Love’s Tethered Heart by C.L. Etta

Hi everyone. Happy New Year! First of all, a big and heartfelt thank you to Anders for hosting me on this very exciting release day. What better way to begin the new year?

What better way to begin the new year? Love’s Tethered Heart is my third novel and my first for Dreamspinner Press. I’m relatively new to this awesome world of story-telling and book publishing, and I can’t tell you how honored I am to become part of the talented Dreamspinner family.

Miguel (Mico) Pacheco, tethered to his bed by life sustaining machines and Danny DeMarco a journalist and pastor’s son hold a special place in my heart. Alongside Adrian, Mico’s foster brother and Randy, the teenager confused by his sexuality, Mico and Danny learn about the meaning of family, the power of forgiveness and the gift of unconditional love.

The story takes place in a small town on the banks of the Rio Grande river. It’s there where Danny meets Mico and their story begins. In this small excerpt, we find out what brings Danny from Denver to the speck on the NM map—Algodones, NM.

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Two years ago Mico and his partner suffered a savage gay bashing that left Mico a quadriplegic—and ended his dreams of traveling the world as an archeologist. Abandoned by the man he loved, he lives in isolation, tethered to his bed by the machines keeping him alive, with only his caretakers and immediate family as companions.

Assigned to interview Mico and uncover the story behind his assault and his refusal to identify his attackers, journalist Danny is unprepared for his reaction to the other man. Mico is afraid to let Danny into his life, and Danny is unsure how to change his mind. Mico is also keeping secrets, and he isn’t the only one. Danny is determined to protect Mico, and he’s determined to show Mico that their feelings for each other can thrive amidst the mechanics of Mico’s existence.

If you enjoy romantic tales of heartbreak turned to hope, the life-affirming story of Danny and Mico will make you believe in the possibility of love for everyone—no matter what obstacles they face.

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 Exclusive Excerpt

I wrote for Hodge Podge, a small magazine out of Denver that focused on human interest stories and cultural trends. My current assignment, Mico, had brought me to the small town of Algodones, New Mexico. I had come to discover what had garnered him so much notoriety. So far I’d discovered little, except for his name.

Not wanting to come into our interview with distorted notions, ill-conceived opinions, or emotionally charged prejudices, I had avoided googling Miguel Pacheco. I understood that something had happened that had left him disabled by quadriplegia. But not since Christopher Reeve’s devastating accident had a man’s misfortune made such a positive impact on people—according to Shannon Ackerman, my boss.

Shannon had chosen me to ferret out the story from Mico, who in Shannon’s opinion had been frustratingly evasive on the topic of… Mico. A month ago I’d walked into her office, where she sat at her desk chewing her pen and looking self-satisfied.

“Good news—Miguel Pacheco is granting us an interview.” Shannon flipped the file she had put together on the man in front of me, waiting for me to take it. I hesitated and ignored the folder. She knew of my peculiar penchant for going into an interview “unarmed,” so to speak.

“You’ve wanted this to happen for a while now. What made him change his mind?” I met her sharp gaze and waited for her answer.

“You did, Danny.”

“Me? I’ve never met the man. How do I come into play here?”

“Pacheco read the story you wrote last year on the influx of Native American-owned casinos and their effect on the pueblos. He liked your impartiality, your honesty, and that your style of writing ‘reflects your intellect.’ Those were his exact words.”

“I didn’t think more than three people read that piece, my father being one.”

“Yes, the public was unusually stingy with their feedback on the article, but apparently Mr. Pacheco is the fourth to read it.” She glanced at me over the rims of her glasses, shot me an evil grin, and resumed chewing the end of her pen. “His lone condition for granting Hodge Podge exclusive rights to his tale is that you conduct the interview and write the story. ‘Danny DeMarco’ will be the byline for the Miguel Pacheco feature piece.” With a smug grin, she picked up the ignored file from her desk and held it out, waiting for me to place it into my shoulder bag.


💫 Review by Truus

I’m in awe… This is how you write a story from different perspectives. Really amazingly done.

The buildup is stunning and the story beyond my expectations

At 30% I really broke down when Mico broke down my God it was heartbreaking.

As you can read in the blurb Mico was bashed two years earlier and left with quadriplegic, I’m not familiar with such circumstances as described in this story. But it’s all convincing and I’m very content when there is love, compassion, honesty and forgiveness involved.

And when this is done in an amazingly honest and caring way I’m sold.

Danny is interviewing Mico about what happened to him two years ago. Through these interviews, we get to know the whole story. We will meet all his caretakers and we see the growing affection between Danny and Mico. I love them both <3

There are some hilarious parts (you must read them yourself)

The story was in balance and felt real and honest, despite the dark clouds you could feel the warmth of the sunshine.

There are some hideous parts where I couldn’t believe my eyes.

Some stupidities which were understandable.

It was a journey and a hard one. It touched me deep. I felt it in my burning chest.

When I have that feeling I know it’s real. Through reading every time i try to assure myself if this was holding Mico high because no way I want to read something that degenerate someone, that would bring someone down because of someones disability. In this case Mico who depends on others. Mico is not his disability he is a man with a big heart, humor, intelligent and caring….so exceptional, all his reflections felt real.

And Danny my God he is amazing, he sees a soul just how we all should. We see this story from his pov. We can see him grow and his love has no boundaries he is very dedicated.

Then there are Randy, Adrian their story will stun you. And there is Santi, Dad and other Dad and Mom

It was a circle of unconditional love.

All felt real and convincing.

You know….some sentences are so right….so straight to the heartstrings…you can only love them.

This book will make you laugh and cry and will amaze you about the strength of men kind.

It was beautiful solid written with unexpected turns.

An absolute must read!!

Star Rating: ✨✨✨✨✨

Please join me on the remainder of my blog tour. There may even be a prize or two along the way.

December 26 – MM Good Book Reviews

December 30 – Dreamspinner Press Blog

January 2- Divine Magazine

January 3 – Book Breeze

January 4 – Alpha Book Reviews

January 5 – Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

January 5 – Love Bytes

January 6 – Open Skye Book Reviews

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  1. Congrats on the new release and thank you for the excerpt. It is not an easy subject to write about. I would love to read the whole book.

  2. Congrats on the new release and thank you for the excerpt. It is not an easy subject to write about. I would love to read the whole book.

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