Tour and Giveaway: TWO NATURES by Jendi Reiter (exclusive excerpt)

Standard

tn-banner

Title: Two Natures
Author: Jendi Reiter
Release Date: September 15th 2016
Genre: LGBT fiction, MM Romance

two-natures

BLURB

Two Natures is the coming-of-age story of Julian Selkirk, a fashion photographer in New York City in the early 1990s. His faith in Jesus helped him survive his childhood in the Atlanta suburbs with an abusive alcoholic father, but the church’s condemnation of his sexual orientation has left him alienated and ashamed.

Yearning for new ideals to anchor him after his loss of faith, Julian seeks his identity through love affairs with three very different men: tough but childish Phil Shanahan, a personal trainer who takes a dangerous shortcut to success; enigmatic, cosmopolitan Richard Molineux, the fashion magazine editor who gives him his first big break; and Peter Edelman, an earnest left-wing activist with a secret life.

Amid the devastation of the AIDS epidemic and the racial tensions of New York politics, Julian learns to see beyond surface attractions and short-term desires, and to use his art to serve his community.

Goodreads

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | B&N | Saddle Road Press

**Kindle Price $0.99 from February 20th – March 17th ** (normally $9.99)

tn-sale

Honors:
2016 Rainbow Awards: First Prize, Best Gay Contemporary General Fiction; First Runner-Up, Debut Gay Book
Named one of QSPirit’s Top LGBTQ Christian Books of 2016

TN Ch 8  Exclusive Excerpt for Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

“No repeats,” I told Phil. Again.

“What if there’s no one new around?”

Phil’s sulky tone, and the tickling of his fingers up my bare leg, distracted me in opposite ways from fixing us the sole breakfast dish in my repertoire, green tea and cheese grits, with a little something extra to chase away his hangover. “Try a different club. This is NewYork. They have more than one.”

“I don’t tell you what to do at your fancy-ass parties.”

“There are no parties. The only time I get down on my knees is to fix the wind machine.” Fourteen-hour days in the studio didn’t leave me much time to enjoy the no-strings-attached side of our relationship. Sure, I’d squeezed in a few gropes and groans in the back room of New Eden, jolts of furtive pleasure that left me dizzy with the momentary assurance that catching a boy like Phil hadn’t been just a fluke. Until I remembered that he could have the same adventures, and more, all day at the Ironman, training athletes who bench-pressed more than I weighed, while I was hauling tripods on the subway.

“So…no repeats, right?” I breathed out in a rush, before his hand between my legs could sidetrack the conversation. My arm jostled the pot on the stove, spattering the dingy wall.

“Okay, okay,” he murmured into my neck. His breath was hot, like cigarette embers. Phil was like that, rough words at cross-purposes with his body language. I was happier when I only believed half of it.

“And no bringing them back here.” I pressed my advantage, and my hip into his groin.

“You paying rent?”

“I will be, next month, I promise. But that’s not the point. I thought maybe, out of the goodness of your heart, you would spare me the sight of somebody else’s pubes on my soap when I shower in the morning.”

“Come on, maybe you’d like one of them. Probably take him away from me ’cause you’re so gorgeous.”

You’re all I want, I nearly said, but smiled and settled for the compliment, rather than admit something I wasn’t sure was true. Two months into living with Phil, and more than a year since our first hookup, I was working up the nerve to clarify our open relationship, and gaining a begrudging appreciation for its opposite. Marriage has the advantage of simplicity, like government forfeiture of your assets. Over here: you get the last name, the bankbook, the steering wheel, the 60-hour workweek, and the drunken tumble with your wife’s best friend. And you: here’s the kids, the white dress, the dinner table, the paid-up mortgage, and the moral high ground. As for me, right now the good life looked like a mattress in the basement with only two pairs of sneakers by the door, but this was proving more complicated than ordering a McDonald’s Happy Meal without the fries.

I was in my final semester at the Fashion Institute of Technology, and interning as an unpaid assistant to the photographer Dane Langley. More like assistant to the assistants; while Pierre accompanied Dane to Paris and Vince lunched with ad agency reps, I fixed lighting equipment and shopped for organic baby food. Everyone at school said I was lucky to have landed a spot with Langley, who had done album covers for Paula Abdul and Gloria Estefan, and had an ad contract with Revlon. Last week his girlfriend had dropped by with their new baby, which they left with me, sans backup diaper, while they went to lunch at Lutèce. The baby’s name was Taylor, which didn’t give me a clue to its gender. I figured, since the girlfriend was Swedish, it might respond to Abba, and indeed, it fell asleep for a full twenty-five minutes after I sang “Dancing Queen” four-and-a-half times.

Between these glamorous assignments and my job pouring three-dollar coffees at The Big Cup, I was barely at school anymore except to pick up my mail. Phil had resisted my switching my address to his apartment, claiming that his sublet wasn’t, technically speaking, totally legal. On the bright side, this spared me from telling my parents that I was living with him.

Having a male roommate wasn’t suspicious in itself, but combined with a career in fashion, and the fact that Phil and I could quote long stretches of dialogue from “The Prince of Tides,” my mother might be forced to recognize that her sensitive boy was experimenting with the homosexual lifestyle. Then would come the weekly letters, suddenly seeded with references to girls I hadn’t thought about since junior high, who had all grown up to be God-fearing, bosomy

A-students and were miraculously still single. Last week in Dane’s studio I had seen Allure cover model Cheryl Kingston’s rose-tipped breasts, pale and translucent as porcelain teacups. I was replacing the roll of seamless paper for the backdrop, and she ignored me, as was her right. Dane was all honey to her, a come-to-Papa smile on his swarthy bearded face. She didn’t have to worry about being touched, not like your average Tatiana or Mary Lou, as Dane guided them into

poses for some designer’s spring catalog, his hand steering this one’s waist, unbuttoning that one’s sweater. The Swedish girlfriend was half his age. They seemed very happy, but that was probably because her mother knew where to send her mail.

I was sorting through the latest stack of bills and credit card offers on our bed one morning while Phil fed me strawberries. He could be very sweet. Just when I’d gotten used to his blue-collar tough-guy routine, he’d surprise me with little things like washing my back in the shower, or reading to me from one of the books he read to make up for not going to college. As pillow talk, I ranked the I Ching above Atlas Shrugged but below Arnold: The Education of a Bodybuilder. But it’s the thought that counts. Without Phil, I might have forgotten that there were publications without pictures in them.

Leaning back against Phil’s warm bare stomach, I tossed my junk mail on the floor without looking through it. He ran juice-stained fingers through my hair. Sometimes I was so happy that a place like this existed, where I could be with a guy, naked and alone. He understood what it meant, too, a privilege that was all ours, no matter how many hours we spent running other people’s errands.

“Wait, that looks like a real letter,” he said, picking an envelope out of the discard pile.

I recognized my mother’s square ivory-tinted stationery. “See, I told you I’d be able to pay the rent.”

After depositing two fifties in the coffee tin on the windowsill (I never worried about our communal accounting; Phil had too much pride to be a sponger), I skimmed the closely written pages. “Huh, my sister’s looking at colleges in — whoa!” I caught my breath and my vision blurred for a moment. My jerky hands hunted around for the envelope. “What’s the postmark on this letter?”

Phil found the cast-off envelope under our rumpled blanket. “Last Monday. Why?”

“You see, this is what happens because I don’t get my mail here,” I snapped at him.

“Man, we’ve been through this. What is your problem?”

I reread the paragraph that had raised my heart rate faster than a triple espresso. “They’re coming.”

“Who? Where? Careful, your elbow’s in the bowl.” Phil rescued the strawberries in time to spare me from washing the sheets twice this month.

