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.”

TalkinginCode_FBbanner_DSP

buy now

 

Dreamspinner Press

 

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.

Dating in Retrospect by Lila Leigh Hunter: Blog Tour, Guest Post, Excerpt and Giveaway

DatingInRetrospectFS_v1

synopsis

Giving the commencement speech at his alma mater doesn’t fit Clay Keller’s meticulous schedule. As Chief Executive Officer of Travel Mogul—the largest travel connoisseur company on the West Coast—he has no time to get back in touch with his country roots. He left fifteen years ago without a second look, but a medical scare makes him change his mind about the speech and brings him face-to-face with his only regret.

Time always moves slower in Southeastern Iowa, and Aaron Grant loves it. He’s added solar farms to the Grant Lanes portfolio and has been teaching at the local university for a decade. The last thing he needs is to have his tenure application compromised by the return of his ex-boyfriend. If he had known who the commencement speaker would be, he would never have volunteered to be the administration liaison.

A proposal—to date for a year—will help them discover that time changes a person, even when everything else stays the same.

Title: Dating in Retrospect (States of Love)

Author: Lila Leigh Hunter

Cover Artist: L.C. Chase

Publisher:  Dreamspinner Press

Release Date: February 15, 2017

Category: Romance

Genre: Contemporary

Sex Content: Explicit

Pairing: MM

Orientation: Bisexual

Identity: Cisgender

Length: Novella

Words: 38,800

Pages: 101

buy now

Amazon

Dreamspinner Press

Kobo Books

 

Guest Post

Pop Culture Infiltration

Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike! What day is it Mike? It’s Hump day! Sorry, but I had to do it. 🙂Riverside, IA

I want to thank the crew of Two Chicks Obsessed for hosting me today. I didn’t realize how many pop culture references I had on my States of Love novella, Dating in Retrospect, until I was halfway through it. Then, I embraced them.

When you first think of Iowa you don’t associate it with Hollywood and TV productions unless you’re from the area. But there are many movies, shows, and books that take place in the Hawkeye state. During their dating year, my main characters—Clay & Aaron—visited several places used or referenced in pop culture, and they quoted some of them as well.

Their first date takes place in Riverside, Iowa—future birthplace of James T. Kirk. You guessed it, my boys are geeks and aren’t afraid to admit it.

They also visited the Field of Dreams and the Bridges of Madison County. There are mentions of singing telegrams, the Radio City Rockettes, Star Trek, and some other popular shows & one-liners.

If you want to see how all of this plays a part in their relationship, you would have to read the story. Oh, and something I didn’t realize until this very moment, one of the characters gives a graduation speech, hint, hint. <3

DatinginRetrospect _headerbanner

 

 

 

excerpt

Clay—May ’15

Back to the future and all of that were Clay’s first thoughts as he stepped out of the car. The campus looked the same—Midwest Americana at its best. Redbrick buildings and perfectly pruned trees surrounded him, but as if the last fifteen years hadn’t happened, Clay’s world narrowed to the man waiting at the top of the portico stairs. The only thing time had changed? Them.

“Here’s your receipt, Mr. Keller,” the valet said, interrupting Clay’s musings. He didn’t remember being as young as the valet. Mr. Keller was his father, but Clay didn’t feel like correcting the man’s error.

“Thank you.”

“Not a problem. The man in the light gray suit is Professor Grant. He will be your escort today.”

“Perfect,” Clay responded, smiling at the mention of having an escort at his service, especially one whose body he knew well. With a nod and a tip, Clay left the valet behind, turning his attention back to Professor Grant. Professor. Aaron had done it after all. Clay had never doubted it, even after Aaron decided to stay and work at his family’s farm instead of moving with him to LA. Now he needed to find out if he had a chance with Aaron. At least having him there, waiting for him, had to be a good sign. Today was his lucky day indeed. True, he hadn’t expected to see Aaron so soon. He had planned to stop by the farm after the commencement, but he was ready either way. Life had been rough lately, but having the opportunity to see Aaron again was worth coming back to the middle of Nowhere, Iowa.

He walked casually toward the man he’d left behind many summers ago—a man standing like a prizefighter, waiting for Clay to reach him. With only a couple of feet between them, Clay’s step faltered. Aaron didn’t seem happy to see him, more like he was ready to bolt before Clay got to him. Shaking his head and keeping his eyes on his prey, he closed the distance and extended his hand in greeting.

“Professor Grant, I believe you’re expecting me?” He hoped his smile would ease Aaron’s frown.

“That I am, Mr. Keller. As the university liaison, it is my pleasure to welcome you back to your alma mater and to convey the president’s and the board of trustees’ deepest regards.”

“How long did it take you to memorize that spiel? As far as I remember, you weren’t fond of formalities.” Neither of them let go of the other’s hand. Aaron’s touch, familiar and foreign, branded him in seconds.

“Ass.”

Aaron didn’t expect the hug that followed. As soon as their bodies touched, Aaron tensed, but Clay held him tighter.

“Relax, sunshine. It’s been a while.” Clay let Aaron go, but not before he rubbed his trimmed beard against Aaron’s clean-shaven face as he moved back.

 

giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

meet the author

Lila Leigh Hunter is the pen name of a Puerto Rican author with a hyphenated surname. Born and raised on the island, Lila grew up making up stories her siblings pretended to like. But no matter what they say, as the youngest of six, she’s still their mom’s favorite. According to the dusty diplomas on her wall, she’s an architectural designer living in Southern Texas with her husband and four military brats.

She spends most of her free time writing homoerotic romances about middle-aged men finding happiness and the rest hiding from pesky house chores. When outside of her cave, she likes to observe people and try to guess their stories. Sometimes she wishes the voices in her head were real; going out with the boys in her books sounds like a plan made in heaven.

Social Media

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/ctHk41

Author’s Page: http://www.facebook.com/HunterRomances

Lila’s Cabana on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/groups/LilasBooks/

Facebook Profile: https://www.facebook.com/LilaLeighHunter

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Hunter_Romances

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

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

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/HunterRomances

Website: http://lilaleighhunter.wordpress.com

Email: llhunter.romance@gmail.com

Blog Tour Dates

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

Better with Bacon by Matthew Lang: Blog Tour, Exclusive Excerpt, Guest Post and Giveaway

BetterWithBaconFS_v1synopsis

When Patrick’s long-term girlfriend Li Ling dumps him just as he’s working up the nerve to propose, he ends up drunk on David’s couch—and later in David’s bed. Although initially reluctant to pursue anything beyond a one-time drunken tryst, David throws caution to the wind during an intimate dinner, where the two men also discuss Patrick’s dream of entering the food industry. Just as the friends-turned-lovers are settling into their new romance, Li Ling calls Patrick—she’s pregnant.

Convinced the announcement spells the end of their love affair and a return to their platonic friendship, David flees to Sydney to escape his heartbreak. But upon his return to Melbourne, David discovers the situation hasn’t gone the way he’d expected. There might still be a chance for David and Patrick’s dreams to come true if they can forgive each other’s mistakes and move forward.

