Redeem by Christina Lee: Exclusive Excerpt & Giveaway!

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Exclusive Excerpt from Redeem

by Christina Lee

My gaze locked on the lone figure in the corner booth. Michael had his laptop open and his cell to his ear, speaking to someone. He stayed. I had no idea why he was here, and I tried to pretend it wasn’t because of me.

Because if it was…what the hell did it mean? Was he hoping to hook up again?

I certainly wouldn’t be opposed to it.

With a dry towel slung over my shoulder, I began wiping up tables for the new customers in line.

When I neared his booth, I noticed he was no longer on the phone. Instead, his eyes were fixed on the newspaper he’d folded in thirds in order to work on the daily crossword puzzle. A smile tugged at my lips. “You need me to do the heavy lifting again?”

His eyebrows rose to his hairline as he tore his gaze away from the newspaper. An instant later, awareness dawned, and he barked out a laugh that lit up his entire face.

“Not today, smartass.”

I stepped closer and noticed that indeed, he didn’t have any empty spaces left on the puzzle. “Decided you needed a different setting?”

“Something like that,” he replied, glancing briefly at his computer before pressing the top down. “Been working so many hours at the office that the same four walls were getting to me.”

“I hear you,” I said, glancing around the coffee shop, the familiar brick walls and wooden beams not always so welcoming or soothing as the week dragged on.

“That why you’re busing tables?” He motioned to the rag in my hand. “Does it help to keep moving?”

“Yeah, it does,” I replied, my pulse throbbing that he’d actually noticed. “But I like to keep the place clean too.”

My jaw ticked as I remembered the story Elijah had shared with me about West finding a job as a busboy after he left Michael. Michael certainly hadn’t been too kind about the news.

“I suppose you think it’s beneath a manager to bus tables?” I asked with an eye roll.

“No way,” he said, shaking his head, his shoulders sagging. “Not anymore.”

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Book Review: The Ghosts Between Us by Brigham Vaughn

Reviewed by Susan65

Title: The Ghosts Between Us
Author: Brigham Vaughn
Series: The West Hills #1
Heroes: Christopher & Elliot
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Length: 372 pages
Publisher: Two Peninsulas Press
Release Date: March 1, 2019
Available at: Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb: Dr. Christopher Allen knows how to deal with death. He’s a psychiatrist who works with hospice patients and their families, helping them cope with grief and letting go. But Chris’s job doesn’t prepare him for the sudden death of his devil-may-care brother Cal.

At Cal’s funeral, Chris is completely thrown when he meets Elliot Rawlings, an artist Cal has been dating. Chris is hurt to discover that the brother he knew as straight was actually bisexual. Elliot is angry and resentful of having been kept hidden from Cal’s family.

After the funeral, a night of drinking at the bar with Cal’s friends leads to Chris and Elliot falling into bed together. The next morning, they’re overwhelmed by guilt and grief and agree to never speak of it again.

But Cal’s apartment needs to be packed up and Elliot reluctantly agrees to help Chris, as well as answer some questions about Cal’s life and their relationship. Despite their guilt and initial dislike for one another, they sort through the pieces of Cal’s life and begin to fall for each other.

Despite his best efforts to fix things, Chris’s family seems to be crumbling around him and he begins to question who he is and what his role with them is. As his feelings for Elliot grow, Chris must decide if they’re worth further damaging his fragile relationships with his friends and family.

Elliot’s rough upbringing has left him distrustful of getting close to anyone, much less another man who isn’t willing to acknowledge him in public. The odds seem stacked against Chris and Elliot, but if they can overcome them, they may be able to lay Cal’s ghost to rest, along with their own demons.

Reader Advisory: This story deals with themes related to alcoholism, death (of secondary characters), and past abuse/neglect.
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Categories: 4.5 Star Ratings, Book Review, LGBT, Published in 2019, Susan65's Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Release Blitz: Rapid Response by DJ Jamison + Excerpt & Giveaway!

Rapid Response by DJ Jamison

A confused straight guy and a gay hookup artist walk into a bar …

Firefighter Sean Connolly is straight — until one impulsive night changes everything. He tries to dismiss it as a fluke, but when a fire rescue leads him back to the guy who blew his mind, he’s thrown into a chaos of confusion and want. He gives in to curiosity, exploring a new side to himself — not just his attraction to a man, but his desperate need to please.

