Guest · New Release · Release Blitz · Reviews

Guest post & review: My Ticket Out by J.N. Marton

Hiya,

I hope you’re keeping well. I’ve been readying My Way for release, which should be done soonish, but in the meantime… I’d like to welcome my guest J. N. Marton with her new novel My Ticket Out. 

***

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: My Ticket Out

Author: J.N. Marton

Cover Artist: 100Covers

Release Date: November 17, 2020

Genres: Contemporary F/F Romance, Coming-of-age

Tropes: Forbidden love(ish) and friends to lovers

Themes: Coming out, Embracing who you are

Heat Rating: 2-3 flames

Length: 260 pages

It is a standalone story.

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US | Amazon UK

A senior basketball player. A mysterious new girl. A secret romance…

Blurb

Charlie Baker wants out. She wants out of her small, southern hometown of BluHaven and she has her sights set on a basketball scholarship to a college as far away as her dreams can take her. Everything is going according to plan until she moves to town.

Aspen Sullivan is breathtaking. She is beautiful, smart, talented…. She evokes feelings in Charlie that she hadn’t thought possible. When their friendship blossoms into something more, Charlie discovers a new truth about herself. But with Aspen’s mysterious past, they must keep their relationship a secret.

Will their love be strong enough to endure the trials of deceiving those closest to them? Do they have what it takes to escape the constraints of the south and the closet together?

My Ticket Out is a Young Adult, LGBT story about love, and self-discovery. If you enjoy stories that include romance, heartbreak, and embracing who you are, then you will definitely love this book by author J.N. Miller.

Pick this book up today to see if Charlie will find her ticket out.

Review

Friends-to-lovers and coming out tales have forever been favourites of mine, no matter when that dawn of awakening occurs. I’ve particularly loved books about two girl friends falling in love since reading my very first: Hey Dollface by Deborah Hautzig, many moons ago. It remains a charming coming of age story to this day, despite being more than a mite dated, having been published in 1978. This book makes that one seem…fluffy. Quaint. While both are told from the POV of a teenager who finds herself falling for her new best friend, forty years makes for a very different read. 

Charlie and Aspen’s story is far from a ‘romance’ in many ways. They spend as much of the novel apart as they do together, and those shared times often focus on the difficulties they face, rather than the romance aspect. Although there were some lovely moments of emotional intimacy, these insights were often shared retrospectively by Charlie. Expressed through sorrow when she and Aspen were forced apart, rather than shown during their together times. All my favourite scenes were their stolen moments spent curled up, watching movies and simply hanging out. I would have loved more of these and a mite less angst but that is purely a personal preference. 

The students and school setting were written so well and captured so vividly, I felt myself transported back in time. So much so, I wouldn’t have been surprised to feel a sore throat coming on. Or a headache. Period pains. Appendicitis. The peer pressure and spite, bitchiness and bullying were palpable. How I felt for Charlie in those scenes and admired her strength in both facing them and remaining true to herself.

I rooted for Charlie and Aspen all the way, no matter how fractured their relationship became at times. They had a helluva lot to overcome in order to be together. It was hard to judge Aspen for falling in line with her fathers wishes and trying to placate him because being a teenager is tough enough without losing the love of a lone parent. Her subsequent actions were less easy to forgive…if understandable in the face of that fear. He was a difficult man with his own issues, which is a scary tightrope to walk without further inciting their ire.

It was harder to forgive Charlie at times for being a very selfish sort of friend. Riley is a fabulous character and loyal to the last. I possibly liked her, Matty (Charlie’s brother), and Aspen’s Aunt Beth most of all. Charlie treated Riley  dreadfully when their rivalry for the basketball scholarship reared its head. Riley may have had more options open to her, but Charlie’s passive-aggressive attempts to guilt her into giving up the place, should she earn it, made me very uncomfortable. Charlie’s dreams may have depended on what she deemed her ‘ticket out’, but the pressure she put on Riley to reject the opportunity was most unfair. Particularly when Charlie herself uses the expression ‘it’s not fair’ very often when things don’t go her way.

Living in the UK, it is shocking to witness such everyday religious bigotry. Homophobia tends to be a…visceral reaction to same sex couples here; be that a personal hatred or learned within a family. While I’m sure we must have extreme evangelical Christians intent on praying the gay away, I never come into contact with them. While I have known devout Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons, English Protestants don’t tend to vehemently expound their beliefs. The bigotry Charlie and Aspen faced from God-fearing folk was gut wrenching, heartbreaking. It makes me sick to my stomach that people who preach that God is love spend so much time proclaiming hatred.

This story is a rollercoaster ride of emotion, rather than a romance. It focuses on Charlie’s personal growth rather than that of her relationship with Aspen. A fact which seems borne out by the ending of the book, so don’t hold out in hope of a hea for its heroines. However, if you enjoy well-written stories that put you through an emotional wringer of very real feels, this is for you.

MY TICKET OUT

Excerpt

Chapter 1

“We did not come this far to roll over like a bunch of pigs! Take the ball and put it in the damn basket!”

Falcons on three… one… two… three… FALCONS.”

Twelve seconds left on the clock.

One more shot.

One more play.

One last chance.

Twelve seconds is all the time we need.

Defense pounces the second the ball is inbounded like a leach latching itself to the only available life source.

The fast break is swift–over before it even started. One hard dribble towards the middle and the ball is launched to the center of the court.

Seven seconds left.

What comes next is second nature. A hard cut to the basket and back out to the wing, my hands raised in the air as I catch the ball before defense has time to adjust.

Four seconds left… Three seconds… the ball rolls off my fingertips.

Two seconds… it swirls around the rim.

One second… and falls to the ground.

The sound of the buzzer erupts through the gymnasium, solidifying our defeat. Final score thirty-six to thirty-seven.

I inhale the musty stench of sweat, perfume, and hairspray as we sulk into the locker room and take a seat while we wait for the aftermath that is Coach Stewart. I lean forward, resting my elbows on my knees and focus on the sweat dripping from my forehead, plummeting to the ground, leaving a minuscule puddle between my shoes.

One shot.

That’s all we needed. And I blew it.

My main priority from the second this year started was getting a basketball scholarship out of this small town. From our very first game, it’s felt like my life has been dependent on one specific goal. A single accomplishment–like making the game winning shot–is going to make or break my future.

Coach Stewart charges through the door, letting it slam against the concrete wall as he steps in front of us. His gaze is intentional and cold, his demeanor full of discontent and indignation. His eyes trace over us, one by one, pausing just long enough for us to feel the misery set in.

He dips his head, slowly shaking it back and forth, before he holds up his index finger. “One shot. One damn shot. That’s all we needed to be undefeated this season.” He lifts his head, settling his hands on his hips. “We made mistakes tonight. And sometimes one mistake is the difference between winning and losing. The season’s not over yet. We’ll just have to practice a little harder to end it on a high. We’ve got a few games left, don’t give up now. Practice tomorrow after school. Bring it in.

