Release Blitz: Pain and Promise

BOOK BLAST

Book Title: Pain and Promise

Author: Lazlo Thorn

Publisher: MLR Press

Cover Artist: Melody Pond

Genre/s: Gay Romance / Erotica / Historical

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length: 73 000 words/230 pages

It is a standalone book

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Buy Links

Publisher/MLR Press

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Blurb

June, 1981: The small town of Frentana on the Adriatic coast of Italy was the last place Bobby would have suspected that his titanic struggle with being gay would come to a head. But then he hadn’t reckoned on the town’s evil secret weapon – Dario, a Michaelangelo man with a missionary zeal for sex with men and the tightest trousers that Bobby had ever set eyes on. But then Bobby wasn’t the first Englishman in that bright land where the olive trees grew, to be dazzled and beguiled by a local boy. For there was another love story that had yet to be told. A hidden affair separated from Bobby and Dario by almost forty years. An inspiring tale of a great war time romance between two very special young men and one with which Bobby would become strangely linked.

 

Excerpt

August, 1969

Florence, Italy

As the short, strong stranger drew level with Bobby, this young man, still engaged in deep conversation with his friends, nonchalantly reached down and pulled at the front of his trousers, as if scratching an itch in his groin. For a split-second, time seemed to freeze, and Bobby became lost in a moment of furtive fascination as this Florentine beauty continued touching and prodding himself between his legs. Then, in complete disregard for the very public place in which they stood, he suggestively adjusted the contents of his trousers, in much the same way a shopper in a supermarket might casually rummage in a heavy bag of vegetables.

The encounter lasted only a few seconds, and then the young blood and his equally attractive gang of friends were gone, leaving Bobby strangely crushed at the thought that this beautiful creature hadn’t even noticed he was there. The clock on the tower above his head struck eight, and time started up again. When Bobby glanced back at his family, his father was pointing enthusiastically toward the corner of the square where, having finally spotted their destination, they went on to spend a very enjoyable evening at the restaurant, and he thought no more about it.

Bobby found coming home to England after such a great holiday in Italy quite depressing, particularly when he realised that school would resume the following week. So once again, he turned his attention to more mundane matters like his unfinished holiday homework, and all too quickly, the glittering streets of Italy seemed just a distant memory.

Until that day when he made his bitter discovery.

It was early evening, not long after returning home. Alone in his bedroom, he gazed out of the window at their back garden. The red summer roses were dying back, and the rain was drizzling down. Why the memory came to him then, he wasn’t sure. Perhaps he heard the clock in the hallway downstairs chime eight. But come it did and, for whatever reason, he suddenly remembered the attractive young men in the street outside the restaurant in Florence. In particular, the one with the very tight trousers and the bulging fly. The one who couldn’t have been less like a girl. And then the penny dropped. He had been admiring a man, and, he suddenly realised, it hadn’t been the first time. These days, he was often looking at men that way and in particular at the contents of their trousers. Furthermore, when he thought about it, he always had. The picture by his bed, the rugby players in the park and the rough cowboys on television, and, yes, he was marvelling at men because he liked the look of them and the way they made him feel when he captured them in his sights. He wanted them. He had gazed at those men in the street back in Italy the way other boys at school or indeed his brother Charlie talked about looking at girls. So, there in the bedroom that evening at the end of the summer, staring into the back garden through the window, Bobby finally made the connection. A moment forever fixed in time. There was a name for this. He was a homosexual.

 

About the Author

Lazlo Thorn published his first novel (The Signal Box) in 2018. In his work he explores themes about life, death, love and sexuality, set against the social mores and prevailing attitudes to gay sex at different times and in different places. Pain and Promise is his second novel and takes the reader to a small town on the Adriatic coast of Italy where two love stories, separated by almost forty years, become linked in an unexpected way. The author has lived and worked in various countries and travelled widely in Europe and beyond. Today, he lives in England with his husband, in a quiet seaside town on the south coast.

 

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Release Blitz: His Two Leading Men

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: His Two Leading Men

Author: Aidan Wayne

Publisher: Self-Published

Cover Artist: Aidan Wayne

Genre/s: Contemporary sweet gay romance, menage

Heat Rating: 2 flames

Length: 57,000words/ 205 pages (309 in kindle format, 296 in PDF)

It is a standalone story.

Release Date: November 9, 2018

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Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

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Amazon UK

Blurb

Broadway star Skye’s whole life is an act.

On the surface, he’s living the New York Dream – acclaimed by critics for his stunning debut, playing to packed audiences every night.

