Title: Forty-Two Stairs
Author: A.F. Henley
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Released: 25th June 2014
Genre: M/M (contemporary)
Owen has been struggling with addiction since he was a teenager, but it takes a DUI involving another vehicle for him to finally face his issues. The road to recovery is a rough one, and for Owen it's a journey made harder by bankruptcy, loneliness, and repressed memories.
His new apartment doesn't help either. It's small, worn, and hot as hell. The only way to reach it is a tedious stretch of stairs that seems like the final insult on top of a whole pile of misery. Thankfully, the mess comes with one bright spot: intense, pretty Sebastian, who seems to have a knack for keeping his head up and finding the beauty in everything.
A Word from the Author ~ Helping Others
A huge thanks to Sinfully Sexy Book Reviews for having me by today to talk about my new release titled Forty-two Stairs.
It's been said that sometimes a person has to lose everything they've ever wanted, to understand what it is they actually need. In Forty-two Stairs, Owen is all too familiar with loss. He lost his partner, his home, his job, and his license. He also came way too close to losing his freedom. And the only person Owen has to blame for all that is himself. See ... Owen is an alcoholic.
Forty-two Stairs follows Owen through his recovery (not to mention a budding, yet poorly-timed romance with an odd young man named Sebastian) and I thought it would be interesting to wander through the six major steps – yes, six – of overcoming addiction, as Owen experiences them, with some short teasers.
The American Psychological Association summarizes the process as follows (not verbatim):
1) Acknowledging that you are powerless to control your addiction;
2) Recognizing a higher power to draw strength from;
3) Examining past errors with the help of a sponsor;
4) Making amends for those errors;
5) Learning a new way to live life;
6) Helping others who are struggling with similar addictions.
** Today, step six, but if you're interested, please feel free to follow along with the rest of the tour for steps one to five. Be sure to read through to the end to find out about your chance to win you own eBook copy of Forty-two Stairs, a $50 gift certificate to the Less Than Three Press Book Market, and an awesome simulated amethyst and silver bib necklace and earring set. **
Step Six – Helping Others
One of the greatest gifts of recovery is being able to pass along what was learned, to help someone else recover their own life.
Owen is at rock bottom. He has lost his driver’s license due DUI, job and previous partner, he’s now reduced to back to basics and starting all over again. This book deals with the recovery process, the trials and tribulations that people go through trying to get over their addictions or problems.
For me this book was an uplifting book that deals with the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. One of getting to grips with one’s demons and taking control of your own life rather than letting something rule it and being reduced to a slave to your addiction and to other people. What was nice to read was that Owen’s family, especially his brother is still at Owen’s side. Stuck with and still supports him. I love it when a family pulls together, providing love and support because after all that is ideally how it should be. Owen has some issues with his mother and vice-versa, but there is fault on both sides here, but these issues are also nicely resolved.
Upon moving into his new flat he meets a neighbour, Sebastian or “Baba”, what I loved about Baba was his upbeat, positive look on life, but also his taking pleasure in the smallest things of life. even if he would be a little twinkie for my own personal tastes in RL. However, Baba also has his issues which makes him very vulnerable and fragile. He is dealing with what I guess to be a form of neurosis, but can’t really say. He gets worked up if he thinks he has been the cause of something bad. I just wanted to hold him to and tell him everything will be alright.
After all this is what this book is about. Broken and damaged souls trying to find their way, but in each other a lot stronger than apart. Despite their problems they are actually good for each. Unfortunately, Owen’s sponsor doesn’t approve as one should not start a relationship while one is recovering from something as any form of emotional upheaval could lead to a relapse. He doesn’t see in this case that finding love can actually be a big part of the healing process, but then we find out later he has ulterior motives which are entirely selfish. What a git! Completely hated him for it but on the other also to be pitied too in some way. was the relationship for Owen poorly timed? I wouldn’t like to think so, I think it came at exactly the right time.
I liked this book on many levels, but especially the whole idea of being reduced to the basics in Owen’s case and having to find his way again. Back to the beginning meant he could build a new Owen and in the process find happiness. So this is a story about a journey of recovery and healing, but also one of fighting, not making the same mistakes and finding happiness. A long climb up to the forty-two stairs, but Baba and Owen get their HEA. I really liked the sympathetic way that A.F. Henley writes, endearing the reader to the characters. I felt like I just wanted to squeeze and hug Baba to death and was willing Owen on all the way to do the right thing.
