Love Romance with Some Spice? Check Out the Release Blitz for Indulge Me (Kitchen Gods #4) by Beth Bolden (excerpt and giveaway)

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RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Indulge Me (Kitchen Gods #4)

Author: Beth Bolden

Publisher: Beth Bolden Books

Cover Artist: AngstyG LLC

Genre/s: Contemporary MM Romance

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length: approx 80 000 words

It is a standalone story.

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Blurb

Throughout the restaurant industry, Chef Bastian Aquino is a notorious control freak. For two very long years, Kian Reynolds has worked for Bastian as his special assistant, doing whatever he and his restaurant needs. The toughest part isn’t even all the impossible tasks he expects Kian to complete flawlessly—it’s the hopeless, endless love he feels for his older boss.

Falling for someone so far above him might be agonizing, but at least his feelings aren’t unrequited. Bastian fell in love right alongside him, but at the very beginning, they made the choice to abstain for logical, smart, professional reasons.

But love isn’t logical, it isn’t smart, and it definitely isn’t professional. It defies containment, even by Bastian. While he watches Bastian struggle with their attraction, Kian finally comes to the conclusion that he’s done.

He’s done standing off the side, done not getting any of the credit, done letting Bastian define the boundaries of their relationship. Most of all, he’s done waiting.

Excerpt

“I’m sorry,” Bastian said quietly. “I’m sorry I gave Xander the sous job, not when you deserved it.”

Kian had been dying for this apology for six months, but even the tender, apologetic look Bastian swiftly shot him wasn’t enough.

He wanted more. He wanted Xander’s old job. He wanted more than just the fleeting touch of Bastian’s fingers on his cheek. He wanted another kiss. He wanted even more than that.

It didn’t matter that it was dangerous or that Bastian had said it was impossible. It didn’t even matter that a part of Kian believed he was right, because there was another part of him that was actively rebelling. That part wanted more, and was not going to be placated with less.

“And you’re still going to try to convince him to come back?” Kian said incredulously. He didn’t need Xander back; they both knew it. Bastian could promote Kian and the kitchen would probably run better, not worse.

But Bastian couldn’t have looked more surprised than if Kian had been the one to walk out in the middle of prep.

“I don’t think you understand,” Bastian began, and Kian knew him well enough, knew his mental gymnastics well enough by this point that he knew exactly what he was going to say. I don’t apologize to anyone, and I’m apologizing to you. You’re special, you’re important, and you need to stay exactly where I’ve put you.

Kian had liked that place, but even at the beginning, it hadn’t quite felt like enough, and by now, two  years in, Kian was tired of it and bored.

“I understand,” Kian cut him off. “More than you realize.”

Bastian’s hand dropped to his side and he flexed it, like he was trying to forget the way Kian’s skin had felt under his fingertips. Even if he never forgot, it wouldn’t be enough. Kian wanted to weasel his way under his skin, until there was nothing else between them. Until Kian didn’t know where he stopped and Bastian began. He loved him. Why had he ever thought this sort of half-relationship would ever be enough?

“I guess you do,” Bastian said slowly.

“I need to check on the soup,” Kian said and walked away.

He wanted to be shocked and incredulous that in one breath, Bastian would tell him that Kian should have had the job that was Xander’s and in the next, tell him he was getting Xander back. But the truth was, Kian wasn’t, at all.

He’d known the person Bastian was for a long time now, and he’d loved him anyway. Believing that his mother’s advice was solid, he’d loved the good and the bad parts of him, and that wasn’t going to change, at least not anytime soon. But he was done tolerating Bastian’s shit and he was done giving in.

Most of all, Kian was done being jealous of Luc for having things he never would.

About the Author

A lifelong Oregonian, Beth Bolden has just recently moved to North Carolina with her supportive husband. She still believes in Keeping Portland Weird, and intends to start a chapter of Keeping Durham Weird.

Beth has been writing practically since she learned the alphabet. Unfortunately, her first foray into novel writing, titled Big Bear with Sparkly Earrings, wasn’t a bestseller, but hope springs eternal. She’s published eleven novels and four short stories, with Indulge Me, the last book of the Kitchen Gods series, releasing in spring 2019.

 

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A Stella Release Day Review: Galen’s Redemption (Links in the Chain #2) by Parker Williams

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RATING 4,5 out of 5 stars

A Links In the Chain Story

A rich man is about to set foot into an unknown world, while a Good Samaritan fears he’ll have to close the charity he’s spent his life building. Poised to lose it all, they might find what they need most in each other.

Son of a wealthy importer, Galen Merriweather lives to broker deals, and he’s damn good at it. But it’s getting harder to ignore the kind of man his father is—a man who would pay Galen’s brother’s lover to leave… a man who’d demand Galen retrieve a quarter-million-dollar check from a struggling homeless shelter.

Robert Kotke knows the money is too good to be true, but it’s a godsend that could help so many people. Still, he hands it over when Galen shows up. But he isn’t done with Galen yet, and he’s going to challenge everything Galen ever believed.

Galen will face an impossible decision: the redemption he’s come to realize he wants, or the life he’d always dreamed of.

I was so ready for Galen and Robert’s story. I have to say I was a huge fan of Robert and his big heart, the way he cared for Noel in Lincoln’s Park, showed me the amazing person he was. I so hoped for him to find someone with the same inclination. And he found it in Galen, apparently so different from Robert, actually so alike. The journey Galen started was the right one toward a better life for himself and for a future together with an awesome man. His redemption was truly beautiful, I easily fell for Galen too, as soon as I saw how a good man he was and how much he was suffering.

As always Parker Williams has delivered a lovely novel, I was so happy to meet these two men and see how hard they worked for their HEA. Plus, I got to see more of Noel and his devotion to his soon to be husband, Lincoln. And then there were Andy, who could have resisted him? Not me. Andy was a true friend, fierce, protective, ready to open is arms and his little huuse to Galen. There was a surprise for him too in this book, he totally deserved it.

That said, I’m not sure I’ll ever be ready for the next installment in the Links In The Chain series, it will surely kill me.

The cover art by Reese Dante is well done, I like it more than the cover of the previous title.

Buy Links

Dreamspinner Press

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BOOK DETAILS

ebook, 250 pages

Publication Date: April 16th 2019 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN13 9781644051993

Edition Language English

Series Links In the Chain #2

A MelanieM Release Day Review: Where There’s A Will Deanes (Get Out #4) by Sean Kennedy

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Get Out: Book Four

Micah Johnson is coming back to Melbourne, and the story of him and his friends is coming to an end.

 

Or will it be a new beginning?

 

Will Deanes and Micah Johnson have a past, one that ranges from bitter enemies to best friends. There might be an undercurrent of something else, but Micah remains oblivious, and all Will can do is try to move on.

 

Except now Micah’s returning to Melbourne full-time, and that means they can’t avoid each other or the tensions that arise. Will is still dealing with an injury that ended his football career, while Micah’s continues to thrive. As they face highs, lows, and family tragedies, they’ll have to get to know each other all over again. Will Micah see that Will means much more to him than a friend?

