Sep 25

Review: Snakes Among Sweet Flowers by Jason Huffman-Black

SnakesAmongSweetFlowers-PreviewTitle:  Snakes Among Sweet Flowers

Author: Jason Huffman-Black

Publisher:  Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: AngstyG

Release Date:  June 20

Heat Level: 3

Pairing: M/M

Length: 79k

Genre/Tags: Contemporary, M/M Romance, Suspense, Thriller

Rating: ♥♥♥♥

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Synopsis

Two-time ex-con Camden Sanders has decided that Hog Mountain—an isolated community on the outskirts of Atlanta, Georgia—is the perfect place to continue running small scams without the threat of more prison time. But there are a few problems with this plan. One is the neighborly citizens of Hog Mountain thwarting his dirty dealings at every turn with their kindness. Another is Jackson Rhodes, a closeted Hog Mountain police officer who can see right through Cam’s good ol’ boy act and plans to catch him red-handed despite the attraction they both can feel. But the biggest problem of all is that Cam’s past is threatening to catch up with him, and it could mean trouble for more than just himself.

Review

This book was provided by the author via IndiGo Marketing & Design in exchange for an honest review

What a great story. Jason’s vivid writing style takes you straight to small town Hog Mountain and immerses you into a culture that anyone who has spent any time in the South can relate to. And if you haven’t ever experienced sipping sweet tea on the porch while listening to a chorus of cicada’s, you’ll want to after you read this book.

What I loved the most was the way we see bad boy Cam’s heart start to slowly thaw as he’s not only accepted by the residents of Hog Mountain, but embraced by them. He doesn’t WANT to feel an emotional attachment to the elderly couple who invite him over for dinner, or the cat who adopts him or the kids that help him clean up his yard. He doesn’t think he deserves to be loved and he certainly doesn’t expect to CARE about these people. But that’s not the way things work in Hog Mountain where people look after their neighbors and even guys like Cam are seen as redeemable and worth saving.

Sheriff’s deputy Jackson Rhodes knows a con man when he sees one and it takes him a little longer than the rest of his small town to see the good guy under the bad guy exterior. He certainly doesn’t expect to be attracted to him and he certainly never planned on coming out of the closet for him. But Hog Mountain is a special place and stranger things have happened…

Reviewed by Lori

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Sep 23

Book Blitz: Pretty Please by Tracey Michael (Excerpt & Giveaway)

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Title:  Pretty Please

Author: Tracey Michael

Publisher: Torquere Press

Release Date: 8/10/16

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Female/Female

Length: 22000 words

Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Lesbian Romance

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Synopsis

Thea and Gwen have been best friends since they were kids. Thea will do anything for Gwen and she uses it to her advantage whenever necessary. A coerced shopping trip turns into a “date”. A few tears turn into unexpected sex. Friendship turns into love. Wait. When did that happen? And do they want to pursue those new feelings? What happens if an attempt at a relationship ruins everything? Thea isn’t sure she wants to risk it, but Gwen is sure she does. When Thea turns her “straight” best friend down, Gwen is crushed. Thea has always known she was a lesbian and she loves Gwen more than anything, but that doesn’t mean she wants to be Gwen’s experiment. That will only leave her with a broken heart in the end. Can Gwen change Thea’s mind and prove that her love is true?

Excerpt

Before she knew it, Thea was at her front door. Gwen pasted on her best smile and bounced to the door. Thea was just closing it behind her when Gwen came around the corner. She almost turned around and walked the other way when she saw the look on Thea’s face. Instead, she kept the smile on her own face and pretended not to notice. Thea continued to stare at her as if she had a second head.

Finally annoyance broke through Gwen’s patience. “What?”

Thea seemed to shake herself out of whatever daze she was in and really look at Gwen. “Huh? Did you say something, Gwenny?”

“Why are you staring at me like that?” Gwen frowned at Thea.

Thea shook her head, drawing her brows down. “I wasn’t staring at you. Why would I?”

Gwen’s chest clenched. She felt her cheeks heat. Gwen knew Thea didn’t mean that the way it sounded, but coupled with last night’s party, it hit her hard.

“Never mind. You know what? I’m not feeling very well. Would you mind if I skipped the game today?”

Thea frowned harder and moved closer. She searched Gwen’s face and eyes. “You do look a little flushed.” She raised her hand as if she was going to check Gwen’s forehead for a fever, but Gwen backed away.

“If I’m coming down with something, I don’t want you to get it,” she covered.

Thea watched her for a minute, then nodded. “If you need me, Gwenny, you call me.”

“I will.”

Thea made her way back to the door and opened it up. With one last look at Gwen, she turned and left. Gwen waited until Thea’s car started up and pulled out of the driveway before she moved. Shoulders sagging and tears gathering in her eyes, Gwen went to her bedroom and changed her clothes. Since it didn’t look as if she was going anywhere today, she put on a pair of lounge pants and a tank top. She tossed her bra in the pile with her jeans and sweatshirt. Gwen felt drained, bone tired, so she slid into bed for a short nap.

The nap lasted the rest of the afternoon and into the early evening. When she got up, she shuffled to the kitchen for something to drink. She saw the light blinking on her cell-phone, and on the answering machine. She didn’t bother checking the messages; she knew it was Thea calling to check on her. Gwen opened the freezer door and pulled out her emergency Ben & Jerry’s. She took the lid off the carton, tossing it onto the counter, and reached into the drainer for a spoon. Shuffling her feet once more, she went to the couch and curled up in the corner. She clicked on the television and flipped through the channels until she found a chick-flick to her liking. Gwen dove into her ice cream, scooping out mouthfuls. It wasn’t long before the ice cream was traded for alcohol and the tears were flowing.

In the midst of the crying, Gwen’s phone rang. Without looking, she answered it between sniffles.

“Hello?”

“Gwenny? Gwenny, what’s wrong?” Thea’s voice was laced with concern. Gwen could hear yelling and whistles and cheers on the background, so she knew Thea was still at the bar watching the games with the guys.

“Nothing. I’m fine. Go have fun, Thea.”

Gwen hung up the phone as Thea started to argue. She wasn’t in the mood to listen to fun when she was so sad. Gwen lay down on the couch and continued to sniffle while she watched the movie. The screen was a little blurry, but oh well. She’d seen this movie enough to say the lines along with the actors.

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Torquere Press | Amazon | Allromance eBooks

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Meet the Author

Tracey Michael is the pen name of Tracey Steinbach. Her three children call her Mom or Mama. Tracey has been married for over twenty years to a man who’s broadened her horizons. He introduced her to NHRA Drag Racing in 1997. She’s been a fan ever since.
Tracey has an eclectic taste in music and movies, enjoying everything from country to hard rock. Def Leppard is her favorite rock band. She enjoys watching Disney cartoon movies, action/adventure, and romantic comedies.
She loves watching NFL Football. Go 9ers and Saints!
Tracey has been an avid reader since her teen years. She started writing, seriously, after her first short story was accepted for an anthology in 2011. Reading books for a living had always been a dream of Tracey’s. She often jokes that she writes to fund her reading habit.
@AuthorSteinbach
https://www.facebook.com/tracey.steinbach
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5280919.Tracey_Michael

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Sep 23

Book Blitz: Immortal Watch by Olivia Helling

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Title:  Immortal Watch

Series: Godsbane Prince 2

Author: Olivia Helling

Publisher: Self-Published

Release Date: Sept 23, 2016

Heat Level: 2 – Fade to Black Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 63,000 words

Genre: Romance, Fantasy, Horror

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Synopsis

Bonded soul mates. Shocking secrets. Protecting the one he loves could destroy everything…

Ilyas defeated the Dark God and won the spoils of a lifetime: a new kingdom, a new soulmate, and a chance at revenge. Just when he has the chance to humiliate the brother who sold him out, Ilyas learns a closely-guarded secret. He has a son, and now he’ll do everything he can to protect him.

