Book Blast · Guest · New Release

Guest: Maggie Blackbird – Toy Soldiers

Hiya 🥰

 The warmest of welcomes to my guest, the very lovely Maggie Blackbird, with her latest novel in the When We Were Young series: Toy Soldiers. 💜

BOOK BLAST

Book Title: Toy Soldiers (Book 2, When We Were Young series)

Author: Maggie Blackbird

Publisher: Devine Destinies

Cover Artist: Martine Jardin

Genre/s: Contemporary M/M Romance, young adult, multicultural, LGBT

Trope/s: Friends to lovers

Themes: Coming of age, coming out

Heat Rating: 1 flame

Length: 70 349 words/ 244 pages

It is NOT a standalone book. Book 1 needs to be read first.

Goodreads

Buy Links

Amazon US | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | Amazon AU

Publisher | Kobo | B&N | iBooks

Google Play | Smashwords |

Once a thief, always a thief, and if he can’t win the heart of the boy he loves, he’ll steal it.

Blurb

Billy Redsky’s made one of his biggest dreams come true, but there’s a problem. Even though the boy he loves is mere footsteps across the hall from his bedroom, they might as well live a country apart because claiming René Oshawee’s heart is more difficult than Billy anticipates.

Much to Billy’s disgust, René can’t accept his true self, so he’s incapable of loving someone else. And all he cares about is living a life the chief and his wife foresee for their youngest son.

If Billy is to finally have what he truly desires, he must stop René from running away from who he really is and face the man in the mirror, or what they share will never blossom into true love

Excerpt

Stuart lived past the recreation center. Billy huffed down the road. Sure, he’d be interrupting dinnertime, but big deal. He couldn’t stay in Castle Oshawee any longer.

The boiling heat of anger beneath his clothing stopped him from freezing under the clear, cold sky. Darkness was fast approaching. The sun on the horizon was bursting with colors of mauve, scarlet, and pumpkin.

The big door at the recreation center opened. Billy’s old buddies, Lonn and Dylan, strolled outside to probably have a cigarette. When they strutted away from the doors and beelined for the road, Billy stiffened. They knew he could beat their asses—especially since he outweighed them by a good fifteen pounds now.

“’Sup?” Lonn called out, slyly grinning.

“Not much.” Billy stopped. He wasn’t going to keep walking like a coward afraid of the neighborhood bullies. “Heard you both got kicked out.” Because neither rode the school bus anymore.

“No biggie.” Lon shrugged. “Y’know we were bailing when we turned the big one-six.”

A direction Billy had been heading before dumb ol’ René had turned him into one of The General’s toy soldiers in Oshawee Army.

Splashes of rebellion bubbled under Billy’s skin. He might’ve blown off telling Mr. and Mrs. O where he was going tonight, but he’d been heading for Stuart’s, and later going home right on the button of his curfew time, like a good little grunt.

He folded his arms. “What’re you doing?”

“What else? Heading for the old house.” Lonn dropped another sly smile.

Dylan nodded, also grinning.

When Billy had used to party there, they’d burned stuff in the woodstove to keep warm during the winter.

“You coming, or are you still hanging with the geek twins?” Lonn elbowed a chuckling Dylan.

“Sure, why not?” Nobody at Castle Oshawee had given a flying fuck Billy had left the house. As for René, screw him. All he cared about was following the rules and obeying the orders coming from everyone seated in the living room.

About the Author

An Ojibway from Northwestern Ontario, Maggie resides in the country with her husband and their fur babies, two beautiful Alaskan Malamutes. When she’s not writing, she can be found pulling weeds in the flower beds, mowing the huge lawn, walking the Mals deep in the bush, teeing up a ball at the golf course, fishing in the boat for walleye, or sitting on the deck at her sister’s house, making more wonderful memories with the people she loves most.

Author Links

Web Site | Facebook Page | Twitter

BookBub | Linked In | Amazon Author Page

eXtasy Books Author Page | Newsletter Sign-Up

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Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win

a $15.00 gift certificate from eXtasy Books/Devine Destinies

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cover reveal · Guest

Guest: Eric Huffbind Cover Reveal Surrounded by Silence

 A warm welcome to my second guest of the day, Eric Huffbind. Being a bitalot fond of a theme…I couldn’t have conjured a more fitting title than Surrounded in Silence to shatter my um, seasonal silent as the grave streak.😳 

COVER REVEAL

Book Title: Surrounded by Silence

Author: Eric Huffbind

Cover Artist: Eric Huffbind

Release Date: October 14, 2020

Genre/s: Contemporary Gay Male Romance

Trope/s: Billionaires, Hurt/Comfort, Post-Divorce, Middle Age

Themes: Learning what it means to be selfless rather than selfish.

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length: 71 000 words/259 pages

This is a sequel to The Rescuer, but can be read as a stand-alone.

Goodreads

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon UK

Lonely billionaire, Samuel Barron, has finally met someone he finds himself falling for, but can he handle a romance for a gentleman whose entire world is surrounded by silence?

Blurb

After public humiliation, Sam Barron has come to the realization his billions can’t buy him love or happiness. Despondent and feeling like his life is in a downward spiral, he comes to realize he needs some professional help. Despite trepidations, Sam turns to Jason Parker, a social worker who at his heart, is a rescuer. Even though Sam had been so hateful towards him in the past, Jason can’t help but think Sam deserves to suffer. Jason tells Sam straight out, “You’re a spoiled brat without a shred of humility!”

Jason has deep concerns about helping Sam, but might be willing, if Sam volunteers at a soup kitchen. Grudgingly, Sam accepts Jason’s condition, and while performing his volunteer work, meets the flirtatious Noah Wagner. Noah is close in age, attractive, and Sam likes the way he feels whenever he’s around him. Noah is the first person Sam has known who is profoundly deaf. So, how is Sam to navigate a romantic interest with a man who can’t hear a word he says?

