On Tour with Ariel Tachna and ‘Talking in Code’ (‘Recognition’ guest post)

Standard

talkingincodefs_v1

Talking in Code by Ariel Tachna
D
reamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Paul Richmond

Available for Purchase at

bef50-dreamspinner2blogo

02c52-goodreads-button

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Ariel Tachna here today talking about her latest story, Talking in Code. Welcome, Ariel!

✒︎

Talking in Code starts in media res. Eric, Tim, and Richard are already well and truly involved with each other, but the story includes references to moments before the book begins, moments that are not fully explored in the novel itself.

This is the third of those moments.

Recognition

“Some days I don’t know what to do with Newton,” Tim said as he climbed into the shower with Richard. It had been one hell of a mission, but they’d all made it home safe, and he couldn’t ask for more than that. “How hard is it to follow one simple order?”

Richard snorted as he directed the spray onto Tim’s back. “To listen to you talk about him, impossible.”

Tim flushed. He probably talked more about Eric than he should, but he couldn’t seem to stop. If Richard had noticed, though, he needed to tone it down.

“I’ve been on a lot of missions with him recently.”

“You have,” Richard agreed. He pulled Tim into his arms. Tim went willingly, tucking his head beneath Richard’s chin and resting against his broad chest. Other than their height, they were of a size, but it always felt like coming home to lean on Richard this way, like he was safe for a few hours in the craziness of their lives. “I’ve had to listen to you bitch about him after every one. It’s a damn good thing he’s good at his job, because he’s hell to work with, from what I can tell.”

“He’s not good at his job. He’s brilliant at it,” Tim said automatically. He’d spent months arguing with anyone who would listen, until he’d finally just said fuck it and started taking Eric on his own missions. He appreciated him even if none of the other team leaders seemed willing to acknowledge his effectiveness.

“So you’ve said. Repeatedly.”

“Is that a problem?” Tim asked, feeling defensive. He hadn’t done anything wrong by taking Eric under his wing. He’d just made sure they kept him as part of Strike Force Omega instead of losing him because of people who couldn’t see past his attitude.

“Not unless you tell me it’s one,” Richard replied easily.

Tim almost wished Richard would make an issue out of it. He could feel it between them, the silent elephant in the room, but he was the one in the wrong, not Richard. He was the one who couldn’t stop thinking about another man when he already had the best man in the world in his bed.

“Do you remember when we had shore leave in Bangkok?” Richard said. “We’d been together for a couple of years at that point, but nobody knew, not even our families.”

Tim remembered it. Well, parts of it. Other parts were nothing but a drunken haze. They’d been twenty-four. Stupidity was expected. “What about it?”

“You remember Chaisai, then. He caught my eye, you thought he was pretty too, and we spent several days taking turns fucking him senseless.”

“That was a long time ago. We haven’t done anything like that since then.”

“Only because nobody’s caught our eye,” Richard said. “Newton has caught your eye.”

“What about yours?” Tim asked, hardly daring to hope this conversation would go where he wanted it to.

“He’s easy on the eyes,” Richard replied with a shrug. “It would be no hardship to take him to bed.”

Tim swallowed hard. “He’s not just another fuck. He works for us, and I’d like him to keep working for us. It’s not worth losing his skills for a night of fun.”

“Maybe I’m reading you wrong, but I think it went past the realm of a night of fun a long time ago,” Richard said. “You kicked Warren’s ass after he insulted Newton one time too many and made such a fool of him that he quit. The last time you did that was for me. You talk about him all the time, even if half of it is complaints. You worry about him when he takes a mission with someone else, and you fuss over him worse than a mother hen with her chicks if he comes back with so much as a scratch on him.”

Tim froze. “And that doesn’t bother you?” he asked slowly.

To his surprise, Richard laughed. “It might if he didn’t look at you like you hung the moon, or if you had started treating me different because of it, but as it is, all I can think about is what a lucky bastard I am to have you when a young guy like Newton is lusting after you too. I can imagine it already. We’d get him in bed, and I’d just sit back and watch for a bit. Watch how much he wants you, all while knowing you’re mine. He can have you for a bit, but only because I agreed.”

The thought took Tim’s breath away. He could imagine it so easily—Richard’s gaze on him as he fucked Eric. Or maybe Eric was the one doing the fucking. Tim didn’t care. He’d take whatever he could get. Or if that wasn’t Eric’s thing, he’d try something else. He gave a damn fine blow job, according to Richard. And all the while, Richard would be there, leaning against the headboard, stroking himself while he watched, until his control finally snapped and he took charge. His big, hot hands on both of them as he directed their actions, bending them to his pleasure because they’d already seen to their own. “You’d do that for me?”

“I’d do it for us,” Richard corrected. “If that’s what you want. If you have a different scenario in mind, I’m all ears.”

Tim had more scenarios in mind than he was willing to admit, but one recurred more frequently than the others. “Him between us. Doesn’t matter what we’re doing to him, but sandwiched between us so that every thrust against him drives him into you and or drives him against me. So that whatever we do to him, we’re doing to each other by extension.”

“We can do that.”

God, he loved Richard. There weren’t words enough in any language he spoke—and he’d learned enough to be conversational in several—to say how much.

