Blog Tour: Will You Be My Escort by Meg Harding

Will You Be My Escort
#2 in The Carlisles Series
200 pages
Dreamspinner Press
Cover by Reese Dante

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A Carlisles novel

Jackson Carlisle has rotten luck with men and women, and after an especially bad situation, he takes a step back from romance. But with a two-week family reunion in Hawaii looming, his mom is determined to set him up with one of the sweet singles she knows would be perfect for him. A normal person would tell her no and be done with it. Instead, Jackson tells her he has a boyfriend. The only problem? He doesn’t.

Aaron Wilkes is an escort. He’s a little surprised when a friend’s girlfriend hires him to date her brother, but he’s had stranger jobs. Jackson is cute, and he thinks a fling with Aaron might be just the kind of no-strings-attached fun he needs to get over his dry spell. As they explore the islands together, their carefully laid plans begin to get away from them. Feelings aren’t supposed to come into play, but that shouldn’t be a problem. After all, you can’t fall in love in two weeks….

Excerpt:

Part of being in a large family means everyone knows everything. And it’s never forgotten, because inevitably someone remembers it. So Jackson doesn’t know how he hasn’t heard about the family reunion until he’s staring at the ridiculous card on his dark-cream tiled counter. Someone has taken the time to make a collage of the entire family’s faces and merge them into lettering that reads “You’re invited to the Carlisle Family Reunion.” He’s not sure whether to be impressed or appalled.

His phone starts to trill. He picks it up without looking. “Are you seeing this?” asks James. “I think I’m hallucinating it.”

“No,” says Jackson. “I’ve got it in front of me. It’s painfully real.”

The last thing in the world he wants to do is attend a family reunion. It’s a two-week-long affair at a resort in Hawaii (which would be lovely if the family reunion aspect was removed), occurring in three weeks’ time, during which they’re going to be surrounded by obnoxious extended family. It’s like something from a horror film.

“I don’t know why you’re complaining,” he says to James. “You’ve got a boyfriend.” He thinks about it. “Can Bastien not come?” He runs two businesses and works a lot, but he’s got a partner who can probably take things over.

“Bastien can come,” grumbles James. “He’s annoyingly excited for it.”

“He’s in for a rude awakening,” mutters Jackson. Bastien hasn’t met anyone outside of their immediate close-knit group yet—he wasn’t around for the last reunion. He’s probably expecting everyone to be like their particular branch of Carlisles. The extended family isn’t like them. Well, in some ways they are, but in others… no. They’re an eclectic group of people who mostly only bother to get together and converse for a period longer than a two-word holiday or birthday card every five years.

There’s a reason for that.

His call waiting goes off. He pulls the phone from his ear. “Mom’s calling,” he says on a sigh. “I’ll call you back.”

“Don’t bother,” says James. “I’m coming over, and we’re going to drink till we forget we’ve been invited.”

Jackson rolls his eyes. “You’re a drama queen.” He drops the call in the middle of James’s indignant squawks. “Hello,” he says to his mom.

“Hello, sweetie,” she says. “Did you get the invitation?”

He glares at their obnoxious collaged faces. “I did.” He looks closer. Someone has photoshopped a curled mustache onto James’s face. He holds the phone away from him as he snickers. Their cousin Bobby must have made the card. He hates James. “James has a mustache in the picture,” he tells his mom. “Did you see that?”

Her sigh is long and pained. “I did. I’m calling to let you know you have to go. You can’t get out of this.” She goes silent, but there’s something about it that makes Jackson feel like there’s more coming. He has a feeling he’s not going to like it. “I know things have been rough, since you had to move and all….”

And he called that.

“But I have a friend, she has a delightful daughter, and I think you two would really get along. She might take some of the pressure off the reunion? And I think it’ll be good for you. I don’t mean to worry, but you haven’t dated anyone since Angel.” He winces at the name. “It’s time to try again, don’t you think? Move on? We’re all worried about you, dear. I have a friend with a son too, he’s a bit older than you, but he’s got a nice job.”

The last thing he wants is to be set up by his mother. A sane person would tell her to butt out and hang up. Politely of course; this is his mom after all. Jackson has a short supply of sanity, though, and he’s been running on very little sleep for the last month. What comes out of his mouth, instead of “no, thank you” or “I don’t need someone else to be happy,” is “I’m already seeing someone.”

 

 

Giveaway: Paperback copy of Dinner for One

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Bio:

Meg Harding is a graduate of UCF and Anglia Ruskin University. For as long as she can remember, writing has always been her passion, but she had an inability to ever actually finish anything. She’s immensely happy that her inability has fled and looks forward to where her mind will take her next. She’s a sucker for happy endings, the beach, and superheroes.  In her dream life she owns a wildlife conservation and is surrounded by puppies. She’s a film buff, voracious reader, and a massive geek.

