An Alisa Review: Threshold by Vivien Dean

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

 

Finding a gorgeous, unconscious vampire gives ex-Marine Max a new purpose in life.

 

Sutter is a vampire on the run. After barely escaping the hunter sent after him, he makes it all the way to Oregon before the approaching sunrise forces him to stop. He only intends to rest until dusk, but that plan falls apart when he’s found passed out on the bathroom floor.

 

Ex-Marine Max Rowell hasn’t had a purpose in life since coming home from the Gulf. Drifting through the days, he discovers an unconscious guy who looks like an angel but has clearly been through hell and finds new purpose.

 

Max isn’t letting Sutter go anywhere until he’s healed, but Sutter needs more than a warm bedside manner to get stronger. Though they strike a deal, the clock is ticking. Sooner or later, Sutter will need to run again, or risk putting Max’s life on the line when Sutter’s past catches up to him…

 

I really enjoyed this story.  Sutter is on the run and hoping that he can heal enough over night to keep going but Max patches him up and won’t let him go until he is better.  Both of the characters have to work together to move past their current existence to something more.

 

Max is just buying time trying to figure out what he wants to do now that he is out of the marines and not really getting anywhere, meeting Sutter begins to give him a reason to do something different.  He is shocked when Sutter explains to him that he is a vampire but still refuses to leave his side while he is healing.  Sutter doesn’t want to get an innocent person hurt because of his past but Max won’t let him push him away so easily.

 

This story is told from both characters’ points of view and we can see their struggles and how they seem to understand the other easily.  Max refused to give in to his desire for Sutter until he knows the man is healed, he has seen too much evil in the world and refuses to be that way.  Sutter is trying to be the bigger man but knows he can’t take care of himself quite yet.  These two characters are as different as they are alike and they played well off of each other.  I liked seeing them actually begin to build a relationship and get to know each other seeing them essentially ride off together in the end.

 

I love the cover art and how it depicts both of the characters.

 

Sales Links: MLR Press | Amazon | B&N

 

Book Details:

ebook, 113 pages

Published: April 14, 2017 by MLR Press

Edition Language: English

An Ali Review: Faking It (Ringside Romance #2) by Christine d’Abo

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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Max Tremblay should be happy. His night club, Frantic, is one of the most popular gay clubs in Toronto, and his childhood refuge, Ringside Gym, is well on the way to reopening. But when he finds yet another drunk in the alley beside the bar, Max isn’t sure this is the life he truly wants.

Grady Barnes has it all. He’s rich, famous, and wants for nothing. Well, nothing but a good relationship with his father. When he discovers that his father is going to force him into an arranged marriage, Grady has had enough. He tracks down Max, the man who got him to safety after a night of overindulgence, and makes him a proposal: pretend to be his fiancé for two weeks and he’ll invest in Ringside Gym.

When the pair travel to Vancouver to attend a family wedding, the flames of their mutual attraction ignite, and they discover that the only difference between pretend and reality is how well they can fake it.
 
I totally love the fake boyfriend trope.  I don’t know why because I wouldn’t believe it for minute in real life, but I love reading about them in books.  This story did not disappoint.  This was one of the better ones I’ve read.
Max helps Grady one night at his club and a series of events lead to them pretending they’re a couple while they attend a wedding for Grady’s brother.  How hard can it be?  Well, as it turns out, pretty hard.  Max underestimates the horribleness that is Grandy’s family.
 
The two men find they are genuinely attracted to each other but Grady’s personal life is a mess and he can’t be a partner to Max when he can’t even deal with his own life.  The story takes a serious twist mid way through and it becomes a story filled with emotions.  There’s a bit of heartache for everyone involved before we finally get to their hea.
 
This is the second book in the series but it can easily be read as a standalone.  There are a few appearances by characters from the first story but only in a peripheral way.  
 
I enjoyed this one a lot, even more than the first book in the series, and it’s one I would definitely recommend.
 
