As the Sun Sets by RJ Jones: Blog Tour, Guest Post, Review and Giveaway

As the sun sets 600 synopsis

Doctor Scott Penney used to be a Paediatric Oncologist—until he burned out. Watching children suffer and die took its toll on his mental health. To cope, he used anonymous sex as an emotional crutch, thinking it was better than hitting the bottle. But that inevitably destroyed his relationship with the man he loved.

With his tail between his legs and a year’s worth of celibacy under his belt, Scott accepts a position as an Accident and Emergency consultant, leaving his career in oncology and London behind.

Ben Jenkins is a paediatric nurse who loves his seaside city, his job, and his faithful old Labrador, Happy. When he meets the new doctor, Ben falls for Scott’s kind-yet-reserved personality—not to mention his good looks. Scott is great with the children who come through the hospital, but Ben senses there’s more to Scott than meets the eye.

Scott tries to resist Ben’s sunny charm—Scott’s not boyfriend material, after all—but it’s impossible not to fall in love with the sad looking old dog and his charming owner. As Scott and Ben get closer and the weather heats up, tragedy strikes and Ben is left wondering how much of Scott’s history he actually knows.

For them to move forward, Ben must show Scott that no matter what happened in the past, a beautiful day can always start after the sun sets.

**This can be read as a standalone**

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Guest Post

This guest post was supposed to be what I’ve got coming up this year, but it’s not a lot.

After As the Sun Sets, I have a story set in Australia called Solid Rock that I plan to release in May, all things going well. It’s about a British boy, James, who has been left his estranged father’s ashes to scatter at Uluru. He thinks he can go to the middle of Australia, release his dad’s ashes, and then return to England within a few days. Little does he realise the magical lure of the rock. Cue Matt. An Aussie tour guide and Alice Springs native. Matt helps James and decides a distraction couldn’t hurt. After all, it’s not often Matt comes across another gay man in the middle of nowhere.

They build a friendship, learning about each other, and James discovers there’s more to Australia than just a hunk of rock and deadly animals. But James has to return home. You’ll have to wait and see what happens when it’s released, but this may be my favourite ever story I’ve written.

I don’t have much else in the works. I started writing a short ménage with very little plot, but that’s been sitting on the shelf for some time. I’ll probably finish it soon, though. Sex scenes are fun to write. 🙂

I don’t know if I’ll get anything else out this year. Potentially, there’s a big move on the horizon with my family moving to Portugal. This will mean very little time to write, but that may not be a bad thing. My mojo is starting to run out. Competition is fierce and if you don’t promote yourself constantly then you don’t get many sales. I get enough sales to keep going and readers seem to like what I write, so I can’t complain. But the pressure to promote and put myself out there is too great.

So, we’ll see. I’ll still write, but the pressure is starting to take the joy out of it, so I may not publish. You’ll have at least another full-length novel from me, but I can’t promise much past that at this stage. Who knows? I may start publishing everything for free to escape the pressure.

Thanks for having me. <3 RJ

jennifer

Okay, I came in late in this series. Book 3, however, it must be okay to read as a standalone because I didn’t feel I missed anything at all by not starting from the beginning. I’m going to go back and read the others though, because I really enjoyed this one.
Scott Penney was a pediatric oncologist. Can you imagine how terrible of a job that would be? Rewarding, sure….absolutely, but, losing children? Caring for little kids and seeing them get sicker and eventually not being able to beat the cancer, ravaging their bodies? That takes a special kind of person to do and I wasn’t surprised that it was too hard for him. He felt each loss, it hurt him not to be able to save every one…
Getting burnt out on the job and running from the relationship he ruined by not being able to cope with everything; he decided to get out of the area and try something new…New beginnings and all that. He moved to Brighton and began working in an A&E service. That’s where he met Nurse Rainbow…
Ben is a pediatric nurse who works alongside his volunteer mother at a hospital. She’s a trip too, Glo. She’s everything that is a hippy mom and you cannot help but love her.
Ben starts out just meeting and having a couple lunches with Scott, but their attraction for one another is palpable. Ben is patient and kind and caring and he’s so understanding and willing to help Scott. He’s there for him when he needs him, just to listen. He doesn’t push and he’s such a genuine person, I loved that he was exactly what Scott needed, when he needed it. Scott had been beating himself for a long time over what happened in his last relationship and he just didn’t think that he deserved to be happy.
Ben and his puppy, Happy, wanted to prove to him that he did.
This story was heartbreaking in places and so hopeful in others. I adored the way Ben was with Scott and I loved when Scott finally started opening up and allowing himself something good….something happy. He truly deserved it. The way he grew up and family he had to tolerate…smh… it’s a wonder he turned out to be the kind of man he did at all. He has a good heart and like I said… it takes a special person to do the work that he done with such passion and blinding hope to make people better. I enjoyed that.
Overall, this was a really sweet read. The ending was just perfect as well. I’m looking forward to reading the others in this story.
4 pieces of eye candy from me!

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tco-also in series

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Buy: As the Leaves Fall

Buy: As the Ice Melts

meet the author

rjones-avatar_hiresRJ started as a reader and eventually made the progression to reviewing. It wasn’t until two men popped into her thoughts, insisting on telling her their story that she started to write. It started with one scene. A hot and dirty one in the shower.

RJ’s initial thought was if she could write their scene then they’d shut up and allow her to concentrate on other aspects of the day. That shower scene was 3000 words long and three hours of work.  But they didn’t shut up.  They told her their entire story and she didn’t sleep for days.  Sometimes she couldn’t keep up with what they were telling her and she had to keep a notebook by the bed.

Whilst RJ was writing their story a side character decided he needed his story told too. Then other characters followed suit.

