Holiday Release Blitz for Home For Christmas (A Texas Story) by RJ Scott (excerpt and giveaway)

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK 
 
Length: 45,000 words approx.
 
Cover Design: Meredith Russell
 

Texas Series


Book #1 – The Heart of Texas – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #2 – Texas Winter – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #3 – Texas Heat – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #4 – Texas Family – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #5 – Texas Christmas – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #6 – Texas Fall – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #7 – Texas Wedding – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #8 – Texas Gift – Amazon US | Amazon UK

 
Blurb
 

Can Connor show River a real family Christmas?


When Connor finds River on the roof of the campus admin building, he doesn’t know what to do. His friend is drunk, and shouting into a snowstorm, a bottle of vodka in his hand. The easy part is getting River down; the hard part is insisting River comes home with Connor for Christmas.


River doesn’t have a family, or any place outside of college that he calls home. Not that it matters to him; he’s happy being alone for Christmas in his budget motel, watching reruns of Elf. Only, Connor keeps telling wildly improbable stories of the perfect family celebrations at his parents’ ranch in Texas, and it’s wearing River down. He didn’t ask to be kidnapped. He didn’t want to fall in love with the entire Campbell-Hayes family. But he does.


From one Christmas to the next. This is Connor’s year to rescue River, and himself, for them both to mess things up, make things right, fall in lust and finally, for Connor to show the man he loves what being part of a family can mean.

 
Excerpt
 
Chapter 1


Connor skidded to a stop.


The cold December wind whipped around his face, ice and snow knifing into his skin, and at first, he couldn’t make sense of what he was seeing.


Maybe he should have stopped, called 911, shouted for help, but it could’ve been too late, so he’d acted on instinct alone. He’d taken the four flights of stairs at a run, reaching the roof and throwing the door open. His lungs burned from the freezing air and his voice had gone. What now?


Why was River on the roof in nothing but jeans and a T-shirt, clearly drunk? Why was he standing on the ledge, his feet spread, his arms wide, and a bottle of vodka in his hand?


When the girl from his floor told him she’d seen River go up to the roof, he thought she’d meant something else. He often went up there to read or watch life go by. But not in a snow storm.


He didn’t expect to see River standing on the ledge in the snow.


Don’t scare him. He’ll stumble and fall. He might jump.


A gust of air slapped Connor. River swayed to the left but righted himself with the casual grace of a gymnast. River wouldn’t fall by accident. Hell, Connor had seen him balance on one hand on a diving board, perfectly still, before falling gracefully and accurately with spins and pikes into the water below. He’d never seen River falter.


“River?” Connor asked, only an inch from grabbing River’s shirt and holding him tight. He saw River tense, but he didn’t wobble in surprise or slip and fall to the ground.


“I canbalance. Look at me.” River sounded so damn proud of himself.


Connor took a small step forward, finally being able to hold River’s shirt, hoping to hell that would be enough to stop River from falling.


“Come down, buddy.”


River lifted the bottle over his head, sloshing alcohol over his hair, his tongue flicking out to catch any that ran over his face.


“Fuck,” he shouted.


Connor tugged at him, not knowing what else to do. “Come back,” he said, loud enough that River actually looked at him.


“Leave me alone,” he said.


“I’m not leaving you on the roof,” Connor snapped and got a better hold of River, hooking a finger into his belt. River wasn’t a big guy, a diver’s body, no more than five ten and a buck sixty soaking wet, but if he fell, would Connor be able to hold him long enough to save him?


River pulled against Connor’s grip, and for a second the world stopped turning as Connor had to use his entire body weight to keep him upright. Something about the action must have scared River. He cursed and rocked backward, but he still wouldn’t come down.


“Come down,” Connor pleaded. “You’re scaring me.”


“You think you gotta save me? Huh?” River threw his arms wide again, more alcohol sloshing over the top of the bottle. “I don’t need saving.”


“I want you to come down.” Connor tried for calm. What was he doing? He should have called the cops immediately when he spotted River. Or firefighters, negotiators? Or whoever the hell should’ve been here. He’d seen things like this on the television, the mediator knowing all the right things to say and do, standing by River and connecting him to his family or childhood or his faith. All Connor knew was that he needed to pull River down, use the only thing he had going for him; the fact that he was bigger and stronger.


“I like it up here!” River explained with another wide gesture. He wobbled a little but righted himself immediately.


“Come down, Riv.”


“Saint Connor tries to save everyone,” River shouted, ending with a hysterical laugh. He was clearly losing control of himself, and even if Connor did have the words to talk him down, he thought maybe he’d just yank River back onto the concrete roof of the building and worry about injuries later.


But River wasn’t finished. “Even if they don’t need saving!”


“River!”


“Who the hell cares if I can balance, huh?”


“I care,” Connor shouted back. This was so out of character.


“Yeah, right, telling me what Christmas and family is like for you, making me see it in my head, and then leaving me here alone.”


“River, please.” Connor tugged him, but River wouldn’t move back.


“Leaving me here, alone, because that’s all anyone ever does. They fuck off, leave me, and what happens when college is over, huh? What happens when I lose that?” He lifted one clenched fist to the sky. “Fuck you!”


Connor had never heard River curse like this, and he was done with holding on to him. So evaluating where they would end up if they fell backward and not caring how much it hurt, he yanked, hard. River tumbled with him, arms flailing and the vodka bottle slipping from his grasp and falling into the tub of snow-covered plants on the roof patio. The two of them fell onto the roof, Connor using his body to cushion River’s descent, getting his arms full of an icy cold man, the breath forced from his lungs when they hit the ground.


Connor enveloped him in his arms and locked his hands in place, fighting a frozen, wet, drunk River. He wouldn’t get free. Connor had his pappa’s height, a rancher’s build, and he was a solid anchor in the wind and snow. There was no point in River fighting, and somehow he must have realized he couldn’t get free and went still in Connor’s arms.


