A MelanieM Review: The Calling by MD Neu


Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Being a nobody isn’t Duncan Alexander’s life goal, but it’s worked for him. He has a nondescript job, a few good friends, and overall he’s content. That’s until one fateful trip to San Jose, California, where he is “Called” to meet the mysterious Juliet de Exter. Juliet is a beautiful, wealthy, powerful Immortal who is undertaking The Calling—a search for a human to join her world of Immortals. Inexplicably, Duncan’s calling is more dangerous than any of the Immortals, even Juliet, ever thought it would be.

There is more to this nobody, this only child of long-deceased parents, than anyone thought. When Duncan experiences uncontrollable dreams of people he doesn’t know and places he hasn’t been, Juliet and the other Immortals worry. Soon, his visions point to a coven of long-dead witches. The dreams also lead Duncan to his one true love. How will Duncan navigate a forbidden romance with an outcast Immortal? How will he and the others keep the balance between the Light and Dark, survive vicious attacks, and keep the humans from learning who they truly are? More importantly, who is this implacable foe Duncan keeps seeing in his dreams?

I first found M.D. Neu through his fantastic Halloween horror tale The Reunion.  That was an amazing well written short story that haunted me long after I  finished it.  So when I saw The Calling I knew even without reading the blurb it was a novel I needed to read based on the author alone.  I wasn’t disappointed.

Duncan Alexander seems to be nobody special until he’s ‘called’ to San Jose to meet Juliet de Exter and  change his life forever. And from that moment on, into a lush and richly woven story , Duncan and the readers jump into a world that smells of  vanilla and roses, blood and mystery, pain and love. We do so with energy and some trepidation.  

I love how  M.D. Neu builds not only his characters, allowing us to see them grow, adding on their history while letting us see the true depths to their inner qualities, their honor, courage, steadfastness, loyalty, intelligence and more as the story quickens. But also adding to his world building and mythology.  It’s as though he’s constantly assembling his world view throughout the tale. And that makes The Calling even more intricate and magical because the beginning narrative structure and universe is so beguiling to begin with.

It starts with the Immortals, now divided into two factions of LIght and Dark, but not necessarily as you would imagine of Good and Evil.  No, instead it’s more of order and chaos.  Rules versus a lack of rules but then again not always.  So many shadows here between the two factions.  The Immortals are of course vampires but even the vampires here don’t follow some of the expected “vampire norms”.  Neu has created his own vampire mythology and its as complicated and bound in ritual as you would imagine given the nature of Duncan’s calling.

Nor are the vampires the only beings with magic.  There are witches as well, an enemy with a need for revenge.

And there is romance as well.  Although to be honest.  The romance does feel at times like a lesser storyline than the one about the mystery of Duncan’s importance and the war that’s being waged all around them.

But what kept me absolutely glued to this story was the incredible plot, the cast of characters (oh how I love Victor), the suspense and the action.  I couldn’t put this book down.  I was in agony along with all of them, through every battle, through every loss, and then at that ending!  Well, I can see that Neu is setting us up for a series and I couldn’t be more pleased.

For those that like to be warned about het sex, yes, there is some.  It comes as part of the ritual turning.  Yes, Duncan is gay but it’s as thought it’s just a part of who he is and not central to this story.   And yes, this is a M/M romance but I still don’t feel that’s the main focus here either.  The Calling is a powerfully engaging suspenseful supernatural story.    One I highly recommend along with its author who has now become a must read author for me.  Check out The Reunion and The Calling.  And I think you’ll agree.

Cover art: Natasha Snow is  haunting and lovely.  Just like the book.

Sales Links:  NineStar Press | Amazon

Book Details:

Published January 1st 2018 by NineStar Press
Edition LanguageEnglish



A Caryn Review: Room for Recovery (Hearts and Health #4) by D.J. Jamison


Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

This is the fourth book in the Hearts and Health series, and as far as I’m concerned, is far and away the best so far.  Like the others in the series, it can be read as a stand-alone, and once again several other characters from the previous books make cameo appearances.  Ashe is, after all, a small community!