Falcons on three… one… two… three… FALCONS.”

I shuffle to my locker, ignoring the hushed conversations happening around me, and begin gathering my stuff.

“That was a nice shot, Charlie,” Riley says as she pulls off her jersey, tossing it to the growing pile on the floor and retrieves her tshirt from the locker next to mine.

“Thanks,” I mutter, “I’ll see you tomorrow,” and sling my bag across my shoulders, heading for the door.

I get about three steps away from the locker room when I’m cut off by Ben. He’s wearing faded jeans, a red and black flannel over a plain white shirt, and boots with dried mud on the sides. The typical wardrobe of the boys that live around here. He’s taller than me by about three inches, with chocolate brown hair falling in his face, and forest green eyes that can’t seem to focus on what’s in front of him. “Hey, Charlie. Nice game.”

“Thanks,” I say, trying to brush past him.

He takes one long stride to the right, blocking my path. “I was thinking about checking out that new movie this weekend. Thought you might like to join me?”

“No thanks, I’m busy.”

He leans in closer, the smell of popcorn lingering on his breath, “C’mon, Charlie,” He whispers, “It’ll be fun. It wasn’t too long ago you jumped at the chance to go out with me.”

That’s not actually true. I only went out with him because Riley insisted and I finally agreed in order to get her off my back, not because I found him even remotely attractive. Of course, he doesn’t realize that, which isn’t all that surprising when I really think about it. We did the typical dinner and movie date but he couldn’t hold a conversation that didn’t revolve around him. Within the first twenty minutes of the movie, he’s shoving his tongue down my throat. I managed to wrangle him off before awkwardly sitting there trying to pretend I was somewhat interested in the film playing on screen. I haven’t gone out with him since.

“Ben, I need to get home. Can we talk about this some other time?”

“So,” he says, straightening up, his tone chipper as a smile plays around his mouth, “You’ll think about it?”

I stagger past him, picking up my pace as the EXIT sign beacons above the door, hoping my silence will answer his question.

I step outside, breathing in the bitter, frigid air of late February and make my way to my old grey Sedan. I pull out of the parking lot and head towards downtown. BluHaven is a small, southern town where the same families, shops, restaurants, and business have been here for generations. There’s a church on nearly every street corner, everything shuts down on Sundays, high school sports are the main source of entertainment, and everybody knows everything about everyone.

They say you have the freedom to be whoever you want to be, to express yourself in your own way. But if that goes against the belief system that’s been set in stone since before I was born, then don’t even bother. It’s not that I hate living here. It’s just that I never felt like I truly fit in, like my place has always been somewhere else in this world.

About the Author

J.N. Marton graduated from the University of Central Arkansas with a Bachelor’s degree in education. Along with educating the future of our nation, she enjoys taking her daily morning run, reading any book she can get her hands on, and binge watching the latest shows on Netflix. Marton happily lives with her wife, Hollis, and their Lab/Basset Hound mix, Sam.

Email her at jnmartonauthor@gmail.com and follow her on her favorite social media platform, Twitter @jn_marton.

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

Follow the tour and check out the other blog posts and reviews here

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 · 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

Blog Tour · Guest · Reviews

Guest post & review: The Experiment by Rebecca Raine

 

Hi… 🥰

I posted Chapter 50 of My Way last night, perchance you missed it. https://zakarrie.com/2020/08/22/my-way-50/

Today, I’d like to welcome my guest Rebecca Raine with her wonderful new novel, The Experiment. Many thanks to Rebecca for the copy I received, read, and reviewed below. In a nutshell? It was a delight to do so.

 

BLOG TOUR

Book Title: The Experiment

Author: Rebecca Raine

Cover Artist: Bec Rivers

Release Date: Tuesday, 18 August (AEST)

Genre/s: Contemporary MM Romance

Trope/s: Friends-to-Lovers, Gay for You, First-time Gay

Themes: Friendship, Self-discovery, Self-experimentation

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length: 85 000 words/ approx. 210 pages

It is a standalone book.

Goodreads

 

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US | Amazon UK

 

When a single kiss calls your sexuality into question,

there’s only one sure path to a reliable answer: further research.

 

Blurb

 

Patrick

I like to think I know myself outside and in. As a developmental psychologist, I’ve spent years exploring the true foundations of my identity. So, when losing a bet means kissing my best friend, Logan, I already know I’m going to hate every second of it. All the relevant questions regarding my sexuality were asked and answered years ago. The results were conclusive: despite the odd same-sex attraction, I dislike being touched by men.

That is, it seems, until Logan is the man doing the touching. The intense desire aroused by his kiss contradicts all my expectations and I have no idea how to integrate the new information. Thankfully, I know exactly how to uncover the truth about myself—once and for all.

Logan

I’ve put a lot of effort into keeping Patrick out of my fantasies and in the friend-zone. Our recent lip-lock may have unleashed my feelings for him temporarily, but I’ll get them back on their platonic track in no time. Falling for a friend, especially a sexually ambivalent friend, is a one-way ticket to heartache.

But, when the unforeseen impact of our kiss inspires Patrick to conduct an experiment into the extent of his bisexuality, I can’t resist volunteering to help. If any man is going to join Patrick on his journey of self-discovery, it’s sure as hell going to be me.

 

 

Review

 

I’m more reluctant to request ARCs than my interest in a novel merits. The reason is simple, I can’t bear the thought of being gifted an author’s work, only to enjoy the book a lot less than I’d hoped. As a result of which, I worry that I’ll wind up feeling dreadful and trying to write a review that doesn’t wound the author. I know…I’m not supposed to take that into account. A fair and honest review is not a personal attack on them or their writing. It is just my not-a-jot defining opinion about a story, that’s all. 

As I’ve never been able to pay heed to what I’m supposed to feel, do, or say, it’s pointless telling me otherwise. So…in order to brave the whole process? I’ve come to regard reading with a view to review as an…experiment of sorts. One I don’t repeat as often as my interest is piqued by the premise, as much as I might wish I could steel myself to do so.

Now you know why I found this book so irresistible…and why I started my review as I did. Patrick’s thought process is about as far from mine as I can imagine; I unerringly follow my instincts, so I found it fascinating to be given such an intimate window into workings of a mind so removed from my own. Particularly, as it transpired, when formatted as research for a psychology dissertation. I was riveted by the end of the first chapter and read the first three quarters of the story in one sitting.