“And if one night isn’t enough?” Tim asked. “If this isn’t like Chaisai and something we just get out of our system?”

“Then we’ll need a bigger bed.”

Talking in Code blurb:

Some things crumble under pressure. Others are tempered by it instead. For three former soldiers, a tragedy might be the catalyst that binds them together—stronger than ever.

Richard Horn and Timothy Davenport met in the SEALs twenty years ago and have been lovers ever since. Now running their own paramilitary organization, Strike Force Omega, they work in the shadows to protect their country and its people. When Tim falls for Eric Newton, a deadly sniper and strategist on their team, Richard accepts that Tim’s heart is big enough for two men. He respects, admires, and even desires Eric enough to accept him into their relationship—and their bed—but he’s never been fully a part of what Eric and Tim share.

Then Eric is captured by terrorists and Tim is gravely injured in an op gone wrong, bringing Richard’s world crashing down around his ears. Even if he gets his men out alive, Eric must face the aftermath of months of physical and psychological torture—and without Tim to lean on, Eric’s PTSD is tearing him apart. Richard has to figure out the third leg of their triangle fast, or Tim won’t have a life to come back to.

About the Author

ariel-bio-pic

When Ariel Tachna was twelve years old, she discovered two things: the French language and romance novels. Those two loves have defined her ever since. By the time she finished high school, she’d written four novels, none of which anyone would want to read now, featuring a young woman who was—you guessed it—bilingual. That girl was everything Ariel wanted to be at age twelve and wasn’t.

She now lives on the outskirts of Houston with her husband (who also speaks French), her kids (who understand French even when they’re too lazy to speak it back), and their two dogs (who steadfastly refuse to answer any French commands). The cat pretends they’re all beneath her, no matter what language they’re speaking.

Visit Ariel:

Website:   http://www.arieltachna.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ArielTachna
Twitter:    @ArielTachna
 E-mail: arieltachna@gmail.comwszaa

3 day release blitz: *Snapshots by Addison Albright (excerpt and giveaway)

Standard

snapshots-banner

Title: Snapshots
Author: Addison Albright
Release Date: February 25th 2017
Genre: MM Contemporary Romance

snapshots_400x600

BLURB

Whatever your romance reading preference — gay virgin, opposites attract, friends to lovers, or simply fun how-they-met stories — this collection contains a variety of sweet, contemporary, short gay romances, sure to make you smile.

Rewritten and re-edited, these stories were previously published singly and are available now in one collection!

Contains the stories:

* Cow Pie Bingo

* King Kong vs. The Skinny Pirate

* Born to Be Wild

* The Straggler

* Now and Forever

* Moving On

* Moving Along

* Dropping Quarters

* Nevermore

* Photo Shoot

* Okay, Then

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Preface:

I love short stories. Sometimes a brief “snapshot” taken from a couple’s larger story is all that’s wanted. The narrative of “how they met” is the focus of six of the shorts in this set—quirky tales ranging from meeting at a charity fundraiser, to college kids pranking each other, to a mishap at a XXX adult video arcade.

Also included is a story featuring a well-established couple’s wedding dilemma, a friends-to-lovers tale, a coming-out-of-the-closet drama, and a continuation short that follows one of those how-we-mets. Rounding out this collection is an account revisiting the main characters from my full-length novel, ’Til Death Do Us Part.

All of these stories are contemporary, although one has a bit of paranormal flavor to it. Heat ratings range from “fairly sweet” to “rather steamy.” Excepting the final story, all were originally written in 2008 and early 2009. One (“Photo Shoot”) started out as a prompt word ficlet that I later fleshed out to a more complete story. Each has received a thorough overhaul, some more extensive than others. I hope you’ll enjoy reading them as much as I did writing them.

Find Snapshots on Goodreads

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | iBooks | JMS Books

king-kong

**Please note King Kong vs. The Skinny Pirate is FREE as a separate ebook

Goodreads | Amazon US | Amazon UK | iBooks | JMS Books

EXCERPT

“Okay, then.” That’s what Sam had said. His leg had bounced like it always did when he was nervous. It was endearing, and one of the things that drew me to him. His grin was another. I melted a little each time he leveled it in my direction, which had made it incredibly hard to hide my attraction. That ship had now sailed. For better or for worse, Sam now knew of my interest, and had agreed to a date.

His words had come at the end of a conversation we’d had at breakfast yesterday morning after we’d cleared up a misunderstanding regarding my intentions when I’d previously asked him out. Well, I suppose technically I’d asked him back to my room for a drink, so I couldn’t actually fault him for not understanding that I truly wanted to date him, not just have a fling while we were here in Honiara collecting research data.

“I’m sorry, Henry,” Sam said now as we approached Mambo Juice’s entry. “I wasn’t thinking straight, obviously.”

Perspiration dripped down my face. My pits felt more than a little damp, and sweat matted my chest hairs. The shower I’d taken right before we’d left the Solomon Kitano Mendana Hotel, where we were staying a few days before heading to the smaller islands in the chain, had been a complete waste of time. But even if I’d known Sam would suggest we walk a mile to the Mambo Juice, I probably would have bathed anyway. I wanted to impress the man, after all.

teaser_snapshots_okaythen02_400x400

Giveaway : WIN a Snapshots ebook

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author

addison-profile-pic

Addison Albright lives in the middle of the USA with three peculiar cats. Her stories are gay (sometimes erotic) romance, and tend to be sweet man-love in contemporary settings. Her education includes a BS in Education with a major in Mathematics and a minor in Chemistry. Addison loves spending time with her family, reading, popcorn, boating, french fries, “open window weather,” cats, math, and anything chocolate. She loves to read pretty much anything and everything, anytime and anywhere.

Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

embrace-button-small

A MelanieM Review: Man and Tree by Wayne Mansfield

Standard

Rating: 2.75 stars out of 5

 

man-and-tree-by-wayne-mansfieldNathaniel, a horse-riding traveler in eighteenth century Europe, emerges from a vast forest to see a field of golden wheat. At the centre of the field is a large tree and, at its base, a man. Strangely, the man appears to be talking to the tree.

At the village inn, Nathaniel asks the barman about the man and tree. The barman refuses to tell him anything, so Nathaniel decides to visit the man himself. The following morning he rides back to the field, where he notices the man is still there, talking to the tree.

He introduces himself to the man, whose name is Adam. When questioned about why he sits beside the tree, talking to it, Adam reveals a story so amazing, it borders on being unbelievable. Nathaniel, too, has a similar tale, the conclusion of which is just as bizarre and shocking as Adam’s.

Man and Tree is a short, and quite frankly bizarre little tale about two couples who had the misfortune to run a foul of a witch.  I think had the author tried for more of a fantasy feel, instead of locating the story in 18th century Europe and going for an adult fairy tale, Man and Tale might have come off a little better on the whole.  As it is, its hard to explain the complete lack any awareness of the laws and societal awareness of homosexuality of those times.  Its completely ignored or made little reference to.  Surprising when both couples meet and jump enthusiastically into sex and relationships.  Then things go spectacularly wrong for all four of them.

I like the imagery the author provides when that happens.  Nice, very  nice indeed.  But Mansfield leaves other holes in his narrative.  Some things makes sense, others, not so much, especially when it comes to said witch.  Tell us more about that witch and her background. And that ending?  Wrapped up way too easily and without the requisite answers to some of the  questions the author himself raised about the village and the villagers.

All in all?  Man and Tree had some nice elements to it but more aspects to it that raised questions in my mind.  It sort of felt like an outline to a larger story than a completed short tale.

Cover art is ok but doesn’t really speak to any of the elements in the story.

Sales Links

JMS Books LLC

7104e-waxcreative-amazon-kindle

 

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 47 pages
Published September 10th 2016 by JMS Books LLC
ASINB01L8DXWMA
Edition LanguageEnglish

A Stella Release Day Review: Ringo and the Sunshine Police by Nick Wilgus

Standard

RATING 5 out of 5 stars

ringo-and-the-sunshine-police-by-nick-wilgusThomas, an older gay musician living in a small Southern town, is ready to start a family. He fosters Jeremy, a special needs boy with no arms, and teaches him to play the drums so Jeremy can realize his potential to do anything he wants. Though it takes time, Thomas’s closeted boyfriend Randy steps out of the shadows to be part of what Thomas is working to build. With the advent of marriage equality, it’s a different world in the Deep South—one where the three of them have the chance to be a family.

Yet no one said it would be easy, and they soon learn the foster care system is far from perfect.

Just as Jeremy begins to settle in and thrive, his biological father reappears, demanding custody. Thomas and Randy know the man is unfit to care for Jeremy, but the law says otherwise. It seems they’re the only ones looking out for Jeremy’s best interests, and they face an uphill battle if they want to keep their new family together.

Nick Wilgus is one of my favorite authors, I’m not sure how many times I said it in the reviews of his previous releases, but I’m never tired of his works. Each time he breaks my heart with his stories, and each time I love his writing more and more.

This new release, Ringo and The Sunshine Police, was no exception. I cried a lot of course, it was really inevitable to not fall in love and suffer with the little Jeremy. I supported Thomas and hoped for Jeremy to find a family till the end, I hurt when Thomas was missing Jeremy so much he couldn’t find the strength to help Derek, another boy who desperately needed a new family. I wasn’t a huge fan of Randy, maybe I wasn’t able to know him very well. In fact this is a story focused not on the usual male/male couple, this is a story focused on Thomas and his strong will to have a family and most of all to adopt children with special needs, the same children no one wants. Randy has not a huge role in Thomas’ plans of the future, especially at the beginning of the novel, where Randy is still in the closet and a man in the closet can’t really play a role in what Thomas wants. Instead I liked Thomas from the start, he is a great man, the love he has and wants to give to Jeremy is bigger than himself, he was overwhelmed by it when he lost Jeremy but too powerful to forget.

Ringo and The Sunshine Police is not for everyone, all of the stories Nick writes are not for everyone, the subjects he speaks of are important, cruel, too strong, and when they are paired with children they become too hard to read. These themes could be a trigger for some reader, so be careful. If you’re looking for a light story, Nick Wilgus isn’t what I can recommend, at all. But if you’re looking for an emotional book, with characters that will stay with you for days, you can’t go wrong with any story by this author.

The cover art by Garrett Leigh is well done and fitting and I particularly like its brightness.

