A Lucy Review: Love For All Seasons Charity Anthology – Various Authors

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Rating:  3.5 stars out of 5

This anthology has stories that share the theme of the seasons.  In some, the season is front and center, such as Winter’s Chill and Sweeter Than Honey, while in others it is not integral to the story.  As in every anthology there were stories I liked more than others.  I got introduced to authors new to me, several of which I will be looking forward to seeing again.   All the stories here are fairly short, as typical in an anthology. 

Brioche for Two  – V.L. Locey  (3.5 stars)  Brian is a businessman who orders two brioche delivered from the bakery where Isamu works.  Isamu is a broke film student and can’t figure out why an obviously well-to-do man such as Brian would want to have anything to do with him.   Of course, he helps Isamu with his film project on finding passion.   It really is the story of their meeting and maybe beginning.

Sweeter Than Honey – C.M. Valencourt (4 stars)  Grayson is a vegan baker who sells at the market where Wyatt sells honey from his hives.  Some nasty attitude prevails and it is up to Wyatt to show Grayson not everyone is cruel.  New to me author and this story was adorable.  I admit, the vegan aspect drew me in – I am a vegetarian always trying to make that leap to vegan.  The uninformed and sanctimonious way Grayson attacked Wyatt is, unfortunately, all too common in the vegan community .  Wyatt is patient and a good person and I enjoyed reading about the bees.

Special Nights – DJ Jamison (3.5 stars) Sam suffers from severe insomnia and sometimes trying to sleep just isn’t worth it so he heads off to spend time in the very early morning at the diner where Hunter works.  Hunter has a lot going on in his personal life right now but he takes the time to talk to Sam.  This is set across the year and how they slowly become something to each other.  I liked the flirting between the two and the fact that nothing was rushed.  They shared snippets about themselves and didn’t fall into bed, which made it seem real.  It was cute, maybe needed to be a bit longer.

Winter’s Chill – Cathy Brockman (2 stars)  Jeff is working on his grandfather’s house so that his mother can sell it.  Lane is his next door neighbor and during a storm not only does the power go out but Jeff is trapped under a fallen branch.  Luckily, Lane hears it and rescues Jeff, then offers to let him stay by Lane’s, where there is a generator, heat and food.   It is the week they spend snowed in that they get to know each other.  This one had potential but I didn’t think it lived up to it.  Part of it may be a personal thing, as it is written in present tense and that isn’t preferred for me.  The other part is that they have conversations that seem forced and stilted.  The writing style wasn’t working for me and this one wasn’t a favorite.

Beach Boys – Annabelle Jacobs (3.5 stars)  Russ is on vacation with his best friend, Sarah, and another friend, Karen.  It was technically a girl’s weekend until the third girl broke her ankle and Russ is invited to fit in.  It’s a sweet bungalow right on the water and he’s extremely happy to be there.  Even more so when spying the hot surfers on the beach.  What more could he ask for?   Told in first person by Russ, I liked the whole meet your guy on vacation and this one was sweet instead of all sexy.  I liked that too because this is the very beginning of something for these guys.  There are some funny parts, such as Bailey the dog and her love for tug of war, that made me smile.

Who Do You Love, My Valentine – EJ Smyth (2.5 stars) Nox is a god who has been crushing on a human, Matt, for more than two years.  It happens that at Valentine’s season Cupid needs some help and of course Nox draws the short straw and has to fix Matt up with someone else.  How can that be!  Especially when Nox misses the shot and now Matt is falling in love with a woman, Joanie.  Now what?  Right in the beginning, Nox is invisible and he is licking Matt’s neck and fondling his groin, while Matt is unable to know what is going on.  He even admits it, “It was a creepy thing to do, but he was close, so very close.”  Ummm, nope, not a reason and that made me very uncomfortable.  Joanie was accidentally shot by the arrow is now extremely attracted to Matt and Nox just sort of pushes that to the side, which was annoying.  I did appreciate that when Matt is hit with the arrow, it hurts! That was unique.   This one was up and down for me, but feather sex pushed it down a little.

Favorite Flowers – Chris McHart (4 stars)  Gabe owns a flower shop, working with his best friend, Tara.  Tara is on him to get out there and start dating again, that “Not every guy is a cheating bastard.”  But he doesn’t want to and he’s sticking to his guns.  Then a customer comes in, totally overwhelmed, and wants to buy flowers.   He starts coming in every week to get a bouquet but never gives any indication of being interested or even being available so Gabe is sure it’s nothing. He doesn’t even given Gabe his name until much later, Jason.  This was by far my favorite of the anthology because the dance they are doing in the flower shop was shy and sweet.  Jason is going through a divorce after sharing with his wife, who was his best friend, that he’s pan, so he wants that out in the open right away.  I applauded him for that.  Jason’s way of asking Gabe out was romantic and lovely, and his reasoning for keeping Gabe a little at arm’s length was perfect.  “Just you, me, lube.  That’s it.” 

