RSS Feed

Monthly Archives: January 2016

Rainbow Snippets #1 ~ 31st January

Today’s Rainbow Snippet is from my soon to be released short story, The Handyman Can.

RAINBOW SNIPPETS

All it took was the clack of the garden gate closing. Alex Sucre’s breath paused, his heart raced. He shot a look from the spreadsheet on his laptop to the digital clock at the top corner of the screen.

Mmm… He’s early today.

Alex waited in case he’d misheard, but there it was, the gritty roll of the lawn mower on the path down the side of his house. Warm excitement rippled through him—his breath quickened, his heart pounded just that bit faster.

 

Thanks for reading!

Please visit the Rainbow Snippets Facebook Group for more links to great fiction. The gang posts throughout the weekend, so check back a few times if you can.

rs5med

Rainbow Snippets is a group for LGBTQ+ authors, readers, and bloggers to gather once a week to share six sentences from a work of fiction–a WIP or a finished work or even a 6-sentence book recommendation.

 

The Handyman Can Giveaway

Alex is falling in love with Michael, one of the gorgeous handymen who maintain his property.

Can Alex trust the Fernando brothers or are they thieves?

thehandymancan_800

HEAT RATING: Burning
FORMAT: EBOOK
ISBN: 978-1-78651-381-6
SEXOMETER: 2
WORD COUNT: 12,037
LANGUAGE: English
BOOK LENGTH: SHORT STORY
PAGES: 38
GENRES: CONTEMPORARY, EROTIC ROMANCE, GAY

NOW AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER FROM PRIDE PUBLISHING AND AMAZON

thehandymancan_postcard

After moving into his new house, Alex Sucre employs the three good-looking Fernando brothers as handymen to maintain his home and garden. He’s immediately attracted to Michael, the youngest, and enjoys watching his muscle-packed body through his study window as he works.

After a spate of burglaries in the area, one of Alex’s neighbors accuses the brothers of the thefts. Alex is reluctant to believe that any of them could be responsible, as their business is thriving and they appear to be honest men. But once that seed of doubt has been sown, Alex wonders whether they can be trusted.

Should Alex confront Michael with his suspicions and risk destroying their newly formed relationship?

 

cropped-Rainbow-Header copy 6

All it took was the clack of the garden gate closing. Alex Sucre’s breath paused, his heart raced. He shot a look from the spreadsheet on his laptop to the digital clock at the top corner of the screen.

Mmm… He’s early today.

Alex waited in case he’d misheard, but there it was, the gritty roll of the lawn mower on the path down the side of his house. Warm excitement rippled through him—his breath quickened, his heart pounded just that bit faster. He peered through the slats of the Venetian blinds strung across the study window and out into the garden, waiting expectantly. His cock stirred, a familiar and very welcome tingle. Alex was already anticipating what, or who, he was about to see.

Several whirrs of the motor’s pull cord rattled the near silence until it caught and the lawn mower burst into life, filling the quiet of the house. Alex leaned forward, adjusting the blinds, ready to ogle his gardener as he strode across the lawn. In his eagerness, Alex scattered papers onto the wooden floor.

Damn it!

He scooped them up and slapped them back down by his keyboard. Alex moved beside his desk, to one side of the window, not wanting to be caught snooping already.

Come on. Come on. Hurry up!

 

 

cropped-Rainbow-Header copy 4

If you’d like to win a PDF or epub version of The Handyman Can

please comment on this post saying which you would prefer.

I will select a winner on 2nd Feb—Release Day on Pride Publishing’s site.

FOR ANOTHER CHANCE TO WIN

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY ON MY FACEBOOK AUTHOR PAGE.

11050811_461570597344432_5717799022119201835_n

Available for pre-order fromPride Publishing

Release Date: 2nd February

Pre-order on Amazon

General Release Date: 1st March 2016

Amazon.com | Amazon UK

thehandymancan_twitter

 

ARC Review ~ Farm Fresh by Posy Roberts

Getting down and dirty never felt as clean as it does at Kaleidoscope Gardens!

