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RELEASE DAY! READ THE ENTIRE FIRST CHAPTER HERE! As the Sun Sets (Love for the Seasons, 3) by RJ Jones

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RJ is back with the third installment of her Love for the Seasons series.

This story is about Scott (who features briefly in book one) a paediatric oncologist who burns out watching kids die in his care. He’s been celibate for a year. He’s emotionally broken and takes an A&E position in Brighton hoping a sea change is what he needs to get his life back in order. What he didn’t expect was to meet Ben, a childhood nurse with a clinically depressed dog. How does Ben help Scott pick his life up? Just how much of Scott’s history influences his day to day life? You’ll have to read it to find out.

Here’s the blurb:

A sea change could be just what the doctor ordered.

Doctor Scott Penney used to be a Paediatric Oncologist—until he burned out. Watching children suffer and die took its toll on his mental health. To cope, he used anonymous sex as an emotional crutch, thinking it was better than hitting the bottle. But that inevitably destroyed his relationship with the man he loved.

With his tail between his legs and a year’s worth of celibacy under his belt, Scott accepts a position as an Accident and Emergency consultant, leaving his career in oncology and London behind.

Ben Jenkins is a paediatric nurse who loves his seaside city, his job, and his faithful old Labrador, Happy. When he meets the new doctor, Ben falls for Scott’s kind-yet-reserved personality—not to mention his good looks. Scott is great with the children who come to the hospital, but Ben senses there’s more to Scott than meets the eye.

Scott tries to resist Ben’s sunny charm—Scott’s not boyfriend material, after all—but it’s impossible not to fall in love with the sad looking old dog and his charming owner. As Scott and Ben get closer and the weather heats up, tragedy strikes and Ben is left wondering how much of Scott’s history he actually knows.

For them to move forward, Ben must show Scott that no matter what happened in the past, a beautiful day can always start after the sun sets.

**This can be read as a standalone**

(Keep scrolling to read the entire first chapter)

 

Books #1 and #2 are now available on Kindle Unlimited.

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Buy links:

As the Leaves Fall   As the Ice Melts   As the Sun Sets

 

Chapter One:

HOW DO you know if you’ve made the right decision? What tells you to go left instead of right? Is the devil you know really any better, or is he just as fucked up as the other guy?

I could stay in London, stay in paediatric oncology—even though it sucked the life from me—and continue living a half-life. I had no partner and no desire. My sex life had become non-existent by choice. My passion for my work had been flushed down the toilet along with my relationship with Noah.

On the other hand, I had an offer to move to Brighton and start a new role as a consultant paediatrician in the Accident and Emergency department at the children’s hospital. Would I be happier there? Dealing with kids who had been in a car accident or unwittingly drank a bottle of cleaner didn’t mean I wouldn’t have to deal with kids dying. I may see less of it than I did in oncology, but…

Should I run away and start a new life by the sea? Was it running or knowing when to move on? Could it be as simple as taking an offer to get out of a city that was sucking my soul to the point I didn’t recognise myself anymore? Wasn’t the ocean supposed to be healing?

When I first received the offer from Brighton, I’d thought about telling Noah, but after the last time I saw him, I thought better of it. I didn’t know if I still loved him or not, but we’d been good together, and I missed the closeness, the intimacy, and the company. You couldn’t call what I’d done at the sauna intimate. It was fucking. Pure and simple. Well, maybe not so pure. But I had used anonymous sex like a drug to get out of my head after a bad shift the same way some people used drugs or alcohol.

I’d become addicted to the endorphin rush sex could bring, and I kept telling myself it was a better form of therapy than illicit substances or booze. Anonymous sex meant I went home to Noah feeling better about my day and not dwelling on the fact I had just told a young couple that their beloved child wasn’t responding to treatment and there was nothing else I could do. I was a doctor, for fuck’s sake. Unless they counted on a miracle, I was their last hope, and to watch that hope sputter and die in front of me killed a little part of my sanity each time.

Maybe drinking would have been less damaging, but I vowed to never touch alcohol.

Looking back—hindsight is a wonderful thing—I couldn’t even say I enjoyed the sex at the sauna all that much. I’d been safe, always, but the men I’d been with—and God knew there were many—had been nothing but substitute hands. Which, when I thought of Noah and how much we’d been in love, made my infidelity all the more foolish and shortsighted.

When Noah kicked me out for the last time, I hit rock bottom. Unless I wanted to end up like my parents and self-destruct, I knew I had to reassess my life and stop going to the sauna. My inability to distance myself emotionally while working in the paediatric oncology department still sucked the life from me, but I had stopped using sex as a distraction. Instead, I cried. I got angry at the world and threw things around my flat in frustration and cursed God for giving babies cancer their little immune systems had no chance of fighting. Then I cried some more, retreating into myself. After all that, I got up the next morning and prayed it would be a good day.

But there were some happy times in amongst all the crap. My job could be rewarding and fulfilling. Not every child I saw succumbed to the disease, and I revelled in the way some patients seemed to take on the world, as well as the cancer, and win. Those were the times that made me look forward to going to work, knowing I could help save a life and save the parents from the heartbreak of burying a child.

That was what drove me.

I’d always wanted to work with kids, had always understood them. They could be brutally honest and innocent as hell at the same time. I hadn’t yet met a child I couldn’t talk to. When I was initially offered the position in oncology four years ago, I jumped at the chance, keen to get my hands dirty and kick cancer’s arse. I was ambitious—if a little naïve—and ready to take on the world. It was almost an obsession to give the patients the best chance of survival I could. I did everything I could to stop cancer ravaging their little bodies. I studied new treatment methods, researched what alternative medicines other countries were trialling, and subscribed to every relevant medical journal I could.

But despite doing everything humanly possible, sometimes it wasn’t enough.

It wasn’t just the loss of young lives that had sent me over the edge. It was the loss of my chosen career. As much as I hated cancer, I also loved it. I loved the complexity of it and how it seemed determined to outsmart the medicine I threw at it. Sometimes I won, which made me feel like I’d not only saved a life, but saved the entire world. In the eyes of the parents, I had. I’d saved their world, and to me, there was no greater joy.

So, when I stumbled upon the A&E position at the children’s hospital in Brighton advertised through the BMA website, I thought why the fuck not? I could still help kids, maybe save a life or two. Because God knew, trying to help kids with cancer was slowly killing me.

