Quick Book Announcements!

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Announcement clip artJust a Few Quick Book Announcements for Everyone!

★Jay Northcote wants to let you know that The Dating Game – one of his novellas – is free at Amazon today and tomorrow (Friday 8th and Sat 9th). It is free in all regions at the time of sending this email.The Dating game

 The Dating Game (Owen & Nathan #1) by Jay Northcote: When they were at uni, Owen always had a bit of a crush on Nathan. But Nathan was apparently straight, and Owen was too busy with other guys to take his crush seriously. 


When Nathan moves back to Bristol after a year away, Owen hears that Nathan has come out of the closet, and he propositions him. Nathan doesn’t want to be just another notch on Owen’s bedpost, though, so he challenges Owen to prove he can be serious: five dates before they have sex.

Owen doesn’t think that sounds too difficult. He’s expecting Nathan to find his charms irresistible anyway. But as they grow closer, Owen begins to care more about proving himself to Nathan than he does about getting him into bed.

 

 

★Dreamspinner Press has 3 $0.99 Weekend Dreamreader books for everyone:

Sarah Madison on the Value of Research and ‘The Boys of Summer’ (guest blog, excerpt and giveaway)

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The Proof is in the Pudding-The Value of Research by Sarah Madison

It’s no secret I love research. I love immersing myself in it, reading everything I can get my hands on, even better if I can watch movies or television shows that further the process. When I began my research for The Boys of Summer, I started by opening a few documents on Wikipedia, but it soon became apparent to me that the hours I spent there weren’t going to cut it. I’d gone into it thinking I just needed to get a few details right regarding the uniform, and that led to an inquiry as to when the term ‘dog tag’ came into use, and from there whether or not WW2 fighter planes had pressurized cabins and so on and so on.

The more I read, the more I discovered I knew so very little about the era. I found my level of ignorance shocking and appalling, and I went out to the local bookstore, heading to the history section. I soon narrowed down my research to the Battle of Britain, concentrating on absorbing as many facts as possible. I read non-fiction texts. I watched war movies of the day, as well as modern-day versions of movies about that time. I plunged headfirst into the background material and didn’t come up for air for at least a month. It was an enlightening and awe-inspiring experience.

First, I realized that I had to do justice in some small part to the stories of the young men who gave their all in the war. The average lifespan of a fighter pilot in WW2 was six weeks, and many of these young men were barely out of school, and had as little as eleven or twelve hours of flight time before being sent into battle. I might have entered into the research looking for a little factual information to flesh out a dream scene, but I felt compelled to share their stories, which is why the ‘dream scene’ turned into a sequence that lasted a third of the book. I know some readers scratched their heads over that. Still others wondered why the story wasn’t just about the historical bit. I can’t explain why I felt it necessary to combine the two stories. I suspect it has to do in part with the fact that the way these characters were written, I couldn’t see them having a happy ending in 1940, and I am all about the happy ending. Neither could I see the contemporary story being strong enough to stand on its own, not without bringing in drug-runners or modern-day pirates or something. Besides, I had all this lovely research begging to be used.

The thing is, however, you don’t want to hit your readers over the head with the research. I read a historical novel recently, also set in Britain during WW2, and the author had a tendency to drop facts into the narrative like a Messerschmitt on a strafing run. It’s not to say that the information wasn’t interesting, but the heavy-handedness of it kept jerking me out of the story. Yes, I know how much fun it is to gather information, but you can’t use all of it. Pages of exposition, while you think it’s setting the background, will make a reader’s eyes glaze over. You can’t just load your facts up like pellets in a shotgun shell, peppering your story with random fact dispersal, either.

Never fear, however. There is no such thing as too much research. Even if you never use all of the information you’ve gleaned, it will make its presence felt nonetheless. Your knowledge of social mores of the Regency era will prevent your heroines from throwing themselves into their chairs, slouching in elegantly while speaking with more candor than was proper for the time. Your feel for an era mindset will lend authenticity to your character’s actions and dialog. You’ll know if something you write is all wrong and you’ll know when it is so right it rings like a bell. Moreover, your readers will know it too. They may not know how they know it, and if it’s done right, they never will, but they’ll know it just the same. It will feel right to them.

So put your time in: be it understanding the BDSM lifestyle, or getting into the mindset of a 1940s fighter pilot, or making the rampant misogyny of the 1950s workplace both understandable and normal for your character. It will make all the difference in the world to your story.

