Posted in Blog Tour, Excerpt, Guest Post, Home, Promotions

~Blog Tour~Guest Post, Excerpt & Giveaway~See My Words by Melanie Hansen~

 

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We are happy to welcome  Melanie Hansen today on our blog to celebrate the new book 

See My Words (Spectrum Nights #2) 

Melanie answers a few questions for us and also offering an Excerpt and a great Giveaway.

Check out this fantastic book, read the Excerpt & Guest Post and grab your copy today!
Don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

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34664374Title: See My Words
Series: Spectrum Nights, book 2
Author: Melanie Hansen

Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: April 24
Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 101300
Genre: Romance, angst, family drama, friends to lovers,
hurt/comfort, model (ish), Photographer/photojournalist,
reunited, step brothers


Add to Goodreads 

~Synopsis~

Successful underwear model Scott Ashworth is lucky—his attack at the hands of an unknown assailant will leave no visible scars. His professional goals are still within reach, and best of all, his stepbrother Rylan Mahoney is back in his life, their teenage infatuation, at last, getting the chance to deepen into something more.

Thrown together by the circumstances of Scott’s injury, Rylan’s long-dormant feelings for him are quickly rekindled, though he’s haunted by the memory of Scott’s disappearance on the night of his eighteenth birthday and the six missing years that followed. Rylan pushes Scott for the truth, a firm believer in the maxim that secrets lose their power once they’re shared—but resurrecting old demons almost always comes with a price.

Before Scott knows it, his life is spiraling out of control, his toxic insecurities welling up to threaten the fragile relationship he’s building with Rylan. Learning to let go of the past and believe in himself will be Scott’s greatest challenge, or else he risks losing Rylan forever this time.

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~⇓Read Reviews⇓~

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~Excerpt~

Excerpt
See My Words
Melanie Hansen © 2017
All Rights Reserved

Scott stared at the image. All three of his half-brothers were sitting at one of the bar’s high tables, Donna standing behind them with her arms around their shoulders. They were clustered close together, leaning on each other, beaming.

“Whoa, they’re so big. And they look really happy.”

“They are.”

“When was this taken?”

“Right before I moved out here. In fact, I stopped in Pace on the way just to see them.”

Scott tore his eyes away from the picture to stare at Rylan. “So you’re still in touch with them? With the boys?”

Rylan nodded. “I am, yeah. We’re friends on Facebook, and we text sometimes. They’re great kids.”

Scott was silent for a moment. “What about the baby? Cara? Is she—”

“Still with Heather? Yes.” Rylan’s voice was soft. “The picture you saw that first day in my apartment? That was the last time I saw them, when I went up to visit Cara before finals.”

“So you talk to—her? Heather, I mean.”

“Sometimes. Not often.” Rylan touched the scar on his cheek almost absently, and his eyes took on a haunted look. “When she and my dad split up, Scott, it was…ugly.”

Scott’s stomach roiled, and the puree he’d just drunk surged back into his throat. He grasped Rylan’s wrist, drawing his startled glance.

“Did Heather give you that scar?” he demanded. “That fucking bitch—”

Rylan gasped. “No!” he exclaimed. “She’s never, ever touched me.”

Scott released him, studying the scar before tracing it lightly with his thumb. It was high on Rylan’s cheekbone, small, but white and jagged.

“You can’t tell me that’s always been there, Ry. I would have noticed it before.” Would have noticed it back when he used to map every inch of Rylan’s face with his lips as they lay entangled together in his narrow bed. “Who did this?”

A pause. “My dad.”

The answer was so unexpected that Scott reared back in disbelief. “You’ve got to be kidding me,” he croaked. “Bob—hit you? Bob?” He couldn’t wrap his mind around it. Gentle Bob, who adored his son beyond reason, hit Rylan so hard he’d left a fucking scar? “What the hell happened?”

Rylan wrapped his arms around himself, hunching over. “While my dad was gone on one of his over-the-road jobs, Heather went out with her friends one night, got drunk, and brought home a man. But this time the dude didn’t fuck and run; he stayed for the weekend.”

“Holy shit. And your dad caught them.” Scott’s voice was hushed.

Rylan gave a jerky nod. “He walked in on them, in bed. I could hear them through the wall, and I’ll never forget the anguish in his voice as he demanded to know what exactly it was he was seeing. Heather was pleading with him, and the other guy was trying to tough it out. Lots of yelling, lots of crying—”

Rylan surged to his feet and started to pace. “The other dude finally left, and my dad and Heather kept fighting. I could hear them in the living room. I was gonna stay the fuck out of it until I heard Cara crying. So I went out there.”

Rylan’s chin trembled, but he pressed his lips together, breathing hard through his nose until he regained some control. “Heather was on the couch bawling, and Cara was wrapped around her leg. My dad was losing it, and when he saw me, he got up in my face. ‘Has this happened before, Rylan?’ I had no fucking clue what to say, and I guess my hesitation was his answer, because the next thing I knew, I was on the floor, my cheek on fire.”

He touched the scar, his eyes awash with the tears he was refusing to let fall. Scott ached to take him in his arms, but instead he jammed his hands in the loose pockets of his sweatpants, his fists clenched.

“My dad stood over me and screamed, ‘How many times? Why didn’t you tell me?’ He just kept saying that,” Rylan went on hollowly. “I had a cut on my cheek from a ring he was wearing. Blood was everywhere, dripping from my chin, getting in my mouth—” He licked his lips as if remembering the rusty taste on them. “—and all I could do was say, ‘I’m sorry, Dad.’”

“Jesus.” Scott’s curse was heartfelt.

“He was hurting, Scott, looking for someone to blame, and I was there. I was right there.”

“Why the fuck didn’t he blame the one who deserved to be blamed?” Scott snarled, taking his hands out of his pockets and slamming them down onto the couch cushions.

“He told me later that blaming her was too much like blaming himself, that he didn’t want to think about it being his fault. He wanted it to be someone else’s fault, even mine. After he hit me, he left and drove away. Heather helped me up, washed the blood off my face, and glued the gash shut with this liquid skin stuff she had. She wasn’t crying anymore, and she seemed really calm. It helped me calm down.”

His shoulders were so bunched and tense Scott couldn’t help but get up to put his hand on Rylan’s back, gratified when he seemed to take comfort in the soothing touch.

“What happened then?” he whispered, stroking the nape of Rylan’s neck with his thumb.

A quiver ran through Rylan’s body. “She put Cara to bed, and then we sat out on the porch together the rest of the night. Sometimes quiet, sometimes talking a little.” He heaved a sigh. “I think she really loved my dad, Scott, but for some reason couldn’t keep herself from sabotaging everything. She was devastated, but at the same time seemed almost relieved it was over, as weird as that sounds.”

When you don’t feel you deserve anything nice in your life, it scares you to death when you actually get it. It was a feeling Scott was all too familiar with, and he winced as an unwilling sympathy for Heather churned in his gut. He didn’t want to feel sorry for her, didn’t want to—understand her.

He shoved the thought away, concentrating instead on what Rylan was saying.

“We didn’t see my dad for about a week. Heather seemed okay on the outside, but I could tell she was slowly falling apart on the inside. I recognized the signs.” A shadow flitted over his face, and he clenched his hands into fists. “My own mom, you know? I couldn’t go through that again, and I felt so fucking helpless, so I went to Donna.”

Scott gave a quiet snort. “That woman is a force of nature.”

Rylan quirked his lips. “That she is. She drove over to the trailer, packed up the kids’ stuff, and took all four of them to her house. Told Heather they’d be safe until she got her shit together. She didn’t protest it, didn’t fight. When my dad came for me after a few more days, I left with him. Left her alone.”

“You’d done all you could, Ry. You know that, right?”

“I left without a backward glance,” Rylan said bluntly. “I was so fucking drained. By you, by her…”

Scott flinched, but Rylan went on, “My dad needed me. I walked away so I could save what was left of my strength for him.” His face was expressionless. “And for myself. I’d gotten a full scholarship to the University of Miami, but there was still a third of my senior year to go. I needed to concentrate on my grades and my own future. You were gone, the kids were safe with Donna, and there was nothing else I could do for Heather.”

The sun shimmered off the nearby buildings and bounced in through the windows, hurting Scott’s eyes and making him feel light-headed.

You should have been there, you stupid fuck.

As if reading his mind, Rylan murmured, “You being there wouldn’t have changed a thing, Scott. Heather would have still done what she did. You know that. It was only a matter of time.”

“But if I’d been there, maybe I could have deflected Bob’s anger onto me. Could have taken that blow for you, saved you that heartache at least.”

So much fucking heartache.

Rylan’s face softened. “It is what it is, Scott. Your mantra, remember?”

“Fuck mantras. I should have been there.” He slid his hand down to Rylan’s shoulder. “Were you and your dad okay, after what happened?”

“Yeah. He got us a tiny apartment not far from the school. It took a while, but we got everything sorted out. By the time he—died, we were more than okay.”

Scott relaxed a fraction. “Good,” he whispered hoarsely. “That’s good.”

Rylan patted Scott’s hand once before releasing him. “Ugh, I guess I’d better go take a shower, get ready for the club. There’s a big bachelorette party tonight, and Corey wants lots of pictures.”

“Yeah, okay.” Scott wiped a stray tear away with rough impatience. “If you need to go—”

“Can I take your car, or do you need it? I don’t mind taking the bus.”

Scott started to tell him to take the car, but the thought of the long, lonely night stretching before him made him say impulsively, “If you can wait a few minutes, I’ll drive you. Maybe stay for a drink.”

Rylan lifted an eyebrow. “Really? That’d be great. I know everyone would love to see you. People are always asking me how you’re doing.”

Scott didn’t know how true that was, given how silent his phone had been for the past three weeks, but he didn’t say anything, just headed for the shower. Afterward he pulled on a pair of jeans and an aqua-green silk T-shirt, standing in front of his full-length mirror and looking himself over, suddenly unsure.

“You’re beautiful as ever, Scott.” Rylan’s quiet voice came from the doorway.

