Friday, May 31, 2019

Third Time's The Charm by K. Evan Coles - Blog Tour with Excerpt and Giveaway


Book Title: Third Time’s the Charm (Boston Seasons, Book 1)

Author: K. Evan Coles

Publisher: Pride Publishing/Totally Entwined Group

Genre/s: Contemporary M/M Romance, Erotic Romance

Trope/s: Hurt/Comfort, KidFic, True Love, Meet Cute

Themes: Family/Parenting. Friendship, Child Abandonment

Heat Rating: 4 flames 

Length: 68,000 words

Release Date: May 28, 2019 

This is book number one in a series. It can also stand as its own story.



Luke Ryan’s life is too chaotic for romance, what with running his business and being the legal guardian to his ten-year-old niece, but he’s hopeful he’ll find the right man.

Trauma surgeon Finn Thomason recently relocated from Chicago to Boston, where his focus on medicine leaves him little space for a personal life. Making a commitment to find a better work-life balance, Finn hopes he’ll also find a relationship.

Caught in an evening rainstorm, Luke shelters under a sidewalk awning…and encounters a handsome stranger. The two strike up a conversation and Finn offers to walk Luke under his oversized umbrella. Charmed, Luke accepts and asks Finn out for coffee in thanks.

Luke and Finn quickly grow close, but, as the summer draws to an end, Luke struggles to keep his connection with Finn while Finn tries to come to terms with caring for a man whose attention is pulled in many directions. Both men are scrambling to get it right, but only time will tell if they’ll learn there is more than enough room in their hearts to go around.

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“Hey, Luke, I’m going to Starbucks to buy coffee for everyone. You want?”

Luke Ryan stared at the code on his computer monitors and nodded absently. “Sure.”

“Okay. Grab your stuff and come with me.”

Luke blinked. “What do you need me for?” He turned away from the monitors and faced his best friend and business partner, Simon Martin.

Simon stood and eyed Luke across their shared office. “To help me schlep back the orders.”

“Ugh.” It was nearly two p.m. and Luke’s concentration was flagging. As much as he wanted to keep working, fresh coffee sounded wonderful. The idea of going to fetch it, however, not so much. He stood and picked up his wallet and phone from his desk. “We wouldn’t be having this conversation if you’d let me buy a new coffeemaker.”

“I said I’d buy it, didn’t I?”

“Yes, you said that two weeks ago. And here we are, making the trek to Starbucks once again.”

Simon sighed at Luke’s grumbling. “Oh, goodness. I’ll buy one this weekend, I promise. In the meantime, you could stand to go outside for a few minutes. Your ass has been bolted to that chair all day. You didn’t even break for lunch.”

“Yes, I did.”

“You ate a plastic squeeze tube filled with something green.”

“It was yogurt,” Luke said. “I bought a box of mixed flavor tubes but Ella doesn’t like lime, so they’re all mine.”

Simon grimaced. “That sounds appalling. Serves you right for feeding that girl junk.”

Luke chuckled as they started for the door. His niece, Ella, was ten years old and particular about what she ate. Luke had been stuck eating food she’d rejected before, but he didn’t mind—weird foods came with the territory of raising children. Or helping to raise them, anyway, as Luke had been helping his brother, Peter, do for the past several years, ever since Peter’s wife had walked out on her family and Peter had moved Ella from the Marine base in Virginia back to Boston and into Luke’s Back Bay apartment.

Once outside, Luke and Simon walked a block and a half to Winter Street, navigating around shoppers and tourists. The line at Starbucks stretched nearly out of the door, and they stepped up to its end while Luke read over the orders his coworkers had scribbled on a scrap of paper.

“I don’t know what this says.” He pointed at one messy line. “This looks like Klingon.”

Simon squinted. “You would know, I suppose. I’m fairly sure everyone ordered cold brew, by the way. That’s all those hipster punks drink anyway.”

Luke laughed. “Good point. Gillian wants an almond milk Macchiato, though.” Gillian Vasquez was the third partner in their software development business. Petite, red-haired and whip-smart, her easygoing personality provided an excellent foil for Simon’s brashness and Luke’s hyperfocus. Gillian kept Simon and Luke in line and they knew it.

“Is she still doing the dairy-free thing?” Simon asked.

“I’m not sure. I think she just likes almond milk, to be honest. Ella’s the same.”

“That doesn’t make those bowls of sugar cereal you feed her any healthier, you know.”

Luke rolled his eyes. He’d never understood why kids’ cereals got such a bad rap. Beyond the high sugar content and their dubious nutritional value, that was.

