Giveaway + Blog Tour: Why the Devil Stalks Death (Death and the Devil #2) by L.J. Hayward

Welcome author L.J. Hayward who's here on her Release Day of Why the Devil Stalks Death with a deleted scene! Find out more about this romantic suspense series and be sure to enter the giveaway of any of the books from the Death and the Devil series or a $15 Amazon gift card, if you prefer! Good luck!

Hello and welcome to my blog tour! I’m L.J. Hayward and I write the Death and the Devil series about Jack Reardon, a spy, and Ethan Blade, an assassin, two damaged but well-equipped men trying to survive their jobs and each other. In Why the Devil Stalks Death the guys are faced with a serial killer of exceptional skill and finding the Judge before they kill again might just be the thing that breaks Jack and Ethan apart . . .

The Cutting Room Floor

It’s not often I have whole scenes I delete from stories. Usually, when I’m cutting words, I do it on a word to word basis or partial scenes. And the exclusive deleted scene I have for you today isn’t really a whole scene, either. It cuts off just before the reveal, because the reveal is still in the book, just in a different place, at a different time, with a different catalyst. So, no spoilers. As the scene opens, Jack and Ethan have just made up after an argument and they’re enjoying the post make-up sex quiet . . .

Ethan’s hand slid up Jack’s side but this time, rather than move up to rest on his chest, it lingered at his waist. Jack was about to open his eyes and check if Ethan had fallen asleep when the hand moved again. Not to continue the caress, but to curl up, a small mound of Jack’s flesh caught for a moment, then let go. After a moment, it repeated the action.
            “Hey,” Jack murmured softly. “That’s me you’re pinching.”
            “Mm, I know.” He did it again, holding on for longer this time. “It’s just that this didn’t used to be here.”
            Jack winced. “Yeah, okay. I’ve been doing a lot of sitting lately, all right? Haven’t got to the gym much. Or chased down bad guys.”
            He felt Ethan’s wicked little smile against his skin. “I’m certain we can work it off, one way or another. If you wanted it gone, that is. Personally, I don’t mind.”
            That made Jack open his eyes. He watched as Ethan gathered up his extra bit, held it, then let it go. Levering himself up on one elbow, Ethan leaned over and kissed the reddened skin.
            “You don’t mind that I’m getting fat?” Jack asked, just to be clear.
            Ethan meet his incredulous gaze. “You’re not fat, Jack. Far from it.” He ran his hand across Jack’s still defined and taut abdomen. “You’re perfect.”
            Determined not to be distracted by pale skin against brown, Jack focused on Ethan’s face. “I’m not. You are. Look at you. All muscle and skin and not one millimetre of extra flesh. Except where it counts,” he added, leering in the direction of Ethan’s crotch.
            Slapping Jack’s chest lightly, Ethan rolled onto his belly, hiding his clearly thickening dick. “I’m not perfect.”
            “I suppose, in the sense that no one person could ever encompass an ideal concept of perfection, if everyone could ever agree on said concept, of course.”
            Ethan smirked at him. “Yes, Mr. University Degree.”
            “Shut up. But look at you. You have the most incredible body.” It was Jack’s turn to pinch his little roll. “You definitely don’t have this.”
            “But I want that.”
            Jack looked at him sharply. He sounded completely sincere. “You do?”
            Ethan blushed and ducked his face into the pillow. His words were muffled but understandable. “I love that you have it. It means that you have a life. You have the luxury to eat whatever you want, whenever you want. To indulge. You can go out and drink with your friends. You’re not always on guard, or hiding, or constantly worried that someone better, faster or stronger will come up behind you. You don’t have to imprison yourself behind a dozen locks just to relax. I’m hard. Stripped to nothing but bone and muscle.” His tone became bitter. “I am a weapon, nothing more.”
            Normally, after such a pronouncement, Ethan wouldn’t want to be touched. He’d be wary and watchful, waiting to see how Jack responded. And he was this time, too. Face not lifting from the pillow, shoulders tense, hands curled into fists by his head. Clear signs to stay back.
            Jack ignored them and rolled over, covering half of Ethan’s body with his own. Wrapped an arm around his neck and gently pulled his head closer, until they were cheek to cheek. Ethan was stiff against him. Not fighting to get free but poised to do so.
            “You idiot.” Jack held on tighter when Ethan made to move away. “You’re not a weapon. You’re a man. An independent, resourceful, smart, fit, funny, beautiful, silly action book loving, speed freak and unrepentant car nut of a man.” He felt Ethan’s cheek press against his own as he smiled. “And hopefully, you’re my man.”
            That got Ethan to lift his face. He blinked at Jack, his white eyes flicking between Jack’s, looking for the honesty behind the words.
            “I am,” he whispered when he found it. “I want to be. I’m trying to be.”
            Jack rested his forehead against Ethan’s. “Me too.”
            They lay in silence again, gazing at each other until Ethan’s eyelids began to drift closed. When they slid shut and stayed shut, Jack studied him for a while longer, wondering who the bastard was who messed Ethan up so bad. Who made him think he was nothing more than a tool wielded to kill.
            “Do you really want to know?”
            Startled, Jack realised he’d spoken aloud. As he pulled back, Ethan opened his eyes and smiled sadly.
            “I’ll tell you, if you really want to know.”
            Surprise kept Jack mute. God. He’d often wondered about Ethan’s history, wanting desperately to know what had happened to turn him into the man Jack met in the desert. At the same time, he’d always feared knowing, unable to deny that it would change how he thought about Ethan. Perhaps how he felt about him. The Athens vision had angered him, but ultimately had only made him want to hold Ethan closer. Perhaps this wouldn’t be so bad.
            “Or maybe not everything,” Ethan said gently. “How about just one thing? One thing I know you’re curious about.”
            Shit. If Ethan told him about Athens, did Jack pretend to not already know? Or confess and assure him it didn’t change anything?
            Untangling himself, Ethan sat up and reached for his feet. Bewildered, Jack watched as he hooked his fingers in the tops of his socks and, after a micro hesitation, pulled them off.

Add it on 

I hope you enjoyed this little tidbit and remember to leave your email address in the comments for your chance to win!

Many thanks to Boy Meets Boy Reviews for having me today, on release day!!

Cheers, L.J.

Buy Links:

Barnes & Noble

About the Author

L.J. Hayward has been telling stories for most of her life. Granted, a good deal of them have been of the tall variety, but who’s counting? Parents and teachers notwithstanding, of course. These days, the vast majority of her story telling has been in an honest attempt to create fun and exciting ways of entertaining others (and making money).

As such, she is still a mad (always provoked!) scientist in a dungeon laboratory (it has no windows. Seriously, the zombie apocalypse could be going on outside and she’d have nary a clue) who, on the rare occasions she emerges into the light, does so under extreme protest and with the potential hazard of bursting into flames under the southeast Queensland sun.

Social Media

Twitter: @lj_hayward

One lucky commenter from the tour will receive their choice of the Death and the Devil series to date or a $15 Amazon gift voucher!


  1. OOoooh!! I loved the scene, even if it is deleted and now I'm running to grab the 1st book in the series and all the ficlets and then start this one ^^ Congrats on the release :)

  2. *His tone became bitter. “I am a weapon, nothing more.”*
    I love this scene! So revealing about both of them.
    Congratulations on release day!

    Marti (again!)

  3. Congrats. I love the scene.
    debby236 at gmail dot com

  4. Looking forward to reading this! Loved the first book.


  5. On my TBR!
    jlshannon74 at

  6. omg.....his sock covered feet???


  7. I love this series!! Thanks
    denajforavon (at) yahoo (dot)com

  8. LOVE this series!!!!!
    kathleenpower at comcast dot net

  9. I love this scene!!!

  10. Since I haven’t read the first book, I skipped the excerpt as not to spoil my fun in enjoying the series later. Congrats on the new book!! I’m adding the second installment to my ever-expanding-tbr, lol.
    puspitorinid AT yahoo DOT com

  11. I have had this Series on my Tbr List for some time, so if I win, it will def be book 1.

  12. Thank you for the excerpt! I does sound like a great series

  13. Congratulations for the release of this book

    amie_07 AT yahoo DOT com

  14. Nice tidbit. Congrats on the release
    Gamistress66 (at)aol(dot) com

  15. Congrats and thanks for the post. I love spy thrillers, so this one will hit the spot.

  16. I do love spy romances.- Purple Reader,
    TheWrote [at] aol [dot] com

  17. The closeness between these two is melting me!