A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Leaning Into the Fall (Leaning Into #2) by Lane Hayes

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Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5

Lane Hayes is one of my favorite authors, and this story proves why. Faced with a secondary character in a short story who was really the anti-hero—a bisexual guy who jilted his (female) fiancé and disappointed his best friend and business partner—Ms. Hayes decided to give him his own story, in which he demonstrates why he was such a letdown in book one, and then falls into deep and everlasting love with a handsome and sweet older man.

I was skeptical when we first saw Nick in this story—buried nose-deep in code in his and Eric’s IT security business—and seemingly clueless to what’s going on in the rest of the world. He keeps bugging his BFF friend Eric, who’s on a well-deserved honeymoon vacation in Bora Bora, so faced with penalty of death from Eric’s new husband, Zane, (Leaning Into Love) Nick decides to take a break from work and return the wine he purchased as a wedding favor for his own cancelled wedding months ago.

There he runs headlong into Wes Conrad, winery owner, who refuses to allow Nick to return the wine that was labelled with the personal information for Nick’s wedding. It’s company policy not to take it back, and Wes digs in his heels and outright refuses. And so begins the crappiest day of Nick’s life, but also one that turns out to be the day he went head-on with the man who would ultimately become the most important person in his life.

I love the way the author took the time to explain and explore Nick’s issues—issues with antisocial behavior, a constant side focus on the numbers in his head—mathematical equations—that needed to be addressed. She also gave Nick an older, more mature man—one who has lived through multiple life experiences, including the tragic loss of his business, his former lover, and a good friend. Wes has the maturity and the patience to handle Nick, and though wildly attracted to one another from early in the story, there’s no rush into deep and everlasting love. It evolves over time, and every moment and every step of the way is absolutely necessary for this couple. Business deals, takeover possibilities, poor decisions, partnership problems—this story has it all. But most of all? It has a young man who seemed to be irredeemable learn to face his issues and take responsibility for his own actions and then take the leap into falling head over heels with the man he most needs in this world.

That might sound a bit mushy and romantic, but that’s how I saw it. And I have a particular soft spot in my heart for older men who find romance in the MM genre. This one is terrific, and I highly recommend it. Why not a full 5 stars? I couldn’t shake all of the prejudice I had against Nick from the first book. Let’s just say he’s darn lucky he had such a great author to tell his story. And I can’t wait to see if Ms. Hayes has more in store for us in this series. I suspect maybe Nick and Eric’s friend Josh will be next. Can’t wait!

~~~~
Cover by Reese Dante is similar to the first cover in that it features a faceless male torso, with opened shirt, against a background of the San Francisco skyline and bay.

Sales Links

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Book Details:

ebook, 228 pages
Published March 15th 2017 by Self Pub
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesLeaning Into #2

Release Day Blitz: From Top to Bottom by Kevin Klehr (excerpt and giveaway)

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Title:  From Top to Bottom

Author: Kevin Klehr

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: March 20

Heat Level: 5 – Erotica

Pairing: Male/Male Menage

Length: 15100

Genre: Erotica, NineStar Press, LGBT, gay, erotica, cisgender, contemporary, explicit, bears, menage, open relationship, orgy

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Synopsis

Can a dedicated top really learn to bottom? Tony wants to find out but he’s scared another die-hard top will just plow through him, instead of taking it nice and slow on a newbie.

Enter Butch, a bear who’ll try anything, and Ford, a guy whose curiosity is tempting him to cheat on his boyfriend. Like Tony, both are dedicated tops wanting to try something new, and on this journey of physical self discovery, all will find that being open means more than taking it doggie-style.

Excerpt

From Top to Bottom
Author © 2017
All Rights Reserved

On my various profiles, I wrote:

Top curious about being a bottom, wants to meet likeminded tops.

I thought I was straightforward enough, yet so many timewasters were happy to give but not receive. One loser argued that I ought to get my head examined. He said that it didn’t matter if the other top wanted to bottom, just as long as I got what I wanted.

I stressed that this would be a shared experience. Two or more tops learning from each other, discussing the intricate pleasures we would discover as a group.

Then he said we’d end up writing folk songs about exploring our inner regions and singing around a campfire. I thought to myself, yeah, maybe that’s exactly the direction I wanted to take. Was I getting soft, or was I just growing up? Perhaps there already was a group for closet-bottoms I could join.

But the truth was I wanted like-minded tops simply because we’d go easier on each other. We wouldn’t just ram it up there like a vandal bashing down the door. We wouldn’t be power-bottoms. We would ease in gradually; the runway lit for a relaxed landing before the passengers would embark.

Only two other tops sounded like they were on my wavelength. A bear called Butch and a secretive guy named Ford. So I set the date. The second Tuesday in June was the only night Ford could make it, and I knew better than to ask why.

I dusted and vacuumed frantically, as if I was expecting Prince Charming to knock on my door, take me in his arms, and deflower me. I lit candles to set the mood, and rolled out an old sheet on the lounge room floor. I didn’t want to bonk in the bedroom. I wanted space for us to explore, like they did in three-way porn flicks.

My front door buzzer sounded. I let in my first visitor.

“You brought cake,” I said. I tried not to let the look of horror show on my face.

“For afterward,” Butch replied. “I baked it myself. Is there room in the fridge?”

Hadn’t this guy heard of the definition of “eternity”? The time between when you cum and they leave. Who ever heard of cake after sex?

“It’s red velvet,” he said. He crouched in front of my fridge, rearranging its contents. “Do you know the weird shit that goes in this cake? Vinegar. And cocoa and vanilla.”

“Do you always bake before sex?”

“For special occasions, yes.”

“I hardly know you.”

“But you’re about to know me a hell of a lot better.”

Purchase

NineStar Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Smashwords

Meet the Author

Kevin lives with his long-term partner, Warren, in their humble apartment (affectionately named Sabrina), in Australia’s own ‘Emerald City,’ Sydney.

