A Caryn Review: Hipster Brothel by K.A. Merikan

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Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

hipster-brothel-by-k-a-merikanFrom the very first sentence, I was laughing at the way the authors poked fun at pretty much every stereotype that exists about hipsters.  And there were probably an awful lot I missed too, because in my neck of the woods – Southwest Florida – we aren’t exactly on the cutting edge of anything, so I’m not exactly current with hipster culture. 

Jo is a Chinese-American who wears a man bun, is an edgy dresser who spends a lot on shoes, rides a bicycle, lives in his parent’s basement, and works part time writing (I forget what, but I’m sure it was ironic).  He is bisexual, but has only dated and had sex with girls in the past, having never found a man that he thought was worth the extra effort.  His best friend, Mr. B, really is Jo’s ideal man, but Mr. B has a serious long term boyfriend and Jo doesn’t poach, though he’s not above a little fantasizing…

Until Mr. A breaks up with Mr. B.

B is the original lumbersexual.  He’s a big, blond, bear of a man.  He makes furniture – upcycled, of course – has a full beard, lives in a converted train car in the woods.  But he’s also sweet, cheery, an absolute teddy bear, and he’s been crushing on Jo for a long time but had no idea that Jo is not entirely straight.  When Mr. A breaks up with him after a 5 years relationship, he is not quite devastated – after all, he saw this coming months before it happened – but his self esteem definitely took a hit.  He also quit his job making furniture for the shop Mr. A owned, knowing it would be too awkward to remain there.  Jo is the perfect friend to invite over for some drunken commiserating – over home brewed peach brandy naturally – and while Mr. B rants about everything that was wrong with his relationship with Mr. A, and with him, he and Jo come up with a new life plan. 

They are going to be partners in a business making home made jam, with booze, and sell it at farmer’s markets.

But they need to get some seed money to get the venture going.  And that is where all the drunken rambling and joking come together in Mr. B deciding to market himself as the “Lumbersexual Experience”, complete with pipe smoking lessons and wood chopping exercises in his rustic refurbished train car, AKA hipster brothel.  As he says, “I’m single, I’m open-minded…Sharing economy, right?  Someone lacks sex and I have a nice body.”

I love it when an author can make something so ridiculous work!

Unfortunately, those were the best parts of the book.  Although the comedy didn’t disappear, once they started to have sex – and that’s a really big part of the book – it was as if the book was trying to be a typical contemporary romance instead.  So we have two men who don’t speak their minds, make assumptions which lead to misunderstandings, which delays the inevitable moment when they finally get together.  I wish there had been fewer sex scenes, and more mockery of the hipster culture that made the opening chapters so good.

Despite that, it was a fun, quick, read, Mr. B was adorable, and Jo was a great foil to him.

Cover art by Natasha Snow was a great lumbersexual, although I pictured Mr. B with a cute, open grin instead of the self satisfied smirk seen on this model.

Sales Links

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2jHLexz | Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2iTzSt7

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 162 pages
Published January 24th 2017 by Acerbi & Villani ltd (first published January 22nd 2017)
Original TitleHipster Brothel
Edition LanguageEnglish

Aidee Ladnier on Writing, Life and her release ‘The Applicant (Busted Labs #1)’ (excerpt, interview and giveaway)

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The Applicant (Busted Labs #1) by Aidee Ladnier
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reamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Brooke Albrecht

Buy Your Copy Today at 

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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to be interviewing  Aidee Ladnier today.  Welcome, Aidee!

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Our Interview with Aidee Ladnier!

Thank you so much for inviting me on your blog today! I’m excited to be posting about my new book, THE APPLICANT. I love my characters Forbes and Oliver, and I’m looking forward to sharing them with your readers.

  • Were you an early reader or were you read to and what childhood books had an impact on you as a child that you remember to this day and why?I was definitely an early reader and read my first book (Dr. Seuss’s One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish) before I started kindergarten. But the stories I remember loving the most were the fairy tales. I had several books by the Grimm Brothers, Charles Perrault and Hans Christian Anderson. I remember loving the scary situations and the happy endings. I’d read them over and over again until I knew them by heart.
  • How early in your life did you begin writing?I began writing around twelve years old. My first stories were inspired by dreams and books I was reading. I wrote one early story about an intergalactic romance, another about a girl pirate, and another about a girl with a ghost best friend. I wrote short stories in high school and even published a little, but gave up fiction in college for academic writing. It’s only been in the last few years I’ve taken up fiction again.
  • If you were to be stranded on a small demi-planet, island, or god forbid LaGuardia in a snow storm, what books would you take to read or authors on your comfort list?This is a difficult question. I have so many good books on my phone. I guess if I had to choose, I’d definitely take a full set of Shakespeare’s works. He had such an amazing insight into human beings. All his best characters are flawed and know their flaws, either working to change or worse, unable to escape them. For mysteries, I’d take the complete Sherlock Holmes stories of Arthur Conan Doyle. I’ve been reading Sherlockiana since my pre-teens. Anytime I want to break down a simple mystery, I study those. If I get to take fantasies, it will always be the Lord of the Rings books by J.R.R. Tolkien. Science fiction is a little harder. I have a lot of favorites there—Isaac Asimov, Ursula LeGuin, Robert Heinlein, Ray Bradbury, Lois McMaster Bujold. I’m afraid I couldn’t choose between those. And romance…don’t tell anyone, but I’m a total Jennifer Blake fanatic. Her heroes are to die for.
  • Can a author have favorites among their characters and do you have them?Personally, I think all of an author’s characters are their favorites. Otherwise why would they write them? But I have to say, Forbes and Oliver hold a special place in my heart. Their love story never runs smooth no matter what timeline they inhabit. It’s as if they’re pulled to each other. Despite their troubles, they keep coming back to each other again and again.
  • Contemporary, supernatural, fantasy, or science fiction narratives or something else?  Does any genre draw you more than another when writing it or reading it and why does it do so?I adore science fiction, fantasy, paranormal, and mysteries the most. I love a good romance, but I want a little something extra to add a zing. Science fiction is the fiction of possibilities, to paraphrase Ray Bradbury. It’s such a hopeful genre. The paranormal and mysteries have always drawn me because I like questions. A mystery with a satisfying conclusion scratches that curious itch.
  • Are you a planner or a pantzer when writing a story? And why?I’m a little of both. I love to plot. Ruminating about a story is one of my favorite pastimes. I often outline a story down to the nth detail only to sit down to write and the story run off in the opposite direction! But I must admit, it’s tons of fun to see a story develop on its own.
  • Where do you normally draw your inspiration for a book from?  A memory, a myth, a place or journey, or something far more personal?That’s an interesting question. A story can arise from anywhere. It might be a phrase someone says, or a news item I read, sometimes a place I visit. THE APPLICANT includes on two of my favorite things, robots and time travel. I loooove robots. I wanted to write a “not very mad scientist” story and including a robot was a must. Then I realized he’d have to have a reason to build the robot and the cuddly juggernaut that became Forbes’s teddy bear robot was born. I thought Forbes would want to create a friend for children who felt small like he had as a smart little boy attending college alongside older teenagers and adults.
  • If you were writing your life as a romance novel, what would the title be?Right Beside You. I’m married to a great guy. I met him in college and we became fast friends but ONLY friends. We stayed friends even though I married Mr. Wrong and he married Miss Even More Wrong. So when he was divorced and then I divorced, we both commiserated on being single and started hanging out together again. But all our friends kept telling us we should quit with the friends stuff and date instead. Just to shut them up, we finally went out on a date. And we both really liked it. We liked it enough that we married 20 years after the first time we met. So the perfect guy I was searching for was right beside me.

So now that you know a little more about me, what would your romance novel be titled? Tell me down in the comments!

✯✯Giveaway✯✯

Don’t forget to sign up for my Rafflecopter Giveaway. There are prizes and gift cards! Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

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Blurb

How can something so cuddly and adorable be so destructive? The teddy bear robot decimating his lab is only the first disaster of the day for roboticist Forbes Pohle. If he can figure out how to end its rampage, he still has to interview applicants for the position of research assistant and convince the time-traveler on his doorstop that they should be making their future right now. Oliver Lennox didn’t travel back in time to have a quickie in the blast chamber—but it certainly is fun. This younger Forbes is a sweeter, more innocent version of his lover. And it will be hard to leave him behind in the past.

If you like sexy nerds, humor, plenty of action, and a love story not even time can disrupt, this romantic adventure has the perfect credentials for the job. 