They don’t know the truth.

Battling crippling anxiety, every show is a struggle for Skye. Only one thing gives him the courage to step into the spotlight every performance – the steady, calming support of costumer Russell. But Skye can’t burden Russell with all his demons…

When wealthy patron Brent takes an interest in Skye, everything the actor knows is turned upside down. Charismatic and confident, Brent is everything Skye isn’t… and just what he needs. But how can he choose between gentle Russell and magnetic Brent? Russell means so much to him, but the chemistry between Skye and Brent is undeniable.

Or does he have to choose at all…?

Excerpt

Quick changes, Skye decided as he scrambled offstage yet again, were the worst part of any show. It was the start of full-dress rehearsal week for the Broadway debut show Child’s Play, so he was figuring out how to get into and out of his costumes–and in time to scale the ladder to the height of center stage so he could descend from the ceiling. He’d botched it twice already, not making it in time for his cue, and he was a mess of nerves trying to get decked out in his light-up tuxedo while he paid attention to the music.

“Hey,” his quick-changer murmured as he affixed Skye’s mask. “You’ve got this.”

Right. Skye nodded and hurried over to the ladder.

After rehearsal was over and the cast was undressing and taking off makeup, Skye decided to track down the quick-changer. His calm amidst the storm had really helped, and Skye wanted to say thanks.

It had been chaotic and dark, but Skye didn’t have a problem remembering what he looked like. Taller than Skye, with dark brown skin and kind eyes.

He found him fixing costume pieces on their hangers, and seeing him in full light–he looked more like someone who should be modeling clothes, over making them. “Hi,” Skye said, trying to sound more confident and less shy. “Uh, I’m Skye. I don’t think we’ve been introduced?”

The quick-changer chuckled, a low, throaty sound, and held out a hand. “Russell,” he said. “And I know who you are. Hard to miss the Power Prince.”

Right. Skye was still in full makeup. He, at least, was easy to recognize. He ruefully rubbed the back of his neck. Skye tried his best to get to know the stage crew, but between them and the cast there were a lot of people to keep track of. Once the show was up and running for a few weeks he’d definitely be better at it, but people sort of stayed in their little boxes during rehearsals. They didn’t meld properly into one complete unit the show actually started. But Russell he wasn’t going to forget. “I just wanted to say thanks.”

“What for?”

“For, you know, encouraging me back there. I really needed it. And it helped a lot.”

Russell smiled at him. “Happy to help.”

“Yeah, uh–” It didn’t feel like enough, just saying thanks. And he didn’t know the guy yet–but it’d be a good idea to get to know him. Especially considering he’d be the one helping Skye strip down and then dress back up twice a show. “Are you busy, now that rehearsal is done for the day?”

Russell shook his head. “Just need to finish prepping this all for tomorrow. Shouldn’t take me long. Why?”

“You want to grab a bite to eat together?”

“Sure.”

“Want to meet by the back door when you’re ready? I have to take all this off anyway.”

Russell chuckled again. “I might be done before you are, but sure, yeah. Meet you then.”

Skye grinned. “Great.”

He left to go peel off his costume, unpin his wig, and take off all the stage makeup. In the end, he just wiped off as much as he could manage. He was pretty sure all Broadway actors had perpetually lined eyes at this point. Well, it wasn’t like he minded that much–it did make his eyes pop.

When he was dressed in real-people clothes again, he grabbed up his bag and left for the backstage door. A few people were still milling around, but Russell was standing a little off to one side. Not checking his phone or anything, just watching what was going on around him.

Skye went up to him. “Hey,” he said. “Thanks for waiting. Looks like you were right; you were done before I was.”

Russell blinked at him and then laughed. “So that’s what you look like when you’re out of makeup. I’ve been wondering.”

“You have?”

Russell shrugged. “I mean, I’ve seen everyone’s playbill headshots, but by the time I get to most of you, you’re all in makeup, if not costumed.”

“I thought you were one of the costumers.”

“Yeah, but that mostly means I’m sewing or repairing or washing. I just get put on the quick-changes once we get into dress shows. I’ve got fast fingers.”

Skye laughed. “Okay, good to know. And, I mean, I appreciated them. You’re going to be the one working with me?” Hopefully he didn’t sound to eager.

“Yup. For the changes on that side of the stage that need an extra pair of hands, I’m your guy.”

Skye smiled. “Nice to hear.”

“So where we headed?”

“Oh, uh,” Skye might not’ve thought that far. “What are you in the mood for?”

