You Never Know by Mary Calmes: Release Day Reviews with Giveaway

Hagen Wylie has it all figured out. He’s going to live in his hometown, be everybody’s friend, explore new relationships, and rebuild his life after the horrors of war. No muss, no fuss is the plan. He’s well on his way—until he finds out his first love has come home too. Hagen says it’s no big deal, but a chance encounter with Mitch Thayer’s two cute sons puts him directly in the path of the only guy he’s never gotten out of his head.

Mitch returned for three reasons: to raise his sons where he grew up, to move his furniture business and encourage it to thrive, and to win Hagen back. Years away made it perfectly clear the young man he loved in high school is the only one for him. The problem? He left town and they have not talked since.

If Hagen’s going to trust him again, Mitch needs to show him how he’s grown up and isn’t going to let go. They could have a new chance at love… but Hagen is insistent he’s not reviving a relationship with Mitch. Then again, you never know.

Title: You Never Know
Author: Mary Calmes
Release Date: July 21, 2017
Category: Contemporary
Pages: 200

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Dreamspinner Press

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Hagen Wiley… knew he had the love of his life when he was sixteen years old.

Unfortunately, life happens, especially when you’re young and stupid and I hate so badly that he got hurt like he did. The phone call between the two guys, just about gutted me. But here it is, 17 years later, and the love of his life is back, with his adorable two kids and they’ve come to claim Hagen.

Unfortunately, again, Hagen’s had a lifetime of heartbreak and getting hurt that he doesn’t just not trust Mitch, but he doesn’t trust any guy.. Which is a good thing, because we see him with a FWB, who all the sudden wants more…. Even though he’s a liar and kinda douche, I did kind of feel sorry for him before I knew all that. I’ve known what it’s like to lose the love of your life and then I’ve been on Ash’s side where I wanted someone to want me but they couldn’t, because of the love they had for someone else. I wouldn’t want to be in either of those positions, ever!

I loved Hagen, he’s so forgiving, much more so than I would be, ever….especially with how badly Mitch hurt him and how many times Ash lied to him… he just forgave… they said sorry, he said, okay. With Mitch, it was a little harder for him to win back his trust… not as hard as it should’ve been, because I think he needed to have to prove himself…. But, there was no denying that he loved Hagen… no doubt at all. It was in everything he did. I loved that for Hagen.

So, overall, this is just another amazing story from Mrs. Calmes; one that I couldn’t wait to read and now I’m sad that I’m finished with it. I get so sucked in to each of her stories to a point where, I want to wish them so hard to be real so I can see such amazing love between two people. I feel that way about all the guys in her stories, every single one.

So, I’ll end this with 5, well, well, well deserved stars and I’ll go ahead and declare my impatience for literally anything else she writes, ever!

Don’t skip it, you’ll love it.

I love the idea of high school sweethearts reuniting after they have experienced life a little. They’re not as naive and they know who they are and what they want from life. So, with that story line and the added bonus of Mary Calmes being the author, I knew going in this was going to be a great story.

Hagen and Mitch dated in high school. They had plans to go to the same college and see where Mitch’s promised NFL career took them. Life got in the way, Mitch went to college and Hagen joined the Army. Hagen has returned home needing to heal both his body and mind from the war. His leg needs mending and he needs to get a grip on his PTSD. Mitch has lived his whole adult life in the closet due to his football career. He married a woman and had two children, but after a hip replacement and a trip to rehab he can’t continue to lie to himself. Armed with a divorce and two small children, Mitch heads back to his hometown to raise his boys and to win back the love of his life.

Hagen has long since forgiven Mitch for changing their plans. What he has no intention of doing is picking up where they left off all those years ago. Hagen is just getting his life back to normal and he doesn’t want to disrupt that with bringing Mitch back into his life. It seems that fate has something to say about that and throws Mitch and his adorable boys right into Hagen’s path. Hagen stands no chance again Mitch’s boys and before you know it Hagen is spending time with Mitch and his family. Hagen needs to decide whether he can trust Mitch with his heart a second time or if he needs to tuck tail and run before he gets too attached to all three of them.

Love, love, love! I love stories with kids, especially when the kids are as cute as Brandon and Ryder Thayer. The kids play an important part in the story, making Hagen realize that he wants to be a father. The kids are well adjusted and make Hagen realize that by trusting his heart to Mitch he gets a chance at fatherhood that may not have been a possibility before.

The town of Benson is a great setting for this story and I am hoping that there are a few more stories in this setting. I would love for Ash to get his happily ever after and remain friends with Hagen.

The characters are well developed, their backstories are perfect; no too vague and definitely not too over the top. Hagen was cautious without being whiny and Mitch pursued him with confidence that didn’t come off as cocky or entitled.

There isn’t anything I didn’t like about this book. It was everything I have come to love and expect from Mary Calmes.

5 pieces of eye candy

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Promises Part 3 by A.E. Via: Blog Tour, Review, Excerpt and Giveaway

A bounty hunter’s partners to lovers’ story.
The hunt is on… and he’s the prey.

Bradford (Ford) King was sure he had the rest of his life mapped out. Though he was no longer a SEAL Lieutenant, his brother was home safe and he had a job that still allowed him to satisfy his hunger for hunting bad guys. Life was simple, no distractions or complications – at age forty-six – that’s all Ford wanted. What he didn’t want was his work partner, sniper/watchman, Dana, giving him s**t all the time.

Dana Cadby had grown up labeled a roughneck from the wrong side of the tracks. He’d fought, scrounged, and survived despite a father that constantly told him he couldn’t. Dana pulled himself up by his own boot straps and made a name for himself in the marksman community. He’d been Duke’s bounty watchman for five years. It was his job to ensure their safety, watch their backs. At thirty-three, he was trusted, well respected by his peers, his bosses, his friends… so why couldn’t he earn the same respect from his partner?

Dana knew he was bisexual before he graduated high school. He also knew he was attracted to the huge, 6’3”, SEAL from the moment he and his brother came to join their team. It wasn’t easy for him to tamp down his immediate reaction to Ford’s thick muscles, full beard, and dark eyes. Still, Dana exhibited nothing but professionalism towards him, not wanting to make his ‘straight’ partner uncomfortable. So why did Ford constantly give him hell?