The cover is done by L.C. Chase and I think she did a great job of it.  The cover is striking and catches your attention right off.  It’s also complementary to the cover on book one.
Sales Links:   Riptide Publishing | Amazon
Book Details:
ebook, 238 pages
Published May 8th 2017 by Riptide Publishing
ISBN13 9781626495531
Edition Language English

A VVivacious Release Day Review: The Eye of Ra (Repeating History #1) by Dakota Chase

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Rating: 2.5 Stars out of 5
 
Aston and Grant are at odds with each other almost from the moment they first see each other. Besides the fact that they are both delinquents serving out their sentence in the Stanton School for Boys they have nothing in common. But they have no idea what the future has in store for them.
 
Aston thinks he is in enough trouble as it is but when a fight with Grant accidentally leads to a fire in their history teacher’s office, effectively destroying all his possessions, is when he will truly learn what trouble looks like. Because when your history teacher is Merlin and his possessions are some of them most valuable relics of all time, nothing is out of bonds and everything’s possible, even a visit to ancient Egypt to steal the Eye of Ra from King Tut himself.
 
This book was a very boring read especially for much of the first half of the book. Things happen pretty slowly and I also couldn’t identify with Aston’s character much in the beginning. Things do get interesting in the latter half but overall this book is a dull read with a few good moments.
 
The fact that this book has time travel, Ancient Egyptian History, Merlin and is a YA LGBT romance and still failed to make an impression on me is very telling. This book has so many good things going on that nothing gets the right amount of attention. The entire part of the back prior to the office’s destruction feels like a drag because you already know what is going to happen from the blurb and the fact that I couldn’t sympathize with Aston’s character made it worse. But when the moment finally comes everything happens too fast. I think there should have been a moment here just for the reader to digest the fact that Merlin is their history teacher and to start wondering what the hell he is doing in Stanton.
 
The part of the book taking place in Egypt is an improvement over the parts of the book preceding it. But there is a little too much historical detail, at times this book starts reading like a history textbook especially when Aston starts describing people and things and the decor in great detail. This often had me wondering how a teenager would know so much about Ancient Egypt and the fact that he watched one documentary, god knows when, isn’t enough justification.
 
Things get better to again become a drag which is only salvaged by the budding romance between Aston and Grant which is what made me like the book because prior to that reading this book was a chore, but the whole retrieving the amulet thing is too dragged out. I found myself constantly wishing that they would just get it and get back because it seemed like there was no good reason to keep putting it off.
 
Personally, I think this book would have been much better had it been a short story instead of a novel because everything that is interesting in this book could be better concentrated had this book been shorter. I really can’t say if I would like to continue this series because for me the only good thing in this story was the romance between Grant and Aston, the rest is pretty much a drag.
 
Cover Art by Anna Sikorska. I really liked the cover.

Sales Links: Harmony Ink Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 2nd Edition, 180 pages
Expected publication: May 16th 2017 by Harmony Ink Press (first published May 15th 2010)
ISBN 1635333709 (ISBN13: 9781635333701)
Edition Language English
Series Repeating History #1

An Ali Audiobook Review: Snowblind by Eli Easton and Narrator: John Solo

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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Snow, steam, and secrets.

The latest snowstorm carries something unexpected to the doorstep of Hutch’s secluded Alaskan cabin: a stranger named Jude, the most beautiful man Hutch has ever seen. Jude says he’s in the area for a ski trip and that he fled a domineering lover, thinking he could make it into town. But Hutch is a suspicious SOB and treats his unwanted guest warily. The problem is Jude isn’t just gorgeous, he’s funny and smart and flirtatious.

