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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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

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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

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

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Guest · New Release · Release Blitz

Guest: Remember My Name by Laurencia Hoffman

Hi🥰

A warm welcome to my guest, Laurencia Hoffman with her new release ‘Remember My Name’.

I’ve been reading a lot of thrillers and suspense novels of late; an added dash of mm romance proved irresistible.😻

RELEASE BLITZ

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Book Title: Remember My Name

Author: Laurencia Hoffman

Publisher: Encompass Ink

Cover Artist: The Illustrated Author Design Services

Release Date: September 4, 2020

Genre/s: M/M Romantic Suspense

Trope/s: Second Chance, Soul Mates, Exes to Lovers, Dark Secret Keeps Them Apart

Themes: Love, Survival, Death, Injustice

Heat Rating: 1 flame

Length: 58 582 words

It is a standalone story.

Goodreads

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon  US  |  Amazon UK 

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Suffer in silence or live to regret it.

Blurb

Dark and twisted secrets mar Shane Coulter’s skin, and darken his fragile heart. Yet he keeps his nightmarish truth hidden from all those he holds dear with a smart mouth and abrasive attitude.

His first love, Callan Reid, refuses to accept Shane’s tough exterior. Convinced something truly horrific lurks beneath Shane’s defenses, Callan vows to uncover the truth.

But some things are better left buried. As darkness from the past threatens to be brought to light, there are those who would kill to prevent it. Can Callan break down Shane’s walls? Or will digging into the past come with deadly consequences?

Excerpt

Heaving an exasperated sigh, he stood in the waiting area and listened to the cheesy music. It was just like Troy to be late, leaving Shane to fend for himself in a crowded and uncomfortable area. If they weren’t best friends, he’d be getting a lot of shit for it.

He kept checking his phone, trying to appear busy since some of the patrons were shooting him looks. Shane didn’t own just-in-case clothes, so he didn’t have anything appropriate to wear to a restaurant like this. If he had known, he would have borrowed something from Troy.

Shane didn’t care how he looked most of the time. It wasn’t that he was lazy or didn’t try, but he didn’t care to carter to the judgments of other people. His comfort was the most important thing to him.

His eyes flicked upward to settle on a familiar face. He would have sworn that his eyes were playing tricks on him, yet, when he blinked and returned his gaze to the tall, handsome blond, he was still there.

The blond was laughing and patting one of his friends on the back. Shane didn’t recognize the people he was with.

For a moment, he was frozen. This seemed like a dream, a nightmare, or a hallucination – anything but reality.

And then those sparkling blue hues spotted him, and the blond’s face turned white as a ghost.

“Shane,” he whispered.

Lifting his chin, he looked the man up and down as if he had only just noticed him. “The one and only. How long have you been back, shithead?”

The man’s cheeks flushed pink and he excused himself from his group of friends. As he took a step closer to Shane, Shane took a step back.

“Just a couple of weeks. I’m here for work.”

“Of course you are. I’m not sentimental enough to think that you’d be here for me.” Running his tongue along the front of his teeth, Shane folded his arms.

The older man swallowed hard. “Do you think we could talk outside?”

“Oh, sure. Wouldn’t want your friends to think I ever meant something to you, right?”

The blond gave him a stern look. “That’s not fair.”

Heaving a sigh, he obliged the man by exiting the restaurant and standing to the side of the entrance.

“What the fuck do you want to talk about, Callan? How you broke my heart, and abandoned me, forever tainting my view of love?”

“Did I really?” With a sigh, Callan shook his head. “I thought you might have forgotten me by now.”

“Unfortunately for the both of us, I didn’t.” He wanted to say so much more, like how the six months they had spent together had changed his life in good ways and bad. But he didn’t want to give Callan the satisfaction of knowing just how deeply he’d been affected by their time together. “What’s with the entourage?”

His features brightened, happy with the change in subject. “They’re my colleagues, actually. I’m sure you remember my love of photography.”

“How could I forget?”

“Well, I’m dabbling in journalism now. And I’m able to provide my own pictures.”

“Good for you.” He wanted to grumble something about how he’d never doubted Callan, but thought better of it. “What are you working on?”

“Just a piece about some of my favorite places.” He paused. “I could include you if you want.”

Shane’s first instinct was to say yes. Callan had been his first – and only – adult relationship. At the time, he had been convinced that he would never need anything more, that Callan was the one and only person for him. And when that had fallen apart, he’d been devastated. Did he want to open himself up to the possibility of being hurt like that again?

“Why, because I’m one of your favorite places?”

“Well, of course.”

He rolled his eyes. “A person can’t be a place.”

“They can be if that person is home.”

Shane’s nostrils flared, furious that he had the audacity to say something like that after the way they’d left things. “I don’t think so, Cal. Maybe if we were strangers…”

“Why can’t we be?” he asked in a hushed tone.

“You want a clean slate?”

It was something to consider. In their six months together, Shane had managed to keep all of his secrets, including his health. He had fallen hard, and fast, and he didn’t want that to happen again. If they were even going to consider speaking to one another, it needed to be on his terms.

“Okay. If we’re going to play that game, it’ll be by my rules.” When Callan didn’t protest, he went on. “I’ll text you a time and a place and we’ll meet for the first time all over again.”

Callan smiled. “I’m looking forward to it.”

“Are you now?” Shane lifted the cell phone in his hand. “Things have changed since the last time we saw each other. I’vechanged. And you’re going to be treated just like anyone else.”

He furrowed his brow before nodding. “Okay…are you going to tell me what that means?”

“I guess you’ll find out. Or maybe not. Is your number still the same?”

“Yes. Do you remember it?”

“Of course I remember it, you idiot.”

After checking to make sure there was no oncoming traffic, Shane walked through the parking lot, waving his hand in the air.

