Finding Hope (Finding Series #5) Sloane Kennedy

                         💫💫Reviewed by Michele💫💫

TITLE: Finding Hope

SERIES: Finding Series Book 5

AUTHOR: Sloane Kennedy

PUBLISHER: Self Published 

RELEASE DATE: March 10, 2017

BLURB: At 19, Beck Barretti is living two lives. To his family, he’s a young man trying to find his way after years of battling a mental illness that nearly cost him everything. But to the rest of the world he’s just another privileged kid with problems. The truth doesn’t even lie somewhere in between because Beck’s entire life is actually about keeping secrets.

From the people he loves.

From the ones he doesn’t.

From himself.

Spending a summer in Dare, Montana with family friends isn’t about starting fresh – it’s about escaping the crippling darkness that threatens to consume him.

Until one encounter that was supposed to mean nothing ends up changing everything…

Quinn Donovan had the life he’d always dreamed of until a brutal act of violence ripped it all away. Even though he’s found a new future working at the CB Bar Ranch in Dare, Montana, he’s not interested in trying to get back what he once had. All he wants is a quiet life that includes a job that’s worth getting up for each morning and hanging out with his best friend, a black and white Paint stallion named Koda.

But nothing prepares him for the strange twist of fate that brings not one, but two men into his life…

Brody Wilder is done hiding in the closet. As the son of a political scion, he’s spent his entire life hiding the truth about who he is just so he could inherit a legacy he never wanted. But those days are behind him and he’s starting a new life in rural Montana where he’s saving lives as a paramedic and building a successful construction business that would surely horrify his old-money, society-loving family.

After years of denying himself, he’s taking advantage of his newfound freedom by indulging in random, meaningless sexual encounters that are about pleasure, not emotion.

So no one is more surprised than him when one night in the back room of a sordid gay club leads to something more…

Can three men who came together by chance find the hope they need to build a future with each other, or will they end up letting their fears tear them apart?

Trigger Warning: This book contains multiple triggers. To review what they are, please take a look at the sample or use the “Look Inside” feature and scroll to right before the table of contents. Reviewing the triggers may cause spoilers.

***This book is part of a series but can be read as a standalone…no cliffhangers. However, there will be additional enjoyment if the series is read in order***

REVIEW: WOW! That’s all I can say. She did it to me again. My emotions were all over the place while reading this painful but cathartic story. For me this one hurt but in a good way. As I read Beck’s story, and I read all 4 of the previous books in this series, the characters in Finding Hope were by far the most captivating. The story was well written, which given that this was a ménage can be difficult.

This book is about 3 men, Beck, Quinn, and Brody, who separately are struggling with issues from their past. The lack of acceptance and betrayal by your own family, the painful loss of who you thought was the love of your life, and the physical and emotional abuse inflicted by those knowing and unknowingly who took an oath to protect, and those who professed their friendship only to be used in a game of deception.

Beck’s story brought out my feelings of indignation as I felt his fear, pain, sadness, and anger. I had to pull myself together more than once in order to continue reading. Even as I was flooded with all those emotions the story continually showed Beck coming out of the darkness of his past as he discovers himself and finds friendship, acceptance and love in the small town of Dare, Montana. This is a MUST READ. I HIGHLY recommend this book.

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RATING: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

BUY LINKS:

Amazon

 

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Studies in Demonology Book 1 by TJ Nichols

 

REVIEWED BY: Patricia Nelson

TITLE: Warlock in Training

SERIES: Studies in Demonology Book 1
AUTHOR: TJ Nichols
PUBLISHER: DSP Publications
RELEASE DATE: Feb 14, 2017
BLURB: Angus Donahue doesn’t want to be a warlock. He believes draining demons for magic is evil, but it’s a dangerous opinion to have- his father is a powerful and well-connected warlock, and Angus is expected to follow the family tradition.

His only way out is to fail the demon summoning class. Failure means expulsion from the Warlock College. Despite Angus’s best efforts to fumble the summoning, it works. Although not the way anyone expects.

Angus’s demon, Saka, is a powerful mage with his own need for a warlock.
Saka wants to use Angus in a ritual to rebalance the magic that is being stripped from Demonside by warlocks. If Angus survives his demon’s desires and the perils of Demonside, he’ll have to face the Warlock College and their demands.

Angus must choose: obey the College and forget about Demonside or trust Saka and try to fix the damage before it’s too late. Whatever he does, he is in the middle of a war he isn’t qualified to fight.
REVIEW: Talk about being caught in the middle! Both Saka and Angus know that feeling all too well. Angus doesn’t want to be a warlock and go to the Warlock College, but, because of his father’s ambitions, there he is. Angus is determined to fail his demon summoning class but ends up suceeding in summoning one more powerful than he could ever imagine.
Saka is a demon mage fighting to restore the magical balance between his world and the human one. He’s torn between doing his duty by sacrificing the warlock to rebalance magic and saving his world, or surrendering to the fiery passion flaring between him and Angus.
Both Saka and Angus are caught in a minefield of plots, power plays, greed, hate, and fear against a background of a brewing war. It’lI take a miracle for them to survive, let alone have a HEA ending.
I was completely engrossed and hooked by this gritty, gripping, and fascinating story, and would definitely recommend it to everyone.
RATING: 4
BUY LINKS: Dreamspinner

Amazon

Scarred by Mia Kerick Blog Tour with Excerpt and #Giveaway

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Title: Scarred
Author: Mia Kerick
Release Date: March 1st 2017
Genre: Adult, Gay Romance, LGBT

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From bestselling author Mia Kerick comes a New Adult Gay Romance that will keep you up reading all night!

