Dating Ryan Alback by J.E. Birk: Blog Tour, Author Interview, Review and Giveaway

TCO is super excited to have J.E. Birk here today. We asked her very last minute to throw us a bone (see what I did there? 🙂 ) and do a last minute Friday Five-ish Questions, because I found the book so timely. She was so generous and did it right away. So, thank you. Read up on Dating Ryan Alback, then run out and grab it! 

dating ryansynopsisRyan Alback has almost everything he’s ever wanted: a successful acting career, a dog who adores him, great family and friends, and a life outside the closet. The only thing missing is a boyfriend—but Ryan’s been burned by Hollywood relationships before, and he’s not eager to try one again.

Jason Santos has almost everything he’s ever wanted: a fulfilling career teaching middle school, a house in a city he loves, and parents who support him in every way. Too bad he can’t seem to forget the ex-boyfriend who rejected his marriage proposal.

When a talk show host launches a dating contest to find Ryan a boyfriend and Jason accidentally wins, neither of them expect anything to come from it. Yet somewhere between a disastrous massage and a mud sinkhole, they both start to wonder if this date could be more than just a public relations stunt. But before they can move into the future, they’ll both have to learn to let go of the past.

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Guest Post

Greetings! I’m J.E. Birk, and right now I’m traversing the internets to discuss my new romantic comedy, DATING RYAN ALBACK. Follow along to learn more about an insecure movie star, a klutzy teacher, and the neurotic dog who loves them. Leave comments for a chance to win a $10 Riptide giftcard and copy of any book from my backlist!

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Five-ish Good Questions for Dating Ryan Alback author J.E. Birk. A sometimes feature on Two Chicks Obsessed.

Thank you to the author who agreed to do this interview very last minute. But I felt like these questions needed to be asked! 🙂

  1. The first question, and what could be the telling question as to your psychic abilities…how long ago was Dating Ryan Alback written? It was published on February 20, but I would imagine it’s been written for some time.

LOL! Great question. One of the main subplots of this book has Jason, the MC, starting a nonprofit to support families who’ve been split apart by deportation. Sadly, in the 2017 political climate, this subplot feels incredibly relevant. But you’re right—I first started drafting this book years ago, back in 2014. At the time we weren’t having the same national conversation about deportation that we are right now. But I was living and working in a community with a huge population of immigrants, and it was an enormous part of our local conversation.

  1. To say that there is a subplot in this story that is timely for current political events would be understating it. There is a portion of that subplot that I literally saw on the news a day after I read it in the book. How much of current events, or even your guess of what might happen in the political climate play into your book?

Ironically, there were points when I was revising this book and selling it when I wondered if I’d have to change Jason’s subplot—because the conversation around immigration was becoming more humane, and more people were starting to see what mass deportation does to families. But then the election cycle leading to the 2016 presidential race began, and that subplot began to feel highly, highly relevant again. Now I’m very glad I never changed it, because I think we need more books that look at how families—especially children—are affected by deportation.

  1. Without giving too much away, what was your inspiration for writing this subplot? Was it something you’ve seen before, or something that you saw coming?

Like Jason, I’m a teacher. And like Jason, I’ve had the horrible experience of watching my students’ families destroyed because of deportation. It’s so easy for people to make blanket statements like “Well, if someone came here illegally, they’ve gotta go.” Logically that’s an understandable statement. Law is law, right? But I suspect most people who say that have never hugged a twelve-year-old whose parents have just been taken away from them to another country. A country that they may have never even seen before. It’s all a very complicated issue, and I wish more nonprofits like Jason’s existed.

  1. How much research did you do for this book? Was it on anything in particular?

The interesting thing about this book is that it’s a romantic comedy. I wrote it as a romcom and I suspect the majority of readers who’ve enjoyed it are people who love romcoms. I’m been talking a lot about how it’s a book I wrote when I needed more comedy in my life…and it is largely very light and fluffy. Except for this one subplot.

So while I was writing this book I spent a lot of time reading and thinking about my favorite romantic comedies. Considering how the best ones stay true to their comedic roots while still allowing for more serious topics to play within the plot.  I hope Dating Ryan Alback is, at the end of the day, a book which gives people a sense of joy and escapism without shying away from real-world issues and topics.

  1. Always, number 5 is the fun one. You receive a genie in a bottle, and are given 1 wish. You can’t wish for more wishes, or world peace, or crap like that. J What would you wish for?

Awww, I wanted a million wishes! Right now I’d probably wish that everyone in the world would show more kindness and empathy. There’s a lot of fear and anger spreading right now. I suspect we’d be in a much better place if we all just spent more time putting ourselves in the shoes of others.

denise review

There is so much I want to say about this book. There were so many elements to it, that made it a surprise for me.