The Last Chance  – RJ Scott (2.5 stars)  Luke is a senior in college, set to graduate.   He can’t forget the kiss (and frot) he had with the captain of the hockey team four years before.  Of course, said Captain, Justin, hasn’t spoken to him since that day.  Luke “wanted to, but he avoided me, and I got the message.”  Now it is senior year and for some reason Jason’s jock friends are apologizing for things Luke might be holding against Justin because of them.  That part was cute.  What wasn’t so cute for me was that after four years of ignoring him, Justin has now decided to make a move.   His friends are trying to help and that was cute, but after four years of nothing, I wanted way more groveling than we got.  At first, Luke acted like I expected a self-respecting person to act when they’ve been treated poorly and get, “Please believe me, I had my reasons” as the excuse.  “I should have spoken to you.  I’ve waited so long.”  You are on the same college campus!  So I thought the end was totally out of left field, particularly when you factor in that in reality, they only spent part of one evening together.   I am a big RJ Scott fan but this one didn’t work for me.

Cover art by RJ Scott is soft, sweet and fitting to the mood and style of the stories.

Sales Link:

Universal Buy Link

Book Details:

ebook
Published April 19th 2018 by Love Lane Books Limited (first published April 16th 2018)
Original TitleLove for all Seasons
ISBN139781785641244
Edition LanguageEnglish
URLhttp://www.lovelanebooks.co.uk

Release Blitz for Love For All Seasons Anthology by Various Authors ( including RJ Scott, VL Locey, Annabelle Jacobs, DJ Jamison, Chris McHart)

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Universal Buy Link

True love always deserves a happy ending, whatever the season. A charity anthology with all proceeds split between The Matthew Shepard Foundation and The Albert Kennedy Trust.


With characters who find love in a New York park, or on a college campus, in the middle of a snow storm or in the heat of summer, ‘Love for all Seasons’ delivers romance for everyone.

Including stories from five established authors and supporting the work of three authors, new to the world of writing MM romance.


Brioche For Two – V.L Locey

 

Seasons of Bryant – SpringFour Seasons. Two Men. One Love.

For struggling film student Isamu Taylor, life’s refrain is about to change from boring documentary about a passionless delivery boy to a blazing and wildly erotic love story.

After spending weeks admiring handsome but older Manhattan executive Brian Gilles while delivering brioche to him in Bryant Park, the man of his lusty dreams has just expressed a desire to get to know Isamu better. A night on the town is just the beginning of a whirlwind romance that will span not only four seasons but countless years.

Amid the beauty and charm of Bryant Park, New York City, two men are about to discover that love knows no age or economic boundaries. This is the first of four short stories in what will be the ‘Tales of Bryant’ collection starring these two amazing men, their one sublime love, and the Park where it all started.

 

Sweeter than Honey – C.M. Valencourt 


Wyatt is a beekeeper, excited for the beginning of his town’s annual farmers market, where he expects to sell his wares and get some hot guys’ phone numbers. But these plans start to unravel when sets up shop next to a sexy vegan baker named Grayson.

Grayson believes that keeping bees is akin to owning a slaughterhouse, and he’ll do anything to run Wyatt out of business. Can Wyatt win him over with his sweet honey and even sweeter smile?

 

Special Nights – DJ Jamison 


Sam’s insomnia drives him out of his apartment in the wee hours of the night. He ends up at a diner, where he meets an intriguing waiter named Hunter. As the seasons go by, Sam and Hunter court over BLTs and OJ, slowly falling in love.

 

Winters Chill – Cathy Brockman


The ice storm of a century hits Missouri.

Winter savvy Lane Jennings is the only one prepared, thanks to a decade in North Dakota. Too shy to approach his drool-worthy neighbor, he’s left fantasizing about him at night. That is until the storm, when a branch breaks free, trapping him beneath. Now it’s up to Lane to save him from his icy peril and care for him throughout the storm.

It was a near death experience for stunned Jeffrey Nichols. Never had he seen anything as beautifully terrifying as the weather and his neighbor. One threatened his life and the other his secret. He wasn’t sure which was more dangerous, but when Lane gives him a warm shelter through the storm, he quickly realizes he will find out.

Can an ice storm thaw two frozen hearts?

 

Beach Boys – Annabelle Jacobs


Sea, sand, and hopefully sun, are all Russ expects to find on his week away in Cornwall.

Surfing with his two best mates is all Blake has planned for his short break. With the long drive to get to Penzance, there’s no time for anything else.

With help from Bailey the dog, Russ and Blake discover they might have more in common than they first thought.