Sales Links

0dbe2-dreamspinner2blogo

65a2f-waxcreative-amazon-kindle

BOOK DETAILS

ebook, 300 pages

Publication Date: February 24th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN 1635332893 (ISBN13: 9781635332896)

Edition Language English

A PaulB Review: Max (Demon Elite 7) by April Kelley

Standard

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

max-demon-elite-7-by-april-kelleyThe men of the Demon Elite team are closing in on Victoria Mize.  Will the man whom Victoria is trying to frame for her crimes be able to help?

Sydney Marshall is an assassin, like most of the Demon Elite squad.  However, his past is being used against him.  Word on the street is that he is behind the sex trafficking operation that is actually run by Demon Elite’s former boss, Victoria Mize.  His only “friend” is his informant Twiggy the drug addict.  He knows that talking to Max from the Demon Elite squad is a stupid move, but he has no one else he can trust.

Max Shaw knows talking to Sydney is a bad idea.  First, he associates with the wrong element in Chicago.  Sydney should be in jail for his crimes.  However, he might be the one piece that is needed to finally take down Victoria.  He cannot be THAT bad if she thinks he’s an easy target to frame.  Talking to Sydney, he finds that he might actually like the guy—well enough for a roll in the hay.  After all, Max does not do relationships. 

When Sydney finds out that Victoria’s main goon is looking for him, he realizes that he needs to get to Max as soon as possible.   Hotwiring a car, he makes his way to the lakeshore retreat that houses Demon Elite.  Arriving at the compound, he faces several guns pointed at him.  Max rescues him and tells Jared, (the boss) that is Sydney is turned away then he will resign from the team.  Some of the team unhappily deal with the situation.  When the team comes up with a plan to use Sydney to lure the goon out, he agrees.  However, his friend Twiggy has been kidnapped and the team must spring to action immediately.  They need to protect Sydney and save the one man Sydney has counted on over the past few years.

As usual, this is another thrill ride into the land of assassins by Ms Kelley.  As the story, and the number of unmatched Demon Elite team mates, winds down, the anticipation of the final showdown with Victoria builds.  I have to feel for Max.  His parents divorced while his was young.  His mother never formed another meaningful relationship which helps form Max’s aversion to them.  His father on the other hand has recently lost his partner a couple of years ago and is reeling from it.  Max must deal with these mixed examples in order to open his heart to Sydney. 

The cover art by Latrisha Waters is the standard outstanding cover for the series.  A well-muscled Max stands alone in his tee shirt with the Demon Elite crest in the corner. 

Sales Links

eXtasy Books

7104e-waxcreative-amazon-kindle

Book Details

Ebook, 102 pages

Edition Language:  English

Published:  October 24, 2016 by eXtasy Books

ISBN:  978-1-4874-0900-5

Series:  Demon Elite

Crash (Demon Elite #1)

Wolf (Demon Elite #2)

Cosmo (Demon Elite #3)

Tanner & Shade (Demon Elite #4)

Ashley (Demon Elite #5)

Germ (Demon Elite #6)

Max (Demon Elite #7)

An Alisa Audiobook Review: Kieran: The Atherton Pack 4 By Toni Griffin and Nick Flint (Narrator)

Standard

Rating:  4 stars out of 5

 

ap4-kieran-audio6x6_orig“You need to go to Atherton,” they said. Easy for them. The higher-ups at headquarters don’t have their whole world on the line. When Detective Damon Kelly’s bosses send him across the state on a “simple” cyber fraud case, he never thinks he’d meet his mate, then risk losing Kieran by doing his job. No matter what other possible angles Damon works, his partner Grant Davis is sure Kieran’s best friend Corey’s their guy, and Grant is bent on bringing him in.

 

After the birth of their Alpha’s son, the Atherton Pack needs another beta. Kieran Baxter couldn’t be happier to accept. What Kieran doesn’t expect is for all hell to break loose his first week on the job. Clashing with his mate at every turn, and fighting a human cop who wants to arrest Corey for hacking a government database, wasn’t part of the plan either.

 

As more evidence piles up, a bigger, scarier picture comes into focus that could threaten not only the Atherton Pack, but everything the world knows.

 

This was another great addition to the Atherton Pack series.  Damon is thrown for a loop when he meets his mate while investigating his mate’s best friend while also trying to guide his work partner away from the obvious suspect.  Kieran is excited to meet his mate, but doesn’t know how to reconcile his friendship with his mate’s job.  A lot of other things went on than just Damon and Kieran’s relationship and I can’t wait to see how all the changes in the world of shifters will affect the future books.

 

Damon is determined to do the right thing with his job, while also leading them away from the truth in order to keep the pack safe.  When he is forced to take drastic measures to keep his mate and other shifters safe he hopes it will all work out.  Throughout this story I could feel how conflicted Damon was with his job and mate knowing what he had to do, but he was determined to have a relationship with Kieran despite everything.  Kieran has a lot of trouble accepting the situation he has been put in and knows he has to look at things from all sides to get the whole story.  These two went about the opposite of the others and jumped into sex and then have to learn to make everything work after the fact.

 

Nick Flint did a wonderful job again narrating this story.  I was able to understand the characters through the voices and emotions he portrayed.  We saw a lot more characters points of view in this story and he easily kept them each unique so there wasn’t any mix up what was going on.