Matthew North waited ten years to heal from the devastating wounds inflicted by the man who abducted and abused him as a child. Living reclusively on a tropical island—with no company but his four cats—he merely avoids the lingering pain.

Wearing twisted ropes of mutilated skin on his back, Matt struggles with a profound hindrance—the scars that deaden his soul. However, on the night he meets lively Vedie Wilson, a local restaurant busboy who expresses his gender by wearing lipgloss and eyeliner along with his three-day beard, things change.

Gradually, Vedie and Mateo unite in friendship. Through a series of awkward encounters, the pair learns each other’s secrets. Vedie learns that an angelic face can front for a scarred soul. Matthew learns that the line between one’s masculine and feminine sides is blurred. Can they embrace the painful stories behind each other’s scars if they’re to find everlasting love? Or will surrendered love come to be yet another blemish on their souls?

Purchase: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Cool Dudes Publishing

Find Scarred on Goodreads

EXCERPT

Matt

Seeing this kid cry slices easily through my thick skin and I don’t like it one bit. There’s a heart somewhere under all of the armor I wear, and I like to keep it under wraps. But what’s most fucked-up about this situation is that less than two hours ago we were complete strangers not exactly enjoying a friendly interaction.

When he came to my table, he’d asked, “Yo, what you drinkin’, man?” I guess I must have looked at him cross-eyed because I didn’t recognize him as a regular worker at The Only Tiki Hut on Placida Island. And I should know; I’ve eaten dinner here several nights a week for the past decade. He got right on my case. What’s your friggin’ problem? I asked you real nice, seein’ as it’s my job and shit!”

It was as if he’d read my mind when he sized up my expression, which made me shiver because nobody knows what I’m thinking, and I like it that way. “Just water,” I’d told him and then I stared out over the beach, craning my neck like I was watching for somebody even though there’s never been anybody for me to watch for.

He hadn’t liked being ignored, so he’d started to play the smart-ass, a part that he’s very good at. “Sorry, big dawg, the lady’s a no-show. You gonna have to fill your bed with somebody new tonight, looks like.” He actually waggled his eyebrows.

“Guess today’s not my lucky day, because I’m planning to sleep alone,” I told him and meant it.

“It can be your lucky day if you play your cards right, my man.” He let go of the tray with one hand, dropped his palm onto my shoulder, and squeezed. “You ain’t gotta be lonely tonight if you don’t—what the fuck, man!”

I’d already jumped to my feet and practically stomped on the guy. “Hands off, asshole.”

“I get it, big dawg, so chill.” The kid pulled back his hand and released a long sigh, like he knew he’d broken one of his own rules by grabbing me. “I’ll get my dumbass hand offa your badass shoulder, if you sit your ass back down on that chair.” And after another sigh, he said, “Not gonna push the issue, man. Just offerin’ you some company on a long, hot, lonely night.”

GIVEAWAY: Win a $25 Amazon Giftcard

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About the Author

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Mia Kerick is the mother of four exceptional children—one in law school, another in dance school, a third in school at Mia’s alma mater, Boston College, and her lone son still in high school. (Mia is a major fan of the learning process!) She writes LGBTQ romance when not editing National Honor Society essays, offering opinions on college and law school applications, helping to create dance bios, and reviewing English papers. Her husband of twenty-three years has been told by many that he has the patience of Job, but don’t ask Mia about this, as it is a sensitive subject.

Mia focuses her stories on the emotional growth of troubled young people and their relationships. She has a great affinity for the tortured hero. There is, at minimum, one of these in each book. As a teen, Mia filled spiral-bound notebooks with tales of said tortured heroes (most of whom happened to strongly resemble lead vocalists of 1980s big-hair bands) and stuffed them under her mattress for safekeeping. She is thankful to CoolDudes Publishing, Dreamspinner Press, Harmony Ink Press, and Evernight Publishing for providing her with alternate places to stash her stories.

A social liberal, Mia cheers for each and every victory made in the name of human rights. Her only major regret: never having taken typing or computer class in school, destining her to a life consumed with two-fingered pecking and constant prayer to the Gods of Technology.

Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon | Goodreads

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PARANORMAL ROMANCE GUILD GRAND RE-OPENING

Reblogged with the permission of the PRG:

 

PARANORMAL ROMANCE GUILD GRAND RE-OPENING
Posted by AJ Rose | Feb 27, 2017 | Blog, Paranormal Romance Guild | 0 |
Dear PRG Family–Readers, Reviewers, Authors, and Friends:

WELCOME TO YOUR BRAND NEW HOME FOR THE PARANORMAL ROMANCE GUILD!
We here at The PRG are so excited to provide for you a brand new website where we can all
gather together to celebrate our mutual love for books. Here, you will find some old features that
have been reworked with WordPress and some brand new ones. As you may have noticed,
among all the bells and whistles here – is a website that is streamlined, easier to navigate, and
user-friendly for all.

Along with the website change, there will be some new and exciting things we are going to
promote that bring reader and writer together in the coming year and beyond.
Work in Progress Contests for skilled authors and new authors alike, we’ll be at book
conventions, and like always – we’ll have a book giveaway planned through the year.

BUT, THAT’S NOT ALL!
We here at The Paranormal Romance Guild are seeking to expand our enterprise. Not only do we
wish to grow as an organization, our constant endeavor is to support the artists who work so hard
to produce the books that we all love.

As we’ve diversified to review all works of fiction, we are really working to expand our
membership base as we understand that the relationship between reader and writer is symbiotic.
What good is a story if you’ve got no one to tell it to? And as Amazon has the market in a
constant state of upheaval, and as small presses appear and disappear seemingly overnight, it’s
becoming harder and harder for authors to sustain themselves in the tumult.

