New Cover Reveal for Mating Tomeo by A.J. Llewellyn ( giveaway)

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A.J. Llewellyn reveals the beautiful cover art of her next book titled MATING TOMEO coming out from Ai Press.

It releases on July 12, 2016.

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BLURB

In 1946 Hawaii, Tomeo Yamaguchi harbors a secret that would be considered shameful by his traditional Japanese family—he aches for the caress of other men.

Which makes it particularly devastating when Tomeo’s father hires a tanomoshi—a matchmaker—to find a bride for his son.

Tomeo spends time with the tanomoshi, Shin Yamada, and as the men come to know one another, deep feelings emerge, the transition from friends to lovers inevitable. They fall into a clandestine affair, their hushed and hidden lovemaking as beautiful and breathless in their eyes as it is torrid in the eyes of others.

More time spent worshipping Tomeo’s body means less time finding him a suitable bride. Shin’s forsaking his duty and risking everything…but mating Tomeo is worth every stolen second. No matter the cost…

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PRESENTING

Cover Art by Sid Love

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PRE-ORDER LINK

All Romance eBooks

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

A.J. Llewellyn lives in California, but dreams of living in Hawaii. Frequent trips to all the islands, bags of Kona coffee in the fridge and a healthy collection of Hawaiian records keep this writer refueled.

A.J’s passion for the islands led to writing a play about the last ruling monarch of Hawaii, Queen Lili’uokalani as well as a non-erotic novel about the overthrow of her kingdom written in diary form from her maid’s point of view.

A.J. never lacks inspiritation for male/male erotic romances and on the rare occasion this happens, pursues other passions such as collecting books on Hawaiiana, surfing and spending time with friends and animal companions.

A.J. Llewellyn believes that love is a song best sung out loud.

||  Website & Blog  ||  Facebook  ||  Twitter  ||  Goodreads  ||

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Afternoon Exclusive Cover Reveal for ‘Island Counsellor’ by Sue Brown (excerpt and giveaway)

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Sue Brown reveals the sexy cover art of her next book titled ISLAND COUNSELOR coming out from Dreamspinner Press.

It releases on June 20, 2016.

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BLURB

Counselor Logan Wilde has a successful therapy practice in London, but when a traumatic incident there leaves him suffering from PTSD, he takes refuge in his holiday cottage on the Isle of Wight, unable to face going back to work. Not that he’s allowed to relax. Logan’s time is taken up with helping Liam Owens, plus there’s Nick Brent, whom Logan discovers collapsed on the beach. Nick and Logan spend their time bickering with each other, but that doesn’t alter the attraction they both feel.

Logan is forced to make some hard decisions about his future, which entails facing up to recent events, only he’s not alone—Nick is with him. Unfortunately, someone else makes a decision, too, and now trouble is on its way to the Isle of Wight.

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PRESENTING

Cover Art by L.C. Chase

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EXCLUSIVE TEASER

“Don’t you dare.” Logan grabbed Nick’s hands. “Sam is right. We shouldn’t have to hide who we are. I’m not asking you to throw me down on the floor and fuck in front of the old folks, but if you want to hold my hand or I want to hold yours, then we should be able to do it.”
“Toast?” The girl from the bar was holding a plate of toast and looking rather bemused. 
Logan would have head-desked the table if it hadn’t been full of dirty plates. “Please tell me you didn’t hear me say that.”
“I can tell you that if you want,” she said, now looking very amused. “I’d be lying, but I can tell you that.”
“The customer is always right,” Nick said to her. “Even when he’s being stupid, he’s always right.”
“I’ll take your word for it.” 

Check out other exclusive teasers on –

:: Rick R. Reed :: RJ Scott :: Frosty’s Book Corner :: Bayou Book Junkie :

:: The Purple Rose Tea House :: Cia’s Stories :: Alpha Book Club :: Man2ManTastic ::

:: Love Bytes Reviews :: Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents ::

:: Wicked Faeries Tales And Reviews :: Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words ::

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sue Brown is owned by her dog and two children. When she isn’t following their orders, she can be found plotting at her laptop. In fact she hides so she can plot and has gotten expert at ignoring the orders.

Sue discovered M/M erotica at the time she woke up to find two men kissing on her favorite television series. The series was boring; the kissing was not. She may be late to the party, but she’s made up for it since, writing fan fiction until she was brave enough to venture out into the world of original fiction.

:: Website :: Blog :: Facebook :: Twitter :: Google+ ::

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Winner’s Prize: $10 Amazon/ARe Gift Card

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The Story Behind the Story of Sedonia Guillone’s ‘Acts of Passion’ (guest blog,excerpt and giveaway)

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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is thrilled to have Sedonia Guillone here today to talk about her latest novel, Acts of Passion.  I’m a long time fan of this author and am so happy to welcome her here.

Behind the Book – The story behind the story by Sedonia Guillone

Hi everyone! Thank you so much for your support. I am soooo happy to be re-releasing Acts of Passion, new and shiny with a previously deleted scene added back in. Years ago when I was first going through editing, my editor at the time had slashed an entire scene that I felt was very important to the development of Michael Di Santo’s character. I’m not sure why I let myself be talked into getting rid of something that was so important, but I did and always regretted it. Readers of Acts of Passion felt that something was missing right in that spot. Every time I read a review to that effect, it was a “head-desk” moment. I couldn’t wait for the time to come when I would get a chance to put that scene back in.GP1 - HisBeautifulSamurai24

For those of you who may have read His Beautiful Samurai (Ai Press), you will have met Michael Di Santo, sort of. When Detective Toshi Genjin, the main character from His Beautiful Samurai was in college, he spent four years in the States at Berkley. He met Michael there, then a grad student, and the two of them became lovers. Toshi and Michael were each other’s first love. Both men had been very closeted and shy, but their relationship was the first real, passionate experience either of them had and left its mark on both of them, even though things didn’t work out. Michael still calls Toshi from time and once in a while, advises Toshi on a case, which happens in His Beautiful Samurai. Of course, Michael needed to have his own story told, and his own HEA. That led to Acts of Passion and the sexy homicide detective, Jack Cade.

I won’t spoil the fun and go into more detail about which scene was deleted. It’s not a high action scene or one full of edge-of-your-seat suspense, BUT it is crucial to Michael’s unraveling the knots in his own heart and soul, a process that will allow him to have the satisfying, deeper romance that his soul craves. Without that understanding, he cannot move forward. I think so many of us can relate to that! Leaving it out was just not a good call. Thank goodness, life allows so many second chances,

The deeper take away from this for me? Don’t second guess what’s in your heart. Don’t let someone talk you out of doing something that may be real for you because of their own issues or lack of understanding. I know now that while I will take into consideration the feedback an editor or someone else may give me, I need to weigh it against what’s in my heart and make sure that I’m being told something truly helpful. I hope that makes sense! Thank you for joining me on this tour. Your support means so much.

                                                                                                                                      Warmly, Sedonia

AboutTheBook

Acts of PassionTITLE: Acts of Passion

AUTHOR: Sedonia Guillone

COVER ARTIST: Louca Matheo

LENGTH: 186 Pages

GENRE: LGBT; Gay Romance; Mystery and Detective; Romantic Suspense

RELEASE DATE: January 15, 2016

BLURB: When a man is found in his apartment, appearing to have committed hara kiri with a samurai sword, Boston Homicide Detective Jack Cade suspects more is going on than what it appears. The department’s criminal profiler has left and a new guy is taking his place. At first, Cade is skeptical of Dr. Michael Di Santo. Di Santo seems so absent-minded and too neurotic to be effective. But he is brilliant and hot and Cade finds himself falling hard and fast, both in lust and in love. The attraction is mutual, although Michael’s past demons haunt him, keeping him from getting too close. Together, they begin to unravel Michael’s emotional knots even as they close in on a killer, another brilliant, wily person whose sights are now set on Michael.

Excerpt

Studying the front area of the building, he wandered down the flower box lined stone walk of the apartment building and turned to face it. Crime lab workers and patrol officers moved around on either side of the yellow crime tape, keeping the building cordoned off until Jack gave instructions to clear out and retain only the apartment as the crime scene.

