Past the Breakers by Lucie Archer: Release Day Review, Guest Post and Giveaway

Casey North lost everything when his restaurant burned to the ground: his hopes, his dreams, his reason for living. With nothing tying him to LA, he packs up and moves back to his hometown of Land’s End. He takes up residence in a beach house and attempts to shake the depression he’s fallen into after his life collapsed. There’s just one tiny problem: the ghost haunting his kitchen.

Myles Taylor wasn’t always trapped in the Between. One minute, he was about to propose to his boyfriend of five years as they sat out on their surfboards, and the next, he woke up on the beach to find his long-dead uncle walking toward him. After his shock fades,he must learn to navigate his new reality as he searches for a way to move into the Great Beyond. But first he must deal with the man who’s invaded his territory.

With Myles tied to the beach house and Casey unwilling to leave it, the two must learn to cohabitate as the lines separating them begin to blur. They grow closer than either expected, but what will become of them once Myles finally escapes the Between?

Title: Past the Breakers
Author: Lucie Archer
Release Date: May 15, 2017
Category: Paranormal: Ghosts/Spirits
Pages: 220

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Hey guys! Thanks for having me. On a previous tour stop, I did a top 5 list of surf destination from Myles’s POV, and to avoid Casey feeling left out, I thought I’d offer up one for him as well. Since he’s a chef, I asked him for a list of his favorite foods, and here’s what he said. (*Warning: you may not want to read this on an empty stomach.)

Casey North’s top 5 Favorite Foods (in no particular order):

  • Lobster

Casey can’t remember the first time he had lobster, but he imagines it left quite an impression. They didn’t eat it much growing up, but he always requested it for his birthday or special occasions. Most kids probably preferred pizza or hot dogs, but he likes to think he was born with a sophisticated palate. He’s eaten it so many ways from bisques to lobster mac and cheese, but nothing beats cracking into a freshly cooked lobster tail, dipping it in a rich butter sauce, and going to town.

  • Fish

Fish has a special place in Casey’s heart, particularly Pacific halibut. He has fond memories of going down to the pier with his father on Saturday mornings, casting a line, then taking home their catch of the day to prepare and cook. It’s one of the few happy memories he has of his father and something that helped form his love for cooking. And it’s healthy, blah, blah, blah, but the deliciousness helps to mask that.

  • Cheese burgers

This should be self-explanatory. Nothing beats a big, juicy burger piled high with cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, fried onions, and a nice dollop of mayo—side of fries optional. He loves making his own at home and likes to experiment with different meats, cheeses, and unique flavor combinations, but the best burger he ever had was in New York at this greasy spoon, hole-in-the-wall, all-night diner whose name he was too drunk to remember.

If he ever found the place again, he doubts it would live up to the legacy it left on his taste buds. Yum!

  • Mango

He doesn’t know when mango cemented itself as one of his favorite foods, but he loves to cook with it. Its sweet and succulent flavors compliment fish really well, so mango salsa heaped on top of grilled halibut makes his mouth water just thinking about it.

  • Ice Cream – Mint chocolate chip

This one needs no explanation, but he does have a fond memory of tiptoeing out of his room one night to sneak himself a bowl only to find his sister Rachel with a spoon of it showed in her mouth and a look on her face that could only be described as deer in the headlights. They made a habit of late-night ice cream socials until their mother walked in on them and grounded them both. But it was worth every delectable spoonful.

I rarely give 5 pieces of eye candy ratings anymore. The book has to leave a strong mark on me, be a book I would re-read, and hit me in the feels right from the get go (at least that’s usually how the 5* books go). The book does not have to be perfect. It can have editing errors. It can have little things that aren’t completely resolved. It can even challenge my basic sense of reality. However, if it doesn’t make that indelible impression, then it isn’t a 5* read for me.

Past the Breakers is the first one in recent memory for me. I have loved “ghost story” type romances since I read Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Devereaux back in, *cough cough*, well, a very long time ago. 🙂 Something about a love that transcends space, time, the physical plane, and our normal take on what is real and what isn’t always has been. Finding a book that can do that, and do it well, that’s even more rare. Lucie Archer‘s book did this for me.

First, I love that Casey was going through such a hard time. Overweight, without a job, or even his passion of cooking as a balm, he was so depressed and anxious, it was a wonder that he was able to be open to hearing Myles. Yet he was, and Myles came at a time when Casey needed his companionship, his focus and his love the most. Casey allowed himself to fall in love, despite all the odds against him falling in love with a ghost.

Meanwhile, Myles…talk about heartbreaking! What should have been the best day of his life, proposing to his boyfriend becomes the worst day when he dies and is stuck in the Between. He does get to see the most important man in his life, his uncle, from time to time, and that in itself was heart-wrenching, because you could see the bond they had had when Joe was still alive. And Myles finds himself falling in love with Casey, despite all the odds, as well.

When I read books like this, I try not to anticipate how it will play out, or what the ending will be like (because my rule is it has to be an HEA or I don’t read it!), but I admit I found myself a touch scared that this wouldn’t turn out as I hoped. Not because I didn’t think they would fall in love, but because I didn’t want the ending to be too easy, or weird. It wasn’t. It had my HEA, and even better, it was well thought out. It could happen. You never know what is out there in the world beyond our sight.

I truly loved this book. I loved their relationship. I loved how Casey grew and blossomed with Myles’s love, and how he was able to overcome his depression simply by working through it, finding a loving path to move forward on. I even loved how things ended with Uncle Joe, because I will admit, I had more than a few tears flowing at certain points in the book, but Uncle Joe’s love for his boy? That got me crying again.

This book worked for me on so many levels that even the relatively easy resolution of the bad ex-boyfriend didn’t bother me. I wanted to know more about Casey and Myles, James could go jump in a lake as far as I was concerned. 🙂

Pretty easy 5 pieces of eye candy for me

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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Believe in the Wish by Christi Snow: Blog Tour, Exclusive Guest Post, Review and Giveaway

TitleBelieve in the Wish

Author: Christi Snow

Publisher:  Self-Published

Release Date: May 11, 2017

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: ~55,000 words

Genre: New Adult, enemies to lovers, forbidden love, twins, contemporary romance, mourning death

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I buried my twin sister six months after she found out she had cancer. Her funeral was three months ago. Today is our birthday and it started with delivery of letters from her.

It seems she didn’t trust me to move on after her death. She knows me too well. But how can I go on when my other half is just…gone? That’s not something I can recover from with a snap of my fingers. But I also can’t ignore her instructions even though I’d be perfectly content to cuddle up with my buddy, Johnnie Walker, and call it a year.

She has a list of things for me to do and there are rules attached.

There’s one major problem besides the fact it’s been three months since I left the house. I have to do all these things with her jerk of an ex, Hawk Simmons. He abandoned her shortly after she found out she was sick. If that wasn’t enough to make this a really bad idea, the fact that he makes an appearance in all my nighttime fantasies probably does.

I don’t think I can do this, but I owe it to my sister’s memory to try.

This is a stand-alone male/male contemporary romance novel.

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Building suspense without danger

The very nature of the style means that the reader is always wondering what’s going to happen around the next corner.

But when it came to this book I wanted to try my hand at suspense of a different sort.

No, there’s no danger or hidden attacker in this book.

What there is instead…*author cocks an eyebrow*…are some unanswered mysteries about how these two characters ended up in this situation.

Emma loved her twin brother Ethan.

That was never in question, so he just assumed that when she died he would inherit her half of their home and business.

That wasn’t the case.

Why would she require him to jump through all these hoops?

Impossible hoops.

Hoops like having to play nice with her asshole of an ex, Hawk.

Hawk is another mystery in this story.

The book is told from both Hawk and Ethan’s point of view, but it takes a while for the reader to see things from Hawk’s side of things. That was done on purpose.

I want the reader to question what exactly Emma was thinking here.

Emma knew she was dying.

She knew Ethan wouldn’t handle that well.

In the months leading up to her death, she made a plan.

A plan to make sure Ethan lived even when she didn’t.

 

 

And that’s all I’m going to say…

Happy reading.

Beware! The review ahead may just sound like a commercial for Believe in the Wish or for Christi Snow or for both. And I don’t care.

