An Ali Review: Country Boy (Hot Off the Ice #2) by AE Wasp

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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Sometimes the toughest thing to have faith in is yourself. 

The first time Paul Dyson met Robbie Rhodes, they ended up naked in Robbie’s bed. The last time they met, on the ice the morning after, Paul punched Robbie in the face and called him something he’d rather not repeat. 

Two years later, they’re teammates on the Seattle Thunder hockey team. 

Being gay is wrong, unnatural, and there is no room for them in his world. Paul’s heard that his whole life. So when it hits him that he is gay, he does the only thing he can: he shoves himself so deep in the closet he would need a map to find his way out again. 

When the chance to fulfill his lifelong dream comes along, Paul can’t say no, even if it forces him to share hotel rooms with the only man he can’t resist. It doesn’t take long for Paul to give into temptation and find himself falling in love with his brilliant, caring teammate. 

But as much as he cares for Paul, Robbie is finding it harder and harder to justify hiding who he is. It goes against everything he was taught was right. He feels like he has a duty to come out to the public. He’d be the first out gay pro-hockey player. 

If Paul wants to be with Robbie, he will have to turn his back on his family and everything he’s believed in. If Robbie wants to be will Paul, he’ll have to do the same. 

It’s going to take them a lot of faith to find their way together in this shiny new world. 
This was a good second installment to the Hot Off of the Ice series.  We met Robbie in the first book.  He was a teammate of Bryce’s and attended the big Thanksgiving dinner.  This book starts a few months down the road and Paul has just been traded to Robbie’s team. 
These two have a history and it didn’t end well.  Their new beginning doesn’t start well either.  After some fighting, the coach tells them they better work out their differences or else.  This begins a hesitant truce.  But since they are the newest team members they end up having to room together while they’re on the road.  One thing leads to another and soon they can’t keep their hands off of each other.  
This book was much more serious than the first book in the series.  This starts as an enemies to lovers and turns into a hurt/comfort trope.  There are two main issues going on.  One is whether either or both of them want to come out and how that will effect their hockey career.  The other is the religiously oppressive home that Paul was raised in.  Being someone who was raised in the same type of home, my heart went out to Paul.  I could understand the internal struggles that he was trying to work through.  I felt these were realistically done and I liked the entire overall plot line.  
The only thing I didn’t not care for was a side plot with Paul’s dad.  I felt it added some unnecessary drama and I found the entire thing unbelievable.  I also found his dad’s quick turn around on his views unrealistic.  I wish the author would have left that entire part out of the book to be honest.
 
We see a decent amount of Bryce and Dakota as well as Jake and Nikki.  Both of which I enjoyed seeing again.  While this book is the second in the series it can be read fine as a standalone.  
 
Overall I really enjoyed this and I’m excited to have found a new series and a new author who I like a lot.  I will definitely be looking forward to more books in this series.
 
Cover Artist: Ana J. Phoenix I like the cover a lot.  The colors stand out and are eye catching and the models match the descriptions of the MC’s.  I think the cover is a good representation of the story and it flows well with the previous book in the series.
Sales Links:
Book Details:
Kindle Edition, 326 pages
Published September 21st 2017 by Kelpie Press
ASINB075BQ57YV
SeriesHot off the Ice #2

A MelanieM Release Day Review: Remember When by SJD Peterson

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Rating: 2 stars out of 5

Life is simple and hopeful in youth. Luke and Nelson are best friends exploring their budding sexuality. They have big plans for the future, and nothing can stand in their way or tear them apart—except a family move that puts a continent between them.

Ten years later Luke and Nelson meet again, but nothing is simple anymore. As strong as the attraction remains, obligations and expectations come between them as Luke is forced to honor family responsibilities over the desires of his heart.

Impossibly fate sees fit to offer them a last opportunity to see what might have been. Will the third time be the charm, or is trust so badly broken it is impossible to repair? Can they recapture the innocent love they once knew and make up for all the wasted years? In a love story that spans half a lifetime, two friends destined for each other will have to fight hard for their happily ever after.

This is not the book review I wanted to write.

Mostly because I don’t enjoy telling readers and authors how much I disliked a story but there’s no getting around it here.  I can count on one hand how many books I have disliked as much as this one.  It barely scarpered up to two star rating and that’s only because the characters, Luke in particular was nauseating enough to make me dislike him to this degree that the writing must be good enough to warrant that much.

This was a story where two characters meet, one hurts the other repeatedly, the other lets him do it doormat style and then after all the years pass let’s him back into his life again.  In one case, Luke even admits he knowingly wants to keep Nelson on the side even if it hurts him, he wants it all.  This character is so blandly stomach churning that he made this book a DNF several times for me.  Only my stubbornness and inability to believe this idiocy wouldn’t continue to the end kept me going.  Of course it did.

So I’m not even going to recap it here.  I disliked the plot, the immaturity of the characters, even after they met years apart, the continued “doormat” quality of Nelson’s character.  Nelson needed a therapist and a lock, not a reunion.  Above all I disliked this couple! I disliked the excuses for their actions and their acceptance of it.  There is so much that will make you sit back and think “wtf” here.  It’s more than troubling. And this is coming from someone who loves, I mean LOVES the “second chance-lovers reunited” trope stories.

Even now I’m thinking those 2 stars might be generous.  Shakes head.

Cover Artist: Garrett Leigh.  The cover is definitely the best thing about this story.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 210 pages
Expected publication: August 28th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781635336795
Edition LanguageEnglish

A Jeri Review: Unsteady (On Solid Ground #3) by Melissa Collins

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Rating: 4 Stars out of 5

Although this book is officially the third in a series, it absolutely can be read as a stand alone.

Melissa Collins writes really good damaged men. Damaged in a way that makes you want to cheer for them and hug them and want their happily ever after.

Micah was an army brat, moving every few years and never really making connections with people. When his father finally retired and they settled in Texas, he found himself defending Jude against bullies in the high school locker room. Offering both friendship and a work out partner, they were inseparable.

Jude thought he was doing the right thing by telling Micah to get out of his life. Looking back, it was totally the wrong thing. But 10 years have passed and he still can’t forgive himself. So when Micah suddenly calls him out of the blue looking to visit, crash at his place, whatever- Jude can’t say no.

Micah and Jude have a long road of forgiveness to travel together.  But watching them reconnect, forgive and fall in love again is beautiful. Even though Micah had way more issues than Jude- it was Jude who broke my heart. Ten years later, still taking care of his father, living in the closet and working at the school of his bullied childhood. And even though Jude was doing what he loved at the school- I can’t imagine going back there day after day.

And just when I thought Micah was doing well- Jude takes him on a surprise day trip. And Micah freaked out. Ugh I was gutted. His agony was so evident. Especially since the trigger was something you wouldn’t even think of!