“Good luck!”

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About the Author

Laurencia Hoffman is the author of several novels and novellas and co-author of The Wages of Sin series. She specializes in horror but loves to dabble in other genres including fantasy and romance.

When she’s not writing, she also enjoys making her own line of natural products, satisfying her sweet tooth, and watching films.

Author Links

Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Instagram

Newsletter Sign-up  |   Pinterest

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Giveaway

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win

a $10 Amazon Gift Card.

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Blog Tour · Guest · Interview

Guest Post: Abstract Love by Sara Dobie Bauer

Hiya,

Today, I’m delighted to welcome my guest, Sara Dobie Bauer with her new novel, Abstract Love. The moment I saw its cover I was hooked. I’m so looking forward to reading Sam & Donovan’s story. 

Special thanks to Sara for being kind enough to be interviewed too. I couldn’t agree with her more about what makes a great story…and very much suspect Abstract Love will prove itself a portrait of exactly that.

 

BLOG TOUR

Book Title: Abstract Love

Author: Sara Dobie Bauer

Publisher: Self-published

Cover Artist: Natasha Snow

Release Date: September 4, 2020

Genre/s: Contemporary MM romance

Trope/s: enemies-to-lovers, age gap, co-workers, office romance,

bisexuality, businessmen, artists, bondage, comedy

Themes: sexual awakening

Possible triggers: depression, suicidal ideations, biphobia

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length: 71 000 words

It is a standalone book.

Goodreads

 

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US | Amazon UK

 

I hate Sam Shelby. So why do I want to kiss him?

 

 

Blurb

 

 

Sam never expected to move back to Cleveland.

Donovan never expected to be attracted to a man.

Well, shit happens.

After high school, Sam Shelby moved to New York. Eight years later, he returns to Cleveland and lands a job at the best ad firm in town. It would be the perfect gig, if his boss weren’t such an ass.

After his wife leaves, Donovan Cooper questions everything. The arrival of a young, arrogant, gifted graphic designer at Donovan’s firm is the last straw.

Tempers flare over office gossip, and following a nasty argument and scathing kiss, Donovan flails away from heterosexuality while Sam struggles to keep his “no relationship” rule intact.

Despite ugly socks, fiery fights, and their best intentions to not fall in love, these bullheaded coworkers can’t deny their chemistry. Donovan seeks happiness while Sam seeks success, but is there room for more?  

💙

 

Interview with Sara

 

Do you use images to develop your character’s looks?

Oh, for sure! I ROUGHLY base my characters on actors I love. In Abstract Love, for instance, Donovan is Daniel Craig and Sam is Timothee Chalamet. (Yes, the characters are ROUGHLY based on these men, but Sam’s fashion choices are actual outfits Timothee has worn in real life, for better or worse.) In the past, I’ve used Benedict Cumberbatch, Alexander Skarsgard, Armie Hammer, Tilda Swinton, and more.

Are your characters based on people you know?

Not usually, but in the case of Abstract Love, yes. Monica is very much based on my beautiful friend Keri.They have the same hair, tattoos, glasses, and style. They’re both sassy, smart, confident women. I love women who stand out amongst the masses and embrace their identities without fear. That’s Keri.

Do you use your experiences in your books?

I’d say I use my feelings more than my experiences. As a theater minor in college, I used to channel my emotions into my performance on stage, and I’ve transferred that catharsis into my writing. So, nope, you’re not going to see anything autobiographical here, but the emotions—heartbreak, joy, fear—come from a place that is very, very real.

Do you ever get writer’s block?

Nope.

What do you think makes a good story?

Strong, complex, believable characters with chemistry. The plot doesn’t much matter to me if I’m spending time with characters I love. Especially characters with a great sense of humor. I have a weak spot for snarky protagonists. 

Does writing energize or exhaust you?

Energize. More than anything else in my life. Except maybe sex. (My mom isn’t going to read this, right?)

What has been one of your most rewarding experiences as an author?

I released Handsome Death in April through Carnation Books. Due to the pandemic, we weren’t sure what kind of sales we might get. The night of the book’s release, my publisher messaged me freaking out. She couldn’t believe the sales numbers. We broke that publishing house’s record that night. I couldn’t sleep. I was so pumped, I stayed up, watched Clue, and drank absinthe. It was such a dark time for me and for the world; Handsome Death’s book birthday was an unexpected bright spot.

What do your friends and family think about you being a writer?

They think it’s awesome … but don’t really understand what it means to be “a writer.” (My hubby is an engineer, so it’s the same when he talks about work. Since his words don’t make sense, I just focus on how hot he is.) My friends and family celebrate new releases and read my books, but my day-to-day existence is a great mystery of the universe to most people. I like it that way.

What do you do when you’re not writing?

Bartend and practice yoga to stay healthy and sane. Oh, and I read. So much reading. 

Do you like music or silence when your write?

SILENCE IS GOLDEN.

Thank you.

 

💙

 

ABSTRACT LOVE 2

Excerpt

Donovan sifted through a few hand-drawn logos on the desk and froze when he found a crudely drawn sketch of himself. Sam must have done it during a meeting at some point, capturing Donovan’s faux hawk, wide jaw, and severe expression.

Jesus, was this what other people saw when they looked at him? Did he really look so miserable?

“Make yourself at home?” Donovan dropped the picture and stood straight at the sound of Sam’s voice. He leaned against the doorframe, with one ankle crossed over the other.

“It’s really bullshit when people say that, you know?” Sam said. “Make yourself at home. No one actually wants their friends to take off their pants, drink all their beer, and binge The Great British Bake Off.” He paused. “What are you doing in my office?”

“I didn’t mean to snoop.”

The office door closed as he stepped inside. “Sure you did, or you wouldn’t be in here, so what’s up?”

