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EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT & GIVEAWAY: A New Way to Dance by Sean Michael

Thank you to Because Two Men Are Better Than One for hosting me today!

And what a great blog title! Two men are better than one when it comes to romance and I love giving everyone their happy ending.

Speaking of happy endings, I’ve noticed in a number of interviews I’m asked if I prefer HEAs, or at least HFNs. And my answer is always YES! A resounding YES! Yes! Yes! Yes! Because yes, everyone deserves a happy ending, but also because I don’t want to write stories that don’t end happily.

There’s enough awfulness and sadness and negativity in the world. I want my stories to be a place where, in the end, there is happiness, there is love, and there are two (or more!) men who have found their place in life with their lover.

So with very few exceptions, and certainly anything I’ve written in the last ten years or so, you can be assured that there will be a happy ending for my characters.

Sean Michael

smut fixes everything

Excerpt

She stuck her tongue out, but before she could retaliate, Mel was calling ready on the chicken. “You two stay sitting, I’ll go get you plates.”

“Remember that I like more food on my plate than you’ll eat in a week,” Brook told her. “I eat like a real person.” Brook turned towards Seth, his cheeks heating. “No offence, man, just most dancers I’ve met don’t eat enough to keep a mouse alive.”

“Don’t worry about it. I only eat vegetables and lean protein.”

“See? I mean, I get it, you’ve got to keep the form, but it’s so restrictive. I doubt I could do it.”

“It takes discipline, for sure.” And Seth was incredibly good at focus.

“You were in that show with Lizzie last winter, weren’t you? It was amazing.” If Brook was just making polite conversation, he was extremely good at it.

“I was. It was incredibly fun. I think we all had a good time.”

Lizzie nodded, refilled his wine. “It was hard enough to be interesting, but joyful enough to be entertainment.”

Brook’s eyes travelled the length of his body, the guy smiling at him when their eyes met.

“I’ll get those plates of food,” Lizzie said, moving away.

He offered a smile, but it wasn’t much of one. He wasn’t interested in looking at anyone right now, at having anyone see him.

Lizzie brought their food over, mostly salad and a bit of chicken for him, a full plate including potato salad for Brook. Then she and Mel joined them and they sat and ate, making more small talk in between bites.

He had to admit, it was easy, and a better way of passing time than sitting in his room and brooding.

No one mentioned Fayden or newspapers or being called a monster, thank God. It was just an evening with friends. Like everything was normal.

He let himself enjoy it, even though the constant voice in the back of his head insisted nothing would ever be normal again.

After supper Lizzie helped Mel clean the outside kitchen and the grill, leaving him with Brook, who was very nice, their conversation light.

The two glasses of wine were making him a touch maudlin, but he was forcing it back, keeping control of his emotions. That was what he did. Control. Discipline.

Brook moved his hand across to Seth’s chair and placed it lightly on his knee. “I’d like to see you again.”

He jumped, the touch surprising him. “I’m… I’m recovering from a rather intense break-up right now. It’s a bad time.”

His knee was squeezed gently, then Brook withdrew his hand. “I’m sorry.”

“Me too, but thank you for understanding. I appreciate it.”

Brook nodded, then reached for the bottle Lizzie had left on a nearby table. “More wine?”

“I… Sure. One more. I’ll catch a cab home.”

Brook filled the glass up for him.

“Thank you.” Seth knew Lizzie would make sure he got into a cab safely.

“I still think you’d like my beer,” Brook said.

“I probably would. I love a good brew.”

“I make good ones. I’m perfecting them, in fact.”

“Does it take long?” Seth asked.

“It varies. Depending on the type.” Brook leaned forward and began to tell him all about it, face and hands animated.

Seth had to smile. How charming was that?

Synopsis

Dancer Seth Avery has it all. He’s at the top of his game as a dancer and he’s in love with famous dance director Fayden DelMonaco, the man who is his sub. Seth’s whole world is turned upside down when Fayden dumps him in the nastiest and most public way possible. To compound matters, he’s in near fatal car crash shortly thereafter that leaves him severely injured.

Brook Turner is an ex-lawyer turned micro-brewer, baby-brother of Seth’s best friend Lizzie. The two met briefly before Seth’s accident, but it’s when they meet again six years later that they get a chance to act on the attraction they’d initially felt.

With Brook’s help, Seth begins to heal not only from his residual physical injuries, but also from the emotional ones inflicted by Fayden. Will it be enough to keep the two of them together?

Join Seth and Brooke as they find a new way to dance together.

Purchase

Evil Plot Bunny | Amazon

Meet the Author

Often referred to as “Space Cowboy” and “Gangsta of Love” while still striving for the moniker of “Maurice,” Sean Michael spends his days surfing, smutting, organizing his immense gourd collection and fantasizing about one day retiring on a small secluded island peopled entirely by horseshoe crabs. While collecting vast amounts of vintage gay pulp novels and mood rings, Sean whiles away the hours between dropping the f-bomb and pursuing the kama sutra by channeling the long lost spirit of John Wayne and singing along with the soundtrack to “Chicago.”

A long-time writer of complicated haiku, currently Sean is attempting to learn the advanced arts of plate spinning and soap carving sex toys.

Barring any of that? He’ll stick with writing his stories, thanks, and rubbing pretty bodies together to see if they spark.

Sean’s available for interviews, by the way. He can always be talked into, well talking about himself. Just drop him an email.