“No. I don’t feel like myself at all.” Scott tugged at the loose material of his shirt, a shirt that used to mold itself to his ripped torso like it was painted on. “Maybe this isn’t such a good idea. People don’t need to see—”

Rylan came behind him and put his hand on Scott’s shoulder. “You’ll be the most gorgeous man in the room. Trust me.”

Their eyes met in the mirror, and Scott gave him a shaky smile. “I think you’re biased.”

Rylan chuckled. “I’m a photographer. I can’t be biased.” His voice was gently teasing. “Don’t believe me?”

Scott shrugged, and Rylan reached out and threaded their fingers together. “The camera doesn’t lie, Scott. Let me show you.” He turned to walk out of the room, tugging Scott after him and making a quick stop to snag his camera from the couch before leading him to the balcony.

The sun was low in the sky now, bathing everything around them in a soft, golden glow.

The camera whirred, and Rylan glanced at the screen, making a few quick adjustments before starting to shoot in earnest. Scott lost himself in Rylan’s quiet directions, first leaning back against the railing and then turning to prop his elbows on it while he gazed into the distance.

“Here, come see.” Rylan beckoned to him, and Scott walked over to gaze down at the digital screen in awe. The waning light kissed his face, throwing his cheekbones into sharp relief, the light scruff on his chin emphasizing his full lips. The soft green of his T-shirt reflected the fading radiance of the sun and made his eyes stand out like jewels.

“No filter, Scott. Just you. And you’re fucking gorgeous.”

Scott quirked his lips in a rueful smile. “You probably think I’m the vainest son of a bitch you’ve ever met, don’t you?”

“Never. There’s nothing wrong with needing some reassurance, especially after the trauma you’ve been through.” Rylan held up the camera. “I can tell you you’re beautiful, but sometimes you just have to see the words. See what I see.”

The lump in Scott’s throat threatened to choke him. “Sweet Ry,” he whispered. “Thank you.”

They smiled at each other, and Scott leaned in. Rylan lifted his face for the kiss, his lips parted, but Scott turned his head so his mouth grazed Rylan’s temple instead.

“Let’s go to the club.”


~Purchase Links~

NineStar Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble |

Kobo | Smashwords

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~Guest Post~Melanie Hansen~

Q. – As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

A. – It went back and forth between an astronomer and an archeologist, but unfortunately, science and math are not my strengths.  At all.  I loved what I ended up doing, court reporting.  It turned out to be an awesome career and led to what I’m doing now, transcribing for a hearing-impaired student.  She’s a freshman this year, and the most adorable, wonderful girl ever.  

Q. – What was one of the most surprising things you learned while writing your books?

A. – That I could actually write a book!  No, seriously.  I’ve had the desire to write for years and spent a lot of time writing erotica for an online erotic stories site.  Obviously, those are “porn without plot” because I told myself over and over “You can’t plot.”  Write a book?  Nah, I can’t plot.  That held me back for a long time until I actually got the courage to try.  It took baby steps, through writing fanfic and using others’ characters and worlds, before I attempted it, but when I did, I surprised myself.  

Q. – What is your definition of a happily ever after?

A. – Two people who are committed to doing their best.  That’s all anyone can do.  There are no guarantees in life, and I think that translates to romance, too.  Everyone has challenges to overcome, and I always try to write my characters as flawed, because every single human being on earth is flawed.  Nobody’s perfect, and nobody can expect perfection in anyone else.  But saying, “I’ll do my best for you, and being with you makes me want to be the best I can be,” well, that’s all anyone can ask for.

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 ~Abouth the Author~

Melanie  HansenMelanie Hansen has spent time in Texas and Florida prisons…for work. She’s been in a room with a 17-year-old mass murderer who was also one of the most soft-spoken and polite teenagers she’s ever met. After a 13-year career as a court reporter, she can tell many stories both hilarious and heartbreaking.

She grew up with an Air Force dad, and ended up marrying a Navy man. After living and working all over the country, she hopes to bring these rich and varied life experiences to her stories about people finding love amidst real-life struggles.

Melanie left the stressful world of the courtroom behind and now enjoys a rewarding career transcribing for a deaf student. She currently lives in Arizona with her husband and two sons.

~Social Links~

Website | Twitter | eMail 

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~Giveaway~

One lucky winner will receive an ebook of their choice from NineStar Press and  $25.00 Amazon Gift Card.

Click here⇒ a Rafflecopter giveaway 

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~Follow the Tour ~

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Posted in Blog Tour, Home, Promotions

~Spotlight Tour~The Men of Halfway House series by Jaime Reese~

 

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Series: The Men of Halfway House
Author: Jaime Reese
Genre: M/M Romance
Novels: A Better Man, A Hunted Man, A Restored Man, and A Mended Man

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~Series Buy Links~ 

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 ~The Men of Halfway House series Novels~

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A Better Man (The Men of Halfway House #1)

~Blurb~

20544791Matthew Doner is starting over. After a five-year prison term that alters every aspect of his life, he receives a bequest from his aunt with the stipulation that he use the money to make things right. Breaking free of the long-standing role he’s played and inspired by the few who support him, he decides to create a safe place where people like him can find purpose and start a new life.

Julian Capeletti likes challenges. He is confident, brash, stubborn, and just what Matt needs. Desperate for work after a downturn of luck, he accepts the job to renovate Matt’s crumbling building.

Over the course of a year, romance simmers between them as they restore the house. But there’s a bigger renovation that must take place in their hearts. To become better men, they need to learn to trust each other even with secrets and painful memories they fear may rip them apart.

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  A Hunted Man (The Men of Halfway House #2)

 ~Blurb~

15712796After surviving ten years in prison, Cameron Pierce is attempting to put the past behind him. He tries to adjust to his newfound freedom with a place at the halfway house and a job. But one lesson he learned in prison keeps him guarded: hope is a dangerous thing.

Hunter Donovan, Assistant State Attorney, is a man of justice who loves a challenge. After a lifetime of putting his career first, a milestone brings him to a harsh realization—he’s lonely.

Hunter’s world changes when he meets Cam. The wary young man intrigues him and awakens a desire, unlike anything he’s ever experienced. When Cam’s past resurfaces and threatens to rip them apart, their budding relationship is challenged and Cam’s hope for a future begins to dim.

These outside forces hunting Cam will stop at nothing to send him back to prison. But they’ll have to get past Hunter first.

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A Restored Man (The Men of Halfway House #3)

~Blurb~

24449015Cole Renzo thinks his greatest challenge is to behave for the remainder of his term at Halfway House. Until he meets his new boss, Ty Calloway, a man who ticks off every box on Cole’s list of interests.

A sought-after restorer and customizer of exotic and collectible cars, Ty had enough confidence to command what he wanted in life until one fateful night changed everything. Almost two years later, he’s slowly rebuilding his life with great control. He’s defied the odds and works tirelessly to be the man he once was—but he still feels broken.

Cole’s candor and unfiltered personality awaken Ty’s barely-remembered desire to greet each new day with a smile, while Ty’s unwavering acceptance of Cole’s quirks and brash humor makes Cole feel as if he fits in for the first time in far too long. When a nemesis threatens Ty’s personal restoration and the things he holds dear, Cole is determined to protect their relationship, even if that means sacrificing everything he’s worked so hard to achieve.

But Ty will have to let his guard down, surrender control, and admit he needs Cole first, even if that puts himself at risk of breaking beyond repair.

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~Now Available Audio Book~

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 A Mended Man (The Men of Halfway House #4)

~Blurb~

29774034Detective Aidan Calloway is rock-solid strong. He’s a man of justice—loyal to his friends, family, and job—even if it requires bending a law…or two. He shields himself behind an abrasive, fearless facade until a phone call one night chips his armor and throws his perfectly planned, hollow life into a tailspin.

Jessie Vega is the epitome of optimism. His carefully crafted attitude of hope and positivity protects him from a past filled with too much pain. When a ghost from a dark time resurfaces and nearly breaks him, he must tap into his inner strength or risk losing everything he’s worked so hard to build.

But Jessie can’t do it alone. He must fight to break through Aidan’s ironclad defenses to reveal the heart of the man hiding beneath the tough surface and mend his damaged spirit. Only then can they truly heal and become strong enough to battle the demons that haunt them and threaten their chance to finally be together.

***This book contains scenes and subject matter some readers may find distressing.***

Although part of a series, this book can be read as a stand-alone.

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~About the Author~ 

Jaime Reese is the alter ego of an artist who loves the creative process of writing, just not about herself. Fiction is far more interesting. She has a weakness for broken, misunderstood heroes and feels everyone deserves a chance at love and life. An avid fan of a happy ending, she believes those endings acquired with a little difficulty are more cherished.

~Social Links~

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Posted in Blog Tour, Excerpt, Home, Promotions

~Blog Tour~Angel’s Feather by Alina Popescu~Excerpt & Giveaway~

 

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Today we have the blog tour  for Recently released gay science fiction novella

Angel’s Feather, the first book in the Flyer Chronicles series.

Check out this fantastic book, read the Excerpt,
and grab your copy today!

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

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34848957Title: Angel’s Feather
Author: Alina Popescu
Series: Flyer Chronicles
Genre(s): M/M, Romance, Science Fiction
Release Date: April 21, 2017

 ~Synopsis~

How far would you go for the one you love? How much of yourself would you sacrifice?

Trapped on a decaying Earth and cut off from the rest of the Universe, humans are no longer allowed to leave their planet. Break this one law and you die: a penalty enforced by flyers, aliens who look like angels of long-lost religions. Michael, the flyers’ leader, is the Punisher who carries out every public execution.

Adam, a young human with near-perfect memory, is committed to rebuilding Earth and a true believer in the flyers’ dominion. While Adam’s support for flyers isn’t a secret, his deep love for Michael is. Not even Michael knows, for his kind never take human lovers, and to Adam, they are too far above him to reach.

In his broken and unwelcoming world, Adam’s love can only lead to pain, loss, and disaster. Yet there is no force in the huge expanse of stars and galaxies that can stop Adam from following Michael to the end of existence. Not even Adam’s own beliefs.