“I found a recipe for Cap’n Crunch cookies,” he said. “I was thinking Ella and I could make them over the weekend.” He snorted with laughter at Simon’s obvious disgust.

“Where on earth would you find such a thing?”

“Pinterest. It’s loaded with all kinds of questionable recipes.”

“Oh, Pickle.” Simon made a sympathetic noise. “This only underscores what I’ve been telling you for months—you need to get out more.”

Luke winced. “Please don’t call me Pickle in public.” He glanced around, hoping no one had overheard the ridiculous nickname, and met the gaze of a dark-haired guy standing behind them.

Well, hello there.

Luke flashed a grin and the guy blinked, clearly surprised. He offered Luke a shy half-smile of his own just before the line shifted.

Luke faced forward. “You know I don’t have time to go out,” he said to Simon. “Even if I did, the men I’d meet would take one look at Ella and run for the hills.”

“Surely not every man you meet is averse to the idea of family.” Simon frowned. “I like children. Or Ella, at least.”

“Yes, but you and I are not dating.”

“Not since I kicked you to the curb a decade ago, true.” He smiled at Luke’s laughter. “Still, I can’t imagine anyone you meet not being charmed by Ella. She’s loveable even when she’s being difficult.”

They stepped forward as the line moved again. Luke hazarded another glance back and felt a pang of disappointment to find the cute guy talking on his phone. He met Luke’s eyes again, however, and Luke smothered a curse when Simon nudged him with his elbow.

“Ella likes you, so of course you think she’s fun,” Luke said. “Not everyone thinks the way you do or wants to stick around while I fill in for her dad, though.”

“Are you so sure?” Simon asked.

“I’m still single, am I not?”

“Yes, though I confess I don’t know why. It’s not because you’re lacking in looks and your personality is certainly adequate.”

“Nice.” Luke shrugged off both the compliment and the tease. He knew he was easy to look at. He was tall and fit with a heart-shaped face and gray-green eyes, and his friends joked he couldn’t take a bad photo. Luke didn’t suffer for lack of attention from men. Keepinga man’s interest presented the real challenge these days, and that had a lot to do with the fact that he was taking care of a young child.

“I’m thirty-two years old,” he said. “The men I meet who want children are either already parents or in committed relationships and headed in that direction.”

“This is why you need to meet newmen,” Simon replied. “Ella isn’t your daughter, Luke. Pete’ll be back from deployment in a couple of months and that’ll take some of the pressure off you. There’s no reason for you to be celibate until then, either.”

“I’m hardly celibate,” Luke muttered, his cheeks hot. “And please keep your voice down.”

He paused as they approached the counter. Simon placed the order and Luke glanced at the guy behind them again. Thankfully, he was still on his phone instead of being forced to eavesdrop on the saga of Luke’s sad single life.

“I know I haven’t had a boyfriend since Ella moved in with me,” Luke continued while Simon paid for the order. “Taking care of her complicates my life, but it’s nothing compared to Pete’s wife taking off on them. AndI do go out on occasion, Simon. I date.”

Simon cocked a well-groomed eyebrow at him. “Okay, and when exactly? Because we both know you don’t have time to yourself anymore.”

Despite Simon’s gentle tone, Luke winced. Even with help from his parents and his babysitter, Melissa, he rarely had a minute to himself outside his own bathroom. Even then, odds were Ella would knock on the door and blithely ask questions while Luke showered or shaved.

“In all seriousness, when did you last go out with a man?” Simon asked. They moved aside so the baristas could mix up their magic, and he patted Luke’s arm. “Hell, when did you last pick someone up?”

“I met someone while I was grocery shopping last week, believe it or not,” Luke replied. “We emailed a couple of times, but he dropped off the map. I picked someone up a couple of months ago, the last time Pete came home on leave.” He grinned at Simon. “You and I went out for dinner and drinks, then over to that bar in Back Bay named after Oscar Wilde. Remember?”

“That’s the bar with the boozy milkshakes?”

“Yes! I met Jeremy that night.”

Realization flashed in Simon’s eyes. “I’d forgotten that’s where you met. Where was I?”

“Sucking face with some bartender, I think.” Luke smirked at Simon’s raucous laughter.

“Oh, God, that’s right. Those milkshakes are lethal!”

“Believe me, I remember.” Luke reached up and ruffled Simon’s hair. “Anyway, I didn’t take Jeremy home that night, but we exchanged numbers and spent time together for a couple of weeks.”

“What happened between you two, anyway? I don’t think you ever said.”

