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Full Disclosure by Kindle Alexander

Synopsis
Deputy United States Marshal Mitch Knox apprehends fugitives for a living. His calm, cool, collected attitude and devastatingly handsome good looks earn him a well-deserved bad boy reputation, both in the field and out. While away on an assignment, he blows off some steam at a notorious Dallas nightclub. Solving the case that has plagued him for months takes a sudden backseat to finding out all there is to know about the gorgeous, shy blond sitting alone at the bar.
Texas State Trooper Cody Turner is moving up the ranks, well on his way to his dream of being a Texas Ranger. While on a two-week mandatory vacation, he plans to relax and help out on his family’s farm. Mitch is the last distraction Cody needs, but the tatted up temptation that walks into the bar and steals his baseball cap is too hard to ignore.
As Mitch’s case gains nationwide attention, how will he convince the sexy state trooper that giving him a chance won’t jeopardize his life’s plan…especially when the evil he’s tracking brings the hate directly to his doorstep, threatening more than just their careers.
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MeetTheAuthor
Best Selling Author Kindle Alexander is an innovative writer, and a genre-crosser who writes classic fantasy, romance, suspense, and erotica in both the male/male and male/female genres. It’s always a surprise to see what’s coming next!
I live in the suburbs of Dallas where it’s true, the only thing bigger than an over active imagination, may be women’s hair!
Usually, I try for funny. Humor is a major part of my life – I love to laugh, and it seems to be the thing I do in most situations – regardless of the situation, but jokes are a tricky deal… I don’t want to offend anyone and jokes tend to offend. So instead I’m going to tell you about Kindle.
I tragically lost my sixteen year old daughter to a drunk driver. She had just been at home, it was early in the night and I heard the accident happen. I’ll never forget that moment. The sirens were immediate and something inside me just knew. I left my house, drove straight to the accident on nothing more than instinct. I got to be there when my little girl died – weirdly, I consider that a true gift from above. She didn’t have to be alone.
That time in my life was terrible. It’s everything you think it would be times about a billion. I love that kid. I loved being her mother and I loved watching her grow into this incredibly beautiful person, both inside and out. She was such a gift to me. To have it all ripped away so suddenly broke me.
Her name was Kindle. Honest to goodness – it was her name and she died a few weeks before Amazon released their brand new Kindle ereader. She had no idea it was coming out and she would have finally gotten her name on something! Try finding a ruler with the name Kindle on it.. It never happened.
Through the course of that crippling event I was lucky enough to begin to write with a dear friend in the fan fiction world of Facebook. She got me through those dark days with her unwavering support and friendship. There wasn’t a time she wasn’t there for me. Sometimes together and sometimes by myself, we built a world where Kindle lives and stands for peace, love and harmony. It’s its own kind of support group. I know without question I wouldn’t be here today without her.
Find out more by visiting http://www.kindlealexander.com or email me at kindle@kindlealexander.com

 

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Fever Pitch Book Tour: Excerpt and Giveaway!

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INFORMATION ABOUT THE SERIES

The Love Lessons series are new adult LGBT contemporary romance novels set at various colleges within the American Midwest. While Love Lessons and Fever Pitch feature gay protagonists, subsequent novels will include lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and heterosexual heroes and heroines.

The heat level for these stories is significantly sweeter than some of Heidi’s erotic romances, which has a tendency to make the sexual tension ratchet off the charts.

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FEVER PITCH

Coming September 30 from Samhain Publishing

Book Two of the Love Lessons Series

The Blurb….

Sometimes you have to play love by ear.
Aaron Seavers is a pathetic mess, and he knows it. He lives in terror of incurring his father’s wrath and disappointing his mother, and he can’t stop dithering about where to go to college—with fall term only weeks away. Ditched by a friend at a miserable summer farewell party, all he can do is get drunk in the laundry room and regret he was ever born. Until a geeky-cute classmate lifts his spirits, leaving him confident of two things: his sexual orientation, and where he’s headed to school.

Giles Mulder can’t wait to get the hell out of Oak Grove, Minnesota, and off to college, where he plans to play his violin and figure out what he wants to be when he grows up. But when Aaron appears on campus, memories of hometown hazing threaten what he’d hoped would be his haven. As the semester wears on, their attraction crescendos from double-cautious to a rich, swelling chord. But if more than one set of controlling parents have their way, the music of their love could come to a shattering end.

Warning: Contains showmances, bad parenting, Walter Lucas, and a cappella.

Excerpt

At the door, Giles remained frozen in terror and indecision, but Aaron didn’t so much as look up. Hunched, dark hair over his eyes and arms crossed on his knees, Aaron stared at the floor and spoke in a tight, tired voice. “Go away.”

Giles wasn’t sure how to play this. While Aaron had never engaged in gay-baiting, Giles wasn’t sure he was ready to bet his front teeth Aaron wouldn’t turn him over to the wolves first chance he had.

From the second Aaron showed up at Alvis-Henning, Giles had seriously crushed on him. Hot as fuck, all dark hair, blue eyes and fuzzy scruff on his jaw—his quiet reserve left way too much space for Giles’s imagination. This infatuation, combined with Aaron’s popularity, meant Giles hadn’t ever figured out how to behave around him. Which right now was a real problem.

He decided to hedge. “If you can wait five minutes to kick me out, I’d appreciate it.”

Aaron’s head snapped up, and in the low light of the room his bright blue eyes shone. “Oh. Sorry. I thought you were Colton.”

“God no. He’s dancing on a table in the living room.” Giles let himself relax somewhat. “Why would you tell Colton off? I thought you two were tight.”

To this Aaron’s response was a snort as he lifted a beer bottle to his lips. “Whatever.”

Giles was more confused by the second. “Why are you in here, anyway?”

Aaron toasted the air with his bottle and a black smile. “Because it’s my birthday.”

“Oh—happy birthday.” Giles frowned. “Sorry, I don’t get it.”

“Me either.” Aaron tipped his head against the wall and shut his eyes, allowing Giles an ogle of that gorgeous throat, the tiny tuft of hair at the front of his T-shirt, the line of beard shadow and the beautiful bulge of an Adam’s apple. Blue eyes opened, fixing in soft squints at Giles. “I know you. You were in my…calculus class?”

“And physics.” Giles waved. “Giles Mulder.”

Aaron gestured drunkenly back. “Aaron Seavers.”

“I know.” Jesus fuck, but Aaron was hot. Hot and slightly aloof. Giles wanted to put the guy on his knees and make him moan. Stop. Get out of this with all your teeth and bones in place. “So…you spend all your birthdays in the laundry room, or is this one special?”

“I’m having a better time in here than I was out there. Or anywhere. I’m having a particularly miserable life at the moment.” Wincing, Aaron took another drink. “Shit, that’s pathetic. You should probably go.”

“I think if I leave right now, I’ll go home in a body bag, or at least on a stretcher.”

Now it was Aaron’s face screwed up in confusion. “Why?”

“Eric Campf and his buddies are playing hunt the fag. Plenty of other people would be happy to join in if they heard about the party game.” Please don’t say you want to be one of them.

Aaron shut his eyes. “I hate this town. I should be glad I’m leaving it tomorrow.”

Aaron was leaving? Giles snuffed out the waft of disappointment. Like it matters. We’re all leaving in another month and a half. Also, just because hottie is talking to you instead of hitting you doesn’t mean you have a new bestie. “Where are you going tomorrow?”