Website | Facebook | TwitterPinterest

Tour Schedule

June 26 – Sue Brown’s Stories |  MillsyLovesBooks | Because Two Men Are Better Than One

June 27 – BFD Book Blog | Stories That Make You Smile

June 28 – The Really Naughty Corner | Happily Ever Chapter | Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews

June 29 – MM Good Book Reviews | Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words | Boy Meets Boy Reviews | Divine Magazine

June 30 – SiK Reviews | Dawn’s Reading Nook | Two Chicks Obsessed

Giveaway

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SERIES RECAP TOUR AND GIVEAWAY! End Street Vol 1 by Amber Kell and RJ Scott

Series Recap Tour & Giveaway

Amber Kell & RJ Scott

 End Street Volume 1

Authors: Amber Kell & RJ Scott
 
Cover Design: Meredith Russell
 
Buy Links
 
Paperback Links
 
Blurb

The Case of the Cupid Curse


Sam Enderson is a human detective who inherits a building from where his Uncle used to run a detective agency. He finds himself working for paranormal creatures despite his resolve to stick with humans only. To supplement his income as a new PI Sam rents out rooms in the large house.
Bob is a vampire and turns up on Sam’s doorstep to rent a room. Sparks fly and Sam is attracted to the vampire despite himself.
Sam is cursed by a witch, and has two cases landing on his desk. Werewolves, annoying ghosts and a grumpy gargoyle are enough to drive Sam mad. But somehow in amongst all of this he has to find a missing fae and a missing shifter child.
The Case of the Wicked Wolf
Naiads, humans, sirens and a challenge for Alpha make up the intricate story in the race to rescue the missing children.
Sam and Bob have more than just the case of one lost child to handle. Not only is Shelby Hartman missing, but other paranormal children have disappeared. The race to rescue the children is hampered by naiads, humans, sirens and a challenge for Alpha.
Hartman Hunter is desperate to find his daughter. He turns to the demon Danjal Naamah for help. The problem is that Danjal is the only person Hartman has ever loved—the man he let go for the sake of the pack…
“…With stories that are written by more than one author, there are sometimes gaps in the flow of the writing. There are none here. The writing flows smoothly and seamlessly I wouldn’t be able to tell you who wrote what. The world describe within the story was easily imagined as where the characters….”

 

Author Bios

 
Amber Kell has made a career out of daydreaming. It has been a lifelong habit she practices diligently as shown by her complete lack of focus on anything not related to her fantasy world building.
 
When she told her husband what she wanted to do with her life, he told her to go have fun.
During those seconds she isn’t writing, she remembers she has children who humor her with games of “what if” and let her drag them to foreign lands to gather inspiration. Her youngest confided in her that he wants to write because he longs for a website and an author name—two things apparently necessary to be a proper writer.
 
Despite her husband’s insistence she doesn’t drink enough to be a true literary genius, she continues to spin stories of people falling happily in love and staying that way.
 
She is thwarted during the day by a traffic jam of cats on the stairway and a puppy who insists on walks, but she bravely perseveres.
 
 
E-mail: amberkellwrites@gmail.com

 


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

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GUEST POST, EXCERPT and GIVEAWAY! The Edge of Control and Unguarded by Lou Kelly

 

TheEdgeOfControl

 

Blurb:

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

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

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

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

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

 

Excerpt:

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

It was as much a punishment as a necessity.

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

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

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

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

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

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

It wasn’t a neighbor.

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

“Is this a bad time?” he asked.

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

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

I should let him.

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

Ian stalled in the middle of the hallway.

“Come in,” I said at last.

What the hell was I doing?

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

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

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

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

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

Fucking perfect.

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

God damn. He took my breath away.

It had been a mistake to invite him inside.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Decisions, decisions.

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

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

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

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

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

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

If he only knew how much.

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

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

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

“I know a lot of things.”

Ian shook his head. “I have to go.”

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

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

 

unguarded

 

Blurb:

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

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

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

 

Excerpt:

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

“Yeah?”

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

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

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

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

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

“What do you think?” Derick growled.

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

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

“Never? No exceptions?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Heath shuddered. “So strip music trivia then?”

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

Heath feigned outrage. “Cheater!”

“I prefer the term ‘ruthless competitor’.”

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

Derick grabbed his arm before Heath could move away.

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

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

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

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

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

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

“How long were you together?” Derick asked.

“Two years.”

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

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

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

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

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

“Absolutely.”

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

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

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

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

“Satisfaction.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“One hundred percent.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Okay?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Hey you. Come back here.”

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

“The hell you will.”

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

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

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

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

 

First Impressions

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

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

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

But don’t we all secretly wish for that?

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

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

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

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

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

Xoxo

Lou Kelly

 

Author Bio:

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

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

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

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

Or follow her on Twitter: @LouKellyRomance

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

Buy Link:

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

 

Giveaway:

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

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REVIEW AND GIVEAWAY! Still Waters by F.E. Feeley Jr.


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Blurb

Promise, Michigan is very much like every other small town across the state. Built on the edge of a lake, the homes sit in neat little rows in cute little neighborhoods. During the summer Promise bustles with tourists who come to spend their vacation dollars and enjoy the lake’s refreshingly cold water. But Promise holds a terrible secret. In the center of the lake is an abandoned island where a curse is rumored to wait for victims, unabated and deadly. Most think it’s just a story, something used to keep kids out of trouble. Still, everyone gives it a wide berth. Everyone except Bret and Adam. They dare to venture out the night of Bret’s birthday. When they declared their love and promise to get married, they believe no one else heard their whispered words—but they are wrong.

