Release Day Spotlight and Excerpt – Mulligans by Charlie David

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Title: Mulligans
Author: Charlie David
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary Gay Romance, New Adult
Cover Artist: Paul Richmond
Length: Novel

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SYNOPSIS

Chase never had many friends, but at college, he meets and forms close ties with straight jock Tyler Davidson—a connection he fears he’ll lose if he tells Tyler he’s gay. Keeping his sexuality secret becomes harder for Chase as he joins Tyler and his family at their idyllic lake house for the summer. It grows more and more difficult for Chase to avoid Tyler’s attempts to set him up with girls, and he’s tired of making excuses. Chase is ready to embrace the man he is, but he’s afraid of what it will cost him.

The Davidsons seem like the perfect family, but Chase soon realizes there’s trouble in paradise. Tyler’s dad, Nathan, has done everything to make a good life for his wife and children—including suppressing his sexuality and denying his needs for years.  But like Chase, Nathan is growing weary of living a lie. What begins as an offer of support from Chase grows into an unexpected attraction that will have profound effects on everyone. Chase and the Davidsons are about to learn that there’s no such thing as a perfect family, but that perfection isn’t a requirement for friendship and love.

BUY LINKS

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EXCERPT

Jarod’s blue truck idled in the driveway as Chase walked around the corner of the house. Jarod’s attention was focused on the stereo, but he looked up and smiled when Chase tapped on the passenger window. He leaned over and opened the door. “Welcome to the finest sightseeing tour available around Prospect Lake.”

Chase climbed up into the truck and was surprised to hear what was on the stereo. Rich violins and cellos were dueling between the left and right speakers. He knitted his eyebrows quizzically at Jarod.

“Yo-Yo Ma on Bach’s Cello Suites. You don’t like it?”

“No, it’s beautiful, just not what I was expecting,” Chase admitted.

“Just because I wear a jersey doesn’t mean classical music doesn’t bend my ear,” Jarod said defensively. “Obviously we have a lot to learn about each other. Where do you want to start?”

“How about you show me your favorite spots around the lake,” Chase suggested, buckling up.

Yo-Yo Ma’s cello soared as Jarod pulled onto the street and headed down the twisty tree-lined road. Chase unrolled his window and let his hand play in the wind, trying to match it to the fluctuations in the music, dipping down as the music retreated and then climbing in a crescendo. He was lost in the perfect mathematics of the music when he felt a warm hand on his.

Chase turned and Jarod smiled, his eyes meeting Chase’s for a moment before returning to the road. Chase looked down and interlocked their fingers, liking the way the different skin tones made a pattern. Feeling Jarod’s rough skin excited Chase, and he rubbed his thumb over the back of his date’s hand, enjoying the intimate detail of the little dark hairs there. Allowing his eyes to wander up Jarod’s arm, he noticed the thickness of his forearms and how the muscles naturally stretched the cotton sleeves of his T-shirt. He wanted to run his hands up to Jarod’s bicep and feel the firmness there. He blew out a breath and brought his eyes back to the road. His head was already swimming with all the pheromones in the truck.

“So where you taking me?” Chase asked.

“I was kind of thinking it would be safest for us to park as soon as possible. I’m having trouble keeping my mind on the road.” Jarod laughed. “There’s a great scenic spot at the top of Little Saanich Mountain to look down on the lake.”

“Sounds good to me,” Chase responded, and suddenly his heart was beating somewhere up near his throat. A lookout spot? That sounded conspicuously like the type of place where people went to make out. A bunch of cars with steamy windows parked in a row on a cliff. Hands tensed like cats’ claws raking down through the condensation on the glass and a psychopath lurking in the woods with a murder weapon ready to cut them all to bits. Maybe he had seen too many horror films.

The truck wound up the gravel road on Grouse Mountain, and Chase rolled his window up. The air was getting cooler up here. Through the windshield the star-filled sky was only visible through intermittent breaks in the dense forest. Jarod slowed and turned off the main road onto an even narrower gravel path through the woods. They drove for another few minutes, and all at once the giant fir trees gave way to a clearing on the mountainside. The moon appeared to hang directly in front of them over the lake far below. There was no long line of fogged-up cars, only the two of them and Yo-Yo Ma’s precise fingers recounting Bach’s masterpiece.

“It’s beautiful,” Chase whispered, edging farther up in his seat to take in the view.

“I thought you’d like it,” Jarod said, but his eyes weren’t on the sky or the lake below; he was turned in his seat and looking at Chase. “So you stole my number, huh? Couldn’t even wait for me to give it to you?”

Chase smirked. “Well, if you were a little more on the ball, I wouldn’t have had to go digging. Christie beat you to it. You’re just lucky I’m not out with her tonight.”

“I’d say we’re both lucky,” Jarod said and reached for Chase’s hand again, pulling him closer on the bench seat. Jarod slid over and they sat side-by-side in the old truck, ignoring the view and just taking in each other.

Chase slid his hand up the arm he’d been tempted by and held tight to the muscle there, smiling. “Work out much?”

“A little….” Jarod laughed and leaned in to kiss Chase’s neck.

The warmth of Jarod’s mouth on his throat made Chase’s pulse race, and he closed his eyes in pleasure when the other boy’s tongue flicked and explored around his ears. Chase dragged his hand down Jarod’s arm and grabbed his thigh, massaging the muscle through his jeans. It was obvious Jarod spent a good amount of time training and in the gym; he was well-built all over.

Jarod kissed along Chase’s jawline and paused on his chin, drawing his mouth up until he reached Chase’s lips. They kissed softly, brushing their lips against each other while locking eyes. Chase stuck his tongue out slowly and licked Jarod’s lips, curiously tasting him. Jarod patiently let him explore and then slipped his own tongue out so the two danced together.

Jarod rested his forehead against Chase’s and whispered across the darkness, “Come on, let me show you the best dreaming spot around.” He reached behind the seat and pulled out a black-and-blue plaid blanket, then hopped out of the truck.

Chase followed and watched Jarod climb up into the bed of the truck, carefully lay out the blanket, and then turn and offer Chase a hand up. “What exactly is a dreaming spot?” Chase asked as he grabbed Jarod’s hand and felt himself pulled almost effortlessly up onto the tailgate.

“Let me show you, handsome,” Jarod said and lay down on the blanket, folding his hands behind his head. Chase followed his lead and joined Jarod, one arm crooked comfortably behind his head and the other resting on Jarod’s stomach. The fir trees seemed to stretch on forever into the night, and high above, long strokes of colored light chased each other across the sky. The tops of the trees were like pointed paintbrushes splashing iridescent hues over one another before fading into the blackness and beginning again.

“It’s beautiful,” Chase whispered. “I don’t remember the last time I saw the northern lights.”

“It happens pretty regularly out here, far away from the city,” Jarod said, reaching one hand down and joining it with Chase’s.

“I’m glad you came out to the fire last night. I was considering drowning myself in the lake before you showed up.” Chase turned to look at Jarod. “How do you stand it?”

“What’s that?”

“The constant lying, the pretending to be people that we’re not.”

“I’m not lying to anyone. I am who I am,” Jarod said casually, but there was a defensive tone beneath the surface.

“Does anyone here know you like guys?” Chase challenged.

“Does anyone here know you like guys?” Jarod echoed.

“No.”

“So why would they have to know? That’s my business, not theirs.”

“But these people are supposed to be our friends. Doesn’t it feel like the friendship only goes so far when we’re not telling the entire truth?” Chase asked, knowing the question was as much for himself as it was for Jarod. “I guess sometimes I just get tired of all the games.”

Jarod rolled over and started tickling Chase. “What about this game? Are you tired of playing this game?”

“Yeowww! Stop it!” Chase howled as Jarod’s fingers ravished him. “Okay, okay!”

Jarod rolled on top of Chase and held his hands above his head, then leaned down and kissed him. “Don’t get all serious on me. Let’s just have fun, okay?”

“Okay.” Chase smiled back and, with the delicious weight of Jarod on top of him and the northern lights burning across the sky above them, agreed there was nothing to get upset about. How could anyone have a problem with something as beautiful as this?

A NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR – Charlie David

One of the most common questions asked by readers and from people who’ve seen the film is, “Did this happen to you? Is it your story?”