I started following and falling in love with the Get Out kids when I first met them in Sean Kennedy’s connected Tigers and Devils series.   It was there that Dec (and Simon) saw the need for LGBT youth in sports to have a place and organization to guide and support them. Micah, Emma, and Will were the original three kids looking for guidance (well, not Micah, he always had so much growing to do), but Emma and Will, along with others needing strength and support from Dec and Simon as role models as a out LGBT couple and successful in their life choices.

I’ve followed them through their own stories in the Get Out series and now we come to Where There’s A Will Deanes (Get Out #4) by Sean Kennedy, a story by all indications feels like the author is wrapping up the series and sending this wonderful trio off to college and the paths they have chosen next after graduation.  It’s fitting that it’s Will who’s story puts a period to this section of their lives and also marks a major milestone in his life that will include Micah too.

Will was supposed to have had a promising career similar in trajectory to the one that is propelling Micah.  But a tragic bus accident changed all that costing him any athletic participation for forever.  Of the three, Will has been left by the sidelines to watch Micah and Emma soar as stars in their sports, and go onto romances and move forward while he faced rehab and a new life without a sport he loved, including the person he never told how he felt.

Now we get a maturing Will, one who has found himself through his work at Get Out as an assistant there, taking courses on the side to further understand the nuances of the business, proud of the work he’s accomplishing while still working through some of the issues left over from his abusive upbringing.  Like all of the characters here, Will is complex, open, vulnerable, and  confused as to what to do about his feelings for Micah, especially now that he has returned to the area.

Told from Will’s pov, it’s a beautiful rendering of this age group by Sean Kennedy.  We see Will (and through his eyes Micah, Emma, and other youth) fluctuate between seeming so young and then standing tall and adult.  Between acting like fast friends and kids, then so much older with all the weight they can barely handle on their shoulders.  Its done through dialog, actions, and scenes so emotional they grab you by the heart and refuse to let you go.

While this is Will’s and through Will, Micah’s story and their relationship, it is also Emma’s too.  She will get her going off here along with her best friends.  In fact all the other characters you would expect to see from Tigers and Devils will be making appearances to send this trio off.  Not that I don’t expect all three to make showings in Tigers and Devils should that series continue, a fact I’m not sure of either.

But for the Get Out group? Where There’s A Will Deanes (Get Out #4) by Sean Kennedy is beautifully written, with all the characters we have come to know and love showing great emotional growth and finding love as they start new journeys.   It’s about hope, love, and going forward as the best person you can be.  What a story! What a series!  I loved every sentence of it and them.

I highly recommend this story and this series.  They should be read in the order they were written in order to understand the timeline, the characters and the growth they undergo.  Truly amazing.

Cover Art: Catt Ford.  Simple, elegant, and eye catching.  Love it.

Sales Links:  Harmony Ink Press | Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 206 pages
Expected publication: April 16th 2019 by Harmony Ink Press
ASINB07NRNVPS5
Series Get Out :

The Ongoing Reformation of Micah Johnson

Micah Johnson Goes West

The Obstruction of Emma Goldsworthy

Where There’s a Will Deanes

A Lila Release Day Review: Under His Protection by LaQuette

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

They can escape their enemies, but not the desire between them.

Prosecutor Camden Warren is on the fast track to professional nirvana. With his charm, his sharp legal mind, and his father as chief judge in the highest court in NY, he can’t fail. Nothing can derail his rise to the top… until an attempt on his life forces him to accept the help of a man he walked out on five years ago.

Wounded in the line of duty, Lieutenant Elijah Stephenson wants to ride his new desk job until retirement—not take a glorified babysitting gig with more risk than it’s worth… especially not protecting the entitled lawyer who disappeared after the best sex of their lives.

The threat against Camden’s life is real, but their passion for each other might prove the greatest danger they’ve yet to face.

Under His Protection is an interesting law enforcement love story. There’s some intrigue, drama, and great chemistry between Cam and Elijah. The tension is palpable and the reader has no other option but to keep reading, hoping for a happily ever after.

The action and the tension starts from the very beginning. We get to understand their fears and hopes. And the real reason their relationship didn’t work the first time. I enjoyed the small number of characters in the story. Yes, they were well-developed but the author put great emphasis on the main couple, which paid off.

The apprehension Elijah felt returning to work was an important component of the story. It mixed with Cam’s anxiety about meeting his father’s political aspirations to create a shadow over their relationship. They had to learn to prioritize themselves before loving each other.

Overall, this is a quick read, packed with mystery, intrigue, and a lot of romance.

The cover by Alexandria Corza matches the new Dreamspun Desire branding and gave us a great view of Elijah. It’s simple but it goes well with the story.

Sale Links: Amazon | Nook | Dreamspinner

Book Details:
ebook, 250 pages
ISBN: 9781640805583
Published: April 16, 2019, by Dreamspinner Press
Edition Language: English

Adore Hurt/Comfort Stories? Check Out the Blog Tour for Galen’s Redemption (Links in the Chain #2) by Parker Williams (excerpt and giveaway)

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BLOG TOUR

Book Title: Galen’s Redemption (Links in the Chain #2)

Author: Parker Williams

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: Reese Dante

Genre/s: Contemporary MM Romance

Trope/s: Hurt/comfort, learning to love

Themes: Forgiveness for oneself and for others

Heat Rating: 3 flames

Length:  92 660 words

Release Date: April 16, 2019

Add on Goodreads

Blurb

A Links in the Chain Story

A rich man is about to set foot into an unknown world, while a Good Samaritan fears he’ll have to close the charity he’s spent his life building. Poised to lose it all, they might find what they need most in each other.

Son of a wealthy importer, Galen Merriweather lives to broker deals, and he’s damn good at it. But it’s getting harder to ignore the kind of man his father is—a man who would pay Galen’s brother’s lover to leave… a man who’d demand Galen retrieve a quarter-million-dollar check from a struggling homeless shelter.

Robert Kotke knows the money is too good to be true, but it’s a godsend that could help so many people. Still, he hands it over when Galen shows up. But he isn’t done with Galen yet, and he’s going to challenge everything Galen ever believed.

Galen will face an impossible decision: the redemption he’s come to realize he wants, or the life he’d always dreamed of.

Buy Links

Dreamspinner Press

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Excerpt

LATE JUNE 2018

THE PEOPLE milling around at the coffeepot scattered when Galen Merriweather stormed into Primal Imports and headed for his office. He’d gone to see his brother, Lincoln, at Park View, the diner he owned, to tell him about the betrayal of Noel Simmons, Lincoln’s lover. When his father had offered Noel a quarter of a million dollars to walk away so Lincoln would be forced to come back to the family business, Galen had been incensed. Their old man had pulled some shady crap over the years, but this was a new low, even for him.

His personal assistant, Olivia, greeted him with a warm smile when he stepped through the door. “Good afternoon, Mr. Merriweather.”

Galen sneered at her and stomped into his office, slamming the door as he did. He dropped into the stylish leather chair that sat behind the imposingly large oak desk, wondering why the hell he’d bothered to talk to Lincoln at all. His feelings about Galen had been made perfectly clear when he chose that… person over his own family.