Five years later Adam dies, and Bret returns to his family to heal. But someone is killing the people of Promise in random acts of violence. Bret, with the help of FBI agent Jeff McAllister, must discover the identity of a murderer with death on his mind and revenge in his heart.

Note: This is the third in the Memoirs of the Human Wraiths series but can easily be read as a stand alone.

 

RJ’s review

ALL THE STARS!!!

I don’t normally review anymore, only when a book is so good, it would be an injustice not to tell you how damn good it is. I know it’s only June but I’m picking this as my read of the year.

The love Bret had for Adam was tangible as he struggles to let go in the five years since Adam’s death. My heart was in my throat for a lot of this story, but not because of the scary parts. I have no problem with scary – I spent a lot of my teen years reading Stephen King, so I’m good. But although this is tagged as paranormal, as with F.E.’s other work, it’s more a contemporary crime story that deals with a ghost/curse as the murderer. And THAT element was so well played out, it could be real. (Who’s to say it’s not?)

There’s a love story between Bret and Jeff, the FBI agent sent to track down the murderer. I love Jeff. He’s supportive, protective and understanding of Bret’s situation and he doesn’t try and fight against the fact that Bret is still in love with Adam and always will be. He was the perfect combination of tough FBI agent, and sweet man in love. I just wanted to give him the biggest hug.

“What do you want me to do? Anything, just say it,” Jeff begged.
“Love me like you would if you were in love with me.”
“I am in love with you.”

Massive boogers.

The final scene before the epilogue had me crying happy/sad tears so much I was a very unladylike/inelegant pile of snot.

F.E. has a way of pulling you into the story that will leave you with so many feels. So many. I cried a lot and cursed at F.E. in the middle of the night when I couldn’t put it down. The HEA is so satisfying. I got my wish not only for Bret and Adam, but for Bret and Jeff as well.

If you haven’t checked out this author’s work yet, I don’t know what you’re waiting for. You won’t be disappointed.

 

Check out the video here:

Giveaway time!

One random commenter will win an ebook copy of their choice from F.E. Feeley Jr.

I recently interviewed F.E. and he was generous enough to answer my questions. Make sure you check out the post on my blog here. There’s a giveaway over there too!

Buy links

Dreamspinner   Amazon   All Romance

 

Author Bio

13342124_1740655289514053_281357137_nF.E. Feeley Jr was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan and lived there for twenty years before joining the military. He is a veteran of the US Armed Services; having done a tour in support of Operation Iraq Freedom in 2002-2003, he turned college student, pursuing a degree in political science. He now lives in Southeast Texas where he is married to the love of his life, John, and where they raise their 1½ year old German shepherd, Kaiser.

As a young man, reading took center stage in his life, especially those novels about ghosts, witches, goblins, and all the other things that went bump in the night. His favorite authors include such writers as Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and Anne Rice, whose work allowed him to travel to far off places and meet fascinating and scary characters. As a gay man, he wishes to be able to write good fictional literature for those who love the genre and to write characters that readers can relate to. All in all, he is a cigarette smokin’, whiskey drinkin’, rock and roll lovin’, tattoo wearin’ dreamer of a man with a wonderful husband who puts up with his crap and lets him write his stories.

You can connect with F.E. here.

Facebook   Twitter   Goodreads  F.E’s Blog

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EXCERPT AND GIVEAWAY! ~~~ Pib’s Dragon by Beany Sparks

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Title: Pib’s Dragon
Author: Beany Sparks
Part of a series? If yes, can it be read as a standalone? Yes and yes
Series Title: Twisted Fairy Tales
Number in Series: #1
Publisher: Rainbow Ninja Press

Categories: M/M Romance, Gay Fiction, Paranormal, Humor

Release Date:
Early Download at Rainbow Ninja Press – 27th May
Third Party Pre Order – 3rd June
General Release – 10th June

Word Count: 21,699

 

Blurb:

A dragon is about to find out what happens when a cat discovers his cave of shiny treasures.

After nine years, Pib is finally free from his contract with the newly wed prince. Slipping out in the middle of the night to avoid getting stuck in another contract, Pib shifts into his cat and makes his way home to the little village he foolishly left, hoping his best friend Wil still lives there.

Dray is bored. His services as a princess-guarding dragon are no longer needed and even his gold and jewels are unable to cheer him up. His mood changes quickly when he catches someone in his treasure cave, and it starts a series of events that change his life forever.

When the two finally meet, sparks fly, but Dray will have to move quickly if he’s to save his cat after Pib gets kidnapped.

Excerpt:

Prologue

Pib snuck into the darkened room, tiptoeing quietly so as not to wake the newly crowned prince Geraint and his princess. Looking around, he both thanked and cursed his shifter senses. While he was grateful he could see inside the room, the smell of sex throughout the air was something he could have done without.

Reaching the desk on the far side of the room, he paused and glanced at the couple. Once he was satisfied they were still asleep, he eased open the cover and found what he was after—his freedom. After nine long years as the bastard’s slave, the letter freeing him from servitude almost brought tears to his eyes. Carefully folding it and placing it in his inside pocket, Pib gently shut the desk and tiptoed back toward the bedroom door, leaving the room as silently as he’d entered.

He knew there was only a limited window of opportunity for him to make his escape. Even though the pompous bastard had made a production of signing the form and granting him his freedom, Pib knew it was all for show. If he didn’t escape now, Geraint would get him alone and force him to sign another contract and then make some sort of bogus announcement about how Pib wanted to stay.

