Well, he’s not coming yet. But we (K.M. Neuhold and I) wrote a hot kissing scene this morning that could definitely lead to more, so…
Oh, wait. Let me back up.
Remember Ranger? In Heart, Ballsy Boys book three, we met parole officer Lucky, who ended up with Mason and Heart. You may remember that Lucky had a brother, Ranger. In Heart, Ranger was clearly struggling with a loss, and many of you asked us for his story.
We’re excited to announce we’re writing it…and the title will be Ranger. Duh. It will be a stand alone, so you don’t need to read Heart to appreciate and understand this story.
When we meet Ranger, he’s still struggling. Fortunately, he hasn’t lost his dry sense of humor…and he’s not too proud to ask for help. That’s how he meets animal trainer Julian, who volunteers for an organization that provides veterans with dogs. But Ranger is still reeling from a heavy loss and nowhere near ready for someone new in his life, so how will that end?
We don’t have a release date yet, but we’re hoping to release at the end of next month. Here’s the first snippet:
I’m fucked big time.
It’s been a year since I was honorably discharged, and all the yoga and meditation in the world haven’t made a lick of difference. I still can’t sleep. I still have trouble eating. And the nightmares are still there, even when I don’t sleep. All I have to do is close my eyes, and I see it again. See him again.
It has got to stop. I’ve had enough of this. I refuse to be this moping, sad guy who served his country well once upon a time but then descended into a pit of despair and never managed to climb out of it again. I can’t be that person.
I thought that the discharge would help, that being here on my peaceful little ranch would magically fix me. It didn’t. And neither did anything else I tried.
The yoga certainly helps me keep flexible, but it didn’t bring the peace of mind I had hoped for. Neither did meditating. Or herbal tea. Essential oils. Eating goddamn kale. Name some kind of new age method spouted by gurus and I’ve tried it. I even went so far as to try sunning my asshole… Yeah, not doing that one again.
It. Doesn’t. Work.
I have little flare ups where I’ll feel better, and I’ll tackle the garden or vacuum the house, and it’ll look nice for a week or so. But inevitably, that boost disappears just as fast as it popped up, and I’ll be fighting with myself to find the energy to put a pizza in the oven. My body, once a strong, efficient soldier, is now nothing but tired muscles and weak bones, held together by a frame that’s at least twenty pounds too thin.
So I’ve finally decided to stop trying all the vague methods and go for a proven one. I call my brother, Lucky. I hate this, hate that as his older brother, I can’t be the one he looks up to anymore, but I’ve reached a point where I have no other choice.
He answers on the third ring.
“Hey, bro,” he says, his voice steady as a rock. Lucky is like that. Unflappable. Strong. Someone I can lean on, even though he’s two years younger than me. He’s always had my back, and I know he’s been worried about me.
“I need help.”
How’s that sound? Stay tuned for more!