Friday, April 20, 2018

New Release-Excerpt: SECOND CHANCE by Jay Northcote




Length: 67,000 words approx.
Cover Design: Black Jazz Design


Blurb

Everyone deserves a second chance.

Nate and his teenage daughter need a fresh start, so they move back to the village where he grew up. Nate's transgender, and not used to disclosing his history, so it's hard living where people knew him before. When Nate reconnects with Jack--his best friend from school and unrequited crush--his feelings return as strong as ever.

Jack's returned home to get his life in order after an addiction to alcohol caused him to lose everything: his job, his driver's licence, and nearly his life. He's living with his parents, which is less than ideal, but rekindling his friendship with Nate--or Nat as Jack once knew him--is an unexpected benefit of being back home. Jack is amazed by Nate's transformation, and can't deny his attraction. Trying for more than friendship might ruin what they already have, but the chemistry between them is undeniable.

Doubting his feelings are reciprocated, Nate fears he's risking heartbreak. Jack's reluctance to tell his parents about their relationship only reinforces Nate's misgivings. With both their hearts on the line and their happiness at stake, Jack needs to make things right, and Nate has to be prepared to give him a second chance.



Excerpt

A hint of cigarette smoke carried on the wind caught Nate’s attention, and he realised he wasn’t alone. A hunched figure sat on a bench by the church. Wearing a heavy coat with the hood up, their head hung low staring at the grass between their feet rather than at the landscape stretched out before them. A cigarette hung from bony fingers that protruded from black fingerless gloves. As Nate watched, the man—because Nate could see his face now—raised his head to take a long drag before stubbing the cigarette out on the bench.

A shock of recognition made Nate’s heart jump, thudding erratically.

Jack.

Torn between conflicting urges to approach and flee, Nate stared at him, powerless to move.

How many years had it been since Nate had seen him? At forty-five Nate found each year passed faster than the one before. It must have been twenty years at least since he’d seen Jack, maybe more, and longer still since they’d spoken properly. Their last meeting had been nothing more than an awkward exchange of greetings when they ran into each other in the village pub one Christmas. The distance between them had cut Nate like a knife, so different to their teenage years when they’d been best friends, and almost inseparable.

Jack slumped forward again, letting the cigarette butt fall from his fingers. He put his hands over his face and Nate recognised despair and hopelessness, because they’d been his companions in the past. Acting on instinct, he approached.

“Sorry to intrude,” he said, pausing in front of Jack. “But are you okay? Is there anything I can do?”

Jack jerked his head up in surprise. His pale cheeks flushed as he shook his head. “Not really. Just having a bad day. You know how it is… or maybe you don’t.”

“I do.”

Nate studied him. The years had changed Jack, of course, but the essence of him was still the same. Sharp features, the strong nose Jack had always hated, even more defined with age, but more balanced now with dark stubble and the lines that the years were beginning to carve around his eyes and mouth.


As Jack stared back, Nate realised there was no recognition dawning on Jack’s face. To Jack, Nate was a stranger. Five years on testosterone had changed Nate to a point where Jack couldn’t see the person Nate had been before. Normally this was something Nate was glad about, but now he felt a pang of regret.



Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England. He comes from a family of writers, but always used to believe that the gene for fiction writing had passed him by. He spent years only ever writing emails, articles, or website content.

One day, Jay decided to try and write a short story-just to see if he could-and found it rather addictive. He hasn't stopped writing since.

Jay writes contemporary romance about men who fall in love with other men. He has five books published by Dreamspinner Press, and also self-publishes under the imprint Jaybird Press. Many of his books are now available as audiobooks.

Jay is transgender and was formerly known as she/her.



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Thursday, April 19, 2018

Audiobook Review: #THE BEST EVER by Deanna Wadsworth, Narrated by Terrence Leonardo


The Best Ever: A 1NightStand Story
Author: Deanna Wadsworth
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Release: February 14, 2018



Blurb

Jason Lewis is a self-proclaimed nerdy guy who hates his red hair. Bullied most of his life, at 22 social situations still make him awkward. On a trip to the World Video Game Expo in Las Vegas, Jason decides to enlist the help of Madame Eve in his failed romantic endeavors. While at the con, he runs into sexy, professional baseball pitcher Blake Huntington, the guy he tutored in high school. Blake invites him to a party and after hanging out with his high school crush, Jason begins to regret booking his 1NS "encounter" later that night. But Madame Eve may have planned the best night ever.