I had not read anything by J.E. Birk before Dating Ryan Alback, so I really wasn’t sure what to expect. It looked like a sweet, romantic book (and c’mon, look at that cover, doesn’t that say “sweet and cute” all over it?), with fluffy bunnies, kittens and puppies falling all over the place. And it was (minus the bunnies and kittens, and with the dog being somewhat neurotic). This book made me laugh out loud at points. Case in point, this dialogue between Jason and Natalia (Jason’s best friend):

“Dramatic? Did you call me dramatic? My last date took me to a gyro place. Gryos, Jason!”

“I like gyros,” Jason answered mildly.

“Yes, yes, we all like gyros…”

I had several laugh out loud moments highlighted. Ones that I highlighted that later became a bigger part of the storyline. In the end, though, this was a fun, romantic comedy.

Until I realized that there was a sub-plot that made it so relevant to current day politics that I was shocked at the idea that this must have been written well before the U.S. presidency had even been decided. The author nailed the issue so hard, I was in awe at how accurate a portrayal of something that I hadn’t even realized was truly happening (and literally has increased exponentially in the last month). The author’s portrayal of this situation made it hit home even more. And as you read her interview, you’ll see this was deeply personal for her.

All in all this book was such a hit with me, and as I processed it over the next couple days, it felt even more like heaps of fun, with a side of reality thrown in, which I am hoping is how all the readers feel about it.

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meet the author

J.E. Birk has been telling stories since she could talk and writing them since she was introduced to the alphabet. She hails from Colorado, where you can usually find her skiing, training for a 5K she won’t end up running, or watching people run into each other on football fields and in hockey rinks. You can follow her ramblings on Twitter by looking for @jebirkwrites. She’s also been known to ramble on Facebook as J Elisabeth Birk.

Connect with J.E. Birk:

giveaway

To celebrate the release of Dating Ryan Alback, one lucky winner will receive a $10 Riptide Publishing credit and their choice of ebook from J.E.’s backlist! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on February 25, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

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

Fight the Tide by Keira Andrews: Release Day Review and Five-ish Good Questions

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Adrift in a post-apocalyptic world, they only have each other. Is it enough?

A virus that turns the infected into zombie-like killers spreads through a burning world thrown into lawless chaos. Lovers Parker and Adam have escaped to the open sea when they hear a message over the airwaves from a place called Salvation Island—a supposed safe haven.

Orphaned as a child, werewolf Adam has always longed for a pack. He’s eager to investigate the island, but Parker doesn’t think for a nanosecond that the voice on the radio can be believed. He doesn’t trust anyone but Adam and is determined to keep it that way. They don’t need anyone else complicating their struggle to survive. Or do they?

Danger on the high seas can surface in a heartbeat, and if Parker and Adam aren’t careful, the current will drag them under.

This gay romance is a dystopian adventure featuring a werewolf, his boyfriend, and their struggle to find a place to call home.

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I was so excited to get my hands on Fight the Tide and it did not disappoint. This story was just as great as the first. Keira tells her stories in such a way you feel like you’re really there and the writing is amazing. I never knew what was going to happen next and she kept me on the edge of my seat. I caught myself screaming at my kindle at one point! Ha! The emotions were everywhere with this one.

Fight picks up right where Kick leaves off. Parker and Adam are taking it one day at a time out on the water and just trying to survive. This is truly a post-apocalyptic world they are living in now and the things and people they encounter are exactly how I believe it would play out.

Parker tends to underestimate himself a lot. He starts to feel he’s lacking in some way and may not be everything Adam needs. He has some serious struggles and getting to see him work through them and come out on the other side shows just how resilient he is.

I have to say, the sex scenes in this one were fantastic and hot as hell. Be prepared for your jaw to drop and you might even have to fan yourself a little. Just damn… Parker and Adam have a sweet relationship and I enjoyed seeing it grow more and more throughout the story. No matter what happens and what they face they always have the support of each other.

We eventually get to meet a small group of survivors in need of some assistance. I really liked all 4 of them and I thought they brought a lot to the story. We get to meet some new wolves as well and learn a little more about Adam.

I could go on for days about this but I don’t want to give anything away. I can’t stress how much I love reading about the world Keira has created. If you haven’t read Kick at the Darkness, make sure you check that out first before you start Fight the Tide. This was an amazing story and I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next. I still have lots of unanswered questions and I want to learn more about the Wolves and the Virus. I am a zombie/ paranormal/ horror freak and Keira has rocked my world with these stories.

5 HUGE pieces of eye candy from me!!!!

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  1. Fight the Tide got a HUGE 5 pieces of eye candy rating from Morgan. So tell the readers anything you can on what might be ahead for these two guys? Are there a set number of books you envision for the series?

Thanks so much to Morgan! There will definitely be a third book for Parker and Adam, and also a fourth book centered on a character you’ll meet in Fight the Tide. That’s all I have planned for now, but who knows what the future will bring?

  1. You always have such a unique vision to your books. The Forbidden Rumspringa is still the most surprising book to me. What was your inspiration for this series?

