Behind the Inspiration for FIRE AND ICE by Andrew Grey

Title: Fire and Ice
Author: Andrew Grey
Series: Carlisle Cops (Book 2)
Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: May 25, 2015
Edition/Formats Available In: eBook & Print
Length: 200 pgs 
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Carter Schunk is a dedicated police officer with a difficult past and a big heart. When he’s called to a domestic disturbance, he finds a fatally injured woman, and a child, Alex, who is in desperate need of care. Child Services is called, and the last man on earth Carter wants to see walks through the door. Carter had a fling with Donald a year ago and found him as cold as ice since it ended.

Donald (Ice) Ickle has had a hard life he shares with no one, and he’s closed his heart to all. It’s partly to keep himself from getting hurt and partly the way he deals with a job he’s good at, because he does what needs to be done without getting emotionally involved. When he meets Carter again, he maintains his usual distance, but Carter gets under his skin, and against his better judgment, Donald lets Carter guilt him into taking Alex when there isn’t other foster care available. Carter even offers to help care for the boy.

Donald has a past he doesn’t want to discuss with anyone, least of all Carter, who has his own past he’d just as soon keep to himself. But it’s Alex’s secrets that could either pull them together or rip them apart—secrets the boy isn’t able to tell them and yet could be the key to happiness for all of them.

Inspiration behind the book…

This is a very difficult subject because I don’t want to give too much away. But there was a local news story about a child with severe learning difficulties who had been locked in an attic and ended up dying there. The parents were charged and so on. It was an ugly story, really ugly. And it moved me. Children are resilient, innocent, and loving to a fault. So the thought of a child being hurt in any way grips my heart in a way that I can’t really put into words.

So out of that story came Alex, the child who needs rescuing and Carter, his hero. But what I also got was Donald, the reluctant hero, who at first had to be shamed into helping, but very soon little Alex wraps him around his finger. What I’d like to think is that if that child in the news would have crossed paths with someone like Carter, the outcome of the real life story would have been different. As story tellers, that’s what we do, take things we hear or think about, and change something to see how it effects what happens. In this case, what I did was add a little love… and stirred.

“We gave him some water and a few cookies because we weren’t sure how much he’d eaten or had to drink recently. I didn’t see the marks on him until just now. There weren’t any on his back or belly, or at least I didn’t see any when the EMT looked him over. I figured you could decide if you wanted him taken to the hospital.”

“I should, and then I’ll call around and see if I can get him into foster care. Do you know anything other than the name Alex?”

“No.” Carter said.

Donald pulled a notebook out of his case and began jotting down notes. “I’ll get him to the hospital so he can be looked over thoroughly.” Donald pulled out his phone and made a call. “I have a few emergency shelters that should be able to take him for a few days.” Donald began making calls, but from what Carter heard Donald was striking out. “I have one more.” Donald made the call while Carter continued to try to soothe Alex, who was getting jittery and fussy.

“Do you want me to stay?” Chuck said, putting his head back in the room.

“No. I’ll take him in and make sure any injuries he has are documented,” Donald told Chuck in the same disinterested voice Carter imagined Donald would use if he were ordering Chinese food. He told himself that no matter what Carter thought of Donald “Icicle” Ickle, he had Alex’s best interests at heart, even if he didn’t show it. At least that was his reputation.

“All right.” Chuck nodded and turned to leave. Most of the other officers had gone as well. Red stood near the front door and closed it behind Chuck after he left.

“I’ll make sure the scene is secured,” Red told him. “You make sure the kid is okay.”

“I will,” Donald said and looked at Red, who ignored him and kept looking at Carter.

“Don’t worry,” Carter said and turned his attention to Donald, who had struck out once again and was making another call. It was dark outside and well after dinnertime. Carter’s stomach told him he should have eaten a while ago, but he ignored it. There was someone more important to think about right now.

Donald finished his call. “I can place him with the county for now.” He made more notes and then gathered his things. “I have a booster seat in my trunk. I’ll get it installed in
my car and take him to the hospital. From there, I’ll take him to the county home for the night. They have a bed for him.”

Carter seethed, but didn’t want Alex to know it. Donald approached and tried to take Alex from him. Alex snarled and lashed out with his teeth. “Alex, don’t do that. He’s trying to help you, even if he is being a pain about it.” Carter hardened his gaze, letting it bore into Icicle. “I’ll get him to the hospital, and we’ll meet you there.”

Alex didn’t settle down until Donald backed away. “All right. I’ll meet you there.”

Carter suppressed a smile at the slight amount of fear he saw in Donald’s eyes. Carter moved away, and they went outside. Donald strapped the booster seat in the back of Carter’s cruiser, and then once Alex was secured, Carter let Red know he was leaving and headed to the hospital.

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Andrew grew up in western Michigan with a father who loved to tell stories and a mother who loved to read them. Since then he has lived throughout the country and traveled throughout the world. He has a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and works in information systems for a large corporation.

Andrew’s hobbies include collecting antiques, gardening, and leaving his dirty dishes anywhere but in the sink (particularly when writing) He considers himself blessed with an accepting family, fantastic friends, and the world’s most supportive and loving partner. Andrew currently lives in beautiful, historic Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

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