A Stella Review: Contour (Shape of You #1) by Meg Harding

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RATING 5 out of 5 stars

Jamie “Roxy” Albright has one great love in his life and room for no other. He lives and breathes makeup. Men are nothing more than temporary distractions and romance… well, that isn’t worth his time. With a burgeoning career as a YouTube makeup artist opening doors to never before dreamed of opportunities, time isn’t something Jamie has and distractions aren’t something he can afford.

Instagram model and shirtless wonder Tyler Jackson is quickly falling for elusive Jamie. How it went from a seemingly innocent message to feelings, he’ll never know. Their chemistry is instant and fiery hot, and Tyler’s never been that good at self control. The challenges are endless, though. There’s Jamie’s walls to break through and a country worth of space between them. And just when things are starting to look up, life throws a wrench in the works.

I devoured Contour in one night, I have to admit I couldn’t put it down for a second and I was sleep deprived the morning after but I didn’t care at all. This new release by Meg Harding caught my attention since I read the blurb and once I actually started reading it, I was gone. Tyler and Jamie were amazing characters, I adored them, together they were the perfection, they clicked so well, it was unavoidable not to fall in love with them. I especially liked how Jamie changed (still being himself) once he finally let his attraction for Tyler become more, and later how Tyler helped him to come out of the shell Jamie had built around, and never once he asked Jamie to be someone else if not himself. Tyler loved him and his love for makeup, he loved his smart mouth too.

And then the second characters as Lorelie and Dan and Mattie were the friends everyone should have, always supportive and ready to follow their best friends in their new adventures.

The author did a great job with Contour, well written, scenes always clear and great dialogues, well defined characters, and engaging plot, no drama or angst, just two lovely famous persons falling in love. Contour is the first book in a new series and I can’t wait for the next one.

Cover Design: Garrett Leigh @ Black Jazz Design.   The cover art could be perfect but I honestly can’t see Jamie in the model face.

Universal Buy Link: books2read.com/ContourMH

BOOK DETAILS

Kindle Edition, 1 edition, 200 pages

Published January 23rd 2018 by Oceanside Press

ASIN B078WNKVDK

Edition Language English

Series Shape of You #1

A Jeri Review : Dream (Skins #1) by Garrett Leigh

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

This was my first book by Garrett Leigh and it won’t be my last. While some things left me wanting, overall I really enjoyed the story and characters.
Lovato’s is a sex club for all. They have BDSM as well as couples who want to see and be seen. Dylan just wants one thing- to be used. He loves his day job, but at night he needs the release. And mystery man Angelo is there to provide it. After a fairly anonymous night in the club, Dylan can’t stop thinking about Angelo. And fate brings them together again.
Angelo is a former professional ballet dancer who has to retire due to health reasons. He also takes over the family’s deli after his father dies. He went from the world stage to the deli counter in a small town in England. Lovato’s gives him the control he needs.
The push and pull between them was great to read. Dylan in charge during the day, Angelo in charge at night. Angelo did have a bit too much going on for me. Chronic illness, crazy family, financial issues, etc etc etc. It was a bit too much. And Dylan was also a bit too much in his seemingly perfect life. Doing a job he loves, living in his own place, a loving father. They couldn’t be more opposite. And I enjoy opposites attract, but there were just so.many.issues with Angelo. And of all of those issues, I really expected more about him having to give up the career he spent his whole life  building. But that seemed almost an afterthought.
There is A LOT of sex in this book. Yes, it is absolutely hot, but they fell back on sex far too often instead of being real with each other. They story could have been so much more by delving into other things without just always ending in sex. The scenes were very well written and not repetitive, but it was a lot.
The ending was nice and tidy, a bit too tidy if you ask me. But it was still an enjoyable read.

Cover Design: GDLeigh @Black Jazz Design. Cover Photo: Dan Burgess @Moonstock Photography. Very hot!

