A Paul B Review: For a Dragon’s Enthusiasm (Highland Dragons #9) by Charlie Richards

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Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

For a Dragon's Enthusiasm (Highland Dragons #9) by Charlie RichardsDoughall Maxton is a warrior for Clan MacDuffan.  His brother Seumas left town with Kaiser, the representative from the Karstelle Valley.  Unfortunately, Hamish and a couple of his friends followed after Seumas intent on harming Doughall’s brother.  Using his tracking skills, Doughall finally gets to where he seems to be only a day behind those he is looking for.  When he sees what looks like a funeral pyre, he fears the worst for his brother.  He hears a noise and notices a large blue lizard like creature watching him.  Not wanting to be an easy meal for the beast, he pulls out his sword and attacks.

Simeon knows he is not allowed to leave Kartelle Valley.  The fewer dragons that have interactions with the human world, the more likely their existence will be kept secret.  But loneliness has set in ever since more dragons have found their asdas, or human mates.  While out, Simeon spots this well-muscled man with long flowing hair.  Simeon recognizes the man as an asda and is determined to make him his mate.  Simeon easily defends himself from Doughall’s attack and immobilizes the man until he can explain the ways of the dragon world.  While getting to know each other, Kaiser and Seumas show up.  Simeon knows that he knows he faces possible punishment for leaving the valley.  However, will information that Doughall has focus attention on that instead of Simeon’s transgression?

I have watched soap operas off and on for the past thirty years.  Every once in a while, you get a show which recaps the key story lines, plants a new piece of information that will be key later in the series, and basically waits until the next day to get back into full story telling mode.  For a Dragon’s Enthusiasm, the ninth book in Charlie Richard’s Highland Dragons series, fells just like that.  I have enjoyed this series from the start so a breather in the action does not bother me.  It looks like Ian’s father is still intent on bringing his son home.  And as with most book series, having read the previous books will help with understanding the events in this book.

What can I say about the cover from Angela Waters?  It is yet another stunning cover that is on par with her previous covers for this series.  Doughall is portrayed exactly as described in the book, with Simeon’s blue dragon in the background. 

Sales Links

eXtasy Books

7104e-waxcreative-amazon-kindle

Book Details

EBook, 75 pages

Edition Language:  English

Published:  July 1, 2016 by eXtasy Books

ISBN:  978-1-4874-0388-1

Series: Highland Dragons

  • For a Dragon’s Touch (Highland Dragons #1)
  • For a Dragon’s Protection (Highland Dragons #2)
  • For a Dragon’s Treasure (Highland Dragons #3)
  • For a Dragon’s Forgiveness (Highland Dragons #4)
  • For a Dragon’s Redemption (Highland Dragons #5)
  • For a Dragon’s Healing (Highland Dragons #6)
  • For a Dragon’s Persuasion (Highland Dragons #7)
  • For a Dragon’s Seduction (Highland Dragons #8)
  • For a Dragon’s Enthusiasm (Highland Dragons #9)

A MelanieM Release Day Review: The Red Thread by Bryan Ellis

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Rating:  4.75 stars out of 5

The Red Thread by Bryan EllisAfter a suicide attempt left him hospitalized for seven months, Jesse Holbrooke is returning home to live with his parents. Despite the treatment he received, his depression hangs like a cloud over his head, casting his life in a perpetual darkness he can’t seem to escape. But just when the obstacles become insurmountable, a glimmer of light appears.

Life hasn’t been easy for Adam Foster, a barista with a bad stutter, but he keeps his chin up and tries not to let the mockery of others get to him. Though shy, Adam is sweet and romantic, and Jesse knows they could be perfect for each other. Adam’s support gives Jesse the courage to face the darkness and believe in the possibility of happiness at last. But if their romance is going to last, both young men will have to look inside and find acceptance—for themselves as well as for each other.

The Red Thread by Bryan Ellis is a powerfully moving and often difficult at times to read story.  Jesse Holbrooke is a sad man.  He has been that way for as long as he can remember.  A recent suicide attempt had him institutionalized for severe depression and now he’s home.  But he’s not coping well and neither is his family.

The Red Thread is told from Jesse’s view point and what a stark, dark place it is.  If you don’t have depression or know of a person with depression, reading…no listening to Jesse’s thoughts will help bring some understanding to the darkness and pain a person suffering must go through.  Also his family who are clearly tiptoeing around him having no idea how to handle the situation or Jesse himself.