“There was nothing to tell. Pete’s leave ended and I canceled a couple of dates because Melissa was busy and I couldn’t find a sitter. Jeremy just faded out.” Despite his careless tone, Luke’s heart twinged a little. He’d enjoyed spending time with Jeremy and watching him withdraw had stung.

Simon clasped Luke’s shoulder with one strong hand. “I’m sorry. It doesn’t have to be that way all the time, you know. I can watch Ella for you if Melissa is busy—I just need some notice. Gillian will, too. Hell, ask around the office if you need someone for a couple of hours. I’m sure at least one of the kids on staff is the babysitting type.”

“I know, and thanks. It doesn’t matter, though. The reality is I’m with Ella a lot because I want to be and guys usually bolt after they figure that out.”

Simon’s gentle scowl warmed Luke’s heart. He loved that his friend cared enough to listen. Then Luke saw the cute guy with the dark hair pay for his single coffee and leave. Damn. Once upon a time, Luke would have struck up a conversation with him instead of watching the opportunity slip away. Maybe Simon had a point.

“It’s fine,” he said. “And you’re right. I should make an effort to get out there and meet new men. Especially since things will go back to normal after Pete gets home. For a while, anyway.”

“That ‘for a while’ is kind of a problem.” Simon’s expression sobered. “Your brother will still be at Quantico more rather than less. I don’t even mean that in a bad way because I know you love having her here.”

Luke nodded. He’d never thought twice about welcoming his niece into his home. “I do. All the more reason to find someone who’s okay with Ella being in my life.”

Is that such a bad thing to want?Luke didn’t think so.

The barista called their order and Luke handed Simon the bags he’d been holding. “At any rate, it’ll be great having Pete back, even if he’s not in Boston. Ella hasn’t been the same since her dad was deployed.” Carefully, he collected the trays of cups.

Simon led the way out, talking over his shoulder as he held the door for Luke. “You think so?”

“Oh, yeah.” Luke sighed. “She really misses him, and it’s not like we can visit. She worries about his safety, just like my parents worry, and I do, too. Life will be a hundred times easier for all of us with Pete on US soil, whether he’s at the Marine base or not.”

“I understand,” Simon replied. “I’m just sorry I can’t do more than listen.”

Luke smiled. “Don’t be. I’d have gone bananas a long time ago without you and Gillian around to listen and keep me sane.”

“Girl, you’ve always been bananas,” Simon said, his tone airy. “But we’re used to it and don’t love you any less.” He shot Luke a wink and they headed for the office.

About the Author

K. Evan Coles is a mother and tech pirate by day and a writer by night. She is a dreamer who, with a little hard work and a lot of good coffee, coaxes words out of her head and onto paper.

K. lives in the northeast United States, where she complains bitterly about the winters, but truly loves the region and its diverse, tenacious and deceptively compassionate people. You’ll usually find K. nerding out over books, movies and television with friends and family. She’s especially proud to be raising her son as part of a new generation of unabashed geeks.

K.’s books explore LGBTQ+ romance in contemporary settings.

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A Fall In Autumn by Michael G. Williams - Blog Tour with Guest Post, Excerpt and Giveaway

COVER - A Fall in Autumn - Michael G. Williams copy

Michael G. Williams has a new queer sci fi book out: A Fall in Autumn.


It’s 9172, YE (Year of the Empire), and the future has forgotten its past.

Soaring miles over the Earth, Autumn, the sole surviving flying city, is filled to the brim with the manifold forms of humankind: from Human Plus “floor models” to the oppressed and disfranchised underclasses doing their dirty work and every imaginable variation between.

Valerius Bakhoum is a washed-up private eye and street hustler scraping by in Autumn. Late on his rent, fetishized and reviled for his imperfect genetics, stuck in the quicksand of his own heritage, Valerius is trying desperately to wrap up his too-short life when a mythical relic of humanity’s fog-shrouded past walks in and hires him to do one last job. What starts out as Valerius just taking a stranger’s money quickly turns into the biggest and most dangerous mystery he’s ever tried to crack – and Valerius is running out of time to solve it.

Now Autumn’s abandoned history – and the monsters and heroes that adorn it – are emerging from the shadows to threaten the few remaining things Valerius holds dear. Can the burned-out detective navigate the labyrinth of lies and maze of blind faith around him to save the City of Autumn from its greatest myth and deadliest threat?

Falstaff Books | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CAN | Goodreads


Michael is giving away an eBook copy of “Perishables,” book one of The Withrow Chronicles, with this post:

Everybody hates their Homeowner’s Association, and nobody likes a zombie apocalypse. Put the two together, and Withrow Surrett is having a truly craptastic night.

