A MelanieM Review: Coach’s Challenge (Cayuga Cougars #3) by V.L. Locey

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Victor Kalinski and his husband, Dan Arou, are living the dream. Married for over a year now, the couple have settled into life in Cayuga surrounded by friends, family, and a team that’s poised to make another championship run. Each man is enjoying professional success as well as personal bliss. Who knew life in the suburbs with a spouse and a child could be so darn satisfying? Not Vic. K, that’s for sure.

The happy times are about to turn rough, though. The Cougars have picked up a new player, Sander March, a brash young center whose sass, skill, and attitude can rival Victor’s. When it’s revealed that this new player and Dan have history, tensions begin to rise between the newlyweds. As Victor and Dan work on those issues, the one person Victor never thought he would meet arrives in the small New York hamlet and proceeds to flip everything in Vic’s life upside down.

Can Victor and Dan’s marriage withstand what life is about to drop on it, or will the challenges be too much for them to handle?

Out of all of the three books in this terrific series by V.L. Locey, Coach’s Challenge (Cayuga Cougars #3) is by far the best.  It’s just superb in every way.  From the  excellent writing to the nuanced characters to multiple elements the author uses in this story, Coach’s Challenge just continued to surprise me with it’s depth, it’s ability to swing between emotions and subjects without feeling abrupt or jarring, or losing it’s powerful edge.

Most of that is due to the complex, tormented man Victor Kalinski, the Coach of Coach’s Challenge.  Married to hockey player Dan Arou, their lives are centered around the AHL team Cayuga Cougars, but his personal demons are driving him constantly.  With a back history being abandoned by his father, then left to be raised alone with a unbalanced, drug crazed mother who physically, mentally and emotionally tortured him since he was a baby? Yes, anger , self worth, and trust issues abound, even though he’s finally found happiness with Dan.

The reader is given a front row seat to the inner turmoil and fire that’s  the mind and heart of Victor Kalinski.  It’s doesn’t matter whether we are at the hockey ring watching the goalie in his “butterfly defense” posture (and having Locey easily sliding in an explanation of what that is for hockey neophytes) or sitting in his therapist’s office for one of their gut wrenching sessions.  Oh those sessions! As Victor fights against the  questions she’s asking him, the dialog runs from outright hilarity to breakdown sobbing that has you reaching for the tissues as well.   If I could reach out to the author for all the dialog and just for this man alone, I would be hugging her and giving her a writing award.

And while we are glued to the incredible passion and drama that is Victor Kalinski, that means we are bound also to those around him.  Dan Arou, who’s love for Vic, means he has to navigate the emotionally troubled  times, the anger, self hate, and in this case, jealousy of Dan’s past love life, that comes with being with Victor, both as a Coach and as a husband.  Watching the interplay and relationship dynamics, so grownup, between these  men, is such a pleasure.  They actually talk things through, working out issues as grownups should.  They talk about his sessions with his therapist, how it affects them, more issues to be discussed, very aware that’s nothing is resolved or can be when you are dealing with years of abuse  such as Victor’s.  His scars are deep, not just the ones you see on the surface.

Every character here is a pleasure to meet.  I loved his therapist, the hockey players we have come to know and love in the prior stories, his son and baby mama (Victor is bi), everyone here is given the Locey treatment.  By that I mean, each one feels alive, fully dimensional, and able to shoulder an entire story on their own because their personalities and lives have foundation and are real to me.

I love hockey (go Caps) so having a series and this story where the author’s exuberance for the sport and its players flows over every word and page is such a joy to read.  Combine that with outstanding storylines and characters so memorable that you want to stay in their lives a little longer?  Well, if I could give this story more than 5 stars I would.    And I can’t wait to see where this series goes next.

I highly recommend Coach’s Challenge (Cayuga Cougars #3) by V.L. Locey.   Excellent in every way.

Cover Design:  Rêverie Design & Formatting.  I wish that  black and white scene was a little more well defined.  I like the overall composition but it’s grayed out too much and it’s hard to see.  Plus the model in the back is way too young for the men n the story.

