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Monthly Archives: May 2015

Body Art: A Thriller by Jordan Castillo Price

Body Art: A Thriller

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Jordan Castillo Price celebrated the audiobook release of Body Art: a Thriller by reissuing this classic M/M novella with hot new cover art. Readers new to JCP who enjoy mysteries and contemporary stories will find this gripping, hair-raising suspense a great entry point to her work.

Series: Standalone
Genre: Contemporary M/M Thriller, M/M Suspense
Length: Novella – 30,150 words – 108 page PDF
Cover artist: Jordan Castillo Price
ISBN: 978-1-935540-40-3

Ebook buy links Amazon – Smashwords – BN –iTunes

Audiobook buy links  Audible – iTunes – Amazon

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Does everyone have a certain “type” they end up with…whether they want to or not? If Ray Carlucci’s ex is anything to go by, Ray likes his men gorgeous, rebellious, and chock-full of issues. But now that Ray is single again, he has a shot at a fresh start—a very fresh start, since his tattoo shop was gutted by repo men and he can fit all his belongings in the trunk of a taxi.

Ray’s shiny new chauffeur’s license lands him a job as a driver for an elderly couple on Red Wing Island. It’s a cold fall, and since the Michigan island is the summer home to snowbirds who fly south for the winter, it’s practically deserted—save for Ray’s new household and a sculptor named Anton Kopec, who works day and night twisting brambles and twine into the distorted shapes of macabre creatures. Compelling, bizarre, and somewhat disturbing…not just the sculptures, but the artist, too. Ray has a feeling Anton is just his “type.”

Despite their scorching chemistry, when a dead body is unearthed by some workers and a freak ice storm traps them all on the island, Ray can’t say for certain that his new flame isn’t capable of murder.

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Wanted:

Driver, Red Wing Island. Must speak English and have current Michigan chauffeur license. Room, board, and stipend provided. Single gentleman over 35 preferred. Smokers need not apply.

Was it still legal to discriminate against smokers? I wasn’t sure, but I thought it might give me an edge. I read the ad through again. I had a brand-spanking-new piece of plastic that entitled me to drive a cab, bus, or limousine. I was also flat broke, in debt up to my eyeballs, and I sorely needed somewhere to stay. Oh, and I spoke English too.

I’d followed the Guide to Gainful Employment to a tee. New haircut. New shirt. New slacks. New tie—new to me, anyway. Even polished my shoes for the first time in my life. The final tip, according to the Guide, was to be sure to address the interviewer by name, using a mnemonic device, if necessary, to do it.

It hadn’t mentioned what to do if there were two interviewers. Damn.

Two women turned up for the interview in the back office of the employment agency. There was an old one—eighties, I’d guess—and a younger one, a handful of years older than me. Maybe forty or so. A stocky, sturdy forty, with hair cropped short and gray at the temples. No makeup. The daughter? Maybe. She didn’t look like an accountant or a lawyer, that’s for sure. She glanced down at her paper, and asked me, “If a drawbridge does not have a signal light or attendant, how many feet away must you stop and check if the draw is closed?”

That was just on my test. “Fifty.”

I’d been so excited to know the answer to that one that I’d leaned forward and allowed my tie to slide out of place. The missing button midway down the shirt gaped. I hadn’t noticed it at the thrift store. I’d just been glad to find a dress shirt for less than three bucks that didn’t need to be ironed. I covered the buttonhole with the tie. And then I realized the gesture had caused my sleeve to ride up and show a glimpse of my ink. Damn it. Maybe they hadn’t noticed. They were looking me in the face, weren’t they? Both of them? I hoped so—the kind of hope where your stomach twists up and squeezes itself ’til you’re sick. Because I really, really needed that job.

The old woman, Mrs. White, which was easy to remember—white hair, white pearls, Mrs. White—reached over and tapped the other one on the forearm. My guts twisted against themselves harder. She’d seen. And decided I wasn’t the sort of man she wanted living under her roof.

I couldn’t dream up a neat mnemonic trick for the younger woman, Ms. Friedman, but I figured I could handle two names. She nodded vaguely and shuffled her questionnaire. “Do you have any family nearby, Mr. Carlucci?”

I itched to tell her to call me Ray, since I was only “Mr. Carlucci” to the legions of bill collectors I’d been picking off my sorry hide over the last year, but I figured it wasn’t my place to dictate who was called what during the interview. “Parents in Florida.”

Mrs. White spoke up. “Any wife? Children?”

And then I remembered the ad. Single gentleman preferred. Which seemed about as politically incorrect as specifying a nonsmoker. “No. Never married. No kids.”

Queer as the day is long, actually. But right now? A single gentleman. It made me sound a lot ritzier than I was, but I supposed I fit the bill.

“On your application,” said Friedman, “you wrote down ‘business owner’ as your last job. What was that?”

An answer I’d prepared for. “Custom art.” Because tattoo parlor didn’t have quite the same ring.

“And you list the reason for leaving as financial.”

“That’s right.”

I did my best to sound mild, but inwardly, I steeled myself against the possibility that they’d poke at some old wounds that hadn’t quite closed yet. And I reminded myself to take it like a man, sit up straight, and make sure that damn buttonhole didn’t show.

Friedman said, “I had a catering business before.” Her gaze went inward, just for a second. “So much work—sixty, seventy-hour weeks. And then the check for a wedding bounced….” She spread her fingers in a “poof” gesture. And I looked at her, really looked at her, and nodded again. Because I could tell she understood that sometimes we fail—grandly, spectacularly—through no fault of our own. It gave me hope.

I didn’t feel like I could afford to cling to that hope, though. I nodded.

Friedman’s cheeks flushed. “Those are all the questions I have.” She turned toward Mrs. White. “You?”

White leaned forward and squinted. Her eyes had the cloudy, watery cast of age. “He looks fit. How tall are you?”

“Six-three,” I said. Not one of the interviews I’d sat through in the past several months had asked me if I had kids or how tall I was.

None of them had called me back afterward, either. Until this one.

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Ray Carlucci is a talented tattoo artist, but unlucky in business and love so it appears. He lost his shop, Body Art, due to a self-obsessed boyfriend, and is in debt because of him and having to flee the mainland to escape his creditors.