Plus, what was up with their father? His private investigator had somehow acquired pictures of Lincoln from a BDSM club he’d frequented at some point in his storied past. They showed Lincoln and some of the submissives he’d played with at the clubs. It turned Galen’s stomach to see. Not that he had a problem with BDSM. The problem was how his father had gone about it. The guys in the pictures were innocent, but anyone could clearly see who they were. Galen had to wonder if the PI had stolen the pictures or had worked out a deal with a club owner.

Either way, the whole thing stunk, and Galen hated the thought that he’d done nothing but sit there as his father rode roughshod over Noel. He had to admit, the way Noel had played his father was masterful, and there wasn’t a doubt in Galen’s mind that when he found out, his father’s retribution would be swift.

Galen didn’t like Noel, but he had to respect the ginormous set of balls he obviously had.

Still, what the fuck was up with his father? He’d seen the man pull some awful shit, but this? It went way beyond the pale, even for him. Galen’s ire rose as he thought about how any hope of Lincoln coming back to Primal had now been dashed, and all because their father was a total asshole.

When his phone rang, Galen took a moment to compose himself, then answered it without checking to see who it was.

Big mistake.

“Primal Imports, this is Galen. How can I help you?”

“Hey, Gale.”

Galen groaned. Andy might be the closest thing he had to a friend, but Galen couldn’t muster the energy to talk to him now. Best to find out what he wanted, then politely get rid of him. “What can I do for you, Andy?”

“Don’t be like that. We haven’t talked in weeks.” If it was possible to pout over the phone, Andy was doing so. “How come you haven’t called me? Last time I saw you was at Tyler’s party, when you were puking your guts out, and he was—”

“It’s been hectic here. Was there something you needed?” Keeping the conversation focused was the only way Galen would get off the phone sometime today.

“YP is having strippers tonight. I thought we could go.”

Not just no. Hell no. The last time he’d gone to a bar with Andy, Galen had been forced to duck out the back when he thought he saw someone from the office walk in. While Lincoln was out and proud, Galen was firmly rooted in the closet, and that was the way it was going to stay. Having already borne witness to the disappointment of Lincoln’s “lifestyle,” as their father called it, Galen had no intention of being on the receiving end of that treatment. How the family friends discussed Lincoln was bad, but hearing it from his father was infinitely worse.

“Michael is going to be there. He’s been asking about you.”

Galen’s stomach knotted. Michael had been a one-night stand about a year ago. Galen wouldn’t deny he enjoyed the sex, but he would say Michael’s crude behavior made it obvious the man should never be seen in the light of day, and he certainly would never fit in at family affairs. No, with his oversized muscles, gruff voice, and arrogance, Michael would be more likely to fit in at Lincoln’s diner.

“No, but thank you for asking. I—”

The door to his office was flung open so hard, it bounced off the dark wood panels and caused Galen to flinch.

“I have to go.”

“But—”

Andy’s protests were cut short as Galen hung up the phone. His father stomped in, a sneer on his face. He stalked over to Galen, put his palms flat on the desk, and leaned in close. “Explain this… mess to me.”

What was there to explain? Noel had played them big-time. His father’s reaction came as no surprise. Jonathan Merriweather was no one’s fool. In all of his dealings, he made it very clear what was expected of people. He used it against them, more often than not, as a means of acquiring their business. Galen had enjoyed observing his father’s cutthroat tactics. Seeing men who thought they had power brought to their knees because of some slight slip of the tongue had been fascinating to watch, and Galen had taken those lessons to heart. Father wasn’t happy about having them turned against him.

“Simmons played you, Father. He followed your instructions to the exact letter, and after he had the check in hand, he left.”

“He’s still here. I’m not a stupid man, Galen. I had Tate follow him. He went back to the diner. We had an agreement, and the little shit took the money.”

“The office, Father. He left the office. You weren’t specific enough about what you wanted from him, and he used it against you. As there were no contracts signed, the only thing you have is a verbal agreement, which could be argued in court. I can’t believe you showed him pictures of Lincoln with his… whatever.”

Nostrils flaring, Galen’s father stood to his full six-foot, six-inch height. “Don’t question how I do things, Galen.”

Galen wanted the chair to swallow him whole. His father’s glower never failed to make him feel small and helpless. He’d gotten Galen to fall in line ever since he was a child, simply by turning it on him. “No, of course not, sir.”

His father splayed his fingers on the desk and leaned forward, his gaze locked with Galen’s. “I’ve already spoken with Lincoln, and do you know the bastard laughed at me? I want you to get that money back. I don’t care what you need to do, but no one cheats me. Do you understand?”

“Why not just cancel the check?”

His father sneered. “Because I want you to put the fear of God into all of them. They need to learn not to screw with me. Do you think you’re able to handle this?”

Galen stiffened his spine. “Yes, of course.”

“I’m going to sue that little shit into the ground.”

“Maybe it would be best if—”

His father’s expression was ice-cold. “When I want your opinion, I’ll ask. Until then, keep it to yourself and do as you’re told.” He turned on his heel and huffed like a bull as he barreled out the open door.

Galen leaned back and ran a hand through his hair. God, the old man was a prick. He’d never been a nurturing person, leaving that to Galen and Lincoln’s nanny. Of course, they never lasted long either. As soon as either he or Lincoln began to feel close, they’d be terminated and someone new would be brought in. Galen was never sure if it was because their father wanted to control his sons or if he’d been screwing the nanny and was done with her.

The sad thing was that his mother was every bit as bad. She’d had affairs with the chauffeur, one of the cooks, and if rumor was to be believed, she’d even bedded a few maids. She wasn’t discriminating about who she had sex with, nor was she shy about sniffing around them when his father was nearby. But in public, they were one big, happy family.

Yeah, he knew what a fucked-up life he led, but he couldn’t complain too much. He had money, power, and when his father retired—God, let it be soon—he would take over the company. Pity Lincoln didn’t want anything to do with it. The two of them together could rule their empire with an iron fist.

His phone rang, and this time he glanced at the caller ID. With a sigh, he picked up. “Sorry, Andy. I had someone come into the office.”

“You hung up on me. Do you know how rude that is?”

“I said I was sorry. What more can I do?”

“Come out tonight. You can buy me a drink, we can dance, watch the strippers, have a good time, and maybe we’ll even get lucky.”

It had been better than three months since Galen got laid, and his ass clenched at the thought. Still, he’d been given a task by his father, and he needed to get on that right away.

“Tonight’s not good. Are you willing to give me a rain check?”

When Andy gave that weary, put-upon sigh, Galen knew he was going to give in. He always did, just because he didn’t want to hear Andy—

“Just one drink, Gale. Please?”

—whine. He knew he was going to regret it, but really, what could one drink hurt? And it wasn’t like the job was his life or anything.

“One drink, one dance. Then I have to go.”

“Oh, goody!”

Galen shook his head. This had bad idea written all over it.

 

THE ANNOYING ringtone on the phone dragged Galen out of a drunken stupor. He glanced over at the clock and groaned. Nearly 4:00 a.m., and he was still wasted.