Two beautiful but damaged souls healing together and healing each other. This story will rip your heart out, but also make you swoon. It was beautifully written with great regard to the life a soldier with PTSD and permanent injuries would have.

Cover design: Sommer Stein at Perfect Pair Creative Covers.  Cover is hot and eye-catching.

Sales Links  AMAZON

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 1st edition
Published April 28th 2017 by M. Collins Author, LLC
ASINB071V5B5T1
SeriesOn Solid Ground #3

Release Day Tour: Unsteady by Melissa Collins (giveaway on FB)

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Happy Release Day!

Unsteady by Melissa Collins
A stand alone, M/M romance
IS NOW LIVE!
Free to read with Kindle Unlimited

Grab your copy here –> AMAZON

Cover design: Sommer Stein at Perfect Pair Creative Covers

Photography: Wander Aguiar at WANDER AGUIAR :: PHOTOGRAPHY

Models: Jacob Cooley and Ryan Dick

BLURB:

Micah Hudson and Jude MacMillian were both lonely teenagers. One the new kid
and one the target of relentless bullying, they quickly became friends. But
when friendship grew into more, the relationship was too much for either to
handle. As their tenuous bond was tested, everything tumbled down, leaving
them lonely once again.

A decade later, Micah is on the brink of losing his will to live. Beyond
exhausted from lying to everyone, including himself, Micah thinks of the one
person who knows his deepest secret. Desperate and alone, Micah makes the
only decision he feels he has: he must leave. But his need for closure
depends on one thing.

Can Jude make room in his Unsteady life for Micah once again?

Join me on Facebook where you will find a $50 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway!
Melissa Collins Author Page

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Melissa Collins has always been a book worm. Studying Literature in college ensured that her nose was always stuck in a book. She followed her passion for reading to the most logical career choice: English teacher. Her hope was to share her passion for reading and the escapism of books to her students. Having spent more than a decade in front of a classroom, she can easily say that it’s been a dream.
Her passion for writing didn’t start until more recently. When she was home on maternity leave in early 2012, she read her first romance novel and her head filled with the passion, angst and laughter of the characters who she read about it. It wasn’t long before characters of her own took shape in her mind. Their lives took over Melissa’s brain and The Love Series was born.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest

Release Blitz & Giveaway- J M Snyder’s Not Another One Hit Wonder

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Not Another One Hit Wonder – J. M Snyder

Author: J.M Snyder
 
Publisher: JMS Books
 
Length: 43,700 words
 
Release Date: November 19 2016
 
Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Smashwords | KOBO 
 

Blurb

When best friends Jamie Eckert and Derek Duran realized they were in love, they took their relationship to the next level. But then Derek’s budding music career took off, and so did Derek.

Twenty years later, Jamie still lives in the small town of Ashbury, Virginia, where he grew up. He’s grown up and moved on — now he owns the family funeral home business and is raising Riley, his precocious six-year-old adopted daughter.

But emotions Jamie thought long buried are stirred up again when he gets an early morning removal call. The deceased is Derek’s mother and Riley’s babysitter, Mrs. Duran. Now Derek’s back in town for the funeral, and he turns to Jamie for support … in more ways than one.

Angry at Derek for not keeping in touch, and angrier at himself for still loving the man who left him behind, Jamie is torn between his professional duty and his feelings for Derek. Will he be able to put aside his past with Derek to carry out Mrs. Duran’s final wishes? Or is Derek interested in rekindling their relationship after all this time?

Excerpt

I pull into the red-striped area next to my usual parking spot and pull up my handbrake hard enough to jerk the car forward a little. The striped spot is double-wide — during a funeral, the police who will accompany us to the graveside park here — but I pull in as close to the other car as I can. I don’t care if the other driver is grieving over a long-lost relative; that’s no excuse for driving like an idiot and parking where he doesn’t belong. And I plan to tell him just that, too. Even if he storms into the funeral home and tries to duck me, he has one hell of a surprise coming when he finds out I’m the person he’s here to see.

I glance over but the driver has his head down, digging for something on the seat beside him, and I can’t see his face. Which means he knows he’s done something wrong and is going to wait until I drive off before he gets out of the car. Surprise, I work here. What’s your excuse?

Grabbing my cup of coffee, I get out of the car and slam the door shut, hard. As I turn, the other car’s door opens. I see a shaggy head of dark hair — still not looking at me, as if ignoring me will make me go away — followed by a lithe male body. A Rolling Stones concert T-shirt with the sleeves torn off, skinny black jeans so tight they almost creak, a faded pair of black Converse that look as old as I am.

Really? I shake my head. That’s what you wear to a funeral home? Show some respect …

Wait, I think I recognize those shoes.

My heart skips a beat, and my fingers go numb. I set down my coffee on the hood of my car before I can drop it. “Jesus Christ.” My voice squeaks a little when I ask, “Derek?”

The guy looks up, finally, giving his head a familiar little shake to toss his hair out of gray-green eyes I used to stare into for hours when I was younger. The same eyes that still haunt my dreams from time to time. Derek Duran, in the flesh. He’s no longer eighteen and perfect — he’s aged like me, and the lines around his eyes and mouth suggest he’s had a rougher time of it than I have.

But when he smiles, one corner of his lips pulls up higher than the other to show off the eyetooth he broke on a seesaw when he was eight. In that instant, the years fall away from him, from us both. My body flushes hot all over and I feel like I did the last time I saw him, the last time I held him close.

“Hey, Jamie. Long time, no see.”

His voice is throatier than I remember, smoked out and husky and, I’ll admit it, more than a little sexy. It suits his grown-up appearance, and helps distance me from the boy I used to date.

I ask, “You know you’re in my spot, right?”

With a guilty start, he looks around, his gaze settling on the sign in front of his car. “Oh, shit. I’m sorry. I can move –”

“Don’t worry about it.” My earlier anger is gone, shocked out of me by his sudden appearance. Sudden? Who am I kidding? I knew he was on his way; I’ve been looking for him ever since we spoke on the phone.

You’ve been looking longer than that, a voice inside me whispers, but I tamp it down quickly before my thoughts can run away with it.

A smile spreads across my face as I look him over again. Damn, he still looks good. Not quite the same as I remember, but better in some ways, and I’ll take what I can get. I find myself falling right back into the way we were, as if no time has passed.

“Come on inside,” I tell him. “We can go over the plans your mother made for her funeral. I’m sure that’s why you’re here.”

“Yeah, sure.”

He shoves his hands into the front pockets of his jeans. It’s a snug fit, and the way the black denim stretches across his crotch draws my gaze down where it doesn’t belong. You know nothing about him now, I remind myself. Where he lives, who he’s dating, if he’s married. He’s here to talk about his mother’s funeral, for Christ’s sake. At least act professional.