 

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Blog Tour: Taming the Wyld by Lucie Archer

Today I’d like to share one of my fellow author’s States of Love story. Please welcome Lucie Archer with her story Taming the Wyld.

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AVAILABLE NOW

Taming the Wyld
States of Love – Alaska

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Bree Archer

Genre:
Contemporary
Length: 35,209 Words

Rating: Adult/Mature

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Blurb:

The Witness Protection Program dumps JD Smith practically at the ends of the earth—in Two Pines, Alaska—to protect him until he can testify against a dangerous gang. He tries to stick to his story and keep his head down, but it’s impossible to ignore bush pilot Jake Wylder, a sexy loner with quite a reputation around the small town.

Flying medical supplies around Alaska suits Jake’s wild streak and love of freedom. He’s perfectly content to keep his romantic encounters casual—at least until he meets JD. Something about the nurse makes Jake think settling down might not be such a hardship. Now he just needs to convince JD he’s serious—which won’t be easy, given his past.

For a relationship to stand a chance, JD must testify so he can return to Two Pines as the man he really is—and Jake must grow into the man JD needs him to be.


Hello everyone! Thanks for joining me on the last day of my blog tour, and a big thank you to Renee for having me. This was my first tour ever and I had a lot of fun discussing Taming the Wyld along the way, but I wanted to wrap things up with a look to the future. I have several projects in the works, and so I thought I’d offer up a sneak peak at one.

This is the opening of my short story, Abstract Heart, written for Dreamspinner Press’s Love Wins charity anthology to benefit the victims of the Pulse shooting in Orlando. I’m super proud of it and happy I could help the innocent victims in a meaningful way. I hope you enjoy!


Abstract Heart
Love Wins Anthology
Release: December 2016

Nick Walters had a thing for abstract art. He took one random art class in college as part of his core curriculum, and a few of the finer points stuck with him. Of course that wasn’t the reason he spent nearly every lunch break sitting on the same bench outside the Pleasant View Museum of Modern Art before popping in for fifteen minutes to admire some of the pieces. No, that had a lot more to do with a very different kind of art appreciation.

“His name’s Kris, and technically, I’ve never talked to him,” Nick admitted. He’d done his best to throw Courtney off his scent, but his sister never turned down the opportunity to treat him like one of the suspects she interrogated on a regular basis. Sometimes he resented how well she did her job.

“Then how do you know his name?”

“Nametag.”

She smirked over the rim of her mug, mouth concealed, but he saw the amusement sparkling in her eyes. “And why haven’t you talked to him yet?” she pressed, taking a moment to blow on her coffee while he digested the question.

Nick sighed, fingers tightening around the warm ceramic in his hands. She knew damn well how hard of a time he had it when it came to talking to men. He had anxiety issues and problems with low self-esteem, but he did his best, practicing the techniques his mother’s therapist friend suggested that “normal” people took for granted.

It frustrated him when his own family couldn’t grasp how hard it was for him to initiate a conversation with a stranger on a train about the weather or comment on a random guy’s jacket without the heavy feeling in his chest trying to boil him in his own skin. And that’s exactly how it felt, pulse racing, palms sweating, and his shirt so soaked with perspiration afterward that he had no choice but to change.

Yeah, real sexy stuff.

“Seriously, Court? Do you know me at all?” He chanced a sip of his coffee as an excuse not to elaborate and accepted the burn his tongue received as a consequence.

“How are you going to meet someone if you can’t talk to people?”

He shrugged and took another sip.

“Really, what’s the worst that could happen if you just said ‘hello?’ ”

“Um, the Earth could open up and swallow me.”

“She said worst,” their mother interjected. She’d slipped in the back door and now stood in front of the sink, her hands caked in dirt from working in her garden. “I think that would be a dream come true for you,” she snickered. Courtney joined in much to his chagrin.

“I honestly don’t know why I come over here,” he mumbled to himself, shaking his head in annoyance.

“Because I feed you,” his mother replied.

She had a point, but he didn’t know whether food could make up for regular Saturday morning interrogations. Russell, his stepfather, saved him from further harassment when he joined them in the kitchen, but Courtney made him promise to at least say “Hi” to Kris the next time he saw him.

He reluctantly agreed. How hard could it really be?


There you have it! The aim is for a December release, so keep a look out. And in the meantime, grab yourself a copy of Taming the Wyld!

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Meet Lucie:

Lucie Archer is a student of the universe who is obsessed with the stars, in love with beaches, and crazy about dudes falling in love. She tells stories of romance, love, and life, with a little bit of passion thrown in for good measure. Because what’s life without a little pop and sizzle?