Thank you. My inspiration for the Kick at the Darkness series came from a lifelong love of dystopian stories, and certainly more recent TV shows such as The Walking Dead. Also the X-Men in regards to having special abilities that must be kept secret.

  1. Parker and Adam now live in a post Apocalyptic world, just trying to survive. What do you think is the most unique aspect of the world that you created for them? Is it something you can envision happening in the present day?

When I was researching the first book, I discovered that once the power grid goes dark, experts think the infrastructure would fall apart alarmingly quickly. Let’s hope we won’t find out! It’s a challenge to be unique considering how popular zombie and werewolf stories have been in recent years, so I suppose the aspect that stands out in my books is the combination of the two genres.

  1. What one thing are you most excited about with this book? Okay, you can make it as many things as you want.

The thing I’m most excited about is how the universe has clicked into place. After the first book, I wasn’t sure what would happen to Adam and Parker, and now they’re firmly on their path. I’m also excited for readers to see their relationship deepen and grow as they face more challenges. They don’t always agree and aren’t perfect, but they are 100% committed to each other.

  1. Last question is always the fun one. You write sex scenes that are hot, and with characters that likely would never get together but for inauspicious circumstances. What do you want to write as a sex scene sometime? Your dream fantasy sex scene.

Ohh, good question! I love writing sex scenes. I wrote my first fisting scene for Fight the Tide, which I realize can be controversial and not everyone’s cup of tea, but I hope readers will keep an open mind. As to my fantasy scene… That’s a tough one! I don’t really have any limitations, and it always depends on what the characters want. So we’ll see what the future brings!

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TCO would like to give away a copy of Fight the Tide to one commenter. So, tell us, what do you envision as the scariest part of being in a post-apocalyptic world?

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

Roped In by Marie Sexton and L.A. Witt: Author Interview, Review and Giveaway

RopedIn_600x900synopsisGraham and his roping partner, Jackson, have been friends since they were boys. They’ve ruled the rodeo scene for ten years running, but lately, Graham’s heart isn’t in the game. He’s tired of the bruises, the cowboy mentality, and the animal rights activists who picket every event. He’s also tired of being in love with Jackson, and nothing’s been the same between them since their disastrous drunken encounter the year before.

Then Graham has a run-in with one of the rodeo protesters, and everything changes. Kaz is young, idealistic, and sexy as hell. But he’s also a know-it-all, animal-loving vegan, bent on saving the world one cow at a time. They have next to nothing in common, but Graham can’t stop thinking about what might happen if they can stop butting heads long enough to give it a try. Unfortunately, no matter how attracted Graham is to other men, he always panics and runs when the clothes start to come off. But Kaz has an idea for getting Graham past his nerves and into bed.

All they need is a bit of rope.

(Note: This is a re-edited second edition of a previously published title.)

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Two Chicks Obsessed wants to thank Marie Sexton and LA Witt for joining us for our Five-ish Good Questions, to talk about about Roped In, their new book from Riptide Publishing. Thanks so much ladies for taking time away from your busy writing schedule to answer a few “we have to know” questions. 🙂 

We would love to know a little more about the co-writing process. It can’t be easy, as there must be so many moving parts.

  1. What made you decide to write this book together? Was this something dreamed up one night over a glass of wine and too much chocolate? Or were more nefarious things involved? 🙂

Marie: Lori had already committed to writing an “opposites attract” story for a bundle. I was between projects and asked if she wanted to try co-writing something for it. She said, “Sure!” So we brainstormed character ideas until we hit on two that sounded fun.

Lori: That’s pretty much what happened. And I really enjoy co-writing with different people, so I definitely jumped at the opportunity to write with Marie.

  1. How did you decide who writes what part of the story?

Lori: We kind of did it as we went. We opened a Google doc, and one of us started writing while the other watched. Then we just switched back and forth whenever it felt like a good spot to switch.

  1. Do you plot before you co-write, or do you see how the story unfolds?

Marie: Well, like Lori said above, we were usually working on the story at the same time. We had a chat window open. We’d occasionally say, “hey, what if [x] happens?” Other than that, we sort of just rolled with it.

  1. Do you edit each other’s parts as you do?

Marie: I think we did a little of that, but mostly just tidying up each other’s typos as the other one worked.

Lori: Pretty much what Marie said. We both did some tweaking and adjusting here and there. That, and when you write real-time, you tend to lose track of who wrote what, so I would be editing a paragraph and have zero recollection of who actually wrote it.

  1. The last question is always the fun one…hopefully. One of you have been arrested, the other is responsible for bailing you out. Who did what to land in jail, and what three things would the arrested lady want brought for her release?

Marie: I’m quite sure it would be Lori in jail! Lori, what did you do, and what should I bring?

Lori: Why the hell am I the one in jail? Jeeeez. I’m pretty sure it would be some kind of public disturbance or something. Likely with my husband, since we’re mutual bad influences. So, bring bail money, a getaway car, and probably a pair of pants.

