A MelanieM Review: Roughstock: Blind Ride – Season One by B.A. Tortuga

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Rating: 3.25 stars out of 5

Blind Ride cover 2Jason Scott is at the top of the field in his career, that of professional bull riding.  Jason, along with his traveling partner and best friend, Andy Baxter, are riding the circuit, both hoping to finish at the top of the boards and win enough money to see each of them set for life.  Jason and Bax have been dancing around the fact that they are crazy about each other.  Each is afraid of losing his best friend if they admit how much they actually love each other. It will take something huge to make a change in their relationship.

Being a professional bullrider is a dangerous game and in one horrible instant everything changes for both Jason and Bax.  When a ride on one of the top bulls goes wrong, an injury to Jason’s head causes him to go blind. Reeling, Jason and Bax retreat to Jason’s family ranch to recover and wonder what’s next for them both.  For Jason, it appears his life is over and he has nothing to live  for.  Bax is determined to prove him wrong, both personally and professionally.

Bax thinks Jason can ride the bulls even blind.  But it will take Bax, his love and their small circle of friends to prove to Jason that even blind bullriders have their life and love ahead of them.

I have a huge fondness for both the Roughstock series and its author, BA Tortuga.  So it pains me when I have to report that this story, while having so many of the great qualities I have come to expect from this series, is guaranteed to frustrate the reader to the point that it is hard to recommend it. First let’s look at the merits of this story.

The characters are wonderful.  Jason “Mini” Scott and Andy “Bax” Baxter are typical of the cowboys you will find in the stories of B.A. Tortuga.  Their personalities are so authentic to the bull riding circuit and the locale that I would also expect to run into them at any PBR event.  They become so real that they feel like a part of your family.  And it is this intimacy that connects the reader to them and their futures.  You feel the dust that coats them as they pick themselves up off the arena floor and the pain their profession inflicts upon their bodies.  They are just so realistic that you hurt for them.  And Tortuga is one of the best authors around when it comes to dialog.  The words that issue out of the mouths of her cowboys ring with authentic local flavor and colloquialisms.  And it does so without being hokey or off sounding.  Here they are heading down the road to get supper:

Bax threw his duffel back, too, sliding into the driver’s side. “So, where to? I figure that one little place where you circle your order will be closed.” “There’s that one place by the highway — about twenty minutes out. It’s nothing but old ranchers taking their women out. Nice T-bones.” And he always got tickled by those tables with the ads printed on them. Reminded him of going to auction with Pa-paw.

“That works.” The big dualie slid right into traffic like an elephant into a herd of zebras, Bax muscling them right in.

They scooted down 35, radio blaring. He found a pack of smokes in the console and lit one for Bax, then got himself one. Three days of rest, then Tulsa.

“You think we ought to try and hit home ‘fore Tulsa?” It was kinda eerie sometimes, the way Bax read his mind. Then again, they’d been on the road together for nigh on six years.

“We can. Momma’d like to see us. ‘Course, we could go on to the city. Goof off. Depends on how much you want Momma’s pineapple upside down cake.”

“Oh, I’d rather go see your momma.” That man did have a sweet tooth. Pineapple upside down was Bax’s very favorite.

“Cool. I’ll call her. Let her know we’ll be in.” He took a deep drag, grinned. Lord, lord. “I hope your knee’s up to riding fence.”

“Shit, you know it. Just don’t ask me to walk fence.” Wheeling around a little Honda, Bax started humming with George on the radio, off tune as anything. “Nah. You wouldn’t be worth shit in Tulsa, then.”

They both hooted, and Jason leaned back, easy in his bones. Man, event win number three. Check in his pocket. Him and Bax heading for steak.

Life, she was good.

Of course, we know it’s all going to change and soon.  But in that short exchange we see the ease and contentment of Jason and Bax’s relationship.  It sings of a friendship long established and perhaps much more.

And once they fess up and go for a full romantic relationship, it is still in keeping with their cowboy ways and personalities.  No flowers here.

 It was like a good ride, all motion and want and spinning. He tried to warn Bax, tried to let the man know he was gonna be way quick off the mark, but it wasn’t happening. And it didn’t seem to matter one bit. Bax was pushing him on, making these amazing noises, just as hot for him as the Fourth of July.

