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GUEST POST: Midlife Crisis by Rob Rosen

 

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Guest Post

Many thanks to BTMABTO for the opportunity to present my tenth novel, Midlife Crisis, to its readers. I set out to write a romantic comedy about a man, Jack, who returns to his past in order to find the love that’s missing in his present. I wound up with that, plus a nifty murder mystery that threatens Jack, his family, and his friends. Will Jack find love? Will the murder be solved? I hope you pick up a copy of the book to find out. 
 
Below is a short excerpt from the very beginning, just to wet your whistle. Suffice it to say, zaniness quickly ensues. Enjoy!
 
  “Parsnips?” Greg asked me.
    I looked over at him from the living room couch as he in turn poked his head out from the kitchen. “Um, huh?” I said, wondering if this was some new pet name he’d thought of for me, as he was forever coming up with new ones. Last I checked, I was being referred to as Professor. FYI, I teach business at a local college. My students call me Jack or Mister Nelson. Professor makes me sound a.) old and b.) like a character in a television show. Also FYI, I am neither, though if he had to come up with anything from the latter category, I was rooting for Pepper, a la Angie Dickinson in Police Woman.
    “Parsnips,” he repeated, already looking peeved with me, which was, sad to say, par for the course as of late. Par, bogie and eagle, in fact. Heck, let’s just toss in the entire golfing green, and call it a day.
    In any case, it wasn’t a question or a comment anyone had ever thrown my way. I squinted my eyes as I pondered this. In truth, I hadn’t a clue what a parsnip even was. Had I ever eaten one before? Would I still seem professorial if I asked what the hell one was? Did I even want to ask and risk his wrath, which consisted of him ignoring me the rest of the evening? Greg, you see, hated confrontation―though he loved being a world-class bitch.
    “Just to be clear,” I asked, forcing a smile so as to divert the inevitable kerfuffle, “are you asking me if I want some with dinner?”
    He matched my squint with a scowl. He started to say something, realized a fight of some sort would probably ensue, took his nine-iron and golf ball, and promptly left that aforementioned course. In other words, Professor zero, kerfuffle one. And, yes, we had parsnips with our entirely silent dinner. Yuck.
***
    To backtrack just a bit, Greg and I had been dating for six months. He lived down the hall from me in our high-rise, San Francisco, somewhat-luxury condo. Though in San Francisco, for what you pay, they’re all luxury. In any case, you know that expression: don’t eat where you shit? Well, yeah, I knew it, too, except I’d sadly never paid it much heed. Meaning, while I would’ve loved to have broken up with Greg, I would still have to see him all too often, mainly because luxury didn’t equate to more than one elevator.
    To be fair, my boyfriend hadn’t cornered the market in nonconfrontational skills. Which is to say, no, I didn’t break up with him, much as I would’ve liked to. Then again, I didn’t really have to, seeing as he finally broke up with me, a mere three nights later.
    “Why are we always fighting?” he asked, just before it all fell down like a giant house of cards. And, yes, in San Francisco, even that would have gone for a small fortune.
    “I’d call it silently simmering more than fighting,” I replied, uneager to provoke him―and, okay, perhaps just a bit eager as well. It was an odd dichotomy. Then again, so were we.
    “You know what I mean.”
    I did. Fine. “Thin line between love and hate?”
    “But you don’t love me, and I don’t love you, so what does that leave?”
    I shrugged. “Parsnips?” Sorry, it was the best I could come up with. Largely because I didn’t necessarily hate him, though that aforesaid root vegetable I could’ve forever lived without.
 

Blurb

Jack is thirty-five and single once again. He is not, as he as quick to point out, going through a midlife crisis. Still, it would be nice to have a partner, and so he sets out on an adventure to find the one-time love of his life, Bing, a man he hasn’t seen in more than fifteen years, a man who has seemingly vanished off the face of the planet. With the help of his family and friends, not to mention the family dog and his high school bully, he goes searching for Bing, only to unearth an ages-old mystery that puts them all in grave danger. In this hysterically funny tale, the question remains right on up to the surprise ending: can we return to our past in order to better our future?

Buy Links

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“If you’re looking for a humorous and intelligent book to read, Rob Rosen’s Midlife Crisis should be on the top of your list. A tale of going back to move forward, as told by Jack, the story’s main character, is full of youthful and gay witty repartee balanced with the poignancy that comes with adult life. It will make you laugh out loud one minute and get teary the next. Oh, and if you like a good murder mystery, there’s that too. Kudos to Rosen for creating some very memorable characters.” – Julian G, Simmons, Narrator,Widdershins audiobook series

“Rob Rosen does madcap gay humor better than anyone else writing today. Midlife Crisis is no exception.” – Neil Plakcy, author of The Mahu Investigations

“Rob Rosen’s Midlife Crisis has laughs aplenty, along with intrigue, romance, sex, and heartbreak. The reader will enjoy the humorous wordplay and snappy dialogue, which, alongside a tale of first love lost and along-forgotten mystery surfacing from the past, carries the story forward to an exciting conclusion.” – T.R. Verten, author of Confessions of a Rentboy

About the Author

RobRosenHeadShotLargeRob Rosen is the author of the critically acclaimed novels, Sparkle: The Queerest Book You’ll Ever Love, the Lambda Literary Award Nominated Divas Las Vegas, which was the winner of the 2010 TLA Gaybies for Best Gay Fiction, Hot Lava, Southern Fried, the Lambda Literary Award NominatedQueerwolf, Vamp, Queens of the Apocalypse, Creature Comfort, and Fate, winner of the 2016 TRR Readers’ Choice Award for Best Gay Romantic Comedy. His short stories have appeared in more than 200 anthologies. You can find 20 of them in his erotic romance anthology, Good & Hot. He is also the editor of Lust in Time: Erotic Romance Through the Ages, Men of the Manor, Best Gay Erotica 2015and Best Gay Erotica of the Year, Volumes 1 and 2.
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GUEST POST: Returning Home by Alexa Milne

Returning Home

 

Scotland – my Home from Home

To me, Scotland is the most beautiful place I’ve ever visited. I’ve stayed virtually everywhere, except the far north west coast. I’ve driven the road to Applecross, up and down the Pass of the Cattle with its hairpin bends. I’ve taken a ferry from Uig at the top of Skye to Lochmaddy and back. I’ve driven around the Isle of Arran. I’ve stayed in Kyle of Lochalsh, Kirkcubright, Port Logan, Troon, Onich, Inverinate, Crail, Inverness, Brora, Portessie, Cullen, Whitehills, Gullane and a tiny place called Nostie along the coast from Eileann Donan castle. I love the mountains, the lochs, the coastline, and the people. Scotland is my heaven on earth, where I feel at peace so when I planned to write a series of books, I wanted to set them somewhere I love. Finally, I settled on the Moray coast. I have stayed there, in various villages, many times. Sometimes it has rained, sometimes the weather has been glorious, but regardless, it is always beautiful.

The Call of Home series is set around the town of Buckie, a fishing town that isn’t very glamorous, but the scenery is spectacular. The nearby beaches at Banff and Cullen are great places to watch the sun go down. Nearby, seals haul themselves up onto rocks to sun themselves which I describe in the stories. I’ve seen dolphins once, just like Brice mentions in Returning Home. Like him, I’ve never yet managed to see a whale. Their experiences of the area are mine. I’ve sat at Banff links watching the dogs romp along the sand. I’ve visited Duff House. I haven’t ridden along the beach, on a horse but I’ve seen others take to the expansive sands at Burghead. I’ve sat, like Seth, at the beach in Hopeman.