We want to serve as a stabilizing force for authors. We here at the PRG are going to dig and
brainstorm ways to make this a reality. We are after all a guild.
So, authors, readers, reviewers, and friends, watch this space in the coming year for more things
we’re going to be sending your way to bring The PRG family even closer together.

SEMPER AVANTI!
The Paranormal Romance Guild

Cover Reveal for Ann Lister, Honor and Pride, Guarding the Rock Gods: Book 2

Cover Reveal, Honor And Pride (Guarding The Gods: book two) by Bestselling Author Ann Lister

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Honor And Pride,Guarding The Gods: book two by Bestselling Author Ann Lister RELEASING SOON!

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BLURB

Fizzbo is used to taking care of people. He’s the one in charge of the personal and professional security needs for both world-famous rock bands, Ivory Tower and Black Ice. Having their backs is what he does best, and he takes pride in that, both on and off the job. When he’s called into action to save the man he loves, all of his skills are put to the test. Suddenly, he isn’t so sure his training will be enough, but saving Kensey is personal, and he’s willing do anything to keep him safe. Kensey Pride is the man who rocked Fizzbo’s world when they met during the European tour with Ivory Tower and Black Ice. Kensey’s passion for his job, making people look and feel beautiful in their own skin, is something he lacks in his own life until the magnetism of a certain security guard comes along and breaks down the walls he’s built around his heart to keep him safe. For the first time in his life, Kensey discovers he likes who he sees looking back at him in the mirror. Without the safety of those walls and his heart left unprotected, Kensey becomes an easy target for those who can’t let go of the past. Will Fizzbo’s strength and love be enough to bring Kensey home, or will old truths be too much for the guard to handle?
 

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Add to your shelf on Goodreads, click I want to read.

http://bit.ly/HonorAndPrideGoodreads

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Catch up on Guarding The Gods Series

Read for FREE with KindleUnlimited

Amazon

UK http://amzn.to/2jUC18j
Universal http://getbook.at/ZacsMulligan

Goodreads

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AUTHOR BIO

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Ann Lister is a native New Englander currently living on the island of Martha’s Vineyard with her husband. She has pulled details from her years living in the New England area and uses many local settings and landmarks in her novels.

After graduating art school, marrying, and raising two daughters, she established her own video production company. Her nearly two decades working in video production included work within the music industry and won her a coveted Telly Award. Her ‘behind-the-scenes’ exposure to the music world and her love of rock music is the inspiration for her erotic rock star romances.

The Rock Gods series gave her Bestselling Author status on Amazon. Beyond The Music, Book 7 in the series, hit #1 in the Gay Erotica genre during the Pre-Order and held that spot for several weeks. This last book in The Rock Gods series launches the spin-off series, Guarding The Gods, which releases in early Summer of 2016.

Connect with Ann here:

Website
Goodreads
Facebook Page
Twitter @AnnListerAuthor
Pinterest
Instagram

Bloggers Join my master list. If you are interested please complete the sign up form below. Thank you. https://goo.gl/forms/qHHqXPoLRgBU3Mt33

Thank you for touring with Jo&IsaBooks

https://www.facebook.com/JoandIsalovebooks/

Get Over It by Lisa Oliver Blog Tour

Title: Get Over It
Series: Book 1 of The Gods Made Me Do It Sereis
Author: Lisa Oliver
Publisher: Lisa Oliver
Length: 166 pages
The Gods Made Me Do It Book 1
 
Madison Worthington has worked hard to get to where he is. Thrown out of his pack at a young age, he finds his home in the San Antonio Pack, eventually talking himself into a job as Damien’s PA. He doesn’t get the respect he’d hoped for, but he holds his head high as he works behind the scenes keeping Damien’s club and pack running smoothly. At night he dreams of a mate who will hold himself in strong arms and love him just the way he is. Unfortunately, the Fates appear to have other plans. 
 
Sebastian D’Eath, son of Thanatos the Angel of Death, has always known the Fates would throw a mate in his path. He just didn’t realize he had to dive into flood waters to stop the man from drowning. But no matter how cute his mate might look as a drowned rat, Sebastian has his arguments ready. He doesn’t want a mate; won’t take a mate and no one can make him. However, he soon finds out the Fates have other plans for him, too. 
 
Angry words lead to Madison being captured by a wolf with a sick mind. Salvation comes from an unlikely quarter, but Madison returns to the pack with a change of heart. He has some scores to settle and Sebastian is the first in the firing line. Hellhounds, dinners and a red convertible – will Sebastian ever get the man he claimed he didn’t want? 
 

Madison Worthington ran his hand over the lapel of his new suit and eyed his reflection critically. The cut was perfect, the dark gray material held a faint sheen under his mirror lights as it emphasized his tight butt and slender waist. Madison patted the trim ends of his golden blond hair where they fell artfully over his face. He kept it short for neatness purposes but he purposefully gave the men in his life something to hold onto on top. He leaned forward and peered at his reflected skin. Eyeliner was expertly applied to bring out a pop in his bright blue eyes. He just needed a spot of lip gloss and he’d be ready to go.  

“You’re going to knock ‘em dead tonight,” he said with a smile at his reflection, pushing back familiar negative thoughts about never finding the one meant for him. If only Damien…. Madison stamped the floor with his elegantly booted foot, shutting down that line of thinking. His days with Damien were well over and his Alpha was happy with Scott. Mate, I need to find my mate, he thought, but he shoved that idea away as well. I have a good life, he told himself firmly, I have all I need. 