“To hell.” Aaron drained the last of his beer. “Eden Prairie, with my dad. He’ll nag at me all summer, plus I have to avoid—” His whole face shuttered, and he didn’t say anything more.

Okay, touchy subject. New topic. “Where are you going to school in the fall?”

Swearing under his breath, Aaron tossed the beer bottle across the room. “I need another drink.”

“Unless you want fabric softener, I think you’re out of luck in here. Seriously, where are you going in the fall?”

“I don’t know.”

Giles stared at him, not quite sure what to do with this. “Dude, it’s June. June twenty-first.”

“Yes, I know. Birthday, remember?” Aaron covered his face with his hands. “I don’t know where I’m going. I can’t decide. My dad’s going to rag my ass about whatever I choose, and they all look the same. It’s my goddamned eighteenth birthday, I never got dinner, and I don’t know where I’m going to college. I’m drinking in a laundry room at the most boring party in the world, my ride home is smashed and dancing on tables—and I’m out of alcohol.”

“Well, I can’t help you with the alcohol or college, but I could give you a ride to a drive-through on the way to your house.”

Giles expected to be laughed at, but Aaron took him seriously. “For real?” He seemed briefly hopeful, then looked away. “I don’t want you to bug out of the party because I’m being a loser.”

“Did you forget the part where I’m hiding out because beating me up is about to be the evening’s entertainment?”

“Oh. Right. Um…yeah, if you’re offering and don’t mind, a ride would be great. I don’t live too far, so it shouldn’t put you out.”

“But I’m taking you to dinner first, right?” Giles stepped closer and held out a hand. “Need help?”

“You don’t have to take me out.” Aaron sounded like he wished someone would.

“Hey, it’s your birthday. The least I can do is buy you a Frosty.”

Aaron frowned as he accepted Giles’s hand and rose gracelessly to his feet. “Wendy’s is in Anoka.”

“Whatever, it’s only fifteen minutes. Besides, I could use an order of fries.” When Aaron only grinned at him stupidly, as if Giles had offered to scale a mountain for him, Giles added, “I think you could use more water and less beer.”

“Yeah.” Aaron listed on his feet. “No dinner, four beers in three hours. Dumb.”

“It’s your birthday. You’re allowed.”

Aaron laughed, leaning into Giles. “What, do I get a free pass on everything because it’s my birthday?”

Letting the comment soak in, Giles tried to decide if Aaron Seavers was hitting on him or not.

Aaron nodded to a shadow in the corner of the room. “Hey, is that a door?”

By God, it was. A side door with a clear, straight view of the street, and if he squinted, Giles could see his car. “Aaron Seavers, I fucking love you.”

Giggling, Aaron nudged him. “Come on, we haven’t even had a first date yet.”

Giles’s jaw dropped, but before he could wrap his head around Aaron Seavers—Colton’s best friend—hitting on him, Aaron grabbed his hand and tugged him toward the exit.

“Let’s go. If you love me, you can buy me a Frosty and fries.”

What the hell was he supposed to say to that? In the end Giles said nothing, only let Aaron lead him out of the party into the night.

 

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Giveaway

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Click the image or here to enter the grand prize Rafflecopter.

Buy Links

Samhain (not yet up for preorder), Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, iTunes

About the author

Heidi Cullinan head shot

 

Heidi Cullinan has always loved a good love story, provided it has a happy ending. She enjoys writing across many genres but loves above all to write happy, romantic endings for LGBT characters because there just aren’t enough of those stories out there. When Heidi isn’t writing, she enjoys cooking, reading, knitting, listening to music, and watching television with her husband and ten-year-old daughter. Heidi is a vocal advocate for LGBT rights and is proud to be from the first Midwestern state with full marriage equality. Find out more about Heidi, including her social networks, at www.heidicullinan.com.

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★★★★ Paint The Sky by Lily G. Blunt ★★★★

Paint the Sky

The Blurb…

A love of art…
A mutual interest in art draws two shy university students together. Ben admires Vinnie’s painting of the university building, so Vinnie invites him to an exhibition of his artwork. From a wealthy family, Ben purchases some of Vinnie’s art and arranges for the artist to personally hang the paintings in his apartment.
Starry, starry night…
Ben commissions Vinnie to paint his portrait, in order to spend more time with the artist. On the night of the sitting, Vinnie fingerpaints the starry night on Ben’s chest… and they kiss. They begin a relationship beneath the night sky, God’s own canvas.But every relationship has its ups and downs and so it is with theirs. When Ben thinks Vinnie spends too much time with a fellow artist, his jealousy drives a wedge between them and forces Vinnie into the very thing Ben dreads.
Hold tight to your dreams…
Ben and Vinnie will have to walk through fire before they can find one another again. But if they believe, and if they keep their faith in the night sky and each other, just maybe they can make their dreams of love come true.
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What did we think?

4.5 Stars

Paint the Sky is so poetically romantic.  There isn’t anything extra; no one is coming out, there isn’t murder or suspense, there isn’t an over abundance of angst, it’s just a love story.  Ben’s Prologue sums it up:

“Once upon a time in England, two boys met and fell in love.  They argued, fell out for a time, but eventually made up and lived happily ever after.”
That’s pretty much the gist of the story but Ms. Lily Blunt does so much more; she pulls you into this romantic love story of Ben and Vinnie.Two students about to graduate from university who finally meet after circling each other for the past couple of years.  Ben approaching the seemingly shy Vinnie while taking a break between finals.  They hit it off immediately and crash and burn just as quickly.The most sensual part of the story for me was when Vinnie finger paints Starry Night on Ben’s chest; how sexy is that!  There were quite a few moments like that in the story.  It wasn’t waded down with blatant erotica, it was more subtle with more real life angst thrown in rather than the obvious misunderstandings thrown in for dramatic effect.  They had real life insecurities and doubt that manifest themselves at the worst time and in the worst way.  They didn’t jump into bed right away they actually dated…which I loved!  They are both working 9-5 jobs while pursuing their dreams on the side; Ben wants to be a writer and Vinnie a professional artist.

I fell in love with Ben and Vinnie slowly and gradually; just like they fell in love with each other.  And when the doubt and insecurities started growing I felt just as stressed by it as they did.  And I was just as crushed when they split up.  Their path to finding their way back to each other was a little heartbreaking but they got there…YAY!

This was just a really well written love story.  I only wish for one thing…Vinnie’s POV especially doing their time apart, I was really curious as to his thoughts as they approached their break up and their time apart.  Other that than that a great sappy love story without all the extra.
Oh and damn did you see the book cover how hot is that!

Excerpt

Vinnie led me across the room, pulling me by the shirt. “Lie back on the sofa for me and I’ll paint you.”

As if in a dream, I settled my head against one arm of the sofa, my legs dangling over the other end, scarcely breathing now. Vinnie knelt on the floor beside me with an open pot of paint in his hand.

Teasingly, he dipped his index finger into the dark blue paint as if it were cream he would lick off. His finger connected with my skin and he made short strokes across my chest, the coldness of the paint making me shiver.

Mesmerised by the closeness of his beautiful face, the view of the night sky through the window, and the picture forming upon my chest, I watched as dab after dab and stroke after stroke he built up a mix of shades, until a dark night sky with the moon and stars were there to be seen—a masterpiece, drying on the warmth of my blazing skin, a transient thing of beauty. His fingers skimmed my skin causing gooseflesh to ripple in waves down my arms and thighs. My nipples pebbled in response to his touch.

