Dingo Run by Jack Byrne – Blog tour #review, excerpt, and #giveaway

Book Title:   Dingo Run (Bushrangers Book 3)
Author:  Jack Byrne
Publisher:   Dreamspinner Press; 1 edition (October 22, 2014)
Book Length:  60 pages
Genre: Gay Romance, Western/Cowboy, Historical

Book Blurb:

New South Wales, Australia, 1876. As captured outlaws, Jim Kelly and Mark Turner face the gallows. Help comes from an unexpected quarter, but their hasty escape goes wrong and now Jim’s life hangs by a thread. Mark is driven by desperation to form an alliance with an infamous bushranger who may hold clues to his mysterious past. But as Jim and Mark’s relationship intensifies, it is also tested. Their secret is discovered, tempers fray, and jealousy flares.

Buy the book

Amazon UK | Dreamspinner Press | ARe

Review

The third book in the Bushrangers series is exactly what it promises, hot and thrilling. Jail breaking and running away from authorities will do that to a reader, keep you turning the pages, trying to find out what’s going to happen next. Jim and Mark try very hard to keep their relationship a secret, but to those who are paying attention, it’s not really that hard to understand what the two of them share.

I have grown up with movies and books where a lot of horse riding happened, and this is the most thrilling chase there is, at least in my opinion. The added mystery about Mark’s heritage on top of the wild run to get away from authorities, to patch up gunshot wounds and fight all the other danger surrounding them, makes this read hard to put down once you’ve started it.

I’d recommend starting at the beginning, not in the middle of the series like I did. Although I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the book, some details I had to piece up on the go. I am however planning on going back, because I so want to see where Jim and Mark’s story began.

DR Cover 450x675

Giveaway

Comment on this blog post and win eCopies of Walkabout  by Jack Byrne! There are two ebooks up for grabs so hurry up and comment below!

Excerpt

New South Wales, 1876

Mark Turner sat shivering in the rough ironbark jail, in a tiny town about twenty miles west of the Snowy  Mountain foothills. It was about two o’clock in the morning. He had no gun, and in his arms he held a blond man, who was, against all odds, sleeping. How Jim Kelly could sleep when they were facing the gallows in the morning, Mark did not know. He was relieved, though, that Jim would spend a few of his last hours in peaceful

Mark looked down at the rough blond hair and dusty face of the young man he’d rescued from certain death a year ago. Jim’s usually mesmerizing blue eyes were closed, and Mark could only see the edge of his handsome face. He reached down and stroked Jim’s face, pressing his fingers lightly into Jim’s skin. Instantly he felt a wash of daydreams rise up about him, like a shifting cloud of images invading his mind. Strange how he could never recall dreaming until the first time he lay wrapped in Jim’s arms. That night in the tent by the billabong on Jim’s selection, Mark had awoken from a terrifying memory of horses and cattle and laughing children being swept away screaming into a pit filled with snakes. It had shaken him to his core, until he’d realized it was not an actual memory, but a dream. Mark hated it. The feeling of loss of control and reason, of being swept away, terrified his rational mind and left him sweating and afraid. It had taken him many months to get used to the fact that when he slept in Jim’s arms, the dreams would come. Perhaps something related to the way he felt about Jim freed his mind to wander. Mark decided dreaming was a fair trade-off for lying in Jim’s arms every night and having ownership of Jim’s body, and he said nothing to his lover.

DR Teaser 1

But now he found it reassuring to touch Jim and remember those dreams that he’d at first found disturbing. He even found it strangely comforting that they would go to their deaths together tomorrow. Mark hated himself as the thought crossed his mind that he did not want Jim to live on without him. He told himself he did not want Jim to face such grief alone, but a dark corner of his mind knew he could not bear to give up Jim’s soul to another, even in death. Equally, the thought of living on without Jim was not worth contemplating.

Mark allowed the feeling of possessiveness to wash over him like a hot, seductive tide as he stroked Jim’s face with gentle fingers. He shuddered slightly, and Jim stirred and murmured, “Mark?” in his sleep. He leaned down and kissed Jim lightly on the hair, and Jim took a deep breath in and pushed slightly closer against him. In a few seconds, Jim’s breathing evened out into the rhythm of sleep. Mark decided he would wake Jim two hours before dawn to spend their last hours of darkness making love. So what if they got caught? They were going to be hanged at dawn anyway.

He continued to stroke Jim’s hair absently, and his mind drifted to Tart Min Yong’s killer. He should have dragged the man out of the pub and killed him gradually and painfully. Min Yong had died in agony, and Mark should have taken revenge for his father’s friend just as slowly, not killed him quickly in the heat of anger. As it was, in a heartbeat of blind rage, he had stove in the man’s skull with his fist. Mark felt little satisfaction in that memory, for the sensation had only lasted a fraction of a second. He felt robbed, as though he had not taken a full and rightful vengeance for Min Yong.

Mark remembered the kindness of the Oriental man, how he had taken in Mark as a starving, frightened child and brought him with his family to this warm, open land that Mark loved. How he had fought to protect Mark and enlisted the help of his new friend and neighbor Marshall Turner when it became obvious Mark’s differences were becoming too apparent to hide him even among the Orientals. He ran a hand over the thin scar along the top of his right ear and shivered again.

Mark surveyed his hands, pondering yet another difference. Jim was right, he should have damaged his fist when he killed Min Yong’s killer. The scene played in Mark’s mind from a few hours ago—Jim’s puzzled expression as he turned over Mark’s hand and said, “You don’t break a man’s skull without breaking your fist.”

Mark’s fist should be green with bruises by now, but it was not even painful. He sighed and remembered the whispers of the other children as he was growing up. They had been afraid of his strength, but whispered behind their hands, and his preternatural hearing caught every word: “Devil.” “Demon.” “Freak.”

He remembered the look on Marshall Turner’s face that day at the forge when the blacksmith had said, “If this anvil was a foot closer….” And then Mark had picked it up and moved it closer for him. He was ten, and he couldn’t understand why the smith had made the sign of the cross and why Marshall had grabbed his hand and cried, “Are you burnt?” And then the smith had backed away as they left, and Mark heard the great burly man grunting and cursing as he tried to move the anvil back to where it had been.

“Penny for your thoughts?” Jim asked softly.

Mark looked down into Jim’s familiar eyes. “I was remembering my childhood.”

“You had one? I thought you were born shooting snakes and riding horses.”

“No,” whispered Mark, “I was born the first night we made love.”

He felt Jim sag in his arms and whisper, “Christ! Don’t do that.”

Mark smiled. “We should make love now.”

“We should figure out a way to escape and find the horses.”

“That sounds like a better idea to me!” said a third voice quietly.

Mark stared at Jim. “What?”

About the author

Jack Byrne is an Australian who lives and works in the Australian outback training horses, doing farm work, and trying to stay out of trouble. He writes from experience (sometimes unfortunate experience!) and has been shot at (“a case of mistaken identity”) and bitten by a snake before. He writes on a laptop with a satellite connection and likes to ride or drive out to locations he is writing about to get a real feel for the surroundings.

He is happy to hear from readers.  He can’t promise an instant reply as he goes out working sometimes for a week or so, but he will get back to readers as soon as he can.

Author Contact Links:

Email: Jackaroo_Byrne@hotmail.com
Website: http://fugitive1701.yolasite.com/
Twitter:  @JackByrneAuthor https://twitter.com/JackByrneAuthor
GoodReads Blog:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2040451.Jack_Byrne/blog
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100007062756906&fref=ts

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Writer, traveler, coffee and book addict, and also founder of EyesOnBooks. I've loved books all my life and now they are a huge part of my work. I have been blogging for about twelve years and have worked as a PR and marketing consultant in the IT&C field before shifting all my focus to books and authors.


3 Responses to “Dingo Run by Jack Byrne – Blog tour #review, excerpt, and #giveaway”

  1. Lee Todd says:

    congrats on release day!

  2. H.B. says:

    Congrats on the release of you new book! It sounds awesome =)

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