The characters in this book are much younger than the others in the series:  Beau is an 18 year old high school senior, and Wade is a 19 year old who is redoing some of his senior classes because he failed the first time around.  They are unofficial cousins, with families who have been tied together by marriage and circumstance.  Wade’s story is really kind of tragic – he came out to his father, a successful surgeon, when he was 15, and though he was expecting full acceptance, what he got was a kind of half-hearted “maybe you’re just not sure yet” warning.  And the next day, with no explanation, his father killed himself.

So I guess I should stop here and explain why this book means so much to me.  I am also in the medical field, and the rate of suicide amongst physicians is higher than in the general populace.  It’s a very high stress career, and some specialties, like surgery, are worse than others.  Unfortunately, it is also more difficult for many physicians to seek help, because of censure by state medical boards, licensing committees, and so forth.  It’s a catch-22:  you’re more likely to be suicidal, and less likely to seek help.  I am also a survivor of suicide in my own family, and I appreciated all the misplaced guilt that Wade experienced.  Most suicides don’t leave notes, and that means those left behind must try to come up with their own reasons as to why it happened, and in a situation so fraught with guilt, those reasons don’t have to make sense.  From my own unfortunate experience, I have to say the author got it all right, and it was heartbreaking, but also skillfully and compassionately done.

After his father’s death, Wade (of course) changed, going from a happy teenager with good grades, to a withdrawn, moody young man who didn’t seem to care about anything at all.  He had supportive family, but because he felt his confession caused or contributed to his father’s suicide, he was unable to believe he had worth, and just didn’t care about his future.  He was finally realizing that he had to turn his life around when he was repeating his senior year, and that is when circumstances threw him in with Beau again.  Beau had always crushed on Wade, and Wade knew that, but he was trying to completely suppress any gay feeling or attraction, and in the past that meant ignoring Beau, even when their families got together.  Beau is a good kid, a “real goody two-shoes”, who gets good grades and volunteers at the hospital, and he hasn’t given up on Wade even when it seems that everyone else has.

The narrative of the two of them coming together, gradually opening up, learning more about themselves and each other and falling in love because of it, was heartwarming and at the same time very real.  The part that I think I most appreciated is that this was not a case of true love curing mental illness that I’ve seen done in less educated books.  Wade was already at a point of self-realization before he got involved with Beau, and when he considered coming out – as much to himself as others – he needed professional support to do so.  While Beau may have been a bit of a catalyst, he was not the reason for Wade’s recovery.

I truly enjoyed reading this book – despite the painful reminders of events in my own life – and I highly recommend it.  I’m not only looking forward to the next in the series, I think I’m going to go back and reread the others!

Cover art by Lucas Soltow is nice, matches with the other covers in the series.

Sales Links:: Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 1 edition, 250 pages
Published February 26th 2018 by DJ Jamison
Original Title Room for Recovery
Edition Language English

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review:Winter Cowboy (Whisper Ridge, Wyoming #1) by R.J. Scott


Rating: 3 stars out of 5

This story is quite dark and depressing and there’s no romance to it until the latter part of the book so readers should be prepared to wait for the love and also be prepared for a lot of heartbreak and pain from past mistakes.  To be honest, the setup took so long and was so depressing, I was tempted to stop reading.  But I love RJ Scott’s work so I knew it would be worth the wait and I kept going.

Micah is summoned by the sister he hasn’t seen in nearly ten years when she’s finally able to get a call out for help from the compound of the cult where’s she’s been held and abused. Arriving just in time to see her shoot her husband, an insane cult leader, Micah grabs her and her five-year-old son, Laurie, and they get out with only the clothes on their backs.  And though he hasn’t been home in nine years, he heads to the ranch he inherited from his father, all while making plans to set up whatever he needs to secure his sister’s future.  He’d left the area after he took his boyfriend Daniel’s car on a joyride with his two best friends and was involved in an accident that killed one boy and left the other without a leg.  The one who lost his leg is Daniel’s brother, and in his grief and pain, Daniel pushed Micah away and made him promise never to return home. 