“My family. Here. Next week.”

###

.

Giveaway: WIN a $10 Amazon giftcard

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author

jendi-reiter-profile-pic

Jendi Reiter’s books are guided by her belief that people take precedence over ideologies. In exploring themes of queer family life, spiritual integration, and healing from adverse childhood experiences, her goal is to create understanding that leads to social change. Two Natures is her first novel; a sequel is in the works. Her four published poetry books include Bullies in Love (Little Red Tree, 2015) and the award-winning chapbook Barbie at 50 (Cervena Barva Press, 2010). She is the co-founder and editor of WinningWriters.com, an online resource site for creative writers.

Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter

embrace-button-small

A Jeri Review: Down By Contact (Wilmington Breakers #1) by Sloan Johnson

Standard

Rating: 4  stars out of 5

a-jeri-review-down-by-contact-by-sloan-johnsonAs a big fan of the author’s Homeruns series, I couldn’t wait to dive into this new series. Bridging the gap between the last series and this next was seamless, as the last book’s main character had a twin brother- who plays football.

Zach is in his second season playing football for the Willmington Breakers. His goal is to keep his head down and work hard. He gave up the idea of having a relationship with anyone because he didn’t want to come out of the closet. Until the team gets featured in a reality show and the camera man following him around was his first love.

Griffin can’t believe his luck. Of all of the players, he has to be assigned to follow the one guy he could never forget. While he understood that Zach chose football over him, it still hurt. And now they were going to be in each other’s pockets.

What starts as the two men ignoring both their past and their heat that is still there, it is a slow burn until they can’t deny themselves any longer. I enjoyed that it was Zach playing the suitor, trying to win Griffin back and Griffin the one holding back to protect not only himself, but Zach and his career.

One of my favorite parts was when they went back to where is all began. I do love a full circle.

There was, of course, the teammates who didn’t want to accept a gay player and the teammates who really stood up for Zach. In the real world I don’t know that there would be as many accepting players, but who knows. I’d like to think that this world has come a long way. 

There definitely could have been more of the reality show aspect in the story as it played a big part in bringing them back together, but it was still satisfying.

And there was the tease of the next book- Lincoln and Nixon. I look forward to this next one as well as it will be nice to read a love story about two older men instead of men in their 20’s.

You don’t have to like football at all to really enjoy this book.

Sales Links

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 1st edition, 209 pages
Published January 28th 2017 (first published January 26th 2017)
ASINB01N1435ER
SeriesWilmington Breakers #1

In the Spotlight: Foxes by Suki Fleet (giveaway)

Standard

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Dreamspinner


2016 Rainbow Award Winner – Best Gay Young Adult

Blurb


When Dashiel’s body is found dumped on an East London wasteland, his best friend Danny sets out to find the killer. But Danny finds interaction difficult and must keep his world small in order to survive. By day he lives in an abandoned swimming pool and fixes electrical devices to trade for supplies, but by night, alone, he hunts sharks—a reckless search for dangerous men who prey on the vulnerable.

A chance meeting with an American boy selling himself on the streets throws this lonely existence into disarray. Micky is troubled, fragile, and Danny feels a desperate need to protect him—from what, he doesn’t know. As Danny discovers more about Micky, he realizes that what Micky needs saving from is the one thing Danny can’t help him fight against.

To save Micky, Danny must risk expanding his world and face something that scares him more than any shark ever could: trusting he will be accepted for who he is. If a freezing winter on the streets, a sadistic doctor, and three thousand miles don’t tear them apart first, that is.

February 10 – Back Porch Reader
 

Author Bio

Award Winning Author. Prolific Reader (though less prolific than she’d like). Lover of angst, romance and unexpected love stories.

Suki Fleet writes lyrical stories about memorable characters, and believes everyone should have a chance at a happy ending.

Her first novel This is Not a Love Story won Best Gay Debut in the 2014

Email: sukifleet@gmail.com
https://www.instagram.com/suki_fleet/
https://www.facebook.com/suki.fleet.3
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7919609.Suki_Fleet
http://sukifleet.tumblr.com/
http://sukifleet.wordpress.com/
https://twitter.com/SukiFleet?lang=en

 Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Hosted By Signal Boost Promotions

 

Its Valentine’s Week and Love is In the Air! This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Standard

valentines-day

Its Valentine’s Week and Love is In the Air!

Tuesday is Valentine’s Day and surely Love is in the Air!  All those hearts, balloons, and boxes of chocolates and other signs of romance all around are making me think of so many things, like the best love stories in movies and of course, in books (cue the soundtrack to Doctor Zhivago)!  We can all remember the traditional love stories, meaning het of course! I’m sure they are popping into mind even now.  Romeo and Juliet, Lancelot and Guinevere (Arthur got a raw deal I think), Mark Anthony and Cleopatra, Paris and Helena,Tristan and Isolde…most ended unhappily I know.  But ah,  how bright their love and passion burned!  We can even think of our happy love movies.  Love Actually is played constantly during the holiday season (love has so many faces).

But how about LGBTQIA love?  Is Brokeback Mountain the first movie that comes to mind?  How about Shelter or Big Eden or Latter Days?  They didn’t have big names attached to them but the romance and love left you smiling instead of feeling torn apart.  Perfect for Valentine’s Day watching!  What’s your recommendations for Valentine’s Day binge watching?

I can remember my very first novel, outside of fanfiction (K/S among others) that was not only M/M but had a happy ending.  That was The Catch Trap by Marion Zimmer Bradley.  I still have my hardback copy.  It was a revelation.  The idea of m/m romance and love with the possibility of a future in some way. The Catch Trap was published in 1979 which was when I first read it so a future then is markably different then the way in which LGBTQIA romance (and marriage) is regarded today (bigotry not withstanding).  Some of my comfort reads are also my favorite love stories but not all. Some of my favorite couples also had pain, loss and suspense attached to their stories as well.  Here are some of those.

lovefor-valentine-day

Some of My Favorite Couples and Their Series in no particular order:

Ty and Zane of Abigail Roux’s Cut & Run series (some written with Madeleine Urban)

Lucky and Bo of Eden Winter’s Diversion series

Jory and Sam of Mary Calmes’ A Matter of Time series

Jin and Logan of Mary Calmes’ A Change of Heart series

Adrien and Jake from The Adrien English Mysteries by Josh Lanyon

Jonty and Orlando from Charlie Cochrane’s Cambridge Fellows Mysteries

Jim and Griffin as well as Evan and Matt from Tere Michaels’ Faith, Love & Devotion series

And this is without adding in those couples from my comfort list books!  There’s more as well.  Do you have your favorite couples?  Tell me which ones I missed!

Goodreads has its own Listopia: Best Gay/Lesbian Fiction With Happy Endings (140 books).  You might check out this list too.    But back to your favorite couples and your favorite love stories.  What love stories jump into your mind when I say  “Romance”!  That love with a capital L story where “one swims the oceans, fights all the fights, does everything they must to be with the one they love” story.  Give us your list and see if you come up with Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Valentine’s Day gift card!

rainbow-hearts

Valentine’s Day Love Story Challenge.

Yes its time for the Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Valentine’s Day Love Story Challenge.  Give us your list of either top couples and their story or top love stories with your email address. One random reader will be chosen to receive a $10 gift certificate by midnight next Sunday, February 18th.  This is a quick contest so get your lists in this week.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

And as a reminder, our Comfort Reads Giveaway also closes on the 17th.  So here is two chances to win a gift certificate.

📚Comfort Reads Giveaway from Last Week!

Send us your List of Comfort Reads!  Your Snuggle Up To, Comfort Blankey Books!  One random reader with a List will be chosen to receive a $10 gift certificate from Dreamspinner Press.  Contest ends February 17 at midnight.  Please leave your name and email address where you can be reached if chosen.

