Category Archives: Gay Fiction

Hot Reads for the Trevor Project…Six HOT Titles. One COOL Price

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Get ready to lower your thermostat because your winter is about to get hot! SIX great reads by some of the hottest authors in M/M! A guilt-free guilty pleasure at an incredibly low price with all proceeds going to The Trevor Project!

 

ROAD RUNNER (ENCHANTMENT #1) by Rain Carrington

In the Land of Enchantment, New Mexico, lives a man who has secrets. Levi Kape watches people at a bar nightly, writing things in his notebook and trying to blend in with the locals. His secrets keep him from getting close to anyone until Bobby Dawes comes off the road after a long haul in his 18-wheeler. After getting to know Bobby, he realizes he’d never been close to anyone. That was about to change.

Levi can’t settle down and not because he doesn’t want to, but because it could endanger his life. Bobby is a gentle, loving and strong man who doesn’t do commitment. He’s also a man that Levi wants more than anything, including his own safety.

Danger causes Levi to leave but he can’t forget the truck driver that drove into his life, changing everything. When Levi leaves, Bobby goes back onto the road, trying to forget the “Golden God” he’d fallen for, but with some help from friends with connections to dark people and places, Bobby finds his man and swears never to let him go again.

Can they save each other not only from the men who want Levi dead but from years of never seeking or finding the love they found in one another? Will the ultimate betrayal cost them the trust they need to make it work between them? Can Bobby save him, or be lost in a dark world alone…

CAGED: LOVE AND TREACHERY ON THE HIGH SEAS (BAAL’S HEART #1) by Bey Deckard

Sheltered and lonely, Jon’s life changes drastically when a strange ship sails into the harbour of his small port town one day. Trapped between the possessive pirate captain and his murderous first mate, he must learn to adapt or he will lose himself completely. An epic tale of love, treachery and revelation, this first installment of the Baal’s Heart trilogy brings you into the lives of three men so bound together by jealousy and lies that they must sail to the very ends of the earth to find forgiveness.

Deckard’s first novel is a masterful portrayal of sorrow, hope, and passion, with a narrative that twists the reader through a world set in the Golden Age of Piracy. A thrilling look into the darker side of human nature, Caged effortlessly melds serious historical fantasy with five star erotica.

DANGEROUSLY HAPPY by Varian Krylov

Aidan has always played it safe. Instead of pursuing his dream of creating innovative music that makes his soul sing, he settled for a degree in software, a job in a cubicle, and a spot in a generic band with his buddies.

And he’s always been straight. But when he’s seduced by magnetic local literary luminary Dario, Aidan must decide whether to keep playing it safe, or succumb to a ravenous passion and a nourishing love unlike anything he’s experienced before. Will he find the courage to go after real happiness if it means admitting he’s in love with a man?

Their journey together isn’t easy. Sometimes it isn’t safe. Even if Aidan has the courage to admit he’s in love with Dario, can he endure the repercussions of the traumatic event in Dario’s past?

LUXURIA: THE OSWALD WITCHES by Mathew Ortiz

Duncan Blackthorne carried a heavy burden for one so young. One of the most powerful witches of the Earth Clans, his singular ability to control fire was both blessing and curse. The wallflower of his family, they had no idea of what turbulent waters churned under his calm surface. Never expecting to find love, he trudged through life, expecting nothing. Until the man in his dreams became more real and insistent, Duncan realized his dream lover was so much more than expected. Suddenly he had a real world dominant that rocked his body and a dreaming ghost lover who captured his heart. Now what the hell was witch to do?

GRIF’S TOY (TEASE AND DENIAL #1) by Joseph Lance Tonlet

Grif believes he’ll live his life as a virgin. After all, who would want him? How could anyone find him, a guy who came with less than man-sized equipment, worthy of their love?

What he hadn’t counted on were the two amazing men who would change his life. After entering college, he meets Tate, his fun-loving roommate. While years later, with Tate now just a memory, Wes, a handsome, rugged ex-marine who runs his own security firm enters his life.

Both men lead Grif through a twisted mesh of pleasure, pain, and denial, as they force him to see his value, despite his size and insecurities.

SAM AND DEREK: THE WHOLE STORY by Brad Vance

Sam Bradford is a down-on-his-luck former Special Forces soldier when he meets Derek Constantine, sexually confused billionaire. Together the two men will play a series of games that bring them ever closer together…and which in the end may be the death of them…

Sam’s Reluctant Submission
Sam’s down to his last five dollars when he meets Derek, who makes him an offer – come to my estate for a manhunt, evade me for two days, and you’ll make ten grand…but if I catch you, you surrender your ass to me! Sam’s got SERE training and he’s pretty sure his straight ass is safe, but anything can happen when the hunt is on…

Sam’s Reluctant Submission II: Urban Manhunt
In Part I, Sam lost his ass to Derek, but kept something more important – Derek submitted him, but didn’t break him, and that’s what Derek really wanted. Now Derek wants a rematch – fifty grand for an urban manhunt, if Sam evades Derek’s crew…if he doesn’t, it’s four on one and Sam’s ass is toast!

Sam’s Reluctant Submission III: Search and Rescue
In Part 2, Sam lost his ass to Derek again – and loved it! Which left him wondering if he was gay after all. Maybe a three way with Jake and Eddie will help him figure that out… And when Derek calls Sam to get his help with a search and rescue effort, what sexual sparks might be generated if they clash again in a “threematch”?

