DJ Jamison on Five wedding traditions that Appear in Surprise Groom (Marital Bliss #1) (guest blog and giveaway)

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Five wedding traditions that make an appearance in Surprise Groom

When I first came up with the idea for my release, Surprise Groom — Book 1 of a new series called Marital Bliss — I didn’t realize just how much “wedding planning” I’d be taking on! But where there are weddings, there are wedding traditions. Here are five that make an appearance in the book. Keep in mind, Surprise Groom takes place on a wedding resort, so there are plenty of weddings to go around!

The bouquet toss!

Watch out. Those flowers don’t always end up where intended! Or maybe they do? You’ll have to read Surprise Groom to find out.

Toasts, so many toasts!

Don’t ask me why, but even when writing the toasts myself, I get all misty-eyed. I think they’re even better in fiction than real life. There’s just something so moving about someone sharing what’s in their heart with a room of full of people. Maybe I should start a tradition of holding toasts at my own family dinners!

Something borrowed…

And sometimes something lost. Caleb has mastered the skill of soothing panicky brides and grooms, though, so don’t worry.

Wedding favors!

And sometimes a whole lot of ribbons to tie around them. But hey, if you do it with the right partner, it can be fun. Maybe? Sometimes? Caleb and Julien thought so. Or maybe they just enjoyed what they did before tying those knots 😉

Wedding photos!

Gazebos bedecked with flower petals, burbling fountains, beaches with ocean views, horse stables, courtyards with gardens designed to bloom year-round. There’s no shortage of photo opportunities on Bliss Island.

I have at least three more books to write in this series, and many more wedding traditions to tackle! What’s your favorite tradition in a wedding/reception?


Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal LinkExclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow with Kindle Unlimited
 
Length: 89,000 words approx.
 
Cover Design: Garrett Leigh @ Black Jazz Design
 
Blurb
 

Can two men fake their way to marital bliss?


Caleb Taylor is shocked to learn his family could lose Bliss Island Resort — their home and livelihood — unless he makes use of a clause to marry the child of investor Louis Chastain. Sofia Chastain is more like a sister than a love interest, and Caleb isn’t ready to sign over his future. But Sofia has a brother, and Caleb has a plan …


Julien Chastain was disowned at fifteen and has made a life as a go-go dancer in Miami, but he lives paycheck to paycheck. When his childhood friend proposes an outlandish marriage contract, he thinks he’s crazy. But it’s a chance at a future that’s tough to pass up.


Caleb and Julien must present themselves as an authentic couple for the legal loophole to work, but the lines between “fake” and “real” keep shifting as they navigate intimacy, public scrutiny, and sabotage.


Love isn’t part of the plan, but plans change. If they can outsmart Julien’s father and prove their love is worth more than a transaction, they just might find a true happily-ever-after.

Author Bio
 

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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A MelanieM Release Day Review: The Mage on the Hill (The Web of Arcana #1) by Angel Martinez

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

The Web of Arcana: Book One

A young magic user who wants desperately to live. A jaded recluse who has forgotten what living means. They’re each other’s only chance.

Toby’s wild magic is killing him. The mage guilds have given up on him, and it’s only a matter of time before he dies in a spectacular, catastrophic bang. His only hope is an exiled wizard who lives in seclusion—and is rumored to have lost his mind.

The years alone on his hilltop estate have not been good for Darius Valstad. After the magical accident that disfigured him and nearly drowned Pittsburgh, he drifts through his days, a wraith trapped in memories and depression. Until a stricken young man collapses on his driveway, one who claims Darius is his last chance. For the first time in fifteen years, Darius must make a choice—leave this wild mage to his fate or take him in and try to teach him, which may kill them both. The old Darius, brash and commanding, wouldn’t have hesitated. Darius the exile isn’t sure he can find the energy to try.

I am always beyond thrilled to see Angel Martinez come out with a new novel, let alone a new series and The Mage on the Hill (The Web of Arcana #1) represents both.  My biggest complaint?  That the page count reads 170 pages and not 670 which is what I feel these terrific characters, plot, and relationship dynamics and history is due.