Jack stepped aside to let someone go past him and bump! Smacked into something.

He turned. “Excuse me, I’m—” Or rather, he’d bumped into someone.

The man was adjusting the glasses Jack had apparently knocked off his face. “You’re in a crime scene,” Jack said.

“Yes, I know.” Almond-shaped brown eyes seemed to study Jack from behind round lenses. He looked Asian, yet sort of…not Asian at the same time. His dark brown hair was styled in a conventional way, parted on the side in short layers. The crumpled navy suit he wore, complete with diagonally striped tie against a light blue dress shirt made him appear as if his mother had dressed him for a spelling bee at school even though he was probably about Jack’s age. Forty.

Jack blinked. He was taking absolutely too long to find out who this man was. Then light dawned. Of course. “Dr. Di Santo?”

“Detective Cade?”

“That’s me. Hope I didn’t break your glasses.”

Di Santo touched them on each side as if to check. “No, they’re fine.”

Jack watched the man’s hands as he gingerly adjusted the frames. Nicely shaped fingers. Clean, trimmed nails. “Sorry I bumped you that way.”

“No problem.” Di Santo cleared his throat. “I hope I can be of help to you.”

Jack started. “Me too. This way.” He led Di Santo into the building and up to the apartment. “As I told you on the phone, I’m not so sure this was a suicide.” He let Di Santo precede him into the apartment and followed him, observing the way the slim man took in the surroundings on his way over to the victim.

Jack explained his suspicions and then let the man work. For what seemed a long time, Di Santo wandered about then stood in the center of the room, his gaze on the coffee table. His hand disappeared into his jacket pocket and pulled something out, which he popped into his mouth.

Jack watched him. Watched the man’s cheek bulge on the side while he sucked on whatever it was in his mouth, his gaze intent on the coffee table and victim. He then approached Jack and Jack heard the click of hard candy against the guy’s teeth. Finally Di Santo turned and knelt by the body.

Jack saw the professor’s eyes widen, especially on the hilt of the knife. “What is it?”

Di Santo seemed to ignore his question, staring at the knife. “Were his hands on the hilt of the knife or over his face when you found him?”

“Over his face.”

“Okay. Please open the robe so I can see the wound,” he said to Murphy.

Murphy did as he asked and Di Santo gazed for what seemed five straight minutes at the vicious cross-shaped cut in the centre of the wound.

“Jumonji giri,” he said, nearly in a whisper.

“What?” Jack looked between the knife wound and Di Santo.

The hot-yet-nerdy man was still staring down, seeming to ignore him. The candy in his mouth clicked several times against his teeth.

“Dr. Di Santo?”

Michael Di Santo looked up, his eyes seemingly far away yet intent at the same time. “What kind of movies did this man watch?”

BuyLinks

Amazon

Amazon UK

AuthorBio

Award-winning, multi-published author of erotic romance, Sedonia Guillone spends her days writing deliciously naughty romances—when she’s not cuddling with the man she loves or watching kung fu and samurai films and eating chocolate.

Sedonia welcomes comments from readers. You can find her website and email address on her author bio page at http://www.sedoniaguillone.com.

:: Website :: Blog :: Facebook :: Twitter :: Google+ ::

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Winner’s Prize: Print copy of Acts of Passion

Runner Up’s Prize: 3 Sedonia Guillone e-books of your choice

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TourSchedule

January 15: Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words :: Frosty’s Book Corner

January 16: Elisa – My reviews and Ramblings :: The Purple Rose Tea House

January 17: Wicked Faeries Tales & Reviews :: Louise Lyons

January 18: Divine Magazine :: Love Bytes Reviews

January 19: Jessie G Books :: Drops of Ink

January 20: A Celebration of Books :: Diverse Reader

January 21: RJ Scott :: MM Good Book Reviews

January 22: Kathy Mac Reviews :: Gay Media Reviews

January 23: Bayou Book Junkie :: Alpha Book Club

January 24: Man2ManTastic :: Shey’s Book Cave

 

Cover Reveal for ‘Acts of Passion’ by Sedonia Guillone‏ (excerpt and giveaway)

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Sedonia Guillone reveals the breathtakingly amazing cover art of her upcoming book titled Acts Of Passion.

It releases on January 15, 2016.

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BLURB

When a man is found in his apartment, appearing to have committed hara kiri with a samurai sword, Boston Homicide Detective Jack Cade suspects more is going on than what it appears. The department’s criminal profiler has left and a new guy is taking his place. At first, Cade is skeptical of Dr. Michael Di Santo. Di Santo seems so absent-minded and too neurotic to be effective. But he is brilliant and hot and Cade finds himself falling hard and fast, both in lust and in love. The attraction is mutual, although Michael’s past demons haunt him, keeping him from getting too close. Together, they begin to unravel Michael’s emotional knots even as they close in on a killer, another brilliant, wily person whose sights are now set on Michael.

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PRESENTING

Acts of Passion

Cover Art by Louca Matheo

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EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT

Yes, Green wouldn’t have to worry any longer about his inability to face the world. Not after tonight.
He was going out the way a man should.
With honor and dignity.

There are more teasers for you to read at –

:: Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words :: Bayou Book Junkie :: Divine Magazine ::

:: Frosty’s Book Corner :: My Fiction Nook :: Wicked Faeries Tales And Reviews ::

:: The Purple Rose Tea House :: Drops of Ink :: Diverse Reader :: Alpha Book Club ::

:: Kathy Mac Reviews :: MM Good Book Reviews :: Gay Media Reviews ::

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Award-winning, multi-published author of erotic romance, Sedonia Guillone spends her days writing deliciously naughty romances—when she’s not cuddling with the man she loves or watching kung fu and samurai films and eating chocolate.

Sedonia welcomes comments from readers. You can find her website and email address on her author bio page at http://www.sedoniaguillone.com.

:: Website :: Blog :: Facebook :: Twitter :: Google+ ::

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GIVEAWAY

One lucky commenter will win an e-copy from Sedonia Guillone’s backlist. ( Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Leave an email address where you can be reached if chosen.)  Simply tell us what you think of the cover and the book in order to enter this contest.

CONTEST ENDS: 13th January, 2016

Sarah Madison on the Value of Research and ‘The Boys of Summer’ (guest blog, excerpt and giveaway)

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The Proof is in the Pudding-The Value of Research by Sarah Madison

It’s no secret I love research. I love immersing myself in it, reading everything I can get my hands on, even better if I can watch movies or television shows that further the process. When I began my research for The Boys of Summer, I started by opening a few documents on Wikipedia, but it soon became apparent to me that the hours I spent there weren’t going to cut it. I’d gone into it thinking I just needed to get a few details right regarding the uniform, and that led to an inquiry as to when the term ‘dog tag’ came into use, and from there whether or not WW2 fighter planes had pressurized cabins and so on and so on.

The more I read, the more I discovered I knew so very little about the era. I found my level of ignorance shocking and appalling, and I went out to the local bookstore, heading to the history section. I soon narrowed down my research to the Battle of Britain, concentrating on absorbing as many facts as possible. I read non-fiction texts. I watched war movies of the day, as well as modern-day versions of movies about that time. I plunged headfirst into the background material and didn’t come up for air for at least a month. It was an enlightening and awe-inspiring experience.

First, I realized that I had to do justice in some small part to the stories of the young men who gave their all in the war. The average lifespan of a fighter pilot in WW2 was six weeks, and many of these young men were barely out of school, and had as little as eleven or twelve hours of flight time before being sent into battle. I might have entered into the research looking for a little factual information to flesh out a dream scene, but I felt compelled to share their stories, which is why the ‘dream scene’ turned into a sequence that lasted a third of the book. I know some readers scratched their heads over that. Still others wondered why the story wasn’t just about the historical bit. I can’t explain why I felt it necessary to combine the two stories. I suspect it has to do in part with the fact that the way these characters were written, I couldn’t see them having a happy ending in 1940, and I am all about the happy ending. Neither could I see the contemporary story being strong enough to stand on its own, not without bringing in drug-runners or modern-day pirates or something. Besides, I had all this lovely research begging to be used.

