Release Day Blitz for Heart2Heart, A Charity Anthology (excerpt)

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HEART 2 HEART ANTHOLOGY 

May Archer * Charlie Cochet * Allison Hendricks * Sloane Kennedy *

Lucy Lennox * Ruthie Luhnow * Lily Morton * Chris Owen *

Poppy Dennison * Hailey Turner * A.E. Wasp 

M/M ROMANCE 

RELEASE DATE: 02.07.18

COVERHeart2Heart-Anthology-Medium

BLURB

Once upon a time, a bunch of authors wondered… What if a dating app that guaranteed you a love match broke down just in time for Valentine’s Day? What if you found yourself on a blind date with a random guy who might be your opposite in every single way? It could be a disaster. Or… When the code breaks down, fate just might take over.

Eleven of your favorite gay romance authors have joined forces to light up your Valentine’s Day with a collection of sweet, sexy, silly, and hot short stories, featuring a wacky cast of characters chosen from your reader suggestions! Morticians and magicians, superheroes and spies, lawyers and lobstermen, will all learn that love has nothing to do with algorithms… and sometimes you find it in the least-likely places.

And the best part? All proceeds from this collection will go to the authors’ favorite LGBTQ charities, to ensure that love in all its incarnations will be celebrated and protected every single day of the year!

It will only be available for 90 days, so Tuesday, May 8th will be the last time you can purchase this anthology.

Over 162k words total, contemporary MM romance

COVER DESIGN:  AngstyG/www.angstyg.com

ANTHOLOGY EDITOR:  Leslie Copeland

 

BUY LINK:  http://getBook.at/Heart2Heart

Charities

CHARITIES 

We are pleased to be donating 100% of our proceeds to 3 wonderful charities:

The Trevor Project: https://www.thetrevorproject.org/

Bisexual Resource Centre: http://biresource.org/

One n Ten: http://onenten.org/

We encourage all readers to learn more about these groups and consider making a donation of your own. Every little bit helps.

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EXCERPT

The Set-up 

How Bailey the geeky programmer lost his focus

 

It was like a scene out of a soda commercial. All of the women (and a few of the men) in the office gathered around and drooled over the sexy eye candy hanging onto the side of the damned building as if the guy was nothing but a sex object.

Fuck, he’s a hot sex object, Bailey thought. I’d like to sex object the hell outta that beefcake.

Bailey himself had been watching the guy for two days now. At first, he assumed the man on the scaffold was a window washer. It was the obvious explanation. Otherwise, why would a man—a beefy, hot, muscled man, ahem—be riding a hanging scaffold on the fifteenth floor of the office building?

But how long, exactly, does it take to wash a few windows? He’d been right outside of Bailey’s cubicle window for two straight days.

Bailey shook his head and tried to focus on his job, ignoring all of the lookie-loos in the space behind his cubicle. He was finalizing the algorithms to be used in Heart2Heart’s new matchmaking software, and it was critical he got the matchmaking algorithms just right in order for the product launch to be a success. He needed to pay attention to what he was doing.

A lot was riding on the Heart2Heart launch. Their big marketing campaign promised love matches just in time for Valentine’s Day, and in order for the actual matches to work, Bailey had to create pristine code that took all of the variables into consideration. He was almost done with the programming. Just cleaning up a few final glitches and he’d be over the last of the hurdles. His plan was to stay late to double-check everything that evening before the software went live after midnight.

His eyes slid over to his cubicle window again and caught sight of thick, tanned forearms flexing above huge, strong man hands. The late afternoon Miami sun shined against the guy’s skin, showing a light sheen of sweat from his work doing… something.

Ungh. You can do something… to me. Get sweaty… with me, Bailey mused, chewing on the end of his pen. He saw one of the man’s large hands grab a screwdriver out of his tool belt. Maybe he’s screwing… something.

The window man looked like he needed to be licked. Like, a lot.

Bailey didn’t realize his elbow had rested on the spacebar while he drooled out the window until he heard an angry series of beeps from his computer.

“Fuck. Shit,” he stammered, focusing again on his monitor and correcting his lapse.

A few minutes later, he heard a thud coming from the window. With his heart racing in fear of something happening to the poor man on the scaffold, Bailey snapped his eyes to the large pane of glass.

The sexy stack of muscles grinned at him and held up a piece of paper.

With a phone number on it.

The hot guy gestured to his cell phone and pointed at Bailey with a flirty grin.

Bailey looked behind him before turning back and pointing at his own chest. Me?