Their relationship is hot, sexy, and emotionally deep.  How we fall for them.

Pretty much everything works here for much of the story.  The narrative suffers a bit from almost too much sex.  We want more of Jason coming to grips with his blindness.  And we want to see exactly how Jason, with Bax and Coke’s help, will learn to ride again.  At one point, even Bax remarks that he and Jason have sex instead of talking.  OK, but as a reader, while I love the hot sex, I want more of the relationship that produces it.

After all I have been through with Jason and Bax, feeling side by side with them on their emotional rollercoaster, I want and deserve to have the emotional payoff I expect at the end of the story.  And that is exactly what’s missing.  No “aha” moment, no ending.  Nothing.  It just stops prior to Jason ever getting back up on a bull, even one on his friend’s ranch.  The emotional reward, the moment everything has been building up to never happens. Frustrating? You betcha.  And totally unexpected from this seasoned author.  And it is this aspect that dragged the rating down to a 3 star rating.

So who should read this book?  Well, hard core fans of B.A. Tortuga for one as well as fans of the Roughstock series.  Coke, AJ, Bax and Jason are the core characters of the Roughstock series so its good to have this part of the story.  But that lack of ending just makes me want to grab a beer and go watch some PBR instead of continuing to bemoan what could have been an outstanding book.

Cover art by Posh Gosh.  I like this cover, it feels more representative of the story and characters.  Terrific job.

Sales Links:  Pride Publications |  Amazon | Buy It Here

Book Details:

ebook, Pride Publications (a LGBT imprint of Totally Bound, now Totally Entwined)
Published July 7th 2015 by Totally Bound Publishing (first published January 1st 2007)
original titleRoughstock: Blind Ride – Season One
ISBN139781784306397
edition languageEnglish
seriesRoughstock #1
charactersJason Scott, Andy Baxter settingUnited States

Books in the Roughstock series:

Roughstock: Blind Ride — Season One – Novel, m/m, core
Give it Time: the Seven of Wands – Novella, m/m
Roughstock: And a Smile — Season One – Novel, m/m, core
Doce — A Roughstock Story – Novella, m/m
Amorzinhos — A Roughstock Story – Novela, m/m, threesome
Roughstock: File Gumbo — Season One – Novel, m/m, core
Roughstock: And a Smile — Coke’s Clown – Novela, m/m,
Shutter Speed, A Roughstock Story: the Seven of Pentacles – Novella, m/m
Roughstock: City/Country – Novel, m/f
Roughstock: Picking Roses – Novel, m/f
Needing To: A Roughstock Story – Novella, m/m

Upcoming Roughstock Novels
Roughstock: What She Wants – Novel, m/m/f
Roughstock: Tag Team – Season Two – Novel, m/m
Roughstock: Terremoto – Season Two- Novel, m/m

Roughstock Shorts:
Cowboy Christmas (Coke and Dillon)
Barbed Wire and Bootheels (Sam and Beau)
Some Good Doctoring (CB and Jonesy) – Free Read

 

A Mika Review: Wild Pitch (Homeruns #1) by Sloan Johnson

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Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

WildPitchThere’s never been any question in Sean Tucker’s mind that he’d do whatever it took to make it to the major leagues and be one of the best pitchers of his time. The day he acknowledged to himself that he was gay was also the day he vowed to stay in the closet in order to chase his dreams. The problem is, he never counted on Mason Atley.

Sean showed rookie short stop Mason Atley the ropes, both on the field and off. The two forged a friendship which continued as both of them moved through the ranks of the farm system and into the majors. Unfortunately, there’s always been one secret Mason never felt he could share with Sean. Until now.

For seven years, Sean lived with the fact that he loved a man who would never reciprocate. When Mason admits that he’s always known he’s bisexual but has never allowed himself to pursue a relationship with a man, will Sean be able to put aside his reservations about starting a relationship with the friend he’d always assumed was straight? And more importantly, will they be able to find a way to stay together when their careers keep them apart more than they can be together

Wild Pitch by Sloan Johnson was my second book by this author and first m/m read from her. I went into the book with no expectations or judgments just kindly reading along. Got excited since it was based in Chicago half of the time. I liked the beginning a lot as I really enjoy the friends to lovers trope. I thought Sean expressing his love in the beginning in his thoughts were funny. Being in love with your best friend for years is hard when you have to be around that person, especially someone as likable as Mason.