Sam’s Reluctant Submission IV: Avenging Devils
The epic conclusion to the saga of Sam and Derek! When Derek’s dark past rears its head to jeopardize the couple and their friends Jake and Eddie, Sam will have to call on his old Special Forces buddies to do battle with The Factory, a malevolent cartel bent on revenge. Will Sam and Derek rescue Eddie from his kidnappers? Will seeing Sam explore his top side with Eddie make Derek jealous…or make him want Sam to do that to him? Most frightening and dangerous of all, will Derek finally say the L word!

BONUS STORY – Eddie’s MMA Submission – the story of Sam’s friends Eddie and Jake
Eddie works across the street from Downtown Fight Academy. And he can’t stop thinking about Jake, the hot MMA fighter he ran into at the store. When Jake offers to train him, Eddie’s ready to throw down in the Octagon. But when Jake has him submitted, and pulls out a weapon you won’t see on TV, will Eddie tap out…or take the punishment?

 

Buy Link!

http://goo.gl/6GHMK9

 

About the Trevor Project

Founded in 1998 by the creators of the Academy Award®-winning short film TREVOR, The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) young people ages 13-24.

 

About the Authors

Rain Carrington
When she isn’t taking out gay bashers with her mean right hook she is at her desk writing steamy stories of man on man love. Rain also spends time with her beloved family and friends and in her spare time maybe sleeps for a few hours.

Rain is an ally in the gay rights crusade, she also loves animals and tries her best to stop animal abuse.

She is at her desk now getting some of her other stories ready for publication and will let them out as she they are ready so keep an eye out for Cabin Fever next!

Bey Deckard
Born and raised in a small coastal town in northern Québec, Bey spent his early summers on his uncle’s boat and running wild on the beaches of the surrounding islands, lighting fires and building huts out of driftwood and fishermen’s nets. As an adult, he eventually made his way to university and earned a degree in Art History with a strong focus on Anthropology. Primarily a portrait painter and graphic artist, Bey sat down one day and decided to write about the two things that he felt most passionate about: sex and the sea.

Bey currently lives in the wilds of Montréal with his best buddy, a spotty pit bull named Murphy. Caged: Love and Treachery on the High Seas is his first novel.

Varian Krylov
Since her girlhood in a sunny coastal town in California, Varian Krylov has nurtured a love of words and a curiosity about the deep, dark forces at work in human nature, especially sexuality, and how they often paradoxically twine with our tenderest impulses. Her stories tend to explore the sometimes fine line between what arouses, and what frightens, what we’re driven to, and what we’re ashamed of.

As witty and seductive as I am sarcastic and self-deprecating, I spend as much time as possible thinking and writing about sex. No, not dense, inscrutable post-feminist texts on media representations of gender and the body–that was grad school. I write stories–short stories, novels, and starting a few weeks ago, screenplays–most of which poke and prod and the dark little corners of human sexuality. In a sense, nothing’s taboo, anymore. There’s no act, no fetish that hasn’t been made utterly banal in the proliferation of porn. What intrigues and excites me is the exploration of the conflicting impulses, the twisted psychology and turbulent emotions of people who find themselves unable to resist desires that lie beyond their own moral boundaries.

Mathew Ortiz
Mathew Ortiz was born in Nuremburg Germany in 197O, the son of a quiet Army man and his loud Hungarian wife. Spending only two years in Germany, his family relocated to Fort Smith, Arkansas where he spent his youth in exile. Here is where he attended primary school and college, obtaining a degree in Nursing. He moved to Phoenix and met the bane and love of his life, Tim. When not on his laptop watching Are You Being Served or Keeping Up Appearances, Matt can be found either napping or reading with gusto.

Joseph Lance Tonlet
Joseph is a born and raised Southern Californian–with a twenty-year stint of living in the Midwest. He loves the laid-back lifestyle of San Diego and considers himself lucky to live where people dream of vacationing.

A lifelong reader of m/m fiction, he began his writing career one night sitting at his MacBook and has never looked back. He writes to bring the characters he dreams about to life.

Brad Vance
Brad Vance writes gay romance, erotica and paranormal stories and novels, including the breakout hits “A Little Too Broken” and “Given the Circumstances.”

Tour: A Scout is Brave by Jay Jordan Hawke *Excerpt and Giveaway*

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A Scout is Brave
by Jay Jordan Hawke

A Young Adult Novel
From Harmony Ink an Imprint of Dreamspinner Press
Available December 18, 2014 (2nd ed)

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In the months following the brutal murder of Matthew Shepard, fourteen-year-old Joshua, a half Native American boy, is new to a Boy Scout troop and spending a week camping in northern Wisconsin. The weaker kids in the troop soon realize Joshua is not afraid to stand up to the troop’s ruthless bullies. Joshua’s bravery and kindness is infectious, and the bullied Scouts quickly find their own inner strength.

Joshua, however, is plagued by self-doubt as he realizes he has feelings for Cody, the son of the troop’s harsh and puritanical Scoutmaster. The two discover they have more in common than Scouting as they share their deepest secrets and develop a close friendship. That friendship faces its greatest challenge as the homophobic bullies claim a “faggot” has “infected” their troop. As if struggling to come to terms with his sexuality while dealing with hatred and bigotry isn’t enough, Joshua discovers the camp holds another dark mystery, one that will make him summon all his courage and learn for the first time what it truly means to be brave.

