Patron by C.B. Lewis: Release Day Review with Giveaway

Theodore Wentworth, who possesses little more than a sharp and well-educated mind, is trying to solicit a sponsor for his studies of Greek antiquity by performing recitations at gatherings of collectors. Desperate for luck and better skills in oratory, in jest, he places a coin at the feet of a statue of Hermes. It seems like coincidence when his fortune turns and a gentleman calling himself Alexander becomes his benefactor. Despite his friend John teasing him about it, Theodore continues to offer tokens to Hermes and sinks himself into his study of the classics.

Alexander encourages Theodore’s interest, prompting Theodore to face desires he tried to put aside years before. As Theodore embraces the knowledge, he must also resist his attraction to Alexander—knowing his feelings are a serious crime in Victorian England.

But the secret Alexander keeps will change everything in a love story for the ages, steeped in taboo, temptation, history, and myth.

Title: Patron
Author: C.B. Lewis
Release Date: June 21, 2017
Category: Historical: World, Fantasy: Mythology
Pages: TBD (Novella)

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The second I saw this cover (TCO was fortunate enough to do the cover reveal of this amazing cover) and the blurb, I knew I had to read it. It combined a few of my favorite things. I love Greek and Roman mythology and I also love books based in Victorian England. And it is so clear that C.B. Lewis loves, and researched these things very well, in order to write this novella.

Whether you believe in mythology or not, there is no denying that both of those times still have an impact even in today’s society. Just the other day, I used the word “herculean” to describe something. The world is full of words and phrases from that time period. Especially in the medical field. Achilles tendon anyone? 🙂

This was a very well done blend of old (the mythology) and “new” (the MC’s meet in Victorian England) with some mystery tacked on for additional interest. The stress that Theodore endures personally from realizing he is gay in a period of time that could have resulted in his death was very real. He moves through many stages, until he reaches the stage where he accepts it, and accepts that Alexander wants to be with him. All of this while trying to find a way to continue his education in Greek mythology.

I won’t give away the ending, although you can definitely see it coming. I don’t think it was meant to be a surprise ending, merely one that everyone could be happy with. I liked how it wrapped around Theodore, and his love of antiquities. It made it that much stronger a story.

This one has a good mix of all the things that I love: mythology, Victorian England, romance, and an HEA.

4 pieces of eye candy

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Swift for the Sun by Karen Bovenmyer: Exclusive Excerpt, Review and Giveaway

swift for the sunsynopsisBenjamin Lector imagines himself a smuggler, a gun runner, and an all-around scoundrel. A preacher’s son turned criminal, first and foremost, he is a survivor.

When Benjamin is shipwrecked on Dread Island, fortune sends an unlikely savior—a blond savage who is everything Benjamin didn’t know he needed. Falling in love with Sun is easy. But pirates have come looking for the remains of Benjamin’s cargo, and they find their former slave, Sun, instead.

Held captive by the pirates, Benjamin learns the depths of Sun’s past and the horrors he endured and was forced to perpetrate. Together, they must not only escape, but prevent a shipment of weapons from making its way to rebellious colonists. Benjamin is determined to save the man he loves and ensure that a peaceful future together is never threatened again. To succeed might require the unthinkable—an altruistic sacrifice.

Title: Swift for the Sun
Author: Karen Bovenmyer
Release Date: March 27, 2017
Category: Historical: Americas
Pages: 230

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excerpt

SWIFT FOR THE SUN Exclusive Excerpt from Chapter 12: Sacrifice

Hours later I woke in the dark alone, and a terrible feeling of foreboding made breathing hard. I felt my way over to the corner. Sun’s spear was still there. I felt better for a moment, until I thought things through, and the realization made my skin prickle. He was gone. And he’d left his weapon behind.

Oh no. Oh God no.

I don’t remember the trip from the tree house to the beach. I only remember the bottom dropping out of my world as I stood holding his spear, then the utter blackness of the night jungle, and then crouching where the tree line ended at the band of sand surrounding our island like a shackle.

