What Are AmberPax™ Collections?

Simply put, AmberPax™ Collections are groups of five stories centered around a specific theme. Each story within an AmberPax™ is released individually, on the same day as the others, and can be purchased separately, but these five stories can also be purchased as a single unit (the full AmberPax™) at a discount, currently 25%. Generally, an AmberPax™ is similar to an "anthology" of stories, but instead of the titles being released in only a single volume (file), they are also available individually. These AmberPax™ Collections are sold exclusively through our website and only in electronic format.

THIS BLOG is for news about the Pax Collections - follow it to keep up with releases, find early news of the upcoming collections, and share Pax fun and chat with the authors!

All Amber Paxes can be bought at Amber Quill HERE.

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

I Love You, Goodbye by A.J. Llewellyn

When I accepted the challenge to write a police procedural story for the Amber PAX™ collection of stories, I tried writing one but it just wouldn’t fly. I couldn’t understand it because I love cops, and adore writing about them, but a visit to Austin, TX staying with my best friend convinced me I had to make I Love You, Goodbye, a new Dean Honeybone book. Once I made the decision to bring my favorite US Marshal out of retirement, the story fell into place.

Borrowing heavily from my niece, I gave Kaia, Dean and Jean-Luc’s little girl a new story arc, and man, is this kid finding growing up tough! 

Once again borrowing from real life, I based the gruesome crime Dean pursues on a real incident that happened last year. The story haunted me and I loved giving it life, but hated writing the murder scene. I was, however, intrigued to spend time talking with Austin detectives and learning about how they work.

I had a lot of questions and they were so helpful. Things happen faster there. Having spent so much time talking to Californian and Hawaiian cops, I was struck once again by the differences each city and state faces. Laws are different. DNA and coronial inquiries happen at different paces. 

Most people wouldn’t know, for example, that Los Angeles doesn’t automatically perform autopsies on their dead because of a huge backlog. 

Austin has its own problems. With so many new communities cropping up in The World Capital of Music, which has become a destination hub for young families, I chose to focus on the very real issues that are taking place there right now. During the ten days I spent in Austin, my friend’s family dealt with the terrible storms that shook the city. The frantic dog swimming down the street that I depicted in the opening scene, was real.

It worried us all until we learned his owner saved him.

And so, I Love You, Goodbye (the title comes from the Celine Dion song) was born. I love Austin and little things about it tickle me. I love South Congress and it’s bridge full of bats each evening, but I’d hate not having mail delivered to my door. Neither does Dean Honeybone! A communal mail box center in every neighborhood will soon become reality for all of us, but in the meantime, it’s still a novelty.

Murder is always intriguing, even if it’s not new. I’ve learned over the years that most homicides happen over money. Life is cheap sometimes, but for Honeybone, life means everything.

I Love You, Goodbye is now available at Amber Quill Press. Purchase Link:


(Book 5 of the Honeybone series)

(Note: Although this story is part of the Honeybone series, it can be read as a stand-alone story.)

Retired U.S. Marshal Dean Honeybone, his life-partner Jean-Luc, and their daughter Kaia have started a new life in Austin, TX. Jean-Luc has taken over a restaurant and has hired their neighbor, Manda-Jane Witten, as part of his kitchen staff.

Dean, Jean-Luc, Kaia, and even their dog Michael have come to adore Manda-Jane and her husband, Parker. During violent storms that shake Texas, Dean learns that Manda-Jane is deathly afraid of water, and when the couple’s home is flooded, Manda-Jane and Parker come to stay chez Honeybone, which serves to deepen the bond between the two families.

But when a mysterious cousin of Parker’s named Ronnie arrives to help the Wittens repair their home, Dean becomes suspicious of him, convinced the guy has done serious prison time. Though Ronnie soon returns to his home in Birmingham, strange things start happening over at the Witten home.

And then the couple disappears.

Dean becomes worried for their safety and teams up with an active U.S. Marshal to track them down. Kaia, however, seems to think he’s too late. She keeps saying they’re gone and that Dean has to listen to the song “I Love You, Goodbye” to understand the reason why...

Genres: Gay / Contemporary / Mystery / Detective / Suspense / Thriller / Action / Adventure / Series 
Heat Level: 3 
Length: Novella (27k words)


...Everyone held their breaths as Jean-Luc unlocked the door and switched on lights. The restaurant really was a lovely, romantic space.

“Are we opening tomorrow night, boss?” Manda-Jane asked Jean-Luc.

Jean-Luc nodded, drinking it all in. “Oh, yes.”

She looked ecstatic. “Can I go to the food markets with you in the morning?” she implored, as he locked the door behind us.

“But it’s so early. I go at five,” he said, frowning.

“Please take her. She’s desperate to shop with you. Buying furniture put her in a mood,” Parker said.
Jean-Luc laughed. “I’ll pick you up at five sharp.”

We took some chairs off a table for six, and after Jean-Luc threw a crisp white cloth on it, we found some napkins and spoons and began attacking our desserts. Everyone except poor Michael who kept circling us, hoping something would drop to the floor.

“I’ve missed coming in every day,” Jean-Luc said, leaning back in his chair. A couple of hopeful people hammered on the door.

“We’re closed,” I yelled. They shrugged in a dejected way and left.

“Suckers,” Parker kidded, and once again we laughed.

When we cleaned up, closed everything again, then dropped the Wittens off half an hour later, Kaia began to cry.

“We’ll see you tomorrow,” Manda-Jane told her, “I promise.”

Kaia cried harder. “I’ll miss you, Miss Manda-Jane. I’ll miss you a lot.”

“We’re not going anywhere. We’re right across the road.” Manda-Jane hugged and kissed her. Our heart-broken little girl was inconsolable. I had no idea what was going on with her. She clung to Parker.

“Don’t go,” she begged.

He patted her back and kissed her head. “We’ll see you tomorrow, love bug.”

When we got home, she kept staring at their house from inside our windows. Tears rolled down her cheeks and she had hiccups.

“Why, Daddy, why?” she asked me, her sorrowful face alarming me.

“Why, what, darling?” I asked, but whatever it was, she couldn’t articulate it. I held her but couldn’t seem to bring her comfort. Jean-Luc ran her a bath with her favorite pineapple and black currant bubble bath. She stared into the suds and mourned until I read her a story about her favorite ballerina. Only it was my version of the story and the ballerina farted. A lot.

Kaia squealed, laughing and happy again, and I was relieved. Oh, hell was I relieved. I wished I could have asked her what troubled her, but she’d been weepy since we’d moved here. Kaia had seen more death and despair than any little girl had a right to. All I could do was love her, hug her and make her laugh. I could make her happy, and I could make ballerinas fart.

It’s what daddies do...


I Love You, Goodbye by A.J. Llewellyn is now available at Amber Allure.

If you'd like the chance to win the entire pax collection, just leave a comment on today's post, making sure to include your email so we have a way to contact you. On Saturday, a winner will be picked at random from all the comments made this week on the blog. Comment on all, and that's multiple chances to win!

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