“You pick. You were the one who did the inviting, after all.” Russell grinned at him.

Skye tried not to panic. He wasn’t so great at choosing things. “Um.” There was that burger joint a block away that he and the others frequented a lot, that might be a good place. But maybe that was too fast-foody? There was a sushi bar pretty close by too, but Russell might not like that. Maybe–

“Actually,” Russell said after what was probably too long a pause on Skye’s part, “I could really do with a burger. That sound good to you?”

Crisis averted. Second time that day Russell had done that. “Yeah.” Skye smiled. “That sounds great.

Meet the Author

Aidan Wayne has been publishing LGBTQ+ fiction since 2016. While they usually stick with contemporary romance (both adult and YA), some soft sci-fi/fantasy has been known to sneak in as well. They primarily write character-driven stories with happy endings, because, dammit, queer people deserve happy endings too.

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Release Blitz and Review: Thrall by Thrall by Avon Gale and Roan Parrish

Thrall by Avon Gale and Roan Parrish

 Publisher: Philtre Press

 Release Date (Print & Ebook): September 27th, 2018

 Subgenre: Mystery

 Order here:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2NNhs8v

All other vendors: https://www.books2read.com/u/bazLN6

 

Synopsis:

 

Dating Sucks & Love Bites

Happy couple Mina Murray and Lucy Westenra have begun to garner national attention for their quirky New Orleans true-crime podcast, Shadowcast. When Lucy’s brother Harker disappears while researching the popular new dating app Thrall, they’re thrown into a real-life mystery. Aided by their social media expert, Arthur, and Harker’s professor, Van Helsing, they follow the trail, hoping to find Harker before it’s too late.

When their investigation crosses the path of a possible serial killer, the line between fantasy and reality begins to blur. And as they race against the app’s countdown clock, so does the line between friendship and love. What starts as a flirtatious rivalry between computer-savvy Arthur and techno-averse Van Helsing becomes much more, and Mina and Lucy’s relationship is tested in the fires of social media.

As they get down to the wire, the group discovers that nothing on their screens is as it seems—including their enemy.

A modern retelling of Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

 

Excerpt:

 Van Helsing

I…no. You know you’re young enough to be one of my graduate students? Though much better dressed. But if your flirting is sincere, then I welcome it. I can’t deny that I felt something between us this morning.

 

Arthur Quincey

I, uh, definitely felt something

Ugh, sorry, that was a terrible joke—you should be impressed, I never get this nervous. but seriously, so did I. It’s definitely sincere.

 Van Helsing

I am also nervous. I…I suppose I don’t quite know what to say next. I’ve never attempted to flirt on a—what is this, chat?

 

Arthur Quincey

OMG, Gus. (I’m…look, that name reminds me of the musical Cats, which I loathe so can I call you Van?)

It’s kind of hot you just said you were nervous btw (and yeah, it’s chat)

 Van Helsing

I got the feeling you were calling me Professor on purpose, no? Yes, I suppose I can suffer through Van, if you must.

Ah, well, I’m very gratified you think so.

 

Arthur Quincey

Yeah, because I like it. The professor thing is totally a turn-on. And I like the idea of making you like that name, Van. Just because no one else has.

 

 

REVIEW

 

There were a lot of ups and down in this book and I’m still trying to figure out my overall feeling about the book.

 

The things that I liked about it were a lot. First, the retelling of a beloved book. It was an interesting concept and I loved seeing the characters in a total different way than I imagine them. I also liked the flirtatious tone of some of the interactions, it was really sweet. What I liked the most about it was the mystery. The moments when the story center in trying to solve the mystery were the ones that capture my attention the most.

 

The things that I didn’t liked about it were, maybe, as much as the ones that I did liked. I found interesting the way the story was told. It was unusual and I was glad to see the authors giving it a try to something new. Sadly, it didn’t worked that well for me. I found it distracting. I’m not a big fan of social media and I felt a bit lost at times. Another thing that was a bit distracting is that, somehow, I felt fool. I thought this was a F/F romance, and even though there was a F/F established couple, it wasn’t quite what I expect, maybe this one is on me because it’s not that clear in the blurb, and that’s what I interpreted on it. I still was glad to see some M/M romance there but, for a book that features a dating app, I think it wasn’t too romantic.

 

Overall it was ok. I didn’t particularly loved it, but there was a lot of the book that I really enjoyed.