Pib snorted, unable to help himself. Luckily there was no one else around the castle at this time of the night, though even if there was, Pib didn’t care. He was leaving, and no one was going to stop him. Anyone who tried would have a close encounter with his knife, or his claws, he wasn’t picky.

“Hey, Pib, where are you off to in the middle of the night?” asked the guard at the front door of the castle. Pib never bothered learning their names or getting friendly with them, especially since Geraint could force him to kill any of them at a moment’s notice. He’d learned that it didn’t pay for him to form any attachments with those surrounding Geraint.

“Getting an early start on my retirement,” Pib replied, smirking at the man while he continued to stroll toward the exit.

“Sorry, Pib, but I have to check. Do you have a signed letter from Prince Geraint?” The guard shifted from foot to foot, showing his unease.

Pib stopped in front of him and forced a smile. “Of course,” he said, carefully extracting the letter and handing it over to the guard.

He waited, watching the guard closely as he read the letter. One wrong move and Pib was going to gut him. Nothing could happen to that letter.

“Looks good,” the guard said, handing the letter back to Pib. “It’ll sure be different without you around, but all the best. And, uh, don’t take this the wrong way, but I hope I don’t see you again.”

Returning the letter to his pocket, Pib looked up and smiled a real smile at the man. He wanted to laugh when the guard’s face paled as he caught sight of Pib’s canines, but restrained himself. “Don’t worry, I hope never to see you again either.”

With that, Pib walked out of the castle and made his way through the sleeping village. Pulling his hood up, he used the dark material to blend into the surroundings. He wasn’t taking any chances that Geraint wouldn’t wake up any moment and send guards running after him. After all, Pib was practically friends with all of the skeletons in Geraint’s closet.

Pib reached the edge of the village and paused. After nine long years, he was finally free of Geraint, his orders, and most importantly, his shackle. The magical cuff that had decorated his right ankle for nine years had been removed after Geraint had signed his release. The cuff was the only thing ensuring Pib’s obedience, and finally, it was gone.

Taking a deep breath, Pib stepped over the invisible boundary line and felt the remaining enchantments shatter and disappear, leaving him standing as his true self for the first time in years. Reaching inside, he called out his inner cat to come out and play, and in seconds, his clothes disappeared and he was standing on all fours in his serval form. Stretching, he threw one last glance back at the castle and the village before slinking away into the trees, using the natural camouflage to shield him as he made his way toward the start of his new life.

Buy Links:

Rainbow Ninja Press
Rainbow Ninja Press – EU Customers

Goodreads

Giveaway:

Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway here

Rafflecopter Prize: PDF Copy of Pib’s Dragon

Author Bio:

Beany lives in Western Australia. She first started reading romance novels in 2008, but it wasn’t until January 2010 when her Kindle got delivered that the world of erotic romance opened its doors to her, and she hasn’t looked back. With suggestions and support from friends, her muse—”affectionately” known as PITA—was finally able to break free, and in January 2014 her first story was written. Since she can’t put PITA back in his box, Beany has decided to give in and team up with him.

Social Media Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/beany.sparks/
Twitter: @BeanySparks
Website: http://www.beanysparks.com/
Blog: http://www.beanysparks.com/blog/
Email: beany.sparks@gmail.com

 

 

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BLOG TOUR, EXCERPT AND GIVEAWAY! Close to You by Skylar M. Cates

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AboutTheBook

CloseToYou_CatesTITLE: Close To You

SERIES: Sunshine and Happiness: Book Three

AUTHOR: Skylar M. Cates

PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press

COVER ARTIST: AngstyG

LENGTH: 248 Pages

RELEASE DATE: March 28, 2016

BLURB: It’s hard to recover from a first love. Some people never do.

How hard would you fight to keep your best friend? Marc Lucas and Tomas Santos have been best friends forever, but now their friendship is in a crisis. When they were boys, betrayals ripped their world apart. They thought it was fixed, but some parts remained broken. Ever since he saved him from a humiliation at school, Marc has loved Tomas. The last thing he expects is for Tomas to love him back. To keep his best friend, Marc revisits an abusive past he’s tried to forget.

For Tomas, loving Marc has been anything but easy. His upbringing told him it was wrong, so why did it feel so right? Accepting who he is as an adult, Tomas decides he needs a committed relationship. To his deep sorrow, he can’t seem to find it with Marc.

When the two find themselves alone and in the grip of a hurricane, long-buried feelings emerge. Being “just friends” is no longer an option. They must risk it all on love.

Excerpt

Marc smiles widely. He trails kisses across Tomas’s shoulder, down to his stomach. Tomas murmurs something sweet that Marc doesn’t completely catch. He kisses his way back, his lips making promises of their own as he goes. Promises of a new future, of new faith in each other, of letting go of the broken parts.

Tomas beams. He grabs Marc’s face in his hands and gives him a swift kiss. “I’m so happy you’re here.”

Marc nods, unsure what to say.

“Want to share?” Tomas gestures to the blanket.

“What? You mean cuddle?”

“If you want to?”

“Um…”

Does he want that? Does he want to snuggle closer to Tomas, to share the blanket, their bodies nestled together? In many ways that sounds more intimate than what they had just done. Then he meets Tomas’s eyes. The same eyes Marc has looked into and trusted most of his life. Eyes that always look back at him with love.

“All right. It is a little cold in here.”

Tomas opens his mouth and then shuts it. They both know it is not cold at all.

Marc slides against Tomas.

