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New Release and Blog Tour – Pursuing Happiness by Jessie Pinkham #newrelease #contemporary #gay #romance

BLOG TOUR

Book Title: Pursuing Happiness

Author: Jessie Pinkham

Publisher: Jessie Pinkham

Cover Artist: Katia V. Michelet

Release Date: July 12, 2018

Genre/s romance, contemporary, gay

Length: 53,000 words   

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Blurb

A repressive childhood casts long shadows.

Growing up in a reactionary religious household left Matt Aldridge socially inept and woefully underprepared for life in the wider world. He’s still trying to figure himself out when he meets his hunky new neighbor, Collin Moravec. Matt likes him at first sight, and miraculously, Collin feels the same.

When his cousin Levi shows up needing a home, Matt doesn’t hesitate to take him in, even as it throws his own world into disarray. He’s determined to save his younger cousin some of the struggles he faced. But taking on this responsibility brings up old anxieties, and in his terror of failing Levi, Matt pushes Collin away. He has to move beyond his fearful upbringing once and for all, or he’s going to end up miserable – and alone.

 

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Excerpt

“Now, about that sexual to-do list. I’m dying to know what’s on it.”

An adorable blush blossomed on Matt’s cheeks. “I think there’s a lot of potential for fun with a can of whipped cream.”

“I’m completely on board with that.”

Finally Matt relaxed. “You’re a very good boyfriend,” he remarked.

Collin figured that meant he’d said the right thing. Good. He took Matt’s hand and laced their fingers together. “So are you, and if I hadn’t already known that my coworkers made sure to tell me yesterday.”

“How did the grant application turn out?”

“Well, it doesn’t scream ‘thrown together at the last minute,’ so it could be a lot worse.”

“I know nothing about grants,” said Matt, “but I have plenty of personal experience in the red parts of the state, where you said you want to do outreach. Maybe this is weird pillow talk, but…”

Collin interrupted. “Our pillow talk can be whatever we want.”

“Okay. Have you considered how much tougher it will be to go out and talk about LGBT acceptance with people in very conservative areas? I mean really thought about the ruling mindset there?”

They certainly weren’t going in blind. Regardless he wanted to hear Matt’s opinion, if for no other reason than to understand his boyfriend a little better. “We expect to be called a lot more nasty slurs.”

“That’s obvious. It’s not just the insults, though. The thing is that a lot of these people – not all, but a definite majority – are not even going to consider what you have to say. The religiously inclined, which again will be a good percentage, will consider it a given that you’ve been deceived by Satan. So there’s no reason for them to even consider what you have to say, see? Anything they don’t like can easily be written off as inspired by Satan. It’s a very neat system if you don’t like thinking too hard. And it makes us very easy scapegoats for anyone, religious or not, who doesn’t like how the world is changing.”

“There are going to be some people who remain homophobic no matter what we say or do,” acknowledged Collin.

“Some might become more tolerant with personal contact, when the LGBT community isn’t something abstract and instead they know someone who isn’t heterosexual. Then there are the people like my family.”

“Bastards. But we know that. What we want to do, at the very least, is give some hope to LGBT people who feel isolated.”

“They certainly need it. Here’s the thing, though. It’s easy to be anonymous in the city. People can go to Ted’s Place without anyone they know having a clue about their visit to an LGBT center. In rural areas it’s not the same. If somebody stops to talk with you or takes pamphlets or whatever you’re doing for outreach, they’ll be recognized and before long half the town will know. The smaller the community, the worse it gets in that regard.” Matt sighed. “I’m not trying to discourage you, I’m just being realistic. I would never have dared talk with anyone doing LGBT outreach. Far too dangerous.”

“That’s depressing. It’s good to know, though. Obviously this has to factor into our plans.” He lacked ideas on how to work around this very serious roadblock. Well, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Collin would share this perspective with his colleagues and go from there. “Any suggestions for us to get around that?”