Surrounded by Silence, a Contemporary Gay Male Romance, is a sequel to Mr. Huffbind’s debut novel, The Rescuer. However, this book can be read as a stand-alone. If you enjoy a story where the villain becomes the hero, you will love Surrounded by Silence.

Excerpt

Sam stood up and walked towards the office door. He knew he was getting nowhere and felt defeated. Sam turned to face Jason. “If I told you I was sorry a thousand times…” Tears began forming in Sam’s eyes. “No matter how many times I apologize, it’ll never be enough! It will never be enough!” He grabbed the doorknob and started to turn it.

“Hold up,” Jason halted Sam. He was completely taken aback seeing Sam wracked with this much emotion. Jason was a rescuer, had always been a rescuer, and would always be a rescuer. He couldn’t help himself. No matter what, that was who he was, through and through. And now, somehow, Sam Barron was exposing his soft underbelly. Somehow, this bastard of a man had him starting to cave. Jason grabbed his ever-present nearby box of facial tissues and handed them to Sam, so he could dry his tears. “Please, sit down again.” Sam took a seat. “Look… as I said… I’m not comfortable with this. I need to talk to Christopher. This involves him as well. I don’t know how he’d feel about me trying to help you, and I’m still in a quandary if it’s right for me to even try to help you. I should at least ask Christopher how he feels about it. I’m still struggling with why you want me, of all people, to help you.”

“Because… I always want the best. I’ve always learned to trust my instincts, and my gut tells me you’re the best. Just name your price!”

“As I live and breathe, I can’t believe I’m going to say this to you out loud. Thank you. It’s nice to be valued.” He knew how important it was to all individuals to be validated, and in that respect, he was no different from the patients he cared for. Jason sighed. “And I can name my own price? I recall you have a habit of tossing money at issues as a way of resolving problems. Sam, being perfectly frank, I think you’re a spoiled brat!”

Sam became quiet, having to absorb harsh words about himself. Staring down at the floor, he said, “You’re right, I know. The thing is… I’d like to be a better person… earn your forgiveness for my actions… not just yours, also your husband’s.”

Jason snapped, “You were so cruel to me, and you wanted to control Christopher like he was your puppet, someone to serve your sexual needs.”

“I’m sorry. Like you heard me just say. It’ll never be enough. I said you could name your own price! How about five hundred dollars an hour?”

He pondered a moment. “Hmmm… Five hundred dollars an hour? That’s a lot of money. Let me think about it. I’ll talk to Christopher. Without his consent, there’s no way I’m going to allow myself to get involved!”

“Thank you. I completely respect your wishes, and wanting to talk it over with your husband, I can respect that.”

Jason inhaled deeply and slowly exhaled. “Sam… I will tell you this much. If you want to help yourself in trying to resolve all this anguish you’re having, as well as becoming a better person, the first thing you need to do is learn some humility. I can’t see you moving forward without it. You must learn humility. You need to think of someone other than yourself. My instincts tell me that’s a deep-rooted cause of why you’ve behaved so abominably in the past. I’m sorry if those words sound callous, but you have to start somewhere in this process. There are many in this world who don’t have the prestige and capital you’ve become accustomed to.”

“You don’t like to mince words,” Sam blurted out.

“If you want help, then you’re going to have to take a deep look inside of yourself. If you’re not completely honest, not just with me, but with yourself, you have no hope of pulling out of this emotional crisis you’re in.”

“What would you suggest I do to learn humility,” Sam asked, frowning.

“Volunteer. You should do some volunteer work. My suggestion would be to volunteer in a local soup kitchen, to work with people significantly less fortunate than you.”

“A soup kitchen?” Sam said with a pained grimace. “Don’t you think that’s a little beneath me?”

“No, it’s not a little beneath you… it’s enormously beneath you! That’s exactly why you need to do it, Sam. You have got to climb down off that high horse you are saddled on. I’m not promising I’m going to be able to work with you, but if you ever expect to become a better person, you have got to learn humility, even if I have to beat it into you. You’re going to have to throw yourself into the deep end of the pool. So, go out there and apply to volunteer at a soup kitchen. Let me have one of your business cards. I’m going to need a phone number to call you back at.”

Sam reached into his pants pocket and pulled out a billfold filled with business cards. “Can I have something to write with?” Jason was quick to hand him a pen. He scribbled down additional phone numbers to be certain Jason could get ahold of him. He handed over the business card. “Every phone number you could possibly reach me at is here. Thanks for your consideration. Now, I’ll excuse myself and let you get back to your work.”

“I’ll be in touch. You have my word,” Jason confirmed.

INSTAGRAM 2

About the Author

Eric Huffbind is a man of many talents. Over the course of his lifetime, he has worked as a Registered Nurse, a Travel Agent, and an Uber driver. He characterizes himself as a hopeless romantic and is the eternal social butterfly. Among his passionate interests are history, genealogy, romance books, and travel.

Although his novels focus on the romantic relationship of two gay men, regardless of your sexual orientation, his stories are meant to rekindle the spirit and euphoria of falling in love.

Eric is a lifelong resident of Southwest Ohio. Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, he currently resides in West Chester, Ohio with his husband Paul and their Pomeranian, Linus.

Social Media Links

Blog/Website | Facebook Profile | Facebook Author Page

Twitter | Newsletter Sign-Up | Instagram

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Guest · Reviews

Special Guest & Review: Lockset by Brenda Murphy

Hi 🥰

I’m so sorry for the lack of new writing, my brain seems to have left the building and embarked upon a bitalot of a break. Left to my own devices I’ve been catching up on Drag Race, watching movies and, o’course, reading. 

Not many authors could have lured me from the thriller-fest of assassin slaughtering antics I’d been devouring—particularly between books 2 and 3 of a trilogy—but Brenda Murphy is as irresistible as Valkyrie is invincible. Thus, it was that Bourne had to stuff his Ultimatum where the sun don’t shine until I’d sallied forth on a second trip to University Square.

