Bluewater Blues by G.B. Gordon Blog Tour, Excerpt, Review & Giveaway!

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Hi guys, we have G.B. Gordan popping in today with with the new Bluewater Bay release Bluewater Blues, we have a great excerpt, a brilliant giveaway and Aerin’s review, so check out the post and leave a comment to enter the giveaway! ❤ ~Pixie~

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Bluewater Blues

(Bluewater Bay 15)
by

G.B. Gordon

Jack Daley left his music career behind—along with his domineering father—and is struggling to make a new life for himself and his autistic sister in Bluewater Bay. When a summer storm sweeps a handsome stranger into his general store, Jack is more than ready for a fling. No strings attached, because Jack can’t share the secrets he and his sister are hiding from. Unfortunately, his feelings refuse to stay casual.

Mark Keao is married to his job as a costume designer on Wolf’s Landing. He’s autistic, so he’s used to people not knowing how to interact with him, but that doesn’t mean he wants to be a hermit. Especially when he meets Jack Daley, who dances with brooms, shares his love of the blues, and gets him like no one else. But relationships have proven complicated in the past.

Just when Mark is ready to try anyway, Jack pulls back. But Mark isn’t giving up, and neither is Jack’s sister. And then there’s the music both men love, bringing them together time and again. It will take trust, though, to bring them together for good.

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Excerpt

On Saturday he found Margaret in a sunny mood, though the sunshine outside was somewhat hazy. It was cool enough now, because it was still early, but the weather report had forecast humid heat for the day. She hopped and danced and butterflied around the back room with her headphones on, and covered that shy smile of hers with a hand whenever she thought he was looking at her. It felt like they were sharing some fun game, or an intimate conspiracy. He tried hard not to think about how close to the truth the latter actually was.

Hopefully she’d still feel good enough to go when it warmed up later. He shrugged. Things would sort themselves without him worrying about them; they usually did. He resolved to start the A/C in the car in time to cool it down before they left, just in case.

After breakfast, he cleared and stocked the rest of the deliveries from the big pallet that he hadn’t gotten to over the week. It had been busy the last couple of days, as if people needed to make up for not having been out during the storm. He wouldn’t complain though. He and Margaret could sure use the money. Thanks to Mawmaw’s foresight, the house was half paid for, but he still had to stock the store every week. And now that they were settled in one place, it would be nice to have a little extra. Maybe get Margaret assessed, find something to support her efforts at communicating, or some activities she’d benefit from. As much as he liked to see her this excited about the concert, it also brought home the fact that she didn’t have a lot of events like those in her life. He wasn’t sure to what extent she actually needed other people around her, but for a short while at least and in moderate numbers, she seemed to enjoy company. She was fascinated by colorful, bustling places, even though she couldn’t be in a jostling crowd.

They left early, so they’d have their pick of seats. Small things like that could make or break an event. Unfortunately, as it turned out, others had had the same idea.

When Jack pulled into the parking lot of the elongated redbrick building with the square bell tower, Margaret ducked her head between her shoulders at the sight of all the people streaming into the church. But she didn’t let that stop her from getting out of the car with him.

“You’re a trooper,” Jack whispered to her.

After the sweltering parking lot, the inside of the church felt cool and dim.

Ahead of him Margaret started pirouetting, eyes wide, waving her hands at a pew, then another, then the steps leading up to the choir, her fingers picking out brightly colored spots of light touching their surfaces.

Jack pointed at the rosette window above the door. “Look.”

She stood transfixed, staring at the window, wonder on her face. Laughter exploded from her lips that had people turning and trying to hide their gaping.

He found an as-yet empty pew, the one end of which was worked against a column holding up the roof. Between that and his body, Margaret would have a protective space from where to enjoy the concert without anyone jostling her or sitting too close.

The church didn’t have an organ. Someone fiddled with a sound system. “You might want to plug your ears,” Jack murmured. “There could be audio feedback.” As he said it, a shriek from the speakers ricocheted off the walls. Margaret wailed and slammed her hands over her ears, then banged her back against the hard wood of the bench. Please, no.

Trying to stop her would only make it worse. This was her version of whistling in the dark. It kept the pain monsters in check. No, she needed the noise to stop. He knew better, though, than to fish in Margaret’s pockets for her earphones. Instead he leaned in and said with quiet insistence close to her ear. “Margaret, listen to my voice. Just my voice. Put your hand in your left pocket. Good girl. Now pull your earphones out and plug your ears with them.”