 

Who Do You Love, My Valentine – EJ Smyth

 

Immortal Nox is subcontracted to love god Eros during the Valentine rush. After he gets distracted by his long-time human crush Matt, his arrows go astray. The second missile finds a pretty young woman who instantly falls in love with Matt. Which would be great, except that Matt is gay. Nox must prevent the unsuitable match before the Gods find out. Yet doing his job may very well break his heart…


Read this steamy, romantic short story by EJ Smyth to get you into the mood for the perfect Valentine’s night.

 

Favorite Flowers – Chris McHart 


Gabe runs a flower shop. He always makes bouquets for everyone, but nobody has ever brought him flowers. His love-life is non-existent. Until Jason walks in and sparks fly.

Jason in the middle of a nasty divorce and the last thing he needs is getting into another relationship. But he can’t resist the shop-owner.

But even if Jason comes back for flower every week, one of them has to make the first step. And even if one does, can favorite flowers lead to anything?

 

The Last Chance – RJ Scott


It’s the last year of college and Luke can’t forget the captain of the hockey team, or the kiss they shared as freshman.

Justin has to decide if hockey outweighs his attraction to Luke, because this might be the last chance he’ll have of making things right.

Authors

 
V.L. Locey loves worn jeans, yoga, belly laughs, walking, reading and writing lusty tales, Greek mythology, the New York Rangers, comic books, and coffee. (Not necessarily in that order.) She shares her life with her husband, her daughter, one dog, two cats, a flock of assorted domestic fowl, and two Jersey steers. 


When not writing spicy romances, she enjoys spending her day with her menagerie in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania with a cup of fresh java in hand. She can also be found online on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and GoodReads.

 
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About new author, C.M. Valencourt

C.M. Valencourt is a new m/m and queer romance author. Their first book From the Ashes, an ex-friends-to-lovers road trip novel featuring slam poetry, pink hair dye, and a chase scene through a theme park, will be released in the first half of 2018. They like figure skating, ghost hunting shows, and Carly Rae Jepsen. You can get updates about From the Ashes and more of their forthcoming work by following @cmvalencourt on Twitter.

 

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DJ Jamison is the author of more than a dozen m/m romances, including the Ashe Sentinel series and the Hearts and Health series. She writes a variety of queer characters, from gay to bisexual to asexual, with a focus on telling love stories that are more about common ground than lust at first sight. 

 
DJ grew up in the Midwest in a working-class family, and those influences can be found in her writing through characters coping with real-life problems: money troubles, workplace drama, family conflicts and, of course, falling in love. 
 
DJ spent more than a decade in the newspaper industry before chasing her first dream to write fiction. She spent a lifetime reading before that, and continues to avidly devour her fellow authors’ books each night. She lives in Kansas with her husband, two sons, two fish and, regrettably, one snake. 
 

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About new author, Cathy Brockman

Cathy loves her grandkids, cats, cooking and working to make her patio an outdoor haven.

When she’s not writing stories with sexy cowboys, strong women, and the small towns they live in she’s probably working on expanding her doll collection, crafting, reading, or listening to audio books.

For updates on stories, snippets, contests, games, polls and more fun join my reader group – Cat’s Romance A-Holics

If you like recipes, stories about food or flops, writing, teasers and more you can find that on my Website/Blog Cathy Writes Romance.

Thanks for reading and watch for more Lane and Jeffrey.

You can find me on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Amazon and Google plus

 
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Annabelle Jacobs lives in the South West of England with three rowdy children, and two cats. An avid reader of fantasy herself for many years, Annabelle now spends her days writing her own stories. They’re usually either fantasy or paranormal fiction, because she loves building worlds filled with magical creatures, and creating stories full of action and adventure. Her characters may have a tough time of it—fighting enemies and adversity—but they always find love in the end. 


Twitter – https://twitter.com/AJacobs_fiction
Website – www.annabellejacobs.com
Email – ajacobsfiction@gmail.com
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/ajacobsfiction
 
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About new author, EJ Smyth

Hi there! My name is EJ Smyth, I live in Frankfurt, Germany and I’m passionate about romance with other elements mixed in. Paranormal romance, romantic thrillers, gay romance, if it’s got two difficult characters finding each other, I’m on board!

I’m currently working on a series of short stories Keith is Awesome about a young man exploring his sexuality. Not something I’ve ever written before but the research alone was quite a bit of fun. I love to talk to my readers, online and offline, so please feel free to drop me a line!

www.ejsmythauthor.com

 

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About Chris McHart

 

I’m a writer of M/M romance and M/M erotic romance from Germany.


