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Apr 10

Guest Author Wednesdays ♥ Jacob Z. Flores

Hello everyone! I’m ecstatic to once again have Romance Author Jacob Z. Flores with me. Please say hi and leave him a comment or two below

Jacob Z. Flores lives a double life. During the day, he is a respected college English professor and mid-level administrator. At night and during his summer vacation, he loosens the tie and tosses aside the trendy sports coat to write man on man fiction, where the hard ass assessor of freshmen level composition turns his attention to the firm posteriors and other rigid appendages of the characters in his fictional world.

Summers in Provincetown, Massachusetts, provide Jacob with inspiration for his fiction. The abundance of barely clothed man flesh and daily debauchery stimulates his personal muse. When he isn’t stroking the keyboard, Jacob spends time with his husband, Bruce, their three children, and two dogs, who represent a bright blue blip in an otherwise predominantly red swath in south Texas.

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The Gifted One by Jacob Z. Flores

As his birthday approaches, Matthew Westlake fears more than just growing a year older. He fears never seeing another year at all. Each birthday brings a close call with death, leaving holes in his memory, recurring nightmares, and one more glimpse of his guardian angel. This birthday Matt must stand against ancient evils that have hounded him since birth, because he is a Gifted One—a seventh son of a seventh son.

Within Matt rests the unlocked potential of a force for good, but it also makes him a target. Being the Gifted One and dodging demonic attacks aren’t Matt’s only problems, though. He’s fallen in love with his protector, the Archangel Gabriel, and Heaven will condemn that love to save Matt’s soul. But Heaven doesn’t count on Gabriel loving Matt in return, defying divine law, and placing them in danger from demons and angels alike.

Dreamspinner Press 

  

I’d like to thank Tempeste for inviting me to appear on her blog. It’s always great fun to pop on over to someone else’s corner of the Internet and meet new people, but it’s also a tad nerve-racking.

I never really know what I’m going to say or if people will even be interested in the topic I choose to right on. The most nerve-racking part about a guest blog is wondering if people will even like me.

I’m sure you know how that is. You’re invited to a party where you won’t know anyone and hope to God that you don’t embarrass yourself or become that loser sitting in the corner playing on his or her phone. I’ve been both, unfortunately!

So, I thought I’d pick a topic that fit in with my latest release from Dreamspinner—fallen angels.

The Gifted One is a story about a man named Matt, who falls in love with his guardian angel Gabriel, who defies divine law by returning that love. 

When I came up with the premise of this book, I was intrigued because an angel, a divine being whose purity connects him to God, should be free of such earthly desires. In fact, giving in to sins of the flesh is a big no-no in Heaven.

I found such evidence in my research for this novel. I came upon an apocryphal text, rejected by Judaism and Christianity, called The Book of Enoch. Enoch, the great-grandfather of Noah talks about a group of angels called the Watchers. They were a special class of angel created by God to watch over his flock, and while carrying out their charge, the Watchers became entranced by the daughters of man. They yearned for them so much that they took them as brides and even sired a race of giants called the Nephilim that Goliath from David and Goliath came from.

These Nephilim were so wicked that they were the reason for the great biblical flood.

This discovery got my creative juices flowing. The Watchers were motivated by lust, and their children were sired through rape. Heaven’s condemnation of them proved fitting, but I couldn’t help but wonder: what would Heaven do if an angel didn’t fall in lust but fell in love with a mortal, and what if that mortal were a man?

This led me to research the topic of fallen angels. I needed to understand what had gotten angels in trouble in the past. From what I could discover, angels fall when they turn wicked or rebel from God. The Watchers did both as did Lucifer, who was once an archangel.

That got me thinking even further.

What happened if an angel didn’t turn wicked and didn’t rebel? What if he simply broke the rules because of love? Love is touted as the strongest force in creation and heralded by the Bible. Would the angel in love be considered a fallen angel?

I just had to write a novel that answered these questions, and that’s partly how The Gifted One came about. Gabriel isn’t a character, who sets out to defy God. In fact, he has every intention of following the rules his Father has set out for him. But Gabriel’s time with Matt changes him. He becomes something more than what he once was, and his soul, as well as his body, cry out for the man he has fallen in love with.

He knows his love breaks the rules, but when love is involved, do rules, whether heavenly or not, matter?

I hope you found this topic as interesting as I did. If you did, I’ve provided a book blurb and excerpt for your enjoyment.

Thank you again, Tempeste for hosting me on your blog. I’d also like to thank your readers for taking the time to read my post. J

         

 

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Since leaving Matt’s apartment and meandering through the heart of Houston, Gabriel found it difficult to center himself. The cool night air had always done the trick in the past. It usually revitalized his spirit as the wind currents drove his concerns away. But the oppressive heat stifled the wind, leaving his heart heavy and his soul in turmoil.

He was not accustomed to such spiritual turbulence.

He always prided himself on remaining in control. When his brothers lapsed into emotion that clouded their judgment, Gabriel found comfort within the cold logic of purpose and duty. It gave him strength and direction.