The book was described as gay-for-you, which made me pause before requesting it—aware that some find the trope troubling—but I’m so glad I did. Particularly when it wasn’t a gay-for-you story.  It may have seemed that way, at the start…but it quickly became apparent that, rather than being an avowedly straight man who’d repressed his sexuality? Patrick had spent a great deal of time pondering the issue and trying to ascertain his truth. Doing just that is an intrinsic part of who he is: a developmental psychologist determined to live his life authentically. All of which meant he’d already run a tentative experiment to discover if he was, indeed, bixseual as a teen. An experience so awful that the answer was an unequivocal no.

It is a drunken bet that gives him the courage to reassess those findings. You may find that unfeasible but in all honesty? I’m not sure that I’ve ever found the set up of a favourite trope ‘realistic’ . I don’t read tropes for realism, I read them purely for pleasure. While I love ‘fake relationship’ novels, I don’t for a minute imagine that the world is crammed with pretend boyfriends, fiances, and husbands living elaborately planned lives to inherit a fortune or fool some decrepit family member into believing the lie they’re being sold. Annnd just so happening to fall in love along the way, with an all consuming intensity as luscious as it is…unlikely.  I care not…that’s exactly what I wanted to read when I chose the book.

So…don’t bother reading this story if you find the ‘experiment’ set up ridiculous or unrealistic. You missed a delightful read you wouldn’t have enjoyed.

I did…and loved every minute I spent with Logan and Patrick. A story about two adorable loons in love, told with a ‘methodology’ I found fabulously fresh. I didn’t stop reading until I realised that I was about to be coshed by The Conflict. Yes…I know it’s considered an ‘important part’ of a plot arc. I care even less about that than the realism thing. So…I went for a snack and pulled my unisex pants up. I can do this, thought I. Endure a few chapters of ‘misunderstanding’ or muddle-headed madness, in order to relish Patrick & Logan’s happy ever after. 

Thankfully, it didn’t drag on for long. Better yet, I found myself persuaded that its inclusion did indeed explain the flawed reasoning that forms the premise of Patrick’s experiment. His panic is induced by a family dinner, in which we discover what led to his determination to avoid a latter day epiphany. Thus, he’s hell bent on nailing his sexuality, once and for all, and instigates the experiment to discover his ‘authentic self’. A bit bonkers when sexuality is rarely set in stone, but that’s the idea he’s dead set on, to head off the devastation his dad’s life changing accident wreaked. So, who am I to quibble? Do what you need to in order find your peace…it saves a lot of heartache along the way, not least for yourself. 

I haven’t mentioned Logan very much, but suffice to say…he’s a very willing participant in The Experiment with his ‘best friend’. I adored him, he was my favourite of the two men. He’s witty and warm with a twinkle in his eye, infinitely patient and as hot as hell. The banter between them is an additional delight and I was rooting for them all the way. I loved it.

🧡🧡🧡🧡🧡

Teaser - Drag and claw

Excerpt

“You can do your experiment with me.”

My heart pounds, as I wait for him to respond to my offer. The part of me that’s sure he’ll say yes is already weak with relief that he won’t go out looking for anyone else. I don’t want other men touching Patrick. If he’s only ever going to do this experiment with one man, I want that man to be me.

“I thought you wanted to go back to the way things were.” His gaze is wary, and he has yet to move a muscle. “We’re friends, nothing more. That’s what you said.”

“Yes, and it’s still true,” I assure him. “I do want to go back to being friends. But we can do it after the experiment.”

His breath has quickened and, when he speaks again, his voice is rough. “Are you sure you want to do this?”

“It’s the best viable solution,” I tell him, as if coating my possessiveness with a thick layer of pragmatism will make it less obvious. “Don’t forget, it was my kiss that breathed life into your queerness.” My body reacts to the idea of doing it again… and again… and again. However many times he needs to be satisfied. I make a show of licking my lips, enjoying the way he watches with rapt attention. “How much do you want to bet I can get more than a boner out of you?”

With a start, his eyes narrow and he points a finger at me. “No more bets.”

Laughing out loud, I nod. “That’s right. How could I forget?”

He runs a hand over the back of his neck as he looks around the bar, before returning his gaze to me. “I’ll admit, when I decided to do this, my first instinct was to come to you.” He gestures at me with an impatient hand. “You’re the only guy I’ve ever enjoyed kissing and it totally blew my mind. Why do you think I’m doing this in the first place?” he growls, his frustration coming through. “It’s not just because of what happened when we kissed. It’s the fact I can’t stop thinking about it.”

He’s not the only one. I’ve rubbed my cock raw in remembrance. The urge to shove him back against the nearby wall washes over me. I want to give him something new to think about. Ignoring the impulse, I swallow hard and speak in a low voice. “When you’re thinking about it, are these analytical thoughts about what it all means? Or are they wanking thoughts?”

He glances away, trying to appear nonchalant. “Both.”

My muscles tighten at the thought of him with his hand wrapped around his throbbing dick, fantasising about kissing me while he pants and moans his way to orgasm. I want to know what he looks like when he comes. What he sounds like. How he feels.

“But,” he says, with emphasis, interrupting the lustfest going on in my head, “I decided against it because I know you don’t—” The words cut off and his eyes close briefly. “I don’t want us to stop being friends.”

“I don’t want that either but, Patrick, you’re playing with fire here and assuming no one will steal the matches. I’m the only one I trust to do this right.”

He’s still reluctant. I can feel the force of his doubts. But he hasn’t said no.

“Patrick, listen to me.” I slide a hand around the back of his neck, urging him to meet my gaze. “You need someone you can trust to stop when you say stop, no matter what’s happening when you say it. Someone who won’t get pissed at you and accuse you of being a tease when you leave them with blue balls.” Releasing him, I grin. “Besides, you tried looking for someone else to kiss. It didn’t work. You chose me and now you’re stuck with me for the duration.”

He huffs out an indignant sound. “I could find someone else to kiss,” he blusters, “if I looked really hard… for about ten years.”

I laugh out loud, knowing I almost have him convinced. “Yeah, but even if you did, it wouldn’t matter.”

“Why is that?” He leans closer, as if he’s looking forward to my response.

In that instant, I realise how badly I want this—him. I want to tug on every thread of his sexuality, freeing each strand for thorough inspection. I want to tie him in knots, before making him unravel for me. And I want him to know, every second along the way, I’m the one who is doing this to him. That I’m the only man to ever make him feel this way.

Licking my lips, I take a step closer and bring my face in next to his. “Because even if you did hit your limit with someone else, you’d always wonder how much further I could have taken you.” I lower my head, so he can feel my breath against his neck as I go in for the kill. “Patrick, my friend, I’m going to drag your arse so far down my end of the spectrum, you’ll have to claw your way straight.”

 

 

About the Author

Rebecca is a long-time lover of all things romance. Whether it’s a book, movie, or real life, she will always have more fun if there’s a love interest thrown into the mix. She lives in Queensland, Australia with her very own hero husband, two quirky kids and one big, black dog. Other than reading and writing books, her favourite things include loud music, enjoying a glass of wine on the patio, organising everything in existence, and spending too much time on the Internet.