Thankfully and honestly the answer is no, although I think like all storytellers I drew on my life experiences and some of the most loving and interesting personality traits of people in my own life. Stacey, for example, was named after one of my best friends in high school and is a tapestry woven of four women in my life: my own mother, my grandmother, my manager and best friend Linda Carter, and a friend through my extended blended family—Sandy Webster Worthy, who graciously opened her home to me as a squatter as I penned this book. Each of these women is formidable, strong, and the epitome of a matriarch. Their personal lives and the lives of their children are one and the same, which is simultaneously an enriching experience and the source of a certain “loss of self.”

Stacey, like these women, brings comfort and stability through food and presenting only the positive, whenever possible, to her children. I think the empty-nest syndrome that all mothers face can be a point of crisis in their lives. I happily report to you that these women are each finding things to be passionate about and regaining a solid sense of the powerful women they are, post-child-rearing.

In the film, the role of Stacey is played by Thea Gill. We had first met through a director friend, Richard Bell, and then were able to work together in Hawaii on two seasons of the TV series Dante’s Cove. I timidly handed her the script for Mulligans one day over lunch and asked if she’d read it and consider the part. I of course had been a longtime fan since her work on Queer as Folk. The episode where she has an affair with the artist has always stuck out to me as having truly captured the inner turmoil of having a secret affair. Of course in our film, she would be on the other side of the knife….

The only other role directly inspired by my life is Tyler, played in the film by Derek James. Derek is one of my best friends and coincidentally is Linda Carter’s son. (Yes, the same woman previously mentioned, who produced the film with me, is my business partner and manager. Being best friends with someone AND his mother—well, it’s certainly been an interesting journey, but that, my dear reader, is another book to come….) Tyler and Derek are essentially one and the same. The extremely charismatic, handsome, charming, and funny guy you see in the film is very close to my best friend in real life. This is in no way to take away from the fantastic job he does in the movie. Comedy is a gift bestowed on few in my opinion, and Derek got it in spades.

Nathan in a way is a doppelganger of myself. It’s a reflection on the road not taken for me in trying to live a closeted life. When I was growing up, I always sensed that I was different and desperately wanted to fit in. But no matter how I tried, I always sensed I stuck out. Part of wanting to “be like others” was going through various phases of acceptance with my sexuality, starting with denial! The response to Nathan’s story has been the most poignantly rewarding, as both men and women who’ve come out later in life have resonated with his journey of self-discovery and ultimate acceptance.

We work-shopped the original scripts for the film in Vancouver through the Cold Reading Series, a supportive group of actors, writers, producers, and directors who come together with a live audience to hear new work. Actors are cast on the spot and sit in a semicircle on the stage of the character-filled Anza Club to read the script “cold”—no preparation, no performance—just living and breathing the words as they are. This is an extremely valuable tool for a new writer like myself because I was able to see and hear my story come to life. I was fortunate to workshop the script over the course of two summers and was able to sit in the back of the theatre making notes and drinking beer. Did I fail to mention that? Oh yeah, we drink through this process, just to calm the nerves, of course. In the beginning I drank a lot and wrote little, mesmerized by the magic of hearing actors speak words I’d written. As the series progressed, I wrote more and drank less… okay, I drank about the same but discovered the true value in working with a positively constructive group of like-minded individuals.

The founder of the Cold Reading Series, Lori Triolo, introduced me to actor Dan Payne. They had recently worked together on the Canadian television series Alice, I Think, of which Dan was the star. After seeing Dan read, I knew he was the major contender for the role of Nathan. He had the same easy humor, charisma, and showmanship as Derek—and they looked alike. Some actors previously had presented Nathan in an almost lecherous way. The line here is really drawn in the sand and it’s an easy misstep for an actor to go from relatable to creepy. The intent in the story is never to imply paedophilia. Chase is a grown man, about to enter a master’s program in university. The age difference is important obviously but this is not a “Come here little boy, I have candy” situation. There is enough unfounded media attention thrown at statistically unwarranted correlations between paedophilia and homosexuality. They are far from one and the same. Paedophilia is a disease and homosexuality is a beautifully natural expression of sex and love.

There is, however, a commonality in both gays and lesbians for one partner to sometimes be significantly older than the other. By “significantly,” I’m speaking of approaching or greater than a ten-year range. I think this isn’t uncommon in heterosexual couples either, but we may see more of it in the LGBT population simply because of cases just like Mulligans. Men and women coming out later in life feel like they are experiencing their youth again and are therefore attracted to a similar youthful energy. LGBT youth, often coming from unsupportive homes, and sometimes in fact estranged from their families, seek the comfort and security that someone older can provide for them. It’s not always, but sometimes, a subconscious replacement for supportive parenting.

At any rate, Dan Payne brought vulnerability and honesty to the role without compromising his masculinity and in the process added a whole new slew of male fans to his extensive female fan base. If you haven’t seen his calendar, check out his website and you’ll see why it’s so easy to fall in love with the man.

The role of Birdy was sheer whimsy. She was like a sprite in my mind, spreading her humorous and sage advice at just the right moments. Any subconscious inspiration was most likely gleaned from my younger sister Colleen. She always seemed acutely aware of “what’s really going on” even from a young age and was never afraid to speak up to our commandeering father. In fact she was always ready to have an adult conversation with anyone from the time she was three.

We truly lucked out in casting Grace Vukovic for the role. She was a fresh face on the roster of the talent agency I own with Linda in Vancouver and coincidentally was family friends with Thea Gill. Thea had in fact known Gracie her entire life and held her in her arms as an infant. Grace was an absolute pro on set, arriving every day fully prepared and never failing to make us laugh.

These are the Who’s and What’s but why did I tell this story? First it came from a place of necessity, I suppose. Linda had given me sage advice when I was deciding to come out. I’ve always dreamed since being a little boy of having a career like Tom Cruise—he was my absolute hero. I knew by coming out I was potentially smashing that possibility forever—which I’ve found was actually infinitely more important than following the inauthentic path already laid out by the likes of Rock Hudson, Tyrone Powers, Sal Mineo, and countless other actors who were slaves to the Hollywood system and what it dictated society would accept. Now is a different time, a time of change and growth, and the trail I’m trying to create will hopefully benefit the next generation more than it could ever benefit myself. Linda’s advice was that by coming out I would surely lose some roles and gain some roles (which has proved true thus far), and the best thing I could do was to create my own work.

I had written a few screenplays before Mulligans, but they involved underwater sequences, explosions, and basically the parting of a sea…. Not realistic as a first feature, but I was dreaming big as I’m apt to do. Linda said, “No explosions, no car chases, no animals, few characters, few locations—and roles for you and Derek. Go.”

And so I went and the first incarnation of Mulligans was a frat comedy—seriously. But as I continued to imagine and explore I found that the true core of the story didn’t lie with the characters Derek and I would play at all, but rather in the relationship between the parents. I tried to create an engaging story that we could realistically manifest into our first full-length film and to keep the explosions within the drama and dynamics of the family.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Author Charlie DavidCharlie David has been a host for E! Television, NBC, OutTV, LOGO, here! TV, Pink TV, EGO, Fine Living and Slice Networks on such shows as FYE!, SpyTV, Crash Test Mommy and his travel series Bump! which now airs in over 45 million homes.  He has appeared as musical guest on VH1, BBC, CBS’s The Early Show, and dozens of radio shows.

In 2005 Out Magazine recognized Charlie in the ‘Out 100’ at their gala in New York.  In 2007 the Philadelphia Film Society awarded Charlie with their Rising Star Award.  In 2008 the Festival del Sol in Gran Canaria awarded their Best Male Actor Award to Charlie and the male cast of A Four Letter Word.  Formerly in a rock band… okay, actually it was a boy band, Charlie opened for Destiny’s Child, Pink, Snoop Dogg, Rick Springfield and Black Eyed Peas.

A love of storytelling led Charlie to start Border2Border Entertainment Inc., a production company whose film credits include Mulligans, Beyond Gay: The Politics of Pride, Judas Kiss, I’m a Stripper, Studlebrity and Positive Youth.  He was also an associate producer on his travel series Bump!, which shot 120 episodes around the world, garnered a Hugo Television award and two more nominations last year. Border2Border Entertainment’s films have been licensed to Showtime, Super Channel, HBO Canada, MTV/LOGO, Sundance Channel, The Movie Network, Movie Central, Encore Avenue, Out TV, as well as working with international distribution partners in Australia, New Zealand, Germany, France, the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, Poland, Singapore and Taiwan.

