Release Blitz – The Station by Keira Andrews (excerpt and giveaway)

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Cover Design: Dar Albert @ Wicked Smart Designs
 
Blurb

 

Ever since Cambridge-bound Colin Lancaster spied on stable master Patrick Callahan mastering another man, he’s longed for Patrick to do the same to him. When Patrick is caught with his pants down and threatened with death for his crime, Colin speaks up in his defense and confesses his own sinful nature. They’re soon banished to the faraway prison colony of Australia.

Patrick never asked for Colin’s help, and now he’s stuck with the pampered fool. While it’s true that being transported to Australia is a far cry from the luxury Colin is accustomed to, he’s determined to make the best of it and prove himself. Although Patrick learned long ago that love is a fairy tale, he’s inexorably drawn to sweet, optimistic Colin.

From the miserable depths of a prison ship to the vast, untamed Australian outback, Colin and Patrick must rely on each other. Danger lurks everywhere, and when they unexpectedly get the chance to escape to a new life as cowboys, they’ll need each other more than ever.

This historical gay romance from Keira Andrews features an age difference,

 

Excerpt

 

Waiting only a moment after knocking, Colin’s mother, Elizabeth, entered his room. Colin glanced over from the window seat. He’d been watching Patrick in the meadow exercising the young colt born several days before. “Yes, Mother?”

Elizabeth was forty-two and quite beautiful, with a regal nose and posture and the same thick, chestnut brown hair as Colin. “You haven’t bathed yet? Guests will be arriving within the hour.”

“I was about to, if you’d leave me to my privacy.”

When he wasn’t studying or walking the grounds, Colin whiled away the hours sitting by his window reading novels of thrilling adventures in faraway lands. Sometimes Patrick would appear in the meadow, training the horses. Colin’s book would lie forgotten on his lap as he watched Patrick at work. He seemed as if he belonged in one of the fictional tales Colin devoured. Colin could easily imagine him with sword in hand.

“Of course, dear. I had Charles press your jacket. It’s hanging there.” She pointed across the room, where, sure enough, his formal wear waited. “Katherine was partial to that one, if I do recall.”

Colin couldn’t hold back a sigh. “Yes.”

“Darling, you gave up on Katherine far too easily. Tonight will be another chance for you to win her hand. You’re quite a catch, you know. Off to Cambridge soon. Katherine will want to ensnare you now.”

“Mother, Katherine Crawford has turned her favor elsewhere. She’s moved on.” So had he. Most definitely.

Elizabeth’s pretty face pinched into a frown. “It’s an honor that the Crawfords are attending this evening. You will be on your best behavior. I don’t know what exactly you did to ruin things with Katherine, but tonight you will do your utmost to undo it.”

“Yes, Mother.” He would attempt no such thing, but Colin had learned years before that arguing with his parents got him nowhere. Soon he’d be at Cambridge and he would be able to make his own decisions. Soon he’d have a new life.

Mollified, Elizabeth closed the door behind her. Flopping down on his bed, Colin thought of Katherine and cringed. It wasn’t until a most ill-fated outing with Katherine Crawford several months ago that Colin had admitted to himself that his interest in Patrick was far from intellectual.

Katherine was a beauty, all glossy blonde hair and moist, pink lips. For some reason Colin couldn’t fathom, she had shown an interest in him at a holiday gathering down the road. The courting had begun soon thereafter, with Colin escorting Katherine on various activities. Unlike William, who railed against the inconveniences of chaperones, Colin was grateful for the matrons’ presence.

He liked Katherine well enough. She was intelligent and kind and pleasing to look at. But Colin knew something was missing. Katherine didn’t set his blood on fire, and he rarely thought of her when she was absent.

The absences were as long as Colin could manage while still maintaining the guise of courting. He was a perfect gentleman at all times with Katherine, which he found a simple feat. William and his school chums all needled him in private and made winking suggestions of what was actually going on between him and Katherine, and Colin let them believe what they wanted.

The Lancasters and Crawfords had both been guests at a country estate for an Easter celebration. Colin’s sister, Rebecca, was delighted. On the ride over, she had chattered constantly about the beautiful Katherine and how she might one day be her sister-in-law. Colin loved his sister dearly but wished she’d find a new interest.

Colin had been fast asleep the first night at the country estate when Katherine crept into his room. Despite his protests about the impropriety, she’d insisted he dress and accompany her for a moonlight stroll. He hadn’t really a choice.

It went badly.

Despite Katherine’s obvious beauty and heaving bosom, Colin had remained utterly uninterested. He’d tried. Truly, he did. Under a large willow tree, Colin had kissed Katherine and caressed her soft skin under her skirt, her hand firm on his wrist, guiding him. He had been unable to get excited, and when she’d reached for him to find him flaccid, Katherine Crawford had had quite enough.

She’d stomped back to her room and avoided Colin for the remainder of the weekend. Colin could hardly meet anyone’s eyes. His family had obviously required an explanation, and he’d had none.

When they returned home after a torturous journey, Colin had jumped from the carriage, eager to be away from his inquiring parents and sister, who’d demanded to know how Colin had made such a mess of things. Colin had almost barreled straight into Patrick, who had come to take the horses. At the sight of him, his lean muscles, his maleness, Colin had been struck with the vivid memories of what he’d witnessed in the stable that day long ago. He had to bite his tongue to stop himself from begging Patrick to take him into some dark corner and have his way with him.

That was what he wanted. He would never want the Katherine Crawfords of the world. No matter how beautiful, how rich, how ideal for a wife. Colin wanted a man. Oh, God, did he want a man.