Ellis paints such a poignant, clear picture of what depression can do to a person and the people around them here.  The high points, the fighting against the constant lows, the medications, adjusting of medications.  Its a struggle and winning is not assured.    Sometimes its hard to remain a friend of the person who has depression because its hard to keep struggling with them.  The reader will fight that fight as well as some of Jesse’s friends.  I thought to convey that part of depression was pretty brave here, to risk alienating your readers by being authentic and true to the disease that has overwhelmed Jesse from birth.  Its so heartbreaking.  Then Adam Foster enters the scene.

Adam, the man with a stutter who captures Jesse’s heart.  And ours.  They have a sweet meet and their romance is a thread here that we can connect with but really, that’s not the story. Their romance runs like a lovely layer overtop the story that consumes the book.

This story belongs to Jesse and his struggle with depression.  Its not going away.  There are no miracle cures.  No HEA.  Bravo to Bryan Ellis for not trying to give us one.  He gives us reality instead.  Life’s a struggle, you go on the best you  can with people who love and support you, if you are lucky. That honesty makes this story.  And Jesse.  The Red Thread by Bryan Ellis is a wonderful story that shouldn’t be missed.  I highly recommend it even if it leaves your heart feeling a little sadder as you will feel more understanding of what someone with depression is going through.

Cover Artist: Brooke Albrecht.  Cover art is simple and perfect.  The red thread has a deep meaning here and its conveyed beautifully.

Sales Links

        

 

Book Details:

ebook, 256 pages
Expected publication: September 2nd 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 1634777247 (ISBN13: 9781634777247)
Edition LanguageEnglish

Today – From Jay Northcote a Free Story : Helping Hand (Housemates #1) by Jay Northcote

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             From Jay Northcote ~ A Freebee Just for You!!!

Jez Fielding and James MacKenzie—Big Mac to his mates—are in their second year at uni. After partying too hard last year, they make a pact to rein themselves in. While their housemates are out drinking every weekend, Jez and Mac stay in to save cash and focus on their studies.

When Jez suggests watching some porn together, he isn’t expecting Mac to agree to it. One thing leads to another, and soon their arrangement becomes hands-on rather than hands-off. But falling for your ‘straight’ friend can only end badly, unless there’s a chance he might feel the same.

This book is a complete story and can be read as a standalone.

Length: 33,000 words approx
Cover art by Garrett Leigh

Buy Links

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B010EAQOKA
http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B010EAQOKA

Universal Amazon link: http://mybook.to/HelpingHand_JayN

A MelanieM Review: Age Is Just A Number: A Wayward Ink Publishing Anthology

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Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5

Age is Just a Number AnthologyThere’s something to be said for life experience, a little gray at the temple…

And then there is the appeal of youth.

When it comes to what the heart wants, Age Is Just A Number.

I love anthologies.  Its a wonderful way to find new authors, pick up and read a quick story or two in a trope you enjoy.  They can be a smorgasbord of finds, and I always find it fascinating on how the editors lay out the stories contained inside.  I don’t always agree with their lineup.  For me, I think you should lead with one of the strongest stories in the group.  Pull the reader into your overall topic with the strength of that particular author’s writing and depth of story, no matter the length.

For me that didn’t happen here and that weak beginning proved somewhat disconnecting for the rest of the collection.

There are some fine stories here, and the editors and Wayward Ink Publishing ended the anthology with a strong finish with one of the best of Age is Just A Number.  Everything in between is a bit of a mixed bag.  Some so so, some  good, some terrific.

I think May/December romances can be an interesting trope to explore.  How do the people involved overcome the age differences involved?  Because a span of age means a big difference in cultural references, generation speak, outlook, ideologies and more.  For an author to get two frames of references across while making those individuals real, their relationship believable and one we want to see happen (instead of one we find squeamish) can be a tough obstacle, let alone in a short story. That some authors succeeded here is wonderful.

TWENTY LIGHT YEARS BETWEEN US by Eric Gober  – 2 stars out of 5

An alien encounter…
An unfortunate misstep…
A lightning fast journey through space…
The laws of physics are about to wreak havoc on Walt and Michael’s May-December love.

