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♫♫ Music Playlist: Catch My Breath by M.J. O’Shea ♫♫

I love to check out the music that authors have either found inspiring when they have been writing a book or else the songs they have identified to accompany the story.

M.J. O’Shea has released the playlist that accompanies her book Catch My Breath. I loved this book (★★★★★). See below for the link to the review.

Check out the post on her blog here . She says:

“One thing I do pretty regularly is release the playlist of songs I’d made for my current book release back when I was working on it. I always make one. Although I don’t listen to it when I write, but I listen to it all over the place when I’m thinking and planning and getting a feel for where I want to go. So here’s some of the songs in mostly alphabetical order:) The entire list would’ve been REALLY long. I won’t torture you.

P.S. None of the chapter titles made the playlist. Sorry boy bands everywhere. I still love you.”

Thanks for sharing M.J.!

M.J. O’Shea’s blog contains the full list of songs and individual links or you can check out the playlist on YouTube below.

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Home Sweet Home by T.A. Chase

This series has a really strong message about family which continues in this book. It was nice to see Yancey and Juan get their own story, albeit with lots of inclusion of the other couples we have grown to know throughout the series.

  • No Going Home (book 1)
  • Home of His Own (book 2)
  • Wishing for a Home (book 3)
  • Leaving Home (book 4)
  • Home Sweet Home (book 5) – in this review

Home Sweet Home (Home #5)Home Sweet Home by T.A. Chase

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

Home is sweetest when it’s the one person you can’t live without.

Yancey MacCafferty and Juan Romanos fell in love when they were in their teens, but their families convinced them both to follow their dreams and explore the world before committing to each other.

Their dreams take them in different directions. Yancey heads off to veterinarian school while Juan goes East to ride show horses. They stay in touch, and see each other as often as they can, but slowly they begin to drift apart.

Until Yancey graduates from college and decides it’s time to claim Juan as his. He gets a job working at a clinic near where Juan trains and rides. They spend as much time together as their work allows, finding out that while they may still love each other, meshing their lives together will take a lot more work.

So what did I think?

This story starts with a reminder of how Yancey and Juan first met as teens. The eighteen year old Yancey, who had been living on the streets, is older and wiser than Juan, who at sixteen faces some potential trouble at a club. Yancey ‘rescues’ him and something clicks that night for both of them.

They started their relationship slowly with their family – Yancey’s brother and Juan’s uncle – encouraging them to see a bit of the world and develop as their own men before committing themselves to one another. They want to make sure the boys are not in a position to resent each other for what they may have missed out on. They act on that advise and Yancey goes to college to learn to be a vet and Juan becomes a professional jumper. These different educations and careers keep them apart but they still love each other dearly and remain faithful to each other.

The focus of the story is Yancey finally being in a position to buy a vet practice near the stables where Juan rides and for them to be together. “He wanted to be close to the man he loved so they could get reacquainted. He needed to learn who this new Juan was, and see if their love would be strong enough to survive the changes in both of them.”

I found the blurb slightly misleading. The blurb states “He gets a job working at a clinic near where Juan trains and rides. They spend as much time together as their work allows, finding out that while they may still love each other, meshing their lives together will take a lot more work.” I actually found their lives meshed easily and there weren’t any issues. These guys were made for each other and deeply in love.

This doesn’t mean life is perfect but they are very happy together. “…I thought that when you love someone you’re supposed to see them as the best thing since sliced bread.”
Snorting, Yancey rolled his eyes. “Honey, sliced bread isn’t that great, and while I love you, I do see your faults. That’s what love really is. Seeing all your lover’s faults, and loving them in spite of their crazy.”

The plot sees a tragedy which provides opportunity for all the characters to come together as they offer help, love and support. The family theme, which has appeared throughout the series, continues to be strong “You are all my family, not all of you by blood. Actually, we are the best kind of family, the kind that has decided to love each other because we want to instead of having to. We accept everyone for who they are on the inside, and not who or how they look on the outside.”

