Thursday, January 2, 2014

Clarity of Lines by NR Walker. Excerpt, Character Interview with Cooper Jones, Giveaway and Review.

Book two in the Thomas Elkin series.
Sometimes it’s not the two people in a relationship who fight falling in love, sometimes it’s those who love us that fight against it the most.
Finally together, forty-four year old Tom, and twenty-two year old Cooper, are ready to show the world they’re together.  They’ve established their relationship is worth it, and want to share it with their families.
Both men thought accepting the age difference was their adversity to overcome, and theirs alone.
Their loved ones, however, will prove them wrong.

For their families, lines are drawn and start blur.  Through a series of events, life shakes Tom’s foundations, the lines for him have never been clearer.

The Thomas Elkin Series Blurb:
When successful New York architect, forty-four year old Thomas Elkin meets twenty-two year old intern Cooper Jones, he had no idea how much his life would change.
The blueprints on love, life and careers are sent back to the drawing board as both men realize their plans are about to be re-drawn forever.
Generation versus generation, traditional versus contemporary, they’re about to prove to the world that the old and new can be the perfect design.

Buy Links – Totally Bound -

Excerpt 2:
“You nervous?” I asked him.
He looked surprised by my question. “No. Should I be?”
I smiled at his confidence. “I just don’t think Sofia will be very understanding. No matter what she says, just remember, I’m on your side.”
“Ryan’s mom always liked me,” he said.
“She likes you as Ryan’s friend, yes,” I told him. “But as my boyfriend…”
He shrugged. “And all the guys who’ll be here this weekend?” he asked. “All Ryan’s friends, some of my friends, they’ll all be here too. We’re meeting them as a couple too.”
Shit. I hadn’t given that a thought.
Then Cooper took his hand off my thigh and looked out of the window as he spoke. “If you don’t want to…”
I pulled the car off to the side of the road, right near the driveway to the Casa. I think I startled him. He looked at me, wide-eyed. “Cooper, listen to me,” I said seriously. “I don’t care what anyone else thinks. I know some people will have a hard time with us being together, because we’re gay men, and because of the age difference. But I don’t care. I’m proud to call you my boyfriend. For the life of me I can’t figure out why you’d want to be with me, but you do, and I’m more than happy to walk in there, holding your hand. But I don’t want you to feel pressured.”
“I don’t feel pressured,” he said. “And I can’t figure out why you’d want to be with me either, but you do.”
I nodded. “Yes, I do.”
He smiled, and leaned over the console and kissed me. “Thank you.”
I sighed and looked out of the windshield. “Well, this is it.”
Cooper followed my gaze, to the stone gate posts, to the chiselled sandstone sign on the post that read Casa de Elkin.
“It’s named after you?”
I nodded. “I designed this house,” I told him. “We named it Casa de Elkin, but have called it the Casa for years.”
Cooper gave me a weak smile. “Well then,” he said, trying to sound upbeat. “Let’s do this.”
I slipped the car into first gear and pulled into the drive. I parked the car near the closed garage doors and by the time I’d popped the trunk, Ryan was walking out to meet us. He gave me a bit of a hug, then bumped fists with Cooper. “Hey,” he said. “Most of the guys will get here in the morning. Mom said it might be better if they all crash in the pool room, or wherever they pass out,” he said with a knowing smile. “But you guys have a guest room in the house.”
A guest room.
Ryan looked at me a little apologetically. “Sorry.”
“Don’t you apologise,” I told him. “It’s not my house anymore.”
We grabbed our bags and the gift box from the trunk and walked towards the front door. Cooper asked me quietly, “Have you been back here in the last five years?”
“I spent two weeks here right after we separated,” I told him. “But not since then.”
“Come on,” Ryan said, opening the door. He turned to us and whispered, “Mom’s in the kitchen.”
I took a deep breath and followed Ryan through the front living room and into the large open kitchen, where Sofia was dicing fruit.
She looked well. She was wearing a white dress and her trademark gold jewellery and her brown hair was pulled back in a ponytail. She looked at me, then at Ryan and finally at Cooper. She recognised him immediately. “Oh my, Cooper? Is that you?”
“Mrs Elkin,” he said politely.
She gave me a tight smile, but then leaned in and kissed Cooper’s cheek. “It’s so good to see you. Ryan never mentioned you were coming.” Then she looked at me. “Did you bring Cooper with you? I thought you were bringing your friend.”
There was a beat of absolute silence then I said, “I did.” Sofia looked at me then at Ryan and Cooper, then back to me. “I brought Cooper…my boyfriend.”
Sofia laughed, but when I took Cooper’s hand, her smile died a slow, painful death. She looked kind of horrified. “Is this some kind of joke?”

Author Bio –
I am many things; a mother, a wife, a sister, a writer.
I have pretty, pretty boys who live in my head, who don’t let me sleep at night unless I give them life with words.

I like it when they do dirty, dirty things…but I like it even more when they fall in love.

I used to think having people in my head talking to me was weird, until one day I happened across other writers who told me it was normal.