She complied so fast that he had to duck out of the way, or he would have been punched in the face. He watched her pick some music on her phone, and blew out a breath. Close call.

The choir filed in, and Jack scanned the figures for the tall and lanky one he couldn’t forget. There he was. All the singers wore black pants or skirts and white shirts, and damn, a white dress shirt suited Mark. And not only because Jack had a thing for white dress shirts.

There was rustling and low voices as they took their places, plus the occasional whistle and snatches of music from the sound system. Apparently they were using a canned orchestra with the choir.

The conductor gave a brief introduction, and thanked everyone for coming. Jack got Margaret’s attention with a wave in front of her eyes and pointed to her earphones. She took them out as they began, then immediately closed her eyes, her head swaying softly to the rhythm of the music. A soprano solo started, followed by a rich alto that was more to Jack’s taste. He’d never heard the piece before, at least not consciously. He winced inwardly at the louder passages, but Margaret didn’t flinch. Her lips were moving along with the words—trust her to know them—and her face and body were relaxed and at peace.

Jack turned back to the choir, to Mark, who sang like Margaret listened, with his eyes closed. He made Jack’s throat tight with longing, and for a second he was tempted to close his eyes as well. To give in and abandon caution, fall into the music and let himself believe that a connection outside their team of two was possible. But that would have meant letting Margaret out of his sight, which wasn’t an option.

A cello started up, and Mark moved into the soloist position. Oh? He sang and, sweet Jesus, Jack had been right. That rich baritone pebbled his skin from his wrists all the way to his hairline. He wanted to listen to that voice forever. The choir cutting back in felt like a betrayal. He waited for the next short solo line, and then the next, bereft when Mark made way for the soprano again. After that the soloists sang together without the choir. Mark’s solo was clearly over. It was still a beautiful piece, and the choir was of a quality Jack hadn’t expected in a town the size of Bluewater Bay. But it left him yearning. Because of Mark, and his voice. Because of all the music he’d left behind in Savannah.

There were standing ovations when it was over, and then everyone wanted to talk to people in the choir, especially to the conductor and the four soloists. Jack would have liked to talk to Mark again, but wasn’t sure how long Margaret would hold out. And anyway, what would he say? He didn’t know enough about what he’d just heard to make an intelligent comment about it. So he waited, until everyone was either up front or walking toward the door, to find clear passage for the two of them to leave. But when he scanned the aisle, Mark was making his way toward them, raising his hand to catch their attention.

Jack’s heart did a little two-step. He stopped and moved over to one side, where they wouldn’t be in the stream of people. He was still thinking about what to say when Mark joined them, but it was Margaret who spoke first. “Basso cantante,” she said. “Yes.” And she gave Mark one of her shy, covered smiles. It was high praise.

And Mark surprised him by getting that. He inclined his head toward Margaret. “Thank you. Almost. I’d say bass-baritone myself. I’m a bit more comfortable in a baritone tessitura. It was originally written for a bass, of course.”

“Of course.” It didn’t sound like an echo, but like she was agreeing with him.

“And you?” Mark turned toward him. “Did you like it?”

“A lot. And, honestly, I didn’t expect to all that much. Margaret’s the one into classical and choir music. Me, I’m more into blues and a bit of soul and jazz.”

“John Coltrane?”

“Absolutely. And Charlie Parker, despite the bebop.”

“Etta James.”

“Muddy Waters.”

They kept throwing names and then styles at each other without comment or transitions until Margaret’s fingers pulled at his sleeve.

“Home, please.” Her not simply saying No, but being specific about her needs deserved immediate attention. Despite that, reluctance slowed Jack down. He wanted to keep talking to this man who was so odd and so familiar in such confusing and thrilling ways. But it wasn’t an option. Margaret wouldn’t ask to be taken out of a place with music and colored lights if she didn’t absolutely need to be away from the mass of people.

“Then we’ll go home, love. Would you like to say good-bye to Mark?”

She nodded. Then, to Jack’s stunned surprise she said, “It was a pleasure to meet you. Why don’t you come over for dinner on Sunday?”

He stared. It had to be a line she’d picked up in the crowd. Original speech didn’t come easy to her, much less polite conversation. Which didn’t mean that she couldn’t talk or communicate, but never, as long as he could remember, had he heard her invite anyone to come visit them. She didn’t just take to people at first sight. And even at second sight, the people she liked were few and far between. Margaret taking a shine to a stranger, and enough of one to invite him home was an extraordinary first.