*Review progress report: they seem to be getting more random, rather than less, with practice*

4c299-lockset-f500

Series: University Square, Book Two

Publisher: NineStar Press

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: F/F

Genre: Contemporary, LGBTQIA+ romance, family-drama, interracial, lesbian

***

Synopsis

After a string of failed relationships, brilliant litigator Eunice Park is determined to stay single. Who needs distractions when you’re trying to make partner at Chicago’s most prestigious law firm? A Sunday afternoon visit from the police is the beginning of a series of events that turn Eun’s life upside down, and she’s forced to return to her hometown and confront her estranged family.

Morgan Wright, locksmith and part-time animal shelter volunteer, is convinced the perfect woman exists, just not for her. After a chance encounter with Eun, Morgan becomes embroiled in Eun’s family drama.

Charmed by Morgan’s easy swagger, Eun invites her back to her hotel room. Bone-melting sex and a surprisingly soulful connection leaves Eun questioning her return to Chicago. But not everyone in Sikesville is happy Eun has returned.

My Review

As much as I adored the first book in the series, I may have enjoyed Lockset even more than On The Square. The instant sense of familiarity was a pleasure in itself. As luscious as sinking into a bubble bath scented with my favourite almond blossom. It felt as if I’d never been away…

If I loved the first novel like Haagen Dazs Pralines ‘n’ Cream with hot fudge sauce and nutty sprinkles…warm walnut shortbread and freshly baked bread…this story? Was a litre bottle of Bailey’s Irish Cream; lavishly laced with a whiskey warm kick. I may have made these novels sound supersweet; they are not. They are rich and real and feel as authentic as they are fulfilling. I love these women. They are strong in the sort of way I admire most. They retain a stubborn pride in their own self-sufficiency, above and beyond all reason. A trait that does tend to result in a refusal to rely on others and an inability to accept (let alone seek) help. All of which makes for fabulous friction in tandem with sizzling chemistry. And fantastic fiction, full-stop.

Eun may have had a dump truck of misfortunes land in her lap but she retained the sort of quiet strength that makes sharing them a journey, rather than an endurance.  I never for one moment doubted that Brenda Murphy would give these wonderful women the destination they deserved. No matter how rocky the road or tire-slashing the lurkers lying in wait to throw a spanner in their works.

On that note…the image of Morgan weilding a wrench was the single most sexy sight I wish I’d witnessed since Mai last licked her fingers in On The Square. (I am sure she must have done this. She is a cook. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it). It was an added dollop of delight to visit her now thriving restaurant and see her again. I could clearly do with another season of Nigella to warm my cockles. Or a reboot of The (exceedingly) Delicious Miss Dahl. I p’raps have a bit of a type…warm, sensuous women with lush curves…and sublime skills with a bag of sugar.  Ah well, in the meantime, I can but hope that a third trip to University Square might be on the menu and offer utmost compliments to the chef who cooked up this delicious series for our delectation. Oh, and a five star recommendation.

Treat yourself…you deserve it. Times are tough. 😁

Buy links

Amazon UK

Amazon US

💙💙💙💙💙

Book One

On The Square

Synopsis

Dropped from her television show after a very public split with her cheating ex, celebrity chef Mai Li wants nothing more than to reopen her parents’ shuttered restaurant and make a fresh start in her former hometown. So what if twenty years of neglect has left the building in need of a major renovation?

Seduced by Mai’s charm and determination, hard-edged contractor Dale Miller agrees to take on her renovation project.

After a spring storm causes significant damage to the building and renovation costs exceed Mai’s budget, Dale offers her a deal, but is it a price Mai is willing to pay?

My Review

https://zakarrie.com/2020/09/13/guest-brenda-murphy/

Guest · New Release · Release Blitz

Guest: Beth Bolden – ‘Rough Contact’

Hi,

Alongside fake relationships, my favourite trope is forbidden romance. How I wish that stories set in so many sports didn’t fall into it. 😔 Unless p’raps they were brothers…

Neil Fisher & Jamie Wright may not be siblings, but sadly, their story is still forbidden in their world. A very warm welcome to my guest Beth Bolden with her new release Rough Contact.🥰

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Rough Contact

Author: Beth Bolden

Publisher: Beth Bolden Books

Cover Artist: Angsty G Book Cover and Media Design

Release Date: October 14, 2020

Genre/s: Gay sports romance, forbidden romance, age gap romance

Heat Rating:  4 flames   

Length: 93 000 words

It is a standalone story.

Goodreads 

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited


Universal Link | Amazon US | Amazon UK


Their romance is forbidden. Their love is a secret. 

They’re the Romeo and Juliet of football.


Blurb

Neal Fisher knows heartbreak. It’s the clock ticking down in the Super Bowl. It’s missing the most important field goal of his life. It’s losing everything: his thirteen year career as an NFL kicker, his future, and his pride.

Jamie Wright knows love. It’s everything on the line as the crowd holds their breath. It’s a perfect kick as the ball soars through the goal posts. It’s NFL fame and glory laid out before him.

Neal is on his way out, and Jamie–if he can withstand the pressure of tryouts–is on his way in. The one person Jamie should avoid is the veteran kicker, and the last thing Neal wants is to sink Jamie’s chances. But a chance meeting and a wild and undeniable chemistry proves to be irresistible.

Neal thought he knew heartbreak. Jamie thought he knew love. 

They were both wrong.

Their romance is forbidden. Their love is a secret. 

But if they trust each other, maybe their growing relationship won’t end in tragedy. It might even be the beginning of football’s greatest love story.


Excerpt

It felt surreal to be surrounded by so many people he’d only watched on TV. There was Bran Phillips, the famous center for the Riptide, just over there, a small girl balanced on his shoulders, and they were both laughing. Rashad Green, the best running back in the league, was sitting on a chaise lounge, sipping something fruity and frozen from a plastic margarita glass. And then there was Heath, making sure he got something to eat, and introducing him to everyone who they met. “The new kicker,” Heath said several times, even though it was hardly like he’d won the job. But then Heath would know that better than anyone, because he was on the coaching staff and he knew how many kickers they’d brought in to try out. But every single time he said it, Jamie felt like giving an addendum of not quite yet, but maybe, hopefully? If everything works out.

