ANNOUNCEMENT/GIVEAWAY: Aliens, Smith and Jones, by Blaine D. Arden

Aliens Smith and Jones - Blaine D. Arden

Blaine D. Arden has a new MM sci fi book out:

“It’s not all about serving coffee and typing reports.”

Working for a secret organisation specialising in alien cover-ups, Connor Smith is no stranger to the abnormal or dangerous. His love life on the other hand… not so exciting. Until he reluctantly agrees to a blind date and meets the perfect bloke, Jason.

Things are finally falling into place for Connor, so of course that’s when he attracts an alien stalker.

Noah Jones, ex-alien, has been stranded on Earth and forced to live as a human since 1648. Alone and detached from the world around him, Noah has spent centuries observing and recording humankind. In all that time, he’s only experienced a connection with a human once… until he finds Connor.

Even knowing Connor is in a relationship, Noah can’t ignore their potential bond, or stay away.

While dealing with missing alien artefacts, a dangerous and shadowy group of collectors, and the ever-present Noah, Connor finds his orderly life crumbling around him. At least he still has the perfect boyfriend…

When Noah goes missing, Connor is forced to face the feelings growing between them and the mounting evidence that Jason isn’t who he says he is…

Amazon | QueeRomance Ink | Goodreads


Giveaway

Blaine is giving away two sets of “A Triad in Three Acts” & “Oren’s Right” with this tour – enter via Rafflecopter:

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Excerpt

Aliens Smith and Jones meme - Blaine D. Arden

The Dross Woods, four-bloody-something in the morning, hunting for six-armed, two-legged white creatures.

Agent Connor Smith, personal assistant of Chief Security Lieutenant Natalie Tallis of Primrose UK, yawned. The lingering mist clung to his ankles as he tightened the straps of his field gear. He took his tranq out of its holster and flicked his torch on. The dense, tall trees hampered visibility, and the smattering of shrubs didn’t help, either. The path, at least, was wide enough for two.

“How many were there again?” Agent Simpson, team Alpha’s leader, asked. His dark, bald head gleamed in the early dawn as he moved to stand next to Connor.

“Ten, I think.” Or eleven. Connor hadn’t been awake enough to pick up everything during the interview with the Cleaton brothers, two aging sheep farmers, who had called it in. Why have a sheep farm so close to this vast and dense piece of forest? It was asking for trouble.

“They kept them in the stables, right? So, what happened?”

“Broke out,” Connor said as he trailed into the woods after Simpson. Though Connor outranked the stocky but agile team leader, Simpson had at least a decade of field experience on him. Simpson’s torch lit up the uneven, knobby-rooted ground, and Connor used his to search the shrubbery next to the path. He wished he’d brought an extra coffee, because he was not awake enough for this. Hopefully, the pale colour of the creatures made them easier to spot.

“So, broke out?”

“Have you seen the thing they called stables? It’s nothing more than a rickety old shed. Even one-armed creatures would have had no problem breaking out, let alone these… Noren, I think the brothers called them.”

“All I understood was that we’re here to catch us some aliens.” Simpson veered left, following the whimsical bend in the path, and looked back. “It was a late night.”

“Right, you were chasing another missing artefact. Lieutenant Tallis filled me in. File’s probably making its way to my desk as we speak.” Connor squinted, aiming his torch at the shrubbery to his left. A mix of red, yellow, and purple flowers brought some colour to the otherwise dreary looking forest. “It’s the eighth time this has happened. It’s becoming a problem.”

“Don’t I know it. So, did they say how big these fellas are?”

“Chest height or about. Why? Spot something?” Connor pointed his torch along Simpson’s.

The shrubs shuddered and shook until Simpson stepped forward. A twig snapped, followed by meowing. A cat. Just a cat.

Connor shrugged at Simpson and they moved forward again.

Somewhere a shout rang out: a high-pitched screech that caused goose bumps.

“One down!” someone called through the commlink—team Bravo’s Forente or Briers, Connor guessed. “There are at least two others here.”

“That way,” Simpson said, pointing to their right, onto a narrow path overgrown with creepers.

Connor nodded, but Simpson had already turned away.

Step by step, they followed the narrow path, the darkness only broken by the light of their torches. They were hampered by the creepers as they moved along—listening, stopping, and listening again—as well as having to push low branches out of their way every other step.

One by one, more teams called in their catches.

“They seem to like sheep,” Forente commented after his first catch. “I heard one bleat, and the next thing we know, one of those Noren is coming right at us.”

“Good to know,” Simpson said. “Keep up the good work.”

“How many is that now?” Connor eyed the shrubbery in front of him, squinting as he pointed the torch at it. Eerie how dark a forest could be at daybreak. He preferred the smell of fresh moss to the damp, woodsy smell that now hung around him.

“Seven. I think.”

So, three to go, and he and Simpson had yet to run into any.

Something rustled behind them, and Connor turned, aiming his tranq. He hoped it wasn’t another cat. More rustling, but no movement in the shrubs. The foliage was denser here—they must have reached the middle of the woods by now.

Satisfied a Noren wasn’t stalking them, Connor went to catch up with Simpson. when a sudden crunching of leaves to his right stopped him again. Something whitish moved behind a tree, too large to be a rabbit. He wished he’d paid more attention when Tallis had told them what to look for. Not that she’d been any more awake than he was. Simpson wasn’t the only one who’d been working late. The—

Another crunch, nowhere near, though. If there were two Noren around, he’d need Simpson. He tapped the commlink. “Simpson?”

“That was me. The path circles back onto itself.”

That was a relief. “There’s one behind a tree in front of me.”

“Right. Want me to move around it?”

“Good idea.” Then he remembered the comment about the sheep. “Wait. You don’t have to. Draw it out, bleat if you have to. All I need is a clear shot. I can’t take a shot as long as it’s hiding behind that tree,” Connor said, keeping an eye on the tree the Noren hid behind. He hoped it was just the one, even though they didn’t seem violent towards humans.

Simpson’s imitation of a sheep sounded nothing like the real thing, yet the Noren thought it genuine enough, since it came out from behind the tree, straight into the dense shrubbery next to it.

“Bugger.” Connor tracked the movement, but the shrubbery blocked his view. “I don’t have a shot. It fled right into the bushes.”

Simpson didn’t reply. Instead, he made his way around Connor, judging from the flashes of torchlight jumping around, and repeated his sheep imitation.

The leaves shuddered, and Connor narrowed his eyes, hoping to get a clear shot.

Simpson bleated again, and this time the Noren came running out of the shrubbery. Connor aimed and pulled the trigger. The Noren went down hard. Hit in one. He knelt next to the creature, taking the cuffs out.

“Nice shot, Smith,” Simpson said when he reached them.

“Thanks.” Connor cuffed all three sets of arms. It seemed like overkill, but he knew better than to take any risks. He was about to activate his earpiece to ask how many were still on the loose when a shrill whistle sounded, calling them back.

“Well,” Simpson said as he helped Connor pick the Noren up, “I guess that’s that.”

“All in a day’s work, Simpson, all in a day’s work.” At least, for a personal assistant at Primrose.


Author Bio

Blaine D. ArdenBlaine D. Arden is a purple-haired, forty-something author of queer romance mixed with fantasy, magic, and suspense who sings her way through life in platform boots. She is an EPIC Award winning author, and her scifi romance “Aliens, Smith and Jones” received an Honourable Mention in the Best Gay Sci-Fi/Fantasy category of the Rainbow Awards 2012.

Born and raised in Zutphen, the Netherlands, Blaine spent many hours of her sheltered youth reading, day dreaming, making up stories and acting them out with her Barbies. After seeing the film “An Early Frost” as a teen in the mid-eighties, an idealistic Blaine wanted to do away with the negativity surrounding homosexuality and strove to show the world how beautiful love between men could be. Our difference is our strength, is Blaine’s motto, and her stories are often set in worlds where gender fluidity and sexual diversity are accepted as is.