 

Cover art is wonderful and follows the pattern for the series.

 

Sales Links: Audible | Amazon | iTunes

 

Audiobook Details:

Audiobook, 7 hrs 27 min
Published: January 6, 2017 (ebook, published October 19, 2016) by Mischief Corner Books
Edition Language: English

Series: The Atherton Pack #4

Matthew Lang on Writing, Characters and his release ‘Better with Bacon’ by Matthew Lang (author interview)

Standard

betterwithbaconfs_v1

Better with Bacon by Matthew Lang
D
reamspinner Press
Cover Artist: L.C. Chase

Available for Purchase at

bef50-dreamspinner2blogo

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Matthew Lang here today to talk about his latest story, Better with Bacon.  Welcome, Matthew!

✒︎

~Our Interview with Matthew Lang~

How much of yourself goes into a character?

It varies depending on the character. Some of them are closer than others – and some need to be further away from my own self because of necessity. In Better with Bacon, I think David got some of my drive and more than a few of my flaws. Patrick got my love of cooking and food, a number of my insecurities, and my penchant for not wearing clothes. When you ask authors about characters and plot you’ll find some who say they say they just write what the characters naturally do and they don’t have much control over their personalities. I’m not like that. I do often feel like I’m recording what real people naturally choose to do, rather than forcing them to do anything particular, but I’m also willing to go back and tweak some character traits, or change the environment the characters are in so that they naturally choose to go in a direction I need them to for the narrative I’m writing. As such I think I might have more control over some of my characters than other writers seem to.

Do you feel there’s a tight line between Mary Sue or should I say Gary Stu and using your own experiences to create a character?

No. If I’m using my personal experiences I’m either adding details to scenes – the physicality of George as an example is based on a real person I’ve met playing pool in a bar as an example – or I’m using it to set up tensions between my characters that I know come from a real place. I don’t have a need to give my characters idealised experiences that I didn’t get a achieve. They’re not there to rewrite my story, they’re here to tell their own story. I just have to go and live mine separately.

Does research play a role into choosing which genre you write?  Do you enjoy research or prefer making up your worlds and cultures?

Well, I like writing about places I know. One of my friends calls my writing ‘a love letter to Melbourne’ because much of my work is set in my home town, and sometimes locals who read my work will go ‘oh, I think I’ve been there’. At the same time, I like writing fantasy stories, even if I haven’t published one yet. When it comes to speculative fiction, I tend to prefer fantasy over science fiction because magicbabble is much easier to write than technobabble as far as I’m concerned.

Have you ever had to put an ‘in progress’ story aside because of the emotional ties with it?  You were hurting with the characters or didn’t know how to proceed?

No. Not for emotional reasons. I’ve had to shelve stories because of giant plot holes I’m not sure how to fill in. I’ve shelved by Golem urban fantasy story because it’s missing one of the three acts it needs to work, and I haven’t quite worked out how to fill out act 2, but that’s not emotional. I think I need to tweak my story world there instead.

Do you like HFN or HEA? And why?

I’m very much a Happily-for-now guy, even if what I write can read as a Happily Ever After. I think it’s because if you go for Ever After, it’s hard to write for those characters again. You can’t give them genuine relationship tension if you’ve already given them a Happily Ever After without essentially reneging on the Happily Ever After.

I also have a strong belief that life goes on, and an ideal romance is only ideal for the period of limerence we glorify in western culture, and I think we have acknowledge that for our own mental health. Or growing up watching Into the Woods on a regular basis has warped my mind. There’s always an after, and the after is always the interesting part.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UNmRE7gsKco]

Do you read romances, as a teenager and as an adult?

I favour queer stories with romantic elements. I like stories where there’s something going on besides gay men having relationship issues. There’s a struggle most men my age and older have gone through – and that’s a desire to be more than our sexuality. I always wanted to be the guy who’s a great writer. The guy who runs awesome events. The guy who can sing and makes home made ice cream. I want those to be as important parts of my identity as the fact that I’m gay. And some, not all, but some gay romances not only reduce their heroes to their sexuality, but then impose heteronormative gender roles and expectations on a relationship between two men. And one of the reasons I think gay men sometimes reject those stories is because we’ve had to spend a lot of our lives fighting against that discrimination and objectification. So as much as I like a romantic plot line, I like it when it’s not the only plot line, if that makes sense.

And as a teenager, I wanted the smut and sex. Seriously, I think most gay men who read have sifted through the Nifty Archive at some point in their adolescence.

Who do you think is your major influence as a writer?  Now and growing up?

Sir Terry Pratchett. He convinced me that you can both entertain and inform at the same time and he had an amazing way of twisting words into meanings that were there all along, but you just never saw them coming.

How do you choose your covers?

By what works. I find cover art requests very difficult to put together because I’m a word guy. I think in words and narrative. I don’t necessarily think in imagery. So I usually will say “I think I want something like this because I’m going for this sort of feel – but if you think up something awesome please throw it my way,” and more than once I’ve ended up going with a cover dreamed up by the artist that’s completely off brief. Better with Bacon is one of them actually.

What’s next for you as an author?