My only concern with this story was the timeline and how long it took Yancey and Juan to be together. Thirteen years had passed since the boys had met as teens. Surely this was well past how long it would have taken Yancey to become qualified as a vet and be in a position to settle into a practice? Dare I say I also thought it a bit prudish that Yancey was concerned about sharing a bed with Juan. They are grown men yet “The last time they’d been together, Yancey had slept in a different guest room, not wanting to get Tony or Brody upset about them sharing a bed. Juan had thought it had been a stupid idea, since he knew that Tony suspected they’d already slept together.” Well Juan was right!

Overall, this a sweet story and it is nice to see Yancey and Juan get their happy ending!

3 Stars

See my review of book 3, Wishing for a Home.

See my review of book 4, Leaving Home.

For more information on T.A. Chase and her books, visit the website.

Buy Home Sweet Home at Amazon

View all my reviews

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Author interviews & Summer Promotion at Wilde City Press

Our friends are Wilde City Press are having a Summer promotion. Yes, I know it’s winter here in Oz where I am but who cares, it’s still 25% off!

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Help Wilde City Press celebrate the start of summer and July 4th. Enjoy 25% of your entire cart from Wednesday July 3rd through Sunday July 7th with the coupon code: WildeFreedom.

Summer is all about fun, adventure and making great holiday memories. What do the Wilde City authors get up to? Find out when they were asked about some of their favorite summer traditions … past, present, and future.

So what did Shae Connor, Hank Edwards, Geoffrey Knight, Lloyd Meeker, Clare London, Eric Arvin, Patrick Darcy, Anne Brooke, J.P. Barnaby and Ethan Stone have to say?

What is your favorite July 4th / Independence Day memory or tradition?

Shae Connor

My favorite July 4th tradition is putting the watermelon in the pool.

See, my extensive extended family mostly lives in and around a small Georgia town, and the main gathering place for as long as I can remember has been the house of one of my grandmother’s sisters. (Both my grandmother and her sister are gone now, but some things just don’t change.)

Every year on the 4th of July, everyone who’s in town gathers at that house for a cookout. There’s a big grill out back, where the manly men types cook the meat. There’s also a pool, and every year, there’s a watermelon that goes in the pool. The kids play with it in the water most of the day, and then after everyone eats, the watermelon gets fished out, washed off, and sliced for everyone to dig in. The water in the pool chills it perfectly, not too cold like it would be from the fridge.

Now I want some pool-cooled watermelon!

I’ve been making up stories for as long as I can remember, but it took me a long time to figure out that maybe I should start writing them down. I started out writing fanfic well over a decade ago, and in 2010, I moved into original fiction. (Though I do still get waylaid by a fanfiction plotbunny now and then.)

Shae is new to Wilde City. Look for Fringes, her Charlie Harding Presents erotic sci-fi short due out later this summer. Visit her at: shaeconnorwrites.com

Hank Edwards

Meet Josh Stanton, orphaned at a young age in the mid-1800s, he has always been considered an outcast in Belkin’s Pass. Now he’s grown into a quiet, well-educated young man full of secrets, the least of which is his love for his best friend, town deputy Dex Wells. But when the ancient vampire Balthazar begins feeding on the residents of Belkin’s Pass, Josh’s secrets prove to be the turning point in a battle for the souls of the townspeople—but at what personal cost? —- Cowboys & Vampires, available now at Wilde City Press.

Visit Hank at hankedwardsbooks.com

What is your favorite Summer memory or tradition?

Geoffrey Knight

My favourite Independence Day moment has to be when Will Smith socks that mean old alien in the chops after they have the dogfight in the canyon and he says something bad-ass like, “You aliens just wrecked my July 4 barbecue and now I’m gonna have me some E.T. burgers because you guys suck!” Oh … you mean a real Independence Day memory, not a scene from the movie! I guess I’ll answer the Best Summer Memory or Tradition question instead.

I don’t think I have one particular memory or tradition that stands out because I love everything about Summer. Being Australian, Summer means lots of public holidays: Christmas, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day and Australia all happen in the space of a month or so, so January pretty much means lots of delicious seafood and days at the beach and your skin feels dusty with sea-salt the whole time, which is a feeling I love. Now that I’ve moved to an island it’s even better; Sydney beaches can get really crowded but up here I can walk from one end of the beach to the other with my dogs and not see a soul. And yes, of course I go in for a skinny dip! 😉

“I want to see.” … “Nash, we’re in Egypt, in the ruins of an ancient city, standing in front of a secret door! Aren’t you curious?”
“Curiosity killed the – ” … “No, I’m not curious.”
The lie was unconvincing enough to give Ryan the confidence to sway him.
Sway him with a kiss. …
“Curious yet?”

