3 Wounded Hearts, One HEA in Friday at the 7-Eleven by J. T. Hall (excerpt and giveaway)

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Friday at the 7-Eleven by J. T. Hall
Release Date: June 3, 2015

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Torquere Press
Cover Artist: BSClay

Sales Links: Torquere Press

Blurb:

Brent’s a bully who picks on his workmate Alex. What Brent doesn’t realize, however, is that Alex wants him, but is too scared to ask. Meanwhile Brent’s convinced that all he needs is a firm hand to push him down and force him to be a good guy.

Then he meets Craig, a muscled veteran working at the local 7-Eleven. Craig knows a switch when he sees it, and Brent’s got it written all over him. He needs a hard takedown and some training to harness that sadistic side. Craig decides that what might be best is for all three of them to get together. Only by embracing honesty and self-control can each of them find what they need.

Pages or Words: 17,000 words

Categories: BDSM, Contemporary, M/M Romance, Menage/Poly

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Excerpt:

Craig couldn’t help but chuckle, as the day’s events unfolded.

He’d had his eye on Brent for some time—weeks, in fact. Six feet tall with light brown hair in a neat cropped style, muscles that advertised his time at the gym, and gorgeous blue eyes. What was there not to notice? The guy scowled a lot, though, and moved with a jerky, decisive style. Brent was a guy used to giving orders, and he wasn’t happy about it.

Craig had known Brent would love taking orders. Yet, it had to be from somebody with the power and the balls to back it up.
Happily, fifteen years as a Marine had given him that power.

As he cleaned up around the drinking fountain and the snack area, Craig grinned, recalling the feel of Brent’s mouth on his cock, the way the guy had challenged him, and then ended up begging for release. Brent’s little tagalong had been watching, too.
Younger guy, blond and lean, probably more into running than lifting weights. Obviously a submissive, and pining after someone who might not give a fuck about him. But cute. Very cute.

 

About J. T. Hall

J.T. Hall has a bachelor degree in Creative Writing and a Master in Education. She has long been active in the LGBT and local leather community and does charity work including AIDS education and suicide prevention. Currently, J.T. works as a technical writer in the healthcare industry and lives with her partner and teenaged daughter in sunny Arizona.

Where to find the author:

Facebook
Facebook Author Page
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JTHall7
Blog: http://jthallwriting.wordpress.com

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Giveaway

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: E-copy of ‘Friday at the 7-Eleven’. Must be 18 years of age or older. Link and prizes provided by the author and Pride Promotions.

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Tour Dates & Stops: June 17, 2015

Parker Williams, Divine Magazine, MM Good Book Reviews, BFD Book Blog, Full Moon Dreaming, Jessie G. Books, Inked Rainbow Reads, Kimi-Chan, Havan Fellows, Happily Ever Chapter, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, The Hat Party, Molly Lolly, Decadent Delights, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, Bayou Book Junkie, Redz World, My Fiction Nook, Velvet Panic

A MelanieM Review: The Intersection of Purgatory and Paradise (Least Likely Partnership, #3) by A.J. Thomas

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Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5

The Interseciton of Purgatory and Paradise coverA year has passed since ex San Diego homicide detective Christopher Hayes’s brother committed suicide. Christopher is still recovering from the injuries he sustained when attacked by the main suspect during the investigation.  The closing of the case saw more changes in Christopher’s life as he moved in with his lover, Montana police officer Doug Heavy Runner.  But instead of the wonderful life Christopher thought he would be living, instead he finds himself deeply depressed by his isolated new location, surrounded by a small town’s  blatant racism and homophobia. No one will hire him, he has made the seething racism his lover Doug Heavy Runner faces at work worse by adding homophobia to the mix, and his most recent jog through town ends when two gay-bashing teenagers hit him in the head with a rock.

Deputy Sheriff Doug Heavy Runner has never overcome the abusive relationship that traumatized and shattered him as a young cop. The memories, the lingering shame, and the fear he has never acknowledged have left him resigned to endure the discrimination he faces in Elkin. But he can’t stand it when Christopher becomes a target for that same hatred even as he is blind to the other issues Christopher faces in town.

