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Blog Tour ~ Layla Dorine

….And All Shall Fade to Black by Layla Dorine

 

Blurb

Moving into his new apartment, Jax never expected to have to break up a fight between his new neighbors, resulting in a physical altercation and a visit from the cops. Never in his wildest dreams did he imagine that it would lead to him meeting Danny, the cute theater manager and playwright that lived next door. Unfortunately, his first impression of Danny and the way he’d cowered away in the fight with his ex, wasn’t exactly a favorable one.

Jax already has his own issues to deal with, between his past problems with his mother and the chain of men who’ve floated in and out of her life, his new job as a piercer in his sister’s tattoo shop and his struggles with an eating disorder; the last thing he plans to add to it is a relationship. Yet Danny isn’t so easy to ignore and when they find themselves bonding after Danny shows him around town, and more when Jax offers to help with sets for his latest play, it becomes harder and harder for him to ignore the connection forming between them.

As Jax’s insecurities and food issues grow more and more out of control, he find himself turning to Danny for help, rather than his longtime friends Callum and Max who lives just downstairs. Danny’s mix of patience, stubbornness and tough love make it harder and harder for Jax to keep his distance, and somewhere in the course of their daily lives, they find themselves moving from being friends, to being more.

Book Trailer

 

Excerpt

As he stood under the warm spray from the shower, some of the anger from the night before began to creep back in. Without a doubt, that had to be one of the stupidest things he’d ever done. In fact, if he were to rank a lifetime of insanity and bad decisions, that one was floating somewhere between number two and number five in a very long list.

It wasn’t like it was going to make a difference, the small guy, what the fuck he’d said his name was, Denny, Danny, whatever, had probably bailed the asshole out and was up making him breakfast and laying his shit out for work. Dumbass.

Jax sighed and brushed the water out of his eyes. His sister would tell him he was being a cynic, that not everyone was like their mom had been. Fuck that noise, Steph saw rainbows and sunshine in everything. Even when people pissed her off she just smiled and somehow or another managed to win them over. That wasn’t him, had never been him and never would be.  People only showed you good when they wanted something, or when they wanted you to like them. As soon as they’d suckered you in, who they really were tended to emerge and he’d learned early on that it was safer to play with pit bulls then people. At least a dog wasn’t gonna bite you unless you provoked them to.

People on the other hand…

Turning the water off, he shook his head, sending water droplets everywhere before grabbing a towel and quickly drying off. He’d barely pulled on his jeans when someone began knocking on his door. For a moment, he considered ignoring it, but the knocking grew more insistent and with a groan he resigned himself to the fact that whoever it was just wasn’t going to go away.

Muttering curses he stalked to the door and yanked it open, only to see the top of Denny-Danny’s head. The smaller man looked up at him with a sheepish grin, the bruises on his face and neck looking much worse in the light.

“Hi, umm,” Danny stammered, as Jax crossed his arms and leaned against the doorframe, wondering how long this was going to take.

“I umm, I just wanted to, ummm,” Danny continued, looking around awkwardly. “You didn’t have to help last night, and umm, I just want to thank you.”

“Is that all?” Jax asked abruptly, pushing away from the doorway. “Don’t expect it to happen again.”

Danny took a step back, eyes widening in shock at Jax’s harsh tone. “I-I don’t, I mean, I-I won’t.”

“Good. And do me a favor, try and keep it down the next time you guys decide to fight. No one else needs to hear that shit.”

Jax reached for the door, intent on shutting it, when Danny slammed his hand against the door, stopping him. Jax blinked, glancing from Danny’s hand to his face and back again.

“Do you have a problem?” Jax asked, feeling himself tense, readying for confrontation. He watched the mired of expression that played across Danny’s face, from shock to outrage, to furious indignation, and couldn’t be bothered to worry about where the whole situation might lead. The coward had showed his true colors in the hallway. Nothing he did now would change Jax’s mind about him.

“I didn’t ask for your help last night,” Danny sputtered, weight pressed against the door.

Jax knew he could close it if he truly wanted to, but this was almost amusing.

“I’m grateful to you, f-for what you did, but if you were gonna be an asshole about it, why’d you even bother at all? Or did you think you were coming to help a woman? Sorry to disappoint you.”

“Yeah, I did think it was a woman getting the shit beat outta her,” Jax shot back. “And since you guys were loud as hell, it wasn’t like I could sleep through it or anything.”

Chin trembling, Danny raised his head. It looked to Jax like it was actually taking him some effort to look at him. His one cinnamon colored eye was almost swollen shut, the dark blue bruise around it making the sliver of color stand out even more.

“Look, I didn’t mean to disturb your night. I didn’t ask for him to go off on me like that. He was higher than I’ve ever seen him and to be honest, I’m still not sure exactly what set him off.”

“But you know he uses, and you live with him anyway. Bet you bailed him out too, didn’t you?” Jax shot back, scowling. “Apologized for everything, made him breakfast and even promised to make him a nice dinner tonight when he came home from work, right?”

Danny’s eyes narrowed and his fingers curled into a fist against the door. Jax licked his lips, waiting to see if Danny was actually going to attempt something. Not like he wanted to hurt the guy, he already looked hurt enough, but he seemed to be mustering up more outrage now than he’d shown the night before.

“Actually, I pressed charges against him and left his ass at the precinct when he called me at three in the morning begging me to come bail him out. I even called a moving van to get his shit out of here, rented a storage unit for them to put it in, and planned to invite you over for dinner to thank you, but you can pretty much forget that part of the plan. I don’t invite people into my life who are going to treat me like shit, and I sure as hell aren’t the type to actually forgive them and bail them out after they do. I don’t know what kind of people you’ve been around, but, not everyone likes to play the part of a human punching bag. Anyway, for what it’s worth, thank you for coming to my rescue, trust me when I say there will never be a need for it to happen again.”