The beefcake nodded and put his finger and thumb up to his ear in the universal gesture of call me.

With trembling hands, Bailey dialed his phone, never taking his eyes off the window man while the man answered his own phone.

“How long do I have to pretend to wash this one window before you notice me?” Window Man asked in a deep, sexy voice.

“Who me?” Bailey squeaked in response.

“Yeah, you,” he said pointing to Bailey through the window and winking at him. The wink tightened Bailey’s pants in an instant.

“Um… I noticed you about two days ago…” Bailey admitted. “Can I help you with something?”

“Yeah. I can’t get your adorable nerdy self outta my head. Please god, tell me you’re gay or bi or something.”

Bailey’s face turned fuchsia and he squeaked again. “Gay. Mm-hm. Yeah. Gay.”

“What’s your name, gorgeous?”

“Bailey.”

“Well, Bailey, I’d love to take you to dinner tonight. Are you free?”

“Uh huh,” Bailey stammered. “Sure. Of course. Yes.”

“I get off work right now. Any chance you’re ready to pack up and get outta here?”

Bailey stood up from his chair quickly enough to knock his keyboard to the floor.

The Heart2Heart matchmaking algorithms would be just fine without a final round of testing.

Probably.

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BACKGROUND/TITLES

What began as a random idea quickly turned into a collaborative and completely voluntary effort from 11 authors, more than 130 readers, cover designer, 2 proofreaders, and one cat herder to keep it all together.

Readers were asked to submit ideas for characters, both typical and off-the-wall, and from that list, each author picked 2 seemingly mismatched guys and helped them find love.

May Archer – The Baker and the SEAL 

Charlie Cochet – The Assassin and the Dog Walker 

 Poppy Dennison – The Electrician and the Event Planner

Alison Hendricks  – The Professional Gamer and the Paranormal Photographer

Sloane Kennedy – The Florist and the Lawyer

Lucy Lennox – The Uber Drive and the Phone Sex Operator

Ruthie Luhnow – The Lawyer and the Lobsterman

Lily Morton  – The Tattoo Artist and the Writer

Chris Owen – The Criminal and the Sommelier

Hailey Turner – The Superhero and the NSA Agent

AE Wasp – The Magician and the Mortician

For The Trevor Project: Finding Love: Box Set of M/M Stories That Celebrate Pride

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Finding Love book cover

Celebrate  Pride with the Gift of Giving

Finding Love: a box set of M/M Stores That Celebrate Pride is up, available, and helping to raise funds for The Trevor Project!

Finding Love: Box Set of M/M Stories That Celebrate Pride
Participating Authors:  Jamie Lynn Miller, T.K. Paige, M. LeAnne Phoenix, Carly Rose, D.C. Williams
Publications Dates: June 8, 2015 – September 30, 2015

BUY LINKS: Amazon US Amazon UK (Coming soon to ARe and in Print)
Goodreads Book Page
Cover artist: Dakota Trace

Finding Love book coverBook Details:

ebook, 277 pages
Published June 8th 2015 by Purple Rainbow Book Services
ASINB00ZAM87IK
edition languageEnglish
GENRES INCLUDE: Gay (M/M), Romance, Contemporary, New Adult, Fantasy

Giveaway
RAFFLECOPTER: June 12th – June 30th

a Rafflecopter giveaway  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter  Links provided by the authors as are the prizes.

Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/14d4e2e979/
BLOG TOUR PAGE:   Follow the tour for additional excerpts and chances to win.

 

5 Authors – 5 Stories – 1 Charity

Available for purchase through September 2015, Finding Love is a limited edition box set of brand new, full length, stand-alone M/M romance stories that share the theme of celebrating pride.

The authors banded together with the goal of raising funds for The Trevor Project and the proceeds are being donated to help support their efforts to provide life-saving and life-affirming services to LGBTQ youth.

His Fragile Heart by Jamie Lynn Miller
Do you believe in the power of love, even after death? After losing his lover in a car accident two years ago, actor Nathan Marshall wasn’t interested in another relationship. Until he meets waiter Justin Kowalski. Something about him seems so familiar that Nathan is instantly drawn to the younger man. Surprised at his capacity to love again, his relationship with Justin blossoms. But then an unbelievable truth is revealed – one that could break both their hearts for good.