Let’s start with Christi. She is an author that definitely writes from her heart. She is an avid reader (one of the two or three blogs I watch religiously), and writes her characters with heart. AND, she doesn’t write the same character, just in a slightly different situation. She writes complex characters, that you have to invest time, and emotions into figuring out their motivations, their wants and needs, and where they will be going next. I love the depth of her writing, and I soak it up every single time one of her books hits my e-reader. (Example, she sent me this arc…I forced myself to finish what I was reading, then dropped everything to read this next). Read anything and everything from Christi and you will have a happy ending, and enjoy yourself along the way.

Now, the book. I read the blurb, and knew immediately that my heart was going to be ripped out. How could you not? And right from the first paragraph you see what a mess Ethan’s life has become since Emma died. They were everything to each other, and when she died, well Ethan felt he should have died instead. Watching his struggle, even in the first chapter, was difficult. He had taken grief to a level that is difficult to fathom, and the reader couldn’t help but bleed along with him. Then to find out that his sister had “betrayed” him and hadn’t really left him the house and business without stipulations. That’s a pain that can’t be measured.

As we move through the book, we find, of course, that Emma has a plan, and if Ethan and Hawk go along with her plan, Ethan will get what he had expected at the end. However, first Ethan has to walk through the fires with Hawk, and learn that maybe not everything with Emma was as open as Ethan had thought. The bitterness Ethan experiences with Hawk is what one would expect in that situation, and even when they have fun times, Ethan feels guilty because he has always wanted the man than Emma loved.

There was so much guilt tied up in Ethan’s feelings, and the author portrays is so beautifully. Guilt is a complicated emotion, and when Ethan enjoys himself with Hawk, he feels guilty. When he realizes that Emma is dead, and he is alive, he feels guilty. All these emotions that are wrapped up in how he feels about the two people he cared about the most, and getting past that isn’t easy. It takes time and patience, and maybe some smoldering hot kisses from a sexy man. 😉

The rawness of all the emotions Ethan portrays was difficult to read sometimes. You will cry. Grab tissues, and keep them handy. Christi does an amazing job of giving the reader just enough information and emotion to catch you and drag you in, while forcing you to hold on to all that, and wait to see what comes next in Emma’s plan.

I absolutely loved this book. If a book can make me cry, smile, laugh, and give me a happy ending, it is going to be a thumbs up. But when the author can make me believe that all these emotions are coming from a living, breathing human being, that’s a keeper and a re-read. Without question, one of the best reads I’ve had this year. The book hangover was worth every precious second. (And there was a bonus happy little note in there about Found At the Library, another Christi Snow fave of mine, that made me giddy!)

5 pieces of eye candy

Katya ended her call and promptly pushed the ‘away’ button for receiving phone calls. “I’m sorry. No more calls. They may not think so, but they can survive without me for an hour or so while we have our chat.”

Ethan’s stomach rolled over. That brought them to the question of the hour…chat about what? But he was almost afraid to ask at this point. Instead, he redirected. “Do you have your own firm, or do you work for someone else?”

She raised an eyebrow at him, but with a slight tilt of her head she must have seen something in his expression because she answered, “I own my own firm. When I graduated from law school, I went into a partnership that was later dissolved when I bought my partner out. It’s all mine now, which keeps me very busy.”

He grimaced. “And that’s further complicated by hermits like me who refuse to answer phone calls or mail deliveries. Sorry about that.”

“No.” She shook her head. “It’s time for you to stop apologizing. This is a hard time for you and that’s okay. To a certain extent, that’s the way it should be…”

She hesitated for a moment. “At least for a little while. You’re allowed to grieve. But Emma knew this would be an issue for you, so she made plans.”

“What kind of plans?”

Katya reached into her briefcase and pulled out a file. She reached inside and pulled out an envelope that she handed to him. On the front was his name, written in Emma’s handwriting. Suddenly it was hard to breathe.

“What is this?” he whispered.

“The first of your instructions. You need to open and read it.”

He didn’t want to. He didn’t know why, but he really didn’t want to. “I’d rather wait until I’m at home.” At his house, if he fell apart, he could do it without witnesses.

She shook her head kindly. “No, that won’t work. She was very specific in how she wanted this all to go. I need you to open it now.”

Ethan swallowed against the huge lump in his throat as he tried to find air to breathe. His heart pounded in his chest. Surely, everyone around them could hear that.

“It’s okay,” she said softly. “I promise.”

“That’s where you’re wrong.” He glanced up at her. “It’s never going to be okay again.” His voice cracked.

She lowered her lids, and her lips compressed into a tight line as if his grief was too much for her.

His hands shook as he turned the envelope over, lifting the sealed flap. It had to be his imagination, but he could have sworn that he smelled a faint whiff of the strawberry lotion Emma always liked to wear.

For just a moment, he shut his eyes and tried to calm down his emotions going haywire. He didn’t know whether to be angry that she’d done this to him, sad that she wasn’t here to tell him whatever information this letter held, or scared at whatever Emma had cooked up for him.

Throughout her life, she’d kept him hopping. As the exuberant, outgoing twin, she’d always dragged him into trouble when all he’d wanted to do was stay home. In that regard, this whole scheme of hers was very apropos.

He took a deep breath and pulled out the single sheet of paper and unfolded it. At the very first words on the paper, his eyes filled with tears.

Happy Birthday, baby brother.

He glanced up in disbelief at Katya. “It’s May fifteenth?”

At her silent nod, he gazed down at the paper in his hands, his eyes filling with tears. It was their twenty-fifth birthday. The first birthday he’d ever celebrated without her. She’d only been twenty-four when she’d died. How unfair was that? To her. To him. To the world that missed out on everything she had to offer it.
Emma’s handwriting wavered in front of his eyes, but he continued to read, not knowing what else to do. His other option—sobbing in the middle of the restaurant—would be mortifying.

I’m sorry I’m not there to go out partying with you. Remember when we were little and you didn’t want to share your birthday with me? Now you get your wish.

He’d been a horrible person. The tears overflowed his eyes. He’d made that wish more years than he even wanted to remember. How selfish was that? How could he have wished for a life without her in any way? She’d been his light.

Katya shoved a tissue into his hand.

Right. He was in public. Time to get it together.

My bad. It was probably too soon for a joke like that.

I love you, Ethan.

I know I didn’t say that enough—you know emotional displays and I didn’t mix—but beyond anything else that happens over the next few weeks, KNOW THAT. I love you, and if I could have figured out a way to stay, I would have…for you.

But God obviously had different plans for me, so now I’ll just have to content myself with being your guardian angel for the next seventy-five years. I’ll have your back, bro. I promise.

And in the interest of having your back, that’s why Katya is here.

I know you. You’re stubborn, and right now, I imagine that you’re more than a little sad. I get that, but that doesn’t mean you stop living. My death means you have to live twice as much because you have to do it enough for both of us. I’m counting on you.

But, again, I know you, so I’ve enlisted some help from my friends just to get you going.

Make a Wish, Ethan. Believe in it. It’s time to live.

~Emma

When Ethan finished reading, he took several deep breaths. The sobs had welled in his throat, and it was all he could just to hold them inside.

“You okay?” Katya asked.

“Yeah.” His voice sounded husky, but he’d managed to say the word, so he figured that for a win.

“Then it’s time for step two.”

He looked up just as she held a flaming lighter to the candle on top of a cupcake. She pushed it in front of him. “Make a wish and blow. All you have to do is believe.”

As he sat there, looking at the flickering candle, it occurred to him at just how sad this was. His twin was dead, and he was at some bizarre birthday celebration with someone he’d never even met before. Even from the grave, Emma was working to pull him out of his shell.

So he closed his eyes and blew as he made his wish.

I wish I wasn’t so alone.

But when he opened them, nothing had changed. He was still sitting in a restaurant with a woman he didn’t know, mourning the twin sister who’d died. Not that he expected a miracle, but Emma wanted him to believe.

Believe.

How was that even possible? She’d been the one who believed in the magic of things like wishes and fairy tales. What had that gotten her? She’d died before she’d even had the chance to live. What kind of magic could he possibly believe in with that kind of reality?


As an avid reader her entire life, Christi Snow always dreamed of writing books that brought to others the kind of joy she felt when she read. But…she never did anything about it besides jot down a few ideas and sparse scenes.

When she turned 41, she decided it was time to go after her dream and started writing. Within four months, she’d written over 150,000 words and hasn’t stopped since.

She’s found her calling by writing about sexy, alpha heroes and smart, tough heroines falling in love and finding their passion. She’s truly living the dream and loving every minute of it.

