An Alisa Release Day Review: Camouflage by Jon Keys

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Rating:  3.5 stars out of 5

 

camouflagefs_v1Nash Gallo and Luke Meyers seem like complete opposites on the surface. Nash is a city boy from Atlanta, while Luke is a rancher from rural Oklahoma. Nash is covered in tattoos and piercings, while Luke is self-conscious about his muscular, hairy body. Luke doesn’t have much sexual experience with other men, while Nash has plenty to go around.

 

But both men are lonely, and neither of them has ever been in love.

 

They also both have secrets. For Luke, it’s his shame over an affair with a local closeted and married man, something Nash accepts. Will Luke be as tolerant of what Nash is hiding—his job as a prostitute back in Georgia?

 

A week-long vacation on Luke’s ranch and the idyllic landscapes surrounding it gives both men the chance to relax and explore the attraction growing between them. But can the budding relationship survive secrets and small-town prejudices? As they search for the place where their lives might intersect, Nash and Luke risk far worse than broken hearts.

 

This story seems that it would be complete opposites attract, but not quite.  Nash may seem like the epitome of city boy with the tattoos and piercings, but he grew up in a small town near an army base until he was forced to leave for being gay.  He loves the quietness of Luke’s ranch and the company of the unassuming rancher, but knows his time is limited before he has to go back to his life.

 

Nash and Luke have been video chatting for months and when Nash gets assaulted by his latest John he takes Luke’s offer of a place to stay as the perfect opportunity to get away and heal for awhile.  Luke will do anything for a friend, but can be the shyest person around and for all that Luke has been out forever he has never been on a date or anything for his small minded town to see.  Both of these characters need to heal, but need each other to grow.

 

We get to see both of these character’s points of view, which helps to know what the characters are thinking.  Luke is very open and tells Nash everything about his past and is amazed as Nash’s acceptance.  Nash is open about his youth, but keeps a tight lid on his life in Atlanta; he waits until just before he is to leave before he opens up to Luke about his life because he doesn’t want to see the man he loves look down on him.  I love that it takes the wisdom of and old woman for Nash to decide to not just give up but to fight for them.

 

Cover art by LC Chase gives great visuals of the characters for the story.

 

Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | B&N

 

Book Details:

ebook, 200 pages

Published: January 20, 2017 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN-13: 9781635332339

Edition Language: English

Jon Keys on his Characters Backgrounds and Camouflage, his latest release (author guest blog)

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Camouflage by Jon Keys
D
reamspinner Press

Cover Artist L.C. Chase

Available for Purchase at

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Also in Dreamspinner Press paperback

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Jon Keys today as he talks about his characters in his latest release, Camouflage.  Welcome, Jon!

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Introductions

Thanks so much for letting me visit on the release of my newest novel, Camouflage. This is my first contemporary story in a few years and after months of polishing, and help from the great editors at Dreamspinner Press, I’m thrilled with the final version.

I thought you would be interested in more of Luke’s background. Our cowboy has lived on the same ranch for most of his life and inherited it when his grandparents passed away five or six years ago. His parents died in a tragic automobile wreck when he was a toddler. He was so young his grandparents became the people he thought of as his parents. He’d also told them he was gay while he was a senior in high school. They were surprised. He didn’t act the way they imagined. He was so involved with his sports, and his livestock. But they adjusted to the idea and became his biggest supporters.

Chris, who has been his friend since they were toddlers, was the first person he came out to. It wasn’t a surprise to her though. He had stammered and stuttered through ten minutes of false starts before he’d got out “I’m gay”. Chris’s response? “Well yeah. So what? I wasn’t looking to date you.” They had the same interests, roping, livestock, things like that. But they had each other’s back, regardless.

Luke had a crush on one of his classmates in college too. He had it bad. Blake was about the same height as Luke, but without the muscles from wrestling. He always wore Wranglers that were tight enough to leave little to the imagination. His short blond hair and deep tan got Matt’s motor running. He crushed on Blake for several years and was the source of a lot of fantasies. But the reality was Blake belonged to a church with very narrow view of same-sex relationships. When they were juniors, Blake married a girl from his hometown and they drifted apart.

So there are a few more details about Luke, and more insight into how he got where he was. I hope you enjoy the story of Luke and Nash’s relationship.

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Blurb:

Nash Gallo and Luke Meyers seem like complete opposites on the surface. Nash is a city boy from Atlanta, while Luke is a rancher from rural Oklahoma. Nash is covered in tattoos and piercings, while Luke is self-conscious about his muscular, hairy body. Luke doesn’t have much sexual experience with other men, while Nash has plenty to go around.

But both men are lonely, and neither of them has ever been in love.

They also both have secrets. For Luke, it’s his shame over an affair with a local closeted and married man, something Nash accepts. Will Luke be as tolerant of what Nash is hiding—his job as a prostitute back in Georgia?

A week-long vacation on Luke’s ranch and the idyllic landscapes surrounding it gives both men the chance to relax and explore the attraction growing between them. But can the budding relationship survive secrets and small-town prejudices? As they search for the place where their lives might intersect, Nash and Luke risk far worse than broken hearts.

Author Bio

Jon Keys’ earliest memories revolve around books; with the first ones he can recall reading himself being “The Warlord of Mars” and anything with Tarzan. (The local library wasn’t particularly up to date.) But as puberty set in he started sneaking his mother’s romance magazines and added the world of romance and erotica to his mix of science fiction, fantasy, Native American, westerns and comic books.

A voracious reader for almost half a century, Jon has only recently begun creating his own flights of fiction for the entertainment of others. Born in the Southwest and now living in the Midwest, Jon has worked as a ranch hand, teacher, computer tech, roughneck, designer, retail clerk, welder, artist, and, yes, pool boy; with interests ranging from kayaking and hunting to painting and cooking, he draws from a wide range of life experiences to create written works that draw the reader in and wrap them in a good story.

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Excerpt from Camouflage

Nash watched Luke as they drove down the road toward town. He’d looked good at the airport, at least what Nash could remember before Luke ran through the pouring rain, but once he cleaned up he was outstanding. The pullover shirt tapered to his hips, and Nash licked his lips in appreciation. Even more importantly, he seems like a nice guy. Not that I’m a great judge.

“So what do you think?”

Nash jumped, afraid he’d been busted. But he realized the question wasn’t what he’d thought when Luke motioned at the scenery that rolled past.

“The house is cool. I mean, you have all that space to yourself. It’s so quiet too. I don’t know how I’m going to sleep without sirens and squealing brakes.”

Luke fixed his eyes on the road ahead, his knuckles white on the steering wheel. “Yeah. It’s quiet most of the time.”

“Sorry. I forgot how you got it.”

“It’s okay. I just miss them a lot.”

Nash reached over, patted Luke’s leg, and gave it a squeeze. “Sorry, but at least you had someone who loved you.”

Luke started to say something, but Nash interrupted, not wanting him to get too inquisitive. “So, we’re going for barbecue? I love pulled pork.”

“This might be more Texas barbecue than you’re used to. I always get the brisket.”

“And you like their fries, right?”

Luke glanced over at him. “How did you know that?”

“Oh I don’t know, maybe because you told me one night when we were chatting.”

Luke relaxed his grip on the wheel and a grin appeared. “Oh. Yeah, I guess I did.” He looked over to Nash and then refocused on the road. “Makes me wonder what else I’ve told you and forgot.”

Nash chuckled and twisted in the seat so he faced Luke. “Let’s see. You like corn dogs with mustard and ketchup, which is disgusting. You also like to rope, but you can’t help but worry about the calves sometimes. What else….”

“Okay, okay. You’ve made your point. Enough Luke stories. And why don’t I know any of your embarrassing habits?”

Nash’s relaxed moment faded and he turned back to the wall of trees they were driving through. “Nothing worth sharing. Especially nothing as cute as how you got the crescent-shaped scar on your butt.”

“There was nothing cute about that. The damn dog was trying to kill me.”

“It’s the owner’s fault. They make the dogs mean.”

“Whatever. The owner didn’t bite me.”

They drove the rest of the way in silence. The typical small-town business staples rolled past as they got closer to their destination. Looks familiar, a lifetime and a thousand miles ago.

“You hungry?” Luke asked.

Nash’s stomach picked that point to rumble. “From that sound you’d think I was about to starve.”

“Good, ’cause we’re there.” Luke turned into the parking lot as Nash checked out the low-slung building with its simple “BBQ” sign in front. As Luke searched for a parking spot, Nash inhaled the hickory-smoke-laden air. When they rounded the back of the place, Nash spotted the monstrous black behemoth filling the area with the scent of meats of every kind.

They found a place to park and made their way inside. Luke threaded his way to the counter with Nash close behind. A smiling woman with her blonde hair pulled back motioned them closer. “What sounds good tonight, Luke?” she asked.

“I think a couple of the sampler plates and two sweet teas.”

She looked knowingly at Nash. “And fries. He always has fries.”

Luke grinned and shrugged. “Guilty. They’re the best.”

The woman motioned toward an empty table. “Grab a seat and I’ll bring it out to you.”

A short time later Nash had both elbows propped on the table and was halfway through a side of ribs. “You were right. The hot barbecue sauce is killer.”

Luke swallowed the piece of brisket he was working on and looked at Nash. “Told you. The beans are great too. The place isn’t fancy, but it’s delicious food.”

Nash pulled off another rib and gnawed it like an ear of corn. The food was good, but he thought the company was better. Feeling a little ornery, he leaned closer to Luke, making smacking noises, knowing his face was smeared with sauce.

“Hey, what’d you think? Want some of this?”

With a nervous laugh, Luke glanced around them. “Knock it off, you goof. You’ve got barbecue all over you.”

Nash gathered up a few paper towels and wiped his face. After considering Luke, he leaned across the table. “You okay? If me teasing around is making you uncomfortable….”

“No, it’s okay. I don’t mind.”

“Then what’s making you so uptight?”

“They might think it’s more than friends out for barbecue. I haven’t really been out with anyone before.”

“You’ve never been on a date?”

“Not really. I went out a few times in college, but not since coming back.” Luke paused and glanced at Nash before he continued. “Yeah, nothing I’d call a date.

“You’ve been out of college for a while. How could you not date? I thought you were out.”

“Oh, they know, but you know little towns and all their crap. It’s—” Luke stopped, and his eyes locked on the business’s door as it swung open.

Nash wondered what was going on when a mass of people swept through the entrance. They all seemed loud and excited. He watched closely and turned to Luke. “What’s going on? Did everyone get their egg money at once?”

“The high school football game’s over. It’s more important than money, at least around here.”

Nash watched the crowd for a few more seconds before he shrugged. “Doesn’t take much to get some people worked up, I guess.”

“No, it doesn’t.” Luke glanced at the crowd again, and he went rigid.

Nash looked again but couldn’t see anything more than the same milling throng. “What’s wrong?”

“Not a big deal. You ready to go? We could stop for some ice cream at—”

Nash laid his hands on top of one of Luke’s. “You might as well tell me. I’m going to worm it out of you eventually anyway, even if it takes liquor.”

Luke sighed deeply. “I suppose. It’s not like I’ll be able to avoid him the whole time you’re here.”

Nash waited for Luke to continue, but he realized more information wasn’t going to happen soon if he didn’t help it along. So he gave it another shot. “He who? What’s going on? You know you can talk to me. Hell, if it’s making you nervous, text it to me.”

“Yeah, apparently I’m a blabbermouth around you. So, you might as well know. My sort of ex just walked in. Long story.”

“Your ex? I thought….”

“Like I said, it’s complicated. Do you mind if we go somewhere else for dessert?”

Nash considered saying something, then decided against it. Instead he looked over the people, trying to decide which one was Luke’s former lover. His curiosity got the best of him. “Which one?”

“The blond guy with the red shirt that says ‘Stillwell Indians.’”

Nash started chuckling. “You’re kidding me, right? They’re all wearing a red Indians jersey.”

“Him. The guy in the corner….”

Nash looked again, and this time immediately spotted who Luke must be talking about. Almost as tall as Nash, but with the build of a fading high school football star. He was at the center of the mob of men waiting by the door and talking loudly.

Nash glanced at Luke. “The big blond guy everyone seems to want to talk to?”

“Yeah. His name’s Bobby. Robert Doyle.”

In the Spotlight: BA Tortuga’s Ever The Same (exclusive excerpt and contest)

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Ever The Same by BA Tortuga
Release Date: February 27, 2015

Love BA Tortuga?  BA Tortuga’s latest release, Ever the Same, the first in a new series,  maybe  just the story for you.  Check out the exclusive excerpt and don’t forget to enter the contest for a signed paperback copy of Ever the Same!

STRW Author Bio and Contacts

About BA Tortuga:

Texan to the bone and an unrepentant Daddy’s Girl, BA Tortuga spends her days with her basset hounds, getting tattooed, texting her sisters, and eating Mexican food. When she’s not doing that, she’s writing. She spends her days off watching rodeo, knitting and surfing porn sites in the name of research. BA’s personal saviors include her wife, Julia Talbot, her best friend, Sean Michael, and coffee. Lots of coffee. Really good coffee.

Having written everything from fist-fighting rednecks to hard-core cowboys to werewolves, BA does her damnedest to tell the stories of her heart, which was raised in Northeast Texas, but has headed to the high desert mountains. With books ranging from hard-hitting GLBT romance, to fiery menages, to the most traditional of love stories, BA refuses to be pigeon-holed by anyone but the voices in her head.

Where to find the author:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/batortuga
Twitter: @batortuga
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/batortuga/
Other: http://www.batortuga.com
Other: http://batortuga.blogspot.com

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Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Christy Caughie

Sales Links:   Dreamspinner Press   Amazon

About Ever the Same…

Audie Barrack is in it up to his elbows with a sick calf when his son’s school calls. Seems Grainger has gotten into yet another fight. When he walks into the principal’s office, he’s shocked to find his son has been fighting with a little girl named Randi. 

A little girl with one blind dad and one dad who recently passed away. 

Goddammit. 

Dixon has lost his sight, his career, and his husband. Thank God for his brothers, Momma and Daddy, and his little girl, or he would simply give up. The last thing he needs is for Randi to start trouble at school, especially trouble that puts him in contact with another dad who might expect him to be a functional human being.

Dixon is struggling to live as a blind man, Audie is terrified someone might see he has a closet to come out of, and everyone from the school to both men’s families is worried for the men and their children. Unless they get themselves together and commit to change, neither of them stands a chance.

Categories: Contemporary, Fiction, M/M Romance, Western/Cowboy

STRW Spotlight Book Excerpt

 

2 Great Excerpts, Our Exclusive First!

“I’m sorry, Daddy. I am.”

“I know, baby.” He reached out to stroke her hair, finding it with no fumbling. That he didn’t need to see to do. “What is it about this boy that makes you nuts?”

“I don’t know. He looks at me like I’m dirty. Everybody does.”

“Oh, honey, I know it’s hard to be the new kid.”

“No. I mean, yes, but they say it’s wrong to have two dads!”

“That’s because they’re raised by closed-minded assholes that wouldn’t have an original thought if you paid them.” Oh, wait. Had he said that out loud?

She snorted, the sound eerily like her other dad. “Daddy, you said asshole.”

“I did! I’m fired.”

“Out of a cannon. Bang.” He didn’t think she even knew what that meant, but Ron had always said it.

“I miss your dad, kiddo.” Like breathing.

**************************

 

“It’s not like him to pick on someone who’s having a hard time.”

“Of course it’s not. Randi’s the one that’s the vicious little bitch, right?”

Damn, Mr. Snooty could snap.

“Dixon!”

“What? She’s had a shit life for the last year. She lost one of her dads, she had to leave Austin and her friends and her school, and suddenly she’s the fucking bad guy?”

“Hey, I never said my boy was perfect,” Audie said, snarling a little himself. “He’s managed to get to six without trying to kill anyone, though, so this is new. Back off.”

“Enough. No one is saying either of these children are bad. Randi has a huge number of hurdles to overcome, and Grainger is a shy little boy with a tendency to follow the crowd. Neither of these children have mothers at home, and I was hoping we could brainstorm some ways to help Randi feel included with the others.”

This was ridiculous. It wasn’t his fucking job to make sure this asshole’s little brat felt like she didn’t need to punch his son anymore.

“That’s her teacher’s job, Shannon.” Audie was through with this shit. “I’ll tell my boy to stay away from her. Can we go now?”

“Yes. Yes, of course. Mr. White….”

“I’ll talk to her. If it happens again, I’ll… shit, I don’t know what I’ll do. I’ll make it up as I go along.” The guy stood, and his mom handed him a cane. A white cane.

Oh, Jesus fucking Christ. Seriously? Seriously, Grainger picked the kid with a blind dad and a dead….

Wait.

Pages or Words: 256 pages

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Contest: Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: Signed paperback copy of Ever The Same. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.
Link and prizes provided by Pride Promotions.

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