He is a graduate of the Canadian College of Performing Arts and his current passions include motorcycle cruises, high adrenaline encounters with wildlife, SCUBA diving and sports.  He resides in Montréal, Canada with his boyfriend when he’s not living out of a suitcase.

SOCIAL LINKS

Website:  http://border2border.ca
YouTube https://www.youtube.com/user/MrCharlieDavid
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/officialcharliedavid
Twitter: https://twitter.com/charliedavid
Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/border2border
Audible: http://adbl.co/1K3xhz8
Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2895612.Charlie_David
Dreamspinner: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/AuthorArcade/charlie-david
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/mrcharliedavid/

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Blog Tour, Exclusive Excerpt, and Giveaway – Hector and Anatolius by Vanessa Mulberry

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Title: Hector and Anatolius
Author: Vanessa Mulberry
Series: Trojan Men #1
Release Date: May 9th 2016
Genre: Historical MM Romance, Paranormal

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BLURB
Hector has been a dutiful son and prince his whole life until his father orders him to marry. The Trojan was meant for no woman, and when he meets a handsome youth named Anatolius, he is more determined than ever to rule one day with a man at his side. However, after he is betrayed by his brother Paris his fate seems unavoidable. Hector needs all the courage he has learned in battle, and the assistance of a goddess, to win the hand of the man he loves.

This is a gay (MM) romance novel set prior to the events of the Trojan War. It depicts romantic and sexual love between two men in a broadly tolerant society.

Hector and Anatolius is the debut novel of British author, Vanessa Mulberry.

Goodreads Links: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29759539-hector-and-anatolius?from_new_nav=true&ac=1&from_search=true

Buy links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

EXCERPT

After the meal, Hector drew the lad to him, and they relaxed on the shared kline to talk about their histories and their beliefs. Both drank strong wine, but Hector watched Anatolius carefully, mindful of its dizzying effects. “Just a little,” he said when Anatolius asked one of the servants for a third cup. “I won’t touch you if you’re sotted, and you will have to wait another day for my attentions.”
Anatolius appeared embarrassed, but when the servant stepped away, he whispered, “Thank you. I don’t want to wait.”
When the conversation lulled, Hector scooped his guest up and carried him from the room.
Anatolius put his arm around Hector’s neck and rested his head against the prince’s powerful shoulder. He laughed and said, “I will walk to your bedroom if that is where we are going. I’ll run if you like.”
Hector strengthened his grip, pulling him a little closer. “You may race me there another day, but tonight you go in my arms.”
“Don’t you think you can beat me?”
“It wouldn’t worry me if you did. I carry you because I want it to be known I will be your man tonight. Tomorrow I will follow you to the bed if you wish.”
Soon they reached his private apartment. It was a magnificent space: large and airy, with room on one side for cozier entertaining than the andron permitted and a soft bed for afterward. It led onto a terrace, which looked down over the city, and, as the night was warm, the imposing doors to it stood open, their silver casings glowing faintly in the moonlight.
The lamps were already lit, illuminating murals dedicated to Eros. Hector set Anatolius down and saw the lad’s eyes widen as he looked around at the walls. “Gods,” he murmured, “is this a shrine or a bedchamber?”
Hector had worshiped a lot of men in that room, but he didn’t think the pictures so unusual. He reminded himself that Anatolius hadn’t been in as many beds as him.
“Do you want to pray? I don’t usually conduct rituals in the palace, but we can if you like.”
Anatolius continued to stare at the walls. Hector saw his eyes rest on an image of two men making love. One was bent over, being penetrated by the other who kissed his back.
“Do you think we should? I want my first time to be pleasurable.”
“You needn’t ask Eros for such a blessing. I will ensure that.”

About the Author
Vanessa Mulberry lives in England with her husband and daughter. Her achievements are numerous and of no interest to anyone reading this. Her hobbies include cheap alcohol and romance novels. Growing up, Vanessa dreamed of becoming Mr. T, but the position has not yet fallen vacant. She has settled for being a romance novelist instead.

Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Blog Tour, Exclusive Excerpt, and Giveaway – Dreamers Destiny by Tempeste O’Riley

 (click HERE to find the full tour listing)

 

Welcome to the Dreamers’ Destiny Blog Tour. I want to begin with special thanks to Charlie Chochet for welcoming me today. I hope you’ll follow the entire tour. There are plenty of chances to win a signed paperback copy from my backlist, $25 at Dreamspinner Press, an audiobook of either Designs of Desire or Caged Sanctuary, and more!

Each tour stop will feature an excerpt along with some question that relates to the post. Check the Rafflecopter at the end of the post to enter your answer to the question. A few stops will have special (additional) giveaways as well, so make sure you check out the whole post!

Now, let’s see what I have for you today….

Exclusive Excerpt

“I saw him. I mean… I see him every night, but this time I swear I really saw him.” He ran his hands through his disheveled hair, not caring how bad it would look afterward. “I was at the club dancing, you know, and well, my dance partner and I stepped off the floor for a more, um, private moment.”

She cleared her throat, stopping him midramble. “So you got laid?” Dianne giggled and a light flush spread up her cheeks.

“Just a blowjob, Di. Seriously”—he fidgeted, uncomfortable discussing tricks with her, especially knowing how rare such actions were for him—“that’s not the important part!” Nor was the fact he hadn’t been able to actually go through with it—much to his partner’s irritation. For whatever stupid reason, his heart wouldn’t let him. He’d felt as though he was cheating on Cam, even though Cameron wasn’t real. Well, he didn’t think Cam was real…. Maybe…. “The point is, when I was on my way back to the bar afterward, I saw him.” Liam shivered, nauseated over the thought of his next words. “Cam was sitting at the far end of the bar drinking, though I’m not certain what. But—”

“Wait, your dream guy is real?” she squealed. Dianne threw her arms around him as she bounced on the cushion beside him. “That’s wonderful!”

“Okay, see, now you sound as nuts as I do! He can’t be real, Di. That isn’t possible. I’ve dreamed of Cam since I was seventeen. People don’t just materialize into reality simply because you want them so desperately, waking up breaks your heart.”

“Normally, I would agree, hon,” she soothed. The pitying look in her eyes made him wish he’d kept that last bit to himself. “But maybe he’s someone you saw once when you were younger and now he’s back in the area?”

Liam shook his head before she’d finished speaking. “No, not possible. He has grown and aged in the dreams just like I have. And, well, other than the sadness in his eyes the other night, he looked like he always does in the dreams.”

“Hmm…. Have the dreams changed since then and why didn’t you go over to him?”

“I, um, I froze when I saw him. Or what I thought was him. By the time I got my feet working again and managed the distance between us, he was gone.”

“And the dreams,” Di pushed. “Are they the same?”

“No. I came home after he disappeared. Staying at the club wasn’t something I could even fathom right then,” he added, thinking of how hollow he’d felt, and still felt, for that matter. “I curled up on the couch and fell asleep thinking about Cam.” Liam picked at a cuticle as he thought about the dreams the last two nights and how he had not wanted to wake either morning. “The tone of the dreams changed completely after that. Cuddling, kissing, and spending time together as if we were an ordinary couple. That’s how they’ve been since I saw, or thought I saw, him. I wake up and feel like I’ve just been dumped all over again.” He looked down at his best friend and aunt, desperate for help, hope, anything, really. “Something’s got to give, Di.” He didn’t bother hiding how afraid and demented he felt by that point.

He wasn’t even sure why the change in the tone of the dreams had happened. Why had they changed to cuddling and couch time instead of fun and sexy time? He had a theory, but it sounded too crazy to share with Di, even crazier than the rest. How did you tell your aunt you were living an entire dream life? One where he had the life like he’d always wanted when he was awake? Yeah… that didn’t sound nuthouse worthy at all, nope!

Dianne was quiet as she tapped one of her perfectly manicured nails on the arm of the couch, staring at him so hard, he fought the impulse to squirm. “What if there’s a possibility this Cameron of yours is real and—” Liam started to protest, but she put her small hand over his mouth. “Shush, you. Now listen to me. I’ve talked to a couple of the guys in my circle, and Nosha suggested he might be able to help you with your dream issues.”

“Di, I love you, you know that, but what does your Wicca group have to do with my guy issues?” Exasperated wasn’t a strong enough word for how he felt. Religion wasn’t something he focused on or valued, per se. He wasn’t against it, but Di’s faith in ancient deities hadn’t ever been his thing. Besides, how did religion and hallucinations mix?