Her tagline is… Passion and adventure on the road to Happily Ever After. She’s loving this adventure!

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5/11 ~ Hearts on Fire Reviews

5/11 ~ Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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5/15 ~ Happily Ever Chapter

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Every Breath You Take by Robert Winter: Blog Tour, Exclusive Guest Post and Giveaway

 


When Zachary Hall leaves Utah for a job in Washington, it’s finally his chance to live as a gay man and maybe find someone special. In a bar he meets Thomas Scarborough, a man who seems perfect in and out of the bedroom. But Thomas never dates. He never even sleeps with the same man twice. Despite their instant connection, he can offer Zachary only his friendship, and Zachary is looking for more.
Thomas is tempted to break his own rules, but years before, he became the victim of a stalker who nearly destroyed his life. Even though his stalker died, Thomas obsessively keeps others at a distance. Despite his fascination with Zachary, he is unable to lower his barriers. Frustrated, Zachary accepts he will never have what he wants with Thomas and soon finds it with another man.
But young gay men in Washington, DC are being murdered, and the victims all have a connection to Thomas. Once again someone is watching Thomas’s every move. Can it be a coincidence? When the depraved killer turns his attention toward Zachary, Thomas must face the demons of his past—or lose his chance to open his heart to Zachary forever.

 

Title: Every Breath You Take
Author: Robert Winter
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: May 5, 2017
Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 221 pages
Genre: Romance, Thriller/Suspense
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Zachary Before Mata Hari

 

In Every Breath You Take, we meet Zachary Hall for the first time when he is about to enter the bar Mata Hari. He mentions that his friend Fred dared him to go to a gay bar once he reached Washington, DC, because Zachary was afraid to visit one in his home town of Ogden, Utah. Here is an exclusive scene from Zachary’s last evening in Ogden.

Chapter 0.5

Zachary pulled into the driveway of his buddy Fred’s house. He debated whether to go to the front door – which would require talking to Fred’s mother – or just wait for his friend to come outside. His manners got the better of him so he switched off the ignition.

Sure enough, Fred’s mother answered the door. Her unnaturally red hair was on the frizzy side, a cigarette dangled from one hand, and her housecoat was missing a button. He gave her a big grin.

“Hi, Mrs. Hansen. I’m picking up Fred for some pizza.”

“Well of course you are,” Mrs. Hansen gushed, and Zachary could hear slurred edges to her words. As she pulled him into a hug Zachary coughed when the smell of her cigarette went up his nose. “I can’t believe it,” she sighed. “Leaving Ogden, heading to Washington. It seems like it was just yesterday when you and Freddy were running around the back yard like you were Power Rangers.”

Zachary pulled back from the hug to escape the odor of smoke and sour wine rising from her housecoat, but not the hug. Mrs. Hansen had always been free with the affection and snacks when he was young, and had never minded sharing a few beers with Zachary and Fred when they were in high school. “Don’t tell Martha,” she’d always say. Like Zachary ever would have told his strict parents that he had a drink with his best friend’s mother.

A surge of affection and nostalgia washed over him. “Remember that Halloween when you tried to make a Red Power Ranger costume for Fred and it split right down the seat?” he asked.

Mrs. Hansen guffawed as she tugged him through the front door and closed it behind him. “Lord but he pitched a fit that night that he was going to miss trick or treating. I had to use safety pins to keep him from mooning the neighborhood because he was going back out no matter what!”

Fred came down the stairs in time to hear his mother’s comment. “Sure, yuk it up,” he called. “I nearly caught pneumonia from the updraft.”

Zachary shook his head fondly at his friend. Fred was shorter than him by several inches, and stocky where Zachary was lean. His thick glasses flashed his mock-indignation at his mother. His hair always seemed to need a cut and he tended to wear baggy button-down shirts because he thought they hid his slight belly better.

Mrs. Hansen ignored her son. To Zachary, she said, “Well, I know you don’t want to spend your last night reminiscing with me. If I don’t see you again before you leave, you be safe. Hear?”

“Yes, ma’am,” Zachary answered. “I’ll be back to visit my folks anyway, I’m sure, and I’ll fill you in then.” She gave another warm hug goodbye as she returned to the living room and her TV program.

Fred tugged Zachary’s arm. “Come upstairs for a minute before we head out.” Zachary followed him up the carpeted staircase and down the hall to the bedroom where he had spent countless hours in over the years. Nostalgia hit him again as he remembered playing Dungeons and Dragons in Fred’s room, along with their other good friend Frank. Weekend marathon viewings of Doctor Who when he slept over. Then later, furtive glances at gay porn websites while keeping one eye on the door in case Mrs. Hansen popped in without warning, as she often did.

Fred had a browser open on his computer and he pushed Zachary down into his desk chair before leaning over his shoulder to work the keyboard. “Look, this is a list of the gay bars I can find in DC. I figured you wouldn’t want to risk searching your computer at home.”

Zachary felt himself blushing. “I know. I should just get over it and come out already.”

“Hey, I’m not giving you shit. I know what your parents can be like.” He bussed a kiss on Zachary’s cheek. “Anyway, look. JR’s seems to be a popular one. And this one…” he pointed with his mouse, “Town Danceboutique. It’s got something on Fridays called Bear Happy Hour.”

Fred was practically bouncing on his feet, he was so excited. Zachary just felt trepidation. “You’d fit in better with the bears than I would,” he mumbled.

“It’s not like they’re going to eat you,” Fred said with an edge of exasperation. Then he grinned wickedly. “Well, unless you want them to eat you.”

“What’s this one?” Zachary asked as he pointed at the screen. “‘Mata Hari.’ That’s an interesting name for a bar.” They read the short description together. “Upscale piano bar. Now that sounds more like my speed.”

“Do you want me to print this list out for you?” Fred asked, but Zachary shook his head.

“My parents might find it. I’ll just look up the bars again on my phone when I get settled in Washington.”

Fred sat on the edge of his bed and sighed as Zachary rotated in the desk chair to face him. “I can’t believe you’re finally getting out of here. I wish I were coming with you.”

“I know, buddy. You can come for a visit whenever you want.” Truth was, he was really going to miss Fred, the friend his parents barely tolerated because of his free-spirited mother and his tendency to draw Zachary into trouble. If his parents only knew the kinds of things he did with Fred and sometimes with Frank, too, on weekends when the house was otherwise empty.

The three of them had been friends all through junior high and high school and had gone to college together. Having two friends who were gay – well, Frank was probably bi but he was too shy to approach a boy or a girl so it was all theoretical – meant Zachary had begun experimenting with them while they were still in school. When all three of them moved back in with their parents in Ogden after college, and with no other outlets, they kept up the casual sexing. Luckily none of the three ever seemed to get their feelings involved. What they had was friendship with the rare benefits those few times they were able to find a quiet place to scratch an itch.

Still, there was a comfort to their arrangement. Fred was really good in bed, though that might have been Zachary’s limited experience. He could suck dick for what seemed like hours, just getting Zachary or Frank worked up and close to coming then backing off, over and over. And he loved to eat ass, which was something Zachary had been squeamish about right up to the point that Fred swiped his tongue from taint to hole.

“I know that look,” Fred said.

Zachary grinned at him. “I wish we had time for one more go. You know, one for the road.”

Fred came over and ran his knuckles roughly over Zachary’s hair, just to piss him off. “Me too, bud. Well, maybe I can swing vacation time from the store and come visit you in DC soon.”

“I’d like that.”

“But look, Zachary. You’ve got to take the lead now.”

“What do you mean?”

“When I come out east, I’m going to expect you to be an expert on all the gay bars. And the bath houses. And the strip clubs. Whatever there is, I want you to be ready to show them to me!”

Zachary looked at his feet. “I’ll try, but …”

“No excuses,” Fred said sternly. “You get out there as soon as you can, get a drink at a real gay bar, find yourself a stranger and have some loud, raunchy sex you can tell me all about the next day!” When Zachary laughed awkwardly, Fred put a hand on his shoulder. “I double-dog dare you. Twenty bucks says you won’t make it to a gay bar your first month in DC.”

Zachary stood and folded his friend into a hug. “Okay, you’re on. I can’t say I’ll go home with a hot guy, but I’ll make myself go to one of the bars at least. Probably this Mata Hari place. So keep your twenty bucks safe because you’ll be sending it to me soon.”

“Excellent. Have a big adventure and tell me all about it. Now let’s go get some pizza.”