The thing is, however, you don’t want to hit your readers over the head with the research. I read a historical novel recently, also set in Britain during WW2, and the author had a tendency to drop facts into the narrative like a Messerschmitt on a strafing run. It’s not to say that the information wasn’t interesting, but the heavy-handedness of it kept jerking me out of the story. Yes, I know how much fun it is to gather information, but you can’t use all of it. Pages of exposition, while you think it’s setting the background, will make a reader’s eyes glaze over. You can’t just load your facts up like pellets in a shotgun shell, peppering your story with random fact dispersal, either.

Never fear, however. There is no such thing as too much research. Even if you never use all of the information you’ve gleaned, it will make its presence felt nonetheless. Your knowledge of social mores of the Regency era will prevent your heroines from throwing themselves into their chairs, slouching in elegantly while speaking with more candor than was proper for the time. Your feel for an era mindset will lend authenticity to your character’s actions and dialog. You’ll know if something you write is all wrong and you’ll know when it is so right it rings like a bell. Moreover, your readers will know it too. They may not know how they know it, and if it’s done right, they never will, but they’ll know it just the same. It will feel right to them.

So put your time in: be it understanding the BDSM lifestyle, or getting into the mindset of a 1940s fighter pilot, or making the rampant misogyny of the 1950s workplace both understandable and normal for your character. It will make all the difference in the world to your story.

AboutTheBook

BoysofSummer[The]LGTITLE: The Boys of Summer

AUTHOR: Sarah Madison

PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press

COVER ARTIST: Reese Dante

LENGTH: 200 Pages

RELEASE DATE: December 21, 2015

BLURB: 2nd Edition

David McIntyre has been enjoying the heck out of his current assignment: touring the Hawaiian Islands in search of the ideal shooting locations for a series of film-company projects. What’s not to like? Stunning scenery, great food, sunny beaches… and Rick Sutton, the hot, ex-Air Force pilot who is flying him around.

Everything changes when a tropical storm and engine failure force a crash landing on a deserted atoll with a WWII listening post. Rick’s injuries and a lack of food and water mean David has to step up to the plate and play hero. While his days are spent fighting for survival, and his nights are filled with worrying about Rick, the two men grow closer. David’s research for his next movie becomes intertwined with his worst fears, and events on the island result in a vivid dream about the Battle of Britain. On waking, David realizes Rick is more than just a pilot to him. The obstacles that prevented a happy ending in 1940 aren’t present today, and David vows that if they survive this stranding, he will tell Rick how he feels.

Excerpt

“I don’t think we’ve got much choice.” Sutton’s voice was grim. “We’re lucky to have that much. Hold on, these trees are coming up faster than I’d like.”

Still fighting to keep the nose of the plane up, Sutton guided the recalcitrant aircraft toward the so-called clearing, the ground rising up to meet them far faster than was comfortable. David found himself leaning back in his seat, bracing his hands on the console as the tops of trees scraped the underside of the plane. Branches swiped at the windshield, and David had the sudden impression of being in a car wash scene as written by Stephen King.

“Duck your head!” Sutton barked. “Wrap your arms around your legs!”

“And kiss my ass goodbye?” David shouted, raising his voice over the increasing noise as he obeyed Sutton’s orders.

Incredibly, Sutton laughed. It was an oddly comforting sound. Like everything was somehow going to be all right because Sutton was at the controls.

The moment of humor was gone in a flash. The plane screamed with the sound of tearing metal and the sharp, explosive crack of tree limbs and breaking glass. David kept his head down and his eyes closed, praying to a God he was pretty sure had more important things to do than to keep up with the well-being of one David McIntyre. Despite being strapped in his seat, his head and shoulder thumped painfully against the passenger side door as the plane thrashed wildly. There was a moment of eerie, blessed silence, and for an instant, the assault on the plane seemed as though it had lifted. Eye of the storm, David thought, just before the plane hit the ground.

Someone had left the window open and it was raining on him. How incredibly annoying. He shifted, intent on reaching for the offending window, when a jolt of pain ran through his shoulder and he gasped. When he opened his eyes, nothing made any sense at first. Then he remembered the crash, and realized that his side of the plane was pointing up at the sky. The rain was coming down in a steady stream through the broken windshield. The sound of the rain on the metal hull of the plane was nearly deafening.

He winced at the pain in his neck when he turned to look over at the pilot’s seat. Sutton was slumped to one side in his chair, unmoving. His sunglasses were hanging off one ear.

“Oh God, oh God, oh God,” David murmured, hastily undoing his seatbelt so he could reach across to Sutton. His skin was cold and damp where David touched it, and adrenaline pounded through David’s veins as though he could jumpstart Sutton’s heart by sending his own pulse beating through his fingertips. “Sutton! Rick!”

David fought to free himself of his seat, twisting for greater access to the other side of the cockpit. When the seatbelt came open, he fell half across Sutton. Sprawled practically in his lap, David could now see the nasty cut on the left side of Sutton’s temple. The pilot’s side of the plane had taken a lot of damage, and David yelped as he encountered a sliver of glass. Bits of the windshield and console were scattered like confetti over Sutton’s jacket. “Sutton!” The lack of response was unnerving. He tossed aside the sunglasses and worked a hand down into Sutton’s collar, feeling frantically for a pulse.

He could have kissed the man when Sutton suddenly groaned.

BuyLinks

Dreamspinner Press (eBook)

Dreamspinner Press (Paperback)

Amazon US

Amazon UK

All Romance eBooks

Barnes & Noble

AuthorBio

Sarah Madison is a veterinarian with a large dog, an even bigger horse, too many cats, and a very patient boyfriend. An amateur photographer and a former competitor in the horse sport known as eventing, when she’s not out hiking with the dog or down at the stables, she’s at the laptop working on her next story. When she’s in the middle of a chapter, she relies on the smoke detector to tell her dinner is ready. She writes because it’s cheaper than therapy.

Sarah Madison was a finalist in the 2013 Rainbow Awards and is the winner of Best M/M Romance in the 2013 PRG Reviewer’s Choice Awards.

If you want to make her day, e-mail her and tell you how much you like her stories.

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Winner’s Prize: E-copy of The Boys of Summer

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TourSchedule

January 4: The Novel Approach :: Gay Media Reviews

January 5: Elisa – My reviews and Ramblings

January 6: Louise Lyons

January 7: Diverse Reader

January 8: Prism Book Alliance :: Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words

January 9: Susan Mac Nicol

January 10: Loving Without Limits

January 11: Kathy Mac Reviews :: Love Bytes Reviews

January 12: Divine Magazine

January 13: BFD Book Blog

January 14: The Purple Rose Tea House :: Man2ManTastic

January 15: Molly Lolly: Reader, Reviewer, Lover of Words

January 16: TTC Books and More :: Sue Brown

January 17: Bayou Book Junkie

January 18: Drops of Ink

 

Young Love Is Never Easy, Check Out S.C.Wynne’s Painful Lesson’s (giveaway and special excerpt)

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AboutTheBook

PainfulLessonsFSTITLE: Painful Lessons

AUTHOR: S.C.Wynne

PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press

COVER ARTIST: Anna Sikorska

LENGTH: 200 Pages

RELEASE DATE: January 01, 2016

BLURB: As a freshman both in love and in college, sometimes there are painful lessons to be learned.

Excited to begin his first year of college, Brett Bridgeworth has just one problem: he sucks at math. Luckily there’s the sensual and mysterious math tutor, Jeremy Price, to help him out. It isn’t long before Jeremy is tutoring Brett in more than just pie charts, but it isn’t until they split up that Brett discovers Jeremy’s twisted, obsessive side.

Sam Hawthorne is two years ahead of Brett, and they share a strong mutual attraction. When Brett breaks it off with Jeremy and gets involved with Sam, disturbing things start happening. It soon becomes obvious that Jeremy isn’t willing to let Brett go without a fight.