Enter via Rafflecopter:


MEME 2 A Fall in Autumn

The sun was over the trees at the southeastern edge of the sloped opening in the forest when I awoke. The sun woke me, actually: its rays on my face, the flicker of shadow and light as it played across my closed eyes. I was half dressed: my shoes off, my feet bare, and my coat spread over me in lieu of a blanket. My shirt was somewhere, probably. I wasn’t wearing it, anyway, and my eyes hadn’t opened yet, but I could feel it nearby the way you can sense an old dog by your chair or a former lover on the opposite side of an otherwise perfectly nice party.

My back curled against something firm and supporting and I felt gentle fingers stroke the tufts of silvery black at my temples. Hematite, a man told me once. I would always love him a little for saying that. My hair there wasn’t yet gray but no longer black and when wet it looked like hematite, and he said it like that meant something deep and significant and mystical I didn’t understand. Having someone’s fingers run through it felt good, though. It felt like a happy memory, like something I didn’t expect would happen much anymore if it ever really happened in the first place.

That simple touch was a comfort to me. It’s the most minor thing and, for that reason, the most missed when it’s gone. I don’t go long stretches without being touched, but it had been a while between caresses. This was that: a caress, and more; not exactly sexual but not exactly platonic. It was that happy in-between we call intimate. I made myself vulnerable to other men, and they themselves to me, more times than I can count in my too-short life. It didn’t always work out, though, that my usual flavor of street trade would show basic human kindness in return for mine.

None of that mattered, though. Those guys were long gone. Right that second, someone ran his fingers through my half-asleep hair, intimate and kind and caressing. I felt vulnerable and that was okay. For a few moments I wasn’t dying and I wasn’t scared. I wasn’t lonely and I wasn’t alone. The sun felt good, and the breeze through the branches sounded like Gaia herself telling me to go back to sleep. I thought for a moment I might be okay with dying fairly soon if I got to wake up like this every morning for the rest of my life.

“Okay,” I groaned. I didn’t move and I didn’t open my eyes because I wasn’t quite ready for the moment to go away even as I lifted the pin to pop its balloon. “You want something. So tell me what it is. Because if I say yes – if– I may not have much time to hold up my end of the bargain.” My voice dispelled all the magic of the moment, but his fingers were still at my temple, resting there, ready to go back to what we shared moments before. I rolled over and looked up at Alejandro, his purple hair down over half his face as he leaned on one elbow. I didn’t kiss him, but I did put one hand to his jaw and brush his cheek with my thumb. I wondered if he could feel that – really feel it, like skin feels it. “Let’s not pussyfoot around this. You want me to do something. The whole story about the angel and thinking someone was trying to kill you was bullshit, but there was something there, something worth chasing, so let’s have the truth now and get on with things.” I tried to smile at him. His expression was completely blank.

With the hand he used to brush my temples, he laid a fingertip behind my ear, cupping my face with barely a single point of contact. He still didn’t smile, but his eyes searched my face, my own eyes, for something. It occurred to me the correct phrasing might be to say he searched my eyes for someone. I assumed he’d been alive long enough to know a hell of a lot of people, and I would bet a nickel he looked for one of them in me. There are a hundred romantic stories about golems: meat sacks like me throwing ourselves at a golem out of infatuation with their embodiment of agelessness.

If he’d been there before, heard a hundred thousand of us wail about mortality and still willing to hear number one hundred thousand one, he must have a lot of love for humankind. No, I thought, more than that: he must have loved the hell out of oneof us at some point. Maybe he was waiting for that guy to walk back into his life, reemerging from the vast but finite pool of genetic factors we possess as a species. I wondered if I simply seemed close enough to that long-lost lover to pass muster for a night.

I also wondered what made a golem want to get laid in the first place: ever the detective, after all.

“I really did see an angel in Splendor,” Alejandro said. He still wasn’t smiling. If anything, he had the muted seriousness, the understated gravitas, I’d long since come to recognize as the posture of someone telling the truth at long last. I wondered how long it had been. “I swear it to you. I swear it.” He surprised me, then, because he didn’t cry, golems don’t have tear ducts, but his eyelids quivered with the autonomic response to strong emotion. He still hadn’t moved at all, and we were shielded from the breeze so that his hair hung straight down like a perfectly still and settled curtain across half the stage of his face. “And I believe it would try to kill me if it knew I were here.”

Who did your cover, and what was the design process like?

