A MelanieM Release Day Review: The Obstruction of Emma Goldsworthy (Get Out #3) by Sean Kennedy

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Measuring up to her friend Micah Johnson’s success is an uphill battle for Emma Goldsworthy, but it’s one she’s determined to win. She works hard to stay on task and excel in her hockey program at the Australian Institute of Sport, but her mettle is tested when her ex-girlfriend returns from studying abroad… with a new American girlfriend by her side. Apparently she’s come out of the closet, something she wasn’t willing to do for Emma. Still, Emma has moved on from her ex—despite what those around her want to believe. Besides, there’s someone else on Emma’s mind—a girl she met once in passing and can’t stop pining for… even though Emma doesn’t know her real name, or even what she looks like beneath her costume.

Really, my love for all these characters and Sean Kennedy started back in the novel Tigers and Devils with the foundation couple, Simon Murray and star forward Declan Tyler.  They had their ups and downs on their way to becoming the established couple they are now.  In the later stories, Declan saw a need to help young  LGBT athletes and the Get Out Foundation was born.  So was this series.  The young men and women are all family to Simon and Declan, their stories intermingling seamlessly with theirs through Tigers and Devils and now three books in the Get Out series.

Usually Micah Johnson is the star of the series, as Emma herself is quick to note.  But she deserves her story and thankfully Sean Kennedy gave us hers.

Right off the bat or stick as it were, I would have bought this book for her interview with Trevor alone. I laughed myself silly.  Brava!

Emma Goldsworthy is a great character.  Yes, we’ve met her  before and been intrigued by her strengths, and yes, flaws.  But here she shines as she struggles to find herself again.  She’s adrift emotionally but not in her game and she’s trying to find the girl she appears to be to everyone else but herself.  Her life is in flux as her ex is back in town with a new girl in tow.  The ex is a star athlete on the field, she met a girl at a Con but both were in costume and she left because of friend drama and never got her name.  And Micah, her friend, is having bf issues too.  Emma is feeling the weight of the world.

The way Sean Kennedy writes all this feels fresh and real as does Emma.  With her vibrant red hair and attitude, nothing is easy and yet, you can’t wait to see  how Emma is going to handle the next situation that life is going to throw at her.  All the characters from previous stories as well as the Tigers and Devils series are here as they form part of the core group that hovers over both series.  So you see Trevor (still laughing) and Will, along with Simon and Declan.

I have a hard time thinking of these people as characters as they appear to me more alive, so vividly young and earnest that it hurts at times.  Their hearts are so easily bruised and yes, broken.  And yet, love can appear and fix it again.

What can I say?  I hope Sean Kennedy never runs out of stories to tell about these people.  I’m addicted to them because the writing is wonderful, the characterization is out of this world and the storylines come straight from the heart.

Emma Goldsworthy is a red-haired amazon to love.  Read her story and become crazy about her!  Love the entire series and this naturally  includes Tigers and Devils.

Cover Artist: Catt Ford.  Yep, that’s Emma alright.  Love the cover.  The only thing better if she had held it like she did for the cover of Sports Illustrated.  Total Attitude!

Sales Links: Harmony Ink Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 200 pages
Published April 17th 2018 by Harmony Ink Press
Original TitleThe Obstruction of Emma Goldsworthy
ISBN139781640803862
Edition Language English
Series Get Out #3

Jackie Nacht Talks Inspiration behind ‘Engineering Love’ on Release Day! (giveaway and guest blog)

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engineering-love-by-jackie-nachtEngineering Love by Jackie Nacht
Publisher: Rainbow Ninja Press

Release Date:Early Download at Rainbow Ninja Press – 5 October 2016
Third Party Pre Order – 12 October 2016
General Release – 19 October 2016

Buy Links

Rainbow Ninja Press – http://www.rainbowninjapress.com/engineering-love
Rainbow Ninja Press – EU Customers – https://payhip.com/b/uDr2