 


My name is Lisa Oliver. After spending years writing non-fiction books, the lure of fiction and the men in my head finally had me sitting down and writing The Reluctant Wolf, an M/M paranormal erotic romance in November 2013. Since that time I have written twenty odd books including the Cloverleah Pack series, the Bound and Bonded series, Alpha and Omega series, and the Stockton Wolves series. I have also written a vampire/wolf shifter novel - The Power of The Bite. All of my books are M/M (or M/M/M) come with a guaranteed HEA and absolutely no cheating. 

I strongly believe in the power of love - and all of my books are based on the true mate trope. However, for me, insta-lust does not equal insta-love and all of my books tell of the journey my main characters need to go through to reach that state of being in love with someone special. All of my books can be read as standalone, but in cases like the Cloverleah series you get a good idea of the back stories of secondary characters by reading the books in order. 

I love to hear from all of my readers so please feel free to catch up with me on Facebook, Twitter or through my blog.
 

Two Natures by Jendi Reiter Blog Tour with Guest Post, Excerpt, & Giveaway

Blog Post on Julian’s Playlist

[Guest post by Jendi Reiter, author of Two Natures (Saddle Road Press, 2016) ]
Though I need total quiet and solitude when I finally sit down with my notebook, the rest of the time I may binge on music, and to a lesser extent TV and movies, to stay immersed in my characters’ world. Some CDs I had on constant repeat during the years I worked on Two Natures included 50 Best Loved Hymns by St. John Choir (only the first disc, for some reason); Queen: Greatest Hits III; Vic Latino’s Thrive Mix 2; Grammy Nominees 2007; Ta-Dah by Scissor Sisters; and Le Fou Chantant (“The Singing Fool”) by Charles Trenet. As you can see already, my main character, fashion photographer Julian Selkirk, is a mix of sentimental piety and hard-partying sensuality, with a touch of camp.

When the book came out, I created a YouTube playlist which you can find here on Pinterest. Here’s the story behind a few of those picks.

Petra, “Don’t Let Your Heart Be Hardened”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lP_XNlt8Opk

I got a lot of pushback from my then faith community when I started writing positively and explicitly about gay couples. This warm and peaceful song by a popular Christian band helped me remember that God is love, desite the people who speak hatefully in God’s name.

Liquid Sky, “Fashion Show”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwOHKKJxrgA

This avant-garde electronica track was popular in gay nightclubs in the mid-1990s, when the book is set.

Johnny Cash, “Sunday Morning Coming Down”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QgcNoP4Wudw
Like the Man in Black, Julian is a Southern boy who drinks too much, and regrets his lost innocence even though he knows that being an outsider is what makes him an artist.

Charles Trenet, “Que reste-t-il de nos amours?”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xWAxaHuwg30

Old-fashioned French songs remind Julian of his Memère (grandmother) in Savannah, who gave him his first camera and offered the family a safe haven from his abusive father.

Barbra Streisand, “Places That Belong to You”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZVlC3TRL1Tw

Julian’s boyfriend Phil may be a tough working-class weightlifter, but he has a soft spot for “The Prince of Tides”, from which this theme song is taken.

Opera Trance, “Spente Le Stelle”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eWJsCOC-yvE

Julian’s mentor and sometime lover, Richard Molineux, is a cryptic, pretentious magazine editor who introduces him to the fine arts. One of their first scenes together takes place at a fashion show set to opera-techno music.

Marlene Dietrich, “Lili Marlene”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5M7kyr1jYks

The music and poetry of World War I gain new significance for Julian and his friends as they confront another slaughter of “doomed youth”, the AIDS crisis.

Death Cab for Cutie, “I Will Follow You Into the Dark”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NDHY1D0tKRA

Losing a loved one is more heartbreaking when “religious” people have convinced you that Heaven has turned on the no-vacancy sign.

Eurythmics, “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qeMFqkcPYcg

Julian is wild for 80s music. This song features in a pivotal scene near the end of the novel when he makes an unsettling discovery about his lover’s kinks.
What songs would you add? Read the book and let me know!
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Title: Two Natures
Author: Jendi Reiter
Release Date: September 15th 2016
Genre: LGBT fiction, MM Romance

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Two Natures is the coming-of-age story of Julian Selkirk, a fashion photographer in New York City in the early 1990s. His faith in Jesus helped him survive his childhood in the Atlanta suburbs with an abusive alcoholic father, but the church’s condemnation of his sexual orientation has left him alienated and ashamed.

Yearning for new ideals to anchor him after his loss of faith, Julian seeks his identity through love affairs with three very different men: tough but childish Phil Shanahan, a personal trainer who takes a dangerous shortcut to success; enigmatic, cosmopolitan Richard Molineux, the fashion magazine editor who gives him his first big break; and Peter Edelman, an earnest left-wing activist with a secret life.

Amid the devastation of the AIDS epidemic and the racial tensions of New York politics, Julian learns to see beyond surface attractions and short-term desires, and to use his art to serve his community.

Goodreads

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | B&N | Saddle Road Press

**Kindle Price $0.99 from February 20th – March 17th ** (normally $9.99)

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Honors:
2016 Rainbow Awards: First Prize, Best Gay Contemporary General Fiction; First Runner-Up, Debut Gay Book
Named one of QSPirit’s Top LGBTQ Christian Books of 2016

EXCERPT

The storm hit when we were about an hour south of the campgrounds. Sheets of rain covered the Chevy’s windshield. We crawled along, following the fuzzy glow of the taillights in front of us. Peter searched the AM band for a local station that could give us traffic and weather. I refrained from saying that we could see both of those by looking out the window. There’s the difference between us: he likes to know that he can’t do anything about a situation, while I just assume it.