After spending a year in prison for reckless driving and manslaughter, Micah has been working as a professional trainer on a horse farm, sending his wages home to his aunt and uncle for upkeep on the family ranch.  So when he comes back with a very pregnant Rachel and little undernourished and emotionally abused Laurie, he not only expects trouble, he gets it. 

There’s quite a bit of backstory on what happened to Rachel in the cult but there’s even more about what happened to Micah and why he and Daniel can’t be together again.  To make matters worse, Daniel is suffering PTSD from an incident at the hospital where he was the ER physician when a former patient’s family member took hostages and killed Daniel’s coworker.  All of this trauma for Daniel comes out in anger toward Micah, and even in physical violence a few times. 

To be honest, Daniel wasn’t a likeable character, even toward the end of the story when he finally took his counseling to heart and learned how to look at the past differently.  Micah was also a bit of a bundle of nerves, with his protector hero complex, always worried about his sister and the consequences of someone finding out what happened. Fully prepared to take the blame, he wallowed in angst and dark thoughts for most of the book. 

If the last fourth of the story didn’t move toward positive action when it did, I’d likely have given this a lower rating because, as I said, it was dark and depressing and there was a lot about their backstory, none of which was pleasant.  The author was able to tie all the loose ends together, however, and finally brush off the old romance and give it new life, making it one I can look back on and say I liked. 

Secondary characters were many and varied and I especially enjoyed little Laurie. He won my heart from the first time he appeared in the story and never relinquished it at all.  I also found the sheriff to be intriguing, as well as Daniel’s brother Chris, the young man who lost a pro sports career when he lost his leg.  I hope both of these characters get their own stories—together or individually with different love interests. 

I’d recommend this book to readers who enjoy a book with plenty of angst-filled moments, as well as hurt-comfort and redemption. 


The cover by Meredith Russell is a close-up photo of a man with short, light hair. I assume it’s Micah.  To be honest, the light sepia tone is quite bland so I don’t find the cover appealing at all.

Sales Links:   Amazon |  Universal Buy Link

Book Details:

Published February 28th 2018 by RJ Scott (first published February 25th 2018)
Original TitleWinter Cowboy
SeriesWhisper Ridge, Wyoming #1

Review Tour for Winter Cowboy (Whisper Ridge, Wyoming #1) by R.J. Scott (excerpt and giveaway)



Length: 70,000 words approx.
Cover Design: Meredith Russell

Micah Lennox left Whisper Ridge after promising the man he loved that he would never return. But the only way he knows to keep his pregnant sister and nephew safe is to go home. Spending winter in Wyoming opens too many old wounds, but he’s on the run from justice which can’t be far behind, and this is his last chance at redemption.

After a hostage situation leaves Doctor Daniel Sheridan struggling with PTSD, he returns to Whisper Ridge. Joining his dad in family practice is a balm to soothe his exhausted soul, and somehow, he finds a peace he can live with. That is until he meets Micah in a frozen graveyard, and the years of anger and feelings of betrayal boiling inside him, erupt.

Two broken men fight and scratch for their lives and that of their families, and somehow, in the middle of it all, they find each other.

Is it possible that love can be rekindled and become a forever to believe in?

Feb 28 – Oh My Shelves, Annette Gisby, My Fiction Nook, The Blogger Girls
March 2 – Alpha’s Do It Better, Bookaholic & Kindle
March 5 – Urban Smoothie Read, Gay Media Review
March 7 – BFD Book Blog, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, MM Good Book Reviews, Nerdy Dirty & Flirty
March 9 – Making It Happen, The Geekery Book Review, Wicked Reads, Slave To The Written Word
March 12 – Sexy Erotic Xciting, Reading In Sarah’s Corner, Book Lovers 4Ever, Jim’s Reading Room, Wicked Faerie’s Tales & Reviews
March 14 – Xtreme Delusions, Drops Of Ink
March 15 – Hearts On Fire Reviews
March 16 – Valerie Ullmer, Mirrigold, Padme’s Library, A Book Lover’s Dream, Bayou Book Junkie



Chapter 1

2009, Daniel

A figure stood beside Isaac’s grave and I knew immediately who it was.

