Avery Cockburn on Heroes in the Blog Post for Play Hard (Glasgow Lads 4.5) by Avery Cockburn (excerpt and giveaway)

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Thanks so much to Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words for hosting me today! I’m Avery Cockburn, author of the Glasgow Lads series, a set of contemporary m/m sports romances set in Scotland. The newest release, Play Hard, is a followup “happier-ever-after” novella featuring Robert and Liam, the heroes of Playing With Fire.

In Play Hard, Robert senses that Liam is starting to feel dissatisfied with their year-long relationship—Liam feels Robert works too much, which is partly a reflection of Liam’s dissatisfaction with his own life. To spice things up, Robert proposes a series of challenges for them to give each other, little games or dares to get them out of their ruts.

His first challenge for Liam is not what you’d expect:

—(Excerpt)

Robert unzipped his kit bag and pulled out a rolled-up piece of A1-size blank poster board, along with a pair of scissors and a glue stick. He arranged the items on the glass coffee table as he spoke. “Remember at school when they’d have us make collages by cutting out photos from magazines and all? Like, what we wanted to be when we grew up, or what we did on summer holiday?”

Liam grunted. “I hated them.” Being the opposite of artistic, he’d always ended up clipping out words instead of pictures.

“I know. I remember the time you pasted together the sentence, ‘When I grow up, I want to not make fucking collages.’”

“In all different typefaces, like a wee ransom note.” Liam smirked. “That stunt got me sent to the headmaster.”

“That stunt made me want to be your friend. Mind, it was the next day I went up to you at the swing park and said—”

“‘Let’s be mates!’ I remember.” Liam had never thought to wonder why Robert had invited himself into his life with such bluntness. To his six-year-old self, it had seemed the most natural thing in the world. He pointed a chopstick at the poster board. “So what am I to do with that now?”

“You’ve got twenty-four hours to illustrate—with pictures cut from wherever—one thing you want from me.”

Liam’s answer to this challenge is as surprising as Robert’s proposition itself! Of course, you’ll have to read Play Hard to find out what it is.

If you could ask one person in your life—a partner, friend, coworker, boss, etc—for one thing, what would it be? Just tell us the first thing that comes to mind in the comments below. And don’t forget to enter to win a copy of the Glasgow Lads Books 1-3 box set, which includes three novels and an essential short story!

You can also sign up for my newsletter at averycockburn.com/signup to download a FREE copy of Glasgow Lads prequel novel Play On, in both its original and author-commentary version.

 
 
Cover Design: Damonza
Length: 32,000 words approx.
 
Glasgow Lads Series
 

The Glasgow Lads series centers around an all-LGBTQ football/soccer team in contemporary Scotland. Though the series has an overarching storyline, each novel features a new couple and a happy ending, so they can be read in any order. The series also includes a prequel novella and two (soon to be three) “happier-ever-after” followup stories.


Book 0.5 – Play On – Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book 1 – Playing For Keeps – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book 2 – Playing To Win – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book 2.5 – Play It Safe – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book 3 – Playing With Fire – Amazon US | Amazon UK 
Book 3.5 – Play Dead – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Throwing Stones (A Glasgow Lads On Ice Novella) – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book 4 – Playing In The Dark – Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Blurb
 

“I’ll always want more of you.”


Robert McKenzie lives to work. He’s fresh out of university as a video-game entrepreneur, and his new app could actually save lives. But burning the candle at both ends means missing out on the best parts of his own life—including his boyfriend, Liam.


Liam Carroll works to live. His job as a bartender pays the rent—if not always the heating bill—and that’s plenty for now. But Robert’s workaholism reminds Liam his own life is going nowhere, and his own dreams are scaring the pants off him.


To jolt them out of their ruts, Robert invents a new game: He and Liam are to take turns offering each other sexy new challenges with irresistible rewards.


Of course, Robert gets more than he bargained for, as Liam takes their game in one surprising direction after another. Whether it’s in the bedroom, on the football pitch, or at the pub (or even the supermarket?), the things they learn about each other—and themselves—could change their lives forever.


Play Hard is the feel-good, staying-in-love story the world needs right now!


Note: This happier-ever-after novella features the main characters of Playing With Fire but can be read as a stand-alone story.


 

About The Author


Hiya, I’m Avery Cockburn (rhymes with Savory Slow Churn). Under my real name (Jeri Smith-Ready) I wrote over a dozen novels for major publishers. As an indie author, my days are filled with beautiful men who play beautiful games in the most beautiful place in the world. Thanks to my pure awesome readers, it’s pretty much the best job ever.