You see the problem? If RJ ever wants to sleep again then she needs to write.

RJ is a wife and a mother to two boys. Even her dog is a boy.

She is surrounded by males.

RJ writes emotionally charged, character driven romances. Her guys will always get their HEA, but it will never be easy.

Where to find me

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/robyn.j.jones.1711

Twitter – https://twitter.com/rjjonesauthor

Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/rjjonesauthor/

Website – http://rjjonesauthor.com

Email – rjjonesauthor@gmail.com

Amazon page

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Snow Blind by Eli Easton: Release Day Review with Giveaway

snowblindsynopsisSnow, steam, and secrets.

The latest snowstorm carries something unexpected to the doorstep of Hutch’s secluded Alaskan cabin: a stranger named Jude, the most beautiful man Hutch has ever seen. Jude says he’s in the area for a ski trip and that he fled a domineering lover, thinking he could make it into town. But Hutch is a suspicious SOB and treats his unwanted guest warily. The problem is Jude isn’t just gorgeous, he’s funny and smart and flirtatious.

Two gay men snowed in for three days—things happen. Really good things. By the time the storm clears, Hutch finds himself a little too attached to Jude Devereaux, San Francisco-based male model. But is Jude what he claims to be? Or is he entangled in the secrets Hutch moved to Alaska to escape?

Title: Snowblind
Author: Eli Easton
Release Date: March 1, 2017
Category: Contemporary, Dreamspun Desires
Pages: 196

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deanna review

I haven’t read anything by Eli Easton before but the synopsis of the book sounded promising. Boy, was I impressed. The story was nothing like I expected, in only the best way. What a great story.

Jude is on vacation with his boyfriend when they have an argument and Jude storms off. Just his luck he would walk out in the middle of a snow storm.

Hutch is living on his own in the wilderness of Alaska under an assumed identity and always looking over his shoulder. From what, we don’t know yet. When someone turns up half frozen on his doorstep in the middle of a snowstorm he is immediately on high alert.

Have they found him? Is this stranger who he says he is? Can he trust him?

This story is amazing. The plot twist that came about a quarter of the way into the story was so unexpected and so brilliant. The story was entertaining and super hot. The chemistry between Jude and Hutch was scorching. I absolutely adored the ending, it totally made my heart happy.

4 pieces of eye candy

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Moment of Fate by Karen Stivali: Release Day with Giveaway

moment of fatesynopsisBryan Dane’s been living the dream—photography student by day, up-and-coming rocker by night. His summer goals are to earn his last few credits, graduate from NYU, spend as much time in the recording studio as possible, and survive the next few months without sex so he can complete his yearlong goal of self-imposed celibacy. Everything is on track until he meets Oliver Newcastle.

For years Oliver planned a marriage of convenience with his high school BFF, but now that she’s fallen in love for real with someone else, it’s no longer convenient. So Oliver came out to his family, quit his job, and left small-town New England for NYC, an intensive summer study program, and a chance to find his own happiness.

From the moment they meet, the sexual tension between Bryan and Oliver sizzles. But Bryan wants no part of a relationship, and Oliver wants to sow his wild oats—he just isn’t sure how. Oliver seeks Bryan’s help navigating the NYC gay scene, which throws them together in increasingly more sexual situations until they can no longer deny they’re hot for each other. Bryan is desperate to keep things simple, but fate may have other plans.

Title: Moment of Fate
Series: Moments In Time: Book Five
Author: Karen Stivali
Release Date: February 24, 2017
Category: Contemporary
Pages: 244

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Heather's Review

The Moment in Time series by Karen Stivali was one that I devoured when I first found it. When Moment of Silence came out, I was excited to see more of the same group of friends. And even though it’s been over a year, I felt that same excitement when I found out Ms. Stivali had written Moment of Fate.

 
Bryan and Oliver’s story isn’t one where the characters instantly fall into love and bed. In fact, they can’t because Bryan’s sworn off sex for a year. While there were some great moments of chemistry between them, at times, I felt like it was a whole lot of “I really like him but I said I wouldn’t have sex for a year.” There’s a whole lot of avoiding talking about the attraction they both feel, which also felt frustrating at times.

 
All of that being said, once they got past their issues, they really got past their issues. They burned up the sheets. There was nowhere left to fall, because they’d fallen in love without the sex. It was sweet and hot.

 
By the time it was all said and done, I was happy to see Bryan and Oliver together, even if there were some loose ends I felt could’ve been tied up better. Who knows… maybe book six will eventually be coming out?

4 pieces of eye candy

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Dating Ryan Alback by J.E. Birk: Blog Tour, Author Interview, Review and Giveaway

TCO is super excited to have J.E. Birk here today. We asked her very last minute to throw us a bone (see what I did there? 🙂 ) and do a last minute Friday Five-ish Questions, because I found the book so timely. She was so generous and did it right away. So, thank you. Read up on Dating Ryan Alback, then run out and grab it! 

dating ryansynopsisRyan Alback has almost everything he’s ever wanted: a successful acting career, a dog who adores him, great family and friends, and a life outside the closet. The only thing missing is a boyfriend—but Ryan’s been burned by Hollywood relationships before, and he’s not eager to try one again.

Jason Santos has almost everything he’s ever wanted: a fulfilling career teaching middle school, a house in a city he loves, and parents who support him in every way. Too bad he can’t seem to forget the ex-boyfriend who rejected his marriage proposal.

When a talk show host launches a dating contest to find Ryan a boyfriend and Jason accidentally wins, neither of them expect anything to come from it. Yet somewhere between a disastrous massage and a mud sinkhole, they both start to wonder if this date could be more than just a public relations stunt. But before they can move into the future, they’ll both have to learn to let go of the past.