Audio Book Links:


E-Book Buy Links:



Audio Sample:



Carra's Review

This is a novella in the 1NightStand series, and mixes a little sweet with a touch of second chance romance and a heavy dose of nerd/jock matchup, and what you get is another great addition to this series.  

Jason is the nerdy math kid in high school, subject to bullying at the hands of the jock and popular crowd, at least until the star baseball player he’s tutoring—Blake—gets wind of it.  There’s a touching moment between the two during a comfort scene at the beginning of the story, but then they wind up going their separate ways until they meet up again seven years later.

While you can probably predict who Madame Eve has set up for Jason, how it all comes about and plays out afterward makes for a sweet, then sensual story…as well as a culmination of more than one high school crush.

This is a quick read/listen, yet it still gave me a satisfying story and characters with depth that I really did enjoy.  The story was a 4-star read for me, and fits very well with the series.  If you’re looking for something shorter that will still result in a thorough story, you’ll definitely find it here with #The Best Ever.


The narration: This is the first audiobook I’ve listened to with this narrator.  He has a pleasant voice, and paced the story well, though sometimes the consistency of the voices was lacking.  The sound quality seemed to change often throughout the story, which was a bit annoying at times.  And while reading “#” (“hashtag”) over and over doesn’t bother me, hearing it said over and over actually did—though this is not due to the narrator, it’s just having that same word said out loud so many times in one story was distracting for me.  Overall though, I was satisfied with this audiobook and will be listening to it again in the future.


Author Bio

Deanna Wadsworth might be a bestselling erotica author, but she leads a pretty vanilla life in Ohio with her wonderful husband and a couple adorable cocker spaniels. She has been spinning tales and penning stories since childhood, and her first erotic novella was published in 2010. She has served multiple board positions at her local RWA chapter and is the current President 2017 for Rainbow Romance Writers of America. When she isn’t writing books or brainstorming with friends, you can find her making people gorgeous in a beauty salon. She loves music and dancing, and can often be seen hanging out on the sandbar in the muddy Maumee River or chilling with her hubby and a cocktail in their basement bar. In between all that fun, Deanna cherishes the quiet times when she can let her wildly active imagination have the full run of her mind. Her fascination with people and the interworkings of their relationships have always inspired her to write romance with spice and love without boundaries.


You can also find her young adult alter ego, K.D. Worth 


Buy Deanna’s books at Dreamspinner Press, Decadent Publishing or at any reputable eBook seller like Amazon




New Release-Excerpt: HARD TO GET by Jaclyn Quinn (Haven's Cove #2)


HARD TO GET
HAVEN’S COVE SERIES, BOOK 2
JACLYN QUINN
M/M ROMANCE
RELEASE DATE: 04.19.18

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COVER DESIGN by Cate Ashwood Designs


BLURB

Gabe D’Angelo has it all. Designer clothes, luxury cars, a cool confidence most would envy, and a never-ending supply of money—and men. When he arrived in Haven’s Cove to be there for his best friend, he never imagined he’d end up extending his stay indefinitely. Small town living isn’t so bad after all, and the views are magnificent—especially the view of a sexy, rugged blond. But when that mysterious, brooding man refuses all Gabe’s advances, he is forced to take a step back and truly look at the person he’s become.

Nate Black moved from Boston to Haven’s Cove for his family. He’s missed small town living and the simple, tranquil life that comes with it. What he doesn’t bargain for is the pushy, spoiled playboy who’s set his eyes on Nate as his next conquest. Knowing this man has the potential to crack the foundation of his quiet life, Nate will do everything he can to protect his safe, closed-off world.

Is one man worth loving? Is the other worth the sacrifice? Or is the love they’re searching for not just hard to get but completely out of reach?


Hard-to-Get---Promo-Image-#1

EXCERPT

Gabe sighed again, rolling his eyes. “My God, did the four of you have a Nate Protection Plan meeting I wasn’t invited to? I assure you, I’m harmless. I’m also pretty sure that Nate is a grown man who doesn’t need protection—unless it’s a condom. Then I fully condone it and will even offer my services in the Sheathing Department.” Gabe winked. “He can thank me later.” He held the beer bottle in the crook of his left arm and patted Jonah’s cheek. “Wish me luck.” Then he walked around Jonah and headed for his target.

Nate didn’t disappoint tonight; that was for sure. The guy made a pair of jeans the sexiest material ever to fit on a man’s strong body. Long legs, strong muscled thighs, unmistakable well-endowed bulge covered in denim. It made Gabe want to get down on his knees and find out what hid beneath the denim—with his tongue. Nate’s broad chest was screaming to be released from the tightly stretched black cotton T-shirt. Tell me the man doesn’t know what he’s doing to me in that outfit?