When you write a story, you sometimes base them in places you haven’t visited, but I wanted to feel close to these stories, and to have seen what my characters see, have felt the breeze and the rain on my face, just like them. This is why I chose to base them in Scotland, to hopefully give them a reality it isn’t always possible to manage, even with a lot of research. I hope I’ve given some impression of the area for people who have never been there. If you get the chance, just go. I promise you will love it. I can’t keep away, and even now my current WIP is set in the Highlands near the famous village of Glencoe. The setting can make a story and give it an extra dimension. Placing the Call of Home series in Scotland does this for me. I hope it does the same for you.

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Blurb

You can never escape from yourself.

When Darach McNaughton returns to his home town, the one thing he isn’t looking for is love. But when he meets the mysterious Brice Drummond, his investigative instinct isn’t the only thing aroused.

After a gang beats Brice Drummond, leaves him for dead, and needing to use a wheelchair, he ends up in a witness protection program. His only company is a beautiful cat aptly named Princess. He creates stunning pieces of art, but allows no one into his life—until a handsome policeman appears out of nowhere.

On a snowy night, Darach McNaughton returns a crying cat to its owner and is immediately curious about the beautiful man with the tattoos. Bit by bit, Darach uncovers the shocking truth about Brice’s history. Can he get past what he discovers? Can Brice let someone into his life? Or will the past catch up with them both and tear their fledgling love apart?

Reader advisory: Dubious consent. Recollections of physical abuse, emotional/mental abuse, torture and drug abuse. Profanity.

Buy Links

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Returning-Home-Call-Book-ebook/dp/B01H3MG25E

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Returning-Home-Call-Book-ebook/dp/B01H3MG25E

Pride Publishing: https://www.pride-publishing.com/book/returning-home

About the Author

Originally from South Wales, Alexa has lived for over thirty years in the North West of England. Now retired, after a long career in teaching, she devotes her time to her obsessions.

Alexa began writing when her favourite character was killed in her favourite show. After producing a lot of fanfiction she ventured into original writing.

She is currently owned by a mad cat and spends her time writing about the men in her head, watching her favourite television programmes and usually crying over her favourite football team.

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GUEST POST: Tackling the Issue by Ken Mooney

Tackling The Issue

It was the summer of 2015 I was working on the final edits of my second novel, The Hades Contract and Jess West, my editor, had a question.

“Why isn’t there a sex scene here?”

Okay, I might be paraphrasing on the exact words: it was last year. This book itself is epic fantasy, the Greek gods meet the X-Men with a touch of horror and ultra-violence. After a big action scene, I hit the brakes, slowed down the story to deal with some characters before working to a dramatic finale. Key to this slow-down were two characters, gay guys comfortable with their own sexuality, finally giving in to their attractions to each other. After two books of dancing around each other, forever distracted by something else, this couple finally kissed. There was a little bit of superpower shenanigans in there and the characters relocated to the bedroom where I allowed the door to close, respecting their privacy.

I’d left my editor with blue balls, and she was intrigued as to why I’d done it. Especially when my first novel, Godhead, had included a scene where the villainess unzipped her target’s pants and mounted him, ready to manipulate mind body and soul.

Why didn’t I follow these characters into the bedroom?

Because I didn’t know if people wanted to read that.

Because even though I was a gay man, writing a book about gay characters and Greek gods, I was more comfortable writing about manipulative straight sex than addressing any sort of gay sexuality.

It was easy enough to figure out why that was the case: I didn’t have to look far. It’s an Irish thing.

Sure, it’s something of a joke in all sorts of media, but when you live in Ireland, when you’re from Ireland, there’s a certain problem that’s ever-present in the air. Sex has been a dirty word in Ireland for a very long time, along with every variation thereof: sexy sexuality and everything that goes along with it.

The Ireland that I was born into in the mid-80s has changed, but the memories of that old world still remain. Gasp in astonishment as you discover that divorce only became legal after a bitterly fought referendum in 1995; squirm as you discover condoms could not be bought in this country before 1985; raise your eyebrows in confusion that the government refused to decriminalise homosexuality in 1988 until the European Court of Human Rights got involved in 1993.

That’s right: for about a quarter of my life in this country, it was illegal just to be gay. Thankfully, it was a time when that issue didn’t really affect me, but that’s not to say that the memories of that world don’t linger.

Ireland is a small country, and the majority rules over a lot of things: the majority haven’t always been the bad guys, but they often just don’t know any better. TV shows have established the Irish Catholic family struggling to survive in the modern world, but those shows are usually based in the US, and forget some of the important factors of Irish life.

Because Ireland is a small place, the majority culture rules the roost. It’s not always intentional: it just sort of works that way. In Ireland, there’s this societal expectation that you’re Catholic, that you’re straight, that you’ll be marrying a member of the opposite sex and having kids.

I know plenty of people who defied those expectations and lived their own lives regardless, and I know families and friends who accepted those people. I also know of family and friends who did not accept these people.

I know plenty of people who moved to the UK or even further afield, away from a world of expectations. Some of those people moved away just to have more work opportunities, to go on a grand adventure: others saw a world that did not accept them and the people they wanted to fall in love with.

Is it any wonder that I would self-edit my own novel to remove this element of sexuality? Is it any wonder that I speak to someone from outside of Ireland, or anyone significantly younger than myself, and they don’t realise how truly messed up this country can be?

I wanted to address these thoughts, and encouraged by my editor, I wanted to address some of my own issues. But like a proper Irish man, I didn’t want to address them myself. I adopted a pseudonym to keep this project distant from my other work; I even used initials rather than a full name, in some ways ashamed of admitting that this was a look at gay life, written by a gay man and written for gay men.

I dressed this up as erotica, pure sexuality, but my attempted narrative was curiously dark and unwelcome. Determined to give an Irish spin to a story about two men attracted to each other, these characters took on angry and scared tones with very deep scars that had been left by the country around them. Apparently these characters had grown up in a similar Ireland that I had:  they had seen the world through similar eyes, reacting in ways I had seen and reacted myself.

After some initial reviews, I realised that my assumed name and my attempts to keep things distant form this project weren’t really fare or honest to this story. Dressed as erotica, the people who were reading my work for escape and fantasy were horrified by these characters with their issues and their flaws and their anger.

So I’ve changed the name and I’ve changed the purpose, but the story remains the same. Tackling The Issue remains an attempt to write erotica, but it turned into something very different: it turned into a study of internalised homosexuality, the kind of self-loathing, the anger and the depression that is triggered by some of the messed up sexuality that has haunted Ireland for years.

There is an expectation that Irish writers can write these happy endings, these worlds where a smile and good humour can heal all woes.

I’m not that kind of Irish writer. Happy endings don’t happen in the real world, and Ireland and its people have spent too much time pretending that magic realism is real. Let’s deal instead with a world where not everyone gets on with each other, where not everyone likes each other.

We’ve a lot of catching up to do on sex and sexuality, and it’s about time we start.

Blurb

“Garrett O’Mahony would like to be your friend on Facebook.”