Sam circled the desk, so Donovan circled the other way, although he noticed it was true what coworkers said: Sam did smell good—like clean laundry and cedar.

“I think we started off on the wrong foot.” Sam snort laughed and flipped through some files on his desk.

“More like wrong continent, man.” When he found what he was looking for, he tapped the file’s corner against his palm. “I can handle guys like you, you know.” Donovan shifted back on his heels.

“Guys like me?”

“Hmm. Corporate assholes. All you see are dollar signs. You take no pleasure in your work. Advertising is money to you, not art, but without the artists, there wouldn’t be advertising, so…”

He sucked his cheeks into his mouth, a momentary fish face.

Donovan wanted to tell him it wasn’t true. Donovan loved art. He used to love art.

Sam continued, “I know I look like a six-foot-two Disney princess, but you’re not gonna rattle me.” To prove his point, Sam got right up in Donovan’s personal space until Donovan took a step back. Again, he was not used to dealing with someone his own height. “And I’m right about the Great Lakes ad campaign. If you’d pull your head out of your ass, maybe you’d notice.” He turned away abruptly.

“Sam.”

“What?”

“I’m sorry.” Ouch, that hurt coming out.

Sam’s rebuttal: “Prove it.”

“Excuse me?” He rested a hand on the desk and cocked his hip out—the very picture of young attitude.

“Listen to me in meetings.”

“I was listening.”

“Nope.” He shook his head and ran a hand through his unkempt, unprofessional hair. “No, you were hearing. I need you to listen. There’s a difference. And I know I’m just some fucking kid to you, but I ruled the New York City advertising scene. I know what I’m doing, Donovan, so let me do it.”

“Fine.” He’d had enough. He’d apologized, okay, so he’d done his Monica-enforced duty. He didn’t owe Sam anything else.

He didn’t run for the door, but he definitely moved with speed.  

 

💙

 

About the Author

Sara Dobie Bauer is a bestselling author, model, and mental health / LGBTQ advocate with a creative writing degree from Ohio University. She lives with her hottie husband and two precious pups in Northeast Ohio, although she’d really like to live in a Tim Burton film.

 

 

Author Links

Blog/Website | Facebook | Private Facebook Group

Twitter | Instagram | Newsletter Sign-up | Freebies

 

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

 

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

 

💙

 

Wafflish

My Way – Epilogue Pt 1

Hi,

I’m so sorry it’s taken a wee while. It’s getting a mite out of hand, so I’ll post the lastest part soon…

 

My Way

 

 

 

Epilogue (Pt 1) 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday: 2 days later

Mac

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Gnhh…” Mac stirred, adrift in the half-way world where dreams and awareness merge. Heavy with slumber, floating too freely to surface when consciousness couldnae compare. “Hmmh…”

Warm…slither-soft, moist… Dangerously so. As if Mac needed reminding exactly why he’d written this off as a ‘gateway drug’ he couldnae afford to indulge in for…far too long. Far, far too… Hmmm…

“More…?”

Joe. Mac snapped his eyes open, halting whatever the fuck his spine was hell bent on pulling off. Bent? Damn thing was concave, shoving his arse towards the source of such contraband bliss. No. Fuck no. Nooo…Mac’s bones were melting. 

“Stooop…” 

“Up?” Huge hands clamped to Mac’s hips, hitching his arse higher, high enough for that far too talented tongue to dart between his cheeks and…dapple. Mac clenched his butt muscles, trapping it. Briefly. “Now you’re just teasing me…” The miscreant blew a stream of cool breath across damp skin, a sensation so persuasive that Mac’s treacherous cheeks staged a sodding mutiny. Goddamned arse would’ve slapped out the welcome mat if it could. In darted that demonic tongue, flickering like a fucking firefly, dead set on demolishing every last scrap of Mac’s sanity. Swirling…oh, so slowly…purgatory. Paradise. A world of black-shot-scarlet bright behind his eyelids. Brighter than the sun. Too intense to insist on…whatever the hell Mac should. Soon. 

“Nooo…” 

“No? Oh, okay…” What the…? Plush heat vanished, about a silent shriek of protest before Mac found himself tilted off balance before being flipped onto his back, to lie blinking up into daylight. A retina searing sight eclipsed by a streak of alabaster and mop of platinum hair when Joe straddled his hips. That face. Moonbeam pale, beyond beautiful, swooping to meld their mouths for an all-too fleeting moment. Shattered, when slick fingers closed around Mac’s cock, about a snatched off breath before Joe sank down—impaling himself hilt deep and Mac in a devastating scorch—with a sigh so sublime it was obscene. It damn near finished Mac off. 

“Gaarrhhh!” Tight hot, white-hot heat as acute as being flayed alive. Mac gritted his teeth against the need boiling his blood, battling it back, fighting to get a grip, when the grip was eye-watering elsewhere. A stillness serrated by his ragged breaths that felt as if each was hauling a steel-trap after it. Mac’s body was leaden, stupid with bliss, saturated in sweat. Brain shot to shit. The self he’d so assiduously constructed, snatched from his clutches and tossed to the wind like candy floss. Decimated with a twirl of demonic tongue and (quite possibly) a ‘wee sit down’.  Even Joe’s imaginary mind was monstrous. 

“I’m going to kill you,” Mac managed to groan. “Later…” 

“‘Kay…” Joe smiled, midnight eyes ablaze with knowing. Far, far, too much. “I’d better distract m’self for a bit then. Take my mind off the trauma…” A sage nod as the monster started rocking his hips, as if he were settling in for the duration. 

“You’re…” Mac couldnae think of a thing that could begin to cover it. 