After Dana took back his ex-girlfriend, he’d noticed an intensification in Ford’s bad attitude. One that turned aggressive and downright antagonistic, and Dana was damned if he’d just lay down and take it. He was gonna make that man respect him if it was the last thing he did.

When Duke sends Dana and Ford out to track down their most dangerous bounty yet, they both embrace the fact that they make one hell of a team… but they fight tooth and nail against the powerful intimacy brewing between them.
Beware: If Ford and Dana connect completely, god help the fugitive who’s in the sights of the hunter and his watchman.

This story is a part of a series but can stand alone. It does not end on a cliffhanger and has a HEA.

Author A.E. Via

Title:  Promises Part 3

M/M GAY CONTEMPORARY/ACTION

Edited by: Tina Adamski

Cover Artist – Jay Aheer

PAGE COUNT – 222

Release Date: June 30, 2017

Goodreads Link: https://goo.gl/AbfTzJ

Amazon

Ford

Ford was in the office earlier than scheduled. He’d woken up with another hard-on after one of the most erotic dreams he’d ever had. And it was about a person whose name he didn’t want to voice out loud or even in his head. This was doing a number on him. It’d irritated him when Dan

a used to complain about how his girlfriend didn’t understand him and no matter what he did he couldn’t please her selfish ass, but they’d broken up and everyone – not just him – was relieved to have the old, light-hearted Dana back. Then, like all good things, it came to an end when she popped back up with tears and a sob story. That she’d made a big mistake.

Ford stirred his coffee so hard, part of it sloshed over the edge of the cup. He felt pissed when spineless Dana had reared his ugly head again and taken her back. Too decent to turn her down. Gritting his teeth, Ford demanded Dana act like the man he truly was. Strong, determined, spirited, and a ton of other great qualities Ford had taken for granted until someone else started stealing them.

He just wished he was sure that he could go the relationship route with a man. Ford wasn’t scared of dating the opposite sex, he was too old, too damn grown to worry about what anyone would think. He’d had experiences with men and women in the past. Had had his fun. He’d eyed a few guys when he was in the service, even patted a few bottoms, but nothing had stirred him this hard in years. He thought he was content in his life. He had his brother, his work, he was good now. He’d lived complications before, wasn’t interested in them again. Relationships, lust, pining, dates, romantic expectations, sex, all equaled the same thing to him… complications.

I have to say I was intrigued with the King brothers since book 1 in this series. The quiet, dark, brooding ex military brothers, I couldn’t wait for their stories. And after reading Ford’s story I *really* can’t wait for Brian’s story! Anyway….

Yes, this is book 3. Yes, you really need to read the first two. Technically you don’t have to, but honestly- if you are interested in this one you will be interested in the others. And I’ve never met an AE Via book that I didn’t like.

Her men are strong without being jerks, fragile without being too vulnerable and unapologetic in what they want. And I love them.

I loved seeing the background of Ford and Dana in previous books, so to watch it continue-the sexual tension between them almost lit my kindle on fire.Dancing around each other and forced to work together (I did mention they were work partners, right?) until one of them finally makes the leap.

Ford’s brother Brian plays a big role in the storyline and I will admit that I really REALLY want his story. Especially since we find out who his love interest is. That was a bit of a distraction for me. Not necessarily in a bad way but in a “omg I want more NOW” way.

There is a good storyline throughout and the author doesn’t rely on sex as a filler in her books. Big big plus for me. Yes I want a hot book, but I also want story or I get bored. Trust me, there is no way this book is boring.

I am going to add that there is a M/F sex scene only because many who read this genre don’t want that. To me it just showed how not into the woman he was and cemented that he really did want to break up with her.

And I am left salivating for the next book…..

4 pieces of eye candy

Promises Part 1

Promises Part 2

A.E. Via is an author in the beautiful gay romance genre and also founder and owner of Via Star Wings Books. Her writing embodies everything from hopelessly romantic to adventure, to scandalous. Her stories often include intriguing edges and twists that take readers to new, thought-provoking depths.

When she’s not clicking away at her laptop, she devotes herself to her family—a husband and four children.

Adrienne has tons of more stories to tell, so be sure to visit her site to learn more! Go to A.E. Via’s official website http://authoraevia.com  for more detailed information on how to contact her, follow her, or a sneak peak on upcoming work, free reads, VSWB submissions, and where she’ll appear next.

Links

Amazon Link:  https://goo.gl/KQ32Uz

Kobo:https://goo.gl/qXPIzK

Smashwords:https://goo.gl/tSpzyz

Goodreads: https://goo.gl/AbfTzJ

Author Official Website:http://authoraevia.com

A.E. Amazon Author Pagehttps://goo.gl/AVpOeJ

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/aeviaauthor

Twitter:https://twitter.com/AuthorAEVia

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Found at the Bookstore by Christi Snow: Release Day Review, EXCLUSIVE Excerpt (NSFW) and Giveaway

After suffering a traumatic brain injury the final football game his senior year in high school, Ryder Garrett’s life was never normal again. Most days he’s happy when he can remember the way home. There’s no room in his life for romance or love, which means he’s destined to die a virgin.

Stig Minton doesn’t remember what virginity felt like. Twelve years older than Ryder, he’s been around the block too many times to count and has the scars to prove it…both physically and mentally.

But as these two men come together to help with a wedding, they forge a friendship, a friendship they both desperately need. As their relationship evolves, feelings go deeper. But is it stupid to risk this new—and, yes necessary—bond in pursuit of something that’s doomed to fail?

They both think they’re too broken to make this work. But what if they’re wrong?

Two broken souls may just be able to find reparation in one another…

Book #2 in the Found Series.

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Ryder

Ryder’s dick throbbed with need. Just a tiny bit of friction and he’d be right there. He thrust his hips, enjoying the delicious sense of doing so against a warm body. So fucking good.

Arousal zinged through his balls as they tightened with impending climax. He wanted to draw it out a little bit longer. He never got this. Even in his dreams, he was usually doing this by himself.

To have a phantom, faceless person with him was the ultimate fantasy, but he was too far-gone. His hips stuttered as his rhythm was interrupted by a spasm of white-hot pleasure.