I need to finish my golem story, as I think it’ll be the start of a series that’s going to be a lot of fun and will hopefully let me explore a lot of different mythologies and monster stories. I also expect it’ll be long enough to get into print as well as ebook format. I’m also looking to experiment with interactive fiction, so as a gamer I’d like to run a group of story driven gamers through a narrative roleplaying campaign and see what they do – I think gaming with other people is an amazing way to stretch your narrative muscles because what you’re essentially doing is cooperative storytelling with a framework of rules around how to further the story and some random elements of chance throwing up plot difficulties for you. If I do that it’ll be youtubed, so if anyone wants to watch the experiments you can follow me at https://www.youtube.com/user/mattlangwrites.

I’m also writing a free read web serial on my website based off an online game where I pretended to be an alien lounge singer, as I wanted to see if I could write a narrative where I didn’t control everything, and so far I think it’s progressing well. One of my friends has also asked me to write a gay dating sim with them, so that’s also a thing I’d like to tackle at some point.

I also think that Better with Bacon will eventually spawn a fully fledged novel as a sequel. There’s a few things that I know are going to happen to the guys in that wonderful after, but I need to let them rest for a bit to find out just how tough the challenges coming their way are going to be.

betterwithbacon_fbbanner_dsp

About Better with Bacon

When Patrick’s long-term girlfriend Li Ling dumps him just as he’s working up the nerve to propose, he ends up drunk on David’s couch—and later in David’s bed. Although initially reluctant to pursue anything beyond a one-time drunken tryst, David throws caution to the wind during an intimate dinner, where the two men also discuss Patrick’s dream of entering the food industry. Just as the friends-turned-lovers are settling into their new romance, Li Ling calls Patrick—she’s pregnant.

Convinced the announcement spells the end of their love affair and a return to their platonic friendship, David flees to Sydney to escape his heartbreak. But upon his return to Melbourne, David discovers the situation hasn’t gone the way he’d expected. There might still be a chance for David and Patrick’s dreams to come true if they can forgive each other’s mistakes and move forward.

About the Author

vest_rgb_s-1

Matthew Lang writes behind a desk, in the park, on the tram and sometimes backstage at amateur theatre productions. He has been known to sing and dance in public, analyse the plots of movies and TV shows, and is a confessed Masterchef addict. Over the years he has dabbled in marketing, advertising, event management and the sale of light fittings, but his first love is and has always been that of the written word and is rarely too far from a good book. He likes his men hot and spunky, his mysteries fantastical, his fantasies real and his vampires to combust when exposed to sunlight. Other than that he’s pretty normal. One day we may even take him out of the straight jacket.

web: www.matthew-lang.com
twitter: @mattlangwrites
facebook: Matthew Lang on Facebook

Release blitz: AFTER THE FIRE by Felice Stevens (excerpt and giveaway)

Standard


Now Available at Kindle Unlimited!
After The Fire by Felice Stevens

About the Book

A single bullet destroyed the dreams of Dr. Jordan Peterson. With his lover dead, Jordan descends into an endless spiral of self-destruction that nearly costs him his friends, his career, and his life. When Jordan finds himself working closely with the aloof Lucas Conover, the investment banker’s mysterious past and unexpected kindness shocks him back into a life and emotions he’d thought lost forever.

The betrayal by the foster brother he’d worshiped taught Lucas Conover never to trust or believe in anyone. Living a solitary life couldn’t free him of the nightmare of his former life; it reinforced his belief that he would never fall in love. When the death of one of his clients forces him to work closely with Dr. Jordan Peterson, he meets a person whose suffering exceeds his own. Though Jordan rejects his effort to help, something within Luke pushes him discover more about the first man to ever get under his skin.

As Luke lets down his guard and Jordan lets go of his pain, desire takes control. Each man must come to terms with past struggles if they are to create a future together. And learning to trust in themselves and love again after tragedy and a lifetime of pain may be the only thing that saves them in the end.

Giveaway

Excerpt

“It’s only been nine months. God almighty, did you expect me to forget him already?” Horrified, Jordan swept his hand across the table, sending the empty bottles and food containers crashing to the floor. “Keith and I were together for almost four years. You haven’t even been with Ash a year; could you forget him so easily? Stop pressuring me to move on with my life. It’s over for me. There will never be anyone else.”

“So you plan on drinking yourself into an early grave, losing your job and quite possibly your friends along the way?” Drew placed a hand on his arm. “I don’t think Keith would expect you to mourn him forever.”

“I didn’t expect to have to mourn him at all. He was supposed to be here, with me.” The tears, always threatening below the surface, spilled over, coursing hot and fierce down his cheeks. It seemed he hadn’t stopped crying since Keith had been murdered. “I can’t get past it. No matter what I do, he’s always there with me, and I can’t let him go.” All the fight and anger left him deflated like a balloon several days after a party. An ineffable weariness stole through him, and he laid his head on his arms on top of the table. “Go home, you two. Leave me alone.”

Without a word, Ash found the broom and dustpan and began to clean up the broken glass while Drew remained seated next to Jordan at the table.

“Look, I understand what you’re feeling. But destroying yourself isn’t going to bring him back. We know you miss him.”