Now for this week’s schedule.

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

letters-from-cupid-by-ari-mckaytoo-soon-for-love-by-kimberly-gardnerblossom-of-the-samurai-by-sedonia-guilloneflaunt-by-e-davies

Sunday, February 12:

  • Its Valentine’s Week and Love is In the Air!
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
  • A MelanieM Review:  Flaunt by E. Davies

Monday, February 13:

  • DSP GUEST POST Ari McKay on Letters from Cupid
  • DSP GUEST POST Tara Lain on Fire Balls
  • Release Day Blitz The Start of Something New by Tamryn Eradani
  • A Caryn Review: Too Soon For Love by Kimberly Gardner
  • A Lila Release Day Review: Jerricho’s Freedom by Jake C. Wallace
  • A VVivacious Review: The Start of Something New by Tamryn Eradani
  • An Ali Audiobook Review: Empty Net (Scoring Chances #4) by Avon Gale and Scott R. Smith (Narrator)

Tuesday, February 14 (Valentine’s Day):

  • DSP GUEST POST Evelise Archer on Jaeger
  • DSP GUEST POST Lila Leigh Hunter on Dating in Retrospect
  • Jared’s Family by VS Morgan Release Blitz and Giveaway
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Yes, Professor by Renae Kaye
  • A PaulB Review: The Atherton Pack 4 by Toni Griffin
  • A Stella Release Day Review:  Letters from Cupid by Ari McKay
  • An Alisa Releases Day Review: Warlock in Training by TJ Nichols

Wednesday, February 15:

  • DSP PUBLICATIONS GUEST POST TJ Nichols on Warlock in Training
  • Release Blitz Clare London – How The Other Half Lives
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: The New Wolf (Building the Pack #1) by RJ Scott
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Blossom of the Samurai by Sedonia Guillone
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review:  Poppy’s Secret by Andrew Grey
  • A Stella Release Day Review:  Dating in Retrospect by Lila Leigh Hunter

Thursday, February 16:

  • DSP GUEST POST Remmy Duchene and BLMorticia on Wounded Pride
  • Release Day Blitz Learning to Want by Tami Veldura
  • An Ali Audiobook Review: Where There’s Smoke by Cari Z and Nick J. Russo (Narrator)
  • An Alisa Review: What the Cat Dragged In by Kate Steele
  • A Lila Audiobook Review: Hanging The Stars (Half Moon Bay #2) by Rhys Ford and Greg Tremblay (Narrator)
  • An Alisa Audiobook Review: Behr Facts (Foothills Pride #3) by Pat Henshaw and David Ross (Narrator)

Friday, February 17:

  • Suki Fleet – Foxes Tour and Giveaway
  • RIPTIDE TOUR and Giveaway: Half by Eli Lang
  • A Stella Review: Half by Eli Lang
  • A Paul B Release Day Review: Skythane by J. Scott Coatsworth
  • A Caryn Review: How The Other Half Lives by Clare London
  • A Free Dreamer Review: Foxes by Suki Fleet

Saturday, February 18:

  • A MelanieM Review:  Necessary Medicine by M.K. York
  • A MelanieM Review: Danced Close (Portland Heat, #6) by Annabeth Albert

danced-closehalf-by-eli-langpoppys-secret-by-andrew-greywarlock-in-training-by-tj-nichols

A Melanie M Review: Flaunt by E. Davies

Standard

Rating:  5 stars out of 5

flaunt-by-e-davies“He’s waiting for me to ask, and I’m afraid.”

“I’m just one more gay guy here.”

Moving to the suburbs of L.A. was supposed to give Nic Montero a fresh start. After escaping his family, coming out as a gay trans man, and excelling in computer programming out of desperation to get financially stable or die, everything should be easy. But joining gay culture now, post-transition, feels impossible… until he runs into the force of nature that is Kyle. Everything Nic isn’t, Kyle embodies. Green hair, garters and cut-off shorts, sports jerseys, and all, brash Kyle is the most gorgeous man he’s ever laid eyes on, and he pulls Nic headlong into the center of his world. If only Nic felt like enough for a man like Kyle.

“One-night stands are my only option.”

Loud, loving, and too much for most men to handle, Kyle Everett catches eyes and occasionally scorn… even at his job at the local HIV charity, Plus. His days and nights are spent at work, his precious spare moments spent with his son, Kevin, when it’s his turn to co-parent, or his best friend, drag queen River. He only has money or time for cheap flings, but the lanky otter who walks into his life makes Kyle want to hold him for longer than a night. He knows what it’s like for Nic to be without a family, but he isn’t brave enough to let this man into his life… until his charity is targeted by bigots, and Nic’s there for him.

“I’ll stay with you if you’re brave enough to be you.”

Nic spent his twenties avoiding family and even his own femininity, but his yearning is impossible to ignore. Kyle’s used to flying solo, but Nic offers him safety and fills gaps in his life he never realized existed and now can’t stand. Living in close proximity, they can’t run from their attraction, but they’re each used to being rejected, with the emotional scars to prove it. Can two men who feel like they’re not enough and too much find something just right?

Flaunt is a steamy, stand-alone gay romance novel with a HEA ending and no cliffhanger.

E. Davies was brought to my attention through a tour booked on our blog.  A totally new author and new story (and series as it turns out).  What a surprise and joy that turned out to be.  I love it when that happens.

Flaunt is beautifully written.  It flows smoothly along as you meet all the characters Davies writes so believably about.  It starts with Nic Montero, a trans man who’s moved to L.A. for a fresh start. New job, new outlook on himself, which is sometimes hard for him, with his background.  But Nic has quiet courage and intelligence and something about this character just grabs you immediately.  You just fall in love with him.  He’s earnest and open, about himself and what he wants.  I became his total cheerleader.

Kyle Everett of the wonderful green hair, confident attitude and amazing style?  Yep, love him too.  These characters fell from creations right into real men as Davies has them layered with human frailties, intelligence, passion, depth and a recognizable “feel” to them as people we would want to get to know in our own lives.

Their move into romance and a relationship is fraught with barriers raised from an initial belief that each wants something different from each other despite the huge sparks of attraction flying between them. How they manage to lower those obstacles, talk about their past and how it figured into their decisions about themselves and relationships is both moving and believable.

As is all the elements about Nic and his self image as a trans man and further surgery.  Nothing stands out as a single element, it all flows together naturally as a whole.  From their hot sex life to Kyle’s best friend, River, a drag queen, who has his own story out there (I need that book), there is so much to love and admire about Flaunt.  Its put E. Davies on my list of authors whose book list I need to explore and the book itself on my 2017 Best of List.  If you love contemporary romance, here’s one you should definitely check out!

Cover art is cute but except for the addition of the green hair, it could be for any book.

Sales Links

 Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 300 pages
Published January 31st 2017
ASINB01MTA0NCA
Edition LanguageEnglish

Love A Romance and HEA? Check out Flaunt by E. Davies (excerpt and giveaway)

Standard

flaunt-banner

Flaunt by E. Davies

Release Date: January 31st 2017
Genre: Contemporary MM Romance

📚

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have E. Davies here today to talk about his story Flaunt and share foods he can’t live without. Ed, we must talk fiddleheads some day! Welcome, Ed!

📚

Canadian Desert Island Eats to Share

Hello! I’m Ed Davies, and I’m thrilled to be here. I was asked to share the foods I couldn’t live without, and nothing against you all, but there are some of these foods I won’t share… Writing requires brain food, but don’t worry, absolutely none of my favorite foods are healthy or brainy.

