Sean Kennedy on Writing, Characters and his new release The Obstruction of Emma Goldsworthy (Get Out #3)

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The Obstruction of Emma Goldsworthy (Get Out #3) by 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Sean Kennedy here talking about writing, characters, and his latest release in his Get Out series, The Obstruction of Emma Goldsworthy.  Welcome, Sean.

♦︎

~ Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with Sean Kennedy ~

  • How much of yourself goes into a character?

I think there’s a little bit of me in every character, even the ‘bad’ ones!  You can’t help but write what you know.  I think Emma, at the point of time we meet her in the book, is a ittle uncertain of herself and her abilities, and is comparing herself to those around her who seem to be enjoying more success.  Emma’s only twenty, so I hope she grows out of that.  I think I’m too old so I’ve lost all hope for me!

  • Does research play a role into choosing which genre you write?  

I tend to write contemporary, but when I did write a historical novel I found the research to be one of the most enjoyable parts.  I like finding out things, even if I never used them in the book.  But I do research for all of my books, just so I can give them a little flavour.  Emma lives in Canberra, which is a city I’ve only been to once.  I had to try and find out where she would go for a coffee or a beer, what suburb she would live in, and all those kinds of things.  Sometimes you take liberties but most of the time I try to be accurate.

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

I wasn’t a romance reader per se, but I did love the classics.  I’ve always been a huge Jane Austen fan so I would say they were the closest thing to romance I read.  I can’t really count Wuthering Heights in that as Heathcliff and Cathy are two of the worst people in the world and destroyed everybody they knew.

  • Do you like HFN or HEA?

I like either.  As long as they’re together in the end!  Even if it’s uncertain, I’ll make up in my head that it’s the real thing and they will live the rest of their lives together anyway.

  • Who do you think is your major influence as a writer?  

I always think I sound like such a wanker when I answer this question.  I’d have to go with my top three favourite writers.  Margaret Atwood is an expert world builder and social commentator.  Tim Winton and Stephen King are so incisive when it comes to characters and their interactions with each other.  And hell, I can’t go without Jane Austen who just does everything in one package.

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

Tigers and Devils.  I truly feel like Simon is part of me.  Even now, he still pops into my head and tells me what’s going on with him.  When I go back to Melbourne I expect to see him turning the corner and inviting me for a coffee.

  • What’s next for you as an author?

There’s the fourth and final book in the GetOut series, which focuses on Will Deanes and his troubled friendship with Micah Johnson.  And there will be the fourth Tigers and Devils book, which is currently in edit mode.

 

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

The southwest town of Albany is one of the most beautiful places on earth.  I would like a house overlooking King George Sound, where I could watch out for whales in winter, while enjoying a cup of coffee and sitting at my laptop.  That would be bliss.

BUY:  https://www.harmonyinkpress.com/books/the-obstruction-of-emma-goldsworthy-by-sean-kennedy-535-b

About The Obstruction of Emma Goldsworthy

Measuring up to her friend Micah Johnson’s success is an uphill battle for Emma Goldsworthy, but it’s one she’s determined to win. She works hard to stay on task and excel in her hockey program at the Australian Institute of Sport, but her mettle is tested when her ex-girlfriend returns from studying abroad… with a new American girlfriend by her side. Apparently she’s come out of the closet, something she wasn’t willing to do for Emma. Still, Emma has moved on from her ex—despite what those around her want to believe. Besides, there’s someone else on Emma’s mind—a girl she met once in passing and can’t stop pining for… even though Emma doesn’t know her real name, or even what she looks like beneath her costume.

About the Author

Sean Kennedy lives in Perth, Western Australia, but his heart still belongs to his hometown Melbourne—which is also the home of Simon Murray and Declan Tyler from his series Tigers and Devils. A disciple of cult leader David Lynch, Sean is glad he lived long enough to see the revival of Twin Peaks in 2017.

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/sean__kennedy

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/sean.kennedy.58511

 

 

A MelanieM Release Day Review: The Obstruction of Emma Goldsworthy (Get Out #3) by Sean Kennedy

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Measuring up to her friend Micah Johnson’s success is an uphill battle for Emma Goldsworthy, but it’s one she’s determined to win. She works hard to stay on task and excel in her hockey program at the Australian Institute of Sport, but her mettle is tested when her ex-girlfriend returns from studying abroad… with a new American girlfriend by her side. Apparently she’s come out of the closet, something she wasn’t willing to do for Emma. Still, Emma has moved on from her ex—despite what those around her want to believe. Besides, there’s someone else on Emma’s mind—a girl she met once in passing and can’t stop pining for… even though Emma doesn’t know her real name, or even what she looks like beneath her costume.