AboutTheBook

BoysofSummer[The]LGTITLE: The Boys of Summer

AUTHOR: Sarah Madison

PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press

COVER ARTIST: Reese Dante

LENGTH: 200 Pages

RELEASE DATE: December 21, 2015

BLURB: 2nd Edition

David McIntyre has been enjoying the heck out of his current assignment: touring the Hawaiian Islands in search of the ideal shooting locations for a series of film-company projects. What’s not to like? Stunning scenery, great food, sunny beaches… and Rick Sutton, the hot, ex-Air Force pilot who is flying him around.

Everything changes when a tropical storm and engine failure force a crash landing on a deserted atoll with a WWII listening post. Rick’s injuries and a lack of food and water mean David has to step up to the plate and play hero. While his days are spent fighting for survival, and his nights are filled with worrying about Rick, the two men grow closer. David’s research for his next movie becomes intertwined with his worst fears, and events on the island result in a vivid dream about the Battle of Britain. On waking, David realizes Rick is more than just a pilot to him. The obstacles that prevented a happy ending in 1940 aren’t present today, and David vows that if they survive this stranding, he will tell Rick how he feels.

Excerpt

“I don’t think we’ve got much choice.” Sutton’s voice was grim. “We’re lucky to have that much. Hold on, these trees are coming up faster than I’d like.”

Still fighting to keep the nose of the plane up, Sutton guided the recalcitrant aircraft toward the so-called clearing, the ground rising up to meet them far faster than was comfortable. David found himself leaning back in his seat, bracing his hands on the console as the tops of trees scraped the underside of the plane. Branches swiped at the windshield, and David had the sudden impression of being in a car wash scene as written by Stephen King.

“Duck your head!” Sutton barked. “Wrap your arms around your legs!”

“And kiss my ass goodbye?” David shouted, raising his voice over the increasing noise as he obeyed Sutton’s orders.

Incredibly, Sutton laughed. It was an oddly comforting sound. Like everything was somehow going to be all right because Sutton was at the controls.

The moment of humor was gone in a flash. The plane screamed with the sound of tearing metal and the sharp, explosive crack of tree limbs and breaking glass. David kept his head down and his eyes closed, praying to a God he was pretty sure had more important things to do than to keep up with the well-being of one David McIntyre. Despite being strapped in his seat, his head and shoulder thumped painfully against the passenger side door as the plane thrashed wildly. There was a moment of eerie, blessed silence, and for an instant, the assault on the plane seemed as though it had lifted. Eye of the storm, David thought, just before the plane hit the ground.

Someone had left the window open and it was raining on him. How incredibly annoying. He shifted, intent on reaching for the offending window, when a jolt of pain ran through his shoulder and he gasped. When he opened his eyes, nothing made any sense at first. Then he remembered the crash, and realized that his side of the plane was pointing up at the sky. The rain was coming down in a steady stream through the broken windshield. The sound of the rain on the metal hull of the plane was nearly deafening.

He winced at the pain in his neck when he turned to look over at the pilot’s seat. Sutton was slumped to one side in his chair, unmoving. His sunglasses were hanging off one ear.

“Oh God, oh God, oh God,” David murmured, hastily undoing his seatbelt so he could reach across to Sutton. His skin was cold and damp where David touched it, and adrenaline pounded through David’s veins as though he could jumpstart Sutton’s heart by sending his own pulse beating through his fingertips. “Sutton! Rick!”

David fought to free himself of his seat, twisting for greater access to the other side of the cockpit. When the seatbelt came open, he fell half across Sutton. Sprawled practically in his lap, David could now see the nasty cut on the left side of Sutton’s temple. The pilot’s side of the plane had taken a lot of damage, and David yelped as he encountered a sliver of glass. Bits of the windshield and console were scattered like confetti over Sutton’s jacket. “Sutton!” The lack of response was unnerving. He tossed aside the sunglasses and worked a hand down into Sutton’s collar, feeling frantically for a pulse.

He could have kissed the man when Sutton suddenly groaned.

BuyLinks

Dreamspinner Press (eBook)

Dreamspinner Press (Paperback)

Amazon US

Amazon UK

All Romance eBooks

Barnes & Noble

AuthorBio

Sarah Madison is a veterinarian with a large dog, an even bigger horse, too many cats, and a very patient boyfriend. An amateur photographer and a former competitor in the horse sport known as eventing, when she’s not out hiking with the dog or down at the stables, she’s at the laptop working on her next story. When she’s in the middle of a chapter, she relies on the smoke detector to tell her dinner is ready. She writes because it’s cheaper than therapy.

Sarah Madison was a finalist in the 2013 Rainbow Awards and is the winner of Best M/M Romance in the 2013 PRG Reviewer’s Choice Awards.

If you want to make her day, e-mail her and tell you how much you like her stories.