BuyLinks

Dreamspinner Press (ebook)

Dreamspinner Press (Paperback)

Amazon US

Amazon UK

All Romance eBooks

Barnes & Noble

AuthorBio

Skylar M. Cates loves a good romance. She is quite happy to drink some coffee, curl up with a good book, and not move all day. Most days, however, Skylar is chasing after her husband, her kids, and her giant dog, Wasabi. Skylar dreams about spending her days writing her novels, walking along the beach, and making more time for her good friends. On a shoestring budget, Skylar has traveled all over in her early years. Although, lately, the laundry room is the farthest place she has visited, Skylar still loves to chat with people from all around the globe.

|| Website & Blog || Facebook || Twitter || Goodreads ||

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Winner’s Prize: An e-book from Skylar’s backlist

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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:: The Novel Approach :: Prism Book Alliance :: Bayou Book Junkie :: The Purple Rose Tea House ::

:: The Blogger Girls :: MM Book Escape :: Because Two Men Are Better Than One ::

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BLOG TOUR, EXCERPT AND GIVEAWAY! Compromised by Bailey Queen

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Release Date: January 11, 2016

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Tags: Erotic Romance, Gay, M/M

Length: Novel

 

 

Book Blurb

Murder in the country.

A one-night stand that refuses to end.

Ghosts from the past that return to haunt.

Special Agent Ben Diggs can’t stand what has become of his life, so much so that he hits the road one night, maybe to crash his bike, maybe to drive off into the night and never be heard from again. But he meets Tanner Bagley, a rancher from rural Pennsylvania in a hick dive bar, and sparks fly. For the first time since everything went to hell, he feels alive again.

Ben runs from his emotions as a rule, and he flees in the middle of the night, trudging back to his dreary life in Baltimore and his failing job as a FBI agent. But then his team is assigned to investigate a murder in that same backwater township in Pennsylvania where he met Tanner, and it’s a different set of sparks that fly when faces Tanner again.

As the bodies start to pile up, tensions flare, and Ben is stuck between teammates that question his every move and a devastatingly handsome rancher whose heart he bruised. The lies keep piling up, and Ben is forced to stake his career – and his very life – on the trembling hopes of his wounded heart.

Deep in the countryside, someone is hunting gay men in Middle Creek, Pennsylvania… Gay men all with ties to Special Agent Diggs’ one-night-stand…

Excerpt

Outside Gettysburg, on the highway halfway between the battlefield and nowhere, the tiny ranching township of Middle Creek boasted a one-stop diner and dive bar on its outskirts. Complete with an after-hours tack shop for all of your midnight ridin’ and ranchin’ needs, it was a neon oasis in an ocean of farmland. There was a mechanical bull in the back, and peanut shells and hay littered the split-wood floor. Wagon wheels and deer heads hung on the walls, as did Christmas lights. A rickety old karaoke machine belted tunes that were out of style the day they came out, decades ago. In one corner, a stage made up of leftover pallets bungee-corded together hosted the local talent—fiddlers, guitar strummers, and banjo killers—every Thursday evening.

On Fridays, it was “Prime Rib and Shrimp Special” night, and the diner was packed from four in the afternoon until eight in the evening. Afterward, only the drunks and the loners stayed, downing beers at the worn mahogany bar as bad Elvis covers droned amid twinkling Christmas lights and the buzzing glow of beer signs. Ben had been there once before, on another night when he just had to ride, to get away from everyone and everything. He hadn’t gotten drunk that night, but he’d been close. It was a modern miracle he’d made it home, and he’d stayed off the booze for a whole month after.

Tonight, he was going to get ripped. Look out, liver. Suit up, kidneys. Snorting, Ben tossed his keys into his helmet and cracked his neck. His eyes caught on his reflection in his mirrored visor. Messy dark hair, scruff that could only just be called a five o’clock shadow. Chapped lips turned down. And his eyes—God, when had he gotten so damn old? So damn worn down? His gray eyes were dead and dull, and he even bored himself. He spun his helmet around, banishing his reflection, and climbed off his bike. His jeans sighed, loosening around his balls and his thighs, and he unzipped his dark leather riding jacket as he strode into the bar.

Four other drunks tonight, two at the bar and two trading stories over mugs of beer at a back corner. They were old, at least one hundred and eighty four, and they had to be sharing memories of their time in the War of 1812. Were there Diggs dying in that war too? His pops had drilled him about their proud history, but for the life of him, he couldn’t remember which illustrious ancestor had sacrificed in that war.

Ben slid onto a barstool at the very end of the bar—a signal for leave me the fuck alone—and propped his helmet up so he couldn’t see himself. He clasped his hands together, leaning against the mahogany, and waited.

After a good fuck long of a while, the bartender stopped drying his glasses and wandered over. His gaze lingered on the helmet and then slid over to Ben’s raised eyebrows. He stopped just outside the edge of Ben’s “don’t fuck with me” bubble.

“What’ll it be?” Bored, the old man waited for Ben’s order with a sour twist to his lips.

“Yuengling. And keep them coming.”

The bartender nodded and wandered off, filling a pint glass with Ben’s beer before sliding it back down the bar to him. Ben flipped his credit card out to open the tab and cracked his neck again, rolling his head from side to side.

Three beers in, and more bad Elvis covers, the bells over the diner’s door jangled, announcing a newcomer to the fray. Ben shot a glance over his slumped shoulder.

Blond hair caught his eyes. He sat up straighter and tried to get a better look, all the while trying to appear like he wasn’t interested at all.