Really, my love for all these characters and Sean Kennedy started back in the novel Tigers and Devils with the foundation couple, Simon Murray and star forward Declan Tyler.  They had their ups and downs on their way to becoming the established couple they are now.  In the later stories, Declan saw a need to help young  LGBT athletes and the Get Out Foundation was born.  So was this series.  The young men and women are all family to Simon and Declan, their stories intermingling seamlessly with theirs through Tigers and Devils and now three books in the Get Out series.

Usually Micah Johnson is the star of the series, as Emma herself is quick to note.  But she deserves her story and thankfully Sean Kennedy gave us hers.

Right off the bat or stick as it were, I would have bought this book for her interview with Trevor alone. I laughed myself silly.  Brava!

Emma Goldsworthy is a great character.  Yes, we’ve met her  before and been intrigued by her strengths, and yes, flaws.  But here she shines as she struggles to find herself again.  She’s adrift emotionally but not in her game and she’s trying to find the girl she appears to be to everyone else but herself.  Her life is in flux as her ex is back in town with a new girl in tow.  The ex is a star athlete on the field, she met a girl at a Con but both were in costume and she left because of friend drama and never got her name.  And Micah, her friend, is having bf issues too.  Emma is feeling the weight of the world.

The way Sean Kennedy writes all this feels fresh and real as does Emma.  With her vibrant red hair and attitude, nothing is easy and yet, you can’t wait to see  how Emma is going to handle the next situation that life is going to throw at her.  All the characters from previous stories as well as the Tigers and Devils series are here as they form part of the core group that hovers over both series.  So you see Trevor (still laughing) and Will, along with Simon and Declan.

I have a hard time thinking of these people as characters as they appear to me more alive, so vividly young and earnest that it hurts at times.  Their hearts are so easily bruised and yes, broken.  And yet, love can appear and fix it again.

What can I say?  I hope Sean Kennedy never runs out of stories to tell about these people.  I’m addicted to them because the writing is wonderful, the characterization is out of this world and the storylines come straight from the heart.

Emma Goldsworthy is a red-haired amazon to love.  Read her story and become crazy about her!  Love the entire series and this naturally  includes Tigers and Devils.

Cover Artist: Catt Ford.  Yep, that’s Emma alright.  Love the cover.  The only thing better if she had held it like she did for the cover of Sports Illustrated.  Total Attitude!

Sales Links: Harmony Ink Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 200 pages
Published April 17th 2018 by Harmony Ink Press
Original TitleThe Obstruction of Emma Goldsworthy
ISBN139781640803862
Edition Language English
Series Get Out #3

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: Crocus (Bonfires #2) by Amy Lane

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

The characters from Bonfires return and this time, their lives have finally settled down—or so they think.  But danger comes in many forms—mental, emotional, and physical—and the guys get a whammy from all sides.  Larx’s pregnant daughter, Olivia, comes home after ditching her boyfriend and dropping out of school. She begins a depression hibernation that isn’t broken until she has to step up and help said boyfriend who has shown up in town, been in an accident, and is now hospitalized.

Larx is dealing with a student who may be being molested in her home and that situation comes to a crisis at the same time he’s also helping Jamie, a young teen who’s living with his brother who was previously severely beaten and suffers from PTSD.  Unfortunately, paths cross in their neighborhood in the small town in California and when the girl’s stepbrother shows up with a gun and looks for her at the home of the kid with PTSD, Aaron arrives just in time to intervene and be injured in the line of duty. 

Larx honestly doesn’t know which way to turn when his lover is carried off in an ambulance, his young male student and his brother are traumatized by what went on in their home, and the girl who’d been hiding in the shack in their back yard takes off cross country in the middle of a major snowstorm. Could it get worse? You bet. Amy Lane weaves a complex tale of yours, mine, and ours that is definitely not The Brady Bunch. 

I love Larx!  I love his BFF, Yoshi!  Aaron!  And now Tane, Yoshi’s quiet and unassuming lover who steps up and helps the young man with the PTSD.  Olivia’s boyfriend is released from the hospital where he’d been suffering from a concussion, Jamie and his brother move in with them into Aaron’s old house, and the rest of the gang, including Kellan (Bonfires), who now lives with Larx, all manage to fit into Larx’s home and the chaos seems to have no end. 

I really enjoyed the underlying humor in many of the personal interactions, the strong and evident love between Larx and Aaron, the support for the young brothers, one of whom gave up everything to keep his baby brother from being enlisted by gangs, and the variety in the family drama.  Olivia’s depression and potential treatment was addressed, and even Aaron’s oldest daughter’s hostility was brought in when she was informed of her father’s injury and then abruptly cut off for the sake of everyone’s peace when she kept singing the same old tune. 

I suspect there may be at least one more book to come in this series as several threads remain unresolved.  Plus, if we are really lucky, we may get to attend a wedding between these two older men who captured my heart so completely in book one that I never want to see them disappear. 

