Falling Snow on Snow by Lou Sylvre: Blog Tour, Interview and Giveaway

falling-snow-on-snow-cover-400x600synopsisBeck Justice knows holiday sparkle and snappy carols only mask December’s cruel, black heart. He learned that lesson even before he landed on the streets eight years ago, and his recent step up to a tiny apartment and a busker’s permit for Seattle’s Pike Place Market has done nothing to change his mind. But one day in the market, Oleg Abramov joins his ethereal voice to Beck’s guitar, and Beck glimpses light in his bleak, dark winter.

Oleg, lucky to have a large and loving family, believes Beck could be the man to fill the void that nevertheless remains in his life. The two men step out on a path toward love, but it proves as slippery as Seattle’s icy streets. Just when they get close, a misunderstanding shatters their hopes. Light and harmony are still within reach, but only if they choose to believe, risk their hearts, and trust.

Title: Falling Snow on Snow
Author: Lou Sylvre
Release Date: December 23, 2016
Category: Contemporary, Holiday
Pages: TBD (Novella)

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Character Interview

Beck and Oleg Quickie Author Interview

Hi! Lou Sylvre here, appearing for the very first time on Two Chicks Obsessed with Books and Eye Candy. Gotta love the blog name, and thank you much, TCO, for lending me some space. Okay, for my post today, I decided to answer the questions Beck Justice and Oleg Abramov, the (eventually) loving couple from Falling Snow on Snow, have been dying to ask me ever since they made me tell their story.

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First, from Beck: Why on earth did you have me feeding a crow?

Well, Beck, it’s like this. I love crows. And besides that, you are a really goodhearted guy, but I wasn’t sure you knew it. And if you didn’t know, readers might not know either. So when I saw King Coal (that poor old, damaged crow) trying to survive on the roof of your building, I figured if I made you aware, you’d start feeding him (which you did, all by yourself), and if you were feeding an old crow—and also providing a home for Parcheesi, the formerly homeless cat—it would start to clear a path to your heart, by which a yummy, sweet guy like Oleg could make his way into your affections. And it worked.

Oleg asks: Why is my voice a high alto?

Simple, dear Oleg. Because it’s beautiful, and so are you. And also, I heard your song echoing through the halls of the market in a dream. Thanks for that, by the way.

Beck again: I don’t understand John Gillette, my stepdad. Can you help me out, here?

Of course. See, here’s the thing, Beck. Every single person on the planet has the capacity for cruelty. Yes, even children, grandmothers, and dog-lovers. Stepdads are no worse or better than any other. Sometimes, when people endure horror, such as John endured at war, it wounds them in such a way that, when one more bad thing tips the scales, they can’t dredge up the goodness to deny that cruel streak. It’s a terrible thing. People like the boy you were when John put you out on the streets get hurt in awful ways. In one sense it’s unforgiveable. But cruelty is a double-edged blade—cuts both ways. When a person hurts another the way John did you, it drains them of their humanity, and their wounds fester. In John’s case, he became a hopeless alcoholic, and ended up in dire straits. But when you gave yourself permission to be compassionate toward him instead of returning cruelty for cruelty, you helped heal the wound of your own trauma, and you gave John back a little of the soul he’d sacrificed. Good on you. Of course, I hadn’t thought that through when I wrote it. I was just telling your story and John was in it. But it makes sense, don’t you think?

After giving Beck a comforting hug, Oleg asks: What’s your favorite place to get Pelmeni?

Ah, that’s easy. There’s a little shop downtown Olympia, Washington, called Rush In Dumplings. (Get it?) Love their Siberian Classic.

Oleg again: Okay, that was an easy one. How about this: How did you find me? I mean of all the characters out there you could have paired up with Beck, why me, a Russian immigrant with a big, loving family, who couldn’t figure out how to find the right man?

I didn’t! You found me. Or maybe I should say you found Beck. When I had poor, scrooge-like Beck stuck in the Market in Seattle playing Christmas songs he hated for tips, I could only think of two things that would change his perspective. One was snow, the other was a fine man whose music was a match for Beck’s own. You auditioned. Don’t you remember? After that, nobody else would do.

________________

So, that’s it, no more questions from Beck and Oleg. Readers, remember to enter the giveaway, and also I hope you’ll join me for the other stops on the tour—different kinds of interviews, an epic playlist, a day in Seattle, and more!

Thank you for reading!

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Tour Schedule:

meet the author

Lou Sylvre lives and writes on the rainy side of Washington State, penning mostly suspense/romance novels because she can’t resist giving her characters hard times but good love. Her personal assistant is Boudreau, a large cat who never outgrew his kitten meow, and he makes a point of letting her know when she’s taken a plot tangent too far. Apparently an English major, he helps a lot, but Lou refuses to put his name on the byline. (Boudreau invites readers to give their feedback as well!) When Lou isn’t writing, she’s reading fiction from nearly every genre, romance in all its tints and shades, and the occasional book about history, physics, or police procedure. Not zombies, though—she avoids zombies like the plague unless they have a great sense of humor. She plays guitar (mostly where people can’t hear her) and she loves to sing. She’s most often smiling and laughs too much, some say. Among other things and in no particular order, she loves her family, her friends, the aforementioned Boudreau, his sister George, and their little brother Nibbles, a chihuahua named Joe, a dachshund named Chloe, and a slew of chihuahua/dachshund puppies. She takes pleasure in coffee, chocolate, sunshine, gardens, wild roses, and every beautiful thing in the world.

Blog: http://www.sylvre.rainbow-gate.com

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

Twitter: @sylvre (https://twitter.com/Sylvre)

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E-mail: lou.sylvre@gmail.com

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12 Days of Kissmas: Charlie Cochet

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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

ccochetjackrudyHello, all! Hope you’re having a wonderful holiday season! I’m so happy to be here joining in on the 12 Days of Kissmas event! For my picture, I decided to doodle a little something myself. Back for the release of The Heart of Frost, I drew a holiday kiss between Jack and Rudy. I had so much fun with it that I decided this would be a great opportunity to draw another one. This year we have Calder and Donner’s story: Disarming Donner, so I decided to draw their kiss.