 

 

 

 

About the Authors:

 

Avon Gale

Avon Gale was once the mayor on Foursquare of Jazzercise and Lollicup, which should tell you all you need to know about her as a person. She likes road trips, rock concerts, drinking Kentucky bourbon, JRPGs and yelling at hockey. She’s a displaced southerner living in a liberal midwestern college town, and she never gets tired of people and their stories — either real or the ones she makes up in her head.

 

Avon is represented by Courtney Miller-Callihan at Handspun Literary Agency.

 

Connect with Avon: Twitter | Facebook | Newsletter | Instagram | Website

 

Roan Parrish

Roan Parrish lives in Philadelphia, where she is gradually attempting to write love stories in every genre.

 

When not writing, she can usually be found cutting her friends’ hair, meandering through whatever city she’s in while listening to torch songs and melodic death metal, or cooking overly elaborate meals. She loves bonfires, winter beaches, minor chord harmonies, and self-tattooing. One time she may or may not have baked a six-layer chocolate cake and then thrown it out the window in a fit of pique.

 

Connect with Roan: Parrish or Perish FB Group | Twitter | Instagram | BookBub | Newsletter

 

 

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Release Blitz and Review: For You I Fall (Angels and Misfits #1) by T.N. Nova and Colette Davison

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: For You I Fall

Series: Angels & Misfits Book 1

Author: T.N. Nova & Colette Davison

Publisher: Self-Published

Cover Artist: Colette Davison

Editor: A.C. Minx

Genre/s: MM, Paranormal, Gay Romance

Length: 65 000 words/ 239 pages

It’s the first of the series but can be read as a standalone story.

Add on Goodreads

**Contains explicit language and scenes**

Blurb

Sometimes you must fall before you can fly free.

Despite having had a rough life, Seth has a big heart. After spending nearly ten years sleeping rough on the streets of New York, he’s managed to get himself freelance work and a place to live. But his new-found security is about to be torn apart, as the horrors of his past come back to haunt him in the worst possible way.

Dante was sent to watch over a young Seth when his mother died. As an angel, he had many rules to follow. The most important of which was to never fall in love—especially when it involves a human who is your charge. For the last ten years, Dante has kept his feelings for Seth hidden. That is until the night Seth’s past catches up with him.

When Seth is murdered, their destinies are changed forever. Feelings and emotions come to the surface, but will the rules that govern the afterlife keep Dante and Seth apart for eternity, or will they be able to find their happily ever after together?

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US

Amazon UK

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Amazon AU

Excerpt

Seth kept the last cup of coffee, now barely lukewarm, for the man who always sat alone, distant from the rest. There was something about him that mesmerized Seth in a way he couldn’t describe. It was probably the man’s eyes, which were a vivid shade of blue that pierced even the darkest night. He sat on the same bench every night, huddled in a tatty black trench coat.

“Seth.” Blue Eyes nodded his thanks as he wrapped his hands around the cup Seth handed to him.

“It’s not very warm, I’m afraid.”

Blue Eyes shrugged, never taking his gaze off Seth as he sipped the coffee. His dark hair fell to his shoulders in waves, framing his handsome face. His olive skin tone made him appear healthier than the rest, although Seth was reasonably sure that was deceptive. A short beard and mustache helped further define his broad chin and sculpted cheekbones. Seth thought to ask his name, but couldn’t convince the question to leave his lips.

He was always like that around Blue Eyes: tongue-tied and awkward. The man was incredibly gorgeous, and Seth couldn’t help but be physically attracted to him. Maybe in another lifetime, under very different circumstances, he would have the confidence to ask Blue Eyes more about himself; discover the mysteries sparkling in the depths of his eyes. But things were what they were and showing interest in the man was wholly inappropriate. So, instead of asking Blue Eyes his name, he uttered a goodbye and turned to go.

 

 

Review

I enjoy reading the book but it had a lot of ups and downs that make the experience a little odd. In general it was nice, but I was left wondering what to expect next, since is a first book in a series.

 

I liked the characters, Seth and Dante were both very likable. I think everyone will like them, both were really sweet and caring, although I did find hard to feel the chemistry between them, at times. I was unsure about Killian, I still am.  I start the book loving his attitude but as I keep reading he was behaving in such an immature way that I start losing interest in him. I do think there’s something behind the way he acted, and I hope I’ll get to know more about him in the future.

 

The biggest problem I had with the book was it was too predictable. It had no surprises and it became underwhelming. It start so strong and I was hook so easily that it was disappointing to keep reading and to noticed I lose the original interest I had in the plot. It rely too much on paranormal explanations to solve things that could have been solved in a more interesting way.

