Finding Home by Garrett Leigh: Blog Tour, Exclusive Interview, and Giveaway

How do you find a home when your heart is in ashes?

With their mum dead and their father on remand for her murder, Leo Hendry and his little sister, Lila, have nothing in the world but each other. Broken and burned, they’re thrust into the foster care system. Leo shields Lila from the fake families and forced affection, until the Poulton household is the only place left to go.

Charlie de Sousa is used to other kids passing through the Poulton home, but there’s never been anyone like his new foster brother. Leo’s physical injuries are plain to see, but it’s the pain in his eyes that draws Charlie in the most.

Day by day, they grow closer, but the darkness inside Leo consumes him. He rejects his foster parents, and when Charlie gets into trouble, Leo’s attempt to protect him turns violent. When Leo loses control, no one can reach him—except Charlie. He desperately needs a family—a home—and only Charlie can show him the way.

Amazon

Riptide Publishing

  1. Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)?

I tend to hum as I type if I’m really into it. Not musically, but more like a deranged robot. I didn’t know this about myself until I worked in an office and found everyone staring at me.

  1. Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?

Probably sport. I know nothing about any of it, apart from perhaps track and field, but even then it’s still limited to a weird crush on Kris Akabusi.

  1. Which would you rather do: ‘Never write another story or never read another book?

I don’t think you can have one without the other. I didn’t have time to read a few years ago when I had a great deal of upheaval in my personal life, and I definitely found writing harder. Even if I’m reading a book that’s totally out of my genre, there’s always something that flicks the author switch in my brain. Writers are readers. It’s how we learn and grow.

  1. Are you a plotter or a pantster?

Both. I rarely write my plots down, and often change my mind halfway through the manuscript, but I still insist on constant brooding over whatever I’m working on.

  1. Always the fun question: What is the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?

I couldn’t possibly comment.

Garrett Leigh is an award-winning British writer and book designer, currently working for Dreamspinner Press, Loose Id, Riptide Publishing, and Fox Love Press.

Garrett’s debut novel, Slide, won Best Bisexual Debut at the 2014 Rainbow Book Awards, and her polyamorous novel, Misfits was a finalist in the 2016 LAMBDA awards.

When not writing, Garrett can generally be found procrastinating on Twitter, cooking up a storm, or sitting on her behind doing as little as possible, all the while shouting at her menagerie of children and animals and attempting to tame her unruly and wonderful FOX.

Garrett is also an award winning cover artist, taking the silver medal at the Benjamin Franklin Book Awards in 2016. She designs for various publishing houses and independent authors at blackjazzdesign.com, and co-owns the specialist stock site moonstockphotography.com with renowned LGBTQA+ photographer Dan Burgess.

Social media:

Website: http://garrettleigh.com

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/Garrett_Leigh

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

Cover art enquiries: blackjazzdesign@gmail.com

To celebrate the release of Finding Home, one lucky winner will receive a $20 Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on October 14, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

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

Sightlines (The Community #3) by Santino Hassell: Blog Tour, Exclusive Interview, Review and Giveaway

Chase Payne is a walking contradiction. He’s the most powerful psychic in the Community, but the least respected. He’s the son of the Community’s founder, but with his tattoo sleeves and abrasive attitude, he’s nothing like his charismatic family. No one knows what to make of him, which is how he wound up locked in a cell on the Farm yet again. But this time, the only man he’s ever loved is there too.

Elijah Estrella was used to being the sassy sidekick who fooled around with Chase for fun. But that was before he realized the Community wasn’t the haven he’d believed in and Chase was the only person who’d ever truly tried to protect him. Now they’re surrounded by people who want to turn them against their friends, and the only way out is to pretend the brainwashing works.

With Chase playing the role of a tyrant’s second-in-command, and Elijah acting like Chase’s mindless sex toy, they risk everything by plotting a daring escape. In the end, it’s only their psychic abilities, fueled by their growing love for each other, that will allow them to take the Community down once and for all.

Amazon

Riptide Publishing

 

  1. What are five words that describe your writing process?

Precise, brisk, web-like, harried, coffee.

  1. Picture your favorite writing space. What are three objects you would find there?

A whiteboard! When I say my creative process is web-like, it’s because I tend to weave the story over time even when I start with a pretty precise outline. I build a little more to a section here or there then go back and figure out more ways to connect them. That is so much easier with my whiteboard.

I also picture a giant coffee mug and my phone. Why my phone? Because I’m constantly messaging and texting with my writer friends while writing so we can encourage and motivate each other.

  1. What is your least favorite part of the publishing/writing process?

Honestly, it’s writing that first draft. That’s when the magic happens and that vague idea or skeleton of an outline comes together. It’s also where I get to know my characters and their voices.

  1. If you could ask one author one question, what would the question be and who would you ask?

I think I’d ask one of romance’s stars, like Beverly Jenkins, how she’s written for so long and has been so prolific and still manages to have amazing ideas. My one big fear is that one day this creative well will dry up, and there won’t be any more books or ideas.

  1. Always the fun question: You wouldn’t be caught where?

At anything that requires a suit and tie! Seriously, uninvite me to all future weddings or formal parties. I go nowhere without the hat.

Sightlines is book 3 in The Community series by Santino Hassell. You absolutely have to read the first two. Now assuming you read the first two…..

Overall, it was a decent conclusion to the series. This book really focused on breaking up the Community- or at least shutting down The Farm- and the budding relationship between Chase and Elijah.

So while everything was wrapped up pretty neatly, it was….okay. Not great, not terrible. It was ok. I wanted more. More of what happened at The Farm. More of Chase and Elijah falling in love. More of Chase opening up and accepting love. More of Elijah discovering his gift. Just more.

The relationship between Chase and Elijah had been blooming since book 1. And when they finally got together, seemingly under false pretenses at The Farm, it was anticlimatic. I don’t know what I was expecting, but again, I expected more.

This band of ex Community members are attempting to infiltrate The Farm to rescue people. But there wasn’t a lot of planning. Just kind of, ok, we’re here. Take these night vision goggles and go. These were smart people. It didn’t have to be a Mission Impossible type rescue, but maybe a bit more than “you go in there, we will go in here…”.

It was an enjoyable read. I don’t regret it, the ending was satisfying. Book two was my favorite of the three by far. But after putting this down and reading a few more books, it won’t be very memorable.

3.5 pieces of eye candy

What lies beneath the surface of the world you thought you knew?

Secrets and lies have twisted an underground community founded by psychics escaping persecution. Blackmail, sex, and social climbing in the name of power has created an irreparable rift.

In the eyes of the founders, there are two sides: loyalists and everyone else. Surely no one would emerge from their tightly woven webs. And they certainly wouldn’t sow the seeds of rebellion within the heart of the Community’s only queer night club.

Now an outcast, a scion, and a runaway are leading a revolution to save not only the men they love, but the entire Community.

Check out The Community series! https://riptidepublishing.com/titles/series/community

Santino Hassell was raised by a conservative family but grew up to be a smart-mouthed, school cutting grunge kid, a transient twenty-something, and eventually transformed into a grumpy introvert and unlikely romance author with an affinity for baseball caps. His novels are heavily influenced by the gritty, urban landscape of New York City, and his desire to write relationships fueled by intensity and passion.

He’s been a finalist in both the Bisexual Book Awards and the EPIC Awards, and was nominated for a prestigious RITA award in 2017. His work has been featured in BuzzFeed, Huffington Post, Washington Post, RT Magazine, and Cosmopolitan Magazine.

Connect with Santino:

 

To celebrate the release of Sightlines, one lucky winner will receive a $15 Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on October 14, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

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

Rank and File by L.A. Witt: Blog Tour, 5 Good Questions, Review and Giveaway

Senior Chief Will Curtis is as straitlaced as they come. While his fellow Sailors have partied their way through their enlistments, he’s had his eye on the prize—making master chief and retiring after thirty years of service.

Lieutenant Brent Jameson is a Navy brat turned Annapolis grad. He’s lived and breathed the military his whole life, and he knows he’s destined for great things—once he’s done paying his dues at the bottom of the ladder.

When their paths cross, both men know better than to give in to temptation, but that doesn’t stop them. It also doesn’t keep them from coming back for more, even though being discovered would sink their careers. Something has to give—Will can retire, Brent can resign, or they’ll both face court-martial.

But there’s also the option neither wants to acknowledge: jump ship and walk away from each other instead of ending their careers over a fledgling relationship. And they should probably decide before they fall in love.

Except—too late.