Available from Dreamspinner Press

Excerpt from THE APPLICANT by Aidee Ladnier

Forbes Pohle worked the needle-nose pliers carefully behind the eye sensors of his teddy bear. He needed to make one little adjustment—

The buzzer on the door sounded, nerve-jangling and insistent, from the speaker overhead.

Startled, Forbes jerked the wire he was fiddling with free from its connection, rendering the small robot blind. The head-plate spring snapped, and the access panel clipped his hand as it closed. Forbes swore and shook his stinging fingers as the front door buzzer blared again.

Frustrated, he threw down the pliers and ran both hands through his mop of brown hair. Reacting to the clatter, the tiny robot turned its head left and then right before running off the table.

Luckily the teddy bear caught itself with its face when it hit the floor.

Undaunted, the bear scrambled to its furry feet and darted toward the other side of the lab. Forbes sighed at the sound of another imperative buzz.

“You won’t get the job if you don’t stop with the doorbell.” He stood and shoved the ends of his wrinkled white dress shirt back into his khaki pants. He typed in the power-down sequence for the bear before shutting the lab door and walking toward the front of the house. His visitor had graduated to using the door buzzer as percussion, the drone now going off and on in a jaunty rhythm.

Forbes still wasn’t sold on hiring a research assistant, but he wanted a lab assistant and he needed an administrative assistant.

Most of all, he longed for a friend.

Hiring someone wasn’t the best way to go about finding one, but working with somebody was a good start, right?

Forbes checked his reflection in the foyer mirror. The dark brown of his eyes was almost invisible against the bloodshot whites. His stomach rumbled, and he promised himself he’d take a break and eat as soon as the interview concluded.

At the next buzz, he spun and yanked open the large front door. Holy crap.

He wished he’d gotten a little sleep last night instead of staying up to tinker with the bear.

A wiry man stood on Forbes’s doorstep. He was dressed in a T-shirt, tight black jeans, black nail polish, and red Chuck Taylors. His strawberry blond hair was spiked up in front. The corners of his eyes and his freckled nose wrinkled.

Forbes blinked back his surprise and opened his mouth, expecting words to come out. He cleared his throat and tried again. “Come in.” Forbes waved him inside the house. “I’m Forbes Pohle. I’m the one who posted the job listing.”

The man grinned and held out a hand. “Very pleased to meet you, Dr. Pohle. I’m Oliver Lennox. Please call me Oliver.”

Forbes blushed at the title as he clasped Oliver’s warm hand. Forbes was a PhD three times over, but he hadn’t put that in the advertisement.

“If you’ll come this way, we can talk in the lab.” He turned and walked back down the hallway to the adjacent laboratory, assuming the applicant would follow.

“Oh, I didn’t come about…,” Forbes heard him say before he ran into Forbes’s back. To be fair it wasn’t his fault. Forbes had stopped short in the lab doorway.

During the few minutes he’d stepped out to answer the door, the laboratory had been destroyed.

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About the Author

Aidee Ladnier, an award-winning author of speculative fiction, began writing at twelve years old but took a hiatus to be a magician’s assistant, ride in hot air balloons, produce independent movies, collect interesting shoes, fold origami, send ping pong balls into space, and amass a secret file with the CIA. A lover of genre fiction, it has been a lifelong dream of Aidee’s to write both romance and erotica with a little science fiction, fantasy, mystery, or the paranormal thrown in to add a zing.

You can find her on her blog at http://www.aideeladnier.com or on her favorite social media sites: 

E.J. Russell on Characters and their release ‘Clickbait’ by E.J. Russell (guest post and giveaway)

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Clickbait by E.J. Russell
R
iptide Publishing
Cover art by L.C. Chase

Read an Excerpt/Buy it Here

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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have E.J. Russell here today talking about Gideon, one of the characters in Clickbait and the Geeklandia series.  Welcome, E.J.!

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Gideon: A Peek Before Clickbait

Clickbait is actually the second book in my Geeklandia series about a group of friends in Portland—roommates Charlie, Gideon, and Lindsay, their sidecar friend Toshiko—and their search for romance, wherein geeks pair with non-geeks, much to everyone’s astonishment. Gideon, one of the co-heroes of Clickbait, made his grand entrance in the first book, Lost in Geeklandia, where he helps his BFF Charlie overcome her gawkitude and land her man. (Charlie appears in Clickbait as well, as do Toshiko and Lindsay—who’s the sister of Gideon’s co-hero, Alex.)

This is a deleted scene from Lost in Geeklandia, where Gideon (in his Noel Coward-inspired red brocade dressing gown) tries to prep Charlie for her next interaction with her childhood friend and later nemesis, Daniel (whom Gideon refers to as He-man). She has thirty days to turn Daniel into her boyfriend or lose the chance at her dream job—and the clock is ticking.

Gideon tapped his fork on the empty Tupperware bowl. “Attention, please. Back to He-man. Tell me you at least managed a good-night kiss.”

Charlie’s cheeks heated as if she’d dry-roasted them along with the peanuts in the snack smorgasbord. “Of course I didn’t. We’re talking about Daniel Shawn. It would be easier for me to manage a good-night kiss from Chris Pine.”

“Charles, Charles, Charles. Whatever am I going to do with you? Stop thinking of him as a threat and think of him as an opportunity.” He popped off the barstool. “Let’s SWOT this.”

Lindsay stopped mashing avocado and wiped her forehead with the back of one wrist, her expression troubled. “I know you’re trying to help, Gideon, but do you really think it’s okay for Charlie to hit Daniel?”

He patted her cheek. “S-W-O-T, darling, not S-W-A-T. Strength, weakness, opportunity, threat. Standard management exercise, as Charles would know if she’d taken any business classes amid all the technobabble.”

“It’s hard to take you seriously as a management consultant when you’re dressed like Raul Julia as Gomez Addams,” Charlie grumbled.

“Gomez wore a smoking jacket, not a dressing gown. Stop focusing on inconsequentials.”

Gideon plucked the magnetized dry erase marker off the refrigerator and slashed a grid on the whiteboard they used for their grocery list. In giant letters, he scrawled an S and a W across the top row. “This represents your internal organization. Whatever you perceive as your own.” He added an O and a T down the left side. “This represents the Other. The outer world. Things you don’t control.”

“I’m not sure I control anything.”

“Stop it. See.” He pointed to each letter with the marker. “Strength. Weakness. Opportunity. Threat. Your weakness is this unaccountable need you have to hide your talents under a virtual bushel. Your strengths are legion, but when it comes to Daniel, you forget that you are a smart woman and act like a freaking moron.”

Charlie glared at him. “Don’t you have a hot date to get to?”

Gideon’s gaze flew to the clock above the sink. “God. I’m late. Only concern about your sex life could distract me from my own.” He smacked the marker back on the refrigerator. “Think about it. There’ll be a test later.”

He disappeared down the hall in a billow of red satin.

About Clickbait

After the disastrous ending of his first serious relationship, Gideon Wallace cultivated a protective—but fabulously shiny—outer shell to shield himself from Heartbreak 2.0. Besides, romance is so not a priority for him right now. All his web design prospects have inexplicably evaporated, and to save his fledgling business, he’s been compelled to take a hands-on hardware project—as in, his hands on screwdrivers, soldering irons, and needle-nosed pliers. God. Failure could actually be an option.

Journeyman electrician Alex Henning is ready to leave Gideon twisting in the wind after their run-ins both on and off the construction site. Except, like a fool, he takes pity on the guy and offers to help. Never mind that between coping with his dad’s dementia and clocking all the overtime he can finagle, he has zero room in his life for more complications.

Apparently, an office build-out can lay the foundation for a new relationship. Who knew? But before Alex can trust Gideon with the truth about his fragile family, he has to believe that Gideon’s capable of caring about more than appearances. And Gideon must learn that when it comes to the heart, it’s content—not presentation—that matters.

Now available from Riptide Publishing. http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/clickbait

About E.J. Russell

E.J. Russell holds a BA and an MFA in theater, so naturally she’s spent the last three decades as a financial manager, database designer, and business-intelligence consultant. After her twin sons left for college and she no longer spent half her waking hours ferrying them to dance class, she returned to her childhood love of writing fiction. Now she wonders why she ever thought an empty nest meant leisure.

E.J. lives in rural Oregon with her curmudgeonly husband, the only man on the planet who cares less about sports than she does. She enjoys visits from her wonderful adult children, and indulges in good books, red wine, and the occasional hyperbole.