 

 

Buy Links

US Amazon |  UK Amazon  |  JP Amazon  |  CA Amazon

 

About the Author

LAYLA DORINE lives among the sprawling prairies of Midwestern America, in a house with more cats than people. She loves hiking, fishing, swimming, martial arts, camping out, photography, cooking, and dabbling with several artistic mediums. In addition, she loves to travel and visit museums, historic, and haunted places.

Layla got hooked on writing as a child, starting with poetry and then branching out, and she hasn’t stopped writing since. Hard times, troubled times, the lives of her characters are never easy, but then what life is? The story is in the struggle, the journey, the triumphs and the falls. She writes about artists, musicians, loners, drifters, dreamers, hippies, bikers, truckers, hunters and all the other folks that she’s met and fallen in love with over the years. Sometimes she writes urban romance and sometimes its aliens crash landing near a roadside bar. When she isn’t writing, or wandering somewhere outdoors, she can often be found curled up with a good book and a kitty on her lap.

Layla Dorine can be found at:

Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100005197938547&fref=ts

Twitter: https://twitter.com/layladorine

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/layladorine/

Tumblr: https://layladorine.tumblr.com/

Author Website: layladorine13.wix.com/layladorineauthor

Author on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9814124.Layla_Dorine

 

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Guest interview and Review ~ Isobel Starling

A warm welcome to Isobel Starling.

Thank you for visiting my blog and agreeing to tell us a little more about yourself.

 

The book that holds everlasting resonance…

The Tawny Man” Trilogy by Robin Hobb, specifically book 3 “Fools Fate”.  Hobb’s fantasy story covers 6 books about a bastard prince and his best friend who is the Kings Fool. Fool is an androgynous, mischievous, and completely compelling character and I fell madly in love with him.

The relationship that develops between Fitz and Fool tore my heart to shreds and in the final book the author just put the remnants of my shattered heart through the mincer!  Why do we torture ourselves so with books?  The story just blew me away and it was one of those books that affected me so deeply that I still tear up thinking about what happened.  Suffice to say, my own writing journey began with that book as I was compelled to write Fitz and Fool Fanfic, and after that my own original stories flowed out.

 

The priority activity if you were invisible for a day…

OOOH this would be a bad, bad thing.  It would probably involve male changing rooms at the swimming pool or gymnasium.

 

The film you can watch time and time again…

There are several and I can’t pick one, sorry!  Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid, Galaxy Quest, The Princess Bride, Austin Powers, Bram Stokers Dracula

 

The poem that touches your soul…

“As Sweet” by Wendy Cope

It’s all because were so alike

Twin souls we two

We smile at the expression, yes

And know it’s true

I told the shrink

He gave our love a different name

He can call it what he likes, it’s still the same

I long to see you, hear your voice

My narcissistic object choice.

 

The figure from history you would most like to buy a pie and a pint…

 I don’t know if he qualifies as a figure from history but I would choose SirTerry Pratchett.  He was a genius, and I’m sure he would have been the most delightful company for a pie and a pint – as long as the pie was not made by his character ‘Cut me own throat’ Dibbler, as they were made with mystery meat… probably rat!

 

The piece of wisdom you would pass onto a child…

 Stop picking, you’ll make it worse.

 

The philosophy that underpins your life…

Please see above!  :-p

 

As You Wish (Shatterproof Bond #1) is now available as an audiobook narrated by Gary Furlong 

 

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

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

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

But is Sam Aiken all he appears to be?

 

Audible.com  |  Audible UK

I enjoyed reading this story and the subsequent two books last year. I was a little bemused with the direction this story went at the time, but I think knowing where the story, series, and characters were heading helped me appreciate the audiobook more. In fact, I listened and followed along with the ebook at the same time and was pleased that the story had received a subsequent edit at some point. Some of  the vocabulary and other phrases had been modified, removed or improved. Not that there were many times overall, but enough to make an impression.   

Sam and Declan are fun and steamy together, enjoying some light bondage once they start making out. The story is a sweet GFY, almost insta-love, but not quite because they’d already experienced a year long internet communication, so sort of knew each other. I was surprised they didn’t refer to these conversations more often.  I liked Declan’s character. He’s bowled over by his attraction to Sam and the possibility of coming out as bi/GFY—he doesn’t even know himself—is all new to him and he copes with this new relationship admirably.

The route the story takes these characters was totally unexpected. Although there are a few clues along the way, the events and the revelations about Sam and his father in the last few chapters seemed rather obscure. For me, Sam’s character didn’t quite match up to his ‘career’.

I like Isobel’s writing and her engaging storytelling style. It’s easy to read and her descriptive phrases certainly paint a picture in my mind.  I do have one major issue though and that’s with the frequent head-hopping that occurs because it pulls me out of the story. I had to go back and work out whose point of view the scene is being viewed from. It often occurs with Sam and Declan, but also with a few of the other characters. It’s especially confusing when it happens within the same paragraph.

Gary Furlong was a new narrator for me. It often takes me a time to adjust to a new voice, but his performance was commendable. I particularly enjoyed the intimate scenes. He made a clear distinction between Sam’s posh English accent and Declan’s Scottish brogue and he portrayed the other characters well, even the various female ones.

Born in Germany, Isobel Starling spent most of her twenty-year professional career making art in Ireland.  She relocated to the UK and, faced with the dreaded artist’s creative block, Isobel started to write and found she loved writing more than making art.

The Shatterproof Bond series is an Amazon Gay Romance bestseller.  Isobel has just completed her eleventh book and signed French and German and Italian, translation and publishing rights deals for the whole Shatterproof Bond series.  The As You Wish translation “Comme Vous Voudrez” is a best seller on Amazon France.  It was released in German in March 2017, and as an audiobook in May 2017.