Can I be of assistance?” Patrick had affected a guileless expression, and Colin had realized he’d been staring dumbly.

Awkward and ready to crawl out of his own skin, Colin had mumbled something and hurried off. All the denials he’d repeated to himself had finally been silenced. He’d locked himself in his room, took himself in hand, and, muffling his face in a pillow as he thought of Patrick, attained the most satisfying release he’d experienced since that day at sixteen years old, hiding in the stable.

Remembering now, Colin stroked himself quickly, careful not to muss himself too much before the party. He thought of Patrick, of his Gaelic lullaby and of his grunts as he’d penetrated the man in the stable years before. As he rubbed himself with one hand, legs spread, Colin caressed his lips with his fingertips, imagining what it would be like to be kissed—really kissed. He didn’t even know if men kissed each other, but he would like to try it.

Sometime later, Colin straightened his navy tie and vest under his dark jacket and peered into the full-length mirror in the corner of his bedroom. His large eyes were a deep brown that matched his hair, and his jaw was narrow. His nose was straight and unremarkable. Katherine had once told him that his smile turned her knees to jelly and his eyes were bottomless pools she could stare into for eternity.

Colin doubted it, somehow.

He decided he looked as presentable as he was able to and went to join the party. Naturally, the first person he saw was Katherine. Dressed to the nines in an ornate, yellow, bell-shaped gown and looking lovely, she was laughing gaily at something William had said. Her hand was placed just so on his arm, and Colin saw the flash of her eyes as she spotted him. She laughed again, even louder.

Colin felt like laughing himself. If she only knew. Before he could do anything, Rebecca towed him into the drawing room, her voice low and urgent, grip firm. “Honestly, I don’t know what William is thinking. You mustn’t pay them any mind, Colin. Are you very upset?” Her pretty face, very much like their mother’s, creased with worry.

Shaking his head, Colin kissed his dear sister’s cheek. “I won’t give it another thought. William is welcome to her. Perhaps Father will take some solace if the family is connected to the Crawfords in the end.”

Rebecca, fourteen and very dramatic, hugged him tightly. “Oh, Colin. You’re ever so brave.”

Biting back his mirth, Colin thanked her and pointed her toward her newly arriving friends from down the road. He made his rounds of the soiree, shaking hands and making polite conversation. Dinner was served, and Colin listened to a neighbor tell him about what a wonderful time he’d have at Cambridge. Colin hoped it would be true. The one thing dampening his excitement about finally getting away from home was that he’d also be leaving Patrick behind.

As he spooned his custard, Colin brooded. He knew it was deeply foolish, since the strange affection and desire he had for Patrick was certainly one-sided. He’d only been a child when they were friends. Even if by some miracle Patrick desired him now that he was grown, would Colin really have the nerve to lie with another man? His trousers tightened at the notion, and he was glad for the napkin across his lap.

After dinner, Colin endured the ladies’ singing and gentlemen’s card games. Unable to shake Patrick from his mind as the night wore on, he found himself walking to the stable, unable to stay away. He was almost there when a cry came up. A man burst out from the large wooden doors and fled across the meadow, barely visible in the darkness. In the lantern light from the stable, Patrick tumbled outside, followed by two men Colin recognized as shopkeepers in the next county. Brothers named Harris, he thought.

Colin realized he was running and skidded to a halt just as one of the brothers landed a vicious kick to Patrick’s ribs. “Stop!” Colin shoved the man aside. Blood already streamed from Patrick’s nose and mouth.

The man ignored Colin as if he were naught but a fly, and kicked Patrick again. “Unnatural piece of filth!”

Several other guests who heard the melee drew near. The other Harris brother called out to them. “We need the inspector. A crime’s been committed here.”

“What crime?” Colin demanded.

The man spit at the ground where Patrick lay beaten. “Buggery.”

The world tilted on its axis, and Colin’s stomach churned. He realized Patrick’s breeches were loose, and that the man he’d seen fleeing must have been…

Suddenly Colin’s father was there. In the lantern light, Colin could see the rage on his father’s face, and it chilled him. Edward was short and stout, yet an imposing presence. He issued a terse command to the Harris brothers to follow him and bring Patrick.

Patrick was dragged around the back of the manor house, a growing number of curious guests following. Several women were told to go back to the party, and the servants watched with wide eyes as the brothers hauled Patrick through the kitchen. Inside Edward’s study, a group of men gathered. Patrick was deposited on his knees in the middle of the room as Colin crowded inside with the others. They were soon joined by Colin’s mother.

“What’s going on?” she hissed to her husband. “There are whispers everywhere.”

Edward barely spared her a glance. “This is no place for a woman. An ungodly crime has been committed. Go see to the other guests and tell them everything is fine. We don’t want this getting out.”

“I’m not going anywhere. Tell me what’s happened!” Elizabeth’s cheeks flamed.

The man who’d kicked Patrick spoke. “My wife is feeling ill, so my brother and I went to the stable to ask for our carriage to be brought round.”

“Ill? Not from the food?” Elizabeth appeared horrified.

“For God’s sake, woman, forget the food!” A vein in Edward’s temple throbbed, and Colin feared his father might explode with rage.

“Where’s the other one?” Colin glanced behind him, surprised to hear William’s voice. Apparently the whispers were indeed spreading.

One of the Harris brothers answered. “Gone. I think it was the Nelsons’ carriage driver. Quick bastard, we couldn’t catch him. This one was still tangled up in his breeches. Caught him dead to rights.”

“No need to get the courts involved. Take him out back and hang him from his bollocks,” said one of the other guests.