A vacation in San Diego is cut short when the mutilated body of one of the boys who assaulted Christopher is found in Doug’s garage. Christopher and Doug return to Montana to find they must uncover a tangle of secrets, lies, and tragedy lurking beneath Elkin’s small-town façade. With their relationship at a crossroads, they’ll have to work together to catch the killer and maybe find a paradise of their own.

The Intersection of Purgatory and Paradise by A. J. Thomas returns the reader back to the hidebound small town in Montana, and the lingering aftermath of the original case that brought Christopher Hayes, Doug Heavy Runner, Elliot Belkamp and Ray Delgado together in a series of related, horrific cases.  The story opens a year later with Christopher and Doug still dealing with the consequences of that case and their decision to move in together.  And none of it has turned out as either had hoped it would.

Elkin, Montana is that typical small minded town that exists all over America.  Mired in the past and the tight incestuous connections that small town living breeds, Elkin is the last place in the world to welcome a gay couple in their midst, especially one where one partner is a Native American and the other a gay ex SDPD detective.  Add to that unpalatable combination (to the townspeople) the fact that Christopher’s pedophile brother committed suicide there, a horrific case whose aftermath is still causing reverberations throughout the community, and you have a recipe not only for rejection but outright shunning and hatred.  A. J. Thomas brings this putrid little town alive in all its homophobic, racist, closed down ways.  From glares from citizens who cross the street rather than walk near Christopher to the acts of hatred such as thrown rocks when Christopher runs,  its feels nauseatingly believable and authentic in every way.  Yes, there are a few individuals that are bright spots of acceptance and friendship, but they are few indeed.

Living in this town has not helped either Doug or Christopher come to grips with the horror of the case or their past history that’s getting in the way of their relationship.  Doug won’t talk about his trauma from his time in Miami, and Christopher is still using running to race away from his issues with Doug, the town’s treatment of Doug and himself, and the blatant racism and homophobia that no one seems to want to do anything about.  He’s deeply depressed, a condition he knows he’s prone to and it’s getting worse because he can’t get a job, no matter his outstanding credentials because of the town’s prejudice against him.  This is a complicated, angst driven couple in trouble and each is hiding their fears about their situation and relationship from the other.  Is this an explosive situation?  Absolutely!  And Thomas makes us feel every shiver of dread and stomach turning bit of angst as the characters proceed through the story.

Christopher and Doug have fallen from one emotional precipice only to end up on another.  It’s painful, its sometimes hard to read, but the promise and endurance of Doug and Christopher as well as Christopher’s ability to work through to the truth, will keep you glued to this story and the rocky path in front of them both.   You want these two to succeed but the chances of that happening is never clearly set.  Even when they finally acknowledge some of the issues facing them, its clear that love may not be enough to keep them together unless drastic changes occur.  Thomas understands relationship dynamics in the manner in which Doug and Christopher have to work through the past and present problems in order to have a future.

A highlight here is the trip they take to San Diego.  I don’t want to spoil it but it brings Ray Delgado and Elliot Belkamp back into the picture (not that they ever left).  This section was the icing on a cake, the bubbles in the champagne.  And I loved it!

 The Intersection of Purgatory and Paradise (love that title and the way its explained) also contains another series of horrific murders and suicides.  That they come about due to the festering attitudes and influences of small town bigotry will surprise no one.  However, the cases are gripping, the action quick and surprising, and the ending explosive.  I wouldn’t expect anything less from this amazing series and author.

Thankfully, this is not the last of the series.  On the author’s website, Thomas states that an as yet untitled fourth story is in the works.  Be still my heart!  I can’t wait.

Are you new to this series?  Run and pick up the first story, A Casual Weekend Thing, and work your way through books 2 and 3.  All are on my Must Have, Must Read list and will end up on my Best of lists this year.  Love complicated, angst driven men?  Love layers, twists and turns to your romance and stories.  Already a fan of this series?  Then be prepared to love this story. The Intersection of Purgatory and Paradise and the other books in the Least Likely Partnership series (listed below) are written for you.  I highly recommend them all!

