Forty-Two Stairs Spotlight! 10


A huge thanks to Crystal’s Many Reviewers for having
me by today to talk about my new release titled Forty-two Stairs.
Crystal-Maries-Ramblings
When I started this book, I was sure to keep an open mind. I have personally battled addiction, and know people who have/still are battling it to this day.  So I was a bit worried while reading this that it was going to be a glamorized story of what someone who is battling goes through. Thankfully though, Mr. Henley was able to create a story that deals with such a sensitive topic and make it a very good read.
In the story we get to follow along with Owen as he starts dealing with the consequences of his actions in the past. I did like how he had to go through some horrible things, losing his house and his boyfriend, in order to start the process of recovery. I was glad that even though he was in a, what he considers, horrible situation, he was still cheerful and wanted to make himself better.
Sebastian was a character that I’m still a bit, ok that’s not right, a LOT confused about. I LOVED his personality and his ability to always see the light in the dark. I enjoyed how he was willing to do whatever he could to even just be friends with Owen.  And I loved his completely positive outlook on life. What confused me about him was that he did seem a bit off the wall at times, and I was hoping that there was going to be more told about what his story was. But there wasn’t.
My only other complaint about the book would be how quickly the story actually progressed. It all took place in such a quick time frame, and I don’t really think that that would be a good thing for an addict to deal with. Jumping from one serious thing to another doesn’t always work so well.
I do think that this was a really great read though and I do completely recommend it to everyone.
It’s been said that sometimes a person has to lose everything they’ve ever wanted, to understand what it is they  actually need. In Forty-two Stairs, Owen is all too familiar with loss. He lost his partner, his home, his job, and his license. He also came way too close to losing his freedom. And the only person Owen has to blame for all that is  himself. See … Owen is an alcoholic.
Forty-two Stairs follows Owen through his recovery (not to mention a budding, yet poorly-timed romance with an odd young man named Sebastian) and I thought it would be interesting to wander through the six major steps – yes, six – of overcoming addiction, as Owen experiences them, with some short teasers.
The American Psychological Association summarizes the process as follows (not verbatim):
1) Acknowledging that you are powerless to control your addiction;
2) Recognizing a higher power to draw strength from;
3) Examining past errors with the help of a sponsor;
4) Making amends for those errors;
5) Learning a new way to live life;
6) Helping others who are struggling with similar addictions.
** Today, step four, but if you’re interested, please feel free to follow along with the rest of the tour for steps one to three, five, and six. Be sure to read through to the end to find out about your chance to win
you own eBook copy of Forty-two Stairs, a $50 gift certificate to the Less Than Three Press Book Market, and an
awesome simulated amethyst and silver bib necklace and earring set. **
Step Four – Making Amends
Imagine the process… you’ve looked back through the years and pondered and mused your errors and your missteps. You’ve identified the people that you’ve done wrong, and tried to come to terms with why you did it, and how it might have affected them. Now you’ve got to try and find a way to not only tell them that you’re sorry, but that you want to make things right…
Forty-two Stairs Excerpt – Chapter 4 – Making Amends
“So we just don’t talk about it again.” Owen nodded. “We just deal with it.”
“Yes. We deal with it.”
Owen laughed. “You know what’s really good for that? Booze. It fucking wipes the nasty shit right out of your head. It’s an awesome coping mechanism.”
“Don’t give me that.” Dennis snapped the menu closed and shoved it away from him. It skimmed across the shiny wood of the table and upended the saltshaker. Miniscule crystals shot from the oversized holes and scattered, the lights above the table making them glimmer like diamonds. “I’m not a fucking drunk, am I? I didn’t have to run to a bottle to keep myself alive. So don’t make mountains out of molehills. And don’t—” Dennis huffed a breath and laid both palms on the table, flat, as if steadying himself. “Don’t you dare include me in this whiny woe-is-me shit that you’re trying to work up.”