But Jamie didn’t, because even though Heath was more relaxed than Jamie had ever seen him, he was still Heath Harris, and he contained so much goddamn confident certainty that after meeting most of the people at the party, it was hard not to think of himself as the Riptide’s new kicker.

You’re getting ahead of yourself; you still gotta make it happen, he reminded himself. Tomorrow is the day you’re gonna have to prove yourself, again. And then you’re gonna have to do it over and over again, and then probably a couple hundred more times, for good measure.

Maybe then Coach R and Coach Toby might be satisfied.

He was sitting on the edge of the pool when suddenly he felt a body drop down next to him. He was half-expecting it to be Heath or maybe even Sam—which was surreal because he’d never imagined he’d be in the kind of position to be sought out by either of those guys—but then when he glanced over, he nearly fell into the pool.

It was Neal Fisher, and he was just in a pair of navy blue trunks, with little green palm trees scattered across the fabric. He was pale, like he’d spent too long inside this summer, but he was still undeniably handsome, his green eyes glowing in his gorgeous face, offset by his dark hair. It fell into his eyes a bit, probably because it needed a trim.

Jamie’s hands tightened on the edge of the pool and he prayed he didn’t make a fucking fool out of himself. He was just meeting his idol, that was all, and a guy he’d probably spent way too much time fantasizing about over the years.

Do not tell him you’ve jerked off to him about a thousand times. Do not even think about it.

“Hey,” Neal said casually. So casually that Jamie had a feeling that he didn’t know who Jamie really was. “You told me to come find you.” He smiled then, and though it was only a shadow of his former smile, which Jamie was embarrassed to admit he was intimately familiar enough with to tell the difference, it was still a smile. He poked Jamie in the shoulder. “Found you.”


About the Author 

A lifelong Oregonian, Beth Bolden has just recently moved to North Carolina with her supportive husband and their sweet kitten, Earl Grey. Beth still believes in Keeping Portland Weird, and intends to be just as weird in Raleigh.

Beth has been writing practically since she learned the alphabet. Unfortunately, her first foray into novel writing, titled Big Bear with Sparkly Earrings, wasn’t a bestseller, but hope springs eternal. She’s published twenty novels and six novellas.


Author Links

Blog/Website | Facebook | Twitter | BookBub



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Guest · Release Blitz

Guest: Nell Iris – Regaining Trust

Hi,

A very warm welcome to my guest, the wonderful Nell Iris, with her new novella Regaining Trust… 💚

 

RELEASE BLITZ

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Book Title: Regaining Trust

Author: Nell Iris

Publisher: JMS Books

Cover Artist: Written Ink Designs

Release Date: September 30, 2020

Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance

Trope: Second chances

Themes: Established couple, infidelity, learning to trust again

Heat Rating:  3 flames

Length:  31 306 words

It is a standalone story.

Goodreads 

Buy Links

JMS Books  |  Amazon US  |  Amazon UK 

Kobo  |  Apple books  |  B&N  |  Google Play 

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Can trust once broken be rebuilt?

Blurb

When workaholic Lawrence Weller walks in on the aftermath of his fiancé Frankie cheating on him, his world shatters. Frankie’s the love of his life, the only person he’s ever trusted, and the betrayal leaves him devastated.

Franklin Ennis makes a huge mistake he regrets deeply before it’s even over. He pleads for a second chance, willing to do whatever it takes to save their relationship.

A love that deep doesn’t just stop, so Lawrence agrees to try. But mistakes don’t happen in a vacuum. Are they both willing to own up to their part? Will their love be enough to repair what was crushed? Can trust once broken be rebuilt?

Excerpt

You never told me you were lonely,” I say.

“I did!” His protest is loud and takes some of the defeat from his body. “I’ve told you a thousand times. How I miss you when you’re always working late and wish we could do more stuff together.”

I knit my eyebrows together, trying to think back and remember. He’s right. He always hugs me tightly and tells me how much he’ll miss me when he knows I’ll work late. Or how he wishes we could do something together, even if it’s only watching a show while cuddling on the couch.

”I thought that was your way of showing me how you feel about me. You being sweet and caring. Not once did I think it meant ‘I’m so fucking lonely I’ll suck someone else’s dick.’ Was it even your first time?” The question is a pained scream, hurting my throat, my head, my soul. I don’t like yelling, so I take a deep breath and start counting to ten in my head to calm down, but I’m interrupted before even reaching three.

“Of course, it was the first time,” he roars. “I’m not a cheater.”

His words are a thundercrack in an otherwise dead silent apartment, and I rear back, scramble off the couch, and turn to leave.

“No. Please.” He’s pleading now, voice cracked and bleeding out on the floor. “Please don’t leave me, Lawrence. I’ll do anything. I love you so much, don’t leave me.”

I’m frozen on the spot. Undecided. The hurt, overly-dramatic part of me wants to storm off in a huff, throw some stuff in a bag, and retreat somewhere to lick my wounds, and rage and scream and curse the treachery, while wailing out my broken heart. But the other, more rational part of me won’t let me move, the part that still remembers how much I love him, still remembers his loving kisses, his devotion. His passion.

So I sink back down on the couch. Rub my palms over my face and swallow. “I don’t know what to do here, Frankie. I’m hurt and betrayed, but at the same time I just can’t turn off my feelings for you. But how can I be with you if I can’t trust you?”

“You can trust me. You can.” He’s so sincere, so heartfelt, leaning forward — hands twitching so he shoves them between his knees — begging, willing me to believe him. And I want to. I really do.

“How?”