Cover artist Brook Albrecht.  I really like this cover, its my favorite of the three so far.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press       All Romance (ARe)      Amazon        Buy It Here

Book Details:

ebook, 204 pages, available also in paperback
Expected publication: March 27th 2015 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781632169785
edition languageEnglish
url http://ajthomasromance.blogspot.com/p/the-intersection-of-purgatory-and.html
seriesLeast Likely Partnership #3

 

Books in the Least Likely Partnership Series in the order they were written and should be read to understand the characters, timeline and relationships:

Review: Good Boy (Theta Alpha Gamma #4) by Anne Tenino

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Good Boy coverSebastian “Toppy” DeWitt is feeling the stress.  He is working double time to finish his thesis.  And there are the post graduation decisions of where to apply for a position that is also adding to the pressure and worry that is his life these days.  Lucky for him that his boyfriend, Brad “Frat Boy” Feller, is there to cook, clean, and take care of everything else while Sebastian concentrates.  True, they don’t seem to have time for each other during the day or even see each other at night other than to fall into bed.  Sebastian is sure once he finishes his thesis and graduates then everything will go back to normal.  Or will it?

Brad Feller is feeling lonely and a little bit neglected.  He knows how important it is that Sebastian finish his thesis but while parts of their life together, their sex life, is hot and working, nothing else is.  Sebastian went home to see his father and didn’t suggest that Brad come with him.  And they never talk about their future after graduation.  The strain Brad feels and the stress Sebastian is under is starting to put cracks in their relationship, fractures that Sebastian seems unaware of.

When an old frat brother with romantic ties to Brad needs temporary shelter and moves in with them after a fire in the frat house it shatters their fragile status quo.  Amidst bouts of jealousy, anxiety and guilt, Sebastian realizes that things need to change if he is to keep the one man he loves and needs above all others or lose him forever.

Frat Boy and Toppy, the first in the Theta Alpha Gamma series, was the first book to introduce me to Anne Tenino.  It made me a fan of this author and the series as well.  And while I enjoyed the love stories of the other men in the series, Paul and Trevor as well as Collin and Eric, it is the combination of Sebastian and Brad that have remained my first love.  So I was delighted to see a return to this marvelously quirky couple to see how they were doing and where they had gone in their relationship.

Unsurprisingly, it turns out that they stumbled into one relationship trap after another with equal amounts of cluelessness and inexperience piled on top of every day pressures that is helping to derail their happily ever after.  I say unsurprisingly because this was a pair that was unexpected and surprising to begin with.  Brad, the ultimate frat boy on the outside, was large, somewhat clumsy, gentle, and searching when he first met Sebastian in class.  Sebastian, the TA, was intelligent, impatient, allergic to relationships, fixated on scholarship and kind of imperious.  Not exactly two men you would expect to meet, combust, and eventually fall deeply in love with each other.  But they did and it was wonderful.  Anne Tenino mades this complex mixture of personalities and quirks not only real, but a loving, layered relationship that the readers absolutely connects with all the way through their story.

So it’s heartbreaking to see how much that promising relationship has stagnated in the months following the end of Frat Boy and Toppy.  In the timeline of events that happen at the college and the TAG house, Good Boy exists side by side with Sweet Young Thang, the story that chronicles the fire at the TAG house and the reason that necessitates Collin’s stay, albeit temporarily, with Brad and Sebastian.  It gives the reader the full back story as to the events that are occurring around the oblivious Sebastian with his complete focus on himself and his thesis.  In Sweet Young Thang, we have the large canvas of the college and the  fraternity house which in Good Boy is narrowed down to Brad and Sebastian’s apartment and the malfunctioning state of their love affair.

Anne Tenino does a wonderful job of getting us inside each man’s head as individual insecurities (Brad’s) and current preoccupations (Sebastian’s) start to tear apart the relationship each man treasures.  Here is anexcerpt with Brad:

But after Brad abandoned Collin at the dinner table and chased his boyfriend into their bedroom, he didn’t find him. The bathroom doorway had been left open a crack, and he could hear Sebastian brushing his teeth, so he sat on the end of the bed to wait. And stew in some of his inner workings.

