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: May 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 Dreamspinner’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

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

 

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Two Cowboys and a Baby by BA Tortuga: Release Day Review, Guest Post and Giveaway

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synopsis
A little bundle of joy means big changes.
Hoss McMasters has a working ranch, a bull riding career, a nosy momma, and a best friend he’s been in love with since he can remember. He’s a busy, happy cowboy, living the good life.
Then one morning he discovers a baby on his doorstep.
Well, Hoss does what any reasonable man would do—he calls his momma and his buddy, Sheriff Pooter, and they head to the clinic to see if Doc knows of any suddenly not-so-pregnant girls.
In the meantime, Hoss and his best friend, Bradley, have their hands full trying to care for an infant, run a ranch, and deal with the sudden confession that Bradley doesn’t hate Hoss for coming out to him in high school. In fact, Bradley’s been trying to catch Hoss’s attention for damn near a decade.

 

Title: Two Cowboys and a Baby
Author: BA Tortuga
Release Date: March 15, 2017
Category: Contemporary, Dreamspun Desires, Western
Pages: 220

Guest Post

Strawberry Pie

Hey, y’all! I’m BA Tortuga, resident redneck and lover of all things cowboy.

So, I always get asked if my characters are like me, like my family, and I always say no.

Still, bits of my family always sneak in.

For instance, Hoss from Two Cowboys and a Baby? Loves strawberry pie with a fiery passion. Adores it.

My daddy? Loves strawberry pie. I make him one every single time I see him. It’s his favorite dessert and we all know, that last piece, belongs to Daddy. No question.

So, I’ll do y’all a favor. I’ll share my recipe. It’s tried and tried and tried and tried and true. 😉

Daddy’s Strawberry Pie

1 crust, baked off. Your choice of recipe.

3 pints strawberries

1 c. sugar

3 T. cornstarch

½ c. water

Clean and top your berries, then smash enough to make 1 cup. Put those, plus sugar, water and cornstarch in a nice sized pan and cook til it boils and goes thick. Don’t stop stirring. Take off the heat and cool.

Tump the rest of the strawberries in the pie shell (whole is prettier, sliced is better to eat). Pour cooked berries over top and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

Top with whipped cream/cool whip/whathaveyou.

Much love, y’all.

BA

 

 

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jennifer

First, let me just say that, I am a sucker for hot guys with kids. For those of you who read my reviews, this is not a secret. I don’t care how terrible the story is, I’ll like it because, hot guys with kids are kind of my thing. Now, in saying that… this story was really cute.
It was a bit unbelievable and left some holes that I would’ve liked filled, like… who was the mother and wouldshe ever come back? I mean she hadn’t, but I’d have liked to have seen some protection in the way so that she couldn’t come back and take the baby, if she wanted to.
The whole thing with the brother, was so unbelievable… just like Bradley said, it was something from a bad soap opera, I wouldn’t have bought it either if I was him….And the brother, him just being okay with his brother raising his kid as his own? Seriously? No muss or fuss about it…. Not even a “thanks bro!”
There were also words like “whut”, “ruint” and “spoilt” that I was just like….no, no, no… In no way am I a grammar police and I understand that these guys were cowboys and they had kind of a lazy, southern draw, but, “whut”… just made them sound uneducated and they both seemed like smart guys, so why?
Other than that, I loved the family aspect of this story. Hoss’s mom was a big help and I love the small town community, living where everybody knows everybody and has since preschool kind of thing. I live in a town like that. It’s homey.
I’m also glad that Bradley and Hoss figured their stuff out together…. It kinda just came out of nowhere, randomly while they were arguing and I wasn’t ready for it, even though I was ready for it because the back and forth was exhausting… but, there was no lead-up lol, it was just blurted out there and then nobody really reacted about it… it just was what it was. So, I was glad it wasn’t more of a back and forth than it already was.
Overall, it was a cute little read, a bit unrealistic, like I said, but it was cute and I enjoyed the HFN ending.
3 pieces of eye candy for me.