“I’ve never done anything like this before, never kissed anyone, hardly ever looked at anyone like that. It was a huge mistake and I regret it. So, so much. I know I can’t prove it, but I was going to tell you. That’s what I was worried about when you walked in. How I would tell you. How you’d react. If you’d hate me.”

I must look skeptical because he hurries to continue. “I know. It’s easy to say when there’s no way of proving intent. But I’m not a liar. You know I’m not.”

“Do I?” I push out the question around the lump in my throat.

He slides to his knees on the floor in front of me, sits back on his heels, and tries to catch my gaze. I give in to his silent pleas and meet his eyes.

“You know me, Lawrence. You know you do. You know what kind of person I am. I’m only human and make mistakes like everyone. This one was huge and more stupid than most, I know that. I’m not perfect, but I’m not a liar. I’m not disloyal. And I own my mistakes.” His face is open. He blinks away tears, but his gaze never falters. His hands rest on his knees, palms open and turned up, and everything about him invites me to see the honesty in his heart.

And maybe I can see it. The slight tremble of his hand and the pulse fluttering visibly in his neck betrays his anxiousness, but he doesn’t move. Doesn’t squirm or fidget, doesn’t look away from me. Nothing indicates that he’s lying.

There’s no way he’s that skilled a liar. He’s always been open and honest and prone to blurting his emotions as soon as he experiences them. That thought deflates me and I fall back against the couch.

“Yeah, I know. I believe you.” And I do. At least my head knows. I’m not sure about my heart. Or my gut, rather.

His eyes well up and a tremble racks his body, but it’s the sight of his wobbly chin that finally cracks me. I hold out my hand, unable to not touch him anymore. “Come here.”

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About the Author

Nell Iris is a romantic at heart who believes everyone deserves a happy ending. She’s a bona fide bookworm (learned to read long before she started school), wouldn’t dream of going anywhere without something to read (not even the ladies’ room), loves music (and singing along at the top of her voice but she’s no Celine Dion), and is a real Star Trek nerd (Make it so). She loves words, bullet journals, poetry, wine, coffee-flavored kisses, and fika (a Swedish cultural thing involving coffee and pastry!)

Nell believes passionately in equality for all regardless of race, gender or sexuality, and wants to make the world a better, less hateful, place.

Nell is a bisexual Swedish woman married to the love of her life, a proud mama of a grown daughter, and is approaching 50 faster than she’d like. She lives in the south of Sweden where she spends her days thinking up stories about people falling in love. After dreaming about being a writer for most of her life, she finally was in a place where she could pursue her dream and released her first book in 2017.

Nell Iris writes gay romance, prefers sweet over angsty, short over long, and quirky characters over alpha males.

Author Links

Blog/Website  |  Facebook Author Page  |  Facebook Profile

Twitter: @nellirisauthor  |  Instagram: @nell_iris  |  Goodreads

QueeRomance Ink   |  BookBub

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Giveaway

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win

your choice of ebook from Nell’s backlist (5 winners)

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Guest · Release Blitz

Guest: DJ Jamison – Faking A Groom

Hiya,

I’m hoping to return this week, but in the meantime… to get it off to a great start…

A warm welcome my guest DJ Jamison with her new release, the irresistibly titled ‘Faking A Groom’

RELEASE BLITZ

 Faking A Groom

Author and Publisher: DJ Jamison

Cover Artist: Garrett Leigh at Black Jazz Design

Release Date: September 24, 2020

Genre Contemporary M/M Romance 

Trope/s: Fake relationship, second chance,

lingerie/femme clothes exploration

Heat Rating:  5 flames    

Length: 103 000 words

It is the third book in the Marital Bliss series but can read as a standalone.

Goodreads


Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US  |   Amazon UK 


Can two men fake an engagement for the greater good?


Blurb

Avery Kinkaid has been bowing to his father’s will far too long. But when his dad supports anti-LGBT legislation, he’s had enough. Sen. Kinkaid says things would be different if Avery had a fiancé in the wings. Well, fine: He’ll just have to get one.

Rory Fisher is an activist with a heart of gold and nerves of steel. He’s not afraid to call Avery on his bullshit, and that’s why Avery knows Rory is the perfect fake fiancé to help him take a stand. If he still feels a little too much for his ex, well, he can shove that down and suck it up to beat his dad at his own game.

Until Rory encourages his most hidden desires. Until he makes Avery feel stronger, braver, and freer than he’s ever been.

Loving Rory is easy, but Avery’s father won’t just sit back and let them have their happily ever after. They will have to fight: for their love, for justice, for a future together.

This is one power struggle they can’t afford to lose
.


Excerpt 

Avery knew that Gil wanted him to tell his father he was coming out, in no uncertain terms. He didn’t understand the manipulative powers Drake Kinkaid possessed. Or maybe he did, now that he worked for him. Avery had never been able to out-argue his father. Each time he tried, he found himself carefully repositioned, as if a piece on a chess board, until he was agreeing to his father’s terms.

“I don’t know what do,” Avery said. “I’ve tried to be patient, but he always talks me out of coming out. I think I’ve got my mind made up, and he somehow convinces me to keep waiting. I hate that I’m so damn weak.”

“Don’t be so hard on yourself. Your dad is a politician. He persuades people for a living.”

“He’s always got a loophole,” Avery grumbled. “Like today. He said, it’d be different if—”

He stopped short, eyes locked on a man who walked past their table toward the bathrooms. Something about the shape of him and the way he moved—long legs, slim hips, smooth stride—reminded him of Rory.

He couldn’t see his face, but his hair was the right color. It was gathered in a knot at his neck instead of loose, so it was tough to gauge exact length, but damn, that ass. Was it possible to recognize a guy by his ass?

“Avery?”

He blinked and looked back toward Gil. “Hmm?”

“You were saying that your father said it’d be different if…?”

“Oh.” He cleared his throat, trying to shake the vision of Rory and the niggling feeling that he should go talk to him. It felt significant that he was here tonight, if he was here. Avery wouldn’t put it past himself to imagine things. Rory had been on his mind a lot since the gala.

