The 12 Days of Hipster by Raine O’Tierney: Guest Post, Excerpt and Giveaway

12-days-of-hipster-coversynopsisLast Christmas, Tyler Lang accidentally accepted David Griffith’s invitation for dinner. Yes, it was an accident. See, hipster (don’t call him that!) Tyler doesn’t date guys, and even if he did, he certainly doesn’t date jocks. A rude and hasty exit right when the date was getting good left things awkward between them.

David Griffith isn’t really a jock. Well, he’s a former athlete who loves sports, but “jock” has a certain connotation that doesn’t quite fit the intelligent, hardworking store owner. A jock wouldn’t have given Tyler Lang the time of day. But even after that little, ahem, stunt with the fire escape, David can’t stop thinking about the hipster a year later. Which would be fine if fate didn’t keep butting her nose into their business, making it impossible for the jock and the hipster to avoid each other this Christmas.

A hilarious holiday romp, set to the music of the Winter Sounds.

Title: The 12 Days of Hipster
Series: The Avona Tales: Book Two
Author: Raine O’Tierney
Release Date: December 19, 2016
Category: Contemporary, Holiday
Pages: 240

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Guest Post

We need to go, take the car and drive… ~ The Anthem is a Gift, The Winter Sounds

I love road trips so much.

I know other people find riding (or driving!) for long distances boring. But I really enjoy blasting my music, singing along with my travel companions, and talking at length about anything and everything.

On that long, very flat, stretch of road between here and home, I find myself thinking up the greatest stories, too!

In The 12 Days of Hipster, my newest Christmas story, Tyler Lang, consummate hipster, follows his love interest, David, on an impromptu road trip to Colorado.

An insane spur-of-the-moment decision, these two unlikely lovers pack up everything and just go.

It’s lucky for our two MCs that close confines + long distances + really excellent music make the heart grow fonder.

What about you? Do you like road trips?

With Kindness and the Open Road!

Raine O’Tierney

excerpt

Okay, fine. If he couldn’t get out of this with direct and sound logic, he would try the irrational. The completely, totally—did he say completely?—irrational. Tyler tightened his grip on David’s hand, leaned forward, and kissed him. But before a full second had passed, David burst out laughing against Tyler’s lips.

Tyler yanked back, heat suffusing his face.

“What?”

“That was the sourest prekiss expression I’ve ever seen.”

“That’s it, I’m leaving.”

“Tyler, you don’t have to go.”

“No sparks. Only laughter. Must leave.”

“No sparks because you looked like you were in physical pain and made me laugh. Why don’t you be a little more romantic about it?”

“Because I….” Don’t know what in the hell I’m doing. It was probably the first time in his life he really could say that. He’d learned things before. There had been a time when he hadn’t known how to knit, when he hadn’t known how to make gourmet chocolates, when he hadn’t known how to use a soldering iron—but those were just learning opportunities. But with this? He felt like he was standing out naked on the corner with only mistletoe to cover his bits.

“More like this.”

The second kiss was what Tyler would have called sweet if the word had been in his vocabulary. David’s lips were warm, soft, giving, and for a moment the kiss lingered on that edge of innocent, like a snowflake dancing through the sky. Then the world tipped and Tyler’s hands were in David’s hair and David was drawing him closer and, motherfuckinggod, they were kissing. Hard, searching lips, taking and giving, and it took him way too long to realize what he was doing. In fact, he might not have ever realized it if they hadn’t needed to breathe like humans do. It took a long moment for rational thought to come back to Tyler.

 

 

meet the author

Called “Queen of the Sweetness” (well, two or three people said it anyway!) Raine O’Tierney loves writing sweet stories about first loves, first times, fidelity, forever-endings and…friskiness?

Raine in Kansas City with her husband, fellow Dreamspinner Press author, Siôn O’Tierney. When she’s not writing, she’s either asleep, or fighting the good fight for intellectual freedom at her library day job. Raine believes the best thing we can do in life is be kind to one another, and she enjoys encouraging fellow writers!

Raine changes sub-genres to suit her mood and believes all good stories end sweetly. Contact her if you’re interested in talking about point-and-click adventure games or about which dachshunds are the best kinds of dachshunds!

SOCIAL MEDIA

Website: http://raineotierney.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/raineotierney
Facebook Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/RaineOTierneyAuthor/
Twitter: @raineotierney
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7770350.Raine_O_Tierney

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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.

12 Days of Kissmas: Avon Gale

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TCO is so excited to bring you 12 Days of Kissmas. We have 12 of your favorite authors ahead over the coming days, bringing you beautiful pictures of men kissing that the authors have chosen themselves, along with exclusive posts, excerpts, and giveaways. The idea sprang from a conversation with an author that just turned into a “what if…”, and when I started asking a few authors, they immediately said they were in. Make sure you enter the giveaways, as there are lots of them! Thanks for stopping by, and a HUGE thank you to all the authors for their generosity, and loving spirit. Happy Holidays to everyone!

 

Guest Post

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Hi! I’m Avon Gale, and I’m here sharing a delightful picture of two boys kissing – er, almost kissing. I like this picture because I love that moment of tension right before the kiss. Also this one cutie is wearing a bowtie! Adorable, right?

My most recent novella, Whiskey Business, is out December 28th from Dreamspinner Press and is a part of their States of Love line. It’s about a bourbon distillery in a small Kentucky town, and it features an opposites-attract love story and a lot of really bad puns.

whiskeybusinessfs_v1I’m from Kentucky, so writing this was super fun for me. Also, I love bourbon (and pie), which is why I decided to share this recipe with you! Ignore that “or water” part of the directions, because trust me, you want the bourbon 😉 And make sure it’s good Kentucky bourbon, too – none of that Jack Daniels nonsense (sorry, Tennessee!) for this pie.

(Kidding, you can use whatever you want, but in my humble estimation, Kentucky bourbon is the best and that’s all I have to say about that.)

 

Kentucky Bourbon Pecan Pie

1/2 (14.1-ounce) package refrigerated piecrusts

1 1/2 cups chopped toasted pecans

1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate morsels

1 cup dark corn syrup

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1/4 cup bourbon or water

4 large eggs

1/4 cup butter, melted

2 teaspoons plain white cornmeal

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon table salt

 

Preparation

Hands-on: 15 Minutes

Total: 2 Hours, 10 Minutes

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Fit piecrust into a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate according to package directions; fold edges under, and crimp. Sprinkle pecans and chocolate evenly onto bottom of piecrust.

Stir together corn syrup and next 3 ingredients in a large saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, 3 minutes. Remove from heat.

Whisk together eggs and next 4 ingredients. Gradually whisk one-fourth of hot corn syrup mixture into egg mixture; add to remaining hot corn syrup mixture, whisking constantly. Pour filling into prepared piecrust.

Bake at 325° for 55 minutes or until set; cool pie completely on a wire rack (about one hour).

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Avon Gale is giving away an ebook of winners choice. Give us your favorite traditional recipe. (Any tradition you like).

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Plaid versus Paisley by KC Burn: Guest Post and Excerpt

plaidversuspaisleyfs_200synopsisTwo years after his life fell apart, Will Dawson moved to Florida to start over. His job in the tech department of Idyll Fling, a gay porn studio, is ideal for him. When his boss forces him to take on a new hire, the last person he expects is Dallas Greene—the man who cost him his job and his boyfriend back in Connecticut. He doesn’t know what’s on Dallas’s agenda, but he won’t be blindsided by a wolf masquerading as a runway model. Not again.

Dallas might have thrown himself on his brother’s mercy, but his skills are needed at Idyll Fling. Working with Will is a bonus, since Dallas has never forgotten the man. A good working relationship is only the beginning of what Dallas wants with Will.

But Dallas doesn’t realize how deep Will’s distrust runs, and Will doesn’t know that the man he’s torn between loving and hating is the boss’s brother. When all truths are revealed, how can a relationship built on lies still stand?

Title: Plaid versus Paisley
Series: Fabric Hearts
Author: KC Burn
Release Date: December 12, 2016
Category: Contemporary
Pages: 216

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Guest Post

Hello! I’m KC Burn and I’m so excited to be here, chatting about Plaid versus Paisley. This is the second book in my Fabric Hearts series. The first book, Tartan Candy, features an ex porn star who worked at a gay porn studio called Idyll Fling. It’s there that we first meet Will, the IT guy who runs the Idyll Fling web site. In Plaid versus Paisley, we get to know Will a little better, and why he fled to Florida, taking a job that was a significant step down from his prior position. We also meet Dallas, who I just adore. He’s made some unwise choices but he refuses to let them keep him down. They’re two regular guys with geeky aspects, battling it out over the fiefdom of the tech department at a gay porn studio. I hope you enjoy a taste of one of their skirmishes.

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excerpt

“Why are you wearing a suit?” Will’s voice cracked the silence, making Dallas jump.

“Uh, well, dress for the job you want, right?”

Will lifted an eyebrow. Based on that “logic,” Dallas must want a job at a different company because not even Stefan, the CEO, wore suits. The only suits Will had seen around Idyll Fling showed up when the guys were filming some sort of office or professor porn.

Judging by the sudden—attractive, damn it— flush on Dallas’s too-thin cheeks, he was well aware that his answer was silly.

“You do realize this is Florida, right?” And Will couldn’t stop himself from sounding like a petulant teenager.

“People in Florida wear suits.” Dallas’s chin firmed mutinously.

He wasn’t wrong, but shit, why would anyone bother if they didn’t have to? Some days, Will could barely even stand the T-shirts and cargo shorts. The apartment back in Connecticut he’d shared with Jesse had only had two window A/C units; he’d thought central air in his apartment in Florida was overkill. Until he realized Florida only had one cool month—January. The continuously high daily temperatures and humidity had him rapidly revising his opinion. Central air was clearly the most important feature of any lodging in Florida.

