Release Blitz for Nell Iris’ Cinnamon Eyes (excerpt and giveaway)

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Length: 34,679 words
 
Publisher: JMS Books
 
Blurb
 

Cory’s had a rough year struggling with severe depression. He’s desperate to rebuild his shattered life and break away from his demanding family. When his therapist encourages him to do something for himself, he knows exactly what he needs. I want to see Asher again. The best friend Corey ever had who, at fifteen, held Cory’s heart in his hands without knowing it.


Asher’s had a troubled relationship with his father since he came out. Now that Pops is sick, he’s fighting for his right to help or even find out about his father’s health. Then there’s the complication of an ex-boyfriend unwilling to let go.


When Cory and Asher meet again after sixteen years, Cory’s feelings are as strong as ever. But does Asher feel the same?

 
Excerpt
 
When the song ended, I opened my eyes and clapped with the others. He didn’t look up or say anything, just started strumming another slow song on the strings. Judging by the cheers from the room, it was a popular one.


And then he lifted his head, opened his eyes, and started singing.


I gasped.


It was him. Asher.


Both my hands flew to my face and covered my mouth.


Sixteen years later and I still would have recognized him anywhere. The hair was as unruly as ever, and just as rock ‘n’ roll as his voice. The jawline so sharp he could probably cut glass with it. And the nose was still a little too big for his face.


I couldn’t see his green eyes from here, but I remembered them vividly. The pale color of a leaf newly broken out of its bud in spring, was such a stark contrast to his black eyelashes and olive complexion and had always hypnotized me with their beauty.


When he started singing, his voice pulled me out of my initial shock.


Two best friends
Like no one had ever seen before
Always together
happy and troublesome and wild
Sharing scraped knees
and high flying dreams
Carefree as the clouds in the sky
The boy with laughing cinnamon eyes
And I


The words struck a chord inside me. They reminded me of our friendship, all the way down to the scraped knees. Had he written this song? Had our friendship inspired him?


Then one day
he shimmered with a different light
Just one look at him
made my heart ache, stutter and want
I felt the same
pouring from his soul
A longing for more between us
The boy with loving cinnamon eyes
And I


He sang with such emotion, and the pronouns he used didn’t escape me. Asher was singing to a man, and my stomach made a hopeful jump.


Our story
didn’t have a fairytale ending
He had to leave me
and all I could do was to cry
But with no choice
I had to let go
We hugged and were saying goodbye
The boy with grieving cinnamon eyes
And I


I swallowed. I didn’t understand. That sounded just like … I shut down that thought immediately. It couldn’t be.


It’s been years
and my life has never been the same
I’m often wond’ring
what could have been if he’d stayed
Maybe one day
I’ll see him again
In dreams we were never apart
My boy with the sweet cinnamon eyes
And I
My boy with loving cinnamon eyes
And I


After the last chord rang out, the bar was deadly silent for a heartbeat, and then everyone started cheering and clapping and whistling.


Everyone except me.


I folded my arms on the table in front of me and collapsed with my forehead on top of them and my face hidden in the dark space between.


Had I heard what I thought I’d just heard?


Was that song … about us?


Had he had feelings for me too, back then?


The thought made me shake, and I grabbed my elbows and squeezed to keep myself from flying apart. I took a deep breath and didn’t let it out until my lungs screamed and burned in protest. I repeated the process several times until my teeth had stopped chattering and my heart had slowed its furious pace.


I was still hiding when someone cleared their throat in my vicinity.


“Excuse me? Benji said you wanted to talk to me? Are, uh, are you all right?”


His voice was as deep when he spoke as when he sang, and it sent a shiver down my spine, completely different from the previous desperate shaking. I took a deep breath and raised my head. Forcing myself to face him.


At first, he didn’t seem to recognize me. He searched my face for clues, but it only took a few moments for the spark of realization to light up his eyes.


“Cory?” His voice was gravellier than ever. “Cory, is that you?” 

Author Bio


Nell Iris is a romantic at heart who believes everyone deserves a happy ending. She’s a bona fide bookworm (learned to read long before she started school), wouldn’t dream of going anywhere without something to read (not even the ladies room), loves music (and singing along but let’s face it, she’s not Celine Dion), and is a real Star Trek nerd (Make it so). She loves words, poetry, wine, and Sudoku, and absolutely adores elephants!


Nell believes passionately in equality for all regardless of race, gender or sexuality, and wants to make the world a better, less hateful, place.