 

 

https://isobelstarling.wix.com/books

https://twitter.com/isobel_starling

https://www.goodreads.com/isobel_starling

https://www.amazon.com/Isobel-Starling/e/B00U1MKE5I

 

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Review ~ By The Numbers

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Paperback: Amazon US | Amazon UK 

Length: 37,400 words

Cover Design: Meredith Russell

 

Secrets and lies threaten Brandon and Daniel’s new love.

Brandon Hoselton is running scared, finding security in his obsession with patterns and numbers. With his family threatened, he feels he has nowhere left to go, and even considers ending his life to keep them safe. Until Sanctuary, in the shape of the enigmatic Daniel Karnes, gives him a reason to stay alive and offers the possibility of a future free from fear.

Former SEAL Daniel is new to Sanctuary, tasked with watching Brandon, a brilliant geek with way too many secrets. Falling in love with quirky Brandon is easy; now he just has to make sure secrets don’t end up with them both dying.

The only way of destroying Varga is to cut the crime boss’s money, and the two men become part of an intricate take-down involving millions of dollars. But Brandon has a secret he can never share with Daniel, and their new love is at stake.

When the villain has murder in mind, sometimes the only way to stay alive is to lie.

 

 

Brandon took down the drapes in his room as soon as he was able to. He could have asked his sisters, but they didn’t know just how badly looking at the geometric pattern in the fabric upset his equilibrium. They knew he was weird; most sisters thought their big brothers were weird. But he also had twitches and nervous tics about certain things, and they’d seen it all, even though his list of crazy was something he could manage now.

They didn’t need to know he’d spent three hours last night counting the squares on the drapes and being irritated to the point of stimming that they weren’t even and the stitching was wrong. And Jesus, stimming—having to move his fingers, loosen his muscles, anything to ground himself—he hadn’t done that in years.

And hell if he was going to ask Daniel into his room to help him, because Daniel was someone Brandon did not want in his space. Not taking down drapes, or talking to him, or even breathing near him. There was only so much of Daniel that Brandon could take, because when he was anywhere near him, he lost his ability to form coherent sentences. He didn’t have time to have these powerful feelings of lust that kept hitting him.

Like the time he and Daniel had met on the landing and Daniel had been in just a towel. They’d only been together a few days, but Daniel was funny, and sexy, and dangerous, and exactly everything Brandon should be avoiding in his life.

He had way too much to worry about, and a date written in his memory that he wouldn’t forget any time soon. The deal he had—to stay alive, to hide himself away, and then to present himself to Varga—was just about the only thing that filled his thoughts.

Varga thought that, on a given date, Brandon would join him in his huge mansion, pull together all the funds Varga had hidden in various places, and then join him in whatever country the US didn’t have an extradition treaty with.

Like hell he would. He was meeting with Varga, getting all his money, dispersing it to the right causes, and sending any intel he could get out to the authorities.

And then Varga would kill him for doing that.

Inevitable, really, and something he’d come to terms with. He’d blown his chance to do this when he’d worked for Varga, so he had to make up for it. He was doing the right thing.

He’d been biding his time in Hope, but had been unfortunate to be scooped up by Sanctuary. He just needed to work out a way to get away from them, and in particular Daniel, but he had about ten days to go yet until that magic date when Varga had decided he would be leaving the country.

For now, Sanctuary was safe for him and his sisters.

So yeah, choosing to avoid having Daniel in his room, with his probing questions and his distracting body, was an easy decision to make in among all that crap.

The only downside was that it meant he had to take the drapes down himself.

Trying to shoot himself hadn’t gone so well; instead of being dead and gone, he had a through shot and muscle damage which hurt like knives in his skin. He waited until day four, when the pain in his shoulder had lessened to the point where he could at least manage to get out of bed and to the window but he couldn’t handle looking at those drapes any longer.

Today he actually felt capable of dealing with drapes he didn’t need anyway. There were blinds at the windows, and behind the blinds each window was coated so you could see out but no one could see in. He pushed the offending fabric under the bed and clambered back to a standing position, wincing in pain as he banged his shoulder, and sat on the edge of his bed.

The drapes were still there—he could picture them under the bed—and exasperated, he lay back on the mattress and attempted to think of something else. Blue skies, blue mugs, blue eyes. Anything blue, because it was a color that calmed him.

He lasted about a minute.

Huffing, he rolled up carefully and reached under the bed, pulling out the drapes and screwing them into a ball. Opening his door, he threw them out onto the landing, not even checking if anyone was standing there.

Daniel. Of course it would be Daniel, who reacted like a ninja and had the drapes under submission in seconds.

Once they were dead, or at least overpowered with some sort of karate move, Brandon felt like he should apologize.

“My bad,” he said, and shut the door in Daniel’s face.

He expected the knock, but hadn’t quite decided what he was going to say to Daniel when he came in. Maybe if he ignored the request to enter and said nothing, then Daniel might go away.

Daniel knocked again, and this time instead of waiting for Brandon to say he could come in, he pushed his way in, looking irritable. He was shirtless, his hair wet—evidence of a recent shower—his sweats hanging low on his hips and every muscle deliciously tight and toned.

“What the hell, Brandon?” he asked, his dark eyes angry, his lips in a set line. He wasn’t holding the drapes, so Brandon counted that as a win.

“I didn’t want them up at my window,” Brandon explained, and eased himself down into the chair by his bed. He was most comfortable there; he could see out the window and it was easier to keep the pressure off his injury.

“So you decided to throw them in my face?” Daniel sounded less pissed and more confused about getting fabric in his face.

Brandon indicated the door. “To be fair, I didn’t know you were there.” Then he couldn’t resist, “And you heroically subdued them so fast, I knew you could handle the danger.”

 

 

This is the exciting conclusion to the Sanctuary series. I’ve only read books 8-10 to follow this part of the story arc, and have enjoyed each one and the different romance pairings. While confined in various safe houses Brandon and Daniel fall for each other. There’s some tingling UST as the two men resist this attraction at first. 

