Monday, December 22, 2014

Healing by Grace R. Duncan: Guest Post, #Review & #Giveaway @GraceRDuncan

Cover Artist: Paul Richmond
Pandemus Chronicles (Book, 2)
by Grace R. Duncan

Genres: M/M, Romance, Science Fiction
In a world that's gone to hell, will you let old fears keep you from the chance at more than just survival?

When Duncan stumbles into a pharmacy in search of something to fix his broken leg, he’s surprised to find someone else there. Like the rest of the post-pandemic world, it appeared empty. Instead, he discovers Mark, a former nurse who walked away from his profession after losing too many patients to the virus. Despite swearing he’d never practice medicine again, Mark patches Duncan up over Duncan's protests. He even finds an abandoned house in the tiny town, and they settle in until Duncan heals enough to look out for himself. Much to the chagrin of both, they find themselves caring for each other.

Duncan welcomes it, thrilled at finding someone he can trust. However, he’s well aware of the shadows in Mark’s eyes and understands Mark’s reticence as he learns the story. But as he’s starting to do things for himself again, Duncan realizes he doesn’t want Mark to leave. He’s not sure if can get Mark to let go of his fears so they can stay together and love. But Duncan’s damned sure going to try.

It's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine

Top ten things to do to survive the end of the world:

1. Collect everything. Bottled water… Dried and canned food… Medicine! And batteries, of course. (Wouldn’t want to forget those. Got to be able to run those vibrators, right?)

2. Learn to shoot a gun. You won’t be the only crazy running around with one. Be one of the first to learn, so you are at least slightly less crazy than the rest.

3. Discover the freeing feeling of going commando. After all, those jockeys you’ve got on now aren’t going to last forever. Eventually, the local Walmart’s going to run out of your size. Are you willing to wear your neighbor’s old ones? 

4. Figure out all the possible alternatives to toilet paper. Like the eventual disappearance of new underwear, toilet paper as we know it is going to run out, too. And since Sears doesn’t do their catalogs anymore, you’ll have to get creative. Really creative.

5. And to that end… Find out what’s poison and what isn’t in the woods. You really don’t want to have to find out after you’ve used those leaves as toilet paper. Nothing worse than an itchy ass. No, I’m not going to tell you how I know that…

6. Horde the coffee. No more new shipments from Africa or South America (or anywhere else for that matter) are going to be coming. I don’t know about you, but going without caffeine for the rest of my life makes me reconsider step two above (learning to shoot). Then again, if you’re not a coffee drinker, collecting and hording said grounds might just mean you can avoid that. There’s likely to be one or two crazies that way because of a lack of caffeine. You might find you can weasel out of a situation simply by offering up a fresh cup of java to someone.

7. Remind yourself how to turn the pages of a physical book. (Hey, my e-reader is my baby, too!) Not going to be able to recharge those Kindle’s anytime soon. At the very least, you’ll need to be able to do this so you can learn how to install the solar power panels on the rooftop so you can… recharge your Kindle.

8. Before the internet disappears completely… Download ALL THE BOOKS! I think this is the one situation even my fellow authors would agree is appropriate to forget about piracy. It’s not like we’re going to get royalties, at this point. But I know I, for one, would love to know there’s someone out there still getting off with… err, still reading about my pleasure slaves.

9. Make friends with a horse. Your feet are going to get tired. Forget cars, even if the roads are clear, gas isn’t going to last. So, go for a horse! Besides, when it’s late at night, you’ll have a friend. (For warmth, you pervs! Ewwww, even I don’t do animals and I have very few limits.)

10. Last but not least, don’t forget to transfer the porn to a device that runs on batteries (See step one). Those vibrators need a little help, right?

Thanks to Carly for having me today! One commenter will win an e-book copy of any of my previously published titles.
It’s the End of the World is © 1987 by R.E.M. for I.R.S. Records.

He should have known better. Under normal circumstances, it was a stupid move, but right here, right now, “stupid” didn’t begin to cover it.