 

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Giveaway

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one of five mobi copies of The Experiment

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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Book Blast · Guest · New Release · Reviews

Book Blast: You’re My Everything by Lily G. Blunt

Hiya,

Today’s guest is Lily G. Blunt, one of my favourite writers, with her new anthology of short stories; the wonderful ‘You’re My Everything’. 

 

99c BOOK BLAST and REVIEW TOUR.

 

my-everything-pre-made-design-eBook-complete copy

 

Title: You’re My Everything

Author: Lily G. Blunt

Cover Design: Jay Aheer at Simply Defined Art

Genres: contemporary, gay romance, short story anthology

Length: 52 000 words/172 pages

Release Date: March 29, 2018

Add on Goodreads

 

99c/99p from March 28 – April 3

Also available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US | Amazon UK

 

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My Review ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

 

The first story in this fabulous anthology; ‘Happy Anniversary Jasper’ snatched my breath away. There was I, thoroughly enjoying Nathan’s warm, wry, recollections whilst waiting for Jasper to arrive for their 10th anniversary dinner. Their depth of their love is tangible, beautifully written:

‘I never felt the need to look at another man. He was my first and last. He was my soulmate and would be for all eternity…’

I could scarce wait for the habitually tardy Jasper to turn up for his annual dinner date, so eager was I to meet the man Nathan adored. Then…Bam. My eyeballs nearly plopped on my laptop, my jaw dropped and I went all hot ‘n’ cold. I sort of sat, running the story through my mind, wondering where I’d gone awry or misread, missed something I should have seen. Of course I had. Plenty, but I’d overlooked it; too invested in their relationship and eager for Jasper to arrive to note the nuances so skilfully weaved into the words. This is the best opening story of an anthology I’ve ever read, it’s exquisite. I adored it.

The second story ‘Over the Rainbow’ made for a lovely contrast. A much welcome, lighthearted read in comparison, it was the perfect palette cleanser. I instantly warmed to both characters and enjoyed them enormously. Dorian and Mark are professional, urbane men, who couldn’t be more different from Andreas and Chris in ‘Opposites Attract’ Theirs is a far more quirky coupling. Chris is an extroverted adventurer and Andreas, an introverted homebody, happiest amidst the things he treasures. Both have many frailties, despite the fact Chris seems so…sorted. It takes a bit of a mishap in a winter wilderness for his truths to surface…and for Andreas and Chris to find their way back to one another. In every sense.

‘You Can’t Stop Loving Someone Like That’…is a less conventional love story, with a twist I’d now become a mite more prepared for. These stories delighted in taking a turn I hadn’t expected and, true to form, this one didn’t disappoint. While I couldn’t applaud Corey’s choices, they felt oh, so human, fallible. His journey followed the beat of its own drum and I enjoyed that fact. I’m fond of stories that have the courage to do their own thing and eschew a few conventions along the way.

‘Service With A Smile’. Phew… changing rooms should clearly come equipped with fans. Terry and Ash were an utter delight…as was the twist to their tale. Luscious.

‘Happy Anniversary Jasper’ made for such a memorable opener, I realised what I was about to be treated to in the very first sentence of ‘Without You’. I couldn’t have been more chuffed; it is an inspired conclusion to this anthology. An unexpected but exceedingly welcome way to round off an excellent collection of stories. Masterfully done, I loved it.

 

 

A Collection of Contemporary Gay Romance Stories from Lily G Blunt.

Six love stories.

Some sweet, some steamy, and one or two will bring a tear to the eye.

 

Happy Anniversary, Jasper

As Nathan waits for Jasper in a restaurant to celebrate their tenth anniversary, he recollects their past and some of the passionate moments he has experienced with the love of his life.

A heart-breaking yet erotic tale of love, romance and destiny.

Over the Rainbow

Dorian has been cast as Dorothy in his school’s production of The Wizard of Oz.

Like his character, Dorian is about to discover whether dreams really do come true.

Opposites Attract

Chris and Andreas are opposites in character. Both fear the other wants to move on.

Can being stranded on a mountainside resolve the doubt that is threatening to tear them apart?

You Can’t Stop Loving Someone Just Like That

Despite being besotted for years with Jack, Corey finds himself falling in love with Pierre, a foreign exchange student, who is staying at his home over the summer vacation. Up to this point, Jack has shown no sign that he was gay or that he wanted Corey as anything other than a friend. It is only when he sees Corey and Pierre together that Jack wishes he had acted sooner.

Service with a Smile

Terry visits a men’s designer boutique, and Ash gives him service with a smile…

Without You

Jasper is struggling to move on with his life without Nathan by his side. If only he could touch his lover one more time…

BOOKBUB2 copy

 

Excerpt from

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, JASPER

JASPER AND I first became friends at school. He moved into the area when he was thirteen and, as he was shy, I took him under my wing to protect him from the school bullies. No one dared mess with Nathan Collins and his gang. We hit it off straight away and became best buddies within a matter of weeks. The other lads, especially Kieran and Jack, were pissed off at first, but what could they say? Jasper became part of our clique, and there was nothing they could do about it. Well, they could take a hike, but I knew they wouldn’t do that.

Sometimes, it would be a group of us hanging out, but more often, it became just the two of us. We completed our homework together in our bedrooms, spent weekends in the woods hiking, or camping out in the summer months. We did everything together. Hell, we even volunteered to sweep up the autumn leaves for our parents so we could spend an afternoon with each other. Nothing could separate us. We remained friends at school for the next five years. We didn’t want or need girlfriends. We never argued. We never fell out. We just wanted to spend time together.

There were whispers, of course, but I ignored them. I knew there was nothing funny going on between us—we were best buddies. Jasper surprised me when he punched Kieran on the nose because of some snide comment he’d made. Luckily, Kieran didn’t snitch on Jasper to the headmaster. He claimed he’d bumped his nose during basketball training. However, there were no more mutterings about us from that day onwards.

We were seventeen before we had our first major disagreement. Jasper wanted to go out with a crowd of students to celebrate the end of the school year. I wanted the two of us to go to the cinema. Sulkily, I said I’d give the evening a miss. I could see he was cross with me, but he let it go without saying another word.

In the end, nearly everyone backed out for one reason or another, so it was just Jasper and Sean who planned to go alone to a pizza restaurant. I don’t know why I did it, but I decided to call another friend, Carlton, at the last minute to see if he wanted to go to the cinema with me. As luck would have it, Jasper and Sean decided to go to the cinema after their meal as well. I didn’t realise until much later that they were sitting about ten rows behind us all night.

