Don’t Miss Out On the Blog Tour for Behind the Stick, The Speakeasy #3 by K. Evan Coles and Brigham Vaughn (excerpt and giveaway)

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Book Title: Behind the Stick, The Speakeasy #3

Author: K. Evan Coles and Brigham Vaughn

Publisher: Pride Publishing/Totally Entwined Group

Release Date: August 20, 2019

Genre/s: Contemporary, MM, Romance, Interracial, Erotic Romance

Trope/s: Bad Breakup, Hurt/Comfort, Interracial Relationship, Sex Buddies Become Lovers, Found Family 

Themes: Family, Friendship, Family Conflict, Racial Intolerance, Forgiveness

Heat Rating: 4 flames   

Length: 97 045 words/370 pages

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Blurb 

Kyle McKee lives a charmed life. He co-owns Under, an uptown speakeasy, where he is chief mixologist. Friends poke fun at Kyle’s tiny one-bed apartment in Chelsea, but they’re the best support system a man could ask for. Unfortunately, Kyle’s lackluster love life has led him to take a break from dating.

Harlem resident Luka Clarke is a lieutenant with Engine 47, the Pride of Morningside, where he carries on his father’s legacy with the FDNY. Luka, who is mixed race and bisexual, has his eye on Kyle, whom he met at a local burger joint and he just needs to make time to visit Kyle’s bar.

Before work one evening, Kyle is trapped inside the luncheonette when a fire breaks out. Luka’s firehouse answers the call and he connects with Kyle again under the most unexpected of circumstances. When Kyle gratefully invites Luka and the firehouse squad to Under, the flirting between the two men leads to a date.

Kyle and Luka quickly grow close, but Luka’s mother and sister distrust Kyle for being both white and gay. Luka believes his family will come around and accept Kyle in the end, but Kyle is not optimistic and hides his disquiet as attraction blossoms into love.

Kyle and Luka’s near-idyllic bubble is shattered one evening after a hate crime leaves them scarred, inside and out. Shaken, they put on a strong front but struggle inwardly against fear and personal demons. As the emotions seething beneath the surface finally come to a head, both men must decide if they have the strength to find love enough to conquer hate.

Reader advisory: This book contains references to non-nurturing parenting; homophobia; racism and racist slurs. There are references to recreational drug use. This book also contains scenes of mmmm ménage and characters caught in fire.

 

Buy Links

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK

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Excerpt 

Kyle McKee set down his gym bag and yoga mat and pulled up a seat at his gym’s juice bar. The class he’d taken had warmed his skin and stretched his muscles and joints to their limits. He felt like the world’s most relaxed slab of single New York man, which was good for Kyle’s state of mind. He’d been stressed lately, about his love life in particular. Because damn if every guy he’d been out with in the last two months hadn’t turned out to be a shitheel of epic proportions. So much so, Kyle had decided to stop dating entirely.

Eyes closed, Kyle forced away thoughts of dating catastrophes. He rolled his neck from side to side but peeled his lids open again when the chair on his left slid back and his friend Malcolm Elliot dropped into the seat. Malcolm gave Kyle a lazy grin. At six-three, he stood a few inches taller than Kyle, and he looked rosy-cheeked and loose limbed, his blue-gray eyes shining.

“I am a man-sized untwisted pretzel,” Malcolm said. “I’m not sure what that means, so don’t ask.”

“You’re yoga-stoned, dude.” Kyle smiled at Malcolm’s laugh.

“Is that a thing?”

“Totally a thing.”

Malcolm narrowed his eyes at Kyle. “You’re the one with the bloodshot eyes—what did you do after class?”

“Ugh, nothing but itch from allergies. Ragweed is my kryptonite.” Kyle pinched the bridge of his nose between his fingers, then nodded at the menu on the wall behind the counter. “What are you drinking?”

“I’ll do a Kale Storm with protein,” Malcolm said.

Kyle held up a hand when Malcolm reached for his wallet. “I’ll grab these—you paid last week.” He smiled at the barista who’d stepped up to take their order. “A Kale Storm with a protein powder shot and a Peanut Butter Baby with chia, please. You headed home after this?” he asked Malcolm.

