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Guest post ☞ David Pratt

What a week it’s been. A week of romance, of bedroom slippers, of heroism, of great books, of pumpkins and cheese and true love. As my little friend Andrew, who is seven, would say, “That’s EPIC!!!”

Sunday afternoon I carved a pumpkin for Andrew, according to his own design. His mom, our friend Dora, lit it up with a big spherical purple candle. It sat on their dining room table in Madison, Wisconsin, looking askance at the pumpkin casserole we had for dinner.

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Andrew is the only one I carve pumpkins for. Andrew is adorable and on fire. He is who I’d want for a kid. He is multi-ethnic, and when he asks me and my partner, Rogerio, about the school friends we remember, he says, “What color were their eyes?” “What color was their skin?” “What color was their hair?” He wants to know these things about the bullies we remember. Monday morning I felt for Andrew, watching him go off to school. Monday evening he came home and wondered where we were.

Leaves fall outside Dora’s kitchen window—scores of big yellow ones, twisting down. Here in New York, as Simon and Garfunkel sang fifty years ago, “Leaves that are green turn to brown.” Rogerio went to Tampa for a professional conference. I worried about him. He had a full and stressful schedule. He was under the microscope a lot. He came home to a colder New York, a slightly darker New York. He is from Brazil, and an indefinable sickness creeps over him when winter comes. I hold him and enumerate the things that will make it all right: avocado at breakfast, lunch with a supportive friend, afternoon coffee (I bought sunflower bread!), the two of us snuggled in front of “Law and Order” reruns. I think how, in Fiddler on the Roof, the cast describe their beloved village of Anatevka…

“A little bit of this / A little bit of that. / A pot, / A pan, / A broom, / A hat.”

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And slippers. Don’t forget slippers. Saturday morning Dora talked about how many different people each of us is. Being biracial and a single mom and a professor, she should know. “Some people know David in a business suit,” she said. “Some know him as a writer.” She indicated Rogerio. “You know him at home in his slippers.” After lunch we headed to Milwaukee, where I would read at Outwords Books and Coffee on North Murray Street. Thinking how Outwords makes Milwaukee feel like home and family to me, I packed my slippers. Before the reading, I made a point of changing into them, and explaining why. It was a lightly attended affair, but many there I knew from other readings, and we all stayed and talked quite late.

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Though I don’t have a little Andrew of my own, somewhere along the way I became a family man. I wrote two novels that reflect the journey toward being a family man: Bob the Book; and especially my latest, Looking After Joey. Joey is a porn character who steps through the TV screen into an average guy’s life. All Joey knows is, he wants sex. Soon he discovers there is more to this world. Including love. Love does, after all, make a home. A few judges and legislators have at last figured that out.

 

As for heroism, where does that come in? Yesterday I watched a lovely interview with conductor Eve Queler, from when she received the NEA Opera Honors Award in 2010. A female conductor? Even today, Queler is one of a very few. Yet she parried every question about the difficulties of being a woman in such a male profession. She spoke only of her love of singers, of song, and of the individuals and institutions with which she worked. She loved music that much, and she knew that much what she wanted from it. And yet, was everything a victory? One door closes, another opens? Did she really always win, somehow? I try not to complain about—rather, I try to own fully—instances where being gay made things difficult for me. I tell myself that gayness, that sexual orientation, is a unique factor in one’s life. Maybe it is; maybe it isn’t. It should never, ever be an excuse. Yet things haunt me. I recently described to an old college professor how I often did not try things as a young man, because, even if I succeeded at them, it wouldn’t help. Yesterday someone mentioned Fitzgerald’s short story, “The Lost Decade.” I feel like I lost a few decades. The story of how I lost them is in my own book of short stories, My Movie.Bob 300 dpi cover

So that way my week. Epic, eh, Andrew? He is just beginning to understand. May what he understands not dim his eye. May it not dim yours or mine or anyone’s. There is always something to be enjoyed. A hug, a jack-o’-lantern, a friend’s observation, a rerun, a pot, a pan, a broom, a hat.

Giveaway!

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About the author

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David Pratt is the author of the Lambda Award-winning novel Bob the Book (Chelsea Station Editions)

and a new novel, Looking After Joey, from Wilde City Press. His short stories have been collected in

My Movie, also from Chelsea Station. He has published in several periodicals and anthologies. He has

presented work for the theater in New York at HERE, Dixon Place, the Cornelia Street Cafe, the Flea

Theater and the NY International Fringe Festival.

 

 

 

 

Buy Links

Bob The Book

Looking After Joey

My Movie

Photo and design credits are: all photos (c) 2014 Eva Mueller, except slippers, by Larry Wheelock; and jack-o-lantern by David Pratt. Joey cover, photo (c) 2014 Eva Mueller; model, Nicholas Gorham; design, Adrian Nicholas; entire cover (c) 2014 Wilde City Press. Bob and My Movie: cover designs by Peach Boy Design and Distillery, (c) 2010 (Bob) and 2012 (MM) by Chelsea Station Editions.

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Author Jake Biondi discusses the BOYSTOWN Experience

Today we welcome Jake Biondi, author of the Boystown Series, who talks about writing the series and the fans.

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Writing the BOYSTOWN series has been one of the most fantastic experiences of my life.  From the moment the idea came to me in the Spring of 2013 until now, I have enjoyed every moment of the writing and marketing process.  But what I have really enjoyed the most about the entire experience has been the interaction with the BOYSTOWN readers.  BOYSTOWN fans are, quite simply, the best.I have been so touched and humbled by the outpouring of kindness and support I have received from BOYSTOWN readers since the moment the first episode hit the internet in June of 2013.  People began to email me from all over the country – and beyond – to share with me their thoughts and ideas about the BOYSTOWN characters and story lines.  I made it a priority to respond to every email that I received not only because I valued the readers’ feedback but also because I want my readers to understand that I want them to reach out to me.  I want to hear from them — their ideas, their suggestions, their reviews, their feedback.   In fact, their comments and ideas actually can and do impact the future of the series because I have written some of their suggestions into the series.  In short, by contacting me, the readers can actually impact what happens to their favorite characters.

Several dedicated fans voluntarily created online BOYSTOWN book tours simply because they loved the books and wanted to bring the series to the attention of others.  Some readers have allowed me to post BOYSTOWN promotional materials on their websites and blogs, and others have contacted me to see how they can become involved with BOYSTOWN.

When I held a nation-wide photo contest looking for “models” whose images we could use in the BOYSTOWN promotional materials, the response was overwhelming.  People from all over America submitted their photos in the hope of becoming one of the “faces” of BOYSTOWN.  I ended up selecting five winners for that contest because I wanted to include as many people as possible.  Even after the contest was over, people continued to submit their photos asking to be a part of the BOYSTOWN team and I have welcomed several more of them on board.

I met my new BOYSTOWN Director of Art, Design & Advertising, Michael Vargas, and my new BOYSTOWN Director of Social Media, Patrick Murphy, because they were fans of the books.  They contacted me on Facebook, we chatted and got to know each other, and now they are running all the promotional and advertising campaigns for the BOYSTOWN series.