After dropping Carlton off, I pulled into my driveway and saw Jasper waiting for me in his car. I could tell by his face he was seething but didn’t understand why. He got out and slammed the door shut before marching over to me.

“Did you have a good night?” He stared intently at me.

Puzzled, I said, “Yes, did you?”

He didn’t answer me as we made our way into my house. My parents were out, so we took some cans of soda from the fridge and headed to my room.

“So, Carlton’s your best buddy now, then?” His face settled into a nasty sneer. This was totally unlike Jasper.

“Err… no, I just went to see a movie with him. Anyway, you went out with Sean,” I hurled back at him. We were jealous, but at the time, we didn’t know what we were feeling.

I slammed the door. Jasper let out a sob, which startled me. Until that point, I thought he was angry with me. I’d never seen him cry before.

“Jasper, what’s the matter?” I moved nearer to him. He turned from me, shaking his head, and I assumed he was going to leave.

“Don’t go.” I reached out to him.

“Why? What do you care?”

Putting my hand on his shoulder, I eased him around and managed to pull him close. His head rested on my shoulder, and he held me against his body. We stayed like that for some time, neither of us saying anything or moving. It felt so good; I didn’t want him to pull away.

I felt a slight tickle on my neck at first, moving up towards my jaw before I realised what was happening. Jasper tilted his face towards mine. His lips brushed over my skin, leaving a seemingly scorching trail towards my mouth. He pulled back. His stormy blue eyes locked with mine, asking, pleading, questioning. I wasn’t sure exactly what he was asking, but I nodded, and his lips met mine hesitantly for a second or two. Pulling away slightly, he smiled before our lips connected again. This time it was for longer. It felt so right.

Jasper groaned. Our kiss deepened. The tip of his tongue sought entrance to my mouth, and I parted my lips to welcome him. My first kiss and one I will never forget. As our kissing became less awkward, our hands and hips moved, pulling each other closer. Soon we were panting. Our excitement rose as we crushed our bodies together.

 

 

About the Author

 

Lily G. Blunt enjoys writing contemporary gay romance and paranormal stories. She loves to explore the relationship between two or more men and the intensity of their physical and emotional attraction. Angst often features in her stories as she feels this demonstrates the depth of feeling for each other. Lily is forever writing imaginary scenes and plots in her head, but only a few ever make it to the page.

Lily launched Gay Book Promotions, an online book promotion service for authors of LGBT+ romance and fiction, in 2017.

Lily loves to hear from readers and other authors.

 

Author Links

Amazon | Amazon UK | Blog | Facebook | Facebook Profile

Goodreads | Twitter | Ello | Pinterest | Instagram

 

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

 

Follow the tour and check out the other blog posts and reviews here

 

Release Blitz · Reviews

Legendary Loves 2: release blitz & review

 

Legendary Loves must be the most delightful collection of stories you could curl up with this Halloween. ‘Tis a hat-trick of treats not to be missed. Three charming tales steeped in legend and lore; each featuring a lesser-spotted (not least in fiction) shifter at its heart…

 

🎃🎃🎃🎃🎃

 

RELEASE BLITZ

Collection Title: Legendary Loves Volume 2

Publisher: JMS Books, LLC

Cover Artist: Written Ink Designs

Length: 71 700 words

Release Date: October 19, 2019

Add on Goodreads

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07Z7G17JM/

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07Z7G17JM/

 

Blurb

JMS Books’ Trios are themed collections of three gay romance stories by a trio of authors. Each story is available separately, but readers can get all three for a discounted bundle price.

Legendary Loves Volume 2 contains three paranormal shifter M/M romances just in time for Halloween!

It contains these stories:

In My Arms Again by Nell Iris: Oxen is lonely, feeling like he’s waiting for something, and can’t focus. But when a very ill stranger collapses on his doorstep, everything changes. The stranger, Vinge, is a Pegasus unable to transform. Both men feel an instant connection that swiftly grows deeper. The questions surrounding Vinge are many. Why is he so familiar? What will it take for the depth of their connection be revealed?

The Murky Depths by Kassandra Lea: Tired of the daily grind of his job, Keston heads out for a weekend at his family’s cabin in Kona Woods. Turns out he isn’t alone, though, as there are others lurking in the shadows. When a near-death experience brings Ness waltzing into his life, everything Keston thought he knew is turned upside down. Will facing what scares him bring to Keston’s life what it’s missing most?

Weekend at Bigfoot’s by Addison Albright: There’s nothing about perky — twinky? — Oliver Hughes that would make Sensational News’ (Never Fake! We Swear!) reporter Wilson Banks think Bigfoot actually exists. But while pursuing soundbites for a tabloid story about Bigfoot, Wilson witnesses something he wasn’t meant to see. In Wilson’s new reality, is there room for love with someone whose dreams are as big as his … er … feet?

Buy Links

The books will all be 20% off at the publisher’s site through October 25.

Legendary Loves, Volume 2

Publisher | B&N | Kobo | iBooks

Amazon US | Amazon UK

 

BOOK 1

Book Title: In My Arms Again

Author: Nell Iris

Publisher: JMS Books, LLC

Cover Artist: Written Ink Designs

Length: 21 809 words

Release Date: October 19, 2019

Genre/s: M/M Historical Paranormal Fantasy Gay Romance

Trope/s: Soulmates, age difference, hurt/comfort

Themes: Finding your soulmate, reunited, family conflict, acceptance

Heat Rating: 3 flames

It is a standalone story.

Add on Goodreads

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Two strangers. An unexpected familiarity. Instant connection.

Blurb

Trapped in a growing sense of restlessness, Oxen the hunter is lonely. Feeling like he’s waiting for something—or someone—he’s unable to focus on getting ready for winter. But when a handsome and very ill stranger collapses on his doorstep, everything changes.

Vinge is from a Pegasus family but has never been able to transform. As soon as he awakens in Oxen’s care, both men feel an instant connection, which grows deeper as Oxen nurses him back to health. Something profound within each man calls out to the other, but neither knows what it is.

The questions surrounding Vinge and their deepening relationship are many. Why is Vinge so familiar to Oxen when they have clearly never met? Why are they both reluctant to take the first step to a real commitment? And what will it take for the true depth of their connection be revealed?

 

Excerpt

His eyes are still closed when I kneel next to the bed again, but I can tell he’s awake by the way his head tracks my movements.

“I will lift your head and help you drink,” I explain before touching him again, and he tilts his chin down, giving me permission. I slide my hand around his neck, cup the back of his head, and ease it off the bed. He drinks in deep gulps until the bowl is empty, and when I lower him back down to the pillow, he sighs.

“Thank you, Hunter.”

I stiffen at his words. “Do you know me?”

Slowly, he moves his hand from his side and lays it on his chest. “I feel you,” he says.

“How?” My head is spinning with all the questions this man’s arrival has brought. For every passing hour, they multiply, and I can no longer keep track of them all.