“My father said it’d be different if I was engaged. That he’d support me then.” His gaze drifted back to the bathrooms, watching as Rory emerged. He was sure it was him now. He’d recognize those sharp features anywhere. Heart thumping, he asked Gil, “Do you think he means that?”

“Maybe,” Gil said, though he sounded dubious. “I don’t know.”

Avery rapped the table with his knuckles. “Right. He could be bluffing. There’s only one way to find out.”

“And that is…”

Avery took a big swallow of his beer. Then grinned at Gil. “Guess I have to get engaged.”

“Wait, what?”

Avery nodded. “You keep telling me to do something. Well, you’re right. I have to call my father’s bluff.”

“Oh, Avery, I don’t know…”

“I’ve got the perfect person in mind to help me.”

“Uh…who is that?”

“Rory Fisher.”

Rory, the guy who left you because you wouldn’t leave the closet? How is he the right—”

“Because he’s here,” Avery said, feeling euphoric as intoxication, years of regret and longing, and a desire to break free all coalesced into the best idea ever. “It’s fate, man. It’s like the universe is telling me to make my father put his money where his mouth is. He’s always got a reason, an excuse, a loophole. Well this time, I’ve got the loophole, and I’m going to take it.”

“By getting engaged,” Gil said disbelievingly. “To a man who dumped you.”

Avery laughed. “Crazy, right?”

“Yes,” Gil said emphatically.

“Good.” Avery shoved back his chair. “Because I’ve tried sane and respectful and calm. It’s time for a little crazy. It’s time for drastic action.”

“Yeah, but Avery…”

He held up a finger. “Hold that thought. I have to go propose to the man who got away.


About the Author 

DJ Jamison is the author of more than twenty m/m romances. She writes a variety of queer characters, from gay to bisexual to asexual. DJ grew up in the Midwest in a working-class family, and those influences can be found in her writing through characters coping with real-life problems: money troubles, workplace drama, family conflicts and, of course, falling in love. DJ spent more than a decade in the newspaper industry before chasing her first dream to write fiction. She spent a lifetime reading before that and continues to avidly devour her fellow authors’ books each night. She lives in Kansas with her husband, two sons, one snake, and a sadistic cat named Birdie.


Social Media Links

Blog/Website  |  Facebook  |  Facebook Group  |   Twitter: @dj_jamison_ 

Instagram  |   Newsletter Sign-up  |   KoFi for bonus content


Giveaway 

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win your choice of the Marital Bliss series in ebook (or audiobook if available) and a $10 US Amazon gift card

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stuff 'n' nonsense · Wafflish

Stuff ‘n’ Nonsense

Hiya 🥰

I’m so sorry I still haven’t finished the epilogue, my hands are a bit too battered to type away to my hearts content. I tend to rest my inner wrists on the edge of the laptop when I write…this is what they look like:

I took it unto m’self to tackle a huge project in my garden. Ivy had swallowed my house—all of it—windows included. And some of the roof. On accounts of being a dunderhead. Matters had possibly reached Maleficent proportions, so I set about beridding myself of it.

I am an itty bit clumsy, I must confess.

During the last few weeks I’ve broken a couple of ribs, dropped the shears on my foot (which broke a bit and went blue) dislocated my toe and trod on a thorn. My arms look as if they’ve been through a shredder. I’m too used to m’self to take a lot of notice, but the bee sting was insult to injury, it must be said.

By the time I stagger indoors after hacking my way through said shrubbery I’m a smidge too sore to rustle up a fitting finale for our miscreants. Nevertheless I am almost done (in) so with a bit of luck, unless I fall off the ladder—

I should stop there. Tempting fate is so not a cunning plan…

Last week, another thorn got lodged in my palm, so I yanked it out and forgot, as y’do, figuring that it would stop bleeding soon ’nuff. Then, carried on clipping until my son’s belly prompted him to pop outside and ask how I was doing.

I may have swiped my hair out of my face at some point. That seems the best explanation for the fact that he went quite white, the poor little mite. 🙈 I p’raps looked as if I’d taken a trip through a windscreen.

I am delighted to report that I’ve almost defeated the beastie hell-bent on devouring my house, so all being w—😨 Oops, time to quit, whilst (I have) ahead…

And finally…

(this is the bit at the end of the news where they wheel out the 115 year old birthday girl who drinks like a sailor and smokes 40 a day…)

❤️🤍💙 Thank you, truly, Stateside folks ❤️🤍💙

I’m a smidge stunned 😳

Wafflish

Beast of Bodmin: Free

Hiya,

I hope you have a wonderful weekend 🥰

I’ve made The Beast of Bodmin Moor free for five days if you’d like a copy…

Blurb

Two years ago Jake McCain encountered a compelling stranger at the Glastonbury festival. Two days later his life, as he knew it, was over. Enter Jack. They have…cohabited ever since. Much to Jack’s despair, Jake has remained dogged in his bid to be the most bloody-minded human a jackal ever had the misfortune to manage.

Phin Finley has embarked on a magical mystery campervan tour of Cornwall. Free to potter about, doing as he pleases for the first time, he wants to prove he can do just fine without having a fatal mishap. Or causing one. Or losing his trusty bicycle clips. Even if he is a tad too…Phinish for most folk’s comfort, his mum’s peace of mind and dad’s constitution.

Theirs is a tale about finding your (happy) place in the world, making (foxy) friends, and the legendary Beast of Bodmin Moor.

*This is an #ownvoices story. Phin’s reality reflects my own*

Review by the brilliant Penny Blake

💙 Her blog 💙

https://blakeandwight.com/

💙 where magic is weaved with words 💙

***

US

UK

Guest · New Release · Release Blitz

Guest: Release Blitz – Evan J. Corbin

Hiya,

I haven’t broken anything for a few days, so I’ll have a bash at writing the last part of My Way over the weekend. 😁 I’m truly sorry for the delay. In the meantime, I’d like to welcome my guest, Evan J. Corbin. I found the title of his new release far too irresistible to pass up…

RELEASE BLITZ

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Book TitleAtonement Camp for Unrepentant Homophobes

Author: Evan J. Corbin

Publisher: Atonement Book, LLC

Cover Artist: The Book Cover Whisperer

Release Date: September 3, 2020 for the print book and September 17, 2020 for the eBook.