I’ve always had stories in my head, but a while ago I allowed them to get out and on paper. Looks like it has been a good decision, although the more stories I write, the more I have in my head. Maybe I’ll have all of them out someday, and there’ll be nothing more to write, but for the next years, I don’t see that coming.
When I’m not writing, I spend time with my family (I have the best husband EVER) and try to keep all my animals happy. I also enjoy gardening and cooking, although I’m still looking for someone to clean up afterwards. And, of course, I love reading, whenever I have a quiet moment.Writing and reading is my break from everyday stress and I hope you join me!Website | ChrisMcHart@gmail.com | Google +
 
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RJ Scott’s goal is to write stories with a heart of romance, a troubled road to reach happiness, and most importantly, that hint of a happily ever after.

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

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

Goodreads Page | RJ’s Blog | RJ on Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Heart2Heart Anthology

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

A very enjoyable charitable endeavor by eleven talented authors.  My review is done by story:

The Set-up

A short chapter about “how Bailey the geeky programmer lost his focus.” The segment focuses on Bailey as he’s setting up the final algorithms for the new Heart2Heart dating app.  He’s distracted by a sexy window washer who pantomimes calling him.  The story breaks here and is then continued at the end of the anthology.

The Professional Gamer and the Paranormal Photographer by Alison Hendricks – 3 stars

Shy photographer meets gregarious gamer—at first glance, the match seems destined to failure, but when the two get to know one another over a game—of course—they find they have much more in common than they’d thought.  And the interesting paranormal experiences Allen has captured on film intrigue Lawrence enough to continue their friendship to a relationship and they realize the match wasn’t so bad after all.  I didn’t feel the character chemistry in this one so only 3 stars here.

The Magician and the Mortician by AE Wasp – 4 stars

A very sweet story of a 42-year-old magician who lost his husband five years ago and has finally agreed to a blind date arranged through Heart2Heart.  The mortician turns out to be a quiet, sexy man who first saw Beto perform ten years ago and lost his heart to the magic of magic shows.  A pleasant surprise and coincidence that the two are destined to meet again.  Another unlikely match finds love.  I enjoyed the pace of this story and the characters were charming.

The Assassin and the Dog Walker by Charlie Cochet – 5 stars

What an adventure!  Charlie Cochet captured the spirit of Valentine’s Day, the sweet temperament of Daniel, the cute dog walker, and the cutting-edge, dangerous personality of the assassin, Lymond.  Another two unlikelys who found their way together through the H2H app. I know a story is a keeper (and a future re-read) when I’m smiling as I read along, enjoying every minute of the adventure, totally immersed in the lives of the characters. Kudos, Charlie! 

The Criminal and the Sommelier by Chris Owen – 5 stars

Phillipe is the Sommelier who is impressed, despite his initial misgivings, by the restaurant and their sommelier’s selection of wines—all provided by Heart2Heart for his first date with Angelo.  And Angelo? Oh my! Phillipe is very impressed with him as well—even when he finds out he’s an international art thief, or broker, as Angelo prefers to call himself. Full of humor, witticisms, adventure and fun, this fast-paced short story is only the beginning of the adventure in store for these guys.  I hope Chris Owen brings them back for a full-length novel. 

The Superhero and the NSA Agent by Hailey Turner – 3 stars

This story was a lot of fun to read – from the beginning to about midpoint.  The characters and the setup were intriguing and I especially fell in love with Damien in his Superman outfit—who wouldn’t?  It looked like it would be a sweet Valentine’s Day romance, but then the author fell victim to throwing them into hot, panting sex and canceling their romantic Heart2Heart dinner date.  To be honest, it felt out of character for them—especially for Damien, and I was no longer interested in them after that. 

The Tattoo Artist and the Writer by Lily Morton – 5 stars

Well, this one showed me that I can find an outstanding new author anywhere.  I never expected that this would be the story that would be OTT for me, but it was.  Two best friends, matched by Heart2Heart, find their way to love—a love that’s apparently been there for years but never acknowledged.  I’m definitely going to check out this author’s other work.  Excellent story. 

The Uber Driver and the Phone Sex Operator by Lucy Lennox – 4.5 stars

I feel like I’m the only one of my friends who hasn’t read Lucy Lennox yet, but that’s now taken care of with this humorous, sweet MM romance.  Travis is filling in for his brother Brody as an Uber driver when he picks up a cute, young guy who is having phone sex while in his back seat.  Lots of laughs later when it gets straightened out, and lots of cuddles and loving when the two get together to solve Azrael’s problem of being a 25-year-old virgin.  Add to that, the compatibility of their “real” careers and this was a romance made in heaven.  All right, not heaven—the Heart2Heart app.  Very enjoyable!

The Baker and the SEAL by May Archer – 5 stars

Another new-to-me author that hit her story out of the ballpark.  Nothing like a big, strong, ex-Navy SEAL with a heart of gold to melt this old lady’s heart.  But add to that a snarky, strong, independent baker with a penchant for vanilla—only in his cooking—and you have the perfect recipe (pun intended) for a sweet Valentine’s Day romance.  Loved it!

