The Way to His Heart by Felice Stevens: Release Day Book Blitz, Excerpt and Giveaway

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THE WAY TO HIS HEART

A LEARNING TO LOVE NOVELETTE

FELICE STEVENS

M/M ROMANCE

02.14.17

the-way-to-his-heart-cover

COVER DESIGN: Felice Stevens

COVER PHOTO: Stock Photo

synopsis

Love is going pretty well for Gideon Marks. He’s living with his boyfriend, Jonah, and his business is thriving beyond his wildest dreams. So why is he still worried he’s not enough, and all he holds dear will slip through his fingers?

Jonah Fine has everything he wants; he’s head over heels in love with Gideon and has finally stepped out from under the shadow of his father. Aware of Gideon’s continuing struggle with dyslexia, Jonah tries to reassure him that they are equal partners in their relationship by making their first Valentine’s Day one to remember.

Ghosts from the past reappear, sending Gideon into a tailspin. He must make the decision to either hold on to the anger he grew up with or forgive the pain he’s carried with him all his life. It will take all of Gideon’s courage, Jonah’s love, and a special surprise for Gideon to finally realize the one person he must learn to love is himself.

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excerpt

“Do you think I do that? Live with regrets until they’ve made me afraid to accept happiness and accept you loving me?”

I knew to choose my words carefully. “I think you’ve been alone so long it’s colored your outlook on life. And considering you’re one of the most fearless men I’ve ever met, I think it’s made you afraid to move forward. Your mother’s death and your father’s treatment of you left emotional scars. You have a hard time letting people in to help you.”
Gideon stood up, and I missed him immediately; I sat up and watched him pace the floor, holding his wine as he formulated his thoughts. My heart broke for him as I watched his inner turmoil break him down until he collapsed in the chair opposite me.
“I love you, Jonah. Thinking about being without you scares the shit out of me. I don’t want to be alone; I can’t anymore. But it’s not the being alone part that scares me. I’ve been alone all my life. It’s the being without you. I don’t want to lose you. Today made me realize how I could easily hurt you and push you away.” He gulped his wine then wiped his mouth on his sleeve and shuddered.
“It won’t happen.” I swung my legs off the sofa to go sit on the coffee table and face him. “I won’t let it.”
“I’m telling you. I’m perfect at ruining a good thing.”
“I’m not a good thing. I’m the best damn thing to ever happen to you.”
“I know that. But I don’t ever want you feeling like you have to stay with me because you feel sorry for me.”
I plucked the glass out of his hand and placed it on the table then stood and pulled him into my arms. “I feel many, many things for you—desire, absolute lust, but most of all, love. I’m with you because I love you, Gideon, and that’s never going to change.”
The pain in his eyes slayed me. When would he realize he deserved to be loved?
A slight smile curved Gideon’s lips. “Absolute lust huh? I think I like the sound of that.”

meet the author

Felice Stevens has always been a romantic at heart. While life is tough, she believes there is a happy ending for everyone. She started reading traditional historical romances as a teenager, then life and law school got in the way. It wasn’t until she picked up a copy of Bertrice Small and became swept away to Queen Elizabeth’s court that her interest in romance novels was renewed.

But somewhere along the way, her reading shifted to stories of men falling in love. Once she picked up her first gay romance, she became so enamored of the character-driven stories and the overwhelming emotion there was no turning back.

Felice lives in New York City with her husband and two children. Her day begins with a lot of caffeine and ends with a glass or two of red wine. Although she practices law, she daydreams of a time when she can sit by a beach and write beautiful stories of men falling in love. Although there is bound to be some angst along the way, a Happily Ever After is always guaranteed.

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS

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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.

Jared’s Family by V.S. Morgan: Release Day Blitz and Excerpt

Series: Sequel to The Gift and Sam’s Temptation (can be read as a standalone)
Author: V.S. Morgan 
Genre: m/m, Interracial, Contemporary, Western 
Cover Designer: Tibbs Design
Release Date: February 14, 2017

synopsis

After witnessing his mother’s death, a once outgoing preschooler is now a quiet shadow of himself. The little boy suffers nightmares and rarely speaks, choosing to use the basic sign language he learned in daycare. Desperate to help his little nephew, Virge Stevens takes a leave of absence from the LAPD to bring Donovan, known as D to Montana for the therapy he needs.

A chance meeting at the library changes Virge and his nephew’s lives forever.

Jared Malone is one of five brothers, right smack damn in the middle. He is the peacemaker and the one who gets shit done. When his younger brother gets sick, Jared fills in reading to small children at the library. There he encounters a tall, dark, and handsome stranger and his cute little boy. Jared is immediately drawn to Virge but is still dealing with the betrayal of an abusive ex.