Marie: I won’t even ask why one of you is pantless. 😉

denise reviewThis was not at all what I expected! I think I was expecting a cowboy getting himself hooked up with someone, then meeting at a club, learning about ropes, etc. This was so much more!

Graham was as far in the closet as he could be, never even having gone very far with anyone, because he was so anxiety-ridden. That was an interesting dynamic. It really allowed you to see how Graham needed to come to terms with his feelings, so he could move forward. Kaz’s idea to use the rope to calm Graham down was inspired.

I loved how Kaz was a contradiction of so many things. A protester, yet a skateboard type young man, a Dominant to a man that would normally be seen as the dominant type.

Finding their HFN/HEA was a bit of learning, into a journey that took them both outside the boxes they had known, and put them into places that would bring them together. They could work it out, because they both were able to find a compromise, and a way to change what they needed from their lives.

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meet the author

About Marie Sexton

Marie Sexton lives in Colorado. She’s a fan of just about anything that involves muscular young men piling on top of each other. In particular, she loves the Denver Broncos and enjoys going to the games with her husband. Her imaginary friends often tag along.

Marie has one daughter, two cats, and one dog, all of whom seem bent on destroying what remains of her sanity. She loves them anyway.

Connect with Marie:

About L. A. Witt

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

Connect with L.A.:

giveaway

To celebrate the release of Roped In, Marie and L.A. are giving away $20 in Riptide Publishing credit plus one ebook from each of their backlists. Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on June 25, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

 

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

The Detective’s Pleasure by Christa Tomlinson : Release Day Exclusive Interview and Giveaway

TDP SMALL PREVIEW(1)synopsis

Officer Ryan Bennett: He’s pursuing his dream of being promoted to Houston’s elite SWAT team with a single mindedness that won’t accept any outcome but success. But that’s not all he dreams of. Ryan wants more than a coveted position on SWAT. He wants to be owned by a strong Dominant. To give himself up to a Dom who will make him shudder with pleasure beneath a firm yet loving hand. Unfortunately, Ryan has had nothing but failure in that part of his life. Now, he’s hidden that dream away from everyone, including himself. And he refuses to let anyone close enough to see what he truly wants, and who he truly is.

Detective Sam Roberts: Cool and calm, Detective Sam Roberts is good at reading people. That’s why he sees past the hard layer of arrogance surrounding Ryan Bennett to the hurt submissive hiding beneath. He wants to help Ryan, even though the stubborn young man resists him. But Sam isn’t one to back down from a challenge. He’s determined to help Ryan embrace the soft, giving nature of his submissive side. Sam knows he can do it. What he doesn’t know is just how far they’ll both have to go in order to make that happen.

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Five-ish good questions with Christa Tomlinson (I know…its’ not Friday, but I like to pretend every day is Friday!)

(A sometimes feature on Two Chicks Obsessed with Books and Eye Candy)

  1. Let’s start with serious: The Sergeant was a HUGE book, it really hit so many people’s must read list, and I know people who have re-read it multiple times (not just me!). How difficult is it to try to follow up book 1 with another book that must be read.

Very difficult! I actually had a bit of a crisis because I was so concerned about trying to follow The Sergeant. I didn’t realize for a long time just how loved Logan and Clay were. But when I did, it hit me that I had a lot to live up to for Ryan and Sam. As I was writing their story I tried to force them to be like Logan and Clay. Ha! That didn’t work. When I finally let Ryan and Sam be themselves, their story unfolded and I fell in love with them.

  1. What is your vision of what Ryan and Sam look like? Do you have celebrity inspirations/crushes for these two characters?

ryan1 Ryan is young and average height but in really good shape. He has pale blonde hair and gray eyes. My celebrity ryan2crushes for him were Ryan Harrison from Queer as Folk and Chord Overstreet from Glee. Sam is my big, tall Texan. He’s a brunette with denim blue eyes and a low beard. Sam is relaxed and easy going with a naturally lean body and a slow Texas drawl. So of course Matthew McConaughey was my inspiration for him.

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  1. The cover of The Detective’s Pleasure is clearly Ryan. Tell us the significance of the cover for you, and how it relates to the story.

I love the cover for TDP. It was done by Jay Aheer and out of all the covers she’s done for me so far, it’s my favorite. Capturing the tone of a book is very important in the cover. I’m not ashamed to admit that I write some moody, angsty shit. The darkness and shadows of this cover really convey that tone. I also love the pose of the model. He looks so vulnerable with his lashes lowered and the slight pout on his mouth. It makes me want to cry for Ryan. Excuse me while I get emotional…

  1. Sex scenes are not easy to write. And if writing is your full time gig, life sometimes gets in the way. What is your “method” to “get in the mood” to write a sex scene? How do you deal with it all?

