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BOOK BLAST: Drifting Sands by C.J. Baty

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Blurb

As he approaches his fortieth birthday, Justin Warfield feels alone, drifting like the sand that blows along the beach near his family’s hotel. He has done exactly as his father wanted. Married the right girl and carried on the family tradition of running the Warfield Hotel. On paper things seem perfect, but happiness hasn’t been a part of his life for a very long time.

Marcus Drummond once spent a summer with his best friend Peter at the Warfield Hotel and fell hard for Peter’s much older brother. Five years later he’s back, and this time hopes that Justin will see him as more than his kid brother’s friend.

Sparks fly when the two meet again, but there are a few things standing in their way. The closet that Justin has himself buried in and someone on a killing spree, dumping bodies on the Warfield beach . . . victims that indicate Justin may be involved in some way.

Excerpt

The night air was cool and damp as it blew off the ocean. Ian McAlister toed the sand where he stood, looking out into the darkness surrounding him. A soft glow filled the sky over the Warfield Hotel several hundred yards away. This was a public beach and closed at night, and the only sound was the soft lapping of the water against the shore.

Ian fingered the note in his pocket as he thought of the words he’d read over and over again since he’d received it.

Ian, I need your help. Please. Come to the Warfield and meet me on the beach at 10 p.m. on Friday evening. Theres a spot on the north end of the beach, just between the public beaches and the private beach of the Warfield. Theres a sign, meet me there. Dont tell anyone. Please, Ian, I need you.

Ian had not heard from Justin Warfield since Justin got married. It had been too hard to see each other as only friends. They’d each gone on with their lives. But for Ian, Justin Warfield was a hard man to forget, so when the letter arrived, his decision to come had been easy.

The sound of footsteps treading through the sand caused Ian to turn around. He was surprised to find a gun aimed at him.

“What are you doing?” Ian asked, but there was no answer.

He felt the pressure as the impact of the bullet pushed him back slightly. A searing pain knifed its way into his chest. He didn’t have time to run or even scream out. Darkness took him as he crumbled to the ground.

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Giveaway

Rafflecopter Prize: E-copy of ‘Drifting Sands’

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About the author

J. Baty lives in southwest Ohio with her very patient husband and two encouraging children. Her heart however, lives in the mountains of Tennessee where she hopes to retire some day. The mountains have always provided her with inspiration and a soothing balm to the stresses of everyday life.

The dream of writing her own stories started in high school but was left on the back burner of life until her son introduced her to fan fiction and encouraged her to give it a try. She found that her passion for telling a story was still there and writing them down to share with others was much more thrilling than she had ever expected.

One thing she has learned from life and she is often heard to say is: “You are never too old to follow your dream even if it takes you fifty years!”

Where to find the author:

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/CJ-Baty/344242482358480?fref=pb

Twitter: https://twitter.com/cbaty

Blog: http://cjbaty.blogspot.com.au/

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25547169-drifting-sands

Tour Dates & Stops: June 7, 2015

Parker Williams, Cate Ashwood, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, Bayou Book Junkie, BFD Book Blog, Happily Ever Chapter, Molly Lolly, Amanda C. Stone, MM Good Book Reviews, Mikky’s World of Books, Havan Fellows, Rainbow Gold Reviews, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Inked Rainbow Reads, The Hat Party, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Book Reviews, Rants, and Raves, Because Two Men Are Better Than One

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Guest Post: Meredith Shayne

 Today we are thrilled to welcome Meredith Shayne, author of Cutting Out.

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Aussies vs Kiwis

In my novel Cutting Out, Shane Cooper is an Australian living in New Zealand. In the book, Shane pretty much gets reminded that he’s Australian almost every time he leaves the house. Australians living in New Zealand are a bit of an oddity (because mostly New Zealanders go to Australia to live, not the other way around) and if you are one—as Shane is, and as I am—it’s a reality of life that you get reminded of that fact. You get reminded of it a lot.

Australians and New Zealanders have always had a bit of a sibling rivalry thing going on. We’ve fought in wars together, and even have a special acronym for our two armies—they are the ANZACs, the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps—and there’s even a phrase called the “ANZAC spirit”, which encompasses the courage, irreverence and ingenuity of the soldiers from both countries, demonstrating how similar we really are.

Similar or not, our favourite pastime is teasing the absolute stuffing out of each other.

