It’s been a year since I published Aftermath. At f*cking last, Outcome is finished and on its way to my editor and beta readers. Which means I finally have a release date!
It will be available on Amazon October 7th. Additionally, I’m working on making it available on Smashwords as well, and in print. Same with Aftermath.
Come back to this blog in a week or so, and I’ll have a pre-order option ready for you. And in the meantime, check out the blurb, the teasers, and join the giveaway :)
Three years ago, Chase Gallardo ran toward freedom with his fellow survivors after having spent five months in captivity. He hasn’t stopped running since. Only now, it’s the memories he’s constantly trying to escape. Haunting echoes of a man who forced Chase to play the part of another, the kidnapper’s younger brother. Chase may have survived, but that doesn’t mean he’s really living. Until one day, when his employee tells him there’s a man sitting at the bar, wearing only underwear.
Remy Stahl has given up—almost. For a year, alcohol, drugs, and faces without names have kept him company. But he has two friends who refuse to give up on him, and they lock him up in his house in an attempt to save him from himself. Though, never underestimate an addict’s desire to see the bottom of another bottle. Remy escapes, and he doesn’t give a rat’s ass that he’s nearly naked.
This is the sequel to Aftermath, where Cam and Austin met, struggled, and fell in love. Outcome takes us back to Bakersfield with Chase and Remy’s story. Fueled by anger, guilt, and shame, they’re not off to an easy start. But it’s only a matter of time before they learn how much they need each other in order to move on.
This story contains some violence, drug use, and scenes of an explicit, erotic nature between two men and is intended for adults, 18+. Characters portrayed are 18 or older.
“You can’t do this.” Remy hissed. “Any of it—barge into my life and turn it upside down. Fuck.” He kicked at a kitchen chair and tightened the towel around his hips. “I can’t have you changing things, and that’s what you’re fucking doing.”
Chase swallowed hard and rose from the bed. “Changing things?” He had to force his fists to unclench, but it was no use trying to relax completely. His mind was swimming with images of Remy, and they weren’t dissipating.
“Don’t get any closer, asshole,” Remy spat out over his shoulder.
But like a man possessed, Chase continued. “What’s changing?” As he reached the middle of the floor in the cabin, Remy turned and glared at him.
“I am.” Remy went on to speak through clenched teeth, taking a step back for every step Chase took forward. “With you…being here, being all—” He cursed and waved a hand at Chase. “It makes me…it makes me…” His back hit the door, to which he shot Chase another withering look. “It makes me want things, goddammit. It makes me hopeful—Stop moving!”
Could this be it?
Could Remy be ready to accept help?
“What do you want?” Chase asked, his voice like gravel.
Remy let out a humorless laugh, hollow and pained, then ripped the door open and walked outside into the pouring rain.
Chase stared after him, an invisible band stretching farther and farther with every foot of distance Remy put between them. He felt the phantom pain as Remy paced in a circle, muttering to himself—too quiet for Chase to hear—pinching the bridge of his nose, then scrubbing his hands down his face…some cursing, more pacing.
Ignoring his boots, Chase stepped outside and hoped they were near a breakthrough. He’d finished running a while ago, and now it was Remy’s turn.
“What do you hope for?” Chase blinked against the downpour, raindrops trickling down his face and torso.
Remy groaned, and he was the picture of defeat. Shoulders sagging, face buried in his hands. “Don’t start.”
Start? Chase walked closer and shook his head. “We started this weeks ago.”
“Then end it!” Remy exploded. Fury radiated off of him, but it was thin. Breakable. He was holding on to it for all he was worth. “I’m done!”
“Bullshit!” Chase shouted. Remy’s anger was evidently contagious, and it caught on quick. “I’m right fucking here, Remy!” He threw out his arms. “You think I’m blind? Huh? You think I can’t see right through you?” Seething, Chase wiped at the raindrops rolling down his forehead and walked closer. “You don’t want this any more than I do, and you can’t even lie about it anymore.” Only a couple feet separated them as Chase leveled Remy with a furious stare. “Tell me. Tell me right now you don’t wanna get better.”
Remy opened his mouth, fire in his gaze, but he had nothing.
Excerpt 2 (You didn’t think I’d write this book without Cam and Austin, did ya?)
Austin had a towel around his neck, his clothes clinging to his still-damp body, and he was pretty sure he had a few suds from his bodywash behind his ear. One swipe with the towel said yep.