“I’m afraid I don’t have any brilliant solutions. The internet is good. My family was unusually restrictive in that area, but it probably helps a lot of other kids. Just keep in mind that in some of these conservative areas, you’ll be entering enemy territory.”

“War metaphors?”

“Not a metaphor. They will literally see you as the enemy. Inspired by Satan, remember? It’s spiritual warfare and you’re the advanced guard. That’s how a lot of people will see you.”

“Damn,” said Collin. He imagined an army wearing sparkly rainbow uniforms, armed with lube and condoms, maybe doing something stereotypical like singing show tunes. “Here I thought I just wanted people to live in a way that makes them happy, and now I find out I’m in Satan’s gay army.”

Matt frowned. “I’m serious, Collin.”

Oops. His last comment had clearly been too flippant. “Sorry. I was going for lightening the mood with humor but clearly missed the mark. This is important to know. And honestly, it speaks to how strong you are that you were able to escape that.”

“I’m not sure being kicked out counts as escaping.”

“You could’ve gone to conversion therapy, pretended to be cured, and lived the rest of your life miserable and accepted by your family. You chose the harder option.”

“True,” said Matt. “Totally worth it.”

Collin traced random patterns on his boyfriend’s chest. “I’m glad to hear it. If you didn’t think it was worth it after that blowjob, I’d have done something terribly wrong.”

This time Matt let him lighten the mood. He winked and said, “No worries there.”

“That’s a relief.”

“You know that saying about praise going to your head? They’re talking about the head on top of your neck.”

“How do you know?” countered Collin.

Matt opened his mouth to protest, then paused. A second later he admitted, “That’s actually a good question.”

Score one for being a smartass.

 

About the Author 

Jessie writes M/M romance and loves a rich fictional universe as much as a good happy ending. Her published works include the novel Survivors and the Tea and Empathy series, and her work has been included in anthologies by Evernight Publishing and JMS Books.

She’s usually writing more than one new book at a time, and frequently rushing out at the last minute because she got lost in her own fictional world.

 

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Book Blast – Survivors by Jessie Pinkham #gay #romance #postapocalyptic #dystopia

BOOK BLAST

Book Title: Survivors

Author: Jessie Pinkham

Publisher: Evernight Publishing

Cover Artist: Jay Aheer

Release Date: May 8, 2017

Genre/s: Romance, M/M Romance, Erotic Romance, Post-Apocalyptic

Length: 62,000 words/190 pages

This is a standalone book.

Goodreads 

 

Blurb

As a farmer Lee Johnson is well-situated to survive in the aftermath of a plague that killed most of humanity. As a gay man in a small community he’s resigned himself to the probability of lifelong bachelorhood, at least until his sister returns home with handsome Army veteran Nate Schlessinger.

Sparks fly between the two men but nothing is easy following the collapse of civilization. Nate claims to be celibate despite his clear interest, Lee tries to keep his neighbors from starving, and the threat of attack looms constantly. Can love triumph in the ruins of the world as we knew it?

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Excerpt

Nate looks skeptically at the carrots he pulled up. “Are these carrots supposed to be yellow?”

“Yes. You’ve never seen yellow carrots? They’re the best.”

“How many colors do carrots come in?”

“We grow yellow, orange, and purple, but there are red and white too. White carrots don’t have much flavor so I don’t see the point.”

It’s a nice morning for harvesting. Nate and I are working on carrots while Lily is one field over gathering onions. Every couple of minutes the wind carries over a few words of whatever song she’s singing to herself. The dogs are amusing themselves playing tug of war with a piece of rope I knotted for that purpose.

My shoulders are a bit stiff from helping Stan move yesterday, therefore I’m not harvesting carrots quite as quickly as I could. The fact that Nate is new to pulling carrots is a convenient excuse to slow down. It’s not a difficult concept to yank carrots out of the soil and Nate’s doing a fine job, though he’s the first person I’ve ever seen harvest carrots with a handgun holstered on.

“Yellow and purple carrots. Orange tomatoes. What next,” he asks, “red pumpkins?”