“Will you just meet with him?” She cupped his scruffy cheek, her voice soft but determined. “Please? It’s not often that he even takes on students like this. He turned away the last man that tried to get him to teach. Don’t throw away this chance, especially if it means finding out if your Cam is real—which he is.”

He thought about it for a moment, ignoring the last part of her rant, and then sighed. “Can’t hurt, I guess.” He shrugged. “Don’t know what good it’ll do, though, so don’t get your hopes up, okay?”

Di beamed up at him. “Deal. Now let me make you some tea, and we can visit about things other than your boyfriend.”

“Dianne.”

She tisk-tisked at him as she stood and headed for the kitchen. Liam sat staring at where she’d disappeared, bemused at how his mental breakdown had somehow turned into circle and teatime.

People don’t just materialize into reality simply because you want them to so desperately that waking up breaks your heart.

Dreamers’ Destiny

by Tempeste O’Riley

M/M Erotic Contemporary, Occult/Paranormal, Romance

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: Reese Dante

Release Date: May 13, 2016 (ebook/print)

Length: Novel / 200 pages

Order:

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Add to: Goodreads

Description:

Liam Grady is the owner of the Feathered Quill, a quirky little bookstore in Asheville, and—though he doesn’t realize it yet—a dream walker. His last relationship failed almost a year ago, and he’s not had the interest or nerve to pursue anyone he’s met since.

Cameron Danu is a tattoo artist from rural Georgia. Cameron is left without a job after his boss, Jose, is forced to close the shop after a heart attack. When Cameron learns Jose has set up an interview for him at a small tattoo parlor in Asheville, he hopes for a fresh start in a new town.

Fate brings Cameron and Liam together, and they realize they’ve met before—in their dreams. A chance encounter and a winged tattoo might lead them to their destiny—if fear doesn’t turn their dreams into a nightmare.

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Other Works by Author:

Designs of DesireSimple Desires*+ – Bound by Desire* – Desires’ GuardianTemptations of DesireTruth in Lace* – Desires’ Pride* – Signs of Desire

Micah’s Medicine+ – Caged SanctuaryWhiskers of a Chance

*shorts in series +shorts in anthologies

About the Author:

Tempeste O’Riley is an out and proud pansexual genderfluid whose best friend growing up had the courage to do what they couldn’t—defy the hate and come out. He has been their hero ever since.

Tempe is a hopeless romantic who loves strong relationships and happily-ever-afters. They has done many things in their life, yet writing has always drawn them back—no matter what else life has thrown their way. They counts her friends, family, and Muse as their greatest blessings in life. They lives in Wisconsin with their children, reading, writing, and enjoying life—especially now that they have joined the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence® (as Novice Sister Eroti-Quill… can’t imagine where that name came from).

Tempe is also a proud PAN member of Romance Writers of America®, WisRWA, and Rainbow Romance Writers. Tempe’s preferred pronouns are they/them/their/theirs/themselves. To learn more about Tempeste and their writing, visit http://tempesteoriley.com.

Website Goodreads Twitter Facebook Google + DSP Blog

Tempeste’s Temptations

☆ 💥 ☆ SALE BLITZ ☆ 💥 ☆ Rockin’ the Alternative by @MorticiaKnight #99centsale & #giveaway {@TTCBooksandmore}

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The chance of a lifetime and the touch of a rock god are offered to music journalist Bryan Gallagher on the same day. Embracing one is easy, but resisting the other is harder than he’d anticipated—especially since Bryan has never been with a man.

Rockin the Alternative

It could be his dream assignment. Aubrey King, the legendary god of alternative rock music, has requested to meet with journalist and writer Bryan about penning the star’s memoir. Aubrey and his dark, angsty songs are the reason Bryan was inspired to become a leading rock journalist. His obsession for his career has alienated the women in his life, but Bryan doesn’t care. What really matters to him is the music.

Aubrey King has been out of the music scene for almost ten years—ever since his alternative rock band, Falling in Stereo, broke up. Questions about his sexual preferences have always surrounded him, and now that he’s ready to make a solo comeback, he wants to tell his story, his way. He’s followed journalist Bryan Gallagher’s career for a while and believes that Bryan’s obvious passion for music mirrors his own. He loves his writing style, but is also enraptured by the boyishly handsome writer.

Brian finds pushing his fanboy nervousness aside is difficult when Aubrey finally stands before him. He’s amazed at how little Aubrey has changed—his intense gaze, his unique style and his still youthful looks epitomise the star he’s always been. But Aubrey’s vulnerability when he sings and shares the deeply personal lyrics of a new song triggers something in Bryan that he never knew was there. The need to give himself to Aubrey, to let the rock god do to him what he’s never before desired a man to do.

2016BuyLinks

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | Amazon DE  | Pride Publishing | ARe

2016AbouttheAuthor

LogoM/M Erotic Romance author Morticia Knight enjoys hot stories of men loving men forever after. They can be men in uniform, Doms and subs, rock stars or bikers – but they’re all searching for the one (or two!) who was meant only for them.

When not indulging in her passion for books, she loves the outdoors, film and music. Once upon a time she was the singer in an indie rock band that toured the West Coast and charted on U.S. college radio. She is currently working on more installments of Sin City Uniforms and The Hampton Road Club, as well as the follow-up to Bryan and Aubrey’s story from Rockin’ the Alternative.

Author links: Website || Facebook || Twitter || Goodreads || Amazon

Rockin’ It Pinterest page

Bryan and Aubrey’s story continues in Rockin’ it Forever

Can the touch of a rock god last forever?

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Music journalist Bryan Gallagher’s life has completely changed in an unexpected way. Not only has he snagged a dream assignment as the memoirist to alternative music’s rock superstar Aubrey King, but he’s also promised to give the beautiful and enigmatic musician a chance for them to forge a relationship. It’s all very overwhelming for Bryan since, up until he spent a sexually charged day and night with Aubrey, Bryan has never even dreamed of being with a man.

Aubrey is completely smitten with the boyishly handsome, young rock writer, Bryan. After their instant spark grows into something more, Aubrey is desperate to keep Bryan by his side for always. He’s promised Bryan that their love is for real, that Bryan isn’t simply one of his rock star conquests.

Their road isn’t an easy one, though. Despite their deepening bond and growing need for each other, other factors intrude. Neither Aubrey nor Bryan is ready to come out, and their relationship needs to remain a carefully guarded secret. In addition, Aubrey has to answer to the demands of his profession and Bryan has to traverse the shifting waters between his personal and business relationship with his famous lover.

Then a secret is revealed and everything in their joint world implodes. When a love is so strong that two men can barely take a breath without thinking of the other, will that be enough to bridge the loss of trust? The only way they can rock their love forever is if Aubrey can reach Bryan before it’s too late.

Pre-order now on Amazon

2016Giveaway

This is a tour wide giveaway beginning with the Sale Blitz, running until the end of the Rockin’ It Forever Release/Review tour.

A little something different for this one, Knight will be doing 2 giveaways per week starting with the Sale Blitz, ending the week before the RR tour. That is 6 small giveaways, 2 per week over 3 weeks, and then there is the Grand Prize Rock & Roll gift basket that will be given out at the end of both tours.

Also, the Twitter message will change weekly. The Rafflecopter is set up where you can share daily via Twitter, so that gets you 5 entry points daily, if you chose to share daily. And let’s not forget the change your facebook image option. Again, it will change from the Rockin’ the Alternative image to Rockin’ it Forever as the tours change out.

 

Good luck everyone!

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Cover Reveal, Exclusive Excerpt, and Giveaway – Island Counselor by Sue Brown

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Sue Brown reveals the sexy cover art of her next book titled ISLAND COUNSELOR coming out from Dreamspinner Press.

It releases on June 20, 2016.

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BLURB

Counselor Logan Wilde has a successful therapy practice in London, but when a traumatic incident there leaves him suffering from PTSD, he takes refuge in his holiday cottage on the Isle of Wight, unable to face going back to work. Not that he’s allowed to relax. Logan’s time is taken up with helping Liam Owens, plus there’s Nick Brent, whom Logan discovers collapsed on the beach. Nick and Logan spend their time bickering with each other, but that doesn’t alter the attraction they both feel.

Logan is forced to make some hard decisions about his future, which entails facing up to recent events, only he’s not alone—Nick is with him. Unfortunately, someone else makes a decision, too, and now trouble is on its way to the Isle of Wight.