He groaned and awoke on a gasp as his cock continued to pulse with jizz erupting and coating the insides of his boxers. The pure ecstasy of the moment kept his eyes closed in pleasure. Fuck, how long had it been since he’d had a wet dream? So embarrassing that this was his life at twenty-six years old.

He opened his eyes and yelped, almost throwing himself out of bed in his surprise. “St… Stig?”

Stig’s dark eyes looked almost black with intensity and focus. His hand, reaching across the bed and steadying him, kept him from tumbling onto the hardwood floor.

“What are you doing here? In my bed?” His voice rose several octaves. Humiliation mixed with shock flooded him. He’d just humped himself into orgasm against the guy.

I loved Found at the Library, I thought it was so creative, and it really became a bit of a comfort read for me (in fact, I “had” to re-read it before beginning Found at the Bookstore…just to catch up of course 😉 ). I honestly wasn’t sure that Christi could re-create that magic for me with book 2. However, I forgot that her writing is always magic for me. She has the ability to bring characters to life that aren’t one dimensional, that have issues that are not simplistic, or easily solvable. And she definitely does this with Ryder and Stig.

Christi does a fantastic job with making these characters grow as people. What began as a questionable acquaintanceship, grew and moved forward. Ryder did not have an easy life after his TBI happened in high school. He worked at becoming as independent as he could, but still had to rely on others, and at times it was so painful all he could do was sink into it, and hope to come back out the other side. Yet, throughout the story, even as his relationship with Stig began to grow, Ryder began to flourish more as his own person, growing stronger and more confident in himself.

Stig, meanwhile, grew in a different way. Someone who presented himself as bitter over the loss of his ex, and somewhat of a selfish playboy, he began to grow as someone who could care for someone else, not just physically, but emotionally. Previously, he had been seen as one-dimensional, but we began quickly to see that when he cared, he cared deeply. However, he definitely had a darker side that needed to be tended to.

These two had a very rocky road to get to their HEA, including a darkness that almost cost them both everything. Yet it also allowed Ryder to stand up in a way he never had before, and as a reader you couldn’t help but cheer for him in that moment. It was that moment that you sometimes see in movies where the hero you don’t expect overcomes and you stand up and cheer and clap. That moment is worth all the tough ones that come before.

Don’t ask me to choose between these two books as my favorite. I won’t. Just know, I will be reading them both again, sooner rather than later. 🙂

4.5 pieces of eye candy

Christi has generously offered up a signed copy of book #1 (US Only), Found at the Library, to one lucky reader. So, tell us what books mean to you, whether a physical book (such as what Tommy does in Book 1) or ebook/audio book.

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

Smitty’s Sheriff by Cardeno C. : Release Day Reviews

Todd is too flakey. Richard is too stubborn. Together, they’re perfect. A May-December couple get a second chance at love.

Retired soldier Richard Davis wants a stable life in a quiet town with a forever man. Becoming the sheriff of Hope, Arizona, accomplishes two of his three goals, but instead of finding a serious partner, he falls for too-young-to-be-committed and too-flakey-to-be-serious Todd Smitty. Richard won’t find the right man if he’s obsessed with the wrong one, so he walks away from Todd.

It’s lust at first sight when Todd meets his sister’s army friend. He sets his sights on the worldly, strong, stable older man, and the more time he spends with Richard, the harder he falls. But after three years together, Richard cuts off all contact with no explanation.

When a mutual obligation requires Todd to move into Richard’s house, he’s thrilled at the opportunity to earn a second chance. Ignoring Todd from across town was hard enough. Can Richard resist temptation under his own roof?

Add to GoodReads: https://goo.gl/m1T8tj

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Book 3 in the Hope series, I have to say, it is hands down my favorite, and I really enjoyed Jesse’s Diner. This one though, we have the hot sheriff that I feel like I’ve been waiting on forever, I knew it was going to be good. I was not prepared for how good it actually was! I should’ve been, shame on me!

In this one, we have Richard, once soldier, now Sheriff in the small town of Hope, he’s still smarting from a breakup with assumed playboy, Todd. Todd was also the little brother of Richards army buddy, Leanne, who was a single mom with a military career and needed to call in her friend and little brother to help care for her baby while she was on a 3-month deployment. What would that mean for Richard, who was still in love with the younger man that he was in love with but couldn’t have?

Todd, broke my heart. Simply put, he was not at all the kind of person I thought he was going to be. He loved Richard and couldn’t understand why Richard broke things off. These two, had a horrible problem with communication while they had their several-year tryst, and while Richard wanted someone he could come to; Todd was under the impression that Richard didn’t really care about him one way or another. He thought he was content with the way things were and he had Todd when he wanted him but otherwise didn’t say anything about a commitment or what he wanted.

I wanted to smack him for Todd, because he was hurting him too! Todd is the type that needs to be taken care of and he loved that Richard done that. He felt cared about. There was a D/s aspect to this story, though it wasn’t sexual, it was just the way things were with them. Todd didn’t like decisions and he was flighty and forgetful. Like I said, he needed Richard to sort him out, keep him on track. I loved that about them. They meshed so well because they gave each other what the other one needed.

If only they would’ve stopped and had the conversation months or even years ago, they could’ve avoided all the hurt. I hated how down on himself Todd was and how hard he thought he had to try. I hated seeing him try. I shed many tears for Todd Smitty, but it made the ending so much more worth it.

Finally getting their heads out, and true to any CC read, they worked it out and had the sweetest of sweet endings. I’m really looking forward to more from this series and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for DJ and Seamus!

Very well written, very sweet story with a very deserved 5 stars from me on this one.

Truly a great addition to an already great series.

I just loved Jesse’s Diner, there was such a sweet, strong love between those two that I couldn’t resist. It is still a read I come back to every so often, because it warms my heart every single time.

So, I was excited that CC continued the series bringing Richard, the sheriff, to his HEA. This was a second chance romance, and what was interesting was that nothing specific separated them, other than they just didn’t communicate to each other their own wants and needs. Richard wanted a monogamous relationship, stable, and he never thought he could have that with Todd, who was sleeping with other people, and didn’t seem to have a lot of focus in his life.