Oh, sex scenes. I think it’s hilarious that I’m good at writing them when I’m such an introverted and modest geek. To get ready to write them I have to have music. No way I could write anything sexy while listening to my dogs wrestling or the garbage truck racing over the speed bumps behind my christahouse as LOUD AS POSSIBLE. Listening to music helps block all that out and I always choose a song that helps set the tone for the scene I’m writing. If I want a soft, sweet scene, I go with Ed Sheeran Kiss Me. For passionate sexy times I like Sail by AWOLNATION. And for anything emotionally rough and turbulent, Marilyn Manson Tainted Love is my go to. Of course, going back and polishing a sex scene is another matter altogether. I normally end up doing it like this because I’m so embarrassed reading what I wrote:

  1. Now, for the fun one. You call me to bail you out of jail. Oh, who are we kidding, you would be my call to bail ME out of jail…so what three things would you bring me? 🙂

Haha! Well, number one is pants. Because I don’t know what went down, but I’m sure you somehow lost your pants. A bottle of wine in case you need a little Hair of the Dog and of course the cash to bail you out. So keep it to a misdemeanor. I hate going into the bank and the ATMs only allow you to take so much out.

Thank you, Denise! This was fun.

Christa

**You can find more on The Detective’s Pleasure here.**

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We are giving away three arcs for The Detective’s Pleasure. Comment on this blog post with your favorite sexy song, what you would write to, if you could. 🙂

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

Release Day Review: Shifting Gears by Riley Hart

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Shifting Gears

A Crossroads Novel

Book 2

M/M Romance

Riley Hart

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Cover Designer: X Potion Designs
Cover Photo:
Stock Photo

Release Date: February 10, 2016

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synopsis

Rod Nelson is used to being someone’s good time, and that’s fine with him. Spending his days at his adult toy store, Rods-N-Ends, he never knows who he’ll meet. The second Landon Harrison walks in, he has Rod’s full attention. It seems as if Landon wants him too, so why won’t the man jump in the sack with him already?

Landon never thought he’d return home to the town where memories lurk around every corner. He has to admit, Rod makes the adjustment a lot easier. He keeps Landon laughing. Despite the fierce attraction between them, he’s not willing to risk his newfound friendship to get laid.

Neither man wants something serious, but the more they’re together, the harder it is to keep their hands to themselves, until eventually they stop trying.

But flings between friends are never simple, and as they attempt to shift gears, diving into their first relationship, they’re slammed with setbacks. If they want to truly move forward, before they hit the open road together, they’re going to have to let go of a past that could make them crash and burn.

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Five-ish good questions with Riley Hart

(A sometimes feature on Two Chicks Obsessed with Books and Eye Candy)

  1. Let’s start with serious: Crossroads was a HUGE book, and really hit so many people’s must read list, being a double GFY, which we don’t see often. How difficult is it to try to follow up book 1 with another book that must be read. It’s pretty much the scariest thing ever. LOL. There is a lot of pressure following Nick and Bryce. I had no idea people would fall for those two as much as I did, and there’s a lot of pressure not to screw that up! I just hope readers continue to love the series and I hope they fall hard for Landon and Rod the way I did.
  1. What is your vision of what Rod and Landon look like? Do you have celebrity inspirations/crushes for these two characters? I always feel like the lamest author in the world when it comes to this question. I never have celebrity inspirations for my characters. It’s hard for me to separate my characters from the celebrity. But both men have dark hair. Rod is smaller than Landon and he has a few tattoos. Landon’s hair hangs over his forehead and Rod wears eyeliner. 🙂
  1. The cover of Shifting Gears is fairly simple, and just beautiful. Did you have a vision of what you wanted it to look like, or did you let the cover artist just go? Does the bracelet have significance as well? I choose the images for my covers. I work with a couple different photographers. All of my covers except Shifting Gears and Return to Blackcreek have all been the same photographer. But once I give the image to the cover artist, I let them take it from there. I’m not good with visualizing stuff like that. The bracelet is in the end of the book, but it doesn’t have huge significance.
  1. Sex scenes are not easy to write. And if writing is your full time gig, life sometimes gets in the way. What is your “method” to “get in the mood” to write a sex scene? Do you need some Luther Vandross on the radio? Maybe some low candlelight? Or do you just need the kids out at Chuck E. Cheese so you have the house to yourself? 🙂 I’m a weird author. I don’t listen to music when I write. Once in a while, but not often. It’s pretty easy for me to get into the zone as long as I don’t have outside distractions. As long as the kids are gone and I’m alone in my office, I can make it work.
  1. Now, for the fun one. You call me to bail you out of jail. You tell me to bring you three things. What are they, and why?

LOL. My cell, because it’s my cell and I was probably going crazy without it. 

Alcohol because after spending a night in jail, I’ll need it.

And… hmm…. A change of clothes? LOL

deanna reviewFor me, Riley Hart is one of those authors whose books I automatically buy on.

release day whether I have read the book blurb or not. Of all her books Crossroads was by far my favorite so I was really excited for Shifting Gears and man did she not disappoint!