3-pieces of eye candy

 

meet the author

Texan to the bone and an unrepentant Daddy’s Girl, BA Tortuga spends her days with her basset hounds and her beloved wife, texting her sisters, and eating Mexican food. When she’s not doing that, she’s writing. She spends her days off watching rodeo, knitting and surfing Pinterest in the name of research. BA’s personal saviors include her wife, Julia Talbot, her best friend, Sean Michael, and coffee. Lots of coffee. Really good coffee.

Having written everything from fist-fighting rednecks to hard-core cowboys to werewolves, BA does her damnedest to tell the stories of her heart, which was raised in Northeast Texas, but has heard the call of the  high desert and lives in the Sandias. With books ranging from hard-hitting GLBT romance, to fiery menages, to the most traditional of love stories, BA refuses to be pigeon-holed by anyone but the voices in her head. Find her on the web at www.batortuga.com

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Secrets of You by Skylar M. Cates: Blog Tour, Exclusive Guest Post, Release Day Review and Giveaway

SecretsOfYouFS_v1synopsisIt’s never easy to find redemption.

Carrying scars and regrets, River Darcourt avoids too much intimate contact. Among his friends, he is known as a quiet loner. Forget about love—it’s not something he will consider—until sweet, young, and tempting Morgan Hayes becomes his housemate. River closed his heart long ago, but the attraction is impossible to deny.

Morgan Hayes needs a change. He is moving out of his critical father’s home and in with his friends, including his secret/not-so-secret crush, River. Having feelings for River is a terrible idea. But what is a guy to do when the annoyingly sexy mechanic is just across the hall?
While Morgan has overcome ugliness and is ready for love, he’s just not sure River ever will be. They have both experienced pain in their lives. So Morgan dares River to take a chance, and love will either break their fractured hearts in more pieces or, just possibly, make them whole again.

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Guest Post

Release Day Jitters: The Maze of Romance Writing  

It’s release day for Secrets of You! I’m excited and nervous equally. Yes, I hope you love it! Yes, I hope for good reviews and sales. But I also try and take that moment to enjoy my accomplishment.

Some authors will check their sales continuously on release week, others will stay with the covers over their heads, and some authors (like myself) strike a balance between the two extremes. Yet every author I meet does have some kind of ritual on release day. Here are a few of mine.

RITUALS FOR RELEASE DAY:

  1. I try and take a relaxing swim. Living in a warm place, there is optional swimming year round. With every stroke, my anxiety about sales or reviews lessen. Bonus: a hot tub.
  2. I toast the book with a glass of wine or a vodka shot. What I drink depends on three factors: what’s in my pantry, how hard the book was to write, and if my kids are home.

I started this toasting ritual with Exposed. Although the jitters might not be quite as killer as with my first novel, I try and remind myself that I deserve a moment to cheer for my characters being let out in the world. (Yay River! Yay Morgan!)

  1. I check the sales only once that day. Otherwise it will drive me insane (I might ask a trusted friend to watch for more numbers or reviews, but I can only look for so long. This is good and bad. The day The Only Guy hit number one on Amazon, I would have had no clue if not for a buddy sending me a screenshot!)
  2. I watch some trashy television and allow a break.

Some writers are frightened of taking short breaks. I think of it as recharging my batteries. Some of my favorite shows to chill with these days are Shadowhunters, Scandal, and Empire. I love a good soapy show (it goes well with that glass of celebratory wine).

  1. I begin the next book.

 

AUTHORS ARE MAZE RUNNERS

I’m not a plotter with charts and outlines all color-coded or anything that organized, but I’m not a total pantser, either. So yeah, after release day is done, I turn to the next one. I usually scribble notes. Write down some impressions of new characters. It can start pretty simply.

For example, I’m working on a book for the Dreamspun Desires line about a cowboy and a rock star, and I needed a name of a cat. I had Mr. Whiskers and hated it. The cat was a bit grumpy and lazy. I turned to ask my Facebook friends what a good name might be and got over fifty replies! As silly as it sounds, once I picked the cat’s name from the responses (Oscar, at least for now), I wrote a whole page of notes.