All Connor could think was that he’d wanted River back in his arms for a long time now, but he’d expected soft lighting and mood music, not driving winds and snow.


“What the hell are you doing?” Connor demanded.


“Let me the fuck go.”


“Jesus, are you trying to kill yourself?”


River attempted to wriggle free. Connor’s grip didn’t falter in his hold. With his arms securely around River, he shuffled them back so they were protected by the low wall. He wanted to get them back inside, but he wasn’t ready to let River go yet, and the door was at least ten feet away. What if River wriggled free and ran for the ledge? The idea of River on the ground, twisted in death, blood… Connor didn’t want to think about it. He opened his coat, one-handed, and then pulled River closer, trying to get as much of the material to go over him, attempting to keep them both warm. River’s skin was like ice. How long had he been standing up there?


“What were you doing?” he demanded, but River didn’t reply, only burrowed deeper into Connor’s hold. This was stupid. He needed to get them off the roof, or he needed help. His phone was in the car. The campus was emptying for Christmas. It was ten a.m., snowing. What the hell was he going to do now?


“I have no one,” River muttered, then laughed and buried his face deeper.


“What do you mean? Talk to me, River.”


“No.”


“We need to get inside.”


How the hell do I get River inside?


He imagined struggling with River’s weight, trying to get him down four flights of stairs and across to his room. Maybe if he could just get him to the car, with its heated seats and the warm air blower and the coffee in a flask that Connor had made for the start of his journey back to Dallas. Then he could call someone, the cops or a doctor? That seemed like a plan, a focus. He scrambled to his feet, bringing River with him, and stumbled inside. As soon as the door shut, warmth hit them, prickling at his exposed skin, and he moved toward the radiator, still gripping River’s belt. He let go of him long enough to remove his jacket and place it around the shivering man’s shoulders.


River buried himself in the coat, and Connor went into disaster assessment mode. He’d seen hypothermia back home at the D, and it wasn’t pretty. He remembered his pappa saying there were signs to look for, and when Jack spoke, Connor always listened. He pulled up the facts he could remember. Did River have hypothermia? His teeth weren’t chattering, and he wasn’t talking at all, so it wasn’t obvious if he was slurring. Then, even if he did talk and his speech was slurry, how could Connor tell how much vodka he’d drunk? Connor tried to remember the symptoms. The college hospital wasn’t far away. He could drive there, and they would help.


Why the hell did I leave my phone in the damned car?


“It’s okay. I’m okay.”


“No, you’re not.”


“You can go,” River said dully. He wriggled closer to the radiator.


“I’m not going anywhere.”


“But you are,” River murmured. “You kissed me, you got me off, and now you’re leaving today.” Then he hid his face in his hands. “Shit, shit, shit.”


Wait. Was this about what happened at the thanksgiving party?


Is this my fault?


Connor didn’t usually drink that much, but he’d had one beer too many at the party, to the point where he had all the courage he needed to wait for River to come out of the bathroom.


“Can I kiss you?” he’d asked, and River had stared at him, stone-cold sober and narrow-eyed.


But then, holy shit, River had pushed him back into the nearest bedroom, shut the door, and the kiss had turned into something more, hands tangled in hair, the two of them kissing and rutting against each other until they were coming in their jeans. Really unromantic. Nothing more than getting off, and River had left before Connor could even get his breath back. Not the best of outcomes. Then River had ignored him. Not returning texts, no more study sessions in the library, and he’d even missed the last lecture of the semester.


All of that told Connor on thing: River wasn’t interested in anything more with him. But that didn’t mean they weren’t still friends. They sat in silence for a few minutes, River’s face still buried in his hands, and he was clearly crying.


What the hell should I do now?

USA Today bestselling author RJ Scott writes stories with a heart of romance, a troubled road to reach happiness, and most importantly, a happily ever after.


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


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


She’s always thrilled to hear from readers, bloggers and other writers. Please contact via the links below:

 

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Love Holiday Stories? Check out the Review Tour and Giveaway for A Soldier’s Wish (A Christmas Angel Story) by N.R. Walker

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Length: 55,000 words approx.

Cover Design: Meredith Russell

The Christmas Angel Series

Christmas Angel – Eli Easton – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Summerfield’s Angel – Kim Fielding – Amazon US | Amazon UK
The Magician’s Angel – Jordan L. Hawk – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Christmas Homecoming – L.A. Witt – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Shrewd Angel – Anyta Sunday – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Christmas Prince – RJ Scott- Amazon US | Amazon UK

Blurb


The year is 1969…

Gary Fairchild is proud to be a hippie college student, and he protests the Vietnam War because he believes in love and peace. To him, it isn’t just a counterculture movement—it’s a way of life. When tickets to the Aquarium Exposition—3 Days of Peace & Music, or Woodstock, as it was better known, go on sale, there’s no way he isn’t going.
Richard Ronsman is a sheltered farm boy who lives in the shadow of his overbearing father. He’s hidden his darkest secret to earn his father’s love, but nothing is ever good enough—not even volunteering for the Vietnam War. And with just a few days left before he’s deployed, he’s invited by a striking hippie to join him at a music festival.Three days of music, drugs, rain, mud, and love forged a bond between these two very different men that would shape the rest of their lives. They share dreams and fears, and when Richard is shipped off to war, they share letters and love. For Richard’s first Christmas home, he is gifted a special angel ornament that just might make a soldier’s wish come true.This story is one of seven stories which can all be read and enjoyed in any order.
 