 

Dreamspinner | Amazon

 

Excerpt

  “The brutal murder of Matthew Shepard continues to captivate the nation. More after this quick announcement.”

Joshua had no idea who Matthew Shepard was, but the murder must have been pretty brutal, he realized, to be making the national news. But he didn’t have time for the news. He had to find his uniform and finish packing.

“There you are,” Joshua mumbled as he spotted his uniform hanging over the bathroom door. It looked clean and pressed, unlike when they bought it from a secondhand store. His mother had obviously hung it there for him. Joshua grabbed his uniform and shoved it carelessly into his backpack. He had camped out many times before, but he wasn’t used to packing anything so formal.

The news story came back on. “Matthew Shepard, the young gay teen who was brutally murdered back in October—”

“Joshua, are you up?” his mother interrupted from outside his room.

Joshua zipped up his backpack.

“Joshua!” she yelled again, this time knocking on his door.

“Yes, Mom, I’m getting ready!” Joshua responded, frustrated by the intrusion. He slammed the off button on his radio and forcefully opened the door.

“Oh, there you are,” she said, stating the obvious. “I have breakfast ready.”

To Joshua it sounded more like a command than an offer, but it was hard to tell with his mother. He picked up his backpack, threw it over his shoulder, and headed off toward breakfast. It would be his only real food for at least a week, so he was determined to enjoy his “last meal.” As he ate, the words he had just heard on the radio emerged from his mental buffer. Young gay teen? Joshua mused, wondering if he had heard that right.

 

About the Author

Jay Jordan Hawke holds a bachelor’s, master’s, and Ph.D. in history, as well as a second master’s in Outdoor Education. He loves everything sci-fi, especially Star Trek, and hopes to be on the first starship out of here. In the meantime, he teaches at a college prep school and anxiously awaits the day when he can write full time. In addition to all things sci-fi, his hobbies include camping, reading, running, and writing. He has lived in several Midwestern states and currently resides in Indiana. Ugh – get me out of here!

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Tour Dates/Stops

For by Grace by Adrian J. Smith *Author Q&A and Excerpt*

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For by Grace
by Adrian J. Smith

A LBGT Contemporary Romance — F/F
From Supposed Crimes, LLC
Released June 1st 2014

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Being a Sheriff’s Deputy is not all about saving lives and arresting criminals, and each day Grace wonders if she’ll make it home.

While kids at the schools Deputy Grace Halling visits see her as the knight in blue-cotton armor, people involved in the cases she is dispatched to have a different opinion. She has every confidence in her ability to do her job and arrest criminals. She easily takes down a knife-wielding woman and a drunken combatant teenager without hesitation. Everyone—victim, suspect, or witness—has a story to tell or to lie about, and Grace is never perturbed by their tales.

That all changes when she looks down the barrel of a gun. She loses confidence in her ability as a deputy, she loses trust in herself and fellow officers, and she struggles to stay afloat as shift after shift passes. Grace cannot find her rhythm of being a deputy again. And when the Police Chaplain unexpectedly barges into her life, her personal and professional lives are flipped upside down. Grace struggles to find her even ground, worrying that the next time she stares a murderer in the face will be the last.

 

Amazon US | Amazon CA | Smashwords | Kobo | B&N | iTunes

 

Author Q&A

How did you come up with the idea for this story?

I came up with the basis of this story from real life. Go figure. It doesn’t happen in the novel exactly the way it happened in real life, but it did happen, for the most part. I’ve switched some things up and added an amazing character of my own where we get to see the entire novel from her point of view.

Where do you find your inspiration?

The internet, mainly. I’m a fan on many official police Facebook page, and their stories are amazing to read. I also love just telling the story, so any way that story gets told helps inspire me for the future. Reviews are always helpful in inspiring me too, even if they’re not great reviews.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Tough subjects are challenging. It’s hard to write a police procedural without talking about subjects that are sensitive. The Spirit of Grace series deals with police killings, amongst other touchy subjects. Some of these subjects are harder for me to write, such as rape and child abuse. I find it difficult but necessary to keep the story true to what police encounter on a daily basis.

What are your current projects?

I’m currently working on the second book in this series, Fallen from Grace. It’ll be out sometime next year. I’m also working on a new series called Quarter Life. I’m about a third of the way through the first novel in that series. I’m always working on short stories here and there and avoiding sending them in for any type of publication.

 

Excerpt

Deputy Halling tensed her shoulders as her cruiser sped up—she was always ready for the next suspect. The truck was already four blocks ahead of her and did not look to be slowing down. She reached up and hit the mouthpiece of the radio at her shoulder, tilting her head as she spoke. “337—speeder on Hosmer and 126th, heading northbound. Red Ford Ranger, early model, plate is boy-boy-charles-seven-zero-nine. In pursuit.”

“10-4,” dispatch responded.

Hitting the gas, Grace got as close to the truck as possible. They weaved in and out of traffic, cars pulling over to the side and hitting their brakes as the driver either caught sight of the truck or heard her sirens. He blasted through a red light, horns beeping continuously at him as she drove to catch up.

Grace slammed on her brakes. She let out a quick breath as a black mustang came to a forceful stop, letting her drive past them. She picked up her speed, scanning the roadway ahead to try and see where the Ford had gone. Biting her lip, Grace cocked her head to the side, skimming the intersections to make sure everyone had stopped or was coming to a stop before she went through them. One car was too close of a call for her.