I found this to be the least effective story of the collection.  More a group of researched items from the 60’s tied together by a thin plot line then a real tale.  All I noticed was brand names rather than any real feeling or cohesive story of any depth.  This would not have been my choice for lead in story.

ALL ROADS LEAD WITHIN –  3.5 stars out of 5

Layla Dorine

When James spotted Rogue, a young man for whom wandering is like breathing, half-dozing on the hood of his car, he never expected that warning him about the dangers of sleeping out in the open would lead to a weekly visitor at his door.

I rather liked this dusty tale of love and wandering.  It had a real feel for location and people.  James and Rogue came alive on the trail, visit after visit.  This story kept me going in the anthology.

NORTH PASTURE – 3 stars out of 5

Lily Velden

Upon the death of his grandfather, up and coming Fantasy author, Thomas, returns home.
A place he left four years earlier to get over his unrequited love for Sam Fletcher, his older, straight, and very much married neighbor.
Thomas soon discovers, however, that things are much changed with Sam…

I wanted to like this more and I think I would have as a longer story.  It has so many great elements that need enlarging.  Thomas and Sam, Sam’s misconceptions and son.  But it ends too quickly and left me feeling frustrated over what I thought the story could have been. Unfair? Maybe, but there it is.

AMERICAN MASTER BAKER  – 4 stars out of 5

Dale Cameron Lowry

Baking is a way of life for Joey, a young pastry chef vying for first place in the popular reality show American Master Bakers.
But the judges have been showing favoritism to Terence, an aggravatingly attractive older man with more experience under his belt.
When the competition gets hot, so do the two men. Can a relationship that started in hatred end in love?

Loved this story.  The cooking competition, the different pastries, the intensity and the heat of the kitchen?  Wonderful.  And oh, yes, the sex.

ALPHA AND OMEGA: THE CLAIMING – 4 stars out of 5

Eddy LeFey

A young Omega shifter meets a much older Alpha.
Will Elliot let Issac help him be who he is too afraid to be?

A neat take on the Omega/Alpha combination.  Elliot was a lovely new addition to the Omega shifter take and his predicament was unusual enough and his rescue drama and romantic that it made this story.  I wanted more of both of them.  Great job.

STAND AND DELIVER – 3 stars out of 5

Asta Idonea

Necessity has forced former soldier Captain Keen to assume the occupation of gentleman highwayman. His fortunes take a turn, however, the night he stops the Marquis de Beaumont’s coach and gets more than he bargained for when he utters the words “Stand and deliver!”

 Idonea’s has part of a great m/m historic novel here.  The trouble is that I found it only to be the first half.  I got just enough of the Marquis and Keen to pique my interest in both but not enough to believe in a future for them.  I really needed to see beyond that voyage.  3 stars for great details.

LOST AND FOUND – 4 stars out of 5

Louise Lyons

The loss of his best friend leads Phil to find love.

German Shepherd puppies and love.  Actually loss, and new found found again.  That’s the theme here and it works.  Simple and sweet. Well done.

TRAIL TO LOVE – 2.75 stars out of 5

Kassandra Lea

There’s only one thing Kit Conley likes more than horses and that’s Roman Meadery.
But will the elite rider ever notice him?

I’m a horse person so why didn’t I connect?  I think it was the characters.  They just didn’t seem real.  Nor did the dialog.  Nice horses though.

CRUISING WITH LOVE – 3.75 stars out of 5

Carol Pedroso

Gus is under the thumb of a controlling father. Can meeting his mate give him a reason to make a break for freedom?
Nelson is twice Gus’ age, and very protective of what is his.
What will happen when Gus’ father tries to split them up? And what surprises does Nelson have up his sleeve?

Another nice tale of mixed shifters in love.  Gus and Nelson meet on a voyage and discover they are fated mates.  Pedroso convinces us that these two so very different species are, in fact, fated mates and need to be together.  Gus’ dad is a nasty brute and it all works out in the end.  I would have liked it more if the species made more sense to me.  As it was they were so opposite, that this naturalist’s mind just couldn’t  really go there.   Prey/food. Sorry.

NEAR MISS – 5 stars out of 5

Aimee Brissay

A few seconds, that’s all it takes to make a difference between life and death.
Between killing someone and stopping on time.
But is it enough to turn yourself around when you’ve hit bottom?
Or to make you recognize something good when you have it?

