Looking for that Heartwarmer that Spans the Globe? Check out the Release Blitz for 717 miles by Sophia Soames (excerpt and giveaway)

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RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: 717 miles

Author: Sophia Soames

Publisher: Self published

Cover Artist: Miriam Latu

Release Date:  April 30, 2019

Length: 104 969 words/ 371 pages

Genre/s: Contemporary M/M Romance

Heat Rating: 4 flames  

Trope/s: New adult

Themes:  Coming of age, Au pair (Manny), Travel, Family, Airline Industry,

London, UK, Oslo, Norway, School. Enemies to lovers. Bisexuality. Gay. Out and Proud.

TRIGGER WARNINGS:

 Deals with serious bullying.

For US readers, this story is set in the UK where the age of consent is 16.

The MC’s are 17 and 19. Mature content.

It is a standalone story.

Add on Goodreads

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Universal link

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Blurb

The calculated flying distance from Oslo to London is equal to 717 miles which is equal to 1153 km. If you want to go by car, the driving distance between Oslo and London is 1732.79 km. If you ride your car with an average speed of 112 kilometres/hour (70 miles/h), travel time will be 15 hours 28 minutes.

Adam Vik Solheim should not be in London. He’s not supposed to be anywhere near the British capital, because Adam Vik Solheim, age 19, is supposed to be on a beach in Bali. He is supposed to be on the first stop on an Asian backpacking trip of a lifetime. That was the plan. That is where he is supposed to be. Not here. Alone in a weird house in a strange city, being paid to look after some troubled 17-year-old.

Felix Haugland has to survive the final 3 weeks of school. Make it through 21 more days of hell. Then he is going to hide out in his room for the rest of the summer until he can figure out how to get his life back on track. Find a school far far away, where he can start over and not make mistakes.

He doesn’t need a flipping babysitter. He just doesn’t. His life is messed up enough as it is.

Excerpt

I don’t notice him at first, wrapped up in a blanket sitting on the sofa. The house is dark and quiet and if it wasn’t for the light from his phone, I wouldn’t have noticed him at all. He just looks up and meets my eye for a second. Looking a little bit sad.

“Where is your mum? I thought you were going to hang out today?”

“Gone to her boyfriend’s. Not sure when she will be back. Didn’t check. She left you money on the side there.”

“Oh.”

I don’t know what to say. Apart from that I’m sorry she is a bit of a shit mum. I mean she left him here alone, whilst she’s gone off to see her bloke. Then, I kind of think that we are all adults. Well, Felix might be. I am not. I still don’t know what to say.

“Philip went on the group chat. I got bored.” Felix gets up from the sofa. Walking over to the kettle and flicking the switch. At least it fills the silence, the kettle humming quietly as the water heats up.

“I saw that, it was funny. Really good.” I pretend to check my phone.

Felix gets a cup down. Pulls out a teabag. Tilts his head towards the coffeemaker.

I get a coffee pod out and load it whilst Felix gets another cup. Nudging my hand as he places it in the brewer, which makes me jolt back. I don’t know why. I just don’t know how to act around him when we are alone. Like this.

He is leaning back against the counter. Chewing on his bottom lip with his arms crossed over his chest. Wearing joggers that are slung low over his hips, and a hoodie that just doesn’t quite cover the blond fuzz on his stomach.

I am standing there biting my nails and fiddling with the envelope on the counter. I try to catch his eye. Staring at his lips and thinking dirty thoughts. Then, looking away the minute he looks up.

It’s different flirting with girls. If Felix was a girl, I would be all charming and touchy-feely and wink and compliment her and we would both know where things would end up in the end.

With Felix, I haven’t got a clue. I don’t know where he falls, whether he is straight or gay or whatever he defines as. He might just think of me as some big brother figure. Someone who makes him feel safe. Someone who he kisses and clings to and cuddles. He seems as confused as me. His hand shaking a little as he pours the boiling water in the cup. Stirs with a teaspoon. Spills a little on the side.

I try to be helpful. I mean, I try to wipe it up with a tea towel, only to nudge his arm with my elbow which makes us both jump. I spill half of his tea. The cup spinning on the worktop. Felix’s hand touching mine, as we both try to catch the cup before it falls. Me catching it and Felix jolting back like he has been burnt. He is sucking his finger into his mouth. Catching my eye and not looking away. He just looks at me, all eyes and hurt and feelings and… I don’t know. I suppose it’s heat. Desire.

It makes me a bit crazy. I mean, I am already crazy, but I think I must be crazier than should be allowed, because I grab his face with both hands and launch at those lips. Just smashing my mouth on his. Walking him backwards until he is being squashed against the kitchen table that is creaking and scratching along the floor under the weight of us.