Universal Buy Link:  books2read.com/DreamGL

Buy Link:  Amazon

Book Details:
Kindle Edition, 1 edition, 244 pages
Published January 23rd 2018 by Fox Love Press
Original TitleDream: A Skins Novel
ASINB0792NRTH6
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesSkins #1

An Alisa Review: Spanking the Boss by Hunter Frost

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

 

A secret night of passion just got a lot more complicated…

 

Young and savvy CEO, Trent Davis has a reputation for being in control—of everything. But when a case of mistaken identity puts him in a situation more pleasurable than he’s ever imagined, Trent knows he needs more.

 

Hungry for success as a new junior analyst, Charlie Reynolds is determined to prove himself at work. Winding up in his boss’ arms isn’t exactly his best career move—especially since the powerful CEO has no idea who he is.

 

Will Charlie admit the truth and destroy his future in the company or will “spanking the boss” be the beginning of something deeper?

 

I really like this story.  Charlie has worked hard to get his life back on track and when his boss mistakes him for the janitor during their company Halloween party he isn’t sure what to do.  He figures going along with it will allow him get out unscathed but it gets much more complicated and his fear keeps him from pursuing anything more.

 

I loved seeing Trevor let go enough to relax but I hurt for him when he didn’t get called that night or the next.  I don’t think he has ever allowed anyone to get as close to him as he allowed Charlie.  When they end up in the same meeting both of them fear the worst.  I was glad that Charlie ended up putting himself out there so that they could clear the air.  I only wish there would have been more of them making a go at their relationship but I’m hoping we get the chance to see them a little in future stories.

 

The cover art by JamesGoOnWrite.com is nice and works well for this series.

 

Sales Links:  Amazon

 

Book Details:

ebook, 104 pages

Publication: January 31, 2018

Edition Language: English

Series: An Office Kink Novella #1

Review Tour and Giveaway – Garrett Leigh’s Dream (Skins #1)

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Universal Buy Link: books2read.com/DreamGL
 
Length: 60,000 words approx.
 
Cover Design: GDLeigh @Black Jazz Design
 
Cover Photo: Dan Burgess @Moonstock Photography
 
Blurb
 

I can’t sleep…


When unrequited love leaves Dylan Hart sleepless and nursing his wounds, instinct draws him to the one place he’s found mindless respite in the past—Lovato’s. It’s a place for every fantasy — for crazy-hot encounters — where a night of insane NSA sex brings relief to Dylan’s fragile feelings.


It should be a perfect escape, and for one magical night it seems that way, but then worlds collide, and reality bites when his hookup desperately needs a friend. Surely Dylan can’t trust his instincts when friendship has bruised his heart so badly before?


It’s burying me alive…


The deck is stacked against former ballet dancer Angelo Giordano ever finding real love. At least visiting Lovato’s offers respite from a life defined by illness; a glimmer of light in the dull grey of his so-called life without dance. But then he encounters Dylan — a glorious ray of the brightest sunshine — who makes his heart pound once more with purpose.


Angelo’s mind is blown by this man, but the disease that ended his career won’t let him bask in new love. He’s drowning, and Dylan can’t save him while insecurities swamp them both. The only way to make it means confronting their demons.


If Dylan can turn his back on the past, and Angelo can face his uncertain future, maybe they can chase their dreams together.

 




January 23 – Reviews By Virginia Lee, My Fiction Nook, Urban Smoothie Read, The Blogger Girls, Gay Media Reviews, Lelyana’s Book Blog, Hearts On Fire Reviews, Gay Book Reviews, Reading In Sarah’s Corner, OMG Reads
January 25 – We Three Queens, Book Lovers 4Ever, Joyfully Jay, Cupcakes & Bookshelves, Kimmer’s Erotic Book Banter, Sinfully, Mikku-chan
January 29 – Sanaa’s Book Blog, Wicked Faerie’s Tales & Reviews, My Book Filled Life, Book love
January 31 – Diverse Reader, Jim’s Reading Room, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words
February 2 – Valerie Ullmer, The Geekery Book Review, Sarandipity Book Reviews, Making It Happen
February 5 – Open Mind For A Different View
February 9 – Bayou Book Junkie, BFD Book Blog, Mirrigold, Unused Napkin, Wicked Reads

 

Garrett Leigh is an award-winning British writer and book designer, currently working for Dreamspinner Press, Loose Id, Riptide Publishing, and Fox Love Press.