Paramedic Jace Gillespie is a hookup pro, never letting anyone get too close. When he meets Sean, though, he feels a connection right away. An ill-advised threesome seems to kill a friendship in the making, but when they’re thrown together by work, it doesn’t take long for passion to reignite. Sean calls to something in Jace he never knew was there, and together, they explore a dynamic that fulfills them both.

But as feelings deepen, doubts surface. Sean is in the closet, and Jace struggles to trust his promise that it won’t last forever. With family conflict and his career in the balance, Sean finds it difficult to picture his life without secrecy, but if he doesn’t find a way, he may lose the one person he most wants to please.

Rapid Response is the longest novel of the Hearts and Health series at approximately 92,000 words! It can be read as a standalone.

Available at: Amazon

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Honorary Blogger Rhys Ford: Ryder’s Folly Part One + Giveaway!

It is hard to believe that we are at the third book in the Kai Gracen series. Black Dog Blues was one of the first full-length novels I’d written inside of an urban fantasy genre I’ve always wanted to explore. The best part about writing Kai Gracen is creating not just the personalities but also the world they inhabit and it’s been great to blend in the fantastical with the mundane.

In his third outing, Jacked Cat Jive, Kai is faced with unique challenge of realizing he really is not as human as he thought and that the Court and its inhabitants mean something to him other than a thorn in his side. And of course, there is always Ryder, the Sidhe Lord who gets under his skin in the best of ways. I’ve enjoyed writing the push and pull of their relationship but also the growth between them as characters. They started off at very different points of view and are slowly working towards an understanding while also fending off any challenges that come at them.

This time out, Kai is not only set to rescue a group of refugees from the Badlands beneath San Diego, he also has to come to grips with his growing friendship with Ryder and how the humans in his life are getting older, something he won’t experience himself for quite a long time.

So I hope that you join Kai and his next adventure and also enjoy this serialized story of Ryder and the trouble he gets into when he doesn’t listen to what Kai says.

Also, I invite you to enter the giveaway on each of the blogs during the tour and get a chance to win a $25 USD gift certificate from an e-tailer of your choice (see below for more information)

Ryder’s Folly: Part One

by Rhys Ford

I was going to die.

It was too soon. I still had too much to do with my life; a Court to establish, discover a way for my people to be more fertile but most of all, I still hadn’t convinced Kai Gracen he belonged at my side. I should be sitting safe — barring Sidhe politics — as Ryder, the Lord of the Southern Rise Court.

Instead, I’d allowed myself to be convinced by Kai to go on a run and once again ending up in a situation where I would die far from my family with the possibly of leaving nothing behind of my body except for what a wild animal shat out near his den to ward off other predators.

I think that was the main reason he was trying to kill me. Given enough time, he would give in to the tight desire brewing between us but as in all things, Kai never did anything the easy way. He had to fight with everything, chew through all possibilities and then choose a course of action I never even considered.

Which was why I was clinging to the side of a large, hairy beast while it thundered us both to certain doom over a sheer cliff.

I’m not sure how I get talked into such precarious situations. No, that is a lie. I know exactly how I get talked into these things. I do this to myself. Because I cannot resist the challenge in Kai’s dusk-hued violet eyes when he throws down an impossible task at my feet.

There wasn’t much time to contemplate why, and how, I was holding onto the shaggy behemoth of a mammal — or at least I thought it was a mammal — instead of working on cementing the Court’s relations with the human world surrounding it. The beast itself smelled. Mostly of manure but also of dried grasses and dirt. Its thick wooly hide scratched my fingers and any other bare skin I had pressed against it, including my belly where my shirt rode up nearly to my chest, inching towards my throat with every thundering stride the monster took. There were bound to be biting insects riding the beast along with me and if I survived the experience, I was sure to be taking them home to the Court if I didn’t get a chance to disinfect myself.

Why didn’t I simply let go?

A few reasons. The first was the creature moved at an alarming speed, carrying us in magnificent leaps over the stretch of plains below the lava fields teeming with dragons. Secondly, those same plains were ripe with razor-sharp grasses and releasing my hold would mean a dangerous tumble through the knife-like surface where I also had a good chance of striking a prickly, shards-of-glass like patch of paho’eho’e lurking in the golden sheaves.

And lastly, but certainly more importantly, if I let go of the bison, I would instantly become a meal for the pride of lions chasing the herd down towards the sea.