Plotting a romance often feels like a maze.  I often turn to that next book and think: now what? Here is how it looks in my brain when I began Secrets of You:

Morgan is alone

River is alone

maze

                                                                                                                                       River and Morgan find HEA

 

Did you get the guys together in my maze? Not too hard, right? Yet the characters struggle at every twist and turn. For them it should be hard. The reader might be able to see the way to true love, and the reader of a romance knows that happy end is coming, but the fun is taking the journey.

(Note: dirty mazes can also be fun.)

Personally I have a horrible sense of direction. If real love were a maze, I might still be lost!

Isn’t that the way we all feel at times? That’s one of the universal truths in a good romance: the path is uncertain.

All I do know is a release day is still special. Forever and always, the day my book releases is like completing that maze. River and Morgan have found each other, and that fact makes me happy.

Thank you for being here with me on my release day. I loved writing this one.

Let’s celebrate!

jennifer
Ok, so, let me first say that I started Secrets of You, not realizing that it was part of a series. I loved the cover though, so I requested it. I didn’t really feel like I was missing much, except for the secondary characters and their stories; such as Rivers former partner, who passed away and the two friends that get married. I’ll have to go back and read about them because, I’m betting they’re just as great.

In this one though, we have River and Morgan. River, like I said River had lost the love of his life in a bicycle accident and was closed off from letting himself love again. He was quiet and moody and pretty much kept himself, to himself. Enter, Morgan, who moves into the same house as River and several of their roommate/friends, and River suddenly can’t get far enough away from him. He’s attracted to him, of course, Morgan is friendly and flirty and always seems in a good mood. Now, after their friends are going on a cruise/honeymoon and leaving the guys at home by themselves, it’s harder and harder to stay away from one another. I, 100% could understand River’s resistance, I couldn’t imagine losing someone I loved so much, let alone having to learn how to live without then and love someone else. I can imagine how it would feel like replacing them or forgetting them and River felt he didn’t deserve goodness. He’d been through a lot in his life. He had a lot of guilt and baggage that he never told anyone, and he desperately wanted to tell Morgan.

Morgan was great, he didn’t push, not really. He helped River by going to different organizations to see which one to donate the money he got from suing the helmet company after Brendan’s passing. River had wanted to do something nice to honor Brendan’s memory with it. It was sweet and Morgan was patient and sincere and honest. He would be so good for River, but I felt like they’d needed each other.

River needed to face some things about his past though, things that he held close to himself and didn’t share with anyone, and that included Brendan or any of the other guys. I was glad when he trusted Morgan, I just loved them both together, anyway.

Morgan’s dad was a tough nut to crack. I understand that some people are just set in their ways and all that and I feel that’s how Morgan’s dad was, even though Morgan tried so hard to gain his acceptance. I feel in that one instance, he just didn’t accept it. He tolerated it, but even Morgan said, he hated to just be tolerated. I really felt for him, but like he also said…. So many other people had it worse. Which reminds me, I really wish they could’ve helped all of the places they looked at, in order to help with Brendan’s money.

I really want to read about Jared and Ennio, as well. I sincerely hope they’re next. That’ll be such a heartbreaking story I’m sure….and for any of ya who read my reviews; ya’ll know that I’m a sucker for hot guys with kids! Plus… I really want to see Jared get his little piece of happy. And he’s a firefighter… come on.

Overall, once I got passed the realization that I didn’t know the other characters and it took me a minute to figure out which ones were coupled up. I enjoyed this story very much. It’s not too terribly angsty, which I liked and I loved seeing River open up and be the person he so badly wanted to be. He was sweet.

4 pieces of eye candy from me!!!

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Contact Skylar M. Cates:

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Talking in Code by Ariel Tachna: Exclusive Ficlet and Giveaway

TalkinginCodeFS_v1synopsis

Some things crumble under pressure. Others are tempered by it instead. For three former soldiers, a tragedy might be the catalyst that binds them together—stronger than ever.