I highly recommend this story. It’s full of action, adventure, drama, family issues, heartache, and of course, heartwarming interactions. 

~~~

The colorful and attractive cover by Reese Dante depicts a beautiful crocus that is symbolic of the storyline. Per the author, crocuses are tough enough to push their way through snow to give people “hope for a gentler moment in time.”

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 244 pages
Published April 17th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press
Original TitleCrocus
ISBN139781640806351
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series Bonfires #2

A Lucy Review: Big Man by Matthew J. Metzger

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Rated 4 stars out of 5

Max comes from a family of Naval officers and he wants nothing more than to continue that legacy and join the Navy.  In reality, he’s bullied so often and so badly at school that now all he wants is to make it out of there alive.  When his mother’s fiancé, Aunt Donna, decides enough is enough after Max is kicked so hard in the head by a bully that he ends up in the hospital she calls in a favor and gets Max set up with Muay Thai boxing classes.  Aunt Donna knows what she is talking about, being a victim of bashing herself.  While Max is against this with all the power a 15-year-old can muster, Aunt Donna has made it very clear that without the classes Max will lose out on the job in her shop and will need to continue two more years of school.  He’s stuck.  So he sucks it up and goes.  He’s mortified, because being overweight makes physical things difficult and even worse, Max is confronted with his first real crush, his sparring partner and the nephew of his boxing coach, Cian. 

Cian is fearless, fearsome, blunt and bold.  I loved him, even as I knew what it must have taken for him to get to that attitude.  He is fit and in amazing shape but he never makes Max feel like he is anything less than worthy of being there.  Lewis, the coach, is the same.  Aunt Donna had shared the reason behind Max needing the lessons but there is no pity here, just acceptance that this is who you are and Muay Thai is what you are there to do.   Beautiful sparring partner?  Bonus both in embarrassment factor and joy factor.

Where even to begin with this.   We start off right away with a serious attack on Max.  The bullying was so difficult to read, more so because you know that there are so many kids out there going through the same thing,  whether for being overweight, gay, too smart, not smart enough – just anything that makes them different.   In Matthew’s case,  the bullying has resulted in some serious self-loathing, which again, I found to be realistic.   He’s come to be ashamed of who he is because of those angry, bigoted classmates.  It was heartbreaking.  Now, since he was actually put in the hospital by the bullies, Aunt Donna has had enough.   She can come across as too blunt sometimes, but she is all about having that boy’s back and making sure he knows how to defend himself so that he won’t have to.  I also appreciated that while Mom had married and loved Max’s dad, the fact that she was now in love and marrying a woman wasn’t a huge deal – it was just mom in love. 

When he realizes Cian is who he’s working with, you can feel the conflicting emotions from him.  Here’s this amazing person, badass, fit, tough, who is about to see him be physical and sweaty.  You have to remember also – this is a YA book.  Max is fifteen.  It’s been quite a while since I was fifteen but the shadows of those years never leaves you and that clawing need to be part of something, to not stand out in case you are the focus of something negative, stays.  It was one of the reasons I was so happy to see Max progress from the thoughts of “useless lump” to a badass in his own right who knows when to elbow jab to defend himself.  He has the most negative thoughts about himself and has no confidence that he can do what he sets out to do. 

While some of his better view can be attributed to his new friend in Cian (and that takes a while) more of it is due to the martial arts and how knowing you can keep yourself safe will improve your confidence.  And Lewis.  “You could really be something, Max,” Lewis said quietly, “and the only person standing in the way is you.”  Max has spent so much time being put down and belittled that it’s hard to believe anything else.   

Cian – let’s just give him a shout out now.  He’s been through things just like Max has and has come out confident and showing exactly what he needs to.   “If you ever call me anything but a boy, or he, or him, or call those facts into question, I’ll hit you.”    His conversation with Cian about grappling really just hurt my heart.  And Cian’s response to it, “When you strip away the self-loathing….There’s somebody beautiful.  Right. Here.”   Ahh, it was a catch your breath moment.  The romance here is between teenagers and it was true to that – I didn’t feel these were older adults talking and just giving lip service to being in high school.

Things, of course, aren’t just easy after that because there are still nasty people in the world who get even nastier when they face consequences for what they have done.  The retaliation from the evil three bullies, especially Tom, was awful and I kept thinking, will it ever stop for this boy?  Max has the support of adults, including his teacher Mrs Pellow, but that isn’t enough to avoid it.  So when he finally has had enough, I wanted to stand up and cheer.   The epilogue was sweet and I enjoyed it, but the end of the chapter before was, in my head, perfection.  Way to go, Big Guy.