The Portuguese had a fire going again.

The smell of roast pig filled the night. I felt nauseous when I realized the source must be Ernest.

The big man, Martio, loomed by the fire. He stood looking into the night while everyone else ate and drank. I almost yelled a warning when I saw what Martio was staring at.

Sun stepped out of the forest shadows, his lean body bathed in the flickering light of the fire. He looked naked in his loincloth compared to the pirates, and the fire lit up his golden skin and braids like the Greek’s Helios or Rome’s Sol Invictus. His hands were empty, arms at his sides with palms facing out to show he had no weapons.

Two sentries at the edge of the light pointed their guns at him, but Martio held up his hand.

“Come,” the big man said in his native tongue, and Sun walked with fluid grace into the camp. There was no trace of the trembling fear I’d seen in him when we’d hidden in the bushes together. It was as though making up his mind to come to the fireside of his former masters had also banished his terror.

The other pirates gathered around, the more drunk glaring through squinted eyes, as if working hard to figure out who the newcomer was.

“Sóli,” Martio said. I watched open surprise and recognition mingle on his face. It was quickly replaced by a narrowing that spoke of both greed and desire. Clearly Sun was someone, something, he valued.

Martio sunk into a fighter’s crouch as Sun approached, and Sun mirrored him. The big man was more than twice Sun’s bulk, but he moved with a grace that looked just as deadly. I held my breath and imagined them fighting, Sun would be quicker, but I had the feeling Martio would be tireless as well as stronger.

“You remember well.” Martio stopped circling, straightened, and laughed, the sound booming across the beach. Sun straightened too, but he didn’t laugh. He watched Martio like a snake watches a boot, ready to strike if a man steps too close. This didn’t escape Martio’s notice. In fact, he seemed to expect it, like it, a smile curving his full, cruel lips. He stepped away from the roast hog with a chuckle, leaving a wide space.

“Join us.” He sat and indicated a place by the fire next to him—I didn’t like how long his reach was. Sun’s eyes flicked to the sentries, who still stared, mouths gaping. Martio waved their muskets down. The men obeyed without argument, but I noticed they didn’t sling their weapons. Everyone in the camp watched Sun as he crossed the short distance and crouched by the fire.

Martio gave him a generous piece of hog off the spit, and Sun took the steaming meat from him and tore into it with his straight, white teeth. For reasons unknown to me, Martio found this gladsome and laughed again. He touched one of the braids tailing down Sun’s back and ran it through his fingers. It reminded me of someone inspecting a horse for soundness. There was a look in Martio’s eyes I didn’t like, and for a moment I fantasized skewering him with Sun’s spear.

Sun casually took his braid back and rotated on the balls of his feet so he faced Martio directly. I couldn’t see the expression on his face from where I was, but Martio stopped laughing and instead watched him eat for long moments.

“Why are you here?” Martio’s voice was low but rumbled through the clearing.

“I want you to leave.” Sun’s voice was steady, easy to hear. His Portuguese was perfect, his accent very slight.

“Why would we do that?” Martio grinned at him like Sun was a child asking for an indulgence.

Sun chewed and didn’t answer him.

“We’re looking for a man,” Martio said as he held up the charred wing from the Sea Swift’s prow. “Have you seen him?”

. I have seen him.” Again, Sun’s voice was clear. I tensed. Had I been wrong to trust him? Had he only been waiting for the right moment to turn me in? No, I would not believe that.

To a man, the pirates looked out into the night past the circle of light. I felt eyes raking the darkness where I lay.

“Where is he?”

“If I take you to him, will you leave my island?”

Martio’s eyes narrowed as he searched Sun’s face. What he looked for, I couldn’t say.

“This is not your island.” Martio’s voice deepened with the ring of command.

Sun shrugged and tore another piece off the meat. Martio no longer thought this was so amusing.

“He belongs to us. He owes us.”

Sun shrugged again.

“Show us this man.” Martio stood.