 

Guest Post

“Shit, they’ve done it. The Millennials have actually done it. They’ve created a space where you can be whatever gender identity you are, be attracted to whoever you want and no one fucking cares. It’s great!”
This comment recently found its way to my personal Facebook wall, along with another post from the same person decrying the lack of men in assless leather chaps and dykes with their tits out at Midsumma, Melbourne’s annual summer festival of queer art.
And my brain, being the annoyingly wonderfully overthinking and pattern forming organ that it is, immediately linked those two statements together. Normalisation. The process of being normal? The process of becoming normal. The process of having equality and equal rights has created both of the above situations. It’s arguably responsible for the death of lesbian bars, same sex marriage becoming increasingly recognised in the western world, and the fact that police stations in Australia have dedicated gay and lesbian community liaisons. I got a rainbow wristband from them at Carnival this year, actually.
Normalisation means not needing as many safe spaces as the last generation of queers did. It means that people who live vanilla lifestyles can be out proud, visible, and dragging moody teenagers along to queer carnival day when the kids clearly have better things to do I mean really. And people can do all that without having their reputations tarnished. Without social stigma. Without losing their jobs. Once, only those who dared to be overtly different dared to be out, now everyone else can too. At least, mostly. More often than not.
Even me being here, a gay man writing about gay men for a site run by women who love gay men is part of this long, slow movement that’s still being fought today (don’t get me started about how Australia doesn’t have marriage equality yet. Just don’t), but is so much better for each generation. It’s important to remember that we all owe an awful lot to the men in assless chaps, the topless dykes, and the trans women of colour to name just a few groups now eclipsed by the queer mainstream, if such a thing can be said to exist. We owe them for creating a world where you can be exactly where you are right now, reading these words and loving the stories that you read.
Without those who dared to go before, this onetime babygay might never have dreamed about writing stories. Or probably wouldn’t have dared dream of publishing and sharing them openly.
There’s still a lot of work to be done. There’s still a need to be daring – to be the guy with his metaphorical ass hanging out of his metaphorical chaps forging towards a better future for the marginalised. Now I have to check my own abled cisgendered male privilege and support the battles against transphobia and bipjobia in my bubble of liberalism. And not all gay men get that.
I’ll tell you something though – the ones that do? They’re sexy. And if you know any who are gay and single, send them my way, yeah?
In the meantime, I’ll keep writing about the messy realities that face men like me, and not quite like me, as this normalisation thing happens around us. I hope you’ll join me in moving it along.

buy now
Amazon

Dreamspinner Press

Kobo Books

excerpt
Stonewall, named after both the New York Inn and the riots, had a name that now evoked a film that no one went to see. It was also one of David’s main haunts in Sydney—a good place to get a drink, get groped, dance a bit, and possibly even pick up. It was an older, mixed crowd than the nightclubs, and although there was a time for dancing for all hours, now didn’t seem to be one of them. David found himself ordering a G&T and kicking back on a couch, and wishing he’d brought his personal phone. Although he was aware there had been a time when people at bars talked to each other, he’d grown up with most people checking their phones first. To be fair, he could easily have gone up and inserted himself into a conversation with a “Hi, I’m new here” or a “Hi, I’m visiting and decided I should meet new people,” which normally worked, but tonight, he let the buzz of conversation swell around him and wrap him in its vibrancy and life. Something dancey in the Top 40 played overhead, and he smiled as he sank into the cushions of the couch and let the beat thrum through his bones.
“Wow, you look relaxed.”
David’s eyes snapped open, and he looked up into calm brown eyes framed by long brown hair that tumbled halfway down the man’s back.
“Yeah, well… stressful week.”
“Pool?” the man asked. “I’m hunting for games.”
“Huh?” Only then did David notice the pool cue gripped loosely in the man’s hand.
“Sure,” he said. “I don’t bet, though.”
“No, no, just a friendly game.” The man flashed him a grin. It was hard to pin down his age, as beard stubble added years to any face. He was of medium height, and had a stocky, muscular build, with forearms that David was a little jealous of. “I like talking to people over a game. There’s something to do besides fumble for the next topic of conversation.”
David laughed. “I suppose lining up your shot gives you an excuse to be silent.”
“It does. Pool also makes it more likely that guys come up and watch—and talk to you. And it also lets you approach interesting people and chat to them without being creepy.”
“Interesting?”
“Are you telling me you’re not?”
“I work in banking,” David said. “By definition….”
The bestubbled man deliberately looked David up and down, his eyes lingering on David’s chest and crotch. “I don’t know. One banker I met moonlighted as a stripper. You’ve got the body for that.”

morgan review

This was the first book I have ever read by Matthew Lang. The story started off pretty good and ended well, I just wasn’t feeling the middle very much. The MC’s have some communication issues and it causes one of them, in my opinion, to make a bad decision that I just couldn’t see him making if he cared about his best friend as much as he said he did. I know the head space he was in might have caused him to run when faced with the big issue, but the other decision he makes just made me itch.  Of course everyone deals with stress in different ways so I gave him the benefit of the doubt and kept reading. When the two get together and finally talk things out their relationship takes off and there are quite a few ‘awwww’ moments, but by that point I still wasn’t feeling it that much. I will check out a few more books by Matthew Lang considering this was the first thing I have read by this author, for sure. I’ll have to go with 3 pieces of eye candy for this one.

3-pieces of eye candy

meet the author
Matthew Lang writes behind a desk, in the park, on the tram, and sometimes backstage at amateur theater productions. He has been known to sing and dance in public and analyze the plots of movies and TV shows, and is a confessed Masterchef addict. He has dabbled in film, machinema, event management, and even insurance, but his first love has always been the written word. He is suspected of frequenting libraries and hanging around in bookstores, and his therapists believe he may be plotting some form of literature.

My Social Media:
Website: www.matthew-lang.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MattLangWrites/
Twitter: @mattlangwrites

giveaway

Don’t forget to enter our monthly giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

BetterWithBacon_FBbanner_DSP

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

Open Case by Mickie B. Ashling: Blog Tour, Exclusive Excerpt and Giveaway

Cover-Open CasesynopsisSeth Wilder and Bryce McFarland deal with the aftermath of Owen Lightfoot’s destructive rampage. Once again, the insurance company denies the life insurance benefit despite the compelling evidence regarding the underlying cause of Mark’s death. However, they acknowledge their former employee’s complicity in the multiple crimes that have blindsided Seth and Bryce. They settle to keep their names out of the news, offering the couple a million dollars apiece, which they accept.

Owen learns of the big payoff and is determined to get his cut. Just when Seth and Bryce think it is all over, Owen reappears, and what follows tests the very limit of their endurance. Through the help of friends and relatives, Seth and Bryce find the strength to keep their relationship intact while seeking out the best way to stop Owen once and for all.

Author: Mickie B. Ashling

Series: Open Trilogy #3

Release Date: February 3, 2017

Genre: Contemporary Gay Romance

Length: 200 pages

Cover Artist: Catt Ford

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Guest Post

Hi, all! Thanks for stopping by to help me celebrate the release of Open Case, the final novel in the Open Series. I’m excited to share an exclusive excerpt and give you a chance to win a few giveaways. Those of you who haven’t read the first two books, Open Seating and Open House, will want to catch up before you start this one.

Since the status change from friends to lovers, Seth Wilder and Bryce McFarland, have had more challenges than the average couple. Through it all, they’ve been united, communicating without reservation in their quest for a happy ending. Now that it’s within reach, Bryce’s ex-lover, sociopath Owen Lightfoot, is back, intent on destroying it all.

I’d like to thank Two Chicks Obsessed for hosting and my wonderful publicist J for her excellent help in organizing my blog tour.

buy now

Amazon

DSP eBook

DSP Paperback

Kobo Books

Barnes & Noble

 

tco exclusive

The combination gun supply and shooting range was out in Des Plaines, a thirty-minute drive barring traffic. When they left the condo at six thirty, most of the daily commuters had cleared out and they made good time. The shop normally closed at five on Monday, but Jack knew the owner, and being with the Chicago PD did have some advantages. He explained this to Bryce and Seth when they pulled into the parking lot and saw that it was empty except for Jack’s unmarked vehicle. The owners had allowed him to use the facility after hours to give Seth and Bryce their expedited tutorial. They’d even left a 9mm Glock 34 for Seth’s use, along with several rounds of ammunition. Bryce had his own weapon but did avail himself of the store’s ammo. Jack made them sign the standard waivers before they started.

For Bryce, the three hours they spent with Jack had been a much-needed refresher course. He knew how to clean, load, and handle a gun, but it had been a long time since he’d removed it from the case and aimed it at a target. He was grateful for the time Jack had allotted to get him back up to speed. Seth, on the other hand, was completely in the dark. After going over the safety fundamentals, Jack showed Seth how to load and unload his weapon, the proper stance for aiming when standing or in a crouched position, rapid reloading, and some troubleshooting in case the weapon jammed. Seth was visibly uncomfortable handling the Glock and flinched each time he fired a shot. Eventually, he settled down, and by the end of their session he could fire the gun without squeezing his eyes shut and actually hit the target, albeit far off the bull’s-eye.