To add an extra twist, I’m making a list of strictly favorite foods I associate with my home country, Canada. Some of these are widely available throughout North America and the world, some not so much!

Corn Puffs

Seriously. I can eat a bag of these in one sitting. They’re also impossible to find here in the UK, which has driven me mad over the last two years. You can only squeeze two bags into a checked bag, and one into a carry-on… not that I’d know that from personal experience. They seem plain–cornmeal, veggie oil, salt, water—but from the plainest ingredients comes pure magic.

Maple Syrup

Okay, an obvious choice for a Canadian list, I grant you. But hear me out! There’s no syrup like the darkest, richest syrup straight from a Quebec forest. None of that buttery maple syrup stuff, please. When you grow up in Canada, the history module you repeat every year is about the boil-off every winter, when maple sap was boiled down to syrup. They’d pour some onto the snow, where it freezes into a crunchy, hard candy. Proof of Canadian status: when I moved out of my most recent house, I uncovered two bottles of maple syrup, just in case I ran out of it.

Fiddleheads

These are a very Atlantic Canadian food. They’re a specific type of fern that has to be carefully cooked before eating, and they have a unique taste I really can’t describe… the earthiness of mushrooms, yet lightness of fresh greens, with an extra twist. And they can be made ultra-gourmet: four years ago, I had a bowl of fiddlehead cream soup that I still haven’t forgotten.

Sweet & Sour Chick’n

Huh? This isn’t very Canadian… except for the strong tradition of Chinese-Canadian restaurants. There are fascinating articles online on the history of Chinese food in Canada. Throughout the country, but especially in BC—jumping to the other coast now—there’s a long history of Chinese-Canadian families running buffets. Although sweet’n’sour chicken is probably familiar to everyone, I associate it with honey buns, rice paper candies, and a hundred other little tastes of Vancouver’s Chinatown.

Poutine

When I cut out cheese from my diet, oh man… this was the hardest thing to go. I’d been gradually cutting back for a long time, and I could live without most other forms of dairy, but poutine was a hard one to give up. But only the stuff made with cheese curds, not fake poutine with shredded mozzarella! That stuff’s a crime against poutine. The curds should also be fresh enough that they squeak.

Kraft Dinner

It’s probably half-plastic, and I don’t even care. I stopped eating it when I cut out cheese, but I found a very suitable vegan alternative and I still eat it… er… embarrassingly often. But sometimes, that little craving sneaks in for some genuine, Canadian KD. Reminds me of my university days…

Kinder Eggs

Again, a predictable choice, but who didn’t grow up with these? I feel for the Americans who have to smuggle these across the border. The chocolate itself isn’t even the tastiest, but waiting to finish the chocolate before you open the plastic egg makes it taste better. Sometimes you’d get a disappointing toy, which is defined as one that doesn’t do anything, and that you didn’t even have to assemble. Other times, it was a cool wind-up car or paper airplane, or something you wouldn’t expect to fit into an egg!

Food famously brings people together—shared memories of it, and unique traditions. In Flaunt, my newest release, Kyle is used to late night pizza with his boss, for example, and Nic finds himself thrilled to get home to cooked meals when he starts sharing his house with Kyle. It’s one of those small, yet hugely important details that can tell you so much about a person. I’d love to hear more about your favorite foods and food memories!

33844763

BLURB

“He’s waiting for me to ask, and I’m afraid.”

“I’m just one more gay guy here.”

Moving to the suburbs of L.A. was supposed to give Nic Montero a fresh start. After escaping his family, coming out as a gay trans man, and excelling in computer programming out of desperation to get financially stable or die, everything should be easy. But joining gay culture now, post-transition, feels impossible… until he runs into the force of nature that is Kyle. Everything Nic isn’t, Kyle embodies. Green hair, garters and cut-off shorts, sports jerseys, and all, brash Kyle is the most gorgeous man he’s ever laid eyes on, and he pulls Nic headlong into the center of his world. If only Nic felt like enough for a man like Kyle.

“One-night stands are my only option.”

Loud, loving, and too much for most men to handle, Kyle Everett catches eyes and occasionally scorn… even at his job at the local HIV charity, Plus. His days and nights are spent at work, his precious spare moments spent with his son, Kevin, when it’s his turn to co-parent, or his best friend, drag queen River. He only has money or time for cheap flings, but the lanky otter who walks into his life makes Kyle want to hold him for longer than a night. He knows what it’s like for Nic to be without a family, but he isn’t brave enough to let this man into his life… until his charity is targeted by bigots, and Nic’s there for him.

“I’ll stay with you if you’re brave enough to be you.”

Nic spent his twenties avoiding family and even his own femininity, but his yearning is impossible to ignore. Kyle’s used to flying solo, but Nic offers him safety and fills gaps in his life he never realized existed and now can’t stand. Living in close proximity, they can’t run from their attraction, but they’re each used to being rejected, with the emotional scars to prove it. Can two men who feel like they’re not enough and too much find something just right?

Flaunt is a steamy, stand-alone gay romance novel with a HEA ending and no cliffhanger.

Purchase: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Goodreads

EXCERPT

“Welcome to our headquarters! Er, not that we have other locations. Not full-time, anyway. Don’t worry about being late. I’m not even ready. I’m so sorry.” This had to be Kyle— the voice on the intercom matched this peppy yet sibilant, rapid-fire speech.

“I— that’s fine,” Nic assured Kyle with a quiet laugh. He was relieved not to be in trouble for showing up late, nor for showing up in formalwear when everyone else was probably going casual. “GPS pointed me the wrong way.”

“Oh, they do that! Right this way, please.” Kyle scanned his card against a reader near the staircase door. When he twirled to hold the staircase door open, his skirt flared out a little.

Kyle was wearing a skirt, over men’s skinny jeans and boots, and a blouse, and chest hair peeked out from the top of the blouse, his biceps unmistakeable. And his suspenders reached under the skirt, presumably to his jeans waistband. It made Nic wonder if he was wearing garters, which was a wholly inappropriate thought for their first meeting.

He awkwardly stepped through the doorway and Kyle brushed past him to trot upstairs at top speed, already talking again.

GIVEAWAY: Win a $25 Amazon giftcard and 2 x Flaunt ebooks

a Rafflecopter giveaway
<script src=”https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js“>

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/391d73bd58/?

About the Author

e-davies-profile-pic

E. Davies was proficient in real estate ad shorthand (the old-fashioned newspaper kind) by the age of nine. Growing up moving constantly taught him what people have in common, the ways relationships are formed, and the dangers of “miscellaneous” boxes.
As a teen, he tore through a stack of found romance novels, wishing someone had written similar for M/M, though he could never find anything at Chapters or the library. Just after graduating university in 2013, semi-out and clutching his English B.A. for dear life, he stumbled on an Amazon M/M short story. It was a whole new… phrase he dares not repeat for fear of lawyers. It shone and shimmered splendidly, though.
After failing forty times to avoid crafting happily-ever-after endings for steamy short stories, he plunged into romance novels and hasn’t looked back. As a young gay author whose formative gay fictional role models were characters punished for their sexuality, Ed prefers his stories lightly dramatic, full of optimism and hope.
Now out and proud, he writes full-time, goes on long nature walks, tries to fill his passport, drinks piña coladas on the beach, flees from cute guys, coos over fuzzy animals (especially bees), and is liable to tilt his head and click his tongue if you don’t use your turn signal.

To find out when E. Davies has a new release, you can subscribe to his newsletter.

Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon

embrace-button-small

An Alisa Release Day Review: Inheritance by Sean Michael

Standard

Rating:  3.5 stars out of 5

 

inheritance-by-sean-michaelCash McCord’s life is pretty much perfect. He owns the family ranch, loves his work, and invites the occasional cowboy into his bed. But everything is turned upside down when his brother Jack and Jack’s wife Val are killed in a car crash, leaving behind six kids.