Author Website: https://blainedarden.com
Author Facebook (Personal): https://www.facebook.com/BlaineDArden
Author Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/BlaineDArdenAuthor
Author Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/BlaineDArden
Author Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5043444.Blaine_D_Arden
Author QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/blaine-d-arden/

ANNOUNCEMENT/GIVEAWAY: Soulbound, by Archer Kay Leah

Soulbound

Archer Kay Leah has a new MM/MMF fantasy romance book out:

In a relationship that violates rules and expectations, Mayr and Tash have found their perfect match in each other. Despite their fears and difficult pasts, they hope for a shared future with security and a family. When Mayr’s secret first love, Arieve, proposes they create that family with her, it seems dreams could become reality.

But life is complicated, and so is the delicate balance between duty and love. While Mayr protects the Dahe family at all costs, Tash is determined to succeed as a priest. Both positions require sacrifice, forcing their relationship into painful choices. To make matters worse, criminals lurk in the shadows, seeking revenge on them and those they guard.

The life they want risks losing everything—including Arieve and each other. Even if they can have it all, keeping it may take more than they can give.

Warnings: “Soulbound” contains some explicit content, references to self-harm, suicide, and mentions of suicide-related behavior and intent. This story also contains instances of graphic violence, references to rape and domestic abuse, and depictions and mentions of depression.

About the Series:

With the right people and the right price, the Republic of Kattal can be brought to its knees. But for every line crossed, someone waits on the other side, ready to push back.
Armed and ready to defend their lives, these heroes are not afraid of the fight. They stare adversity in the eye and dance with the darkness within. But in their justice, there is wisdom. In wisdom, there is protection. In it all, there is love. Sometimes it’s a matter of saving a village; sometimes it’s a matter of saving the one they can’t live without. Sometimes it’s just about doing the right thing and learning to love oneself.

Magic may lurk in the shadows. Crime may never sleep. But love doesn’t back down.

Less Than Three Press | Amazon | Amazon CAN | Amazon UK | Amazon International | Bookstrand | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | QueeRomance Ink | Smashwords | Goodreads


Giveaway

Archer is giving away three $10 Amazon gift cards with this tour – enter to win via Rafflecopter:

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Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b60e8d4730/?


Guest Post

Hello, everyone! I’m Archer Kay Leah, author of LGTBQA+ speculative fiction romance and a total nerd for angst-ridden stories that leave me completely gutted. Thank you so much for dropping by, and many thanks to Queeromance Ink for having me here today! <3

For this stop on the Soulbound tour, I wanted to touch on a few of the serious themes of the book and the series as a whole. When I first started The Republic, I wasn’t completely sure what to expect from it, preferring to let it develop and grow as it went, telling me what it wanted to be. One thing I knew for certain was that it wouldn’t shy away from harder, darker subjects, which is typical of my work, no matter what I’m working on. Part of it is about representing a fully-developed world, complete with real problems people can recognize, while I think a larger part of it is a means for me to process what I see in the real world, some of which requires tremendous effort to deal with emotionally. Some of it might just be because my muses like taking things into the difficult side of life, with all the angst and hair-pulling it courts.

In any event, the series involves a lot of truly lovely, happy things as well as the darker, grimier situations. Soulbound certainly fits right in and doesn’t hold back. While it’s a high fantasy (set in a realm that doesn’t really exist), the issues they face are 100% real. In the book, both Mayr and Tash are dealing with their own personal issues, which get tangled up in the middle, considering they’re a romantic couple who’ve started to share a life. Because of that, things aren’t always easy for them. Tempers flare. They freak out. One’s ongoing problem becomes the other’s nightmare. They both have duties to fulfill, but those duties don’t always overlap very well, so matters between them get derailed and rocky, testing their patience.

Much of the tension comes from Tash’s past and what it means for him and Mayr going forward, particularly since elements of that past have come in to play since Four (book 2), and definitely with a vengeance in Blood Borne (book 3). Tash might be a priest now, but not because it was his natural calling — it’s a second chance; his shot at redemption after years of committing crimes for the Shar-denn, the nastiest gang in their nation. In Four, he revealed some details about that past, though it wasn’t everything, especially since the book was written from Mayr’s perspective only. There was a lot that wasn’t said, though more of the truth came out in Blood Borne, when Tash was finally confronted by his best friend, Ress. The two of them participated in the gang together, but things fell apart and they were estranged for several years. There were grievances to be aired, frustrations to yell out, and a tentative peace to be made.

Soulbound is the first time we see anything from Tash’s perspective, and it truly shows what being in Tash’s head is like on a daily basis. Getting through each day isn’t easy for him. He’s always aware of where he’s been, how he used to think and act, and how awful life can get. Growing up, he always felt like he had to prove himself, and as an adult, he always feels like he has to prove he’s worthy of redemption. That propels him to keep striving to do better, be kinder, and exercise as much compassion and love he can offer.

He fumbles, though. He’s not perfect, and he never feels like a hero. His character comes with a lot of emotional baggage, especially since he’s rather emotional to begin with. He’s no stranger to depression or PTSD, and he has a history of self-harm and self-destructive behaviour. His mental health isn’t always in the greatest place, even though he tries to overcome the challenges the best he can, as consuming as they can be. While writing the book, I decided I didn’t want to hide what he deals with, especially since there’s a real-life need to talk about these things and a need for characters who experience them, so I wrote Tash exactly the way he is. He has it rough, even on the good days, and I wanted to capture that, while setting the tone for what’s to come. To understand why he does certain things, it’s important to know what he really thinks. Who he really is.

Though there’s more to Tash than just the emotional side: there’s the matter of his memories and what he’s done, no different than Ress, who has his own issues. They’ve committed crimes they can’t escape from, though Tash has an even rougher time forgiving himself, mostly because his role in the gang involved much more violence than Ress’s. Still, through the two of them and Adren, who was raised by a gang family, there are several serious matters brought into the series. On one hand, there’s the toxic, suffocating oppression the gang forces upon its members, which Adren’s character highlights, and the way they force people into complying through blackmail, threats, lies, discrimination, violence, and other forms of coercion

On the other hand, there’s what has been done to the citizens of the republic, which includes theft, attacks, and all forms of trafficking — including drugs, weapons, and human trafficking, which is one issue that really gets under my skin. A lot of this crept into the series while I was working on books 2 and 3, leading to an entire over-arching storyline for the series, which is headed for their version of an urban war. Soulbound explores Tash’s side of those problems, including why he secretly sees himself as a monster and why he struggles with forgiveness.

All of this bleeds into his relationship with Mayr, which poses an entirely new set of challenges, particularly when Mayr is trained to protect people — and he does so on instinct, going to whatever lengths he has to, while being so utterly stubborn. Though it’s that stubbornness that makes all the difference in their relationship, and it’s one of the reasons why I’ve loved working with them as a pair. For all of Tash’s fears and hurt, Mayr’s desire to take care of him is a powerful force on its own, righting them when things go wrong. There’s a wonderful balance between them: as soon as one starts struggling, the other steps in to help and keep them going as a couple.

The real challenge now is how long they can keep going when the gang steps up their game and makes things much more difficult. Their journey isn’t going to be easy! But will they have an HEA by the end of the series? Yeah, I can absolutely promise that. 🙂

Thank you so much for being here today! I love hearing from readers, so feel free to share your thoughts, questions, or comments. Have a great one, and happy reading!


Excerpt

Soulbound Meme 2 - Archer Kay Leah

Silence fell, deep with meaning conveyed by long gazes and soft smiles. Why had he expected Aeley to say anything different?

Three loud knocks rapped the door, scaring them both. Cursing under his breath, Mayr opened the door.

Arieve.

Every foul word tumbled back down Mayr’s throat. “Hey.” He leaned against the door, one arm sliding up the side.

In an instant, he tripped on his own feet and stumbled into the door, swinging it open further.