Connect with E.J.:

Website: ejrussell.com
Blog: ejrussell.com/bloggery/
Facebook: www.facebook.com/E.J.Russell.author
Twitter: twitter.com/ej_russell
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/ejrussell/

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Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Clickbait, one lucky winner will receive $25 in Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on December 10, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

Re-Release Day Blitz & Giveaway for Settling the Score by Eden Winters

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Title: Settling the Score

Author: Eden Winters

Publisher: Rocky Ridge Books

Release Date: 10/6/2016

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 86,000 words

Genre: Romance, Humor, Age Difference, Movie Star, Author, Small Town, Mechanic, Getting Even

Add to Goodreads

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Synopsis

Outed and dumped on national television by his rising star boyfriend, Joey Nichols must face the bigotry of the locals in his small Southern town alone. His dreams of a happy ever after lie crushed at his feet.

Novelist Troy Steele has an axe to grind against Hollywood heartbreaker types. Transforming Joey into a gorgeous, unobtainable hunk would be payback worthy of Troy’s poison pen. It’s a brilliant way to get back at Joey’s image-obsessed ex-boyfriend and the movie producer who’s mutilating Troy’s novels.

What begins as simple revenge may tangle them together in something far more complicated. Living well may be the best revenge, but Troy and Joey could rewrite that to loving well.

Excerpt

The Nichols’ dining room table could easily seat six people if it weren’t covered with business records, homework, and car parts. Instead of clearing it off, the family assembled in the living room, parents on the couch, Joey and his sisters on the floor. Overloaded plates balanced on each lap.

“Hush, it’s starting,” Joey’s mom warned, mostly to thirteen-year-old Stacey.

“Oops! Gotta go!” Stacey disconnected her call and dropped her phone onto the floor.

Joey and Jackie were quiet already, Joey afraid he’d miss something important if he so much as blinked.

Ten years separated him and his twin from Stacey. Mom often joked that it had taken her that long to forget the horrors of giving birth enough to try again.

Dad blamed his cousin’s homebrew.

“Good evening, I’m Evelyn Hugh. Welcome to Hollywood Seen. Tonight’s hottie, err, I mean, hot story”—the show’s hostess began, grin unapologetic—“is a young man who’s got all of Hollywood talking. Riker Sanderson has what it takes to survive in this town: looks, talent, and a legion of screaming fans.”

On cue, the camera focused on the audience, where the legion, mostly young and female, chanted, “Riker! Riker!”

“Sorry to disappoint you girls. Rumor has it that Mr. Sanderson is taken.” Evelyn pouted for the camera. “Or is he? Joining me tonight is none other than Riker Sanderson, star of the action thriller, Something to Die For.”

Taken? Joey swallowed hard. Surely she couldn’t mean…

The camera zoomed out, showing the beautiful man who’d stolen his heart and who’d shared his apartment up until a few months ago. Riker, more muscled thanks to a heavy training routine for the movie, sported gold highlights in his now much shorter hair. He looked downright sinful in tight-fitting T-shirt and jeans.

Joey idly toyed with the silver band on his middle finger, a nervous habit, before noticing its mate missing from Riker’s hand. Maybe he’d taken it off for the movie. It didn’t mean anything. No, nothing at all.

All worries disappeared when Riker slowly raised a simmering gaze to the camera. Something clenched deep in Joey’s insides. Those dark eyes hypnotized him, even if they were on a TV screen and not actually in the room. Bedroom eyes intense enough to cause instant paralysis. How many times had Joey lost himself in them, lying in a sweaty, satisfied tangle with Riker?

“Thank you for joining us,” the bleached-blonde hostess gushed, a woman Big Joe said gave him gout.

“Why does she do that to her hair?” Mom asked. “She’s ruined it.” She added the tried and true statement guaranteed to grant forgiveness for any unkindness spoken by a Southerner: “Bless her heart.”

With her whiney voice and constant fawning, Evelyn Hugh reminded Joey of one of the teenaged fans. “I can call you Riker, can’t I?”

“Sure, if I can call you Evelyn.” Her ordinary name sounded exotic when spoken in Riker’s deep tones. That was his gift. He could make anyone feel like the most important person on the planet just by talking to them. Joey had warmed himself by Riker’s fire on many a cold winter’s night.

“I loved you in the romantic comedy, Trying the Knot, filmed in your home state of Georgia. Although only a minor supporting role, your portrayal of the obnoxious cousin at the wedding turned out to be a real scene-stealer and resulted in your big break, didn’t it?”

Riker hadn’t really wanted the cousin role that required him to wear a fat suit and play a backwoods redneck, even if he’d had to beat out a lot of other hopefuls for the part.

“Well, Evelyn,”—Riker turned puppy dog eyes on the hostess—“I’d originally auditioned for the role of Chuck.”

“The pain-in-the-ass playboy who seduced several bridesmaids? Oh, you’re too sweet to play such a cad.”

“You’re too kind.”

A better-known actor had won the honors of playing asshole Chuck. Riker had stormed around the apartment for days.

Riker smiled like he’d hit the jackpot by missing the role. “Actually, I found the cousin part more intriguing. I mean, it stretched my acting skills to play someone so unlike myself.”

“Oh, please, I’m trying to eat here,” Jackie spat.

Joey flashed her a quick evil eye and went back to watching TV.

What a tantrum Riker had thrown about “playing a hick nobody.” In the end he took the money, and assurances from his agent of appearing with a few big stars being a good career move and a way to get noticed.

But he’d done the part enough justice to bring Hollywood knocking.

“What an amazing experience,” the man of Joey’s dreams replied, though that’s not what he’d called it to friends. “It really helped me grow as an actor.” He’d privately referred to the part as beneath someone of his talent and his own personal hell.

“What’s it like working with powerhouse actress Clair Clancy?”

Joey lost the battle to keep a straight face. He’d gotten more earfuls about “Clair, the air-headed bitch.” She’d only spoken to Riker twice during filming when their roles overlapped.

Onscreen, Riker described her as, “An amazing actress. A true professional.” He waved at the camera. “Congrats on the birth of your little girl, Clair. You’ll be an amazing mother.” This from the man who’d wanted to pass a law making it illegal for the woman to breed. Wow, what a good actor. For a moment even Joey believed him.

“In a real-life Cinderella story, a relatively unknown actor is chosen for the lead role of Mitchell Keller in the biggest film of the year. How’s that working out for you?” Evelyn leaned her head on Riker’s shoulder, eyeing him through batting lashes. How dare she? She needed to back off.

A punch to the shoulder brought Joey back to reality, breathing hard and fingernails digging into the palms of his clenched fists.

“She does that with everybody,” Jackie murmured. “What’s your problem, anyway?”

Joey took a deep breath and let it out slowly, a flush creeping up his cheeks.

After what could have been two years, or more probably, two seconds, Riker answered, “It’s really amazing.”

“Doesn’t he know any adjectives besides amazing?” Stacey cut in. “I mean, really! He’s an actor, he’s supposed to be good with words.” Oops, the last holdout in the family swayed to the “We don’t like Riker” side.

Joey ignored her. He’d show them. Soon he’d be living the good life, basking in the California sun. He and Riker had even talked about getting married.

“…and my producer, Ian Hagan, is amazing,” Riker was saying.

Stacey made an “I told you so” face.

Their mother swatted her arm, nipping in the bud whatever sarcastic remark she’d been about to sling.

Riker plowed on. “He took a huge chance in hiring an unknown for such a major role, and I’m grateful he believes in me. I’ve done everything I can to make sure he doesn’t regret taking a risk. We’ve wrapped up the final scenes. Now it’s in post-production, where they’ll add the Hollywood magic.”

What? Riker said a few hours ago that they were still shooting. Well, maybe they had to reshoot some parts.

“Oh, that’s fabulous.” Evelyn’s fake smile lost its battle to look sincere.

Joey knew how she felt. The standing local rule: Never mention acting around Riker unless you had a least an hour and didn’t mind listening. Folks in town phrased their words very carefully.

“Now, Riker, I know you’ve heard the rumors and seen the pictures posted on the Internet of yourself with someone who is apparently very close to you.”

Joey’s heart pounded and his ears rang. Rumors? Pictures? He peeped over at Jackie, who sat up straighter and put her plate down on the floor.

The smile fled Riker’s face, and he wore the same pleading expression he’d used to get out of cooking. “Yes, I have. For the record, I’d like to state that my personal life isn’t anyone else’s business.”

Oh, shit! What had they found out?

“Breathe, Joey,” Jackie urged.

No matter how he tried, Joey couldn’t, because Evelyn dropped a bomb. “Are you gay?”