Malcolm shook his head. “I’ve got errands to run. My kitchen has mysteriously emptied itself of food since my brother and his girlfriend came back to town. What about you?”

“I’m opening tonight, so I’ll just head to the bar. I have extra clothes at the office I can change into.” Kyle co-owned a speakeasy called Under with his friend Jesse Murtagh and, while he loved his job, the commute uptown from Chelsea to Morningside Heights could be a pain in the ass. He welcomed the option to skip extra stops when he could.

Malcolm ran his gaze over Kyle’s gray Henley and dark jeans. “You could always serve in what you’re wearing, you know. You’d blow Jesse’s mind.”

Kyle covered a theatrical gasp with one hand. “I would never!” His preference for black or dark gray clothing while working was a source of gentle teasing among his friends. “Seriously, I don’t feel like I’m working unless I’ve got my blacks on. I’ve done it for so long it’s just part of how I do my job.”

 

About the Authors

K. Evan Coles

K. Evan Coles is a mother and tech pirate by day and a writer by night. She is a dreamer who, with a little hard work and a lot of good coffee, coaxes words out of her head and onto paper.

K. lives in the northeast United States, where she complains bitterly about the winters, but truly loves the region and its diverse, tenacious and deceptively compassionate people. You’ll usually find K. nerding out over books, movies and television with friends and family. She’s especially proud to be raising her son as part of a new generation of unabashed geeks.

K.’s books explore LGBTQ+ romance in contemporary settings.

 

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Brigham Vaughn

Brigham Vaughn is on the adventure of a lifetime as a full-time writer. She devours books at an alarming rate and hasn’t let her short arms and long torso stop her from doing yoga.  She makes a killer key lime pie, hates green peppers, and loves wine tasting tours. A collector of vintage Nancy Drew books and green glassware, she enjoys poking around in antique shops and refinishing thrift store furniture. An avid photographer, she dreams of traveling the world and she can’t wait to discover everything else life has to offer her.

Her books range from short stories to novellas. They explore gay, bisexual, lesbian, and polyamorous romance in contemporary settings.

 

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Giveaway 

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A BJ Review: Deductions (Aberrant Magic #1) by Lyn Gala

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Rating:    4.25 stars out of 5

DeductionsDarren is proud of his work on the FBI’s magical Talent unit. However, his own lack of magic means he can never be with Supervisory Special Agent and Shaman Kavon Boucher. The shamanic magic poses a real danger to any mundane who gets too close, so Darren tries to hide his attraction and keep a professional relationship at work. That resolve begins to crumble when a new man sets his sights on Kavon and Darren can’t control his resentment.

Now they have a brutal new case of a suspect targeting magical adepts. Darren tries to keep focused on that crime, but when he starts to show signs of his own magic, he hopes that maybe he can not only be a more effective part of the team but also a real partner to Kavon. He might have a second chance at love if only Kavon can learn to trust his new and unpredictable magic that has changed the rules of the magical game.

Interesting urban fantasy/paranormal world that the author has created here, but then I know she has mad skills in that area from reading and thoroughly enjoying her Assimilations series. Speaking of that series, there’s an analogy that one of the characters uses in this story that related to aliens that I not only liked, but it made me smile because it seemed so very apt.

Well-drawn and likable characters that hooked me early on, which made me extremely joyous to see that a certain annoying little squirrel get moved along as early as he did. I was quickly beginning to want to drop kick him myself. I felt the tension and later the heat between Darren and Kavon perfectly. Intriguing and enjoyable secondary characters of both sexes with much left to explore.

Other than a few areas where I felt a slight drag into too much detail, this is a fast-paced story full of magic, action, tension, and heat with a small helping of fun dialogue and banter thrown in. While the romance arc was tied up and the mystery of who did the kidnapping is solved, although I have a feeling there is far more to it than was revealed. The story is far from wrapped up in this volume, but I would not call it a cliffhanger. Rather an ending to a story that has me eager to read the next book and see what happens to Boucher and his team next as far as the case goes, as well as to see the two men deepen and work out their new relationship.

