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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4 pieces of eye candy


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

Vodka & Handcuffs by Brandon Witt: Exclusive Guest Post, Release Day Review and Giveaway

Vahin Arora, Hamburger Mary’s sexy bartender, plays the flirtatious role so well even his closest friends—his chosen family at Mary’s—don’t realize Vahin hasn’t had a hookup in months. Then Tall, Dark, and Handsome steps through the door, and Vahin’s libido races back to life.

Being a black cop on the Denver police force is no easy job—Marlon Barton can’t imagine adding being gay to the equation. And while Marlon loves his work as an officer, his life has taken a turn for the hellish because of his new partner, the nephew of a senator.

Fleeing his partner’s company one night, Marlon stumbles into Mary’s for the first time… and wakes up with a hangover in the bartender’s bed. The one-night stand heats up into a budding romance, but not without stress as Marlon’s partner’s actions threaten Vahin’s livelihood and Marlon’s future on the force. Can Vahin and Marlon face the challenges and hold on to the love, friendship, and family they’ve found?

Title: Vodka & Handcuffs
Author: Brandon Witt
Release Date: April 26, 2017
Category: Contemporary
Pages: 112

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There are moments in life that change your trajectory.   That is most definitely true in the case of love.  For me, it was my friend insisting I get a beer with him in the middle of the day.  For my boyfriend, it was going to lunch with his friend and then grabbing a drink in the middle of the day.  Our paths collided, and we’ve been together ever since. I am not a bar person at all.  Nor am I a beer person.  It still seems strange to me that had I not broken my normal patter than day, I’d be living a very different life six years later.

I wanted to share an excerpt that highlights that very quality for my two lovers in Vodka & Handcuffs.

The same is true for how Marlon and Vahin meet.  Marlon had a shit day of traffic patrol.  His partner, Andrew, is a racists jerk, and annoying too boot.  Marlon just needs some time away from him.  That’s all he needs, really.  Well, he needed it more than he knew…

He needed to cool down before meeting the guys at Brother’s Bar. It would be nothing but talking shop, and at the moment, he wouldn’t be able to keep his tongue in check when it came to Andrew. Not that the others wouldn’t understand. They all pretty much hated Andrew, which was one of the main reasons Marlon had the privilege of being his partner. Marlon was about as difficult to rile up as a bushel of frozen cucumbers, at least that was how Chief Schmidt worded it. Still, if Marlon said too much, it was sure to get back to Andrew somehow, and he would make Marlon’s life even more miserable.

Part of him almost wished he’d let Andrew do something. Something that would be big enough to negate Andrew’s ties to his senator uncle and former police chief grandfather. Although, that big enough something would’ve come at the cost to an innocent family who’d had the misfortune of a bike accident.”

The possibilities that flooded his mind the past few months rushed through him like a hurricane. Thirty-eight wasn’t too old to start a new career. He’d been on the force for fifteen years. That was a good amount of time, for anyone. A life change could be what he needed.

Except it hadn’t even been a thought until Andrew started occupying the passenger seat. Andrew had been a pain in the ass since day one, but he was steadily getting worse. It was only a matter of time. And Marlon didn’t want to be anywhere near when that time came. But he didn’t want to stop being a cop either. He loved being a cop.

At least he used to.

He could move. California had always been alluring. But he was too much of a family guy to want to leave Denver.

Marlon pulled his car into Brother’s Bar parking lot, slammed it into park, and smacked his open palm onto the steering wheel, imagining it was Andrew’s face. He’d have to talk to the chief, again. One of these times, he’d listen. And screw cooling down. He needed a drink, and if he happened to spout off too much about Andrew, then so be it. He turned off the engine, got out of the car, and halted.

“Oh. No fucking way.”

He narrowed his eyes and glared at the red sports car glowing directly under the street lamp illuminating the parking lot. He didn’t need to inspect. Didn’t even need to see the vanity license plate to know it was Andrew’s. Just his damned luck. Andrew hated the guys as much as they hated him. It only made sense Andrew would choose this night—the night when Marlon was more fed up than he’d ever been—to try to be one of the boys.

Marlon slipped right back into his car and peeled out of the lot, cursing under his breath. He drove for a bit longer, then realized he was cruising up 17th Street—the old gay section of 17th Street.

He’d spent many an hour at JR’s when he was younger and at the Wrangler after that. Both were now gone, making way for upper-class, straight, yuppieville.

The new Hamburger Mary’s caught his eye; at least a bit of the old gayborhood was left, refurbished or not. He drove past it without a second thought. Drag queens weren’t his thing. Although… he’d heard the new location had more of a sports bar feel to it. It didn’t sound as relaxing as unwinding with the guys, but if he couldn’t be with other cops, at least he’d be around gays. And most importantly, Andrew wasn’t there.

He made it about another half mile before he turned around.

 

On the 8th of May, please pop on over to Boy Meets Boy for the final Vodka & Handcuffs blog tour, where I’ll give you a sneak peak at what’s to come.

Blog Tour Schedule:

April 19 – MM Good Book Reviews

April 24 – Joyfully Jay

April 25 – Open Skye Book Reviews

April 26- The Novel Approach

April 26 – Alpha Book Reviews

April 27 – Love Bytes

April 28 – Divine Magazine

April 28 – My Fiction Nook

May 1 – Two Chicks Obsessed

May 8 – Boy Meets Boy

One of the things that I enjoy most about Brandon Witt’s books is that there are always aspects of the books that you just don’t find in many other m/m romance books. Vodka and Handcuffs is a perfect example of that type of book.

Vahin, a man who when disowned by his Muslim family for being gay found a family at Hamburger Mary’s, accepted his life as it was. In his 30s he decided to stop the hookups, enjoying his job at Mary’s. A drunken hookup up with a partially closeted Marlon wasn’t in his plans, but after Marlon’s bad day with an openly racist partner, they ended up in bed. Once they were sober, working their way towards a potential relationship was a challenge.

This novella hit on so many issues that are relevant in today’s society. First, open racism and bigotry (sadly) has become more rampant in recent months, and Brandon hits on this from both Marlon and Vahin’s POVs. Even with the characters being gay, the more challenging  piece was working their way through Marlon’s partners disgusting comments and actions. These are not easy issues to tackle. In the m/m romance genre, often any sort of bigotry is portrayed due to the characters sexuality (which does come into play as well), but the characters’ skin color was just as much a conflict to be addressed. I really appreciated that Brandon used this as conflict in the book. It happens, its realistic. Being gay can be and often is what causes characters to engage in hate crimes. However, the primary conflict here was not merely the characters sexuality, but their race as well.

The love and appreciation between all the side characters in their self-made family was evident. I can’t wait to see where this series continues to move forward. Brandon has done a stellar job with this series so far.

Side note: I think I am going to be hitting Hamburger Mary’s during my time in Denver for GRL. 🙂

4 pieces of eye candy

Brandon is offering up one of his backlist titles (and there are some amazing 5 star reads in that backlist, just saying…) to one of our readers. So give him a big congrats, and let him know what you are looking forward to most about reading Vodka & Handcuffs.

 

Brandon Witt’s outlook on life is greatly impacted by his first eighteen years of growing up gay in a small town in the Ozarks, as well as fifteen years as a counselor and special education teacher for students with severe emotional disabilities. Add to that his obsession with corgis and mermaids, then factor in an unhealthy love affair with cheeseburgers, and you realize that with all those issues, he’s got plenty to write about….

Website:  http://www.brandonwitt.com

Author Facebook Page:  http://bit.ly/2jxsfVu

Dreamspinner Press:  http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/AuthorArcade/brandon-witt

Brandon’s Patreon Support page:  http://bit.ly/2j58PdQ

Twitter: https://twitter.com/wittauthor

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2p7a2lc

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4896623.Brandon_Witt

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCO5cFqYKyNyDCxExAonFPRA

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: Brandon Witt Guest Author Post

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**Two Chicks Obsessed is excited to welcome Brandon Witt to the GRL 2016 Official Blog Tour. Read on all about his GRL experiences.**

Guest Post

GRL was the first time I met any members of my Gay Romance friends face to face.  I’d been published for a couple of years and had lots of friends on Facebook of other authors and readers, but it was a very different thing knowing that I was going to actually meet them. I was scared to death.  Both that they’d see that I’m just a big geek pretending to know what he’s doing when he’s writing books and that we’d have to talk to each other.  (I’m one of those high functioning introverts.  I can do social stuff, but I’d rather not, and when I do, it’s terrifying.  I have a feeling a lot of you are like that as well. )

This will be my third GRL.  I have no nerves at all.  None.  You have no idea how rare that is for me.  Going to GRL is like a vacation, one where I’m surrounded by people I love, who make me laugh, who think I’m funny, who are okay with who I am.

