Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Appeal To You by Jaclyn Quinn - Blog Tour with Excerpt

Appeal To You Tour Banner

Appeal To You
Beyond the Cove Series, Book 3
Jaclyn Quinn
M/M Romance
Release Date: 07.31.19

Appeal To You Cover

Cover design by Cate Ashwood

Blurb

Will the demons of the past ruin any hope for the future?

If there’s anyone who knows how to have a good time—be it with a man or a woman—it’s Ryder Pearce. Master of the nail-it-and-bail-it theory, he lives his life for one person and one person only: himself. When a man enters Ryder’s life who challenges him on every flirtation, every sexual innuendo he can come up with, Ryder’s thrown off his game in a big way. Because there’s one thing the man has made perfectly clear—they’ve played this game before, and Ryder doesn’t remember the outcome.

Avery Hamilton has seen all of Ryder’s moves and has witnessed his sex appeal. He knows all too well about his cocky sense of humor and his penchant for one-night stands. There was a time in his life when he’d taken the bait, but this time around, he wants more. He’s seen Ryder’s act; what he hasn’t seen is Ryder—the real Ryder he hides from the world.

When both men come together to help a young boy, Ryder’s forced to face things from his past he’s blocked out. Things he never wanted anyone to know. Now, Ryder has one fear… Will revealing that side of himself be real enough for Avery? Or will it be the reason Avery walks away?

*Warning: This book contains off-page references to sexual/physical abuse of a minor. This book is the third book in a series. Reading the books out of order may result in spoilers.

Universal Buy Link: mybook.to/AppealtoYou

Teaser-#1

Teaser-#3

Excerpt 

“Listen, about earlier…” Avery began, hoping to get some kind of conversation going. “I really am sorry. I have this knee-jerk reaction to jump to conclusions with you.” Avery nudged Ryder playfully with his arm until he looked over at him. “You’re too damn quiet, and it’s making me nervous.”
Ryder laughed. “Never thought you’d say that, huh?” He shrugged his shoulders, looking forward again. “Forget about it, man. Trust me”—he glanced back over at Avery—“I’m nowhere near perfect. I fuck up every damn day.” His gaze shifted forward again as they separated, letting an older couple walk between them. When they met up again, Ryder added, “Most of the time, though, even if it doesn’t seem like it, it’s with good intentions.” His eyes flicked again to Avery’s, but it was as if he didn’t want to hold eye contact and nervously looked ahead once more.
“It hasn’t gone unnoticed. Not by me.” Avery owed him at least that much. Ryder’s surprised smile from Avery’s admission made him laugh. “Don’t look so shocked. I’m a very perceptive man. Not much gets past me.”
All at once, the smile faded, and Ryder looked straight ahead again. “Is that so?”
 Avery stopped short in the middle of the boardwalk, crossing his arms over his chest. Ryder looked back at him as he also came to a stop and turned around. “Yeah, it is. Like the fact that you’re acting weird. What the hell is up with you today?”
“Why does something have to be up?”
“Are you only going to answer me with questions?”
“Do you want me to only answer you with questions?”
Avery hung his head back and groaned. “Jesus Christ, sometimes I just want to strangle you.”
Ryder closed the distance between them with two slow steps. “I’ll try anything once. Didn’t take you for a breath play kind of guy, though. Do you make that groaning sound you just made while you do it? Because yes, please.”
Avery straightened his back then leaned his face only a few inches away from Ryder. “You really don’t take anything seriously, do you?” His tone came out huskier than he’d meant it to, but this man kept him in a perpetual state of frustration—including sexual.
“Sex. I take sex very seriously,” Ryder retorted, but his face didn’t show the conviction of his words. Damn, Avery was so tired of staring at the same fucking wall Ryder had built around himself. Ryder was, surprisingly, the first to break eye contact, moving his gaze to the ocean.
This wasn’t accomplishing anything, and they sure as hell weren’t going to find Chris by standing here. 
Yet, Avery refused to let the man get the last word. He lifted a finger to Ryder’s cheek, turning his head so he was looking at him again. “You’re acting weird, and it has nothing to do with sex.” Avery stepped around Ryder to continue walking, pissed that Ryder always had a way of pushing his buttons. So, push back. He turned abruptly, making Ryder bump into him. He stared down into gray eyes and couldn’t help himself when he said, “Although, if we were talking sex… Breath play? No. But I can make you come so hard, you’ll be gasping for air when I’m done with you.” 
“Hot damn,” Ryder whispered right before Avery forced himself to turn around again, holding back a smug smile as he began to walk and scan the area.

Teaser-#2

Jaclyn Quinn Logo

I have been an artist from a very young age. From drawing cartoon characters and evolving into portraits, making jewelry, photography, and now writing. I have an amazing support system in my family and friends and couldn’t be more grateful.