Daniel, a former SEAL, now a Sanctuary operative is tasked with protecting Brandon and his two sisters. Brandon exhibits autistic traits, shown through his thoughts and repetitive calming techniques. He’s gifted with regard to numbers and calculations, but there’s something he won’t share, not even with Daniel. He has a plan and has resigned himself to the fact that he might die as a result of his actions, but he’s prepared to do anything to protect his sisters from the evil reach of Varga. Brandon comes across as geeky at times, yet there’s a depth to his character that captures Daniel’s heart. He’s certainly an interesting and complex character. 

The suspense builds as the other Sanctuary operatives close in on Varga’s operation, but Brandon keeps his secret to himself.  There’s tension as the reader wonders whether his plan will work out or will he forfeit his life and the romance that has blossomed with Daniel.  Daniel is distracted by his feelings, but he’s a professional and will do his utmost to protect Brandon. There’s an action-packed climax to the story in the last few chapters, with plenty of suspense and excitement.

This is an enjoyable light read, not too complex, yet with enough depth to maintain your interest.

 

May 17 – Jim’s Reading RoomBooklove

May 19 – Sexy Erotic Xciting

May 24 – MM Good Book ReviewsMaking It Happen

May 26 – Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words

May 29 – Lily G Blunt

June 2 – Xtreme Delusions

June 5 – SarandipityBFD Book Blog

June 7 – Padme’s LibraryBayou Book Junkie

Sanctuary Series

Guarding Morgan (Book #1) Amazon US | Amazon UK

The Only Easy Day (Book #2) Amazon US | Amazon UK

Face Value (Book #3) Amazon US | Amazon UK

Still Waters (Book #4) Amazon US | Amazon UK

Full Circle (Book #5) Amazon US | Amazon UK

The Journal of Sanctuary One (Book #6) Amazon US | Amazon UK

Worlds Collide (Book #7) Amazon US | Amazon UK

Accidental Hero (Book #8) Amazon US | Amazon UK

Ghost (Book #9) Amazon US | Amazon UK

 

RJ Scott is the bestselling romance author of over 100 romance books. She writes emotional stories of complicated characters, cowboys, millionaire, princes, and the men and women who get mixed up in their lives. RJ is known for writing books that always end with a happy ever after. She lives just outside London and spends every waking minute she isn’t with family either reading or writing.

The last time she had a week’s break from writing she didn’t like it one little bit, and she has yet to meet a bottle of wine she couldn’t defeat.

mailto:rj@rjscott.co.uk

www.rjscott.co.uk/

www.facebook.com/author.rjscott?ref=ts&fref=ts

www.goodreads.com/author/show/3432558.R_J_Scott

twitter.com/Rjscott_author

www.librarything.com/author/scottrj

 

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New Release ~ Cutting Cords by Morticia Knight

Title: Cutting Cords (Book of Leather #6)

Author: Morticia Knight

Publisher: Pride Publishing

Release Date: May 23rd 2017

Liam yearns for Master Neal’s harsh touch, but Neal fears that a part-time Master can’t give a full-time sub everything he needs.

Liam’s world crumbled after the unexpected death of his Master. Prone to panic attacks and other social anxiety, Liam doesn’t believe he’ll ever find another Master who would be willing to take on such a challenged sub full-time. Too distraught to go back to Club Consequence where he met the man he thought he’d be with forever, he decides to give Kiss of Leather a try.

After doing a piercing gig at Kiss of Leather, Master Neal signs up to become a member. On the night he performs a demo as the final step to being accepted, he meets a sub who brings out his protective urge and makes his heart come alive. Neal isn’t scared off by Liam’s anxiety or social awkwardness. On the contrary, he finds the sub to be refreshingly honest and endearing.

They try out a scene to see if they’ll click, and their connection is everything they’d both hoped it could be. However, the road to love and a Total Power Exchange isn’t an easy one. Neal still hasn’t discovered all there is to know about Liam’s traumatic upbringing, and he’s not sure if he’d ultimately be the right Master for Liam.

Both men are forced to face the truth about love, life and what it means to share it with another person. But before Liam can start over with Neal, he’ll have to cut the cords to his past and trust that Neal will be there to catch him when he does.

Chuck eased himself back into the booth on the opposite end and Neal couldn’t miss his and Jordan’s compassionate expressions as they observed Liam. Damn. Neal rubbed his chest. He’d love to wrap his arms around Liam and hold him close, but something told him he’d have to hold back on touch until he knew more. Talk about unexpected. All he’d hoped for when he’d begun his day was to do well at his demonstration. This might be the bigger prize right here, though.

“I’m ready to order as soon as everyone else is,” Jordan interjected.

“Yeah, let me take a look at this.” Neal picked up the menu again, while Jordan turned to Chuck and asked him about his day. He glanced at Liam, who was doing an excellent impression of a statue. “Liam? Any of these selections grab you?”

Liam briefly twisted his hands together before stilling them. “No thank you, Sir.”

Initially, Liam’s response puzzled him. But he searched his mind to see if he could latch on to what had just passed through Liam’s. “Do you mean that nothing appeals to you because you’re not hungry?”

Liam visibly swallowed. “I’d prefer a soda, please. Uh, please, Sir.”

Hmm. The indirect answer concerned him. He’d file it away for later.

“Okay. A soda it is.” Neal smiled at him. “Hey, would you be cool with dropping club protocol for now? I mean, you’re here as a guest, we just met, and I was thinking we could get to know each other a little before I have to leave.”

“Yes, Sir. That’s cool and I’ll do my best.”

“Of course you will, I can tell.”

Liam peered up tentatively, as if verifying he wouldn’t get in trouble for lifting his gaze. “Really? You think I am?”

“Sure. We have a deal?”

