Monday, May 7, 2012

Book Tour for Where You Hurt the Most by Anne Brooke (Guest Post & GIVEAWAY)

Over the next month four of Riptide Publishing's authors will be touring in support of a new collection of books focusing on Rentboys (or those pretending to be).  Along the way will be snippets of each book, entertaining moments with each author, and a few big giveaways.  So be sure to follow each stop and comment to get in on the fun.  Today I'm proud to welcome Anne Brooke and her gutwrenchingly emotional book, Where You Hurt the Most.  Take it away, Anne......

Art – It’s for Everyone

When I wrote my rentboy story, Where You Hurt The Most, art quickly became a large part of my secondary character Dan’s life before his car accident disfigured him and changed everything. It’s also important to high-class escort Adrian too, who loves visiting museums and art galleries both while he’s working and in his spare time.

So, in that respect the two men have much in common, especially as art is often seen as the pastime of an elite minority. But actually I don’t think that’s true, and there’s far more art and beauty in our daily lives than we would think. You don’t even have to visit an art gallery to find it – though if you do, many of our main public art galleries are free and well worth a visit, not to mention the variety of free art on your doorstep. Because no matter where you are or what you’re doing, you can always find something beautiful to appreciate, sometimes in the most unexpected places.

We also create our own art all the time, in the way we organise and design our homes and gardens, and in how we respond when visiting the homes and gardens of other people. I think we’re always seeking to put our own stamp on the world around us, however small or large that may be, and we’re far more influenced by our environment than we would think. As an example, I used to live in a flat which was part of a lovely old Victorian house with its own particular quirks and personality. While we were there, my husband and I decorated in rich deep colours and made sure any furniture we bought was made from dark wood rather than light. It fitted where we lived and felt very cosy indeed.

Now, having moved to a house which is modern and much much lighter (well, there’s a lot more glass than you get in a Victorian building!), we’re doing things completely differently, and becoming more attuned in our d├ęcor choices to the way the new house is. And I think it’s changing us too – I think we feel much more relaxed here and less contained (if you see what I mean) by our environment. We’re allowing more space in a room rather than filling it with things we don’t need, and everything seems much brighter and more open to possibilities.

So art changes the environment and it changes us too, not just on the surface, but underneath where it really matters. I think that’s what gets me about looking at art and trying to create my own version of environmental beauty, and I think it’s what does it for Adrian and Dan too. Here’s an extract where they’re talking about beauty:

I nodded, trying to appear wise when at heart I didn’t understand what Dan meant. How could I? His experiences were a long way from mine. “So you’re saying your accident and the way your face is dictate to you how you want to live your life. And everything you valued once can disappear that quickly. But surely what you look like doesn’t affect your ability to want to make things beautiful. It’s art, not appearance, and art matters, doesn’t it?”

From the corner of my eye, I watched Dan purse his lips, as if there was much he wanted to say but he didn’t know if he could say it and stay. Instead, he risked a sideways glance at me, a frown crinkling his forehead.

“Some things change everything,” he said. “Or doesn’t a bloke like you know that anyway?”

“A bloke like me?”

“Yes. An escort.”

Dan’s tone was more than slightly ironic, but I let it go this time. “Yes,” I said. “I do know it. The thing that changed everything for me was the realisation I could use my social skills to live the kind of life I’d dreamed of. Art galleries, museums, top-quality restaurants, not to mention good conversations and—yes—good sex …”

I hope you enjoy their story. And don’t forget to look for something beautiful as you go about your daily life today – happy hunting!

Where You Hurt the Most by Anne Brooke

Adrian is more than happy as high-class escort for a number of regular clients. When his boss and dear friend asks him to entertain his nephew, Adrian readily agrees, but meeting Dan challenges him in ways he'd never imagined. Dan is scarred inside and out from an accident that destroyed a promising future. Despite Adrian's loveless lifestyle and Dan's withdrawal and anger, the two men forge a deep - if unnerving - connection. Soon they find themselves questioning the choices they've made and the futures they've mapped out for themselves.

Yet even bright young men like Adrian and Dan fear the unknown and take comfort in the familiar. Neither may be strong enough to step away from the life they know and toward the one they dare not hope for. But while it's true that love can't heal all wounds, it is the surest balm for where you hurt the most.

You can read an excerpt and purchase Where You Hurt The Most HERE.

To visit more sites participating in this tour go HERE.


Anne Brooke’s fiction has been shortlisted for the Harry Bowling Novel Award, the Royal Literary Fund Awards and the Asham Award for Women Writers. She has also twice been the winner of the national DSJT Charitable Trust Open Poetry Competition.

She is the author of six published novels, including her fantasy series, The Gathandrian Trilogy, published by Bluewood Publishing and featuring gay scribe Simon Hartstongue. More information on the trilogy is available at: and the first of these novels is The Gifting. In addition, her gay and literary short stories are regularly published by Riptide Publishing, Amber Allure Press and Untreed Reads. Her most recent gay short story is Where You Hurt The Most, a tale of unexpected connections and possibilities, published by Riptide. All her gay fiction can be found at:

Anne has a secret passion for theatre and chocolate, preferably at the same time, and is currently working on a gay fantasy novella, The Taming of the Hawk. More information can be found at and she regularly blogs at:

Also found at:   TWITTER   FACEBOOK


The prize is THREE ebooks from my backlist if these questions about Where You Hurt The Most are answered correctly:

1. What was Dan's hoped-for career before the accident?

2. Where does Adrian take Dan on their second meeting?

3. What month is it when Max visits Adrian for the last time?

Answers should be sent to albrookeATmeDOTcom (and NOT left on the post), and winners will be notified as soon as possible after 18 May, when the tour ends. Good luck!


  1. I read the excerpt and was immediately hooked! I can't wait to read Where You Hurt The Most.

    I read the Delaney series and really enjoyed it. I'm sure I'll enjoy Where You Hurt The Most, too.

    Tracey D

  2. Great to spend some time here, and many thanks for the lovely comment, Tracey! :))

  3. Thanks for the excerpt!
    Hm, I like to think I always see the beauty in things... this one time that my sister and I were driving from the market, we came by a small plot (at a red light) where they use as a sort of green house. It's like a small family farm, and I'll never forget, But I was so moved by a single scene that I wish I had had a camera on hand to capture it. It was an old man, presumably a grandpa and a small boy, again presumably his nephew, planting corn in the field. Side by side, the old man showing the boy how to plant them right and and letting him play with the dirt and showing him a mans many jobs in this world. It was a beautiful sunny, slightly cloudy day, cool winds... .it was perfect. That sight was so beautiful, that my eyes actually stung a little, like I wanted to cry. oh, I can still picture it in my mind and still am so moved by it.
    I love that scene and am so sad that I seemed to be the only one that saw it.. but I shall never forget it.


  4. That's lovely, Judi - what a wonderful picture! I'm sure the memory is more magical than a picture could be ...


  5. Very nice post. The book sounds good.