Release Blitz – – Acts Of Service by Jessie Pinkham (excerpt and giveaway)

Standard

 

 
Length: 22,000 words approx.
 
Publisher: JMS Books
 
Blurb
 

Tom can’t catch a break when it comes to his love life. He’s not good with romance, as his exes told him in uncharitable terms, and he’s starting to wonder if there’s something wrong with him. So when he finds himself attracted to his temporary roommate, he’s afraid of being called inadequate all over again.


Alex has serious anxiety which make his life a challenge and his dating prospects slim to nonexistent. He assumes Tom isn’t interested in him because men never are. It’s a pleasant surprise to start a friends with benefits relationship, so Alex goes out on a limb in an attempt to impress Tom. When it backfires spectacularly, he thinks all hope is lost.


Both men are held back by past rejections. Will a minor crisis bring them together … or tear them apart?


Excerpt


This is undoubtedly the stupidest thing I’ve ever done to impress a guy.


“Go ahead, start it up,” said Tom.


Alex took a deep breath and turned the key. Tom’s truck roared to life. No such luck as a fortuitously-timed engine malfunction. Though he shouldn’t think such things, as Tom was only being nice and wishing expensive repairs on him was hardly fair.


He looked around trepidatiously. The parking lot really was almost deserted, with only a few vehicles parked and those much closer to the doors. He wondered what role those people played in the postal service that required them to work on Sundays, then realized the line of thought was just a mental delay.


“You’re not going to cause any damage,” said Tom. If he was impatient, it didn’t come across in his voice.


“Your brakes are in good order, right?”


“Yes. The truck just passed inspection last month with no problems at all.”


It was a valiant attempt to make Alex feel better, and he appreciated the intent even though it failed.


The brake pedal went down smoothly under his foot. Such a small little piece of metal, and it could be a matter of life or death. Did people who worked at brake factories realize how much trust was being placed in them every single day?


Once he had that all-important device pressed firmly against the floor, he reached for the gear shift. The first notch down put the truck in neutral, the second in drive.


“Now ease up on the brake,” Tom said, remarkably cavalier about putting his safety, not to mention his vehicle, in the hands of a man who couldn’t drive.


Nothing happened when he lightened his touch on the brake as instructed. Maybe it was a sign. Alex had never believed in such things, but he was willing to consider the possibility.


“Wow, you had it stomped all the way down, huh? Okay, let it go. Take your time so you’re comfortable.”


As if that will ever happen.


“How about less terrified? I believe in setting realistic goals.”


“Sure. Whatever works. Just remember, there’s nobody around us, so you can’t do much damage.”


“I could drive into a light pole,” countered Alex, not because he was trying to be ornery, but suddenly concerned about damaging Tom’s truck. Those poles were stuck into cement, a material not known for being kind to vehicles.


“I’m not worried.”


Well, that made one of them. Alex eased up on the brake a bit more, but nothing happened aside from a vague sense of power waiting to be unleashed, though that could have been his imagination.


“Good,” said Tom. “Now give it some gas.”


If I crash into a light pole, he can’t say I didn’t warn him.


Of course he knew the truck was an inanimate object and thus had no feelings. All the same, it seemed as though the massive beast was eager to move, and it lurched forward when he pressed on the gas pedal just the slightest bit. He wasted no time in going back to the nice, safe brake.


“Not bad. Try again, and let it go a little more.”


Alex tried to ignore the churning in his stomach and nervous sweat rolling down the back of his neck, and he depressed the gas pedal again.


This time, the truck moved a good six feet forward before he threw down the brake. The parking lot was beginning to spin around him, something which hadn’t happened in years, and suddenly the truck’s ventilation system seemed entirely insufficient.


“That was good,” said Tom. “A little jerky on the brake, but with practice …”


He was still talking, but Alex didn’t hear a word because he was trying to get his traitorous body to obey him for once. It wasn’t working.


Five years since he’d last had a panic attack, half a decade, and he recognized the oncoming storm as though it had been five days. His heart raced, he struggled to breath, and if he’d eaten recently he’d probably be on the verge of throwing up. Most of all, the whole world raged around him, out of his control while he couldn’t even manage his own physiological response to stress.


Never mind driving, at this point he’d have happily settled for not breaking down in front of Tom, but he knew it was too late for that. Once a panic attack started, there was no cutting it off.


So much for making a good impression.

Some kids have imaginary friends. Not content with that, I dreamed up an imaginary village, and I never stopped, though these days my stories feature a lot more hot men.



I love a rich fictional universe as much as a happy ending, and I have a tendency to get so lost in worlds of my own creation that I have to rush out at the door the last minute in a panic, desperately hoping I don’t hit too many red lights.