As he steps around my car, I reach for my coffee, ready to lead the way. My mind is already several steps ahead — I see me holding the door open for him, the two of us sharing an awkward grin, then the shocked look on Molly’s face when she realizes who’s followed me in.

But his hand catches mine before I can pick up the Starbucks cup. I raise a questioning eyebrow as he comes closer, right up on me now. When I take a step back, the car’s sideview mirror stops me.

“Jamie,” Derek sighs, his thumb stroking the inside of my wrist. His touch is warm and velvety and strong, and I can imagine his hands on other parts of my body all too easily. He stares at me, his eyes hungry, the same look in them that I remember from when we were together. His voice drops to a sexy rumble. “God, I’ve missed you.”

My knees go weak at the admission. “Me, too,” I breathe. “I mean –”

Before I can explain what I mean, his mouth covers mine with a needy, desperate kiss.

♥︎Read Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Review here….its a Recommended Story!

About the Author

I’m a writer whose main interest lies in gay erotic fiction. Why? Why not? I write what’s in my head and I guess that’s just how my mind works. You’ll find that my stories run from contemporary to science fiction, because I like a variety of different genres, but the characters are all gay men. They’re just who I like to write about, and who I’ve found my fans like to read about. And I don’t shy away from the sex, either (though some people say I don’t write enough). Gay erotic romance, you could call it. Works for me.

Currently I live in Richmond, Virginia, and work full-time running JMS Books and Queerteen press. I have two very spoiled cats named Marley and Lew. On those rare occasions when I’m not writing or editing or marketing my books, I like reading (mostly fantasy, sci-fi, and non-fiction), visiting Civil War historical sites, watching cheesy 80’s TV shows, and playing video games (I’m a Legend of Zelda fanatic).

I graduated from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. While there, I was the Fantasy Editor of The Fractal, our campus sci-fi/fantasy journal. After graduation I started my own speculative fiction webzine, Disenchanted, published quarterly for almost two years. Though it was mostly fantasy, I began to explore gay fiction in the last few issues.

At some point I stumbled upon slash fan fiction and thought, “I can do that.” I dabbled in various fandoms (X-Men, Star Wars, an awesome video game called Suikoden), but when I finally got serious about fan fic, it was in “real person slash,” specifically Justin and Lance from the boy band, ‘N Sync.
Other Writings

If you enjoy my writing, you might like to visit some of my other websites:

J.M. Snyder : my blog
Vic and Matt : a site dedicated to my gay superheroes
J. Tomas : gay young adult romance
J.T. Marie : fantasy fiction and lesbian romance
Shawna Jeanne : MMF erotic romance
Written Ink : cover art and book layout services
Contact Me

E-mail: jmsnyder23@yahoo.com. Find me on Facebook or Twitter.

 Giveaway

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Love Sails After Its True Heart with Shira Anthony’s Take Two! Release Day Special Blog and Tour Stop!