Without a doubt the finest story of the collection.  I’m was happy to see that it ended the Anthology here.  A train operator is traumatized by a woman trying to commit suicide in front of his train.  The resulting PTSD almost derails his life until someone and something shows him the way back up.  Its a remarkable story.  This man’s pain feels immediate and real, his flashbacks horrific, and his life spiraling downward authentic and sad.  That we can rejoice in his recovery and love is just as amazing.  This story is worth the anthology alone.

As I said, anthologies are often a mixed bag but they are a wonderful way to get acquainted with new authors or find stories you might not get anywhere else.  Short stories your bag?  Are some of these authors new to you or favorites of yours?  In either case, Age Is Just A Number: A Wayward Ink Publishing Anthology  might just be the collection of stories for you.  Fantasy, contemporary, supernatural…it has something for everyone.  Pick it up and find the story and author for you.

Cover is not a favorite of mine.  Just too hodgepodge with no hint of anything other than contemporary.

Sales Links

Wayward Ink Publishing | ARe |  Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | Amazon DE

 

Anthology Details:

ebook, 240 pages
Published September 1st 2016 by Wayward Ink Publishing
ISBN139780994645647
Edition LanguageEnglish

RJ Scott has a New Book And New Series Out! Check Out Kyle (Legacy #1) by R.J. Scott (giveaway)

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Release Blitz & Giveaway

RJ Scott – Kyle (Legacy #1)

Author: RJ Scott
 
Release Date: September 2 2016
 
Length: 
 
 

Blurb:

Two men destroyed by the past learn to live—and love—again.
Kyle Braden has nowhere else to go. With no money, no prospects, and no drive to be something else, he turns to the only man who promises him help. Jack Campbell-Hayes wants to show Kyle that he can be more than he ever thought.

Kyle gets to realize just how far he’s come from being the scarred man who shut everyone out, when the first person through the doors of Legacy Ranch carries a gun and threatens to kill anyone who comes near him. Kyle wants to be the man that someone turns to for help and it scares him.

Thrown out of his house and with three years on the streets marking every inch of his body, Jason Smith is scared. His life is an evil mess of hate and despair, and even the offer of a fresh start and a clean bed isn’t enough for him to hand over his gun. He’s cheated death twice, and he’s not letting there be a third time—he might not be so lucky.

For these broken men, Legacy Ranch offers more than a place to live and work.

It offers hope.

A new story set in the world of Jack and Riley Campbell-Hayes and the Double D Ranch, Texas.


About the Author ~ R.J. Scott

RJ Scott is the bestselling gay romance author of over ninety MM romance books. She writes emotional stories of complicated characters, cowboys, millionaire, princes, and the men who get mixed up in their lives. RJ is known for writing books that always end with a happy ever after. She lives just outside London and spends every waking minute she isn’t with family either reading or writing. 
 
RJ also writes MF romance under the name Rozenn Scott.
 
The last time she had a week’s break from writing she didn’t like it one little bit, and she has yet to meet a bottle of wine she couldn’t defeat.
 

 Giveaway

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And check out Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words’s review here on 9/14.

In the Spotlight: Lord of a Thousand Steps (Love in Laguna #4) By Tara Lain (character bio, excerpt and giveaway)

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Lord of a Thousand Steps
(Love in Laguna #4)
By Tara Lain

Character Inspiration - BradenCharacter Bio – LORD OF A TOUSAND STEPS by Tara Lain – Blog Tour

Name — Braden Lord

Age – 36

Orientation – gay although was married to a woman for many years and is only now coming out

Hair – dark brown with auburn highlights

Height – 6’2”

Body – Slim and athletic

Occupation – CEO of Lord and Kendrick and a renowned architect

Family – two children, JoJo, 14 and Mireille, 6; going through a bitter divorce and child custody battle with his wife

Home – south Laguna CA, on a cliff above the Thousand Steps Beach

Desires – to have custody of his two children and a love of his own

Loves – His children, architecture, and finally Ian Carney

Blurb:

To architecture student Ian Carney, family means everything. Taken in by his brother, Jim, when his father threw him out at eighteen for being gay, Ian yearns to create his own family with his boyfriend, Rico. But Rico’s in Mexico caring for a sick father, Ian hasn’t had sex in a month and a half, and his gorgeous boss, Braden Lord, CEO of the architectural firm Ian interns for, is looking better and better.