Through New Eyes by T.K. Paige
Roommates Jed and Doyle have been best friends since meeting in college. Now that they’ve graduated and are starting new jobs they have no intentions of letting that change anything. Doyle is everything Jed isn’t, smart, cute and active at the LGTB center. Jed has always looked out for his friend and been there for him. They have plans and an amazing relationship, everything planned out to the smallest degree. Any changes could make it all go off the rails. So why can’t Jed get over how annoying he finds Doyle’s ex turned friend, who seems to be around way too often? Why can’t he stop noticing Doyle in new ways? If Jed doesn’t take a risk, he could miss what’s been there all along.

Iridescent (An Angels All Fire Series Short) by M. LeAnne Phoenix
Best friends, trusted confidants, partners in crime— call it what you like, Phai and Jen have been two halves of a whole ever since they met just over five years ago. The trouble is, that while Phai is falling more in love with his best friend every day, Jensen Whitfield seems content to call him brother. Hephaistion Amyntoros has faced many challenges during his long, long life, but the idea of confessing his heart’s desire to Jen and discovering that he doesn’t feel the same, terrifies him… but what happens if he does share his feelings? When the whole of Phai’s past rages into blistering life, ready to consume the very sun, Phai must focus on getting them out alive. Will they emerge from the fire intact or will the love in his life burn like a supernova once more?

Unexpectedly Lucky (The Bradford Boys, Book 1) by Carly Rose
Lincoln and Ryan have been best friends since the fifth grade. Their friendship has always been effortless, but a single night of passion threatens to change everything. Will the emotional fallout drive them apart or will they be lucky enough to find love unexpectedly?

What the Heart Wants by D.C. Williams
Will has just graduated from high school and is struggling with coming out. A surreptitious visit to NYC Pride brings Kev into his life. Will is immediately attracted to Kev, but they’re separated by a huge age difference, and Will is still coming to terms with himself. Their friendship grows over the course of a year, but can it become more?

STRW Spotlight Book Excerpt

Excerpt from His Fragile Heart by Jamie Lynn Miller

“Nate? Everything okay?” Justin called out.

Nathan sighed as he gingerly picked up the ruined popcorn package and dropped it in the trash. “Great,” he muttered, then louder, “Um, yeah, everything’s fine.”

With a sigh he opened the refrigerator and freezer, looking for something else suitable to eat while watching a movie, and nodded when he saw the half gallon of rocky road ice cream.

Walking toward the living room, Nathan stuck his head around the kitchen wall. “Hey, how ‘bout ice cream instead?” he asked, seeing Justin standing in front of one of his bookcases, staring at one of the shelves.

When Justin didn’t answer or turn to look at him, Nathan walked into the living room. “Justin? You want ice cream instead?” he asked again, coming to a stop next to Justin.

Justin slowly turned his head toward Nathan, and Nathan immediately noticed how pale Justin suddenly looked.

“Hey, are you all right?” he asked, concerned, putting a hand on Justin’s upper arm.

Nathan saw Justin visibly swallow. “Who – who is this? In the picture with you?” Justin asked in a tight, strained voice, pointing at a framed photograph on the bookshelf.

Nathan turned to look, and saw himself and Mark, the blond haired man standing behind Nathan, arms wrapped around him, matching smiles on both their faces.

And suddenly Nathan didn’t have to wonder any longer how to broach the subject of Mark with Justin.

With a sad smile Nathan took the photo down and rubbed his thumb over it, remembering the day it was taken, the day they both arrived in California.

“This is Mark,” Nathan started, voice quiet. “We met when we were both twenty-one, waiting tables in Dallas, each of us with our own dream of making it to California. I wanted to be an actor and Mark a screenplay writer.” Nathan paused and smiled softly.

“We fell in love, and about a year later made it out here. We were together for four years. And then—” Nathan took a shaky breath. “And then two years ago we were in a car accident. I made it out with some broken bones, but Mark was killed.”

Nathan looked away from the photo and up at Justin as he finished his story, and Justin looked even worse than before, visibly shaken, his eyes bright with moisture. But before Nathan could say anything, Justin was backing away from him, turning quickly, his movements jerky, agitated in a way Nathan had never seen him.

“I’ve gotta go,” Justin suddenly said, voice rough, heading for the door.

“What? Why? Justin, what’s wrong?”

The words tumbled out of Justin’s mouth, tripping over one another. “I just – I just remembered that I’m supposed to be covering someone’s shift at the restaurant tonight. I’ve gotta go.”

Justin was moving fast, out of the living room and to the front door by the time Nathan set the picture frame back on the bookshelf.

“Justin, slow down!” he called out as Justin threw open the door.

“I can’t. I’m sorry, I can’t,” Justin called back, voice breaking, not looking at Nathan as he practically ran for his car, parked at the curb.