I live in central New Jersey, love summers at the Jersey Shore, rock music, wine, sexy men, and laughing a lot with my amazing friends and family. Sunday dinners at my parents’ house are crazy, hysterical and you can count on a movie quote…or ten…being thrown out. Insults between siblings is how we show our love for each other!

When I’m not creating, you can find me reading books from my favorite authors. I’m a hopeless romantic, starving for passionate characters and always craving that happy ending, whether in reading or in writing my own books.

Beauregard and the Beast by Evie Drae - Release Blitz with Excerpt and Giveaway



TITLE: Beauregard and the Beast
SERIES: Once Upon a Vegas Night (Book 1)
AUTHOR: Evie Drae
RELEASE DATE: August 20, 2019
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
HOUSE LINE: Dreamspun Desires Book #88
GENRE: Contemporary M/M Romance
WORD COUNT: 54,846

His greatest prize can’t be won in the octagon.

BOOK BLURB:

A Once Upon a Vegas Night Tale

His greatest prize can’t be won in the octagon.

Champion MMA fighter Adam Littrell needs no distractions as he prepares for the fight that will determine whether he retires. But when he opens the door of his swanky Las Vegas home to his new personal assistant, Bo Wilkins, staying focused becomes a struggle.

Aware of Adam’s surly reputation, Bo doesn't expect to like his new employer, let alone fall for him. But Bo is pleasantly surprised when a shared love of books leads them to study for their GEDs together and plan for a life after their current careers. Adam won't be able to fight forever, and Bo wants a relationship on equal footing.

But just as their relationship is getting off the ground, the sister Bo raised needs his help, and he drops everything. With Adam’s final match looming and Bo in a different city, reuniting will be the real challenge.



TEASER SCENE EXCERPT:

The smell of fresh laundry mixed with strong cleaning chemicals assaulted Adam’s senses the moment he walked through the garage door after his morning training. He scrunched his nose in protest. The clean linen smell was pleasant, but what the hell kind of biochemical warfare was Bo waging on his home? The pungent scent of corrosive bleach and all manner of other caustic solutions burned his nostrils and left his head spinning.

He headed for the laundry room to drop off his gym bag and found Bo on his hands and knees in the hallway, scrubbing at the stone tile flooring.

“Fuckin’ hell, Bo, you’re gonna asphyxiate from all these fumes.” Adam tossed his bag down the hall in the general direction of the laundry room. “Why don’t you take a break? We can grab lunch somewhere and hit the grocery while we’re out.”

Bo sat back on his haunches and swiped a wrist over his brow. “I’m almost done here any—” His eyes bugged, and he scurried to his feet, the sponge dropping from his hand. “Holy crap on a cracker, what the heck happened to you?”

Adam froze when Bo’s soapy fingertips grazed his jaw. A jolt of electricity fired under his skin at the connection. He followed the tingling path of Bo’s touch with his own fingers, marveling at the intensity of the impression that brief contact left behind.

“Did you get jumped?” Bo’s brows pinched, his lips turning down at the corners. “Did you call the police? Are you hurt anywhere else?”

A laugh bubbled up Adam’s throat at the unexpected barrage of questions and the look of genuine concern twisting Bo’s face. When was the last time anyone cared he’d been hurt? Hell, unless they bordered on life-threatening, even he failed to notice his injuries more often than not. So was the life of a mixed martial arts fighter. Sparring was the best way to train, and sparring equaled wounds. Rarely as intense as those suffered at an official fight, but colorful and bloody nonetheless.

“I’m fine. Just a few scratches.” Adam tried to grin, but the act tugged at his already split lip and fresh blood trickled down his chin.

Bo gasped and clamped a hand over Adam’s wrist. “That’s more than a scratch. Where’s your first aid kit?”

“First aid kit?” Adam cocked a brow. He didn’t keep anything like that at home. If his injuries required mending, Eddie, his coach, would tend to him after he hit the showers. Today, the damage was minimal, so he’d left without patching up.

Gaping, Bo shook his head. “Don’t tell me you get beat up for a living and don’t keep basic first aid supplies around the house.”

Adam knuckled the blood off his chin and shrugged. “It’s a split lip. I’ll be fine.”

“A split lip, a black eye, and a gashed eyebrow. That is not fine.” Bo scowled and dropped Adam’s wrist with an adorable little huff. “I’m adding medical supplies to the grocery list. If you’re going to come home looking like roadkill on a regular basis, I’m going to need some necessities. In the meantime, will you at least let me put some ice on that eye?”