Despite the fact he’d repeatedly said he had to go, Andy had kept plying him with drinks, and like an idiot, Galen drank them. When someone took his hand and dragged him along, Galen stumbled onto the dance floor, where hot, sweaty men surrounded him, their skin glistening under the pulsating lights. He remembered a mouth on him, sucking at his chest. When he tried to push the person away, they sank to their knees, undid his zipper, and right there in the middle of the club, they’d gone down on him. It was such a shock, and Galen knew he ought to run, but the mouth was hot and wet and Galen was horny, so he grabbed the head and thrust in deep. As he fucked the guy’s mouth, other hands pulled down Galen’s pants. Something cold and wet touched his ass, and Galen shivered. The guy blowing him chuckled. The sound of foil ripping told Galen what was about to happen. The man blowing him pulled off and Galen was urged down to his knees. Without preamble, a thick cock pushed inside him in one stroke, burying to the hilt. Galen moaned. It had been so fucking long.

The man who’d been sucking him stretched out, his legs spread, holding his cock in his hand. He gripped Galen’s hair and pulled it toward his crotch. Galen opened wide, allowing the head to slide into his mouth. The guy locked both hands on Galen’s head, forcing him to take the considerable length.

“Good ass?”

A slap to his cheek made Galen yelp, as much as he could with a mouthful of cock.

“Fuck yeah.”

They weren’t gentle at all, and Galen didn’t care. He’d never been spit-roasted before, and he was in heaven. Two men, each using Galen to satisfy their needs, not caring about him. This was what he wanted—no, this was what he needed. He had a hard job, a shitty family, and no one gave a fuck about him.

He wondered what his old man would say if he could see him now.

The man who he was sucking began to grunt, shoving Galen’s head down hard, forcing him to open up his throat. “Gonna come.” His voice was a growl, which inflamed Galen’s senses. “Fuck, this guy can suck a cock.”

“Yeah, I’m gonna seed his ass.”

The talk was filthy, and they were treating Galen like he was a hooker or something. He didn’t care. They still treated him better than his father.

The music volume kicked up a notch, and the words and grunts were drowned out by a thumping bass that went through Galen’s body. A hand reached down and grabbed his dick, jacking it while the guy at his head shot into Galen’s mouth. He swallowed it down, delighting in the musky flavor.

As soon as Galen had swallowed it all, the guy stood up, patted his head, said thanks, then disappeared back into the crowd. When the other guy pulled out, Galen felt empty. He smacked Galen on the ass before he, too, left.

Galen wasn’t sure why, but his whole world turned upside down after that. He pulled his pants up and lurched back to the bar, where he ordered another drink, downed it in one go, then stumbled out of the place.

The ringing phone was like a drumbeat in his head. He reached over to the nightstand and grabbed it. There were six missed calls from Andy. And now he was calling again. Might as well get it over with.

“What’s going on?”

“You tell me, stud.” There was a teasing quality to Andy’s voice that unsettled Galen even more.

“What are you talking about?” Galen’s stomach rolled over, and he got up and swayed a bit before he was able to get his balance. His bladder was screaming at him, so Galen figured he should listen for a change. He moved from his bedroom to the living room.

“Your little act on the floor. It was hotter than hell, and your fans wanted to know where you went and when the next show is. Shit, the Xtube video has nine thousand views already, and it was only posted a few hours ago. You, my friend, are going to be a star. Who the hell knew you had it in you? Well, I guess we all did, since we watched.”

Galen’s stomach lurched and he threw his phone onto the couch, then ran to the bathroom, dropped to his knees, and tossed his cookies. How had this gone so wrong? The old man had gotten pictures of Lincoln somehow. What would happen if he somehow saw this video? Shit, Galen’s life could well and truly be over. After discovering his father had hired a private detective to track down information on Noel, Galen could imagine him having people scour the internet to dig up dirt on both his sons. He had no idea to what end, but seeing how he had attempted to blackmail Lincoln, tried to pay Noel to leave, and how angry he’d gotten over a little nobody like Noel getting the better of him? What would happen if he learned both of his sons were queer?

Shit. Shit shit shit.

Galen swiped a hand over his mouth, stood, and trudged to the sink. He didn’t even need the mirror to know he looked like shit. Still, he wanted to see just how bad it was. Sunken cheeks, bloodshot gray eyes, and his dark hair was greasy. Galen could smell the smoke clinging to him. Even his normally tanned skin was sallow. He turned away. That was definitely not the image he needed to present when he went into work. He took a shower and brushed his teeth, then shuffled into the kitchen where he grabbed a coffee pod and started a pot. His phone rang from the other room, but Galen didn’t want to answer it. He wanted—needed—to put the whole thing out of his mind. It was a nightmare; that’s all it had been.

But despite the drinks at the bar and the beers he’d downed after he got home, Galen remembered some of it. Their hands on him, their cocks inside him. The taste, their forcefulness, the way they’d treated him. If anyone else had done that, Galen would have thrown a fit, but those two men? Galen realized he was nothing more than a hole for them to use, but that was okay. They saw him at least. He snorted, because apparently the whole world was now seeing him. One night fucked up everything, and Galen’s dreams were crumbling to dust before him.

His only hope—and that wasn’t saying much—was to get the money back from the shelter Noel said he’d given it to. If Galen could show his father he could be as cutthroat and ruthless as the old man, maybe it would go a long way toward helping him out of this damned mess.

One thing was certain: he sure as hell wasn’t going out with Andy again.

No matter how good it felt.

About the Author

Parker Williams began to write as a teen, but never showed his work to anyone. As he grew older, he drifted away from writing, but his love of the written word moved him to reading. A chance encounter with an author changed the course of his life as she encouraged him to never give up on a dream. With the help of some amazing friends, he rediscovered the joy of writing, thanks to a community of writers who have become his family.

Parker firmly believes in love, but is also of the opinion that anything worth having requires work and sacrifice (plus a little hurt and angst, too). The course of love is never a smooth one, and happily-ever-after always has a price tag.

Author Links

Website

Twitter: @ParkerWAuthor 

Facebook

Email

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a paperback or ebook of choice from Parker Williams’ backlist.

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Royal Blue on Writing Romance, Characters and her new story Kyle’s Reveal (author guest blog)

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Kyle’s Reveal (My Brother’s Keeper Collection Book 1) by Royal Blue

Dreamspinner Press
Publication: April 16th 2019
Cover Artist: L.C. Chase

Sales Links:

Amazon link Here>>>>https://amzn.to/2WV1P47

Order from Dreamspinner Press Here >>

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/kyles-reveal-by-royal-blue-10365-b

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Royal Blue here today talking about her new release Kyle’s Reveal, and answering our author questions. Welcome, Royal!

✒︎

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interviews Royal Blue

  • How much of yourself goes into a character?

I put a lot of myself in my books. Most times one of the characters is a strong representation of me or a family member or friend. I’ve placed a lot of my experiences into characters and stories.

  • Do you feel there’s a tight line between Mary Sue or should I say Gary Stu and using your own experiences to create a character?

It can be a tight line. However, I think I create a proper balance. I like to balance my characters with a voice of their own. While they may have pieces of me their journeys are never the same as mine.

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

Research never influences my genre choice. My characters speak to me. Goodness gracious, yes, I’m the one that hears voices. LOL No, really. The characters show me what I’ll be working with. I like to say it’s like watching a movie in my head. It all plays out and then I start writing from there. When I’m done then I know what sub-genre I’ve landed in.

I love to researching for details to make the story come to life, but I also love the art of constructing their worlds.

