Release Blitz Tour and Giveaway – The Husband Gambit by L.A. Witt



Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UKExclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow in Kindle Unlimited
Length: 95,000 words approx.
Cover Design: L.A. Witt

Marry me for 1 year. Payment: $1.2 million.

Hayden Somerset is convinced the ad is a joke, but he responds anyway because, hello, $1.2 million. He’s broke, living in a tiny apartment with two roommates, and exhausted from praying his ancient car survives just one more week. His skyrocketing rent and crushing student loans aren’t helping either. At this point, there isn’t much Hayden wouldn’t do for that kind of cash.

The ad isn’t a joke. Jesse Ambrose is absolutely serious. His father, the charismatic patriarch of a powerful Hollywood dynasty, has his eye on politics, and he’s counting on California’s liberals and progressives to elect him. But Jesse knows what his father believes when cameras and voters aren’t around. As the election looms, he’ll do anything to force the man’s hand and show the public who Isaac Ambrose really is.

Anything, including marrying a stranger so his father will make good on his promise to disown Jesse if he ever takes a husband.

Now he just has to wait for his father to take the bait… and try not to accidentally fall in love with his fake husband.

Author Bio

L.A. Witt is an abnormal M/M romance writer who has finally been released from the purgatorial corn maze of Omaha, Nebraska, and now spends her time on the southwestern coast of Spain. In between wondering how she didn’t lose her mind in Omaha, she explores the country with her husband, several clairvoyant hamsters, and an ever-growing herd of rabid plot bunnies. She also has substantially more time on her hands these days, as she has recruited a small army of mercenaries to search South America for her nemesis, romance author Lauren Gallagher, but don’t tell Lauren. And definitely don’t tell Lori A. Witt or Ann Gallagher. Neither of those twits can keep their mouths shut…

Twitter: @GallagherWitt


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It’s Here! Check Out the New Release Hawaii Five Uh-Oh (Plummet to Soar Series Bk #2 )by Z.A. Maxfield (excerpt and giveaway)



The highly anticipated second installment in the Plummet to Soar Series is now available! 
Hawaii Five Uh-Oh 
(Plummet to Soar Series Bk #2)
by Z.A. Maxfield
Sarcastic cop Theo Hsu returns home to Hawai‘i after realizing he wants more from his life, and also, less. He hopes to reconnect with his past and make amends with his mother, who remarried a cool, distant man, leaving Theo unsure where he stands.
It doesn’t take him long to figure out where he wants to stand, though: right next to his childhood best friend, tattooed detective Koa Palapiti. Theo would like to upgrade their relationship, but Koa is putting out some seriously mixed signals. It’s a mystery Theo can’t let go, but just as they start to connect, kidnapping, murder, and a deadly game with international stakes get in the way. Koa wants to keep Theo out of it, and if it comes to a choice between him and Koa’s partner, Freddie Ortiz, Theo doesn’t like his chances.
But even if Koa wants to push him out of the investigation, and his life, Theo still has a few tricks up his sleeve. It’ll take all his special gifts, ingenuity, risk-taking, family ties—and even some kinky undercover work—to save the day… and the man he never should’ve let get away.
Available for purchase at

“Theophilus Hsu.” A voice from behind him made him halt and turn. At the sight that greeted him, his heart sank.

“Kekoa Palapiti. Wow. Nice to see you. God. What a coincidence—” A horrible thought occurred to him. “Wait—”

“Your mother sent me to pick you up.” And just like that, paradise got lost. “She was worried she wouldn’t be up to lifting your baggage.”

Kekoa Lani Palapiti—next-door neighbor, childhood friend, and secret lifelong thirst trap made that sound like “psychological” baggage. As if he thought Theo had a lot of that particular thing.

Theo shrugged. Christ. “I can lift my own luggage. She could have called. I’d have taken a cab.”

“So next time tell her you got cash to throw away. Save me a trip.”

Theo turned away and swiped his card in the cart machine. “Next time.”

Theo knew his mother well enough to know she’d forced this meeting for the sake of expedience. Without it, who knew how long it would have taken him to get the nerve to talk to Koa. Still, it felt forced and ridiculous, and now they were both only going along because she wanted it and they loved her.

Aren’t we?

Koa helped him shoulder his bags onto the cart. His scent filled Theo’s nostrils with the smell of rain on taro leaves.

“Follow me.” Koa turned and started walking.

Theo had no choice but to grab the cart and follow.

On the way to the parking garage, he focused on Koa’s thick, broad shoulders, his narrow hips. His boy had grown up as fine as promised. Mom’s photographs didn’t do him justice, but then a photograph couldn’t convey the swagger of a born badass like Koa. He hadn’t lost that arrogance. If anything, he wore it like armor now.