Sales Links:

Amazon USAmazon UK |  B&N  |  iTunes   |  Kobo 

Book Details:

ebook, 154 pages
Published January 10th 2018 by Self-Published (first published January 8th 2018)
Original Title Coach’s Challenge — Cayuga Cougars #3
ISBN13 9781386044130
Edition Language English

A Julia Review :Thirteen Mercies, Three Kills by Liv Olteano

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Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Watching her father’s termination, twenty-year-old Cristina Mera Richards decides to kill the reaper Edgar Verner. Verner is the resident alkemist of New Bayou, though, and since alkemists are immortal, killing him won’t be easy. But the harvesters are destroying the hovertown one citizen at a time. Edgar Verner must be stopped.

Cristina Mera has a gift for seeing and hearing ghosts. She escorts souls out of bodies ravaged by the withering sickness, taking away their pain. Her gifts are unique. Once it’s clear she’s a changeling, Verner becomes more than interested in having her by his side.

Mysterious Wanderer Alkemist Nikola Skazat is the solution to Cristina Mera’s problems—a delightful and charming one, since Nikola is a woman unlike any Cristina Mera has ever met. Becoming Nikola’s apprentice instead of Verner’s finally gives Cristina Mera the opportunity she needs to save her hovertown. It also puts her heart in high gear, gives her butterflies, and just might get her killed.

Thirteen Mercies, Three Kills by Liv Olteano is a dystopian novel with elements of Steampunk, Fantasy and Science-Fiction.

What got me hooked right away was the intriguing setting and worldbuilding. Taking place in the future after a nuclear fallout, humans are reduced to living in hovering settlements shielded from the toxic world outside and ruled over by alkemists who process the souls of citizens in order to keep the platforms afloat. First, I thought that this novel would gear mostly towards the Fantasy-genre because of the protagonist’s ability to have Death do her bidding and help sick people pass on peacefully. However, later on, as the origin behind the hovertowns was revealed, the story seemed to edge closer towards Sci-Fi.

I quite liked the protagonist Cristina Mera. She’s strong-willed, brave and knows what she wants. I also rather enjoyed seeing that she made no secret of her immediate attraction for Nikola. Her abilities were quite astounding, and I wished you could have seen a bit more of her interactions with the people she performed her so-called “mercies” on as well as their family members.

Nikola Skazat was the one I took an immediate liking to. From her mannerisms to her clothing style and her profession, she was a particularly intriguing character and I could understand why Cristina became fascinated with her right away. She projected the image of a confident woman who had already seen a lot in her lifetime and felt secure in who she was. I would have very much liked to learn more about her skills as well as seeing her teach some of those to her new apprentice. Still, I did enjoy the dynamic between the two women.

While both the setting and main characters were rather intriguing, and the plot showed potential as well, there were some parts of this novel that bothered me. For one, the first half of the story seemed to be more detailed than the second one and especially the ending felt rather rushed. The same goes for the final confrontation with Verner which fell sort of flat. The plan to take him down seemed not particularly well thought out and while the characters said so themselves, it made me wonder why they didn’t even try to come up with a few more precautions. It all seemed rather ill-advised considering that this operation had apparently been in the making for quite some time.

There were also some potentially very interesting characters like Verner’s liquidator – a type of assassin – or the leader of a rebellious group I would have liked to learn more about.

All in all, this novel showed great potential and some very good writing. Due to the way some elements were handled – particularly the fight with Verner – I sadly cannot give it as high of a rating as I would have liked. But I will definitely be on the lookout for future works by this author (including a sequel to this one) since there were quite some inspired ideas and concepts in there that just needed to be further explored and polished.

The cover design by Catt Ford features a beautiful artwork of Cristina Mera and caught my eye right away.

Sales Links:

      

Book Details:

ebook, 180 pages

Published June 13, 2017

by Harmony Ink Press

ISBN-13: 978-1-63533-419-7

Edition Language: English

Release Blitz – The Station by Keira Andrews (excerpt and giveaway)

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Cover Design: Dar Albert @ Wicked Smart Designs
 
Blurb

 

Ever since Cambridge-bound Colin Lancaster spied on stable master Patrick Callahan mastering another man, he’s longed for Patrick to do the same to him. When Patrick is caught with his pants down and threatened with death for his crime, Colin speaks up in his defense and confesses his own sinful nature. They’re soon banished to the faraway prison colony of Australia.