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

LOL. Absolutely! I had no business reading Danielle Steele at the age I started. Yet, I’d devoured those books anytime I could get my hands on them. I still remember the librarian that used to have to shoo me back to the Sweet Valley High books and I’d pout and give her the stink eye. Now, I write what I love and then I share it with the world, but it all stems from those days.

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

I often cry while writing. I think I tend to push through to get it out and then lick my wounds after. OMG! Kyle’s Reveal did this to me. I cried while writing it, I cried through each round of edits. Like, dude! You wrote the book! Seriously. Stop with the tears. LOL. Yup, needed a long nap at the end of this one.

  • Do you like HFN or HEA? And why?

It depends on the story. I tend to lean more towards HEA. We get to know them, fall in love with them and move on. Lost time I wrote a HFN book is was a three book series and I wrote them back to back. I need to fall out of love with the main character when I’m done. I don’t want to come back for a leading role once I’ve closed the book, know what I mean?

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

I’ve read romance as both. I’ve been a sucker for love for a very long too.

  • Who do you think is your major influence as a writer?  Now and growing up?

My mother. I was able to read and write by the age of two. She made my brother and older cousins write with me and teach me what they knew. (She probably regretted that later. Mouth almighty I was.) She also told me I could do whatever I wanted. She fostered my vivid imagination and allowed me to tell her my stories. She would read my little picture books. That’s where it all started.

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

Ebooks are taking over the world. I’ll admit. I still purchase my YA titles in harder because of the beautiful artwork. Oh, and I always buy my craft books in paperback. However, my Kindle app is where I do most of my reading.

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

I usually go shopping for my stock photos once I have a sense of my lead character. I then hand it off to my designer and they create magic. Kyle’s Reveal was a different process. I presented a series I had and ask the designer to bring it in as close as they could. Voila! Magic!

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

I think I love them all when I’m living in their worlds. At least once I’m done. I totally hate every single book while writing it. However, when I’m done and read it back I fall in love and want to hug them tight. LOL. My Brother’s Keep Collection is a series of books that are really taking a big place in my heart. I love Kyle’s Reveal, book one, but book two, Beau’s Redemption has stolen my heart in a whole new way.

  • What’s next for you as an author?

I’m loving writing as both Blue Saffire and Royal Blue. I have a ton of new releases coming in 2019 and 2020. You asked about building worlds. I so can’t wait to share a few paranormal world’s in the future. We shall see.

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

I believe creating character flaws is a part of the art and craft of writing. I love to create characters that you can’t help but love no matter what. Romance is the language of hope and love. A perfectly flawed character is the greatest way to create a wealth of hope through the experience of love.

  • What traits do you find the most interesting in someone? Do you write them into your characters?

I like to people watch and learn corky things about people. Yup, they sure do show up on page.

  •  Have you ever put a story away, thinking it just didn’t work?  Then years/months/whatever later inspiration struck and you loved it?  Is there a title we would recognize if that happened?

Yes, I’ve done this plenty. Where the Pieces Fall, under my Blue Saffire pen would be one of those.

  • Have you ever had an issue in RL and worked it through by writing it out in a story?  Maybe how you thought you’d feel in a situation?

So, I’m very open about the fact that I lost my mother in 2007 to cancer. I fell into depression and my life spiraled out. I crawled back out of the pit through my writing. I say all the time I write to breathe.

  •  What’s  the wildest scene you’ve imagined and did it make it into a story?

Assassins flying through the air so fast no one in the room sees them. They do their job and it’s done. Yup, share did write it. More than once.

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

I don’t really drink. Nooooo. Don’t run away. We can still be friends. You will see I’m naturally the friend that says stuff you only say drunk. ROTF! Sooo serious.

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

Some place with water that’s nice and warm. Not too hot, the perfect temperature to chill. I’m dreaming of the day that I have Island Blue. LOL

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

I write for me. It’s my escape. It’s my healing. Writing brings me joy. You can find me typing away with a smile on my face at all hours of the day and night.

  •  What’s next for you as a writer?

I’ll be publishing another title in the My Brother’s Keeper Collection with Dreamspinner Press this year as Royal Blue and in 2020 I’ll be publishing four titles as Blue Saffire with Sourcebooks Casablanca. I’ll be signing at Book Lovers Con in NOLA in May and I’ll be at Shameless Con in October. In between, I’ll have a few indie releases and surprises.

Blurb:

Some scars are on the body, while others exist only on the heart. But together, two scarred souls can find healing, love, and family.

Professional basketball player Kyle Tyson is suffocating beneath the weight of his responsibilities and his past. Childhood abuse left its mark, as did Kyle’s guilt over his sister’s death. Now, he’s trying to raise his young nephew, pursue his career, and dodge a narcissistic and manipulative ex who wants to out Kyle before he’s ready.

Schoolteacher Andy Connor found a shield in food as a boy, but that shield nearly took his life. He now bears the marks of a botched skin-tightening surgery following the dramatic weight loss that saved his life. Unfortunately, Andy’s scars have left him insecure about his body, causing him to find a shield in his shyness. Andy can scarcely believe someone like Kyle could be interested in him. But as they get to know each other, Andy starts to see himself through new eyes. Now if he can just help Kyle learn to love himself as much as Andy is growing to love him.

About the Author

The color blue is known for trust and healing, as are the words of author Royal Blue. Blue started writing books to heal herself after losing her mother to breast cancer in 2007, followed by a miscarriage only eight months later. Books and words were one of the things that held her together.

As a young girl, Blue’s mother introduced her to the world of love and music through movies like Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Bye Bye Birdie, and Neptune’s Daughter. Once she got her hands on books that sucked her into the magic that pages bring, an authoress was born. A story here, a few songs there, but she actually didn’t complete a manuscript until 2009.

However, books were piling up and collecting dust as fear clung and whispered evil thoughts. Yet, fear was silenced in 2015. Needing to write in order to breathe and wanting to share, Blue Saffire, Royal’s alter ego, rose from the ashes and entered the world.

The self-proclaimed hermit was born in Far Rockaway, NY, but is now a Long Island resident with her loving and supportive husband. The two work round the clock creating music and characters. There is no shortage of laughter or creativity in their home.

Never in a million years did she think the passion that saved her sanity would allow her to walk around with blue hair and spend her days dreaming of hot men to put on paper. After all, an MBA in Marketing and Project Management, as well as a MED in Curriculum Design and Instructional Technology, tell a very different story. Although, it’s safe to say Royal would rather be doing something Blue with her time.

Email: AuthorRoyalBlue@gmail.com

Website: AuthorRoyalBlue.com

Twitter: @authorroyalblue

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorroyalblue/

Instagram: @authorroyalblue

LaQuette on Second Chances and her new novel ‘Under His Protection’ (author guest post)

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Under His Protection by LaQuette

Dreamspinner Press
Publication: April 16th 2019
Cover Artist: Alexandria Corza

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host LaQuette today on tour for her novel Under His Protection. Welcome, LaQuette!