Jem’s life was pure loneliness before he met Ilyas. But with the Dark God thwarted, Jem is completely powerless. When Ilyas begins to devote his full attention to the baby, Jem becomes determined to win his soulmate back.

After allying with a powerful secret society, Jem conspires to deliver an uninhabited world where Ilyas’ young son can truly be safe. But Jem didn’t realize that his new alliance comes at a high price, one that may cost him the love of Ilyas forever.

Immortal Watch is a spellbinding LGBT dark fantasy novel. If you like rich world-building, captivating storytelling, and edge-of-your-seat action, then you’ll love this story of love and horror from Olivia Helling.

Excerpt

Ilyas cocked his head. “Is something wrong?”
I breathed deep to avoid stuttering. “What would be wrong?”
“Just that I miss that smile of yours.” Ilyas smiled in turn.
For a heartbeat, I expected him to clasp my cheek, to draw me close, to envelop me in an embrace, to kiss me breathless, like he had when I had awoken to find myself his tawam rohi . Ilyas closed the display box and returned it to the drawer under the berth.
I exhaled. Of course not. Ilyas had promised to teach me all about kissing, and more, but he’d spoken in the heat of the moment when I’d awoken. Perhaps the fantasy of teaching me excited him more than the reality. My stomach sank.
After all, I wasn’t a eunuch. When Ilyas had still been the prince heir of Nuriya, his harem full of buxom ladies and eager lads, the male form hadn’t seemed to displease him. So long as they were eunuchs, not proper men, as Nuriyite decorum dictated. Nuriyites heaped rules upon everything from eating to sex. Lumians didn’t care, especially when sex wouldn’t provide more mouths to feed.
Or perhaps the fault lay in me, as a person.
Ilyas sank onto the berth with a big sigh. His features seemed drawn and stressed. I perched on the bed next to him, reaching to pet his hair. He groaned, and I froze.
I wanted more. I wanted to learn how to kiss. I wanted to learn how to wrap my thighs around his waist. I wanted—
“It will be fine, Jem,” he said.
I never used to be so selfish. He shouldered the fate of Lumi, and I couldn’t help him. All I did was lie wide awake at night, planning to demand more from him, planning to distract him.
“We can play a game of Go,” he said. “And I will wipe the deck with you this time.”
“Like the last eleven times?” I teased him.
“This one is my game.”

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Meet the Author

Olivia Helling doesn’t believe in love at first sight… but maybe, just maybe, it blossoms along a few books. That is, after all, how she fell in love with her husband.

Olivia writes about the darkness and flaws from within, the struggle with self-confidence, self-perception and fear of failure, and fantasy and historical worlds that refuse to allow love between men. So be warned: happily ever after is not guaranteed.

The protagonist and love interest don’t always end up together by the end of one book. But when they finally come together, their love will be a thing of beauty.

Want to stay up-to-date on Olivia’s latest books? Sign up for her newsletter at: http://oliviahelling.com/snowmancer-emails

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Sep 21

Book Blitz: Night Wars Short Story Collection by Missouri Dalton & Sophia Beaumont (Excerpt & Giveaway)

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Title: Night Wars Short Story Collection

Series: Night Wars

Author: Missouri Dalton & Sophia Beaumont

Publisher: Torquere Press

Release Date: 8/06/16

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male, Male/Female

Length: 75000 words

Genre: Romance, Contemporary,Fantasy, Paranormal, Historical, Gay Fiction

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Synopsis

In Devilry Done, when Lucas decides he wants Ambrose back, he needs a plan. Unfortunately, Lucas has never been very good at plans. By the time he’s gotten Ambrose’s attention, Lucas is in trouble with some dangerous people and broke to boot. Of course, he also gets into trouble with Ambrose, and if he’s very lucky, his former paramour will be in a forgiving mood. Followed by An Eye for Trouble, Lucas and Ambrose are back for another spot of trouble as an old friend asks Ambrose to come to Chicago. Too bad Lucas just got bit by… something and he’s not exactly sure how much help he’s going to be. Poisoned Spirits takes us to Chicago Special Police Officer Ian Mulhane, who has never been stood-up before, so when Billy doesn’t show up to the speakeasy, he’s not a happy camper. But anger quickly shifts to worry, and Ian soon discovers Billy is gravely ill, poisoned by magically tainted whiskey. Ian’s used to the paranormal, but witches might just be more than he can handle.

Fast forward to modern day Chicago in Happy Halloween, Jack’s past has always been something of a question mark, until now. On Halloween, an eighteen-year-old Jack found himself in a world of trouble, and headed straight toward the man who would take him from hustler to cop. In Foxtrot, Remy starts this year’s Masquerade miserable, but with help from an old flame, things start looking up. Across the ocean in Ame, Takashi Matsumoto has spent his entire life in Tokyo. He’s seen terrible things working for the yakuza, but when an encounter with something straight out of folklore leaves him nearly dead he has to revise everything he thought he knew. After he recovers, he runs into an old flame, Daisuke. Can Takashi have a relationship knowing what he does? Or will his past catch up to both of them?

Cary Vaughn has found himself on the wrong side of a lot of people. When he ends up in Edinburgh hiding from one of those people he meets a tall Scotsman in a bar and goes home with him. He spies a small fortune on a bookshelf and takes a chance by stealing it—but he’s not the only one with an ulterior motive in Feumaidh Mi Ruith. In The Ten of Cups, Isaiah Cappelli is trying to overcome a broken heart and a cloudy future. Is it fate or only coincidence that leads him to a New Age shop and a handsome stranger? Christmas comes in This Time of Year and a dragon is loose in Chicago. Howl would be more concerned if the case didn’t keep interrupting his lunch reservations. Partnered up with the distractingly handsome Detective Reyes, Howl is going to have to pull himself out of his melancholy if he wants to solve the case and get back to his Christmas plans, getting drunk while watching It’s a Wonderful Life, alone. Well, not if Detective Reyes has anything to say about it.

In Fiends in Low Places, Simon Murphy, psychic and former thief is trying to rekindle the romance between himself and his FBI beau, Gabriel. Can a pizza date fix this mess? The Raven and the Wolf introduces Bran Morning, he owns an occult bookshop, has PTSD and doesn’t remember what happened exactly that gives him nightmares. Roped into attending the wedding of an old squad member, Bran is in for more than he bargained for and discovers that the body can remember things the mind forgets. Evie Cappelli has been with the Montreal Night Shift for a while now, but she’s about to get the surprise of her life—if a wedding dress and some rosary beads don’t kill her first in L’Île des Sœurs.

Excerpt

The Raven and the Wolf

The first thing I was aware of was the cat, yowling from somewhere downstairs. I was certain of this because of the closed off echo his cries were making as they bounced around the shelves of the bookstore my apartment was located over. The bookstore being my ostensible source of livelihood and the cat being what kept burglars out.

And if the cat didn’t keep them out, well, none of them ever came back. Some of them were never heard from again. Tyler had a bad habit of eating intruders—and the one mailman, but that guy was probably a criminal of some kind. Most likely. I kicked off the somewhat sticky covers and reached across the bed for my phone, back pressed to the headboard as I considered what must have happened in the night.