Amazon

Riptide Publishing

Kobo Books

  1. Just as your books inspire authors, what authors have inspired you to write? – I’ve been writing for years and could spend twenty pages listing every author who’s ever influenced or inspired me. For the sake of not going on and on, I’ll keep it to the more recent authors within our own genre who I’ve found incredibly inspiring – Anna Zabo, Santino Hassell, JA Rock, Lisa Henry, Jordan Castillo Price, to name a few. I’m pretty sure they’re collectively occupying about half of my Audible account!.
  2. How important are names to you in the books you write? Do you choose the names based on the way it sounds or how it fits the story you are writing? – Sometimes a name falls out of the sky, and sometimes I have to work to find one. I usually google baby naming sites or lists of names by decade (i.e., popular boys’ names from the 1980 census) to get ideas. The names themselves don’t tend to influence the story or the character’s personality.

  1. Is there a certain type of scene that’s harder for you to write than others? Love? Action? Racy? – Sex scenes and car chases. I’ve written hundreds if not thousands of the former, but they will always be one of the hardest for me to write. Car chases are just hard. They’re jerks. I hate car chases. But I write suspense, so… car chases happen. Huff.

 

  1. What book do you wish you could have written? Do you get to read books for pleasure? – Probably the entire PsyCop series by Jordan Castillo Price. It’s just SO good. I listen to audiobooks for pleasure, and will usually spend an hour or two each night listening to something. I’ve actually started hating air travel a little less because flying is the perfect opportunity for an audiobook. In fact, I listened to Abi Roux’s Fish & Chips in one sitting during a transatlantic flight. Passes the time with no eye strain and no motion sickness!

 

  1. Always the fun one: Grab the nearest book, open it to page 48 and look for the fourth word in the second sentence. Now, write a line that starts with that word. (Please include the name of the book!) Say, why am I doing this before I’ve had caffeine? (The book is Sutphin Boulevard by Santino Hassell.)

I love this series, seriously just love it! So when Rank & File came up, I was stalking Net Galley waiting for this book, and as is so often the case with any L.A. Witt book, it did not disappoint.

First, if you like to read “on paper”, steamy, sweaty, graphic man/man sex, this is the book for you (conversely if you do not, you may want to skim those scenes). And there are a lot of them. These two men want each other…a lot…so there is quite a bit of on screen sex. But if that normally scares you, the sex scenes are very well done. They aren’t raunchy scenes, but scenes that are appropriate for their story. These two men have a one-night stand that turns into more, and the sex scenes completely tell that story. As their relationship grows and changes, so does their sex. It is still super hot, don’t get me wrong, but they become infused with little bits of humor, revelations, as well as learning and acknowledging their partners needs and wants. These were not sex scenes merely for the sake of making it an erotic book, but for advancing their relationship from f**k buddies to “this is the man I need in my life”, which made them all the more satisfying as a reader.

One thing I love about L.A. Witt’s stories is that she brings realism into her stories, no matter what environment her main characters are in, and telling the story of these men and their different experiences with the Navy, and all that goes along with it shows that she researches heavily before she writes. Myself, as a civilian, I would have never guessed that an enlisted man could not date an officer, even if they do not have any interaction at work. It seems to be an arcane regulation, yet could have caused one or both men to be ushered out of the Navy without a care to their career history. And her resolution to this issue could have been a fiction one that would have never happened in a real life Navy situation. Instead, she creates a resolution that isn’t perfect, but real for where these characters are in their lives and careers.

There are other things I appreciated about how this book was written. Like the fact that there was an age difference of about 10 years between the two MC’s, and yet it was little more than a blip on the screen. It doesn’t have to be an issue for RL people, and the author doesn’t use it to create another conflict for these men. It is mentioned (admittedly more than once) but not with anything other than the mention, and then the characters move on.

My heart broke for these men when they had to try to figure a way to live without each other, but merely existed on a day to day level. Finding their way back to each other took thoughtful work on their part, in their lives, and even how they presented themselves to others.

I really loved this book, probably my favorite in the series, so far, and I will fan girl enough to say that I would love to see more of this series. I can’t seem to get enough!

4.5 pieces of eye candy

About the Anchor Point Series

Welcome to Anchor Point!

Nestled on the northern coast of Oregon, this small town is home to Naval Air Station Adams. On base, you’ll find freshly minted Sailors who’ve just graduated boot camp, salty officers counting down till retirement, grounded pilots who’ve landed behind desks, and everyone in between—and they’re all looking for love. Well, not all of them, but that won’t stop love from finding them.

So pull up a barstool, grab a beer, and get ready for some sea stories as these men in uniform—or not—navigate the waters of love and life in the military.

Anchor Point stories can be enjoyed in any order. Hop in wherever you’d like!

http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/series/anchor-point

L.A. Witt is an abnormal M/M romance writer who has finally been released from the purgatorial corn maze of Omaha, Nebraska, and now spends her time on the southwestern coast of Spain. In between wondering how she didn’t lose her mind in Omaha, she explores the country with her husband, several clairvoyant hamsters, and an ever-growing herd of rabid plot bunnies. She also has substantially more time on her hands these days, as she has recruited a small army of mercenaries to search South America for her nemesis, romance author Lauren Gallagher, but don’t tell Lauren. And definitely don’t tell Lori A. Witt or Ann Gallagher. Neither of those twits can keep their mouths shut…

L. A.’s backlist is available on her website, and updates (as well as random thoughts and the odd snarky comment) can be found on her blog or on Twitter (@GallagherWitt).

To celebrate the release of Rank & File, one lucky winner will receive their choice of two eBooks off L. A. Witt’s backlist (excluding Rank & File) and a $10 Riptide Publishing store credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on September 30, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

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

Whitecott Manor by Emma Jane: Blog Tour, Exclusive Author Interview, Excerpt and Giveaway

TitleWhitecott Manor

Author: Emma Jane

Publisher:  NineStar Press

Release Date: September 11, 2017

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 65300

Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, NineStar Press, LGBT, contemporary, British, paranormal, intrigue, family-drama, ghosts, friends to lovers, humor

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Alistair Ellis is the proud gardener for beautiful fifteenth-century Whitecott Manor, in England’s West Country. His life changes forever following a gas explosion at the manor, in which his boss—and love of his life—dies. However, his boss hasn’t exactly gone for good and Alistair still finds himself involved in conversations with the deceased.

Circumstances improve when he meets Noah, the handsome dog groomer for the manor’s new owners. Although there are some issues: Noah is already engaged and Alistair suffers from cynophobia—an acute fear of dogs!

Do you have any advice for all the aspiring writers out there?

Read a lot. Join writing groups or writing forums online. Listen to other people when they tell you something you’ve written isn’t very good, even if you don’t agree with them.

 

If you could travel forward or backward in time, where would you go and why?

Maybe back to the 60s because I’m a massive fan of The Monkees! Or the 1920s because I love the fashion, but I wouldn’t want to stay in that time.

 

We’ve all got a little voyeurism in us right? If you could be a fly on the wall during an intimate encounter (does not need to be sexual) between two characters, not your own, who would they be?

Does it have to be a novel? Probably Ash and Darian from Alexis Hall’s Glitterland.

 

If I were snooping around your kitchen and looked in your refrigerator right now, what would I find?

Half a tray of dog food. Almond milk. Apple juice. Some homegrown tomatoes from my uncle. Some fat balls I made for the wild birds. And not a lot else! Most of my food is either in the cupboards or the freezer.

 

If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be?

Telekinesis because I’m horribly lazy.

 

If you could trade places with one of your characters, who would it be and why?

Probably Arthur from Whitecott Manor. He’s quite well off and basically gets to do what he likes!

I loved the setting of this book, an old manor in England, beautiful gardens as far as the eye can see. It makes you think about old Harlequin romance novels, and traveling to these places to see them yourself. A great location to have a grand romance.

Alistair was kind of a mess emotionally, but in a sweet way. Concerned about his job, after his lover, the owner dies (and then “haunts” him), having a difficult time dealing with his father since the death of his mother, and navigating a world where he is gay in a very small English village. He meets Noah the dog groomer, who he is very taken with at first sight…except for the whole phobia of dogs thing. He also really seemed to care about those around him, going out of his way to help others, and even being open to his father finding a girlfriend.

I liked these two main characters, even with all of Alistair’s issues. However, I did think that there might have been too much going on in this book. There were quite a few different conflicts in this book that seemed to pop up, then would fade into the background while another would pop up, until one of the others came to the forefront again. It didn’t make the book confusing, it just made it very busy. It was hard to feel like the romance of Alistair and Noah was a focus when there were so many other conflicts that would become the focus.

The side characters were very well written, including Emmett (the dead lover/owner) who was all about his fashion choices. Those made me laugh every time!

A well written book and characters, but definitely a bit crowded in the story.

3.5 pieces of eye candy

Whitecott Manor
Emma Jane © 2017
All Rights Reserved

Chapter One

Once I was aware of the cuts, they stung like a bitch. I should’ve worn gloves, really, but it’s so much easier not to. I was almost finished anyway, and the Harpers’ rose borders were nearly ready. They’d look beautiful when they flowered in the summer—they always did. White and red rose blooms flanked the path to the tennis court. I just had one last bush to prune and then I could stop for a cuppa. The cuts were itching now too, right where the thorns had snagged and ripped my skin. I sucked the flesh between my thumb and index finger, tasting blood and mud, and stood there, secateurs in hand, watching the house.