Aside from being pissed off in general at that whole weird dinner scene a few minutes ago—did Sebastian really have to go being a prick to Collin when the dude had had such a shitty day?—his instincts were poking at his stomach, telling him something seemed to have changed tonight with his boyfriend. Maybe now Brad could get some answers about what the fuck was going through his head, and why he’d been kind of preoccupied since Christmas, and when he’d decided to try having a relationship through a tin can and a string.

And I can ask him why he didn’t want me to meet his dad.

Shut up. Stupid little voice in his heart always had to push for more. We’ve haven’t even been together a year. He had to wait for the right time. Relationships progressed, right? Take the whole thing with Collin just now. Nine months ago, Sebastian had barely reacted when Collin had sucked Brad off in the locker room shower, but tonight he’d seemed, like, jealous. Watching him stalk off, something in Brad’s chest had gone ping. An alert, telling him Sebastian had finally fucking noticed him again.

Which was a relief, because cooking and back rubs and all the other things he’d been doing to get Sebastian to open up to him had made him feel like a dog begging for treats. ’Cause some nights Sebastian ate dinner without mentioning a damn thing about the food, just talking about his fucking thesis, and some nights he didn’t say anything at all. And some nights, when they actually had sex, he did Brad like he only needed someone to get off with.

All along, no matter how many times Brad reminded himself that Sebastian was just preoccupied with school, trying to be accepted to a good doctoral program, he’d been terrified that in reality, relationships just happened like this. Half a year in and things became about satisfying the physical needs and not about the emotional crap. It didn’t explain why it had all changed at once, but what did he know? Maybe that was normal, too.

I think everyone has heard those little voices inside from time to time, those internal arguments that start to undermine self confidence and deepen our need for reassurance.  Brad is a little part of everyone and it makes him not only endearing but completely relatable.  I love  Brad.  The snarky, self obsessed Sebastian is also someone I connected with.  He thinks he is doing whats best for them both without actually communicating his thoughts and feelings to his lover.  He has isolated himself without realizing it, a precarious situation in a relationship and it takes the arrival of Collin to jumpstart Sebastian’s interaction with Brad once more.

Good Boy is funny, heartbreaking, sexy, and ultimately quite wonderful.  I love this couple and hope Anne Tenino will revisit their love affair and relationship once more.  You just know somehow Sebastian will find a way to derail it once more before they get their happily ever after that they both need and want so much.  We want it for them too and that’s why I will be here with each and every new installment in the Theta Alpha Gamma series.  Join me will you?

This is how it starts….

Sebastian hadn’t taken a break for hours. He came out of his research-induced haze to find that his foot had fallen asleep, and when he moved his leg, his back made an alarming sound somewhere between a creak and a pop. Dammit, he’d sat hunched over the computer for too long again. Maybe later Brad would give him a massage to work out some of his aches.

Here are the books in the order they were written and should be read:

Frat Boy and Toppy (Theta Alpha Gamma, #1)
Love, Hypothetically (Theta Alpha Gamma, #2)
Sweet Young Thang (Theta Alpha Gamma, #3)
Good Boy (Theta Alpha Gamma, #4)

Cover Art by L.C. Chase, lcchase.com/design.htm

Book Details:

ebook, 67 pages
Published October 7th 2013 by Riptide Publishing
original title Good Boy
ISBN13 9781626490680
edition language English

Winners of the Pulp Friction Books Contest

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Pulp Friction 4 covers

Meet us back here in December for the final Pulp Friction guest post of 2013 and the final Pulp Friction review. There will be another giveway or two. You never know. My thanks again to all these remarkable people, Havan Fellows, Lee Brazil, Laura Harner and of course, Tom Webb for stopping by this week and giving us insight into their characters, their series and of course, Pulp Friction.

Now here are the Winners of the books by day and author:

Monday, Havan Fellows, Wicked’s Way: The winner is penumbrareads(at)gmail(dot)com

Tuesday, Lee Brazil, Chances Are: The winner is Leni (ldinnell@gmail.com)

Wed., Laura Harner, Triple Threat: The winner of Laura’s book is Ashley E (ashley.vanburen@gmail.com)

and drumroll please….