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PRESENTING

Cover Art by L.C. Chase

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EXCLUSIVE TEASER

They stared at each other for a moment, and Logan lost himself in the stormy green depths of Nick’s eyes. Then a dog, the Golden Retriever from the day before, bounded past, spraying them with seawater and wet sand, and the moment was lost.

Check out other exclusive teasers on –

:: Rick R. Reed :: RJ Scott :: Frosty’s Book Corner :: Bayou Book Junkie :

:: The Purple Rose Tea House :: Cia’s Stories :: Alpha Book Club :: Man2ManTastic ::

:: Love Bytes Reviews :: Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents ::

:: Wicked Faeries Tales And Reviews :: Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words ::

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sue Brown is owned by her dog and two children. When she isn’t following their orders, she can be found plotting at her laptop. In fact she hides so she can plot and has gotten expert at ignoring the orders.

Sue discovered M/M erotica at the time she woke up to find two men kissing on her favorite television series. The series was boring; the kissing was not. She may be late to the party, but she’s made up for it since, writing fan fiction until she was brave enough to venture out into the world of original fiction.

:: Website :: Blog :: Facebook :: Twitter :: Google+ ::

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

Winner’s Prize: $10 Amazon/ARe Gift Card

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Cover Reveal – A Trust to Follow by Diana Waters

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Synopsis

Prince Daymon is an Evoker—possessor of rare and feared magical powers.

When he is captured by bandits who plan to use his gifts for their own benefit he must depend upon his lover to come to his rescue.

Rhyder is captain of Daymon’s personal guard and the legendary ‘Lion of the West’, but can he reach the man he loves before it’s too late?

Release Date: May 26, 2016

A Trust to Follow Cover

Pre-order Links

Take advantage of the discount pre-order price on all retailer websites:

WIP: http://www.waywardinkpublishing.com/product/a-trust-to-follow-by-diana-waters/

ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-atrusttofollow-2041089-143.html

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Trust-Follow-Diana-Waters-ebook/dp/B01FUHLSZ8

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Trust-Follow-Diana-Waters-ebook/dp/B01FUHLSZ8

Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/Trust-Follow-Diana-Waters-ebook/dp/B01FUHLSZ8

Amazon DE: https://www.amazon.de/Trust-Follow-Diana-Waters-ebook/dp/B01FUHLSZ8

Excerpt

PRINCE DAYMON CAME to with a stifled moan, pain dragging him back to unwelcome awareness. His entire body throbbed, but he kept his eyes closed, not wanting to be greeted with the sight of a bare cell or the bruises where he had been struck. The cold had numbed him to some of the damage, but he could tell without looking that several fingers were likely broken. Instead, he fixed his mind on what he had been dreaming of only moments ago.

Daymon did not remember his mother well, but he knew what she looked like from the portraits his older brother, Daylor, had kept. From his mother, Daymon had inherited hair as fine and dark as ink and eyes a deep blue, when both his father and his brother were golden-haired with eyes close to amber in color. Where they were tall, broad-shouldered, and olive-skinned like most of his ancestors, Daymon stood several inches shorter than nearly every other grown male he could name, his slight build and pale complexion further marking him as more his mother’s child than his father’s—as though anyone needed reminding. And yet, despite being too young to recall his mother’s voice, or so he thought, Daymon could have sworn he had heard her whisper to him.Just a little longer, the words had tickled past his ear. Just a little longer, and he will come for you. How could he not? But the sensation of his head being held, the fingers brushing softly through his hair, had vanished as soon as Daymon had woken, and although he had never really known her, he felt her absence now as keenly as though she had truly been with him.

Book Trailer

About the Author

DIANA WATERS is a New Zealander currently living in rural Japan. She has no idea where in the world she’ll be this time next year and is pretty okay with that. Other than reading and writing, her main passions include travel, Japanese pop culture, and competitive swimming.

DIANA WATERS can be found at:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100010664493155

Twitter: https://twitter.com/diana__waters

Blog Tour, Interview, and Giveaway – Strong Medicine by J.K. Hogan

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A short interview with J.K. Hogan

When did you write your first story and what was the inspiration for it?

I think it was sometime around 2002. I was around 20 or 21. I’d just gotten out of a bad relationship, for which I’d moved to a different city, and I was struggling to find myself again. I was looking for new career paths and new hobbies. I started writing the novel I’d always wanted to write. It’s nothing like what I write now—a flowery m/f romance that would probably be considered New Adult today. It was about a girl who graduates from art school and moves to New York to work in a gallery, but ends up finding her way as an artist in her own right. I never quite finished, but it got the ball rolling.

Do you have a writing schedule or do you just write when you can find the time?

The writing happens whenever I can sneak in a few seconds in between taking care of my 3 year old and 4 month old sons. I do most of my “plotting” while driving or in the shower or something like that, and I write it down whenever I can. I’d love to have a schedule…we’ll see how that goes when kidlet #1 starts preschool next month.

Briefly describe the writing process. Do you create an outline first? Do you seek out inspirational pictures, videos or music? Do you just let the words flow and then go back and try and make some sense out it?

I usually don’t outline. I’ve tried, I really have, and Strong Medicine was the closest I’ve ever come to sticking to it, but my mind just doesn’t work that way. It always goes off the rails somewhere. Instead, I make notes in random places as ideas come to me, notes that probably only make sense to me—if they make sense at all. I tend to just bang out the story chronologically, and work all of the kinks out in the second draft. I don’t seek out inspiration, rather I’ll see or hear something first, and it will spark an idea.

Where did the desire to write M/M romance come from?

I started out reading and writing only m/f, because (I’m embarrassed to say) I wasn’t really aware that anything else was out there. Part of what got me started writing to begin with was general boredom with the same old stories in m/f. When I discovered m/m, it became my favorite genre, but I’d never had any intention of writing it because that wasn’t the genre my writing experience was in. Still, one day a story came to me and the MCs were men. I wasn’t going to change that just to make other people more comfortable, so I wrote it. That was I Survived Seattle, and here I am releasing Strong Medicine, my fifth m/m novel.

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Title: Strong Medicine

Author: J.K. Hogan

Publisher: Wilde City Press

Cover Artist: J.K. Hogan (KHD Graphics)

Release Date: 5/11/16

Heat Level: 3

Pairing: m/m

Length: 97k words

Genre/Tags: Psychological, Dark, M/M Romance

Add to Goodreads

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Synopsis

Two men who meet in a psychiatric institution couldn’t possibly find happiness together—could they?

The world seemed to be telling disgraced former child star and singer Cameron Fox that he would never be happy again. A drunken car accident gets him sentenced to a work-release at Riverbend Behavioral Health Facility.

Reclusive, traumatized writer Jonah Radley has an entire graveyard of skeletons in his closet. Jonah regularly hospitalizes himself for psychotic episodes caused by a horrific childhood trauma, his biggest secret—one he refuses to speak about in therapy.

Jonah and Cameron form a bond inside the hospital, forged in mutual pain and hope for a better life. Once they leave the hospital, they must decide if they are brave enough to explore the intricacies of living with mental illness—and find a new normal together.

Excerpt

Jonah was feeling particularly lucid that day. He hadn’t seen any dead relatives, nothing had burned, and he actually felt like he was inside his own body, for once. He knew it wouldn’t last. It was a constant feeling of dancing on the edge of the cliff, just waiting for the one misstep that would send him plummeting into the void again.

He sat in the rocking chair, the one that had become known as ‘Jonah’s chair,’ and watched Harry the groundskeeper shovel snow off the patio next to the picture window. The scoliotic old man bent to sprinkle handfuls of rock salt over the pavers before moving on farther into the courtyard.

As usual, Jonah lost himself in the warmth of the blanket of sunlight, so much so that he was startled when he sensed a presence behind him. It was just a change in the air, a shift of the molecules, and then a new scent—sharp and heady, a mixture of cedar smoke and Old Spice. Jonah had smelled it before, yesterday. He didn’t need to see to know that the sparkly new probie was standing behind him.

And just like that, just picturing the man in his mind with his weird, shaggy blond hair, dark blue eyes, and boyish features, Jonah remembered. He’d been much younger then, the boy on the TV that his mother had sat him in front of when she couldn’t deal with his damning silence anymore. That boy, his sweet face, and even sweeter voice, had saved Jonah more times than he could count, just kept him hanging on for one more day.

Staring unblinking out the window, Jonah breathed deep of that fragrance and addressed the spectral memory of Kyle Chase. “I know you,” he whispered.

The air stilled as the movement behind him ceased, as if the other man had turned to stone.