Check out Every Breath You Take to see Zachary find not only a hot man at Mata Hari, but unexpected danger.

 

Robert Winter is a recovering lawyer who likes writing about hot men in love much more than drafting a legal brief. He left behind the (allegedly) glamorous world of an international law firm to sit in his home office and dream up ways to torment his characters until they realize they are perfect for each other. When he isn’t writing, Robert likes to cook Indian food and explore new restaurants.
Robert divides his time between Washington, DC, and Provincetown, MA. He splits his attention between Andy, his partner of sixteen years, and Ling the Adventure Cat, who likes to fly in airplanes and explore the backyard jungle as long as the temperature and humidity are just right.
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May 8 – Stories That Make You Smile | Books, Dreams, Life
May 9 – two chicks obsessed Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews
May 10 – Oh My Shelves | Butterfly-o-Meter Books
May 11 – Bayou Book Junkie | Boy Meets Boy Reviews
May 12 – Urban Smoothie Read | Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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This post may contain affiliate links. Advanced Reader Copies are accepted by Two Chicks Obsessed in exchange for an honest review without additional compensation.

Somewhere on Mackinac by Jeff Adams: Exclusive Guest Post, Quick Review, Excerpt and Giveaway

How far would you go for the man of your dreams?

Now that he’s single, Chicago businessman Jordan Monroe can finally take his long-desired trip to Mackinac Island for the Somewhere In Time fan celebration weekend. On the first day, Jordan finds himself attracted to Miles Colter, a handsome local stable owner who is giving horseback tours of film locations.

Jordan is surprised and charmed that Miles pursues him. When Jordan learns the stable is in trouble, he wants to help despite Miles’s resistance. As their relationship grows personally and professionally, Jordan dreads the issues that face them—an ex who won’t let him go, the complications of a long-distance relationship, and a secret he knows he shouldn’t be keeping.

Can Jordan and Miles find a way to forge a love as timeless as the romance in their favorite film?

States of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the United States.

Title: Somewhere on Mackinac
Author: Jeff Adams
Release Date: Mary 3, 2017
Category: Contemporary, States of Love
Pages: 113

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I’m happy to close out the blog tour for “Somewhere on Mackinac” here at Two Chick Obsessed.

Somewhere on Mackinac is part of Dremspinner’s States of Love series, which sets romances in each of the fifty U.S. States. The book is set on Mackinac Island, Michigan and is the story of Jordan, a visitor from Chicago, a Miles, an Island native who runs his family’s horse stable. They meet because of the Somewhere in Time fan celebration weekend taking place at the Grand Hotel. They both love the 1980 film starring Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour and it’s what initially draws them together.

Of course, even in the early stages of love there are obstacles to overcome. As you might have guessed, the fact these two live apart will be an issue. Chicago isn’t all that far from Mackinac, but it takes some effort to get there. It’s about seven hours with a car/ferry trip or three by plane. It’s not exactly a trip you’d make on a whim. For both guys, the distance factor is a significant one for a number of reasons.

As if distance weren’t enough, each of them at least one other thing going on that makes starting a relationship more difficult.

For Jordan, he’s also got ex-boyfriend baggage. Drake is suddenly makes moves about wanting him back and he’s going to some extraordinary lengths to try to get Jordan back. It’s the last thing Jordan needs as he’s thinking about starting something new. Plus, the reasons he broke it off with Drake haven’t gone away.

There’s also trouble with Miles’s business. The family stable is in trouble and while Miles doesn’t know what to do about it he’s also one of those men who doesn’t want to ask for help. Jordan, however, has the skills to help but getting Miles to accept assistance might be more difficult than actually saving the business.

Love can be a minefield of so many different issues, and yet it can be so worth it in the end. I hope you’ll pick up Somewhere on Mackinac and see how the magical place, combined with the guys’ favorite movie, work to help them see past the problems they run into.

The excerpt below gives you a glimpse of how Jordan discovers Miles needs help.

There’s also a Rafflecopter below where you can enter for the chance to win a free copy of the book. Feel free to leave question and comments as well. I’ll stop back over the coming days to leave responses. Thanks for stopping to check out Somewhere on Mackinac!

Suddenly, Miles’s voice was in the distance, and he didn’t sound happy. I couldn’t make out everything he was saying, but it was a heated discussion. Hopefully I could sit here, since I was off the road, and he’d ride by so there wouldn’t need to be an awkward moment.

“You realize this could be the end of our family business, right?” he asked.

The soft clip-clop of his horse was all I heard for a few moments.

“I bought you out because it was the right thing to do. Can’t you reinvest some of that money to help clean up your mistakes?”

He was right behind me.

“You may have left, but I still live here. It’s not my fault you got bored. I would’ve taken over everything and you know it.”

I willed myself to become one with the bench as the horse stopped.

“I gotta go.”

I held my breath, hoping he’d nudge the horse into moving. Silence prevailed. Maybe Miles was considering the conversation. Maybe he had a way to make horses go stealth. Maybe he was staring at the back of my head.

“How much did you hear?”

Option three was right.

I pivoted on the bench to look at him atop Wildfire. Of course, Miles looked great in a red plaid shirt and blue jeans along with the denim jacket I’d first seen him in. What I didn’t like were the worry lines around his eyes, or the way his forehead was deeply furrowed.

“Enough.” There was no reason for me to lie. “Anything I can do to help?”

“Not unless you’ve got a way to make my brother stop being a self-obsessed ass.”

I shrugged. “’Fraid I don’t have a fix for that.”

“Well, I’m sorry I disturbed you. I should get going, but hopefully I’ll see you later.”

Before Wildfire could even get a couple of steps, I got up and approached. He pulled back on Wildfire’s reins and the animal obediently stopped.

“Sounded like you’re having business problems.” I approached Wildfire so I could rub his nose. “Maybe I could help with that?”

“I’m not sure anyone can.” Miles tensed in the saddle.

“Business strategy is what I do.” I looked up at him. “I’ve never worked with a stable, but I’m happy to offer any guidance if I can.”

His sigh sounded like a breath he’d held for years.

“Honestly, it’d be good to talk to someone who doesn’t live here. Trying to keep it under wraps to keep the gossip down isn’t easy. Luckily, Mr. Walker at the bank maintains discretion.”

“Tight cash flow?”

“That’s part of it.” The tension in his voice implied there was a lot more to the story. “You really think you could help?”

“Maybe. Whether I can or can’t, I’ll certainly keep your confidence.”

Miles dismounted, and the horse gave a sound of protest while cocking his head to look at his rider.

“It’s okay, boy. I got something for you.” He pulled an apple from his jacket pocket, which the horse eagerly snatched. “See, it’s all good.”

The smile Miles had for the horse was unburdened and reminded me of the one I’d received from him just yesterday. He talked quietly to the animal as he led him to a tree to tie him up.

“You sure you want to hear this? You’re on vacation after all.”

“Tell me.” I gestured back to the bench.

 

As a teenager, I remember watching Somewhere in Time over and over. (It’s been many years since I’ve watched it, but I have it on order now! 🙂 ) I loved the tragic, but happily ever after story. So getting the chance to be reminded of that with Somewhere on Mackinac was not something I was going to pass up, and Jeff did a fantastic job interweaving Richard and Elise’s story gently throughout. He didn’t retell the story, he simply impressed upon the reader how important this movie was to both the MC’s.

I’ve been enjoying the States of Love series with Dreamspinner Press, because it is low angst, with the inevitable HEA, but also stretches out to find the little known pieces of the states we know and love. With this story, Jeff shows us all the little things about Mackinac Island, Michigan that most readers weren’t aware of: cars still not allowed, the Grand Hotel, even the tree from the movie.

Jordan and Miles are sweet together, as they venture into a short term relationship. As Jordan hides a secret, they find they are becoming more, and that adds stress to that new relationship. Finding a way through the secrets, and into a life together is a bit of a challenge for them, but all good relationships come with time, compromise and a willingness to try.

Of course there is an HEA, because all love stories must have one (even Richard and Elise’s), but my absolute favorite part of this was just reliving the joy from the movie from an entirely new angle. What a joy to bring these two things together.

4 pieces of eye candy

Jeff’s written stories since he was in middle school and became a gay romance writer in 2009 when his first short stories were published.