This is new. This is something I never expected to happen.

Garrett has ignored me for the best part of a decade, ever since we lived together, ever since he snuck out of my life, too afraid to admit who he was and how he felt.

Now, Garrett O’Mahony is one of the best rugby players Ireland has seen in years. Back then, he was my roommate; back then, he was just another Irish-man desperately trying to convince himself that he wasn’t gay.

I’ve changed since then. Ireland has changed since then. I don’t know if Garrett has changed too. But I guess there’s only one way to find out?

Buy Link

About the author

12038375_10153360383668197_8782163379128702791_n (1)Ken Mooney was born in Dublin in the middle of the 1980s; he still lives there. He holds a degree in English Studies from TCD, which he totally uses every day during his day-job in TV advertising…totally.

He’s always been obsessed with stories, reading, writing and playing them; that explains the massive collection of books, comics, video games and discarded Word documents. His writing is a combination of all the things that he’s passionate about, all the way through high-and-low-brow.

Find Ken at his website (www.kenmooney.com) and Twitter (@kenmooney)
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BOOK BLAST! Love is Love Anthology

A collection of poems composed by over fifty authors

in aid of the victims and survivors of the Orlando Pulse Attack.

 

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On June 12, 2016, the most horrendous mass shooting in US history and an unfathomable act of hate was directed at the LGBT community in Orlando. The horror of this tragedy reverberated around the world, leaving millions shocked and appalled at the senseless violence that destroyed so many innocent lives.

In a display of solidarity with the victims and survivors of the Pulse nightclub shooting, a group of LGBTQ+ and straight allies, from all across the globe, came together to produce a collection of poems in celebration of love and acceptance.

The resulting Love is Love Poetry Anthology is dedicated to the families and victims of the shooting and all proceeds of this work will be donated to Equality Florida’s Pulse Victims Fund.

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In this small way, the authors, along with the readers who purchase this work, seek to contribute to the lives of those who still suffer from the consequences of the malice directed toward them, and offer some positivity and compassion in the face of such bigotry.

Contributing Authors:

AC Benus, Aditus, Andrew Jericho, Ann Anderson, Ash Marie, Asta Idonea, Betti Gefecht, Cam Kennedy, Cynus Eldranai, Darren White, dughlas, Eddy LeFey, Eden Winters, EmiGS Em, F.E. Feeley Jr., Gelybi , Headstall, Jack L. Pyke, Jana Denardo, Jason Frazier, Jay Rookwood, J.L. Merrow, Karina Rye, Kathy Griffith, Kay Ellis, Kaye P. Hallows, Kit Loffstadt, Laura B. Damone, Layla Dorine, Lily G. Blunt, L.J. Harris, L.M. Somerton, Louis Stevens, L.S.K Harris, L.V. Lloyd, Lynn Michaels, Maggie Chatterton, Maria Siopis, Monika De Giorgi, Parker Owens, Patricia Nelson, Pelaam, Petra Howard, Ravyn Bryce, Rick R. Reed, Ruski, Valik and Addy, S.J. Davis, Skylar M. Cates, Star Brady, Steve Baldry, Susan Crane, Tamara Miles, Tash Hatzipetrou, Tim Landon, Tracy Gee, Vicki Tubridy, Victoria Kinnaird, and Wendy Rathbone.

 

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Amazon.com | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AUS | Amazon FR

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iTunes | Kobo

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Paperback

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Add on Goodreads

 

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Sincere thanks go to everyone who contributed their time, energy, and skills in the making of this beautiful anthology.

Special thanks also go to Jay Aheer (Simply Defined Art) for the fabulous cover art,

Kelly O’Brien for the ‘Love Wins’ artwork,

and Petra Howard and Tash Hatzipetrou for proofreading the final document.

 

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Many thanks to Kelly O’Brien for contributing the

“Love Wins’ artwork.

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

ENTER TO WIN A PAPERBACK COPY OF THE ANTHOLOGY

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BLOG TOUR, EXCERPT AND GIVEAWAY! Just A Week by Jena Wade

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Title: Just A Week
Author: Jena Wade
Release Date: July 5th 2016
Genre: Contemporary MM Romance

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BLURB

Just a week is not enough time to fall in love, but Fate doesn’t care. Seth’s carefully crafted plan for how his life will go doesn’t include falling in love with a guy in his horrible hometown. He wants to start a new life anywhere but at home. Until Maddox storms in with his multi-colored hair and carefree attitude.

Long distance relationships don’t work and Seth isn’t into gambling with his future. But the more time he spends with Maddox, the more he’s willing to throw caution to the wind. Now his plan for the rest of his life has been turned upside down and seems to include things Seth never thought possible, including a lifetime of happiness in his hometown.

 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30818125-just-a-week?ac=1&from_search=true

 

Buy Links: Amazon | Loose ID | All Romance

 

EXCERPT

I found my usual bench unoccupied. Thank goodness. It sat underneath a giant oak tree that provided a good amount of shade. About a hundred feet away was a set of playground equipment for kids. Since it was Sunday evening, there weren’t many kids around.

The screech and clicks of skateboards on metal had me looking around like I’d just entered a parallel universe. What the hell?

Where there used to be old basketball hoops with raggedy nets, there now stood a half-pipe and other random obstacles used for skateboarding tricks. A half dozen teenagers and young adults whizzed around each other. Some on boards, others on rollerblades. All of them moving at high speed.

There was a lot of laughing, and every so often someone shouted, “Check this out,” before trying some stunt on the rail, usually resulting in a fall or stumble.

Squealing kids on a swing set I could drown out. But this, I wasn’t so sure about. It was new. And distracting.

One young man in particular stood out. Mostly because he had bright orange hair that spiked in every direction, possibly looking like it could impale a person if they were to touch it. Like a cactus. He also looked a bit older than the teenagers that surrounded him, which might explain why they all seemed to look up to him like he was a god.

He wore a black zip-up sweatshirt, though it was warm enough to go without, and jeans that were skintight.

Once I started watching him, I noticed that the other skaters watched him too. He had talent. He kept his balance well, and his moves seemed effortless. While the other skaters floundered and wobbled as they zoomed around, he kept calm and collected.

I didn’t understand the appeal of skateboarding, especially on a half-pipe. What was the purpose of putting yourself in harm’s way like that? Might as well throw myself down a flight of stairs if I wanted to break a bone.

Orange-haired Guy stood on the deck of the half-pipe. He stared down the slope below, his face unreadable. He didn’t call the others to gather around and watch, though I had a feeling they would anyway.

He took a deep breath and hopped on his board.

I held my breath, like I was the one up there. I watched in wonder as he gained momentum, back and forth, up and down the half-pipe. Once he had enough speed he began his flips. It looked amazing to me. Him flipping in the air, his feet staying on the board as he spun, then landing perfectly to do it all over again. I guess I had never bothered to watch any skateboarding before. Maybe I would have if they had looked like this skateboarder.

My nose pressed against the chain-link fence that surrounded the skate park before I even realized I had walked closer. At least I started breathing again.

He stopped just as quickly as he started. Landing back on the deck of the half-pipe, like he hadn’t just done something incredible. And maybe it wasn’t to him; maybe that was just another day in the life. To me it was pretty cool.

The other skaters around cheered and gave him high fives as he made his way through the park. Just like that, he left. He hit the sidewalk and hopped back onto his board, flying down the street like it was made for him.