The Event Planner and the Electrician by Poppy Dennison – 3 stars

May-December romances are one of my favorite tropes and this sweet story captured the angst of the younger guy who falls in love yet again with an older guy, only to have their age difference thrown in his face, yet again.   I loved Theo ‘s character.  He reminded me of a sweet, energetic bundle of energy with a heart of gold.  And I enjoyed Harvey’s character as well—older, good-looking, gentle giant.  Though it took awhile, they finally got their Valentine’s Day wish. 

The Lawyer and the Lobsterman by Ruthie Luhnow – 2 stars

This one was my least favorite of the stories.  The lawyer, Isaac, had an abrasive personality and the lobsterman, Will, was super-casual and flirty.  Of all the couples, they not only seemed ill-suited, but also had poor communication and I couldn’t quite get behind their togetherness.  And though all the stories are about men who shouldn’t have been matched but were, in this one I couldn’t find their commonality—their spark, so to speak.  They ended up together but it wasn’t as satisfying to me.

The Florist and the Lawyer by Sloane Kennedy – 3.5 stars

This little tidbit was sweet and sexy, but to be honest, there was an overabundance of sex scenes. I would have liked more face-to-face, get-to-know-you time and less of the highly descriptive in-your-face sex time. Don’t get me wrong, Sloane Kennedy is one of my favorites, and I love her writing and storytelling style, but in this instance, less would have been more.  Another abrasive lawyer in this story, Harrison is matched with Nate, a cute, flamboyant twink, who eventually melts his heart, puts a smile on his face, and brings color to his black-and-white world.

The Fallout

A continuation of The Setup, which was the intro to the anthology.  It’s not clear who wrote this segment, but it’s really quite sweet and a story unto itself.   The window washer has distracted the programmer from the last testing of the algorithm of the Heart2Heart app and because of that, all the previous couples were mismatched.  Thankfully, the previous couples are more than happy with their mismatches and have contacted Heart2Heart to express their gratitude.  So the window washer and the programmer live happily ever after.  A very nice way to introduce and wrap up this anthology, the proceeds of which will benefit several different LGBTQ charities. 

In summary, not only is this an enjoyable group of stories, the authors have donated proceeds to their favorite charities.   I highly recommend this one to lovers of MM romance—especially to those who enjoy reading opposites-attract stories.

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COVER DESIGN:  AngstyG/www.angstyg.com’  .The cover features a photo of two guys, one with his arm draped over the other’s shoulder, walking down a road.   It’s a nice representation of the “coupledom” of the stories within.

BUY LINK:  http://getBook.at/Heart2Heart

Anthology Details:

It will only be available for 90 days, so Tuesday, May 8th will be the last time you can purchase this anthology.
Over 162k words total, contemporary MM romance

100% of the proceeds to 3 wonderful charities:

The Trevor Project: https://www.thetrevorproject.org/

Bisexual Resource Centre: http://biresource.org/

One n Ten: http://onenten.org/

In the Spotlight: Mandi Ware and Resist and Triumph, a charity Anthology (excerpt and giveaway)

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resist-cover_small

 From The Respect of Love by Mandi Ware

Excerpt

Standing at the podium, looking out at the faces of our friends and families, it was hard to control my emotions. I shuffled the papers in my hands again, buying a few scarce moments.

This isn’t how this is supposed to work. This isn’t right to have a funeral, but have no loved one to mourn.

“Thank you all for coming. I know Peter would’ve loved everyone together. He would’ve donned his naughty nurse apron and fired up the grill.” A light chuckle wafted across the room. The memory of our last barbecue wrapped around my heart.

*

“Baby, can you please bring out the salt for these glasses?” Peter yelled from the backyard.

“Of course,” I mumbled. “Allow me to service you, sire. May I cleanse your tuchus for you, too?” I raised my voice. “Where the hell is it?”

“Sweetheart.” Peter’s voice came from directly behind me. “Relax. It’s going to be fine. This is just going to be a small speed bump on the highway for our family.” He reached around me and grabbed the salt bowl at my hip. “Oh, by the way. I don’t need you to wipe my ass, but if you want to service me, we got some time.” He planted a kiss on my eyebrow.

I wrapped my arm around his waist bringing our lips together. He was always a fabulous kisser. Those warm full lips and marvelously sweet tongue had magic powers. He definitely knew how to make my knees weak.

Breaking the kiss, he peered into my soul.“Have I ever told you how much I love you?”

“Um,” I tried to think. “Nope. Never heard it.”

“Good.” Peter pulled me into his strong embrace. “Because love is nowhere near the right word for how I feel for you.”

I snuggled tighter against his warmth, nuzzling into his chest. His heart beat against my collarbone.