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Guest Post

Greetings! I’m J.E. Birk, and right now I’m traversing the internets to discuss my new romantic comedy, DATING RYAN ALBACK. Follow along to learn more about an insecure movie star, a klutzy teacher, and the neurotic dog who loves them. Leave comments for a chance to win a $10 Riptide giftcard and copy of any book from my backlist!

tco-friday 5ish

Five-ish Good Questions for Dating Ryan Alback author J.E. Birk. A sometimes feature on Two Chicks Obsessed.

Thank you to the author who agreed to do this interview very last minute. But I felt like these questions needed to be asked! 🙂

  1. The first question, and what could be the telling question as to your psychic abilities…how long ago was Dating Ryan Alback written? It was published on February 20, but I would imagine it’s been written for some time.

LOL! Great question. One of the main subplots of this book has Jason, the MC, starting a nonprofit to support families who’ve been split apart by deportation. Sadly, in the 2017 political climate, this subplot feels incredibly relevant. But you’re right—I first started drafting this book years ago, back in 2014. At the time we weren’t having the same national conversation about deportation that we are right now. But I was living and working in a community with a huge population of immigrants, and it was an enormous part of our local conversation.

  1. To say that there is a subplot in this story that is timely for current political events would be understating it. There is a portion of that subplot that I literally saw on the news a day after I read it in the book. How much of current events, or even your guess of what might happen in the political climate play into your book?

Ironically, there were points when I was revising this book and selling it when I wondered if I’d have to change Jason’s subplot—because the conversation around immigration was becoming more humane, and more people were starting to see what mass deportation does to families. But then the election cycle leading to the 2016 presidential race began, and that subplot began to feel highly, highly relevant again. Now I’m very glad I never changed it, because I think we need more books that look at how families—especially children—are affected by deportation.

  1. Without giving too much away, what was your inspiration for writing this subplot? Was it something you’ve seen before, or something that you saw coming?

Like Jason, I’m a teacher. And like Jason, I’ve had the horrible experience of watching my students’ families destroyed because of deportation. It’s so easy for people to make blanket statements like “Well, if someone came here illegally, they’ve gotta go.” Logically that’s an understandable statement. Law is law, right? But I suspect most people who say that have never hugged a twelve-year-old whose parents have just been taken away from them to another country. A country that they may have never even seen before. It’s all a very complicated issue, and I wish more nonprofits like Jason’s existed.

  1. How much research did you do for this book? Was it on anything in particular?

The interesting thing about this book is that it’s a romantic comedy. I wrote it as a romcom and I suspect the majority of readers who’ve enjoyed it are people who love romcoms. I’m been talking a lot about how it’s a book I wrote when I needed more comedy in my life…and it is largely very light and fluffy. Except for this one subplot.

So while I was writing this book I spent a lot of time reading and thinking about my favorite romantic comedies. Considering how the best ones stay true to their comedic roots while still allowing for more serious topics to play within the plot.  I hope Dating Ryan Alback is, at the end of the day, a book which gives people a sense of joy and escapism without shying away from real-world issues and topics.

  1. Always, number 5 is the fun one. You receive a genie in a bottle, and are given 1 wish. You can’t wish for more wishes, or world peace, or crap like that. J What would you wish for?

Awww, I wanted a million wishes! Right now I’d probably wish that everyone in the world would show more kindness and empathy. There’s a lot of fear and anger spreading right now. I suspect we’d be in a much better place if we all just spent more time putting ourselves in the shoes of others.

denise review

There is so much I want to say about this book. There were so many elements to it, that made it a surprise for me.

I had not read anything by J.E. Birk before Dating Ryan Alback, so I really wasn’t sure what to expect. It looked like a sweet, romantic book (and c’mon, look at that cover, doesn’t that say “sweet and cute” all over it?), with fluffy bunnies, kittens and puppies falling all over the place. And it was (minus the bunnies and kittens, and with the dog being somewhat neurotic). This book made me laugh out loud at points. Case in point, this dialogue between Jason and Natalia (Jason’s best friend):

“Dramatic? Did you call me dramatic? My last date took me to a gyro place. Gryos, Jason!”

“I like gyros,” Jason answered mildly.

“Yes, yes, we all like gyros…”

I had several laugh out loud moments highlighted. Ones that I highlighted that later became a bigger part of the storyline. In the end, though, this was a fun, romantic comedy.

Until I realized that there was a sub-plot that made it so relevant to current day politics that I was shocked at the idea that this must have been written well before the U.S. presidency had even been decided. The author nailed the issue so hard, I was in awe at how accurate a portrayal of something that I hadn’t even realized was truly happening (and literally has increased exponentially in the last month). The author’s portrayal of this situation made it hit home even more. And as you read her interview, you’ll see this was deeply personal for her.

All in all this book was such a hit with me, and as I processed it over the next couple days, it felt even more like heaps of fun, with a side of reality thrown in, which I am hoping is how all the readers feel about it.

4 pieces of eye candy

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meet the author

J.E. Birk has been telling stories since she could talk and writing them since she was introduced to the alphabet. She hails from Colorado, where you can usually find her skiing, training for a 5K she won’t end up running, or watching people run into each other on football fields and in hockey rinks. You can follow her ramblings on Twitter by looking for @jebirkwrites. She’s also been known to ramble on Facebook as J Elisabeth Birk.

Connect with J.E. Birk:

giveaway

To celebrate the release of Dating Ryan Alback, one lucky winner will receive a $10 Riptide Publishing credit and their choice of ebook from J.E.’s backlist! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on February 25, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

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Skythane by J. Scott Coatsworth: Blog Tour, Exclusive Interview, Excerpt, includes Giveaway

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synopsis

Jameson Havercamp, a psych from a conservative religious colony, has come to Oberon—unique among the Common Worlds—in search of a rare substance called pith. He’s guided through the wilds on his quest by Xander Kinnison, a handsome, cocky wing man with a troubled past.