Thur., Tom Webb, City Knight: The winner of Tom’s book is bluesmokey (richards851@sbcglobal.net)

The authors will be contacting their individual winners about the books they have won.  Thanks not only to Laura, Tom, Havan, and Lee but to all the great readers that visited and stopped by to comment.

Coming soon the debut of the next Blue Notes novel, Encore, by Shira Anthony on November 11. Stay turned all month for exciting guests blogs, book contests, and book releases!

Review: Fifty Fifty Chances Are (Chances Are #3) by Lee Brazil

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Series Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Fifty Fifty Chances Are coverChance Dumont, owner of Chances Are bar and his lover, Rory, are still trying to deal with the aftermath of Rory’s attack and the return of Cannon, Chances’s former boyfriend.  It’s not going well.  Rory, a cop, has still not been declared fit for duty.  But truthfully the trauma of the attack has left Rory fearful and he may never heal enough to be a cop again.  And Chance?  He’s trying hard to be the lover Rory needs but their relationship is strained and fragile, just like Rory.

When a man is found naked and dead in the bathroom stall in the men’s room, his identity points to Chance and Rory as suspects.  Chance knows he didn’t do it but did Rory?  That’s the question and no one likes that the answer might be that its a fifty fifty chance that Rory did.

This series is just amazing.  It continues to get better with each new story.  It deepens in intensity and in emotional layering and I can’t get enough. We left Chance and Rory trying to pick up the pieces of their relationship after Rory has been attacked in Second Chances Are, and it’s not going very well.  And it can’t because the relationship started on tenuous terms and has never found a firm foundation.  The men aren’t communicating, primarily because one is traumatized and the other doesn’t want to upset him further.  It’s a realistic portrait of two men at the very first stages of recovery and they are still trying to find their way past the pain.

Lee Brazil packs a lot into 34 pages.  Great characterization, wonderful plot, and tremendous dialog and with each new story it gets better, more layered, more authentic.  Chance was a complicated man in the first two books but not always likable, something the character himself acknowledges. But here as Chance struggles to put Rory first instead of giving into his impulses for revenge, he becomes more human, more understandable.  He is so frustrated, as is the reader that we instantly relate to him.

Trust is the issue and focus here.  So many areas where trust is lacking.  There is the trust missing between Chance and Rory. Plus Chance still doesn’t trust Gerry, his bartender who stole from him and both men are struggling with that fact.  Rory can’t trust himself or anyone other than Chance, maybe.  Then Brazil shatters the tentative trust established between Chance and Rory with a murder that either man might have done.  The emotional detonation that occurs reveals to all involved just how fragile the binding was that held them all together.   It’s angry, it’s hurtful, and it’s damaging on many levels, but is it permanent?  That’s the question that Brazil gives us to answer and the answer remains elusive by the end of the story.

Again there is an element of bdsm and D/s but it absolutely works for the characters and story.  Don’t let it put you off.  And for you  romance lovers, well, it’s coming.  Romance and love is not an easy thing for Chance Dumont. Its hurt him deeply in the past and he hasn’t been able to get past that emotional trauma.  Now he is finally ready but is the man he loves?  Brazil is stringing that aspect of the series out for us and it is making it  even more enjoyable to anticipate the outcome.

It’s hard for me to believe that Fifty Fifty Chances Are is only 34 pages in length.  It has the breadth and scope of a larger book.  So does the series.   Really, the author’s work here is immaculate.  Pick it up but start at the beginning and work your way through.  There are four stories so far and I know that more are coming.  Lucky us.

Books in the series in the order they were written and should be read to understand the characters and events within:

Chances Are (Chances Are #01)
Second Chances Are (Chances Are #02)
Fifty Fifty Chances Are (Chances Are #03)
Ghost of a Chance (Chances Are #04)

Book Details:

ebook, 36 pages
Published May 1st 2013 by Lime Time Press
edition language English