From an early age, Kevin had a passion for writing, jotting down stories and plays until it came time to confront puberty. After dealing with pimple creams and facial hair, Kevin didn’t pick up a pen again until he was in his thirties. His handwritten manuscript was being committed to paper when his work commitments changed, giving him no time to write. Concerned, his partner, Warren, secretly passed the notebook to a friend who in turn came back and demanded Kevin finish his story. It wasn’t long before Kevin’s active imagination was let loose again.

His first novel spawned a secondary character named Guy, an insecure gay angel, but many readers argue that he is the star of the Actors and Angels book series. Guy’s popularity surprised the author.

So with his fictional guardian angel guiding him, Kevin hopes to bring more whimsical tales of love, life and friendship to his readers.

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Love Contemporary Romance? Check Out Lane Hayes’ Leaning Into the Fall Blog Tour and Giveaway

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Title:  Leaning Into the Fall

Series: Leaning Into Stories, #2

Author: Lane Hayes

Publisher:  Self-Published

Release Date: March 10

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: Approximately 77K words

Genre: Romance, Erotica, Bisexual, humor, San Francisco, May to December romance

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Synopsis

Nick Jorgensen is a quirky genius. He’s made a fortune in the competitive high tech field with his quick mind and attention to detail. He believes in hard work and trusting his gut. And he believes in karma. It’s the only thing that makes sense. People are difficult, but numbers never lie. In the disastrous wake of a broken engagement to an investor’s daughter, Nick is more certain than ever he isn’t relationship material.

Wes Conrad owns a thriving winery in Napa Valley. The relaxed atmosphere is a welcome departure from his former career as a high-rolling businessman. Wes’s laid-back nature is laced with a fierceness that appeals to Nick. In spite of his best intention to steer clear of complications, Nick can’t fight his growing attraction to the sexy older man who seems to understand him. Even the broken parts he doesn’t get himself. However, when Wes’s past collides with Nick’s present, both men will have to have to decide if they’re ready to lean into the ultimate fall.

Excerpt

Leaning Into the Fall by Lane Hayes- Exclusive Excerpt

There was a feral edge to Wes’s intense gaze that made my stomach drop. I didn’t get him. He hadn’t been pleased to see me when I showed up at the winery a second time looking like I’d bathed in a vat of Pinot, but he’d invited me into his house and given me dry clothes anyway. Now he was staring me down, daring me to say or do something stupid so he’d have an excuse to toss my ass back out again.

He moved toward the built-in bar and chose a bottle of red wine from a glass shelf then uncorked the bottle and poured a trace amount of the burgundy liquid into a wineglass. He swirled it expertly so that no portion of the glass was untouched.

“Why do you do that? Is that a necessary wine thing or is it for show?”

Wes glanced up with a frown. “Weren’t you going to change?”

The not-so-subtle dismissal was laced with challenge. Maybe he didn’t like to be questioned. Or maybe he remembered he didn’t actually like me and that it might be best to downgrade the hospitality before I got any crazy ideas about us being new buddies. I wasn’t prone to overanalyze any interpersonal interaction. My instincts were socially iffy anyway.

I kept my eyes locked on his and stepped away from the fire. Then I yanked my sweater over my head and began the arduous chore of unbuttoning my oxford shirt, one tiny button at a time.

“Yes,” I answered with a smile, slipping my ruined shirt over my shoulders.

I opened my mouth to say who knows what, but I lost my train of thought when Wes moved toward me, carrying the bottle and two wineglasses. He set everything on the coffee table, picked up the navy T-shirt and handed it to me.

“Are you gonna help me get dressed?”

My voice sounded lower than normal. I was going for mildly flirtatious and ended up sounding inappropriate. It wasn’t the sort of thing that bothered me usually, but there was something vaguely intimidating about this guy.

“If you need assistance, I’m happy to lend a hand,” he countered with a wry grin.

My blush was instantaneous. I felt exposed and maybe even a little childish, but still turned on. My dick swelled in my khakis and though he wasn’t looking at my crotch, I had a strong feeling he knew where my dirty mind had gone. His intense expression didn’t help. He didn’t blink. Or smile. He simply held my gaze until I grabbed the shirt from him and yanked it over my head like a petulant teenager.

Wes chuckled softly and then bent to pour the wine. I rested my fingers on my belt and studied his profile. The silver highlights at his temple glinted in the firelight. The contrast of color gave him an appealing distinguished look. I didn’t care how old he was. Wes Conrad was hot. And gay.

Not that I was interested, of course. It was just an observation.

Purchase

Lane Hayes Website

Meet the Author

Lane Hayes is grateful to finally be doing what she loves best. Writing full-time! It’s no secret Lane loves a good romance novel. An avid reader from an early age, she has always been drawn to well-told love story with beautifully written characters. These days she prefers the leading roles to both be men. Lane discovered the M/M genre a few years ago and was instantly hooked. Her debut novel was a 2013 Rainbow Award finalist and subsequent books have received Honorable Mentions, and were winners in the 2016 Rainbow Awards. She loves red wine, chocolate and travel (in no particular order). Lane lives in Southern California with her amazing husband in an almost empty nest.