Patrick never asked for Colin’s help, and now he’s stuck with the pampered fool. While it’s true that being transported to Australia is a far cry from the luxury Colin is accustomed to, he’s determined to make the best of it and prove himself. Although Patrick learned long ago that love is a fairy tale, he’s inexorably drawn to sweet, optimistic Colin.

From the miserable depths of a prison ship to the vast, untamed Australian outback, Colin and Patrick must rely on each other. Danger lurks everywhere, and when they unexpectedly get the chance to escape to a new life as cowboys, they’ll need each other more than ever.

This historical gay romance from Keira Andrews features an age difference,

 

Excerpt

 

Waiting only a moment after knocking, Colin’s mother, Elizabeth, entered his room. Colin glanced over from the window seat. He’d been watching Patrick in the meadow exercising the young colt born several days before. “Yes, Mother?”

Elizabeth was forty-two and quite beautiful, with a regal nose and posture and the same thick, chestnut brown hair as Colin. “You haven’t bathed yet? Guests will be arriving within the hour.”

“I was about to, if you’d leave me to my privacy.”

When he wasn’t studying or walking the grounds, Colin whiled away the hours sitting by his window reading novels of thrilling adventures in faraway lands. Sometimes Patrick would appear in the meadow, training the horses. Colin’s book would lie forgotten on his lap as he watched Patrick at work. He seemed as if he belonged in one of the fictional tales Colin devoured. Colin could easily imagine him with sword in hand.

“Of course, dear. I had Charles press your jacket. It’s hanging there.” She pointed across the room, where, sure enough, his formal wear waited. “Katherine was partial to that one, if I do recall.”

Colin couldn’t hold back a sigh. “Yes.”

“Darling, you gave up on Katherine far too easily. Tonight will be another chance for you to win her hand. You’re quite a catch, you know. Off to Cambridge soon. Katherine will want to ensnare you now.”

“Mother, Katherine Crawford has turned her favor elsewhere. She’s moved on.” So had he. Most definitely.

Elizabeth’s pretty face pinched into a frown. “It’s an honor that the Crawfords are attending this evening. You will be on your best behavior. I don’t know what exactly you did to ruin things with Katherine, but tonight you will do your utmost to undo it.”

“Yes, Mother.” He would attempt no such thing, but Colin had learned years before that arguing with his parents got him nowhere. Soon he’d be at Cambridge and he would be able to make his own decisions. Soon he’d have a new life.

Mollified, Elizabeth closed the door behind her. Flopping down on his bed, Colin thought of Katherine and cringed. It wasn’t until a most ill-fated outing with Katherine Crawford several months ago that Colin had admitted to himself that his interest in Patrick was far from intellectual.

Katherine was a beauty, all glossy blonde hair and moist, pink lips. For some reason Colin couldn’t fathom, she had shown an interest in him at a holiday gathering down the road. The courting had begun soon thereafter, with Colin escorting Katherine on various activities. Unlike William, who railed against the inconveniences of chaperones, Colin was grateful for the matrons’ presence.

He liked Katherine well enough. She was intelligent and kind and pleasing to look at. But Colin knew something was missing. Katherine didn’t set his blood on fire, and he rarely thought of her when she was absent.

The absences were as long as Colin could manage while still maintaining the guise of courting. He was a perfect gentleman at all times with Katherine, which he found a simple feat. William and his school chums all needled him in private and made winking suggestions of what was actually going on between him and Katherine, and Colin let them believe what they wanted.

The Lancasters and Crawfords had both been guests at a country estate for an Easter celebration. Colin’s sister, Rebecca, was delighted. On the ride over, she had chattered constantly about the beautiful Katherine and how she might one day be her sister-in-law. Colin loved his sister dearly but wished she’d find a new interest.

Colin had been fast asleep the first night at the country estate when Katherine crept into his room. Despite his protests about the impropriety, she’d insisted he dress and accompany her for a moonlight stroll. He hadn’t really a choice.

It went badly.

Despite Katherine’s obvious beauty and heaving bosom, Colin had remained utterly uninterested. He’d tried. Truly, he did. Under a large willow tree, Colin had kissed Katherine and caressed her soft skin under her skirt, her hand firm on his wrist, guiding him. He had been unable to get excited, and when she’d reached for him to find him flaccid, Katherine Crawford had had quite enough.