Neither knows that Oberon is facing imminent destruction. Even as the world starts to fall apart around them, they have no idea what’s coming—or the bond that will develop between them as they race to avert a cataclysm.

Together, they will journey to uncover the secrets of this strange and singular world, even as it takes them beyond the bounds of reality itself to discover what truly binds them together.

Title: Skythane

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Authors: J. Scott Coatsworth

Cover Artist: Anne Caine

Length: 85K, # pages

Format: eBook, Paperback

Release Date: 2/17/17

Pairing: MM

Genres: sci fi, mm romance, gay sci fi

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tco-author interview

Thanks for having me to celebrate the release of my first novel, “Skythane.” 🙂

Is there anything you find particularly challenging about writing?

Yeah… the writing part. 😛

Actually, the editing part is the hardest for me. I am so ready to move along to the next story, but have to relive the current one again and again. But it’s part of the deal, so we suck it up and work through it.

Of your writing, who is your favorite story?

So far?

I love “Flames”, my short story in “A More Perfect Union”, because it combines some of my favorite things – Italian, my hometown of Tucson, romance, and a little magical realism.

But I also love Skythane, my first novel, because… well, because it’s my first novel, and because I love the story and the characters. 🙂

Tell me one thing hardly anyone knows about you.

My first published story was “The Bear at the Bar”, published in the anthology “A Taste of Honey” from Dreamspinner in 2014. But my first publication? That happened in 1998, and was a book called “Raising each Other”, a self-help book for teens and parents I wrote with four other teens and our High School English teacher. 🙂

Tell us about a unique or quirky habit of yours.

Not sure how unique it is, but I sleep commando. I can’t stand having clothes on under the sheets, and it’ll keep me awake all night. I’ve been like this for as long as I can remember.

Tell us something we don’t know about your heroes. What makes them tick? Tell us one thing about them that we don’t learn from the book, the secret in their past.

Hmmm… they are connected even more deeply than they know, by events that greatly precede their births.

——————

My new novel, Skythane, is just out – and it combines my love of sci fi and secret reveals and MM romance. I hope you enjoy it!

 

excerpt

Rain hit the plas and ran downward in little rivulets, separating and rejoining like branches of time as the storm whipped itself into a frenzy over Oberon City.

Xander Kinnson lay on his bed, head thrown back, watching the tempest with a laziness that belied his inner turmoil and pain. Alix had left him and gone missing. A year had passed, and still he had a hard time accepting that simple fact.

His dark wings with their jet-black feathers were stretched out lazily to each side of his supine form, their tips extending past the edge of the bed. His chest heaved slowly up and down, and he breathed easily, as if he were utterly relaxed.

Nothing could have been further from the truth. Below the surface, under the deception of skin and sinew, his heart beat at a thunderous pace, and his mind raced for answers to Alix’s fate that slipped beyond his grasp.

The handsome trick he’d brought home rested his warm hands on Xander’s thighs, his hot mouth engaged elsewhere. Xander smelled the deep, masculine musk of him, slipping a hand absently through the man’s dark, tousled hair as the rain increased to a thundering downpour against the plas. The drops glistened, each an individual universe of shimmering light before running quickly out of sight.

A flash of lightning illuminated the room, thunder indicating how close it had been. As the heavy rain pounded against the arco’s walls, Xander rode the wave of pleasure higher and higher. Despite himself, he rose quickly toward climax, drawn up on the tide as the trick worked his cock. Unable to stop himself, he thrust his hips almost angrily upward into the man’s willing throat. Closer, closer….

He reached the crest, a pleasure so intense it burned through him like phosphorous, a white-hot fire.

Lightning flared again across the wet, black sky, followed by thunder so close it shook the bed. The storm had reached a fever pitch outside, and he arched his back in the air one more time, his wings rustling beneath him. As if in concert with the storm, Xander came, the release of his orgasm radiating from his hips along his spinal cord and down through his toes and the tips of his wings.

The rush of elation washed away his cares for a few brief moments. Xander shuddered, shivered, and shuddered again, and it was over.

For a while, he drifted in an oblivion that was blessed in its emptiness. The rain fell in a steady beat against the window, and he forgot to wallow in his pain. His mind floated free, with no responsibilities, nothing to worry about for those brief moments between sex and real life. This was what he needed. This lack of thought, this pleasurable oblivion where he could just be.

When he opened his eyes at last, the nameless trick was staring down at him, expectant.

“You’re still here.”

“I can do more, if you’d like,” the man said with a grin. Like Alix, he had no wings—a lander man.

Xander glared at him, annoyed. He was handsome enough, tall, dark-haired, with blue eyes and a light complexion. Strangely, he reminded Xander of Alix. The hair and eyes were wrong, but there was something about him, and that annoyed the hell out of Xander, for reasons he didn’t care to examine too closely. “Get out,” he said with a dismissive wave.

The man frowned. “I thought—”

“Oh right, your pay.” Xander took the man’s arm and slitted him a hundred crits from the wrist reader embedded in his own. Then he waved the trick away. “We’re square. Now get the fuck out of my flat.”

The man gathered his own clothes, but Xander didn’t give him time to put them on. Instead he hustled the trick out of the irising door, palming it closed on his hurt and angry expression.

I really have become a bastard, he thought, staring at his dim reflection in the shiny black door. It had been a long year.

He tapped the cirq in his temple with his left hand, and called out to his PA. “Ravi, any messages for me?”