I have also been intrigued by the fans’ responses to certain couples in the series. For example, I never anticipated that so many people would be fans of “Kemmett” (Keith and Emmett).  Fans are very vocal about what I did to that couple at the end of “Season One” and provided many ideas for how I should write those characters in “Season Two.”  Fans of “Dole” (Derek and Cole) are also very vocal.  While most readers like and connect with the character of Cole, some like him with Derek and others don’t.  Many fans want Derek to stay with his wife Joyelle.  Finally, I was really taken aback by people’s reactions to Justin, who only appeared on the BOYSTOWN landscape at the end of “Season One.”  Readers really found him appealing and interesting – and wanted to know everything about him:  his sexuality, his motives, his plan.  Those fans will be happy to know that Justin is a central character in “Season Two.”

People often ask me how many books the BOYSTOWN series will have.  I simple tell them this: as long as the fans are interested in the series, I will keep it going.  “Season Three” is already in the works and, if the fans want more, “Season Four” will be right behind it.  I hope fans will continue to reach out to me and let me know their thoughts and ideas.

BOYSTOWN truly belongs to the fans!
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Blurbs

Season One

One of the most diverse and lively neighborhoods in the country, Chicago’s BOYSTOWN has something for everyone. So it’s no wonder that Jesse Morgan and Cole O’Brien chose to live there upon graduating from college.Ready to  begin the next phase of their lives in an exciting new city, Jesse and Cole quickly find themselves at the center of a new group of friends. Joyelle and Derek Mancini have been happily married for years, but Derek is harboring a secret that could tear them apart. Derek’s brother Emmett is about to discover that his boyfriend Keith Colgan has a past that will haunt them both. Long time couple Logan Pryce and Max Taylor must face a crisis that neither of them expected.

And, before they realize it, Jesse and Cole find themselves at the center of it all in the adult playground known as BOYSTOWN.

Welcome to BOYSTOWN!

Season Two

In the aftermath of the warehouse shootings, lives are forever changed and relationships are forever altered.  As the families of the victims work to put the horrific event behind them, they find themselves at the center of an even larger plan for revenge.Ciancio twins Marco and Gino are as handsome as they are powerful — and they arrive in Boystown with a scheme rooted in the bad history between the Ciancio and Mancini families.

At the same time, Keith Colgan seems hell-bent on getting back the boyfriend he believes was stolen from him, Ben Donovan continues with his plan for Jacqueline Morgan and her son Jesse, and a stranger from the past threatens the future.

It all leads up to a spectacular New Year’s Eve engagement party that no one will ever forget.

Welcome back to BOYSTOWN!

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Excerpt

The emergency room should have been busier, but it wasn’t.  After all, Saturday night at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood was usually quite a sight – all the usual unusuals.  But things were quiet as Joyelle Mancini checked her cell phone for the umteenth time.  She shoved the phone back into her scrubs pocket and headed back to the nurses’ station.  Her baggy, blue scrubs covered the form of her gorgeous body and only those who knew her outside of the workplace knew of her model-like physique.  She was certainly modest, but enjoyed the compliments she regularly received on a night out on the town.“Nothing?” Joyelle’s coworker at the admittance desk asked.

“Nope. I just checked again.”

“I’m sure his flight is just delayed a bit. You know O’Hare.  Don’t worry, sweetie.”  The coworker smiled and Joyelle continued on toward the nurses’ station.   Everyone knew that it was Joyelle’s fifth wedding anniversary and she was anxiously awaiting word from her husband that he was safely back in Chicago from his business trip in Boston.

She quickly passed the nurses’ station, patted her hand on the counter twice to get the attention of her colleague, mumbled “I’ll be right back,” and headed toward the ER doors to the outside.  As she approached the doors, they flung open before her, and she stepped outside into the cool autumn air.  The area that was usually loud with ambulance sirens was eerily quiet and Joyelle took a deep breath.  She loved Chicago in autumn: the crisp air, the bright gold and orange leaves of the trees, and the dramatic waves of Lake Michigan.  Winter would be here before she knew it and Joyelle had learned long ago to make the most of Chicago’s short fall seasons.

Joyelle first met Derek about seven years ago at their five-year college reunion.  She had never known him when they were both undergrads at the University of Michigan, but they were introduced by mutual friends at a dinner event during their reunion weekend.  For her, it was love at first sight.  He stood there in front of her with his boyish good looks and a great physique that she could recognize hidden beneath his perfectly fitted suit.  They talked all night over cocktails as if they had known each other for years.  He had played varsity baseball at Michigan, earned both his BBA and MBA there, and worked at a law firm based in Chicago with clients all over the country.  He was intrigued not only by Joyelle’s beauty, but her brains as well.  She was articulate, sophisticated, and driven.  As a nurse, she spoke with compassion and empathy about her patients and was just about the kindest girl Derek had ever met.

Over time, they learned more about each other and each other’s families.  They fell deeply in love and five years ago this very night, they were married at a lovely autumn ceremony at Chicago’s Botanic Gardens. It was the fairytale wedding they had both dreamed of and married life seemed to suit them well.  They carefully balanced their careers with their personal lives, enjoying friends and neighbors in their Lakeview neighborhood and beyond.  Joyelle hated that Derek’s job took him out of town so often, but she appreciated the income it produced so she kept her concerns to herself.

Joyelle glanced at her wedding ring as it sparkled in the autumn moonlight.  Derek and she had designed their own wedding rings, specially crafted with both yellow and white gold and a series of diamonds.  People always commented on them because they were so beautifully unique.

Joyelle then checked her phone one more time.  No texts or missed calls.  So she put her phone away, took one last breath of the night air, and returned back into the emergency room to complete her shift.  Optimistic, she still hoped that Derek and she could celebrate their anniversary at least a little bit once her shift ended and he landed back in Chicago safely.

Unlike Chicago, Boston was experiencing a severe storm that night – frequent lightning lit the Boston skyline — but that wasn’t why Derek was late arriving back in Chicago.  Although rain pounded against the hotel window, music from an ipod next to the room’s bed drowned out that sound.  Lightning illuminated the otherwise dark bedroom, revealing the contours of Derek’s muscled body as he rolled back on top of Cole O’Brien.

Derek smiled looking into Cole’s eyes and shoved his tongue down Cole’s throat.  Clinging to Derek as if he would never let go, Cole dug his toes into the back of Derek’s calves and cupped Derek’s tight ass with his hands.  Derek’s tongue moved down Cole’s neck, then back up along his jaw line to his ear.  Cole’s moans urged Derek to continue, and he did.

In some ways, Cole’s body reminded Derek of what his used to be.  While Cole’s body was completely smooth except for a small tuft of blond hair that accented his penis, his muscled chest, arms and thighs were reminiscent of the hard body Derek had during his days playing baseball of Michigan.  Certainly, his body was still great, but there was a youthfulness to Cole’s that made it even more appealing.

Cole playfully nibbled on Derek’s chin and smiled.  Then he flipped over on top of Derek, sitting across his hips and looking down at Derek’s hairy chest.  He leaned forward and put his lips on Derek’s nipple, carefully biting the tip.  Derek twitched momentarily and then laughed, “Oh, no you don’t!”

Derek powerfully flipped back over on top of Cole and pinned him down, his arms over his head.  Cole watched the smile leave Derek’s face and anticipated what was about to happen.  Derek reached over to the nightstand to grab a condom and quickly pulled it on. Then Derek once again began to kiss Cole and pulled Cole’s legs over his shoulders.  As he took Cole’s toes into his mouth, Derek positioned his hard cock against Cole’s inviting hole.

