Release Blitz, Excerpt & Giveaway:
A Long Way Home
By Blake Allwood
Coming Home Series, Book 1
With the odds stacked against them, will they be able to overcome, or will their pasts push them apart, forever?
Gib clings to family, while being afraid to trust them. As a former foster child, he clings to security denied to him in early childhood. When he begins having feelings for one of his best friends and fellow medical school student, all his issues are expanded.
Allan has everything a kid from a wealthy New York family could have. When he decides to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a Harvard trained doctor, he didn’t anticipate meeting and falling for the enigmatic Gibson Ridley.
With Allan’s daddy issues, and Gib’s fear of intimacy, the stakes couldn’t have greater risks. Can these two men work through their issues and give love a chance, or will they lose it forever?
NOTE: A Long Road Home is a low-heat, sweet, high drama romance.
Triggers: Death, loss of family members, orphaned children, trauma, fear of loss, recovery, homophobia…
Add on Goodreads
I sat on the lonely bench nestled in the trees, ignoring the coolness of the air. I loved spending time in the small hidden alcove when I wasn’t in class. The other students bustled around me, but unless they looked straight at me, they rarely knew I was there.
My classes were hard. I knew they would be, of course, but knowing and experiencing were two very different things. The university I’d gone to for pre-med had done absolutely nothing to prepare me for Harvard Medical School.
As I hefted my monster textbook onto my lap, regretting my decision to buy a real book, instead of using the e-book option most of my classmates used. I noticed two men making out across from me. Either they couldn’t see me, or didn’t care, and I was trying not to be too much of a perv by staring, but even now, seeing two handsome guys kissing and in public sent chills through my body.
I took a deep breath and let it out slowly as I tore my gaze away. That’s never going to be me. Even if by some miracle someone decided they liked me, I doubted I’d ever feel comfortable with PDAs like those two men.
I’d always known I was gay, long before I ever acknowledged it to anyone, myself included. Growing up in a conservative, small Southern town, being out wasn’t really a viable option. I also knew as long as I stayed there, it was unlikely I’d ever have a long-term relationship with anyone. One of my hopes in attending Harvard, before I’d actually experienced it at least, was that maybe I’d find love here. My hopes had yet to materialize in the form of a man, though.
Other than hooking up with the occasional stranger, I hadn’t made any friends during undergraduate school either, and mostly just studied and kept to myself, exactly like I was doing now at Harvard. Seeing men openly kissing and holding hands here on campus felt liberating, but also made me feel even lonelier.
I flipped my textbook closed and forced the monster into my already overpacked bookbag.
I quickly glanced over at the two kissing men and sighed inwardly. No, I’d never have that. I was pathetically shy and missed my siblings, although I couldn’t really call them that anymore, could I? It was bad enough that everyone on campus probably thought I was a redneck, because I spoke with a Southern twang. If they knew the two people I’d grown up with and considered my brother and sister were now married and had a kid, well, that would pretty much stick a fork in what was left of my reputation.
I missed Olivia and Chase so much sometimes, it hurt. We’d never been far away from each other before. In high school and college, the other kids thought we were cliquish and pretty much avoided us anyway, because Olivia was a bit of an overly protective jerk. I just didn’t think they understood what it was like being foster children who, at any moment, could lose everything that meant anything to us, including each other.
The alarm on my phone went off, pulling me from my thoughts, and telling me it was time to go to class.
I arrived early enough to sit near the front. I was easily distracted, and sitting in the back didn’t help, so I made a point of getting to all my classes early to grab a prime seat.
“Today, students,” our elderly professor said, looking as if he could drop dead at any moment, “I will pair you up with partners for this course. Make sure you combine your schedules, because your grade will depend on how well each of you perform.”
I sighed. I hated group participation. I always seemed to get stuck with a lazy partner, and more often than not, my grades suffered when they couldn’t or wouldn’t pull their weight.
Gibbon Ridley, you will be paired with Alexi Jones. I looked up just in time to see a beautiful woman, also sitting in the front, stand and walk toward me. Her smile was bright, and it lightened my sour attitude. Before I knew it, I was smiling back at her.
“Gib,” I said, when she shook my outstretched hand.
“Alexi,” she replied. “Hope you like studying.”
I prefer it to failing!” I said, letting the smart-ass side of me slip out.
Instead of offending her, she literally laughed out loud, causing several other students to look over at us.
She blushed a bit before smiling again. “I think we’re going to get along fine.”
That afternoon, as I met Alexi in her dorm room, she introduced me to her friends Fiona and Allen. The three were intense, to say the least.
As they rambled on about several topics at once, Alexi must’ve noticed me staring with a look of surprise and maybe a little envy. “I’m sorry, Gib,” she said. “We’ve known each other since we were kids. We can be a bit much.”
I laughed. “I have siblings and we’re the same way. Trust me, I get it.”
The three welcomed me into their world after that. Apparently, no one wanted to spend time with them, because they were kooky and loud and didn’t give a damn what everyone else thought.
Even though Alexi and I were officially paired together for the entire semester, we were all in med school together, and the three friends came as a package deal, so that is how I became one of the Apple Fritter Gang. The name was a take-off of an old nineteen seventies film called The Apple Dumpling Gang. The moniker didn’t hold much meaning other than cause one of us to pick up apple fritters once a week from the bakery just off campus, which was a perk we all enjoyed.
It wasn’t long before the four of us became inseparable. We really were our own gang, if you could call a small group of geeky med students who studied more than partied a gang. For the first time since my relationship with Olivia and Chase had shifted, I felt like I had people who just got me.
Enter the Giveaway:
To celebrate the release of A Long Way Home, Blake is giving away a paperback or e-copy of the release!
Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for your chance to win!
Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/cc0f2a57636/?
About the Author:
Blake Allwood was born in west TN, then moved to Kansas City MO after attending college in Lamoni, Iowa. He met his husband in 1995 and they officially married in 2015, once gay marriage was legalized. In 2017, he and his husband sold their home, purchased an RV and began traveling the country with their two dogs. Their travels provide the inspiration and settings for many of his novels.
Typically, Blake can be found relaxing in the RV or by the fire with his laptop and their Jack Russell Terrier, Buddy, curled up between his legs demanding attention. Denver, their Siberian Husky mix is often asleep at his feet or playing tug of war with Blake’s husband.
Connect with Blake: