Blog Tour ~ Drive to Feel Alive by CD Rachels ~ Excerpt | Teasers | Giveaway
A heart-racing welcome to the Blog Tour for Drive to Feel Alive by CD Rachels! Motors! Racing! Sexuality! And more! I am in! It sounds great and that cover is also cute/fun/sexy~
For today’s post I got an excerpt, giveaway, teasers, and of course book/author information~
Let’s get started!
Formula Q is the fastest motorsport in the world. Only the highest-performing athletes can make it to the grid. They drive fast, work hard, and play hard, but off-camera, anything goes.
The public knows me as Berto ‘Honeybear’ Navarro, number two driver in the fastest team in FQ. I’m a simple guy, and I’m perfectly content with my life as a motorsports celebrity. The world doesn’t need to know that I don’t like sex or dating.
I’m not gay like my buddy Damon, but I’m not really straight either. It’s time to face the scary truth: I’m probably asexual.
The only sliver of hope I have is my new friend Hunter. He helps me work through my orientation issues and doesn’t judge me for feeling uneducated and naïve. He’s sweet, smart, and generous with his time.
As the weeks go by, Hunter and I get closer, and suddenly intimacy is something I want to explore, but only with him. Hunter makes everything feel right. I thought I’d never find anyone who lights a fire in me, but my new best friend makes the fireworks go off in my heart.
I thought winning races was the ultimate high and all I needed in life. That was before I touched Hunter—now, I crave so much more. For sex and love, I finally found my green light, and I’m not slowing down.
(“Drive to Feel Alive” is a male/male motorsports romance novel. It involves waffle dates, asexuality, video game conventions, exploring true intimacy for the first time, and yes, lots of racing action worldwide. It is book two of a series, has a HEA, and can be read as a standalone)
CD Rachels has been coming up with stories since he was little. First, it was fanfiction, then YA queer novels, and now he’s moved up to the big leagues of adult MM romance. In 2020 during quarantine, he burned through more male/male romance books than he ever had in the previous 29 years combined.
He believes there aren’t enough BIPOC MC’s in MM romance, and he’s on a mission to change that. He lives in New York City with the love of his life and works in health insurance. If you’re reading this, he’s honored that you took the time to help support him as a self-published author.
THE SOUND of half my shirt being torn from my body is so loud I bet all of Nevada can hear it. I’m in a tented booth in the small town of Coyote where I’ve been signing autographs for charity all afternoon. Now, with only a few patrons left, it seems I’ll need to be shirtless, as part of my orange, short-sleeved button-down hangs off the right side of my body.
“I got it! I got Heriberto Navarro’s shirt!” The young girl in front of me squeals in delight while my friend Robesy Robespierre laughs next to me.
See, this is why I don’t like being a celebrity. I’m a driver in Formula Q, the fastest motorsport in the world, categorized by the single-seater machines we race in. Am I happy to compete in professional karting internationally? Yes, it’s all I know. Does it come with plenty of perks and a sweet paycheck? Of course! Does being a celebrity come with downsides? Also yes. Apparently, in addition to dodging sports paparazzi, I have to worry about literally losing the shirt on my back.
“Honey, that was impolite,” an older woman, presumably her mom, says. “You can’t go around grabbing people’s shirts!” She looks at me with remorse. “I am so sorry, Mr. Navarro.”
“Uh, no worries?” I mean for it to be true, but I uncomfortably laugh while it comes out as a question. When the woman looks me up and down, I cross my arms. I’m not shy about my body—I’ve done underwear advertisements for dios sake—but I wasn’t prepared to be shirtless today.
“Eh, it’s no problem for mon ami ici.” Robesy pats me on the back. He’s a fellow FQ driver, a party animal, and I’ve picked up on his Quebecoise over the years. Though right now, I kind of want to punch him in his smug symmetrical face. “He’s used to these kinds of fan interactions, eh?” He grins at me, and I glare at him.
Robesy has a point; I should be accustomed to this celebrity lifestyle, but sometimes it can get overwhelming. Racing is my element. Being on the track, feeling the roar of the kart underneath me, and tuning myself to anticipate the turns as well as my competition is what I live for. But I never wanted to be a celebrity. Millions of people talk about me worldwide. I’m on billboards, websites, and even trading cards. When everyone talks about you, it can feel like you don’t own the right to be yourself. To the public eye, I have to be Heriberto ‘Honeybear’ Navarro, a nickname the fans drummed up for me.
I never got the average teenager experience as a kid since I kept winning at the Vypari Racing Academy in Texas. Some days, the fast-paced lifestyle gets to be too much. I don’t even use the internet often because sports channels are too much drama. I’m a simple guy, and I don’t need much more in life than all the gifts I’ve been given.
“Alright, step aside, these guys are done with autographs for today.” One of the bodyguards announces that the last two people stepping up will be the end of the event. The girl who now has half my shirt giggles and walks away. Her mom turns back to me and gives me a heated stare.
“I am so sorry, Mr. Navarro. If there’s any way I can help you…” Her voice trails off dripping in innuendo. Let’s add that to the list of things I’m still not comfortable with. I’m in my third season in FQ, and yes, I get plenty of female attention. This older woman is staring at me like I’m a three-course meal and she’s starving.
“I’m good. No worries. Your daughter can keep the shirt. Take care. I’m going to find some clothes.” I chuckle and my cheeks feel warm. Her flirtation is flattering, but not welcome. I should love the female attention and the groupies, but even if the girls are hot, they don’t do it for me. The way this woman is staring has me squirming in discomfort. I’m feeling exposed on multiple levels, and the ripped fabric on my body hides nothing.
The woman seems like she wants to argue, but Robesy cuts her off. “Hey, Berto, I’m sure this guy can take care of you and get you dressed. Sir?” He hollers to the man behind me, and I turn around. Hunter, whom we both met only hours ago, is standing there closing up a lockbox. He directs the True Self Center, an LGBTQ support center. He has blond hair, blue eyes, a wider frame, and his whole demeanor screams “kind and cuddly,” like he couldn’t hurt a fly. “Do you have a shirt Berto can borrow?”