There was no marker yet for the boy who had died two weeks ago and who would forever be nineteen. Flowers marked his resting place, but snow had long since covered them and softened the raised earth so it wasn’t as obvious against the gravestones around the figure. A car accident had taken Isaac, killed him on impact, and his family grieved for a future that would never be realized.

I’d just left my brother, Chris, in the hospital, broken beyond repair in the same accident. At least we had the possibility of a future with him, even though the road to recovery would be hard. He was still in a medically induced coma, not yet awake to know he’d lost his leg, or that fire had marked his face. But he would wake up. They told us he’d live.

No one had asked me where I was going when I’d left Chris’ room, each of us lost in various stages of shock and grief, and we all dealt with what had happened in our own way. I’d needed to connect with Isaac. Needed the peace to balance the loss and guilt that ate away inside me.

Isaac dead on impact, Chris’ future destroyed, and in front of me, hunched over Isaac’s last resting place, was the man responsible for it all.

The man who left my bed in the dead of night to become a murderer.


He was huddled into his coat, the January ice bitter by the buried, hands forced into his pockets, and his hood pulled around his face. Micah must have heard me, because he glanced my way, startled, grief written on his face. And then his expression changed.

He stepped toward me, his expression full of something like hope.

“Daniel?” he said. “Is Chris okay? No one will let me see him.”

He stopped walking when I didn’t reach out for him and looked at me uncertainly.

“His leg is gone, down from his knee,” I explained dispassionately, and then touched my face, “and his burns are bad, the left side of his face from his temple to his chin.”

“Shit. Shit.” Micah bent at the waist, as if he couldn’t breathe, and he was crying.

“How is it you don’t have a mark on you?” I asked, still eerily calm, and utterly focused.

He took his hand from his pocket, and pulled up his sleeve, exposing bandages. “I was burned,” he began. He dropped his hand when I didn’t comment, forced it back into his pocket, wincing as he did so.

I imagined the burn hurt a little, maybe even a lot, but he was there, as whole and real as when he’d left my bed on that terrible day.

In my mind I saw Chris in the hospital, the covers raised over the cage which protected his surgical site, then dipping lower where his ankle should have been. I saw a clear image of Isaac the day before he died, knocking for Chris and grinning at me as if he had the greatest secret to tell his best friend.

And here was Micah, telling me he had slight burns on his arm? The same man who’d told me in one breath that he loved me and then had stolen my car, driving it into a bridge and killing one boy, leaving another maimed and in a coma.

My fist flew, clenched aggression targeting Micah’s face, his cheekbone, and I heard a satisfying crunch. He staggered back a step, but he didn’t go down, and he didn’t take his hands from his pockets. I was too fast. I hit him again, blood flecking his face, dissipating into the icy air. He moved again, the force of my blows shoving him back.

Still, his hands remained in his pockets, and he was unnervingly quiet, taking my hits as if they were nothing at all. Another punch connected with his lip and split the skin, and this time he grunted in pain. He staggered backward toward the next grave and bent back over the stone marker with the force of that final blow. I stepped closer. I hit him again, connecting with his jaw, but the hit wasn’t hard. There was nothing to it; he didn’t move away.

“You took my car,” I yelled, right in his face.

“You said I could borrow it,” he pleaded.

I raised my hand to hit him again, but he winced, and closed his eyes, and I wanted him to look at me. “Open your damn eyes!”

He did, and he wouldn’t avert his gaze, naked grief in his expression.

“Daniel, please listen.”

“You’ve destroyed Chris’ life.”

“I know.”

“You need to leave Whisper Ridge, and never come back. I don’t want to see your face, I don’t want Chris to ever see you again. You understand?”

“I understand,” his tone low and broken.

“You will never come back here.” I shook him. He was smaller than me, thinner, lighter, and I shook him so hard his head snapped back. “Promise me!”

“I pr—promise,” he said through tears.

I was disgusted by him, hated him, wanted to kill him right there on Isaac’s grave.