It was a fifteenth-century manor—a beautiful listed building made from warm-yellow stone. It’d been revamped inside, a strange mixture of modern and ancient, and was currently—unfortunately, in my opinion—on the market. I didn’t want it to sell; I didn’t want to lose my job. The Harpers assured me that whoever bought the place would keep me on but, well, it wasn’t down to them.

I took my hand from my mouth and watched as the estate agent led a middle-aged couple from their car—some sort of old classic; light blue with a soft-top—to the front of the manor. Even at this distance, I could see the look on their faces as they gazed up at the building before entering. They loved it already. Everybody did; it was such an impressive place. Bloody hell, I’d buy it if I had a spare eight million lying around.

I glowered to myself and turned back to the last bush, reaching into the branches to snip it into some sort of order. I cut myself on another thorn and swore impatiently.

“Language.”

I turned to see Mr Harper—Emmett—watching me. He stood there, smiling, his hands tucked in the pockets of his ridiculous purple corduroys. He always reminded me of Colin Firth, though he didn’t look particularly like him. He was a similar age, I suppose, and had that same clipped accent and no-nonsense manner.

I tossed rose clippings into my wheelbarrow. “Sorry. It’s these roses. They’re full of thorns.”

“Ah, the roses. Yes. I thought perhaps you’d spotted Mr Daniels showing the Scrantons around.”

“Scrantons?”

“Mr and Mrs Scranton. I don’t know their first names, and I don’t care. Lottery winners, apparently.”

I scratched at my cheek with the edge of my thumbnail and then wiped the back of my hand across my brow. “You really want Whitecott Manor bought by lottery winners?” I asked. It wasn’t really any of my business, but I didn’t want to see the place sold on yet again because the Scrantons squandered all their money and ended up bankrupt within a year.

Emmett shrugged. “My dear, I don’t care who buys it as long as they cough up the money. You know I can’t afford to keep the place.”

I knew. Emmett was swimming in debt. His daughters—all five of them—had now moved out and he had to pay for everything on his own since his wife had left. Old Mrs Harper, Emmett’s mother, lived in the house with him, but she was in her eighties and, I think, had about as much money as he did. They wanted to move to a little cottage somewhere, with a nice granny annex and a garden that didn’t require much attention. Certainly not enough attention to take me with them.

I hadn’t said anything. Emmett came and put his hand to the small of my back. “Whoever ends up here would be mad to let you go. They can see how beautiful the gardens are.”

I nodded and stared into the rose bush.

“And you’re beautiful,” he added. “Who would not want you around?”

“You don’t need to flatter me.” I snipped at the bush and tossed branches into my wheelbarrow.

Emmett chuckled and moved away. “Cheer up, Alistair! You’ve got your whole life ahead of you. I’m off to take Mother her tea.”

I watched him stroll back to the house as if he didn’t have a care in the world. I’d miss him most of all. Well, maybe he wouldn’t move far. I’d probably still see him around—at the local fair or plant show perhaps. Besides, house sales took ages; I knew that from experience. If the Scrantons bought the place, it’d be a while yet before they moved in. And if they decided they didn’t want a gardener—if—then I had plenty of time to look for a new job. I could always audition for the X Factor and see where that got me—Emmett said I had a great singing voice, and I’d often dreamed of performing on stage.

I picked up the wheelbarrow and went to empty the clippings on the compost heap. I was just trundling back to the roses when I spotted the estate agent leading the Scrantons out into the gardens. I’d make myself scarce; I didn’t want to have to smile politely while they stood and gawked, so I downed tools and headed to the potting shed.

The cabbage seedlings were coming on nicely, I noticed, but my beetroots were depressingly small. I’d never had much luck with beetroot. They never grew much larger than rat testicles. I shrugged out of my overalls and tied the arms around my waist, singing an Elvis track softly beneath my breath.

I’d just reached for a watering can when an almighty bang made me jump out of my skin. The windows blew out the front of the manor, followed by tongues of fire licking the frames. I stared, heart frozen and mouth open. Then my heart started again, blood thumping in my ears. I threw open the shed door and ran.

“Emmett!”

I dashed towards the building, pulled open the door, and hurried down the hall to where the explosion had come from—the kitchen. Flames crackled in the room, red and angry and louder than I would’ve expected. Smoke and heat billowed outwards, and I coughed and covered my nose. My eyes watered.

“Emmett!” I yelled again.

Something crashed—maybe part of the ceiling falling—and I took a step to go after Emmett when somebody grabbed my arm and hauled me back.

“Mr Harper’s in there,” I shouted at the estate agent, fighting the man’s vice-like grip. “Emmett! Emmett!

The estate agent pulled me away, forcing me bodily back down the hall and outside. He was speaking—shouting, I think—but I yelled too, my voice hoarse, and I couldn’t hear him, couldn’t see, couldn’t… Emmett.

Sirens screamed in the distance, and then I saw the lights flashing through the trees that flanked the lane beside the manor. Fire engines arrived in a cacophony of noise and colour. The estate agent held me in a bear hug, and all I could do as firefighters jumped from their vehicles was stare at the flames roaring from the broken windows.

NineStar Press | Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | Kobo


Emma Jane has been writing stories since primary school, some of which still survive in notebooks in her dad’s attic, and wanted to be an author as soon as she realised it was a possible career choice and ‘Pony’ or ‘Ninja’ weren’t viable options.

Her first short story, Club Freak, about an anonymous woman’s determination to find her husband’s killer, was published by Park Publication’s Debut magazine in May 2009. Since then, she has gone on to write many short stories and poems for various small presses and has achieved an Honourable Mention in the 2011 Writers of the Future competition.

In 2014, writing as Emma Jane, she signed her first publishing contract for not one, but two novels. Otherworld formerly published by Torquere Press, and Shuttered by Dreamspinner Press.

Website | Twitter

Tour Schedule

9/11 Books,Dreams,Life

9/11 Drops of Ink

9/11 The Novel Approach

9/11 Happily Ever Chapter

9/11 Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

9/12 Stories That Make You Smile

9/12 Southern Babes Book Blog

9/13 Love Bytes

9/14 Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews

9/14 Two Chicks Obsessed

9/14 Erotica For All

9/14 Bayou Book Junkie

9/15 MillsyLovesBooks

9/15 A Book Lover’s Dream Book Blog

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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.

Red Fish, Dead Fish by Amy Lane: Exclusive Author Interview, Blog Tour, and Excerpt

Red Fish, Dead Fish Blog Tour Stop 4

The Lovely Ms. Kim Fielding

By Amy Lane

Okay folks—so, I’m here today to promote Red Fish, Dead Fish, my latest story in the Fish Out of Water series.  Now, usually in a blog tour, we talk about ourselves and our newest book until we can’t hardly stand it—but this time out I decided to do something different. I’m going to talk about other people’s books—because I know some amazing romantic suspense authors, and I wanted to celebrate them instead.

So Red Fish, Dead Fish is out on Amazon, it’s the second in the series, and I think you’ll like it very much a lot! That being said, let’s talk about Kim Fielding!  

I have to admit, I’m biased about Kim Fielding. We’ve been on road trips together to Las Vegas, where we saw where the lazy mobsters hid the bodies, and to San Diego, where we got butt lost somewhere in LA. We even threw our combined children in the back of the minivan and left them to Mate’s devices while we gossiped in her amazing Mini, and the whole lot of us went hunting for ghosts in the Sierra Foothills.

And after all this time together, I’ve got to tell you—there’s something terrifically and deliciously not right with Kim Fielding.

She’s a criminal justice professor in her other life, and she’s got a pixilated sense of humor to go with her knowledge of where the bodies would be buried and which law enforcement agency would dig them up when they were. When I first wrote Fish Out of Water, I sent it to her, so she could spot any inaccuracies—she was my resident expert, and I flat out revered her opinion.

That, and she laughs at my jokes and isn’t afraid to be lost in the middle of Southern California with me.

And she writes terrific books.  For a touch of paranormal, I’d recommend Motel Pool, but if you want some romantic suspense—even if it’s just the suspense of a lover’s past coming back to bite him in the ass, go with the Love Can’t series, which seriously made me cry. But really, you can’t go wrong with Kim Fielding no matter which book you pick up—so kick back and enjoy her interview, and hope that maybe one day, you’ll get to join her on a ghost hunt too. Even if you don’t find any ghosts, I promise, you’ll enjoy the trip! 

Kim Fielding

What do you think is the most delicious part of a suspense novel or a mystery?