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⇒ Add to Goodreads ⇐

~Buy now~

Angel’s Feather is free to read with Kindle Unlimited subscriptions.

| Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU Amazon DE |

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~Excerpt~

My enthusiasm at seeing Michael again quickly faded when he arrived. He seemed cold, uncaring. There was no trace of feeling in his eyes, no expression on his beautiful face. He wore his usual leather trousers that I was sure he had to cut off his body to undress. The new addition was a metallic looking… something. It looked like a sleeveless shirt or some sort of body armor, but it kept me from seeing his strong upper body and watch the stray rays of sunshine reflected by his glorious skin.

All in all, he looked like a true warrior, a right enforcer. And did he ever act like one! Michael had never been a man of many words, but he was eerily silent this time. He did not offer a glance or a word to anyone. Even when it came to the other flyers, he only communicated through mysterious nods and gestures. To make it worse, two of the other flyers that had come with him, the ones who had taken over his patrolling duties, were stabbing me with their glares. He’d told them? Or maybe they’d figured out his mood had soured after coming to see me…

Either way, not seeing Michael was a lot easier than having him ignore me like this. With a deep sigh, I turned around and made to leave, but one of the other flyers stopped me.

“Where do you think you’re going? Everyone healthy and able is required to attend the executions.”

I slapped his hand away and then pressed my palm to his naked chest, pushing him back. The crowd around me gasped in unison, then went deadly silent.

“What is the point, angel? I’ll just watch your broadcast later. They never learn, nothing changes. There will be another execution soon enough.”

I left the village square without ever looking back. I heard the flyer calling my name once, but for some reason, he did not try to stop me again, nor did he say anything else. I went straight back home, trying to keep myself together until I was safely hidden away in my room. I could not afford to fall apart out in the open, I couldn’t have any of the other villagers see me like that, see how weak I truly was.

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 ~Giveaway~

Prizes: $10 Amazon Gift Card; 3 x ebook copy of science fiction short story Craving Stains.

Click here ⇒ a Rafflecopter giveaway 

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~About the Author~

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Writer, 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.

Keep up with Alina Popescu’s books and get rewards by signing up for her newsletter.

~Social Links~

Site & Blog FacebookTwitter | Amazon |

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Posted in Blog Tour, Excerpt, Home, Promotions

~Blog Tour~Shelter the Sea by Heidi Cullinan~Excerpt & Giveaway~

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Today we have the blog tour  for 

Shelter the Sea (The Roosevelt #2) by Heidi Cullinan

Check out this fantastic book, read the Excerpt and Wendy’s Review
and grab your copy today!
Don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

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34521649Title: Shelter the Sea
Author: Heidi Cullinan
Series: The Roosevelt, Book #2
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: April 18, 2017
Genre(s): M/M, Contemporary Romance,
Page Count: 190 pages

~Blurb~

Some heroes wear capes. Some prefer sensory sacks.

Emmet Washington has never let the world define him, even though he, his boyfriend, Jeremey, and his friends aren’t considered “real” adults because of their disabilities. When the State of Iowa restructures its mental health system and puts the independent living facility where they live in jeopardy, Emmet refuses to be forced into substandard, privatized corporate care. With the help of Jeremey and their friends, he starts a local grassroots organization and fights every step of the way.

In addition to navigating his boyfriend’s increased depression and anxiety, Emmet has to make his autistic tics acceptable to politicians and donors, and he wonders if they’re raising awareness or putting their disabilities on display. When their campaign attracts the attention of the opposition’s powerful corporate lobbyist, Emmet relies on his skill with calculations and predictions and trusts he can save the day—for himself, his friends, and everyone with disabilities.

He only hopes there isn’t a variable in his formula he’s failed to foresee.

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~Purchase Links~

AMAZON GLOBAL LINK | B&N | KOBO | iTunes | SMASHWORDS  

~⇓Read Review⇓~

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~Excerpt~

As New Year’s Eve approached, I got the feeling Emmet was up to something, but I couldn’t be sure.

My depression was intense, and as we’ve already established, it lies like crazy. It had plenty to say about my suspicion Emmet had something up his sleeve too, and all its whispers were terrifying, so I worked constantly to shut it down. There was also so much going on with the party preparations and getting ready for our houseguest. Icarus had approved Darren’s overnight with us, and Emmet helped me make my room Darren friendly. Mostly this meant picking things up. Emmet is the reason my room doesn’t dive into becoming a total trash heap, but my idea of tidy is still his idea of pretty screwed up, which is part of the reason I have my own room. Darren said he didn’t mind the mess, but I’d roomed with Darren briefly and knew he appreciated neatness as much as Emmet, so I wanted to take the time to make the space he would borrow appealing to him.

Emmet helped, which I appreciated, as cleaning overwhelmed me, but he could only do so much because he worked. New Year’s Eve was on Saturday night, but I had to do the cleaning during the week, and that’s when Emmet had to be at work. So David helped me as well, as best as David could.

David is both my boss and my best friend. He’s the first person I think to go to when I have a problem, outside of Emmet. Emmet and David are good friends too, though when they first met they didn’t get along at all. We’re the best of friends now. David used to tease me that he wished I could drive and then we could take on the world, but he knows it makes me feel bad, so he’s stopped.

Technically I can drive, as in I have my license, but I get nervous when I do, and I’ve gotten more nervous as I’ve gotten older. I could maybe drive on a quiet street in a small town, but I don’t think I could do Duff Avenue or Lincoln Way in Ames, the main in-town streets that most people from big cities would laugh at me for avoiding. Don’t get me started on store parking lots.

To be honest, managing my own bedroom was struggle enough, but with David’s help, I got it done. He could only do a little here and there with his grabber, but he redirected me and kept me on task, because as he put it, he was good at bossing people around. “Begin with the pile of clothes over there,” he’d tell me, reminding me to sort them into piles of dirty and clean, and when it got to be too much, he suggested I call the whole lot dirty so we could keep moving. This was something Emmet would never have done. We’d have stood there for fifteen minutes having a discussion about each item. This was where David came in handy.

“You’re making some good headway,” he remarked after we’d worked for a half hour. “Why don’t we stop and have a break?”

It seemed early to be taking a break, but I was exhausted. I wondered if it showed, then figured it probably did. Feeling glum, I nodded and followed David as he maneuvered his chair into the kitchen. I sank into a chair at the table before I realized as host and as his staff I should be the one getting our snack, but as I rose, he waved me into my seat.

“Sit. I got this.” He snorted and gave me a wry smile. “Well, maybe I got this. Depends on how high up you put stuff and if I can reach it with my grabber.” When I tried to stand up, he waved at me harder, his arm flapping awkwardly. “Sit down, Jer. It’s a joke.”

I didn’t laugh. “Sorry. I’ve been…” I didn’t know how to finish that sentence. Not without getting in trouble. I’ve been a mess. I’ve been awful.

“You’re having a rough time. Which is why I’m helping you out.” He snagged a box of crackers with his grabber and a stack of plastic glasses. “How’s Emmet doing since you confessed about the depression, by the way?”

“Intense. He wants to fix it.”

“He wants to help you. Not the same thing.”

“He can’t see the difference.” I watched David tuck the stack of glasses under his chin, pull on the stack with his more functional hand, managing to leave two under his chin. It was a neat trick. “Maybe he doesn’t want to fix it exactly. He’s up to something, though. It makes me nervous.”

“No offense, but everything makes you nervous.” He slid the extra cups onto the counter, caught them with his grabber, then aimed the stick at the cupboard. “Okay, I can get them put away, but they’re not going in under Emmet’s standards of neatness. I’ll try to remember to explain to him, but if he gets bothered by this, blame me, you got it? It’s the best I can do with my motor control.”

“I’ll tell him. It’ll still bother him, but he’ll understand.”

“Cool. So what are we having? Water? Soda? Juice? Tea? Whiskey sours?”

The last comment was added to make me smile, and it worked. “There’s green tea in the fridge. I’ll have that please.”

“Dude. If that’s all there is, I’m having water.” He opened the door, then exclaimed in excitement. “Orange soda. Are you for real?”

I’d forgotten about the soda. “It’s for you. Emmet got it the other day.”

“Train Man. You come through for me.”

David wrestled the containers out of the fridge with his better hand and the elbow of his not-so-good hand. This was a trick we’d learned together through trial and error. Apparently a physical therapist or two had also suggested something similar, he admitted later, but David and therapists had rocky relationships on the best of days. He and I, however, got along fine.

It took him about fifteen minutes longer to get us drinks and crackers and cheese than it would have me, but I didn’t mind the time to sit quietly, and David, I knew, appreciated someone letting him do something for himself without trying to help or praising him afterward like he was a toddler. He said this was why I was a good aide, because I was patient. He told me I needed to remember, when the depression told me I was worth nothing, that I was the best aide he’d ever had.

I still didn’t know how to explain to him it was like throwing a compliment into a black hole, so I usually replied, “Okay” and hoped he’d talk about something else.

Today he did talk about something else, thankfully. “Tell me about this Darren,” he said around slurps of orange soda through his special straw, and bites of cracker and cheese. “He’s autistic like Emmet, right?”

I thought about how to phrase my answer. “He’s autistic, yes, but not like Emmet. He’s nonverbal, to start.”

“Like, he doesn’t talk? At all? But I’ve heard him whispering to videos on his iPad.”

“That’s the only time he can talk, and that’s as loud as he gets. Otherwise all he can do is make sound, but it’s more like a bark.” A thought occurred to me. “He’s like Carly Fleishmann.”

David sat up straighter, his whole demeanor becoming both serious and interested. David had a major crush on Carly Fleishmann, a young woman with autism and several other disabilities who had written a book with her father and become something of a minor social media celebrity. “Oh, okay. So does he use a keyboard to talk like she does?”

“Kind of. He uses a special sign language. Emmet knows it, but I haven’t learned much beyond the basics. It’s like ASL, but it’s modified in ways that confuse me. Mostly he uses an iPad to talk for him. He’s smart, but most people don’t think he is. All they see him doing is watching YouTube videos.”

