Book: Three Player Game
Bluewater Bay Universe
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Cover Artist: LC Chase
Publication date: August 14, 2017
Length: 284 pages
Vince’s life has improved immeasurably since he moved to Bluewater Bay two years ago. He’s gone from working for a man he hated, to helping found a company he believes in. And he and his boyfriend, Pete, have built a delicate balance of power between them that keeps them both grounded and thriving.
Pete’s job on the set of Wolf’s Landing is demanding. He needs lots of downtime off set, and that’s where Vince’s firm but gentle control isn’t always enough. And for Vince, Pete’s constant high-energy needs are turning out to be more than he can handle alone.
It’s no surprise to either of them, then, that sparks fly when Vince’s coworker Lee enters the picture. Outwardly, Lee is tough and confident, but when a bad back confines him to Pete and Vince’s spare room, the cracks start to show and his desire for connection begins to peek through.
Pete and Vince both like what they see under Lee’s prickly outside, but now the three men must learn that love isn’t about beating the game—it’s about balance, trust, and letting each other in.
The Sweetness of Memories
Lee loves his lemon tarts. And there’s a story behind why he loves them so much. The story doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to anyone but Lee. Even when he tells it to Vince, he gets questions. But it doesn’t really matter what anyone else thinks about it. Lee loves the tarts.
When I was a kid, we used to spend about a week in the late summer picking chokecherries, cleaning them, boiling them up to make jam. As an adult, I’ve done it a few times, and it’s a total PITA. It takes days of hard work, and yet I remember the task fondly. (I doubt my mother does, though.)
To this day, there is nothing you can put on toast that is as delicious as chokecherry jelly. Many people tell me it’s too tart. That jam is meant to be sweet and sugary, or chunky with fruit. And that’s as may be for them, but for me, the memory of the hours picking berries and the long days boiling the berries and straining out all the pulp makes the jam just as sweet as it needs to be.
So when Vince knows the story behind Lee’s love of lemon tarts, doesn’t get the story at all, at first, and yet brings him lemon tarts to cheer him up anyway, you know Vince understands what’s truly important about those confections. Lee’s memories of them are the sweet bit. Perhaps for Lee, what came after that one memory isn’t as nice. But then, maybe, for him, the tart lemon against the sweet, sugary topping is the whole point, because memories aren’t just one thing, but many. Just as desserts should have a depth and breadth of flavour expressions, so our memories have many facets.
For Lee, overcoming the more difficult memories of his childhood and early years when he was on his own, is the step that brings him closer to making new, sweet memories with his new-found lovers. Maybe he never loses his taste for tart and sweet together, but then, maybe, that’s why he fits so well between Vince and Pete.
What about you? Comment with a story about your favourite dessert below, and we’ll enter you to win a copy of my first Bluewater bay book, How the Cookie Crumbles, as well as a $10.00 Riptide gift certificate.
All the names will be “put in a hat” so to speak, and the draw made at the end of the blog tour.
Lee moaned. Cool sheets and a too-soft mattress cushioned him. The constant, low hum of an air conditioner pried its way into his skull, and he rolled over to put a pillow over his head. The movement caused a rather more vocal groan as his back gave a heaving spasm.
“The fuck,” he mumbled, collapsing to a prone position. The heavy, ice-pick ache began mid-back and radiated downward until, his body tried to curl his hips up to relieve the pain, and he couldn’t quite breathe.
Not this again. What did you do this time, asshole? He wished he couldn’t still hear that voice in his head. Maybe it was his own by this time.
“Shhh!” Hasty footsteps approached, but Lee couldn’t bring himself to open his eyes to find out whose. “Don’t move.” A hand settled on his shoulder, holding him still, startling him tense, but the pressure remained firm, not rough.
“Too late,” he muttered, trying to subdue the automatic, defensive tension.
“Here. I got you some pain relief and a glass of water. They’ll make you drowsy, but that will help you stay still, and I’ll be here, so you’ll fine.”
Lee pried one eyelid up as best he could to see the base of a drinking glass with a straw. A well-manicured hand came into view with two little pills. He recognized them and knew they’d knock him out before long, but it was true. That would be a good thing right now. Feeling much like a helpless kitten, Lee opened his mouth. The hand placed the pills carefully on his tongue, then the drinking end of the straw came into view. He sipped and swallowed and closed his eye again.
A nervous silence stretched, underpinned by the continual rumble of the air conditioner wafting a slick of cooler breeze over his bed. Otherwise, the room was unnaturally silent. Like a sound-proofed hotel room. For an instant, he forgot his injury and tried to sit up.
“Nope!” That hand came back to his shoulder and urged him down. Not that he needed the urging. The pain took the last ounce of his strength, and he flopped with a tiny, pathetic mewl.
“The fuck?” he asked again after he’d managed to slow his shallowed breathing.
“You got a little . . . tipsy . . . last night,” his benefactor informed him. “Slipped off the curb coming out of the bar, and I guess wrecked something in your back. Blaire had to fly home this morning, but he paid for the room for another two nights and told me to let you sleep and return with you when you’re ready.”
Lee sighed and opened his eyes. About halfway through that spiel, he’d recognized Vince’s voice, and had started to recall the night before. The three of them, Lee, his office mate Vince, and their boss, Blaire, had flown to Vancouver to meet with some backers about an investment in their new company. The investor had wanted to meet all the players, so they had trouped across the border and sat down to dinner with the woman.