 

Cash is made guardian of the children, along with Val’s brother, Brad Rafferty—a man who couldn’t be more different from Cash if he tried. A Yankee, Brad is a video-game developer who works twelve-to-fourteen-hour days at his desk. They lock horns as soon as they set eyes on each other. Neither man is happy to have the other around, but neither is willing to give up custody of his nieces and nephews.

 

It’s up to these two polar opposites to keep the kids together and give them a family again. But first they’ll have to keep from killing each other.

 

This was a sweet story of two men, who don’ really know each other, who suddenly become fathers together.  Cash and Brad are completely different, but need to work together to make the kids lives better without their parents.  They both have some things they continue to dig their heels in on, but when their disagreement becomes physical they finally open their eyes and really get a look at each other.

 

Cash and Brad both want what is best for the kids and have to learn to work together.  We get to connect to the characters through their eyes.  I love seeing their love for their nieces and nephews and how much they are willing to give for them.  Their relationship is a big part of what helps them make decisions and move their own and the kids’ lives forward.  It was just what I expected from a sweet Sean Michael book.

 

Cover art by Bree Archer is wonderful connecting us with the characters.

 

Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | B&N

 

Book Details:

ebook, 80 pages

Published: 3rd Edition, February 1, 2017 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN-13: 9781634776363

Edition Language: English

Ki Brightly on Writing and her release Trust Trade (Gem City Grit #1) (author interview)

Standard

trusttradefs_v1

Trust Trade (Gem City Grit #1) by Ki Brightly
D
reamspinner Press

Cover art by Bree Archer

Available for Purchase at

0dbe2-dreamspinner2blogo

7104e-waxcreative-amazon-kindle

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to welcome Ki Brightly here today to talk about her writing and her latest release, Trade Trust.  Welcome, Ki!

~📚~

Hi! I’m Ki Brightly. My book Trust Trade is due out on January 27th, and Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words was kind enough to invite me to their blog for an interview today. I’m excited to answer some questions, so I will get to it!

How much of yourself goes into a character?

This is a tremendously difficult question to answer, though it appears up front. I don’t think any writer can say nothing of themselves makes it into a character. Any character, no matter how unique or researched or villainous, can only react to a situation as a writer can imagine that character reacting. Now, a person can have a damned good imagination, but the writer is the limit. So, how much of myself goes into a character? I think that depends. If I start out writing with a clear picture of a character, or say I have gone all out and created a character sheet for them (attributes, thoughts on certain subjects, and what not) then I would say that less of me goes into them. They become more of themselves when I know who they are to start with. If I start writing and I’m sort of discovering a character as I go, say I just can’t get a bead on them or I’m confused about what type of person they will be, then I would say more of the essence of my thoughts ends up in that character because they don’t have their own thoughts yet. Sometimes when that happens and say I hit the middle of the book and realize it is happening, I will go back and edit a little or a lot, sometimes I don’t. There a couple of characters that have a lot of “me” in them. I would have to say one of the ones that most has “me” responses out of all of my books is probably Duncan from Threefold Love, (he also briefly appears in The Paranaturalist). Duncan works in a museum. I have a history degree and adored my art history classes. He loves to cook and I would spend about 6 hours a day cooking and eating if I could. He’s pudgy. Left to my own devices, without my marathon training, I’m pudgy. I’ll let you guess at what other attributes he and I share. He is a character, but yes, there are definitely bits of me there.

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

Not really. I define a Gary Stu as “perfect person syndrome”. It’s when that character is a super hero with a fix for every situation to the point where their story is almost boring. I can quickly and easily think of a few stories with these types of characters, both mainstream and other. If I’m doing a good job putting together a story you should never know that the experiences I’m using to create it are my own. In any event, most of the things that I would probably use while writing would be unpleasant things, creating trouble for the character, and since I try to write realistically, whatever it is would likely end up being a pie in the face to said unsuspecting character.

There’s that old saying, “Don’t do or say anything around a writer or it will end up in a book.” It’s true. Writer’s mine their own lives as well as anything and everything around them for inspiration and story ideas. I don’t think it is unusual to use personal experiences to write.

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

Yes, for sure. I don’t think I’ve ever written a book or article that didn’t require some form of research or another. For Trust Trade I think I probably spent somewhere around 100 hours doing research on Deaf culture to create a single aspect of the story as accurately as possible.

I don’t know if I enjoy research, but I certainly don’t mind reading about things that I find interesting, so to that end I like it. I don’t like the time it tends to eat up. It can really slow down a story if I decide to write about something I am minimally informed about. I do like story building and world building, my first published books were paranormal romances, but even with those I spent a lot of time researching. While writing The Paranaturalist I did paranormal research (before the time I spent with a local paranormal investigator I would have called it Ghost Hunting) and made a very nice friend along the way.

I think I like hands on research best.

Has your choice of childhood or teenage reading genres carried into your own choices for writing?

Yes and no. I was a large fan of Ann Rice when I was younger. To that end, I do enjoy writing paranormal romances, but I don’t think I particularly emulate her style. I do like description, but anyone who has ever read Interview will know what I’m talking about when I say she LOVES description. She takes description above and beyond. To some degree I like that. I like showing people what is in my head, creating a reading experience that can compete with a movie or television show. But I mainly write gay romance. I’ve toyed around with writing something a little more mainstream, and perhaps someday I will, but right now I’m focusing on what I love to write and attempting to do it well.

Have you ever put an ‘in progress’ story aside because of the emotional ties with it? You were hurting with the character or didn’t know how to proceed?

Yes. I have two separate stories right now that I have set aside. One I will be coming back to this year, hopefully, because it is sitting pretty at 60 thousand words (that is novel length for those of you not familiar with word count, but probably about 1/3 of the size of the books I usually put out). One is a paranormal romance, and one is a contemporary.

Both have an abusive boyfriend.

I started the first book, untitled except for the main characters Matteo and Devin, and ended up setting it aside. After I finished Trust Trade I started the second book, tentatively entitled The Bullsh*t Hippy Cure, but it also has an abusive boyfriend. I get stuck when there are abusers involved in the storyline, mainly because I had a quite lengthy (five years) emotionally and physically abusive relationship while I was in college. I refuse to write a book where the abused individual doesn’t “save themselves” because honestly, even if a prince comes along to rescue a person from the outright violence, they still have to do the work of putting themselves back together. I suppose the problem arose when I was trying to move the person who had been abused into a new, healthy relationship. I think it is an issue of time collapse in a novel, you only have so much time, and in real life it could take a person years, if not longer, to get over something like an abusive relationship. I suppose when I figure out a healthy way to move those characters forward those books will almost write themselves because I know the story arcs, the plots and the sub plots, but I just haven’t gotten them written yet.

Do you like HFN or HEA? And why?

I suppose I prefer Happy for Now over Happily Ever After, simply because it is more realistic. I have no way of knowing, even with characters I wrote, what the future will bring. That being said, I have to stop myself from ending every book with a ring because I so badly want my characters to be happy, even when, or maybe especially because, I put them through the wringer.

Do you read romances, as a teenager and as an adult?

Yes! Of course! I’m not sure anyone could write romance and not read it. I used to read m/f as well as m/m, but in the last several years I’ve slowly progressed into reading primarily m/m. Every once in a while I think maybe I’m missing out on something and will venture back out into het land, but I still prefer gay romance to mainstream.