He gains a position as a driver for the Whites, who live on the semi-deserted Red Wing Island. It is a small summer place, where only a few inhabitants stay all year round. The Whites are one of those permanent families. Because Mr. White has dementia, his elderly wife needs more than a driver. She needs additional muscle to cope with her husband’s mishaps and wanderings, and Ray is good-natured enough to help out. He learns that the previous two drivers left without a word. Dead animals show up on Ray’s front door step and the creepiness sets in.

On the plus side, Ray meets—and is immediately attracted to—local artist and ‘recluse’, Anton Kopec. They hook up within days, but it’s more than just hot and steamy sex. There’s a definite connection between these two guys. Ray’s life seems to be on the up at last when a body is unearthed and suspicion falls on Anton.

JCP expertly builds the atmosphere as the story progresses, with strange happenings and tense scenes in the woods, casting suspicion on many of her well-portrayed characters.

As JCP says, “I’ve gone with the talented Gomez Pugh yet again as my audiobook narrator. His performance on this story was swoon worthy.” I couldn’t agree more. Gomez’s narration is superb and complements JCP’s fabulous story-telling.

Teaser

“What are you doing?” I called.

He trailed the branch he’d cut behind him as he crossed the clearing. It dragged through the fallen leaves with a shish-shish-shish. He walked like a runway model, all attitude and hips. And when he stopped in front of me and tossed his dark hair over his shoulder so he could get a look at me, I forgot how to breathe. He was breathtaking, in a wasted sort of way. All soulful eyes and long sideburns and five o’clock shadow.

“I’d tell you,” he said. “But then you’d think I’m crazy.”

I was forming a fast opinion of him, all right, but crazy wasn’t the word that sprang to mind. Hot. That was more like it. Because straight men didn’t walk that way, and no matter how much I told myself not to notice, my eyes kept raking him up and down. “Try me.”

A full smile then, wide enough that moonlight glinted, bluish, off his teeth. His teeth had character. Not quite straight, a hairline gap between the front two. Very white.

“What am I doing? Trying to make sense of the world. Just like everybody else.”

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Author and artist Jordan Castillo Price writes paranormal sci-fi thrillers colored by her time in the midwest, from inner city Chicago, to rural small town Wisconsin, to liberal Madison. Her influences include Ouija boards, Return of the Living Dead, “light as a feather, stiff as a board,” and boys in eyeliner.

Jordan is best known as the author of the PsyCop series, an unfolding tale of paranormal mystery and suspense starring Victor Bayne, a gay medium who’s plagued by ghostly visitations. Also check out her new series, Mnevermind, where memories are made…one client at a time.

Author Photo

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New Release ~The Altered 2 by Annabelle Jacobs

The second book in Annabelle Jacobs’ Lycanaeris series, The Altered 2,  is released today.

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Following on from where book one left off, this story focuses on Sam and Ash, and their developing relationship as they struggle to come to terms with their new lives.

A remote farmhouse in Cornwall seems the perfect place for Ash to settle into his recently altered status. Starting a new life there with Sam—the shifter he can’t stay away from—should be easy this far from London where they faced so much danger. So why does adjusting seem impossible?

Sam has issues of his own. He has to get used to his human form again after living the last eight years as a wolf. It’s hard when human worries weigh so heavily on his shoulders. Life is much more straightforward from a wolf’s perspective, until Ash needs his human support.

Ash’s problem is simple: he’s fearful of shifting fully. How can he believe he won’t hurt Sam when his genes were altered to create a killer? Despite repeated reassurance, his anger and resentment increase. Only one thing is certain: if Ash can’t learn to trust himself soon, he’s in danger of proving himself right.

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Amazon US

Amazon UK

All Romance ebooks

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4.5 Stars

Originally,  The Altered was intended as a standalone book, but as the story progressed, it became obvious to Annabelle that Sam and Ash had their own tale to tell, and like me, anyone who has read the first book will no doubt be champing at the bit to hear what happens to them.

This story is shorter than the first (about 37K) and there’s a change of pace with less action occurring in this one and more of a focus on the interaction between Sam and Ash. We still get to hear about our other favourite characters because the group of friends now share a Cornish farmhouse. Jordan is just as possessive and protective of Daniel as he was in book 1. And that’s still hot!

The Altered 2 focuses on Sam and Ash’s budding relationship, and their struggle to come to terms with what happened at the end of book one.

We discover more about Sam and Keira’s past and the reasoning behind why Sam is reluctant to shift into his human form and prefers to stay a wolf.

Ash has to deal with the prospect of shifting into his wolf for the first time. He fears he won’t be able to change back when he does, or that he might not even change into a wolf but something more frightening and dangerous. He wants to do everything he can to protect Sam.

At the same time, the two guys are tentatively testing the waters in their new relationship and getting used to being together in human form. There are several humorous moments when their friends subtly give them some alone time, not wanting to hear them making out. The sweet interaction between them when Sam is a wolf continues. I love it when Sam places his head in Ash’s lap and his fur is stroked. There’s such a wonderful connection between the two of them throughout the story.

The Altered 2 is a very enjoyable read, well written with lovable characters, plus it leaves you wanting more of these guys.

Annabelle is currently working on the final book in the series, The Altered 3, which will hopefully be released later in the year. It’s time for Matt’s story to be told and this one will have more drama and action in it again.

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If you haven’t read the first book yet, check out my review and links for The Altered HERE

Grab it now while it’s on sale at only 99c for the next two days.

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Annabelle Jacobs lives in the South West of England with her husband, three rowdy children, and two cats.

An avid reader of fantasy herself for many years, Annabelle now spends her days writing her own stories. They’re usually either fantasy or paranormal fiction, because she loves building worlds filled with magical creatures, and creating stories full of action and adventure. Her characters may have a tough time of it–fighting enemies and adversity–but they always find love in the end.

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Facebook / Twitter / Website / Email / Dreamspinner Press

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Review ~ Love Cubed by Eddy LeFey

Love Cubed by Eddy LeFey

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Three very different young men meet at St-Frederick’s University.

Francis, haunted by his past and seeking a new life.

Andrew, the introverted football jock.

And Sebastian, the charismatic and confident hockey star.