WHERE TO FIND BEAUREGARD AND THE BEAST:

Barnes & Noble: https://bit.ly/2DxeW3s
Dreamspinner Press: https://bit.ly/2VnRb7L


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Evie Drae is a registered nurse by day and an award-winning male/male romance writer by night. She has won first place in seven Romance Writers of America® (RWA®) competitions, including the prestigious title “Best of the Best” in the 2018 Golden Opportunity Contest. She is a double finalist in the 2019 Golden Heart®, in both the Contemporary Romance and Romantic Suspense categories, and finished as a second-place runner-up in four additional RWA contests. As an added perk, she landed the fabulous literary agent Eva Scalzo from Speilburg Literary following a dual win in two separate categories of the 2018 Heart to Heart contest.

One of Evie’s favorite things to do is encourage her fellow writers. To that end, she started the #writeLGBTQ and #promoLGBTQ hashtags on Twitter to support and promote LGBTQ+ authors and allies while providing a safe space to connect and grow as a community. She is married to the love of her life, is the mother of three wonderful fur babies, and runs almost entirely on coffee and good vibes.

Evie loves to link up with fellow writers and readers. You can reach her directly at EvieDrae@gmail.com or find her on her social media accounts listed below. Twitter is where she’s most active but be sure to check out her blog too. She focuses on reviews for LGBTQ+ authors and allies with the occasional quirky advice/recommendation post just to toss things up.

WHERE TO FIND EVIE:

NEWSLETTER SIGN-UP: http://eepurl.com/dymBtz


 
RELEASE WEEK GIVE AWAY (ENTER BY AUGUST 26th, WINNERS ANNOUNCED AUGUST 27th, 2019):

The GRAND PRIZE WINNER will receive a personalized signed copy of Beauregard and the Beast, a $100 Amazon Gift Card, and an assortment of author swag! The RUNNER-UP will receive a personalized signed copy of Beauregard and the Beast and an assortment of author swag! Your followers can enter by clicking the following link: 

Black Ice by Heloise West - Release Blitz with Excerpt and Giveaway


Title: Hitting Black Ice
Series: Heart and Haven, Book One
Author: Heloise West
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: August 19. 2019
Heat Level: 3 - Some Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 75100
Genre: Contemporary, LGBT, FBI, double agents, action/suspense, medical profession, contemporary, action, suspense, theft, gay

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Synopsis

Shawn is on the run from the law and love, to protect himself and anyone else involved. Until he meets Hunter, and he no longer wants to run.

ER physician’s assistant Hunter guards his heart carefully, but that doesn’t stop him from falling for the temp front desk clerk. He keeps his distance from relationships for a good reason but just can’t help himself when it comes to Shawn.

Forced into a hostage situation, buried passions explode in the aftermath, and sex in the supply closet brings both their hearts back to life. But as they explore their relationship, the past catches up with Shawn.

FBI agent Nick Truman has finally found his man, and when Shawn escapes, he focuses his attention on Hunter. Will Shawn sacrifice himself to save Hunter from the man who framed him for murder?

Excerpt

Hitting Black Ice
Heloise West © 2019
All Rights Reserved

Hunter had a crush, a big one.

In the cafeteria late one night on his break at the hospital, he sipped at a coffee and focused on Shawn, the night desk clerk for the ER, sitting a few tables over. With long black hair tied back neatly and eyes of faded denim blue, Shawn had a lean body, his face long and bony. Tonight, he wore a brown turtleneck under a white-and-green-striped button-down. The rolled sleeves revealed muscled forearms dusted with golden hair, as mismatched to the dyed black hair as his pale eyebrows and lashes. A silver skull ring and silver studs in his ears appeared at odds with the lanyard and dangling ID card.

Hunter drank more coffee, barely tasting it. He’d tried to talk himself out of it, but he couldn’t squirm away from the attraction. When he’d walked past the registration desk to the water cooler—again—or hung out there a moment too long with an empty clipboard in his hands, he caught those tiny flicks of interest in Shawn’s eyes. Hunter must have given away his interest, because the nurses smirked at his pretended obliviousness.

He bent to the not-very-engrossing crossword in the newspaper, imagining what tattoo might lie beneath Shawn’s cool demeanor. Maybe gargoyle wings across a broad and muscled back, or a snake wrapped around his thigh. Something more esoteric—a phrase in Latin, like Hunter’s own primum non nocere, or a bit of wisdom in Chinese characters. Or an old-school Aerosmith tat? Hunter glanced up from filling in the little squares with black ink blocks. He could have sworn Shawn hurriedly dropped his attention down to the paperback in his hands. He turned the page and shot a second glance at Hunter. Gazes locked and jumped away.

Shit!

Heat rushed through Hunter all at once and climbed up to his face. Too aware of the black-haired man with biceps to die for and long legs to—well, never mind. Taking a boner back to the ER was not a good idea.

He had touched those biceps once when he gave Shawn a flu shot back in the fall. Shawn had taken the needle without a flinch.