Up ahead, flashing lights and a row of orange cones marked a lane closed off by a wreck we couldn’t make out. Peter was all for pulling off the highway and finding a shortcut via the local roads. Phil’s presence made me less adventurous. We had to get this right. If he’d been awake to vote, though, he would have sided with Indiana Jones, so I resigned myself to studying the map for the shortest possible detour. “Hey, did you know there’s a city in New York called Sodom?”

“Is it anywhere near Coxsackie?”

We bounced along winding roads through tired towns that blended together in the rain: another white clapboard with a sagging porch, another vintage Pepsi sign over a liquor-store marquee (“happy 21st birthday Amanda!”), more black and white cows grazing around a metal silo. I never went in for that Depression-documentary stuff. People who wear overalls deserve their privacy.

After half an hour we seemed to have outrun the rain, but finding our way back to the highway was another story. We stopped for coffee and pie in a diner with turquoise vinyl siding, where the waitress gave us directions to the campsite. I could have sworn one of the truckers at the lunch counter was cruising me. If I hadn’t been with my boys, I might have gone for him, and probably gotten myself murdered. It’s not a good idea to die luridly if no one knows you’re a celebrity. I doubted whether the local Walgreen’s carried Femme NY.

We crested the hill leading into the campgrounds as a yellow-gray sunset was filtering through the pines. Peter surveyed the scene and frowned. “Guys, I don’t think this is it.”

“Nah, I saw the sign, just like the waitress told us — Deer Mountain Nature Preserve,” Phil said.

“But it’s not how I remember it, from when we used to come here — I thought there was a lake, and this little bunkhouse with showers.”

“Maybe we’re on the other end.”

“Does it really matter?” I asked impatiently. “Nature is nature, right?”

“And why is it called a nature preserve? Maybe we’re not even allowed in here,” Peter fretted.

“Cool, we’ll be, like, anarchist squatters,” Phil said. Thus outvoted, Peter pulled the Chevy into a broad clearing with a view of the mountains, where we would pitch our tents. He’d brought two,

in case Phil and I wanted some privacy. The ground was damp and spongy under a fragrant carpet of pine needles. I sprayed a mist of bug repellent all around us. In the forest, you think it’s quiet, but it really isn’t, once you let go of expecting to hear human voices. Phil had brought a battery-operated radio that played staticky doo-wop oldies (the only station we could find out there) while I built a campfire.

The sky slowly turned from purple-gray to black. We drank Cokes because Peter didn’t like mixing beer and weed, and cooked hot dogs on sticks over the sputtering fire. Phil tried to get away without eating anything with his evening pills. “I thought you always had an appetite for this,” I said, waggling a plump hot dog in front of his face. We ate that one from both ends and met in the middle, and Peter sang the Italian-restaurant song from “Lady and the Tramp”, and I laughed so hard the soda came out of my nose.

The radio was off. If we strained our eyes, we could see faint stars that vanished into the cloud cover when we looked directly at them. “I want to try and find the lake,” Peter said.

“It’s too cold to swim,” I said. “We should have come sooner.”

“I just want you guys to see it.”

A nearly-full moon had risen, cresting and sinking in the swells of clouds that drifted across its light. That and our flashlights helped us find a marked trail. There was no reason to think that it led to any lake, but we were buzzed and lucky to be there, and why not hope our luck would hold?

Phil slapped at the mosquitos that were drawn to our flashlight beams. “So there, suckers — my blood is toxic.”

“Must you think about that every minute?” I said.

“I got a right.”

Peter slowed down to put his arm around my shoulders as we trudged uphill on the winding trail. My tense breathing eased and I began to enjoy the trek in spite of myself. The spindly pines swayed above us in the wind. Our slow progress through the dark was hypnotic. Peter hummed a tune under his breath and we joined in intermittently to stay focused. I heard Phil cough a couple of times but he didn’t stop walking or look back at us, so I couldn’t do anything.

The trail ended at the edge of a rocky outcropping overlooking a valley. Silver light flashed below us, a fast-moving stream tumbling over glistening rocks. To our left, a thicker, darker gray cloudbank was building up, edged with moonglow.

I reached out to pull Phil closer to me so we were all holding each other. Maybe it was the whisper of the stream we heard, or maybe it was too far away and we only heard the trees tossing in the wind. Warm from the climb, I spread my top-layer sweatshirt on the ground for Phil and me to sit on. We leaned against each other and kissed, while Peter sat cross-legged on Phil’s other side, holding his hand.

“Got your camera?” Phil whispered. “Like you ever don’t.”

“Too dark…besides, right now…let’s just be here.”

“Yeah, I know what you mean.”

Oh, those blue eyes. I saw you, Phil, I was inside you, closer than sex, clearer than words. And you in me. I hope, I believe. In the end, you trust it or you don’t, the ground under your feet, the air in your lungs, and something surrounding you that’s more than particles of heat and scent and skin.

The distant sky rumbled. A small flock of dark birds swooped and scattered into the valley. Phil sneezed. I took off my other sweatshirt and wrapped it around him. He didn’t object. Peter stretched out on the ground, propping his chin in his hands, and looked down at the stream with a sigh. “I guess this is as far as we’re going to get.”

“It’s all right,” Phil said. “I’m happy here.”

“Good, ’cause we’re going to leave you here,” I deadpanned.

He slugged my arm. “Hey, you promised me an ice floe.”

“What’s the big deal about the lake?” I asked, since Peter was still acting glum.

“It’s where he lost his virginity,” Phil teased.

Peter rolled over and swatted at him. “Ah, screw you.”

