Saturday, February 9, 2019

Lab Rat by Cheryl Headford

Good morning everyone! Today, I'm featuring my friend and fellow eXtasy Books author Cheryl Headford. Her newest book, "Lab Rat" was released yesterday by eXtasy Books, and it looks like it's going to be an amazing read.

Thanks for dropping by my blog Cheryl!


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Title of Book: Lab Rat
Date Published: 8th February 2019
ISBN:  978-1-4874-1975-2
Word Count:  94634
Page Count: 289

Tagline: You can run but sometimes the farther you go the closer you are to where you started.

Gabriel’s life ground to a halt some time ago, but he’s still running—from his past, his family, and now the new man in his life. A man who just won’t get the message that Gabriel isn’t interested in love anymore.

Laurie won’t give up on the beautiful man who is broken and intent on running away. Even though he doesn’t know what Gabriel is running from, he’s determined to be at his side no matter what.

When Gabriel’s past finally catches up, they both stop running and find themselves plunged into something Laurie could not have dreamed of, and Gabriel never stopped having nightmares about.

Reader Advisory: This book contains a scene of attempted suicide.

Life sucks. I mean really sucks. I’m a good person, so why do bad things keep happening to me? While I’m not the type to help old ladies across the road—I’d probably scare them into a heart attack—I don’t go out of my way to hurt people either. And yet…
My family has pretty much disowned me, and I don’t blame them. They can’t cope with me, never could. Hell, I can’t cope with myself. They kind of tried for a while, in their own way. The thing is—it wasn’t my way. It wasn’t a good way. It wasn’t the right way.
When I was thirteen, something bad happened to me—really bad. They never got over it. Neither did I, but that didn’t matter. I got into drugs and alcohol in a big way. I became dark, too dark. Then, when I was fifteen, it all got to be too much. I couldn’t hold it all in anymore—the memories, the pressure, the…problems it left me with.
They say I had a breakdown. I don’t know what that is, but I ended up in hospital. I don’t know how long I was there or what happened to me there. I only know that I felt safe. For the first time since it happened, I felt safe. I didn’t want to come out. I wasn’t ready to come out, but they pronounced me cured because I could string sentences together and go for days without screaming or hiding under the bed.
My parents knew, though. They knew I wasn’t cured, that I never would be. They tried for a while, but they couldn’t cope. Not with the screaming in the night. Or the staggering in at three in the morning, either high or pissed—to stop the screaming in the night. They couldn’t cope with the physical conditions, the mental problems, the attitude, the violence. They couldn’t cope with watching the child they loved change into a monster.
When I was sixteen, I moved out and went off the rails. Surprisingly, I still managed to go to school now and again, and I got decent results in my exams. This led to the headmaster persuading me to go back for my A levels, and even more surprisingly, given what I was doing to my body by that time, I got three A levels in one year. And thus ended my academic career.
There was talk about going on to university, but to be honest, I couldn’t be bothered. I still had the nightmares, and I was afraid to go out into the world. I felt vulnerable and exposed in unfamiliar places and situations. I guess I was—I am—a complete nut job.
At the moment, I’m living in a grotty room, in a grotty house, on a non-descript street, in a second-rate town, that is…nowhere. I have two housemates who are used to me and know when it is and isn’t safe to talk to me, and who ignore the screams.
Tonight, I’m going out. It’s Saturday night. I always go out on Saturday nights. I go to the same place, see the same people, and do the same things. You’d think I’d get bored, but it’s safe.
I give myself a last look in the mirror and am reasonably satisfied with what I see. I need a haircut, and I’m way too pale, but at least the shadows around my eyes are camouflaged by the kohl, and where I’m going the vampire look is par for the course. The black lips in the mirror smile at me, but there isn’t any humour in them or in the piercing blue eyes that stare coldly at me when I allow myself to catch their gaze.
Ah well. This is the best it’s going to get tonight. I close my eyes and take a deep breath. I don’t feel up to going out. I’m not myself at the moment, mentally or physically. It’s not as if I can even get pissed anymore. I learned the hard way that alcohol and my meds don’t mix, or do mix. Blegh.
But then, today hasn’t been a good day. If my head’s anything to go by, it’s not going to be a good night either, so what’s the point in being good? What’s the point in trying to look after myself? Fuck it.
I check my wallet to make sure I have enough for taxis and plenty of booze. Then I flick my hair over my shoulder and stalk out of the room.

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Author Bio
Cheryl was born and brought up in a very conservative working class Welsh mining valley. For generations, her family had been farmers and miners, and she was very much the black sheep. The first of her family to attend university, she broke the mould, becoming a lawyer, an artist, and, of course, a writer.
When, at thirteen, her daughter became very open about the fact she was gay—and having known for years that her brother was—Cheryl became far more aware of the problems facing young gay people generally. Over the years, speaking to her daughter, who is an enthusiastic campaigner for gay rights, and her friends, Cheryl realised that there was very little out there in the world of literature for young gay people. It seemed that what gay literature existed was highly erotic and sexual in content. She therefore set out to write m/m stories that were about romance and not sex, aimed at older teens and young adults.
Since that time, Cheryl has become totally addicted to writing gay romances, thrillers, adventures, fantasies, and all kinds of other genres, with little or no sex to get in the way of the story and the characters. She finds it extremely rewarding and has had a lot of positive feedback from young people who have read her works.
Cheryl continues to live in the Welsh valleys with her son and two cats. Her daughter has left her for the lure of her long-term girlfriend and the lights of the big city. She fills her days with the important things in life, such as writing and painting. She is a committed pagan, and unconventional mother, but, over and above it all, an obsessive writer.

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