Richard Horn and Timothy Davenport met in the SEALs twenty years ago and have been lovers ever since. Now running their own paramilitary organization, Strike Force Omega, they work in the shadows to protect their country and its people. When Tim falls for Eric Newton, a deadly sniper and strategist on their team, Richard accepts that Tim’s heart is big enough for two men. He respects, admires, and even desires Eric enough to accept him into their relationship—and their bed—but he’s never been fully a part of what Eric and Tim share.

Then Eric is captured by terrorists and Tim is gravely injured in an op gone wrong, bringing Richard’s world crashing down around his ears. Even if he gets his men out alive, Eric must face the aftermath of months of physical and psychological torture—and without Tim to lean on, Eric’s PTSD is tearing him apart. Richard has to figure out the third leg of their triangle fast, or Tim won’t have a life to come back to.

tco exclusive

Talking in Code starts in media res. Eric, Tim, and Richard are already well and truly involved with each other, but the story includes references to moments before the book begins, moments that are not fully explored in the novel itself.

This is the fifth of those moments.

 

Reward

The minute the door to their quarters closed, Tim and Horn were all over him again. Eric wasn’t sure he’d ever been stripped so fast, no matter how motivated he was. He tried to strip Tim in return, but he couldn’t get a hand on either of them. They had him too wrapped up in their arms. Somehow they managed to strip themselves or each other, though, because that was definitely bare skin against his back and chest. They kept him between them as they moved toward the bedroom, like they were worried he might try to escape. He’d have told them they had nothing to worry about—he wasn’t going anywhere—but between Tim’s tongue in his mouth and Horn’s mouth on his neck, words weren’t happening.

Moans, though… he could handle moans, because fuck, Horn knew just how to bite at the curve of his shoulder to make his whole body light up. And the brush of his goatee only added to it.

They toppled him onto the bed. Tim followed him down immediately, but Horn took a moment to watch them. Eric’s nerve almost broke at the unreadable expression on Horn’s face. Yes, Horn had said he was okay with this, had explicitly invited Eric to join them, but he’d made it clear he was doing it because Tim wanted it. If Horn had changed his mind, they’d never find his body.

Horn ran a hand up Tim’s bare back—shit, he was in bed naked with Tim Davenport—drawing Tim’s attention momentarily. Tim was already smiling before he turned his head out of the line of Eric’s vision, a smile like nothing Eric had ever seen on his face before. He wanted Tim to look at him that way, as impossible as that was. If anyone ever looked at Eric with half the devotion on his face as was on Tim’s, Eric would count himself a lucky man. Horn cocked an eyebrow at Tim, a silent question Eric didn’t know how to read. Eric didn’t see whatever gesture or expression Tim made in return, but Tim turned back to Eric, the expression on his face never changing, as Horn stretched out on the bed next to Eric.

“How do we do this?” Eric asked hesitantly.

“How do you want to do this?” Tim replied.

Eric shrugged. “I’m up for anything that doesn’t involve blood or tying me up. He… um, Horn—”

“Richard,” Tim prompted.

Eric swallowed hard. He couldn’t call the commander by his first name, but they were naked, in bed, about to fuck each other’s brains out. He couldn’t keep calling him commander. “Richard said you’d talked about this, that you had… fantasies.”

“More than a few,” Tim said, making Eric groan softly. “But the only part of them that really matters is that they involve you. Anything we do will be better than empty dreams.”

“How about you do what you want, and I’ll tell you if there’s something I don’t like?” Eric said. Anything more than that was already beyond him. Sure, he’d imagined being with Tim, but it had never included Horn, and that had him totally off-balance.

“We can do that,” Horn said and rolled onto his elbow so he could kiss Eric. The kiss was deep and thorough, a siege of his mouth and mind. If he hadn’t known Horn was only here because Tim wanted him, he would have believed Horn was fully invested in this.

