Book: All Wheel Drive
Part of the Bluewater Bay Universe
Publisher: Riptide Press
Cover Artist: LC Chase
Publication date: July 10, 2017
Length: 326 pages
Healey Holly is battered, depressed, and looking to go to ground in his childhood home. He wants to rent the garage apartment, but it’s Diego Luz’s place now, and the last thing Diego wants is to share it.
Diego is recovering too—from the accident that put him in a wheelchair and the death of his mother shortly after. The garage apartment is where he’s keeping his mother’s things, and as long as they’re up those stairs and he’s down on the ground, there’s no way he can deal with his loss. And that’s just how he likes it.
Healey believes in science. Diego believes in luck. It will take a blend of both, and some prayer thrown in besides, for these two to learn that it’s the journey and the destination that matters.
Hello to all the folks at Diverse Reader! Thanks so much for allowing me to spend some time talking about my lastest release, All Wheel Drive. It’s my second book in the awesome Bluewater Bay series from Riptide Publishing.
Healey Holly--twin Brother of Nash from the book Hell On Wheels—returns to Bluewater Bay looking for comfort after a bad break-up and an accident. Like a lot of wounded creatures, he tries to go to ground in the last place he called home, the only problem is, it’s not his home anymore. His Pop sold the house, and none of his family is even in town.
Healey gets lucky and the new owner takes pity on him. A little, anyway. Enough to let him stay the night and hopefully change his mind.
Healey’s rebounding and he’s attracted to Diego immediately. He’s a nuisance, but a likable nuisance, and in spite of himself, Diego is drawn in.
What I loved best about writing this book is that I had to work so hard to play against my nature. I don’t think I’ve ever written a character as taciturn as Diego. Many, many times, I gave him some lengthy, revealing dialogue and had to hit the delete button because he’s just not a talky guy. It was like I needed a rubber band, POP! Stop talking already, ZAM!
Everyone who knows me just rolled their eyes because this is not going to happen.
The one place I figured Diego’d have to be straight up informative is when talking about sex. Men and women with disabilities are unique, and each person’s experience is theirs alone. Each body heals in it’s own way. My husband, for example, lives with the results of an L1 fracture fracture and a traumatic brain injury (a contrecoup injury). His prognosis was terrible, originally. I’m happy to report the news of his long-term vegetative state was greatly exaggerated. But had his SCI been complete, as Diego’s is, our lives would have been very different indeed.
In a way, knowing these things, I felt I had to create Diego Luz and give him a specific spinal cord injury (like my husband’s but lower on the spine and complete, in that Diego’s causes paralysis). Then, I researched the outcome of such an incident and made Diego’s physical results consistent.
Diego cannot get an erection from thinking sexy thoughts, for example, because the messaging system from his brain to his cock is broken. But if you brush his cock with your fingers, he might get an erection. He doesn’t ejaculate.
Some physical sensations are more pleasurable than others. Some areas on his upper body are hyper sensitized, for good and ill. Sometimes, touching his upper body will cause a surprising burst of sensation that’s intensely pleasurable, but he can only “orgasm” with strong internal stimulation such as the use of a medical vibrator and he doesn’t feel anything, except for his racing heart and the rush of chemicals that orgasm causes in his blood stream, which is arguably nice.
I wanted to make him internally consistent, as well. He’s sex positive, but not necessarily that into it. Unless he’s really into the person he’s with it’s a lot of work without a lot of payoff. He likes being touched. He looks forward to human contact. The flood of chemicals after an orgasm with strong stimulation is nice, and he really likes Healey. But a lot of the time Healey is pushing for more than Diego wants to give and there are trust-issues to be dealt with. Allowing someone to touch him in intimate places where he can’t feel pain...makes Diego extremely anxious.
I used the Christopher and Dana Reeves Foundation’s resources, watched a lot of YouTube videos featuring interviews with people talking about their own experiences. I watched hospital documentaries made for newly injured patients, and finally, I asked my husband endless questions about his own experience and that of my husband’s hospital roommate Tim—short for Timothy which he hated—a very young man with a devastating spinal cord injury—a quadriplegic—who married after his accident and has gone on to become a lawyer.
Suffice it to say, I have a newfound respect for human resilience.
Men and women with disabilities are underrepresented in romance, and I am thrilled to be part of a movement to change that!
About Bluewater Bay
Welcome to Bluewater Bay! This quiet little logging town on Washington state’s Olympic Peninsula has been stagnating for decades, on the verge of ghost town status. Until a television crew moves in to film Wolf’s Landing, a soon-to-be cult hit based on the wildly successful shifter novels penned by local author Hunter Easton.
Wolf’s Landing’s success spawns everything from merchandise to movie talks, and Bluewater Bay explodes into a mecca for fans and tourists alike. The locals still aren’t quite sure what to make of all this—the town is rejuvenated, but at what cost? And the Hollywood-based production crew is out of their element in this small, mossy seaside locale. Needless to say, sparks fly.
This collaborative story world is brought to you by eleven award-winning, best-selling LGBTQ romance authors: L.A. Witt, L.B. Gregg, Z.A. Maxfield, Heidi Belleau, Rachel Haimowitz, Anne Tenino, Amy Lane, SE Jakes, G.B. Gordon, Jaime Samms and Ally Blue. Each contemporary novel stands alone, but all are built around the town and the people of Bluewater Bay and the Wolf’s Landing media empire.
About Z.A. Maxfield
Z. A. Maxfield started writing in 2007 on a dare from her children and never looked back. Pathologically disorganized and perennially optimistic, she writes as much as she can, reads as much as she dares, and enjoys her time with family and friends. If anyone asks her how a wife and mother of four manages to find time for a writing career, she’ll answer, “It’s amazing what you can accomplish if you give up housework."
Her published books include Crossing Borders, Epic Award finalist St. Nacho’s, Drawn Together, ePistols at Dawn, Notturno, Stirring Up Trouble, and Vigil.
Readers can visit her website at http://www.zamaxfield.com, and contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To celebrate the release of All Wheel Drive, one lucky winner will receive an ecopy of Hell on Wheels and a $25 Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on July 15, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!