“I hope they lock you up and throw away the fucking key!” I was still shouting, and he didn’t move, just stared at me with those pale eyes, red and wet from crying. He wouldn’t stop crying. “Don’t fucking stare at me!”

I shoved him one last time, and then before I could work out what the hell I was still doing there shouting at him, I pivoted and turned my back on him, and on Isaac’s grave, and the entire carnage.

RJ’s goal is to write stories with a heart of romance, a troubled road to reach happiness, and most importantly, that hint of a happily ever after.

RJ Scott is the bestselling author of over one hundred romance books. She writes emotional stories of complicated characters, cowboys, millionaire, princes, and the men who get mixed up in their lives. RJ is known for writing books that always end with a happy ever after. She lives just outside London and spends every waking minute she isn’t with family either reading or writing.

The last time she had a week’s break from writing she didn’t like it one little bit, and she has yet to meet a bottle of wine she couldn’t defeat.


RELEASE BLITZ Off-Campus Setup by Maria Vickers (excerpt and giveaway)

Title: Off-Campus Setup
Author: Maria Vickers
Genre: M/M College Romance
Release Date: March 7, 2018
Levi Cox left it all behind to go to school in California, but nothing could prepare him for what he discovers when he gets there. Between the university screwing up his living arrangements, the weird meddling old woman who runs the boarding house, and the fellow student who instantly catches his eye, life in Cali is more than he expected, and he isn’t sure he’s ready for any of it. College was supposed to be an adventure, but this might be more than Levi can handle. 


Nathan Orion wants to have fun. That’s what he lives for and it’s exactly what his college years are supposed to be about. He’s happy with living the single life and being carefree…that is until the new student at his grandmother’s boarding house crashes into his life. Now he’s been recruited to show the new guy around, and if Nathan has his way, it won’t be just on-campus.

Will there be more, or is this only an illusion? Two men thrown together, not expecting anything, but possibly finding so much more than an off-campus setup.


“You need something?” Well, he managed more than one word. He swallowed hard. 

My eyes followed the movement of his throat and I had to gulp a mouthful of saliva in response. This was stupid. We were two grown adults, regardless if we were still in our teens. Acting like two strangers after what happened was idiotic. “Can we talk?” I didn’t know what I planned on saying, but anything was better than this. 

“Sure.” He opened his door a little more and disappeared inside. 

Shuffling my feet, I followed him and closed the door behind me. I’d been in his room before. Uncluttered and simple, just like the man leaning against his desk, the sunlight streaming through the window behind him. 

“What did you need?” his asked, his drawl a little more pronounced with a tone of voice that sounded either bored or resigned. I couldn’t tell which. 

Everything about this made me nervous, but I couldn’t say why. I licked my lips to wet them, noticing his eyes following my tongue. In a moment of bravery—or sheer stupidity—I blurted, “Do you want to go out tonight?” I lived my life calm, cool, and collected. I didn’t get nervous or word vomit whatever popped into my head. Apparently tonight, the rules had changed and I did not approve one iota. 

“I don’t feel like goin’ out to a party. That’s not my thing,” he answered, leaning back a little more, his hands resting on the flat desk top behind him. His words and tone hinted that he was holding himself back, but his posture told me that he hadn’t closed himself off to me. Finally, my psych classes were being put to good use. 

“I didn’t say anything about a party. Did I?” I grinned, feeling a little braver. 

His lips pulled up into his own smile and he shook his head. “No, I don’t guess you did. What did you have in mind?” 

“After the stunt my grandmother pulled earlier when she decided to give us both a heart attack, I figured we could use a small break. I know we also need to make up for the studying we missed, but that can wait until tomorrow. Tonight, no thinking about school, my grandmother, or anything else. Fun is the name of the game. We’ll go out and let loose. Start off with dinner and then decide what to do from there. What do you say?” 

His smile grew and I knew he’d go along with my plan. “Fine. We’ll go out and then how about you take me out to Santa Monica Pier. You said it wasn’t too far away.”

“Deal. Now go get ready.”