Nell is a 40-something bisexual Swedish woman, married to the love of her life, and a proud mama of a grown daughter. She left the Scandinavian cold and darkness for warmer and sunnier Malaysia a few years ago, where she spends her days writing, surfing the Internet, enjoying the heat, and eating good food. One day she decided to chase her life long dream of being a writer, sat down in front of her laptop, and wrote a story about two men falling in love.


Nell Iris writes gay romance, prefers sweet over angsty, and wants to write diverse and different characters.


http://www.nelliris.com/
https://www.facebook.com/nellirisauthor/
https://twitter.com/nellirisauthor/
https://www.pinterest.com/nelliris/

 

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A MelanieM Pre-Release Review: House of Cards (Porthkennack #4) by Garrett Leigh

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Calum Hardy’s life has unravelled. Reeling from the betrayal of a man he once loved, he boards a train heading south, with no real idea where he’s going except a world away from London.

Brix Lusmoore can hardly believe his eyes when he spots one of his oldest friends outside Truro station. He hasn’t seen Calum since he fled the capital himself four years ago, harbouring a life-changing secret. But despite the years of silence, their old bond remains, warm and true—and layered with simmering heat they’ve never forgotten.

Calum takes refuge with Brix and a job at his Porthkennack tattoo shop. Bit by bit, he rebuilds his life, but both men carry the ghosts of the past, and it will take more than a rekindled friendship and the magic of the Cornish coast to chase them away.

There’s a phrase that get’s uttered here whenever Brix or someone feels that a person has been charmed or perhaps conned even by a Lusmoore’s abilities to sway you over, they say “you’ve been Lusmoored”.  That I have by this place and people, this story. Everything about Garrett Leigh’s House of Cards resonates with me.  From the cornish seaside town of Porthkennack (mythically created for this series yet so believably alive), the harsh sea that calls to the residents, bringing them home, the characters Leigh created that I’ll not forget, or their love story that I’ll soon return to, House of Cards is one of those stories that I’ll always love.

In Calum Hardy and Brix Lusmoore, Leigh has created two damaged men that life tore apart and now ten years later throws back together just when each will need them the most.  On the surface, it’s Calum, so desperate for a life raft.  The author makes his pain, his feelings of low or no self esteem vivid, his vulnerability real and aching.  Years of  domestic abuse under the influence of his bullying, dominant boyfriend has reduced him to the point he’s turned everything over to him, finances, beloved tattoo shop…life choices to the event that breaks him and sends him fleeing.  Garrett has us with him every step of the way.

Switching perspectives, we get Brix Lusmoore, in demand tattoo artist and owner of his own shop in the village.  Brix is as full of complexities as they come, with the depth of the sea behind him.  I adore this man and his family.  The Lusmoores are an ancient Cornish family, their roots almost as old as the island rocks, some still carrying on the old ways that have served them so well in the past, ways not terribly legal.  It’s a fine line that Brix walks here with them.  Then there are the chooks, the rescue hens that are a vital element for the story and a tie for the villagers too.  A rescue line that works both ways for more than one person in this story.  Brix has his own pain and secrets to reveal as the title of the story indicates.

There is no quick romance here.  There can’t be under the circumstances.  Both men are too heavily damaged, too much needs to be revealed, too much healing needs to be done.  But it happens, quietly, beautifully and as it should.

The writing is so wonderful, the storytelling flows so naturally that it went by far too quickly in my eyes.  I could have stayed within this universe, within Porthkennack,  helping to rescue more chooks for many more stories.  A book you take to heart will make you feel that way.  House of Cards is one of those.  I highly recommend it!

Cover art by GD Leigh is gorgeous and perfect for the character and setting.

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 249 pages
Published July 17th 2017 by Riptide Publishing
Original TitleHouse of Cards
ISBN 1626495440 (ISBN13: 9781626495449)
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesPorthkennack #4

In Our Contemporary Romance Spotlight: The Other Five Percent by Quinn Anderson (giveaway)

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The Other Five Percent by Quinn Anderson
Riptide Publishing
Cover by: Natasha Snow

Read an Excerpt/Buy it Here at Riptide Publishing

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Quinn Anderson’s tour for The Other Five Percent.  Happy Reading!

Hello, everyone! This is Quinn Anderson, author of The Other Five Percent and the Murmur Inc. series. Thanks so much for following my blog tour. I’m thrilled to be here and to talk about my latest novel, coming out July 10th. Stay tuned for fun facts about The Other Five Percent, an inside peek at writing it, and to find out more about our dashing leading men. Leave comments on the tour posts for a chance to win a $10 Riptide Publishing gift card!

About The Other Five Percent

Logan Vanderveer has a joke he’s been telling since college: he’s ninety-five percent straight. He did some experimenting in school, but none of the men he fooled around with inspired him to abandon “the plan”: meet a nice girl, get married, and settle down, just like his parents always said.