“Thank you, miss. I’d be delighted,” Mark said.

The incongruity of such perfectly polite conversation between two people who not only didn’t shake hands, but didn’t even look at each other, surprised a laugh out of Jack. He gave Mark a brief nod. “So would I. Shall we say seven?”

“Seven sounds perfect.”

And that was that. No hesitation, no polite attempt to blow them off. The wish to meet again a mutual one, then? “Well, you know where to find us.”

Again Margaret tugged at his sleeve.

“I’m afraid we have to be off. I really enjoyed hearing you sing; you were fantastic.” He turned to Margaret. “Lead the way, Sis.” And half over his shoulder. “See you Sunday, then.”

Anticipation unfurled like wings in his stomach. What to cook? He had no idea what Mark liked to eat. Did he have any allergies? He hadn’t said anything. But he hadn’t exactly had time to think. Something neutral, then: no seafood, no peanuts. Damn, he was looking forward to this.

Read more at: http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/bluewater-blues (just click the excerpt tab)

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About G.B.

G.B.Gordon worked as a packer, landscaper, waiter, and coach before going back to school to major in linguistics and, at 35, switch to less backbreaking monetary pursuits like translating, editing, and writing.

Having lived in various parts of the world, Gordon is now happily ensconced in suburban Ontario with the best of all husbands. Santuario is G.B. Gordon’s first published work, but many more stories are just waiting to hit the keyboard.

Connect with Gordon:

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Giveaway!

To celebrate the release of Bluewater Blues, one lucky winner will receive $20 in Riptide Publishing credit!

(Just leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest.)
Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!
(Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on October 22, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries.

Review

g-b-gordon-bluewater-blues-cover-sTitle: Bluewater Blues

Series: Bluewater Bay #15

Author: G.B. Gordon

Genre: Contemporary, Disability

Length: Novel (198 pages)

Publisher: Riptide Publishing (October 17th 2016)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 3 – 3.5 hearts

Blurb: Jack Daley left his music career behind—along with his domineering father—and is struggling to make a new life for himself and his autistic sister in Bluewater Bay. When a summer storm sweeps a handsome stranger into his general store, Jack is more than ready for a fling. No strings attached, because Jack can’t share the secrets he and his sister are hiding from. Unfortunately, his feelings refuse to stay casual.

Mark Keao is married to his job as a costume designer on Wolf’s Landing. He’s autistic, so he’s used to people not knowing how to interact with him, but that doesn’t mean he wants to be a hermit. Especially when he meets Jack Daley, who dances with brooms, shares his love of the blues, and gets him like no one else. But relationships have proven complicated in the past.

Just when Mark is ready to try anyway, Jack pulls back. But Mark isn’t giving up, and neither is Jack’s sister. And then there’s the music both men love, bringing them together time and again. It will take trust, though, to bring them together for good.

ISBN: 9781626494572

Product Link: http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/bluewater-blues

Reviewer: Aerin

Review: When I requested this book I was excited to read it because the blurb sounds fucking great; I knew of course the subject matter would be challenging, especially since I think it’s very risky for an author to write an authentic character without experiencing autism themselves. But it CAN be pulled off, and my previous experience with reading such a book left me thoroughly impressed; this made me think of one of my favorite books of all time: In the Absence of Light by Adrienne Wilder.

When comparing these two books together (which I can’t help doing, because they have so much in common) Bluewater Blues unfortunately falls short. Jack ran away from California in order to protect his autistic sister Margaret. An assault that ended badly left Margaret in danger of being institutionalized and Jack would do anything to protect his beloved sister from that fate. Margaret is severely autistic but she is not completely non-verbal. She and Jack are very close (or as close as an autistic person can get to someone) and it’s easy to see that despite their daily challenges, there is a lot of love between them. Jack doesn’t have a love life and is not looking to get close to anyone. Margaret is his main focus and he can’t endanger their secret and her life by allowing someone to get too close.