That Angel Martinez!  Her mind is a wondrous and twisty thing.

This is a story that builds upon itself, like a simple melody into a wild crescendo. Told from Toby and Darius’ perspectives,  with each layer of world building, of magic, of relationship, the author adds to her story and men making the tale sing stronger and wilder.  Especially during the search for Toby’s “gift”, the magic he should be able to channel and the paths it takes both of them on.  It’s a journey of revelation for the reader, one of redemption and forgiveness/ It more deeply connects us to them both and gets us ready, ok not really, for the wildest climax of them all.  How all the imaginative, incredible elements that Martinez built into that white knuckle, suspense filled, heart pounding fierce ride!  And am I giving them away? Nope not me.  Buy the book, read it for yourself.

I found the relationship between Darius and Toby very touching and tender.  It’s not just Toby that  needs saving here but Darius too.  Toby from immediate death at the hands of the Guild and Darius from a deep depression and years of neglect.  The interaction between the two men, despite the age difference, is extremely enjoyable, it’s one’s yin to the other’s yang. The author making us feel the need each has for the other, not just physical but mental and emotional.   One bringing the other alive as he hasn’t been in years while the other is ensuring the other stays alive so he can become the best man he can be, including a whole mage.

There are also three other mages,  some former students of Darius’ or mages at the Guild with him that we meet. All are of huge importance to this couple and the series.  I loved all three and can’t wait to see where this series takes them.

In fact, I can’t wait for the next installment.  I want it now.  Can that be arranged?

I highly recommend The Mage on the Hill (The Web of Arcana #1) by Angel Martinez.  It’s highly imaginative, with great characters, an absorbing plot,   and an ending that will have you flipping the pages in your desperate need to know what’s happening next!  I just love it.  You will too. I really need that next story.

Cover Artist: Tiferet Design. I like this design. I think Tiferet Design is so strong in it’s cover art but it’s hard to tell whether that’s a white streak in his hair (yes) or  pat of the magic happening around him.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 194 pages
Expected publication: May 7th 2019 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 139781644052648
Edition Language English
Series The Web of Arcana #1

Ready for Some Holiday Romance? Check out Better Not Pout by Annabeth Albert (excerpt and giveaway)

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Better Not Pout by Annabeth Albert

Publisher: Carina Press (Harlequin)

Release Date (Print & Ebook): Ebook: Monday November 12, 2018

Print (mmp): Tuesday November 27, 2018

Length (Print & Ebook):  Ebook: 288, Print (mmp): 288

Subgenre: Contemporary Romance, Male/Male Romance, Holiday Romance, Military Romance

Order at:

Carina PressBarnes & Noble (mmp)  | Barnes & Noble (ebook)   |   Amazon 

 

 

Book Synopsis:

One hard-nosed military police officer.

One overly enthusiastic elf.

One poorly timed snowstorm.

Is it a recipe for disaster? Or a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for holiday romance?

Teddy MacNally loves Christmas and everything that goes along with it. When he plays an elf for his charity’s events, he never expects to be paired with a Scrooge masquerading as Santa Claus. His new mission: make the holiday-hating soldier believe he was born to say ho-ho-ho.

Sergeant Major Nicholas Nowicki doesn’t do Santa, but he’s army to his blood. When his CO asks an unusual favor, Nick of course obliges. The elf to his Kris Kringle? Tempting. Too tempting—Nick’s only in town for another month, and Teddy’s too young, too cheerful and too nice for a one-night stand.

The slow, sexy make-out sessions while Teddy and Nick are alone and snowbound, though, feel like anything but a quick hookup. As a stress-free holiday fling turns into Christmas all year round, Teddy can’t imagine his life without Nick. And Nick’s days on the base may be coming to a close, but he doesn’t plan on leaving anything, or anyone, behind.

***

Annabeth Albert says that, “BETTER NOT POUT is a male/male holiday romance featuring endearing characters with a fun, flirty plot that will remind readers of their favorite holiday rom-coms.”