Nevertheless, Will ought to stop acting like someone cruising for a Human Resources violation. Even if those suits made Dallas look delicious, he hated the purple paisley tie. In fact, he seemed to recall a number of paisley ties Dallas had worn in the past. He’d thought them cute back then. Now he just wanted to rip the damn thing off.

His traitorous mind didn’t stop there, and showed him a tousled Dallas, tie gone, jacket gone, shirt gaping open, lips puffy and moist like he’d either been engaged in a marathon make-out session or had been giving someone—Will—a thorough blow job. A throb from his groin reminded him how utterly inappropriate such thoughts were, and he turned back to his work. “Wear what you want,” he muttered, unable to control the schoolyard impulse to get in the last word.

meet the author

KC Burn has been writing for as long as she can remember and is a sucker for happy endings (of all kinds).  After moving from Toronto to Florida for her husband to take a dream job, she discovered a love of gay romance and fulfilled a dream of her own — getting published.  After a few years of editing web content by day, and neglecting her supportive, understanding hubby and needy cat at night to write stories about men loving men, she was uprooted yet again and now resides in California. Writing is always fun and rewarding, but writing about her guys is the most fun she’s had in a long time, and she hopes you’ll enjoy them as much as she does.

Visit KC at her website, on Twitter, on Facebook, or find out about new releases by signing up for her newsletter.

giveaway

KC would like to give away a $10 ARe gift certificate. Comment on this blog post, and send KC congrats on her new release to be entered.

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

12 Days of Kissmas: Cardeno C : Guest Post, Excerpt and Giveaways

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TCO is so excited to bring you 12 Days of Kissmas. We have 12 of your favorite authors ahead over the coming days, bringing you beautiful pictures of men kissing that the authors have chosen themselves, along with exclusive posts, excerpts, and giveaways. The idea sprang from a conversation with an author that just turned into a “what if…”, and when I started asking a few authors, they immediately said they were in. Make sure you enter the giveaways, as there are lots of them! Thanks for stopping by, and a HUGE thank you to all the authors for their generosity, and loving spirit. Happy Holidays to everyone!

Guest Post

Favorite Kisses

I’m thrilled to participate in Two Chicks’ Twelve Days of Kissmas. I’m by far more a reader than I am a movie/TV watcher but I thought it’d be fun to touch on both types of kisses today so I’ll share a kissing excerpt from my book In Your Eyes and some movie/TV kissing scenes suggested by readers in my Facebook Group. What’s your favorite book, movie, or TV kiss?

  1. Just a Question of Love (Juste une question d’amour) – Laurent and Cédric. Watch on YouTube.
  2. Shelter – Zach and Shaun. Watch on YouTube.
  3. Glee – Kurt and Blaine. Watch on YouTube.
  4. Shadow Hunters – Magnus and Alex. Watch on YouTube.
  5. Days of Our Lives – Will and Neil. Watch on YouTube.
  6. Torchwood – Jack and Ianto. Watch on YouTube.
  7. Spartacus – Agron and Nasir. Watch on YouTube.
  8. Maurice – Maurice & Alec. Watch on YouTube

 

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excerpt

Excerpt from In Your Eyes by Cardeno C.

“I don’t understand what’s happening,” I confessed.

“Yes, you do. Stop thinking. Just feel.”

Before I could deny his assertion or ask what he meant or explain that using my brain was important, he closed the gap between us and pressed his lips against mine.

The feelings were already there—locked away, hidden, but there. His kiss led them out from the darkness where they were buried and showed them the light of day. He felt so good, so right, touching my face, smoothing his soft lips over mine, teasing my tongue into his mouth and letting me taste him. Before I knew it, I was reaching for him, tangling my fingers in the sides of his hair, and holding on to him, keeping him close, keeping us connected.

Without separating our mouths, he rolled on top of me and wedged himself between my thighs. I whimpered and felt him smile in response. All the while, he kept kissing my lips and petting my face. It was amazing—the warm caress of his skin, his scent surrounding me, the sound of him breathing. For the first time in my life, I was where I was meant to be, who I was meant to be. I was whole.

Gasping, I jerked back and stared at Korban. It wasn’t supposed to be possible. It shouldn’t have made any sense. And yet, suddenly, everything made sense and anything seemed possible.

“You’re my mate,” I rasped. “My true mate.”

“Yes.” He beamed, the sides of his eyes crinkling. He moved his fingertips over my eyebrows, my cheekbones, my nose, my lips, and my jaw while he gazed at me reverently. “And I am so very lucky.”

meet the author

Find More Information About Cardeno C. Here:

Website

Blog (shared)

Twitter

Facebook Profile

Facebook Group

Instagram

Pinterest

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Short Bio: Cardeno C. – CC to friends – is a hopeless romantic who wants to add a lot of happiness and a few “awwws” into a reader’s day. Writing is a nice break from real life as a corporate type and volunteer work with gay rights organizations. Cardeno’s stories range from sweet to intense, contemporary to paranormal, long to short, but they always include strong relationships and walks into the happily-ever-after sunset.