“Stop that.” He laughed, pushing me away playfully. “You keep that up my meat is going to burn.” Taking the salt he turned his back on me, shaking his bite-worthy bottom.

Reaching out, I pinched him. “I can burn your meat, baby.”

“That you can, my lover.” He smiled and winked as he escaped out the patio doors. “Later.”

“Tease!” I yelled. His melodic laugh floated back.

Author Bio

Twenty+ years ago, Mandi embarked on an adventure to the Midwest, Southeast Wisconsin specifically, where writing became an expansive habit in distraction and pleasure. Through loss, love and marriage Mandi has exploited the muse of storytelling for entertainment, distraction and as a form of personal therapy.  For some of Mandi’s earlier stories and bloggings, visit Mandi at http://www.mandiware.com.  When that’s not enough there’s always Twitter and Facebook.

Author Links

Twitter: @scribemandiware
Facebook: scribemandiware

Rafflecopter/Giveaway

Don’t forget to click the link below and take your chance at winning a FREE paperback copy of “Resist & Triumph Anthology”.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/3797bda115/?

resist and triumph fb banner (1)

 

As 2017 opened, the United States took several steps back in the progress toward equality. In response, a group of authors has stepped up to offer positive stories of hope and love. In an effort to help fight and support those groups who are facing even greater challenges, we wrote these stories to offer a small amount of aid.

Stories of hope, resistance, and ultimately triumph fill the pages of this anthology.

All proceeds of the anthology go to The Trevor Project and GLAAD to help fight the effects of the dark times we’re facing.

 

Purchase Resist and Triumph here:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078NKHVCK

Cover art: Jess Small
Publication date: 1/26/2018

Genres: M/M Romance, Paranormal, Historical, Dystopian, Contemporary, BDSM, F/F Romance

 

Other stories included in the anthology:

Breaking Ties with the Bully by Perci T. Brooks

Consummation by Tucker McCallahan

Fighting the Alpha, the Omega Way by Carol Pedroso

Get Off of My Runway by Shane K. Morton

Leto of The Ionian Sea by Maria Siopsis

The Respect of Love by Mandi Ware

Small Victories by Helen Dupres

White Rabbit by Grace R. Duncan

One Pulse Anthology and a Interview with Jon Keys, author of A Single Night

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one-pulse-anthology

One Pulse (A Dreamspinner Press Anthology)

Release Date September 17
Purchase Links

Stories drive life. Sometimes life is good; sometimes life is bad. But it’s the nature of our community that in the aftermath of an act of hatred, we respond with love. Because darkness cannot exist in the presence of light. Cruelty cannot stand against compassion. Negativity will never overcome hope.

To show our support for those affected by the Orlando shooting, our authors, editors, artists, and staff have volunteered their talents to create this anthology. All proceeds will be donated to LGBT organizations in central Florida. Join us as we celebrate the triumph of love over every obstacle.

Jon Keys—A Single Night
Alicia Nordwell—About Best Friends & Boyfriends
Mickie B. Ashling—Adíos
M.T. Aspen —Asking for Trouble
M.A. Church—Chasing Tyme
Caitlin Ricci—Coming Out
George Seaton—Cucurrucucú
Jayce Ellis—Dance
Bree Cariad—Everyday Miracles
Chrissy Munder—Everything I Need
Ellis Carrington—For the First Time
Felicitas Ivey—Get Me to the Church Town Hall on Time
John Amory—Happy Pride
Grace R. Duncan—Hope
John Goode—Let Them Eat Cake
J. C. Long—Magical Boys Just Wanna Have Fun
Elizabeth Noble—Magicicada
Renee Stevens—More Than a Pact
Troy Storm—One Big Happy… Bunch
Connie Bailey—One Heart at a Time
Dev Bentham—Perfection
Andrea Speed—Pride
Laura Lascarso—Pull
Lila Leigh Hunter—Raffled Kiss
Emery C. Walters—Ranch Dressing
C.C. Dado—Read My Lips
Sera Kane—The Stag’s Bane
KC Burn—The Tithe
Vicktor Alexander—The Wooing of the Marqués de Sierra de Outes
Edmond Manning—They Danced

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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is proud to help host Dreamspinner Press’s release week for its One Pulse Anthology, a collection of stories written in the aftermath of the horror of the shootings in Orlando.  Here today, is Jon Keys, author of the wonderful Obsidian series and the story, A Single Night. Welcome, Jon, to Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words.