“You can’t possibly be drunk already.” The corners of Arieve’s eyes crinkled with her smile, her glossed lips painted pink like her cheeks. Dark curls and plaits cascaded over her shoulders, the firelight lending a golden hue to the white-blonde streaks in the fringe of hair across her forehead. She held a silver tray, presenting two glass goblets filled with a bluish-purple drink and fragments of gold leaf sprinkled on top. “Otherwise, this might be a bad idea.”

“What’s a bad idea?” Mayr grimaced, his mouth suddenly dry as if filled with pillow stuffing. Quick to recover, he smoothed his shirt, resettled his belts, and slicked back his hair, pretending he meant to be clumsy.

“Your after-dinner drinks. Lira was going to bring them, but I thought I’d save her the trip. She’s having fun trading stories with your mother.” Arieve cleared her throat. “I didn’t want to interrupt your conversation.”

The tray rattled in her hand. The drinks threatened to slosh over the rims.

Mayr steadied the tray. “Thanks for that. This. These.” He offered her an awkward smile and took the goblets. “I’ll let you get back.” So you won’t see me kick my own ass for being completely inappropriate.

“Thanks, Arieve,” Aeley called from her desk.

“You’re welcome.” Arieve hesitated as she lowered the tray. She swayed gently, the rich green layers of her tiered, ruffled skirts moving with her. “I’ll let you finish.”

Before Mayr could say anything else, Arieve hurried down the hall and around the corner.

“I wonder what the mix is this time.” Aeley snatched one goblet to sniff it. “Hint of gaffa nectar, soured pamolea extract, and a bite of fulore. Plus maybe, probably—” another sniff “—syrup from the Sailor’s Sweetheart bush.” She took a sip and nodded. Flakes of gold leaf clung to her top lip. “Not as fun as last night’s concoction, but I could get used to it.”

“That’s what you always say.” Mayr brushed the flakes from Aeley’s lips with his thumb.

Aeley wiped her mouth on her sleeve. “Not always, just a lot. Cook knows her stuff. To be fair, she’s known me since I was three, getting into her puddings and tarts anytime she turned around. I trust that when she serves up a hodgeypodgey drink, it’s got personality.” She tapped her goblet against his. “I’m heading back to our guests. You should, too, considering it’s yourparty. We can resume this conversation later.”

After a kiss to his cheek, Aeley flounced out the door and through the corridor, humming to herself.

Mayr stared into his goblet, watching the gold swirl in an abstract pattern. My stomach. My head. I can’t even…

He set the goblet on Aeley’s desk. He needed Tash’s forgiveness more than he deserved a fancy drink.

As he exited the room, questions assaulted him hard enough to drown the sound of the door latch as it caught. One question practically shouted above all the others: how much had Arieve heard of his conversation with Aeley?

His heartbeat faltered. He was mortified. The door was not impervious to sound. What would Arieve think of him had she heard…

Hey, stupid! It doesn’t matter.Mayr grumbled and hooked his thumbs around the back of his belts. It still comes out to you’re taken and happy, so shut up.Dragging his heels, he wandered through the corridor and turned into the next, towards the ballroom.

Around the corner, Arieve leaned against the wall, head bowed, with her face hidden by her hair. She twined the trailing black laces of her bright green tunic around her fingers and pulled taut, then released them only to repeat the process. The empty tray rested beside her, abandoned against the wall.

“Hey.” Mayr stopped, careful to leave two foot lengths between them. “I thought you went back?” He toyed with his marriage ring, twisting the band nervously. Memories of Tash surged forward, the airy weight of his kisses almost real enough to feel.

“I wanted to wait for you.” Arieve raised her head and offered a tender smile. “I probably won’t get a word in the rest of the night given the company, so I thought…”

She was in his arms before he could reply. Her hug stole his surprise, shredding it until all that remained was stunned.

“Congratulations,” she murmured, her forehead tucked beneath his chin. “He’s got a good heart, solid. You’ve found your match. If the Four could grant me one wish tonight, it’d be for you two to have everything you desire.”

Mayr hesitated, his hands hovering over Arieve’s back. Touching was a bad idea, especially while he kept Tash from the truth. “Thank you.” Quick as he could, he embraced Arieve and pushed her away, feeling worse than the coward he was. “Let’s go back. I need to stop my mother from revealing every baby story she has or everyone’s going to hear about my naked backside and trailing diaper crowns.”

Arieve picked up the tray and started up the hall. “I’m sure Tash is soaking them up as we speak.” She laughed, the joyous sound digging up a dozen memories.

Memories he needed to lock up and burn down.

He followed Arieve and cast his gaze to the ceiling. Please, Reverent Goddesses, get me through tonight. Then let’s talk about strength of will, because one of these days I’m going to have to confess everything and it’ll hurt more than scorching my pride.


Author Bio

Archer Kay Leah was raised in Canada, growing up in a port town at a time when it was starting to become more diverse, both visibly and vocally. Combined with the variety of interests found in Archer’s family and the never-ending need to be creative, this diversity inspired a love for toying with characters and their relationships, exploring new experiences and difficult situations.

Archer most enjoys writing speculative fiction and is engaged in a very particular love affair with fantasy, especially when it is dark and emotionally charged. When not reading and writing for work or play, Archer is a geek with too many hobbies and keeps busy with other creative endeavors, a music addiction, and whatever else comes along. Archer lives in London, Ontario with a bigender partner and rather chatty cat.

Author Website: http://archerkayleah.wordpress.com/

Author Facebook (Author Page): http://facebook.com/archerkayleah

Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/archerkayleah

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/ArcherKayLeah

Author QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/archer-kay-leah/

Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/author/archerkayleah

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BOOK TOUR: His Best Man by Elle Keaton

Buy His Best Man by Elle Keaton on Amazon

Author: Elle Keaton
Book: His Best Man
Series: Accidental Roots, Book #7 (can be read as a standalone)
Page/Word Count: 200 pages, 64K words
Categories: Bisexual Romance, Contemporary Romance, Gay Romance, friends to lovers
Release Date: September 28, 2018
Publisher: Dirty Dog Press
Cover Artist: Cate Ashwood
Buy Links:
Buy His Best Man by Elle Keaton on Amazon Buy His Best Man by Elle Keaton on Barnes & Noble Buy His Best Man by Elle Keaton on KOBO Add His Best Man by Elle Keaton on QueeRomance Add His Best Man by Elle Keaton on Goodreads
Blurb:
Rod Beton and Travis Walker have known each other a long time; since the second grade when Rod was the new kid in town and Travis befriended him with Pokémon trading cards and a fruit snack. Apparently Rod’s easy. Since that day they’ve had each other’s back’s, bread and butter, biscuit and gravy…and so on.

Along the way, Rod fell in love with Travis. He’s been hoping for some kind of signal from Travis that he returns Rod’s feelings. When Travis announces his surprise engagement over Thanksgiving dinner Rod decides he’s done waiting for the impossible. He packs his belongings and heads for Skagit and a new life. Even if Travis suddenly decided Rod was the man for him would Rod be able to put aside his insecurities?

Travis always knew he was destined to take over the family business. As the only boy he’s expected to take the helm of the Walker farming operation, and he’s good at it. An engagement to a local girl he’s pals with seems like the perfect solution, gets him mom off his back and ensures the family line — eventually. When his best friend abruptly leaves town Travis’s eyes are finally opened to the difference between what is expected of him and what he could expect for himself.

His Best Man is a standalone in the Accidental Roots series, a friends to lovers mm romance with an HEA. Bisexual/gay.


Excerpt
His sister had the refrigerator door propped open against her hip, hunting for a snack. Wasn’t it funny how you could eat until you thought you were going to pop and somehow manage to be hungry only a few hours later? Strangers often thought he and Abs were twins; Abigail was almost as tall as Travis and they had the same color hair and eyes. Travis was older, but Abigail constantly reminded him she was more mature.