She’d stomped back to her room and avoided Colin for the remainder of the weekend. Colin could hardly meet anyone’s eyes. His family had obviously required an explanation, and he’d had none.

When they returned home after a torturous journey, Colin had jumped from the carriage, eager to be away from his inquiring parents and sister, who’d demanded to know how Colin had made such a mess of things. Colin had almost barreled straight into Patrick, who had come to take the horses. At the sight of him, his lean muscles, his maleness, Colin had been struck with the vivid memories of what he’d witnessed in the stable that day long ago. He had to bite his tongue to stop himself from begging Patrick to take him into some dark corner and have his way with him.

That was what he wanted. He would never want the Katherine Crawfords of the world. No matter how beautiful, how rich, how ideal for a wife. Colin wanted a man. Oh, God, did he want a man.

Can I be of assistance?” Patrick had affected a guileless expression, and Colin had realized he’d been staring dumbly.

Awkward and ready to crawl out of his own skin, Colin had mumbled something and hurried off. All the denials he’d repeated to himself had finally been silenced. He’d locked himself in his room, took himself in hand, and, muffling his face in a pillow as he thought of Patrick, attained the most satisfying release he’d experienced since that day at sixteen years old, hiding in the stable.

Remembering now, Colin stroked himself quickly, careful not to muss himself too much before the party. He thought of Patrick, of his Gaelic lullaby and of his grunts as he’d penetrated the man in the stable years before. As he rubbed himself with one hand, legs spread, Colin caressed his lips with his fingertips, imagining what it would be like to be kissed—really kissed. He didn’t even know if men kissed each other, but he would like to try it.

Sometime later, Colin straightened his navy tie and vest under his dark jacket and peered into the full-length mirror in the corner of his bedroom. His large eyes were a deep brown that matched his hair, and his jaw was narrow. His nose was straight and unremarkable. Katherine had once told him that his smile turned her knees to jelly and his eyes were bottomless pools she could stare into for eternity.

Colin doubted it, somehow.

He decided he looked as presentable as he was able to and went to join the party. Naturally, the first person he saw was Katherine. Dressed to the nines in an ornate, yellow, bell-shaped gown and looking lovely, she was laughing gaily at something William had said. Her hand was placed just so on his arm, and Colin saw the flash of her eyes as she spotted him. She laughed again, even louder.

Colin felt like laughing himself. If she only knew. Before he could do anything, Rebecca towed him into the drawing room, her voice low and urgent, grip firm. “Honestly, I don’t know what William is thinking. You mustn’t pay them any mind, Colin. Are you very upset?” Her pretty face, very much like their mother’s, creased with worry.

Shaking his head, Colin kissed his dear sister’s cheek. “I won’t give it another thought. William is welcome to her. Perhaps Father will take some solace if the family is connected to the Crawfords in the end.”

Rebecca, fourteen and very dramatic, hugged him tightly. “Oh, Colin. You’re ever so brave.”

Biting back his mirth, Colin thanked her and pointed her toward her newly arriving friends from down the road. He made his rounds of the soiree, shaking hands and making polite conversation. Dinner was served, and Colin listened to a neighbor tell him about what a wonderful time he’d have at Cambridge. Colin hoped it would be true. The one thing dampening his excitement about finally getting away from home was that he’d also be leaving Patrick behind.

As he spooned his custard, Colin brooded. He knew it was deeply foolish, since the strange affection and desire he had for Patrick was certainly one-sided. He’d only been a child when they were friends. Even if by some miracle Patrick desired him now that he was grown, would Colin really have the nerve to lie with another man? His trousers tightened at the notion, and he was glad for the napkin across his lap.

After dinner, Colin endured the ladies’ singing and gentlemen’s card games. Unable to shake Patrick from his mind as the night wore on, he found himself walking to the stable, unable to stay away. He was almost there when a cry came up. A man burst out from the large wooden doors and fled across the meadow, barely visible in the darkness. In the lantern light from the stable, Patrick tumbled outside, followed by two men Colin recognized as shopkeepers in the next county. Brothers named Harris, he thought.

