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GUEST POST and GIVEAWAY! Young at Heart by Kay Ellis

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Title: Young at Heart

By Kay Ellis

Blurb

Devon Alexander is a wealthy successful businessman. The world is his oyster. In his work life he is decisive and in control. His private life is another matter.

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There, he doesn’t know if he is coming or going in his on-off relationship with Jesse Young, an unemployed aspiring model half his age.

Can Devon and Jesse overcome the obstacles and outside influences standing in their way? Can they leave behind their own fear and mistrust? Or will they be their own worst enemies?

Guest Post – In Search of Inspiration

I’m often asked what inspires me and I find that such a difficult question to answer. I always think every story starts with a ‘What If’. It can be a scene in a television programme, an overheard conversation, someone walking at the side of the road when I’m driving and there’s a part of me goes … what if? What if that person did this? What if this had happened? What if they met this person? It kind of steamrollers from there.

I have a photo on my laptop of a very handsome man. I have no idea who he is but the moment I saw that photo I knew I had to use him as a character. I even knew what I wanted to call him. It was just a case of finding the right story to put him in.

It was the same with my favourite place in Wales, the village of Sully outside Cardiff. I thought Sully would be such a great name for a character.

Not so long back, I think my writing was probably rather tame. But then I had an audience of one – my mum!  Then I read a little book called Fifty Shades of Grey, (purely to see what all the fuss was about, I swear!) and it gave me the confidence to write the way I really wanted to. I decided to stop being embarrassed and ashamed by sex scenes. So I stopped politely hinting that my characters might have done more than just hold hands and started showing them get down and dirty instead.

Around the same time, a television programme ran a competition to find a new ‘racey’ author. In a moment of madness, I sent something off and thought no more of it. So you can imagine my surprise when I finished in the top three! I had so much praise from people in the business, editors and authors such as (NAME DROPPING ALERT!) Jackie Collins and Victoria Fox. I think, for the first time, I gained a bit of belief in myself and it certainly encouraged me to keep writing.

The day of the final was the same day I heard a publisher had accepted my first short story and the rest – as they say – is history!

Excerpt

“You’re late.”
So much for a warm welcome. “I didn’t realize we had set a time.”
“Arthur prepared lunch,” Erica said, with a pointed look at her elegant wristwatch. “All gone to waste now, of course.”
“I’m sorry.” He was already regretting being there. It was always the same, Erica asking him to come out to the house just so she could give him a hard time. So she could moan about anything and everything and leave him feeling like a complete failure. “I slept in late.”
“Alone?”
Devon looked at her sharply. “Actually, yes. Why do you ask?”
“No reason.” She smiled coolly. “Although Antonio did mention you were going to dinner last night. I thought maybe he introduced you to someone more….”
“More what, Mother?”
“Suitable.”
“Than Jesse, you mean? You’d rather I was with some chinless wonder, obsessed with money and material belongings? Because that’s all Antonio’s friends have to offer.”
She crossed the room to stand by the French window, staring out over the immaculately kept lawn, another of Arthur’s jobs. It was written all over her face. She knew who Antonio was setting him up with last night and she obviously approved. Maybe it had even been her suggestion.
“Have you seen him?”
“Who?”
“That boy.”
He smiled softly, remembering the feel of Jesse’s body pressed against his. Throwing back his shoulders, he faced Erica defiantly. “I love him.”
“Oh, don’t be so stupid.” Erica snapped.
A stony silence filled the room as Arthur entered bearing a silver tray. He placed it on the glass coffee table and glanced warily from mother to son. Noting their icy expressions, he backed out of the room again without speaking. One of the reasons he made such a good butler was his unerring ability to keep his head down and mind his own business.
“Shall I pour?” Erica asked, reaching for the handle of the teapot.
“I mean it, Mother.” Devon was not about to let her ignore what he had said. “I love Jesse.”
“No.” Erica spoke so calmly it was chilling. “I won’t allow it.”
“You won’t allow it?” he echoed faintly. “Are you serious?”
Putting the teapot back on the tray with more force than was necessary, Erica glared at him coldly. “I put up with it when you decided you had no desire to be with a woman. I put up with the bitter disappointment of knowing you will never give me grandchildren. And I put up with the embarrassment of entertaining God only knows how many men you’ve dated, but not this time. This time, I will not put up with you keeping this boy in our lives. He’s scum, Devon, a dirty little gold-digger who’s only interested in your money. I won’t stand for it. I will do whatever it takes to stop him ruining your life.”