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A Single Night by Jon Keys from the One Pulse Anthology

Interview

  • Where do you normally draw your inspiration for a book from?  A memory, a myth, a place or journey, or something far more personal?Good question! For me it can be from almost anything: a random comment; a location I’ve never been to before, or a familiar one I revisit. I’ve written a few stories based on fairy tales. Many of the contemporary novels begin as a “what if” story. For example, a novel I’m writing now is built from the question of what would happen if a college professor fell for his mechanic. From there I’ve added twists and turns to take it beyond the obvious.
  • Are you a planner or a pantzer when writing a story? And  why?Both. I start out planning the important elements of the novel. Lately I’ve been mapping stories out to get their flow. But once I begin writing, all kinds of twists and turns happen that I hadn’t foreseen. When they do I usually let them run their course.
  • Contemporary, supernatural, fantasy, or science fiction narratives or something else?  Does any genre draw you more than another when writing it or reading it and why does it do so?Well the reading side is easier, so lets start there. Science fiction and fantasy are big time favorites. I enjoy the peek at another world or another time. All of those situations appeal to me as a reader. So far as other genre that are in the mix; some murder mysteries will fall in from time to time. I enjoy solving the puzzles and figuring out the who done it. Contemporary is also in the combination. Nothing scratches an itch sometimes quite like a good love story. But even then I want to know about their life, where they live and other background. I guess that element comes through on both my reading and writing. I want them to have a feeling of place.Writing follows some of the same lines of thought, but the emphasis has been different. Most of my writing has focused around contemporary, or at least the first handful of stories was firmly rooted in the here and now. They also had a strong rural/cowboy flavor to them.  But over the last several stories the focus is on fantasy. Whether it was the retelling of a classic fairy tale or the worlds of high fantasy, I’ve found writing these created worlds very satisfying. I love creating worlds and the animals and people who populate them. But in my next novel set to be released early in 2017 I’m back firmly in the contemporary world, telling cowboy stories again. I seem to have somewhat of a split writing personality!
  • If you had a character you’ve written you would write differently now at this time in your writing career, who would it be and why?The characters I’d probably want most to redo would be some of the antagonists, particularly Peter’s ex from Home Grown. He’d be much more multilayered now, more ominous. Yeah, he would be the character I could change more than most others.
  • Can an author have favorites among their characters and do you have them?Sure! I think authors can definitely have favorites. Some characters come out with so much personality and personal growth that you can’t help but cheer them on and want them to win. Terja from Obsidian Sun was one of those. He grew and changed so much through the course of the books.
  • If you were to be stranded on a small demi-planet, island, or god forbid LaGuardia in a snowstorm, what books would you take to read or authors on your comfort list?Oh jeez, I always go back to these later and can think of a dozen more. My test of a good read is how many times I’ve reread them. Some authors who have made it on my reread list: Anne McCaffrey’s Pern, Mercedes Lackey’s Valdemar world, Allen Dean Foster, and for humor I love Robert Aspirin; the MYTH series, Phule’s Company and the Dragon Series. Yeah, that would be the short list, at least for now.
  • How early in your life did you begin writing?.I’m not one of the child prodigies I’m afraid. I never considered writing until a few years ago and I thought, “I can do that” and gave it a try. Now? Well it’s become quite an addiction for me.
  • Were you an early reader or were you read to and what childhood books had an impact on you as a child that you remember to this day and why?I read a lot of books, but don’t remember too many of the early ones. Actually the oldest book that I remember was Mother Goose. I had people read that book to me until I could ‘read’ the book out loud. Oddly enough the novel I remember from elementary school was Farmer Boy and yes, I was an adult before I realized it was part of the Little House on the Prairie series. But I could identify with Alfonzo. Later I found more science fiction and fantasy books. Of course I had the classic collection of all the comic books I could afford. I’d never heard of a graphic novel in those days.
  • If you were writing your life as a romance novel, what would the title be?Oh wow, hard question. I agonize over titles. I really like for them to work on a number of levels. Maybe “Here we go again.”

Blurb:

The aftermath of tragedy calls for more than just physical healing, but Devon and Logan may find it with family—and with each other.

Author Bio

Jon Keys’ earliest memories revolve around books; with the first ones he can recall reading himself being “The Warlord of Mars” and anything with Tarzan. (The local library wasn’t particularly up to date.) But as puberty set in he started sneaking his mother’s romance magazines and added the world of romance and erotica to his mix of science fiction, fantasy, Native American, westerns and comic books.

A voracious reader for almost half a century, Jon has only recently begun creating his own flights of fiction for the entertainment of others. Born in the Southwest and now living in the Midwest, Jon has worked as a ranch hand, teacher, computer tech, roughneck, designer, retail clerk, welder, artist, and, yes, pool boy; with interests ranging from kayaking and hunting to painting and cooking, he draws from a wide range of life experiences to create written works that draw the reader in and wrap them in a good story.

Buy links:

eBook: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/one-pulse-7577-b

Social Media:

Excerpt:

Logan couldn’t help but notice Devon’s limp was more pronounced than normal. The wear and tear on his husband was visible tonight when Devon grabbed the back of the sofa. His fingers dug into the thick padding as he sighed.

