Thursday, February 27, 2020

Unholy by Morgan Brice - Blog Tour with Excerpt, Author's Guest Post, and Giveaway

BLOG TOUR


Book Title: Unholy (Witchbane #5)

Author: Morgan Brice

Cover Artist: Lou Harper 

Release Date: February 8, 2020

Genre/s: Urban fantasy MM paranormal romance

Trope/s: monster hunting, paranormal, supernatural, magic, ghosts, curses, cursed lovers, hurt/comfort, established couple

Themes: loyalty, brotherhood, found family, keeping promises, trust, commitment

Heat Rating: 4 flames 

Length: 66 000 words/ 224 pages

It can be read as a standalone, but is book #5 of the Witchbane series. 



Buy Links

 
 
A deadly curse on Seth and Evan means time is running out.
Can they find a way to turn the tables, or is Charleston their final destination?

Blurb

A cycle of ritual murders. A coven of dark warlocks, drawing their immortality from the magic of their dead master. Two men sworn to stop the deaths, destroy the warlocks and avenge the victims. Except this time, the killer is hunting the hunters.

Seth Tanner swore vengeance on the dark witches who killed his brother, Jesse. He rescued Evan Malone from one of the witches, and they’ve fallen in love despite the danger and chaos, going on the road to complete the quest and bring an end to the ritual murders. Their relationship is still new, tested at every turn by danger and magic.

Seth and Evan head to Charleston to stop the next warlock and save his intended victim. But this time, they’re too late. The warlock has already powered up, and he’s determined to destroy the two hunters one way or another. A deadly curse on Seth and Evan means time is running out. Can they find a way to turn the tables, or is Charleston their final destination?

Unholy is an urban fantasy MM paranormal romance with plenty of supernatural suspense, hurt/comfort, hot sex, found family, dark magic and paranormal thrills. It is part of a series but can be read as a standalone and features an evolving, established romantic relationship with all the feels. Intended for readers 18 years of age and older.



Excerpt

From Chapter 3

“Hi, and welcome to Charleston,” Alicia said. “I’ve heard a lot about both of you.”

That left one other person. He looked to be in his late twenties, with blond hair in a trendy cut, high cheekbones, and gray eyes the color of the sea after a storm. Unlike the others, he didn’t have a drink or a plate in front of him. The man’s appraisal made Evan shiver, although nothing in his manner seemed hostile.

“This is Sorren,” Cassidy said. “He’s my business partner, and he and my ancestor founded Trifles and Folly—my shop—back when Charleston was first chartered.”

Seth and Evan exchanged a glance. “But Charleston is over three hundred years old,” Seth protested.

Sorren smiled, and Evan caught his breath as he glimpsed the tips of fangs behind his lips. “You’re correct. And I am nearly six hundred. I am deeply interested in finding out about this witch-disciple you hunt. He has, apparently, gone to great lengths to avoid my notice.”

As soon as Sorren spoke, Evan wondered how he could have thought the man was close to his own age. Sorren had a presence that made it easy to believe he was immortal. Instinct warned him not to meet Sorren’s gaze, and he remembered stories about a vampire’s ability to glamour mortals and bend their will.

“Don’t worry. You’re safe here,” Sorren said, apparently noting Evan’s uneasiness. “You are guests in Cassidy’s home, and allies. That puts you under my protection—something I take very seriously.”

Evan pasted on a smile and nodded. Holy shit. What have we gotten ourselves into?

“You already know Teag, and I believe he and Seth have bonded over hacking to get information on some of the cases we’ve worked on. But his ninja computer skills are really an outgrowth of his Weaver magic,” Cassidy said, “which you know at least something about, from the spell-woven braided bracelets you gave each other for your birthdays.”

She sat at the table beside Teag. “Eat first, and then we all want to hear your story.”

Evan wasn’t sure what might pass for normal conversation with this crew, but the banter felt comfortable and familiar. They obviously knew each other well and were friends as well as colleagues. While they ate, the conversation drifted to local happenings, upcoming events, and the shared frustration that went with having to avoid road construction. Even Sorren commented now and again, and Evan noticed that no one at the table seemed to regard him fearfully. Evan glanced at Seth and knew from the look on his boyfriend’s face that the mental wheels were turning, appraising their new allies.

When everyone had their fill of the pizza and had topped off their drinks, the chatter stopped, and they all looked to Seth and Evan. Teag stepped away and returned with his laptop.

“We know a little bit about your hunt for the witch-disciples from the information Teag helped you find in the past,” Cassidy said.





What's the genre you haven't written in but want to, and why?

By Morgan Brice

I'd love to write some cozy mystery.

As Morgan Brice, I've got urban fantasy MM paranormal romance, and I'm planning some new shifter and alternative history/steampunk for this year. As Gail Z. Martin, I write epic and urban fantasy plus steampunk and near-future post-apocalyptic adventure. But I love reading cozy mysteries, and I haven't written one yet.

Switching genres is a challenge for an author because each genres has its tropes, structure, expectations, 'beats'. An epic fantasy doesn't unfold the same way an urban fantasy or romance does. The number of point-of-view characters is different, as are the types of point-of-view that are conventionally permitted. There are different expectations in how magic works, and the level of violence and explicit sex. The length and the number of plot threads differ. That's especially true when dealing with a different time period, whether that's medieval, Victorian, or something else. A lot of research goes on behind the scenes!