There was a murmur of agreement, and Edward seemed to seriously be considering it. Colin’s panic increased exponentially as the tension simmered. Many of those present had long been into their cups, and a reckless air swirled through the room. He looked to Patrick, who knelt silently, blood dripping down his face, his hands now bound behind his back. Colin hadn’t seen who restrained him.

“Kill him,” agreed one of the Harrises. To Patrick, he said, “Wouldn’t you rather be put out of your misery now than rot in a jail cell knowing you’re going to the gallows? We’d be doing you a favor.”

The murmur of assent grew frighteningly loud. “Should have expected it from an Irishman,” someone shouted.

“Hang ’im! Save the courts some time and money.” The bookkeeper from the local village reached for Patrick, attempting to haul him to his feet as other men cried their agreement.

“No!” When all eyes turned to him, Colin realized he’d spoken aloud. “No. You can’t kill him.” He thought of that day six years before, when Patrick had raced after him and plucked him from the fleeing stallion. His heart hammered as it had that day.

Edward’s eyes narrowed. “Colin, the punishment for buggery is death. It’s what he deserves. This man—if you can call an animal a man—is a degenerate criminal.”

“Then so am I!”

Silence gripped the room in an instant, as if everyone held their breath collectively. Elizabeth went pale. “Colin, you have no idea what you’re saying.” She pulled his arm, urging him toward the door. “I’m sorry, everyone; he’s had far too much brandy this evening. He isn’t himself.”

Colin yanked his arm away. “No, Mother. I know what I’m saying.” He swallowed, his throat dry and thick. “I am myself.” Perhaps for the first time.

A shocked William spoke up, his eyes wide. “Colin, this is madness!”

Edward simply stared, stunned into silence for the first time in Colin’s memory. Elizabeth pulled at him again, but Colin shook free. “If you will kill this man for his crime, then you’ll have to kill me too. Shall you take me outside and string me up?”

“What in God’s name are you doing?” Patrick spoke for the first time, and all eyes turned to where he knelt. He stared at Colin with dazed astonishment.

The sound of Patrick’s voice seemed to spur Edward out of his daze. Edward turned a murderous gaze on Patrick. “If you’ve laid a finger on my son, I swear—”

“I’d sooner bed a horse,” Patrick sneered.

“And probably has!” a voice called out.

Colin felt a ridiculous stab of pain at Patrick’s words.

Patrick went on. “Sir, your son is clearly not in his right mind.”

William’s father, John, a lawyer, spoke next. He was tall and distinguished, the opposite of his brother, Edward. He seemed to be the only calm person left in the room. “Colin, are you saying you’ve committed acts of buggery?”

“Yes.” Even if it wasn’t true, Colin couldn’t let them kill Patrick. At least not tonight, not if he could help it.

Elizabeth shrieked and collapsed into a chair. “Oh, my son. What have you done? It can’t be true!”

“I’m sorry, Mother. They’ll have to kill us both.”

“Don’t listen to him! For God’s sake!” Patrick tried to stand but was shoved back down by Edward, whose face flamed with rage.

John spoke up. “No one’s killing anyone.” He turned to the Harris brothers. “Did you witness the act?”

One of them laughed tersely. “Didn’t have to. They heard us coming, and the other one was off and running. But we saw and heard enough to know what was going on.”

John pondered this, and everyone waited. He seemed to have quietly taken control of the proceedings, for which Colin was grateful. He hoped Patrick wouldn’t be harmed any further for the moment.

“No concrete evidence. None in regards to Colin either,” John said after a lengthy pause.

“Because it’s not true!” Elizabeth cried.

John ignored her and turned to Edward. “I have some friends in the magistrate’s office who should be able to help. I’ll go speak to George Crawford and get him on our side. But too many people have heard Colin’s confession. Something must be done.”

Edward nodded grimly, not looking at Colin. He pointed to Patrick. “We’ll keep this one locked in the pantry for the night. Colin will be in his room with a guard placed outside. William, take him upstairs.”

The shock of his actions slowly settling in, Colin didn’t resist as William led him away. They opened the door to the study to find the hallway crowded with party guests. Katherine was among them, her delicate face transformed into a hard mask. “Fiend!” She dashed down the hall, weeping.

Accusing eyes glared from all sides, and William led Colin to the servants’ back stairway, sparing him the spectacle of being marched up the grand staircase. In his room, Colin tried to speak. “Will, I…”

William raised a hand. “Don’t.” He shook his head sadly, his expression deeply wounded. “I don’t understand. I’ve always thought of you as a dear friend. A brother. Now I feel I’ve never known you at all.” He turned his back, closing the door behind him. A moment later, Colin heard the key turn in the lock, and his life as he knew it was over.

Author Bio

After writing for years yet never really finding the right inspiration, Keira discovered her voice in gay romance, which has become a passion. She writes contemporary, historical, fantasy, and paranormal fiction and — although she loves delicious angst along the way — Keira firmly believes in happy endings. For as Oscar Wilde once said:

“The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what fiction means.”

 

 

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A Stella Review: The Fortune Hunter by Bonnie Dee

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RATING 5 out of 5 stars

A man with nothing finds everything.
Abandoned at birth, WWI veteran Hal Stanton faces bleak employment prospects in post-war London. Desperation spurs him to reinvent himself to hook a wealthy wife, one he will be devoted to even if he feels no real passion. But when he meets his fiance’s cousin, Julian Needham, it’s all he can do to keep his heart in check and his eye on the prize.