The nightmare. I’d have to wash my sheets. I peeled myself away from the headboard, back sticking to the wood a bit from the still-tacky sweat acting as an adhesive. My phone was blank—I’d forgotten to charge it. I fumbled about, looking for the cord and plugged the damn thing in before falling ignominiously out of bed and onto the floor.

Which accounted for my first injury of the day, when my knee made contact with a thumbtack and the corner of my bedframe. I’d no idea where it came from, but as I plucked the red plastic tack from my knee, Tyler yowled again.

“I know!” I shouted back.

I thought I heard him grumble, but that was probably my head playing tricks, it liked to do that sometimes. Rule number one: feed cat before coffee. I got to my feet, stumbled to the fridge, and retrieved a side of salmon from the freezer. We’d tried canned food for a while, but Tyler had a tendency to chew through the cans.

He was an industrious cat.

Jen, the owner of the store next to mine, questioned the validity of my calling Tyler a cat on several occasions, but I ignored her. He was definitely a cat.

He was definitely shaped like a cat. Most of the time. Whenever nonviolent strangers could see him. I’m sure intruders saw something else right before their life flashed before their eyes.

My apartment was cluttered with boxes of merchandise, trash, laundry and an overabundance of catnip mice. I wasn’t sure where they came from; I wasn’t buying them, that’s all I was sure of. I headed down the stairs with Tyler’s—sacrifice—breakfast and set it down at the bottom of the stairs and clicked my tongue.

The cat in question came sauntering out of the stacks with a thrashing tail, golden eyes fixed on the salmon as the human was discounted for the more important need of hunger. I didn’t stick around to watch him feed, heading back upstairs to make myself coffee, shower, and eat something.

Eating something was thwarted by the lack of milk to go with the cereal and an empty egg carton, so I replaced that with getting dressed and going grocery shopping in my mental list. I was supposed to be open today, but I was also known for keeping esoteric hours so it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to anyone if the shop stayed closed until the afternoon and was open until the wee hours of the morning.

Depended on my mood really and besides, Morning’s Books was an occult bookstore, it paid to create ambiance. I was the Morning in the marquee, as it were. Bran Morning, proprietor, it was on the door. It was also on the sign over the counter. By the time I got back downstairs, Tyler was looking practically pet like, laying on the counter in a well-fed repose and purring.

 

The Ten of Cups

It was over ninety degrees outside. With humidity, that was the equivalent of walking through a pot of boiling water.

Out of habit, I started walking toward St. Catherine West, a busy shopping area near Cora’s apartment. I stopped at a little hole-in-the-wall ice cream place—no, really; it was a little window set in one of the stone facades on Rue St. Marc—for a shaved ice, just to take the edge off the heat.

July in Montreal is festival season. From every street corner, a different kind of music could be heard—Jazz from one quarter, an acoustic guitar on another. I thought I heard steel drums from the direction of the park, and somewhere, someone was impersonating Celine Dion.

Over all of it, traffic blared and conversations in English, French, Korean, Russian, Spanish, and Arabic blended with the music. Exhaust mingled with the smells of hot asphalt, unwashed commuter, hundred-dollar perfume, Chinese food, and the elephant ears at a nearby food cart.

Everywhere I looked, there was something—neon signs. Street performers. Tourists, locals.

I could feel the bass beat from one of the festival musicians thumping in my chest, and couldn’t help but smile.

The first sixteen years of my life had been spent in an Indiana town so small it didn’t even show up on most county maps. There were more people in Cora’s apartment building than there were in my entire school district.

I felt a little bit like a cell phone with an almost dead battery that had been plugged in after being in airplane mode to conserve power. I was picking up signals, absorbing the energy that was all around me. I rode the wave of energy down the street toward the park. I had every intention of crashing whatever festival was happening, but stopped suddenly when I saw the sign over an Asian grocery store: The Magick Cauldron. There was a sign in the window advertising tarot readings, among other things, and illustrated some fanned out cards—including the Ten of Cups and the Moon.

I tossed my half-full cup in a bin and jogged up the dingy stairs two at a time, passing notices for massages and chakra readings and Saturday night poetry readings, to a light, cheerful shop with a window AC unit struggling to go full blast.

Rainbow crystals hung from the ceiling sending bright refractions over a display of mythology books. My eye was drawn to a table of oracles: I Ching, tarot, and runes carved on polished stones.

I made a mental note for later, but I’d already spotted the corner table partially blocked off with draped cotton scarves.

There were two women chatting behind the counter. The younger one had spikey blonde hair and so many piercings that I wondered if she ever had trouble with airport security. The older woman was a middle-aged hippie type, with frizzy brown hair and a long skirt with those little silver jangly things that are supposed to look like Roman coins. She was fanning herself with a leaflet from someone claiming to talk to the dead.

“Hi! Can we help you?” asked the younger one. She was about college age, I thought. Without meaning to, I found myself entranced by a series of piercings along her cheekbone, and trying to figure out how they got there. Almost by accident, I started counting them.

“Hi.” Three in her cheek. “I was wondering—” Two, right eyebrow. “—if the tarot reader—” One, center of her nose. “—is in.” Two, lower lip.

She smiled—one, tongue—but it was the older woman who answered. I tried not to keep staring at the blonde, but it was really hard, especially when I realized that there were six more of those weird piercings along her clavicle, mostly hidden in her elaborate tattoo. And if I wasn’t mistaken, her nipples were also pierced.

“Sure, this way. Basic reading is fifteen, in depth is twenty-five. I also do numerology, but that’s extra. And of course, all of this is just entertainment only.” She gave me a wink that said she was probably required to say that.

We went behind the curtain. I only had a twenty on me, so we started with that.

“Cut the deck three times, concentrating on your query,” she said, plunking a deck down in front of me.

I wasn’t familiar with the deck she was using. Instead of figurative illustrations that showed the meaning of each card, her deck had an abstract design. It reminded me a bit of a Thoth deck I’d seen once, but this one was more elaborate, more graceful curves and a little less Picasso. The name of each card was written in elaborate scrollwork.

I did as I was told, thinking about Matt and what in the hell I was going to do next. The little room created by the curtains was hot and stuffy, cut off from the straining air conditioner and the little electric fan by the register.

The spread she laid out for me was vaguely pyramid in shape, but not one that I had used before.

“You’ve recently had a lot of changes in your life. Someone has left your circle of influence permanently.”

I gulped. Deep down, I had secretly hoped that the Ten of Cups that had been following me from spread to spread would mean that Matt would call, apologetic. Maybe the change cards—Death, the Tower—meant that our relationship would change for the better. Maybe the World meant that we were destined for each other. It was a slim, pathetic hope, but it was all I had. Once upon a time, I’d come out to my ultraconservative family. A few days later, I came home to find a priest in the living room with my parents, my suitcase at his feet. They were shipping me off to some facility in Utah where they “cured” people like me.

I took the suitcase and didn’t look back. When Matt announced he was moving to the other side of the country, I didn’t hesitate to follow. I started using his last name on most everything, just to distance myself from my former family.

She continued, “This departure will prove beneficial. That relationship was holding you back, and preventing you from gaining your full potential. Now that this toxic person has been removed from your life, old wounds can heal, particularly between family members.”

I turned a snort into a cough and tried not to show how skeptical I’d just become of her abilities as a reader. If she thought that there was any way I was going back to my hateful, bigoted family after the worst breakup ever, then she was insane.

“Your life has reached a turning point. Soon, you will have to make a choice—a moderate road with a mediocre ending, or a harder road, with an extraordinary ending.”