Oh, my God! They’d been careful since Riker signed the movie deal. How had anyone suspected? Sure, in a few months maybe, when they were ready. Not now!

Jackie stiffened and Joey held his breath.

“Yes, Evelyn, I am.” Riker sighed, his anguished eyes filling with tears. Joey had never seen anyone who could cry on demand quite so convincingly, not even Stacey. “I’m not ashamed of being a gay American, and I don’t see how my orientation has any bearing on my acting ability.”

“I knew it!” Stacey shrieked. Jackie shushed her. Joey ignored her again.

Evelyn scented blood and went for the throat—her trademark. “The man shown with you in the pictures, is he your boyfriend?”

Man in the pictures? Boyfriend? Surely it couldn’t be… Who the hell were they talking about? If it wouldn’t have given too much away, Joey would have made a mad dash to his parent’s aging computer to find out. Evelyn Hugh moved much too slowly. Stomach too queasy to eat, Joey plopped his uneaten meal down on the coffee table.

Riker sat quietly gazing into the camera and Joey almost heard the wheels turning under that mop of highlighted hair. Finally, his lover became his ex-lover with the casually spoken, “I guess you could say we were in a relationship at the time. Nothing serious. We’ve decided to cool things down while I focus on my career.”

What!? Nothing really serious?! Joey gaped at the screen, a flash fire creeping up his cheeks all the way to his ears. Did Riker mean him? A boulder formed in his throat.

They’d talked about forever. He gasped for breath, unable to turn away from the train wreck of his life unfolding on national television.

“Yes, it’s true.” Riker used the same sorrowful tone the hick cousin had during a big scene in Trying the Knot. “I mean, he’s back home, I’m here. It wouldn’t work out.”

Jackie might have snapped, “Oh, cry me a river!” Joey was too caught up in his own personal drama to know for sure.

He knows I’m watching! He knows I’m seeing this! Why is he coming out now? Why couldn’t he tell the nosy woman it’s none of her damned business?

Riker focused directly on the camera, as if seeking Joey out. “Yeah, we kind of grew out of each other. It’s time to move on.”

“I certainly appreciate your candor, and I’m sure there’s plenty of people around town willing to keep you company.” Evelyn sat up, patting at her hair. “We all look forward to your upcoming movie. It’s sure to be a blockbuster. Thank you for joining us.”

Joey dared not dart out of the room like he wanted to and give too much away. At the moment the family only knew that he’d had a gay roommate. Should he act surprised?

The camera left Riker and zoomed in on the hostess. Joey saw her through a glaze of tears and fears. “Remember that you heard it first on Hollywood Seen.” Her goofy grin dimmed a few watts. “Now, here’s another Hollywood Seen exclusive, the photographs that started it all. Last month they began circling the Internet. Until tonight, spokesmen for Mr. Sanderson firmly denied their authenticity. A pity, really. They made such a handsome couple, don’t you agree?”

Joey’s reality crumbled, replaced by a nightmare. The TV screen filled completely with an image of Riker and himself dancing at the club in Atlanta, Riker’s leg wedged between Joey’s, Joey’s mouth locked to his lover’s neck and his crotch pressed against Riker’s denim-covered thigh.

Oh dear God! He looked like a humping vampire!

The image lasted forever. Enough already, take it down! He’d been stripped naked. Laid bare, all his deepest, darkest secrets exposed.

Calm down, no one can tell it’s you. Maybe they’ll think it’s someone out in Hollywood. That hope dashed to pieces with another picture, probably taken shortly after the first. In it, Joey and Riker both faced the camera. The hostess delivered the killing blow. “Our sources tell us that the man in the picture with Riker Sanderson is Joseph Nichols, Jr., with whom Riker lived in Georgia before moving to California.”

Joey fumbled his cell phone out of his pocket and barely managed to hit the right number. Instead of one of the ever-changing heavy-metal ringtones Riker used, a recorded message stated flatly, “The number you have dialed has been disconnected…”

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Settling the Score SquareMeet the Author

Author AvatarYou will know Eden Winters by her distinctive white plumage and exuberant cry of “Hey, y’all!” in a Southern US drawl so thick it renders even the simplest of words unrecognizable. Watch out, she hugs!

Driven by insatiable curiosity, she possibly holds the world’s record for curriculum changes to the point that she’s never quite earned a degree but is a force to be reckoned with at Trivial Pursuit.

She’s trudged down hallways with police detectives, learned to disarm knife-wielding bad guys, and witnessed the correct way to blow doors off buildings. Her e-mail contains various snippets of forensic wisdom, such as “What would a dead body left in a Mexican drug tunnel look like after six months?” In the process of her adventures she has written sixteen m/m romance novels, has won several Rainbow Awards, was a Lambda Awards Finalist, and lives in terror of authorities showing up at her door to question her Internet searches.

When not putting characters in dangerous situations she’s a mild-mannered business executive, mother, grandmother, vegetarian, and PFLAG activist.

Her natural habitats are airports, coffee shops, and on the backs of motorcycles.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | eMail

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Cover Reveal for A Kind of Honesty (A Kind of Story #3) by Lane Hayes (cover reveal and giveaway)

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A Kind of Honesty Reveal BannerTitle: A Kind of Honesty

Series: A Kind of Story, #3

Author: Lane Hayes

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Release Date: October 7, 2016

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 85K

Genre: Romance, Bisexual, Rock star, NYC, humor

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Synopsis

Music is Tim Chalmers’s great escape and the one thing that’s never let him down. But his band Spiral’s meteoric rise to fame has made it difficult for the drummer to maintain a low profile. Unwanted press pesters him after a public breakup with a volatile ex-girlfriend who loves the limelight as much as he loathes it. Tim’s main goal is to avoid confrontation. However, when he meets a handsome stranger in a dive bar who turns out to be someone he may know, everything changes.

Carter Hamilton-Temple might be a successful financial consultant with more brains, sophistication, and charm than most, but he always falls for the wrong guys: closet cases or men with issues. He can’t fight his attraction to the tattooed rock star, but can he trust his own judgment? When the thrill of danger combined with a fierce physical connection proves too strong for either man to resist, a quiet liaison away from the public eye and curious friends seems like a safe bet. But some secrets are hard to keep. When rumors threaten to rock his world, Tim realizes it’s time to confront his fear with his own kind of honesty.

Excerpt

“What kind of a rock star are you? You’re supposed to love sex, drugs, and alcohol. I haven’t known you long, but you seem to only really like one out of three,” Carter commented idly as he shuffled the cards.

“You’re right. I’m a sucky rock star. I rarely have more than one drink when I go out for dinner or even at a bar. Two at a party. Anything more usually leads to trouble. And I never take drugs. Even cold medicine makes me nervous.” I winked and gave him a lecherous grin that no doubt looked far from provocative in my current condition. “But I love sex.”

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eBook | Paperback

Meet the Author

Lane Hayes is finally doing what she loves best. Writing! An avid reader from an early age, Lane has always been drawn to romance novels. She truly believes there is nothing more inspiring than a well-told love story with beautifully written characters. Lane discovered the M/M genre a fews ago and was instantly hooked. Her first novel was a finalist in the 2013 Rainbow Awards. She is the bestselling author of the Better Than Stories series and Right and Wrong Stories and the new A Kind of Stories series. She loves travel, chocolate, and wine (in no particular order). Lane lives in Southern California with her amazing husband in an almost empty nest.

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In the Spotlight: Julie Lynn Hayes ‘Civil War and Broken Hearts’, Rose & Thorne #2 (excerpt and giveaway)

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Civil War and Broken Hearts (Rose and Thorne #2) by Julie Lynn Hayes
Release Date: August 24, 2016

Goodreads Link 
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Paul Richmond

Blurb

Hollywood comes to Roanoke when a major film studio announces they’re shooting part of their Civil War film at a local plantation. Vinnie is dismayed to discover that the lead actress is none other than the beautiful and popular Caroline St. Clair. Ethan and Vinnie made her acquaintance in LA the previous Halloween, while undercover, and Vinnie still hates her for hitting on his man. Ethan reassures his partner that Roanoke is big enough for all of them to co-exist without running into one another.

But Fate has it in for Vinnie and Ethan, and they find themselves assigned to a new case involving the actress. Apparently she requested Ethan specifically, to Vinnie’s dismay. But he doesn’t have a choice, he has to play nice. It’s small consolation to Vinnie that his new undercover identity involves Hollywood heartthrob Troy McGarrett, who is very handsome and openly gay. Troy isn’t shy about letting Vinnie know he finds him attractive.