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Tour Schedule

3/15 – Love Bytes Reviews

3/15 – MM Book Escape

3/15 – Zipper Rippers

3/17- Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

3/17 – Books, Dreams, Life

3/21 – Joyfully Jay

3/21 – V’s Reads

3/21 – Divine Magazine

3/21 – The Novel Approach

3/23 – Prism Book Alliance

3/23 – Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews

3/23 – BFD Book Blog

3/29 – Alpha Book Club

3/29 – Bayou Book Junkie

3/29 – Boy Meets Boy Reviews

3/31 – MM Good Book Reviews

3/31 – Dog-Eared Daydreams

3/31 – Reviews by Tammy and Kim

3/31 – Happily Ever Chapter

3/31 – Top 2 Bottom Reviews

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In the Release Day Spotlight: Unzipping 7D (Unzipped Shorts #2) by J.C. Long (excerpt and giveaway)

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Title:  Unzipping 7D

Series: Unzipped Shorts 2

Author: J.C. Long

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: February 20

Heat Level: 5 – Erotica

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 10600

Genre: Erotica, Erotica, travel, exhibition, PWP, hook-up apps, sexting, businessmen

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Synopsis

Jordan Price is used to the boring wait in airports, given that he practically lives on business trips. He’s all set for this to be more of the same, until he meets a self-described power bottom on Unzipped—a guy who happens to be in the same airport. It seems like a perfectly good way to kill time until his flight, but soon Jordan realizes that Heath, his newfound friend on Unzipped, will be taking the same flight, and the wheels in his head get spinning. Jordan is determined to test Heath’s bottoming skills himself, and if he has his way, the flight will be anything but boring.

Excerpt

Unzipping 7D
J.C. Long © 2017
All Rights Reserved

Jordan didn’t bother formulating a reply; it would just be a waste of time. He sat around, catching up on his fantasy football team until they called for boarding. It was pure luck that Jordan spotted Heath going to join the boarding call, wearing a T-shirt and khaki shorts. Jordan had priority boarding—one of the few benefits his job actually provided on his work flights—but he decided to forgo the slightly quicker boarding in order to fall in line behind Heath.

“Hello, 7-D,” Jordan said softly, enjoying the way Heath jumped a little before glancing back at him. “You’re pretty handsome in person—though you look better without your clothes on, if you don’t mind me saying.”

The back of Heath’s neck turned pink, along with his ears, and Jordan felt a devilish grin coming on. It looked like his dirty app pen pal blushed easily. There were so many ways he could have fun with that, if only they were seated together.

That same regret ran through his mind on repeat as the line slowly progressed. When it was his turn to present his ticket and photo ID to the attendant, he did so without taking his eyes off Heath’s ass as he went before him. It was a damn fine ass.

Once Jordan entered the plane, he was greeted by the sole flight attendant, who, with a big fake smile plastered on her red-painted lips, said, “Thank you for flying Alliance Air.”

Jordan languidly made his way down the aisle, gaze raking over Heath as he loaded his luggage into the overhead compartment above row seven.

He didn’t know if it would work—didn’t even know if Heath would appreciate it or go along with it—but he decided to give it a try. The overweight businessman who had taken the bench next to him while waiting at the gate was currently seated in seat 7-E, the window seat.

“Excuse me, sir,” Jordan said, leaning around Heath and ignoring the What the hell are you doing? look Heath shot him. “Sorry to disturb you, but I was wondering if I could persuade you to switch seats with me?” Jordan put his hand companionably on Heath’s shoulder. “My friend here and I are flying back home for his brother’s wedding—he’s the best man—and we were supposed to work on bachelor party plans, but we’re sitting apart. I know it’s inconvenient, but could we trade? I have an aisle seat.” Jordan showed the man his ticket.

The man heaved a great sigh, like Jordan was asking him to do something truly inconvenient and not just move to a seat a few rows farther back in the plane. He was fully prepared for the guy to say no, but he didn’t. Instead he got up and shuffled past Jordan and Heath, reaching up and removing his carry-on from the overhead bin.

“Enjoy your wedding,” he said in a wheezy voice before he took Jordan’s ticket and waddled back along the aisle.

Excitement building, Jordan tossed his carry-on in the overhead compartment and took the window seat, grinning cheekily at Heath when he got situated. “You just going to stand there holding up traffic, buddy?”

Blushing once more, Heath finished putting away his bags and took his seat, shifting uncomfortably as he buckled his seat belt. Jordan spread his legs a little and let his knee touch Heath’s, almost laughing when the other man nervously moved it away.

“What are you doing?” Heath asked in a low voice.

“Nothing,” Jordan said, face innocent even as he lowered his hand to his crotch, giving it an obvious squeeze. As he expected, Heath’s gaze followed his hand right to where he wanted it. “I figured it’s going to be a boring three-hour flight, so might as well make it more interesting.”

Heath’s eyes narrowed suspiciously. “How?”

“Oh, we’ll figure something out, I’m sure.”

Purchase

NineStar Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Smashwords

Meet the Author

J.C. Long is an American expat living in Japan, though he’s also lived stints in Seoul, South Korea—no, he’s not an army brat; he’s an English teacher. He is also quite passionate about Welsh corgis and is convinced that anyone who does not like them is evil incarnate. His dramatic streak comes from his life-long involvement in theater. After living in several countries aside from the United States J. C. is convinced that love is love, no matter where you are, and is determined to write stories that demonstrate exactly that. J. C. Long’s favorite things in the world are pictures of corgis, writing and Korean food (not in that order…okay, in that order). J. C. spends his time not writing thinking about writing, coming up with new characters, attending Big Bang concerts and wishing he was writing. The best way to get him to write faster is to motivate him with corgi pictures. Yes, that is a veiled hint.

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Release Day Blitz College Discipline by Caitlin Ricci

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Title:  College Discipline

Author: Caitlin Ricci

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: February 20

Heat Level: 5 – Erotica

Pairing: Male/Female

Length: 20200

Genre: Erotica, Erotica, BDSM, age gap, college, businessmen, law enforcement, over 40

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Synopsis

Four stories of sex, romance, and college boys learning to kneel.

Hitachi is a police officer reduced to being a glorified babysitter for a rich man’s son. He resents his assignment, but Gabriel isn’t the brat Hitachi believes he is. He’s a man who likes pain, and who wants Hitachi to let loose with him too.