The stranger doesn’t answer my question—somehow I knew he wouldn’t—so I try another approach. “I am afraid you have me at a disadvantage. I know not who you are.”

His pries his eyelids open, long eyelashes fluttering like a hummingbird’s wing. Even in the dim light of the cabin—cast only by the flames in the hearth—I can make out the color of his eyes: so dark they’re almost completely black, generously sprinkled with flecks of gleaming gold, and despite the obvious tiredness, his gaze is bottomless and intense. It pulls me in and settles some of the restlessness in my chest at the same time.

And when he looks at me, I understand what he’s talking about.

I can feel him, his presence. As though his heart beats next to mine in my chest. As though his breath mingles with mine when it leaves my mouth, as though I see myself through his eyes. As though I know him.

“My name…” His voice falters.

“…is Vinge,” I finish, a gasp escaping at my own words.

“Yes.”

REVIEW

In My Arms Again is all that a story from the head and heart of Nell Iris promises to be. Beautifully written and told with genuine warmth, drawing you into a world where people are pure of heart and noble of spirit, no matter what fate thrusts in their path. They suffer but never become bitter. There is a rare grace in her stories which makes them sing, a calibre of character as seductive as a roaring fire on a frigid night. Men who encapsulate the very essence of: ‘Nothing is so strong as gentleness. Nothing is so gentle as real strength..’ 

There is a weight in words that flow with the life giving force of a mountain spring, their warmth as irresistible as the glisten of sunlight off its surface. 

In My Arms Again is every bit as magical as the mythical creature at its heart. A tale of two kindred spirits who had lost all faith in themselves and the value of their existence.  Soulmates who see their best selves reflected in the eyes of one another and strive to honour that image. Theirs is a story of acceptance and the power of affirmation upon self. Of hearts made whole and encapsulated in a single sentence:

‘I’ve finally found somewhere I belong…’

As beautiful as it is brilliant. 

🧡🧡🧡🧡🧡

 

BOOK 2

Book Title: The Murky Depths

Author: Kassandra Lea

Publisher: JMS Books, LLC

Cover Artist: Written Ink Designs

Length: 20 106 words

Release Date: September 19, 2019

Genre/s: M/M Paranormal/Urban Fantasy

Heat Rating: 1 flame

It is a standalone story.

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Who…or what is lurking in the shadows?

Blurb

While Keston enjoys his occasional video game tournaments with the kid across the hall, he’s grown tired of the daily grind of his job. With a bit of a push from his boss, he heads out for a weekend at his family’s cabin in Kona Woods. A little time away from the hustle and bustle sounds like just the thing he needs.

Turns out he isn’t alone, though, as there are others lurking in the shadows. When a near-death experience brings Ness waltzing into his life, everything Keston thought he knew is turned upside down, and he runs in fear.

But will facing what scares him bring to Keston’s life what it’s missing most?

 

Excerpt

“Crap,” he growled. Keston scrambled for the paddle as the first fat raindrop landed on his cheek, coursing down like a year he didn’t remember crying. The once gentle rocking was becoming stomach upsetting and mixed with his actions threatened to capsize him. “Crap, crap, crappity.”

Why didn’t you check the weather forecast, you fanned fool? Instead of being a sitting duck for an electric charge you could be sitting safely before a fire while letting the storm rage on. Even sticking to his original plan would have had better results, he’d simply have raced back through the woods with prayers of no branches falling on his head. Being soaked head to toe he could accept.

Which might happen sooner than he hoped.

The wind picked up, forcing the trees to dance and tearing the leaves from their branches. Keston pitched dangerously to one side and narrowly avoided taking an unwanted swim by shifting his weight the other way. His belongings slid back and forth along the bottom of the canoe. Lightning. Thunder. His pounding heart prodded by fear and adrenaline. And then it hit, the deluge of rain, almost like having a bucket of water dumped over his head, or perhaps this was how coaches felt after the end of a great game when thee players got all excited and doused them in Gatorade or whatever.

He was soaked instantly.

And it was a cold rain, one that dropped the temperature significantly in a matter of seconds. Gone was the beautiful autumn day replaced with a chill that left each breath as a puff on the wind. Keston shivered, somehow managing to wrap his fingers around the paddle. He gripped it tightly and dipped one end into the lake, which by now was tossing him about as if he was a rubber ducky in a child’s bath.

The waves were getting worse.

REVIEW

 

The Murky Depths by Kassandra Lea 

This might be the shortest story, but therein lies a lot of plot. A feat in itself to one who can scarce cram a dinner date into twenty thousand words. Better yet, the legendary creature at its centre is one I never imagined I might encounter in a romance; a fact so splendid I was seduced from the start…and there is lots to love. A quirkiness of character I found enchanting; creatures of legend and lore, living their lives, going about their business, every bit as credible as they are incredible. 

‘Little did he realize he was being watched, had been since the second he turned down the barely two lane road that wove like a scar through the mostly untouched landscape…the forest abuzz with the arrival of a human. There was a ripple of concern on what he planned to do, how long he’d stay and if he knew. Those who remembered him as a youngster questioned if he recalled any of the events that transpired when he was a child. 

Minds were more easily manipulated back then, more willing to believe in the magic that tried its best to remain hidden.’

As an adult, I’ve held firm to that belief; never quite relinquishing the hope that I’ve simply become too damnedly grown up to share in secrets too sacred to be sullied by adult sensibilities. 

 ‘Shall we be on with our adventure then?’                                                                                  ‘Um, one tiny problem, dear, we’ve no boat to get me there…’

Boat schmoat...it was wonderful to spend a wee while in a world where such matters are mere mundanities when setting forth on life’s great adventure with your soulmate.

 

🧡🧡🧡🧡🧡

 

BOOK 3

Book Title: Weekend at Bigfoot’s

Author: Addison Albright

Publisher: JMS Books, LLC

Cover Artist: Written Ink Designs

Length: 29 800 words

Release Date: September 19, 2019

Genre/s: M/M Contemporary Paranormal Gay Romance (with a pinch of Mystery and Comedy)

Trope/s: Meet Cute, Forbidden Love, Fling Turns into More

Themes: Love (or at least lust) at first sight, secrets, paranormal surprise

Heat Rating: 3 flames

It is a standalone story.

Add on Goodreads

 

Buy Links

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Amazon US | Amazon UK

 

It wasn’t supposed to be REAL!

Blurb

It wasn’t supposed to be REAL! Bigfoot doesn’t actually exist. Yetis, shifters, creatures of the night … none of those exist. Right? Right?

There’s nothing about perky—some might even say twinky—Oliver Hughes that would make a skeptic like Sensational News’ (Never Fake! We Swear!) reporter Wilson Banks think otherwise. But while pursuing soundbites for a tabloid story about Bigfoot, Wilson witnesses something he wasn’t meant to see.

