Friday, August 3, 2012

Happy Release day Conner and John!!

Sequel to Ty’s Obsession
Whispering Pines Ranch: Book Four

John Price and Conner Burnett have been part of the Whispering Pines Ranch for the past thirty-seven years. A loving couple who have overcome every obstacle thrown at them, John and Conner are a testament to the strength of true love. But now John is in the hospital with a diagnosis of cancer, fighting for his very life.

As his lover struggles, Conner looks back on when they first met. The early seventies wasn’t an easy time to be a gay man, especially in a small country town. Considering John’s pride, Conner’s need to be himself, shame, bitterness, and two stubborn natures, their love story almost wasn’t written. But they beat the odds, and Conner will be damned if he’ll let anyone take John from him now. He had the courage to stand up for what he wanted in 1974. If need be, he’ll go toe to toe with God himself to keep the man he fought so hard to love.

Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength; loving someone deeply gives you courage.

—Lao Tzu

Inoperable Cancer

HATE, bigotry, prejudice, injustice, stupidity—all things Conner had encountered throughout his life, and he’d fought against them all. Had he changed them? No, but he’d risen above them and made a damn good life for himself and John. Inoperable cancer wasn’t something he could fight or rise above. He was going to lose what he’d fought so hard to obtain. He was losing his heart.

Careful of the multiple tubes and wires attached to John, Conner eased silently into the hospital bed and laid his head gently on the thick chest he’d used as a pillow nearly every night for the last thirty-seven years. The rise and fall of John’s chest and the steady thump-thump of his heart comforted Conner. Over the last week, Conner had gotten used to the constant beeping of heart machines, the hourly interruptions from doctors and staff, and the smell of disinfectant. Hell, he’d even gotten used to the shitty food in the cafeteria. What he couldn’t get used to, refused to get used to, was sleeping on the lumpy cot a nurse had brought into the small, sterile room. He just couldn’t sleep next to John’s bed, hear the soft snuffling snores, the rhythmic intake of breath, and not be able to touch him. It was too much to endure.

Why? Why are you taking him from me? Tears blurred Conner’s vision, and he squeezed his eyes shut to prevent them from falling onto the beloved chest below his head. “You don’t think I have endured enough?” Conner whispered.

Wasn’t it enough that he’d been born into a screwed-up family? He’d been the first offspring to a woman who hated children yet kept having them to increase her welfare check each month. Seven times his mother’s income had increased. His most vivid childhood memories were a steady parade of nameless men who came in and out of their home, left unattended with vulnerable children, which resulted in both Conner and his siblings being abused, both violently and sexually. At seventeen, he was kicked out of the house and disowned, because while child abuse was acceptable there, being gay was not.

Every challenge life had thrown at him, he’d endured it, survived it, and refused to let it define him. He hadn’t allowed those who had knocked him down to keep him down. More importantly, he hadn’t let them turn him bitter. Never once had he stooped to their level, but instead rose above them, living a good life and treating others with care and thoughtfulness. Nearly half his life had been a struggle, one obstacle after another thrown in his path, but he found a way around them, over them, or through them.

How am I going to get past this one?

Maybe the doctors are wrong. Conner ran a hand tenderly down John’s chest, his heat warm and familiar against Conner’s palm. The steady heartbeat was strong, the even breath didn’t sound like a man who was dying. Dying. Conner’s stomach rolled, nausea threatening as his chest constricted painfully around his heart, as the word flashed into his thoughts. He couldn’t be dying.

“I won’t let you,” he whispered, turning his head to plant a soft kiss on John’s chest.

Conner snuggled in closer to his strong, warm lover as a new conviction settled into his soul. The doctors were wrong. Misdiagnosis wasn’t a rarity. It happened all the time. And even when the diagnosis wasn’t wrong, there were those who beat the odds. Medical miracles, they were called. John would be a medical miracle! Conner wouldn’t accept anything less. He hadn’t fought his whole life only to be left alone in his golden years. This was a time for him and John to retire. Travel to all the places they had dreamed of going and explore all the things they wanted to see. The Eiffel Tower in France, men in kilts in Scotland, and a romantic ride on a gondola in Italy. He was going to those places, dammit, and John would be by his side.

A smile, which had been absent for the last week since hearing the term inoperable cancer, curled Conner’s lips. “I love you, John Price, and God be damned, you won’t leave me! We are going to have such an amazing time traveling the world together.”

To the higher powers that may be, he shot a silent challenge. You can’t have him! He’s mine, and you’ll have to go through me to take him. Conner drifted off to sleep, not the least bit afraid that he may have pissed off the man upstairs. He was safe and warm in the knowledge that he would move heaven and hell to save his man, even if he had to go toe-to-toe with God himself.

Read Chapter One HERE

Today's the last day to enter to win either an ebook or signed print copy of Conner's Courage. Just leave a comment on any post from this week with your email address and you're entered to win! 



  1. Congrats Jo!!! Happy Release Day! Can't wait to start reading Conner and John's story. I just finished another DSP book about a couple dealing with cancer (Yes by Lou Sylvre). So I guess I'm in the right frame of mind for this one. It was very touching as I'm sure Conner's Courage will be. :) Plus, Conner is quite a character, so I know I will be laughing a lot, too. :D


  2. Happy Release day, Jo! Big congrats to your newest release!

  3. Happy Release Day! I'm so excited for this next book!

  4. TGIFH. Thank goodness it's finally here!

  5. Happy Release Day. :) Looking forward to Conner and John's story.