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

I’m not sure. Growing up I loved Ann Rice and she spawned many a started and abandoned vampire novel. For a while I was stuck on Laurel K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake and Meredith Gentry series, but the shine has worn off those for me. I read all Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse books and liked them a lot. Mostly what I read now days is in the gay romance genre. I have a New Year’s resolution to read one “mainstream” book for every gay romance I read this year, but I’ve been reading true crime novels as research for the upcoming two books in my Gem City Grit Universe. Love It Like You Stole It (the one I’m working on editing it now) will be a mob influenced book, and the one after that (actively writing) will be more of a gang crimes book…it features Gus Jolliss and Kare Eckland. For anyone who reads Trust Trade and wonders what happens to Kare…well, you’ll find out, hopefully by this time next year, if I can get moving faster. 

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

Ebooks are a mixed bag for me. I love them for their affordable price points and space saving. If I had every ebook I own as a physical book then I wouldn’t have room in my house for anything else….I have book problems. I also like that I can make any book a large font book. On the other hand, sometimes I want to give my eyes a break from screen time, but most of my books are digital. Then I have to make a choice between reading the digital book I’m currently sucked into (and there always is one) or picking up a paperback that I haven’t started. This is how I end up with seven books going at a time. At this point I feel ebooks are well established and I don’t see them going anywhere. As the economy improves I think perhaps we will see a resurgence in physical book buying, but only for those people who have issues reading digitally or thoroughly enjoy the physicality of holding a book.

How do you choose your covers?

I have to take a moment to gush about the Dreamspinner Press art department. They are absolutely amazing. I get beautiful art packages before my books are published, including book marks and post cards. I can’t say enough good things. The book cover choice starts almost as soon as the book is accepted: the art department asks for everything possible about my characters and the setting of my book. They also give me samples of covers from the artists they have on hire, and I can choose anyone, so long as they are available. Only once have I not gotten to work with the artist I requested, but the artists I did work with are all amazing. I tell them the ideas I have for the book and they send me several mock ups to choose from. I pick, and from there on out they do their wonderful, artisty goodness and produce glamorous, beautiful covers for me. The artist for the cover of Trust Trade was Bree Archer and she was a delight to work with.

I always want to have one of the most engaging scenes from the book on the cover, but unfortunately, that usually isn’t possible based on how covers are made and what is determined to “sell well”. With The Paranaturalist I had a sketch artist, Christine Griffin, so I did get to have Joe in the river, which was spectacular. Working with her was fun because I could give her input on any and all aspects of the cover, down to the lights on the water and the shade of Joe’s eyes. It was great! As a writer there is no better feeling than seeing a talented artist breathe life into the wisps of your imagination.

Do you have a favorite among your own stories? And why?

Any time I’m asked this question the answer is usually going to be the book I just worked on, so I will go ahead and say Trust Trade. I think that happens because in order to put a book out you have to become so immersed in it, eat sleep breathe it, that it becomes a part of you. During the first professional edit for Trust Trade I literally spent four days, ten hours a day, sitting in my chair, staring at my laptop with Trust Trade—littered with spelling and grammar and other errors—staring back at me. I was on deadline. It was brutal. I had to edit it four more times. When you go through a process like that you either start loving or loathing something, and I usually turn toward loving it. Eventually.

What’s next for you as an author?

I’m currently working on the next book in the Gem City Grit universe. It features Ben Jelen and Michael Levine, two characters who aren’t in Trust Trade, but there will be several other characters you should recognized throughout the book. Ben is a mechanic. Michael works for Ben, and finds himself caught up in a mob run scheme to funnel illegally procured car parts out of the country. There are a lot of different nuances in this book—Ben rescued Michael (he usually calls him Meeko) from bullies when he was a teen, and Michael has been hanging around Ben’s garage, learning about and working on cars ever since. But Michael’s all grown up now and Ben’s not entirely comfortable with how he feels about him. I had a good time writing this book because for the first half Ben’s part of the book is a “romance”, mostly, and Meeko’s part of the book is sort of a romance but mostly a crime drama, and then they run headlong into each other. I’m hoping everyone else likes it as much as I’ve enjoyed burning the midnight oil on it. 

Ki, that was a terrific interview.  Thank you so much for sharing.  And now for more information about Trade Trust!

trusttrade_fbbanner_dsp

Blurb for Trust Trade

Life hasn’t been good to Jeb Birchman. When he attempted to escape his abusive, zealot father, he found himself on the streets, making a living the only way he knew how, the victim of more violent men—one of whom orchestrates a series of vicious attacks that leave Jeb deaf. Now that he’s aged beyond his latest client’s interest, Jeb knows he needs to escape his risky lifestyle before it’s too late. Seeing one last chance for himself, he earns a GED and enrolls in college.

Freddy Williams enjoys a life that couldn’t be more different from what Jeb has survived. He loves sports, being a personal trainer, and hanging out with friends. The son of deaf parents, Freddy is an outspoken advocate of the Deaf community and works as an interpreter at his college. When he meets Jeb at the bookstore, he’s struck by how attractive he is, and as they get to know each other, he finds Jeb’s good heart just as appealing. By the time he learns of Jeb’s past, it’s only a few steps behind them, and Freddy must make a choice between school and his familiar routine and protecting the man he’s falling in love with.

About the Author

kibrightly

Ki Brightly

Ki grew up in small town nowhere pretending that meteor showers were aliens invading, turning wildflowers into magic potions, and reading more than was probably healthy. Ki had one amazing best friend, one endlessly out of grasp “true love”, and a personal vendetta against normalcy.

Now, as an adult, living in Erie, Pennsylvania, Ki enjoys the sandy beaches, frigid winters, and a wonderful fancy water addiction. Seriously, fancy waters…who knew there were so many different kinds? It’s just water…and yet…

Ki shares this life with a Muse, a Sugar Plum, and two wonderful children.

Social Media

Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/kibrightly/

Blog http://www.brightlybooks.wordpress.com

Tumblr: https://www.tumblr.com/search/Ki+Brightly

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KiBrightly

E-mail: kibrightly@gmail.com

trusttradeblogtour

In the Spotlight: Victoria Sue with a New Release – The Alpha King (Exclusive Excerpt and Giveaway)

Standard

the-alpha-king-book-cover

The Alpha King by Victoria Sue
P
ublished January 26, 2017

Available for Purchase at

7104e-waxcreative-amazon-kindle

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Victoria Sue and her new release, The Alpha King.  The author has brought along an exclusive excerpt and a giveaway for everyone to enter.  Enjoy!

Blurb

The Kingdom of Askara has been torn apart by conflict for centuries, where humans exist as subservient beings to their werewolf masters. Legend says it will only be able to heal itself when an Alpha King and a pure omega are mated and crowned together, but a pure omega hasn’t been born in over a thousand years.

Luca is an Alpha-heir eagerly awaiting the choosing ceremony on his twenty-fifth birthday and the gifts granted by whichever omega he mates. His small pack is destitute due to the decisions of its ruling council, but being only an Alpha-heir, he has no authority to challenge them. Not until now—this moment he has waited a long time for.

Kit grew up as a street-rat, an unlicensed human who would never be more than a slave for whichever master owns him. Then one day he came across a young Alpha-heir, attacked and dying of poison, and found out their fates were suddenly entwined.

Luca needs to take over his pack and save his people. He cannot afford to be distracted. But when he meets Kit, he develops abilities indicating he is not just a pack Alpha, but the King his world has needed for a thousand years.

Is Kit really the cause of Luca’s newfound power, the true mate he needs? How is it possible when the young man isn’t even a werewolf, and as merely a human, a mating is not only forbidden, but for Kit, a sentence of death?