Maybe trying to save a kid’s life and actually succeeding more often than not would enable me to be me again. I may be able to have a taste of that same joy once more. Maybe the salty air and wide-open ocean would do me some good. Maybe I could have sex again. Then again, maybe not. It’d been close to a year since I’d been touched by another man. I wasn’t sure I knew what to do anymore.

Decisions. Which was the best one?

Stay or go?

London or Brighton?

Only time would tell if I’d made the right choice, I guess.

I signed the contract.

I wondered briefly if Noah was still with that guy with the long hair.

I shook my head. It no longer mattered.

I couldn’t go back now anyway.

 

I FOUND a small flat not far from Brighton Marina and a short walk to the hospital. After spending most of the day unpacking, I took a walk along the beachfront, sure I’d find a chippie nearby so I could grab some dinner. I had unpacked most of the kitchen items but had yet to come across the crockery. I’d find that box eventually.

I walked almost all the way to the pier before I came across some shops. Most of what I’d seen on my walk so far were mansions and upmarket apartments overlooking the beach. As summer was fast approaching, the weather wasn’t too cold but I still needed a jacket and scarf, and I hoped the nearest chip shop had the heat going. I must’ve walked into the gay part of town, as a few rainbow flags flew proudly from the odd flat window and storefront. I should’ve done some research on the area before I committed to the move, but my head hadn’t been in the right place. When I signed the employment contract, I didn’t care where I went, as long as I left London and oncology behind.

I truly hoped the wide-open spaces of the coast was what I needed.

After paying for my fish and chips, I took my meal down to the beach and sat on the edge of the promenade wall. I wasn’t far from Brighton’s famous pier, and I made a mental note to explore the area more thoroughly after I settled into the flat. I didn’t start work for another week, which gave me plenty of time to check out my new neighbourhood and surrounding area.

Tearing open the chip shop paper, a waft of salt and vinegar threatened to knock me over. It was heaven, and my stomach rumbled loudly after not eating all day. I had lost weight over the last year. There were a lot of days I couldn’t bear the thought of food, and I hoped this was another aspect of life I would be able to eventually enjoy again. I was a mess, but I knew how to fix myself and get back the old me, and as I sat on the beach, dinner in hand and the breeze making sure summer stayed away for a little bit longer, I was confident this was the break I needed.

Closing my eyes, I breathed in the fresh salty air, filling my lungs and mentally purging everything that was my old life in London on an exhale. I opened my eyes, stared out at the churning waves, then dug into my dinner.

I’d nearly finished eating when I saw a guy running along the beach with his dog. There weren’t that many people about, the cold obviously keeping them at bay, but this guy seemed to revel in the wind as he ran. I couldn’t see his features. He wasn’t running fast but his dog appeared to be slowing down. The guy coaxed his dog along with the odd pat on his leg and an encouraging “come on, Happy” but Happy was having none of it. With a final lurch, Happy flopped on the beach, all four limbs spread out as he panted into the pebbles. The guy waved at his dog and kept running. Was he just going to leave his dog on the beach? What if Happy decided to wander off? Surely he was about to turn around and come back for his companion? But, no. He kept going and Happy continued to lie on the pebbles.

With my dinner finished, I should have started the walk back to my new flat, but I didn’t want to leave Happy alone, scared he’d be left behind or roam up to the road and into traffic. My mind wandered. What would I do if the guy didn’t come back? Where could I take Happy? Was there a shelter nearby? I couldn’t have him in my flat, the lease didn’t allow it. Happy got up and sniffed around, occasionally digging then rolling in whatever he’d managed to dig up while I tried to come up with a solution for him. He lay on his back in the pebbles, his feet in the air, and I thought he was about to start rolling in something again, but when he didn’t move, I realised he must’ve fallen asleep. About ten minutes later, Happy rolled over and sniffed around once more. He seemed calm and content to stay in roughly the same spot his owner had left him. It was only a few more minutes before Happy’s tail started going ten to the dozen. I glanced up the beach and saw Happy’s owner running back, minus his shirt, which I could see swaying from the back of his shorts where he’d tucked it in the waistband. Happy didn’t move—except his tail was still wagging madly—till his owner ran past and Happy trotted beside him again. The guy reached down and scratched the dog’s ears while he loped along.

I watched until they ran out of sight.

 

THE FOLLOWING day, after finishing my unpacking and sorting out my flat, I walked along the beach again. This time I found a kebab shop and I sat in the same spot I had yesterday while I ate. Today was a bit warmer but the breeze was still cool, and I huddled in my jacket as I devoured the garlicky goodness. It was lucky I didn’t have someone to go home to. My breath would be awful.

Just as I was about to head home, I saw Happy running beside his owner again. Sure enough, the large dog came to a slow halt and spread out on the beach as his owner continued running. I watched Happy for a while. He seemed a cheerful sort of dog as the occasional passer-by stopped and gave him a pat. That was probably how he got his name. I had always wanted a dog, but my working hours were long and unpredictable. Still, it’d be nice to go home to someone again.

After throwing my rubbish in a nearby bin, I wandered over to meet Happy. When I got closer, I could see he was an old Labrador. His golden coat was matted with the grit he’d been rolling in and his muzzle showed a hint of grey. When I approached, Happy looked up at me with large, sad brown eyes and a droopy mouth. Now I wondered how he got his name. He looked downright miserable.

I scratched his ears. “Hello, Happy. I see you’ve been rolling around getting dirty again.” Happy pushed his head into my hand and thwapped his tail before rolling onto his back. “Does that mean you want a tummy rub?” I took his muffled grunt as a yes and knelt down to rub the soft fur of his belly. Happy lapped it up. He may have looked clinically depressed, but his wagging tail and soft grunting told me a different story.

A few minutes later, Happy rolled over, got to his feet, and stared up the beach. I was being completely ignored, so I guessed he had had enough of me. When Happy’s tail started swishing, I looked up to see Happy’s owner returning from his run. He was still a fair way off, but I could tell it was him just by how excited Happy had become. That was my cue to leave.

I scratched the old Lab’s ears and gave him a pat on his rump. “See you next time, Happy. Be good.”