Shawn stood with his tray in hand and walked toward the trash container behind Hunter. The back of his neck prickled as if Shawn breathed on the little hairs there. Hunter picked up his coffee cup once more but tasted only the dregs.

Good thing he’d decided to become a physician’s assistant and not an actor. He didn’t talk to Shawn unless he had to, the worst giveaway of all. No shy bones in his body, yet he feared conversation led to more conversation, to flirting, and the next thing he knew, they’d be going on a date, Hunter falling head over heels, and then the asshole—

Stop. You know how the story ends.

Behind him, Shawn cleared his throat. Hunter didn’t turn around. Shawn returned to his seat, picked up the paperback, and slumped down into the chair with a scowl.

Marisa slipped into the seat across the table from Hunter, and he smiled.

“I’m onto you,” she whispered.

“Uh-huh.” Hunter moved his body slightly so he could still see Shawn around her.

“You’ve been taking late lunch for three weeks now. I know why—or who.” She smiled, a small Hispanic woman with curly chestnut hair framing her heart-shaped face and hazel eyes. If Hunter weren’t himself, and she weren’t married, he thought he’d be with her. Her lips always gleamed with gloss, and her eyes snapped with fire when she got pissy. He loved it, most days, even when she aimed for him.

She leaned toward him. “Shawn, right?” Her eyes took on a warning snap now and dared him to contradict her.

“I don’t even know if he’s gay.” Which wasn’t true, but he knew better than to deny it to her face.

She sipped at her coffee with her gaze on him. Her mouth left lipstick smiles on the rim of the cup. “There’s something different about this one. And he’s lovely to look at.”

“Lovely.” Hunter snorted. Dead sexy Shawn. Hunter spied him out at the clubs twice now but avoided him there too. Shawn undulated like liquid fire across the dance floor.

“Talk to him, honey.”

“Please. Don’t.” He must have spoken louder than he meant to. Shawn glanced at them and away again.

“You’re letting Jerry’s death run your life.”

Hunter slapped the magazine down. “I’m too sober for this conversation.”

“It’s like he’s locked your heart away.”

Mindful of the potential audience, he lowered his voice. “You’re jumping way ahead here.”

She shook her head. “I know you. You have so much love to give, and I hate to see you suffer.”

Her probing questions about Hunter’s past, family, present situation were all familiar ground. Friendship he could manage; he recognized it when it was offered to him. He’d been out since he was nine. Always been out was what he told people. She was one of the few friends to whom he could confide nearly everything. Jerry’s addictions had killed him, but his family and friends blamed Hunter, and on a deeper emotional level, he blamed himself too. Marisa knew this, and it worried her. She wanted him to find love and move on, be part of a couple. She knew, but she didn’t understand.

He wasn’t abstinent now, not at twenty-five, and never got involved with anyone beyond one- and two-night stands. Hunter didn’t want to take responsibility for another heart.

When the tide of emotion and memory washed through him and left him able to speak again, he said, “I’m not suffering here.” He kept much of the darkness at bay with whiskey and anonymous sex. Who needed Prozac with a warm, muscled body in the bed?

“Stagnating,” Marisa said.

“Maintaining.” It had been a far prettier day in May, eight months ago now, when he walked out of the ER at Boston General to Jerry waiting for him in the parking lot with a gun.

“Ask him out on a date. An old-fashioned date where, at the end of the night, you kiss him good night.”

“No!”

“Don’t get angry.” She patted his hand.

He whipped it away. “Too late.”

Marisa sighed. “I’ll make it up to you. Toni, Anna, and I are going to Twisters tonight. I’ll buy you a drink.”

Hunter gathered up his tray. He liked the ER crowd. They always had fun when they got together in off-work hours, and he agreed to meet her at Twisters before hitting the clubs.

When his shift was over early in the morning, he drove back to his apartment and crawled into bed as the day glowed behind the blackout curtains. The end of the week had left him exhausted, and his sleep was blessedly dreamless.

Purchase

NineStar Press | Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Meet the Author

Heloise West, when not hunched over the keyboard plotting love and mayhem, dreams about moving to a villa in Tuscany. She loves history, mysteries, and romance. She travels and gardens with her partner of fifteen years, and their home overflows with books, cats, art, and red wine. Find Heloise on Facebook

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Monday, August 19, 2019

Change of Plans by Riley Long - Release Blitz with Excerpt

NEW RELEASE


Book Title: Change of Plans

Author: Riley Long

Publisher: Riley Long

Cover Artist: Marie Cole

Release Date: August 19, 2019

Genre/s: Contemporary M/M Romance

Trope/s: friends to lovers

Themes: forgiveness

Heat Rating: 4 flames 

Length: 208 pages

It is a standalone story.


 


Buy Links - Available on Kindle Unlimited





Blurb

Even the best laid plans can go wrong...