Braden’s life is chaos. Just out of the closet and going through an ugly divorce from his wife of fifteen years who’s trying to take custody of his two children, he desperately resolves not to succumb to a completely inappropriate attraction to Ian—even though his kids adore both the man and his crazy cat.

When Rico proves to be a snake in the grass and Ian exercises his powers of seduction, what starts as a “friends with benefits” fling turns into real life real fast. Can Ian give up his romantic dreams for an “old guy” who didn’t come out until he carried a mountain of baggage? It’ll only take a thousand steps.

Available for purchase at 
              
Also in paperback
Excerpt
 

Excerpt 4: Lord of a Thousand Steps by Tara Lain

Excerpt Title: Buddies

Braden picked up his glass and turned it in his hands. He’d been the recipient of a rebound blowjob. He slowly released his breath. Better than no blowjob at all, I guess. “I’m so sorry this happened to you.”

“Yeah. Well, maybe it’ll help me grow up and stop looking for romance on every street corner, you know? Just about the time I moved in with my brother, he fell for Ken, and I think that warped my perspective. They’re so happy. But I guess I haven’t kissed enough frogs yet.”

Braden sucked wine up his nose and gargled. “Mmft, I shall cherish my new amphibian category.” Although it kind of stung.

“Oh, hell no. That’s not what I meant.” He shook his head wildly. “Actually, you’re the antiamphibian.”

Braden laughed. “Okay, explain.”

“I mean, you’re the shoot-for-the-moon guy. The prince’s prince. But you’re so far out of my league, you won’t tempt me to hope.” He grinned. “I can be your secret blowjob guy, your fuck buddy, while you’re getting yourself out of your marriage. You won’t have to worry about some random spy photographer catching you in the throes with me. Hell, if they see us together, you have a perfect reason to be with me. Combination design mentee and babysitter.”

Braden’s head spun. This made weird sense—and gave him a bellyache. “What do you get out of it?”

“Are you kidding? Sex with the hottest dude on two feet—and a break from fairy-tale romance.”

His mouth opened—and closed. Try again. “Uh, are you sure about this?”

Ian’s grin faded. “Okay, I’m more beat-up than I’m letting on. But I really like you. If we go into this with eyes open and solemnly promise that when one of us finds a realistic boyfriend we can still work together, then I’m in. But seriously, I don’t want to jeopardize my job. I love working for Lord and Kendrick. If you think I’m kidding myself, say so.”

Kidding? Fuck, they’d both lost their minds.

 

Love in Laguna Series

 

 

Available for purchase at
              

 

Paperback from Dreamspinner 
Available for purchase at 
 
              
Paperback from Dreamspinner
Available for purchase at
                 

 

You can order the paperback here.
 




 

 

 
About the Author

 

Tara Lain writes the Beautiful Boys of Romance in LGBT erotic romance novels that star her unique, charismatic heroes. Her first novel was published in January of 2011 and she’s now somewhere around book 32. Her best-selling novels have garnered awards for Best Series, Best Contemporary Romance, Best Paranormal Romance, Best Ménage, Best LGBT Romance, Best Gay Characters, and Tara has been named Best Writer of the Year in the LRC Awards. In her other job, Tara owns an advertising and public relations firm. She often does workshops on both author promotion and writing craft.  She lives with her soul-mate husband and her soul-mate dog near the sea in California where she sets a lot of her books.  Passionate about diversity, justice, and new experiences, Tara says on her tombstone it will say “Yes”!

 

You can find Tara at Lain
               

 

Presented By

Coffee Sip and Book Break with Age Is Just a Number, a Wayward Ink Publishing Anthology (an May/December Romance Collection Across Genres – giveaway)

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Age Is Just a Number MIni Tour Banner

Title: Age is Just a Number
Authors: Eric Gober, Layla Dorine, Lily Velden, Dale Cameron Lowry, Eddy LeFey, Asta Idonea, Louise Lyons, Kassandra Lea, Carol Pedroso, Aimee Brissay
Genre: Gay, Romance, May/December Romance, LGBT
Publisher: Wayward Ink Publishing

Synopsis

There’s something to be said for life experience, a little gray at the temple…

And then there is the appeal of youth.

When it comes to what the heart wants, Age Is Just A Number.

Buy Links

Don’t miss the limited time discounted prices on publishers’ and all major retailer sites!