The cover art by Natasha Snow doesn’t give you a visual of Max or Cian and I liked that.  It is instead a beautiful view of the water with footsteps leading to the edge.  I read a lot into that cover.

Sales Links:  NineStar Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 210 pages
Published April 9th 2018 by NineStar Press
ISBN139781948608381
Edition LanguageEnglish

An Alisa Release Day Review: Lost Souls Found (Requiem Inc. #2) by Kris T. Bethke

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Rating:  5 stars out of 5

Dying is all in a day’s work. Love is more dangerous.

Ghostwalker Sam Jones has been half in love with Michael King since he started working at Requiem Inc. But Michael is his boss and a Guardian, to boot. Sam thinks they could make it work anyway, but Michael uses his position and his age to keep Sam at arm’s length.

When Sam continues to volunteer for the most dangerous cases, Michael has to intervene. He tells himself he’s just doing his job, but he’s always seen Sam as more than another operative, and he can’t bear the thought of not taking his chance. The connection between them has been strong from the beginning, and Michael’s telepathy adds unexpected depth and an edge to their new romance, but working together while they try to build their relationship might be the hardest part of their job if they don’t make some sacrifices.

I have been excited to read about Sam and Michael since I read the last book and it didn’t disappoint.  Sam has been pining for Michael since they first met ten years ago but Michael finally crosses a line and Sam decides to take the step to separate them.  That’s just the step that pushes Michael to actually talk to Sam about his feelings and see that future may be possible for them.

Michael continues to break Sam’s heart every time he denies their connection but it’s just that unfortunate thing to finally push Sam too far and for Michael to open his eyes.  Michael needs to take care of Sam and even with good intentions it bleeds into their work life.  There is a solution coming but will it be too much of a sacrifice for one of them to make?

We don’t get to see how these two have interacted in the past but seeing them in the previous book helps with that along with seeing both of their points of view.  I loved seeing Sam find the support he has always wanted from Michael which gives them both the type of connection they have longed for.  Michael has been hesitant and has trouble not being able to take care of Sam in all ways and causes some tension when bringing Sam back to life.  I see the next story is going to be about Avery who we got to know in the first story and can’t wait to see him find love again and see a potential for Tyler to be a focus in the future too.

The cover art by Aaron Anderson is great and I love the visual of Sam how it follows the same style as the first book.

Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 212 pages

Published: April 17, 2018 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN-13: 978-1-64080-453-1

Edition Language: English

Series: Requiem Inc. #2, Dreamspun Beyond

J.V. Speyer on the Inspiration behind ‘Whirlwind’ by J.V. Speyer (author guest post, excerpt and giveaway)

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Whirlwind by J.V. Speyer
JMS Books LLC
 

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have J.V. Speyer here today on her tour for Whirlwind.  Welcome, Jaye.

♦︎

 

Hi, my name is Jaye and I’m here to talk about my new book, Whirlwind. Whirlwind is the story of a rock star and a mystery writer who fall in love at their siblings’ weddings. It’s a contemporary romance, and it’s my first published love story between women.

The story grew from a few different seeds. The first was my daughter. She’s been agitating for me to write a story “about girls” for a while now. Actually, she’s been requesting a story “with all girls, no romance, no kissing, and with the boys getting sent to the moon and left there” for a couple of years. (She’s eight.)  I was pretty up front with her about the need for there to be romance in a romance story, and she finally conceded that I could write a story with romance “as long as no one of any gender kisses any boys.”

So I came up with a story, and I wrote the outline, and then it sat on my hard drive for a while. Then I saw a call for submissions for stories involving characters who were opposites, and I thought, “Well, half of the work is already done for this one…”

The characters of Jo and Valeria came from a few different places. Jo is a musical prodigy, which was inspired by Prince. Her backstory was inspired by some more current events, though. Jo didn’t choose to come out. She was outed by someone she was dating, and not for good reasons.

That was inspired by legislation put forward in some US states recently. When I was a kid, some activists made a practice of outing celebrities and public figures. While that was problematic in and of itself, at the time it had its place in eroding stigma and saving lives. The legislation put forward now, in the modern era, required teachers and other adults to out children to their parents, or even to report suspicions of non-heterosexual orientations. These states had high concentrations of evangelical Christians, and I think any reasonable person would fear for the safety of children so reported.