Different genres also vary in their pacing, the kind of vocabulary and sentence structure used, the style of humor. It really requires getting into a different head space as an author, and knowing the rules for that particular genre, even if you choose to break some. And you can't break too many, or readers won't be happy because it doesn't fit the type of book they expected.

That also makes it challenging as an author, and switching it up keeps me fresh and on my toes. It's a risk. But it's also lots of fun, especially when it's a genre I love as a reader.

So there would definitely be a learning curve. But I have two different cozy mystery series in mind--one for Morgan Brice and one for Gail Z. Martin. Now I just need to find the time!

 

About the Author 

Morgan Brice is the romance pen name of bestselling author Gail Z. Martin. Morgan writes urban fantasy male/male paranormal romance, with plenty of action, adventure and supernatural thrills to go with the happily ever after. Gail writes epic fantasy and urban fantasy, and together with co-author hubby Larry N. Martin, steampunk and comedic horror, all of which have less romance, more explosions. Characters from her Gail books make frequent appearances in secondary roles in her Morgan books, and vice versa.

On the rare occasions Morgan isn’t writing, she’s either reading, cooking, or spoiling two very pampered dogs.

Series include Witchbane, Badlands, and Treasure Trail. Watch for more in these series, plus new series coming soon!


Author Links




 




Giveaway

Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for a chance to win

one of three ebook copies of any book in the Witchbane series



 



 

The Shatterproof Bond Series by Isobel Starling - Blog Tour with Excerpts and giveaway



The Shatterproof Bond Series:
Book 1: As You Wish
Book 2: Illuminate the Shadows
Book 3: Return to Zero
Book 4: Counterblow
Book 5: Powder Burns

Publisher: Decent Fellows Press

Release date: Already released in print, ebook, and audiobook


Subgenre: M/M Romance Thriller
Warnings: Mild BDSM

Purchase now:

As You Wish : https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B012T8J92U
Illuminate the Shadows: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01ELOXC
Return to Zero: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01FHYJWTS
Counterblow: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B072LP9Y9N
Powder Burns https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07XP9PMR7

Book blurbs:

Book 1: As You Wish

WINNER OF THE 2018 AUDIOBOOK REVIEWER AWARD FOR ROMANCE

1 wedding, 2 best men, one hell of a love story!

Declan Ramsay was set to be the best man at his brother's wedding in Scotland, sharing best man duties with the bride's gay kid brother Sam. Sam was abroad finishing his studies so the best men communicated by email for more than a year and wouldn't meet for the first time until a few days before the wedding.

But on meeting Sam Aiken, Declan is surprised to see he isn't a kid at all, but a striking, athletic blond man with gorgeous green eyes and a wicked sense of humor. Declan is alarmed by the ferocious attraction he feels for Sam. And as the attraction is reciprocated, the events at Dunloch Castle change everything Declan has ever believed about himself.

But is Sam Aiken all he appears to be?

Also available in paperback and as an award-winning audiobook, narrated by Gary Furlong.

Book 2: Illuminate the Shadows

A Scotsman and an Englishman fall in love…

After the most amazing week of his life, at Dunloch Castle on the banks of Loch Ness, in Scotland. The charming, mysterious Samuel Aiken has turned Declan Ramsay’s life upside down. Declan has experienced a remarkable change. He has come to terms with the fact he is bisexual, and he has fallen head-over-heels in love with his boss’s son Sam.

However, falling for his boss’s son was never going to be an easy path to happiness, mainly because the boss in question is multi-millionaire property tycoon and former MI5 operative, Sir James Aiken.
Sir James is repulsed by his son’s homosexuality, and so discovering that his employee Declan Ramsay- the man he installed to run his luxury property rental empire- is in a relationship with Sam, does not go down well.

The lovers cannot hide from the looming presence of Sir James Aiken for long! Soon enough James makes his move, and Declan finds out what he will have to endure to stay with Sam, and what he will have to give to feel worthy of Sam's love.

Book 3: Return to Zero

Life takes a darker turn for Sam and Declan...

Pulled into a world of secrets and lies for the man he loves, Declan Ramsay’s life has changed immeasurably in the eight months since meeting and falling for his boss’s son, Sam Aiken. Declan's journey of personal discovery is about to take a darker turn, and for Sam, the world becomes more treacherous than he could ever have imagined.

Two agents are missing -- presumed dead, while on a reconnaissance mission at an outdoor adventure center in the Scottish Highlands. Sir James Aiken sends his son and Declan to follow the trail, and discover the fate of the agents.

As the mission offers his first chance to use the skills he learned on the MI6 training course in Morocco, Declan is keen to get started. However, Sir James sees to it that the seeds of doubt and discord have been sewn between the couple, as they begin their mission.

The journey to their Highland location, and the discoveries they make when they reach the G’wan Adventures center, prove that Sir James Aiken has been less than honest with his son. Events in the Highlands force Sam and Declan to face their greatest fears and understand what they both really want from life -- and from each other.

Book 4: Counterblow

True love comes at a cost...

After the devastating events in the Scottish Highlands, Sam and Declan have moved on to a new, deeper level in their romance. Their commitment to each other is unquestionable; however, there are plenty of questions that need answering about other aspects of their lives, and those who sought to end them.