Colin realized he was running and skidded to a halt just as one of the brothers landed a vicious kick to Patrick’s ribs. “Stop!” Colin shoved the man aside. Blood already streamed from Patrick’s nose and mouth.

The man ignored Colin as if he were naught but a fly, and kicked Patrick again. “Unnatural piece of filth!”

Several other guests who heard the melee drew near. The other Harris brother called out to them. “We need the inspector. A crime’s been committed here.”

“What crime?” Colin demanded.

The man spit at the ground where Patrick lay beaten. “Buggery.”

The world tilted on its axis, and Colin’s stomach churned. He realized Patrick’s breeches were loose, and that the man he’d seen fleeing must have been…

Suddenly Colin’s father was there. In the lantern light, Colin could see the rage on his father’s face, and it chilled him. Edward was short and stout, yet an imposing presence. He issued a terse command to the Harris brothers to follow him and bring Patrick.

Patrick was dragged around the back of the manor house, a growing number of curious guests following. Several women were told to go back to the party, and the servants watched with wide eyes as the brothers hauled Patrick through the kitchen. Inside Edward’s study, a group of men gathered. Patrick was deposited on his knees in the middle of the room as Colin crowded inside with the others. They were soon joined by Colin’s mother.

“What’s going on?” she hissed to her husband. “There are whispers everywhere.”

Edward barely spared her a glance. “This is no place for a woman. An ungodly crime has been committed. Go see to the other guests and tell them everything is fine. We don’t want this getting out.”

“I’m not going anywhere. Tell me what’s happened!” Elizabeth’s cheeks flamed.

The man who’d kicked Patrick spoke. “My wife is feeling ill, so my brother and I went to the stable to ask for our carriage to be brought round.”

“Ill? Not from the food?” Elizabeth appeared horrified.

“For God’s sake, woman, forget the food!” A vein in Edward’s temple throbbed, and Colin feared his father might explode with rage.

“Where’s the other one?” Colin glanced behind him, surprised to hear William’s voice. Apparently the whispers were indeed spreading.

One of the Harris brothers answered. “Gone. I think it was the Nelsons’ carriage driver. Quick bastard, we couldn’t catch him. This one was still tangled up in his breeches. Caught him dead to rights.”

“No need to get the courts involved. Take him out back and hang him from his bollocks,” said one of the other guests.

There was a murmur of agreement, and Edward seemed to seriously be considering it. Colin’s panic increased exponentially as the tension simmered. Many of those present had long been into their cups, and a reckless air swirled through the room. He looked to Patrick, who knelt silently, blood dripping down his face, his hands now bound behind his back. Colin hadn’t seen who restrained him.

“Kill him,” agreed one of the Harrises. To Patrick, he said, “Wouldn’t you rather be put out of your misery now than rot in a jail cell knowing you’re going to the gallows? We’d be doing you a favor.”

The murmur of assent grew frighteningly loud. “Should have expected it from an Irishman,” someone shouted.

“Hang ’im! Save the courts some time and money.” The bookkeeper from the local village reached for Patrick, attempting to haul him to his feet as other men cried their agreement.

“No!” When all eyes turned to him, Colin realized he’d spoken aloud. “No. You can’t kill him.” He thought of that day six years before, when Patrick had raced after him and plucked him from the fleeing stallion. His heart hammered as it had that day.

Edward’s eyes narrowed. “Colin, the punishment for buggery is death. It’s what he deserves. This man—if you can call an animal a man—is a degenerate criminal.”

“Then so am I!”

Silence gripped the room in an instant, as if everyone held their breath collectively. Elizabeth went pale. “Colin, you have no idea what you’re saying.” She pulled his arm, urging him toward the door. “I’m sorry, everyone; he’s had far too much brandy this evening. He isn’t himself.”

Colin yanked his arm away. “No, Mother. I know what I’m saying.” He swallowed, his throat dry and thick. “I am myself.” Perhaps for the first time.

A shocked William spoke up, his eyes wide. “Colin, this is madness!”

Edward simply stared, stunned into silence for the first time in Colin’s memory. Elizabeth pulled at him again, but Colin shook free. “If you will kill this man for his crime, then you’ll have to kill me too. Shall you take me outside and string me up?”

