And now, I give to you all, K-lee Klein!
Hi y'all and welcome to the last day of my book tour for my new release, Unbreak My Heart. I'm excited to be here for several reasons. First, it's the end of my eleven-stop tour—phew. Secondly, SJ has a very special place in my heart not only because she's made of awesome, but because without her I probably wouldn't be a published author at all.
Just a little background and some SJ fangirling, then I'll get to the meat and potatoes—more like gods and goddesses—of my post. Conquest is one of my favorite series ever…ever. I was a fan of SJ's from day one, and how excited do you think I was when THE SJ Frost read a free story I'd posted, and told me I should submit something to her editor. Shock. Awe. Denial. Lol. Well, I took her advice, and to add even more shock to the equation, Finally Home was accepted when I subbed it. I thanked SJ on the dedication page of Unbreak My Heart, and said I want to be her when I grow up, and I really do.
Okay…back to the task at hand. Random question—not so random since this post revolves around it—if you could be any mythical god, which one do you see yourself as? I ask this because I have a new favorite television show called The Almighty Johnsons. Unfortunately, it's a New Zealand show that hasn't made its way to the US yet, but Canada's got it, baby!
The Almighty Johnsons is a comedy-drama series about four brothers who just happen to be reincarnated Norse gods. It's not until they reach twenty-one years of age that they discover which god they are, and then the fun starts. It's not a show for everyone—sex, nudity, language, sex, nudity, comedy. I admit to watching it at first because my favorite actor is in it (ahem, Fili from the Hobbit – Dean O'Gorman), but I got hooked and it's freaking awesome.
Here's a rundown of the brothers.
Axl Johnson. Recently turned twenty-one (well, in the first season three years ago). He is the reincarnation of Odin, referred to as the big Kahuna of the god world. Axl is just coming into his own, but is already displaying the strength, stubbornness, wisdom, and fury of his counterpart. He doesn't want the job as leader, but he has no choice in the matter.
Mike Johnson. Oldest brother of the four who raised Axl since their mother left to be a tree when Mike turned twenty-one. He's Ullr, God of the hunt and games. Mike is down-to-earth (so to speak) and practical, and he wins any game he plays. He also has Ullr's ability to sniff out things that are missing or just need to be found.
Anders Johnson (played by Dean O'Gorman – ahem). He's the second oldest, the black sheep of the family, and a right cocky bastard. Lol. Anders is the reincarnation of Bragi, God of poetry and the arts. He's selfish, arrogant, greedy, and even though he doesn't actually write poetry, he can use his voice to manipulate people to do what he wants—mostly woman since he has a very healthy sex life, all traits that resemble the god Bragi. In the third season of the show, Anders is finally letting on that despite his attitude, he does have feelings and he's very protective of his family.
Ty Johnson. The third brother is Hodor or Hoor, God of all things cold and dark. Ty reminds me of Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh—gloomy. He's shy, pessimistic, and logical. But as some of the others fit their god incarnations, Ty is the polar opposite, and he hates being a god. He's a hopeless romantic, but his unwilling ability to turn a room cold when he enters keeps him from having the love that he seeks. I usually just want to pick him up and put him in my pocket for safekeeping.
I'm borrowing The Almighty Johnsons premise to introduce my characters from Unbreak My Heart. But to answer my own question, I think I'd be the Greek goddess Selene—Goddess of the moon. I don't have a lot of reasoning behind this because she's not very well known, but I do love the moon and the night. Selene was said to have risen from the ocean at night to ride across the sky with her chariot pulled by two white horses. Sounds like a good job to me.
Before I continue, I'll post the blurb for Unbreak My Heart so you have a little more insight into what I'm talking about.
UNBREAK MY HEART
Brett Taylor has been doing just fine living in his own little world for the past three years, thank you very much. Losing someone special is life changing, and Brett doesn't understand why everyone and their damn dog thinks they can get all up in his business about him needing to move on. He managed to make the transition from musician to rancher without relying on anyone else's opinion or help, and he certainly doesn't need some city kid coming into his life to disrupt his routine--one that involves grief, isolation, and a whole lot of Jack Daniels.
Moving from one meaningless job to the next, JT Campbell is on a quest to escape his old life and figure out who he is and where he belongs. He's not looking to save anyone, let alone a secretive, hotter-than-hell rancher who wears his heart on his sleeve. JT likes working for Brett, but Brett's made it perfectly clear that any relationship between them other than a professional one will never see the light of day.
But when JT's lust turns to love, and he gives in to his desire to find out what makes Brett tick, will his interest push Brett away? Or will he, through his patience and support, be the one who can finally unbreak Brett's heart?
The main character of my book is Brett Taylor, and he was the hardest for me to assign a god title. I decided on Achilles, Greek hero (demigod) of the Trojan War. Achilles is described as the strongest and most fearless of the Greek gods, and I see that strength in Brett. But the biggest reason I chose him isn't for his bravery or power—though Brett has great strength himself—but for Achilles' vulnerability.
It's a common term, Achilles heel, and that was the demigod's only apparent weakness. Brett's vulnerability lies in his heart, in his sensitive nature, and the way he loves so hard, so completely, until he seemingly has nothing left to give. Despite his fortitude and stubbornness in trying to shove his vulnerability to the side, as was the case with Achilles, Brett's vulnerability could very well be his downfall.
JT Campbell is a city kid from California, and he was easy to define in godlike terms. He's Apollo, God of light, music, arts, knowledge, and healing. JT is practical, honest, hopeful, and empathetic. His career choice revolves around helping people, and from the moment he sets eyes on Brett, it becomes his goal to heal Brett's heart.