 

About the Author

Adrian J. Smith, or “AJ” as she is often called, is a part time writer with an epic imagination, sharp wit, and kind heart that gets her into a bit of trouble when it comes to taking in all the neighborhood stray cats. Being obsessed with science fiction, Smith often goes off on tangents about the space-time continuum. She is also a part time lunatic with a secretive past. It’s been rumored that she was once a spy for the government, but anyone who has gotten close enough to know the truth has never lived to tell the tale. When traveling around the world on various classified tasks, Smith requires the following be provided: buffalo jerky, mimosas, and eighty six pennies. This is all we know about the reclusive woman.

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New Release: Summer Symphony by Brandon Shire *Review*

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Summer Symphony
by Brandon Shire

From TPG Books
Released October 1st, 2014

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Martin Zoric had vivid dreams of fatherhood, of a small hand pressed to his, of pink dresses and girlish laughter. Then his wife had a stillbirth and his world fell apart.

He listened to the unwanted apologies, stood by his wife as was expected of him, and kept his façade strong and firm for the entire world to see.

But does he have the strength let go and really grieve?

When Ren Wakahisa landed in Croatia he was hoping to escape the cultural pressures put on him to conform. His family wanted him to forsake love for duty. They viewed his happiness as secondary to familial prosperity.

Does he have the courage to be who he wants to be? Or, will he yield to their wishes?

Summer Symphony is the story of how two men find their answers and what they learn about strength, and grace, and the endurance of love.

 

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Amazon | Smashwords | iTunes | Kobo

 

Review

5-stars

On a rainy Saturday morning Mr. Brandon Shire took me on a journey where my heart was broken, mended and lightened. With his trademark style of writing I found myself reliving the pain of miscarriage, re-enforcing my believe that music can touch someone’s soul and healing old scars.

I was forewarned by the author himself when he told me “It’s a tearjerker, not a romance, so take that into consideration.” But I had followed the progress of this story since the very beginning and could not help myself–even knowing full well that it might affect me one way or the other.

Martin is a conductor in Croatia. He lost his daughter a few months back and has yet to give in to the pain. Music–the one thing that always brought him comfort and happiness–has lost its magic. His wife, who he has known since childhood, has had enough and leaves him.

Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on how you look at it, Martin can’t escape. His pain in right there on the forefront of his mind. Thoughts of raising a little girl, teaching her his love of music and cherishing her every step in life haunt in day in and day out.

Then in comes Ren. A Japanese piano player, Ren has been hired to play a concert during the summer in Croatia. He struggles between duty and being true to himself and takes advantage of the delay this engagement will put between him deciding to do what is expected of him or what he truly wants.

Like Brandon Shire stated, this is not a romance although it has romance elements in it. It’s a story of loss and the pain that loss brings about. It is a story about the healing power of music and of finding yourself and accepting what fate has brought to your doorstep.

These men loved deeply and it showed with every emotion they portrayed. From the frustration over having to choose your future or the loss of all things you have held dear, Brandon Shire didn’t miss a beat in bringing a wide range of emotions to the page. I loved how he went into the nitty-gritty of losing someone. Martin had given up and his every action or thought showed that. Just as well shown, were Ren’s conflicted emotions over the pressure his mother was putting on him.

Thankfully, there were other elements in the story that lightened the read a bit. There was the setting and the way the author went about bringing it to the page without being overburdened with details. There was also the music. I loved how the music came alive and jumped off the page. I found myself searching for the music referenced in the story and I am not a lover of classical music.

This was not an easy read for me since it brought about all those not-so-happy moments from my own experience. However, I don’t regret reading it. It served to enlighten me in how men are prone to keep their grief hidden, even when it affects them so deeply. It also served to ignite a feeling of hope that we, as individuals, are stronger than we think and can find solace in the unlikeliest of places.

All in all, a poignant story of love, loss and the strength within us all.

*I received this title in exchange of my honest opinion.

 

About the Author

Award winning writer BRANDON SHIRE is a distinct voice in contemporary fiction. Mr. Shire was chosen as a Top Read in 2011, Best in LGBTQ Fiction for 2011 & 2012, and garnered several Honorable Mentions, as well as a Rainbow Award for Best Gay Contemporary Fiction.

Connect with Brandon at BrandonShire.com

10% of the proceeds from the sale of any of Brandon’s books are donated to LGBT Youth charities combating homelessness.

Books by Brandon Shire

GAY FICTION

The Value of Rain
Listening to Dust

GAY ROMANCE

Afflicted I
Afflicted II
Cold
Heart of Timber

 

SIDE NOTE: Oct is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Month.

Cover Reveal: Wet Paint by Will Parkinson *Excerpt and Giveaway*

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Wet Paint
by Will Parkinson

An M/M Young Adult Contemporary Romance
From Harmony Ink Press–A DSP Imprint

 

Although Addy’s heart and body bear the scars from his life before he was adopted by the Deans, he’s ached for something he thought he would never find. Until he met Benny. He isn’t sure how anyone can care for someone as broken as he is, even though he wants it desperately.

High school senior Benny Peters has his whole life planned out for him, until a chaste kiss at summer camp opens a new world of possibilities. Determined to erase Addy’s insecurities, Benny works to take away his boyfriend’s pain and replace it with love.