Francis, wary and troubled, didn’t count on meeting anyone he could care for.

Andrew, closeted and lonely, didn’t think anything would matter more than his football career.

And Sebastian, content to float from conquest to conquest, never believed he’d meet someone who could hold his interest.

An encounter with a journalist causes consequences for all three.

Will they be able to take what they need from one another in order to cope?

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Amazon US / Amazon UK / Amazon AU / Amazon DE WIP / ARe / B&N

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Francis still couldn’t believe that anyone, let alone these two perfect specimens of the male form, could possibly find him attractive. He knew they both did, and he lifted his arms.

Suddenly, Francis felt Sebastian’s bulk hug him from behind. As Francis’ T-shirt was raised,

Sebastian’s knuckles brush up against his bare skin. Francis gasped, and as soon as his shirt was lifted over his head, his open mouth was covered by Andrew’s. Francis sucked in a breath as Andrew explored the contours of Francis’ teeth with his tongue.

Sebastian was amazed he didn’t feel any jealousy watching these two objects of his affections and desires kissing in front of him. He experienced the opposite: extreme arousal.

When Andrew let Francis’ lips go in order to breathe, Sebastian lunged forward, clasping his lips to Andrew’s. This movement forced the threesome to fall toward the mattress. Francis perceived himself being both pulled and pushed forward. His bare chest rubbed up against Andrew’s. He sensed Sebastian’s chest against his back. He felt enveloped by greatness.

Andrew fell and his back hit the mattress. His mouth was still being stimulated by Sebastian’s tongue, much as Andrew had done to Francis a few moments before. Then Andrew became extremely aware of Francis. Francis was incredibly aroused at the moment. Their members fought to touch each other through their cotton pajama bottoms and Andrew gasped.

Sebastian stopped kissing Andrew to look into his clear blue eyes. Sebastian saw beauty and desire in those eyes. He sensed a hand that could only belong to Andrew land on his buttocks, pushing downward.

Sebastian knew what that meant. He obliged by pressing himself against Francis’ buttocks, only to hear a startled cry of what Sebastian hoped was joy coming from Francis’ lips. Sebastian was aware that this was coming very close to crossing a line; a line he had promised himself he wouldn’t allow any of them to cross until they were all certain of where this relationship was going. Sebastian just didn’t know how to stop this. The feelings he was experiencing weren’t anything he’d felt before. He’d been physical before, many times, but not with anyone that he truly cared for. The closest he’d ever come with anyone else was with Heather, and now he cared for two at once.

 

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I’ve read and enjoyed several threesome stories and was keen to see how a new male author would tackle this dynamic.

At first glance, I expected the story to be a college romance, and in some ways it is just that. It is also a coming out story and a coming of age story, plus it is an exploration of the private and somewhat innocent interaction between three young men as they fall in love and find the courage to be true to themselves.

The story is told via a semi-omniscient narrator, so we get to observe rather than feel the events and emotions through the eyes of the three key characters. Eddy has a developed his own distinct writing style to suit the content and tone of the plot.

These three main characters are students who are immediately attracted to each other and fall heavily without much pre-amble. In the first few chapters, we get a sense of their individual personalities and a little of their backstory. Sebastian is the confident sports jock, popular, outgoing, and bisexual, with seemingly lots of experience, although he doesn’t broadcast the exploits he’s had with men. Andrew is also sporty, but more subdued and shy. He has his sights set on a hockey career and is determined to remain in the closet. Francis is gorgeous and draws the attention of everyone when he enters a room because of his beautiful features. He’s also an accomplished sportsman, but not as buff as the other two, and has low self-esteem. Francis is the central figure to the story and a mystery at first because of a disturbing past that he wants to hide from his peers. He’s determined to keep to himself when he arrives at the university, but his new dorm mates and admirers do all they can to involve him in their social plans and draw him into their newly formed circle of friends.

It quickly transpires that Sebastian, Andrew and Francis are well on their way to entering an unusual love triangle. To help protect the vulnerable Francis, John and Heather act as chaperones to keep the newly formed ‘throuple’ from doing anything they shouldn’t in the bedroom and reduce their relationship to one based on lust and sex. Although the three guys spend time talking and getting to know each other, they also share affectionate kisses and cuddles and enjoy many sweet moments. Despite their concerns about how other people will react to their developing relationship, they receive plenty of support from fellow students and decide to come out to their sporting teammates. They face some repercussions, however, but these various confrontations from homophobic individuals only seem to bond the threesome and bring them closer together.

Gradually, details of Francis’ disturbing past comes to light with the help of discussions with his doctor and Francis eventually shares the truth about his insecurities with his new boyfriends. They help him deal with his guilt and continue to stand by and support him.

In fact, the boys act in a most mature manner throughout the story and discuss their feelings and concerns quite openly. They face the homophobic bullies together, behave admirably when each of them comes out of the closet, bravely confront the parents who have difficulty accepting their new status, and together help Francis overcome his past trauma and the lies that have been told about him.

Loved Cubed is a contemporary romance novel. The guys are typical horny teenagers, but sex is not the focus of the plot. There are several intimate but not explicitly worded love scenes. Not wanting to be seen as crude or offend some readers, for the most part, Eddy uses phrases such as hard members, stiff manhood, very private places, his most sensitive area, oral ministrations etc to recount their most tender moments. The story builds to the finale when the three men are confident enough to consummate their relationship. Here there’s a little more detail, but it’s still written in a beautiful, almost innocent and pure manner befitting the rest of the story.

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Eddie LeFey started reading m/m romance fanfiction a few years ago. At one point, during a crucial point in the soap opera storyline of his favorite gay couple, the story went on hiatus. He needed a fix and decided to write his own version of what he wished would happen. Friends wanted to read it, so he plucked up his courage. Pressing the submission button was nerve-wracking, but he did it. People liked it. He wrote a few more.

Up until that point Eddy had tried his hand at writing many times. The delete button was his friend, as was starting over, and over, and over, but he could no longer do that if he wanted people to read his works.

A few of his writing friends decided to create original stories, and feeling brave, Eddy did the same. The stories were shared among a select few. They encouraged him to submit one of them. Low and behold, it is now being published.