“Abigail, where’s Rod? Have you seen him? I can’t find him anywhere.”

Abigail cocked her head over her shoulder to look over at him with an expression Travis couldn’t quite translate. He wasn’t always good at reading people. He needed them to tell him what they were thinking.

“He left. I saw his truck pull out of the driveway.” She pulled a plate of turkey out of the fridge and started to make herself a sandwich.

Travis was speechless for a minute. Rod had left? Where would he go? Why would he go?
“He left? When? The roads are going to be terrible! Why would he leave without saying goodbye?” There’d been warnings all week about a winter storm on its way that was going to bring snow east of the Cascades and rain and wind to the west side of the state.

“Gee, Trav, I don’t know, maybe because you forgot to mention to him that you were getting engaged?” Abagail let out a derisive scoff. “And to Lisa Harris, of all people.” She dumped a spoonful of cranberry sauce on the turkey before laying the second piece of bread across the meat.

“Don’t hold back, Abigail, tell me how you really feel. What’s wrong with Lisa? She’s nice, and we’ve known her forever.” Lisa wasn’t bad. She and Travis had been known each other since they were little.

“Lisa’s been obsessing over you forever, she used to try and pump me for information about you; what did you like who you liked…I just have a bad feeling.” shrug, “If I’m wrong I’ll buy you a beer. Don’t you think that’s a question you should have asked before you asked her to marry you?” She took a big bite of her sandwich, chewing and swallowing while she waited for his answer.

“Jeez, Abs.” She glowered at the use of her childhood nickname; “Abs” did not make her happy. “I’ve known her forever, and Mom and Dad—well, Mom seems to like her.” His mom was the only one who mattered; their dad tended to stay quiet during family discussions. “Besides, I didn’t really ask her. We kind of agreed together.”

“You are so stupid. God. How did you survive to adulthood? You know how? I’ll tell you how: Rod saved your ass time after time. You wouldn’t be alive if it wasn’t for him. I mean, seriously, if you are going to use the excuse; I’m sorry, ‘reason’”—she actually made air quotes—“that you asked Lisa to marry you because you’ve known her forever, why didn’t you ask Rod? You’ve known him longer.”

About Elle Keaton:
Elle Keaton here. I hail from the northwet (hahaha) corner of the US where we are known for rain, rain and more rain. I write the Accidental Roots series, set here in the Pacific Northwest featuring hot mm romance with the guarantee of a happy ending for my men. They start broken, and maybe they end up that way too, but they always find the other half of their hearts. I started writing years ago but only began publishing about eighteen months ago and now have six books out. Each features a couple in my little universe, sometimes there is added mystery and suspense. Currently, I am working on the seventh in the series as well as a mm paranormal romance. I’m dabbling with an m/f set in the same universe as Accidental Roots, it features a character who has been around from the beginning who really needs her own HEA. Also, there is a lot of coffee in my stories.

Interview with Elle Keaton:

  1. What was the inspiration behind His Best Man? To be completely honest, it was my editor. I had no plans to write His Best Man but Alicia kept asking “What about the fire fighters?” I caved and now we have His Best Man. The title itself came from — well I guess I don’t want to give that away ☺
  2. What is your writing process? In general I am a pantser. That said, I just changed jobs and I think in order to accommodate my schedule I am going to have to do more plotting. I’ve actually already started the process for the next book in the series. It will also be more technical so – more research and probably significantly longer. Le sigh.
  3. What is the hardest part of that process for you? This is such a great question! For me it changes with every book but often I have trouble with the middle. Or the end, usually the beginning is pretty static. There’s always exceptions to this of course and As Sure As the Sun was one of those – I probably deleted over half and started again when I’d thought I was finished. For His Best Man I started with only a sketch and it took me a while to get to know the characters so that really slowed me down. Right now I have 30k down for a paranormal but … I’m not sure where it’s headed, I’ve put it aside so I can think about it. I find putting a manuscript aside for a little while is much better than forcing out words.
  4. There’s a big leap a writer takes from putting words down on paper for the love of it and actually publishing those words for public scrutiny. What was that journey like for you? I’ve always wanted to write and for many years I didn’t for personal reasons. Then in 2107 I was laid off and I figured I might as well finally hit the publish button on Storm Season which I had been working on for three years. I met my amazing editor at the 2016 GRL, or maybe the now defunct Pacific Northwest LGBT gathering, and she was willing to take a chance on me. I was totally fresh, I’d never worked with an editor before but my awareness of my lack of grammar skills meant I knew I needed one. It’s the best thing I could have done for myself as a writer. Alicia and I work really well together, she has challenged me with each book and I feel I am a better writer for it. The journey has been great, In general, I find the m/m writing community to be very supportive and I love the readers and writers I have met through it.
  5. What can readers expect from you next? I have so much going on in my head! I want to sell enough so I can write full time. I mean I already write when I am not at my *real* job but I’d like to only write. That said, there are 3-4 things in the pipeline. One, of course, is the next in the Accidental Roots series – Detective Jorgensen will get his story and that’s all I’m giving away about that ☺. I’m still working on a totally separate m/m paranormal about a grumpy changeling with a book obsession. There’s a holiday novella in the works, two actually – both in the Accidental Roots universe one will be m/m and the other m/f. Aaaand, a m/f spin-off a full length novel, set in the AR universe. Think something like Lauren Dane (one of my hero’s) in terms of story style. A lot of positive stuff, no creepy alpha hero’s. I think that’s it for now anyway!

Where to find Elle Keaton:
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Words: History

I gave some real thought to what word to use for this month.  I’ll admit that most of the words I came up with weren’t exactly kind.  I’m sure you can figure out why, if you follow US current events at all.  Current events got me thinking, though, about history.  Who gets to write history?  In particular, who gets to write the history of marginalized people, especially those of us whose mere existence was considered taboo to mention even fifty years ago?

 

The old saying is that history is written by the victors, and to some extent that’s accurate.  The stories of wars fought, and which side was right and wrong, is dictated by which group is in charge at any given moment.  We have the source documents to go back to, when they exist, so when a new group comes to power we can go back and say, “Well, maybe it wasn’t like x, I think it’s more accurate to say the war was fought because of y.”  A good example of this is the American Civil War.  People like to claim the war was about federal overreach and “states’ rights,” but if we go back to the foundational documents of the Confederacy we can see that the principal “right” those states were fighting for it was the right to own slaves.  Those are the words of the Confederacy’s leaders themselves, them writing their own history.

 

But what about us, the people who fall under the LGBTQ+ umbrella?  For a long time, depending on where and who of course, our mere existence was something too shameful to mention.  Who writes our history?  Who owns the stories of the people who came before us?

 

Many years ago, I bought a book.  I was so excited to read it.  The book was about how Hamilton and Madison framed the US Constitution.  It took me a long while to get around to reading it, much to my consternation, but once I did I sat down and opened the book.

 

And the author spent a good chuck of text – I want to say 30 pages, it might have been more like 10 – defending Alexander Hamilton’s heterosexuality.  These were the first pages of the book.

 

Now first of all, his arguments were deeply flawed, and if his scholarship was that shoddy when it came to the actual subject of the book I didn’t want to read it.

 

Second, if you feel that compelled to sit there and “defend” how straight some guy was when he’s been dead for 200 years, you’ve got a problem.  He’s not a threat to your masculinity, no one’s going to suspect you’ve got a crush on sweet little Alex, your pastor’s not going to come and rap your knuckles with a ruler, the dude is long since dead.  The sexuality of someone long since dead should not be a threat to you.*

 

Third, the guy was technically correct when he said we could not prove Hamilton was bisexual.  Like I said, the guy died two centuries ago.  We can’t go back to many of the primary sources, because they were heavily edited and, in some cases, destroyed by zealous heirs concerned about respectability.