When they were getting ready to shut down for the night, Bryce mentioned the possibility of borrowing his sister’s dog to keep Seth company during the day.

“Can’t hurt,” Jack said. “But a dog won’t stop a bullet, and Seth will have to walk him at least twice a day. Once they step out of the apartment, the safety factor is greatly reduced.”

“You said you’ve got eyes on us 24/7,” Seth protested.

“My guys are in place to keep Owen from getting into your building. They can’t be trailing after you while you’re walking the pooch.”

Bryce stared at Jack, trying to decipher if there was a mixed message. “So what’s the bottom line? Should he go and get the dog or not?”

“That’s up to you guys, but if you decide to do it, watch your back when you take him out to do his business.”

“Next question,” Seth interjected. “How would you feel about me driving myself to Indiana and back without Bryce?”

Jack looked at Bryce, who was hoping for a negative response. Whatever signal Jack picked up prompted him to ask, “What does Bryce think?”

“He doesn’t want me to go alone.”

Post divider 2

meet the author

Mickie B. Ashling is the pseudonym of a multifaceted woman who is a product of her upbringing in multiple cultures, having lived in Japan, the Philippines, Spain, and the Middle East. Fluent in three languages, she’s a citizen of the world and an interesting mixture of East and West. A little bit of this and a lot of that have brought a unique touch to her literary voice she could never learn from textbooks.

By the time Mickie discovered her talent for writing, real life got in the way, and the business of raising four sons took priority. With the advent of e-publishing—and the inevitable emptying nest—dreams of becoming a published writer were resurrected and she’s never looked back.

She stumbled into the world of men who love men in 2002 and continues to draw inspiration from their ongoing struggle to find equality and happiness in this oftentimes skewed and intolerant world. Her award-winning novels have been called “gut wrenching, daring, and thought provoking.” She admits to being an angst queen and making her men work damn hard for their happy endings.

Mickie currently resides in a suburb outside Chicago.

CONNECT WITH MICKIE

Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads & Ask the Author | Website | Email

 

giveaway

Win a $20 Dreamspinner Press gift card, an ecopy of Open Seating, or an ecopy of Open House. Three winners! Contest open internationally. Must be 18 or older to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

FOLLOW THE TOUR

Feb. 3 – Sinfully

Feb. 6 – Love Bytes

Feb. 8 – Bayou Book Junkie

Feb. 10 – Diverse Reader

Feb. 13 – Molly Lolly

Feb. 14 – The Novel Approach

Feb. 16 – Prism Book Alliance

Feb. 20 – Two Chicks Obsessed

Feb. 23 – Just Love

Tour Banner-Open Case

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

12 Days of Kissmas: Avon Gale

15301163_1901555790064065_2104185639_n

TCO is so excited to bring you 12 Days of Kissmas. We have 12 of your favorite authors ahead over the coming days, bringing you beautiful pictures of men kissing that the authors have chosen themselves, along with exclusive posts, excerpts, and giveaways. The idea sprang from a conversation with an author that just turned into a “what if…”, and when I started asking a few authors, they immediately said they were in. Make sure you enter the giveaways, as there are lots of them! Thanks for stopping by, and a HUGE thank you to all the authors for their generosity, and loving spirit. Happy Holidays to everyone!

 

Guest Post

9fdb6ec5fb59a358e7ca59b3fa872a50

Hi! I’m Avon Gale, and I’m here sharing a delightful picture of two boys kissing – er, almost kissing. I like this picture because I love that moment of tension right before the kiss. Also this one cutie is wearing a bowtie! Adorable, right?

My most recent novella, Whiskey Business, is out December 28th from Dreamspinner Press and is a part of their States of Love line. It’s about a bourbon distillery in a small Kentucky town, and it features an opposites-attract love story and a lot of really bad puns.

whiskeybusinessfs_v1I’m from Kentucky, so writing this was super fun for me. Also, I love bourbon (and pie), which is why I decided to share this recipe with you! Ignore that “or water” part of the directions, because trust me, you want the bourbon 😉 And make sure it’s good Kentucky bourbon, too – none of that Jack Daniels nonsense (sorry, Tennessee!) for this pie.

(Kidding, you can use whatever you want, but in my humble estimation, Kentucky bourbon is the best and that’s all I have to say about that.)

 

Kentucky Bourbon Pecan Pie

1/2 (14.1-ounce) package refrigerated piecrusts

1 1/2 cups chopped toasted pecans

1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate morsels

1 cup dark corn syrup

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1/4 cup bourbon or water

4 large eggs

1/4 cup butter, melted

2 teaspoons plain white cornmeal

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon table salt

 

Preparation

Hands-on: 15 Minutes

Total: 2 Hours, 10 Minutes

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Fit piecrust into a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate according to package directions; fold edges under, and crimp. Sprinkle pecans and chocolate evenly onto bottom of piecrust.

Stir together corn syrup and next 3 ingredients in a large saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, 3 minutes. Remove from heat.

Whisk together eggs and next 4 ingredients. Gradually whisk one-fourth of hot corn syrup mixture into egg mixture; add to remaining hot corn syrup mixture, whisking constantly. Pour filling into prepared piecrust.

Bake at 325° for 55 minutes or until set; cool pie completely on a wire rack (about one hour).

buy now

Amazon

ARe

Dreamspinner Press

 

giveaway

Avon Gale is giving away an ebook of winners choice. Give us your favorite traditional recipe. (Any tradition you like).

giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

12 Days of Kissmas: Jocelynn Drake & Rinda Elliott : Exclusive Short and Giveaway

15301163_1901555790064065_2104185639_n

TCO is so excited to bring you 12 Days of Kissmas. We have 12 of your favorite authors ahead over the coming days, bringing you beautiful pictures of men kissing that the authors have chosen themselves, along with exclusive posts, excerpts, and giveaways. The idea sprang from a conversation with an author that just turned into a “what if…”, and when I started asking a few authors, they immediately said they were in. Make sure you enter the giveaways, as there are lots of them! Thanks for stopping by, and a HUGE thank you to all the authors for their generosity, and loving spirit. Happy Holidays to everyone!

 

The authors of the Unbreakable Bonds Series, Jocelynn Drake and Rinda Elliott are stopping by today with an exclusive little holiday story. If you haven’t read this series, sit down, and let’s chat shall we, because my love for this series is serious. 🙂 (I’m not a stalker, no matter what the courts say!) Anyway, these lovely ladies also write all kinds of little snippets between the books (book 4 is due out next year) to keep us loving these men. So, stop over to http://drakeandelliott.com/unbreakable-bonds/ and check out all the extras!

tco exclusive

Mistletoe

Noah bit his tongue, holding back the snide remark that rose up, while the doctor shined a light in his eyes for a third time and asked him a series of questions. Even blinded, he could feel Rowe across the sectioned-off area, glaring at him with his arms folded over his chest. The air was heavy in their little corner of the emergency room and Noah knew that his friend was just waiting for the doctor to leave so he could explode.

Not that he could blame Rowe.

He’d not followed his training. Well, his training for Ward Security. And he’d gotten hurt. Not badly, but enough that he’d been required to make an appearance in the ER.

“Well, Mr. Keegan, it looks like you got lucky,” the doctor said, clicking off his little pen light. He stepped back and stuffed the light into the pocket of his white coat. “You might have a mild concussion, so I’m going to order up a scan to get your head checked. I want to also x-ray your wrist. It’s not broken, but you could have a hairline fracture in there that could only get worse for you if we don’t catch it.”

“But other than that, I’m just fine, right doc? Nothing serious?” Noah said, earning a snort from Rowe.