Not ‘entertaining myself’ on your cock. Nor, using you ‘to abuse’ myself…” Joe leaned forwards to murmur “…’cept with pleasure.” at Mac’s lips before catching the bottom one between tender-sharp teeth. He wasnae lying. He’d prepped. Fucknows how long Joe had been awake. If he’d even been to sleep. He’d also clearly had his ‘breakfast’. Then recovered enough to be way too coherent at stupid o’clock and repeat Mac’s words from a lifetime ago, t’boot. Words he’d uttered in a last ditch attempt to protect himself, far too late. 

Who the fuck is this and what the hell has he done with Joe Fitzgerald?

With those eyes…? Pinned so wide he’d bypassed ethereal en route to unearthly. Impossibly beautiful. Mine. Whoever he is.

“Joe…” Mac croaked, “Please move…”

Hmmm…” Joe’s sigh was the most mind-boggling expulsion of air Mac had ever heard in his life. Coupled with an expression that could convey more than most could proclaim with a soliloquy. ‘Move’ swiftly morphed into finding himself cut adrift, lost to a rolling rhythm so inimitable only Joe could have rendered it. How wrong Mac had been. Far from ‘entertaining himself’, Joe might’ve been putting on the performance of a lifetime...if Mac could credit such a travesty of truth.  He watched, rapt, as Joe rose and sank; as unselfconscious as a creature of the Fae flitting through the trees. Flicker-frame flashes of liquid midnight and rosebud lips, head tipped back, baring the superlative arc of Joe’s throat to Mac’s greedy gaze. He was extravagance personified, gift wrapped in porcelain skin, pearlescent in the light filtering through the French windows.

“Will I be…enough?” Words Mac couldnae suppress with the onset of the tour looming so large. Joe was his. Mac didnae share…with anyone. For anyone. Not even Joe. Particularly not Joe.

The moment he sensed that his miscreant was done with him, Mac would be gone before dawn…but while Joe still wanted him? Mac couldnae abide another bastard laying a finger on him. If they so much as tried, he’d break a helluva lot more than that. It would probably be the last thing Mac ever delighted in doing. 

He didnae expect an answer, but Joe blinked, focussing on Mac’s face with irises too dark to discern how pinpricked his pupils were. “Yesss…” Joe gasped, “H-how could you…doubt it? Unless…” His gaze softened, smudged. Imploring. “Please d-don’t leave me, Mac…”

Leave you? Fuck no.” Never had a concept seemed less possible. Or more ludicrous, when nailed by need as compelling as the ever-building pressure, hovering on the precipice of unbearable bliss. 

“Mac!” 

“AGHH!”  A god-awful racket clawed Mac’s throat when Joe upped the ante, pace, undulation of his sprite-like self, as if dead set on driving Mac demented before he was, indeed, done. It was all Mac could do to close his fist around Joe’s tremouring cock and watch, rapt, as he rode the waves sweeping him to the edge of everything and beyond. Mesmerised by the perfection that was Joe on the precipice of paradise; realms away, yet never more present. It was with a sharp cry that his tufty head rocked back when Joe shuddered with a spasm of inner muscles that blazed through Mac in blitzkrieg of bliss.

“Hmm…” A sound matched by the beatific smile with which Joe sank forwards in a slick and sticky smear of skin. Mac would crawl over broken glass for one last glimpse of that expression. He would do far more than that. Right then, he couldnae think of a thing he wouldn’t do to merit that smile. Nor summon the will to worry about it. “Hmm…Mac…?”

“Aye…?” 

“Did you mean ‘fuck no’ the way it sounded?” 

 How the hell had Mac said it? He had a sneaky suspicion that he knew damn well. As if it was the last thing he might ever do, perhaps?  Too emphatically to suggest a single marble might be left rattling around in the bottom of Mac’s Bergen?

“Aye…” he repeated with a rueful smirk, instead.

“Will you say it again? ‘Twas hellish sexy,” Joe murmured, lifting his head to unleash the lashes.

“Fuck off,” Mac snickered.

“That’s very distracting, Mr Chuckles. Please…for me?” Rapid blinking. Pity-me-pout. Monster.

“Phhhh…” Mac hmphed. Trouble’s lips just twitched, knowing damn well that he was about to be obliged. Oh why not…what the hell. Mac couldnae be any more buggered. Unless he was, surely?  “Fuck no Growled, with a steely glare. Mad bastard.

“Hmm…” A happy hum of sound succeeded by a question from left field. Of course. “Mac, how long is ‘fuck no’ for?” Big round eyes beseeched, impossibly innocent.  Oh...for about as long as it took for Joe to finish one of them off? At least.

“Until you’re bored…and/or start finding your diet rather…restrictive, shall we say?”

“You can say it, if you like, but I sure won’t. The latter wouldn’t cross my mind, let alone leave my lips. I don’t find anything restrictive when I’ve shackled myself to it, you daftie. I’d get miffy if someone else told me what I must do, eat, say, for fifteen minutes, let alone forever. But never if I chose it myself. Beats me why folk have kiddies if they get fed up of stuff in five seconds flat. Scary that. Weirdos.”

If there was an answer to that? Mac wasnae likely to fathom it before he’d had his first smoke of the day. A stiff drink wouldnae go amiss, either…

“Mac…are you miffy?” Joe asked, hot on the heels of Mac’s silence. Unless, of course; the miscreant knew damn well why that might be. 

“Should I be…?” Mac raised his head, arching a wry eyebrow

“Sorry…? Um, it ‘wasnae a wandering digit‘ to break…the terms? Or feed to the dog?” The face Joe donned was best described as ‘all eyes and teeth’.  Like a cartoon character caught red handed.

“You broke the spirit of the terms—as well you know it—or you wouldnae be asking.” Mac informed him, with a lofty sniff. Far from ‘withering’, but about the best he could muster, when really. Joe was impossible. It was like trying to scold Pootle Flump. Okay. You’re really showing your age now, you old git. Baby Groot? He’d do. More to the point…scold?