Jared Costa is a touring backup dancer for one of pop music’s hottest up-and-comers. He’s also harboring a crush on his sexy-as-sin dance partner, Corey, who is tragically straight. Jared's plan to make it through another month of the tour without acting on his desires should work, if he doesn't let his hunger for Corey get the best of him. Once the tour is over, they will go their separate ways and Jared can put this foolish crush behind him for good.

Corey Miller put his same-sex attraction days behind him in college. Staying away from entanglements is the key to the big plans for his career and making a name for himself as a dancer. Or, that was the plan, until a game of beer pong ends in a kiss--with his luscious dance partner, Jared. Corey's spun off center, unable to regain his balance. After their hot-as-hell kiss, he’s questioning if fame is all he wants, or if what he needs is something--or someone--else.

With both their plans crumbling, can they abandon those and devise a new plan? One that holds them together, instead of tearing them apart?



Excerpt

Jared paced backstage, only half-listening to the house music blaring overhead and the screaming of the impatient fans in the stands. Behind him, Ben and Zach from Addicted Fling were shit-talking one another. The guys who made up Addicted Fling were fine when they were offstage, but their pre-show bravado grated on Jared’s nerves. So did the band’s name, for that matter. It all seemed to scream “trying too hard,” but that was none of Jared’s business. At least the music wasn’t terrible. Jared spun to continue his pacing.

The stage manager was working his way towards Jared, Corey—the other backup dancer—close behind. Jared’s heart thudded. Corey was … well, he and Corey were friends—or at least, Corey would probably claim that—but if Jared had his way, they’d do so much more than dance. As a result of his unrequited crush on the straight guy, Jared tried to keep Corey at an arm’s length. It was hard—blond, muscular Corey was exactly Jared’s type, with deep-set green eyes and a face full of stubble. Jared wanted to be wrapped up in the man.

“Okay, Jay,” Neil began. “Tonight’s a big one.”

Jared stopped his pacing and nodded. “I know.”

Neil adjusted his headset and paused to listen carefully. “Three more songs and you’re up.”

Jared huffed out a little laugh. “Yeah, Neil, I know. We’ve been doing this for a month.”

“This one’s important, though,” Neil said, as if Jared needed a reminder. “There are a few recruiters watching tonight, so people are going to be paying attention. This could be the next step in your career.”

A lump formed in Jared’s throat. He didn’t know if dancing backup for various pop stars was what he wanted to do for the rest of his career. He really wanted to teach and choreograph. That didn’t mean he was going to screw up on purpose, but he certainly wasn’t trying to impress recruiters. He nodded. “Gotcha.”

“I’m serious, Jared. Dance like Gaga is watching.”

Corey barked a laugh and clapped a hand on Jared’s shoulder. “Or like her lead dancer is checking out your ass.”

Jared’s face flooded with heat. He never knew how to respond when Corey made an offhanded remark about sexuality—either of theirs. Jared fidgeted, working his hands into fists at his sides, and looked at his shoes, forcing a laugh.

A few minutes passed while Corey and Jared helped each other stretch before it was their turn to go on stage. When Neil gave the cue, they hurried to their mark on either side of the stage. Jared couldn’t tear his eyes away from Corey. He imagined Corey coming closer, pulling Jared into a kiss, and then he heard the music start up, forcing the stage back into focus.

Jared waited for his cue before rushing onstage, but he couldn’t stop watching Corey, and he stumbled a little, his heart pounding. He was acutely aware of the crowd. This was a sold-out show, one of the biggest he’d ever performed. Morgan, the pop singer he danced backup for, had gotten lucky with this tour, landing an opening gig for one of the biggest rock bands in the country, and—

“Cincy, how you doin’ tonight? My name is Morgan Palmer, and I am soexcited to be here with you! Welcome to the Crushing Tour!” Morgan screamed into her mic as the song ended, cutting through Jared’s thoughts. The crowd went nuts, screaming back at her. She had won the hearts of hundreds of thousands of people on this tour, and every night her songs worked their magic on a fresh batch of new potential fans. “Give it up for these beautiful boys, my dancers, Jared and Corey.” Once again, the crowd cheered. Jared sneaked a glance at Corey, his light skin shining with sweat under the hot lights already.




About the Author

Riley Long is a wife and mother living a quiet life in Virginia, with her husband, son, and two energetic pit bulls. She passes her evenings writing, reading, and watching bad television (or not so bad television). For fun, Riley participates in NaNoWriMo, GISH, and reads with her book club, the BAMFs. She likes things with silly acronyms. The craziest thing Riley has ever done involves whipped cream and hugs.