Eddy lives in Canada with his husband Ken and his cat Oscar Wild. He is busy writing many more stories.

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Email / Twitter / Facebook

BLOG HOP GIVEAWAY WINNER

HAHABT 2015

Many thanks to everyone who read my post and commented last week.

The response was tremendous and very supportive.

The winner of the giveaway is:

Meredith King

CONGRATULATIONS!

I will contact you via email.

Continue to check out the other informative 100+ posts in the Blog Hop

HERE

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AND HERE’S A BIG HUG FROM ME FOR THE PEOPLE OF IRELAND!
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Blog Hop Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia

HAHABT 2015

Welcome!

Thank you for joining me on the

 International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia

May 17th 2015

Day against Homophobia

A Worldwide Celebration of Sexual and Gender Diversities

It was created in 2004 to draw the attention of policymakers, opinion leaders, social movements, the public and the media to the violence and discrimination experienced by LGBTI people internationally.

In under a decade, May 17 has established itself the single most important date for LGBTI communities to mobilise on a worldwide scale.

The Day represents an annual landmark to draw the attention of decision makers, the media, the public, opinion leaders and local authorities to the alarming situation faced by lesbian, gay, bisexuals, transgender and intersex people and all those who do not conform to majority sexual and gender norms.

May 17 is now celebrated in more than 130 countries, including 37 where same-sex acts are illegal, with 1600 events reported from 1280 organizations in 2014. These mobilisations unite millions of people in support of the recognition of human rights for all, irrespective of sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.

The International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia is not one centralised campaign; rather it is a moment that everyone can take advantage of to take action.

The date of May 17th was specifically chosen to commemorate the World Health Organization’s decision in 1990 to declassify homosexuality as a mental disorder.

The International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia has received official recognition from several States, international institutions as the European Parliament, and by countless local authorities. Most United Nations agencies also mark the Day with specific events.

Read more here

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The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Article 1.

  • All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Article 2.

  • Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.

UN Free and Equal campaigns launches special 

‘Faces’ video

The UN Human Rights Office  launched a new video as part of its Free & Equal campaign against homophobia and transphobia just three days ahead of IDAHOT.
“Let’s celebrate the contributions that millions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people make to families and local communities around the world! There are no actors in this video, only real people filmed in their workplaces and homes – among them, a firefighter, a police officer, a teacher, an electrician, a doctor, and a volunteer, as well as prominent straight ally UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.”
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United Nations and international human rights experts speak out for

LGBT young people and children.

“13 May 2015 – Speaking ahead of the International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia, a group of United Nations and international human rights experts* call for an end to discrimination and violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex young people and children. The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, a group of UN human rights experts, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, and the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe urge Governments worldwide to protect these young people and children from violence and discrimination, and to integrate their views on policies and laws that affect their rights. “Around the world, children and young people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) or intersex, or seen as such, still face stigma, discrimination and violence because of their perceived or actual sexual orientation and gender identity, or because their bodies differ from typical definitions of female or male.
Violence and discrimination against LGBT and intersex children and young persons take place at home, in schools and in institutions. LGBT young people too often face rejection by their families and communities who disapprove of their sexual orientation or gender identity. This can result in high rates of homelessness, social exclusion, and poverty. LGBT children are often bullied by classmates and teachers, resulting in some students dropping out. They may even be refused school admission or expelled on the basis of their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.
The stigma and discrimination LGBT children and young adults face have a detrimental impact on their self-esteem, and are associated with higher rates of depression and suicide than their peers. Discriminatory attitudes by health professionals and restrictions on access to information also create barriers for LGBT and intersex children and young people to access appropriate and safe health services.
In some countries, young LGBT persons are subjected to harmful so-called ‘therapies’ intended to ‘modify’ their orientation or identity. Such therapies are unethical, unscientific and ineffective and may be tantamount to torture. Young transgender people also lack access to recognition of their gender identity, and are subjected to abusive procedures, such as sterilization or forced treatment.
In addition, intersex children and young people may be subjected to medically unnecessary, irreversible surgery and treatment without their free and informed consent. These interventions can result in severe, long-term physical and psychological suffering, affecting children’s rights to physical integrity, to health, privacy and autonomy and may constitute torture or ill-treatment. States should prohibit such interventions.
Laws that, directly or indirectly, criminalize people on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity further exacerbate violence and discrimination. This includes ‘anti gay propaganda’ laws that arbitrarily restrict rights to freedom of expression and assembly and threaten the work of LGBT organizations and human rights defenders. Although it is claimed that these laws protect children, the result is, typically, the exact opposite: they result in violence against children and young activists who speak up against abuses. These and other discriminatory laws go against international human rights standards and should be repealed.
States must act to protect all children and young adults from violence, and ensure that effective child protection and support systems are in place, including shelters and other safety mechanisms for those in need of protection.
Societal attitudes against LGBT and intersex persons should not be used as justification to promote discriminatory laws and policies, to perpetuate discriminatory treatment, or to fail to investigate and prosecute those responsible for violence against LGBT and intersex children and young people. States must act to overcome prejudice and stereotypes through anti-discrimination initiatives in schools and public education campaigns. They should also address intersectional discrimination and violence against LGBT and intersex youth on the basis of race and ethnicity.
The health and well-being of all children and young adults must be protected, including through ensuring access to non-discriminatory health services and comprehensive sexuality education, and by protecting the rights of all children and young adults to their identity, autonomy, and physical and psychological integrity.
We call on States to comply with their obligation to respect, protect and fulfill the rights of all children and young adults without discrimination, to ensure that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex children and young people are consulted and participate in discussions on policies and laws that impact on their rights. We also call on human rights and child rights institutions to fulfil their mandate and play their part in protecting them from violence and discrimination.”

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76 countries still place criminal sanctions on homosexuality

VIEW MAP HERE

Trans people in Europe lack protection and recognition

The update reveals a severe lack of protection and recognition for trans people throughout Europe, with only 37 states recognizing a trans person’s gender identity. 23 states require for it a proof of sterilization. Only two countries, Malta and Denmark, do not request a mental health diagnosis.

VIEW MAP HERE

 

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CHOICE OF ONE OF MY SELF-PUBLISHED EBOOKS

RANDOMLY CHOSEN FROM ONE COMMENTER ON THIS POST

on May 24th.