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Kisses in the North Pole City Tales series range from innocent and sweet, to explosive and passionate. Hey, even Christmas elves need a little lovin’. There’s nothing I love more than writing that first kiss between characters who’ve been trying so darn hard to stay away from each other, whether they’re enemies to lovers, second chances, or friends to lovers, there’s always some hesitancy, some reason why they shouldn’t, and when they do, ready the fire extinguishers!

In Disarming Donner, Calder is a Dockalfar—dark elf. He’s dangerous, wields dark magic, and is feared. The Dockalfar are not romantic by nature. The males don’t couple with other males, and the majority have no interest in being loved. Calder is not like most Dockalfar. He has no desire to be feared. Ever since he was a tiny elfling, he’s wanted nothing more than to be loved, but who outside his own kind could possibly love a Dockalfar? He’s resigned to living his life without love. And then he meets Donner, a prim and proper Christmas elf with lavender eyes who plays beautiful music and finds Calder absolutely scandalous. What could possibly go right?

 

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As a beloved Rein Dear and Christmas elf for Mayor Kringle, Donner prides himself on his flawless reputation, good sense, and wise decisions. Donner never does anything until he’s thought it through properly. He’s certainly not one to get flustered, infuriated, or fall prey to romantic nonsense. At least not until the most unlikely of elves begins chipping away at Donner’s defenses.

Calder is a Dockalfar—a dark elf. He’s wicked, untrustworthy, and armed with lethal magic. At least that’s what everyone thinks. It’s easy for them to believe the worst and mistrust him before they’ve even spoken to him, but Calder is out to prove that he’s more than his Dockalfar blood, especially to a certain Rein Dear who has caught his eye. But it will take more than sweet words for Donner to admit what’s in his heart.

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So, I have read most of Charlie Cochet’s work (in some cases, MULTIPLE times) and yet, I realized I haven’t read even one of her holiday novellas, so Disarming Donner was the first. And, as I expected, I thoroughly enjoyed it!

Donner tried so hard to be stand-offish and proper, looking down on Calder, because he was a Dockalfar, and Calder’s brother hurt his good friend. However, as he saw the softer side, the romantic and loving side of Calder, his heart melted (which may or may not be a good thing in North Pole City! J). And when Calder needed help, Donner stepped right up to help him, and found a little more reason to appreciate Calder.

Calder meanwhile, a sweet, romantic Dockalfar immediately found a connection with Donner, and pressed his romantic attention gently and sweetly. He was gentle and loving to Donner, as well as all the reactions he received from the townspeople, showing how much he merely wanted to be accepted and loved.

Another winner by Charlie, and now I can’t wait to go back and read all the others in this series.

4 pieces of eye candy

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meet the author

charlie_cochet_by_madison_parkerCharlie Cochet is an author by day and artist by night. Always quick to succumb to the whispers of her wayward muse, no star is out of reach when following her passion. From adventurous agents and sexy shifters, to society gentlemen and hardboiled detectives, there’s bound to be plenty of mischief for her heroes to find themselves in, and plenty of romance, too!

Currently residing in Central Florida, Charlie is at the beck and call of a rascally Doxiepoo bent on world domination. When she isn’t writing, she can usually be found reading, drawing, or watching movies. She runs on coffee, thrives on music, and loves to hear from readers.

Website | THIRDS HQ | Facebook | Facebook Author Page | Twitter | Pinterest | Tumblr | Instagram | Newsletter | DSP |Amazon |Goodreads

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For a chance to win Hell & High Water, Mending Noel, Beware of Geeks Bearing Gifts, tell us what you think of this amazing artwork by Charlie.

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Only Forever by Scotty Cade: Exclusive Guest Post, Excerpt and Giveaway

51dlko36dolsynopsisMaster Captain Theodore Gourdin has always loved the ocean. But his devotion to maritime life left little possibility for a long-term relationship. After two failed marriages and numerous unsuccessful relationships, Theo gave up on finding the person who completed him and decided the sea was his soul mate. When offered the opportunity to captain the newly launched megayacht Eternity, Theo jumped at the chance. With Eternity’s maiden voyage looming, Theo focused all his energies on hiring his crew and readying his ship. The last thing he expected was to finally lose his heart in the process.

After twelve years at sea, First Officer Heath Rawlins was restless and in need of a change. A gay seaman’s life could be a lonely one, but to Heath the positives far outweighed the negatives. With excellent recommendations and an impressive résumé, he was quickly offered a position on the private megayacht Eternity. Heath’s heart skipped several beats when he finally met the ship’s captain. He was handsome and charming. And… familiar? Had they met somewhere before? Highly unlikely. But as smitten as Heath was with the gorgeous captain, everything inside him screamed, Abandon ship! Rough seas ahead!

Guest Post

scotty-cade-tuxedoHi Kids,

Scotty Cade here. First off I’d like to thank Denise and everyone over at Two Chicks Obsessed with Books and Eye Candy for giving me the opportunity chat with you readers today. You guys have been a great support and that means the world to me. Thank You!

Today I’m here to tell you a little about my latest novel Only Forever, which released from Dreamspinner Press on November 30th and how it came to be.

The inspiration for the book came from a very old song of the same name. I first heard the song last winter while curled up on the couch watching an old black-and-white movie and after the first line, I sat up and listened intently. For some reason the song tugged at my heartstrings and I when it was over I immediately Googled every version and listened to each one. It has been covered by many people, such as Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, and Dean Martin, to name a few. But my favorite version is by Kay Starr. While listening to her version I could hear the nostalgia. To me, it sounded like something that might be playing as a soldier was going off to war and saying goodbye to a lover. Here’s a link if you care to take a listen.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aOzokJG0jNA. The song appealed so deeply to the romantic in me, I just had to write about it. The lyrics are very simple but very powerful if you allow yourself to really listen to them.