Jo, of course, was over eighteen and no longer living at home. I didn’t want to go quite so dark in this book, but I did want to address the consequences of outing someone. In Whirlwind, it’s all in the past. Jo is still paying the price, of course. Her family doesn’t want anything to do with her, and she is treated poorly at the wedding because of it. Jo’s experiences, however, give her a lot of sympathy for Valeria.

Valeria is closeted. When she’s at home in Brooklyn she can live relatively openly, but her mother is one of the most vitriolic anti-LGBT pundits and conservative talk show hosts in the country. Thanks to some quirks of a rapidly consolidating publishing industry, they have enough shared business interests that Valeria has concerns about her future if she ever comes out. Does it make sense to throw away her family, and possibly her career, for someone she’s known for such a short time?

Valeria’s situation is a little more, er, personal. I spent most of my life in the closet. While no one in my family made a living from homophobia, there were some issues that kept me there until fairly recently. (Please note that I was not inspired to come out by a sudden romance with a gorgeous rock star, but one shouldn’t close doors to things like that. I’m just saying.)  I spent a long time thinking, “Is there a reason to do that?  Why?  Is it worth it?” 

Not every inspiration from Whirlwind came from such a heavy place, of course. Weddings, and the events around them, can bring out some of the most “unique” aspects of people’s personalities and most of the shenanigans seen in Whirlwind have their origins in real-life events that happened to me or people in my circle.

The bridal shop is based on one near my old house. I was in a wedding once, and the bride insisted on going to this salon that I swear was like being inside one of those ceramic tea sets you see in museums. It was my vision of Hell. The shop owner made a point of body shaming the bride at every turn, but she still wanted to give them her money. I don’t get it. I guess I don’t have to, it wasn’t my money, but it definitely had to make an appearance here.

The fight scene from the bridal shower?  It happened, although it happened at a wedding reception. My parents were the witnesses, not me, and apparently chairs were involved. As far as I know, the police were not involved. The thing is, weddings involve family, and often alcohol, and things get heated. And the rest of the crowd just wants something a little more entertaining than watching Uncle Egbert trying to figure out how to dance to Rihanna, so no one’s going to try to calm anything down…

So basically, all kinds of little incidents from real life combined to inspire Whirlwind. They all got folded into the batter and baked, and this is the final result. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it! 

♦︎

QSFer J.V. Speyer has a new FF romance book out:

Rock star Jo Avery didn’t have a choice about coming out, but ever since her ex outed her as bi she’s been a proud advocate for LGBTQ+ issues. Most of her family wants nothing to do with her, but her brother has always supported her. When he gets married, he wants her in the wedding party, and she has to accept.

The only problem? Her new sister in law is the daughter of conservative pundit and anti-LGBT warrior Sarah Tremblay. Sarah has another daughter, too, the beautiful and charming Valeria.

Valeria has been in the closet since she was fourteen. She’s always envied Jo’s strength and freedom, if not her path to living her authentic life. She soon finds herself falling for the fierce, pretty rocker, but coming out could cost her everything. How many risks can she take for someone she’ll only know for two weeks?

Can Jo and Valeria turn attraction into love, or will their whirlwind romance blow out before it gets off the ground?

Releases Apr 14th at JMS Books


Giveaway

JV Speyer is giving away a $10 Amazon gift card with this tour – enter via Rafflecopter for a chance to win:

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Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b60e8d476/?


Excerpt

Simon shifted uneasily in his seat. “Should I step in?”

Jo shrugged. “Seems dangerous. You’re not being paid to break up fights between conservative media hosts.” She looked up and groaned as she saw Sarah Tremblay making her way toward her. “Just when the fight was getting good.”

Simon straightened up in his seat as Sarah swept into position beside Jo. “This is not the way people should behave at an event like this. It’s supposed to be a joyous occasion, where people give the bride the material she’ll need in her new life as a wife. Not some kind of spectacle for the enjoyment of others.” She sniffed and cast her gaze pointedly at guests who had their phones out, recording the action.

Jo hated the thought of agreeing with Sarah Tremblay about anything, but she couldn’t argue either. “It’s a little bit like watching daytime television.”

Sarah stared as hotel security swooped in and separated the fighting women. The one who’d been kneed in the face was going to need an ambulance. “This is what comes from an overly permissive culture,” she said after a moment. “This is why I fight so hard.”

Jo rolled her eyes. And of course it all comes down to this. “So we can all enjoy a live action version of the Jerry Springer Show?”

Sarah curled her lip. “Do you honestly think any of this would have happened if you hadn’t showed your face here today?”

Jo lowered her eyes and laughed. “Sarah, I don’t even know those women. Any of those women. The great part of being a pariah at things like this is that no one can say they did anything because of me.”