The doctor scratched the gray stubble along his jaw and glanced at Rowe out of the corner of his eye before looking at Noah again. “No, nothing serious. Let’s just get those scans done and then you can be on your way.”

“Any chance you can give my boyfriend here a sedative before you go?”

The doctor looked over at Rowe, who was still glaring at Noah and stammered something about getting those orders in before he scurried past the dividing curtain and out of sight.

Noah smirked. Sometimes it was too easy. He looked at Rowe and his amusement faded away. “All right. Just let it loose. You’re going to hurt yourself if you hold it in any longer.”

“What the fuck!” Rowe shouted. A few voices outside their curtain immediately stopped. Rowe walked to the foot of the bed where Noah sat. His hair was standing up, pointing in all directions as if he’d been pulling on it in frustration. Probably had been considering that Rowe had actually beat him to the hospital and then been forced to sit in the waiting room while he was initially checked out.

“I know. I screwed up. I wasn’t supposed to chase the guy, but Royce said he had the client covered. I hated missing the opportunity to catch the douchebag.”

“We’re not cops. We’re not in the Army any more. We protect the client. That’s all. We don’t pursue. We don’t catch the bad guy. We keep people safe.”

Noah lifted his right hand to shove his hair away from his eyes but stopped himself. His wrist did hurt like a motherfucker from where he’d tried to catch himself while diving out of the way of a car running him down. He’d landed hard and ended up slamming the back of his head against the concrete … hence the potential mild concussion.

Not that any of this was really bad. Hell, he’d been more painfully injured playing flag football with friends, but Royce called an ambulance the second he’d seen Noah go down and the paramedics started throwing around “concussion” as they checked him out, requiring a trip to the hospital.

But Noah knew this wasn’t just about him breaking from his training.

“Rowe…”

Unfortunately, any comforting words he could offer were cut off by the curtain being pulled back to reveal Snow standing there in a set of dark blue scrubs. The surgeon looked over Noah  quickly before turning his narrowed gaze on Rowe.

“Don’t even fucking say it!” Rowe snapped, pointing a finger at Snow. “I can freaking hear Lucas laughing already.”

“He wouldn’t laugh at you,” Noah said.

Snow snickered. “Like hell he wouldn’t. Do you know how many times he’s come to the ER because Andrei was injured on the job and Rowe said that he needed to stop worrying so much? He’s definitely giving you shit about this.”

“He wouldn’t if you didn’t tell him.” Rowe barely got the sentence out before his cellphone started to chime. Rowe didn’t even reach for it. He just glared at Snow. “You called him.”

“Of course I called him. He worries.”

“Hell,” he sighed, pulling his phone out of his pocket. He started for the opening in the curtain and then stopped, pointing at Noah. “Stay. We’re not done.” And then he disappeared on the other side of the curtain.

Noah let out a sigh of relief before he glanced at Snow, who watched him with narrowed eyes.

“Your chart says you’re good,” Snow said carefully.

“It’s not lying. I’m good. Stupid, but good.”

Snow grunted. “Don’t be stupid. He needs you intact.”

“I know. I’ll be careful and smart.” And he meant it. Rowe had already lost Mel and he was taking a big risk with his heart by dating Noah. The least Noah could do was to not take unnecessary risks.

Grabbing the curtain, Snow started to leave the little area when Noah stopped him. “Hey! Wait!” Noah said in a harsh whisper. “I wanna ask you something.” Snow turned back, letting the curtain fall into place again. Noah hesitated, licking his lips. He didn’t know Snow all that well. He’d spent more time talking with Andrei and Ian, but neither had been available recently. And well…Rowe was pretty tight with Snow. The surgeon would know.

“I was wondering…when Rowe and Mel were together, was Christmas a big deal for them?”

“What do you mean?”

Noah shrugged and rubbed his hands on his dirty pants. “Lots of decoration and parties and the whole nine yards. Was it a big deal?”

Snow looked down, his hands opening and closing into fists at his sides for a second as if he were incredibly uncomfortable. “Yeah…it was. Mel loved to decorate for Christmas. They always went over to the Festival of Lights at the Cincinnati Zoo to see the display and threw a big party for employees. Lots of fun.”

But where did that leave him?

Noah had never really had a big Christmas celebration. He hadn’t decorated a Christmas tree since he was a kid. Starting a life in Cincinnati had left Noah hoping that maybe he could enjoy some of those family traditions like Christmas parties and trees and gift giving again. But would it all hurt Rowe, reminding him of what he’d lost?

“What do you think I should do? Should I forget it? Pretend it’s just another day?”

“What do you want?”

“I’ve love to have all the craziness. Big tree. Lights on the house. Stockings. Gifts. A party where we eat and get wasted. You know, the traditional stuff.” Noah sighed and pushed his hair out of his face, remembering to use his left hand this time. “But I don’t want to hurt Rowe. Maybe it’s best we try to forget everything.”

Snow surprised him by clapping a strong hand on his shoulder and squeezing. “It’s his first Christmas without her. He’s going to hurt no matter what we do. Maybe try something a little nontraditional for Christmas. It won’t remind him of Mel and could give him a little happiness this month.”

Noah nodded, grateful for Snow’s insight.

“Do you have my number?” Snow demanded unexpectedly.

Noah shook his head, then smiled when Snow gestured for him to hand over his phone. Noah did and he watched as Snow quickly typed in not only his number, but Jude’s and Lucas’s as well. He’d already had Ian’s and Andrei’s numbers.

“Call me or any of us if you need something,” Snow said as he handed back Noah’s phone. “Even if it has nothing to do with Rowe. You’re family now.”

“But—”

“Rowe is going to have a rough time this holiday, but you’re not in this alone. Call any of us at any time.”

Noah wrapped both hands around his phone, clutching it tightly. “Thanks.” He was surprised at the relief that coursed through him at those words. The approaching Christmas holiday had him scared shitless. He was worried about Rowe, worried that he wouldn’t be enough for his lover. Knowing that Snow and the others had his back went a long way to creating some breathing space for him.

The surgeon was right. It was going to be a rough time for Rowe regardless, but maybe he could come up with something that created their own memory, something to add joy to Rowe’s life.

 

###

Rowe sat on the lowered tailgate of his truck, his keys clenched in his left hand and his cellphone in his right, pressed to his ear. He just gotten home and was trying to unload the truck when Lucas had called. They hadn’t spoken in a few days since the hospital incident. Shit had just been too busy to catch the man with more than the occasional text. Of course, he had a feeling that Lucas was still trying to make up his recent stupidity to Andrei and that was taking up most of his free time.

“I’m okay, I swear,” Rowe said for the third time.

“You’re not okay. We all know it. It’s okay if you’re not,” Lucas pressed.

“Then quit fucking asking if you know I’m not okay!”

“Ward…”

Rowe growled. “Yes, I miss her, but I’m not going to disappear off the face of the earth again. I think we’ve both learned our lesson.” He paused, letting the heavy silence sink into their conversation.

Lucas cleared his throat. “Definitely.”

“Look, if you want to worry about someone, worry about Keegan. He’s the one living with me, putting up with my moody ass. You think this is the kind of Christmas he had in mind when he finally got out of the Army?”

“I think he’s happy as long as you are.”

Rowe grunted. Noah would have said the same thing, but he didn’t feel like it was enough.  He wanted to do more. Shoving to his feet, Rowe kicked a small rock sitting in the middle of his driveway and watched it bounce into the street. “I’m good, Luc. Let’s just get this through this holiday and nail Jagger’s ass to the wall. Then we can start working on getting back to great.”

“I like that plan.”

He smirked as he wished Lucas a good night. His gaze strayed to the contents of his truck bed as he shoved his phone into his back pocket. Just looking at it made his stomach twist into an uncomfortable knot. Taking a deep breath, he closed his eyes, getting the anxiety to ease slightly. He’d go inside. Eat dinner with Noah. Get back to normal for a little while, and then try this again later.

But normal wasn’t what was waiting for him in the house.