I know most of you have never heard “Only Forever,” but it’s about a love so strong, it will span many lifetimes. I wish I could use the actual lyrics, but because of copyright laws, I cannot. And trust me when I say I contacted the owner many times to license at least one line of the song, but no one ever responded. So in the end, I rewrote just the last line, which is used in the book, and I hope I did it justice.

So now you know the inspiration. But I must warn you, the book happens over a two-week span of time. A lot can happen in two weeks, and in these particular two weeks, two lives are changed forever. I hope the romantics will love the premise, but I’m not naive enough to think everyone will feel the same way. I know I’m gonna get my share of readers calling “instalove” and how absolutely absurd and unrealistic the premise is. And I’m being proven right. As of now, the book is getting mostly four and five star reviews. A couple of three star and one two star review is there as well as I predicted. Damn that “Instalove.” But is it really “instalove” when two souls have reconnected in another lifetime? Two souls who have been unknowingly searching for the other all of their lives? Please, just read it with an open mind and allow yourself to imagine the “what ifs.”

Before I give you the excerpt, let me ask you one question. Have you ever met someone for the first time, had a feeling that maybe you’ve met them before, or even felt like you’ve known them forever? That’s what this story is about. Maybe you have met them before—in another place or time.

If you’ve had an experience like I’ve mentioned above, tell me about in the form of a comment. If you do, you will be entered into a drawing to win any book from my backlist.

Enjoy!

Scotty

 

excerpt

First Officer G. Heath Rawlins sat at his desk and stared at the screen of his laptop. For the third time, he read the e-mail he’d crafted. Comfortable everything was in order, he clicked the Send button, sighed, and closed his laptop. Heath folded his arms over his chest, looked around his dimly lit officer’s cabin, and leaned back in his chair. Now all there is to do is wait.

He’d spent the last couple of hours tailoring a handful of e-mails for specific jobs and attaching his résumé and recommendation letters to the megayacht captains who were actively searching for an experienced first officer—or chief mate, as they were often called. Now it was up to the universe to decide what happened next.

The merchant ship Urania Dee had been Heath’s home for the last six years. But the last year had been a restless one. Although he’d struggled with the decision, Heath had resigned his position as first officer thirty days prior, much to the chagrin of the captain. By first light tomorrow morning, the Urania Dee would be docked at the Port of Savannah, Georgia, and Heath’s life aboard a merchant ship would be over. And to say he had mixed emotions about it was certainly an understatement.

Heath kept telling himself he just needed a change. But the problem was he didn’t know what that change should be. In the end he’d decided that maybe the private sector would be a good place to start. Traveling to tropical islands and pleasure ports aboard a megayacht instead of commercial seaports on a merchant ship might do the trick. Experiencing sea life from another perspective—that was always good. Right?

Checking out the suitcases and the cardboard boxes neatly lining the walls of his cabin, Heath realized that pretty much everything he owned was staring back at him. He’d lost his mother, father, and younger sister to carbon monoxide poisoning in his family home two months after he’d left for Texas A&M Maritime Academy in Galveston, and he’d been on his own ever since.

Over the years the captain and crew of the Urania Dee had become his family of sorts, and it was going to be extremely hard to say good-bye. But if he were being totally honest, he was also looking forward to the change. A new adventure. Something to reignite his passion for the sea.

Heath turned his gaze to a small porthole above his desk and stared out into the dark skies over the Atlantic Ocean. Tomorrow morning you start a new life.

Through the round glass, Heath saw the reflection of a frame hanging on the opposite wall. He stood, walked across the cabin, and gazed at his diploma from the maritime academy. He thought back to the sunny day of his graduation ceremony. A lump formed in his throat, and he quickly swallowed it down. How bittersweet it had been without his family there to share in his joy.

In an attempt to escape the loneliness that had followed his family’s demise, the day after graduation, Heath joined the crew of a commercial freighter for a three-year contract, and then another when that ended, before finally joining the Urania. He’d been at sea for twelve years straight, which had given him plenty of time to climb up in the ranks and advance his career, but hadn’t afforded him the luxury of putting down roots anywhere.

At the time of his parents’ death, Heath had inherited everything, but he’d never spent a single dime of their hard-earned money. After working twelve years with no real expenses, he had his own money. And quite a lot of it. In fact, his savings were quite impressive.

At one time he’d thought about buying a home, but there was just never the need. The sea had always been his home. But now with no job and no place to live, the need might finally be presenting itself.

Even if I want to put down roots—where? He was never in one place longer than the time required to unload and reload his ship. But at thirty-three years old, he was starting to feel a little differently. He couldn’t imagine not being at sea. Some unknown force had drawn him to it even as a child, and the sea had been his solace. It was where he was most comfortable, where he turned as he grieved the loss of his family. But at the same time, the sea had represented a longing of sorts. It was always as if he were searching for something there. Something just beyond his reach.

Lately he was struggling with a new and unfamiliar restlessness. It had started slowly, as impatience, but over the last year, it had turned into a desperation of sorts. An odd feeling like something else was out there for him, just beyond the horizon. Searching for him. Waiting for him. A yearning for something. But for what? Roots? A relationship? Or maybe even a family?

For some reason he’d never allowed himself to get too close to any one person, so he’d been sort of a loner all his adult life. It could have been the experience of losing his family and the fear of history repeating itself that kept him from ever allowing himself to love. Or it could have been something else. Heath had never been sure. Either way, he’d never had any real interest. A one-night stand here and there was all he ever allowed himself. So these feelings, these emotions, were perplexing at the very least.

Heath lifted the diploma from the wall, carefully wrapped it in Bubble Wrap, and placed it in the only remaining open box. He’d have time to decide what do to or where to go while he waited out the job search. In the meantime, the extended-stay hotel in downtown Savannah would be his new home. If no position presented itself within a couple of weeks, he would decide how to proceed with the rest of his life.

Taping the box shut, Heath added it to the stack, stepped back, and glanced around. That’s the last of it, I guess!

The ding of his computer signaled a new e-mail. He walked over to his desk and opened his laptop. The e-mail was from Master Captain Theodore Gourdin. Could it be? He pulled up his chair, took a seat, and opened the e-mail.