Melissa McArthur, and she is just amazing. She’s a writer and editor and educator, too, and incredibly talented at everything she does. I loved working with her on this. The cover went through several different design phases, because we really wanted to get it right, but the moment I saw this cover I knew it was perfect. I couldn’t stop looking at it. She really knocked it out of the park. I was looking at it on my laptop and someone else – just walking past where I was sitting – literally stopped and said, “Wow, whose book is that?” I just couldn’t imagine a better representation of the facts of the story but also of the way Valerius feels very alienated from the city and the people around him even as he’s completely in love with living there and knowing them.

Are you a full-time or part-time writer? How does that affect your writing?

I write part-time, but I always have a project going. The realities of life and bills and such are that I have to keep a day job to live, so I write on weekends. That severely limits my writing time, and it slows down my ability to produce, but I also think that I benefit from having to be slowed down. It gives me a few days between writing sessions to process and come up with better ideas or where the story should go next. I have tremendous admiration for people who can write full time, and by no means am I trying to say my process is better than any other writer’s. We all find the process that works for us, and there’s no such thing as “right” or “wrong” for that. But for me, having a day job and being forced to slow down has been an important and undeniably good fact of my writing career.

Do your books spring to life from a character first or an idea?

They almost always start with a character. I can think of short stories I’ve written that started as the idea for a plot, for which I needed to find the right narrator and experiencer, but I would say 99% of the time it starts with characters. I tend to write in first person, and I tend to treat it as a roleplaying exercise. I like to dig deep into the character’s mindset and perspective and let their choices and reactions flow naturally rather than shoehorning them into a specific plot outline. In the case of A Fall in Autumn, and in the case of my suburban vampire series The Withrow Chronicles, it started with a character. The character arrived in my head along with a very specific moment of the book I could fully visualize, as though both the character and that moment had stepped out of a taxi in front of me on the street, and that was that. I was off and running. That isn’t to say the plot stayed the same from the first draft to the published version, by any stretch, but the character of Valerius as he first arrived proved more and more true and accurate the more depth he gained with writing and rewriting and more rewriting.

What’s your drink of choice?

A Manhattan – preferably with rye, and on the rocks, though bourbon and/or up will do just fine, thank you – with two brandy-soaked cherries and a sliver of orange peel. Make it with some blood orange bitters and I’ll come running from outside to get a taste of that. Manhattans were sort of the signature drink of my fraternity in college and I’ve loved them ever since. A good Manhattan is a great way to greet the evening.

What pets are currently on your keyboard, and what are their names? Pictures?

Oh gosh, you know what I like to talk about! Ha!

First up, we have two cats: Vladimir and Elvira. Vladimir is the one pretending to nap in the back. Elvira is, as always, front and center and in the middle of things. (We named her that because her coloring suggests her namesake’s cleavage!)

We also have two amazing dogs, Joxer and Gal. Joxer is the hound mix on the left; Gal is the Bassett hound on the right. Joxer is extremely chill and sweet and loving and just wants to nap and snuggle. Gal is extremely social and outgoing and wants to be friends with everyone and everything.

That’s such a deceptively peaceful photo of her! I love her energy and her openness to others.

Gal and Elvira were instant friends and playmates when we adopted Elvira last year. They routinely check in with each other, and they’ll chase each other back and forth around the house. My husband has even taken some great photos of them grooming each other. Gal and Elvira are absolute BFFs. (All credit to my husband for these photos. He’s much better at capturing the animal moments than I am.)

What are you working on now, and when can we expect it?
I’ve just signed a deal for 4 more books in the world of A Fall in Autumn and will be writing the sequel over the summer. I can’t wait! I expect the second book, to be titled New Life in Autumn, will be out a year from now.

Later this year I have several other works, already finished and coming out from Falstaff Books:

Nobody Gets Out Alive will be coming out sometime soon, probably over the summer. It’s the fifth and final(-ish) book of The Withrow Chronicles, my suburban vampire series about a guy who became a vampire in the 1940’s and has declared himself the boss of all of North Carolina’s blood-drinkers. The series is a ridiculously fun sequence of genre mashups – vampires and zombies, vampires and superheroes, vampires and spy thrillers, vampires and war, vampires and their witch frienemies – telling a story that gets increasingly complex as Withrow slowly but surely learns the world of the supernatural is much bigger than he thought.

I also have the four-novella San Francisco urban fantasy series, SERVANT/SOVEREIGN. It starts with Through the Doors of Oblivion, and it’s about some of the most evocative moments in San Francisco’s history – such as the 1906 earthquake and fire – and witches and demons and time travel and real estate scams. I’m just exceptionally proud of it, and I get to really focus on the features of San Francisco I most adore, which are not necessarily the parts of the city they try to highlight for tourists. I don’t know exactly when that one is due out, either, but it’s made it through the content edits and the copyeditor and it’s now with the proofreader, so it’s getting close!