Jealousy abounds in the second book of the Rose and Thorne series, and time is not on Vinnie and Ethan’s side. If they don’t solve the case before the film shoot is done, there’s a good chance they’ll be separated for the first time since they were partnered. Assuming Vinnie doesn’t kill Caroline St. Clair himself.

The author is donating 10% of the royalties from this book to No Kid Hungry. Visit nokidhungry.org for more information about this organization.

 

Pages or Words: 50,000 words
Categories: Contemporary, Crime Fiction, Gay Fiction, Humor

 

Excerpt

“Hey, Vin, did you see who’s in town?”

I was slumped at the kitchen table, my head cradled on top of my arms. I was grumpy and sleepy—and maybe a few of the other Seven Dwarves—and I needed my first cup of morning coffee before I could even consider being slightly civil.

We’d spent most of last night sitting in our car, in the goddamn middle of nowhere, staring at nothing, assigned to a fruitless surveillance in a small town about an hour from Roanoke. As it turned out, all the real action was in a different small town in the complete opposite direction from where we waited, because our so-called informant couldn’t spell the name of the place correctly. What a difference one letter makes. So we’d ended up completely wasting our time, got lost trying to find the rest of the task force at the end of the night, almost got hit by a deer that came out of nowhere and took a sudden shine to our car, and then suffered the indignity on our return of being asked where the hell we’d been all night—and we still needed to do the paperwork. And now Ethan wanted to play Twenty Questions?

“Don’t know and don’t care,” I mumbled.

I heard him slap something down on the table. I forced one eye open, just in time to see him sashay toward the coffeemaker. Okay, for that ass, I’d open the other one too. I watched as he poured the blessed elixir into two mugs, added the appropriate amount of creamer and sugar to each, then returned to where I still watched him and set one in front of me.

Right next to the morning paper. Real subtle, Ethan.

 

 

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Meet the author:

 

Julie Lynn Hayes first began publishing short stories and poetry in the 1990’s, when it was a different ballgame altogether, and Ebooks hadn’t been dreamed of yet. That changed in 2010 with the acceptance of her first romance novel. She’s come a long way since that first book appeared, and is finding the journey a very educational one.

She lives in St. Louis with her daughter Sarah and her cat Ramesses. She often writes of two men finding true love and happiness in one another’s arms, and is a great believer in the happily ever after. She likes to write in different genres, to stretch herself in order to see what is possible. Her great challenge is to be told something can’t be done—she feels compelled to do it.

When she isn’t writing, she enjoys crafts, such as crocheting and cross stitch, needlepoint and knitting, and she loves to cook, spending time watching the Food Network. Her favorite chef is Geoffrey Zakarian. Her family thinks she’s a bit off, but she doesn’t mind. Marching to the beat of one’s own drummer is a good thing, after all. Her published works can be found at Dreamspinner Press, eXtasy Books, and Wayward Ink Press.

 

Where to find the author:

 


Tour Dates & Stops:

Parker Williams, Happily Ever Chapter, Bonkers About Books, Outrageous Heroes, MM Good Book Reviews, The Jena Wade, MM Book Escape, A.M. Leibowitz, Havan Fellows, Molly Lolly, BFD Book Blog, V’s Reads, Charley Descoteaux, Bayou Book Junkie, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Foxylutely Book Reviews, Open Skye Book Reviews, Nephy Hart, Unquietly Me, Alpha Book Club, Butterfly-O-Meter, My Fiction Nook, Wake Up Your Wild Side, Kirsty Loves Books, Velvet Panic, Divine Magazine, Louise Lyons, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Dawn’s Reading Nook

 

 

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T. Strange is Back with More Zombies with My Zombie Fiance’ (excerpt and giveaway)

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Author: T. Strange

Title:  My Zombie Fiancé

Series Title and Number: The Undead Canadian Series #2

Publisher:  Torquere Press

Cover Artist: Kris Norris

Release Date:  July 13th, 2016

Heat Level: 2

Pairing: Male/Male

Length:  63,000 words

Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Horror, Gay Romance, Bisexual, Humor

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My Zombie Fiance Cover

Synopsis

Edward Grey is no stranger to the undead; since raising his cat as a zombie when he was a child, he and his mentor Mariel have explored and developed his power as a necromancer. Despite everything he’s learned, as a necromancer and a medical student, he’s never encountered a ghost.

While Mariel is unreachable in Haiti on mysterious business, a ghost wakes Edward in the middle of the night, claiming to be his grandfather. When the ghost offers to teach him about this different form of undeath, Edward has little choice but to trust the spirit.

After receiving a phone call from a young girl claiming her father is possessed, Edward and his Undead Canadian fiancé, Kit, must travel to an acreage in Kingston…Ontario.

The haunting proves far more complicated than Edward could ever have guessed, and he finds himself pitted against an ancient evil determined to engulf everyone on the farm.

Edward’s love and connection to Kit will be tested, and his necromancy stretched to his limits as he has to find—and destroy—a twisted spirit more powerful than anything he’s ever encountered.

Excerpt

Edward, answer the phone.” In our hurry to undress so we could ‘get Kit to sleep’, my phone had ended up on Kit’s side of the bed. He passed it to me, narrowly avoiding smacking me in the face with it. Miraculously, it was still ringing.

 

“’lo?” I managed.

“Is this Edward?”

It was a little girl’s voice, I thought. I didn’t know many little girls, so I made my best guess.

“Tia? It’s the middle of the night; I can’t come over to play right now. Isn’t it way past your bedtime? Go to bed. Bed is nice.” I closed my eyes, almost dropping the phone when my hand relaxed.

My neighbor two houses down has a very precocious four-year-old niece. She likes to play actual doctor with me—nothing creepy! I’ve taught her a few basic stitches for fixing her toys and dolls, though I suspect she may damage them on purpose so she can practice with me. Whoops. I also let her use my stethoscope and a few other safe, child-friendly pieces of medical equipment. I’ve heard her tell her aunt she wants to go to uncle Edward’s house, so I also suspect at least part of the reason she visits her aunt is to see me.

“Who’s Tia? This is Sarah. Mariel said that I should call you if it happened again. It happened again.” There was an expectant pause.

I don’t know anyone named Sarah, never mind a young girl. “Mariel told you to…? In case what happened again?”

“My daddy’s possessed,” she said, very calmly and matter-of-factly.

I felt goosebumps prickle along my arms at the word. I knew precisely as much about demonic possession as anyone who’d watched The Exorcist, and I had no idea what had, well…possessed…Mariel to refer this girl to me for help. “What exactly did Mariel say?”

The girl, Sarah, sighed deeply. She probably thought I was pretty slow, and at the moment I couldn’t blame her. “She said, call Edward, he’ll know what to do.” She sounded impatient, but not frightened. Maybe her father was possessed by something more benign than a demon.

Mariel had told her I could help, so I would do my best. Even though it was 3 AM and I knew nothing about possession. “What’s your daddy possessed by?” Not words I ever thought would come out of my mouth.

“Mister Jenkins.”

Mister Jenkins. That didn’t sound very frightening. “And what does Mister Jenkins do while he’s possessing your father?” Had she named the…spirit? It sounded like something a child might come up with.

“Not very much. He makes breakfast.” She lowered her voice. “Mister Jenkins is a better cook than daddy.”

Not much of a haunting, if movies were anything to go by. I envisioned a comedy, sort of like Three Men and a Baby, but with a ghost. Besides the one apparently caught on tape when they’d filmed that movie, come to think of it. “Does he…scare you?”

She laughed, high-pitched and genuine. “No, silly! I like Mister Jenkins, but Mariel says it’s bad for daddy if he stays too long.”

This was one of the strangest conversations I’d ever had, and I’ve lived with Kit for more than a year. And I’d dated Bone. It was even stranger than my recent conversation with my grandfather. “Where do you live, Sarah?” If there was a way to do an exorcism-by-telephone, I didn’t know it. Not that I knew any kind of exorcism, but hopefully I had enough time to find a solution before Mister Jenkins…burned toast or something. Maybe I could come up with something if I was physically present.

“Kingston.”

I had to go to Jamaica? If Mariel was in Haiti, she was much closer. I didn’t know why she didn’t just pop over and take care of Mister Jenkins.

Kit would love a tropical vacation—I wondered if his fair skin would tan or burn, or if his undeath made him immune? I wondered if he would be upset about it, one way or the other.