Other ways to describe me: avid reader; chocoholic; historian; sci-fi geek; proud New Englander; koala lover; travel enthusiast.


Author Links:


Website: https://www.jessiepinkham.net/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JessiePinkhambooks/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16835564.Jessie_Pinkham

Hosted By Signal Boost Promotions

 

Blog tour for Pursuing Happiness by Jessie Pinkham (Exclusive Post and Excerpt)

Standard

BLOG TOUR

Book Title: Pursuing Happiness

Author: Jessie Pinkham

Publisher: Jessie Pinkham

Cover Artist: Katia V. Michelet

Release Date: July 12, 2018

Genre/s romance, contemporary, gay

Length: 53,000 words   

Add on Goodreads

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Jessie Pinkham here today on tour for the new release Pursuing Happiness.  Welcome, Jessie.

Did you always want to be a writer?

Absolutely, I wanted to be a writer from a very young age. Even before I was writing, I was telling myself stories. As an only child, I invented an entire imaginary village to keep me company, and the storytelling has never stopped. It’s such a beautiful feeling when you look at a manuscript to see this tale you’ve brought into existence and added to the world.

I spent sixteen years writing before I was published. Many of those works were fanfiction, which was a great help in learning the craft. I know it gets a bad rap because, like anything, there are some awful examples of it. On the other hand, there are also truly excellent works of fanfiction to be found. Lots of authors have started in fanfiction, whether or not they admit it.

My first novel, Survivors, came out in May 2017, so I’m now in year two and having the time of my life as a published author.

What are your ambitions for your writing career?

I am delighted to be a part-time author. I feel it gives me less pressure and more creative freedom, where I can write the story I want to tell without worrying about it selling enough to pay the rent. Therefore, I want to continue to create compelling stories, and hopefully find some new readers along the way.

Give the readers a brief summary of your latest book or WIP.

Pursuing Happiness is the story of Matt, who was raised in an extremely conservative religious family. Three years after leaving home on the heels of being outed and disowned, he’s still working to catch up with his peers, not least when it comes to dating. Collin is his first boyfriend, and their relationship is off to a great start, notwithstanding Matt’s insecurities. Then Matt’s younger cousin, who was also kicked out for being gay, becomes Matt’s ward, and all of the old fears Matt thought he was past come rushing back, threatening his happiness and his relationship with Collin.

What genre does it fall in?

This is a contemporary MM romance through and through.

Share a few words about your latest book/WIP, other than the usual blurb.

Mr. Pinkham calls this “the semi-autobiographical book,” and for good reason. This is a really personal story for me, one where I took aspects of my own experiences and magnified them in Matt. I grew up in a conservative Christian household, though not as extreme as Matt’s family. I was also homeschooled for three years, and when I went back to regular school I was completely out of my depth when interacting with my peers because I had barely spent any time with people who weren’t family. It took me years to catch up.

Give us a little insight into your main characters. Who are they?

I’ve read stories where leaving an unhealthy family is the end point. Having personal experience with this, I know it’s not as simple as walking off into the sunset. Matt left his toxic and homophobic family three years before the events of Pursuing Happiness and he’s still dealing with the legacy of his childhood. He’s trying to understand social norms and cues, which makes him very self-conscious, and he is also afraid of being judged for his sexual desires.

Collin comes from a much less remarkable background, so he’s in a place where he’s able to support Matt. He has a tendency to make flippant and sarcastic remarks, which can rub people the wrong way if he’s not careful. For example, here’s one of his lines: “When I was a kid Mom always said I was part dolphin, until I got to be a smartass teenager and asked her what exactly she was hinting at about my paternity.”

Will we be seeing these characters again any time soon? Is this book part of a series?

No, Pursuing Happiness is a standalone book. It was always intended to be, and I’m pleased with where it ends as a self-contained story.

Tell us a little bit about your writing style.

I’m most interested in how characters get from one situation in life to another, so my stories are very process-driven, as opposed to drama-driven with wild conflicts. I want to look at how two very different individuals can come to a place where they are sharing their lives and overcoming challenges together. This isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, I’m aware, but I love the realism of it.

When/where is your favorite time/place to write?

As for place, I’m not fussy. I can write anywhere I have my laptop and it’s reasonably quiet. Time is another matter. I’m a natural night owl, so it follows that I do most of my best writing in the evening. This can be extremely inconvenient the next morning when I’ve gotten an insufficient night’s sleep. I see other authors who extoll the benefits of writing first thing in the morning, but that’s not me. Nothing I write first thing in the morning is liable to be worth reading. 😉

What genre/s do you enjoy reading in your free time?

