Friday, July 18, 2014

Burnin' for You by Jamie Lynn Miller: Interview & Review

Burnin' For You Series
(Burnin' for You/Where There's Smoke...)
by Jamie Lynn Miller
Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance

Lucas Taylor is a New York City fireman at Station 127, dedicated to his job, even though it has brought him heartrending tragedy - the loss of his lover, Ryan, in an explosion.

Evan Singer is the new guy in town, a paramedic transferred into Station 127 and he sets his eyes on Lucas from the get-go.

Neither knowing who the other is, their first meeting is a night of passion and desire that awakens something inside Lucas he never thought he’d feel again.

But when Lucas discovers that Evan is a paramedic, it all comes crashing down. For despite the feelings he has for Evan, Lucas has vowed to never again get involved with someone on the job, after losing Ryan to it.

Can Evan convince Lucas to open up his heart and take a chance on love again, despite who Evan is?

Things turn explosive at the FDNY when a young man Lucas rescues from a fire becomes an obsessed stalker, and Evan's altercation with a victim's husband threatens to end his career.

Carly's One Question

As many of my followers may know, I have been a nurse and an EMT for many years. While I love romance in any form, I have a special place in my heart for the characters that do the lifesaving work that I myself am so passionate about! I've been a fan of Jamie's writing for awhile now, so when she approached me with her updated and revised editions of the Burnin' for You series, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to immerse myself in this exciting storyline. Welcome Jamie! Can you tell us about your inspiration for writing this series and if you had any exciting experiences while researching?

Jamie: Many thanks to Carly for having me here today! Keep reading to find out how you can win an Amazon gift card!

I'm Jamie Lynn Miller and I'd like to talk about my novel Burnin' for You and my inspiration for writing it.

My tagline says it all: "Men in uniform...and out". Give me a cop, a fireman or a paramedic and I'll write a story about them. 

I'm wildly passionate about this book because I was lucky enough to spend 14 days with my local fire department doing research, one of the most amazing experiences in my life. 

I was fitted for my own turnout gear and went on ride-a-longs, where I sat in the jump seat in the engine. I was inside a live burn tower where I got to experience a "backdraft" first hand and help to put it out. I learned how to find my way blind in the dark in a smoke filled room wearing an oxygen tank and mask and full turnout gear. I went 60 feet up in the air in the snorkel. I learned exactly how the paramedics operate and looked at all their gear. I saw how the apparatus and equipment rooms were set up. I learned how to roll hose and attach it to a hydrant and the crucial role the engineer plays in getting that water to the fire. I used the Jaws of Life to pry a door off of a car and used an axe to break out a windshield.

Like I said - most amazing experience of my life. 

And during all this, I took notes. Lots and lots of notes. Notebooks full. Because I knew someday I was going to write a story. Or four. :-) Not only does this book encompass my love of the fire department, but it's also an homage to my favorite shows like Emergency and Third Watch. Station 127 is real. It's the actual department in California where Emergency was filmed and I was lucky enough to visit there several years ago. And it still looks just like the fictitious Station 51!

So here it is, the story of Lucas and Evan and how they battled their way through smoke and flames to find their happy ending. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

    “We need to talk,” Evan said firmly, walking toward Lucas. 
    Lucas turned from the sinks to face Evan. “No. We don’t,” he replied, just as strongly. 
    “You owe me an explanation, damn it,” Evan countered, and Lucas could sense the hurt under his words. 
   Hardening himself, he flung his reply at the young man. “I was drunk. It was nothing but a mistake, sleeping with you. End of story.” 
    Evan shook his head. “No. No, I’m not buying that. You never would’ve called me on Sunday if that was true.” 
    Knowing he was caught, Lucas floundered for a moment before finding his voice, softer this time. “Evan…nothing more can happen between us. So just let it go. Please.” 
   “I don’t understand. Why are you acting like this?” Evan asked plaintively, taking another step toward Lucas, reaching out to touch him. “What’s going – “ 
    The door to the bathroom opened at that moment and Tom walked in, dressed in only his boxers, a towel over his shoulder. Evan immediately dropped his hand and took a step back from Lucas, as they both averted their gaze from one another. It was obvious from the look on Tom’s face that he knew he’d just interrupted something, but before he could speak, Evan was brushing past him, out of the bathroom. 
   Lucas sighed and turned back to the sink, bracing his arms on it and hanging his head. Tom walked up beside him a moment later. 
    “Want to tell me what that was all about?” Tom asked. 
    “Nothing,” Lucas muttered. 
    “Certainly didn’t look like nothing. Something going on with you two?” Tom pressed gently. “You haven’t even known him for 24 hours yet and you’ve pretty much been avoiding him since he got here. Something about him just rubbing you the wrong way?” 
    Lucas hesitated for a minute, then decided to confide in his friend. He blew out a long breath then straightened up, turning to face Tom. 
    “Actually…we’ve known each other longer than 24 hours,” he confessed. 
    Tom blinked. “You…what?” 
    “Remember when I said I wasn’t alone on Saturday?” 
    Tom nodded. “Yeah…” Then his eyes widened. “You don’t mean…? You were with Evan? How…I mean – “ 
    Lucas glanced away from his friend. “I picked him up at Casey’s.” 
    “You picked him up? You mean you…?” 
    “Yes, Tom, we fucked each other,” Lucas confirmed bluntly. 
   “What were you thinking?” Tom hissed. “Sleeping with some guy you don’t even know? You’re lucky he wasn’t some psycho and killed you!” 
    “God damn it, Tom! I was lonely! I was hurting and I was lonely. I miss Ryan so fucking much…” 
    Lucas swallowed deeply. “And with Saturday the anniversary of his death…I just wasn’t thinking straight, okay? I’d had too much to drink and he was interested and I just wanted to pretend…” 
    Tom sighed and reached out and squeezed Lucas’s shoulder. “So I take it from what I saw in here things didn’t go so well that night?” 
    Lucas gave a rueful chuckle. “Actually, it was just the opposite. I even spent the night. He gave me his number and I called him yesterday.” 
    “Hang on, I don’t understand. Why are you avoiding him like the plague, then?” 
   “Because the one thing we neglected to talk about was our jobs!” Lucas pushed angrily away from the sink, his back to Tom. “I told him today there can’t be anything between us.” 
   Tom was silent for a long minute, then asked softly, “Do you like him? You must if you called him.” 
    Lucas whirled around. “It doesn’t matter if I like him or not. He’s a paramedic.” 
    “Ah, Luke…don’t do this to yourself. Ryan was a fireman – “ 
    “We’re ALL firemen, Tom! The medics are in just as much danger as we are. Half the time they’re rushing in right behind us into some burning, collapsing building to pull someone out. Or they’re pulling up on a gang-banger bleeding in the street while bullets are still flying,” Lucas finished, pulling in a deep breath. 
    “Do you think Ryan would’ve wanted this for you?” Tom asked gently. “For you to be alone and unhappy? Or do you think he would want you to move on? Not to forget him, but just to find someone that makes you happy again.” 
    Lucas stared at Tom, throat working against the emotions threatening to smother him. Finally, he shook his head, his voice rough. 
    “I already lost someone I loved to this job. I won’t go through that again. I can’t.” 
    Then he was pushing past Tom, out of the bathroom, swiping angrily at his moisture filled eyes. 
   He leaned against the wall next to the doorway leading into the dorm, taking a minute to get himself back under control before heading in, knowing what he’d find. And sure enough, Evan was lying there in his bed on his side, facing Lucas’s bed, wide awake, his expression hurt and angry and confused. 
    Lucas looked away from him without a word, climbing into bed, facing away from Evan, but he still felt the young man’s eyes boring into his back until he finally fell into an uneasy sleep hours later. 
My Review
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

After losing the love of his life in a tragic accident, Lucas is convinced that he will never find love again, in fact, he's not even looking. Lonely and alone, he catches a glimpse of a handsome stranger, and takes a chance on a one night stand in hopes that he might be able to feel SOMETHING again.

Evan feels an instant attraction to the sad-eyed stranger he takes home one night. Convinced that their connection is deeper than a mere moment of shared passion, he's willing to wait as long as it takes to win Lucas' heart.

The depth of heartache that Lucas carries is deeply embedded in his soul. Just when he's about to give love a second chance, he learns that loving Evan could cost him more than he ever thought possible.

BURNIN' FOR YOU is a well written and powerfully emotional story that kept me engaged from the very first page. Jamie's characters are deeply flawed, but the personal challenges they face experience of this story force them to face their fears head on, and make choices that will impact their lives in unexpected ways. The full cast of supporting characters included in this story are exceptionally well developed and the accuracy of the action scenes makes them come alive! Well paced and entertaining from start to finish; the action, romance, drama and pure passion of this story secured Jamie Lynn Miller a permanent place on my list must-read authors!

Author Profile
Jamie Lynn Miller has been writing fiction since childhood and decided to take the plunge and go pro in 2008, finding to her amazement that people truly enjoyed her love stories. She’s a romantic at heart, and her tales reflect the desire we all have to find “the one,” persevering through trials and heartache for that happy ending.

Jamie has a degree in fine arts and has spent the last twenty years working as a graphic designer, though she’d much rather be writing. She was born in Chicago and still lives there today with her husband and their two furry, four-footed children, er… cats.

If she’s not brainstorming story ideas, you can find Jamie at a sci-fi convention, in front of a furnace doing glass blowing, or on a mat twisted into a yoga pose.
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  1. That's amazing that you got to do all of that yourself. The book looks great. Loved the excerpt.

    1. Doesn't Jamie look fierce with an ax in her hands? ;) As an emergency responder myself, I loved how accurate the medical scenarios were. She did a great job researching!

    2. Thanks so much for stopping by Jen, and for your interest in Burnin' for You! You're now entered in the contest. Good luck!

  2. He found him at Casey's.
    Holy Cow, what a great excerpt, I got tears in my eyes from it.

    1. Denise, there were parts like that throughout the whole story! :D

    2. Thanks so much for stopping by Denise, and for your interest in Burnin' for You! You're now entered in the contest. Good luck!

  3. He met him at Casey's. Thanks for sharing your experience at your local Fire Dept. I'd love to read your book. Thanks for the giveaway.

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by and for your interest in Burnin' for You! You're now entered in the contest. Good luck!

  4. Replies
    1. *waves* Hi Lee! You're counted. ;)

    2. Thanks so much for stopping by Lee, and for your interest in Burnin' for You! You're now entered in the contest. Good luck!

  5. The book sounds great, count me in please!

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by Sarina, and for your interest in Burnin' for You! You're now entered in the contest. Good luck!

  6. What a fantastic experience Jamie must have had spending those two weeks immersed in the fire house culture. From Carly's review, it sounds like the knowledge Jamie gained translated well into the background of her book as well.

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by Heather, and for your interest in Burnin' for You! You're now entered in the contest. Good luck!

  7. He picked him up at Casey's.
    Thanks for the chance.
    I'm really looking forward to reading this book.

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by Ashalka, and for your interest in Burnin' for You! You're now entered in the contest. Good luck!