From the moment he’s introduced to the charming stranger Margaret plans to marry, Julian suspects the man’s motives yet fights a relentless attraction. He’s determined to reveal Hal as a fraud but must handle the matter delicately to protect his sweet cousin’s feelings. A weekend at the family estate should allow time and opportunity for him to expose Halstead Wiley.

Even as the men match wits in a battle of attempted unmasking, powerful sexual attraction threatens to overcome them both and win the day. Can a true love connection possibly grow between these adversaries without destroying lives and loved ones?

I rarely read historical mm books, but once in a while a blurb or a cover or an author’s name catches my interest and I have a go. The Fortune Hunter by Bonnie Dee was simply amazing. I will definitely reread it and reread again and again. A huge success. It has all the elements I look for in a historical story, not necessarily in the mm world. It’s a romance, a pure romance, the kind of story that lets you dream and brings you into the MCs’ world. I simply adored it, that’s why it deserves all the five stars.

I’m often dubious about characters set in a non contemporary time, because what I want to find in my books is the chance to empathize with them or to fantasize, and more than once it doesn’t happen. In this case I got both, maybe because the story is set in a not so far away historical period, just after WWI, maybe because the author is very good at writing. Anyway I read her new release in a one sitting, I savoured every single scene, every word, and I deeply loved it.

I saw the attraction between Hal and Julian, I followed them while they struggled with their fears and doubts, and I cheered on them to finally find a way to be together. I learned their pasts and started to love both of them, and actually the second characters too, from the first chapters. Every single one well developed and defined.

I enjoyed the plot, I think the author delivered an amazing story, there is no cheating here, which is something I’m not comfortable with, on the contrary, not just the MCs will get their HEA. I felt every feeling Hal and Julian felt, their desire to be in each other arms. And more important, to me the story seemed very realistic.

I feel to recommend The Fortune Hunter, even if you are not a huge fan of historical romance like me, I’m sure you will love it.

The cover art is likeable and well done.

SALE LINKS    AMAZON

BOOK DETAILS

Kindle Edition, 235 pages

Published January 2nd 2018

ASIN B077XLY1ND

Edition Language English

Release Blitz for Ruby Moone’s The Mistletoe Kiss ( giveaway)

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Length: 26,600 words
 
Publisher: JMS Books
 
Blurb


By 1816, widowed bookseller Lawrence Fenton has spent a lonely lifetime hiding who he is. He has convinced himself his feelings for his far too young, gorgeous, but troubled assistant Christy Shaw are nothing more than pride in his protégé and concern for his plight.

Christy’s life involves walking fine lines: one between his mother and his abusive stepfather, one where he must keep his needs hidden, and hardest of all, one where he must keep his feelings for his serious employer to himself.

Lame since birth, Lawrence cannot imagine anyone wanting him, least of all Christy. But when Christy’s life threatens to spiral out of control, Lawrence steps in. Then Christy’s emotions spill over into a kiss under the mistletoe at Christmas. Will Lawrence be able to face the long-buried truth about himself and keep Christy by his side?


 

Author Bio
 

Ruby lives in Lancashire in the northwest of England. All through school she was told she would never get anywhere if she didn’t stop daydreaming. Eventually it occurred to her to write down the daydreams, and voilà! The beautiful men in her head came to life. Ruby writes historical and contemporary gay romance but has a definite weakness for handsome men in billowing white shirts, breeches, and cravats. Oh, and she loves tea. Lots of tea.



Facebook – Ruby Moone
Twitter – @RubyMooneWriter
Website and Blog – www.rubymoone.com
Email ñ rubymoone@gmail.com

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Julia Talbot on Historic Mining Hotels and her release ‘To Hell You Ride’ (guest post)

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To Hell You Ride by Julia Talbot
Dreamspinner Press
Cover Art: Reese Dante

Buy Link:  Dreamspinner Press

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Julia Talbot on her tour for her latest release To Hell You Ride. Welcome, Julia.

Hey y’all!

I’m Julia Talbot, and I’m talking about To Hell You Ride today, which is a historical I wrote a while back and Dreamspinner is putting it back out for me. I love this book, y’all. I do. I love historicals, and I love the wild west, and this book is all about hard rock mining in Colorado’s San Juan mountains.

Clancy, one of the main characters in the book, is enamored of fancy hotels. The late 1800 saw a boom in places like Colorado and New Mexico with grand hotels. Each little mining town seemed to have one, and they all had their own character. I’m kind of obsessed with old hotels myself, so here are my top five.

5. The Hotel Boulderado in Boulder, Colorado. Great staircase. OMG haunted. Seriously. There’s this hallway back to an annex they built to have more rooms… Something awful must have happened there. You get physically ill. Creepy!

4. The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park. This one would be higher on the list if they had any kind of air conditioning! So hot in July. Just sayin’. However, it is the inspiration for the Shining, and it plays the Shining 24/7 on the TV, so I can live with it. Super architecture and an amazing view from the porch.

3. The Strater in Durango, CO. So pretty. Just a lovely hotel with antique decorated rooms. Call ahead and make sure the elevator is working. Be sure to sit in the lobby for a while and watch for the man in the tailcoat and top hat. He has no idea he’s dead.

2. The Hotel Colorado, Glenwood Springs CO—Don’t stay here. Stay at the Hot Springs Lodge. But! Go have a drink on the outdoor patio. Check out the amazing lobby, and if you can, the ballroom. Theodore Roosevelt stayed here. It’s very cool.

1. The New Sheridan Hotel in Telluride. Such a neat old building in the historic district. You have to see the bar! The woodwork is amazing. The backdrop of the San Juans ain’t bad, either.

Thanks for reading, y’all!