 

Dec 2 – Boulevard des Passions, Gay Book Reviews, Dec 4 – Lelyana’s Reviews, Dec 6 – Cupcakes & Bookshelves, Megan’s Media Melange, Dec 8 – Xtreme Delusions, My Fiction Nook, Dec 10 – Mirrigold, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Sexy Erotic Xciting, Open Skye, The Secret Of Ko, Rainbow Book Reviews, Dec 12 – Bookaholic & Kindle, Dec 14 – Making It Happen, MM Good Book Reviews, Dec 17 – Momma Says: To Read Or Not To Read, Lillian Francis, Wicked Reads, Two Chicks Obsessed, Dec 19 – Drops Of Ink, Kimmers Erotic Book Banter, Bayou Book JunkieAmy’s MM Romance Reviews, Dec 21 – Bonkers About Books, Book Corner Reviews

 

Read Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words review here.  We are loving this series!

 

 

The Christmas Angel Series

In 1750, a master woodcarver poured all his unrequited love, passion, and longing into his masterpiece—a gorgeous Christmas angel for his beloved’s tree. When the man he loved tossed the angel away without a second thought, a miracle happened. The angel was found by another who brought the woodcarver True Love.

Since then, the angel has been passed down, sold, lost and found, but its magic remains. Read the romances inspired by (and perhaps nudged along by) the Christmas angel through the years. Whether it’s 1700s England (Eli Easton’s Christmas Angel), the 1880’s New York (Kim Fielding’s Summerfield’s Angel), the turn-of-the-century (Jordan L. Hawk’s Magician’s Angel), World War II (L.A. Witt’s Christmas Homecoming), Vietnam-era (N.R. Walker’s Soldier’s Wish), the 1990’s (Anyta Sunday’s Shrewd Angel), or 2018 (RJ Scott’s Christmas Prince), the Christmas angel has a way of landing on the trees of lonely men who need its blessing for a very Merry Christmas and forever HEA.

Author Bio

N.R. Walker is an Australian author, who loves her genre of gay romance. She loves writing and spends far too much time doing it, but wouldn’t have it any other way.

She is many things; a mother, a wife, a sister, a writer. She has pretty, pretty boys who she gives them life with words.

She likes it when they do dirty, dirty things…but likes it even more when they fall in love. She used to think having people in her head talking to her was weird, until one day she happened across other writers who told her it was normal.

She’s been writing ever since…

 

 

 

 

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Release Blitz Tour and Giveaway for Trusting Jack (MC Securities #1) by Ruby Moone

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Length: 45,000 words approx.
 
Cover Design: Meredith Russell
 
Blurb
 

With only a few days to go until Christmas, Michael Cross has to admit there is something amiss about his latest employee, Jack Whelan. Quiet, jumpy, thin… he never seems to eat. He is also incredibly gorgeous with dark spiky hair that Michael aches to touch. But as his boss, Jack is off limits. And when it comes to relationships, he…well, he sucks.


Jack Whelan is at the end of his tether. He’s living rough in the middle of winter, and paying off a massive debt, so getting a job with MC Securities is a lifeline. His new boss is also the hottest guy ever. Geeky, broody, and scarily clever.


When Michael stumbles upon the reality of Jack’s life, he offers to help. But as Michael’s feelings deepen, and Jack’s terrible past catches up with him, Michael has to decide between believing in the awful truth that is staring him in the face, or trusting Jack.

My name is Ruby Moone and I love books. All kinds of books. My weakness is for romance, and that can be any kind, but I am particularly fond of historical and paranormal. I decided to write gay romance after reading some fantastic books and falling in love with the genre, so am really thrilled to have my work published here. The day job takes up a lot of my time, but every other spare moment finds me writing or reading. I live in the north west of England with my husband who thinks that I live in two worlds. The real world and in the world in my head…he probably has a point!


Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/RubyMoone/?ref=bookmarks
Twitter – @RubyMooneWriter
Instagram https://www.instagram.com/rubymoone/

Giveaway

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First of Our Best of 2018 Lists. This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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First of Our Best of 2018 Lists

So this Sunday we are starting off with our first of our Best of 2018 lists.  First up is our reviewer Alisa with her Top Stories down to her Top Covers.  Yes, we have always shared our love of book covers here along with our appreciation of the various artists talents.  Lately we have had some new names appear doing absolutely incredible covers alongside the artists who represent the best in the industry.  So make sure you check out all the names to go along with the beautiful covers we put out there.  Maybe give us a few suggestions of your own.

Also relatively new are the narrators in the  audiobook Best of category.  I listen to more and more audiobooks every year and can’t stress the importance of a fabulous narrator.  They can make or break an audiobook.  Check out who Alisa has as her favorites below.  Do you have yours?

Each week we will roll out more lists…keep an eye out to see how our lists compare with yours.  Did you miss some books?  Did we agree on others?  Let me know!

 

From Alisa:

2018 Top Stories/Novels

Guarding His Melody by Victoria Sue

Blood for the Spilling by TJ Nichols

Promises Part 4 by AE Via

Elemental Magick by Jacki James

Us by Shaw Montgomery

Professor Adorkable by Edie Danford

Discovery by Quinn Ward

Expecting by Sarah Havan

After the Weekend by Silvia Violet

The Swap by Annabella Michaels

Best Audiobooks

Permanent Ink by Avon Gale and Piper Vaughn, narrator Kirt Graves

Kairos by Mary Calmes, narrator Michael Fell

Freckles by Amy Lane, narrator Nick Russo

BFF by KC Wells, narrator Michael Mola

Pins and Needles by AJ Thomas, narrator Jason Riley

Best Series

Men of Meadowfall by Anna Wineheart

Studies in Demonology by TL Nichols

Promises by AE Via

Requiem Inc. by Kris T. Bethke

College of United Monsters by CB Archer

Cold Case Psychic by Pandora Pine

Enhanced World by Victoria Sue

The Accidental Master by MA Innes

Kink in the City by Quinn Ward

Strength by MA Innes

Best Covers

Blood for the Spilling by TJ Nichols, cover artist Catt Ford

Heart of a Redneck by Jodi Payne, cover artist Alexandria Corza

Edge of Living by HL Day, cover artist HL Day

Elemental Magick by Jacki James, cover artist Vicki Brostenianc

Expecting by Sarah Havan, cover artist Melissa Liban

 

Now here is this week at our blog.  We continue with more Advent Calendar stories, I have reviewed an incredible M/M historic romance today called The Bibliophile by Drew Marvin Frayne.  You really should check that out. The Yakuza Path series by Amy Tasukada is as far from a holiday saga as you can get.  But it’s brilliant, bloody, and a must read. Number 4 is out this week.  If you love holiday series, The Christmas Angel series is not to be missed, several of them are also on to be reviewed as well.  So much going on.  Don’t miss a day here.