“You don’t understand.” Jordan shook off Drew’s attempt to comfort him. “I’m beginning to forget him. Not only his voice but also the way his arms held me. The way the sound of his breathing calmed me so I could fall asleep every night.” His breath caught in his throat, and a shudder racked his body.

Jordan couldn’t reveal the worst—that he could no longer recall the press of Keith’s lips on his or the sweet sweep of Keith’s tongue in his mouth. The warmth and smoothness of Keith’s skin, once as familiar as Jordan’s own, had begun fading to a cold and distant memory. Sometimes he’d sit in bed late at night and play his voicemail messages simply to hear Keith’s voice. How fucking disloyal a love was he? It had only been nine months, yet Keith’s touch, something he’d longed for every day of his life and sworn he’d never forget, had slipped away like fog in the summer wind. Gentle and swift, leaving no trace behind that it had ever existed.

About the Author

I have always been a romantic at heart. I believe that while life is tough, there is always a happy ending around the corner, My characters have to work for it, however. Like life in NYC, nothing comes easy and that includes love, but getting there is oh so fun and oh so sexy.

I live in New York City with my husband and two children. My day begins with a lot of caffeine and ends with a glass (or two of red wine). I practice law but daydream of a time when I can sit by a beach somewhere and write beautiful stories of men falling in love. Although there are bound to be a few bumps along the way, a Happily Ever After is always guaranteed.

Amazon Page / Facebook / Newsletter / Twitter

In Our Spotlight: Fallen Angel (The Angel of 13th Street Book 2) by Eden Winters (excerpt and giveaway)

Standard

Title:  Fallen Angel

Series: The Angel of 13th Street 2

Author: Eden Winters

Publisher: Rocky Ridge Books

Release Date: 2/27/17

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 63,000 words

Genre: Romance, Age difference, urban, rent boys, redemption, second chances

Add to Goodreads

Synopsis

Who can save the rescuer of lost souls?

For ten years ex-rent boy Noah Everett has fought the good fight, offering second chances to those still in the life. Now he’s cracking under the stress. What began as a two-man mission is now going corporate, meaning rules, regulations and inexperienced volunteers needing guidance in a field Noah makes up as he goes along. Who can he turn to when his mentor’s strength is all but gone and his lover is leaving for college—possibly for good?

Four years at State with a full ride scholarship will launch Jeremy Kincaid’s future, but his present includes Noah, Doc, and the closest he’s ever had to a family. And a meth addict who’s become Jeremy’s own personal mission.

An attack sends Noah spinning out of control. Jeremy has to find the way to reach Noah before the man he knows and loves disappears forever.

Excerpt

Noah slammed a case of beer down in the cooler and fished his ringing cell phone out of his pocket. Nobody called his personal phone at this time of day without good reason.  “Noah Everett.”

“Noah? Hey, man. It’s Chip.”

Noah emerged from the cooler, passed through the bar and mouthed, “I’ll be back,” to Mary behind the bar. He stepped out the back door of The Twelfth Street Bar and Grill and plunked down onto a dry spot on the stoop. The rain had finally stopped, raising the humidity to sweltering levels. If this call didn’t need privacy he’d have stayed in the cooler.

“Have you thought any more about what we discussed?” Given the phone call, the caller probably had. Trouble was, thinking alone didn’t seem to be getting them anywhere.

The casual, “Yeah,” didn’t bode well.

“And?” Fuck.

A long silence followed. “Well, my… my boyfriend isn’t a bad man. I mean, he treats me good and stuff, it’s just that I don’t like… I don’t like—”

“You don’t like him pimping you out to other men,” Noah finished for Chip.

Inside his bar, sixty-seven notches decorated a doorframe, signifying sixty-seven rent boys who’d left prostitution behind and started over someplace else.

Had Doc Cook carved a notch somewhere when he’d pulled Noah from the gutter, dusted him off, and pointed him in the right direction?

What the hell made Chip stay with the user? Noah should’ve notched him in at sixty-eight by now. Instead Chip sat on a fence, dreaming of a better life and fooling himself into believing he could have it here.

 

An exasperated huff sounded in Noah’s ear. “Yeah. Things were cool until he started arranging dates for me.”

Arranging dates? Noah ran his fingers through his short hair and blew out a breath. Motherfucking pimps. More like pimples on the ass of mankind.

Chip continued trying to talk himself out of seeing reason. “I dunno, maybe he’ll stop. I mean, I know he loves me.”

Loves me? Chip had strange ideas of love. He loves me, and we’re only doing this until we have enough money to go away and have it be just us. Noah had said those same words to himself once.

 

But “us” never happened.

Empty promises had sustained him through sleazy meetings that had started with come-ons and a handful of cash and ended with Noah grateful when johns did him in a hotel room so he could scrub himself raw after they left.

And some johns had scared the fuck out of him.

Chip would be a hot commodity in certain markets. Cute, in an innocent, boy-next-door kind of way, easily influenced, with an inborn willingness to please, and, worse yet, gullible, much as Noah had been many years ago. Chip might as well hang a sign around his neck: “Use me!” No way would the boyfriend give up such a low maintenance source of cash.

Noah began pacing behind the building, boots crunching against gravel. Every kid who called forced him to relive his own past, his own fuck ups.

Damn it all to hell! Had the kid known so little love in his life that he’d cling to a sick illusion?