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Take Two by Shira Anthony

Dreamspinner Press
Cover Art by L.C. Chase

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Shira Anthony here today on her Take Two video tour.  Welcome, Shira!

~~~

Thanks so much, Melanie and Scattered Thoughts, for hosting the Take Two video tour! Throughout the tour, we’ll be making video stops on one of my favorite places at the North Carolina coast and the location for Take Two: Bald Head Island.

Take Two is a second chance at love story set during a movie shoot. It’s a sweet and sometimes funny story about love that won’t quit, and includes anachronistic pirates, silly dialogue, and general mayhem as action star Sander Carson, a.k.a. Sam Carr, tries to woo back his estranged husband, pirate expert and history professor Wesley Coolidge. You can find all the videos after they’re posted on my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6nv628KGwo&list=PLPthSb07JAMhidI3zIKcD6FLK5wTrnjV_

I hope you’ll enjoy this lighthearted romp and that you end up believing in second chances! The book is now available for preorder at Dreamspinner Press, Amazon, and all the usual suspects. -Shira

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Blurb

Shiver me timbers! When Professor Wesley Coolidge accepts a summer job as a historical consultant to a pirate movie being filmed in North Carolina, the last person he expects to bump into is his soon-to-be ex, movie star Sander Carson. Just like the flamboyant pirate he’s playing, Sander, aka Sam Carr, is used to getting what he wants, and he makes it clear he wants Wesley back in his life.

Sam acknowledges it’s his fault they split up. He lost Wesley when he left their life in New York City behind for a career in Hollywood. But Wesley has finally managed to put the pieces of his heart back together, and he isn’t interested in Sam and Wesley: The Sequel. Sam soon realizes that convincing Wesley to give their relationship a second chance will take much more than apologies and reminders of good times past. If he wants Wesley back, Sam will have to show Wesley that they really can sail into the sunset together–a real-life happily-ever-after that won’t end once the final credits roll.

Excerpt from Chapter Two

The entire scene was surreal. Gorgeous boat, beautiful scenery, good wine, and me by my lonesome. In the grand scheme of life, it certainly wasn’t the worst outcome. Still, he wished he wasn’t alone.

He pulled his cellphone from his pocket and tapped the preset for Carl. If they couldn’t be together, at least Wes could describe the alternate universe he’d just stepped into for him. It took a few seconds for the call to connect, and Wes imagined the signal snaking its way down through Florida, then skimming the waves to the southwest, across the Gulf of Mexico, and over to Guatemala.

“This is Carl Stephens. I’m unavailable to take your call at the moment. Please leave a message and I’ll get back to you as soon as I’m able.”

Figures. Wes shook his head and disconnected the call. He’d catch Carl another time. He didn’t want Carl to feel guilty about the change in plans. It wasn’t as if he was suffering here in North Carolina anyhow. He replaced the phone in his pocket and glanced up at the fly bridge again. Why not? He’d never been particularly shy, and he figured he’d feel more comfortable hanging out with the crew instead of pretending to be some pampered Hollywood celebrity. He refilled his glass and headed up the stairs.

The fly bridge was every bit as Wes had expected. Sleek, with the newest instrumentation, radio, and radar. The seats and console were white, as was the rest of the yacht, and the panoramic view was impressive. The captain sat facing the console, only the top of his head visible over the high-backed leather chair.

“Impressive.”

“We aim to please,” the captain responded without turning around. His clipped British accent reminded Wes of a young Peter O’Toole in Lawrence of Arabia. “Are the accommodations to your liking?”

“You mean the presidential suite? I only wish I could spend a month or two sailing the Caribbean in accommodations like that.” He sighed.

“I might be able to arrange that.” The captain spun his chair around so he faced Wes. Except he wasn’t a captain, and he wasn’t British at all—

“Sam?” Wes knew his jaw had just dropped to the deck.

Sam Carr—no, Sander Carson, Wes reminded himself—grinned back at him. It was too easy for forget that the Sam he’d married no longer existed. “That would be me.” The British accent was gone, replaced by a hint of a soft southern drawl. Well, at least that was authentic.

“What the hell are you doing here?” Wes demanded.

Sam appeared entirely nonplussed. “Is that any way to say hello to your husband?”

“Ex-husband,” Wes corrected.

“Not for another 46 days and seven hours.” Sam leaned back in the captain’s chair, causing the thin fabric of his T-shirt to stretch tight over the muscles of his chest. He looked better than Wes remembered. No doubt he had some expensive fitness coach he worked with every day to manage pecs like that. His bright blue eyes were as disarming as they’d always been, the hint of stubble on his strong jaw only made him look more attractive. Like a movie star. Which, of course, Sam—or Sander—was.

“You haven’t answered my question,” Wes said, trying to ignore the jab to his gut at the reminder that their divorce would soon be final. “Why are you here?”

“I had a few days off from shooting, and I thought I’d take her out for a spin. They delivered her last week, and I haven’t had a chance to—”

“Wait a minute. You mean she… this is your boat?”

“Yep. Bought and paid for,” Sam said with pride.

The pieces began to fall into place. Marv leaving suddenly. The shoot in North Carolina. Sam wouldn’t have had anything to do with Carl’s boss’s change in plans, but he’d have known whom to call to find out about Wes’s plans. And Jeffrey. Shit, he remembered where he’d heard that name before: Sam’s personal assistant.

Total setup.

Wes made a mental note to read his secretary, Viv, the riot act when he got back to New York. Which would be very soon, if he had anything to say about it. She didn’t usually handle the details of his personal life, but she had access to his Outlook calendar. Come to think of it, she’d been asking him a lot of questions about his personal life lately. And she’d always loved Sam.

Everyone loves Sam.

“This isn’t going to happen, Sammy,” he told Sam. “I’m outta here.”

“Contract?” Sam said as Wes turned to head downstairs.

“Contracts can be broken.”

“You never read the fine print, do you?” Sam was clearly enjoying this.

“What have you done?” Wes glared at Sam.

“I didn’t do anything. The studio’s attorneys, though….”

“You set me up.” Stating the obvious. Sam was a hell of a lot smarter than he appeared. And way more devious. “What do you want from me, Sam?”

Sam tilted his head to one side and rubbed his chin as if he were considering the question. “You haven’t figured that out yet?” he asked.

Wes wouldn’t dignify the question with a response.

“I want you, Wesley Warren Coolidge. What else?”

Buy Links

        

 

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About Shira: Shira Anthony was a professional opera singer in her last incarnation, performing roles in such operas as Tosca, Pagliacci, and La Traviata, among others. She’s given up TV for evenings spent with her laptop, and she never goes anywhere without a pile of unread M/M romance on her Kindle.

Shira is married with two children and two insane dogs, and when she’s not writing, she is usually in a courtroom trying to make the world safer for children. When she’s not working, she can be found at the Carolina coast aboard Land’s Zen, a 35’ catamaran sailboat, with her favorite sexy captain at the wheel.

Want to hear Shira sing? You can listen to an excerpt from a live recording of Shira performing Tosca on her website: http://www.shiraanthony.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/tosca-visse-darte-exceprt1.mp3

Where to find Shira:

Can Ex-Lovers Find A New Future Again? Find out with Black Dust by Lynn Charles (author interview, excerpt and giveaway

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Black Dust by Lynn Charles
Release Date: April 7, 2016

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Interlude Press
Cover Artist: Cover Art and Design by C.B. Messer

Today Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is very lucky to be interviewing Lynn Charles author of Black Dust. Hi Lynn, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.