 

Happy Reading!

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, December 9: ☃️

  • First of Our Best of 2018 Lists.
  • This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
  • Book Blast Love’s Trials by Janice Jarrell
  • A MelanieM Review: The Bibliophile by Drew Marvin Frayne
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Oz (Finding Home #1) by Lily Morton
  • An Alisa Advent Calendar Review: Holiday Island by A.D. Ellis

Monday, December 10:☃️

  • COVER REVEAL: Amanda Meuwissen’s A Model Escort
  • Release Blitz for Home For Christmas by RJ Scott
  • Review Tour for A Soldier’s Wish (A Christmas Angel Story) by NR Walker
  • Release Blitz Tour for  Trusting Jack by Ruby Moore
  • A Lila Advent Calendar Review: Boca Dreams by Scudder James Jr
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: A Soldier’s Wish (A Christmas Angel Story) by NR Walker
  • A Lucy Review : Under The Felt Mistletoe by Nell Iris
  • An Alisa Review: Mine for Christmas by AD Lawless

Tuesday, December 11: ☃️

  • PROMO Andrew Grey
  • Release Blitz  Tour – Old Acquaintance by Annabelle Jacobs
  • In the Spotlight Tour and Giveaway: Chasing Forever by Kelly Jensen
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Stetsons and Stakeouts by BA Tortuga
  • A Lucy Review : All I Want Is You by DJ Jamison
  • A Free Dreamer Advent Calendar Review: Tulsi Vivah by Anna Kaling
  • A Free Dreamer Release Day Review: Showers, Flowers, and Fangs by Aidan Wayne

Wednesday, December 12: ☃️

  • Review Tour – Jordan L Hawk – The Magician’s Angel
  • Review Tour – Old Acquaintance by Annabelle Jacobs
  • Review Tour – The Deafening Silence (The Yakuza Path #4) by Amy Tasukada
  • A MelanieM Review:The Deafening Silence (The Yakuza Path #4) by Amy Tasukada
  • A Lucy Review : Old Acquaintance by Annabelle Jacobs
  • A Lila Advent Calendar Review: Guess Who’s Coming to Karamu by Cy Blanca
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady :The Magician’s Angel (The Christmas Angel #3) by Jordan L. Hawk
  • An Alisa Review: Celebrations in the Season of Long Nights by Mere Rain, a”Escape From the Holidays” Collection from Mischief Corner Books

Thursday, December 13:  ☃️

  • Spells & Stardust Anthology Tour
  • HARMONY INK PROMO Aidan Wayne
  • Book Blast for Pain and Promise by Lazlo Thorn
  • Lessons in Cracking the Deadly Code by Charlie Cochrane Blog Tour
  • A Caryn Review: Vampire with Benefits (Supernatural Selection #2) by E.J. Russell
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Blessed (The Matawapit Family #1) by Maggie Blackbird
  • A MelanieM Review: Spells & Stardust by J. Scott Coatsworth
  • An Alisa Advent Calendar Review: Death to Christmas Sweaters by LE Franks

Friday,  December 14:  ☃️

  • Review Tour –  Christmas Homecoming by LA Witt
  • PROMO BA Tortuga
  • Review Tour for Shrewd Angel (The Christmas Angel #6) by Anyta Sunday
  • Review Tour  for Rebellion by Naomi Aoki
  • An Ali Advent Calendar Review:The Night Sky Festival by S.A. Stovall
  • A Free Dreamer Review:  Rebellion by Naomi Aoki
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady: Christmas Homecoming (The Christmas Angel #4) by L.A. Witt
  • A Lucy Review: Shrewd Angel (The Christmas Angel #6)by Anyta Sunday

Saturday, December 15:  ☃️

  • Review Tour – Neve Wilder – Dedicated (Rhythm Of Love #1)
  • Tour for  Meik&Sebastian – Obsessed #4 by Quin Perin
  • Book Blast: Blessed (The Matawapit Family #1) by Maggie Blackbird
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Advent Calendar Review: Too Hot for Santa by Helena Stone
  • An Alisa Review: Meik&Sebastian – Obsessed #4 by Quin Perin
  • A MelanieM Review: Dedicated (Rhythm Of Love #1) by Neve Wilder
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review: The Holiday Home Hotel (An Escape from the Holidays Story) by Lou Sylvre
  • A MelanieM Review:  Lessons in Cracking the Deadly Code (Cambridge Fellows #12.7by Charlie Cochrane

 

 

 

 

A MelanieM Review: The Bibliophile by Drew Marvin Frayne

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Nathanial Goldsmith is the only son of the richest man in the Idaho territory, Jessum Goldsmith, the Silver Baron of the Western Lands, as he is called in all the newspapers. But life in the late nineteenth-century American West weaves no magic spell for Nathanial, who longs for the academic worlds his father has forced him to leave behind.