Garrett’s debut novel, Slide, won Best Bisexual Debut at the 2014 Rainbow Book Awards, and her polyamorous novel, Misfits was a finalist in the 2016 LAMBDA awards.


When not writing, Garrett can generally be found procrastinating on Twitter, cooking up a storm, or sitting on her behind doing as little as possible, all the while shouting at her menagerie of children and animals and attempting to tame her unruly and wonderful FOX.


Garrett is also an award winning cover artist, taking the silver medal at the Benjamin Franklin Book Awards in 2016. She designs for various publishing houses and independent authors at blackjazzdesign.com, and co-owns the specialist stock site moonstockphotography.com with renowned LGBTQA+ photographer Dan Burgess.



Website: http://www.garrettleigh.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/garrettleighauthor/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Garrett_Leigh

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New Book Release Blitz for Dantès Unglued (Ward Security Series #2) by Jocelynn Drake and Rinda Elliott (excerpt and Giveaway

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Title:  Dantès Unglued

Series: Ward Security Series #2

Author: Jocelynn Drake and Rinda Elliott

Publisher:  Drake and Elliott Publishing LLC

Release Date: January 26th

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 72k

Genre: Romance, Thriller/Suspense,

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Synopsis

When private investigator, Shane Stephens, is hired by the mayor of Cincinnati to track down the hacker who has been threatening him, Shane is sure this is the opportunity to launch the Merleau Detection Agency into the big time. He even convinces Rowe Ward of Ward Security to loan him one of his best IT specialists, Quinn Lake.

Shane, a man who prefers casual intimacy, is surprised by his attraction to the moody computer geek, but when Quinn suggests they have fun for the month he’s on loan, Shane happily agrees. Both men are expecting nothing more than a good time.

But the investigation takes an unexpected turn and they quickly discover they are facing more than a hacker out to ruin the mayor’s re-election chances. And as they spend more time together, they realize their relationship may be a lot more than just a good time.

With only weeks until the election, Shane and Quinn race to gather the proof they need while dodging bullets and possibly…falling in love.

Excerpt

After one quick knock on Rowe’s door, he stepped inside without waiting for him to call since he was already expected. But he stopped short when he saw the tall man standing next to Rowe’s desk, his hands on his slender hips as he grinned down at Rowe. Quinn couldn’t stop his eyes from quickly sweeping over his broad shoulders and chest that tapered into a narrow waist. His eyes snapped back up to find a pair of brown eyes that twinkled as they finished checking him out as well.

“Sorry,” Quinn mumbled, instantly taking a step backward. “I can come back.” Rowe rarely saw clients. He had customer representatives that handled talking to the clients. Of course, with Rowe’s lack of a filter, it was better if he didn’t talk to the new clients directly.

“No, come in, Quinn,” Rowe said sharply. He stood behind his desk, drawing Quinn’s gaze to his shorter but broader frame. His dark red hair stood up slightly as if he’d been running his fingers through it. Quinn never took that as a particularly good sign.

With a quick jerk of his head, Quinn stepped in and shut the door behind him. The other man was smiling at him, that assessing look still in his eyes, and Quinn didn’t want to think about the fact that he was dying to take another longer look at him, but not with the freaking boss in the room.

“Quinn Lake, this is Shane Stephens. He’s a private investigator with The Merleau Detection Agency,” Rowe introduced.

Shane extended his hand to Quinn and Quinn clenched his teeth, trying to hide his discomfort at taking Shane’s hand. His own palms were sweaty, making the momentary contact awkward. Why the fuck was he always so damn awkward around hot guys?

“Rowe tells me you’re the best,” Shane said, releasing his hand.