“What in God’s name are you doing?” Patrick spoke for the first time, and all eyes turned to where he knelt. He stared at Colin with dazed astonishment.

The sound of Patrick’s voice seemed to spur Edward out of his daze. Edward turned a murderous gaze on Patrick. “If you’ve laid a finger on my son, I swear—”

“I’d sooner bed a horse,” Patrick sneered.

“And probably has!” a voice called out.

Colin felt a ridiculous stab of pain at Patrick’s words.

Patrick went on. “Sir, your son is clearly not in his right mind.”

William’s father, John, a lawyer, spoke next. He was tall and distinguished, the opposite of his brother, Edward. He seemed to be the only calm person left in the room. “Colin, are you saying you’ve committed acts of buggery?”

“Yes.” Even if it wasn’t true, Colin couldn’t let them kill Patrick. At least not tonight, not if he could help it.

Elizabeth shrieked and collapsed into a chair. “Oh, my son. What have you done? It can’t be true!”

“I’m sorry, Mother. They’ll have to kill us both.”

“Don’t listen to him! For God’s sake!” Patrick tried to stand but was shoved back down by Edward, whose face flamed with rage.

John spoke up. “No one’s killing anyone.” He turned to the Harris brothers. “Did you witness the act?”

One of them laughed tersely. “Didn’t have to. They heard us coming, and the other one was off and running. But we saw and heard enough to know what was going on.”

John pondered this, and everyone waited. He seemed to have quietly taken control of the proceedings, for which Colin was grateful. He hoped Patrick wouldn’t be harmed any further for the moment.

“No concrete evidence. None in regards to Colin either,” John said after a lengthy pause.

“Because it’s not true!” Elizabeth cried.

John ignored her and turned to Edward. “I have some friends in the magistrate’s office who should be able to help. I’ll go speak to George Crawford and get him on our side. But too many people have heard Colin’s confession. Something must be done.”

Edward nodded grimly, not looking at Colin. He pointed to Patrick. “We’ll keep this one locked in the pantry for the night. Colin will be in his room with a guard placed outside. William, take him upstairs.”

The shock of his actions slowly settling in, Colin didn’t resist as William led him away. They opened the door to the study to find the hallway crowded with party guests. Katherine was among them, her delicate face transformed into a hard mask. “Fiend!” She dashed down the hall, weeping.

Accusing eyes glared from all sides, and William led Colin to the servants’ back stairway, sparing him the spectacle of being marched up the grand staircase. In his room, Colin tried to speak. “Will, I…”

William raised a hand. “Don’t.” He shook his head sadly, his expression deeply wounded. “I don’t understand. I’ve always thought of you as a dear friend. A brother. Now I feel I’ve never known you at all.” He turned his back, closing the door behind him. A moment later, Colin heard the key turn in the lock, and his life as he knew it was over.

Author Bio

After writing for years yet never really finding the right inspiration, Keira discovered her voice in gay romance, which has become a passion. She writes contemporary, historical, fantasy, and paranormal fiction and — although she loves delicious angst along the way — Keira firmly believes in happy endings. For as Oscar Wilde once said:

“The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what fiction means.”

 

 

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Review Tour : Coach’s Challenge (Cayuga Cougars #3) by V.L. Locey

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Point Shot Trilogy – Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Cayuga Cougars Series
 
Book #1 – Snap Shot – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #2 – Open Net – Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Blurb
 

Victor Kalinski and his husband, Dan Arou, are living the dream. Married for over a year now, the couple have settled into life in Cayuga surrounded by friends, family, and a team that’s poised to make another championship run. Each man is enjoying professional success as well as personal bliss. Who knew life in the suburbs with a spouse and a child could be so darn satisfying? Not Vic. K, that’s for sure.


The happy times are about to turn rough, though. The Cougars have picked up a new player, Sander March, a brash young center whose sass, skill, and attitude can rival Victor’s. When it’s revealed that this new player and Dan have history, tensions begin to rise between the newlyweds. As Victor and Dan work on those issues, the one person Victor never thought he would meet arrives in the small New York hamlet and proceeds to flip everything in Vic’s life upside down.