None of them except Ellis Floyd, who aroused desires and feelings that scared Logan. So much so that he abandoned their burgeoning relationship just as it might have become something. But four years later, Ellis is back, and Logan finds himself questioning his sexuality in a big way.

Ellis doesn’t fit into Logan’s plan. He’s happy being a starving artist, whereas Logan has sold his soul to corporate America. Ellis is ripped jeans, and Logan is tailored suits. And, most notably, Ellis is out. But seeing him again is dredging up memories—like how it feels to kiss Ellis, and that time they almost went all the way. With chemistry like theirs, Logan isn’t sure he can—or should—keep ignoring the other five percent.

Now available from Riptide Publishing! http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/the-other-five-percent

About Quinn Anderson

Quinn Anderson is an alumna of the University of Dublin in Ireland and has a master’s degree in psychology. She wrote her dissertation on sexuality in popular literature and continues to explore evolving themes in erotica in her professional life.

A nerd extraordinaire, she was raised on an unhealthy diet of video games, anime, pop culture, and comics from infancy. She stays true to her nerd roots in writing and in life and frequently draws inspiration from her many fandoms, which include Sherlock, Harry Potter, Supernatural, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Buffy, Marvel, and more. You will often find her interacting with fellow fans online and offline via conventions and tumblr, and she is happy to talk about anything from nerd life to writing tips. She has attended conventions on three separate continents and now considers herself a career geek. She advises anyone who attends pop culture events in the UK to watch out for Weeping Angels, as they are everywhere.

Her favorite television show is Avatar: the Last Airbender, her favorite film is Tangled, and her favorite book is Ella Enchanted. She can often be spotted at conventions, comic shops, and midnight book releases. If you’re at an event, and you see a 6’2” redhead wandering around with a vague look on her face, that’s probably her. Her favorite authors include J.K. Rowling, Gail Carson Levine, Libba Bray, and Tamora Pierce. When she’s not writing, she enjoys traveling, cooking, spending too much time on the internet, screwing the rules, finding the Master Sword, guided falling, consulting for the NYPD, guarding the galaxy, boldly going, and catching ’em all.

Connect with Quinn:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/AuthorQuinnAnderson/

Tumblr: quinnandersonwrites

Giveaway

To celebrate the release of The Other Five Percent, one lucky winner will receive a $10 Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on July 15, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

A VVivacious Review: Regret (Under My Skin #1) by Christina Lee

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Rating: 4.5 Stars out of 5
 
Nicholas “Nick” Dell and Brian “Brin” Schubert have history together. But neither thought that they would ever see the other again. When Brin’s apartment is flooded and his friend offers to let him stay at his place little does he know that his friend’s roommate would be none other than Nick himself.
 
As these two find themselves in each-others’ sphere of influence, they find it hard to deny their chemistry but will Nick, still struggling to come to terms with his guilt and regret, manage to start living in time to give this relationship a chance? Or will Brin decide that once was quite enough and he isn’t ready to have his heart in peril again
 
This story is wonderful. It has got everything, a wonderful story which is very well executed along with characters that make you feel. This book made for an amazing read.
 
My best part about this book is that it gets you so invested in Brin and Nick’s life that you can’t help but feel. This book just gave me so many feels it was amazing how much I connected with these characters. Another great thing about this book was balance. It often happens that books get skewed in their priority over one character especially if that character happens to be struggling in any way. In this book it is definitely Nick who struggles but despite the fact that Nick is still learning how to live, I liked how the author didn’t allow Nick’s struggles to overshadow Brin. I absolutely loved the fact that while Nick was dealing with a lot of baggage and emotional weight, Brin was simultaneously dealing with his own emotional wounds while trying to reconnect with his father.
 
Another amazing detail to this book is both the characters’ relationships with their parents I felt like there was a lot of truth to those relationships. Like how Brin tries to reconnect with his father and how Nick has to learn from his mother about how it is probably time to start living.
 
This book was pretty amazing with its character development. We get to see so many people grow especially Brin, his father, Nick and his mother. These four characters grew a lot over the course of this book and it was particularly amazing to see how the author handled Brin’s father and Nick’s mother in such beautiful ways giving them their own space to tell their story.
 
But the thing I most undoubtedly loved about this book was Nick’s journey his emotional journey is just so vivid and well-crafted it moved me to tears. The great thing about this book is that the story is very simple but in all its simplicity it is incredibly elegant and graceful. It was a thing of beauty to read about these two characters and their journey to love. With Nick it was a matter of great precision to get his story right without overdoing the emotion, I liked the way the author handled the build-up to the reveal. She didn’t overdo it so that the reveal would fall flat but she didn’t undersell it either so that when you are reading the moment you are moved but it is just part of the crescendo you were already riding.
 