Millie Taylor-Montgomery-Allan, Brett's very enthusiastic mama. She was easy, as well—Hera, Queen of the heavens, and goddess of marriage. She's been married three times, and like Hera, she's regal, outspoken, and likes to run things her way. Millie may not possess a vengeful side as Hera does, but she's stubborn and adept at getting her point across, especially when it comes to her baby boy, Brett.
Ray Durant. Brett's foreman and the only real friend he has (before JT arrives). Ray is a true Hephaestus, God of fire and the forge. Hephaestus was a skilled craftsman and determined worker, and Ray mirrors those traits with a no nonsense attitude when it comes to his job and life in general. He's a steadying force in Brett's life, and just as Hephaestus was in charge of making all the weapons that kept his fellow gods safe, Ray has protected Brett in his own way for three years.
None of these depictions are truly accurate, but I enjoyed matching the personalities and inner workings of my characters to the gods. Thank you for stopping by. Unbreak My Heart is available in all ebook formats, and will come out in print in mid-September. I'll have a few copies with me at GRL if anyone is interested in having me sign one. blushes
And finally, for a chance to win one of three draws just fill out my Rafflcopter form below and you'll be entered to win one of three prizes—two ebook copies of Unbreak My Heart, and one print copy. You can have another chance if you leave me a comment here—so I'll ask the question again, which god or goddess do you feel most aligned with?
Excerpt from Unbreak My Heart.
The first shot went down like he was gargling with glass. The second burned just as bad, but by the fifth, the whiskey was smooth as silk. Brett pushed the bottle to the corner of the desk as he scrubbed his hand over his face. He should have gone to bed, or cranked up the hot tub and spent the rest of the night looking at the stars. Instead, the yellow pad of paper sat in front of him—the page still blank.
He knew he had something to say, but the words wouldn’t come. Usually the alcohol helped. Usually the fog in his head cleared and he was able to concentrate by the third shot, but he still felt stuck, still felt like there was something hidden in the gray of his brain—something important.
He picked up the pen, letting it hover over the page, twisting it between his fingers, willing the damn thing to write on its own. He didn’t know why he was so wound up. He’d even dropped his goddamn beer bottle in the sink because he couldn’t control the shaking of his hands or the force of the need to shut himself away in his office with a different bottle altogether, the photo in the frame, and his words on the page. He studied the happy couple staring back at him in the frame, barely recognizing himself as he purposely drew his gaze to Walt.
“Gonna help me out here, Darlin’? Don’t seem to have the mind to help myself tonight so I sure could use the assistance.”
Pulling the bottle so it sat smack dab in the middle of the daunting yellow page, Brett caressed the shape, fingers running the full length, then down again. He’d never even liked the damn stuff until Walt died. The first bottle he’d finished had been Walt’s, and he’d downed it in an attempt to feel closer to him—like drinking the damn stuff would somehow make Walt stick to his insides. But all it had done was send him running into town the next day to get another bottle, and only The Good Lord himself knew how many more there’d been after that.
His anniversary blues didn’t generally last more than the day itself, but today had been different. He’d already assured himself he’d been productive so it hadn’t been a complete waste, and he’d even made that damn phone call he’d been fretting about for over a week. Supper had gone better than he’d expected, too, and talking to the kid afterward had been pleasant enough, but something still felt unsettled inside him.
Maybe he’d revealed too much about himself when he’d actually been planning on saying as little as possible. But the kid was comfortable to be around, and the conversation hadn’t been one-sided by any means. They’d both talked and listened, and it had been nice.
Nice. Familiar. Safe. All those things were good, but there was still a leftover confusion in his head. He was generally a forthcoming type of man, not hemming and hawing about things that could be said outright, but now he couldn’t remember a time when he’d blatantly told someone he barely knew that he was gay. He didn’t consider it to be a secret or anything to be hidden…at least not anymore, but once JT started stealing glances at him, he’d suddenly felt like a trapped animal.
The last thing he wanted was for the kid to get some weird idea in his head about seducing his boss, and Brett definitely didn’t want to lead him on. Not that JT looked the type to be interested in forty-year-old ranchers with bad dispositions. The idea would have been funny if it weren’t so damn nice to think about holding someone close again. Brett knew that person was not JT though, and he’d have to nip any ideas to the contrary in the bud before they flowered up into something neither of them could handle.
By the time JT had run his eyes over him for the fourth time, Brett hadn’t been able to get the damn bottle in his hand fast enough. It just wasn’t right—not JT’s interest, not the alcohol, not the stir of warmth in his groin, and not the pang of guilt in his heart. It wasn’t something he’d given into with such determination in a while. Yet there he was with five shots under his belt, his mind still reeling and not a goddamn word written on the page.
He forewent the tumbler for his sixth and seventh swallows, the amber liquid finally warming his belly and washing away the fog in his brain. Unfortunately, it didn’t cloud the shame in his heart so once he’d screwed on the cap and shoved the bottle away again, he put the frame back in the drawer.
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K-lee Klein has lived in one part of Western Canada or another for her entire life. She’s a doting mother of three now-grown kids, and has had characters and plots running around her head for as long as she can remember.
She lives with a patient husband who totally does not get her thing for gay men, two spoiled but wonderful sons (who don’t get it either), and two also spoiled but beautiful cats. Her days are filled with texts and phone calls with her daughter who has already left the nest, and an abundance of fabulous gay men, large and small, bouncing off the walls of her skull, competing for their turns to tell their stories.
You can find all of K-lee’s books on her website:
And K-lee herself at:https://www.facebook.com/kleemoon
My thanks again to you, sweet K-lee, for visiting here for your book tour. I'm so incredibly flattered by your kind words and humbled by your dedication in Unbreak My Heart. It makes me so very happy that many readers get to share in your talent through your wonderful stories. All the best luck and much success to you with Unbreak My Heart!