“It’s dark.” Sun stood too and reached down to pull a piece of flaming wood from the fire. He turned it slowly in his hands, considering it.

“Torches,” Martio ordered.

I kept as low as I could in the undergrowth. All the men on the beach gathered into a scouting party. The atmosphere turned festive, and the bottles of liquor were brought as well. The men seemed to regard the outing as a hunt. There was no other choice—when they passed, Sun leading them into the forest, I followed.

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denise review

Wow! I’m really not sure where to start with this review. I will qualify it by saying I love historicals as a general rule. It is what I started reading back as a teenager. The true “bodice-rippers” that I got from who knows where, and sometimes would read over and over. I’ve read a few since I’ve started reading exclusively m/m, and they have always been good. This one knocked it out of the park for me, though.

First, I must touch on the research. Now I didn’t follow up to make sure all of Karen Bovenmyer’s historical accuracy was there, but enough of it was what I knew to be true to the history of the time, that I imagine most of the rest of it was. Either the author has a history degree, which it appears from her bio that she does not, or she spent an incredible amount of time researching the locations, the cultures, the people and the time. I was astonished at the level of detail she gave, and yet I didn’t feel overwhelmed with words. I could visualize exactly what I was reading, and with such a beautiful locale to read about, it was a great vacation of the senses. In addition there was quite a cast of characters in this book, all very different, both physically (well except for two 😉 ) and personality-wisse, yet I could almost see each character as a separate person.

I’ll admit there were a few times, I considered taking a break from the book. Not because it wasn’t well-written, but for the exact opposite reason! She wrote situations so real for the time, and with such precision that some of it was tough to read. I knew there was a happy ending at the end of Swift for the Sun, but these characters went through so much to get there that I wondered if I could make it without crying. (Final Answer: No.)

The heartbreak of watching all that Sun went through before he found Benjamin made me wonder how he had any humanity intact by that point. A lesser man would have been the savage that Benjamin thought he was, and later learned he was on the edge of. Yet Benjamin saw the beauty inside Sun, and never let his light be diminished.

This book isn’t an easy book to read in some ways. And in so many others ways, I can’t imagine a love story that would shine brighter than the gemstone this book turned out to be.

5 pieces of eye candy

5-pieces-eye-candy4

meet the author

 

Bovenmyer_Karen credit Chris Gannon ARCHAuthor Short Bio:

Karen Bovenmyer earned an MFA in Creative Writing: Popular Fiction from the University of Southern Maine. She teaches and mentors students at Iowa State University and serves as the Nonfiction Assistant Editor of Escape Artists’ Mothership Zeta Magazine. She is the 2016 recipient of the Horror Writers Association Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Scholarship. Her poems, short stories and novellas appear in more than 40 publications and her first novel, SWIFT FOR THE SUN, an LGBT romantic adventure in 1820s Caribbean, will be available from Dreamspinner Press on March 27, 2017. http://karenbovenmyer.com/

Social Media Links:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/karenbovenmyer

https://www.facebook.com/karen.bovenmyer

https://twitter.com/karenbovenmyer

 

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The Soldier’s Scoundrel by Cat Sebastian: Blog Tour, and Giveaway

Two men only meant for each other.

 

Releasing Sept 20th, 2016
Avon Impulse

 

synopsis

A scoundrel who lives in the shadows.

 Jack Turner grew up in the darkness of London’s slums, born into a life of crime and willing to do anything to keep his belly full and his siblings safe. Now he uses the tricks and schemes of the underworld to help those who need the kind of assistance only a scoundrel can provide. His distrust of the nobility runs deep and his services do not extend to the gorgeous high-born soldier who personifies everything Jack will never be.

A soldier untarnished by vice.

After the chaos of war, Oliver Rivington craves the safe predictability of a
gentleman’s life-one that doesn’t include sparring with a ne’er-do-well who flouts the law at every turn. But Jack tempts Oliver like no other man has before. Soon his yearning for the unapologetic criminal is only matched by Jack’s pleasure in watching his genteel polish crumble every time they’re
together.