Quinn couldn’t help the skeptical look he shot at Rowe, who only shrugged as he sat down again. “Well, I said you <em>and</em> Gidget are the best.”

“Is this about a job?”

“Sit, Quinn.” Rowe absently waved toward the two chairs in front of his desk. He shuffled some papers around without seeming to actually look at them, placing them in piles at the edge of his desk.

Shooting one last uncertain look at Shane, Quinn moved to the farthest chair and sat, his tablet clenched in both hands. His mind raced as he tried to figure out why he’d been called into this meeting. Clients didn’t meet with Rowe, and Quinn didn’t meet with clients unless they’d already been assigned a bodyguard. And while they’d worked with some private investigators in the past, Rowe wasn’t usually involved. He had a company to run.

“Shane recently acquired a client who is the victim of a hacker,” Rowe started.

Quinn looked up at Shane, who was still standing beside Rowe’s desk, his mind finally turning away from too many questions to a problem he could understand. “Identity theft? Bank accounts drained?”

“No, not yet.” Shane shook his head, some of his dark curly hair falling forward against his temple. “At least, not that we’ve uncovered.”

“Then how do you know this client was hacked?”

“There are other signs…but I can’t go into it.”

Quinn frowned for a second. That certainly wasn’t going to make his job easier. “Well, do you just need improved protection? Alerts on accounts? We’ve got a comprehensive list of things we can do to help shore up the client’s account protection and privacy.”

“Shane isn’t looking for protection from the hacker for the client.” Rowe paused until Quinn looked back at him. “His client has hired him to track down the identity of the hacker.”

“Whoa…” Quinn said on an exhale, sitting back in his chair. That…that was not an easy task. Most hackers were pretty damn good at not being found. You had to be if you wanted to survive as one. If you sucked, you were usually snagged by the FBI pretty damn fast. Quinn would know. He’d started hacking at a young age—not stealing other people’s money but just breaking through security systems because he could. It took the feds a solid five years to catch him. But his boss knew all this. Rowe knew everything about the people working for him.

“We’re not equipped to handle this level of…” Shane frowned at Rowe’s computer as if he blamed it for his problems. “Well, we’re not staffed yet to handle computer things like this. I can do some of the forensic research in accounting matters, but I need a computer genius like you.”

“That’s why I agreed to loan you to Shane and his business partner, Ethan, for one month,” Rowe announced.

Quinn was out of his seat in a shot, hovering over the edge of the desk as he looked down at his boss. Pain shot through his chest, and he was suddenly having trouble catching his breath. Panic clouded all of his thoughts. He loved working for Ward Security. He’d been there for just less than two years, and he’d never found another place where he’d felt like he fit so damn perfectly. This was home. These people he worked with, they were his friends. He didn’t have to hide or pretend or feel uncomfortable.

And Rowe…Rowe had always been amazing. Sure, he could be cranky and a little crazy. He was always loud and tended to speak before thinking. But Quinn always knew exactly where he stood with Rowe. He always felt like Rowe had his back.

But this…

“Are you getting rid of me?”

“What?” Rowe snapped. “Where the fuck did you get that idea?”

“You’re hiring another IT person. I saw the listing. And this? Putting me ‘on loan’?”

Rowe groaned and scrubbed a hand over his face. With a heavy sigh, he pointed back at the chair Quinn had just vacated. “Sit.” Grudgingly, Quinn followed direction while Rowe looked over at Shane. “Can you give us a minute?”

Purchase

Drake and Elliott Publishing LLC | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes | Smashwords

Meet the Author

Who are Drake & Elliott?

Jocelynn Drake and Rinda Elliott have teamed up to combine their evil genius to create intense gay romantic suspense stories that have car chases, shoot outs, explosions, scorching hot love scenes, and tender, tear-jerking moments. Their first joint books are in the Unbreakable Bonds series.