I am panting. Hard. Being the worst kisser in the world. There is nothing sensual or soft about me and my kissing. Not like I would kiss a girl. I am kissing Felix because I need to. Because I am desperate and because his hands are fisting the hair on my head, pulling and scratching my scalp whilst he catches his breath. Letting his forehead rest against mine, breathing hard and fast against my lips.

Then, he starts to kiss me. Properly kiss me. The way I should have been kissing him. Lips and tongues and more than a little bit of teeth, hard and hot and making me feel lightheaded. I am not breathing properly. Not getting enough oxygen to my brain. Grinding against him. Rutting and jerking whilst he is whimpering and panting and making all these little sounds that just egg me on.

I don’t know what I am doing. I don’t know what got into me. I let go. I let him go. Pull my hands back and step away from him. Wiping my mouth with the back of my hand. Stumbling backwards and blinking into the light like I have just woken up.

“I shouldn’t have done that.” I mumble. Well I shouldn’t. I wasn’t supposed to do that.

 

About the Author

Sophia Soames should be old enough to know better but has barely grown up. She has been known to fangirl over tv-shows, has fallen in and out of love with more pop stars than she dares to remember, and has a ridiculously high-flying (un)glamourous real-life job.

Her long suffering husband just laughs at her antics. Their children are feral. The Au Pair just sighs.

She lives in a creaky old house in rural London, although her heart is still in Scandinavia.

Discovering that the stories in her head make sense when written down has been part of the most hilarious midlife crisis ever and she hopes it may long continue.

Miriam Latu is a Norway based artist, specializing in hand drawn pencil portraits. She works with old-school pen and paper, and more of her work can be found on Instagram

Author Links

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Giveaway

Little Harbour, my first novel, will be FREE on all Amazon platforms from April 30 until  May 4.

Go grab it if you haven’t already read it!

Amazon US 

Amazon UK

RELEASE BLITZ SCHEDULE

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

A MelanieM Review: To Be Honest (#lovehim #2) by S.M. James

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Angus Reid is pretty sure he’s being catfished.

After spending the last half of junior year talking online to the guy of his dreams, Angus wants to meet. In person. So when Scotty brushes it off with excuses of not being ready, red flags go up.

Determined to either catch Scotty out, or take a shot at real love, Angus embarks on a summer road trip with his adorkable roommate, Tyler. But as summer stretches on, and mixed messages fly between them, Angus finds his heart torn.

His potential catfisher?

Or his straight best friend?

And while their road trip takes them across the country, Angus is headed for one destination.

Either a happily ever after … or a broken heart.

Continuing that outstanding YA series #lovehim is To Be Honest (#lovehim #2) by S.M. James.  To be all fangyrl here, I heart them so much.

Angus Reid was mentioned in the first story, That Feeling When, as the only out person that  Archie Corrigan knew at the boarding school they both went too.  Angus is well liked,popular with every crowd and clique, masculine yet “gay” within Archie’s definitions at that time.  And it just added to Archie’s confusion.  Angus seemed to be everything Archie was not.  And  yes, Archie makes a couple of appearances here.

True to form and the writing of this amazing author, we find out that what you see is not what is laying deep underneath the surface.  Especially with teenagers.

I have never been much for YA stories until the last couple of years or so then a splendid number of just beautifully written coming of age, coming out stories brought me firmly back to this genre.  It takes such skill to bring out the hormonal, on the edge of….something…, the need to be more, to know more, part bravery, part fear and ignorance…it’s such a trying time to be a young human.  Being LGBT even more so. What a road of self discovery lies ahead.  S.M. James has proven themselves a master at giving their readers  deeply layered characters at that crucial stage of development and then pushing them off onto the path or in this case road of self discovery and love.

Angus and friend/roommate, Tyler, are poised on the brink of changes in their lives as their junior year is ending and summer approaches.  Angus will be moving into his own room at school as a senior, leaving Tyler behind, a profound change in their relationship neither has addressed.  Angus’ other bbf has broken up with her boyfriend again, seemingly for the last time, although Angus has his doubts.  And the person he has been chatting with online and wants to meet, won’t commit to meeting him.  Everything is topsy turvey….emotionally and mentally.

The story rolls out through the points of view of Angus,  as well as the texts between himself and Scotty, his online infatuation/love.