“And you roomed with him at Icarus, right?”

I nodded, crumbling my cracker with my fingers. “Icarus is pretty grim. I wish we could get Darren into The Roosevelt.”

David gestured at the walls. “Well, I told you about the opening. God knows there’ll be more, and there’s still nobody on the waitlist, not anymore.”

“But that’s just it. He can’t afford it.”

David’s cheeks colored, like he was embarrassed. He stared at his lap. “Oh. I…I could talk to my dad, if you want. Maybe…”

He didn’t finish the thought, because he knew he couldn’t get his dad to do anything like what Darren would need. Not with The Roosevelt already in trouble.

I laid the rest out, to make it clear. “Darren can’t afford The Roosevelt, not in any way. He can’t get a job. He’s on disability, but his parents can’t afford what it costs here. I mean, I couldn’t do it without the discount from being your aide and Emmet’s help with food and things. Which I feel bad about sometimes, but there’s nothing I can do about it. It’s expensive to live here.” I realized what my remark sounded like and added, quickly, “Nothing against your dad or anything. I don’t think he charges too much.”

“No. I know what you mean. But that’s the problem, apparently. It costs a lot to run a place like this, it costs a lot to live with disabilities, and nobody wants to pay for it. Nobody can pay for it, except the state, who won’t.” He rolled his eyes. “Too busy saving the money for the normal people.”

Normal people.

I stood up and went to the window, folding my arms over my chest as I stared down at the street, at the sidewalk full of people coming and going. From school, from work. To friends, to family, to the grocery store. To the bus. Laughing, talking. None of them thinking at all about how high the curb was or how busy the crowd or how many strangers might talk to them. Normal people. These were the people who deserved the money from the state, not me. What for, I didn’t know. Tax relief, my dad would say.

They looked pretty relieved to me already.

Emmet would get after me for using the word normal, and I know he’s right, but it’s the word in my head. The people laughing on the street and not caring about anything while I was barely able to leave my apartment, barely able to get to the window to watch them—they were normal, and I was not. Emmet says they’re on the mean, but this always sounds strange to me. What was the term, the usual term? Able-bodied, David said about people who weren’t paralyzed. Technically I was able-bodied, by that standard, but I didn’t feel very able. I’m not able to do a whole hell of a lot. I decided I wasn’t able-bodied, because I was on disability, so no. The word wasn’t for me either.

Able-bodied people didn’t worry about things like I did. Like whether or not they could put themselves together enough to get through their day. Or a grocery store. Or a room cleaning. Able-bodied people didn’t have to make a strategy to get things out of a cupboard. Or have a friend over. Or make sure they had a place to live. They didn’t have to hope their parents kept paying their rent at their fancy residential facility. Or hope every time there was an election Congress didn’t decide to cut their insurance.

Able-bodied people didn’t look at history books and read about the populations sent to the gas chambers and know they would have been at the front of the line to be eliminated as unnecessary. Well, some of them did. Some of them like me had two strikes. Disabled and gay. If I were Jewish or Romany, I’d have three strikes.

I knew I wasn’t wanted. Every day, every aspect of the world, of the culture, made a point to tell me I was different and less than, and so were all my friends. And I was tired of it.

I went back to my chair, tucked my feet onto the seat, and hugged my knees.

David came closer and studied my face like he was trying to read all my secrets. “Talk to me, J.”

I shook my head, turning my face away. “If I talk, I’m going to say something awful.”

David nudged my leg with his wheel. “Hit me with it. I want to hear your awful.”

I swallowed, feeling guilty, but mostly…angry. “Sometimes I hate able-bodied people.”

I’d expected him to laugh, even bitterly, or make another one of his jokes. But all I was met with was long silence, and when he finally spoke, all he said was, “Me too, Jer. Me too.”

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~What’s Coming Up Next in the Series~

Originally my intent was for The Roosevelt to be a three-book series, with David’s story being second. I struggled to write his story, however, and when I tried to write a short Christmas story for my patrons last year, I realized my problem: Emmet and Jeremey had more to say. I thought perhaps I could get away with writing their continuation as a novella, and at first I tried that. Then their story grew longer, as stories do, and as the mental health crisis in Iowa became worse, I realized there was so much more to say all around.

I think now what will happen is that at the very least there will now be a Roosevelt universe, with Carry the Ocean and Shelter the Sea being books one and two of the Oceans books, and then there being some kind of third book (maybe, finally, a novella or short story?) and then we move on to David. I’m not sure who the third book is about—I thought I knew, but I’ve decided to stop pretending I know what’s going on and simply show up and see what happens as this seems to be the better strategy, as when I drive things only get messed up. Needless to say, there will be more books coming. And more residents moving into The Roosevelt.

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~The Roosevelt series~

Carry the Ocean (The Roosevelt #1)

~Blurb~

23110300Normal is just a setting on the dryer.

High school graduate Jeremey Samson is looking forward to burying his head under the covers and sleeping until it’s time to leave for college. Then a tornado named Emmet Washington enters his life. The double major in math and computer science is handsome, forward, wicked smart, interested in dating Jeremey—and he’s autistic.

But Jeremey doesn’t judge him for that. He’s too busy judging himself, as are his parents, who don’t believe in things like clinical depression. When his untreated illness reaches a critical breaking point, Emmet is the white knight who rescues him and brings him along as a roommate to The Roosevelt, a quirky new assisted living facility nearby.

As Jeremey finds his feet at The Roosevelt, Emmet slowly begins to believe he can be loved for the man he is behind the autism. But before he can trust enough to fall head over heels, he must trust his own conviction that friendship is a healing force, and love can overcome any obstacle.

Warning: Contains characters obsessed with trains and counting, positive representations of autism and mental illness, a very dark moment, and Elwood Blues.

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 Praise for The Roosevelt Book 1, Carry the Ocean

A memorable and moving love story that reminds us there’s someone for everyone! —Laura Kaye, New York Times bestselling author of Hard to Come By

Heidi Cullinan continues to amaze with vivid characters who leap from the page into my heart. —K.A. Mitchell, author of Bad Behavior

4 & 1/2 stars! — Romantic Times Book Reviews

~Buy the Book~

|Amazon Global Link|

~⇓Read Review⇓~

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~Giveaway~

Carry the OceanShelter the Sea signed paperbacks and Roosevelt Blues Brother kit (black fedora and skinny tie)

Click here ⇒ a Rafflecopter giveaway 

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~About the Author~

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Heidi Cullinan has always enjoyed a good love story, provided it has a happy ending. Proud to be from the first Midwestern state with full marriage equality, Heidi is a vocal advocate for LGBT rights. She writes positive-outcome romances for LGBT characters struggling against insurmountable odds because she believes there’s no such thing as too much happy ever after. When Heidi isn’t writing, she enjoys cooking, reading, playing with her cats, and watching television with her family. Find out more about Heidi at heidicullinan.com

~Social Links~

FACEBOOK | TWITTER | WEBSITE | PINTEREST |

GOODREADS|HEIDI’S PATREON | HEIDI’S AMAZON PAGE 

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~Blog Tour with Giveaway~Faking It with Damian by D.J. Hunnam~

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Today we have the Blog Tour  for,

Faking It with Damian by D.J. Hunnam

Check out this fantastic new release and grab your copy today!

Don’t forget to enter the great giveaway for $50 Amazon gift card!

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33981714Title: Faking It with Damian

Author: D.J. Hunnam
Release Date: January 22, 2017
Genre: Contemporary, Erotica/Romance

~Blurb~

I don’t do relationships… especially not with egotistical jerks like my new boss, Damian Wood. The man is vile, arrogant, condescending… and scorching hot. If he weren’t my boss and a grade-A a*&hole, I would turn on my world-famous charm and seduce the pants right off the man. But giving in to his undeniable allure might just cost me my job. Or worse yet, my heart.

I’m a prick…and Janice Holder’s new boss. Which means I should stay away, but I’ve never claimed to be a nice guy. If I don’t get my twisted fascination under control, it will only be a matter of time before I bend her over my desk and screw her. Hard. The way I’ve imagined no fewer than a thousand times since we met. I’m playing with fire and neither of us can afford to get burned, but landing in hot water might just be worth the risk.

Faking It is a full-length, standalone office romance. It contains steamy scenes with a ton of heat and strong language intended for mature audiences.


~Add to Goodreads~

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~Buy the Book~ 

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 ~⇓Read Mary’s Review⇓~

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Author Bio:

D.J. HunnamFirst introduced to the genre by her grandmother, DJ Hunnam is an author with a true love for great romance novels. After reading hundreds of them over the last twenty years, she finally decided to put pen to paper and craft her own happily ever afters (HEA). She loves to write about strong heroines who fall in love with even sexier heroes, while tackling real-world problems. Her books are packed with sizzling scenes sure to make you blush.

A scientist by day and author by night, DJ Hunnam straddles the fence between the mundane and the erotic on a daily basis. When she isn’t writing, you might find her curled up with a book, chasing her two wild sons, or pursuing her own HEA with her husband of ten years. She’s a sucker for dark chocolate, a good bottle of Malbec, and a sexy six-pack.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter


~Giveaway~

$50 Amazon gift card!

Click here⇒ a Rafflecopter giveaway 

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Posted in Blog Tour, Home, Promotions

~Blog Tour~Review & Giveaway~Rough by Sybil Bartel~

 

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~Blog Tour~

Today we have the Blog Tour of

Rough by Sybil Bartel

Check out this fantastic book and grab your copy today!

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

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33796371Title: Rough  
Author: Sybil Bartel
Series: Thrust, Book #2
Publisher: Sybil Bartel
Release Date: March 20, 2017
Genre(s): Adult, Contemporary, Romance                                                                                                                         Add to Goodreads ⇐                                                                                                                                                       


~Buy Links~

Amazon |Barnes & NobleiBooks |Kobo   


~Blurb~ 

Jared

I’m not your boyfriend. I’m not the guy next door. I don’t even play nice.