When Horn lifted his head, Eric’s senses were spinning, but before he could put any order to his thoughts, Tim was there, stealing what was left of his brain. Someone’s hands—Horn’s, he thought, but he couldn’t be sure—moved over his arms, stroking along the dips and curves of muscle. Eric knew he had buff arms, but he’d never viewed them as anything other than what he needed to draw the bows he collected and restored in his spare time. Now, with Tim kissing him and Horn lingering over them like they were the best thing he’d ever seen, he was suddenly tempted to flex them. Would it make Horn interested enough to let him come back to their bed another time?

“Fucking gorgeous,” Horn murmured near his ear. “I’m never going to be able to watch you train again without getting a hard-on.”

Eric wasn’t ever going to be able to sit through a briefing again without one, but that was a personal problem. He reached for Horn with one hand, seeking whatever contact he could find. He cupped the other around Tim’s nape and tried to make Tim as breathless as he was. He wasn’t sure it worked, but Tim moaned into his mouth and rutted against his side. Eric rocked back against him as best he could with Horn on his other side. If it had been just him and Tim, he would have pulled Tim on top of him, but he was there by Horn’s good grace. He couldn’t ignore him completely.

Tim released Eric’s mouth and kissed his way down Eric’s neck. Eric took a deep breath to steady himself, only to have Horn lean down and latch on to his nipple. Eric arched into their mouths, already desperate for more contact. Tim must have noticed his reaction to Horn’s mouth because he mimicked the gesture, leaving Eric thrashing on the bed.

“Easy,” Tim murmured against his skin. “We won’t leave you hanging.”

“The rate you’re going, it won’t come to that.”

Horn lifted his head. “That sounds like a challenge. You’re young. You can take it.”

Eric wasn’t so sure, not when he was already out of his mind with lust. Then again, maybe if he came now, he’d actually be able to relax and enjoy the rest.

“Is that what you want?” Tim asked “A quick orgasm now and then something more drawn out? Or can you wait long enough for us to fuck you?”

Eric moaned. He’d never last long enough for one of them to fuck him, much less both. “Make me come now. Then you can fuck me as long and hard as you want.”

“Told you he could take it,” Horn drawled, and it didn’t feel like he was just referring to his recent comment, but like he and Tim had discussed him, had planned this seduction. Before Eric could ask for more details, Tim slid a hand down Eric’s belly to encircle his cock. He bucked into the touch with a hoarse shout, and only years of self-denial kept him from coming on the spot. He’d told them to make him come, but he had a little self-respect.

Tim jacked him too well, though, and then Horn reached between his legs and cupped his balls, and Eric was lost. He shot all over his stomach and collapsed back on the bed, panting.

“Now,” Tim drawled, “you said something about fucking you….”

Eric made to roll over, but Horn caught him before he got to his stomach and pulled him back into the curve of his body. He reached down and draped Eric’s top leg over his thigh.

“Richard, have some patience. Just because I relax automatically at your touch doesn’t mean he will. Let him roll over so we can open him up properly.”

“You can’t kiss him if he’s on his stomach,” Horn replied. “You enjoy him. I’ll stretch him. I wasn’t going to take him dry.”

Eric shuddered, but at the rate they were going, he would probably have accepted even that. Tim stretched out along the front of his body, pressing against him from chest to knee and running his hands over Eric’s skin like he couldn’t get enough. Eric fell eagerly into the embrace, barely even flinching at the bite of cold lube against his hole.

“He forgot to warm up the lube, didn’t he?” Tim murmured as he reached around Eric and spread his cheeks for Horn. “He always forgets.”

Eric moaned a little at the thought of being between two lovers who knew each other so well. What would it be like to be a part of that not just for the night, but to have all that knowledge for himself too? He wouldn’t have said he wanted it if someone had asked, but now that he was here….

“Just wait until he gets inside you,” Tim continued. “He’s got magic fingers. He’ll make you feel so good.”

Horn suited actions to Tim’s words and slid a finger past Eric’s sphincter. Eric tensed automatically, but Horn didn’t push deeper, giving Eric time to adjust. “He needs a distraction,” Horn said behind him.