Sam is trying his best to deal with the day to day frustrations of his injuries. He’s completely dependent on Declan for everything and hates the way the scales have tipped in their relationship. Although he’s officially on leave, Sam’s mind cannot stop replaying all that happened to him and questioning why, and who is behind it all.

Declan’s relief at having Sam home throws him into house-husband mode. He’s happy to take the reins and care for his partner, however, beneath the surface Declan cannot help but be drawn back to how he felt in the Highlands, and how they were betrayed by a man who was supposed to have their back. Declan had promised Sir James Aiken that he would pay if he hurt Sam, and now Declan has to decide how he can deliver his payback and put his and Sam’s world back on an even keel.

Book 5: Powder Burns

One book, Two Missions, and a memory-key full of secrets!

After a series of terrorist attacks on fracking sites owned by a Gas multinational named Drilsink, Sir James Aiken’s agency is bought in to find the radical Eco-terrorist group responsible. He sends Sam and Declan to work undercover at Imperial College where Intel suggests the group is recruiting.

While Sam works behind the scenes, Declan takes on the identity of Geologist Dr. Tobias Hunter and soon makes an enemy of a fellow science geek- a man who Declan comes to despise more than Sir James Aiken!

When the operation moves from London to Munich and then Vienna, Sam, and Declan are thrown headlong into a spy scenario straight out of the thriller novels they love to read—but with a distinct and disturbing sexual twist! Sam meets an old friend and uncovers shocking information about James’ past.

With Erik Madsson still imprisoned inside the A.L.L. HQ, James comes to realize that he should have listened to his son. Keeping the enemy inside his own home is about to be the biggest mistake he has ever made.



Excerpt from As You Wish (Shatterproof Bond #1)

“Flight B-A-one-four-three-two to Edinburgh will be boarding from Gate A twenty-six.”
Sam Aiken paused and glanced up at the yellow airport signage directing that the walk to Gates A1-A26 would take ten minutes. “Shit,” he muttered under his breath. Sam’s flight to Edinburgh was also due to take off in ten bloody minutes. He shouldered his heavy rucksack and sprinted through Terminal Two at London’s Heathrow Airport, ducking and diving around fellow travelers.
It was partly Sam’s fault that he had been delayed. Initially, it was by choosing the wrong queue and getting stuck in the security check line for twenty minutes. And then, by attempting a conversation with a security guard and being given a thorough groping in response. If he hadn’t been so stressed, Sam might actually have enjoyed the attention.
Sam Aiken was over six feet tall and wore his sandy-blond hair to his shoulders. His boyish face, tanned by the Saudi Arabian desert winds, had sprouted a monstrous attempt at a beard. It looked ridiculous. It couldn’t even be called a beard, more scrub than forest! Sam had spent the past year in the Middle East, where the beard is the symbol of manhood and honor, so he’d grown it to try and fit in. It worked there, but back in the UK, it just made him look a bit grubby. Sam was dressed in knee-length khaki shorts and an over-washed, cranberry-red T-shirt. His appearance was that of your average backpacker, so why security had singled him out for the extra attention, Sam didn’t know. Maybe he should know better than to try and crack jokes with security officials, especially when they had his balls in their hands.
“Nice wand! Watch where you’re sticking that thing, I might like it!” Sam joked nervously in his soft British accent. The very well built, alpha security guard waving the metal detector wand over his body glared at him. Sam arched his brows and grinned, hoping to inspire an illicit smile from the man, but instead, the security guard pulled him aside and got his friend to observe as he gave Sam a thorough feel up. He wished he had kept his mouth shut. That thirty-minute delay left Sam on a knife-edge.
As he ran through the featureless, white airport corridors towards Gate A26, Sam wasn’t sure now whether he would make the flight. His mind raced with the snowball effect of that possible future event. All of his father’s well-made plans would be shot to shit, and he would be the reason— in the dog house and only back in the UK an hour.
Sam turned into a wide, open-plan lounge. Out of nowhere another traveler suddenly appeared, cutting across Sam’s path, dragging a black, wheeled suitcase. Sam couldn’t stop himself from tripping. He fell forwards and then halted in mid-air. The broad masculine hand of the traveler was gripping his bare forearm to prevent the fall. He pulled Sam to right himself. The two men glared at one another.
“Jesus! Watch what you’re doing with that thing!” Sam exclaimed, furious.
“You watch where you’re going, eejit!” the stranger retorted in a posh Edinburgh brogue.
The Scotsman rushed off, dragging his suitcase, and Sam continued to run on to the correct gate, fretting internally about what idiot’s people can be.
When Sam arrived minutes later, he saw a throng of passengers milling around, and on glancing at the info board, he read there was a delay of ten minutes. Sam breathed a deep sigh of relief. He unhooked his rucksack and found a wall to slide down. He searched in the front pocket of his pack, drew out his phone, and made a call.
“Hi, this is Samuel Aiken. I have a one-thirty p.m. pick up from Edinburgh Airport. Well, my flight is delayed by ten minutes. I just wanted to let you know. Great, see you then.”
Sam ended the call and glanced down at his left forearm. He saw the outline of red grip marks. He absently rubbed the imprints left by the Scotsman with the wheeled black case, unable to deny that being touched so roughly had made warmth flood into his gut.