“So, you didn’t like Big Lake?” he asked.

There was no easy answer for that. “Bear Lake was where I lived specifically, and… no. Not really. I liked some parts.”

“Like what?”

Since Koa seemed to ask for form’s sake, Theo didn’t actually have to oblige him with an answer. Nevertheless, he spoke truthfully. “It was pretty.” He’d enjoyed driving in the darkness along roads where the trees looked like ice-covered ghosts. “People are as nice as they say.”

“You’ll be joining the HPD?”

“Yep.” He’d applied to and been accepted by the Honolulu Police Department. It wasn’t a lateral move, but he’d move up quickly if he showed initiative. He didn’t care. New life, new dreams. He might not even stay on the force if he found something that he wanted to do more. He might go back to school….


Theo blinked and found they’d stopped at a pedestrian crossing. The sound of his old nickname slid over his spine, dazing him momentarily. Obviously Koa had asked a question and now he waited for an answer. “I’m sorry, I was lost in space or something.”

“I said, I was sorry about your dad. I meant to send a card, but you know how it is….”

“Likewise,” Theo offered, since Koa’s parents had both passed fairly recently, a few months apart. “I was really sorry to hear about your folks.”

Koa shrugged again.

Theo asked, “You still living in the Sugar Shack?”

“Where else?” A sly smile found Koa’s lips at the reminder. Whether it was the shared memory or evidence Theo still had some local knowledge, Koa thawed visibly on hearing their nickname for the odd wreck of a house the Palapitis had called home.

Theo let his thoughts out. “I’ma miss your mom, brah. Even more than the candy.”

They paused for a moment of silence for the woman whose homemade chocolates, caramels, fudge, and nut brittles were so completely off-the-charts delicious, her friends had forced her into business.

“Can’t bring Mom back,” Koa said. “Auntie Lala makes the candy now, she’s got Mom’s recipes. Been a while since I cooked sugar.”

“I can imagine.” A detective probably had little time to cook. “So. Work. Ma says you got your shield now? Must be good, huh?”

“What’s good?” Koa gave an eye roll. “You know how it is. There are bad guys everywhere, dirty money flows, but the economy sucks, and assholes think Hawai‘i is their private playground to shit on.”

The muscles in Koa’s jaw flexed. Mnh. You could open a coconut with a jaw like Koa’s.

“I see your new hobby is optimism. That’s so nice.”

Theo figured he’d see Koa again, but he wasn’t prepared for the jolt of desire that shot through him every time he got a fresh look at how well he’d turned out. He had tats and piercings and a sweet scruffy soul patch. A warm, if mostly hidden, grin.

Koa rubbed at his chin. “Sorry. Had a bad night. Caught a body.”

“And my mother still tapped you to haul me in? She is shameless.”

“What do you mean?” Koa frowned at him.

“She’s been bugging me about getting together with old friends. You know what?” He motioned between them. “I think this is a playdate.”

“I think she knew her car would flip over with all your crap.” He motioned for Theo to stay on the curb. “Wait here, I’ll come around and pick you up.”

“I can walk.”

“Don’t be an ass.” He slipped his Oakleys on. Same kind Theo wore, different color. Figured—they always had the same taste. “Wait here.”

Koa loped across the street and into a parking garage with such easy grace. He’d grown up sleek and fast and powerful. A detective with—if Theo’s mother’s few phone conversations were to be believed—a consistent, statistically high solve rate. His mother was fixated on making sure they got reacquainted, but he hadn’t realized how determined she was. He’d expected her to give him a day or two.

He and Koa were childhood friends. Blood brothers. Theo had been on the cusp of adolescence and ready to confess that, for him, the feelings went much deeper. He’d even started writing stories about two boys having adventures and sharing them with Koa as a way to let off that prepubescent steam, when his dad decided it wasn’t enough to just divorce his mom—the two of them had to leave the islands and start fresh somewhere else. Just the men.

He and Koa were strangers now. But he’d still call Kekoa Palapiti his first love.

Theo slipped his shades on and waited until Koa pulled up to the curb in a massive black SUV with tinted windows. Magnetic door signs read Ohana Sugar Magic and featured Auntie Lala’s smiling face. Together they threw his bags into the back. Koa let the SUV idle while Theo ditched the cart.

“I can’t believe you paid money for a cart.” Koa laughed at him when he returned and got in. “That’s, like… the uncoolest thing I think I’ve ever seen. Three suitcases that roll and you shell out for a cart. Buy a bungee cord.”

“You’re one to talk. Whose big bad SUV has his auntie Lala’s face on the doors? That’s some fierce shit, brah.”