“Did you have something in mind?” Tim asked.

“All that skin in front of you, not to mention his dick, and you have to ask for suggestions?”

“No, but since you seem to want to run things, I thought I’d check.”

“It’s your fantasy, Dav. I’m just helping you act it out.”

The reminder soured in Eric’s stomach. Tim wanted him, yes, but Horn was just here because he loved Tim. This wasn’t the start of something more. It was one lover indulging another with him as the treat shared between them. He might have pulled away if Tim hadn’t kissed him right then, tangling his tongue with Eric’s so Eric couldn’t do anything but moan and rock against him, which rocked him right back onto Horn’s finger. It went deeper, enough to remind him how long it had been since he’d done this. He’d found the occasional willing partner to trade blow jobs or to let Eric fuck him, but it had been years since he’d bottomed for anyone. That he had offered so immediately spoke volumes about how gone he was over Tim.

Then Horn leaned forward and kissed the back of Eric’s neck, right at his hairline, a lover’s gesture if ever he’d felt one, and his world tipped on its axis. Horn twitched his finger inside Eric, and his breath hitched. “So responsive,” Horn murmured against his skin, his goatee adding another layer of sensation to his breath, raising goose bumps. “Going to make you feel so good.”

Eric didn’t need to be told that. They had already made him feel amazing, and it was only getting better. Horn pressed deeper, finding Eric’s prostate. Eric let out a hoarse shout as he tossed his head back. Tim took that in stride, transferring his attention to Eric’s chest instead.

“Did you like that?” Horn asked as he pressed against Eric’s sweet spot.

“Y-yes,” Eric gasped out between jolts to his system from Horn’s teasing.

“Enough to take another finger?” Horn prompted.

Eric moaned and rocked back against him as Tim sucked hard on one of his nipples. Eric cried out again and grabbed Tim’s head, holding him in place. He carded his fingers through Tim’s blond hair, trying to imprint the memory of this night on as many of his senses as possible since this would probably be his one chance to experience it.

Everything swirled together around him—Tim’s mouth and hands on him, Horn’s fingers stretching him while he kissed his way along Eric’s neck and shoulders. The burn of Horn adding a third finger cleared his head for a moment, but then Horn went back to milking his prostate, and Eric went under again, a drowning man going down for the third time.

“Condom,” he heard Horn say, followed by the ripping of a package. He blinked a couple of times to see Tim rolling the latex on.

“Come here,” Tim said. Eric moved toward him, but Tim gestured for him to flip around. That made sense. Easier for Tim to fuck him from behind. It took a bit of awkward fumbling to get him arranged the way Tim wanted, but they eventually settled on their sides with Eric’s top leg over Horn’s hip and his bottom leg sandwiched straight between their bodies.

Tim steadied him with a hand to his hip and pushed against Eric’s hole. He relaxed his muscles consciously as Tim rocked against him, going deeper with each thrust until he was fully seated in Eric’s ass. “So tight,” Tim murmured. “You feel so good, even better than I imagined.”

Horn reached over them and poked Tim’s hip. “My turn. I want a piece of the action too.”

Tim withdrew, but before Eric could protest, Horn pushed into him from in front. The angle was different, dragging against his inner walls in other places. He couldn’t have said which he preferred, only that the change turned him on even more. Horn fucked him backward against Tim with eager snaps of his hips, so that his ass rubbed against Tim’s cock. Tim moaned, a sound Eric echoed. After a few thrusts, Horn withdrew, only for Tim to return, pushing Eric forward so their cocks rubbed together.

Oh fuck, they weren’t going to take him one at a time. They really were going to share him.

They fell into a rhythm—thrust, retreat, thrust, retreat, switch—that left Eric flying. He’d had some wild sex in his life, but nothing had ever turned him on like being caught between these two powerful, sexy men who kissed him, touched him, fucked him like they’d never get enough. He already knew he was addicted. He’d never have another lover like either of them, much less like the two of them combined.