When Addy’s past intrudes on their future, it’s going to take everything Benny can muster to show that no matter what – or who – they face, they belong together.

 

DSP E-book | DSP Paperback

 

Excerpt

Benny cast a glance at Addy, noticing how his eyes kept darting to him and then to the floor. He seemed troubled, unsure.

“Addy? Is there something wrong?”

Addy heaved a deep sigh, then was quiet for a moment. “Do I embarrass you?” he finally asked.

“What? No, of course not. Why would you even think that?” Benny was genuinely perplexed.

“Jackson and Taylor don’t seem to have any problem touching each other, but you act like I’ve got germs or something and won’t come anywhere near me when there’s other people around. I have to wonder if you’re ashamed to be seen with someone like… me.”

“Oh God, no,” Benny replied sharply. “Please don’t ever think that. You know what? C’mere.”

He grabbed Addy’s arm and dragged him into the lounge.

“Listen to me, little man. I am not now, nor have I ever been, nor will I ever be ashamed of you. If anything, you should be ashamed of me.”

Addy looked puzzled. “Why?”

Benny slid his fingers through his stubbly hair, then rubbed the back of his neck before he spoke. “I’m not really comfortable with being… like this. I really do care for you, but I’ve never felt this way about a guy— well, about anyone—before, and I don’t know how to handle it. So no, I’m not ashamed or embarrassed of you at all. I’m just not sure how to deal with everything.”

Addy took Benny by the hand and peered into his eyes. “That’s all I needed to know. I don’t want to rush you. If you need time, you’ve got to know I’ll give it to you. I just wanted to be sure that you wanted me.”

Benny regarded his boyfriend. Yeah, his boyfriend. Benny had never been afraid to stand up for anyone in his life. Why should he be ashamed to stand up for himself now?

“C’mere, little man,” he growled, putting his hand on Addy’s neck, pulling him in close.

Addy’s eyes went wide, excitement dancing in them. Benny licked his lips and then pressed them to Addy’s in a deep, thrilling kiss. Someone whimpered. Benny wasn’t really sure which one of them it had been. He felt his synapses fry. It was the most incredible thing he’d ever experienced. A voice called out, startling them both.

“Benny? Is there something you’d like to tell me?”

Benny looked up and stared for a moment at Taylor, who had a wide smile across his face. Benny could feel his cheeks heat up. This wasn’t the way he wanted this to go, but damn, right now he needed Addy in the worst way.

“No, Taylor, not right now,” he replied quietly.
Then he went back in for another one of those amazing kisses.

 

About the Author

WILL PARKINSON believes that no matter what obstacles are thrown in the path of young love, it will always find a way to win in the end. He wants his characters to have their happily ever after, but that doesn’t mean that it’s going to come easily.

None of this would have happened if he had followed the advice he was given many years ago. “What are you wasting your time on that for? It’s never going to amount to anything.” He believed it for the longest time, abandoning characters he’d created in his childhood.

He picked up his very first m/m story by a writer named Eden Winters, who was an absolute joy when they corresponded. She asked him if he wrote and he told her the story. Eden explained to Will that the voices in his head would never go away and how he needed to let them out. With that thought in mind, Will put e-pen to e-paper once more. It was truly a liberating experience and one he has no intention of giving up again.

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Home the Hard Way by Z.A. Maxfield *Review*

Hello and thanks to LeAnn’s Book Reviews for letting me be here today!

I’m Z.A. Maxfield, coming at you from lovely sunny southern California where I’m blogging about my latest release, Home The Hard Way.

Home the Hard Way

 

 

I’m doing a giveaway and there are a couple different ways to win! At each tour stop, one lucky winner will get to choose any book from my backlist, so if you’re new to Z.A. Maxfield, this is a great way to find out if you want to dive in! At the end of the tour, I’ll be giving away a Riptide gift certificate, so you’re going to want to follow along the whole blog tour HERE for your best chance at a prize!

Here’s the blurb for Home the Hard Way: Dare Buckley has come home—or at least, he’s come back to Palladian, the small town he left as a teenager. After a major lapse in judgment forced him to resign from the Seattle PD, Palladian is the only place that’ll hire him. There’s one benefit to hitting rock bottom, though: the chance to investigate the mystery of his father’s suicide.

Dare also gets to reacquaint himself with Finn Fowler, whose childhood hero worship ended in uncomfortable silence when Dare moved away. But Finn isn’t the same little kid Dare once protected. He’s grown into an attractive, enigmatic stranger who neither wants nor needs what Dare has to offer.

In fact, Dare soon realizes that Finn’s keeping secrets—his own and the town’s. And he doesn’t seem to care that Dare needs answers. The atmosphere in Palladian, like its namesake river, appears placid, but dark currents churn underneath. When danger closes in, Dare must pit his ingenuity against his heart, and find his way home the hard way.

Read more about Home The Hard Way HERE

There’s two ways to win today! Comment below for a chance to win an ebook from my backlist AND you can also enter the tour-wide giveaway!

 

Review

4 stars

Dare is not happy returning to Palladian but it’s his best option career-wise. Ghosts from his past are soon haunting him, but none of them compare to Finn Fowler. As childhood friends, Finn looked up to Dare and he thrived under Finn’s worship. But now after years being apart, Dare doesn’t recognize Finn. As Dare struggles to piece together his life in his hometown he must try to keep a clear mind in regards to the events that are happening in Palladian. But things get even more complicated as he gets to know more about Finn and the case he’s working on.

