Thursday, July 31, 2014

Home the Hard Way by Z.A. Maxfield ~ Review, Guest Post & Giveaway

Home the Hard Way

We are delighted to have Z.A. Maxfield with us here at SSBR as part of her Home the Hard Way Blog Tour, promoted by Riptide Publishing. Today it’s all about the music and the songs behind her characters.

There is also a chance to win a $25 Gift Card from Riptide and an eBook from Z.A. Maxfield’s backlist… this is a great giveaway, don’t miss out!


Welcome Z.A. Maxfield

If you’re reading this, I’m Z.A. Maxfield and my latest release, Home the Hard Way has just come out from Riptide Publishing. If you’re from the future, you probably already know that!

Thanks so much to Sinfully Sexy Book Reviews! I’m always so grateful to have the opportunity to share my news with bloggers and readers.

Today I thought I’d talk about music and what it means to me when I’m working. I’m funny, in that I can’t actually write when there’s music playing. Well, I can if it doesn’t have words. But if I’ve got background music with lyrics, I’m just as likely to get my words from the music, and the next thing you know, my character is going to say something like, “No, man. You’re like some…desperado. You’ve been out riding fences, for too long, now.”

And then I’d be like… whoa. Wait. Why does that sound familiar? I am not a great candidate for writing in bars and coffee houses. I start thinking Martini and Rossi are great names for characters and… I dunno. Some people have an easier time tuning things out. I have this little attention prob—

Hey look. A squirrel!

So, while I might listen to music that will get me in the mood to write, I almost never listen to music while I’m actually in the process of writing. Maybe some classical music or movie soundtracks. I’m fond of the soundtrack to “Memoirs of a Geisha.”

Which is not to say I don’t use music to enhance how I’m feeling when I’m writing.

Each character in my book has a song that helps me get into his or her head, Plus, my couples usually have a songs that defines them for me.

Maybe it’s because of the lyrics but often it’s because the music makes me feel a certain way when it’s playing.

In Home The Hard Way, my playlist was tough, because try as I might, I had trouble pinning the guys down. They play against type. They outwardly successful, Dare Buckley is a little down on his luck. He’s made some poor choices. He’s drinking way too much. In my heart, I know the dark places he’s living. Yet when he’s with Finn, he has hope. Finn makes him believe that he can unravel his tangled emotions and get himself back together.

Dare’s song is:

Shot At the Night, by the Killers.

Because of his long dead, flamboyant mother and the fact he’s out and proud, Finn has been the town pariah his whole life. But that’s only made him more determined. Now he’s on the brink of losing his aunt, the only person who ever loved him unconditionally and when Dare comes home, he’s infuriated and intrigued. What bugs him is that he’s never stopped loving Dare. It throws him off…

Finn’s song is:

Bad Blood by Bastille

As a couple? Finn and Dare are We Belong by Pat Benatar


Home the Hard Way by Z.A. Maxfield


Title ~ Home the Hard Way

Author ~ Z.A. Maxfield

Publisher ~ Riptide Publishing

Published ~ 28th July 2014

Genre ~ M/M Contemporary Romance



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Dare Buckley has come home—or at least, he’s come back to Palladian, the small town he left as a teenager. After a major lapse in judgment forced him to resign from the Seattle PD, Palladian is the only place that’ll hire him. There’s one benefit to hitting rock bottom, though: the chance to investigate the mystery of his father’s suicide.
Dare also gets to reacquaint himself with Finn Fowler, whose childhood hero worship ended in uncomfortable silence when Dare moved away. But Finn isn’t the same little kid Dare once protected. He’s grown into an attractive, enigmatic stranger who neither wants nor needs what Dare has to offer.
In fact, Dare soon realizes that Finn’s keeping secrets—his own and the town’s. And he doesn’t seem to care that Dare needs answers. The atmosphere in Palladian, like its namesake river, appears placid, but dark currents churn underneath. When danger closes in, Dare must pit his ingenuity against his heart, and find his way home the hard way.