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Winner’s Prize: E-copy of The Boys of Summer

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TourSchedule

January 4: The Novel Approach :: Gay Media Reviews

January 5: Elisa – My reviews and Ramblings

January 6: Louise Lyons

January 7: Diverse Reader

January 8: Prism Book Alliance :: Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words

January 9: Susan Mac Nicol

January 10: Loving Without Limits

January 11: Kathy Mac Reviews :: Love Bytes Reviews

January 12: Divine Magazine

January 13: BFD Book Blog

January 14: The Purple Rose Tea House :: Man2ManTastic

January 15: Molly Lolly: Reader, Reviewer, Lover of Words

January 16: TTC Books and More :: Sue Brown

January 17: Bayou Book Junkie

January 18: Drops of Ink

 

A MelanieM Review: There You Are (Wild and Precious #2) by CJane Elliott

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

There You AreBisexual musician Cody Bellstrom is a free spirit, easygoing and unattached. On a cross-country trip, Cody befriends young Sandy Nixon and gets him safely to Portland and his uncle, Phineas MacDonald. Beautiful Phineas turns Cody’s life upside down, and Cody learns he’s not as unattached as he aspires to be. With the hard-won knowledge of what lies underneath his need to be free, Cody wins a chance at real freedom and true love.

Ever since his longtime lover Allen died, Phineas MacDonald has lived a circumscribed life. He stopped performing as fierce drag queen Phanny Hill and works part-time in a bookstore. Phineas never expected to find love again. But when sexy and caring Cody Bellstrom turns up, Phineas feels his orderly life slipping out of his control. Cody brings him alive again, but now Phineas must find the courage to let go of his grief over Allen and give love a second chance.

“And remember, no matter where you go, there you are.” –  Buckaroo Banzai, (and possibly Confucius)

A story whose author has one of my favorite quotes worked into her story’s tapestry has already won me over. Of course it doesn’t hurt that I thought highly of this story’s precursor too.  That would be Wild and Precious where we first met  Cody Bellstrom in Washington, DC, where things didn’t quite work out for him.  Now, he’s looking for a new start and he thinks he’s found it on the opposite coast…Portland to be exact.

In Wild and Precious, it was Mary Oliver’s poem,  ‘The Summer Day’, that wound through that story like a ribbon pulling it all together. In There You Are, its this quote that becomes not just the narrative device that moves through the story but a revelatory element for Cody as well at the end.  Its this special literary touch that really works for me in these two stories that helps elevate them as well.

This is also a story of multiple relationships and of letting go, that painful fact of life we’ve all dealt with.  Phineas must deal with his grief over his loss of Allen (something he hasn’t done), there is the blossoming new relationship with Cody which can’t move forward just yet, a new (fatherly) relationship with with his nephew Sandy and he must learn enough, become alive enough to bring back ‘Phanny Hill’, who has her own fierce inner voice here.  And if that ‘s not enough there is Cody, who has his own issues with the past that he has never looked at and will need to if he isn’t going to start running again and lose what he has always wanted.

I thought CJane Elliot did a remarkable job in getting the family dynamics right, the harsh as well as the tender.  I loved the confusion and support that flowed from Phineas, when the call came that would shake up his life as well as the wonderfully descriptive train ride that Cody and Sandy took west to Portland.

If I had anything I wish I could change, it would be to expand some sections of the story.  This is a huge tale and yet the author crammed it into 101 pages.  The section where Cody talked to the actor?  We needed more of a revelation.  So did the subsequent events.  Still, this is such a wonderful story, that it quite stands on its own.  You don’t need to read the first book to understand Cody and his history.  It serves only as a nice addendum to this story and lovely way to meet the strong lesbian couple who shows up here as Cody’s continued support and sounding board.

Looking for a story with a huge  heart and depth?  This book has enough for one double the length.  There You Are will intelligent, warm hearted and very well written. I highly recommend it.

Cover Artist: AngstyG.  I love the cover.  That one model especially works for Cody.

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

Book Details:

ebook, 122 pages
Published December 23rd 2015 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 1634767039 (ISBN13: 9781634767033)
Edition Language English

An Ali Audiobook Review: Stars & Stripes (Cut & Run #6) by Abigail Roux , J. F. Harding (Narrator)

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Rating:  5 of 5 stars                ★★★★★

Stars & Stripes audiobookSpecial Agents Ty Grady and Zane Garrett have managed the impossible: a few months of peace and quiet. After nearly a year of personal and professional turmoil, they’re living together conflict-free, work is going smoothly, and they’re both happy, healthy, and home every night before dark. But anyone who knows them knows that can’t possibly last.