Sarah grabbed onto Jo’s wrist with one claw-like hand. “You come walking in here with all of those tattoos exposed. That alone lowers the tone. It tells people, ‘Oh, it doesn’t matter what you do.’ And with you flaunting your sin all over the place, disobeying your mother, giving your body to anyone who wants it, wallowing in the sin of Sodom and Gomorra without shame, everyone knows who you are. They know what you do.

“They think to themselves, If she can get away with that, then I don’t have to worry about what I do. I don’t have to live a clean and wholesome life. I don’t have to behave myself in public. And then we get what we had here today.”

“Wow. You get all that from a couple of tattoos and a complete failure at reading the Bible.” Jo snorted. Her hands shook, but they were hiding under the table so it didn’t matter. “Did you miss the part about motes and beams and all that? Or the Samaritan woman? I’m, like, ninety percent sure that those people would have fought even if I’d stayed on tour.”

“You should have stayed on tour. No one wants you here.” Sarah narrowed her eyes at Jo. “If even your own mother can’t stand to look at you, why should the rest of us be troubled with your presence?”

Jo shrugged. “Take it up with Tom. Much as I love hanging out here and being harangued about my sex life, I’d rather be out there with my band mates touring.”

Sarah recoiled, nose in the air. “I can see I’m not going to get anywhere with you. Just stay away from my daughter.”

Jo blinked for a second. Was Sarah really worried about Valeria’s virtue around her? If she was, that must mean she had a reason to be. Maybe there was hope after all. As for the rest of it …

She curled her lips into a wolfish smile and stood up. As Simon stood up beside her, she dropped a hand onto Sarah’s shoulder. “Oh, Sarah. I didn’t realize. I didn’t mean to lead you on. I’m not great with subtle hints. If you wanted to ‘get somewhere’ with me, you should have been more direct. If you want, I can help you find someone who might be looking for someone a little more like you, though.” She walked out of the shower, smiling.


Author Bio

J. V. Speyer has lived in upstate New York and rural Catalonia before making the greater Boston, Massachusetts area her permanent home. She has worked in archaeology, security, accountancy, finance, and non-profit management. She currently lives just south of Boston in a house with more animals than people.

J. V. finds most of her inspiration from music. Her tastes run the gamut from traditional to industrial and back again. When not writing she can usually be found enjoying a baseball game. She’s learning to crochet so she can make blankets to fortify herself against the cold.

J. V. can be found on Twitter at @JVSpeyer, or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/JVSpeyer

Website: http://www.jessicawritesonline.com

Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/JVSpeyerAuthor/

Twitter: @jvspeyer

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14108614.J_V_Speyer

QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/j-v-speyer/

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/J.V.-Speyer/e/B074G3SMMB/

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT and Giveaway for the Shatterproof Bond Series by Isobel Starling (excerpt and giveaway)

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AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT AND REVIEW TOUR

35515662

AS YOU WISH (Book #1)

1 wedding, 2 best men, one hell of a love story!
Declan Ramsay was to be best man at his brother’s wedding in Scotland, sharing best man duties with the bride’s gay kid brother Sam. The best men wouldn’t meet for the first time until a few days before the wedding, so communicated by email for more than a year.
But on meeting Sam Aiken, Declan is surprised to see he isn’t a kid at all, but a striking, athletic blond man with a wicked sense of humor. Declan is alarmed by the ferocious attraction he feels for Sam. And as the attraction is reciprocated, the events at Dunloch Castle change everything Declan has ever believed about himself.
But is Sam Aiken all he appears to be?

35176982

ILLUMINATE THE SHADOW (Book #2)

The thrilling, funny sequel to ‘As You Wish’.

“A Scotsman and an Englishman fall in love… After the most amazing week of his life, at Dunloch Castle on the banks of Loch Ness, in Scotland. The charming, mysterious Samuel Aiken has turned Declan Ramsay’s life upside down. Declan has experienced a remarkable change. He has come to terms with the fact he is bisexual, and he has fallen head-over-heels in love with his boss’s son Sam.

However, falling for his boss’s son was never going to be an easy path to happiness, mainly because the boss in question is multi-millionaire property tycoon and former MI5 operative, Sir James Aiken.

Sir James is repulsed by his son’s homosexuality, and so discovering that his employee Declan Ramsay- the man he installed to run his luxury property rental empire- is in a relationship with Sam, does not go down well.

The lovers cannot hide from the looming presence of Sir James Aiken for long! Soon enough James makes his move, and Declan finds out what he will have to endure to stay with Sam, and what he will have to give to feel worthy of Sam’s love.”

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RETURN TO ZERO (Book #3)
The thrilling sequel to “As You Wish” and “Illuminate the Shadows”.

Pulled into a world of secrets and lies for the man he loves, Declan Ramsay’s life has changed immeasurably in the eight months since meeting, and falling for his boss’s son, Sam Aiken. Declan journey of personal discovery is about to take a darker turn, and for Sam, the world becomes more treacherous than he could ever have imagined.