Two men only meant for each other

 
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meet the author

Cat Sebastian lives in a swampy part of the South with her husband, three kids, and two dogs. Before her kids were born, she practiced law and taught high school and college writing. When she isn’t reading or writing, she’s doing crossword puzzles, bird watching, and wondering where she put her coffee cup.

 

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Re-Inventing Love by Storm Grant: Promo Stop

Author: Storm Grant
Genre: Historical M/M Romance
Publisher: MLR Press
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synopsis
Engineer and assistant inventor Maximilian Grün is in love with his employer, but he daren’t reveal the truth. It’s 1910 and if Canadian authorities learned of his homosexuality, they’d deport him back to Germany where the country of his birth would become the country of his death.
When promising young inventor and mathematician Dr. Jasper Hamilton expresses his own feelings for Max, the young German regretfully declines. He cannot risk their partnership, their reputations—their very lives!
Then a rival inventor sabotages their inventions. Jasper is caught between the physical and the metaphysical, reduced to atoms, and transported to the spirit plane! Max is devastated, deeply regretting his lost chances.
But Jasper manages to communicate across the aether, telling Max he must reverse the machine’s polarity. But without Jasper’s talent for mathematics, the calculations defeat him.
Can the would-be lovers bridge the gap between life and death to finally be together?
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excerpt
He steeled himself against his desire to grab the man and kiss him soundly. Instead, he settled for leaning even further into Max.

Max made no attempt to draw away.

They sat side-by-side. Was Max’s breathing quickening? But Jasper’s own thudding heartbeat and shaky breaths masked all other sounds. He cleared his throat again and pointed to the rough sketch on his desk.

“If we were to reroute the electrical current through an asbestos filter prior to it connecting with the element, we may be able to regulate heat without having to monitor it quite so vigilantly.” Jasper tapped the page.

Max leant forward, his shoulder sliding along Jasper’s own. “Ja. Yes. It could work. Not with the insulated wires you haff drawn here, but with…” He snatched up a pencil, scrawling quick, firm marks on the page.

Jasper relaxed. Tuning out the engineer’s words, he rode the cadence of the accented voice like a wave. He fought his smile, but lost. It was so good to have a partner on whom he could rely.

If only there was a way for them to be more than working partners.
meet the author

STORM GRANT pens long and short tales. Her work spans genders and genres, offering good guys and bad puns. Her alter ego, Gina X. Grant, writes funny urban fantasy.

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Sweet William by Dianne Hartsock: Blog Tour, Guest Post and Giveaway

 

Sweet William_600x956synopsis

William Wilkerson leads the life of the privileged rich. Head of his father’s shipping business, he indulges to his heart’s content in the pleasures of the flesh with Boston’s finest young men.

That is, until he reunites with Fredrick: his former tutor and the one man who captured his heart.

But William’s father has declared Fredrick off limits. And Fredrick, himself, believes he’s beneath the attention of the Wilkerson heir.

After having lost his current pupil to graduation, and with no prospects of a replacement, Frederick is homeless, hungry, and easy pickings for the men on the docks.

When Frederick is shanghaied into service on William’s own merchant ship, will William discover his plight in time to rescue him?

Title: Sweet William

Author: Dianne Hartsock

Genre: Gay Romance, Historical Romance

Length: Novella

Publisher: Wayward Ink Publishing

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Guest Post

Thank you, Two Chicks, for hosting me today. In my story, SWEET WILLIAM, William is the pampered eldest son of a shipping merchant and has come to Boston to check over the cargo arriving on one of their ships. This is how he might spend a typical Sunday morning.

 

William stifles a yawn and leans back on the church bench to catch the ray of sunlight filtering through the stained glass. The minister’s voice becomes a pleasant murmur in his ear, unintelligible, lulling him toward sleep and a dream of brown eyes in a serious face.