When an emergency call from home upsets the balance of their carefully arranged world, Ty and Zane must juggle family drama with a perplexing crime to save a helpless victim before time runs out.

From the mountains of West Virginia to a remote Texas horse ranch harboring more than just livestock and childhood memories, Ty and Zane must face their fears—and their families—to overcome an unlikely enemy and bring peace back into their newly shared world.

This was a re-read for me but the first time I had listened to it on audio. This book remains one of my favorites of the series. The guy’s have worked hard to get to the positive place in their relationship that they’re in. During the course of this story they go to both of their parents’s homes and it is interesting to see the different dynamics between the two families. Most of the story is spent at Zane’s home where they try to solve a case involving Zane’s family ranch. I enjoyed the case in this one and I found it fast paced and entertaining. There are a lot of laugh out loud moments in this story, some really sweet and romantic ones and some of the steamiest ones in the series. I love every minute of this book every time I read it.

Audio:

I had listened to the first four books in this series on audio in the past. There were two prior narrators and this narrator is totally new. I wasn’t sure about his voice for Ty when I first started. The problem with reading a book first, in my opinion, is that you have the characters firmly set in your mind. While his Ty was fine, it wasn’t how I envisioned Ty. His Zane though was fantastic. Deep, growly voice with just a bit of a Southern drawl. After a few chapters I got used to his Ty and decided I liked it. There are a lot of characters in this book, with a lot of different accents and I felt like this narrator did a great job on all of them. I also found him able to do both male and female voices well which is a talent some narrators do not have. I loved listening to this on audio. I think listening to this really emphasized the emotional scenes and made them more heart wrenching (There was a scene between Ty & Zane’s dad that made my eyes water. It was much more emotional listening to it than reading it.) And the sexy scenes? Holy moly they’re burning hot on audio. I would definitely recommend this to readers/listeners.

Cover art by L.C. Chase. I don’t know what to say about the cover really. It’s very simple but it’s a classic and I would never want to see it change.

Sales Links:  Audio at Amazon |  Audio at Audible

Audiobook Details:

Stars & Stripes
Written by: Abigail Roux
Narrated by: J. F. Harding
Length: 10 hrs and 19 mins
Series: Cut and Run, Book 6

In the Book Spotlight: Rob Rosen’s Hilarious Tale of Friendship, Family and ‘Fate’ (excerpt and giveaway)

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Fate by Rob Rosen
Release Date: November 18, 2015

Goodreads Link
Publisher: MLR Press
Cover Artist: Melody Pond

Blurb

Eddie is in love. The problem is, Eddie’s in love with four men… four men simultaneously, that is. But who does Eddie love more? And can the heart feel for that many men equally? Ah, but it does have four chambers, so four seems the most logical choice… at least, of course, to Eddie.

Paula is Eddie’s famous mom. One by one, each of his lovers comes to work for her, their lives so connected that if one of them itches, another one scratches. But who will wind up with whom in this comedic tale of life and love and friendship? In the end, it’s up to fate to decide what none of them could possibly have seen coming.

 

Praise for ‘Fate’:
“All the perfect kisses, love and laughter, sex and happily-ever-afters of a great romance novel, times four.” — Martha Davis, author of Dirty

“Fate asks provocative questions about the nature, and capacity, of love. A thought-provoking, tears-and-laughter gem that deserves a look!” — Rick R. Reed, award-winning author of Dinner at Home and Blink

“Don’t even try to resist diving head first into Rob Rosen’s latest novel, a witty, wonderful ride through the chaos of friendship and family. ‘Gayer than Oprah,’ as his protagonist quips, Fate is ripe with fearless joy as only Rosen can write it.” — Salome Wilde, editor of Shakespearotica: Queering the Bard

“Sensitive, touching and often uproariously funny, with a style that makes it feel like an American Notting Hill, Fate keeps you guessing and introduces a fresh, quirky set of characters.” — Riley Shepherd, author of The Last Paltry Drops and The Boy He Left Behind

“As fate would have it, Rob Rosen has written another screamingly funny novel exploring the foibles of gay romance.” — Jonathan Asche, author of Kept Men and Other Stories

Pages or Words: 262 pages, 75,000 words
Categories: Contemporary, Fiction, Gay Fiction, Humor, M/M Romance, Romance

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Excerpt

Then the lights went down and the music started and…there was Jay! Wait, scrub that. THERE WAS JAY LENO! In the flesh. Sure, he was pretty far away, but on the studio monitor he was close up. Ironic, because I could’ve just stayed at home and seen the same thing. Still, here he directly addressed the audience. At home, not really, not like this. I mean he was looking, pardon the expression, straight at me! Or maybe at Trevor. Or Aunt Caroline. But definitely in our general vicinity.