“It is when Lala’s driving it with candy in the back.”

Theo let him have his fun. “Mom tells me there’s no Mrs. Palapiti.”

“My mother was Mrs. Palapiti. Until she passed.” He threw an inquisitive glance Theo’s way. “She’d give you a ration for bailing on your mom’s wedding. But I get why you didn’t go.”

“Do you?” Theo’s dad had been killed the week before the wedding. Nothing anyone could have done for him. Even so, Theo hadn’t been able to make himself go to his mother’s wedding while his dad was in the morgue—his body still evidence of a crime. By the time they’d laid him to rest, his mother was back from her honeymoon in Bali and it didn’t matter as much anymore. After that, he just kept putting off meeting his mother’s new family for one valid reason after another.

“Your mother understood,” Koa told him. “She doesn’t expect a person to grieve a certain way.”

Theo knew that. He wanted to point out that he knew his mother too, but he only asked, “What keeps you busy these days?”

“Work. Training. I dance because your mom would kill me if I stopped, but I don’t really have time now. Just charity shit when I can.”

“Mom says dance keeps her young. Something must.” At nearly sixty, his mother still looked to be in her midthirties. He hoped it was genetic. She loved hula and his dad had hated it. He said if Theo could learn to dance, he could learn to fight, and enrolled him in martial arts as soon as he could walk.

“It keeps me in shape.” Koa slid a glance Theo’s way. “You’re looking good. What keeps you in shape?”

“Subzero temperatures and Midwestern food.”

“Isn’t the food pretty calorie dense up there.”

“Not if you don’t like it.”

“You always were a picky eater.” Koa chuckled. “I guess you don’t surf much either.”

“You can surf the Lakes, you know.” Theo gave him the look he deserved for being an asshole. People did surf in the Great Lakes. But they were airheads who came from Norway or something. Their ancestors had probably mated with reindeer and polar bears. On their behalf, he pointed out, “The waves are best in winter.”

Koa glanced his way. “Pics or it didn’t happen.”

I never did it,” Theo admitted. “I’m saying it’s theoretically possible.”

Silence stretched out between them again. It was a long ride, and as Koa drove, Theo flew his hand out the window and marked the buildings he remembered. So much had changed. He’d changed.

When they pulled into Theo’s mother’s driveway, Koa turned to him. “I hope you don’t mind, I don’t have time to come in. Say hi to your mom.”

“Okay.” Disappointment warred with relief in Theo’s heart. Relief came out a winner. The last thing he needed was disinterested bystanders. “Pop the locks, I’ll just get my things from the back.”

He stepped down, went around, and hauled his things out. From the outside pocket of the lightest one, he pulled a signed copy of Plummet to Soar. He’d put it there to give to his mother because he’d assumed she’d pick him up. He had other gifts for her, so it didn’t matter.

“Hey, brother.” He smiled awkwardly and waved for Koa to roll down the window. “Present for you.”

“Mahalo. Really?” Surprised, he took it and gave it a quick perusal. “Hey, it’s autographed to you. You sure?”

Theo nodded. “That book changed a lot of things for me. I hope you enjoy it.”

Koa’s dark eyes—when he lifted his gaze—held some earnest question Theo couldn’t begin to answer. They widened. “I don’t suppose you ever figured out what happened at the end of that thing you were writing…?”

“You remember that shit?” He said the words like Sheesh, who remembers? As if he hadn’t just been thinking that very thing. Obviously now he understood what those ridiculous stories were, but at the time?

Looking back, Theo blushed with shame.

Koa gave his lower lip a quick nibble. Theo’s dick sat up and got ready to beg. Down, boy. “I think when last I read, our plucky heroes were in a Malay prison.” Koa glanced at him. “Sentenced for a crime they didn’t commit.”

“Tunneling their way to freedom.” Theo nodded. “One of those boys always got himself jammed up, and the other saved the day.”

“Well, you write what you know.” Koa was laughing at him.

Theo didn’t take lead and he wasn’t much of a follower. Sidekick was more his style. But in those stupid stories, he always, always saved the day. Maybe with Koa he’d wanted to try taking the lead….

Koa asked, “Wasn’t one of them about to be caned?”

“Yeah?” Theo admitted hoarsely. At the time, news stories of corporal punishment—as applied to dumb Westerners in places like Malaysia and Taiwan—had fired his imagination, for a lot of reasons. Some not so wholesome.

Koa snorted. “You dug writing that dark shit. The beatings. The extra, extra tight male bonding. Admit it.”

“Hell yeah.” Motherfucker. You went there. I cannot believe you went there the second you saw him again. “I never finished writing any of those. But there’s always time, you know?”