Heartwarming Stories. Strong Relationships. Forever Love.

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For a chance to win a copy of In Your Eyes by Cardeno C, leave a comment about her blog post. What is your favorite kiss?

 

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Monthly Author Column: Avon Gale recaps GRL

Featured Author Avon Gale

 

Guest Post

So, a few weeks ago I attended my first GRL! The only other romancelandia con I’d been to was RT in Vegas last April, and wow, this was a totally different experience. And I had a good time at RT, it was definitely an eye-opening, interesting and worth-while experience…but GRL was all of that AND MORE! I had an awesome time, and I’m definitely planning to go again next year.

 
This year, GRL was in Kansas City – which just so happens to be about a 2 hour drive for me. I live in Columbia, which is halfway between St. Louis and Kansas City, so! Super convenient. I came up on Wednesday with a bonus! Piper Vaughn, who’d been chilling at my house that week since Mr. Gale was off for a conference of his own in San Francisco (on like, mobile banking, so not nearly as fun as mine). My roommate was the lovely Carrie Pack, who I’d met at RT and chatted with online a little. We luckily got along really well and shared a mutual love of mocking House Hunters, so that was great.

 
I signed up as a Supporting Author this year, and I’m glad that I did that – it was a great way to both be involved and learn about the conference. The supporting author signing on Thursday was awesome, I love getting to meet readers! I almost fainted when one of my favorite authors, Lisa Henry, stopped by and got a copy of “Let the Wrong Light In” for me to sign. !!! I tried to play it cool and probably failed, after babbling something about how she was a huge inspiration to me as a writer (I love how she can write so many different moods and types of stories and they’re all awesome). I did the same thing to Jordan Castillo Price, who I was so nervous to meet! If you’ve met me, you know I’m super friendly and will talk to just about anyone. But Jordan is one of my favorite authors and her Psy-Cop series was among my first reads in original M/M fiction. So meeting her was totally awesome, and I’m not going to lie – I actually got a little teary-eyed. But there are reasons for that! Other than me being a weirdo who gets nervous around her favorite authors, I mean.

 
(Lisa Henry and Jordan Castillo Price are both immensely lovely ladies, gracious and fun and I’m so glad I got to meet them! All this awkwardness is on the part of yours truly, let me just get that out there.)

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Anyway, something happened between the author signing and my author lounge session that was very significant, and why I got sort of teary-eyed talking to an author I admired so much. I was going down to the conference area and I got off on the wrong floor of the hotel, and ended up…amongst other conference people, dressed in business casual and carrying folders and laptops (meanwhile, I’m in a skull dress with a bow on it, and above-the-knee red boots, carrying a box of buttons with fake hockey logos and a package of rainbow Twizzlers). “Oops,” I thought, (or said out loud, probably, knowing me), “This is not where I’m supposed to be.”
I’d been there before, though. I’d been to conferences during the ten years of my development/fundraising career, and I know they were supposed to be fun and revitalize my love for my career and all of that. But somehow they never did, and while I always loved traveling, I never had that spark of enthusiasm for what I was doing. So I couldn’t help thinking about how incredibly happy I was to be “on the wrong floor”, so to speak. Here I was, doing what I loved and at a conference full of readers and writers who share the same passion for books as I do. It was a wonderful moment of feeling like I was in the right place at the right time, and I think that’s why I got a bit emotional saying hello to Jordan. I had no idea when I first started reading her books that one day I’d get to meet her, and as a reader and as a fellow author. It was a cool moment.

 
Another cool moment came on Saturday night, when I got to watch an ECHL hockey game surrounded by other GRL-goers! And the Mavericks won, so that made it even better. There’s nothing like live hockey!

 
All in all, I had a wonderful experience at GRL and I’m so glad I went. It was lovely to meet so many wonderful people, and one of my favorite author experiences thus far – even if I didn’t win a single game of Bingo 😉  TCO note: I’m not sure anyone actually won at Bingo…I feel like it was rigged. 😉

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 Outfielders by Robert P. Rowe: Exclusive Guest Post

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Sometimes love can come out of left field.

Tony was waiting until he went away to college to come out to his parents and start his new gay life. Unfortunately, at twenty-four, it doesn’t look like college is going to happen after all. Stuck in a dead-end job in a small town and still living at home, with all the arrested development that entails, he finds escape in playing for the company baseball team and lusting after his straight outfielder crush, Alex. But Tony’s best friend, Jennifer, thinks she’s found a plan in the pages of gay romance novels. All Tony has to do is convince Alex he’s gay for you… or for Tony. It’s easy—just find some excuse to be alone in bed together and let nature take its course. What could possibly go wrong?

You can’t get to first base if you don’t take a chance and step up to the plate.