“You’re staring.” Two plump, well-defined lips uttered the words—none too kindly—and Gabe blinked, snapping out of his stupor.

Sh*t, was there drool on his chin? He’d been undressing the man with his eyes. “Sorry, bad habit. Another beer?” Gabe held up the bottle to Nate, and as he expected, was quickly shot down.

“No, thanks,” Nate said, obviously irritated, not even looking in Gabe’s direction.

“Tell me, Mr. Black, do you have a problem with all tall, dark, and handsome men, or is it just me who ruffles that blond hair of yours?” Gabe asked. His voice was low and seductive as he moved in a little closer to Nate.

Nate turned his face to look at Gabe and snickered. “Tell me, Mr. D’Angelo, do you have a problem with rejection in general, or is it just the fact that I’m not interested that rubs your conceited ego the wrong way?”

Touché.

Gabe smiled wickedly and moved a little closer, letting his hot breath caress Nate’s ear as he whispered, “Trust me. There isn’t a wrong way to rub me. When you’re ready to admit you want to, we can make this interesting.”

Nate moved in even closer, the heat from his body making Gabe’s c*ck dance with glee. Nate’s lips and the scruff of his goatee brushed up against Gabe’s ear, sending a delicious chill down his spine. “Why don’t you hold your breath,” Nate pulled back abruptly, “and see where that gets you.” With a look of disgust, he walked away.

“Well, that went well,” Gabe said to no one in particular. He had to laugh at the situation or he’d explode. If he were smart he’d get over it, realize the man was a waste of time, and find someone more willing to tickle his fancy—and other parts of his anatomy. Hell, he could be back in the city with a man filling him so good by the end of the night.

Too bad he wasn’t a smart man.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

I have been an artist from a very young age. From drawing cartoon characters and evolving into portraits, making jewelry, photography, and now writing. I have an amazing support system in my family and friends and couldn’t be more grateful.

I live in central New Jersey, love summers at the Jersey Shore, rock music, wine, sexy men, and laughing a lot with my amazing friends and family. Sunday dinners at my parents’ house are crazy, hysterical and you can count on a movie quote…or ten…being thrown out. Insults between siblings is how we show our love for each other!

When I’m not creating, you can find me reading books from my favorite authors. I’m a hopeless romantic, starving for passionate characters and always craving that happy ending, whether in reading or in writing my own books.



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New Release-Excerpt & Giveaway: THE WEEKEND BUCKET LIST by Mia Kerick

WBL Release

The Weekend Bucket List

Author: Mia Kerick

Release Date: April 19th 2018

Genre: Young Adult, LGBT

37802033

BLURB

High school seniors Cady LaBrie and Cooper Murphy have yet to set one toe out of line—they’ve never stayed out all night or snuck into a movie, never gotten drunk or gone skinny-dipping. But they have each other, forty-eight hours before graduation, and a Weekend Bucket List.

There’s a lot riding on this one weekend, especially since Cady and Cooper have yet to admit, much less resolve, their confounding feelings for one another—feelings that prove even more difficult to discern when genial high school dropout Eli Stanley joins their epic adventure. But as the trio ticks through their bucket list, the questions they face shift toward something new: Must friendship play second fiddle to romance? Or can it be the ultimate prize?

Purchase: 



Find The Weekend Bucket List on Goodreads

SKINNY-DIPPING_

EXCERPT

She acts as if this was my big idea, but The Weekend Bucket List has got Cady LaBrie’s name written all over it. She’s persuasive, though—the girl has almost got me believing I came up with the idea to do everything we never did that “normal” kids do in high school, all in the forty-eight hours before graduation. We have a lot of lost time to make up for.

“These fries are so good.” Cady’s eyes are closed like she’s in goddamned ecstasy. I’m not sure why, but I look away.

“How can you eat so freaking much and stay so freaking skinny?” I ask, as Cady starts in on her second large order of french fries. And these are just appetizers.

“I’m petite, Cooper. Not skinny... and you’re skinny, too.”

I shrug and suck futilely on the straw that stands straight in my vanilla shake.

“Whatever.” It doesn’t matter how thick the shake is; I’m in no rush to suck it down. Cady’s the talker in this relationship, so all I’ve got to do is sit here and listen.