“Yes,” Cole whispered as he grabbed Derek’s butt and began to pull Derek inside of him.  Derek thrust hard, and Cole’s face turned red, the tips of his blond hair stuck to the sweat forming on his forehead.   Cole’s toes curled as he felt Derek’s hard dick pumping into his hole.  The thrusts were long and penetrating, while Cole’s own hard dick was sandwiched between the men’s hard abs.  Cole loved the feel of Derek’s furry chest against his and ran his fingers up Derek’s back, digging them into his flesh each time Derek hit the spot deep inside of him.

Derek continued to kiss Cole as he pounded deeper and deeper, Cole wiping the sweat from Derek’s back.   Derek intended to once again show this boy who was in charge and Cole showed no signs of resisting.

“Oh fuck, I’m close,” Derek whispered as Cole smiled and tightened his ass around Derek.

“Stay inside me….please,” Cole begged, but Derek took orders from no one.  He continued to pump as his entire body began to tense up.  “Please,” Cole pleaded once again, but Derek swiftly pulled his cock from inside Cole, tore off the condom, and shot his load all over Cole’s smooth chest, letting out a large moan as he did so.   The load was thicker and larger than the previous ones, nearly hitting Cole’s neck.  As it settled on Cole’s chest, Cole’s whole body began to tremble.  Derek used some his own cum to stroke Cole’s incredibly hard cock.  “Oh God,” Cole moaned as his own load shot and mixed with Derek’s.  Derek collapsed onto Cole, kissing him and rolling over onto his back next to his conquest.

Derek took several deep breaths as he looked up at the hotel room ceiling, the lightning from outside casting strange shadows across it.  “Fuck…”

“You rock,” Cole smiled as he planted a kiss on Derek’s chest.  He ran his fingers through the mixed cum on his chest, making a random design.

“Looks like you need a towel,” Derek smiled as he hopped out of bed and headed to the bathroom.  Cole enviously watched Derek’s ass as it disappeared behind the bathroom door.  Derek tossed Cole a towel and then closed the door completely.

Cole tasted some of the cum on his fingers, then wiped up the rest with his towel.  He sat up and flipped his legs over the side of the bed as he pulled on a pair of Notre Dame shorts and shoved his toes into some flip flops.  Then he stood up and walked to the window.  It was still raining.

“Oh fuck!” Derek yelled as he ran back into the bedroom.  “I’m gonna miss my flight.”  Cole turned from the window as Derek scanned the room for this pants and shirt.  He pulled on his pants and sat down to put on his socks.  Cole crawled across the bed and wrapped his arms around Derek’s back, kissing his neck.  Derek smiled and continued to put on his shoes.  Then Derek stood up and pulled on his shirt.  “Notre Dame? Really?” Derek quipped as he caught a glance of Cole’s shorts.

“Yup.  So?”

“I went to Michigan,” Derek smiled.  “Notre Dame sucks.”  Cole just smiled back at Derek, no comment.  “What are you doing in Boston anyway?  You said you’re still in school.”

“I’m graduating early, in a few weeks.  Job interview here.”

“Oh cool.  Good luck with that,” Derek said as he pulled on his suit coat. “I gotta grab a cab.”

“When’s your flight?”

“I think I missed it.  Fuck.”

“Before you go, can I get your number?”  Cole smiled, then bit his lip.

“I told you.  Can’t do that.”

“Aw come on,” Cole pleaded again.

“Look, these two days have been awesome.  Hot, even.  But I have to go back to my life.  And you do, too.”  Derek leaned in to kiss Cole quickly on the lips.  “Thanks, man.”  And with that comment, Derek was out the door and gone.

“Ya, thanks,” Cole mumbled to himself.  He walked over to the mirror on the wall and checked himself out.  Then he let out a sigh and returned to the window to contemplate the storm.  As he walked across the room, the lightning reflected off something shiny on the floor, half-buried in the carpet.  He knelt down to take a closer look and picked up what turned out to be a ring.  It was both gold and silver in color and had a series of small diamonds in it.  Cole turned toward the hotel room door, then looked back at the ring.  He examined it more closely and then slipped it on his finger; Derek hopped into a cab outside.

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About the author

Growing up in the suburbs of Chicago, Jake Biondi fell in love with “The Windy City” at an early age.  He left the Chicago area for four years to attend the University of Notre Dame, from which he graduated with degrees in English and Business.  He was awarded the university’s prestigious William Mitchell Award for Playwriting.  Upon graduating from Notre Dame, Biondi returned to Chicago where he attended and graduated from the Loyola University Chicago School of Law.   He has been living in Chicago’s Boystown neighborhood for over 20 years.

While studying literature, Biondi became a huge fan of Charles Dickens whose novels were originally released in installments, each ending in a cliffhanger to keep readers coming back for more.  Because of his love of those novels as well as television dramas such as Dynasty, Knots Landing, Dallas, and Revenge, Jake Biondi decided to create a serialized saga for contemporary audiences.  Thus, BOYSTOWN was born.

Biondi began BOYSTOWN in June of 2013 as an online story and intended to release one “episode” online per month, each ending in a cliffhanger. The story became so popular — and the online reading audience grew so quickly — that people from all over the country began to email him demanding to know what happened to their favorite characters and wanting the episodes to be released faster.  They also had suggestions for future storylines! Biondi was surprised and excited by the readers’ response to BOYSTOWN and began to write and release installments more quickly.  By November, Biondi had released 10 episodes and his reading audience had expanded well beyond the borders of America.

Because of BOYSTOWN’s huge success online and the serialized nature of Biondi’s writing, readers from all over the globe have been able to correspond with Biondi and influence the storylines of the BOYSTOWN saga as Biondi writes it.

Readers also suggested that Biondi publish the first 10 episodes as a book rather than leaving them online. He took their advice — and “BOYSTOWN Season One” was published in late November of 2013.  The book is selling very well locally and nationally. In the meantime, Biondi continued to write additional episodes. Episodes 11 – 20 were released as “BOYSTOWN Season Two” on July 7, 2014.  Biondi is currently working on episodes 21 – 30, which will be published as “BOYSTOWN Season Three” at the end of the year.

Because of the popularity of the book, people have suggested that BOYSTOWN be turned into a television series.  Biondi has begun to reach out to television networks and producers — and their response has been very positive.  Working with actors and other professionals in the entertainment industry, Biondi hopes to bring BOYSTOWN to television in the near future.

Connect with Jake

Twitter: @boystown_series
IG: BoystownTheSeries

Buy Links

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★★★★★ Interview and Review! Red Dirt Heart #3 by NR Walker ★★★★★

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Red Dirt Heart #3

by

N.r. Walker

The blurb:

Life for Charlie Sutton has never been better, or busier. With Travis now a permanent fixture of Sutton Station, a permanent fixture at Charlie’s side, Charlie’s convinced he couldn’t do anything on his ever-growing to-do list without him.

He can run a multimillion dollar cattle business, finish his degree, try and further the local beef industry, deal with staff issues, Ma’s failing health, and an attention-demanding wombat. He can even deal with an unexpected visitor and some shattering news.

He can deal with it all, as long as he has Travis.

But what happens when he doesn’t?

Red Dirt Heart 3 is the story of Charlie Sutton finally realising he can be the man Travis Craig deserves, even if he doesn’t have Travis. It’s a story of love, family, holding on, letting go and coming home.

The Interview:

Why did you choose one of the most remote places to set this series?