Excerpt from Return to Zero (Shatterproof Bond #3):

“SAM!  Are ye home?”  Declan hollered as he opened the front door.  “Sam?”
“In here.”  Sam’s distant voice filtered from the spare bedroom.  Declan was in a buoyant mood, at last, after weeks of waiting, he’d received a call from his boss.  He sauntered confidently towards the bedroom and knocked once before walking in.
“Why d’ye no’ pick up?  I’ve called ye, like, six times already!  James wants us in fer a meet —” Declan stopped, and in the way, only Sam Aiken could do, the breath was stolen from his lungs. 
Declan’s yoga mat was laid out in the center of the large bedroom floor, and upon it, a shamelessly nude Sam Aiken was facing the tall antique mirror that rested against the wall.  He was on his belly, his back bowed, and his palms pushing against the floor as his shoulders rose in the midst of the cobra pose. 
Declan slumped to sit silently on the king-size bed and watch.  He stared, bug-eyed and slack-jawed at all of that flawless pale skin, wrapped around an athletic, slim frame.  Declan adored how pliant and supple Sam was.  He reveled in the sight of corded muscles moving beneath the taut surface of the younger man’s skin, like the workings of a well-honed machine.
Ignoring his voyeur, Sam pushed himself up from the cobra pose, so he sat back on his calves.  He closed his eyes and focused on his breath, and then, when he was ready, placed his palms flat on the mat, level with his knees.  Then, putting all of his weight on his hands, Sam drew his legs out to either side of his body, doing the splits, balancing solely on his hands. 
Declan’s bearded jaw dropped open, and his heart skipped a beat at the impressive sight.  The mirror allowed Declan to observe Sam from many angles, and the view was exquisite.  He knew there was a reason he was home early, but, whatever the hell it was, it could wait. 
Sam aligned his legs and bought them up above his head, so he was in a handstand position, and there he stayed for a minute, his breath shallow and barely audible.  There was not one tremble in any of Sam’s muscles.  It was awe-inspiring.  Sam was the very picture of oneness—strength, control, balance, and agility.  The lines of Sam’s form were sinuous and erotic, and there was no stopping the hot, hot hunger that made Declan’s whole being shudder with need.
Sam’s spine arched back and with incredible discipline, his body bowed slowly, until the soles of his feet were placed firmly on the yoga mat, and Sam was in the crab position.  He was trying so desperately to focus on his own breath and to remain centered, but Declan was breathing heavily through his nose, like a stag readying for the rut, and even though Sam could not actually see him, Declan’s presence always came with the prickle of otherworldly electricity.  It really was like they were magnetized. 
The sound of heavy breathing was doing things to Sam’s body that he just could not control.  His heart beat faster, beads of sweat littered his brow and formed on his chest, and his pale cock reddened, filled and rose majestically, providing an extra spectacle for his handsome observer.  Sam arched his spine to its capacity and inched to his toes and fingertips.  He stayed like that, his muscles clenched tight and his cock standing straight as a flagpole awaiting its flag.  After a minute, he slowly unclenched his muscles and allowed his body to ease its way gently back to the mat.  Each movement still effortlessly controlled.
This naked yoga routine was on the list of the most erotic things that Declan had ever seen in his life.  And now that Sam was on his back, his eyes closed, with arms stretched above his head.  Declan decided that this was his opportunity to pounce. 

About the Author:

Isobel Starling spent most of her twenty-year professional career as a visual artist in Ireland.  She now writes full time and loves writing Thrillers, Comedy, Historical, and Fantasy.  In nearly six years she has written twenty books, released fourteen audiobooks, and has translations of most titles in French, German, and Italian.  The Shatterproof Bond series is a #1 bestseller in Germany.

"As You Wish" (Shatterproof Bond#1) narrated by Gary Furlong won the Audiobook Reviewer Award for Romance 2018.  It is the first M/M Romance audiobook to win a mainstream audiobook award.

Connect with Isobel:
Instagram: @isobel_starling



Giveaway: To celebrate the refresh of the Shatterproof Bond Series, Isobel Starling is giving away 2 complete e-sets of the series! Open internationally, must be 18 years old to win. 

The Students of Barrenmoor Ridge by Jackson Marsh - Bog Tour with Excerpt and Giveaway


The Students of Barrenmoor Ridge



Jackson Marsh has a new MM YA romance out, book two in his Barrenmoor Ridge series: "The Students of Barrenmoor Ridge."


Book two in 'The Barrenmoor Series' of MM romance stories with a mountain rescue theme.
Liam has set himself a goal. To come out to his best friend, Casper, before his 18th birthday while hiking at Fellborough in the Yorkshire Dales.


Things don't go according to plan, and when a violent storm hits, the camping trip takes a potentially fatal turn. Local mountaineers, John Hamilton and his husband Gary are called to help, but it soon becomes apparent that the rescue is more than physical. Liam and Casper both have secrets that when known, have the potential break or mend their hearts.


A mix of YA, romance and adventure, 'The Students of Barrenmoor Ridge' brings back popular characters from the first Barrenmoor book in a familiar setting with love, mountaineering and the dangers of both.