And when he was done, his lips met mine in a languid kiss; how our first kiss should have been—sweet, innocent, and full of promise. He pulled away, smiling down at me.

This was the beginning of something special.

About the Author

Lily G. Blunt writes contemporary gay romance and erotica. She loves to explore the relationship between two men and the intensity of their physical and emotional attraction. Angst often features in her stories as she feels this demonstrates the depth of the men’s feelings for each other. Lily is forever writing imaginary scenes and plots in her head, but only a few ever make it to the page—there never seems to be enough hours in the day despite having left the teaching profession to concentrate on her writing!Lily discovered the wonderful world of m/m romance novels four years ago via fan fiction and went on to write stories in her spare time. With the encouragement of her friends and readers she decided to publish some of her work.

Lily has several self-published stories available on Amazon. She is also published with Torquere Press Wayward Ink.

Easily distracted from her writing, Lily makes videos using clips from gay-themed movies and posts gorgeous pictures of men kissing or making out on her tumblr and Facebook pages. Lily is also an avid supporter of GLBTQ rights and advocates equality for all.

Lily lives in central England with her rather bemused husband, two twenty-something children, and a ‘mad as a bag of frogs’ Shetland Sheepdog.

Lily’s Links

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★★★★½ Sweetwater by Lisa Henry ★★★★½

 

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Sweetwater

by

Lisa Henry

Publisher: Riptide Publishing

 The blurb

 

Wyoming Territory, 1870.

Elijah Carter is afflicted. Most of the townsfolk of South Pass City treat him as a simpleton because he’s deaf, but that’s not his only problem. Something in Elijah runs contrary to nature and to God. Something that Elijah desperately tries to keep hidden.

Harlan Crane, owner of the Empire saloon, knows Elijah for what he is—and for all the ungodly things he wants. But Crane isn’t the only one. Grady Mullins desires Elijah too, but unlike Crane, he refuses to push the kid.

When violence shatters Elijah’s world, he is caught between two very different men and two devastating urges: revenge, and despair. In a boomtown teetering on the edge of a bust, Elijah must face what it means to be a man in control of his own destiny, and choose a course that might end his life . . . or truly begin it for the very first time.

Our thoughts

 

Elijah is a lonely and isolated young man in Sweetwater, Wyoming, 1870. Scarlet Fever left him an orphan and partially deaf. People in town believe being deaf means being slow and so they treat him as such. Elijah would rather talk to people as little as possible than to be made fun of for his speech. He also feels like he’s a poor substitute for the family his adopted father lost before taking him in. This all leaves Elijah feeling like he doesn’t belong, like he’ll always be apart.

What Elijah desperately wants is for someone to see him. So when Harlan Crane sees what desires Elijah really has, Elijah is drawn to him again and again. Elijah craves the pain that inexplicably gives him pleasure that Harlan provides even if it leaves him full of self loathing.

But there’s another man who also sees Elijah. Grady is a cattle rustler who has dreams of owning his own ranch. He is instantly attracted to Elijah but takes it slow with him for fear of scaring him away. Grady wants to show Elijah that Grady can give him everything he needs. I loved that Grady was gentle and loving but still understood that Elijah craved pain and dominance. He was able to give Elijah what he craved and give him a satisfaction and pleasure that Elijah never found with Harlan.

I truly loved this book. This book is about Elijah’s journey to accept himself and his desires. There is so much emotion in this book. It’s sad and hopeful and just so damn good. Highly recommended.

**A copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.**

 

Otila x

 

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Blog tour with Jayson James!

Thank you for hosting me on my first ever blog tour!

Although I have put out five previous books and three short stories, I have never done a blog tour before where I am visiting a different blog every day. I am quite excited! Be sure to follow me on social media to see where I will be each day!

 

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PIECES OF US

“Into the lake?”

“Into the lake.”

For Jesse Stetson, a boy who knows he is different and Dylan Sterling, Jesse’s best friend, Sander’s Lake has served as a sort of scrapbook for them with sentimental items being dropped into the lake from their dock after significant events in their lives.

Life in 1988 was different from today. A boy and a girl being best friends were uncommon. Not that Jesse or Dylan cared, they had each other and that’s all that mattered. Or so Jesse wished. While Dylan has been meeting and dating guys, Jesse has yet to find the same connection with a girl. The closest he’s come is Dylan, but she’s a girl and a friend not a girlfriend.   Jesse is struggling with his feelings and trying his hardest to be normal.

Dylan and Jesse are growing up and possibly growing apart. Dylan has a new boyfriend and is now splitting her time between him and Jesse. To further complicate things, Jesse meets Orion, a new boy in town. Jesse knows that his feelings towards Orion must be wrong, yet it feels so right.   Even if Orion feels about Jesse the same way that Jesse feels about him, should they act on their attraction?

This story is a journey of friendship and discovery, finding out who you are as a person, and then being okay with who you are.

 

MORE BY JAYSON JAMES

 

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How It Was Supposed To Be

Reese Kennicott and his family were living the carefree life of an upper middle class life. That was until one day when his father arrives home from work and shares the company he has worked for since he was Reese’s age has gone out of business. Adding to the stress of being out of work for the first time in the worst economic downturn the United States has ever faced. Hope comes in the form of a new job for Reese’s father. The downside is this job is across the country, forcing Reese to leave behind his friends and the life he’s always known.

Releasing Fall 2014.

 

 

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T.E.D.

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 Tim is being bullied.  No one in high school wants to be known as a tattle-tale and to do so would only make things rougher for him.  The repercussions would most likely make him an outcast, and without any friends.

Eric is frustrated with life.  His parents are overbearing and if they ever knew the person he really was, they would throw him out of their house.  His friends are not much better, they only like him when he is who they expect him to be.

Delsin is gay and ready to come out.  Unfortunately, life at home is on the brink of falling apart with his parents constant fighting.  Admitting the truth could bring his whole world crashing down around him.

Each of these three needs to decide whether the risks of being honest about who they are outweighs the importance of being true to themselves.   This could mean ruining life as each of them knows it.  Maybe it is better to remain miserable in order to play it safe.  On the other hand, doing nothing doesn’t seem to working either.

 

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Finding Our Way

Justin Parker and Derrick Wilson have been best friends since meeting back in middle school. Currently they are in their junior year at Chandler High School, and living the good life as teenagers. They have great girlfriends, plenty of close friends, their own cars, and parents who are well off. As nice as things might look to an outsider, something is missing from each of their lives.

Justin has become the invisible son in the midst of his parents failing marriage. In an effort to get his parent’s attention, Justin keeps getting into trouble. So far he has been able to get away with anything without facing any repercussions, while Derrick is feeling distant and tired of what he feels is a too “perfect family”. He just wants to have a normal social life and spend time with his friends without the pressures from his family to spend time with them. With blurring the lines of friendship in the process to realizing what was missing and discovering who they really are.

Justin and Derrick take turns narrating the story of their junior year in high school and all of the events that take place in their lives. Being a teenager can be tough. Being gay can be tougher. For Derrick and Justin they are both, and life cannot get any more complicated.

What happens when two best friends cross the boundaries of friendship? Will they be able to be happy together? Will they keep their secret?

