Excerpts

Honorary Blogger K. Evan Coles and Brigham Vaughn: Behind The Stick Playlist + Excerpt & Giveaway!

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Behind The Stick Playlist

by K. Evan Coles and Brigham Vaughn

Hi! We’re K. Evan Coles and Brigham Vaughn and we’re grateful to be here today with the Blogger Girls to share our latest co-written release, Behind the Stick, The Speakeasy #3.

As music lovers, we often create playlists for our characters as we write. Behind the Stick’s main characters are city dwellers, and it’s easy to imagine them making their way around Manhattan and its boroughs, earbuds in place and tunes cranked. Mixologist and speakeasy owner Kyle McKee is at home on a nightclub dancefloor as well as behind the bar, while firefighter Luka Clarke, who is a lieutenant with the FDNY, inherited a love of music from his big, boisterous family. As they grow close, Kyle and Luka even discover a shared appreciation for swing, something that comes in handy while out one evening with Luka’s family.

Below are some songs from a Behind the Stick playlist. We hope you’ll enjoy them through the YouTube links we’ve provided, and that they entice you to get to know Kyle and Luka, and even love them as we do.

Temple, Simple Symmetry Remix — Paresse, Simple Symmetry

Pretty Little Thing —Fink

Khronos —Oceananvs Orientalis

Falling — Cubicolor, Tim Digby-Bell

Deep Musique, Rampa Remix — Pastaboys, Osunlade, Rampa

Jump Jive An’ Wail — The Brian Setzer Orchestra

Pop Your Balloon — Beastie Boys

Drift – Ben Bohmer Remix

Hawaii — Meiko 

Mind Control — Shulze and Shultze

Tender — Blur

The End Is Just The Beginning — Pryda

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Release Blitz: Love or the NFL by Terry O’Reilly + Excerpt & Giveaway!

Love or the NFL by Terry O’Reilly

Gymnast Frank Bethune arrives on campus already enamored with the star tight end, Bill Billingsly. Although the chances of them meeting are slim, fate draws them together, and their friendship turns to love.

Ever since childhood, Bill has dreamed of playing professional football. Though high risk to his potential career, Bill would seek out clandestine encounters with other guys when and where he could, but the first time he spots Frank, Bill knows he is someone special, someone he could possibly share a life with. If he’s drafted, will Bill and Frank be able to continue their closeted relationship, running the risk of discovery? Or will they have to part company for the sake of Bill living out his dream?

Bill knows he’ll need to use all his considerable skills learned on the field to score the life he wants off of it, too. Either way, is happiness even possible when it’s the NFL vs. love?

Available at: Amazon

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Honorary Blogger Mellanie Rourke: Writing ‘Mason’s Run’ + Excerpt!

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Writing ‘Mason’s Run’

by Mellanie Rourke

Writing “Mason’s Run” was the culmination of a life-long desire to publish a novel.  I just had no idea the novel I would publish would end up being a M/M romance!

I grew up in a religious home.  We attended church every week. My sister and I went to a private Christian school, and I would eventually attend a Christian college.   

My parents had a huge influence on me and my writing, but for very different reasons.  My Dad loved science fiction. Star Trek was his jam, and every Saturday at 7 p.m. the whole family would be found sitting around the television eating cheesy popcorn and trying to get the rabbit ears to work so we could watch that week’s episode. So it makes sense that I got my love of science fiction and fantasy from him.

My Mom, on the other hand, avoided church whenever she could. She smoked cigarettes, wore bright red lipstick, and dared to have male friends in addition (and separate from) my father. I love my Dad, don’t get me wrong, but my Mom and I understood each other in a way Dad and I never did. Mom was a rebel, a bad girl, a woman who ended up raising three pretty cool kids. I think she understood the rebel that lived in her “good little girl” better than I did!

Growing up, I read a lot of science fiction and fantasy. I visited the library at least weekly, and it wasn’t unusual for me to go home with ten to fifteen books at a time. As I grew older, I read more and more dark fantasy, eventually falling into the paranormal romance sections. (Thank you, Sherrilyn Kenyon and Laurell K. Hamilton!)

Mom’s influence led me to question authority, to think outside the box, to refuse to accept that normal was anything but a setting on the dryer. She would silently support me, even if publicly she would tell me I was wrong. She’d slip me an extra twenty dollars when I’d head back to school so I could take my rebellious friends out to dinner or to buy extra books from Waldens (there was no Kindle Unlimited then!).

The paranormal romances I purchase introduced me to the forbidden idea that men could love each other, and that M/M sex could be damn hot!  My Mom passed before I began writing M/M romance, but I have this feeling she would have been my biggest cheerleader. 

My father and I have reached a détente over the years.  We have agreed to disagree on a lot of things in life, including religion.  Right after I graduated from college, I decided to take the summer off from God, and see how it felt.  I’ve never gone back. 