You can read Nash’s answer in Cairo Curse, book two in the Vampire Lair series. Visit Geoff at www.geoffreyknightbooks.com

Lloyd Meeker

My favorite summer tradition is honoring the solstice. In one old tradition, Midsummer Night was the time to leave a small dish of brandy in the garden as a gift to the fairies, which I’ve always thought was charming. Inviting the goodwill of nature is always a sensible idea!

I mark the solstice by honoring extremes – the dark of winter in the southern hemisphere and the light of summer in the northern – and the inevitable swing of the one toward the other. It is the wisdom of the Tao, the dance of light and dark, each with the spark of the other in its core.

This idea may seem pretty dry, but try this little experiment: sit on a playground swing and build momentum. Make the point furthest back winter solstice, when movement forward begins, and make the point farthest forward summer solstice, when graceful retreat begins. Feel the delicious centrifugal force as you move, your weightlessness at both far points – and remember the earth, held in her arc by the sun.

Gay PI Russ Morgan doesn’t mind being fifty but hates being single. He’s made peace with being a psychic empath, and he’s managed to build a decent life since getting sober. As he uncovers obscene secrets shrouded in seeming righteousness, he might have to make peace with a sword of justice that cuts the innocent as deeply as the guilty. —- Enigma, coming soon to Wilde City Press.

Visit Lloyd at lloydmeeker.com

Clare London

I wish the UK had July 4 celebrations as well! This summer so far, we’ve had sleet, flood rains, gale force winds and then occasionally a sunny, hot day. I think this is the reason most of our sentimental celebrations take place in the latter half of the year. Or why the British talk constantly about the weather.

It seemed sunnier in The Old Days, when I was young(er). One happy memory is of an annual trip with friends to Henley-on-Thames, for a barbeque/picnic beside the river. This was the irresponsible time before kids and mortgages! We always arranged a game of rounders (like baseball, but not), competing with way more enthusiasm than skill, and helped along (or hindered?) by huge amounts of alcohol.

We still have photographic evidence of the fun. A gal sitting in her bikini, draining the last cupful of fruit punch from a litre-sized jug. A chap with his younger brother hauled over his shoulder, running towards the river to throw him in. Various self-inflicted rounders-bat injuries on sunburned shins. Clare, clutching river weeds to her chest because she lost her tube top when she dived in…

Oh those lazy, hazy afternoons of summer!

Meet Freeman, a quiet man who’s not used to sharing his plans, his history, or his emotions. He’s returned to the city on business, a case that has nothing to do with the people he once left behind: his ex-wife, his male ex-lover, and his ex-business partner. He has no plans to engage with any of them again – until he meets Kit, the provocative young man who’s going to pull Freeman from the safety of his shell, whether he wants to or not. —- Freeman, coming soon to Wilde City Press.

Visit Clare at www.clarelondon.co.uk

Eric Arvin

I’m a big music slut any time of the year, but I especially love summer music or music that makes me think of summer. Every spring I make an awesome playlist for the warmer months. There be lots of frivolity and even some slower tunes in the mix. Here are a few from this year’s playlist:

Eric Arvin resides in the same sleepy Indiana river town where he grew up. He graduated from Hanover College with a Bachelors in History. He has lived, for brief periods, in Italy and Australia. He has survived brain surgery and his own loud-mouthed personal demons. Eric is the author of The Mingled destinies of Crocodiles and Men, and various other sundry and not-so-sundry writings. He intends to live the rest of his days with tongue in cheek and eyes set to roam.

Visit Eric at ericarvin.blogspot.com

Patrick Darcy

Without a doubt, on a cold summer night in Dublin, I dream of being naked on an Ibizan beach. Preferably Playa Es Cavallet, the gay nudist beach. It’s a bit of a trek; you have to get past the German and Dutch naturalist before getting to the promised land of sexy, naked homos. I see it now, hot muscled hunks, with tattoos and great big…….

The beach is all white sand lined with cool beach bars, and the sound of funky music fills the air. Such a great relaxed vibe and beautiful people cruising each other. To say it’s sexual would be an understatement.