Liam smiled, but quickly covered his mouth. He pressed his lips together before dropping his hand in his lap. “Yes, Sir. A deal. When are you leaving?” Liam lowered his head until his chin practically hit his chest. “I’m sorry. That’s none of my business.”

Neal curled his fingers to keep from reaching out and touching him. “It’s all good. We’re just chatting, right? Ask me whatever you want. Anything.”

Liam looked up, his soft brown eyes so enticing that Neal imagined staring into them, the pupils blown wide with desire as they made love. He adjusted himself on the leather seat.

“Okay.” Liam licked his lips and Neal resisted a groan. “When are you leaving?”

Neal couldn’t help but chuckle. “In about forty-five minutes. I have to fill out my new member paperwork.”

“All right. Do you have any other piercings besides the ones in your face?”

Besides how abrupt it had been, it also wasn’t what he’d expected to hear. At the same time, he preferred Liam’s direct query to the same ol’ pleasantries or other bullshit he typically waded through in the beginning of getting to know a sub. “Yeah. Quite a few. There’s this one that you may not have noticed.” Neal stuck out his tongue to show off the barbell stud inserted in the middle. He grinned at Liam’s reaction. He seemed surprised, but the flush to his cheeks indicated that he was likely imagining what it might feel like working his cock.

“Oh my.” Liam moved closer, leaning in as he studied Neal’s face. He pointed to the ring in his nose. “What’s this one called?”

“It’s a septum piercing. These are snake bites.” Neal touched the small rings adorning each side of his bottom lip. “Eyebrow.” He angled his head so Liam could see his ears closer, “Discs, cartilage, nipples, and I should probably show you the others in a more private setting, although I doubt anyone would mind.” Neal grinned again as he faced Liam.

“Okay.”

Which means…? “Are you agreeing to be with me in a more private setting?”

“Yes, Sir. I am.”

“Rad. Aren’t I the lucky one?”

Liam smiled, his lips remaining firmly closed, and Neal reached the conclusion that something about his teeth made Liam self-conscious. Might start with that in our first scene.

The server arrived at that moment and they placed their orders. Neal checked with Liam to find out what he wanted to drink, then conveyed it to the house sub. As they all settled in, the conversation took on a more relaxed vibe, with the exception of Liam, who remained largely silent. He didn’t appear upset, perhaps only nervous. Wish I could see inside that head of his. But he did follow whatever everyone said with clear interest, his demeanor suggesting that he was working extra hard to pay attention.

Right as the plates were being cleared, Neal checked his cell. He hadn’t noticed Gavin come in, but truthfully, his attention had been captured almost exclusively by Liam the entire time. Five of seven. As much as he hated to, he needed to excuse himself. Right as he was about to make his goodbyes, Chuck’s phone went off.

“Sorry, I didn’t put it on vibrate.” He fished it out from beneath the table, and Neal presumed he’d had it in his pocket. “I have to take this, it’s Stone.”

Jordan nodded. “Go on. I’ll be here.”

Neal had no idea who Stone was, but he was obviously someone important. Liam appeared worried. Jordan regarded Liam with a smile.

“I’m sure it’s fine. If he has to go, I can give you a ride back.” Jordan turned to Neal. “That’s Chuck’s boss, and a fine Dom, I might add.” Jordan winked.

Liam squirmed in his seat. “Okay.”

Liam seemed tense once more and Neal tried to figure out what the issue could be. He knows I’m leaving soon. Master Jordan is familiar to him, so I don’t think that should be a problem… Is it?

He couldn’t stand seeing Liam worried. “Liam? Were you hoping to stay longer?”

Liam gazed up at him and Neal could swear it was with admiration. “You said you had to leave soon anyway.”

Neal had already determined that he’d work with Liam on answering questions directly. “Just to finish up the paperwork, then I’m free.” Neal plucked at his goatee. “I have an idea. If you’re interested, we could go grab some coffee and dessert after I’m finished. I’d love to take you up on your offer to scene with me, but I’m too wrecked. Then I could give you a ride home afterward. How does that sound?”

“I like coffee.”

“Right on. Then it’s a date?”

“Yes, Sir. It’s a date.” Liam gave him another close-mouthed smile. His expression fell and he abruptly glanced in Jordan’s direction. “I… Where will you be?”

“I’ll be right here until Master Neal is finished. I won’t leave you alone.”

“I’m being a problem, aren’t I?”

Jordan shook his head. “No, Liam. You’re not. If Chuck needs to leave, I wouldn’t mind waiting for Gavin to be through so I can chill with him. If Chuck stays, he can hang out with us. It’s all good.”

Liam sighed, his relief obvious. “Thank you.”

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Pride Publishing

Author Morticia Knight spends most of her nights writing about men loving men forever after. If there happens to be some friendly bondage or floggings involved, she doesn’t begrudge her characters whatever their filthy little heart’s desire. Even though she’s been crafting her naughty tales for more years than she’d like to share – her adventures as a published author began in 2011. Since then, she’s been fortunate enough to have several books on bestseller lists along with three series’ titles receiving recognition in the Rainbow Book Awards.

Once upon a time she was the lead singer in an indie rock band that toured the West Coast and charted on U.S. college radio. She currently resides on the northern Oregon coast and when she’s not fantasizing about hot men she takes walks along the ocean and annoys the local Karaoke bar patrons.

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Interview ~ Lynn Michaels

A warm welcome to Lynn Michaels.

Thank you for visiting my blog and agreeing to tell us a little more about yourself.

The film you can watch time and time again…

I have two of these…Princess Bride and Fifth Element. I love the quirkiness and how fun they are and both have the best theme – love wins!

The poem that touches your soul…

I have several but The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost has always sat with me, in my heart. To me it was a license to do my own thing in my own way. I’ve never been one to take the same path as everyone else. Sometimes I don’t even take a path, I swing from the trees (like Tarzan) or swim the ocean, or kayak through the mangroves.