Meanwhile, Todd wanted Richard more than anything, but being bored was his vice, and if he was, and he had time on his hands, and there was never any mention of wanting monogamy, then he slept with someone. However, no one he cared about, and if the two men had spoken, they would have realized they wanted the same thing. Instead, Richard just stopped talking to Todd, because he couldn’t do that to his heart any longer.

What a dynamic! So often with men, communication is forgotten, and the assumption is that the other person should know what is in someone’s head. There is a definite Dominant/submissive piece here, with Todd wanting and needing to be directed, but also I think because it helps with his focus. At the same time though, Richard feels it is wrong to be that type of person, so they must learn to communicate what is best for each other.

They do a good job of finding that happy place in order to be what the other person needs, and I really enjoyed their journey towards an HEA.

4.5 pieces of eye candy

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

Letting Go by Morningstar Ashley: Release Day Tour, Excerpt, Review and Giveaway

Letting Go RDB Banner

LETTING GO

Love by Design, Book 1

MORNINGSTAR ASHLEY

M/M ROMANCE

RELEASE DATE: 07.14.17

COVER ARTIST: Jay Aheer/Simply Defined Art

COVER PHOTO: StockPhoto

GOODREADS: http://bit.ly/2sZFfqC

Letting Go Cover

Years ago, before tragedy struck, Alex made a child’s promise to always protect and care for his little sister, Evie. Then piece by piece, all the good in his life was taken away until Alex was left alone as guardian to his much younger sister. Suffering and loss scarred Alex, causing him to withdraw from the world. Struggling with anxiety and trust issues, Alex attempts to help Evie heal from their shared traumatic past, but each day is harder than the last. To make matters worse, Alex’s best friend, Ben, is pushing him to get out of his rut, confronting him with the fact that what Alex thinks is contentment is just stagnation and fear. The last thing he needs is for an old acquaintance to reappear in his life, making him feel things he hadn’t dealt with in years.

The executive of the marketing department at graphic design firm Vivid, Kelley has his life together. While not perfect, he’s happy with his career and his three best friends. A chance encounter with Alex, the guy he was once attracted to, is icing on the cake. Fighting through Alex’s defenses to find the breathtaking man underneath will be hard, but Kelley is up to the challenge. Kelley believes that the things most worth fighting for never come easy.

To accept all that Kelley is offering means Alex must drop his barriers. Kelley will need to keep trying and prove that Alex can trust him, even when grief and anxiety try to pull him back.

Amazon

 

Alex 2

Kelley 2

Pushing him back on the couch Kelley straddled Alex’s body, using his weight to hold the squirmy man in place, Kelley put his hands on Alex’s abs, fingers at his sides as his possessed Alex’s.

Shoving Alex’s shirt up as Alex lifted to give enough room for Kelley to pull the shirt off, dropping it to the floor. Attacking his nipples with teeth and tongue making Alex whimper and moan. Fuck! Hearing those sounds just turned him inside out. Turning the heat between up to lava level.

Moving back up to his neck Kelley sucked, tasted as he reached down with one hand greedily rubbing Alex’s dick through his pants. Running his hand up and down giving him the same of the pressure that Kelley’s throbbing cock was begging for.

“Oh, God.” Alex groaned with a rough edge to his voice as he arched his neck giving Kelley even more room to explore and mark. He wanted his mark on this man. Wanted everyone to see that he was Kelley’s. Fearing that with all the pain locked inside Alex he would never truly be his.

“Your shirt. Take off your shirt. I need to feel your skin.”

Kelley did exactly that.

He flattened Alex to the couch again, pressing their chest together once again, Alex had spread his thighs, Kelley slotted himself right there. Their groins meet and slide together. And holy fucking hell did that feel good. The pressure of Alex’s steel length against his rock hard cock sending relief and pleasure throughout his body.

Alex scratched his nails down his back making him growl. He had his legs bracketing Kelley’s body holding him in place. Like he would be so fucking stupid as to move.

He can feel Alex’s heart jackhammering through his chest. Their breaths panting out between kisses and moans.

What had started out slow had built and built until Kelley wanted to say fuck it and rip Alex’s clothes off to get at every inch of his skin. To have their bodies, slippery from sweat, sliding together.

And just like that Kelley knew exactly what he was going to do. Oh, sweet jesus the thought alone sending lust hurtling to his aching balls, making him want to shoot.

He was going to drive Alex to the brink over and over. Making him forget anything and everything except the need that would be coursing through his body. The need Kelley would put there. Have Alex begging and pleading Kelley to let him come.

Within minutes they lay back on the couch completely naked, kneeling between Alex’s thighs once again. All of Alex’s gorgeous fucking skin on display. His cock seemingly begging for attention, the crown purple and leaking pre-come onto his stomach. Kelley mouth waters with the thought of sliding it between his lips. But not yet.

Unable to stop himself he slipped his hands, fingers spread wide, to his ankles, over his thighs, across his chest. Gliding with the lightest touch around Alex’s erect nipples, back down his arms. Over and over he did this, needing to get his fill of this beautiful man. No one should have this effect on another person. He sat there with a naked Alex in front of him in awe of every lean muscle that pushed up to meet his hands, every scar his traced.

“Kelley,” Alex bites out as his body trembled under Kelley’s gentle touches.

“Yeah, baby. You need something?”

“Fuck. Don’t be an ass. You know want I want.”

Kelley sank back down on top of him. Licking a path up his collarbone to his throat and then their mouths meet stifling any more words that Alex was going to say. Their cocks align perfectly, and Kelley begins to thrust his cock against Alex’s as their kisses turn desperate and needy.

Kelley pulled away, and before Alex could utter a protest, he moved, swallowing his cock to the back of his throat. Letting his saliva pool in his mouth, needing all the wetness he could get for the slide of their cocks. With every groan that Alex had let out Kelley’s cock would twitch and throb tightening to epic proportions.

Each time he could feel Alex getting close Kelley would back off. Time and time again bringing him to the brink before pulling his mouth and hand away. Alex would whimper and wiggle, unable to lay still. He was so out of it that he words were reduced to grunts and groans.

When Kelley was satisfied that he had sufficiently teased Alex, he pulled off his cock with a pop. Using the spit that was now covering his hand, he coated his own cock with it before laying on top of Alex, lining their cocks up.

His body fitting tightly to Alex’s. Wrapping one arm around Alex’s shoulders, holding as close to him as he could, both needing the closeness this position gave them. Kelley began thrusting his cock against Alex’s.

“I’ve got you, baby. Just feel.”

Profanities had started to spill from Alex’s mouth. Kelley’s whole body was so overwhelmed by the slide and friction of their cocks he felt like he could’ve blown his load at any moment, hoping that Alex was feeling even a silver of what he was.

Alex had begun to counter thrust, writhing his tight body under Kelley. His head was tipped back, the muscles of his neck corded and straining.

“That’s it, baby. Let go.”

Cute cover!

I was drawn to this book because I’m such a sucker for hot guys with kids. Single dad’s or in this case, single brother raising his eight-year-old sister. After losing his father to cancer a month before his sister was born and losing his mother in a car accident when his sister was just four, he’s dealing with a lot. Evie (his sister) has panic attacks and night terror’s and other residual problems from the accident, making it hard for Alex to do much else besides work and worry about her. He seems like kind of a jerk in the beginning, he’s impatient and short with people, his best friend especially, even though his best friend Ben is there for him and Evie and honestly just wanting him to move on and live again. It doesn’t help that the guy Alex was seeing at the time of the accident that left Alex a single guardian, had left him because it was too much to stick around with a guy who had a kid with psychological problems. Now, don’t blame the ex though, he had his reasons and they were completely understandable. I didn’t blame him a bit. Still, Alex didn’t trust people after that and didn’t get close to anyone. So, when Ben (the best friend) asked him to meet a girl he’d been seeing and was getting serious with, Alex puts on his grown-up pants and agrees, even though he was grumpy about it. That’s where he runs into Kelley.

Kelley is the head of a marketing thing where Alex worked before he lost his mother. Kelley had seen him around and thought he was gorgeous…. Over time, he saw him get sadder and sadder before he up and quit. Knowing at least a little bit of the reason why, he was happily surprised to bump into Alex at restaurant and tried to talk to him to catch up. It didn’t last long, but Kelley didn’t give up….

I thought the way Kelley and Alex talked to each other for the first half of the book was borderline professional and not in any way like “friends”. I understand that Alex was trying to keep him at a distance and Kelley was trying to not be pushy, but especially when Kelley tried an innuendo or a silly jab, it seemed awkward…like trying to tease your lawyer or something. I didn’t get the chemistry between the two at all. Not for a while.

And don’t get me wrong, I understood, TO A POINT, where Alex was coming from, but I couldn’t stand him the majority of the book. I understand panic attacks, I understand pushing people away, I understand doing everything on your own and feeling like if you let your people down, it makes you feel like crap…. But Alex was selfish. Period, he was selfish and his woe is me, nobody understands me, nobody knows what it’s like because nobody else has ever faced tragedy in their lives before, crap was annoying. His whole thing with Ben… although Ben was a jerk and pushy at dinner the ONE TIME, I didn’t see him as being pushy at all any other time. He was concerned for his friend… Man, my best friend after a lifetime together is used to tough love because if you can’t trust your best friends, your family to tell you the truth then who can you trust? Even when it hurts… and that’s all Ben was trying to do… Like I said, he did go overboard, but it came from a good place. Alex flew off the handle and into a fit of rage any time anyone said anything he didn’t like. True or not.

Kelley was patient and understanding and wonderful. He put up with so much from Alex and I honestly thought he deserved so much better. I wanted to be sympathetic towards Alex, I really did and I guess at some points I was… but the majority of the time I just wanted to throat punch him and his attitude.

I loved Evie and I loved all the friends, although I wasn’t so sure about Peter, still not, but I haven’t given him another thought after I closed the book. The story ended on a good note, which I was happy about…I love good endings, especially when they took so long to get there, like I felt this one did. The story itself wasn’t a bad one, it was actually a great storyline. I just don’t feel like I ever got over my annoyance of Alex to enjoy it like I wanted to. I hate when that happens.

3 pieces of eye candy from me on this one

Morningstar Ashley is a transplant from the Yankee-controlled territory of New York, and now finds herself in the heartland of cowboys and longhorns—Texas. Armed with her imagination, wit, and trusty sidekicks in the form of her two crazy kids, devoted dorky husband, big lap dog, and rambunctious cats, Morningstar spends her time reading the books she loves, crafting her own characters, and arguing the merits of hot chocolate over the bitter brew known as coffee (Hot chocolate wins, FYI.).

Morningstar loves graphic design, so much so she returned to school for a degree and regularly tromps her exams and maintains a stellar GPA that occasionally leaves her confounded and pleased. She can while away the hours on new designs, and perfection isn’t too much to hope for when it comes to her art.

Her ideal career would be full-time artist and author, and so far, she hasn’t come up against anything to stop her on her journey. A fierce and devoted friend, Morningstar tries her best to always be kind, always be learning, and always improving. Giving up isn’t an option, and her greatest talent may be in her ability to convince others not to give up, either. After a lifetime of trying to get people to realize her first name wasn’t Ashley, Morningstar decided the best way to settle the debate was to put her name on a book cover. An avid reader and fiction reviewer for the blog and site Diverse Reader, Morningstar harbored a dream to one day join the ranks of her heroes, and she sweeps into the contemporary gay romance genre with her debut novel, LETTING GO. With plans to conquer gay, lesbian and LGBTQA+ romance, Morningstar has her gaze set on the horizon, her determination her own guiding star.

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/morningstar.ashley

TWITTER: @starzehashley

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Mascara & Bandages by Brandon Witt: Release Day Review with Giveaway

Ariel Merman is a new drag queen who’s already finding a family at Hamburger Mary’s. After a performance as Ariel, Zachary Cooper walks home in his makeup and is assaulted by homophobes. Zachary’s worry that the attack has thrown a wrench in his good fortune is eased when he looks into the eyes of his doctor.

Dr. Teegan Chau is a little lost after divorcing his wife and coming out of the closet, but he can’t deny the pull he feels toward the young man he patches up. Luckily, Zachary takes the initiative and asks Teegan out. But attraction is the easy part of their blossoming relationship—as they deal with an ex-wife and child, being a drag queen in a heteronormative culture, Zachary’s lingering trauma from his attack, and Teegan acclimating to life as part of an out-and-proud gay couple.

The challenges seem daunting at the start of a romance. Can Zachary and Teegan make it through the rough patches and take a chance on the love that’s been missing from both their lives?

Title: Mascara & Bandages
Series: Mary’s Boys: Book Three
Author: Brandon Witt
Release Date: July 12, 2017
Category: Contemporary
Pages: 121

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This is the third book in this series, and somehow I missed the first one (I’ll definitely need to correct that at some point)…but I have never felt lost for not having read the first one.

One of the things that I enjoy about Brandon’s book, and especially this series is that he writes across the board. He doesn’t write only gay white males who have money, etc. He writes drag queens (ManDonna has my <3 ), African-Americans, Asian men, men who don’t have two nickles to rub together, as well as men who are coming out of the closet. In other words, he writes gay men out in the world. Because as we know, gay men are all different, just as straight people are, bisexual, etc. His characters are rich in diversity, and their personalities reflect that diversity, and differences in culture.

Zachary, oh goodness, what happened to him broke my heart, as much as I realize that it is a part of what happens, I still hated to see any character go through it. But with his family at Hamburger Mary’s (which I am totally visiting when I am in Denver for GRL in October…maybe Brandon will take me there!) he attempts to work through the trauma, all while I begins dating Asian American doctor Teegan, whose family will never accept Teegan being gay, or Zachary, with or without him being a drag queen.

Teegan’s ex-wife is also a great character in this, showing that not all divorces need to end in people hating each other, and making their children’s lives miserable. She is supportive and caring, and wants Teegan to be happy more than anything.

Zachary had such a big heart, as the reader can see when they learn all about his bookstore. He was so deserving of that happy ending that Brandon absolutely had to provide them. But even more, Zachary was able to grow within himself and face his fears. No matter the challenge (and he had a couple very tough ones), he was able to stand up and work through it, with his family and Teegan’s support, but also by being the man he knew he could be.

4 pieces of eye candy


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Unbreakable Stories: Rowe by Jocelynn Drake and Rinda Elliott: Quick Reviews with Giveaway

Unbreakable Stories: Rowe is a collection of short stories following the romantic adventures and misadventures of former Army Rangers turned security experts Rowe Ward and Noah Keegan following the events of Torch, book 3 of the Unbreakable Bonds series.

This collection is more than 30,000 words long and contain stories such as:
Piece of Pie
Mistletoe
Haunted
Gotcha
And many more…

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Drake & Elliott have mastered another hit! Unbreakable Stories: Rowe is the compilation of shorts of Noah & Rowe and they are absolutely hilarious, sweet & s. There is not much more to say that I haven’t said in previous reviews. I adore this series and it will forever be in my top 5 of all time. Drake & Elliott are a dynamic duo that I hope continue writing together for years to come.

Noah & Rowe had everything…

Impressive writing – check
Good flow of each story – check
Witty – check
Sweet – check
Sexy – check

The stories that Drake & Elliot create are full of family and love. Every time I read a new story (short or long) with the Unbreakable Men I get ALL. THE. FEELS. My favorite short was Mistletoe. The warmth and love you feel Noah has for Rowe is gut clenching. Noah will do anything to make Rowe feel loved during the holidays and the reindeer games they play definitely did the trick. I love getting a glimpse into their lives and seeing a little bit more of how they are so well matched as partners.

I hope Drake & Elliott continue to do little shorts (or a full length) of the Unbreakable characters. I don’t want to ever let them go. Well done Ladies – Keep the stories coming!

4.5 pieces of eye candy

Why can I not get enough of these men? I just love all the men in this series, and they are written so well by Drake & Elliott, I have to wonder how anyone will be able to get enough. I almost NEVER beg for additional stories on characters, mostly because often it seems when they have achieved their happy ending, then there isn’t much to tell about them.

However, these two authors have written such an incredible series, with characters who are so true to life, so diverse in personalities, that I cannot imagine how any of them could be boring. Adding these stories after their happy endings are such a joy to read. You learn more about their lives, their pasts, their wants, all the hot sex they have, and mostly about how the relationships between all these men continue to strengthen bonds built over many years.

Rowe’s stories are no exception. We see the fun side of Rowe and Noah, as they mess with their oh so serious friends. And we see the tender side, as we learn more about Rowe’s deceased wife, and his sister in law. The tears were flowing…in a short story. THAT is hard to do. For an author to bring a connection to a reader based on a short story is an incredible gift, yet these ladies do it so well.

I can’t help but hope that we get more scenes, maybe even more books, even as I know that these two will be working on a spin off series that I have no doubt will rock my world. Their writing draws me in, creates some serious magic, and then spits me out the other side, wrung out from the feels, but still happy as can be that I get to have a little of that in my life.

Well done, ladies…well done.

4.5 pieces of eye candy

For a chance to win an ebook copy of any of the Unbreakable Bonds books (including the stories), tell us, have you read any of the books in this series? If not why (okay, run now!), and if so, which one is your favorite?

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The Cycle by P.T. Denys: New Release Review

Almost 15 years ago a brutal attack by a violent psychopath changed everything.

In Violence Begets… despite horrific child abuse, Rick St. James and Kevin Vincent were able to find love in each other. They discovered that violence only begat violence when they allowed it to.

They had a choice.

They chose love.

Now Rick’s little brother is faced with the same painful reality that Rick once had to endure. Returning home to help his brother causes the nightmares of the past to crash and merge with the demons of the present.

Love is put to the test and it may not be strong enough to survive The Cycle!

Amazon

 

First things first. If you have not read the first book, Violence Begets– stop what you are doing, buy it and read it. Then come back here. You absolutely cannot read this book without reading the first.

It has been a week since I finished this book. And still I don’t think that my review will even come close to doing it justice. This is a brutal read. It is heartbreaking. It is beautiful. It is fascinating. It will very likely trigger a lot of people for various reasons. There was a big unexpected trigger for me in the book which left me with quite a bit of introspection.