Landon, a motorcycle mechanic and Rod, a sex toy shop owner are both gun-shy about commitment since neither have seen healthy, happy relationships growing up. One abandoned by his father and the other raised by a hateful man, both need to work through past issues to make any kind of future together.

This book has it all; the tender moments, the hot and steamy ones, so much humor, and my favorite couple from Crossroads; Nick and Bryce. Watching Rod and Landon “shift gears” from friendship, to lovers, to a couple in a committed relationship is a beautiful journey that I was sad to see come to an end.

This book is going to end up on my list of books that are re-read often. Well done Riley Hart!

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denise reviewI absolutely LOVED Crossroads, book 1 in this series. My favorite trope is GFY (Gay for You) and a double GFY? Well, that’s just double the love for me. Riley Hart always has the right words that hit my heart, and Shifting Gears is no exception for me.

Rod, who appeared in book 1, puts on this fun loving appearance, always with a joke. However, it masks the pain he continues to hold onto from his fathers rejection when he found out he was gay. Rod really was a deep well of emotions. Most he tried to hide from himself, as well as Landon. Yet, he always wanted to have that one man, the love of his life.

Meanwhile Landon had his own pain that he was dealing with, his own father’s rejection in the form of disappearing without a word. His answer was to assume that love was not real, and that it wasn’t in the cards for him. He wasn’t looking for that one man, merely moving from one to the next.

My love for Landon grew, as a reader, by his deep and abiding respect for Rod. He refused to sleep with him, because he liked him so much. He knew that once that happened, the friendship would be gone, and he really wanted his friend, more than he wanted a one night stand.

These men ended up being the perfect match for each other. They were supportive of one another from beginning to end, despite odds that could have easily torn their relationship apart. No matter what though, they held onto what was important, their love and respect for each other.

Ms. Hart showed a side of men that we don’t often get to see. These men, like so many men, had trouble communicating their feelings, their desires, and their concerns, and it could have caused deep rifts in their relationship. Eventually though, they got their HEA, YEAH!!!!

I can see who might be next in this series (I won’t say, because I think that would be a spoiler), but I sure hope it goes in that direction!

Great job on this book, Riley.

5 pieces of eye candy…more if I could!5-pieces-eye-candy3

 

excerpt

Damned if Rod’s hand didn’t start to shake. He couldn’t move, didn’t know what to say, but knew he had to let something pass his lips. “Why are you doing this?”

The light from the television shone around Landon, and he shrugged. “I know it’s not the same as the real thing, but I just wanted to do something nice for you. That’s it.”

He’d done nice things for Rod already, a big one being the way he’d let Rod drive his bike.

“When’s the last time someone did something nice for you?” Landon asked.

The answer was easy. “The last time I saw you.”

Landon shook his head. “That doesn’t count. That was selfish. I want someone to ride with, and I like sharing my love of bikes. Unless you’re talking about the sex, and then there’s the fact that I came so hard I saw double.”

But this was just for Rod… He tried to make sense of it, tried to work through how they’d gotten here. Landon was the one who made sure Rod knew what this was. It was Landon who didn’t want to take the chance that Rod would read something into it that wasn’t there and now here he was, doing things like this for him. The kind of thing no one had taken the time to do for him before.

“Come on, we’re going to miss the show again.”

When Rod didn’t reply, when he couldn’t reply, Landon continued, “Just ride it out with me. That’s what I’m doing, riding it out. We’re shifting gears, that’s all. Not sure where we’re going. Not even sure I know how to get there, but let’s just try to enjoy the ride.”

And he wanted that. Wanted it so fucking much, that the need ate him alive. It scared the shit out of him at the same time.

Still, Rod closed the distance between them. When Landon sat, Rod went to the other end of the couch, lied down, and put his head in Landon’s lap like he’d done fifty times before.

Landon touched his hair, ran his fingers through it and neither of them spoke; they just continued sitting there together, watching the show.

meet the author

Riley Hart is the girl who wears her heart on her sleeve. She’s a hopeless romantic, a lover of sexy stories, passionate men, and writing about all the trouble they can get into together.

She loves reading, flawed characters, and hanging out with her husband and children, who she adores. She and her family live in Southern California, soaking up the sunshine, while also missing seasons. Not a day goes by that she isn’t thankful she gets to wake up and do what she loves.

Life is good. Riley also writes young adult and new adult under the name Nyrae Dawn.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rileyhartwrites/?ref=hl

Website: http://www.rileyhartwrites.com/p/home.html?zx=48696725e5833865

Blog: http://www.rileyhartwrites.com/index.html

Twitter: @RileyHart5

 

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

A Guy’s Thanksgiving by Skylar Cates: Five-ish Good Questions with Skylar

GuysThanksgiving[A]FS

synopsis

A Work in The Guy Series

Two proposals. One giant dog. Reunited lovers.

 

Welcome to Glamour, Arizona, where the holidays are never dull. Glamour may be a small town, but the surprises keep coming.