If you want a relatively quick read with a feel good factor then I can strongly recommend A.F. Henley’s Forty-Two Stairs.
Chapter 6 – Helping Others
Owen didn't realise how quiet the room had got until his mother broke the peace. "You are so much like him."
Owen's gaze flew up to catch hers. "Like hell I am—"
"Always so quiet. Always so inside yourself. Even if your guts are boiling. Not Dennis." She shook her head, her voice suddenly low and tired. "Dennis is like me. Tough. Opinionated. I wonder sometimes if that's why it was so hard to talk to you. It just made me miss him all over again."
It took Owen another full moment of silence to comprehend who she was referring to—his father. The man he barely remembered. The man he'd only known for four years. There was no memory of smile or features, voice or character trait. But it made him feel oddly good that she thought so. "Thank you."
She barked a sharp laugh. "Oh, no, Owen. Don't thank me for that. I couldn't save him anymore than it appears I can save you. I tried, you know. I tried to make you stronger. I tried to wrestle those traits out of you and give you a backbone. If you'd been more like me than maybe …"
A hundred retorts flew to his tongue. And it took a hundred figurative bites to work them back down his throat. Instead Owen nodded to himself, dropped his eyes again, and took a deep breath. "I was strong, Mom. I still am. I get up and keep going every day, just like I did back then. When you were too busy to give a shit, and Dennis was too young to help. When I got older and realised who I was, and who I needed to love, and the only thing I got from anyone important to me was the roll of their eyes and their insistence that I was just—" he lifted his fingers and air-quoted, "'—being gay' for the attention."
He paused and watched his mother start to work up words of denial. "Or the booze, right, Mom? Remember how that was just me 'acting out?' Trying to make life miserable for you? Back then it wasn't an issue, was it? Nope, it was just me being me. If you didn't acknowledge it, then you didn't have to deal with it. So you know what I think? I think you're wrong. I think you and I are more alike than you will ever be willing to admit. Deny, deny, deny. Cover up the pain and try to make everything look normal. We may not do it the same way, no. You do it with the veneer of self-righteousness and distance. I do it with alcohol and defiance. But at the end of the day, we're both just trying to dull our senses enough to survive, while making our most valiant attempts to keep our fingers and toes on the rope so we don't fall."
Owen laughed and even though the sound was dry and weak, he actually felt the humour behind it. "And you know something else, Mom? Even though this may shock the hell out of you …" Owen smiled. "I love you for that. And I understand you. We both know what it's like to hurt. I can admit that it breaks my heart to know that you know what I'm feeling when I say that I hate myself enough to want to turn off who I am."
Copyright © 2014, A.F. Henley
About the Author
Henley was born with a full-blown passion for run-on sentences, a zealous indulgence in all words descriptive, and the endearing tendency to overuse punctuation. Since the early years Henley has been an enthusiastic writer, from the first few I-love-my-dog stories to the current leap into erotica.
A self-professed Google genius, Henley lives for the hours spent digging through the Internet for ‘research purposes’ which, more often than not, lead seven thousand miles away from first intentions but bring Henley to new discoveries and ideas that, once seeded, tend to flourish.
Henley has been proudly working with LT3 since 2012, and has been writing like mad ever since—an indentured servant to the belief that romance and true love can mend the most broken soul. Even when presented in prose.
Contact the Author
So, you might be thinking ... I'd love a shot at winning this eBook, not to mention that generous LT3 gift certificate and totally awesome pendant and earring set.
Very cool. I'm glad to hear that. Comment on this blog post to be entered into a random number draw for an ebook copy of Forty-two Stairs. As for the rest of the prize, please click here for the Rafflecopter entry.
Please note, one ebook copy of Forty-two Stairs will be given away for each site visit, and the balance of this contest (the gift certificate and the jewelry) is open to all blog tour participants, post one to six. For a full list of contest rules, including eligibility, please click HERE
My thanks to everyone that has followed along, and my best wishes for a life of personal peace, comfort, and wellbeing.