James makes Angus and Tyler so real, along with everything each of them is going through personally.  I felt as though I knew them both.  And that road trip that they take (the Maryland Hospitality House I can vouch for) turns out to be not only  a moving journey of self discovery but a great sightseeing tour of several states and locations.  Trust me I will never think of envelopes of dirt without wanting to add a sniffle or two.  The journey ends up profoundly changing both Angus, Tyler, and the readers.

The question of course as to who Scotty is will be quickly answered by most of you.  No, it was how everything was going to play out, what was going to be the overall picture here. What happens, not only to Angus and Tyler but to several others in the picture as well.

S.M. James pulls you into life at this school and the young people living there.  It’s the Community  Boards that pop up and the people that use them.  It’s the entire universe this author is creating and then populating that has me addicted.

I still have a couple of books to go.  But those that i have read?  I highly recommend them all.  They are moving, gorgeously written, and tremendous characters and great plots. Pick them all up today.

Cover art is amazing.  Bright and perfect down to the sneakers propped up on the dashboard as the car goes down the road.

Sales Links: Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 386 pages
Published November 15th 2018 by May Books
ASINB07GKF8H22
Edition Language English
Series #lovehim #2

That Feeling When

No Big Deal

A VVivacious review :Diamond Heart (Cherrywood Grove #2) by M.A. Hinkle

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Rating: 4 Stars out of 5

Gareth and Morgan change schools when Gareth gets expelled from their old school because of in-school fighting. Gareth fears that Morgan might not ever be able to make friends and enjoy life due to the crippling anxiety that rules his life, but as Gareth is going to find out Ainsworth Academy is a school like none he has been to before. As Morgan starts opening up and finding new ways to overcome his fears, Gareth finds himself lost because after all who is he if he doesn’t need to be protecting his brother.

This book was such a feel-good story. I truly loved it. While reading “Death of a Bachelor” I was very confused about what was going on with Morgan and Gareth, so finally getting to know the whole story was beyond enlightening.

Gareth is a boy who has defined himself as a jerk just so he can escape further examination from other people and himself but when he starts making friends with Felix, he realises that he can no longer ignore the decisions that make him what he is. Increasingly, he finds himself adrift when he wonders what his life is if it isn’t looking out for Morgan. Gareth has an amazing arc in this book where he gets to grow up and face his fears and own up to who he is.

Morgan is amazing in his own right and it was beautiful to see him blossom under the right atmosphere. Morgan’s anxiety is debilitating but I loved the fact that Morgan never hesitates to confront and overcome his fears.

Felix is amazing, I have loved him ever since “Death of a Bachelor” because he is the most adorable character ever. I can’t think of a single person more adorable then Felix. God, I want to give him all the happiness in the world. I liked how Gareth and Felix help each other confront their fears and be better. In a way, it is amazing how they both help each other get closure regarding the deaths of their respective mothers.

This book was amazing it follows the coming of age of three unique characters who I really loved even though Gareth was a little slow on the uptake initially but once things start going it is amazing to see these three grow up and try to figure out who they are.

The “LGBT Whatevers” is like my favourite band because God, I loved all the band members, Sarah, Alex and Zach.

This story was amazing and getting to follow Gareth on this journey of self-discovery really made me smile.

The title of this book is so appropriate. In hindsight, it really fits Gareth who is too busy crushing his feelings till his heart has become a diamond from the pressure of it all.

Cover Art by Natasha Snow aka my favourite cover artist ever. I loved the cover for this one, the colours on it are beyond beautiful.

Sales Links:  NineStar Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook
Published February 4th 2019 by NineStar Press
ISBN 139780463182789
Edition Language English
Series Cherrywood Grove #2

In the Spotlight Tour and Giveaway: Rabi and Matthew by L.A. Witt

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Rabi and Matthew by L.A. Witt
Riptide Publishing
Cover By: Christine Coffee

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | Amazon

 

 

 

 

About Rabi and Matthew

A queer retelling of Romeo & Juliet, except no one has to bury their gays.

A decades-old family rivalry is reaching a boiling point as the patriarchs vie for a seat in Congress. Democrat vs Republican, Muslim vs Christian, Hashmi vs Swain — the Midwestern town of Arbor Hills is one spark away from an explosion of violence. So when two men find themselves irresistibly drawn together at a party, only to discover they were born on opposite sides of a bloody battle line, Matthew Swain and Rabi Hashmi know they should leave well enough alone.

The pull between them is magnetic, though, and it’s too strong to ignore. Unable to resist, they meet again in secret. Generations of hatred can’t temper the passionate love growing between them, but two men falling for each other in the middle of a war zone can’t hold back the inevitable clash.

And when decades of political, religious, and personal strife finally come to a head, there will be blood.