When she’s not writing, she can be found tending to her garden, playing with her four-legged children, or procrastinating. Although, she spends a lot of time fending off random plot bunnies that threaten to derail her WIP’s.

Website & blog: www.luciearcher.com

Facebook page: www.facebook.com/writerluciearcher

Twitter: www.twitter.com/Lucie_Archer

 

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Blog tour:

September 14: MM Good Book Reviews (https://mmgoodbookreviews.wordpress.com/2016/09/14/taming-the-wyld-by-lucie-archer-blog-tour-intro-excerpt-giveaway/)

September 20: Dreamspinner Press blog (http://blog.dreamspinnerpress.com/2016/09/20/taming-wyld-research-lucie-archer/)

September 21 – Release day: Tammy’s 2 cents (http://www.ttcbooksandmore.com)

September 22: Alpha Book Reviews (http://alphabookclub.org/2016/09/22/taming-wyld-lucie-archer-guest-post/)

September 23: My Fiction Nook (http://www.myfictionnook.com)

September 26: Love Bytes (http://lovebytesreviews.com)

September 26: Renee Stephens (http://reneestevens.net)

 

Blog Tour: When Fate Falls Short by Brooke Edwards

 A Bittersweet Dreams Title

It’s an unfortunate truth: love doesn’t always conquer all. Regardless of its strength, sometimes fate intervenes, tragedy strikes, or forces conspire against it. These stories of romance do not offer a traditional happy ending, but the strong and enduring love will still touch your heart and maybe move you to tears.

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BLURB

Childhood sweethearts Nathan Maxwell and Sean Adams took ten years to realize they belonged together, followed by ten years of bliss. When it is snatched away, Sean is left alone with the aftermath. Lost and grieving in a world that doesn’t make sense without Nathan by his side, he struggles to keep himself afloat… until he meets Jesse Lawrence.

The shadow of a congenital heart defect has hung over Jesse like a dark cloud all his life. Nathan’s death saves Jesse’s life by providing the heart Jesse needs to survive, and a chance encounter between their best friends plants Jesse in Sean’s orbit. But how well can a love triangle between a dead man, his grieving lover, and the one with his heart beating in his chest possibly turn out? Real feelings and pure intentions might not be enough.

EXCERPT

August 2015

It’s the twentieth anniversary of the day they first met when Nathan doesn’t come home from running errands, and Sean is in a panic. He’s over an hour late for dinner, and none of Sean’s five calls has been answered.

Sean is staring at the entryway expectantly, knees bouncing with anxiety, when his phone lights up and starts vibrating across the edge of the kitchen table. Sean lunges for it and sees the picture of Nathan, a candid snap with his eyes crinkled in laughter, flash on the screen. He’s filled with a strange combination of worry, anger, and relief all at once.

“Where are you?” he asks, a little garbled and strangled as he holds the phone to his ear. “Are you okay? Nate, it’s seven thirt—”

“I’m sorry, I’m not him!” an unfamiliar voice, shaky and female, rushes to say, and Sean’s words die in his throat. “You’re the emergency contact in this phone? I picked it up and checked. It’s not a name, it just says ‘Light of your damn life,’ so I assumed but I wasn’t sure, and I’m—” The woman breaks off suddenly and makes a garbled sound of her own. “Wow, I’m so sorry.”

Sean feels a heavy chill weigh him down suddenly. “What happened to Nathan?”

“There was an accident,” she says. “A couple of hours ago, I think? I’m sorry I couldn’t call earlier, but your—Nathan, you said? Nathan was crossing the road. A car hit him—”

Sean’s chest grows tight. “Where is he?”

“Cedars-Sinai. My name’s Katie. I was across the street when it happened. I called the ambulance and came to the hospital after them. I—he must have dropped his things. His phone. It’s kind of banged up. I grabbed it and realized I had the emergency information, so I came after them. Sorry I didn’t call right then, but everything happened really fast. It was—it was pretty bad.” She swallows audibly. “I’m here, but they won’t tell me anything so I can’t give you any news. I’m sorry, but you should come.”

“It’s okay.” Sean stands on unsteady legs, heavy and unbalanced with Katie’s words. He glances around for the keys. “I’m leaving now. Thank you. I’ll—I’ll see you there, okay?” He hangs up before Katie can say anything more.

He swipes the keys from the counter and leaves their dinner, cold and abandoned, on the table. His fingers are trembling as he stabs at the screen of his phone, trying to find one of Nathan’s parents’ numbers while heading for the front door. He doesn’t know which one he presses Call for, only that neither Tania nor Richard is the one to answer it. Lauren’s two-and-a-half-year-old, Ryder, starts babbling happily into the receiver as soon as the call connects.