Everything changed in the few short moments alone with Matt. He now felt lost and confused. The emotions he struggled to suppress would no longer be contained, and they were feelings he could not have. Even so, his resolve to keep them contained disappeared once he held Matt in his arms.

Matt wanted Gabriel as more than merely a protector. He wanted Gabriel as a man.

His brother had warned him earlier that he was blurring lines not meant to be crossed. He denied the accusation then. Not because it wasn’t true but because he had refused to see the intensity of his feelings.

His years spent protecting Matt and watching him grow into the exceptional man he now was changed him. The beauty of Matt’s soul and the tenderness of his heart enraptured him. His jaded perspective saw what true potential resided in the world.

Where others before Matt met the horrors of their past by turning cruel and vindictive, Matt soared above the evil that haunted him. Instead of hurting those less fortunate, he healed them, tapping into the potential that still remained unlocked inside his soul. He saw only the good, even when presented with nothing but tragedy. His heart remained open and accessible, not indifferent and spiteful.

He truly represented the best of what this world had to offer, and though Gabriel couldn’t see it before when Michael had visited him, he saw it quite plainly now. Even more than that, he felt the warm glow burn deep within him.

Gabriel had fallen in love with Matt.

But was that possible? Would it even be allowed? Rules existed against such emotions, and for good reason. When the lines had previously been crossed, chaos erupted. Would his feelings for Matt spark such calamity as well?

It was difficult for Gabriel to believe any bad could result from the growing seed of love that took root within his soul. Even now, it spread outward, staking claim to every part of his being, so that all he could think about was Matt’s gentle touch and the soft lips that offered kisses like nectar.

In Matt’s arms, his singularity of purpose multiplied a thousandfold. His life was no longer his duty or his ultimate function. He became more than what he had been created for. He became the man Matt saw, and in his hazel eyes, he found a different purpose and a new strength.

For the past few decades, Matt had been his duty, his assignment. Matt had become so much more since then. Matt became his reason to live, which he knew would alter his actions and potentially jeopardize his mission.

He had always been willing to do what was necessary to protect Matt. It was his job, and he had done it countless times already. If it cost  him his immortal soul, so be it. But now, he was willing to move beyond his job. He was willing to do whatever Matt wanted, even if it required breaking ironclad rules.

And if he hadn’t gotten out of Matt’s apartment when he did, he would have gladly added his body to his heart, which Matt already possessed.

Also By Jacob Z. Flores

Justin Jimenez has loved his partner, Spencer Harrison, for ten years. He’ll do anything for him—including bury his feelings for a man he met while he and Spencer were separated last year. Justin never planned to fall in love, and he certainly never planned to tell Spencer about it—but when a phone call wakes them in the middle of the night to inform Justin that his former lover, Dutch Keller, has been in an accident, he doesn’t have a choice.

Justin’s revelation shatters the fragile relationship he and Spencer were trying to rebuild. The weight of his guilt—both for hurting Spencer and for leaving a heartbroken Dutch to find solace in a bottle—crushes him. But what Justin doesn’t know is that Spencer and Dutch guard an explosive secret of their own. All three men are tangled in a communal web of lies, and unless they find the events in their lives that ultimately led them to friendship, passion, and betrayal, they won’t see the love at the heart of the pain.

Dreamspinner Press

About the author

TempeO

Tempeste O’Riley grew up in the deep south and escaped her conservative, oppressive roots as soon as she could. Tempe is an out and proud omnisexual/bi-woman whose best friend growing up had the courage to do what she couldn’t – defy the hate and come out. He has been her hero ever since.

Though new to writing M/M, she has done many things in her life but writing has always drawn her back – no matter what else life has thrown her way. She counts her friends, family, and Muse as her greatest blessings in life.

9 comments

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  1. Maria D.

    Interesting blog post – I knew about the “watchers” – though I didn’t realize someone had actually given them a name. Thanks for the excerpt from The Gifted One, it was good:)

    1. Jacob Z. Flores

      Thanks for stopping by, Maria. I thought the Watchers was an interesting story. I had a lot of fun doing the research. 🙂

  2. Jacob Z. Flores

    Thanks for having me on your site, Tempeste. 🙂

  3. Nancy S

    You now have me hooked, gotta get some of your books. Knuckle bump for being that blue blip; I’m a mere blue speck in the deep dark red of OK. As a democrat and a woman I count for nothing here.

    1. Jacob Z. Flores

      I’m glad you liked it, Nancy, and I feel your pain!

  4. H.B.

    Thanks for the excerpt it sounds really interesting. I haven’t have a chance to try any of your books so I’ll be sure to do so.

    1. Jacob Z. Flores

      Thanks, H.B. I hope you enjoy them and thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  5. chickie434

    Nice getting to meet you Jacob!

    1. Jacob Z. Flores

      It’s nice to meet you too, Chickie! Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  1. Blog Tour Detour #1: Guest Author Wednesday at Tempeste O'Riley

    […] glimpse into the thoughts behind my writing process as well as another excerpt from the book. Click here to go to her […]

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