The song that means the most to you…

I can’t say this is one song, but many songs. Music is the language of the soul, and so many songs move me. I like songs from the past because they always take me back to a time and place and sometimes people. It’s like memories are locked in every note. I also love what I call mood music. That’s music I play when I write to create an atmosphere of inspiration particular to what I’m writing. I usually have newer music on my writing play lists, but not always.

Your early recollections of writing fiction…

The first story I ever wrote was in the fourth grade. It was about a unicorn and had something to do with escaping a monster by riding on a rainbow…I’ve never been normal.

The treasured item you lost and wish you could have again…

I lost a huge box of photographs, most of them were of my daughter when she was a baby. Some of them were of my father who passed away when I was a kid. These are things that cannot be replaced. Things are just things, but memories are special, and photos are tokens of the past that help us remember our loved ones. I’d love to have that box returned to me.

The philosophy that underpins your life…

We all have our own path to follow, our own lessons to learn, and our own goals to accomplish. I try to help others, because finding success through helping others succeed is the best kind of success. I celebrate everything – all the small moments and every reason I can enjoy life. Recharging my batteries usually happens in nature, on the water. And…always find ways to be happy. Life is too short to miss out on happiness.

Writing inspiration…

That’s probably what I get asked about more than anything, and since I love to hear other writers comment on inspiration as well, I figured I’d say something… The easy thing to say is that I find inspiration from everywhere from music to news articles to nature. I think the more precise moment of inspiration is when something inside me connects to something external and then my brain takes off with it, changing it, molding it, and creating something new. Those moments are priceless.

And the promo…

My newest release ~Holeshot 2

 

Holeshot 2 by Lynn Michaels

Cover and art by Jay Aheer

 

 

When the race is everything, can love be the best reward?

In the world of Supercross, taking the holeshot means one racer leaps ahead of the crowd and into first, leaving the rest of the pack behind. Supercross racer, Tate Jordan, wants to take his holeshot on and off the track, but no one else seems to cooperate. His love life is in turmoil and his sponsors don’t expect him to win. Will Tate find someone new to love and a team that believes in him?

Pilot Mahan is a bodyguard and a street fighter looking to build a future, but his plans get derailed when a Supercross racer catches his eye. Can he make a go at a life with Tate Jordan, on the road?

Bryce Nickel is new to Supercross and adulthood. He’s young and fun, but super serious about what he wants. And what he wants is to win races and Tate Jordan. Will he be able to take his holeshot or will the big Apex bodyguard get in the way? Or perhaps, the three can make a compromise?

A super sexy MMM romance set in the Supercross industry – 18+ please

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Guest Interview ~ Leta Blake

A warm welcome to my guest author, Leta Blake.

 

Interview with Leta Blake

 

The unqualified regret you wish you could amend…

When I was in high school, I accidentally uncovered information about a friend that was very secret and quite damaging. Unsure what to do, I told my boyfriend about it in shocked confidence, but, of course, in a lax moment he told other people. This was scandalous enough information that it quickly got passed around the school. I felt horrible but no apology could erase it. The friend went to a boarding school the next year to escape the gossip.

I can’t imagine how that has shaped her entire life since, and the information itself was already rough enough. I’d do anything to go back in time and make a better choice. I should have told an adult, but even now I’m not sure who I could have turned to. Our school was giant and the teachers/guidance counselor were strangers to me.

The reason I didn’t go to my mother to begin with was a year or two before I’d told her about a friend at school who had handprint bruises around her neck from where her father had choked her. She was covering them with a turtleneck and showed me while changing in gym class. My mother did nothing (that I know of) about it. So I saw no reason to believe she’d help this girl either. And, also, at the time, I didn’t realize the girl needed help. I see now from an adult’s perspective that she did, but at the time I thought of the situation as consensual.

Regardless, I guess what I most wish is that I could go back and never see what I saw, or know what I knew, and therefore I’d never have said a word to anyone. But that’s selfish isn’t it? I should wish that I could back in time and make the right choice of who to tell. A choice that would have helped her.

Anyway, I’ve written this woman an apology letter as an adult, but even that doesn’t seem sufficient and I don’t know if she got it since it wasn’t acknowledged (which is fine! It wasn’t about me!).

This is one of the few things I truly wish I could turn back time about. It’s haunted and plagued me and there are times I wonder if I’ve been punished enough for it, if I’ve suffered enough in a karmic way for what I did.

AND ON THAT DEPRESSING NOTE, we’ll move on to the next question!

 

The temptation you wish you could resist…

Sugar. It always makes me feel so bad but it tastes so good!

 

The book that holds everlasting resonance…

As Meat Loves Salt by Maria McCann. It currently has the worst and most misleading cover of all time. The old cover was a more accurate depiction of what to expect. It’s a devastating read and just thinking about it still twists my stomach into knots. And yet I wouldn’t unread it if given the choice. It was vital to me in a deep way.

 

The film you can watch time and time again…

I used to say it was So I Married An Axe Murderer, but I rewatched it the other day for the first time in ages and was so sad to see it didn’t hold up. It was a joy to me in the 1990s and early 2000s. Oh well! Time! It undoes everything’s beauty eventually.

 

The event that altered the course of your life…

Smallville. It started airing in the midst of my deepest, darkest depression and I fell into the fandom. I started writing fanfiction. I started to explore my creativity and I was encouraged in it by fellow fans. I’d never be a writer today without Smallville, as crazy as that sounds. Or maybe I would be writer? Perhaps I’d have come to it from another path? But I’m grateful for the path I took all the same.

 

The philosophy that underpins your life…

If nothing else, it will be interesting.

 

 

 

A lustful young alpha meets his match in an older omega with a past. 