 

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Tormented Discovery

 

Justin and Derrick have a secret that they revealed only to their closest friends. They are gay and are now a couple. The story of Justin and Derrick continues as they learn more about being a gay couple in their senior year of high school and the complications that arise from it. Some friends will have their backs while others simply stand on the sidelines. Other friends will be accepting and others will ridicule them.

Sometimes love is almost not enough to save a relationship and both Derrick and Justin begin to have their doubts as they watch relationships around them rise and fall. Justin and Derrick both want to have new experiences, new choices and make new friends, which leads to them questioning their own relationship. They soon discover that some of the people they consider friends have their own secrets, some darker than others. The couple begins to see how people react towards homosexuality and just how people want to deal with it and them.

Will Justin and Derrick be able to hold onto each other while their lives and secrets spiral around them?
Or will they decide to step back and give up on themselves and each other?

 

 

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Drifting

 

What happens when the person you love is having doubts?

These two boyfriends have been through a lot. Best friends since childhood, fell in love in high school and thought they would be together forever. They stuck together even when their friends and family found out about their relationship. Struggling with challenge after challenge, they have finally made it to college and are living on their own. Living together is a whole new world and being open with their relationship is even more so.

Spending every day together as a couple they begin to learn about their differences. Things that never bothered them are now annoying traits driving a wedge between them. Can their relationship survive their differences? Can it handle new friends and new romances? Will they find their way together or will they drift apart?

 

ARTWORK

Over 100 drawings were created, modified, merged, cropped and manipulated to create the cover for Pieces of Us. This by and far was the most labor-intensive cover on any of my books to date. I feel with how it turned out, it made all the work worthwhile.

 

WHERE TO PURCHASE

Amazon: http://amzn.com/B00MR1DCAA

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/jayson-james

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/470080

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

My name is Jayson James. I am an Indy author of several novels and novellas. I was born and have lived most of my life in Washington State. My interests beyond writing include drawing, reading a variety of books, watching movies and hanging out with his friends, family and dog. Besides an author, I am an artist. The cover art on every one of my published works are one of my own drawings. I take the drawing I do for each cover and then design the rest of the cover around it.

 

SOCIAL MEDIA

Website: www.jaysonjamesbooks.blogspot.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/jaysonjamesbooks

Google+ & email: jaysonjamesbooks@gmail.com

Twitter: @jaysonjamesbook

 

1988 COMMENT QUESTION

What was the biggest pop influence for you from 1988?

I’d like to hear from you! Please post your response in the comments below!

Be sure to check out other stops on the tour for more questions.

 

 

 

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★ ☆ It’s a cover reveal & Giveaway! ☆ ★

Damien’s Discipline

by K.C. Wells and Parker Williams

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Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: Paul Richmond

The blurb

The man who pimped Jeff may be in prison, but Jeff is still living the nightmare, selling himself to men and relying on pills to manage. Then he meets Scott, a young American man who could easily have been where Jeff is now. Scott’s friends extend a helping hand to Jeff, and he grabs it.

Leo and Thomas bring Jeff to stay with Dom Damian Barnett until they can find him someplace more long-term. Still grieving from losing his sub to cancer two years before, Damian agrees to help. But when he glimpses the extent of the damage, Damian wants to do more than offer his guestroom. Jeff is not a submissive, but Damian can see he desperately needs structure in his life.  It’s up to Damian to find an answer.

He never expects that what he discovers will change both their lives.

Excerpt

Damian

I LOVED it when it was evening and all was quiet and peaceful. No traffic noise intruded into the house, and in the lounge, the only sound was the slow ticking of the clock on the mantelpiece. Give me a mechanical clock any day. Not that I had anything against more modern timepieces, but there was something soothing about the sound. The clock had been my grandmother’s, and I took loving care of it, making sure it was oiled and wound. Right then my evening was perfect: the tick of the clock, a glass of Cabernet on the table next to me, and a worn, hardcover Sherlock Holmes novel in my hands. I’d lost count of how many times I’d read The Hound of the Baskervilles, but re-reading a favorite book was a warm, comforting experience. The wine created a warm glow inside me. I took another sip.

And then my phone rang.

The temptation to ignore its clamoring call was huge. I was happy, comfortable, and anyone ringing me at home during the evening had to want something. All my friends knew my routines, especially since Oliver….

I closed my eyes. I could almost hear that edge of amusement in his voice. “You going to answer that, Sir?” And yes, I could see the gleam in his eye as he awaited my reaction, tense in nervous anticipation. Brat loved pushing my buttons. With a sigh, I picked up the call.

“Damian? It’s Leo. We need your help.”

I placed the wine on the table. “What can I do for you?” My interest was piqued immediately. It had been quite a while since the co-owner of my BDSM club had called me at home.

“Sorry to disturb you, but you were the first person I could think of. We have a boy. He’s nineteen, and he needs help.”

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Giveaway

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Rafflecopter Prize: $20 gift card to Amazon or ARe

About the authors

K.C. Wells:

Born and raised in the north-west of England, K.C.Wells always loved writing. Words were important. Full stop. However, when childhood gave way to adulthood, the writing ceased, as life got in the way.

K.C. discovered erotic fiction in 2009, where the purchase of a ménage storyline led to the startling discovery that reading about men in love was damn hot. In 2012, arriving at a really low point in life led to the desperate need to do something creative. An even bigger discovery waited in the wings – writing about men in love was even hotter…

K.C. now writes full-time and is loving every minute of her new career.

The laptop still has no idea of what hit it… it only knows that it wants a rest, please. And it now has to get used to the idea that where K.C goes, it goes.

Parker Williams:

Parker Williams began to write as a teen, but never showed his work to anyone. As he grew older, he drifted away from writing, but his love of the written word moved him to reading. A chance encounter with an author changed the course of his life as she encouraged him to never give up on a dream. With the help of some amazing friends, he rediscovered the joy of writing, thanks to a community of writers who have become his family.

Parker firmly believes in love, but is also of the opinion that anything worth having requires work and sacrifice (plus a little hurt and angst, too). The course of love is never a smooth one, and Happily Ever After always has a price tag.

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Author Contact:

K.C. Wells:

K.C. can be reached via email (k.c.wells@btinternet.com), on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/KCWellsWorld), on Twitter (@IslandTalesPres or through comments at the K.C.Wells website (www.kcwellsworld.com ) K.C. loves to hear from readers.

Parker Williams:

Website: http://www.parkerwilliamsauthor.com 
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ParkerWAuthor
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/parker.williams.75641
E-mail: parker@parkerwilliamsauthor.com

Buy Links

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Blog tour, excerpt and giveaway! Salty Aftertaste by Jason Lloyd

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The Blurb… 

 

Boys, beaches and bad decisions…

In this nonfiction tale, Jason and his hilarious and crude motley cast of friends leave their mundane suburban jungles and flock to the mecca that is Rehoboth Beach, Delaware for vacation. They are in search of a little rest and relaxation; aka beach, bars and boys, lots of hot boys.

Jason is just looking for a little attention. He just wants to feel wanted, and a little summer passion would not hurt either. Jason is the self-proclaimed hopeless romantic of the group. Will he find his summer love or is romance really scarce?

Kevin is the complete opposite of Jason. He feels that romance is only alive in stories. Kevin’s love for a teenage drama goes too far, and his obsession turns into more than he expected. Did Kevin finally stumble upon some romance or does his fascination finally get the better of him?