Buy Links

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00TE9XMRG
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00TE9XMRG
Amazon AU: http://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B00TE9XMRG
WIP: http://www.waywardinkpublishing.com/product/young-at-heart-by-kay-ellis/
B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/young-at-heart-kay-ellis/1121199078?ean=9781925222340
ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-youngatheart-1751435-149.html

Giveaway

Prizes: 1 x $20 WIP Gift Card and 1 x ebook copy of Young at Heart

Click here or on the image to enter the Rafflecopter

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About the author

Kay-Ellis-300x300Kay Ellis lives in rural Oxfordshire in the UK, where sheís mum to two beautiful daughters. From an early age, she has written stories, with a sole readership of one ñ her mum, Sylvia. In 2013, someone suggested Kay enter a competition on national television to find a new ëracey readsí author. Much to Kayís surprise, she made it to the final three, and although she didnít win, the high praise received for her work gave her the confidence to start submitting to publishers.

When not writing, Kay enjoys reading, eating out and the theatre.

Social links

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kay.ellis.79274
Twitter: https://twitter.com/KayEllisAuthor

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EXCERPT: Young at Heart by Kay Ellis

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Blurb

Devon Alexander is a wealthy successful businessman. The world is his oyster. In his work life he is decisive and in control.

His private life is another matter.

There, he doesn’t know if he’s coming or going in his on-off relationship with Jesse Young, an unemployed aspiring model half his age.

Can Devon and Jesse overcome the obstacles and outside influences standing in their way? Can they leave behind their own fear and mistrust? Or will they be their own worst enemies?

YoungAtHeart-waywardink-smallpreview

Excerpt

GRADUALLY the harsh sound of ragged breathing abated; heart rates slowed; sweat cooled on skin. Devon Alexander shifted beneath his lover, twisting his head so he could see the clock on the wall. Ten minutes to his next meeting. What would his clients think if they could see him now? The CEO of Alexander Industries—tremendously rich and powerful businessman, well-known public figure, feared and respected alike—bent over his desk, his trousers round his ankles, and a young Adonis buried balls-deep inside him. His clients knew he was gay, had no problem with it, but there was a limit to how much he could shove it in their faces.

Fucking in the office during work hours was risky at the best of times. Normally Devon was against it, but when Jesse showed up, looking all sexy and gorgeous, the temptation was too much. Once Jesse started whispering in his ear all the things he wanted to do, professional ethics went out the window. But, hey, Devon was the boss. If he couldn’t fuck in the office when he felt like it, what good was being in charge?

Reluctantly he pushed himself upward and back in an attempt to dislodge Jesse, who groaned and wrapped his arms tightly around Devon’s waist. Devon gasped in surprise, chuckling as Jesse began to harden again inside him.

“We don’t have time for this,” he said sharply, sliding out from underneath the other man with difficulty, given Jesse seemed reluctant to let him go. “I have a meeting.”

Devon pulled down his shirt and straightened his tie before bending to retrieve his underwear and trousers. Once dressed, he lifted his hands to his head, checking his hair. Vain, maybe, but he had an image to protect. All the while, he covertly watched Jesse tuck his rather impressive manhood into tight white boxer briefs and zip up the fly of his jeans. Jesse glanced up to catch Devon watching and a smug smile spread across his handsome face.

“Shit, did we even lock the door?” Devon asked suddenly, trying to remember if there had been time to turn the key in between Jesse walking into the office and them ending up sprawled half-naked across the desk. Emily, his personal assistant, was terribly efficient, but she was a shy, quiet girl and he hardly dared think what effect it would have on her if she saw Jesse in all his glory. “What if Emily had come in?”

“She wouldn’t have,” Jesse said confidently.

“Really? What makes you so sure?”

“I told her not to.”

Buy Links

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Amazon AU

WIP

B&N

ARe

About the author

Kay Ellis lives in rural Oxfordshire in the UK, where she’s mum to two beautiful daughters. From an early age, she has written stories, with a sole readership of one – her mum, Sylvia. In 2013, someone suggested Kay enter a competition on national television to find a new ‘racey reads’ author. Much to Kay’s surprise, she made it to the final three, and although she didn’t win, the high praise received for her work gave her the confidence to start submitting to publishers.

When not writing, Kay enjoys reading, eating out and the theatre.