As the Malone family welcomes them to the ranch and into their lives, Virge’s instant attraction for Jared grows, but the cowboy is fifteen years younger than him. Will he be rejected?

Both men have secrets. Secrets that could destroy the connection between them. Can they overcome the odds and find happiness together?

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excerpt
Another blond cowboy stood in the middle, working with a horse. He had a long rope around its neck, guiding it around the ring at a quick clip. The shirtless cowboy spoke in a firm yet quiet tone. Virge nearly choked on his tongue, eyeing the golden skin and muscles on display. This was their cowboy.

The man whistled, and the horse stopped. He rubbed its shoulder, his back to them, as they reached the ring’s split-rail fence.

 


“Daddy!” D shrieked, and the horse whinnied and shied, bumping into the man as it swung around.

 


“Whoa, easy, Spike,” the cowboy soothed.

 


Virge struggled to prevent his nephew from launching out of his arms while the cowboy calmed the large, skittish animal. He’d never been near a horse and was struck by its size and power, which the other man skillfully controlled. As the cowboy turned, Virge saw a tattoo on his chest. A redwing blackbird with a rainbow-hued ribbon dangling from its beak. His heart beat a little faster seeing the colorful ink. Could he be gay? The cowboy handed the rope to a dark-haired man before pulling on a T-shirt that stretched tight over those muscles. He suppressed a disappointed sigh.

 


Nate chuckled. “You’ve got some explaining to do, bro.”

 


“Hi, I’m Jared. I remember you from the library.” He approached with a rolling gait Virge found extremely sexy and offered his hand after wiping it against his denim-clad thigh. Damn, he was built all over and tall, just an inch or two shorter than his own height.

 


Virge shook his hand, hyperaware of the firm grasp of warm, work-hardened skin. “I’m Virge, and this is Donovan. He goes by D.”

“Glad you could make it out—”

 


“Why did he call Jared daddy?” Nate interrupted.

 


“He calls all men daddy and women mommy. If he especially likes someone, he adds their first names. D doesn’t talk much, so he must like Jared.” What about this cowboy had inspired his nephew to talk?

 

meet the author

V.S. Morgan has lived all over the US but calls Minnesota her home now. Her family includes her hubby, teen son, and a menagerie of pets.

She’s been writing stories since she could hold a pencil and dreams of happily-ever-afters – even for two hot men – because love knows no boundaries. V.S. writes IRMC contemporary, paranormal, and suspense m/m and m/f with heart.

V.S. is a GLBT ally and a lifetime contributor of The Trevor Project.

 

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The Seventh Flower by Ingela Bohm: Guest Post, Release Day Review, includes Giveaway

The Seventh Flower_HIGHRESsynopsisChrister is too old to believe in fairy tales. He’s not the kind of guy to pick the proverbial seven flowers on Midsummer’s Eve so he can dream of who he will marry, and he certainly isn’t the type to fall for someone he’s just met. Especially not a womanizing blogger named Henrik.

Besides, Christer’s previous marriage didn’t end with a happily ever after. Therefore, he has no interest in gifting his heart to someone who lives five hundred miles away and probably isn’t even gay. His family is right: it’s time he grew up and stopped dreaming.

But Midsummer’s Eve in Sweden is a magical night, and Henrik won’t stop flirting. As the midnight sun shines down on the misty woods, maybe there’s room for one last dream.

World of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the globe.

Title: The Seventh Flower
Author: Ingela Bohm
Release Date: February 8, 2017
Category: Contemporary, Holiday
Pages: 76

Guest Post

Seven flowers

My new novella, The Seventh Flower, takes as its premise a local legend which says that if you pick seven flowers on Midsummer’s Eve and put them under your pillow, you’ll dream of the person you will marry. Cute, sure, but where I come from it can be a challenge to actually find seven flowers in June, because it’s so far north. That sounds like I live on the tundra or something, but it’s just that the winter is very long and the seeds don’t have that much time to grow.

That said, there are some beautiful specimens to be found if you know where to look. In The Seventh Flower, Christer and Henrik first stumble on the arctic starflower. It’s a little gem, its perfect petals looking like they’re cut out from white paper. You can walk right past them and never notice, but once you do, they’re everywhere. Like tiny stars, they dot the shadowy forest floor, and they never fail to make me smile.

A more visible flower is the beaked parsley that you can gather in masses if you want. It lines every country road, and I think it would take over the entire world if given half a chance. It’s not very luxurious as flowers go, but in the soft light of the midnight sun, shrouded in mist, it’s not bad at all.