There are a lot of arguments about ownership of things, with the origins of pavlova and the racehorse Phar Lap hotly contested. Australians have a reputation for stealing various famous Kiwis to claim as our own when they’re doing good things, people like Russell Crowe (although when he’s misbehaving neither of us wants him) and the band Crowded House. Although, the Crowded House thing is a controversial one, since the band’s singer, Neil Finn, himself a Kiwi, publicly announced that he considered Crowded House an Australian band, and stated that their song Four Seasons in One Day was about Melbourne, not Auckland as everyone in New Zealand assumed. His statement was played over and over in the news that day, and there was much rending of clothes and gnashing of Kiwi teeth. I have to tell you, that was one of the best days I’ve ever had in New Zealand, as I laughed and laughed and bathed in the flood of their bitter tears. 😉

We gloat over happenings on the sporting field whenever we can as well, rubbing victories in each other’s faces for as long as possible afterwards. While the All Blacks are generally unbeatable (I’ll have my Australian citizenship revoked for saying that, but it’s true), their cricket team, the Black Caps, are mostly terrible, especially against Australia. Our women’s netball teams are almost neck and neck, which makes for exciting games and an almost-equal chance for gloating opportunities.

I’ll leave you with a couple of videos, because nowhere is the Australian/New Zealand rivalry better displayed than in episode clips from the Flight of the Conchords TV show. And before you ask, no I do not own an Australian flag bedspread. I own an Australian flag oven glove, and an Australian flag singlet top.

Video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hoF_fa9TMDk

And a final video, just to show you how Aussies don’t hesitate to get their own back:

Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RenRILqwhJs

 

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Bottom Drawer Publications is proud to present Cutting Out by Meredith Shayne, a contemporary mm romance based in New Zealand.

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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.

Buy Links

The e-book is available for sale for $5.99 via the BDP Digital Shop

and other online booksellers.

Publisher Shop

Amazon US  /  Amazon UK  /  Amazon AU

Apple iBooks  /  All Romance

Barnes & Noble  /  Book Strand

Kobo  /  Smashwords

 

 

Blog Tour Giveaway

Paperback copy of Cutting Out

$10 BDP voucher

3 x Cutting Out 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/23280855-cutting-out

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On Booklikes:

http://booklikes.com/cutting-out-meredith-shayne/book,12925937

For more information:

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info@bottomdrawerpublications.net

 

About the Author

A scientist in a past life, these days Meredith Shayne mainly uses her scientific training to poke holes in television pseudoscience. Originally from Australia, she moved to New Zealand to start a new life a few years ago and hasn’t regretted it for one minute, even if she frequently wishes that the New Zealand weather was a little better; if she’s forced, she’ll admit that the refreshing lack of animals that can kill you in New Zealand makes up for a little rain.

 

Meredith travels a lot, so much so that she has developed a shameful love of airplane food and knows her passport number by heart. When she is at home, she enjoys baking, horrible music from the 1980s, reality television, and gloating any time Australia thrashes the living daylights out of New Zealand on the sporting field.

 

Find Meredith at her website:

www.meredithshayne.com

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BLOG TOUR with Guest Post, Excerpt, Review and GIVEAWAY: Stealing Serenity by Tami Veldura

 

Today we are pleased to  welcome Tami Veldura, to share with us about her new book, Stealing Serenity,  and give us a bit of a glimpse into the character of  Daniel.

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Stealing Serenity

by Tami Veldura

Publisher:  Bottom Drawer

Book Details: Novella

Genre: Erotic MM Suspense

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Thank you to Nic for inviting me to post! I’m here to celebrate the release of my latest book, Stealing Serenity. It’s a 25k romantic suspense about a photographer and a thief.

Daniel, the thief, is trying to steal a photograph that recently sold for millions of dollars at auction, but he doesn’t know who bought it. To find out, he goes to work for the man who owns the auction house, Kearin Gerard.

Kearin is a business owner and amateur photographer. He hires Daniel, but truthfully he wants to see him model for a new portfolio project. Below is a phonecall between Daniel and his mother after the second modeling session Daniel has with Kearin.

It is canon to the story.

A transcript of a conversation between Daniel & his mom.

–//–

Daniel: Mom, it’s me–

Mom: Oh, good! I just made the best crepes for dinner. Are you in town?

Daniel: Sorry, not this time.