Bobby is looking for a connection. Any kind of connection. He meets a new guy every night and shares his bed with him. What is really going on behind Bobby’s bedroom door? Will he ever be able to fill this insatiable void for closeness?

Benjamin sneaks out every night. He disappears into the night and reemerges the next morning as if nothing had happened. He is quiet about his extracurricular activities. Where does Benjamin go? What is he doing?

In this beach oasis, where there is an endless sea of sexy men with perfect bodies, will Jason and his friends actually find love or just one night stands? One thing is for certain, it is an epic vacation that none of them will forget.

 

 

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The Excerpt…

 

Licking Strangers – A Look into Salty AftertasteMy best friend Kevin has a habit of sticking his tongue where it doesn’t belong. Over the years, I have witnessed him accidentally licking things… mostly inanimate objects or just himself. Yes, it really is that long and yes, it gets in the way all the time! We always joke he is the love child of Gene Simmons.

In the scene below from my book Salty Aftertaste, you can clearly tell the type of trouble Kevin, and his tongue, can get into, especially after a few drinks. Also in this scene is the first night I met Jesús, an adorable Latin bouncer who worked at the bar we visited every night. I loved his accent! I have a thing for foreign men.

***We were out on the patio getting ready to leave. Kevin was sticking out his tongue showing a crowd of boys his prized possession. He uses his tongue to break the ice, break hearts, and to break into tight holes. Okay, that last one I made up, Kevin actually confessed to me that he never actually licked an ass. Although he enjoyed having his salad tossed, he has not tossed anyone’s. This is highly unfortunate considering how long and pointy his tongue is. The rim job would be fantastic.

An extremely hot couple approached us while Kevin was sticking his tongue out. One had on a cowboy hat and tinted sunglasses, he oozed sex and the other one was taller and slightly more muscular with a nice beard. They said they owned a gay bar out in Atlantic City. They both were hot sexy bears.

Mr. Cowboy turned to me, “You’re really cute.” Then took off his cowboy hat and sunglasses and placed them on me.

“Jason you look really hot with those on!” Lola said excitedly.

The Cowboy looked at Kevin and said, “Wow, that’s some tongue.”

Kevin sticks it out even further than before. “Try to wrap it around my finger.”

It resembled a scene out of Animal Planet’s, “African Safari.” Kevin was the giraffe with its tongue extended trying to get the last bit of greenery off a high tree. I could not believe what I was looking at through the Cowboy’s sunglasses. There Kevin was licking some stranger’s finger!

He managed to wrap his pink tongue around the Cowboy’s index finger, “It tastes like ashes!” Kevin murmured.

The Cowboy’s partner laughed and said, “If he can do that around your finger can you just imagine what he can do to your dick!”

While Kevin was licking strangers, Lola was chatting with the bouncer. His name was Jesús. He was the cute, short, but very muscular Latin bouncer from the night before. His accent was thick and so was everything else on him. Lola introduced us, and Jesús had remembered me from last night. I was shocked. He must see so many guys, but he remembered me.

“Aaa you is my favorite. I remembered you.” He smiled at me and I felt my heart flutter a bit in my chest. I thought he was hot, and I had to blush. My face felt warm, and I had to be a deep shade of crimson.

“So do people call you Jesus?” I asked.

“Yeahs friends call mes Jesus all da time.” His chestnut color eyes lit up as he spoke. His teeth were brilliantly white, and I could not help but stare at his mouth as he spoke.

“So yous and Lola from Pennsylvania?” Jesús looked at me and smiled.

“Yeah, how did you know that?”

“Yous handed me your driving license.” Jesús winked at me.

I had forgotten that he saw my I.D. when we came into the bar.

“Where are you from?” Lola asked.

“Originally from Mexico, but live here now.”

“I have never been down there,” I said.

“Yous should comes down. I like going down.” Jesús winked at me again. I am sure we were not talking about Mexico any longer.

The three of us chatted a little, some of his words were hard to understand, but it was definitely sexy. I could not help but picture him naked. His body was perfectly tan. He had just the slightest bit of chest hair protruding out of his blue polo collar. I imagined he looked amazing naked and probably had a nice uncut cock. I wanted to play peekaboo with his penis.

Lola is a fabulous wingman; she insisted Jesús, and I exchange numbers and that it would be fun for us all to hang out. Jesús gave me a hug goodbye. He lifted me up in the air and let the hug linger a bit. I held onto his biceps and closed my eyes. I wanted him to penetrate me now.

“You ready Jason?” Lola knocked me out of my pornographic daydream.

“Yeah, it was nice meeting you Jesús. Text me anytime.” Jesús grabbed my hand and kissed it.

“Yous has a good night.” Jesús blew me a kiss as I walked away.

“He likes you,” Lola said.

“Yeah, Jesus loves me.” We both laughed.

 

The Giveaway…

***Want to win an ebook copy of Salty Aftertaste? Use Rafflecopter below to enter. Five winners will be randomly selected.

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Author Bio…

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Jason Lloyd is the author of hilarious m/m romance featuring an array of interesting characters. Salty Aftertaste (Ginge Publishing, 2013) was his first creative non-fiction novel. It reached Smashwords Top Best Seller list in Gay & Lesbian Fiction and was the #5 best seller in the New Adult genre on All Romance eBooks (ARe).

His second book, Queer Dirty Laundry (Ginge Publishing, 2014), is a creative non-fiction novella and is based on his popular blog by the same name. In 2011, QueerDirtyLaundry.com was nominated for The Best of Gay Philadelphia under Best Gay Website/Blog. Jason’s blog was also in the top ten numerous times on Best Male Blogs.

Jason is currently working on an m/m romance and mystery/suspense fictional novelette series called Filthy Fibbers. Filthy Fibbers is centered on five friends and the scandalous secrets they keep. The book takes place in a small Pennsylvania town called New Hope.

Jason grew up in a small town in Bucks County, Pennsylvania outside of Philadelphia. A majority of his writing takes place in Eastern Pennsylvania including Philadelphia. He currently resides in a small town in Berks County, Pennsylvania.

Social Contacts

Email | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads and Ask the Author | Website

 

Buy Links…

Amazon | ARe | B&N | Google Play | iBooks | Smashwords

 

Also authors, if you are in need of a publicist, I highly recommend Joleen from Parenthetical Author Services. She will do her very best to help you promote your work. You can contact her at PAS Promotions.

Anniversary Edition tour hosts: 3 Chicks After Dark, Attention Is Arbitrary, Because Two Men Are Better Than One, Boys On the Brink, Decadent Delights, Gay Media Reviews, GGR-Review.com, Hearts On Fire, Joyfully Jay, Love Bytes, MM Good Book Reviews, My Fiction Nook, The Novel Approach, On Top Down Under Book Reviews, Prism Book Alliance, The Purple Fantasy Den, Rainbow Gold Reviews, Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words, Sinfully Sexy, and Smoocher’s Voice

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A Day In the Life of… Will Parkinson

Today Will Parkinson has joined us as he celebrates the release of Wet Paint.

And lucky for us he’s given us a bit of glimpse into his life as an author.

Wet Paint

Like many readers, I’m fascinated to know more about the life of the authors who are behind the books I love. Would you be able to share with us a “Day In The Life of Will Parkinson.”?