“I loved you once.”

Footsteps. Soft, padding, staccato beats of leather against linoleum, until Jonah was face to face with his boyhood crush. Well, more like face to chest, since Jonah was seated and Kyle was looming over him. He wasn’t Kyle, of course, not really. Though Jonah strained, digging through layers of memory, he couldn’t extract the boy—man’s real name.

“Excuse me?” Not-Kyle asked, bushy eyebrows raised toward his hairline.

Jonah tried for a rueful smile, and he could practically hear his skin cracking with the effort. “Sorry, probie. It’s well known around here that I don’t make any sense. What I meant was ‘I used to watch your show.’”

“Oh. I, uh… really?”

Jonah half coughed, half grunted, because it was as close as he ever got to a laugh. “That surprises you?”

“Yes—No! I just sometimes forget that the people who used to watch my show are all grown-up now. Most of the time, I still feel like a kid, so it kind of catches me off guard.” He ran a hand through that mop of messy hair—bleached blond like he was still playing a Cali surfer boy on TV—then squatted down so that he was on Jonah’s level.

“I think you’d be the first one to call me a grown-up. I’ve been called a lot of things, but never that. Besides, I’m not as old as I look.”

“Yeah? How old?”

“Twenty-three.”

“Oh. Wow.”

“Yeah, I know. That’s what hard living and insanity will do to you,” Jonah explained without a hint of malice.

“Oh, no. I’m sorry, that came out wrong… You don’t look bad. It’s the opposite, really. You look… yeah, anyway, you’re right, you do just look older than twenty-three. Not in a bad way.”

“Easy there. It’s really okay. I’m pretty hard to insult. Most of the things you could think of to say about me would be true anyway.” Jonah wiped his sweaty palms on his sweatpants and reached on out to him. “Jonah Radley.”

“Cameron Fox.” Cameron took his hand, shook it, lingered just a second longer than was proper.

“I have to admit, I was wrangling for an introduction because I couldn’t remember your real name. I figure you probably wouldn’t want me calling you Kyle.”

Cameron’s laugh was soft, cozy, like a splash of honey in some warm Earl Grey. “No, I guess not. It’s nice to meet you, Jonah Radley. Radley, that’s an unusual name.”

“Indeed it is. Not as unusual as you’d think, but yes… I did have to deal with the well-read students in school calling me ‘Boo’ all the time. But this is rural Appalachia, so it wasn’t always a problem if you get my drift.”

Jonah could see it took Cameron a moment to get the reference, but when he did, he chuckled again. “So what made you decide to join the wonderful world of psychiatric care?” Jonah asked.

Something flashed in Cameron’s eyes, a cloud, a moment of indecision, before he answered. “I got arrested.”

“Ah, you’re one of Rohan’s boys.” Jonah kept his voice neutral, careful not to seem like he was judging, because people in glass houses and all that… “A probie in every sense of the word.”

Cameron lowered his head, studied the ugly, weathered linoleum. “Unfortunately.”

“Hey, we all have pasts. At least you have a future.”

That blond head snapped up, and Cameron gaped at him. “So do you, Jonah.”

Jonah shook his head sadly, then caught sight of a pair of dark, yawning eye sockets peering through the window. One of the dead girls, of course, just when he was starting to feel human again.

He didn’t make eye contact when he spoke to Cameron. “You should go now,” he whispered.

“Jonah…”

“Go!” Jonah shouted it, his voice tinged with desperation. He never cared before, but he didn’t want this man to see him disappear, to see him float. His eyes welled up, something that hadn’t ever happened at Riverbend before, and he felt ashamed. “Please.”

“Probie!” Rohan’s rich tenor rang out across the buzzing air, slicing the tension between them. Cameron tensed, and his feet seemed to obey Rohan before the rest of him caught up. He cast one more sad, sidelong look at Jonah before he was led away.

Once he was alone, Jonah began to shake. Shivering violently though he was burning up inside, Jonah felt tears sear flaming rivulets down his cheeks. He dug the heels of his hands into his eye sockets until they ached, and eventually the tears stopped. Then there was nothing left but smoke.

Strong Medicine Square

Purchase

Wilde City Press | Amazon

Meet the Author

6427555J.K. Hogan has been telling stories for as long as she can remember, beginning with writing cast lists and storylines for her toys growing up. When she finally decided to put pen to paper, magic happened. She is greatly inspired by all kinds of music and often creates a “soundtrack” for her stories as she writes them. J.K. is hoping to one day have a little something for everyone, so she’s branched out from m/f paranormal romance and added m/m contemporary romance. Who knows what’s next?

J.K. resides in North Carolina, where she was born and raised. A true southern girl at heart, she lives in the country with her husband and two sons, a cat, and two champion agility dogs. If she isn’t on the agility field, J.K. can often be found chasing waterfalls in the mountains with her husband, or down in front at a blues concert. In addition to writing, she enjoys training and competing in dog sports, spending time with her large southern family, camping, boating and, of course, reading! For more information, please visit www.jkhogan.com.

Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads Author Page | Amazon | Tumblr | Instagram | Pinterest

Tour Stops

5/11 Gay Book Reviews

5/11 Hearts On Fire Reviews

5/11 MM Good Book Reviews

5/12 Drako’s Den

5/12 Literary Nymphs

5/12 Keysmash

5/13 Cryselle’s Bookshelf

5/13 Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents

5/13 The Dark Arts

5/16 Bayou Book Junkie

5/16 Liz’s Reading Life

5/17 BFD Book Blog

5/17 Oh My Shelves

5/17 Dawn’s Reading Nook

5/18 Divine Magazine

5/18 3 Chicks After Dark

5/19 Purple Rose Teahouse

5/19 Cameron James

5/20 Love Bytes Reviews

5/20 Molly Lolly

5/20 Reviews by Tammy and Kim

5/23 The Novel Approach

5/23 Alpha Book Club

5/23 Diverse Reader

5/23 Happily Ever Chapter

5/24 Erzabet Enchantments

5/24 The Blogger Girls

5/24 MM Book Escape

5/24 Nautical Star Books

Giveaway

Rafflecopter Prize: One winner will be selected to win an eBook copy of Strong Medicine.

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Guest Post and Giveaway – Pink Lemonade Part 1 by Jon Wilson

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A five-part series wherein I examine the pitfalls both real and imagined and difficulties both encountered or merely anticipated to being a gay author in the 21st Century, and attempt to discuss how said pitfalls and difficulties can be used to our advantage, thereby employing the old adage “Making lemons into lemonade.” (And, in advance of the inevitable inquiry, allow me to retreat into the naivete allowed one of my advanced years and answer simply: “What’s a Beyonce?”)

Part 1:
Aging, Ageism and Agisticism
or
How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Get Fat

Before sitting down to write this, I took off my pants. That’s not supposed to sound sexy (or creepy, depending on how you roll). It’s a fact. A sad fact. In fact, it’s a much sadder fact because it’s so very UNSEXY (again, I’ll leave you to decide the creepy-factor). I’m like that father on the Goldbergs, with the one notable caveat that he takes his pants off after work and I get to take them off to go to work. Well, get to. Hmm, that’s true, but also misleading. I’m not sure I could sit at my computer for more than ten minutes in trousers. And definitely not in a belt. So, removing my pants is less a perk than a requirement.

It was not always so. Until I was about 28 I had a twenty-eight inch waist (less than that in my teens, and, one assumes, even less at birth). Then, in a cosmic alignment of misfortune, I discovered the wonders of yeast and hops just as my metabolism realized I wasn’t a hummingbird. For the next twenty years, I enjoyed all sorts of ales, beers and lagers (and cake dear God, the cake’s I’ve eaten. Though rarely with beer), while my metabolism progressed from highly strung avian, through startled gazelle to stoic wildebeest, past work dog to housecat, settling finally, I can only surmise, at South American tree sloth.

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Is there such a thing as too skinny?
The author before beer and cake.

It wasn’t, of course, a steady decline (or rather increase). There were hills and valleys. Sporadically, throughout my late thirties and early forties, I enjoyed periods of rocking bod, well, relatively. That bod was still always attached to this face. But that’s a whole nuther essay. There was a night, it haunts me, still when I was walking up Castro Street arm-in-arm with some nameless (now) guy I’d just picked up when I spotted another (now equally nameless) guy walking in the opposite direction who was cuter and I said (in my best Joey from Friends): “How you doing?” And just like that I’d upgraded.

