Monday, May 13, 2019

Blog Tour: Gypsy Rogue by Layla Dorine #Excerpt #Review ~Guest Post

Growing up with a strictly religious father in a house with little joy, or love, left Grady Stoltz eager to get out. At the first opportunity that presented itself, they left home with a young man who swept them off their feet, used their preferred pronouns, and accepted that they were gender fluid and wished to shed the name Grady and all of the constraints of their former life. Dubbed Gypsy, they never expected to return to that farm or the rural community they’d been raised in, but life took some unexpected turns, and they found themselves returning four years later. A little older, a little wiser, and the new owner of a house full of memories and regrets.

Cleaning the place up is only the first step towards deciding if they wish to sell it, or if they wish to stay and try and make a life for themselves in a place they’ve never felt as if they belonged. Haunted by the memories of the father who could never accept them, the mother they lost at a young age, and their own shortcomings and failures, they are in a very dark place when Rogue arrives.

Charismatic when performing in front of an audience, yet shy and vulnerable when faced with the prospect of being alone in a crowd, Rogue seeks shelter with Gypsy on their middle of nowhere farm, hoping for a new beginning and a chance to see if the tiny spark that had flared between them once before, can be kindled into a roaring flame.

Two battered souls, one tattered farmhouse, an old dog, a cranky chicken, several misspoken words, and one crazed ex-husband combine in an explosive combination of truth, lust, dreams, and vengeance. Will the force of it tear Gypsy and Rogue apart, or will it leave them closer than they ever dared to hope?

Buy Links For Gypsy’s Rogue:


This was a very interesting story, I genuinely enjoyed the characters and absolutely loved the location. Gypsy was born Grady, but never felt like the name or their gender fit them all the time. Being gender fluid in a small religious town with an overzealous father is difficult for Gypsy to say the least. When escape in the form of a carnival worker who accepts them as they are seems perfect to Gypsy, they leave.

 Unfortunately, Gypsy soon learns that things and people that seem too good to be true…often are. When Gypsy’s life seems to be falling apart, they stand up and fight their way to standing on their own. With a little initial help from their brother in law, Rogue, they soon begin a new life.

 Gypsy could have never imagined that their new life would mean returning to their old home. With the old family home now belonging to them, they think they’ll sell and run again. Soon though, they find that you can go home again…especially without some of those old demons haunting them.

 When Rogue shows up needing a place to gather himself, Gypsy welcomes him. As the two work together restoring Gypsy’s home, their secret attraction blooms. Rogue is someone who is as in need of love and acceptance as much as Gypsy is…maybe even a bit more.

I really enjoyed how open and honest these two are with their feelings, even when not using words. This book mostly worked for me, I felt for both main characters and cared about them. My only real issue with the book is the author’s choice of using Gypsy’s chosen pronouns in italics every time it’s mentioned. I found it very distracting. It pulled me from the story several times. Saying this, I still very much enjoyed Gypsy and Rogue’s story.

Guest Post 

Greetings, and thank you so much for welcoming me to your blog today to discuss my first new release in over a year, Gypsy’s Rogue. One of the most personal of all of the novels I’ve written, there are scenes in here from a very pivotal time in my life, when I split from a long term relationship and took off to Chattanooga because, well, the dart hit the slip of paper reading that city, instead of Grand Rapids or New Orleans. Fate, I’ll always believe, because being there introduced me to the music scene, it introduced me to writing about music, reviewing it, meeting with bands and really getting to know some of them and their fans.
I remember standing outside a venue looking to be one of the first to get in, wanting to get a good spot to observe. The guitarist was passing around jell-o shots to the people in line, and by the time I got in, I had a mellow buzz and had gotten some good backstory on the band and the style of music they played. I’ve always been drawn to music, played in a few bands myself over the years, so having musicians in my stories has always been a running theme, but in Gypsy’s Rogue, it was a little more.
I was taking back to my first day in Chattanooga and the band that Gypsy meets on their first day is a direct reflection, right down to the dog, of the band I met my first night in town. That exploration of the city, that quest for Ziggy’s place, those are all moments I lived and that branded themselves on me. Being on my own for the first time might have been a whole lot scarier, if not for them. I wanted to gift that to Gypsy, who’d already had such a rough time of it. I hope, in reading their story, you get a true feel of the moment and how much it meant form friendships in an unfamiliar and occasionally hostile city. 