We’d love a little glimpse of how you start your day, what you get up to, how you juggle your writing with the myriad of other things going on and any other little tidbits you’re willing to share.

Hi, Nic! Thank you so much for having me here.

My day is actually pretty boring. I go to bed about 8 pm and get up about 1 am to talk with KC Wells so we can plan our new book or we can chat about where we are in our current work. After 4 am my time, KC generally goes to her favorite writing spot called Steep Hill (which I refer to as Sheep Hill just to irritate her). When she leaves, I make breakfast for my clan (4 dogs, 3 cats, 1 or 2 men, depending on if our friend is staying overnight). Then after breakfast I go back to bed for about an hour or so.

After I wake up, I let the dogs out for a while, then come back in and start working on my Pride Promotions mail and tours. I love doing these because they give me the opportunity to work with some amazing authors and bombastic bloggers.

After I get caught up on that, I move over to writing. I work with a group that does work sprints – we either write or do edits or whatever is on our to do list – for 45 minutes at a time. I find that with the deadline looming, I get a lot more done.

At 3:15 pm the bitter half (yes, that is not a spelling mistake) gets home, so I make dinner. After we eat, I go back to writing for a few more hours before bed.

Then get up and start the whole cycle over again. I have to say, retiring was the best thing I’ve ever done.

Okay, I’m exhausted just reading that! I have no idea how on earth you manage to keep those hours and get so much done. But I’m glad you do and I’m very much looking forward to reading Wet Paint. Thanks for stopping by.

Nic xx

Wet Paint by Will Parkinson with fabulous Giveaway!

Win a $25 Gift Card and don’t forget to check out the book trailer!

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Wet Paint

Will Parkinson

Cover Artist: Reese Dante

Publisher: Harmony Ink Press

Blurb:

Although Addy’s heart and body bear the scars from his life before he was adopted by the Deans, he’s ached for something he thought he would never find. Until he met Benny. He isn’t sure how anyone can care for someone as broken as he is, even though he wants it desperately.

High school senior Benny Peters has his whole life planned out for him, until a chaste kiss at summer camp opens a new world of possibilities. Determined to erase Addy’s insecurities, Benny works to take away his boyfriend’s pain and replace it with love.

When Addy’s past intrudes on their future, it’s going to take everything Benny can muster to show that no matter what – or who – they face, they belong together.

Excerpt:

ADDY SAT in the car, worry creasing his brow. Not even an hour ago, he’d been so happy. Why was he so nervous now? His thoughts drifted back to his conversation with his dad. Would Benny still want him when he found out what had happened? Would he think Addy was too broken? Addy shivered. He tried to tell himself Benny would never be like that, but how could he know for sure?

“What’s up, little man? I can hear you thinking from over here.” Benny chuckled.

“Nothing, Benny. I’m okay.”

“Addy, c’mon. I can tell you’ve got something on your mind. I need to know what it is. I can’t help if you won’t let me.”

Addy took a deep breath. “I’m afraid,” he admitted. “Of what? Camp?” “No… of losing you.”

“I don’t understand. Why would you think you’d lose me?”

“Benny.” Addy sighed. “I need to tell you some stuff. It’s not going to be easy, and it’s really not going to be nice.”

Tour Dates/Stops:

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9/22: Because Two Men Are Better Than One, Joyfully Jay, Velvet Panic

9/23: The Hat Party, Iyana Jenna, Rainbow Gold Reviews

9/24: Prism Book Alliance, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words

9/25: LeAnn’s Book Reviews, Havan Fellows, Andrew Q. Gordon

9/26: Hearts on Fire, Lee Brazil

9/29: Decadent Delights, Foxylutely Book Reviews, The Novel Approach

9/30: Jade Crystal, Wake Up Your Wild Side, MM Good Book Reviews

10/1: Cate Ashwood, Book Reviews and More by Kathy, Kimi-Chan

10/2: Amanda C. Stone, Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings, Fallen Angel Reviews

10/3: Emotion in Motion, Love Bytes

Giveaway!

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Click the image or here to enter the giveaway!

Rafflecopter Prize: A $25 gift card to Amazon or ARe

About the Author

WILL PARKINSON believes that no matter what obstacles are thrown in the path of young love, it will always find a way to win in the end. He wants his characters to have their happily ever after, but that doesn’t mean that it’s going to come easily.None of this would have happened if he had followed the advice he was given many years ago. “What are you wasting your time on that for? It’s never going to amount to anything.” He believed it for the longest time, abandoning characters he’d created in his childhood.

He picked up his very first m/m story by a writer named Eden Winters, who was an absolute joy when they corresponded. She asked him if he wrote and he told her the story. Eden explained to Will that the voices in his head would never go away and how he needed to let them out. With that thought in mind, Will put e-pen to e-paper once more. It was truly a liberating experience and one he has no intention of giving up again.

Author Contact:

Website: http://www.willparkinson.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WillParkinsonau

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/will.parkinson.520

E-mail: will@willparkinson.com

Buy Links

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A Day In The Life Of…Renae Kaye

This morning I was visited by my lovely friend, Renae Kaye. She satisfied my curiosity by giving me a little glimpse of her life as a writer (and a wife and a mother and everything else!). I thought I’d share here to that everyone can see what she gets up to. Don’t forget to check out her new book, The Shearing Gun, which was released yesterday.

★★★★★

When Nic Starr gave me my blog topic, I sat and scratched my head.  Which day?  You see because each day for me is different, and this is why writing works so well for me.  I can fit it around my life.

Let me introduce myself to you:  I am Renae Kaye.  I write m/m romance.  I have two primary school aged children.  I have a husband.  I’m a stay-at-home-mum.  I have three cats, three chooks, 20+ canaries, fish, worms, crabs, and now a budgie to take care of.  I love to veggie garden and have a large suburban block full of fruiting trees and vines.  I have a widowed mother.  I have 8 older siblings. I have friends.

So, depending on what day it is, then my schedule changes to fit.  My youngest only attends school two-and-a-half days a week, so I only have two days a week where I get “a rest” <cough, choke> from the kids.

I write around the kids and the housework and all the necessary obligations of life.

But a typical Tuesday, would go something like this:

7am:  Stumble out of bed.  Renae is not exactly a morning person until you get coffee into her.  Seven o’clock starts are murder on her, but that’s what time she gets up each morning.

The 7yo would’ve been up for an hour by that time.  There is a rule: he is not allowed out of bed until 6:00am.  She had to buy him a clock and teach him how to tell the time when he was three because he’s a constant early riser.  The 5yo will still be in bed.  The irony of Renae’s household is her “Day/Night Children.”  If they tried, her kids couldn’t be more different.  One is an early riser, one sleeps in.  One is a good eater, one struggles with food.  One is a daredevil and needs to be restrained, one suffers from anxiety and needs to be coaxed into everything.  One was an early talker, one was a late talker.  One lost their teeth late, one lost their teeth early.  One was easy to potty train, one was not.

7:00-7:30am:  Breakfasts for the kids, lunchboxes packed.  It may be a strange custom to other countries, but the kids eat a homemade lunch most days at school.

7:30am-8am:  Renae eats breakfast in front of the laptop while catching the morning news headlines, checking her emails and having a quick peep at social media.  By 8am the coffee is starting to chug through Renae’s veins.