All of that to say, if this is your first time, or you’ve only been once, maybe you’re like I was and are scared to death.  You don’t have to be.  Like anywhere else, if you look for drama and hurting feelings, you’ll find them.  But, if you don’t, they won’t find you.  We all come together because of the bond of loving Gay Romance novels.  Within that, chances are high that we also come together with our geeky personalities, strange hobbies, and unusual senses of humor.  Yeah, you get the picture.  We’re just one big freak show (the Britney Spears album kind, not the American Horror kind).  And, that, the freak show quality, is what I love the most—mainly, because its one of the few places I totally and completely fit. GRL Featured Author

So please don’t be too scared.  Come intending to let your freak flag fly.  Come willing to leave your room, meet amazing readers and authors, play cards against humanity (secret? I HATE that game, but it’s so much fun at GRL), be prepared to eat your weight every single day, get ready to laugh, gush over your favorite novels with likeminded people, and allow yourself to sigh once you’re there, knowing that you’re safe, part of a collective, special yet one of us, and have a fucking amazing time.

If you’re a new author, come see us authors who aren’t new anymore (just don’t call us old).  We used to be where you are and we love that you’re one of us now.

If you’re a reader and are nervous about coming up to your favorite author (or one you’ve never heard of), rest assured, that YOU are the reason we are there, and we know that we owe it to YOU that we can call ourselves authors.  You’re our heroes, because you help make our dreams come true.

Get ready.  It’s going to be a wonderful week in Kansas City.  And that’s something you don’t hear everyday!

synopsis

son of moneyRandall Morgan, youngest son of one of Seattle’s wealthiest families, rejected his family’s money to live free of their control and pursue his career as a photographer. To make ends meet, Randall does erotic photography and massage—a secret he keeps from his family so he can remain a part of his young niece’s life. But the price of that relationship is high, and Randall is slipping under his family’s thumb.

Noah Carroll is the spokesperson for the Seattle Humane Society, and the city holds a special place in his heart. When fate intervenes during a pet adoption  at the humane society, Noah finds himself face to face with his first love—Randall.

While Noah and Randall are not the teenagers they once were, the flame of a first kiss long ago draws them together. Their romance is just beginning to grow, but someone is out to destroy Randall and expose all he keeps hidden.

When secrets and rumors thrust Randall into the public eye, his relationship with Noah isn’t the only thing that comes under threat.

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meet the author

Witt-0025Brandon Witt’s outlook on life is greatly impacted by his first eighteen years of growing up gay in a small town in the Ozarks, as well as fifteen years as a counselor and special education teacher for students with severe emotional disabilities. Add to that his obsession with corgis and mermaids, then factor in an unhealthy love affair with cheeseburgers, and you realize that with all those issues, he’s got plenty to write about….

 

Website:  http://www.brandonwitt.com

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

Dreamspinner Press:  http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/AuthorArcade/brandon-witt

Twitter: https://twitter.com/wittauthor

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

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YouTube

 

Other books by Brandon Witt:

ClashingTempest_postcard_front RisingFrenzy_postcard_front_DSP ShatteredDoor_postcard_front SubmergingInferno-Witt_postcard_front_DSP ThenTheStarsFall_postcard_front_DSP

 

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.

Son of Money by Brandon Witt: Release Day Review dsp

son of moneysynopsisRandall Morgan, youngest son of one of Seattle’s wealthiest families, rejected his family’s money to live free of their control and pursue his career as a photographer. To make ends meet, Randall does erotic photography and massage—a secret he keeps from his family so he can remain a part of his young niece’s life. But the price of that relationship is high, and Randall is once more slipping under his family’s thumb.

Noah Carroll is the spokesperson for the Seattle Humane Society, and the city holds a special place in his heart. When fate intervenes during a pet adoption, Noah finds himself face-to-face with his first love—Randall.

While Noah and Randall are not the teenagers they once were, the flame of a first kiss long ago draws them together. Their romance is beginning to grow, but someone is out to destroy Randall and expose all he keeps hidden.

When secrets and rumors thrust Randall into the public eye, his relationship with Noah isn’t the only thing that comes under threat.

Title: Son of Money
Author: Brandon Witt
Release Date: July 11, 2016
Category: Contemporary
Pages: 284

 

morgan review

This is my first book by Brandon Witt and I loved it. The writing was fantastic. The story was full of drama, passion, heartbreak, angst and tears. I loved the MC’s and I thought the chemistry between them was perfect. Even though Noah and Randall still have feelings from when they were kids, I enjoyed getting to watch them fall in love as the relationship grew.  I fell head over heels for Noah and he was exactly what Randall needed as he fought some pretty rough battles throughout the story.

The secondary characters brought so much life to the story as well. I just adored Bailey and Kayla. Randall’s family was something else and Randall has such a great personality considering he grew up in that hateful, entitled household.

This story has twists and turns and is full of emotion and excitement. Be ready to stay up long into the night to finish because once I started I didn’t want to put it down. This is a definite reread for me and I can’t wait to check out more of Brandon’s stories.

5 pieces of eye candy from me!

5-pieces-eye-candy

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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.

Under a Sky of Ash by Brandon Witt: Release Day Review, Excerpt and Guest Post

UnderSkyofAsh_postcard_front_DSPsynopsis

More than an decade after leaving Colorado to attend college and escape his past, Isaiah Greene moves back and builds a life in Denver as a special education teacher. When he meets Ben Woods, the mentor of one of his students, the attraction is immediate. The revelations that they’ve both suffered traumatic childhoods form a bond between them.

Raised by an abusive grandmother, Ben is a recovering addict who has made a family with his construction worker boss, Hershel, and Hershel’s husband, Daniel—drag queen ManDonna. Adding Isaiah to his life gives Ben a glimpse of a future he’d never dreamed possible for himself.

Both Isaiah and Ben are survivors, but when guilt drives a wedge between them, the past threatens to end their relationship.

Ben and Isaiah embark on journeys of self-discovery. Though their path will be difficult at times, humor and love find a way to bring light to the darkness.

Title: Under a Sky of Ash
Author: Brandon Witt
Release Date: March 21, 2016
Category: Contemporary
Pages: 270

 

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Guest Post

As a teacher/counselor for sixteen years, I always battled knowing how much was the just the right amount of myself to share with my students.  I wanted them to see me as human, know that I wasn’t perfect, and that they could trust me.  I also wanted to keep professional UnderSkyofAsh_bookmarkV_DSPboundaries, retain my authority, and maintain a level of anonymity. In Under a Sky of Ash, such concerns are thrown out the window, at least for one kid.  Aaron is a sixth grade student whose teacher is Isaiah Greene.  Aaron also has a mentor from the Big Brother program, Ben Woods.  Isaiah and Ben meet at one of Aaron’s disciplinary meetings, and sparks fly.  Months later, after they’re dating, Aaron’s foster mom is deemed to be unfit and Ben provides emergency care for Aaron.

In this scene, Ben is driving Aaron back to his place after picking him up from the social worker, trying to decide the best way to let the kid know that he’s been dating Aaron’s teacher.

Personally, I can’t imagine a much more awkward conversation to have with one of my students.  However, since it didn’t actually happen to me, it was a ton of fun to write.

I hope you enjoy!

excerpt

“That must have been some fight.” Aaron reached across the truck and poked beside my eye.

“Ouch!” I smacked his hand away. “Sheesh, boy. Don’t make me ground you on your first night staying at my place.”

“You wouldn’t ground me.” Aaron was practically bouncing up and down in his seat, he was so happy. “I sure hope Ms. Deaner lets me stay with you. Maybe you can be my new foster parent!”

“Whoa. Slow down.” I pulled the truck onto Spear Boulevard and headed back to my house. “Number one, you bet I’ll ground you. And two, this isn’t to make me a foster parent, but I do think she’ll let you stay with me for a bit. There’s no need to do more transitions than we need to. You’ll stay until we find a foster family that’s good, and I’ll do everything in my power to make sure you approve of them too.”

What the fuck had I just agreed to?

“So, Aaron buddy, we need to talk about something before we get home.”

He sounded annoyed. “You don’t want to hear about the creepers I killed?”Copyright_ _a href='http___www.123rf.com_profile_zegers06'_zegers06 _ 123RF Stock Photo__a_

“What?”
“Creepers! From Minecraft. Weren’t you listening?”
Oh, that damn game. The first day of our camping trip that was the only thing the kid would talk about. Until I threatened to find a bear that needed a soon-to-be sixth-grader-sized snack. “Honestly, kid, I wasn’t listening. But, still, I need to talk to you before we get home.”

He sighed. “Fine.”

Man, this was awkward. “Well, you know I’ve got a boyfriend now and stuff. He’s at the house at the moment.”

“Ugh!” Aaron shook his head, letting out a high-pitched squeal. “I do not want to see you guys kiss. Or other stuff.”

Looking away from the road for a second, I glared at him. “Well, there went all my plans for the day. Can you just listen for a bit?”

Aaron rolled his eyes. “Sure. Whatever.”

How the hell was I supposed to tell him I was dating his teacher without scarring him for life?

“Well?” More irritation.

“My boyfriend is Isaiah. I just wanted you to know before we got home and it shocked you.” I glanced over at him again, trying to see his reaction.

He bugged his eyes at me. “Okay. Great. So your boyfriend’s name is Isaiah. Got it. So anyway, this creeper was about to explode. They do that if you don’t—”

“Oh.” I realized my mistake before I had to learn any more about creepers. “My boyfriend is Mr. Greene. Your teacher.”

Aaron looked at me like I’d just spoken another language.

I took a quick right, pulled over onto the side street, and put the truck in park. I was almost afraid to look back at him.Copyright_ _a href='http___www.123rf.com_profile_tonobalaguer'_tonobalaguer _ 123RF Stock Photo__a_

“You’re dating Mr. Greene?”
I nodded. “Yep.”
His brows furrowed. “Does Ms. Bello know?”
Wasn’t expecting that one. “Yeah. She does.”
“She’s okay with that?” Disgust filled his voice.
I hadn’t expected quite that reaction. Not anger. He’d always been fairly nonconcerned about the gay thing. Then I remembered and couldn’t help but laugh, which hurt the inside of my head like holy fuck. “Aaron, Isaiah and Charity, er, Mr. Greene and Ms. Bello were never dating. They’re just friends.”

He tilted his head as he glared from across the truck, like he didn’t believe me.

“Ask him yourself.”
“Fine. I will.”
I waited for more, but there didn’t seem to be anything else. “Are you okay with your teacher being gay and dating me as long as he’s not cheating on Ms. Bello?”

Another shrug. “Yeah, why should I care?”
I needed him to give my grandmother lessons.
“Can I finish telling you about the creeper now?”

paula review

I really enjoyed this story. I am a sucker for abused characters. I like seeing the journey they make to get to a better place. I think Brandon Witt did a really good job creating two heartbreakingly beautiful characters. Isaiah and Ben really got to me and I was rooting for them throughout the entire book. This definitely made my heart hurt and it was wonderful.

4 pieces of eye candy

4-pieces-of-eye-candy1

 

UnderSkyofAsh_headerbanner
meet the author

Witt-0025Brandon Witt’s outlook on life is greatly impacted by his first eighteen years of growing up gay in a small town in the Ozarks, as well as fifteen years as a counselor and special education teacher for students with severe emotional disabilities. Add to that his obsession with corgis and mermaids, then factor in an unhealthy love affair with cheeseburgers, and you realize that with all those issues, he’s got plenty to write about….

Website

Author Facebook Page

Dreamspinner Press Author Page

Amazon

Goodreads Link

YouTube

 

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