Hey, I warned you it was a haunting story.

But those days are behind me. At present, I imagine my best Joey would elicit only startled glances and the occasional call for help. The last five years have been particularly disfiguring (and never has that word been more appropriately misused). Of course, that period saw the passing of both my parents and my best friend since high school. Life events of that sort leave their imprint. I was going to say take their toll. But then I heard the voice of my deceased friend in my ear reminding me that she and my parents might all agree I’d actually got the best of the bargain. So like her to be always right.

Even my hair is beginning to turn against me. And, by that, I mean lose the mousy luster it’s thus far maintained.

So, I’m getting old and fat. I used a lot of words to get here, but that ‘s what I mean to say. The two cardinal gay sins. Old and fat. I’m also poor, but that’s only a venial gay sin unless you’re also old and fat. And it’s not even a sexy fat. Like a bear. I’ve oddly hairless legs and a pale smooth Scotsman’s chest and hairy patches on my belly and lower back. Seriously. Before we vacationed in Provincetown a few years ago, my boyfriend gave me a special treat: he took me to get my lower back waxed. And, while I lay there anticipating the pain, BF chatted up the esthetician about my strange hair groupings. I recollect some giggling. And I’m not even sure how well the Russian lady understood English. Undoubtedly karmic payback for that night I’d swapped out anonymous hookups on Castro Street.

Jon at Beach
I waxed my back for this?
The author at the beach outside Provincetown.

But what I’m not here to do is complain about it. My motto these days thanks to Becky with the Good Hair is that when life gives you lemons, squeeze them. No, wait, that’s not right. Or, well, maybe it is. Yeah, squeeze them, add water and sugar to taste, chill and enjoy.

Last year, Paul Bisceglio, discussing a paper in the Journal of Language and Sociology entitled “Gay Men at Midlife” likened the study’s model of gay men settling into old age to the five stages of grief. He quotes the study’s author as saying:

We’re scared of aging more than a lot of other people would be. Ask younger guys what their future will be like, and a lot of them say they have no idea. They don’t perceive of a future, because they think they’re not going to have kids. They don’t have landmarks for progression through life that a lot of heterosexual people have.

That’s true enough. One lucky break I had was my previously-referenced best friend who raised a child, vicariously providing, to at least some degree, landmarks for my own progression. And, to get serious for a moment, I should also note that nephews and nieces undoubtedly provide similar landmarks to many otherwise childless individuals. That I actually lived (intermittently) with my best friend and her child over the years may have made my landmarks somewhat more acute.

JandBXMas
“My strange uncle.”
The author with most respectable flatmate.

Bisceglio continues:

According to the model, many men developed specific strategies for dealing with their fading youth as they aged. [T]hose who successfully settled into middle age found ways to redefine themselves, such as looking down at youth culture ís annoying habits (a phone obsession, for instance), focusing more on accomplishments and less on looks, and embracing epithets like old queen and sugar fossil.

 

(Full disclosure: Bisceglio goes on to talk about both lemons and lemonade, but I didn’t know that until after I’d already settled on the theme of this blog tour and began research.)

I’m not much on referring to myself as a queen old or otherwise. Royalty is inherited and, for better or worse, I’m a self-made man. Nor am I particularly partial to the term sugar fossil. That sounds like hard candy and just makes me hungry. Which isn’t helping.

However, I do really like that idea of focusing more on accomplishment than looks. I just wish I’d accomplished more. And sooner. When, in my boyhood, I imagined myself as, say, a thirty year old (my current age would have been literally unimaginable to me as a child), I saw me rich and feted and long settled with a hairy short guy who, besides doting on me, provided a convenient place to rest my elbow when we had to wait in long lines. I’d also have published several bestsellers and probably scripted (and maybe acted in) a few movies.

I can’t quite say things like swapping anonymous hook-ups on Castro Street or all the wrestling I did (again, a whole nuther essay maybe two or three) were a waste of my thirties (I certainly enjoyed them at the time), but they did distract me from pursuing a few of my goals.

Which is where we come to the squeezing of the lemons.

I’ve always been a writer. I know that sounds like one of those pat, off-the-cuff dismissals of all the hard work that goes into being a writer, but I stand by it. I always felt naturally inclined to express myself in words on the printed page. As to the hard work, well, I’m not claiming I was always a good writer. In fact, I still consider that to be very much a work in progress. Fortunately, I’m older now and can devote more time to that process. And, as long as I don’t get too fat, I may have enough years left to actually make something of myself.

In other words, now I can take off my pants and focus on the writing.

Wish me luck!

Thanks for bearing with me.

2016AbouttheAuthor

AuthorPic Jon Wilson is the author of Cheap as Beasts, a current finalist for the Lambda Literary Award Best Gay Mystery of 2015. He’s also written a follow-up volume, Every Unworthy Thing, as well as two westerns. He lives and works in Northern California, where, despite getting old and fat, he still thinks of himself as young and semi-muscular. This usually leads to panic on long flights of stairs or when he has inadvertently glanced in a mirror. His newfound (but wholly natural) aversion to mirrors also makes it hard to shave, so he currently wears a beard. Which, like the idea of sugar fossil candy, isn’t helping.

2016GiveawayI’m giving away a signed copy of both the Declan Colette books at the end of this blog tour. Just leave a semi-cogent comment (which, I suppose, means I’ll have to allow “YOU SUCK!”) to any of the five parts in the Pink Lemonade Blog Tour to enter (if you leave multiple comments or comment each day, you get entered for each comment)!

And tune in tomorrow for Pink Lemonade Part 2 at The Novel Approach

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CAB A Declan Colette Mystery

Like most soldiers, Declan Colette lost his fair share in the war—in his case a sailor, drowned off Iwo Jima. Since then he’s been scratching out a living as a cut-rate PI, drinking too much, and flirting with danger. Then a girl arranges to consult him, only to be murdered en route, and the cops tag Colette as their prime suspect. To save his neck he’ll need to find the real killer, a quest that pits him against a rival detective firm, a dangerously rich family, and a desperate foe whose murdering ways started back during the war.

Could this be the case he’s been waiting for? Catching the killer could make his reputation. Failing, could cost him his life.

Release Date  Words   78,900
ISBN-13  978-1-62639-320-2

Buy Link: Bold Strokes Books



every-unworthy-thingA Declan Colette Mystery

Gay PI Declan Colette finds himself in the middle of a gang war between resurgent Japanese mobsters and the black gangsters who expanded operations during World War II. Complicating matters is crime boss Max Harrold. Whether he’s stoking the fires of racial hostility or not, Harrold is definitely making things difficult for Colette, shanghaiing the detective and planting the body of a murdered Japanese gangster in Colette’s office. Now Colette’s only hope is to find the kidnapped daughter of a powerful Japanese businessman and return her home safely. And he has to do it with criminals standing in his way and police hot on his tail.

Release Date  Words   74,560
ISBN-13  978-1-62639-515-2

Buy Link: Bold Strokes Books

Blog Tour, Exclusive Excerpt, and Giveaway – Locked by Anyta Sunday

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AboutTheBook

Locked-fTITLE: Locked

SERIES: Telluric Realm #1

AUTHOR: Anyta Sunday

COVER ARTIST: Natasha Snow

LENGTH: 98,000 words

RELEASE DATE: April 26, 2016

BLURB: A curse threatens the Winter Kingdom.

A brother is turned to ice.

A rebel uprising is on the horizon.

Marble-maker Rye Cunnings is at the center of it all—and doesn’t know it.

He doesn’t know he’s the lost summer prince. Doesn’t know his blood can unlock Winter’s curse. Doesn’t know why the marbles he makes flutter with magic. All he thinks is that he’s crazy. That he sees things others don’t, like dragons and strange markings on his skin.

But when a dark dragon snatches away Rye’s only friend Milo, he is forced to face the crazy in his life and figure out a way to bring Milo back.

Help comes in the form of Cerdic Leit, a warrior who finds Rye to take him “home” to the Telluric Realm and their kind. All Rye has to do is follow him into Gatreau, the gateway to the four Telluric kingdoms, and all his questions will be answered.

In the hopes of saving Milo, Rye steps into this new and dangerous world. A world where he learns of the Tellurics and their Hansian foes. A world that is swept up in a bitter battle of justice and hate.