I just had the idea of writing about Anna Creek Station (Australia’s largest cattle station – if not the world’s) but obviously couldn’t use the actual name Anna Creek. I did base Sutton Station from a real station in the NT but only on location. It is purely fictional. The remoteness and sheer size of such a place is mind boggling and the fact men and women thrive out there is equally so.

What was your inspiration for the setting of RDH – I mean, it’s in the middle of nowhere?

 As I mentioned above, the location was based off an actual working station. Yes, there is a working farm that is literally three hours from town, in the middle of nowhere.
You can see it here
Please zoom in (as close as 200m) and you can see the homestead and sheds etc. You can also see I have never exaggerated about the vast red dirt. LOL

How did you discover MM?

 It’s no secret that I fell into MM through the fanfiction door. I had read/written Twilight fanfiction (amongst others) and found what is known as “slash” in the fanfic world, but what we call MM. Then there was a natural progression from fanfic to original fiction.
 I do believe fanfic helped me become a better writer, or in essence, taught me about writing. There is an instant gratification in writing fanfiction – an immediate response from readers – that is instrumental in learning. I would suggest to anyone who is considering dipping their toes into the writing world, write fanfiction first.

What was the first MM book you read? Any recommendations?

My very first MM original fictions I read were More and Breathe by Sloan Parker. Needless to say I was hooked on the genre 🙂 
I’ve recently found the Widdershins series by Jordan L Hawk and have devoured them. They’re historical paranormal, so really, what’s not to love?

If you could have lunch with anyone – living or dead – who would it be and why?

Can I have fictional people? This is rather self-serving, but at my table, there would be:
Matt and Kira from my Turning Point series
Tom and Cooper from my Thomas Elkin series
Carter, Isaac, Will and Mark from my Blind Faith series
And of course, Charlie and Travis from my Red Dirt Heart series
Oh, and Mark’s mother from Blindside – just for laughs 🙂
To imagine these guys all sitting around one table and having a laugh…

 

The Review:

Okay, so by now, most of you know how hard I fangirl Ms Walker. But with RDH #3, she’s outdone herself. Seriously.  I have never laughed so hard or cried so much whilst reading a book.  I think I’ve just taken the Walker Stalker status up a notch.

Travis and Charlie are just the best couple, and this is now my favourite read, ever.  I loved Trav with his foot holdin’ and nose nudgin’. Charlie was just as stubborn as ever, but he’s mellowed – a little anyway. These guys together will rock all your romantic and smexy bones, until you’re a big puddle of goo.

Poor Charlie had so much thrown at him, it was one thing after another, and I was a little worried about his mental health. And just when it all settles… BOOM!  Ms Walker just about kills me with all the feels.  Even my feels had feels, and my hubby was giving weird looks. Charlie kinda grew into himself here. He realised he can still be Charlie, without Travis. He can stand on his own, deal with anything that’s thrown at him, and still run the farm to the level expected of ‘Charles Sutton.’  But just because he can do it without Trav, doesn’t mean he wants to.  I loved Charlie here, but there was a moment where I wasn’t sure what was going on with Travis and I was scared that I wasn’t going to like him.

But really, I should’ve known better.  This is Walker at her finest, she wouldn’t do that us, her loyal readers. Yes, she’ll break your heart, like she’s done in nearly every book she’s written, but it will be expertly put back together. I feel like I can breathe again now I’ve finished reading it.

Keep your eyes our for Red Dirt Heart #4.  It promises to be a doozy as well.

5 stars

Hope you enjoy – Robyn x

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Blog Tour, Excerpt and Giveaway! Foundation of Trust and Stand By You by A.M. Arthur

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Foundation of Trust

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Stand By You

by

A.M. Arthur

Foundation of Trust: Samhain Publishing

Stand by You: Carina Press

Cover Artist: Foundation of Trust: Lyn Taylor

Blurb:

Foundation of Trust:

David Weller thought he had it all—a loving partner who gave him a ring, a steady job he didn’t hate, and so much hope for the future. But in the wake of a devastating diagnosis, everything he thought was solid and real lay in pieces at his feet.

Four years later, he’s still sifting through the rubble of his life. His catering partnership occupies his days, while his nights are filled with dangerous sexual hookups and very bad decisions. Then the last person he ever expected to see again walks back into his life.

Owen Hart’s single biggest regret is the way he was forced to leave David behind—no explanations, no chance to make it right. Until now. Finally free of eight years of lies, Owen’s back for the only man he’s ever loved.

An incendiary encounter in a club proves that time hasn’t weakened their physical connection, but David’s wounds run deeper than Owen’s deception. And if David can’t first forgive, Owen doesn’t have a second chance in hell.

Warning: This book contains an Australian transplant with a head full of secrets, a party planner with enough baggage to sink a battleship, and a surly teenager who just wants them both to get over themselves.

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Stand by You:

Three months after his rescue from an abusive boyfriend, twenty-two-year-old Romy Myers has landed his first legitimate job—bussing tables at his friend’s new coffee shop. The job has brought him some stability after years of abuse have left him feeling damaged and broken. He’s working hard on his panic and social anxiety, and those things are often tempered by the big, burly presence of Brendan Walker.

 

From the moment ex-football player Brendan helped rescue Romy from his ex’s abuse, he’s wanted to protect him. And he does, from a distance, with joking text messages, a new gym routine to toughen him up and a genuine friendship. So far it’s been easy—but Brendan’s feelings aren’t just friendly anymore…

 

When an argument spirals out of control, a hot and heavy make-out session causes Romy’s friendship with supposedly straight Brendan to reach a new level. The last thing Romy wants is to fall for another guy who could potentially shatter him, but Brendan also wakes up a part of him he thought had been destroyed by violence—his heart.

 

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Excerpt:

Foundation of Trust:
A shadow drifted across Owen’s face—the same shadow that had been there almost constantly that first year. An angry shadow that had diminished under the brilliance of their love for each other. “We had to, me and my son both. Michael was born Benjamin Hadley Swenson.”

“But why?” David needed to know why he’d been lied to for so long. Why he’d fallen in love with a man whose name he never really knew.

“To protect us from the man who killed Michael’s mother and grandfather.”

“You told me his mother was killed during a home invasion.”

“I used parts of the truth to fashion the lie. Makes it easier to remember. She was killed by a man who had no business in that house, but he wasn’t there to rob anyone. He was a dangerous man, and I did what I had to do to protect my son.”

 

 Stand By You:

“So make a plan for yourself.” Romy was getting excited over the idea of Brendan going back to college—maybe because Romy had never gone and probably never would. He didn’t even have his GED. And here he was giving Brendan career advice when the longest job he’d ever held in his life was as a hooker. “Figure out what it will cost to go back and finish. Figure out how you’ll save the money. Nothing is impossible, Bren, not if you want it bad enough.”

Brendan looked at him, chocolate brown eyes catching his, and something in that moment changed. Like a snap or a zing, Romy couldn’t describe it. Only that his words had touched something in Brendan, and that something leapt across the space between them and right into Romy. His pulse raced.

Oh crap.

Romy broke eye contact first, using the untwisting of his bottle cap as an excuse to kill the odd charge between them. Not happening. Not again, and not with Brendan. Brendan wasn’t even gay!

Was he?