My mother passed away several years ago from pancreatic cancer. From the time she was diagnosed, it spread quickly to her bladder and brain, and the woman I had loved so fiercely was gone within a matter of weeks.

My Dad has since remarried, to a wonderful woman named Joy who, literally, brought joy and romance back into his life. Dad is proud of me for having published my book, but he had to make a point to me that he didn’t approve of its content.  Joy, on the other hand, doesn’t wear bright red lipstick and she doesn’t smoke, but she will drink the occasional drink and read my steamy stories. I guess that’s good enough for me.  

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Heart Strain by Sammi Lee & Michele Notaro: Exclusive Excerpt & Giveaway!

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Exclusive Excerpt from Heart Strain

by Sammi Lee & Michele Notaro

Jameson~

“Why are we here? It’s a great idea, but you’ve never mentioned it before,” Holden says as we cross the parking lot toward the front of the gym.

“I don’t know. Drix brought up the fact he wouldn’t be able to work out for a while, and I’m hoping to get back to work soon, so… I thought it would be a nice change of pace.”

Holds laughs. “It really is. We spend so much time sitting in the hospital my butt is starting to flatten.” I grunt in response and hold the door open for him, pretending I’m not glancing down at his beautifully rounded ass while he passes me. It still looks good to me. Shit!

We decide to do a bit of what we both like. I agree to run with him on the treadmill, and he spends time in the weight room with me. His skin glistening with sweat calls to me. I want to lick it off him, make him even sweatier. I’ve never thought about hitting the showers in the gym to do anything sexual—I’m a cop for god’s sake and this is a public place—but for the first time ever, as I watch him do squats, the desire to haul him into the locker room and see him squat down to wrap his lips around my length is all I can think about. If I thought not fantasizing about Holds was difficult before, it’s nothing compared to how hard—pun intended—it is watching his muscles ripple with exertion. 

As we finally make our way back to the locker room, I fight the images my mind’s been conjuring during our workout so that I don’t embarrass myself while we change. “Jameson, is something wrong?” he asks, grabbing my bicep and pulling me to a stop.

His touch breaks my resolve; honestly, it breaks my brain. Without saying a word, I turn to him and cup his face in both hands and stare into those sapphire blue eyes. As his pupils dilate under my intensity, his breaths become short and raspy, making him the only thing I see or hear. When he breathes out, “Foxy,” I can’t control myself any longer and lean in to capture his lips in a long, sweet kiss. My tongue is hit with the taste of the sweat that’s been dripping onto his lips, as I enter his mouth, an explosion of Holds—the coffee he consumes all day, the mint from the gum he was chewing before we got here, and something uniquely him—hits my taste buds. I pull back and pull him to my chest. We’re both sweaty and gross, but he lays his head on me and snuggles in for a moment before going to change. 

Neither of us brings up the kiss for the rest of the night, no more than we’ve brought up the hot as hell sex we shared. Holds still hasn’t told me he’s coming home, and I left the hospital for a while earlier so if the brothers talked about it, it was while I was gone. However, just knowing he’s staying, I have some decisions to make.

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Repeat Offence by Jackie Keswick: Exclusive Excerpt & Giveaway!

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Exclusive Excerpt from Repeat Offence

by Jackie Keswick

The First Life

Fallen

I woke to darkness and silence, face down on a surface that was neither hot nor cold, neither hard nor soft. It was smooth, and flat, and yielded by a small amount as I planted my hands and pushed myself carefully upright.

My knees and back protested when I shifted, as if I’d lain motionless for far too long. I moved my head from side to side, arched and straightened my spine to loosen tight muscles. Then, kneeling in the dark, I swept my outstretched arms up and to the sides, trying to find edges, objects… anything that could tell me where I was. My questing hands passed through empty air, unimpeded except for an unfamiliar weight that dragged on my shoulders.

I ran my hands up my thighs, across my hips and chest. My skin felt cool and dry under my palms, and when I reached to touch my back, I encountered a row of long, silky feathers starting beside my spine and extending in an arching sweep beyond the reach of my fingertips.

I was naked.

In the dark.

With wings on my back.

None of it made sense.

When I’d woken after my battlefield death, I’d been clothed—in unfamiliar garb, admittedly—but I hadn’t been naked. Now those clothes were gone along with everything else I remembered.

Where was the hall where we’d woken?

Where was the Judge?

Most importantly, where was Hiro?

And why, of all things, did I have wings?

“Hiro?” I called for him, louder with each repetition until I screamed his name, but the darkness had no echo. It had no answers, either. I could have been the only one alive, and there would have been no way for me to know.