“He didn’t show up at the garage earlier, either.” There was a frown in Cam’s voice as Austin got closer to the hallway. “And he’s working right now?” It sounded like he was repeating something someone else had told him, whoever was at the door, probably. “As far as I know, he’s supposed to be here in a little bit.”
“The way he’s been acting, I doubt he remembers,” a woman answered.
Her voice was vaguely familiar, and when Austin finally rounded the corner, he saw it was Donna, the young girl who worked for Chase.
Donna ducked her head, a faint blush spreading over her cheeks as Austin came up behind Cam. At the same time, Cam turned to Austin.
There was that frown. “I forgot to tell you. Chase didn’t show up at the garage today.”
Austin’s brows knitted together. He’d heard something about Chase having an appointment with Landon, who worked with motorcycles, while Cam’s specialty was vintage cars. But Austin didn’t understand what that had to do with Donna being here. Had something happened?
“Is something wrong?” Austin faced Donna.
“I’m not sure, Mr. Huntley.” She wouldn’t look him in the eye, and the formality made Austin feel ancient. The brief moment he’d spoken to her at Chase’s bar’s opening, she’d only flushed scarlet when he told her to call him Austin. “Chase has been acting very…strange.” Donna wrung her hands awkwardly. “Um, he’s spacing out—like, when I say his name, he doesn’t react. I haven’t seen him eat anything in a while, either. And yesterday, I asked if I could borrow his phone in his office, and he just waved me along.” At Austin’s raised eyebrow, she rushed to explain. “He usually doesn’t let anyone into his office. It’s a thing. He’s very private about it.”
“All right,” Austin said slowly. He didn’t quite know what to say, because if Austin and Cam were low-key people who valued their privacy, Chase Gallardo was Fort Knox. Austin was certainly worried, though. They considered Chase a friend, but he was one they had to take baby steps with.
Well, Cam demanded to get to the bottom of things only when it concerned his immediate family. He was fine with things as they were, but Austin had often wondered about Chase’s well-being. The man was constantly on guard, as if he were waiting for someone to jump out of the bushes and attack.
Given their shared past, it was a valid fear.
Austin also doubted Chase was still in therapy. Cam and Austin didn’t go often, but they made an appointment with Gale every now and then. Just to be safe. It provided some stability and comfort.
“You’re gonna go.” Cam smirked wryly at him. Austin’s own amusement was tinged with sheepishness. He knows me too well. “It’s cool,” Cam chuckled. “Go do your good deed for the day. I’ll entertain my brother until you return. And—” He cut off there, his gaze catching something outside.
When Austin peered out the door, he saw Riley coming closer on her bicycle, Nacho peeking up from her little basket in the front. Automatically, Austin checked his watch, only to realize he hadn’t put it on after his shower.
Cam did it instead. “She’s fifteen minutes late.” He huffed, then faced the inside of the house, or more correctly, the patio. “Bourbon!” That dog was always in the backyard.
Austin grinned at the plan he knew Cam had. Bourbon had eaten something he shouldn’t have, and whatever it was, it had caused diarrhea. Austin would bet his life that Riley’s punishment for being late entailed taking Bourbon for a walk. But that was the deal. Riley was absolutely awful at keeping track of time; it had gotten to the point where she was late to school and missed classes after recess. Cam and Austin had been called to her school twice about the issue, so they were strict about that now.
Donna stepped aside slightly as Riley reached the driveway.
Austin and Cam folded their arms across their chests.
“Before you get mad—!” Riley exclaimed, jogging over with Nacho in her arms. “Dad. Dad.” She gave Donna a quick glance. “Stranger.” Then back to Austin and Cam. “I have a really good excuse.”
“And I wanna hear all about it,” Cam drawled as he snatched up Bourbon’s leash. “Later.”
Riley’s face fell. “Oh, no,” she whispered. “Does he still have the runs?”
Cam grinned. “Oh yes, sweetheart.”
Austin chuckled and pocketed his wallet from the hallway table. The sun still blazed, so he grabbed his Ray-Bans, too. He put on his shoes next and hung the towel among the jackets. “I’ll be home soon.”
Want a chance to win a copy of Outcome? (Kindle, PDF, or E-pub.)
To join the giveaway, all you have to do is go on Twitter or Facebook and drop a link to this post, along with this blog post’s title. Make sure to tag me so I can add your name :) Then, a couple days before the book is available, I’ll have my editor randomly pick five names who I’ll get in touch with :)
If we’re not friends on Facebook, you can send me a link to your post using the contact sheet on this blog under “About Cara.” You’ll also find the link to my Facebook there, as well as my Twitter. (@CaraDeeWrites.)
Until next weekend!