Title: The Outfielders
Author: Robert P. Rowe
Release Date: October 31, 2016
Category: Contemporary, New Adult
Pages: 240

Guest Post

Happy Halloween. I’m Robert P. Rowe and I’ve just finished my latest novel for Dreamspinner Press entitled: The Outfielders. Unlike my first novel, Second-Story Man, this book is intentionally light.

People often ask me where I get the ideas for my stories. In this case I was looking for characters that would be average all-American guys. Well, what’s more all-American than baseball? And it doesn’t hurt that baseball players happen to be hot.

Speaking of average, I also like characters that lead average lives and face the same struggles as the rest of us. One of the major struggles in a bad economy is the fact that too many adult children can’t afford to move out on their own, or go away to college. This generation finds themselves still living with parents and too often still acting like children. The struggle becomes one of truly growing up and facing the challenges of the world. But as I mentioned, this story is light. The struggles remain a backdrop to the real challenges of romance.

After I wrote The Outfielders I knew that someone would catch me if I messed up on any of the baseball rules or jargon. It’s not like I’ve never played the game, but there are all sorts of nuances that can’t be overlooked when you’re writing a book—and one can’t expect the editors to find sports related errors. I needed another kind of editor to help me out. I sent excerpts from the book off to a young sports writer. I was pleased to learn that most the ball field scenes I’d written were accurate but he added words and phrases that gave the story the right kind of color. “Down the middle,” “popup,” and “tricky offspeed pitching” are not terms that come up in my everyday vocabulary. My favorite added word was “bobbled.”

I’m considering writing a few more stories centered in the fictional town of Groverville. In The Outfielders readers are introduced to an interesting cast of characters. It would be a shame if we never had a chance to learn more about them.

My various story interests are more endless than my time. I’ve just started a new job that has me pretty busy art directing theme park attractions. Still, I’m determined to find some time to tell a few more tales.

In The Outfielders my main character, Tony, is not the brightest. He’s been hiding his secret crush, and the fact that he’s gay, for years. He hides another secret too. He really likes to bake cookies. With that in mind I’ve included one of Tony’s favorite recipes here. Tony has a rocky road ahead of him and for readers there’s no better way to curl up with a good book than to have a batch of fresh baked cookies nearby. Enjoy.

 

Tony’s Rocky Road Cookies

Ingredients

1 cup softened butter or margarine

1 cup brown sugar, packed

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 1/4 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup coconut

1/2 cup chocolate chips

1/2 cup peanut butter chips

1/2 cup mini marshmallows

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

 

Heat oven to 375 degrees.

  1. Cream butter and sugars together.
  2. Add egg and vanilla, mix well.
  3. Add flour, salt, soda and coconut. Mix well.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients in the order given. Mix well between each.

Bake for 8-10 minutes.

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meet the author

Robert P. Rowe has spent his entire career as a storyteller making an incredible leap from Disneyland ride operator to show-designer and art director at Walt Disney Imagineering. Immersive storytelling presents a distinctive challenge unlike that of live theater, film, radio, or print media. Although he currently freelances, his work can be found around the world, primarily in Disney and Universal Studios parks. The theme park industry is a very cyclical business where it’s either feast or famine. For Rowe his active imagination can’t seem to take any time off. When he’s not designing fantastic worlds he’s writing about the characters who live there. Additionally his outside interests include all aspects of architecture with a specific fascination for the theatrical design of homes from mid-century movies and television. He has a keen enthusiasm for mid-century science fiction.

Author Website: http://www.robertprowe.com/

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

Gideon by Ashe Barker : Guest Post, Excerpt and Blog Tour

gideonfs_v2synopsis

Gideon Maybury enjoys a life of wealth and privilege, not to mention the advantages his position offers him in his career as a merchant banker and his less public life as a high-class, skilled, and very well-paid assassin for Her Majesty’s government. When his brother dies unexpectedly, he becomes the Duke of Westmoreland.

Michael Mathison has hated Gideon since they were at university together. He’s convinced Gideon had a hand in the death of Michael’s college lover, Christopher, and that he had something to do with the death of his own brother. So he gets a job as Gideon’s driver, enabling him to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of the elder Maybury sibling. At first his suspicions seem to be confirmed, but clues emerge that suggest all is not as it appears at Maybury Hall.

As the mystery deepens, so does the attraction between the two implacable enemies, as does the feeling that they have met before—under dark and terrible circumstances. Each has reasons not to trust the other, but neither is averse to a bit of kinky play. Gideon and Michael end up owing each other their lives, and it results in consequences neither could have imagined.

Title: Gideon
Series: Order of the Black Knights
Author: Ashe Barker
Release Date: October 5, 2016
Category: Mystery/Suspense, Erotic Romance
Pages: 200

Guest Post

 Gideon went on general release on 5 October and marks the start of The Order of the Black Knights series from Dreamspinner Press. Readers can expect to see a new full length story every month, each featuring a different Knight as he grapples his demons, past and present.