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scotty cademeet the author

Scotty Cade left Corporate America and twenty-five years of Marketing and Public Relations behind to buy an Inn & Restaurant on the island of Martha’s Vineyard with his partner of over twenty years. He started writing stories as soon as he could read, but just five years ago for publication.  When not at the Inn, you can find him on the bow of his boat writing gay romance novels with his Shetland sheepdog Mavis at his side.  Being from the south and a lover of commitment and fidelity, all of his characters find their way to long healthy relationships, however long it takes them to get there.  He believes that in the end, the boy should always get the boy.

 

Here’s where you can find me:

 

www.scottycade.com

www.facebook.com/scotty.cade

www.twitter.com/ScottyCade

scottycade@gmail.com

scotty@scottycade.com

 

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Wrapped Together by Annabeth Albert: Release Day Review and Blitz, Excerpt and Giveaway

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Title: Wrapped Together

Series: Portland Heat #5

Author: Annabeth Albert

Publisher: Kensington Books

Release Date: December 6

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 35,000 words

Genre: Romance, contemporary, friends-to-lovers

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synopsis

In the bustling restaurants, shops, and cafés of Portland, Oregon, things really heat up for the hard-working men behind the scenes when the holidays come into town . . .

For a stationery store owner, the holidays are great for business. But for Hollis Alcott, Christmas reminds him of the tragic events of three years past, and the last thing he wants to do is take part in Portland’s over-abundance of festive cheer. But Sawyer Murphy, a hunky gift shop owner whose brother is married to Hollis’s sister, has made it his mission to pluck Hollis out of his holiday blues. And his plan is beginning to work. Wrapped in the warm glow of newfound passion, the former business rivals hit up Portland’s finest holiday traditions—and Hollis’s icy attitude begins to melt like snowflakes on his tongue. But he isn’t sure he can trust anyone with the only gift he has—his heart—without breaking it like an antique ornament. Unless he can find the courage to take a leap with the one lover he never expected . . .

excerpt

This excerpt comes from chapter one of WRAPPED TOGETHER, when Hollis and his long-time frenemy Sawyer engage in a friendly bet sure to put their holiday cheer to the test!

****

I took a sip of my now tepid, almost-gone tea. Ugh. The good barista was on duty, the one who went with Ev from the knitting store and who always happily made my tea with the same care he did the fancy coffee drinks. I left the group, happy to have the excuse of needing a refill, but as I stood in line, Mary Anne joined me.

“Hollis Alcott, we almost never see you at these things!” Her voice seemed to ring out above the din. “Will you be participating in the contest this year?”

“I doubt it. My fall display is already set.” I tried not to sound too dour—she always had the best houseplants and had custom-ordered the rare fern I’d wanted.

“Ah, well, that’s too bad. You let me know if you change your mind. I’d be happy to lend you some poinsettias or other decor. I know you could do a splendid, tasteful window.”

It was my turn to order, so I gave her a smile as a reply before handing Brady my stainless-steel tumbler for tea and ordering a scone to go. I had to wait down at the other end of the bar for my order, and as I was waiting, Sawyer came loping over, a smile on his boyish face. His wide shoulders stretched the hoodie in distracting ways.

“Hollis! Did I hear you say you’re not decorating?”

“You did.”

He frowned. “I know how much you hate the holidays, but I bet you’d get an uptick in sales if you decorated. I heard Mary Anne offer to help. I could, too. I’ve got gobs of lights.”

“Thank you but no.” Truth be told, I could use the increase in sales, but it wasn’t enough of a motivator to get me ready for the onslaught of red and green.

Sawyer’s head tilted, considering. Oh no. I knew that look too well. A Sawyer who was scheming was downright dangerous. “We should bet, you and I.”

“No,” I said firmly. I stepped away from the coffee bar to let Mary Anne and others wait for their orders, but Sawyer kept step with me, effectively pinning me in between two tables on my path to the door. I sighed and repeated my objection. “No. The last time we bet, I believe you cracked a wrist.”

Sawyer waved a hand, dismissing my concern. “We were fifteen. We’ve had other bets since then.”

We had, but there was one in particular I was determined not to remember right at that moment. This was the peril of having known someone for almost two decades. “How precisely would one even bet on this?”

I let my inner musings escape before I could rein them in, and Sawyer smiled. He knew he had me. Whatever nervousness and shyness captured my tongue around large groups did not, unfortunately, extend to Sawyer. “Well, I was thinking whichever of us makes it into the top three is the winner of our bet, and then the loser has to do whatever the winner wants for an evening.”

Oh, I did not like this. “Anything?”

“That wasn’t a no.” Sawyer’s grin showed the sort of charm that made him so darn popular. “And I wasn’t thinking of something kinky. Trust me here, Hols.”

“Don’t call me that.” And I most certainly did not trust him. I was pretty sure the always-affable Sawyer didn’t have a kinky bone in his body, but that didn’t mean he wasn’t up to something. “But I could get you to do any task of my choosing?”

See, the thing about me that Sawyer knew was that I have a very hard time resisting a bet. Always have, hence the aforementioned bet freshman year of high school about jumping over auditorium seats during drama class. I’m also notoriously cheap. And as it turned out, I did have a job for him.

He nodded. “Anything.”

“I have a bathroom I want painted at my store. Including the trim.”

Sawyer, to his credit, didn’t look remotely pained. “That’s fine. I’m good at painting.”

“And you? What would you want?” I had no idea why I was asking. I certainly wasn’t planning on agreeing to this ridiculous plan.

“A surprise.” He winked at me.

“I don’t like those.”

“I know. Which is why you need one. But if it makes you feel better, I’ll specify no sex or nudity involved.” Sawyer had mercifully dropped his deep, clear voice to softer tones. I still bristled at the thought of anyone overhearing this.

“Or humiliation, public or otherwise.”

“Oh, Hollis, you know me better than that.” He held up his hands. They were big, capable hands, and I had to blink to get my eyes to look away. “Now, come on. I dare you. Bet me.”

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jennifer
Sawyer and Hollis…. Let’s chat about them, shall we?