I live in the United States with one infinitely patient man and two infinitely impatient cats. Join my quarterly-ish newsletter at www.averycockburn.com/signup to receive a free book plus loads of exclusive bonus material. Cheers!

Giveaway

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A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review :Play Hard (Glasgow Lads #4.5) by Avery Cockburn

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

If you’ve read Playing with Fire, do not pass go, do not collect $200, go straight to your e-book retailer and purchase this story immediately! It’s a fantastic continuation of the love story between Robert and Liam which started in that book. But it’s also so much more. Filled with humor, love, friendship, romance, and sexy times, reading this story is like looking through a one-way mirror into the heart of Glasgow, Scotland, and coming away with a picture of everyday life.

As the blurb states: “Play Hard is the feel-good, staying-in-love story the world needs right now!” So very true! Liam and Robert were friends from the time Liam got into trouble with a teacher in grade school and Rabbie decided Liam was the kind of kid he wanted to hang with. Fifteen years later, they are still besties but, now, also deeply in love.

Liam still hasn’t decided what he wants to do career-wise while Robert is deeply enmeshed in his startup tech company developing an app to improve the health of Glaswegians who die at an earlier age than others in their country. Liam has the potential to be a massage therapist but is concerned it will be boring and not half as demanding and fun as his role as a bartender. We learn the real reason for his hesitance later in the story when he shares his fears with his lover.

Robert is a workaholic. He knew it before he took the online test to confirm it and their relationship is feeling the effects of their different shifts and Robert’s work ethic. To help them overcome the strain, Robert invents a game that takes them to new heights of pleasure in each other’s company. No, not a sex game. It’s more of a push-our-boundaries-in-new-ways game, and it’s not only enjoyable for them, it’s also delightful for readers as we get to know the characters much more in-depth than in the original story. In short, this book endeared these characters to me, and I won’t likely forget them for quite some time. The author’s wonderful sense of humor is woven throughout the story, as is their appreciation for their homeland.

As I said before, if you’ve read any of these books, don’t miss this one. And if you haven’t, read this anyway. It can stand alone and it can spark your interest in reading the series. I not only want to meet these men and watch a game of footy with them, I purely want to revisit this beautiful city in my grandda’s homeland.

The cover by Damonza features two young men, smiling adoringly at each other, obviously in love. Having read their original story in which their body types were described as big and bulky, I would not recognize them as the young men on this cover.

Book Details;

Kindle Edition, 126 pages
Published April 23rd 2019
ASINB 07QZG2HB4
Edition Language English
Series Glasgow Lads #4.5

Book 0.5 – Play On – Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book 1 – Playing For Keeps – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book 2 – Playing To Win – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book 2.5 – Play It Safe – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book 3 – Playing With Fire – Amazon US | Amazon UK 
Book 3.5 – Play Dead – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Throwing Stones (A Glasgow Lads On Ice Novella) – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book 4 – Playing In The Dark – Amazon US | Amazon UK
 

Review Tour and Giveaway for Play Hard (A Glasgow Lads Novella) by Avery Cockburn

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Cover Design: Damonza
Length: 32,000 words approx.
 
Glasgow Lads Series
 

The Glasgow Lads series centers around an all-LGBTQ football/soccer team in contemporary Scotland. Though the series has an overarching storyline, each novel features a new couple and a happy ending, so they can be read in any order. The series also includes a prequel novella and two (soon to be three) “happier-ever-after” followup stories.


Book 0.5 – Play On – Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book 1 – Playing For Keeps – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book 2 – Playing To Win – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book 2.5 – Play It Safe – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book 3 – Playing With Fire – Amazon US | Amazon UK 
Book 3.5 – Play Dead – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Throwing Stones (A Glasgow Lads On Ice Novella) – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book 4 – Playing In The Dark – Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Blurb
 

“I’ll always want more of you.”


Robert McKenzie lives to work. He’s fresh out of university as a video-game entrepreneur, and his new app could actually save lives. But burning the candle at both ends means missing out on the best parts of his own life—including his boyfriend, Liam.


Liam Carroll works to live. His job as a bartender pays the rent—if not always the heating bill—and that’s plenty for now. But Robert’s workaholism reminds Liam his own life is going nowhere, and his own dreams are scaring the pants off him.


To jolt them out of their ruts, Robert invents a new game: He and Liam are to take turns offering each other sexy new challenges with irresistible rewards.


