Contemporary Spotlight: Becca Burton ‘Something Like A Love Song’ (excerpt and giveaway)

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Something Like a Love Song by Becca Burton
Release Date: November 19, 2015

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Interlude Press
Cover Artist: C.B. Messer

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Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Becca Burton, author of Something Like a Love Song. Hi Becca, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.

Thank you for having me. Something Like a Love Song is my first novel, a story about two long time boyfriends who find themselves facing a life changing tragedy and have to find the courage and love for each other to fight through.

While this is my first novel, I have posted many stories online, and have been writing ever since I learned how. I currently work as a nurse in a Neonatal ICU, and medicine has been a big interest in my life, and always seems to find a way into my writing. I am passionate about diverse, LGBTQ fiction, and am very excited to contribute to this genre.

  • What genre is your book and what drew you to this genre?

Something Like a Love Song is a LGBTQA fiction story. As a member of the community, I believe there are so many stories still to be told in this genre. LGBTQA fiction is just as rich as any other genre, and I believe it has so much to offer, and I’m so excited to be a part of it.

  • How many days a week do you write?

Working as a nurse, I can be pretty busy and tired on the days that I work, but I try and write when I’m not working. I make a goal to write at least a few days a week, and often try to make myself go to a coffee shop or a library where I can focus on my writing, but I am trying to be more diligent and go more often!

  • On average, how long does it take to write a book?

Something Like a Love Song is the only book I’ve officially finished, and it took me a few months to write, not factoring in editing time. I think with practice and learning how to better outline, I could probably decrease the time it takes me.

  • Do you have a trailer for your book? If yes, give us the link. If not, do you think you’d like to have one done at some point?

I don’t have one, but it would absolutely love and feel so honored if I had one at some point. Even if it wasn’t for this one, but a future novel, that would incredible. I’ve seen some amazing trailers for books, and I think it’s such an interesting medium to engage readers, I would love to try it sometime!

  • If I could be a character in a book, I would be _______?

Oh, this is a tough one. Well, I think it’s almost a given that I am Cather from Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, but that one is too easy. I think I would love to be more like Hermione Granger from Harry Potter, because she’s such a stunning, intelligent girl, and such and amazing role model for young girls. If I could be even close to the caliber of awesome that Hermione is, I would be very happy!

Blurb

One tragic night left Landon and Dylan’s dreams of happily ever after in apparent ruin. Forced to overcome physical and emotional trauma, the young lovers turn to a network of family and friends as they attempt to rebuild their lives. But can their one constant—their love—survive the changes both undergo on the road to recovery?

 

Pages or Words: 308 pages
Categories: Contemporary, Fiction, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Romance

Excerpt

Landon’s bed is in the center of the room, and Dylan’s heart begins to pound in his chest as he takes a step forward, hesitates. Landon looks so small, tucked into the middle of the bed, and everything about the scene is unnatural and wrong. His head is wrapped with thick bandages, for which Dylan is grateful—he isn’t sure he could handle that. Just the thought of what’s happening to Landon, to his fiancé, is enough to make his throat constrict, his chest tighten.

A ventilator tube parts Landon’s lips, and his chest rises and falls in equal, rhythmic whirrs. IVs line his arms; the wires snake from under his hospital gown. His freckles stand out starkly against the unnatural pale hue of his skin, except where the deep purple of a bruise creeps from under the bandages and swells down to his left cheekbone. It seems impossible that only hours ago they were laughing in the park, holding hands and eating ice cream from the small corner stand; it’s like some distant memory, a fading dream. But the ache deep in Dylan’s chest, the way his stomach is knotting itself, the too-clean smell of the hospital burning his nose, Landon’s face, battered and bruised—Dylan can’t look away—all this is too real to be a dream, no matter how badly Dylan wants to just wake up, wants all this to go away and everything to be okay.

“You can touch him, if you want,” Brittany says, her voice soft. “We need to make sure to reduce extra stimulation, to allow his brain time to recover, but it’s okay to hold his hand.”

Dylan looks up at her. Her smile is kind and understanding. Then he turns back to Landon and takes a small step forward. Landon’s hand is right there, resting above the covers, and Dylan doesn’t know why he’s so nervous; he’s held Landon’s hand more times than he could begin to count. But, surrounded by machines and tubes, Landon has never looked so utterly fragile, as if he could shatter at the lightest touch.