Fielding: The human beings involved. Obviously, plot is important in these genres. Everything needs to be tighter and needs to serve several purposes. But I won’t care at all about the world’s most beautifully crafted plot if I don’t care about the characters. I want heroes who are flawed. I want villains who are sympathetic. I want minor characters who feel like real people and not just Plot Enablers. I want the characters to be smart. This is important. I once read a novel in which the protagonist was such an idiot she couldn’t have qualified as a hall monitor, yet she was supposed to be an FBI agent. Right. On the other hand, I want these smart people to have weaknesses and do stupid things now and then, because don’t we all?

Tell me about body counts–seriously. How many corpses make a good suspense novel, and why?

Fielding: Depends on the corpses.

For me it’s not about how many die, but how and why. Are their deaths truly furthering a plot point? Were they predictable? Were they realistic? Are they all just rehashes of the same crime? And who are they?

“Who are they?” is an especially important question. A murder is often more effective if the reader has some emotional connection to the victim. It can be a negative connection. For example SPOILER HERE SPOILER SPOILER weren’t you deeply satisfied in Game of Thrones when Ramsay Bolton got eaten by his own dogs? I know I was. But of course the connection can be positive

too. Stephen King is wonderful at making his characters come alive, making us love them, and then killing then off. This connection can even happen with minor characters. In my book Love Is Heartless, a bad guy murders two people who we’ve met only briefly, yet I think their deaths resonate because readers liked those poor men.

The other most important question for me is how realistic the murders are. My day job is criminal justice professor, so I’m critical of authors who do a sloppy job on research. That kind of stuff throws me right out of the story. In my opinion, an author who’s going to write a suspense novel should take the time to ensure the details are right. He or she should to cops, lawyers, or criminologists, or read guides like Geoff Symon’s books on Forensics for Fiction.  Because if there are mistakes—especially big ones—I’ll judge that author. A lot.

What’s your most creative way to kill someone?  

Fielding: I don’t know that I’ve ever caused the a death in an especially creative way, but I’ve done some interesting things with people after they were dead.

I can’t be specific about this because it’s spoilery, but I have a novel in which I killed off one of the protagonists TWICE—and still managed a happy ending. I’m pretty pleased with that one.

I have a recently finished novel (currently under submission) in which an unpleasant fellow dies by getting his throat sliced. But my hero needs the information this guy had, so he lops of the dead guy’s head and drags it to a necromancer. Unfortunately, the deceased isn’t any more loveable than he was when he was alive.

I also have to mention a death in Love Is Heartless. A man has disappeared, and some time later a homeowner finds the missing man’s jawbone in his front yard. Police focus on the homeowner’s neighbor, who’s kind of a lowlife—but security camera footage reveals that the jawbone literally fell from the sky! How? Well, you’ll have to read the book to solve that mystery. But what I wanted to share was that this really happened not far from me; I got the story from a local deputy coroner and was thrilled to include it in a book.

Dish about TV shows–which ones do you love and which ones do you hate from a suspense POV? Which TV show/movie do you most want your books to resemble?

Feilding: I watch almost no TV. It’s not that I have anything against it, but between writing, the day job, and the family, I just don’t have time. I do, however, tend to have a single show I follow. For the past several years that’s been Game of Thrones. GoT’s season is really short, though, and this year I’ve added a second series, American Gods. That’s it for now. Part of the fun of GoT is you never know who’s going to die. And with both GoT and American Gods, you’re never sure they’ll remain dead.

I generally avoid cop and lawyer shows because they get too many things wrong. I sit there shouting, “That’s not right! That’s not how they do that!” until my husband gets annoyed with me and turns of the TV. One exception was Dexter. No, it wasn’t realistic either, but I was able to overlook that because the rest of it was really fun.

When you read outside your genre, what’s your candy? (I ask everybody this–I think it’s fascinating!)  

Fielding: I read a lot of stuff. On more than one occasion, a bookstore clerk has commented on my eclectic choices, and this pleased me. My most common go-to, however, is speculative fiction. Under that wide umbrella, I especially love urban fantasy and magical realism. For instance, I’ll snap up just about everything by Neil Gaiman and Isabel Allende.

More generally, though, I adore books in which the author surprises me with something fresh. Some recent ones I’ve enjoyed? The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt, about a pair of gold rush-era hitmen. It’s violent but also funny and delightfully weird. Helen Wecker’s The Golem and The Jinni is also delightful. It mashes together golem and jinni mythology, it’s set in New York around 1900, and it’s sweet and sad and amazing. It’s the kind of story that swallows you up. Another recent favorite was Frederick Busch’s The Night Inspector, which also takes place in New York, but a few decades earlier than Wecker’s book. There’s a lot of brutality in it, but that was a brutal time, and the protagonist is beautifully flawed.

You can see in the last paragraph that I’m a fan too of historical fiction. I prefer stories that focus on common people rather than the rich, titled, and famous. And while I’ll read any timeframe, I have a special weakness for the California gold rush, probably because I live very close to where it happened.

 

For more interviews and author close ups for Romantic Suspense, check out the rest of the blog tour—

July 28 – MM Good Book Reviews Amy Lane

July 28 – Alpha Book Reviews (Just a little about Jackson in Fish Out of Water)

July 31 – Open Skye Book Reviews Andrew Grey

August 1 – Two Chicks Obsessed Kim Fielding

August 2 – My Fiction Nook Rayna Vause

August 3 – Tammy’s Two Cents Ava Drake

August 4 – Happily Ever Chapter Melinda Leigh

August 7 – Long and Short Reviews Karen Rose

August 8 – Love Bytes Charlie Cochet

August 10 – The Novel Approach Tere Michaels

 

Red Fish, Dead Fish

Blog Tour:

July 28 – MM Good Book Reviews (Amy Lane answers her own interview questions!)

July 28 – Alpha Book Reviews

July 31 – Open Skye Book Reviews

August 1 – Two Chicks Obsessed

August 2 – My Fiction Nook

August 3 – Tammy’s Two Cents

August 4 – Happily Ever Chapter

August 7 – Long and Short Reviews

August 8 – Love Bytes

August 10 – The Novel Approach

  

 

They must work together to stop a psychopath—and save each other.

Two months ago Jackson Rivers got shot while trying to save Ellery Cramer’s life. Not only is Jackson still suffering from his wounds, the triggerman remains at large—and the body count is mounting.

Jackson and Ellery have been trying to track down Tim Owens since Jackson got out of the hospital, but Owens’s time as a member of the department makes the DA reluctant to turn over any stones. When Owens starts going after people Jackson knows, Ellery’s instincts hit red alert. Hurt in a scuffle with drug-dealing squatters and trying damned hard not to grieve for a childhood spent in hell, Jackson is weak and vulnerable when Owens strikes.

Jackson gets away, but the fallout from the encounter might kill him. It’s not doing Ellery any favors either. When a police detective is abducted—and Jackson and Ellery hold the key to finding her—Ellery finds out exactly what he’s made of. He’s not the corporate shark who believes in winning at all costs; he’s the frightened lover trying to keep the man he cares for from self-destructing in his own valor.

 

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Prologue—Belly Up

“Ellery, hand me my phone,” Jackson mumbled. “It’s ringing.”

“You’re not back at work yet,” Ellery slurred. “You have two more weeks.”

Jackson rolled over on top of him and as he reached unwisely for the phone Ellery had strategically put on his own end table. For a moment, Ellery was covered with tense, warm man, and then he shoved Jackson off.

“I’ll get it!” he snapped, officially awake. “Jesus, what in the—”

“It’s Mack’s ringtone,” Jackson defended. “I told him what we were looking for.”

Ellery tried not to roll his eyes. Mack. This was the same Mack who had helped Jackson out when Jackson had wrecked the car unofficially helping Ellery with an investigation.

At the time, Ellery had been so happy to get Jackson back in one bruised piece—and on a plane to somewhere he could rest without incident—that he hadn’t questioned this Mack’s existence. Once he found out that Mack Flanders had been Jackson’s bedmate a few years ago, he’d been irritated but unsurprised.

Now that Mack was calling them in the whore of dawn’s sweaty crack, Ellery wanted to kick him in the balls.

Except….

“Cottage Park, near the outbuilding. Yeah, I got it. There’s a way to get in there, right? I’m not climbing the fucking fence. Of course there’s cops and crime scene tape. That’s not what I’m asking.” The voice on the other end spoke patiently, and some of Jackson’s defensiveness seeped away. “Okay. Thanks, Mack. Owe you another one. No, sorry—told you. Not paying favors that way anymore, but it’s nice of you to ask.”

“God in heaven,” Ellery muttered.

“Yeah, okay. I’ll be there in half an hour.”

“We’ll be there.” Ellery rolled out of bed and headed for the shower. Thirty seconds to run some soap under his pits and pack a suit for court later that day. He could do it.

“Crap,” he could hear Jackson say as he closed the shower door. “We’ll be there. Thanks.”

Five seconds later, Jackson stepped into the shower with him and grabbed his own shower gel from the corner of the tub. They’d had some nice times in there together—particularly when Jackson was still healing from his gunshot wound and his shattered scapula and needed Ellery’s help.