Jeff lives in rural Northern California with his husband of twenty years, Will. Some of his favorite things include the musicals Rent and [title of show], the Detroit Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins hockey teams, and the reality TV competition So You Think You Can Dance. If forced to pick his favorite book it would be a tie between Michael Chabon’s The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay and David Levithan’s Every Day.

 

He also co-hosts the weekly show Jeff & Will’s Big Gay Fiction Podcast with his husband. You can learn more at BigGayFictionPodcast.com.

Links:

Website: http://jeffadamswrites.com

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WriterJeffAdams

 

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This post may contain affiliate links. Advanced Reader Copies are accepted by Two Chicks Obsessed in exchange for an honest review without additional compensation.

Vodka & Handcuffs by Brandon Witt: Exclusive Guest Post, Release Day Review and Giveaway

Vahin Arora, Hamburger Mary’s sexy bartender, plays the flirtatious role so well even his closest friends—his chosen family at Mary’s—don’t realize Vahin hasn’t had a hookup in months. Then Tall, Dark, and Handsome steps through the door, and Vahin’s libido races back to life.

Being a black cop on the Denver police force is no easy job—Marlon Barton can’t imagine adding being gay to the equation. And while Marlon loves his work as an officer, his life has taken a turn for the hellish because of his new partner, the nephew of a senator.

Fleeing his partner’s company one night, Marlon stumbles into Mary’s for the first time… and wakes up with a hangover in the bartender’s bed. The one-night stand heats up into a budding romance, but not without stress as Marlon’s partner’s actions threaten Vahin’s livelihood and Marlon’s future on the force. Can Vahin and Marlon face the challenges and hold on to the love, friendship, and family they’ve found?

Title: Vodka & Handcuffs
Author: Brandon Witt
Release Date: April 26, 2017
Category: Contemporary
Pages: 112

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There are moments in life that change your trajectory.   That is most definitely true in the case of love.  For me, it was my friend insisting I get a beer with him in the middle of the day.  For my boyfriend, it was going to lunch with his friend and then grabbing a drink in the middle of the day.  Our paths collided, and we’ve been together ever since. I am not a bar person at all.  Nor am I a beer person.  It still seems strange to me that had I not broken my normal patter than day, I’d be living a very different life six years later.

I wanted to share an excerpt that highlights that very quality for my two lovers in Vodka & Handcuffs.

The same is true for how Marlon and Vahin meet.  Marlon had a shit day of traffic patrol.  His partner, Andrew, is a racists jerk, and annoying too boot.  Marlon just needs some time away from him.  That’s all he needs, really.  Well, he needed it more than he knew…

He needed to cool down before meeting the guys at Brother’s Bar. It would be nothing but talking shop, and at the moment, he wouldn’t be able to keep his tongue in check when it came to Andrew. Not that the others wouldn’t understand. They all pretty much hated Andrew, which was one of the main reasons Marlon had the privilege of being his partner. Marlon was about as difficult to rile up as a bushel of frozen cucumbers, at least that was how Chief Schmidt worded it. Still, if Marlon said too much, it was sure to get back to Andrew somehow, and he would make Marlon’s life even more miserable.

Part of him almost wished he’d let Andrew do something. Something that would be big enough to negate Andrew’s ties to his senator uncle and former police chief grandfather. Although, that big enough something would’ve come at the cost to an innocent family who’d had the misfortune of a bike accident.”

The possibilities that flooded his mind the past few months rushed through him like a hurricane. Thirty-eight wasn’t too old to start a new career. He’d been on the force for fifteen years. That was a good amount of time, for anyone. A life change could be what he needed.

Except it hadn’t even been a thought until Andrew started occupying the passenger seat. Andrew had been a pain in the ass since day one, but he was steadily getting worse. It was only a matter of time. And Marlon didn’t want to be anywhere near when that time came. But he didn’t want to stop being a cop either. He loved being a cop.

At least he used to.

He could move. California had always been alluring. But he was too much of a family guy to want to leave Denver.

Marlon pulled his car into Brother’s Bar parking lot, slammed it into park, and smacked his open palm onto the steering wheel, imagining it was Andrew’s face. He’d have to talk to the chief, again. One of these times, he’d listen. And screw cooling down. He needed a drink, and if he happened to spout off too much about Andrew, then so be it. He turned off the engine, got out of the car, and halted.

“Oh. No fucking way.”

He narrowed his eyes and glared at the red sports car glowing directly under the street lamp illuminating the parking lot. He didn’t need to inspect. Didn’t even need to see the vanity license plate to know it was Andrew’s. Just his damned luck. Andrew hated the guys as much as they hated him. It only made sense Andrew would choose this night—the night when Marlon was more fed up than he’d ever been—to try to be one of the boys.

Marlon slipped right back into his car and peeled out of the lot, cursing under his breath. He drove for a bit longer, then realized he was cruising up 17th Street—the old gay section of 17th Street.

He’d spent many an hour at JR’s when he was younger and at the Wrangler after that. Both were now gone, making way for upper-class, straight, yuppieville.

The new Hamburger Mary’s caught his eye; at least a bit of the old gayborhood was left, refurbished or not. He drove past it without a second thought. Drag queens weren’t his thing. Although… he’d heard the new location had more of a sports bar feel to it. It didn’t sound as relaxing as unwinding with the guys, but if he couldn’t be with other cops, at least he’d be around gays. And most importantly, Andrew wasn’t there.

He made it about another half mile before he turned around.

 

On the 8th of May, please pop on over to Boy Meets Boy for the final Vodka & Handcuffs blog tour, where I’ll give you a sneak peak at what’s to come.

Blog Tour Schedule:

April 19 – MM Good Book Reviews

April 24 – Joyfully Jay

April 25 – Open Skye Book Reviews

April 26- The Novel Approach

April 26 – Alpha Book Reviews

April 27 – Love Bytes

April 28 – Divine Magazine

April 28 – My Fiction Nook

May 1 – Two Chicks Obsessed

May 8 – Boy Meets Boy

One of the things that I enjoy most about Brandon Witt’s books is that there are always aspects of the books that you just don’t find in many other m/m romance books. Vodka and Handcuffs is a perfect example of that type of book.

Vahin, a man who when disowned by his Muslim family for being gay found a family at Hamburger Mary’s, accepted his life as it was. In his 30s he decided to stop the hookups, enjoying his job at Mary’s. A drunken hookup up with a partially closeted Marlon wasn’t in his plans, but after Marlon’s bad day with an openly racist partner, they ended up in bed. Once they were sober, working their way towards a potential relationship was a challenge.

This novella hit on so many issues that are relevant in today’s society. First, open racism and bigotry (sadly) has become more rampant in recent months, and Brandon hits on this from both Marlon and Vahin’s POVs. Even with the characters being gay, the more challenging  piece was working their way through Marlon’s partners disgusting comments and actions. These are not easy issues to tackle. In the m/m romance genre, often any sort of bigotry is portrayed due to the characters sexuality (which does come into play as well), but the characters’ skin color was just as much a conflict to be addressed. I really appreciated that Brandon used this as conflict in the book. It happens, its realistic. Being gay can be and often is what causes characters to engage in hate crimes. However, the primary conflict here was not merely the characters sexuality, but their race as well.

The love and appreciation between all the side characters in their self-made family was evident. I can’t wait to see where this series continues to move forward. Brandon has done a stellar job with this series so far.

Side note: I think I am going to be hitting Hamburger Mary’s during my time in Denver for GRL. 🙂

4 pieces of eye candy

Brandon is offering up one of his backlist titles (and there are some amazing 5 star reads in that backlist, just saying…) to one of our readers. So give him a big congrats, and let him know what you are looking forward to most about reading Vodka & Handcuffs.

 

Brandon Witt’s outlook on life is greatly impacted by his first eighteen years of growing up gay in a small town in the Ozarks, as well as fifteen years as a counselor and special education teacher for students with severe emotional disabilities. Add to that his obsession with corgis and mermaids, then factor in an unhealthy love affair with cheeseburgers, and you realize that with all those issues, he’s got plenty to write about….

Website:  http://www.brandonwitt.com

Author Facebook Page:  http://bit.ly/2jxsfVu

Dreamspinner Press:  http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/AuthorArcade/brandon-witt

Brandon’s Patreon Support page:  http://bit.ly/2j58PdQ

Twitter: https://twitter.com/wittauthor

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2p7a2lc

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4896623.Brandon_Witt

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCO5cFqYKyNyDCxExAonFPRA

This post may contain affiliate links. Advanced Reader Copies are accepted by Two Chicks Obsessed in exchange for an honest review without additional compensation.