Professor Vale Aman has crafted a good life for himself. An unbonded omega in his mid-thirties, he’s long since given up hope that he’ll meet a compatible alpha, let alone his destined mate. He’s fulfilled by his career, his poetry, his cat, and his friends.

When Jason Sabel, a much younger alpha, imprints on Vale in a shocking and public way, longings are ignited that can’t be ignored. Fighting their strong sexual urges, Jason and Vale must agree to contract with each other before they can consummate their passion.

But for Vale, being with Jason means giving up his independence and placing his future in the hands of an untested alpha–as well as facing the scars of his own tumultuous past. He isn’t sure it’s worth it. But Jason isn’t giving up his destined mate without a fight.

This is a stand alone gay romance novel, 118,000 words, with a strong HFN ending, as well as a well-crafted, non-shifter omegaverse, with alphas, betas, omegas, male pregnancy, heat, and knotting. Content warning for pregnancy loss and aftermath.

 

Amazon  | Amazon UK

 

 

Author of the bestselling book Smoky Mountain Dreams and the fan favorite Training Season, Leta Blake’s educational and professional background is in psychology and finance, respectively. However, her passion has always been for writing. She enjoys crafting romance stories and exploring the psyches of made up people. At home in the Southern U.S., Leta works hard at achieving balance between her day job, her writing, and her family.

If you’d like to be among the first to know about new releases, you can sign up for Leta’s newsletter here.

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Guest Interview and Review ~ Amy Aislin

A warm welcome to my guest author,

Amy Aislin.

 

Interview with Amy

 

The temptation you wish you could resist…

Sweets. They’re so delicious I can’t resist, even though I know I probably should.

 

The book that holds everlasting resonance…

Hot Target by Suzanne Brockmann. It was the first time I ever read a book with a gay romance subplot. It’s what got me reading m/m romance until, one day, I finally allowed myself to start writing it.

 

The film you can watch time and time again…

Twister. Don’t ask me why; it’s not even my favourite movie (The Sounds of Music takes that award), but for some reason I love Twister and I can watch it over and over again.

 

The person who influenced you the most…

My mom. She is truly the strongest person I know.

 

The unlikely interest that engages your curiosity…

I don’t know if it’s unlikely, but I love astronomy. If I could do that kind of math and physics, I would’ve majored in it in university, but alas, it was not to be.

 

Your early recollections of writing fiction…

Fourth grade recess, when we had to stay inside because it was raining. I started writing an adventure tale about my classmates: we went on a treasure hunt! I can’t remember if we ever found the treasure…I can’t even remember if I finished writing that story. I think that was the first time I ever put a story to paper, and I’ve been writing ever since.

 

The way you would spend your fantasy 24 hours, with no travel restrictions…

Oh wow, hmmm. There are so many options. I’m torn between two: renting a lovely cottage in the mountains or on the beach and doing nothing but reading, or renting a lovely cottage in the mountains or on the beach and invite my family along for a get-together (BBQ, games, s’mores, you name it!).

 

The treasured item you lost and wish you could have again…

When I was a kid, maybe nine or ten, my parents gave me a beautiful silver ring with a unicorn on it. A few years ago, when I started wearing rings again, I wore it to work. I took it off in the bathroom because the unicorn horn kept getting caught in my clothes when I was pulling up my pants (sorry for the visual!)…and I forgot it in the bathroom. It wasn’t there the next day; nobody brought it to lost and found. It was just gone. I’m still upset about it. I hate losing things with sentimental value.

 

The crime you would commit knowing you could get away with it…

Something that would get me a billion dollars.

Title: The Play of His Life

Author: Amy Aislin

Cover Art: Kris Jacen

Publisher: MLR Press

Length: Novella/143 pages

Release Date: 28th April, 2017

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Goodreads

Former best friends turned lovers Christian and Riley haven’t seen or spoken to each other in six years…is there a better time than the holiday season to reconnect with your favorite person?

The last person Christian wants to run into on a visit home to spend time with his mom over the holidays is his former best friend-turned-lover-turned-ex. But there Riley is, in all his tall, chiseled, blondness. The same guy who walked out on him six years ago, breaking his heart in the process. Who knew he’s still in love with the jerk? (Oh yeah, he did. What? Who says denial isn’t healthy?)

Two years ago, Riley was injured out of the NHL, but he’s got his own bakery now and a quiet life selling quiches and cupcakes to his customers. Then Christian unexpectedly walks back into his life, forcing Riley to question his choices. Especially that one choice he made six years ago that walked him out of Christian’s life. Now if only he had the courage to tell a boy how he really feels about him…

 

 

Chapter 3

In the middle of their neighborhood, about halfway between their houses, was a small pond that froze over every winter. Riley was already there when Christian arrived at three o’clock on Christmas Eve, lugging his very, very old hockey gear and a tiny dog.

“Trevor!” The dog took off at Riley’s greeting, making a beeline for him. Already wearing his gear, Riley couldn’t crouch to greet the little shih tzu, so he bent at the waist and gave the dog a pat on the head.

Christian stopped at the edge of the pond and admired the way Riley’s jeans molded to his deliciously tight ass. Riley may not play in the pros anymore, but he still had an incredible goalie butt.

“I see you two know each other,” Christian said, mildly offended at the dog’s abandonment. Trevor clearly preferred Riley over Christian.

“Your mom brings him into the shop all the time.”

Christian grimaced. “You still see my mom?” Riley had mentioned something of the sort the other day, too.

“All the time. I see her more than I see you.”

Riley stiffened for a second as he seemed to realize what he’d said. Christian stood looking at him, unimpressed. Because really, who was it that ran out after they’d hooked up the last time, after his dad’s funeral?

Riley gave him a tight smile that said something like, Yeah, well, the phone works both ways, dude.

Impasse.

They’d have to talk about it sometime, but today wasn’t that day.

“You gonna stand there all day,” Riley joked, “or are we gonna play?”