From the moment Dare stood up for Finn in grade school, Finn never left his side–until Dare left after tragedy struck his family. Finn’s past is filled with hurt and judgement, but that hasn’t stopped him from making a life for himself in the town that hurt him. But as things spiral out of control in Palladian, Finn finds himself in the middle of a situation where accusations are thrown haphazardly and secrets are being revealed.

I was intrigued from the very beginning, which is a good thing when starting a book. Especially one packed-full of details to follow through.

Initially I was intrigued by Dare. I wanted to know what was his story, why he left town when he was 15 and why he came back if he was so unhappy to be there. Of course, as the story progressed and other characters and facts starting surfacing I was more than a little invested in how it would all turn out.

I have to say that there was never a dull moment as the story continued to develop. Especially once Finn came into the picture.

Z.A. Maxfield sure didn’t pull any punches when telling his story. My heart went out to him immediately when I first learned about his childhood and my admiration for who he became increased as I saw how far he had gotten in life. I loved his sensitive and caring side, not only when it came to his aunt, but with how he cared for Dare. Sure, there were misunderstandings, but he did care about him in a deeper level and it showed in how he struggled to come to terms with his emotions towards Dare and how it conflicted with the secret he kept.

The author’s writing was superb. I found myself riveted in the story, analyzing facts and anticipating what was to come next. She did a great job in introducing all sorts of characters that helped to move the story along and paired it with little details of town-life that added to the thrill of the events that were happening. Gossip, secrets and betrayals were just a couple of elements thrown into an already complicated situation and I devoured it all.

I could say more, but I enjoyed the little surprises thrown at me too much to spoil the experience for you. All in all, an intriguin read packed-full of suspense and emotions.

*I received a copy of this title in exchange of my honest opinion.

 

Riptide | Amazon | B&N

 

About the Author

Z. A. Maxfield started writing in 2007 on a dare from her children and never looked back.  Pathologically disorganized, and perennially optimistic, she writes as much as she can, reads as much as she dares, and enjoys her time with family and friends. Three things reverberate throughout all her stories: Unconditional love, redemption, and the belief that miracles happen when we least expect them.

If anyone asks her how a wife and mother of four can find time for a writing career, she’ll answer, “It’s amazing what you can accomplish if you give up housework.”

Readers can visit ZAM at her website, Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr.

 

Special Nobody by Brendan Spratt

Special NobodyRating: 4.5 stars

Published: February 17th, 2013

Available at: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo

Synopsis: At 22, Jason L’Estrange should have the world at his feet. Instead, he wakes on a dismal hospital ward to discover he has a broken foot and a multitude of other injuries. Learning he plunged down the stairs of Dublin’s seediest nightclub, Jason has no recollection if he fell or was pushed and the hospital psychiatrist is questioning if he may have had any reason to jump?

Accepting his life has spiralled out of control, Jason recalls the devastating climax of the feud between his two warring best friends Lizzie and Ryan. To add to his woes, he’s blown his final chance of a reconciliation with Alex, the only man who ever mattered, his alcoholic single mother has let him down again and Celestine, the girl who once gave him hope before breaking his heart has crashed back into his world with the missing pieces to the puzzle of Jason’s life.

Jason, Ryan, Celestine and Lizzie’s lives collide on a night out in Dublin when secrets thought long buried return and threaten to destroy what’s left of their friendships. When Celestine reveals the true reasons she was forced to end their friendship, Jason believes he has finally uncovered the truth to a mystery that has haunted him since childhood; the identity of his father.

Lonely but filled with hope, Jason wants to take you on his journey. The invisible boy who sits in the corner of every class, Jason dreams of a future where he doesn’t have to fight to survive. Struggling with a past littered with unanswered questions and fighting to make his desired destiny a reality, Jason reflects on how the desolate teen that fought to prove he had potential has ended up in a dire situation.

Review:  Jason L’Estrange has tried to be ‘normal’ all his life. He wants to be accepted. He wants to be loved. As a teenager, he kept mostly to himself, dreaming of having lasting friendships and making something of himself. As an adult, he loses himself in drugs and alcohol, sad at what his life has become, but reluctant to accept his life is spiraling out of control.

Brendan Spratt did a wonderful job of drawing me into the story and keeping me engaged until the very end. Although not usually a fan of flashback narratives, I found that it fit this story perfectly. My only complaint would be that the transitions lacked some kind of section break or identifying element as the fluctuations between the present and the past started happening within the same chapter. Other than that, I found that this story had the perfect combination of complex characters, range in emotions and realistic interpretation of events to make it a great debut novel.

I loved how the author took me through the story, letting me know who Jason was – his thoughts and emotions – so that I could connect to him fully and understand where he was coming from. I found myself emotionally invested in Jason’s well-being. I needed to see him make it through the hard times. I wanted him happy. I wanted him doing well.

Lizzie and Ryan added to the story beautifully and although I wanted to smack them upside the head a time or two, I grew to cherish them as much as Jason did.I enjoyed his interactions with them and in the end was happy to see that they survived all their problems and kept their friendship going.

Special Nobody is a heart-wrenching coming of age story that will tug at your emotions with every page you turn. By no means is this a light read, but it is an awesome read. My hope is that like me, you’ll be drawn into Jason’s journey, suffer through his past, yell at his mistakes and ultimately find joy at where he ends up.

I received this title from the author in exchange of my honest opinion.