Paint the Sky E-Book Cover  3221c-boys_on_film_cover_for_kindle  A_Darker_Shade_of_Ox_Cover_for_Kindle  Hearts_of_Glass_Cover_for_Kindle

Check out the other 115 posts in the Blog Hop

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New Release ~ The Eye of the Beholder by Louise Lyons

 Romantic new vampire story from Louise Lyons

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The Eye of the Beholder

Release Date: April 29, 2015

Publisher: Wilde City Press

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Length: 103,000 words

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Final cover artVince Voss is obsessed with physical beauty. Influenced by his aunt, with whom he runs a modeling business, he has become unfeeling and cruel. Vince’s mother, who was a witch in life, returns to show him a better way to live. She casts a spell to take away his good looks and he finds himself challenged with searching for someone to love him, without the use of physical attraction.

Vince eventually meets a lonely male vampire, Peter, and despite his reluctance to get involved with him, he decides to use Peter to help him lift the spell. Little does he that at first, Peter is using him too, and he finally realizes what’s really important when he falls for Peter along the way.

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Vince realized he had no problem kissing a boy. He liked Peter, and he was definitely attracted to him. Vince’s body had already begun to react again, even though there was, as yet, no passion in the kiss. His cock filled, lengthening against his thigh, and he resisted the urge to adjust it with his free hand. Instead he slid his arm around Peter, but he resisted and pulled away. Vince opened his eyes in surprise and watched Peter shuffle around and change position. He faced the back of the sofa and settled himself across Vince’s legs so they could reach each other more comfortably. Peter laid a hand over Vince’s heart, and its beat increased. Their lips reconnected, and Vince melted into it. He slid both arms around Peter and deepened the caress until his tongue was in Peter’s mouth, teasing and exploring.

Peter responded heatedly. Soft moans and whimpers came from him as he crushed his lips against Vince’s and stroked his chest. Vince felt Peter’s icy touch on his skin and realized Peter had unbuttoned his shirt without him noticing. Vince shivered and trembled in response. His cock was painfully hard, straining against his fly. He struggled to breathe through his nose as the kiss continued, their tongues thrusting against each other within Peter’s mouth, almost in an imitation of fucking. Vince groaned as the thought put an image in his head—Peter’s pale body beneath Vince, their clothes gone. It was the farthest Vince had allowed his imagination to go, yet the idea didn’t shock him, only thrilled him. Vince changed position, still holding Peter but pushing him off his legs. Vince stretched out along the sofa so that they lay together, never once breaking the kiss.

Peter was as hard as Vince. Vince felt it as their lower bodies touched. Peter continued to stroke his hand over Vince’s chest, pausing occasionally to circle one nipple, then the other, until the small nubs hardened in response to the unaccustomed—and chilly—touch. Peter’s erection, reasonably free inside his loose trousers, repeatedly bumped against Vince. Vince realized Peter was gyrating his hips, trying to rub himself against Vince’s thigh without being too obvious about it. Vince pulled his head back, gasping for breath, and met Peter’s eyes. Once again, they’d darkened with arousal. Vince’s head spun, and he blinked rapidly.

“I thought you wanted to take things slow?”

“I can’t help it. I’ve never felt like this,” Peter whispered.

“Nor have I.” The dizzy, drunken feeling was suddenly more unpleasant than puzzling, and Vince heard rushing in his ears. His mouth was dry, and his heart raced so frantically he wondered if he could be suffering from the onset of some kind of attack. His cock was impossibly hard, painfully so, and the rest of his body was racked with shivers. “Fuck, I don’t feel so good.” The words sounded slurred, and Vince closed his eyes as Peter’s face whirled in front of him.

“Shit. Vince, look at me.” Peter slid off the sofa, knelt beside it, and touched his face. “Vince!”

Vince forced his heavy eyelids up and instantly lowered them again, fearing he might throw up. He heard Peter’s voice faintly through the rushing in his ears. The vampire uttered a string of expletives, interspersed with “I’m sorry” over and over. Peter laid a cold hand on Vince’s forehead, and Vince took deep breaths, hoping he wouldn’t lose consciousness. What the hell is happening to me?

“God, I’m so sorry,” Peter said more clearly. He had removed his hand from Vince’s face, and Vince risked another look at him. Vince’s heartbeat had slowed, and the room no longer spun around him. He blinked and focused on Peter’s face.

“What happened? Did I pass out or something?”

“No. I’m sorry,” Peter said again.

“What for?”

“Are you feeling okay?”

“Yes, I think so.” Vince pushed himself up a little and rubbed a hand over his face. “Why do you keep saying you’re sorry?”

“I just… I have to go.” In a second, Peter was gone. Vince didn’t have to go to his bedroom to know that Peter had already slipped out of the window and vanished. Vince stayed where he was, accompanied only by the sounds from the TV.

“What the fuck was that?” Vince muttered.

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Wilde City Press / Amazon US / Amazon UK

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Louise Lyons comes from a family of writers. Her mother has a number of poems published in poetry anthologies, her aunt wrote poems for the church, and her grandmother sparked her inspiration with tales of fantasy. Louise first ventured into writing short stories at the grand old age of eight, mostly about little girls and ponies. She branched into romance in her teens, and MM romance a few years later, but none of her work saw the light of day until she discovered FanFiction in her late twenties.

Posting stories based on some of her favorite movies, provoked a surprisingly positive response from readers. This gave Louise the confidence to submit some of her work to publishers, and made her take her writing “hobby” more seriously.

Louise lives in the UK, about an hour north of London, with a mad Dobermann, and a collection of tropical fish and tarantulas. She works in the insurance industry by day, and spends every spare minute writing. She is a keen horse-rider, and loves to run long-distance. Some of her best writing inspiration comes to her, when her feet are pounding the open road. She often races into the house afterward, and grabs pen and paper to make notes.

Louise has always been a bit of a tomboy, and one of her other great loves is cars and motorcycles. Her car and bike are her pride and joy, and she loves to exhibit the car at shows, and take off for long days out on the bike, with no one for company but herself.