“What do you mean by ‘extraordinary?’” I asked.

She blinked as though coming out of a trance. “I-I couldn’t say. That’s up to you, I suppose.”

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Meet the Authors

Missouri Dalton is a writer of horror/paranormal contemporary fantasy and alternate historical novels.

Missouri was raised mainly in transit, slowed down to finish school in one place and was then determined to be as nomadic as possible, if only because that’s how things just worked out. She uses writing as an escape from her own neurosi and currently lives with her dear friend Sophia.

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Author and designer Sophia Beaumont has long dreamed of faraway places, both real and imagined. She writes from her home in Ohio and hopes to one day live somewhere with a palm tree in the front yard.

 

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Sep 07

Cover Reveal: A Kind of Honesty by Lane Hayes

A Kind of Honesty Reveal BannerTitle:  A Kind of Honesty

Series: A Kind of Story, #3

Author: Lane Hayes

Publisher:  Dreamspinner Press

Release Date: October 7, 2016

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 85K

Genre: Romance, Bisexual, Rock star, NYC, humor

A_Kind_of_Honesty_FINAL_V4

Synopsis

Music is Tim Chalmers’s great escape and the one thing that’s never let him down. But his band Spiral’s meteoric rise to fame has made it difficult for the drummer to maintain a low profile. Unwanted press pesters him after a public breakup with a volatile ex-girlfriend who loves the limelight as much as he loathes it. Tim’s main goal is to avoid confrontation. However, when he meets a handsome stranger in a dive bar who turns out to be someone he may know, everything changes.

Carter Hamilton-Temple might be a successful financial consultant with more brains, sophistication, and charm than most, but he always falls for the wrong guys: closet cases or men with issues. He can’t fight his attraction to the tattooed rock star, but can he trust his own judgment? When the thrill of danger combined with a fierce physical connection proves too strong for either man to resist, a quiet liaison away from the public eye and curious friends seems like a safe bet. But some secrets are hard to keep. When rumors threaten to rock his world, Tim realizes it’s time to confront his fear with his own kind of honesty.

Excerpt

“What kind of a rock star are you? You’re supposed to love sex, drugs, and alcohol. I haven’t known you long, but you seem to only really like one out of three,” Carter commented idly as he shuffled the cards.

“You’re right. I’m a sucky rock star. I rarely have more than one drink when I go out for dinner or even at a bar. Two at a party. Anything more usually leads to trouble. And I never take drugs. Even cold medicine makes me nervous.” I winked and gave him a lecherous grin that no doubt looked far from provocative in my current condition. “But I love sex.”

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Meet the Author

Lane Hayes is finally doing what she loves best. Writing! An avid reader from an early age, Lane has always been drawn to romance novels. She truly believes there is nothing more inspiring than a well-told love story with beautifully written characters. Lane discovered the M/M genre a fews ago and was instantly hooked. Her first novel was a finalist in the 2013 Rainbow Awards. She is the bestselling author of the Better Than Stories series and Right and Wrong Stories and the new A Kind of Stories series. She loves travel, chocolate, and wine (in no particular order). Lane lives in Southern California with her amazing husband in an almost empty nest.

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Sep 06

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Connection Error by Annabeth Albert

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Title:  Connection Error

Author: Annabeth Albert

Series Title and Number: #Gaymers, Book 3, but stands alone well too

Publisher:  CARINA PRESS

Cover Artist: CARINA PRESS

Release Date:  September 5, 2016

Heat Level: 4 (explicit m/m sex, but lots and lots of plot too!)

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: approx. 66,000 words

Genre/Tags: Romance, M/m Romance, contemporary romance, military romance

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Synopsis

It’s typical of video game programmer Josiah Simmons to be the last one on the plane on the way to the biggest meeting of his career. Though he’s (mostly) coping with his ADHD, he can’t handle another distraction. But he also can’t ignore his rugged seatmate—especially once he learns the military man’s a fan of his game.

Ryan Orson refuses to let his severe injuries pause his career as a navy SEAL. He’s got hours of grueling physical therapy ahead of him, and no time for anything that might get in the way of his return to active duty. But that doesn’t mean he’s above a little first-class flirtation with geeky-cute Josiah.

When a delay strands the pair in St. Louis, they agree to share a hotel room and a night of gaming. Neither expects their new connection to move to the next level in the light of day. Opposites may attract, but is this game over before it’s even begun?

Book Three of the #gaymers series

Excerpt

Chapter 1

Somewhere between the third newsstand and the fourth moving sidewalk in LAX, Josiah regretted not joining his friend Ravi in training for a 10k charity race. Nothing like a flat-out sprint from the check-in counter to the slow-moving security lines and another dash from security all the way through gates to make him rethink his aversion to cardio. And the worst part was that for once in his life he’d made every effort to be on time, getting up before the alarm, starting coffee, making sure they were out of the house by o’dark thirty ready for his early morning flight to Germany via a stop in Washington, DC.

Passport? Check.

Carry-on with both laptops, tablet and assorted accessories? Check.

Suitcase with more shirts with buttons than he’d ever owned in his life? Check.

Double-checking that his ticket was booked under “Josiah” not “Joseph”? Total fail, but in his defense, it never occurred to him that the travel agency his employer used would give the wrong name. And the check-in attendant at the airline counter didn’t want to believe that there was a mistake. Thus, every careful endeavor he’d made to ensure that he was on time—early even—went up in a huff of waiting for a supervisor and then another supervisor.

And now finally he was sprinting to make sure he didn’t miss the plane. Forget being there in time to priority board, he was going to be lucky to make the plane period. His first time flying first class—thank you, Space Villager for being such a bestselling gameand it was off to an inelegant start thanks to a stupid mistake.

Finally, finally, he reached the last few gates of the terminal. The TV sets scattered throughout the waiting area were all taking about that huge freak snowstorm heading for the New York area and whether it might veer south enough to cause snow along the whole Eastern Seaboard. Josiah shook his head, trying to not get sucked in to the TV. As long as he got to Germany on time, it wasn’t going to affect him and he needed to stay focused on—

“Last call for Flight 324 nonstop service to Washington Dulles International,” the loudspeaker blared.

“I’m here, I’m here,” he panted as the gate attendant set the red phone back on its hook. He held out his ticket. The woman was around his mother’s age with very red lipstick and very short blond hair and a spectacular frown just for him.

“Ah. Mr. Simmons.” She looked up after scanning his tickets, decidedly less frosty once she saw his first-class seat number. “Come with me, I’m going to have to walk you down.” She spoke into a walkie-talkie as they headed down the walkway. “We’re going to need to gate check your bags. I’m so sorry, but the first-class overhead compartments are all full.”

“Crap.” She gave him a questioning look, and Josiah remembered that he was supposed to be Mr. Smooth and Sophisticated Project Manager, not some whiny kid. “Sorry. That’s fine. Just let me grab my laptop.” He grabbed the laptop with the longer battery life before the attendant put a pink gate-check tag on his two bags. “But…uh…fragile.”

She gave him a tight smile, but added a yellow Fragile tag to his laptop bag. “You’re in Seat 1A,” she said, handing him his ticket back. “You’ll get your bags back when we land, I promise. Enjoy your flight.”

After a brief conversation with the gate attendant, a male flight attendant shut the plane door behind Josiah. “Welcome aboard,” he said to Josiah in a tone that clearly meant, “thank you for pushing back our departure.” In fact, the plane was rolling away from the gate before Josiah almost tumbled into the empty aisle seat of the first row.