To toughen him up, Nathanial’s father has indentured him to a ranchman, Cayuse Jem, a large, raw-boned, taciturn man Nathanial’s father believes will help teach his son to “become a man.” Cut off from his books and the life he has always known, Nathanial is not only forced to co-exist with Cayuse Jem, but to truly get to know him. In doing so, Nathanial discovers there is more to this silent horseman than meets the eye. And, in the process, Nathanial also learns a few things about life, about human nature, and about the differences in being a man and a boy…

I love historical fiction and romance but I’m also very aware of exactly how difficult it is to get it right.  Not only does the author have to craft a splendid plot, create multidimensional characters, give them chemistry with each other, as well as a romance to root for, but then they must place all that within the structure of a certain time period without making it look like a information dump.  Or that they haven’t done any research at all (please don’t get me started in on the use of Wikipedia as research).

So yes, rare is the author or novel that pulls it all together and gets it right.

The Bibliophile by Drew Marvin Frayne gets it right.

The Bibliophile is essentially the journal of young Nathanial Goldsmith.  It starts in September 1888 and ends in October 1890, three years that become a lifetime of growth.  The first thing the reader notices is that the language is correct for the time period.  Not modern in phrase or thought, it takes a while to adjust to Nathanial’s diary entries and internal dialog.  But very soon, that strangeness of “the tongue” and era become second nature and you ease into Nat’s world and connect with someone on the turning point of his life.

I can’t being to say enough of how Frayne was able to draw me into the mind and heart of Nat, a young book lover who only wants to stay in college and become a teacher yet is doomed by the fact that that he is the only son of a wealthy, hard man determined to mold him into the image of the son he wants, not the person Nathanial actually is.  The first entries are heartbreaking in their earnestness and honesty over his situation.  He’s at college and knows he must return to Idaho and a family that holds him and book learning in little regard.  And books are the only things he truly loves because he’s had so little of it in his life.

Nathanial has been away from the mansion his silver baron father calls home for a while so in many ways he’s younger than another boy who would have stayed on the frontier of Idaho.  He’s not “tough” or manly as his father would have him.  An altercation see’s his father sending him off to be an indentured servant to a brusk, somewhat wild rancher.  And this is where the story will, I believe, hit home with most readers.  The scenes where Nathanial is going through hardships he never believed of as a servant to Cayuse Jem are authentic, painful, and gritty.  He’s a child of privilege now a servant  performing chores he never dreamed of or knows how to do.  Since the reader has come to care greatly for Nat, this is an especially hard section to get through.

It’s also the beginning of Nat’s training.  Cayuse Jem starts to call him “boy”.   If you see that in terms of sexual use, you would be correct. The relationship here is very much daddy/boy or dom/sub without the kink. Although the sexual relationship does not come until an emotional bond is developed and Nat is ready for a sexual one.  He is also 18 when the journal starts.  But over and over again, throughout the story, the rancher is training Nat, gentling him as though he is one of the wild horses he works with, to be his. They love either other, no question, however, there is a definite framework or dynamics to their relationship. There are numerous references to historic Greek practices of older men taking younger ones as lovers, also Nez Perce same sex couplings, are used as foundation material by the author.  How the reader feels about all this will frame out how they will continue on with the story.

As a side thread to this is also an indelible storyline about two Nez Perce men who are incredibly important to Cayuse Jem and Nathanial.  That would be Chuslum and Motsqueh.  These two men will earn as deep a portion of your heart as Nat and Cayuse Jem do.  From them we venture into the lifestyle of the tribe, the Indian wars, the current situation, medicine and culture. It’s a rich, vivid element of The Bibliophile and one for me that is perhaps my favorite.

As Nat’s journal entries continues, you forget almost that he’s writing…you are there walking alongside them during their daily duties, getting a feel for life as it was lived in Idaho in the late 1800’s, from the politics to the books read, the food eaten,  and yes, even the clothes worn.  The author naturally immerses you into their world, making you care what happens to them, well aware that back then life was so precarious and could turn on a moment.

There are things I could go into here but this is a book that needs to be experienced.  Be prepared to weep.  I cried buckets.  I should have expected that and I still wasn’t ready. Damn you, Frayne!

The amount of emotional growth Nathanial shows during this story is amazing, especially in the last pages.  I needed that epilogue.  It was perfection. The flawless narrative touch.The author had me worried the chapter before and then delivered the 5 star send off.

After the story was done, I thought to myself….I didn’t get to savor all the nuances, the bits and pieces that I was sure that I had missed but I was still not ready to dive back in to the emotional journey that Nat needs to go through.  But I will and soon.  Because this is a book to be treasured.  I’ll just remember to have my box of tissues handy.

Cover art by Natasha Snow.  Not sure how I feel about this cover.  On the surface its fine, has all the elements.  But it doesn’t stand out, the tones,while right for the era are just blah.

Sales Links:  NineStar Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook
Published November 26th 2018 by NineStar Press
Original Title The Bibliophile
ISBN 139781949909432
Edition Language English

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review : Oz (Finding Home #1) by Lily Morton

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Oz Gallagher is bored with his life and decides to leave London to take on a temp job in Cornwall as an estate manager. He has some experience and his degree in Art History should be invaluable but it’s not so much that he wants the job as that he wants out of London.

When he meets Silas, the earl who happens to be a veterinarian and is fully invested in getting the country estate he’s inherited out of debt, Oz is gobsmacked. Silas is nothing like he pictured and everything he’d want. Silas has all of Oz’s requisite kryptonite: a hairy chest on a guy who’s earnest and adorable. When asked about running an estate, Oz quips that being house manager at Ashworth House will be “like being a tour manager, only with less drugs and hookers,” and that’s when I knew I was in for a treat.

Oz figures it will be easy to keep his distance from the cute earl because they are from two different worlds but the men are drawn to one another and quickly become friends and companions—long before they become lovers.

In the future if someone asks me for the perfect example of a slow burn romance that has all the elements of humor, snark, sweetness, and incredible characterization, I’m going to suggest Oz.

One of my favorite moments in the story occurs in their tour of the neighboring estate—their competition, so to speak. Oz’s humorous quips and Silas’s reactions were delightfully funny.