He reached blindly for Horn, needing a kiss to ground him. It didn’t even matter that Horn was the one to give it to him. He just needed something.

Tim withdrew and Horn took his place, but instead of thrusting a few times and letting Tim have his turn, Horn kept going, pegging Eric’s prostate with every pass as he kissed him so deeply Eric’s vision started to white out. He came with a sharp cry, lost in Horn’s mouth, and felt Horn follow a moment later. They lay there panting until Tim swatted Horn’s hip loud enough that the smack roused Eric from his stupor. “My turn.”

Tim nudged Eric forward, but he had nowhere to roll except on top of Horn. Horn didn’t seem to care, pulling Eric on top of him and taking his mouth in another torrid kiss. Tim moved between their spread legs and ran his hands over Eric’s back and down to his ass. “So damn beautiful.” He spread Eric’s cheeks. “Look at you, all slick and open from Richard fucking you.” He brushed his thumb over Eric’s hole. “I don’t want to hurt you. Can you take me?”

“Yes, please,” Eric begged. He spread his legs wider, or tried to, anyway. He was already nearly as spread-eagled as he could get. Tim fell on him like a starving man, rutting into him, forcing him down against Horn’s body. Holy hell, that was hot! It only took a few thrusts for Tim to come. He collapsed along Eric’s back. Horn grunted but didn’t push them off him, so Eric stayed where he was, basking in the afterglow.

He’d have to get up soon. He didn’t want to spoil an otherwise amazing night by overstaying his welcome. Right at the moment, though, he couldn’t have moved if he wanted to, with Tim’s weight on him and Horn’s arms around both of them. It took him a moment to realize that one of the hands on his hips was Horn’s, not Tim still holding both hips.

Had he misread the situation?

Tim rolled to the side, taking Eric with him, and Horn followed so that Eric was still tucked snugly between them. Eric wasn’t an expert on threesomes or adding a one-night extra to an existing relationship, but he’d had enough one-night stands to know that cuddling was generally not on offer, yet neither Horn nor Tim seemed in any hurry to move away.

Finally Horn rolled to his back to deal with the condom. Eric figured that was his cue to make himself scarce, but when he started to sit up, Tim tightened his arms around him, and before he could question that, Horn had rolled back into place, adding his arm to keep Eric in place.

“Lie still,” Tim murmured against his skin. “We don’t have anywhere to be before morning and neither do you. Don’t fuck this up.”

The words might have stung in another situation, but Eric was too blissed out to hear them now as any kind of criticism, especially since they implied that leaving would be what would mess things up.

Horn kept him in a tight embrace and kissed him when Tim rolled away for a moment to clean himself up, but Eric had learned his lesson and made no attempt to pull away. And then Tim was back, a line of sturdy heat along his spine. Eric gave up fighting and let them snuggle around and get comfortable. It wouldn’t take much and he’d be asleep.

Tim stroked up and down his arm, such a soothing touch that Eric drifted closer to unconsciousness.

“Dav?” Richard’s voice was pitched low, clearly intended not to disturb him.

“Yeah?”

“We’re gonna need a bigger bed.”

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ariel bio picmeet the author

When Ariel Tachna was twelve years old, she discovered two things: the French language and romance novels. Those two loves have defined her ever since. By the time she finished high school, she’d written four novels, none of which anyone would want to read now, featuring a young woman who was—you guessed it—bilingual. That girl was everything Ariel wanted to be at age twelve and wasn’t.

She now lives on the outskirts of Houston with her husband (who also speaks French), her kids (who understand French even when they’re too lazy to speak it back), and their two dogs (who steadfastly refuse to answer any French commands). The cat pretends they’re all beneath her, no matter what language they’re speaking.

Visit Ariel:

Website: www.arieltachna.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/ArielTachna

E-mail: arieltachna@gmail.com

giveaway

I’m offering a signed copy of Talking in Code to two winners who share posts from the blog tour. I’m also offering an ebook copy of any of my backlist to someone who comments on each individual post.

 

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