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eMail | Tumblr

 

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Review Tour and Giveaway – Meg Harding’s Contour

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Universal Buy Link: books2read.com/ContourMH



Length: 52,000 words approx


Cover Design: Garrett Leigh @ Black Jazz Design


Blurb

Jamie “Roxy” Albright has one great love in his life and room for no other. He lives and breathes makeup. Men are nothing more than temporary distractions and romance… well, that isn’t worth his time. With a burgeoning career as a YouTube makeup artist opening doors to never before dreamed of opportunities, time isn’t something Jamie has and distractions aren’t something he can afford.


Instagram model and shirtless wonder Tyler Jackson is quickly falling for elusive Jamie. How it went from a seemingly innocent message to feelings, he’ll never know. Their chemistry is instant and fiery hot, and Tyler’s never been that good at self control. The challenges are endless, though. There’s Jamie’s walls to break through and a country worth of space between them. And just when things are starting to look up, life throws a wrench in the works.


Read Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words 5 star review here.

January 23 – Gay Book Reviews, BooksLaidBareBoys, Mikku-chan, Book Review By Virginia Lee
January 25 – Urban Smoothie Read, Lelyana’s Book Blog, Book Love
January 27 – Sarandipity Book Reviews, Gay Media Reviews
January 31 – Valerie Ullmer, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Kimmer’s Erotic Book Banter
February 2 – Bonkers About Books, Hearts On Fire Reviews, Bayou Book Junkie, The Book Corps, Mirrigold, Wicked Faerie’s Tales & Reviews, Wicked Reads, MM Good Book Reviews

Meg Harding is a graduate of UCF, and recently completed a masters program for Publishing in the UK. For as long as she can remember, writing has always been her passion, but she had an inability to ever actually finish anything. She’s immensely happy that her inability has fled and looks forward to where her mind will take her next. She’s a sucker for happy endings, the beach, and superheroes. In her dream life she owns a wildlife conservation and is surrounded by puppies. She’s a film buff, voracious reader, and a massive geek.



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An Ali Release Day Review:When the Devil Wants In by Cate Ashwood and JH Knight

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Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
John Turner has been living a lie most of his life. Growing up in the rural Georgia town of Magnolia Ridge, he’s only ever let one person truly know him: his best friend, Chloe. To the rest of the world, they’re the perfect couple, but just between them, she’s helping John hide in plain sight.

Matt Kinsley, a cop from San Francisco, moves to town looking for a slower pace and to reconnect with his Southern roots. Starting over in Magnolia Ridge means taking a step into the closet, but Matt finds that with John for company, he doesn’t mind so much.

As the two start to explore a possible relationship, a horrific murder rips the town apart but brings John and Matt together in ways neither could’ve imagined. Matt must decide where his loyalties lie while John resists the urge to run again. Together, they have to discover who the real devil is before another life is destroyed.
I was pretty excited when I saw two authors I enjoy a lot co-authoring a book.  This story is part romance and part murder mystery.  The two men have a hook up and think that’s where their relationship will end but as the mystery aspect unfolds the two men end up seeing a lot more of each other.
Unfortunately for me I felt that the two aspects didn’t mesh all that well together and I don’t think either story line got enough development.  The mystery started good but there were some unusual twists and I felt like the ending got wrapped up too quickly.  I would have liked a bit more development of that plot.
I liked both of the MC’s but had a hard time feeling their connection.  They’re together sexually but not really emotionally until late in the book.  I would have enjoyed more development in this aspect also.
Overall this was an enjoyable book but it didn’t wow me.  Possible that’s my fault for not having realistic expectations.  
Cover art:  This cover was done by Cate Ashwood.  I think it’s a really lovely cover and I like it a lot.

Sales Links:   AmazonDreamspinner Press

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, First, 264 pages

Expected publication: January 30th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press

ASIN B078X5Q28C

Edition Language English

A MelanieM Release Day Review: Hurricane Reese by R.L. Merrill

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

The life of Tony-winning musician Reese Matheson resembles a natural disaster, and caregiver Jude De La Torre is caught in the eye of the storm. But can the love of two opposites survive caring for an ornery octogenarian with wayward balls and a meddling family insistent upon tradition?