8:00-8:30am:  Switch mental tracks.  For Renae, she has two modes: Running and sitting.  Either she is sitting and reading/computer/TV, or she is running fast.  The kids have learnt this (hubby has not).  Renae’s greatest frustration in life is that her husband moves slower than an avalanche of molasses on a cold day.

At 8am, she jumps out of her chair and starts bellowing directions.  “It’s Library Day.  I’ll get your library bag and you can get your book.  Did you finish your homework?  Come on, let’s move.  Let’s get dressed.  Did you do your teeth, and yes, you have to do your hair.  Here, I’ll help you put those tights on.  Can you go and feed this to the chooks?  No, you can’t take that to school.  I think I saw your shoes under the lounge.  No, you can’t wear those socks.  Did you make your bed? Go back and brush your hair again.  This time remember you have hair all over your head, not just at the front.  Can you grab the towels from the bathroom and put in the washing machine?  Smack that cat if he’s on the table.  Who didn’t take their breakfast bowl to the kitchen?  Did you remember your teeth?  Why haven’t you put your lunch in your bag?”

During this, Renae dresses in her “Mummy” uniform of jeans, T-shirt and flat shoes.  They’re quick.  They’re easy.  They’re cheap.  They can hide a lot of dirt.  She can be ready in less than 5 minutes if she needs to be.

8:30am:  Drives the kids to school.  Walks them to the classrooms.  Has chat with the 7yo’s teacher.  Goes in with 5yo and helps her practice writing.  The little smarty-pants is already writing sentences.  Renae died when she wrote in her pad “My mum does washing.”  Thanks, sweetie.

Clucks over the newborn babies she finds.  Quick chat to the various mothers and fathers she sees, “How is Daniel today?  Over his cold?  No, I didn’t hear about Italian Day.  No, I’m not helping out on the P&C stall.  Yes, I will be there for the school carnival.  How’s work?  Did your husband get the job?”

9:00am/9:30am: (depending on how long she chats)  Leaves school.  Errand time.  Back home.

Between 9:30am & 2:30pm:  Types 50 words. Answers telemarketing call. Types 150 words. Coffee time. Types 180 words. Puts washing on the line. Types 60 words. Spends 30 minutes in the garden stewing over plot problems while picking weeds. Types 430 words. Vacuums house while working out character’s next move. Types 35 words. Pays online bills. Types 80 words. Emails friend. Types 40 words….   You get the picture.

3:00pm:  Picks up kids from school.

3pm-6pm:  “Yes, I’ll make you a sandwich.  Yes, I remember that you like peanut butter on yours.  Please don’t tie balloons to the cat.  I don’t care what Brody’s mum lets him do, you can’t do it.  If you’re still hungry then have a piece of fruit.  Please share the iPad or I’m putting it away.  I told you to have fruit, and biscuits are not fruit.  We’re having spaghetti for dinner.  Please don’t throw balls in the house!  How many times do I have to tell you that?  Can you please go and check for eggs?  I told you, we’re having spaghetti for dinner.  No, you can’t play Wii, it’s a school night.  Have you done your homework?  I’m sure that your sister can be a mermaid and have a sword.  That’s fine to be a fighting mermaid.  No, you can’t have another sandwich, it’s nearly dinner time.  Spaghetti.  We’re having spaghetti, the same as the last two times you asked.  Okay!  I’m coming to change the toilet roll.  Who left the door open and let all the flies in the house?  No, you can’t get the painting stuff out because it’s nearly dinner time.  Spaghetti.  Yes, I know that Cassie’s party is coming up.  Spaghetti.  That’s a brilliant lego house!  Daddy’s home!  Can you please make sure these dirty socks make it to the hamper?  Spaghetti.  Wash your hands everyone.  The spaghetti’s ready.”

6:00-7:30pm:  Dinner.  Baths.  Storytime.  Relax.

7:30pm-8:30pm:  Sits in cold hallway with laptop where youngest child can see her while falling asleep.  Repeatedly googles “separation anxiety” and chats on social media.

8:30pm:  Gasps at how late it has gotten.  Vows to write like crazy in the next two hours.

11:00pm:  Slips into bed.  Curses that social media is so addictive.

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Renae’s newest release The Shearing Gun was released yesterday (19th of September) and can be purchased at the following links.

Dreamspinner:  http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5450

Blurb

At twenty-five, Hank owns a small parcel of land in Australia’s rural southwest where he supplements his income from the property with seasonal shearing. Hank is a “shearing gun”—an ace shearer able to shear large numbers of sheep in a single day. His own father kicked him out when his sexuality was revealed, and since no one would ever hire a gay shearer, Hank has remained firmly closeted ever since.

Elliot is the newbie doctor in town—city-born and somewhat shell-shocked from his transplant to the country. When a football injury brings Hank to Elliot’s attention, an inappropriate sexual glance and the stuttered apology afterward kickstarts their friendship. Romance and love soon blossom, but it’s hard for either of them to hope for anything permanent. As if the constant threat of being caught isn’t enough, Elliot’s contract runs out after only a year.

Renae’s contact details:

Email:  renaekaye@iinet.net.au

Website:  http://renaekaye.weebly.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/renae.kaye.9

Twitter:  @renaekkaye

 

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Guest Post: Anne Barwell

Today we are lucky to welcome Anne Barwell for a visit!

Location, Location

Thanks, Nic, for hosting me today 🙂

My upcoming release, Winter Duet, can be described in part as a road trip across Germany.  However, it’s not your usual road trip story as it takes place in 1944 during WW2, so the Gestapo are in pursuit, and bombs are falling.

While the first book in the Echoes series, Shadowboxing, took place in Berlin, I knew the second would have to take place across a much wider range of locations.  Getting out of Germany would be dangerous, especially for wanted men in a time where everyone had to carry identification papers.  They’d have to get from Berlin to one of Germany’s borders in order to escape the country.  Not only that, but I’d need to plot the route they would take before I started writing as the locations—and what was happening there at that time—would impact the details of the story very heavily.  Given the fact that Kristopher and Michel are separated after finding Leo, the downed RAF pilot, it wasn’t just a case of working out one route, but two.

Choosing the locations used in the story took a lot of research especially as the story is set when the Allies were bombing Germany. Did I want my characters to escape most of it and take a safe route skirting around the affected areas, or be caught in the thick of it?

I’ve been extremely lucky in writing this series that one of my betas—and a very good friend—is German.  She loaned me a topographical wall map of Germany which hung from one of my bookshelves while I was writing.  It made it so much easier to work out where all the locations were in association with each other, and what the terrain was like.  She’d also been to several of the locations and travelled some of these roads although we had to adjust the time it would take to make the journey to take into account this was taking place seventy years ago.  Google maps is very helpful in plotting routes especially with its information on how long it would take to get from one location to another, depending on mode of transport.

Further research led to several sites which provided details of The Big Week, which refers to concentrated bombing of Germany by the Allies during February 1944.  Everything fell into place nicely as this was not only the time of year my characters would be taking their road trip, but it was along the route they’d need to travel on their way to Switzerland and safety.  One good thing about writing in a time period where a lot was happening is that it is well documented. I found information about when and where the bombs fell, what type of aircraft was doing the bombing, and personal accounts about what it was like to live through it.