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to  have Jackie Nacht here today to talk about her latest story Engineering Love and the inspiration behind it.  Welcome, Jackie!

~~~

 

Georgia Peaches and Spaghetti Junction

First, Id’ like to thank Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words for having me here today. Thank you!

Okay so what inspired Engineering Love? Well I guess it was the setting.

Engineering Love was based on a place I used to live. Suwanee, Georgia. It was a way to go back and remember the places I used to love to visit and see with my husband while we lived there for six years.  The Suwanee Trail was some place we often ran and my husband named parts of the trail in the story as I used to torture him on our runs. evil cackle

Spaghetti Junction was a place of horror for me. More than once, when I was going down to SunTrust to work, I got lost or seen things unimaginable in the morning commute. You better believe the stuff that happened in the book to Adrian are things I saw. And more…so much more…LOL

Every road began with Peachtree…No joke. I lived off of Old Peachtree, Peachtree Industrial and Peachtree Parkway. It was a miracle I made it to my destination. LOL Oh and giving direction to my family wipes the tears of laughter from my eyes It was hysterical hearing the silence or curses (depending on which family member I was helping) on the other line as they made their way from Hartsfield-Jackson.

On our anniversaries, we used to enjoy going to Buckhead and eat at Bones. Lenox Mall, Mall of Georgia were our stomping grounds.

My husband and I had two sweet children in Georgia. To this day I call them my little peaches.

So, in a way, it was going down memory lane destination wise. I have a great fondness for Georgia and yeah, I think it make a great setting for two college boys finding love.

Hugs,

Jackie Nacht

Blurb

When north meets south, sparks fly.

Adrian is a student from a northern college transferring to Georgia Tech. Used to seeing snowmobiles outnumbering the cars on campus, Adrian finds himself living in a state hotter than hell and feeling completely lost in the heart of Atlanta. A chance encounter introduces him to Davis who Adrian knows is trouble, but can’t help falling for.

Davis is the picture of big man on campus and oozes with confidence, at least until he meets Adrian.  Something about Adrian has Davis’s usual charm flying out of the window and everything goes from smooth to hell as Davis tries to make Adrian his own.

Between awkward dates, second-degree burns, study sessions, and snow, the two stumble their way into a relationship neither had planned. Will Davis give up the bachelor life to take a chance at a relationship with Adrian, or will he walk away from something special just to stick to his original plan?

Excerpt

Ten minutes until kickoff and it was like every person in the student body had showed up. Adrian was squished next to Mark and a girl wearing glitter tattoos on her cheeks. She and her friend were taking selfies, and somehow, Adrian got tugged into one.

“What’s your name?” the girl hollered.

He leaned in, yelling, “Adrian.”

“Mara.” She smiled over at him.

“Mara!” a guy called from behind them, then he landed on Adrian’s back.

“Careful, Davis!” Mara yelled.

Bending over from the weight of the guy, Adrian would have face-planted into the person in front of him if it hadn’t been for Mark grabbing his shirt. The fucking game hadn’t started, and he was about to be on the injury list. And Adrian wasn’t even playing in the game!

“Whoa, whoa, whoa.” The guy on his back grabbed him and wrapped an arm around Adrian’s chest.

The person in front of him turned with a scowl on his face before he smirked at the man behind him and raised his hand. “Davis!”

Hands clapped over his head, and the damn bull in the china shop behind him still had his arm around Adrian.

The two chatted above him, and Adrian glanced over at Mark who was rolling his eyes. “That’s Davis.”

Oh yeah, because that explained everything. It’s Davis so it’s natural to start chatting it up with Adrian snuggled right in. Boundaries, people, boundaries. Apparently, tackle-boy Davis seemed to know everyone since people all around shouted his name. Adrian felt Davis’s deep chuckle and wondered why the hell he was still being held by him.

Adrian turned and glanced over his shoulder, then kind of wished he hadn’t. Davis was laughing while talking to the guy Adrian almost fell into before. Davis was hot… like hotter than Atlanta. Black hair and a five o’clock shadow around a strong jaw. Built enough to belong on the football field and damn, and he had light ice-blue eyes. Adrian had an urge to reach out and touch Davis’s face to make sure he was fucking real. The only thing that detracted from the model-perfect looks was a small scar on his bottom lip, which Adrian thought was sexy as hell. The white line bisected plump full lips, which made Adrian want to kiss it. And he shouldn’t be thinking that.

With a small twist of his arm, Adrian was free of Davis. He glanced back at him.

“Don’t trample the newb, Davis,” Luke hollered from down the row.

Davis’s blue eyes glinted in the noonday sun, and a crooked smile appeared on his face. Adrian felt like prey in the presence of a predator, trapped by a sea of fifty-five thousand people.

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32324708-engineering-love

Categories: M/M Romance, Gay Fiction, New Adult
Word Count: 20,802

About the Author

Short, sexy and sweet—where a little love goes a long way.

That’s the best way to describe Jackie Nacht’s stories. I was introduced to M/M Romance through my sister, Stephani, and read it for years. Then, I thought it was time to put my own stories on paper. I began writing short and sweet stories that ended with a happily ever after…and sometimes more than one, in the case of my YA Fork in the Road series, which has interactive endings.

Thinking back to my own book addiction, where there were many nights I stayed up way too late so I could read just one more chapter—yeah, right—I decided to write short romances for young adults as well as adults. Hopefully, they will give high school and college students, or working men and women something they can read during their lunch hour, in between classes or just when they want to briefly get away from the daily stresses of everyday life.

Social Media Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jackie.nacht
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JackieNacht
Website: www.jackienacht.com
Blog: www.jackienacht.com
Email: jackie.nacht@yahoo.com

Giveaway

Rafflecopter: a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Rafflecopter Prize: Engineering Love (PDF)

Marie Sexton Talks Images and Inspiration And ‘Trailer Trash’‏ (author guest post and giveaway)

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Trailer Trash

Trailer Trash by Marie Sexton
R
iptide Publishing

Cover Art by Jay Aheer

Read an Excerpt/Buy It Here

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Hello, everyone! I’m Marie Sexton, and I’m here today to talk about my New Adult novel, Trailer Trash. Trailer Trash is about two high school seniors in small-town Wyoming in the mid-1980s. I thought I’d share a few pictures that helped inspire book, and a few that might help illustrate the setting.

Trailer Trash was born from this image:Cody

I’ve since learned that this picture is of actor Nicholas Hoult, but this picture has always been Cody in my mind.

This is the picture I have for Nate, although it isn’t perfect.

NateTrailer Trash is set in the fictional town of Warren, Wyoming, along the I-80 corridor. If you look at a map of Southern Wyoming, and find the spot about midway between Rawlins and Rock Springs, then go ten or fifteen miles north into nowhere, you’ll have the approximate location of Warren. This area of Wyoming is so windy that there aren’t many trees, but many of the ones that grow in that area look like this:

(credit: http://www.wildwestcycle.com/f_snowy.html)FlagTree

Now, I’ve driven I-80 across southern Wyoming many, many times, and it’s hell. It’s windy and barren and goes on forever, mostly flat and straight as a ruler. On a good day, that section of I-80 looks like this:

I80_GoodDay(credit: http://www.sn-reisewelt.de/cms/tag-14-yellowstone-national-park2.html)

On a bad day, it looks like this:I80_BadDay

(credit: https://weather.com/news/news/snow-blinds-drivers-along-i-80-in-wyoming)

The wind along this stretch of interstate is so bad, it’s been known to blow semis over:

https://youtu.be/vA16ivK6iDI

https://youtu.be/HKD-YXMAW4A