“Is it?” I pressed him.

“For your information, I lost my virginity in the back of a comic-book store in Brooklyn Heights. And I bet I was ahead of either of you guys, too.”

I wolf-whistled. Phil said, “I moved in with Ted, that was my first boyfriend, when I was sixteen, but we’d been doing it since the year before. He worked construction, like me, and the first time, we were fixing up this old lady’s attic and we all of a sudden got all over each other, and when she complained about the noise we told her she had squirrels.” Peter and I laughed. Phil looked expectantly at me.

“Define virginity,” I stalled.

“Fucking or being fucked. Messing around doesn’t count.”

“So how old were you?” I asked Peter.

He hesitated. “Thirteen.”

Phil made a face, like he didn’t believe this, but I didn’t think Peter was kidding. “Who the hell would do you at thirteen?” I blurted out.

Peter looked away. “Hey, I wasn’t totally hideous,” he muttered.

“No, I meant — ” Too frustrated for words, I touched my hand to his cheek. “I’m sure you were as delicious then as you are now, but I’m feeling this primitive Southern urge to punch that guy in the face.”

“It wasn’t so bad. I mean, it was good. I liked him.”

I stayed where I was, touching him. He wrapped his fingers around mine.

“Who…who was he?” I didn’t want to know, but I had to.

“Uh, a friend of my dad’s. I worked in his store the summer after the last time we came here — after my real mom found out about Ada.” He gestured impatiently at the view. “Only it’s not here, we’re somewhere else.”

“Wherever you go, there you are,” Phil volunteered.

“Oh, profound,” I said.

This time the dull boom of thunder sounded closer. The wind had picked up, whipping the branches around. “Oh crap, we’d better get back,” Peter said.

“Not until Julian tells us about his first time.” Phil slid his hand down my leg. I felt a flash of desire and wondered about the mechanics of safe sex in a sleeping bag.

“It was you,” I said, almost inaudibly.

Phil glanced up from nuzzling my neck. “Naw…I thought you’d been with lots of guys,” he said, just as softly.

“Yeah, but we said blowjobs didn’t count, only real sex.” I kissed his ear, trying to revive the tender mood of a moment ago.

Rain began to patter lightly on the leaves. “Guys, come on,” Peter urged, standing up.

Phil hung onto my thigh, keeping me on the ground. “What about the first time you were on the bottom, was that me too?”

“Let’s talk about this later, please?”

“Who was it?”

“I don’t know, okay?” I burst out, pushing him off me. “He was just some guy in Central Park.”

Phil caught up to me as I followed Peter’s bobbing flashlight beam along the narrow path downhill. “Here’s your jacket,” he said gruffly, draping the grass-stained sweatshirt over my shoulders. He didn’t take his arm away afterward, pretending to need my support as he dodged the humped tree roots underfoot.

Superimposed on the path before me, there returned my one memory of that man’s lined and wistful face, the pure gratitude in his eyes when he held me for a few seconds after fucking me under the arcade by Bethesda Fountain. I hadn’t expected it and it hurt quite a bit, though there was a thrill in it too, the way he invaded the center of me, opening what had always been closed.

The downward-sloping trail was slippery with wet leaves. Distracted by my thoughts, I stumbled and fell, skidding on my ass into a clump of bushes. The sky chose that moment to flush its cosmic toilet. Water poured down hard. I swore as the prickly bushes snagged my clothes. Phil tried to help me out but got entangled himself, like two fools in a fairy tale glued to the golden goose.

“I’m sorry,” he shouted over the noise of the storm. His face was smudged and wet. “Jule, I know…I know you didn’t want…to be with me, like this.”

“Phil. I love you.” Words I’d never said before. I warmed his rain-chilled lips with mine. His arms were the most solid thing in the world. How could they vanish, how to conceive of a time when all of us would become unreal?

Doubling back with the flashlight, Peter found us still clenched in our silent embrace. Since he was the only one who’d thought to bring gloves, he had little trouble pushing aside the thorny branches. We found our way back to the campsite in silence.

“Oh, crap crap crap!” Peter exclaimed when we saw the fallen tree limbs crushing his tent. He did this little stomping dance of frustration that would have been funny if we’d been watching it from someplace dry. He glanced back and forth from us to the other tent, which had stayed upright. “Okay, I guess I’m sleeping in the Chevy.”

Phil and I exchanged a look of agreement. I was just desperate to get him inside. He wasn’t hiding his shivering very well. “No, there’s room for you,” Phil said.

Inside the tent, we stripped down to our T-shirts and underwear, leaving our wet clothes in a heap by the door flap. Peter had found some spare blankets in the van to supplement the two sleeping bags, which were barely enough to cover the three of us when we zipped them together to make a sort of comforter.

I thought Phil should go in the middle. “Nah, night sweats,” he said, nudging me to change places with him. His eyes were saying more than that. So I lay against Peter’s chest, with his arms around me, and Phil, on my other side, reaching over to hold Peter’s hand where it rested at my waist. Phil tucked his head into the curve of my neck, the way we always liked to sleep. I felt his heartbeat, steady and strong, and heard the faint wheeze of his breath growing more regular

as he drifted off. Peter’s body, too, relaxed without easing his hold on us. I was just thinking about kissing him goodnight — on the cheek, would it be so wrong? — when he pressed his face to mine. Silent softness of mouths and tongues, a few minutes standing in for all the time gone and time to come, until the three of us were sleeping in the incomparable warmth we made together.