Leo fantasizes about having sex with a complete stranger, but when he gets his chance it isn’t nearly as wonderful as he imagined it to be. His dad’s boss tries to teach him a lesson about making stupid choices, but his education in submission doesn’t end there.

Jensen is horrible at math, and now he’s in a calculus class that he’s barely getting through. His parents get him a tutor, but this tutor is interested in teaching Jensen about far more than just math.

Timothy comes back home, to a tiny town he can’t stand, when his mother’s illness gets worse. He’s made a string of bad decisions, and his mother’s friend is determined to turn his life around before Timothy gets lost entirely.

Excerpt

College Discipline
Caitlin Ricci © 2017
All Rights Reserved

Jensen was ten minutes late for his initial tutoring session. It wasn’t the best way to make a great first impression, but he’d had a hard time getting up when his alarm sounded and then missed his bus. Who actually got up before ten on a Saturday morning anyway? Definitely not him.

But he made it to Sam’s door anyway. His new college tutor, the one his parents had insisted Jensen get because he had such a good reputation, lived in a nice house on the outskirts of Denver. There was a new SUV in the driveway that still had the temporary plates on it. Something like that, with 4-wheel drive, was definitely fun to go off-roading in, and if he’d had a vehicle like that, Jensen would never have to sit on the bus again or deal with the driver being late or get hit on by drunk guys in the middle of the night while riding it either. He was still practically drooling over the SUV when a man opened the front door.

“I assume you’re Jensen? I’m Sam.”

He gave Sam his attention and quickly nodded. “Sorry I’m late. The buses and stuff.”

Sam shrugged. “You’re here now at least. Come on in. Let’s get started.” Jensen kicked off his shoes as soon as he was inside and was glad to put his heavy backpack down for a while. “When your parents hired me, they said you were having trouble with calculus, right? Anything else I should know about?”

Jensen stripped off his sweatshirt. The house was too warm, and Jensen was already dying in the heat. His T-shirt came up with his sweatshirt, like it always did, and he quickly pulled it back down.

“Uh… Math in general, I guess. I have a hard time focusing since my mind goes all over the place and I get bored easily.” He dropped his sweatshirt on the back of the couch and grabbed up his backpack again. “So where do you want me?”

Sam nodded toward the kitchen, where Jensen saw two glasses of water and some popcorn already spread out for them. His cheeks flamed. “You were waiting a long time for me, huh?”

“A little bit,” Sam confirmed for him as he led the way into the kitchen. “We can get started now, though, and next time you’ll be here when you’re supposed to be. If the busses are an issue, I can come get you. Or we can do the sessions at your place.”

Sam’s house was so neat and tidy compared to his apartment. Jensen definitely didn’t want him there. He had enough to be embarrassed about with how bad his grades were and how stupid he felt that he didn’t want to add how much of a slob he was to the list.

He sat across from Sam and sipped his water. “How long have you been a tutor?”

“Five years. Since I graduated college with my bachelor’s degree in education. How long have you been bad at math?” Sam smiled at him, and Jensen started to relax.

“Pretty much forever. I just don’t get it.”

Sam chuckled, and Jensen started pulling out his books. He didn’t want to delay any longer in case Sam started to get the idea he just didn’t care if he passed math this semester or not. He did care, but not because he wanted to be good in math or anything like that. He mostly just wanted his parents to get off his back about how he clearly wasn’t applying himself.

“What part are you having trouble with?”

Jensen waved vaguely to the entire textbook. “All of it. I can’t even do long division. I shouldn’t be in this class, but I got lucky on a few questions on the placement test, so now I’m there and I just want to pass.”

Sam put the book down on a nearby chair. “We’ll get to that later then, since it sounds like you need some of the basics reworked first, and I don’t want to overload you on your first day here with me. When you’re having trouble concentrating, what’s normally going on?”

Jensen had a hard time concentrating whenever his teacher was nearby. He pressed his lips together and tried to think of a better answer than that, but he didn’t have one, whenever he was struggling, it was normally because Professor Anderson was there with his tight khakis on. He’d be standing close to Jensen’s desk since he sat right in the front, and all Jensen could think about was leaning over and offering his professor a blow job.

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Meet the Author

Caitlin was fortunate growing up to be surrounded by family and teachers that encouraged her love of reading. She has always been a voracious reader, and that love of the written word easily morphed into a passion for writing. She comes from a military family, and the men and women of the armed forces are close to her heart. She also enjoys gardening and horseback riding in the Colorado Rockies where she calls home with her wonderful husband and their two dogs. Her belief that there is no one true path to happily ever after runs deeply through all of her stories.

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In the Spotlight: The Start of Something New (Daniel & Ryan, Book 2) by Tamryn Eradani (excerpt and giveaway)

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Title:  The Start of Something New

Series: Daniel & Ryan, Book 2

Author: Tamryn Eradani

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: February 13th

Heat Level: 5 – Erotica

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 13100

Genre: Erotica, BDSM, businessmen, contemporary, friends to lovers

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Synopsis

After a successful first scene together, Daniel and Ryan explore the possibility of continuing their relationship. Negotiating likes and dislikes in BDSM play is one thing, but can Daniel, who likes to keep his life ordered and free of mess, loosen up enough to let the relaxed and uninhibited Ryan deeper into his life?

Excerpt

The Start of Something New
Tamryn Eradani © 2017
All Rights Reserved

 

Daniel wakes up to the first chime of his alarm, and he gets it turned off and his feet swung over the side of his bed before he realizes something isn’t quite right. The mattress is too soft to be his, and the walls are the wrong color. There’s a half glass of orange juice on the bedside table, and that’s what gets last night trickling back to him in bits and pieces.

He’s in Ryan’s apartment. Ryan-from-work’s apartment.

At least he’s not in Ryan-from-work’s bed.