They’d had a few after that too, but not today.

“Body?” Ellery asked, not really needing confirmation.

“Yeah.” Jackson scrubbed his pits with care but not vigor—moving was still painful and probably would be for a little while. He’d gotten out of the hospital less than six weeks earlier. By all rights he should still be chilling in the fall sunshine, maybe swimming in the pool at the gym—but not Jackson.

Ellery had needed to haul him to San Diego to give himself time to recover.

It was even more infuriating that he was right today. There really was no time to rest.

“Our kind?”

Jackson shook the water from his dark blond hair and squinted at Ellery through eyes as green as bottle glass. “We have a kind of dead body? Most couples just go with favorite song.”

Ellery soaped his hair efficiently. “You know what I mean.”

Jackson grabbed the shampoo. “Yeah.”

Jackson, the private investigator at Ellery’s defense firm, had gotten shot helping Ellery bring down a ring of corrupt cops. They’d put the ringleaders in prison—but one of the underlings had gotten away.

Turned out he was the one the police should have been chasing all along.

“Young,” Jackson said, ticking off items on the list. “This one’s Hispanic. Male, but slender. Recent involvement with drugs. Maybe a week of turning tricks.”

“Dirty pretty,” Ellery confirmed grimly. They had been Scott Bridger’s words, actually, one of the men they’d brought down, to describe the kind of person who had disappeared on his partner’s watch. Gender hadn’t mattered, nor race. Just a little bit of street dirt and some physical beauty.

Tim Owens liked to take the “dirty pretty” ones and make them not so pretty anymore.

“Mack says there’s something new about this one,” Jackson said, stepping in front of him to rinse his hair.

Ellery wasn’t sure why he did it, except it was not yet four in the morning and he and Jackson were naked together, and that wasn’t something he’d learned to take for granted yet.

He wrapped his arms around Jackson’s shoulders and kissed his neck, softly, gently, with just enough tongue and teeth to make Jackson regret they weren’t making love this morning but going to work instead.

Jackson tensed for a moment, probably caught off guard, but then he relaxed into Ellery’s arms and leaned his head back.

“What?” he asked suspiciously.

Well, Ellery had been known to be an autocratic bastard—that was probably warranted.

“Just….” Ellery couldn’t find words. Or he could find words, but neither of them had said the words yet, and you just didn’t spring those words on a guy whose entire life had been an act of insufficient self-protection.

With a sinuous movement, Jackson turned his head and caught Ellery’s mouth, something he couldn’t have done a month ago, something that felt huge and necessary now.

“Don’t worry about me, Counselor,” Jackson said cheekily, pulling away. “But the cuddle was downright friendly.”

Well, sure. Friendly. Just two friendly lovers getting out of bed extra early to go catch a serial killer. Nothing strange about that at all.

“Just be careful,” Ellery said, trying not to sound bitchy or officious and failing. “He’s got your cell phone. You know that, right?”

“Well, he had it for a couple of hours before it got deactivated,” Jackson said. “And yeah—fuck me for owning an Android with the shitty security. Thank you so much for the iPhone, Ellery. Now I am safe from serial killers everywhere.”

The snark in his voice was the only thing that kept Ellery from conking him over the head and tying him to the bed in a completely non-kinky way.

 

PI Jackson Rivers grew up on the mean streets of Del Paso Heights—and he doesn’t trust cops, even though he was one. When the man he thinks of as his brother is accused of killing a police officer in an obviously doctored crime, Jackson will move heaven and earth to keep Kaden and his family safe.

Defense attorney Ellery Cramer grew up with the proverbial silver spoon in his mouth, but that hasn’t stopped him from crushing on street-smart, swaggering Jackson Rivers for the past six years. But when Jackson asks for his help defending Kaden Cameron, Ellery is out of his depth—and not just with guarded, prickly Jackson. Kaden wasn’t just framed, he was framed by crooked cops, and the conspiracy goes higher than Ellery dares reach—and deep into Jackson’s troubled past.

Both men are soon enmeshed in the mystery of who killed the cop in the minimart, and engaged in a race against time to clear Kaden’s name. But when the mystery is solved and the bullets stop flying, they’ll have to deal with their personal complications… and an attraction that’s spiraled out of control.

 

Amy Lane has two kids in college, two gradeschoolers in soccer, two cats, and two Chi-who-whats at large. She lives in a crumbling crapmansion with most of the children and a bemused spouse. She also has too damned much yarn, a penchant for action adventure movies, and a need to know that somewhere in all the pain is a story of Wuv, Twu Wuv, which she continues to believe in to this day! She writes fantasy, urban fantasy, and m/m romance–and if you accidentally make eye contact, she’ll bore you to tears with why those three genres go together. She’ll also tell you that sacrifices, large and small, are worth the urge to write.

 

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

Unscripted Love by Aimee Nicole Walker: Blog Tour, Excerpt, Review and Giveaway

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UNSCRIPTED LOVE

Road to Blissville Series, Book 1

AIMEE NICOLE WALKER

M/M ROMANCE

RELEASE DATE: 07.11.17

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PHOTOGRAPHER: Wander Aguiar

COVER ARTIST: Jay Aheer/Simply Defined Art

AMAZON US

AMAZON UK

Kyle Vaughn had three goals in life: become a vet, find the man of his dreams, and start a family. He easily checked off the first item on the list when he took over his grandfather’s veterinary practice. Too bad he wasn’t as lucky in love.

Chaz Hamilton took a leap of faith when he decided to pursue a career in writing, but one best seller didn’t mean he could quit his day job. All work and no play threatened to make Chaz a very dull man when the only romantic action he saw was in the pages of his manuscript. Too bad he couldn’t write his own happily every after.

Circumstances pushed the two men together, and one magical kiss beneath fireworks and stars changed everything. Kyle knew his luck had finally turned around and Chaz found a man far better than any book boyfriend ever written. There was just one problem. Chaz has kept a secret from Kyle that could ruin their chance at a beautiful life together.

Kyle and Chaz learn that the best-laid plans often go awry, the heart has a mind of its own, and the greatest love is unscripted.

The books in the Road to Blissville series can be read either as standalone books or as part of the series. This book contains sexually explicit material and is intended for mature adults 18 and older.

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Hello. Thank you so much for having me on your blog. I hate talking about myself, but I’ll do it for you. I’ll skip the same old tired bio stuff with the number of husbands (1), kids (3), and pets (5) that I have and get to something hopefully a tad bit more in depth. I’m a 42-year-old, breast cancer survivor, sports nut, Superman over Batman, and Gemini kind of gal whose pulse beats in rhythm to the song she’s listening to and has caffeine running through her veins.

1. When did you write your first story/book? How old were you? I started writing New Kids on the Block fan fiction when I was twelve or thirteen years old with my friend. I started and stopped a hundred projects between the ages of thirteen and thirty-eight. I published my first book at thirty-nine.

2. Are you a plotter or pantser? 2% plotter and 98% pantser

3. How do you find or make time to write? Right or wrong, I approach my writing as a career, which means I set deadlines and I stick to them. I plan my release schedule out at least six months to a year in advance so that I hold myself accountable. Sure, there are days that I don’t feel like writing, but I do it anyway. Or if I really can’t get something going, I take that day off and double down the next day. Some will argue that treating a creative job like a regular job diminishes your creative ability, but that isn’t the case for me. I think that every writer needs to take the approach that works best for them because what works for some doesn’t work for others. It doesn’t make your process right and theirs wrong; it just makes them different. And different is a good thing! (Said in Martha Stewart’s voice)

4. What do you like to read in your free time? As with music, I like a little bit of everything. I would say that my favorite reads have an element of action or suspense to them. I’m starting to really get into paranormal a bit more.

5. Always number 5 is a fun one. If you had 24 hours (with no consequences to  you or your family) to do anything, anywhere in the world, what would it be? Honestly, this may sound dull to most people, but I’d love to be dropped at a posh tropical island resort all by myself. I’d like to have just 24 hours of peace and quiet where I can read or listen to music while sitting beneath an umbrella and staring at a pool or a beach.

Dr. Vaughn!” A familiar female voice exclaimed. “Oh my goodness! You’re the answer to my prayers.”

I spun around and faced Jenny Davis who operated the Carter County Animal Shelter. “That’s what he said,” I replied, jerking my thumb in Chaz’s direction without thinking my actions through. Chaz gasped, Josh threw his head back and laughed in delight, and I’m pretty sure that Andy growled. I chanced a peek at Chaz’s and caught him staring at me with a dumbfounded expression on his face. How much more obvious did I need to be that I wanted to see where things could go between us?

“Is this a bad time?” she asked nervously. “I’d like to ask a favor of you.” My staff and I volunteered ten to fifteen hours a week treating the dogs and cats at her shelter. The last time I was there, she mentioned that she needed to raise money for the shelter. I figured that she wanted to discuss a fundraiser with me.