Mom: That’s a shame. Your father is hoping you’ll spend the christmas holiday with us, though. Do you know if you’re free?

Daniel: Mom, it’s July. I’m not even sure what I’m doing in August.

Mom: We just miss you.

Daniel: I miss you too. Anyway, stop worrying about six months from now. I’m calling to wish you a happy birthday.

Mom: Aww, aren’t you the sweetest thing. Your father took me out for breakfast at that dimsum place I like.

Daniel: Did you have fun?

Mom: I did! Enough about me, is work keeping you busy?

Daniel: You know I can’t talk about it.

Mom: I’m not asking for government secrets. I just want to be sure you’re happy. You like what you’re doing?

Daniel: Yes. I’m having a lot of fun. There’s a good nightlife here.

Mom: Oh, have you met any cute boys?

Daniel: Mom…. Yes, I’ve met a guy, he seems to like me.

Mom: Of course he does.

Daniel: Mom–

Mom: You’re fabulous, Danny, don’t argue. When are you bringing him home?

Daniel: Ha. We’ve only been on two dates. That’s not even enough to call it a relationship.

Mom: That’s practically married–

Daniel: Mom!

Mom: You’re my only child, I can’t leave this world without walking you down the aisle.

Daniel: Your cardiologist says you have the heart of a thirty-year-ol– hey! Who said I was doing the walking? Maybe he’s walking to me!

Mom: You, pass up a chance to flaunt that figure? Hahaa!

Daniel: I don’t flaunt.

Mom: Haha! Ohhhh, I love you.

Daniel: Love you too, Mom.

Mom: Call after seven next time so you can speak with your father. Hehe. Ohh… that was good…

/disconnected

Daniel: …I do not flaunt.

–//–

The Blurb…

“Serenity,” a photograph worth four million dollars, was sold at auction to an anonymous bidder, and stealing it will represent the largest payday Daniel will have ever had. To make that happen, he poses as a photography curator to attract the attention of Kearin, the auction house owner.

Kearin takes Daniel under his wing to work in the non-profit branch of his business, but it’s a cover for his desire to see Daniel naked, bound, and needy for the camera. Kearin has a client interested in a very specific portfolio—filling the request would put him at the top of his field.

Daniel thinks he can use the modeling to get closer to “Serenity.” What he doesn’t expect is to fall for Kearin’s brand of intensity instead. So does he go for the photograph or Kearin’s heart? He wouldn’t call himself a master thief if he couldn’t steal both.

Excerpt…

“Night.” With Justin’s fading footsteps, the office took on a half-asleep mood. Daniel’s computer and the warm light that seeped from Kearin’s closed office door lingered as the only signs of life. Each day this week, he stayed later: fifteen minutes here, twenty minutes there. He didn’t want to appear too eager to work into the night, but until his boss left the office, Daniel couldn’t make any progress.

Daniel checked the clock. Seven. He could push it until seven thirty.

Daniel gathered the photos and a small box of pins. The wall Justin spoke of stood bisected by Kearin’s warmly lit door. To the left hung a hundred grayscale photographs of the city. Rundown buildings, stray animals, forgotten public spaces overgrown with invasive vines, all opportunities for the charity branch of Gerard Photography to step in and help. Daniel added to the scattered images. He pinned the photographs from his handful in no specific order and placed unrelated images next to each other for bigger impact. He needed to pick another project from this wall, soon.

To the right of Kearin’s door hung the same places in the city after a completed project. Colored photos organized in perfect columns for easy browsing. Daniel carefully aligned the latest additions. To kill time, he admired some of the older photos.

He heard Kearin’s chair roll back. Daniel jumped back to pinning new photos and glanced at his watch. Seven twelve. Kearin flicked his light off and paused at the threshold of his office. Daniel had to focus on pinning a photograph—his sunflowers—or stare. No one would call Kearin particularly attractive. His nose had a bump, his chin a cleft, and he tended to neglect the need to blink. It all resulted in a look of fierce attention even at rest, and his powerful command of personal space just emphasized the impression. Kearin was not a man to take lightly. The utter opposite of a characterless employee.

Daniel felt his heart thump and repressed the sensation ruthlessly. Just because this man silently pushed all his buttons didn’t mean he could run about half-cocked on a dopamine high from proximity. He had a theft to pull off. A cover to maintain.