Excerpt

I definitely don’t want what I’m about to share to look like I’m bragging. But I think it’s important to give a glimpse into my first sexual experiences because it has a lot to do with who I am, or at least who I was, when I went through all of that shit with Jeremy. Looking back, now I can see so clearly that I was like a sail with the line sliced, flapping uselessly in the cool sea breeze. Well, maybe I’m getting ahead of the story a little bit. I tend to do that sometimes.

I’ve always been bad at math. I mean, like, really awful. But I’d managed to get through high school because my teachers liked me. Mr. Winter, my algebra teacher, liked me a whole lot. So much so that, senior year, he made a deal with me; he’d give me an A if I let him suck me off.

Mr. Winter wasn’t one of those hot teachers we students fantasized about. He wore a lot of loud polyester shirts, and he had a pot belly. I went back and forth about his offer, and I did a bit of research on the Internet so I’d know what I was getting into. But ultimately I agreed, because if I failed algebra I’d be held back, and that would be way too embarrassing to me and, more importantly, my dad.

My dad owns Bridgeworth Electronics, and if his kid failed high school he’d probably have a heart attack. So I let Mr. Winter pull the blinds, unzip my jeans, and do his thing. The sight of him on his knees and the glare off his shiny bald head was all very surreal. I remember being super nervous because, while I was eighteen and I knew I liked guys, I’d never been touched by one yet. It was just me and my faithful hand, up until Mr. Winter introduced me to fellatio.

At his first touch I was numb inside and grappling with insecurities. Would I come too soon? Would he be too rough? Or worst of all, was he going to make me suck him off? But the initial warm slide of his mouth chased those fears away. Old dude or not, my eyes rolled back in my head, and I’d thrust into his mouth, oblivious to the world around me. Afterward he’d grinned up at me with a crooked, lecherous smile, as if we were somehow coconspirators.

For my first time, it was a little seedy and humiliating. I’d certainly never pictured my initiation to a BJ happening quite like that. But I had to admit his lips on me still felt great, so I shoved down the feelings of shame and took my A. I never saw Mr. Winter again, and I went on toward college still horrible in math but no longer pure as the driven snow.

I spent my summer waiting for responses from the colleges I’d applied to, and worried someone would find out about me and Mr. Winter’s arrangement. Would they be able to retract my grade if they knew what I’d done to get it? I’ll admit to feeling guilty about the whole arrangement with Mr. Winter, but the thought of failing had been too terrifying. When my acceptance letter arrived from UCLA, I put thoughts of my old math teacher behind me and spent the rest of the break celebrating with my friends.

I will say, after my sexual encounter with Mr. Winter, it was as if my hormones woke up for real. I became a horndog of epic proportions. My dad hired a new pool guy for the summer, and he was the opposite of Mr. Winter. This guy was probably in his thirties and hot. I mean smoking, Zac Efron hot. We exchanged lusty looks for a few weeks before anything actually happened. One day after swimming, I was showering in the small side building near the garden, and Lex walked in on me.

He set his pool skimmer against the wall and pulled his shirt off with one yank. I swallowed the lump forming in my throat and waited for him to make the first move. Soundlessly he dropped his shorts and underwear and walked up to me. I couldn’t believe what was happening, but I was excited to think this gorgeous guy wanted to do things to and with me. I believe I said a breathy, “Hi.”

“How old are you, Brett?” he’d asked, almost as if it was an afterthought.

“Eighteen,” I responded right before he pushed me against the slick white tiles and took my mouth roughly.

He tasted like tobacco and cinnamon, and his hands were rough on my hips. His cock wasn’t as wide as mine, but it was longer and it fit next to mine nicely. When the kiss ended, he began grinding his cock against mine, and the heat that flared in my groin was like an inferno. I grasped his shoulders and held on as lust rumbled through me like a steam engine. It wasn’t romantic by any stretch of the imagination. The ceramic tiles were freezing against my back, and they hurt my shoulder blades, but I didn’t care. I was young and ready to explore what I needed sexually.

I’d had a growth spurt toward the end of high school, and I was slightly taller than Lex. I clutched his damp chestnut curls and panted against the orgasm gathering at the base of my cock. He was louder than me. He groaned a lot and cussed as he threw his head back and flexed his hips like a jackhammer. I liked his noises. They were guttural and dirty, and they made me excited as my need ramped even higher. When we came the warm water washed the evidence down the drain as if it never happened.

I remember he stroked my cheek afterward, as I stared into his golden-flecked brown eyes. “That was nice,” he panted, and then he washed under the water with me, dried off with my towel, and got dressed. Right before he left, he turned and asked me, “Are you a virgin?”

I’m sure my cheeks turned red. They were warm now, thinking about how embarrassed I’d been to answer yes. Not to mention I wasn’t even sure if I was answering correctly. Was I a virgin? Did blow jobs count, or did not having had anal make me a virgin? But Lex had just smiled and quietly closed the door. I wasn’t a “virgin” much longer because a week later, Lex took me in that little shower area. I still remember the smell of the coconut-scented lube and the first burning glide of his cock in my untouched ass.

I learned a lot from Lex. The guy had zero inhibitions. We fucked our way through that hot summer, and when it came time to leave for college, I was thankful I didn’t have to go there not knowing anything about sex. I’d assumed I’d show up at UCLA horrible in math and a virgin, but thanks to Lex, only the “bad at math” part was still true.

My dad didn’t have time to drive with me to my new school. He said something about a crisis in the capacitor industry. I didn’t know what he was talking about, and it didn’t really matter because it wasn’t like it was negotiable or anything. Hey, how about you come to my college, see my room, and pretend you give a shit about me for a day? I’ll bake brownies for you?

Yeah, not gonna happen.

I guess at this point, I should mention the reason it was only me and him was because my mom died when I was ten. She went in for a routine hysterectomy and never came home. I remember coming back from school and finding my aunt Rose sobbing in the kitchen. She’d hugged me and my dad, and stayed for weeks to cook casseroles and keep the house clean. But after that she’d had to go back to her family in New York. Aunt Rose called me and my dad “her boys,” and she phoned to check on us often. But my dad’s never home, and I didn’t want to talk about my mom dying, so the time between calls had become longer and longer.

So back to my college experience. My roommate, Ted, was nothing like me. He was boisterous and loud and straight as a ruler. He was hugely into sports and talked about football nonstop. I, on the other hand, knew little about that subject, preferring reading and sketching to getting dirty and running around a field with a pigskin.

We still found some common ground since we both enjoyed eating. We always went to the cafeteria together for all our meals. Generally his jock friends would descend, and I’d sit mostly in silence, shoveling my cheese macaroni in like a machine. I think having Ted as my roommate protected me from being picked on by his homophobic buddies. They gave me hard looks and didn’t sit too close to me, but nobody ever said a disrespectful word to me.

One of the guys I didn’t mind so much. He had auburn hair and light green eyes, and he always smelled like vanilla. His name was Sam Hawthorne, and he was the only one who would speak to me without looking like he was afraid my gayness would get on him. I didn’t hide that I was gay, but I also didn’t flaunt it. The “gayest” thing I did was wear a small diamond stud in my ear that was one half of a pair of earrings my mom had owned. I didn’t wear the earring to make a statement as much as it made me feel connected to my mom.

I soon learned I liked being away from home. When nobody knew me, I could be different and didn’t have to play the role I’d always felt had been thrust on me: good son. Grieving son. It had been eight years since my mom died, and while I missed her and her quirky sense of humor, I wanted to live a little. These were my college years, and I was expecting to have new and exciting experiences. I wasn’t supposed to sit around trying to remember what my mom looked like, although sometimes the fact that I had trouble recalling her features bugged me a lot and made me feel like a horrible person. So I’d pull out the crinkled picture I kept in my wallet. The photo was of a family vacation at the beach a year before she died. She looked happy, and we were both smiling like idiots. My dad wasn’t in the picture, and I guess I mean that both literally and figuratively.