I read a fair bit of M/M romance, naturally! I have a fondness for sci-fi romance as well as contemporary, and occasionally I read other pairings (M/F, genderqueer, etc.) Outside of romance, I favor sci-fi, with occasional forays into fantasy, mystery, and historical fiction.

Have you held any interesting jobs while you worked on your books?

Well, I don’t know that the job itself is especially fascinating, but I work at a front desk, and they don’t care if I write when there’s nothing requiring my attention. On slow days I can get some words down, but never, ever sex scenes. It’s not even that I’ve been told not to, it’s just impossible to get in the right headspace for writing steamy encounters when I’m in a building full of kids.

.

 

Blurb

A repressive childhood casts long shadows.

Growing up in a reactionary religious household left Matt Aldridge socially inept and woefully underprepared for life in the wider world. He’s still trying to figure himself out when he meets his hunky new neighbor, Collin Moravec. Matt likes him at first sight, and miraculously, Collin feels the same.

When his cousin Levi shows up needing a home, Matt doesn’t hesitate to take him in, even as it throws his own world into disarray. He’s determined to save his younger cousin some of the struggles he faced. But taking on this responsibility brings up old anxieties, and in his terror of failing Levi, Matt pushes Collin away. He has to move beyond his fearful upbringing once and for all, or he’s going to end up miserable – and alone.

Buy Links

Amazon US 

Amazon UK

Excerpt

“Now, about that sexual to-do list. I’m dying to know what’s on it.”

An adorable blush blossomed on Matt’s cheeks. “I think there’s a lot of potential for fun with a can of whipped cream.”

“I’m completely on board with that.”

Finally Matt relaxed. “You’re a very good boyfriend,” he remarked.

Collin figured that meant he’d said the right thing. Good. He took Matt’s hand and laced their fingers together. “So are you, and if I hadn’t already known that my coworkers made sure to tell me yesterday.”

“How did the grant application turn out?”

“Well, it doesn’t scream ‘thrown together at the last minute,’ so it could be a lot worse.”

“I know nothing about grants,” said Matt, “but I have plenty of personal experience in the red parts of the state, where you said you want to do outreach. Maybe this is weird pillow talk, but…”

Collin interrupted. “Our pillow talk can be whatever we want.”

“Okay. Have you considered how much tougher it will be to go out and talk about LGBT acceptance with people in very conservative areas? I mean really thought about the ruling mindset there?”

They certainly weren’t going in blind. Regardless he wanted to hear Matt’s opinion, if for no other reason than to understand his boyfriend a little better. “We expect to be called a lot more nasty slurs.”

“That’s obvious. It’s not just the insults, though. The thing is that a lot of these people – not all, but a definite majority – are not even going to consider what you have to say. The religiously inclined, which again will be a good percentage, will consider it a given that you’ve been deceived by Satan. So there’s no reason for them to even consider what you have to say, see? Anything they don’t like can easily be written off as inspired by Satan. It’s a very neat system if you don’t like thinking too hard. And it makes us very easy scapegoats for anyone, religious or not, who doesn’t like how the world is changing.”

“There are going to be some people who remain homophobic no matter what we say or do,” acknowledged Collin.

“Some might become more tolerant with personal contact, when the LGBT community isn’t something abstract and instead they know someone who isn’t heterosexual. Then there are the people like my family.”

“Bastards. But we know that. What we want to do, at the very least, is give some hope to LGBT people who feel isolated.”

“They certainly need it. Here’s the thing, though. It’s easy to be anonymous in the city. People can go to Ted’s Place without anyone they know having a clue about their visit to an LGBT center. In rural areas it’s not the same. If somebody stops to talk with you or takes pamphlets or whatever you’re doing for outreach, they’ll be recognized and before long half the town will know. The smaller the community, the worse it gets in that regard.” Matt sighed. “I’m not trying to discourage you, I’m just being realistic. I would never have dared talk with anyone doing LGBT outreach. Far too dangerous.”

“That’s depressing. It’s good to know, though. Obviously this has to factor into our plans.” He lacked ideas on how to work around this very serious roadblock. Well, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Collin would share this perspective with his colleagues and go from there. “Any suggestions for us to get around that?”

“I’m afraid I don’t have any brilliant solutions. The internet is good. My family was unusually restrictive in that area, but it probably helps a lot of other kids. Just keep in mind that in some of these conservative areas, you’ll be entering enemy territory.”

“War metaphors?”

“Not a metaphor. They will literally see you as the enemy. Inspired by Satan, remember? It’s spiritual warfare and you’re the advanced guard. That’s how a lot of people will see you.”