 

 

meet the author

j-scott-coatsworthScott has been writing since elementary school, when he and won a University of Arizona writing contest in 4th grade for his first sci fi story (with illustrations!). He finished his first novel in his mid twenties, but after seeing it rejected by ten publishers, he gave up on writing for a while.

Over the ensuing years, he came back to it periodically, but it never stuck. Then one day, he was complaining to Mark, his husband, early last year about how he had been derailed yet again by the death of a family member, and Mark said to him “the only one stopping you from writing is you.”

Since then, Scott has gone back to writing in a big way. He has sold more than a dozen short stories – some new, some that he had started years before. He is currently working on two sci fi trilogies, and also runs the Queer Sci Fi (http://www.queerscifi.com) site, a group for readers and writers of gay sci fi, fantasy, and paranormal fiction.

Website: http://www.jscottcoatsworth.com

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jscoatsworth

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After the Romance Novel by Susan Laine: Release Day Review with Giveaway

after the romance

synopsis

Romance novels always end with a happy ever after. Right?

Evan and Adam are best friends, but they don’t know everything about each other. For one thing, Adam doesn’t know Evan writes and publishes gay romance novels until he discovers one while snooping on Evan’s laptop.

This revelation changes their relationship in ways neither could’ve imagined. Adam’s reaction to reading Evan’s stories is not what he expected, nor is the new way he’s looking at his lifelong pal. After all, Adam is straight, or so he’s always thought, and that is what Evan believes about Adam as well.

When Evan admits he might be bisexual, Adam suggests he try dating girls to find out for sure, but when Evan follows his advice, Adam is caught off guard by his feelings of jealousy. And when the date proves Evan isn’t bisexual, but gay, Evan’s request that Adam find him a guy might be the last straw.

How can Adam admit he wants that guy to be him? His epiphany will either end their relationship—or change it into something wonderful in their very own friends-to-lovers romance.

Title: After the Romance Novel
Series: Before… and After
Author: Susan Laine
Release Date: February 22, 2017
Category: Contemporary, New Adult
Pages: 63

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denise review

I don’t normally read YA. There just seems to me to be something creepy about being a woman in her (cough, cough) middle 40’s to be reading about 17 year old kids falling in love, possibly having sex. However, the subject on this one intrigued me, so I gave it a shot. And I’m glad I did!

After the Romance Novel is the first thing I’ve read by Susan Laine, and I really enjoy her writing style. I enjoyed the alternating POV’s, and the mindset of these two young men. They’ve known each other for years, been best friends for years, and yet didn’t realize they could fall in love with each other.

There were a few things that seemed implausible to me. First, how introspective they seemed. These are 17 year old boys, with large vocabularies, introspective about what they wanted. Their mindsets in many ways felt as if they should have been 10 years older. In addition, when Adam finds out about Evan looking at his current work in progress, Evan has written his 12th story, and always writes Adam and Evan as the MC’s, then changes before he publishes, yet he didn’t ever once consider being in love, or attracted to Adam?

However, all that being said, I enjoyed their relationship. They didn’t take each other for granted, and even though they were dealing with uncomfortable, and heavy subjects with each other, they never wavered in their friendship. There were uncertainties as to how they would move forward, but they always felt they were best friends, and would always be.

3.5 pieces of eye candy

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Dating in Retrospect by Lila Leigh Hunter: Blog Tour, Guest Post, Excerpt and Giveaway

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synopsis

Giving the commencement speech at his alma mater doesn’t fit Clay Keller’s meticulous schedule. As Chief Executive Officer of Travel Mogul—the largest travel connoisseur company on the West Coast—he has no time to get back in touch with his country roots. He left fifteen years ago without a second look, but a medical scare makes him change his mind about the speech and brings him face-to-face with his only regret.

Time always moves slower in Southeastern Iowa, and Aaron Grant loves it. He’s added solar farms to the Grant Lanes portfolio and has been teaching at the local university for a decade. The last thing he needs is to have his tenure application compromised by the return of his ex-boyfriend. If he had known who the commencement speaker would be, he would never have volunteered to be the administration liaison.

A proposal—to date for a year—will help them discover that time changes a person, even when everything else stays the same.

Title: Dating in Retrospect (States of Love)

Author: Lila Leigh Hunter

Cover Artist: L.C. Chase

Publisher:  Dreamspinner Press

Release Date: February 15, 2017

Category: Romance

Genre: Contemporary

Sex Content: Explicit

Pairing: MM

Orientation: Bisexual

Identity: Cisgender

Length: Novella

Words: 38,800

Pages: 101

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Guest Post

Pop Culture Infiltration

Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike! What day is it Mike? It’s Hump day! Sorry, but I had to do it. 🙂Riverside, IA

I want to thank the crew of Two Chicks Obsessed for hosting me today. I didn’t realize how many pop culture references I had on my States of Love novella, Dating in Retrospect, until I was halfway through it. Then, I embraced them.

When you first think of Iowa you don’t associate it with Hollywood and TV productions unless you’re from the area. But there are many movies, shows, and books that take place in the Hawkeye state. During their dating year, my main characters—Clay & Aaron—visited several places used or referenced in pop culture, and they quoted some of them as well.

Their first date takes place in Riverside, Iowa—future birthplace of James T. Kirk. You guessed it, my boys are geeks and aren’t afraid to admit it.

They also visited the Field of Dreams and the Bridges of Madison County. There are mentions of singing telegrams, the Radio City Rockettes, Star Trek, and some other popular shows & one-liners.

