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Monday, January 5, 2015

Not Your Stereotypical Christmas Read

Nine-One-One. A play on words because 911, while being the emergency number for the United States, also has another connotation: 9/11. It was this I chose to write about and some of the people who were hardest hit – the emergency services.
Rescue Me is an American TV show based around firefighters of the FDNY. Lead character Tommy Gavin is an alcoholic womaniser who sees flashbacks of his dead cousin. Tommy was on duty at the Twin Towers on 9/11 and his cousin Jimmy died there. While comedic and dramatic in equal measures, Rescue Me can’t fail to move anyone when you start to think about the loss of firefighters at 9/11. 343 to be precise.
I started to think about writing about a traumatised firefighter. I then teamed him with an equally traumatised cop and Nine-One-One was born. It’s set at Christmas but it’s not a gentle sleigh ride through the snows of New York. Rather, it’s about grief, loss, letting go and finally, redemption.
There are not many topics that I shy away from. Some topics need exploring. They shouldn’t be taboo, not even in gay romance which often has light-hearted subject matter.
It seemed obvious to set Nine-One-One at Christmas. A magical season, a time for loved ones and family and the loneliest of days when the one you love is gone. And so what better time for Damon to meet the next love of his life than at Christmas, when he is at his lowest ebb, desperate, needy and wishing he could reach out for comfort.
Enter Simon, his knight in shining armour. A veteran of 9/11 but dealing with it on a different level to Damon. He’s just the man Damon needs and likewise, the broken-hearted cop is the one Simon needs.
Like many people who have lost a lover, Damon feels a keen sense of betrayal at the prospect of sleeping with Simon. In fact, there’s been no one in ten years since Justin died. He wants it, he needs it, but how can he take someone else when it’s Justin’s face he’ll see? It’s just one of many conflicting emotions bottled up inside a survivor and the story explores his catharsis, finally, and him getting the love and help he has needed for so long.

Blurb for Nine One One:
Damon can’t forget 9/11 and all the precious things he lost…
It’s ten years after the horror of 9/11. Former NYPD cop Damon Summerfield was there. He lost his firefighter partner, Justin, in the collapse of the Twin Towers and fled to Canada to attempt to rebuild his shattered life. Now he is back in New York for Christmas with his family for the first time since his loss.
Still deep in mourning with no end in sight, he visits Justin’s favorite bar near Ground Zero and there meets Simon, a firefighter with the FDNY and a fellow survivor of 9/11. Simon is smitten by him from the start, but despite feeling the same way, Damon can’t bear to give them a chance, not when he thinks Simon’s job will tear them apart someday to

Excerpt from Nine One One:
Damon excused himself after plum pudding and coffee and caught his jacket off the peg by the front door, saying he needed some air. No one questioned him or protested, and he pulled his hat low over his ears, put on his gloves then hurried down the frozen street.
Only fifteen minutes away, he first went to the firefighters’ plaque and stared at Justin’s name among the three hundred and forty-two others, then he went to the 9/11 Memorial South Pool, looking down into the reflecting water for the longest time with his numb fingertips resting against Justin’s name.
At length he found himself back in The Full Shilling. The place was noisy, full of patrons in good cheer and loud Irish music. He fought his way to the bar and ordered a double Jack and Coke. Alcohol had been his crutch for too long and he wasn’t choosing tonight to quit.
A broad shoulder brushed his own as he stood waiting, and he turned his head and looked into clear green eyes. Damon’s stomach leapt and seemed to collide with his furiously beating heart. No one had had this effect on him in forever—well, ten years to be exact.
“Hi again,” said the man from Christmas Eve with a cheeky grin.
Damon looked away. He had no idea if this man had been trying to pick him up last night or if he was trying to do it now, and he didn’t want to know.
“Not exactly full of Christmas cheer, are you?” The stranger’s voice was soft in his ear but sardonic.
Damon whirled furiously on him, all the anguish of the day spilling out. “Look, I’m not gay so why don’t you just fuck off?” He couldn’t believe his own words. He hadn’t denied his sexuality since he’d turned eighteen and had told his parents. They had come to accept what he was after a shaky start. In the years before his announcement, he had routinely denied it. Not that he often got accused of being queer, he was too big and muscular for that, but then being too pretty for his own good was usually his downfall.
The stranger’s eyes narrowed. He arched an elegant, dark eyebrow. “Aren’t you? So I didn’t catch you checking out the bartender’s ass last night?”
Damon’s face heated. “And since when do I have to answer to you over whose ass I was checking out?”
“So you don’t deny it?” A half-smile curled the man’s sensual mouth.
Comment on the post below with your email address, and Scarlet will choose one lucky winner to win an eBook copy of Nine One One which will be administered in the New Year. Good luck!


  1. book sounds great and would love to read

  2. Thanks for the chance to win. This book sounds very emotional.
    debdeege (at) optonline (dot) net

  3. Wowser! Emotions all over. Love it.

  4. Thank you for a chance to win copy of this emotional roller coaster of a story and I can only imagine how difficult it will be for Damon to fall for another firefighter after loosing his previous partner in such a horrific way.

    Scarlett was one of the first MM authors whose books enticed me into reading this genre and I have not looked back since and I would recommend any of her books, especially Inferno and Protecting Kayden. slholland22 {at} hotmail {dot} com :)

  5. Thanks for the chance to win a copy! This sounds like a great read.

  6. Hi Scarlett - thank you for a chance to win a copy of your book.

  7. I dont kow if im tolate, but i love everything you have written, and this one sounds just a great!,

    Thanks for the chance :)