 

GIVEAWAY: Win a copy of Just a Week

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/391d73bd41/?

 

About the Author

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Jena began writing in January of 2013 as a New Year’s Resolution–and so far she has stuck to it!
She lives in Michigan. By day she works as a web developer, and at night she writes. Born and raised on a farm, she spends most of her free time outdoors, playing in the garden, or riding her horses. She also helps run the family dairy farm.

Links: Website | Loose ID | Twitter | Goodreads

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BLOG TOUR, EXCERPT & GIVEAWAY! Choosing Home by Alexa Milne

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Title: Choosing Home
Author: Alexa Milne
Series: The Call of Home #1
Release Day: July 12th 2016
Genre: MM Contemporary Romance

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BLURB
You can never escape from yourself.

Zac McKenzie is an ex-professional footballer with a secret he gave up his career to protect. Several years ago, he fled to his home in the North East of Scotland to avoid being outed as gay. Now, he owns a successful hotel and restaurant, but is it time to finally come out into the open?

Seth Pritchard feels he is damaged goods. He comes to Scotland to escape memories of the accident that left him injured, his bullying step-brothers and a life of lies.

For their whole lives, Zac and Seth have denied who they truly are to themselves as well as to others. When they meet, each man is forced to confront his fears and tear them down one by one.

Reader advisory: Dubious consent. Recollections of physical abuse, emotional/mental abuse, torture and drug abuse. Profanity.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30212537-choosing-home?ac=1&from_search=true

Buy Links: Pride Publishing | Amazon

 

EXCERPT

So what did you do before coming here, then?” Seth drank the excellent coffee and stretched his knee again to stop it from stiffening.

“I played professional football.”

“Oh, should I know you? I’ve always been more of a rugby fan, I’m afraid.” He scrutinized his landlord’s face. His stepbrothers would have had football on the TV twenty-four-seven, so he’d been exposed to lots of games over the years.

“I retired six years ago with a back injury, but I was captain of Scotland and Glasgow Rovers. I guess I was well known at the time.”

Realization hit Seth between the eyes. “Hang on a minute—Magic McKenzie, that’s you, isn’t it? Didn’t you score the winning goal for Trentino when they beat Manchester United in the Champions’ League?”

Zac’s cheeks flushed red and he grinned. “Yeah, that was me—stupid nickname.” Seth noticed the way the skin around Zac’s eyes crinkled when he smiled and, oh my, his smile lit up a room.

Zac rose from the sofa and picked up the plates. “I’d better be on my way before Mina sends out a search party. No doubt she has a few jobs for me to do before tonight’s service. We’re nearly full, but can fit you in if you want to eat with us, or I’ll get someone to bring something over for you until you get organized.”

“Is Mina your wife?” Fuck. Idiot, where did that question come from?

There was the smile again. “Mina, good God, no. She’d eat me alive and spit me out. No, her husband plays in goal for Inverness Cally Thistle. We met when we both played in Italy. No, me… I’m not the marrying kind, not anymore.”

Seth watched Zac close the door then leaned back in his chair. So much for coming to the back of beyond to escape his problems. It looked like he might simply have found a whole lot more.

Giveaway: WIN a SIGNED copy of CHOOSING HOME
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About the Author

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

 

Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Release Blitz & Giveaway: A Cowboy’s Home by RJ Scott

Copy of Montana 3 LLB BannerRelease Blitz & Giveaway – A Cowboy’s Home (Montana #3) – RJ Scott

Author: RJ Scott
 
Release Date: July 8
 
Cover Art: Meredith Russell
 
Buy Links: 
 
Length: 75,000 words
 
Series:

Blurb:

One burned and broken man finds his way home. Can he find peace in the arms of a man easy to love?Justin made the ultimate sacrifice for his country, battling domestic terrorism, never the man he really was, using hate to avenge the death of his best friend. The friend he’d killed.

What he doesn’t count on is getting shot, and if he’s going to die he wants it to be on Crooked Tree soil. Home.

Sam is as much a part of Crooked Tree as any of the families, and the offer to buy into the ranch is a dream come true. But falling for a hidden, secretive, injured man isn’t the way to keep his head in the game.

Giveaway

Click here to enter the Giveaway

Author Bio: 

588b3-rj2bscottRJ Scott is the bestselling gay romance author of over ninety MM romance books. She writes emotional stories of complicated characters, cowboys, millionaire, princes, and the men who get mixed up in their lives. RJ is known for writing books that always end with a happy ever after. She lives just outside London and spends every waking minute she isn’t with family either reading or writing. 
 
RJ also writes MF romance under the name Rozenn Scott.
 
The last time she had a week’s break from writing she didn’t like it one little bit, and she has yet to meet a bottle of wine she couldn’t defeat.
 
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GUEST POST, EXCERPT and GIVEAWAY! The Edge of Control and Unguarded by Lou Kelly

 

TheEdgeOfControl

 

Blurb:

As the youngest Chief of Medicine at Southside General Hospital, David Carlson has no business lusting after the most hostile nurse on the ER staff. A professional, hard-working, over-achiever, he’s finally realized his life-long dream of promotion, and the last thing he needs now are complications.

But he can’t help being intrigued by the enigmatic Ian James. Not only is Ian flat-out gorgeous, he’s also mysterious. And he awakens in David a passion that he hasn’t felt since … well, ever.

Unfortunately, Ian James is a man with a dangerous past and an even more dangerous present, and loving him will come at a cost. Can David trust him? Is he willing to put his entire career on the line to protect a man who might be playing him? Is Ian capable of loving and trusting him back?

Discovering the truth will take David into the heart of blackmail, corruption, and scandal. Straight to the edge of control.

The Edge of Control is a stand-alone, full-length novel with NO cliffhanger!

 

Excerpt:

By the time I pulled my tired body out of the shower, it was past nine o’clock. Before I’d allowed myself to return home, I’d holed up in my office for hours, dealing with the mountain of paperwork I’d been neglecting over the last few weeks.

It was as much a punishment as a necessity.

Idiot. You stupid, desperate, sex-starved idiot.

I was finding it difficult to forgive myself. How much time had I wasted fantasizing about Ian? How had I allowed myself to be taken in by him when he was so openly hostile to begin with? I’d ignored every fact, making up my mind that he was more than his surface appearance. But sometimes people were exactly the way they seemed. Sometimes men who appeared angry and dangerous were exactly that: angry and dangerous.

The Littinger connection got to me the most. It wasn’t as if Ian was directly responsible for the man’s suicide. Even if they’d had an affair and Littinger later regretted it, that didn’t mean it was Ian’s fault that Littinger had decided to shoot himself. But Littinger’s involvement made Ian a chronic adulterer. A man who lead other men – older, more powerful men – into bed.

I stretched out on my leather couch and closed my eyes. I hadn’t yet pulled a shirt on, and my back was still damp from the shower, sticking to the leather upholstery, but it felt good to lay there in my loose cotton pajama pants, bare feet resting on the arm of the sofa, a soft pillow beneath my head. I was so exhausted I might have drifted off to sleep, but a knock at my door pulled me awake again.

My first thought was Caroline, but she never knocked softly. With her it was always loud, incessant pounding in rhythm to whatever song she’d been listening to last.