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Then of course there’s the buttercup, which is such a pretty name when you think about it. I used to think they contained actual butter – probably one of my older siblings fooled me, because they always found that an exceptionally rewarding hobby. But when you look at the petals of a buttercup, they glisten in the sun and look almost oily, so it’s not that much of a stretch.

Cranesbill is another classic around here, and together with beaked parsley and buttercups it gives the Swedish summer its typical colors: white, yellow, and purple. Everywhere you look, in ditches and fields and hedgerows, you’ll see the same three colors: white, yellow, and purple. I sometimes think our flag should be those colors instead of yellow and blue.

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In fact the county flower of my region is the heartsease, or wild pansy, which is made up of those exact colors, so that’s really fitting.

The marsh marigold was another favorite of mine when I was little. It was such an unexpected flower where it bloomed at the very edge of the riverbanks, shining golden against the dark water. Compared to the other small and unassuming flowers that we got early in the summer, it had the allure of a rare treasure.

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So that makes six flowers that you can find in the north of Sweden in June, and perhaps Christer and Henrik will never find more than that. Maybe the woods where they celebrate Midsummer’s Eve are just too barren, just too cold to yield that seventh flower. After all, what can you hope for in a man you meet once, as a fluke? Not marriage, surely.

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meet the author

Goodreads photoIngela Bohm lives in an old cinema, tucked away in a northern Swedish forest where she can wander around all day long and dictate her books. She used to dream of being an actor until an actual actor asked, “Do you really need to do it?” That’s when she realized that the only thing she really needed to do was to write. She has since pretended to be a dietician, a teacher, a receptionist and a cook, but only to conceal her real identity.

Her first imaginary friend was called Grabolina and lived in her closet. Nowadays she has too many imaginary friends to count, but at least some of them are out of the closet. Her men may not be conventionally handsome, but they can charm your pants off, and that’s all that matters.

Ingela’s more useless talents include reading tarot cards, killing pot plants and drawing scandalous pictures that no one gets to see. She can’t walk in heels and she’s stopped trying, but she has cycled 12 000 miles in the UK and knows which campsites to avoid if you don’t like spiders. If you see her on the train you will wonder what age she is.

To get updates on Ingela Bohm’s work, please sign up for her newsletter or connect at her

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Books by Ingela Bohm

The Pax Cymrica series:

Just Playing

The Road Taken

Release

Cutting Edge

 

Standalone novels:

Rival Poet

Not Safe For Work

Last Communion

All You Can Eat

 

Short stories:

Seven Thousand Minutes

Strings Attached

The Subjunctive Mood

Beneath The Mask

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Thick & Thin by Charlie Cochet: Release Day Review includes Giveaway

thick-and-thinsynopsisIn a matter of days, Dex has been kidnapped, tortured, killed, revived, become half Therian, offered the chance to become a spy, and accepted a proposal to marry his jaguar Therian boyfriend, Sloane Brodie. It’s been a lot to take in, and although Dex is still trying to wrap his head around everything that’s happened, he knows he has to move forward.

After the events of Smoke & Mirrors, Dex and Sloane find themselves in one of the most frightening situations of all: revealing the truth to their Destructive Delta family. When the dust settles, nothing will ever be the same, and it’s up to Dex to prove that in the face of change, the one thing that will always remain the same is family.

Title: Thick & Thin
Series: THIRDS: Book Eight
Author: Charlie Cochet
Release Date: February 1, 2017
Category: Mystery/Suspense; Paranormal: Werewolves/Shifters, Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 95

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denise review

Every time I read something by Charlie Cochet, I am so impressed. She continues to amaze me with the depth she adds to all her work, whether its a THIRDS novella or her holiday series. Thick & Thin is no exception. It isn’t just the depth of the characters or emotions that are so impressive. The depth of the stories are so multi-leveled that although these COULD be read as stand alone, a reader would miss so much of the setup for future, from beginning to end.

To start Hell & High Water with Dex, and learning quickly in that book that his parents were killed in the riots, when he was only 5 years old, to then come full circle to Thick & Thin, and get a better understanding of what actually happened takes planning, plotting and more planning. In book 2, you see set up that comes to fruition several books later, and so on.

With Thick & Thin, Charlie takes a short novella, packs a super punch, leaves the reader hanging (only slightly), and wanting more of what is ahead for the entire family of Destructive Delta. In addition, this was a necessary component to the series. Although people have been dying for the next book, this was needed to prepare the reader for what was coming. Her completion of one or two story arcs, in a 95 page novella, and setup for Seb and Hudson’s book is such a great balance of loving what you’re reading, and wanting what is ahead.