He had blond hair, cut short and trimmed neatly, and a long-sleeved, plaid flannel shirt stretched over a firm, muscled body. As he moved toward the bar, Ben noticed tight, faded, button fly jeans cupped a firm ass and hugged down tight legs—legs meant for gripping and riding, for wrapping around thick, powerful mounts and holding on. In scuffed work boots, he stopped before the bar and hooked one onto the leg of a barstool as he leaned forward, resting against the bar top.

Slowly, Ben’s gaze wandered up the newcomer’s body, and he came face-to-face with the man’s raised eyebrow and quiet smirk. “Hi,” the blond said, never dropping that damned smirk. “That your bike outside?” He jutted his chin toward Ben.

“Huh?” Ben frowned. He sat back, and his elbow jostled his helmet. Oh, right. His helmet. Dead giveaway and all, just like he was being. He straightened, tried for nonchalance. “Yeah. Just stopped in for a few.” He nodded to his beer and shut his damn mouth before he got into more trouble.

“You’re not from around here.” It wasn’t a question. Blondie pulled out the barstool next to Ben and plopped down, still smiling. His chocolate eyes laughed at Ben as he stuck out his hand. “M’name’s Tanner.”

Ben stared and then slowly took it. He shook once, but pulled back when he felt Tanner’s thumb stroke down the back his hand. “Ben.” He turned back to his beer.

Purchase Links

NineStar Press | Goodreads

 

Author Bio

Bailey Queen is the pseudo name of a romance and erotica author. It’s my secret identity in the publishing world online. 🙂

Bailey Queen is a romance author who has been writing fiction since 2001. She’s recently started writing under this pseudo-name and is having a great time doing so! She writes adventure, mystery, thriller, sci-fi, and fantasy, all with a LGBTQA angle. She likes to challenge conventions and provide readers with interesting characters and storylines. Bailey has lived around the world, and she loves to put places she’s lived/traveled into her stories!

You can find Bailey Queen on Amazon, Goodreads, or Facebook.

 

Giveaway

NineStar Press is hosting a Rafflecopter Giveaway to run for the duration of the tour. Prizes will include a $10 Amazon Gift Card and a credit for a free book from the NineStar Press website. Below you’ll find the code for your blog.

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Click here or the image to enter.

 

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BLOG TOUR, EXCERPT AND GIVEAWAY! Fistful of Lies by Helena Maeve

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Location, location, location

Where to set a novel is as important as figuring out who your main characters are going to be and what you’ll call them. Whenever I sit down to plot a story, staging and décor are among the first things I put to paper. Sometimes a few lines will be enough to give me a clear idea of the world I want. Other times, I venture to the Pinterest machine and start scrolling for ideas.

If anyone asks, yes, that hour (or six) of research is absolutely vital before I can start writing. Really.

My newest title, Fistful of Lies, was no exception to this rule.

Greece is a country I know well and I’ve wanted to set a story there for a long, long time. Because it’s me, though, I’ve chosen to turn a wonderful country rich with history into the backdrop of a twisted murder-mystery with shades of family feuds and high-octane romance.

In Fistful of Lies, the fictional island of Ligeia plays host to a colorful cast of characters whose entanglements are as knotty as they are deep and dangerous. Between Leif and his sister Petra, their friends and lovers, the promise of a lengthy summer holiday under the sun couldn’t be more appealing to freshly retired professor Reuben. That is, until someone only narrowly fails to bash a man’s head in.

Ligeia had to be a heavenly place. After all, that’s where you least expect horrible things to happen. It needed the luxury and history of the old villa, constructed by Leif’s father and inherited by his children—not unlike his work ethic and empire—as much as it needed the harsh lines of the newly erected modern guesthouse at the other end of the island.

And of course there had to be that blissful sense of lethargy, of unending sea and sky and summer that could really drive a man insane.

It was imperative that the island and all its secrets to beckon Reuben as an extension of the man he loves, but I also wanted it to the kind of place that takes its toll on Leif. Tacking on the whiff of a family mystery to a glorious paradise always helps to hint at the skeletons buried beneath the olive trees, I think.

And if my editor asks, yes, I did figure all this out by spending six hours on Pinterest.

 

About Helena Maeve:

Helena Maeve has always been a globe trotter with a fondness for adventure, but only recently has she started putting to paper the many stories she’s collected in her excursions. When she isn’t writing erotic romance novels, she can usually be found in an airport or on a plane, furiously penning in her trusty little notebook.

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Fistful of Lies Blurb:

If you wanted to, how would you kill your lover?

Freshly sacked from his professorship, Reuben could do without a month-long holiday on his boyfriend’s private island. But he may as well enjoy the perks while they last. As soon as details of his dismissal surface, he’s sure to wind up alone with his murder mystery fixation.

Born with a silver spoon firmly between his teeth, Leif Claeson is no stranger to loss. He and twin sister Petra could lose their father’s creaking multinational at any moment…unless they fulfil his last wishes to the letter. Then again, Leif has always been something of a wild card. He’d rather vacation with his lover than worry about the future. When a stranger crashes their holiday, Leif sees only the potential for blissful debauchery. Ruben disagrees.

Power and sex make for a potent cocktail and everyone in Leif’s inner circle has a stake in what becomes of this Hellenic paradise. As Leif and Reuben struggle to reconcile their feelings with the strange happenings on the island, a chain of events is set in motion that could endanger their very lives.

Reader Advisory: This books contains scenes of MMM ménage, drug use and murder.

 

Buy Link:

http://www.pride-publishing.com/book/fistful-of-lies

 

Excerpt from Fistful of Lies

Leif squeezed my hand. “How was your flight? Is this all your luggage?”