Summer is all about being naked, however, there are occasional problems. As a weak and feeble man, I am constantly being shown up by my hardon. I want to be dignified and European. But I’m Irish, I see a hot naked guy and, well, my cock just has to show its appreciation. Total nude beach faux pas. Oh the shame of it! The only saving grace is that my buns are rather pert. So I spend most of the day laying on my front, peaking through my Roy Orbison shades at all the beach talent.

OK. now I’m horny!

Hi! I’m Patrick Darcy. Rugby player, Irishman and writer of full strength gay erotica. Follow me at patrickdarcybooks.com, as I comment on life in Dublin, hot men and all the things that make me tick. There are two big passions in my life: great sex and rugby. Quite often, these are combined! I love the thrill of competition, the power, the intensity, the brotherhood of rugby.

Oh, and I love being naked!

Anne Brooke

My favourite summer memory is my mother’s homemade lemonade. She only ever made it in summer as she said it was an outdoor drink and needed a big dose of sunshine to make the bubbles pop. Apparently winter would make the whole drink go grey and flat, and as I was young I believed her – and in a way I still do. Homemade lemonade only ever appeared about three or four times a year and only when we were very good and she was pleased with us. It wasn’t ever something she prepared for either but, in our family group, she would slip away quietly and after a while one or another of us would realise she was missing. From then on the excitement would mount and then – at last! – half an hour or so later she would reappear with a huge jug of lovely lemony-yellow bubbly drink and a selection of glasses. Drinking it meant you had enough sugar in your system to last you well into the next month, but it was like a blast of sunshine and citrus in the mouth, I can tell you. Sheer bliss!

The night I met Luke Milton, the last thing I was looking for was any kind of relationship …

“What the hell are you doing?” …
“Waiting for you …”
“You’ve not covered up your mark.” … “You must have taken some stick for it from the office.”
“Why should I cover it up? You gave it to me. That’s worth all the stick in the world.”

Read the rest of Luke and Alan’s interactions in The Beginning of Knowledge, available now at Wilde City Press. Visit Anne at www.annebrooke.com

If you could escape to anywhere in the world this summer, where would it be?

J.P. Barnaby

J. P. Barnaby, an award-winning gay romance novelist, is the author of over a dozen books including the Little Boy Lost series, the Forbidden Room series, and Aaron. As a bisexual woman, J.P. is a proud member of the GLBT community both online and in her small town on the outskirts of Chicago. A member of Mensa, she is described as brilliant but troubled, sweet but introverted, and talented but deviant. She spends her days writing software and her nights writing erotica, which is, of course, far more interesting. The spare time that she carves out between her career and her novels is spent reading about the concept of love, which, like some of her characters, she has never quite figured out for herself.

J.P.’s new Rentboy series is coming to Wilde City press later this year. Visit J.P. at www.JPBarnaby.com

Ethan Stone

I would love to go on a cruise to somewhere warm but not too hot. I want a place with a beach, cool clear water and some hot cabana boys. The hot cabana boys are not just for eye candy, they’d be there for inspiration. The whole trip would be for inspiration since I’ve been having a hard time with writing lately. Being in a relaxing environment with pretty eye candy all around me could really help with my writing block. Additionally, it would benefit my health as well. If I were to lay shirtless in the sun, soaking up all that vitamin D, I’d have all the energy I need for anything that happened to come up. 🙂

Anyone wanting to contribute to the “Save Ethan’s Mental and Physical Health” Cruise feel free to use Paypal.

“Did you like what you saw out there?” …
“You’re a very … talented dancer.” …
“Anything else you liked?”
“You fishing for a compliment, Holt? You don’t seem the type to need your ego stroked.”
“Maybe it’s not my ego I want s…”

See if Jason Holt ever gets around to telling Quinn what he wants stroked, Past Tense available now at Wilde City Press. Visit Ethan at www.ethanjstone.com.

Check out some of my reviews of books published by Wilde City Press and also my review of J.P. Barnaby’s Little Boy Lost series.

Click HERE to see the full post at Wilde City Press and see some responses by other authors including Owen Keehnen, Pelaam, Charlie Harding and Ewan Creed.