The author’s ability to show the depth of emotion the men develop for one another is outstanding. Describing Oz at one point in the story, Silas says: “My Oz is like a hedgehog. Bright eyes, prickly and fierce on the outside with a soft underbelly that he’ll roll into a ball to hide.”

And Oz, speaking of falling for Silas: “I’d thought the moment when I fell in love would be dramatic and full of noise and energy. Instead, it’s in a quiet bedroom where a soft song plays and the light dances on the man’s hair and the planes of his face as he makes me back into me. The only man who’s ever valued that person.”

I’m deeply in love with both Silas and Oz. There’s not much more I can say than that. I invite all my fellow MM romance lovers to share this beautiful love story with me. It’s absolutely amazing!

The cover by Natasha Snow features a gorgeous young man—the perfect representation of Oz Gallagher.

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 287 pages
Published November 20th 2018
ASINB07KKN5JFB
Edition Language English
Series Finding Home #1 setting Cornwall

Book Blast for Love’s Trials (Revolutionary Heart #2) by Janice Jarrell (excerpt)

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99c BOOK BLAST

Book Title: Love’s Trials (Revolutionary Heart, Book 2)

Author:  Janice Jarrell

Publisher: Self-Published 

Release Date: October 12, 2018

Length: 78,333 words/224 pages

Genre/s: Contemporary Gay Romance

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Blurb

After half a lifetime spent in short-term liaisons that allowed no intimacy, charismatic Irish police officer, Colin Campbell, found the love of his life. Dark-eyed, steady Joshua Abrams burned through Colin’s emotional barriers and taught him to look at life through new eyes, eyes that made room for the love and closeness he had always denied himself. Deeply in love and completely happy, their life together remains idyllic and their fiery passion for each other seems limitless.

They survive the Charlottesville ‘Unite the Right’ riots, though not without scars. But later that month Colin’s position with the campus police force places him in charge of an informant program designed to crack a dangerous drug ring. Fully aware of the risks, he swears to Joshua that he will oversee the program without becoming directly involved. But Colin’s promise begins to crumble when he becomes the only one who can save a young Nigerian exchange student from a deadly drug lord.

Video – Colin and Joshua’s Story

Excerpt

“Listen,” Colin said, “what you said earlier, Josh. You had a point.”

Joshua turned to face him and shrugged. “Maybe. But wallowing in self-pity isn’t exactly constructive either and I’ve been doing a lot of that lately.”

Colin pressed his lips together. “Yeah. Me too.” He gestured to the couch, inviting Joshua to sit. “I don’t mean to shut you out, Josh.”

“Then why do you?” Joshua asked, collapsing to the couch beside him. “Makes it a pretty lonely life for both of us, Colin.”

Colin switched the television off and turned to face him. “Nothing I feel for you has changed, Josh. Nothing. Why can’t you believe me and just give me some space for awhile?”

“Why can’t you trust me enough to let me in, Colin?” He hesitated for a moment, then spoke: “When you were in the hospital you told me that I could never really leave you because I was part of you. If that’s true then let me be part of you! Let me share what you’re going through. Don’t go through this alone!”

Colin grimaced, his whole body tightening. “I can’t, Josh! You don’t know what it does to me, being this helpless…being in this much pain. I fucking hate having anyone see me like this, especially you!”

“Needing me doesn’t make you weak, Colin, and yes, seeing you in pain is hard on me too. But it’s still something we need to go through together!” He took Colin’s hand in his. “Let me say it another way. I’m lonely! I miss the man I love. I miss his company and his smile and his kisses. I miss him and I feel desolate without him. I want to be there for you, Colin. I’m your partner and I want to help you through this. But I can’t if you won’t let me. Please don’t let your pride keep us apart at the moment when we need each other most!”

About the Author

My name is Janice Jarrell. I am a retired grandmother who lives in Seattle, WA. I have two children and three grandsons. I’ve been writing gay romance since I was twelve years old, only back then it wasn’t called ‘gay romance’. In fact, it had no name at all. It was the fifties, and it was worth your life to admit to being gay, let alone confess to being a girl who constantly fantasized about relationships between gay men. Hell, I didn’t even know what a homosexual was. I lived on a farm out in the sticks in a tiny Michigan village and I’d never, to my knowledge, even heard the word. I just knew I loved the thought of boy on boy romance. I just knew that there was something hot going on between Tom Corbett and his Space Cadets and all those guys on ‘Combat’.

I wrote slash fanfiction for 30 years, writing over 337 stories, some as short as 100 words (a drabble) some as long as a series which was over 119,012 words. I enjoy writing my stories. I enjoyed the feedback I received from my readers. It was a creative release I’d been searching for my entire life and I blessed the Internet for leading me to this artistic oasis for my spirit.

Love’s Magic was my very first step into writing my own characters. I will always be grateful the slash fanfiction community for nurturing the budding author until she was ready to blossom into a fully realized novelist. It’s been an amazing thing to watch the gay community’s growth over these past twenty years. My own journey has echoed theirs in many ways, and I’m grateful to all those gay activists who fought to give the gay community the rights and privileges they always deserved.

I’m also grateful to the gay romance community, readers, authors, publishers and promoters, who are making these, my retirement years, the most creative ones of my life. When I’m not writing, I’m traveling, walking, hiking, knitting, crocheting, and weaving.

I’m very excited about the upcoming release of my second contemporary gay romance novel, Love’s Trials. Those of you who fell in love with Joshua and Colin in Love’s Magic are in for a treat because they are the STARS of Love’s Trials, though they may not thank me for it given the very difficult ‘trials’ they are about to face.

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More Holiday Fun with the New Book Release Blitz for Under The Felt Mistletoe by Nell Iris (excerpt and giveaway)

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Length: 13,000 words.
 