My guide had finally finished tying off the motorboat and was setting my single suitcase on the jetty. It was small enough to pass for carry-on on the plane, the plastic only slightly dented by hard use. I’d picked it up for a conference in California last year, before all the mess began. I tried not to think that I would never again be invited to speak at academic gatherings.

“I pack light,” I answered in the face of Leif’s arched eyebrows. “Speaking of my flight…”

Leif had the good grace to look slightly abashed. “Are you totally pissed off?”

Courtesy of his generosity, I had enjoyed a single aisle seat, champagne at take-off and landing, and a gourmet meal along the way. Pissed off wasn’t the right word for how I felt.

I slipped my hand into Leif’s. “I’ll make it up to you later.”

“You don’t have to…”

The tips of his ears colored as my gaze slid down his body.

“Oh. Oh. Yeah, okay.” He grinned. “Let’s get you settled in.”

In my relative ignorance, I’d assumed that Leif’s vacation home was a villa somewhere on the Greek Mediterranean coast, no different from the luxury bungalow in Maine or the chalet in Switzerland. That was before I’d discovered that my partner owned not just the house but the island it was built on, too.

He’d dodged my questions, describing the place first as a tiny island in a larger archipelago, then as one of his father’s poorer investments.

By the time I passed the White Gate, I knew better.

Coming in from Athens, I’d noticed the sheer size of the rocky islet. It was easily as large as neighboring Fleves, with pine-covered rocky outcroppings which that afforded only the occasional glimpse of white washed walls and blue-painted shutters. The forbidding natural gateway concealed a vast swath of pink sand, the slanted oval of the private beach dipping into the shimmering Mediterranean like a slip of gold cloth. Here and there, a forgotten towel buffeted by the warm breeze, drew the eye to signs of life.

“Everyone else has already arrived,” Leif reported, following my gaze. “They’re excited to meet you.”

“Are they?” I struggled to inject a cheery note into my voice. My hand was beginning to grow clammy in his grasp.

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Enter our December blog tour competition for the chance to win a free eBook from Pride Publishing: https://www.pride-publishing.com/december-competition

 

 

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Blog tour, Guest post and Giveaway! Craving Stains by Alina Popescu

Craving Stains Blog Tour

Title: Craving Stains

Author:  Alina Popescu

Length: novella

Genre: gay, gay fiction, science fiction, paranormal, gay romance

Publisher: Wayward Ink Publishing

Synopsis

Wynn Brenwood has been trapped by his mother since birth, shut away in a sterile, hospital-like apartment.

Is it her desire to keep him safe that sees him locked up in his pristine cage? Or are her motives less innocent and well-intentioned?

Craving Stains by Alina Popescu Cover

Wynn longs to break free to experience the world he sees beyond his window.

Desperate to escape, he meets Doyle, a handsome, leather-clad, and enigmatic stranger.

But is Doyle real, or is he just a figment of Wynnís imagination?

Book Trailer

Guest Post

A Story Is Born

My favorite part of writing is the tingle that starts in the back of your head as synapses come together to form an idea. Something – a random thought, a song you’ve heard, an image you’ve seen or that has just popped in your head – starts a tidal wave that grows and sweeps away everything. It’s then that the first faint flutters of a story take shape. As you stand there in awe, or walk down the street with music blaring in your ears, the skeleton is slowly covered by muscles and veins and skin, and once it’s all ready to take its first deep breath, its heart starts to beat. Tentatively at first, then stronger with every thump. Once it opens its eyes and lets you look inside, weaving threads together, dusting off hidden corners, making it all better, you know you’ve got another fictional baby to care for.

With a smile curving your lips and a certain delighted glint in your eyes, you rush to the first available keyboard or pen and paper and start writing it. As words flood the pages, the story becomes sharper, more defined, its population grows and it slowly finds its rightful way among the other tales you’ve created.

The sensation is always a little different, yet the thrill is just as powerful every time. So is the feeling of being grateful that your creative well is not dried up and still provides you with fresh nourishment. How will others see it? Will they love it as much as you? Will they understand the desperate rush to get it all out, to share it with them? If the story grips them, takes them prisoners while they read it, then they will.

As I am very visual when creating my stories, that initial phase when I sketch everything in my head, when the plot and characters step forward from the shadows, will always be my favorite. It’s like directing movies in your head with a bunch of very opinionated actors that sometimes demand you change the movie to take them where they were always supposed to be.

That does not mean I don’t enjoy every other aspect of writing: the struggle of doing justice to what I’ve seen, the cathartic moment when you write ‘The End,’ the editing and rewriting, the publishing, and the first readers sharing opinions. However, those first few pieces coming together in the beginning, giving spark to what will become my next story, will always make me the happiest.

Buy Links

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00UUE58SU/

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00UUE58SU/

Amazon AU: http://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B00UUE58SU/

Amazon DE: http://www.amazon.de/dp/B00UUE58SU/

WIP: http://www.waywardinkpublishing.com/product/craving-stains-by-alina-popescu/

ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-cravingstains-1766728-145.html

Giveaway

Prizes: 1 x $20 WIP Gift card and 3 x ebook copy of Craving Stains by Alina Popescu

About the author

Alina PopescuWriter, traveler, and coffee addict, Alina Popescu has been in love with books all her life. She started writing when she was ten and she has always been drawn to sci-fi, fantasy, and the supernatural realm. Born and raised in Romania, she finds her inspiration in books of all genres, in movies, and the occasional manga comic book. She is a proud geek who needs her fast Internet and gadgets more than she needs air.