XXOO

Julia Talbot

Blurb

Big Roy is a hard-rock miner with a not-so-secret love for the theater, so when he hears a new troupe of actors are coming to the Telluride Opera House to put on a Shakespeare play, he saddles his mule and makes the trek into town to see it. The play doesn’t disappoint, but the beautiful lead actor, Edward Clancy, certainly does. Clancy is rude and arrogant, and Roy figures he’d never have a chance with such a man. He’s wrong, because Clancy needs some entertainment himself, being stuck in a hellish mining town for the long, snowy winter. Come spring, though, Clancy knows he’s going to want to move on, and he thinks Roy will be easy to forget. Then tragedy hits, and Clancy has to rethink his entire life. Can these two strike gold?

Second Edition

First Edition Published by SCREWDRIVER An imprint of Torquere Press, January 2007.

About the Author

Julia Talbot lives in the great Southwest, where there is hot and cold running rodeo, cowboys, and everything from meat and potatoes to the best Tex-Mex. A full time author, Julia has been published by Dreamspinner Press and Changeling Press. She believes that everyone deserves a happy ending, so she writes about love without limits, where boys love boys, girls love girls, and boys and girls get together to get wild, especially when her crazy paranormal characters are involved. Find her on the web at www.juliatalbot.com

https://www.facebook.com/juliatalbotauthor

https://twitter.com/juliatalbot

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In Our Historical Spotlight: Count the Shells by Charlie Cochrane (RIPTIDE TOUR and Giveaway)

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Count the Shells (Porthkennack #6) by Charlie Cochrane
Riptide Publishing
Cover Art by L.C. Chase

Read an Excerpt/Purchase it here at Riptide Publishing

 

Count the Shells is the story which completely astounded its author in the telling. I had no idea when I sat down to write it that the straightforward historical romance I’d envisaged would turn out to have a plot twist which transformed the story into possibly the best tale I’ve ever crafted.

About Count the Shells

Michael Gray returned from World War One injured, but at least he returned. Others were not so fortunate, including his first and greatest love, Thomas Carter-Clemence, with whom Michael had parted bitterly before the conflict began.

Broch, the Carter-Clemence home in Porthkennack, was an integral part of pre-war holidays for the Grays, the two families drawn together in the wake of their sons’ friendship. Returning to the once-beloved Cornish coast for a break with his sister and her family, Michael has to find the courage to face old memories . . . and dare new relationships.

When Thomas’s brother Harry makes an unexpected appearance, Michael is surprised to find himself deeply attracted to Harry for his own sake. But as their relationship heats up, it unearths startling revelations and bitter truths. Michael must decide whether Harry is the answer to his prayers or the last straw to break an old soldier’s back.

Available now from Riptide Publishing

About Porthkennack

Welcome to Porthkennack, a charming Cornish seaside town with a long and sometimes sinister history. Legend says King Arthur’s Black Knight built the fort on the headland here, and it’s a certainty that the town was founded on the proceeds of smuggling, piracy on the high seas, and the deliberate wrecking of cargo ships on the rocky shore. Nowadays it draws in the tourists with sunshine and surfing, but locals know that the ghosts of its Gothic past are never far below the surface.

This collaborative story world is brought to you by five award-winning, best-selling British LGBTQ romance authors: Alex Beecroft, Joanna Chambers, Charlie Cochrane, Garrett Leigh, and JL Merrow. Follow Porthkennack and its inhabitants through the centuries and through the full rainbow spectrum with historical and contemporary stand-alone titles.

Check out Porthkennack! http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/universe/porthkennack

About Charlie Cochrane

As Charlie Cochrane couldn’t be trusted to do any of her jobs of choice—like managing a rugby team—she writes, with titles published by Carina, Samhain, Bold Strokes, MLR and Cheyenne.

Charlie’s Cambridge Fellows Series of Edwardian romantic mysteries was instrumental in her being named Author of the Year 2009 by the review site Speak Its Name. She’s a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, Mystery People, International Thriller Writers Inc and is on the organising team for UK Meet for readers/writers of GLBT fiction. She regularly appears with The Deadly Dames.

Connect with Charlie:

Website:charliecochrane.co.uk/

Blog: charliecochrane.livejournal.com/

Twitter: @charliecochrane

Facebook profile page: facebook.com/charlie.cochrane.18

Goodreads: goodreads.com/goodreadscomcharlie_cochrane

Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Count the Shells, one lucky winner will receive a goodie bag from Charlie Cochrane, including postcards (new and vintage), a recipe book, bookmark, pencils, a fridge magnet and various other doodahs! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on October 21, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

Release Blitz for Ruby Moone’s Memories (excerpt and giveaway)

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Length: 69,458 words
 
Publisher: JMS Books
 
Blurb



Will Marsden is a man on the run from his memories and his past. Steward of Denton Manor was a good position until Captain Dearne, the owner, lost the manor on the turn of a card. When the feckless Dearne is dumped unconscious and near death on his doorstep, Will grudgingly accepts an enormous sum of money to care for him.


Dearne regains consciousness but has no memories of how he came to be in the bed of a dark-haired, angry, but gorgeous man or how he came to be so badly injured.


When nightmares drive Dearne into Willís arms every night, the attraction between them explodes. As Dearne battles with lost memories, he is forced to accept the fact that someone in his family wants him dead, and Will is forced to confront his past head on. Will the revelations uncovered tear them apart?