Owen leaned over the table and began to slowly draw the salt into a pile with the side of his hand. “Why are you getting angry?”
“Because!” Once again Dennis had to force himself to lower his voice. “Because this is bullshit. Poor little Owen. Oh, my life was so hard I had no choice. Fuck that. Toughen up. Act like a man. Be responsib—”
“Act like you?”
“Yes,” Dennis hissed. “Yes, act like me. Damn it, Owen, there is a life out here and it’s about time—”
“Because that’s it, right? That’s why you’re getting angry. You had to be the tough one. The strong one. For some misguided, misappropriated loyalty to Mom—”
“Fuck off, Owen.” Dennis lowered his voice to something that could have sent demons slinking away in caution. “I’m not doing this with you.”
Owen shrugged. He tried to keep up the appearance of casual, but even he could see his hand was shaking when he lifted the cola to his lips. “Fine. That’s cool. Two things though and then I’ll drop it.” He stopped Dennis with an open palm when Dennis tried to speak. “I wanted to say thank you. Thank you for being that guy. Thank you for helping, and keeping things light, and making jokes, and all the shit you always do to smooth things over when they get riled up. Thank you for being strong enough to not let it all bother you, and thank you for being the one that looks after Mom and puts up with her crap. I appreciate it. I appreciate you. And I’m sorry that I wasn’t much of a help along the way. For all your tough-ass attitude I’m sure you’ve had a few moments of breaking down, and I’m sorry I wasn’t there to help you because I was too busy being caught up in my own.”
Dennis sighed. Owen lowered his glass.
“And the second thing? That attitude? The not talking about shit and keeping it out of sight, out of mind? That is why I need Sebastian. Maybe you are strong enough to forgive and forget, but I’m not. I had a lot of power taken away from me when we were little and—”
“Owen, please,” Dennis’s voice was suddenly tired. “Please stop.”
Owen threw both hands in the air. “Stop what? I’m saying that I’m sorry! This is part of the goddamn process—”
“Stop saying that it doesn’t bother me. Of course it fucking bothers me. Jesus, Owen. I’m human too. I just … I can’t do this…”
Copyright © 2014, A.F. Henley
Forty-two Stairs
by A.F. Henley
Owen has been struggling with addiction since he was a teenager, but it takes a DUI involving another vehicle for him to finally face his issues. The road to recovery is a rough one, and for Owen it’s a journey made harder by bankruptcy, loneliness, and repressed memories.
His new apartment doesn’t help either. It’s small, worn, and hot as hell. The only way to reach it is a tedious stretch of stairs that seems like the final insult on top of a whole pile of misery. Thankfully, the mess comes with one bright spot: intense, pretty Sebastian, who seems to have a knack for keeping his head up and finding the beauty in everything.
Published by Less Than Three Press
M/M Contemporary Romance
44,000 words
 
So, you might be thinking … I’d love a shot at winning this eBook, not to mention that generous LT3 gift certificate and totally awesome pendant and earring set.
Very cool. I’m glad to hear that. Comment on this blog post to be entered into a random number draw for an ebook copy of Forty-two Stairs. As for the rest of the prize, please click here for the Rafflecopter entry 
Please note, one ebook copy of Forty-two Stairs will be given away for each site visit, and the balance of this contest (the gift certificate and the jewelry) is open to all blog tour participants, post one to six. For a full list of contest rules, including eligibility, please click HERE
Henley was born with a full-blown passion for run-on sentences, a zealous indulgence in all words descriptive, and the endearing tendency to overuse punctuation. Since the early years Henley has been an enthusiastic writer, from the first few I-love-my-dog stories to the current leap into erotica.
A self-professed Google genius, Henley lives for the hours spent digging through the Internet for ‘research purposes’ which, more often than not, lead seven thousand miles away from first intentions but bring Henley to new discoveries and ideas that, once seeded, tend to flourish.
Henley has been proudly working with LT3 since 2012, and has been writing like mad ever since—an indentured servant to the belief that romance and true love can mend the most broken soul. Even when presented in prose.

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