 

Even with the issues I had. I ended up liking the book a lot. I was pleased with the ending but I’m glad to see there will be more of it in the future. I truly hope getting to know more about Killian’s story in the next instalments.

 

About the Authors


T.N. Nova

T.N. Nova, Terri to her husband and Blazing Zane to her daughter, is the author of contemporary and paranormal gay romance. She’s lived in the desert southwest all of her adult life, most recently in Phoenix.

Her guilty pleasures are Minecraft, music, geeky stuff, diet Dr. Pepper, and all things Thor and Loki. She’s addicted, so now you know how to bribe her.

Colette Davison

Colette’s personal love story began at university, where she met her future husband. An evening of flirting, in the shadow of Lancaster castle, eventually led to a fairy tale wedding. She’s enjoying her own ‘happy ever after’ in the north of England with her husband, two beautiful children and her writing.

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Release Blitz: Torn by @MiaKerick @XpressoTours



 

Torn
Mia Kerick
Publication date: August 7th 2018
Genres: LGBTQ+, Romance, Young Adult

Vinny Bucci and Tommy Stecker are almost cousins—their mothers call themselves “sisters of the heart,” so that sort of makes them cousins, doesn’t it? Since childhood, they’ve shared holidays and Sunday services and their passion for soccer. But now they’re eighteen, high school seniors, and what has always been devoted friendship—the next best thing to family—has started to feel like something else. Something more….

Unfortunately, the Steckers can’t accept their son’s same-sex romance, and upon recognizing the teens’ mutual attraction, they push Tommy into dating a girl from church, then compel him to attend a Christian College far away from Vinny’s school. The Buccis and the Steckers—once a family of choice—clash over what’s right and go their separate ways.

Forced into separation, Vinny and Tommy are both devastated, but while Vinny hardens his heart to love, halfway across the country Tommy becomes emotionally and physically ill. Their passion for each other hasn’t diminished, let alone died, but they lose contact, and for the first time in their lives learn what it is to live with a broken heart.

Will Tommy and Vinny find their way back to each other, or will they accept the rules dictated by family and try to live severed lives, their love forever unfulfilled?

A Mature Young Adult Romance

Goodreads / Amazon

GUEST POST by MIA KERICK:

Hi. I’m Mia Kerick, here today with my very first STORY BALLAD, TORN.

 

Here’s how it came to be…

I can’t get enough pop ballads. The raw emotion, the sentimentality… the easy melodies that draw me in. What can I say? I’m a sucker for a tear-jerker—in books, movies, and music.

 

And so… I had this BIG IDEA: story ballads. I’d write a series of extremely romantic love stories. Not too long, but just long enough, and filled with passion—both sweet and angsty. Stories that make you feel how a ballad on the car stereo does. Picture it: you’re driving down a tree-lined country road on a brilliant summer day, windows down, sunroof open wide, wind in your hair…set to the sound of a melancholy tune that is louder than your thoughts.

Maybe you’ll cry. Maybe you’ll do that “awwww” thing. You might even smile, but you’ll most definitely feel something.

 

And so for this playlist, I chose only pop ballads that remind me of the angst and passion experienced by the two young men in Torn. Vinny and Tommy have every reason to be together forever—they are each other’s everything and have been since childhood—but sometimes it just isn’t that simple.

 

  1. “Stay With Me” by Sam Smith

Vinny wants to beg Tommy not to leave him—not just once, but many times throughout the story. This song expresses his raw need.

 

  1. “Apologize” by One Republic

Vinny feels as if he is always waiting for Tommy to cut the rope on which he dangles, effectively separating them forever. Will it be too late for Tommy to apologize?

 

 

  1. “Bleeding Love” by Leona Lewis

 Tommy has been pulled away from Vinny by his family, who doesn’t approve of same-sex relationships. But Tommy can’t live without his longtime soulmate, and he bleeds love.

  

 

 

  1. “How Long Will I Love You” by Ellie Goulding

 Eventually, Tommy and Vinny realize that they are forever each other’s.

 

 

 

  1. “Unconditionally” by Katy Perry

 Full and complete love of one other can only come for Tommy and Vinny with full and complete acceptance.

 

 

For all the feels… check out TORN, by Mia Kerick.