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Twice the Hands to Hold by Louis Stevens

Twice the Hands to Hold by Louis Stevens

Genre: MM Contemporary
Length: 265 Pages
Publisher: JMS Books
Release Date: April 19, 2015

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Twin brothers Brian and Matt Walker went to live with their mother’s brother after the death of their parents at an early age. Brian is still wracked with the guilt he carries around from a young age and sees the world through a distorted lens of self-loathing. When he meets a sexy and interested college-aged guy at the beginning of his senior year of high school, he may have finally found someone who can help him escape his mundane existence.

Matt has his life all planned out — he longs for a solid career in journalism after graduating college. But his tenuous hold on family life threatens his dreams of independence, as does the attentions of a closeted new transfer to their school.

Can Matt pull away enough from his family to come into his own? And will Brian finally get to grips with his past and allow his twin to chase his own happiness?

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A beautifully written story told from each of the three main characters’ POV—Jake, the young, caring uncle, plus the teenage twins, Matt and Brian. They have become a tight-knit family in the wake of the tragic accident that killed their parents and Jake has done his best to raise the boys in a stable home. The love they feel for each other is clear and demonstrated throughout the story. But nothing stays the same and each man needs to spread their wings, develop other relationships, and find love from another man. Brian finds this hard to deal with at first and exhibits signs of jealousy, not wanting the close bond with his twin to be broken. But he has his own problems to deal with.

The twins may make look the same but their personalities and stories are different. There are arguments and fallouts, teenage angst and the coming to terms with their tragic past. This is a story of first loves and first sexual experiences—a wonderful coming of age story, which deals with realistic and emotional issues for many gay men. Jake provides a wonderful role model for the boys, and despite feeling inadequate in his own ability as a parent, he steers them lovingly along the road to adulthood.

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Channeling Morpheus for Scary Mary Audiobook

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Review of Channeling Morpheus for Scary Mary Audiobook

by Jordan Castillo Price

Narrated by Gomez Pugh

Available from

iTunes – Audible – Amazon

Official Website: channelingmorpheus.com

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Michael is a waif in eyeliner who’s determined to wipe vampires off the face of the earth. Wild Bill’s got the hots for Michael and will stop at nothing to go home with him. Forget about moonlit castles and windswept moors. These bad boys haunt all-night diners and cheap motels, cut-rate department stores and long, lonely stretches of the interstate. Ride along with Wild Bill and Michael as the twists and turns of Channeling Morpheus for Scary Mary unfold in America’s heartland.

Five novellas in one: Payback, Vertigo, Manikin, Tainted, Rebirth

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My Review of the Audiobook

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I read the ebooks first and loved all five of them, so I was excited to listen to the audiobook. (See my original review below.)

Gomez Pugh is a fabulous narrator who did a marvelous job with this audio version. He brought the five stories to life for me. His voice is perfectly suited to Michael and Wild Bill’s characters. Michael came across as sexy and sensible, someone you sympathized with and wanted to succeed in his vampire-hunting mission. I loved Wild Bill’s raspy voice, which matched my expectation of this chain-smoking vamp who falls in love with a human. I liked that each novella alternated POV and hearing the story told by the main characters added an extra dimension to the series. It worked exceptionally well with the audio version, helping me to picture the scenes and interaction with clarity.

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My Original Review of the Story

These first five stories follow the adventures of Michael, goth and would-be vampire hunter, who is seeking revenge for the death of his friend, Scary Mary. In his pursuit of ‘bad vampires’ he meets and falls for Wild Bill and in the process discovers much of his previous beliefs about vampires are unfounded. He also learns the best ways to dispatch these creatures of the night.

The smitten pair share many erotic scenes that are not just sex for sex sake and their affection for each other is demonstrated outside of the bedroom, bathroom, forest floor, picnic bench, van… during their nomadic-like journey.

The series is well written and a very enjoyable read. JCP builds up a melancholic atmosphere in her writing, creating a believable yet dark fantasy world. She has you guessing what’s going to happen next throughout—will Michael be safe in his new chosen lifestyle and will Wild Bill resist draining the young man of his lifeblood?

Michael and Wild Bill’s story is told from alternating points of view as the series unfolds, so we get to see inside the mind of the vampire as well as the young vampire hunter, and as the story progresses, we find out a little more of their backstory and who these character are.

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Release Day ~ Love Cubed by Eddy LeFey

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Love Cubed by Eddy LeFey

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Three very different young men meet at St-Frederick’s University.

Francis, haunted by his past and seeking a new life.

Andrew, the introverted football jock.

And Sebastian, the charismatic and confident hockey star.

Francis, wary and troubled, didn’t count on meeting anyone he could care for.

Andrew, closeted and lonely, didn’t think anything would matter more than his football career.

And Sebastian, content to float from conquest to conquest, never believed he’d meet someone who could hold his interest.

An encounter with a journalist causes consequences for all three.

Will they be able to take what they need from one another in order to cope?

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Suddenly, Francis felt someone sit down beside him. He heard a very sexy-husky voice state matter-of-factly, “So, dude, we’d all like to know what your story is, especially Heather over there. You might as well spill.”

Francis lifted his head to see two very athletic-looking blondes staring back at him. They both had annoyed looks on their faces. The young woman, whom Francis supposed was Heather, nodded and smiled at him. The extremely good-looking young man grinned and said, “Hey, kid, I’m Andrew. Your nosy neighbor is Sebastian. Don’t mind him. He’s just a busy-body.”

Francis frowned. Why did he always have to go through this? He made sure his speaking voice was in his lower register before replying, “I’m eighteen. I’m as much of a kid as you are—my name is Francis.”

He turned to Sebastian, was about to say something snarky, but was taken aback by how handsome Sebastian was. Then, Sebastian gave a cocky, self-absorbed smile and it changed everything. Francis knew that kind of smile—he knew the kind of personality that produced that kind of smile—and he was afraid of it.

Just before Francis could do anything that anyone could construe as being antisocial, the group was interrupted by rustling near the door. The floor’s leader, a fourth-year geology student named Harold, garnered people’s attention and started his welcoming speech, which consisted mostly of enumerating the house and floor rules—respect of property and respect of other floor-mates being chief among them. Oh, and cleaning up after oneself was rather enthusiastically emphasized.

