Count the Shells by Charlie Cochrane: Blog Tour, Exclusive Guest Post, and Giveaway

Michael Gray returned from World War One injured, but at least he returned. Others were not so fortunate, including his first and greatest love, Thomas Carter-Clemence, with whom Michael had parted bitterly before the conflict began.

Broch, the Carter-Clemence home in Porthkennack, was an integral part of pre-war holidays for the Grays, the two families drawn together in the wake of their sons’ friendship. Returning to the once-beloved Cornish coast for a break with his sister and her family, Michael has to find the courage to face old memories . . . and dare new relationships.

When Thomas’s brother Harry makes an unexpected appearance, Michael is surprised to find himself deeply attracted to Harry for his own sake. But as their relationship heats up, it unearths startling revelations and bitter truths. Michael must decide whether Harry is the answer to his prayers or the last straw to break an old soldier’s back.​

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Count the Shells is the story which completely astounded its author in the telling. I had no idea when I sat down to write it that the straightforward historical romance I’d envisaged would turn out to have a plot twist which transformed the story into possibly the best tale I’ve ever crafted.

 

The Great War – where do I start to research it?

If you were to say to me, “Charlie, old thing, I’m interested in finding out more about World War One. Where should I begin?” I’d respond, “Whatever you do, don’t start with a history text book!” Not unless you’re really interested in what battle took place where and which regiments were involved or which governments did what and when. That may be precisely your cup of tea, but I can’t say it’s mine. For me, the bigger picture is just the setting for the characters, and those details are only relevant when they impact on part of an individual’s life story. It’s the people who interest me: what they did, the experiences they lived through, and the effect these things had on them.

When it comes to finding those things out, there are a wealth of resources and some of the very best get as close to the source material as possible. All history is clearly seen at one or more removes, and as it reaches us it’ll have gone through one or more filters, as people relate the things they want us to hear and which support whichever view they’re taking. You have to remember this with whatever material you look at or listen to, but the fewer steps between you and the “eye witness”, the better.

So, here are some of my top resources:

  • War poetry. All of it from the jingoistic to the deeply cynical, and other poems written by notable poets of the era. (When we studied Wilfred Owen at school, nobody mentioned his homoerotic works, some of which are stunning and which put a new context on his more famous war poetry.)
  • The “Voices from…” series of books which uses testimonies from men and woman who lived/fought/sailed/flew in the era. The detais this provides is staggering.
  • Biographies, but not just of the big political or military names of the era. There are some great books about army chaplains, ordinary soldiers, even real war horses!
  • Diaries, letters, artwork from the era. One of the most moving books I’ve read is “Scrimgeour’s Scribbling Diary” which are the wartime writings (made strictly against protocol) of a midshipman. The abrupt end of entries is the most poignant reminder of the terrible loss of young lives.

 

About Porthkennack

Welcome to Porthkennack, a charming Cornish seaside town with a long and sometimes sinister history. Legend says King Arthur’s Black Knight built the fort on the headland here, and it’s a certainty that the town was founded on the proceeds of smuggling, piracy on the high seas, and the deliberate wrecking of cargo ships on the rocky shore. Nowadays it draws in the tourists with sunshine and surfing, but locals know that the ghosts of its Gothic past are never far below the surface.

This collaborative story world is brought to you by five award-winning, best-selling British LGBTQ romance authors: Alex Beecroft, Joanna Chambers, Charlie Cochrane, Garrett Leigh, and JL Merrow. Follow Porthkennack and its inhabitants through the centuries and through the full rainbow spectrum with historical and contemporary stand-alone titles.

Check out Porthkennack! http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/universe/porthkennack

 

As Charlie Cochrane couldn’t be trusted to do any of her jobs of choice—like managing a rugby team—she writes, with titles published by Carina, Samhain, Bold Strokes, MLR and Cheyenne.

Charlie’s Cambridge Fellows Series of Edwardian romantic mysteries was instrumental in her being named Author of the Year 2009 by the review site Speak Its Name. She’s a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, Mystery People, International Thriller Writers Inc and is on the organising team for UK Meet for readers/writers of GLBT fiction. She regularly appears with The Deadly Dames.

Connect with Charlie:

To celebrate the release of Count the Shells, one lucky winner will receive a goodie bag from Charlie Cochrane, including postcards (new and vintage), a recipe book, bookmark, pencils, a fridge magnet and various other doodahs! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on October 21, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

 

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

EXCLUSIVE Cover Reveal: A Sniper’s Devotion by Christa Tomlinson, with Excerpt and Giveaway

**TCO is so excited to have one of my favorite people in the world…seriously, I love Christa Tomlinson so much, and having her stop by to do her cover reveal, show you the delicious Hector (and I have been privileged enough to read this book already, Hector is yummy!), is just so awesome! I hope you love it as much as I do! Be sure to let Christa know! And don’t forget the giveaway at the bottom…

 

Hello Two Chicks Readers! I’m so happy to present to you the final cover in the Cuffs, Collars and Love series. Of course I have to give a shout out to everyone on my Facebook page and Twitter timeline who helped me choose which model to put on the cover. I was torn between three beautiful men. Since I couldn’t decide, I figured, why not let the readers decide who they wanted to see?

I had a good laugh at some of the reasons given and drooling that went on for each of the model choices. Mostly because I was doing the same! I let the majority rule and this gorgeous man is your Hector Castillo. According to multiple comments, it was the lips that won the voters over. We may have dubbed him Mr. Smoochy. He fits in perfectly and it’s so nice to see him lined up with the rest of the CC&L boys.

You’ll get to read all about Mr. Smoochy – I mean errr… Hector and his friend Miguel in A Sniper’s Devotion in just a few weeks. I hope you’ll like the way the cover looks on your e-reader screen, and I especially hope you like the story. Be sure to drop me a line and let me know!

Love,

Christa

Officer Hector Castillo, a sniper on Houston’s elite SWAT team, is content living alone as a perpetual bachelor. But when he opens up his small apartment to a friend in need, their close quarters awaken long suppressed desires Hector can’t help but acknowledge.

Miguel Delgado’s unfortunate detour down a road he never intended to travel ends in a big wake up call, but he vows to get himself back on track. Though he’s always looked up to Hector, Miguel isn’t a kid with hero-worship anymore, and his schoolyard protector has matured into a strong and caring man – who happens to look damn sexy in his SWAT uniform.

Though their physical attraction to each other is undeniable, Hector and Miguel try hard to resist and protect their friendship. Until one night changes everything…

A Sniper’s Devotion is a loving and sexy, friends to lovers erotic romance. Hector and Miguel’s story is part of the Cuffs, Collars and Love series, but it is a stand-alone novel.