I’m happy to be here! I’m an author, wife and mother living in Central Ohio. I’ve been writing—from lavish journal entries to fictional stories—most of my life. My first novel, Chef’s Table, was published in December 2014 with Interlude Press. Black Dust is about a couple who, fifteen years after a tragic car accident tore them apart, are given a second chance to heal and to love.

  • When did you write your first story/book? How old were you?
    • I honestly can’t tell you when I wrote my first ever story, but I didn’t realize I could write compelling stories until I was in my thirties. I had always had an interest in creative writing and was an avid journaler, but the bug didn’t bite me until adulthood.
  • Are you a plotter or pantser?
    • I am a pantsing plotter? That sounds like I’m out of breath. I like to have some idea where I’m going, but I’m usually pretty free to let the story take me places as well. I am learning in transitioning from writing “stories” to writing books to be more intentional with each scene. What is supposed to happen here? How does it contribute to the movement of the plot? It can’t just be a cute scene because it’s fun to play with the characters.
  • What do you think makes your book stand out from the crowd?
    • I tend to write stories about people who have much of life pretty settled. Mature love, so to speak. Now, their settled life might get upended, or they may realized that “settled” means they’ve let something go they should reach for again, but the men in my stories are grown. Adults. And saying that is not to disparage the younger protagonists that frequent romance novels, because god knows I love to read them too. There is plenty of room in the inn.
  • How do you find or make time to write?
    • Here’s where being a bit older than some of my fellow novelists is an advantage: my children are grown. I am fortunate enough that I was able to quit what was even a part time job to focus more on my writing (and to avoid a working situation that was making me battier than usual). I also have an incredibly supportive husband that says, “Get to it,” when I have fallen behind and need to dip into evening hours to get something done. My creative brain seems to kick in in the afternoon hours, so I use mornings to do the chores of life and work, and the afternoon and evening to write.
  • What do you like to read in your free time?
    • Recently I have been reading books by Indian and Bengali authors as my next book has a Bengali-American protagonist. Generally speaking, I love books with interesting characters. I think I could read a book that’s light on plot so long as the people driving the story have something to say, and they say it in compelling ways. With that in mind, I will always be happy to soak in a great memoir.

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Blurb:

Fifteen years after a tragic car crash claimed a friend’s life and permanently injures his then-boyfriend, Broadway musician Tobias Spence reconnects with his former love. As Emmett and Tobias explore their renewed relationship, the two men face old hurts and the new challenges of a long-distance romance. Will Tobias lose his second chance at love to the ghosts he can’t seem to put to rest?

 

Pages or Words: 312 pages
Categories: Contemporary, Fiction, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Romance

Excerpt

“I can’t, Emmett. I—can’t go back.”

“Then we are clearly not ready for any sort of commitment.”

“Wait. You won’t agree to—to us—unless I come to Indiana?”

“I won’t,” Emmett said. “It’s all feeling a little one-sided to me, and I’m not okay with that.”

“You don’t understand.”

“I do understand, Toby. I was there for everything that makes you afraid of that place.”

“Yes. You were,” Toby said, taking Emmett’s hand in his. “But my concerns about going back have nothing to do with you.”

“Maybe they should have something to do with me.”

“That’s—” Toby pulled his hand away. “That’s not fair.”

“It really is,” Emmett said. He reached across the table for Toby’s hand again. “Please?” Toby took his hand and Emmett squeezed, holding on as if he might never let go. “We experienced a great tragedy together. And while Scotty’s parents lost their son, no one felt the things we felt. No one else woke up screaming and sweating when we heard the sounds of the crash in our sleep.”

“Emmett—”

“No one else knew the fear of maybe never walking again. No one else lost weight and a semester of school because he might get thrown in jail. No one else felt the things we felt together. That’s all ours. As much as you want to, you cannot take me out of the equation.”

“But, that’s just it, Em. I don’t want to feel those things again. I cannot walk back into that—that darkness.”

Emmett pulled their joined hands to his lips and kissed Toby’s knuckles. “You already have. You have been so enamored­—you’ve practically spent this entire week making love to my scars. You’re there. And it’s not so dark anymore.”

“No, because you’re whole again. You’re not broken anymore.”

Emmett saw it, then. He saw in the way Toby had almost obsessed over the ridiculous tattoo and Emmett’s scars, as if begging for them to also bring him the powers that Derek had wished upon Emmett’s body those years ago. He saw it in Toby’s insistence that they start all over as if the accident never happened, as if the years of silence weren’t strung between them like a rope and plank bridge connecting two separate lands.

So he said it. To give it power. To make it a truth they shared—like their shared tragedy. “And you still are. Broken.”

Toby nodded, grasping at Emmett’s fingers like a lifeline. “I’m so—” He took a deep, shuddering breath. “I’m so exhausted making sure no one knows.”

“Oh, Toby.” All the more reason “trying again” was a bad idea. Unready to let go, Emmett kissed Toby’s fingers again. “Then come to my home,” Emmett offered, trite as it sounded in his own ears. “I’ve remodeled the master and made a party room in my basement for the kids.”

“You’ve never told me—”

“It’s beautiful, really. It’s on a couple of acres, and the back of the property is lined with a stream you can hear from the kitchen when the windows are open. It’s very peaceful. It sounds like you need some peace.”

“You deserve a beautiful life.”

“So let me share it with you. At least think about it?”

Toby nodded and began to clean up. “Will you still come see me in San Francisco after school’s out?”

“I don’t know. I’d really like an answer before I agree to see you again.”

“Okay. I’m sorry it’s not as easy as it should be.”

“I am too, Toby. Being with you was always so easy.”

Buy the book:

 

 

 

 

Meet the Author

Lynn Charles earned her degree in music education and for many years performed and directed choral music. When she’s not writing, she can be found strolling through local farmers markets near her home in Central Ohio in search of ingredients for new recipes. Her novel Chef’s Table was published in 2014 by Interlude Press.

Where to find the author:

 


Banner300x250Tour Dates & Stops:

7-Apr: Love Bytes, 3 Chicks After Dark, Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings, Hearts on Fire, Jessie G. Books

8-Apr: Happily Ever Chapter, Bonkers About Books, My Fiction Nook

11-Apr: BFD Book Blog, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Oh My Shelves

12-Apr: Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Sinfully Addicted to All Male Romance, Divine Magazine

13-Apr: Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, Velvet Panic, Book Lovers 4Ever

14-Apr: Louise Lyons, Unquietly Me, Havan Fellows

15-Apr: MM Good Book Reviews, A.M. Leibowitz

18-Apr: Alpha Book Club, V’s Reads

19-Apr: Butterfly-O-Meter, Three Books Over The Rainbow, Bayou Book Junkie

20-Apr: Up All Night, Read All Day, Outrageous Heroes, Molly Lolly, Mikky’s World of Books, Inked Rainbow Reads

Final

Giveaway

Enter to win.  Must be 18 years of age or older.
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McKay’s Warriors are Back in Ari McKay’s ‘Herc’s Mercs: The Harder They Fall’ (excerpt and giveaway)

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Herc’s Mercs: The Harder They Fall (Herc’s Mercs #5) by Ari McKay
Release Date: January 6, 2016

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Torquere Press
Cover Artist: Kris Norris

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Blurb