 
Okay, Hollis, I wasn’t so sure about in the beginning. He’s a real “glass-half-empty” kind of guy. It was kind of annoying in the beginning because I just wanted to be like… NOT EVERYTHING IS TERRIBLE! Knock it off! Lol but, he great on me, once he started opening up a bit more and not taking everything so seriously.

 
Sawyer was his exact opposite, he’s more of a glass-half-full, kind of guy and he just wanted to break Hollis out of that tough nut that was so hard to crack. However, to get Hollis out of his “Bah-Humbug” type tude for the holiday’s, Sawyer drums up a bet that ends up getting pretty steamy when it comes to collecting on it. The kicker? Even though Hollis never recovered from losing important people in his life, he seems to keep his feelings all wrapped up tight, he’s been in love with Sawyer.

 
Doesn’t that just suck? Unrequited love or not so unrequited in this case, but secret love? Sigh…. I found myself rootin for them the whole time. Especially once we get to see a more vulnerable side to Hollis. I will say that, this is the first book of this series that I’ve read and I can’t believe I started out with the 5th one; it didn’t take anything away from anything though, I wasn’t lost or confused, so I’m assuming it’s okay to be a standalone.
And even more happy to report that there is no cliffhanger and it has a cute little HEA.

 
I really enjoyed this one and it’s right on time for the holidays.

 
I was given a copy of this book by the publisher for the promise of an honest and unbiased review. Anyone who knows me or reads my reviews, knows that all my reviews/rant are honest and unbiased, so take my word for it; if you want a little feel good, Christmassy read; don’t pass this one up.
If you’ve read anything by this author, you know you won’t be disappointed.

 
4 pieces of eye candy for me

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Wrapped Together Teaser 1

meet the author

Annabeth Albert grew up sneaking romance novels under the bed covers. Now, she devours all subgenres of romance out in the open— no flashlights required! When she’s not adding to her keeper shelf, she’s a multi-published Pacific Northwest romance writer.

Emotionally complex, sexy, and funny stories are her favorites both to read and to write. Annabeth loves finding happy endings for a variety of pairings and is a passionate gay rights supporter. In between searching out dark heroes to redeem, she works a rewarding day job and wrangles two children.
Represented by Saritza Hernandez of the Corvisiero Literary Agency

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Ranger Station Haven by S.A. Stovall: Quick Review

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Federal park ranger Carter Williams dislikes kids almost as much as he dislikes Christmas. He chose his career to escape human contact, not embrace it. And no matter how much his husband Owen tries to sway his opinion, Carter is a grump who would rather ignore the holiday. Owen’s efforts are put on hold, however, when they get a call about six missing foster kids lost in the park.

Christmas Eve takes a turn for the worse when Owen injures himself rescuing the children. Stranded in a snowstorm until dawn, Carter has to keep Owen awake and healthy while simultaneously watching six runaways. What he thinks is a nightmare come to life is actually a beautiful gift in disguise—the kids transform the ranger station into a Christmas wonderland. And before it’s all said and done, they might transform Carter’s heart as well—if he can keep his bah humbug attitude in check.

A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2016 Advent Calendar “Bah Humbug.”

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deanna reviewWhat a cute little holiday short story.

Federal park rangers Carter and Owen are spending the holiday at the ranger station. Owen loves everything Christmas, while Carter is the biggest Scrooge there is. He doesn’t like kids, decorations or cheer of any kind. They only thing he loves is Owen.

When the two get a call about 6 foster children than ran away right before a big storm, Carter knows their holiday just got interesting. Owen gets hurt rescuing two of the girls and Carter and the kids need to find a way to keep Owen awake and comfortable to ride out the storm.

Watching the kids and Owen together has Carter thinking about things he’s never wished for before. Maybe miracles really do happen.

Entertaining story that reminds you that Christmas isn’t all about the presents under the tree, it’s about family and friends and spreading joy any way you can.

3 pieces of eye candy

3-pieces of eye candy

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Dirk Tales, The Book by Dan Skinner: Author Guest Post, Blog Tour, Review and Giveaway

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synopsis

Dirk Tales, The Book includes previously released Misadventures of Doc & Dirk volumes, available now for the first time in paperback, an additional episode, and more!

He’s a middle-aged, newly single, gay photographer starting life over. Along comes a freshly out nineteen-year-old, irreverent free spirit who wants to be his apprentice. Mismatched by more than a generation, what could possibly go wrong? Everything! And it’s AWESOME!

Dirk’s First Time: Every gay boy has his first experience. Usually it’s a memorable, exciting personal time of discovery and intimacy between two young people. But two comic book characters? Is it horseplay or Cosplay?

The Boy At The Gym: First impressions can be deceiving. Sometimes that boy in the baggy clothes, talking to himself in the gym isn’t as shy as he appears. Sometimes there’s a deviant imp lurking beneath that freckled mask of innocence. Beware the Trojan Nerd!

A “Muse” ing: Most authors struggle with the voices or “muses” in their head when writing. Tuning that voice out becomes a little more challenging when your muse is a real-life nineteen-year-old who inhales espresso and turns out ideas at light speed. Danger Will Robinson!

Daddy and The Rent Boy: In sales, advertising is half the battle. That can become hazardous when you’re in the company of an irreverent walking billboard.

Sex Dolls and Bad Dates: We’ve all had one of those dates where we think we’ve bitten off more than we can chew. The trick to know is Bite or Flight?

Dirk’s Quirks: Everyone has idiosyncrasies; that’s what makes us interesting. If you’re lucky, you get a heaping helping and can share them with everyone.

Make it Naked: Teaching a nineteen-year-old walking hormone photography apprentice to shoot nudes is more than an adventure… It’s a human obstacle course.

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Guest Post

Don’t Fight Magic – Dirk Tales Blog Tour Post

I’m not a superstitious person. I’m not even a religious person. I’ve always been a realist, a pragmatist. I sincerely subscribe to the assertion that hard work equals success, to never half-ass anything you do and you can attain your goals.