Two agents are missing — presumed dead, while on a reconnaissance mission at an outdoor adventure centre in the Scottish Highlands. Sir James Aiken sends his son and Declan to follow the trail, and discover the fate of the agents.

As the mission offers his first chance to use the skills he learned on the MI6 training course in Morocco, Declan is keen to get started. However, Sir James sees to it that the seeds of doubt and discord have been sewn between the couple, as they begin their mission.

The journey to their Highland location, and the discoveries they make when they reach the G’wan Adventures centre, prove that Sir James Aiken has been less than honest with his son. Events in the Highlands force Sam and Declan to face their greatest fears, and understand what they both really want from life — and from each other.

Excerpt from “Return to Zero” (Shatterproof Bond #3) 

“SAM!  Are ye home?”  Declan hollered as he opened the front door.  “Sam?”

“In here.”  Sam’s distant voice filtered from the spare bedroom.  Declan was in a buoyant mood, at last, after weeks of waiting, he’d received a call from his boss.  He sauntered confidently towards the bedroom and knocked once before walking in.

“Why d’ye no’ pick up?  I’ve called ye, like, six times already!  James wants us in fera meet —” Declan stopped, and in the way,only Sam Aiken could do, the breath was stolenfrom his lungs.

Declan’s yoga mat was laid out in the centerof the large bedroom floor, and upon it, a shamelessly nude Sam Aiken was facing the tall antique mirror that rested against the wall. He was on his belly, his back bowed, and his palmspushing against the floor as his shoulders rose in the midst of the cobra pose.

Declan slumped to sit silently on the king-size bed and watch. He stared, bug-eyed and slack-jawedat all of that flawless pale skin, wrapped around an athletic, slim frame.  Declan adored how pliant and supple Sam was.  He reveledin the sight of corded muscles moving beneath the taut surface of the younger man’s skin, like the workings of a well-honedmachine.

Ignoring his voyeur, Sam pushed himself up from the cobra pose, so he sat back on his calves.  He closed his eyes and focused on his breath, and then, when he was ready, placed his palms flat on the mat, level with his knees.  Then, putting all of his weight on his hands, Sam drew his legs out to either side of his body, doing the splits, balancing solely on his hands.

Declan’s bearded jaw dropped open, and his heart skipped a beat at the impressive sight.  The mirror allowed Declan to observe Sam from many angles, and the view was exquisite. He knew there was a reason he was home early, but, whatever the hell it was, it could wait.

Sam aligned his legs and boughtthem up above his head, so he was in a handstand position, and there he stayed for a minute, his breath shallow and barely audible.  There was not one tremble in any of Sam’s muscles. It was awe inspiring.  Sam was the very picture of oneness—strength, control, balance, and agility.  The lines of Sam’s form were sinuous and erotic, and there was no stopping the hot, hot hunger that made Declan’s whole being shudder with need.

Sam’s spine arched back and with incredible discipline, his body bowed slowly, until the soles of his feet were placed firmly on the yoga mat, and Sam was in the crab position.  He was trying so desperately to focus on his ownbreath and to remain centered, but Declan was breathing heavily through his nose, like a stag readying for the rut, and even though Sam could not actuallysee him, Declan’s presence always came with the prickle of otherworldly electricity.  It reallywas like they were magnetized.

The sound of heavy breathing was doing things to Sam’s body that he just could not control.  His heart beat faster, beads of sweat littered his brow and formed on his chest, and his pale cock reddened, filled and rose majestically, providing an extra spectacle for his handsome observer.  Sam arched his spine to its capacityand inched to his toes and fingertips.  He stayed like that, his muscles clenched tight and his cockstanding straight as a flagpole awaiting its flag.  After a minute, he slowly unclenched his muscles and allowed his body to ease its way gently back to the mat.  Each movement still effortlessly controlled.

This naked yoga routine was on the list of the most erotic things that Declan had ever seen in his life.  And now that Sam was on his back, his eyes closed, with arms stretched above his head.  Declan decided that this was his opportunity to pounce.

© Isobel Starling 2016

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COUNTERBLOW (Book #4)

After the devastating events in the Scottish Highlands, Sam and Declan have moved on to a new, deeper level in their romance. Their commitment to each other is unquestionable; however, there are plenty of questions that need answering about other aspects of their lives, and those who sought to end them.

Sam is trying his best to deal with the day to day frustrations of his injuries. He’s completely dependent on Declan for everything and hates the way the scales have tipped in their relationship. Although he’s officially on leave, Sam’s mind cannot stop replaying all that happened to him and questioning why, and who is behind it all.

Declan’s relief at having Sam home throws him into house-husband mode. He’s happy to take the reins and care for his partner, however, beneath the surface Declan cannot help but be drawn back to how he felt in the Highlands, and how they were betrayed by a man who was supposed to have their back. Declan had promised Sir James Aiken that he would pay if he hurt Sam, and now Declan has to decide how he can deliver his payback and put his and Sam’s world back on an even keel.