Chris Hardison never expected the simple consulting gig to put him on somebody’s hit list, but Hercules Security’s resident computer whiz never does anything by halves. Now he’s on the run, guarded by gorgeous Jason Hekili, the newest member of Herc’s crew. But Chris and Jason have a past, and holing up in a safe house together is as complicated as it is dangerous.
Jason still wants Chris even though his broken heart hasn’t healed. He isn’t sure he can trust Chris, but when a crime syndicate targets Chris for assassination, Jason has to put his life on the line to protect Chris or risk losing their second chance for happiness before it even begins.

 

Pages or Words: 44,000 words
This book can be read as a standalone
Categories: Contemporary, Fiction, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Thriller, Action/Adventure

Excerpt

It took him a few minutes to find the right place, and his heart lurched when he saw Jason sparring with a tall, broad-shouldered Native American merc. He hovered in the doorway of the training room, torn between wanting to run over, fling himself at Jason, and beg for forgiveness, or wanting to flee.

Jason had changed. Gone were the thick, dark waves that Chris had loved to run his fingers through; Jason had shorn it all off in favor of a buzz cut, and Chris wanted to cry at the loss. Jason’s shoulders were broader, and he was even more muscular overall. After working with mercs for so long, Chris knew the difference between bodybuilder muscles and working muscles, and he could tell Jason had gotten those hard muscles from work. Jason’s body wasn’t the only thing that looked harder; Jason’s face looked different as well. More closed off, more distant. It was enough to make Chris want to turn and run. How could he possibly stand a chance with this Jason?

Before he could slip away unnoticed, the other merc knocked Jason on his ass. Jason let out a grunt when he hit the floor, but he didn’t grimace or show any other sign of pain. He simply bounded to his feet and turned—and spotted Chris.

For a long moment, he simply stood there, holding Chris’ gaze, and something that Chris thought might be hope brightened his eyes. Then Jason turned away, said something to his sparring partner, and headed toward the far side of the room.

Chris’ heart plummeted at that clear rejection signal, but he knew he deserved it. He lifted his chin and squared his shoulders. Jason had seen him, so he couldn’t just sneak out like this had never happened, and he hadn’t come all this way to give up so easily anyway. The other merc’s eyebrows climbed as he watched Chris march across the room, and Chris heard him say something about going to the showers, but Chris’ attention was focused entirely on Jason.

“Jason, I’d like to talk,” he said firmly as he approached.

Jason draped a towel around his neck, his spine straightening before he turned slowly to face Chris. Up close, Chris could see that a slender, pale line of a scar now bisected Jason’s right eyebrow. The line mercifully skipped over his eye, but picked up again on his cheek, running down to the sharp line of his jaw. It made his cheekbones look even more pronounced and pulled the line of his lips slightly crooked, though that wasn’t easy to judge, since he was clenching his jaw.

“I believe you agreed six months ago that there was nothing more to say,” Jason replied, his voice ragged, betraying emotions that didn’t show on his face. “And you didn’t want to subject yourself to a long, awkward ride.”

“A lot can change in six months,” Chris pointed out, aching to reach out and touch Jason but knowing he didn’t have that right yet. “You have. So have I.”

“Is that so?” Jason regarded him with narrowed eyes, a muscle twitching slightly in his jaw. It was something Chris recognized at once as a “tell,” an indicator that Jason wasn’t nearly as unaffected by Chris’ presence as he was trying to appear; sometimes the little things he’d learned from being around people in the physical side of the security business were quite useful.

“Yes, that’s so,” Chris replied quietly. This was the part where he laid himself utterly bare and held nothing back, which was terrifying, but it was necessary if he wanted any hope of winning Jason back. “I’ve had plenty of time to think about what an idiot I was. I’m sorry I hurt you, and I’m sorry I didn’t trust you. You didn’t do anything wrong. It was all me and my stupid insecurities getting in the way. Letting you go was the biggest mistake of my life.”

Jason’s eyes widened slightly as if he was surprised at Chris being so blunt and forthcoming. At first, he stared back at Chris, seeming to search for something. Finally he gave a terse nod. “I’m glad you realize that,” he said quietly.

“I do, and I’m willing to do anything to make up for my stupidity.” Chris took a little step closer, gazing up at Jason hopefully. “I’ve missed you so much, Jason. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about how good we were together. I came here to see if there was any way you’d consider giving me a second chance.”

Again, Jason didn’t answer immediately, and this time, there was no mistaking the pain in the look he gave Chris. “There’s a problem with that.” He glanced away from Chris and frowned. “Trust has to go both ways.”

Buy the book:  Torquere Books

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Meet the Author

Ari McKay is the professional pseudonym for Arionrhod and McKay, who collaborate on original m/m fiction. They began writing together in 2004 and finished their first original full-length novel in 2011. Recently, they’ve begun collaborating on designing and creating costumes to wear and compete in at Sci-Fi conventions, and they share a love of yarn and cake.

Arionrhod is an avid costumer, knitter, and all-around craft fiend, as well as a professional systems engineer. Mother of two human children and two dachshunds who think they are human, she is a voracious reader with wildly eclectic tastes, devouring romance novels, military science fiction, horror stories and Shakespeare with equal glee. She is currently preparing for the zombie apocalypse.

McKay is an English teacher who has been writing for one reason or another most of her life. She also enjoys knitting, reading, cooking, and playing video games. She has been known to knit in public. Given she has the survival skills of a gnat, she’s relying on Arionrhod to help her survive the zombie apocalypse

Where to find the author:

 


Tour Dates & Stops: January 5, 2016

Parker Williams, The Hat Party, Havan Fellows, BFD Book Blog, Bayou Book Junkie, Happily Ever Chapter, A.M. Leibowitz, Unquietly Me, V’s Reads, Sinfully Addicted to All Male Romance, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Bonkers About Books, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, Molly Lolly, Alpha Book Club, Velvet Panic, MM Good Book Reviews, Inked Rainbow Reads, Cheekypee Reads and Reviews, My Fiction Nook, Kirsty Loves Books

Final

Giveaway

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: E-copy of ‘Herc’s Mercs: The Harder They Fall’.  Must be 18  years of age or older to enter.  Link and prize provided by the author and Pride Promotions.

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Mannies Incorporated Series is Back with Three To Get Ready ( Mannies Incorporated #4) by Sean Michael (excerpt and giveaway)

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Three To Get Ready ( Mannies Incorporated #4) by Sean Michael
Release Date: December 18, 2015

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Sean Michael
Cover Artist: Kris Norris

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Sean Michael here today to celebrate the  release of Three To Get Ready. Welcome, Sean.

Thank you for helping me to celebrate the release of Three To Get Ready, a Mannies Incorporated story.

So usually, I’m usually knee deep in frigid temperatures and lots of snow at this time but this year there is no snow, there are no cold temps, it’s early fall or mid-spring weather. At the end of December. This makes me sad.  Christmas cookies, however, make me happy, no matter what the weather is doing outside.

Cookies are one of the things that help manny Dan and his charge Nathan bond over in Three to Get Ready. Together they make all sorts of cookies, but the first ones they bake together is peanut butter. I myself do not like peanut butter cookies. I don’t actually like peanut butter in anything sweet aside from paired with jam in a pb&j sandwich. So I’m not going to be sharing any peanut butter cookie recipes. I will however share one of my favorite Christmas cookie recipes. Maple Cookies. This is also a very Canadian recipe as it has real maple syrup in it. They have the added benefit of being very easy to make – which for me is always a requirement!