I was less than thrilled by the thought of the tropics. I don’t like heat, or the diseases that tend to accompany it.

“It’s in Ontario,” Sarah said, sounding very pleased with herself.

Oh. Kingston, Ontario. That was a relief, even if it was black fly season.

Great, now I’d have that song stuck in my head for days.

“Okay, I’ll be there as soon as I can. Can you tell me your address?” I would have to fly—driving would take several days, even if Kit and I switched and we drove continuously.

“No, but Mister Jenkins can.”

Her voice was replaced by a man’s, gentle and with a hint of a British accent. Part of his directions were, “Past Kingston Family Funworld”, which definitely sounded like a place to avoid. He apologized that he couldn’t meet me at the airport because he was bound to the house.

That was a good excuse. I wished I could use it.

My grandfather hadn’t been bound to a particular place, but he had reminded me over and over that he wasn’t a typical ghost. I wondered if most ghosts had a limited range, or if Mister Jenkins was unusual in that regard.

I told him I’d call when we landed, and he hung up.

I turned on my bedside lamp. “Kit, sweetie?” I poked him, gently.

“Mmm…”

“I have to go to Kingston.” It was a good thing I had a few weeks off from school. Hopefully I would get time to study during this trip. Study medicine, that is, not necromancy.

That got Kit’s attention. He gave a happy shriek and grabbed my hand. “Oh my God, no way! I’d love to go to Jamaica!”

“Kingston, Ontario.”

“Oh. Ew.”

“Why ew? Have you ever been there?”

“I don’t think so.”

“Then why—never mind. Do you still want to come with me?”

“Who calls you at three in the morning and tells you to go to Kingston, Ontario?”

“Sarah.”

He raised an eyebrow.

“I’m sorry! I’m still half asleep. This little girl, Sarah…Mariel told her to call me if her father got possessed again.”

“Mariel’s father? Is that why she left?”

“Sarah’s father.”

“Possessed again? Like, this is a regular occurrence?”

“Apparently. I have to book a flight.” I hunted beneath the bed for my laptop.

Kit had found his phone and was furiously typing on it. “Oooooh, Florence and the Machine is playing there! We can totally go!”

“Sure. Of course.” I found a flight that left early the next morning—in a few hours, really—and bought our tickets. “I don’t know if it’s worth going back to sleep; I’ll make us some coffee.” Not that coffee did much for Kit, except make him ill if he drank too much. Or, for some reason, if he used non-dairy creamer. It seemed to be some sort of…zombie kryptonite. I’d like to tell you I didn’t give some to Boo to see how he’d react, but I would be lying. The results: not pretty.

“What about the cats?”

Of course, the cats couldn’t come with us. While Winston could happily stay at the pet spa while we were gone, Boo could…not, and if we had someone taking care of one cat, it made sense for Winston to just stay at home. I felt a pang at the thought of being away from Boo for any length of time. “My parents can take care of them.” They wouldn’t be pleased—they’d actually thrown a “Boo is out of the house” party when I’d moved out, but they’d also get to spend time with Winston, and that was always a treat.

“I guess I’ll start packing. For both of us.”

He was welcome to do so.

In the meantime, it was definitely time to call Mariel. I wasn’t sure what time it was in Haiti, but I could definitely use her advice. For several panicked minutes I was worried that I’d lost the piece of paper she’d written the number on, when I remembered that she’d put it directly into my phone. I let it ring, over and over, but no one answered so I eventually gave up. Well, if Sarah had been able to get ahold of Mariel, she wouldn’t have needed to call me. Though she probably didn’t have Mariel’s number in Haiti…I’d just have to deal with the situation on my own for now, and call Mariel again when I had the chance.

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Meet the Author

Strange didn’t want to learn how to read, but literacy prevailed and she hasn’t stopped reading—or writing—since. She’s been published with Torquere Press since 2013, and she writes M/M romance in multiple genres, including paranormal and BDSM. T.’s other interests include cross stitching, gardening, watching terrible horror movies, playing video games, and finding injured pigeons to rescue. Originally from White Rock, BC, she lives on the Canadian prairies, where she shares her home with her wife, cats, guinea pigs and other creatures of all shapes and sizes. She’s very easy to bribe with free food and drinks—especially wine.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tq.strange

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorTStrange

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TqStrange

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/tqstrange/

Blog: http://tqstrange.blogspot.ca/

Tumblr: http://tqstrange.tumblr.com/

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Its All About the Wedding with Daniel & Erik’s Super Fab Ultimate Wedding Checklist’ by K.E. Belledonne (author interview, excerpt and givewaway)

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Daniel & Erik’s Super Fab Ultimate Wedding Checklist by K.E. Belledonne
Release Date: June 23, 2016

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Interlude Press
Cover Artist: C.B. Messer

Today Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to be interviewing K.E. Belledonne, author of Daniel & Erik’s Super Fab Ultimate Wedding Checklist. Hi Kat, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.

Q. What genre is your book and what drew you to this genre?

This book’s genre would technically be “romance”, but it’s not a traditional romance. There’s no bodice ripping or long luxurious love scenes. It’s a M/M romantic comedy. It’s light, it’s fun, it’s breezy and at times a bit silly. It’s a good time read.

I adore romantic comedy, it’s one of my favorite genres to read, and to watch. I love that we all know the basic structure of the plot, but how that plot is achieved can vary greatly. It’s like writing a sonnet – there are rules that govern it, but the content can vary greatly.

Q How many days a week do you write?

I try to sit down at my computer to write at least three days a week. Some weeks, I manage to get 5 days, and some weeks, I don’t get any at all. I always carry a notebook with me almost everywhere I go, so I can scribble down ideas, or write chunks of scenes when I have some downtime.

Q On average, how long does it take to write a book?

I’d say I’m averaging about a book a year. I like to do a lot of research, and I need to build in a lot of time for shifting things around. I also write more than one book at a time; while this book was with my editor, I started writing the next, and doing research for another.

Q Do you have a trailer for your book? If yes, give us the link. If not, do you think you’d like to have one done at some point?

I don’t have a trailer for this book, simply because I lack the skills to make one! I would absolutely love to have one done. Books always play like movies in my head, even the ones I’m writing. I tend to write in a very cinematic style, so I think a book trailer would really be a great addition to the book!

Q If I could be a character in a book, I would be _______?

I would absolutely love to be Eloise Kelly from Lauren Willig’s The Secret History of the Pink Carnation. I adore those books. They are such fun to read, such

wonderful romances and they make me laugh out loud. I’m always in a better mood after I read one, and that’s exactly what I want out of a book. Eloise is smart, and strong, and yet still goofy and nerdy. I love her.

Thanks, Kat, for the wonderful interview.  Now more about Daniel & Erik’s Super Fab Ultimate Wedding Checklist by K.E. Belledonne!

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Blurb

When Daniel gets caught up in the demands of a cheeky wedding planning app, his fiancé Erik grows frustrated with his preoccupation with adhering to heterosexual traditions. Will Daniel’s groomzilla ways give them the wedding of their dreams, or ultimately lead to their relationship’s demise?

 

Pages or Words: 53,000 words, 188 pages
Categories: Contemporary, Gay Fiction, Humor, M/M Romance, Romance, Rom Com

Excerpt

“I think Aurora is disappointed in me.”

“What?” Erik rubbed at his eye. It wasn’t even early morning, judging by the weak light coming through the blinds from the streetlights. “Who?”

“Aurora. The wedding planning app.” Daniel lay on his back, wide awake and staring up at the ceiling.

“The wedding planning app is not a sentient being. It has no feelings or opinions.”

“I feel like she’s judging me. I’m sorry if I woke you up.”

“Oh my god, go to sleep.”

“I can’t. I’m never going to sleep ever again.” Daniel tugged the blanket higher up his chest, folding his arms over it and exhaling heavily.

“You’re being dramatic.”

“I’ve got too many things buzzing in my head. There’s too many things I’m going to forget to do.”

“I thought that’s why you had that damn app, so you don’t have to remember anything; it’s all right there saved on your tablet.”

“Yes, but I have to remember to put everything in it.″ Daniel rolled over. ″She doesn’t just know everything—”

“A: She is not a she. It is an it. B: What are we doing tomorrow?”

“Oh my god, what is the point of sharing the app calendar if you’re never going to look at it?” Daniel wailed.

“I look at it. It’s just crammed so full of everything that I have no idea what’s going on when.”

Daniel blew out his breath. ”Look, I know you don’t like the calendar. We’ve been over that, but I don’t know how else to keep track of all of these appointments and deadlines.”