In Wilson’s new reality, is there room for love with someone whose dreams are as big as his … er … feet?

This fun novella has a paranormal twist, a hint of mystery, and a flavorful dollop of romantic comedy. Mix it all together for a satisfying HEA!

 

Excerpt

Wilson’s gaze traveled lower, and if possible, widened further. Because holy mother of Sasquatch, Yeti, and the Abominable Snowman, Emma Pearson had not been exaggerating when she’d insinuated that Bigfoot was well-hung. If anything, she’d underplayed it.

Bigfoot—that’s who he had to be—squawked again with a noise that had an admonishing tone, as if calling out Wilson’s rudeness for gawking at his junk, then covered said junk with his massive hands.

“Sorry,” Wilson muttered. It was reflexive and seemed weird in the circumstances to be calmly apologizing to Bigfoot. Why the hell wasn’t he freaking the fuck out? Most normal people would be.

A vision of Mark screeching, “I don’t think I’ve ever once seen you get worked up over anything,” flashed through Wilson’s head. Apparently Mark had a point.

Wilson blinked. There would be absolutely no way to get the mouth and flaring nostrils of this…creature so perfect in such a close inspection if he wasn’t real. He was real.

And if this was the ultimate test of pragmatism, then—Wilson straightened his back—he was going to pass it with flying colors.

 

REVIEW

 

Weekend at Bigfoots by Addison Albright

I adore Addison Albright. If that were not true, I may never have come across this treasure trove of tales as I rarely read shifter stories. That matters not; some authors are exceptions to all such customs. A truth that has reaped rich rewards along the way and gifted me one of my very favourite trilogies. I had never read a castaway tale before, nor imagined that I might. 

I devoured the ‘Vows’ box set (Til Death do us part, From This Day Forward, To Love & To Cherish) for all the world as if I’d been marooned for five years with nary a book to feast on in the interim.  

If informed that I might salivate in anticipation of a Bigfoot tale, I would have scoffed. Rather than scoffed it with relish. The latter proved true…I never doubted for a moment that it would. I’d already delighted in being stranded in scorching sunlight without a stitch to my name, and figured (for some reason) that I was about to freeze my bits off with the abominable snowman in Alaska. I may have got super(natural)heroes in a muddle. No matter, off I set; snowbooted and suited to brave the elements. Instead, I found myself transported to Tallbear, Northern California to reside among the finest townsfolk I’ve encountered for many a moon; as quirky as their tourist town is quaint.

How I loved this story. How I laughed. I hadn’t reached the foot of the first page before I was cackling away to myself like a crazy ol’ cat lady on the subway. This, on accounts that our hero, Wilson—none too keen on the prospect of said trip—was offered the following alternative: 

“You want to interview all the victims of the chimney shitter in Bosie?”

Chances are, I’d have delighted in the shitter’s story just as much, had its author elected to immerse me in it.😋 Shitters or shifters…like I said, it matters not a jot.

I may have fallen in love with Oliver the moment we met. Swiftly after being bedevilled by jam. Jam is my very favourite word. (This is partially Eddie Izzard’s fault. Never has the word Jam been uttered with such luscious relish and to such chuckle-fest effect).

Strawberry with lemongrass—perchance you were wondering—the latter adds ‘tang’ promised its purveyor. The allure of Oliver can be attested to by his attention snaffling proclivities from said preserve. 

‘But what really made him stand out was his bearing–the “I’m going to be me and I don’t care what anybody thinks” jut of his chin that came across more as a life philosophy than as a challenge to all comers.

Okay, maybe the  shoulder-length black hair with sparking streaks of silver, gold, and purple stood out too. And the azure-blue eyes that seemed too brilliant to be real–yet Wilson sensed they were…’

Wilson may not be a supernatural being, but he is far from your bog-standard sort of scribe. Despite working for a tabloid newspaper, his cynicism is infused with a warm humour that never belittles his subjects. He is never cruel or careless in pursuit of his prey; instead he radiates a charm that never feels forced. Even his innermost musings are free from ridicule in the face of the unfeasible…no matter how unlikely the claims of his interviewees, or their steadfast insistence upon them.

🧡🧡🧡🧡🧡

Pegasus, Ness and Bigfoot unleashed in a five star Halloween treat t’die for.

 

🎃🎃🎃🎃🎃

 

About the Authors

Nell Iris

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 but let’s face it, she’s not Celine Dion), and is a real Star Trek nerd (Make it so). She loves words, poetry, wine, and Sudoku, and absolutely adores elephants!

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 40-something bisexual Swedish woman, married to the love of her life, and a proud mama of a grown daughter. She left the Scandinavian cold and darkness for warmer and sunnier Malaysia a few years ago, where she spends her days writing, surfing the Internet, enjoying the heat, and eating good food. One day she decided to chase her life long dream of being a writer, sat down in front of her laptop, and wrote a story about two men falling in love.

Nell Iris writes gay romance, prefers sweet over angsty, and loves writing diverse and different characters.

Author Links

Blog/Website | Facebook Author Page | Facebook Profile

Twitter: @nellirisauthor | Instagram: @nell_iris | Goodreads

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Kassandra Lea

Born to a military family, Kassandra Lea has been reading since she could hold a book. Growing up she wanted to be Batman, then she discovered writing and realized she could be whatever she wanted if she lived vicariously through her characters. When not writing, she can be found hanging out with her dog, pursuing her love of horses, and cheering on the Packers. She lives in southern Wisconsin in an old house with her mother, a gang of furry monsters, and a ghost.

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Addison Albright

Addison Albright is a writer living in the middle of the USA. Her stories are gay romance in contemporary, fantasy, and paranormal genres. She generally adds a subtle touch of humor, a smidgen of drama/angst, and a healthy dose of slice-of-life to her stories. Her education includes a BS in Education with a major in mathematics and a minor in chemistry. Addison loves spending time with her family, reading, popcorn, boating, french fries, “open window weather,” cats, math, and anything chocolate. She loves to read pretty much anything and everything, anytime and anywhere.