On the whole, this story was such a delight. It was amazing and I loved Brin and Nick’s story.
 
Cover Art by Kanaxa Editing. Oh! I love the cover for this one.
Sales Link:  Amazon
Book Details:
Kindle Edition, 235 pages
Published June 25th 2017 by Christina Lee
Original TitleRegret
ASINB073B59969
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesUnder My Skin #1

A MelanieM Review: Accepting The Fall by Meg Harding

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Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5

Confronting the past is never easy.

Cole Whitaker is happy. He has the job and boyfriend he always wanted. His heart’s in no danger of being broken, and he can’t ask for more from life. As a kindergarten teacher, he sees it all; however, one troublesome student has him reaching out to the parent, wanting to help. There’s something about Savanah that tugs at his heartstrings.

He never expected her father.

Zander Brooks hasn’t had an easy life, and he’s made some mistakes. Freshly retired from the military and working as a firefighter, Zander thought he’d left Cole in the rearview mirror. He’s not expecting him to appear in St. Petersburg, Florida, of all places, teaching his daughter’s kindergarten class. Suddenly, his biggest mistake is being shoved in his face.

This is Zander’s chance to close a door he’d never fully shut, but time with his former flame might change his mind.

Meg Harding has done a great job with Accepting the Fall.  Its enjoyable so many levels.  You have the lovers reunited storyline and the second chance at love, which are always favorites of mine.  Plus Zander Brooks, one of the main characters, has been handed the unexpected role of father in the fiery, troubled form of five year old Savanah Emerson, dropped of by her mother with her birth certificate and a wave goodbye.  So we have a father/daughter new dynamic in play as well.  So many layers here in this story and the author does a beautiful job of weaving them in and out, juggling the new/returning romance with the demands of new fatherhood.

The other mc?  Cole?  He just so happens to be Savanah’s kindergarten teacher, dealing with an angry child with abandonment issues and just maybe her father as well.  Here Cole and Zander must pry apart their past issues before they can move  forward, both as lovers and for Zander, as a parent.  Harding brings in a terrific counselor, one I would wish for in many a school or child in this situation.  Through the counselor, Harding gets to work through all the emotional issues of child abandonment/abuse and its repercussions on children now and into adulthood (with Zander). Its handled with sensitivity and impact.

I loved the romance here as well.  Cole and Zander have issues to work out, so while the attraction is as strong as it was in the past, they work into it, also mindful of the child in the middle.  Plus they are hot, hot, together.

Ah, Cole, he’s a wonder of a character.  The teacher everyone would have wanted in kindergarten,  with a house and yard full of rescued animals, Cole also has a past beyond Zander, one that bugged that heck out of me. Why?  Because with the hints, mentions of it, and an actual “I’ll tell you later” which never happens”, we don’t find out what happened to him.  It’s the main reason this book didn’t get a 5 star rating.  There’s this HUGE mystery about Cole, it’s mentioned repeatedly throughout the story and I kept waiting for the bomb to drop and it never did.  Then I thought, ok, there’s  going to be another story after this.  Nope, we got an Epilogue which sort of eliminated that.  So why bring it up at all?  You have a great story, leave unanswered things like this out if you aren’t going to resolve them.  Or don’t make them such a big deal.  Either way irritated the heck out of me and still does.

So minus that narrative kerfuffle I mentioned above, I loved this story.  It’s sweet, heart-warming, romantic and layered.  It’s one I definitely recommend.  Pick up Accepting the Fall by Meg Harding and get started today.

Cover art by Black Jazz Design doesn’t really speak to the story, the age of the characters or anything.  Meh.

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 286 pages
Published June 8th 2017 by Oceanside Press
ASINB0725DR2FM
Edition LanguageEnglish

Release Blitz & Review Tour: While You See A Chance by Alexa Milne (excerpt and giveaway)

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Buy Links: Manifold | Amazon US | Amazon UK


Publisher: Manifold Press


Length: 58,000 words


Blurb

As children growing up in South Wales, Sion, Phil and Helen were known as the Three Musketeers, always together and never apart – but time moves on. Sion left to lecture in history at Yale. Phil married Helen because it seemed the obvious thing to do, and they settled down to life in Manchester.