'The Mentor of Barrenmoor Ridge' is the first book in the Barrenmoor Series of MM romances with a mountain rescue theme. 'The Students' takes place two years later, and it is better, but not vital, to read the stories in order.


From the series reviews:

"No usual tried tropes here. Great story, natural dialogue, well-developed characters, and unpredictable plot."


"I loved reading the entire “mentor” series. Such great escapism. I Love the Pacing of the story, the twist and turns, the suspense, conflict, romance. The whole series is wonderful to read."



Amazon Print | Amazon US | Amazon CAN | Amazon UK | Amazon AUS | Amazon GER | Amazon FRN | Amazon SPN | Amazon ITA | Amazon NL | Amazon JAP | Amazon BZL | Amazon MX | Amazon IND |




Giveaway


Jackson is giving away a $20 Amazon gift card with this tour. Fir a chance to win, enter via 
Rafflecopter:




Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b60e8d47107/?




Excerpt



The Students of Barrenmoor Ridge


John was unable to sleep that night. The raging wind didn't bother him even though the roof tiles rattled, and he knew the old yew tree would be creaking as it bent towards the lean-to. He was used to it and so was the cottage. It was well built.

Gary was curled up behind him, spooned in with one arm across John's chest. The bedroom was warm, Gary's presence warmer, and the pillows were soft. There was no reason sleep shouldn't come, they were safe from the battering, cocooned in the perfect shelter of each other's arms, and yet…

The scream of the wind as it charged them from the summit of Lhotse, the vibrations of the ground when an avalanche fell, the hiss of snow stinging the tent, and the mountain's roar, all sounds he heard through the inconsequential force six doing its best to rattle the house. The bitter bite of memory gnawed at his mind for sure, but the main reason his thoughts leapt from the anesthetising approach of sleep to the worst conditions in the world had nothing to do with the past.

There were people out there now, at Everest, yes, but also on the fells. The team were over at Northpeak and they'd picked a fine night for training, but closer to home, there were hikers and climbers huddled beneath inadequate canvas hoping their pegging was sound and wishing the night would end. Daylight might bring security, but it didn’t guarantee good weather, and it was still hours away. A lot could happen. The storm had worsened to a frightening zenith before the thunder abated slightly, but still he couldn't sleep. The lessening conditions meant the eye of the storm was overhead, and there would be more, possibly worse, to follow.

He pictured the fell from above, seeing through the agitated clouds to the swamped ground a mile below. Lit by lightning bursts, he imagined it as waves frozen in mid-roll with Fellborough peak a crest and the lower terrain its ripples. Peppered around it were insignificant dots of inappropriate colour, the shop-bought, budget tents of the unwary trembling against the elements.

He had pictured the scene on many nights as he lay listening to the conditions and wating for the MRT radio to spark into life, or for his pager to double-beep the call sign, but tonight he was seeing it more clearly, as if it was unfolding on a widescreen television in high definition. Unaffected by the storm, he floated above it, watching over its potential victims, safe at his altitude and apart. The unhinged tempest beneath blasted from one insane thought to another, swiping at anything in its path, but John was safe, hovering on a warm updraft that dulled him towards the soft paws of sleep.

Until he fell.

Security gone. No handholds, no rope, only the empty space between him and the life-taking certainty of rock.

Gasping, he opened his eyes as his body jerked. The clock glowed one-forty-seven, and Gary had rolled away leaving him exposed and vulnerable. The pager was silent, and John was safe in his bed, but a few miles away, people might be battling for their lives, and all he could do was wait.



The rain no longer stung when it swiped Liam's face, his flesh was too numb to register the pain. The torch beam was nothing more than a thread through barely penetrable blackness, but it showed him the ground a few steps at a time.

That was all he needed to do, take it slowly using common sense and exercising caution. The tent had been facing west, and he found the way down from the ledge between two large boulders with no trouble. Straight on to the south, he met the path. Over to his left, the lightning was now on the horizon, and the wind was swooping down from the fell on his right. If the storm didn’t change direction, it would keep him on course, and the path, now more like a stream, was marked here and there by cairns. With the wind to one side and the dying lightning to the other, he only needed to keep going downhill until he met the riverbed. If it was flooded, he'd wade straight through to if he had to.

It was his fault that Casper was in trouble. Whatever had made him go out unprotected in the storm, and whatever had happened next didn’t matter. There was nothing that could be done to change that, all that mattered now was finding someone who could save him. Repercussions of a bad decision would come, and Liam would deserve them – unprepared, inexperienced, thinking he knew what he was doing… Why hadn’t he just taken Casper down to the beach at home to tell him? Why drag him halfway up the country and make him climb a hill to ruin their friendship? He could have done that weeks ago had he not been such a ridiculous romantic. There was nothing romantic about destroying their friendship and leaving his best friend shivering to death on…

He yelled at himself to stop. Beating himself up wouldn't do any good. He had to concentrate on his footing, and pretend he knew what he was doing. Casper needed him to be strong, to be wise, to take only a course of action that would lead to rescue, everything else had to wait.

Not knowing how far he had descended, he stopped and took out his phone. Sheltering it as best he could against his chest, he switched it on only to find no signal and the battery bar now glowing red. The phone back in his pocket, the torch aimed at the path, his head down, he continued.