“Sit down, please. I’ll call Michelle and Doug and reschedule. They’ll understand,” Logan said.

“I’m fine. Watch.” Devon winked at Logan, then vaulted over the back of the heavy piece of furniture to land with a bounce on the dense cushions.

A slight rattle and a stifled groan of pain made Logan cringe. “Would you behave, Devon! You’ll mess something up.”

Devon wrapped his meaty arms around Logan and worked to pull him on top. But Logan grabbed his face and planted a kiss on his forehead.

“Knock it off. It’s your sister who’s on her way,” Logan said.

But Devon ignored the protest, pulled Logan close, and pressed their lips together. The tingle in the pit of Logan’s stomach was the same he’d gotten the night they met. In the years since, it had only gotten stronger. Logan took a deep breath and filled his senses with Devon’s masculine scent, letting himself melt against the muscular chest and feel safe. His thoughts became fuzzy and his crotch tight as their closeness sent delicious jolts through Logan. He realized this wasn’t going like it should when they had guests arriving. Logan pushed away, wet his lips, and grinned.

“I have to cook supper before they get here. Go change into something comfortable. And hang up your dress clothes, because I’m the one who has to iron your crap.”

When Devon made an attempt to stand and his breath hissed through his teeth. Logan stepped over to help, but Devon waved him away. “When I can’t get my fat ass off the sofa, I’ll let you know.”

Logan rolled his eyes but stepped back. The effort took several tries before Devon stood. He shot Logan a wink and a smile. “See, told you I didn’t need help.”

Logan’s lips formed a tight line, and he started toward the kitchen. “You’re a stubborn jackass. Now go change.” He pulled out ingredients for dinner and within a few minutes had food strewn across the counters. He had the ingredients for the first course ready when Devon reappeared, still wearing his clothes from work.

“What do you want me to do?” Devon asked.

Logan glanced over and sighed. “Just once you could listen. Sit. Rest. They’ll want to play games until late.”

“I’ll help. I can make a pasta dish.”

Logan studied him for a minute before lifting an eyebrow. “Yeah, pasta would be good. What did you have in mind?”

Devon smirked as he made his way to the refrigerator while Logan worked on getting the entrée ready. He was preparing steaks and fresh vegetables from their garden for grilling. Logan spread them over two trays, seasoned them, and then coated everything with good olive oil they’d discovered on their trip to Italy. It was one of the little indulgences they allowed themselves. Devon was still working his way through the contents of the fridge when Logan stepped out onto their patio to get the grill ready.

While it heated, he looked around the yard and enjoyed the spring flowers he and Devon cared for with meticulous attention. They’d remodeled the deck last year and put in a Jacuzzi. He’d paid for it as part of Devon’s fortieth birthday gift. But he’d also hoped it would help keep the scar tissue on Devon’s leg a little more flexible. Whether it did or didn’t, they enjoyed having the little oasis to escape into each evening. Devon’s job as a victims’ advocate became stressful at times, and Logan wanted him to have a place to unwind.

Logan turned his attention to the barbecue, decided everything was fine, and slipped into the house. He glanced over at Devon and froze. A second later, he started laughing.

Devon turned to him and lifted an eyebrow. “Something wrong?”

“Nope. Not at all. I was just wondering if you’d left anything in the fridge.”

“You questioning my ability to make pasta salad?”

Logan held up both hands in surrender. “No, no. Nothing like that.”

Devon turned to his cutting board and diced peppers with the chef knife Logan bought him last Christmas. The mix of ingredients was unique, but Devon seemed satisfied with his hoard, so Logan didn’t care. No one’s crying, no one’s bleeding, then it isn’t a big deal. They worked together in the kitchen with practiced ease. Logan decided to make shot glass desserts for a treat. Devon was putting his salad in the fridge as Logan sprinkled pecans into the last dessert glass.

Devon was up to something; he was smirking too much over making pasta salad. Logan waited a minute before checking to see what was happening. He wasn’t surprised to discover the source of Devon’s amusement about the dish he’d made.

He frowned at the penis-shaped pasta filling the bowl. “Really? Another porn pasta creation? And for your sister?”

By this time Devon was cackling. “She’ll think it’s great, and Doug will turn a nice shade of red. It’ll all be good.”

Logan sighed and glanced at his watch. “Fine, keep your cock pasta. Your sister will be here soon. We need to shower.” He looked at Devon and lifted one brow. “And taking off your tie doesn’t mean you got relaxed.” Logan stood with an expression he hoped looked appropriately stern.

“If you ask me if I need help, I swear I’ll beat you with a wet noodle.”

Logan chuckled and waved him away. “Go shower. I’ll set the table. If you behave, I’ll come wash your back.”

“If you put out later, maybe I’ll let you,” Devon said with a laugh.