And, last but not least, I’ve reached the rights-reversion point on a bunch of short stories I sold years ago so I’m possibly going to reclaim those rights and produce an anthology of short stories and nonfiction essays I’ve written for various venues. That’s a maybe, though. We’ll see.

Thank you so much for having me – I really appreciate your and your readers’ time and attention. I hope you enjoy A Fall in Autumn and I would love to hear from you about it!

You can find me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Goodreads.

Folks who sign up for my monthly newsletter get a free short story and can read the ongoing first draft of a story set in the world of A Fall in Autumn but in our time rather than 12,000 years from now. Give it a shot! I keep marketing to a minimum and try to focus on rewarding your interest with new content.

And thanks again!

Author Bio

AUTHOR PIC - Michael G. Williams - A Fall in Autumn

Michael G. Williams writes wry horror, urban fantasy, and science fiction: stories of monsters, macabre humor, and subverted expectations. He is the author of three series for Falstaff Books: The Withrow Chronicles, including Perishables (2012 Laine Cunningham Award), Tooth & Nail, Deal with the Devil, Attempted Immortality, and Nobody Gets Out Alive; a new series in The Shadow Council Archives featuring one of San Francisco’s most beloved figures, SERVANT/SOVEREIGN; and the science fiction noir A Fall in Autumn. Michael also writes short stories and contributes to tabletop RPG development. Michael strives to present the humor and humanity at the heart of horror and mystery with stories of outcasts and loners finding their people.

Michael is also an avid podcaster, activist, reader, runner, and gaymer, and is a brother in St. Anthony Hall and Mu Beta Psi. He lives in Durham, NC, with his husband, two cats, two dogs, and more and better friends than he probably deserves.

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Thursday, May 30, 2019

Out Of The Shade by S.A. McAuley - Blog Tour with Excerpt, Author Q&A and Giveaway

Out of the Shade by S.A. McAuley

Publisher: Self-pub (S.A. McAuley, LLC)

Release Date (Print & Ebook): May 21, 2019

Length (Print & Ebook): 332 pages (print), 103k words

Subgenre: Contemporary

Warnings: alcoholism, mentions of sexual and physical abuse, mentions of drug addiction, mentions of rape, attempted suicide by a minor character, violence, homophobia, closeting

Book synopsis:

Jesse Solomona has always tried to be the perfect straight guy—a cocky sports fan who drinks more than he did in his fraternity days and an expert at one-night-stands. That he hooks up with just as many men as he does women is a secret Jesse’s been hiding for years, fearful of losing his family and tight group of friends. He’s a Kensington boy—a group of guys that grew up in the same neighborhood and somehow all ended up back in their hometown. They, and his family, are the only things that still matter in his otherwise soul-sucking life.

Chuck Dunn, a tattooed and pierced sports photographer, has refused to step back into the closet since he was disowned by his family, but he keeps choosing men who can’t fully be with him. Finally free from a long-term relationship he should’ve ended years ago, he quits his high-profile gig in favor of getting back to the art of sports photography—documenting a local boxing club that works with at-risk teenagers. He may not have the same swagger anymore, but he’s working to be happy with who he is.

When Chuck joins one of the Kensington boys’ community center sports leagues, Jesse’s self-imposed rules are systematically demolished. But there’s one barrier Jesse can’t find the strength to break through—coming out to the other Kensington boys. Chuck knows hooking up with Jesse is a bad idea. Falling for him even worse. But he can’t stay away.

Chuck is damaged by his past. Jesse is frightened about his future. But, together, they may just be able to come out of the shade.