I had a couple issues with the plot. I felt like Sean should have been happier because he got everything he wanted but it felt like self sabotage. I did not get these reservations because in the beginning this was his dream, to have the love of your friend and your career. Mason surprised me by how easy it seemed he transitioned. I do have a problem with him being “bisexual” for years but being scared to tell Sean. I did not see the point of him stating that, and then being calm about Sean’s feelings.

I mean that the attraction to men never came up in all the years of friendship. I did not buy that Mason was interested in Sean the entire time, but his actions showed he was clueless when it came to Sean’s attraction to him, if that makes sense.

There was no family dynamics to like. His family was non-existent throughout the book except for his sister. Certain comments were made from Sean about his family dynamics, but the readers never seen the family together. It’s almost like Sean would mention something he know his family wouldn’t like, and then talk about their reasoning but all of this is from his point of view.

He had never been with a man, so where did the bi-sexuality come from? I liked some of the characters. I don’t really understand Sean’s family dynamics, it’s like they spoke around the issues that were important. I’m still not sure.

I really liked the first 40% of the story, and then it went downhill. It seemed like the pacing got slower, and it just became wordier as the pages went along. I would had preferred it to be all sugary sweet once the two guys came along, I just felt the second half of the story was unnecessary drama. The epilogue. I felt like it’s something Mason wanted, and I’m glad he was happy.

Cover Art by: I liked the cover model. I don’t know which guy it’s supposed to be, but he’s cute and goes along with what I had  in mind for Mason.

Sales Links:  All Romance (ARe) | Amazon  |  Buy It Here

Book Details:
ebook, 248 pages
Published June 13th 2015 (first published June 11th 2015)
seriesHomeruns #1

In the Spotlight: Between The Lines by J. Scott Coatsworth (author interview and excerpt)

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Between The Lines by J. Scott Coatsworth
Release Date:  July 15, 2015

STRW In The Spotlight Header

Publisher:  Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Aaron Anderson

Sales Links:   Dreamspinner Press | Amazon |  Kobo | All Romance | Barnes & Noble

Author Interview with J. Scott Coatsworth

You describe your story as a ” present day magical realism M/M romance”, what does that mean exactly?

Magical realism is the infusion of a little magic, or fantasy, in the everyday world, In “Between the Lines”, this comes via the medallion, which allows its holder to “see” the unspoken thoughts behind the words that people say. I love playing with magical realism aspects – they give the story more color, texture and depth.

 What is it about the fantasy genre that draws you in?

I love the total escapism that High Fantasy gives you – and the fact that these worlds often run to three or five or ten books, so I can “live” there for extended periods of time.

Favorite fantasy book or movie?

Lord of the Rings. I started reading it when I was in second grade. I cried my eyes out when Boromir died. And I finished the whole thing in less than a year, and it changed me and set me on a new path.

Were you a voracious reader as a child?

Yes. My mom had these two shelves where she kept her sci fi and fantasy books from the Science Fiction Book Club, double-stacked. It was my own personal sci fi library. Oh, the worlds I discovered there – Pern and Middle Earth come immediately to mind – which still have a hold on me today.

If so, what book or childhood author had the greatest impact on you?

Tolkien and McCaffrey. Tolkien for the intricate beauty with which he built his world – down to the history and language that made it such a complete experience. And McCaffrey for the way she effortlessly melded sci fi and fantasy, and how she could write such deep sadness that it touched me in my bones.

What fantasy realm would you choose to live in and why?

I’d like a cottage in Lothlorien, please. Seriously, I was enchanted. I read once that, while Tolkien was writing LOTR, he “paused for ten years” in Lothlorien. I understand. I would too.

Dragons or fairies or both?

Oh, totally faeries. You can’t sleep with dragons. Unless they are dragon shifters, but that’s a whole other thing.

What is your favorite fantasy element to include in a story?

I’m in love with the “powerful magical object” trope – a holdover, I’m sure, from the one ring, which still has me in its thrall. Preciousssssss….

What’s next for you as a author?