_True friendship is never serene._— Marquise de Sevigne

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About the Author

MiaMia Kerick is the mother of four exceptional children—a daughter in law school, another in dance school, a third studying at Mia’s alma mater, Boston College, and her lone son still in high school. She writes LGBTQ romance 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-four 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 emotional growth in turbulent relationships. As she has a great affinity for the tortured hero, there is, at minimum, one in each book. As a teen, Mia filled spiral-bound notebooks with tales of said tortured heroes (most of whom happened to strongly resemble lead vocalists of 1980s big-hair bands) and stuffed them under her mattress for safekeeping. She is thankful to Dreamspinner Press and Harmony Ink Press for providing alternate places to stash her stories.

Her books have won a Best YA Lesbian Rainbow Award, a Reader Views’ Book by Book Publicity Literary Award, the Jack Eadon Award for Best Book in Contemporary Drama, an Indie Fab Award, and a Royal Dragonfly Award for Cultural Diversity, among other awards.

Mia is a Progressive, a little bit too obsessed by politics, and cheers for each and every victory 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. Visit her website for updates on what is going on in Mia’s world, rants, music, parties, and pictures, and maybe even a little bit of inspiration.




Embrace-the-Rainbow-e1510058453504


Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Review & Giveaway: SOUL TO KEEP by Garrett Leigh (Rented Heart #2)




Length: 62,000 words
Cover Design: Black Jazz Design

Rented Heart Series

Rented Heart (Book #1) - Universal Buy Link


Blurb

Recovering addict Jamie Yorke has returned to England from California. With no home or family to speak of, he sticks a pin in a map and finds a small town in the Derbyshire Peak District. Matlock Bath is a quiet place-he just needs to get there, keep his head down, and stay clean. Simple, right? Until a chance meeting on the flight home alters the course of his so-called life forever.

Ex-Army medic Marc Ramsey is recovering from life-changing combat injuries while pulling nights as a trauma specialist at the local hospital. Keeping busy is a habit he can't quit, but when Jamie-so wild and beautiful-bursts into his life, working himself into the ground isn't as compelling as it used to be.

Marc falls hard, but chaos lurks behind Jamie's fragile facade. He's winning his battle against addiction, but another old foe is slowly consuming him. Both men have weathered many storms, but the path to the peace they deserve might prove the roughest ride yet.


Carra's Review

After first meeting Jamie in Rented Heart, I was definitely all in to see how his story would play out here in Soul to Keep.  Since he came across as someone who wasn’t looking to be helped in the first book of this series, I was immediately wondering if this second book was going to be a rollercoaster of him going on and off the wagon.  Jamie was an easy character with whom I could identify—not because he’s a recovering addict, but due to his OCD (though I’m not as bad as he is, and he has plenty else going on as well).  

Marc is a natural protector and a great match to Jamie.  I liked that their relationship grew slowly and never felt rushed, and how they both wind up taking care of each other.  It’s not an angst-ridden story, but there’s plenty of emotion as Jamie deals with his recovery while trying to manage his OCD at the same time, all while navigating his new connection with Marc.  It’s a story of healing, and while I always had the concern that Jamie might go off the rails and use again, I was impressed by his strength and determination even as I worried about him throughout the book.

This book can be read as a standalone, but personally I would recommend at least reading Rented Heart first since there’s a lot of recent backstory for Jamie in it, and it will let you appreciate his journey even more.  I understand that Marc first appeared in Between Ghosts (Nat and Connor’s story—he and Nat were on the same team in the military), and I’m definitely going back to read that since I was intrigued by Nat and Connor.


Soul to Keep was a 4.5-star read for me, it had my rapt attention the whole way through and I really enjoyed Jamie and Marc together.  I would absolutely recommend this story, just be aware it does deal with a recovering heroin addict…but Jamie’s character will quickly endear himself to you, I promise.  This book is meant for readers 18+ for adult language and situations, as well as steamy sexual content.


About the Author

Garrett Leigh is an award-winning British writer and book designer, currently working for Dreamspinner Press, Loose Id, Riptide Publishing, and Fox Love Press.

Garrett's debut novel, Slide, won Best Bisexual Debut at the 2014 Rainbow Book Awards, and her polyamorous novel, Misfits was a finalist in the 2016 LAMBDA awards.

When not writing, Garrett can generally be found procrastinating on Twitter, cooking up a storm, or sitting on her behind doing as little as possible, all the while shouting at her menagerie of children and animals and attempting to tame her unruly and wonderful FOX.

Garrett is also an award winning cover artist, taking the silver medal at the Benjamin Franklin Book Awards in 2016. She designs for various publishing houses and independent authors at blackjazzdesign.com, and co-owns the specialist stock site moonstockphotography.com with photographer Dan Burgess.