“Hang on.” I shuffled my way to the door and opened it, wondering if one of my neighbors had locked themselves out again.

It wasn’t a neighbor.

Ian stood in the hallway of my apartment building, hands thrust into his blue jean pockets, one foot kicking absently at a loose thread on the hallway runner. He looked up at me with that familiar expression that repelled and invited simultaneously.

“Is this a bad time?” he asked.

I leaned against the door frame and watched as his eyes moved over my bare chest, waiting for my answer.

“That depends,” I said. “Are you in trouble?” I fought to keep the coldness out of my voice, and I could see the confusion leak into his expression as his eyes moved up to scan my face, searching for something that was no longer there. He turned. “I should go,” he said.

I should let him.

But what if I was wrong? I cursed under my breath. “Wait.”

Ian stalled in the middle of the hallway.

“Come in,” I said at last.

What the hell was I doing?

He paused, then turned and followed me inside. I couldn’t decide if his demeanor exuded relief or reluctance. I was generally good at reading people. Part of my job as a physician inevitably involved spotting liars: people lying about their pain, lying about their addictions, lying about their relationships. Body language was as familiar to me as the internal workings of the human form, yet with Ian I could never deduce his true motivations. He always seemed conflicted, as if he didn’t know for certain what he’d do until he was actually doing it.

As soon as he was in my apartment, his gaze lit over every surface in a practiced kind of surveillance – the kind people did out of ingrained habit rather than conscious intent. I couldn’t help remembering what Bruce had said about him having a record. A record for what? Breaking and entering? Burglary?

Not that I was worried Ian was there to rob me. We worked together for Christ’s sake. It was more that I was seeing him clearly for the first time. Seeing his nervousness for a man playing up his mark.

I wondered what attracted Ian to the men he chose. Was it their money? An illusion of power? It certainly wasn’t based on looks. Bruce was a nice looking man for his age, but Littinger had been small and rail thin with a horrible comb-over and chronic body odor. I tried to see myself – my furniture and possessions – through Ian’s eyes. Would he see something worthwhile here? A turn-on? Had he come here to seduce me? Could I resist him if he had?

I fought back my rising attraction. Despite everything, there was a rabid thrill to having the man I’d fantasized about step into my apartment, at night, looking like –

Fucking perfect.

He wore a black, button-down shirt, untucked from a pair of form-hugging jeans. His hair, slightly on the longer side and usually tousled, was combed back, away from his face, tucked behind his ears, and my fingers ached to run through it.

God damn. He took my breath away.

It had been a mistake to invite him inside.

“So?” I prompted, deliberately forcing my thoughts back to the conversation with Bruce. Forcing myself to imagine Ian in bed with Littinger. Anything to fight my raging, testosterone fueled hard-on. The hard-on he must certainly notice beneath my cotton pajama pants.

I was standing against the wall that divided my living room from the kitchen. He was three steps away, and at first he didn’t say anything, shifting his weight nervously, but then he stepped towards me – one, two, three steps – and just like that his mouth was on mine, his tongue tracing my lips before moving down my neck to my nipple, probing gently before sucking it between his teeth.

The shock of his touch was indescribable. His hands slid across the skin of my chest to my back as he licked from one nipple to the other, and the moan that came out of me could not be stifled. Ian’s mouth returned to the hollow of my neck as his hands released me, and his fingers undid the buttons on his shirt. He released them one by one, his lips never leaving my skin, and the whole time he was sinking to his knees, his tongue trailing down my abdomen, stopping only when he pulled his shirt off, leaving it on the floor behind him. Then his fingers, firm yet supple, were untying the drawstring of my pants.

Without meaning to, my hands raked through his hair and I felt sure I’d never let him go. This was the point of no return. One fraction of an inch further and nothing would enable me to turn back.

My entire career flashed before my eyes, and I pushed him away with an explosiveness that surprised us both. “Fuck! Stop.”

He fell backwards, regaining his balance as I straightened my pajama pants, but the shock in his eyes was immediately mingled with terror. He pushed himself away from me until his back slammed into the couch. Then he was cornered, and his instinctual cringe wasn’t something anyone could fake. This was a man who’d been hit in his lifetime. A lot.

I held up both hands, trying to catch my breath and regain some composure. My heart was pounding out of my fucking chest.

“I’m sorry,” I said. “I didn’t mean to –”

He didn’t wait for me to finish. The second my hands were up he grabbed his shirt off the floor and bolted to his feet. His eyes searched frantically, obviously looking for a weapon.

“I’m not going to hurt you.” I kept my voice soft. “You surprised me. That’s all. We can talk about this.”

I would’ve given a million bucks to be able to read him right then. Whatever was going through his mind was either too conflicted or too concealed for me to decipher. Was he angry? Humiliated? He turned away and for a moment I thought he might run, but when he turned back again, bare chested, clutching his shirt, his eyes looked hurt. But was that the truth or simply a mask slipping into place?

“I thought … I thought you wanted me to – You gave me your address.” He glanced out my living room window again, as if longing for escape. Strange choice considering the door was only a few feet away, unlocked. His terror seemed to be diminishing, but his overall fear was still palpable. I kept both hands in the air, feeling distinctly like I’d been taken hostage in my own apartment.

“I gave you my address because I was concerned about you. I thought you might need help. Obviously, I’m attracted to you.” I couldn’t deny I’d had a massive erection practically from the moment he’d walked through the door. “But giving you my personal information wasn’t a ploy to get a blow job.”

Now Ian’s gaze shifted to the door, and I could see how badly he wanted to leave. He seemed torn. Leave through the door and resume a normal life, whatever that meant for him, or cast himself out the window to oblivion. He ran both hands over his face and closed his eyes.

Decisions, decisions.

“I could make you feel good,” he said at last. “No strings attached.” He paused for emphasis. “I promise you, it will feel good.”

Shock rendered me incoherent. I hadn’t realized that decision was still up in the air, and I had to give Ian credit. He never said what I expected.

“No,” I sputtered, nearly laughing at the absurdity of this moment. Who turned down a blow job from their personal walking wet dream? “I already said no.” Idiot. Careful, repressed, boring, idiot! Take it back! My penis was screaming at me.

Ian’s fists clenched and unclenched. “Don’t you like me?”

He blushed. How could a man be on his knees ready to give his boss a blow job without any apparent reservations, but the mention of actual liking (as opposed to licking) brings forth a bashful blush?

“I do like you,” I said carefully, as if I’d stumbled into the psych ward at Southside. Or maybe the psych ward had come to me. “Of course I like you.”

If he only knew how much.

“But there are some things we need to clear up. About Bruce and … Littinger.”

The moment I said the name, I knew Bruce had told me the truth. If there was a tiny part of my brain that had doubted – hoped – that Bruce had been lying, this part was now convinced by the look on Ian’s face.

He took a step backward, closer to the door. “How do you know about –”

“I know a lot of things.”

Ian shook his head. “I have to go.”

“Don’t leave like this.” I tried to make my voice sound commanding. “We need to talk. I mean it. Don’t –”

But he was already stepping away, his eyes never releasing mine. He opened my apartment door, bolted out, and then sprinted down the hall. The elevator door opened, and he was gone before I could call his name.