I’m writing a series of novellas that serve as a prequel to the first novel I ever wrote (as yet unpublished) – I’m setting the scene for myself to go back and climb that mountain again.

I also have a sci fi trilogy waiting in the wings. Just gotta find the time… 🙂

STRW Author BookSynopsis

Brad Weston’s life seems perfect. He’s GQ handsome, the Chief of Staff for a Republican California State Senator, and enjoys the power and the promise of a bright future. And he’s in a comfortable relationship with his boyfriend of six years, Alex.

Sam Fuller is Brad’s young, blond, blue-eyed intern, fresh out of college, running from a bad break-up, and questioning his choices and his new life in politics. To make things worse, Sam also has a thing for the boss, but Brad is already taken.

While looking for a gift for his boyfriend, Brad wanders into a curiosity shop and becomes fascinated by an old wooden medallion. Brad’s not a superstitious man, but when he takes out the medallion in his office, he sees the world in a new light. And nothing will ever be the same.

STRW Spotlight Book Excerpt

It began with a medallion.

The piece was a simple wooden disk, hand carved with the shapes of leaves and forest boughs and polished by centuries of use, giving it a patina of great age.

It sat upon a small green velvet pillow—the kind jewelers sometimes use, rather unsuccessfully, to enhance a plain necklace of false pearls. The kind you might expect to find on your grandmother’s settee, in a slightly larger size, embroidered with “Home Sweet Home.”

Yet there was something compulsive about it—something hidden in the dark crevices of the carving, filled with the dust of ages.

At least that’s what Brad would recall years later, when he thought back on the first time he saw it: the moment when the lines of his mundane life suddenly snarled, snapped, and ultimately recombined into something quite different.

Of course, he didn’t know any of this at the time.

Book Details:

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 978-1-63476-235-9
Author: J. Scott Coatsworth
Cover Artist: Aaron Anderson
Length: 15k, Format: eBook
Release Date: 7/15, Price: 3.99

STRW Author Bio and Contacts

Scott has been writing since elementary school, when he and won a University of Arizona writing contest in 4th grade for his first sci fi story (with illustrations!). He finished his first novel in his mid twenties, but after seeing it rejected by ten publishers, he gave up on writing for a while.

Over the ensuing years, he came back to it periodically, but it never stuck. Then one day, he was complaining to Mark, his husband, early last year about how he had been derailed yet again by the death of a family member, and Mark said to him “the only one stopping you from writing is you.”

Since then, Scott has gone back to writing in a big way, finishing more than a dozen short stories – some new, some that he had started years before – and seeing his first sale. He’s embarking on a new trilogy, and also runs the Queer Sci Fi (http://www.queerscifi.com) site, a support group for writers of gay sci fi, fantasy, and supernatural fiction.

j-scott-coatsworth

Website: http://www.jscottcoatsworth.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jscottcoatsworth

Love is in the Air with Redesigning Max
 (Foothills Pride #2) by Pat Henshaw (excerpt and giveaway)

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Redesigning Max
 (Foothills Pride #2) by Pat Henshaw
Release Date: July 29, 2015

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: AngstyG

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Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press

Blurb:

Renowned interior designer Fredi Zimmer is surprised when outdoorsman Max Greene, owner of Greene’s Hunting and Fishing, hires him to remodel his rustic cabin in the Sierra Nevada foothills. Fredi is an out and proud Metro male whose contact with the outdoors is from his car to the doorway of the million-dollar homes’ he remodels, and Max is just too hunky gorgeous for words.

When Max starts coming on to Fredi, the designer can’t imagine why. But he’s game to put a little spice into Max’s life, even if it’s just in the colors and fixtures he’ll use to turn Max’s dilapidated rustic cabin into a showplace. Who can blame a guy for adding a little sensual pleasure as he retools Max’s life visually?

Max, for his part, is grateful when Fredi takes him in hand, both metaphorically and literally. Coming out, he finds is the most exciting and wonderful time of his life, despite the conservative former friends who want to stop his slide into hell.

Pages or Words: 73 pages

Categories: Contemporary, Gay Fiction, Romance

Excerpt:

That night in bed, thinking of the delicious Max, I understood a little more why he wanted the forest in his house. I could understand how soothing the wide open-spaces could be to someone who spent his formative years as an outcast. Now I felt even more driven to give Max the vision he sought.