 
Excerpt


Will returned with a bag and pulled out the salve and some more linen. He quickly washed and dried his hands, and then busied himself with unwrapping him, eyes firmly fixed on his thigh, although his hands felt a little unsteady. Dearne adjusted his shirt when his cock twitched at his gentle touch. Any budding arousal was swiftly truncated though when Will pulled off the pad of gauze, sending red hot agony through his entire body and Dearne couldn’t stifle yet another high-pitched shriek.

“Sorry, sorry…” Will put his hand on Dearne’s arm and held on tight whilst he brought his breath under control. He hardly dared look at his leg.

“It’s not too bad,” Will said, so he peeled open one eye and squinted down. It was healing well. He presumed the pain was simply from dislodging the scabs. He breathed more evenly as Will dipped a cloth in the warm water that had been left in the rooms for them and bathed him. He relaxed fractionally.

“It is healing well,” Will said, drying him and then smoothing the salve over the wound. He replaced the old pad with a new one, then wound the makeshift bandage back around. “We could see if there is a physician in the town? Perhaps you should see someone who knows best how to deal with injuries.”

Dearne shook his head. “It is doing just fine. No need to involve anyone else in our escapade.”

Will smiled at that. “We have a couple of hours before we eat. Why don’t you sleep.” Dearne watched Will fold the old bandages and then wash his hands again. When he turned around and looked at him, lying on the bed with no breeches or smalls, he felt oddly exposed and for some reason, that excited him. Beneath his hand his cock hardened. He let himself relax against the pillow and watched Will’s jaw tighten and his eyes become fixed to his groin where he still cupped himself beneath his shirt. His whole body flushed as a surge of need tightened his skin. Will felt it too, judging by the bulge in his breeches.

“Will…” His voice was low, husky.

“Don’t.” Will closed his eyes and swallowed. “Don’t.”

“Don’t what?”

Will opened his eyes, those beautiful dark eyes, and Dearne was shocked to see misery in them. “You know what I mean.”

Dearne looked pointedly at Will’s groin. “Why?”

“Because it’s wrong.”

“Wrong?”

“Yes, wrong. I can’t go through all that again. I can’t.” He turned away and picked up his bag. “I’ll see you for dinner.”

“Will?”

He paused momentarily by the door as if he would respond, but then yanked it open and left. Dearne flopped back on the bed and groaned.

* * * *

Will sat on the edge of his bed. His whole body trembled. He held his hands before him and watched them shake before jamming them under his armpits and rocking. His heart was pounding as though it might burst out of his chest and fierce longing made his entire body ache. He screwed his eyes closed and willed the need to go away, tried to think of sad things, horrid things, the pain, the shame, but all he could see was Dearne laid on the bed, hand on his cock. Those long, strong legs finely dusted with hair, that watchful smile that crept out at odd moments, and his eyes. Christ, his eyes. Ever since the morning they had woken and, half asleep, he had kissed Dearne’s shoulder, run his tongue over those freckles that sat like gold dust on his skin and he had begged him for more, all he could taste was Dearne’s mouth. All he could feel now was Dearne’s mouth. All he wanted was Dearne’s mouth.

He wrapped his arms around his middle and bent over until his head almost touched his knees and barely recognised the keening sound that came from his mouth as everything threatened to spiral out of control.

He didn’t hear the door open, he didn’t hear Dearne until he sat beside him and put an arm around his shoulders. And try as he might, he didn’t resist when Dearne pulled him into his arms. They sat, side by side, with Dearne holding him awkwardly, and Will pressing his head onto Dearne’s shoulder and gradually the trembling subsided.

“I don’t suppose you want to talk about it?” Dearne said.

“God, no.” Will shuddered.

“Thank Christ.”

Will glanced up and Dearne offered him a crooked smile.

Author Bio


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


Facebook – Ruby Moone
Twitter – @RubyMooneWriter
Website and Blog – www.rubymoone.com
Email ñ rubymoone@gmail.com

 

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Alex Standish on Writing, Research and her release ‘Changing Tides’ (guest blog and excerpt)

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Changing Tides by Alex Standish
Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: Anna Sikorska

Buy link: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Alex Standish today on her Changing Tides tour. Welcome, Alex!

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Hey, guys!

Thank you so much to Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words for hosting me today, I appreciate it. Great name for a blog, by the way. 

One of my favorite things about writing is doing research. For Changing Tides, I spent hours looking through books, watching TV shows and movies, and browsing through the internet. I love researching because I always learn something new, and obviously, it makes the story better, more real, if you will.

With Changing Tides, I learned a lot about the Caribbean Sea and islands, about pirate garb and weaponry, and especially about ships. The naval battles were particularly challenging, but I had a blast writing them, and I’ve got to say I’m quite pleased with the end result. It was difficult to let go when it was done and I’m going to miss my pirates very much.

Blurb 

While most pirates sail in search of riches, Captain Devon Hall, the infamous Phantom of the Caribbean, is driven by vengeance. Devon has sworn to put an end to the corrupt governor of Jamaica and break the ruthless man’s stranglehold in the Caribbean.

When Devon is wounded and stranded on land, an unlikely rescuer comes to his aid. Brett Campbell is nothing like his uncle, the governor, and his goals are not so different from Devon’s. Brett longs for freedom, but his obligations to protect those under his uncle’s control keep him from fleeing. Throwing in with Devon might increase both their chances of success—and survival.

When the governor’s attempts to destroy Devon escalate and place Brett in danger and in the hands of the ruthless and depraved pirate Captain Blackburn, Devon must risk everything to save the man he loves and repay his enemies.

All Devon’s ever wanted is his ship, his freedom, friends who stand by his side through thick and thin, and someone to love. But facing dangers at sea and on land, Devon wonders if they will live to enjoy it all.