Social links

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kay.ellis.79274

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Helmorg

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Short stories from the DSP 2013 Daily Dose: Make a Play (PART 4)

The Daily Dose from Dreamspinner Press is a collection of themed short stories  released every day in June. The 2013 theme is sport.

Nothing fires the blood like a little friendly competition. Anything from a meeting of the minds to full-body contact, these men are making a play. There are no losers in the game of love.

The stories in this review include:

  • Pouring a Brick by Tray Ellis
  • Out of Left Field by Raine Norman
  • Heart of the Race by Mary Calmes
  • Ice Heart by Kay Ellis
  • Late-Innings Home Run by Stella K Jefferson
  • Love’s Cabers Tossed by Ari McKay

Pouring a Brick (2013 Daily Dose: Make a Play)Pouring a Brick by Tray Ellis

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

High-energy Spence joins a Brazilian jiu-jitsu school looking for adventure. Will is already a calm, advanced practitioner of the gentle art when they meet, and he takes the new student under his wing. After training for a tournament, Spence realizes that relaxing into the flow works great for channeling his energy at competitions and for life in general, but when it comes to taking a chance on Will, pushing the boundaries may be the only way to take their friendship to the next level.

So what did I think?

An interesting spin on the sport theme using the world of jiu-jitsu. There is a slow building of relationship even though Spence and Will are attracted to each other pretty much from the beginning.

The story tells of the mental state required to perform well at jiu-jitsu, the control and relaxation required to better your opponent. Spence is new to the sport and pretty tense but very focused on learning the skills required. Under Will’s instruction and with his support, he starts to relax and to see changes in his ability which also roll over into his view on life.

From initially thinking that Will wouldn’t be into him and he was best just focusing on making friends and getting better at the sport, he finally makes his move. It was great to see Spence as the one making the move on Will rather than the other way around.

There is a little sex in the story but it must be the most non-explicit sex scene I have ever read. You can figure out what is happening without anything really being described other than a bit of touching but this seems to suit these characters.

3 Stars

Out of Left Field (2013 Daily Dose: Make a Play)Out of Left Field by Raine Norman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

Concierge Jake Wentworth rues the day he got involved with Mikey, his coworker and cheating ex-lover. Already in a foul mood, a rude guest further puts him off his game. Jake realizes there is more to Billy Smith than his first impression when they accidentally meet while jogging the next morning. When they hit it off over coffee and sightseeing, Jake worries his battered heart will be in for more pain, but Billy is determined to make something more of their relationship.

So what did I think?

I really enjoyed this story. Sure, it seemed totally unrealistic but I was reading for a bit of escapism anyway!

The comments below are spoilerish

It seemed unrealistic that Jake wouldn’t have discovered who Billy was before the big reveal, but I love this type of plot. Insta-love and the ‘everyday’ guy falling for the celeb without knowing who he is. Add that the celebrity is willing to come out for the guy and all boxes are ticked.

I also liked the attention to detail with the English and American spellings such as ‘ass’ versus ‘arse’ and a couple of expressions that were used in the conversation.

A sweet and enjoyable short story.

4 Stars

Heart of the Race (2013 Daily Dose: Make a Play)Heart of the Race by Mary Calmes

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

Varro Dacien spends his life riding toward the next adventure. Brian Christie, his best friend and touchstone, the one person who’s always truly seen him, plays sidekick on these madcap adventures and subsequent trips to the hospital until he can’t take it anymore. While Brian can see Varro, Varro has never caught on that he’s breaking his best friend’s heart.

Without Varro, Brian builds himself a life that’s all about just getting by, doing his best to ignore the hole in his heart and his life. Without Brian to balance him, Varro pushes harder and takes more risks to reach that ultimate high. His job racing high-octane bikes on suicide-level courses makes it easy to get that rush… until it’s no longer enough and Varro realizes it’s not the race, but who’s waiting at the finish line that truly matters. Now he just has to convince Brian to be there.

So what did I think?

Something in this story just worked perfectly for me! Maybe it was the hot and gorgeous, motorcycle rider Varro with his need for speed? Maybe it was the wonderful Brian, an all round nice guy and so secretly in love with his best friend? Maybe it was Mrs Dacien, opening her heart, home and family to take the young Brian in? Maybe it was because of the lovely happy ending? Maybe it was just because Mary Calmes writes a fabulous sex scene! Regardless of the reason, loved it!