Sean catches himself against the side of his car, fumbling with the keys, and takes a deep breath. “Ry, buddy, I need you to put Pa or Gram on.” His mouth tastes sour with dread. “Please. Pa or Gram.”

Ryder continues to babble for a few seconds before he grows distant and Richard’s voice, warm as if he’s just been laughing, replaces it. “Sean. How was dinner?”

Sean yanks the door open and half falls into the seat. “Nate’s in the hospital,” he manages to say, and suddenly his whole body is shaking along with his hands. “He was late and someone just called me. There was a car, he was crossing the road, something, I don’t know. She said it was bad and I’m going now.”

“Cedars?”

Sean can hear Tania calling out to Lauren in the background. “Yes—yes, Cedars,” he says. The first three attempts at getting the key into the ignition fail, but the fourth try is a success. He leans against the steering wheel and fumbles for his seat belt. “Are you coming?”

“Of course,” Richard says instantly. “We’ll meet you there. Are you okay?”

“I’ll see you there,” Sean says and hangs up, tossing the phone onto the passenger seat.

A lump settles somewhere in the back of his throat. He coughs as the engine idles, swallows against the taste of bile, and tries to ignore the burn in his eyes as he shifts the car into gear.

“Nathan Maxwell,” Sean says when he gets to reception. His hands are still shaking, haven’t stopped shaking since even before the phone call, and he rests them on the counter. “There was an—an accident? Someone called me and said he was here and I need to—I need to see Nathan, okay—”

“You’re here for Nathan?” comes from somewhere behind him.

Sean turns and sees a young woman struggling to get up from one of the seats. Her long hair is piled messily on top of her head with a bright hairband, and she abandons her handbag and coat on the seat to hurry toward him.

“You—you called me?” he asks. “Katie?”

She nods hurriedly. “Yes, that’s me. They haven’t told me anything, but I heard them say they took him into surgery.”

There’s a spot of dark red on the collar of her blouse and a smear across the cuff too, and Sean’s knees buckle a little. He forces one foot out in a half step just to stay upright.

Katie reaches out hesitantly and grips his forearm with strong fingers. “Surgery is good,” she says, and Sean almost laughs at the wavering conviction in her voice. She grips harder and repeats it. “Surgery is good.” Her voice is steadier. “Means he’s fighting, right?”

Sean doesn’t know what to say to that, so he just nods and tries desperately to ignore the fact that Nathan’s blood is on her blouse. He turns back to the reception counter. “Nathan Maxwell,” he repeats. “Please.”

The woman behind the desk gets up and comes around the desk. He doesn’t realize how badly he’s shaking until she puts a hand under the elbow of his other arm to get a solid grip and has to hold on as tightly as Katie is.

“This way, sir.”

AUTHOR BIO

Author, dreamer, fangirl and foodie – twenty-something Brooke Edwards will always call Australia home no matter where the wanderlust takes her. Her tertiary education bounced from history and linguistics to criminology and history and even went as far as nutrition and sports/exercise science. Making ends meet through a similarly wide variety of jobs from education, retail, fitness, hospitality and finance means she never has any shortage of inspiration for characters or their adventures. Writing, closely followed by the culinary arts, has been her longest-running and most consistent passion and her greatest dream would be to one day not have to do anything else but write. Until then, she can probably be found in a caffeine-induced haze either behind her computer or in the kitchen.

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Blog Tour: Cosmic Inception by Alicia Nordwell

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So many tour stops, so many planets, so much fun! As today is the end of the Release Tour for Cosmic Inception, I wanted to share a bit about where it all began: Caeorleia. There’s nothing like seeing the story come alive in your head, but I always like to see what authors of my favorite stories have in mind when it comes to settings or characters. I’ve shared two other planets with you during this tour, so I couldn’t leave Caeorleia out. In the past I’ve included images to represented different elements from Caeorleia, but these really bring to life what I see when I write about the planet. Enjoy!

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Caeorleia Jungle

Caeorleian Jungle

Caeorleia from Space

Caeorleia from Space – Protected by the bio net

Their journey will span the universe and back, but there’s no guarantee they’ll make it together.

Though Nick and Fieo are drawn to each other, their relationship has never been easy. Their differences go beyond their races, but they’ve managed to work together to prevent the spread of corruption, growing closer along the way. Nick still battles the effects of years of loneliness, fear, and pain but surprises everyone when he refuses to stay behind when Fieo is sent on a vital mission to find the Collectors. Fieo objects, but there’s no stopping Nick when he sets his mind to something. Over the course of their mission, it becomes clear Nick is more than anyone ever imagined, but the mystery of his past threatens to derail his future.

The search for the truth will take Fieo and Nick far from Caeorleia, to worlds both familiar and completely alien, and put stress on their already tenuous relationship. It’s a journey that will either tear them apart or finally bring them together.