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Love Or the NFL by Terry O'Reilly - Release Blitz with Excerpt and Giveaway




Length: 48,596 words

Publisher: JMS Books

Blurb

Gymnast Frank Bethune arrives on campus already enamored with the star tight end, Bill Billingsly. Although the chances of them meeting are slim, fate draws them together, and their friendship turns to love.

Ever since childhood, Bill has dreamed of playing professional football. Though high risk to his potential career, Bill would seek out clandestine encounters with other guys when and where he could, but the first time he spots Frank, Bill knows he is someone special, someone he could possibly share a life with. If he’s drafted, will Bill and Frank be able to continue their closeted relationship, running the risk of discovery? Or will they have to part company for the sake of Bill living out his dream?

Bill knows he’ll need to use all his considerable skills learned on the field to score the life he wants off of it, too. Either way, is happiness even possible when it’s the NFL vs. love?

Excerpt

“I better get going,” Bill finally said. “I have an early class tomorrow and practice in the afternoon.”

They got up. “Frodo ... I mean Frank, could I talk to you for a minute?” Bill said goodnight to Mark, and he and Frank went outside. They walked a ways down one of the sidewalks that wound around the dorms. Bill was quiet for some time, then without looking at Frank said, “I’m really sorry about the other night.”

“It’s okay,” Frank replied. “Like I said upstairs, it’s cool. I didn’t say anything to anyone.”

Bill turned to Frank. “I really appreciate that, you have no idea how much.”

“I think I kinda do,” Frank said, thinking of his minister father.

Bill walked to a nearby bench and sat down. He indicated Frank should sit as well.

After a few seconds, Bill said, “It’s really tough being a football player and ... gay. Things are changing but not really in the world of sports. Oh, they give some lip service to being accepting, but the reality is if you’re gay -- you’re through. Especially baseball and football -- the bastions of macho.”

Bill paused for a moment then added, “So, you see how really grateful I am that you’re okay with keeping my secret. I’ve got a chance to go pro, but not if I’m outed.”

“Aren’t you afraid Dennis will talk?”

“Yes. But I have to trust him. He says he won’t. But you never know.”

“Then why take that chance?” Frank asked, his affection for Bill igniting concern for the man.

Bill shook his head. “I know. That part of me is the dumb jock.”

Then he looked intently at Frank. “Gay guys have needs, too, and sometimes they let their dicks do the thinking, just like you straight guys.”

Frank wanted to tell Bill right there why he understood what the man was going through, but he hesitated, and Bill went on.

“So, I took a chance. Dennis isn’t out either. At least he tells me he isn’t. So I think I can depend on him. I hope I can anyway. We’ve been doing this for a couple years now, and he’s kept it a secret. Maybe someday I’ll be able to just be myself, but for now I can’t. I’m so glad you understand. Look, I better say good night. It’s getting late.” Bill stood up.

Frank stood, too. “Can I ask you something?”

“Sure. Shoot.”

“Why do you call me Frodo?”

“Aw, geez. I hope my calling you that doesn’t make you feel bad, because I sure don’t mean it to.”

“No, it’s okay. I’m just curious. I actually kinda like it.”

Bill smiled. “Well, I’m a literature major, emphasis on British writers. Tolkien is my favorite. Ever read his stuff?”

“Yeah, I have. The books are a little tough to get through though. The movies were easier to understand.”

Bill nodded. “Well, I’m not sure J.R.R. would be pleased with the films, but they did make a lot of people read his books who might not have. Anyway, you know about Frodo then?”

“Sure -- hobbit and main character of The Lord of the Rings trilogy.”

Hero of The Lord of the Rings, and my favorite character of all time -- so brave, so vulnerable. When I saw you, I thought of him.”

“Why?”

“Well, and please don’t take offense, your size and ...”

“My furry feet? Hobbits have furry feet.”

“Do you have furry feet?” Bill asked, smile widening.

“Not really. Don’t have much fur anywhere actually.”

“Okay, so no furry feet, but there’s just something about you that makes me think, Frodo. I hope you don’t mind.”

Frank smiled. “No, I don’t mind at all.”

Just then the Burton Bell Tower clock chimed one.

“I’ve enjoyed being with you. It’s great to have someone I can be honest with. I hate to say it, but I really have to go,” Bill said.

Frank nodded.

“Good night then. See you at our next rehearsal, Frank.”

“You can call me Frodo if you want.”

“You got it, Frodo. Uh --” Bill looked around to make sure they were alone. “Would you mind if I gave you a hug?”

Frank nearly leapt into Bill’s arms. “No, that’d be okay with me,” he said, his heart jolting into high gear.

Bill walked back into the shadows and opened his arms. Frank stepped into them, his head nestled in the groove between Bill’s firm chest muscles. He could feel the swell of Bill’s cock press against his belly. Frank felt his dick hardening, but somehow he didn’t care. If that gave away his feelings for Bill, so be it.

