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.

Purchase

Amazon | Goodreads

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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Cover Resized

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…

Purchase

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | All Romance | Kobo Books

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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.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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

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Aug 03

Blog Tour & Giveaway: ALL NOTE LONG by Annabeth Albert

All Note Long Tour Banner

Title: ALL NOTE LONG

Author: Annabeth Albert

Series Title and Number: Perfect Harmony, Book 3, but stands alone well too

Publisher: Kensington

Cover Artist: Cora Graphics/Kensington

Release Date: August 2, 2016

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

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: aprox. 80,000 words/ 232 pages

Genre/Tags: Romance, M/M Romance, contemporary romance, multi-cultural

Add To Goodreads

AllNoteLong

Synopsis

Giving true love a spin . . .

Michelin Moses is a country music star on the rise. With a hit single under his Texas-sized belt buckle and a sold-out concert tour underway, his childhood dreams of making it big are finally coming true. But there’s one thing missing—a promise to his dying mother that he’d find it—him—when the time was right. With a little luck, he won’t have to wait too long . . .

Lucky Ramirez is a hunky boy toy who dances at The Broom Closet, one of West Hollywood’s hottest gay bars. He loves what he does, and he’s good at it—almost as good as he is at playing dumb when he spots Michelin Moses at the bar. What happens next is off the charts—and keeps Michelin coming back for more. He’s just not sure it’s the right move for his career. But if Lucky gets his way, Michelin will get Lucky—and no matter how the media spins it, neither of them will be faking it . . .

Excerpt

Michelin Moses had no business at a gay bar, especially not one as notorious as West Hollywood’s The Broom Closet. And the line to get in totally underscored that—the vestibule was a long, narrow tunnel filled with kids out to enjoy their Friday night. Babies, really. Fresh-faced young things who probably didn’t even need to shave jostled one another in the tight space, laughing and joking as they admired one another’s club wear and gossiped about who was fucking who.

Not that Michelin was listening in, but the space was so tiny it was hard not to. He didn’t have club wear to ogle. He had “please for the love of God don’t notice me” clothes. And the idea of openly pointing to another dude in line and announcing to one’s friends, “Oh yeah, I hit that last weekend” was so totally foreign that he couldn’t help but gape a bit. The plexiglass walls of the tunnel gave off weird shadows—neither the lights outside the club nor the dim track lighting along the bottom edge of the tunnel were enough illumination.

He tugged at the collar of his Henley shirt. Damn, it was hot in here. Too small. Too tight. Not enough air. Shut up. He was not claustrophobic. If this line ever moved, he’d feel better once he was inside the Closet.

If that’s not a metaphor for your whole damn life…

“ID please.” Finally, the line reached the bouncers who were taking ID. Michelin couldn’t even remember the last time he’d had to stand around like this, show ID. At least unlike these nineteen-year-olds with their fake identification, Michelin’s Oregon driver’s license was likely to hold up. The bouncer was a huge guy—so tall and jacked that Michelin felt for the tiny stool that held him up—with surprisingly small, delicate hands.

He held the card aloft before finally handing it back and nodding. “Okay, cowboy. Enjoy your night.”

At least he hadn’t laughed outright at the name. That was something. Shoving his license back in his wallet, he stumbled a bit coming out of the tunnel.

“Watch it,” someone barked behind him.

“Sorry,” Michelin mumbled. Hell, he couldn’t even successfully enter the Closet. A nervous laugh bubbled up in his throat, something he stamped right back down. Forget the stupid bar, coming out of his personal closet was out of the question, and he didn’t need the crowd jostling behind him to remind him of that.

“This your first time here?” a kid to the left of him asked—short little guy with far more bravado than brains. Michelin made a noncommittal response but the kid grabbed his sleeve, his eyes going soft and hooded. “How about you be my daddy for the night? We can make sure it’s your lucky night.” The kid winked.

Ugh. Getting lucky wasn’t even remotely in the cards for his night.

“No thanks.” He pulled away from the kid, scanning the cavernous space for signs of the private party room his friends had promised. And oh holy hell, knowing in the abstract that this place had go-go dancers was a far cry from actually seeing said dancers dispersed through the place on platforms and in cages and even on something resembling a trapeze. Gleaming bronze skin and tiny shorts everywhere he looked.

Fuck the private room. I need a soda. Something to relieve his suddenly parched throat. He turned toward the main bar area and ran smack into one of the elevated dancers’ platforms. Two platforms flanked the opening of the club, directing the stream of traffic toward the bar, sort of like how a different sort of place might have large statues. Only instead of works of stone or ice, this…piece of art in front of Michelin was all man.

And what a specimen he was. The dancer probably wasn’t much older than the kids waiting to get into the club, but there was nothing juvenile about his tall, ripped body or that juicy bubble butt that he worked to perfection the way Michelin’s guitar player did a solo—each muscle working in concert with the others, each wiggle carefully choreographed for maximum appeal. Said butt was encased in a pair of shorts. Or at least Michelin guessed that one would call them shorts—they were longer than underwear, but not by much, and made of a clingy, silky red material. The stitching did things to the guy’s package that shouldn’t be legal.

Those muscular legs and that smooth, oiled chest also needed outlawing. The dancer had completed his look with thick, chunky combat boots, sunglasses, and a necklace with a medal on it. The boots and glasses upped the hotness factor to supernova, giving him an untouchable appeal that made it no surprise that he had a fair-sized crowd around his platform. Right as Michelin completed his muscle-by-muscle catalog of the guy, the dancer’s glasses slipped, revealing chocolaty eyes. His eyebrows went up, and the message he sent Michelin was unmistakable: You gonna stay there all night?