Three days later, exhausted from a couple of all-nighters but ready to show Max the portfolio of drawings and plans for his renovated cabin, I put on my other designer jeans, orange sailor shirt, green high tops, and lavender scarf. I was ready to knock Max’s socks off.

Max drove us to the Rock Bottom again for lunch. The grungy foothills cafe was just as tacky as it had been before and smelled just as delicious. The tables of surly-looking he-men in their Levis and wife-beaters or beat-up Western-cut shirts still stared and then whispered to themselves as I slid into a booth, the artist sketchbook tucked safely in my bag.

“So we’re ready to make some changes.” Max eyed the sketchbook as I took it out and laid it on the table.
“Whoa, not so fast.” I put my hand over the top of the book to keep it closed. “We’re a few steps away from starting. Let’s just take a look at the sketches and then talk money, and then if you’re still happy in a day or two, we can sign a contract. Remodeling isn’t anything to jump right into.”

The excitement brimming from Max’s face said Yeah, yeah. Blah, blah, blah. Open the damned notebook.
I sighed. I always hated this part of the job. Clients either loved the sketches and wanted the work done yesterday or they wanted to haggle every nut and bolt to the ground, changing the floor plan, the color palette, or complete idea on an almost minute-to-minute basis. It was exhausting either way.

“Okay, first, what you need to do is look at these drawings and imagine yourself living in these rooms, not just looking at pretty pictures. Ask yourself if you would be comfortable here. At this point, everything is changeable, but it won’t be the case when we start tearing down and making the plan concrete. So take your time. Be sure you’ve fallen in love before you begin.”

I waited until Max lifted his eyes from the sketchbook, looked at me, and nodded before I opened the book.
I went through the pages one by one quickly, not asking Max for a response and not watching him. This was the private, internal part, and I let him have his space. Max wasn’t my first client who kind of knew what he wanted but couldn’t articulate it.

The first glimpse tainted the vision the client originally had going into the project. I could steamroll clients into taking what I’d given them, but in the long run, they had to live with the new reality and I wanted them to be happy. I really wanted Max to be happy.

“It’s perfect,” Max whispered just as the waitress brought our food. “Let’s do it.”

“Let’s eat first, before we break ground.”

I didn’t talk during lunch even though Max wanted to get me to sign him up and start moving.

After we finished the cherry-apple pie, I said, “Now I’m going to go through and point out some pricey details. Think about if you really want them because they add time and money to the design. We can easily discard them.”

“No, I want it just like you’ve got it in here.” Max tapped the sketchbook with his elegant fingers. “Just exactly what you’ve got here.”

I sighed. “Let’s try it my way, okay? Will you just listen?” I was holding an edge of the sketchbook closed and looking into Max’s eyes. I didn’t want Max to be an ultimately unhappy impulse buyer.

Max tentatively touched my hand. “I trust you.” He rubbed his fingers over mine.

I was surprised by the touch of his fingers, which had immediately made my body tingle. I’d read about people being attracted and feeling a zap of electricity, but I’d never experienced it before. As far as my past liaisons with men went, we’d both showed up, which was enough for gratifying sex.

“Just a few minutes of listening.” I could hear a shaky quality in my voice.

“Okay,” Max agreed, sitting back and putting his hands together on the table.

I took a deep breath to steady myself. I looked around the cafe, hypersensitive to the quiet scrutiny of the other diners. Were they leaning out of their chairs to listen to our conversation? Why did they make me feel uncomfortable?

I looked back at Max, who seemed oblivious to their attention. His eyes went from the sketchbook to me. He seemed to lean toward me, and his eager look seemed to be trying to hurry me along. His impatience made me smile.

I took a deep breath and started my spiel. “There are some carvings in the pictures you should think about. Atop and along the sides of the windows in the living room, master bedroom, and the kitchen, and on the headboard and bedposts in the master bedroom. You said you wanted to bring the outdoors in, so I thought these carvings would be perfect.”

I turned to the pictures. I’d drawn animals like squirrels, foxes, and badgers carved into the wood.

In the master bedroom, the four bedposts looked like geese landing at the head of the bed and taking off toward the windows from the foot of it. Across the headboard and footboard, I’d drawn pussy willows swaying with frogs, butterflies, and small birds among the reeds, all carved from one piece of hardwood.