Excerpt

On their fourth day at sea, a day after releasing the cruiser’s crew as promised, they spotted the Skull.

Devon coldly studied their formidable adversary. With its fifteen hundred tons of impressive bulk and its numerous artilleries, he knew they were in for a fight. The British cruiser was a good ship, fast, but would not be able to withstand much punishment.

Devon took a deep breath, trying to control his heartbeat. He wanted nothing more than to open fire on the other ship. But as desperate as he was to catch Blackburn, Devon couldn’t risk Brett getting hurt in the resulting melee.

“What are you planning?” Cody asked, a slight quiver in his voice betraying his anxiety.

As fierce and determined as Cody was, sometimes it was easy for Devon to forget just how new to this whole life he was.

“They have got more firepower than we do. And I don’t want to jeopardize Brett’s life, or ours, for that matter.”

“We could keep following them, wait until dark, and then use the cutters to overtake their ship,” Cody said. “Maybe they won’t spot us until it’s too late.”

Devon grinned at him. “We will make a pirate out of you yet.”

Suddenly, there was a flash of light from Blackburn’s ship, and seconds later a large cannonball whistled through the cruiser’s masts.

“They have seen us, Captain,” John shouted.

Devon closed his eyes for a moment, sending a silent apology to Brett. Knowing they had to return fire or be destroyed, he turned to his men.

“Battle stations.” Devon watched the men rush below deck to take their positions while the artillerymen aimed the cannons and firelocks. “Fire,” he ordered.

About the Author

Alex Standish lives in Lisbon, Portugal, a beautiful and sunny country in Europe. She loves to read, travel, listen to good music, rock the vacuum cleaner like Freddie Mercury, and hang out with her friends. When she’s not at her day job or trying to win the lottery, she’s typing away at her laptop, Probie, writing homoerotic romance. She’s a multigenre author, striving to create engaging plotlines and characters that could stand on their own and hopefully tug at one’s heartstrings. In the last eight years, Alex has written one short story and three novels.

Social media info: http://www.facebook.com/xanderstandish

Blog Tour Schedule

August 9 – MM Good Book Reviews https://mmgoodbookreviews.wordpress.com/

August 14 – My Fiction Nook http://myfictionnook.com/

August 15 – Alpha Book Reviews https://alphabookclub.org/

August 16 – Happily Ever Chapter https://www.facebook.com/happilyeverchapter

August 17 – Love Bytes http://www.lovebytesreviews.com/

August 18 – The Novel Approach http://thenovelapproachreviews.com/

August 21 – Open Skye Book Reviews http://openskyebookreviews.com/

August 22 – Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words  https://scatteredthoughtsandroguewords.com/

August 23 – Dreamspinner Press Blog http://blog.dreamspinnerpress.com/

A MelanieM Release Day Review: Patron by C.B. Lewis

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Theodore Wentworth, who possesses little more than a sharp and well-educated mind, is trying to solicit a sponsor for his studies of Greek antiquity by performing recitations at gatherings of collectors. Desperate for luck and better skills in oratory, in jest, he places a coin at the feet of a statue of Hermes. It seems like coincidence when his fortune turns and a gentleman calling himself Alexander becomes his benefactor. Despite his friend John teasing him about it, Theodore continues to offer tokens to Hermes and sinks himself into his study of the classics.

Alexander encourages Theodore’s interest, prompting Theodore to face desires he tried to put aside years before. As Theodore embraces the knowledge, he must also resist his attraction to Alexander—knowing his feelings are a serious crime in Victorian England.

But the secret Alexander keeps will change everything in a love story for the ages, steeped in taboo, temptation, history, and myth.

Patron by C.B. Lewis was a terrific novelette!  I wasn’t expecting to be quite as captivated by Theodore and his mythological lover as I was.  Lewis weaves a tale of increasing mystery, personal exploration, faith and love set within Victorian England. The author lets us know that Theodore has an open mind and heart by giving him a friend (half Indian) that British society of those times looks down upon. John and his wife (a couple I was swift to take to heart) are Theodore’s best and perhaps only friends.  John even has knowledge of Theodore’s leanings (never acted upon really)  towards men instead of women.    Theodore’s life changes one evening when he lays a coin down at the feet of Hermes, wishing for luck and the best speech of his life during a gathering of great and influential men. Theodore emotes brilliantly.  And the story takes off.

Lewis does a beautiful job of capturing the details of 1860 England, right down to the boarding house where Theodore lives and the clothes he wears.  From the lower to upper levels, we get the entire picture (as much as you can skillfully lay down in 78 pages).  It’s a great atmosphere in which to bring out the wildly romantic mythic element.  It’s in keeping with the times, enraptured as they were with the classics and using Hermes instead of one of the other Greek gods was a usual choice but one I adored.

Little by little, we build up to the ending.  I thought it was exactly right.  But did I want more?  Yes, of course.  You will too.  Such a little gem, this is!

Patraon by C.B. Lewis is a quite, delightful read, especially for those who love the Greek classics, mythology and romance.  I highly recommend it.

Cover Artist: Blake Dorner.  Love, love this cover by Dorner.  Its perfect in every way.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 78 pages
Expected publication: June 21st 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781635335217
Edition LanguageEnglish

A Caryn Review: Enlightened (Enlightenment Series #3) by Joanna Chambers

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Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

*Happy sigh*

What a wonderful happy ending!  If you’ve read the first two books, you will be so satisfied with this culmination of David and Murdo’s story.  I’m a little sad to leave them behind, but there’s always another reread!