Giveaway:

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Click here or the image to enter the Rafflecopter

Rafflecopter Prize: PDF copy of Foundation of Trust

 

Sales Links:

Foundation of Trust:

Samhain

Barnes & Noble

Amazon

Stand by You:

Barnes & Noble

Amazon

Author Bio:

A.M. Arthur was born and raised in the same kind of small town that she likes to write about, a stone’s throw from both beach resorts and generational farmland. She’s been creating stories in her head since she was a child and scribbling them down nearly as long, in a losing battle to make the fictional voices stop. She credits an early fascination with male friendships (bromance hadn’t been coined yet back then) and “The Young Riders” with her later discovery of and subsequent love affair with m/m romance stories.

When not exorcising the voices in her head, she toils away in a retail job that tests her patience and gives her lots of story fodder. She can also be found in her kitchen, pretending she’s an amateur chef and trying to not poison herself or others with her cuisine experiments.

 

Author Contact:

Contact her at am_arthur@yahoo.com with your cooking tips (or book comments).

You can also find her online (http://amarthur.blogspot.com/),

as well as on Twitter (http://twitter.com/am_arthur),

Tumblr (http://www.tumblr.com/blog/am-arthur),

and Facebook (A.m. Arthur).

A.M. Arthur’s work is available from Samhain Publishing, Carina Press, Dreamspinner Press, and Musa Publishing.

 

Tour Stops:

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Tour Dates/Stops:

10/20: Emotion in Motion, Multitasking Mommas
10/21: Amanda C. Stone, MM Good Book Reviews
10/22: Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Velvet Panic
10/23: Wake Up Your Wild Side, Smoocher’s Voice
10/24: The Novel Approach
10/27: Hearts on Fire, Because Two Men Are Better Than One, The Blogger Girls
10/28: Iyana Jenna, Foxylutely Book Reviews
10/29: Love Bytes, My Fiction Nook
10/30: Prism Book Alliance, Cathy Brockman Romances
10/31: Parker Williams
11/3: Book Reviews and More by Kathy, All I Want and More Books
11/4: LeAnn’s Book Reviews
11/5: Havan Fellows
11/6: Romance the Night, Queer Town Abbey
11/7: Crystal’s Many Reviewers

 

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★ A Day At A Time ★ by Nic Starr

I haven’t really discussed my next release here on Two Men. But given it releases from Dreamspinner Press on 29th October, I thought it was about time!

My new book is called A Day At A Time.

Below is a “Meet The Character” Blog Hop I participated in. The post originally appeared on http://www.nicstarr.com. It tells a little about my book but also mentions a couple of other wonderful authors and books worth checking out.

Happy reading,

Nic x

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★★★★★

This is a first for me—participating in a Meet The Character Blog Hop. Not only it is fabulous to check out other people’s characters and meet some that interest you, I get the opportunity to introduce you to one of mine.

So firstly a big thank you to Suki Fleet who invited me to join the group of talented writers participating in the hop. You can check out Suki’s post here, where she introduces us to Matthew from her recent release Skeleton. I’ve had the pleasure of reading and enjoying this story so can highly recommend it.

Skeleton

Blurb

Jan has given up on love, at least the romantic kind.He loves his five-year-old son Henry more than anything.

But when Henry starts school, Jan is introduced to Matthew, a very sweet but shy young man who helps out in Henry’s class. Although he tries desperately to ignore his attraction, Jan finds himself falling for Matthew—he’s everything Jan needs.

But amid creepy silent phone calls and possible break-ins, things start to fall slowly apart for Jan. Matthew wants to trust Jan, but the skeleton Jan has been trying to keep buried in his closet and the guilt he feels threatens to destroy everything good in his life.

I’d like you to meet David Simpson. Dave is one of the characters from my upcoming m/m romance, A Day At A Time.

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What is the name of your character?

David Simpson, although most people call him “Dave”.

Is he a fictional or a historic person?

Very much a fictional character.

When and where is the story set?

This is a contemporary romance with a corporate setting. The guys work together in the marketing department of a large company. Don’t lots of romances start when people meet at work? I know mine did!

What should we know about him?

Dave’s focus has been very much on establishing himself in his career and attaining financial stability. So much so, that the search for love has taken a backseat. But that soon changes when he decides to act on the feelings he has for his colleague Sean.

What is the main conflict? What messes up his life?

Sean is quiet and conscientious. He’s also gorgeous and the object of Dave’s crush. Although they take tentative steps toward a relationship, Sean’s past threatens to end things before they’ve really begun. Dave needs to tread carefully.

What is the personal goal of the character?

Dave is looking for someone to love. Love has been elusive but also not really something he’s been looking for up until now. It’s a matter of timing—before the focus was on career and ‘making it’, now the focus is on finding someone special to share his life with. Dave has a strong protective instinct and something about Sean calls to him. He just needs to convince Sean that they are meant for each other.

Is there a working title for this novel, and can we read more about it?

The book is called A Day At A Time.

Here is the blurb…

Sean Vargos is quiet, well respected, and dedicated to his job. But Dave Simpson sees Sean as more than a coworker. He’s fought his attraction to Sean for months but can’t get him out of his thoughts.

They tentatively embark on a relationship, but Sean isn’t all that he seems. He struggles to put his past behind him and overcome his fears.

Dave, with his good looks and open nature, accepts that sometimes Sean’s doubts get the better of him and he runs. Dave just wants the chance to show Sean he can be trusted and the past doesn’t have to dictate their future.

When can we expect the book to be published or when was it published?

A Day At A Time is being released by Dreamspinner Press on 29th October. It is available for pre-order by clicking here.

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And now I’d live to introduce you to next week’s authors. Make sure you keep an eye out for their posts on 27th October.

Meredith Shayne

Meredith has just released Cutting Out. Check out her website for details and her post.

Blurb: A twenty-year veteran of the shearing shed, Aussie Shane Cooper loves his job, and the home he’s made for himself in New Zealand. If he’s a little lonely, he’s got good mates to keep his spirits up. When a hot, cocky young shearer named Lachlan Moore catches his eye at a competition, he’s content to look but not touch, knowing the young man is out of his league.

Lachie wouldn’t mind a piece of Shane, but the gorgeous gun shearer from Australia is soon forgotten when the Christchurch earthquake hits, and tragedy strikes Lachie’s family. Lachie deals with it the best he can, cutting himself off from all he knows. A year later and he’s back in the shearing shed, out of practice and lacking confidence. That Shane’s there to watch him flounder doesn’t help his nerves.

As Lachlan struggles to re-acclimatise, Shane can’t resist giving him a hand to get back on his feet. As they move from friends to something more, Shane finds himself wanting to know everything he can about Lachie. But Lachie’s got secrets he desperately wants to keep, and when things come to a head, those secrets might just mean the end of them before they’ve truly begun.

Cutting Out

Jack Byrne

Jack’s book, Dingo Run, releases on 22nd October and is available for pre-order now from Dreamspinner Press. Details are on Jack’s website.

Blurb: New South Wales, Australia, 1876. As captured outlaws, Jim Kelly and Mark Turner face the gallows. Help comes from an unexpected quarter, but their hasty escape goes wrong and now Jim’s life hangs by a thread. Mark is driven by desperation to form an alliance with an infamous bushranger who may hold clues to his mysterious past. But as Jim and Mark’s relationship intensifies, it is also tested. Their secret is discovered, tempers fray, and jealousy flares.

Dingo Run

I hope you enjoy meeting the characters from these great books.

Happy reading,

Nic xx

Visit me at my website or on Facebook.