“Well timed, Daniel. I wanted to speak with you.” That flutter of butterflies had nothing at all to do with Kearin’s don’t-question-me deep voice. He appeared to be locking his office door, but Daniel knew that assumption could be deceiving. He set his pin back in the box and gave Kearin his full attention. “The gallery at Vault Seventeen, I was impressed with the way you organized the showing.”

Daniel felt his eyes wrinkle with pride but locked down any other sign of acknowledgement. That gallery’s entire purpose was to intrigue Kearin into offering Daniel a job here at Gerard.

“I’ve seen several of those photos before, but you offered an interpretation I hadn’t thought of, something more subtle, I think . . .” Kearin turned to face him, intense attention without filter. Like looking into the heart of a volcano. “I’d like to get your opinion on a portfolio I’m working on. There’s a certain aesthetic I’m going for, but I’ve been staring at the images too long to see it anymore. I’d like your help.”

“This is a portfolio for the business?”

“No.” Kearin’s smile held secrets. “It’s a personal project I’ve been building on for a while.”

Daniel jumped at the chance to get closer to Kearin, and not just because it opened more doors for his ultimate goal. “I’d be happy to review it.”

“Splendid. I’ll bring it in tomorrow.” Kearin put his hand on Daniel’s shoulder as he passed. “Don’t stay too late.”

Daniel inhaled the scent of spice Kearin left behind, trying to separate his desire from the sharp logic necessary for his true task: tracking down and stealing the most expensive photograph sold at auction. Four point three million dollars worth of ink on archival paper, and Gerard Photography had hosted the sale to an anonymous bidder.

Daniel took his time straightening the new column of photographs. He listened intently to Kearin’s progress down the front steps. The pause while he made it from building to parking lot. The low purr of an Audi A4 idling imperiously into traffic. He was alone. Daniel set the last image on the wall.

He closed the box of pins and felt his heart settle. His anticipation shifted from charged sexuality to professional intent. From his cheap suit’s inner pocket he pulled a pair of medically thin black gloves and a key that didn’t appear to have any teeth. He slipped the gloves up his wrists. The key he aligned in Kearin’s office lock. He swiped a stapler from Kathy’s desk and smacked the key in, bumping the lock open.

Daniel returned the stapler and took a look at the office. Two chairs, a desk, one file cabinet, curtains shading a wall-sized window. Photos peppered every vertical surface, pinned or held up with magnets. All Kearin’s work. Daniel sat at the desk first. Nothing rested on the surface. Just the computer. Daniel turned it on and investigated the file cabinet while he waited for it to boot up.

Even this was almost empty. Meticulous labels made it clear Daniel wouldn’t find any information about previous auctions here. He turned back to the computer. A password cursor blinked patiently. Daniel fished for the other device in his suit pocket: a data drive so small the connector took up more than half its length. He found a port at the back of the computer tower and plugged it in. The monitor blinked once, only briefly.

Daniel shut the computer down completely.

He set the chair back where he found it, double-checked all the drawers he opened, and quietly locked the door on his way out.

 What did I think?

I enjoyed this story, more for the intrigue and mystery, than for the romance. If I’m perfectly honest, I didn’t really feel a huge passion between the main characters of Daniel and Kearin but certainly got sucked into seeing how their relationship panned out.

The strength of the book is in the attention to detail that gave a sense of realism to Daniel’s activity as a master thief. The references to the small things–such as Daniel being aware of the presence of layers of dust showing no-one was likely to find his hidden devices–and the other information given, gave enough insight into Daniel’s profession to be interesting.

The book does have mystery and gets you thinking. Why is the painting worth so much? Where is it and who bought it? Will Daniel get caught and if so, what does this mean? There’s an interesting element introduced with Daniel’s modelling for Kearin’s very special photo collection and the suspense of what this means for Daniel’s plans to steal the Serenity.

Overall, I was engaged by the story and keen to see the resolution. I would be very interested to see a sequel to this story as I finished the book eager to see where Daniel and Kearin’s potential relationship could lead them. It would be good to see a story with more of them as a couple with more interaction between the two characters and definitely a progression to the next level.

 

Author Extras to check out:

Quiz and Giveaway (http://www.tamiveldura.com/2014/07/stealing-serenity-quiz-and-giveaway.html)

Fiction: Grand Theft, Case 6742 (http://www.tamiveldura.com/2014/07/free-fiction-grand-theft-case-6742.html)

Giveaway!