Oh fuck. Michelin was blocking the line of traffic, and more important, blocking access to the platform for the patrons who wanted to slip tips in the guy’s waistband.

Should he? He shoved a hand in his pocket, considering. Did he dare risk touching a piece of that gleaming skin? The lights reflecting off the dancer’s body totally made Michelin think of caramel dripping off flan—rich golden tones only enhanced by the contrast of the shiny black combat boots and his closely cropped black hair.

What the fuck was the protocol in a situation like this? Hi, I’m sorry I’ve been eye-fucking you for the last ten minutes, here’s a five? He’d never been to a straight strip club either. Hell, he avoided most bars like the plague. And eye-fucking? He never ogled—and not just because it could be disastrous to his career. Most of the time he simply felt oblivious, but something about the dancer perked up parts of Michelin that usually stayed dormant. Two people shoved around him to stuff money in the dancer’s shorts, their arms trapping Michelin briefly in place. Coming here had been a giant mistake, just as Gloria had warned him.

“You can’t go to that party! Gossip is already high about you mentoring two gay groups—”

“They’re not gay groups. They just happen to have gay members,” Michelin said wearily, already tired of this latest publicist the label had shoved at him.

“Whatever.” Gloria flipped her bony wrist. “They’re a risk you can’t take right now.”

“It’s no big deal. There will be straight people at the party.” Michelin didn’t bother with the “other straight people” pretext. Gloria knew the drill. “There’s no risk in celebrating a friend’s birthday.”

Except now, looking at the dancer, Michelin knew how wrong he’d been. This place was risk personified, and that dancer was the embodiment of everything Michelin denied himself. The dancer was a triple pour of top-shelf whiskey and Michelin couldn’t stop thinking about the heady rush touching him would bring. He should turn around now. Get back to his car now before he really embarrassed himself—

“Mi—boss! There you are!”

Oh thank you, small mercies, that Lucas stopped himself before he said Michelin’s name. Still, Michelin turned toward him warily. Play it cool, he tried to tell Lucas with his eyes.

Lucas nodded, just slightly. Message received. Like everyone else in the club, Lucas was in his early twenties and about a decade younger than Michelin, but at least he was one of Michelin’s favorite kids, especially because he was here to lead Michelin away from the temptation that was the dancer with the sculpture-worthy ass.

“The party room is back this way.” Lucas motioned with his hand. “Follow me.”

“Babe!” A familiar rangy figure with a punk haircut draped himself over Lucas. “You found him.” Cody had a smile for Michelin, but his affection was all for his boyfriend.

Ordinarily, Michelin loved being around the two of them and the other guys he mentored. Their energy was infectious, and their passion for music renewed his own. But tonight, Michelin’s stomach cramped as he followed the two of them to the rear of the club. Happiness practically rolled off them and their movements were totally in sync with each other. Once Michelin had thought he might get to know what that was like, but those days were long past.

“Don’t even think about doing anything now. You’ve got too much riding on this year. Don’t be foolish. You’ve got the number one country song in America right now. Don’t mess with your momentum.” Gloria’s voice rang in his ears. Nope. No way was Michelin ever getting what his friends shared. No sense in pining for it either. He had a career he loved, friends who made him laugh, and family at his back. He’d known what the trade-offs were when he decided to trade his rock stardom for country crossover success.

Tonight’s strange melancholy mood had him aching to get back home, push all these feelings into working on a new song. With any luck, Michelin could say happy birthday to Jalen, make a round of greetings to the other musicians he was mentoring, and get the hell out of Dodge. Preferably without running into the dancer again. He didn’t need another reminder of how little he fit into this world—or how much he wished life were a bit different.

Purchase

Kensington Publishing | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | Google Play | Itunes | Kobo Books

All Note Long Square 2

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

Tour Schedule

8/3      Joyfully Jay

8/3      Boy Meets Boy Reviews

8/3      MM Good Book Reviews

8/4      Prism Book Alliance

8/4      Book Reviews, Rants, & Raves!

8/4      Southern Babe’s Book Blog

8/4      Sinfully

8/5      Dog-Eared Daydreams

8/5      Back Porch Reader

8/5      Divine Magazine

8/6      Love Bytes Reviews

8/6      Alpha Book Club

8/6      Foxylutely Books

8/7      Making it Happen

8/7      Bayou Book Junkie

8/7      Purple Rose Teahouse

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Aug 02

Book Blitz & Giveaway: ALL NOTE LONG by Annabeth Albert

All Note Long Blitz BannerTitle:  ALL NOTE LONG

Author: Annabeth Albert

Series Title and Number: Perfect Harmony, Book 3, but stands alone well too

Publisher:  Kensington

Cover Artist: Cora Graphics/Kensington

Release Date:  August 2, 2016

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

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: aprox. 80,000 words/ 232 pages

Genre/Tags: Romance, M/M Romance, contemporary romance, multi-cultural

Add To Goodreads

AllNoteLong

Synopsis

Giving true love a spin . . .

Michelin Moses is a country music star on the rise. With a hit single under his Texas-sized belt buckle and a sold-out concert tour underway, his childhood dreams of making it big are finally coming true. But there’s one thing missing—a promise to his dying mother that he’d find it—him—when the time was right. With a little luck, he won’t have to wait too long . . .