“This is my room. You’re the one that needs to git.” 

I scanned the room briefly and chuckled. “True. I’ll see you in an hour?”

“I’ll be here.” 

Leaving his room through his door, since I knew for a fact that I’d locked my side of the bathroom earlier, I walked next door and entered. No thinking. Tonight was only about doing.



Maria Vickers currently lives in St. Louis, MO with her pug, Spencer Tracy. She has always had a passion for writing and after she became disabled in 2010, she decided to use writing as her escape. She believes that life is about what you make of it. You have to live it to the fullest no matter the circumstances.

From a young age, she has always loved books and even dreamed of being an author when she was younger. Growing up in the Navy, she used to weave tales for her siblings and her friends about anything and everything. And when she wasn’t creating her own stories, she had a book in her hand. They transported her to another world. She hopes that with her books, her readers have the same experience and that they can relate to her characters. 

Getting sick changed her life forever, but it also opened doors for her that she thought would always be out of reach.

BLOG TOUR – Skater Boy: Hot Off the Ice #4 by A.E. Wasp (excerpt and giveaway)



Book Title: Skater Boy: Hot Off the Ice #4

Author: A. E. Wasp

Publisher: Self-Published

Cover Artist: Ana J. Phoenix

Genre/s: Gay Sports Romance

Length: 75,750 words/303 pages

Skater Boy is a standalone story in the Hot Off the Ice series.


In a world that measures success in dollars, how do you put a price on happiness?

Love, marriage, and a baby carriage. It’s all Alex Staunton has ever wanted. Well, that and an Olympic medal for figure skating. The medal he got. The rest of it – not so much.

When his most recent poor decision comes to a door-slamming end, Alex moves into the house of his best friend, Thunder starting goalie, Sergei Pergov. But when tragedy strikes, giving Sergei custody of the twins he fathered confidentially, Alex’s problems take a backseat to the needs of two infants, and Alex vows to be the best fake-dad and house-husband he can be. 

Sergei is dazzled by the way Alex makes managing all the craziness look as easy as doing a triple-axel. As their friendship grows even deeper, Sergei realizes he doesn’t want to imagine a life without Alex in it. Alex is the one who makes their house a home; his love makes them a family. How can Sergei make Alex understand he’s worth everything? 

Skater Boy is a story about falling in love with your best friend. It contains discussions about baby poop, day drinking, girls’ night out, and the purchase of a mini-van.

Buy Links – Available in KU

Amazon US

Amazon UK



It was funny how much one kiss could change everything. Well, kissing and whatever else he could get away with. Sergei loved finding ways around the rules or seeing how much he could get away with while still technically staying within bounds.

Alex had typed up a list of the rules and taped them to the inside of the door that held Sergei’s coffee mugs and tea cups. “This way I know we’ll see it at least once a day.”

“In case I forget?” Sergei pulled Alex’s hand toward him, tracing light patterns over his wrist and palm in the same way Alex had tortured him the other night.

“Bastard,” Alex said, yanking his hand away. He darted in for a quick kiss. “In case I forget.”

Then last night after dinner, he’d come up behind Alex in the kitchen while he was washing dishes, and keeping his hands above the waist and over the clothes, lifted up Alex’s gorgeous hair and kissed the back and sides of his neck until Alex begged him to touch him. “Just a little. Please? Just my stomach.”

“Rules say no hands under clothing,” Sergei said, voice heavy with regret. “You made rules.”

Without another word, Alex slid out from under Sergei. Grabbing a pen from the junk drawer, he stomped the few feet to the cabinet, opened the cabinet, and crossed off the word ‘clothing.’ He wrote ‘pants’ above it, handwriting sloppy.

Slamming the door, he marched back to Sergei. “Better?”

Sergei yanked Alex against him, face to face this time. He slid his hands up the back of Alex’s shirt. His skin was softer than he had ever imagined and so warm. “Much better,” he growled, then pushed Alex up against the counter. They kissed until Sergei’s lips were numb.

About the Author

After time spent raising children, earning several college degrees, and traveling the world with the U.S. State Department, she is returning to her first love – writing.