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press Cover Artist: Christine Griffin
Length: 288 Pages, 110.5k

Buy Links:



Where to Find More from Alicia Nordwell

Alicia Nordwell is one of those not so rare creatures, a reader turned writer. Striving to find something interesting to read one day, she decided to write what she wanted instead. Then the voices started … Yep, not only does she talk about herself in the third person for bios, she has voices in her head constantly clamoring to get out.

Fortunately for readers, with the encouragement of her family and friends, she decided for her own sanity to keep writing. Now you can find her stories both free and e-published! She can be found quite often at her blog, where she has a lot of free fiction for readers to enjoy or working hard, or maybe hardly working, as an admin on GayAuthors.org under her online nickname, Cia.

Oh yeah, she’s a wife, mom of two, and lives in the dreary, yet ideal for her redhead complexion, Pacific Northwest. Except for when she disappears into one of the many worlds in her head, of course!

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7-28: Cia’s Stories: Winners Revealed!

Blog Tour: Love Is Love Poetry Anthology – Various Authors

A collection of poems composed by over fifty authors

in aid of the victims and survivors of the Orlando Pulse Attack.

 

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On June 12, 2016, the most horrendous mass shooting in US history and an unfathomable act of hate was directed at the LGBT community in Orlando. The horror of this tragedy reverberated around the world, leaving millions shocked and appalled at the senseless violence that destroyed so many innocent lives.

In a display of solidarity with the victims and survivors of the Pulse nightclub shooting, a group of LGBTQ+ and straight allies, from all across the globe, came together to produce a collection of poems in celebration of love and acceptance.

The resulting Love is Love Poetry Anthology is dedicated to the families and victims of the shooting and all proceeds of this work will be donated to Equality Florida’s Pulse Victims Fund.

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In this small way, the authors, along with the readers who purchase this work, seek to contribute to the lives of those who still suffer from the consequences of the malice directed toward them, and offer some positivity and compassion in the face of such bigotry.

Contributing Authors:

AC Benus, Aditus, Andrew Jericho, Ann Anderson, Ash Marie, Asta Idonea, Betti Gefecht, Cam Kennedy, Cynus Eldranai, Darren White, dughlas, Eddy LeFey, Eden Winters, EmiGS Em, F.E. Feeley Jr., Gelybi , Headstall, Jack L. Pyke, Jana Denardo, Jason Frazier, Jay Rookwood, J.L. Merrow, Karina Rye, Kathy Griffith, Kay Ellis, Kaye P. Hallows, Kit Loffstadt, Laura B. Damone, Layla Dorine, Lily G. Blunt, L.J. Harris, L.M. Somerton, Louis Stevens, L.S.K Harris, L.V. Lloyd, Lynn Michaels, Maggie Chatterton, Maria Siopis, Monika De Giorgi, Parker Owens, Patricia Nelson, Pelaam, Petra Howard, Ravyn Bryce, Rick R. Reed, Ruski, Valik and Addy, S.J. Davis, Skylar M. Cates, Star Brady, Steve Baldry, Susan Crane, Tamara Miles, Tash Hatzipetrou, Tim Landon, Tracy Gee, Vicki Tubridy, Victoria Kinnaird, and Wendy Rathbone.

 

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Sincere thanks go to everyone who contributed their time, energy, and skills in the making of this beautiful anthology.

Special thanks also go to Jay Aheer (Simply Defined Art) for the fabulous cover art,

Kelly O’Brien for the ‘Love Wins’ artwork,

and Petra Howard and Tash Hatzipetrou for proofreading the final document.

 

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Many thanks to Kelly O’Brien for contributing the

“Love Wins’ artwork.

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Blog Tour: Town Man, Country Man by Jessica Skye Davies

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Music in Books

Firstly, let me thank Renee for hosting me here today.  I’m very pleased to be here, less than two weeks from the release of “Town Man, Country Man”, my fourth title with Dreamspinner Press.

One question frequently put to writers is whether they listen to music while writing or if they listen to certain types of music while writing certain scenes.  I don’t.  I prefer my writing environment to be as quiet and distraction-free as possible (which is probably why I rarely get as much of it done as I’d like!)

But I am a lover of all sorts of music, always listening to whatever fits my mood at the moment.  Music does often play a part in my writing by way of offering significant insight into my characters’ personalities and helping to enrich the backdrops.

The music in “Town Man, Country Man” starts offering clues about the characters straight away when Josh and Ben meet at a friend’s wedding and Ben asks Josh to dance by saying that he “kind of really” likes the song playing at the moment.  Josh’s best friend displays his characteristic snark, mouthing “Edge of Glory?” as Josh moves to join Ben on the dancefloor.