“Not at all, Jenny. Josh will be delayed a few minutes, so I have time now.”

“Well, it’s a big favor,” she said hesitantly. “Remember how I mentioned a fundraiser to you?”

“Sure and I’ll help out however I can,” I told her.

“I’m so glad you feel that way because you play a big part in what I havUL Teaser 4e in mind.” She clapped her hands and bounced on her feet. “I can’t believe I didn’t think of this sooner,” she said to herself.

“How big?” I asked, narrowing my eyes as an uneasy feeling came over me.

That feeling only increased when she broke eye contact and looked down at her feet. “We’d like to do a calendar with the animals at the shelter. One of my staff is an amateur photographer and is willing to donate the time to take and edit the photos.”

“So you’re looking for donations to cover the cost of producing the calendars? I’ll gladly help out with that,” I told her. Jenny didn’t meet my offer with as much enthusiasm as I expected.

“Not exactly the kind of help I was looking for from you,” she said.

“No? How else can I be of service to you?” I asked, clearly confused. I provided free veterinarian services and offered to…

“She wants you to pose for the calendar,” Chaz said, interrupting my thoughts.

I looked over at him and rolled my eyes. “No, she doesn’t.”

“Oh, I think that’s exactly what she’s working her courage up to ask,” Chaz told me. “Isn’t that right, Jenny?”

I looked at Jenny, expecting her to brush off his idea, but all I saw was a hopeful gleam in her green eyes. “Me?” I asked in disbelief.

“Why not you?” Jenny asked, seemingly emboldened when I didn’t refuse the idea outright. “You’re gorgeous, built like a brick house, and adore animals. Who else would I ask?”

“I don’t know, Jenny,” I said hesitantly. “I’m not very photogenic.”

“Stop being so modest,” Jenny told me. “You’re exactly what we need. I can see it now…” Her voice trailed off while she envisioned something in her mind. “Shirtless poses with a kitty, cowboy hat and boots while standing beside a horse…”

“I’d be wearing more than just a pair of boots and a hat, right?” I asked, needing clarification before the conversation went any further.

“Dr. Vaughn!” Jenny’s said in shock. “Why, I’d never suggest such a thing.” Then she covered her mouth with both hands and giggled nervously. “Oh my,” she answered, fanning herself. “That’s not at what I meant at all. Dear me, I meant my offer as a complement, Dr. Vaughn. I thought your love for animals combined with your hunky looks would make a great fundraiser.”

“It would probably sell a lot of calendars,” Chaz said, chiming in.

I looked over at him and caught him staring at me speculatively. “But would you buy a calendar?” I asked.

“Duh,” Chaz said, then added, “it’s for charity.”

 

I was eager to read this new series by Aimee Nicole Walker. It is a spin off of her previous series, Curl up and Dye Mysteries. Almost all of the same characters (a few new ones thrown in here and there) but the focus is on a different couple. Chaz, the loveable receptionist at Curl Up and Dye and Kyle, the town’s veteranarian dubbed Dr Dimples.

Simply stated, I really liked this book. Whereas the previous series was super cute (cutesy nicknames, etc) this one wasn’t nearly as. And that is not a bad thing.

There is quite a bit of repetition from the previous stories, but that is necessary for the author if she wants people to be able to read this without having to read the previous. It was fun to read from a different perspective though.

Navigating the flirtation that they have had for over a year led to a slow burn- which I am a big fan of. I like to see a relationship develop before they jump into bed. We find out more about Kyle and what makes him tick. As always, what you see on the outside isn’t necessarily what is on the inside.

I loved the closeness Chaz has with “The Matrons”. I completely cracked up every time they were on the page!

This was a really good love story of a couple we have been hoping for since the begining. And I was not disappointed at all.

4 pieces of eye candy

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I am a wife and mother to three kids, three dogs, and a cat. When I’m not dreaming up stories, I like to lose myself in a good book, cook or bake. I’m a girly tomboy

who paints her fingernails while watching sports and yelling at the referees.

I will always choose the book over the movie. I believe in happily-ever-after. Love inspires everything that I do. Music keeps me sane.

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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.

All Wheel Drive by ZA Maxfield: Blog Tour, Exclusive Author Interview and Giveaway

Healey Holly is battered, depressed, and looking to go to ground in his childhood home. He wants to rent the garage apartment, but it’s Diego Luz’s place now, and the last thing Diego wants is to share it.

Diego is recovering too—from the accident that put him in a wheelchair and the death of his mother shortly after. The garage apartment is where he’s keeping his mother’s things, and as long as they’re up those stairs and he’s down on the ground, there’s no way he can deal with his loss. And that’s just how he likes it.

Healey believes in science. Diego believes in luck. It will take a blend of both, and some prayer thrown in besides, for these two to learn that it’s the journey and the destination that matters.

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Hi Z.A. Thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.

 

Hi, and thanks so much for allowing me to be part of your blog with my latest novel, All Wheel Drive. I’m Z.A. Maxfield, and I’ve been writing m/m romance since about 2007, when my kids dared me to make my dream of being a writer come true.

We had a long talk that day about the difference between being a person who follows their bliss, and being a person who looks at their bliss from a long way away hoping their bliss will follow them and I’ve been following mine ever since.

All Wheel Drive is a companion book to Hell On Wheels. The main characters are twins, something I know a little bit about because I’m the mother of twin boys. Most of the twins in my books are identical, like mine, and differ because one is right-handed and one left-handed. Apparently that’s my thing! I’ve written this character combo more than once.

  • Do you pay attention to literary criticism? If so, how do you handle it?

I like to think that I’m levelheaded, but like most writers, I take criticism poorly and personally and PRIVATELY–I enjoy a little whine with friends.

That said, reviews don’t reflect the books themselves, but rather the reader’s experience with the book, and therefore I truly consider it none of my business unless a reader wants to make it my business by bringing it to my attention.

These two ideas are like X and Y coordinates, and at any one point in time, depending on a thousand different variables my functionality can be plotted somewhere on that grid…

  • How do you come up with your titles?

Titles sometimes come to me all snappy and premade. All Wheel Drive made perfect sense, because it’s a follow up to Hell On Wheels, and one of the main characters is a driven man in a wheelchair. Crossing Borders was about the bookstore. I’m oblivious too! I thought Drawn Together was brilliant until I realized it was a television show…

  • What new authors have grasped your interest?

They’re not new authors, but recently, I’ve discovered Annabeth Albert and Tibby Armstrong, both of whom I got to meet and chat with at RT Booklover’s Convention. So fun!

  • What is the hardest part about writing in an established series such as Bluewater Bay? One that has tons of characters, and locations people have read before.

For me it was a little daunting to include characters other writers created. In this book, I used Heather’s men from Burnt Toast B&B. You want to be super-true to someone else’s vision and honor their creations as much as possible (while still using their characters like puppets for your own megalomaniacal ends.)

  • And now the fun one. Name the four things you would bring with you to a deserted island.

IF I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to be marooned on the island by myself forever, and IF it was sort of a magical place where I didn’t need to fend off wild boars, I would bring sunscreen, a kindle stocked with every single book I’ve ever purchased (including all the books I bought in print before ebooks), as much water as I need to survive, and a never ending bowl of individual handfuls of Trader Joe’s assorted trail mixes.

Thanks for stopping by! I love that answer, practical and still fun. 🙂

I didn’t read the first book, Hell on Wheels, yet, although after reading the story of Diego and Healey,  I am most curious about Healey’s twin brother, Nash and Spencer’s story. Nash was a big part of Healey’s book, and getting to know him was fun.

There must have been an incredible amount of research that went into this by the author. This was not a story where Diego “miraculously” got feeling back in his lower body. This included the challenges that someone with a spinal cord injury faces day to day life. They can have a sex life, just not the way someone who doesn’t have a SCI does. Yet, Healey, having a sister with her own SCI didn’t care about any of that. He wanted to find out what Diego wanted, what felt good to Diego, and the author did not mince words on what it would take for someone with Diego’s injuries to face all those challenges. It was good to have a realistic outlook on someone who lives every day with an injury like that.

Healey, meanwhile, was a mess of his own, and I honestly didn’t know what to think when I “met” him. He really was someone who wanted to care for those he loved, even to his own detriment. He respected Diego, and his independence, but always wanted to care for those around him in whatever way was necessary, as we learn later when the full import of his “accident” comes to light.

I didn’t always know where this story was going. It seemed to hit on areas I wasn’t expecting or didn’t find to be necessary to the story. However, I did find that although these two had a lot in common, their differences complimented each other as well.

I did enjoy meeting both their families, as they were all characters in their own way, bringing an additional dimension to the story, and creating more depth into Healey and Diego’s lives.