Lucky Ramirez is a hunky boy toy who dances at The Broom Closet, one of West Hollywood’s hottest gay bars. He loves what he does, and he’s good at it—almost as good as he is at playing dumb when he spots Michelin Moses at the bar. What happens next is off the charts—and keeps Michelin coming back for more. He’s just not sure it’s the right move for his career. But if Lucky gets his way, Michelin will get Lucky—and no matter how the media spins it, neither of them will be faking it . . .

Excerpt

Michelin Moses had no business at a gay bar, especially not one as notorious as West Hollywood’s The Broom Closet. And the line to get in totally underscored that—the vestibule was a long, narrow tunnel filled with kids out to enjoy their Friday night. Babies, really. Fresh-faced young things who probably didn’t even need to shave jostled one another in the tight space, laughing and joking as they admired one another’s club wear and gossiped about who was fucking who.

Not that Michelin was listening in, but the space was so tiny it was hard not to. He didn’t have club wear to ogle. He had “please for the love of God don’t notice me” clothes. And the idea of openly pointing to another dude in line and announcing to one’s friends, “Oh yeah, I hit that last weekend” was so totally foreign that he couldn’t help but gape a bit. The plexiglass walls of the tunnel gave off weird shadows—neither the lights outside the club nor the dim track lighting along the bottom edge of the tunnel were enough illumination.

He tugged at the collar of his Henley shirt. Damn, it was hot in here. Too small. Too tight. Not enough air. Shut up. He was not claustrophobic. If this line ever moved, he’d feel better once he was inside the Closet.

If that’s not a metaphor for your whole damn life…

“ID please.” Finally, the line reached the bouncers who were taking ID. Michelin couldn’t even remember the last time he’d had to stand around like this, show ID. At least unlike these nineteen-year-olds with their fake identification, Michelin’s Oregon driver’s license was likely to hold up. The bouncer was a huge guy—so tall and jacked that Michelin felt for the tiny stool that held him up—with surprisingly small, delicate hands.

He held the card aloft before finally handing it back and nodding. “Okay, cowboy. Enjoy your night.”

At least he hadn’t laughed outright at the name. That was something. Shoving his license back in his wallet, he stumbled a bit coming out of the tunnel.

“Watch it,” someone barked behind him.

“Sorry,” Michelin mumbled. Hell, he couldn’t even successfully enter the Closet. A nervous laugh bubbled up in his throat, something he stamped right back down. Forget the stupid bar, coming out of his personal closet was out of the question, and he didn’t need the crowd jostling behind him to remind him of that.

“This your first time here?” a kid to the left of him asked—short little guy with far more bravado than brains. Michelin made a noncommittal response but the kid grabbed his sleeve, his eyes going soft and hooded. “How about you be my daddy for the night? We can make sure it’s your lucky night.” The kid winked.

Ugh. Getting lucky wasn’t even remotely in the cards for his night.

“No thanks.” He pulled away from the kid, scanning the cavernous space for signs of the private party room his friends had promised. And oh holy hell, knowing in the abstract that this place had go-go dancers was a far cry from actually seeing said dancers dispersed through the place on platforms and in cages and even on something resembling a trapeze. Gleaming bronze skin and tiny shorts everywhere he looked.

Fuck the private room. I need a soda. Something to relieve his suddenly parched throat. He turned toward the main bar area and ran smack into one of the elevated dancers’ platforms.  Two platforms flanked the opening of the club, directing the stream of traffic toward the bar, sort of like how a different sort of place might have large statues. Only instead of works of stone or ice, this…piece of art in front of Michelin was all man.

And what a specimen he was. The dancer probably wasn’t much older than the kids waiting to get into the club, but there was nothing juvenile about his tall, ripped body or that juicy bubble butt that he worked to perfection the way Michelin’s guitar player did a solo—each muscle working in concert with the others, each wiggle carefully choreographed for maximum appeal. Said butt was encased in a pair of shorts. Or at least Michelin guessed that one would call them shorts—they were longer than underwear, but not by much, and made of a clingy, silky red material. The stitching did things to the guy’s package that shouldn’t be legal.

Those muscular legs and that smooth, oiled chest also needed outlawing. The dancer had completed his look with thick, chunky combat boots, sunglasses, and a necklace with a medal on it. The boots and glasses upped the hotness factor to supernova, giving him an untouchable appeal that made it no surprise that he had a fair-sized crowd around his platform. Right as Michelin completed his muscle-by-muscle catalog of the guy, the dancer’s glasses slipped, revealing chocolaty eyes. His eyebrows went up, and the message he sent Michelin was unmistakable: You gonna stay there all night?

Oh fuck. Michelin was blocking the line of traffic, and more important, blocking access to the platform for the patrons who wanted to slip tips in the guy’s waistband.

Should he? He shoved a hand in his pocket, considering. Did he dare risk touching a piece of that gleaming skin? The lights reflecting off the dancer’s body totally made Michelin think of caramel dripping off flan—rich golden tones only enhanced by the contrast of the shiny black combat boots and his closely cropped black hair.

What the fuck was the protocol in a situation like this? Hi, I’m sorry I’ve been eye-fucking you for the last ten minutes, here’s a five? He’d never been to a straight strip club either. Hell, he avoided most bars like the plague. And eye-fucking? He never ogled—and not just because it could be disastrous to his career. Most of the time he simply felt oblivious, but something about the dancer perked up parts of Michelin that usually stayed dormant. Two people shoved around him to stuff money in the dancer’s shorts, their arms trapping Michelin briefly in place. Coming here had been a giant mistake, just as Gloria had warned him.

“You can’t go to that party! Gossip is already high about you mentoring two gay groups—”

“They’re not gay groups. They just happen to have gay members,” Michelin said wearily, already tired of this latest publicist the label had shoved at him.