I’m also a person who sets goals… firmly and works toward them fiercely because, like everyone else, I would like to attain a modicum of success. Not fame… but fortune wouldn’t hurt. I hate bills as much as the next guy and struggling to pay them is a bitch.

A few years ago, I felt like I was almost there. And then events beyond my control ripped the rug out from under me. I had to start all over again, but what made it more difficult was that I was no longer a youngster with grand ideals. I was older and the idea of having been pushed from nearly the top floor back to the basement was a bit… well… traumatic.

I had to re-evaluate, and what I saw in myself actually surprised me. As close as I’d been to being a success before the fall, I had become someone I didn’t recognize or much like. I’d grown tired and lazy and out of shape. I was going through the motions with my job as a photographer and putting off the things I’d always wanted to write as an author. The close proximity of financial success had made me into someone less than who I wanted to be. And strangely, I didn’t see that until the fall to the bottom.

Oddly, at this desperate point, when I hated looking in the mirror the most, I’d been hired to photograph a personal trainer and his boyfriend. He was a Buddhist and had a calming influence on me, but also an inspirational one and we became friends in that dire period of my life. Without my asking, he took me under his wing and said, “Let’s get you back in shape! Let’s get you fired up again. Let’s see what’s really left burning inside you.”

He started me out walking and then running and I became addicted to it. As we ran, we talked about the stories I’d always wanted to write and he encouraged me, and before I knew it my first full-length novel, Memorizing You was written and lo and behold, I was in shape again. I could look in the mirror without feeling that angst of self-loathing. Something… well… magical had happened. From the midst of pain and trauma… I had self-recreated.

As I moved on with my life the next two years, more books came spilling out of me. The Bible Boys, the book I’d always wanted to write about my painful childhood being raised in a repressed Evangelical household and discovering I was one of their “abominable” gays. The Art of the Heart, a gay fairy tale paying tribute to period films like The Last Picture Show. The Price of Dick, a cautionary tale to help all of us avoid making poor romantic choices. I had become wildly productive again.

So I tackled the biggest project I’d ever wanted to do. A dystopian science fiction novel, Xperiment. A projection of our future if crazy people took over the country and how a scientist, using evolution, could produce a new species, which would save the planet. The undertaking was daunting and the book would end up being over 700 pages of an intense rollercoaster thrill ride. It consumed me, and almost all my time. I didn’t think I had room for much more of anything.

In the middle of this, I ran into a teenager named Dirk who wanted to apprentice photography with me. I didn’t want to do it. I didn’t have time to deal with the quirks and annoyances of a young person when I had so many things I wanted to accomplish… I didn’t think it was worth the bother.

I look at those thoughts I had when I first met him and smile, because by fluke of nature – or magic – this “annoying” young man… this apprentice who became a friend and then a muse, did something remarkable. He “magically” changed my life again. He touched me, and my friends who said, “Dan, write about yourselves… we’d love to read it.” And again, I said, “No… No… No,” until my arm was bent by my editor, Dirk’s mother, Dirk himself, and all of you… and here we are.

The first book of our “Misadventures” hit the number one bestseller list in a matter of hours and I sat there… stunned… because this realist had just learned to believe in….

Magic! You are all a part of this. That’s what makes it so wonderful!

deanna reviewI really enjoyed this installment in the series. This one digs a little deeper, there are fewer laugh out loud moments but that doesn’t make it any less enjoyable.

In this installment Dan and Dirk each regale us with a story of someone they met that was super hot and really weird at the same time. The stories are witty and entertaining.

This is a super short read, but well worth the price of admission.

4 pieces of eye candy

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meet the author

I’m a single gay man living in the Midwest. I write because I consider myself to be an old-fashioned storyteller. I’ve been a photographer for half my life, specializing in male romance cover art. My dream is to one day live on the beach with my dog and continue to tell tales that inspire and entertain.

Social Media Links

That Darn Muse Blog

Facebook

Twitter

Tumbler (NSFW)

Deviant Art

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When the Dust Settles by Mary Calmes: Pre-Release Day Review

when-the-dust-settlessynopsis

Glenn Holloway’s predictable life ended the day he confessed his homosexuality to his family. As if that wasn’t enough, he then poured salt in the wound by walking away from the ranch he’d grown up on, to open the restaurant he’d always dreamed of. Without support from his father and brother, and too proud to accept assistance from anyone else, he had to start from scratch. Over time things worked out: Glenn successfully built a strong business, created a new home, and forged a life he could be proud of.

Despite his success, his estrangement from the Holloways is still a sore spot he can’t quite heal, and a called-in favor becomes Glenn’s worst nightmare. Caught in a promise, Glenn returns to his roots to deal with his half brother, Rand Holloway, and comes face-to-face with Mac Gentry, a man far too appealing for Glenn’s own good. It could all lead to disaster—disaster for his tenuous reconnection with his family and for the desire he didn’t know he held in his heart.

Title: When the Dust Settles
Series: Timing: Book Three
Author: Mary Calmes
Release Date: November 16, 2016
Category: Western
Pages: 107

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Dreamspinner Press

 

jennifer
Ooooh, Mary Calmes… do you ever write anything less than perfect, literary adventures? If so, I’ve yet to read it….. First, let me say that I was given a copy of this book by the publisher in promise to leave an honest review; but those of you who follow my reviews, know that there is no other way I can review. I tend to be a bit ranty at times…. It’s just how it is…. Also, take note that there may be some mild spoilers…

In this one we have Glenn. It took me a minute to remember him from Stef and Rand’s book, but remember him I did. I also felt incredibly sad for him; he didn’t fit in with his family now that the big secret came out in the last book, (which I won’t spoil because if you haven’t read the last two… .pause this review and go read them! You need a little Stef and Rand in your life… everyone does!)
Although I could see where he was coming from and the notice in their relationships were different I did feel like he was a bit guarded and on edge; he was defensive and like Zach said, he was a bit sensitive. He took things to heart, thought they were insulting when the other guys didn’t mean it that way at all….Like I said, I felt for him, I could see where he was coming from but I just wanted to shake them all and make them COMMUNICATE lol it could have gotten the confusion and misinterpretations handled.