I pushed to my feet and took step after step with my arms stretched in front of me, moving slow and unsteady like a blind man. The wings dragged along the floor with a soft rustle, no use in the lightless space. My prison appeared without bounds. Whichever direction I moved in, I found neither walls nor doors.

If this was to be our punishment…

You will spend your lives on opposite sides of the veil, taking turns living and watching.

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Release Blitz: Wanderlust by Quin Perin + Excerpt & Giveaway!

Wanderlust by Quin Perin

Please check the warning section inside the book.

I knew all the regulars. I knew their drinks. Their complaints. I knew everything that went on in this little town. But they didn’t know me.

And I didn’t know him.

Momma always told me to be kind to others, so I didn’t even think twice when I invited him into my house, into my life, my heart.

I was happy being alone, until I wasn’t.

Little did I know that once you get a taste of happiness, nothing will ever taste the same. Especially when it is taken away.

***WANDERLUST is a slow burn romance, featuring hurt/comfort and friends-to-lovers elements as well as detailed adult m/m content

Available at: Amazon

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Release by A.E. Ryecart: Exclusive Excerpt & Giveaway!

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Exclusive Excerpt from Release

by A.E. Ryecart

It was late. Far too late to be phoning. A ringing phone in the early hours of the morning meant only one of two things: somebody had died or was halfway there. What it didn’t mean was that you were getting a call from somebody who was ringing to say this wasn’t a good idea. Whatever this was.

“Fuck if I know,” Sean muttered as he poured himself another tot of engine oil. He pushed it away. It was gut rot. He pulled it back and gulped it down. It was Dutch courage. What was it he was going to say to Laurie again? Thanks but no thanks. No more galleries. No more kissing. No more us. 

Prostitutes and policemen, stick to your own.

Brutal. But brutal was best, wasn’t it? Brutal got the message across. No misunderstanding, no room for a sudden change of mind. Because Freddie was right, wasn’t he? Him and Laurie, it could only end in tears. Which meant putting a stop to it at—Sean squinted at his watch. Four o’clock in the morning. How had it got to four o’clock? He was drunk. He knew he was, because he wasn’t brave enough to make the call sober. 

He could text. Yeah, was was what he should do, but that felt like a cheap trick. Sean snorted. Cheap trick. Very apt, very droll. He needed to say what he had to say, not tap it into the tiny keyboard with fingers that felt clumsy and too big. Anyway, at 4:00 am — no, 4:08 am — Laurie would be asleep, and the message would go to voicemail. Yeah, a good compromise.

He hit call.

“Hello.”

Sean gasped.

Laurie sighed. “If you’re calling about my having being missold PPI, or enquiring whether I want my double glazing replaced, or if I’ve been in an accident and would like to put in a claim, the answers are no, no, and no. So fuck off.”

Sean started laughing. “That’s pretty sharp for — 4:12 am,” he said, screwing his eyes up at his watch.

“Sean? Is that you? Has something happened? Are you all right? Do you need help?” 

Sean’s chest tightened. He needed help, no doubt of that. He needed help in telling Laurie he wouldn’t be seeing him again. Yet the words he’d meant to leave in a message weren’t the words he found himself saying at — 4:15 am.

“Sean?” 

“I like it when you say my name.” Nooo. That was not what he meant to say. Sean held his breath. He really, really hadn’t meant to say that.

“Sean? Are you there?”

“Hmm.” Sean closed his eyes and flopped backwards onto his bed. Yeah, he could kind of get used to Laurie saying his name.

“Are you drunk?” 

Sean smiled. Any sane man would be angered by the call, but instead of annoyance, Sean could hear the undertone of laughter in Laurie’s question.

“I can neither confirm nor deny. Have I woken you up? Sorry, thought it’d just go straight to voicemail. Sorry. How did your party thing go? Sorry I ran off, but all those gallery types… and stuff. Sorry.”

“Sean?”

“Yeah?”

“Stop fucking saying sorry.”

“I think I’ve heard that before.”

“I think you may have said it to me.”

“So I did. Sorry.” His smile broadened as Laurie answered with a small laugh.

“What’s this message you wanted to leave me that’s so important you had to ring at 4:19 am?”

“You sound wide awake. Do you get up early or go to bed late?” Sean didn’t even pretend he wasn’t avoiding the question, but the message he’d meant to leave — thanks, goodbye, have a nice life — lodged in his throat.

“Insomnia. I get it from time to time. But you still haven’t told me why you’re ringing. Unless it’s a random drunk call and you picked my name out of a hat. Is that what this is?”

Sean’s stomach clenched as the engine oil churned in his stomach. 

“I shouldn’t have called. Because it’s late.” Sean added. No, I shouldn’t have called because I don’t want to say it. 

“I’m glad you did, though. Random drunk call or not.” Laurie laughed, but it sounded unsure.