Exclusive excerpt

Kit was warm and before he marveled at the unusual occurrence, he snuggled further into heat…and arms that tightened automatically when he moved. He instantly knew. Luca. My mate. The Alpha King destined to heal a fractured Askara, and me, Kit, a guttersnipe bastard orphan destined to help him.

Human children were illegal in Askara without a license, and that would only be given to valued guards or those who had a trade. The Alphas remained terrified that because humans bred so easily, humans would become unmanageable in number and therefore a threat to the smaller wolf population, she-wolves only went into heat once every three years, and even then, pups were no guarantee to any except a breeder.

Kit’s mother had always told him he should never have been born. Pleasure-slaves were barred from procreating because their very profession meant that there was no guarantee the father’s identity would be known, and, what was even worse, the father might be a wolf. Any attempt to breed hybrids was a sentence of death for the mother and child.

Pleasure slaves were so careful not to become pregnant. Herbs were mixed and potions were regularly drunk, and then if those methods ever failed, the birth would be induced quickly so the baby would never survive. Kit never knew how his mother had managed to hide her pregnancy. If any of the gammas had seen her, she would have been forced into labor, and if the child survived then its throat would have been slit.

His earliest memories were of being told to be quiet. Silent. Never to cry. Never to complain of being cold or being hungry, and never ever to make a noise when he was locked away in the cupboard. He could even beg silently, fix his mother with pleading eyes as she locked him away night after night so when the men came no one would ever know she kept an illegal child.

Kit shivered and Luca’s arms tightened again. Light was just creeping into the room and he knew he had slept a long time, been helped when his own hands shook too much to hold a cup of water, been carried to the bathroom when he needed to empty his bladder; been soothed when the night terrors had woken him. Kit never slept deeply. He didn’t dare. He would stay awake as much as he could until exhaustion claimed him and he was too tired to stop the dreams and the memories.

Memories of the last night with his mother crept into him. He’d been sick. He’d begged that day as usual, and gleefully found some kitchen scraps. He was used to eating food that others threw away, but something he had eaten that day had made him sick, a belly ache that tore at his insides until he had to stuff a rag in his mouth to quiet the whimpers. He must have slept until in his fevered imagination he could feel unseen arms pulling at him, making it seem he was no longer alone in the small cupboard when he woke. Heat drenched him, and chills stripped him of his control. Of his silence. He cried. He thought his whispered entreaties wouldn’t be heard but suddenly the cupboard door was ripped open and the half-naked gamma that was bedding his mother bellowed in anger and summoned the guards. He had been yanked from the cupboard just as the gamma’s knife had flashed into his hand.

Then his dreams always turned red. Deep crimson rivers seemed to drown his mother’s cries as they covered her body. She had stepped in front of him as the gamma had gone to slit his throat and the knife had slashed her chest. Covered in his mother’s blood, he had run far, far away, and in the confusion, no one had stopped him. He had many hungry days after that. Unscrupulous wolves who were willing to overlook an unlicensed human child meant they simply hid that human away when any visitors arrived. Unlicensed humans, grateful for anything they could get, simply had to endure. Kit whimpered and blinked to force the images away. He felt the arms move around him as he took a shuddering breath to calm down. The hot puff of air brushed his cheek as Luca moved even closer.

“What is it?” Luca’s deep voice seeped into Kit’s skin and soothed his frantically pounding heart. Luca moved his palm across Kit’s chest and rested it there. It was so warm. “It beats as if it wants to escape, but I can’t have that,” Luca said quietly. “It belongs to me.”

Kit let the gentle finger tilt his chin until he was looking into Luca’s deep gray eyes. Kit took a deep breath. “Bad dreams, Sire,” he whispered unwilling to give them voice.

Kit closed his eyes as Luca bent and kissed his forehead. “I’m here. I won’t let you have any more bad dreams.”

“Because you said so?” Kit teased.

Luca shuffled onto his back and drew Kit down so he was resting on Luca’s chest. The heavy thump of Luca’s heart was the best thing he had ever heard. Solid, real. “Well apparently, I’m the King so I hereby decree no more nightmares.”

Kit smiled at the amusement in Luca’s tone. He took another deep breath and snaked a hand across Luca’s chest. He heard the approving rumble.

“I decided you were a dream, you know.”

“A nightmare?” Kit offered.

Luca brushed a tender kiss on Kit’s head as if to dismiss the suggestion. “I have heard the legends, obviously, but I didn’t know an omega could be human.”

“You have questions,” Kit said quietly.

“Did you know? All those years ago? And if so, why didn’t you stay with me? I could have protected you.”

Kit closed his eyes briefly. The pain and frustration was as raw in Luca’s voice as his back had been yesterday. “I dreamed other things. I knew you were going to be Alpha King, but not until I touched you, and I also knew that it wasn’t the time for us to be together. If you had shown signs of your gifts because of me, it would have put your life at risk, and you needed to be safe until you were twenty-five. There are many who do not want to return to the days of the Alpha Kings.”

“But you suffered.”

Kit swallowed. The horror in Luca’s voice was real. Suddenly, he realized every day had been worth it. Every nightmare, every day he had slaved too cold and too hungry. Every night he had longed for Luca’s voice, his touch, but he had remained without it. It simply wasn’t worth the risk it would bring to Luca.

“I would have been careful,” Luca promised.

Kit raised his head and gazed into the gray eyes that were fixed on him. “You would have been unable to let any injustice slide—the same as yesterday—and I had to get you to this point. Yes, I needed you, but Askara needs you more, my King.”

Luca, please,” Luca said as he clasped Kit’s hand, pressing the words into his palm.

“In private, then,” Kit conceded carefully.

He knew appearances were important and he was already battling what many wolves would see as wrong. He had loved Luca for so long, so terrified that what he imagined his strong, fearless, but gentle wolf would be like might not match up to the reality. He had always been convinced of Luca’s integrity. He had dreamed of what Askara could become, what their lives would be like. He was just never sure of what his life would be like. Would he be kept close? Would he be treasured, protected? Or would Luca bow to the traditions of his people, no matter how Kit may wish for more?

Luca laid back down and tucked Kit close. Kit took a sharp breath.

Luca peered at him. “Are you still hurting?”

Kit loved the concern that layered his words, but he shook his head shyly. He was terrified to truly believe that things would be this simple. Kit smiled softly. Simple? It would be anything but. A human omega was going to be bad enough for Luca’s people to accept. He simply couldn’t think about how much worse it could actually get.

About the Author

Victoria Sue

Wrote her first book on a dare from her hubby two years ago and he says he has regretted it every day since. Loves writing about gorgeous boys loving each other the best, and especially with either a paranormal or a historical twist. Had a try at writing contemporary but failed spectacularly when it grew four legs and a tail. Loves her wolves!

Is an English northern lass but is currently serving twenty to life in Florida – unfortunately, she spends more time chained at her computer than on a beach.

Loves to hear from her readers and can be found most days lurking on facebook.

www.victoriasue.com

@vickysuewrites

https://www.facebook.com/victoriasueauthor/– sign up for my newsletter and download a free story The Wrong Alpha

banner-2

Giveaway

To one lucky reader, your  choice of an ebook from Victoria Sue’s backlist.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  Please leave your name and email address where you can be reached if chosen along with a comment for Victoria Sue.  Contest ends midnight February 4th.

In Our Romance Spotlight: The Worst Best Man by M.J. O’Shea (excerpt)

Standard

the-best-worst-man

The Worst Best Man by M.J. O’Shea
D
reamspinners Press
Cover Artist: Bree Archer

Available for Purchase at

bef50-dreamspinner2blogo

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host M.J. O’Shea today.  M.J. O’Shea is here talking about her recent release, The Worst Best Man.  Welcome, M.J.!

~

Hi! 

This is Mj O’Shea I’m here talking about my newest book, called The Worst Best Man.