Genre/s: Contemporary LGBTQ Fiction; Speculative Fiction; Humour

Trope/s: Fish-out of water comedy

Themes: Coming out, cultural assimilation

Heat Rating:  2 flames

Length:  70 600 words/ 283 pages

Goodreads

Buy Links – Available in Kindle Unlimited and Paperback

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK

https://lilygblunt.files.wordpress.com/2020/09/atonementcamp-cov-ebook.jpg

Atonement Camp.

Pastor Harris is only going to save his career.

But while he doesn’t want to be there, a change of heart may be just what he needs…

Blurb

The oldest translation of a Gospel is returned to the world by a secret society long dedicated to its preservation.  In it, Jesus explicitly condemns bigotry and homophobia. In a new world in which LGBTQ passengers receive preferential boarding for flights and the United States has elected its first lesbian President, Pastor Rick Harris is stalwart, closeted preacher who doggedly holds onto his increasingly unpopular convictions.

When an incendiary sermon goes too far and offends an influential family, Rick makes a painful choice to keep his job:  He attends an atonement camp run by drag queens for society’s most unrepentant and terminally incurable homophobes.

Atonement Camp is immersion therapy for Pastor Harris, and it might be working. An open bar with pedicures, a devastatingly attractive roommate and an endless supply of glitter help him manage to make new friends. Soon, Rick and his cohorts learn the camp may hold its own secrets.  Amid the smiling faces and scantily clad pool boys who staff the camp, a clandestine group plots to discredit the New Revelation and everything it stands for.

If Rick has the conviction to confront his own hypocrisy, he might be able to uncover the conspirators with help from his adopted flock—and find new truths within himself.

Excerpt

Chapter 1

Northern Syria

It was just after sunrise. The call to prayer from the nearby city’s rooftop loudspeakers receded as Dr. Michael Donahue’s driver left a familiar road for the makeshift trails that led deep into the desert. One faith bridged to the next, he thought. Before long, he wouldn’t need the light jacket, but he wore it anyway. It was a mysterious quest, and he tugged the jacket tight around his chest.

The jeep bounced over the rough terrain as Dr. Donahue carefully poured hot water from his thermos over his yerba mate leaves. His second mate would be less bitter than the first. Each time he made a fresh tea, the leaves lost more of their bitterness to the boiling water. The same leaves could be used again and again any given morning. It reminded him of his profession. Archeology was the sober study of the forgotten—people who lived, laughed, suffered, and died, their history diluted by each passing year. Dr. Donahue was determined to learn as much as he needed to reanimate their past with subtle detail, adding context to what would otherwise be merely more than a list of dates and details for his undergraduates to memorize before a test.

As promised, a man stood by the still-empty dig site. He was dressed in a Western style—no keffiyeh or other head dressing. With short sleeves and rugged boots, his attire was more practical than fashionable. Dr. Donahue always appreciated utility and function above much else. He acknowledged that his estimation of the man’s credibility was thus-far unearned, but he nonetheless felt more comfortable in the company of the familiar.

The site had been Dr. Donahue’s home for most of the past year. His team would return after Ramadan. Dr. Donahue’s research specialization centered almost primarily around the early Christian era. He took a certain guilty pleasure in casually admitting his atheism each semester to the newest crop of freshman at his university in Washington, D.C. Like all things, he saw it as a learning opportunity. One is not excused from understanding something just because they don’t agree with it, he’d remind them. The site itself was an early Christian refuge under the Roman Empire. Forgotten by time, but now rediscovered. Painstakingly, he and his team would uncover artifacts and consider what stories they told about the people who made them. Dust from the jeep’s tires made a gritty fog that enveloped the air. Dr. Donahue squinted, his eyes already dry. He coughed and plodded through the sand to the man silently awaiting his arrival.

“Dr. Donahue.” The professor extended his hand to the stranger.

The man took his hand and smiled. “Thank you for coming. Your research associate mentioned your name last year when he worked with us, and we immediately knew we needed to meet with you.”

Dr. Donahue fanned the remaining traces of the sand from his face. “We?”

The man flashed a half smile. “Consider us like yourself, Professor. Archeologists.”

“I would assume, but that doesn’t answer my question.”

The man chuckled. “By the end of the day, I expect that to change. Come. Follow me,” he beckoned.

Still confused, the professor followed the man down the makeshift stairs to the dig site.

“We’re not certain where it was found,” the man said, waving his arm over the site, “but this is likely close and as good a spot as any.”

“What, exactly, was found?”

The man frowned. “Technically, it was never lost. Let me be more precise. This is where it will be rediscovered.”

The professor felt his frustration growing. “What, and by whom?”

The man turned to face the professor, still smiling. “The oldest copy of the Gospel of Mark ever discovered. I’m what we refer to as a Custodian—a group of people committed to protecting this draft as we have done for more generations than our history may account for.”

The professor’s jaw dropped. He looked for answers in the man’s eyes to questions he could not manage to formulate.

“Every truth has its season, professor,” the man said, lowering himself to sit next on an empty crate near an assortment of digging tools. “This region has been plagued with war. We fear that if the artifact is not returned to the world now, it may never be.”

If his research associate hadn’t already vouched so strongly for the meeting, the professor was certain he would have already left the madman in another cloud of obscuring sand. Instead he asked: “Why have you kept it in the first place?”

“It contains a passage not found in any modern text. What’s the American expression? ‘One man’s waste is another man’s treasure’? That’s how our forefathers saw it. They saw something worthy of protection until the world was ready for the message. That time is now.”