The cover by Mina Carter is great because it clearly shows the magic, location, and interracial plus both of the guys are hot.

Sales Links:  Loose id LLC | ARe | Amazon


Book Details: 

ebook, 225 pages
Published June 21st 2016 by Loose Id
ISBN139781682521595
Edition LanguageEnglish

SeriesAberrant Magic #1

A MelanieM Review: Blood & Milk by N.R. Walker

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Blood & MilkHeath Crowley is an Australian man, born with two different coloured eyes and the gift—or curse—of having premonition dreams. He also has nothing left to live for. Twelve months after having his life upended, his dreams tell him where he needs to be. So with nothing―and no one―to keep him in Sydney, he simply boards a plane for Tanzania. Not caring if he lives or dies, Heath walks into a tribe of Maasai and asks to stay. Granted permission, he leaves behind the name and heartbreak of Heath and starts over with the new Maasai name of Alé.


From the day of his birth, Damu has always been an outcast. The son of the chief and brother to the great warrior leader, Damu is reminded constantly that he’s not good enough to be considered a man in the eyes of his people. Ordered to take responsibility for Alé, Damu shares with him the ways of the Maasai, just as Alé shares with Damu the world outside the acacia thorn fence. But it’s more than just a cultural exchange. It’s about trust and acceptance, finding themselves, and a true sense of purpose.

Under the African sky on the plains of the Serengeti, Heath finds more than just a reason to live. He finds a man like no other, and a reason to love.  

I have high expectations of a N. R. Walker story but Blood & Milk just blew them away easily with her story of a broken man finding himself among the Masai people in the Serengeti.  Heath Crowley is a man whose life has been shattered by a hate crime.  Cornered by an angry group of men, Heath and his partner are attacked with horrific results, his long term partner is killer and Heath is left an empty, wounded bitter man.

A moving story all on its own but N.R. Walter gives Heath Crowley another dimension, the ability to dream, to see bits of the future.  Its both a gift and a curse as Heath sees it.  And we see it too…pulled into Heath’s nightmares of the night they were attacked and the visions that give him another path forward.

That vision leads an empty Heath to book a one-way ticket to Tanzania, the Serengeti and the Maasai tribe that includes Damu, another in search of his own sort of healing. I’ll stop here and say that the amount of research Walker must have done is considerable and it shows  down to the smallest of details in the everyday life and as well as Maasai culture that this story is seeped in. Heath is aware of his own cultural judgments and tries to see beyond them when possible when living as one of the Maasai.  This encompasses many levels of stature which I’m not about to get into here as it makes up a large part of this story.  But its so beautifully done.  I sunk myself into the life of the tribe, the children, the interpersonal relationships (good and bad), and forgot that time was passing.

Blood and Milk is told from Heath’s pov which was a wise choice.  I don’t know how much stretching you can do here.  But Damu and the Maasai tribe is vividly represented.  I could see them dancing in celebration, hear them singing, and yes it sent me to find those same dancing myself so I could listen to it and let it mesmerize me as well as it did Heath.

Walker is also well aware of the consequences of being gay in Africa and this story works with that horrific reality too.  What an astounding story.

What can I say?  Blood & Milk by N. R. Walker is mindbogglying wonderful.  Its beautifully written.  The flows along naturally, like a river flowing to the sea, slowing where it needs to, picking up speed and crashing over rocks at places and emptying into a stunning wide open ocean of endless possibilities.  Blood & Milk will be at the top of my Best of 2016  list.  One read  and I’m sure it will be on yours.

I highly recommend it.

Sales Links: The pre-order link for Blood & Milk on Amazon is HERE.

Note:  N.R. Walker is  donating part of Blood & Milk royalties to African Human Rights Coalition who are a proactive group on the ground in Africa, actively helping LGBT people.  For more about this, see her interview with Santa Aziz on N.R. Walker’s Blog

Book Details:

ebook
Expected publication: June 23rd 2016
Edition LanguageEnglish