Various other resources—a mix of books and internet—filled in the gaps about the locations I used in the story.  The internet is great for finding out information about specific towns and areas, and the library had some wonderful guide books full of photographs.  I also read personal accounts from people on both sides who had lived through it. One of the reasons I love history is the human side of it. To me, that’s far more interesting than facts and figures. The more I researched, the more the plot I already grew to encompass both the locations, and historical events, bringing with them more complications for Kristopher, Michel and the rest of the Allied Team.

As to my earlier question about whether they should travel through the locations as they were bombed, or skirt around them and keep safe? I’ve always made my characters earn their happy endings. Why should this story be any different?

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Winter Duet will be available from Dreamspinner Press on 6th October.

Winter Duet buy link:

Dreamspinner Press

 

Blurb:

Echoes book 2 – Sequel to Shadowboxing

Germany 1944

With Kristopher finally fit enough to travel, he and Michel leave the security of their safe house and continue their journey across Germany toward Switzerland. Caught in a series of Allied bombings, they stop to help civilians and narrowly escape capture by German forces.

While investigating a downed aircraft in the Black Forest, the two men discover an injured RAF pilot.  After they are separated, Kristopher and the pilot are discovered by a German officer who claims he is not who he appears to be. Determined to find Michel again, Kristopher has to trust the stranger and hope he is not connected to those searching for him and the information he carries. Meanwhile Michel is intercepted by one of the Allied soldiers he met in Berlin. His help is needed to save one of their own.

Time quickly runs out. Loyalties are tested and betrayed as the Gestapo closes in. Michel can only hope that they can reach safety before information is revealed that could compromise not only his and Kristopher’s lives, but those of the remaining members of their team—if it is not already too late.

Excerpt:

Kristopher dropped to his knees and examined the boy. His eyes were glazed over, and he flinched when Kristopher touched him. “He must have hit his head when he fell,” Kristopher said. He brought his hand away from the boy’s temple. It was covered in blood. “He needs help, but I can’t do much for him here, just try and stop the bleeding.” He quickly opened his satchel and pulled out a short length of bandage, bundled it into a wad, and held it against the wound. It probably wouldn’t be enough to stop it, but it was better than doing nothing. Head wounds tended to bleed, didn’t they? It didn’t mean it was something serious, but it could be.

He let out a quick breath. Damn it. He wished he’d paid more attention when he’d watched Clara at work. Why had he agreed to disguise himself a medic? In this situation when that was exactly what was needed, he was next to useless.

“We can’t stay here,” Michel said. “Can you tie something around the bandage so it keeps the pressure on it when we move him?”

“Keep pressure on the wound while I look.” Kristopher searched around in his bag, ripped some more of the bandaging material, and tied it quickly. His hands were shaking, but at least there didn’t seem to be any blood seeping through the original cloth he’d put over the wound. “I think that should hold it for now.”

Michel handed Kristopher the flashlight and then lifted the boy into his arms. “What’s your name?” he asked softly when the boy opened his eyes and looked up at him.

“Fritz,” the boy replied, his voice wavering. He put his arms around Michel’s neck and clung to him. Thankfully, he seemed more alert than he had a few moments before.

“Hello, Fritz. I’m Michel, and this is Paul,” Michel said. “We’re going to keep you safe, I promise.”

“You promise?” Fritz’s earlier confidence was gone. “I didn’t think it was so dark. I know this place. I shouldn’t have tripped.” He glared at the ground. “Stupid thing. Stupid stupid. Everything looks different.” He sniffled loudly and wiped one dirty hand over his face.

“Do you remember the way to the shelter, Fritz?” Kristopher asked. Michel was watching Fritz carefully, holding the boy close to him. His grip had tightened at the first sign of Fritz’s distress.

“I don’t need to put you down,” Michel reassured Fritz. “You can still guide us while I’m holding you.”

“I don’t want to walk.” Fritz bit his lip. He looked around and then pointed to a street to their left. “If we go down there it’s only about ten minutes away.”

They’d never reach the shelter in time before it closed.

“There isn’t one closer?” Michel asked.

“It’s the one I know about,” Fritz said, somewhat defensively. “Mutter told me if something happened I should go to it.”

“Where’s your mother now?” Kristopher asked. The light from the flashlight was dying quickly. They had to hurry.

“I don’t know. She went to get my baby sister, but she never came downstairs.” Fritz stuck his chin out. “I waited like she said, even when I heard the loud noises and people crying.”

“You live around here?” Kristopher hoped Fritz’s family had survived this. They’d have to try and reunite them or at least find someone who could look after him before they left Stuttgart.

Fritz nodded. Whatever his wound, it seemed as though it was definitely superficial or he wouldn’t be talking as much as he was. “I went looking for her, and I couldn’t find her.”

“You sound much better, Fritz. Do you think you could walk?” Michel asked.

“I don’t want to lose you and Paul too,” Fritz said. He let Michel put him down and then put one small hand into Michel’s.

“You won’t lose us,” Michel promised. “Keep holding my hand, and Paul will look after the flashlight. We can work together.”

“Michel’s very good at working together,” Kristopher told Fritz. He shone the flashlight around. The farther out into the street they got, the more rubble there was. It wasn’t safe to move too quickly, and at this speed they’d never reach the shelter before daylight. He glanced up at the sky. Most of the flashes of light now seemed to be focused toward the city center. “I’m wondering if it’s safer to stay here but get as far away from the buildings as we can and wait for daylight.”

“We don’t know how long this raid is going to last,” Michel said, “but we need to make a decision.” Something creaked and groaned to the side of them. “Move!” Michel yelled. He picked up Fritz and ran back the way they’d come. Kristopher didn’t stop to see what was going on behind him. He followed.

Moments later, more rubble hit the street where they’d just been standing. If they’d stayed there they would have been buried in it.

Kristopher shone the flashlight on it and shivered. “I think finding the shelter is the least of our problems,” he said. “We need to get out into the open. It’s not just more bombings that could kill us, but the buildings that are already damaged.”

“I know a place,” Fritz said after Michel put him down. “I’ll show you.” He took hold of Michel’s hand again. “You and Paul are soldiers.” He pointed to the Red Cross on Kristopher’s arm. “You’ll stay and help look after all the hurt people, won’t you? Vater is a soldier too. He’s fighting at the front. Mutter says he’s very brave.”

“Yes, we’ll stay and help,” Michel said before Kristopher could say anything. He squeezed Fritz’s hand. “We’ll also help you find your mother, or at least someone who can look after you.” He looked over at Kristopher and gave him a questioning look.

“Of course we will,” Kristopher said, wondering why Michel felt he’d even had to ask.

About the Author

Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand.  She shares her home with two cats who are convinced that the house is run to suit them; this is an ongoing “discussion,” and to date it appears as though the cats may be winning.

In 2008 she completed her conjoint BA in English Literature and Music/Bachelor of Teaching. She has worked as a music teacher, a primary school teacher, and now works in a library. She is a member of the Upper Hutt Science Fiction Club and plays violin for Hutt Valley Orchestra.

She is an avid reader across a wide range of genres and a watcher of far too many TV series and movies, although it can be argued that there is no such thing as “too many.” These, of course, are best enjoyed with a decent cup of tea and further the continuing argument that the concept of “spare time” is really just a myth.

Links:

http://anne-barwell.livejournal.com/

http://annebarwell.wordpress.com/

http://coffeeunicorns.wordpress.com/

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/index.php?cPath=55_426