 

Can Victor and Dan’s marriage withstand what life is about to drop on it, or will the challenges be too much for them to handle?

 

 

Read Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words 5 – star review here.




January 10 – Gay Media Reviews, BooksLaidBareBoys
January 11 – The Novel Approach
January 12 – Xtreme Delusions
January 13 – Love Bytes Reviews
January 15 – Making It Happen, BFD Book Blog, Wicked Reads
January 16 – Gay Book Reviews
January 17 – MM Good Book Reviews, Hearts on Fire Reviews
January 18 – Alpha Book Club
January 19 – Bayou Book Junkie, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Jim’s Reading Room, Book Review by Virginia Lee, Valerie Ullmer, Mirrigold: Mutterings & Musings, OptimuMM
January 22 – MM Good Book Reviews


Author Bio


V.L. Locey loves worn jeans, yoga, belly laughs, walking, reading and writing lusty tales, Greek mythology, the New York Rangers, comic books, and coffee. (Not necessarily in that order.) She shares her life with her husband, her daughter, one dog, two cats, a flock of assorted domestic fowl, and two Jersey steers.


When not writing spicy romances, she enjoys spending her day with her menagerie in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania with a cup of fresh java in hand. She can also be found online on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and GoodReads.



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Book Blast for The Loss of Self – An Intimate Autobiography by Alek Martin (excerpt)

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An Intimate Autobiography

Book Title: The Loss of Self

Author: Alek Martin

Publisher: Alek Martin

Cover Artist: Guillaume Beauchamp created the cover but isn’t the Photographer

Alek Martin is the guy on the picture and holds all the rights

Length:  54 549 words/ 288 pages

This is an intimate autobiography not fiction.

 

About The Loss of Self: My path of Self-Destruction to the point of total humiliation

A very private and intimate Autobiography of the last seven years, my fall from “Grace,” as I like to describe it.

Death, Sex, lots of absurd, artificial

An appalling Break-up, which was the Catalyst to it all.chemed-Sex.

H.I.V., Bankruptcy, Almost-Suicide, Meth and so much more!

I lost faith in humanity

I lost myself.

I always had rules, goals and boundaries which I lived by endearingly, but after the Death of my beloved Grandmother, I started a Path of Self-Destruction to the point of total shame.

Do you know what it feels like to be standing on the Edge of a building, you have nothing to lose, and the only thing that keeps you from jumping is to return to an abusive Boyfriend who has nothing else to offer you, but to lie to you, to control you and to take the next puff of the Meth pipe!

Would you go back?

I did!

Back to the gay Lifestyle I never asked for.

To a Lifestyle where I ended up having Sex for Cash, me of all people?

Why, one must wonder, why?

I kept on punishing myself.

I accepted that my own boyfriend brought guys home and had sex with them in front of my face, looking me straight in the eyes.

And his eyes were saying:

“ I’m going to break you, and you will accept everything I am going to give you ”, and I did with little resistance.

I enforced his behaviour by overeating and

I lost my body.

Why did I let this happen?

What is my problem?

Why on earth would I who was successful in business and Life, always had monogamous, and highly Moral Relationships accept all this?

After 44 years on this earth, I finally discovered why!

My “Core Problem” wasn’t the people I met,

they were merely clones that I choose very distinctively yet totally unaware.

I recreated the worst of all relationships, the one I never had,

The one I never understood.

The relationship between my mother and myself!

It’s about the fact that she never fought for me,

she never placed me first, and that behaviour made me feel not worthy, not good enough.

She never chose me!

But you have to fight and understand your

“Core Problem”

and deal with it, as harshly and honestly as you can!

It will hurt, and sacrifices will have to be made,

but the pain isn’t anything compared to the pain that you will encounter if you don’t!

 

 

Buy Links – Available on KU

Amazon US

Amazon UK

 

EXCERPT FROM THE LOSS OF SELF BY ALEK MARTIN

The Miami Moment

Menintogear was down the drain; the official news came in from my accountant!

I was officially broke!

My investors drove me crazy,

and I was totally and utterly financially dependent on Georg.

I had sold everything.

This was the first time in my grown-up life that I was dependant on someone else.

His ways were worse than ever, careless, drunk and high all the time.

His drunken abusiveness became more frequent, targeting only me!