They stood for a few seconds, then broke apart. Bill looked down into Frank’s eyes. For a moment, it looked to Frank like Bill might bend down and kiss him. He hoped so. But Bill merely said, “Good night, Frodo,” in a tone that was almost tender.

“Good night, Strider,” Frank said, using the name of Frodo’s protector from the Tolkien novels.

Bill shook his head slowly, smiling deeply. “Frodo, I think we’re gonna become very good friends.”

Bill walked away. Frank watched him go. Frodo’s heart was humming as he watched Strider disappear into the darkness.

Author Bio

Since retiring, Terry spends his time writing, working with animal rescue groups, walking his four dogs, and riding/showing his champion Quarter Horse. He also finds time to read and travel.

His interest in Native American culture stems from the fact that in tracing his heritage, he found his great grandfather was an Illini.




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Behind The Stick by K.Evan Coles and Brigham Vaughn - Blog Tour with Excerpt and Giveaway

BLOG TOUR


Book Title: Behind the Stick, The Speakeasy #3

Author: K. Evan Coles and Brigham Vaughn

Publisher: Pride Publishing/Totally Entwined Group

Release Date: August 20, 2019

Genre/s: Contemporary, MM, Romance, Interracial, Erotic Romance

Trope/s: Bad Breakup, Hurt/Comfort, Interracial Relationship, Sex Buddies Become Lovers, Found Family 

Themes: Family, Friendship, Family Conflict, Racial Intolerance, Forgiveness

Heat Rating: 4 flames 

Length: 97 045 words/370 pages

 


Blurb

Kyle McKee lives a charmed life. He co-owns Under, an uptown speakeasy, where he is chief mixologist. Friends poke fun at Kyle’s tiny one-bed apartment in Chelsea, but they’re the best support system a man could ask for. Unfortunately, Kyle’s lackluster love life has led him to take a break from dating.

Harlem resident Luka Clarke is a lieutenant with Engine 47, the Pride of Morningside, where he carries on his father’s legacy with the FDNY. Luka, who is mixed race and bisexual, has his eye on Kyle, whom he met at a local burger joint and he just needs to make time to visit Kyle’s bar.

Before work one evening, Kyle is trapped inside the luncheonette when a fire breaks out. Luka’s firehouse answers the call and he connects with Kyle again under the most unexpected of circumstances. When Kyle gratefully invites Luka and the firehouse squad to Under, the flirting between the two men leads to a date.

Kyle and Luka quickly grow close, but Luka’s mother and sister distrust Kyle for being both white and gay. Luka believes his family will come around and accept Kyle in the end, but Kyle is not optimistic and hides his disquiet as attraction blossoms into love.

Kyle and Luka’s near-idyllic bubble is shattered one evening after a hate crime leaves them scarred, inside and out. Shaken, they put on a strong front but struggle inwardly against fear and personal demons. As the emotions seething beneath the surface finally come to a head, both men must decide if they have the strength to find love enough to conquer hate.

Reader advisory: This book contains references to non-nurturing parenting; homophobia; racism and racist slurs. There are references to recreational drug use. This book also contains scenes of mmmm ménage and characters caught in fire.



Buy Links
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Excerpt

Kyle McKee set down his gym bag and yoga mat and pulled up a seat at his gym’s juice bar. The class he’d taken had warmed his skin and stretched his muscles and joints to their limits. He felt like the world’s most relaxed slab of single New York man, which was good for Kyle’s state of mind. He’d been stressed lately, about his love life in particular. Because damn if every guy he’d been out with in the last two months hadn’t turned out to be a shitheel of epic proportions. So much so, Kyle had decided to stop dating entirely.

Eyes closed, Kyle forced away thoughts of dating catastrophes. He rolled his neck from side to side but peeled his lids open again when the chair on his left slid back and his friend Malcolm Elliot dropped into the seat. Malcolm gave Kyle a lazy grin. At six-three, he stood a few inches taller than Kyle, and he looked rosy-cheeked and loose limbed, his blue-gray eyes shining.

“I am a man-sized untwisted pretzel,” Malcolm said. “I’m not sure what that means, so don’t ask.”

“You’re yoga-stoned, dude.” Kyle smiled at Malcolm’s laugh.

“Is that a thing?”

“Totally a thing.”

Malcolm narrowed his eyes at Kyle. “You’re the one with the bloodshot eyes—what did you do after class?”

“Ugh, nothing but itch from allergies. Ragweed is my kryptonite.” Kyle pinched the bridge of his nose between his fingers, then nodded at the menu on the wall behind the counter. “What are you drinking?”

“I’ll do a Kale Storm with protein,” Malcolm said.

Kyle held up a hand when Malcolm reached for his wallet. “I’ll grab these—you paid last week.” He smiled at the barista who’d stepped up to take their order. “A Kale Storm with a protein powder shot and a Peanut Butter Baby with chia, please. You headed home after this?” he asked Malcolm.