I originally started this story back in 2011. I put it on hold for years, but I always knew I’d finish it someday. But this is the collage I used both times around (I’m pretty sure Heidi Cullinan made this for me back in 2011).Trailer Trash Collage

The setting for Trailer Trash may look depressing, and to a large extent, it is. But I love Cody and Nate so much, I just had to tell their story, and I promise, these boys do earn their happy ending.

About Trailer Trash

It’s 1986, and what should have been the greatest summer of Nate Bradford’s life goes sour when his parents suddenly divorce. Now, instead of spending his senior year in his hometown of Austin, Texas, he’s living with his father in Warren, Wyoming, population 2,833 (and Nate thinks that might be a generous estimate). There’s no swimming pool, no tennis team, no mall—not even any MTV. The entire school’s smaller than his graduating class back home, and in a town where the top teen pastimes are sex and drugs, Nate just doesn’t fit in.

Then Nate meets Cody Lawrence. Cody’s dirt-poor, from a broken family, and definitely lives on the wrong side of the tracks. Nate’s dad says Cody’s bad news. The other kids say he’s trash. But Nate knows Cody’s a good kid who’s been dealt a lousy hand. In fact, he’s beginning to think his feelings for Cody go beyond friendship.

Admitting he might be gay is hard enough, but between small-town prejudices and the growing AIDS epidemic dominating the headlines, a town like Warren, Wyoming, is no place for two young men to fall in love.

About Marie Sexton

Marie Sexton lives in Colorado. She’s a fan of just about anything that involves muscular young men piling on top of each other. In particular, she loves the Denver Broncos and enjoys going to the games with her husband. Her imaginary friends often tag along.

Marie has one daughter, two cats, and one dog, all of whom seem bent on destroying what remains of her sanity. She loves them anyway.

Connect with Marie:

Giveaway

To celebrate, Marie is giving away a $50 gift card to either Amazon or All Romance Ebooks, winner’s choice. Leave a comment to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on March 26, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. Entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

Cover Reveal for M. Leanne Phoenix’s The Covenant ( Covenant Series #1) (excerpt and giveaway)

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CoverThe Covenant E-Book Cover with logo

The Covenant ( Covenant Series #1) by M. LeAnne Phoenix
Release Date: January 15, 2016

Goodreads Link
Publisher: CoolDudes Publishing
Cover Artist: Kellie Dennis

Blurb

When love is forbidden, who can you trust?

Seventeen year old David has been best friends with Jonathan for as long as he can remember, but the day he sees the pastor’s daughter press a soft kiss to Jonathan’s cheek everything changes. Overcome by jealousy, his explosive reaction reveals a deeper connection that sends their relationship spiraling down into dangerous territory.

When their clandestine love is discovered, they have nowhere to turn for help. The brutal circumstances of their parting test David and Jonathan’s covenant to each other in unimaginable ways. Forced to face their fears, it is in their darkest moments that the two young men discover that the courage, hope, and strength they need to to fight for their love, has been the foundation of their covenant all along.

 

Pages or Words: 280 pages, 71,000 words
Categories: Gay fiction, M/M Romance, New Adult, Poetry, Romance

Excerpt

David opened his locker to get out his Biology, History, and Music History books and shoved them into his backpack, swallowing hard against the lump in his throat. Jonathan’s comforting hand lit on David’s side as he came to lean on the locker to the right of David’s own, holding up in one paint-besmeared hand, a small piece of black cardboard. On it, David saw symbols, ones he thought might be Greek. Remembering the foreign exchange student from Thessaloniki shared Jonathan’s sixth period art class, he smiled and turned to his boyfriend as he took the proffered gift.

“What does it say?” David couldn’t help but smile at the joy lighting Jonathan’s eyes. “This has to be something that Kallias helped you make—”

“You aren’t wrong,” Jonathan interjected. “That is Greek writing and Kallias even taught me how to say it.”

“Enlighten me, please!” David rasped, focusing wholly on Jonathan’s gift. “Say it and then tell me what it means.”

“If I say it right, it’s agape menomou—”

David furrowed his brow, repeating, “A guppy man oh moo?”

Jonathan slid down the locker in a giggle. “Noooo! I must have said it wrong because your face… oh my gosh, your face!”

Blushing and biting his lower lip, David sank down to his haunches in front of Jonathan. “Then say it again, slower, and tell me what it means!”

Jonathan looked around, and seeing no-one in their locker bank, leaned up to whisper the Greek in his ear, the sounds slower… thicker. “Agape menomou means O love of my heart.

Buy the book:  links to come

 

RC

 

Meet the author:

M. LeAnne Phoenix would tell you that the worst time of her life was the two years that she attempted to take off from writing. If you asked her to explain exactly why she did such a thing, you would most likely get the mad attempt to arch an eyebrow like her dad and then a shake of the head as she told you it was unlucky to speak of such things. Suffice it to say, it will never happen again!
Born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas in the mid-1970’s, Ms. Phoenix was young and wild (and even free!) during the crazy wondrous decade known as the 1980’s and the even crazier but now grungy decade of the 1990’s. Music is second only to the muses that live and breathe to fill her mind with beautiful men, and music always helps them to tell their stories. She is never without her iPod or her computer no matter where she goes, although, she does like to hike and take pictures of the sky and the moon, and even the occasional shot of the sun through the branches of a tree.
An avid cat lover, Ms. Phoenix has been owned by many throughout her life, though her current owner is one Lily-Rose, who really would like for her to step away from the keyboard and pay her some attention! After all, hasn’t she earned it?

Where to find the author:

 


Tour Dates & Stops:

Parker Williams, Bayou Book Junkie, BFD Book Blog, Gay Book Reviews, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, The Hat Party, Happily Ever Chapter, Divine Magazine, Love Bytes, Carly’s Book Reviews, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Boys on the Brink Reviews, Nephy Hart, MM Good Book Reviews, KathyMac Reviews, Inked Rainbow Reads, A.M. Leibowitz, Velvet Panic, Alpha Book Club, Moonbeams Over Atlanta, Mikky’s World of Books, Book Lovers 4Ever, It’s Raining Men, Michael Mandrake

Final

Giveaway

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: A signed print copy of ‘The Covenant’.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  Link and prize provided by the author and Pride Promotions.

 

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In the New Adult Fiction Spotlight: Mia Kerick’s ‘Clean’ (excerpt and giveaway)

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CLEAN FRONT COVER WITH SEALS-fin3

Clean by Mia Kerick
Release Date: December 1, 2015

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Cool Dudes Publishing
Cover Artist: Louis C. Harris

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Today I’m very happy to be interviewing Mia Kerick, author of Clean.

Hi, Mia,  thank you for stopping by and agreeing to answering a few questions for us here at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words.

  • Tell us something no one else knows about your characters.

Lanny and Trevor are based, physically, on Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson of One Direction. I imagined the two of them throughout the creation of Clean. And it was great!

  • Have you ever written something that made you cry?

Inclination made me cry. When Anthony left the Catholic Church, he became so desperate because he thought he lost his connection with God, which was all he had ever wanted in life. His utter devastation and loneliness and forlorn feelings led me to cry buckets!

  • Have you ever co-written with someone before?

Michael Bowler and I co-wrote a short story for The Kickass Anthology. It was a story that indirectly protested the practice that the Boy Scouts had about refusing to let gay people participate. It was a great experience, but co-writing really isn’t my thing.

  • What is the most difficult part of writing for you?