Having worked with a wonderful carver so many times in the past, I knew he would take my ideas and flesh them out, probably change them as he saw fit, and leave Max with stunning pieces of art—if Max could afford them and, more importantly, if Max liked this idea as much as I did.

“Beautiful.” Max traced the birds taking off in flight.

“Yes, it is. You’ll notice the wood on the floor, around the windows, and making up the furniture is the only brown. The rest of the room is blue.” Actually the blues ran the scale of hues from Alice blue to ultramarine, but I made it a policy to use only the most basic names for colors since many of my less artistic clients got lost in the fancy color names.

“I like other colors, not just brown,” Max protested.

I nodded, not about to remind him that he’d only wanted brown and green. Except for the touch of Max’s fingers on my hand, my spiel had been pretty standard. As far as I was concerned, no surprises were good surprises.

“In the living room and kitchen”—I found those pages—“you’ll notice that the predominant colors are yellow.”

Well, from canary yellow to goldenrod, but who was counting? “Also, I added more rustic carvings to the decks. Animals between the posts of the back deck and birds on the bedroom deck,” I said, flipping to the relevant sketches and pointing them out.

On each page, Max ran his finger over the details I mentioned. It was distracting, so much so I had trouble keeping to the script. Max might not be an artist, but he definitely had an artist’s soul. His fingers were gently stroking my soul as well as the pages.

The diners at the other tables seemed to be trying to see what had Max so enthralled. I wanted to stand up and announce, “This is a private showing. Go back to your meals.” I didn’t, but still, sweat had started to drip from my pits.

Finally I closed the book and passed it to Max. It was hard to stay on task with Max so focused on the drawings and the diners seemingly intent on us.

“I want you to take this book and really study the pages. Take notes in the margins. Circle things you don’t like or have questions about. Go to the cabin with the book and try to imagine every room looking like the sketch. What would you change to make the sketch more you?”

When I peered up at Max, I was surprised to see glistening eyes looking back at me. Was Max crying? Oh hell no. God, I hoped not. I don’t do crying people. Ever.

RC

Author Bio and Contacts

Pat Henshaw, author of the Foothills Pride series, was born in Nebraska but promptly left the cold and snow after college, living at various times in Texas, Colorado, Northern Virginia, and Northern California. Pat has visited Mexico, Canada, Europe, Nicaragua, Thailand, and Egypt, and regularly travels to Rome, Italy, and Eugene, Oregon, to see family.

Now retired, Pat has taught English composition at the junior college level; written book reviews for newspapers, magazines, and websites; helped students find information as a librarian; and promoted PBS television programs.

Pat has raised two incredible daughters who daily amaze everyone with their power and compassion. Pat’s supported by a husband who keeps her grounded in reality when she threatens to drift away writing fiction.

Where to find the author:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pat.henshaw.10
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6998437.Patois
Book website: http://whatsinanamenovella.blogspot.com
Website: http://patbooked.blogspot.com
E-mail: whatsinanamenovella@comcast.net
Tumblr: http://phenshaw.tumblr.com/
Twitter: @phenshaw

Giveaway

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: One of three $10 Starbucks Gift Cards. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Link and prizes provided by the author and Pride Promotions.

Rafflecopter Code:
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Tour Dates & Stops:

Parker Williams, Havan Fellows, BFD Book Blog, Bayou Book Junkie, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Tara Lain, My Fiction Nook, Prism Book Alliance, 3 Chicks After Dark, Amanda C. Stone, MM Good Book Reviews, Bike Book Reviews, Happily Ever Chapter, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, Charley Descoteaux, Inked Rainbow Reads, Rainbow Gold Reviews, Velvet Panic, Michael Mandrake, It’s Raining Men

 

Need a New Contemporary Romance? Check out “Uncommon Valor” by Rachel Ravenheart (excerpt and giveaway)

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UNCOMMON VALOR Final cover

Uncommon Valor by Rachel Ravenheart
Release Date: July 22, 2015

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Cool Dudes Publishing
Cover Artist: Louis C. Harris

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Sales Links:  All Romance eBooks | Amazon |  CoolDudes Publishing  |Gumroad

About Uncommon Valor

“Lil’ Bro,

If you’re reading this, then something obviously happened and I’m not going to be around. I wanted to let you know how much I love you, and you don’t have to tear yourself up over this. I’m the one who chose to enlist, and I believe I’ve served proudly for the last few years. I know this won’t ease your mind any, but I believe I’m probably in a better place now. Please don’t be sad. I died doing what I loved, fighting for my country. I wish I could be there for you when you tell Mom and Dad about you being gay. Just know that I am with you in spirit.