 

Everybody’s looking forward to Thanksgiving. Only Mac Sharma is a reluctant guest. Even as Anthony and Dean make him feel welcome at the Carrino table, Mac feels awkward among the close-knit group of friends. Life gets even more complicated when Conor Harvey shows up in town.

 

Mac has been in love with Conor since his university days. Too bad Conor broke his heart—right before he fled to his hometown in Ireland without explanation. Conor is still a wild artist and as sexy as Mac remembers. But they’re no longer kids. This Thanksgiving, Mac must decide if he can once more open his heart to Conor.

 

In Glamour, life is full of heartwarming moments. As the guys from Glamour learn, holiday magic happens when love is all around.

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Amazon

Five-ish good questions with Skylar Cates

(A sometimes feature on Two Chicks Obsessed with Books and Eye Candy)

  1. Let’s start with serious: A Guy’s Thanksgiving came out on November 4th. (I listened to all of them on Audible, can’t wait to read this one). So, tell us something fun that comes out in this edition.

Jesse and Aaron were fun in the novella. They shocked each other in the best way possible.collin

  1. What is your vision of what Mac and Conor look like? Do you have celebrity inspirations/crushes for these two characters?

I usually don’t look at famous people for characters. I’m too busy listening to their voices in my head.

Since Conor is Irish, though, I admit that I pictured Colin Farrell. I’ve enclosed a picture of him that I do have on my laptop. I have it for research purposes, of course.

  1. There is a dog on the cover…probably one of the most interesting covers I’ve ever seen. Does the dog play into the romance of the book?

You bet!  I wanted a fun, holiday cover  (There is a scene with turkey sandwiches and beer too, and the couple decide that this can be Thanksgiving dinner— a very Charlie Brown sort of scene).  Most of my books have angst lately, and this cover, much like my The Holiday Hoax cover, gave me the warmth and humor I wanted for it.

 I loved writing the dog scenes. On a side note, my own dog died around the time I wrote A Guy’s Thanksgiving, so if anything it was cathartic for me to give a dog a HEA in the book. The dog gets involved with one of the already established couples, so the dog doesn’t instigate the romance, but the dog triggers quite a few heartfelt scenes.

Since the novella includes ALL the guys from ALL the books, it was either go for the dog or have what looks like an orgy of men on the cover! LOL! Maybe I should have gone for all the men?

  1. Sex scenes are not easy to write. And if writing is your full time gig, life sometimes gets in the way. What is your “method” to “get in the mood” to write a sex scene? Do you need some Luther Vandross on the radio? Maybe some low candlelight? Or do you just need the kids out at Chuck E. Cheese so you have the house to yourself? 🙂

You Tube: Kissing clips + A hot and steamy bath + A vodka gimlet or a glass of vino = the right mood

No kids around is absolutely a requirement!  In truth, I actually enjoy the sex scenes. Many authors do find them difficult….I’m a horndog, I guess. *blushes* I will admit it’s a pain to vary the words like cock, ass, balls—there are only so many synonyms! Seriously, though, I try and think about the tone of the scene. Is it tender? Angry? Sweet? That guides me in how I’ll craft it.

  1. Now, for the fun one. You call me to bail you out of jail. You tell me to bring you three things. What are they, and why?

  1. I-Phone 6 –fully loaded with the newest M/M books and good music. I’ll have some catching up to do! Jail must have a limited library of books.

  1. Some wine, preferably ones with wacky names. I’ll need some laughs as I drink a toast to my freedom: Middle Sister, Mad Housewife, Fat Bastard, Big Pecker, Sweet Bitch, or Stark Raving Malbec (If you can’t bring alcohol to the jailhouse, a big mug of really good coffee will do)

  1. My husband. I would be missing him like crazy and need a hug.

Thanks for hosting me!

giveaway

One commenter will win a copy of A Guy’s Thanksgiving  

 

meet the authorBIO: Skylar M. Cates loves a good romance. She is quite happy to drink some coffee, curl up with a good book, and not move all day. Skylar dreams about spending her days writing her novels, walking along the beach, and making more time for her good friends. On a shoestring budget, Skylar has traveled all over in her early years. Although, lately, the laundry room is the farthest place she has visited, Skylar still loves to chat with people from all around the globe.

Contact links:

Facebook

Twitter: @skylarmcates

 

 

 

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

Alexa Land: Interview and Author Reading at Rainbow Con

Twcoming homeo Chicks Obsessed with Books and Eye Candy is currently at Rainbow Con in Tampa, Florida, as you may know from some of our posts. What a great opportunity to connect with authors, readers and bloggers. It’s already been so much fun!

We thought this would be a great opportunity to bring the authors directly to our followers via video interviews. We have already interviewed three authors, and have several more coming up in the next few days, so watch our blog page over the next few weeks for all the interviews. So, our “Friday Five-ish Good Questions” is coming to you LIVE and in person!!!

And first up, with a HUGE surprise for all her readers is the amazing Alexa Land, author of the Firsts and Forever series.