Two gay men snowed in for three days—things happen. Really good things. By the time the storm clears, Hutch finds himself a little too attached to Jude Devereaux, San Francisco-based male model. But is Jude what he claims to be? Or is he entangled in the secrets Hutch moved to Alaska to escape?
I went into this thinking it was going to be a sweet story because it was part of the Dreamspun Desires series.  It started off in that vein and for the first third or so of the book it was what I was expecting.  Two guys trapped in a cabin together and while they wait out the storm they start to fall for each other all while getting down and dirty.
Then it had a big twist that I didn’t see coming.  It took the story in a whole new way and I thought that was a great thing.  I don’t want to say more about that because it would be a big spoiler but it made the story turn into a fast paced adventure as well as a romance.  The guys get their hea but not before the author takes us on a wild ride.
I loved both Jude and Hutch’s characters and their chemistry was great.  It jumped off of the pages.  They were very different personalities but they really fit together well.  The epilogue in particular was heart warming and I loved seeing the happiness they finally found.
This was narrated by John Solo and I thought he did a very good job on both of the MC’s as well as all of the side characters.  He was easy to listen to and I never had a hard time figuring out which MC was talking.
I really enjoyed this story and definitely recommend it.  It was also a well done narration so if you listen to audios, I think you will enjoy it.
Cover by Bree Archer:  This style of cover overall would not be my number one preferences but I think it’s really well done with the theme that the publisher has going on.  It’s also a good representation of Hutch and the overall plot.
Sales Links
Audiobook Details:
Listening Time: 5 hrs 39 min
Audiobook
Published April 5th 2017 (first published March 1st 2017)
Original TitleSnowblind
Edition Language English
settingAlaska (United States)

Pearl Love on Writing, Books and her latest novel ‘Salvation’s Song’ from Harmony Ink Press (author interview)

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Salvation’s Song by Pearl Love
H
armony Ink Press
May 16th 2017
Cover Artist: Paul Richmond

Available for Purchase at

Harmony Ink Press

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Pearl Love here today.  Welcome, Pearl, and thanks for answering some of our author questions for us!

✒︎

~Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with Pearl Love~

  • How much of yourself goes into a character?

It varies from story to story, but in the case of “Salvation’s Song,” quite a lot.  The most obvious (to anyone who knows me) is the fact that Jeremy is a band geek. I played in band from the time I was in fifth grade through my senior year of college. It was my most singular defining characteristic as a kid. I never particularly felt like I fit in well with my peers, but being in band gave me a sense of belonging. 

I also borrowed heavily from my personal experiences to create Tyrell’s grandmother. I am extremely close to my own, and she is suffering from some of the same difficulties, though fortunately at a much older age. I wanted to try and convey that sense of helplessness and absolute love between Tyrell and Lucille. Having her illness be the result of something more than nature gone awry was my attempt to make sense out of things.

Lastly, there’s Tyrell’s mother, who I assured my own mom is no reflection on her whatsoever. LOL! The only resemblance is that they are both heavily into church, but really, that’s it. 

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

I have tried writing contemporary (and will again very soon), but I’m not very good at it. I’m an aromantic asexual, so I have very limited real life experience with romance or relationships. It’s all fantasy to me, which is why I have no difficulty writing gay men even though I’m not one. I do have a tendency to insert fantastical elements into modern-day settings, which I’ve done with this story as well.  So, I guess my preferred genre these days is urban fantasy. I find it fascinating to think about the mundane and then turn it on its ear in some interesting way. In this case, I decided to meld the ancient (Assyrian gods and demons) with the world of high schoolers trying to determine their sense of self. So, the research for “Salvation’s Song” focused mainly on the supernatural aspects, since they are based on an actual religious construct.

I also really wanted to make the city of Chicago a character in the story. I grew up there and visit my family there as often as possible. It’s such a beautiful city with a lot of diversity in terms of neighborhoods and people. Being able to revisit the haunts of my youth, as well as discover new places I’ve never been, has been wonderful. Thank goodness for Google maps!!

For other books I’ve done, in particular The Garden series, which is set in Victorian London, I have to research every aspect of the story. I was never into history when I was younger, but lately it has become a singular fascination. Writing in a world that is part of the not-too-distant past but that is so different from our modern day-to-day has been a real treat.

  • Has your choice of childhood or teenage reading genres carried into your own choices for writing?