Look to Chase for guidance. I know he’ll be the big brother for you I can no longer be. The guys will be a great support for you, and they won’t care that you’re gay. They’re a great group of guys, and they’ll treat you just like I would. They’ll be a support system for you when Dad blows up, and you know he will. Be safe and know I will be watching out for you from the other side.

Love, Sam.”

Uncommon Valor is not just a story of a gay man, it is the fulfilling story of a young man who is on the verge of discovering his true self and he has the perfect prop to do that. He is also about to become a Dad. Will he pull through as a gay man and a Dad? Or will he fall upon the wayside and reject his newborn child, and in so doing, also reject the man of his dreams?

Pages or Words: 172 pages, 48,661 words

Categories: Gay fiction, M/M Romance, Military

Excerpt:


Last weekend with the platoon was great.
I met a ton of new people, and the guys were really supportive when I told them. I hadn’t heard anything from my Mom, so I wasn’t sure what to think about that, but I’d decided I wasn’t going to worry too much. I was on cloud nine from having spent time with people who didn’t care I was gay and treated me like one of the guys even though I wasn’t a Marine.
That all came to a halt when I ran into Tina in the dining hall on campus during the week.
Tina uses her beauty to her advantage. She’s medium height with red hair and green eyes. Whatever she said was right and she was of the opinion that no one could outsmart her. Personally, I tried to stay away from her if I possibly could.
But, she had a crush on me.
I never got the chance to tell my brother that during a night of drunkenness I had slept with her. There was a part of me that always felt something else had been involved, but I couldn’t prove it. I didn’t even know if we did anything. All I knew was I woke up the next morning in the same bed with her and both of us were naked. It wasn’t something I was proud of, and I honestly hoped I would never see her again. Unfortunately, we were both in law school together, so I knew that wasn’t going to be an option.
I’d almost completely forgotten about the incident because it had happened at the end of the semester and I had taken the summer off. The new semester had just started, and I had been lucky enough to not see her in any of my classes or around campus.
I was shocked to see her with what I would consider a baby bump, but I didn’t want to make any assumptions. I pretended to not see her, but she saw me.
“Jason! I need to talk to you,” she said, and grasped my elbow from behind.
“What do you want, Tina?” I yanked my arm out of her grasp with a snarl.
“It’s a private matter.”
“We can talk tat my house, but that’s all that’s going to happen.” I turned and walked away, expecting her to follow me to the parking lot. As it turned out, we were parked fairly close to each other, and I motioned for her to follow me as I got into my car.
§