I couldn’t hear the cats’ screams and roars as they chased the herd. Not above the gnash of hooves slamming into the ground and the terrified snorts of the angry beasts. For all I knew, the lions hunted silently, slipping through the grasses in a rush of whispered sounds. These were human creatures, so far removed from my experience I had no knowledge of how they hunted but one thing was certain, their teeth were massive, their claws were deadly and their fur so closely matched the swaying grasses, I couldn’t see them chasing us.

But they were there. I knew it. The bison knew it. And it would simply be a matter of time before one of them caught up with the beast I rode and I would be torn apart, leaving nothing for Kai to find once he caught up with me.

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Categories: Book Promo, Excerpts, Giveaways, Honorary Blogger Post | Tags: , , , , | 59 Comments

Release Blitz: Touch of a Yellow Sun by V.L. Locey & Giveaway!

Touch of a Yellow Sun by V.L. Locey

It’s been a rough couple of years for Marek Hafer, roaming hockey protagonist and pugilistic expert. Ending up in Berger Lake, Pennsylvania, on a financially unstable minor league team might just be the ending his wretched career deserves. On the other side of thirty, Marek knows his time on skates is dwindling. His goal now is to spend a few quiet years playing for the Berger Lake Badgers, knock a few helmets together as needed, and then call it quits before his salty personality gets him booted out of hockey permanently.

After a bloody encounter his first night on the ice, the Badgers coach suggests that Marek find a way to lower his violent tendencies before he’s sent packing yet again. That decree leads Marek to knock on the door of his next-door neighbor, Shey Pierson, the owner of Sun Touch Yoga Studio. Shey ticks every box Marek has with his soft blue eyes, flowing golden hair, and long limber legs. The only problem is that Shey is yin to Marek’s yang.

Can a man famed for throwing punches find serenity in the arms of a man known for his tranquil ways?

Available at: Amazon

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Book Review: Credence by Delphia Baisden

Reviewed by Susan65

Title: Credence
Author: Delphia Baisden
Heroes: James & Kieran
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Length: 227 pages
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: March 1, 2019
Available at: Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb: James Morgan, lead guitarist for the rock band Eden, seems to have it all. That is, until Theo, Eden’s lead singer and James’s secret lover, violently betrays him, sending James into a deep depression and cutting their current tour and the band’s life short.

Kieran Jackson, the lead vocalist for the less successful band Lost and Found, is at his wits’ end. At thirty-three, he never dreamed he’d still be opening for bands comprised of twentysomethings. When Eden pulls out of the last few shows of their summer tour, Kieran returns home burned out and heartbroken.

Over a year later, James, Phil, and David of Eden decide to reform under a different name with Kieran as their new vocalist. James, never having forgotten his single interaction with Kieran, nor the only time he ever listened to him perform, knows Kieran’s the best choice.

James is still closeted—and skittish after his last relationship—and one fumbling, drunken kiss threatens to undo everything he’s worked so hard to rebuild, as well as the cover he’s fought to maintain.

Can James overcome his past, confront his demons, and reclaim his former fame? Or will he and the newly formed True North remain in Eden’s shadow forever? Can he finally find comfort in who he is, accept his past, and reopen his heart? Or will the memories of Theo’s betrayal and the subsequent fallout dash any hope of finding—and trusting—love again?

Trigger warning: this book contains explicit rape, as well as one failed suicide attempt by a main character.
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Categories: 4 Star Ratings, Book Review, LGBT, Published in 2019, Susan65's Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Release Blitz: Helix by Anna Martin & Giveaway!

Helix by Anna Martin

When high school student James has trouble with his truck, Dylan, who is studying to be a mechanic, comes to the rescue. James thinks he hides his immediate attraction well, but is happy to be wrong when Dylan asks for his number. Since James is new to romance, they take things slowly, and because Dylan is in college, James keeps the budding relationship secret from his overprotective dad.

Across town, Mark, a teacher and single father to James and his sister, Frankie, meets Steve at a bar for what both believe will be a quick hookup. Mark doesn’t see any reason to tell his kids about Steve or press Steve for details about Steve’s adopted son…. It’s just sex between them. Isn’t it?

Two very different love stories grow side by side, each hidden from the other. But all of that changes at a family barbecue, when Mark decides it’s time for his kids to meet Steve and for him to meet James’s boyfriend, who none of them realize is Steve’s son, Dylan. The inevitable explosion means the two couples have some explaining to do to soothe the hurt feelings of their families—and lovers.