“You made it.” A warm chuckle eased past the pounding of Josiah’s heart.

“Wha—what?” he whipped his head over to the window seat—a farther distance than one might expect. The first-class seats were huge padded affairs and there was a thick console dividing the seats. And…hello, most gorgeous guy Josiah had ever seen.

Wide, mischievous smile. Sparkling hazel eyes. Unshaven jaw. Short dark brown hair. And holy hell, arm muscles for days. Bulging biceps with tats poking out of his T-shirt sleeves.

All of a sudden this flight started looking way up.

“Sorry. Didn’t mean to startle you. I just meant I was beginning to think I’d get the row all to myself.” The guy’s voice was possibly even more attractive than his model-worthy face, deep and soothing, with an undercurrent of the sort of confidence that never failed to make Josiah shiver.

And he was all Josiah’s for the next five hours.

Well, except for the part where he seemed ready to take a nap and tune Josiah out—the guy had a pillow behind his head and a blanket on his lap. He yawned, revealing gleaming teeth worthy of a toothpaste ad.

“You’re not a model, are you?” As usual, Josiah’s tongue leaped into action before his brain could restrain it.

“What? No, not a model.” The guy laughed, more of that smoky chuckle that did things to Josiah’s insides.

“TV star? Athlete? Because it seems like I should know you from somewhere, and I don’t want to get to DC and people be like, hey, you were next to that Laker the whole flight…” He trailed off because his friends were right that he had absolutely no filter, and that was triple true around Muppet-flail-worthy hot guys.

“Nope, not famous.” The guy studied Josiah for a long moment, considering, the sort of are-you-for-real expression on his face that Josiah was well used to. Seeming to come to some sort of decision, the guy stuck his right arm across the console. “Lieutenant Ryan Orson, US Navy.”

“Pleased to meet you.” Josiah accepted the handshake. Navy made sense given the Navy-emblazoned T-shirt stretched tight over the guy’s aircraft-carrier-wide chest. Holy crap, the guy was big. Josiah was a skinny 6’2” with big hands and feet that always got in the way. But this guy’s hand made Josiah’s feel downright dainty. “I’m Josiah, Josiah Simmons.”

“Well, Josiah, want to know a secret?” Ryan asked in a conspiratorial whisper.

“Sure.” Josiah was down with whatever secrets this guy wanted to share.

“Not only am I not famous, I’m not even supposed to be in first class.”

“You’re not?”

“Nope.” Ryan winked at Josiah. He had a very disarming wink, all good humor and twinkly eyes.

“The check-in clerk bumped me into first.”

“You got the nice clerk.” Josiah was still a bit grumbly over the name hassle.

“She lost a brother over in Afghanistan.” There was a subtle hint of “grow up” in Ryan’s tone. Josiah straightened, remembering again who he was supposed to be. And here was this impossibly attractive guy to practice on. Sure, he might be Josiah the clueless geek back home, but here he was Josiah the new project manager. This Josiah knew the right way to act and speak and could impress even tough audiences.

“That’s so sad for her.” Josiah tried for sophisticated empathy, something he knew he kind of sucked at.

“Yeah, it is.” Something indecipherable passed over Ryan’s face, his eyes getting darker and cloudier and that wide smile flagging a bit. “Anyway, guess she saw…the Navy connection and had a spare seat to bump me into.”

“What do you do? In the Navy I mean?”

The guy went silent, considering, and Josiah was afraid he’d been too nosy again, but right when he was about to apologize, Ryan finally spoke. “I’m a SEAL. I do a little bit of everything, but mainly I make things go boom. You?”

“Oh my God, you’re Special Forces. Do I ever have questions for you!” Josiah babbled again, only slowing down as Ryan’s easy smile morphed into grim line. “Sorry. I’m just excited because I’m a video game designer. And special ops is our new expansion pack.” And it happened to be the one Josiah was in charge of.

“You program games?” Ryan blinked, and Josiah wasn’t sure what he’d expected Josiah to do, but this clearly wasn’t it. “Anything I’ve heard of?”

Ah. That was it. He assumed Josiah was some sort of kid programming a dot matrix game in his basement. Josiah knew he looked too young for his job, because he was too young. At twenty-three, he was the youngest lead developer on the design team. Thus, he took no small amount of pride in saying, “Space Villager.”

“Oh wow, really?” There was a new note of respect in Ryan’s voice. “I love that game, especially the pod racer and first-person shooter expansion packs.” There was a hint of Texas or something else Southern in his voice, and Josiah could listen to him all day.

“Yeah? Well you’re going to love our special ops expansion pack even more.” Josiah projected far more confidence than he actually felt. He could make this project a success. He had to. The PR team had already hinted that the next expansion pack would revolve around special ops activities on a small war-torn planet, so Josiah didn’t worry too much about sharing this much with Ryan.

“I bet. My ex got me to back the crowdfunding drive, and I’ve been hooked ever since. My buddies were already teasing me about how much time I spent gaming, but there’s something particularly addictive about your game.”

Your game. Josiah liked the sound of that. He only knew a handful of women who played Space Villager, but the ones who did tended to be rabid fans. It was possible he might even know Ryan’s ex by her user handle, but Josiah had just enough self-control to not ask.

“Prepare for takeoff,” the pilot intoned over the PA. This was the part Josiah hated, the acceleration and stomach-dropping ascent. Today he hated it even more, knowing they might catch the edge of that storm. Focusing on turbulence that was probably hours away wasn’t logical, but then, Josiah’s brain seldom was.

“You always so antsy or are you a nervous flyer?” Ryan asked.

Oh crap. Guess he wasn’t doing such a bang-up job projecting the aura of a with-it project manager. He laughed nervously. “Both?”

“I promise we’re going to be okay.” Ryan gave him a quick friendly pat on the knee.

Oh. Josiah’s eyes went wide. Ryan was missing part of the pinky finger on his left hand and had some wicked scarring further up his forearm. Josiah tried not to stare, but knew he failed miserably.

“Mission gone wrong,” Ryan said gruffly. “Now back to flying, millions of people fly every day. It’s safer than car travel.” His tone made it clear further discussion of his hand was not on the table.

“I know flying’s safe. Knowing that’s not the same as believing it.”

Ryan’s answering laugh seemed to strip some of the tension from his face. “How well do I know that attitude. My ex got nervous before every flight, and his buddies used to razz him about it mercilessly.”

Man, two ex references in five minutes. Ryan must be totally hung up on his ex…wait. “His buddies”…What the hell?

“Your ex is a guy?”

“Yup.” Ryan’s smirk said he’d pegged Josiah ten minutes ago, probably when Josiah couldn’t peel his eyes away from those tasty biceps.

“Cool.” He was grinning, but he couldn’t make his facial muscles behave. Hot damn. Gorgeous, muscled, single, gamer, and gay. He ticked every last one of Josiah’s “perfect man” boxes. And if the gods were kind at all, Josiah could keep it together long enough to make a lasting impression.

Purchase

Carina Press | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | Google Play | Itunes | Kobo Books

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Meet the Author

Annabeth Albert grew up sneaking romance novels under the bed covers. Now, she devours all subgenres of romance out in the open—no flashlights required! When she’s not adding to her keeper shelf, she’s a multi-published Pacific Northwest romance writer.

Emotionally complex, sexy, and funny stories are her favorites both to read and to write. Annabeth loves finding happy endings for a variety of pairings and is a passionate gay rights supporter.  In between searching out dark heroes to redeem, she works a rewarding day job and wrangles two children.