Rowe stopped in the process closing the front door when several things seemed to hit him all at once. The lights were all turned off and the house was lit by a dozen flickering candles, casting the house in a warm glow. Something small and dark hung from the ceiling in every doorway and room that he could see from the entrance. It was like a tiny forest was sprouting from the plaster.

And to top it all off, Noah was sprawled across the couch, naked except for a pair of tiny briefs with an image of Santa Claus stretched across his junk. The merry old elf’s mouth was stretched open as if he’d been caught mid-laugh.

“What the fuck?” Rowe demanded, finally shutting the door when a cold wind slipped through the narrow opening. “What’s on the ceiling?”

“Mistletoe.” Noah jumped to his feet, revealing that he was wearing a pair of felt reindeer antlers. “You wanna play some reindeer games?”

Laughter slammed through Rowe, knocking him back against the door so that he was leaning on it for support. Noah…Noah was fucking perfect. The man always knew how to force him out of a bad mood. He surprised Rowe like no one else ever could. Rowe gasped, trying to catch his breath as his laughter gave way to some low chuckles. Noah stood in the middle of the living room, fists on his hips and a wicked grin on his lips.

“Yeah, let’s play,” Rowe growled. He pushed away from the door and started to stalk toward Santa’s reindeer.

“Wait!” Noah said, throwing both hands out to stop Rowe. “You’re under the mistletoe.”

Rowe looked up and found he was in fact under a small sprig with white berries. “It’s kind of hard not to be. It’s everywhere!”

Noah closed the short distance between them and captured Rowe’s mouth in a rough kiss, while at the same time, sliding his hands inside of Rowe’s coat. Rowe immediately responded to Noah’s rare show of force, opening his mouth, letting the other man dominate him while shoving his coat off his shoulders. The second the heavy material thumped to the floor, Noah broke off the kiss and stepped back.

“Every time I kiss you under the mistletoe, I get to remove an article of your clothing.”

Rowe arched an eyebrow in question. “That’s a rather easy game.” As if to test Noah, he slid a few inches to his right so that he was standing under a new sprig of mistletoe. Without hesitation, Noah was on him, tugging at the dark green waffle Henley while shoving his tongue deep into Rowe’s mouth. Rowe groaned loudly, his arms circling Noah’s waist. He would never get enough of this man. His hands slid down to cup Noah’s ass and was surprised to hit bare skin rather than fabric. He broke off the kiss in surprise, allowing Noah to pull his shirt over his head.

Peering around Noah, he noticed that he wasn’t wearing briefs with a Santa face, but a jockstrap with red straps accentuating Noah’s perfect ass. There’s was even a small sprig of mistletoe fastened to the back strap, just above Noah’s crack.

Rowe pulled back and swallowed hard. “Holy fuck. Please tell me that’s where this game ends,” he demanded in a rough voice.

Noah shook his head, his smile growing even more wicked. “Nope. That’s the third game of the night.”

“Third? What’s the second?”

Grabbing a handful of Rowe’s hair, Noah pulled him under another sprig of mistletoe. “Find the lube.”

 

###

A loud groan left Noah when he tried to sit up, but he quickly stopped. Everything hurt. And not all of it was the good kind of hurt, even though there was a lot of that. His knees still felt like they were on fire from the rug burn and his back was not loving the cold tile of the kitchen floor. Roughly rubbing his face in an attempt to clear his brain, Noah blinked and was a little surprised to find himself staring up at the underside of the kitchen table with Rowe laying half across him. He wasn’t completely sure how they’d gotten there. Thank fucking god Gretchen had agreed to babysit the dogs for the night. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have been able to sneak in the fun they’d had since Rowe had walked in the front door.

After one round of “Mistletoe” and two rounds of “Find the Lube” in the living room, they’d agreed to sandwiches to regain their strength before moving on to other activities. But then Rowe had tackled him in a kitchen chair when he discovered another small bottle of lube Noah has stuffed in the flatware drawer and demanded that they had to play another round. Noah didn’t fight him. He briefly thought he should find the other two dozen small bottles he’d hidden around the house, but then shoved the thought aside. It would be interesting to see their friends’ faces when they randomly turned up an unexpected bottle from a strange location.

“I can’t move,” Rowe groaned. He turned his face into Noah’s neck, snuggling closer.

Noah lifted a hand, wincing slightly as he shoved it into Rowe’s hair, rubbing his scalp. “We never got to the third game.”

“Save it for later. I like the ‘Mistletoe’ and ‘Find the Lube’ games.” Rowe paused and then lifted his head a little so he could look Noah in the eye. “How many more bottles do you have stashed around the house?”

“About two dozen.”

Rowe’s grin matched the smile he could feel stretching across his own lips. “Good.”

Then again…maybe their friends wouldn’t get the chance to find the other bottles.

Rowe sat up, running one hand through his hair so that it stuck up in every direction. Noah watched the play of muscles under his tattoos. They were both naked now and sporting the beginnings of some new bruises.

“We never ate dinner,” Rowe announced, sounding a little surprised.

Noah shrugged. “You found lube.”

Rowe snorted. “Are there more bottles in the kitchen?”

“Three.”

With a shake of his head, he slowly pushed to his feet and then held his hand out to help Noah up. Noah found himself pulled tightly against Rowe’s body, his flushed skin chasing away the lingering cold of lying on the kitchen floor. Rowe strong hands rubbed his back, easing away lingering aches and pains. “Then you get to make the sandwiches.”

Noah laughed, shoving Rowe away. “Fine. Go. But you’re cooking tomorrow night.”

Rowe started for the living room and then stopped suddenly, his body tense. When he turned back to look at Noah, all the laughter was gone from his face. Noah’s heart jerked at the sudden worry furrowing Rowe’s brow. Was their laughter already gone? Had he said something to stir up an old memory to haunt Rowe? He’d been walking on eggshells for nearly a week, trying to keep Rowe’s mood up while not triggering any specific Mel-related memories.

“Rowe?”

“Grab some clothes. I need you to help me get something out of the truck,” he said gruffly.

“You don’t want to wait until after sandwiches?”

He shook his head, already walking toward his clothes scattered around the living room. “It’ll just take a second.”

Without another word, Noah hurried to their bedroom and grabbed the sweats he’d been wearing earlier and shoved his feet into the sneakers he wore to take the dogs out for their morning walk. When he rejoined Rowe in the living room, the other man was pulling on his coat. He flashed Noah a tentative smile as if trying to ease Noah’s worry, but it wasn’t enough.

Stepping out into the brisk cold, Noah flinched against the wind that whipped his hair around. But it was forgotten when he saw into the bed of the truck to find a bound Christmas tree along with a new tree stand and a bag containing several boxes of lights.

“You got a tree,” Noah said, his voice barely over a whisper. They’d hung no Christmas decorations. Well, none other than Noah’s mistletoe. Rowe hadn’t given any indication that he wanted to even celebrate Christmas in any way.

“Yeah,” Rowe said and then paused to clear his throat. “Mel never wanted a real tree. She was afraid we’d have to fight the dogs to keep them from drinking out of the reservoir or knocking it over.”

“Or peeing on it,” Noah added, earning a snort from Rowe.

“That too. But I always wanted a real one. I thought…I thought we’d try something new.”

A lump grew in Noah’s throat and for a second he couldn’t speak. He didn’t think that Rowe would even consider something like this yet. Maybe not for another year or two as he worked through his grief for Mel, but he did. “You want to make this our thing.”

Rowe nodded. “Yeah, like you and the mistletoe.”

Noah stepped up to Rowe until their chests bumped. He gently brushed his lips across Rowe’s, drawing him into a slow, gentle kiss that stole his breath away. “Thank you,” he whispered, his mouth still pressed against Rowe’s. “Thank you for doing this for us.”

“Thank you for making me so damn happy.”

Noah gave him one more quick kiss and stepped back. “Anytime.”

As they pulled the tree from the truck and grabbed other supplies, a new idea hit Noah, making him chuckle.