It was as if Justin couldn’t get away from Nathan fast enough, his motions nearly frantic as he tore open the car door and sped off down the street, leaving Nathan staring after his taillights, wondering what had just happened.

About The Trevor Project

Founded in 1998 by the creators of the Academy Award®-winning short film TREVOR, The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) young people ages 13-24.

The life-saving, life-affirming work of The Trevor Project springs from the powerful intersection of storytelling on stage and film.

In 1994, producers Randy Stone and Peggy Rajski saw writer/performer James Lecesne bring to life Trevor, a character he created as part of his award-winning one-man show WORD OF MOUTH. Convinced Trevor’s story would make a wonderful short film, Stone and Rajski invited Lecesne to adapt it into a screenplay. Rajski directed the movie and TREVOR went on to win many prestigious awards including the Academy Award® for Best Live Action Short Film.

The Oscar-winning film eventually launched a national movement. When producer Randy Stone secured an airing on HBO with Ellen DeGeneres hosting, director/producer Peggy Rajski discovered there was no real place for young people like Trevor to turn when facing challenges similar to his. She quickly recruited mental health experts and figured out how to build the infrastructure necessary for a nationwide 24-hour crisis line, and writer James Lecesne secured the funds to start it. On the night their funny and moving coming-of-age story premiered on HBO in 1998, these visionary filmmakers launched the Trevor Lifeline, the first national crisis intervention and suicide prevention lifeline for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth.

Since then, hundreds of thousands of young people in crisis have reached out to The Trevor Project’s multiple in-person and online life-saving, life-affirming resources–Trevor Lifeline, TrevorChat, TrevorSpace and Trevor Education Workshops.

The Trevor Project is the premier organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ teens and young adults.

The Trevor Project icon

Watch ‘Trevor’ on YouTube, find it on Facebook and listen to Sir Ian McKellan’s impassioned plea for our youth here
(20 minutes)
AUTHOR PROFILES:

Jamie Lynn Miller has been writing fiction since childhood and decided to take the plunge and go pro in 2008, finding to her amazement that people truly enjoyed her love stories. She’s a romantic at heart, and her tales reflect the desire we all have to find “the one,” persevering through trials and heartache for that happy ending.

Jamie has a degree in fine arts and has spent the last twenty years working as a graphic designer, though she’d much rather be writing. She was born in Chicago and still lives there today with her husband and their two furry, four-footed children, er… cats.

If she’s not brainstorming story ideas, you can find Jamie at a sci-fi convention, in front of a furnace doing glass blowing, or on a mat twisted into a yoga pose.
Website – Facebook

T.K. Paige picked up her first book to read around the age of four and hasn’t stopped since. She discovered the M/M genre in August of 2012 and an addict was hooked.

If you see her and she is not reading, then she is thinking about the books that live in her head. It doesn’t matter what else she is doing, it is guaranteed half her brain has a plot running through it.
A stay at home mom for more years than she would like to think about, she is lucky enough to be married to a wonderful guy who encouraged her to write throughout their years together.

Then when she finally did it and she told him what she was writing, he turned only slightly green and asked “Do I have to read it?” Apparently, he had dreams of her being the next Urban Fantasy sensation with her taste in movies.
Website – Facebook – Tumblr

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?
Website – Facebook – Twitter

Carly Rose was named after her grandmother, an accomplished poet, and a character her mom met in a romance novel while awaiting her birth, I guess you could say that writing has always been in her blood.

As a child her parents used to threaten to take away her books and make her play outside when she wasn’t getting her chores done. Now she’s all grown up and her roles as wife, mother of two, and part-time nurse keep her hopping. As a blogger, book reviewer, freelance editor, and author, she still manage to spend time each day with her nose in a book.

She’s a student of life who’s always looking for new opportunities to learn and discovered early on that the love of family, friends and a positive attitude are all you really need. A free spirited motorcycle enthusiast who loves butterflies, dancing in the rain, and believes that everything is better in purple, she love to hear from reader so stop by and say “hi” anytime!
Website – Facebook – Twitter – Book Review Blog

D.C. Williams is a funny little middle aged woman who mostly lives in Pennsylvania and writes romance novels you wouldn’t expect.
Website

Bullying and a Must Free Read

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Good morning all.  On this lovely Friday here in Maryland, I am going to bring up a not so lovely topic – that of Bullying.  Bullying is a subject seemingly on everyone’s minds.  From blogs to books, from newspapers to TV commentators and even the movies, we see the victims, we listen to their stories and we wonder what can be done to stop it.  Some say bullying has always been around and that  the child/person should just “buck up” and deal.  While the first part is true, bullying has always been around, the second is sickeningly false.