I also found that by the time I finished Enlightened, the titles of each book really started to have new meaning to me.  Provoked introduced David and Murdo not only to each other, but to a new type of attraction that neither had experienced before.  Beguiled showed them discovering new and increasingly fascinating aspects of each other, and letting down some of their internal barriers.  Enlightened found them realizing that not only was a relationship possible, but absolutely necessary, and a source of more happiness and contentment than they ever imagined.  The words, the titles, are a perfect description of the progression of their friendship and love.

The book opens with David still residing at Murdo’s estate at Laverock.  Their time there has been idyllic – a time of quiet companionship, physical exploration, growing mutual respect, and surprisingly an evolving business partnership.  Both men were aware of how fragile and fleeting this time was, but knew it had to come to an end eventually.  The end, however, came in an unexpected and somewhat tragic way when David’s old mentor and Elizabeth’s father, Patrick Chalmers, made a dying request:  for David to find Elizabeth and once again keep her safe from her abusive husband.  Doing so required David to travel to London, and quickly, and leave their protected life in a bubble behind.  Murdo had been putting off going to London for weeks, but he now had a good excuse to delay their parting, so he accompanied David.

London for David was just the place Elizabeth and Euan lived, a place for the job he had to do.  But London to Murdo was so much more – the site of his father’s political machinations and the mistakes that Murdo made trying to live up to his father’s expectations.  Also the place he hid a secret from David that he was afraid would tear them apart – the woman he was engaged to.

That is the only spoiler I will give in this review.  Once that little nugget of information was dropped, the pace of the book sped up and the resolution to their problems was striking, shocking, complete, and perfect.  I loved this description:

The knot of ropes that bound Murdo to his father was Gordian in its complexity and subtlety.  Tonight, Murdo had swept a sword through it, disdaining its cleverness.  Severing it with determination and without concern for the consequences.

With one swift stroke, all the pieces fell into place, and if there was sacrifice, it was worth it.  And they rode off into the Scottish highlands to live in peace and happiness.

I still love the cover art for the series, the models were perfect, but I wish they would have incorporated both models onto this final cover.  I thought Murdo deserved at least as much presence as David in this one…

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 226 pages
Published April 23rd 2017 by Joanna Chambers Books (first published May 6th 2014)
ASINB071RK71MR
Series Enlightenment #3

A Caryn Review: Beguiled (Enlightenment Series #2) by Joanna Chambers

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Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Don’t you just love it when a sequel is even better than the original?  Provoked may have been a good book, but Beguiled just blew me away.  I can’t wait to read the last installment, so forgive me if this review seems a little rushed!

Those of you who read my reviews know that I am a huge fan of characterization, and falling in love with the characters is what makes me fall in love with a book.  I am so deeply invested in David and Murdo now, that I am already grieving leaving them behind when I finish book three.  Both men were introduced to the reader and to each other in the first book, and there was a subdued type of adventure going on that introduced the city of Edinburg, as well as all of the secondary characters who reappear in Beguiled.  What makes this second book so appealing to me is the deeper delving into the backgrounds and motivations of both men, the beginnings of their awareness of something new and different, and a slow sea change in attitude.  So, the rest of this review will barely touch on plot!

In Provoked, Murdo was presented as a typical aristocrat, blissfully ignoring the plight of the common man, devoted to pursuing pleasure without the sticky moral trappings of 19th century societal expectations.  He didn’t exactly toy with David, but he made it clear in the very beginning that what he and David had was purely physical attraction.  Although he had been able to dally with men in a bit freer fashion than David because of his wealth and status, emotional attachment was not something he wanted or even considered the first few times they met.  Murdo did not feel that same sex activity was immoral, and also found nothing wrong with marrying a woman while continuing to have sex with men.  David had a much more conventional set of principles, so he not only felt sinful by “indulging” in sex with men, but felt there was something perverted about him that he wanted it.  He viewed marriage as a sacred bond before God, so he would not even consider marrying a woman, much less being unfaithful to her with a man.  Although their motives were different, the result they expected was the same:  sex without emotional involvement.

Beguiled occurs two years after the events of Provoked.  In those two years, both David and Murdo found themselves thinking back on their brief time together in ways that surprised them – with a great deal of yearning, and a sense of something important irretrievably lost.  Meeting again was therefore much more emotional on both sides, and the two years apart broke down barriers in both men.  In this book, David’s inner conscience was much less vehement about declaring him a pervert for wanting men, and he was able to see that there was more between them than just lust and physical release.  Murdo was willing to accept that he wanted more from David, and found himself sharing secrets he never intended to as he opened himself.

Against this impassioned background, the historical events and adventure played out with a great deal more meaning than that of Provoked.  I liked how once again ideas such as universal suffrage and rights of women were presented as incredibly radical (it is so good to live in 2017!), and our heroes – who by nature of their homosexuality were already outside the norm – were willing to embrace those notions as well.

The only thing I really didn’t like about the plot was at the end when David did not tell Murdo his plans for the rescue, which didn’t really make sense when in all other ways they had become so trusting of and necessary for each other.  Painting that decision as another of David’s self-sacrificing moments just didn’t sit quite right with me.  Of course, it created a perfect set up for the next book, but I wish the author could have found a way to achieve those ends without David keeping Murdo in the dark.

On to the final book!

Cover art is again superb.  The model’s intense expression and partially shadowed face are perfect for Murdo.  Even the font of the title is ideal for the picture and the story.

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK 

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 226 pages
Published April 23rd 2017 by Joanna Chambers Books (first published December 24th 2013)
Original TitleBeguiled
ASINB0722GJFD4
SeriesEnlightenment #2