 Farm Fresh, book #1 of Naked Organics

by Posy Roberts.

unnamed

Jude Garrity visits the farmers market every Saturday. As an environmental engineering student, he’s curious about living off the grid and sustainable agriculture.

And one particular farmer.

Hudson Oliva has worked hard to support his commune, where queer people live without fear of harm or retribution. When Jude asks pointed questions about living there, Hudson realizes he needs to be honest about his home. Few people know what the farm is actually about, but Jude is insistent.

Jude moves to Kaleidoscope Gardens, however his sexual hang-ups make it hard to adjust. He’s an uptight virgin living among people who have sex freely and with multiple partners. When Jude finally loosens up, Hudson is flooded with emotions. Falling for Jude wasn’t part of Hudson’s life plan. But when vindictive rumors about the commune begin to spread, love might be all he has left.

Genre: Contemporary Romance, MM Romance, Gay Fiction, with a splash of MMM+

Length:  Novel, 202 pages

Goodreads

 This is a sex positive story about living, loving, and working hard on a sexually free commune.

NakedOrganics-SeriesLogo

cropped-Rainbow-Header copy 7

Watch the trailer HERE

FF WP Featured Image 1-f

cropped-Rainbow-Header copy 3

4*

A commune as defined in a dictionary is a group of people living together and sharing possessions and responsibilities. My only knowledge of one is a local religious commune with a bad reputation, so I was interested to read a story with a commune as its setting.

Posy takes this ideal of communal living and portrays a well-established GLBT community that has become a sanctuary for its  inhabitants.  It’s a safe place where same sex and poly relationships flourish. The members celebrate their sexuality by practising consensual sex out in the open, with plenty of hugging and kissing from everyone. “Our Utopia” as Leo (one of the founding members) describes it. It’s not an out-and-out orgy 24/7, but everyone is free to express their sexuality and nakedness without embarrassment or condemnation.

The purpose of the commune is not only about sex. It’s a farm, focusing on sustainable agriculture, renewable energy and conservation. The members grow crops to feed themselves, as well as to sell to make a living. And that’s how Jude meets Hudson at the local farmers market. Although still a virgin, Jude is fascinated by the idea of communal living and hopes it provides an opportunity to overcome his sexual hang-ups.

Jude is coming to the end of his environmental engineering degree and is eager to apply what he’s learned. He’s a problem-solver, a doer, and does his best to improve their facilities and save them money. He’s inquisitive, a trait his parents had tried to tamp down, and shows himself to be capable of taking charge of projects. Being able to apply his theoretical studies to the problems encountered by the commune helps boost his confidence and standing within the community.

Hudson shares a house with Leo and Charlie, and they regularly have sex together and separately. He loves them, but he’s not in love. The three men are in an open relationship and together they discover new pleasures and meet each other’s sexual needs. Jude moves in with them, but he takes time to adjust to the way of life.

Jude had suffered emotional torment and abuse at home from his supposedly Christian parents. They were no more than monsters because of the guilt and anguish they imposed on their children. Jude’s been seeking his first sexual experience since leaving home, but each time has backed down. He has a lot of unhealthy issues regarding sex to work through and hopes living in a sexually active commune can help him.

Jude’s initial reaction and reservations to the commune are understandable given his background and upbringing. He takes slow steps and moves forward with help from other members of the commune, especially Leo and Charlie. They encourage him to participate in the open communal lifestyle, even if he still isn’t ready to have penetrative sex. He sees and hears sex going on around him, within his house and within the community. He finds it harder to relax with Hudson than the other two men because Hudson means more to him. But Jude is scared to say how much he wants Hudson.

During the course of the story, Jude gradually overcomes the shame he associates with sex and masturbation. His parents had told him he’d burn in hell for sins of the flesh and that sex was solely for procreation. Memories of his father’s words continue to haunt him for many months. He eventually manages to separate himself from those teachings and the guilt, realizing he needs to partake or leave the commune. Through shared experiences with his housemates, his reserve gradually falls away.