5 Stars

Ice Heart (2013 Daily Dose: Make a Play)Ice Heart by Kay Ellis

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

Jack Holloway loves two things: Aaron Stone and hockey. Unfortunately, he refuses to acknowledge the first and lets his temper rule the second. He’s turned his life into a list of “can’ts.” He can’t talk with his parents, can’t hold down a job, can’t stay out of trouble, and can’t let go of his reputation as a tough guy on the ice—even if it might cost him his career. Most of all, he can’t admit he has fallen in love with another man. If Jack doesn’t knock that chip off his shoulder, he’s going to lose it all. If he can accept himself and Aaron and stop hiding, he might be able to finally win something bigger than a timeout in the penalty box.

So what did I think?

For a short story, this was an enjoyable gay-for-you, a quick look into a major turning point in the life of Jack.

An encounter with his best friend Aaron starts Jack questioning his true feelings. But of course he tries to deny how much Aaron means to him. Toss in Jack’s fighting on the ice and his inability to hold down a job and there are dramas galore for Jack.

The main thing going for this story was the last scene where Jack tells Aaron that he is the man he wants. I don’t think this is a spoiler cause we all knew they were going to get together anyway! 🙂

3 Stars

Late-Inning Home Run (2013 Daily Dose: Make a Play)Late-Inning Home Run by Stella K. Jefferson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

Widower Jay Parker hasn’t seen his high school boyfriend, Craig Myers, in thirty-five years—not that they ever used the word “boyfriend.” When Craig turns up at a baseball game where Jay’s seventeen-year-old son is playing, Jay discovers the old attraction is still alive. It feels natural to invite Craig home to catch up, but reigniting their flame isn’t easy for anyone involved.

So what did I think?

Pretty short but doesn’t feel rushed. It is great to see a story that is focused on older characters. It’s a nice set-up too.

Jay and Craig had been together in high school but gone their separate ways. One married (for love) and had a family and the other had a long-term relationship with a man. They are both now alone, Jay losing his wife in an accident and Craig losing his partner of decades to cancer. Now 35 years later, Jay and Craig meet up again.

I loved the way Jay doesn’t classify himself – love is love – he loved Craig and he loved his wife. I loved the way Craig had a committed relationship. I liked the way these older men were able to have a really hot sexual encounter and they just seemed to click, almost like they were meant to be. I liked the handling of Jay’s son’s response to seeing his Dad kissing another man.

All-in-all I really enjoyed this story and would have actually liked to see a longer book, further exploring this concept of love the second time around.
4 Stars

Love's Cabers Tossed (2013 Daily Dose: Make a Play)Love’s Cabers Tossed by Ari McKay

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The blurb…

At the Coastal Carolina Highland Games, baker Martin Fletcher receives an unexpected visitor in the form of Fergus, Lyall McLannan’s escaped sheltie. When Fergus accidentally causes Martin to sprain his ankle, Lyall comes to the rescue, helping Martin run his booth at the Games. Unfortunately, Lyall doesn’t know a thing about baking, but he manages to avoid both disaster and Martin’s wrath by attracting patrons with his and Fergus’s showmanship.

Martin accepts Lyall’s invitation to stay in his RV during the fair, getting to know the lawyer-turned-Highlander he’s watched from afar. Martin is captivated by Lyall’s charm… and the tantalizing view of him in a kilt. Entranced by Martin’s dedication to his work and love for Fergus, Lyall sets out to woo him with starlight and bagpipe music, because he’s discovered opposites can attract and love can be found in the most unexpected circumstances.

So what did I think?

This story had so much promise – an interesting location, a unique sport, very individual characters and a cute dog – but somehow just didn’t do it for me as much as I thought it would.

Lyall is big and strong and wonderfully protective of the smaller and more serious Martin. Martin is shy but Lyall brings out something in him which allows him to come out of his shell. However, I struggled to feel the connection between the two, most likely because I didn’t overly warm to Lyall in a romantic sense. I thought he was kind and caring but something about him called out ‘old man’ to me – I think it was the way he spoke and language used (such as calling Martin ‘laddie’). I know he was Scottish but way he spoke reminded me of an old man and therefore I had trouble picturing him with Martin. Other readers may not have this problem.

And I still don’t fully understand the sport of caber tossing. Guess I will check out Google!
3 Stars

Buy a book from the series from Amazon. (Select the 2013 Daily Dose: Make a Play link)

View all my reviews