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About the Author

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Jendi Reiter’s books are guided by her belief that people take precedence over ideologies. In exploring themes of queer family life, spiritual integration, and healing from adverse childhood experiences, her goal is to create understanding that leads to social change. Two Natures is her first novel; a sequel is in the works. Her four published poetry books include Bullies in Love (Little Red Tree, 2015) and the award-winning chapbook Barbie at 50 (Cervena Barva Press, 2010). She is the co-founder and editor of WinningWriters.com, an online resource site for creative writers.

Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Ash and Echoes (Blessed Epoch Book 1) by August Li

From Dreamspinner:


For the past few years Yarroway L’Estrella has lived in exile, gathering arcane power. But that power comes at a price, and he carries the scars to prove it. Now he must do his duty: his uncle, the king, needs him to escort Prince Gareth to his wedding, a union that will create an alliance between the two strongest countries in the known world. But Yarrow isn’t the prince’s only guard. A whole company of knights is assigned to the mission, and Yarrow’s not sure he trusts their leader.
Knight Duncan Purefroy isn’t sure he trusts Yarrow either, but after a bizarre occurrence during their travels, they have no choice but to work together-especially since the incident also reveals a disturbing secret, one that might threaten the entire kingdom.
The precarious alliance is strained further when a third member joins the cause for reasons of his own-reasons that may not be in the best interests of the prince or the kingdom. With enemies at every turn, no one left to trust, and the dark power within Yarrow pulling dangerously away from his control, the fragile bond the three of them have built may be all that stands between them and destruction.

REVIEW: August Li has built a world of magic, mayhem, and myths. Notthing is as it seems, and no one is who they seem to be. Yarrow, Duncan, and Sasha are three wildly different people, each with their own quirks, goals, and inner demons. I found it utterly fascinating watching the three of them gradually becoming closer despite their initial dislike of each other. If the actual journey wasn’t challenging enough, Yarrow, Duncan, and Sasha have to navigate the mindfield of power plays, hidden agendas, schemes, plots, betrayal, doublecrosses, and enemies attacking at any time. I was hooked fromm the very first page, and just could not put it down waiting to see what would happen next. The sex between the three men was hot enough to almost set my ereader on fire. The ending almost broke my heart, but left me wanting to grab the next book in this fantastic series.

 

Buy from Amazon

3.5

Skythane by J. Scott Coatsworth

 

 

RELEASE DATE: Feb 17, 2017

BLURB: Jameson Havercamp, a psych from a conservative
religious colony, has come to Oberon-unique among the Common Worlds- in search of a rare substance called pith. He’s guided through the wilds on his quest by Xander Kinnson, a
handsome, cocky skythane with a troubled past.Neither knows
that Oberon is facing imminent destruction. Even as the
world starts to fall apart around them, they have no idea
what’s coming-or the bond that will develop between them as
they race to avert a cataclysm.

REVIEW: This is one of the most original and fascinating
stories that I’ve read in quite a while. It’s a unique and
interesting blend of science fiction, fantasy, and the
paranormal, grabbing my attention from the very first page.
The world building is solid, complex, complicated, vividly
detailed, and so realistic I almost felt like I was there.
This is a sweeping novel that rivals the science fiction
classics written by Issac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, and many
others. Seething with ploys, plots, greed, hate, power
plays, and more, this compelling tale took me on a wild,
action-packed rollercoaster of a ride, and will be at the
top of my reread list for a long time to come. There are
hints that there’s a sequel, or maybe even a series, and so
I’ll be keeping an eager eye out for it.

RATING: 4

BUY LINKS: Dreamspinner     Amazon

 

One Year Publiversary, Beyond The Music, The Rock Gods: Book 7 by Bestselling Author Ann Lister

 

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The final story in, The Rock Gods series celebrates one year since publishing. But it was also the launch of a new M/M spin-off series, Guarding the Gods.

Beyond The Music (The Rock Gods #7) by Ann Lister

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BOOK LINKS

Read FREE with KindleUnlimited

UK http://amzn.to/2fEU7IX

Universal http://getbook.at/BeyondTheMusic

Beyond The Music E-Book Cover

BLURB

Lincoln Stallworth, bass player for Black Ice, has quietly watched each of his band mates fall in love and has accepted the fact he’ll probably never find the same for himself. He doesn’t really believe in true love, couldn’t fully understand the absurdity of it, or the notion there could be just one perfect person for everyone. A debilitating health issue began to shadow Lincoln in the middle of their last tour. As his physical symptoms worsen, Lincoln has to fight the urge to hide from the world and himself inside his estate.

Aaron Baylor enters Lincoln’s life at his lowest point. Lincoln feels broken, damaged beyond repair, and he’s ready to give-up. Aaron’s patience and unwavering support slowly begin to pull Lincoln back to being present in his own life and gives him hope for a future and for love. Will Aaron be the glue that holds the broken pieces of Lincoln’s life together? Can Lincoln fight his way back to good health and take a chance at love? Or will the task be too great for Lincoln to handle?

Beyond The Music is Book 7 in The Rock Gods series. This is the final story in the series, but also the launch of a new M/M spin-off series, Guarding the Gods, which will have many cameo appearances from The Rock Gods characters in each story. If you enjoyed The Rock Gods, I hope you’ll give Guarding the Gods a try!