Sometimes in a book series with so many books, the reader can get bored, and move on, yet there is absolutely no chance this reader (or most) is moving on, and the second I get my hands on book 9, I will be hiding away from the world so that I can soak up every word of it.

Not a single spoiler! You NEED to read this! That is all. 🙂

4.5 pieces of eye candy

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Perfect Catch by N.R. Walker: Quick Review

perfect catchsynopsis

Calvin Lynch and Troy Hoffman have been best mates since they were fourteen years old. They’re both hard-working tradesmen, both love weekends away fishing, both gay, but have never been single at the same time. Until now.
What is supposed to be a weekend away fishing with a group of mates, changes at the last minute when friends bail out in an attempt to give Cal and Troy some alone time.
With more than just hooks on the line, can these two see what’s been right in front of them the whole time?
The Perfect Catch is a short story about falling for your best friend hook, line, and sinker.

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jennifer

Sigh…. I just love every single thing I’ve ever read by this author…

Cal and Troy have been best friends since they were teenagers. Having feelings for one another but to worried about ruining their friendship, neither of them wanted to say anything. Sure, there were times when both of them wanted to say something, but it never seemed like the right time. Now, Cal and Troy and a couple of their other friends a camping trip to just get away for a while.

 
Both of them are finally single at the same time and their friends use that as an excuse to get them alone together for the weekend. Seems like everyone realizes how they feel about each other, except each other…. So, at the scheming of the friends, they set off on their fishing weekend alone together.

It starts out just the same as I suspect every other trip goes; they hang out, fish, camp and all that… but then one notices the way the other looks at him and thinks, hmmm.. maybe our friends are right… They joke back and forth about hookin’ up, like guys do, but suddenly there’s a seriousness along with it… THEN, a night in the tent together proves to tempting to not try…

Of course, when they come back, some doubt and worries have things awkward for a time, but everything works out in the end; they’re too cute together not to.

 
I’m such a sucker for a HEA and these guys got a good one. Best friends to lovers is the best. I could have read pages and pages more about these two, and when they finally get together… shew! Hot!

 
4 pieces of eye candy for me 🙂

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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.

A Coal Miner’s Son by T.A. Chase: Release Day Review

coalsynopsisJames Callahan is the only son of Nicholas Callahan, owner of the Willow Hollow mine in West Virginia—but he’s never considered himself any better than the miners. He’s best friends with Owain Rees, one of the miners’ kids, and he’s been attracted to Cai, Owain’s older brother, for years. James gets the feeling he might not be the only one sensing the tension between them, but Cai avoids him religiously.

Cai has been working the mine since he was sixteen. He acknowledges James is cute, but he’s grown up privileged while Cai’s family has always been working class, and Cai fears that chasm is too wide to cross. When family drama pushes them together, will Cai and James see they’re more alike than they realized?

Take a leap of faith as two men from different worlds, employer and employee, rich and poor, discover that love transcends social barriers.

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

Title: A Coal Miner’s Son
Author: T.A. Chase
Release Date: January 4, 2017
Category: Contemporary, States of Love
Pages: 107

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jennifer
Owain and James have been friends for as long as they can remember.
James’s Dad ownes the Willow Hollow mines that the little town in West Virgina sit in.
James has always had a crush on Owians brother Cai but, Cai never gave him the time of day because just like a lot of other people in the town; they thought James was like his father….

Let’s talk about James’ father. He was pompous and self-important, I didn’t care for him at all and I was glad James stood up to him about the things that we’re important.

We have other stories going on within the story; like Cai and Owain’s sister leaving her husband who was a drunk and physically violent, so they were dealing with that. That’s actually what helped Cai get over his aversion to dating the boss’s son. Then, we have their sister, who honestly, is another weird spelled name and I don’t remember it; but she’s going to school to be a doctor and the town pitches in to keep her in school, because they know she’ll come back and the town will finally have a doctor. Not many know that James is a big contributor to her though; and the rest of the town, even though they’d probably not like knowing that he buys groceries for the small town and helps them out with things they need.

He’s a genuinely nice guy and he has the means to help. I wish the town would have been more appreciative. I did like the small town feel of this story though, living in a ridiculously small town, I really enjoy the concept of the town being more like a family and everyone helping everyone. I like that Cai and James didn’t hide their relationship once they got together and for the most part people seemed accepting. I liked how James thought about the miners and their families and was good to everyone. He was truly a really nice guy.

This book is a different read than what I’m used to, but I’m glad I gave it a chance. If you’re looking for a low angst book with a “FINALLY” type of relationship lol, you’ll enjoy this book.

 
4 pieces of eye candy for me

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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.

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.

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

12 Days of Kissmas: 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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denise review

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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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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Wrapped-Together

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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