Represented by Saritza Hernandez of the Corvisiero Literary Agency

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Sep 05

Release Day Blitz & Giveaway: Connection Error by Annabeth Albert

Connection Error Blitz BannerTitle:  Connection Error

Author: Annabeth Albert

Series Title and Number: #Gaymers, Book 3, but stands alone well too

Publisher:  CARINA PRESS

Cover Artist: CARINA PRESS

Release Date:  September 5, 2016

Heat Level: 4 (explicit m/m sex, but lots and lots of plot too!)

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: approx. 66,000 words

Genre/Tags: Romance, M/m Romance, contemporary romance, military romance

Add To Goodreads

9781459290679

Synopsis

It’s typical of video game programmer Josiah Simmons to be the last one on the plane on the way to the biggest meeting of his career. Though he’s (mostly) coping with his ADHD, he can’t handle another distraction. But he also can’t ignore his rugged seatmate—especially once he learns the military man’s a fan of his game.

Ryan Orson refuses to let his severe injuries pause his career as a navy SEAL. He’s got hours of grueling physical therapy ahead of him, and no time for anything that might get in the way of his return to active duty. But that doesn’t mean he’s above a little first-class flirtation with geeky-cute Josiah.

When a delay strands the pair in St. Louis, they agree to share a hotel room and a night of gaming. Neither expects their new connection to move to the next level in the light of day. Opposites may attract, but is this game over before it’s even begun?

Book Three of the #gaymers series

Excerpt

Chapter 1

Somewhere between the third newsstand and the fourth moving sidewalk in LAX, Josiah regretted not joining his friend Ravi in training for a 10k charity race. Nothing like a flat-out sprint from the check-in counter to the slow-moving security lines and another dash from security all the way through gates to make him rethink his aversion to cardio. And the worst part was that for once in his life he’d made every effort to be on time, getting up before the alarm, starting coffee, making sure they were out of the house by o’dark thirty ready for his early morning flight to Germany via a stop in Washington, DC.

Passport? Check.

Carry-on with both laptops, tablet and assorted accessories? Check.

Suitcase with more shirts with buttons than he’d ever owned in his life? Check.

Double-checking that his ticket was booked under “Josiah” not “Joseph”? Total fail, but in his defense, it never occurred to him that the travel agency his employer used would give the wrong name. And the check-in attendant at the airline counter didn’t want to believe that there was a mistake. Thus, every careful endeavor he’d made to ensure that he was on time—early even—went up in a huff of waiting for a supervisor and then another supervisor.

And now finally he was sprinting to make sure he didn’t miss the plane. Forget being there in time to priority board, he was going to be lucky to make the plane period. His first time flying first class—thank you, Space Villager for being such a bestselling gameand it was off to an inelegant start thanks to a stupid mistake.

Finally, finally, he reached the last few gates of the terminal. The TV sets scattered throughout the waiting area were all taking about that huge freak snowstorm heading for the New York area and whether it might veer south enough to cause snow along the whole Eastern Seaboard. Josiah shook his head, trying to not get sucked in to the TV. As long as he got to Germany on time, it wasn’t going to affect him and he needed to stay focused on—

“Last call for Flight 324 nonstop service to Washington Dulles International,” the loudspeaker blared.

“I’m here, I’m here,” he panted as the gate attendant set the red phone back on its hook. He held out his ticket. The woman was around his mother’s age with very red lipstick and very short blond hair and a spectacular frown just for him.

“Ah. Mr. Simmons.” She looked up after scanning his tickets, decidedly less frosty once she saw his first-class seat number. “Come with me, I’m going to have to walk you down.” She spoke into a walkie-talkie as they headed down the walkway. “We’re going to need to gate check your bags. I’m so sorry, but the first-class overhead compartments are all full.”

“Crap.” She gave him a questioning look, and Josiah remembered that he was supposed to be Mr. Smooth and Sophisticated Project Manager, not some whiny kid. “Sorry. That’s fine. Just let me grab my laptop.” He grabbed the laptop with the longer battery life before the attendant put a pink gate-check tag on his two bags. “But…uh…fragile.”

She gave him a tight smile, but added a yellow Fragile tag to his laptop bag. “You’re in Seat 1A,” she said, handing him his ticket back. “You’ll get your bags back when we land, I promise. Enjoy your flight.”

After a brief conversation with the gate attendant, a male flight attendant shut the plane door behind Josiah. “Welcome aboard,” he said to Josiah in a tone that clearly meant, “thank you for pushing back our departure.” In fact, the plane was rolling away from the gate before Josiah almost tumbled into the empty aisle seat of the first row.

“You made it.” A warm chuckle eased past the pounding of Josiah’s heart.

“Wha—what?” he whipped his head over to the window seat—a farther distance than one might expect. The first-class seats were huge padded affairs and there was a thick console dividing the seats. And…hello, most gorgeous guy Josiah had ever seen.

Wide, mischievous smile. Sparkling hazel eyes. Unshaven jaw. Short dark brown hair. And holy hell, arm muscles for days. Bulging biceps with tats poking out of his T-shirt sleeves.

All of a sudden this flight started looking way up.

“Sorry. Didn’t mean to startle you. I just meant I was beginning to think I’d get the row all to myself.” The guy’s voice was possibly even more attractive than his model-worthy face, deep and soothing, with an undercurrent of the sort of confidence that never failed to make Josiah shiver.

And he was all Josiah’s for the next five hours.

Well, except for the part where he seemed ready to take a nap and tune Josiah out—the guy had a pillow behind his head and a blanket on his lap. He yawned, revealing gleaming teeth worthy of a toothpaste ad.

“You’re not a model, are you?” As usual, Josiah’s tongue leaped into action before his brain could restrain it.

“What? No, not a model.” The guy laughed, more of that smoky chuckle that did things to Josiah’s insides.

“TV star? Athlete? Because it seems like I should know you from somewhere, and I don’t want to get to DC and people be like, hey, you were next to that Laker the whole flight…” He trailed off because his friends were right that he had absolutely no filter, and that was triple true around Muppet-flail-worthy hot guys.

“Nope, not famous.” The guy studied Josiah for a long moment, considering, the sort of are-you-for-real expression on his face that Josiah was well used to. Seeming to come to some sort of decision, the guy stuck his right arm across the console. “Lieutenant Ryan Orson, US Navy.”

“Pleased to meet you.” Josiah accepted the handshake. Navy made sense given the Navy-emblazoned T-shirt stretched tight over the guy’s aircraft-carrier-wide chest. Holy crap, the guy was big. Josiah was a skinny 6’2” with big hands and feet that always got in the way. But this guy’s hand made Josiah’s feel downright dainty. “I’m Josiah, Josiah Simmons.”

“Well, Josiah, want to know a secret?” Ryan asked in a conspiratorial whisper.

“Sure.” Josiah was down with whatever secrets this guy wanted to share.

“Not only am I not famous, I’m not even supposed to be in first class.”

“You’re not?”

“Nope.” Ryan winked at Josiah. He had a very disarming wink, all good humor and twinkly eyes.

“The check-in clerk bumped me into first.”

“You got the nice clerk.” Josiah was still a bit grumbly over the name hassle.

“She lost a brother over in Afghanistan.” There was a subtle hint of “grow up” in Ryan’s tone. Josiah straightened, remembering again who he was supposed to be. And here was this impossibly attractive guy to practice on. Sure, he might be Josiah the clueless geek back home, but here he was Josiah the new project manager. This Josiah knew the right way to act and speak and could impress even tough audiences.

“That’s so sad for her.” Josiah tried for sophisticated empathy, something he knew he kind of sucked at.