NO DOUBT it is the technological aspect of being an author. I have no training on computers and social media and Facebook takeovers and stuff like that. All of this is necessary to creating and promoting books. I am lost!!

  • Name your four most important food groups.

Coffee

Chocolate

Cookies

Candy Corn

Interesting… all begin with letter C.

Thanks for the mini introduction to Mia Kerick, now lets take a closer look at Clean.

Blurb

High school senior Lanny Keating has it all. A three-sport athlete at Lauserville High School looking at a college football scholarship, with a supportive family, stellar grades, boy band good looks… until the fateful day when it all falls apart.

Seventeen-year-old Trevor Ladd has always been a publicly declared zero and the high school bad-boy. Abandoned by his mother and sexually abused by his legal guardian, Trevor sets his sights on mere survival.

Lanny seeks out Trevor’s companionship to avoid his shattered home life. Unwilling to share their personal experiences of pain, the boys explore ways to escape, leading them into sexual experimentation, and the abuse of illegal drugs and alcohol. Their mutual suffering creates a lasting bond of friendship and love.

When the time finally comes to get clean and sober, or flunk out of high school, only one of the boys will graduate, while the other spirals downward into addiction.

Will Lanny and Trevor find the strength to battle their demons of mind-altering substances as well as emotional vulnerability?

Clean takes the reader on a gritty trip into the real and raw world of teenage substance abuse.

 

Pages or Words: 289 pages
Categories: Contemporary, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, New Adult, Romance

 

ExcerptCLEAN FRONT COVER WITH SEALS-fin3

PROLOGUE

Lanny

Trevor wouldn’t even look at me when I walked over to the gas station this morning to say hi. And Jimmy’s Fuel Stop is like three miles from my house so it took a major effort to walk there, especially since I’ve been feeling like total crap lately. Another one of my shaky human bonds bites the dust. I need to go out and get myself a cat.

“Can’t you see I’m working, Keating?” That was all he said. But I’ve always been good at reading between the lines. I could tell what he was thinking as he stood beside the gas pumps, totally caught up in not looking at me. “Take a hike before you get me fired, loser. Some of us got goals in life….” So I took off before he had a chance to make me feel like I shouldn’t have ever made an appearance on the planet earth. But I still know it would have been better had I never been born…maybe Joelle would still be okay.

It’s Saturday afternoon and nobody’s home. Mom and Dad are probably off at the park with Joelle, sloshing through the wet snow together so she gets her daily exercise. Or maybe they took her to the make- your-own-sundae-place to improve her fine motor skills by sprinkling sweet toppings on big scoops of ice cream. I’m in Mom and Dad’s bathroom, bent in half with my head stuck in the closet, searching the cluttered shelves for anything that will get me high enough to escape. And I mean anything.

That’s when I see the cough syrup. The bottle in front is almost new, and there’s an older bottle of a different brand right behind it, little more than halfway full. Seeing these medicine bottles reminds me of something Chad suggested about a week or two ago— that we should try robo-tripping. He told me that if we drink enough cough syrup, the DXM in it would get us high in a “super blissful, tingling-body-parts way,” which sounded pretty decent to me then and still does now. Not completely surprised I remembered Chad’s exact description of a DXM high, I thank God for this dextromethorphan stuff that suppresses nasty coughs, because it looks like I’m going to find my much-needed buzz after all.

Pleased that I don’t have to resort to sniffing glue from the tube on my father’s basement workbench or huffing my mother’s hairspray—and believe me I came close—I snatch the bottles with a shaky hand. They’re both sticky with the syrup that dripped down the side last time one of the Keating’s had a major head cold accompanied by a hacking cough. Licking my fingers provides me with a hint of the cherry flavor I’m probably going to be barfing up later tonight. But I don’t care. I can’t get through a single day without some help, and by that I don’t mean help from my human friends, seeing as I have none left.

The walk to the shed seems longer than ever. It’s an effort to so much as put one foot in front of the other. I haven’t eaten anything for a full day; I’m sure that’s why I feel like such crap. And it’s not like I want to think about this stuff, but I can’t stop myself. The “stuff” I don’t want to think about is really people. The people I have hurt so much lately because of my bad habits.

This list starts with my little sister Joelle, who I told to “stuff a sock in it” when she asked me to read that goddamned book about a kid going to school—for the zillionth time! “School’s not all it’s cracked up to be, Jo. Stop being so damned excited about it! Those kids are gonna tear you to pieces and won’t even wait until you turn your back to do it!” It hurts too much to remember the expression on her face right after I told her that, so instead I stare beyond the leafless trees into the gray sky and think about my parents.

I’ve hurt Mom and Dad a lot too, because they know I’m sick, they just don’t know exactly what’s wrong with me. And I’m not sure how much they care. Their plates are too full already with Joelle’s problems, I guess.

I glance down at the two bottles of cough medicine dangling from between my fingers and remember Chrissy and Robyn, who I use like toilet paper. They can do way better than me in the study-buddy department.

I trip over a root that crosses my path and fall to my knees, but just as quickly drag myself back to my feet. A stray root isn’t enough to stop me from getting to where I’m going.

I’m almost at the shed now, and I can’t avoid thinking about him any longer. Trevor hates me. He never calls anymore, never asks me to go to the shed to drink some beer and fool around. He just looks at me in the hallway at school with angry disgusted eyes, and tells me every chance he gets “you’re fucking up your life and I’m not gonna let you fuck up mine.”

Trevor Ladd…the ultimate untouchable. If I could’ve made somebody like him want to be with me, I would’ve surely been able to win my parents back. Well, no such luck. I’m more of a zero to Trevor than I ever was…and Mom and Dad still don’t care.

Blew my entire life sky high. Which is where I’ll be soon, if all goes according to plan. I lift each bottle of sticky sweet cough medicine to my lips and kiss them, one by one.

Just the sight of the tiny, beat-up brown shed fills me with an indescribable sense of relief, probably like the feeling of coming home after years at sea. As soon as I push open the door, I see that Trevor isn’t here and I’m illogically disappointed. But Trevor can’t save me from myself. He did his duty; he tried to get me clean, and he got clean in the process.

Way to go, Trevor.

Alone in a frigid shed in the middle of the woods, I’m more than eager to suck down a couple bottles of cough medicine so I can be somewhere else…someone else. A vision of Landon Keating forms in my mind—not Lanny, the student, or Lanny, the athlete, or Lanny, the son and brother—but the near-future version of me when I’m “simultaneously mellow and stimulated,” if the online experiences I’ve read about taking DXM are accurate. Sad truth is, I’ll take just plain disoriented. Any effect will be fine if it whisks me away.

I drop down to the cold floor and without ceremony open one of the small bottles. The cough medicine goes down more easily than I thought.

Cherry-berry-sweet-thick-burning-soothing- pleasure-pain. It doesn’t take too long.

Itchy as hell…belly’s on fire….

“Read to me, Lanny…read it again!

”Can’t feel my legs at all….

“Wishes don’t wash dishes, son.”

Can’t stop barfing…. So sick….

“Take a hike, Keating—you filthy, no-good, loser boozer-druggie!”

Blew it with Trevor…blew it with everybody.

Can’t breathe…need a breath….

Gonna die here alone.

Buy the book:

Meet the author:

Mia Kerick is the mother of four exceptional children—all named after saints—and five nonpedigreed cats—all named after the next best thing to saints, Boston Red Sox players. Her husband of twenty years has been told by many that he has the patience of Job, but don’t ask Mia about that, as it is a sensitive subject.