WIP: http://www.waywardinkpublishing.com/product/age-is-just-a-number-a-wayward-ink-publishing-anthology/
ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-ageisjustanumberawaywardinkpublishinganthology-2090671-166.html
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Age-Just-Number-Publishing-Anthology-ebook/dp/B01KMSZ7X4/
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Age-Just-Number-Publishing-Anthology-ebook/dp/B01KMSZ7X4/
Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/Age-Just-Number-Publishing-Anthology-ebook/dp/B01KMSZ7X4/
Amazon DE: https://www.amazon.de/Age-Just-Number-Publishing-Anthology-ebook/dp/B01KMSZ7X4/

AIJAN Anthology Cover

Stories Included

TWENTY LIGHT YEARS BETWEEN US

Eric Gober

An alien encounter…
An unfortunate misstep…
A lightning fast journey through space…
The laws of physics are about to wreak havoc on Walt and Michael’s May-December love.

ALL ROADS LEAD WITHIN

Layla Dorine

When James spotted Rogue, a young man for whom wandering is like breathing, half-dozing on the hood of his car, he never expected that warning him about the dangers of sleeping out in the open would lead to a weekly visitor at his door.

NORTH PASTURE

Lily Velden

Upon the death of his grandfather, up and coming Fantasy author, Thomas, returns home.
A place he left four years earlier to get over his unrequited love for Sam Fletcher, his older, straight, and very much married neighbor.
Thomas soon discovers, however, that things are much changed with Sam…

AMERICAN MASTER BAKER

Dale Cameron Lowry

Baking is a way of life for Joey, a young pastry chef vying for first place in the popular reality show American Master Bakers.
But the judges have been showing favoritism to Terence, an aggravatingly attractive older man with more experience under his belt.
When the competition gets hot, so do the two men. Can a relationship that started in hatred end in love?

ALPHA AND OMEGA: THE CLAIMING

Eddy LeFey

A young Omega shifter meets a much older Alpha.
Will Elliot let Issac help him be who he is too afraid to be?

STAND AND DELIVER

Asta Idonea

Necessity has forced former soldier Captain Keen to assume the occupation of gentleman highwayman. His fortunes take a turn, however, the night he stops the Marquis de Beaumont’s coach and gets more than he bargained for when he utters the words “Stand and deliver!”

LOST AND FOUND

Louise Lyons

The loss of his best friend leads Phil to find love.

TRAIL TO LOVE

Kassandra Lea

There’s only one thing Kit Conley likes more than horses and that’s Roman Meadery.
But will the elite rider ever notice him?

CRUISING WITH LOVE

Carol Pedroso

Gus is under the thumb of a controlling father. Can meeting his mate give him a reason to make a break for freedom?
Nelson is twice Gus’ age, and very protective of what is his.
What will happen when Gus’ father tries to split them up? And what surprises does Nelson have up his sleeve?

NEAR MISS

Aimee Brissay

A few seconds, that’s all it takes to make a difference between life and death.
Between killing someone and stopping on time.
But is it enough to turn yourself around when you’ve hit bottom?
Or to make you recognize something good when you have it?

Exclusive Excerpt from Eric Gober’s Twenty Lightyears Between Us:

“It’s gotta be a hoax of some sort. We’re probably on Candid Camera right now, about

to make big fools of ourselves.” I picked up the 8-track player. “Let’s just go back to our

picnic spot.”

“No way; we’re investigating this.” Gary stepped inside and retreated down a corridor

with Michael.

Against my better judgment, I entered the vessel.

I followed Michael and Gary into what looked like a living area. I had to admit the

room’s decor was unearthly. There was no blue shag carpeting or fake wood paneling. No

beanbag chairs or chained swag lamps either. Everything was spotless and appeared exotic

and very expensive. The lighting—a strange tint I couldn’t quite pinpoint in the spectrum—

had no source that I could see. The furnishings were ultra-modern. All were crafted using

odd angles, asymmetric shapes, and peculiar materials I’d never seen before. The room’s

sophisticated palette defied description. There was no harvest gold, avocado green, or

walnut brown anywhere. In fact, I’d have wagered the colors inside here couldn’t have been

duplicated by Michelangelo or Sherwin-Williams.