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About the author:

Brendan SprattBrendan Spratt was born and raised in Dublin, Ireland. Although his father was heavily involved in the local Gaelic football club, Brendan’s mother recognised he was far too fabulous to get dirty on a pitch and instead enrolled him in the Billie Barry stage school. Leaving school, Brendan worked as a professional dancer while completing a degree in Electronic Media. Brendan has worked as a writer on the UK soap Emmerdale and currently writes for RTE’s longest running drama Fair City. He lives in Dublin city with his partner Gavin and their dog Rufus.

Connect with Brendan Spratt in Facebook, Twitter and his website.

Black Sheep: Fighting for a Future (Black Sheep Trilogy #3) by Kia Zi Shiru

Black Sheep: Fighting for a Future (Black Sheep #3)Rating: 4 stars

Published: April 3rd 2013

Available at: Amazon US (UK), Smashwords

Synopsis: Jack’s dead, Adam’s back in the hospital in the worst condition he’s ever been and Vic believes it’s all his fault. That he’s the reason everyone’s hurting and that there’s only one way to end it – to end his own life.

Then the doctor bears bad news, Vic’s own condition has worsened and his days are numbered.

This is the wake-up call Vic needs. Maybe he can, for once, make people happy before he hurts them in the worst way possible. He hides his condition from everyone, not wanting anyone to worry while he’s trying to make them happy.

But time is running out. Will Vic see his wish fulfilled before the end comes?

Review: Jack is dead and Vic’s conditioned has worsened, leaving him preoccupied about how his friends and family are going to fare after he’s gone. He doesn’t think that they could take another loss after everything that has happened so far. With this in mind he sets out to make it through until he can see the people he loves going on with their life. He plans to do this without letting it be known how serious his condition is, hoping that everything sorts itself out before his condition overtakes him.

I’ve been eagerly awaiting this final installment in the Black Sheep Trilogy. In this novella we get to visit with Vic and his family after Jack’s death. Throughout the story we get to see a new side of Vic, witness the beginning of a new relationship, meet a new character and finally see Adam healthy and healing.

Although I enjoyed the content of the story I have to admit that the pace felt a bit rushed to me in places. The events that took place in the story were believable and the characters’ reactions to them felt real, but I was, at times, confused with the time frame of the story. To me it read like this all happened in a week, when it actually took more time for everything to take place. I can’t say for sure how long the story spanned, I truly was that confused.

Having said that, I still believe that Kia Shiru delivered a wonderful, heart-wrenching story in Black Sheep: Fighting for a Future. She brought to the page a great sense of loyalty from the characters, an overwhelming range of emotions with the situations the characters faced and hope that these characters would survive. Her writing, as exceptional as I have come to expect, was both engaging and entertaining. After having been emotionally vested in these characters’ lives, I was pleased to see how Kia Shiru brought it all together in the end, so that Vic’s story could have somewhat of a happy ending.

I received this novella from the author in exchange of my honest opinion and I would like to thank her for considering me to take part in this Blog Tour.

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The Black Sheep Trilogy is now available as a collection.

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Enjoy the following excerpt provided by the author.

~Anne~

I sigh, shoving papers aside. Work is so tedious when I’d rather be with Vic or Adam, but I have a job to do and there won’t be much time for it when Kev comes home from school. I lean back, stretching, when I see something in the garden. Marie is standing in the back gate, her movements slow, unsure.

I open the back door to meet her and she looks up in surprise. Our eyes meet for a second before she quickly looks away.

“What are you doing here?” I step outside, walking up to her as Marie comes closer.

“I need to talk to you.” She keeps her eyes downcast.

“I don’t think I want to know what you have to say. I’m tired of your lies.” I cross my arms over my chest.

“I’m not here about that. I’m really sorry about those rumours, I didn’t realise they would spin out of control like that, but I’m not here because of that.”

“Then why are you here?”

“I think I know what happened to Jack.” She falls quiet, her eyes on the grass below her feet.

I stare at her for a while and then let out a deep breath. “I think we better talk about something like that inside.” I motion for her to follow me.

I walk back into the house, quickly gathering the papers and putting them aside. I’m probably going to have to try to work on those after I pick up Kevin.

Marie sits on one side of the table and I sit down on the other.

I sigh. “Why are you coming to me and aren’t you going to the police immediately?”

“Like they would ever believe me. Jack’s parents don’t even want to get the fact this is a hate crime into the open. I’d have nothing to prove that I’m telling the truth.”

“Then why me? Why not Steve or Sarah?”

“Because Jack was not the intended victim, Vic was.”

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About the author:

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Kia Zi Shiru is a Dutch girl studying English and Creative Writing in the UK. Amongst her interests she finds writing, reading, doing research and learning different languages (including but not limited to: English, Dutch, French, German, HTML, Java, PHP and Assembly). Her writing and reading habits include books with Young Adults, gay themes, strong female or minority characters and fantasy elements (more often then not all at the same time).

And if you want to keep up to date you can sign up for her newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/vvShb.

Places she can be found:

Sidecar by Amy Lane

SidecarRating: 5 stars

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (June 29, 2012)

Available at: Amazon, B&N, Kobo

Synopsis: The year is 1987. The boys wear pink Izod shirts, the girls wear big hair, everyone has a stash box, and AIDS is just an ugly rumor rumbling like a thunderstorm from the cities. A teenage runaway wanders the side of the road, a heartbeat away from despair, and is rescued by a long-haired angel on a Harley.