Now all three are approaching sixty. After the death of his partner, and wanting to solve a family mystery, Sion returns to his childhood home to start again. When Helen announces she wants a divorce, Phil also returns home, to a new teaching job, and to renovate the ruin of a house he and Sion once dreamed of living in.


Neither man knows the other is back. Neither man knows how the other feels. With so much unsaid, and so many years apart, can Sion and Phil finally face the truth and take a chance on finding happiness together?


Excerpt

“D’you want help with packing your shopping, sir?” the girl on the till asked in a sing-song voice typical of the area.

“No, thanks, I haven’t got much.” He pulled off a few plastic bags, a difference from the usual brown paper of American supermarkets. In a hurry, he didn’t pay much attention to the people around until a voice, that came from so long ago, distracted him. He lifted his head.

“You have to pay five pence each for those, sir. New rules.”

Sion turned his attention back to the girl. “That’s fine. Don’t worry.”

“You could get a bag for life, sir.”

“Whatever’s easiest.”

He glanced over to the other till in the direction of the voice where a large man stood stuffing his purchases into a bag. He stood well over six feet, with broad shoulders, which Sion supposed tapered down to narrower hips. A heavy suede coat covered the man’s rear, making it hard to tell. His luxuriant salt and pepper locks reflected the many shades that older ginger-haired men often had when mixed with grey. Strands curled over the fur collar of his coat. Something familiar about the man made Sion’s senses tingle.

The assistant at the other till spoke to the customer. “That’ll be eighteen seventy-four please, Mr Price, and I’ll see you at parents’ evening tonight. I hope Jamie’s been behaving himself this term.”

Sion’s breath hitched, and the girl on his till gave him a puzzled look as he turned away. The noise he’d made must have been more audible than he’d intended. Now he was absolutely certain of the man’s identity, even if he hadn’t seen his face. He leaned on the counter and took a deep breath, hoping to slow his racing pulse.

“Are you all right, sir?” the girl asked. “I guess with that accent you’re not from around here. On holiday, is it? It’s a lovely part of Wales, even at this time of year. Lots to do.”

“Yes, sorry, and no, I’ve just moved here,” he said, raising his head to meet her concerned gaze, but keeping his face down. “How much do I owe?”

The girl told him and he handed over the money in a hurry, not wanting to lose sight of the other man. Sion followed his childhood friend until he stopped behind a Land Rover near the entrance. Shaking slightly, Sion moved nearer.

“Phil?” he asked quietly, not wanting to make the man jump.

“What the – ?” Phil stared at him then rubbed his eyes as if he couldn’t quite believe them.

The shock on his friend’s face made Sion step back for a moment. He took in the figure in front of him. Phil had turned into a huge bear of a man, complete with beard. He’d always had the height, but now he had the breadth as well. Sion imagined his size might intimidate the small children in his charge. Now, Phil simply stared, his eyes wide with shock, then took a step backwards as if he’d seen a ghost.

“It’s me, Phil,” Sion said. He supposed he’d also changed over the last thirty years. His hair, now grey, was cut short at the sides but longer on top. He’d put on a few pounds since his teens, but remained lean and wiry, although more through luck and genetics, than diet and exercise.

“Bloody hell.” Phil continued staring, then put out his hand. Sion took it, and they stood shaking and saying nothing for an awkward moment. “My God, Sion, hmm, I’m sorry, I wasn’t expecting … What on earth are you doing here? Are you here for Christmas?”

“I’ve just bought a house locally. I’m back to stay. I guess I’m the last person you expected to find out shopping. Mind you, I could say the same for you. I thought you lived up north.”

“I’ve been back four years. I’m head at a local primary school. When Helen and I got divorced, I decided to come home to Wales. So, why on earth are you here of all places?”

Sion had to collect his thoughts and process that information. Phil and Helen had split up? Come on, get your act together. “I decided to move back after … It doesn’t matter for now, it’s a long story. Look, why don’t you and I have dinner tonight and catch up? There must be a decent local restaurant – unless you’re busy, of course. Sorry, that was presumptuous of me.”

Phil lifted the bag into his car then slammed the boot closed. “No … I mean yes. I’m sorry, I can’t do tonight. I’ve got to get going. I slipped out at lunchtime to get a few bits and pieces for parents’ evening.”

Sion heard the shake in his old friend’s voice, but resisted the temptation to reach out and touch him again. “It’s okay,” Sion said, reaching into his pocket for his wallet. He took out a change-of-address card. “I live here now. Call me any time.”

Sion waited while Phil parked the trolley in the bay to the front of the building and returned to his car.

“I will, but I’m not sure when. It’s a busy time of year, leading up to the holidays.” Phil glanced at his watch. “I’ve got to go.”