Two fiercely handsome men lounged on plush objects. I wouldn’t call the objects chairs

because they had no legs and didn’t touch the ground, but rather seemed to float. I didn’t

see anything suspending them. The man with lighter, golden skin stood when he saw us. He

wore an iridescent jumpsuit made of otherworldly fibers, and he had to be six and a half feet

tall.

Book Trailer

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Prize:  $10 WIP Gift Card

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Coffee Sip and Book Break with Devon & Levi VS Real Life Wyomans from Wide Open Spaces by Renee Stevens (excerpt and giveaway)

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AboutTheBook

 

o-wide-open-spacesFSTITLE: Wide Open Spaces

AUTHOR: Renee Stevens

PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press

COVER ARTIST: Maria Fanning

LENGTH: 35,632 words

RELEASE DATE: August 31, 2016

Devon & Levi VS Real Life Wyomans

Wyoman is just one nickname for people from Wyoming. A couple others are Wyomingite and Wyomingan. For the purpose of this blog post, we’re going to use Wyoman.

In my experience, there are two main types of Wyomans. First you have the ones who can’t imagine living anywhere else, and then you have the ones who can’t escape fast enough. Sure, there’s a middle ground, but the majority fall into these two categories. But here’s the thing, many of those who fall into that first category leave, many times by joining the military, and then return after experiencing life elsewhere.

I personally know at least a dozen close friends I went to school with who fit category one, and every one of them joined the military. Out of those dozen, all but maybe four have returned. Having lived elsewhere myself, I think the reason is simple: culture shock. It’s tough going from a small town, where it seems like everyone knows everyone else, there’s little to no traffic, and not very many people (the entire state only has about 500,000 people) to a big city like Seattle, New York, San Diego, Salt Lake City, etc. It’s like there’s two completely different worlds.

So, why am I bringing this up? Easy. Devon and Levi represent these exact groups. Devon was in group number one. No sooner had he graduated then he packed up and left. He wanted to go somewhere he was just another face in the crowd. He succeeded for a few years but then had to admit what many of us learn. He was a small town guy in the big city, and, above all, Wyoming is home. Once he’d come to that realization, he returned.

Levi on the other hand, was in category two. He loved living in Wyoming. Sure, there were problems, but rather than run away like Devon did, Levi stayed. He went to college in Laramie and went right back to his hometown. He weathered the difficulties he faced and didn’t pretend he was someone he’s not just to fit in with the crowd. That’s lucky for Devon, since it means Levi was still there when he came back and maybe they could have a second chance.

BLURB

 Devon fled Wyoming as soon as he turned eighteen, leaving behind his high school love, Levi. After six years in the big city, Devon returns to his hometown. Not much has changed, except that Levi is no longer in the closet. He’s also single and living his dream—managing the local wild horse population. Both of them are very interested in picking up where they left off, but Devon is no more ready to reveal his orientation than he was as a teenager.

No one is going to shove Levi back in the closet—not even Devon. For a relationship to work, they’ll have to put the past behind them and find the courage to face the future as who they really are—a couple in love. But Devon doesn’t know if he’s strong enough. Maybe Levi would be better off without him—and his hang-ups.

States of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the United States.
Excerpt

 

Devon dug his keys out of his pocket and headed for the door. He’d get something to eat and then maybe stop at the store to pick up a few staples. Paper plates, sandwich fixings, some chips, and he’d be good for a couple of days. At least it would give him time to get a few things—like pots and pans—unpacked. Then he could do a full grocery shop.

An hour later he was comfortably full from a greasy burger, fries, and a shake. He’d never eaten a lot of fast food, but he had few other options. He headed to Walmart, determined to stick to his list of sandwich stuff and maybe some eggs. Surely he could dig out some pans before the food expired. He headed to the chips first and scanned for the familiar bag of Cheddar and Sour Cream Ruffles. They were his all-time favorite, though he also knew he’d want something else after a day or two. So he grabbed a couple of other bags and headed for the eggs and then the freezer aisle.

Sandwiches and chips would get old fast. He found some frozen breakfast sandwiches he could microwave, tossed them in the cart, and moved on. Frozen lasagna quickly joined the few other items in his cart, followed by some potpies, a few TV dinners, and a bag of chimichangas. So what if he wasn’t sticking to his mental list?

He was more focused on getting groceries for the next few days than on the people around him.

“Devon.”