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Reviews

The Duke & Dandy: Review

 

Thank you so much @ THE QUILLE AND LAMPE

The Duke & Dandy Highwayman Trilogy Review

❤🖤❤

This was a beautiful intro to an amazing Authoress! It’s bad enough that I’m a total sucker for historicals and erotica but when combined perfectly? Implosion! I loved this book so much that I spent a week dipping into it again and again (let’s not mention that I read it from beginning to end twice immediately) because I was slain. From the first page, it delivered well-written dialogue that sucked me in. From the moment out heroes met, there are sparks and fireworks sizzling through the air and my veins. I felt almost sorry for Mr. Highwayman because the Potent Prince is a law unto himself with his own gravitational pull and a mind like a titanium trap…

review cont…

TRIL1

Guest · Release Blitz · Reviews

Special Guest: Addison Albright

 

I couldn’t be more chuffed to participate in the Release Blitz of Addison Albright’s new novel The Best-Laid Plans

I am a huge fan of her writing, which never fails to whisk you to whichever world you are fortunate to find yourself in.  I was delighted to find that a follow-up to The Contingency Plan was on its way as I’d longed to learn what fate had in store for our newly wedded Princes…

Review 

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The Best-Laid Plans picks up where the first story left off and sweeps you to its faraway kingdom with the warmth of a familiar friend. Addison Albright has a true gift for storytelling. No matter whether we are castaway on a desert island or whisked to a world realms away from this, it is a place inhabited by characters who feel as real as their stories are resonant. The Best-Laid plans is an enthralling adventure that seems far more realistic than many a more mundane tale. Characters who are relatable despite their lofty status, crafted with a depth that far exceeds its length. I adored Prince Marcelo, whose self-perceived flaws make him braver than he believes and as believable as he is beautifully written. Prince Efren is magnificent; a hero as compelling as he is charismatic. The Best-Laid Plans is the perfect follow up to The Contingency Plan; a thrill ride of derring-dos and developing love that delivers far more than a fairytale happy ever after. I loved it.

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RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: The Best-Laid Plans (Plans, book #2)

Author: Addison Albright

Publisher: JMS Books, LLC

Cover Artist: Written Ink Designs

Genre/s: M/M Fantasy Romance

Tropes: abduction, hurt/comfort, princes

Heat Rating: 3 flames

Length: 28 130 words

Release Date: June 1, 2019

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Blurb

A death that wasn’t what it seemed…
A kidnapping that isn’t what it seems…
Time is running out.

The morning after his wedding night, Prince Marcelo thought he’d be embarking on a journey to his own personal fairytale happily ever after with his husband, Efren, the crown prince of Zioneven. But when news arrives indicating his sister’s death wasn’t as accidental as previously thought, that journey becomes fraught with danger.

Enmeshed in political intrigue, death, and a kidnapping that might not be what it seems, will Efren untangle the web of misleading clues in time to save the naïve young man he’s already come to admire, or will Marcelo dig deep to discover a previously untapped inner strength and determination to facilitate his own survival?

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Excerpt

Chapter 3: …Oft Go Awry

Efren

Efren blinked rapidly as he came awake with a start. He stared into the darkness and mentally shook the cobwebs from his mind. What had awoken him? Marcelo lay softly breathing in his arms, as relaxed and peaceful as only the innocent can truly be.

Around him, the night was silent. Too silent? He strained to hear the patrols rustling through the grasses, or the faint trills of their signals to each other.

A breeze swirled through the branches of the trees in the distance, rippling the leaves. Crickets chirped, apparently unconcerned about whatever either was or wasn’t going on in the meadow.

And footsteps. Quiet, approaching footsteps. It must be time for the shift change. That’s what had awoken him. Efren relaxed and nestled Marcelo tighter against him. One at a time, the guards would come in and wake their replacements.

Except—Efren tensed, then maneuvered his arm out from under Marcelo’s head and eased himself from under the blankets—the footsteps, furtively stopping and restarting, were approaching from multiple directions.

Efren shivered as goosebumps rose on his naked skin in the chilled night air and soundlessly slipped his broadsword and knife from their leather scabbard. He glanced at Marcelo, still sleeping, although less serenely with the sudden loss of the warm body next to him.

Guilt pinged his core as he shook off a strong desire to waken and forewarn Marcelo, but he pushed it down. Marcelo, completely untrained in warfare, would be safer in here. He seemed a heavy sleeper, likely incorporating outside noises into his dreams, unused to a need to be readily alert. He might even doze through the skirmish.

Or was that just wishful thinking? Because there’d be no hope that Marcelo could escape unseen, if it came to that.

Surely it would be better for such an innocent to be killed in his sleep, or with scarcely a brief moment of shock beforehand than to spend minutes quaking in terror, unable to defend himself.

Efren shook off his doubts and quickly pushed out the weighty flap, sword raised ready, and opened his mouth to yell an alert to awaken any of his warriors who hadn’t already sensed the looming danger, same as he had. But the breath he drew to strengthen his voice instead choked him.

He’d never before smelled these fumes, but the pungent, wet-dog odor had been described to him. The material of their tents was heavily treated to keep the toxin producing that odor from permeating the walls and closed flaps.

Icy apprehension slithered across Efren’s skin before settling in the pit of his gut. This was a completely unexpected development. The alchemists from the kingdom of Proye who’d developed this toxin—and unfailingly guarded the recipe—called it “Knockout.”

As Efren’s sword arm dropped, followed swiftly by his eyes rolling back in his head and his body slumping in a boneless crumple, a corner of his brain recognized how fittingly it was named, and hoped that enough of it had entered the tent through the briefly opened flap that Marcelo would succumb before Proye agents executed whatever they had planned. They’d been married for less than two days, and already he’d failed his innocent, young husband.

Copyright 2019 Addison Albright

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About the Author

Addison Albright is a writer living in the middle of the USA. Her stories are gay romance in contemporary, fantasy, and paranormal genres. She generally adds a subtle touch of humor, a smidgen of drama/angst, and a healthy dose of slice-of-life to her stories. Her education includes a BS in Education with a major in mathematics and a minor in chemistry. Addison loves spending time with her family, reading, popcorn, boating, french fries, “open window weather,” cats, math, and anything chocolate. She loves to read pretty much anything and everything, anytime and anywhere.

Author Links

Blog/Website

Facebook Author Page

Facebook Profile

Twitter

BookBub

QueeRomance Ink

Amazon

New Release Notifications Group

Giveaway

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win:

3 winners will each get to choose 2 ebooks from Addison’s backlist

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Read how the story began…

RELEASE BLITZ SCHEDULE

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Reviews

Rainbow Book Reviews

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Many, many thanks to Lena Grey at Rainbow Book Reviews  for every wonderful word.

❤🧡💛💚💙💜

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Disability / Erotic Romance
Reviewed by Lena Grey on 12-February-2019

 

‘….I was expecting a story about a man who lost his sight to be more sad and anxiety ridden, but Zakarrie managed to take the situation and turn it around with humor and profound insight. Without Ben, Leo would have wasted away in self-loathing, fear, and darkness. Instead of that, Ben managed to show Leo that, although his life has changed, it doesn’t mean it’s over. Ben brought encouragement, humor, and love back into his life. By doing so, Ben helps Leo to find the courage to have more in life than he thought he ever could again. Thanks, Zakarrie, for giving me a story of hope, spiced with hotness and humor. I can hardly wait to see what happens with these special men in the second book in the series.’

 

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