Blog Tour: Highballer by Ava Hayden

Welcome Ava Hayden who's here today with an excerpt from her new World of Love novel Highballer.

Thanks to Boy Meets Boy for hosting me today with an excerpt from Highballer, #17 in Dreamspinner’s World of Love series. Remy and Levi are two Alberta guys who need to earn lots of money fast. Tree planting is one way to do it, but it’s hard work squared. How much blood, toil, tears, and sweat would you be willing to expend to secure your dreams?


“Crummies are here,” said one of the older planters standing near Remy. A convoy pulled into the lot, each vehicle rolling to a stop beside the one before it, leaving plenty of room in between. As the motors shut off, doors swung open, and Boreal staff strode to the back of the crummies. The waiting planters shouldered their bags.

Boreal Siviculture’s crummies were heavy pickup trucks with passenger boxes perched behind an extended cab. Dual rear tires on either side supported their weight. Behind the boxes were open cargo compartments. They could fit ten planters if three people crammed into the extended cab’s back bench seat.

Some companies, you’d be riding around in old school buses or worse, Will had said. Boreal does it right. That’s why they get such good crews year after year.

The planters lined up in front of their crew leaders. Remy recognized Maggie from Will’s description. She had brown hair that probably touched her shoulders when it was down, but at the moment it hung in pigtails that peeked from under the Boreal Siviculture tuque keeping her ears warm.

Remy hung back and let the other members of his crew go ahead of him. Levi was in his line. As Maggie checked off names, the planters swung their packs into the crummy’s open cargo space and climbed into the cab or the passenger box perched behind it.

Finally Remy was up. Maggie looked him over. “Hard hat?”

“In my pack.”

“Excellent, and I see your shovel.”

Remy had strapped it on the outside of his expedition pack.

“Great. Stow your gear and mount up.” Maggie jerked her head toward the crummy.

Remy maneuvered his pack into the cargo space and secured it. Then he climbed inside the crummy’s passenger box and took the last seat, beside Levi and next to the door. The other three planters in the compartment faced them, everyone so close they could hardly avoid their knees touching. The door had a large window that made the interior less claustrophobic. Since everyone else had fastened their seatbelts, Remy did too.

The crummy came to life, motor roaring, and then they were on the highway in the middle of the convoy, powering toward camp.

The blond man on the end looked like a Viking. Much of his hair was twisted into a dozen thin braids and pulled up with the rest into a ponytail. He had a gold beard and cobalt eyes. He grinned at Levi. “You’re tan for the first week in May.”

“I was planting in Australia.”

The Viking appeared impressed. “No shit.” He stuck out a hand. “I’m Donovan, but call me Van.”

“Levi.” They shook hands.

“Sarah,” said a freckled redhead with a wave. She appeared to be Remy’s age. Her hair was long, worn in a ponytail, and she had a bandana tied around her head. Will had told Remy to take a few along as well as duct tape. With bandanas and duct tape, you could do just about anything.

“Claude,” said the guy across from Remy. Claude looked like he ought to be in Vancouver lounging on Wreck Beach getting an all-over tan to go with his feathered haircut.

Van, Sarah, and Claude looked at Remy.

“Remy,” he said.

The three who’d been on Maggie’s crew before quizzed Levi about planting in Australia. Then they asked about his experience in Canada, and he told them about his three seasons working for other companies. Remy soaked up information.

“What about you, Remy?” Van lifted his brows in inquiry. “Who’d you plant for?”

“I… it’s my first time planting,” said Remy.

Everyone stared. Will had warned him he’d have to prove himself. Boreal’s an all-vet crew. The official policy is they don’t hire first-timers. So your crew’s gonna wonder who you know or who you blew or who you paid off. Just be you and do your job and it’ll be fine.

The silence drew out. Remy’s face had gone hot. Finally Van spoke again. “Well, welcome Levi and Remy. You ended up on a good crew. Maggie’s awesome. Everybody gets a fair share of cream.”


What happens when the man is as tempting as the money?

Remy Delacour’s family doesn’t believe in mainstream medicine, and when Remy’s boyfriend reveals that Remy is majoring in nursing, they cut him off. He has to find money to finish his education—fast. And he is so done with boyfriends.

Levi Aronson met the guy of his dreams and followed him to Australia. He knew the chances for a lasting romance were slim—and boy, was he right. Now he’s back in Canada, a year behind in his university program, and short of funds. He needs money, not another man.
Tree planting is a way to make a lot of money fast, but it’s one of the hardest jobs in the world. When Levi, an experienced planter, sees pretty, sloe-eyed Remy, Levi is certain he’ll never last.

They’ll have to pry Remy’s shovel from his cold, stiff fingers, because he won’t quit—or let anything take his eyes off the prize. When a storm brings Remy and Levi together, each finds the other a distraction from the big goal. But can anything develop between two men who have sworn off relationships?

World of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the globe.

Rakuten Kobo:
Google Books:

Author Bio

Ava Hayden lives and writes in Alberta, Canada. When not writing, she loves reading yaoi manga and gay romance, baking, seeing plays, hearing live music, and hiking (even though she once came face to face with two grizzlies on a trail). Most of the time her life isn’t that exciting, and that’s fine by her.

More about Ava

Ava Hayden Writes:
Ava Hayden on Instagram:
Ava Hayden on Pinterest:
Ava Hayden on Facebook:
Ava Hayden on Goodreads:

No comments:

Post a Comment