 

unguarded

 

Blurb:

If Bodyguard, Derick Britt, can make it through Afghanistan, he should be able to handle guarding rock star Heath MacFayden. But when obstinate and out-of-control Heath makes headlines for a gay sex scandal, the situation spirals. Fans clash with protesters; a stalker threatens Heath’s life; and the media drags Derick into Heath’s headlines. Through the chaos, Derick finds his professionalism compromised as he discovers the vulnerable man Heath is underneath his rock star persona. Derick can handle being front page news, but can he handle his growing feelings for Heath?

Rock stars aren’t supposed to wake up every morning wanting to crawl under a rock, but Heath MacFayden’s world is unraveling. After having his private sex life exposed for the entire world to see, his upcoming US tour is in jeopardy, and he can’t leave his house without being mobbed by reporters. After breaking free from a damaging relationship, Heath finds himself with no one he can trust. Derick Britt is exactly Heath’s type – but the last thing Heath needs is another alpha male telling him what to do, no matter how tempting it may be to lean on someone strong. Heath is determined to guard his heart, but with Derick around that might not be possible.

Unguarded is a full-length, stand-alone novel with NO cliff hanger, but lots of steamy sex, salacious scandals, and sizzling suspense.

 

Excerpt:

“Can I ask you something?” Heath asked, tipping back his shot and feeling the liquor go down his throat like hot, liquid courage.

“Yeah?”

“Your partner, Bart … I get the impression he wants us to hook up.”

That wasn’t really a question, but Derick froze. His cheeks flushed and he turned so Heath couldn’t see his face. “Ignore him. He’s on this kick about getting me laid.”

Every cell in Heath’s body was screaming at him to leave things alone, but he couldn’t. Didn’t want to. He wanted to be with someone who wasn’t Miles. He wanted to not feel lonely for the first time in months.

“And do you?” he asked, stepping closer. “Need to get laid?”

The air expelled from Derick’s lungs in one huge breath. One second he was standing still, not even meeting Heath’s gaze, and the next his lips were on Heath’s lips, his tongue sliding into Heath’s mouth, and his hand moving under Heath’s T-shirt and finding his nipple ring, tugging it gently until Heath’s back arched in pleasure. Derick tasted like the cinnamon flavor of the Fireball Whiskey and their kiss burned with residual heat.

“What do you think?” Derick growled.

For a moment Heath couldn’t answer, his senses overwhelmed by strong hands on his skin. But then Derick pulled back and groaned.

“Except … I can’t,” he said, shaking his head as if he were waking himself up from a dream. “You’re my client. And Chloe’s client. I don’t sleep with clients.”

“Never? No exceptions?”

Derick shrugged. “Bart has done it … twice. One became a long-term girlfriend and the other was a fling that ended with the assignment, but for me … it complicates things.” He paused, breathing hard. “Trust me, I want to make an exception. You have no idea how much I want that, but …”

Heath forced himself to shake off the rejection. “I get it,” he said, pulling away. “I shouldn’t do this, either. It would be wrong to get involved with anyone right now – rebound sex and all. Plus, I can’t afford another mistake with the media.” He paused, his eyes fixing on Derick’s broad chest. “But just so you know… I want you.”

He wasn’t usually so bold, and his own bravado made his pulse race.

“How could it be a mistake when the media already thinks we’re fucking?” Derick asked.

Heath wasn’t sure how to answer that. “I don’t know,” he said. “Maybe it wouldn’t be.” He paused. “How can it be a mistake for you when technically I’m not your client until tomorrow? We can’t sign the contract until Bart gets back, so it isn’t official, right? If we fucked tonight, it would be off the books.”

Derick laughed. “That’s one hell of a technicality,” he said, but he stepped closer, reaching out to touch Heath’s cheek. He slid one calloused finger down to Heath’s lips. “So this would be a one-time deal? Like hooking-up with someone at a bar, only … safer.”

“Much safer.” Heath sucked the tip of Derick’s finger into his mouth then bit the fleshy pad. “In fact, you and I fucking would be the responsible thing to do because we’ll both get our needs met without either of us having to get off with a stranger.”

Derick chuckled. “Responsible, huh?” He nuzzled Heath’s neck just below his ear and Heath could see the indecision dancing across Derick’s features. “I should still say no,” he told Heath, “but I want to see you naked so bad it hurts.”

Heath shuddered. “So strip music trivia then?”

It had been a joke, but Derick cocked his head to one side. “I could go for that.” He walked over to his closet, shuffled around, and came out wearing a coat, boots, several pairs of socks, a hat, and mittens. “You’re on.”

Heath feigned outrage. “Cheater!”

“I prefer the term ‘ruthless competitor’.”

Heath chuckled. “Bring it on, then.” He paused. “Winner gets to top?” He didn’t miss the flicker of surprise that crossed Derick’s features, and Heath bit his lip, swallowing his disappointment. “Unless you don’t do that. You probably don’t …”

Derick grabbed his arm before Heath could move away.

“No. It’s fine. I’ve bottomed before. Not often, but I enjoy it when I do.”

“You just didn’t think I’d want you to,” Heath said, trying to act is if it didn’t sting. “Because of the video.”

“Maybe,” Derick admitted. “Listen, I didn’t mean to insult you. You just caught me off guard.”

“It’s not a big deal,” Heath said, although it kind of was. “It’s just … I’ve never topped before.”

“Ever?” The look of surprise on Derick’s face made Heath want to shrivel up and disappear. He already knew most guys would’ve topped by now. At least once. And everyone expected rock stars to be sex gods.

Heath shook his head. “I know what people think about musicians – that we’re all oversexed party animals – but I’ve only had one real relationship and I was nineteen when it started. Before that I only had random hook-ups, frotting, and some blow jobs in the back of clubs, maybe an occasional night bottoming in a hotel. Then I got with my ex and he never let me top.”

“How long were you together?” Derick asked.

“Two years.”

“And in all that time he never let you top him? Not even once? Did you tell him you wanted to?”

Heath could feel the heat flushing his cheeks. He had told Miles, and Miles had made him feel like an idiot for asking, as if Heath wouldn’t know how to top, so then he’d known that no matter what he did, Miles would act like the experience had been horrible, so it hadn’t been worth arguing over a foregone conclusion.

“This is stupid. Forget I said anything. We shouldn’t even be hooking up.”

“No,” Derick said again, his face suddenly serious. “We’re doing this. Pick an album and name a song. We’ll play it like pool, so it’s your turn until I get one right.”

“You’re sure?” Heath twisted his hair into a tight spiral, then let it go again. Stupid habit.

“Absolutely.”

Finally, Heath walked over to Derick’s shelves and chose a Ramones album. “Judy is a Punk.”

Derick laughed. “Too easy. Billy Joel. Glass Houses.” He pulled off his hat and threw it onto the bed before Heath had a chance to say that he was wrong. Then he stepped closer until Heath could smell the whiskey on his breath. “Ask me another one.”

Heath didn’t need to pull out the album. He stood still, feeling Derick’s closeness. “Sugar Never Tasted So Good.”

“Billy Joel. Glass Houses.” Derick kicked off his boots.

“Satisfaction.”

“Billy Joel. Glass Houses.” Derick toed off his socks.

“Thought you were a ruthless competitor,” Heath breathed.

“I am,” Derick said. “I’m also a huge Billy Joel fan.” He leaned in, pinning Heath’s arms behind his body and licking a stripe down Heath’s neck.

“Odd that you can’t distinguish him from the Ramones, the White Stripes, and The Rolling Stones.”

“That is odd,” Derick said, pushing Heath’s shirt up and then sucking his nipple ring into his mouth. His hands felt huge against Heath’s sides, sliding up his back. “Remember when you called me a cheater?” He pulled the Marines shirt over Heath’s head and tossed it to the floor.

“Mmm.” Heath could barely breathe, let alone answer.

“You were so fucking right.” Derick pushed Heath’s track pants down, but he left the boxer-briefs on. Then he stepped back and removed every item of his own clothing until he was standing naked in front of Heath, his gaze never straying from Heath’s eyes. “Huh,” he said. “Looks like you win.”

This was the second time Heath had seen Derick naked that day, but this time he was already so hard he thought he might explode. He groaned at the sight of the dips and plains on Derick’s body. Hard, grooved lines.

“You’re sure about this?” He couldn’t help asking again.

“One hundred percent.”

God. This was going to happen. Heath’s heart was beating so fast he had to take a moment to calm down. Then, slowly, Heath leaned in and traced the muscles of Derick’s chest with his tongue. He sucked one hard nipple into his mouth and then the other, listening as Derick’s breath hitched. Then he knelt, letting his tongue trace the lines of Derick’s abs, down his treasure trail, and along the soft skin where Derick’s groin and legs met. Derick’s cock was eye level, fully erect, and Heath sucked the tip into his mouth, palming Derick’s ass with both hands.

Derick groaned, lacing his fingers into Heath’s hair.

Heath swallowed Derick’s cock further down, looking up to meet his eyes. Heath was good at giving head. That was one skill Miles had made sure he learned thoroughly. And he liked doing it. Liked the salty taste and the feel of a hard cock in his mouth. He’d loved going down on Miles, loved the way it had pleased Miles unconditionally. And now he wanted to please Derick the same way.

Heath allowed one hand to stray to Derick’s balls, weighing and stroking while he bobbed his head leisurely, setting an easy rhythm. He kept working Derick’s cock, alternating hard suction and soft caresses, enjoying the sounds Derick made as Heath played. Derick’s hand caressed his face, and Heath slipped Derick’s cock against the inside of his cheek so he could feel the hard head against his palm.

“Oh god.” Derick cried out and pulled Heath up off his knees. “Get up here and fuck me, or I’m going to lose it.”

Heath took a deep breath. He hadn’t expected Derick to be ready so soon, and now nerves settled in his gut. What if Miles had been right and he screwed this up? What if he was no good as a top?

Derick lay down on the bed, sitting up long enough to pull a condom and lube from the bed stand drawer. “How do you want me?”

“Like that is fine,” Heath managed, although his cock was throbbing with need. He circled a hand around the base. “I don’t know if I’ll be able to last very long.”

“Doesn’t matter,” Derick said. “We have all night, and I’m not going to last long either. See how hard you’ve made me?”

Derick spread his legs, letting one large hand stroke the length of his cock. Heath drew in a sharp breath, then he grabbed the lube, snapped it open, and drizzled some on his fingers. He shuffled until he was kneeling between Derick’s legs, but then he hesitated, his fingers poised above Derick’s entrance.

“Okay?”

“More than okay.” Derick took his hand and pressed Heath’s fingers between his ass cheeks. “I want to feel you inside me.”

Heath was breathing hard, but he pressed first one finger and then another inside Derick’s body, slowly working Derick open. He moved his fingers in and out, watching the way Derick’s body responded. At first Derick’s ass clenched, but then he relaxed and wriggled under Heath’s gaze, lazily stroking his cock.

“You look gorgeous right now,” Derick breathed. “You’re so hard. And your face is incredible …”

“I could come just watching my fingers fuck you,” Heath admitted.

“Well, don’t,” Derick groaned, “because I want to feel your cock inside me. It’s perfect, by the way. You have a damn good cock.”

The compliment washed over Heath like a wave. He couldn’t remember the last time Miles had complimented him on anything. But then he pushed all thoughts of Miles out of his head and rolled on the condom. It still seemed impossible that Derick was letting him do this, and the excitement was almost too much. Derick looked like a porn star, lying there with his legs wide, letting Heath take him.

Heath pushed inside, feeling Derick’s muscles clench. Derick seemed so relaxed, as if he bottomed all the time, but Heath was going to be careful just in case. He moved excruciatingly slow, but when Heath was almost all the way in, Derick grabbed his ass and pulled him the rest of the way until he bottomed out.

“That’s it, baby,” Derick whispered. “Just like that.”

“Oh my fucking hell,” Heath moaned. “This is amazing. I don’t think I can …”

Derick moved his hips so Heath jolted inside him. “You can,” he said. “Move. Fuck me.”

Heath pulled out, then pushed inside again. He thought his eyes might roll back in his head, and he knew he ought to be thinking about Derick’s pleasure, trying to make this good for him, but Heath could hardly think straight.

“Again,” Derick breathed, curling his body up so he could mouth a line at Heath’s throat. “Fuck me, Heath.”

“Sorry,” Heath breathed. “I’m not very good at this.”

“Sorry?” Derick said. “Are you kidding me? I’m so fucking turned on watching you right now. Knowing I’m your first. Touch my dick and I’ll go off.”

Heath didn’t want this to end so soon. He pulled back again, then pressed inside, setting up a rhythm and angling his hips until he felt Derick arch beneath him and knew he’d found his prostate.

“Quick learner,” Derick breathed, and then he gasped.

Heath couldn’t say anything. Sweat dripped down his chest and Derick curled up again to lick it off. “Harder,” he whispered. “Hard as you can. Nail me to the fucking wall.”

Heath did as he was told, wrapping his hand around Derick’s cock at the same time. Derick’s body moved beneath him with the force of each thrust until he had to brace himself away from the wall, and then Heath pressed in one more time and pumped Derick’s cock hard. Derick cried out and came in Heath’s hand and over his own chest and even a bit on his chin. That was all Heath could take. He leaned down and sucked a drop from off Derick’s jaw, then erupted inside the condom, filling it with jet after jet of hot cum.

Finally, Heath collapsed onto Derick’s chest, completely out of breath, and felt Derick’s strong arms wrap around him. Derick kissed his forehead and his temple and didn’t make any move to separate their bodies. Heath didn’t move either, wanting to savor the feeling of his cock still wrapped in Derick’s tight channel. The sensation was intimate in a way Heath hadn’t imagined. Derick’s hands stroked his back, his ass, his legs. Ran through his hair, almost as if Heath were something special. Something to be savored.

Finally, Heath pulled away, tugging off the condom and tying it before throwing it in the garbage can. He figured he ought to find his clothes, get dressed, and go back to the couch, but Derick reached out and snagged his hand.

“Hey you. Come back here.”

“I don’t mind sleeping on the couch,” Heath offered.

“The hell you will.”

“Really?” Heath couldn’t keep the surprise out of his voice.

In answer, Derick sat up, grabbed him around the middle and tossed him unceremoniously onto the bed. The he pulled Heath into his chest and whispered in his ear, “Now shut the fuck up because we’re going to cuddle.”

Heath laughed. “Is this how you usually ‘cuddle’ because so far I’d say it’s a bit more like being mauled.”

Derick made a low rumbling sound that was halfway between a growl and a laugh. Or maybe the noise was meant to be a purr. Then he reached over to shut off the light on the bed stand. Heath wasn’t sure if he’d ever been this content.

 

First Impressions

We’ve all heard the Will Rogers quote: “You’ll never get a second chance to make a first impression.” That’s certainly true for authors. I’ve thought a lot about my debut book release for The Edge of Control. Spent years writing and editing the book. Months preparing my website and social media sites so I’d be ready for launch day.

Maybe it’s because I’m a romance writer, but I can’t help comparing the process of entering the book market to a blind date. Makes me chuckle to imagine myself prepping in the proverbial upstairs bedroom while my date waits below… for years.

I wanted my first impression to be as polished as possible. To reveal my truest colors. We all have flaws. Books have flaws. And I know it’s impossible to write something that will have universal five-star appeal. Not every blind date will turn into true love.

But don’t we all secretly wish for that?

So I prepped, polished, and polished again, but eventually it was time to take a deep breath and come downstairs. Took more courage than I expected. It was tempting to hide under the bed.

Except then I’d never have gotten to meet my date.

What people often forget is that first impressions work both ways. As I release my book into the world, I’m also looking around, wondering what this market is like. Do the majority of people support each other or do they tear each other down? Is this safe ground or dangerous territory? Are other authors generous or competitive? What are the readers like?

I’m happy to say that so far my impressions are good ones. Of course, every audience is made up of hundreds of diverse people, but my first impression? Lots of joy. Celebrations of love. Generosity. And a true appreciation of passion.

Hmm… love and passion? Sounds like the start of a promising relationship!

Xoxo

Lou Kelly

 

Author Bio:

Lou Kelly loves a great romance. Having honed her skills through a decade of writing and publishing, she discovered male/male fiction and fell in love.  What does she like best? The slow burn.

“No insta-love for me. I adore a well-developed full-length novel with characters who are believable and sympathetic. My favorite relationships are the kind where suppressed desire sizzles with sexual tension as it struggles for release. Give me a strong Alpha male who has to fight for his mate, or enemies who are shocked when hate turns into love, or a mysterious stranger who doesn’t want his secrets to be revealed … I crave books that keep me up past my bedtime, so these are the books I strive to write.”

Lou Kelly is a proud member of RWA and Rainbow writers of America. When she isn’t writing, Lou Kelly loves to travel. Sadly, most of her traveling these days happens between the pages of books, but top on her wish list is a trip to Greece. Followed by New Zealand. And Ireland. Ooh, and Scotland, too. And Iceland. *sigh* Someday she hopes to explore them all. Until then, you can find her reading!

Lou Kelly loves her fans, so please visit her on Goodreads at: Lou Kelly

Or follow her on Twitter: @LouKellyRomance

Or Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100012006559103

Buy Link:

https://www.amazon.com/Edge-Control-Lou-Kelly-ebook/dp/B01FLHOITA/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1466262623&sr=1-1&keywords=the+edge+of+control+lou+kelly

 

Giveaway:

One random commenter on this blog post will receive an ebook from Lou.

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GUEST POST: Lock and Key by Z. Allora

LockandKey_FBbanner_DSP

I want to thank Because Two Men Are Better Than One for hosting a part of the Lock and Key’s blog tour.

Since we’re all shaped by our life experiences, I wanted to give you a peek at Zack’s life prior to Lock and Key. It is my hope with this 11-part prequel, readers will be able to piece together how some of Zack’s filters developed and will give them a better understanding of his reactions in Lock and Key.

Part 6 can be found out: https://pdsinger.com

Part 7

“I want to see Dusty! He’d understand.” His younger brother’s demand had a note of challenge in it.

As if anyone understood about living in the shadows better than Zack.

“Jordy, we just saw him.” Zack kept his voice even and calm, hoping to contain his little brother’s angst. Their mother had her church group right on the other side of their closed bedroom door, sitting in a prayer circle.

“I just want to be myself. Is that asking too much?” Jordy paced between the beds.

No! Fuck it really wasn’t! Zack begged, “Jordon, you got to keep this to yourself… just until you graduate.”

“Why should I?”

Zack glanced at their closed bedroom door and whispered, “Because our mother is a brainwashed church-a-holic.”

Jordon folded his arms over his chest and stomped his foot. “I’m not staying in the closet and you can’t make me.”

Zack sighed and hated that Jordy was right. Jordon shouldn’t have to wait but—“Please not yet.”

“I have to be me. I’m tired of hiding.” Gone was the brat, replaced by a level of maturity Zack had never seen in his brother. Jordon seemed far older than sixteen.

Zack should have stopped the kid from leaving the room, but the amount of respect he had for his little brother paralyzed him.

His younger brother marched loud and proud while Zack hid and buried everything he was.

Zack didn’t know what Jordon had said in front of their mom’s holier-than-thou brigade because as usual he’d didn’t come out of the shadows. Only the screams of their mother’s denial reached him and the quick exodus of the church group slamming the front door on the way out.

His mother barged into their bedroom. “Did you know?”

“Um…” What could he say? “How could anyone not know” wasn’t helpful when speaking to someone with their head pushed so deep into the sand they had a view of China.

She waved him off in favor of glaring at Jordon. “Never mind. Dusty’s responsible! He can deal with your little brother. I’m done. I’m not having Sodom and Gomorrah in my house!”

Why did she think it was Dusty’s fault? Maybe she didn’t get orientation isn’t a choice. How had she ignored all the hints Jordon had dropped? Did she really not read any of his T-shirts? Everything the kid wore proclaimed he had been kissed by the rainbow.

This was insane. Zack had to reason with her. “Ma, he’s just a kid!”

“Oh, he’s no innocent,” she growled. She yanked Jordon’s purple duffel bag with the flower-embroidered handles out of the closet and started shoving Jordy’s clothing into it.

Jordon stood in the doorway, a single tear leaked from his eye but he wore a small smile. “At least, I don’t have to hide anymore.”

Part 8 will be at https://rainbowgoldreviews.wordpress.com on July 6th.

LockandKeyFS

Lock And Key by Z. Allora

Rejected. Heartbroken. Devastated.

Zack Davis wanted to serve only one man, Andrew Nikeman. He was denied because Andrew thought he was too young and because their brothers were together. So Zack crushed his submissive tendencies and focused on being the perfect Dom, giving every sub he played with something he couldn’t have.

After years of denying his submissive side, Entwined’s charity auction “Are you Dom Enough to be a sub?” gives Zack an excuse to get a little of what he’s always craved.

Andrew doesn’t know when his infatuation turned into more, but it kills him to see Zack with a constant parade of submissives. He’d refused to jeopardize his brother’s relationship or become Zack’s regret; however, Zack isn’t a kid anymore, and his brother’s relationship is unbreakable. Now Zack’s popularity and success as a Dom might ruin Andrew’s dreams of collaring him, but he can’t wait any longer to confess his feelings or he risks losing the man he loves forever.

Buy Links

eBook: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/lock-and-key-by-z-allora-7213-b

Paperback: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/lock-and-key-by-z-allora-7214-b

 

Please follow the rest of the blog tour. You can find the schedule at http://zallora.blogspot.com.

 

Big hugs,

Z Allora

www.zallorabooks.com

http://zallora.blogspot.com

https://www.facebook.com/Z.Allora

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