Hi! We’re Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock, authors of When All the World Sleeps. We’re touring the web talking about our influences, our crazy ideas, this new book, and even giving you a sneak peek or two! And of course there’s a giveaway involved! Leave a comment to win!
Thanks so much to Sinfully Sexy Book Reviews for having us, and to everyone following the tour. Today we’re sharing an excerpt from When All the World Sleeps. In this scene, Bel, a cop, is watching over Daniel Whitlock at the hospital. It turns out to be a bit of a pivotal moment for both Bel and Daniel.
Whitlock wouldn’t meet his gaze. “Bad shit happens when I sleep. Can’t stop myself from doing it.”
A day ago, Bel would have laughed if Whitlock had dared say that to his face. Kind of hard to find it funny now that he’d seen Whitlock chained to his bed. Even if it was bullshit, Whitlock believed it.
“Just . . . can’t you just lay still?”
“Don’t want to go under,” Whitlock said in a low voice.
“Tell you what,” Bel said. “You lay still, and I’ll make sure no bad shit happens.”
Something like hope flashed in Whitlock’s pale face as he met Bel’s gaze again. “You mean that?”
Bel shrugged. “Sure.”
“Will you . . .?” Whitlock shook his head suddenly. “Sorry, no.”
“Will I what?” Bel asked, wondering where the hell this was going. “Spit it out.”
“Will you cuff me?”
Bel felt a jolt of something he couldn’t put a name to. Wasn’t sure he wanted to name it. “That what it’s gonna take?”
“Yeah,” Whitlock whispered. “Please.”
“Okay.” Bel stepped toward the cot, unhooking his cuffs from his belt. Used them plenty of times on plenty of people, but never like this. Usually they were protesting their innocence the whole way, or plain old resisting. Bel wasn’t sure he’d ever had anyone watch him like this, hold out his arm like that; trusting, hopeful, quiet.
He closed the cuff around Whitlock’s right wrist and felt the guy’s pulse flutter under his fingers. He almost hesitated when he saw the bruising on the skin under the cuff. But Whitlock hadn’t asked for his sympathy or concern. Bel wouldn’t’ve had much to give anyway. He closed the other end of the cuff around the bar at the side of the cot.
“Okay?” he asked softly.
“Thanks.” Whitlock sank back down onto the thin mattress, his entire body relaxing. Bel hadn’t even realized how tense Whitlock had been holding himself, until he wasn’t. He exhaled, his eyes drifted closed, and his face took on that peaceful look that Bel remembered from years ago at Harnee’s. “Thanks.”
“Whatever.” Bel’s voice came out gruff.
His fingers tingled from where he’d felt Whitlock’s pulse, and he flexed them until the sensation went away. Fought the crazy urge to touch Whitlock again, maybe trace the line of his jaw, or his throat, or his lips. Fought the dumb idea that cuffing the guy meant something more than giving in to his crazy for a bit, just to shut him up.
He went outside, closed the door behind him, and drank the rest of his coffee.
When the World Sleeps by Lisa Henry & J.A. Rock
Title ~ When The World Sleeps
Authors ~ Lisa Henry & JA Rock
Publisher ~ Riptide Publishing
Published ~ 24th March 2014
Genre ~ M/M Romance
Rating ~ 4 Stars
Daniel Whitlock is terrified of going to sleep. And rightly so: he sleepwalks, with no awareness or memory of his actions. Including burning down Kenny Cooper’s house—with Kenny inside it—after Kenny brutally beat him for being gay. Back in the tiny town of Logan after serving his prison sentence, Daniel isolates himself in a cabin in the woods and chains himself to his bed at night.
Like the rest of Logan, local cop Joe Belman doesn’t believe Daniel’s absurd defense. But when Bel saves Daniel from a retaliatory fire, he discovers that Daniel might not be what everyone thinks: killer, liar, tweaker, freak. Bel agrees to control Daniel at night—for the sake of the other townsfolk. Daniel’s fascinating, but Bel’s not going there.
Yet as he’s drawn further into Daniel’s dark world, Bel finds that he likes being in charge. And submitting to Bel gives Daniel the only peace he’s ever known. But Daniel’s demons won’t leave him alone, and he’ll need Bel’s help to slay them once and for all—assuming Bel is willing to risk everything to stand by him.