Duncan glared at his leg for another moment, then leaned his head back against the wall. He needed to keep moving. It hurt like hell, but he had to keep going. It wasn’t going to get better on its own. The gash needed to be cleaned and bandaged, and even if the break wasn’t bad, it should at least be braced. And it wasn’t like he could call an ambulance. Or even go into an emergency room.

Well, he supposed he could go into an emergency room, if he was in the city. But like a lot of other people, he avoided the cities whenever possible. And when it wasn’t, he stayed as far on the edge as he could. But even there, it was a dangerous risk. As corrupt as the cities were now, the price of anything was higher than most could pay. He’d heard rumors that, in some of the worst cities, people simply got shot if they couldn’t pay what the thugs in power wanted. It was all rumor, but rumor he wasn’t about to ignore.

So he did his damnedest to stay away.

He’d been stupid to jump off the ledge. Even at only a couple of feet higher than he was tall, the risk hadn’t been worth it. He’d have thought, after nearly three years, he’d learned how to be more careful and not take those kinds of risks. It wasn’t the first time he’d fallen and hurt himself—though, thankfully, the last one hadn’t involved a broken bone. Maybe it should have; he might have learned his lesson then.

“Really fucking stupid, Dun.”

Duncan steeled himself and pulled to his feet, grimacing when the sharp pain shot up his ankle and through his leg. “Fuck,” he muttered, breathing hard through his nose. When he finally focused past the pain, he looked up and noted the position of the sun, the only real indication he had for the time, and figured he had another good hour or two of light. If he was right about where he was, he wouldn’t need all of it. He tucked the stick he’d found under his arm, grimaced when it dug into the soft flesh, but then leaned on it and hobbled along again.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I download a sample of HEALING before deciding to review it because I'm not an overall fan of apocalyptic stories; they tend to be a bit... depressing. In this case, all it took was for me to read the opening scene and I was hooked. Duncan and Mark drew me into their story, and I simply had to follow the path they were taking.

Trust does not come naturally in post-pandemic America, especially for two men who learned the hard way that only the cautious survive. Despite their initial hesitation, something draws Mark and Duncan together. Be it compassion, loneliness, desperation, or that intangible feeling one sometimes gets when fate whispers in your ear; seemingly against their better judgement, they begin to grow comfortable in each other's company. Unfortunately, memories can be a terrible thing; especially when the ghosts of the past threaten to overcome their chance at a future.

HEALING'S plot is well developed, and I didn't feel that I was missing a piece of the puzzle by starting with book 2 in the series. The characters are understandably damaged yet retain their humanity, which makes them endearingly earnest and easy to empathize with. HEALING delivers a powerful emotional combination of sweetness and strength.
Grace Duncan grew up with a wild imagination. She told stories from an early age - many of which got her into trouble. Eventually, she learned to channel that imagination into less troublesome areas, including fanfiction, which is what has led her to writing male/male erotica.

A gypsy in her own right, Grace has lived all over the United States. She has currently set up camp in East Texas with her husband and children - both the human and furry kind.

As one of those rare creatures who loves research, Grace can get lost for hours on the internet, reading up on any number of strange and different topics. She can also be found writing fanfiction, reading fantasy, crime, suspense, romance and other erotica or even dabbling in art.


  1. Thank you so much, Carly, for the opporunity to stop by and for the lovely review! I really appreciate it! <3

    1. I was my pleasure. You're welcome in my little corner of the internet any time!

  2. I like the top-1o-list, pretty funny. Thanks for the giveaway, too!

  3. Thanks for the fun post and giveaway!

  4. What about some further tips in the event of the apocalypse: 1) DO NOT go to Walmart, as everyone will be doing that and it will be ten times worse than Black Friday sales! 2) Always have an escape route planned for wherever you go 3) Don't worry about being a hero if you are in danger run! 4) Learn how to create alternate power, as your rechargeable batteries will eventual expire and you will need energy to run your vibrator :)

    Thank you for a chance to win one of Grace Duncan's books. Seasonal Greetings to you all

  5. Thanks for the fun post and giveaway!