We arrived at my house and I was still trying to figure out what she wanted to talk to me about. I had a feeling I wasn’t going to like it.
Inside, she headed for the lounge. “Would you like something to drink?” I asked. When I turned to face her she held her stomach in a protective manner.
“Water would be nice.”
“Have a seat and I’ll be right back.” I said, placing my bag on the floor by the door.
When I returned, she was standing in front of the bay window looking out over the park. “Here you go.” I held out a bottle of water to her as she turned around.
“Thanks, Jason. I’m sorry to put you out like this, but I needed to talk to you and I didn’t want to do it with people around.”
“What’s going on? I haven’t seen you since the end of spring semester.” I walked over and took a seat on the couch and waited to hear what she had to say.
“I went home for summer break and some surprising news came up just before I came back to school.” She came over and sat down next to me.
“Spit it out,” I said, frustrated. I just wanted her gone; something about her really irked me.
“The thing is, just before I came back I realized that I had missed my period so I went to the doctor and took a pregnancy test. I’m pregnant.”
“What’s that got to do with me?” It felt like I had been punched in the gut.
“Well, I hadn’t been with anyone for a while before you and I hooked up at the end of the semester.” She licked her lips and wrung her hands.
“We didn’t hook up. I got way too drunk and don’t remember anything until I woke up the next morning with you by my side and naked.”
“Why do you refuse to believe that what we shared was something special?” she whined. “You know you love me, you only need to admit it and we’ll be happy together as a family.”
“It wasn’t special. What do you want from me?”
“I want you to be a father to our child. I want us to be a family.” She tried to put her hand on my arm. I pulled away.
“We will never be a family. What the HELL were you thinking? Obviously you weren’t; that’s the problem.” I walked over to the bay window and glared out. “If the child is mine I’ll support it and even take custody of him or her, but we will never be together. As soon as the baby is born I’m going to fight for custody and before I commit to anything there needs to be a paternity test, until that time you are nothing more to me than a pregnant woman. Until you have further information, I think this is all we have to talk about.”
“We’d make good parents together. Why are you refusing to admit that?” she cried.
“I have no doubt that we will be good parents, but we won’t be a couple. I’m gay and will not be in a relationship with any woman. Now, if there’s nothing else, I think that it’s time for you to leave. Let me know when you set up the paternity test and I’ll be there. We’ll talk more after the test results come back.” I opened the front door and waited for her to leave. I was being mean and harsh, but I was pissed about what had happened, mostly at myself because I let myself get wasted at that party. I wished I could remember what happened that night.
She stormed past me and went out to her car mumbling under her breath. Part of me hoped I was the father, but there was a greater part of me that hoped I would have nothing more to do with her.

About the author:

Rachel Ravenheart is new to the literary world, but has had the desire to write since she was in junior high school. She moved from a small town in Iowa in time to start high school in Louisiana.

Rachel lost sight of writing as she got bogged down with sports and school. Her dream of being a writer forgotten as she looked to the future to study Political Science with the hope of going to law school when she moved to Texas.

To make her way in the world she got wrapped up in the field of nursing when she got a job as a C.N.A. and soon even her dream of law school was forgotten. Strangely, thanks to an injury she was at home recuperating and was bored when she remembered her love for writing. Never thinking she would ever get published she began.

It was writers like Rob Colton, Mann Ramblings, and Alicia Nordwell that inspired her creativity. She found GayAuthors.org and after some encouragement she decided to post her first story. With the enthusiasm of readers her confidence grew and she took the step to send off her first story to be published. It was with great delight when she was offered her first contract. Hopefully, the first of many.

Where to find the author:
Facebook Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/rachelravenheart
Twitter: @wolfwriter1492
Other: http://rachelravenheart.weebly.com

RC


Tour Dates & Stops: July 22, 2015

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A Early Bird Look at a New Release: Sue Brown’s The Layered Mask (a Masquerade Regency Romance)

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The Layered Mask (Masquerade) by Sue Brown
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ublisher:  Dreamspinner Press (2nd edition)
Sales Link: Dreamspinner Press

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Love Author Sue Brown?  Sue Brown has a new release out from Dreamspinner Press.  Have a few sips of coffee or tea and check out the cover and blurb below:

About The Layered Mask, a Regency novel...

Threatened by his father with disinheritance, Lord Edwin Nash arrives in London with a sole purpose: to find a wife. A more than eligible bachelor and titled to boot, the society matrons are determined to shackle him to one of the girls by the end of the season.

During a masquerade ball, Nash hides from the ladies vying for his attention. He is discovered by Lord Thomas Downe, the Duke of Lynwood. Nash is horrified when Downe calmly tells him that he knows the secret Nash has hidden for years and sees through the mask Edwin presents to the rest of the world.

 And then he offers him an alternative.

Book Details:

ebook, 2nd edition
Expected publication: July 22nd 2015 by Dreamspinner Press (first published February 3rd 2012)
ISBN139781634764933
edition languageEnglish
series Masquerade

About Sue Brown:

 Sue Brown is owned by her dog and two children. When she isn’t following their orders, she can be found plotting at her laptop. In fact she hides so she can plot and has got expert at ignoring the orders.

Sue discovered M/M erotica at the time she woke up to find two men kissing on her favorite television series. The series was boring; the kissing was not. She may be late to the party, but she’s made up for it since, writing fan fiction until she was brave enough to venture out into the world of original fiction.

Contact her at:  Goodreads Author Page | Website