From War to Forever by Andria Large: Exclusive Guest Post, Excerpt, and Giveaway

from war to foreversynopsisDennis
The love of my life is dead. Is there a reason to live anymore?

I’m a veteran Marine. Terrorists took not only my foot, but also my wife. Recurrent nightmares, a dead-end job, and a painful limp are all I have left. My best friend, Tucker, and my sister, Lizette, keep me afloat. I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for Tucker… literally. And then, out of nowhere, there are these feelings. The kind I haven’t felt in years. The kind I’m not sure I can handle, or even want to. But they’ve started wrapping around my broken heart, trying to mend it. Only they are not for a woman, but for the man suddenly sharing my bed. I’m not so sure I’m ready to give love another go.

Tucker
The war took my hearing, but I’m alive. Many of my friends are not. I am building a life with my best friend, Dennis. We have become practically inseparable. And now, we are more than friends. I’ve never had feelings like these for a man. My parents, my brother, my buddy, Duke—will they understand how I feel about Dennis? Can I risk losing my family?

First Edition published as At War by KDP Select, 2015.

Title: From War to Forever
Author: Andria Large
Release Date: April 24, 2017
Category: Contemporary
Pages: 330

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Guest Post

Hi Everyone! I’m Andria Large and I’m super excited for my first ever traditionally published book to be released! From War To Forever actually started out as a trilogy that I self-published. By some lucky twist of fate, Dreamspinner picked it up, we reworked it into one book, and are now republishing it with a new title.

I need a visual aid for the main characters when writing a story. Sometimes I’ll have an idea of someone in my head before coming up with a character’s description, while other times, I come up with their description first then go looking for someone to match it. I tend not to use celebrities and veer more towards models.

Having a visual aid is extremely important when writing. It gives you something to help describe your characters. It makes your characters more realistic when you pull from someone in real life. You can pick out little nuances that make a person unique, like highlights in their hair, or different colored flecks in their eyes.

When writing From War To Forever, I had someone in mind for Dennis from the very beginning. He’s a male model and photographer by the name of Justin Clyne. He was perfect for the tall, dark, and handsome look I was going for with Denny. There are pictures of him looking kind of broody and dark and those were the ones I focused the most on.

For Tucker, I chose Gary “Leo” Taylor. He’s a fitness and book cover model who has left the scene but was fairly popular a couple years ago. He’s got that laid back, easy-going personality that I wanted for Tucker. He has a naturally cocky and flirtatious smile the ladies drool over. And piecing light blue eyes that seem to see into your soul.

Now for Duke, I had originally pictured John Cena, but as his character developed it changed to fitness model, Kyle Clark. He’s a veteran like Duke and has that tough as nails look about him that I wanted. I don’t know much about Kyle’s personality, I mostly used him for the looks aspect for Duke. Duke is a ball-buster and says some seriously funny things while keeping a straight face, which I think is more John Cena. So, I guess Duke is a mix of both those guys.

Dennis’ sister, Lizette, is actually a main character in another one of my series called, Renegade. For her, I had pictured Jennifer Lawrence (when she had long blonde hair). The pictures that I had used, she looked kind of uptight and business like, but still gorgeous. Her character changes throughout her story and in From War To Forever, she’s more laid-back and cheerful than she was in her book, Sweet Renegade.

Last but not least, there is Beau, who is Lizette’s husband. He is also in Sweet Renegade, as he is the main male character and it’s the story of how he and Lizette got together. For him, I always pictured fitness and cover model, Colin Wayne. Beau is a sweet, southern guy with the accent to match.

Even though Dennis and Tucker’s character first come about in the Renegade Series, you don’t need to read those books to learn all about them, as I cover everything in From War To Forever. Now, if you want a little extra on them, then you can definitely go back and read that series.

Thank you so much for having me here today! I hope you all enjoyed my post! Please check out From War To Forever! Be sure to leave a review when you’re finished, whether it’s good or bad. Don’t forget to like and follow my Facebook page for updates on what is going on in the world of Andria Large!

 

 

excerpt

 

Tucker

The next morning, after I take a shower and get dressed, I walk out into the living room, where I find Duke huffing and puffing to himself as he makes eggs and bacon. I watch him for a minute, an amused smile on my face. I’m only catching a word here and there, but I’m pretty sure he’s talking about me and Dennis.

“Hey, bud, problem?” I ask, making my way over to the coffeemaker as I finish fixing my tie.

Duke shoots me a death glare. “Problem? Why would I have a problem? I’m all fucking unicorns and rainbows here, my man.”

I jerk my chin back and fight off a laugh. “Oookay.”

I grab a mug from the cabinet and move in front of the coffeemaker. “I swear to God, Tuck. If I have to listen to one more night of you and Dennis fucking, I’m going to lose my damn mind.”

I bark out a laugh as I pour myself a cup of coffee.

“Didn’t you find an apartment yet?” I ask.

“Yes, I did, but I can’t move in right away! I need to buy furniture and shit, so I’m stuck here for at least another week or so.”

“You do have a house in Baltimore, you know.” I chuckle.

“No, fuck that. I can’t go back there. Just thinking about it makes me depressed.”

I frown. “You do know you’re going to have to go and pack up all your shit, right?”

He shakes his head. “No, I’m hiring a moving company. They go in, pack the whole place up, and then drive it up here.”

“Hmm,” I hum, impressed. I didn’t know there were companies that did that.

“Is there any way you and Dennis can just give it a rest for a couple of days?” he pleads.

I give him an incredulous look. “Are you insane? There is no way in hell I can resist that tight ass,” I say, knowing full well what the effects on Duke will be.

Duke gags exaggeratedly a few times. I can’t help but laugh.

“I hate you. I hate you and your stupid gay dick,” he grumbles as he stabs at the scrambled eggs he’s making with the spatula.

I almost spit out the coffee I just took a sip of with that last comment.

“Why do you have to buy new furniture? Why not use what you have?” I ask him.

“I’m starting fresh. New apartment, new furniture, new life for Duke,” he mumbles.

I nod. “I like it. Sounds like a good plan.”

“You know what a good plan would be? Keeping your dick in your pants while I’m still here. Now that’s a good plan.”

I laugh. “You do know that you giving me a hard time about this makes me want to do it more, just to fuck with you, right?”

Duke turns his hazel eyes to glare at me. “I will stab you to death with this spatula, Tucker,” he threatens, holding up said spatula, which has egg stuck to it.

I slap a hand over my mouth to stop from bursting out laughing. How he can keep a straight face when he says things like that is beyond me.

“I need to get to work,” I choke and set my half-drunk coffee in the sink before starting for the door.

“Yeah, you better get the hell out of here, fucker,” Duke calls after me. “I’d hate to have to kill my best friend with a spatula.”

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meet the author

Andria Large is a traditionally published and self-published contemporary romance author. She doesn’t always follow the rules, so you will find both M/F and M/M books mixed into some of her series.

Henry from the Beck Brothers Series was the first book she self-published. Not expecting anything to really come of it, she was shocked to find the book caught wind and readers were asking for more. Writing books was not something she had set out to do. She wrote stories for herself, as a hobby. Now that it has become her career, she wouldn’t have it any other way.

Andria grew up in Philadelphia, but now lives in New Jersey with her two daughters and wonderfully supportive husband, who frequently accompanies her at signings. The events that she attends every year are one of her favorite things about being an author. She loves meeting and conversing with her readers, but also enjoys finding new ones.

Andria considers herself open and friendly, so feel free to send her a message if you have a question or just want to chat.

Website: www.AuthorAndriaLarge.com

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Author_ALarge

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/author_alarge/

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2nyD5Pu

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This post may contain affiliate links. Advanced Reader Copies are accepted by Two Chicks Obsessed in exchange for an honest review without additional compensation.

Fishy Riot by Lindsey Black: Exclusive Guest Post and Giveaway

FishyRiotFS_v1

synopsis

Most people think riot squad officer Taylor Jameson is an asshole. Little do they know his apparent indifference stems from having a meddlesome family always butting into his business. And little does Taylor know he’s about to stumble into a situation that’ll make indifference impossible.

When everything goes horribly wrong at a political rally on a harbour ferry, Taylor encounters Sietta Salisbury. The son of a wealthy politician, Sietta is a revered—but presumed dead—musician, and an enigma who is so strange, Taylor is compelled to look into his background. What he discovers draws him into a bizarre mess of prisoners, politics, and attempted murder that makes him realise what he’s been missing.