The Second Time Around

Hello, I’m LaQuette and I’m visiting all the way from Brooklyn, NY! Thanks to the Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words crew for allowing me to talk to you about my favorite romance trope, second chance romances.
Have you ever thought, “If I could only do it all over again, I’d do things differently?”  Now, of course, since there’s no way to travel back in time, we don’t actually know if our different choices would yield different results.  But sometimes, especially where romance is concerned, it’s sure fun to think another chance could make all the difference.
In my latest release, Under His Protection, neither of the heroes want a do over.  Life and circumstances sort of forces that on them.  And even though they have to be brought to this realization kicking and screaming, they ultimately conclude another chance and a clean slate could bring them more happiness than they ever believed possible.
Blurb

They can escape their enemies, but not the desire between them.  Prosecutor Camden Warren is on the fast track to professional nirvana. With his charm, his sharp legal mind, and his father as chief judge in the highest court in NY, he can’t fail. Nothing can derail his rise to the top… until an attempt on his life forces him to accept the help of a man he walked out on five years ago.  Wounded in the line of duty, Lieutenant Elijah Stephenson wants to ride his new desk job until retirement—not take a glorified babysitting gig with more risk than it’s worth… especially not protecting the entitled lawyer who disappeared after the best sex of their lives.  The threat against Camden’s life is real, but their passion for each other might prove the greatest danger they’ve yet to face.

“This is a must-read for fans of tropey contemporary romances filled with snarky banter and steamy sexual encounters, topped off with an ending that will melt the hardest heart.” ~Publishers Weekly

Excerpt
Elijah sat back in his new, mostly empty office, trying to get his head right. Unfortunately, Camden Warren’s presence was an unavoidable distraction he couldn’t ignore.
“If this is your new office, I’d hate to see what the old one looked like,” Camden commented while he stood in the center of the small room and turned in a slow circle to survey the place.
 “The office is new to me, as in it came with my new rank and command,” Elijah responded.
“You’ve been promoted? I always knew you’d make something of yourself. What kind of unit are you being assigned to?”
Did this motherfucker just low-key insult me?Elijah threw the file Captain Searlington had given him onto the empty desk and leaned back in his chair. “Listen. There’s no need for the small talk. I’m here to do a job, and you’re here because someone is trying to kill you. If you haven’t been worried about my life enough to call over the last five years, my new promotion shouldn’t be of any concern to you now.”
Elijah returned his focus to the file as he heard Camden take the few steps to the seat in front of Elijah’s desk.
“Bitter much, Detective?”
Elijah pulled his nose from the papers in front of him and lifted a skeptical brow.
“Bitter? To be bitter, I’d have to care. We fucked. It was fun, but that’s all it was. I had no illusions it would be otherwise. The dick was good.”
A flash of memory zipped across Elijah’s mind, reminding him just how good Camden had been. Good didn’t accurately describe the way the lawyer made Elijah’s entire body burn with need that night.
It didn’t matter, though. Elijah for damn sure wasn’t about to share that bit of info and contribute to Camden’s already inflated ego. Nope, he’d just swallow the appreciation he had for Camden’s stroke game and keep it to himself.
“But just so you know,” Elijah continued, “I don’t make a habit of laying with bad fucks. You weren’t special. It didn’t mean shit then, and it has no bearing on how I do my job five years later. Get over yourself, and let’s get to work on your case.”
Camden’s Adam’s apple bobbed as the man swallowed.
He shoots. He scores.
The minor action told Elijah he’d stuck a pin in Camden’s “I’m better than everybody else” perspective of himself. With that settled, maybe they’d get some work done since their focus was off how sexy Camden was then—and now, if Elijah was to be honest.
“Executive ADA Warren,” Elijah stated with his matter-of-fact cop tone in play, “why does the Path of Unity want you dead?”
LaQuette is the 2016 Golden Apple Award Author of the year winner. She writes bold & sexy tales for diverse characters who are confident in their right to appear on the page. Represented by Latoya C. Smith of LCS Literary Agency.  Visit her at LaQuette.comand LaQuette@LaQuette.com

Scattered Thoughts on the Rainbow Quiltbag. This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Scattered Thoughts on the Rainbow Quiltbag

So I was sort of at a loss as to what to write about this week, my thoughts were all over the place.  And as usual, it came to me through a conglomeration of pictures, hits to the heart, books, people, and just moments in the weirdness that is my mind.

What all clashed together?  Well, it started with this quote from a story I’m reviewing next week from NR Walker.  It’s called Upside Down. If you haven’t read it, run out and grab it now.  I’ll be reviewing it later on.

 “Asexuality is defined by the absence of something.”

 

Boom!  What a way to start a novel and to set off an astonishing inner monologue by a character who’s intelligent,endearing, compex, and seeking answers to his sexuality. And not happy with the article he’s been reading. Of course, he hasn’t exactly finished it as his best friend and fellow librarian will later point out.   But it prompts a discussion over the fact that he feels that as a person he doesn’t feel that he’ should be defined by an absence of anything.  What follows is an extraordinarily well written story about  one man’s journey towards understanding  his asexuality,  two men in love,and their heartwarming romance and path to HEA which includes a daily bus ride, a Soup Crew and a cast to carry your heart.  One of my two 5 star reads in a week.

And for this blog and many others a story with characters that are Ace is standard, just part of the LGBTQIA spectrum we read and review.  Genderqueer, Non-binary, and Genderfluid , Pansexual, Aromantic, Intersex, our reviews (along with the books we are offered) have expanded far beyond what this blog first began with.

I couldn’t be happier or sadder that it took so long.

When Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words first took its first baby steps years ago, all our stories (I was at first the only reviewer as the owner), the only stories primarily out there were M/M.  Slowly I remember one or two transexual  short stories trickling in, a couple of bisexual characters in others that people angrily fought over in reviews on GRs and here because bisexuality  was still so poorly understood by some writers that they still considered it that “way station” to gayness, instead of a legitimate sexuality all its own.

But for the most part, M/M, with the F/F fiction for the most part not being carried along side.

Now things have changed.  We do read and review the spectrum.  Yes, perhaps, it’s still heavy on one or several sides, but we are getting better as does our choices of books  sent in to read and review.  That’s grown steadily larger too.  Perhaps to to ePublishing, eBooks?  I don’t know, but grown it has as Yoda would say.

It’s not just our stories but the change is reflected in the authors who mirror the rainbow of stories we read and review.

You wondered what else sparked this all things Rainbow?  This…I have someone at the Star Wars con and they posted this pic..

 

Our stories have always been full of geeky nerds we love to fall in love with and one recent story I read even featured a Con, with an enormous amounts of fans.  If its Star Wars, can it’s fans of any shape, size, color, or sexuality be far behind?  I think not.

I guess from a Pride Squadron to a librarian looking for answers to a YA #lovehim series that continues to astonish me, the full spectrum of the Rainbow hit me full force this week, as did a bit of “wow I’m so happy we’ve come so far”.

I know we have a long way to go but as it’s pouring outside and I’m looking forward to setting in with another book this afternoon (and GoT tonight).  I’m still so happy at the strides made ….steps forward are still that.  Movement ahead.  And that’s where I’m focused!

What are your thoughts on all this?

And btw?  I’m both Star Wars AND Star Trek! lol  Just don’t ask me which Captain….we don’t have that much time!

Now for our schedule this coming week!  There be dragons ahead tonight!