Publisher: JMS Books
 
Blurb
 

The most wonderful time of the year is about to get even better.


On a cold, rainy December morning, Finn’s beloved Grampa, his best friend and rock, makes a friend outside their home who he invites in for coffee. The last thing Finn expects is Nelson, a man with a painful past, who is beautiful and generous and turns Finn’s knees into jelly.


What starts out as a chance to get out of the rain, soon becomes more as Nelson helps Finn get ready for the Christmas market. They bond over coffee and fabric and Mariah Carey. Can handmade Christmas ornaments and an understanding heart give Nelson the love he’s been denied?

 
Excerpt



Sunday arrives with clear skies and no rain, but instead, the temperature has dropped overnight and hovers in the low thirties. I arm myself with a thermos of coffee and dress accordingly: long johns under my orange bellbottom corduroy pants, a long-sleeved t-shirt and a turtleneck layered under my windbreaker, a fluffy scarf wound around my neck and a beanie that makes my hair look ridiculous. It flattens everything under the hat, but at the ribbed cuff, my curls explode in every direction with a vengeance.


A lot of people attend the first market of the season and despite the cold pluming my breath in front of me, everyone is in high spirits and full of holiday cheer. My neighbor to the right, Mrs. Winterbottom — yes, that’s her real name — is dressed as Mrs. Santa and sells magnificent hand-crafted fir wreaths. On my left, Mr. and Mrs. Carruthers sell gold-brushed chocolate pralines that are too pretty to eat and taste even better.


Every vendor plays holiday music, greets the shoppers with a jolly ho-ho-ho, and a comment on the weather. The shoppers, in turn, have deep pockets and are eager to acquire the merchandise. People love my ornaments, and my stuff flies off the table. I will be cleaned out completely before the market closes if this continues. I need to spend more time sewing so I can bring lots more next week.


After a couple hours, huge powdery snowflakes start sailing leisurely from the sky, adding to the holiday feeling. The only downer on this fabulous day is that I ran out of coffee early. Mrs. Winterbottom forgot hers at home, and I shared mine with her. I wouldn’t let my worst enemy go without coffee if I could do something about it.


But in a lull between customers, a savior arrives.


Nelson. Carrying two paper cups in mittened hands.


Warmth flashes in my chest at the sight of him; his shy smile and brown eyes that are warm enough to thaw the thin layer of ice from the pond in the middle of the park where the market is held.


“Hi,” he says, sounding out of breath. “I know you like coffee, but I thought maybe hot chocolate would be nice in this cold?” He holds out of the cups and if we weren’t separated by the table I would show my gratitude by hugging the stuffing out of the man. New acquaintance or not.


“My hero!” I accept the offering, tear off the lid, and inhale. The sweet, slightly bitter aroma makes my mouth water. I take a small sip, but it isn’t too hot to drink so I have some more. I hum in happiness and smile at him. “This is awesome. Thank you so much.”


Nelson’s gaze is glued to my mouth with eyelids heavy and lips parted. “You’ve got …” He sets down his cup and pulls off his red and white mittens, then he leans forward and swipes the pad of his thumb along my upper lip.


I draw a stuttering breath.


“You had chocolate on your lip,” he rasps, his voice so deliciously rumbly I feel it all the way in my bones. “There. All gone.” He does a final sweep before withdrawing.


I can’t help it; my hand flies to my mouth and I finger my lip as though I’m trying to stop the lingering warmth from evaporating.


“Thank you.” My voice is hoarse. Our eyes lock as he picks up the mittens and put them back on. My breathing grows shallow and the Christmas music cacophony and loud buzz of the market-goers fade into the background. All I see is him. All I hear is his breathing.


“Finn. I …”

Nell Iris is a romantic at heart who believes everyone deserves a happy ending. She’s a bona fide bookworm (learned to read long before she started school), wouldn’t dream of going anywhere without something to read (not even the ladies’ room), loves music (and singing along but, let’s face it, she’s no Celine Dion), and is a real Star Trek nerd (“Make it so”). She loves words, poetry, wine, and Sudoku, and absolutely adores elephants!


Nell believes passionately in equality for all regardless of race, gender, or sexuality, and wants to make the world a better, less hateful, place.


Nell is a forty-something bisexual Swedish woman, married to the love of her life, and a proud mama of a grown daughter. She left the Scandinavian cold and darkness for warmer and sunnier Malaysia a few years ago, and now spends her days writing, surfing the Internet, enjoying the heat, and eating good food. One day she decided to chase her lifelong dream of being a writer, sat down in front of her laptop, and wrote a story about two men falling in love.


Nell Iris writes gay romance, prefers sweet over angst, and wants to write diverse and different characters.


Email contact@nelliris.com
Web www.nelliris.com
Twitter @nellirisauthor
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Love Holiday Stories? Check Out the New Release Blitz for Designer Holiday by Ari McKay! (giveaway)

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Length: 40,000 words approx.
 
Blurb
 

It’s never too late for a second chance at love… or is it?


Rayne Sadler left the tiny town of Holiday Pines and his childhood sweetheart, Emilio Rives, to make a name for himself in the world of interior design. For twelve years, he never looked back. Now he has the successful career he wanted, but no one to share his life.


Emilio isn’t happy when Rayne returns to Holiday Pines to renovate the local playhouse. The town wants to stimulate the failing tourist industry, but Emilio has no interest in reviving the ashes of his relationship with Rayne.


Yet shared memories and experiences are powerful things. As the playhouse is restored to its former glory, the friendship between Rayne and Emilio slowly returns as well, and their chemistry is as powerful as ever. Rayne has designs on Emilio’s heart, and he sets out to prove it. Will the magic of Christmas thaw Emilio’s heart, or will it remain as cold as mountain snow?