Five days with who the fuck is Joe Fitzgerald and Mac had mutated into a badass grandma. 

Five days? It felt like five minutes and forever, Joe Mean Time. Meanwhile…in real time? The weekend in Marlborough had been followed by two rehearsal days in London. The second of these—Tuesday—had unfolded in much the manner as the first, except Joe had been the one to take Adam aside to ‘fine-tune some stuffs’. Apparently. The misreant had seemed untroubled when he’d emerged, so Mac hadnae pressed for any details. He could not micro-manage Joe and his own manager. His own control-freakery had started to freak Mac the fuck out. In his own indefensible defence…? Fear was a cruel taskmaster. One he was so unaccustomed to serving that Mac’s instincts had snatched up the proverbial sledgehammer with which to crack the nut. 

Overcompensation? Guilty as charged, but underestimating Joe really wasnae an option. There was no middle ground to scope out. Mr Fitzgerald avoided that as if it might incite a plague on his person. 

Every song had been sung as if for his last supper, performed with a focus so transfixing Mac would’ve been hard pressed to tear his gaze away had the drug squad stormed the room. Joe’s band had burned through every track like men on a mission to fight fire with fire, lest they be left stranded.

Adam had been right, he could have filmed those rehearsals…and promptly sold ‘Junkie Joe’ down the river. Made a mockery of every word scripted for him with such pitiless derision by poisoned pens. Mac almost wished that the conniving bastard had done just that, lest—  

He couldnae go there. It was a horror show waiting to hook its claws into Mac and shred his ever flimsy façade of civility. It’d wind up about as effective as a clingfilm flack jacket if—when—the shit hit the fan.

Mac couldnae afford to fool himself. He sure as hell had not come armed with a magic cock that could wave Joe’s demons away. Particularly when the miscreant made Mac feel as if he could. Not literally, of course (he had retained a modicum of sense), but metaphorically. Letting those eyes persuade him otherwise might well prove his fatal flaw. Joe’s life depended on that. If it was the last thing he ever did, Mac would make damn sure that Joe wanted to live it. 

 

*

 

tbc…second and final part to come.

Wafflish

Cover Poll

Hi,

I hope your week is being kind to you. 🥰 Thank you so much for voting in my poll, the results thus far are:

Cover 1 – 30%

Cover 2 – 20%

Cover 3 – 50%

Apart from the first vote (for number 2), number 3 has been the leader all along. So, unless we have a flurry of votes that pips it at the post, this is the cover you’ve chosen:

fotojet-1-1

lucas-filipe-ihlPKC7P0gE-unsplash (1) (4) (1)

FotoJet (4)

lucas-filipe-ihlPKC7P0gE-unsplash (3)

Epilogue coming soon…

.

Guest · Release Blitz

Guest & Review: The Lucky Cat by L M Somerton

Hi,  

Today I’d like to welcome my guest, L M Somerton with her wonderful new release ‘The Lucky Cat’. I was fortunate ’nuff to read a preview copy and have included my thoughts below…

 

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: The Lucky Cat

Author: L M Somerton

Publisher: Pride Publishing

Cover Artist: Louisa Maggio

Release Date:  September 1, 2020

Genre/s: Contemporary M/M Romance, thriller/suspense, light BDSM

Heat Rating:  4 flames    

Length: 60 343 words/ 241 pages

It is the first book in a new series.

Goodreads

 

978-1-83943-066-4 _TheLuckyCat_Email Banner

Buy Links

First for Romance  |  Pride Publishing 

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK

Antiques and ammunition do not mix well.

Blurb

 

The antique trade is not known for its life or death excitement and Landry Carran is happy that he has to contend only with furniture polish, woodworm and his irascible boss. He gets all the thrills he needs at his favorite BDSM club, Scorch.

Detective Gage Roskam is hunting stolen jewels taken from a Tokyo exhibition then shipped to Seattle. Mired in a deadly race involving the Yakuza, an enigmatic Englishman and too many indecipherable clues, he doesn’t have time to indulge in Dominant fantasies.

When their worlds collide, neither Landry nor Gage expects things to get quite as complicated—or dangerous—as they do. When Landry steps into the path of some powerful, ruthless people, it’s up to Gage to protect him. Along the way they might just discover what they both need.

 

INSTAGRAM

Review

The Lucky Cat is a delightful story, witty and warm with a twist in its tale. It has an atmosphere that evokes a 1960’s crime caper; pairing a kooky hero(ine) with a gruff alpha male along the lines of Charade. Landry and Gage may well have been Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant reimagined; their banter was one of my favourite things. The antiques shop itself was the other, depicted so wonderfully well I could almost smell the beeswax.  

Landry’s inner-dialogue is a treat to read and I adored his observations and tongue-in-cheek takes on the other characters along the way. The antiques shop setting lends this story a charm as unique as Landry’s own. I adored the store and the foibles of its owner—the irascible Mr Lao—described with such incorrigible aplomb by Landry that his boss felt very present, despite the fact he wasn’t.

While I thoroughly enjoyed the mystery, the unfolding of the plot is p’raps more important than the solving of it. As the key to unlocking this story’s secrets is telegraphed from the start, I doubt that a reader will remain in the dark until its denouement. That said, discerning its location didn’t diminish my enjoyment of the book one bit. It was spending time with the characters that made this story hum along so well, rather than the cogs clicking into place aspect of it.

I’ve promised myself that my reviews will be honest, so I must confess two things:

1) My only quibble is something very specific to me. My catnip is intensity, so I suspect you could read this novel and wonder what I’m waffling on about. Nevertheless, it is the maple syrup that tickles my taste buds, so I feel its absence keenly. If only the intensity had been ratcheted up a tad—the passion made more passionate, the peril more perilous, etc—I would have given The Lucky Cat a five star review. My own proclivities aside, if you prefer a great caper to indulging your egregious emotions in a feel-fest,  I highly recommend this story.