She’d turned out to be an enthusiastic patron of all things cosplay and video gaming, and an especially zealous fan of Wolf’s Landing. The trip had been worth their time. Her backing was going to pay for the additional filming they wanted to do for the Wolf’s Landing video game background, as well as some of the short CGI movies based on the game’s story that Blaire wanted to make for advertising. After their investor had said good night, the three of them had celebrated with a few drinks.
Lee hadn’t been that intoxicated. But he had been tired and his body already abused. The day before the trip, he’d finally pulled all his belongings from storage, where they had languished after his dismissal from Caruthers Industries and his eviction from the furnished company apartment eight months ago. His smaller, less glamorous, but more affordable apartment hadn’t even come with a kitchen sink. He’d had to get the plumbing fixed before he signed the lease. Then, he’d procrastinated for months getting the bulk of his things out of the storage unit and up to his place. The only upside was that it was closer to their new offices, but hauling all his boxes up four flights of stairs in one day, then jumping on a plane to Vancouver the next, had wrecked him. Air travel always left him nauseous and uninterested in food.
It did explain why a few drinks had shot him past his limit so much faster than normal. When they’d left the bar for the cab to the hotel, a curb had done him in.
His feet had flown out from under him, and he’d landed—hard—on his ass.
“Fuck me,” he muttered.
The bed dipped and he whimpered again.
“So I called the nurse hotline,” Vince said.
“The whatnow?” Lee covered his eyes with his arm, but lifted it just enough to peer at the younger man’s earnest face.
Vince consulted a pamphlet in his hand. “HealthLink BC, actually. They have a sort of hotline to answer questions and advise you if you need to see a doctor in person. The nurse didn’t seem to think it was crucial until you get home. But he did recommend you ice the muscles in your back to get some of the swelling down. He said it should hurt less once you’d iced it, but if it didn’t, you should go to a clinic.”
“I am not going to any clinic.”
“Well, we’ll see.” Vince pushed his glasses more firmly onto his nose with a thumb at the bridge. “Right now, I need you to roll a bit so I can get the ice pack under you.”
“I’m not moving.”
“You have to. A tiny bit. I can help.”
“I don’t need your fucking help.”
“Lee, this is important. If you want to hurt less, you have to do this.”
“I don’t have to do fuck all. Maybe I like pain.”
“I know you like being a pain. But no one likes to be in agony. So here. Take my hand.” Vince held out a hand to Lee. “Use your stomach and arm as much as you can. Roll toward me, and I’ll slide the ice pack under you.”
Lee glared at him. “I’m not six.”
Vince stared back, lips pursed.
“Go away. Fly home, little mouse.”
Vince’s brows drew together, displacing his glasses a bit, and he tilted his head to one side, but he didn’t lower his arm or rescind the offer of his hand. “Mice don’t fly. What kind of metaphor is that?”
“Bird, then,” Lee snapped. “Fly away home, little fucking bird.”
“You swear a lot, you know. Maybe think about that.” Vince curled his lips to one side and thumbed his glasses.
This time, Lee stared at Vince, scowling as hard as he could. But Vince remained where he was. The stalemate lasted a good two minutes before Lee finally caved.
“Fine.” He pushed himself onto his side, the pain making a gray haze crowd his vision from all sides. Vince hastily stuffed the ice pack under him, and Lee flopped back. Dark spots swam over the room, and he huffed, sweating and panting as the pain tore up and down his back in waves of flame and lava.
“That would have hurt less if you’d let me help.”
“And it’s official. You make a lousy patient.”
“Nice bedside manner.”
Vince smiled sweetly. “Kill them with kindness, my mom always said.” He got up and wandered to the table near the window. “We’re supposed to leave the ice for no more than ten minutes, then keep it off for twenty or so. If you aren’t asleep by then, we can reapply.”
“Reapply this,” Lee muttered, tossing Vince a middle-finger salute, then throwing his arm over his eyes. He must have fallen asleep fairly quickly, because he wasn’t aware of Vince removing the ice.
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.
Check out Bluewater Bay! Riptide Publishing
About Jaime Samms
Jaime has been writing for various publishers since the fall of 2008, although she’s been writing for herself far longer. Her Stories about men falling in love are the stories that she loves to read, so it seemed to make sense if she was going to write, they would also be the stories she wrote.
These days, you can find plenty of free reading on her website. She also writes for Various Publishers.
Spare time, when it can be found rolled into a ball at the back of the dryer or cavorting with the dust bunnies in the corners, is spent crocheting, drawing, gardening (weather permitting, of course, since she is Canadian!), or watching movies. She has a day job, as well, which she loves, and two kids, but thankfully, also a wonderful husband who shoulders more than his fair share of household and child-care responsibilities.
She graduated some time ago from college with a fine arts diploma, and a major in textile arts, which basically qualifies her to draw pictures and create things with string and fabric. One always needs an official slip of paper to fall back on after all . . .
- Website: http://jaime-samms.com
- Deviantart: http://dontkickmycane.deviantart.com/
- Amazon Author page: amazon.com/author/jaimesamms
To celebrate the release of Three Player Game, one lucky winner will receive an ebook copy of How the Cookie Crumbles and a $10 Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on August 19, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!