Honestly, it’s been a long time since I’ve ready in either of those genres. I’m not a fan of the current trend for depressing teenage dystopias…expect for the Maze Runner series (thank you Dylan!).  I was heavily into fantasy and sci-fi when I was younger, so my love of those types of stories has definitely carried forward into my own work.

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

Here’s where I get to give my plug for plotting vs pantsing. For anything longer than a short story, I never type a word until I have the story completely plotted out. That way, I know exactly where I need to end up and generally how to get there. Some of the details may change as I write to accommodate the flow of the story or characters that get unruly, but for the most part, my outline dictates everything. Fortunately, this has allowed me to avoid getting stuck.

As for the emotional aspect of a story, since I’m not drawing on any personal experiences, I can stay detached from my characters to a degree. I would never write a story that doesn’t affect me on an emotional level, but the mechanics of getting the story into words gives me distance. That being said, when going back to edit a story for submission, I have occasionally surprised myself and teared up. I try to put a story away for a good length of time after writing the first complete draft so I can read it with fresh eyes. When I’m not buried in the technicalities of grammar and word choice, I can appreciate the story more for its emotion. If I sniff, I know I’ve done my job.

  • Do you like HFN or HEA? And why?

Since romance is like fantasy to me, I treat it as such. “Once upon a time” leading to “happily ever after.” I honestly don’t see the point in HFN. If I’ve taken the trouble to guide my characters through an emotional journey toward each other, I want it to stick! Relationships fail or fade away in real life. I don’t need to read about it in a romance novel. Of course, anyone who has read “’Til Darkness Falls” is probably laughing or screaming at me right now. LOL!

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

I’m giggling because of a particular thing that happened to me in high school. When I was a freshman, I got caught reading a Harlequin romance in class. How? I was hiding it behind my text book and it fell out onto the floor. I was sitting in the first row. Yeah. I was an aide for the teacher because I was a total goodie-two-shoes. During my next volunteer time with that teacher, I apologized profusely for what happened. She just laughed and said, “That’s why you have such a good vocabulary.” Nice!

To answer the question, yes. I read romances like they were going out of style! My grandmother had a huge collection, and I steadily made my way through them starting at age twelve when she finally let me see one.  At first, she would only let me read the ones with little or no smut, but I would sneak the juicier titles while she wasn’t looking. I fell off only after I went to college and my supply dried up.  Now, I read mainly M/M romance, a lot of them in manga form.

  • How do you feel about the ebook format and where do you see it going?

I know there are people who are devoted to print, but I am not one of them. I have a ton of books. My house is a fire hazard! But the ability to have so many reading options on a single device like my Kindle or tablet is miraculous! Not having to deal with physical books just makes everything easier, particularly when I’m commuting to and from work or when I want to read in bed at night with the lights off.

I’m pretty sure there will always be some market for paper books, but I honestly believe the market is shifting permanently toward digital. With every generation that lives more of their lives on computers and mobile devices, the demand for physical reading material will shrink. It’s sad to a degree, but progress is all about change. I welcome our ebook overlords!

  • How do you choose your covers?  (curious on my part)

It really depends for some books (“To Be Human”/”To Be Loved”) I wanted the covers to reflect a moment from the story. For The Garden series, the covers reflect the setting of Victorian London or of the brothel. The original DSP cover for “’Til Darkness Falls” was intended to be a puzzle where elements from the story and the characters were hidden or in plain view. For “Salvation’s Song” I wasn’t really certain what I wanted, but I am thrilled with what the DSP/Harmon Ink art department came up with. The elements of the story, in particular Jeremy’s pendant and the music theme, are the prominent features, which is simply perfect.  The type of cover I would reject is one that has zero connection to the fabric of the characters or the plot. I’m not a fan of posed bodies that are just there to be seen. I also don’t love photo covers because the models never look how I pictured my characters, but I suspect most authors feel that way.

  • Do you have a favorite among your own stories?  And why?