Release Date

November 7, 2017

Cover

Melody Simmons of Ebook Indie Covers. EBOOK INDIE COVERS

Price

$3.99

Goodreads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36392614-a-sniper-s-devotion

A Sniper’s Devotion Page on Author Website

http://www.christatomlinson.com/a-snipers-devotion.html

Tags

Friends to Lovers, Multicultural Romance, Hispanic Main Characters, Spanking, Stand Alone

Warnings

Mentions of Domestic Violence

Amazon US

Amazon UK

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Kobo

 

 

“Aaaagh!” Miguel squeaked again, ducking his head into Hector’s shoulder as a mass of zombies burst into the shop where the hero and his family were hiding. “How are you not dying at this?” he asked in an agonized voice.

Hector held back a grin at Miguel’s over-the-top reaction. After the things he’d seen on the police force, it would take more than a jump scare to freak him out. “I’m trembling on the inside,” he said.

“You are not,” Miguel answered with a dry laugh. He started to pull away. “Sorry about that.”

Hector stopped him. “You’re just going to jump back on me anyway. Might as well stay here where I can protect you from the zombies.”

Miguel snorted another laugh, but after a moment’s hesitation, he settled back against him. He rested against Hector’s chest, with his bent legs laying half over one of Hector’s. As the movie played on, the hero and his crew making a perilous escape from the zombie horde, Hector brought his hand up from the back of the couch, absently running it through Miguel’s hair. The curls were soft, sliding through his fingers.

Eventually the action on screen slowed, giving both the hero and the viewers a moment to breathe. Hector’s attention wandered from the screen, and he realized it was strange to have his hand in another man’s hair. He and Miguel were so close, and it was such a habit from watching movies with dates that he’d done it without even thinking. He abruptly stopped. Sitting there stiffly, his hand frozen in Miguel’s hair, he wondered if he should apologize. Before he could decide, Miguel turned his head slightly, his lips brushing Hector’s neck as he spoke.

“That felt nice,” he said in a soft whisper. “Keep going.”

His chest suddenly tight, Hector relaxed his fingers and slowly started playing them through Miguel’s hair again. His eyes were on the TV, but he wasn’t really watching the movie. Neither was Miguel. His face stayed turned into Hector’s neck, warm breath softly blowing over his skin. It was a surprise and yet not when Miguel pressed a kiss to his throat.

At that moment, Hector should have moved away from Miguel. Hell, he should have gotten off the couch altogether. But he didn’t. He sat there, letting Miguel brush more kisses up and down the side of his neck. A hand landed on his thigh. Hector swallowed hard, then turned to look down at his friend.

Time for the cover reveal…

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Don’t forget to sign up for the giveaway below!!!

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Here you go!!!

Christa Tomlinson is an exciting up and coming author in erotic romance. Her first self-published novel, The Sergeant, was an Amazon Best Seller for Gay and Lesbian Erotica for seven weeks straight.

Christa graduated from The University of Missouri-St. Louis with a degree in History. She loves to create stories that are emotional and lovely with sex that is integral to the characters’ romantic arc. Her books include straight couples, curvy couples, gay, and multicultural couples. Love is love and everyone should have their story told.

Christa lives in Houston, Texas with her two dogs, and is a retired roller derby player.

Author Contact Info

Newsletter: http://www.christatomlinson.com/newsletter-sign-up.html

Website: www.ChristaTomlinson.com

Email: contactchrista@christatomlinson.com

Facebook: Christa Tomlinson, Author – https://www.facebook.com/ChristaTomlinsonAuthor/

Twitter: @ShockZ314 – https://twitter.com/ShockZ314

Amazon: Christa Tomlinson – https://www.amazon.com/Christa-Tomlinson/e/B00JEL9M82/

Goodreads: Christa Tomlinson – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4063407.Christa_Tomlinson

Prizes to be delivered on November 1st, a week before release day!!!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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In Over Our Heads by CJane Elliott: Release Day Review with Giveaway

A Stories From the Shore Book

Anthony Vallen is the life of any party. Full of energy and fun, Anthony adores romance and enjoys playing matchmaker for his friends while dancing the night away with a series of Mr. Right Nows. But he’s given up on his own happy ending. A bad breakup years ago made him a secret cynic about love… until he runs into Walter Elkins—the boy who broke his teenaged heart—on a scuba-diving vacation in Key West. Suddenly, Anthony’s reasons for shunning romance no longer hold much water. Being with Walter again forces Anthony to get serious—about himself, his worth, and his heart’s desires.

Brilliant and self-contained, scientist Walter Elkins prefers deep thoughts to other people. He’s a good boss and a model citizen, but Walter doesn’t let anyone get close. After a tragedy drove him out of his science career, Walter landed in Key West and became owner of a dive shop and a bar. Things are fine until Anthony Vallen—the only person who ever penetrated his defenses—shows up, and Walter’s calm, controlled life capsizes. He and Anthony have a second chance for love, but Walter must confront the old fears that threaten to torpedo their happiness.

Title: In Over Our Heads
Series: Stories From the Shore: Book Two
Author: CJane Elliott
Release Date: October 16, 2017
Category: Contemporary
Pages: 192

Amazon

Dreamspinner Press

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I haven’t read a lot of second chance love books. That’s likely due to what my friends describe as my loving I read “puppies pooping rainbows”…the fact that I hate the heartbreak that comes before a second chance romance, and the hurt that is palpable as the two MCs begin to reconnect on their way back to their HEA. However for some reason this one caught my eye and I had to go for it. (Maybe it was the cover. I’m a Pisces so I love water.)

This story centers around two men who were incredibly in love, until one day when one almost lost the other and felt he couldn’t be the man of his dreams. 

Anthony was flamboyant, a party man, a man who always was up for a one night stand but never again would he fall in love. Until he sees Walter again, in a different environment and under circumstances that they both wouldn’t have considered a possibility in their previous lives. Anthony represented himself as exactly who he wanted to be and made no apologies for himself. 

Walter made a complete transition from the geeky scientist life to a businessman in a beach town that loved and appreciated all he did in the community. 

When they finally reconnected they couldn’t stay apart despite both their best intentions. They were drawn back together, similar to the sand and the sea. 

I loved that even as they decided to begin a life together not everything was instantly solved. They had issues, both emotional as well as the physicality of living in different states and different lives. Walter had no desire to return to Boston, yet he was willing to do what Anthony needed so they could both find happiness together. 

Not having read book 1, there were a few things that didn’t quite click for me at first but I definitely didn’t feel lost jumping in here. 

I’d love to read more in this series, if the author writes it. But then again I’d want it to be by the sea again. Hint hint. 🙂

4 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.

Reservations by Kindle Alexander: Cover Reveal, Excerpt and Giveaway

Title: Reservations
Genre: M/M Romance
Release Date: Coming Soon
 

Wildly successful entrepreneur, Thane Walker is stubbornly set in his ways. Adamantly resistant to the shackles of commitment, he’s seen enough unhappy endings to learn the best way to play is by keeping his men on the payroll.

Levi Silva’s dream of graduating from one of the country’s top medical schools is in his grasp, until news from home changes everything. Now, he’s raising his two teenage brothers and trying to keep everyone’s head above water, emotionally and financially.

When Levi’s new job puts him in Thane’s path, their chemistry explodes, but their fear of being involved in relationships keeps them apart. Unfortunately, despite the intense desire drawing them together, neither man can move forward until they get past their own…Reservations.



His mouth watered thinking about that vinegar coleslaw, and his stomach growled a little louder. Damn, he was starving. He should go out there and fix himself a plate, but he wouldn’t. That would only open a line of personal communication, and this restaurant had too much of that going on. Everyone but the customers were friends.
Instead of doing that, Thane buckled down and opened an email from Arik Layne. The email was to both him and Chef Ferico. The subject line read, “Whole Foods and HSN, Bitches!!!!” That instantly had Thane smiling. Arik had become a force in his life. The guy didn’t seem to understand the value of hesitancy. Arik was a mover and shaker. Their joint venture of infused olive oils had taken off like lightning. Arik had secured sales on thousands of bottles before manufacturing had started. Now that they had production underway, they were blowing and going like wildfire. All Arik had to do was pick up the phone, and he secured another sale.

Thane scanned the message, reading how Whole Foods planned to add them in a test market now, with mass distribution the beginning of October. That was all great news. Arik had also secured a spot on HSN in November, about two weeks before Thanksgiving. Somehow he’d managed to squeeze them into an already set schedule on foods for the holidays. They’d also be given time on the sales floor. The anticipated sales were around twenty-five thousand bottles.

Wow. Okay.

The last lines on the email made Thane squelch the urge to laugh out loud, not wanting to undermine the stern tone he’d taken with his staff, but, man, Arik was hilarious. He listed ten reasons why he’d be a better choice than Thane to go on the HSN broadcast with Chef Ferico. Every single bullet point ended with “because I really want to sample all the foods made that day.”
Literally, a man after his own heart.
Out of nothing more than the need to make Arik squirm, he decided to tease him. Thane quickly typed how glad he was for Arik’s effort, along with a note that they should at least flip a coin for the TV slot. He chose tails. Grinning, he pushed send as his cell phone began to vibrate in his pocket. With a glance at the screen, he saw Julian’s name and swiped to accept the call.
“Hey,” he said, putting the call on speaker before fishing his Bluetooth out of the computer bag and hooking it around his ear. 
“Hey, yourself. You still coming here?”
“I am. It’ll be a few weeks though. Everything okay?”

“Of course, you know I run a tight ship, but I might have to break protocol.”
Thane began shaking his head no as if Julian could see him.

“I can almost hear you shaking your head no.”

“That’s because that’s what I’m doing. Absolutely no rule breakage, Julian. You do it one time and that opens the door…”

“Hang tight, Papi Chulo. Don’t get all bent. I’m telling you before I do it. That should count.”

The happy place he’d found after reading Arik’s hilarious message was on the fast track to crashing and burning as Thane sat back in his chair and crossed his arms over his chest.

“Why?” he asked, instead of giving Julian the same dressing-down he’d just given this management team on the failures of flouting established protocol.

“Remember that kid I told you about months ago. My PT assistant, the one who got me into free counseling?”

Thane had to really think which was kind of funny. Julian’s care had been grossly expensive. He’d have thought he’d remember someone who’d saved him so much money in free counseling. He shrugged, lifting his brows, giving himself a break. He could vaguely recall the key components. “Maybe…”

“He needs a job.”
“We don’t hire our staff like that, Julian. Remember your training. Your guys…”

“Boss, slow your roll. He’s a med student taking care of his family, and he’s hot as hell. His body alone’ll make the customers very happy. Happy customers equal more money.”
“Is he in your previous line of work?” Thane asked, completely confused and trying to catch up.

“No. I want him for waitstaff at the club. I saw him last night, and he’s losing his job. He’s coming to the club tonight to take a look around. I’ll send his info off for a background check, but I’ll probably put him on the floor as early as tomorrow,” Julian stated matter-of-factly.

That was another huge issue he was having with Julian. The guy was a beast at work. He kept sticking his nose in every other manager’s responsibilities, causing all sorts of ill will. Julian was a man on a mission. He governed that club with an iron fist, all to try and repay Thane for the expensive care. “Have you talked with Dave about whether he needs more waitstaff?”

“Dave-the-douchebag quit today. You didn’t hear?” Julian said casually.
“What?” Thane pushed his fingers through his hair. Why was he just now hearing about this?

“Don’t worry. I got this. I’ll fill in until you figure out what to do. I, of course, think you just need to let me handle all personnel…”

“Stop, Julian. First, no one’s hired without passing a background check. I’m not watching anyone go through what you did again. And second, you better stop pissing off all my people. Until I talk to Dave and see if I can get him back, you can handle the waitstaff scheduling, but you aren’t…”
“Equipped to handle personnel issues,” Julian said, finishing his sentence. “Are you getting laid regularly? Because I’m pretty sure you’re not. You need to come on over here and bend me over this desk—”

“We have rules. I’m not having sex on that property, and I better not catch you having sex on that property!” Thane shot out, cutting Julian off.

“You’re a very difficult man, Thane Walker,” Julian replied, not missing a beat. “I’d say hard, but I have no way of truly knowing that.”

Best Selling Author Kindle Alexander is an innovative writer, and a genre-crosser who writes classic fantasy, romance, suspense, and erotica in both the male/male and male/female genres. It’s always a surprise to see what’s coming next!

I live in the suburbs of Dallas where it’s true, the only thing bigger than an over active imagination, may be women’s hair!

Usually, I try for funny. Humor is a major part of my life – I love to laugh, and it seems to be the thing I do in most situations – regardless of the situation, but jokes are a tricky deal… I don’t want to offend anyone and jokes tend to offend. So instead I’m going to tell you about Kindle.

I tragically lost my sixteen year old daughter to a drunk driver. She had just been at home, it was early in the night and I heard the accident happen. I’ll never forget that moment. The sirens were immediate and something inside me just knew. I left my house, drove straight to the accident on nothing more than instinct. I got to be there when my little girl died – weirdly, I consider that a true gift from above. She didn’t have to be alone.

That time in my life was terrible. It’s everything you think it would be times about a billion. I love that kid. I loved being her mother and I loved watching her grow into this incredibly beautiful person, both inside and out. She was such a gift to me. To have it all ripped away so suddenly broke me.

Her name was Kindle. Honest to goodness – it was her name and she died a few weeks before Amazon released their brand new Kindle ereader. She had no idea it was coming out and she would have finally gotten her name on something! Try finding a ruler with the name Kindle on it.. It never happened.

Through the course of that crippling event I was lucky enough to begin to write with a dear friend in the fan fiction world of Facebook. She got me through those dark days with her unwavering support and friendship. There wasn’t a time she wasn’t there for me. Sometimes together and sometimes by myself, we built a world where Kindle lives and stands for peace, love and harmony. It’s its own kind of support group. I know without question I wouldn’t be here today without her.

Find out more by visiting www.kindlealexander.com or email me at kindle@kindlealexander.com

 


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Monthly Author Column: Victoria Sue stops by with Exclusive Excerpt from The Alpha Prince

**As always, TCO is excited to have Victoria Sue stopping by with her monthly column. This time she dropped off an exclusive LONG excerpt to her newest release, The Alpha Prince, as she was running out to catch a plane to GRL. (I get to hug her lots on Wednesday!!!!) So, check it out, and see what’s happening in the world of Askara.**

 

The Askaran desert can no longer sustain the secret hybrid population of wolves bred from those sent there to die for their crimes. Justice knows the time has come to lead his wolves to a new life, but soon realizes his pack could never be governed by nor swear fealty to the cruel and despotic Alpha of Solonara—Darius—so he hatches a plan to fight and ultimately kill the Alpha, his heir, and take over the territory.

Cashel should not exist. It was unheard of for an Alpha-heir to be born an omega, and Darius has made every day a torment for his son. After spending years failing to breed another heir, and desperate not to have to give his territory away to another pack, he finally turns his attention back to Cashel and a whole new nightmare begins.

Justice’s whole life has been about righting a wrong and delivering the very thing he was named for. Meeting Cashel, and finding out he is his true mate, sends his carefully constructed plans and promises up in flames. When he discovers Darius’s cruelty runs deeper than any of them imagined, he is faced with a last desperate choice between his love for Cashel or his loyalty to his people.

Amazon – Kindle Unlimited

Justice stood by the window as soon as Sorin’s first rays bathed the sky. He had barely slept, and not just because of the noise from the powerful storm that had swept the skies last night. Not that he wasn’t used to rising immediately as the suns shone over the desert, but there was a bigger problem that had prevented him getting any rest.

Cashel. The prince he had come to kill was his mate. They had all agreed the heir was to die—as well as his father, on the assumption they were both just as bad—but now what did he do? His wolf had told him they were mates as soon as they had touched; and the animal’s distress at leaving him in his own bed—and not immediately claiming him—had nearly driven him mad. His wolf was an Alpha as much as he himself was, and they usually worked in harmony until Justice had made himself leave Cashel last night. The thought of Cashel being anywhere he wasn’t had nearly brought on a shift last night. Even now, Justice’s skin was tight as it stretched to contain and leash his animal’s power.

He hated the cluttered room and suddenly longed for the wide open plains from home where a wolf and a man could breathe in harmony. He also disliked sleeping anywhere his stallion Kashir wasn’t. He supposed he could understand horses not being allowed in the bedrooms—a bare smile graced his lips—and even though Zane had promised to stay with his horse, it still seemed wrong. In the desert horses were only second in importance to water, and Kashir had saved his life more times than he could count.

He gazed at the courtyard below, already busy. There seemed to be some sort of market being set up and Justice watched in interest as a cart containing what looked like beer was pulled into place. He stiffened suddenly, his sharp ears picking up the footsteps and the door latch lift but before whoever was attempting to walk in could even open it, he whirled and lifted his Kataya. The blade was never out of his sight, and only not on him because he was currently naked. The serving girl that entered his room looked up, promptly shrieked and dropped the full jug of water she was carrying which smashed noisily onto the stone floor. Two gammas came running in, swords drawn. “Might I suggest,” Justice said evenly, lowering his blade, “you warn all house servants to knock before entering my chamber.”

The gammas nodded nervously and practically carried the shaking woman out of the room. In another few seconds two more servants were back with a mop to clean the water and more hot water so Justice could bathe. He actually longed for a bath. He had had two since they had crossed the sea, and still marveled that water was so plentiful it could be wasted on such an extravagance.

What was Cashel doing right now? Was he also bathing? Was he taking soap and gliding it over—

A snarl echoed in his head as the animal inside him attempted to get free. Justice closed his eyes and took some deep breaths. He couldn’t claim his prince before the games were ended and he sent a signal to the nine ships moored out of sight waiting for it. And then it would still take three days to travel from Salem.

He was just pulling his breeches on when Zane and Armand knocked and entered the room. They promptly collapsed onto the chairs by a small desk, and helped themselves to the bowl of fruit.

Armand looked around at the small but opulent room and whistled slowly.

Zane snorted. “He hates it,” he pronounced and took a huge bite out of an apple.

Armand’s eyebrows rose up. “You hate it?” The disbelief was apparent in his voice.

Justice shrugged. “It’s a little cloying.” There was just so much in the room that was completely unnecessary, and even in the middle of the night when the temperatures in the desert dropped dangerously below freezing, he had never slept with so many covers on a bed in his life. Decorative pottery and books seemed to litter every surface. In fact, when he had been shown the room he had questioned the gamma, thinking he had been directed somewhere already occupied.

Zane’s voice dropped. “What is it?” Zane was regarding him steadily. He knew Justice wasn’t as calm and unruffled as he usually seemed, even if no one else could tell. “Did you meet the omega?”

Armand scoffed but he kept his voice low. “From what I heard in the kitchen last night, I wasn’t expecting our Alpha to be in his own bed this morning.”

“Damn, Justice.” Zane’s eyes widened. “That’s fast even for you.”

Justice ignored the teasing. “He was sick.”

Armand shrugged. “It matters not, seeing as he’s going to be dead soon anyway.”

Before Justice realized what he was doing, his claws were around Armand’s throat. Armand immediately went limp in his grasp and, rasping for breath, tilted his head to expose it a little more. It was a tremendous show of true loyalty and absolute submission.

They could all smell the blood as it ran down Armand’s neck. Justice’s nostrils flared and he took a breath, his anger barely receding enough for him to relax his grip. Another breath and he took a step back and dropped his arm, the claws retracting. “You will not touch him. Ever.”

Armand immediately sank to his knees. “Gravest apologies, my Alpha. Please know I would never insult your mate, and I pledge my life to protecting his as well as your own.”

“He is your mate,” Zane said. It wasn’t a question. Justice’s response could be taken for nothing else.

Justice blew out a long breath as his wolf was back under his control. He nodded, accepting the apology and the declaration. He might regret this reaction against one of his closest friends, but he would not apologize for it. It would demean them both.

Justice walked to the window and took a deep breath, trying to calm down. He could smell the fragrant Juno bushes and their small white flowers that reminded him of his mother when he had been young. She had managed to grow one in a small pot and his father had allowed her to keep it even though the only things usually granted water were what kept them alive. The flowers were prolific here, of course, and he would make sure any of his people that wanted would have a garden redolent with them.

He had things to do first, of course.

“How do you wish to proceed?” Zane asked carefully.

Justice understood the question and how this changed their plans. He was disgusted by the show of his mate last night and didn’t understand how his father could have done what he did. Children were a gift on Arrides, and there was not one that wasn’t fiercely loved and protected. “The plan still stands with obviously the caveat of claiming my mate as soon as the games are completed and our warriors are ready to attack.”

He understood the look of disbelief Zane and Armand both had. It was unheard of for an Alpha to wait to claim his mate. The ritual courting between his people was superseded by the need for an Alpha to find his mate. Simply because any that tried to prevent it risked being mauled and killed by a very angry Alpha wolf. Justice didn’t know if he had the strength to wait for the games to finish before he claimed Cashel. “I may have to take one day at a time. I may have to move things up, even.”

“Alpha,” Zane started, which made Justice pause. Zane had called him Justice since they were old enough to talk. Calling him Alpha meant he was including the pack in whatever he was going to say. It was Zane’s none too subtle way of reminding him of his responsibilities. “I understand you wish to give your wolves time to get here, but we have to think of the safety of your mate and the health of the pack. Another six days is too long.”

Justice knew what he meant. The phrase “the health of the pack” really meant the health of the Alpha. The two were intertwined at such a basic level, one couldn’t be happy and prosper without the other. The pack needed Justice to claim Cashel.

 

 

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His Convenient Husband by Robin Covington: Blog Tour, Exclusive Guest Post, Excerpt, Review and Giveaway

TitleHis Convenient Husband

Series: Love and Sports, Book One

Author: Robin Covington

Publisher:  Entangled Publishing

Release Date: October 9, 2017

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 50,000

Genre: Romance, marriage of convenience, interracial romance, sports romance, LGBTQ

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NFL football player Isaiah Blackwell lost his husband three years ago and is raising their teen son alone. He lives his life as quietly as his job allows, playing ball to support his family but trying not to draw unwanted attention. His quiet life is shaken up when a mutual friend introduces him to Victor, a visiting principal ballet dancer who is everything Isaiah is not.

Brash and loud, Victor Aleksandrov has applied for political asylum to avoid returning to Russia, where gay men are targeted and persecuted. He’s been outspoken about gay rights in his home country, and if he doesn’t get asylum, going back to Russia is a death sentence.

Their one-night stand turns into a tentative friendship, a relationship they both agree is temporary…until Victor’s denied asylum. Isaiah can’t offer Victor a happily ever after, but he can propose something that’ll keep Victor in the US and safe. . .marriage He just doesn’t expect his new husband to dance away with his heart.

I love it when a plan works out . . .

Hey y’all!  I’m so excited to be here to talk about my latest romance, HIS CONVENIENT HUSBAND.  I love writing  and I’ve done it since I was a kid and with every book, it gets easier and it gets harder. I also have discovered that some things I always like and some . . . well, they aren’t my favorites.

I find that I never like slowing down at the beginning and spending the necessary time to do the pre-work and plotting correctly. I get an idea and I just want to jump in and start writing but I know from experience that it never ends well if I skip my plotting.

But I LOVE casting the characters in the book once I’ve figured out who they are. I mean who wouldn’t love scoping out Pinterest for the perfect hot dude to be my latest hero. That part of the job does not suck. And I love building the inspiration board and gathering the photos and ideas that fill in all the gaps in the story. You can take a look at the board for HIS CONVENIENT HUSBAND  to see who I dreamcast as Victor and Isaiah (anyone else love Morris Chesnut?): https://www.pinterest.com/robincovington1/his-convenient-husband-love-and-sports-1/

And – I’ve paired up with an amazing artist, Shirin, to have desktop wallpaper made for my readers to enjoy. Check it out and if you love it, you can download it here: http://robincovingtonromance.com/books/love-sports-series/his-convenient-husband/

Do you dreamcast the heroes when you read? Share pics of your faves.

Thanks for reading! If you love my guys as much as I do, drop me a line at robin@robincovingtonromance.com

xoRobin

Victor didn’t even think. If he had thought about it, he would have talked himself out of it, but his body took over, and before he knew it he’d pulled Isaiah into his arms. Nothing sexual, nothing calculated, just an embrace for a man who’d lost something precious and who’d carried the weight of his grief, and the grief of his son, on his shoulders.

Isaiah didn’t fight him, just melted against him, his large arms wrapping around Victor’s body as he allowed the moment to spool out naturally. Victor slowly released the breath he was holding, afraid that any sudden movement would spook Isaiah back into his previous arm’s length regimentation.

The house was quiet, soft music drifting out from the docking station, Evan’s muffled footfalls overhead as he undoubtedly chattered away with his best friend. He curbed his desire to make this more than it was, ignoring the voice in his head that whispered that this was what he always thought having a family would be like. A warm, safe home, children, and a man who loved him, and building a life together.

This wasn’t it, but it was as close to perfect as he was likely to get, so he’d take it. For as long as he could have it. They’d never discussed an end, but the natural end date was when he gained his citizenship. So, three years. Not long, but he’d take it, because Isaiah was quickly getting to him, taking up residence in the part of his heart he’d never thought would be filled.

Pathetic? He didn’t care. Victor was a romantic, something he had in common with Stephen. And look how Stephen had fallen. Victor didn’t have a chance.

The music switched, shifting down into a slower rhythm, not a Latin beat by any measure, but sultry. They began to move together. Victor didn’t make a conscious decision to dance, but it was the language that came most easily to him, and he responded to the natural sway of the embrace.

Isaiah followed his lead, the shuffle of their feet falling easily into a modified variation of the bachata. Limbs pressed against each other, muscles flexing as they moved slowly, finding their own pace. Victor sucked in a breath when Isaiah’s hands ran across the bare skin of his back, callouses dragging and igniting sparks of arousal in their wake. He made a sound, low but audible, and somewhere between a gasp and a moan, prompting his husband to pull back, eyes locked on his own.

Victor was relieved when he didn’t end the exquisite torture, but instead continued to maintain eye contact as they swayed together in the honey-glazed light of the kitchen. He was hard, sure that Isaiah could feel it through the thin material of his sweatpants, because he felt Isaiah’s erection through his dress pants. They shifted against each other, cocks aligning in a way that made the most of the lazy friction, sending ripples of pleasure over his skin and up his spine.

And then Isaiah pulled him closer, and Victor buried his face in the sweet dip of his shoulder, inhaling the scent of laundry detergent, cologne, and the intoxicating smell of his man. Isaiah’s hands dipped lower on his back, fingertips skimming the waistband, the occasional slip below the edge ratcheting his heartbeat up to the point where he knew it could be felt by the man holding him.

“So beautiful.” The words coasted across Victor’s skin, barely above a whisper. “Such a temptation.”

“I’m here for the taking,” Victor replied, his fingers coasting over the nape of Isaiah’s neck just to satisfy the urge to feel skin.

The moment was cloaked in madness, which was the only explanation for his mistake, and he knew it was the last thing he should have said when Isaiah went still, his fingers unconsciously digging into Victor’s hips.

They both pulled back, slowly, stubbled cheek against stubbled cheek, until their mouths were touching. Victor licked against his husband’s soft lips, begging for entrance and diving in when he was granted admission. Spice and sweet lemon and heat were everything in this kiss, more exploration than demand as they held on to each other and gave in.

The remains of dinner were around them, but this was another kind of hunger, and he’d waited too long to have it satisfied. Victor knew how good they could be together, and while he knew they would walk the razor’s edge between emotion and pure physical indulgence, he was willing to risk it. If he fell, then he’d embrace it.

But he knew he’d be falling alone.

“Fake” marriage, or marriage of convenience is not a trope you see often in the MM romance world. But you should. After marriage was finally declared legal by the Supreme Court, it opened up a whole new world! So this was my first book with the trope and I hope it won’t be my last.

Isaiah is a widower with a teenage son. He is also an NFL player in his off season. His incredibly artistic son gets to meet a world renowned ballet star from Russia. Sparks fly but neither can or want to commit. So after one night, they move on. Until Victor is denied political aslyum for his outspoken views on how gay men are treated in Chechnya. On a whim, Isaiah proposes, but says they have to stay platonic so that he doesn’t risk getting hurt again.

We all know how that goes. So, yes, it was predictable there. But the story and leading up to the HEA were still a good read.

Even though both Isaiah and Victor have high profile, demanding careers, the focus is on them as a couple and on Isaiah’s son. While this could have been a much longer book by adding more story to their careers, I liked that they didn’t. That way more of the story could focus on them and be character driven.

I expected more angst, and it would have been welcome. I didn’t really feel Isaiah’s pain at being a widower, but that is just me. I expected backlash from his son Evan about the relationship, but he was totally welcoming. And while Victor was outspoken, again I thought there would be more immediate repercussions.

So while there was a lot of “could have beens” in the story, I still really enjoyed it. The subject could have been dark but the author kept it light. Seeing Isaiah and Victor live together while dancing around their feelings was fun. And I really loved Evan- Isaiah’s gender fluid son.

There was tons of representation- which is a very cool thing. Victor is described as gender fluid, but I didn’t see that. Wearing a bit of make up doesn’t gender fluid make.

Ultimately, this was a nice story to read. I probably won’t remember it in a few weeks, but I don’t regret reading it.

3 pieces of eye candy

Entangled Publishing | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes

 

A USAToday bestseller, Robin Covington loves to explore the theme of fooling around and falling in love in her books. Her stories burn up the sheets. . .one page at a time. When she’s not writing she’s collecting tasty man candy, indulging in a little comic book geek love, hoarding red nail polish and stalking Chris Evans.

A 2016 RITA® Award finalist, Robin’s books have won the National Reader’s Choice and Golden Leaf Awards and finaled in the Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice, and the Book Seller’s Best.

She lives in Maryland with her handsome husband, her two brilliant children (they get it from her, of course!), and her beloved furbabies, Dutch and Dixie Joan Wilder (Yes – THE Joan Wilder)

Drop her a line at robin@robincovingtonromance.com – she always writes back.

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Taming the Beast by Andrew Grey: New Release Review with Giveaway

The suspicious death of Dante Bartholomew’s wife changed him, especially in the eyes of the residents of St. Giles. They no longer see a successful businessman… only a monster they believe was involved. Dante’s horrific reputation eclipses the truth to the point that he sees no choice but to isolate himself and his heart.
The plan backfires when he meets counselor Beau Clarity and the children he works with. Beau and the kids see beyond the beastly reputation to the beautiful soul inside Dante, and Dante’s cold heart begins to thaw as they slip past his defenses. The warmth and hope Beau brings to Dante’s life help him see his entire existence—his trials and sorrows—in a brighter light.
But Dante’s secrets could rip happiness from their grasp… especially since someone isn’t above hurting those Dante has grown to love in order to bring him down.

Title: Taming the Beast
Author: Andrew Grey
Release Date: October 13, 2017
Category: Contemporary
Pages: 200

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Dreamspinner Press

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Andrew Grey writes so prolifically that I think he must write a book a week. And where he gets his plot bunnies is only known to him. However, this book seems to have come from the Beauty and the Beast storyline, with a much more modern (and of course m/m) feel.

Dante’s past still haunted him even after meeting and falling for Beau. The guilt he carried for the death of his wife was so self inflicted that the town picked up on it, treating him as he felt he should be treated, as a killer. Moving past it would take more than the love of a single man, but forgiveness of himself.

I really liked that though Beau was the “Beauty” in this mix, he wasn’t a man to just sit there and do as his Beast told him. He was determined to make the situation work, as well as wanting to see beyond the distant exterior of Dante. He accepted that Dante could do things in the town he couldn’t but wanted to make sure that he didn’t take advantage of that.

They fell in love quickly but it did feel organic simply because Beau wouldn’t let Dante keep pushing him back. They worked together to figure out how to deal with the crises that came to them, yet didn’t try to solve the problem for the other (well okay Dante wanted to but he respected Beau’s wish to not have him solve it)

The epilogue worked well to complete their story, and gave the reader a glimpse into the full transition of Dante back into the world he had cut himself off from. I would have liked a little more informations on how his deceased wife’s parents handled everything but that wasn’t critical to the story. These two men with such distinct tragedies in their lives found a love and life together, bringing their HEA full circle. Definitely a book I enjoyed.

3.5 pieces of eye candy


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Love By Number by DJ Jamison: Release Blitz, Excerpt and Giveaway

TitleLove By Number

Author: DJ Jamison

Publisher: DJ Jamison

Release Date: October 12, 2017

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 31,000 words

Genre: Romance, LGBT, m/m contemporary romance

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Aidan doesn’t have the best record with relationships, but he’s had a lifelong love affair with baseball. Player stats and computer simulations make sense. People don’t. But when he needs a ride to the World Series, he must rely on another person: a sexy artist who is as spontaneous as Aidan is predictable.

Jesse doesn’t care about baseball. As an artist, he’d rather paint a player than watch him at bat. But his grandpa loves the Kansas City Royals, so he takes him to every home game. He has no idea a fender bender in the parking lot is about to deliver new inspiration in the shape of a man with a whole bag of quirks.

Despite their differences, Jesse and Aidan hit it off, and their sexual chemistry is fantastic. But when Aidan’s numbers betray him, Jesse isn’t prepared for the fall-out. If Aidan continues to put his passion for baseball stats above everything else, he could miss out on the most important numbers in life: the number of smiles, kisses and laughs they could share in a lifelong journey together.

Aidan clutched at his hair, heart hammering in his chest. The front driver’s side of his black Saab was crumpled. The wheel well took a direct hit, the force of the collision pressing it into the tire. He could tell from just looking that the axle must be bent, if not broken, by the way the tire tilted at the wrong angle.

It’s not drivable, he thought, and his heart hammered harder. He felt his hands trembling, and not as an aftershock of the accident. Well, not from experiencing the accident, at least. He was shaking because his plans had just been thrown in the blender.

“Hey, you okay?”

He looked up, gazing blankly at the figure approaching him. A man, but his features were lost in the shadows. Not that Aidan could focus on something like facial features right now. That wasn’t easy on a good day, much less in a moment like this.

“It’s not that big a deal,” he muttered to himself, as he’d learned from his therapist years ago. “It’s not. It’s not. But …” He groaned and clutched at his hair some more. “How am I going to get to the World Series now? I have to get there!”

He’d wrapped up so many hopes in getting to that series, in watching the Royals perform in high-stakes games. It was the perfect time to prove out his math. It might not be rocket science, but Aidan still wanted to watch his math come to life on the baseball field, in the most important series of the season. In person.

A hand touched his shoulder, and he flinched away.

“I’m sorry. Are you hurt?” a voice asked. A nice, mellow voice. He liked the raspy quality of it and the cadence of the man’s words. His tone calmed Aidan.

He managed to drag his gaze from the damage to the man’s face. “I’m …”

Sexy Artist Guy.

He faltered when he recognized the dark hair tinted with maroon highlights, dark eyes and sculpted lips — all coming together in a perfect symmetry. A perfect representation of geometry in nature, really. And the freckles splashed over his nose, highlighted now by the security lights overhead? They somehow added to his sex appeal instead of detracting from it.

Aidan had seen an open sketchbook on this man’s lap more than once when passing by on a bathroom break. He mostly drew portraits, from the look of it, but Aidan had only caught a glimpse. It made sense he was an artist since his entire appearance was like a work of art to Aidan’s eyes. He couldn’t imagine being so creative with his hair or his wardrobe or his skin, where Sexy Artist Guy had embraced both tattooing (his right bicep) and piercing (both ears and right eyebrow).

“I’m so sorry,” Sexy Artist Guy said again. “I saw an opening and went for it. I didn’t see you coming, but my grandfather was distracting me—”

“Blame it on the old man, why don’t ya?” a hoarse voice boomed loudly enough to make Aidan jump.

“Gramps, not now, huh? The guy is freaking out.”

“I’m not freaking out,” Aidan said sharply. The fascination with the stranger’s face faded as he remembered why he was in this situation. He gestured to the damage. “There’s no way I can drive that.”

“We can give you a lift,” the old man said, at the same time the handsome stranger said, “We’ll call you a tow truck.”

“But look at my car!” he said, not sure they understood the direness of the situation.

Artist Guy frowned, then glanced behind Aidan. Following his look, he realized they were blocking traffic. A line of cars snaked through the parking lot, headlights shining on Aidan’s personal disaster.

“I should move my car.” He glanced back at the bent wheel well, frowning. He hoped he could move the car.

“Jesse,” the old man spoke, “you help him push. I’ll get in and put it in neutral.”

They all took their positions, and with some work managed to push the car into an empty space next to the Lincoln Towncar that had so cruelly crunched the Saab. Aidan cringed at the scraping metal sound as his car rolled out of the lane of traffic.

Once off to the side, Jesse pulled out his wallet. He handed his license to Aidan, who stared at it. He took in all the details: 6-foot-1, 175 pounds, brown hair, brown eyes, born one year after Aidan, making him twenty-six.

Jesse cleared his throat, and Aidan glanced up.

“Aren’t you going to take a picture?”

Damn. He’d been staring. The old saying popped into his mind: Take a picture, it’ll last longer.

He flushed. “Sorry.”

He started to hand the license back, but Jesse looked at him as if he had a screw loose. Then it clicked. Take a picture. For insurance. Right.

He dug out his phone and clicked the pic of the license, and then of the insurance card that Jesse handed over. He was still rattled by the accident, thrumming with bottled-up anxiety.

“You okay? You’re pretty twitchy,” Jesse said. “I’m sure the insurance will cover the damage.”

“Yeah, but it’s my car.”

“Yeah?”

Aidan waved to his car, unsure how to make Jesse understand.

“It was reliable.”

“Um, won’t it still be reliable when it’s fixed?”

“The World Series is in two days.”

“So …”

“Jesse, stop being thick,” the old man interrupted. “Obviously, he was going to drive up to St. Louis, and a Saab is a foreign car. He won’t be able to get the parts locally. Maybe not even the mechanic. They don’t make those cars anymore. He can’t get it fixed in time.”

“Oh.”

“I have to go to that game. I go to all the away games within driving distance. I always do. And this is the World Series. I’m going to have to take a bus, and, oh God, I can’t stand to ride the bus—”

“Jesse will drive you.”

Aidan looked at the older man. He had a bushy head of white hair and enough wrinkles to give a Shar-Pei a run for its money, but his tone was confident, the kind of confident that brooked no nonsense. He’d heard that tone from his own mother too many times to count.

“He will?”

“I will?” Jesse echoed. “Gramps, I’m sure Aidan doesn’t want—”

“That would be great!”

Normally, Aidan wouldn’t want to ride long distance with a stranger, but when contrasted with a bus full of strangers, he jumped at the opportunity. Besides, Jesse and his grandfatherhad been at every home game. If Jesse were some kind of predator or bully, he’d have shown it by now. Right?

He’d only had one other interaction with Jesse. He’d walked up to Aidan once, when he was trying to quickly record the stats from the latest play and compare them against what he’d predicted for that player’s performance. Aidan had been too distracted to make conversation, especially small talk with a stranger. But he couldn’t help noticing his great smile. Jesse was one of those people who smiled with his whole being, not just his mouth. His eyes brightened, his cheeks dimpled and his body even seemed to vibrate with happy energy.

Aidan liked that because it was easy to see Jesse’s happiness. It wasn’t subtle, which would be lost on him, or confusing — like when people’s mouths smiled but their eyes stayed cold. He didn’t understand that. Was he supposed to respond to their mouth or their eyes? And then there were some people who just smiled all the time, even when they said mean things. What did that mean? Smiles could be confusing, but Jesse’s wasn’t.

“I have tickets to the games,” Gramps was saying now. “I was going to ask you to go, as a favor to me.”

“What? But you said in the car—”

“Hush,” Gramps said, a gleam in his eye. “I’m not up for that kind of travel. I want you to go in my place, so you can tell me all about it. You take this nice young man. It’s the least we can do. Watch the games for me, and tell me all about it when you come home.”

Aidan pulled out his phone to call the tow truck, watching the two men in a staring stand-off. He made arrangements for the tow and disconnected in time to see Jesse sigh and nod.

“Okay, Gramps. For you.”

“Good boy,” Gramps said, clapping him on the shoulder.


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DJ Jamison grew up in the Midwest and worked in newsrooms for more than 10 years, which came in handy when she began writing stories centered on a series of love connections between small-town Kansas newspaper staffers, their sources and their readers. It was the perfect entrance into the world of fiction, and she has since branched out into ERs, health clinics and other settings to tell the stories of characters who are flawed but loveable. She writes a variety of queer characters, from gay to bisexual to asexual, with a focus on telling love stories that are more about common ground than lust at first sight. DJ is married with two sons and two glow-in-the-dark fish that are miraculously still alive.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | DJ and Company | DJ’s Newsletter

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

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

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

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

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

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Riptide Publishing

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. Are you a plotter or a pantster?

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

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

I couldn’t possibly comment.

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

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

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

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

Social media:

Website: http://garrettleigh.com

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

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

Cover art enquiries: blackjazzdesign@gmail.com

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

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

The Stark Divide by J. Scott Coatsworth: Blog Tour and Excerpt

Some stories are epic.

The Earth is in a state of collapse, with wars breaking out over resources and an environment pushed to the edge by human greed.

Three living generation ships have been built with a combination of genetic mastery, artificial intelligence, technology, and raw materials harvested from the asteroid belt. This is the story of one of them—43 Ariadne, or Forever, as her inhabitants call her—a living world that carries the remaining hopes of humanity, and the three generations of scientists, engineers, and explorers working to colonize her.

From her humble beginnings as a seedling saved from disaster to the start of her journey across the void of space toward a new home for the human race, Liminal Sky tells the tales of the world, the people who made her, and the few who will become something altogether beyond human.

Humankind has just taken its first step toward the stars.

Publisher: DSP Publications

Author: J. Scott Coatsworth

Cover Artist: Aaron Anderson

Length: 284 Pages

Format: eBook, Paperback

Release Date: 10/10/17

Pairing: MM

Price: 6.99, 16.99

Series: Liminal Sky (Book One)

Genre: Sci Fi, Space, Gen Ship, Apocalypse, Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer

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DRESSLER, SCHEMATIC,” Colin McAvery, ship’s captain and a third of the crew, called out to the ship-mind.

A three-dimensional image of the ship appeared above the smooth console. Her five living arms, reaching out from her central core, were lit with a golden glow, and the mechanical bits of instrumentation shone in red. In real life, she was almost two hundred meters from tip to tip.

Between those arms stretched her solar wings, a ghostly green film like the sails of the Flying Dutchman.

“You’re a pretty thing,” he said softly. He loved these ships, their delicate beauty as they floated through the starry void.

“Thank you, Captain.” The ship-mind sounded happy with the compliment—his imagination running wild. Minds didn’t have real emotions, though they sometimes approximated them.

He cross-checked the heading to be sure they remained on course to deliver their payload, the man-sized seed that was being dragged on a tether behind the ship. Humanity’s ticket to the stars at a time when life on Earth was getting rapidly worse.

All of space was spread out before him, seen through the clear expanse of plasform set into the ship’s living walls. His own face, trimmed blond hair, and deep brown eyes, stared back at him, superimposed over the vivid starscape.

At thirty, Colin was in the prime of his career. He was a starship captain, and yet sometimes he felt like little more than a bus driver. After this run… well, he’d have to see what other opportunities might be awaiting him. Maybe the doc was right, and this was the start of a whole new chapter for mankind. They might need a guy like him.

The walls of the bridge emitted a faint but healthy golden glow, providing light for his work at the curved mechanical console that filled half the room. He traced out the T-Line to their destination. “Dressler, we’re looking a little wobbly.” Colin frowned. Some irregularity in the course was common—the ship was constantly adjusting its trajectory—but she usually corrected it before he noticed.

“Affirmative, Captain.” The ship-mind’s miniature chosen likeness appeared above the touch board. She was all professional today, dressed in a standard AmSplor uniform, dark hair pulled back in a bun, and about a third life-sized.

The image was nothing more than a projection of the ship-mind, a fairy tale, but Colin appreciated the effort she took to humanize her appearance. Artificial mind or not, he always treated minds with respect.

“There’s a blockage in arm four. I’ve sent out a scout to correct it.”

The Dressler was well into slowdown now, her pre-arrival phase as she bled off her speed, and they expected to reach 43 Ariadne in another fifteen hours.

Pity no one had yet cracked the whole hyperspace thing. Colin chuckled. Asimov would be disappointed. “Dressler, show me Earth, please.”

A small blue dot appeared in the middle of his screen.

Dressler, three dimensions, a bit larger, please.” The beautiful blue-green world spun before him in all its glory.

Appearances could be deceiving. Even with scrubbers working tirelessly night and day to clean the excess carbon dioxide from the air, the home world was still running dangerously warm.

He watched the image in front of him as the East Coast of the North American Union spun slowly into view. Florida was a sliver of its former self, and where New York City’s lights had once shone, there was now only blue. If it had been night, Fargo, the capital of the Northern States, would have outshone most of the other cities below. The floods that had wiped out many of the world’s coastal cities had also knocked down Earth’s population, which was only now reaching the levels it had seen in the early twenty-first century.

All those new souls had been born into a warm, arid world.

We did it to ourselves. Colin, who had known nothing besides the hot planet he called home, wondered what it had been like those many years before the Heat.

 

Scott spends his time between the here and now and the what could be. Enticed into fantasy and sci fi by his mom at the tender age of nine, he devoured her Science Fiction Book Club library. But as he grew up, he wondered where all the people like him were in the books he was reading.

He decided that it was time to create the kinds of stories he couldn’t find at his local bookstore. If there weren’t gay characters in his favorite genres, he would remake them to his own ends.

His friends say Scott’s mind works a little differently – he sees relationships between things that others miss, and gets more done in a day than most folks manage in a week. He loves to transform traditional sci fi, fantasy, and contemporary worlds into something unexpected.

Starting in 2014, Scott has published more than 15 works, including two novels and a number of novellas and short stories.

He runs both Queer Sci Fi and QueeRomance Ink with his husband Mark, sites that bring queer people together to promote and celebrate fiction that reflects their own lives.

Author Links:

Website: https://www.jscottcoatsworth.com

Facebook (personal): https://www.facebook.com/jscottcoatsworth

Facebook (author page): https://www.facebook.com/jscottcoatsworthauthor/

Twitter: https://www.facebook.com/jscoatsworth/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8392709.J_Scott_Coatsworth

QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/j-scott-coatsworth/

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