Koa glanced over again. This time, unmistakably, he checked Theo out. “Maybe you should.”

Holy mother. Had Koa just…?

Did he just…?

Koa’s SUV was well clear of his mother’s property before Theo had the words to respond.

Plummet To Soar Series
Plummet To Soar
Bk 2
Available for purchase at 
About The Author
Z. A. Maxfield started writing in 2007 on a dare from her children and never looked back.  Pathologically disorganized, and perennially optimistic, she writes as much as she can, reads as much as she dares, and enjoys her time with family and friends. Three things reverberate throughout all her stories: Unconditional love, redemption, and the belief that miracles happen when we least expect them.
If anyone asks her how a wife and mother of four can find time for a writing career, she’ll answer, “It’s amazing what you can accomplish if you give up housework.”
Readers can visit ZAM at her
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Release Blitz &; Review Tour – Mr Frosty Pants by Leta Blake (giveaway)



Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UKExclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow in Kindle Unlimited
Length: 90,000 word approx.
Cover Design: Wicked Smart Design

Can true love warm his frozen heart?

When Casey Stevens went away to college four years ago, he ghosted on his straight best friend, Joel Vreeland. He hoped time and distance would lessen the unrequited affection he felt, but all it did was make him miss Joel more. Home for the holidays, Casey hopes they might find a way to be friends again. But Joel’s frosty reception reminds Casey of just how hard he had to fight to be Joel’s friend in the first place. It’s going to take a Christmas miracle to get past that cool façade again.

Joel isn’t as straight as Casey believes, and his years of pining for Casey have left him hurting and alone, caring for his abusive father and struggling to get by. Unable to trust anyone except his rescue dog—and with no reason to believe Casey is interested in him for more than a holiday fling—Joel’s icy heart might shatter before it can thaw.

Can Casey and Joel’s love overcome mistrust, parental rejection, class differences, and four long years apart? Mr. Frosty Pants is a stand-alone, Christmas gay romance by Leta Blake featuring a virgin hero, childhood friends-to-lovers, second chance romance, and steamy mm first times.

November 16Joyfully Jay, November 19 Gay Book Reviews, November 22Love Bytes, November 28The Novel Approach, November 30Bayou Book Junkie

Author Bio

Author of the bestselling book Smoky Mountain Dreams and the fan favorite Training Season, Leta Blake’s educational and professional background is in psychology and finance, respectively. However, her passion has always been for writing. She enjoys crafting romance stories and exploring the psyches of made up people. At home in the Southern U.S., Leta works hard at achieving balance between her day job, her writing, and her family.


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In Our Contemporary Spotlight: Pay It Forward (A Giving Back Story) By Nic Starr


Pay It Forward (A Giving Back Story)

By Nic Starr

Cover Artist: Jay Aheer of Simply Defined Art

Release Date: 11th November 2018

Buy Links :   

Universal Link |   Amazon US  |   Amazon UK  |   Amazon AU  |  Amazon DE  |  Goodreads Link 


Forced to leave home as soon as he finished high school, Bailey McCreedy’s focus has been on earning enough money to survive. All he needs is a roof over his head and to keep his small mobile lending library running. Books are Bailey’s escape, and he loves to share the joy of reading with those who don’t have access to them.

Tom Brooks’s upbringing is very different to Bailey’s, with a loving family, a good education, and a high-flying job—that is, until things came crashing down. Tom opens a coffee shop, struggling to build his business and reluctant to accept help, operating under the misguided belief that he must pay penance for his sins. Watching Bailey work with the street kids opens Tom’s eyes to the reality that accepting help is not a sign of weakness, and that he is so much more than his past mistakes.

But as Bailey falls for Tom, with his charming manner, obvious care for others, and group of successful friends, Bailey’s own sense of self-worth threatens to tear them apart. In the face of intensifying challenges, he’s reluctant to confide in Tom, afraid he’s not good enough.

A bright future will require Bailey to heed his own advice—people aren’t defined by their failures or inability to live up to the expectations of others. It’s time for Tom to pay it forward, and Bailey needs to accept the help and love that Tom offers.


Publisher: Self-published
Genre: Contemporary Gay Romance
Setting: Sydney, Australia
Word Count: ~58k

About the Author

Nic Starr lives in Australia where she tries to squeeze as much into her busy life as possible. Balancing the demands of a corporate career with raising a family and writing can be challenging but she wouldn’t give it up for the world.

Always a reader, the lure of m/m romance was strong and she devoured hundreds of wonderful m/m romance books before realising she had some stories of her own that needed to be told.