“Whatever.” Gloria flipped her bony wrist. “They’re a risk you can’t take right now.”

“It’s no big deal. There will be straight people at the party.” Michelin didn’t bother with the “other straight people” pretext. Gloria knew the drill. “There’s no risk in celebrating a friend’s birthday.”

Except now, looking at the dancer, Michelin knew how wrong he’d been. This place was risk personified, and that dancer was the embodiment of everything Michelin denied himself. The dancer was a triple pour of top-shelf whiskey and Michelin couldn’t stop thinking about the heady rush touching him would bring. He should turn around now. Get back to his car now before he really embarrassed himself—

“Mi—boss! There you are!”

Oh thank you, small mercies, that Lucas stopped himself before he said Michelin’s name. Still, Michelin turned toward him warily. Play it cool, he tried to tell Lucas with his eyes.

Lucas nodded, just slightly. Message received. Like everyone else in the club, Lucas was in his early twenties and about a decade younger than Michelin, but at least he was one of Michelin’s favorite kids, especially because he was here to lead Michelin away from the temptation that was the dancer with the sculpture-worthy ass.

“The party room is back this way.” Lucas motioned with his hand. “Follow me.”

“Babe!” A familiar rangy figure with a punk haircut draped himself over Lucas. “You found him.” Cody had a smile for Michelin, but his affection was all for his boyfriend.

Ordinarily, Michelin loved being around the two of them and the other guys he mentored. Their energy was infectious, and their passion for music renewed his own.  But tonight, Michelin’s stomach cramped as he followed the two of them to the rear of the club. Happiness practically rolled off them and their movements were totally in sync with each other. Once Michelin had thought he might get to know what that was like, but those days were long past.

“Don’t even think about doing anything now. You’ve got too much riding on this year. Don’t be foolish. You’ve got the number one country song in America right now. Don’t mess with your momentum.”  Gloria’s voice rang in his ears. Nope. No way was Michelin ever getting what his friends shared. No sense in pining for it either. He had a career he loved, friends who made him laugh, and family at his back. He’d known what the trade-offs were when he decided to trade his rock stardom for country crossover success.

Tonight’s strange melancholy mood had him aching to get back home, push all these feelings into working on a new song. With any luck, Michelin could say happy birthday to Jalen, make a round of greetings to the other musicians he was mentoring, and get the hell out of Dodge. Preferably without running into the dancer again. He didn’t need another reminder of how little he fit into this world—or how much he wished life were a bit different.

Purchase

Kensington Publishing | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | Google Play | Itunes | Kobo Books

All Note Long 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

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

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Jul 31

Blog Tour: Given the Circumstances by Brad Vance (Excerpt & Giveaway)

Given the Circumstances Banner

Title:  Given the Circumstances AudioBook

Author: Brad Vance

Publisher:  AuthorsRepublic

Release Date: July 13, 2016

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 03 Hours 30 Minutes

Genre: Romance

Sub-Genre: Sports Romance, New Adult

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51yGx8GtMDL._AA300_1

Synopsis

Two promising college athletes meet, each needing something only the other can give him…

When Roger and Brian lock eyes on the first day of school, a friendship is born. Both men are hungry for connection – Brian needs the acceptance, encouragement and support he never had growing up, and when he finds out his new best friend is gay, it brings his own sexual identity into question. Roger needs a big brother, a best friend, but that will never be enough, especially not when he’s this close to big, strong, handsome Brian.

And both men want something more – careers as professional athletes. For Roger, the demands of the closet, the need to reject the love of a man to fulfill his love of the game, will be a crushing burden. For Brian, his downfall will be the substances he uses to get an edge over the competition, and to suppress his gnawing self-doubt and guilt.

One set of desires will bring them together, the other will force them apart…

Excerpt

 

Just give me another minute, Brian appealed. But his feet didn’t listen, they kept propelling him forward, and his hand went to the door handle. I’m not ready.

It didn’t matter, he knew. He was here, the die was cast, as Caesar had said. He opened the door and walked in.

Look at them, he told himself. Brainiacs. What are you doing here? It was Cal State Berkeley, man. Not Party Hearty State College, where he maybe, probably, should have gone. It wasn’t Lessing College, where he’d at least been able to keep his scholastic head above water.

He had a year of sitting out ahead of him, a year in academia alone for the first time in his life. Fucking insane stupid NCAA transfer rules that deny an athlete a whole year in his prime, for what? To keep you chained to the wheel, for the benefit of the schools and the coaches and the boosters, never the student, no matter what claptrap they spouted about academic excellence, stay the course, blah blah blah.

There was nobody with a hand on his shoulder, nobody to whisper, “You belong here.” He was on a baseball scholarship, or would be next year. This year he was here on a boatload of student loans. And like anyone else in his situation, who’d made a huge change and realized it couldn’t be unchanged, his blood had gone ice cold and he’d thought, What have I done?

Everyone in the classroom was in their own little world, not even looking up at the new guy. Nobody looks at anybody, he thought, anywhere ever. Trying to make eye contact with people on campus was like a contact sport where the goal was to avoid contact. Some people were oblivious, in their own world. Some people were shy, some people were assholes. But almost nobody wanted to look at you, just nod, and smile, and say “Hey.” To just be…civilized. They acted like you were going to ask them for spare change, or beg them to join your cult. It was the first time in his life he’d been somewhere he didn’t know anyone. And it sucked.