Social Links

Site & Blog: http://alina-popescu.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/authoralinapopescu

Twitter: http://twitter.com/alina_popescu

Instagram: http://instagram.com/alinapopescuwriter

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/alina-popescu

Google+:  https://www.google.com/+AlinaPopescu

Amazon:  http://amazon.com/author/alinapopescu

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GUEST POST & GIVEAWAY: To Stand Close by Faith Ashlyn

FaithAshlin_ToStandClose_BlogTour_600x315_final Blurb for To Stand Close:

Can love grow and survive for two men on opposite sides of the deepest of chasms—slavery?

In this world, one country has cut itself off and is closed and mysterious to everyone else. What’s the secret it’s hiding? Magic? Monsters? No, just the cruel reality of slavery. But inside its borders life goes on as normal, and it competes with the rest of the world at sport just like everyone else, just to prove that it’s the best.

Nicky accepts that and is happy in his own small, simple life as a gymnastics coach. He accepts it because he’s never known anything else, but he stays as far away from the brutality of slavery as he can, until he’s given a present he doesn’t want and isn’t allowed to refuse.

As for love? Well, he loves his sport. Isn’t that enough?

Reader Advisory: This book contains scenes of slavery.

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GUEST POST

Where is it meant to be set?

The old saying goes write what you know and it’s good advice. It is so much easier to write without having to keep checking details of the time or place. I really admire authors that can do that but I find it too hard – or maybe I’m just too lazy.

I set my book Pathfinder during World War 2, in the RAF, but that didn’t require much new research. I’ve had an odd passion for WW2 planes for years. Oh the details I could bore you with about Spitfires, Mosquitoes or Lancasters. But I won’t because that’s mind-numbingly dull to anyone but me!

Pathfinder was really a case of writing what I knew but I can’t set everything then.

I could set stories in the here and now but that’s limiting. To be honest anywhere concrete is a bit limiting. There was only one thing to do: make up my own place. But that can bring its own problems with it. When I’m writing the blurb or cover art request it’s normal to say where a book is set. It’s an obvious detail, one that shouldn’t be too hard to answer. But for me it can be.

I write stories set…. somewhere. Nowhere.  Made up but not completely. I try to keep to the ‘write what you know’ advice so my places are very like here, with the same cultural references and general set up. They also all speak English because it would be way too difficult to write otherwise (I really am very lazy.)

In my book Knights and Butterscotch the world is like this one only there are still knights. They have tanks and machine guns instead of horses but they’re still brave and true. I had the best of both worlds writing that. I could write what I know, here and now, but change things so the possibilities are limitless.

I have written a few slave stories and they are also set in places like here but not quite – also not the same not-here place as each other. I took what I knew but added slavery, in different forms and realities.

My new book To Stand Close is a slave story. Again, they have the same language and culture as us but this time slavery is permitted by the very harsh government. I was thinking somewhere closed off from the rest of the world, with total state control like North Korea, only much, much worse. England under an evil regime.

But I didn’t want to write about the world, I wanted to focus on my two beautiful men finding each other. They would, of course, be affected by the world around them but it was their relationship that I was interested in. I wanted a dark exterior with a tiny, claustrophobic smudge of light where they were. I gave them a scruffy, cluttered flat to live in and a women’s gymnastics studio to work in.

My aim was to bring those two places alive and leave ‘outside’ shadowy, filled with danger and the unknown. I wanted the reader to feel the confinement of the walls, of the situation they are trapped in, to feel the pressure they are under without giving all the gory details of the world around them.

To Stand Close is out on now,. I hope you think I succeed in what I was trying to achieve.

 

Extract from To Stand Close:

For the first time the slave looked him straight in the face, hesitation and need warring in his eyes.

“Go on,” Nicky urged him, then turned away deliberately. It was silent for a long moment then there was the sound of the slave pouncing on the food and eating it with indigestion inducing speed. Nicky loaded the toaster again.

A wave of nausea suddenly hit him as he realized that this wasn’t allowed. The government would most certainly not approve of what he was doing. The slave was sitting at the table, while his owner cooked for him. No, there was no way that would be allowed. He could beat, rape and even kill his slave, but not do something for him. If some nosey-parker saw this and decided to report them… He pulled down the blind at the small window and went back to cooking.

When he’d filled the two plates, he put them on the table, along with mugs of coffee, and sat opposite the slave. The table was so small that the edges of their plates almost touched and their knees would have knocked underneath, if the slave hadn’t made way for Nicky. This time the slave didn’t start eating until Nicky did, and stopped when he did, so Nicky was careful to keep up a slow but continuous momentum.

GIVEAWAY

Enter Totally Bound’s March blog tour competition for the chance to win an eBook of your choice, not including boxsets or anthologies!

Embed link: http://www.totallybound.com/index.php?route=information/competition&competition_id=60&embed=1

Direct link: https://www.totallybound.com/march-blog-tour-giveaway

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About Faith Ashlin:

When Faith was clearing out her attic many years ago, she found a book she’d written as a ten-year-old. On rereading it she realised that it was the love story of two boys. Over the years her fascination with the image of beautiful young men, coiled together as they fell head over heels in love, became a passion for her.

Since that first innocent book—written in purple sparkly pen—she has written many stories, set in varied worlds, but always with two men finding their way to happiness.

Still nothing much has changed because now she can be found in a daydream, wandering around the supermarket, or sitting in a meeting at work still dreaming up stories.

BUY LINK

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