This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, April 14:

  • This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
  • Release Blitz for Finding Finlay (MC Securities #2) by Ruby Moone (excerpt and giveaway)

Monday, April 15:

  • DSP PROMO LaQuette on Under His Protection
  • DSP PROMO Royal Blue
  • Release Blitz – Ace in the Picture by Jude Tresswell
  • Release Blitz – Outshined by Clancy Nacht & Thursday Euclid
  • An Ashlez Review: Outshined by Clancy Nacht & Thursday Euclid
  • A Stella Review: Indulge Me (Kitchen Gods #4) by Beth Bolden
  • A MelanieM Review:To Be Continued (#lovehim #3.5) by S.M. James

Tuesday, April 16:

  • Release Blitz – Lillian Francis – Under The Radar
  • Blog Tour – Strokes on a Canvas by H. Lewis-Foster
  • Blog Tour – Galen’s Redemption (Links in the Chain #2) by Parker Williams
  • An Ashlez Review: Catastrophe by Deirdre O’Dare
  • A Stella Review: Galen’s Redemption (Links in the Chain #2) by Parker Williams
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Where There’s A Will Deanes (Get Out #4) by Sean Kennedy
  • A Lila Release Day Review: Under His Protection by LaQuette

Wednesday, April 17:

  • Release Blitz – Wrong Way Home – K.A. Merikan
  • Release Blitz  – Indulge Me (Kitchen Gods #4) by Beth Bolden
  • AUDIOBOOK REVIEW TOUR – With a Kick Collection #2 by Clare London
  • An Alisa Review: Coming Home Finding Home #2) by Carly Marie
  • A Stella Review: Let Me Show You by Becca Seymour
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audio Review – With a Kick Collection #2 by Clare London

Thursday, April 18:

  • Sale Blitz for Love & Family Book 1: TABOO FOR YOU
  • Cover Reveal for  Rebecca Cohen’s Anthony, Earl of Crofton
  • Release Blitz for – Tainted Love by T.S. Hunter
  • An Alisa Review: Because of Sam by J.D. Walker
  • A MelanieM Review: Tainted Love (Soho Noir #1) by T.S. Hunter
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review:  Playing in the Dark (Glasgow Lads #4)  by Avery Cockburn

Friday, April 19:

  • Series Blitz/Review Tour – Holeshot Series – Lynn Michaels
  • Starting From Zero by Lane Hayes Book  Blitz
  • Release Blitz Grace Kilian Delaney – Living On A Dare
  • An Alisa Review: Hunter (Roam #2) by Dez Schwartz
  • An Ali Review: The Holeshot (Book #1) by Lynn Michaels
  • A MelanieM Review:  This Is Not A Love Story by Suki Fleet
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Best Behaviour by Matthew Metzger

Saturday, April 20:

  • Release Blitz – Alex Jane – Devil Next Door (Criminal Delights: Obsession)
  • A MelanieM Review: Heated Rivalry (Game Changers #2) by Rachel Reid

A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Impacted! (Bay Area Professionals) by Mickie B. Ashling

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Rating: 3.25 stars out of 5 

As the author acknowledges, she had a limited knowledge of BDSM when this was written. While this story was originally written in 2009, this is a re-edited and re-released version for 2019. It does jump right into a rough sex scene between strangers with no real concern for trust or safety, not really enough lube, and no prep.

Scott Gregory has bought into a periodontal practice in San Francisco. Knowing his partner Ron is conservative, he decides to stay in the closet due to the trial period in the contract before he becomes a full partner. His hookup with Red, from a BDSM club during his vacation, turns out to be Robin Kennedy, his new dental hygienist. Of course he is in the same boat–working for a homophobe and worried about being fired. Scott’s best friend from school, Susie ends up being hired to be his assistant. I’m not sure that having Susie or Ron’s point of view helped this book.

As soon as Scott and Robin see each other, they want each other again even though it’s a terrible idea. Then they go straight to Scott calling him Master for their second scene and swiftly into a contract. The encounter where Scott tops Robin is uncomfortable; he’s a virgin and doesn’t bottom, or as far as we know even use toys and there is no prep at all! Robin says he would never risk exposing Scott, yet that’s exactly what he does. If you read the blurb and thought, what could possibly go wrong…then you know exactly what goes wrong. Of course, they get caught. Then there is an OTT (over the top) ridiculous plot twist!

Susie doesn’t come across as the most likeable character. She also can’t be that close of a friend if she doesn’t know about Scott. Now all of the sudden she gets introduced to BDSM. I found this whole plot point rather irritating to be honest. She obviously has trust issues, hasn’t seen a loving relationship, and treats men as disposable…but now all of the sudden that makes sense because she might be a Domme? The other dental assistant Jenna, Ron’s wife, and Ron’s daughter are not pleasant either. In fact, the only likeable female character in this is actually Robin’s mom.

I guess this is frustrating because I liked elements of this and it flowed well for the most part, but there were just so many things that didn’t work for me. After such a major conflict, everything gets wrapped up with a bow without really working things out properly in my opinion. It ends abruptly. I must be in the minority in my view because there are five books in this series, with Bonds of Love being the sequel that still focuses on this couple. I’m torn about whether to read it or not because I know these guys now and I want to see them progress emotionally and deal with things more maturely. I want to know what happens with Ron. However, I am annoyed with Jenna and she’ll likely feature in the sequel. I personally have no interest in Susie’s storyline going any further. I don’t see how Ron could be redeemed and I don’t have any interest in what that would look like. I have to decide if this HFN is enough for me, or if I want to read about what Scott and Robin’s relationship is like now that they are out of the closet. Also, there are some soap opera elements that should be wrapped up in the sequel.

The cover art is by Kanaxa. I don’t know who this is. Scott is described as having honey colored hair and green eyes. Robin is a natural redhead with freckles. This cover has no connection to the story at all.

Buy links:  Dreamspinner PressAmazon 

Book Details:

ebook, 234 pages
Published August 3rd 2009 by Dreamspinner Press (first published August 2009)
Original TitleImpacted
ISBN 1615810234 (ISBN13: 9781615810239)
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series Bay Area Professionals #1
settingCalifornia (United States)

Mickie B. Ashlings on Writing, Romances, and her new release “Impacted” (author giveaway and guest blog)

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Impacted (Bay Area Professionals #1) by Mickie B. Ashling

Dreamspinner Press
Cover Art: Kanaxa

Buy links:  Dreamspinner PressAmazon 

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Mickie B. Ashling here today with a wonderful interview and giveaway.  Welcome, Mickie!

Thank you for hosting the blog tour for the second edition of Impacted! This novel, the first in a series of five, was published ten years ago when I was new on the scene. It was my first foray into BDSM and I’ll admit I made a few mistakes. Nonetheless, it was surprisingly well received, and continues to draw new readers. This second edition offers a gorgeous new cover designed by Kanaxa along with extensive edits for a more enjoyable reading experience.

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with Mickie B. Ashling…

  • How much of yourself goes into a character?

I know there’s a little bit of me in each character or situation I write. Even though my stories are mostly about gay men, and I’m obviously not, love and attraction are a human experience. I’ve drawn from my emotional well on more than one occasion. The Bay Area Professional Series is set in San Francisco, where I lived for over ten years. My experience as an office manager in a dental practice was a constant source of inspiration. Most of us are terrified of dentists and would never associate them with good times. I wanted to change the narrative. The men who populate this series are nothing like the ghoulish doctors most of us remember from our childhood.      