But one guy in the classroom looked at him right away. A fellow jock, no doubt – another guy always watching patterns, movements, making sure no detail of the action escaped his attention.

The guy nodded, Brian nodded back. The desk on his left was empty, and Brian took it. Something tense unknotted inside him, now that he’d finally had his first friendly moment of the day, of his new life. It was something he’d needed like a glass of water.

“Hey, I’m Roger,” the dude said, offering his hand. He looked familiar to Brian, with his dark hair and big blue eyes, the ultra-white sclera of a clean-living man, and the pale skin of someone who either spent this last summer indoors or had sensitive skin. He looked to be just short of Brian’s own height of six foot four, but not as beefy as Brian. He had a firm grip, and a big hand. A really big hand. Meaty and work-toughened, like his own. Football, Brian thought. Was he a wide receiver? I feel like I should know who he is…

“I’m Brian.” Roger looked at Brian, at his serious handsome face, tanned from the summer he’d spent outdoors without any of the sunscreen Roger applied rigorously. He took in Brian’s dark hair and dark eyes, and felt his grip match Roger’s own.

Put it back, Roger told himself. But “it” was out – he was young and horny and this guy was…hot. He’s a big bastard, he’s got to be 240 at least. All muscle, heroic shoulders and chest. Rolling on top of you, wrestling with you, pinning you down, one of the one tenth of one percent of guys in the world who are bigger than you, who can do that, who can win that fight, the fight you’d put up to make him prove his worth, all the while wanting to lose, refusing to lose, thrilled to lose…

And then what? he said, discipline kicking in like it did every time now, every time he met a hot guy. Walk it forward. Let’s say he’s gay, and you fall in love, and then you’re a couple, and then everyone knows you’re gay, and that’s it for your NFL dreams, buddy.

No. He’d put too much into it for too long, to lose it in exchange for a couple quick spurts. Nobody knows who you’re thinking about when you jerk off, he thought. That’s all you get for the next ten years. Just…remember him. And use this tonight.

Dude is intense, Brian thought, feeling the force of Roger’s gaze.

Then there was no more time for conversation, as the professor dashed in the door, hair and papers flying behind him. “Good morning. As they say on the plane, our destination today is the Italian Renaissance. If that is not your destination, you’re on the wrong flight.”

That broke the first class tension, the tension when you didn’t know if the professor was going to be a flake, or an asshole, or an idiot, or a bore.

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Meet the Author

Brad Vance writes gay romance, erotica and paranormal stories and novels, including the breakout hits “A Little Too Broken” and “Given the Circumstances.”

Email: BradVanceErotica@gmail.com
Website: http://www.BradVanceErotica.wordpress.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/brad.vance.10

Tour Schedule

Aug 1 – Erotica For All
Aug 2 – Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Minds
Aug 3 – Diverse Reader
Aug 4 – Blog of Andrew Grey
Aug 4 – Book Lovers 4Ever
Aug 5 – BFD Book Blog

Aug 8 – Cryselle’s Bookshelf
Aug 9 – Dean Frech
Aug 9 – Gay Book Reviews
Aug 10 – Dog-eared Daydreams
Aug 10 – Alpha Book Club
Aug 11 – Bayou Book Junkie
Aug 12 – Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents

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Jul 29

Book Blitz: Another Secret by Stevie Woods (Excerpt & Giveaway)

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Title:  Another Secret

Author: Stevie Woods

Publisher:  Torquere Press

Release Date:  8/3/16

Heat Level: 5

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 14,350 words

Genre:Gay Romance, Erotic Romance, Paranormal Romance

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Synopsis

After yet another bad dream, Leland accepts he can no longer keep his secret; the time had come to confess all to his best friend, Drew. He sets out early in the morning, determined yet fearful of Drew’s reaction to what he must tell him. Leland has loved Drew ever since they were teenagers and together they experimented with their sexuality, but Drew has only ever been his best friend. He dreads maybe even losing that when Drew learns the truth.

However, when halfway through the forest to Drew’s home, Leland is forced to take cover when he sees a large grey wolf tailing another man. His concern turns to shock when the man abruptly shifts to become a wolf and attacks the grey wolf.

The fight is swift and bloody and ends when the man-wolf runs off. Leland gets his second shock of the morning when the grey wolf abruptly shifts to become human. To become Drew. Too surprised to do more than watch as his now very naked best friend rushes off, Leland is in for yet another surprise when he finally confronts Drew later that morning.

Excerpt

Perhaps fate had decided enough was enough and given him that proverbial kick up the backside, letting him know it was time to tell Drew everything. He sighed. It was the last thing he wanted, but the time had come; he could put it off no longer.

He was just about to step out into a small clearing when he saw it—a large grey wolf, so dark as to be almost black. It was a beautiful specimen. Leland kept very still, not wanting to draw the animal’s attention. It looked as if the wolf was already trailing something by the way it was behaving. Even as he watched, the wolf sniffed the air and quickened its pace. Apparently, it had found its prey. As Leland slipped back behind the tree, shock slid through him as he spied the wolf’s target. It was a man.

Leland was of two minds what to do. His immediate reaction was to shout a warning, but that could induce the wolf to attack sooner. Cursing himself for being a fool, Leland ran as quietly and swiftly as he could around the clearing toward the unsuspecting victim. Sliding to a halt behind a large tree, Leland saw the wolf lowering itself, as if getting set to spring. Leland opened his mouth to yell a warning, but the man was not as unaware as Leland assumed. The man spun to face the wolf, snarling and growling as he tore the clothes from his body. Leland, his mouth still hanging open, watched in total shock.