Nic loves to spend time with her family—an understanding husband, two beautiful daughters, and a cherished Cairn terrier. Nic is a foodie and wine lover who lives in the city but is a country girl at heart. When not writing or reading, she is often found indulging in her love of cooking and planning her dream home in the country.

You can find Nic on Facebook, Twitter and her blog. She’d love it if you stopped by to say hi.

Author Social Media Links

Website & Blog:

Amazon Author Page:


Facebook Page:






A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Lonely Hearts Bundle by Posy Roberts


Rating: 3 stars out of 5

From the blurb:  Stoic men, who believe they’re happy alone, find the world turned upside down when their perfect someone stumbles across their path. The Lonely Hearts chat room is a place where men support men on their way to finding true love. 

There are five main members: Hugo, Luther, Marc, Andrew, and William. Their philosophy is, “Figure out how you keep screwing up your happily ever after. Once you know, you’re more likely to find the true thing.”  This novella bundle includes: Bent Arrow, Stroke of Luck, Momo, and Love on a Battlefield.

As the book begins, we drop into the chat room to see the conversation among the Lonely Hearts Club members. Good-natured banter abounds, and shows that the guys are okay with where they are and pretty much accept that they are single and have each other to commiserate with.

Bent Arrow

The first story is about Luther, who works the oil rigs in North Dakota. Deep in the closet, not only do the roughnecks he works with not know he’s gay, neither does his family—especially his mother.  When the water in his trailer goes on the fritz, he meets Erik, a plumber, and from the hint given by the arrow tattoo Luther spots, he’s also interested in men.  When he inherits a small home from his grandmother, he asks Erik to come along to help him fix it up. I enjoyed this story very much. It’s amazing how much background information and current events and activities the author was able to cover in one novella. Most definitely ending on a HEA, Luther had to face his fears to win the man of his dreams. 4 stars

Stroke of Luck

Marc meets the love of his life when he least expects it, but it takes both men some time to realize each is what the other has been looking for. Having a bad year, Marc’s apartment fire is the last straw. He’s lost everything and now he’s at Goodwill trying to buy a few dishes and clothing items when he spots a very hot man trying on red spandex pants. Oh yes, he’s hooked. But it’s immediately apparent the man is taken. Or is he? This is a sweet story about a man whose life is still entwined with his best friend, former girlfriend, roommate, and apparently codependent partner. After a major misunderstanding and a fun costume party, Marc and Cas find their way to their own HEA.  3 stars


I liked this story but something felt off from the beginning and I finally realized it’s because a long period of time is covered in this short novella and most was filled with narrative, rather than dialogue, so we were “told” the story, rather than “experience” it as the men met and fell in love.  Plus, William wasn’t a good character for me. His nature is private and reserved, and I struggled to understand him from the beginning. His childhood and back story didn’t grab me, so faced with an adult who wears a mask—a persona—to hide who he really is from his coworkers, his hookups, and even his family made it difficult to root for him. 

Nate works as a geisha at a tea room. Momo is a role he loves since it allows him to exercise his acting skills and to allow his feminine side free reign a few hours a week. He seems to be a really great character, always smiling, happy-go-lucky, enjoying life. I wish we could have had some of the story from his POV. All we get is some dialogue with William and narrative about Nate’s life so, although I liked him more than William, I didn’t get to fully enjoy him either. 

William loves Nate’s Momo persona and it’s his love of the carefree man that finally allows him to let his guard down and let his own personality shine through.  They do get their HEA but I can’t rate this higher than 2 stars.

Love on a Battlefield

Two teens meet and fall in love on a Civil War reenactment battlefield. They didn’t get much time together but years later, after writing to each other through the years, the two are still friends. Shep went to college, then toured Europe, and Andrew joined the military and was deployed, then injured. He now works part time and tutors adults with dyslexia. Shep is coming for a visit soon, and after all this time, Andrew is still hoping that the spark they felt years ago might still be alive. When they meet again, they pick up where they left off, and within a few days of shared experiences, declare their love.  Of course, they have an HEA. Unfortunately, the premise, the interactions, and the reunion didn’t ring believable to me, so this one is also 2 stars.


The cover by Sloan J Designs has a muted background featuring a young dark-skinned man, wearing only jeans, in the foreground. Somewhat bland, it didn’t grab my attention.

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 394 pages
Published October 19th 2018 by Labyrinth Bound Press
Original Title Bent Arrow / Stroke of Luck / Momo: My Everything / Love on a Battlefield.
Edition Language English

An Ali Release Day Review: Blood Red Roulette by Jana Denardo

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars 

Arrigo Giancarlo’s friends think he’s a rich young man with the unusual job of paranormal investigator, working with his psychic assistant in Las Vegas. In truth he’s a two-thousand-year-old vampire and member of the Chiaroscuro, a group of Supernaturals dedicated to keeping humanity safe from the more dangerous of their kind. He’s also openly bisexual… but alone.