“It’s okay,” Brittany says from behind him, and Dylan squeezes his eyes shut, tears pricking behind his eyelids. “You won’t hurt him.”

Landon’s skin is cold; his hand is unnaturally still. Even in sleep Landon’s hand would always find Dylan’s, their fingers would curl together like a reflex.

Not now.

“I’m so sorry,” Dylan whispers, holding on a little tighter. “I’m so…”

His voice catches, the words bottling up in his throat, unable to escape. Landon’s chest rises, falls, in, out.

In, out.

“You’re so hurt, and it’s my fault,” Dylan manages, his voice barely audible above the machines keeping Landon alive. “It’s all my fault and I’m…” He exhales slowly. “I’m so sorry.”

He swipes his thumb across Landon’s knuckles, over the dips and grooves, and vaguely notes that Brittany has left them alone. He sinks down into the small chair beside the bed, not letting go of Landon’s hand.

“You need to fight, okay? I need you here, with me, and I can’t…” There’s nothing left inside him except an empty, hollow feeling and the knowledge that Landon can’t hear him. Landon’s engagement ring is in a dish on a table beside the bed, along with his watch, and Dylan fishes them out and tucks them into his pocket.

Buy the book:

IP Web Store: store.interludepress.com

Amazon | Smashwords | Apple iBook Store

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Meet the author:

Becca Burton penned her first Nancy Drew fan fiction at the age of nine and has been an avid writer ever since. Currently working as a Neonatal Intensive Care nurse, Becca is a recent Oregon transplant from the Midwest. Becca has a weakness for coffee, the smell of old books, rainy days and her cat, Luna. Something Like a Love Song is her first novel.

Where to find the author:

 


Tour Dates & Stops:

19-Nov: Lee Brazil, Vampires, Werewolves, and Fairies, Oh My, Velvet Panic, It’s Raining Men, Cheekypee Reads and Reviews, Hearts on Fire

20-Nov: Three Books Over The Rainbow, Mikky’s World of Books, Happily Ever Chapter

23-Nov: Jessie G. Books, Sinfully Addicted to All Male Romance, Michael Mandrake, Boys on the Brink Reviews

24-Nov: Book Reviews, Rants, and Raves, Because Two Men Are Better Than One, Divine Magazine

25-Nov: Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, MM Good Book Reviews

26-Nov: Bayou Book Junkie, BFD Book Blog

27-Nov: Alpha Book Club, The Blogger Girls, Elaine White

30-Nov: Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings, Dawn’s Reading Nook, QUEERcentric Books, Love Bytes

1-Dec: My Fiction Nook, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews

2-Dec: Gay Media Reviews, Just Love Romance, Inked Rainbow Reads, Two Chicks Obsessed With Books and Eye Candy

Final

Giveaway

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: Grand Prize: $25.00 Interlude Press Gift Card. First Prize: 5 e-copies of ‘Something Like a Love Song’.  Link and prizes provided by the author and Pride Promotions.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  Good luck and happy reading.

 

 

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A MelanieM Review: Billionaire with Benefits (Romancelandia #2) by Anne Tenino

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Rating: 3.25 stars out of 5

 It’s just a friend thing.

BillionaireWithBenefits_400x600For fourteen years  Tierney Terrebonne’, of the Ambulance  Service owning Terrebonne family, has been in love with his best friend, Ian Kelly. Someone he thought was straight and therefore off limits.  But the truth was that his best friend was gay and in love with someone else.  That was a reality that Tierney couldn’t and didn’t handle very well.  Weighed down from years of emotional repression from his authoritative grandfather, Tierney has stayed firmly in the closet where his parents and brother prefers him to remain.  But the cost to Tierney results in a man losing his battles with alcohol abuse and a pattern of self destructive behavior that is costing him the few friends he has left.  Including the one he thinks he is still in love with.

Dalton Lehnart’s life has been one of rejection and rebounding, over and over again.  From parents that threw him away when he was outed in high school, to a series of wealthy, damaged, closeted, lying, cheating, no-good, cowardly men, who kept him…for a while, temporary has been Dalton’s middle name. But now Dalton has a job he likes, and good friends so things are looking up.  Then Tierney Terrebonne weaves into his boss’s office, reaking of booze and demands. Of course Dalton finds he’s immediately attracted to Tierney Terrebonne. Damaged men are his thing, right?