Dr. Donahue smiled. His birthday was the following week, and the realization that his research associate might have set this up as an elaborate practical joke began to seem like the most likely explanation. It wouldn’t be out of character for him, he thought.

“So, where is it?” he asked, playing along.

The man pointed to a black chest. Taking the bait, Dr. Donahue carefully lifted the lid, expecting some puppet to pop out and exclaim “Happy Birthday!” Instead, the heavy lid creaked open to reveal a scroll bound in plastic and wound over on itself. His smile faded. Even without the aid of his radiocarbon dating equipment, he could tell the document was old. Very, very old.

***

About the Author

Evan is a member of the LGBTQ community who fancies himself as a playboy socialite, living in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Between work and lucid moments of sobriety, he writes a little.  His debut novel is a light-hearted work that still manages to confront religious hypocrisy and contemporary LGBTQ struggles to balance their loss of culture with new-found civil rights.  His friends say the book is great!  Hopefully, you will as well.

Social Media Links

Blog/Website  |   Instagram: @atonementbook  | Newsletter Sign-up

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Guest · Reviews

Guest: Brenda Murphy

Hi…I hope you’ve had a great weekend.

I’m sorry I’ve been so tardy in completing My Way. It will be on its way as soon as I feel better, but I’ve been a bit blighted by injuries of late. All of which have left me in no fit state to give Mac & Joe a fitting ending. On the plus side? The list of things I can’t do have freed me up to do one of the things I love best of all. I read more novels last week than I have for months; authors both new-to-me and firm favourites.

I’d love to share a few of those with you but first and foremost… I’d like to welcome an author from the latter category and celebrate her 2020 Goldie Award for Erotica and the release of her latest novel: On The Square.

My special guest and most beloved f/f author…the brilliant Brenda Murphy.

On The Square by Brenda Murphy

Series: University Square, Book One

Heat Level: 3

Pairing: Female/Female

Length: 64400

Website: http://blog.writingwhiledistracted.com/

💜💜💜💜💜

Blurb

Dropped from her television show after a very public split with her cheating ex, celebrity chef Mai Li wants nothing more than to reopen her parents’ shuttered restaurant and make a fresh start in her former hometown. So what if twenty years of neglect has left the building in need of a major renovation?

Seduced by Mai’s charm and determination, hard-edged contractor Dale Miller agrees to take on her renovation project.

After a spring storm causes significant damage to the building and renovation costs exceed Mai’s budget, Dale offers her a deal, but is it a price Mai is willing to pay?

My Review

There is but one way to begin this review. A cards on the dinner table declaration: I loved this novel.

Loved it like Haagen Dazs Pralines ‘n’ Cream with hot fudge sauce and nutty sprinkles. Warm walnut shortbread. Freshly baked bread. Whiskers on kittens. Those are a few of my favourite things…another? This story.

As the blurb covers the plot, I’ll focus on a few more favourites instead:

1. The characters. Always my clincher. The plot doesn’t matter to me as much as people it revolves around…but this book is a buffet of both. A feast of treats; beautifully written with fantastic characters. I adored Mai. Loved her. She’s as hot as hell and as passionate in her beliefs as she is in the bedroom. The sort of woman who would rather surrender everything than the courage of her convictions. Who loves harder than she’s had to be, in order to survive. I’d marry her in a heartbeat. This woman can cook. She’s feisty and fabulous and has dress sense t’die for. I may be a meeny mite in love with her.

2. Dale is the perfect foil for Mai. The sparks that fly at their first meeting set up the story and the start of their relationship wonderfully well. The sexual tension sizzles as fabulously as a flambé. I very much enjoyed the fact that Dale – the lushly curved, femme character – was more dominant than Mai. How I love a tenderhearted butch, but they are oft so few and far between in fiction; where sass takes precedence and attitude is all. I like my badasses with a soft centre. Mai’s is cherry brandy. Rich and luscious with a kirsch kick. Irresistible.

3. Life has been harsh to our heroines. When we meet them they are badly bruised, without being embittered. Dale has been betrayed and her finances decimated by her last long-term lover. Mai has forever suffered a double dollop of discrimination; for being both visibly butch and mixed race. I adored that she not only expressed her anger when treated despicably, but stood up for herself in shovelfuls. Not only that, she took Dale to task for failing to understand the fury she had every right to feel, and did so while retaining her dignity. She was magnificent in her rage, an utter goddess. I loved this woman. I may have mentioned that.

4. This tale has so many more treats to bring to the table. It was splendidly seasoned by the delightful duo of Noah and Eli; Dale’s son and father. Noah is a gem, the story is enriched by his very presence. I adored that Mai was able to connect with him in addition to drawing him out through their mutual love of cookery. He was a joy to spend time with, as was Eli – a fabulous old cove with Cpt. Jack plaits in his beard who tells it like it is – in that wondrous way older folks delight in doing so well.

While Brenda’s writing is always as emotionally rich as it is erotic, it was a real treat to have the former brought to the forefront in On The Square. I relished this more romantic story telling; it was Bailey’s Irish Cream after Tequila Slammers. Both delicious but serving the senses with their own distinct charms.

As hitherto mentioned, Ms Murphy is an award winning writer of erotica. She has always crafted fascinating women as diverse as they are deserving of the happy ever afters she gifts them. In this – the first novel in her new University Square Series – she proves that her characters can whip up a family soufflé as superlatively as they wielded a whip.

💜💜💜💜💜

AMAZON US: https://www.amazon.com/Square-University-Book-ebook/dp/B08FR64BTY/ref=sr_1_1?crid=P8C6I8W5OXRQ&dchild=1&keywords=on+the+square+by+brenda+murphy&qid=1600036471&s=digital-text&sprefix=on+the+squ%2Cdigital-text%2C310&sr=1-1

AMAZON UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Square-University-Book-ebook/dp/B08FR64BTY/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=On+the+Square&qid=1599979054&s=books&sr=1-1&tag=x_gr_w_bb_uk-21