But that’s just the beginning of their story.

Josiah Daniels wanted peace and quiet and a simple life, and he had it until he rescued Casey from hunger, cold, and exhaustion. Then Joe’s life is anything but simple as he and his new charge navigate a world that is changing more rapidly than the people in it. Joe wants to raise Casey to a happy and productive adulthood, and he does. But even as an adult, Casey can’t conceive of a happy life without Joe. The trouble is getting Joe to accept that the boy he nurtured is suddenly the man who wants him.

Their relationship can either die or change with the world around them. As they make a home, negotiate the new rules of growing up, and swerve around the pitfalls of modern life, Casey learns that adulthood is more than sex, Joe learns that there is no compromise in happy ever after, and they’re both forced to realize that the one thing a man shouldn’t be is alone.

Review: Casey has run away from home after his parents found out he was gay. He has been living on the streets for two months, surviving every day by doing unthinkable thinks and hanging on by a thread. He wants to give up and end his suffering, but just went he thinks he can’t continue on a kind biker comes into his life offering food and shelter without wanting anything in return except that Casey finish school and enjoy what is left of his teenage years.

Josiah is a kind soul that believes that every one deserves a chance. He has lived his life and done things he’s not particularly happy to revisit but doesn’t regret. Now that he has settled into his life he only wants the peace and quiet that his house and his dog offer and he is determined to keep it that way. Until he sees Casey walking along the road. Believing that he could help the young man, Joe offers him help wanting to have Casey safe from the cold and fed.

What’s not to love about this story? Joe and Casey’s story was one on love, heartache, compromise and loyalty. With interesting characters, great humor, engaging dialog and musical references this emotionally driven story had all the elements I have come to expect from Amy Lane and then some. From the humor to the pain each man felt at times, Amy Lane brought a range in emotions so great that at times I had to step away to get a grip on myself.

Joe and Casey’s story tugged at my heart strings and left a grin on my face days after I was done. It was sweet, romantic and so very heartfelt. I loved it!!! It’s Amy Lane and she has not disappointed me yet.

 

The Flesh Cartel #4: Consequences (The Flesh Cartel #4) by Rachel Haimowitz, Heidi Belleau

The Flesh Cartel #4: ConsequencesRating: 5 stars

Publisher: Riptide Publishing (February 4th 2013)

Available at: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo

Synopsis: In episode four of The Flesh Cartel, Mat and Dougie Carmichael begin their training with their new master, Nikolai, where they both learn the meaning of servitude . . . and of consequences for their choices.

For Mat, destined to be trained but not broken—to always fight but never win—life with Nikolai is suffering stacked on suffering. Nikolai pushes him to the edge but not over; he must never lose the hatred in his eyes. Dougie, on the other hand, is fated to love and crave service. For that, Nikolai must teach him the pleasures of a pampered sex slave, but training a straight man to revel in his gay captor’s touch is no easy feat.

As if the challenges Mat and Dougie face aren’t difficult enough, one last complication remains: before either brother can submit fully to Nikolai, they must first give up their strongest, most powerful loyalty: their dedication to each other.

Reader discretion advised. This title contains the following sensitive themes: Non-consent

Review: Well, this was a mind blowing read and not only in the sense you’re thinking of.

We find Dougie and Matt right where we left them off on The Flesh Cartel #3: Choices. Dougie trying his best to be compliant so as not keep being beaten and Nikolai treating him as a favorite pet and Mat suffering physically while Nikolai tries to break him to his will while keeping his fighting spirit intact.

As soon as the story began, the endless mind games were launched. This time around I was not tapping the hell out of my tablet in fury or expectation. Nope. I was taking my time analyzing, questioning, wondering what was wrong with me. I was carefully tapping to get to the next page to see if what I was thinking was correct or not. You see, in the previous episodes I’ve loathed Nikolai, but somewhere along the line I’ve come to admire him in a how-fucked-up-are-you-to-do-this? kind of way. I have to him credit, his mind is as brilliant as it is fucked up. He went directly to the heart of the boys without mercy and it fucking worked.

Once again Haimowitz and Belleau drew me into the story, but this time I was not only a spectator, I was a participant. Their writing affected just as much as if I were going through the mental onslaught along with Mat and Dougie. Like them I was kept in a constant state of doubt. Waiting for the other shoe to drop. Questioning my resolve and those of the boys, because like them I wanted the pain to go away for my boys. I wanted them to get some rest without having to look over their shoulder. To breathe without it inflicting any pain. I didn’t want Mat and Dougie to suffer any more than what they had already endured.

On the other hand, deep inside I wanted them to be strong. To keep their bond intact and their loyalty in the fore front. I faltered, just like them. I felt their pain, hesitations, fears and frustrations. I understood why they each felt the way they did and why the confessed the things they did. Nikolai played them like a harp. Coaxing, going round and round until they fell in the trap, engaging them, correcting them, rewarding them and punishing them. It was a ruthless cycle of mental torment more than anything physical, but it was agonizing, repulsive, subtle, sly. Brilliant!

Rachel Haimowitz and Heidi Belleau have delivered another great episode to the Flesh Cartel serial. Engaging from beginning to end, emotions aplenty and twists and turns that mess with your mind. In other words, an excellent read! I can’t wait for the next episode. And how screwed up am I for that?