My favorite is probably still my first: “’Til Darkness Falls.” It is my most ambitious plot, and I poured months (if not years) of effort into creating it. There is a lot my personality in Brian (bless his shy, awkward heart), but I absolutely fell in love with Alrick. I made him a sexy, cheesy romantic cello player who is a contentious assassin. Marry me! And now you know more about me than you probably want to. *smile*

  • What’s next for you as an author?

I am currently working on the third book in The Garden series. I also have a contemporary (gasp!) in the hopper. It will feature an established couple that goes through some pretty serious drama. After that, I will work on the next book in the Salvation series. Since it is a YA series with Harmony Ink, I am going to try stepping outside my M/M comfort zone and to tackle a F/F couple. Wish me luck!

“Salvation’s Song” blurb

Only a chosen few can prevent an ancient evil from overtaking the world: the Singers, the Seekers, and the Saviors….

Tyrell Hughes and Jeremy Michalak are both juniors at Winton Yowell High School in Chicago, and aside from sharing a homeroom, they couldn’t be more different. Tyrell is well-liked, surrounded by friends, popular with girls, and looking forward to a bright future. Jeremy transfers to Winton Yowell to escape the troubles of his past. He’s hoping to survive his last two years of high school by flying under his new classmates’ gaydar and indulging in his passion: playing clarinet.

Tyrell and Jeremy struggle to ignore their attraction to each other. But that becomes increasingly difficult as young people across the city start dying. Both teens realize they alone know the true cause of the tragedies—and have the ability to put a stop to them. They’re the city’s only chance to defeat the dark forces threatening it, but to succeed, they’ll need to find common ground and reconcile the desires they’re trying to deny.

About the Author

Writing Manly Romance From The Heart! Pearl Love has been writing since she was a kid, but it was the pretty boys who frolic around in her head who finally convinced her to pursue it seriously. She’s a mid-west transplant who current thrives in the hustle and bustle of the nation’s capital. She enjoys any type of story so long as the boy gets the boy. Pearl is a Marvel fan girl and owns a ridiculous stash of knitting supplies.

Facebook: Pearl Love Books (https://www.facebook.com/Pearl-Love-Books-158363940846627/)

Twitter: @pearllovebooks

David Pratt on Wallaçonia, his latest novel and the Inspiration Behind it(Author Guest Blog)

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Wallaçonia by David Pratt

Title: WALLAÇONIA  (woll-uh-SO-nee-uh)

Publisher: Beautiful Dreamer Press, 309 Cross Street, Nevada City, CA  95959
Distributor: Ingram
Release Date: April, 2017

Available for Purchase at

Beautiful Dreamer Press

✒︎

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have David Pratt back again to talk about his latest novel, Wallaçonia, and the inspiration behind it.  Welcome, David.

✒︎

“Who Is Michael?” by David Pratt

I dedicated Wallaçonia “to Michael, with my greatest appreciation.” I’d like to tell you about Michael.

One of the curious features of Wallaçonia is that it’s eighteen-year-old hero feels bullied and excluded, he actually turns out to have done some bullying of his own. Early in the book, he confesses to picking on a smaller, weaker, odder kid when they were both in middle school. He wishes he could see that kid again and make it right. For a long time I had that wish myself. I don’t remember when I decided to include this part of my young life in Wallaçonia. I just felt I had to. I had to confess, as it were. When I was a confused, put-upon middle schooler, I picked on Michael. In the book I call him Nate.

I have tried to find Michael online. Unfortunately his name is quite common. He wanted to be a rabbi, but even when I add “rabbi,” there are still lots of men with his name. One in particular is kind of a local hero in Oregon. Like Jim in Wallaçonia, I was irritated by chubby, effeminate, chatty Michael’s attempts to engage me over and over, to associate me with his weakness. I was also probably irritated that I responded. The cool kids, the masculine boys simply ignored him. As though he didn’t exist. I was drawn to him. And repulsed by him. The association with him was a sign of my fate, and I hated that and found opportunities to insult him or push him away.

