Monday, February 17, 2020

Virtual Book Tour + #Giveaway: The Twisted Oak by Sarah Hadley Brook @GoddessFish

The Twisted Oak
by Sarah Hadley Brook
GENRE: LGBTQ Romance/MM Romance


Wade Dwyer's life is turned upside down when his father dies and he learns he must marry or he and his siblings will lose the ranch. One last jab of the knife from his father. On top of that, his father's only friend knows about the stipulation and is determined to own the property by any means necessary.

He's facing the very real possibility of being the reason his family loses their home when his brother's best friend, Lance Matthews, offers to walk down the aisle with him. A faux marriage to the man he's loved for years is a torture he isn't sure he can endure.

Can he keep the ranch ... and the man of his dreams, too?


Over an hour later, covered in dirt and grime and smelling like cattle, Wade walked through the back door into the kitchen and was immediately met by a furious Allyson.

“What the hell? Do you know people are already arriving? The wedding starts in fifteen minutes, Wade.” She stood in his way, her hand on her waist. Her purple dress clung to her small frame, ending just above her knees, and Wade couldn’t help think that Casey was a lucky man. Allyson was beautiful in a wholesome, girl-next-door kind of way. Her auburn hair, more red than orange, hung down in ringlets around her shoulders. Her cornflower blue eyes sparked with anger as he met her gaze and he wanted to take a step back, but refused to cower to someone standing barely over five feet.


He lost the battle and took that step back. It didn’t matter. She took a step forward.

“Cattle got out. I texted,” he explained, his eyes flitting around the kitchen. Something smelled really good, like apples and cinnamon, and his stomach rumbled. He was starving.

“Lance and Casey have already brought everything over from Lance’s and they’ve dressed for the wedding,” she accused, pointing a finger at him. “You know you could have let Charlie handle this.”

His hackles up, he straightened and looked her in the eye. “He’s got some people fixing the fence right now, but no, I needed to handle this. Milton Randle tried to steal some of our cattle. A Dwyer needed to be there.”

Her shoulders sagged a little and she let out a huff. “Fine, but you owe Lance an apology. He thinks you don’t want to do this.”

Wade stared at her. “It’s a fake wedding. Of course I don’t want to do this.”

She pressed her lips into a thin line and looked at him hard. “Go get ready, Wade. And you better think about what you just said. This man is uprooting his life to ensure you and your brothers can keep your land. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never known anyone that kind. Have you?”

No. Definitely not. Properly chagrined, he nodded. “You’re right.”

“Of course I am.”

Wade smiled. She may not be married to his brother yet, but she was already part of the family.

“What?” she asked, obviously not quite ready to let go of the mad.

“Casey’s lucky.”

She blushed and shook her hair. “Right again. Now go get ready. You’ve got maybe ten minutes, tops. Your suit is laid out in Casey’s room. Use his shower—your room is a mess with the move right now. I’ll stall for as long as I can, but you make sure you look and smell good when you come downstairs.”

“Yes, ma’am,” he replied and watched her turn on her heels and leave the kitchen, mumbling something under her breath—something that sounded suspiciously like “idiot,” but he didn’t have time to dwell. He took the back stairs two at a time.

Interview with Sarah Hadley Brook

What was the hardest scene from your book to write?
That would definitely be the scene where Wade finds out what his father wrote in the will. I wanted to convey his agony, yet show he still loved his family. That he was strong enough to deal with it.

During the writing process, I grow close to my characters and Wade was no exception. As I wrote—and rewrote—the scene, my heart ached for him. I hated hurting him!

Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre? 
I credit my uncle with my decision to write in MM Romance. Growing up, I was very close with him. He was gay and lived in the open with his partner in the 1980s, which was hard to do. He was bullied, called names, attacked, and fired from his job, but he persisted.

Damon showed me what true love was. My father was not a nice man and his love was conditional—and unfortunately, those conditions were always out of reach. But the love my uncle and his partner had for each other was apparent in everything they did.

When Damon died of AIDS, it was a devastating blow. He had shown his young, awkward, niece struggling to get through childhood, that love was possible and that there was strength in love.

I still think about him all the time and wonder what he would be doing if he hadn’t been taken so early in life.

If you write in more than one genre, how do you balance them?
Currently I only write in MM Romance, but I do have a series of children’s stories in a curriculum used in schools. I’ve started a couple of Young Adult stories, but those remain unfinished. If I do go forward with those, I will probably use a different pen name.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
The hot cowboys, of course!! That and researching log cabin homes—luxurious mansions, one room cabins, small weekend cabins. The variety astounded me! I pinned way too many to my Pinterest board!

What book that you have read has most influenced your life?
Little Women. Definitely! It was also the first book I purchased with my own money. I still have it, too.

It was probably the first “grown-up” book I read as a child and I was so taken by Jo. She had big ideas and refused to let the world tell her who she had to be. I wanted to be that brave!

Tell us a little about yourself? Perhaps something not many people know?
People who know me under my real name know this, but I doubt any readers know. I have a sock addiction. Seriously. I love cute socks. I buy them constantly. Cats, dogs, flowers, rainbows, stripes, lacy, neon… I can’t help it! I have so many pairs, I haven’t even worn them all and I’m about to start a third drawer… I don’t know why I can’t say no. I just ordered a set (five pairs!!) of Snoopy socks, too.

I wear them all the time, though- even if they don’t match my outfit. My friends just laugh and ask to see which ones I’m wearing.

Can you tell us something about your book that is not in the summary?
I worked hard to build the characters up in the family, so the reader could get a sense of how close everyone was. I wanted the reader to remember them, because I have a sequel I’m already working on that will continue the back stories and start a new romance.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Sarah Hadley Brook lives smack-dab in the middle of the Heartland and is the mother of two wonderful young men, as well as two cats. During the day, she works in the non-profit world, but reserves evenings for her hobby-turned-passion of writing, letting the characters she conjures up in her mind take the lead and show her where the story will go. When not working or writing, she can be found reading, working on dollhouses, trying her hand at new recipes, or watching old movies and musicals. In her ideal world, Christmas would come at least twice a year, Rock Hudson and Doris Day would have co-starred in more than three movies, and chocolate would be a daily necessity to live. She dreams of traveling to Scotland some day and visiting the places her ancestors lived. Sarah believes in “Happily Ever After” and strives to ensure her characters find their own happiness in love and life.


$25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC

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Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

James Robert said...

When you have many readers in your family, it's always great to hear about a  book you think they will enjoy. Thanks for sharing!

Bernie Wallace said...

How do you come up for the names of the characters in your book?

Bea LaRocca said...

Thank you for sharing your author interview. I love how you feel about your characters, I experienced the same thing when I used to write.

Rita Wray said...

Sounds like a great book.

Gwendolyn Jordan said...

I like the cover

Sarah Hadley Brook said...

Thank you for hosting me today!

Sarah Hadley Brook said...

I'm unable to post directly to the questions, so answering here!

Thanks James!
Bernie- The first names are easy for me- they kind of just come to me. But the last names? I agonize over those! I spend waaaay too much time trying to make sure there isn't a person with that name like a celebrity that might get upset with me!
Thanks Bea! It's hard not to get close to our characters, isn't it??
Thanks, Rita Wray! If you read it, I hope you enjoy it.
Hi Gwendolyn- the publisher did an amazing job on the cover! It's my favorite!