The rain was easing off, that was a blessing, but the gale roared in his ears, low and booming one moment, high-pitched the next. As uncoordinated as his frozen feet, as wild as the anger he turned in on himself, it would not leave him alone. It taunted and jabbed as it bullied, and in the cacophony, he imagined laughter, spiteful and insulting, but deserved.

Another sound grew closer on a rumbling vibration beneath his feet, and a few paces further, he came to the edge of the riverbed.

Except now there was no bed, only river as thousands of gallons of water teamed from the blackness on his right to vanish back into the night on his left. The torch lit foam spewing around rocks in untamed channels that bubbled wildly and fast across his path. There was no way to judge the depth, and no way of knowing if the rocks that stood above the surface were stable, but equally, there was no time to think about it. Squinting through dripping eyelashes and aiming his light, it was impossible to see how wide it was either, but he knew for certain that there was no way to go up and around. Downhill, it could flow east for miles and take him off his path. The only way was through, and he knew he might not survive.






What were your goals and intentions in this book?

What was my intention in writing this book?

My intentions were twofold. One, to return to Barrenmoor Ridge, the setting, because of the popularity of book one in the series, 'The Mentor of Barrenmoor Ridge', and two, to explore that time in a young man's life when the affection for a best friend becomes more than platonic.

I wanted to return to the setting not only because book one did so well (and still does), but because I love reading adventures of mountaineers. Although 'The Students' is set against the background of a fell in the Yorkshire Dales, and we're not talking high-altitude climbing, the bravery mountaineers show while climbing is a good metaphor for the bravery my characters show in their everyday lives, particularly love lives. I wanted to expand that idea, which is explored in the first Barrenmoor Book, and move the focus to a new pair of main characters. In book one, John Hamilton (36), is coming to terms with the loss of his lover, while Gary Taylor (19), is coming to terms with being gay. It was very much a 'Mentor' book, part of my collection of older/younger love stories, and with 'The Students', I wanted to take the mentoring idea further.

In 'the Students', John and Gary are back, but both become mentors to my two main characters, Liam (who has his 18th birthday during the story), and Casper, (18 when the story starts).  Being a Barrenmoor book, there is the theme of mountaineering and mountain rescue running through the action plot, and I can't think of a better sport to highlight risks and rewards, both physical and emotional.

The story, I hope, also explores that time in a young gay man's life when, accepting he is gay, he must then jump the hurdle of coming out. My late adolescence was a very confusing and difficult time for me, not because of homophobia (homosexuality simply wasn't discussed), but because I wanted a boyfriend, and I saw every male friend as a potential BF, and yet none made overtures to me or made the first move, and when I did, I usually suffered rejection and lost the friendship. That's the gamble Liam faces in 'The Students.' He knows he is gay and wants his best friend, Casper, to be the first to know. However, he is torn because he fears Casper's rejection and the loss of his only close friend. Appropriately enough for a story the includes mountaineers and rock climbers, he is caught between a rock and a hard place.

What were my goals?
Simply to tell a heartfelt and heart-warming story that combines the pain of late adolescence as a gay man with the action-adventure of rock climbing and mountain rescue. I aimed to write a piece that stood alone, but which also involved a few of the original characters from book one, though two years later.

As with all my books, I set out to write a) a story I want to tell, b) one that will entertain, and c) one which, hopefully, will resonate with readers. In all my books there is an underlying theme of male bonding, acceptance and learning to be secure with one's self, but 'The Students of Barrenmoor Ridge' is the first time I've played with the idea of best friend to bromance to coming out and… I won't spoil the ending for you, but if you do read it, I hope you enjoy it.


Author Bio



Jackson Marsh


Jackson Marsh is a British born author of novels and screenplays.


Jackson has a background of theatre, cabaret and music and yet holds a social policy degree. He was born on the Romney Marshes in Kent, UK, but now lives on a mountainous Greek island. During the 1980s in London he campaigned for gay rights and performed political satire cabaret, writing song and reviews, appearing at Pride events, national venues and on television.


He moved to Greece in 2002 and married his partner there in 2017. He has won awards for his gay erotic writing, and in 2007, won a European-wide award for short stories. In 2017, he won awards for his screenplay writing.


Jackson is the author of 'The Clearwater Mysteries', and also writes fiction under the name James Collins.


Author Website: www.jacksonmarsh.com

Author Facebook (Personal): https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002130420544

Author Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/jacksonmarshauthor/

Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/CollinsWords26

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17332953.Jackson_Marsh

Author QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/jackson-marsh/

Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Jackson-Marsh/e/B077LDT5ZL/



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Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Jeremiah by Jayce Ellis - Blog Tour with Excerpt and Giveaway


Jeremiah by Jayce Ellis

Series: High Rise #1

Release Date: January 6, 2020

Subgenre: Contemporary m/m romance 


Book Synopsis:

Jeremiah Stewart’s sexuality is no one’s business. Not that he’s hiding it. When—if—he finds the right one, he’ll absolutely introduce him to Mom. But a late-night brush with a sexy stranger in too much lip gloss has him rethinking nearly everything…


To Collin Galloway, direction is a four-letter word. Sure, he hates his job, he hates living with his parents and he really hates watching everyone move on without him. But he doesn’t know what he wants to do, long-term, and he won’t figure it out by thirsting over Jeremiah, the superhot, superintense paramedic who is suddenly everywhere Collin looks.