When he spots Luc St. John in a bar, Arrigo is intrigued. What begins as an effort to repay the kindness shown to him in the past quickly turns into much deeper feelings for the suffering and displaced Cajun. For Luc’s part, he feels too poor, too uneducated, and too bound to his hateful family to ever be worthy of elegant and cultured Arrigo.

An old enemy, Eleni, blames Arrigo for murdering her true love. On the anniversary of that death, she’s back to take revenge. As Arrigo’s closest friends fall victim to savage attacks, he fears nothing will keep Luc safe. Should he break both their hearts and let Luc go, or is it too late? If Luc’s already in Eleni’s sights, Arrigo knows that like most things in Vegas, the odds are against him.

This was an entertaining paranormal romantic suspense.  The majority of the book was about Eleni’s attacks and Arrigo’s effort to catch her.  There is a side plot of Arrigo meeting Luc and falling with him.
I liked the mystery part better than the romance. I never felt a connection between Arrigo & Luc.  The romance wasn’t believable for me is the reason I didn’t rate the book higher.
The writing itself was pretty good but there were a lot of necessary details & it weighed the book down in places. A lot of it could have been cut out & wouldn’t have effected the overall story.
I liked this but didn’t love it. I didn’t really click with the author’s writing style.  I think others may enjoy the story more than I did since that’s a personal preference kind of thing.
Cover: This cover was designed by Tiferet Design. I love the cover.  It’s what made me want to read the book.  I think it’s fantastic.
Sales Links:  DSP Publications  |  Amazon
Book Details:
ebook, 1st edition, 350 pages
Published November 13th 2018 by DSP Publications
ISBN 139781640807587
Edition Language English

A Chaos Moondrawn Review: The Art of Hero Worship by Mia Kerick


Rating: 3.25 stars out of 5

This starts in first person with Jason experiencing a horrible act of violence. He is saved by a stranger named Liam and they are both probably in shock because they flee the scene and wash off any evidence. Not that I’m sure how any of it would have helped the police. With the killer still at large, they are holed up in a hotel room. Two months later Jason has PTSD and is not coping well. Once again, Liam comes to his rescue. When they start back to school in the Fall, their relationship continues to develop. All of the sudden Jase is like a new, different person or maybe he is his old self. I don’t know because I don’t know who he was before the event. What I do know is that the second half of the book focuses on yet another tragedy, this one is Liam’s past. The point is for Jase to save Liam, as Liam saved Jase. The confrontation with a fellow survivor seems created just for drama and conflict. When there is yet another emergency, Jase’s reaction is OTT. Liam does need to see a mental health professional, but all of this feels like an adult Afterschool Special (yes, I am aware this dates me) with a pointed message and no subtlety.

People can get close when they’ve shared life changing moments, but this is slightly exploitative–as if the tragedy is a way to execute a gay for you story. The sex scenes are not all that sexy, just intense. There could be a believable, heartfelt story of a man who realizes he’s attracted to another man in the wake of a trauma. Tragedies make people question who they are and confront their view of themselves. Two guys bonding and realizing they are bisexual when they develop feelings for each other is entirely possible. This would have been more realistic if they had gotten to know each other first, before the sexual element was introduced. They even read more as demisexual, although I’m not sure that fits either. Then they get to the point of power exchange and I feel like that is another reason/excuse given to why they are attracted to each other. It’s the delivery that makes it feel unnatural.

The message of the book is a good one (“gay, straight, bi, pan…all labels, and I don’t need them”); I’m just not convinced by the execution of this example. But this message rings loud and clear, “time to live life fully because you never know when it’s all going to be over.”

The cover art by Natasha Snow shows the two main characters and a theater that played such a huge part in their story. The pixelation seems to convey how scattered and torn apart they are by trauma.

Sales Links:   NineStar Press | Amazon
Book Details:
ebook, Second Edition
Published October 29th 2018 by NineStar Press (first published February 14th 2016)
ISBN 139781949909074
Edition Language English

Jodi Payne and BA Tortuga on Interesting Personalities and their new novel Heart of a Redneck (guest post)


Heart of a Redneck by Jodi Payne and B.A. Tortuga
Dreamspinner Press
Cover Art:  Alexandria Corza

Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | B&N


Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Jodi Payne and B.A. Tortuga here today on tour for their latest novel, Heart of a Redneck. Thank you both for answering some of our author questions today!



Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with Jodi Payne and B.A. Tortuga


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


I think some of those interesting traits are exactly what we’re exploring in Heart of a Redneck. How family and upbringing shape you into who you are and inform your values. Which traditions you hold onto and which you reject, and the things you’re willing to compromise or even give up for someone else. The ways things like geography and privilege influence your opinions and your perspective.

Gordon’s family wasn’t tight, his father wasn’t present or terribly motivated, and that’s made Gordon feel like he has something to prove. He’s an overachiever, he’s confident, he thinks fast and has high expectations, and that’s built a successful and profitable restaurant. But he left home easily, he’s never had family support and he doesn’t really know to do anything but work 24/7.


I love clever people, funny people, and I’m totally addicted to honesty. Trust me, my wife is witty and wonderful.

I think the honest is what resonates with Colby. He is who he is, full stop. He loves working, babies, dogs, the mountains, and Gordon. Simple. Strong. Straightforward.


Blurb – Heart of a Redneck

Colby McBride is a blue-collar cowboy trying to make ends meet laying tile in Colorado. A loner by choice, Colby works hard with his hands and finds his peace camping in the mountains outside Boulder. Gordon James is a white-collar restaurateur who owns not one, but two successful establishments in downtown Boulder. He’s a sophisticated urbanite who is devoted to his work and is accustomed to getting what he wants.

The men are friends, but sparks fly when Colby falls in love and decides to show Gordon how much fun a good old boy can be. They’re just beginning to explore their relationship when Gordon’s sister’s suicide leaves him with custody of his five-year-old niece.

Colby comes from a huge family and is eager to help with the girl and to prove his worth to Gordon. But neither of them is ready for the tremendous changes to their already busy lives, or for how this new relationship with Olivia challenges them, complicating the way they interact with each other.

They say opposites attract, but can these two very different men work together to join their disparate lives and form a strong, if highly unlikely, family?

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About the Authors

Jodi Payne takes herself way too seriously and has been known to randomly break out in song. Her men are imperfect but genuine, stubborn but likable, often kinky, and frequently their own worst enemies. They are characters you can’t help but fall in love with while they stumble along the path to their happily ever after. For those looking to get on her good side, Jodi’s addictions include nonfat lattes, Malbec and tequila any way you pour it.

BA Tortuga: Texan to the bone and an unrepentant Daddy’s Girl, BA Tortuga spends her days with her basset hounds and her beloved wife, texting her sisters, and eating Mexican food. When she’s not doing that, she’s writing. She spends her days off watching rodeo, knitting and surfing Pinterest in the name of research. BA’s personal saviors include her wife, Julia Talbot, her best friend, Sean Michael, and coffee. Lots of coffee. Really good coffee.

Having written everything from fist-fighting rednecks to hard-core cowboys to werewolves, BA does her damnedest to tell the stories of her heart, which was raised in Northeast Texas, but has heard the call of the high desert and lives in the Sandias. With books ranging from hard-hitting GLBT romance, to fiery ménages, to the most traditional of love stories, BA refuses to be pigeon-holed by anyone but the voices in her head.

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In Our Author Spotlight: Ripe: Letters by Alan Semrow


Ripe: Letters


Published October 1st 2018

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Alan Semrow here today to talk about his new release Ripe:Letters. Welcome, Alan.


Alan Semrow on Writing His Latest Book, Ripe: Letters

I started writing Ripe, my new collection of letters to men, at the end of the winter of 2018. The whole concept had been something I’d been playing with for some time, but, really, the impetus for these pieces came out of an opportunity that presented itself out of nowhere. I was approached by Christopher Heide at Chosen Magazine to contribute some stuff to the magazine. I’m rarely one to turn down such an offer, but I had been starting to think I was suffering from a bit of writer’s block.

See, my first book, Briefs, a short story collection had come out in 2016. At the time of its release, I felt pretty far removed from those stories—I was very ready to tell people that I wrote these stories when I was young, which is true, and that I was living a totally different life than I had been while writing Briefs.

After the release of the book, I really struggled with writing a follow-up (there were probably three or four books written in between Briefs and Ripe, but none of them sufficiently conveyed what I wanted to convey). Like I said, my life was totally different. I lived in a new, much bigger city. I’d made tons of new friends. I’d also had some very real experiences with a wide array of men. And I wanted to write about it—about coming of age in the city and the moments I shared with people who ultimately ended up shaping the last few years for me.

But how? Could I mask it all in a fictious veil? Could I straight up just write a memoir? How could I approach it in a way that felt new and different, but also allowed me to convey my point of view?

That’s where the opportunity at Chosen came into play. This was a nonfiction publication, so, yes, I’d have to write nonfiction. So, I wrote one piece called “Right Where You Left Me,” which is basically a celebration of these very specific moments I’d had over the course of two years. It went over well.