We do have enough primary sources to know he made overtures to certain men.  And we know from multiple sources that he enjoyed the sexual company of women as well.  This doesn’t seem to be enough for the charming soul who wrote that book, who probably wouldn’t be satisfied even if Hamilton himself returned from the grave, grabbed him by the throat, screamed, “I’m bisexual, dumbass,” and kicked him in the nads.**

 

Some people will always see what they want to see, I guess.

 

Fourth, Hamilton’s sexual orientation has nothing to do with the Constitution.  When I initially tried to read the wretched book, I couldn’t wrap my head around the idea that someone would object so strenuously to the idea of Hamilton’s sexuality that he would devote so much ink to trying to disprove it.  “What are they going to do, toss the Constitution because the guy who wrote it might have liked guys sometimes?” I said.

 

I’m not so sure now.

 

But anyway, given the challenges involved with going back and proving, disproving, or even researching a person’s sexuality, who controls that part of history?  Who controls that part of our history?  Do we sit here and pretend this country was only built by straight white men?  Or do we acknowledge the balance of probability being that certain people’s little “quirks” have been papered over?  It’s not like it’s a criminal trial, or like showing young people today that people like us have achieved great things could somehow harm anyone.

 

Today of course we have the Internet.  Unsupportive and phobic families can try to hide who we were when we’re gone, but the records we chose to put out there will remain.  Hamilton’s letters to Laurens, for example, are explicit enough for those who understand the language of the day.  He seems to have been comfortable enough with himself.  His family, not so much.

 

If he’d lived today, his posts to Laurens (and possibly others) would circulate even now.  There would be no doubt.  Arguably, there wouldn’t have to be.  There are fewer barriers than ever before to telling our own stories.  We can own our own history.  It’s more important than ever for us to do so.

 

* This is an entirely separate case from a case like Jefferson, who owned the woman by whom he had several children.  Sexual assault is not an orientation.

** I would cheerfully engage in necromancy if I thought I could achieve this result.  I REALLY hated that book.

ANNOUNCEMENT/GIVEAWAY – grydscaen: beginnings, by Natsuya Uesugi

grydscaen: beginnings

Natsuya Uesugi has a new queer sci fi book out:

Faid Callen is tired of life on the run in the Echelons trying to keep his psychic power in check. He founds the Packrats, a group of cyberterrorist hackers. A young powerful Psi Faction operative, Lino Dejarre, is sent on a mission to capture Faid. Wanting to keep Lino under control, the Psi Faction kidnaps his half-brother, Riuho, and they take him prisoner, experiment on him, train him, and subject him to mind control.

When Lino is assigned to a high stakes diplomatic mission to reveal a traitor, he finds another psychic operative in play, causing him to question the Psi Faction’s motives. Can Lino rescue his brother before more blood is shed or will Faid step in and destroy the Psi Faction’s plans?

About the Series:

Lino just wanted peace. All he got was war.

In After Colony 2055, the Atlantea Federation, a draconian power had taken over 75% of the world’s territories and launched a nuclear attack, the Dionysis Effect against the insurgent Pacific Territories. In a single brave act, the Pacific Territories retaliated in a battle known as the Blood Red Incident. The untested weapon’s radioactive fallout created Codess which manifested as psychic powers.

After the initial destruction, people struggled to survive and some developed psychic powers as others fell to the pervasive radiation sickness. Civil war ripped at the heart of society with cyberterrorist hacker groups rising up to fight the government. The son of the Viceroy, Lino Dejarre had psychic power. He joined the Psi Faction as a clandestine psychic operative tasked to capture Faid Callen the leader of the Packrat hackers.

Separated at age nine and banished from the royal family, Riuho Dejarre’s hatred for his brother Lino grew as he tried to scrape out a life in the slum level Echelons. Stripped of his citizenship, Riuho vowed to get revenge and thwart Lino’s every move as the young operative tried to govern and keep his people safe. With Faid and Riuho using the Packrat cyberterrorist hackers to attack the government even as the Atlantea Federation increased the threat trying to destroy the remains of the Pacific Territories and their allies, the war took a dire turn.

The Atlantea Federation attacked brutally on the ground and threatened the Pacific Territories’ space colonies. Lino and his Psi Faction team were roped into global diplomacy, inter-colony politics, covert missions, battleship scurmishes, jet fighter sorties, and space battles facing the Atlantea Federation head on. When Riuho once more entered the fray, his high stakes game of manipulation and lies threatened to destroy everything for which Lino had worked.

With threats to the fragile Pacific Territories coalition and the fate of the world at stake, can Lino, the Viceroy of the City, the Echelons and the Zone lead the Pacific Territories to a victory? Intrigue, fast-paced action, clandestine psychic operatives, hackers, the oppressive Zone Police, and shadowy government conspiracies, the situation couldn’t be riskier. Will Lino ever see peace and an end to war? Find out in the dystopian grydscaen series. Whose side are you on?

Get it on Amazon


Giveaway

Natsuya is giving away an eBook copy of his grydscaen: rogue book with this tour – enter via Rafflecopter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b60e8d4728/?


Excerpt

“Why is there a child here?” asked Jai.

“He will be staying here now. He has psi potential. We are giving him to Dr. Ren as a test subject,” said Gailen as they walked down the hall to the Controlling Chambers in the Psi Faction building.

“Where did he come from?” asked Jai.

“His mother sold him to the Psi Faction for a cit card,” informed Gailen.

“People actually do that?” choked out Jai.

“His mother was a prostitute. She sold him and was paid a hefty sum and given a cit card. The child has very high psi potential. We would have requested him if she had not offered.”

There was a maintenance crew in the hall. They were fixing up a room in the back of the Controlling Chambers to make a day care center, a playroom. It was to ensure there was some age appropriate place for the child to be kept during the day. Dr. Ren was in the Controlling Chamber area when they got there.

“How is it going?” asked Gailen coming up to him.

“Oh Gailen. Come in. Come see. It is going rather well. I think this room will be adequate,” said Dr. Ren.

There was an electrician at the wall installing an electrical panel and he handed Dr. Ren a remote control. The electrician finished up and placed the face plate of the panel at the wall and told Dr. Ren the panel was all set.

“The room has a damper, a psi shield and other features that will help to control the child. He has been here for almost six weeks now. We have just started the first level of his psi conditioning. He has been very receptive so far. Would you like to see him?” said Dr. Ren.

Dr. Ren walked with Jai and Gailen to the living quarters. They went to the main observation room with four rooms along the wall with glass windows. Each room had a bed and a dresser and a chair. There was a child in one of the rooms sitting in a chair. Gailen, Dr. Ren and Jai came into the main room with the lights out. The child could not see them through the one way glass.

The child had dull ash brown hair that kind of looked like it was blue since the colour was washed out. The child was rocking back and forth in the chair with his hands on his head.

“What is he doing?” asked Jai.

“We gave him an initial dose of nanomachines to see how they would take. He is reacting to that,” said Dr. Ren.

“Is it a girl or a boy?” asked Gailen.

“It’s a girl. But when I ask her she says she is a boy,” said Dr. Ren.

“She is transgender then?” asked Gailen.

“Yes, that is what it looks like. I did a whole psychological work up on her. We should start calling her he and just get used to that. She also refuses to wear dresses. One of the nurses in the infirmary tried,” said Dr. Ren.

“What is her name? I mean his name,” said Jai.

“Julian Iskafiin,” said Dr. Ren. “But he said he wants to be called Blue.”

“He is only five. How does he know what he wants to be called?” asked Gailen.

“Julian said his mother called him Blue.”

Jai looked over at Blue in the chair. The child stood up and went to the wall and started banging his head on the wall. Dr. Ren lifted up his arm and tapped out some buttons on a metal arm band he had on. A nurse came into the room and started comforting Blue.


Author Bio

Natsuya UesugiNatsuya Uesugi is a systems analyst and white hat hacker who has worked in the design of aerospace, semiconductor and financial systems. With an MBA in International Management and a minor in Japanese, Natsuya uses his Japanese, Black and Native American heritage to paint his stories, keeping an eye on diversity.