Then we had Mac; remember him? Rough around the edges and tough as nails? Well, Glenn didn’t know he was gay but sure enough, he’s not only gay but he’s had a thing for Glenn for a good long time; but it was almost impossible to get close to Glenn until Stef called in a favor and had Glenn going out on a cattle job with the group he’d fought so hard to keep a distance from.

It was hot, how Mac made Glenn change his perception on what it meant to be gay and the stereotypes he’d fit into. I liked that once Glenn let his guard down and started letting people in, we got back to the characters we know and love, like Rand and Mac.
Shout out to Richard Jenner in this one too; I love little crossover cameo’s like that….

Overall, this is your typical Mary Calmes goodness. You have hot possessive, alpha men; down and dirty sex and a little bit of sweet that’s just enough to make these guys the perfect husbands.
My only complaint is that I wish it was longer; but it could have been 600 pages and I’d felt the same way. Loved it!
I can’t wait to read more about these two and well….. all of the guys at The Red Diamond.

Forever a fan! 5 pieces of eye candy!

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

Honeymoon Their Way by Morticia Knight: Release Day Review

honeymoonsynopsis

Chad has pined for Raudel since high school, but he’s been avoiding him ever since Raudel caught him in an excruciatingly embarrassing moment. So when Chad’s sister invites Raudel to join them for her weeklong prewedding celebration at Lake Tahoe, Chad is horrified. He brainstorms his escape, until reality crashes down and he discovers he’s bunking with Raudel in the last available bedroom at the lakeside retreat.

Thrown together by the bridal party from hell, Chad and Raudel unite and attempt to survive Chad’s bridezilla sister, a crazy grandmother, an overbearing mother, and the search for the perfect chocolate fountain. Despite the little time they have together, they reconnect when unexpected discoveries come to light. Love may find a way amid the nuptial chaos, but it’s unlikely to be exactly the way they expect.

States of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the United States.

Title: Honeymoon Their Way
Author: Morticia Knight
Release Date: November 2, 2016
Category: Contemporary, States of Love
Pages: 113

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deanna review

I love stories like this! Your high school crush comes back to town after a few years and the sparks fly.

Chad has had a crush on Raudel for years, YEARS!!! Raudel is best friends with Chad’s sister Lindsey. Lindsey is getting married and driving her whole family crazy. The only bright spot for Chad is that Raudel can’t make it to the wedding. After their last disastrous encounter Chad would rather die that have to face Raudel again.

Raudel has rearranged his schedule to be able to make it to Lindsey’s wedding and on the top of his list is working things out with Chad. Raudel hasn’t been able get him out of his head, even through they haven’t seen each other in 7 years.

When Lindsey drops the bomb that Raudel will be coming to the wedding, Chad is already working on an escape plan. There is no way he can be trapped under the same roof with Raudel for two weeks and not die of unrequited love. Raudel heads to Lake Tahoe with one goal in mind, making Chad his.

Super cute, light and easy read. It’s really entertaining and I laughed quite a bit.

4 pieces of eye candy

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It Was Always You, Charity Anthology: Release Day Blitz

Social Butterfly PR is proud to present the release of It Was Always You.

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Title: It Was Always You

Cardeno C, Ella Frank, Riley Hart, Lane Hayes, Christina Lee, Felice Stevens, N.R. Walker

Release Date: October 4th,

Genre: MM Contemporary Romance

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synopsis

What do you do when everything you’ve ever wanted was right there all along?

Join these bestselling M/M authors as they bring you tales of love, lust, and laughter…between friends.

Featuring seven brand new novellas, each answering the question—what happens when the one meant for you was right there all along?

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The book will be available for a LIMITED TIME only!

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*** All money and proceeds for this anthology will be donated to the charity One.n.Ten ***

Please join us, if you are able, in helping these LGBT youth by buying back to school and camp items on One-n-Ten’s Amazon wish lists and sharing this link –> http://amzn.to/2dplJja

Connect with the authors:

Cardeno C.:
Facebook / Website

Ella Frank:
Facebook / Website

Riley Hart:
Facebook / Website

Lane Hayes:
Facebook / Website

Christina Lee:
Facebook / Website

Felice Stevens:
Facebook / Website

N.R. Walker:
Facebook / Website

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One Pulse Charity Anthology: Guest Post and Excerpt by Bree Cariad

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Guest Post

Hi, Two Chicks Obsessed with Books and Eye Candy *waves*

You probably haven’t heard the name Bree Cariad before. I’m the inspirational side of A Thia Thing.

As Bree, I’ve been focused on writing m/f as that is where most inspirational books reside, but when I saw the open submission from Dreamspinner Press about this wonderful anthology where the proceeds go to help those in the LGBT community in Florida who were affected by the Orlando shooting, the need to help struck and the hugest plot bunny attacked my brain and I saw a way to bring out an m/m inspirational series.

The first draft of Everyday Miracles, the story featured in the One Pulse Anthology, poured out of me in about two hours. As if the story had to be told and I couldn’t move until it was out of my head.

Certain characters are overwhelming to an author, and Reverend Jonathon Neiland is one. He has so many levels to him and has this incredibly strong need to help and this belief that right will always overcome prejudice as long as he leans on the Lord. Unfortunately, that belief sometimes overshadows the darker side of the world and how to make his way through it. Thus enters the other hero in Everyday Miracles – Court Brecker.

Brecker lives in the world, knows how to make things work, though he is admittedly woefully unaware of the issues in LGBT community. However, when he sees something that needs to be done, he ignores what others say, goes with his gut, and makes things happen. And it takes only a couple hours for him to know that their community needs what Reverend Neiland is asking for: a shelter for homeless LGBT youth.

Unlike my books as a whole, this short story is not a romance. It is, however, a case of Love Conquers All, which incidentally is the name of my new series. Everyday Miracles is a prequel to the first novel in the series, of which the 1st draft is complete and just under 80,000 words. Light in the Dark Night is a romance and I plan to release it next year.