Falling in love isn’t hard. Trying to convince someone else you’re worth loving despite your crazy family and the people trying to kill you? That’s a whole other can of worms.

Title: Fishy Riot
Author: Lindsey Black
Release Date: April 24, 2017
Category: Contemporary
Pages: 236

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Guest Post

Thanks for allowing me to visit today to talk about Fishy Riot. Since it hasn’t been released yet (though a few folks seem to have it on bail) it’s hard to know what to talk about, so I thought I would talk briefly about the main romance, because if you’re reading a romance novel that’s probably the bit you’re interested in (one would think).

Taylor and Sietta are an odd pair. On the surface they have very little in common. Their families have no similarities, they had completely different upbringings, they have no shared interests and as far as I’m aware the only thing they agree on in the book is that they both like the colour blue. To a lot of people I think that’s going to seem as odd as how quickly they’re drawn into a partnership together, but that has a lot to do with the way we are taught to understand love.

Love takes time, right? It grows, and it flourishes and it’s hard but amazing and you’ll fight but have amazing make up sex and all through it you’ll just know that they’re ‘the one’ and the world is amazing? You’ll have all these things in common, and you’ll love the same food and the same music and the same people and if you don’t then, hey, opposites attract and you’ll eventually rub off on each other and live happy ever after? Those are the messages we get about love, from our friends, our relatives, TV, movies, society…wherever. But how often to those ideas translate into true love affairs? I can’t see much of that in any of the relationships I’ve been in, nor in the relationships of my friends.

It’s quite possible I’m just really, really weird and have surrounded myself with similarly strange and wonderful people. These wildly outrageous individuals influence my perceptions of people and how we interact, and so Taylor and Sietta don’t actually seem that odd to me. If they’re odd to you that’s totally fine, by the way. It’s a pretty odd little book. The point is, I have immediate reactions to people I meet. I know if I like them or not, and if we’re going to be friends, or not, and if I ever want to see them even across a crowded room or will one day likely plot their demise. They’re either interesting or bore me to tears. Amazingly personable or irritating beyond belief. It’s generally a one conversation thing, and my circle of friends is small and intimate as a result but that works for us.

When Taylor and Sietta meet it’s with that same immediacy of understanding. The conversation is good, the physical attraction is there, and underlying the interaction is that comprehension that they’re ‘my people’ and it’s as simple as that. How that grows and where they take it from there is the natural evolution of relationships without the indecision. Relationships, romantic or otherwise, either grow or wither. Taylor and Sietta choose to build with each interaction, and yes it’s fast but while they are very different people the commonality in them is their uncompromising dedication to self-awareness. They know they’ve found something special, that each sees something in the other they want and need, and they don’t waste time questioning. Perhaps that’s another thing they have in common; they throw themselves completely into things, fearless of failure.

There are a lot of books out there about terrible things that break good people, but Fishy Riot is not one of those stories. The whole point is that terrible things happen all the time, but we can choose to change that. Yes, Sietta endures horrible things but to what degree he endures is partly his decision. He could walk away at any time but chooses not to because he believes he can create change and it’s that choice that allows his resilience to prosper. He has PTSD, and it filters through subtly in his interactions, but it’s not the out of control life consuming monster it’s often displayed as. It’s subtle and it won’t thrive because in Taylor, Sietta has a lifeline to normalcy. The Jameson’s don’t treat him like he’s broken, to them he is just Sietta and that’s what he needs.

There’s a lot of silliness in Fishy Riot, but I don’t think knowing your own mind is silly. I don’t think fighting for what you want is silly. I don’t think it’s silly to want to make change. And I guess that’s the small piece of me that has found its way into the relationship between Taylor and Sietta. We’re pretty simply people, and once we decide something there’s no going back.

One can only hope you decide the book is worth finishing once you start it.

 

 

Lindsey Black lives in Darwin, Australia, where the weather report permanently reads ‘humidity at 100%, only going to get worse’ for ten months of the year and ‘monsoon at 4:00 p.m. for exactly fifteen minutes’ for the remaining two. Between teaching and studying full-time, she escapes this oppressive environment to bushwalk for weeks on end wherever the mobile phone reception has zero bars for as long as possible and the weather report reads something along the lines of ‘blizzard likely.’ She enjoys martial arts, music, and mayhem, which explains the untidy state of her home where she attempts to write while splitting her minimal amounts of spare time between her incredulous husband, lazy Chinchilla cat, and crazed Siberian husky. If you expect her to sit and have a chat, it’s best to have a matcha green tea latte with almond milk on hand and your hiking boots within reach. Oh, and be sure to bring a guitar for impromptu jam sessions.

You can find Lindsey on facebook / twitter / www

 

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Breaking the Ice by Tali Spencer: Exclusive “Driving on Lakes” Guest Post and Giveaway

BreakingTheIce4synopsisFor Matt Wasko, February in Wisconsin is the best time of the year, and ice fishing on Lake Winnebago is his idea of heaven. With shanty villages cropping up, barbeques on the ice, monster sturgeon to spear, and plenty of booze to keep everybody warm, things couldn’t be better—until a surprise storm hits and an uninvited guest shows up at his frozen doorstep.

Matt’s not happy to see John Lutz, a coworker who cracks lame gay jokes at Matt’s expense. But John’s flimsy new ice shelter got blown across the lake, and it wouldn’t be right to leave even a jerk outside to freeze. Would it?

In the close quarters of Matt’s fabulous ice shanty, between stripping off wet clothes, misadventures with bait, and a fighting trophy-sized walleye, the two men discover creative ways to keep the cold at bay. And when John confesses his long-running attraction, Matt must decide if he can believe in John’s change of heart—and crack the ice for a chance at finding love.

States of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the United States.

Title: Breaking the Ice
Author: Tali Spencer
Release Date: April 19, 2017
Category: Contemporary, States of Love
Pages: TBD (Novella)

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Guest Post

Driving on Lakes

My new release, Breaking the Ice, is set in Wisconsin. Better yet, it’s set in Wisconsin in winter. Wisconsin in winter on a lake. A frosty, beautiful, ice-sheathed lake.

The ice on inland lakes in the Upper Great Lakes region can get two feet or more thick. At that thickness, it’s possible to drive large trucks onto the ice. Lake Winnebago, where the story takes place, is 30 miles long and ten miles across. To save the time of driving around the lake, winter commuters sometimes just drive across it—if the ice conditions are right.

Once the ice is thick enough, Lake Winnebago, and many other lakes, evolve a road system. Fishing clubs—ice fishing is a major winter sport—plow roads and line these roads with discarded Christmas trees for greater visibility. They also put out ice bridges to span the inevitable cracks that develop near shore. Knowing how, when, and when not to drive on ice is an essential winter skill.

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Breaking the Ice’s main character Matt Wasko is an old hand when it comes to driving on lakes. His house sits on Lake Winnebago’s shore and he and his friends use his ramp to drive out to their fishing spots. Matt’s such an avid ice fisher he practically lives in his ice shanty out on the lake for much of the winter. His pick-up truck with the unicorn license plate frame is as likely to be parked on an icy lake as asphalt. To catch Matt’s attention, smitten John Lutz decides to venture out on the lake. For John, driving his car onto a sheet of frozen water feels worse than unnatural. It freaks him out.

John clutched the steering wheel with both hands and prayed for solid land. The road he was driving on wasn’t even a real road, just a track plowed across ice. In broad daylight, he’d seen it more or less clearly, but now that the sun had vanished, everything turned shadow blue, and the snow and ice had become indistinguishable. Wasko hadn’t been kidding about the way getting treacherous. Just minutes ago John had nearly missed the ice bridge that spanned the foot-wide crack between the shanties and the shore. Only seeing the shoreline looking robust and near gave him cause to celebrate.

And that’s not even taking refrigerator-sized sturgeon holes into account.

John could have used a few simple tips for safe driving on ice roads:

  • Always have a fully charged cell phone with you in case you get stuck or need help.
  • If you drive in the dark, drive slowly so you don’t run ahead of your headlights.
  • Don’t drive in storms. Wind and snow can create cracks and erase roads.
  • Don’t wear your seatbelt. Easier to escape. If you do wear your seatbelt, carry a knife in easy reach so you can cut yourself free if needed.
  • Carry a ball peen hammer so you can break your window to escape from your vehicle if you fall through.
  • Dress warmly to insulate your body should you fall in. Carry an ice pick or screwdriver in your pocket to help you crawl back onto the ice.