By night, Natsuya is an author and manga artist weaving stories in his cyberpunk grydscaen world, his dark fantasy universe The Seer of Grace and Fire, and his contemporary yaoi graphic noiz which takes place in New York City. He studied animation and game design at the Art Institute of Phoenix where he learned sequential art and traditional animation that fueled his childhood dream of creating manga and anime.

To date he has created four manga and two episodes of the short anime grydscaen: A Storm’s Coming based on the teenage hacker Rom. He enjoys skydiving, cosplay, manga, World Cup futbol, watching French news, eating ramen and anything with matcha, watching anime in Japanese, and writing poetry.

Author Website: http://www.grydscaen.com
Author Facebook (Personal): https://www.facebook.com/natsuya.uesugi
Author Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/Grydscaen/
Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/natsuya_uesugi
Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4558587.Natsuya_Uesugi
Author QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/natsuya-uesugi/
Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Natsuya-Uesugi/e/B00J6EDQQ6/

ANNOUNCEMENT/GIVEAWAY: no way out, by Eric Alan Westfall

no way out

QSFer Eric Alan Westfall has a new MM historical romance out:

It’s April of 1816 in Another England.

And Jeremy—a whore from the Dock—is living in a guest bedroom at the London home of the (in)famous Iron Marquess, with over fifteen days missing from his life.

For someone who remembers everything from his third birthday on, it’s unnerving not to know. Fine, fourteen days for the coma and the infection delirium. But those first thirty-six hours. Do they explain how he got hurt, how he got to Ireton House, and why his lordship’s mountain-sized valet is taking care of him? Or why his ironness looks at him with nothing iron at all in his eyes?

Jeremy and the Iron Marquess both have dark secrets. Forced engagements, an inheritance, a scheme to clap Jeremy in Bedlam, the revelation of the missing hours, a problem with plumage, some numbered accounts, and a long sea voyage, all seem to mean there’s no way out of the snares surrounding them. Or is the old saying true: where there’s a waltz, there’s a way?

All royalties will go to a local LGBT organization.

Universal Buy Link | Amazon | QueeRomance Ink | Goodreads


Giveaway

Eric is giving away two backlist eBooks (ePub or mobi) to one luck winner. Enter via Rafflecopter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b60e8d4726/?


Excerpt

6 April 1816
1:38 p.m.
Ireton House, London

no way out
The voice was back.
Inside my head.

Still I swiveled, twisting to look behind, knowing I would see what I always see when the words are said—nothing. The unpainted, scuffed wooden floor was empty. The door to second story elegance had not creaked since we passed through, shutting it behind us, moments ago. The stairs to lesser third-story elegance and fourth story no elegance at all were both bare of bodies who might whisper words only I could hear.

I turned forward again, teetered, and reaching out, slapped my palms flat against the walls of the narrow servants’ stairs. Pressing hard, I tilted back, but my socked foot slipped on the slick wooden edge. When I landed, the floor made known its displeasure with a sharp splinter through the rope-belted loose trousers, ill-fitting smalls, and into my bum. I yelped.

The cold voice of Thomas, the senior footman, rose up the stairwell from the landing below. “His lordship is waiting.”

I shifted my weight to my left hip, and rolled to my knees, giving him a fine view of my bottom if he was watching, which was by now instinctive. I made a point of lifting my left leg with great care, and with equal care placing my foot on the floor, again in case he was watching. A right foot repeat and then some clearly awkward struggling to get myself as upright on the landing as I could—although a boy with a twisted spine and a twisted leg can never be truly upright—followed by a shuffle-step away from the edge. I suppressed the temptation to rub my right arse cheek. Without turning around I called down, “Well, bugger ‘is bleedin’ lordship! Me feet ‘urt ‘n me arse ‘as been ‘urt, too.”

My feet didn’t hurt much any more. Though bandaged still, and covered with the thick wool stockings sagging around my ankles, they had almost healed. But the pretense might keep me here, with a comfortable bed, and good food, for just a while longer. I grinned a small, wicked grin to myself, and wiped it away as I turned to face the stairs. “Right, then. Shall I drop me britches, turn ‘n bend and you can see what’s stickin’ in me bum, ‘n maybe come up ‘n pull it out?”

It was amazing how much disdain could be contained in stare and stance. Thomas even managed to look down his nose while looking upthe stairs.

“Orright, orright. Jus’ wait a bleedin’ minute. ‘n you might want to close yer eyes so’s y’don’t see somethin’ what might ‘orrify you, just in case me grip slips, ‘cause I ain’t goin’ nowhere with somethin’ stickin’ in me arse.”

My hands were on the knot in the rope, and I grinned broadly when the footman closed his eyes, with a stern “Be quick about it then, boy.”

I untied the knot, loosening the waistband since whoever supplied the trousers was much thicker around the middle than me, using my left hand to hold the pants up. I reached behind, and working my right hand into my smalls and found the painful little bugger. With thumb and forefinger I wiggled it free, brought my hand round to the front, and looked at the bloody, bloody thing. I shouldn’t have, but I did. I lifted the three-quarter-inch sliver before my face. “Oi! Is this a dagger wot I see before me?”

Bloody hell. Bloody, bloody, bloodyhell. Maybe Thomas wouldn’t…. Well, bloodyhell all over again, he did. The footman was looking at me now, his eyes wide, his mouth open to say something, and then he slowly shut it.

It would only make it worse if I tried to cobble together an explanation of why, or how a sixteen-year-old street boy (the age I gave) could paraphrase The Scottish Play. I shut my own mouth, dropped the splinter, retied the knot, and began descending the stairs with care, one thumping step at a time. I braced one hand against the wall—his lordship did not believe in hand rails for his servants—in case of another slip. The footman waited until I was almost at the landing before turning away. Watching my downward struggle, he was unconcerned about the possibility of another fall, his expression informing me if I fell I was on my own. I followed in silence as we went through the halls of the first floor to the front of the house.

Ah, his lordship’s library. I stared at the door.

I’d been in there, just the once, when I shouldn’t have been. But then, I shouldn’t have been in the house in the first place, but I was, though I didn’t know why. Or how I came to be here. Both were part of what was missing. I could remember every…bloody…thingin my life up to the night before…whatever…happened. Remember the Dock on the 12th, the clock in my head saying it was ten thirty at night when I finished the last man. I remember the glint of the shilling as it spun through the air, making me get off my knees, bend and stretch to reach it in the muck. The feel of the metal between my fingertips as I picked it up. Then the twist and roll away, my back taking the brunt of the kick meant for my belly. The man was one of those who, once done, and eager to be tucked and buttoned away, feels guilty and lashes out at the one responsible for his sin. I remember his silhouette as I got to my feet, his realizing how much taller I was, and how the silhouette turned and hurried away.

Then nothing more until I woke up too damned many days later in a bloody nobleman’s house, in sobbing agony, weak, my feet, head and thigh throbbing with pain.


Author Bio

Eric is a Midwesterner, and as Lady Glenhaven might say, “His first sea voyage was with Noah.” He started reading at five with one of the Andrew Lang books (he thinks it was The Blue Fairy Book) and has been a science fiction/fantasy addict ever since. Most of his writing is in those (MM) genres.

The exceptions are his Another England (alternate history) series:  The Rake, The Rogue and the Roué(Regency novel), Mr. Felcher’s Grand Emporium, or, The Adventures of a Pair of Spares in the Fine Art of Gentlemanly Portraiture(Victorian), with no way out(Regency) coming out a month after Of Princes.

Two more fairy tales are in progress:  3 Boars & A Wolf Walk Into A Bar(Eric is sure you can figure this one out), and The Truth About Them Damn Goats(of the gruff variety).

Now all he has to do is find the time to write the incomplete stuff! (The real world can be a real pain!)