Fresh off the successful London run of his musical, the last thing Reese expects when he comes home is a house surrounded by paparazzi and his girlfriend throwing his stuff into the pool. All he wants to do is spend time with his beloved grandfather and musical mentor who suffers from Alzheimer’s. Reese knows he doesn’t have much time left before the elder Matheson forgets who he is. In classic “Hurricane Reese” form, he moves into the cottage by the sea and displaces Jude, the intriguing caregiver he hired two years before. When Grandpa proves too much for Reese to handle on his own, Jude comes to his rescue, taming Grandpa… and the Hurricane as well. Soon all Reese can think about is how to get Jude out of his scrubs and into his bed—permanently. Will Hurricane Reese destroy everything in his path, or will this odd couple learn to harmonize together?

I’m going to start off this review by saying that my perspective on this story and my review is based on my feelings towards one of the main characters and not on the writing or perhaps even the storyline of Hurricane Reese except with regards as to how the author met her obvious objective of her story themes.

I found Hurricane Reese to be well written, her characters well constructed, especially so in the case of Grandpa Matheson, a musician now battling dementia.  Grandpa’s music still flows out of him when he’s not playing cards with gangsters and flirting with red heads.  He’s engaging and poignant. But then there’s the times he can’t remember or take care of himself….that’s shown in equal devastating measure.  It’s with Grandpa and Jude’s large Filipinos family that my heart lies.  I adored them. I found them, their interactions with Jude and Reese to be realistic and believable.  Even Jude as he fights to remain true to his family’s expectations and his roots is understandable and  someone you can connect to (outside of his affection towards Reese that it).

No, all that reads like a 5 star story.

Then there’s the title character Hurricane Reese,Reese Matheson.  Therein lies the rub.  At least for me.  I   just can’t abide this character.  He’s self absorbed, oblivious to the effects his actions has on others, nor does he seem to actually care once he realizes the turmoil he’s left in his wake.  Self involved to an amazing level that he can descend on a grandfather he barely visits, toss out a caregiver without thought to his grandfather’s needs or his caregiver’s, and then panic on when it appears like it’s not working for him? Uh no.

I would like to say he redeems himself or demonstrate enormous growth as a human being, but for me, that never really happens.  It seems that this character takes a sort of pride in the fact that he stirs things up, causing havoc wherever he goes.  Yes, he makes a sort of amends for several events that leave you gobsmacked, but you wonder, honestly, how much he’s changed.  And throughout the story, I always question, other than this guy’s obvious good looks, what on earth  made Jude sleep and fall in love with him?  What a total lapse in judgement!

So where does it all leave me?  With writing that I like and 3/4 of a story’s worth of characters I enjoyed.  But none of that was the romance and none of that was the title character.  You might feel differently.  If you are a fan of this author, take a chance on this book.   For me I just can’t get past the hurricane that’s Reese Matheson.

Cover Artist: Kanaxa.  I loved the cover.  From the color tones to the model.  Great job.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 205 pages
Expected publication: January 30th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781640801769
Edition LanguageEnglish

A Lila Review: A Boyfriend for the Weekend by Caitlin Ricci

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Dexter is a horse trainer, a bachelor, and Jamal’s favorite client. Their regular Tuesday sessions have been going on for years and things are great, so when Dexter has to go out of town to show his friend’s Gypsy Vanner, he invites Jamal along for the weekend as his boyfriend.

A Boyfriend for the Weekend is a cute friends-to-lovers short story. It’s more than romance, it’s about friendship and family. Yes, there are smexy times involved but the majority of the time we get to know more about Dexter’s and Jamal’s friendship.

Based on the title, the reader would assume Dexter needed a boyfriend for the particular event but in reality, they go together as friends and from there move forward into a relationship. It’s a satisfying HFN.

It’s a quick, sexy, and out of the box look into the start of an uncommon relationship. Perfect for an afternoon read or to read between longer books. Well-written and interesting characters with a backstory.