“What?” Rowe demanded, looking over his shoulder at Noah.

“We’re dressed.”

“Yeah….” he said slowly like Noah had lost his mind.

“And we have to go through the living room again.”

Rowe stopped and smiled at Noah. “I think we’re gonna have to play another round of Mistletoe.”

Intimate gay couple

giveaway

Jocelynn and Rinda are giving away an ebook of the reader’s choice. Unbreakable Bonds or Jocelynn’s Christmas MM romance novella. Just comment on this blog post with what “Love is Love” means to you.

 

giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

Limitless by SJD Peterson: Exclusive Excerpt (NSFW), Release Day Review and Giveaway

limitlessfssynopsisEven within the context of the Underground BDSM Club, Joshua’s desires are dark and extreme. Hopelessly addicted to pain and the high it gives him, he has no limits. Joshua would quite literally rather die than use a safeword, and he accepts that might be his fate. As much as he depends on others, he has yet to find a man who can gain his trust, and he has little hope that he ever will.

For Nash, acquiring Joshua from another Dom at the club is only the first step in what will be a long and arduous road to lure the young man back from the brink of self-destruction. He must do the impossible and win Joshua’s trust, and he must be the one to set limits in their exploration—something he’s unaccustomed to as a Dom. But Nash knows dominance doesn’t always mean pushing a submissive’s boundaries. It’s about establishing a bond and fulfilling another man’s needs. In Joshua’s case, he’ll have to strike a balance between meeting the young man’s expectations and drawing firm lines that will save Joshua from himself.

Title: Limitless
Series: An Underground Club Tale: Book Two
Author: SJD Peterson
Release Date: December 2, 2016
Category: Contemporary, BDSM
Pages: 200

limitless_headerbanner

buy now

Amazon

ARe

Dreamspinner Press

 

tco exclusive

Excerpt from Limitless (NSFW)

“Good evening, Kirk.” Nash took the seat next to him.

“Hey, Nash. How are you doing tonight? Finding any action that suits you?”

“Not looking for action, only answers.”

Kirk eyed Nash’s drink and then met his gaze. “I never trust the answers I find in booze.”

“Nor do I. Rumor has it you’ve played with Joshua before?”

“Troy’s new boy?” Kirk asked.

Nash nodded and sipped his drink.

“Yeah, I played with him once and that was enough for me.” Kirk looked unnerved as he ran his fingers through his long grayish beard, suddenly looking every bit of his forty-five years. “Trust me, that’s a hornet’s nest you do not want to get tangled up in. That boy is a complete and utter fucking mess.”

Damn, Nash hadn’t expected that type of reaction to the mention of Joshua’s name. Still, he wasn’t deterred, his interest in the submissive all the more piqued. “What do you mean by mess?”

“He has no limits. Like zero fucking limits.”

“That’s impossible. Everyone has their limits.”

“Not Joshua. He’s as bad as a heroin junkie, only his drug of choice is pain. He’s constantly looking for the bigger and better high. He’ll let you kill him before he’ll safeword.”

Nash propped his elbow on the bar and ran his goatee through his thumb and index finger as he considered Kirk’s words. If Joshua were a pain junkie, it could be a whole lot worse than a nest of swarming bugs. A submissive who required that much work wasn’t what Nash was looking to get into. He hadn’t had a full-time sub for many years and wasn’t sure he wanted one. To push a submissive to his limits was one thing, but to try and teach them limits when they had none was a whole other kind of hardship. Did he want to take on such a responsibility? He cut a glance toward Joshua, who was still kneeling at Troy’s feet and still being ignored. Fuck! The way his chest tightened when he looked at the man, Nash already knew the answer. He would do everything in his power to see that Joshua wasn’t abused and that he didn’t suffer one more mark of a Dom gone too far.

Nash picked up his glass and raised it as he stood. “Thank you for the information. I appreciate it.”

“No problem. Seriously, Nash, think about what I said long and hard before you consider playing with that boy. He may not have limits, but I assure you, he will push you to yours.”

paula review

This was a heartwrenching story for me. I felt so much for Joshua. He was so messed up due to his past and didn’t really realize that things could be different. I was rooting for him through the entire story. He tried so hard to feel better but was pretty clueless on how to do that. I fell in love with Nash and his determination to get Joshua to a healthy place in his life. Nash warmed my heart because he cared so much. He was so genuine and caring. This was a great pair. This story drew me in and got me emotionally invested. SJD Peterson did a great job creating characters who showed uncertainty and felt real. The entire store flowed well and kept me interested from start to finish. Nash and Josh were a great pair. Their interactions with each other and their own individual personality was great.

4 pieces of eye candy

4-pieces-of-eye-candy1

meet the author

jSJD Peterson, better known as Jo, hails from Michigan. Not the best place to live for someone who hates the cold and snow. When not reading or writing, Jo can be found close to the heater checking out NHL stats and watching the Red Wings kick a little butt. Can’t cook, misses the clothes hamper nine out of ten tries, but is handy with power tools.

FACEBOOK | WEBSITE | TWITTER | GOODREADS

AUTHORS AMAZON PAGE

giveaway

Leave a comment congratulating Jo on her new release, and you can receive an ebook copy from her backlist.

limitless_fbbanner_dsp

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

The Outfielders by Robert P. Rowe: Exclusive Guest Post

outfieldersthe_postcard_front_dspsynopsis

Sometimes love can come out of left field.

Tony was waiting until he went away to college to come out to his parents and start his new gay life. Unfortunately, at twenty-four, it doesn’t look like college is going to happen after all. Stuck in a dead-end job in a small town and still living at home, with all the arrested development that entails, he finds escape in playing for the company baseball team and lusting after his straight outfielder crush, Alex. But Tony’s best friend, Jennifer, thinks she’s found a plan in the pages of gay romance novels. All Tony has to do is convince Alex he’s gay for you… or for Tony. It’s easy—just find some excuse to be alone in bed together and let nature take its course. What could possibly go wrong?

You can’t get to first base if you don’t take a chance and step up to the plate.

Title: The Outfielders
Author: Robert P. Rowe
Release Date: October 31, 2016
Category: Contemporary, New Adult
Pages: 240

Guest Post

Happy Halloween. I’m Robert P. Rowe and I’ve just finished my latest novel for Dreamspinner Press entitled: The Outfielders. Unlike my first novel, Second-Story Man, this book is intentionally light.

People often ask me where I get the ideas for my stories. In this case I was looking for characters that would be average all-American guys. Well, what’s more all-American than baseball? And it doesn’t hurt that baseball players happen to be hot.

Speaking of average, I also like characters that lead average lives and face the same struggles as the rest of us. One of the major struggles in a bad economy is the fact that too many adult children can’t afford to move out on their own, or go away to college. This generation finds themselves still living with parents and too often still acting like children. The struggle becomes one of truly growing up and facing the challenges of the world. But as I mentioned, this story is light. The struggles remain a backdrop to the real challenges of romance.

After I wrote The Outfielders I knew that someone would catch me if I messed up on any of the baseball rules or jargon. It’s not like I’ve never played the game, but there are all sorts of nuances that can’t be overlooked when you’re writing a book—and one can’t expect the editors to find sports related errors. I needed another kind of editor to help me out. I sent excerpts from the book off to a young sports writer. I was pleased to learn that most the ball field scenes I’d written were accurate but he added words and phrases that gave the story the right kind of color. “Down the middle,” “popup,” and “tricky offspeed pitching” are not terms that come up in my everyday vocabulary. My favorite added word was “bobbled.”

I’m considering writing a few more stories centered in the fictional town of Groverville. In The Outfielders readers are introduced to an interesting cast of characters. It would be a shame if we never had a chance to learn more about them.

My various story interests are more endless than my time. I’ve just started a new job that has me pretty busy art directing theme park attractions. Still, I’m determined to find some time to tell a few more tales.