Now available from Riptide Publishing.

 

About L.A. Witt

L.A. Witt is an abnormal M/M romance writer who has finally been released from the purgatorial corn maze of Omaha, Nebraska, and now spends her time on the southwestern coast of Spain. In between wondering how she didn’t lose her mind in Omaha, she explores the country with her husband, several clairvoyant hamsters, and an ever-growing herd of rabid plot bunnies. She also has substantially more time on her hands these days, as she has recruited a small army of mercenaries to search South America for her nemesis, romance author Lauren Gallagher, but don’t tell Lauren. And definitely don’t tell Lori A. Witt or Ann Gallagher. Neither of those twits can keep their mouths shut . . .

Connect with L.A.:

Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Rabi and Matthew, one lucky person will win a $10 Riptide gift card. Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on November 10, 2018. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following along, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

A Lucy Review: The Academy by Quinn Anderson

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Sebastian, Theo and Dante are friends at a small private college. Sebastian is a notorious player, screw them and leave them.  When Nick starts at the college, grieving for his father and coming from a large city college, they resurrect an immature ploy from their younger days.  The first one to get Nick to kiss them wins Barbzilla, the trophy.  The caveat is, Nick has to be the one to initiate the kiss.  So they go after Nick, particularly Sebastian.  He is unrelenting in the face of Nick’s obvious distrust.

That is, I believe, what kept this from being a higher rating for me. To be honest, I liked Theo and Dante (secondary characters, friends of Sebastian’s) a little more than I liked Nick and Sebastian.  Theo and Dante were friends working on their relationship.  Nick and Sebastian spent most of the book snarking and being rude.  While I usually have no problem with the idea of “the bet”, having read this trope before, I didn’t like the way it was handled here.  You know at some point the bet will be revealed and it will cause problems but Sebastian’s actions were just so over the top nasty I couldn’t handle it.  The fact that Theo’s action, and true friendship towards Nick, made me believe Theo was the better choice wasn’t a good direction for a romance.  That being said, I thoroughly enjoyed Theo and Dante! They have their heads on straight and try to guide Sebastian.  “For Sebby.” 

Speaking of the secondary characters, I also loved Deen, Nick’s roommate.  “Deen didn’t ask him what’d happened again.  He didn’t say anything else.  He just hugged Nick and didn’t let go until Nick had finished crying.  Then he hugged him some more.”  Plus, he’s funny even though “Deen beamed, like he wasn’t used to people laughing at his jokes.”  Considering his name is Deenabandhu I did snort when he asked, “It is Nickolas, right?  And not like, Nickstopher or something?”  He’s sweet  Really, that’s the friend I want.  Sweet and funny.

The writing was very good in this book, although parts of it dragged.  Perhaps because it was long at 366 pages there were portions that just seemed to go on and on.  I got a little tired of the back and forth between Nick and Sebastian, because I didn’t feel the connection there.  The fact that it’s really just a matter of weeks could have something to do with it as well. 

Overall, the book was okay but not something I’d read again.

The cover art by Garrett Leigh was a little bit misleading for me because it shows two smiling, incredibly happy looking men holding each other.  The book itself didn’t have that fluffy feel to it.

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook
Published September 17th 2018 by Riptide Publishing (first published September 15th 2018)
ISBN139781626498440
Edition LanguageEnglish

Blog Tour for Calling Calling Calling Me by Natasha Washington (excerpt and giveaway)

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Calling Calling Calling Me by Natasha Washington

Publisher: Natasha Washington

Release Date: September 4, 2018

Subgenre: Contemporary Queer Romance/New Adult

Tropes/Themes: college romance, first time, fish out of water

Direct Link: https://www.natashawashington.com/books/

Book Synopsis: Patrick Mahoney has one goal in mind: get out of his native Fresno and find freedom in the rainbow and glitter-painted streets of San Francisco. As a college freshman, he’s sure he’ll finally have the chance to be himself, away from the judgmental eyes of his conservative hometown.

Josh Dirda’s never wanted to be tied down before, preferring the emotional ease of the one night stand. But when Patrick moves into the apartment that Josh shares with three friends, Josh is caught up in Patrick’s sly wit and quietly creative spirit. As Patrick’s self-appointed tour guide, Josh can be Patrick’s introduction to the city he loves. But after a drunken Halloween hook-up crosses lines, Patrick and Josh must reckon with their true feelings—and decide whether they can let go of the ghosts that haunt them.

Teaser Excerpt :

“How’s it hangin’, baby?” Patrick heard, and Freddy fell into his space, steadying himself on Patrick’s shoulder. Maybe not the best idea, given that Patrick wasn’t very steady himself.