Author Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/Eric-Alan-Westfall-1045476662268838

Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/eawestfall43

LOGO - Other Worlds Ink

REVIEW: Any Given Lifetime, by Leta Blake

Any Given Lifetime, by Leta Blake

Title: Any Given Lifetime
Author: Leta Blake
Genre: Paranormal, Metaphysical, Romance
LGBTQ+ Category: Gay
Publisher: Leta Blake Books
Pages/Word Count: 215 Pages
Reviewer: Georgiana

This is him. He’s everything.

When two souls have found their mates, no time or distance can keep them away. This is true for Joshua and Neil.

“When I lost Neil, my first love, I thought I’d never feel pain that bad again.”

Joshua and Neil were together a short amount of time, but it was apparent from the beginning they were meant for each other. It wasn’t easy for Neil to experience growing up again, knowing he had left behind his life as an older man and his soul mate. Everything in Neil yearns to be with Joshua again.  The way he throws himself into work and sometimes sex just to get by in his new life breaks my heart at times.

“Aw, that’s cute. You think you’re a man.” He patted Neil’s knee in an over-fond way. “Keep eating your vegetables and maybe you will be one day.”

Joshua is sweet and understandably guarded after losing not only one, but two partners. He never stopped loving Neil, but life must move on, right? Only it doesn’t move in the way he ever expected.

“Yes, me. My name’s Neil Green.” He crossed his arms over his chest.
Joshua gasped. The words punched him in the gut, and he blinked at the kid in shock. “I’m sorry, what did you say your name was?”
“You heard me,” Neil Green said, but his voice was soft now, tender, like he cared. “I doubt it’s a name you’d forget. Or maybe I’m wrong about that?”

The overflowing amount of longing, angst, love and grief that came off the page gripped at my heart only to start slowly releasing once the two meet in Neil’s apartment. It was a beautiful, riveting and emotional roller-coaster.

The intimacy between Joshua and Neil is amazing. Deep, intense and at times funny.

“Last time around? I wasn’t this big. I mean, I had a good cock, but this one is a humdinger.”

Leta Blake is known for writing beautifully deep and emotional stories, but this one is truly a gem. I adored Joshua and Neil and will recommend their story to others.

NEW RELEASE REVIEW: Back To You by Kim Breyon

Get Back To You by Kim Breyon on Amazon & Kindle Unlimited

Author: Kim Breyon
Book: Back To You
Series: Against All Odds #1
Page/Word Count: 220 pages, 86K words
Categories: Contemporary Romance, Gay Romance
Release Date: September 13, 2018
Buy Links:
Get Back To You by Kim Breyon on Amazon & Kindle Unlimited Add Back To You by Kim Breyon on Goodreads
Blurb:
Get Back To You by Kim Breyon on Amazon & Kindle UnlimitedOne of you, one of me…

As a private investigator, I have a perfect record when it comes to closing cases…as long as you don’t count the only one that ever really mattered to me.

Even after a decade, the memory of the foster boy I once shared a room with continues to haunt my dreams. For five years, Riley helped me laugh when there was so little in our lives to laugh about. His gentle touch and stormy gray eyes were the only thing that could calm the swirling and turbulent thoughts and emotions within me.

But in the blink of an eye, the safe harbor my best friend provided was ripped from my life without warning or reason. His unexplained disappearance set sail to a lonely and hopeless journey. Now, I am no more willing to let the memory of my best friend go than I am ready to give up the search for him, as hopeless as it may seem to those around me.

And then a client asks me to locate a stolen treasure box. Clues have me heading from the city of Atlanta to a small, picturesque town in South Carolina called Reedsport. There, I hope to find the missing box; what I never expected was to find something else that I’d been missing for far too long. Could I have finally found a beacon of hope that would lead Riley Tanager back to me?


Excerpt:
Thick, humid air burned my lungs as I sucked in a deep breath, jolted from the dream. Sweat ran down my face and neck, soaking the old, lumpy pillow. I tried to sit up, but the sheets were tangled around my waist, amplifying my panic even more. I wanted to cry out, to scream, but couldn’t find my voice.

I finally managed to toss the sweat-soaked sheets aside and sat up, scrubbing a hand along the back of my neck. Those familiar steel-gray eyes, outlined by long dark lashes, continued to haunt me, as though he were right in front of me. They were once the only thing that could calm my heart, yet now they stole my sleep and made me restless. Now they left me raw. No matter how many miles I ran a day, I couldn’t distance myself from the pain his memory caused.

I knew if I focused hard enough, past the rapid thump-thump of my heart, I would almost be able to hear his sweet, tender voice whispering to me.

“In and out, Beck. It’ll be okay.”

Rain pelted against the window, and the room lit up as lightning flashed. I held my breath and clenched my hands in tight balls against the mattress in anticipation of the booming thunder that I knew would come. When the walls shook, every muscle in my body tightened. I pretended it was him when I pressed my cool, clammy fingers against the scar on my left wrist in slow, soothing strokes. But it wasn’t the same. It was never the same. Nothing ever chased the fear away like his touch did.

reviewericon-Natalie
4✨s – Kim Breyon has debuted a very engaging book about young love and second chances. At 10 years old, Riley is placed in the same foster home as Beckett, 13, soon becoming each other’s best friends. After a few years, Beckett owes to live with his older sister but is still nearby. He leaves for a college tour and upon his return, finds that Riley has disappeared. No one will tell him what happened due in part to legal restrictions but other obstacles are later revealed. Years after, working as a PI, Beckett still searches but it’s only by coincidence that he finds Riley again, and I liked the added aura of fated lovers to the story. The slow burn for this couple makes complete sense with so much to explain and share in getting to know each other again, Steamy scenes are done well and emotion and passion is evident.

Flashbacks can be tricky but were needed here to illustrate the depth of their connection and circumstances around the separation. They weren’t chronological but comprised only a few paragraphs at the start of each chapter, often relating to a scenario set in the present. Alternating POV’s helped in creating empathy with the characters and their “voices” were quite distinct from each other. First person isn’t always a favorite of mine but worked well enough here. Secondary characters were strongly written, like Jake, Beckett’s good friend and Amelia, who is Riley’s. Beckett’s sister Tosh was rather confusing and some revelations and motives of hers came out in a kind of choppy fashion. I also had a few questions which were never fully answered in the narrative but that didn’t detract from the overall storyline.

The book held my interest strongly, providing a lot of feeling and emotion for the young teens parted so abruptly and the now-grown men recapturing their younger emotions. I was heartbroken for them discovering a betrayal by someone trusted and anticipation of how they could manage as a long-distance couple. The catalyst for a solution is kind of sad but it’s an extremely solid and bright HEA in the end. I’m now looking forward to reading the next book with Jake, to find out what makes him such a player. It’s always a pleasure to find another good author to enjoy and I can recommend this first offering as a good comfort read.

About Kim Breyon:
I am an Idaho native who grew up dreaming about traveling the world and writing stories. I would often spend my spare time curled up with my favorite blanket and a notebook, writing another fairy tale. I never would have guessed those fairy tales would one day grow into gay romances, but that is where my heart led me and I am so glad it did. I write about love because I believe it can happen to anyone, with anyone. I also believe dreams never expire, redemption is possible, and true forgiveness can heal us in ways we never expect. I know firsthand how messy life can get, but as any artist will tell you, a little mess is needed to create something beautiful. That’s why I write, to help others see that anything can be beautiful. You can often find me with a mug of coffee in one hand and a dog toy in the other. There is never a day that goes by without my sweet boy insisting on a game – or twenty – of fetch.