He screamed,

he threw things around,

I couldn’t take it anymore!

Yes, I went back to him even after the Boston incident.

That is what this book is about co-dependence at its best.

The weather here in Miami was Stormy and flooding was everywhere.

I didn’t know anymore what to do, how to get myself out of this situation, where to turn and I had no one to talk to.

I was estranged by my fault with all my friends, as they were sick and tired of listening to me about the same story over and over.

I was in this mess all by myself.

Georg had to be conquered, but I just didn’t know how to.

Georg made all the money and kept it very well hidden.

My desperation was immense.

My primary investor was infuriated with me, as he believed it was my fault that the Project Menintogear went down the drain.

But it wasn’t. I still felt tremendous guilt.

Could I have done more? No, but yet again my trust in the wrong people broke this wonderful project.

I understood him very much, as I would’ve been mad as well, But what was I supposed to do?

Kill myself?

And for the first time in my life, the Idea of killing myself became a daily thought, and I was starting to worry about my safety very much.

The situation was simple; I was broke,

except for the 15000 Euros from Georg, which he wasn’t gone pay me back,

I was homeless, and I refused to Escort,

I had to vomit when I thought about it and got extremely depressed and mad when he did it, even now, after I no longer loved him, it still bothered me.

The day came where physical violence took over, and he and I went at it.

It was terrible, and it started with the fact that I told him to please stop doing chems with his customers, as I wanted to have a break from it all,

a well-deserved break as I needed to make better decisions so staying sober and focused was key.

And let me tell you that Georg without Chems was rather boring but high he was a terror a fucking horror,

but Georg on chems and alcohol was unbearable!

Either I would strike him that he would die and I would end up in jail for the rest of my life, or I needed to escape, but how and one of a sudden the idea of suicide was the only way out, and it was calming me tremendously.

So the day came

It was a very stormy outside, and I love those days, if I am happy and content, which haven’t been now in 2 years and six months.

I looked out the window and had no idea what I thought about. I was staring at whatever without any thoughts! I was empty!

I got dressed looked at the flat and saw this mess of a man,

in bed sleeping,

which was the only time I had peace of him, and I left the flat, sometimes I just sat there feeling the peacefulness of the situation, and that became my sanctuary.

The flat was about 200 meters away from the Ocean, which I walked towards.

The waves that normally calmed me were wild and tempered.

I couldn’t relax as my back was against the wall.

I didn’t see the solution, so I walked and walked until I ended up on some building, I don’t know how many floors up, but it was as high as I’ve ever been!

I stood on the edge and looked around being almost blown off.

And here are my thoughts:

I’m alone,

My grandmother is gone,

My mom the person that raised me,

my family and I don’t talk anymore since,

I lost my business, my car, my dignity,

my belief system and

I am raping myself over and over.

I am afraid of Georg, so much that at times I can’t breathe,

I am broke,

Menintogear which was a chance to get out of this mess,

is down the drain,

not because it was a bad idea but because I got framed, yet again

and I have no one to talk to,

My investors might eventually sue me.

I felt no way out and slowly, but surely the thought of leaving life was making me feel relaxed and chilled, and I moved towards the edge.

I stood there for hours, and then a thought hit me:

“What about my sister, how will she feel, when she gets the news of my suicide and what about my beautiful little niece?”

And then and there the fighter within me arose back to life.

I told myself:

I’m not jumping because I don’t have the guts, but because I’m not done with this life,

and no Georg will send me to hell.

If so, I will decide and no one else.

“You will go back to this horrible and unbearable situation and take all,

all you can handle,

and when that moment arrives, you will exit this hell.”

And so I did!

I walked back to him, and his degrading, immoral Lifestyle.

I went into the house, and he was awake, high already, the pipe loaded with meth and the GHB bottle next to it.

But I didn’t care anymore.

Something within me knew what to do, and I can be very persistent.

I looked at him, went into the bedroom and for the first time locked it and put my headphones on, and longed for the day when it was all over.

That was the day where I started to plan my Exit!

 

About the Author

“I used to lie and embellish, so I could somehow function and deal with my life, my family! I dared to face the truth and since then I’ve been able to rebuild and found the real meaning of my life!”

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