Excerpt 2

That was the night I met Jeremy. He was barely visible in the dark, leaning against a birch to the side of the path.

“Don’t look so sad, pretty boy. There are plenty of other fish in the sea.”

His voice was sultry, deep, and it startled the hell out of me because I had no idea anyone was there.

I pretended I hadn’t almost peed myself and started to walk away without answering, but his voice stopped me.

“Wait up. Are you Brett?”

He approached now, and I was surprised he knew my name. In the dingy yellow light of the streetlamp, I could see he was slender, with wide shoulders and black hair that brushed his collarbone. He had a sexy, dangerous vibe about him, and I took a step back as he reached me.

“Let me guess. Ted didn’t mention I was coming?”

I squinted at him, mystified by why this beautiful vision thought I should know him. “Ted?” Yeah, remember your roommate, dummy?

He smiled and flashed perfect white teeth. “I’m Jeremy,” he said confidently. “You look exactly how Ted described you.”

I put a hand to my blond hair, wondering what Ted had said about me.

“Ted said you’re looking for a math tutor.” He didn’t seem to mind at all that I was tongue-tied.

I think I’d mentioned once to Ted that I should get a tutor, but I’d never really pursued it. And yet here before me was the most delicious tutor anyone could ask for. My pulse sped up as I took his smooth hand in mine and something came alive inside of me.

“Oh, yeah. I do need help. I’m horrible at math.” He still held my hand, and I had the sensation of energy passing between us. I remember being hugely relieved I didn’t gasp like a little girl at the electric shock.

“But I needed to meet you first.”

Jeremy pulled me closer, and his gaze never left my mouth. I should have known then that he was acting odd for a math tutor, but hindsight is twenty-twenty, and I was blinded by a cloud of youthful lust.

“I don’t take on just anybody. I want you to know that.”

I remember I instantly felt special and impressed he was even considering me. I look back on it now, and it immediately strikes me that most math tutors weren’t in such high demand that they would pick and choose their tutees so stringently. But for whatever reason, I didn’t think twice about how strange he was. I was simply flattered I had been deemed worthy.

Later I was able to see I’d been chosen for reasons that had nothing to do with my being valuable. No, no. Far more attractive to Jeremy was that I reeked of need and a desire to matter to someone. I’m sure that’s why he wanted to meet me first before he agreed to help me. His type can smell self-doubt a mile away. My palpable insecurities were like blood in the water to a great white.

BuyLinks

Dreamspinner Press (ebook)

Dreamspinner Press (Paperback)

Amazon US

Amazon UK

All Romance eBooks

Barnes & Noble

AuthorBio

S.C. Wynne started writing m/m in 2013 and did look back once. She wanted to say that because it seems everyone’s bio says they never looked back and, well S.C. Wynne is all about the joke. She loves writing m/m and her characters are usually a little jaded, funny and ultimately redeemed through love.

S.C loves red wine, margaritas and Seven and Seven’s. Yes, apparently S.C. Wynne is incredibly thirsty. S.C. Wynne loves the rain and should really live in Seattle but instead has landed in sunny, sunny, unbelievably sunny California.

Writing is the best profession she could have chosen because S.C. is a little bit of a control freak. To sit in her pajamas all day and pound the keys of her laptop controlling the every thought and emotion of the characters she invents is a dream come true.

If you’d like to contact S.C. Wynne she is amusing herself on Facebook at all hours of the day or you can contact her at scwynne@dslextreme.com

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TourSchedule

January 4: Man2ManTastic

January 5: The Novel Approach :: Drops of Ink

January 6: Divine Magazine

January 7: Love Bytes Reviews :: Wicked Faeries Tales & Reviews

January 8: Joyfully Jay :: Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words

January 11: BFD Book Blog

January 12: Cathy Writes Romance :: Diverse Reader

January 13: Prism Book Alliance :: The Purple Rose Tea House

January 14: RJ Scott

January 15: Bayou Book Junkie :: Elisa – My reviews and Ramblings

 

 

A Book Spotlight: Sawyer ( Torey Hope – The Later Years) by A. D. Ellis (excerpt and giveaway)

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AboutTheBookSawyereBook1TITLE: Sawyer

SERIES: Torey Hope – The Later Years

AUTHOR: A.D. Ellis

PUBLISHER: A.D. Ellis Publishing

COVER ARTIST: Andrea Michelle with Artistry in Design

LENGTH: 372 Pages

RELEASE DATE: August 06, 2015

BLURB: Sawyer Morgan has a secret. Revealing his true feelings to his family could bring devastation and destruction, so he keeps the burden firmly on his own shoulders. When he moves back to Torey Hope to help with the family business, Sawyer’s hidden truth becomes too much to bear.

Luke Hamilton has a past overflowing with emotional and physical scars. A promise to his dying mother prevents him from seeking the love and acceptance he longs for. Taking a job in Torey Hope brings Luke face-to-face with taboo desires he thought long extinguished.

Secrets, lies, hatred, and fear threaten to destroy their lives. But, love has the power to overcome and lay claim to victory.

Will Sawyer succeed in proving to Luke some connections are worth fighting for?

A poignant tale of two hearts valiantly fighting to stay true and find love.

**This is a male/male romance. It has adult themes, language, and situations. Readers sensitive to homosexual relationships, abuse, hate crimes, and derogatory terms should take note. This story is meant only for readers aged 18+**

Excerpt

 

I’m gay.

His brother, Decker, had taken the news fairly well. He’d needed a solo walk through the woods to gather his thoughts; Sawyer suspected his always-in-control, serious, black and white brother also needed to come to grips with the fact that he’d never suspected his brother’s sexual preference was different than his own. How ironic that the one person Sawyer was the closest to in the whole world was the one person who was the most clueless.

Sawyer had held his breath practically the whole time Decker had been walking through the woods. A deluge of rain poured down as the dark sky broke open, yet Sawyer still sat alone at the campfire. His head had started playing tricks on him. You disgust him…he can’t stand the thought of having a gay brother…you’ve lost him…he’s not coming back. But Sawyer held out hope that Decker was just doing his usual thinking things through.

He had breathed a sigh of relief when Decker emerged, soaking wet, from the woods. Walking towards him with purpose, his twin had stopped in front of him and spoke the most heartwarming, sincere words Sawyer had ever heard from him.

“You’re my brother, always have been, always will be. I wish you could have told me sooner, but nothing has changed between us. I’ll be there in any and every way that I can.” Decker grabbed Sawyer and pulled him into a deep embrace, communicating his love and acceptance through his touch.

Telling his cousins, Zach and Kendrick, had been less emotional, and a lot more entertaining. Sawyer had to laugh at the questions his admission had stirred up.

“I’m gay.”

Two words that held such power. Would they laugh? Would they walk away in disgust? Would they be angry?

Zach smiled and nodded. “I think I’ve known that for a long time, man, but thanks for telling me.”

“Wait, you knew? Why didn’t you ever say something? Why did you joke with me about girls?”

“I don’t know, I guess I figured you’d tell me when you were ready. I didn’t want to bring it up if I was wrong and it offended you. I think I joked about girls thinking it would give you the opportunity to bring it up if you wanted to.” Zach stood and walked to his cousin, reaching a hand down, he pulled the other man up into a hug. “Nothing changes, I’ve got your back, man.”

Kendrick sat with his hand rubbing his chin. Would he be the one who couldn’t accept it?

Eyes twinkling and a shit-eatin’ grin on his face, he finally spoke. “What’s it like to suck cock?”

The other three burst out laughing.

BuyLinks

Amazon US

Apple iBooks

AuthorBio

 

AuthorPicA.D. Ellis is the award-winning author of two related collections of stories, A Torey Hope Novel Series and Torey Hope: The Later Years. Her debut novel, For Nicky, was voted #3 of the Top 50 Indie Books of 2014 by ReadFree.ly readers/voters. A.D.’s fourth novel, Loving Josie, was awarded the bronze medal in the contemporary romance category in the prestigious Readers’ Favorite 2015 International Book Awards.