“Do you actually believe he’ll stop?” Noah kept because I sure as hell don’t to himself.

More silence, a sigh, and then a rare scrap of reality from Chip. “No.”

Noah forced his voice calm when he really wanted to jump through the phone and fix the dumb kid’s life before it was too late. “From what you’ve told me, your parents are out of the question, but how about your grandparents? Or older brother?” Those were Noah’s first choices: stick Chip on a bus and let others with a personal interest manage putting his life back together. Second choice? Put him on a bus to a safe house; let those better qualified handle the details.

This time, no uncertainly colored the adamant, “No! Definitely not! I can’t go home.” More quietly Chip added, “But I’m not sure how long I can stay here, either. He… he talked to a friend of his yesterday.” Even through a telephone connection, Noah envisioned a shudder. “I don’t wanna be in videos.”

Oh shit. Videos. Noah slammed his hand against the wall. No!

“Charge extra for pictures, Noah,” Stevie had said. Noah’s pimp didn’t want to miss a buck, and every time Noah flexed and stretched, it was an easy extra that went straight into the pimp’s pocket.

 

Bad enough how Noah had made his living without adding hard evidence. It was only a matter of time before Stevie sent him to a studio.

 

Noah couldn’t go back in time and save his eighteen-year-old self, but he could save Chip. If only the guy would listen.

Purchase

Rocky Ridge Books | Amazon

Meet the Author

You will know Eden Winters by her distinctive white plumage and exuberant cry of “Hey, y’all!” in a Southern US drawl so thick it renders even the simplest of words unrecognizable. Watch out, she hugs!

Driven by insatiable curiosity, she possibly holds the world’s record for curriculum changes to the point that she’s never quite earned a degree but is a force to be reckoned with at Trivial Pursuit.

She’s trudged down hallways with police detectives, learned to disarm knife-wielding bad guys, and witnessed the correct way to blow doors off buildings. Her e-mail contains various snippets of forensic wisdom, such as “What would a dead body left in a Mexican drug tunnel look like after six months?” In the process of her adventures she has written fourteen m/m romance novels, has won several Rainbow Awards, was a Lambda Awards Finalist, and lives in terror of authorities showing up at her door to question her Internet searches.

When not putting characters in dangerous situations she’s a mild-mannered business executive, mother, grandmother, vegetarian, and PFLAG activist.

Her natural habitats are airports, coffee shops, and on the backs of motorcycles.

Website | Facebook | Twitter
Goodreads
|  eMail |Rocky Ridge Books

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Blog Button 2

An Ali Audiobook Review: Everything Changes (Resilient Love #1) by Melanie Hansen and Robert Nieman (Narrator)

Standard
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
everything-changes-audioWhat happens when friendship catches fire? 

Former Marine and lower-leg amputee Carey Everett keeps a grueling schedule of counseling fellow war veterans and their families. The injury he received in Afghanistan forces him to rely on a reserve of strength he didn’t even know he had. A much deserved vacation will let him reconnect with his best friend, who saved his life and has been there for him through devastating injury and painful recovery. 

Part-time EMT and aspiring singer Jase DeSantis has been in love with Carey for years, but he’s come to accept that his straight friend will never be able to offer more. Jase fills his days with band rehearsals, ambulance shifts, and willing groupies, all while trying to cope with debilitating PTSD. 

A week of sun, fun, and music in San Diego changes Jase and Carey’s lives forever when their relationship takes an unexpected turn. Jase has been longing for that change, but it leaves Carey reeling with confusion. As Jase fights to hold things together, Carey deals with doubts, fears, and his own preconceived notions about labels and the true nature of love.
I really liked this. It had a bunch of my favorite things….friends to lovers, hurt/comfort and some fantastic dirty talking.  The story mostly takes places in the present but there are some flashbacks to their time in Afghanistan.  When the story begins they’ve been through a lot and have not visited each other in awhile although they talk on the phone frequently.  What is supposed to be an average visit turns in to them becoming physical with each other.  While Jase has known for a long time that he loves Carey, Carey identifies as straight and has never thought about crossing from friends to lovers.
As the story goes on Carey admits that he cares deeply for Jase but he really struggles with what it would mean for his life should he begin to identify as bisexual or gay.  I think this part of the story was really well done and I felt it was a very realistic situation.  They have a great foundation of friendship and they’re the rocks in each other’s lives.  It makes sense that it would turn into a physical one.
I especially liked how well these two communicated with each other. There were some bumps in the road but they were open and honest about it. I wish we’d see that more in stories.  I can’t imagine you could make such big changes in your life without having some things to think through and I loved how they talked about this every step of the way.
This book was narrated by Robert Nieman and I thought he did a great job.  He did a good job on both of the MC’s as well as the side characters. He happens to be one of my favorite narrators in this genre so I was pleased to see he was doing this book.  
This was my first time reading this author and I’m looking forward to reading more by her.  I plan to move on to the other books in this series as soon as possible.  I also loved the narration and if you enjoy audiobooks then I definitely recommend this media.
Cover art by Natasha Snow Designs works perfectly for the story and characters.
Sales Links
Audiobook Details:
Audiobook
Published January 12th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press (first published March 13th 2015)
ASINB01N20ODJP
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesResilient Love #1