Available at: Amazon

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Book Review: Ties of Destiny by Caitlin Taylor

Reviewed by Nikyta

Title: Ties of Destiny
Author: Caitlin Taylor
Series: Curse of the Crown #1
Heroes: Jeffrey
Genre: M/M Fantasy
Length: 341 pages
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: October 26, 2018
Available at: Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb: When forces both inside and outside the palace walls threaten the life of Crown Prince Akoni, he finds himself in need of a guard. Someone who will protect not only him, but also his secrets – and he may have found the perfect man for the task.

Being a soldier is Jeffery’s life. He won’t be defined by his past, but fights for the present, not some future he will never see. Yet, his mandatory reassignment to the palace as Prince Akoni’s personal guard forces him to set aside his plans. His role places Jeffery in the presence of nobles whom he despises, and Prince Akoni is worse than most.

Can two men learn to trust each other, or will the secrets they carry bring about their own demise? Will having Jeffery close to him help Prince Akoni to become King – or cause more deaths? They need to depend on each other, for the sake of the future, because if they cannot, the past will only repeat itself and neither of them will survive.

Ties of Destiny is the first book in the Fantasy series Curse of the Crown.

If you like fantastical adventures, a blending of magic, sword fighting and technology then you will love this intriguing first instalment by Caitlin Taylor.
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Categories: 3.5 Star Ratings, Book Review, LGBT, Nikyta's Reviews, Published in 2018 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Release Blitz: Empire of Light by Alex Harrow + Excerpt & Giveaway!

Empire of Light by Alex Harrow

Damian Nettoyer is the Empire’s go-to gun. He kills whoever they want him to kill. In exchange, he and his rag-tag gang of crooks get to live, and Damian’s psychokinetic partner and lover, Aris, isn’t issued a one-way ticket to an Empire-sanctioned lobotomy.

Then Damian’s latest mark, a suave revolutionary named Raeyn, kicks his ass and demands his help. The first item on the new agenda: take out Damian’s old boss—or Raeyn will take out Damian’s crew.

To protect his friends and save his own skin, Damian teams up with Raeyn to make his revolution work. As Aris slips away from Damian and his control over his powers crumbles, the Watch catches on. Damian gets way too close to Raeyn, torn between the need to shoot him one minute and kiss him the next.

With the Empire, Damian had two policies: shoot first and don’t ask questions. But to save the guy he loves, he’ll set the world on fire.

Available at: Amazon

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Release Blitz: How Not To Sin by Susan Hawke + Excerpt & Giveaway!

How Not To Sin by Susan Hawke

One regular guy who happens to be a preacher…  

Reverend Dr. Gabe Samson doesn’t think he’s better than any of the people in his church, so please don’t put him on a pedestal. While he’s never hidden the fact that he identifies as bisexual, he’s never acted on it either. Gabe isn’t happy to learn that the sole reason he was hired to pastor the LGBT-friendly church was that the ruling elders wanted a safe poster child for inclusivity—in other words, they wanted the rainbow flag without letting it fly.

Plus one easygoing, new age kinda guy…

Seth Thomas owns Holistic Healing, a metaphysical shop and yoga studio. He’s never really been a relationship kinda guy, but only because he hasn’t met the right man yet. Seth is laid back and goes with the flow. When fate drops a hot preacher in his lap, why wouldn’t he accept the gift?

Equals a pair of men who click from the start.

The two men find it almost too easy to get together, especially Gabe, who is fully embracing his bi side for the first time. Nothing in life is simple though. While Gabe and Seth are busy falling in love, they face an anti-gay hate group, a divided church, and a ruling elder who is hell-bent on sowing discord. Between Gabe’s patient wisdom and Seth’s snark, the pair fight the growing drama with the strongest weapons in their arsenal: love and humor.

This is the third book in the LOVESTRONG series about finding love and being yourself in a small town, and the third in series. Intended only for 18+ readers, this is an mm romance full of all the fun, fluff, and feels you’d want from an S. Hawke book.

Note: This isn’t a trigger warning, but please be prepared for a few instances of ignorance and hate speech, and mentions of violence. This is a romance, not a sermon—but please keep in mind that the main character is a pastor dealing with real-life issues in his church and these truths are reflected in Gabe.

Available at: Amazon

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