Born and raised in a small farming town in southern Indiana, A.D. was an avid reader from the time she learned to read.  She could often be found curled up somewhere with her nose in a book. Most of her friends and family were not such book enthusiasts, so A.D. got used to dealing with snickers and joking comments about her constant reading habits. Truth be told, Ms. Ellis has always been the definition of a book nerd.

A.D. always dreamed of being a teacher. Graduating from Indiana State University in 1999 and earning a Master’s Degree from Indiana Wesleyan in 2003, she met her goal of entering the world of education. A.D. has been teaching in the inner city of Indianapolis, Indiana for 17 years. She spent the majority of her 17 years in fourth grade, but has now taken on the challenges of teaching 3rd and 4th grade alternative education students. A.D. loves teaching fractions, variables, probability, and graphing in Math. She loves almost all aspects of English Language Arts. Figurative language, theme, making predictions, drawing conclusions, inference, context clues, making writing come to life, A.D. loves it all! Her students don’t always share in that enthusiasm.

She met her husband in college in 1996 and they married in June of 2000. She lives in a south side suburb of Indianapolis, Indiana with her husband and two school-aged children. When she’s not reading or writing with music blaring, she can be found shopping at thrift stores, reading to her children, and sweating at the gym in the very early mornings.

A.D. began her writing journey in October 2013, and she is grateful for the friends and support she’s found along the way.

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TourSchedule

November 23  – Hearts on Fire Reviews
November 24  – Man2Mantastic
November 25  – The Purple Rose Tea House
November 26  – Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings
November 27  – Daydream Believer Book Blog
November 28  – Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents
November 29  – Loving Without Limits
November 30  – Drops of Ink
December 1  – Bike Book Reviews
December 2  – Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
December 3  – Cia’s Stories
Bayou Book Junkie
December 4  – Frosty’s Book Corner

In the Spotlight: My Hero: The Olympian by Max Vos (author interview, excerpt and giveaway)

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I’m happy to have Max Vos here today to talk about his latest release, My Hero, and the inspiration behind the story and series. Welcome, Max!

  • I love your idea of the Hero series.  What prompted the series?  Did it have an inspiration?

I started My Hero just after the 2012 Olympics and it was just before Football season here. I wanted a good football story. There was a player for University of Tennessee that was the inspiration for Johnny.

  • I see that the setting for this book is the 2012 London Olympics.  What a year!  Was there anything in particular, like a certain athlete that said “hmmm, a story should be told”?

I really just wanted a good football story and finish this story and that meant going back to 2012.

  • With the rugby players coming out this year, can we expect to see that in a book soon?

Probably not. I know nothing about Rugby. Sorry

  • What characters are really so close to your heart in this series?  Do you have favorites?

Johnny. I just love his goofy but determined attitude.   

  • If you could whip up a perfect Olympic Hero menu for this couple what would it be?

If it were just Rich, that would be easy. If it were for them both… It would have to be a full-on buffet to fill Johnny up. LOL

  • Do you know how many books you have planned for this series?

This was the last for My Hero.

  • Can I beg you to write a rugby book? 

You can. You can even bribe me. Doesn’t mean it’ll happen. he he he If I were to write another sports story, I think it would be about Australian Football, but that means I’d have to go back to Australia.

8 What’s next for Max Vos?

I have 5 books in the works already, probably enough to keep me busy through most of next year.

Thanks, Max.

AboutTheBook
TheOlympian_FSTITLE: My Hero: The Olympian

SERIES: My Hero Series #2

AUTHOR: Max Vos

COVER ARTIST: Alex J. Corza

LENGTH: 129,600 words approx.

RELEASE DATE: November 15, 2015

BLURB: After a romantic evening, Rich and Johnny face the light of day as a couple. Johnny’s coming out forces them to face some serious repercussions as the world of collegian jocks adjust to their first openly gay football player.

Rich is still working towards the World Diving Championships with his hopes and dreams set on the 2012 London Olympic Games, while as a couple they deal with concerns closer to home.

With the support of friends and family, the young couple grow closer together, but with prejudices and adversity at every turn will Johnny and Rich be able to tackle the world together?

No matter what, Rich will always be Johnny’s hero.

Excerpt

“No, I’m not going to and there is nothing you can say that will make me either.” Johnny crossed his arms, a defiant look on his face, his eyes narrowed slits.

“Oh come on, John, I wear them.” Rich held up the skimpy black racing briefs. “For me?”

Johnny looked away. “No. I said no and I mean no.”

Rich leaned in close to Johnny so only he could hear. “If you wear this, I can guarantee you some of the best sex in your life. If you think I get turned on by jock straps…”

Johnny glared down at Rich. “You don’t play fair.”

“Wasn’t it you who recently said that all is fair in love and war?” Rich smirked as he dangled the tiny briefs in front of Johnny.

“It better be the best ever.” Johnny let his arms drop. “Okay. But you promised.”

Again, Rich leaned in close. “Maybe even join the mile high club.”

Johnny’s eyebrows shot up and a grin blossomed on his face. “Deal.”

“Are we done here?” Dan called to the two college men. He was standing at the counter, credit card in hand.

“One more thing, Dad.” Rich hurried over to him. “This.”

Dan raised his eyebrows slightly. “Oookay then.”

Rich snickered when he saw Johnny blushing.

“I think this will be all,” Dan said to the clerk.

“I’m going to give you a discount,” the young woman said as she rang it up. “It isn’t every day that we can say an Olympian wore some of our gear.”

“I’m not an Olympian yet,” Rich commented.

“Rich Miller, I’ve known you my entire life, and if anyone is going to be an Olympian, it’s you.” Michelle Stubbon smiled at Rich as she started putting the pile of swimsuits, track suits, shorts, and other things that he and Johnny needed for London in a bag.

“Thanks, Michelle. I appreciate the confidence everyone has in me.”

“Just remember us lowly folk when you come home with Olympic gold,” she laughed as she handed Dan the receipt.

BuyLinks

Amazon US

Amazon UK

AuthorBio

Author_PicMax Vos is the bestselling author of My Hero. He is loved by his readers for his ‘inappropriate’ side, bringing hot and steamy sex to his writing. Not hemmed in by a single genre Max has the ability to woo you with sweet romance, move you with the power of his words and make you question your definition of love.

Having retired in 2011 after more than 30 years as a chef, Max turned his creativity to writing. You can always find wonderful Southern charm, well rounded and vibrant characters with a good meaty story line in a Max Vos book. Each book will give you something new and amazing to love.

::  Facebook  ::  Twitter  ::  Website  ::  Blog  ::  Google+  ::

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TourSchedule

November 15: Bike Book Reviews

November 16: The Purple Rose Tea House || Nic Starr

November 17: The Land of Make Believe || Rainbow Gold Reviews

November 18: Carly’s Book Reviews

November 19: Cia’s Stories || Drops of Ink

November 20: Love Bytes Reviews || Hearts on Fire

November 23: Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words || Draven St. James

November 24: Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents

November 25: Bayou Book Junkie

November 26: Divine Magazine

November 27: Jackie’s Book Reviews

November 30: Gale Stanley

December 1: Daydream Believer Book

December 2: Garrett Leigh || Amanda C. Stone

December 3: The Novel Approach || The Hat Party

December 4: Sue Brown || Jessie G Books

December 7: Diverse Reader

December 8: Man2ManTastic || MM Good Book Reviews

December 9: BFD Book Blog

December 10: Gay.Guy.Reading And Friends

December 11: TTC Books and More || Foxylutely Books

December 14: Louise Lyons || Gay Media Reviews

December 15: Loving Without Limits

Special Author Spotlight: J.J. Lore, Author of ‘Raider Captured’ blogs on The Same, Yet Different (guest blog, excerpt, contest)

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The Same, Yet Different By J. J. Lore

One of the running themes in my work is the idea of somehow being altered and no longer fitting in with the regular world. It might be an injury or illness, changed financial circumstances, or past emotional trauma, but a lot of my characters are a little out of step.