 

 

Author Bio:

Mia Kerick is the mother of four exceptional children—one in law school, another a professional dancer, a third studying at Mia’s alma mater, Boston College, and her lone son off to Syracuse. (Yes, there is Atlantic Coast Conference rivalry within the family.) She publishes LGBTQ romances when not editing National Honor Society essays, offering opinions on college and law school applications, helping to create dance bios, and reviewing English papers. Her husband of twenty-five years has been told by many that he has the patience of Job, but don’t ask Mia about this, as it is a sensitive subject.

Mia focuses her stories on the emotional growth of troubled young people and their relationships. She has a great affinity for the tortured hero in literature, and as a teen, Mia filled spiral-bound notebooks with tales of tortured heroes and stuffed them under her mattress for safekeeping. Now she publishes her work—it’s an alternate place to stash her stories.

Her books have been featured in Kirkus Reviews magazine and have won Rainbow Awards for Best Transgender Contemporary Romance and Best YA Lesbian Fiction, a Reader Views’ Book by Book Publicity Literary Award, the Jack Eadon Award for Best Book in Contemporary Drama, an Indie Fab Award, a First Place Royal Dragonfly Award for Cultural Diversity, a First Place Story Monsters Purple Dragonfly Award for YA Fiction, among others.

Mia Kerick is a social liberal and cheers for each and every victory made in the name of human rights. Her only major regret: never having taken typing or computer class in school, destining her to a life consumed with two-fingered pecking and constant prayer to the Gods of Technology. Contact Mia at miakerick@gmail.com or visit at http://www.miakerickya.com to see what is going on in Mia’s world.

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Release Blitz: To See the Sun by Kelly Jensen (Excerpt and Giveaway)

 

To See the Sun by Kelly Jensen

 Publisher: Riptide Publishing

 Release Date: August 13, 2018

 Length: Print – 243 pages. Ebook – 295 pages.

 Subgenre: Science fiction, western

 Reader warnings: past and present violence, and references to past abuse.

For a full list of tags, visit: Riptide Publishing and click on “Additional Details”

Links:

 Riptide Publishing

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Book synopsis:

 

Survival is hard enough in the outer colonies—what chance does love have?

 

Life can be harsh and lonely in the outer colonies, but miner-turned-farmer Abraham Bauer is living his dream, cultivating crops that will one day turn the unforgiving world of Alkirak into paradise. He wants more, though. A companion—someone quiet like him. Someone to share his days, his bed, and his heart.

 

Gael Sonnen has never seen the sky, let alone the sun. He’s spent his whole life locked in the undercity beneath Zhemosen, running from one desperate situation to another. For a chance to get out, he’ll do just about anything—even travel to the far end of the galaxy as a mail-order husband. But no plan of Gael’s has ever gone smoothly, and his new start on Alkirak is no exception. Things go wrong from the moment he steps off the shuttle.

 

Although Gael arrives with unexpected complications, Abraham is prepared to make their relationship work—until Gael’s past catches up with them, threatening Abraham’s livelihood, the freedom Gael gave everything for, and the love neither man ever hoped to find.

 

Excerpt:

 

Bram pushed up from the table. “I’m going to make tea. Want some?”

 

“I can make it.”

 

“Sit. I didn’t ship you all the way out here to wait on me.”

 

“What did you ship me out here for?”

 

Bram didn’t answer, and the question burned the back of his neck as he performed the mundane task of making the tea. He selected an herbal blend, his favorite, and spooned desiccated leaves, fruit peel, and flower heads into the diffusing chamber at the center of a battered metal pot. He could program the beverage machine, but he preferred to make tea the old-fashioned way. Leaves and hot water. Sometimes the process of a thing was as important as the result.

 

He reached toward the shelf of mugs and stopped as a hand touched his shoulder. Warm breath ghosted across the cooling skin at the back of his neck, reigniting his blush. Bram let his fingers catch on the edge of the shelf and rest there, and tipped his head forward. Gael moved closer, the heat of his body evident now as he leaned in.

 

Lips met the back of his neck in a soft kiss. A small quake shifted the muscles beneath Bram’s skin, his body making ready to turn. He held still a moment longer before following another long-held urge, turning slowly—so slowly—until they were face to face. Well, until his mouth was level with Gael’s forehead. Bram pressed a kiss there, one as gentle as the touch of lips to the back of his neck.

 

“I didn’t bring you out here for this, either,” he murmured.

 

“Yes, you did.”

 

Bram took hold of Gael’s slim shoulders. “Not just this.” And not like this.

 

In answer, Gael lifted his face, offering up his mouth. Bram’s resolve lasted about a second longer than he thought it might before he bent to taste those lips. They’d been interrupted twice now. No longer.