Almost too fast for Leland to follow, the man’s form shifted and changed. From two feet, he dropped to all fours, fingers and toes becoming sharp claws. Pale skin sprouted dark brown fur as his face elongated and his teeth became sharp points frothed with saliva.

The two wolves leapt at each other, meeting mid-flight to clash and fall to the earth, landing on steady feet, teeth bared as they snarled at each other. They circled, gazes locked, until they charged again.

Leland gripped the tree so tightly the bark dug into his palms as he watched the two animals fight it out. He was battling the urge to run for safety, not sure if the wolves would break apart and come after him instead. His body was telling him to stay where he was, hopefully well and truly hidden, but his brain was debating how safe it would be when one of the animals won and sensed a new victim nearby. Even though he knew one of them was, in fact, a man who had changed—shifted?—into a wolf, Leland found it hard to think of it as anything but an animal. He certainly wasn’t behaving like a human as he bit and tore at the other wolf’s hide. Leland also wondered what sort of condition the man-wolf would be in, assuming he survived the fight. His body was already streaked with blood from the attack.

It appeared the two wolves were well matched; neither seemed able to gain the upper hand in the battle. The dark grey wolf suddenly leapt and landed hard on the man-wolf’s back and he let out a howl, which soon turned into a snarl as he fought his way from beneath the dark grey animal. With a snap of his jaws and a growl, the man-wolf turned and ran for the cover of the trees opposite where Leland was hiding. The dark grey wolf tensed, as if to follow, before it limped a few steps back, eyes constantly searching the surrounding trees to ensure the other wolf didn’t return. After a few minutes, the wolf sat on its haunches and began to lick at its wounds.

Leland allowed himself to relax a little, deciding it was best he stay where he was. He was pretty sure the wolf would sneak off to its den as soon as the animal felt secure enough to move on. He kept a close eye on it, not allowing his caution to slide, though after a minute or so, he did wonder if perhaps he was more shocked than he’d thought or if maybe he was more tired than he’d realized and his vision was affected. He couldn’t be seeing what he thought; he couldn’t!

But as he watched Drew Horton climb to his feet from where a second ago a dark grey wolf had sat, still rubbing at the long gash on his thigh, Leland could no longer refute what his eyes were showing him

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Meet the Author

STEVIE WOODS is a Brit living in the Northwest of England who has left her day job behind – though it’s a quandary that there still doesn’t seem to be much more free time in her day!

A long time avid reader of romance with a dash of adventure, Stevie only stumbled over ‘slash’ pairings a few years ago and was an immediate convert. Having dabbled with writing on and off for years, it wasn’t long before Stevie was tapping away on the keyboard inventing stories around two hot guys, gaining her first publication in the summer of 2007.

Stevie likes reading stories with a good strong plot and believable characters and does her best to create them in her own work.

Stevie has a soft spot for Historical settings but also thoroughly enjoys SF and Fantasy, Paranormal and Contemporary, finding the similarities as intriguing as the differences. Stevie already has a variety of novels, novellas and short stories released by Phaze Books, MLR Press and Torquere Press.

Stevie is happy to hear from her readers via her website: http://www.steviewoods.com

She can also be reached via:

Blog: https://swquill.wordpress.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/stevie.woods.16

Twitter: https://twitter.com/StevieWoods

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1200331.Stevie_Woods

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Jul 28

Book Blitz: Laid 3 by AJ Llewllyn (Excerpt & Giveaway)

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Title: Laid 3

Author: A.J. Llewellyn

Series Title and Number: Laid #3

Publisher: Torquere Press

Cover Artist: John Bruno

Release Date: 8/3/16

Heat Level: 5

Pairing: Male/Male, Ménage

Length: 19K

Genre:Gay Romance, Menage, Police Procedural, Noir

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Synopsis

Supercop Jack Cannon’s met the man of his dreams and isn’t about to give up loving Lucky… even when the man is marked for death.

LAPD Swat team member, Jack Cannon, takes on an unusual assignment, Threat Management, a new crack team created to target LA’s most violent criminals, The Hollywood Ten. Then… Jack is shot and forced to take a vacation. He flies to London to spend time with his hot and sexy lover, Lucky, in London.

Jack’s man is working on an undercover assignment. Jack’s plans for a feisty little R and R don’t sit well with the hit man who’s been hired by a mysterious source to bump off Lucky.

With things heating up between Jack and Lucky all over London from public restrooms to five-star hotels, Jack lures the wild assassin into their sensual web. This is either gonna be the beginnings of a spicy, feisty threesome… or a triple homicide.

Excerpt

“I see someone in the driver’s seat,” one of the bad guys said. They sounded very far away. It was the bulletproof glass.

Where the fuck is Zuniga?

I pulled out my phone again, texting for backup, I hated having to do it in the middle of a job but I wasn’t going to be much use to the mission if I was shot full of holes. I wasn’t invincible as much as I liked to pretend to myself that I was.

I couldn’t play cowboy and take on these pistol-packing peanuts alone. Or could I? Go down in a blaze of glory? I didn’t want a life without Lucky. They’d be doing me a big fucking favor if they shot me.

The message came back. Stay where you are. Don’t move.

“He’s texting! He’s texting!” one of the little assholes outside yelled.

“Shoot him!” the guy beside me said. I heard the one sound I didn’t want to hear. A gunshot. It bounced off the passenger window.

They started to rock the SUV back and forth.

Where the fuck is my backup?

 I drew my gun out of the holster as I heard the second sound I absolutely did not want to hear. My door releasing.

And opening.