His head bobs, startling him awake, and he catches Tiggy’s amused glance from across the aisle and sits up. Good heavens! Had he been drooling? His dream had become heated rather quickly.

His neighbors on the bench don’t seem to see anything amiss with him, and his heartbeat evens out as the minister brings his sermon to a resounding close. Organ music fills the church and William files out behind the others to make small talk in the yard with the various families connected with his own, mostly friends of his father.

Finally he makes his escape and Tiggy catches up with him on the path running behind the church along the riverbank. The air has grown warm and he loosens his cravat, wishing he could remove his coat as well.

“The minister had an interesting sermon today,” Tiggy offers, voice full of laughter, and William flashes him a rueful grin.

“If someone hadn’t kept me up late at cards—”

Tiggy throws up his hands. “Don’t blame me for falling asleep! And by the look of bliss on your face, it wasn’t me you were dreaming of.”

William snorts, but couldn’t deny his words. They walk a moment in silence, William enjoying the flash of sunlight through the trees, sparkling on the swift moving water. The air smells of roses and dry grass. He wonders if Fredrick would enjoy a picnic in the park this afternoon.

It hardly registers when Tiggy takes his arm, but then he suddenly pulls William between two trees, into the graveyard attached to the church. They’re in an older section of the yard and large headstones surround them. Tiggy pushes him up against one and William willingly parts his lips when Tiggy’s familiar tongue seeks entrance. They pass a pleasant few minutes this way, then Tiggy pulls back with obvious reluctance.

He traces William’s lips with his thumb. “You’re thinking of him again.”

“I’m sorry, dear. I don’t mean to ignore you.”

“Never mind. I’m happy for you, in a way. I’ve never seen you this taken with anyone before.”

They part after one last lingering kiss, and William watches him depart with mixed feelings. They’ve been friends for years, intimate for most of them. He’ll miss Tiggy’s sweet flirtations. A robin flies passed him, chased into the trees by another. William’s lips curl into a smile. Maybe he’ll walk downtown and see if Freddie is free for lunch.

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meet the author

DIANNE HARTSOCK is the author of m/m erotic romance, both contemporary and fantasy, the psychological thriller, and anything else that comes to mind. Oh, and a floral designer. If she can’t be writing, at least she has the chance to create through the rich colors and textures of flowers and foliage to bring a smile to someone’s face.

Currently, Dianne lives in the Willamette Valley of Oregon with her incredibly patient husband, who puts up with the endless hours she spends hunched over the keyboard letting her characters play.

Social links

Website: https://diannehartsock.wordpress.com/

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/diannehartsock

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/diannehartsock/

 

 

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Speakeasy by Suzey Ingold : Blog Tour, Interview, Excerpt and Giveaway

Speakeasy 1600px FRONT (web Smashwords)

synopsis

In the height of the Prohibition era, recent Yale graduate Heath Johnson falls for Art, the proprietor of a unique speakeasy tucked away beneath the streets of Manhattan where men are free to explore their sexuality. When Art’s sanctuary is raided, Heath is forced to choose between love and the structured life his parents planned for him.

Author Name: Suzey Ingold

Book Name: Speakeasy

Release Date: February 18, 2016

Pages or Words: 244 pages

Categories: Gay fiction, Historical, M/M Romance, Romance

Goodreads

Publisher: Interlude Press

Cover Artist: Cover Art by Colin Moore; Cover design by C.B. Messer

excerpt

Heath swallows, playing over an idea that had formed shakily in his head after he saw Frankie, since Art walked through that door and possibly longer without him being fully conscious of it. “Maybe it’s time I was honest. Tell them that I don’t want to marry Ginny or work with my father. Let the pieces fall where they may.”

“You would do that?”

“If it meant being with you, I would do anything.” Heath sits up and the sheets fall to pool around his waist. “I know what I want, now. And it’s you and whatever a future with you brings.”

tco-author interview

Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Suzey Ingold, author of Speakeasy.

Hi Suzey, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.