Jesse downed the dregs of his coffee and draped an arm over the back of the booth. “How long you gone for?”
“What? You want to see me again?”
“Maybe.” Definitely.
“About three weeks, depending on how fast I can work. Give me your phone.”
Jesse lifted an eyebrow but entered the passcode and slid it over to Chuck.
“The factory stock background? Really, Jesse?”
Jesse shrugged. “Can’t offend anyone with that.”
Chuck shook his head and tapped on Jesse’s screen. A split-second later Chuck’s cell pinged. Chuck moved over to his own phone and typed something out, pushing Jesse’s cell back toward him at the same time.
Just as Jesse picked it up, a text popped up in a new thread with a number that wasn’t in his contacts—Kiss my ass, beast
Jesse smirked.
Chuck sat back, waving a hand across the table. “There. You have my digits and I have yours. Call me, maybe?”
“You didn’t.”
That one dimple was in full effect when Chuck smiled this time. “I did. Gay, remember? Now walk me to my truck.”
Chuck swiped the bill before Jesse could and went up to pay instead of waiting for the server.
Jesse hesitated at the side of Chuck’s truck, wondering whether Chuck would try to kiss him, but Chuck just threw a lop-sided grin at him and said, “I’ll see you.” Then he opened his door, settled in, and drove off with one last wave as he pulled out of the parking lot.
Jesse stood there, stunned.
Chuck had just given him the same brush-off that he’d given to more girls than he wanted to count.
Shit. This was what that felt like?
Call me, maybe?
Fuck it. No better time than the present. Jesse dug in his pocket for his phone. He saved the number from his text thread and hit the button to call. Chuck picked up on the first ring. “Miss me already?”
Jesse could picture Chuck driving, his phone cradled to his ear, that sideways grin plastered to his face. “Three weeks, huh?”
“Yeah. Give or take.”
He wanted to say, text me when your flight lands. But how fucking needy was that? Instead he said, “Just making sure you didn’t give me a fake number.”
“I’m not into games, Jesse. I’ll text you when I get into New York. Call me when you have time.”
“Okay,” he replied, surprised at the relief that was evident in his voice.
Three weeks.
His cock ached at the thought, but his chest hurt even worse.
It had only taken one night for Chuck to burrow under his skin.
This was not how he’d expected the night to end at all.

Blog and Review Tour exclusive Q&A:

Q: Can you share with us something about Out of the Shade that isn’t in the blurb?

SA: The problems that Jesse and Chuck face are hinted at in the blurb, but this book deals with several serious/heavy issues like alcoholism, abuse, abandonment, and violence. The depth and breadth of those challenges take them both by surprise and lead to a complete upheaval of their lives.

Q: Are there any secrets from the book (that aren’t in the blurb), you can share with your readers?

SA: Jesse and Chuck are two flawed men who are struggling for something worthwhile in their lives—not just around them either, within themselves too. Their journey isn’t easy, especially for Jesse, but their individual personal strengths underpin the entire book. There’s a lot of darkness in Out of the Shade, but, ultimately, this book is about growth and hope.

Q: What was the inspiration for the story?

SA: Me coming to terms with my own bisexuality in the world I’d grown up in. In the first rough draft of Out of the Shade, Jesse and I had a lot in common. In subsequent drafts—as he began to show me who he really was—he evolved into his own character. There are still pieces of my own coming out experience woven throughout this book, but it’s divided between so many characters and settings at this point that it’s barely recognizable from my initial draft.

Q: What do you hope your readers take away from this book?

SA: We each have our own paths to walk and no one else can tell us what the “right” way is to do that. We all evolve, change, and adapt at different speeds and for different reasons. As Jesse says at one point, “We all make mistakes. I’ve made some huge ones I’ve had to make amends for. And not just to other people, but to myself as well.” Sometimes forgiveness of ourselves is the hardest endeavor we can ever take on.

Q: Do you write listening to music? If so, what music inspired or accompanied Out of the Shade?

SA: Music is vital in my writing process. I can’t write without it. Since I started writing this book almost seven years ago, the songs on my playlist are nearly ancient at this point, but they all hold special meaning or got me through really tough sections of writing. In particular, The Perishers, The Bravery and Switchfoot dominate a good portion of the playlist. I just opened iTunes to look through the list and was immediately transported back to 2012 and putting those first few painful words on the page. The playlist overall begins playful, becoming melancholy, then angry, before morphing into regret, a drive to succeed, and finally happiness and hope. It’s a pretty accurate summation of the book as a whole.

Author S.A. McAuley is a wandering LGBTQ author who sleeps little and reads a lot. Happiest in a foreign country. Twitchy when not mentally in motion. Her name is Sam, not Sammy, definitely not Samantha. She’s a dark/cynical/jaded person, but hides that darkness well behind her obsession(s) with shiny objects.

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Giveaway: Celebrate the release of OUT OF THE SHADE with author S.A. McAuley by entering this giveaway for a chance to win 1 of 3 $10 Amazon Gift Cards!

Matchmaking Beyond The Veil by Mara Townsend - Blog Tour with Excerpt and Giveway

Matchmaking Beyond the Veil by Mara Townsend

Series: Telltale Ghosts #1

Release Date: May 28, 2019

Subgenre: MM Paranormal Romance, Bisexual Romance

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Emery Belmont is a snarky realist who likes his life ordinary. Like any skeptic, he’s content using mundane explanations to write off signs of paranormal activity. That’s no longer an option when the spirit haunting his house wrecks his new kitchen, forcing Emery to face the supernatural truth. Desperate for a new handyman, he unknowingly hires his hot ex-rival from high school to fix it. Paxton Santos, Emery’s former lacrosse team captain, followed in his father’s footsteps to take over the family business. Annoyingly, Emery requires his talented hands more than he needs to keep Paxton out of his life. However, getting Paxton to leave after the repairs may prove difficult with the meddlesome ghost taking a shine to him, which Paxton seems to take in his grating, good-natured stride, remaining irritatingly unruffled by numerous weird occurrences.