“I never know how to answer that question,” Patrick said, and it was true. Weirdest idiom. Colloquialism. Whatever. Stranger than a lot of things his grandmother said.

“You are not drunk enough,” Freddy stated, and produced another shot out of thin air, it seemed, and—no. Patrick was saying no.

“No,” Patrick said, “no, I’m good, you have it.”

“I’ve had quite enough,” Freddy said, sagging against him. “Quite—I’ve had a lot.”

This was an astoundingly obvious statement, and Patrick was about to say so when he got distracted by Josh.

Josh, who was making out with a girl in the middle of the dance floor.

Patrick thought it was the same girl he’d been dancing with, but maybe not. The club was dark and the music was loud and Patrick was spinning. Josh cupped the girl’s cheek with one hand and pressed in, closer and harder, and Patrick didn’t want to be here anymore. He wanted to be anywhere but here, anywhere but where he’d grown up, anywhere but where he’d grown up and where Josh had grown up. Anywhere he wouldn’t find his own want staring him in the face.

 

About the Author

About Natasha Washington: Natasha Washington lives in Philadelphia, where she writes queer love stories in both YA (as Sonia Belasco) and romance. She has spent much of her professional life working with young people as a mentor, tutor, or therapist. When not writing, she is likely cooking, taking long, meandering walks, or listening to dance music or 90s hip-hop.

Connect with Natasha: Website | Twitter | Instagram

 

 

Giveaway: Enter to win one of two e-copies of New Adult Romance release, Calling Calling Calling Me.

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A MelanieM Release Day Review: The Quarterback’s Crush by John R. Petrie

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Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5

Dylan Porter needs a Hail Mary….

Because it’ll take a miracle for him to pass English and trig so he can stay on the football team, get a scholarship, and go away to college—where the distance from his friends and family will give him the confidence to finally tell them he’s gay. But flunking his classes will put a stop to all of his dreams.

Luckily there’s Tommy Peterson to help him. In Dylan’s eyes, Tommy’s perfect. Short, smart, and sexy, he checks every one of Dylan’s boxes, so it’s no surprise when Dylan falls head over heels. Too bad Tommy doesn’t seem to feel the same, and a pining Dylan accidentally outs himself to the team. Now Dylan has to deal with the fallout of his coming out to the team, his dad, and his coach while trying to score the ultimate touchdown—the love of Tommy Peterson.

It took me almost no time to fall totally under the spell of this endearing story and its amazing characters.  And it’s all due to the unique voice and personality of the main character, Dylan Porter.  You see, it’s his perspective that we see the story from and he’s an astonishing person!

As crafted by John R. Petrie in The Quarterback’s Crush, Dylan Porter is that amazingly elusive animal….a layered human being with the ability to surprise you over and over, not just the length of the story, but even several pages.  He’s not “peggable”.  What comes out of his mouth frustrates him,  makes him angry, or cry, but for the reader?  It makes you want to hug him, cheer him on,  support him, and in every respect do what’s necessary, because, damnit, this author has made us quickly believe in him.

The Quarterback’s Crush is a coming out tale from Harmony Ink Press but  its also so much more.  It deals with the stresses of senior life in high school (oh the joy and horror), the college entrance tests, prom, bullying, cliques, and more.  Normally those are topics we expect to get from a “nerds” pov,  and we do here.  But it’s also from a popular high school football player’s and his team.  They will surprise and delight you as well.  They certainly did me.

Tommy Peterson is the other side of the romantic equation (a sentence I think he would respond to).  He is as well put together as Dylan and a great match.  Did I wish to know more about Tommy’s story?  Yes, but honestly, this isn’t his story, It’s Dylan’s, and while I loved Tommy and wished for more, I wouldn’t to the detriment of Dylan’s voice.  So maybe a prequel with Tommy?

In fact, all the other characters here, Riley, Dylan’s best friend and the other  football players, Coach, father, have a certain stability and strength to them which only made this story more real and the relationships better defined.

The only thing that keeps this from a 5 star rating is that epilogue.  It was cute but I would rather have had more stories than something so full of teasers and questions.  Sort of a let down for me.  It could have ended without it and been a 5 star story in my opinion.

The Quarterback’s Crush is John R. Petrie‘s first published romance which amazes me.  It’s heartwarmingly wonderful, it’s characters endearing, and it’s storyline captivating.  I recommend it highly to all.

Cover Artist: Adrian Nicholas.  I like the cover, although all the models seem more like college age than high school but the composition and characters are spot on.