Thank you for having me! I’m a writer and linguistics student, currently based in Edinburgh. I’ve been writing for years and had my first short story, The Willow Weeps for Us, published in 2015, in the Summer Love anthology from Duet Books. Speakeasy is about a recent Yale graduate who must discover what he really wants when he meets the owner of a unique Midtown speakeasy in 1920s Manhattan.

  • Tell us something about your character’s friends.

Heath’s best friend Frankie is something of a character. He’s got a large personality and a sharp sense of humor. He’s flirtatious and charming and he cares for Heath very deeply, as though they were family. Heath’s other close friend is his younger sister, Amelia. She teases him something awful, but that’s in her nature. She’s more hotheaded where Heath is calmer, and can be very stubborn when she wants to be.

  • What is your character’s favorite meal? Favorite dessert? Favorite snack food?

Heath’s favorite meal is roast duck; especially the way their cook, Louis, makes it. He has a little bit of a sweet tooth and loves ice cream—his favorite dessert of all is the Brooklyn Bridge ice cream sundae he can get from the soda fountain downtown. There’s chocolate, ice cream, cream, and syrup involved—perfect to satisfy his sugar cravings. If he were hankering for a snack, then he’d stick with the sweet things and have a PB&J sandwich.

  • What activity does your character absolutely hate?

Heath can’t stand athletics. At Yale, his best friend, Frankie, was on the track team and he tried to get Heath involved too—he told him it would be a wonderful way for him to get out of the library, to get some exercise. Heath went once, to appease him, and came out sweaty, red-faced, and sore all over, and swore he’d never do it again. The closest thing to athletics Heath will do is a leisurely stroll through Central Park in the middle of the day.

  • What other author’s book do you think your character would be good in?

I recently finished reading Small Wonders by Courtney Lux, which is also set in New York City, but in the present day. I think Heath could be a great friend to someone like Nate Mackey—although I think he’d be a little alarmed if he met Trip Morgan!

  • What’s your favorite decade and why?

Probably unsurprising given Speakeasy, but it has to be the 1920s. There was magic to that time. The war was over and the Wall Street crash was yet to happen and there was a view that every day should be lived as though it were to be your last. I often wonder if I spend too much time fantasizing of the past, though. There’s a line in one of my favorite movies, Midnight in Paris, that sums up my nostalgia perfectly: “…golden age thinking: the erroneous notion that a different time period is better than the one one’s living in. It’s a flaw in the romantic imagination of those people who find it difficult to cope with the present.”

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meet the author

Suzey Ingold is a writer, linguist and coffee addict, currently based in Edinburgh, Scotland. Brought up in a household where children’s books are quoted over the dinner table, literature has always had a strong influence on her life. She enjoys traveling, scented candles and brunch. Her short story, “The Willow Weeps for Us,” was included in “Summer Love: An LGBTQ Collection,” published by Duet, an imprint of Interlude Press (2015).

Where to find the author:

Homepage: www.suzeysays.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/suzeysays

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

Tour Dates & Stops:

18-Feb

Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings, Love Bytes, Kirsty Loves Books, Hearts on Fire

19-Feb

Prism Book Alliance, Sinfully Addicted to All Male Romance, Nephy Hart, Kiki’s Kinky Picks, Inked Rainbow Reads

22-Feb

Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, 3 Chicks After Dark, Two Chicks Obsessed With Books and Eye Candy, Book Reviews and More by Kathy

23-Feb

Unquietly Me, My Fiction Nook, Havan Fellows, The Hat Party

24-Feb

Dawn’s Reading Nook, Divine Magazine, Bayou Book Junkie

25-Feb

V’s Reads, Lee Brazil, MM Good Book Reviews

26-Feb

A.M. Leibowitz, Boys on the Brink Reviews

28-Feb

Molly Lolly, Jessie G. Books

29-Feb

Happily Ever Chapter, BFD Book Blog

1-Mar

Three Books Over The Rainbow, Up All Night, Read All Day

2-Mar

Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Alpha Book Club, Cathy Brockman Romances

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