Malcolm shook his head. “I’ve got errands to run. My kitchen has mysteriously emptied itself of food since my brother and his girlfriend came back to town. What about you?”

“I’m opening tonight, so I’ll just head to the bar. I have extra clothes at the office I can change into.” Kyle co-owned a speakeasy called Under with his friend Jesse Murtagh and, while he loved his job, the commute uptown from Chelsea to Morningside Heights could be a pain in the ass. He welcomed the option to skip extra stops when he could.

Malcolm ran his gaze over Kyle’s gray Henley and dark jeans. “You could always serve in what you’re wearing, you know. You’d blow Jesse’s mind.”

Kyle covered a theatrical gasp with one hand. “I would never!” His preference for black or dark gray clothing while working was a source of gentle teasing among his friends. “Seriously, I don’t feel like I’m working unless I’ve got my blacks on. I’ve done it for so long it’s just part of how I do my job.”



What writers/authors does each author consider as influences?

BV: Since Margaret Atwood’s book “The Blind Assassin” came out in 1999, I’ve been obsessed with her words. Her writing has this very poetic yet pointed quality.

“But in the end, back she comes. There's no use resisting. She goes to him for amnesia, for oblivion. She renders herself up, is blotted out; enters the darkness of her own body, forgets her name. Immolation is what she wants, however briefly. To exist without boundaries.”

It was probably eight or nine years after I read that book for the first time that I began writing. I actually cried when I realized my writing was never going to sound like hers. But I’ve worked very hard since then to find my own author voice and one of the best reviews I’ve ever gotten described my writing as “sparse yet lyrical”.

There are probably hundreds of other authors who I have read and adored over the years, but I’d say Margaret Atwood has been the biggest stylistic influence.

I also adore that she isn’t afraid to speak up for what’s right when it comes to the problems in the world. Plus, when I met her in person at a book signing, she was warm and so lovely to her fans. I’ve tried to keep those things in mind as I put myself out into the world more and built an author platform.

I’m never going to be Margaret Atwood, nor do I want to, but she inspires me to be the best possible me. She’s inspired me to write fearlessly.

“The only way you can write the truth is to assume that what you set down will never be read. Not by any other person, and not even by yourself at some later date. Otherwise you begin excusing yourself. You must see the writing as emerging like a long scroll of ink from the index finger of your right hand; you must see your left hand erasing it.”


KEC: The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel.”

That is one hell of an opening line. One hell of an image, too, and the perfect introduction to William Gibson’s imagined world of Neuromancer, a science fiction novel I read while in my late teens.

Worldbuilding has always been one of my favorite parts of writing and the authors I’ve read who influence me strongly are those who worlds consume my imagination.

William Gibson is one such writer. My fascination with his worlds began with Neuromancer and continued through his other works. I’m not sure what specifically in Gibson’s words spoke to me, only that I was hooked from the start. His style was razor sharp and precise, but also gritty and startlingly real, and it held my attention utterly.

“They damaged his nervous system with a wartime mycotoxin.

Strapped to a bed in a Memphis hotel, his talent burning out micron by micron, he hallucinated for thirty hours.

The damage was minute, subtle, and utterly effective.

For Case, who’d lived for the bodiless exultation of cyberspace, it was the Fall. In the bars he’d frequented as a cowboy hotshot, the elite stance involved a certain relaxed contempt for the flesh. The body was meat. Case fell into the prison of his own flesh.”

Even now, many years after my first reading, Neuromancer and the two books that followed in what became The Sprawl Trilogy remain some of my favorite cyberpunk reads.

I can’t say I’ve ever attempted to emulate Gibson’s style, nor would I want to--my style, while constantly evolving, is very different and all my own. However, there are times when I feel as if an otherness informs my writing. Like someone outside of me has settled in for the ride.

This is especially true when I’m constructing worlds, an activity of which I never grow tired. So, as weird as it may sound, I look forward to that feeling of otherness and enjoy it for as long as it goes on.



About the Authors

K. Evan Coles


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.


K. Evan Coles













Brigham Vaughn


Brigham Vaughn is on the adventure of a lifetime as a full-time writer. She devours books at an alarming rate and hasn’t let her short arms and long torso stop her from doing yoga. She makes a killer key lime pie, hates green peppers, and loves wine tasting tours. A collector of vintage Nancy Drew books and green glassware, she enjoys poking around in antique shops and refinishing thrift store furniture. An avid photographer, she dreams of traveling the world and she can’t wait to discover everything else life has to offer her.

Her books range from short stories to novellas. They explore gay, bisexual, lesbian, and polyamorous romance in contemporary settings.


Brigham Vaughn





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