I was ready for the little shit and shot him from my left hand, clear in the chest with my new, handy-dandy, state-of-the art, gazillion-watt Taser X26C gun. His eyes rolled up like escalator stairs and he flew back, billowing out on the ground, twitching with the force of the electro-magnetic impulse.

“Motherfucker!” his friends yelled. They ran toward the front, shooting away at me. I blasted back, getting one little fucker in the shoulder with my state-issue .32, with my right hand. The third little bastard screamed at me. What an asshole.

He jumped over his friend’s writhing body and popped off a couple of shots. One hit the driver’s door. As he neared me, I closed the door toward me and whumped him as he tried to yank at it. It smacked him in the face and I heard a satisfying crunch of bones. I let him have a little Taser juice just because I felt like it. He was on his knees calling me a pig and a honky.

No manners.

I closed and locked my door.

We’d been had.

How did he know I was a pig? And calling me a honky? He was like something out of a seventies’ blaxploitation movie.

I called my supervising unit. Nobody responded. I had three prone assholes outside and an even bigger problem on my hands. Somebody had ambushed us. Keeping my eyes on the road, I realized there’d been no traffic passing by me during the entire encounter with the three guys still sprawled on the ground.

Calling 9-1-1 was supposed to be my last resort but as far as I knew, my partner had been ambushed and the supervising unit was out of commission.

My cell phone rang. I prayed it wouldn’t be Lucky.

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Torquere Press

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Meet the Author

A.J. Llewellyn’s obsession with myth, magic, love, and romance might have led to serious stalking charges had it not been for the ability to write. Thanks to the existence of some very patient publishers, A.J.’s days are spent writing, reading and dreaming up new worlds. A.J. has definitely stopped Google-searching former boyfriends and given up all ambition to taste test every cupcake in the universe to produce over 200 published gay erotic romance novels.

A.J. wants you to read them all. A.J. can be found lurking on Facebook and Twitter—part-time class clown being another occupation. When not writing or reading, A.J.’s other passions include juggling, kite-boarding, and spending a fortune buying upgrade apps for Pearl’s Peril and Farm Heroes Saga.

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/A.J.-Llewellyn/e/B002DBJBC2/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_3?qid=1450904407&sr=8-3

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aj.llewellyn

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1914286.A_J_Llewellyn

Newsletter sign-up: ajllewellynnewsletter@gmail.com

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/ajllewellyn

Twitter: www.twitter.com/ajllewellyn

Website: www.ajllewellyn.com

I’m an app! Download my FREE A.J. Llewellyn App for Android here: tinyurl.com/lkbc4wm

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Jul 25

Book Blitz: Double Huge by Cassandra Dee (Excerpt & Giveaway)

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Title:  Double Huge

Author: Cassandra Dee

Publisher:  Self-Published

Release Date: May 10, 2016

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Female/Male (No Male/Male interaction)

Length: 20,000 Words

Genre: Romance, stepbrother, twin stepbrothers, kindle unlimited, 99cents, pseudoincest, ménage, MFM

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Synopsis

“Brothers, I can’t,” I gasped. “You’re too HUGE!”

Melanie:
Forty-six thousand for tuition? Where was I going to come up with that kind of money?

I started dancing … for dollars, that is, at the Donkey Club.

Trust me, it wasn’t something I wanted to do. But a girl’s gotta eat, right?

So it paid the bills until Saxon and Stryke came calling. Our parents got married and I agreed to work for my handsome, devastating steps, effective immediately.

But what was I thinking? Being in such close quarters with them made me tremble and shiver deep inside … because I didn’t realize they’d be so HUGE!

Note: This is a standalone book with a guaranteed HEA.

Excerpt

“By the way Melanie,” Saxon murmured. “Your skirt’s tucked into your panties.”

I looked down. Oh my god! When I’d come back from the bathroom, I must not have pulled my skirt down all the way, and now the flimsy pink material was tucked into my little g-string, revealing my bare ass cheeks, the strip of lace covering absolutely zero. Even more embarrassing, that lace was darkened with moisture, testament to my heightened arousal around these gorgeous men. Flushed, I hurriedly pulled the material down, trying to cover as much skin as possible.

“Try to wear a longer skirt next time, hmm?” mused Saxon, eyeing me suggestively.

And before I’d even realized what had happened, Stryke swiped a big palm across my ass, my skin burning as he touched me, that large hand warm and hard. Oh my god, wtf? Had my new brother just copped a feel in the middle of a restaurant? Stryke’s face was expressionless, calmly neutral, although there was a gleam in his eye.

And just when I was about to believe it was my imagination, Saxon reached between my legs, and lightly tapped the moistness at the crotch of my panties.

“Oh!” I gasped. I wanted to be outraged, scandalized at their bold moves. But it had felt so good, those warm fingers brushing against my secret space, niggling my clit for just a minute before touching my wetness. And Saxon brought his hand to his lips for a second, tasting a bit, sniffing, before smiling at me.

“Aromatic and sweet, just the way we like it,” he murmured appreciatively.

I was now absolutely floored, but fortunately saved by my mom’s clucking.

“Boys, it was so nice meeting you, and we’ll see you at the wedding okay?” chirped Noreen. “I’m glad we finally got to get together,” she smiled. Oh my god, what would my mom do if she knew that my stepbrothers had just fondled me intimately, testing my pussy and behind? Would the wedding still be on?