Daniel eases out of the guest bed, glad that he’s not in yesterday’s work clothes, but he frowns when he sees them strewn haphazardly on the floor. He picks up his slacks and shakes them out, even though getting rid of wrinkles isn’t that easy. He’s going to have to take them to the dry cleaner.

He has his overnight bag from the car so he changes into his running clothes. Ryan’s bedroom door is closed, and Daniel doesn’t hear any signs that he’s awake, so Daniel doesn’t feel bad for going for a run. He does leave a note saying where he’s gone in case Ryan wakes up and is alarmed to find either his houseguest or his keys missing.

When Daniel comes back from his run there are still no signs that Ryan’s awake so Daniel takes him time in the shower. It’s more difficult to luxuriate in the shower than in a bath, but Daniel makes do, lathering up with the soap from his toiletry bag until he smells like sandalwood rather than sweat.

His cock, half-hard since he woke up this morning, takes interest in in the smooth slide of skin against skin as he washes his calves and then his thighs. His scene with Ryan ended last night. Daniel’s body is fully his again. If he wanted to knock out a quick one, or even take his time, he could.

He doesn’t want to, though.

Either he and Ryan will do something before Daniel leaves this morning or he’s going to go home and think about last night. In either case, it’s too early for anything.

He finishes his shower and changes into the pajamas from his overnight bag for lack of anything else better to wear. Then he goes to make breakfast.

It figures that it’s the brewing coffee that finally lures Ryan from his room.

He stumbles into the kitchen, covering a yawn with one hand and scratching his belly with the other. His hair is sleep tousled and his cheeks are pink from being under all his blankets. Daniel has a hard time reconciling this image with the man that put Daniel on his knees last night.

“Breakfast?” Ryan asks, coming over to peer over Daniel’s shoulder. “What’s wrong with the eggs?”

“I took out the yolks,” Daniel says. “Healthier for you that way.”

He moves the eggs to one unused burner to cool and Ryan takes that as his cue to wrap an arm around Daniel’s waist and pulls him in for a brief hug. Well, a hug and—

“Did you just sniff my hair?” Daniel asks.

“Did you bring your own shampoo?” Ryan counters.

“It was in my bag.” Daniel leans back into Ryan’s embrace, then adds, “If you want me to smell like you then you need to get better shampoo.”

Ryan’s arm tightens briefly across Daniel’s waist, and Daniel allows himself a brief, triumphant smile.

Purchase

NineStar Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Smashwords

Meet the Author

Tamryn studied English and Creative Writing in school but has been writing since she could first hold a pencil. Recently, she’s turned her focus towards writing erotica. She enjoys writing stories where sex comes first, then feelings, because doing things out of order can be fun.

Tamryn has spent the past few months writing the Daniel and Ryan series with a lovely view of mountains out her window, and she’s now searching for a new mountain range to serve as her backdrop as she begins her next project.

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Release Day Blitz: Leaning Into Love (Leaning into Stories #1) by Lane Hayes (excerpt and giveaway)

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Title:  Leaning Into Love

Series: Leaning Into Stories, #1

Author: Lane Hayes

Publisher: Self-Published

Release Date: February 10th

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: Approximately 24K words

Genre: Romance, Erotica, Friends to lovers, surfer, white collar, San Francisco, bisexual

Available for Purchase ata6e28-amazon

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Synopsis

Eric Schuster is a successful guy. He’s part owner of a highly successful tech firm, he has a supportive family and a great group of close friends. But something is missing. Or maybe he’s reacting to his business partner and ex’s wedding news. He knows his former lover is making a big mistake but he also knows it’s time to move on. And hopefully avoid falling for another friend.

Zane Richards is an avid sailor and surfer with a laid-back approach to life. He firmly believes there’s a time and place for everything if you’re willing to take a chance. Like letting his best friend know he’s interested in being much more than friends. Eric has always been half in love with Zane but going from friends to lovers isn’t an easy sell for someone protecting his heart. Eric will have to decide if he’s willing to risk it all by leaning into love.

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Excerpt

Zane refilled my glass and returned it to me with a naughty smirk. “You get kinda corny when you’re tipsy, Schuster. It’s cute.”

“Cute?”

“Yeah. You get goofy. Your ears turn red and it makes the freckles on your nose stand out. Then you do that thing with your hair where you swipe your hand through it so many times that it looks like you just rolled out of bed.”

“Uh…okay. That’s embarrassing.” I searched for a reflective surface as I attempted to pat my unruly brown hair into some semblance of order. “I was going for debonair and I got bar mitzvah kid chic,” I grumbled.

Zane leaned forward and gave me an intense look I didn’t understand.

“You don’t have to be anyone but yourself with me, Eric. I like you just the way you are.” He sat back again and cocked his head. “So let’s talk about this stupid engagement party. What’s the dress code?”

“Um… it’s probably dressy casual,” I replied with a furrowed brow. I wanted to back up a sentence or two and analyze his words and dissect the meaning of “I like you just the way you are”.

“The usual oxymoron,” he snarked. “You are going with me, right?”

“Sure. If you want.”

“I want. It’ll save us both the trouble of finding some poor unsuspecting sucker to drag to a fancy shindig.”

“True. Speaking of suckers, don’t you have a date tonight?”

Zane glanced at his watch and then stretched his legs out on the bench so his shoe nudged my thigh. “I’ve got time. Talk to me. What else have you been up to lately? I noticed there’s a new exhibit at the Modern Museum. Have you gone? I think it’s a midcentury retrospective with Motherwell and de Kooning. I know you like the scribbly art and…”

His conversation was easy. The gentrified version of his former surfer dude accent had a lilting quality I could have listened to for hours. I felt myself truly begin to relax and let go of the invisible hold I’d had on my emotions, like a swimmer grasping onto a ledge who finally realizes he can reach the bottom of the pool. Being with someone who knew quirky details about me and accepted them without judgment or reservation was a gift.