When Jeremiah’s faced with losing all he’s worked so hard to build, he reluctantly accepts Collin’s help. They’re both determined to stay professional…which works about as well as either would imagine. But Collin only does closets with clothes, and Jeremiah has to decide if he’s finally found the one worth bringing home to Mom.

All buy links or pre-order links:



            Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2MlnpuD


Excerpt :

I waved before stepping on [the elevators] and pressing the button for ten. I just barely caught the muffled “hold that” from down the hall.
No lie, I was tempted to let it close and let whoever it was catch the next one, but I pressed the door open button and three people staggered on. And I fucking choked on air because one of them, a dark-haired man with brown eyes smudged with liner, was about the prettiest thing I’d ever seen.
He was also apparently the only sober one, and he gave me a tiny smile. “Thanks. Appreciate it.”
I nodded and posted up in the corner. The girl could barely stand up straight, probably part liquor and part the obscene heels she was wearing, and the other guy, a blond, was red-cheeked and giggling to himself. But the brunet could get it, even though the pseudo-spiky hair that had probably been perfect a few hours ago had wilted in this fuck-ass humidity. White boy problems. His shirt was sticking to him, and…did that bitch say PrEP-py on it? Like a neon sign he was trying to hit. I homed in again on the blue liner and sparkly lip-gloss he was gnawing off. I wanted to stop him, soothe that bruised lower lip with my tongue, and…the thought made my body stir in ways it hadn’t for months.
Fucking hell. I closed my eyes and willed my imagination and my dick to calm all the way down.
The floor dinged to a stop and I looked forward to find him staring at me, his eyes wide and searching and gorgeous. Eighth floor. I held my arm out while he and the blond, but mostly he, helped the woman off, but her foot caught in a thread on the carpet and she stumbled, taking the blond down with her. They laughed, the sound almost hyena-like with the wheezing and gasping, while the brunet stood there, his shoulders and head sagging. Fuck it, the way this night was going, they wouldn’t get any farther if I left them. I stepped out and let the elevator close behind me.
“You need some help?” I asked.
Dark-hair looked at me, his eyes wide, and shook his head. “Oh, no need. I’ve got them.”
See, now nine times out of ten I would’ve found that endearing, that he was cautious of me as a stranger and wanted to make sure his drunk friends were okay. And my Black ass knew better than to involve myself with drunk folks. I was going to pay for this later.
“I’m a paramedic. Let me help.” I bent over and scooped the girl into my arms, settling her head against my shoulder. She smelled like cheap liquor and expensive perfume, and didn’t that sum up DC in a nutshell? “Where am I going?”
He gnawed on that lip again.
“Stop that,” I said, and he jumped. Skittish little thing. I wanted him.



About the author:

           
Jayce Ellis has three loves: her husband and her two turtles. Hubby loves her back. The turtles she's not so sure about, but they do love their sports (Bay Area teams FTW!). She still hasn't figured out why she lives in Northern Virginia, where there's weather, instead of California, where she's from, and where it's just...pretty. Jayce spends her days divorcing happily-married couples (or so she's been told), and her nights talking maniacally to herself. Thankfully the recorder catches her rumblings and magically turns them into words on a screen. Painting nails is way easier when you don't actually have to type, and with well over 500 polishes to get through, there's a lot of painting going on.

Notwithstanding her no-good, very bad, horrible day job, Jayce seriously believes that true love conquers all. Even Maleficent said it. Sure, she was having an epic Mean Girls moment at the time, but she still said it. And she's right. The only thing Jayce loves more than writing about true love conquering all, is hearing from readers who feel the same way.


Author links:
Twitter: @thelawyerwrites
Facebook: Jayce Ellis author
            Website: www.jayceellis.com


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Jeff, Karma, and Me by Jere M Fishback - Release Blitz with Excerpt and Giveaway


Title: Jeff, Karma, and Me
Author: Jere’ M. Fishback
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: February 24, 2020
Heat Level: 3 - Some Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 90400
Genre: Contemporary, LGBTQIA+, contemporary, new adult, gay, bi, absent parent, mental illness, campground, Florida, Indiana, college students, multiple partners, coming out

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Synopsis


Twenty-year-old college student, Jakub Mazur, is a loner consumed by feelings of helplessness due to his mother’s unexplained disappearance many years before. He feels he’s not in charge of his own life, that forces beyond his control will always determine his destiny. But when a summer affair ignites between Jakub and Jeff Brucelli, Jakub tastes both romantic love and self-empowerment.

After returning to school for his third year of college, Jakub suffers another tragic loss; it shakes his faith in his ability to navigate life’s challenges. Is he doomed to suffer at the hand of fate forever?

When Jeff is diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a potentially fatal cancer of the lymphatic system, Jeff’s oncologist says he must endure debilitating chemotherapy cycles, then radiation treatments. Jakub is devastated when he learns of this, but decides, for once, he will take control of his future instead of behaving like a helpless bystander.