More and more it seems that the one who is bullied now sees suicide as their only solution in ending their torment.  Look at all the suicides we have heard of and think of  all those children whose attempts we don’t know about.  I would suspect they are legion.  And what do we hear after learning of the death?  Someone invariably says “If only I knew….”  And then it comes out that someone did know and didn’t do anything.  Or they didn’t know what to do.  So much sadness and pain.  Such an unnecessary loss.

National Prevention Week is coming up.  It’s May 20 -26th.  So I will be writing more on this topic later.  But right now, the story Bully by Carter Wolf is available for a free download for Amazon’s Prime customers and for $2.99 for regular accounts.  It is worth every penny.  My review of Bully will be going up on Saturday but don’t wait until then.  Get it or buy it now.  You can find it here at Amazon.

And don’t forget to take the Prevention Pledge!  Here are some sites on Bullying.

Bullying Statistics

Child Bullying School Bullying Bullycide

The Trevor Project

 

Review of Foreshock by Kari Gregg and Muses Upon a Earthquake

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Before I get into my review, I want to say that I remember this day very well.  Before August 23, 2011, all the quakes felt here in the Washington Metropolitan area (MD-DC-VA) were very minor.  Most people were never even aware that they happened, so uneventful were they, along the lines of 2.1 or lower on the Richter Scale. So I, along with everyone else, was not prepared for the shaking Mother Nature gave us that day.

I was sitting at the computer when my terriers went nuts, running around my chair and barking like mad (I know, I know…how is that different from normal terrier behavior but trust me it was).  My first thought was that the neighbor’s Golden Retriever was loose again, something my little pack finds very offensive.  But then the house started to shake.  I am not talking little gentle shakes.  I am talking picture swinging, vase walking shakes.

So of course, I run out the front door, why I don’t know.  Perhaps looking for confirmation that no Transformers were headed over the horizon, whatever.  Everything looked normal.  Back inside and scanning the news online, I quickly learned that we  had a 5.9 earthquake and it was felt over a large geographical area even up into New York.  The videos started streaming online.  I watched amazed.  Now almost a year later, the Washington Monument is still closed for repairs, the Washington Cathedral is looking at years to repair the wonderful stone statues and blocks destroyed that day as the money needed continues to climb.  In the small town of Louisa, Virginia near the epicenter, schools and buildings are still closed, the damage unbelievable. Most of all, we lost the certainty that large earthquakes only happened on the West Coast, that it could never happen to us.  Mother Nature 1,  Humans 0.  It does tend to work out that way, we just forget that it does.

So I loved reading a short story with the earthquake figuring into the plot.  And even better?  Kari Gregg is donating 100 percent of her profits from this story to The Trevor Project which provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention to LGBTQ youth.  So much applause and snaps to Kari Gregg for such a wonderful gift.   Now on to the review.

Rating: 4.5 stars

Eric Mulholand loves his boyfriend, Kyle, even though Kyle seems determined to destroy their apartment through his attempts at DIY projects.  Kyle Armentrout is a contradiction in so many ways.  Tall, nordic, handsome, twice divorced, and father of five. After 20 years of repressing his true nature, Kyle is now madly in love with a man and a complete bottom in the bed.  These are facts that are still taking some adjustment.  So to compensate for a perceived  “less manly” self image, Kyle has decided that being a Mr. Fixit is the answer.  Only problem is that he can’t fix things, anything to be exact.  And the plumbing, the electricity, even Eric’s tires have suffered. So as hot as Kyle looks in a tool belt, Eric has had enough.

One argument leads to some very hot makeup sex.  And then the earth shakes.  It doesn’t take either man very long to realize that there are emotional earthquakes as well as the physical ones, and they have just been through both.  And survived both with their love and apartment well intact.  Such a great metaphor as nothing can shake a physical foundation like an earthquake and nothing can shake up a person from their emotional moorings or foundation like love can.  Great characters who cracked me up while making me understand how fragile relationships and self images can be.  I wish the story had been longer but no matter, I enjoyed my stay with both of them.

Cover:  A little dark but in keeping with an earthquake plot, but other than that, just perfect.  Loved the fonts as they are so easy to read.

Available from Riptide Publishing, Amazon, ARE.

And check in with The Trevor Project.  You won’t be sorry.