The next announcement came as a surprise to everyone, especially to Francis. “Okay, now some of you have already come to me complaining about the fact a first-year on this floor was appointed to a single room. I am here to tell you that it’s true. The university has granted first-year Francis Hollingsworth the right to a single room because of special circumstances. Those special circumstances will not be discussed. I can say that it isn’t because of financial privilege. I am asking all of you to let Francis have his privacy. No one is to hound him for an answer, and yes, Sebastian, I mean you. Let the kid, I mean guy—let the guy be. If he wants to talk about it, he will let you know.”

Francis was mortified. No one had warned him, and he certainly didn’t expect to be singled out like that. He glanced at Heather and Andrew. They seemed intrigued but genuinely concerned and interested about him. Sebastian looked like a cat that had just found a mouse. Francis knew Sebastian was bound to be trouble for him in more ways than one. He wasn’t exactly looking forward to it. He hoped he wouldn’t have to endure him for too long. With his luck, Francis figured he and Sebastian would probably be teamed up in a get-to-know-you exercise; Francis shivered at the thought.

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Eddie LeFey started reading m/m romance fanfiction a few years ago. At one point, during a crucial point in the soap opera storyline of his favorite gay couple, the story went on hiatus. He needed a fix and decided to write his own version of what he wished would happen. Friends wanted to read it, so he plucked up his courage. Pressing the submission button was nerve-wracking, but he did it. People liked it. He wrote a few more.

Up until that point Eddy had tried his hand at writing many times. The delete button was his friend, as was starting over, and over, and over, but he could no longer do that if he wanted people to read his works.

A few of his writing friends decided to create original stories, and feeling brave, Eddy did the same. The stories were shared among a select few. They encouraged him to submit one of them. Low and behold, it is now being published.

Eddy lives in Canada with his husband Ken and his cat Oscar Wild. He is busy writing many more stories.

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Heart Knot Mine by Lily Velden

 Heart Knot Mine Blog Tour and Review. 

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Title: Heart Knot Mine

Author: Lily Velden

Genre: gay romance, contemporary

Length: novel

Publisher: DreamSpinner Press

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Despite a successful college teaching career, Noah Daniels has become depressed. He feels he’s leading a monochromatic life: love has eluded him. When he’s offered a chance to teach in London as part of an exchange program, he accepts, hoping a change of scenery will do him good. But once he’s there, his outlook on love and sexuality changes in ways he never expected.

Robert Callinan is Noah’s English counterpart in the program. The men exchange not only their jobs, but also their homes, and it is what Noah stumbles across while staying at Robert’s house that sends him on a journey of self-discovery—both mentally and physically. A journey that puts color back into his life… just not in the way he expected. When the exchange program ends, Noah has to go home, but he doesn’t know if he wants to return to the life he left behind.

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THE KEY baffled me.

I’d found the soul mate, the yin to the yang, for every other key on the ring. But for three days I’d explored the house and not discovered the home of the small ornate brass mystery. Its elusiveness bothered me. I found myself wondering about it at the oddest times, like when I was exploring the city or training at the tae kwon do club I’d found less than a mile from my front doorstep. It nagged at me when I rode the Tube, and at night when I brushed my teeth. It stood out on the ring, its intricate Celtic design drawing my attention every time I handled the keys. It was impossible to ignore. It might have been small in comparison to its more utilitarian cousins, but its very uniqueness made it large in my eyes. Perhaps for that reason, I felt the need to find its home.

I rolled a sip of red wine around inside my mouth before tipping my head back and letting it slide down my throat. I wondered what I should do for the evening. Pondering my options, I carried my plate to the kitchen and quickly washed it. After drying my hands on a hand towel, I pulled aside the curtain and looked outside. Seeing the steady rain, I sighed. The foul weather made my decision for me. A night in it was. Maybe it was time to check out Robert’s DVD collection.

Sauntering up the stairs to the master bedroom with its huge king-size bed, I paused just inside the door, my gaze on the large flat-screen TV—Robert obviously liked to watch movies while lying in his mammoth bed. The state-of-the-art modernity of the unit was in direct contrast to the antique Chinese sideboard upon which it rested. The cabinet was beautiful: long and dark, with three sets of double doors decorated with delicately painted birds and blooms in creams, greens and gold.

After placing my glass of wine on the bedside table, I strode to the sideboard, and upon opening the first set of doors, one glance informed me the DVDs were arranged alphabetically. I ran my gaze over the titles and removed one or two possibilities before moving to the second set of doors and doing the same.

The final set of doors stopped me in my tracks. There, on the bottom shelf, was an old-fashioned lockable box. As soon as I saw it, I knew I’d finally found the home of my mystery key.

Considering where he kept the box, and its size and shape, I surmised it housed his porn collection. The fact he kept it under lock and key intrigued me. Was it to keep it safe from the prying eyes of his cleaning lady, who I had yet to meet? Or was it because it was one hell of a deviant collection? My curiosity got the better of me, and I quickly retrieved the keys. Surely, had it been off-limits, he’d have removed the key from the ring?

All the labels were handwritten. Labels I didn’t read. Labels I only glanced at.

With the wisdom of hindsight, that observation should have told me they were home movies.

But it didn’t.

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five-stars

I always enjoy reading Lily Velden’s stories. I love her writing style and admire how she writes with humour and such passion.

Noah and Robert’s relationship encapsulates what I adore about the m/m genre. Although taking over thirty years to realize he is gay, Noah embraces his sexuality and falls head-over-heels in love with Robert. There is nothing ‘girlie’ about the depth of emotion he experiences towards this man. I relished the intensity of his feelings and their passionate lovemaking.  Lily writes sizzling bedroom scenes, but for Noah it is more than just sex when he spends time with Robert. Not all men want to have casual hook-ups in bathhouses and clubs. and it isn’t just women who seek something more meaningful in their love life. Noah wants this connection with his soul mate, and his need for Robert is wonderfully expressed through his thoughts and actions.

Lily superbly shows Noah’s angst and heartache when he and Robert are apart. It hurts for him and for us as readers. This is skilful and emotional writing at its best. The scene when they finally meet again is one of my favorites in the whole book. I have read it over several times with tears in my eyes. It is so beautiful. So moving.