I was never, ever violent with Michael, but, egged on by me, a classmate once took aggression against Michael too far. I stood there shocked as this boy gripped Michael around the neck and pushed his head back against a wall. I watched Michael’s face go red, his face in shock. This had not been my intention. I had tried to feel big and masculine by picking on Michael, but an even bigger, more real, more dangerous masculinity now asserted itself. Something we both feared. Something I had never meant to happen.

Of course, years more of being the weak one and the outsider, and I finally came to appreciate what Michael endured at my hands and the hands of us all. Michael could not disguise his effeminacy or his nerdiness. At the same time, he could not escape the clutches of an overbearing mother (in our one encounter she threatened to call the cops on me) and a father, himself a rabbi, who clearly had single-minded expectations. I wonder how the expectations and the effeminacy eventually sorted out. Did he become a rabbi, while everyone turned a blind eye? Or did he rebel? Move away? Keep secrets?

In Wallaçonia we eventually find out how “Nate” grows up. The necessities of fiction made me give Nate a future Michael very likely could not have. So while I appreciate what Michael went through, I really did not give him his due. (I am not saying just what I gave grown-up Nate that Michael could not have, because it would involve spoilers aplenty!) I still would like to apologize to Michael, if he could hear what I have to say. If there would not be a communication gap because I would be talking “gay,” and he would by now be far beyond closeted, going through the motions for a lifetime, to the point that he would actually be the motions. That would be a new level of Michael to appreciate. A communication we can never have. A person he can never be, never conceive. A book that I might like to write, but that perhaps can never be written.

“Sharp, focused, super-intense, and special. It’s rare to find a novel with such a beautifully rendered friendship between a young gay man and an older mentor. I’ll remember the relationship between Jim and Pat for a long, long time.”

—Bill Konigsberg, author of Openly Straight and The Porcupine of Truth

 

About Wallaçonia

“My name is James Howard Wallace, and I always wanted to be normal.” Every young man should have a mentor. Jim Wallace is about to prove for good and all how “normal” he is when he finds himself getting close to Pat Baxter, his neighbor next door. Pat befriends Jim, reveals to him his own heartbreaking story, and in the end helps him know who he really is and where he wants to go with his life. Along the way, Jim must decide what to tell his parents and his girlfriend, Liz, and he must confront an old acquaintance who unexpectedly comes back into his life.

Price: $13.95 – see sales links above
Trim Size: 5.5” x 8.5”, 270 pages
ISBN: 978-0-9981262-0-3
Audience: LGBT, Young Adult, Family Life

Trailer on Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/211172226

About the Author

DAVID PRATT

is the author of three published novels: Bob the Book (Chelsea Station Editions), which won a 2011 Lambda Literary Award; Looking After Joey, soon to be re-released by Lethe Press; and Wallaçonia, a young adult novel released March 25, 2017 by Beautiful Dreamer Press. Several of his short stories are collected in the volume My Movie (Chelsea Station); three of these stories are being adapted as a film by San Francisco-based director Joseph Graham.

David Pratt won a 2011 Lambda Literary Award for his novel Bob the Book. He published a collection of stories, My Movie, in 2012, and another novel, Looking After Joey, in 2014. Praise for David Pratt’s Work:

For Bob the Book: “Sure to make you laugh…highly recommended.”—After Elton; “A rare and extraordinary accomplishment.”—Lambda Literary

For My Movie: “Character-driven narratives that cannily encapsulate small personal revelations and lead to gratifying endings.”—Lambda Literary; “An important voice in LGBT literature.”—Examiner.com

For Looking After Joey: “The laughs never stop coming; neither do the deep truths this tender book reveals on every page.”—Joel Derfner, author of Swish

Marketing:

National print and media campaign.
National tour: NYC, Boston, Philadelphia, Ann Arbor, Milwaukee, New Orleans, SF Bay Area
Free advance reading copies.
Blog tour.
Advertising in IBPA, Lambda Literary.
Social media: Facebook, dedicated web page at BeautifulDreamerPress.com.
For more information or to book a reading, contact Michele Karlsberg Marketing and Management at michelekarlsberg@me.com.