Check out the interview with Alexa, along with her author reading. So much to look forward to already, and there may be a surprise or two in the videos, so tune in! Give us your feedback, and one commenter will win a copy of Alexa Land’s book Coming Home from TCO on Release Day (wink, wink).

Author Interview: http://youtu.be/nXOVA_mDvdk

Author Reading: http://youtu.be/tzRPbSkFiZE

Coming Home Amazon Link: http://amzn.to/1TGl4GL

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

Sloan Johnson: Friday Five-Ish Good Questions and a Big Surprise!

Wild Pitch by Sloan Johnson

  1. What was your inspiration to write a baseball themed series?
    I was working on another project and looked up just in time to see a really nasty hit on the sports highlights. The story for Wild Pitch started brewing as I wondered how it’d be if the pitcher and the batter were friends. Since I write m/m, it morphed to what would happen if one of the players were gay and had a crush on the other. I wrote one scene and put the story away. Then, someone was talking about how she wished there were more baseball m/m books, and I pulled it out and showed this one scene to her. From there, the book took on a life of its own, including a complete rewrite when I was almost done because my vision of the characters changed.
  2. Friends to lovers is a trope you often see in the m/m romance genre. What makes this story different for these two men?
    Sean and Mason have some unique challenges in their relationship. Mason is bisexual and in the midst of a divorce while Sean is gay and in the closet. Not only does baseball keep them from being open about their relationship, it keeps them apart much of the time. 
  1. Sex scenes are not easy to write. And if writing is your full time gig, life sometimes gets in the way. What is your “method” to “get in the mood” to write a sex scene? Do you need some Luther Vandross on the radio? Maybe some low candlelight? Or do you just need the kids out at Chuck E. Cheese so you have the house to yourself?
    Typically, I hide out from the rest of the family. Kids tend to kill the mood for writing sex just as they do when they come knocking on the bedroom door. Luther Vandross is on one of the playlists I have, specifically for when I’m writing a “love-making” scene as opposed to a good, hard screw. I’m heavily influenced by music, and each type of sex has its own set of songs.
  1. At the end of Wild Pitch you included the first chapter from book 2, which is Jason and Cam’s story. What do you see ahead for the Homeruns series?
    Right now, my plans are somewhat fluid. I am already planning Drew’s story as the third book in the series. You meet him briefly at the very end of Wild Pitch and he’s Cam’s best friend in Curve Ball. Then, the fourth book will be Eric’s story. I felt bad for the guy, trading him away at the very beginning of the book, and I want him to have his HEA after everything he’s gone through! Beyond that, I’m not sure where it’ll go. I might do more books directly in the series, or I may spin it off to something different. As much as I love series, I don’t want to tie myself into writing this one line indefinitely.
  1. Gotta get my fun question in! You get one choice of vacations: either a beach resort, sitting sipping mai tais, and getting massages or camping, muddin’ and cooking hot dogs over a fire pit. Which one do you choose and why?
    As nice as the beach resort sounds, I’m much more of a muddin’ and fire pit girl! Some of my best memories are times spent around the fire, kicked back with a beer in one hand, listening to everyone tell stories. 
  2. One last thing before you go. When is Wild Pitch coming out?
    Well, originally it was going to come out on the 18th of this month. Then, I finished the book, got it back from my editor, went through formatting and everything else. That’s when Johnny Kane (the model portraying Mason) started taunting me. He’d stare back at me from the cover and I could hear him whispering, “Do it. You know you want to…” I’ve always said I’m at the mercy of my characters, so Wild Pitch is live RIGHT NOW! Readers can pick it up on Amazon, and it will be on all other outlets as soon as they approve the files.

Thank you so much to Sloan Johnson for stopping by, and bringing us her special surprise! 🙂 Grab the book now! I hope you love Mason and Sean as much as this reviewer does!

**Giveaway: Sloan has offered a signed paperback of Wild Pitch to one commenter on this blog post! So, tell us what you think!

SynopsiWildPitchs:

There’s never been any question in Sean Tucker’s mind that he’d do whatever it took to make it to the major leagues and be one of the best pitchers of his time. The day he acknowledged to himself that he was gay was also the day he vowed to stay in the closet in order to chase his dreams. The problem is, he never counted on Mason Atley.

Sean showed rookie short stop Mason Atley the ropes, both on the field and off. The two forged a friendship which continued as both of them moved through the ranks of the farm system and into the majors. Unfortunately, there’s always been one secret Mason never felt he could share with Sean. Until now.

For seven years, Sean lived with the fact that he loved a man who would never reciprocate. When Mason admits that he’s always known he’s bisexual but has never allowed himself to pursue a relationship with a man, will Sean be able to put aside his reservations about starting a relationship with the friend he’d always assumed was straight? And more importantly, will they be able to find a way to stay together when their careers keep them apart more than they can be together?

Buy Wild Pitch on Amazon

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