I treasured all of my friends, but Zane was special. Our friendship was rooted in geography and history and now time. He wasn’t making a romantic advance when he asked me to attend Nick’s engagement party with him. That was latent wishful thinking on my part. Zane was simply being who he always was. My oldest and best friend.

Available at Amazon for only 99 cents

Meet the Author

Lane Hayes is grateful to finally be doing what she loves best. Writing full-time! It’s no secret Lane loves a good romance novel. An avid reader from an early age, she has always been drawn to well-told love story with beautifully written characters. These days she prefers the leading roles to both be men. Lane discovered the M/M genre a few years ago and was instantly hooked. Her debut novel was a 2013 Rainbow Award finalist and subsequent books have received Honorable Mentions, and were winners in the 2016 Rainbow Awards. She loves red wine, chocolate and travel (in no particular order). Lane lives in Southern California with her amazing husband in an almost empty nest.

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Release Day Blitz: Delayed Gratification by Tamryn Eradani (excerpt and giveaway)

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Title:  Delayed Gratification

Series: Daniel & Ryan, Book 1

Author: Tamryn Eradani

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: January 16th

Heat Level: 5 – Erotica

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 11300

Genre: Erotica, BDSM; Businessmen; Friends to Lovers

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Synopsis

Daniel Brown is a man of routine. You might even call him a control freak. So when the new Director of Marketing, Ryan Cole, starts shaking up Daniel’s routine, Daniel doesn’t know how to react. He finds Ryan intriguing, infuriating and oh so attractive, but he doesn’t mix business with pleasure. As their games start to grow kinkier, dare Daniel give in to his desire to let Ryan top him?

Excerpt

Tamryn Eradani © 2017
All Rights Reserved

There’s another donut on his desk the next morning.

There isn’t even the slightest bit of temptation this time as Daniel picks it up and deposits it on Tracy’s desk. She ate yesterday’s donut, and he doesn’t doubt she’ll eat this one too. Personally, he would never eat something a stranger left on his desk, but he explained the mysteriously appearing donut and she chose to eat it anyway.

He sets the donut down on Tracy’s desk and notices a light on, on the other side of the room, across three rows of cubicles. One of the driving forces behind Daniel’s desire to get promoted was the thought of having an office of his own, of not being hemmed in by cubicle walls or surrounded by people who don’t know how to focus even though that’s what they’re paid to do.

Daniel’s usually the first person in every day and one of the last to leave, and he’s curious who else is here this morning.

He winds through cubicles until he can get a good look at the occupied office.

Ah, Ryan Cole.

He’s the new Director of Marketing, hired a month or maybe two months ago. Daniel had stopped by the welcoming party in between calls. His first call had been an average sale. The second ended in one of Daniel’s best sales this quarter. He’s hoping to get a mention at the next all-company meeting.

Daniel doesn’t remember anything about the welcoming party except a vague sense of distrust, because the man has two first names. One of them, ostensibly, is a last name, and Daniel knows you don’t have control over your last name, but it’s something that bothers him. He likes neat rows of boxes and everything to fit in its box.

A person should have a clear first name and a clear last name.

Ryan’s at his desk, dark head of hair the only thing visible as he fiddles with something at his desk.

With a Krispy Kreme bag.

Coincidence, Daniel tells himself, even though there was a donut on his desk this morning, and there’s only one other person in the office here right now, and that person happens to have a bag from a donut shop.

Bribe, maybe, he thinks next. Sales and marketing have always had a tumultuous relationship at best, and maybe the new guy is trying to fix that. Daniel should tell him bribery isn’t the way to go.

Ryan looks up from what he’s doing, and he catches Daniel staring.

Ryan smirks and holds Daniel’s gaze as he pulls a glazed donut out of the bag. Daniel doesn’t know where to look. The donut is dangerous, because his self-control is stretched thin after two days of denying himself something he wants. The man is even more dangerous.

There’s a knowing look in Ryan’s brown eyes, something that suggests this isn’t a bribe either. It’s something else, something deeper, and Daniel shuts that train of thought down right away. It’s not that. He wouldn’t suggest—he couldn’t know—he…

No, Daniel tells himself firmly.

“Good morning,” he tells Ryan, as if that had been the purpose of his cross-office trip, and then he promptly returns to his own office.

He pulls the blinds to the interoffice windows and sits down in front of his laptop.

It takes him 2.4 minutes to put Ryan out of his mind.

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NineStar Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords

Meet the Author

Tamryn studied English and Creative Writing in school but has been writing since she could first hold a pencil. Recently, she’s turned her focus towards writing erotica. She enjoys writing stories where sex comes first, then feelings, because doing things out of order can be fun.

Tamryn has spent the past few months writing the Daniel and Ryan series with a lovely view of mountains out her window, and she’s now searching for a new mountain range to serve as her backdrop as she begins her next project.

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Release Day Blitz for A Collision with Reality by Storm Duffy (excerpt and giveaway)

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Title:  A Collision with Reality

Series: In Like Flynn

Author: Storm Duffy

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: January 2nd

Heat Level: 5 – Erotica

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 7100

Genre: Erotica, contemporary, UK, D/s, kink, businessmen, online chat, workplace relationship, erotica

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Synopsis

Flynn’s new boss is so hot he can’t wait to get home to tell the chatroom how much he wants Dom’s cock down his throat. By Friday, he’s shared quite a few thoughts on what he’d like his boss to do to him. But he’s not as anonymous as he thinks, and Dom’s intent on disciplining him for breaching company policy on social networking. Dom gives him a choice of put up or shut up: he can play out the fantasy in real life, or he can walk out of the office without a word to HR as long as he never talks that way about Dom again. Flynn chooses “put up”—but he’s forgotten about one of the things he said he wouldn’t mind doing.