Somehow as Tierney tilts towards a complete meltdown, Dalton is there trying to save the man he sees underneath the posturing and self destructive alcohol-induced behavior.  When Tierney outs himself in the worst possible manner on the worst possible moment, the aftermath finds Tierney checking into rehab and Dalton is there with support.

Dalton soon finds out that timing is everything when the post rehab Tierney can’t  handle anything other than friendship, just when Dalton thinks they might have something more.  That should make it easy for Dalton to leave it at friendship, shouldn’t it?  But what if the safest thing for them both isn’t the best thing for both?  What happens when “just a friend thing” isn’t enough?

I love Anne Tenino.  Her characters have such heart and life to them that’s its almost impossible to leave them behind when the story is done.  I definitely felt that way about Sam and Ian Kelly from the first Romancelandia story, Too Stupid To Live (Romancelandia #1).  Sam was so endearing and hug worthy that he almost levitated off the pages.  Adding Ian Kelly to Sam brought about a romance that was funny, heartwarming, and real.  Luckily, for this story, both have large roles to play out here.  Why is that such an important aspect to Billionaire with Benefits?  Because without them and the character of Dalton Lehnart, this book would sink under the weight of Tierney Terrebonne, a character so problematic that living inside his head is painful and sad at best, irritating and prolonged at the worst.

The story switches pov from Tierney to Dalton and back, but for the most part, its Tierney’s head we live inside.  We are present for all his repressed thoughts and feelings, his sense of entitlement, his endless bouts with the bottle and feelings of insecurity.  We are there through all the countless drunks and sobering mornings, the meanness and the apologies (a pattern anyone familiar with substance abuse will recognize).  He, himself, understands that he is acting like a “douchebag”, a term I’m not fond of.  He’s an extraordinarily well written believable mess of a man, a character so well defined by his issues and past that he is both identifiable and authentic.  And he is the voice for the majority of this story.

How the reader handles that intimacy with such a exasperating character will figure into how well they enjoy or commit to this story.  For me, it felt like spending time with someone with a large substance abuse problem, a person I was not particularly fond of.  I didn’t start to appreciate Tierney until I was able to see him through the eyes of Dalton, a man with a weakness for damaged men with his own angst filled past to boot.  And even then,Dalton was far more the interesting and relatable personality.  Dalton I totally enjoyed, from his perspective on life to his attempts to be supportive while raising enough barriers to keep himself emotionally safe.  Of course, Dalton too is well written, so we can see  how that is going to work out for him.  I think had the time spent within this story been reversed, so that’s its Dalton’s voice we hear most of the time, my feelings about Billionaire with Benefits would be more positive and the rating higher.

The last element  that bothered me was the miracle of “rehab”.  Two weeks and an almost lifetime of alcohol abuse is dealt with successfully.  While a far more realistic approach to Tierney’s recovery and life as a recovering alcoholic would have required almost as many pages as it took him to get there, even a shortened version of the real thing would have made this aspect of the story more believable as Tierney becomes sober.

So again, what saved this story?  Apart from Dalton that is? The inclusion of Sam, lovely, light-hearted, romance story loving Sam.  And Ian of course.  Sam and Ian’s interaction with Dalton amused and informed (along with the romance novels Sam loves so well).  They added just the right type and tone of perspective on Tierney and Dalton that the reader required, and the balance of their relationship versus what was happening with Tierney and Dalton was a welcome relief.

Billionaire with Benefits seems to be along the same time line as Too Stupid Too Live, with some of the same events occuring in both.  This works so both stories can be read as stand alones or together to round out the time frame and relationships between all the reoccurring characters.  Next up is Miller’s story, one I have been waiting on.  I can’t wait to see Miller have his own HEA.  As for Billionaire with Benefits, some will love it, others not. I will leave it up to you as to whether it appears on your TBR list or not.

Cover artist: L.C. Chase.  Love that cover.  It’s adorable and lighthearted, far more so than this book. I only wished I liked the story inside half as well.

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing   All Romance eBooks  amazon   Billionaire with Benefits

Book Details:

ebook, 415 pages
Published October 18th 2014 by Riptide Publishing
original titleBillionaire with Benefits (Romancelandia #2)
ISBN139781626491960
edition languageEnglish
urlhttp://riptidepublishing.com/titles/billionaire-with-benefits
seriesRomancelandia #2
charactersTierney Terrebonne

Romancelandia Series, all can be read as standalones or together:

Too Stupid to Live (Romancelandia, #1)
Billionaire with Benefits (Romancelandia #2)