Sales Links

Amazon (Kindle/Paper format) |  Dreamspinner Press  |  Harmony Ink Press  |  Barnes & Noble: 

 

 

Book Details:

ebook, 167 pages
Expected publication: September 4th 2018 by Harmony Ink Press
ISBN139781640803909
Edition LanguageEnglish

Release Day Blitz Calling Calling Calling Me by Natasha Washington (excerpt and giveaway)

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Calling Calling Calling Me by Natasha Washington

Publisher: Natasha Washington

Release Date: September 4, 2018

Book Synopsis: Patrick Mahoney has one goal in mind: get out of his native Fresno and find freedom in the rainbow and glitter-painted streets of San Francisco. As a college freshman, he’s sure he’ll finally have the chance to be himself, away from the judgmental eyes of his conservative hometown.

Josh Dirda’s never wanted to be tied down before, preferring the emotional ease of the one night stand. But when Patrick moves into the apartment that Josh shares with three friends, Josh is caught up in Patrick’s sly wit and quietly creative spirit. As Patrick’s self-appointed tour guide, Josh can be Patrick’s introduction to the city he loves. But after a drunken Halloween hook-up crosses lines, Patrick and Josh must reckon with their true feelings—and decide whether they can let go of the ghosts that haunt them.

Subgenre: Contemporary Queer Romance/New Adult

Tropes/Themes: college romance, first time, fish out of water

Direct Link: https://www.natashawashington.com/books/

 

Teaser 1:

The floor of the club was vibrating.

Patrick felt off balance, which made no sense at all since he’d only had one shot of Alexis’s devil tequila. Not that he was an expert on what tequila did to a person, or in particular to him—he was really more of a stay-home-on-the-weekends-and-build-models-or-read-comics guy, and Oh God, what the hell was he doing here.

“Hello, Gorgeous,” Alexis said, suddenly very close and speaking into his ear, her fingers grasping at his arm. “You really are gorgeous, Gorgeous.”

“You’re drunk,” Patrick said, “and I’m gay, or did you miss that part of the earlier conversation?”

“I miss nothing, Fresno,” Alexis said. “But seriously, those blue eyes and those cheekbones! Unfair.”

Patrick wished she would stop calling him Fresno. It was a reminder of all the reasons he didn’t belong here in this nightclub of shiny people glittering in their tight dresses and tighter pants and heels and boots, hair perfectly ruffled or slicked back, laughing into their martini glasses and leaving lipstick prints around the rim, on cocktail napkins, or at the corner of someone else’s mouth.

“Don’t think so much,” Alexis said, and dug her fingernails into his upper arm.

He breathed in through his nose and watched Josh talk to a girl by the bar, already looking sloppy loose from the shots they’d done back at the apartment. His hair was a curly mess and his smile was white bright, a beacon in this dark, fluttering room of strangers.

Patrick had no idea why he thought Josh was anything but a stranger. Josh definitely didn’t know Patrick.

But God, Patrick wanted to know him.

“Shot?” Alexis asked, holding out a tiny glass filled with sharp-smelling liquid.

Maybe this was what Alexis meant by not thinking so much. He took the shot and swallowed it all at once, feeling it burn its acidic trail down his throat.

Three shots later and Patrick was pretty sure he should have said no.

It wasn’t that the world was spinning, which it was. It was that everything felt blurry and out of control and scary-beautiful, and Patrick couldn’t help thinking: I am in San Francisco now, I’m here, I can do—be—have whoever I want.

Right now, he definitely wanted to be the boy or the girl dancing with Josh. He had one of each draped over him, and yeah, Mike wasn’t kidding about Josh being a player. Josh was all opportunity right now, all openness and soft shoulders and free movement. He wasn’t a good dancer, exactly, but he was still gorgeous, and God, Patrick was so screwed. He was going to live with Josh now. How could he—what was he supposed to do? Stare and pray? What should he pray for? That Josh didn’t notice or that he did?

About Natasha Washington

Natasha Washington lives in Philadelphia, where she writes queer love stories in both YA (as Sonia Belasco) and romance. She has spent much of her professional life working with young people as a mentor, tutor, or therapist. When not writing, she is likely cooking, taking long, meandering walks, or listening to dance music or 90s hip-hop.

Connect with Natasha: Website | Twitter | Instagram

Giveaway: Enter to win one of two e-copies of New Adult Romance release, Calling Calling Calling Me.