How do I review a book and beg you to read it when I know what a difficult read it is? This is the book to push you out of your comfort zone. But like I said, you had to have read book 1 and if you did, you pretty much know what you are in for. I also REALLY don’t want to give anything away.

This is an amazing details driven book that relies heavily on psychology. Seeing what makes people tick, how it affects them and those around them and how one seemingly small thing can bring it all crashing back.

Jump out of your comfort zone. Read Violence Begets if you haven’t, then read this. Although I suggest giving yourself some happy reads in between.

If you already did read Violence Begets, you must read The Cycle.

 

Pieces of Candy: 5

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The Shape of You by Felice Stevens: Blog Tour, Excerpt and Review

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The Shape of You, a sexy, heart-warming MM romance by Felice Stevens is available now!

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The Shape of You
by Felice Stevens
Publication Date: June 29th, 2017
Genre: Contemporary MM Romance

Too big. Too fat.

All his life Eric Sontag has judged himself on his size, believing love and friendship aren’t in the cards for someone like him. Tired of being alone and scared of his doctor’s warnings, he enrolls in a nutrition support group, determined to change his life. When a beautiful thin man sits next to him, he can’t believe they have anything in common, but conversation between the two soon proves first impressions aren’t always what they seem.

Drifter. Loner.

Corey DeSantis has always been the scrawny waif; he’s tired of struggling with his art and with life. Scarred by the disappearance and death of his drug-addicted mother, he doesn’t wish for love, believing it will bring him nothing but pain in the end. Now his only hunger in life is his desire to paint…until a health scare and his mentor force him to attend a nutrition class where he meets a man who piques his interest. One drunken kiss later, Eric is all Corey can think about.

The same, yet different.

An unlikely friendship is born with both men wanting more but afraid to listen to their well-guarded hearts. When Corey receives shocking news leaving him angry and helpless, it’s Eric he leans on, to help see him through, while a surprising career opportunity finds Eric leaning on Corey for advice. One night of explosive passion leads to a second and soon neither man can imagine a life without the other. Life is shaped by the challenges accepted and roads not taken but as Corey and Eric walk the path together, they’ll discover the most beautiful destination of all. Love.

(Free in Kindle Unlimited)

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2t2kiLU

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“I know you’re awake.”

Feeling Corey’s lips smile against his back, Eric rolled over to face him. Damn, he was so beautiful. Eric had no idea how he’d gotten so lucky to have Corey want him, but as long as he did, Eric would make the most of it, even though he knew how much it would hurt to say good-bye. Because Eric didn’t expect a future or even a tomorrow, he’d take these moments and tuck them away for later.

“How’d you sleep?”

Yawning and scratching his head, Corey shook the hair from his eyes. “Like the dead. Man, you wore me out.”

They gazed at each other, Eric feeling the heat rise to his face. He’d never been intimate with someone he wasn’t emotionally invested in, but something about Corey mesmerized him. Eric was the helpless moth, and Corey possessed that incandescent glow that drew him so close, he could feel the singe of fire.

“Um, well, after we shower, I think I should make breakfast for us. We never had a chance to write down our dinner last night or anything, and I think that’s important.”

Corey unwound himself from Eric and sat up cross-legged on the bed. Fully dressed, the man was a distraction. Naked and disheveled from sleep? Impossible to resist. Eric wanted to pull Corey close and do all the dirty things he’d only seen in porno movies. But showing restraint, Eric rose from the bed to go to the bathroom.

“We kinda got busy with other stuff.”

His heart jumped at Corey’s infectious grin, and he knew from the sensuous glow in Corey’s eyes, he too wanted a repeat of the night before. But pushing aside thoughts of kissing Corey and sucking his cock, Eric focused on the practical.

“Uh, yeah. What do you want for breakfast? I have eggs or oatmeal and fruit. Think about it.”

He closed the bathroom door behind him and rested against it for a moment, overwhelmed by the previous night, then waking up to find Corey hadn’t changed his mind and remained attracted to him. He wondered what would happen if he did lose all his weight. Would Corey want him then?

TSOY-AN

 

Check out Jennifer’s Release Day Review here!

 

SOYteaser

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I have always been a romantic at heart. I believe that while life is tough, there is always a happy ending around the corner, My characters have to work for it, however. Like life in NYC, nothing comes easy and that includes love, but getting there is oh so fun and oh so sexy.

I live in New York City with my husband and two children. My day begins with a lot of caffeine and ends with a glass (or two of red wine). I practice law but daydream of a time when I can sit by a beach somewhere and write beautiful stories of men falling in love. Although there are bound to be a few bumps along the way, a Happily Ever After is always guaranteed.

Connect with Felice:

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/FeliceStevens1

Blog: http://caferisque.blogspot.com/?zx=e071df0101ec6c96

Stay up to date with Felice by signing up for her newsletter here:

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Join her Reader Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1449289332021166/

http://www.felicestevens.com/en

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Mai Tais and Murder by J.C. Long: Quick Review and Excerpt

Gabe Maxfield never wanted to be a detective or a policeman or anything of the sort. The closest he wanted to come to the law was writing legal briefs and doing research for a big-shot law firm. Nice and safe, and without all the stress. No unanswered questions, just well-defined legal precedents.

When he moves to Hawaii in the wake of a disastrous breakup and betrayal by an ex, a murder investigation is the last thing he expects to get wrapped up in, but he can’t help himself when a dead body, a hunky cop, and his best friend get involved.

So much for sipping Mai Tais on the beach and admiring the well-tanned bodies around him.

Author: J.C. Long

Series: Gabe Maxfield Mysteries

Release Date: June 12, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-947139-19-0

Format: ePub, Mobi, PDF

Cover Artist: Natasha Snow

Category: Romance

Genre: Contemporary

Word Count: 53000

Sex Content: Explicit

Pairing: MM

Orientation: Gay

Identity: Cisgender

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The sound of banging drew me from the nap I’d fallen into on the uncomfortable, lumpy couch I’d inherited in my new condo. I looked around, confused until I realized someone was knocking at my front door rather impatiently.

I hurried across the room, threw open the door, and was greeted with the sight of a burly Islander pulling a dolly loaded up with boxes. The movers were there, finally. I glanced at the watch I wore on my wrist. It was nearly noon, so only, oh, two hours late.

“Aloha, we’re with the movers,” the man said unnecessarily.

“I thought you were going to be here by ten,” I said, stepping out of the door and allowing the man to wheel the dolly inside.

“Yo, you got choke boxes, braddah.” It sounded like it was meant to be an explanation, but if it was, I didn’t understand it. I’d been in Hawaii for two weeks, and I had not come close to catching on to the local pidgin. I understood what was being said around me about seventy percent of the time, and then suddenly I had no idea. Perhaps he saw the confusion on my face, because he added, not unkindly, “You got a lot of boxes.”

I nodded my understanding, deciding not to press the issue of the lateness; I’d learned in my brief time living on the island of Oahu that things in Hawaii ran differently, as if time followed different rules there. Things that would be done at a quick pace back in Seattle just happened slower here—the whole aloha, relaxed island attitude to blame, I supposed. It definitely wasn’t a bad thing—in fact, I found the lifestyle here to be worlds better than what I experienced on the mainland. It was just an adjustment. Grace assured me I’d get there eventually, and I was mildly successful already, becoming way more relaxed than I had been in Seattle, but when it came to things like this, I couldn’t help but get a little irate.

Didn’t people in Hawaii want their packages on time, too? At least pizza delivery still ran on time.

I stood back and allowed the man and his companion to wheel in more boxes. They were about halfway through unloading when the second man stopped and pulled the door down on the back of the truck, leaving the rest of my boxes inside.

“Hey, what are you doing? Those are my boxes!”

“Nevah mine, braddah. Try wait, yeah? We come back bumbye. We gone go grind.” The bigger guy came out of the condo behind me, patting my shoulder with a beefy hand.

I ran a hand through my hair. “I’m sorry, I don’t quite understand…”

“He said they’ll come back in a bit. They’re going to get lunch.”

I looked over and saw a tall, dark-skinned Islander, bulging muscles all but ripping out of the tight maroon V-neck T-shirt he was wearing. He was about an inch over six feet, with dazzling white teeth and short-cut, dark hair. His eyes were a surprisingly light shade of hazel that contrasted his skin.

“Oh, uh, yeah, okay. Thanks.” God, I sounded like a stammering idiot.

If the hunk of an Islander noticed, he didn’t say anything. “You’ve been here a few weeks, right? Why are you just getting boxes? Not that I’m stalking you or anything,” he added quickly, eyes widening a bit as he probably processed what he said. Saying you weren’t stalking someone made it sound like you were stalking someone. I hadn’t taken it that way, but when I thought about it, I could see how it could sound stalker-like. “I live in the condo next to yours.” He pointed over my shoulder at the door to his place.

I had my suspicions that he was blushing, but with his face as tan as it was, it was hard to tell. It did look like the skin on the exposed, smooth expanse of his chest and neck had reddened a bit, but was likely just wishful thinking.

That’s when I realized I was staring at his chest. Goddamn it, here I was, a twenty-nine-year-old man acting like a fifteen-year-old. “I’m Gabe Maxfield.” I introduced myself to establish that I was not,  in fact a bumbling idiot. “Nice to meet you.”

The guy took my hand and shook it firmly. His touch was surprisingly soft despite the few calluses I could feel, and a warmth spread through me that had nothing to do with the blazing sun. “I’m Maka Kekoa. Hauʻoli kēia hui ʻana o kāua. That’s nice to meet you in Ōlelo Hawaiʻi, the Hawaiian language.”

I tried to repeat it, and he smiled at the way I stumbled over the words. “To answer your question,” I said quickly, trying to move past the embarrassment of butchering the language, “I wasn’t in a rush to get everything since this place came mostly furnished. I shipped them from Seattle at the cheapest—and slowest—rate.”

“Oh, you need these guys back here at a certain time?” he asked, gesturing toward the movers, who still hadn’t driven off, much to my surprise. They were standing close together, watching our interaction with quite a bit of interest.

“I’m supposed to meet a friend today at three, so they need to be here and finished before then.”

Maka nodded and walked to the passenger door of the truck, rapping on it with his knuckles. The door opened and some words were exchanged that I didn’t hear—not that I was paying attention. My eyes were too busy traveling over the nice muscles of Maka’s arms and the very pleasing shape of his ass.

Okay, I will admit it. I had such fun with this book! I seriously cannot wait for the next book (there is a next book, right? When?) to come out.

Gabe, probably one of the most apathetic MC’s to start a book, becomes quite involved in the world around him (c’mon he is in HAWAII!!!!) when his best friend is arrested for the murder of her private detective business partner. He, somewhat unwittingly, falls into clues along the way, while being chased by the people trying to make sure nothing comes of his investigation.

He also falls in love with a hot Hawaiian police detective (who also happens to be a hula dancer. Whew!), and they work through the investigation together, in a fashion–still have to keep everything on the up and up, of course.

Of course, the mystery is solved, not without some serious injury coming to Gabe Maxfield first. And not without leaving some of the mystery open for future books…

This was a fun, flirty, and sexy book, with a bit of mystery thrown in. Grab this one for when you need a night in, and want to venture away to the islands. You won’t regret it!

4.5 pieces of eye candy

J. C. Long is an American expat living in Japan, though he’s also lived stints in Seoul, South Korea—no, he’s not an army brat; he’s an English teacher. He is also quite passionate about Welsh corgis and is convinced that anyone who does not like them is evil incarnate. His dramatic streak comes from his lifelong involvement in theatre. After living in several countries aside from the United States, J. C. is convinced that love is love, no matter where you are, and he is determined to write stories that demonstrate exactly that. J. C. Long’s favorite things in the world are pictures of corgis, writing, and Korean food (not in that order…okay, in that order). J. C. spends his time when not writing by thinking about writing, coming up with new characters, attending Big Bang concerts, and wishing he was writing. The best way to get him to write faster is to motivate him with corgi pictures. Yes, that is a veiled hint.

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

Twitter: @j_c_long_author

Website: http://www.jclong.org/

Email:jclongauthor@gmail.com

 

 

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