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Meet the Author

Pretty brunette drinking a shot at the barSIGN UP for my newsletter and get THREE FREE books at http://www.tinyletter.com/cassandradee

If I were to write a personals ad, it’d sound something like this:

Petite brunette, slim and athletic, loves drinks with girlfriends, dogs, hiking, reading, traveling, and pretty much anything outdoors. I started my career as a lawyer in Manhattan, but decided to be a romance writer instead — and have never regretted it.

I love scintillating stepbrothers, dashing billionaires, triple-X hot sex, and of course a happily ever after for all my female leads. It’s what they deserve because I make them go through hell to get it!

Feel free to email me comments, questions, book ideas, etc. My email is cassandradee.author@gmail.com.
All my best,
Cassandra

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Jul 22

Available for Review: Pendulum by L.C. Davis

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Review copies of Pendulum by L.C. Davis are now available for interested reviewers. Review copies are available in PDF, epub & mobi.  Please only sign up if you are interested in providing a review. Read the terms below before signing up.

-By signing up, you agree to read and review within 2 weeks of receiving the book.
-Each review should begin with a disclaimer stating that the book was provided for free in exchange for an honest review.
-Even though this book is being gifted to you please do not share it with anyone.
-Please also post your review to Goodreads/Amazon/etc. in addition to your blog.
-Review copies will be sent directly by IndiGo.
-Signing up does not guarantee you will receive a copy.
-Review copies will be sent on weekly basis.

Request A Review Copy

Summary from Goodreads:

Remus Black is still reeling from an abusive relationship that stripped him of everything — including his desire for love. Now all he wants is a fresh start halfway across the country, but his new roommate is determined to draw him into his strange world of chains, half-naked men and the infamous Lodge, a BDSM club as lavish as it is secretive.

When Remus is entered into the Lodge’s annual Alpha’s Pet contest against his will, he finds himself thrown to the Wolf Pack, the very type of men he needs to avoid. What’s worse is that the wolves immediately label him a submissive, something he swore he would never be again. Things get even stranger when “wolf” turns out to be far more literal than Remus ever imagined. When both the next-in-line for Alpha and his outcast brother claim Remus as their own, the entire pack is thrown into chaos.

Can Remus learn to embrace the power of submission and choose between the brothers before their rivalry tears the pack apart, or will the tension between them unravel his own sordid past?

Jul 22

Book Blitz: Save Jake Venice by Asher Oswald (Excerpt & Giveaway)

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Title: Save Jake Venice

Author: Asher Oswald

Publisher: Torquere Press

Cover Artist: Kris Norris

Release Date: 7/27/16

Heat Level : 2

Pairing: male/male

Length: 10,000 words

Genre:Gay Romance, Science Fiction, Time Travel

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Synopsis

When I heard Jake Venice had taken his life, I felt like I died with him. Suffocated by the fluff and fakeness of the plastic faces at his funeral, all I wanted to do was join him…wherever he was now.

I woke up the next morning with one last chance. Somehow, I was put ten days back, and I had one shot to try and save Jake. I drove across the country to find him, but when I did…How do you convince someone to hold on who’s already let go? How do you bring light to someone committed to the darkness? I have ten days to try.

Excerpt

No call from Jake. No call from the mechanics. As I take out my wallet to check on what cash I have left, the piece of paper falls out. It’s crinkled now. I unfold it.

One shot.

I look up and close my eyes, then stare at the words again. The future I remember seems like the dream now.

Did Jake really kill himself? Did I just dream it, and drove all the way out here only to be reminded of his rejection? But it was so real. I can’t abandon him in his darkness.

I fold the piece of paper back up and put it in my wallet.

 

Early evening and I’m back at the coffee shop, ordering my mocha and a ham sandwich. The barista grins, “The usual, huh?”

I already have a usual.

He’s mixing my drink as I catch his attention, “Do you know a Jake Venice?”

He looks at me sideways, “Is that, like, some kind of drink?”

“No, it’s a guy. He comes in here sometimes, I think. Glasses, goatee.”

The barista laughs, “That’s 90% of the dudes that come in here, man. Sorry.”

“He said he plays piano at some club around here on weeknights…any idea of where that might be?”

The barista swirls whipped cream onto my mocha and hands it to me, “That could be a lot of places. Check out the board by the door—customers put up posters and stuff there.” He hands me my sandwich, “Have a nice day.”

I devour my usual and then take a look at the large corkboard by the door. Posters and advertisements, one on top of the other, desperately vie for attention.

Despite all the screaming ads, an image catches my eye: Jake in a tux by a piano. He’s trying to look relaxed as a lounge singer, but his natural stiffness shines through even here.

Danny McGee’s Piano Bar in downtown…” I mumble to myself, fingers quivering as I punch the address into my phone. Perfect. It’s only a few minutes from the motel, just over the Potomac.

A cold wind picks up outside the bar, blowing my black jacket about and herding people inside for refuge. The fevered weather of the last few days is leaving.

Across the front, in bright cartoon letters, glows Danny McGee’s. Amplified piano reverberates from the walls, and my heart begins to pound. Another gale blows down the street, and the sky vomits rain. I flee for the doorway.

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Save Jake Venice SquareMeet the Author

Asher Oswald hails from the cool, coniferous shores of Lake Superior. Raised on the boreal beauty of the North and long winter nights, Asher writes to penetrate the heart of the human experience, to lay bare its beauty as well as its anguish. To escape his own thoughts and inspire them, he enjoys hiking the North Woods, playing piano, and traveling the world to add to his growing collection of experiences.

 

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/Asher-Oswald-1520340201628654/
Twitter: twitter.com/asheroswald
Blog: asheroswald.wordpress.com
Tumblr:
asheroswald.tumblr.com

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