He froze when a familiar voice spoke his name. He closed his eyes briefly, ducked his head, and steeled himself. He knew it would happen eventually, when he found out Levi still lived there. He thought he’d have more time to prepare. He swallowed—hard—and turned to face the man who had at one time meant everything to him. The man he’d risked being found out for. He lifted his head and gazed into the moss-colored eyes.

“Levi.” He hadn’t changed much. The goatee was new, but the shaggy black hair was the same. Devon kept his gaze squarely on Levi’s face, despite wanting to look him over completely. Not that he needed to. Levi had always been his exact opposite when it came to looks. Green eyes to his blue. Black hair to his blond. Slender and toned where he was more stocky and muscular. The only similarity was their height. Devon was no giant, but he was a little taller than average, and Levi was only slightly shorter than him.

“I wasn’t sure it was you at first.” Levi smiled, but Devon could still see the same hurt in his eyes as the day he left. “I thought you were never coming back here. At least that’s what you said when you left.”

There was no accusation in Levi’s voice, but Devon winced just the same.

“I never planned to.” He forced himself to shrug like it didn’t matter. “I tried to stay away, but the city is nothing like here. Too many people, too much traffic, and you have to drive quite a ways to be able to see the stars.” Devon shifted from foot to foot, and he opened and closed his hands at his side. “We don’t have to do this.” He motioned from Levi to himself and back. “In fact I’d understand if you hate me and want nothing to do with me.”

“I never hated you.” Levi sighed. “I understood why you left. Even if I wished you didn’t feel the need to.” Levi scanned him from head to toe. He smiled, but there was a sad quality to it. “You look good. When did you get back?”

“A few days ago.” Somebody reached around him, and he realized he was blocking the burrito section. He moved out of the way and motioned with his head for Levi to follow him. He wasn’t sure if he was happy or not when Levi complied. He headed to the fruit and vegetable department, knowing there was a spot near the bananas where they could talk without being in anyone’s way. He stopped by the display and turned back to Levi. “I wasn’t sure if you’d still be here.”

“You know me.” Levi glanced away for a second and then turned back. “This is home. Are you back for good?”

“Yeah. I learned I’m truly a country boy at heart.” He chuckled. “Guess I should have listened when you told me I’d hate the city.”

“You never were very good at listening.” Levi shook his head. “I should let you go before both of our groceries start thawing.”

Devon wanted to stop him but wasn’t sure it was a good idea. He’d never completely gotten over Levi. Devon studied his ex as he walked away. He was still slender, but he had more muscle tone than he had at eighteen. Levi stopped and looked back.

“Maybe we could get together sometime. Catch up over a few beers?” Levi’s voice was barely more than a whisper, like he wasn’t sure he was doing the right thing, but Devon heard him. “I’m sure we have a lot to talk about.”

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AuthorBio

 

Renee Stevens first started writing in her teens but didn’t get serious about being an author until her mid-twenties.  Since then she’s written a number of contemporary stories, as well as delved into the paranormal.  When not writing, or spending time in the outdoors, Renee can be usually be found working on GayAuthors.org in her capacity of admin and Anthology Coordinator.

Renee resides in Wyoming with her wonderfully supportive husband and a menagerie of four-legged critters.  Making the most of the nearly constant negative temperatures and mounds of snow, Renee spends much of the winter months in hibernation with her laptop, the voices in her head keeping her company while her husband works. When she needs a break from writing, Renee takes to the sewing machine to design, and make, beautiful quilts.

When the snow finally disappears, usually around May or June, Renee can be found in the great-outdoors.  She spends her time on the mountain, at the lake, and just anywhere that she can do some camping, take some photos, and ride the four-wheelers with her hubby.  Once back at home, it’s back to writing.

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TourSchedule

August 31: Rick R. Reed :: Bayou Book Junkie :: Rainbow Book Reviews :: Diverse Reader

September 1: Author Dean Frech

September 2: The Day Before You Came :: Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words :: Lustful Literature

September 5: Tempeste O’Riley :: Love Bytes Reviews

September 6: Nessa’s Book Reviews

September 7: BFD Book Blog

September 8: MM Book Escape

September 9: Louise Lyons

September 12: The Purple Rose Tea House :: Wicked Faeries Tales And Reviews

September 13: Loving Without Limits :: Alpha Book Club

September 14: Prism Book Alliance