Brass Tabby: A Slow-Burn Dark Comedy Romance by Rowan Helaine <— RECLUSIVE HERO & NOW SHE’S HIS NEW ROOMMATE!! Oh this one sounds sooooooo good!!!! It just went live, and the author is today’s newsletter sponsor!!
“What would you say if some rich recluse swooped in and convinced someone you cared about to give up their apartment and job seemingly overnight, for a deal that sounds way too good to be true? Sounds super shady, right? Anyone who’s read Bluebeard knows how that little saga ends.”
Grant Harcourt has it all going for him. The money, the swagger, the big house on the hill…and scar tissue covering 25% of his body. He’s spent years trying to claw his way back from a life-altering trauma, and the unstoppable force of nature that just dropped into his lap is the first person to make him look up from his own misfortune. He offers Enola a once-in-a-lifetime chance to escape her minimum wage existence. All she has to do is put up with him, and make the occasional grilled cheese sandwich.
Surrounded on all sides by street politics and a cast of benevolent outlaws, scrappy street artist Enola is quick to accept when Grant extends the invitation. Two tiny problems: She’s really starting to like the guy, and just when she feels safe enough to open her carefully guarded heart, a deadly secret from her past resurfaces, threatening their fragile peace.
Facts about the Book
1.) Grant’s vocal chords were badly damaged in the fire, and Nola likens the sound to “Leonard Cohen in his later years.” For anyone curious enough to listen, check out Slow by Leonard Cohen. It perfectly illustrates what I imagine his voice to sound like.
2.) I don’t intend to turn this into a series, but I’d like to write more books set in the same universe. If I can find a way to work one or two of the peripheral characters into future stories, I totally will. Dodge, for example, was a blast to write. He’s such an unapologetic dirtbag.
3.) I spent a lot of time researching PTSD and alcohol’s detrimental effect on trauma recovery. Nerve damage and regeneration after severe burns. Debridement and skin grafts. Physical therapy. Skills and tools for the blind. None of it was particularly sexy. But I think the realism is worth it. I didn’t want to present a fantastical notion of a blind person, as so often happens in fiction.
4.) On the subject of trauma, I do include a trigger warning in the book, since it does deal with some troubling subjects. I did my level best to treat both characters with as much compassion as possible. Grant suffered a single catastrophic event that effectively erased the man he was before, much like a meteor strike. Now he’s trying to claw his way out of the crater. On the other hand, Nola suffered sustained longterm abuse. On the surface, she looks perfectly healthy, but her experiences have made her a lot more hesitant to let people get close to her beyond a certain point. She’s so unaware of herself that she literally doesn’t realize she’s fallen in love with Grant until it’s too late.
5.) Don’t pull my romance card, but it’s not a strict HEA. I know that a lot of people crave the happily ever after, but after everything these two have gone through and just who they are, the big white wedding wouldn’t have fit. Without giving everything away, all I can say is that it ends the way it should, with two people moving forward together as partners.
Okay, I know what you’re thinking. What kind of demented lunatic thinks these songs actually go together? No, it’s just that in the book, Some of the songs are directly alluded to. The other part of my thinking was “this gives me feels that fit perfectly”.
- Grant’s Voice: Slow – Leonard Cohen
- Prologue: Hurt – Johnny Cash
- Chapter 4: Blue Jeans Blues — ZZ Top
- Chapter 7: In the Evening — Led Zeppelin
- Chapter 14: Not An Addict — K’s Choice
- Chapter 18: Shatter — Liz Phair
- Chapter 19: Lovely Day — Bill Withers
- Chapter 22: Work Song — Hozier
- Chapter 23: I’m So Glad You’re Mine — Al Green
- Chapter 28: Never Needed Anyone — Mavis Staples