I took it to the extreme with Sagiv, one of my protagonists in Raider Captured. Not only is he a prisoner of his enemies, the very definition of isolation, but he’s also been genetically modified to be a perfect warrior. His people, the Atavaq, place young boys without families into military training. As part of the process of grooming them to be exemplary warriors, they also enhance their cellular structure to make them stronger, faster, and able to heal more quickly. These altered men are segregated from society, forbidden to marry, cannot own property, or vote, as the Atavaq consider them ‘impure’.

Sagiv has always lived within a set of expectations; fight beside his fellows, serve his Masters, and endure until the end. Once he’s removed from Atavaq society and knows he can never return, he has to decide if he will redefine himself once more and embrace the real Sagiv, a man free of expectations. To me, that’s the definition of character growth. Everyone faces those moments of decision where we might step aside from convention and risk security and acceptance. Accept the possibility we might be called names, shunned, or even lose most of what we value? Do we keep doing what we’ve always done or will some trigger catapult us into a situation where we learn our true place in the galaxy?

AboutTheBook

RaiderCaptured_FINAL

TITLE: Raider Captured

AUTHOR: J. J. Lore

PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press

COVER ARTIST: Brooke Albrecht

LENGTH: 90 Pages

RELEASE DATE: November 11, 2015

 

BLURB: Is love possible between sworn enemies when the universe seems determined to tear them apart?

Sagiv, a genetically modified Atavaq fighter, is captured when his master’s raid on a Domidian ship goes wrong. Daran, a young Domidian science officer, claims the warrior for ransom and as a subject for study. As they spend time together in the close confines of the shipboard cabin, both learn more about the other’s culture, and against all odds, a fragile trust begins to form. But the ship is approaching a frontier outpost, where Daran will be expected to ransom Sagiv—even though it means condemning Sagiv to die for the dishonor of his defeat or suffer in the fighting pits. That’s if bounty hunters don’t find them first. Daran’s risen up the ranks through hard work and always following protocol, but he sees something in Sagiv that might be worth breaking the rules for the first time in his life—maybe even something worth sacrificing everything to keep.

Excerpt

His cheek was pressed to the soft rug on the floor. The material smelled faintly of perfumed wood, and he wrinkled his nose, unhappy something pleasant was intruding on his misery. To be the leader of the finest Creig raiding party one day and reduced to a worthless prisoner the next was a fate he’d never envisioned for himself. Sadness at his lost fellows settled over him in a cold wave, and he closed his eyes tightly until the sensation passed.

A sudden awareness of warm moisture on his body roused him, and he jerked upright as far as his immobilized arms would allow. Was the Domidian urinating on him? With a growl he sought the source of the sensation and was shocked to silence when he saw the young officer trying to apply a wet cloth to the phase wound on his hip.

“What are you doing?”

“Cleaning this up. It might become infected if I don’t.” The pretty boy gave him a measured glance, then concentrated on the rent in his skin. Sagiv took a breath and tried to hitch away but was brought up short by the manacles yet again. The Domidian’s vigorous application of the cleaning cloth hurt, but Sagiv was determined not to react. He might have fallen from his hard-fought stature as a skilled warrior, but at least he wouldn’t flinch like a weakling when someone washed his body.

“It looks as though you endured blade cuts, blunt instrument strikes, and some sort of percussion volley,” the Domidian said in a conversational tone. Sagiv gave him a glare that would have sent one of his minions cowering to the floor. At least it would have worked yesterday, when he still had underlings. Now his brother Creig were dead, wasted in this futile raid made at the whim of an impulsive master or three. His current condition didn’t matter; he was bred and trained to serve and fight, not to think of his fate or wish for any different life. The Domidian, for his part, merely absorbed the scowl with a slight smile. Superior bastard. “I’m going to work on the most severe injuries first. Basic triage. I have several accreditations in first aid and battlefield medical treatment, so don’t worry for your health.”

The young man moved on to the welts that covered his back, and Sagiv endured the ministrations with teeth clenched, both to stop himself from making a pained sound and to prevent the conversation this bare-chinned youth seemed to desire. As the Domidian’s words sank in, he couldn’t help the question that sprang to mind.

“Heal me for the execution?” Sagiv shook his head once. These damned Domidians had such perverse notions. If only he’d been lucky and taken a phase bolt to the forehead yesterday. The young officer stopped touching him, and his skin twitched.

“Execution?”

“Death to pirates, that’s the code in the cold reaches of space.”

The Domidian laughed. Sagiv craned his head to observe him. Even though he was brought low by his defeat and loss of his collar, there was no way he was going to be mocked by a spoiled boy.

“I follow a different code. The Domidian code.” The young man moved closer and pressed his fingers around the edge of the throbbing injury on Sagiv’s head.

Sagiv refused to flinch and instead decided to scoff. “Oh, yes, the code whereby you decide everything you do is correct and expect every other race you encounter to bow down before your magnificence.”

The Domidian’s full lips tightened and a spark lit up his eyes. “We cannot be other than what we are.”

“Arrogant whelp.” Sagiv’s stomach dropped when the young man smiled broadly. What was he doing engaging in conversation with the enemy? He was behaving as if they were at a rim world tavern sharing a flagon, far from the concerns of Domid and Atavaq politics. “Why are you treating me?”

He wanted to bite back the words, especially when he saw the intent expression of the other man.

“It is my duty to care for you. I have taken you as hostage proxy, and any ransom paid for your return will be mine.”

“Then you will be sorely disappointed.” Knowing that this boy would be deprived of even a small sum was the only achievement he could muster at this point. A Creig was worth nothing without the recommendation of a pleased master, without victories to bolster his reputation. The Domidian shrugged and pulled out a small case. He flicked it open, and Sagiv couldn’t help but look inside, sure he was going to see implements of torture. Instead, there were bandages and creams. The Domidian was going to help him. Pulling together the last shards of his dignity and rage, Sagiv decided to remain silent. No need to treat the youngster as if they were equals.

“You have a lot of bruising and contusions. Did all of these wounds occur in the altercation yesterday?”

Sagiv stared at the red carpet. Altercation. What a fine word for a muddled mess that had cost him so much. No, the majority of his injuries had been administered by his former masters as they’d assaulted him in the brig after their humiliating capture. No need to reveal that, or anything, to the Domidian. The young man waited a polite interval, then continued to speak as if there was a normal conversation to be had, all while he administered first aid.

“My name is Daran, of the Eridia clan. If you tell me your name, I’ll be able to initiate contact with your people and set up an exchange.” Daran waited for a response, but Sagiv pressed his lips together. He didn’t have a people, only assignments. Creig fighters existed on a different plane than civilian Atavaq, housed in exclusive barracks and given the finest in weapons, nutrition, and training. He jumped at the sensation of a warm ointment being carefully applied to the edges of one of the throbbing welts on his back. The wounds felt ugly, but he hadn’t been able to inspect them. Exactly what he deserved.

“I’m in service as a science specialist. I’m hoping you can teach me more about your kind. I’m very curious about you.”

Teach his enemy about Creig ways? Betray Atavaq? He’d die first. As the Domidian continued his treatment, Sagiv’s stomach boiled with regret and frustration. He slanted his eye toward the officer to detect what he was about and saw the other man frowning. Daran of the Eridia glanced up and hurriedly put a smile on his face.

“Your wounds, though painful I’m sure, are going to heal well now that you are under care. I was merely thinking about something else.”

The urge to ask what was strong. Sagiv wasn’t sure if he was interested in gaining more information about the enemy or genuinely intrigued by his unusual captor. The other man was treating his wounds and speaking to him as if they were partners. Equals. As if Sagiv wasn’t merely a tool to be repaired and sent back into service.

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AuthorBioJ. J. Lore has been interested in the dashing men who roam outer space since she was transfixed by Han Solo piloting the Millennium Falcon a long time ago in a theatre far, far away. Sadly, there is no way for her to join in the fun of intergalactic adventures unless she writes them, so that’s what she does whenever she isn’t taking care of the business of life. If you can’t find her typing madly on her sluggish keyboard, she’s probably poking around in a thrift store searching for the perfect pair of worn jeans or a vintage kachina bolo tie. These days she puts her anthropology degree to work when she whips up dishes from many different cultures, most of which benefit from a liberal dose of sriracha or a smear of green curry paste. Her favorite reading topics are costume history, epidemiology, and permaculture, all of which she’d like to work into a story if she’s suddenly overcome with a brilliant idea someday.