Sion moved closer and this time touched the other man’s arm. “It’s so good to see you again.”

Phil continued to stare at the ground, obviously unable to look him in the eye. “You too, but I must get off. I’ll call as soon as I can.” Phil jumped into his car without looking back.

Sion watched the Land Rover pull out of the car park before returning to his SUV. Sitting in the driver’s seat, he reached for his wallet again. Tucked away inside, he found the photo he’d carried with him for over thirty years, taken the day before he went off on his own to Oxford University. Everyone had called them the Three Musketeers, himself, Phil and Helen, always together, sharing everything except their deepest darkest secrets. Sion had loved Phil with a passion, but had never told him. Phil and Helen had gone off together to Manchester University, and had married not long after they’d graduated. Not wanting to stay, Sion had emigrated to America to lecture in history at Yale.

Leaning back in his seat, he thought back to the conversation he’d had with Helen the day before he’d left for Oxford. He’d often wondered if she ever told Phil about his confession that, being gay, he could never feel that way about her. Sion hoped she hadn’t. He’d been surprised to hear of their engagement, but hoped she’d come to love Phil. For the truth and tragedy of Sion’s life was that he’d only ever been in love with one person, and he’d just watched him drive away.

Author Bio


Originally from South Wales, Alexa has lived for over thirty years in the North West of England. Now retired, after a long career in teaching, she devotes her time to her obsessions. Alexa began writing when her favourite character was killed in her favourite show. After producing a lot of fanfiction she ventured into original writing. She is currently owned by a mad cat and spends her time writing about the men in her head, watching her favourite television programmes and usually crying over her favourite football team.

 

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BA Tortuga on Enchiladas, Austin and her latest story, Best New Artist (guest post)

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Best New Artist by B.A. Tortuga
D
reamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Alexandria Corza

 

Available for Purchase at

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is very happy to host BA Tortuga, talking about her latest release Best New Artist.  Welcome, BA.

🎤

So, enchiladas.

Now, I know. I hear that my books make people all the time. I admit it. I’m a ‘food is love’ person.

I feed people because it’s one of the ways I express myself. I’m a better than average cook and so is my wife.

I tell you this because we are a weird, psycho convergence of enchiladas.

No, really.

You see, I grew up with what we called “Terrie’s enchiladas”. These were rolled flour tortillas stuffed with a mixture of beef and cheese and covered with chile con carne.

Then I moved to Austin and rolled corn tortillas with beef and ranchero sauce were like heaven on earth.


Seriously.

Amaya’s in Austin has the absolute best. Go. Try some.

I learned to make ranchero sauce from scratch, and I branched out to chicken enchiladas with sour cream sauce.

Bring on ye olde wife. Grins

She makes her enchiladas flat, with green chile and a fried egg on top.

Can y’all see my problem? Seriously.

So  now we have this hybridization of  sorts. Sometimes we have flat ground beef with green chili. Sometimes we have chicken. Sometimes we have rolled cheese with red sauce.

I tell you this because in my books I remember the places that were wonderful, the foods that were wonderful, and the joy that I had sharing it with people who came to visit.

So when I’m writing about Austin, like in Best New Artist, I’m talking about places like Amaya’s, where I used to go and pick up enchiladas about once a month for the girls at the office. They came in these round foil containers topped with paper, and I would get them out to the car and have to drive all the way back downtown to the library and get them down out of the parking garage and up into the fourth floor office without spilling anything or burning myself or letting them get too cold (which most the time in Austin is an issue).  Once we would finish lunch, the entire office would smell like enchiladas the rest of the afternoon.

Or there is dose sauces. I would be lying if I didn’t say I missed their Mexican martinis so much.

Of course, y’all do know the old saying, right? A Texan’s favorite Mexican food place is the one that’s the closest to his house.

Much love, y’all.

BA

 About Best New Artist

Kasey “Tuff” Tuffman just told Nashville to kiss his you know what. After winning Best New Artist at an award show, he knows it’s time to head back home to Texas. So after a very public meltdown, Tuff makes his way to Austin, where the Red Dirt music lives large.

Jonah Littlejohn once loved KT more than anything in the world. When KT loses it on national TV, Jonah knows he has to reach out and offer his home studio as a place to heal and make music. A bad relationship has left Jonah broken and wary of romance, but he wants to help his old lover out.

Seeing Jonah again proves to Tuff that he’s made the right decision. Now all he has to do is convince Jonah that they’re the most perfect duet there’s ever been.