 

Gael’s lips were so soft, melting beneath his, opening—though Bram didn’t take the invitation right away. He kissed both lips, together and separately. He tasted them, the scent of Gael mingling with the bitter tang of the outside air. Gael made a small sound: a whimper or a moan. Bram deepened the kiss, still resisting the temptation of Gael’s tongue. He didn’t want to fall all in, lose himself.

 

Then he was there, falling, his lips and hands operating independently of thought. He craved the warmth of Gael’s skin and wanted to compare it to the feel of his tongue. See if he moved the same way—gently, teasingly. Gael seemed as wrapped up in the kiss as Bram. He shifted, constantly, swaying into Bram, hooking his hands into the back pockets of Bram’s work pants.

 

Blood shot south to pulse in his cock, leaving Bram in that almost-forgotten state of arousal—somewhere between thought and thoughtlessness. He teetered there, reveling in the anticipation, and let his imagination roam. Oh, to touch Gael’s skin, to taste him. To hear the sounds he’d make when aroused, when brought to climax, when drifting in the aftermath. Would he be loud? Would he be shy and sweet?

 

A soft click sounded behind him. The tea. Blinking as though roused from a dream, Bram pulled back. Gael leaned in immediately, following him. He kissed Bram’s neck and ground his hips forward. Bram tugged Gael’s hands from his pockets, regret making his movements clumsy.

 

Gael tipped his head back. “What are you doing?”

 

“The tea is ready.”

 

One long, slow blink. “What?”

 

“The tea.” Bram was still holding Gael’s hands, and stupidly, he didn’t want to let go. But he did so he could turn and collect the mugs. Pick up the pot.

 

“Did I do something wrong?”

 

“No.”

 

“Then why did we stop?”

 

Bram had to consider his answer because he didn’t really know, not in a way he could express in words. It would have been so easy to keep going. To have had something fast and dirty in the kitchen, or to have picked Gael up and carried him to the bedroom.

 

Gael followed him into the HV room and sat beside him on the couch. Waited quietly while Bram poured the tea and handed over one of the mugs. Picking up the other mug, Bram thought a little more. Wrapped his fingers around the warm composite of ceramic and plastic and searched for just the right words.

 

“We’ve got time.” Bram raised the mug to his lips, but decided the tea was still too hot to take a sip. “Doesn’t all have to happen in one night.”

 

 

About Kelly Jensen:

If aliens ever do land on Earth, Kelly will not be prepared, despite having read over a hundred stories of the apocalypse. Still, she will pack her precious books into a box and carry them with her as she strives to survive. It’s what bibliophiles do.

 

Kelly is the author of a number of novels, novellas and short stories, including the Chaos Station series, co-written with Jenn Burke. Some of what she writes is speculative in nature, but mostly it’s just about a guy losing his socks and/or burning dinner. Because life isn’t all conquering aliens and mountain peaks. Sometimes finding a happy ever after is all the adventure we need.

 

Connect with Kelly: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Author Blog | Author Website | Pinterest | Tumblr | Join the newsletter

 

Enter the Giveaway:

 

Prize: Enter to win any back catalog Chaos Station ebook by Kelly Jensen and Jenn Burke or paperback of Always and Forever: A Chaos Station Collection by Kelly Jensen and Jenn Burke. Open internationally.

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Release Blitz: Brave for You by Crystal Lacy (Excerpt and Giveaway)

 

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Length: 86,000 words approx.
 
Cover Design: Jay Aheer
 
Blurb
 

Less than a year after moving to Hawaii, construction foreman Nate Ellison’s wife leaves him and their infant son for another man. Months into single-fatherhood, Nate meets Andrew “An” Hoang and is slowly drawn into An’s life. Through An’s friendship, he finds himself finally enjoying his new home in paradise.


An Hoang hasn’t had a real relationship in years. With his pediatrics practice and a niece to care for on his days off, he doesn’t have the headspace for more than a simple roll in the sack. But when he meets Nate—who just happens to be the gorgeous construction worker he encountered in the lobby of his apartment building—something about Nate makes it impossible for him not to care. When Nate needs An’s help with his son, An doesn’t refuse.


What happens when Nate’s past and An’s old-fashioned parents interfere just as the two men begin to fall for each other? Will they find the means to be brave and give their love a chance to flourish?

 
Excerpt
 
He stared at the sweet curve of Nate’s lips on his screen and felt his cock twitch in his hand. His other hand must have twitched in response, too, because the very next thing was that he could hear Nate’s voice on the other line, “Hey,” followed by a slower, “Hello?”