 

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Blog Tour, Excerpt and Giveaway! – Heat by RJ Scott & Chris Quinton

 

 

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Heat

by

RJ Scott and Chris Quinton

Blurb…

Serving up passion, family, love and hate, with a side order of arson.

Lewis has lost nearly everything, and now it seems that Devon is here to take the last thing he has left – working in his beloved restaurant, Laurels. But when an arsonist threatens everything Lewis loves, he realizes sometimes everyone has their ghosts, and he discovers an unexpected ally who is prepared to risk everything for him.

* * * * *

Set in the small cathedral city of Salisbury, Master Chef Lewis Mandineau no longer owns the Laurels, the restaurant that had been in his family for generations. Betrayed and robbed by an ex-lover, he’s had to sell to Carnegie Enterprises, an American corporation. That isn’t all Lewis has to contend with. Rachel, his beloved younger sister has been left severely hurt by the car crash that killed their parents, and taking care of her has to be his priority.

Enter Devon Trelawney III, sent to assess the viability of the restaurant and its staff. Devon knows all about family tradition. But he also knows sentiment has no place in business matters, and the Laurels’ potential is swamped by the debts it has accrued. Devon is a hardheaded businessman, first and foremost, but Lewis and Rachel test his resolve in different ways. Soon Devon is forced to admit that what seems like an impossible love can sometimes become something very real.

Excerpt…

The office door banged open.

“Where’s the restroom?” Devon demanded. Lewis smiled and pointed.

When Devon returned, he paused by Lewis’s workstation just as he finished filling the piping bag with the very pink buttercream icing. Yesterday’s fairy cakes sat on their tray, their tops already sliced off and halved to make the wings.

“For the dining room?” Devon asked doubtfully.

“No, for my sister.” No one else was in the kitchen at the moment, and the door to the staffroom was shut, so no one could overhear Lewis snipe at the new boss. “And before you say it, the ingredients are my own, bought and brought in for the purpose. I’m sure you can work out how much to charge me for the gas I used to bake them.”

Devon opened his mouth to say something, then shut it just as quickly. Evidently he didn’t want to grace Lewis’s comment with an answer. Immediately Lewis felt lower than low. He was a trained, sought-after chef, not a kid taking cheap shots at someone in his class he didn’t like.

Then Devon spoke and any inner commentary about feeling guilty was wiped away in an instant. “What is that crap you kept on bringing me?”

“Peppermint and camomile. It’s good for migraines and headaches. And it’s mine.” Then he couldn’t resist. “I’ll be sending you a bill later.”

“Fine. You do that.”

“I will.”

“And you can fix me another one while you’re at it!”

“Fine!” Lewis met Devon’s glower with one of his own. The three-inch difference in their heights made a nose to nose face off a little awkward, but he’d be damned if he’d let the man stare him down. Then Lewis saw the amber flecks in Devon’s coffee-dark eyes and lost track of his anger. If he leant forward just a few inches, Devon would be in kissing range.

Handsome is as handsome does… Em’s voice echoed in his mind, and he stepped back. Devon moved away at the same time, and the subtle tension that had nothing to do with anger faded away.

Their gazes were still locked, and gradually the silliness of their confrontation struck Lewis. He struggled to contain his smile, knew he was failing and bit his lip. Devon glanced down and focused on Lewis’s mouth. Devon flushed, and suddenly Lewis’s gaydar kicked in.

It was like a bucket of icy water thrown in his face. Having the hots for a straight man was one thing: they were suitable dream fodder, safe and out of reach. But not for another gay man. Not after Peter. Especially his boss, an ill-tempered arsehole who seemed to be hell-bent on alienating every one of Laurels’ staff.

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Competition…

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Click here or on the icon to win.

Win a $15 gift card and free e-books, 24 October – 7 November

 

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For all buy links when they become available click here

 

 

Author Bios…

RJ Scott has been writing since age six, when she was made to stay in at lunchtime for an infraction involving cookies. She was told to write a story and two sides of paper about a trapped princess later, a lover of writing was born.

As an avid reader herself, she can be found reading anything from thrillers to sci-fi to horror. However, her first real true love will always be the world of romance where she takes cowboys, bodyguards, firemen and billionaires (to name a few) and writes dramatic and romantic stories of love and passion between these men.

With over sixty titles to her name and counting, she is the author of the award winning book, The Christmas Throwaway. She is also known for the Texas series charting the lives of Riley and Jack, and the Sanctuary series following the work of the Sanctuary Foundation and the people it protects.

Her goal is to write stories with a heart of romance, a troubled road to reach happiness, and most importantly, that hint of a happily ever after.

mailto:rj@rjscott.co.uk
http://www.rjscott.co.uk/
http://www.facebook.com/author.rjscott?ref=ts&fref=ts
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3432558.R_J_Scott
https://twitter.com/Rjscott_author
http://www.librarything.com/author/scottrj

 

Chris Quinton started creating stories not long after she mastered joined-up writing, somewhat to the bemusement of her parents and her English teachers. But she received plenty of encouragement. Her dad gave her an already old Everest typewriter when she was ten, and it was probably the best gift she’d ever received – until the inventions of the home-computer and the worldwide web.

Chris’s reading and writing interests range from historical, mystery, and paranormal, to science-fiction and fantasy, writing mostly in the male/male genre. She refuses to be pigeon-holed and intends to uphold the long and honourable tradition of the Eccentric Brit to the best of her ability. In her spare time [hah!] she reads, embroiders, quilts and knits. Over the years she has been a stable lad [briefly] in a local racing stable and stud, a part-time and unpaid amateur archaeologist, a civilian clerk at her local police station and a 15th century re-enactor.

She lives in a small and ancient city in the south-west of the United Kingdom, sharing her usually chaotic home with an extended family, three dogs, a frilled dragon [lizard] and sundry goldfish and tropicals.

mailto:chris.quintonwriter@ymail.com
http://chrisquintonwriter.blogspot.co.uk/
https://www.facebook.com/chris.quinton.14
https://twitter.com/Chris_writer
http://uk.pinterest.com/writerchris/
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2952441.Chris_Quinton
http://www.librarything.com/author/quintonchris

 

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Wild Summer by Suki Fleet

WildSummer_postcard_front_HARMONY

 

Blurb

At fifteen, Christopher falls in love with a boy whose life he saves. But things go wrong and four years later, he wishes he’d acted differently. His conscience begins to haunt him and he knows he must find Summer again.

At seventeen, Summer pushes away the boy who saved him. Four years later, he is stuck in an abusive, damaging relationship. When he sees Christopher again, it’s a sign he can’t go on living like he is, but he can’t begin to see a way out.

For either boy to stand a chance at happiness, they must find each other and obliterate the wrongs of their shared past.

Excerpt

WARMED BY the sunshine, the surf washed around their ankles as they stepped onto the sandy beach of the cove. Cliffs rose up sheer and solid to hide the town beyond them from view, and it was easy to imagine they were out here alone, miles from anywhere, beneath the painfully bright blue sky.

“Hey.” Summer laid his hand on Christopher’s bare arm, the light touch making his heartbeat quicken. “Want to come swimming?” Summer asked, and proceeded to pull his T-shirt off, ball it up, and throw it onto the damp sand with his shoes.

Lithe and beautiful, his skin dark gold as the sand, Summer could not be unaware of the effect he was having. With his jeans slung low on his hips, nipple rings that glinted as they caught the sun, he was every manner of perfect in Christopher’s mind—he couldn’t have imagined a boy more so—and longing seemed to pull at his core with the force the moon exerts on the sea.