“I told you, we could color-code them, or something,” Erik rolled to his side and punched at his pillow.

“Aurora doesn’t give you that option.”

“Well, it should.”

“I agree, but there’s nothing I can do about that.” Daniel bunched his pillow up under his head. “Tomorrow, we have four appointments to meet with caterers: two in the morning, two in the afternoon.”

“Why so many in one day?”

“It’s the only day we both have available this week, and I am not going to make any decisions about the food at our reception without you there to discuss it.”

“Seriously, you could just make a choice, and I’ll live with it.” Erik rolled over.

“I don’t want you to just ‘live with it,’ Erik.″ Daniel tried to keep his voice neutral, but failed. ″This is our wedding. I don’t want you to just ‘live with it.’”

“Why are you getting so worked up about it?”

“We only get one chance at this. Everything needs to be perfect.”

“You’re going to drive us both crazy, you know that, right?” Erik tugged the blankets back up over his shoulder.

“Well, then, we’ll both be crazy.” Daniel squinted up at the ceiling. He was so tired of making these decisions. Why were there so many options? Why were there so many decisions? The planning was getting on Erik’s nerves; he was getting on Erik’s nerves. Erik was getting on his nerves. They were both just a pile of irritated nerves because the to-do list didn’t seem to be getting any smaller.

Daniel’s phone chimed with another notification from Aurora.

New Private Message from: MommyMargie.

His mother probably had another ludicrous suggestion for the reception, or a passive-aggressive reminder of the hymn that she and his father had had played at their wedding, that their grandparents had had played at their wedding and that she expected to hear at his wedding. Or maybe his parents had decided to paint the living room green. Who knew?

 

 

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Meet the Author

 

K. E. Belledonne is a writer, editor and translator. A native New Englander, Kat spends her spare time listening to Glenn Miller records, reading history books and cheering on her beloved Red Sox. Her first novel, Right Here Waiting, was published by Interlude Press in 2015.

 

Where to find the author:

 


Tour Dates & Stops:

23-Jun

Prism Book Alliance, Unquietly Me, Book Lovers 4Ever, Man2ManTastic, Three Books Over The Rainbow,

BFD Book Blog

24-Jun

Bonkers About Books, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words

27-Jun

Oh My Shelves, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews

28-Jun

Havan Fellows, V’s Reads, My Fiction Nook, Open Skye Book Reviews

29-Jun

Up All Night, Read All Day, Velvet Panic, MM Good Book Reviews

30-Jun

Molly Lolly, Full Moon Dreaming

1-Jul

Attention Is Arbitrary, Alpha Book Club

4-Jul

Happily Ever Chapter, The Novel Approach, Love Bytes

5-Jul

Nephy Hart, Bayou Book Junkie, Divine Magazine

6-Jul

A.M. Leibowitz, Two Chicks Obsessed With Books and Eye Candy, 3 Chicks After Dark

 

Final

Giveaway

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: Grand Prize: $25 Interlude Press gift card, 5 first prizes of an e-copy of Daniel & Erik’s Super Fab Ultimate Wedding Checklist.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

 

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Jump into the Romance and Fun with Julie Lynn Hayes ‘Bad Dogs and Drag Queens’ (interview, excerpt, and giveaway)

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Bad Dogs and Drag Queens (Rose and Thorne #1) by Julie Lynn Hayes
Release Date: May 25, 2016

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Paul Richmond

 

Today Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is very lucky to be interviewing Julie Lynn Hayes,  author of Bad Dogs and Drag Queens.  Hi Julie, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.

  •  Do you have pictures that you use for your characters? Can you share them with us?

I do have a picture I used for Vinnie. I’d be happy to share it, this is one great looking guy.

  • What kind of book would you like to write that people would see as a huge departure for you?

I tend to be all over the place, so I’m not sure what would be a huge departure. Maybe something to do with sports? Which I don’t see happening. Lol Or a political book, since my knowledge of politics is really sparse. Just ask my daughter, Sarah. She can tell some real embarrassing stories about that lol

  • Have you ever killed a character? Was it traumatic for you? If you haven’t killed one, would you ever consider it?

Yes, more than once. Some were more traumatic than others. The most traumatic was in When Will I See You Again. That one was very upsetting to me, but also necessary.

  • Favorite location you’ve ever written about?

I have a story set in New Orleans. Although I’ve never been, I just love the city, and would love to go someday.

  • What’s your favorite season and favorite activity for that season?

Any season that’s warm, doesn’t involve snow, and lets me write as much as I like.  My work in progress is the third book in my series, so same characters lol

 

Thanks for having me here today!

 

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Blurb

Vinnie Delarosa and Ethan Thorne are partners—on and off the clock. Federal undercover detectives, they’re part of a covert task force designed to promote goodwill between the feds and local authorities. They lend an unobtrusive helping hand wherever it’s needed. No credit required.

Vinnie and Ethan work primarily in the Southeast region of the United States and live together in Richmond, Virginia. A mugger problem brings them to Roanoke, where Vinnie is thrown out as bait to catch the man who’s been snatching purses in a city park, but they end up with more than they bargained for. Why is Vinnie always the one who has to wear the dress? Ethan says it’s because Vinnie looks much prettier in a skirt. How can he argue with that?

Expecting to return to Richmond afterward, Vinnie and Ethan find themselves assigned a new case instead. They are to go undercover at The Stroll, one of the biggest gay nightclubs in Roanoke. Someone is terrorizing both the customers and the performers. Could they be dealing with a hate crime? Someone has to protect the drag queens of Roanoke, so it’s Vinnie and Ethan to the rescue!

The author is donating 10% of the royalties from this book to No Kid Hungry. Visit nokidhungry.org for more information about this organization.

 

Pages or Words: 50,000 words
Categories: Crime Fiction, Fiction, Gay Fiction, Humor, Romance

Excerpt

“Remind me again whose stupid idea this lipstick was,” I huffed under my breath. Without thinking, I licked my lips. They felt greasy, and tasted even worse. I forced myself not to grimace, afraid it might crack the foundation I’d slathered on my face.

“Mine, you sexy beast,” came the smart-ass reply in my ear. “I think you got purty lips, mmhmmm.”

“Fuck you,” I growled. “You should be doing this, not me, and you know it. I did it last time.”

And the time before that. And the time before that. Wait, did I detect a pattern here?

“What I know is you look better in a skirt than I do. And you look damn good out of it too.”

My cheeks filled with heat at Ethan’s words. Luckily the darkness hid a multitude of sins, my embarrassment being the least of them. Hopefully, no one else was listening—I knew I’d never hear the end of it. Just what I needed—to be the object of ridicule of the Roanoke PD.

Buy the book:  Dreamspinner Press | ARe

 

 

 

Meet the Author

Julie Lynn Hayes first began publishing short stories and poetry in the 1990’s, when it was a different ballgame altogether, and Ebooks hadn’t been dreamed of yet. That changed in 2010 with the acceptance of her first romance novel. She’s come a long way since that first book appeared, and is finding the journey a very educational one.

She lives in St. Louis with her daughter Sarah and her cat Ramesses. She often writes of two men finding true love and happiness in one another’s arms, and is a great believer in the happily ever after. She likes to write in different genres, to stretch herself in order to see what is possible. Her great challenge is to be told something can’t be done—she feels compelled to do it.

When she isn’t writing, she enjoys crafts, such as crocheting and cross stitch, needlepoint and knitting, and she loves to cook, spending time watching the Food Network. Her favorite chef is Geoffrey Zakarian. Her family thinks she’s a bit off, but she doesn’t mind. Marching to the beat of one’s own drummer is a good thing, after all. Her published works can be found at Dreamspinner Press, eXtasy Books, and Wayward Ink Press.

Where to find the author:

 


Tour Dates & Stops:

23-May: Open Skye Book Reviews, My Fiction Nook, Multitasking Mommas

24-May: Velvet Panic, Nephy Hart, Louise Lyons

25-May: Happily Ever Chapter, Books A to Z, The Novel Approach

26-May: Parker Williams, Man2ManTastic, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words

27-May: Divine Magazine, A.M. Leibowitz

30-May: Jessie G. Books, Inked Rainbow Reads, Wake Up Your Wild Side

31-May: Outrageous Heroes, Bayou Book Junkie

1-Jun: Hearts on Fire, Nautical Star Books, Prism Book Alliance

2-Jun: Rednecks and Romance, MM Book Escape

3-Jun: Emotion In Motion, Bonkers About Books

6-Jun: Anna Butler Fiction

7-Jun: MM Good Book Reviews

8-Jun: The Fuzzy, Fluffy World of Chris T. Kat

9-Jun: Unquietly Me

10-Jun: BFD Book Blog

13-Jun: Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews

14-Jun: Molly Lolly

15-Jun: Love Bytes

16-Jun: Havan Fellows

17-Jun: Alpha Book Club, Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings

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Giveaway

Enter to win a gift card, courtesy of Julie Lynn Hayes.  Must be 18 years of age or older.