Mia focuses her stories on the emotional growth of troubled young men and their relationships, and she believes that sex has a place in a love story, but not until it is firmly established as a love story. As a teen, Mia filled spiral-bound notebooks with romantic tales of tortured heroes (most of whom happened to strongly resemble lead vocalists of 1980s big-hair bands) and stuffed them under her mattress for safekeeping. She is thankful to CoolDudes Publishing, Dreamspinner Press, Harmony Ink Press for providing her with an alternate place to stash her stories.

Mia is proud of her involvement with the Human Rights Campaign and cheers for each and every victory made in the name of marital equality. Her only major regret: never having taken typing or computer class in school, destining her to a life consumed with two-fingered pecking and constant prayer to the Gods of Technology.

Where to find the author:

 


Tour Dates & Stops:

30-Nov: The Hat Party, Mikky’s World of Books, Hearts on Fire, Bayou Book Junkie

1-Dec: Gay Book Reviews, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Multitasking Mommas, Books A to Z

2-Dec: Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings, The Jena Wade, Love Bytes

3-Dec: Lee Brazil, Gay Media Reviews, Divine Magazine

4-Dec: V’s Reads, Posy Roberts, Nephy Hart

5-Dec: Dawn’s Reading Nook, Bonkers About Books

6-Dec: Cheekypee Reads and Reviews, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews

7-Dec: The Day Before You Came, QUEERcentric Books, MM Good Book Reviews

8-Dec: Happily Ever Chapter, BFD Book Blog

9-Dec: Kimi-Chan, Inked Rainbow Reads

10-Dec: Emotion in Motion, Jessie G. Books

11-Dec: Havan Fellows, TTC Books and More, My Fiction Nook

Final

Giveaway

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: $10.00 Amazon gift card.  Link and prizes provided by the author and Pride Promotions.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  
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A MelanieM New Adult Review: Jefferson Blythe, Esquire by Josh Lanyon

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Jefferson Blythe Esq coverIn this fast, fun and dead-sexy male/male new-adult caper from multi-award-winning author Josh Lanyon, twentysomething Jefferson Blythe gets lost, gets found, falls in love and comes out…all in the span of one wild summer

After his first relationship goes disastrously awry, Jeff Blythe uses his savings to tour Europe—the old-fashioned way. Armed with his grandfather’s 1960 copy of Esquire’s Europe in Style, Jeff sets off looking for adventure but finds much, much more than he bargained for…

In London, dodging questions from shady criminals about a mysterious package he most certainly does not have is simple. Losing the gunmen who are convinced he’s someone else is not. And when George, an old friend, offers him help—and a place to stay, and perhaps something more—things become complicated.

Is George really who he seems? And is Jeff finally ready to act on his attraction?

From Paris to Rome and back again, Jeff and George fall for each other, hard, while quite literally running for their lives. But trusting George at his word may leave Jeff vulnerable—in more ways than one.

Jefferson Blythe, Esquire is simply something new and yet totally Josh Lanyon at the same time.  A new adult story told from the point of view of Jeff Blythe, a young man fleeing across the ocean from an expected marriage he knew was wrong for both of them. With his grandfather’s heavily noted (and need we say outdated) 1960 copy of Esquire’s Europe in Style in hand, Jeff decides to tour Europe using that as his guide.  Oh, the naivete’.  And yes, it all starts going disastrously awry from the start, ala Josh Lanyon style.

One of the elements that I have always loved about Lanyon’s style is the way the author combines humor with bleak reality.  The main character is often at their lowest point and yet some small bit of humor or a slight funny line of dialog will slide into the moment, making it still real but  more human and a tad lighter.  It happens here right at the start when Jeff goes from plane, making his way laboriously to the place where he expects to  stay. Its a fight all the way and when he gets there?  More awfulness ensues…to our shock and hilarity.

But that start is our introduction to Jeff Blythe. We see the start of his learning process and the beginning of what will be an exponential tour of growth as he learns about himself, who he wants to be and who he wants to be with.  That would be George, a former friend who now lives in London and isn’t exactly who he tells Jeff, or “Jefferson” as George calls him, exactly who he seems to be.    What follows is a series of mishaps, investigations, theft, and all sorts of things criminal across Europe in increasing degrees of seriousness until Jeff is finally involved in murder.

There is a pattern here that Lanyon lays out for Jefferson and the reader.  Things start to unfold, events happen, Jefferson and George try to move forward and Jefferson leaves to another part of Europe while growing emotionally, criminals follow as do more threatening events, Jefferson grows increasingly resourceful and independent…and the story just gets better.  I won’t spoil it further.  I did find myself thinking fondly about those wonderful 60’s films with Audrey Hepburn, Cary Grant, superb background music, thieves playing out across Europe with their clever dialog.  But there was no self discovery in those films as there is here, no Jefferson Blythe to adore and rejoice in as he realizes he is resourceful, gay and knows exactly who it is he loves.  I want more Jefferson Blythe, I really do.

I did waver a bit about that ending. Did I love it? Wish it was longer?  Finally I decided it was the perfect way for Jefferson Blythe to end his journey.  At least for the moment.

I loved this story and hope that Josh Lanyon takes more adventures in new adult novels.  I highly recommend this story and author.

Cover art captures the essence of the character and story. Lovely.

Sales Links:  Carina Press |  Amazon | Buy It Here

Book Details:

Kindle Edition
Expected publication: November 16th 2015 by Carina Press
ASINB00Z726LZ4
edition language English

November’s M/M First Line Quiz and This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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November’s M/M First Line Quiz

Today is our second First Line in Novels Quiz, the first was October.  As I said back in my October 11th blog (you know the one with the answers to the month’s quiz), we need that all important first line to do its job. We need that line to pull us in, to set a tone and even impart a little about the story to follow.  That’s a huge load for one sentence to carry and yet some first lines  do it so well that we can’t get them out of our heads, quoting them in conversations, even if partially. “It was the best of  times, it was the worst of times…”. There is more to that first line from Charles Dickens’  ‘A Tale of Two Cities’, but rarely is it heard.  And how many times do you hear people saying “Call me Ishmael”.  Do you think they know it came as the first line from Herman Melville’s ‘Moby Dick’? I wonder if we will hear it said in the new movie coming out? If I read you the line

Anyhow, I combed through my books (as did some of my reviewers) and we found more first lines from some of our favorite M/M stories and here they are below.  I wonder if even their authors would recognize their own first lines? Hmmm.  How well did these lines do their job?  Do you want to read these books?  Did you read these books?

Contest Details:

Answers in 2 weeks.  The winner who correctly gives us all or the most correct answers will get a $10 Amazon gift card.  Thinking hats on.  Start thumbing through the Kindles and novels, get your friends to help.  Who recognizes these first sentences and books? Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  Contest ends at midnight on Saturday, November 28th.  Send your answers to melaniem54@msn.com. There will be a time and date on them so I will know who will be first.

November’s M/M First Line Quiz

  1. “AND NOW, I will tell you of my plans to take over the Kingdom,” the evil wizard and total douchebag Lartin the Dark Leaf said with a cackle.”
  2. “A PERSISTENT, annoying sound kept infiltrating my mind.”
  3. “I WONDERED if praying that she wouldn’t pull out of this episode made me a terrible son.”
  4. It was like those old Choose Your Own Adventure novels.
  5. “My father always told me, If I’m gone for three days, call the police.”
  6. I didn’t like lying to my friends, but it was necessary.”
  7. Running naked through the woods was exactly what Dylan Green needed.”
  8. “ON ANY GIVEN NIGHT, IN ANY CITY IN THE WORLD, SOMEBODY WILL DIE BEFORE SUNRISE and most of them will die alone.”