Mark Keao is very dedicated to his job as costume designer for Wolf’s Landing, the popular television show. Mark has struggled his whole life to overcome his challenges and find a successful carrier; Mark is autistic as well, but on the opposite side of the spectrum from Margaret. His Asperger’s allows him to be independent and he managed despite his struggles to do something he loves and he’s good at. Mark is one of the very few people who is able to have a job he absolutely loves and one he’s very good at. When Mark and Jack meet, the chemistry between them catches Mark by surprise. Mark has always known he’s gay, but the way Jack overwhelms his senses and overloads his system is something very new and completely disconcerting. Mark’s aversion to being touched is problematic at first, but Jack allows Mark to explore the things he wants to try while knowing he’s safe and not laughed at.

I liked them individually because both Mark and Jack are very interesting characters. What I couldn’t connect with is them as a couple. There was something missing; I think it mostly has to do with my inability to connect with Mark’s character. While we get both their POVs, Jack’s is told from 3rd person (past tense), while Mark’s is told from 1st person present. This creates some kind of discord that allowed me to know both Jack and Mark separately, but made it hard to put connect with them as a couple. I didn’t feel like they belonged together no matter how hard I tried to see them that way.

Also, being in Mark’s head was awkward as hell. I could tell the author tried really hard to express how Mark was feeling at any given time and make his autism as part of the character, but I’m not sure she succeeded. Mark’s autism seemed more like the big, pink elephant in the room; there was too much effort put into explaining it. While I was reading In the Absence of Light by Adrienne Wilder I found Morgan’s autism and symptoms/reactions so subtle, they were a part of the character that myself as the reader could fascinatingly connect with. I think Mark talking to us in first person present tense made his explanation of his struggles with autism seem too medical. Margaret’s story and her struggles are told from Jack’s POV and I think it helped me understand her better.

This was a very interesting story and even though the romance part didn’t work for me, I think it’s worth reading if only to experience its uniqueness. I can certainly say G.B. Gordon deserves praise for being brave enough to take such a risk with this book.

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Check out the other blogs on the blog tour

October 17, 2016 – Bayou Book Junkie
October 17, 2016 – Delighted Reader
October 17, 2016 – Diverse Reader
October 17, 2016 – Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews
October 17, 2016 – WoW from the Scarf Princess
October 18, 2016 – Prism Book Alliance
October 18, 2016 – The Jeep Diva
October 18, 2016 – My Fiction Nook
October 18, 2016 – OMG Reads
October 19, 2016 – Love Bytes Reviews
October 19, 2016 – Book Reviews and More by Kathy
October 19, 2016 – Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
October 19, 2016 – MM Good Book Reviews
October 20, 2016 – TTC Books and More
October 20, 2016 – Creative Deeds
October 20, 2016 – Attention is Arbitrary
October 20, 2016 – The Day Before You Came
October 21, 2016 – All I Want and More
October 21, 2016 – Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents
October 21, 2016 – Alpha Book Club
October 21, 2016 – Dog-Eared Daydreams
October 21, 2016 – That’s What I’m Talking About
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17 thoughts on “Bluewater Blues by G.B. Gordon Blog Tour, Excerpt, Review & Giveaway!”

  1. Thank you for the review, and the giveaway. I love different characters and love stories, so this sounds exactly like my sort of book
    susanaperez7140(at)gmail(dot)com

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  2. I enjoyedd the excerpt and it was good to meet all the characters and also the first meeting of the MC’s. Thank you for the review the book is on my wishlist.
    ShirleyAnn(at)speakman40(dot)freeserve(dot)co(dot)uk

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  3. This sounds like a great story, definitely looking forward to checking it out! I’ve really enjoyed this series! 🙂
    jenndonald00(at)gmail(dot)com

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  4. What a great excerpt. I have this on my gotta have buy list, and can’t wait to read this. I too fell in love with Absence of Light by Adrienne Wilder. Thank you for the giveaway. Wishing you continued success.

    pomma @hotmail.com

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  5. What a great excerpt. I have this on my gotta have buy list, and can’t wait to read this. I too fell in love with Absence of Light by Adrienne Wilder. Thank you for the giveaway. Wishing you continued success.

    pomma @hotmail.com

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  6. Thanks for the excerpt & review. I’m looking forward to catching up in Bluewater Bay.
    legacylandlisa(at)gmail(dot)com

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  7. Congrats. I love gay romance and stories of life, and Bluewater Bay sounds like a great place to live – I’ll have to start reading about some of its residents.

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  8. Forgot contact info – Congrats. I love gay romance and stories of life, and Bluewater Bay sounds like a great place to live – I’ll have to start reading about some of its residents.
    Purple Reader – TheWrote [at] aol [dot] com

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