 

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New Cover Reveal for Deanna Wadsworth’s ‘Naughty Cupid’ (excerpt and giveaway)

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Naughty Cupid by Deanna Wadsworth
Release Date: June 6, 2016

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Paul Richmond

Blurb

The name’s Lio, and you may have read the beginning of my story in A Cupid’s Wager. Well, hold on to you hats, because there’s more to tell about your favorite cupid working in the Gay Division of the Inter-Dimensional Association of Cupids.

Remember Ethan? That Aztec god of the winds who busted me shooting a closeted human with a gay lust arrow? Yeah, I haven’t been able to forget him either. Even though I have a rule against getting it on with other supernaturals—especially ones working for the Straight Division—my magic is drawn to Ethan and all his tattoos and piercings in a way I cannot control.

But after that night of mind-numbing sex, now I gotta face my evil ex-boyfriend and a suspension by the IDAC for “misplacing” arrows. They took my quiver, and I have to figure out how to get my arrow privileges back before they’re taken forever.

Ethan seems to think he can help me, but I don’t know how anybody can make this cupid believe in love again.

 

Pages or Words: 75,000 words, 178 pages
Categories: Alternate Universe, Erotica, Fantasy, Humor, M/M Romance, Paranromal, Romance

Excerpt

“You know the lust arrows only work if the person’s mind is open to it. I shot Raymond with a Class 4 gay lust arrow. They only have a little more juice than a few tequila shooters. They can’t make a straight man gay.”

“But that is what you are trying to do,” Ethan shot back.

“You know it doesn’t work that way.”

To prove my point, I materialized one of my long purple arrows.

Without warning, I stabbed Ethan in the heart with it.

“Oww!”

The arrow exploded in a burst of light and glittering purple dust, the blast blowing our hair back.

When the magic cleared, the stunned expression on Ethan’s face cracked me up. “Now, do you spontaneously wanna suck my cock?”

He gaped at me like I’d lost my ever-lovin’ mind. “What did you do that for?”

“Don’t get your panties in a wad. Class 4G lusts can’t make someone gay. You’re born that way. There’s even a Lady Gaga song to prove it.”

His big hand rubbed where I’d hit him. “You should not have done that, Lio. You have no idea what you just did.”

“I already shot an unauthorized arrow tonight, what’s one more? Besides, unless you’re gay, it won’t affect you.” I waggled my brows. “So what are you so worried about? Got sumthin’ you wanna confess?”

He actually growled at me.

“Build a bridge,” I told him. “If anyone has a right to be pissed off here, it’s me. The gaydar says Raymond is gay, yet you asshats over in SD decided to shoot him and a woman with true love arrows. Talk about a douche move. Forcing the man to lie to himself and everyone about who he is. And how is that fair to do to the girl? She’s a victim too!”

“The IDAC does not consider a gaydar to be a reliable source of information,” he said, completely ignoring the more-than-valid complaint.

Humans were born with a variety of sexualities, but there were only a limited variety of arrows to complement the IDAC’s narrow-minded ideas on sexuality. In a nutshell, there were gay arrows and the naturally more powerful straight arrows. Don’t get me started on the complexities of targeting anybody not gay or straight. I was glad not to be assigned to those fledgling subdivisions of GD because they often had to work with the jerks in SD. However, both primary divisions had arrows for love (red) and lust (purple), each with four different strength ratings—one being the most potent. In other words, the Class 1S love Ethan had been using was the highest strength straight love arrow—aka the most powerful of all arrows.

Hence his being so pissed at me.

“I’m not gonna sit here and argue politics with you. We both know I’m already in trouble for an unauthorized arrow launch. Make that two,” I amended, gesturing to his chest. “Why the fuck do you think I don’t have love arrow privileges anymore? Hell, the sparks our collision set off will raise questions too. I’m already busted. Fine! I’m ready to face whatever comes my way. When I set out to do this, I knew there were risks.”

“Set out to do this?” he repeated, looking utterly appalled. “You mean you have done this before?”

I swallowed, feeling like a child being scolded. “Only on unattached people.”

“I cannot believe you would do that to someone! A person’s decision to come out is deeply personal. You have no right, Lio! None!”

Yeah, but the Fates did, I supposed. Who put those bitches in charge, anyway?

I didn’t know what Ethan’s big fat beef might be—besides the one in his pants—but I had to get my ass out of this sling. “Like I said, I’m already busted. If you think Raymond isn’t gay, let’s just follow them”—I pointed to my unauthorized mark and the guy with him, both of them deliberately brushing hips and shoulders as they walked down the street—“and see what happens. If he changes his mind, I’ll admit the gaydar is inaccurate, I’ll turn myself in for interrupting your mark, and you won’t even get in trouble.”

He glared. “And if your arrow works, I suppose you get to walk?”

“If I’m right, and those two dudes get their freak on, you can do what you want with me.” Too bad that wouldn’t be those full lips around my dick. “But you give me back the gaydar and you don’t tell anyone I have it or that I was here.”

Ethan looked at the device in his hand as if it would explode or jump up and bite his cock off. His expression would’ve been funny if this weren’t so serious. He seemed to be weighing something in his mind, and I felt his anger retracting. Still, an aura of incredible danger and masculinity wafted about him. My heart thumped wildly, both from nerves and the exotic spiciness of his skin. Knowing his ferocious appearance was tempered with an innate goodness made me a little hot.

Okay, a lot hot.

Though it went against every rule I made for myself, I couldn’t stop picturing Ethan naked. Sure, I was as horny as any cupid, but something about this Aztec amplified all of my senses far more than usual—especially the ones below the waist.

“I cannot believe I am saying this,” Ethan said slowly. “But I will give you one chance. One. But if you ruin that man’s life, your ass is mine.”

“Talk dirty to me,” I purred.

He lowered dark brows. “You are not funny.”

“I think I’m a really fun guy. Especially when I’m naked.” I couldn’t help myself and gave him a suggestive wink. “And whoever said a little dick up the ass would ruin a man’s life? Ever try it? The orgasms are un-fucking-believable.”

Ethan curled his lip and growled at me like an angry cat.

“Jeesh, sorry I mentioned it.”

He seized my arm in a viselike grip. “Come.”

If I’d known going with Ethan would turn my world upside down, I would’ve grabbed my gaydar and run, taking my chances with my boss, the IDAC, and even the Fates. Because I wasn’t prepared for what was coming my way.

Not at all.

 

Buy the book:  Dreamspinner Press

 

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Meet the Author

Deanna Wadsworth might be a bestselling erotica author, but she leads a pretty vanilla life in Ohio with her wonderful husband and a couple adorable cocker spaniels. She has been spinning tales and penning stories since childhood, and her first erotic novella was published in 2010. She has served multiple board positions at her local RWA chapter and with Rainbow Romance Writers of America. When she isn’t writing books or brainstorming with friends, you can find her making people gorgeous in a beauty salon. She loves music and dancing, and can often be seen hanging out on the sandbar in the muddy Maumee River or chilling with her hubby and a cocktail in their basement bar. In between all that fun, Deanna cherishes the quiet times when she can let her wildly active imagination have the full run of her mind. Her fascination with people and the interworkings of their relationships have always inspired her to write romance with spice and love without boundaries.

Where to find the author:

 


Tour Dates & Stops:

Parker Williams, Divine Magazine, BFD Book Blog, A.M. Leibowitz, Velvet Panic, MM Good Book Reviews, Bonkers About Books, Alpha Book Club, Charley Descoteaux, Bayou Book Junkie, The Dark Arts, Happily Ever Chapter, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, My Fiction Nook, Outrageous Heroes, Unquietly Me, Ogitchida Book Blog, Gay Media Reviews, V’s Reads, Oh My Shelves, Dawn’s Reading Nook, Havan Fellows, For The Love of Bookends, Louise Lyons, 3 Chicks After Dark, Book Lovers 4Ever, Making It Happen, Full Moon Dreaming, Jessie G. Books

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Giveaway

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: A print copy of ‘Naughty Cupid’.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.
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