Hudson has his own issues because a past lover deserted him. They surface again in his interaction with Jude and the new dynamic with his housemates. He fears being abandoned again. Hudson and Jude are attracted to each other, but things are often awkward between them and it takes time for them to sort out their various issues. They don’t really spend the time getting to know each other properly before problems set in and Hudson comes to feels he’s gotten in the way of Jude finding himself.

Throughout the story, Hudson yearns for Jude, but he holds back from telling Jude how he feels. He knows he has to be patient with Jude as he overcomes his fear of sex, but his feelings for Jude get in the way and their relationship falls by the wayside for a time. Hudson eventually admits he selfishly pushed Jude away because he felt Jude pushed him away first.

Although his motives are more clearly explained later, I became increasingly frustrated with Hudson’s behaviour. He acted like a spoilt child during much of the book, albeit overcome with jealousy, hurt and insecurity. His response to Jude blows hot and cold and his reactions are a bit of a roller coaster. Even after they finally make love for the first time, his response is bewildering. He realizes he’s not cared for Jude properly afterwards, but still does little to make amends. He  doesn’t talk through the problems and becomes insular and cold. At the start of the story, he was warm and open, always with a smile, but he eventually makes Jude feel unwelcome and that results in Jude thinking he’s messed up the dynamics in their house.

Hudson craves love and ownership, and so finds it difficult when he has to share Jude with Leo and Charlie.  He wants Jude to himself and this conflicts with the commune’s  ideals. When he decides to woo him, he still holds back and their relationship stagnates. He fears Jude will shut him out and believes Leo and Charlie have also rejected him at one point. There’s tension and they end up avoiding each other for a time. Hudson withdraws from nearly everyone in the community, but he’s been sending out bad vibes for months. His reactions are confusing to Jude and to me as a reader at times.

Thankfully, Jude takes charge in the end and it’s exactly what Hudson needs. By this time, Jude is comfortable in his own skin and not embarrassed by his own nakedness.

There were several steamy sexy scenes involving two, three and foursome sex. Jude and Hudson’s scene in the greenhouse was smoking hot and just what they both needed.

Farm Fresh has a well-paced and balanced storyline, not focusing solely on sexual scenes, but the development of the commune and those within it. There’s conflict and angst, but it’s resolved positively. I particularly liked Leo and Charlie’s characters and their supporting roles in the story.

Although the first in a series of books, this story ends happily with no major cliffhanger, but has the potential to explore other characters and their relationships. I’m glad Hudson and Jude’s story finishes the way that it does. It suits their characters, with the two of them very much in love and supported by the others in the commune.

Overall, an enjoyable read in a unique setting, with different character dynamics compared to most m/m romance stories. Recommended if you accept or are willing to read non-traditional pairings and intimacy outside of a committed relationship.

***I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review***

EXCITING NEWS! Hudson’s pre-story is in the pipeline.  It will be a freebie that will eventually be part 1 of Naked Origins, the pre-novel to the Naked Organics series. The only way to get this story right now is to use the unique link provided in a purchased book or in the Rafflecopter giveaway Pride Promotions is doing or by signing up for Posy’s newsletter.

FF ereader

cropped-Rainbow-Header copy

Real life. Genuine men. True love.

Posy Roberts writes about the realistic struggles of men looking for love. Whether her characters are family men, drag queens, or lonely men searching for connections, they all find a home in her stories.

Posy is married to a man who makes sure she doesn’t forget to eat or sleep. Her daughter, a budding author and dedicated Whovian, helps her come up with character names. When Posy’s not writing, she enjoys crafting, hiking, and singing spontaneously about the mundane, just to make normal seem more interesting.

posy-red-header-with-bold-letters1

Coming Soon… The Handyman Can

Alex is falling in love with Michael, one of the gorgeous handymen who maintain his property.

