GRL 2016 Blog Tour: J.K. Hogan

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**TCO is excited to have J.K. Hogan with us for the GRL 2016 Blog Tour. Check out what she’s up to, and where she will be during GRL. Can’t wait to meet her in October!

 

Guest Post

J.K. Hogan GRL Guest Post

An interesting thing happened to me the other day: I got fan mail. See, I’m so visible on social media and have always been really open interacting with readers, so I don’t get a lot of personal emails or messages, which means I get excited when it happens. I love hearing what people thought when they read my books, and it makes me happy that someone would take the time out of their day to contact me and tell me.  I have a point (other than readers are awesome), I promise.

I guess this is the reason, even though I’m painfully introverted, that I go to GRL every year. It’s a special situation, because I can simultaneously be the fangirl-ee and the fangirl-er, if that makes sense. I’m still star struck by a lot of the people I meet at cons, but the ones that come up to me to say they’ve read my book—well, those are the most special. I’m not good at being socially forward, which I think is a common trait among authors, so I want to take this moment to invite any and everyone at GRL to come say hello and chat about books. Even if you stop by just to tell me you haven’t read my books, that’s okay too! We can still chat about books because I’m a reader too.

GRL Featured Author

Here’s where you can find me throughout the week:

Featured Author Panel (Q&A)—      10/20/2016      3:30 PM – 3:45 PM

Author Lounge—                               10/21/2016      2:00 PM – 2:45 PM

Author Lounge—                               10/22/2016      11:00 AM – 11:45 AM

Featured Author Book Signing—      10/22/2016      (TBA)

And of course, I’m going to try to attend as many of the parties and events as I can handle. Plus, wherever there is coffee, you’ll know where to find me… so stop by and say hi!

 

StrongMedicineCover

My most recent release: Strong Medicine

Two men who meet in a psychiatric institution couldn’t possibly find happiness together—could they?

The world seemed to be telling disgraced former child star and singer Cameron Fox that he would never be happy again. A drunken car accident gets him sentenced to a work-release at Riverbend Behavioral Health Facility.

Reclusive, traumatized writer Jonah Radley has an entire graveyard of skeletons in his closet. Jonah regularly hospitalizes himself for psychotic episodes caused by a horrific childhood trauma, his biggest secret—one he refuses to speak about in therapy.

Jonah and Cameron form a bond inside the hospital, forged in mutual pain and hope for a better life. Once they leave the hospital, they must decide if they are brave enough to explore the intricacies of living with mental illness—and find a new normal together.

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♦ Wilde City Press

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♦ All Romance

 

meet the author

6427555J.K. Hogan has been telling stories for as long as she can remember, beginning with writing cast lists and storylines for her toys growing up. When she finally decided to put pen to paper, magic happened. She is greatly inspired by all kinds of music and often creates a “soundtrack” for her stories as she writes them. J.K. is hoping to one day have a little something for everyone, so she’s branched out from m/f paranormal romance and added m/m contemporary romance. Who knows what’s next?

J.K. resides in North Carolina, where she was born and raised. A true southern girl at heart, she lives in the country with her husband and two sons, a cat, and two champion agility dogs. If she isn’t on the agility field, J.K. can often be found chasing waterfalls in the mountains with her husband, or down in front at a blues concert. In addition to writing, she enjoys training and competing in dog sports, spending time with her large southern family, camping, boating and, of course, reading! For more information, please visit www.jkhogan.com.

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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.

Bear Among the Books by T.J. Masters: Guest Post, Excerpt and Giveaway

BearAmongTheBooksFSsynopsisForty-eight-year-old Ben Thompson is a librarian, a passionate book lover, and a man who embodies the definition of a bear. He’s also lonely after the loss of his long-term partner. Young ex-gymnast Jason Barnes piques his interest, but Ben quickly realizes there’s more to Jason than his good looks. While Jason visits the library almost every day, he never checks out a book.

With gentle persistence, Ben befriends Jason and learns the nineteen-year-old’s tragic secrets. After years of abuse at his father’s hands, Jason was kicked out of his family home for being gay. And despite his apparent love of books, Jason never learned to read. Ben offers to teach him, and the two men bond over their lessons. Ben can’t deny his attraction to Jason, but he wonders if Jason is too young and too handsome to return his interest. With the help of the close-knit library team and Jason’s growing self-confidence, they move beyond the books and into the bedroom, where their own story is just beginning.

Title: Bear Among the Books
Author: T.J. Masters
Release Date: September 2, 2016
Category: Contemporary
Pages: 230

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Guest Post

BLOG: The Age Thing.

Few relationship topics polarise personal opinions like ‘the age thing’.  Any ‘May to December’ coupling will expose strong prejudices but for me, the biggest gap is not measured in the years between the individuals, but in the gulf of misunderstanding between the couple and their peers. In Bear Among the Books The romantic leads are a couple with an almost 30 year difference between their ages.

There has been much debate in both the hetero and homosexual worlds about loving relationships where there is a significant age differential between the individuals. Not long ago we saw the varied response to the marriage between Stephen Fry (57) and his partner Elliot Spencer (27). I was not surprised to see so many of their detractors focusing on the assumed negative reasons for the choices of both men. For those embarking on such relationships, the age thing is rarely a factor. For those on the outside however, it will bring the most unseemly prejudices bubbling to the surface. Even the stereotypical labels used to describe those individuals go from barely neutral to downright offensive; Cougar, chaser, trophy wife, jail bait and paedo are all examples.

For those couples who ignore the prejudice they find great happiness and riches in their choice but they are well aware of the challenges too. Many will choose partners close to their own age because they use physical attraction as a primary factor. Others however, in my experience, will choose an older mate for much more pragmatic reasons. First is that if they may seek out an older man who has the most real life experience and the most to teach. Secondly, an older man may be seen as generally more settled in his life and more emotionally stable. some just say that they feel safer with an older man.

So why do some men prefer to take on younger boyfriends? The explanation is simple. Young guys may be inexperienced but they will be eager, enthusiastic, full of energy and life as well as being open to new experiences and, importantly for me, they bring little baggage with them. By this I mean that they will not have picked up too many bad habits or had too many bad experiences.

I could probably write a whole book on this topic but that’s not what a blog post is meant to be. Instead I am going to leave you with a set of points for further thought and discussion. Don’t be surprised if they contradict because of course the only rule is that there are no rules.

Age is a fluid thing. Young boys all become old men.

Culture can play a big part in how the age thing is viewed. Go look up hypergamy.

The biological imperative. Younger women traditionally seek men who can provide the resources necessary for the survival of the family. Men seek younger women who will give birth to the healthiest babies.

In Ancient Greece young boys often partnered older men as lovers and pupils and yet long term homosexual relationships were frowned upon.

Young lovers can be real naturals even without experience.

Some young men find older men physically attractive.

An older man can teach a younger one so much.

There is no guarantee that the older one will die first.

Some people are hot and sexy at any age.

Age really is just a number.

There is somebody out there for everyone

Your values and beliefs are yours. Do not assume that they are the same for others.

Love is ageless.

Arrogance cannot replace experience.

Learn from the best that you can find.

Be the best that you can be.

The heart shows no wrinkles.

 

excerpt

Jason grabbed me for a quick but much easier hug than his previous attempt. Again I was really taken aback, and he caught me off guard.

“What was that for?”

“Sorry, should I not have done that? It just seemed like the right thing to do.”

“No, I just wasn’t expecting it.”

Jason looked toward the entrance doors of the library and chuckled. “At least if they were watching I’ve given the others something to tease you about!”

“You cheeky monkey. They will too!”

“Bye, then. See you tomorrow.”

“Bye, Jason.”

He quickly unlocked his bike and put his helmet on. As he mounted the bike and rode off, I turned to go inside, but I couldn’t help smiling broadly to myself. Of course I walked in to find Jake and Jess standing behind the desk trying hard to look serious. Jake tapped his watch. “What time do you call this?”

Jessica then joined in. “I want a full explanation of your tardiness, as well as any excuse you might have for that awesome display of affection with the hottie outside the front door.”

“Give over, you two; it was just an eventful lunchbreak.”

Jake pretended to be shocked, slapping his hand over his mouth as he gasped. Jess also feigned surprise. “Is that why you were out for so long? When is the wedding?”

“No, no. That’s not what I meant. We just had a quiet lunch at the pub. Completely innocent, I assure you.”

“But you like him, don’t you?” Jake never held back when it came to asking direct questions. In truth I’d not considered how I would answer such a question, but my hesitation was all they needed.

“I knew it,” Jess was quick to comment. “Clearly if that hug outside was anything to go by, he likes you too.”

“You’re reading too much into it and anyway, I’m old enough to be his father.”

“So what?” Jake turned quite serious now. “That’s a very old-fashioned thing to say. Lots of guys like more mature men or women, and maybe you are just what he wants.”

Again, I had no response, and so Jess came out from behind the counter and put a maternal arm around my shoulder. “We might be joking with you, but we’ve hoped for a long time that you might find someone to have some fun with. You are way too nice to be alone, and Colin would never have wanted that for you either.”

I planted a grateful kiss on the top of her head. “What did I ever do to deserve you two?”

Jake started flapping his arms slowly. “We are your library angels.”

“You really are crazy, the pair of you. As for anything between Jason and me, just behave, especially when he’s around.”

“Yes, sir!” They saluted in unison causing me to shake my head and walk off into the library. As I crossed the floor, I was lost in thought. Was anything happening between Jason and me? Could anything happen? Part of me reveled in the idea, but another part was telling me that I was a silly old man and probably quite deluded.

meet the author

DSCF7352Author T.J. Masters recently and somewhat reluctantly passed his 60th birthday. After a long and happy teaching career T.J. wanted to follow a new path before senility set in. Books and stories have been a lifelong passion and there are many tales waiting to be told.

As a happily partnered gay man T.J. chooses to write what he knows best. His overactive and ever exploring mind is probably best described by the Oscar Wilde quote that “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars”.

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS

Website: www.tjmasters.com

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

Twitter: @TJMasters

 

giveaway

Do you have a favourite May to December couple either fictional or real? Tell us who it is and why by posting in the comments here and I will choose the best one to receive a free copy of one of my previously published short stories.

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

Empty Net by Avon Gale: Release Day Review, Exclusive Excerpt and Giveaway

 

Featured Author Avon Gale

empty netsynopsis

Spartanburg Spitfires’ goalie and captain, Isaac Drake, ended last season with an unexpected trip to the playoffs. He’s found a home and a family with his coach and mentor, Misha Samarin, and he’s looking forward to making a serious run for the Kelly Cup. But things take an interesting turn when Isaac’s archnemesis, Laurent St. Savoy, is traded to the Spitfires. After Laurent’s despicable behavior in the playoffs last year, Isaac wants nothing to do with him—no matter how gorgeous he is. But that changes when Isaac discovers the reason for Laurent’s attitude.

Laurent St. Savoy grew up the only son of a legendary NHL goalie in a household rife with abuse. He was constantly treated like a disappointment, on and off the ice. When a desperate attempt to escape his father’s tyranny sends him to the Spitfires, the last thing Laurent wants is to make friends. But there’s something about Isaac Drake that he can’t resist. Laurent has an opportunity to explore his sexuality for the first time, but he’s cracking under end-of-the-season pressures. When facing the playoffs and a rivalry turned personal vendetta, Isaac’s not sure he’s enough to hold on to Laurent—or their relationship.

Title: Empty Net
Series: Scoring Chances: Book 4
Author: Avon Gale
Release Date: September 2, 2016
Category: Contemporary
Pages: 200

tco exclusive

Exclusive Excerpt from Empty Net:

Kissing Laurent was both a good idea and a bad one.

Isaac had no idea what he was doing with Laurent on a personal level, but professionally they were in competition. Laurent’s goaltending was getting better and better, because he’d apparently decided to show up and play, after all. Which was great, but Isaac was having to step up his game.

And he liked it, he realized. The competition wasn’t vicious—since Laurent was being way less of a dickhead—but it was intense.

The more intense it got, the more intense the kissing got too. Isaac continued to wonder if he was getting in over his head.

“So you’re spending a lot of time with Saint,” Hux said, when they were playing video games at his and Murph’s place.

“And isn’t it better for everyone?” Isaac made his on-screen character shoot the puck. He liked playing forward on video games, even though everyone expected him to be the goalie.

“Not talking about the team, bro,” said Hux. He, on the other hand, played a defenseman, just like he did on the ice. He also liked to try and get in fights. Hux was a man secure and happy with his role in their shared sport, that was for sure.

“You fucking him?” Murph asked, wandering in with a beer.

“Murph thinks he’s gay,” Hux said, as if that needed explaining.

Isaac stared at the screen and tried to make Mike Fisher do some kind of Spinarama move. Instead Hux’s team stole the puck and scored off the turnover. Being a Predators fan was hard in any reality—real or pixelated. “I’m not fucking him.”

His friends stared at him, but Isaac tried not to let anything show on his face. Things were too complicated to talk about.

“Holy shit. Ha. I was right. My gaydar is better than yours, dude,” Murph crowed, smacking Isaac on the back of the head.

“Ow. Would you stop? I told you I wasn’t fucking him.”

“Yeah. But you’re getting some,” Murph prodded. “Don’t lie.”

“I’m not,” Isaac said. Firmly. “Believe me. Can we not talk about this?”

“Nope.” Hux paused the game. “Spill it. Are you guys dating?”

Isaac was two seconds away from snapping “I’m going home” and throwing the controller like he was a sulky twelve-year-old. Instead he took a deep breath and said, “Guys, can we not talk about Saint and just play the game?”

Murph and Hux exchanged a look, but they didn’t say anything else about it. Isaac didn’t trust that look at all, but he kept it to himself. He couldn’t say he didn’t want to talk about it and then start talking about it.

Making out with Laurent and trying to be friends with him didn’t necessarily make it easier to like him. He still rubbed a lot of the guys the wrong way, and though Isaac understood that dickhead Laurent was a result of him feeling insecure or defensive, no one else did. Yet there was a guy worth knowing under the mask. Isaac was sure of it.

Which was why, when Coach Samarin told them about an outreach opportunity at a local school, Isaac signed them both up without asking Laurent.

“You want me to talk to kids?” Laurent stared at him incredulously. “I can barely handle talking to people my own age, and you think this is a good idea?”

Isaac shrugged and then flashed a grin. “Probably not, but you gotta learn sometime. Right?”

Laurent didn’t look convinced. “I’m not ever having children,” he said in a flat voice.

“Stop making everything so dramatic,” Isaac responded. “You’re going.”

The outreach was about getting kids interested in hockey without the use of one of Belsey’s 80’s-music-themed ad campaigns. He and Laurent wore a few pieces of their gear—mostly to emphasize the importance of safety, and because kids thought their masks were cool—and stood in front of some nets while the kids were organized into two groups, and then tried to score with a giant nerf ball and what looked to be an over-sized golf club.

Isaac wasn’t used to kids, but he had fun flailing around and pretending to stop goals. Each kid took shots until they scored a goal, which was basically just Isaac letting one in when the kid looked frustrated or stopped giggling.

One of the teachers paused the shootout and came up to Isaac. “Umm. Could you maybe tell your teammate that this is supposed to be fun?”

Laurent was apparently taking his position too seriously, as usual. Isaac reassured the harried-looking teacher and went over to Laurent. “It’s not the Stanley Cup playoffs,” he said. “You’re not supposed to make other guys cry.”

Laurent’s dark gaze was cool and unreadable. Isaac had been told more than once that he had the crazy, “come and try it, asshole” goalie stare beneath his mask when he was in net. Not for the first time, Isaac noticed that Laurent’s stare looked like nobody was home—like he was just an extension of the net instead of a person.

No wonder he didn’t like hockey or playing goalie. Shutting down hotshot shooters was supposed to give you a feeling of glee. Just not when they were seven.

“My father never—”

“I swear to—uh, gosh. If you mention your dad, I will deck you with one of those Nerf things.” Isaac looked around and made sure he was smiling wildly in case a small child overheard him. “Now stop being a prick and make these kids have fun.”

Isaac yanked his mask back down, went to his side of the makeshift court, and took his spot back in goal.

A few minutes later he heard some cheers and giggling, so Isaac figured Laurent had gotten with the program.

After the kids were finished shooting at the goalies, they were allowed to take turns in net. Isaac was momentarily horrified at how that would play out with Laurent. He worried that he’d just consigned about ten kids to therapy. But Laurent was surprisingly good at that part. At one point Isaac looked over to check on him and saw Laurent bestow an honest-to-God smile on a kid and ruffle his hair.

That’s when Isaac decided they needed to go on a date—a real one that maybe ended in more than kissing. Because there was something about that gesture, about seeing Laurent St. Savoy drop all his attitude and be a regular guy having a good time and showing the affection he’d probably never had as a child. And Isaac needed to know if the thing between them was leading somewhere or if they were just going to be friends who sometimes petted each other’s hair, but no more than that.

“See. Wasn’t that fun?” Isaac asked on the way back. Laurent looked as relaxed as Isaac had ever seen him.

“It wasn’t bad,” Laurent said.

“You want to go get some dinner?” Isaac tried not to sound too eager.

“It’s four thirty,” Laurent said. “Are we going for a senior citizen’s discount?”

“Well, I meant later. But you know we don’t get paid all that much.” Isaac grinned. “Don’t expect me to take you anywhere fancy. I meant like, Olive Garden or something.”

“I don’t like Olive Garden.”

Isaac sighed and took the turn toward Laurent’s apartment. One step at a time. “We can go somewhere else. The important part was the one where I asked you out. On a date.”

“Okay.”

That was all he got, but Isaac said, “I’ll pick you up at seven thirty” and watched as Laurent climbed out of the Jeep without a backward glance.

 

 

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paula review
This book about broke my heart. Laurent was such an emotional character to read. His life was hell. His outward personality was very much a result of how his father raised him, he was an asshole. In the beginning he really doesn’t know how to act any different. Thank god for Isaac. These two get off to a horrible start due to some pretty shitty things Laurent said to Isaac at the end of the last season and also when the meet again after Laurent’s transfer. Thankfully Isaac is more than just a surface guy and realizes there is more to Laurent then his mouth. Isaac is able to get past Laurent’s guard, and they become friends. I really liked how supportive Isaac was and how he always called Laurent on his bullshit, in regards to his attitude and how he talked to people. Isaac was able to recognize Laurent’s defense mechanisms for what they were and help Laurent find other ways to deal with things. These two characters were brilliantly written and the story was beautiful. I couldn’t put this one down.

5 pieces of eye candy

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giveaway

Win an e-book copy of Empty Net!

 

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/49e561f521/?

 

meet the author

Avon Gale was once the mayor on Foursquare of Jazzercise and Lollicup, which should tell you all you need to know about her as a person. She likes road trips, rock concerts, drinking Kentucky bourbon and yelling at hockey. She’s a displaced southerner living in a liberal midwestern college town, and she never gets tired of people and their stories — either real or the ones she makes up in her head.

Find Avon

@Facebook||   @avongalewrites.com||  @twitter

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 Nice Normal Family by John Terry Moore: Cover Reveal and Excerpt

synopsis

Jackson “Jacko” Smith is dyslexic, but like many people affected by the learning disability, he is highly intelligent. His best friend Sammy Collins helps him get through school and unlocks his potential. Jacko progresses through the ranks of local government until Mother Nature intervenes and the straight boy and the gay boy become a couple.

As Jacko and Sammy start a family and challenge social mores, Jacko enters politics, horrified at the direction Australian government is taking. With Sammy by his side, he can achieve anything and rises through the ranks to the highest office in the land, driving Australia away from its British colonial roots and engaging with its neighbors in Asia like never before. Economic growth results, and while most Australians are supportive, a small group of extremists might endanger everything Jacko has built—including his life.

Through the love and the strength of their partnership, Jacko and Sammy rise above their ordinary lives. Because love is never ordinary.

A Nice Normal Family Cover Art

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eBook: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/a-nice-normal-family-by-john-terry-moore-7573-b

Paperback: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/a-nice-normal-family-by-john-terry-moore-7574-b

excerpt

With Matt’s help I found a stall selling magnificent orchids, and after explaining their purpose, the owner giggled and put them together into a stunning presentation vase.

Then I bolted for the room, peace offering in hand.

I arrived outside the door realizing I’d left my key card behind, so I rang the bell like a florist with a special delivery.

The door flung open. He’d been crying, and my heart nearly broke in two.

“Jacko, where have you been? I was so worried about you I was nearly sick.”

I couldn’t say anything much because I too was choked up, but I managed to thrust the flowers into his hand and say, “These are for you. I’m sorry I made a dick of myself.”

His eyes shone.

Sammy always loved flowers; he loved growing them, displaying them, and I knew he loved them as a gift.

“Well,” he said with a grin, “they’re beautiful, thank you, but really I’m as much to blame as you are.”

“No, you’re not,” deciding I had to ramp up the stakes. First I had to wipe away his tears, very unromantically, with my thumb. Then I did what I have should have done many years ago and kissed him, on the lips. Beautiful, full, puffy pillows they were, and suddenly the world lit up, it was like someone had just turned the lights on.

We stood there gazing at each other in bloody wonderment as we leaned in and did it again. There was love in Sammy’s eyes, but I could see the concern also, one of the benefits of some dyslexic people seeing things on a different level.

 

meet the author

Russell&John25years 070

 John Terry Moore and Russell Baum, his partner of thirty three years, live in Geelong, Victoria’s largest regional centre, one hour from Melbourne, Australia. Many factors influenced John in the writing of this novel, not the least of which has been Russell’s dyslexia, how it affected him as a young person and how it has played out in his subsequent life.

John’s interest in same sex partnerships, economics, politics and Asian affairs have also played a major role in the storyline.

John and Russell have travelled extensively throughout Asia for many years. Studiously avoiding western tourists, they have inserted themselves into the culture and the daily lifestyles of the local people and consequently have a unique overview and understanding of Asian nations, (ASEAN in particular), and the relationships those countries have with Australia.

John completed his education at Hobart Matriculation College, and held a number of senior positions in the automotive industry over a thirty five year period, working separately for three Asian motor companies.

He has been a civil marriage celebrant and funeral celebrant for many years, (now retired), witnessing at first hand rapidly changing Australian public opinion questioning traditional family structures and also questioning Australia’s place in the world. Australia remains tied to the British Commonwealth, yet with the fastest growing global economies only a few hours away in Asia, the messages Australia sends to its neighbors sometimes appear confusing and unhelpful.

John is a passionate advocate of same sex marriage and equal rights for same sex parents and their children, encouraging, supporting and driving the push for marriage equality in Australia. That LGBTI people should finally be embraced as an integral part of society, removing the scourge of homophobia and the risk of self harm, replacing it with humanity, commonsense and love. That only when everyone is treated exactly the same under law will society begin to heal itself.

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

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

synopsis

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

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

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

Guest Post

When the Visual Is More than Just What You See

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

But.

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

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

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

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

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

5 pieces of eye candy

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meet the author

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Amazon Author page: amazon.com/author/jaimesamms

 

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

Update on Amazon Suppressing Reviews

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Last Saturday was the 4 month anniversary of me no longer being allowed to review on Amazon. If you want to know all about my reactions, how pissed off I was, and where I was at that time, check out my original post here. Since, my Amazon Un-iversary was here, I thought “why not see where we are as a blogging/reviewing/authoring community.”

I’ve definitely noticed that more bloggers or regular reviewers are having their reviews suppressed, (Amazon’s version of “deleting” reviews, they don’t delete, they suppress. Not sure why they make that distinction, but they do). Nobody really knows why, despite much speculation. But it is happening. Amazon’s stated reasons are that the reviewer knows the author, but in this world that has gotten much smaller thanks to the internet, its impossible not to. People want to be close to the authors they admire, seeing them at signings is one thing. Seeing their lives, catching up with them, etc, that is important, as well. That doesn’t mean that bloggers or reviewers are friends with them, other than Facebook’s version of friends.

So, as authors’ reviews numbers decrease randomly, they are concerned, as well. Books that once had 100 reviews suddenly have 65. Those numbers are hard won. Many authors count on those reviews to draw new readers in, hoping that the positive reviews outweigh the negative in the purchaser’s mind, and they will click the all might “one click” button.

What people are missing is all the ways to get around this system. As I came up on my 4 month Un-iversary, I realized that I am busier than ever on this blog. I have many reviewers (who can still post to Amazon), who pick up the books that I can’t read and review. We review for multiple publishers, and post them either here, or on the publisher’s website, hopefully both. There is also Goodreads (although be careful, this is an Amazon owned site, so although my reviews haven’t been suppressed there, there is no guarantee that won’t happen at some point). I have been working with All Romance eBooks to see if they can come up with a system for adding blogger reviews on there. I hope you will see this very soon!

When was the last time you posted your review to Pinterest? I will admit, this one is a challenge for me, one I would like to get better at, but you could easily get review clicks from there. What about posting to Instagram? Another area that I have been working on building as a reviewer and blogger.

The key here is that “nothing will change, if you don’t change anything”. Amazon is able to do this because they are the largest retailer in the world, and they don’t really care a lot about ebooks, let’s be honest. They make their money on all the other things they sell. Ebooks are just a drop into the bucket for them. However, if you take away the clicks that get you there, then they lose revenue, and if you want to get Amazon’s attention, you MUST hit their revenue, their bottom line.

Rather than being concerned about what has been taken away, realize that Amazon will not give it back. They don’t have to. So move on. Find a different way of giving value to the authors you blog about. Ask an author to write a guest post for you, most are thrilled to be asked. You have their fans visiting your blog, where they will also read your review, which hopefully you’ve found several avenues to post to, if not Amazon.

Authors: maybe try a different way of dealing with reviews. Perhaps don’t require Amazon posting? Also, consider having your teasers made by graphic designers as square, so you can use them for Instagram, adding review quotes there. Also, and this is a difficult business decision, but when we give all the power to Amazon they can do what they want, so consider side-loading as an alternative to ‘Zon. Put your work out on wider distribution like ARe, BN and Smashwords.

But no matter what, both reviewers and authors need to SHARE the bloggers reviews!!! The blogger appreciates the assistance, and the author will appreciate the exposure. And if you want to get the reviews out there, you need to share. As a blogger, don’t be afraid to share another blogs reviews either. It never hurts, only helps.

In the end, if you give Amazon everything, they will take it. They have no loyalty to you, your blog, or the author. They are a business, and as such, they are in it to make money. In their eyes, bloggers and reviewers who do not purchase the product are of little to no value to them. So, create your own value outside of Amazon, and help to continue your own success, as well as the authors you want to promote.

 

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

Monthly Author Column-with a Giveaway: Avon Gale

Featured Author Avon Gale

 

Hello there!
Last month, I talked about how awesome (and also weird!) it was to have one of my books turned into an audiobook. So I thought maybe it would be nifty if I did a giveaway for an audio copy! I love the narration, and Scott R. Smith really made the characters come to life. I was impressed by his audition because he nailed that earnestness that so defined Lane Courtnall as a character, but I have to tell you – his Jared is hot like burning. Seriously it made me want to write an entire book of just Jared saying things so that Scott would maybe read it. Gah.
You can enter the giveaway via this handy Rafflecopter! (I can’t ever not giggle when I say/type that word, “Rafflecopter” – is that just me??)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

The giveaway runs until September 1st, and it will choose one random winner for an audio copy (via Audible) of the book.
In a few weeks, I’ll be back to talk about the newest Scoring Chances title, Empty Net, which releases on September 2nd. Yay! It’s a story about goalie Isaac Drake, who you may remember from Power Play as the angry, blue-haired Spitfires’ goalie. Isaac has a new reason to be cranky when his hockey nemesis, fellow goalie Laurent St. Savoy, is traded to the Spitfires. I’m super excited to share this one, because if you can’t tell, Isaac maaaaay be my favorite (shhh, don’t tell the others I said that!) and I definitely made him work for his HEA 😉

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

GRL 2016 Blog Tour: Jeff Adams

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**A big TCO welcome to Jeff Adams on our next stop on the GRL 2016 Blog Tour. So glad he could stop by, and can’t wait to meet him at GRL in Kansas City. 

Guest Post

Hello! First off, a huge thanks to Two Chicks Obsessed with Books and Eye Candy for hosting me on the 2016 GRL Blog Tour. I’m happy to be here.

This will be my fifth GRL and my second as a featured author. This year I’m doing more than ever before at the conference, which is a little scary.

I’m on a panel alongside Stephani Hecht and Wade Kelly and it’s going to be tough not just being a total fanboy sitting next to them. Stephani is an author I stalked at my first GRL because I loved her Blue Line Hockey books, and now I’m sitting on a panel with her (how did that happen?!?). And, Wade Kelly, well she’s an awesome person and writer and I’m a huge fan. Our panel focuses on research and what we each do to make sure our books are realistic and accurate. It’s going to be fun time and there’ll be prizes so make sure if your at GRL to come see us.

I’m also taking part in the Fun Fair on Friday afternoon. I’ll be one of ten authors participating in Daring Author Trivia where wGRL Featured Authore’ll play a fun-filled take on a classic TV game show (legally we can’t use its name—but you’ll catch on quick to what it is) and we’ll do some Truth or Dare too. It’s a chance for everyone to learn more about the authors. I’m excited as it’s way outside my comfort zone to do something like this, but I think it’s going to be a good time for me and for the people who come play with us. There are an array great prizes to be won so if you’re at GRL come see us Friday afternoon.

Speaking of prizes, I’m giving away a pretty big one myself: a seven-inch Fire tablet with my books on it. I’ll sign people up for the chance to win from the time I arrive at the hotel through Saturday night. Sunday morning I’ll draw the winner. All you have to do to enter is ask to sign up when you see me. I’ll have you enter your email into my iPad or phone and then I’ll send an email Sunday morning to whoever wins (and if you’re still at GRL I’ll give you the tablet, otherwise I’ll mail it out once I get home).

Another new thing this year is I’m also on the “blogger” side of things, too. Last November, my husband, Will, and I started Jeff & Will’s Big Gay Fiction Podcast. So we’ll be talking about the podcast as well, doing some interviews while we’re on site and maybe even doing some Facebook Live segments so folks who aren’t at GRL can get a taste of what’s going on. And leading up to GRL, it’s been great fun hosting authors on the show for GRL Blog Tour stops.

All of this is what makes GRL so great. Participating in the activities, having conversations with other attendees, catching up with people you only see in person once a year and—of course, meeting new people. For me, it’s also about putting myself out there too which is why I’m involved in more and different things this year. Make sure to say hi, especially if you’re new to GRL because it’ll be great to get to know you.

 

synopsis

Hat Trick Box SetHT-BoxCover_400

Simon Roberts and Alex Miller could never have known that from the moment of their first kiss that they were embarking on the love of a lifetime. The Hat Trick Box Set is their story, as told by Simon, from their senior year of high school through college graduation and beyond.

This box set includes all 6 stories in 1 ebook download!

The box set includes Hat Trick, Hat Trick Overtime: A Classic Winter’s Night, Hat Trick 2: Playing the Rebound, Hat Trick Overtime: Summer Camp, Hat Trick 3: Penalty Shot and Hat Trick Overtime: Reunion.

 

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meet the author

Jeff_headshot-BookLaunchJeff’s written stories since he was in middle school and became a gay romance writer in 2009 when his first short stories were published. Since then he’s written several more shorts and novels, including some in the young adult genre, and he plans to keep writing as long as wonderful readers keeping picking up his books.

Jeff lives in rural Northern California with his husband of twenty years, Will. Some of his favorite things include the musicals Rent and [title of show], the Detroit Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins hockey teams, and the reality TV competition So You Think You Can Dance. If forced to pick his favorite book it would be a tie between Michael Chabon’s The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay and David Levithan’s Every Day.

 

Jeff is also the co-host of Jeff & Will’s Big Gay Fiction Podcast.

Website: http://jeffadamswrites.com

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/hockeyguynyc

Jeff & Will’s Big Gay Fiction Podcast website: http://biggayfictionpodcast.com/

 

GRL Featured Blogger

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

Marriage of Inconvenience by MJ O’Shea: Exclusive Guest Post, and Excerpt

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Lights, camera, lies.

Kerry Pickering has a problem. As a publicist for Hollywood bad boy Jericho Knox, it’s Kerry’s job to keep Jericho in the news. So far, Jericho’s partying and public escapades have made it easy. But Jericho has a secret, and when that secret is revealed in the most spectacularly disastrous way, it’s up to Kerry to spin it.

The team decides the best course of action is to make the public fall in love—with Jericho’s secret committed relationship. The one that doesn’t exist. Yet.

The team wants someone they can trust. Someone in the inner circle. That someone is Kerry. But what will happen when Kerry realizes that for him, the romance is no longer pretend? Can Jericho love him back, or is he just playing a role?

Guest Post

MJ’s Tropes of the Summer

Hey Everyone!!

This is MJ O’Shea talking about one of my favorite subjects… romance novel tropes 😉 I have a few tropes that I’ll always love (best friends to lovers… probably not a shock if you’ve read my books) but some come and go and I have a few that I’m totally digging at the moment!

Rivals to lovers Oh yes. Give me the athletes who want to beat each other in the arena but fall for each other off of it. There isn’t a ton of it out there but I’m definitely feeling the Olympic spirit haha!

Secret Identity Always but especially working for me right now. Is he a spy? Is he royalty? Is he a vampire… I love that moment of discovery for the other character and I never get tired of reading, or writing it. Double points if neither main character is aware of who/what one of them is and they both find out during the course of the book.

And lately I’ve been into Secret Babies. That’s become a thing. Again, I love that moment when the character finds out he’s been a father all this time and he didn’t know it. It’s satisfying to see the emotion that he goes through.

Marriage of Inconvenience actually doesn’t have any of these things…but I do love a good fake relationship to love story too. The building chemistry, the is he or isn’t he? I had a ton of fun writing it.

Here’s a tiny bit from that book! Kerry the publicist slash new fake fiancé is about to make his first formal show…

* * * *

One thing he didn’t expect was… this. He was in his room at Jericho’s house, with Tara and Abby hovering nearby examining him, acting as stylists. They’d brought over a suit earlier, one that had been painstakingly tailored to play up every one of his best assets and probably cost more than a couple months of his rent. The suit was dark charcoal gray with tiny ecks of an almost shimmery pale gray and the shirt underneath was a vibrant fuchsia that they’d chosen because of how it would show off his pale skin and dark hair.
“You look gorgeous, babe,” Tara said. “Everyone’s going to drool.”
“What’s Jericho wearing?” he asked.
“Black and white with a pocket square to match your shirt.”
“Seriously?”
Tara grinned. “Yes. We want to present a cohesive team with you two. It’ll be romantic.”
“You don’t think it’s corny?” Kerry thought it was corny.
“No. You two will be perfect together.”
Kerry wasn’t so sure about that. They were pretty much toxic together, no matter what the public seemed to see in carefully set up pictures. They could pull it off one snap at a time, but how the hell were they going to act like a loving, comfortable, engaged couple live, on video, for the entire length of the red carpet?
“You ready?” Jericho asked from the door.
Kerry nearly swallowed his tongue. Jericho always looked hot, annoyingly so, but with a suit and his hair pulled back so perfectly, he looked like a god. Kerry hated that he was so attracted to him. At least in his moments of weakness.
“I’m ready.”
As ready as I’m going to be.

* * * *

That’s all!! Thank you for letting me stop by! I’ll leave my social media links below  I’m always up for a chat.

xoxo
MJ O’Shea

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meet the author

MJ O’Shea has never met a music festival, paintbrush, or flower crown she can stay away from. She loves rainstorms and a perfect cup of tea, beach days, music, bright colors, and more than anything a cozy evening with a really great book.

She is from the Pacific Northwest. While she still lives there and loves it, MJ has the heart of a wanderer. She she puts all her dreams of far off places and extraordinary people in her books.

Except for every once in a while when she does what all travelers have to do on occasion…come home.

FB: https://www.facebook.com/mj.oshea.5

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MjOsheaSeattle

Newsletter: http://mjoshea.us10.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=cf725443b37465a7944d0374c&id=b3844350e4

 

 

 

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

House of the Rising Son by Trevann Rogers: Book Blast, Excerpt and Giveaway

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Sex. Rebellion. Rock and roll.

Cheyenne is a half-human incubus whose star is on the rise in the Unakite City rock scene. His father, the leader of the supernatural races, would prefer he keep a “low profile”, but screw that. Cheyenne has as much music in his veins as royal incubi blood.

Alexander’s future is all set—finish law school, join the family firm, and marry someone who’d be good for business. Not that he has a say in any of it. He’s barely met the woman his father expects him to marry.

As Cheyenne’s musical career takes off, his carefully constructed life begins to unravel, exacerbated by an ex-lover who can’t let go, a crotchety barkeeper with a dirty mind and a pure heart, a drag queen who moonlights as a nanny, and Alexander—who’s not sure if he’s falling for the incubus or the rocker.

Cheyenne denies who he is, while Alexander hides what he wants. Together, they learn that getting what they truly want means being who they truly are.

Title: House of the Rising Son
Author: Trevann Rogers
Series: Living After Midnight #1
Release Date: September 22nd 2015
Genre: MM Contemporary Romance, Paranormal

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excerpt

Cheyenne reached the corner of 77th Street and looked up at Alexander’s building. He had a lobby and an elevator ride to figure out what to say. He didn’t let many people into his life, but the big guy had wandered in and taken a seat, and Cheyenne wasn’t going to let him go like this. He would find a way to help Alexander make sense of his life and be happy again.

When he let himself into the apartment, he found Alexander with a beer in hand, stretched out on the sofa, the darkness broken by the light of the television. Cheyenne retrieved a bottle from the refrigerator and sat in a chair next to him.

“Your door was open.”

Alexander shrugged. “Pretty sure I could handle an intruder.” He pointed at his chest. “Were-tiger.”

“Good point.” He felt Alexander’s eyes on him. “Who’s winning? And please tell me that was the right question to ask. I’m not much of a sports guy.” And spectacularly bad at small talk.

“It wasn’t a wrong one. The Raiders. And it’s DVR’d. They won.”housersbanner

Cheyenne nodded as if he had some idea what he was talking about. They sat in silence. When the game was over, Alexander turned on a lamp and powered off the TV. “Why are you here, Chey?”

“To make sure you’re all right. You didn’t seem to be when you left.”
Alexander swung his feet around to the floor. “No, I’m not all right. I just realized that my life is shit. Wait, no, I suspected it before. But at least getting married and being a lawyer, that life I understood. This life? I don’t have a clue.”

“Everybody’s life is shit, Zander. Okay, maybe not everybody’s. But everybody I know. Everybody who’s trying to live the life they want instead of what their parents, or society, or whoever, thinks it should be.”

“You’re telling me I’m in good company? Gee, thanks.”

Cheyenne scooted to the edge of the chair. “Look, if you’d been happy with your father’s plans, would you have been at the club night after night with me?”

Alexander looked away and raked his fingers through his hair.

“You knew there was something missing. You were out there searching for it.” At Alexander’s scowl, he continued, “Maybe you would have found it with a woman if you’d kept looking. But you didn’t, and your world shattered.”

“Think you’re all that? How I’m feeling, it isn’t about you.”

“The fuck it isn’t…”

 

meet the author

Trevann Rogers writes urban fantasy and LGBT paranormal romances. Her stories incorporate an unquenchable addition to music and her love for vampires, Weres, incubi and rock stars. Like these elusive creatures, Trevann learned long ago that sometimes being yourself means Living After Midnight.

Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

 

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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.