“Where you gonna go!” he screamed.
Gypsy ignored him, climbed up into the seat and shoved the key in the ignition.
“You’ve got no one but me! You better be ready to crawl and beg when you come back because that’s the only way I’m letting you in!”
Just ignore it, just put it in gear and drive away, Gypsy told themself, forcing their hands to comply with their thoughts until they were heading away from the noise. They were halfway up the block when the glint of the setting sun flashed off the ring on their finger. With a muttered oath they yanked it off, tossing it out the half-open window.
They heard it ping off the pavement when it hit, then they cranked up the radio as they drove away, furious and shaking. Aimlessly, they drove around the city, lingering near the railroad tracks and the train depo before heading across town to the park. It was quiet out, Fester needed to pee and they really needed to figure some shit out like where they were gonna go. The bills and the rent had just been paid and all they had left of their pay was about fifty bucks which wouldn’t last long at all if they had to find a motel room. There were one or two on the edges of town that were 29.99 + Tax, but that would leave maybe seventeen bucks left for how long, who knew. Even that fifty wasn’t going to go far, but at least they’d remembered to pack the fifty pound bag of dog food they’d just bought for Fester, along with his food and water bowls.
As Fester romped in the grass, they sat on a swing, letting the movement rock and sooth them while they struggled to make up their mind what to do.
Randy was right, they had no one. Everyone they knew was a member of his family or connected to the carnival in some way. They’d likely side with him, at least once he put his spin on the story. The only one who’d ever believe them was Rogue and they’d spoken very little over the years since they’d been so harsh to him for trying to warn them.
They knew where he lived though, and after hoisting Fester back up into the truck, they headed there, parking outside his place and cutting off the engine. Closing their eyes, they thought about what they’d say, what he’d say, if they would be chased off the stoop as soon as he answered the door. In the end, they opted to leave Fester in the truck and go to the door alone. Knocking lightly, then a little harder when they realized there was music playing inside.
With a creak and a groan, the door swung open to reveal Rogue shirtless with a bottle of whiskey in his hand, his eyes bloodshot and dilated. “Wondered when you’d show up. I even poured you a shot, but I drank it an hour ago. Get the dog and I’ll pour you another.”
Gypsy blinked, stunned beyond words as he turned away all casual like, leaving them to retrieve Fester.
“Well, are you gonna go get him or what?” Rogue called from deeper in the house. “Pretty sure I got a box of Milkbones around here somewhere.”
They could hear him rummaging and the sound of cabinets opening and being closed again.
“Why do you have dog biscuits when you don’t have a dog?” they blurted.
When he laughed, it was like something inside them melted and the worst of the tension bled away. They went to the truck for Fester, bringing him in to find Rogue sitting on the couch with a line of shots in front of him and a joint in his hand.
“Wow, were you celebrating something or mourning it?” they asked, as Fester nosed up to Rogue and happily received pats and ear rubs.
“A little of both,” he admitted. “You should know Randy’s been calling around to the whole family basically telling everyone not to let you in if you show up, which of course means you’re welcome to stay here as long as you want.”
“Thank you.”
“Ech. It’s not like I can piss him or the rest of ‘em off any more than I already have so fuck it. Make yourselves comfortable and help me drink these will ya?”

Author Bio

LAYLA DORINE lives among the sprawling prairies of Midwestern America, in a house with more cats than people. She loves hiking, fishing, swimming, martial arts, camping out, photography, cooking, and dabbling with several artistic mediums. In addition, she loves to travel and visit museums, historic, and haunted places, caves, monuments, national parks and quirk spots.
Layla got hooked on writing as a child, starting with poetry and then branching out, and she hasn’t stopped writing since. Hard times, troubled times, the lives of her characters are never easy, but then what life is? The story is in the struggle, the journey, the triumphs and the falls. She writes about artists, musicians, loners, drifters, dreamers, hippies, bikers, truckers, hunters and all the other folks that she’s met and fallen in love with over the years. Sometimes she writes urban romance and sometimes its aliens crash landing near a roadside bar. When she isn’t writing, or wandering somewhere outdoors, she can often be found curled up with a good book and a kitty on her lap.

Layla Dorine can be found at:
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