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Click here or on the image to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway! 

Rafflecopter Prize: 3 x Stealing Serenity e-books. $5 BDP voucher

 

Release Day:  July 5th

Tour Dates:  July 5th – 12th

 

About the Author

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Tami Veldura is a writer, reader, artist, and dreamer. She resides in sunny California and aspires to quit her day job and write full-time. Her stories are predominantly gay romance in a collection of subgenres spanning fantasy, science fiction, steampunk, paranormal, BDSM, and contemporary.

She also publishes adventure steampunk, fantasy, and science fiction stories suitable for all ages as S. T. Lynn.

 

Find Tami at her website:

www.tamiveldura.com

 

 

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Buy Links…

The e-book is available for sale for $2.99 via the BDP Digital Shop and other online booksellers

BDP Shop,  ARE , Amazon, B&N, – to come

 

 

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For more information:

www.bottomdrawerpublications.net

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★★★★ The Truth about Riley by Henrietta Clarke ★★★★

This book is gorgeous. It is a heart-felt story of how one man’s love finally convinces another of his beauty.

The Truth about RileyThe Truth about Riley by Henrietta Clarke

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The blurb…

Riley Aylworth’s life has been completely devoid of intimate contact since a fire three years ago left him with horrific facial scarring, so when he finds an ad for a phone sex service, he decides to give it a call. Except that the number is not a phone sex service—it’s the revenge Cameron Kirkwood’s ex-boyfriend took on the uptight advertising executive after Cam forgot their anniversary and accidentally put him in the hospital. Needless to say, after thirty-nine disturbing calls seeking phone sex, Cameron is at the end of his tether and yells at his fortieth caller. What he doesn’t expect is for Riley to hit redial and yell right back.

The argument helps both Cameron and Riley vent about their issues, and when they’ve calmed down, they decide to exchange numbers and talk again. From this decision springs a friendship that, over time, grows into a gentle romance—all over the phone, because Riley is too scared to meet Cam in person. Showing a potential boyfriend his disfigured face is the fastest way to get rejected, right? Even a month of scorching hot phone sex can’t change his mind, no matter how hard Cam tries to persuade him that with their phone chemistry, the sex would be so much better in person.

Meanwhile, Cam is haunted by the scarred blond he seems to be seeing everywhere, and Riley can’t get the handsome brunet who always seems happy to see him out of his mind. It’s a shock to both men to realise that the guy they’re falling for over the phone is also the man who brightens their day with just a smile; but it’s one thing to let a stranger smile at you and quite another to let him close enough to see into your soul. If Riley can’t break down the walls in his mind and believe that Cameron loves him in spite of his scars, their relationship may be doomed before they’ve even had a chance to kiss.

So what did I think?

This book is gorgeous. It is a heart-felt story of how one man’s love finally convinces another of his beauty.

Through a series of telephone conversations and over a period of months, Cameron and Riley share their thoughts and feelings and develop a deep connection. It is so easy to like both Cameron and Riley. Through conversations we learn that both men are intelligent and witty and kind.

But Riley is a haunted by his own face in the mirror and can’t believe anyone would be able to see past his scars. It is so sad and heartbreaking to read of him referring to himself as a monster. However this made it even more beautiful when Riley finally starts to understand how Cameron sees him…“You’re just the same as everyone else, Cam’s voice said in his head. You’re not a freak, not an outcast. You just need to find the right person to walk through life with. Your load may be heavier, but you don’t have to carry it alone.”

I appreciated the slow journey of the relationship, sure it was frustrating for the two to take so long to meet, but it made their final getting together so much more meaningful.

There are some very special romantic moments in the story and some beautiful ‘firsts’ – first touch, first kiss – but the most romantic element to me was towards the end of the book where Cam used songs to send special messages to Riley, messages about love, support and inner beauty.

Here are the songs if you are interested before reading the book.

The ending was wonderful as the trust and love shown by Cameron ensures Riley finally realises the truth and what is really important to him.

The author closes the book with mention of a continuation of Cam and Riley’s story in 2014 so something to look forward to! Yes, I would like to see more of them, particularly as they are now actually in the same room together! But I do feel that this book can be read very much as a standalone. The ending didn’t leave me feeling that anything was missing or unresolved.

4 Stars

To find out more about Henrietta Clarke and her books visit her website.

Buy The Truth About Riley from Amazon.

View all my reviews