The cover by Erin Dameron-Hill describes the main characters and brings the theme of the story to the forefront.

Sale Links: eXtasyAmazon | NOOK

ebook, 40 pages
Published: January 5, 2018, by eXtasy Books
ISBN: 9781487416768
Edition Language: English

Emjay Haze on Writing, Romance and her new release ‘Home is Where You Are’ (author interview and giveaway)

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Home is Where You Are (States of Love) by Emjay Haze
Publisher: DreamSpinner Press

Cover Artist: Brooke Albrecht
Release Date: 1/26/18

Available now for Sale at:  DreamSpinner Press |  Amazon  

Thank you for visiting my blog tour at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words. I’m Emjay Haze, author of Contemporary m/m romance. Home is Where You Are is my first book with DreamSpinner Press and I’m excited to share it with you on release day.

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with Emjay Haze, author of Home is Where You Are

 

  • How much of yourself goes into a character?

I think my traits tend to pop up in more of my minor characters, since the main characters are both men usually in their twenties/thirties and I’m a fifty-plus year old woman, lol. I love writing strong-willed characters and I think that comes from me.  I also like to write them a little quirky and feisty and that’s definitely me.

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

When I was growing up, my mom introduced me to romance novels, but a lot of times, they didn’t really have a HEA, the way I wanted them, anyway. As I got older, I really got into Robert Ludlum books and other spy and mystery-type novels, and totally went away from romance. I didn’t even like watching rom-coms.  Then, in 2009, I discovered m/m romance in the form of online fanfiction and fell in love with the genre. I started writing stories around my favorite music artist and then eventually moved to original characters and writing short stories and novels.  I realized I didn’t hate romance at all, I was just reading the wrong kind.

  • Do you like HFN or HEA? And why?

I love happy endings, and I think everyone deserves one. That’s why I love this genre.  If I had to pick one, I’d have to say HEA. I want my two lovebirds to ride off into the sunset together and be happy forever.

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

I love e-books, because I have a kindle and subscribe to kindle unlimited, so it’s easy to download and read books.  I can start on my kindle at work, and then move it to my phone or tablet on the weekend.

It’s a shame that so many bookstores have closed over the years, but I don’t see them going away all together.  I think there are enough people that still want to read a book and not an electronic device. My last novel came out in both e-book and paper book and it was thrilling when I got to hold it in my hands, and I was able to give signed copies to friends. You can’t do that with an electronic version.

I see e-book formats expanding as the technology grows, and less books coming out in hard or paperback.

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

For all of my published works, I’ve had a publisher who provides the artist for the cover and I’ve never been disappointed. For Home is Where You Are, I had given her some general info on the settings, characters, etc, and my artist came back with three great covers to choose from.  Sometimes I have sort of an idea, and the artists have all taken my ramblings and turned them into something really beautiful.

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

That’s a “who’s your favorite child” question, so the answer is no, of course not, lol.  I love all of my characters and it’s really hard to choose just one. So far, they’ve all been pretty different, so it’s impossible to pick a favorite.  I do really adore a few of my minor characters, though. The best friend in my new novel coming later this year is awesome. Her name is Andrea, and she’s a hoot, feisty and outspoken and a great friend.  I also wrote a social worker character who took care of my foster kid main character for a very long fan-fiction story that I wrote years ago, and I absolutely loved her strength and character and the way she stood up for my protagonist.  But main characters, nope, I can’t pick one.

  • If you write contemporary romance, is there such a thing as making a main character too “real”?  Do you think you can bring too many faults into a character that eventually it becomes too flawed to become a love interest?

I have more trouble flawing my characters, lol.  I love them and want them to be perfect, but it’s way more interesting to read about someone with flaws who grows in a story.  My family and I were watching a horror movie the other day and none of us couldn stand the protagonist at first. She was a real bitch. But, as the film progressed she started to grow through all of the difficulties she was having. I liked it and understood her, but my twenty-year-old could never get past not liking the character at the beginning. So, yes, I believe that they have to have redeemable qualities, but a few flaws make them deeper characters, but not so many that you can’t forgive them.