2) I am not the best judge of intensity levels. My base camp is the summit of Everest. If you’d rather embark upon an enjoyable adventure with great characters, this Lucky Cat will make an excellent addition to your collection.

❤️❤️❤️❤️

***

Excerpt 

Sometimes there were advantages to being vertically challenged. Landry, his ass sticking out from under a seventeenth-century folding card table, paused to contemplate other occasions when his five-feet-six-inch stature had been of benefit. Not when attempting to get served at his favorite leather bar, though getting squished between all those black-clad hunks was always bearable. He snorted. Not when reaching for his preferred brand of chips at the market, which were always on the top shelf. Put there, he was sure, by the snotty assistant manager as revenge for Landry turning down his offer of a quick blow job in the staff restroom. As if. Never at family meals when he got to sit between his older twin brothers like a blond munchkin between two extras from Vikings. He reversed, wiggling his back end to avoid a willow-patterned platter balancing on a brass coal scuttle. His knees ached and he’d banged his elbow on a cast-iron fireguard, but he had rescued the battered cannonball making an escape attempt beneath teetering piles of stock.

“Well, there’s a pretty sight.”

“Hey!” Landry went for indignant rather than flattered. He tried to get up too soon and banged his head on solid, woodworm-free oak. “Fuck me!” He finally made it to open air and scrambled to his feet, rubbing his already messy hair into further disarray.

“Is that a request?”

Landry looked up…and up…into a pair of twinkling pale-blue eyes. The customer, because that was who Landry guessed the newcomer must be, was drop-dead, my-ass-is-yours gorgeous and he was grinning. Well, smirking.

“Funny man. What can I help you with, sir?” Landry gritted his teeth and remembered that Mr. Lao, his boss, would swat him like a bug if he snarked at a potential patron. Though, on this occasion, it might be worth it to mess with the man.

“Another leading question.”

Landry rolled his eyes. Black hair, blue eyes and a stubbled, chiseled chin did not equate to a free pass. “The massage parlor is three doors down, just before St. Peter’s. You can get a full-body whatever then confess all in the space of an hour.” He made an ineffective attempt to brush dust from the knees of his ripped black jeans. Blue Eyes reached into his jacket and produced a wallet, which he opened to display a Seattle PD badge and ID card.

“Gage Roskam. Is your boss around?”

Landry was more turned on than intimidated by the badge. Cop plus handcuffs equaled sexy time. Every cop he’d ever met had had a ‘don’t fuck with me’ attitude and a natural bent for control—just the type of man Landry liked to mess with. He batted his lashes. “And what makes you think I’m not the boss?”

“You’re not a sixty-eight-year-old Chinese guy by the name of Jian Lao?”

“Very observant, Officer. All that training paid off.” Landry put an extra bit of swing into his hips as he walked toward the cash desk at the rear of the shop.

“Putting your tax dollars to work, brat.”

“Hey! Aren’t you supposed to call me sir, what with you being a public servant and all?”

“In your dreams, and you should show more respect for law enforcement.”

“Gonna make me?”

“You’re lucky I’m on duty or I’d bend you over the nearest flat surface and give you the spanking you’re begging for.”

 

About the Author 

Lucinda lives in a small village in the English countryside, surrounded by rolling hills, cows and sheep. She started writing to fill time between jobs and is now firmly and unashamedly addicted.

She loves the English weather, especially the rain, and adores a thunderstorm. She loves good food, warm company and a crackling fire. She’s fascinated by the psychology of relationships, especially between men, and her stories contain some subtle (and some not so subtle) leanings towards BDSM.

 

BLURB

Social Media Links

Pride Publishing Page  |   Blog/Website and newsletter sign-up   

Facebook  |  Twitter   |  Pinterest    |   Amazon Author Page

Queer Romance Ink  |   Instagram   |   MeWe Group

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

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

 

Wafflish

My Way 52

Hi…this chapter brings us to the end of Part 1 of My Way. It’s grown in the re-writing and now totals around 95,000 words. When I began, I believed that I’d written about 70% of the full story, but there’s so much more I’d love to tell. You’ve p’raps read 50% or thereabouts?😳

This seems the perfect place to leave off…with p’raps an epilogue or a preview chapter to Part 2. Still to come: the tour, album launch, Junkie Joe & His Mystery Man hit the headlines. Lots more sex, drugs & rock ‘n’ roll. All manner of mishaps, mischief and mayhem along the way to their Happy Ever After, Amen.

Thank you for reading and for all your support, it means so much.🥰

.

.

My Way

 

 

62 Joe

 

Joe was still reeling when he shrugged the strap of his acoustic over his shoulder to sing the rough sketch of the song he’d scrambled together from snippets of lyrics. They’d kept creeping up on him unawares all weekend; fragments of thought Joe had stashed away in his box of scraps till they told their full story. Sort of like the one at primary school—filled with odds n’ sods, cartons, boxes ’n’ buttons, loo roll tubes, tin foil and bottle tops for arts ’n’ craft projectsexcept it was stuffed with random bits of rhyme and ramblings. 

A single word had strung all those snippets together, but it was Bowie, oddly nuff, who handed Joe a hook to hang them on. Then. The next stop on the station to station trip called life.

To be or not to be, me. Smack sodden, strung out on dope. Tattered torn, lost forlorn. Then was hope, shimmering on the horizon. The strongest link to fuse the lyrics that kept infiltrating Joe’s head, here, there ’n’ everywhere. The new verse had tripped off his tongue the moment all the puzzle pieces had slotted into place. He’d always written as fast as he thought…that bit was easy. It was the polishing up part that took more time—which he hadn’t had—so Joe had been unable to fiddle or fine tune it. A fact that made its already daunting debut—in the most knee-knocking of circumstances—feel a lot like flinging himself out of a plane without a parachute.

The ‘sneering’ accusation was way worse than the fury with which Mac spat it at Joe. Nothing could have been further from the truth Mac insisted on. The ‘Psycho Killer’ ringtone had been a bit of mischief to take the edge off the fact Joe felt as if he’d been outfitted with an electronic tag, like a prisoner on probation. Or a set of kiddie reins to stop him toddling off and getting into trouble.

Sneer? Joe hadn’t even had a huff, let alone sneeredif it p’raps gets lost, will you wheel out the shock collar, or leg irons next?

The very next time Psycho Killer tootled through Joe’s thoughts, it ushered in a couplet t’die for:

Psycho Killer qu’est-ce que c’est, I did it myyy wayyy.

Irrésistible, non? So, a medley it was; the first verse, then half of Psycho’s chorus, segueing straight into My Way.

The latter came about because Joe’s brain had started humming to itself the second ‘My Way’ left Mac’s lips. It sang itself…could anyone hear those words without winding up with an ear worm?

Joe didn’t have a ‘reason’ for wanting to play them, that implied a ‘motive’. A means to an end. Joe rarely had reasons. He did stuff or he didn’t. He never consciously thought: what will happen if I do this? Or vice versa: doing this will cause… Joe’s ideas and decisions were instantaneous. Thus, the moment My Way was mooted, this happened: song/set list.  This did not: song>motive>set list. 

Mr doesnae feel a thing McBadass sure seemed to feel lots of things about something Joe hadn’t spent a second pondering. The two tunes had taken up residence in Joe’s head alongside Mac. There wasn’t a thing he could do to dislodge them. 

Joe had never been able to reason things through, but he could backtrack, after the fact. Retrace his footsteps in reverse. From outcome to origin:  

  • Debuting the new song. 
  • It’s placement in the set list after ‘Is This It’ reflected the fact that it was written as an answer of sorts. An unequivocal No. There was more. There was ‘Then.
  • ‘Then’ picked up where the refrainIs this it? No you, for me? No ‘mine’ nor ‘we’. Merely I, myself, and my enemeleft off.
  • Is this it, all there’ll ever be…was the fear Joe had sought oblivion from when ‘yes’ seemed certain: A fix to fix/hope departed/Hole hearted.
  • The original set list occupied about…five percent of Joe’s headspace (he may have rounded that up). The rest was…bedevilled by badass. Taking into account that ratio? The likelihood that Joe would walk on stage and sing twenty songs about not-Mac? Zilch.
  • Gig rehearsals.
  • Drive to London
  • And how.
  • Arrival of badass to whip Joe’s into shape…

True to form, the very thing he’d longed for most had rendered him horror-stricken with happiness. Joe’s joy was a fearful thing. A petrifying tumult of emotion, as terrible as a beast crouched beneath the bed. A feeling so intense, it left him its loss short of insanity.

Mac made Joe feel safe. A fact that triggered terror. A very specific terror he recognised all-too well. Joe felt it every single time his stash started running low. Or, someone mentioned rehab. Or, his dealer was two minutes late. Or, he couldn’t find a vein that wasn’t shot to shit.

A truth that made: ‘the sooner you’re done, the quicker you can get back to what really matters’ a travesty of it.

“That’s not fair…” Joe’s limp as last week’s lettuce rebuttal incited the retort it deserved.

“Prove it.” 

That? Joe could do. 

It’s all I can do. The only thing…worth anything. Just let me show you…

 So he did.

Prove it…propelled Joe through the studio door with the pizzazz of a man with a plan. The flinty glint that remained riveted to Joe’s person was rocket fuel up his arse as he careered through the set list like a man possessed. He must have sung the right songs in some semblance of order, cos the lads seemed to be playing much the same one, at the same time, which p’raps hadn’t been a…sure thing of late.

Slick with sweat, running on fumes, Joe played as if he were headlining Glastonbury, rather than rattling through a few tunes for one man and nary a dog. He lost all track of time, place, space. There was just his music, and Mac. Thus, it was a wee bit dazedly that Joe tugged the strap of his Fender over his head when a second guitar was wafted in front of his face. Severing his focus on eyes so potent he’d started to suspect they had superpowers. Panther-stalking-prey-powers at the very least.  The latter shouldn’t have been as hot as hell, particularly when the mere threat of curtailed freedom customarily made Joe clammy with dread. 

After shrugging the strap of the semi-acoustic into place, Joe lifted his head. Sought, found, that agate gaze and dragged in a deep breath. He must have taken another at some point, or he would’ve dropped dead, and Joe didn’t…so, it seemed safe to say he pulled that much off with aplomb. Whether he could claim the same about the song itself was a lot less certain. By the time he’d finished crooning the first verse and chorus, Mac looked…a mite shell-shocked. It was trickier to tell if that was a good or bad thing.

“As snug as the hug 

Of a drug haze

Lazy days, lost ways 

A last-past-the-post maze

Of nowhere fast…”

All Joe had ever been able to trust were the truths he cloaked in melody and rhyme. Seeking solace in structure, shaping their form, shrouding his secrets in simile and metaphor. Crafting a suit of armour to protect his inner self from the outside world.

The truth and nothing but, Mr McBadass? So be it.

*

Joe formed a chord, licked his lips, and ignored.

All reason why, or why not. Then, threw in his lot.  

 

“A Nowhere Man

With no hope plans

All tattered, torn, 

So lost, forlorn

What a blast

It’s been.

 

The future is green… “

 

 ***

 

 

Guest · New Release · Release Blitz

Guest: Now or Never by Helena Stone

Hi…

A warm welcome to my special guest, the very lovely Helena Stone with her new novel ‘Now or Never’. 💜

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Now or Never

Author: Helena Stone

Publisher: Helena Stone

Cover Artist: Emmy Ellis

Release Date: August 23

Genre/s: Contemporary M/M Romance

Trope/s: Hurt Comfort, Older Virgin, Distant (not quite enemies) to lovers

Themes Self acceptance

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length: approx. 69 000 words/ 192 pages

It is part of a series but can be read alone.

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Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US | Amazon UK

When the past intrudes, can two lost souls forge a future together?

Blurb

Karl’s carefully erected walls are crumbling. Giving up sex and relationships made perfect sense when he was eighteen. For a decade, he poured all his time and effort into his flourishing career. Doubts crept in the first time Karl met Leo and now, after two years of avoiding him, Karl is in charge of training Leo.

Leo loves his life in The Blowhole. Entertaining the guests during explicit shows under Roger’s guidance meets Leo’s needs and keeps his demons at bay. When Roger leaves, Leo’s job expands but he’s assigned to work with Karl, the General Manager who appears to detest him, and Leo’s anxiety blossoms. It wouldn’t be so bad if Leo hadn’t been attracted to Karl from the first moment he saw him.

Two men. A truck-load of insecurities and an attraction that can’t be denied. When the full horror of Leo’s past comes to light, will their fledgling connection be strong enough to weather the storm?

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Excerpt

Karl approached the table, put the white ball on its spot, bent his large frame forward, and took his shot. Karl’s cue action was so powerful, the colored balls parted as if a fuse had been lit underneath them. Leo fully expected at least a few of them to disappear into the pockets, but much to his surprise, none went down.

“Your turn.” Karl stepped back from the table.

“I’m spoiled for choice.” Leo grinned as he got in position for his first shot. He picked his ball, pulled back his cue arm and gently rolled the red ball into the pocket behind it.

A few minutes later, after he’d pocketed all the solid colors as well as the winning black eight-ball, Leo straightened and turned to Karl, unable to keep himself from smirking.

“Fair enough.” Karl laughed. “That’s my arse well and truly handed to me.” He approached the table, gathered the balls and set them up for the next game. “No more Mister Nice Guy.”

It took all Leo had not to spray his mouth full of Bacardi and Coke across the room. Until recently ‘Mister Nice Guy’ would have been the last words he’d have used to describe Karl. Then again, the Karl he’d worked with these five past days had been kind, patient, and accommodating. If it hadn’t been for the few times Leo had caught Karl staring at him with a slight frown on his face, Leo would have thought he’d only imagined Karl’s remoteness in the past.

Afraid he’d lose himself in his mostly inexplicable thoughts again, Leo returned his glass to the shelf and approached the table. After he put chalk on the tip of the cue and made sure the white ball was in the right spot, Leo bent forward. For a moment he swayed, and he had to reposition his feet to get his balance right. Then he moved his arm back and gave it his all as he shot the white ball toward the triangle of colored and striped balls, fervently hoping at least one of them would go down.

“Damn.” No such luck. Leo turned around, fully expecting to find Karl smirking at him, only to find Karl’s gaze fixed on his…groin?

“Your turn.”

Karl raised his head and stared at Leo, clearly shocked by his brusque tone. Leo understood his surprise: he wasn’t sure where that sound had come from, either. The red flush on Karl’s cheeks, on the other hand, was unexpected.

Leo took a long drink from his glass as soon as he reached it before facing the table so he could watch Karl pot the first striped ball. Was he really looking at my package? Leo side-eyed his cocktail, wondering if it had been a drink too many after all. Surely there was no possible scenario in which Karl, the man known for never showing any sexual preference or interest, would be checking Leo out?

As Leo’s mind spun with unanswerable questions, Karl continued potting balls, one after the other. Just as Leo had in the previous game, he looked set to clear the table in one visit. Leo smiled. Karl was a worthy opponent.

“Fuck.” Karl whispered the word under his breath, but not too soft for Leo to hear him.

One glance at the table told Leo what Karl’s problem was. Karl only needed to pot the black in order to win. But, the white and the black ball were positioned in such a way that unless Karl shot the white at two or three cushions before hitting the black, it would take quite a stretch to make the shot.

Karl took up position next to the table and lifted his left leg, resting it on the edge, before bending at the waist and stretching.

Leo had meant to watch the shot. He’d had no intention of focusing on Karl, but he did, and his breath faltered for a moment. The material of Karl’s black pants gripped the thigh that rested on the table, showing the feint outline of muscles. And…Dear God…Karl’s arse was glorious under the stretched fabric.

Karl straightened and Leo snapped out of his daze. He threw a quick glance at the table and saw the black ball had disappeared. In the end he hadn’t even seen Karl make the shot. Because you were too busy admiring his arse. Leo almost groaned out loud when he remembered how he’d wriggled when he’d lined up his shot to start the game. Karl had been looking at an arse, too, which was at the same height as Leo’s groin. So when Leo had turned…

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About the Author

Helena Stone can’t remember a life before words and reading. After growing up in a household where no holiday or festivity was complete without at least one new book, it’s hardly surprising she now owns more books than shelf space while her Kindle is about to explode.

The urge to write came as a surprise. The realisation that people might enjoy her words was a shock to say the least. Now that the writing bug has well and truly taken hold, Helena can no longer imagine not sharing the characters in her head and heart with the rest of the world.

Having left the hustle and bustle of Amsterdam for the peace and quiet of the Irish Country side she divides her time between reading, writing, long and often wet walks with the dog, her part-time job in a library, a grown-up daughter and her ever loving and patient husband.

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