In The Outfielders my main character, Tony, is not the brightest. He’s been hiding his secret crush, and the fact that he’s gay, for years. He hides another secret too. He really likes to bake cookies. With that in mind I’ve included one of Tony’s favorite recipes here. Tony has a rocky road ahead of him and for readers there’s no better way to curl up with a good book than to have a batch of fresh baked cookies nearby. Enjoy.

 

Tony’s Rocky Road Cookies

Ingredients

1 cup softened butter or margarine

1 cup brown sugar, packed

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 1/4 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup coconut

1/2 cup chocolate chips

1/2 cup peanut butter chips

1/2 cup mini marshmallows

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

 

Heat oven to 375 degrees.

  1. Cream butter and sugars together.
  2. Add egg and vanilla, mix well.
  3. Add flour, salt, soda and coconut. Mix well.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients in the order given. Mix well between each.

Bake for 8-10 minutes.

buy now

 

Amazon

ARe

Dreamspinner Press

Barnes and Noble

Kobo

Google Books

 

 

meet the author

Robert P. Rowe has spent his entire career as a storyteller making an incredible leap from Disneyland ride operator to show-designer and art director at Walt Disney Imagineering. Immersive storytelling presents a distinctive challenge unlike that of live theater, film, radio, or print media. Although he currently freelances, his work can be found around the world, primarily in Disney and Universal Studios parks. The theme park industry is a very cyclical business where it’s either feast or famine. For Rowe his active imagination can’t seem to take any time off. When he’s not designing fantastic worlds he’s writing about the characters who live there. Additionally his outside interests include all aspects of architecture with a specific fascination for the theatrical design of homes from mid-century movies and television. He has a keen enthusiasm for mid-century science fiction.

Author Website: http://www.robertprowe.com/

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

Like Heaven on Earth by Jaime Samms: Release Day Review and Guest Post

synopsis

Cobalt Winslow lost two loves when his ex-boyfriend, Calvin Denvers, infected him with HIV, taking his health and his place as principal danseur in their ballet company when Cobalt became too weak. Now dealing with the aftermath as best he can, Cobalt teaches dance with the support of his oldest friends, Conrad and Peridot. The one bright spot in his life is Malory Preston, his brother’s driver and a man who is always there when Cobalt needs him. Kind and attentive, Preston embodies everything Calvin lacks, but Cobalt can’t let go of his unhealthy relationship with his ex.

Calvin’s return brings a messy and violent end to their affair, along with a chance for Cobalt to return to the dance company as his understudy—just when he’s on the verge of a real and lasting relationship with Preston. Now Cobalt faces a choice between two loves: dancing and Preston. Preston must show Cobalt that walking away won’t leave him with nothing, and that he has the power to make the life he wants and deserves.

Title: Like Heaven on Earth
Series: Dance, Love, Live: Book Three
Author: Jaime Samms
Release Date: August 29, 2016
Category: Contemporary
Pages: 204

Guest Post

When the Visual Is More than Just What You See

A little while ago, I watched a movie called “Test”. It’s set in 1985 in San Francisco. I don’t know. I was a 15 year old girl in Canada in 1985. I can’t speak to how accurate the movie is as a commentary on gay life at the time when AIDs and HIV tests were only first becoming a thing in gay men’s lives. I suspect it’s a cursory view of things to the average viewer. I suspect the era and the epidemic were backdrops for the dancing, and that the movie could have made stronger commentaries or been more forceful or direct in it’s message.

But.

I’m a dance mom. I’ve been trained for years to find the story in the dance. To look for the way body movement conveys emotion and intent. In a world of the modern movie viewing public, I saw the dance. I saw the lighting. I saw the deliberate costuming choices and the long views of landscape and cityscape the character moved through as a stand in for the usual static stage set. I heard the music, and it didn’t bother me so much that the characters spoke little, or how much of what they needed to say was conveyed through looks, touches, and yes, dance.

It starred Scott Marlowe of the LEVYdance company in San Francisco, in his acting debut, and I was mostly enamoured of the way the acting, admittedly clumsy at times, gave way to the yearning the young man (I think both character and actor) had to express the emotional turmoil by moving his body, and letting that speak for him.

That’s what dance does. It makes you LOOK. It forces you to SEE. And then you have to think and feel, and interpret, but what dance doesn’t do, is it doesn’t do the work for you. It can be hard—and I’m not talking about for the dancers, though that is certainly true. I’m talking about the audience. When dance works, it makes you work for the gratification of “getting it”. Dance makes you think. It makes you engage, and whether you love it, hate it, think it’s beautiful, edgy or it makes you unspeakably uncomfortable, you can’t just watch.

That’s the world the characters of my story have been engaged in all their lives, and one that makes it impossible for them to remain stoic in the face of life-changing events. So when Cobalt has to make decisions about where and if he wants to continue dancing, it’s a Big Deal. That he’s found a man, at last, who looks like he might stick by him no matter what he decides, is maybe the biggest deal of his life.

buy now

Amazon

ARe

Dreamspinner Press

 

paula review
This book reminded me why I love Jaime Samms so much. Colbalt and Preston were amazing characters. Colbalt’s strength was absolutely amazing in the story. I really felt for him and what was going on in his life. I thought Jaime did a wonderful job with how Colbalt was written. He struggles and pain was felt. His ex was so unlikable, even though he got less jerky as the story went on. Preston was perfect for Cobalt. He knew just how to handle him, and give him what he needed. The strength Preston showed in letting Cobalt do what he needed to do on his own was wonderful. I loved how Cobalt stood up for himself where his ex was concerned. This was a brilliantly written story that stole my heart.

5 pieces of eye candy

5-pieces-eye-candy5

meet the author

 

Jaime has been writing for various publishers since the fall of 2008, although she’s been writing for herself far longer. Often asked why men—what’s so fascinating about writing stories about men falling in love—she’s never come up with a clear answer. Just that these are the stories that she loves to read, so it seemed to make sense if she was going to write, they would also be the stories she wrote.

These days, you can find plenty of free reading on her website. She also writes for Freya’s Bower, Dreamspinner Press, Totally Bound, and now, Riptide Publishing.

Spare time, when it can be found rolled into a ball at the back of the dryer or cavorting with the dust bunnies in the corners, is spent crocheting, drawing, gardening (weather permitting, of course, since she is Canadian!), or watching movies. She has a day job, as well, which she loves, and two kids, but thankfully, also a wonderful husband who shoulders more than his fair share of household and child-care responsibilities.

She graduated some time ago from college with a fine arts diploma, and a major in textile arts, which basically qualifies her to draw pictures and create things with string and fabric. One always needs an official slip of paper to fall back on after all.

Website: http://jaime-samms.net/

facebook: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000982219151&ref=tn_tnmn

Livejournal:http://dontkickmycane.livejournal.com/

Deviantart: http://dontkickmycane.deviantart.com/

Twitter:https://twitter.com/#!/JaimeSamms

Amazon Author page: amazon.com/author/jaimesamms

 

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

#13Months#13Scenes by Jessie G: Honoring Memorial Day

13Months13Scenes by Jessie G Hosted by Two Chicks Obsessed

In memory of all the service men and women who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

Micah peered at Garrison over his coffee cup and blushed when those blue eyes met his knowingly. It was ridiculously early for him to be up, much less dressed and out of the house. He wasn’t a morning person by anyone’s standards and didn’t attempt to be even though Garrison was always up before dawn. That’s if he even slept. Almost a year after leaving the Marines, sleep remained elusive for his lover.

Garrison reached over and tucked a lock of blue hair behind his ear. Normally, the multicolored layers would be artfully spiked, but the day called for a more solemn appearance. “I’m not sure I’ve ever seen you leave the house like this. Not sure I like it either.”

That wasn’t what he was expecting. Garrison was always complimentary of his ever-changing appearance, but never more so than when he was stripped of all the products he used. “No?”

“No.” Garrison snagged his hand as he settled back in the booth, keeping them connected in a way that made his heart ache. The years they spent apart had left an indelible mark and had them seeking any little bit of contact whenever they were together. “I prefer this look to be just for me.”