Catch up with the Shatterproof Bond series in Kindle Unlimited before

book #5 “Powder Burns” is released in the spring. 

Series Buy Links

Available on Kindle Unlimited, in Paperback, and on Audible.

Amazon US

 Amazon UK

Audible.com

Audible UK

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT AND REVIEW TOUR SCHEDULE

About the Author

Isobel’s novel “As You Wish” (Shatterproof Bond #1) is an Amazon Best Seller on Amazon.com and Amazon France. Nine novels into her writing career Isobel has just released The Shatterproof Bond box set which contains all three novels in the series, and the first book in the M/M Romantic Comedy mystery series “Dick and the Sidekick” -“Detective Fox and the Christmas Caper”.

“As You Wish” has been translated into French under the title “Comme Vous Voudrez”
The rest of the Shatterproof Bond novels will soon be available in French and German.

Find Isobel Starling here:

Facebook 

Twitter 

Website

Amazon Author Page

Goodreads 

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Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

BOOK BLITZ for NATURAL ENEMIES by Roan Parrish (excerpt and giveaway)

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Natural Enemies by Roan Parrish

Surprise release date: April 17, 2018

Sale: $.99, for one week

Price: $3.99, as of April 25, 2018

On sale at:

AMZ: https://amzn.to/2H2GOvY

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/natural-enemies-roan-parrish/1128496850?ean=2940155618591

On sale in: ebook and paperback

Pages in print: 150

Blurb

When opposites attract, love blooms in unexpected places.

Buttoned-up botanist Stefan Albemarle has felt like an outsider his whole life. As a result, he mostly keeps to himself—makes it easier not to notice that no matter how he tries, people think he’s a know-it-all and a snob.

Freewheeling urban gardener Milo Rios has worked hard to get where he is, and he’s passionate about his job at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. He can get along with almost anyone, but no one has ever made him care enough to stick around.

When Stefan and Milo meet on Milo’s tour of the Botanic Garden, it’s hatred at first clash. But hatred quickly turns to lust as Milo shows Stefan how exquisite it can feel to lose the control he’s clung to for so long. As Stefan’s mask begins to slip, Milo sees a deep vulnerability in the prim academic. Once he’s experienced Milo’s world, Stefan can admit that he wants more from life than professional success. If they can work together, Stefan and Milo just might be able to cultivate the future they both yearn for. 

Excerpt

“Why did you come here, man, seriously? What is this?” Milo asked.

This close, I could see the flecks of amber in his brown eyes, could see the softness of his lashes and the way one of his front teeth was in front of the other. A curl of his hair hung over his forehead and he had a smudge of dirt on his chin. As I watched, his eyelids drifted half shut and I found myself completely unable to look away. I was frozen to the spot and my heart began to race.

“Unless,” he said slowly, stepping right up to me, “you didn’t come here to talk shit at all. Maybe you came here for something else.” His gaze dropped to my mouth and he bit his lip. “Nothin’ to say now?”

I blinked madly, trying to sort things into brand-new categories. Was Milo…hitting on me?

I took a step backward as Milo stepped forward, then another, as if we were dancing. Then my shoulder blades hit the fence and Milo was so close I could smell him—fresh soil and sunlight and the sweetness of light sweat.

We were the same height, so when I looked at Milo, he was looking right into my eyes.

“What’s it gonna be, Stefan?” Milo’s voice curled around my name and it felt like a hand around my cock I was so suddenly turned on. I took a shuddery breath and Milo’s mouth curved in a knowing smile. “Huh,” he said. “That right?”

I closed my eyes and bit my lip. I was so hard and so mortified. How could this be happening? Things like this did not happen. Not to me.

Milo leaned in close and I opened my eyes to see hunger in his expression.

Then he was kissing the hell out of me, mouth hot, tongue slick, a hand at my throat and the other sliding up my back to drag us together.

A shot of pure lust blasted through me and I grabbed at Milo too, squeezing his hips and pulling us together. My head fell back against the fence as he fed on my mouth and I heard myself cry out as his hand slid down to my ass.

I felt like I was dissolving into velvety heat everywhere we touched—mouth and throat and ass and groin—and suddenly it was too much. It had been so long since anyone had touched me. I was so close. I was going to come.

About Roan Parrish:

Roan Parrish lives in Philadelphia, where she is gradually attempting to write love stories in every genre.

When not writing, she can usually be found cutting her friends’ hair, meandering through whatever city she’s in while listening to torch songs and melodic death metal, or cooking overly elaborate meals. She loves bonfires, winter beaches, minor chord harmonies, and self-tattooing. One time she may or may not have baked a six-layer chocolate cake and then thrown it out the window in a fit of pique.

Connect with Roan:

website |  newsletter  | twitter | facebook | goodreads |  instagram | pinterest

 

 

 

Giveaway:

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