Of course, Robert gets more than he bargained for, as Liam takes their game in one surprising direction after another. Whether it’s in the bedroom, on the football pitch, or at the pub (or even the supermarket?), the things they learn about each other—and themselves—could change their lives forever.


Play Hard is the feel-good, staying-in-love story the world needs right now!


Note: This happier-ever-after novella features the main characters of Playing With Fire but can be read as a stand-alone story.


Excerpt


From Chapter 4:

Robert didn’t join Liam in the shower, partly because it was too small to fit a pair of men their size, but mostly because he wanted to watch.

Built into the corner of the bathroom, the shower’s glass walls were fully transparent, not smoky or marbled or made otherwise translucent for privacy’s sake. So there was nothing to obscure the sight of Liam’s naked body.

Fully dressed and standing in the opposite corner, Robert simply observed. If Liam had been craving his undivided attention, he was about to get it in spades.

They’d showered together many times, but he’d never noticed how Liam wet the bar of soap by lifting it into the water spray much farther than necessary—at nearly throat height—and turning his face aside to avoid the resulting splash. Did he think the soap got wetter faster by putting it closer to the shower nozzle? Perhaps it was a habit borne of the poor water pressure in his childhood flat. Robert remembered it well, as he’d lived with the Carrolls for ten months when he was sixteen, between the time of his father’s death and the start of university.

“You’re staring.” Liam’s voice echoed against the green tile walls. He met Robert’s eyes as he soaped his broad, well-muscled, and thoroughly freckled chest, then swept his fingers up beneath his rib cage to emphasize his abs.

“I know.”

“I like when you stare.”

“I know.” Robert licked his lips as Liam used one sudsy hand to stroke his cock and the other to reach back between his cheeks. Soon he would taste Liam everywhere, tracing his tongue over each angle and curve as if for the first time. He would erase the doubt from this man’s mind and replace it with the certainty of endless adoration.

Just as steam began to obscure the shower walls, turning the spectacle from hardcore porn to softcore, Liam switched off the water and pushed the doors aside on their track. “Towel?”

Robert stepped forward with it, stopping just out of Liam’s reach. “Come here and I’ll dry you.”

“Oh, special.”

Robert started with his head, scrubbing the red hair that had turned nearly black in its wetness, then worked his way down—quickly, because Liam was shivering.

He finished with Liam’s feet, then folded the towel and set it on the floor.

“What are you—ah,” Liam said as Robert knelt upon the damp towel. His next utterance was a gasp, in response to Robert nuzzling his balls. “Okay, this is seriously hot with me naked and you completely dressed.”

Robert drew his nose against the right side of Liam’s sack. “You smell good. I wonder how you’ll taste.”

Liam gripped the sink to his right. “Gonnae find out?”

“Aye,” Robert said with a heavy breath against this most sensitive skin. Liam’s cock jerked, begging for equal time.

Robert licked a line up the center of Liam’s sack, then flicked his tongue back and forth between his balls, as though deciding which to try first. He chose the left one, wrapping his lips carefully around the warm mass that seemed to half-melt in his mouth, suspended in a state between solid and liquid.

He lifted his chin to watch Liam, whose lips and cheeks were flushing pink, just as they’d done when he’d come in from the cold at the Tesco. Liam’s chest began to heave with his quickening breath, ribs expanding and contracting the solid planes of his torso, the planes that always made Robert’s palms warm and tingly.He reached up now with his right hand, his left steadying Liam’s trembling thigh. He slid two of his fingers round one of Liam’s scarlet nipples and squeezed.

“Och.” Liam leaned back, bracing himself against the wall. “God, look how hard you’re making me.” He touched his other nipple, mimicking Robert’s tweaking fingertips. “I could almost come like this.”

Robert shook his head slowly, maneuvering his tongue over the contents of his mouth.

“Aye, I could,” Liam replied. “Unless you do something different.”

Robert pulled away enough to say, “Turn around.”

 

 Read Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words 5 star review here.

About The Author


Hiya, I’m Avery Cockburn (rhymes with Savory Slow Churn). Under my real name (Jeri Smith-Ready) I wrote over a dozen novels for major publishers. As an indie author, my days are filled with beautiful men who play beautiful games in the most beautiful place in the world. Thanks to my pure awesome readers, it’s pretty much the best job ever.


I live in the United States with one infinitely patient man and two infinitely impatient cats. Join my quarterly-ish newsletter at www.averycockburn.com/signup to receive a free book plus loads of exclusive bonus material. Cheers!

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