Excerpt

The new manager was really something: tall, dark, and handsome, with a superb arse that looked great in a suit. Flynn wouldn’t mind seeing what it looked like out of the suit. Unfortunately the suit was respectably cut at the front, making it impossible to tell without staring whether the guy dressed to the left or the right, let alone how big his cock was.

Not the sort of thing one ought to be thinking about while listening to the big boss introduce the new manager. He barely caught the guy’s name—Dominic.

“Pleasure to meet you all,” Dominic said. “I look forward to getting to know you better over the next few weeks.”

Flynn looked forward to it as well. He particularly looked forward to getting to know him better in the gents, at least well enough to idly glance down and check out the cock. A pity he wasn’t likely to get to know Dominic in the gents any better than that, not in real life; but it was his own business what he did in the privacy of his own head.

And in the privacy of his favourite board online that evening. No wallet names, no ID. Not even your location listed unless you wanted it out there in the hope of hooking up with someone for a night’s fuck. A safe place to talk about just how much he fancied the new boss.

[New boss arrived today. Absolutely bloody gorgeous, if you like older men. Wouldn’t mind having him discipline me for poor performance.]

[Better if he disciplines you for good performance] an anon said.

[Oh, I think I could perform well for him.]

Flynn could think of a number of ways he could perform, starting with:

[Down on my knees with my mouth open.]

Purchase

NineStar Press | Amazon | Smashwords

Meet the Author

Storm Duffy has a number of erotica shorts published under that and other names in a variety of venues, including “The Mammoth Book of Quick and Dirty Erotica”. As Jules Jones, she has written several erotic romance novellas and novels, including the first M/M romance published by Loose Id.

Amongst the 2500 or so books on shelves in her house, there is room for rather a lot of cross-stitch thread and entirely too many balls of wool. There are also more bits of computer kit than is quite reasonable for someone who doesn’t do that for a living. The two microscopes, on the other hand, are entirely in keeping with a career in science.

Website  | Twitter | Goodreads | eMail | Smashwords | Livejournal

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Brenda Murphy’s Giving Tips on Submitting Creative Working and Talking ‘Dominique and Other Stories’ (Guest Blog and Giveaway)

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Dominique and Other Stories by Brenda Murphy

Publisher:  NineStar Press
Release Date: September 26, 2016
Cover Artist: Natasha Snow

Purchase Links: NineStar Press 

COUPON CODE: Get 20% off preorder on NineStar Press website with coupon code “preorder”

* (Good until release day)

Ten Tips for Submitting Creative Work by Brenda Murphy

Have you held off from submitting your creative work because you are scared/overwhelmed by the requirements/unsure of formatting/ the process? As someone who struggles ADHD getting a creative project to the final stage and ready for submission is difficult for me. And yet if you don’t submit your work (if your goal is to be traditionally published then you might as well shout down a well for or set fire to your manuscript when you finish it. Unless you get it together and get it off your hard drive it will never be published. I have to push myself every time I put a package together to send out. I have routines that I follow that have made it easier, notice I did not say easy- it is never easy no matter how many times I do it. Even if you do not struggle with distraction issues and/or ADHD the process can stress out even the most calm even tempered person. This is a collection of ten tips that help me and I hope they help you.

While most often associated with gambling, the phrase ” if you don’t play you can’t win” is what I say to myself every time I send off a submission for review, not because it is a gamble but because of the truth of the statement. If you are one of the many who dream of having your work traditionally published, displayed in a gallery, or publicly recognized, you have to submit it for consideration by other people.

Is it easy? Yes, it is easy to hit send, but it can be incredibly stressful to assemble a submission package, book proposal, portfolio, manuscript, short story, or any other creative project. Some people get so overwhelmed they never submit anything. It is an act of confidence for any creative person to submit their work for review. As Erykah Badu says ” I’m an artist and I’m sensitive about my sh*t…” and Ms. Badu is so right. I have yet to meet a creative person who is not personally invested in their work.

Just reading submission guidelines can be overwhelming. The stress that occurs knowing that making a mistake can get your submission rejected before it is ever reviewed can stir up so much resistance that many individuals give up. A large percentage of creative people have attention issues and struggle with details. Here are ten organizational tips to make the submission process less stressful.

1. Read the submission guidelines. Read them again. Print them out, underline, and highlight the requirements for the submission.

2. Enter all deadlines on your calendar. What no calendar? Read my post on keeping track of multiple deadlines and projects here.

3. Start a computer folder, a flat file or file box and keep everything related to the project in one location. This keeps key information and work together.

4. Date all drafts, or versions of your project. This prevents you from sending the wrong version of the file when it is time to send in the final version.

5. Set reminders for key dates, these can be written reminders or electronic reminders.

6. Have another person, preferably someone who is detail oriented review your submission before you send it. Give them the guidelines and ask them to review your submission to see if you have everything required. Buy this person a beverage and a meal of their choice for helping you.

6a. If the person helping you has suggestions or points out errors that you have made- DO NOT BE A JERK ABOUT IT. You asked for their help so take it.

6b. If the above person is cruel, negative, rude, or in any other way discouraging, thank them for their time and ask someone else. No, you still don’t get to be a jerk even if they were rude.

7. Be realistic and take your time. This is very difficult for many creative people, and particularly difficult for people with ADD/ADHD. Creating is fun, paying attention to details not so much, but if your brilliant work is never reviewed because you did not follow the submission guidelines you are defeating yourself.

8. Remember that as hard as it is to hit “send” or mail that package, it is the only way it is going to get reviewed: If you don’t play you can’t win.

9. Expect to have some anxiety after you submit your work. See Ms. Badu’s quote above, then get to work on your next project. Starting a new exciting project is the best way to deal with your anxiety over the one you just submitted. And if you get lucky enough that they ask you to please send them more of your work you are ready to go.