Excerpt


Jeff, Karma, and Me
Jere’ M. Fishback © 2020
All Rights Reserved

I was twenty years old when Jeff Brucelli walked into my life and turned it upside down. I had just finished my sophomore year of college and was home for summer break, to live with my dad in the head ranger’s residence in Fort De Soto Park, a county facility fronting Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. Dad oversaw the park’s campground, as well as the picnic areas, boat ramps, piers, and beaches. Our house was a two-bedroom, wood frame structure seated on nine-foot pilings, with a screened porch overlooking a placid bayou. The floors were polished oak, and the wood burning fireplace was built of local limestone. A wooden dock and covered boat slip extended into the bayou, where Dad kept a sixteen-foot Carolina Skiff with a forty-horsepower outboard.

My first morning home, I gobbled a bowlful of cornflakes and chugged OJ from a carton. Then I took a bike ride through the RV section of the campground. The sun had risen two hours before and already the day heated up. Dampness gathered in my armpits while I pedaled along the crushed shell road. Most campsites I passed were waterfront, shaded by live oaks and sabal palms. Native foliage grew between them: sea grape, hibiscus, turkey oaks, and flame of the woods.

Many sites were empty, but at one near the eastern tip of the campground, an RV the size of a city bus hulked. A guy my age sat there at a picnic table, strumming an acoustic guitar. Shirtless and wearing cutoff denim shorts, he was slender and fair-skinned, and his cola-colored eyes narrowed when I approached on my bike.

“Are you staying here?” I asked.

Sunlight reflected in his mop of dark and wavy hair when he nodded and answered in a scratchy tenor. “My folks are serving as campground hosts the next few months. They’re both schoolteachers and have the summer free, so we’ll be here through August.”

I dismounted and lowered my kickstand. Then I pointed my chin at the RV. “That’s a nice ride.”

“It belongs to my mom’s parents. Grandma’s not well these days, and they don’t use it much, so they lent it to us for this trip. We’re from Indiana.”

I extended a hand. “I’m Jakub Mazur.”

Jeff told me his name while we shook. His palm felt warm, his grip firm.

I explained how I was home for the summer from Florida State University and living inside the park.

“I just finished my second year at IU,” Jeff said. “I’m a journalism major.”

Jeff glanced here and there before he spoke again, this time in almost a whisper. “We’ve only been here a few days, but I get the impression most people in the campground are older—retirees and the like.”

I rolled my eyes. “You won’t find many college kids here, but we can hang out if you’d like. Got a bicycle?”

Jeff jerked a thumb toward a ten-speed Schwinn chained to a sabal palm.

“Let’s take a cruise,” I said, “and I’ll show you my house.”

Minutes later we rolled westward, side by side, while our tires ground against the road. We passed beneath limbs of ancient live oaks draped in Spanish moss. Up ahead, at an empty campsite, a great grey heron stood on a seawall, studying a canal in hopes of finding breakfast.

“How long have you lived in the park?” Jeff asked.

“Since I was eight, when my dad was promoted to head ranger. The residence comes with the position.”

“Must be nice.”

I rocked my head from side to side. “The park’s pretty, and fishing here is good, but I never had other kids to do things with. It could get lonely, especially during summer when I wasn’t in school. The days dragged by, if you know what I mean.”

Jeff grimaced. “I spent a summer on my uncle’s dairy farm, when I was thirteen. The nearest kid my age was three miles away, and I thought I’d go crazy from boredom.”

When we reached the house, I pulled two Cokes from the fridge, and we sat on a glider sofa on the screened porch. Above us, a ceiling fan clacked and stirred the air. Out on the bayou’s placid surface, a half dozen brown pelicans floated while an osprey chattered in a nearby long leaf pine.

“This is sweet,” Jeff said while his gaze traveled here and there. “We don’t have such places back home. Indiana’s nothing but prairie.”

Jeff talked about his hometown of Peru.

“We have about ten thousand people. There’s a courthouse and high school, and it’s only a three-hour drive from Bloomington, so I can come home on weekends if I choose to, but I don’t often. There’s not much going on in Peru.”

I asked Jeff about his family.

“My dad’s a middle school shop instructor, and Mom teaches freshman English at Peru High. They come from large families, so I have aunts and uncles all over Miami County, loads of cousins as well.”

I shook my head.

“What is it?” Jeff asked.

“My parents were both only children, so I have no extended family or siblings. It’s just me and my dad.”

“Where’s your mom?”

I kept my gaze fixed on the bayou while my stomach knotted like it always did when I had to explain. “She has…mental health issues. About eleven years ago, she disappeared—just packed up her belongings and left. We haven’t heard from her since.”

“Damn, that had to be rough.”

“My dad nearly lost his mind. Even today, I don’t think he’s fully recovered from the situation.”

We rocked on the glider for a bit without saying anything more until Jeff rose.

“I need to help my folks with servicing restrooms, but after lunch why don’t we do something together, maybe go to the beach and take a swim?”

“Sounds good,” I said while following Jeff out of the front door.

After he climbed aboard his Schwinn, he raked a hand through his hair, and I noticed his slightly oversized nose had a few freckles on it. Then, while he pedaled away, I wondered if I’d found someone I could share my summer with.

Purchase

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

Meet the Author

Jere’ M. Fishback is a former journalist and trial attorney. He lives on a barrier island on Florida’s Gulf coast, where he enjoys watching sunsets with a glass of wine in his hand and a grin on his face.

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