Interview with Kim Breyon:

  1. What was the inspiration behind Back to You? This story came to me when one of the main characters, Beckett, visited me in a dream. He was sitting by a computer looking utterly depressed and there was this sense of hopelessness about him. I could tell he was missing something, or someone, but I didn’t know what yet. His fingers were hovering over the keyboard, itching to type something into the internet search browser, but he knew it wouldn’t do him any good. Like it was a battle he’d bene fighting for so long, I just didn’t know why. My heart just broke for him, so I spent time with him over the next week or so, getting to know him more. The more he told me, the more his story just broke me. I knew I had to help him.
  2. What is your writing process? I spent several days getting to know Beckett and trying to picture the friend he was looking for. But his friend’s face and name were still a mystery to me, so I focused more on the story. Once we narrowed down how the biggest mystery of Beckett’s life would be solved, I just took it chapter by chapter. First by detailed outline, then writing it. I tried not to jump ahead, letting each scene play out. I think it worked well for me, but that sounds much simpler than it actually was… ha!
  3. What is the hardest part of that process for you? I think stepping back and looking at the bigger picture. Sometimes, I’d get so wrapped up in a certain scene or a tiny detail that I’d end up stalling the flow of the story. I also had to learn to trust my ability to tell Beckett and Riley’s story well, which was difficult.
  4. There’s a big leap a writer takes from putting words down on paper for the love of it and actually publishing those words for public scrutiny. What was that journey like for you? I have several years of shame and disappointment that I had to overcome to even start this. Very few people in my life believe writing fiction is a dream worth pursuing. Some have even said it was a waste of time. But, they couldn’t see how writing is like oxygen for me. I crave it and am a better person when I have a chance to dwell in my creative world a bit. It’s always been that way for me. So, I had to push their words aside and try to believe that my own words do have meaning, even if it was only to myself. There were several tears and curse words along the way, but when I reached the end, I could almost feel several of those chains falling away. I’m beyond proud of myself for accomplishing this and excited to continue on.
  5. What can readers expect from you next? Book two in this series, titled And Then you, is already written and undergoing it’s first round of major edits. I hope to release it in January. There are at least three books planned after that, too. My dream of being an author is only beginning. I have no plans of stopping now that I’ve started.

Where to find Kim Breyon:
Kim Breyon Amazon Author Page Kim Breyon on Facebook Kim Breyon's Facebook Author Page Kim Breyon's Facebook Group Page Kim Breyon on Goodreads Kim Breyon on Instagram

NEW RELEASE REVIEW: Greyson Fox by TL Travis

NEW RELEASE REVIEW: Greyson Fox by TL Travis

Author: TL Travis
Book: Greyson Fox
Page/Word Count: 189 pages, 60K words
Categories: Gay Romance, Mystery & Suspense, Erotic, MM, Coming of Age, Urban, May/December, Dark, Romance
Release Date: September 28, 2018
Publisher: Encompass Ink
Cover Artist: SL Perrine / Wander Aguiar
Buy Links:
Get Greyson Fox by TL Travis on Amazon & Kindle Unlimited Add Greyson Fox by TL Travis on Goodreads
Blurb:
NEW RELEASE REVIEW: Greyson Fox by TL TravisGreyson Fox, the man, the myth, the legend. The highly sought after, self-proclaimed permanent bachelor. Or so the rumor mill goes. Sure, I’ve heard it all – but the one that stung the most was being called a heartless bastard. Love ‘em and leave ‘em, that one in particular I found to be the most humorous since only one man had ever shared my bed more than once, and he’d long since passed away.

I wasn’t the heartless bastard they all proclaimed me to be, but life had a way of kicking me in the teeth…Repeatedly, so I shut my heart off.

For years I thrived, building my empire and living by my own rules. Until one day, the walls came crashing down around me.

Potential trigger warning: This book contains brief descriptions of human sex trafficking, as well as two mentions of sexual abuse, including a brief description of oral abuse and an attempted sexual assault. There is some physical abuse by the syndicates hands and a drug overdose so if those are trigger points this may not be the book for you.


Excerpt:
Saying I’d never explored my sexuality up until this point in my life would’ve been a solid gold truth. My mother had been gone nearly a year and the only plans I had for my twentieth birthday was to go to the cemetery before spending the remainder of the day at home, alone. Always alone. Every year she’d bake me my favorite cake, yellow cake with chocolate frosting. Double layer with more chocolate frosting in the center. To many, that would come across as lame. To me, it was everything especially considering she’d allowed me to eat it for breakfast over the next couple days after. But this year, I couldn’t even bring myself to look at the boxes of cake mix while walking down the baking aisle in the grocery store.

I fell in love once, only the feelings weren’t reciprocated. At least not to the extent that mine were, or so the demons led me to believe until I found out otherwise. Don’t get me wrong, I knew he loved me, but the voices in my head always reminded me that his heart belonged to another. Even though his actions spoke otherwise. His name was Daniel Holloway. He was the original owner of the Seattle Into the Grey bar, but back then it was called The Nook and was a third of the size it was today. But I’d never forget the day we met.

I bet there weren’t many people out there who realized they were gay as they stalked a total stranger while lurking behind a tree at a cemetery of all places — and on their birthday nonetheless. But there I stood, shaking like a leaf watching this drop-dead gorgeous, Viking of a man place a bouquet of red roses in a metal vase that was cemented in the ground in front of a headstone. When he was satisfied with the placement of the arrangement, he took a seat on the concrete bench that sat off to the side of it.


4.5✨s – Oh man – what a story. Greyson is quite the man, myth and legend!!! It was awesome to read about the evolution of Greyson and how life events changed him. Until Samuel…. The story and insta-love between Greyson and Samuel is chocked full of feelings and hot sex. Loved how the story developed the clubs, Greyson’s business partners and friends. Hoping there are more stories to come from Into the Grey!!!

About TL Travis:
TL Travis is the published author of a plethora of Erotic Romance musings that have earned her a “Best Seller” status in the US as well as Internationally. In her spare time, when she’s not weaving her erotic webs, she enjoys all the magnificent glory the Pacific Northwest has to offer. She’s rescued 4-legged souls in need for as long as she can remember, and wants to remind you to “Adopt, not shop.” Saving that life may very well save yours in return.

Where to find TL Travis:
TL Travis Amazon Author Page TL Travis on Facebook TL Travis on Goodreads TL Travis on Instagram TL Travis Newsletter TL Travis on Pinterest TL Travis on Twitter TL Travis Website TL Travis on YouTube

NEW RELEASE: Rebuilding Hope by Jessie G

Buy Rebuilding Hope by Jessie G

AUTHOR NAME: Jessie G
BOOK NAME: Rebuilding Hope
SERIES NAME:  A Kindred Story, Book #1
PUBLISHER: Jessie G Books, Inc.
PAGE/WORD COUNT: 200 pages, 64K words
CATEGORIES: Gay, Contemporary, Shifter
COVER MODELS: TankJoey & Connor Jay
PHOTOGRAPHER: CJC Photography
COVER ARTIST: Andrew Reyna
BUY LINKS: Amazon Universal

Buy Rebuilding Hope by Jessie GBLURB: Holden Bancroft was born with a better than average brain and not much else. Often described as strange and sickly, his attempts to conform only made him look foolish and a life-long diet of pills hasn’t provided a cure. Deciding to strengthen the only tool in his arsenal was liberating and learning became his greatest joy. But each episode is another reminder that his time is limited, and Holden intends to use everything he’s learned to help the small town of Hope before he dies.

Alpha Crowley Lomond, Zenith of the Americas, isn’t exactly happy with his ascension. Leading isn’t the problem, it’s acting like he’s somehow better than every other shifter that chafes. But while living and working beside them may seem noble, Crowley is more than just an alpha. As Zenith, he’s their example, their teacher and guide, and the one they will turn to when their way of life is threatened.

Meeting changes them in ways they never could have predicted and unveils a web of deceit that began long before they were born. Together, they will have to unravel the lies and reconcile the consequences if they are to protect the shifter way of life. Along the way, Crowley will become the Zenith his Kindred was born to love and their enemies will learn that there’s nothing more dangerous than fated mates.

Teasers: click to enlarge

Rebuilding Hope by Jessie G Rebuilding Hope by Jessie G Rebuilding Hope by Jessie G