“Yeah, it is.” Something indecipherable passed over Ryan’s face, his eyes getting darker and cloudier and that wide smile flagging a bit. “Anyway, guess she saw…the Navy connection and had a spare seat to bump me into.”

“What do you do? In the Navy I mean?”

The guy went silent, considering, and Josiah was afraid he’d been too nosy again, but right when he was about to apologize, Ryan finally spoke. “I’m a SEAL. I do a little bit of everything, but mainly I make things go boom. You?”

“Oh my God, you’re Special Forces. Do I ever have questions for you!” Josiah babbled again, only slowing down as Ryan’s easy smile morphed into grim line. “Sorry. I’m just excited because I’m a video game designer. And special ops is our new expansion pack.” And it happened to be the one Josiah was in charge of.

“You program games?” Ryan blinked, and Josiah wasn’t sure what he’d expected Josiah to do, but this clearly wasn’t it. “Anything I’ve heard of?”

Ah. That was it. He assumed Josiah was some sort of kid programming a dot matrix game in his basement. Josiah knew he looked too young for his job, because he was too young. At twenty-three, he was the youngest lead developer on the design team. Thus, he took no small amount of pride in saying, “Space Villager.”

“Oh wow, really?” There was a new note of respect in Ryan’s voice. “I love that game, especially the pod racer and first-person shooter expansion packs.” There was a hint of Texas or something else Southern in his voice, and Josiah could listen to him all day.

“Yeah? Well you’re going to love our special ops expansion pack even more.” Josiah projected far more confidence than he actually felt. He could make this project a success. He had to. The PR team had already hinted that the next expansion pack would revolve around special ops activities on a small war-torn planet, so Josiah didn’t worry too much about sharing this much with Ryan.

“I bet. My ex got me to back the crowdfunding drive, and I’ve been hooked ever since. My buddies were already teasing me about how much time I spent gaming, but there’s something particularly addictive about your game.”

Your game. Josiah liked the sound of that. He only knew a handful of women who played Space Villager, but the ones who did tended to be rabid fans. It was possible he might even know Ryan’s ex by her user handle, but Josiah had just enough self-control to not ask.

“Prepare for takeoff,” the pilot intoned over the PA. This was the part Josiah hated, the acceleration and stomach-dropping ascent. Today he hated it even more, knowing they might catch the edge of that storm. Focusing on turbulence that was probably hours away wasn’t logical, but then, Josiah’s brain seldom was.

“You always so antsy or are you a nervous flyer?” Ryan asked.

Oh crap. Guess he wasn’t doing such a bang-up job projecting the aura of a with-it project manager. He laughed nervously. “Both?”

“I promise we’re going to be okay.” Ryan gave him a quick friendly pat on the knee.

Oh. Josiah’s eyes went wide. Ryan was missing part of the pinky finger on his left hand and had some wicked scarring further up his forearm. Josiah tried not to stare, but knew he failed miserably.

“Mission gone wrong,” Ryan said gruffly. “Now back to flying, millions of people fly every day. It’s safer than car travel.” His tone made it clear further discussion of his hand was not on the table.

“I know flying’s safe. Knowing that’s not the same as believing it.”

Ryan’s answering laugh seemed to strip some of the tension from his face. “How well do I know that attitude. My ex got nervous before every flight, and his buddies used to razz him about it mercilessly.”

Man, two ex references in five minutes. Ryan must be totally hung up on his ex…wait. “His buddies”…What the hell?

“Your ex is a guy?”

“Yup.” Ryan’s smirk said he’d pegged Josiah ten minutes ago, probably when Josiah couldn’t peel his eyes away from those tasty biceps.

“Cool.” He was grinning, but he couldn’t make his facial muscles behave. Hot damn. Gorgeous, muscled, single, gamer, and gay. He ticked every last one of Josiah’s “perfect man” boxes. And if the gods were kind at all, Josiah could keep it together long enough to make a lasting impression.

Purchase

Carina Press | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | Google Play | Itunes | Kobo Books

Connection Error Square

Meet the Author

Annabeth Albert grew up sneaking romance novels under the bed covers. Now, she devours all subgenres of romance out in the open—no flashlights required! When she’s not adding to her keeper shelf, she’s a multi-published Pacific Northwest romance writer.

Emotionally complex, sexy, and funny stories are her favorites both to read and to write. Annabeth loves finding happy endings for a variety of pairings and is a passionate gay rights supporter.  In between searching out dark heroes to redeem, she works a rewarding day job and wrangles two children.

Represented by Saritza Hernandez of the Corvisiero Literary Agency

Facebook | Facebook Author Page | Twitter | Tumbler | Fan Group | Newsletter

 Giveaway

Rafflecopter Prize: One winner will be selected to win a $20.00 Amazon Gift Card.

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Sep 01

Available for Review: Optical Illusion (Paint #1) by Emma Jaye

Paint-Book-1-High-Resolution

Optical Illusion

Paint #1

Author: Emma Jaye

Publisher:  Purindoors Publications

Release Date: 1st September 2016

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 103K

Genre: Romance

Add to Goodreads

Synopsis

Smile, wiggle, lie, apologise, and run for the hills.

That’s the formula Chris has used all his life, but this time, he has something he’s never had to lose before, a family that cares. The problem is, his new brother’s very edible friend isn’t fooled by his act. If his secrets are revealed, they won’t want him and he has nowhere else to go.

Thanks to a suicide bomber, ex-military police sergeant Jase Rosewood is back in the English countryside. His plans for quiet recuperation are ruined by the effervescent, go-go dancing twink who has everyone wrapped around his little finger. Luckily for the gullible Matt, Jase can smell a liar a mile away, and Chris Bacon, if that’s even his name, stinks to high heaven. Assigned ‘Chris-sitting’ duty while Matt’s on honeymoon, Jase has a week to discover what is hidden beneath the bright camouflage. It’s a job, just like any other, so why does it feel so different?
Unfortunately, Jase isn’t the only one drawn to the boy who can’t stay still, but instead of wanting to reveal his true colours; they want to dull them forever.

Contains issues of physical abuse, but not between the central couple.

Excerpt

“Go slow dance with your wife Mathew, or I’m stripping to ‘I’m holding out for a hero,’ right in the middle of the dance floor.”
Chris held up a finger and put an exaggerated thoughtful expression on his face. “Actually, that’s not a bad idea. It’ll exhaust all the old folks, the parents will take their kids away, which will leave us to have some proper fun. I think it’s about time I taught you provincial types how to go-go dance. This place would be seriously improved with some extra bump and grind.” He started to get up.
Matt got to his feet rapidly, using Chris’s shoulder to lever himself up. “Sit and stay.”
Chris grinned, then stuck his tongue out, moved his hands into a sit up and beg position and panted.
“Would you behave?” Matt growled but Chris’s grin only got wider.
“You’d better hurry up before I start humping your leg.” Then he looked over at Jase. “Actually, his leg looks far more interesting, well one of them does anyway.”
Putting his chin in his hand and his elbow on the table he stared at Jase while completely ignoring his brother who looked to the polystyrene ceiling for help.
“Love the red hat by the way, it definitely adds a certain something. So what’s your story soldier boy? Apart from the fact you used to fancy the pants off my brother. And what self-respecting rim-raider wouldn’t? He’s gorgeous, just like me.”
Still muttering to himself, Matt beat a hasty retreat as Jase sat and watched the Chris Show. This youngster might be able to wrap everyone else around his little finger, but he had interrogated all sorts of emotional young men over the last decade. This one was hiding something behind the bravado. He’d always found chatty prisoners easier to question, eventually they always felt the need to fill the silence.
“Strong and silent type, huh? I can work with that. Hopefully you’ll get so pissed off, that you’ll do something to shut me up. Personally I prefer being pinned down and silenced with a hot mouth. Or a dick. How about you? I’d guess you’re a dedicated top, which certainly floats my boat, although if you like switching, I can-”
“I’m not buying the act.”
Chris cocked his head to one side, making his dark curls bounce. His grin appearing forced for the first time.
“See? I knew I’d get you to talk, but I’ll take a rain-check on the smile, it could take all night and I can’t let any one fan monopolise the star of the event. I’m off to make some grannies blush, but you, Eddie Bull, are firmly on my ‘to-do’ list. See ya.”