My hands twisting in your hair, my whispered demand in your ear—I’m the fantasy you’ll wish you never had. When I’m through with you, every inch of your body will know where I’ve been. You won’t crave more, you’ll beg for it. Because I’m not just the cocky smile with military hardened muscles you paid five grand for—I’m the experience you’ll never forget.

One night with me and you’ll know exactly why women pay me to be rough.


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Rough (Thrust #2) by Sybil Bartel

*****4.5 Stars*****

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WoW!…And I do mean…OMG…WoW… 😀

This is my first read of Sybil Bartel and it most certainly won’t be my last. OMG…if I knew this author can write so HOT I wouldn’t wait this long to read some of her’s books. I couldn’t put this book down.


The story starts with our hero, Jared… Ex-Marine,  a hot and sexy guy, with light brown eyes and dirty blond hair, who for the last three years works as a male escort. He doesn’t do this for the money but he makes it because he enjoys the control.  He’s a dominant alpha. He doesn’t  involve himself in any emotional relationship, no strings.

He is rough, strong, blunt and aggressive.

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And the ladies pay big money for him to be just like that. He comes, works you out and pretty damn good, then he gets his payment, and goes away, ..just like that. Ohhh…but how good he works….Mmm. 😀


When Sienna enters into the picture, or should I say, enters into his business, when he has to work her…things change. He knows he should stay away from her but, he finds her irresistible and as much as he wants to stay away from her he’s more drawn to her.

Sienna is a preacher’s daughter, she’s the opposite of everything…

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…and from the moment he meets her, he want’s her just because she looks innocent and pure. A sexy redhead with green eyes.

He want’s to ravish her, to make her dirty.

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After her break-up with her “boyfriend”, Sienna hire’s the escort service to regain some control in her life and for revenge. When she meets Jared, she is scared of him, but the attraction is stronger.I liked Jared for his aggression and bully stuff but it was some moments when I wanted to kick his butt…


I really liked the story…and it was soo hot. I liked the intrigue, and the plot drew me to want to read the book.

I wanted more action and more suspense…but overall was a great story, a great reading and I will definitely read the next books in this series and other books by this author.

Highly recommended!


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 ~About the Author~

Sybil Bartel grew up in Northern California with her head in a book and her feet in the sand. She dreamt of becoming a painter but the heady scent of libraries with their shelves full of books drew her into the world of storytelling. She loves the New Adult genre, but any story about a love so desperately wrong and impossibly beautiful makes her swoon.

Sybil BartelSybil now resides in Southern Florida and while she doesn’t get to read as much as she likes, she still buries her toes in the sand. If she isn’t writing or fighting to contain the banana plantation in her backyard, you can find her spending time with her handsomely tattooed husband, her brilliantly practical son and a mischievous miniature boxer…But Seriously?

Here are ten things you probably really want to know about Sybil.

She grew up a faculty brat. She can swear like a sailor. She loves men in uniform. She hates being told what to do. She can do your taxes (but don’t ask). The Bird Market in Hong Kong freaks her out. Her favorite word is desperate…or dirty, or both—she can’t decide. She has a thing for muscle cars. But never reply on her for driving directions, ever. And she has a new book boyfriend every week—don’t tell her husband.

To find out more about Sybil Bartel, be sure to follow her on Twitter (she loves to hear about your favorite book boyfriend!), visit her website, like her on Facebook or join her Facebook group Book Boyfriend Heroes for exclusive excerpts and giveaways.

~Social Links~

Website / Goodreads / Facebook /

Book Boyfriend Heroes / Twitter 

Follow the Blog Tour


GIVEAWAY!

$25 Amazon gift card

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Posted in Blog Tour, Home, Promotions

~Blog Tour~Blood Script by Airicka Phoenix~

 

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Today we have the Blog Tour of

Blood Script by Airicka Phoenix

Check out this fantastic new release
and grab your copy today!

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Title: Blood Script
Author: Airicka Phoenix
Series: Standalone
Release Date: April 12, 2017
Genre(s):Dark/Contemporary Romance, Mafia
Page Count: 382 pages
Reviewer: ~Mary~
Rating: ****4 Stars****

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~Buy Links~

| Amazon US | B&N | iBooks |


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“Ever f*cked a pirate?”

He was insufferable, deeply scarred, and frustratingly gorgeous, and he was the man who was blackmailing her into tying the knot.

Cora Harris has never had luck with men. Being the daughter of a ruthless crime boss tended to put a dent in any relationship, but she never imagined she’d get kidnapped in the dead of night by pirates. She sure as hell never imagined the asshole with the smoldering gaze would threaten everyone she loved if she didn’t become his wife.

Only Captain James Crow wants more than just her hand in holy matrimony. He wants her absolute submission. He wants her pain. He wants the one thing she’s never given anyone — her heart. But is he willing to give the daughter of his sworn enemy his in return?

“How easily his eyes could make her forget that he was her captor. Not her savior.”

But when the truth is revealed, can James keep Cora from the true evil in their midst? Can he win before his revenge cost him more than just his life? And how far will Cora go to free herself of the man who enchanted her, seduced her, and when she submitted, imprisoned her?

Vengeance and betrayal will either bring two warring families together or obliterate them all.

This book is adult and intended for a mature audience with strong elements of language, sex, and a dirty mouthed pirate. It has cases of BDSM, kink, and violence.

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~⇓Review~Blood Script⇓~

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~About the Author~

Airicka Phoenix is a romance junkie with an incurable addiction to chocolate. She is also a prolific author of several novels written for young adult and new adult romance addicts who love bad boys, hot kisses, and a gritty plot. Airicka prides herself in producing quality material her readers can fall in love with again and again.

When she’s not hard at work bleeding words onto paper, Airicka can be found cuddling with her family, reading, watching TV shows, or just finding excuses not to do chores.

Be the first for giveaways, teasers, and upcoming releases by joining Airicka’s newsletter on her website www.AirickaPhoenix.com 

~Social Links~

| WebsiteNewsletterAmazon | Facebook Twitter |

| Goodreads | Google+Instagram Pinterest |

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Posted in Blog Tour, Home, Promotions

~Blog Tour & Giveaway~Hot for the Fireman by Gina L. Maxwell~

 

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Today we have the blog tour stop for

Hot for the Fireman by Gina L. Maxwell.

Check out this fantastic new release

and grab your copy today!

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

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34093144

Title: Hot for the Fireman
Author: Gina L. Maxwell
Series: Boston Heat, Book #1
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Release Date: March 27, 2017
Genre(s): Erotic Romance, Law Enforcement/Firemen

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About Hot for the Fireman:

Ex-Army Ranger Erik Grady lives for the job. So when his chief at the Boston Fire Department offers him two choices—mandated therapy for supposed PTSD or a permanent desk job at the station, he reluctantly agrees to see a shrink. Only this doctor is unlike anything he expected. Female and curved in all the right places? Check. Hotter than a four-alarm fire? Check. The kind of woman that can heat his blood in and out of bed? Check, check. And oh, yeah, he just happens to have first hand experience…

Of all the men to walk into psychologist Olivia Jones’ office, why did it have to be him? Her one-night stand isn’t playing by the rules of just. One. Night. She’s had her heart broken in the past, and no way is she going there again. And now he’s blackmailing her into three dates? Well, if that’s what it takes to make him see a different therapist, fine. She can handle it. So what if the chemistry between them is combustible? She’s a professional, damn it. She’ll date Mr. I’m Too Sexy For My Bunker Pants. But it won’t end in the fun he expects.

It’s time to see how much heat this fireman can take…


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⇓Review~Hot for the Fireman⇓

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Grab your copy today!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks 


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 About Gina L. Maxwell:

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Gina L. Maxwell is a full-time writer, wife, and mother living in the upper Midwest, despite her scathing hatred of snow and cold weather. An avid romance novel addict, she began writing as an alternate way of enjoying the romance stories she loves to read. Her debut novel, Seducing Cinderella, hit both the USA Today and New York Times bestseller lists in less than four weeks, and she’s been living her newfound dream ever since.

When she’s not reading or writing steamy romance novels, she spends her time losing at Scrabble (and every other game) to her high school sweetheart, doing her best to hang out with their teenagers before they fly the coop, and dreaming about her move to sunny Florida once they do.

Connect with Gina:

| Website | Twitter | Facebook |

| Street Team/Facebook Group | Instagram |

| Pinterest Goodreads | Newsletter |


 Enter Gina’s Giveaway:

$25 Amazon Giftcard

 Click here ⇒  a Rafflecopter giveaway 

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Posted in Blog Tour, Excerpt, Home, Promotions

~Blog Tour~Wedlocked by Ella Frank & Brooke Blaine

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Wedlocked

from Ella Frank & Brooke Blaine

is available now!!!

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Wedlocked by Ella Frank & Brooke Blaine

Series: PresLocke, Book #3
Release Date: March 23, 2017
Photographer: Wander Aguiar
Cover Designer: Jay Aheer
Genre: Contemporary Romance

⇒Add to Goodreads⇐

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Because you have believed in them,
Celebrated with them,
Loved and encouraged them,

Ella Frank and Brooke Blaine invite you to join

Ace Samuel Locke
And
Dylan Prescott

Saturday the Twenty-Fourth of May
At Six-O’Clock in the Evening

The Grand Floridian Hotel
4406 Palm Way
Orlando, Florida

For Love, Laughter and Happily Ever After

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~Excerpt~

“SO YOU’RE GONNA want to keep your toes on the tail of the board and grip the rails under your chest like this,” Dylan said as he lay across the surfboard to show me the basics of his favorite pastime on the secluded stretch of beach. Not that I was paying much attention to the words coming out of his mouth. I was much more interested in the way his muscles flexed beneath the skintight Body Glove wetsuit he wore.

As he pushed himself up into a standing position, my gaze traveled down the broad expanse of his back and down to his ass.

“See how my dominant leg is in the back, and— Ace? Are you paying attention?”

“Mhmm,” I murmured as I bit down on my lower lip and continued my perusal.

Dylan turned to face me, and his hands went to his hips. “Oh yeah?” he said when I looked up. “What did I just say?”

Taking a step forward, I gave him a cocky grin and tugged him off the surfboard and onto the sand until he was flush against me. Then I let my hands roam down over the firm, round muscles of his ass. “Something about being a dominant in the back,” I said, nipping at his lobe. “So why don’t you turn around?”

A groan of frustration left Dylan then, but his head tilted to the side to let my lips trail down his neck. “You’re not gonna feel so cocky when you can’t get up on that board.”

“Oh, I can always get it up, don’t you worry.”

His hands covered my chest and he gently pushed me away. “How about you prove it, hotshot?” Then he pointed to the longboard I’d rented for the weekend. “Why don’t you show me how it’s done.”

“It’s more fun watching you.”

“Ace. Get your ass on that board.”

I squinted in the sun and grinned. “You gonna be this bossy all weekend?”

“If you’re lucky.”

I took a step back so I was by my board, and crossed my arms. I had my wetsuit on, but it was still undone and hanging around my hips while Dylan walked me through this process step by step, and my move had the desired effect. He rubbed a hand up the back of his neck and over his hair, leaving it tousled and oh so sexy.

“What?” I asked. “I’m back on my side of the board.”

“Don’t try and act innocent with me, Locke. I’m trying to teach you a new skill. One that will keep you from hurting yourself. And you’re standing there being all…” He waved his hand up and down, gesturing to my exposed upper body.

“Yes?”

“See. Stop it,” he said, and then pointed to the board. “And zip up that damn wetsuit so I can’t see all your muscles.”

I arched a brow as I moved to slip my arms through the stretchy synthetic material, and when I reached for the zipper and pulled it up to the base of my skull, Dylan groaned.

“Okay, that’s almost worse than no wetsuit.”

“I’m sorry. You’re not checking me out, are you? Because you’re supposed to be paying close attention to teaching me something that could save my life,” I said as I turned around and made a show of bending down to get on the board.

“You having fun right now?” Dylan asked.

“Maybe a little.”

“Yeah, well, let’s hope that holds true when the wave dumps you on your ass.”

I let out a sigh and gripped the board just as he’d told me, because the truth of the matter was, I had never surfed a day in my life. I grew up in Chicago, for God’s sake. But Dylan, with his sun-kissed hair, long, lean body, and eyes the color of the sea, looked right at home with the sun shining down on him as his feet sank into the sand by my head.

“Let’s try this a couple more times here on land, and then we’ll get you out in the water. We won’t have you trying to stand up just yet. But if you can get the hang of at least catching the wave into the shore, we might be able to progress.” He crouched down and said, “Remember, toes on the tail of the board and grip the rails, and then push up.”

As I did as he instructed, I paused in the push-up position and was rewarded when he leaned in and took my lips in a sweet kiss.

“Again,” he whispered, and I moved back down to repeat the move, and this time when I paused, I was rewarded with a deeper kiss. When he pulled away too soon, I grumbled and he laughed, straightening. “Any more of that and we won’t make it into the water. On your feet, Locke, it’s time to hit the waves.”

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About Ella Frank:

Ella Frank is the USA Today Bestselling author of the Temptation series, including Try, Take, and Trust. Her Exquisite series has been praised as “scorching hot!” and “enticingly sexy!”

A life-long fan of the romance genre, Ella writes contemporary and erotic fiction and lives with her husband in Portland, OR. You can reach her on the web at http://www.ellafrank.com and on Facebook  

Some of her favorite authors include Tiffany Reisz, Kresley Cole, Riley Hart, J.R. Ward, Erika Wilde, Gena Showalter, and Carly Philips.

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About Brooke Blaine:

You could say Brooke Blaine was a book-a-holic from the time she knew how to read; she used to tell her mother that curling up with one at 4 a.m. before elementary school was her ‘quiet time.’ Not much has changed except for the espresso I.V. pump she now carries around and the size of her onesie pajamas.

She is the author of Flash Point, a romantic suspense standalone, as well as the co-author of the erotic series, A Desperate Man, with Ella Frank. The latter has scarred her conservative southern family for life, bless their hearts. Licked, a romantic comedy, will be released November 11th, 2015 and is the first in the L.A. Liaisons series.

If you’d like to get in touch with her, she’s easy to find – just keep an ear out for the Rick Astley ringtone that’s dominated her cell phone for ten years.

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~Blog Tour~Harmless (Pier 70, #4) by Nicole Edwards~

 

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~Blog Tour & Excerpt~

Today ~DirtyBooksObsession~

Welcomes and Congratulates

 Author Nicole Edwards on the Blog Tour of the book,

Harmless (Pier 70, #4)

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Title: Harmless
Author: Nicole Edwards
Series: Pier 70, Book #4
Genre: Adult, MM Romance
Published: March 28, 2017

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He’s got a secret…
Roan Gregory, one of the four owners of Pier 70 Marina, has managed to paint himself as a loner in recent months. There’s a reason for that. And he’s got every intention of keeping that reason a secret. That is, until he no longer has the option.
He’s got a secret, too…
Colton Seguine, defenseman for the Austin Arrows, has gotten good at keeping the world from finding out that he’s gay. He knows exactly what he can and cannot do. And with whom. That is, until he sees Roan for the first time and all bets are off.
Some secrets are too big to keep.

Temperatures soar when this brooding bad boy gets his first taste of this smoking hot hockey player.

Can Roan and Seg push past each other’s defenses? Or — thanks to the way the cards have been dealt — will the time they spent together prove to be just a harmless one night stand?


⇓~Review~Harmless~⇓

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HARMLESS (Pier 70, 4) Chapter One © Nicole Edwards 2017

Fourteen months ago August

“CAN I BUY you another drink?”

Roan Gregory hoped he wasn’t sporting his who me look when he cast a quick glance up and to the left, startled by the offer from…

Well. Okay.

Not what he’d expected.

Standing before him was the sexy guy who’d been checking Roan out since he walked in the door. Discreetly, sure. But Roan’s attention had been unfocused at best. He’d noticed. And yes, this was the same guy Roan had fought hard not to sneak a peek at for the past hour.

The guy was totally his type back when he’d had a type. At least in the physical sense.

Blond hair, blue eyes, long and lean, with the perfect balance of muscles tossed in.

But that was the key. Roan didn’t have a type anymore. He was more interested in ignoring men for the duration.

Sexy Guy nodded toward the empty beer bottle in front of Roan. “Another?”

As though the guy wasn’t possibly talking to him, Roan continued to stare. Only this time, he was captivated by the seductive smirk on Sexy Guy’s smooth lips. Nice lips. Full, perfect … lips.

Obliterating the thought from his sex-starved brain, Roan dropped his gaze down to his beer. Yep, definitely empty. He must’ve drained it when he’d been lost in his own damn thoughts. Unfortunately—no matter what his little head was telling him—he wasn’t interested in company, sexy or otherwise, so he wanted Sexy Guy to go sit back down at the table by the wall where he’d come from.

“I’m good.” Shaking his head, Roan avoided the man’s eyes, hoping he would take the hint.

“I figured if you’re gonna drown your sorrows, probably should do it right.”

If Sexy Guy only knew.

Lifting his gaze once more, Roan met the determined steel-blue eyes still studying him. He bit back a retort. Didn’t the guy understand that he wanted to be alone? Seriously, what did he need to do? Hold up a sign that said, Personal Pity Party, No Company Wanted?

What the…?

Clearly Roan needed to improve his turn-down skills. Sexy Guy surely mistook his I’m good for sure, sit down and join me because, of course, Sexy Guy was now sitting at his table. And he hadn’t bothered to ask.

“I promise, I’m harmless.” To reiterate his point, Sexy Guy held up his hands in surrender.

Big hands. Nice hands. Perfect hands.

Son of a bitch.

Now that Roan thought about it, the guy didn’t look harmless. He looked like … well, hell, he looked like temptation.

Good thing he’d cut temptation from his diet long ago.

Leaning back, Roan tried to appear casual, not wanting to show that he was taken aback by the guy’s forwardness. He also didn’t want the incredibly handsome blond to see that Roan was discreetly attempting to check him out. Mainly, the way that snug charcoal-gray T-shirt stretched across his impressive chest and the way the corded muscles in his neck shifted inconspicuously when he lifted his arm.

How discreet he was actually being was anyone’s guess since there was only about three feet between them.

Not only was he at least an eleven, Sexy Guy also looked familiar. Eerily so. Only Roan couldn’t place him.

Roan shrugged off the thought and continued to stare the guy down.

For the past half hour, Roan had been nursing a beer while pretending to watch the baseball game playing on the television closest to him. He wasn’t really paying attention at all because his brain was inundated with how shitty he’d allowed his life to become. In fact, he’d been paying so little attention he had noticed that the handsome man now sitting across from him had been staring his way every so often.

After the guy signaled the waitress for two more beers, he turned back to Roan.

Bold move considering Roan had already told him he wasn’t interested. Or that had been his meaning anyway.

“Colton Seguine,” Sexy Guy said smoothly as he held out his hand.

Roan detected an accent, but he couldn’t quite place it. Canadian, maybe?

“Not interested,” Roan grumbled, ignoring the introduction, hoping the guy would get it through his thick skull that Roan wasn’t…

Wait.

Did he say…?

The name registered and Roan’s gaze slammed directly into the big guy.

Wavy blond hair, a thin scar running through one of his thick eyebrows, pale blue eyes with the perfect balance of gray running through them, a slightly crooked nose, and a jaw that looked as though it had been carved from stone, not to mention sharp cheekbones and those lips…

Holy shit.

The harmless temptation sitting across from him was none other than a fucking hockey player.

Harmless. Right.

“You’re Colton Seguine,” Roan muttered, feeling stupid.

The guy’s lopsided smirk transformed his face from sexy to … hot as fuck. “That’s what they tell me, but everyone calls me Seg. Unfortunately, I don’t recognize you, so…”

Roan held out his hand seeing that Seg’s was resting on the table as though waiting for this moment. “Roan Gregory.”

“Nice to meet you, Roan Gregory.”

Yes, it was.

Seg’s hand was strong, his grip firm. And holy fuck. This was Colton Seguine. Seg.

Roan briefly forgot all of his problems as he stared at the defenseman for the Austin Arrows hockey team. He knew the man was big—he’d read his stats a few dozen times—but up close and personal, he was ginormous. Six foot four, two-twenty, if Roan remembered correctly.

The waitress interrupted their staring contest when she delivered their beers, and for a few seconds, Roan was caught up in those smoky blue eyes, unable to look away.

It no longer mattered that he’d been wallowing in self-pity, trying to get over the fact that nearly four months ago he’d professed his love for his best friend. He no longer felt the chest-constricting pain that had engulfed him as soon as he realized Cam had fallen in love with someone and they were incredibly happy. The pain hadn’t come from the fact that Cam and Gannon were happy. As far as he was concerned, that was a good thing. It came from the fact that Roan had been insecure enough to think he would lose his friendship with the most important person in his life.

Only right now, the fact that he’d blurted out that he loved his best friend seemed unimportant—not to mention, completely untrue.

Nope. None of it mattered because his brain was misfiring; the only thing he could think about was sex. Sex with this incredibly sexy hockey player. Dirty, rough, highly-erotic sex.

And wasn’t that a kick in the nuts? Roan wasn’t the sort to succumb to insta-lust. It usually took him some time to warm up to a guy. A hell of a lot longer than a brief introduction anyway.

Roan took a long pull on his beer, breaking the eye contact.

This was insane.

Why the hell would this guy even be over here? It wasn’t like he was…

Nah. No way was this guy gay.

Plus, if he was—which he wasn’t—there was no way Seg would know Roan was gay. Seriously. How would he know? They weren’t in a gay bar. And it wasn’t like

Roan was wearing his I’m out and proud T-shirt today.

The thought had Roan staring at Seg thoughtfully.

Did he know Roan was gay? Was it something he broadcasted without realizing it?

After glancing around the room cautiously, Seg leaned in and lowered his voice. “What do you say after this beer, I take you back to my place and we have a drink there?”

Okay, so maybe along with some finely tuned gaydar, Seg was gay.

Not openly, obviously, since Roan distinctly remembered a recent article about Seg and some model chick he’d been dating as of late. Yes, in case there was any confusion, Roan was a fan of the Austin Arrows. Huge fan.

Maybe Seg was bisexual?

Roan let that thought roll around for a few seconds. He didn’t do bisexual. He had absolutely no intention of being with some guy who would wake up the next morning, crying and whining because he was so fucking confused about his life. Pussy or dick, it wasn’t that hard to figure out which you preferred.

Not to mention, Roan didn’t need that shit on top of everything else he was dealing with.

Leaning closer, mirroring Seg’s posture, Roan shook his head. “I’m pretty sure”—he tilted his head toward the waitress—“she’s more your type.”

Seg leaned even closer. “I’m pretty sure … you’re dead wrong.”

Roan sat up straight, taking another pull on his beer as he studied this man.

Here was a guy Roan had watched play for years. A guy who was as masculine as they came. A guy who was now sitting here, in this sports bar, coming on to him.

He was coming on to him, right? Roan had been out of the game a long time; maybe he was imagining it.

He instantly thought about Cam. About how Roan had damn near fucked up their friendship because of his momentary lapse in judgement. His stupid freak out had nearly cost him the most important person in his life.

Then he thought about his sister and her fucking drug problem.

And his father, who was beside himself on how to help her.

His stepmother, who had threatened to leave his father if they didn’t find a way to get Cassie some help.

A fucking mess was what his life had been reduced to.

No way should Roan add fucking a hockey player to that long list of screwed-up bullshit.

Clearly Seg sensed Roan was considering the idea. “One night. No strings.”

Nope, no mistaking that come-on.

Roan considered it.

No-strings sex. Was there even such a thing?

Roan adjusted his position, trying not to give the idea the merit it deserved, but unable to help himself.

A one-night stand with a hot hockey player.

Who could really say no to that? More importantly, who would?

His world was crumbling down around him, and this guy was offering him an opportunity to forget about it for a little while. An opportunity he’d be stupid to pass up.

“One night?” Roan confirmed.

Seg nodded.

“Tomorrow we pretend this never happened?”

Another nod.

Downing what was left of his beer, Roan reached for his wallet, pulled out a couple of twenties, and slapped them on the table before getting to his feet.

“I’ll follow you,” he told Seg.

The grin on Seg’s face made Roan’s dick jump to life.

Oh, yeah. This was definitely a good decision.


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~Blog Tour~Cowboys Don’t Ride Unicorns by Tara Lain~

 

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Today ~DirtyBooksObsession~

Welcomes and Congratulates

 Author Tara Lain on the Blog Tour of the book,

Cowboys Don’t Ride Unicorns.

~Excerpt & Giveaway~

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 Country boy and city slicker. Cowboy and decorator. Bull rider and — unicorn!  Opposites powerfully attract in Tara Lain’s new romance, but can they find a way to be together? Check out Cowboys Don’t Ride Unicorns.

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Title: Cowboys Don’t Ride Unicorns
Author: Tara Lain
Series: Cowboys Don’t,  Book #2
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: March 22, 2017
Genre(s): M/M, Romance/Cowboys

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 ~ Blurb~

 Cowboy Danny Boone—a name he made up one drunken night and has regretted ever since—harbors a big past and yearns for a small future. A short, bright career as a champion bull rider almost ended in his death when his homophobic father discovered Danny was gay. Now Danny longs for a plot of land he can build a ranch house on and enough money to make up for some of the education he missed.

Danny also hides a preference for beautiful femmes who like to top—a combo rarer than a unicorn. Then onto the guest ranch where Danny works drives San Francisco decorator Laurie Belmont, a young man so gorgeous he makes horses gasp, and so ballsy he almost kills Danny’s attacker.

Laurie’s trying to find his way out from under the thumb of a domineering mother, helpless father, and rich, privileged boyfriend. But no matter the attraction, their lives are worlds apart, and cowboys don’t ride unicorns.

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Available for purchase

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 Excerpt
Cowboys Don’t Ride Unicorns by Tara Lain

“I want to see what’s ahead.” He coaxed Tramp into a trot and then a canter, and before Danny could even register it, he was in a full-on gallop.

“Shit!” Danny glanced at Grove, who looked worried. Danny frowned. “Should I go after him? He’s pretty sure in the saddle, but he doesn’t know the area.”

“Yes, please. He’s pissed, and he’s got a wicked temper. Plus he’s fond of biting off more than he can chew.”

Danny scrubbed the accompanying image of Laurie’s biting and chewing from his brain and took off after him at speed. Danny rode Star Gazer, a beautiful black Arabian who had lots of speed on Tramp, but Laurie had a head start.

Danny galloped down the path, looking for signs of Tramp ahead. Finally he saw the flick of her tail rounding a corner, and he turned Star Gazer into the rough and ran catty-corner to intercept Laurie. When Danny came up beside Tramp, Laurie rode easily, grinning and obviously having way too much fun. Danny waved him down. “Stop, damn it.”

Laurie gave him a pouty look but slowed Tramp to a trot. “What’s wrong?”

“Just stop.”

Laurie frowned and pulled up Tramp.

Danny waved a hand to the right. “There’s a little stream over there. Let her get a drink.” He walked Star Gazer through the trees to the trickle of water, so precious in drought-ridden California.

Laurie dismounted and dropped his reins, letting Tramp get her own water.

Danny did the same, and as Star Gazer walked to the stream, Danny turned on Laurie. “First, you don’t know this area. Going that fast, you could have hit barbed wire, or for that matter, the highway that comes up fast in a half mile. Second, Tramp isn’t an Arabian. Yes, she’s got some speed, but she’s older and not bred to gallop for that long.”

“I asked to ride the Palomino.” He crossed his arms.

“And you may get to if it’s okay with Rand, but you’ve got to respect the horses, and making them pay for your temper isn’t the way to do it.”

Laurie’s eyes widened a bit; then he stared at his boots. “Tramp seems more than willing to run.”

Danny stepped closer. “A quality of horses you should be aware of is that they don’t always act in their own best interests. The same can be said for some humans.” Breathe. “You shouldn’t be riding alone. Period.”

Laurie stepped closer and thrust his pretty face toward Danny. “Okay, simple. You can ride with me.”

“I’ve got work to do.”

“News flash.” Laurie took another step. “I am your work.”

One more step and they’d be nose-to-nose—or lips-to-lips. Danny stared at that mouth like it held the secrets of the universe. What would those lips taste like? Big cowboy in the sky, help me.

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Cowboys Don’t Series

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Cowboys Don’t Come Out
Bk #1

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 About the Author
Tara Lain writes the Beautiful Boys of Romance in LGBT erotic romance novels that star her unique, charismatic heroes. Her first novel was published in January of 2011 and she’s now somewhere around book 32. Her best-selling novels have garnered awards for Best Series, Best Contemporary Romance, Best Paranormal Romance, Best Ménage, Best LGBT Romance, Best Gay Characters, and Tara has been named Best Writer of the Year in the LRC Awards. In her other job, Tara owns an advertising and public relations firm. She often does workshops on both author promotion and writing craft.  She lives with her soul-mate husband and her soul-mate dog near the sea in California where she sets a lot of her books.  Passionate about diversity, justice, and new experiences, Tara says on her tombstone it will say “Yes”!

You can find Tara Lain at

 


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~Release Tour~ Who We Are by Nicola Haken~

 

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Today ~DirtyBooksObsession~ Welcomes and Congratulates~

 Author Nicola Haken on the Release Tour of the book, Who We Are.

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Title: Who We Are
Author: Nicola Haken
Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance
Release Date: March 13, 2017


 Synopsys 

Since putting his life on hold ten years ago, Oliver Clayton doesn’t know who he is anymore. To his clients at the hair salon, he’s the sassy and confident stylist. To the crowds who come to watch his drag act at the club, he’s the fierce and fabulous Miss Tique. He’s popular. Talented. Out, proud, and self-assured.

He’s also a good actor. 

Sebastian Day is content with life’s easy, if not a little monotonous, routine. After several failed relationships, he likes the simplicity of being alone in his truck at his job as a heavy goods driver, spending the weekends with his teenage son, and putting the world to rights with his cat, Marv. He’s not lonely. He isn’t hiding.

At least…he doesn’t think he is until he meets the mesmerizing stranger with the red hair and purple lips. 

Can Oliver and Sebastian help each other embrace who they are? Or will a cruel twist of fate end their journey before it’s even begun?


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⇓ Review ⇓

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 What Others are Saying…

Angie at Wicked Reads ~ “Very heartwarming story, the banter between these guys is so sweet. I can’t say enough about this book to do it justice, just read it, you will love it.”

Beverly at Southern Babes Book Blog ~ “Sebastian and Oliver’s story is beautiful and heartbreaking… These two amazing men are trying to figure out who they really are and together they figure out that they can do anything.”


Jodi at Alpha Book Club ~ “Oliver’s story will make you cry and stand up and cheer for how strong of a human being he is… Loved this story and would recommend to anyone.”


MJ at Alixzia Reading Corner ~ “I ache and bleed with this book for every page turned! Highly recommend!”


Deanna at Two Chicks Obsessed ~ “This might be my new favorite Nicola Haken book. Broken nearly broke me, thus becoming my favorite; but this one left me far more emotional and thoughtful. I think it’s taken the crown.” 


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Excerpt

Who We Are
Copyright © Nicola Haken 2017
~ Sebastian~
I WAS JUMPING down from my cab after arriving back from my last drop of the day when my life almost ended. Okay, so maybe I was known for being a tad on the dramatic side, but when Benny – my oldest friend and biggest pain in my arse -jumped out from behind my trailer, I almost choked on my fucking heart.
“Jesus Christ,” I muttered, breathless from the fright. “How the hell did you get in the yard?”
I’d been a heavy goods driver for thirteen years, working here at Patterson Haulage Ltd. for three of those – long enough to know they didn’t let pedestrians wander in off the streets to play hide and seek behind the lorries. Transport was in my genes, I guess. My dad had been a trucker all his life, and he met my mum at work – she worked as a clerk in the office. I never wanted to do anything else. I walked straight into my first warehouse job fresh out of school and stayed there until I was old enough to train for my Class 1 licence and could go out on the road. I loved my job.
“That old lady with the bright orange face let me in. Told her I needed to talk to you about Scott.”
“Scott?” Slamming the door to my cab closed, I fished my phone from the pocket of my Hi-Vis jacket and scanned the screen for missed calls. “What’s wrong with him?”
“Well, he likes Eminem, but hopefully he’ll grow out of that.”
“What?” Narrowing my eyes in confusion, I stared at Benny who looked to be admiring his thumbnail.
“Nothing’s wrong with him. I just knew they’d let me come see your truck if I played the kid card.”
Rolling my eyes, I huffed as I turned and re-opened my cab door. Climbing the steps, I leaned inside to grab my holdall and tacho card before hopping back down. “You’ve seen a wagon before. You shouldn’t use Scott like that. There could be a real emergency one day.”
“And if there is I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be the one anyone’d call about it,” he said, his tone amused as he ran his finger along the curtain of my trailer. “This needs a wash.”
“You offering?” I asked as I locked up the cab and started walking towards the transport office. I found it highly doubtful as I turned my head to the side and eyed up his leather coat, and beige turtleneck that no doubt he’d paid upwards of a hundred pounds for. Benny worked in recruitment. In other words, companies paid him far too much money to find them suitable candidates for their businesses, money which he wasted on overpriced shit he didn’t need. “Or did you come here for another reason?”
“I came because, as you know, it’s my birthday on Friday. The big three-four. I want y…” Pausing mid word, Benny spun on his heels. “Holy hot ginger.”
I didn’t need to turn around to know he’d spotted Rod, seeing as he was the only red-headed bloke who worked at this depot. “Christ, Benny. Keep it down. I have to work with these guys.”
“Chill out. The fact you’re mates with a gay guy won’t give away the big secret that you like cookies and ice cream.”
“It’s not a secret,” I snapped. Or maybe it was, given that I’d never told anyone I worked with that I was bisexual. My last two relationships had been with women, and ‘passing’ as straight was simply…easier. I was a copout and a liar but I was tired of explaining, defending myself.
There are a lot of misconceptions about bisexuality and I’d encountered most of them during my twenties. Now, at thirty-four, I was kind of exhausted with it all. I wanted to fall in love and create a future with another person as much as anyone, but I’d given up on the idea a while ago. Relationships, for me, whether with a man or a woman, seemed to consist of me justifying myself, reassuring my partner, or hiding – as Benny would say – the cookies or ice cream part of my sexuality.
I couldn’t just be me.
wasn’t good enough.
Contrary to popular belief, I didn’t want to sleep with everybody, and there weren’t twice as many fish in the sea, because most fish thought I was confused, greedy, unfaithful, trying to be trendy, or afraid to admit I was gay. The last one confused me the most. The number of people who believed bisexuality was a temporary label used to ease the transition to gaytown would never cease to amaze me. It happened, sure, but there were a hell of a lot of bisexuals claiming to be gay, or straight, for no other reason than they couldn’t face the stigma attached to it, too.
I was simply attracted to people. I got turned on by the way someone carried themselves, by their confidence, or even shyness. I felt the same stir in my cock and pull of excitement in my chest when I saw the rugged grooves of a man’s chest as I did the silky curves of a woman’s hips. People are beautiful. I couldn’t help it. It’s just the way I was made.
Thankfully, many people realised these days that being gay or straight wasn’t a choice. Unfortunately, some of these same people believed bisexuals were capable of making a choice, and that they should. Well, I tried that when I was a teenager. I tried to pick a side, to ‘fit’ in somewhere.
Unsurprisingly, it didn’t work out too well.
“Just tell me what you came for,” I added to Benny, pushing open the swinging door that led to the warehouse which, in turn, led to the office.
“Do you have Scott this weekend?”
“No. Lisa’s taking him to see Jenny’s parents in Cornwall. Why?”
“Great! You’re coming to the village for my birthday.”
Ugh. “Ah, you know it’s not really my scene.” I had my reasons for not frequenting the village, unlike Benny who spent so much time there it could be considered his second home. Besides, after a day on the road my idea of a good time was Netflix and a takeaway.
“Yes, Mr Misery, I know having fun isn’t usually on your To Do list but it’s my birthday and you’ll hurt my feelings if you say no.”
We’d reached the office now and I handed my keys over to June through the window partition while raising a sceptical eyebrow at Benny. “Fine,” I said. “But as soon as you’re too drunk to notice whether I’m there or not I’m leaving.”
“I love you.” He turned to June who looked rather amused by my dickhead friend. “I love him, you know.”
“Knock it off, moron,” I said, ramming my shoulder into his.
“Watch the jacket!” he shrieked as he rubbed at the tan leather that made him look like a seventies pimp. “You’re covered in dirt and smell like oil.”
“Please excuse my friend, June. They don’t usually let him out unattended.”
“Don’t mind me, lovey. I’ve seen all sorts in my time.”
I risked a glance at Benny, whose mouth had dropped ever so slightly open. For a man who wasn’t easily offended, the image was priceless.
“You’re on the Midlands run tomorrow, lovey,” June added as she tapped on her keyboard.
Nodding, I told her I’d see her in the morning, swung my holdall over my shoulder and started making my way to the car park, all the while trying not to laugh at Benny’s reaction.
“Did she seriously refer to me as an all sort?” he muttered under his breath when we neared my car. I knew he wouldn’t let it go so easily. “Clearly, out of the all sorts she’s met none of them have been make-up artists.”
“Stop it,” I said, snorting as I clicked open the central locking on my matte black Ford Galaxy. “June’s lovely. A little old-fashioned, but harmless.”
“I’m sure. It just wouldn’t hurt for her to go down a shade or twelve in the foundation department is all I’m saying.”
Opening the rear door, I tossed my bag onto the back seat. “Have you finished being a bitch?”
“God, I hope not.”
Removing my thick, Hi-Vis jacket, I threw that on top of my bag, revealing my dark green uniform polo shirt, before closing the door and getting into the driver’s seat. “Is that all you wanted? You could’ve called or text.”
Benny leaned against my open door, hand on hip. “Told you, I wanted to see your big truck.” He winked at me.
I wanted so badly to roll my eyes, or at least keep a disinterested expression, but I couldn’t help chuckle at him.
“I was in the area, and besides, you’d have said no without my pretty face to seduce you.”
Probably. 
“And hey, if you want to bring a plus one your red-haired co-worker is more than welcome.”
Shooing him away from the door, I pulled it closed and brought the engine to life before rolling down the electric window. “Let me know when and where during the week,” I said, dismissing the idea of inviting Rod. He’d only been here for three months and I didn’t know the guy well, but the fact he had a wife and three kids told me Rod wouldn’t be interested in the kind of socialising Benny had in mind for him.
“Will do,” he said, tapping the roof of my car before backing away. “Don’t forget I have expensive taste!”
Shaking my head, I bit my lip to suppress the grin that wanted to escape as I reversed out of my space. I already had his present – a bottle of Dior aftershave, same as every year. It was the only thing I knew the fussy bastard wouldn’t return in exchange for store credit.

TEASERS

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 Meet The Author

 Nicola Haken lives in Rochdale, England, with her five kids – one of whom is a grown man who many refer to as her husband. She spends her days writing about life, love, and all the beauty and angst that comes with it, and her nights binge watching Netflix or being the household slave. She’s also not very good at referring to herself in the third person, so if you’d like to get to know her your best bet would be to follow her on social media! 
Oh, and if the kids ever ask, she moonlights as the Pink Power Ranger while they’re sleeping…

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