FIRE AND WATER by Andrew Grey, Guest Post and Excerpt

Title: Fire and Water 
Author: Andrew Grey
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: M/M, Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense, Romance
Cover Artist: L.C. Chase
Release Date: December 15th, 2014
Length: 200 pages / Novel
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Purchase: Dreamspinner | ARe | Amazon

Officer Red Markham knows about the ugly side of life after a car accident left him scarred and his parents dead. His job policing the streets of Carlisle, PA, only adds to the ugliness, and lately, drug overdoses have been on the rise. One afternoon, Red is dispatched to the local Y for a drowning accident involving a child. Arriving on site, he finds the boy rescued by lifeguard Terry Baumgartner. Of course, Red isn’t surprised when gorgeous Terry won’t give him and his ugly mug the time of day.

Overhearing one of the officer’s comment about him being shallow opens Terry’s eyes. Maybe he isn’t as kindhearted as he always thought. His friend Julie suggests he help those less fortunate by delivering food to the elderly. On his route he meets outspoken Margie, a woman who says what’s on her mind. Turns out, she’s Officer Red’s aunt.

Red and Terry’s worlds collide as Red tries to track the source of the drugs and protect Terry from an ex-boyfriend who won’t take no for an answer. Together they might discover a chance for more than they expected—if they can see beyond what’s on the surface.

If you want to stalk Andrew Grey, a little extra, there’s a fan group on Facebook called All The Way With Andrew Grey you can check out.


Why did you pick drugs and extreme disfigurement? I love the themes, and everyone deserves love… those that don’t look like models Especially.

I agree that everyone deserves love and sometimes it’s harder for someone who isn’t pretty or handsome to find love. It takes looking deeper and that was where I wanted to go with this story. When I started Fire and Water the idea was to do a Beauty and the Beast sort of idea. But the story quickly change for me. Instead it morphed into a story about people whose outsides don’t initially mirror their insides. Red was in an accident so his face is scarred. He’s also a huge guy and initially he was going to be my beast. But Red developed this heart of gold that worked at me. He didn’t hide who he was or how he looked, but it still hurt him and so in a lot of ways he retreated from the world, especially the hope of a relationship.

Terry on the other hand is beautiful, a swimmer, but he’s at the start of the story he’s very much wrapped up in how things look on the outside. In other words, he’s somewhat shallow and he’s been in an unhealthy relationship that he’s managed to extricate himself from. Initially what Terry realizes is that it’s his shallowness and taking the easy road that has gotten him into the mess his life has become. When he decides to try to change that, he’s put on a path that leads across Red’s. Both men have something they need to learn and they get that from each other once they open themselves up. When they do they find they have more in common than either of them thought.

As for the drugs and drug dealer, I pulled that from a local news story that happened a while ago. I embellished it somewhat and altered it to fit what I needed. But the story stuck with me about someone distributing illicit drugs that were killing users. Red has such a big heart and not just for Terry and the people he loves, but he cares about his community and is concerned that people on the fringes, those caught in the trap that is drug use, are dying needlessly.

Basically this is a story about looking deeper, under the surface, in order to find love.

A roar of laughter came up from the large table behind them, and Terry turned to see what was happening. It was just a bunch of guys. He recognized one of them as one of the paramedics from that afternoon. He watched them for a few minutes and then turned back to Julie.

“Hey, Red,” he heard one of the men call. For some reason Terry turned to see who it was and then quickly looked away. It was the huge police officer who’d been at the pool. Terry turned back to the bar.

“It’s that policeman from the pool,” Julie said from next to him. “The one with the scar.”

“Yeah, I saw him.” Terry took another gulp from his glass. He’d noticed the guy as soon as he’d entered the pool area. Who wouldn’t? The guy was huge. When Terry had first seen him, his mouth had begun to water. He was just his type: tall, broad, built, filling out that unif
orm in all the right places. A dreamboat… that is, until he’d gotten a look at the poor guy’s face. To say he was ugly wasn’t right either… more like unfortunate. As his dad had said as a joke once, “He had a face only a mother could love.”

“I wonder what happened to him,” Julie said and looked at Terry when he huffed a little. “He seemed like a good enough guy. That woman was all over you, but he listened and got down to the truth. There were no accusations, and he was nice enough, for a cop with a job to do.” Her eyes widened. “Something did happen to him. He wasn’t born with that scar, and maybe he was poor and didn’t have the money for braces and the things we did.”

Terry turned back around. “I guess so.” He swallowed really hard and continued watching the man, trying not to look like he was watching him. Once, when he looked up, Terry caught his gaze. He knew instantly that the man recognized him, and Terry turned back around.

“You guess so?” Julie said and then chuckled.

“I just agreed with you,” he told her, and their conversation stopped when the news came on one of the channels again, and Julie’s attention was diverted.

There were mirrors behind the bar, mostly ones advertising various kinds of beer. He could see the police officer in one of them. The guys he was with were loud, laughing a lot, and a few times Terry caught a glimpse of a smile from the officer. It made Terry want to smile too. He turned back around and scanned the room.


ANDREW GREY 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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  1. This is an excellent book with great insights. The key is that Terry actually took overheard words & thought about them! Most peeps don’t! Also he was self knowledgeable & aware he might have a problem! Again, most peeps don’t do self examinations & are truthful about them if they do! Andrew’s best character was the internal Red! He got every nuance & thought correct & did it continously. The hurtful glances of others didn’t subside just because he found Terry! It is a daily part of a “scarred” person’s life. It is a really good read!

  2. I love a good “beauty and the beast” variation, especially when the beast is the least expected of the two. Can’t wait to pick this one up!

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