The twinkle in his eyes told Christian that yes, Riley was aware of the double entendre he’d just uttered.

Oh, they were going to play, all right.

They didn’t bother with skates; the frozen pond was too bumpy for it to be safe. But Riley had brought his old hockey net, so at least they had a real goal.

Christian put on his gear — it was a bit of a tight fit, but it’d do — grabbed his hockey stick and a puck and moved to center ice.

“Trevor,” Christian said, and pointed with his stick. Trevor moved off the ice to nose at some dead plants poking through the snow against a fence.

“Think you’ll finally get one past me?” Riley asked, pulling on his mask. Christian would not call that smirk sexy.

“Finally? You must be forgetting all the previous times I scored on you.”

Now there he went with the double entendres.

“Ha! If by ‘all’ you mean ‘never.’ Bring it, Dufresne. Bet you can’t get one past me.”

“Bet? Okay.” Christian nodded once decisively. “If I get one past you I get to try a shot of Shimmer.”

Riley shrugged, all casual-like. “Fine.”

“And if I don’t get one past you?”

Christian could see Riley contemplating his answer, and even through the cage of Riley’s goalie mask Christian could tell Riley’s ocean eyes were on him, assessing. They swept Christian up and down. Christian could almost feel the heat in his gaze like a physical touch. He obviously had been wrong a few days ago…Riley was just as affected by him as he was by Riley. The heat shimmering between them, even from ten feet apart…. Like he could reach out and grab it. He was sure Riley was going to bet him a blowjob or something and his cock started to stiffen in his jeans.

“I want to know the reason you haven’t moved back here,” Riley said.

Instant boner-killer. No way was he telling Riley shit. Meant he’d have to work his ass off to get the puck past him. Riley hadn’t played pro in two years. He was probably out of practice, right?

Wrong. The fucker stopped all twenty-six shots — yes, Christian counted — with seeming ease.

 

 

This is a lovely, sweet story from a newly published author. You can check out some of Amy’s other writing on her website as there’s a couple of free reads there.

What I like most about this story is that it is a second chance romance. Riley and Christian had already gone through the friends to lovers transition, but had split six years previously because they couldn’t cope with a long distance relationship when they’d started different colleges. And that’s where this story starts. They’ve already got loads of history behind them and were clearly still in love with each other. Yes, there’s a lack of trust on Christian’s part because Riley had left him without a word to continue his hockey career when they’d hooked up again one night and he feared Riley would do the same to him again. And Riley was thinking Christian didn’t care for him because he had no intention of moving back to Ontario. God, if only these boys talked and said exactly how they felt and what they wanted life would have been so much easier for them. But then, us readers wouldn’t have gotten all the lovely angst and anticipation about what was going to happen when Christian returned home after the Christmas holidays. It was great they still got along so well and had fun together despite all their doubts and uncertainties. It was how it used to be between them. The scrapbook and necklaces were lovely touches to their story.

My one main grumble is what appears to be a couple of inconsistencies in the story that should have been picked up by the editing team. The main one being that Christian didn’t know he was entering Riley’s new bakery when he was sent by his mother to buy a loaf of bread. He wasn’t expecting to see Riley, nor did the possibility even cross his mind. Yet in chapter four we see that Christian had saved a newspaper cutting about the opening of the bakery and so was well aware of Riley’s new career and the location of the building. I hardly think this could have slipped his mind, nor did he comment on the fact at the time.

If you overlook these few issues, this enjoyable story is well written, with a distinct voice for each character. There are some touching moments and some great scenes between these guys.  Although originally published in April, I can see this becoming a popular Christmas/holiday read for many, and I look forward to more stories from Amy in the future.

 

MLR Press: https://goo.gl/9YvKYu
Amazon CA: https://goo.gl/uAELdC
Amazon US: https://goo.gl/6OyYTp
Kobo: https://goo.gl/TdTZkB
B&N: https://goo.gl/6phQfP
Smashwords: https://goo.gl/w1m7rP
iTunes: https://goo.gl/TChKPr

Amy Aislin started writing on a rainy day in fourth grade when her class was forced to stay inside for recess. Tales of adventures with her classmates quickly morphed into tales of adventures with the characters in her head. Based in Oakville, Ontario, she’s a marketer at a large environmental non-profit in Toronto by day, and a writer by night. Book enthusiast, animal lover and (very) amateur photographer, her interests are many and varied, including traveling, astronomy, ecology, and baking.

Why I write m/m romance

I started writing traditional m/f (male/female) romance many years ago, but it never went anywhere. And by “never went anywhere” I mean I never wrote more than a few thousand words in any given story because I was bored out of my skull by own stories. Not exactly a good sign, amirite?

If you’ve read Suzanne Brockmann’s TroubleShooters series, you know all about Jules and Robin. I’ve been a fan of that series since the beginning. When Jules was introduced, I fell in love. And then there was Robin. And then there was Jules and Robin. And I thought this was the greatest freakin’ thing ever and I wanted more m/m (male/male) romance and I wanted it now. But I didn’t know where to find it. So I started Googling and lo and behold! Gay romance everywhere! And I do mean everywhere; it’s a huge niche market I hadn’t even been aware of, and I gobbled it up as if it was going to disappear when I wasn’t looking.

Less than two years ago I tried my hand at writing m/m romance and finally felt like I’d fallen into the genre I was supposed to write in. It’s what I’ve been writing ever since and will continue to write.

Within the m/m romance community, I’ve found a network of other m/m authors who not only support each other, but who also support LGBTQ rights and activism. Writing in this genre makes me feel at home, even more so than when I wrote traditional m/f romance.

I write because I love it. Because there are people in my head who need a voice. I write the stories I want to write the way I want to write them, in a way that speaks of the characters and their struggles, yet also speaks to me, too. I hope my stories speak to you as well.

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