One thing to remember always is that ICE MELTS. As weather gets warmer, ice depth can become unpredictable. Ice melts fastest nearest the shore, so ice drivers need to be alert and vigilant about changing ice conditions. Every year someone gets their vehicle stuck out on the ice or falls through because they overestimated the strength of the ice.

It’s not possible, though, to overestimate the willingness of a man to drive his Hyundai onto the ice in pursuit of the man of his dreams. Which is what Breaking the Ice is all about.

 

 

meet the author

Tali Spencer delights in erotic fantasy and adventure, creating worlds where she can explore the heights and shadows of sexual passion. A hopeful romantic and lover of all things exotic, she also writes high fantasy and science fiction. If you would like to see inspiration pictures for her characters, or glimpse how she envisions her worlds, including works in progress, check out her Pinterest boards.

Visit Tali’s blog at http://talismania-brilliantdisguise.blogspot.com
E-mail: tali.spencer1@gmail.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/tali.spencer

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/talispencer/

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Tys That Bind by Jessie G: Blog Tour, Exclusive Guest Post, Review and Giveaway

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Tys That Bind - Final - 400 x 600synopsis

Unprepared, ill-equipped, and with no example to look back on, Ty and Chase embarked on a journey to build a family for Ava and Luc that would far exceed anything they dreamed of for themselves. Two years later, they’ve succeeded beyond their wildest expectations, but there’s still a couple of things missing…and they’re ready to make them happen.

Bad boy biker Trick wouldn’t hesitate to fight for those he loves, but Ty knows it will take more than violence to win this war. Willfully submissive Chase has the utmost faith in his Master, but when he sees Ty struggling with demons from his past, it will be his quiet, unbending support that will see them through. Jumping through the loopholes of family court, they are only one event shy of making it all official and neither are willing to wait another second to check it off the list.

Clearing the path for adoption should reassure them, but it will take their cast of well-meaning friends and the occasional slap upside the head before they realize that the ties that bind them together are forged in a love that can never be taken away.

Author: Jessie G

Book: Tys That Bind

Series: Devils Pride MC #3 (series should be read in order)

Key Words: Gay Romance, Adoptions & Weddings, Contemporary Romance

Cover Artist: Andrew Reyna

Release Date: March 31, 2017

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I asked Denise for a prompt to get this posted started and she asked me to talk about the differences between writing happy stories versus angst/action-driver stories. To be honest, I don’t sit down and think “this book has to be” whatever. I let the characters determine the levels of angst to sweet. Either way, as a firm believer in happily ever after, all my stories come with that guarantee.  But the road to such an ending is rarely easy. Like real life, everyone has a journey, and every couple faces problems. It’s how they deal with them without ever losing each other that makes a real life HEA.

A wedding & adoption book may lend itself to the writing happy, but both occasions are rife with hurdles to overcome. I try to make these sequels about the growth of my couples, not only to see how far they’ve come but to show them taking the next steps in their relationship. For Red and Bull, and Chris and Owen, it made sense to write super sweet, romantic stories that hovered on too sappy.

There was no way that could work for Ty and Chase, thankfully, because I really want each book to be as different as I can make them. In this case, looking forward and taking those next steps comes with some serious introspection that provides the angst that we expect from Ty. From a secret wedding in one of the most people locations in Miami, to officially making it official, all the feelings are there in true non-mushy fashion…mostly. Part of the reconciliation of Trick and Ty, and the growth of his character overall, is the realization that having feelings for isn’t the detriment he once believed it could be.

Does that mean we’ll see a full-on sappy/mushy Ty in the future? Probably only when Ava wants to wear her princess crown.

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denise review

Check out Deanna’s 5 pieces of eye candy review here!

You never know what you are going to get with a Jessie G book. Sometimes she will rip my heart out, make it into mincemeat, and bring me to the other side with an HEA (because she always does that) or sometimes I will read the book and just enjoy having an established couple living their lives, working through all the struggles couples have, but finding more of their HEA.

Tys that Bind is the latter. Ty and Chase had to go through so much to find their HEA in Tricking Chase. When they found Ty’s sister’s children, they became an instant family of four, with all the struggles that must go along with that. This novella was all about completing that family, making it unable to be severed under the law. And it was done in spectacular Ty and Chase fashion. Quiet, with just the two of them there for their wedding-and you will see that it truly is only the two of them for the most important part of their wedding, the vows. A party was thrown in there, as well, because what is a book in the world that Jessie created without the entire family finding a reason to celebrate. 🙂

One of the things that I love about Jessie’s books is that not only do the characters think, introspect and figure out all the reasons WHY they are doing or going to do what they do…but she brings the reader along for the ride. The reader finds that you can’t (and don’t want to) zone out, sometimes reading words and not comprehending. You are fully engaged in intelligent introspection with the character, and that is something special. That is something you will not get with a lot of authors. Jessie provides that in spades.

This family got their true HEA, a hard fought battle from beginning to end, but worth every second, as the characters tell the reader.

4 pieces of eye candy

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meet the author

Like many readers, the dream of being a writer has been with me a long time. After three decades of trying, I’d begun to doubt. Thanks to social media, I followed my favorite authors hoping to glean some words of wisdom as I pounded out half-formed ideas with alarming regularity. Two repetitive themes emerged: to be a great writer you must read a lot and your butt must be in the chair every day like it’s a job. The more you write, the easier it will be to write and the better you will be at writing. I took that advice to heart and write every day. With three series in the works and a full schedule of releases planned for the next two years, it’s been amazing to have made this dream my reality.

I am a firm believer in marriage equality, love at first sight, power dynamics, and happily ever after. I’m a lover of strong secondary characters, and series filled with families—biological or chosen. All are themes you’ll find throughout my books.

Where to Find Me

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/author/jessieg

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/jessiegbooks

Website: http://www.jessiegbooks.com

Newsletter Signup: http://eepurl.com/bhuja1

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

Google +: google.com/+Jessiegbooksmm

Instagram: https://instagram.com/jessiegbooks

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/jessiegbooks

Pinterest:  http://www.pinterest.com/jessiegbooks/

Tumblr (NSFW 18+):  http://jessiegbooks.tumblr.com/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/JessieGBooks

This post may contain affiliate links. Advanced Reader Copies are accepted by Two Chicks Obsessed in exchange for an honest review without additional compensation.

Monthly Author Column: Victoria Sue reads…

FiveMinutesLonger -FINAL

Guest Post

I’m not sure whether to be excited or terrified that I am inflicting my weird English accent on the American public – but what I am thrilled about is that you get an excerpt from the soon to be published sequel to Five Minutes Longer – Who We Truly Are.

The quote that the title comes from is one of my favorites – Harry Potter.

“It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than out abilities.” – Albus Dumbledore.
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What really excited me about this quote is how it sums up my guys. The enhanced are mistrusted by the regular human public who are frightened of their abilities.

It’s all about them learning to be the bigger person in the face of hatred and discrimination. Something just as true in today’s world as in my fictional one.

The excerpt comes as Finn has to do a job that no one else on the team can. Talon, of course, hates that and feels helpless that he is unable to protect him. Finn, much as he understands how Talon feels, in the end very much wants to do his job and save the enhanced children that are depending on him. Needless to say, at the moment, things aren’t going well.

Who We Truly Are will be published by Dreamspinner Press in June.

 

 

You can also click here for the link: https://youtu.be/wANqx_MxwmQ

meet the author

Victoria Sue:

Wrote her first book on a dare from her hubby two years ago and he says he has regretted it every day since. Loves writing about gorgeous boys loving each other the best, and especially with either a paranormal or a historical twist. Had a try at writing contemporary but failed spectacularly when it grew four legs and a tail. Loves her wolves!

Is an English northern lass but is currently serving twenty to life in Florida – unfortunately, she spends more time chained at her computer than on a beach.

Loves to hear from her readers and can be found most days lurking on facebook.

www.victoriasue.com

@vickysuewrites

https://www.facebook.com/victoriasueauthor/– sign up for my newsletter and download a free story The Wrong Alpha

 

This post may contain affiliate links. Advanced Reader Copies are accepted by Two Chicks Obsessed in exchange for an honest review without additional compensation.