I hope you enjoy these as much as I do.

Maple Cookies

Ingredients:

1 c. butter

1 c. brown sugar (packed)

1 c. real maple syrup

Directions:

Cream those together really well.

Then add an egg and a teaspoon of vanilla

In a separate bowl, sift together 4 c. flour, 2 t. baking soda, 1/2 t. salt

Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients

Roll into 1 inch balls and place on greased or parchment paper covered cookie sheets

Press a walnut into the top of the ball – I try to use a whole section so it looks like wings

Bake at 350 for 10 minutes

A couple of these cookies and a glass of milk would be a wonderful snack to munch on while enjoying Three to Get Ready.

Sean

Smut fixes everything

Now more about Three To Get Ready ( Mannies Incorporated #4) by Sean Michael

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Blurb

Single father Jack Jones is in dire need of a new nanny. His five year old son Nathan is legally blind, he has twin baby girls arriving in less than two months and the girl currently working for him is leaving at Thanksgiving to go home and continue her higher education. If Mannies Incorporated doesn’t come up with a viable candidate soon, he’s not sure what he’s going to do.

Dan Miller is on the hunt for a new job. He’s had some great placements with Mannies Incorporated, many as Manny to multiple birth families to get them over the hump. He even has experience with special needs children, so the job he’s interviewing for looks like it’s right up his alley.

When Dan arrives at Jack’s house, he discovers that this Jack Jones is his Jack Jones, the man he was in love with during college, and who broke up with Dan because Dan wanted children. Will Dan and Jack be able to put the past behind them and work together, or will their past keep them from having a future together?

Pages or Words: 64,000 words/190 pages
This book can be read as a standalone
Categories: Contemporary, Erotica, Fiction, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Romance

Excerpt

Dan Miller followed the instructions on his GPS to one Jack Jones’ house for his interview. He was trying to decide if it was a good or bad omen that he’d dated a Jack Jones. It had ended, so maybe bad. On the other hand, they’d ended because Jack didn’t want kids and he did, which was better to learn early on, before they’d invested a lot of time in each other, right? So good sign.

Chuckling at himself, he went over what Drake at Mannies Inc had told him about the family.

Single gay dad, one special needs son – the boy was nearly six and clinically blind. Apparently he could see general shapes if they were high contrast and he could see lights and light contrast. There were twin girls on their way. In a couple of weeks in a few weeks in fact.

Newborns were Dan’s favorite. He loved that new baby smell. He loved their chubby little cheeks and limbs, their fat bellies and how quickly they changed.

After reading the file, he’d had to agree with Drake that he seemed like a really good fit for the family.

The position was live-in, so he paid close attention as the condo came into view. Not far from the beach, it was a decent size, not too big, but not tiny. The front was neat and he could see the backyard was fenced in.

Pulling into the drive, he turned off the engine and took a deep breath. Okay. Interview time. He climbed out of the car, with his best ‘I’m the perfect man to look after your kids’ face on.

He knocked on the front door.

“Daddy! Maddie, someone is here!”

“I’ll get it, man. Hopefully this one will work for your daddy, Mr. Picky. I have to leave the week of Thanksgiving. I have to.”

The door opened and a lovely dark-skinned young woman stood there with a skinny little boy in thick glasses. “Hey there. Can I help you?”

“Hi, Dan Miller. I’m here to see Mr. Jones?”

“Sure. Come on in. I’m Maddie, Nathan’s personal assistant.” She winked at him.

“Very nice to meet you.” He shook her hand.

Then he turned his attention to the little boy. “Hey there, You must be Nathan.”

“Uh-huh. Nathan James Jones.” One hand was held out. “Pleased meeting you.”

Dan took Nathan’s hand and shook it solemnly. “Pleased to meet you, too.”

“Hey there. Sorry, man. I was paying some bills. Crazy life.”

Dan looked up at the familiar voice and blinked. Strong jaw, blond curls, and the bluest eyes in the history of the earth — that was Jack. His Jack.

Dan felt like he’d been poleaxed.

His Jack who didn’t want kids, no way no how was he fucking crazy for even suggesting it.

“Jack?” Oh, smooth, Dan. Clearly it was Jack. Hell, even if he couldn’t believe his eyes, the folder he’d gotten from Drake had said the guy’s name was Jack.

“Dan? Danny? Oh, my God!” Jack’s eyes went wide. “Look at you. You look amazing.”

He kind of hated the way Jack’s words made him stand a little taller, a little straighter. “So do you. The years have been good to you.” Twelve years. Shit, things had changed in that time, that much was obvious, but not how just a glance from those devastating eyes could make his cock perk up. That hadn’t changed a damn bit.

Buy the book::Amazon |All Romance Ebooks

 

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Meet the Author:

Often referred to as “Space Cowboy” and “Gangsta of Love” while still striving for the moniker of “Maurice,” Sean Michael spends his days surfing, smutting, organizing his immense gourd collection and fantasizing about one day retiring on a small secluded island peopled entirely by horseshoe crabs. While collecting vast amounts of vintage gay pulp novels and mood rings, Sean whiles away the hours between dropping the f-bomb and pursuing the kama sutra by channeling the long lost spirit of John Wayne and singing along with the soundtrack to “Chicago.”

A long-time writer of complicated haiku, currently Sean is attempting to learn the advanced arts of plate spinning and soap carving sex toys.

Barring any of that? He’ll stick with writing his stories, thanks, and rubbing pretty bodies together to see if they spark.

Where to find the author:

 


Tour Dates & Stops:

18-Dec: Inked Rainbow Reads, Gay Book Reviews, Mikky’s World of Books, Kirsty Loves Books, Dawn’s Reading Nook

21-Dec: Sassygirl Books

22-Dec: Open Skye Book Reviews, Divine Magazine, Book Lovers 4Ever, Foxylutely Book Reviews

23-Dec: Velvet Panic

24-Dec: Unquietly Me, The Novel Approach

25-Dec: Havan Fellows

28-Dec: Up All Night, Read All Day, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words

29-Dec: MM Good Book Reviews, Prism Book Alliance

30-Dec: Bayou Book Junkie

31-Dec: Book Reviews, Rants, and Raves, The Hat Party

1-Jan: Happily Ever Chapter

4-Jan: QUEERcentric Books, Full Moon Dreaming

5-Jan: Making It Happen

6-Jan: Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings

7-Jan: Multitasking Mommas, 3 Chicks After Dark

8-Jan: Molly Lolly, A.M. Leibowitz

11-Jan: Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews

12-Jan: Jessie G. Books

13-Jan: Bonkers About Books

14-Jan: Love Bytes, Alpha Book Club

Final

Giveaway

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: E-copy of ‘Three To Get Ready’ by Sean Michael.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  Link and prize provided by the author and Pride Promotions.

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In The Spotlight: Under Glass by Rebecca Cohen (interview and giveaway)

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Under Glass by Rebecca Cohen

Goodreads Link
Release Date: April 6, 2015

STRW In The Spotlight Header

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: L.C. Chase

 Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press eBook and Paperback    All Romance (ARe)

Our Q and A with Rebecca Cohen…

• As a reader, Under Glass is a galaxy away from the Crofton Chronicles.  What prompted the switch in genres?

This isn’t the first time I’ve switched genres; I go wherever the story takes me. ‘Under Glass’ is my first foray into science fiction, and it’s a genre I love and wanted to write in. The plot simply wouldn’t have worked as a contemporary or an historical, and even fantasy wouldn’t have been the best fit. I needed the freedom to create new worlds and species.

• I loved the premise of Under Glass, lovers reunited or torn apart and reunited is a theme that resonates with me.  Why use this as a background or theme to your story?  What was the inspiration behind the characters and plot?