  9. “IT WAS cold outside. It was really cold. Freezing cold.”
  10. “MUSIC was his companion.”
  11. “I was treated as a curiosity by this group of Irishmen.”
  12. “BEFORE MY LIFE WENT SUDDENLY pear-shaped, and I slunk, tail tucked between my legs, into a shitty, crowded pub, I had been sober for three… almost four years.”
  13. “Four o’clock in the morning wasn’t a good time to be thinking about torture.”
  14. “By nightfall, he was begging to die.”

 

falls leaves 2And now onto our schedule this week and the countdown to Thanksgiving.

This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Winter Wonderland coverStranger in the Wizards TowerHow To Walk Like A Man coverMinotaur_600x900

Sunday, November 15:

  • November’s M/M First Line Quiz and This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, November 16:

  • Karen Stivuli’s  ‘Moment of Silence’ cover reveal and giveaway
  • Release Day for Perie Wolford’s Jimmy’s Erotic Adventure In Time And Space Continuum (Episode 1)
  • Cover Reveal for Uniform: A Man in Uniform M/M Bundle (contest)
  • Coffee Sip and Book Break with J. Johanis ‘ Dream Gods (guest post, excerpt, contest)
  • A Mika Review: Exchange of Heart by N.R. Walker
  • A Free Dreamer Review: Minotaur by J.A. Rock
  • A PaulB Review: Curling Up With His Critter (A Loving Nip #7) by Charlie Richards

Tuesday, November 17:

  • Early Bird’s Book Look: Secret of the Manor by Taylin Clavelli (excerpt and giveaway)
  •  An Inside Look at Y-Negative by Kelly Haworth (guest post and contest)
  • A  Special Look at Havan Fellows & Lee Brazil ‘Heart on the Run (guest post, excerpt and giveaway)
  • Lynn Lorenz Keep Me In Mind tour and contest
  • A Stella Review:Betting on Forever by Felice Stevens
  • A Paul B Review: Stranger in the Wizard’s Tower by Deric McNish

Wednesday, November 18:

  • A New Press Comes On Line ~ The Launch of NineStar Press (an inside peak)
  • A Closeup Look at ‘A Home for the Holidays’ by Joe Cosentino (giveaway)
  • Book Spotlight: Grein Murray’s ‘I Have You’ (excerpt and giveaway)
  • M.D. Grimm’s ‘Emerald: Good and Evil’ book blast and contest
  • A MelanieM Review: With This Bling by LB Gregg
  • A Sammy Review: Better the Devil You Know by Bey Deckard

Thursday, November 19:

  • Getting Into the Season with Jay Northcote’s ‘What Happens At Christmas’ book blast and contest
  •  Coffee Sip and Book Break with Jessie G. ‘Strength in Numbers’ (excerpt and giveaway)
  • Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Author Discovery: Sera Trevor
  • An Ali Review:  Owner of a Lonely Heart by Mel Bossa
  • A MelanieM Review: A Gentle Kind of Strength by Kendall McKenna

Friday, November 20:

  • Thianna Durston ‘959 Brenton Street’ book blast and contest
  • RJ Scott Sanctuary 8 Book Release Tour and contest
  • Heidi Cullinan Book tour Winter Wonderland book tour
  • Review Redux:  MelanieM Review:  Winter Wonderland by Heidi Cullinan
  • A Mika Review-The Winter Spirit by Indra Vaughn
  • A MelanieM Review:  A Home for the Holidays by Joe Cosentino

Saturday, November 21:

  • A MelanieM NA Review: Jefferson Blythe, Esquire by Josh Lanyon

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Stella New Adult Review: Go Your Own Way by Zane Riley

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Rating 4.5 stars out of 5

Go Your Own Way coverWill Osborne couldn’t wait to put the roller coaster ride of his public education behind him. Having suffered bullying and harassment since grade school, he planned a senior year that would be simple and quiet before going away to college and starting fresh. But when a reform school transfer student struts into his first class, Will realizes that the thrill ride has only just begun.

Lennox McAvoy is an avalanche. He’s crude, flirtatious, and the most insufferable, beautiful person Will’s ever met. From his ankle monitor to his dull smile, Lennox appears irredeemable. But when Will’s father falls seriously ill, Will discovers that there is more to Lennox than meets the eye.

Go Your Own Way is the new adult debut novel by the talented Zane Riley and another winner from the (new to me) Interlude Press. The book was nothing like I was expecting and really different from the usual NA (new adult) stories I read in the past. In three words, I loved it! I’m so happy when I discover new authors and I can’t believe this is Zane’s only book I have available right now.

Will and Lennox are two characters that will be in my heart for a bit. The author did an amazing work at describing them and making me like them so much. They are so cute together! I can assure you both are super interesting since the first lines, and when sparkles fly between them the fun is assured. Two boys apparently so different from each other but with lots in common.

Lennox seems a strong young man, steeled by the too hard past years. But it’s an act he absolutely needs to survive his life, made of a nasty motel room, of food stolen at the school cafeteria, of prejudices and attempts at his safety, of nights spent in the bathtub with a flashlight. He isn’t expecting someone like Will to happen to his shitty life and to get through his heart like this amazing young man does.

“I do like him,” Will confessed. “But I can’t stand him, too. It’s… complicated. I don’t want to just date for a few weeks. I don’t—I want something that’s real.”

Why can’t a short relationship be real?” Roxanne asked. “I mean, Romeo and Juliet—”

Were two insane, dopey teenagers whose infatuation killed a half a dozen people,” Will said. “I want maturity. Commitment. Someone to talk to about everything.”

Sounds like a therapist to me”

Will is been bullied all his life. He can’t wait to finish his last year of high school to fly out of the strict town he’s born in. He has a beautiful stepmother and a great dad, both funny and so supportive. He always dreamed about his first love and his idea is nothing as Lennox, cheeky and rude. But Lennox, who is the biggest annoying person in Will’s world, becomes his greater distractions and helper in the hardest and hurtful event in his life so far. Lennox becomes a comfort, because he understands what Will is going through. There is still ice and fire between them but that’s exactly what makes their relationships so beautiful.

The writing is light and funny but deep and emotional too. The author uses a double point of view, perfect to make more real and detectable the MCs’ minds and feelings, especially in the hilarious dialogues, full of banters, jokes and the MCs’ smart mouths that make Go Your Own Way an engaging “enemies to lovers” book.

I gave this book only 4,5 stars cause the ending was too abrupt and it needs a sequel, there are so many things I still have to know and see, especially about Lennox. Still this is a highly recommended story.

Cover design by Buckeyegrrl Designs. The cover depicts a specific scene in the book, the first time they kiss against a chalkboard. It is really awesome and the backcover is even better. Really well done.

Sales Links:  Interlude Press | Smashwords | All Romance (ARe) | Amazon | Buy It Here

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 326 pages
Published May 5th 2015 by Interlude Press
ASIN B00WOP7OGM
Edition Language English

Check Out A Hard Day’s Night by Mia Kerick (excerpt and giveaway)

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A Hard Day’s Night by Mia Kerick
Release Date: September 1, 2015


Goodreads Link
Publisher: Cool Dudes Publishing
Cover Artist: Louis C. Harris

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Buy the book: Amazon  | All Romance (ARe) | Gumroad

Blurb

High school senior Kalin (Lennon) Macready knows several facts for certain: John Lennon is his hero. Beaumont Finley Danforth II (Fin) is his best friend. And—this is the complicated one—he feels more for Fin than mere friendship.
For weeks, Lennon pesters Fin, who like Lennon admits to questioning his sexual orientation, for a commitment to spend twenty-four hours together exploring “the gay side of life.” Fin reluctantly agrees. Each boy will seek to answer the daunting question, Am I gay? Lennon pre-plans the day, filling the hours with what he assumes “gay life” is all about: shopping for fashionable clothing, indulging in lavish dessert crepes, boogying to Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off”, and yes, listening to show tunes.
However, Lennon quickly realizes that in creating his plan he has succumbed to the most common and distorted of gay stereotypes. Can he be gay and not fit them? And more importantly, is it possible that spending one very hard day and night together will help Fin accept that he’s gay, too? If so, maybe Lennon has a shot at winning the heart of the boy of his dreams.
“A Hard Day’s Night” is an amusing young adult contemporary romance about two boys who seek to discover if they must fulfill stereotypes to be together.
In the end, maybe all you need is love.

Pages or Words: 21,500 words
Categories: Contemporary, M/M Romance, New Adult, Romance

 

Excerpt

“Fin and I have managed to get locked into what I will refer to as a repetitive pattern of affable behavior, and, in my opinion, it’s working out splendidly. We are the dearest of friends.”
Scratch that. Starting over.
And since I know it’s well past time for some brutally honest self-talk, I sit up in my bed, and by the warm glow of my Yellow Submarine nightlight, study my frayed picture of John Lennon. To complete the visual, it’s the photo from Mom’s retro record set, The White Album, that I pinned to the wall beside my bed and have worshipped regularly since I was in the seventh grade. Behind those round wire glasses, the man’s piercing eyes don’t lie—John was a brutally honest sort, often to his detriment. After all, back in 1966 didn’t he assert that The Beatles were more popular than Jesus Christ? Now, that is certainly calling it exactly as he sees it.
Not that I necessarily agree with the sentiment, I respect that kind of direct- ness in a person.
I owe him this much.
Out of respect for John, I revise and reissue my previous assertion.
“The Finster and I are stuck in a rut of pleasant compatibility… an unusually
deep rut, at that.”
This attempt at telling-it-like-it-is is definitely an improvement, but it’s still
not right on the money, and I’m nothing, if not specific.
I prop up my pillow and lean hard against the creaky antique headboard (call it like you see it, Lennon—the headboard is just plain old), with the certain knowledge that I’ve completely outgrown this flimsy, twin size bed of my childhood.
So maybe it’s more like this….
“Fin and I each have one leg semi-submerged in a muddy ditch, and we’re in it well past our knees. This is the kind of murky and dark, seemingly bottomless, pit that will suck the rubber boot right off your foot with a single, hollow, slurping sound, and then belch with satisfaction.” For the third time I speak aloud in an effort to make my declaration official. “It appears that the two of us are gonna be stuck here in this mucky BFF-swampland for the long haul— bootless and slowly sinking into the sludge—unless, of course, I act decisively and with haste. And with great vigor—because, to accomplish the task I have in mind, I’m most likely going to have to shift into full-hyper-dunk-mode, possibly coupled with the drama-queen-approach. Neither of which poses a problem for me, other than that they require an excessive expenditure of energy.”
That was most definitely a mouthful, but an accurate mouthful.
And all I need is one day. Just one gay day.
Thankfully, ever proud of the open-mindedness he hides so well from his ultra-conservative family, Fin has granted me my greatest wish. On Saturday, March 21st, Beaumont Finley Danforth II (IMHO this BFD is a Big Fucking Deal) is mine for the day to do with as I please. I sincerely hope that a single day is sufficient to help Fin figure out what I already know.
Um, Lennon…maybe now is not the right time to start suffering with a debilitating bout of self-doubt.
Confidence is of key importance in this endeavor.
No, I do not have any worries, and yes, I do have twenty-four feminine-side-ex- ploring, team-switching, relationship-igniting hours to make my homeboy see the rainbow-hued light. Starting bright and early tomorrow morning.
On that note, I’ll get started with my beauty sleep. I sure hope I’m gonna need it.
I wiggle down so I’m flat on my back with my feet sticking six inches over the end of the bed, pull the covers up to my chin, and listen to my mental arrangement of “Imagine” until I fall asleep.

RC

About the Author

Mia Kerick is the mother of four exceptional children—all named after saints—and five nonpedigreed cats—all named after the next best thing to saints, Boston Red Sox players. Her husband of twenty-two years has been told by many that he has the patience of Job, but don’t ask Mia about that, as it is a sensitive subject.
Mia focuses her stories on the emotional growth of troubled young people and their relationships, and she believes that physical intimacy has a place in a love story, but not until it is firmly established as a love story. As a teen, Mia filled spiral-bound notebooks with romantic tales of tortured heroes (most of whom happened to strongly resemble lead vocalists of 1980s big-hair bands) and stuffed them under her mattress for safekeeping. She is thankful to Dreamspinner Press, Harmony Ink Press, and CreateSpace for providing her with alternate places to stash her stories.
Mia is a social liberal and cheers for each and every victory made in the name of human rights, especially marital equality. Her only major regret: never having taken typing or computer class in school, destining her to a life consumed with two-fingered pecking and constant prayer to the Gods of Technology.
Where to find the author:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mia.kerick?fref=ts
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MiaKerick

Final

Giveaway

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: $15 Amazon gift card.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Link and prizes provided by the author and Pride Promotions.
Rafflecopter Code:
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WillPride

 

Tour Dates & Stops:
31-Aug

Bayou Book Junkie: http://bayoubookjunkie.blogspot.com/2015/08/book-blast-mm-hard-days-night-by-mia.html

SA McAuley: http://samcauley.com/2015/08/31/releasing-tomorrow-mia-kerick-a-hard-days-night/

1-Sep

TTC Books and More: http://www.ttcbooksandmore.com/2015/09/a-hard-days-night-by-miakerick.html

My Fiction Nook: http://www.myfictionnook.com/2015/09/blogtour-hard-days-night-by-mia-kerick.html

Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews: http://wickedfaeriesreviews.blogspot.com/2015/09/a-hard-days-night-by-mia-kerick-blog.html

2-Sep

Hearts on Fire: http://heartsonfirereviews.com/mia-kerick-a-hard-days-night-tour-excerpt-and-contest/

MM Good Book Reviews: https://mmgoodbookreviews.wordpress.com/2015/09/02/a-hard-days-night-by-mia-kerick-blog-tour-excerpt-giveaway/

Up All Night, Read All Day: http://upallnightreadallday.blogspot.com/2015/09/blog-tour-had-days-night-by-mia-kerick.html

3-Sep

V’s Reads: http://vsreads.com/2015/09/03/loving-a-hard-days-night-excerpt-and-giveaway/

Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents: http://fangirlmomentsandmytwocents.blogspot.com/2015/09/a-hard-days-night-by-mia-kerick-blog.html#.VehJTLQni-I

4-Sep Cathy Brockman Romances, Mikky’s World of Books, Jessie G. Books

5-Sep Kimi-Chan, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words

7-Sep Amanda C. Stone, Inked Rainbow Reads

8-Sep Velvet Panic, Book Reviews, Rants, and Raves, Divine Magazine

9-Sep Because Two Men Are Better Than One, Parker Williams

10-Sep Prism Book Alliance

11-Sep BFD Book Blog, Ogitchida Book Blog

 

In the Spotlight: Reckless Hope (Letting Go #2) by j. leigh bailey (author interview, excerpt and giveaway)

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Reckless Hope (Letting Go #2) by j. leigh bailey
Release Date: August 24, 2015

STRW In The Spotlight Header

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Carina Press

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Sales Links: amazon | barnes&noble | kobo | ibooks

My interview with j. leigh bailey

Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing j. leigh bailey, author of Reckless Hope.

Hi j. leigh, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.

Thank you so much for having me! I’m j. leigh bailey, author of New Adult and Young Adult male/male romance. I live in the Chicagoland area and have always believed that nothing—not race, gender, sexual identity, religious background or paranormal affiliation—should get in the way of the vitally important Happy Ever After ending.

  • Tell us about your book.

RECKLESS HOPE is an opposites attract New Adult romance, in which I’ve paired up a hard-working, super-responsible, over-scheduled guy with a hard-partying, entitled, wealthy adrenaline junkie. Together they discover that learning to trust is a risk, and sometimes the risk is well worth the reward

  • How difficult was it to get into the main character’s head?