The orange tomatoes were an heirloom variety Mom decided to try this year which are worth growing again. I’ve saved a good amount of seeds, plenty for us and the neighbors. Genetic diversity in crops will serve us well.

“The pumpkins are all orange.”

“Good. I like some consistency in my life.”

“Getting up every morning to take care of the animals isn’t consistent enough for you?” Livestock guarantees a certain level of routine in our lives.

“I like plenty of consistency.”

“Farming is good for that.” I make sure I’m quiet for my next question, something that’s been nagging me. “Do you think we have a good chance of defending ourselves?”

“It depends on a lot of factors. We have the advantage over a small, maybe mid-sized gang unless they have really impressive weapons, but we can’t hold off an army. Fortunately, I think small gangs are more likely at this point.”

“Have I mentioned that my dad kept his great-great grandfather’s Civil War sword? It’s in the chest in the living room.”

“Let’s hold that as a last resort, okay?”

“Works for me. Damned if I know how to use the thing.”

“Now, a Civil War cannon might have more potential.”

“I think we’re stuck with the bows.”

“On the plus side those don’t run the risk of blowing up in our faces.”

“That’s a very big plus,” I say. Nate has his first homemade bow complete now, though it doesn’t shoot very far.  

“Our biggest advantage, I think, is that I can probably shoot people as they approach. The military helmets will help a lot there.” He ignores the carrots in favor of looking at me, all weighty responsibility. “I’m going to do everything I can to protect us, to protect you and Lily.”

I demonstrate my appreciation with a kiss. “Thank you. Just remember you’re not doing it single-handedly, okay?”

“You’re a decent shot. That will help.”

He’s being generous. I’m a decent shot at close range with a slow-moving target, and my abilities degrade from there. Like I said, I went bird hunting with my dad sometimes, but it was never my favorite and that shows in my skill level.

“Lily can shoot too,” he says. “Even if she’s not a great shot it will create more chaos and give them more bullets to dodge.” Guns aren’t her favorite, but there’s no doubt she’ll do whatever is necessary. “I think we’ll be alright, barring some property damage.”

“I hope we’re alright. And that any property damage is minor.”

“I’m not going down without a fight,” he says, which I already knew. Nate’s just like that. “I’m happier than I thought I could be after Severny destroyed everything. Not that it isn’t hard, and I don’t miss people all the time, but somewhere along the way I realized I need to let myself be happy, you know?”

“Yes.” I really, really do. It’s easy to fall into survivor’s guilt until you realize that nobody who died would want us to spend the rest of our lives miserable. That doesn’t mean I don’t have my bouts of survivor’s guilt all the same. It does make it easier to move forward and feel okay about it when I smile and laugh.

“You’re a big part of my happiness. You do know that, right?”

“I know.” I kiss him again. “And I feel the same way. You’re awesome like that.”

“Keep throwing around adjectives like awesome and I’m gonna get a big head.”

“Which head are we talking about?” I ask with an unsubtle glance at his crotch.

“I was talking about the one on my neck.”

“Past tense. I can work with that. Let’s hurry up and get these carrots harvested so we can go inside, where I can admire your other head.”

“If I didn’t know better I’d say you only want me for my body.”

“Since you do know better there’s nothing wrong with heartfelt appreciation.”

Nate raises his eyebrows. “Sure, pretend your heart is in charge at the moment.”

“You say that as though it’s a bad thing, but you’re picking carrots faster.”

 

About the Author

Some kids have imaginary friends. Jessie grew up in rural Maine where she needed to entertain herself, so she created an imaginary village and she has been dreaming up stories ever since. These days she writes romances which reflect her love of hot guys and a good happy ending.

Married to her own Mr. Right, Jessie gratefully acknowledges his support and encouragement. She enjoys exploring the diversity of the universe and therefore cannot commit to a single subgenre of male/male romance. She’s also a chocoholic, avid reader, and travel enthusiast. Too often she rushes out at the last minute because she lost track of time while writing.

 

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