Read more about Home the Hard Way: HERE

Allana’s Review

Z A Maxfield has a wonderful descriptive writing style and I was instantly transported to Palladian, where this story is set. I could smell the scents and hear the background noise as I read. It was like a movie running in my mind, and after only reading the prologue, I knew this book was going to be something special.

We met Finn Fowler, who had spent most of his life in his small town. Finn's life hadn't been a happy one. His Mother had been trouble, and the people in this town held grudges for a long time, and not always toward the person who deserved them. Finn lived with his terminally ill Aunt Lydia, and looked after her hair salon, as well as working another dead end job. The most important thing that the reader learns about Finn though, was he had both secrets of his own, and a few strange relationships with the other locals.

Dare Buckley is a man who comes home in disgrace after his career in the city was ruined and only returned as he had few other options. Dare had also had trouble in his past, distant and close. A type of golden child when he was young, his life was very different now.

The history between the two men was long. They had been an odd pair of friends when they were young, with Dare being a protector of sorts to Finn. Dare leaving town when he was in his mid-teens shaped there futures, and not in good ways at times.

The reuniting of the pair was not under great circumstances, and it was a thoroughly gripping tale of how these two could move forward from being the children they once were into something new as adults.

Being back in town, Dare started questioning things from before he left. He wanted answers to what had happened years ago that he still didn't understand, creating a very strong ripple effect, and a new mystery started before he had any answers about the past.

Z A Maxfield combined all the elements of this story skilfully. There was heartache, secrets, lies and betrayal, but also humour and love. There were twists and turns to keep me guessing, and more then interested in what was going to happen.

Many authors seem to use secondary characters as page filler, but with this book, that was not the case. Every character was needed, and they were a motley crew. They weren't all good, but realistic, and fully realized characters.

I will also warn readers that this story does contain a little bit of kink, but there was nothing scary involved.

Buy it Here

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About Z.A. Maxfield

Z. A. Maxfield started writing in 2007 on a dare from her children and never looked back. Pathologically disorganized, and perennially optimistic, she writes as much as she can, reads as much as she dares, and enjoys her time with family and friends. Three things reverberate throughout all her stories: Unconditional love, redemption, and the belief that miracles happen when we least expect them.

If anyone asks her how a wife and mother of four can find time for a writing career, she’ll answer, “It’s amazing what you can accomplish if you give up housework.”

Readers can visit ZAM at her:




There’s two ways to win today!

  • Comment below for a chance to win an ebook from my backlist
  • AND you can also…
  • Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Gift Card from Riptide Publishing

 a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. A friend has already read and recommended this book to me.

  2. can't wait to read this book!

  3. Replies
    1. Hi Bonny! You win any book from my backlist! Please email me at zamaxfield (at) zamaxfield (dot) com and let me know which one you'd like.



  4. Looking forward to this read!!! Have thoroughly enjoyed many of ZA Maxfield's books!!!

  5. Looks like an awesome book.

  6. Really looking forward to this. :)

  7. Sounds like another good read! Thanks for the chance to win!

  8. Love ZAM's books - can't wait to read this.

  9. Thanks for the review! And I loved the part about how the lyrics to songs work their way into ZA Maxfield's books. LOL!

    jen.f {at} mac {dot} come

  10. Sounds great. Thanks for the post and the giveaway!

  11. Thanks so much for the review!

    Trix, vitajex(at)Aol(Dot)com

  12. I look forward to reading this book. Adding it to my Goodreads TBR list now. Thanks. :)

  13. Thanks for the chance, the book sounds amazing!

  14. I've said it before and I'll say it again, If it's ZAM, It's gotta be good. I love reading her books, any book. ZAM has the ability of pulling the reader right into the scene and I love participating with the characters! This book sounds very promising as well. Thanks for the giveaway!
    taina1959 at yahoo dot com

  15. Fingers crossed! lol Thank you for the chance!

  16. Great song choices. :) Thanks for the giveaway!

  17. Would love an opportunity to read more from this author!

  18. I LOVE ZAM's books! This sounds like a good read. Please count me in.

  19. I have to listen to what is called chilled out music if I am working. Thank you for a great giveaway and blog tour :)

  20. Thank you very much for the chance, fun!