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Aug 18

#ThrowbackThursday Book Blitz: Drawn Together by ZA Maxfield

Five things you might not know about Drawn Together:

 

  1. I had absolutely no idea there was ever a television show by the same name. At one point a friend of mine said if you want to write, stop watching television. I tried it. Didn’t watch so much as a commercial for several years!
  1. I have mentioned this, but the entire story of Drawn Together came to me while I waited in Line for Anime Expo in Long Beach.
  1. Yamane is one of my favorite characters. He’s a little magical. I would not write this book today. It’s problematic for a lot of reasons. Yet it’s also warm, and tender hearted and people have loved it. I didn’t change a thing.
  1. For Drawn Together, I took my favorite type of film, the road trip, and put a crazy cast of characters in it. I couldn’t begin to synopsize it, so I sent the book to Loose Id with an apologetic note. Because we had a relationship, my editor didn’t have me arrested. I told her, “I don’t even know what that book is, man.”

My editor called it a romp.

  1. For the entirety of the book, I tease readers with the mystery of Rory’s middle name. The name itself is never mentioned. Now I can’t remember what I thought it was, and all my notes are lost!

Title:  Drawn Together

Author: ZA Maxfield

Publisher: Self-Published

Release Date: June 20, 2016

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 272 Pages

Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Yaoi

Synopsis

306946931Re-release of bestselling 2009 novel —

What happens when Rory travels halfway across the country to meet the girl of his dreams? Certainly not what he expected…

Rory’s just be a simple southern boy from St. Antoine’s Parish, Louisiana, but he knows what he wants — the girl of his dreams, reclusive and mysterious artist Ran Yamane. He’s loved her since junior high school, and now he has the chance to meet her. He chucks everything and travels 1,500 miles to Anime Expo in Long Beach just so he can tell her. He’s determined that nothing and nobody are going to stand in his way.

Turns out, Ran Yamane isn’t a girl, but he gets that a lot. People come to him with teddy bears and chocolates and disappointment by the truckload. He’s trusted fans in the past and paid the price. So when he meets Rory he is understandably wary, but resigned. He isn’t prepared for his magnetic attraction to the young man, Rory’s apparent willingness to overlook his gender, and the chaos that ensues when his number one fan (and psycho stalker) shows up to get revenge.

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Meet the Author

AuthorPhoto

Z.A. Maxfield started writing in 2007 on a dare from her children and never looked back. Pathologically disorganized, and perennially optimistic, she writes as much as she can, reads as much as she dares, and enjoys her time with family and friends. Three things reverberate throughout all her stories: Unconditional love, redemption, and the belief that miracles happen when we least expect them.

If anyone asks her how a wife and mother of four can find time for a writing career, she’ll answer, “It’s amazing what you can accomplish if you give up housework.”

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Aug 16

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Showing Him the Ropes by Christa Tomlinson

Showing Him The Ropes BannerTitle:  Showing Him the Ropes

Author: Christa Tomlinson

Series Title and Number: Champions of Desire #1

Publisher:  Self Published

Cover Artist: Jay Aheer

Release Date:  August 16, 2016

Heat Level: 4

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: appx 74,000 / 180 p

Genre/Tags: M/M Romance, Contemporary, Erotic, Sports

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Synopsis

Chance “The Chancellor” Gerhardt is a mainstay for Frontier Professional Wrestling. He’s won multiple championships and has the respect of the locker room. But after ten years at the top, Chance is looking for a new challenge. The one he gets, mentoring FPW’s young rookie, is both unexpected and unwanted.

Devin Jacobs is a hot new talent signed by Frontier Professional Wrestling. He’s always been a fan of The Chancellor, and not just because of the older man’s skill in the ring. He has it bad for the steely eyed veteran wrestler. Unfortunately for Devin, The Chancellor doesn’t believe in mixing business with pleasure, and isn’t looking to get involved with anyone. Or is he? During long nights traveling and working together, Devin catches more than one secretly admiring glance from The Chancellor…

Devin is determined to earn victories and championships in the ring. But he’d also love the opportunity to win Chance’s heart. Can the two of them navigate their way through the hyper masculinity and backstage politics of professional wrestling to the most important victory of all? Or will their shot at love be defeated 1-2-3?

Christa Tomlinson is a lifelong fan of professional wrestling. When she’s not writing, Christa can be found watching her favorite classic matches or traveling to live wrestling events.

Excerpt

Devin changed the subject again. “So are you married?

“Hell no.”

“Are you seeing anybody?”

“No.”

“Mess around with the ring rats then?”

Chance laughed. “Not even close.”

Devin thought that was an interesting answer. “So do you not hook up with any chicks? Should your gimmick be The Monk instead of The Chancellor?”

“I’m not a damn monk.”

“So then who-.”

Chance cut him off. “This conversation is done.”

Devin sat there quiet for a moment. Chance sounded just like him when he’d been trying to squirm out of admitting he was gay. And it made him wonder. Could The Chancellor be gay as well? “I don’t hook up with any of the groupies either.”

“So?”

“I’m just saying, while we’re traveling together, you won’t have to worry about me bringing any girls up to our hotel room.”

Chance snorted and flicked on the right blinker to get over and exit the freeway. “Trust me, you wouldn’t. Because I wouldn’t allow it.”

Devin laughed as they drove down the exit ramp. “Is that right? What would you do if I did, spank me?” They’d come to idle at a stop light, so Chance turned and looked at him. His face was half in shadow, but Devin saw him run his eyes over him. And his heart started to pound. He knew that look. He’d seen that look plenty of times before – from guys who were interested in him. Seeing it from The Chancellor was the last thing he’d expected. But before he could decide what to say, or if he even should say anything, the light turned green. Chance turned back around to proceed through the intersection…

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Meet the Author

Christa Tomlinson is an exciting up and coming author in erotic romance. Her first self-published novel, The Sergeant, was an Amazon Best Seller for Gay and Lesbian Erotica for seven weeks straight.

Although Christa graduated from The University of Missouri-St. Louis with a degree in History, she currently prefers to write contemporary romance. She loves to create stories that are emotional and lovely with sex that is integral to the characters’ romantic arc. Her books include straight couples, curvy couples, gay, and multicultural couples. Love is love and everyone should have their story told.

Christa lives in Houston, Texas with her two dogs, and is a retired roller derby player.

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Tour Schedule

8/16 Two Chicks Obsessed with Books and Eye Candy

8/16 Alpha Book Club

8/17 Purple Rose Teahouse

8/18 MM Good Book Reviews

8/19 Bayou Book Junkie

8/20 Love Bytes Reviews

8/20 Prism Book Alliance

Giveaway

Rafflecopter Prize: Three lucky winners will each receive a signed paper back copy and cover art posters of Showing Him the Ropes.

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