Can Alex trust the Fernando brothers or are they thieves?

thehandymancan_800

HEAT RATING: Burning
FORMAT: EBOOK
ISBN: 978-1-78651-381-6
SEXOMETER: 2
WORD COUNT: 12,037
LANGUAGE: English
BOOK LENGTH: SHORT STORY
PAGES: 38
GENRES: CONTEMPORARY, EROTIC ROMANCE, GAY

AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER FROM PRIDE PUBLISHING

thehandymancan_postcard

After moving into his new house, Alex Sucre employs the three good-looking Fernando brothers as handymen to maintain his home and garden. He’s immediately attracted to Michael, the youngest, and enjoys watching his muscle-packed body through his study window as he works.

After a spate of burglaries in the area, one of Alex’s neighbors accuses the brothers of the thefts. Alex is reluctant to believe that any of them could be responsible, as their business is thriving and they appear to be honest men. But once that seed of doubt has been sown, Alex wonders whether they can be trusted.

Should Alex confront Michael with his suspicions and risk destroying their newly formed relationship?

 

cropped-Rainbow-Header copy 6

All it took was the clack of the garden gate closing. Alex Sucre’s breath paused, his heart raced. He shot a look from the spreadsheet on his laptop to the digital clock at the top corner of the screen.

Mmm… He’s early today.

Alex waited in case he’d misheard, but there it was, the gritty roll of the lawn mower on the path down the side of his house. Warm excitement rippled through him—his breath quickened, his heart pounded just that bit faster. He peered through the slats of the Venetian blinds strung across the study window and out into the garden, waiting expectantly. His cock stirred, a familiar and very welcome tingle. Alex was already anticipating what, or who, he was about to see.

Several whirrs of the motor’s pull cord rattled the near silence until it caught and the lawn mower burst into life, filling the quiet of the house. Alex leaned forward, adjusting the blinds, ready to ogle his gardener as he strode across the lawn. In his eagerness, Alex scattered papers onto the wooden floor.

Damn it!

He scooped them up and slapped them back down by his keyboard. Alex moved beside his desk, to one side of the window, not wanting to be caught snooping already.

Come on. Come on. Hurry up!

Available for pre-order from Pride Publishing

Release Date: 2nd February

General Release Date: 1st March 2016

Pre-order on Amazon

Amazon.com | Amazon UK

thehandymancan_twitter

11050811_461570597344432_5717799022119201835_n

 

Guest Post and Review ~ Torn and Frayed by Rodd Clark

Guest Post: Torn and Frayed by Rodd Clark

 

Bad Boy Image - GP2

 

Guest Post – THE BAD BOY

Rodd stopped by today to tell us about writing bad boy characters and why he thought Gabriel Church was the baddest of them all.  Gabe is the main character in two of Rodd’s books; Rubble and the Wreckage and Torn and Frayed. Enjoy!

“Who doesn’t love a bad boy?  I’ve wondered why readers are drawn to those figures so much, and over the years I’ve discovered that bad boys are appealing because of what they represent; that simple need for change.  We see someone who sits outside the box and fights every constraint of a normal society and we simply want to fix that in them…despite it being the single trait which drew us to them in the first place. Gabriel Church is one-hell-of-a-bad-boy, because he isn’t just that image of Harley riding, wind in the hair sorta rebel; he is a serial killer and cold to the bone.

It just so happens, Gabriel is also a man undergoing a great transformation in his life.  He finds himself falling in love with an unexpected source, one he hadn’t even believed possible.   It’s his blind confusion and that new awareness which carries his account forward.  But as every romance reader fan knows, the outcome is always preordained.  It’s nearly impossible to fix the broken men in our lives, and Gabriel Church is no exception. 

So I ask; if you as the reader already know the resolution, and can see the futility or the struggle in taming the wild stallion, why then do we continue to the next chapter? Why do we still find a whisper of hope lingering in our hearts that this version will not end as other romantic tales of this caliber are destined? 

In my narrative the killer Gabriel Church falls in love with a writer named Christian Maxwell, who is the polar opposite of our main character.  Chris sees some attributes in Gabriel that others refuse to examine.  And in his consideration he finds hidden worth, and learns a value in the most horrendous of souls.  It’s our nature to fix the broken, to bandage the wounds, to heal the sick.  Readers of romance novels understand that desire better than most…even when the outcome is clearly fated from the first sentence of the first chapter. 