“Weird,” whispered Brian.

“Weird,” I agreed.

“The camera adds twenty pounds to his chin,” added Grandma from behind. I laughed. Guess the apple didn’t fall too far from the tree, Ma being the Red Delicious.

After the monologue, which again was sort of drab and on the vanilla side, especially when you were accustomed to Ma, Jay sat at his desk and did some standard Jay stuff in his standard Jay nasal twang, and then the curtain parted from the side and out popped Katie.

“She’s so tiny,” Aaron said from two seats over.

Again I nodded. “All the stars are. The big ones don’t fit inside their trailers.” Everyone nodded, even the strangers in front of us.

Katie was now yammering on about some new project of hers, but I had a hard time concentrating. Ma was going to be on in less than an hour. My Ma! On the friggin’ Tonight Show! Sure, Leno was no Carson, but beggars couldn’t be choosers. Then Katie was done and there was Sean.

“He’s shorter, too,” whispered Aaron.

Again I nodded. “Madonna probably wouldn’t have married anyone too tall. Then the cameras would’ve focused on him.”

“As if,” said Brian, reverently.

Again, I had a difficult time concentrating on Sean. Ma was on next, after all. Ma was the closer. Sean Penn was Ma’s opening act. I had a feeling that statement would be repeated for years to come. Mostly by Ma.

Trevor reached over and held my hand. “I’m so nervous.”

“Ditto,” I said. “Imagine what Ma must be going through.”

Dad tapped me on the shoulder. “Ma’s been drinking since breakfast. Ma is feeling no pain whatsoever. Ma is probably talking Katie Couric’s ear off even as we speak.”

“Probably trying to land a segment on 60 Minutes or CBS Evening News,” I added, knowingly.

“Probably,” agreed my grandma. “Or asking if Matt Lauer is a prick in real life.”

I held back a laugh. “Sounds like Ma.”

And then Sean was gone and the cameras were back on Jay. Honestly, if I was breathing at the time, there were no signs of it. Despite the cool air blowing down on us, beads of sweat were trickling down my face. I squeezed Trevor’s hand. He squeezed mine in return. Brian pressed his knee to mine. Astoundingly, my dick stayed still. I suppose it was as nervous as the rest of me.

“Ladies and gentlemen,” Jay then shouted, still nasally, “please welcome to the stage for her very first television appearance, the very funny, Paula Jackson!”

I gasped. Jay Leno just nasally shouted my mom’s name to the entire country! Or at least to a few million DVRs and VCRs.

Ma walked out smiling, sure and steady. She looked beautiful, radiant, at home. Then she started her routine. Most of it was what we’d practiced. The rest was about me. Again I gasped.

Brian leaned over and whispered in my ear, “Your closet door will never be the same.”

My mouth remained in gasp mode. “She’s blowing the fucking hinges off.”

Grandma smacked my head. “Language.”

And I realized that Ma was also outing me to my family, to our neighbors, to everyone I’d gone to high school with, everyone I went to college with. Everyone. Wait, better—or worse—still, EVERYONE! Or at least anyone who didn’t watch Letterman or Conan.

The audience laughed. I ducked down in my seat. My friends laughed. I prayed for a meteor to hit Burbank. My family raucously applauded. I planned on ways of slowly torturing Ma, starting with locking her TV on Fox News and substituting her vodka with flat Sprite.

Her three minutes, which felt more like three hours, finally came to an end. Jay ran over and gave Ma a hug. “Ladies and gentlemen, Paula Jackson!”

The audience cheered, friends and family the loudest. Me, I was in shock. Me, I was in a coma. Me, I definitely peed myself. “Should’ve bought the Depends,” I whispered, my voice drowned out by the crowd.

Said crowd began to disperse. I was frozen to the spot. “Eddie,” Trevor said, shaking my arm. “Come on, time to go backstage.”

I looked up at him. “Huh?”

“Backstage. To see your mom.” He said it slowly. Or perhaps that’s just the way I heard it. In fact, the whole world was going in slow motion now.

“Huh?”

Dad hit me from behind. “Snap out of it. Your mom was amazing.”

I forced a smile. “Amazing,” I said. “Let’s go tell her how amazing she was.” Because I sure as hell was amazed.