The flush of pleasure spread through him like wildfire. God knew he loved Garrison with every cell in his body, but he was even more impossible to resist when he said things like that. “I just thought that my normal spikes weren’t really appropriate for where we’re going.”

Garrison’s eyebrows winged up in surprise. “Because the way you style your hair is somehow going to detract from the good work you’re doing? Or that the fallen will care one way or the other?”

Well, when he put it that way. “I just wanted to look respectable…or, at least, as respectable as someone covered in tattoos could look.”

That didn’t sound any better and now Garrison was frowning at him. “What’s really going on, baby?”

It wasn’t that what he said was a lie, he had toned down his appearance out of respect, but Garrison saw right through him. He was an easy read on a good day, but on only one cup of coffee and after being roused while it was still dark? Yeah, he had zero ability to deflect and he was worried enough that he gave up the pretense without a fight.

“Are you gonna be okay doing this? I mean, I could have gone by myself.” When Garrison smirked, Micah grumbled, “I do have an alarm on my phone that I’m perfectly capable of using. And you know I’ve done this before. It just…if it’s too much, you’ll tell me, right? We can leave anytime.”

“Micah.” Garrison breathed his name and leaned forward again, tugging as he did so they were that much closer. “Baby, I love that you worry over me, but I promise I’ll be just fine because I know how lucky I am. I’m alive, I’m whole, and I have a man who loves me like crazy. If it hurts to stand over the graves of my fallen brothers and sisters, then I only have to look at the pain on the faces of their loved ones to be grateful that I didn’t do that to you. If they can endure the loss, I can stand there and honor them.”

Micah blinked back tears and wished there wasn’t a table between them. He knew that Garrison struggled with the memories of the men and women he’d watched die in the heat of battle, the ones who came home broken—emotionally and physically—and even the role he’d played. His big heart mourned for every soldier, friend or foe, because Garrison believed those on the other side fought for the same reasons he did—a safer world. There were no winners in war, not when there were so many casualties on both sides.

“I do love you like crazy.” Micah reminded him multiple times a day and knew he’d be doing it for the rest of their lives.

Garrison brushed away his tears and closed the distance to steal a quick kiss. When he pulled back, his smirk said he’d reach his limit of heavy stuff. “I think I love you more.”

Understanding his lover as he did, Micah scrounged up a suitable scowl and demanded, “How do you figure that?”

“I risked my life waking you up early enough to stop here so you can have Nutella filled French toast. You’re not exactly friendly in the morning and this place will never be on the way to Lake Worth, no matter which way you tilt the map.” Garrison gave him a smug grin and dug into his own breakfast of eggs and potatoes.

Greenstreet Café in the Grove might be in the wrong direction, but the breakfast was worth the side trip. With a menu full of decadent delights like cinnamon roll pancakes and his favorite French toast, Micah could only scoff at Garrison’s less inspired selection.

“I concede that you did go above and beyond this morning,” Micah offered slowly, letting a little evil grin form on his face. “However, we wouldn’t have had to go out of our way if you had just made this for me at home. Just think of all the ways I could’ve shown my appreciation for your efforts if we weren’t so busy driving.”

Those blue eyes narrowed on him and he had to laugh. He might be an easy read, but Garrison’s libido had a hair trigger. “If you’re so eager to show your appreciation, there’s plenty of room in the truck and I have excellent focus.”

Having put that focus to the test with more than one mobile blow job, he couldn’t deny it. That didn’t mean he was sucking Garrison’s dick on the way to the cemetery. He was sure that was a violation of all rules of respectability and decorum and…shit, he didn’t know much about either, but he was really trying today.

“I love that you’re actually considering it.” Garrison laughed softly and pushed his empty plate away. Before Micah could respond either way, the smile slipped away and Garrison said, “Tell me what it’s like.”

The quiet request made him sigh. Micah knew it was going to be a long, emotional day. His lover was the strongest man he knew, but Garrison tended to hide his suffering because he didn’t want it to spill over into their relationship. It was something they worked on constantly and Micah was grateful that Garrison didn’t completely shut him out. Still, he worried that today would erase some of the progress they’d made. “Okay. Well, this is only the second year they’ve been able to do it at the South Florida National Cemetery and it’s not the same everywhere. I was at one in DC where they had a parade and speeches, another where they did the 21-gun salute…” Micah cleared his throat, not wanting to get choked up yet. “It’s good to see everyone remembering and honoring, but I’m not really big on the parades and speeches, you know? For me, it’s about walking from grave to grave and thanking each soldier. It’s taking the time to remember them by name, saying it out loud as you place the flag, showing gratitude…”

Despite his best attempts not to cry, Micah was just so grateful that no one would be placing a flag in front of Garrison’s grave today. Garrison was around the table before the first tear fell and Micah burrowed close. Neither cared if anyone was looking at them and Garrison didn’t try to shush him. They just held each other and remembered.

His gratitude extended to the soldiers in Garrison’s unit that had his back and to the other units who provided support, and to each branch of the military that worked together to keep each other alive. It extended to the soldiers who came before and paved the way, and to the one’s that would come after to continue the fight. Honoring them, saying their names, expressing his gratitude—it was such a small thing and they deserved so much more.

Finally, he lifted his head and let Garrison wipe away his tears. “You’re gonna be doing that a lot today.”

“That’s okay.” Garrison kissed him gently and pressed their foreheads together. “Thank you. From me, from them, thank you.”

“For what?” Micah was truly perplexed. His efforts were so meager in comparison to their sacrifices.

“Remembering.”

***

For information on how you can volunteer to put flags on the graves of our Veterans this Memorial Day, visit the National Cemetery Administration at the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs.

© 2016 Jessie G Books, Inc. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from the author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jessie G and Jessie G Books, Inc. with the appropriate and specific direction to the original content here at Two Chicks Obsessed with Books and Eye Candy.

In the United States, Armed Forces Day is celebrated on the third Saturday in May. It falls near the end of Armed Forces Week, which begins on the second Saturday of May and ends on the third Sunday of May. First observed on 20 May 1950, the day was created on 31 August 1949, to honor Americans serving in the five U.S. military branches – the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Air Force and U.S. Coast Guard – following the consolidation of the military services in the U.S. Department of Defense. It was intended to replace the separate Army-, Navy-, Air Force-, Marine Corps- and Coast Guard Days, but the separate days are still observed, especially within the respective services. The first Armed Forces Day was celebrated by parades, open houses, receptions and air shows. The United States’ longest continuously running Armed Forces Day Parade is held in Chattanooga, Tennessee. In 2016, Chattanooga celebrated the 67th year of the Armed Forces Day Parade. Because of their unique training schedules, National Guard and Reserve units may celebrate Armed Forces Day/Week over any period in the month of May.

Author’s Note
I hope you enjoyed Memorial Day with Garrison & Micah in the sixth installment of my #13months13scenes tour. The guys from Sizzling Miami, Devils Pride MC, and The Forgotten Soldier series will be appearing on different blogs throughout 2016 with little slice of life moments like this.

 

Did you miss a previous installment?

December 20th KathyMac Reviews Christmas Theme
January 20th Book Lovers 4Ever New Year Theme
February 20th Carly’s Book Reviews Valentine Theme
March 21st 3 Chicks After Dark Spring Break
April 20th Sassy Girl Books April Fools Theme
May 20th Two Chicks Obsessed Memorial Day Theme

Mark your calendars, there are still 10 more installments to come!

June 20th Foxylutely Book Reviews !!Jessie’s Birthday!!
July 20th BFD Book Blog Bull & Red’s 1 Year Anniversary
August 20th Molly Lolly Romance Awareness Month
September 20th Bike Book Reviews Kyle’s Birthday – preview of Saving Saul
October 20th Divine Magazine Halloween Theme
November 21st Joyfully Jay Thanksgiving Theme
December 20th Prism Book Alliance Christmas Theme

 

 

 

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