There are a few challenges I face in getting into the head of my main characters. I’m neither a young male nor gay. Clearly, I don’t have the exact life experiences that match up to my characters.  But I was once twenty. I struggled to find my way, to define my future. One of the greatest things about writing, or even reading, is that the characters, even the non-human ones, have a shared human experience. We all go through stages of growth, of challenges. We all have periods of grief and excitement. We all fall in love and get our hearts broken. It’s exploring and facing these challenges, and hopefully overcoming them, that make books so much fun. It’s proof, through fiction, that people are capable of surviving and, at least in romantic fiction, achieving a happy ever after ending.

Which all sounds very… philosophical, which isn’t very me. The biggest challenge I face, really, is creating an authentic young male voice. Even when I was twenty, I used words and phrasing that came off as “too adult.” There’s a fine line between language that is so simple or clichéd as to insult young men everywhere, and using language that makes my young men sound like thirty-something women with a love of “big” words. Trying to sound realistic, and not stereotypical, while in my characters’ heads can be a struggle.

  • Is this book a standalone or do you plan on visiting it again?

Reckless Hope is the second book in my Letting Go series, though it, and the others, are stand-alone. They share a common theme, but don’t have any characters or locations in common. I have a couple of characters who are introduced in this book, though, that I may decide to expand upon. Micah’s best friend Jace is kind of a hoot, and I wouldn’t mind seeing him paired up with someone who won’t know how to handle his slightly dramatic flair.

  • Why did you choose to write M/M stories?

I’ve been reading romance since I was 11 years old. Even before that, the television shows and stories I read tended to have a romantic pair-up. Added to it, I read about 100 pages an hour, so I’ve read a lot of different books in a lot of different genres. I went through phases. For a while it was all romantic suspense. Then it was Regency romance. Then it was medieval romance. Then paranormal. If it was romance, I would read it. One day I read a male/male romance and it changed everything. In a male/male romance you have all the same elements that make a great romance, the same kinds of conflict that make getting from point A to point HEA so exciting. But you also have the added conflict of social pressure, the questions of to-PDA or not-to-PDA, out or in. Extra conflict that can make achieving the happily ever after ending more rewarding.

  • Where do you find your inspiration?

For me, I’ll get a phrase or an image stuck in my head. That phrase or image grows into a scene. Next thing I know, I’ve got a story brewing in my brain. Almost always I see an opening scene, or the scene in which the characters first meet, and I see how I want their story to end. Then I get to watch everything unfold from the first meeting to the end, just like I was reading the book as I was writing it. Sometimes I’m surprised at the direction the story takes me, but always the first scene and the last scene stick.

Thank you so much for having me!

STRW Author BookSynopsis

What’s life without a little risk?

Or a lot of risk, if you’re Sebastian Carlisle. He’ll never live up to the legacy of his dead brother, so why try? Being the wild child in a family of stuck-up rich snobs suits him just fine.

Until he meets Micah Burke, and everything changes.

Micah’s got too much going on for a relationship. Even if he could trust Sebastian, a distraction—a sexy, reckless distraction with a death wish—would only derail his carefully scheduled life. If it were just Micah, maybe that would be fine, but his mother and sister depend on him, and he can’t let them down. Or at least that’s what he tells himself.

A hot moment leads to a hot night leads to a connection neither of them are ready for. And when a crisis hits Micah’s family hard, Sebastian will have to shed his bad-boy image and decide whether he can be the man Micah needs—and Micah needs to decide whether he’ll let him.

Book two of Letting Go
Pages or Words: 67,000
Categories: M/M Romance, New Adult, Romance

STRW Spotlight Book Excerpt

“I thought I knew what kind of person you were.”
“Yeah, you made that pretty clear.”
Micah cringed, but kept going. “You take for granted everything I work my ass off to achieve. It’s easy for you. And now I know there’s more to you than that. I don’t understand your choices, or the need for an adrenaline rush you seem to have.” He held up a hand to keep Sebastian from saying anything. He scooted up, resting his back against the handlebars. “I don’t have to understand. It’s part of who you are.”
“Somehow I don’t think this discussion is heading in a direction I’m going to like.” Sebastian drew his knees to his chest and wrapped his arms around them.
“The thing is, you’re a bad influence on me.”
“I don’t—”
“You don’t even have to do anything. Take tonight, for instance.”
“Tonight?”
“I have a midterm tomorrow. I should be studying. Or even sleeping. Instead I’m here. I never have trouble doing what I’m supposed to do. Setting aside my ‘want tos’ to do my ‘have tos.’ Except around you.”
“I’m not trying to make your life harder. I’m just trying to be part of it.”
“That’s what I don’t get. You could have almost anyone. You could find someone a hell of a lot less complicated than me.”
“You may not believe it, but I don’t mind complications.”

STRW Author Bio and Contacts

j. leigh bailey is an office drone by day and the author of New Adult and Young Adult LGBT Romance by night. She can usually be found with her nose in a book or pressed up against her computer monitor. A book-a-day reading habit sometimes gets in the way of… well, everything…but some habits aren’t worth breaking. She’s been reading romance novels since she was ten years old. The last twenty years or so have not changed her voracious appetite for stories of romance, relationships and achieving that vitally important Happy Ever After. She’s a firm believer that everyone, no matter their gender, age, sexual orientation or paranormal affiliation deserves a happy ending.

She wrote her first story at seven, which was, unbeknownst to her at the time, a charming piece of fan-fiction in which Superman battled (and defeated, of course) the nefarious X Luther. She was quite put out to be told, years later, that the character’s name was actually Lex. Her second masterpiece should have been a best-seller, but the action-packed tale of rescuing her little brother from an alligator attack in the marshes of Florida collected dust for years under the bed instead of gaining critical acclaim.

Now she writes New Adult and Young Adult LGBT Romance novels about boys traversing the crazy world of love, relationships and acceptance.

Where to find the author:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jennifer.bailey.39948
Facebook Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/JLeighBailey
Twitter: http://twitter.com/JenniWrites

STRW Spotlight Contest Header

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: An eBook copy of Nobody’s Hero (Letting Go book 1) and an eBook copy of Reckless Hope.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Link and prizes provided by the author and Pride Promotions.

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Tour Dates & Stops:
24-Aug

Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Velvet Panic, Vampires, Werewolves, and Fairies, Oh My

25-Aug

Hearts on Fire, Havan Fellows

26-Aug

Amanda C. Stone, Divine Magazine

27-Aug

V’s Reads, Boys on the Brink Reviews, BFD Book Blog

28-Aug

EE Montgomery, Bayou Book Junkie

31-Aug

Happily Ever Chapter, The Fuzzy, Fluffy World of Chris T. Kat

1-Sep

MM Good Book Reviews, Cathy Brockman Romances, Jessie G. Books

2-Sep

Dawn’s Reading Nook, Book Reviews and More by Kathy, Hearts on Fire

3-Sep

Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Inked Rainbow Reads

4-Sep

Just Love Romance, Molly Lolly

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Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Velvet Panic, Vampires, Werewolves, and Fairies, Oh My
25-Aug
Hearts on Fire, Havan Fellows
26-Aug
Amanda C. Stone, Divine Magazine
27-Aug
V’s Reads, Boys on the Brink Reviews, BFD Book Blog
28-Aug
EE Montgomery, Bayou Book Junkie
31-Aug
Happily Ever Chapter, The Fuzzy, Fluffy World of Chris T. Kat
1-Sep
MM Good Book Reviews, Cathy Brockman Romances, Jessie G. Books
2-Sep
Dawn’s Reading Nook, Book Reviews and More by Kathy, Hearts on Fire
3-Sep
Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Inked Rainbow Reads
4-Sep
Just Love Romance, Molly Lolly