Gabriel Church was a pleasure to write because he is such a bad ass, and for me the image of Christian was always intended to be someone more abstract, slightly vague or nondescript. This was my calculation, or my hope, that the reader might make a connection to that persona, even more than their appeal to that bad boy image.  If we all want to fix the broken, then we had to see ourselves as the healer, and that’s easier when the lines are drawn with a subtle force of the pen.  I see myself as Christian Maxwell because I could never see myself as the wild eyed representation of feral HOTNESS that is Church.  I think readers need that rebellious man to tame, but they need the character of Chris to connect them to the storyline. 

I hope that readers of Torn and Frayed will make the same connections they did in my first book.  And I hope they continue the saga by reading the next chapter, out later this year.  We have to see where this torrid tale goes, and find out whether Chris can successfully transform our rebellious Gabriel before it’s too late.”

 

Torn and Frayed e-book 600x900

cropped-Rainbow-Header copy 5

 

“Conscience isn’t something all people are born with…”

Gabriel Church is a portrait in contrast. It would be easy to get lost in his pale-blue eyes, ache with the need to feel the strength of his masculine frame. He appears to be nothing but animal and instinct. The only people who know the full depth of that truth are dead, murdered, or two thousand miles away.

Gabe is a serial killer. For the first time in his life, he has more on his mind than his own survival. This time he is running from Seattle to protect the only person he thinks innocent in his laundry list of crime and murder: Christian Maxwell, his biographer and unexpected lover. Drawn to a place he never thought to return, Gabe finds new and different realities. Realities that insist he let go of his tragic past, those incredible perceptions of God, and his own divinity. He must open his eyes to what the love of a good man can do to heal a broken soul.

But when the killer is confronted by his own willingness to love and sacrifice, he is forced to ultimately ask the question: Just how far will he go to save a life . . . when all he’s ever done is take them?

 

Kissing 2 image

 

cropped-Rainbow-Header copy 6

Exclusive Excerpt

Death was something Gabe had thought a great deal about . . . his as well as others. When you walked quickly away from a dumpster after depositing a body or when you crawled out of a bedroom window late at night, having left some lifeless white lighter crumpled in their own bed, you tended to look at death in a more accommodating fashion. No one escaped death, Jesus didn’t . . . and in the end Gabe wouldn’t. Just as it would come for Chris as easily as it had come for Shea back in Seattle.

Gabriel had few illusions about his death. He knew it would likely come with a hail of bullets whizzing past his ears as he ducked and weaved to escape gunfire from an overzealous highway patrol officers or FBI agents who’d finally run him successfully to ground. His mission would be complete whenever God decreed, so he didn’t need to worry about the resolution end. Some things were just out of his hands.

He had woken in his truck again, which was an all too frequent event, he knew, when you were a killer on the lam. After driving out of the city last night, he’d found the lights of San Antonio fading in his rearview. This was Texas, and even with the vast sprawl of people, there were endless rural areas one could get lost in—remote farm-to-market roads where very few farmhouses dotted the landscape. It had been late when he’d finally found a spot on a sloping bend on a rarely traveled dirt road, miles from where he’d last seen black asphalt.

 

cropped-Rainbow-Header copy 3

4*

Not having encountered the first book in the Gabriel Church series, Rubble and the Wreckage, before reading this story, I checked out the blurb and some of the reviews for #1 and formed an outline of the original plot. It seems the most important elements are recapped in Torn and Frayed.

Gabriel Church is a serial killer on the run. He’d been prepared to tell the world how and why he’d despatched so many victims over the years. Christian Maxwell is the biographer who unofficially interviewed him and planned to record his life story. They became friends then lovers, but their relationship faltered when Christian’s jealousy results in the death of Shea Baltimore at the hands of Gabriel.

Torn and Frayed continues the story with Gabriel on the run from Christian as well as the law. His thoughts continually return to the ex-lover he has left behind. He’s trying to resist the pull to return to the man he obviously misses.

