Friday, September 12, 2014

Butterflies Are Free by M. LeAnne Phoenix: Guest Post, Review and BONUS scene

Butterflies are Free
(Tied by Fate, Book 2)
by M. LeAnne Phoenix
Emrys Marlowe had only ever fallen in love once, and that was with Kiyoshi Gwynne. He’d been young and Kiyoshi had been a man in which he could care for… and he’d loved caring for him. 

Now, six years later, he finds himself nervous as for the first time, he’s meeting his best friend Lindsay’s brother Ísarr. Ísarr Trevelyan, bookshop owner and unpublished screenwriter, has been quite content in living with his sister above the shop while she attended college. When she befriended two actors one afternoon, he’d thought nothing of it, and since their busy schedules kept them away from L.A. for the most part, it wasn’t until today, six years after her meeting Emrys, that he finally got to meet the man. Neither man expected to feel anything for the other, but the light and the completion they feel lends wings that can surely weather any storm… can’t it?

By: M. LeAnne Phoenix

I remember the day that my dad told me and my brother Joshua that my mother was going to have a baby. It was 1984, and school had just gone back into session. I was beginning fourth grade and Joshua was beginning second. Daddy had picked us up from school and we were all crammed into the white Chevy truck that rumbled and rattled like it was falling apart, and for some reason, I remember that Joshua was mad at me. When Daddy broke the news, Joshua grumbled something and I remember saying, “You and Momma meant to make another baby? On purpose?” Daddy laughed and nodded, and I chewed it over, but being the eldest child, I remember not being particularly elated with the news. I always wanted an older brother, one I could lean on, one that would be my best friend. An older brother that never, ever let anyone get away with hurting his little sister.
Mind you, just to be clear, neither one of my little brothers has ever been copacetic with anyone hurting me. Still, there exists a very real difference between being the eldest child—and a girl—and being a girl having a big brother. Not that it’s the same thing, but the relationship I’ve always wanted is quite exemplified in Dean and Sam Winchester on Supernatural. I have always wanted a big brother like Dean. Always.
That being said, you’ll find that particular fantasy played out in several of my stories. The first of them to be published being Butterflies are Free, shows off the tightly knit Trevelyan siblings, Ísarr and Lindsay, who share the very same birthday, six years apart. With my youngest brother and me, I take after my mother (as Ísarr does with his mother) and my brother takes after my dad (as Lindsay does with her dad), but Lindsay gets the big brother that I never had. Their closeness despite their age gap is something that I love, and it was easy to write as it’s a relationship I’ve always wanted. Their massive love for one another was almost bittersweet to me, since it’s not the relationship I currently possess with my own brothers.
The Tied By Fate series features many siblings, ones you saw briefly in World’s End with Jinichi “JayJay” and Kiyoshi, and now here in Butterflies are Free with Ísarr and Lindsay, and also in Never See the Light, the free serial that begins before World’s End and ends after Butterflies are Free. In that one, you get to see two sets of siblings, almost three: Nowaki and his older brother Shohei, Xavier and his older sister Xanthe, and Tetsuo and his older “brother” Topher. Siblings are wonderful things, most of the time, and I cannot imagine my life without my brothers, so perhaps that is why I never see my characters without siblings of their own.
Find It Here
Los Angeles, California
Ísarr yawned and stretched as he rolled out of bed and dragged a shirt over his head. Running his hands through sleep-tousled sun-streaked chestnut locks, he tugged them back into the hair tie ever kept on his left wrist. Soon, a haphazard tousled bun sat loosely on the back of his head as he washed his face with warm water and soap, then took a straight razor to his chin and upper lip. Jogging down the stairs, he turned on the kettle and got out his favorite mug—We’re All Stories in the End—before heading over to the CD player and putting on The White Album. As “Dear Prudence” filled the bookstore and Ísarr sang along while making a proper cuppa and it was when he put two slices of bread in the toaster, that he noticed the date on the calendar. 
“Today’s the fifth.” His words were soft, and if anyone had been in the room, they’d have barely been audible over the music. “Fuck.” 
His heart sank as his mind centered on a time long ago and the toast, momentarily forgotten, popped, startling him back to the present. Spreading orange marmalade on the slices, he placed them on a purple plate and grabbed his mug of tea on the way out to the threadbare wingback that often housed his lean frame. As he set his breakfast down on the table, the phone rang and he jogged over to grab it off the charger, answering, “Y’ello!” 
He smiled a little forlornly. “Hey there, Liv. How does the day find you? It seems like forever since we've spoken.” Walking back over to plop down in his chair, Ísarr reached out for his tea as he continued, “I remember a time when you and I once couldn’t stand to go a day without three conversations, not including the hour long good mornings and good nights.” 
Olivia Wells—now Jones since August 1, when her divorce became final—had been his friend since Ísarr’s freshman year in high school. Back then, she’d been Livvie, but nowadays, she went by Liv or Olivia… and nowadays, she only called once a week if he was lucky. 
Everyone always leaves. Lesson I should've learned from The Doctor. 
Ísarr noticed then that Olivia hadn’t said anything in response to his greeting. “Liv?” 
“Ísarr, we need to talk and I’m not sure that I could hold it together for an in person thing, but I need to talk to you.” She took a rattling breath, and he heard a sound over the line he’d not heard in six years: the flick of a lighter and the slight suck of air that meant Olivia Jones was smoking. 
“Then talk to me. Tell me what you need to tell me, Liv, but end the torment exploding in my mind, sweet lady.” Ísarr sat up straight, toast forgotten a second time, and sipped his tea. 
“When I picked up Lochlan from school yesterday, he asked me why he had two mommies, but didn’t have a daddy. I told him he was special. He said that his teacher informed him that yes, he’d had a daddy, because two women alone could not a baby make. So he asked where he came from.” She sighed heavily, or exhaled smoke, he wasn’t sure which. “So I told him.” 
Ísarr paused for a long moment, waiting for her to continue, and when she didn’t, he laughed dryly. “All right, Liv, enlighten me, too, then. Where did you get Lochlan?” 
“I can’t believe you’re asking me this! Ís, you’re the only man I’ve ever slept with!” she cried. 
His eyes nearly popped out of his skull. “Darlin’, I hate to burst your bubble, but we never slept together. Ever. You were drunk quite a bit during our time at college, and I always got you to your dorm, but Livvie, we never slept together. Ever. I’m not that kind of guy, and I don’t drink so I never was drunk.” 
“Ísarr… I’m a lesbian—” 
“And I’m your friend, Liv. Nothing more. I’d never take advantage of you, and while you’re a beautiful soul, I’ve never been attracted to you in that way, because I know it’s a lost cause. Now, I love Lochlan to death, he’s a beautiful child, but he doesn’t look a thing like me, and with good reason: I’m not his dad.” He grimaced. “On a more personal note, I can’t have kids. A medical condition from childhood took away any chance of that.” 
“Ísarr, I know it was you. I remember—” 
“Olivia!” He got to his feet, his jaw tensing. “I have never lied to you, my friend, not once. I wouldn’t start now. I’m sorry that it’s not me that made him, because if I could’ve done it, I would have, but I can’t, so I didn’t. Now stop this conversation now. I’m done speak—” 
The line went dead in his ear and when he looked down at the screen, it had her contact information. Furrowing his brow, he sat down in the wingback again, staring at her name as the screen dimmed. “She hung up on me. I can’t believe she hung up on me.” 
A text message lit up the screen as the TARDIS sounded in the quiet between tracks from the Fab Four. One line of text from Olivia telling him the connection had been lost on purpose: He’s your son, Ísarr, and if I have to, I’ll take you to court over it. 
Setting his jaw, he tossed the phone onto the table and picked up his cold toast. “Try it, Livvie. All you will get is wasted money on a case that’ll get thrown out with a paternity test.” 
The TARDIS sounded again, but this time the text was from his sister, Lindsay, and it was in all caps, which meant she was excited: HE’S COMING TO L.A.!!! 
Munching quietly, he told the shop, “Well… I guess I might actually get to meet Mr. Marlowe!”
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Emrys spent years investigating the mysterious disappearance of Kiyoshi Gwynne, the man he once loved, and never expected to find love again. Floating through life, living high on his fame, and enjoying the company of good friends, he's let go of the past and found contentment.

Seeing his best friend, Lindsay, during his down time is a treat Emrys been looking forward to. He never anticipated that meeting her brother, Ísarr, for the first time, would strike him like a bolt of lightning and crash through the comfortable routine of what he considers his nearly unremarkable life.

Ísarr's soul longs to soar like a bird, but his wings have been long since clipped. Willingly grounded by the loving bond he shares with Lindsay, after the death of their parents, and the eclectic book shop he adores.  When a seductive masculine voice stirs his passion and makes his heart skip a beat, Ísarr knows he's hearing the sound of the man he is destined to love for the rest of his life.

Discovering that his future happiness depends on finding love with Emrys Marlowe, a man he believed to be straight, is an unexpected shock. Like a rock dropped in a silent pond, the ripples of their attraction gather momentum, as the after effects of their choices begin to crest over everyone and everything in their lives.

I started reading BUTTERFLIES ARE FREE and found myself curiously wondering where Phoenix was heading with the unusual introduction. Hang on to your hats readers... because her unexpected and flawlessly developed story line blew my MIND!! It's an enchantingly written fantasy that brings back well loved characters from World's End and introduces new characters I quickly fell in love with. The second addition to Tied By Fate exceeded my every expectation and I and am anxiously awaiting Phoenix's next installment. I loved that this story kept me on my toes the entire time. With intricately developed characters, emotional impact and, of course, a healthy dose of romance, I am completely addicted to this new series!
M. LeAnne Phoenix would tell you that the worst time of her life was the two years that she attempted to take off from writing. If you asked her to explain exactly why she did such a thing, you would most likely get the mad attempt to arch an eyebrow like her dad and then a shake of the head as she told you it was unlucky to speak of such things. Suffice it to say, it will never happen again!

Born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas in the mid-1970's, Ms. Phoenix was young and wild (and even free!) during the crazy wondrous decade known as the 1980's and the even crazier but now grungy decade of the 1990's. Music is second only to the muses that live and breathe to fill her mind with beautiful men, and music always helps them to tell their stories. She is never without her iPod or her computer no matter where she goes, although, she does like to hike and take pictures of the sky and the moon, and even the occasional shot of the sun through the branches of a tree.

An avid cat lover, Ms. Phoenix has been owned by many throughout her life, though her current owner is one Lily-Rose, who really would like for her to step away from the keyboard and pay her some attention! After all, hasn't she earned it?


  1. Thankee so much for having me, Carly!!! And thank you for such an awesome review!!! :D <3

    1. It was my pleasure! You're welcome here any time. =)