I hope to find more inspirational m/m romances. While I have a wide classification of genres I read *and write*, I love M/M Romance and would love to see more inspirational stories out there.

Now you’re probably wondering about that A Thia Thing reference from above, aren’t you? *grins* I’m an author who writes in many genres. And some of them are different enough that I published them under different pseudonyms. But a year ago I started outing that I was all those names and a few weeks ago I launched a main website ~A Thia Thing~ which aggregates info from all my sites.

I’m me – You remember that old song “I’m a little bit country. I’m a little bit rock and roll”? Well, that basically covers me. I’m not a one concept person.

Under the name Bree Cariad, I write inspirational, sweet, and clean romance.

Under the name Thianna Durston, I write M/M Romance with a hint of spice. (Some call it erotic romance but I don’t because my stories are based on the characters and the romance. The sensual stuff is just added spice.)

Under the name Thianna D., I write m/f romance with a hint of spice.

And under the name Cynthia Kimball, I write a wide range of subjects: non-fiction, poetry, young adult, romance, and sci-fi/fantasy. If you look deep, you’ll notice there is one thing that ties them all together: Metaphysics.

While I’m most prolific under the names Thianna Durston and Thianna D. – thus A Thia Thing – sometimes the need to write inspirational romance or metaphysics-based fiction/poetry overtakes me and I love it when that happens. I’m a very eclectic non-normative individual and love differences and the full spectrum that is life.

I thought I’d leave you with a snippet from Everyday Miracles—Reverend Jonathon Neiland has been working for four years to open an LGBT youth shelter, but the city council has shut him down every time. That the new leader of the council, Court Brecker, is on his side seems nothing short of a miracle.

excerpt

onepulse_cover_dspJonathon Neiland paced slowly back and forth in front of the city council doors. His hands shook slightly, a folder gripped firmly between them. They weren’t shaking from fear.

“Please, Lord,” he murmured under his breath. “Please fill me with your grace. I’m fighting the anger I feel toward the men inside that room. For years, they have blocked each move I’ve made to finish this center. You helped me find a way around each one. But we’re at the finish line. I need their okay to finish the home and make it an official part of the trust. All I need is a three-to-two vote in our favor.”

For four years, the council had pushed back his request. They needed more information or they required proof of something or…. But they couldn’t push back any more. He did everything they asked—even when it was redundant and nothing more than busy work—and the place was ready. Once he had their approval, they could open the doors officially as a youth shelter which would allow him to widen his reach for more money and more options for his kids.

“And my anger isn’t helping,” he admitted in a rush, feeling tears prick his eyes. “This isn’t for me. Please, Lord. Please. This is for your sons and daughters who have been kicked out of their homes just because of who they are. Please help this go through.”

The fact was, Jonathon had put all his money and that of his friends into the venture. The sheer number of homeless LGBT teens in the county was staggering, and every month it went up. Each month he saw that the house he’d renovated and made ready would not be big enough if they were lucky enough to round them all up. But he couldn’t afford any more. If the five men beyond that door would give their official stamp on it being a youth shelter, they could go forward.

The house was signed off on as far as the inspectors were concerned. All they needed were beds and food. Thirty-four youth were living in tents he had erected on the property. It wasn’t much, and they were tightly smooshed with six of them in each four-man tent, but he saw their gratitude daily for not having to live on the streets. For not having to beg or steal to survive. For not having to prostitute themselves to stay alive.

“And now all I need is their okay,” he murmured frantically, his fingers tightening on the folder. So close. So close to giving those kids a home, a home they would never be kicked out of because of who they were.

 

I hope you’ll enjoy this amazing anthology.

 

One Pulse

Stories drive life. Sometimes life is good; sometimes life is bad. But it’s the nature of our community that in the aftermath of an act of hatred, we respond with love. Because darkness cannot exist in the presence of light. Cruelty cannot stand against compassion. Negativity will never overcome hope.

To show our support for those affected by the Orlando shooting, our authors, editors, artists, and staff have volunteered their talents to create this anthology. All proceeds will be donated to LGBT organizations in central Florida. Join us as we celebrate the triumph of love over every obstacle.

Jon Keys—A Single Night, Alicia Nordwell—About Best Friends & Boyfriends, Mickie B. Ashling—Adíos, M.T. Aspen —Asking for Trouble, M.A. Church—Chasing Tyme, Caitlin Ricci—Coming Out, George Seaton—Cucurrucucú, Jayce Ellis—Dance, Bree Cariad—Everyday Miracles, Chrissy Munder—Everything I Need, Ellis Carrington—For the First Time, Felicitas Ivey—Get Me to the Church Town Hall on Time, John Amory—Happy Pride, Grace R. Duncan—Hope, John Goode—Let Them Eat Cake, J. C. Long—Magical Boys Just Wanna Have Fun, Elizabeth Noble—Magicicada, Renee Stevens—More Than a Pact, Troy Storm—One Big Happy… Bunch, Connie Bailey—One Heart at a Time, Dev Bentham—Perfection, Andrea Speed—Pride, Laura Lascarso—Pull, Lila Leigh Hunter—Raffled Kiss, Emery C. Walters—Ranch Dressing, C.C. Dado—Read My Lips, Sera Kane—The Stag’s Bane, KC Burn—The Tithe, Vicktor Alexander—The Wooing of the Marqués de Sierra de Outes, Edmond Manning—They Danced

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meet the author

twitter_avatar_breeBree is a best-selling inspirational romance author who is proud to have a story in Dreamspinner Press’s One Pulse anthology. Xe identifies as non-normative, multi-gender, and believes in love in all forms and that happily ever afters come in many ways. Whether in a romance or a non-romance, in xys stories, love conquers all. Bree is completely not sussed about pronouns. Call xem she, xe, or they. A pronoun is just a label after all. And labels only have the importance a person puts on them.

Find Bree online:

Website – http://www.breecariad.com/

A Thia Thing – http://www.athiathing.com/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/BreeCariad

Twitter – https://twitter.com/BreeCariad

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

Google+ – https://plus.google.com/+BreeCariad

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