard to tell. Though, it wouldn’t be the first time. He’d noticed Shannon getting a stiffy around him before.
He grinned. Damn Shannon got more stiffies than anyone he knew. He tossed his suitcase into the cart and watched while it bounced on the pillows and landed next to a crate filled with food he’d packed earlier and his discarded jacket and waistcoat. It would be a hot day again.
As Ciaran patted down the blankets, he caught movement out of the corner of his eye.
Shannon strode out from the path connecting their houses, carrying a stuffed, white pillowcase, his dark linen shirt rolled up at the sleeves and tucked into his trousers, which were held up by braces. His boots clopped along as he walked.
Turning his attention to Shannon’s gait, Ciaran smiled. He was always trying to look so tough. “Shannon, are you ready?”
Shannon ambled over and patted the hindquarters of the small, brown horse attached to their cart before coming to Ciaran’s side. He peered into the back of the cart while tossing his pillowcase into it. “What’s all this then?”
“Well, I packed us some bread and cheese, a few apples and some pickles in case we get hungry. And just in case we decide not to stay at an inn, I packed some blankets and pillows.” Ciaran nodded once with a wide grin on his face. He’d made sure they were prepared for anything out there.
“Good God, Ciaran, you’d think we’d be traveling through the bloody wilderness with all that stuff. What about the money your da gave you? He didn’t want us sleeping outside, remember?” Shannon gave Ciaran’s hat a light ruffling.
Ciaran ducked out of his touch. “Uh, I know, but I sort of feel it’d be wrong to use it. I thought maybe we could save it and get something special for him.” He deserved it after everything he’d been through.
“Absolutely not, you know as well as I there are bloody Black and Tans out on the road. How would you feel if that precious locket of your ma’s got stolen? Or even worse, how would your da feel if you got killed?”
Hanging his head, Ciaran studied the dirt. Shannon always thought the worst would happen in every situation.
“No, he wants us staying close to the main roads and safe inside at night. That is what I promised him and that is what we’ll do.” Shannon huffed.
“Shite, Shannon, you’re always doting over me like a bloody mother hen. You and my ma, when she was alive.” Ciaran lowered his voice to a barely audible whisper, “Fine then.” He was a man now and people should start treating him that way.
“What was that?” Shannon dropped his head low to peer into his face.
Ciaran flared his nostrils, glaring at Shannon. “I said fine. But we’re going into town before we leave so I can get a book for the trip.” Shannon hated going into to town, but too bad. It would be a long trip and a book would definitely help.
Sighing, Shannon absently kicked at a rock. “Can’t we just go? I’m sure you can pick up a book in the first town we get to.”
“Oh, come on, you’ll survive. If you’d just talk to people in town, maybe they’d see you’re not so bloody terrifying after all.” Ciaran grinned. Why did Shannon always have to pretend to be so mean all the time? He was scaring people, that much he knew. He also knew, Shannon wasn’t mean at all. In fact, he was sweet and caring when he wanted to be. “That and cut your hair.” Though, he kind of liked Shannon’s hair. The color was so dark, it shined blue when he wasn’t wearing his scally cap.
“Hey, there is nothing wrong with my feckin’ hair. I like it,” Shannon said with a smile.
“Maybe if you’d wear some normal clothes and cut your hair, you’d get a girlfriend.” Ciaran curved his lips into a playful grin. He’d never seen Shannon even look at a girl, which made teasing him about it all the more fun. He climbed up onto the seat of the cart.
Frowning, Shannon said, “You know nobody would bloody want me.” He slowly followed Ciaran onto the cart.
Ciaran scoffed. He hated it when Shannon said things like that about himself. Shannon was a looker and was completely daft about it. “Why do you insist on reproaching yourself so?” He shook his head. “Ah well, good thing then. I can keep you all to myself.” He grabbed the reins, lifted his arms, and flicked his wrists once. “Let’s go, Missy.” The horse lurched forward and broke into a trot.
Shannon chuckled. In a soft voice, he said, “You have more of me than you know, my dear friend.”
With his brows furrowed, Ciaran studied him. What did that mean, exactly?
Mr. O’Kelly stepped out from the threshold of the farmhouse.
Waving, Ciaran said, “Bye, Da.” He glanced at Shannon, his heart aching just a little. He knew he’d always have him by his side. Shannon didn’t need to say things like that.
Mr. O’Kelly smiled and waved at them while they rode by.
Enter the Giveaway:
To celebrate Christie’s new release, we are giving you the chance to win 1 of 3 eBooks of your choice from Christie’s backlist!
Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for your chance to win!
Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/cc0f2a57403/?
About the Author:
Christie Gordon started writing gay and M/M romance fiction after becoming preoccupied with anime and in particular, the boys love and yaoi genres. She’s always had stories in her head and always enjoyed writing, so she took up fiction writing classes at a local community college and published her first book with eXtasy Books back in 2009. Christie likes to write complicated characters with painful pasts that refuse to be ignored until the characters are forced to face them head on. Angst? Yes. Happily ever after? Always. It’s the struggle to get there that counts.
Christie’s day job is in the high-tech industry with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and a Master’s in Business Administration. She currently lives in the Phoenix, Arizona metro area and enjoyed eight years in the Bay Area of California but grew up in Minnesota. She shares a home with her partner of twelve years, a musician by night and a coder by day, who is currently in three bands, giving her plenty of time to keep writing. She is also a mother of two sons, one currently in college for engineering and the other preparing for nursing college. Her one-eyed, rescue pug is always by her side, snoring the day away.
Connect with Christie:
Facebook Page: https://facebook.com/christiegordonauthor