I loved this story and the characters portrayed by Lily, and will read the book again—a definite sign of how much I enjoyed it. My only wish is that perhaps one of the earlier sex scenes had been replaced for one at the end of the story. I would have loved to have read a final lovemaking scene and heard in more detail how Robert was feeling and suffering when the two men were apart. But that’s just me being greedy because I didn’t want their story to end.

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Lily Velden lives on the east coast of Australia, her family having emigrated from Holland when she was a child.

She’s both a left and right brain person, holding qualifications in both Finance and Fine Arts. She tells her friends that her way with numbers will make her a profitable artist and writer… one day.

Lily has always had a love of language and a beautifully crafted sentence, and admits to having a fetish for collecting quotes, poems, and song lyrics. What she won’t admit to is how many notebooks she’s filled with those quotes… Her fascination carries on into her artworks where she often incorporates text. When a shoulder injury slowed down her art practice she decided to explore her love of the written word more fully and began writing. “I’ll paint my pictures with words.”

Not that she’s abandoned artmaking in its entirety—Lily collaborates on the designs for all her book covers.

There are many things Lily loves, here are just a few of the PG rated ones: a good laugh (all the better if caused by a naughty joke), the smell of freshly baked goods and mown grass, a smile from a stranger, rainbows after the rain, and witnessing a promise kept.

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 Lily Velden can be found at:

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Out of the Blue by R.J. Jones

Out of the Blue by R.J. Jones

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When everything happens Out of the Blue…

Lt Cameron Cooper has been with the San Francisco Fire Department for fifteen years. He’s seen and dealt with a lot of horrifying situations. He’s always considered himself mentally tough, but when he attends a multi-vehicle accident and sees a dead boy with features remarkably similar to his long-time boyfriend, his mental health takes a hit.

All Jake Montgomery wants is to propose to his boyfriend on their ten-year anniversary. He’s already bought the perfect rings, but when Cameron struggles to look at him after a tragic accident, he has doubts about their future. Cam is withdrawing, and Jake doesn’t know why.

With heated arguments and cold shoulders, Cam and Jake’s life starts to fall apart. Just when Cam thinks he can overcome his issues and finally talk to Jake, memories from Jake’s past threaten to push them apart forever.

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 “Things haven’t been great, to be honest. Something’s… bothering Cam. I guess bothering isn’t the right word but… he’s struggling. Something he saw when he attended that accident has him spooked. I’ve asked him and he’s told me about it but not anything that I didn’t already know from the news reports. There’s a vulnerability about him now I’ve never seen before.”

Remembering the distance that had been between us, my shoulders dropped and I lowered my head.

“He’s having nightmares where he’s completely distraught and screaming my name. The first time it happened, it scared the absolute crap out of me. It still freaks me out. It doesn’t happen every night, and I don’t know if he has them when he’s sleeping during the day. If there’s any mention of a car accident on the TV, he changes channel like he’s Flash Gordon. I can’t imagine what he’s like at work.” Sighing, I looked at my aunt, hoping she had an answer for me.

“What does he say is wrong?”

“He doesn’t. He can’t or won’t tell me what it is. He says he’s scared and he has trouble switching the images off in his head, but he won’t tell me what those images are or why he’s scared. I think he believes he’s supposed to be strong one hundred percent of the time. He hides a lot from me about what he’s seen, but I know he does it to protect me. Cam says he needs time and I’m hoping it’s only time he needs. Being here, though”—I waved my hand, indicating the vineyard—“has helped us remember what we used to be like. But being here has also reminded me of how hard it’s been the last month.”

I must have had a grave look on my face to trigger her next question. “Do you think he’s lying to you?”

“Not lying, per se… more avoiding, I think.”

“Avoiding you?”

“No, he’s not avoiding me, I think he’s more avoiding it. Whatever it is.”

Aunt Cece stopped walking, and cupping my face in her hands, her eyes searched mine. “Problems don’t go away by avoiding them. They’re patient bastards: they’ll wait for you. Keep avoiding them and they’ll invite their friends, and they’ll wait for you too.”

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Cam and Jake’s ten year relationship is called into question when Cam suffers PTSD after witnessing a horrific scene in a multi-vehicle accident. As a result, he fears losing Jake, experiences harrowing nightmares, and has difficulty coping at work. His refusal to talk to his partner about the problem provides the catalyst for their breakdown, along with his unwillingness to maintain eye contact with Jake. Cam stubbornly refuses to seek professional help and the situation snowballs when Jake becomes jealous of one of Cam’s work colleagues. Tempers fray as each man reacts to the other’s negative response and finally Jake storms out when he is reminded of a past betrayal and can’t deal with their situation any longer.

When Cam is commanded by his boss to discuss his problems with the work’s psychologist, he slowly begins to deal with his issues. There are several chances of a reconciliation, but frustratingly, each time something is said or done which prevents this and the distance between the two men remains.  Fortunately, neither man wants to end the relationship for good and gradually they work out a way to resolve the split, but it takes time.

The story is not all angst-filled scenes. There are several sweet moments, plus one with a glass dildo that made me chuckle. For much of the story, I wanted to bash their heads together and get them to talk about what was really on their minds. I was frustrated when they appeared to be getting somewhere and a thoughtless comment would make one of them fly off the handle again.  I’m glad they eventually resolved their relationship problems by talking and sharing more as Cam managed to overcome his PTSD and Jake dealt with his trust issues.

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Buy links:

Amazon.com / Amazon UK / ARe / Smashwords

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I started as a reader and eventually made the progression to reviewing. It wasn’t until two men popped into my thoughts, insisting on telling me their story that I started to write. It started with one scene. A hot and dirty one in the shower.

My initial thought was if I could write their scene then they’d shut up and allow me to concentrate on other aspects of my day. That shower scene was 3000 words long and three hours of work.  But they didn’t shut up.  They told me their entire story and I didn’t sleep for days.  Sometimes I couldn’t keep up with what they were telling me and I had to keep a notebook by my bed.

Whilst I was writing their story a side character decided he needed his story told too. Then other characters followed suit.

You see the problem? If I ever want to sleep again then I need to write.

I’m a wife and a mother to two boys. Even my dog is a boy.

I am surrounded by males.

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