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John R. Petrie on Writing and his new release The Quarterback’s Crush (author interview)

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The Quarterback’s Crush by John R. Petrie

Harmony Ink Press
Cover Artist: Adrian Nicholas

The Quarterback’s Crush is now available at

Amazon (Kindle/Paper format) |  Dreamspinner Press  |  Harmony Ink Press  |  Barnes & Noble: 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host John R. Petrie on tour for his new release The Quarterback’s Crush.  Welcome, John, into our author’s interview chair!

~ Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with John R. Petrie ~

  • How much of yourself goes into a character?

I tend to write characters who aren’t like me, so much as who I’d like to be.

What I love about the character of Dylan in The Quarterback’s Crush out from Harmony Ink on September 4th, 2018, is that he’s sweet and kind, but he lets his mind and mouth run away with what he knows he shouldn’t really say. He seems like he’s got a lot of fears, but he’s actually kind of fearless in many ways and I admire that.

  • Do you feel there’s a tight line between Mary Sue or should I say Gary Stu and using your own experiences to create a character?

I think there’s a line between writing characters who are wish fulfillment and writing characters who are perfect and accomplished. The line to me is more about writing a character as opposed to writing a plot device.

  • Does research play a role into choosing which genre you write?  Do you enjoy research or prefer making up your worlds and cultures?

I love doing research and thank goodness for Google and podcasts where I can learn about things, listen to interviews (especially important to hear how people talk, their syntax, and their vocabulary), and find out much more about smaller things that the characters are interested in that I know nothing about. I really needed to hear jocks talk so I can understand their cadence.

That being said, what I write about tends to be in the ‘real world’ so I haven’t had much of a chance to build my own world the way that science fiction and fantasy writers do. I admire them so much for creating an entire world or worlds to enjoy.

  • Do you like HFN or HEA? And why?

For me personally? I’m single, so I’d love a HEA, but I’ll settle for a HFN. Call me. I like tall guys, but I’m not fussy.

  • Who do you think is your major influence as a writer?  Now and growing up?

Some of my favorite prose authors are Jane Austen, Michael Cunningham, Andre Aciman, and TJ Klune. They’re all so amazing.

I’m also really, really influenced by plays and screenwriters and how the dialogue on screen and stage is so pithy and effective. From that angle, I’m hugely influenced by Amy Sherman-Palladino (Gilmore Girls) and Rob Thomas (Veronica Mars).

From my geek side some of my favorite comic book writers are Greg Rucka, Gail Simone, Jen Van Meter, and Kurt Busiek.

  • How do you feel about the ebook format and where do you see it going?

I have to quantify this answer first. Almost every job I’ve ever had has been around books. Libraries, book stores, and a publisher. The last time I moved, I had two boxes of clothes and twenty-two boxes of books. I love books. Love them!

That being said, a well written sentence is a well written sentence, whether it’s something that’s read on a computer screen, tablet, e-reader, or page. E-readers are wonderful for people with bad eyesight, people who don’t want to, or can’t, carry around big hardcovers.

Books will never go away, and they shouldn’t. E-readers, however, do give a lot of eyes to first time and beginning writers, which is always a wonderful thing.

  • How do you choose your covers?  (curious on my part)

The wonderful people at Harmony Ink Press paired me with the wonderful Adrian Nicholas, who took my ramblings about cover design and turned it into the cover. We went back and forth on a few things and Adrian couldn’t have been kinder!

  • What’s next for you as an author?

I’m working on a series of LGBT YA mysteries taking place in the Southern U.S. as well as an adult Gay romance in the world of a professional sport. (I don’t want to spoil anything on that one yet.) Plus I have a couple of cork boards filled with other ideas and characters. Now if only I could take a few months off of work… 

  • What traits do you find the most interesting in someone? Do you write them into your characters?

I love characters who are unapologetically who they are. I love reading characters who aren’t passive in their journey. While there are characters who start their journeys because of external forces, I try really hard to write characters who are active in their own progression.

  •  What’s  the wildest scene you’ve imagined and did it make it into a story?

 Hmmm, I wrote a very adult story for an online website and it had some pretty wild sex scenes from my dirty imagination. For The Quarterback’s Crush, nothing too wild comes to mind. I really wanted the romance between Dylan and Timothy to lead up to the first kiss.

  • With so much going on in the world today, do you write to explain?  To get away?  To move past?  To widen our knowledge?  Why do you write?

 I think of it as the people in my head getting really tired of me being the only one who hears them. Seriously, though, I try to write so I can have a creative outlet that I don’t get in my every day life. For me, reading and writing are my attempts to find the universality of human experiences. If the book is horror or comedy or romance, the experiences we have about going through our lives will always ring through, no matter the genre.