If you want to see how all of this plays a part in their relationship, you would have to read the story. Oh, and something I didn’t realize until this very moment, one of the characters gives a graduation speech, hint, hint. <3

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excerpt

Clay—May ’15

Back to the future and all of that were Clay’s first thoughts as he stepped out of the car. The campus looked the same—Midwest Americana at its best. Redbrick buildings and perfectly pruned trees surrounded him, but as if the last fifteen years hadn’t happened, Clay’s world narrowed to the man waiting at the top of the portico stairs. The only thing time had changed? Them.

“Here’s your receipt, Mr. Keller,” the valet said, interrupting Clay’s musings. He didn’t remember being as young as the valet. Mr. Keller was his father, but Clay didn’t feel like correcting the man’s error.

“Thank you.”

“Not a problem. The man in the light gray suit is Professor Grant. He will be your escort today.”

“Perfect,” Clay responded, smiling at the mention of having an escort at his service, especially one whose body he knew well. With a nod and a tip, Clay left the valet behind, turning his attention back to Professor Grant. Professor. Aaron had done it after all. Clay had never doubted it, even after Aaron decided to stay and work at his family’s farm instead of moving with him to LA. Now he needed to find out if he had a chance with Aaron. At least having him there, waiting for him, had to be a good sign. Today was his lucky day indeed. True, he hadn’t expected to see Aaron so soon. He had planned to stop by the farm after the commencement, but he was ready either way. Life had been rough lately, but having the opportunity to see Aaron again was worth coming back to the middle of Nowhere, Iowa.

He walked casually toward the man he’d left behind many summers ago—a man standing like a prizefighter, waiting for Clay to reach him. With only a couple of feet between them, Clay’s step faltered. Aaron didn’t seem happy to see him, more like he was ready to bolt before Clay got to him. Shaking his head and keeping his eyes on his prey, he closed the distance and extended his hand in greeting.

“Professor Grant, I believe you’re expecting me?” He hoped his smile would ease Aaron’s frown.

“That I am, Mr. Keller. As the university liaison, it is my pleasure to welcome you back to your alma mater and to convey the president’s and the board of trustees’ deepest regards.”

“How long did it take you to memorize that spiel? As far as I remember, you weren’t fond of formalities.” Neither of them let go of the other’s hand. Aaron’s touch, familiar and foreign, branded him in seconds.

“Ass.”

Aaron didn’t expect the hug that followed. As soon as their bodies touched, Aaron tensed, but Clay held him tighter.

“Relax, sunshine. It’s been a while.” Clay let Aaron go, but not before he rubbed his trimmed beard against Aaron’s clean-shaven face as he moved back.

 

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meet the author

Lila Leigh Hunter is the pen name of a Puerto Rican author with a hyphenated surname. Born and raised on the island, Lila grew up making up stories her siblings pretended to like. But no matter what they say, as the youngest of six, she’s still their mom’s favorite. According to the dusty diplomas on her wall, she’s an architectural designer living in Southern Texas with her husband and four military brats.

She spends most of her free time writing homoerotic romances about middle-aged men finding happiness and the rest hiding from pesky house chores. When outside of her cave, she likes to observe people and try to guess their stories. Sometimes she wishes the voices in her head were real; going out with the boys in her books sounds like a plan made in heaven.

Social Media

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/ctHk41

Author’s Page: http://www.facebook.com/HunterRomances

Lila’s Cabana on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/groups/LilasBooks/

Facebook Profile: https://www.facebook.com/LilaLeighHunter

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Hunter_Romances

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

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

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/HunterRomances

Website: http://lilaleighhunter.wordpress.com

Email: llhunter.romance@gmail.com

Blog Tour Dates

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Better with Bacon by Matthew Lang: Blog Tour, Exclusive Excerpt, Guest Post and Giveaway

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When Patrick’s long-term girlfriend Li Ling dumps him just as he’s working up the nerve to propose, he ends up drunk on David’s couch—and later in David’s bed. Although initially reluctant to pursue anything beyond a one-time drunken tryst, David throws caution to the wind during an intimate dinner, where the two men also discuss Patrick’s dream of entering the food industry. Just as the friends-turned-lovers are settling into their new romance, Li Ling calls Patrick—she’s pregnant.

Convinced the announcement spells the end of their love affair and a return to their platonic friendship, David flees to Sydney to escape his heartbreak. But upon his return to Melbourne, David discovers the situation hasn’t gone the way he’d expected. There might still be a chance for David and Patrick’s dreams to come true if they can forgive each other’s mistakes and move forward.

 

Guest Post

“Shit, they’ve done it. The Millennials have actually done it. They’ve created a space where you can be whatever gender identity you are, be attracted to whoever you want and no one fucking cares. It’s great!”
This comment recently found its way to my personal Facebook wall, along with another post from the same person decrying the lack of men in assless leather chaps and dykes with their tits out at Midsumma, Melbourne’s annual summer festival of queer art.
And my brain, being the annoyingly wonderfully overthinking and pattern forming organ that it is, immediately linked those two statements together. Normalisation. The process of being normal? The process of becoming normal. The process of having equality and equal rights has created both of the above situations. It’s arguably responsible for the death of lesbian bars, same sex marriage becoming increasingly recognised in the western world, and the fact that police stations in Australia have dedicated gay and lesbian community liaisons. I got a rainbow wristband from them at Carnival this year, actually.
Normalisation means not needing as many safe spaces as the last generation of queers did. It means that people who live vanilla lifestyles can be out proud, visible, and dragging moody teenagers along to queer carnival day when the kids clearly have better things to do I mean really. And people can do all that without having their reputations tarnished. Without social stigma. Without losing their jobs. Once, only those who dared to be overtly different dared to be out, now everyone else can too. At least, mostly. More often than not.
Even me being here, a gay man writing about gay men for a site run by women who love gay men is part of this long, slow movement that’s still being fought today (don’t get me started about how Australia doesn’t have marriage equality yet. Just don’t), but is so much better for each generation. It’s important to remember that we all owe an awful lot to the men in assless chaps, the topless dykes, and the trans women of colour to name just a few groups now eclipsed by the queer mainstream, if such a thing can be said to exist. We owe them for creating a world where you can be exactly where you are right now, reading these words and loving the stories that you read.
Without those who dared to go before, this onetime babygay might never have dreamed about writing stories. Or probably wouldn’t have dared dream of publishing and sharing them openly.
There’s still a lot of work to be done. There’s still a need to be daring – to be the guy with his metaphorical ass hanging out of his metaphorical chaps forging towards a better future for the marginalised. Now I have to check my own abled cisgendered male privilege and support the battles against transphobia and bipjobia in my bubble of liberalism. And not all gay men get that.
I’ll tell you something though – the ones that do? They’re sexy. And if you know any who are gay and single, send them my way, yeah?
In the meantime, I’ll keep writing about the messy realities that face men like me, and not quite like me, as this normalisation thing happens around us. I hope you’ll join me in moving it along.