Buy the book:  Amazon | MLR | ARe | B & N

 

RC

 

Meet the Author

Rob Rosen (www.therobrosen.com) is the author of the critically acclaimed novels, Sparkle: The Queerest Book You’ll Ever Love, the Lambda Literary Award Nominated Divas Las Vegas, which was the winner of the 2010 TLA Gaybies for Best Gay Fiction, Hot Lava, Southern Fried, the Lambda Literary Award Nominated Queerwolf, Vamp, Queens of the Apocalypse, Creature Comfort and the Lambda Literary nominated Fate. His short stories have appeared in more than 200 anthologies. You can find 20 of them in his erotic romance anthology, Good & Hot. He is also the editor of Lust in Time: Erotic Romance Through the Ages, Men of the Manor, Best Gay Erotica 2015 and Best Gay Erotica of the Year, Volume 1.

Where to find the author:

 


Tour Dates & Stops:

Parker Williams, Jessie G. Books, Bayou Book Junkie, Charley Descoteaux, Book Lovers 4Ever, MM Good Book Reviews, Attention Is Arbitrary, KathyMac Reviews, Havan Fellows, The Hat Party, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, BFD Book Blog, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, Happily Ever Chapter, Full Moon Dreaming, Up All Night, Read All Day, The Jena Wade, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Alpha Book Club, Lee Brazil

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Giveaway

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: PDF copy of ‘Fate’ by Rob Rosen.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  Link and prize provided by the author and Pride Promotions.
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Young Love Is Never Easy, Check Out S.C.Wynne’s Painful Lesson’s (giveaway and special excerpt)

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PainfulLessonsFSTITLE: Painful Lessons

AUTHOR: S.C.Wynne

PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press

COVER ARTIST: Anna Sikorska

LENGTH: 200 Pages

RELEASE DATE: January 01, 2016

BLURB: As a freshman both in love and in college, sometimes there are painful lessons to be learned.

Excited to begin his first year of college, Brett Bridgeworth has just one problem: he sucks at math. Luckily there’s the sensual and mysterious math tutor, Jeremy Price, to help him out. It isn’t long before Jeremy is tutoring Brett in more than just pie charts, but it isn’t until they split up that Brett discovers Jeremy’s twisted, obsessive side.

Sam Hawthorne is two years ahead of Brett, and they share a strong mutual attraction. When Brett breaks it off with Jeremy and gets involved with Sam, disturbing things start happening. It soon becomes obvious that Jeremy isn’t willing to let Brett go without a fight.

Excerpt

I definitely don’t want what I’m about to share to look like I’m bragging. But I think it’s important to give a glimpse into my first sexual experiences because it has a lot to do with who I am, or at least who I was, when I went through all of that shit with Jeremy. Looking back, now I can see so clearly that I was like a sail with the line sliced, flapping uselessly in the cool sea breeze. Well, maybe I’m getting ahead of the story a little bit. I tend to do that sometimes.

I’ve always been bad at math. I mean, like, really awful. But I’d managed to get through high school because my teachers liked me. Mr. Winter, my algebra teacher, liked me a whole lot. So much so that, senior year, he made a deal with me; he’d give me an A if I let him suck me off.

Mr. Winter wasn’t one of those hot teachers we students fantasized about. He wore a lot of loud polyester shirts, and he had a pot belly. I went back and forth about his offer, and I did a bit of research on the Internet so I’d know what I was getting into. But ultimately I agreed, because if I failed algebra I’d be held back, and that would be way too embarrassing to me and, more importantly, my dad.

My dad owns Bridgeworth Electronics, and if his kid failed high school he’d probably have a heart attack. So I let Mr. Winter pull the blinds, unzip my jeans, and do his thing. The sight of him on his knees and the glare off his shiny bald head was all very surreal. I remember being super nervous because, while I was eighteen and I knew I liked guys, I’d never been touched by one yet. It was just me and my faithful hand, up until Mr. Winter introduced me to fellatio.

At his first touch I was numb inside and grappling with insecurities. Would I come too soon? Would he be too rough? Or worst of all, was he going to make me suck him off? But the initial warm slide of his mouth chased those fears away. Old dude or not, my eyes rolled back in my head, and I’d thrust into his mouth, oblivious to the world around me. Afterward he’d grinned up at me with a crooked, lecherous smile, as if we were somehow coconspirators.

For my first time, it was a little seedy and humiliating. I’d certainly never pictured my initiation to a BJ happening quite like that. But I had to admit his lips on me still felt great, so I shoved down the feelings of shame and took my A. I never saw Mr. Winter again, and I went on toward college still horrible in math but no longer pure as the driven snow.