Although Gideon is very much a contemporary novel, all the Black Knights have their roots in the past. We first encounter Gideon as a military commander in the trenches of World War One, where he demonstrates his ruthless nature with brutal efficiency. That scene is built around a piece of historical folklore – the Christmas Eve truce of 1914. I chose this as it was such a well-known event, and whenever I write about a historical setting I like to underpin the story with some real facts which readers will recognize.

Gideon shows his true colors on that battlefield, so when we meet him again a hundred years later it’s no surprise to discover that the most recent incarnation of the man might be sexy as hell but he’s every bit as dangerous as he ever was. Gideon is a cold-hearted killer, but murdering his own brother? Would even Gideon Maybury go to such lengths to remove an obstacle? At least one man believes he would and Gideon’s nemesis makes it his business to prove it.

The attraction which flares between the two from the moment they meet complicates matters, but the outcome will be the same. Or will it?

And a bit more about The Order of the Black Knights series:

Every century has seen its knights, but they are not always seen. Some of them do what must be done—getting their hands dirty when no one else is willing. Assassins and antiheroes who work from the shadows, they are called the Black Knights. From the time of the society’s creation in the 1100s, these men are cursed to repeat their lives of bloodshed. But for each knight, there is one who can bring out the man that waits inside and break the cycle. The question is whether or not the knight will kill his true love before he figures it out.

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excerpt

The door to suite seven zero one was ajar as Michael reached it. He entered without knocking.

Gideon had also taken off his jacket, and it dangled over the back of a chair. He removed his starched cuffs and dropped the gold cuff links onto the dressing table as Michael walked into the bedroom. Gideon smiled and crossed the room to greet him, which he did with a kiss.

The kiss was wet, warm, and open-mouthed. Gideon plunged his tongue between Michael’s lips to play and tease. Michael responded in kind, tangled his tongue around Gideon’s, and used it to explore the moist cavern of his mouth. It was Gideon who broke the kiss.

“That shirt’s worth a fucking fortune. Take it off before I rip it.”

“You too.” Michael was already pulling the soft cotton from his shoulders. He folded the shirt loosely and dropped it onto a chair. Then he remembered to extract the cuff links, which soon joined Gideon’s on the dressing table. He sat on the bed to remove his shiny patent shoes—also supplied by the formal wear hire company—along with his socks. As he stood to unbutton his trousers, Gideon’s leer was wicked. Naked already, Gideon had his fist wrapped around his cock and was already pumping the shaft into swollen, granite-hard readiness.

Michael dropped his trousers but didn’t just kick them aside. He picked them up and folded those too, and then laid them on top of his shirt. He sat on the bed and propped himself against the pillows to watch Gideon’s solo performance.

The duke was well hung—bloody magnificent, in fact. Michael licked his lips and remembered the taste of that slick, wide head in his mouth. Gideon’s juices were salty, and the tang was still memorable. He wanted more.

“Come here,” he ordered.

Gideon shook his head. “My turn this time. You got to swallow my jizz yesterday. Tonight I get yours.”

Michael wasn’t about to argue. He lay back and gestured with the fingertips of both his hands—a come-hither signal. At last Gideon obeyed.

Gideon crawled up the length of the bed until his shoulders were between Michael’s thighs. He grasped Michael’s cock, dipped his head to flick the shiny head with the tip of his tongue, and then lapped at the juices that wept from the slit. Michael groaned and raised himself on his elbows. His head dropped back between his shoulder blades.

“Christ,” he moaned. “This is going to be quick.”

“Maybe,” agreed Gideon. “Maybe not.” He trailed his tongue around the ridge and then along the delicate underside of Michael’s rock-solid erection. As Michael groaned and writhed, Gideon tightened his grip and took the entire head into his mouth. He sucked on it, and scraped lightly with his teeth as Michael arched his back and thrust his hips upward in a vigorous, desperate rhythm.

“Keep still,” Gideon growled. “My show now.”

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All Romance

 

meet the author

Ashe whiles away her time in the wilds of West Yorkshire, in the north of England, writing smutty books and drinking Earl Grey tea. At the last count she had over thirty titles on general release, many featuring BDSM, always hot, with complex characters and compelling plots. Ashe writes MM and Mf, contemporary and historical, with the occasional threesome thrown in.

When not writing Ashe enjoys messing around with digital photography, reading erotic stories, pole dancing (though not especially well), walking her dogs, and listening to Bon Jovi. Loud.

www.ashebarker.com

I love to hear from readers. Here’s where to find me:

my blog

Facebook

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Amazon Author Page

Better still, sign up for my newsletter

 

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

Update on Amazon Suppressing Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Monthly Author Column-with a Giveaway: Avon Gale

Featured Author Avon Gale

 

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

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

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

Obsessed with Nicola Haken: Monthly Author Column

Obsessed_with_Nicola

TCO is so super excited that when we asked Nicola Haken if she wanted to do a monthly column, not only did she say yes, she actually followed through with it! So, without further ado, welcome the lovely (and very hard for this American to understand when she’s talking) Nicola Haken to the blog. And if you have something you want Nicola to talk about next month, let us know!