Ari McKay is the professional pseudonym for Arionrhod and McKay, who have been writing together for over a decade. Their collaborations encompass a wide variety of romance genres, including contemporary, fantasy, science fiction, gothic, and action/adventure. Their work includes the Blood Bathory series of paranormal novels, the Herc’s Mercs series, as well as two historical Westerns: Heart of Stone and Finding Forgiveness. When not writing, they can often be found scheming over costume designs or binge watching TV shows together.


Arionrhod is a systems engineer by day who is eagerly looking forward to (hopefully) becoming a full time writer in the not-too-distant future. Now that she is an empty-nester, she has turned her attentions to finding the perfect piece of land to build a fortress in preparation for the zombie apocalypse, and baking (and eating) far too many cakes.


McKay is an English teacher who has been writing for one reason or another most of her life. She also enjoys knitting, reading, cooking, and playing video games. She has been known to knit in public. Given she has the survival skills of a gnat, she’s relying on Arionrhod to help her survive the zombie apocalypse.


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Release Blitz for The Selkie Prince’s Unexpected Omega (The Royal Alphas #3) by J.J. Masters (excerpt)

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RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: The Selkie Prince’s Unexpected Omega

Series: The Royal Alphas, Book 3

Author: J.J. Masters

Publisher: Self-Published

Cover Artist: Megan Parker of EmCat Designs

Genre/s: Contemporary Romance (PNR/Gay/mpreg)

Length: 58 368 words/240 pages

It’s a standalone story within a series

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Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

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Blurb

An alpha claim. A possible heir. A Selkie prince whose mistake might just be what the fates intended.

Zale, the third alpha-born son of King Solomon, is concerned. His youngest brother, Caol, has been spending time with an unbonded omega. Being a responsible alpha, Zale feels it’s his duty to warn the omega Finn before he and Caol get into trouble. Especially since Finn had only been brought to the colony by their father in case his oldest brother’s fated mate couldn’t conceive. However, when Zale goes to Finn’s quarters to have a word with him, he isn’t expecting to discover what he does: the omega in the throes of oestrus and begging for an alpha’s assistance.

Finn has nowhere else to go. Not only unwanted by his own family, his previous alpha perished in a tragic accident. So for the past two years, the omega has relied on the King of the North’s generosity, even if it means he may end up as a surrogate for one of the alpha-born princes. Or even worse, the king’s sixth mate. But when the Prince Zale comes upon him during his heat, Finn demands relief from the alpha. Although afterward, has to live with the guilt. Now, he might not only be carrying the prince’s son, he may have very well ruined Zale’s chance to find his true fated mate…

Note: A 58k-plus word m/m shifter mpreg story, this is the third book in the Royal Alpha series. Due to the “knotty” times in this book, it is recommended for mature readers only. While it can be read as a standalone, it’s recommended to read the series in order. And, like all of my books, it has an HEA.

 

 

Excerpt

Zale’s jaw was tight and his teeth gritted as he waited in the hall outside of Finn’s quarters.

He knocked again. This time more loudly using the heel of his fist, since, apparently, his knuckles weren’t getting the job done.

The alpha-born prince was losing his patience, which he usually had an abundance of. Just not today. Especially since the visiting omega, Finn, had been seen sneaking off with Zale’s youngest brother Caol.

Which was dangerous.

Particularly since Caol was considered a Selkie slut. What humans would call a man-ho. He loved to rut with anyone who would let him, be it Selkie, human or hybrid. Most likely any male with a cock swinging between his legs.

Hell, he probably rutted with other species of shifters.

But even so, it brought Zale back to the problem at hand. He and his brothers had told their father, the King of the North, that he should send Finn away. Return the omega to his own colony. That he was no longer needed here at the Northern colony. But his father hadn’t listened.

No surprise there.

They all suspected that King Solomon had considered taking the omega for himself.

But a whole two years had passed since the King first brought Finn to the castle, so it made no sense for the unbonded male to remain. His father needed to shit or get off the pot. Either take Finn as his own to bear more sons or send the poor omega home so he could find an alpha of his very own.

Unfortunately, there wasn’t a fated mate waiting for Finn anywhere. His supposed alpha had been killed and eaten by an orca during their bonding swim from what Zale understood.

None of them had ever asked Finn about it because neither Zale or his brothers wanted to know those cringe-worthy details and they also were inclined to avoid him since he was an unbonded male. Again, being around an unbonded omega could be dangerous.

However, Caol tended to be reckless. If the omega came into heat, Caol would most likely be the proud father of a future pup. Zale could just imagine how the king’s head would spin at that news.

So, Zale needed to nip whatever was going on between Finn and Caol in the bud. For his youngest brother’s sake and also for Finn’s. If the omega had the urge to rut, he could do so with some of the betas the king kept on hand for that purpose. Nothing stopped Finn from taking a beta lover, especially since his corona membrane was no longer intact.

But an alpha? No. He could not rut with an alpha that was not his mate.

That was against Selkie law.

Caol knew that. As did Finn.

Therefore, Zale was being a good older brother and trying to head off a disaster.

Or that’s what he told himself.

Yes, he was protecting not only Caol but this omega… who continued to live among a castle-full of alphas even though that was unsafe.

He stared at the heavy wood door and cursed. Why wasn’t Finn answering?

He leaned closer and shouted, “Finn! Are you in there? Open your door.”

Zale listened carefully. Nothing.

He was done knocking. He had announced his presence and now it was time to take the next step…

Into the omega’s quarters.

 

About the Author 

J.J. Masters is the alter-ego of a USA Today bestselling author who writes hot, gay romance filled with heart, humor and heat. J.J. became fascinated with mpreg romance as soon as she figured out what mpreg stood for. She loves to write about “knotty” men!

You can join JJ’s FB Group here: https://www.facebook.com/JJMastersAuthor/  or her newsletter here: https://bit.ly/2E2zcaB to keep up with exclusive content and news.

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