But self-consciousness made him awkward. He didn’t know where to look and forced his gaze down to stare at the paleness of his large feet in the water.

Although nearly sixteen, he had no framework for this sort of experience, for what he was supposed to do when someone he was incredibly attracted to stripped off in front of him.

When he looked up again, Summer’s hands were working at unbuttoning his jeans. Without pausing he shoved them down—he was wearing no underwear—stepped out of them, and carelessly threw them onto the beach somewhere near his T-shirt and shoes, his cock bouncing against his thigh with the movement.

All the things Christopher was certain he shouldn’t notice he noticed—Summer’s pubic hair was the same dark gold color as his skin, his cock hooded, the just-visible tip pierced, the weight and length of him perfectly proportioned, his stomach and thighs lean but nicely defined.

With no small jolt of desire, Christopher realized he wanted more than anything to swim with Summer—to tumble him into the water, to be naked with him—yet at the same time he knew he couldn’t. If he took off his clothes, Summer would see the way he had stiffened like a randy bull, it was not something he could control, and Summer obviously didn’t feel the same way.

“Come on.” Summer beckoned him with a crooked finger, a cocked eyebrow, and a smile. “Don’t be shy.”

Christopher didn’t want to think he was imagining the heat in Summer’s gaze, but flirting was not something he’d had much experience with either, so he just didn’t know.

A massive gust of wind came in from the sea, rocketing around the cove, blasting up sea spray and sand in painful gusts. Christopher covered his eyes until it whirled off. When he opened them again, Summer was meters away, submerged shoulder-deep in the water. He covered his eyes and pointed at Christopher, the gesture implying he wouldn’t look.

Fuck it, Christopher thought, depositing all his worldly belongings down on the beach and divesting himself of his clothes. Facing the cliff, he looked down at his naked, traitorous body, giving away far too much truth about how he felt. He couldn’t lose his hard-on, however much boring, ridiculous stuff he thought about, because his hormones were switched on by Summer’s presence, and he had no idea how to turn them off again. Girls had it so much easier.

Both hands covering his genitals, he turned around and waded into the cooling sea, every footstep taking him into colder, deeper waters. Despite his gesture promising to cover his eyes, Summer watched him every step of the way, an unreadable look on his elfin face.

About the author

Suki Fleet currently lives in the heart of England. Her childhood was quite unconventional and she spent some time living on a boat and travelling at sea with her family. Since she was very small she has always dreamed of writing for a living, but though she has written original fiction online for years and encouraged many new writers to keep going and follow their author dreams, it is only recently she got the courage to make her own dream a reality and actually send something off to a publisher.

By day she runs her own business selling fabric (her second love) and juggling family commitments, by night she weaves the stories that the characters in her head dictate. These stories often start with pain or longing but always end with love.

Connect with Suki

https://www.facebook.com/suki.fleet.3

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7919609.Suki_Fleet

http://sukifleet.tumblr.com/

http://sukifleet.wordpress.com/

Buy Links

Dreamspinner Press

Amazon Logo

 

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Guest post – Kim Fielding

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Hi! I’m Kim Fielding. My mother was born and raised in the Bronx. But my brother and sister-in-law own a farm in Oregon. That farm was the inspiration for the one in my Bones series. A couple of weeks ago, they went on vacation and my mom went to farmsit for a few days. That means feeding the dogs and the cat and the geese, ducks, and chickens. Collecting eggs. Giving everyone water. And at night, making sure the birds go into their houses so they don’t get eaten by the local coyotes. The chickens head to the henhouse on their own, and the geese go with only a little urging. The ducks can be more difficult, though, and this time a group of teenaged ducks refused to leave the center of the pond. That left my mother in too-large hip waders, whacking in the general direction of the ducks with a broom handle in an attempt to herd them in the right direction. It’s probably not a situation she ever imagined herself in, back when she was a kid in a 5th floor walkup on the Grand Concourse.

Sometimes we all have moments when we ask ourselves, “How the hell did I get here?”

Now, please excuse the extended nautical metaphor. I am captain of my ship. And I’m sort of a control freak, so I keep a pretty tight grip on the wheel. But even so, there are times when I rest or get distracted, and when I return to steering I find an errant wind or unexpected current has taken me of course. Even when I lash myself to the wheel, tempests blow, pirates chase. The kraken shows up. And when everything calms down again, there I am, somewhere I had not planned to be. Somewhere unexpected.

Three years ago I found myself atop a hillside in rural Croatia, sharing a nice dinner and a lot of wine with the wife of an American social psychologist I’d been studying since my freshman year of college (she’s a well-known researcher in her own right too). Last year I had unanticipated and delicious crepes with a friend in Iowa City. Just today, I walked down a sidewalk a couple miles from my house in a town I’d never heard of until I applied for a job here, listening to a Bosnian punk band sing reggae. Twenty-year-old me never would have predicted any of that. And you know what else? This month I have five new releases, including my 11th novel. Who would have thought?

Sometimes the winds and currents land us hip-deep in a pond with bratty waterfowl. And sometimes they land us somewhere considerably more pleasing! Where have they landed you?

The third book in my Bones series, Bone Dry, is one of my five (!) new releases. I’m doing a Fieldingpalooza tour, complete with prizes. You can find all the details on my website. Please come join me!

***

Kim’s new releases:

Bone Dry—book 3 in the Bones series—available now!

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Brute—French translation!—available now!

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Standby—in the Stranded anthology—releases October 10—available now!

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The Dance—in the Bones anthology (Gothika vol. 2)—releases October 27—available now for preorder!

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The Festivus Miracle—releases November 1—all proceeds go to Doctors Without Borders—available now for preorder!

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***

Contests!

3 Great Contents to Enter!

Contest One – win an eBook copy of The Pillar

Click here to enter the Rafflecopter

Contest Two – win a $20 Dreamspinner Press Gift Certificate

Click here to enter the Rafflecopter

Contest Three – win a Bone-themed goody bag full of surprises

Click here to enter the Rafflecopter

***

Connect with Kim

For more details on Kim’s books, as well as some free stories, visit her at http://kfieldingwrites.com/. You can also follow her in Twitter @KFieldingWrites and Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/KFieldingWrites.

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★ On Selkies ★ Guest post by L.J. LaBarthe

Today we are pleased to welcome L.J. LaBarthe, author of the newly released, Mythica.

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On Selkies.

Hello and thanks for having me on your blog! I hope readers enjoy “Mythica.” Two of the questions I was asked by friends was, “Why a selkie? What’s a selkie?”

Well, the short answer is a selkie is a human on land and a seal in the sea. They remove their skins so they can be human and if someone steals the skin, the selkie is beholden to that person. Urban Dictionary has a pretty good explanation with some of the selkie mythology here: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=selkie The selkie mythology is predominantly Celtic, with stories being found in the lore of the United Kingdom and into Europe, up into Scandinavia. The Celts themselves were very widespread, but that is a topic for another day.

I decided I wanted to set “Mythica” in South Australia, in a small coastal town, and Tiddy Widdy Beach fit the bill nicely. I also wanted it to be a paranormal, but I didn’t want to stick with the usual shifter trope, I wanted something a little different. I was listening to local Adelaide band (yay for my hometown!) Spiral Dance, and their song, “Song for Selkie” came up on my iPod playlist. Listening to the words, I realized that this was the creature I wanted to feature in “Mythica”—a being connected to the ocean and the life within the sea, at home on land as much as in the water. And that’s how I chose the selkie.