4 pieces of eye candy

About Bluewater Bay

Welcome to Bluewater Bay! This quiet little logging town on Washington state’s Olympic Peninsula has been stagnating for decades, on the verge of ghost town status. Until a television crew moves in to film Wolf’s Landing, a soon-to-be cult hit based on the wildly successful shifter novels penned by local author Hunter Easton.

Wolf’s Landing’s success spawns everything from merchandise to movie talks, and Bluewater Bay explodes into a mecca for fans and tourists alike. The locals still aren’t quite sure what to make of all this—the town is rejuvenated, but at what cost? And the Hollywood-based production crew is out of their element in this small, mossy seaside locale. Needless to say, sparks fly.

This collaborative story world is brought to you by eleven award-winning, best-selling LGBTQ romance authors: L.A. Witt, L.B. Gregg, Z.A. Maxfield,  Heidi Belleau, Rachel Haimowitz, Anne Tenino, Amy Lane, SE Jakes, G.B. Gordon, Jaime Samms and Ally Blue. Each contemporary novel stands alone, but all are built around the town and the people of Bluewater Bay and the Wolf’s Landing media empire.

Check it out at Riptide Publishing! http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/universe/bluewater-bay

Z.A. Maxfield started writing in 2007 on a dare from her children and never looked back.  Pathologically disorganized and perennially optimistic, she writes as much as she can, reads as much as she dares, and enjoys her time with family and friends.  If anyone asks her how a wife and mother of four manages to find time for a writing career, she’ll answer, “It’s amazing what you can accomplish if you give up housework.”

Her published books include Crossing Borders, Epic Award finalist St. Nacho’s, Drawn Together, ePistols at Dawn, Notturno, Stirring Up Trouble, and Vigil.

Readers can visit her website at http://www.zamaxfield.com, and contact her at zamaxfield@zamaxfield.com.

To celebrate the release of All Wheel Drive, one lucky winner will receive an ecopy of Hell on Wheels and a $25 Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on July 15, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

 

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

Mature Content by Megan Erickson & Santino Hassell: Blog Tour, Exclusive Guest Post, Excerpt and Review

 

My life plan is to be brutally honest all the way to the bank. Don’t believe me? I run a popular YouTube channel called TrashyZane, and my claim to fame is oversharing about every aspect of my personal life. Sometimes while tipsy. Not everyone loves my style, but I have a long history of icing out people who can’t handle me. I have no time for judgmental foolishness.

Except, apparently, when it comes to Beau Starr. His channel is the polar opposite of mine, and so is he. Wholesome, inspirational, and clean-cut. Everything about him should turn me off, but when we hook up following a confrontation at a convention, my world flips upside down. Not only does Beau Starr turn me on, he uses the exact combination of dirty talk and roughness needed to turn me out.

But we still hate each other. I think.

Mature Content

By Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell

Cyberlove Series

Book 4

Amazon  | BN | kobo | iBooks | Indigo | Angus & Robertson Book World | Mandadori Store

“You want to talk now that Ian is gone?” Jesse asked knowingly.

I flicked the seam of my pillow. “What’s that supposed to mean?”

“You’re being weird, and I’m not sure if it’s because of Zane or something else.”

“It’s not because of Zane. Well, some of it is, I guess.”

“Ah.” He grinned. “Does that mean there is a thing with Zane?”

I stood up and ran my hands through my hair, which had a life of its own due to the amount of grease in it. “Fine, yes. Okay? We fucked at NerdCon. It was amazing, but we still hate each other, so it’s not happening again.”

Jesse’s eyes were huge. “I’m…not sure what to say right now?”

I wasn’t either. All our lives, I’d been the bossy one, the leader, and Jesse had been the follower. I was the ambitious one, the person with answers and advice. And now the shoe was on the other foot. Jesse had a career and a happy life, and I was a goddamn mess. But maybe I’d always been a mess. I was just excellent at covering it up with a smile.

A lot of people ask us about our co-writing process in terms of big picture stuff–plotting, who writes which characters, how do we decide who writes which scene. So, when Two Chicks Obsessed asked us to write about our process, we decided to take it down to the nitty gritty. A day in the life of Megtino. As well as a glimpse at the future of the series.

Megan: I usually wake up every day to a message on gchat from Santino that says “Blah.”

Santino: No, sometimes I say “I hate today” or “Why do I have to have a job?”

Megan: Okay, you’re right you mix it up sometimes, haha. But that’s how our co-writing day starts! That’s our morning greeting. Gchat is our main method of communication because it’s easy and the app works. Usually Santino writes at night, and I write during the day. So every morning is a little bit like Christmas, because I get to wake up and see what magic he did while I was sleeping. I then send him messages like, “THAT WAS SO GOOD. HOW DARE YOU.”

Santino: And then I secretly read her scenes at work and send more messages like “Why do I have to work?”. LOL

Megan: We do plot ahead of time, but we talk through every scene just to make sure we’re both on track with the emotions of our characters. We have changed the plot of…all four books I think. As in, the plot we started out with changed as we drafted because our characters weren’t following that path. So we check in with each other before just about every scene. So before I dig in that day, we’ll take each other’s pulse. I’m usually feeling inspired and excited based on his last scene, so I’m ready to go. 🙂

Santino: I think my favorite part of our process is after it all comes together and I can reread it in its entirety, because day-to-day I get excited for every scene, but then by the middle or end it’s all fragmented in my brain so I’m like “is this coherent and fun for anyone else?? Because clearly we think it’s great!”. We both have those moments, and it’s nice to be able to kind of vent our worries and angst to each other. And then reassure each other.

Megan: It’s definitely hard when I have to write a book on my own. Like, where’s my partner? I need to brainstorm with someone! What’s kind of funny about this series is that it’s rather meta. It’s all about MCs who meet online, and we write the whole series in Google Docs while conversing on Gchat.

Santino: Exactly. I think that’s why the books resonate with so many people, though. Most people in romancelandia have met like-minded online via various different forms of social media, and those relationships have transitioned to long-lasting friendships, partnerships, and more. It’s also why we decided to keep the series going. We almost stopped at book 3, and then we had several conversations about whether we should wrap it up with book 4 since this kind of closes out the story arc that began with Kai and Garrett.

Megan: Right, and then because we can’t help ourselves, we brainstormed an idea for book five, so we guess there’ll be more Cyberlove along the way. 😀

TCO: OH YEAH!!!! Now that is awesome news!!! Thanks for stopping by Megtino.

Holy smokin hot! Like oh mah gawd. Anyway…

I kind of love opposites attract when they have something big in common. Here it was youtube. Other than that, and that they were both openly gay- Zane and Beau could not be more different. And it was awesome. While it was a bone of contention to begin with- squeeky clean Beau versus TrashyZane, they started to realize that maybe they had more in common than they thought. See first sentence of review.

I have to say, this series made me really glad I have a teen at home so I knew all of the lingo already. Otherwise, you could easily spend some time looking things up. Big plus for me and it all fit with the story, but I honestly don’t know if that would be a turn off for others.

Above and beyond the steamy hotness, there was a good story. That is essential to me. Keeping careers alive and moving forward, branding, cattiness in the business, etc. It was really interesting to read all that goes on behind the scenes of having a successful youtube channel.

Both Zane and Beau were likeable even though you want to smack each of them at different points in the story.

There were several different conflicts in the story, and honestly I couldn’t really figure out how he was going to get through it. So they way it did wrap up was done really well.

Being that this was a co-written book, one of the biggest markers for me is if you can tell that one author wrote one character and the other author wrote the second. But honestly, I could not tell at all. The story telling was seamless.

There are quite a few appearances by characters of previous books, and although it can be read as a stand alone, I really would start at the beginning. They are all worth a read.

4.5 pieces of eye candy

ABOUT SANTINO HASSELL:

Santino Hassell was raised by a conservative family, but he was anything but traditional. He grew up to be a smart-mouthed, school cutting grunge kid, then a transient twenty-something, and eventually transformed into an unlikely romance author.

Santino writes queer romance that is heavily influenced by the gritty, urban landscape of New York City, his belief that human relationships are complex and flawed, and his own life experiences.

www.santinohassell.com

Santino@santinohassell.com

Twitter: @santinohassell

https://www.facebook.com/santinohassellbooks

https://www.goodreads.com/santino_hassell

Amazon Author Page

 

ABOUT MEGAN ERICKSON

Megan Erickson is a USA Today bestselling author of romance that sizzles. Her books have a touch of nerd, a dash of humor, and always have a happily ever after. A former journalist, she switched to fiction when she decided she likes writing her own endings better.