An sucked in a sharp breath. He’d answered the phone. Nate was on the phone and An’s cock was still hard in his hand. He brought the phone up to his ear, the glass casing cold and slippery against his cheek acting as a welcome shock to his system.


“Hi.”


“Hey, man.” Nate’s voice was warm and cheerful, as though he’d been waiting all day to hear from An. An knew that wasn’t a possibility, knew this was probably just how Nate sounded to everyone over the phone, but it didn’t keep his body from responding automatically. His face split into a wide smile and then, An noted rather ruefully, his cock pulsed against his palm.


Picking up the call had been a mistake, and An would have to rectify that mistake any moment now, make some kind of excuse and hang up on Nate. He had been about to seal the deal with whoever it was on Grindr, and he didn’t need to be on the phone with his neighbor at this moment. Not when Nate was only a few steps away. Not when Nate was unavailable.


Tell him you’ll call him back. Hang up.


He cleared his throat, swallowing thickly before speaking. “Hi,” he said, and realized this was a repeat of the last words he’d spoken. Embarrassment, he discovered, did not cause him to lose his erection. “What can I do for you?”


“Oh, I wanted to check if you guys were doing anything next weekend. Going hiking again, or…” Nate sounded unsure. “Am I interrupting something? You seem kind of… Are you sick?”


“No, no. A little cold. I was in the process of getting dressed.” Not technically a lie. It was chilly in here from the central air and he would have to get dressed eventually if he wanted to drive to wherever he was meeting Jay. An forced his hand away from his own cock and ran it through the hair on his head in an effort to calm himself. He needed to focus on the question Nate was asking and not on how intimate Nate’s voice sounded so close to his ear. This was the first time he’d heard from Nate all week, though Nate had left the car on Saturday with a promise to be in touch.


“Dai mentioned she wanted to go down to the Halona Blowhole look-out point,” he managed to say without losing his train of thought. “Walk down to the cove. Swim. Do you know the place?”


“Never been.” Was it wishful thinking or was that hope in Nate’s voice?


“If you’d like to tag along, we could carpool. Perhaps have a picnic. Let the children play.”


“We’d love to, if you don’t think we’re imposing.”


“How could you impose when I’m the one who suggested it? Dai will be very pleased. If there’s nothing else you have planned for next weekend.”


“No. No plans.” Nate’s laughter rang golden over the phone line. “I’m kinda pathetic, aren’t I? Calling you up and forcing you to make plans that include me.”


“We were going anyway,” An lied, feeling touched by the easy vulnerability of Nate’s words. “You didn’t force me, I promise. I’ll text you the details once I find out when we’ll be ready to go. I’m not sure if I’ll have Dai on Saturday or Sunday.”


“Oh, yeah… I’ll let you get back to—to what you were doing.” There was a shyness to Nate’s tone that made An smile, made him pretend that maybe Nate had remembered that An told him he was getting dressed, and maybe that made Nate think about An talking to him on the phone in a state of undress. An reached down again, passing a hand over the hard length of his cock, holding the phone away from his mouth so the quickening of his breath wouldn’t reach the microphone.


“It’s fine.” He spoke a little louder so Nate could hear across the distance of his mouth and the phone. “I’ll talk to you later about next weekend. Or text you.” They said their goodbyes. Nate wished An a “nice weekend” and then the call cut off. An’s display was back on the Grindr chat window.


Show me urs was still the last message on the chat log, right underneath Jay’s dick pic. An swiped up to the camera app. He snapped a quick shot of himself, hard and heavy in his own hand, leaking a drop of clear fluid at the tip. Then he deleted it.


An: Sorry, something came up tonight. Maybe another time.

Crystal Lacy lives with her loving family in Hawaii, where it is always either drizzling or sunny and never snows—which is a shame, because she prefers being cold to being damp and hot unless it’s for Very Good Reasons. She writes queer romance, mainly M/M, but also some F/F. She has aspirations to one day write a YA novel about cats.


Crystal is a long-time fangirl and writes slash fanfiction for the Harry Potter and NBC Hannibal fandoms. She has a deep love for fandom culture, and can be frequently spotted on Twitter and Tumblr reblogging pretty fan art.


Join Crystal’s readers group on FB for sneak peeks, bonus content, and ARC opportunities or subscribe her newsletter for monthly book giveaways, recs, news, and more! You can also follow Crystal on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook

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