I headed towards the road for the walk home. I’d been in Brighton for two days, and it didn’t escape me that the longest conversation I’d had so far was with a dog.

The following day I walked along the beach a little earlier and explored that part of the city. Brighton Pier was bustling with late-April tourists.

From a distance the pier was huge, but it wasn’t until you were on it that you realised just how large the wooden structure was. There were roller coasters and fun rides, games arcades and restaurants, dodgem cars and a carousel. It was a kid’s dream and a parent’s budget nightmare. Standing against the railing, I watched kids of all ages run about, driving their folks crazy. I spotted an elderly couple sitting on a bench eating ice cream. There were people holding hands as they ambled around, arms heavy with bags full of their purchases and winnings. Everyone was smiling and laughing, and I couldn’t help but feel… not happy as such, but more relaxed and content as the late sun warmed me. I vowed to come back to the pier when the weather was a little better and spend the day.

Yes, moving to Brighton had so far been a good thing. I could breathe a little bit easier.

When I stepped off the pier, I saw Happy lying on the beach in his usual position; his owner was far off in the distance still running the other way. I knelt down beside him and said hello before rubbing his belly. Happy stood and licked my hand, his rough tongue scraping over my skin, before nuzzling his snout in my chest then lifting up to lick my face. He still looked miserable, though. Maybe it was just his way. Happy sat next to me and we looked out at the ocean together as I ran my hand down his back and over his fur. Before long, Happy stood and moved away, his focus directed down the shoreline. I knew his owner was returning from his run, and again I took that as my cue to head home. With a light scratch of Happy’s ears, I said goodbye, then walked home feeling lighter than I had for months.

Happy and I continued our routine for the next three days, then it was time for me to start my job at the A&E department at the children’s hospital.

I told myself I wasn’t nervous.

 

 

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BLOG TOUR, EXCERPT, AND GIVEAWAY Two Natures by Jendi Reiter

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Title: Two Natures
Author: Jendi Reiter
Release Date: September 15th 2016
Genre: LGBT fiction, MM Romance

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Two Natures is the coming-of-age story of Julian Selkirk, a fashion photographer in New York City in the early 1990s. His faith in Jesus helped him survive his childhood in the Atlanta suburbs with an abusive alcoholic father, but the church’s condemnation of his sexual orientation has left him alienated and ashamed.

Yearning for new ideals to anchor him after his loss of faith, Julian seeks his identity through love affairs with three very different men: tough but childish Phil Shanahan, a personal trainer who takes a dangerous shortcut to success; enigmatic, cosmopolitan Richard Molineux, the fashion magazine editor who gives him his first big break; and Peter Edelman, an earnest left-wing activist with a secret life.

Amid the devastation of the AIDS epidemic and the racial tensions of New York politics, Julian learns to see beyond surface attractions and short-term desires, and to use his art to serve his community.

Goodreads

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | B&N | Saddle Road Press

**Kindle Price $0.99 from February 20th – March 17th ** (normally $9.99)

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Honors:
2016 Rainbow Awards: First Prize, Best Gay Contemporary General Fiction; First Runner-Up, Debut Gay Book
Named one of QSPirit’s Top LGBTQ Christian Books of 2016

EXCERPT

The back of the warehouse had a fire escape that you reached by crawling through one of the windows that was propped open with a stick. Refugees from the dance floor came and went, seeking brief hits of sobriety from the sting of cold air on their flushed faces, or trading smokes and other items in hand-to-hand transactions with a studied casualness. I followed Phil out there. He was hunched over the rusty railing, flicking ash down to the street two stories below. I leaned on the railing next to him, saying nothing. He wasn’t able to ignore me for long.

“What’re you doing here?”

I shrugged. He didn’t know what to make of my silence. Next to us, two guys in knit stocking caps shook hands a little too long and then ducked inside through separate windows. I wished I’d brought my own hat and coat, like Phil who’d had the sense to retrieve his parka before braving the elements.

“You think you’re too good to fight with me?” he needled me again. “You gonna call your rich daddy to teach me a lesson?”

“My daddy would kick your faggot ass into next week,” I said, “just like he did to me.”

Phil took a long drag on his cigarette and tossed it over the edge. “Sucks to be us, huh.”

“Guess so.” I almost caught him smiling, but then he turned away, pretending to watch this boy and girl at the far end of the terrace who were sucking each other’s faces hard enough to create a vacuum seal.

“So what’s the problem here?” I asked. “I thought we sort of connected that first night at New Eden, but now you’re being a jerk.”

“Don’t play dumb.”

“I’m not playing.” I dared to touch the back of his hand lightly. What if we were wrong and he wasn’t one of us, just slumming in fairyland? The pavement was a long way down.

He flinched but didn’t shake off my touch. “Frank told me you were talking shit about me,” he muttered. “How you didn’t think I was good enough for him because my pop drives a truck for the paper company.”

“Oh, shit. First of all, that’s not what I said, and second —”

“I’m proud of my pop, okay? He might be an asshole, but he works hard for every damn thing in his life, and so do I.”

“Phil — ” I grabbed his shoulders. He loomed over me like a prizefighter awaiting the bell. Why couldn’t I fall for a pretty boy like Tomas, who would never risk damaging his hands in a fistfight? “Phil, listen. I like where you come from. I like everything about you. I only talked trash to Frank because I wanted to put him off you.”

He blinked, confused, breathing hard. “So now you have…are you happy?”

“No…I’m sorry. It was a stupid thing to do. But, I mean, I’m happy you’re here with me…alone, right now.”

He stepped back, out of reach. “Why should I believe anything you say?”

In response, I sneezed, twice. Yankee weather wasn’t kind to me. Phil made for the window, to continue our conversation inside, I hoped. But the tonsil-hockey couple had already had the same idea and, with the obliviousness of lovers, had pulled the stick in after them. Phil rattled the unyielding window frame. I added my useless efforts to his.

“Must’ve latched itself from the inside,” he said. “I know how these places are built.”

“Did you work at the paper factory too?”

“What is this, a job interview?”

“Just making conversation.” I sneezed again. Phil kicked the window. “You think you can break in?” I asked.

“The panes are too small, dumb-ass. We couldn’t get through.”

“No, but you could break the one near the latch and reach in and open it, like a burglar.”

“Why me?”

“Because I’m just a poser.” I flicked my wrist at him.

“Yeah, sorry about that. I was really pissed off.”

“Try taking your aggressions out on that glass.”

“And then what? My hand’ll get cut to shreds.”

“In the movies, the burglar usually wraps his jacket around his arm or something.”

“I see you’ve appointed yourself the brains of this operation.”

“You said it, Bugsy.”

Phil scoped out the window, looking for the best spot, but the panes closest to where he thought the latch might be were boarded up.

So much for our caper. I shifted from foot to foot, trying to warm up.

“Here, put your arms through my sleeves.” Phil arranged his parka over us so that he covered my back like a cape. I tucked myself into the curve of his body, feeling his growing hardness through his jeans.

“I never thought you would like me,” he said after awhile. His breath was hot against my neck.

“Why not?”

“Because you’re one of those, what are they called, the beautiful people?”

“You look pretty fine yourself,” I said. One side of my face was warm where his stubbly cheek was pressed against mine; the other side was whipped by the wind.

He heated up my whole body by kissing me right then. I opened my mouth to his tongue. Just then, under the cold black sky, we were the two luckiest boys in the world, to have found this corner where nobody would notice us falling into each other’s arms.

Of course, we couldn’t go further than that without risking frostbite in some very inconvenient places. Disengaging from my embrace, Phil suddenly hoisted himself up to sit on the railing. “Let’s get out of here.”

“Brilliant idea. Why didn’t I think of that.”

“We’ll climb down. It’s no big deal.” To prove his point, Phil lifted his hands off the railing, with the crazy grin of a kid on a rollercoaster, balancing only on that beautiful rear that I worried would never be mine if he took a tumble onto the cement.

“Am I scaring you?” he teased.

“Don’t be an idiot.”

“Trust me, I know what I’m doing.” He took hold of the railing again, and I went back to breathing. “I’ve done roof repairs since I was sixteen and my pop kicked me out of the house. My balance can’t be beat.” He nudged me with the toe of his boot. “Come on, just do what I do and you’ll be fine.”

Slowly, following his lead, I gripped the icy metal and swung myself over the edge, inching my hands down the bars until my feet were dangling just shy of the railing one story below. There were stairs between the levels, but they were gated off with a barrier that was too high and sharp to climb over.

“Phil — ” I called out, my voice sounding thin as a thread blowing in the wind. What I really wanted was to ask him to catch me, but I wouldn’t give him the satisfaction. “Is it true what they say, that you shouldn’t look down?”

“I dunno, try it and let me know how it goes.” He swung his legs in toward the lower level, letting go of his handhold once his feet were secure. Sparing me further humiliation, since my pants were sliding down, he pulled me in. The ladder attached to the bottom of this level ended eight or nine feet above the street, child’s play compared to what we’d just done. He stole a couple more kisses while I got my second wind.

“Why’d your father kick you out?”

“Found my magazines.”

“Reading or posing?”

“Hey, I never thought of that — would’ve beat freezing my ass off on old man Henderson’s shingles.” He gave mine a love tap. “Up you go.”

Swinging over the railing was no more fun the second time around, but the squeaky ladder managed to hold our weight, and at last we smacked down on hard ground.

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About the Author

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Jendi Reiter’s books are guided by her belief that people take precedence over ideologies. In exploring themes of queer family life, spiritual integration, and healing from adverse childhood experiences, her goal is to create understanding that leads to social change. Two Natures is her first novel; a sequel is in the works. Her four published poetry books include Bullies in Love (Little Red Tree, 2015) and the award-winning chapbook Barbie at 50 (Cervena Barva Press, 2010). She is the co-founder and editor of WinningWriters.com, an online resource site for creative writers.

Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter

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GUEST POST: Coming Out Twice by Sydney Presley

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Coming Out Twice is a mixture of a few things that have been sitting in my brain for a long time. Vampires—I kind of dig them quite a bit, no idea why. It’s not the blood, because that gives me the creeps, but just the whole living-throughout-the-night thing and being alive for a really long time. The idea of seeing several centuries firsthand and how the world has evolved over that many years must be fascinating to experience. And it brings a whole new level when a vampire says, “Back in my day, lad…”

The other thing is not crossdressing per se but being able to go onto the stage of life dressed in whatever you want and feeling comfortable doing so. I’ve always struggled with the way I look, and there are times when I see something in a shop and wish I had the guts to wear it. With Ruby in the story…there’s a bit of me in him, where I live through him in order to get on that stage and wear a lovely dress. There are quite a few echoes of me in Ruby, actually, but we won’t go there…

Of course, I had to have my baddies in the story, people I can thwart—ahem, I mean, people my characters can thwart—and know that the day was saved in the end. I do so like a happy ever after, don’t you? And being able to get the naughty folks caught and dealt with is immensely satisfying. Besides, who doesn’t like to see Beastly Bob or Repugnant Rita getting their just desserts? Plus, the sigh at the end when the characters have come out tops and go off into the sunset together—or in a vampire’s case, into the darkness, muhahaha—is one of the best things about writing romance.

I have a different story involving vampires coming out soon with Pride. That’s a novel, and it swept me away. I dealt with another issue close to my heart in that book, but that’s a separate article altogether. But the vampires…I like to give them a break, you know? They’re seen as bad sometimes, but I like to think everyone can redeem themselves if they really want to—and those who don’t or can’t, well, I just kill them off in my books, as you do. So, yeah, I like to create a good vampire, and along with them always comes my descriptions of the moon—for some reason they go hand in hand for me. Mist, fog, murky shadows, they all feature in my head alongside a vampire. And to have vampire-wolves like I have in Coming Out Twice was just Heaven for me, because I do love a shifter. They’re my main focus, my wolfies, and I love them.

Last but not least, we have love. I’m a massive supporter of people loving who they want. Life is too short not to fall for someone who knocks your socks off, and for those who feel they can’t do that, my heart breaks for them. So I create worlds where love always wins the day no matter what. Oh. Crafty. Did you see what I did there? I said No Matter What. Just happens to be another new story of mine coming out with Pride soon. The other one involving vampires is called No More Pocket Change. Dear me, would you look at that? I just did it again. I’ll just sidle off now for name dropping titles. Gosh, I’m so bad… Wink!

Have a great day! 🙂

Blurb:

Trapped in their closets, the only thing to do is come out twice.

Salford and Ruby, vampire-wolves, have been born into The Clan, into the Level where killing is expected. Hating their jobs eliminating humans who have discovered vampire-wolves exist, they long for better times, where bloodshed isn’t the order of the day. But that isn’t about to happen any time soon—not while Albert, one of The Clan’s twelve Leaders, oversees everything they do.

Ruby, a cross-dresser, has spent many of his previous centuries trapped in the closet. Lately, though, he’s been able to wear what he wants and can express his love for Salford in public. Knowing how freeing that has been, he wishes The Clan laws were different and that he and Salford didn’t have to kill, freeing them from that dreadful closet, too. But it would take a strong person to ask The Clan to consider a vote that would allow Ruby and Salford to be exempt from having to kill, and Ruby isn’t sure he’s the right man for the job.

With a London gang discovering vampire-wolves exist, and Salford having dreams that tell him what they must face next, Salford and Ruby must eliminate the men who are after them. But someone else is also a danger—someone closer to home. Someone who should have vampire-wolves’ best interests at heart, but doesn’t…

Link:

https://www.pride-publishing.com/book/coming-out-twice

About the author:

Sydney has always enjoyed writing. “There’s something about losing yourself in another world, where the real one ceases to exist and all your dreams and wishes can be placed on the page—dreams for a better planet where love isn’t questioned but accepted by all.”

When Sydney isn’t writing, there’s plenty of reading to be done. “I can’t imagine not reading every day. It would be weird not to have a book to hand because I’ve always had one nearby. Life without reading isn’t something I’d like to contemplate. The thought brings me out in hives.”

Sydney lives in a peaceful area where the hustle and bustle of the city doesn’t figure. “I left city life years ago. Too stressful for me. I prefer listening to the swish of leaves on the trees instead of tyres on tarmac. The twittering of birds instead of the chatter of people. Alone time to reflect and ponder is a must. A small portion of every day spent by myself is vital to my sanity and soul.”

 

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Wee Angus – Available FREE for a Limited Time Only!

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Fancy a Scotsman who wears a kilt like no other?

 

Crave a cute Aussie bloke whose life has yet to begin?

 

What about a mischievous ghost who decides to do more than rattle a few chains?

 

The Haunting of Angus Macgregor, an M/M paranormal romance, will be available FREE for a limited time only!

So if you’re in the mood for a ghostly, erotic tale about two men who find their way to one another under the most unusual of circumstances, why not check it out.

This promotion will run from 17-21 February, and is exclusive to Amazon only, so get in quick!

Make sure you double check the price to make sure the promotion is live at the time you are buying.

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GUEST POST & GIVEAWAY: Eye Candy by Pauline Allan

 

Pauline Allan joins us with a guest post plus you can win a copy of the ebook by commenting on the post, and visist Pauline’s website for the chance to win a Kindle Fire!

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When I sat down to write Eye Candy the same image continued to float through my head. A young man in a yellow pair of tight fitted boy shorts swaying his hips to a trance beat that carried me to another world. The colorful lights flickered and broke away over his bare chest when he shuffled his feet on top of the scarred wooden bar top. That wicked smile will stay with me always.

The bar was Napoleon’s Itch in the heart of the French Quarter in New Orleans. I’ve been back to that bar many times, but the young man with the sexy grin made an impression destined to spark my creative imagination in the form of Gavin Rossi.

Dutch Williamson’s smooth voice filtered through me, promises of smooth bourbon and sweet treats lingered as the words hit the pages. The handsome chef’s inspiration stood behind the bar at Yo Momma’s located right down the street from Marie Laveau’s Voodoo shop in the French Quarter. The dark, wood paneled bar served the best burgers in New Orleans along with tasty drinks and a bathroom guaranteed to make you blush. The pictures on the walls kept you returning to swoon over the sexy posters.

As you can see New Orleans sparked the rich atmosphere for Eye Candy. From tight bottoms shimming in skimpy shorts to decadent foods of all sorts, this new release is guaranteed to bring you some passionate inspiration too. It’s time to sit back and find out why sticky and sweet never tasted so good.

Leave your comment and email below to enter to win a free digital copy of Eye Candy! Three copies will be rewarded on Feb. 19th.

Blurb

Gavin Rossi is one sexy piece of Eye Candy wrapped in a tight body and sweet smile. With his goals on the horizon, he mounts a handsome stranger’s lap and rolls his hips for the tips he’s hoping will get him out of the desperate situation keeping his plans out of reach. The hot breath on his neck, the mesmerizing rhythm, the strong chest rising and falling beneath his hands make for a distraction he’s terrified to see play out. This is a dance. This is a tease. God, this is so much more.

When Dutch Williamson feels a set of perfectly sculpted thighs slipping over his lap, the last thing his liquor-hazed brain registers is this is my future. The sweet piece of Eye Candy grinding on his lap is going to cut him at the knees, and he knows it. Fierce protection grips his heart and his only hope is the passionate go-go boy will make this private dance last more than one night.

Giveaway

Stop by www.paulineallan.com between Feb. 17-19, 2017 to enter a drawing to win a Kindle Fire! The winner will be announced on Feb. 20th.

Buy Links

Amazon

iTunes

About the author

619tizmkjbl-_ux250_Pauline lives in the Midwest with her hero husband, two handsome boys, one ornery cat, and a lovely Pitbull. She enjoys writing erotic romance for all readers. From MM contemporary romance series to LGBT fairytales, Pauline shares stories that she holds close to her heart. By day Pauline is a special care baby registered nurse and by night a hopeless romantic. She loves to travel to New Orleans twice a year to recharge her creative battery and enjoy a bag full of powdered sugar covered beignets. Sit down, relax and Laissez les bons temps rouler!

Social Media Links:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/PaulineAllan

Instagram: paulineallan_author

Facebook: Pauline Allan .author

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/paulineallan/

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News for authors: Introducing Lovebound Promotions

Special Promotion

I’m delighted to be stopping by today to introduce you all to LoveBound Promotions, an up and coming book marketing company for romance authors, and to tell you a little about the services we provide, not to mention a special introductory offer you won’t want to miss!

But first…who are we? My name is Jamie and I’m an author myself, writing LGBT themed romances for young and new adults. In partnership with Jon, a graphic designer and the love of my life, I set up LoveBound Promotions with the aim of providing a variety of book marketing packages to authors across the romance genre. Born from a shared love of literature and a heartfelt understanding of the struggles authors undergo in the effort to bring their work to the notice of potential readers, our company seeks to offer a friendly, professional service at a price to suit all budgets.

Our Services and Special Promotion

Book any of our other marketing packages before May 1st, 2017, and receive a complimentary Review Query worth £20!!!

Services We Offer

  • A Cover Reveal to show off your fabulous cover ahead of publication.
  • A Book Blitz to generate buzz about your new release
  • A Blog Tour which uses fun and original content to increase your exposure
  • A Forget Me Not Tour if you’re seeking longer term promotion
  • A Review Query to help obtain reviews for your book

To book any of our marketing packages and take advantage of the introductory offer, please see LoveBound Promotions’ services page for full details, before filling out our online order form.

Contact/Join Us

If you’re a blogger who is passionate about the romance genre and would like to become a tour host with LoveBound Promotions, all you have to do is complete our simple signup form.

Want to know more about our marketing packages? Questions about becoming a tour host with LoveBound? Whatever the reason, please don’t hesitate to contact us through our website and we’ll do our best to help.

We look forward to working with you!

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BLOG TOUR, EXCERPT AND GIVEAWAY! How the Other Half Lives by Clare London

 
 
Length: 20,000 words
 
 
 
Blurb
 

Compulsively neat freak meets chaotic slob: can their living space survive the conflict?

Martin Harrison keeps himself to himself and his Central London flat as neat as a new pin. Maybe he should loosen up and enjoy more of a social life, but in his mind, that’s tantamount to opening the floodgates to emotional chaos. He agrees, however, to join the flat-sitting scheme in his building and look after another tenant’s flat in exchange for a similar watch over his when he’s travelling for his work.

A floor away in the same building, Russ McNeely is happy with his life as a freelance cook and a self-confessed domestic slob. He also joins the flat-sitting scheme, both to be neighbourly and to help keep his flat in order, as Russ also travels for his work.

For a while, the very dissimilar men never meet. Martin is horrified at the mess at Russ’s flat, while Russ finds Martin’s minimalist style creepy. But in a spirit of generosity, each of them starts to help the other out by rearranging things in their own inimitable way.

Until the day a hiccup in the schedule brings them face-to-face at last.

 
Excerpt
 

There’s no way I think Ethan’s amusement is justified, no way at all. I suppose I imagined he would share my righteous horror at the experience I’ve just been through. No… suffered is the appropriate word.
“Holy crap in a handbasket, Martin, if you could only see the expression on your face! Was it really that bad?” He laughs, rather too loudly and too long for my liking. “Come on, we’re living in a sophisticated city, in a hub of the civilised world, not some kind of ghetto. These are very smart flats, and the tenants have to pass some kind of credit check before moving in. Your upstairs flat-sit can’t have been the hellhole you so graphically describe.”
“It was.” I’m still shuddering at the mere memory. “Initially I thought the place had been burgled. I’ve never seen such a mess in my life. Everything jumbled together. Nothing labelled, stacked properly, or cleared away.” Ethan’s still laughing at me, and I don’t approve of his levity. “There were dirty plates, Ethan. Lots of them, and not just in the sink! I found an umbrella in the bathroom, a car maintenance kit in the kitchen, and some correspondence pinned to the wall in the lobby with a fork. Like a…. Like a spear.” It remained the most aggressive vision. “There was dust on the top of every door frame, and a very disturbing colour scheme on the walls of the living room. I had a headache after my first evening visit.”
“So, what do you have to do? Do you have to live there while the owner’s away?”
Thankfully, I catch that glint of mischief back in his eye. “Very amusing, I’m sure. No, I only have to check in on a daily basis. Make sure that the alarm is set, turn off lights that have been left on—every single one, Ethan!—and collect up the post. Sensible things like that.”
“Post?”
From the sly look on Ethan’s face, I suspect he’s still provoking me. “What about it?”
“I believe you can tell a lot by a person’s post.”
“I believe so too,” I reply dryly. “But if that’s the case, I’m not much the wiser, having waded through a mass of free flyers and invitations to various gourmet events. The owner appears to be in the catering trade, or has ambitions to be. Unless they’re a professional gamer—there were several magazines with lurid covers of impossibly cantilevered animated women, or surly assassins dressed in camouflage, with guns larger than their own torsos.”
“How the other half lives,” murmurs my so-called friend, unable to hide his grin. “You sorted through it for the owner, then?”
“Well, of course I did.” I can feel a slight flush on my cheeks. “Among other things. The owner obviously needs help, and I… had a spare hour. For example, I put the car kit and the umbrella back in the hall, and took a large pile of bedding from the living room to the dresser in the bedroom. Then back in the living room, I sorted a total mess of CDs into alphabetical order.”
I’m slightly disturbed that I sound like someone’s domestic help, but I’m also secretly impressed with how efficient I’d been in the allotted time. “Oh, and there was a hideous smell in the bathroom. I was going to alert the caretaker of the building, but upon investigation, I found a filthy bottle of stagnant liquid in the linen cupboard by the boiler. I disposed of that, of course.”
“Of course,” Ethan murmurs.
“I did find washing-up the crockery particularly challenging. The tenant appears to cook extensively and uses some very eccentric, exotically flavoured ingredients. If left to dry on the china, they stain—that’s all I’ll say about it.” I finally acknowledge Ethan’s amusement at my expense. “You’re the one who told me to show some neighbourliness.”
“So, you found out who owns this flat?”
“Um. Well, barely.” One would think Ethan assumed some ulterior motive in me, like common curiosity or something equally alien to my calm self-sufficiency. “A person called McNeely, initial R. Apart from that, I have no information. The owner never turned up for the introductory meeting. The management committee provided the key and the details, including the signed agreement to my access.” I shift, inexplicably uncomfortable for a moment. “I’m not sure all of this meets your criteria of making new friends and influencing people, so perhaps I should just let it drop.”
Ethan raises an eyebrow sceptically. I think we’ve either been friends for too long, or else his empathy is improving.
“Okay.” I sigh heavily and a little petulantly. “I’ll persist with it. Actually, I had some ideas for a shoe storage rack in the hallway and more efficient shelving in the kitchen. He might be interested in that, as I’ve never seen so many ill-assorted utensils scattered all over the counter. And I did think a formal message board for him would be an excellent idea.”
“He? Him?” Ethan’s eyelids flicker and his mouth tightens, as if he’s trying hard to keep his expression neutral. Maybe my empathy is improving too.
“I saw his flat, remember? I saw the post. And—” I’m racked with another shudder. “—I saw the piles of unfolded laundry. It’s a male tenant. Please don’t ask me to elaborate.”
“Underwear?” Ethan is relentless. “I believe you can tell a lot by a person’s—”
I glare at him and he bites back the rest of the sentence. “I can assure you, I didn’t stay any longer than necessary. I was going to play some of the CDs that had been left out of their cases, just to check whether they were still serviceable, but I couldn’t get the equipment to work.”
Ethan frowns. “It was broken?”
“No, no.” I’m impatient with him now, and although I like his company, I’m hoping he’ll go soon. There’s something disturbing my thoughts, and I need to wipe the whole flat-sitting episode from my mind. I need to settle back in my own place, on my own, with my things around me. I need… peace. “The place was the most appalling jumble, Ethan. I just couldn’t find the remote control. Then when I was about to lock up and leave, I found it under the—”
Now it’s my turn to bite off my unfortunate words, but it’s too late. Ethan’s all but pounced on me.
“Where, Martin? Where did you find it?”
“Under the laundry,” The flush is all over my neck now. “If you must know, it was under a pile of boxer shorts illustrated with a character called Super Mario.”

 
Author Bio
 

Clare took the pen name London from the city where she lives, loves, and writes. A lone, brave female in a frenetic, testosterone-fuelled family home, she juggles her writing with the weekly wash, waiting for the far distant day when she can afford to give up her day job as an accountant. She’s written in many genres and across many settings, with novels and short stories published both online and in print. She says she likes variety in her writing while friends say she’s just fickle, but as long as both theories spawn good fiction, she’s happy. Most of her work features male/male romance and drama with a healthy serving of physical passion, as she enjoys both reading and writing about strong, sympathetic and sexy characters.
Clare currently has several novels sulking at that tricky chapter 3 stage and plenty of other projects in mind . . . she just has to find out where she left them in that frenetic, testosterone-fuelled family home.
All the details and free fiction are available at her website. Visit her today and say hello!

Website: http://www.clarelondon.com
Blog: http://clarelondon.livejournal.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/clarelondon
Facebook chat: https://www.facebook.com/groups/clarelondoncalling/
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/clare_london
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/clarelondon
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/author/clarelondon

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EXCERPT & GIVEAWAY: Hunter by Dakota Storm

Blurb:

Sexy as sin bounty hunter, Hunter Jones, lives, eats, and breathes his next case. He’s always been content to live his life on the road with no attachments and no one to answer to. Love was for other people, but when he stops in a small town for a little R&R and meets up with a fellow bounty hunter to review a case, he runs into the man in every one of his wet dreams, only Hunter isn’t ready for love, but Donovan turns his head and his heart upside down.
Donovan Madsen has it all; a lucrative business, a close-knit family and a best friend, who he shares it all with, but something is missing. Donovan always dreamed of finding the “one”, settling down and living the small town life, but he never thought it would happen…until Hunter.
The mutual attraction is instant and intense; neither can say goodbye.
As trouble brews and Donovan is kidnapped, Hunter realizes life is too short to not take what he wants. FBI, Mercenaries and bounty Hunters fight for their lives in this action packed romance, where lives are on the line and their love might not be enough.

Excerpt:

Feeling reluctant to take his hands off of Hunter’s sides, Van climbed off the back of the bike and stretched his legs a little, smiling sheepishly at Hunter.
“It’s been a while since I road on a bike,” Van told him and smiled.
“Yeah, well, I’ve been on it for the last three weeks, pretty much straight. I eat, sleep, and ride. I’m on a bit of R&R now.”
Trying to keep his giddy smile hidden, Van wanted to jump up and down that this god-like creature was in his small town for some R&R. Turning so he faced Jocassee Lake, he leaned on the side of the picnic table. He loved the view from this spot and could usually gaze for hours at the wildlife and rugged terrain, but he was too focused on Hunter to take it all in today.
“So, how long are you in town for, Hunter?” Van whispered.
Doing a little stretch as well, Hunter strutted over to where Van was leaning. He had a loose-legged walk that brought Van’s mind immediately to sex. Looking into his eyes, Van couldn’t help but get lost in their depths again. Time seemed to stand still as Hunter leaned into Van’s space and whispered, “As long as you want me to be,” and kissed the side of his mouth.
Van couldn’t breathe, he couldn’t focus. All he could do was feel, and what he felt stunned him.
The only noise, besides the occasional hawk screeching for his next meal, was Van’s gasp of air as Hunter kissed him again, lightly running his tongue over Van’s lower lip before gently biting it. Van’s arms had a mind of their own as they grabbed onto Hunter’s hips, pulling him closer.
Both were out of breath, and they hadn’t done anything but exchange a few light kisses. Van couldn’t ever remember getting so turned on by just a kiss. This man was so good, yet so bad for his heart. Van could feel himself getting addicted to Hunter’s kisses and craving so much more. He was fucking screwed and he knew it.
                                              ****
Shit, Hunter thought about what Van would taste like the whole ride up the mountain, now he couldn’t get enough. His taste was warm and sunny with a hint of cinnamon. When Van’s hands landed on his hips, pulling him forward, it took all of Hunter’s control not to grab his head and plunder his mouth with his own. But he knew less than nothing about Van, other than he seemed a little on the shy side, and he didn’t want to scare him away. Hunter was more of a rough around the edges, take no shit kind of guy, but being there with Van made him want to take his time and savor. Savor Van’s taste and the way his cock rubbed against his through his jeans. Jesus.
“Kiss me,” Van begged as Hunter again ran his tongue around his mouth, biting not so gently this time at his lips.
Needing no more encouragement, Hunter grabbed the back of Van’s head and slid his tongue roughly into Van’s mouth, enlisting a long groan from the man. Van’s cock, having a mind of its own, rubbed faster against Hunter’s, and his tongue wrestled for domination. Hunter grabbed the hair at the back of Van’s neck, forcing his tongue deeper into his mouth, sliding his tongue in and out, mimicking what he wanted to do next. He couldn’t get enough of his taste, of his essence, his scent. Hunter didn’t get mushy about kissing a guy, but damn it, he felt that kiss to his balls and back and was ready to explode.
The sound of a car pulling onto the gravel had the two reluctantly pulling apart, but not breaking eye contact as the car headed back in the same direction it came from.
“Well, that was…” Van touched his lips and smiled.
“Yeah,” was all Hunter could get out as he adjusted his dick in his tight jeans. He couldn’t understand his need to hold on to this moment. He wanted to grab hold of Van and never let go.