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New Release-Excerpt & Giveaway: MANAGING BLAKE by Debra Elise (The Outlaws of Baseball #5)

What happens when the right person shows up at the wrong time?
Managing Blake Tour Graphic
MANAGING BLAKE
Debra Elise

Series: The Outlaws of Baseball Book 5
Genre: Contemporary, Sports Romance
Publisher: HEA Productions, LLC
Publication Date: April 17, 2018

Opposites attract, but do they last?
Former all-star player, Blake Anderson manages the Idaho Outlaws. He has one goal--win the league championship by the time he's forty. A wife and kids? He can wait. He's lived his life under the motto, 'one night is enough'. Then the woman who he's been lusting after from afar is available and one kiss is not going to be enough.
What happens when the right person shows up at the wrong time?
Caris Sloane needs to have a baby-now. Her well laid plans of career, marriage, and baby become flipped. Her ex, who she thought was finally Mr. Right turned into Mr. Wrong--six months ago. A lab failure destroys her frozen eggs--six days ago. She crashes a bachelor party and kisses Blake--six hours ago. Definitely wrong time. She needs a vacation and a new plan.

Purchase Links

Managing Blake Teaser

Excerpt

Wolf whistles and cat calls filled the room. Caris began to laugh and lost herself in the moment. She’d never crashed any party, let alone a bachelor party. She scanned the pub to make sure there weren’t any strippers hiding among the packed room of the best-looking group of men she’d ever seen in person. But it was the man standing in the entryway who captured her immediate attention. 
The manager of the Outlaws, Blake Anderson, was looking her up and down. His ocean-blue gaze captured hers. He’d caught her looking, which she didn’t have a problem with. Any woman she knew who enjoyed a finely sculpted man would have done the same thing.  She appreciated his wide shoulders and long legs encased in jeans that fit him in all the right places. His dark hair brushed the collar of his white button-down shirt. His sleeves were rolled up, exposing his sun-kissed skin and muscled forearms.
She was a sucker for a man with well-defined shoulders and arms. And a muscled back. But she had no way of knowing if his back matched his front; she could only guess and dream. Because the dream she had of him the last time she saw him came rushing back and warmed her cheeks. They may have never spoken more than polite hellos, but that didn’t mean she hadn’t thought about him a time or two. Well, maybe more than that, but it was a fantasy she’d never thought would happen. She never thought their paths would cross again. Tonight, it had. He was looking at her similar to how he did in her dreams.
But she didn’t appreciate the knowing grin on his face. She gave herself a shake and broke eye contact. She was not here to hook up. Not with Blake or anyone else Lara had plans to put in her path. She had enough drama going on in her life, thank you very much. She just wanted to have another drink and have a good time with her friends. And maybe window shop the group of well put together baseball players who dominated the room.
Maverick and Kelsey had ended their epic kiss, and she was helping him remove the cornucopia of bras he’d acquired. She found Noel at a table sipping a drink while Lara and Luke seemed to be in deep discussion. Their wedding was next month, but at the moment neither one was putting off the vibes Kelsey and Mav were transmitting. Caris walked over to the table and sat down.
“So, what’s everyone drinking?”
Noel waved her off and mouthed, ‘not good’. Caris looked back at the arguing couple and cringed. Dammit. She hated seeing people she cared about argue. It brought back too many memories of her own parents and the constant turmoil they seemed to thrive on.
A glass of wine appeared in front of her on the table. It was attached to the arm she had just been ogling moments ago. Without asking, Blake pulled out a chair, sat and ignored her.

Other Books by Debra Elise

THE OUTLAWS OF BASEBALL
A baseball team full of bad boys find the women who give them what they never thought they wanted; a happily ever after.

Saving Maverick

Catching Luke

Claiming Connor

Mistletoe and Scrooge

About Debra Elise

Debra Elise lives with her husband and their two sons in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She is an Autism advocate, stay-at-home-mom, full time writer, and is always on the lookout for inspiration in all its forms. The final book in the Outlaws of Baseball series, CHASING NOEL, will release in 2018. She is also writing in the paranormal romance genre. Stay tuned for more book info on this project.
Sharing what motivates her is a life passion (a close second to writing romance of course). A self-proclaimed extroverted introvert, when not writing or procrastinating, she enjoys hanging out with other author-type individuals and teasing her three 'boys' into displaying their killer smiles. Visit Debra at http://www.debraelise.com

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Contest runs from April 18 - 24, 2018.

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