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excerpt
Stonewall, named after both the New York Inn and the riots, had a name that now evoked a film that no one went to see. It was also one of David’s main haunts in Sydney—a good place to get a drink, get groped, dance a bit, and possibly even pick up. It was an older, mixed crowd than the nightclubs, and although there was a time for dancing for all hours, now didn’t seem to be one of them. David found himself ordering a G&T and kicking back on a couch, and wishing he’d brought his personal phone. Although he was aware there had been a time when people at bars talked to each other, he’d grown up with most people checking their phones first. To be fair, he could easily have gone up and inserted himself into a conversation with a “Hi, I’m new here” or a “Hi, I’m visiting and decided I should meet new people,” which normally worked, but tonight, he let the buzz of conversation swell around him and wrap him in its vibrancy and life. Something dancey in the Top 40 played overhead, and he smiled as he sank into the cushions of the couch and let the beat thrum through his bones.
“Wow, you look relaxed.”
David’s eyes snapped open, and he looked up into calm brown eyes framed by long brown hair that tumbled halfway down the man’s back.
“Yeah, well… stressful week.”
“Pool?” the man asked. “I’m hunting for games.”
“Huh?” Only then did David notice the pool cue gripped loosely in the man’s hand.
“Sure,” he said. “I don’t bet, though.”
“No, no, just a friendly game.” The man flashed him a grin. It was hard to pin down his age, as beard stubble added years to any face. He was of medium height, and had a stocky, muscular build, with forearms that David was a little jealous of. “I like talking to people over a game. There’s something to do besides fumble for the next topic of conversation.”
David laughed. “I suppose lining up your shot gives you an excuse to be silent.”
“It does. Pool also makes it more likely that guys come up and watch—and talk to you. And it also lets you approach interesting people and chat to them without being creepy.”
“Interesting?”
“Are you telling me you’re not?”
“I work in banking,” David said. “By definition….”
The bestubbled man deliberately looked David up and down, his eyes lingering on David’s chest and crotch. “I don’t know. One banker I met moonlighted as a stripper. You’ve got the body for that.”

morgan review

This was the first book I have ever read by Matthew Lang. The story started off pretty good and ended well, I just wasn’t feeling the middle very much. The MC’s have some communication issues and it causes one of them, in my opinion, to make a bad decision that I just couldn’t see him making if he cared about his best friend as much as he said he did. I know the head space he was in might have caused him to run when faced with the big issue, but the other decision he makes just made me itch.  Of course everyone deals with stress in different ways so I gave him the benefit of the doubt and kept reading. When the two get together and finally talk things out their relationship takes off and there are quite a few ‘awwww’ moments, but by that point I still wasn’t feeling it that much. I will check out a few more books by Matthew Lang considering this was the first thing I have read by this author, for sure. I’ll have to go with 3 pieces of eye candy for this one.

3-pieces of eye candy

meet the author
Matthew Lang writes behind a desk, in the park, on the tram, and sometimes backstage at amateur theater productions. He has been known to sing and dance in public and analyze the plots of movies and TV shows, and is a confessed Masterchef addict. He has dabbled in film, machinema, event management, and even insurance, but his first love has always been the written word. He is suspected of frequenting libraries and hanging around in bookstores, and his therapists believe he may be plotting some form of literature.

My Social Media:
Website: www.matthew-lang.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MattLangWrites/
Twitter: @mattlangwrites

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Daily Grind By Anna Zabo: Blog Tour and Guest Post

Daily_Grind
synopsisA man discovers that love can show up when you least expect it—and in a much different form—in this piping-hot romance from the author of Due Diligence and Just Business.

Brian Keppler, owner of Ground N’At, the coffee shop beneath SR Anderson Consulting, doesn’t have time for a relationship. His most recent girlfriend broke up with him because he’d become married to his shop, which is falling apart without his favorite barista, Justin.

As he struggles to stay afloat, the arrival of handsome British high-tech whiz Robert Ancroft becomes another complication. Rob quickly becomes a fixture at the shop with his sharp wit and easy charm, and Brian soon finds himself looking forward more and more to Rob’s visits—to the point where his heart skips a beat when he walks in.

But will Brian be able to come to terms with his previously unexplored sexual identity and find happiness now that he has a chance?

Guest Post
While I was writing Just Business back in 2015, two minor characters poked me in the ribs and told me they had books, too. The first was Fazil who pretty much shouted at me that he wasn’t straight, even though Eli was convinced he was (Fazil’s book is Due Diligence).
The other was Brian, the owner of Grounds N’at and Justin White’s boss until Sam hires him away. Brian was a lot quieter about his bisexuality. And I knew his book would be about him exploring that side of his sexuality for the first time—that the book would be, to a certain extent, a coming out book.
I called it my bi-for-you book, and that’s the book that became Daily Grind.
Daily Grind is Brian’s story from start to finish. It’s also Rob’s story, but it’s Brian who must work to get his happy ever after. He has the most to lose—and gain—in the novel.
Brian has known and accepted his attraction to all genders for a long time, but he’s only dated women because that was easier when he was younger. He struggled a lot with bi-phobia in college (being bi was only a stepping stone to gay or that bi was something women did, and only to attract guys) and at that point, pretty much gave up on the idea of being outwardly bi. He’d thought he’d made his peace with that, especially since he was pretty much married to his shop anyway.
Then Rob Ancroft walks in and Brian just can’t help himself.
I really didn’t want the book to be about the angst of being bisexual. That wasn’t really the main thrust of the story. I wanted the story to be about Brian falling for Rob and what has to change in his life for him to have is happy ever after, not about Brian fretting over his sexuality. Brian’s always been bi—that hasn’t changed. At thirty-eight, he doesn’t have much angst about being bi anymore. In fact, at his age now, he feels silly holding on to the worry of his younger self, so he lets it go and jumps right into loving a guy.
The fun bits are all the firsts he gets to experience, even though he’s not at all a virgin.
He’s also utterly relieved to discover that everything feels perfect and normal. Because it is. As Rob says to Brian at one point, there’s nothing wrong with being bisexual.
Now if only Brian can stop being a workaholic…
I do hope you enjoy reading Brian’s book as much as I enjoyed writing it!

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meet the author
Anna Zabo writes contemporary and paranormal romance for all colors of the rainbow and believes passionately that happy ever afters are for everyone. Anna lives and works in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

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Imago by N.R. Walker: Release Day Review with Giveaway

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synopsis

Nerdy, introverted genius lepidopterist, Lawson Gale, is an expert on butterflies. He finds himself in a small town in Tasmania on a quest from an old professor to find an elusive species that may or may not even exist.

Local Parks and Wildlife officer, Jack Brighton, is an ordinary guy who loves his life in the sleepy town of Scottsdale. Along with his Border collie dog, Rosemary, his job, and good friends, he has enough to keep from being lonely.

But then he meets Lawson, and he knows he’s met someone special. There’s more to catching butterflies, Jack realises. Sometimes the most elusive creatures wear bow ties, and sometimes they can’t be caught at all.

Lawson soon learns there are butterflies he can’t learn about it in books. They exist only in a touch, in a kiss, in a smile. He just has to let go first, so these butterflies can fly.

Imago is the story of finding love, bow ties, and butterflies.

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jennifer

First, let’s take note of how cute this cover is. I mean, I’m not a fan of butterflies… I’ll actually be honest and say that I’m downright terrified of them. Have you seen their bodies with the long antenna’s and their wings with the voodoo looking faces on the back? And I’m pretty sure they can smell fear, because I was once chased around the outside of my dad’s house a few years ago by a giant, green and yellow one. I’ve never recovered….. Still… I picked this book because 1: The cover and 2: I’ve yet to read a book by this author that I didn’t love.

 
This one was no different. Let’s talk about why…

 
Lawson Gale is on his way to an important interview, in which he’d flown into town to attend when the car renter lady informs him that they didn’t have a rental for him. Already disgruntled from the plane and running a bit late, he doesn’t know what he’s going to do.

 
Jack Brighton has witnessed a couple reasons why Lawson would be so flustered and overhears him at the rental car counter. He offers him a ride to the museum, since he’s going that way and Lawson, eventually accepts. Lawson is adorable and shy and sweet and classified as a genius, so his social skills, he thinks are lacking. I, personally think that he’s charming. So does Jack. The way he talks, the way he blushes, his cluelessness about how attractive he is.. and of course, his adorable bow-tie. What’s not to adore?

 
The chemistry between these two charming men, is palpable. Their first date was light but impressive and it felt so genuine. Not like so many dates, now days where it’s like… “Let’s go get drunk and hook up”… No, Jack was a gentleman in every sense of the word. He was polite and charismatic, subtle and just…charming… I can’t say that enough about both of them… They both charmed me, from the very beginning.

 
So, Lawson was in town, trying to find a new species of butterfly that a former butterfly enthusiast had seen many decades ago. Unfortunately, he didn’t have the proper equipment to record his findings and despite the last many years, trying to find them again, he was unable to. Now, too old and not able bodied enough to trek around searching and researching, he passed the task off to, Lawson because Lawson was much like himself. He done the work because of a passion for it, not because he wanted credit on a great find or because he wanted to be famous. It was his life’s work and he took pride in it. Mr. Tillman (former butterfly enthusiast) respected Lawson because of it and needed it to be him to get the job done.

 
In the meantime, Jack used the time that Lawson was in town, to woo him- and woo him he did. Their dates were perfect. It was old-school courting type dating and it was respectable and genuine and sweet…Until it got hot and heavy, then little genius, Lawson had himself a dirty mouth lol, it was incredibly endearing. Each of the men also found that because they had such a great deal in common, it wasn’t like the men that they’d both dated before. They each knew how important their jobs were, Lawson especially had a problem with that, because “someone who chases butterflies” might not be taken very seriously. But it was indeed an important job and I loved that Jack saw that… so did Lawson.

 
I could seriously wax on about this story all day, but I’ll save you all from my gushing and spoiling. If you’re a fan of this author at all, you’ll know not to pass it up. It’s sweet and adorable and you’ll love the banter and chemistry between these two men.

 
Easy 5 stars from me!
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Where to find N.R. Walker

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Website

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Email:

nrwalker2103@gmail.com

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