One of my favorite parts of writing a romance is… well obviously the romantic couple. But another favorite is developing relationships between the two romantic leads and the people in their lives. I often end up liking the friends so much that I give them books of their own eventually.

In this book, August, my main character works at an event planner and his team partner and best friend Will is one of those characters that I love to death.

I thought I’d leave a bit of their banter… since I love writing it so much. And even more than writing it, I love reading it. It’s one of the things I look forward to the most in books romance or otherwise. Before I babble too much, here’s a bit of August and his best friend Will.

“Hey, mate, do you have the signed contracts for the Steinberg bat mitzvah yet?”

“I haven’t had a chance to deal with getting them yet. Why?” August had been slammed all day with work orders and phone calls. He hadn’t had time to hound customers for signed paperwork. August the enforcer had taken a backseat to a million more pressing matters.

“I just wanted to get started on the flower orders, and I can’t do that until we have a signature. Remember what happened with the Stout wedding?”

What had happened was nine hundred pounds’ worth of blush-colored roses and calla lilies, a cheating groom, and one very angry bride—also incomplete signed paperwork. Their company had to eat the cost of the flowers since there wasn’t anything holding the ex-couple to the payment. Not endearing to their boss, Helena, in the slightest, even if she did love Will and August. Usually.

August would never make that mistake again.

“Can you get on the Steinbergs?” Will asked.

“Will, you know I have a huge list on for today. I don’t have time to run a paper chase.”

Will started to make one of the signature pathetic noises that usually got him whatever he wanted. It was the blond hair and the big blue eyes. August wasn’t immune, even if Will was straight as a stick and practically his brother. Wasn’t going to work, though. Not today.

“It’s your fault I’m so busy.” Time to go for the guilt trip. “You’re the one who ‘didn’t want to deal with another society wedding full of posh wankers.’”

August knew Will hated the finger quotes. It was a surefire way of pissing him off.

“I hate the finger quotes.”

He said it every time. August enjoyed annoying him every single time as well.

“I know. But I’m still the one who got stuck with the Pritts-Shackleton wedding because you didn’t want to deal with them.”

“People like that always look at me.”

August sighed. “I know, I know. You’re Northern and not a blue blood, and they give you attitude about it. Well, a Northerner has to be better than an American in their eyes, and yet here I am about to meet with one of London’s premiere society couples. I think you can call the Steinbergs. It’s more than an even trade.” August raised his eyebrow and waited for Will to crumble.

“Fine.”

“What do you think our prince and princess will be like?” Will asked.

“Apparently it’s going to be our princess and her GBF,” August said with an eye roll. “Prince Shackleton is in the import-export business, and he’s quite busy.”

“This tosser’s really sending a stand-in?”

“You probably shouldn’t call our clients tossers.” August bit back a grin. “I guess the dude’s been friends with both of them since birth. Maybe it makes sense in their world.”

Will made a face. “Better you than me, mate. I don’t love weddings at the best of times. Give me a nice corporate golf tournament to organize any day. Maybe the girl’s mate will be hot. You need a shag.”

“Thanks for keeping track of my sex life.” AugustDignified gave Will another eye roll for that. He was far too invested in how often August got laid. “I’m sure this random gay man who walks into our office to plan his friend’s wedding will be up for it. Probably should just skip trousers altogether and tell Miss Pritts to take a hike.” August snorted loudly.

“Don’t sell yourself short.” Will shrugged. “I would be up for it if I was into dudes.”

August giggled. “I love you,” he said on a laugh.

“By the way, you sure you have to go home for Christmas?” Will asked. “My mum was looking forward to seeing you. I swear she loves you more than me. Plus, there isn’t a chance in hell I can make your sticky toffee pudding recipe for her.”

The holidays were coming up soon, and August had booked ten days off from the office to visit Boston. It had been two years since he’d gone back for more than a long weekend, and he actually missed the big, loud O’Leary clan. Will’s family was a close substitute, but it wasn’t quite the same thing.

“I can’t this year. I promised my mom I’d come home. She said you’re very welcome to come as well. Maybe our families can just do a son trade.”

There was something about Will’s down-to-earth rough-and-tumble personality that fit into the O’Leary family perfectly, maybe even more than August ever had. They loved him, and he loved them right back.

“I think that’s a solid plan. But we need another solid plan for tonight. One last lad’s night before you desert me for nearly two weeks.”

August looked out the window at the snow drifting down, a few lazy flakes at a time. The London streets were covered with thin, slippery black ice, and the snow had been falling slow but steady for hours.

“It’s cold as hell, mate,” he muttered. He had dreams of his cozy little flat and a book.

“Mate,” Will snickered. “We’ll make a Brit out of you yet. And don’t be a baby. After a few pints, you won’t even be able to feel the snow.”

August had about zero chance of getting out of the pub night. Will was a force to be reckoned with.

“Okay. Lad’s night. But No Weezy. He causes trouble.”

Weezy was Will’s best friend from Sheffield, who’d sort of followed Will to London and never left. He was a laugh when August had nowhere to be for the next three or four days and plenty of time to nurse a hangover. Not when he had to spend the day packing for an evening flight home.

“I might have already texted Weez. He misses you.” Will gave August his best puppy dog eyes.

August sighed. “Okay. I’ll be ready after my meeting with the wedding couple. Er, I mean, the bride and her best friend.”

It was weird. He’d had far weirder. August tried to wipe the memory of eye patches, parrots, and a whole lot of pirate hats from his head. It was best not to think of it.

“I’ll wait in my office with Louise. She’s coming too.”

“Louise? Who else did you invite?” It was starting to sound less like a quiet lad’s night at the pub and more like what Will called “A right piss-up.” Those rarely ended well for August. He still hadn’t found his trousers from the last time.

“You know she’s one of the lads,” Will said.

August wondered how long it was going to take Will to figure out that their sensible, no-nonsense assistant was desperately in love with him.

“One of the lads,” August echoed. “Shoo,” he added, making the motions with his hands. “I have to get ready for my meeting. And call the Steinbergs. I want to get properly started on that one when I get back from Boston.”

Will saluted him as he strolled backward out of the office.

That’s all for now! I hope you enjoyed a little bit of August and Will. I definitely had a great time writing them

I’ve left a blurb and some links below! I’m always available on social media for questions or comments.

Thanks for having me stop by ❤

Xoxo

Mj O’Shea

worstbestmanthe_fbbanner_dsp

About The Best Worst Man by M.J. O’Shea

It was her special day… but his worst nightmare.

Despite his American background, August O’Leary is the most sought-after wedding planner in London. Naturally, Libby and Edward come to him for a wedding the city will never forget. But Edward is an international businessman, so the details are left to Libby and her best friend – who happens to be the love of August’s life and the one who broke his heart eight years ago: Christopher Burke.

How’s August supposed to pull off the event of the year with Christopher distracting him and old feelings crashing the party uninvited?

Christopher has let money and status dictate his life, but no more. His failure to stand up to others’ expectations of him cost him his future with August – one he’d hoped would include marriage. Now he has to face August’s hurt and anger and prove he’s still the best man to make August happy.

About the Author

Hi everyone! I’m Mj O’Shea:) I grew up, and still live, in sunny Washington state and while I love to visit other places, I can’t imagine calling anywhere else home. I spent my childhood writing stories. Sometime in my early teens, the stories turned to romance. Most of those were about me, my friends, and our favorite movie and pop stars. Hopefully, I’ve come a long way since then.

When I’m not writing, I love to play the piano, dance, cook, paint pictures, and of course read! I have two little dogs who sit with me when I write. Sometimes they comes up with ideas for me too…when they’re not busy napping.