“It’s not a random drunk call. Even though I am a bit drunk.”

“So, you wanted to talk to me — at 4:25?”

“I keep unsociable hours.”

Silence filled the airwaves. Sean stared up at the patch of damp on the ceiling. 

“I keep thinking about it. You kissing me, I mean.”

Laurie’s quite words burrowed into Sean’s chest. He closed his eyes. He didn’t want to talk about that kiss, that breathtaking, heart-stopping kiss. He didn’t want to think about it, or imagine he still tasted Laurie on his lips. The kiss was not why he’d phoned at — 4:29 am.

“Yeah, me too.”

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Beautiful Trauma by Aimee Nicole Walker: Exclusive Excerpt & Giveaway!

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Exclusive Excerpt from Beautiful Trauma

by Aimee Nicole Walker

I grinned at the suspicious tone in his voice. “Seriously. Why do you have a hard time believing it?”

Henry’s body stiffened against mine. “Ezra, your condo is a total fuck pad. This bathtub isn’t about getting clean; it’s for pretending you’re kissing and fucking in the rain or a waterfall on a tropical island. Why would I believe this is the maiden voyage?”His body and tone of voice were tense, and I hoped the truth would ease his worry. 

“How many men do you think I’ve brought to my home?”I asked. Henry scowled and shifted to put distance between us, but I tightened my arms around his lower back, keeping him tight against me. Where he belonged. “Would it make you feel better or worse to know the truth? Those inner demons you mentioned earlier are whispering ugly things in your head, right?”Henry released a shaky breath and nodded. “One man, Henry. You are the only man I’ve brought into my home, shared a bed with, and introduced to my bathtub. If my home is a fuck pad, then it was created just for you.”

Henry’s mouth fell open in a cartoonish way, and I would’ve laughed if the conversation wasn’t so serious. “How could that be?” he whispered. 

“I’m not saying you’re the only person I’ve had sex with since I moved here last year, Henry. What I’m trying to say is you’re the only one I wanted to bring home with me. You’re the only one I wanted to see lying between my sheets or sitting at my barstool while I cooked breakfast. You’re the only one I wanted to hold in my arms in this over-the-top bathtub. You’re the only one who occupies my thoughts and dreams.”

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Release Blitz: A Highlander Walks into a Bar by Laura Trentham + Excerpt!

A Highlander Walks into a Bar by Laura Trentham

The timeless romance, soaring passion—and gorgeous men—of Scotland comes to modern-day America. And the rules of love will never be the same… 

Isabel Buchanan is fiery, funny, and never at a loss for words. But she is struck speechless when her mother returns from a trip to Scotland with a six-foot-tall, very handsome souvenir. Izzy’s mother is so infatuated by the fellow that Izzy has to plan their annual Highland Games all by herself. Well, not completely by herself. The Highlander’s strapping young nephew has come looking for his uncle…

Alasdair Blackmoor has never seen a place as friendly as this small Georgia town—or a girl as brilliant and beguiling as Izzy. Instead of saving his uncle, who seems to be having a lovely time, Alasdair decides he’d rather help Izzy with the Highland Games. Show her how to dance like a Highlander. Drink like a Highlander. And maybe, just maybe, fall in love with a Highlander. But when the games are over, where do they go from here?

Available at: MacmillanAmazon

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Release Blitz: Rules to Follow by Susan Hawke + Excerpt!

Rules to Follow by Susan Hawke

Davey’s Rule #86: A good Daddy will never lie to his boy… even by omission.

Travis Miller has a pretty solid life in the small California beach town he calls home. He’s working his way up in the district attorney’s office, he owns a home with an ocean view, and he has close ties with his family. Life is good. If only he could find a sweet boy to call his own, life would be… perfect. 

Adam Nichols’ life has never been easy. Growing up in foster care taught him to be strong, so finding himself in a violent relationship was a shock. Now that he’s finally free of it, he faces new problems. He’s jobless, homeless, and terrified of starting from scratch.

With a little help from an old friend, Adam discovers a whole new world. He goes from rock bottom to renting a room from a hot assistant DA and working at Daddy’s Lap, a kink club that opens his vanilla eyes to things he’d never imagined. His new roommate is a balm to Adam’s damaged soul. The tender way Travis cares for him is almost like the Daddy kink community he’s seen at the club. But Travis isn’t a Daddy… right? If he were, surely he’d have said so. 

What happens when a lie by omission threatens to bring their budding relationship tumbling down around them? Will Travis ever be able to earn Adam’s trust again?

This is the first book in a new series about not-so-perfect Daddies, adorable “boys,” and one sassy brat with an insane list of rules. Grab your fan and tissues because this series comes with both a high heat advisory and all the squishy feels you’d want from a Susan Hawke book. Possible trigger for references to domestic violence.

Available at: Amazon

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