About BA Tortuga

Texan to the bone and an unrepentant Daddy’s Girl, BA Tortuga spends her days with her basset hounds and her beloved wife, 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 Pinterest 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 heard the call of the  high desert and lives in the Sandias. 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. Find her on the web at www.batortuga.com

Cover Reveal for Take A Chance by Megs Pritchard (cover reveal and excerpt)

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Title: Take A Chance
Series: Second Chance Series
Author: Megs Pritchard
Genre: M/M Romance
Release Date: April 7, 2017 

 


Tom Carter
Kicked out at fifteen for being gay, Tom survived by selling his body on the streets. Four years later, Tom, now nineteen, doesn’t know how long he can continue living this life.
One night while out working, Tom sees a face from his past, one he had long forgotten. One he had used to fantasise about.
Sebastian Banks
Afraid of the reaction he will receive, Tom runs away hoping never to see him again. But Seb had other ideas.


Seb Banks
At twenty-five, Seb’s life is going exactly the way he had wanted. Having worked hard at University, Seb has been offered a permanent contract at a local solicitor.
While driving to a friend’s house to celebrate, Seb is shocked to find Tom, someone he hasn’t seen in years, on the streets, selling himself.
Feeling an overwhelming need to help Tom, Seb tracks him down and offers him a way out.
Is Tom willing to take a chance on Seb and accept his offer, or will his distrust of everyone from his past cause him to push Seb away?

Dodging a group of people who were already drunk, as they stumbled out of Via, Tom continued towards the end of Canal Street before heading towards Piccadilly Gardens. Not the safest of areas but one he knew well, and he knew the people who worked there both male and female.


As he was walking along, a car pulled up beside him. Tom turned towards the car and plastered a fake smile on his face as he walked over to the window. Leaning over, he saw who it was. “For fuck’s sake!” he muttered. “What do you want?” he asked as he pushed away from the car.

 

Seb parked up and got out, leaving the door open. “What? You working?”
“Actually, yeah I am, and you’re scaring away all the punters, so fuck off!”
Seb grabbed him and shouted, “No, I won’t.” He took a deep breath. “I won’t let you walk away again. I want to help. I’m not like your parents, and it doesn’t have to be like this. You don’t have to sell yourself. I don’t know what it’s been like for you, but there has to be something better than this.”
What. The. Fuck! “No, you don’t know what it’s been like for me!” screamed Tom. “My parents, they threw me out like yesterday’s rubbish, they didn’t give a shit. I was fifteen, man, how the hell was I supposed to look after myself? There’s nothing better for someone like me, so just leave me the fuck alone!”

 

“No, I can’t just walk away knowing what you’re doing. Explain it to me. Why this, Tom? Why turn to this?” Seb asked him with genuine interest shining from his brown eyes.

 

Tom spun away from Seb, looking at his feet while running his hands through his hair, as he paced back and forth in front of him. Talking about his choice to sell himself wasn’t a conversation he wanted to be having, but fuck, he’d made the best he could with what he had, which was nothing. He turned back to Seb as he looked up into the night sky. Closing his eyes, Tom inhaled deeply, holding the air in his lungs. How could he explain why he had resorted to selling himself? What could he say?

 

Tom glanced at Seb and exhaled. “I know this isn’t what you wanted to hear, your brother’s mate, the rent boy, the whore, taking money for blow jobs or back alley fucks.” Tom paused and looked at Seb. “I look in the mirror and see who I am, what I’ve become to pay for food, the occasional roof over my head. I wish things could have been different. I wish they’d accepted me for who I am.” Tom shrugged. “I should have known they’d never accept their son as gay.” Tom laughed bitterly. “Do you know they never even let me get my stuff from my room? I left with the clothes on my back and money from my Saturday job. That was it. That first night on the streets, I didn’t know who to turn to or where to go.” Tom shook his head. “Do you think I want to be gay? Do you think I would choose this life?” 

 

“Tom, I’m—”
“Save it, Seb. Whatever you’re gonna say, don’t,” Tom muttered quietly.
Megs Pritchard lives in England and is a mother to two small boys. When she isn’t working or being mummy, she is busy writing about complex characters that know the harsh realities of life but want a HEA.

 

A lover of M/M and M/F romances she believes everyone deserves to be happy, healthy and loved.

Growing up in a military family, Megs has traveled Europe and has a great deal of respect and gratitude for all the men and women who have and who still serve. Her dream job was to be a Bomb Disposal Expert and even had her own ‘kit’ when she was younger.

She is currently working on her first full length series called Second Chances.