MEET THE ROCK GODS

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Fall For Me: Book 1

UK http://amzn.to/2figq2K http://getbook.at/FallForMe

Take What You Want: Book 2

UK http://amzn.to/2eVjViW http://getbook.at/TakeWhatYouWant

Make You Mine: Book 3

UK http://amzn.to/2fEUYcw http://getBook.at/MakeYouMine

Looking At Forever: Book 4

UK http://amzn.to/2fEVpne http://getbook.at/LookingAtForever

Meant For Me: Book 5

UK http://amzn.to/2fijaNE http://getbook.at/MeantForMe

Fighting His Fire: Book 6

UK http://amzn.to/2figXSi http://getbook.at/FightingHisFire

Beyond The Music: Book 7

UK http://amzn.to/2fEU7IX http://getbook.at/BeyondTheMusic

Forever At Sunrise: A Rock Gods Novella

UK http://amzn.to/2eEqR3I http://getBook.at/ForeverAtSunrise

Guarding The Gods has many cameo appearances from your favourite characters. You’ve been rocked by The Rock Gods and now it’s time to meet…. the men that have their backs!

Read for FREE on KindleUnlimited

UK http://amzn.to/2jUC18j
http://getbook.at/ZacsMulligan

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WOW! Boss, one whole year since you released Beyond The Music, and also since I started working for the most incredible boss anyone could only have hoped for. It’s been the most amazing year, celebrating your success along side you and all your achievements thus far. It’s been an absolute pleasure to be on the craziest but most exciting ride ever. Who knew we could have such a giggle while you have been writing stories your fans love, and love you they do. Thank you for giving me a chance to prove myself. Thank you for introducing me to a whole new world of love. Most of all thank you for being YOU! My Rock Queen. I love you.

Jo Swinney Joandisalovebooks

Dearest Ann!! Congratulations on this wonderful achievement. Being a writer doesn’t come without difficulty but with your stories and the success of your books you make it look easy. I know however you are one of the most hardworking ladies in the industry and your astonishing books and incredible writing are a testament of that. Thank you for allowing me to be part of your journey and for bringing so many incredible characters into our lives. You indeed ROCK!

Isa Jones Joandisalovebooks

Congratulations on a whole year passing by since the release of Beyond The Music. Also, almost a year since I was able to see your pretty face in person and give you a big ole hug. Thank you for bringing your Rock Gods to life and sharing a piece of yourself through Aaron. Your books bring sexiness and happiness to your readers. Can’t wait to see what these characters continue to tell you in the next year. Love you.

Jen Reilley. Rock Gods Fan

She is my chocolate pudding pop, my little ray of sunshine, and one of the best people I know.

 

For personal reasons, Lincoln’s story touched me to my soul. Only you, Ann, could manage to combine such serious topics with horny, gay rockers without lessening its importance or taking away from their uber-sexy hotness. That, my friend, is why you are our Superior Rock Goddess!

Lisa Cullinan turningpagesatmidnight.com

Ann is one of my favorite authors. Whenever I get a new Ann Lister book in my hands, I war with myself. I want to dive right in, yet I want to savor it, as well. I love her writing and she created my all time favorite couple, Jayson and Cooper, from Make You Mine. I’ve never met Ann in person, I hope to rectify this one day, but from our interactions on Facebook, I think she is not only kind and generous, but she also truly appreciates her readers.

Happy Publiversary, Ann!!
 
Tracy Muth Owner/Blogger Bayou Book Junkie
 

 

Ann Lister ….. When I think of you I think nothing but good things. I think of several words…. Friend, sweet, sexy, Mother of the Rock Gods, strong, mother, wife, author. I remember chatting with her way back when and was so impressed with her! You have a great writing style and such a smooth way of getting the story across, I am in awe each and every time I read your books. You work tirelessly on your stories so that they are the best that they could possibly be. I know I always want more and more books from you, but you don’t want to rush any story or release it before it’s perfect. I respect that!

You are such a strong person. You don’t give yourself enough credit for a lot of things. You have learned to take control of your “business” and learned about trust and friendships. You’ve been hurt and learned how to get back up and do better! I am so proud of what you have done for yourself.

You are so humble. You still get nervous with each new book launch. I was so honored the first time you asked me to format your book. I have loved working with you and treasure our chats. I would love to meet you in person some day!! You are one of those people that I would totally hang out with even if you didn’t write books! I love you to the moon and back!!!

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Brenda Wright Formatting Done Wright

Dear Ann:

Where do I start ?
First I want to thank you for being my absolute Rock Goddess Queen.. words can’t express how much you mean to me, you’ve been my anchor and such an important part of my life your friendship means the world to me I cherish our friendship more than words can ever express.
You keep me grounded, I love our talks daily you’re my sister from another mister.

I want to thank you for giving me my favorite series I’m in aw of your talent and words. Congratulations on your one year publiversary of Aaron and sharing his story and a part of you through him, I am so honored to be a part of your team you always know when I’m in need of a pick me up and and you send me a piece of your brilliant story you are working on .
Best of luck to you always I can’t wait to follow you throughout your journey.
I Love You Always and Forever. ♡♡

Valerie Degeorge Jackie & Val’s Book Reviews

AUTHOR BIO

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Ann Lister is a native New Englander currently living on the island of Martha’s Vineyard with her husband. She has pulled details from her years living in the New England area and uses many local settings and landmarks in her novels.

After graduating art school, marrying, and raising two daughters, she established her own video production company. Her nearly two decades working in video production included work within the music industry and won her a coveted Telly Award. Her ‘behind-the-scenes’ exposure to the music world and her love of rock music is the inspiration for her erotic rock star romances.

The Rock Gods series gave her Bestselling Author status on Amazon. Beyond The Music, Book 7 in the series, hit #1 in the Gay Erotica genre during the Pre-Order and held that spot for several weeks. This last book in The Rock Gods series launches the spin-off series, Guarding The Gods, which releases in early Summer of 2016.

Connect with Ann here:

 
Website
Goodreads
Facebook Page
Twitter @AnnListerAuthor
Pinterest
Instagram
 

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HAPPY PUBLIVERSARY!

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