Emery is bombarded by paranormal hijinks, keeping Paxton at arm’s length, and solving an inescapable mystery. There’s nothing Emery hates more than an unfinished puzzle. In his determination to solve this one, Emery reluctantly opens himself up to new possibilities all while trying to remain firmly rooted in life the way he prefers it—orderly, logically explainable, and, above all else, ghost-free.

Join Emery and Paxton as they face off with a spirit that has no limits to how far it will go to push them together, enduring locked doors, faulty plumbing, and sharing a bed. Together they are determined to navigate their way out of this mess using any means necessary to send the ghost packing. Will they make it out of the traps awaiting them before their pesky tormenter gets any other ideas to make things worse and further blur the line between them?

Matchmaking Beyond the Veil is a 100k slow burn MM romance tale of rivals to friends to lovers. Featuring a meddling ghost playing at matchmaker, forced proximity, bed sharing, ghost tours that totally aren’t dates, and tongue-in-cheek humor. This story ends on a HFN ending with a soft cliffhanger. Emery and Paxton’s story will continue in Telltale Ghosts Book 2. This book contains denial, two men experimenting with sex magic, fighting what the heart wants, and steamy explicit sexual scenes and colorful language intended for adults 18 and older.

Excerpt :

Two movies later and Emery came slowly out of a doze after drifting off sometime in the middle. He dragged in a deep inhale, arms curling overhead to stretch. The lights were dimmer than when he went to sleep and he blinked drowsily. Paxton’s head was resting against his shoulder, nose turned into his neck. His steady, even breaths fell over Emery’s skin and crept into the loose collar of his v-neck shirt.

Even the volume on the tv was lower, though Emery didn’t remember turning it down. The clock on the mantel told him it was after eleven. Stretching again, a small sound escaped his throat and Emery got up. Paxton didn’t wake right away, slumping further against the sofa in sleep. When his cheek hit the cushion instead of Emery, he woke with a small startle.

Paxton made an incoherent, sleepy sound that pierced through to Emery’s heart. Rubbing his face with sluggish movements, Paxton peered up at him blearily.

“Time s’it?” Paxton slurred.

“Not too late. Nearly half past eleven. We fell asleep,” Emery said. “Let’s go up to bed.”

It didn’t escape Emery’s notice that Paxton could take that like he was inviting him to his own bed. Apparently it didn’t escape the ghost’s, either, because the lights dimmed dramatically, almost snuffing out. Emery blinked in the low lighting, eyes adjusting.

Paxton held out a hand. Emery supposed he wanted a boost off the sofa. It was such an innocuous, everyday moment that he accepted Paxton’s hand and hauled him to standing with a tug. Paxton nearly stumbled into him, catching his balance with a hand on Emery’s shoulder. Sleep softened him in a way that Emery found alluring.

He swallowed and licked his lips. “Bed, yeah?”

“Mhm,” Paxton agreed, heaving a big sigh. He swayed a little on his feet and mumbled, “Bed.”

Emery turned off the media center and the room plunged into darkness on its own. Emery could feel the chill descending on the room, indicating the ghost’s watchful presence. This time it didn’t make his heart stutter because Paxton was with him, half asleep on his feet.

“We’re going to bed. That’s what you want, right?” Emery asked the quiet room. The clock on the mantel ticked. Paxton muttered incoherent syllables under his breath and huffed. Emery was pretty sure he was sleepwalking. “I’ll take your silence as a yes.”

Author Bio:


Mara Townsend is a bisexual indie author of LGBTQ+ romances. She loves to explore intimate relationship development of the feels-inducing variety to invoke the eternal just kiss plea from the reader, as well as crafting strong platonic friendships with heaps of heart and soul. Her stories showcase diverse representation, love stories with realistic emotions—never mindless fluff, a healthy dose of humor, and a side helping of her favorite tropes.

She hangs out in fan communities online and learned how to write the kind of stories that shes passionate about through experimental character-driven fiction based in her favorite worlds. When not writing, she can be found soaking up sunshine at the beach, traveling the world to fill in her passport, perpetually collecting plants, and reading as many fake-dating romance books as she can find.

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