“Damn,” said Collin. He imagined an army wearing sparkly rainbow uniforms, armed with lube and condoms, maybe doing something stereotypical like singing show tunes. “Here I thought I just wanted people to live in a way that makes them happy, and now I find out I’m in Satan’s gay army.”

Matt frowned. “I’m serious, Collin.”

Oops. His last comment had clearly been too flippant. “Sorry. I was going for lightening the mood with humor but clearly missed the mark. This is important to know. And honestly, it speaks to how strong you are that you were able to escape that.”

“I’m not sure being kicked out counts as escaping.”

“You could’ve gone to conversion therapy, pretended to be cured, and lived the rest of your life miserable and accepted by your family. You chose the harder option.”

“True,” said Matt. “Totally worth it.”

Collin traced random patterns on his boyfriend’s chest. “I’m glad to hear it. If you didn’t think it was worth it after that blowjob, I’d have done something terribly wrong.”

This time Matt let him lighten the mood. He winked and said, “No worries there.”

“That’s a relief.”

“You know that saying about praise going to your head? They’re talking about the head on top of your neck.”

“How do you know?” countered Collin.

Matt opened his mouth to protest, then paused. A second later he admitted, “That’s actually a good question.”

Score one for being a smartass.

About the Author 

Jessie writes M/M romance and loves a rich fictional universe as much as a good happy ending. Her published works include the novel Survivors and the Tea and Empathy series, and her work has been included in anthologies by Evernight Publishing and JMS Books.

She’s usually writing more than one new book at a time, and frequently rushing out at the last minute because she got lost in her own fictional world.

Social Media Links

Blog/Website

Facebook

Goodreads

BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

Book Blast – Survivors by Jessie Pinkham (excerpt)

Standard

BOOK BLAST

Book Title: Survivors

Author: Jessie Pinkham

Publisher: Evernight Publishing

Cover Artist: Jay Aheer

Release Date: May 8, 2017

Genre/s: Romance, M/M Romance, Erotic Romance, Post-Apocalyptic

Length: 62,000 words/190 pages

This is a standalone book.

Goodreads 

Blurb

As a farmer Lee Johnson is well-situated to survive in the aftermath of a plague that killed most of humanity. As a gay man in a small community he’s resigned himself to the probability of lifelong bachelorhood, at least until his sister returns home with handsome Army veteran Nate Schlessinger.

Sparks fly between the two men but nothing is easy following the collapse of civilization. Nate claims to be celibate despite his clear interest, Lee tries to keep his neighbors from starving, and the threat of attack looms constantly. Can love triumph in the ruins of the world as we knew it?

Buy Links

Evernight

Amazon (Universal)

Bookstrand

Smashwords

Excerpt

Nate looks skeptically at the carrots he pulled up. “Are these carrots supposed to be yellow?”

“Yes. You’ve never seen yellow carrots? They’re the best.”

“How many colors do carrots come in?”

“We grow yellow, orange, and purple, but there are red and white too. White carrots don’t have much flavor so I don’t see the point.”

It’s a nice morning for harvesting. Nate and I are working on carrots while Lily is one field over gathering onions. Every couple of minutes the wind carries over a few words of whatever song she’s singing to herself. The dogs are amusing themselves playing tug of war with a piece of rope I knotted for that purpose.

My shoulders are a bit stiff from helping Stan move yesterday, therefore I’m not harvesting carrots quite as quickly as I could. The fact that Nate is new to pulling carrots is a convenient excuse to slow down. It’s not a difficult concept to yank carrots out of the soil and Nate’s doing a fine job, though he’s the first person I’ve ever seen harvest carrots with a handgun holstered on.

“Yellow and purple carrots. Orange tomatoes. What next,” he asks, “red pumpkins?”

The orange tomatoes were an heirloom variety Mom decided to try this year which are worth growing again. I’ve saved a good amount of seeds, plenty for us and the neighbors. Genetic diversity in crops will serve us well.

“The pumpkins are all orange.”

“Good. I like some consistency in my life.”

“Getting up every morning to take care of the animals isn’t consistent enough for you?” Livestock guarantees a certain level of routine in our lives.

“I like plenty of consistency.”

“Farming is good for that.” I make sure I’m quiet for my next question, something that’s been nagging me. “Do you think we have a good chance of defending ourselves?”

“It depends on a lot of factors. We have the advantage over a small, maybe mid-sized gang unless they have really impressive weapons, but we can’t hold off an army. Fortunately, I think small gangs are more likely at this point.”