And then 40-plus letters followed VERY quickly. To me, the letters summarize these very particular experiences I’d had—they pay tribute to people that I’m ultimately glad to have spent that time with. And they do so in a way that’s positive and humorous and joyful and super sexy. I wanted to create something that was an ode to these situations I’d found myself in. But I also wanted to put out something that reflected the many ways my life had changed over really only a couple years.

I’m happy to say I’m proud with the end result. I think it does just what I wanted it to do. And I think whoever reads this will find themselves relating. It’s about the tender, sexy moments we spend with people. It’s about longing for human connection. It’s about allowing yourself to be affected (and vulnerable) when it feels right. It’s all what makes us human.

About Ripe

Funny, sexy, evocative, and brutally honest, Ripe is Alan Semrow’s ode to relationships with men. In this epistolary book, Semrow writes to the men who have impacted his outlook, reminded him of basic life lessons, surprised him in more ways than one, and left him reeling for days. Writing to one-night-flings, men he has never met, and men he’ll never stop running into, Semrow touches on some of the most constant human themes—love, lust, desire, and the yearning for connection. All the while, the book details a man’s journey navigating and blooming by way of the modern gay scene. Readers will find familiarity and hard truths in Semrow’s statements about the intricacy and explosiveness of the intimate moments we share.

About Alan Semrow

Alan Semrow’s fiction, nonfiction, and poetry has been featured in over 30 publications. Apart from writing fiction and nonfiction, he is a professional copywriter, a monthly contributor at Chosen Magazine, and a singer-songwriter. Previously, he was the Fiction Editor for Black Heart Magazine and a Guest Fiction Editor for the Summer Issue of Five Quarterly. Semrow’s debut short story collection, Briefs, was published in 2016. Ripe is his second book. Semrow lives in Madison, Wisconsin.

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Release Blitz and Giveaway for A Vampire’s Heart (Ellowyn Found #1) by Kayleigh Sky



Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UKAvailable exclusive to Amazon and in Kindle Unlimited
Length: 98,551 words
Publisher: Kiss Drunk Books

Vampires live.

And they hunger…

Otto Jones, a cop assigned to the seemingly random murder of a vampire, would rather hide out in the nearest bar than waste his time on a dead vamp. He hates the bloodthirsty demons. But when the king of the vampires commands him to work with one of the lesser princes and find the killer, he has no choice.

Prince Jessamine Senera is ready to sacrifice his happiness in a loveless marriage for his family’s benefit… but not yet. He dreams of adventure, excitement, and true love. He lives on romance novels and detective stories and wishes he could drink synthetic blood like every other vampire. But he can’t. He needs human blood to survive and is hated by vampires and humans alike.

As Otto and Jessa draw closer to an entity that doesn’t want to be discovered, Otto finds the heart he thought long dead opening to the romance-loving Jessa. No good can possibly come from falling in love with a vampire, but when a shadowy assailant attacks Jessa, Otto will descend into the darkest pit of the earth to rescue him.

If you like vampires, mythical and urban settings, intense suspense, and happy ever after, then you’ll love this first book in the dark and mysterious Ellowyn Found trilogy!

A Vampire’s Heart is a stand-alone paranormal dystopian noir romance with a satisfying conclusion to the love story and a central mystery that weaves the trilogy together.

So… About me. I’ve never run a marathon or scaled Mt. Everest. I’ve never scuba dived or sky dived. I’ve surfed though. That was fun. I have six tattoos, and I really love ink. I also love all plants. Zinnias are one of my favorite flowers. If you’ve never see a zinnia, look it up. Very pretty. It’s an old-timey plant but super easy to grow. Anyway, the big thing I do is write m/m erotic romance. But as much as I love romance and sex, I really love going deep into the dark with my characters. What are their wounds? How can I peel them raw and drag them into the light? This leads to some fairly dark stories sometimes, but even the dark ones come with humor. I think the contradictions in people are ripe for hilarious scene setups. I need humor and light in my life—otherwise, I go into some pretty dark places myself. I live with only one cat now—I once had thirteen. That was crazy. I take up most of the things I research for my characters—photography, tarot, and jewelry making for example. I even bought a recorder once because Ori from Jesus Kid played one. I love that part of my job. I also love to walk and lift weights. I’m not a big fan of yoga—just throwing that out there. So far, all of my characters embody something of me, and all of my characters have given me something of them. But no matter what the struggle is from book to book, love always wins out. I’m strong on plot, strong on character, stronger on love. You can count on happily ever after from me every time. I write my stories to open hearts and uplift spirits. Love matters. It counts. And it’s for everyone.


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