Andrew Grey on Writing, Inspiration, and Setting the Hook, his latest release (author guest blog and excerpt)

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Setting the Hook by Andrew Grey
Publisher:
Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: L.C. Chase
Release Date: May 12 2017

 

Sales Links

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Dreamspinner Press

✒︎

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Andrew Grey here today talking about Setting the Hook, his latest story and the inspiration behind it. Welcome, Andrew.
✒︎
On Inspiration and Setting the Hook by Andrew Grey
Labor Day weekend I had the opportunity to fish on the gulf for the first time.  It was an amazing experience and I had an incredible time  And as you can guess, I looked out over the water, fishing, talking, laughing, and the entire time my mind is running though how I could use all the experiences in a book.  I stored them away until the idea for Setting the Hook started developing in my mind.  I do have to tell you that while the situations were different, that weekend we did experience many, of the things in the story, including the hurricane, catching the sharks, as well as meeting some amazing people who left an impression on me.    I can’t wait for my next fishing trip so I can see what comes out of that.  ~ Andrew

Blurb/Synopsis:

It could be the catch of a lifetime. William Westmoreland escapes his unfulfilling Rhode Island existence by traveling to Florida twice a year and chartering Mike Jansen’s fishing boat to take him out on the Gulf. The crystal-blue water and tropical scenery isn’t the only view William enjoys, but he’s never made his move. A vacation romance just isn’t on his horizon.

William Westmoreland escapes his unfulfilling Rhode Island existence by traveling to Florida twice a year and chartering Mike Jansen’s fishing boat to take him out on the Gulf. The crystal-blue water and tropical scenery isn’t the only view William enjoys, but he’s never made his move. A vacation romance just isn’t on his horizon.

Mike started his Apalachicola charter fishing service as a way to care for his daughter and mother, putting their safety and security ahead of the needs of his own heart. Denying his attraction becomes harder with each of William’s visits.

William and Mike’s latest fishing excursion starts with a beautiful day, but a hurricane’s erratic course changes everything, stranding William. As the wind and rain rage outside, the passion the two men have been trying to resist for years crashes over them. In the storm’s wake, it leaves both men yearning to prolong what they have found. But real life pulls William back to his obligations. Can they find a way to reduce the distance between them and discover a place where their souls can meet? The journey will require rough sailing, but the bright future at the end might be worth the choppy seas.

Series: Standalone
Genre:  M/M Contemporary Romance
Edition/Formats Available In: eBook & Print

Excerpt 

Dean got his bag and began slathering himself up. William already had, and he smelled of coconut and the rich, almost sweet scent that Mike would know anywhere. He kept his attention where it needed to be, but William kept tugging at his senses.

Mike knew he was attracted to William. He’d figured that out the first time William had showed up for a charter. Mike had taken one look at his broad shoulders and small waist hugged inside a tight T-shirt that might have been one size too small and his heart had raced. Mike still had fantasies about that white shirt that showed off the ripples in William’s belly and the way William’s nipples stuck out the perfect suckable amount. It had been hard for Mike to keep his attention where it needed to be, and now, even after four years, it wasn’t any easier. William was the kind of guy Mike could fall for. But that wasn’t going to happen. The list of reasons was so long, it could reach to the bottom of the Gulf.

William was a sophisticated man from the Northeast who worked in the family business, making engine parts for tractors, cranes, bulldozers, and all kinds of specialty engines. He lived outside Providence and was highly educated. There wasn’t any way a guy like him would be interested in someone like Mike. Besides, Mike saw him two times a year for the better part of a day when William came fishing. Their lives and worlds couldn’t have been more different, so whatever interest Mike might have in William was going to remain that—interest. Not action, and certainly nothing more than friendship of a sort. The fact that William got Mike’s motor running faster than the one on the boat was immaterial. He lived in Apalachicola, a town of two thousand people who made their living on the Gulf and where most people had family going back generations. There weren’t gay people in town as far as he knew, and Mike had no intention of being the one and only so folks could look at him differently.