I spent my summer waiting for responses from the colleges I’d applied to, and worried someone would find out about me and Mr. Winter’s arrangement. Would they be able to retract my grade if they knew what I’d done to get it? I’ll admit to feeling guilty about the whole arrangement with Mr. Winter, but the thought of failing had been too terrifying. When my acceptance letter arrived from UCLA, I put thoughts of my old math teacher behind me and spent the rest of the break celebrating with my friends.

I will say, after my sexual encounter with Mr. Winter, it was as if my hormones woke up for real. I became a horndog of epic proportions. My dad hired a new pool guy for the summer, and he was the opposite of Mr. Winter. This guy was probably in his thirties and hot. I mean smoking, Zac Efron hot. We exchanged lusty looks for a few weeks before anything actually happened. One day after swimming, I was showering in the small side building near the garden, and Lex walked in on me.

He set his pool skimmer against the wall and pulled his shirt off with one yank. I swallowed the lump forming in my throat and waited for him to make the first move. Soundlessly he dropped his shorts and underwear and walked up to me. I couldn’t believe what was happening, but I was excited to think this gorgeous guy wanted to do things to and with me. I believe I said a breathy, “Hi.”

“How old are you, Brett?” he’d asked, almost as if it was an afterthought.

“Eighteen,” I responded right before he pushed me against the slick white tiles and took my mouth roughly.

He tasted like tobacco and cinnamon, and his hands were rough on my hips. His cock wasn’t as wide as mine, but it was longer and it fit next to mine nicely. When the kiss ended, he began grinding his cock against mine, and the heat that flared in my groin was like an inferno. I grasped his shoulders and held on as lust rumbled through me like a steam engine. It wasn’t romantic by any stretch of the imagination. The ceramic tiles were freezing against my back, and they hurt my shoulder blades, but I didn’t care. I was young and ready to explore what I needed sexually.

I’d had a growth spurt toward the end of high school, and I was slightly taller than Lex. I clutched his damp chestnut curls and panted against the orgasm gathering at the base of my cock. He was louder than me. He groaned a lot and cussed as he threw his head back and flexed his hips like a jackhammer. I liked his noises. They were guttural and dirty, and they made me excited as my need ramped even higher. When we came the warm water washed the evidence down the drain as if it never happened.

I remember he stroked my cheek afterward, as I stared into his golden-flecked brown eyes. “That was nice,” he panted, and then he washed under the water with me, dried off with my towel, and got dressed. Right before he left, he turned and asked me, “Are you a virgin?”

I’m sure my cheeks turned red. They were warm now, thinking about how embarrassed I’d been to answer yes. Not to mention I wasn’t even sure if I was answering correctly. Was I a virgin? Did blow jobs count, or did not having had anal make me a virgin? But Lex had just smiled and quietly closed the door. I wasn’t a “virgin” much longer because a week later, Lex took me in that little shower area. I still remember the smell of the coconut-scented lube and the first burning glide of his cock in my untouched ass.

I learned a lot from Lex. The guy had zero inhibitions. We fucked our way through that hot summer, and when it came time to leave for college, I was thankful I didn’t have to go there not knowing anything about sex. I’d assumed I’d show up at UCLA horrible in math and a virgin, but thanks to Lex, only the “bad at math” part was still true.

My dad didn’t have time to drive with me to my new school. He said something about a crisis in the capacitor industry. I didn’t know what he was talking about, and it didn’t really matter because it wasn’t like it was negotiable or anything. Hey, how about you come to my college, see my room, and pretend you give a shit about me for a day? I’ll bake brownies for you?

Yeah, not gonna happen.

I guess at this point, I should mention the reason it was only me and him was because my mom died when I was ten. She went in for a routine hysterectomy and never came home. I remember coming back from school and finding my aunt Rose sobbing in the kitchen. She’d hugged me and my dad, and stayed for weeks to cook casseroles and keep the house clean. But after that she’d had to go back to her family in New York. Aunt Rose called me and my dad “her boys,” and she phoned to check on us often. But my dad’s never home, and I didn’t want to talk about my mom dying, so the time between calls had become longer and longer.

So back to my college experience. My roommate, Ted, was nothing like me. He was boisterous and loud and straight as a ruler. He was hugely into sports and talked about football nonstop. I, on the other hand, knew little about that subject, preferring reading and sketching to getting dirty and running around a field with a pigskin.

We still found some common ground since we both enjoyed eating. We always went to the cafeteria together for all our meals. Generally his jock friends would descend, and I’d sit mostly in silence, shoveling my cheese macaroni in like a machine. I think having Ted as my roommate protected me from being picked on by his homophobic buddies. They gave me hard looks and didn’t sit too close to me, but nobody ever said a disrespectful word to me.