10. Celebrate. I can’t stress this enough. You have done something that many, many people dream of and never ever do. Celebrate your determination, celebrate your work, celebrate no matter what.

So hit the send button, drop off the portfolio, submit your creative work, jump in with both feet.

You can find more tips and writing advice on my blog

Writingwhiledistracted.com

Book Blurb

Obsession. Pleasure. Pain. Desire. Love.

Four women—heartbroken and lost—long to satisfy their soul-deep need for the sensual blend of pain and pleasure, but have not found relief for the ache…until now. Dominance, submission, power exchange, and love lost-and-found feature in this collection of stories about women willing to risk everything in their quest for passion and love.

Category: Erotica
Genre: Contemporary, BDSM
Sex Content: Explicit

Pairing: FF
Orientation: Lesbian
Identity: Cis

Length: Novella
Words: 26800
Pages: 75

Author Bio

Brenda Murphy writes both short stories and novels. She is a member of Romance Writers of America. Her non-fiction and fiction work has been published in various collections—most recently, “Whole Again” in First: Sensual Stories of New Beginnings (Ladylit Publishing, 2015).

When she is not writing or teaching cooking classes, she’s attempting to train an unrepentant parrot, much to her Ohioan family’s delight. She writes about life, books, and writing on her blog, writingwhiledistracted.com. She shares recipes and celebrates food on her blog, quinbykitchensideshow.com.

Email: quinbysideshow@gmail.com

Website: http://www.brendalmurphy.com

Facebook: Brenda Murphy

Mailing list: You can sign up for my mailing list at brendalmurphy.com

Instagram: quinbysideshow

Excerpt

Brenda Murphy © 2016

All Rights Reserved.

“Hey, Gina?”

She flinched at the tone. Kurt was forever uptalking, and it made Gina nuts.

“There is a lady out here, says she knows you, and wants to talk to you about coffee service for a group.”

“She needs to talk to Bill. He handles all the catering arrangements.” Gina turned back to measuring coffee beans.

“Uh, Gina?”

“Kurt, for the love of all that is holy, please let me do this, or we’ll be buried in the rush.”

“She says she only wants to talk to you. She’s kinda scary.”

Gina rolled her eyes. Kurt was over six feet tall and looked like he lived at the gym. What the hell could be so scary? After tossing the scoop onto the counter, Gina walked to the front of the shop, grabbing the catering brochure on her way out.

“Our owner would…” Gina stopped.

“Hello, Gina.”

Miranda’s face—signature lipstick and smoldering look—made Gina’s heart hitch. She had played this scene in her head so many times, but now that she was in it, she found she had no words.

“Miranda.” Looking down at the floor, her knuckles white on the counter, Gina swallowed hard. “You need to talk to Bill. Here’s his number.” She handed Miranda the catering menu. “You still know how to use a phone, right—or do you have people to do it for you now?”

“Can we talk?” Miranda stepped closer to the counter. Her eyes locked on Gina’s face, and she raised her hand as if to touch Gina’s cheek.

Gina took a step back. “I think the time for that has passed.”

“Are you so sure?” Her voice rubbed against Gina’s resolve like raw silk. She wanted to say, The hell with it. To say yes, to toss her apron at Kurt, leap the counter, and…then what? She didn’t know. She only knew she didn’t want to ever feel that particular kind of heartache again. She shoved her hands in her pockets to keep them still.

“No. Yes. The hell, Miranda? You walk in here like it’s five years ago, and expect to pick up where we left off. What is wrong with you?” Her eyes pinned Miranda to the spot, or, at least, that was what she intended. Instead, Gina was as lost in the ice-blue depths of Miranda’s eyes as she had ever been. She bit her lip to keep it from quivering, blinking back the tears that threatened to fall.

The clanging of the door chimes startled them.

“I’ll go. I’m so sorry. Truly sorry.” Miranda lowered her head, shoulders sagging. She slid a card across the counter toward Gina.

Gina swept it to the floor, looking around Miranda at the small woman behind her.

“Hi, Mona, do you want your usual?”

“Oh, yes, honey. I need my fix this morning.”

Mona stepped around her to pay, squinting at Miranda’s face.

“Hey, are you that woman? You know, the one everyone is talking about—Dominique somebody. You make those dreadfully scary movies my grandkids always want to show me?”

“I am.”

“Well, how about that? Would you sign something for me?” She snatched a napkin out of the holder. “Gina, honey, can I borrow a pen?”

“Sure, Mona.” Gina passed her pen over and left the two of them there, Miranda making Mona laugh like a schoolgirl. Gina sent Kurt out to make Mona’s tea.

In the bathroom, Gina splashed water on her face. She looked at herself in the mirror. Five years was a long time. The bit of gray that started at her widow’s peak had widened to a blaze across the top of her short dark hair. The smile lines along her mouth and eyes were deeper. She liked to think she hadn’t changed much in five years, given that Miranda sure as hell hadn’t changed. But Gina had changed. She was a little less impetuous now. A little less bold. She worked hard to protect her heart, not trusting anyone to keep it safe.

And make it up to her? How could Miranda make up five years of wondering what the hell those blissful nine months had been about? Five years of wondering why, or what if, or how? Screw that, Gina thought as she slammed the door behind her.

Walking to the front of the shop, she saw Miranda’s card on the floor and picked it up, meaning to fling it into the trash. She caught the scent of the white gardenia perfume that, like all things Miranda, had never changed. Gina turned the card over in her hand. Miranda had scrawled her hotel information across the front. Gina ran her thumb over the embossed print and shoved the card in her pocket.

Giveaway

Check out NineStar Press events calendar for information on additional blog stops for Dominique & Other Stories and other upcoming releases!

 

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