“Mike,” Gordon called, pulling him out of his thoughts. “Are we getting close?”

“Yup.” Mike verified their position and turned on the fish finder, slowing down and checking out what was underneath them. “Go ahead and drop.” He slowed their speed even more, and Gordon released the anchor.

They came to a stop, the boat rocking on the waves as they got the guys ready. Mike let Gordon do his thing, and soon both Dean and William were reeling them in.

“I got a huge one!” William cried, his line whizzing out from the reel.

“Mike!” Gordon cried. “It broke the reel.” He hurried over as the line came to the end, nearly jerking the pole out of William’s hand.

Mike come up right behind him, taking hold of the rod as well, pressing to William’s back. “Get the large line spool. We can roll it onto that by hand.” He didn’t want to move but put space between them anyway, grateful for the distraction. Whatever William had was strong and large. Gordon passed him gloves, and he yanked them on, then pulled in more and more line. Foot after foot the line was retrieved, and William’s catch got closer to the surface.

“Shark,” Dean cried, pointing as a large yellow-gold body appeared from under the water.

“It’s a nurse shark,” Gordon said. “Odd to catch one during the day.”

Mike nodded his agreement. “I’d guess it’s about six feet.” He pulled back as the shark broke the surface right near the boat. “Someone snap a picture.” He held the line still, and Gordon got some pictures. So did Dean. Then Mike cut the line, and the shark took off back down into the water.

“Do you think it will survive?” William asked.

Mike shrugged, watching the waves, and thankfully the shark didn’t make an appearance as a floater.

Dean returned to his line, got a bite, and hauled in a really nice-size grouper, which went into the box with more ice.

“Let’s move on.”

Gordon hauled in the anchor, and they went in search of another location.

The morning passed with some nice catches. Dean and William ate lunch in the shade as Mike tried to locate a spot he’d had good luck with before. Out of habit and because of his mother’s warning, he checked the weather reports once again.

“Wind on the Gulf is still expected to diminish, as are the waves. However, Hurricane Marshall is continuing its fast pace toward the Space Coast, showing no signs as yet of turning north, has picked up speed, and will likely make landfall near Daytona Beach. It is now expected to turn north and ride up the center of the state and into Georgia.”

Mike sighed and took off his headphones. The weather wasn’t threatening, but he’d check in another hour for another update. Mike wasn’t so concerned about getting caught in the storm itself as much as the storm entering the Gulf and stirring up the waves.

He found a good location, and Gordon threw the anchor. While the guys fished, Mike ate his lunch and then switched with Gordon so he could eat as well, and William offered them whatever they wanted from his overflowing cooler.

The next few hours fell into a routine for Mike and Gordon, interrupted by Mike’s occasional daydreams about William. Mike checked the weather every few hours. The next check had little new information, but the report at two was disturbing.

“Hurricane Marshall made landfall at Daytona Beach and has been downgraded to a tropical storm. The eye is currently twenty miles north of Orlando. It continues to move west-northwest at twenty-nine miles an hour and is now expected the enter the Gulf as a tropical storm, but could strengthen once it gets over water. Stay tuned for further advisories.”

Mike’s stomach clenched and he looked to the east. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky, and the storm was hundreds of miles away. Usually Mike stayed out until six and then headed back to the marina.

About the Author

Andrew grew up in western Michigan with a father who loved to tell stories and a mother who loved to read them. Since then he has lived throughout the country and traveled throughout the world. He has a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and works in information systems for a large corporation.

Andrew’s hobbies include collecting antiques, gardening, and leaving his dirty dishes anywhere but in the sink (particularly when writing)  He considers himself blessed with an accepting family, fantastic friends, and the world’s most supportive and loving partner. Andrew currently lives in beautiful, historic Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

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