I’ve been writing ever since…
Where can you find me?

Author Links –

My 4 Star Review

I received the ARC from the Touring Host for an honest review.

The second book in the series and a wonderful addition. Where Elements of Retrofit stopped, Clarity of Lines continued, giving us a closer look at the relationship and the effect it had on their families. 
Again a fast paced short story that you read quickly, filled with funny antidotes as Thomas and Cooper grow more comfortable with each other.
Coming out, unashamed and deeply in love, the two men's approach to the relationship was believable, the characters growing as you connect more with them. 
A touching story that pulled at the heartstrings as they came to grips with Thomas father's death. 
Again, I was really impressed with the younger man's character throughout the story. Especially with his ability to take charge and do what was right and needed at the right time. Showing maturity and responsibility as the story unfolds. His ability to connect with people without being arrogant showed a lot of promise.
Thomas handled the relationship with Cooper's family very well, showing his wisdom and his strength when Cooper needed him the most. 
Although the age difference was not a problem for the two as in book one, I liked the way the author brought it in, making it realistic when the two went out to explore and discover each others different worlds. Compromising, working together to create a loving environment.
Well written with great scenes kept the story alive, making this an enjoyable read from beginning to end.
This series would be best enjoyed when starting with book 1, so that you as reader could understand the complexities and the struggles of the characters, that makes this a wonderful series.

Thomas Elkin Series
Character Interview with Cooper Jones
Before we begin, I must say that I really liked his character. He is funny, a typical twenty-two year old but with so much maturity, that I was dumbstruck at times. He showed strength in times that was unexpected, doing what had to be done with great compassion. His interaction with people from all walks-of-life, caused for very interesting scenes within the books. Especially Lionel the door attendant, he loved to pester him and at the end, his ability to care made them the biggest of friends.
With all that said, here are his questions.