A dreamer and an idealist, Amy writes about people finding connection in a world that can seem lonely and magic in a world that can seem all too mundane. She invites readers into her characters’ lives and worlds when they are their most vulnerable, their most human, living with the same hopes and fears we all have. An avid traveler who has lived in big cities and small towns in four different continents, Amy has found that time and distance are no barriers to love. She invites her readers to reach out and share how her characters have touched their lives or how the found families they have gathered around them have shaped their worlds.

Born on Long Island, NY, Amy has lived in Los Angeles, London, and Bangkok. She currently lives in a town suspiciously like Red Deer, Colorado.

Social Media Links







Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win a choice of paperback from A.E. Wasp’s backlist.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

In the Spotlight: The Pick Up (Up Red Creek #1) by Allison Temple (Riptide Publishing Tour and Giveaway)


The Pick Up (Up Red Creek #1) by Allison Temple
Riptide Publishing
Cover by: Natasha Snow

Read an Excerpt/Buy It here at Riptide Publishing

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Allison Temple and Riptide Publishing’s tour for The Pick Up. Welcome, Allison.



Welcome to The Pick Up’s blog tour, presented by Allison Temple and Riptide Publishing! The Pick Up is Book 1 in the Up Red Creek series. This cozy small-town romance tells the story of single dad Kyle, who moves back to his hometown with his princess-obsessed six-year-old daughter Caroline. He doesn’t expect them to stay long, until he meets Adam, Caroline’s too-hot and too-serious teacher.


About The Pick Up


Kyle’s life is going backwards. He wanted to build a bigger life for himself than Red Creek could give him, but a family crisis has forced him to return to his hometown with his six-year-old daughter. Now he’s standing in the rain at his old elementary school, and his daughter’s teacher, Mr. Hathaway, is lecturing him about punctuality.


Adam Hathaway is not looking for love. He’s learned the hard way to keep his personal and professional life separate. But Kyle is struggling and needs a friend, and Adam wants to be that friend. He just needs to ignore his growing attraction to Kyle’s goofy charm, because acting on it would mean breaking all the rules that protect his heart.


Putting down roots in this town again is not Kyle’s plan. As soon as he can, he’s taking his daughter and her princess costumes and moving on. The more time he spends with Adam, though, the more he thinks the quiet teacher might give him a reason to stay. Now he just has to convince Adam to take a chance on a bigger future than either of them could have planned.


Available now from Riptide Publishing!


About Allison Temple


Allison Temple is a romance writer from Toronto, Ontario. She lives with her very patient husband and the world’s neediest cat. Her debut, The Pick Up, will be published by Riptide Publishing in 2018.

Allison has been writing since the second grade, when she wrote a short story about a girl and her horse. Her grandmother typed it out for her and said she’d never seen so many quotation marks from a seven-year-old before. Allison’s fascination with the way characters speak and communicate with each other in novels has not diminished in the ensuing thirtyish years.

Despite living in Canada’s largest city for more than a decade, Allison’s fiction writing draws inspiration from her small-town roots. Originally from Brockville, Ontario, she knows what it’s like to live in a place where nothing is more than a ten-minute drive away, and you’ll see everyone you know on Saturday morning at the farmers’ market. Her first job was selling coffee and making sandwiches at a bakery that has been family owned for over a hundred years. She was once given an award for “most improved tomato slicer.”

Since that early professional start, Allison has been, at various times, an odor lab technician, environmental consultant, corporate proposal writer, and marketing manager. She fills her free time with writing, community theater stage management, and traveling to destinations with good wine.

Allison came late to reading and writing romance novels. She didn’t read her first one until she was twenty-six years old, but it has been a landslide since then. She loves LGBT romance for the stories it tells and the characters it brings to life. She is very excited to be joining the circle of passionate and talented authors in the genre, and credits Heidi Cullinan and Marie Sexton for introducing her to it.

Connect with Allison:



To celebrate the release of The Pick Up, one lucky winner will receive a $25 Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on March 10, 2018. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!