THE QUARTERBACK’S CRUSH by John R. Petrie

Dylan Porter needs a Hail Mary….

Because it’ll take a miracle for him to pass English and trig so he can stay on the football team, get a scholarship, and go away to college—where the distance from his friends and family will give him the confidence to finally tell them he’s gay. But flunking his classes will put a stop to all of his dreams.

Luckily there’s Tommy Peterson to help him. In Dylan’s eyes, Tommy’s perfect. Short, smart, and sexy, he checks every one of Dylan’s boxes, so it’s no surprise when Dylan falls head over heels. Too bad Tommy doesn’t seem to feel the same, and a pining Dylan accidentally outs himself to the team. Now Dylan has to deal with the fallout of his coming out to the team, his dad, and his coach while trying to score the ultimate touchdown—the love of Tommy Peterson.

 

About the Author

John R. Petrie grew up in Boston and now lives in the Bronx, NY. Almost his entire working career has been spent around books, from his first job in the town library to more than twenty years bookselling in one of the biggest bookstores in the US. He’s also worked for the Housing Works thrift stores in NYC, which provides services for the homeless and HIV communities, as well as a comic book publisher.

He’s had stories published in True Romance magazine, had a play he wrote produced at his college, acted, danced, and was nominated for an acting award playing Belize in Angels in America.

He stays up too late, eats too much junk food, and has been reading Wonder Woman comics for over forty years.

He is very, very happy to have his debut novel published by Harmony Ink Press. He hopes to continue writing stories which make people smile.

 He can be reached at johnrpetriewrites@gmail.com and looks forward to hearing from readers and writers.

My email is johnrpetriewrites@gmail.com

My twitter handle is @johnpetriewrite

(I don’t do Facebook because I’m too afraid I’ll have to contact people from High School again.)

A MelanieM Release Day Review: BFF by K.C. Wells

Standard

Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

I’m about to do something huge, and it could change… everything.

I met Matt in second grade, and we’ve been inseparable ever since. We went to the same schools, studied at the same college. When we both got jobs in the same town, we shared an apartment. And when my life took an unexpected turn, Matt was there for me. Every milestone in my life, he was there to share it. And what’s really amazing? After all these years, we’re still the best of friends.

Which brings me to this fragile, heart-stopping moment: I want to tell him I love him, really love him, but I’m scared to death of what he’ll say. If I’ve got this all wrong, I’ll lose him—forever.

I’m having a terrific contemporary fiction week! BFF by KC Wells is a warmhearted, feel good story of discovery, friendship, and love.  It’s  got a sort of tone to it that caught me off guard that I attribute to its format.  I almost had to read the   first couple of paragraphs twice to make sure  it was part of the story and not an author’s forward.  Well, it was an author’s forward.  But it  didn’t come from K.C. Wells but rather from David, our narrator of this story.

You see BFF is the coming of age, coming out story that charts two men’s friendship from their first meeting as second graders where they became the Dynamic Duo, through high school, all through roommates at college and after graduation as they start their various careers…always together.  As the best of friends.

But David is recounting it at the beginning of novel, he’s writing it all down as a story, complete with notes and reflections on his behavior towards Matt at the time (hindsight is everything).  It gives the book an immediate and intimate feel as his thoughts and feelings come tumbling out along with the memories.  Through David’s eyes, both Matt and their families come alive as does their long, blended history together.  If the two boys were always side by side so too were their parents (and siblings), matching them for support and love, even in the toughest of times.

Oddly I’m talking financially here.  This wonderful story has these families carry with them many of the strains most modern families do….job security, moving, eduction issues, and learning disabilities.  Even sex education and tolerance in the nicest of ways.  What it doesn’t have?  Extreme angst of any sort.  This is a gentle, moving story of a journey of a friendship and a deep love  towards a final revelation and HEA.

KC Wells really got to me.  Even when she had David remarking on his own dialog as a kid (too smart) in his story, to his interactions with Matt throughout the years, I was there with them, throughly invested in their relationship, their happiness.  That included their families.  I tell you I loved both sets of parents and when you read this story, you will too.

Honestly, that blurb gives you one idea of the plot line. But the story is so much more than that.  It’s bigger, warmer, decades in these mens lives and a touching, joyous journey to love.  Trust me, I really didn’t want to let them go.  I highly recommend this story.  It left me smiling and with a happy heart.  Doesn’t that sound like a grand afternoon?

Cover art:  Reese Dante.  This cover is perfect in every way.  That’s David and Matt and an importation location.  Love it.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 200 pages
Expected publication: June 5th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781640801004
Edition LanguageEnglish