One of the guys I didn’t mind so much. He had auburn hair and light green eyes, and he always smelled like vanilla. His name was Sam Hawthorne, and he was the only one who would speak to me without looking like he was afraid my gayness would get on him. I didn’t hide that I was gay, but I also didn’t flaunt it. The “gayest” thing I did was wear a small diamond stud in my ear that was one half of a pair of earrings my mom had owned. I didn’t wear the earring to make a statement as much as it made me feel connected to my mom.

I soon learned I liked being away from home. When nobody knew me, I could be different and didn’t have to play the role I’d always felt had been thrust on me: good son. Grieving son. It had been eight years since my mom died, and while I missed her and her quirky sense of humor, I wanted to live a little. These were my college years, and I was expecting to have new and exciting experiences. I wasn’t supposed to sit around trying to remember what my mom looked like, although sometimes the fact that I had trouble recalling her features bugged me a lot and made me feel like a horrible person. So I’d pull out the crinkled picture I kept in my wallet. The photo was of a family vacation at the beach a year before she died. She looked happy, and we were both smiling like idiots. My dad wasn’t in the picture, and I guess I mean that both literally and figuratively.

Excerpt 2

That was the night I met Jeremy. He was barely visible in the dark, leaning against a birch to the side of the path.

“Don’t look so sad, pretty boy. There are plenty of other fish in the sea.”

His voice was sultry, deep, and it startled the hell out of me because I had no idea anyone was there.

I pretended I hadn’t almost peed myself and started to walk away without answering, but his voice stopped me.

“Wait up. Are you Brett?”

He approached now, and I was surprised he knew my name. In the dingy yellow light of the streetlamp, I could see he was slender, with wide shoulders and black hair that brushed his collarbone. He had a sexy, dangerous vibe about him, and I took a step back as he reached me.

“Let me guess. Ted didn’t mention I was coming?”

I squinted at him, mystified by why this beautiful vision thought I should know him. “Ted?” Yeah, remember your roommate, dummy?

He smiled and flashed perfect white teeth. “I’m Jeremy,” he said confidently. “You look exactly how Ted described you.”

I put a hand to my blond hair, wondering what Ted had said about me.

“Ted said you’re looking for a math tutor.” He didn’t seem to mind at all that I was tongue-tied.

I think I’d mentioned once to Ted that I should get a tutor, but I’d never really pursued it. And yet here before me was the most delicious tutor anyone could ask for. My pulse sped up as I took his smooth hand in mine and something came alive inside of me.

“Oh, yeah. I do need help. I’m horrible at math.” He still held my hand, and I had the sensation of energy passing between us. I remember being hugely relieved I didn’t gasp like a little girl at the electric shock.

“But I needed to meet you first.”

Jeremy pulled me closer, and his gaze never left my mouth. I should have known then that he was acting odd for a math tutor, but hindsight is twenty-twenty, and I was blinded by a cloud of youthful lust.

“I don’t take on just anybody. I want you to know that.”

I remember I instantly felt special and impressed he was even considering me. I look back on it now, and it immediately strikes me that most math tutors weren’t in such high demand that they would pick and choose their tutees so stringently. But for whatever reason, I didn’t think twice about how strange he was. I was simply flattered I had been deemed worthy.

Later I was able to see I’d been chosen for reasons that had nothing to do with my being valuable. No, no. Far more attractive to Jeremy was that I reeked of need and a desire to matter to someone. I’m sure that’s why he wanted to meet me first before he agreed to help me. His type can smell self-doubt a mile away. My palpable insecurities were like blood in the water to a great white.

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AuthorBio

S.C. Wynne started writing m/m in 2013 and did look back once. She wanted to say that because it seems everyone’s bio says they never looked back and, well S.C. Wynne is all about the joke. She loves writing m/m and her characters are usually a little jaded, funny and ultimately redeemed through love.

S.C loves red wine, margaritas and Seven and Seven’s. Yes, apparently S.C. Wynne is incredibly thirsty. S.C. Wynne loves the rain and should really live in Seattle but instead has landed in sunny, sunny, unbelievably sunny California.

Writing is the best profession she could have chosen because S.C. is a little bit of a control freak. To sit in her pajamas all day and pound the keys of her laptop controlling the every thought and emotion of the characters she invents is a dream come true.

If you’d like to contact S.C. Wynne she is amusing herself on Facebook at all hours of the day or you can contact her at scwynne@dslextreme.com

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TourSchedule

January 4: Man2ManTastic

January 5: The Novel Approach :: Drops of Ink

January 6: Divine Magazine

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January 15: Bayou Book Junkie :: Elisa – My reviews and Ramblings