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

Yes. I’ve been writing in the m/m genre since I was first published in 2009. I’ve had to do my share of research on multiple fronts. Location is usually the easiest—and the most enjoyable when I get to travel—but I’ve been known to pester my gay friends with questions when I can’t find answers on the internet. My go-to for all things BDSM has been an online friend since 2011. He’s in a long-term, committed D/s relationship, and I couldn’t ask for a more generous and supportive resource. Last year, I started a fantasy series—a new genre for me—and I’m discovering the joys of world building. There’s a heady freedom to this genre I’m enjoying immensely.    

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

When I started Loving Edits, the first book in The Basque Trilogy, I knew it would be difficult to get through without a lot of stops and starts. The story is a tribute to my mother who died of ALS. One of my main characters (I had 3 as this trilogy is m/m/m) also suffers from the disease. Difficult and gut-wrenching don’t even come close to what I experienced as I was writing these books. I was traumatized by the experience of nursing my mother during her last year. My knee-jerk reaction to the acronym ALS is to cover my ears and babble la-la-la until the moment passes. It took all my will power to plot the story and do the necessary research. I assumed there had been advances in the treatment of ALS since my mother’s death, but I was sadly mistaken. Despite the money and manpower, there has been very little progress in trying to figure out this horrendous and fatal disease. My beta readers were gutted by the end. It was hard for all of us.

  • Do you like HFN or HEA? And why?

You can’t be a romance writer if you don’t like the happy ending, but I’m more inclined to leave my characters with a happy for now.  Love is a fickle mistress and usually unpredictable. Sustaining the happily ever after takes a lot of work and, as I’ve often said, good luck. We can’t all be blessed with the right partner from the start. Sometimes it takes multiple tries to get it right.

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

I read a lot of romances as a teenager. In retrospect I wish I hadn’t. It left me with high expectations that were completely unrealistic. Pair this with a Catholic school upbringing, and I was seeing the world through rose-tinted lenses. My poor mother had to deal with burst bubbles and the accompanying tears for most of my teen years. So much drama. I wouldn’t go back in time for all the money in the world. 

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

This question was more relevant about ten years ago when I was first published. Back then, ebooks were a new thing, and a lot of readers rejected them, but history and Amazon have proven they are here to stay. The convenience of carrying your entire library in a tiny device is incomparable. Plus, there’s the question of timing. The ability to access your favorite author’s newest release within minutes of publication is very satisfying for people who don’t like to wait. I’m one of those type A-personalities who’d rather walk out of a store than stand in a line. One click was made for people like me. 

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

It’s difficult to pick one among 34 full-length novels (and 3 novellas) I’ve written and published in the last ten years. Asking me which of my children is my “favorite” is a trick question, and I can’t answer without hurting someone’s feelings. While I’m working on the story it’s my favorite, but once I’m done, and it’s out of my hands, I move on to the next project. I guess if you pinned me down I would choose The Basque Trilogy as the most significant because of the emotional ties I mentioned a few questions up. I loved writing Yesterday and Mayon. Both of these historical novels are set in foreign locals—Yesterday in Pakistan and Mayon in the Philippines—where I resided at one point in my life. I relied heavily on my memories plus there was a lot of research involved in the case of Yesterday, which focused on the months leading up to the revolution in Iran. One of my MCs was a relative of the Shah and directly impacted by the overthrow of the monarchy. 

  • What’s next for you as an author?

I’ve just finished and submitted the sequel to my Legacy Series published through NineStar Press. A Noble Cause starts where A Tangled Legacy ended. I’m hoping to release in the late summer, but that depends on the publisher’s schedule. I have nothing definite to announce at this time. Last November, I self-published book five in the Bay Area Professional Series. Yield explores the darker side of BDSM and other taboo subjects. It didn’t fit the guidelines for Dreamspinner Press, so I chose to self-pub rather than submit elsewhere.   

  • Have you ever had an issue in RL and worked it through by writing it out in a story?  Maybe how you thought you’d feel in a situation?

Yes. My Caucasian MC in Third Son was born and raised in Hong Kong. Like me, who grew up in the Philippines, Niall’s physicality didn’t match his Asian mindset. Trying to fit into both cultures seamlessly was always a challenge. Falling in love and being viewed as the “foreigner,” despite sharing a long childhood history, was painful. I made sure Niall got his HEA. 

 

  • What’s the wildest scene you’ve imagined and did it make it into a story?

A random stop at an ice cream stall at the Taste of Chicago turned into one of my bestsellers. Taste was inspired by a hot dude who handed me the cone. He had a colorful tattoo sleeve, a killer smile, and my muse decided then and there that he must be wearing pink panties underneath those faded jeans. I started writing the story as soon as I got home. 

 

  • What’s next for you as a writer?

I’ve got a few ideas percolating, but I haven’t started a new project yet. I’d like to do something different, in another genre perhaps, but wanting and getting it done don’t always go hand in hand. All I can say is there will be another story in about six months. Stay tuned! 

 

Impacted!

Bay Area Professionals

On his way home from vacation, Scott Gregory, a closeted sub, hooks up with the gorgeous Red, a flamboyant Dom, for a thrilling one-off at a BDSM bar. They part ways after a satisfying scene… but meet again when Robin Kennedy—Red—arrives at his new job as a dental hygienist and discovers one of his two bosses is Scott.

Robin and Scott embark on a journey of exploration into their kinkier sides and discover they’re more than compatible—they’re a perfect match. But keeping employer/employee and Dom/sub separate at the office presents difficulties, and to make matters even more complicated, the owner of the dental practice is an acknowledged homophobe.

They fall in love, but Robin chafes at all the secrecy, refusing to live in the shadows. Scott isn’t as brave; he’s desperate to protect his job and his future. Will they be able to find some middle ground… or will their entire relationship fall apart because of fear?

 

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Author Bio

Mickie B. Ashling is the pseudonym of a multifaceted woman who is a product of her upbringing in multiple cultures, having lived in Japan, the Philippines, Spain, and the Middle East. Fluent in three languages, she’s a citizen of the world and an interesting mixture of East and West. A little bit of this and a lot of that have brought a unique touch to her literary voice she could never learn from textbooks.  

By the time Mickie discovered her talent for writing, real life got in the way, and the business of raising four sons took priority. With the advent of e-publishing–and the inevitable emptying nest–dreams of becoming a published writer were resurrected and she’s never looked back.

She stumbled into the world of men who love men in 2002 and continues to draw inspiration from their ongoing struggle to find equality and happiness in this oftentimes skewed and intolerant world. She admits to being an angst queen and making her men work damn hard for their happy endings. 

Mickie currently resides in a suburb outside Chicago. 

Contact Info

E-MAIL: http://mickie.ashling@gmail.com

BLOG: http://mickiebashling.blogspot.com

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/mickie.ashling

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/MickieAshling

INSTAGRAM: @mickieashling

AMAZON: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B004QSCN3E

GOODREADS: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2904716.Mickie_B_Ashling