She lives in Pennsylvania with her very own nerdy husband and two kids. Although rather fun-sized, she’s been told she has a full-sized personality. When Megan isn’t writing, she’s either lounging with her two cats named after John Hughes characters or… thinking about writing.
For more, visit meganerickson.org

Website: www.meganerickson.org

Amazon Author Page

Twitter @MeganErickson_

IG: https://www.instagram.com/meggiejoknows/
FB Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1440306062901719/

FB: https://www.facebook.com/authormeganerickson/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/mrsmeggiejo/

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

And It Came to Pass by Laura Stone: Blog Tour, Exclusive Interview, Excerpt, Review and Giveaway

Adam Young is a devout Mormon whose life is all planned out, by both his strict father and his church. He follows the path they’ve established for him, goes off to his mission in Barcelona, Spain, and realizes that his life may not follow the trajectory already chosen for him.

His mission companion, Brandon Christensen, is a handsome, enthusiastic practitioner on the surface. But as their mission progresses, they both realize they have major questions about their faith… and substantial feelings for one another.

Book title: And It Came to Pass
Author: Laura Stone

Stand Alone

Pages/Words: 222 pages / 67,300 words
Cover: Cover Photography by T.I. Stills Photography

[Read more…]

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

I Do or Dye Trying by Aimee Nicole Walker: Blog Tour, Exclusive Author Interview and Giveaway

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I DO, OR DYE TRYING

CURL UP AND DYE MYSTERIES SERIES, BOOK 4

AIMEE NICOLE WALKER

M/M ROMANCE/MYSTERY

PHOTOGRAPHER: Wander Aguiar

COVER ARTIST: Jay Aheer/Simply Defined Art

MODELS: Jacob and Matthew

IDODT Cover

Newly engaged Josh Roman and Gabe Wyatt know the road to happily ever after won’t be easy, but the two men are certain their biggest challenges are in the rearview mirror. However, life in Blissville is never what it seems and all signs point to dangerous curves ahead.

Josh and Gabe refuse to take a detour because everything they’ve dreamed of is within reach, not even when professional and personal revelations threaten to wreck their plans. It should be the happiest time in their lives, yet neither man can shake the feeling that something sinister waits around the next corner.

Buckle your seatbelts and hang on for the ride because Josh and Gabe are committed to saying “I do” or die trying.

I Do, or Dye Trying is the fourth book in the Curl Up and Dye Mysteries series. These books need to be read in order as the storyline unravels throughout the series. They contain sexually explicit material and are intended for adults 18 and older.

AMAZON

GOODREADS

Video Trailer: https://vimeo.com/215362953

IDODT Teaser 3

  • Do you pay attention to literary criticism? If so, how do you handle it?

I pay attention to constructive criticism that is offered to help me improve my skills as a writer and a storyteller. I think the minute we stop trying to grow is the moment we begin to die. I ignore comments that are cruel or are intended to hurt.

  • This series name is awesome! How do you come up with your book titles?

Thank you, I’m so happy you like it. I thought of phrases with the words die, dying, or died in them and then swapped them out for Dyeing, Dye, and Dyed. I also made sure the titles fit the tone of the book and tried to work the title into the storyline, which is one of my favorite things to do.

  • What new authors have grasped your interest?

New to me is Steven Dos Santos, and I’m completely enthralled with his series, The Torch Keeper. It’s like The Hunger Games in a way, but more intense, and the main characters are gay. Also, new-ish to me is Kris Michaels, and I love her Everlight series that she wrote with Patricia A. Knight.

  • What is the hardest part about writing for you?

The hardest part about writing for me is knowing when to stop. It’s hard for me to push my chair back from the desk and walk away once the story has me in its grasp. I need to find a better balance between work and play.

  • Number 5 is always a fun one (and interestingly usually contains some sort of jail reference). What one habit or tic do you wish you could turn into a money making endeavor?

I just kill people who hurt my friends and family off in my books, so there’s nothing too sinister lurking in my mind. I don’t wish any physical harm to any of them either. In reality, I wish the three spirits, Kindness, Humility, and Humanity, could pay them a visit and they’d wake up better people. It’s sort of like A Christmas Carol, but with a modern-day twist. Well, hello plot bunny. (This made us, TCO, laugh!)

“Did you have a good run?” Gabe asked without turning away from his task, which was good because he was cooking in his underwear. Sounds hot, right? In fantasies, it sure as hell was, but in reality, it made me shiver, but not in a good way. Bacon grease is very hot and not what you want to be splattered on your bare chest or cock and balls. His designer briefs were thin and offered no real protection from sizzling, popping grease, but they offered me one hell of a view. Oh yeah, my eyes locked on those firm, round ass cheeks and I imagined myself grabbing onto them while he pounded away inside me or even spread apart to receive my cock. “Josh, you’re making my dick hard by staring at my ass.”

I snapped out of my daydream long enough to respond. “Your dick is always hard.” My gaze wandered up the broad expanse of his back to take in the wide shoulders where I often rested my calves while he…

“Josh!”

“I can’t help myself and don’t pretend like you didn’t wear that to get this exact reaction from me,” I said, marching over to the coffee pot to pour myself a cup. “Hey, can I have one of those Ninja coffee bar things Sofia raves about in our new house?”

“Who’s Sofia?” Gabe asked.

Just because he was gay didn’t excuse him from not knowing the world’s most beautiful woman. “Gabe, I just don’t know what to do with you sometimes.” I shook my head sadly for emphasis, which he didn’t see because he was still paying close attention to the bacon. And who could blame him with his magic wand and beans so close to the fiery pits of hell? “Sofia Vergara, Gabe. She’s an actress and is married to Joe Man…”

“Oh, her.” I didn’t like his tone, not one bit. It was the same one I’d heard rolling off the lips of every jealous woman in my salon as they cattily tore her down when she and Joe started dating. I thought they were a beautiful couple and I was happy for them. Only people who wanted Joe for themselves sounded bitter.

“Awwww, did she steal your man from you?” I asked mockingly. “Is he your celebrity crush?” Six months ago, the thought of Gabe crushing on a big, muscular guy would’ve sent me into a panic. Not anymore because I was certain of two things: there was nothing wrong with the way I was, and Gabe was crazy in love with me.

“Was,” Gabe confessed sheepishly.

“Awww, you dumped him because of me,” I cooed as I moved closer to him, but not so close that the grease was going to get me. He was cooking his meat on too high of a temperature and endangering my favorite meat in the process.

“It was because he got married. I don’t lust after married people. It just feels wrong.”

I shook my head sadly; it looked like he had further to go than I realized. I had three months to whip him into perfect husband material, which I didn’t think would be too difficult since he was already within striking distance of perfection. “Gabe, as much as I appreciate your honesty, there are times when it doesn’t hurt you to stretch the truth just a tiny bit.”

He whipped his head around to gauge if he’d screwed up. “He got married a year before I met you, Josh. Had I met you first, that would’ve been the reason I gave.” He looked pretty damn smug about his smooth recovery.

“Nicely played,” I told him as I gestured to the frying pan with my hand so that he’d pay attention.

Gabe chuckled and turned his focus back to cooking. “Are you worried I’ll burn down your house or scratch the nonstick surface of your pan?” He held up the tongs that had a silicone coating on the bottom and around the edges. “Your skillet is safe.”

“I was more concerned about your cock and balls getting splattered with hot grease,” I told him. “Take a damn step back or something.”

“You don’t find this sexy?” Gabe asked, sounding a bit pouty.

“Of course, I find it sexy, but that doesn’t mean I want you to risk your safety.”

“I guess it’s a good thing I didn’t cook in the nude,” Gabe grumbled.

“Now that’s just gross,” I told him. “Nobody wants pubes in their food, Gabriel. I adore you naked, but not around my food.”

“You didn’t seem to worry about pubes when you deep-throated my dick covered with whipped cream on vacation,” Gabe said to me.

“That was different,” I said defensively.

“How was that different? Your lips were against my pubes,” he pointed out.

“It was dessert,” I said like that explained it. “No one is going to eat lobster bisque soup off your crotch.”

“Ouch,” Gabe said

“Yeah, multiply that times a thousand to imagine how bad hot grease would feel,” I told him. The grease popped just then as if fate wanted to emphasize just how right I was about the dangers of frying bacon while scantily clad—no matter how good, or sexy, the intention.

Gabe jumped back and yelled, “Son of a bitch!” Then he looked at me accusingly as if I made it happen. He moved the skillet off the burner and turned to face me fully.

“Son of a bitch! Son of a bitch!” Savage repeated while flapping his wings.

“Just great,” I said. “Savage is going to be saying that nonstop.”

“As if he doesn’t already say worse,” Gabe replied. “I seem to remember him propositioning me for a blow job the first night I was here. You can’t blame me for that one.”

Check out Erin’s 4 pieces of eye candy review here

Aimee Logo

I am a wife and mother to three kids, three dogs, and a cat. When I’m not dreaming up stories, I like to lose myself in a good book, cook or bake. I’m a girly tomboy

who paints her fingernails while watching sports and yelling at the referees.

I will always choose the book over the movie. I believe in happily-ever-after. Love inspires everything that I do. Music keeps me sane.

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Dyeing to be Loved, Book 1

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Dyed and Gone to Heaven, Book 3

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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.