GIVEAWAY!!!

Click here to enter the Rafflecopter

About the Author

 Dakota Storm was born and bred in rural southwest Massachusetts. Her love of writing romance brings many stories to life in her head all culminating in a happily ever after. Even though she lives up North she hates the winters but love cuddling up with her husband by a toasty fire. She harnesses her other creativity through photography in which loves to hike and capture animals in the wild. She loves to blog and read all genres but her favorite is m/m romance with a happily ever after. You can follow her on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/AuthorDakotaStorm/

I also have a newsletter for LGBT books and Authors. Announcing new releases, sales, freebies and more! If you would like to sign up to receive the email here is the link…http://eepurl.com/cyigjz 

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⭐ FREE BOOKS!!! ⭐M/M Romance Valentine’s Giveaway 10th -15th February

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The M/M Romance Valentine’s Giveaway event has been organized by author Isobel Starling as a way of giving readers a little bit of free valentine’s love in these days of uncertainty and turmoil and to find new readers for a group of super authors.

On the event page readers can download 34 new stories — Shorts, novelettes, and excerpts from established M/M authors and several new authors.  We have a wonderfully diverse range of subgenres on offer – Contemporary, BDSM, Erotica, Fantasy, Historical, Comedy, and Paranormal.

The full list of featured authors is:

Jordan Castillo Price, Isobel Starling, Liv Rancourt, Kasia Bacon, A.D Ellis, Irene Preston, Avylinn Winter, Chris Mc Hart, Sandra Schwab, Leta Blake, J.R Gray, Barbara Elsborg, A.E Ryecart, Naaju Rorrete, Lucy Lennox, Megs Pritchard, A. Y Venona, Nic Starr, A.E Wasp, Alina Popescu, Johnny Williams, Shane K. Morton,  Dale Cameron Lowry, Lila Leigh Hunter, April Kelley, Bronwyn Heeley, Michele Notaro, D.J Jamison, Kay Simone, Tina T. Kove, Michael Mandrake, J. Scott Coatsworth, Leona Windwalker, and Alicia Nordwell.

The giveaway page will be live on 10th February until the 15th of February, so if your want to get a head start on your Goodreads reading challenge, or just want some quick fun reads, why not download a few short stories and give a little love back by leaving reviews for the authors.

That’s 34 FREE gay romance stories!

Click here to see all the books you can download for FREE and get the links.

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⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Want to share the news about this fabulous giveaway? Here’s a ready-made tweet.

Click to Tweet: ⭐ FREE gay romance books from 34 authors ⭐ #gayromance #mmromance #freebooks #lovewins http://wp.me/p4tUbj-10z
Tweet: ⭐ FREE gay romance books from 34 authors ⭐ #gayromance #mmromance #freebooks #lovewins https://ctt.ec/7FlI9+

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GUEST POST & GIVEAWAY: Wish You Were Here by Asta Idonea

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GUEST POST: Wish You Were Here—Setting

Wish You Were Here is set in the Cotswolds. This is an area I often employ as the setting of my stories for a number of reasons. Firstly, it’s a place I’ve visited several times, so I have a strong mental image of the environs. Secondly, it’s the perfect spot for a tale that needs a country background since it is a beautiful landscape peppered with quaint little towns and villages. And finally, it stirs in me thoughts of all things typically English.

For Wish You Were Here, I needed a location that made sense as a holiday spot for someone coming from London/Kent and that exuded a sense of history and time standing still. The Cotswolds fit the bill on both counts. If you’ve never been there and find yourself holidaying in England, I highly recommend a visit.

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Blurb

The death of Oakley’s sister has left his family broken and buried beneath their grief. In an attempt to get out from underneath their pain, they rent an isolated cottage in the Cotswolds. For Oakley, it’s an exercise in futility. He doesn’t see much hope for things to get back to the way they used to be, and he’s bored and restless as he waits out the time until he can return to the city and university. All of that changes when he meets local boy Bobby, and the connection between them is instant. Within a few days, Oakley is ready to walk away from everything to stay with Bobby. However, Bobby has problems of his own, and they might be more than the budding romance can survive. But they might also give Oakley a new perspective on his own situation.

 

Tablo Excerpt

Giveaway

Prize: 1 x e-copy of my MM Sci-Fi novella Fire Up My Heart

Click here to enter the Rafflecopter

Buy Links

Dreamspinner Press: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/wish-you-were-here-by-asta-idonea-8131-b

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N5QYWAZ

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01N5QYWAZ

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Author Bio & Links

author-pic-2015Asta Idonea (aka Nicki J Markus) was born in England but now lives in Adelaide, South Australia. She has loved both reading and writing from a young age and is also a keen linguist, having studied several foreign languages.

Asta launched her writing career in 2011 and divides her efforts not only between MM and mainstream works but also between traditional and indie publishing. Her works span the genres, from paranormal to historical and from contemporary to fantasy. It just depends what story and which characters spring into her mind!

As a day job, Asta works as a freelance editor and proofreader, and in her spare time she enjoys music, theatre, cinema, photography, and sketching. She also loves history, folklore and mythology, pen-palling, and travel, all of which have provided plenty of inspiration for her writing.

 

Blog: http://www.nickijmarkus.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NickiJMarkus

Twitter: https://twitter.com/NickiJMarkus

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nickijmarkus/

Google+: https://plus.google.com/+NickiJMarkusAstaIdonea

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4567057.Nicki_J_Markus

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nicolamarkus

Amazon Author US: http://www.amazon.com/Asta-Idonea/e/B00RMGGVYO

Amazon Author UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Asta-Idonea/e/B00RMGGVYO

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