Later, though, Ben back-peddles a bit, saying he’d probably never attend a Lady Gaga concert or buy her music, but he does find it fun for dancing.  Overall, Ben is a more of a classic rock and 80’s music kinda guy, though he likes to work-out to his “RuPaul” Pandora radio station and has a few dance hits CDs in his glovebox.  Typically over-analytical Josh reads this as Ben being “safe” in his choices of personal expression.  Josh and Ben have a lot of musical taste in common, though.  Both can easily enjoy “fun” pop stuff, while also having an appreciation for old jazz music.

Josh gets a bit of a surprise when he takes Ben out to one of his regular gay clubs for their second date.  For one thing, Ben isn’t afraid of being the only ones dancing because it’s not even 11:00 PM yet.  For another, when the DJ plays a Marc Anthony song, Ben asks Josh if he knows how to dance salsa.  Josh, in fact, does and the two of them are a big hit, showing off more moves than the usual twerking and grinding.  The DJ even decides to play a few more Latin songs to let Josh and Ben show off and the bartender says it’s like watching “Dancing with the Stars”.  (And here I must fully disclose that ever since I started salsa dancing myself a few years I’ve wanted to write characters who dance, too.  Just a little of art imitating life, and after all, as Josh says, “who doesn’t like an excuse for thinking about Ricky Martin?”)

The next morning, Ben and Josh return to Pittsburgh’s Strip District to experience the phenomenon that is Saturday morning marketing on Penn Avenue.  This is an example of music describing a scene as few other things can, with various shops piping music onto the sidewalks, ranging from pop hits like Katy Perry to Pittsburgh Steelers fight songs.  Like the mix of goods and foods on offer, it is a unique representation of the city.

Josh also finds his thoughts about Ben and their deepening relationship echoed perfectly when Ben’s Pandora station offers them “I Got Rhythm” on their way home from a double-date golf outing.  Of course, when it comes to the logistics of a long-term relationship, sometimes those ‘daisies in green pastures’ aren’t quite enough to bridge a 50-mile lifestyle gap.

Music can often reveal so much about a person or place that aside from being its own language of notes and rhythms and harmonies, it becomes such an important part of understanding another person’s individual “language”.  While Josh does have a habit of reading rather a lot into every aspect of his time together with Ben, there is something to be said for cluing into someone’s “language” to help firmly establish a connection early on.

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Town Man, Country Man

“Town man” Josh Douglass meets “country man” Ben Bauer at a mutual friend’s wedding, and passion kindles immediately. As urbanite wedding planner Josh and closeted contractor Ben spend more time together, they develop a deep, comfortable romance despite the fifty miles between their homes—and despite the drastic differences in their lifestyles. But as they grow closer, it becomes apparent that Josh and Ben have been enjoying the first flush of love without giving much thought to longer-term logistics.

A crisis leads Josh to ask himself serious questions about how his relationship with Ben can realistically work. But just as Josh is feeling ready to talk about the next step with Ben, a misunderstanding threatens to put an end to their love affair. Compromise is the key to any relationship, but it isn’t always easy to balance careers, friendships, and family expectations. Josh and Ben just need to see that bringing together the best of both their worlds is well worth the sacrifices they’ll have to make to remain in each other’s lives.

Jessica Skye Davies

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Blog Tour: The Paranaturalist by Ki Brightly

paranturalistblogtour

To start off, I would like to say thanks to Renee Stevens for having me on her blog!

Today I thought I would talk a little bit about my inspiration for the world building in The Paranaturalist. The Paranaturalist is a paranormal romance not because the main characters are shifters—though for the keen eyed reader who has delved into my past works they may notice one or two of those in the background—but because regular people have “supernatural” powers. Most people in this ‘verse don’t though, it’s still extremely rare, and the average person certainly isn’t aware of the layers of reality that exist around them.

Owen, one of my main characters is an energy worker, and as such when we see things from his point of view we often see different energies that exist in the universe playing off each other either as he manipulates them or as they randomly occur. I walked a fine line when I was writing this ability of Owen’s because if it was too over the top it would become redundant, distracting even to the reader, and eventually just background noise. I had to make sure that it was woven into the story well, not just icing. I think some of my inspiration for this type of ability probably came from my extensive sci-fi/comic book addiction, ongoing theological research, and the fact that I was an 80’s child. The 80’s were a time of over the top flair and I internalized that and nurtured it with rainbows and love. Owen’s energy experiences are fantastical visual events—for him. It’s isolating for him that he sees the world this way and no one else does. Until he meets Joe.

Joe sees ghosts. This isn’t a unique idea, at all, in the world of paranormal books, but I tried to give Joe his own unique spin on things. I tried to have Joe’s powers evolve naturally, or at least as naturally as I can imagine something like that would come on. A lot of trying to make Joe’s character believable came down to how he reacted to the odd things that popped up in his life. I wanted him to react like a real person would. A lot of good character creation, in my opinion, comes down to making those characters believable. And some of Joe’s powers cross over with Owen’s, but, as you’ll see when you read the book, they actually occupy different spheres of influence in the paranatural order of things.

At the end of the day I had a lot of fun writing The Paranaturalist. It wasn’t an easy write, because unlike the last book I wrote, The Shape of Honey, which dealt with werewolves, I wasn’t picking, choosing, modifying existing lore, I was creating something brand new. And I hope you enjoy it!

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Buy Links

 Dreamspinner Press

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Amazon

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All Romance

Ebook

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Blurb

As a kid, Joseph Appleyard saw things hidden from others. Now he is The Paranaturalist, an investigator and cohost of a television show that seeks to prove the existence of the paranormal. Some think Joe is crazy, but they don’t realize he knows firsthand there’s more to the world than what most perceive. The trouble is, somewhere along the way, Joe lost his vision and it left his world flat and dull. One night an investigation goes horribly wrong, and a powerful ghostly manifestation sends Joe tumbling into a river. Spirit worker Owen Watson saves Joe’s life, and once they are back on dry land, whatever has been blocking Joe’s vision has been washed away.

When a haunting goes from annoying to dangerous, people turn to Owen Watson. He hates those infuriating hacks from TV, but when he pulls Joe from the river, his mind begins to change. Joe is scared and confused, and Owen realizes he might just be the real thing. Together, they work to understand the part of Joe that has been shut away for so long. But just as Joe is reacclimating to his abilities, his career as a paranormal investigator is in danger of being ripped away. Owen would gladly battle a bloodthirsty spirit for Joe, but he’s out of his element in the world of reality television.

Bio

Ki grew up in small town nowhere pretending that meteor showers were aliens invading, turning wildflowers into magic potions, and reading more than was probably healthy. Ki had one amazing best friend, one endlessly out of grasp “true love”, and a personal vendetta against normalcy.

Now, as an adult, living in Erie, Pennsylvania, Ki enjoys the sandy beaches, frigid winters, and a wonderful fancy water addiction. Seriously, fancy waters…who knew there were so many different kinds? It’s just water…and yet…

Ki shares this life with a Muse, a Sugar Plum, and two wonderful children.

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Blog Tour: Rockin’ It Forever by Morticia Knight

I Know it’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll…

My brother and sister are over a generation older than me. I won’t get into the whole surprise baby aspect of that, but what’s interesting about it, is that I was surrounded by rock music early on. When I was five-years-old, my teen brother would come home late at night and start blasting the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, and Jimi Hendrix all over the house. My sister was crazy for Janis Joplin and Jefferson Airplane. I asked for my own record player a few years later, and my first two record purchases are etched in my memory.

Instead of buying albums from the artists who represented the current scene, I wanted what they’d listened to. Neither one of them were at home anymore, so I suppose that was a big part of it. My mom’s musical tastes tended more toward Sinatra, and I had zero interest in Ol’ Blue Eyes. I thumbed through the album choices at the Broadway department store to pick out the two selections my mom said I could have to go with my new player. Somehow, I ended up with The Beatles Yellow Submarine and Melanie’s Brand New Key. I played those albums raw.

Eventually, my listening repertoire expanded greatly, until all I wanted for Christmas were items related to music. The acoustic guitar nestled under the tree one year irretrievably changed my course. Learning to play my favorite band’s and singer’s songs on my guitar was awesome, until I started writing my own. It was then that I out my fiction writing dreams on the backburner to pursue my newfound path in life of rock music superstardom.

That didn’t exactly work out, obviously, but I did get to spend over fifteen years in the music industry and my hey-day was during the alternative rock era of the nineties. When I decided to write Aubrey and Bryan’s love story in Rockin’ the Alternative and Rockin’ it Forever, I drew from my own personal experiences as a musician. My own frustrations with the industry informed Aubrey’s character and I also let Aubrey steal my songs for the book. Hey, I figured I’d already written those lyrics and maybe one of the three people who bought the CD would recognize them! *wink*

Okay, so I didn’t have the dramatic romantic love story with a rock journalist the way Aubrey does with Bryan, but the rest is very much taken from reality. I’m including an excerpt from the early stages of their relationship in Rockin’ it Forever (the second book). Rock star journalist, Bryan, is traversing the unknown waters of trying to have a relationship with a rock star idol while questioning his own sexuality for the first time, but also attempting to remain professional.

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Amazon US
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Pride Publishing
All Romance
Barnes & Noble

Blurb for Rockin’ it Forever

Can the touch of a rock god last forever?

Music journalist Bryan Gallagher’s life has changed forever in an unexpected way. Not only has he snagged a dream assignment as the memoirist to alternative music’s rock superstar, Aubrey King, but he’s also promised to give the beautiful and enigmatic musician a chance for them to forge a relationship. It’s all very overwhelming for Bryan since up until he spent a sexually charged day and night with Aubrey, Bryan has never even dreamed of being with a man.

Aubrey is completely smitten with the boyishly handsome, young rock writer, Bryan. After their instant spark grows into something more, Aubrey is desperate to keep Bryan by his side for always. He’s promised Bryan that their love is for real, that Bryan isn’t simply one of his rock star conquests.

Their road isn’t an easy one. Despite their deepening bond and growing need for each other, other factors intrude. Neither Aubrey nor Bryan are ready to come out, and their relationship needs to remain a carefully guarded secret. In addition, Aubrey has to answer to the demands of his profession and Bryan has to traverse the shifting waters between his personal and business relationship with his famous lover.

Then a secret is revealed and everything in their joint world implodes. When a love is so strong that two men can barely take a breath without thinking of the other, will that be enough to bridge the loss of trust? The only way they can rock their love forever is if Aubrey can reach Bryan before it’s too late.

Excerpt From Rockin’ it Forever

Bryan was overcome by how much he enjoyed Aubrey’s endless affection. He’d spent most of his life without much in the way of human touch. He shivered at the realization of his loneliness over the years. In the brief amount of time he’d been with Aubrey he’d already developed a decided need for closeness. It was terrifying.

The kiss ended, but Aubrey remained flush to his body, his forehead pressed to Bryan’s. “I’m starving. Whaddya wanna do about food?”

“We could go shopping for stuff if you don’t want to keep ordering in. Then we can have food here in case we get involved and don’t want to leave.”

Aubrey smiled at him. “Does that mean you’re staying?”

He’d walked right into that one. He sighed. “I have to admit, today worked out great. The office is perfect and as long as I can remain on task while I’m here, then yeah. I’m staying.”

“Ooh. ‘On task’. How professional. Now I know why you like Ed so much.”

There must’ve been a telling expression on his face.

“Uh-oh. Did he say something to you, Bry?”

Shit. “No… I mean, not really.”

Aubrey appeared as though he was building up to a sizeable dose of anger. Bryan stroked Aubrey’s hair back from his face, one hand on his cheek.

“He’s gotta look out for you, Aubrey. What kind of manager would he be if he didn’t?”

“What’d he say? I can tell him to back off, baby. I don’t want you upset.”

Bryan grabbed Aubrey’s shoulders and stared at him intently. “I’m not upset. I’m incredibly grateful that you have someone you’ve worked with for so many years who’s on your side. Someone trustworthy.”

“You still didn’t tell me what he said.”

Bryan knew Aubrey wouldn’t back down once he’d latched onto something. He mused briefly on that fact, remembering how insistent Aubrey had been the first day they’d met that Bryan try a kiss and nothing more.

And now here I am.

“His concerns mirror my own. He doesn’t want the combination of our professional and personal relationship to become a problem. More specifically on his end, all he’s aware of is my reputation as a writer. He was genuinely complimentary as far as that goes.”

“And what wasn’t he complimentary about?”

“Aubrey, he doesn’t know me as a person. You barely do. He wanted to verify that I wasn’t leading you on emotionally to benefit my career. That I was more interested in you as a book subject than as the amazing man you are.”

“You think I’m amazing?”

Bryan held back a groan. He had to believe that in time Aubrey would embrace Bryan’s faith in him, wouldn’t doubt how much Bryan truly admired him.

“You know I do, Aubrey. Now, can we let this go? I don’t want there to be any tension between me and your manager. I actually do like the guy. I have a lot of respect for him.”

Aubrey nodded. “That’s cool. As long as you’re sure. But any time Ed or anybody hassles you, come to me. I don’t want you to view me as a pampered rock idol who you can’t talk to about anything and everything. This is real, man. You’re not a fling, baby.”

Bryan smiled, the earnestness in Aubrey’s tone reaching him to his core. “Thank you. I appreciate it. You’re not a fling either.”

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Author Bio

Author Morticia Knight spends most of her nights writing about men loving men forever after. If there happens to be some friendly bondage or floggings involved, she doesn’t begrudge her characters whatever their filthy little heart’s desire. Even though she’s been crafting her naughty tales for more years than she’d like to share – her adventures as a published author began in 2011. Once upon a time she was the lead singer in an indie rock band that toured the West Coast and charted on U.S. college radio. She currently resides on the northern Oregon coast and when she’s not fantasizing about hot men she takes walks along the ocean and annoys the local Karaoke bar patrons.

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