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A Stella Release Day Review: Dating in Retrospect by Lila Leigh Hunter

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RATING 3,75 out of 5 stars

datinginretrospectfs_v1Giving the commencement speech at his alma mater doesn’t fit Clay Keller’s meticulous schedule. As Chief Executive Officer of Travel Mogul—the largest travel connoisseur company on the West Coast—he has no time to get back in touch with his country roots. He left fifteen years ago without a second look, but a medical scare makes him change his mind about the speech and brings him face-to-face with his only regret.

Time always moves slower in Southeastern Iowa, and Aaron Grant loves it. He’s added solar farms to the Grant Lanes portfolio and has been teaching at the local university for a decade. The last thing he needs is to have his tenure application compromised by the return of his ex-boyfriend. If he had known who the commencement speaker would be, he would never have volunteered to be the administration liaison.

A proposal—to date for a year—will help them discover that time changes a person, even when everything else stays the same.

Clay has spent the last fifteen years in LA, he is now back to the town he grew up, the town he left so many years before to follow his dreams away from Iowa and away from Aaron, the boyfriend he left behind and  now wants to reconquer.

I have to admit I had some problems with Dating in Retrospect. I read  Tow Trucks & New Year’s Kisses a couple of months ago and liked it a lot, so I was very happy to have this new release on my Kindle. I think my big issues was with the MCs. I loathed Clay since the first time I saw him, he had the nerve to pretend fifteen years hadn’t passed, he acted like it was yesterday he and Aaron were together. The way he approached his ex-boyfriend was unbelievable, I truly wanted to slap him on the face and I didn’t understand why Aaron didn’t do it.

Then, going on with the reading, I started to love the story a lot. All the dates the couple found time for were very sweet and let me know them better. I followed them in the renewing of the love and desire they had for each other. I quite liked them both and I was able to see Clay from another point of view and I understand his attitude better. Plus the second characters were lovable too, especially Aaron’s dad, he was really a great man, the father all of us should have.

I’m a huge fan of “second chance at love” stories and adult characters. Although with some difficulties, I quite enjoyed Dating in Retrospect and can’t wait to read more by the author.

The cover art by L.C. Chase is adorable and well done. It caught my attention even before I read the blurb.

Sales Links

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BOOK DETAILS

ebook, 107 pages

Expected publication: February 15th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN 1635333059 (ISBN13: 9781635333053)

Edition Language English

State of Love series

A MelanieM Release Day Review: Poppy’s Secret by Andrew Grey

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

poppys-secret-by-andrew-greyA second chance born of love.

Pat Corrigan and Edgerton “Edge” Winters were ready to start a family–or so Pat thought. At the last minute, Edge got cold feet and fled. Pat didn’t bother telling him the conception had already gone through and little Emma was on her way. He didn’t want a relationship based on obligation. He’d rather raise his daughter on his own.

Nine years later, Emma and her Poppy are doing fine. Edge isn’t. He realizes what he threw away by leaving, and he’s back to turn his life around and reclaim his family. It’ll take a lot to prove to Pat that he’s a new man, and even if Edge succeeds, the secret Pat has hidden for years might shatter their dreams all over again.

If you read the blurb, you know the whole story.  Its all there except for how Edge finds out the secret.  Luckily Andrew Grey has  done a fine job telling the story so that you don’t mind knowing what’s coming.

Its nine years after Edge has fled.  Pat and Emma have a full life together, even though its lacking in the romance department for Pat. Pat puts Emma first, something he never had growing up, giving her stability and a parent who’s  always there.  His complicated relationship with his mother who figures huge in this story is one of the reasons I appreciated Poppy’s Secret so.  There are so many layers and complicated family dynamics here and the author neatly intertwines them into his story, using the reality of the past to make various points without painting the mother as a monster or an abuser.  There’s a lot of grey (if you will excuse the pun) and a lot of forgiveness to be found in Poppy’s Secret.

Then Edge moves back into town.  The past literally arrives at Pat’s doorstep bringing with it all the feelings long buried as well as all the peril to his long fought for stability.  The author could have gone for the high drama (yes, there’s some) but instead he chooses the path of adulthood, talking, forgiveness and love.  Yes, there’s the believable anger and pain but how that’s incorporated into the story is another element I just adored.

Poppy’s Secret is  a wonderful, heartwarming story of two men and a child getting a second chance at love together and as a family.  It flows quickly, sweetly, and with all the heart you could want or hope for.  I highly recommend this story.  Need a ‘feel great’ sort of tale?  This one’s for you.

Cover art by Bree Archer is absolutely adorable and perfect for the characters and story.  I want to hug them both.

 

Sales Links

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Book Details:

ebook, 190 pages
Expected publication: February 15th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
Original TitlePoppy’s Secret
Edition LanguageEnglish