“Have I mentioned that my dad kept his great-great grandfather’s Civil War sword? It’s in the chest in the living room.”

“Let’s hold that as a last resort, okay?”

“Works for me. Damned if I know how to use the thing.”

“Now, a Civil War cannon might have more potential.”

“I think we’re stuck with the bows.”

“On the plus side those don’t run the risk of blowing up in our faces.”

“That’s a very big plus,” I say. Nate has his first homemade bow complete now, though it doesn’t shoot very far.  

“Our biggest advantage, I think, is that I can probably shoot people as they approach. The military helmets will help a lot there.” He ignores the carrots in favor of looking at me, all weighty responsibility. “I’m going to do everything I can to protect us, to protect you and Lily.”

I demonstrate my appreciation with a kiss. “Thank you. Just remember you’re not doing it single-handedly, okay?”

“You’re a decent shot. That will help.”

He’s being generous. I’m a decent shot at close range with a slow-moving target, and my abilities degrade from there. Like I said, I went bird hunting with my dad sometimes, but it was never my favorite and that shows in my skill level.

“Lily can shoot too,” he says. “Even if she’s not a great shot it will create more chaos and give them more bullets to dodge.” Guns aren’t her favorite, but there’s no doubt she’ll do whatever is necessary. “I think we’ll be alright, barring some property damage.”

“I hope we’re alright. And that any property damage is minor.”

“I’m not going down without a fight,” he says, which I already knew. Nate’s just like that. “I’m happier than I thought I could be after Severny destroyed everything. Not that it isn’t hard, and I don’t miss people all the time, but somewhere along the way I realized I need to let myself be happy, you know?”

“Yes.” I really, really do. It’s easy to fall into survivor’s guilt until you realize that nobody who died would want us to spend the rest of our lives miserable. That doesn’t mean I don’t have my bouts of survivor’s guilt all the same. It does make it easier to move forward and feel okay about it when I smile and laugh.

“You’re a big part of my happiness. You do know that, right?”

“I know.” I kiss him again. “And I feel the same way. You’re awesome like that.”

“Keep throwing around adjectives like awesome and I’m gonna get a big head.”

“Which head are we talking about?” I ask with an unsubtle glance at his crotch.

“I was talking about the one on my neck.”

“Past tense. I can work with that. Let’s hurry up and get these carrots harvested so we can go inside, where I can admire your other head.”

“If I didn’t know better I’d say you only want me for my body.”

“Since you do know better there’s nothing wrong with heartfelt appreciation.”

Nate raises his eyebrows. “Sure, pretend your heart is in charge at the moment.”

“You say that as though it’s a bad thing, but you’re picking carrots faster.”

About the Author

Some kids have imaginary friends. Jessie grew up in rural Maine where she needed to entertain herself, so she created an imaginary village and she has been dreaming up stories ever since. These days she writes romances which reflect her love of hot guys and a good happy ending.

Married to her own Mr. Right, Jessie gratefully acknowledges his support and encouragement. She enjoys exploring the diversity of the universe and therefore cannot commit to a single subgenre of male/male romance. She’s also a chocoholic, avid reader, and travel enthusiast. Too often she rushes out at the last minute because she lost track of time while writing.

Social Media Links

Blog/Website

Facebook  

BOOK BLAST SCHEDULE

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

An Alisa Review: Christmas Kisses at the North Pole by Jessie Pinkham

Standard

Rating:  2.75 stars out of 5

Adley is an unusual elf. He prefers skiing to parties, doesn’t like to sing, and cares so little for elf conventions that his brother despairs of him ever getting married. Which is fine, because Adley has no intention of marrying just anyone.

When he meets Keru at the annual Christmas Eve party, the two are drawn to each other. The party may be the most important event of the elvish social calendar, but neither Adley nor Keru minds leaving early to take a walk. They enjoy an idyllic and romantic first date under an aurora, rescuing a reindeer calf along the way, and a relationship seems promising.

But their second date takes a dire turn when a skiing trip brings them face to face with a polar bear. They’d like to keep seeing each other … if they can make it through their second date without being eaten!

Adley and Keru are two peas in a pod from what I can see with similar interests and disinterests.  Unfortunately this story just didn’t really have any high or low points it was just sort of blah.  Much of it was talking about the elf culture and very matter of fact with no feeling.  For two who got along so well and even had two date one right after another they moved slowly and there wasn’t anything that connected me to the characters.

The cover art by Written Ink Designs is a sweet picture of Adley and Keru.

Sales Links: JMS Books | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 46 pages

Published: December 23, 2017 by JMS Books

ISBN: 9781634865296

Edition Language: English