Rodd Clark’s omniscient story-telling style provides the viewpoint of various characters, focusing mostly on Gabriel, Christian and Scott Kenn, the detective who tracks down serial killers. As a result, the reader discovers a few facts the characters themselves don’t know about and this provides hints for the future plot.

The narrative builds steadily to the mid-point until Gabriel decides to contact his ex-lover again. These well-written chapters provide the background to the story and the main characters, sometimes rather repetitively referring to the main events from Book 1, emphasizing that Gabriel is on the run and missing Christian. Internal monologues and backstory are interwoven with present day events as Gabriel is drawn back to Seattle.

The excitement builds when Detective Scott Kenn is allocated the case of Shea Baltimore and he closes in on the murder suspect. It’s a race against time to see who will get to Christian first. Will Gabriel make it back in time to rescue Christian from the inquisitive detective and will the two lovers go on the run together as Christian now hopes?

Despite being an unrepentant serial killer, Gabriel’s character is shown to be capable of love and compassion. The reader sympathises with his predicament and is drawn into willing him to succeed. You don’t want him to be caught or delayed, you want him to be reunited with his ex-lover. Rodd Clark has you rooting for these baddies. For both of them, because Christian is to some extent culpable for the murder of Shea, even though he didn’t directly kill her.

Gabriel is shown to be a cold yet shrewd man, and the reader is never quite sure what his intentions are or if he’ll act out of character. His mood swings swiftly to dark and brooding, making it feasible he could commit any crime. He believes he is doing God’s work by dispatching his victims and he justifies the murder of others in his attempt to protect his lover. His motives appear logical within the context of the story. To Christian, his reasoning seems calculated and his beliefs unassailable. He is reluctant to question Gabriel’s actions and, despite his love, is rightly wary of him.

Gabriel Church presents himself as a likeable character with plenty of magnetism. He can be charming, endearing and sexy as hell when need be. As his story unfolds, the reader feels sorry for his horrendous past, his abusive childhood, and his lonely adult life. We’re on his side. He is not portrayed as a crazy man as such. He is patient and clever, capable of planning ahead and solving the problems he encounters. He knows what to do in difficult situations and Christian trusts him to sort things out for the both of them.

The few sex scenes are skimmed over and not a main feature of the story. So although the book pivots on his love for Christian there’s not a lot of romance. You feel Gabriel’s desire and need to be with his lover and that he is capable of love and affection. It is the deeds he does for Christian that demonstrate he is more than this heartless serial killer. He is willing to sacrifice his life to protect his lover and save him from jail. He sees his fate as part of God’s will and his earlier visits to a priest hint at him questioning this vocation. In return, Christian loves Gabriel despite his knowledge of the killings and considers leaving his family, career and way of life to join Gabriel on the run. He knows the details of Gabriel’s previous crimes, but has chosen not to inform the police.

I enjoyed reading this story, particularly the suspense and exciting page-turning events as the book reaches its climax.

The story is not over yet. There are clues scattered along the way that will need to be dealt with in Book 3. So, while I wait I’m going back to read Book 1 and discover more about the serial killer and his biographer.

*** Pre-proof copy of this book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review***

12140117_1678955895669837_5134419620864502097_o

1434572378145

cropped-Rainbow-Header

 

Driven BookshopAmazon USAmazon UK | iTunesKobo | B&N

Gabriel Church Tales Image

 

cropped-Rainbow-Header copy

 

Rodd lives in Dallas, TX at the moment but hails from the sticks of Oklahoma. Check out his web presence at RODDCLARK.COM. Interested in the M/M Mystery, Romance and Thriller genres but has a varied interest in many books. It has been written, that his writing has a very dark and distinctive voice with a need for deep exploration and analysis.  “Torn and Frayed is the sequel to his popular romantic thriller, “Rubble and the Wreckage.” The third chapter of the series should be released later in the year and give readers a chance to see how their wicked story is resolved.

 

cropped-Rainbow-Header copy 9

 

WebsiteTwitter FacebookPinterestGoodreadsAmazon Author Page

~0~

This review is also posted on

Gay Book Reviews

 

%d bloggers like this: