Interborough by Santino Hassell: Release Day Review and Giveaway

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synopsis

The Raymond Rodriguez from a few years ago wouldn’t recognize the guy he is today. He’s left his slacker ways far behind him and is now juggling two jobs and school. But the balancing act doesn’t allow much time for the man he loves.

David is doing his best to be supportive, but problems at work and his own insecurity leave him frustrated—in more ways than the obvious—whenever he goes to bed before Raymond gets home. The heat and affection between them is still there, but they barely have the time or energy to enjoy it. And it doesn’t help that Raymond is still hiding David from his colleagues.

The stress mounts so high that a vacation in paradise is filled with turmoil instead of harmony, and culminates on their return to the five boroughs with broken promises and heartache. They have to figure out how to stop allowing their differences to overshadow their love. It’s the only way they’ll make it to forever.

 

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paula review
This was such a complex story. I really like it when we get sequels that feel real. Ray and David had so much going on with each other and also out in the real world. Ray has so much going on with himself and everything he is doing to try and make a better life. He is so focused on working to get to a better place financially and doing everything himself, he kind of loses sight of his relationship. He believes that if he can get where he wants to be then everything will just work out. I completely understand him. I understand his need to not burden or put anyone out by asking for help. Because of this he doesn’t really have the time to pay attention to his relationsip with David. David on the other hand is dealing with so much personally, trying to deal with his own insecurities and demons. Not to mention problems at his work. This is a story that really shows what happens when you stop hearing the other person, and stop really investing time into a relationship. I was so satisfied with this story, in all its raw and true feelings.

5 pieces of eye candy

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giveaway

To celebrate the release of Interborough, one lucky winner will receive $25 in Riptide Publishing credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on October 29, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

 

meet the author

Santino was raised by a conservative family, but he was anything but traditional. He grew up to be a smart-mouthed grunge kid, then a transient twentysomething, and eventually transformed into a guy who spends his days and nights writing romance with an edge.

Santino is a dedicated gamer, a former fanfic writer, an ASoIaF mega nerd, a Grindr enthusiast, but most of all he is a writer of LGBT fiction that is heavily influenced by the gritty, urban landscape of New York City, his belief that human relationships are complex and flawed, and his own life experiences.

Connect with Santino:

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

Kinky Sprinkles by L.A. Witt: Blog Tour, Review and Giveaway

kinkysprinkles_600x900 synopsis

Joel has finally walked away from his abusive ex and is ready to meet new people. But that isn’t easy for a guy who’s shy, self-conscious, and struggling with his body image.

Andre has wanted Joel since the first time he laid eyes on him, and finally Joel is single. But Andre is a Dom and a sadist, and Joel is unapologetically vanilla. There’s no happy medium—either Andre reins in the kinky side that took him years to accept, or Joel grits his teeth and subjects himself to kinks that aren’t his thing. No matter who bends, someone’s going to be unhappy.

They agree to walk away, but they keep circling back to each other. Though their kinks might not line up, the chemistry between them sizzles and the emotional connection keeps getting deeper. But none of that will get them anywhere if they can’t find some kind of middle ground in the bedroom.

 

Welcome to the Riptide Publishing/L. A. Witt blog tour for Kinky Sprinkles!

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Heather's Review

I can’t remember the last time I had such a hard time summing up my thoughts on a book. Kinky Sprinkles combines two things I love: LA Witt and kink, which should make for a very happy day. But it is a novella, and I ran into some of the things I don’t love about shorter stories.

First, what I did love about this book:

Andre and Joel 

Andre was written so well. His status as a Dom wasn’t about how he controlled anyone or how he dressed. It was simply the man he was. As Joel said at one point, he could’ve been wearing Hello Kitty pajamas and still been Dominant. It’s hard to find books where the author truly understands what makes a Dom.

On top of that, he was always mindful of his role as a Dom. There’s one scene that solidifies him as one of my favorite main characters in a BDSM story.

Joel is a bit more of a mixed bag. His visceral reactions to the lifestyle made sense given what he’d been through. At the same time, there were glimmers which led me to wonder what the future would hold for them. I give him props for being open and honest about what he was and wasn’t willing to do.

Tightly written

One of the benefits of a well-written shorter story is everything is stripped down to the bare bones. There’s no time for the author to wander along the garden path. And Kinky Sprinkles was one of those books.

Now, for what didn’t work for me:

Too many unanswered questions

If I hadn’t gotten wrapped up in the characters, I don’t know that I’d be as upset as I am at the end of the book. But I did. And I am. In the end, it felt more like the first portion of a book, where they go from being strangers (or in this case, acquaintances) to deciding they’re going to be together. But I’m still not certain they’re going to make it and there are going to be plenty of bumps in the road. My only hope is that maybe, just maybe, LA Witt has plans we don’t know about, because there could easily be a follow-up for these two.

Joel’s struggle

Yes, I know I just said I loved Joel for being honest, but by the time I read the last page, it felt more like he was sticking to his guns because he was holding onto the past. There were these passing thoughts that make me think everything will be okay in the future, but not in the way they agreed to proceed. I wish we’d had more time to see how the relationship progresses.

Even though I have mixed feelings, I’m giving this book 4 pieces of candy. LA Witt delivered what she promised and it was well written. It would’ve been a 5 for me if only there weren’t so many unresolved issues.

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giveaway

Every comment on this blog tour enters you in a drawing for a choice of two eBooks off my backlist (excluding Kinky Sprinkles) and a $10 Riptide Publishing store credit. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on October 1st.  Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Don’t forget to leave your contact info, and thanks for following the tour!

 

meet the author

L.A. Witt is an abnormal M/M romance writer who has finally been released from the purgatorial corn maze of Omaha, Nebraska, and now spends her time on the southwestern coast of Spain. In between wondering how she didn’t lose her mind in Omaha, she explores the country with her husband, several clairvoyant hamsters, and an ever-growing herd of rabid plot bunnies. She also has substantially more time on her hands these days, as she has recruited a small army of mercenaries to search South America for her nemesis, romance author Lauren Gallagher, but don’t tell Lauren. And definitely don’t tell Lori A. Witt or Ann Gallagher. Neither of those twits can keep their mouths shut…

L.A.’s backlist is available on her website, and updates (as well as random thoughts and the odd snarky comment) can be found on her blog or on Twitter (@GallagherWitt).

  

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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.

Roped In by Marie Sexton and L.A. Witt: Author Interview, Review and Giveaway

RopedIn_600x900synopsisGraham and his roping partner, Jackson, have been friends since they were boys. They’ve ruled the rodeo scene for ten years running, but lately, Graham’s heart isn’t in the game. He’s tired of the bruises, the cowboy mentality, and the animal rights activists who picket every event. He’s also tired of being in love with Jackson, and nothing’s been the same between them since their disastrous drunken encounter the year before.

Then Graham has a run-in with one of the rodeo protesters, and everything changes. Kaz is young, idealistic, and sexy as hell. But he’s also a know-it-all, animal-loving vegan, bent on saving the world one cow at a time. They have next to nothing in common, but Graham can’t stop thinking about what might happen if they can stop butting heads long enough to give it a try. Unfortunately, no matter how attracted Graham is to other men, he always panics and runs when the clothes start to come off. But Kaz has an idea for getting Graham past his nerves and into bed.

All they need is a bit of rope.

(Note: This is a re-edited second edition of a previously published title.)

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Two Chicks Obsessed wants to thank Marie Sexton and LA Witt for joining us for our Five-ish Good Questions, to talk about about Roped In, their new book from Riptide Publishing. Thanks so much ladies for taking time away from your busy writing schedule to answer a few “we have to know” questions. 🙂 

We would love to know a little more about the co-writing process. It can’t be easy, as there must be so many moving parts.

  1. What made you decide to write this book together? Was this something dreamed up one night over a glass of wine and too much chocolate? Or were more nefarious things involved? 🙂

Marie: Lori had already committed to writing an “opposites attract” story for a bundle. I was between projects and asked if she wanted to try co-writing something for it. She said, “Sure!” So we brainstormed character ideas until we hit on two that sounded fun.

Lori: That’s pretty much what happened. And I really enjoy co-writing with different people, so I definitely jumped at the opportunity to write with Marie.

  1. How did you decide who writes what part of the story?

Lori: We kind of did it as we went. We opened a Google doc, and one of us started writing while the other watched. Then we just switched back and forth whenever it felt like a good spot to switch.

  1. Do you plot before you co-write, or do you see how the story unfolds?

Marie: Well, like Lori said above, we were usually working on the story at the same time. We had a chat window open. We’d occasionally say, “hey, what if [x] happens?” Other than that, we sort of just rolled with it.

  1. Do you edit each other’s parts as you do?

Marie: I think we did a little of that, but mostly just tidying up each other’s typos as the other one worked.

Lori: Pretty much what Marie said. We both did some tweaking and adjusting here and there. That, and when you write real-time, you tend to lose track of who wrote what, so I would be editing a paragraph and have zero recollection of who actually wrote it.

  1. The last question is always the fun one…hopefully. One of you have been arrested, the other is responsible for bailing you out. Who did what to land in jail, and what three things would the arrested lady want brought for her release?

Marie: I’m quite sure it would be Lori in jail! Lori, what did you do, and what should I bring?

Lori: Why the hell am I the one in jail? Jeeeez. I’m pretty sure it would be some kind of public disturbance or something. Likely with my husband, since we’re mutual bad influences. So, bring bail money, a getaway car, and probably a pair of pants.

Marie: I won’t even ask why one of you is pantless. 😉

denise reviewThis was not at all what I expected! I think I was expecting a cowboy getting himself hooked up with someone, then meeting at a club, learning about ropes, etc. This was so much more!

Graham was as far in the closet as he could be, never even having gone very far with anyone, because he was so anxiety-ridden. That was an interesting dynamic. It really allowed you to see how Graham needed to come to terms with his feelings, so he could move forward. Kaz’s idea to use the rope to calm Graham down was inspired.

I loved how Kaz was a contradiction of so many things. A protester, yet a skateboard type young man, a Dominant to a man that would normally be seen as the dominant type.

Finding their HFN/HEA was a bit of learning, into a journey that took them both outside the boxes they had known, and put them into places that would bring them together. They could work it out, because they both were able to find a compromise, and a way to change what they needed from their lives.

4 pieces of eye candy

 

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meet the author

About Marie Sexton

Marie Sexton lives in Colorado. She’s a fan of just about anything that involves muscular young men piling on top of each other. In particular, she loves the Denver Broncos and enjoys going to the games with her husband. Her imaginary friends often tag along.

Marie has one daughter, two cats, and one dog, all of whom seem bent on destroying what remains of her sanity. She loves them anyway.

Connect with Marie:

About L. A. Witt

L.A. Witt is an abnormal M/M romance writer who has finally been released from the purgatorial corn maze of Omaha, Nebraska, and now spends her time on the southwestern coast of Spain. In between wondering how she didn’t lose her mind in Omaha, she explores the country with her husband, several clairvoyant hamsters, and an ever-growing herd of rabid plot bunnies. She also has substantially more time on her hands these days, as she has recruited a small army of mercenaries to search South America for her nemesis, romance author Lauren Gallagher, but don’t tell Lauren. And definitely don’t tell Lori A. Witt or Ann Gallagher. Neither of those twits can keep their mouths shut . . .

Connect with L.A.:

giveaway

To celebrate the release of Roped In, Marie and L.A. are giving away $20 in Riptide Publishing credit plus one ebook from each of their backlists. Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on June 25, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

 

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

All the Wrong Places by Ann Gallagher : Guest Post, Book Blast and Giveaway

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Three cheating girlfriends in a row have given skateboarder Brennan Cross the same excuse: he wasn’t meeting their needs. Desperate and humiliated, he goes to the professionals at the local sex shop for advice.

Zafir Hamady, a sales clerk at Red Hot Bluewater, has an unusual theory: he doesn’t think Brennan is a bad lover. In fact, he doesn’t think Brennan is heterosexual. Or sexual at all, for that matter. He also can’t stop thinking about Brennan. But even if he’s right and Brennan really is asexual, that doesn’t mean Zafir has a chance. Brennan’s never dated a man, and Zafir’s never met anyone who’s game for a Muslim single father with a smart mouth and a GED.

Brennan’s always thought of himself as straight. But when sex is explicitly out of the mix, he finds himself drawn to Zafir for the qualities and interests they share. And Zafir can’t help enjoying Brennan’s company and the growing bond between Brennan and his son. They work well together, but with so many issues between them, doubts creep in, and Brennan’s struggle with his identity could push away the one person he didn’t know he could love.

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Welcome to the Riptide Publishing/Ann Gallagher blog tour for All The Wrong Places!

Every comment on this blog tour enters you in a drawing for a choice of two eBooks off my backlist (excluding All The Wrong Places, but including books written as L.A. Witt or Lauren Gallagher) and a $10 Riptide Publishing store credit. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on June 20th, and winners will be announced on June 21st. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries.

Guest Post

Learning About & Writing About Asexuality

All The Wrong Places was very much my first foray into writing asexual characters. Well, as the main characters anyway – Richie in Running With Scissors is asexual, but has only been a secondary character so far (his book is coming!). I really wanted to do it right, so I spent a lot of time reading about asexuality. In particular, I looked for as many stories as I could get my hands on about people realizing they were asexual and how it affected their lives.

Once I had a handle on that, I approached the book the same way I approached my very first M/M book, Rules of Engagement. The main character in that book was, like in All The Wrong Places, figuring out that maybe he wasn’t so sure about his sexuality after all. Dustin in Rules of Engagement is realizing he’s bisexual. Brennan in All The Wrong Places is realizing he’s asexual. I’ve been in Dustin’s shoes before, realizing I was bi in my early twenties, so it didn’t take much to empathize with his thought processes, his internal struggles, etc.

When it came time to write All The Wrong Places, I applied that same empathy to Brennan. How does it feel to rethink your sexuality? How much pressure does it add or remove to suddenly have this newfound understanding of yourself? What if people find out? What if you need to come out to people who might not understand, or have always thought you were straight? What if they react negatively?

I also think, in a way, I wrote both Dustin and Brennan out of a smidgen of envy. They both had something I would have sold my soul for – someone who shared their sexuality, had already been through the process, and could help them work through things until they figured out which way was up. In my case I didn’t need/want a partner like that – I was and still am perfectly happily married – but having someone to ask questions, commiserate, etc., while figuring things out would have been a lifesaver. So, I gave someone like that to Dustin and to Brennan. And then stomped on their hearts because I’m an author and I’m mean.

meet the author

Ann Gallagher is the slightly more civilized alter ego of L.A. Witt, Lauren Gallagher, and Lori A. Witt. So she tells herself, anyway. When she isn’t wreaking havoc on Spain with her husband and trusty two-headed Brahma bull, she writes romances just like her wilder counterparts, but without all the heat. She is also far too mature to get involved in the petty battle between L.A. and Lauren, but she’s seriously going to get even with Lori for a certain incident that shall not be discussed publicly.

 

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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.

Selfie by Amy Lane : Blog tour, Review and Giveaway

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synopsis

One year ago, actor Connor Montgomery lost the love of his life to a drunk driver. But what’s worse for Connor is what he still has: a lifetime of secrets born of hiding his relationship from the glare of Hollywood. Unable to let go of the world he and Vinnie shared, Connor films a drunken YouTube confession on the anniversary of Vinnie’s death.

Thankfully, the video was silent—a familiar state for Connor—so his secret is still safe. He needs a fresh start, and a new role on the hit TV show Wolf’s Landing might be just that.

The move to Bluewater Bay may also mean a second chance in the form of his studio-assigned assistant. Noah Dakers sees through Connor’s facades more quickly than Connor could imagine. Noah’s quiet strength and sarcastic companionship offers Connor a chance at love that Hollywood’s closet has never allowed. But to accept it, Connor must let Vinnie go and learn to live again.

 

**For the Selfie blog tour, Amy Lane has written a few monologues from Vinnie’s video blog, set prior to the crash that takes his life. These monologues, performed by Nick J. Russo of Dark Night Sound, correspond to scenes or memories referenced by Connor in Selfie, giving you a unique look at this off-screen character.

Please visit http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/selfie and select the extras tab for all six monologues, which will be updated there as they are published.

 

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Riptide Publishing

denise reviewI never know what to expect from an Amy Lane book. Sometimes I walk away with just a general feeling of happiness and joy, other times, I’ve used an entire box of tissues, and still want to curl up in a ball on the couch. Selfie was somewhere in between. Connor and Noah put the pieces of my heart back together again, after my heart felt so sad from Connor’s grief over losing Vinnie.

Noah, clearly one of the most patient and loving man ever, was willing to wait for Connor to finish grieving, and even was willing to take a backseat to Vinnie’s ghost. What kind of man could be so selfless, and put himself out there for that kind of potential heartache? Yet, he did, and he was supportive of Connor, no matter what happened.

It seemed that Connor’s biggest issue was not necessarily his grief of Vinnie, but not being able to express his grief to anyone but his agent. Not Vinnie’s family, not the world that saw the movie star, even initially not to Noah. That allowed his grieving process to not even begin until the anniversary of Vinnie’s death, when he began to blow it all out of the water.

And let’s not forget Vinnie’s “ghost”, who we find out was not the saint that he originally is seen as. Vinnie was a fairly selfish man, who loved a man who was willing to give up everything to have a chance at their happiness. His ghost was a bit selfish as well. But in the end, he goes away quietly, after a difficult goodbye with Connor.

My heart broke for Connor having to go through all this, and for Noah who had to watch from the sidelines, and could only be supportive. But thank goodness it’s an Amy Lane novel, so there is an HEA!!!

There were a couple loose ends I would have loved to see tied up a little more neatly, but in real life, those likely would not have been tied up anyway, so sometimes you have to let things go.

Definitely recommend. And I would like to re-read this, from the point of view of knowing Vinnie and his ways. I wonder if my read will be a different feeling…

4.5 pieces of eye candy

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meet the author

Amy Lane exists happily with her noisy family in a crumbling suburban crapmansion, and equally happily with the surprisingly demanding voices who live in her head.

She loves cats, movies, yarn, pretty colors, pretty men, shiny things, and Twu Wuv, and despises house cleaning, low fat granola bars, and vainglorious prickweenies.

She can be found at her computer, dodging housework, or simultaneously reading, watching television, and knitting, because she likes to freak people out by proving it can be done.

Connect with Amy:

 

About Nick J. Russo

Nick J. Russo has been a professional performer for over a decade, but has been voicing audio books for the past few years. He has voiced several titles throughout the romance, sci-fi, supernatural, and thriller genres, and has recently started his very own sound studio; Dark Night Sound. On top of voice acting, Russo manages Dark Night Sound with his fiance and works with a staff of four up and coming narrators. In his free time, Russo is a drummer in a pop/rock cover band, loves to travel, and dreams of one day being able to voice a role in an animated comedy series.

 

giveaway

 To celebrate the release of Selfie, one lucky person will receive e-copies of Amy’s entire backlist with Riptide, and an Amy Lane t-shirt. Leave a comment to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on April 23, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

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