  1. Thomas Elkin was a successful architect at one of the prestigious companies in New York, older, sexy and available. What were your first impressions of him?
I’d met Tom years before, but he was just Ryan’s dad back then. When I came to New York and met him again, my impression of him was different, to say the least.  Sure, he was older, had grayish kind of hair, but he was seriously hot.
  1. We know that you had the same love for buildings as him, were it your intention to meet him? Be honest.
I’d studied his work at college, and I knew he was a senior at Brackett and Golding, but I didn’t even know if I’d even see him there, or if he’d even recognize me. It had been years, and I’d changed a bit since he’d seen me last. But no, when I ran into Ryan on the street, I had no intention of meeting his dad like that.
  1. Was he a mentor?
Tom’s many things, but I absolutely respect his professional views and opinions. He looks at architecture the same way I do and he has so much more insight than me. Tom’s definitely a mentor.
  1. The moment you met, were you immediately attracted to him or was it a gradual thing?
It was the moment we met. Well, for me at least. I was a bit shocked that I found an older guy attractive, but the heart wants what the heart wants.
  1. The age difference does play a huge factor in the story, what was your initial reaction towards it?
It kind of weirded me out at first. I went home and tried to convince myself it was nothing, but then I started working with him, and the more we talked, the more I couldn’t deny his intellect was a huge turn on for me.
  1. Surely, you had to pause and think about Ryan, your best friend and the son of Thomas Elkin, that was the same age as you. How did you think he would react if he had to know?
I knew Ryan would be okay with it if we could just get him to listen.
  1. When he did walk in on the two of you, he wanted to run but you stopped him. What were your thoughts at that stage?
I knew if we let him leave, it’d be too hard to get him to listen. I just wanted him to hear it from us, not so much for my sake but for Tom’s. I didn’t want to come between him and his son.
  1. In Thomas words, that were the moment the relationship became real for him, did you feel the same?
It was, in a way, yes. Telling someone else made it very real.
  1. During your internship at Brackett and Golding, it was easy to hide the relationship. When your time ended and you did not get the position, you were very professional and walked away. How did you feel about Thomas and losing the dream job at that very moment?
Oh, man, I was gutted. Not for the job as much as the fact I thought Tom had used me. That was the worst.
  1. You were angry with Thomas; you had not talked to him for a few days, fuming. When you finally got together and you heard his reasons, what were your thoughts about that?
I was pissed off, and hurt. I really needed a few days to get my head around what had happened, and once I’d spoken to him I knew his reasoning was logical. And professionally, it was what was best for me. Once I’d taken the emotion out of it, I could see that.
  1. This was the only place I thought you were mean to him, he was devastated at your reaction. Do you have a mean side that we have not seen yet?
I think everyone has the ability to lash out when hurt. It was a kneejerk reaction. Childish, probably, but I was still hurt and I wanted him to see how much he’d hurt me. I’m not generally a mean person though, no.
  1. I loved the analogy you have used describing your relationship. You said that your relationship was like a retrofit project: making the older, classic style integrated with the modern. That nailed it perfectly for me, was it a slow awareness or was it a light-bulb moment?
That was totally on the spot. But it was perfect. There we were, surrounded by blueprint plans overlooking New York, and it was an analogy I knew he’d understand.
  1. Lionel was a big hurdle for you, which caused a few funny moments, how did you felt when he had finally given you the last barrier, the key?
Lionel’s first loyalty was to Tom, which was understandable. But I knew he’d warm to me. When Tom asked for the key, Lionel was trying not to smile, so I knew he liked me. Lionel loves me now. I bring him pastries for his wife. What’s not to love?
  1. The Generation Y topic came up often, and you used it often to get your way. Did you not feel you are manipulating the situations?
Of course, I was manipulating situations. That’s why I did it. *laughs*  I only ever pull the Gen Y card when it’s funny, but would never do it seriously or use it to make Tom feel bad.
  1. According to Thomas, sex was always on your mind and you did it often. Is that the case?
Ah, yes. I’m a 23 year old gay man in a long-term relationship. There will always be sex.  Lots and of lots sex.
  1. Your first meeting with Sofia did not go well, but you kept your cool on Ryan’s birthday. What were your initial thoughts about Tom’s ex-wife?
Sofia had a lot of information dumped on her. In hindsight, I guess she handled it pretty well. I was more concerned with Tom’s reaction, and he defended me. Sofia was a bit of a bitch to me first off, but she dealt with it eventually.
  1. You had met Thomas parents very briefly and after greeting them very politely, you walked away. I thought that was very mature of you. Does people’s opinions matter to you or do you just hide it very well?
Nah, not at all. He needed some time with his parents so it was only right I walked away. I knew they didn’t know he was gay, and I would never put him in a situation that could hurt him.
  1. “I love you” is three very simply but very profound words. Again, Thomas made a mess of it declaring it to Sofia, of all people. How did you feel when you heard it like that?
Man, my heart was hammering. I heard him say it to her and couldn’t believe it. I was floored that he said it, but he should have told me, not her. I was pissed at him, but still kinda glad he laid it out for Sofia like he did.
  1. For Thomas everything changed after that declaration. For the first time he had asked that, you must make love to him, and you did. It was beautiful. Did the dynamics changed for you as well, after you professed your love for him?
Of course it did. It was a real emotional connection.
  1. You liked to challenge Thomas through out the story; does that apply to everything else in your life? Please give us an example.
I love challenging everyone. I love to challenge myself. Especially at work – if we’re working on a joint project with other drafties, we need to push each other and ourselves to achieve higher goals. Otherwise all we strive for is mediocre.
  1. Your father did not accept the relationship and it devastated you. Thomas stepped in and showed his age when he spoke to them. You really complimented each other as a couple. It looked so easy but was it really?
It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. There was a few minutes, when I was in the backyard, that I was quite prepared for my parents to say I wasn’t welcome in their house and that was a low point for me. I wasn’t exactly prepared for that.
Tom told me what he said to them; how he didn’t want them to lose me because of him, and I guess he earned respect-points for that.
  1. The age difference was a huge barrier for friends and family, did you and Thomas ever talked about it, and how you would handle it?
We didn’t really. We knew it would and could be a problem for our families, but there was always the unspoken rule that we were worth it. We were putting ourselves through it because we knew we were the real deal.
  1. Why did you stall to move in, I mean, the man was on his knees and still you refused, was it a test in some way?
More of a test for me, I think. It’s a monumental step in any relationship, and I didn’t want to rush it. I needed to make sure Tom was certain. Plus, I like to keep him on his toes.
  1. When Tom’s father passed away, you immediately rushed from Philadelphia to be with him. Thomas walked into your arms and broke down for the first time. Right in front of his son and ex-wife, showing his heart openly. That had to have shaken you?
God, that was heartbreaking. I needed to be there. When Ryan called me to tell me, there was no question for me. I had to be there. When I walked in and Tom started to cry, it almost killed me. But he needed me to be strong.
  1. You took charge and did what had to be done, which impressed me. When Sofia included you as part of the family, how did it feel?
I can’t lie; it felt good. I always like it when people stop resisting my charms and give in to my awesomeness *laughs* but seriously? I was stoked. Not just for me, but for Tom and Ryan.
  1. Do you think that they have accepted the relationship?
I do. They might not love the fact that Tom and I are together, but they’ve accepted it.
  1. Do you have a final word for gay people and their families?

I know I’ve been very blessed with my family and a lot of people don’t have that. That said, I’d have to say patience, acceptance, tolerance and communication.  It’s not always easy, but don’t give up on each other.  Sometimes things take time, even though you wish it were instant, it doesn’t always happen that way. But one day, you’ll meet your Tom and I hope your family will see how happy you are too. 


  1. LOVE this book, series and author.. And lets not forget the very hot Thomas and the ever adorable and spirited Cooper! ------> " I always like it when people stop resisting my charms and give in to my awesomeness *laughs*" cracked me up!

    1. Thanks for stopping by, it is a great series. :)


Beta Readers Wanted: Source of Joy by Lynelle Clark

  Source of Joy is the first book in the Connection series. The document is available in Google Docs. Just email me for the link at lyne...