 Excerpt :

It was entirely possible that standing in Teddy’s office in his drawers was less humiliating than trying to squash himself onto the couch. He narrowly avoided rolling to the floor, but ended up in a sneezing fit because up close and personal, the couch smelled like a combo of woodsmoke and fabric cleaner of some kind. And his neck and thighs were both cramping, but he tried to not groan aloud.

“Yeah. You look totally comfy.” Teddy shook his head at Nick as he finished putting the game away and banking the fire. “Come on. Bed. I’ll even turn on the electric bed warmer for you.”

“We can share,” Nick said decisively. He’d slept next to men on planes and in various mission situations. Surely he could survive the temptation that was Teddy in a warm bed.

“Excellent.” Teddy’s eyes went dark and hot.

“To sleep,” Nick clarified.

“Darn. Can’t blame a guy for hoping?” Teddy gave him a smile over his shoulder as he led the way up to a cozy sleeping loft. A large, high sleigh bed that still looked too small for both of them dominated the room, piled high with colorful quilts. Teddy clambered onto the bed, crawling across it, muttering something about finding a controller but Nick was too transfixed on his bouncing ass to pay much attention to his words. It was surprisingly round and high and rather bitable and…

“See something you want?” Teddy glanced over his shoulder.

Busted. And he must have not been able to wipe the want off his expression fast enough because Teddy crawled back across the bed to kneel in front of where Nick stood, looking like some angelic offering. An offering Nick wasn’t sure he could turn down a second time.

“How about…” Teddy pitched his voice low and seductive, almost a whisper. “I get it, I’m not your type, but maybe I could turn off the lights and you could… I dunno…pretend? Just for tonight?”

“Never said you weren’t my type,” Nick said, voice like sandpaper. True, he’d been thinking just that an hour earlier, but Teddy not being his usual didn’t mean that Nick didn’t see his appeal or that the chemistry wasn’t there. And fuck, it would be so much easier if the chemistry between them didn’t crackle like the downstairs fire. His hand was apparently done taking orders from his brain that evening and reached out to stroke Teddy’s smooth jaw. “Just that it was a bad idea.”

“It’s an excellent idea.” Teddy stretched like a cat under Nick’s touch, eyes drifting shut, like he was every bit as hungry for Nick’s touch as he was to give it. And Nick gave up the fight with a groan. This was a terrible idea for all sorts of good, logical reasons, and things were likely to get awkward, but hell if he could bring himself to stop touching Teddy. He buried his hand in those golden curls, which were far softer than they looked.

And Teddy knew he’d won, closed the remaining distance between them and looped his arms around Nick’s neck. “Now do I get to tell you what I want?”

This time Nick laughed, long and low. “Yeah. You do.”

“Goody.” Teddy beamed at him. “But it’s probably gonna be easier to show you…”

With that, Teddy leaned in, slow enough that Nick could have stopped him if he’d been so inclined. Which he wasn’t. No, he’d made up his mind to have this thing. He’d deal with the consequences—and there would be consequences—like an adult, but for tonight, he was going to let himself have Teddy.

About Annabeth Albert:

Annabeth Albert grew up sneaking romance novels under the bed covers. Now, she devours all subgenres of romance out in the open—no flashlights required! When she’s not adding to her keeper shelf, she’s a multi-published Pacific Northwest romance writer. Emotionally complex, sexy, and funny stories are her favorites both to read and to write. Her critically acclaimed and fan-favorite LGBTQ romance series include the #OutOfUniform, #Gaymers, #PortlandHeat, #RainbowCove and #PerfectHarmony series.

To find out what she’s working on next and other fun extras, check out her website: annabethalbert.com or connect with Annabeth on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Spotify! Also, be sure to sign up for her newsletter for free ficlets, bonus reads, and contests. The fan group, Annabeth’s Angels, on Facebook is also a great place for bonus content and exclusive contests.

Connect with Annabeth Albert:

 

 

 

Giveaway: Win 1 of 2 e-copies of any OUT OF UNIFORM series book or a finished Paperback copy of BETTER NOT POUT!

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