Who the Hell is Nicola Haken?

Firstly, I was thrilled to be asked to do a monthly blog post for Two Chicks Obsessed with Books and Eye Candy, even though the founder of the blog is a bellend (I love her, so I’m allowed to call her names). By thrilled, I mean nervous. There’s a reason I don’t update my own blog, and that’s because I’m wholly uninteresting!

But, what the hell. I’m going to try my best to sound all intellectual and fun!

Okay, that lasted like two seconds. While I try and think of something clever and interesting for my next post, I’ll take the easy way out this time and introduce myself, tell you some random shite about me and my career, and hope I don’t bore you to death.

Right. Interesting. I can do this. I’m singing along to the Glee version of Gold Digger as I type this. Is that interesting? No? It would be if you could hear me, but I’ll move on.

Once upon a time there was a little girl called Nicola. She was always a little weird, a lot neurotic, and had a wild imagination. But you know what that little girl never did? Read. Despite English being my favourite subject at school, I didn’t actually read a full book until I was in my twenties, and I wouldn’t have done that if my sister-in-law didn’t force me to. That book was Twilight (don’t judge or diss my Edward or I will smack you in the face) and from that day I was addicted. I loved those books so much I had to get them in hardcover too. Then I needed somewhere to display them so I bought a bookcase. But what if I wanted to read them in bed, or on the go? So I bought a Kindle and downloaded them onto there too. (Did I mention I’ve always been a little obsessive?)

Holy crap on a cracker, there were like a bajillion books available on my new toy, so I started downloading them by the dozen. Where had this whole new world been hiding all my life? If you’ve read Broken, remember how James was always taking on new interests? He always had new ideas, tried his hand at lots of different things, well that’s me. There is a lot of me in James, but that’s a whole other blog post. When I left school I started sixth form with the aim of becoming a teacher one day. But then I got bored. I hated school. I’ve never been good with having people tell me what to do! So, I left and went to work in a supermarket until I figured out what I wanted to do with my life.

Ooo, I know! I’ll be a nail technician! So off I went to train to be one of those. I was good at it, determined to start my own business. I poured a tonne of money into that idea, but then I got bored with that too. Then I found hairdressing, got bored, found some other new stuff…you get where this is going. Whatever I did, I never felt like I belonged. I didn’t ‘fit’ anywhere. So it wasn’t really a surprise when people thought I was exploring another whimsical fad that would never amount to anything when I started writing my first book.

I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. I’d never heard of a book blog, an editor, or a beta reader. I just wrote out the words in my head and ran with it. But it didn’t matter that I didn’t know anything about the book world because I’d DONE it. I’d found that thing I’d been searching for. I knew what I was born to do, and that was to take the vivid imagination I’d been born with and turn the ideas in my head into stories. I started out writing New Adult M/F stories, because back then that’s all I knew was out there (I meant it when I said I knew literally nothing about the book world). With each book I wrote I learned something new. I got to know how the publishing side of things worked with every mistake I made. I’m still learning. I hope to continue learning. To me, every book is better than the last.

So, how did writing MM Romance happen? Simply put, the second I discovered the genre existed I knew where I wanted to be. I stumbled across gay romance accidentally by reading a novella which was part of the MF series I was reading at the time, only it happened to be about the gay best friend. These characters were so different to anything I’d read before. Sure, they were men, but I related to them so much. Part of this story in particular was one of the MC’s struggling to accept his sexuality, which took me right back to my teenage years. Maybe I’ll go into this more in another post, but to summarise, I started questioning my own sexuality when I was thirteen. I felt different to my friends. I dreamed about female celebrities while they dreamed of the Backstreet boys. So, I must be a lesbian right? I didn’t tell anyone. I felt stupid and embarrassed, so I kept it to myself.

Eventually I told some friends, but then I realised I also understood what they saw in the guys they swooned over, too. Then I felt even more stupid. I didn’t know what the hell I was, what group I belonged in. I knew what bisexual meant, but I also knew that was greedy and not taken seriously. That’s what I grew up hearing anyway, so I definitely didn’t want to be that; you believe all the ignorant shit you’ve grown up listening to when you’re young. That didn’t work out too well. I couldn’t seem to ‘pick’ a side. It wasn’t as simple as finding men or women attractive. I’m attracted to people. I fall in love with the inside. That doesn’t mean I don’t find the outside pretty damn hot too, of course!

Anyway, I digress. My point is I felt more connected to these gay characters than I had with any other book I’d read before, but even then I didn’t know there was a whole freaking genre waiting for me. That came when I clicked on Double Full by Kindle Alexander after seeing it on my newsfeed, for no other reason than I loved the cover. I had no idea what I’d find inside, and that hot gay sex hit me in the face within the first couple of pages. BOOM! I needed more of this…so I went out and found it. Within days it became my new favourite genre. In MF, whether reading or writing it, being in the male MC’s head had always been my favourite place to be, so now with both sides being in a guy’s head I was in literary heaven! There’s something insanely beautiful reading about two men falling in love. Men are naturally perceived as being ‘tough’ and resilient, which to me just makes reading about their insecurities, watching their macho walls – which society assumes they should have – fall, and witnessing the tender moments two people in love share, so much more special.

Yet, I’ve seen people comment on these kind of moments, in reviews or book groups, saying things like, ‘men don’t act like that in real life.’ ‘Men don’t think like this.’ ‘This MC sounds like a woman.’ Honestly, I find it ridiculous. No, I’m not a man, but I know real-life men. I have a husband. I have gay friends. And d’ya know what? Men are tender. They are romantic. They do go gooey-eyed over the person they love. They do get coy and turn into bumbling idiots in front of someone they fancy, and they do whisper sweet and dreamy words in their partner’s ear. Of course, the books we’re talking about are fiction. The romance, the drama, the angst and the sex is all ramped up to super-speed. Real life isn’t all butterflies and daisies, but who wants to read about guys farting in bed while worrying about which bill to pay first?

Bloody hell, I’ve totally gone off-point again haven’t I? Maybe I should add rambling to the Fun Facts About Nicola Haken list. So, we’ve established I love MM Romance, but I wasn’t brave enough to write it myself for a long time. What if I was no good? What if they didn’t want some newbie who didn’t know what they were doing in their genre? What if my existing readers didn’t like it? I can’t even remember what made me take the plunge, all I know is that it was the best decision I ever made. Being Sawyer Knight was born and I’d found my home. It wasn’t my best book, because like I said before I’m constantly learning, but I’m still damn proud of it, and grateful too. That story, those characters, introduced me to some of the best people in the whole world (including the bellend in my opening sentence!) The MM Romance genre is literally flooded with awesome people – fabulous readers, amazing bloggers, fan-freakin’-tastic authors. It holds a sense of community. It’s like a giant family to me. I’ve made some lifelong friends here. I feel like I belong – FINALLY – and you guys ain’t getting rid of me without a fight 😉

So, that’s how I got into writing. There was no magical epiphany. It wasn’t my ‘calling’. I took a chance and I fell in love with it. I feel incredibly privileged to be able to do this as a career. I’m grateful for each and every person who’s ever read my words, interacted with me, supported me and my characters. I wouldn’t be where I am today without other people, and that’s why I’m all about giving it back. I enjoy seeing other authors’ successes – I love sharing them, promoting them, drooling over their covers. I love seeing readers recommend other authors books, because I’m a reader too. I don’t get the hump (this means annoyed for you non-Brits!) if I get page-like requests from strangers or added to groups. It’s difficult to achieve anything in life alone, and so if I can help I will. My life’s motto is pretty simple; don’t be an arsehole.

Wow. This has turned into a really long post considering I had nothing to talk about! If you’re half-asleep with drool down your chin, wake up, I’m nearly finished I promise. I’ll end with that Fun Facts About Nicola list I mentioned because if I drone on for any more paragraphs I fear Denise will tell me not to come back.

• My name is Nicola (okay, that’s not fun but it is a fact!)
• I have a tendency to ramble (See? Told you I’d add it.)
• I don’t like even numbers (This is a problem when it comes to biscuits. One, obviously, isn’t enough, but I can’t have two because I don’t like even numbers, so three it is. Or five. Hence my fat arse.)
• I have lots of tattoos (sorry, Mum!)
• Pepsi Max is my best friend
• I couldn’t live without potatoes in my life.
• I eat and drink like a child. No grown-up foods allowed! I’m a chicken nuggets and orange juice gal.
• I swear way too fucking much.
• I can’t eat with metal spoons. I’m not allergic or anything, I’m just weird.
• My favourite song right now is You’re Not There by Lukas Graham (this will likely change before you read this.)
• My favourite colour is purple.
• I have a tendency to zone out when people are talking to me.
• I am a whiney bitch who moans about literally everything, but not in public. No one wants to hear that shit.

If you’ve survived this post, congratulations! That’s some impressive stamina you’ve got there. Also, if you know what I should ramble about next time please let me know because I’m out of ideas! If you have any questions, comment below and give me something to talk about 😀

Cough*shameless-self-promo-ahead*Cough, if you’re not fed up of me already then I’m always excited to meet new stalkers-I mean friends, so follow me on social media! Friend request me, like my page, hide out behind my shed…wait, I don’t have a shed. I have a garage you could keep dry in though.

Until next time…

https://www.facebook.com/NicolaHaken/
https://www.facebook.com/AuthorNicolaHaken
https://twitter.com/NicolaHaken
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7094294.Nicola_Haken
http://www.amazon.com/Nicola-Haken/e/B00CVY43A6/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

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