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November 11: Frosty’s Book Corner || Sue Brown

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November 13: Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words

November 16: Drops of Ink

November 17: Queer Sci-Fi

November 18: Garrett Leigh

November 19: The Land of Make Believe

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November 25: Divine Magazine

Love Fantasy Fiction? Author Tom Early Talks About His Inspiration and New Release Aspect of Winter (interview, excerpt and contest)

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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Tom Early here to answer a few  questions about himself, writing and his latest release, Aspect of Winter.  Welcome, Tom.  We have a few questions for you this morning.

Q.  Why write for YA readers?

YA is where representation matters most. There aren’t enough YA books out there that feature protagonists that aren’t straight, and there are even fewer books that manage to be the proper adventure fantasy story and just also happen to have gay characters. I want to help change that.

Q.  I have always loved the idea of a college for magical studies, what draws you to this element?

It’s kind of impossible to ignore the influence Harry Potter has on any author who attempts to write a magical school type of story, and I won’t deny that it definitely helped give me the idea. But Harry Potter is about early schooling, and not more of a college element. Janus University seems kind of like the next logical step for what to portray. You’ve got powers, and that’s great. But what do you do with them? What is the world like when magic is readily available and there’s no real control of powers after a certain point? Aspect of Winter, especially the later books in the series, aims to answer that.

Q.  Friends to lovers is a favorite trope for so many readers, is it one of yours too?

It depends. I’ve never been a fan of childhood friends to lovers because it just seems unrealistic to have two people who have been as friends for years and years to suddenly want to be more. But newer friendships that eventually expand their boundaries is far more realistic for me. I find the idea of a friendship that progresses over a few months to a relationship to be a lot better, and a lot less abrupt than love at first sight, either. Love takes time to grow, but it isn’t something that is inherently likely to happen from years of friendship, either.

Q.  Do you have a favorite story that you read as a younger reader?

I read The Name of the Wind many, many times when I was younger, and still do occasionally even now. I wouldn’t quite call it YA, but it’s definitely read just as much by teens as it is adults. The story just manages to set up a slow pace and make it work, which, especially for fantasy, is incredibly difficult to do well.

Q.  What feeling do you want your readers to take away at the end of this and any of your stories?

Aspect of Winter is meant to be a story that you enjoy reading. I wrote it to entertain myself, and hopefully it entertains anyone who reads it as well. But making Fay gay, and Sam pansexual, and Tyler bisexual isn’t a coincidence. I want people to realize that it’s just as easy to enjoy a good YA book with non-straight main characters as any other.

Q. Did you bring any of your school history and make it part of the Janus College learning experience?

The high school Fay and Sam go to at the beginning of Aspect of Winter is loosely based off my own high school experience. Their efforts to get into Janus University is like a fictionalized, combat fantasy version of the college application process. And their time at Janus University in book two is meant to be similar to my own college experience in the feeling of freedom and courses and choices offered, but Janus University is a bit more ruthless than my own school is.

Q.  What’s next for Tom Early?

Well, there’s definitely book two, which is tentatively titled The Doorway God at the moment. I’m about in the middle of it at the moment and working pretty much every day on it. But I have other novels I’m working towards publication with as well. One of them is high fantasy and features a bisexual assassin and an asexual princess and an epic plot against the safety of the entire world, and another tells the story of a possibly delusional young man trying to find a boy who was taken from his mother in 1930’s England. But finishing the Aspect series is first on my list.

AboutTheBook

22930117Title: Aspect of Winter

Author: Tom Early

Publisher: Harmony Ink Press

Cover Artist: Sadie Thompson

Length: 260 pages

Release Date: October 15, 2015

Blurb: It’s hard enough being gay in high school, but Fay must also deal with hiding his magical ability—powers he barely understands and cannot possibly reveal. His best friend Sam is his only confidante, and even with her help, Fay’s life is barely tolerable.

Everything changes when Janus University, a college for individuals with magical capabilities, discovers the pair. When the university sends a student to test them, Fay and Sam, along with their classmate Tyler, are catapulted headfirst into a world of unimaginable danger and magic. Fay and Tyler begin to see each other as more than friends while they prepare for the Trials, the university’s deadly acceptance process. For the first time, the three friends experience firsthand how wonderful and terrible a world with magic can be, especially when the source of Fay’s power turns out to be far deadlier than anyone imagined.

Excerpt

 

AS IT turned out, being wedged into the small space below the math wing staircase was exactly as uncomfortable as I’d imagined. Now, I was in there of my own choice, sort of. I held still and listened, letting out a sigh of relief when I heard the boys’ voices fading. I decided it was safe and did my best to wriggle out.

Groaning, I brushed myself off and realized that I’d somehow managed to cover the majority of my backpack in a thick layer of dust. Rumor had it that years ago the staircase used to be green. Now it was gray. I looked at my backpack in disgust and let out a breath, concentrating. The dust glittered as a layer of frost covered it. When I hoisted my bag onto my back once more, the dust slid right off, the frost preventing it from clinging.

Clean backpack in hand, I trudged up the stairs, across the hall, and walked into the classroom. I took my customary seat in the back next to the poster detailing the derivative rules of calculus, feeling a flash of pity for Ms. King as I watched her try to get anyone to listen, and grabbed my book of the day as the front row began its usual antics. Today they asked Ms. King about her love life, which, while incredibly rude, was extremely successful in throwing her off-balance.

I would never understand high school, even after nearly four years of it. It seemed barely tolerable for everyone involved, including the people who fit in. I didn’t fit in, and so every day was a new chapter in the purgatory of hiding what I could do.

I sent a grateful prayer to the high school gods as class was interrupted by an announcement saying we needed to go to the nurse’s office for a new immunization or something. Ms. King pulled us out of the truly thrilling world of integrals and sent us down one at a time. I was one of the last to go.

Stepping back into the hallway, I prayed that I wasn’t going to run into any of Logan’s crowd again on my way down. The number of times I’d heard “fag” muttered under someone’s breath was already too high.

The school had two hallways running between the faculty area and the math wing, and most people took the lower one. I chose the glass hallway because it was usually empty (this surprised me as well, but apparently using stairs was just too much for many of my classmates), and it was pretty cool to be able to see the entire campus from what was effectively its highest point. I trailed a finger across the glass as I walked, leaving behind a fractal line of frost in the warm September air.

I smirked. For as long as I’d been at Owl’s Head High School, there had been, in the eloquent phrasing of high schoolers, “spooky shit” in the fall and spring where kids would come across ice or cold areas in warm weather. I knew I needed to keep my head down, but that didn’t mean I couldn’t have a little fun.

BuyLinks

Harmony Ink Press

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AboutTheAuthor

Tom Early is currently a student at Tufts University who probably spends more time than is wise reading and writing instead of studying. More often than not, he can be found wrapped in a blanket on the couch forgetting most of the things he was supposed to do that day.

When not writing, Tom can be found either reading, gaming, drawing, scratching his dog, or bothering his friends. He also frequently forgets that it’s healthy to get more than six hours of sleep a night, and firmly believes that treating coffee as the most important food group makes up for this. If you show him a picture of your dog, he will probably make embarrassingly happy noises and then brag about his own dog. He’s always happy to talk about any of his previous or current writing projects, because people asking him about them reminds him that he should really be writing right now.

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October 19:

Love Bytes Reviews

World of Diversity Fiction

Sue Brown

October 20:

BFD Book Blog

RJ Scott

The Land of Make Believe

October 21:

Boys on the Brink

The Purple Rose Tea House

Queer Sci-Fi

Drops of Ink

October 22:

Carly’s Book Reviews

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Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words

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October 23:

Reviews and Interviews Blog

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