And a world that won’t let Rye leave again.
Excerpt

The snick of the armoire and Kaitlyn cursing had Cerdic kicking off his boots and pounding up the stairs to the roof three at a time, metal quaking under him. His brother could not be in love with the princess, could not try and prove it by breaking the royal curse with true love’s kiss. True love didn’t exist.
He had to stop Taruk. Cut him off in the gardens before he met with Princess Alyssa Gildwor.

He couldn’t be too late.

He had to shift and fly to the gardens.

Had to beat sundown and Taruk’s kiss.
The cold outside air slammed into him, its welcome sharp in his throat and wound. He tucked his arm against his chest and ran, passing Mulberry and Collins, who were limping over the bridge connecting the warrior wing to the prince’s quarters.

His feet crunched over thin ice. Wind whistled as he raced past the circular courtyard toward the south tower overlooking the castle gardens. A sliver of light still hummed on the horizon—it had to be enough.

Ahead, Prince Drake Gildwor was pacing the long strip above the gallery, silhouetted against a black amethyst sky.

No time to stop.

No time for apologies.

No time to explain.

Cerdic mowed past his highness, picking up speed, shedding his sword belt. His name came tagged to a demand but speed left it far behind him.

His bloodkey burned against his wrist and he threw himself off the edge of the castle and into the sky, shifting into his dragon form. His remaining clothes ripped, and pain strung through him as his bad wing extended and he plummeted toward a frosted courtyard.
He angled his body and a pocket of lilac-scented air lifted him. He clenched his jaw against the ache and flew swift and low, racing against the setting sun.

Taruk, don’t do it.

Cerdic pushed his slender snout taut, streamlining to gain speed. Keen sight and desperation honed his senses toward his brother. There … in the rose garden at the base of the bell tower.

No matter how pretty the rose, no matter how soft their combined laughs, one brush of her lips would poison him.

You dance with a thorn.

Cerdic hurtled toward them like he used to when Taruk was younger, when Taruk would stand with Kaitlyn in the gardens, begging him to teach them how to fly. . .
Princess Alyssa twirled, golden-white hair and silvery gown reflecting the lights from the castle. Taruk sighed.

The sigh of love luring a man to his doom.

The evening gripped Cerdic.

Not yet you don’t. He flicked his tail, propelling him toward the garden.

The last dredges of dusk disappeared.

With a hungry grip, night clawed at him, black clouds curling and snaking around all twelve feet of him.

Cerdic hissed fire, lighting the paralyzing darkness.

He had to land. Change.

Night thickened its hold, curling around his neck, legs, and torso, cutting the softer skin under his wing and digging into his ripped tendons.

Cerdic roared for his brother, who jerked his head upward.

Don’t do it!

Night yanked Cerdic toward the bell tower, stopping him from landing, from shifting back to his warrior form.

With a slam, his back met frozen shingles and stone and his scales grew heavy. In a rippling wave, stone devoured his motions, snaking over his wings, torso, his clawed feet.

Cerdic whipped his head about. If he could shake and shatter the stone . . .

But the sundown beat his dragon. It always did.

Beneath him, bells rang, vibrations hurtling through his body from the end of his tail to the tips of his wings. Six o’clock.

He shouted but it was useless. Stone silenced his pleas. Would silence all his roars until sunrise.

Below, the princess tugged Taruk’s arm. Doubt shadowed his brother’s face as he looked from Cerdic to Alyssa.

The princess spoke, every word cutting through the night. “What did you want to ask me?” Her breath fogged the air and sent little frost crystals up the collar of Taruk’s shirt.

His fool of a brother smiled wide, brilliant, earnest. The warmth of it should have been enough to break Cerdic free from his dark binds.

Clouds parted and moonlight sharpened the angles of the princess’s face, whiter than the icicles hanging from a distant arched trellis like hundreds of blades poised on the precipice of battle.

Taruk breathed in, his chest puffing out.

He lifted the princess’s white-gloved hands and drew near.

She tensed. “Taruk—”

“Please. Let me lift this curse from you.”
Princess Alyssa extracted one hand from Taruk’s grasp and touched his smooth cheek. “I can’t . . . I can’t do it. Not to you.”

The princess stepped back, but Taruk pulled her in again. “Because you love me as much as I love you.”
She swallowed, a small choked sound coming from her. “I love you, too, but—”

“So kiss me,” Taruk said, dipping his head. “Do it. Let me free you.”

“But what if. . .”

Taruk smiled and cupped the princess’s nape. “You’re beautiful…”

A yell built inside Cerdic, growing and growing until surely it would shatter him.

Didn’t the princess’s breath leaving a trail of ice-crystals over his jaw warn him? Cerdic’s stomach churned. Don’t do it.

Kaitlyn, where are you?

BuyLinks

Amazon US

Amazon UK

AuthorBio

A born and raised New Zealander from Wellington, I’ve been exploring the literary world since I started reading Roald Dahl as a kid. Stories have been piling up in my head ever since. Fast forward to my mid-twenties and jump a few countries (Germany, America, and back again), I started to put them to paper.

My genre of choice is romance, both adult and YA, gay and straight. You can take a closer look at my books, available as e-books for download in many formats!

When I’m not pushing my characters deeper into adventure, I chase my son around the house and fight my two comical cats for the desk chair.

Since 2014, I’m also part of CritShop Literary Services, specializing in writing workshops and editorial services for LGBT fiction.

|| Website || Facebook || Twitter ||

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Winner’s Prize: E-copy of Locked

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TourSchedule

May 3: MM Good Book Reviews

May 4: Author J Scott Coatsworth

May 5: The Land of Make Believe

May 6: Bayou Book Junkie

May 9: Loving Without Limits

May 10: Cia’s Stories

May 11: Louise Lyons

May 12: The Purple Rose Tea House

May 13: Unquietly Me

May 16: Alpha Book Club

May 17: The Novel Approach :: Hearts on Fire

May 18: Molly Lolly: Reader, Reviewer, Lover of Words :: Drops of Ink

May 19: Love Bytes Reviews

May 20: MM Book Escape

Cover Reveal, Exclusive Excerpt, and Giveaway – A Dangerous Game by Rick. R. Reed

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Rick R. Reed reveals the beautiful cover art of his next book titled A DANGEROUS GAME coming out from Dreamspinner Press.

It releases on June 03, 2016.

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BLURB

2nd Edition

Sex can be a dangerous business. So can love.

On the worst day of his life, Wren Gallagher wants oblivion when he steps into Tricks for a drink. When a mysterious stranger steps up to pay his tab, he offers Wren the key to fulfilling his dreams of prosperity and true love.

But appearances are not always what they seem.

His savior owns the escort agency À Louer, and he wants the young and handsome Wren as part of his stable of men-for-hire. Down on his luck, Wren figures, why not? He needs the money. When he joins, though, he doesn’t count on meeting Rufus, another escort with whom he falls hopelessly in love.

But their love story will have to overcome the obstacles of not only trading love for money, but À Louer’s dark—and deadly—secrets.

1st Edition published as Rent by ManLove Romance Press, 2012.

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PRESENTING

Cover Art by Reese Dante

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EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT

“There’s no place like home,” Wren said. He allowed himself to lean back into the soft leather cushions for a bit, closing his eyes. The last few days had been so stressful. He let his hand loll along the surface of the leather, and his forefinger caught on something cotton and elastic. He looked over, giving a tug, and extracted a jockstrap, sticky with dried come, just about concealed between the cushions.

Read more exclusive excerpts on –

:: Gay Book Reviews :: MM Book Escape :: Love Bytes Reviews :: The Purple Rose Tea House ::

:: Bayou Book Junkie :: Diverse Reader :: The Novel Approach ::

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PRE-ORDER LINK

Dreamspinner Press (eBook)

Dreamspinner Press (Paperback)

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rick R Reed_Author Pic

Rick R. Reed is all about exploring the romantic entanglements of gay men in contemporary, realistic settings. While his stories often contain elements of suspense, mystery and the paranormal, his focus ultimately returns to the power of love.

He is the author of dozens of published novels, novellas, and short stories. He is a three-time EPIC eBook Award winner (for Caregiver, Orientation and The Blue Moon Cafe). He is also a Rainbow Award Winner for both Caregiver and Raining Men. Lambda Literary Review has called him, “a writer that doesn’t disappoint.”

Rick lives in Seattle with his husband and a very spoiled Boston terrier. He is forever “at work on another novel.”

:: Website :: Blog :: Facebook Page :: Twitter :: Google+ ::

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

Winner’s Prize: Winner’s choice of any eBook title from Rick’s Dreamspinner Press backlist.

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