I wanted to play with the theme of love at first sight and predetermination. Kai and Ollie are linked by their biology, they were destined to be together, but once I had that idea I started thinking what would happen if two people who were meant to be together were separated. Kai is brought up knowing he has lost something very important and this shapes his character, whereas Ollie is blissfully unaware until he meet a stranger who is so compelling. As Ollie doesn’t know what is happening he tries to fight it. As you can imagine this is a clash they need to work hard to overcome.

• What do you use, if anything, to create “alien” names for characters and objects?

I try to make the first names of characters ease to read, since as a reader I find it quite frustrating if I don’t know how to pronounce a name. For the surname, I allow myself to be freer and make up alien sounding surnames. I still want people to be able to pronounce them and often combine normal names or words to create more alien names.

• Would you like to be an interplanetary traveller and where would you like to go?

Only if I could make I sure I could get home! It would be fascinating to get up close to Saturn’s rings, or witness the scale of the ice giant planets first hand.

• Do you have a favorite  science fiction or fantasy author who made an impact on you as a reader and now author?

Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams. I love both of these authors, and large part of that is due to the humor in their writing.

• Favorite fictional  science fiction and/or fantasy world and who created it?

Has to be the Discworld by Terry Pratchett.

• I can’t tell but is there a chance that this will become a series?

‘Under Glass’ was planned to be a standalone, and Kai and Ollie’s story has been told. However, there is a lot of untapped potential in the worlds of the planetarium and, while I have no plans to return at the moment, I never say never…

• What’s next for Rebecca Cohen?

A contemporary romantic comedy novella series set around an amateur dramatics society in London. After those, I’ll be finishing off the Reagalos series and then I’m heading back to Crofton Hall.

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STRW Author BookSynopsis

Creating planets and guarding the stars leaves novice planet builder Kai Faewiva lonely. For members of Kai’s species who are born with an organ called a caerellon, their true love, their Sun or Moon, is identified at birth. But the novices are people who have lost their perfect love, and Kai’s Sun is long dead, killed in an accident when he was five years old. Or so everyone thought.

After recovering from another bout of the unidentified illness he has battled for years, Kai returns to work.  But his quiet day at the planetarium is thrown into chaos when scans of Goka Prime, one of the planets in the Sol-Alpha2 system, picks up a life-form that shouldn’t be there. Kai’s Sun, Oliver Gyin, is alive and well, but how he got to be on Goka Prime, no one knows. Now he needs to be brought home.

Ollie has lived most of his life in the City of Harrea, never guessing he is from another planet. Surprised to find a stranger means the world to him, Ollie wrestles with his loyalties and the drive to return with Kai. To leave Goka Prime, he must give up everything and everyone he knows. But twenty years apart means Kai and Ollie face a fight to secure their destined future.

Pages or Words: 108,000 words

Categories: M/M Romance, Romance, Science Fiction

STRW Spotlight Book Excerpt

The East Terrace had clear views of the city and the hills in the distance, and the setting sun bathed the world in hues of red, purple, and orange. “One of the best views from the palace,” Ollie said. “Guests aren’t usually allowed here.”

Kai glanced back to the door. “Will we get in trouble?”

“No, Menish is a personal friend. He won’t mind.”

“Must be good to have a friend who rules the city.”

Ollie chuckled. “We went to school together. I often have to remind myself that he’s the sultan and not the kid who helped me toilet paper the housemaster’s study windows.”

“Very good friends.”

Ollie didn’t think Kai needed to know just how good a friend Menish had been at one point, although what they had enjoyed was nothing more serious than teenage exploration. “Put it this way: he’d have no problem with me showing you this terrace.”

“The sunset is quite beautiful,” Kai said, turning to face it, and Ollie thought Kai wanted to steer the conversation away from Menish.

“Yes. It changes through the seasons, but I think this is my favorite time of year.”

“Then I am fortunate we chose this time to visit and a place on the mission became available.”

Kai’s choice of word in calling his visit a mission was a little strange, but Ollie thought better of mentioning anything. “Oh, you were. The festival to celebrate the end of harvest starts in a few days, and the city is awash with stalls and street entertainment.”

Kai turned back to him, cocked his head to one side, and smiled. “Perhaps you would agree to be my guide for that as well?”

The hopeful expression and the slight smile made Ollie swallow thickly as he stared into Kai’s dark brown eyes in the failing light. Kai bit his bottom lip and tilted his head back a little to look Ollie in the eye, making Ollie lick his own lips involuntarily. His hand twitched to cup Kai’s cheek and rub his thumb across his cheekbone to prove his hypothesis that Kai’s skin would be soft and warm to the touch.

The little voice in the back of his head returned, and it bluntly reminded Ollie he wasn’t a single man. The pang of guilt made him turn away, and he saw a confused look on Kai’s face. Not only was he in danger of betraying Rica, but he was also leading Kai along on a dance that Kai didn’t know Ollie already had a partner for.

He stepped away, shaking his head. “I’m sorry, Kai. I can’t do this. While I can’t deny you have caught my eye like no one else, I am not the type of man to be unfaithful.” There, he’d said it, made it clear he was attached, and Kai’s expression morphed first to confusion and then into hurt. “I don’t understand.”

“I have a boyfriend.”

“Boyfriend?” asked Kai weakly.

“His name is Rica. He’s away at sea.” The devastation on Kai’s face almost made Ollie step closer and gather him into his arms, but he forced himself to put more distance between them. “I’m sorry, Kai. I was so wrapped up in the connection we seemed to share I lost sight of things. I should never have let it get this far, and I must stop it going further.”

“I see.” Kai turned away. “I wish you a good evening, Mr. Gyin. If you wouldn’t mind, I’d like to enjoy the view a little longer before I find one of the servants to show me to my room.”

“Of course. I’ll see you in the morning.”

Kai didn’t reply, and Ollie retreated back inside, part of his mind protesting that he was going the wrong way, the other part telling him he was doing the right thing. He turned back to see Kai still standing on the terrace, his head bent. Ollie fled, fearing that if he stayed a moment longer he’d do something he’d really enjoy but regret later.

 

STRW Author Bio and Contacts

Rebecca Cohen is a Brit abroad. Having swapped the Thames for the Rhine, she has left London behind and now lives with her husband and young son in Basel, Switzerland. She can often be found with a pen in one hand and a cup of Darjeeling in the other.

Where to find the author:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/rebecca.cohen.710
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/R_Cohen_writes

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Contest: Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: $25 DSP gift cert and choice of a book from my backlist (does not include Under Glass). Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Link and prizes provided by the author and Pride Promotions.

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Tour Dates & Stops:

6-Apr

Prism Book Alliance

Multitasking Mommas

EE Montgomery

Carly’s Book Reviews

7-Apr

Love Bytes

The Novel Approach

My Fiction Nook

8-Apr

MM Good Book Reviews

Kimi-Chan

Molly Lolly

9-Apr

Because Two Men Are Better Than One

Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews

10-Apr

The Blogger Girls

Amanda C. Stone

13-Apr

Sinfully Addicted to All Male Romance

Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words

Bayou Book Junkie

14-Apr

Cate Ashwood

Nephylim

Parker Williams

15-Apr

Divine Magazine

Velvet Panic

16-Apr

Hearts on Fire

Book Reviews, Rants, and Raves

Inked Rainbow Reads

17-Apr

Tara Lain

BFD Book Blog

Up All Night, Read All Day