  •  Ever drunk written a chapter and then read it the next day and still been happy with it?  Trust me there’s a whole world of us drunk writers dying to know.

Haha.  Drunk? No, but I used to write a lot of fan-fiction and those sexy scenes are written much better with a few beers in the system—more uninhibited and the scene flows better. Of course, you have to edit, but I’ve never had one that I had to completely rewrite because it was a mess.

 

  • If you could imagine the best possible place for you to write, where would that be and why?

I have a vision of having a house on the beach or a lake (where it’s warm) and having my laptop outside on a large wooden round table with a large umbrella overlooking the water while I’m wearing a tank-top and shorts and bare feet, sipping on a cool drink.

Right now, I sit at a very warped card table at the end of our family room with the big-screen TV and family watching to the right of me.

  •  With so much going on in the world today, do you write to explain?  To get away?  To move past?  To widen our knowledge?  Why do you write?

If I had to pick one, it would be to get away.  I write because I have so many stories in my head that need to get out. I have distraction issues, but when I’m writing, I can totally immerse myself into the story and ignore everything else. I love developing characters and building a story and seeing it come to life.

  • What’s next for you as a writer?

I have full-length novel coming out with NineStar Press sometime in April called After Hours. It’s the first of a three-book series. I’m working on the second book now. I really love writing m/m romance, and I think I will always write in that genre, but at some point I may try something new like a spy novel.   

Blurb:

For a chance at a future filled with love, he’ll have to face a painful past.

Eric, recently dumped by his boyfriend, is summoned home after his dad suffers a stroke. His family farm in rural Vermont holds memories he’d rather forget, but he—with his degree in agricultural business—is needed to clear up a predicament with the bank. In trying to forget the bad, Eric has also lost sight of the good: green meadows dotted with grass-fed dairy cows and the sugar maples that once produced the area’s finest maple syrup. With Eric’s help, they will again.

A captivating farmhand named Phil tempts Eric to give the countryside another chance, but before they can consider being together, Eric must move past more than his feelings for his ex-boyfriend—he’ll need to stand up to the ghosts that sent him running from the farm in the first place….

Genre: m/m contemporary romance
Pages: 95
Part of the States of Love Series by DreamSpinner Press

Giveaway

I have a rafflecopter giveaway of 3 e-copies of Home is Where you Are, and a Grand prize of the e-book and a gift pack of Vermont maple syrup and maple candy.

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About the Author

Emjay Haze is a Pennsylvania girl living in a Virginia world, growing up in the Philadelphia suburbs and moving to Northern Virginia to follow her now husband of twenty-plus years. She has two kids in college, a year-old puppy named Max, a black-and-white cat named Tux, a gecko named Rex, a yellow tang called Reggie, and we hear the eels are coming this week.

The family pastime is baseball, specifically the Nationals. She’s also a huge Redskins fans and loves classic rock. Emjay graduated with a degree in Creative Writing in 2015 after realizing it was the only thing she really wanted to do.

She has a wide and diverse work history in the fields of travel, hotel management, high-tech communications, web development, real estate, and the nonprofit health care industry where she has held positions such as travel agent, hotel concierge, web programmer, Realtor, account manager, and many, many others, giving her a varied and unique set of experiences that she draws upon in her stories and characters.

Emjay fell in love with the m/m romance genre after discovering the world of fanfiction several years ago and hasn’t looked back. Her family keeps asking when she’ll write something they can read, but she’s still having too much fun with her boys. Her goal is to broaden the minds of those who might not normally pick up a gay romance because it’s more about the person than the sexuality. She’ll take you on a roller-coaster journey, but you’ll always get a happy ending.

Website: http://www.mjhauthor.com/emjayhaze

Twitter: @emjayhaze

Facebook: www.facebook.com/emjayhaze

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14254769.Emjay_Haze