Interesting concept extreme sleepwalking, and a great hook for a story especially if the sleepwalker in this case is a poor tortured soul, and there's no doubt that Daniel is exactly that! A pariah in the town he's returned to, after being released from prison for killing the man who almost beat him to death, Daniel hides himself away from the world in a cabin in the woods. No one believes in the defence that only got him convicted of manslaughter and a five year sentence, allowing him back into society, because...come on! Making what appear to be conscious decisions? Actually walking, talking and interacting with people when you're supposedly asleep? Killing a person and then saying you don't remember doing it because you were sleepwalking? It does sound preposterous, but in this case it's true and there's medical research to prove it but not to these small minded, small town bigots who have no qualms conveniently pushing the appalling hate crime that kicked it all off in the first place under the carpet, because in their jaundiced and prejudiced minds it only happened to a gay guy who asked for it!!!
Even Joe 'Bel' Belman, the local cop thinks that Daniel is just a tweaker and freak but underlying that he still has a strange fascination and attraction that he's felt for the slightly older guy since being a kid. However he can't get past the fact that whether or not Daniel had provocation, in his eyes he's still a killer. He can't accept the sleepwalking theory because it’s just too off the wall! Things start to change though when one night, friends of the guy Daniel killed in a fire, decide to take action, and set fire to his cabin. Bel, who's been keeping an eye on him after picking him up one night during one of his somnambulist states, arrives just in time and saves him. He finds him chained to his bed and when Daniel explains that this is what he has to do, on a nightly basis, to stop himself from walking in his sleep and getting himself into bad situations, Bel starts to entertain the fact that perhaps this isn't all just an elaborate fabrication.
From then on the two of them embark in a relationship that is far from easy or the norm. Daniel is such a complex character. Psychologically he's well and truly fucked up! The depths he goes to, to try to keep himself awake are dark and self-destructive. He dabbles in BDSM practices but not in a pleasurable way and lives in this half sleeping, half waking state that just keeps him totally messed up. This man is not easy to be around and Bel has his work cut out, but I couldn't help feeling for him and this awful predicament he lives with on a daily and nightly basis and I was just so glad that once Bel started to see the light, he stuck it out and stood by Daniel whilst no one else did, including his family who I'm afraid I got really disgusted with. Even as a child suffering this terrible condition, they just seemed to give up on him. For me that was unforgivable, and added fuel to him becoming the disturbed man he is.
I can't deny that at the beginning this story kept me pretty captivated and once started I HAD to see it to its conclusion, more than once I found myself agonising how this could ever resolve itself! No easy cop outs in this story! Lisa and JA have a seamless writing style that really works and they're awesome at their craft of giving, and putting their characters through hell. All hail Mistresses of the dark and kinky shit! However towards the middle there was a chunk where I found myself zoning out because it seemed to get stuck in a slightly drawn out, repetitive loop retelling what happened in the murder, the same, constant threats from Clayton and his crappy minions who hound Daniel relentlessly, and his and Bels nightly trials and interactions. Granted this is a pretty long book and I'm a fast reader but at that point It felt like I had been swimming along nicely, but then all of a sudden, I'm treading water! For me, the mid-section of the story just wasn't moving on like it should. I found myself thinking that perhaps some of that could have hit the cutting room floor? Then all of a sudden towards the end, things hotted up and the story started to rock and roll again.
To be honest I agonised a bit about the rating. One of those books where all the way through I was constantly changing my mind on the rating, as moments of brilliance warred with the 'wadey' bits. So.... I settled with 3.5 stars but because of the two amazeball writers and a really, fresh and unique subplot I'm rounding it up.
Had me wondering. What would my subconscious have me doing at night, under those circumstances? Ooo-er! Makes you think...
About the Authors
Lisa Henry lives in tropical North Queensland, Australia. She doesn’t know why, because she hates the heat, but suspects she’s too lazy to move. She spends half her time slaving away as a government minion, and the other half plotting her escape.
She attended university at sixteen, not because she was a child prodigy or anything, but because of a mix-up between international school systems early in life. She studied History and English, neither of them very thoroughly.
She shares her house with too many cats, a dog, a green tree frog that swims in the toilet, and as many possums as can break in every night. This is not how she imagined life as a grown-up.
J.A. Rock has worked as a dog groomer, knife seller, haunted house zombie, standardized patient, cashier, census taker, state fair quilt hanger, and, for one less-than-magical evening, a server—and would much rather be writing about those jobs than doing them. J.A. lives mostly in West Virginia, and always with a beloved dog, Professor Anne.
Thanks for following our tour! To celebrate our release, we’re giving away a great pair of prizes! Up for grabs is an ebook of our last co-release, Mark Cooper versus America, and a $20 gift voucher from Riptide. All you have to do is leave a comment on this post with a way for us to contact you, be it your email, your Twitter, or a link to your Facebook or Goodreads account. Please put your email in the body of the comment, not just in email section of the comment form, because we won’t be able to see it otherwise! On APRIL 2, we’ll draw a winner from all eligible comments! Be sure to follow the whole tour, because the more comments you leave, the more chances you have to win this awesome prize!