Here’s a vid of a live show by Spiral Dance, performing the song, “Song for Selkie,” which is one of my favourites of theirs.

After that decision was made, it was a case of deciding on names, occupations, conflict, and off I went, writing out the story of Caiden Jones, a half-selkie, his sister Marianne, their friends and family and the slowly growing love between Caiden and Gray. And as you can see from this photo of Tiddy Widdy Beach, it was a perfect setting for their story.

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Book Spotlight

Bottom Drawer Publications is proud to present Mythica by L. J. LaBarthe, an mm paranormal novel set in South Australia.

Release Date: September 20, 2014
Book Details: Novel
Genre: MM Contemporary Paranormal
Author: L. J.  LaBarthe

Blurb

Caiden Jones is part-selkie and lives an idyllic life by the sea in South Australia. He’s had his fair share of disappointments, like being kept out of the Navy due to his mythica status, but overall he’s got a pretty good life. Until he’s in the wrong place at the right time.

Cai steps in to subdue an out-of-control minotaur and in the process suffers a serious injury to his ribs. As Cai struggles to breathe, a gorgeous suit-clad sy’lph with mesmerising blue eyes races to his rescue. When it’s learned that the minotaur was poisoned, the sy’lph, Gray, makes it his personal mission to keep Cai and his family safe.

Cai has always harboured some resentment towards the sy’lph because of their easy acceptance into the community, so the attraction he feels for Gray takes him by surprise. But how can they find out what this might mean when the lives of Cai and his family are endangered by someone closer than they realise?

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Sales Links

The e-book is available for sale for $5.99 via the BDP Digital Shop and other online booksellers
Publisher Shop
Amazon
All Romance
Apple iBooks
Barnes & Noble
BookStrand
Kobo
Smashwords

 

Giveaway

Paperback copy of Mythica

$10 BDP Voucher

3 x Mythica e-books

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Click the image or here to enter the Rafflecopter.

FB Giveaway URL Link: http://tinyurl.com/kgtd52v

On Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23206543-mythica

On Booklikes:

http://booklikes.com/mythica-l-j-labarthe/book,12915343

 LJ LaBarthe Bio Pic

About the Author

 

L.J. LaBarthe is a French-Australian woman, who was born during the Witching Hour, just after midnight. From this auspicious beginning, she went on to write a prize-winning short story about Humpty Dumpty wearing an Aussie hat complete with corks dangling from it when she was six years old. From there, she wrote for her high school yearbook, her university newspaper, and, from her early teens to her twenties, produced a fanzine about the local punk rock music scene. She loves music of all kinds and was once a classical pianist; she loves languages and speaks French and English and a teeny-tiny smattering of Mandarin Chinese, which she hopes to relearn properly very soon. She enjoys TV, film, travel, cooking, eating out, abandoned places, urbex, history, and researching.
L.J. loves to read complicated plots and hopes to do complex plot lines justice in her own writing. She writes paranormal, historical, urban fantasy, and contemporary Australian stories, usually m/m romance and featuring m/m erotica.
L.J. lives in the city of Adelaide, and is owned by her cat.

She can be found on the Internet at the following places:

twitter: @brbsiberia,

blog:http://misslj_author.livejournal.com/

facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lj.labarthe.9

web: http://www.ljlabarthe.com/

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For more information:

www.bottomdrawerpublications.net

info@bottomdrawerpublications.net

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Blog Tour, Excerpt and Giveaway! Red Dirt Heart #3 by N.R. Walker

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Red Dirt Heart #3

 by

N.R. Walker

Cover Artist: Sara York

Publisher: N.R. Walker

Blurb:

Life for Charlie Sutton has never been better, or busier. With Travis now a permanent fixture of Sutton Station, a permanent fixture at Charlie’s side, Charlie’s convinced he couldn’t do anything on his ever-growing to-do list without him.

He can run a multimillion dollar cattle business, finish his degree, try and further the local beef industry, deal with staff issues, Ma’s failing health, and an attention-demanding wombat. He can even deal with an unexpected visitor and some shattering news.

He can deal with it all, as long as he has Travis.

But what happens when he doesn’t?

Red Dirt Heart 3 is the story of Charlie Sutton finally realising he can be the man Travis Craig deserves, even if he doesn’t have Travis. It’s a story of love, family, holding on, letting go and coming home.

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Excerpt:

We climbed into the ute and Travis drove, only mumbling under his breath once or twice about what side of the road he was on. I thought we were headed to find something to eat, but he pulled up at a pet store.

“What are we doing?”

“You’ll see,” was all he said as he was getting out.

I followed him into the pet shop, past the puppies, fish and birds down to the kennels and produce. When he stopped at cat beds, I shook my head. “Oh, no no no. We’re not getting a cat. We used to have one, it lived in the shed and the bloody thing was feral.”

He didn’t even look at me. “It’s not for a cat, Charlie.” He picked up a cushion-box looking thing with a hole in the front. The label called it a cat igloo. “It’s for your damn wombat.”

“Oh,” I said brightly. “Well, that’s okay then.”

He pushed Nugget’s new bed into my chest. “So he sleeps in his bed, not ours.”

A sales guy, about eighteen years old, walked up and was looking at us funny. He probably just heard what Travis said, and I didn’t care. I just shrugged, guessin’ that I’d come a long way in the last six months. “How did I know he’d think it was playtime?”

Travis sighed and turned to the sales assistant. “Do you have any feed pellets for wombats?”

He raised his eyebrows. “Wombats?”

I nodded. “Yep, you know, ‘bout this big,” I held up my hands to show him, “shape of a brick, cute little thing.”

Travis took a god-fucking-help-me breath. “About a year old, pain in the arse, stubborn as hell, boot-chewin’, gets into everything type of wombat.”

 

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Giveaway:

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Click here or the image to enter the Rafflecopter

Rafflecopter Prize: One of 3 e-copies of Red Dirt Heart 3 or a stuffed wombat toy!

 Nugget toy

Sales Links:

 

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Author Bio:

Who am I?

Good question…

I am many things: a mother, a wife, a sister, a writer.

I have pretty, pretty boys who live in my head, who don’t let me sleep at night unless I give them life with words.

I like it when they do dirty, dirty things… but I like it even more when they fall in love.

I used to think having people in my head talking to me was weird, until one day I happened across other writers who told me it was normal.

I’ve been writing ever since…

 Author Contact:

Website: nrwalker.wordpress.com.

Facebook: N.r. Walker

Facebook Fan Page: N.R. Walker Author

Twitter: @NR_Walker

Email: nrwalker2103@gmail.com

 

Tour Stops:

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October 17: SA McAuley, Because Two Men Are Better Than One, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Rainbow Gold Reviews
October 20: Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words
October 21: Love Bytes, Hearts on Fire
October 22: Nic Starr, Jade Crystal, Wake Up Your Wild Side
October 23: Nephylim, Book Reviews, Rants, and Raves, Emotion in Motion
October 24: Amanda C. Stone, My Fiction Nook, Prism Book Alliance
October 27: Fallen Angel Reviews, Parker Williams
October 28: MM Good Book Reviews, Multitasking Mommas
October 29: Smoocher’s Voice
October 30: BFD Book Blog, Queer Town Abbey