Category Archives: Adult (18+)

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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BLURB

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

jendi-reiter-profile-pic

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

ann-l

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

HAPPY PUBLIVERSARY!

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New Vocations by T.A. Chase

                         ✨Reviewed by Michele​✨

TITLE: New Vocations

SERIES:

AUTHOR: T.A. Chase

PUBLISHER: Pride Publishing

RELEASE DATE: January10, 2017

BLURB: Two men who believe in second chances meet and their lives are never the same again.
Layne Daly comes to participate in the American Royal. He’s there to show off the abilities of the retired thoroughbreds he adopts straight off the track. He wants people to know these animals can do so much more than race. He has three horses there to do exhibitions in reining, barrel racing and cutting. When his usual groom gets sick, he has to hire someone fast.

Carl Stewartson used to love coming to Kansas City for the rodeo. He’d ride broncs and hang out with his friends. But since his career-ending injury early in the year, Carl has been spinning his wheels, trying to find something to do with his life now that he can’t rodeo anymore. He runs into Layne and offers to help him with his horses.

Together, they have to deal with not only the stress of the event, but also starting a new relationship. Second chances are what Layne does best and he’s more than willing to give Carl the opportunity.

REVIEW: This is a short but sweet story about two men who believe in second chances. Layne Daly and Carl Stewartson meet by chance at the America Royal Rodeo in Kansas City. Layne is there to show off the abilities of his retired thoroughbreds. Show that these horses can be more than just race horses. But when Layne get his horses to the gate, his groom is nowhere to be found. He gets a call from Quinn, his groom, stating that he was under the weather and probably wouldn’t make it. He needs help with these horses especially one in particular that is quite spirited. So now what can he do?

Carl actually used to participate in the rodeo’s bronc riding competition but due a knee injury, his riding career was basically over. So now here he was with no way to make a living doing what he loved to do best. Then an opportunity comes up for him to use his knowledge of horses as he was raised on a ranch and maybe make some money doing it. Of course it didn’t hurt that the two men were attracted to each other but without confirmation neither was willing to make assumptions. But working so closely together to help Layne with his horses for the exhibition revealed their mutual attraction.

I actually liked this short read and wished that there was more to their story, more time to get to know the characters. The fact that one of the characters had a physical limitation made me more interested in his character. I liked how the two men come together to help each other. The physical attraction between the MC’s made for a few steamy scenes. So overall it was a pleasant read.

RATING: 🌟🌟🌟🌟

BUY LINKS:

Amazon

Pride Publishing

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Acceptable Behavior (Marked Men #1) Jenna Byrnes

                          ✨✨Reviewed by Michele​✨✨

TITLE: Acceptable Behavior

SERIES: Marked Men book 1

AUTHOR: Jenna Byrnes

PUBLISHER: Pride Publishing

RELEASE DATE: January 26, 2016

BLURB: Tattoos don’t define a person’s character, or make him sexy. But, if you ask Sam Madison, they sure don’t hurt.

Dr. Travis Nelson has a passion for ink but keeps his many tattoos covered by long sleeves and trousers. He’s aware that as a pediatrician he’ll be judged not only by the other physicians in his practice, but also by the parents of his young patients.

When Sam Madison takes his young nephew, Levi, to be seen for an ear infection, he’s immediately attracted to Travis and the feeling is mutual. But Sam’s sister Melanie is going through a rough time and caring for Levi, and covering her obligations, keeps Sam occupied. He feels like he’s in no position to start a relationship.​

Travis sees things differently, though he’s unable to truly understand the deep bond and connection Sam shares with his twin. As Melanie’s life goes from bad to worse, Sam is forced to make difficult decisions. Is protecting Levi enough of a reason for the two men to stay together, or will fighting for the child ultimately tear them apart?

REVIEW: Okay, so this author is new to me and I had no idea what to expect. Well, I really liked this book. I liked the immediate attraction between Travis and Sam. I enjoyed how their relationship grew and changed. The author gives you each characters POV which was nice. Their story never felt rushed to me. It was easily a feel good story. ​​
There are some triggers in this story that may be uncomfortable for certain readers. Sam Madison is a total hottie. He’s sweet and loyal to a fault. Sam moves in with his sister Melanie to help take care of his nephew Levi. Melanie has issues, and I mean seriously messed up issues. Sam and Melanie are twins, so from the beginning you know they have a close relationship. Except Melanie, who has a major drug problem, is as far from a responsible parent as one could get. She totally uses and abuses Sam’s loyalty to her and his love for his nephew. I did not like this woman and kept wishing she would disappear from the story.

Travis Nelson, is a hot pediatrician who loves his job, his bike and his ink. Travis walks in to see his new patient and meets Sam who has taken his nephew for a doctors appointment. Both men are immediately attracted to each other but Travis is uncertain if Sam is divorced and straight as he mistakes the boy as Sam’s son. So Travis decides to keep his sexy thoughts to himself. Then fate steps in and bring the two men together again. This time Travis makes up his mind that he is determined to pursue the drool worthy Sam Madison.

I really enjoyed Travis and Sam together. Their chemistry worked especially when Levi was included in their dynamic. Levi is a cutie and your heart breaks a little when you learn some of the things he has had to endure. But you root for this kid to have some good in his life. I mean the family drama is off the charts. Despite my disdain for Melanie and how Travis sometimes turns into a controlling idiot, I liked the outcome of this story.

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

BUY LINKS:

Amazon

Pride Publishing

 

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Fighter (The Brick Yard #1) Carol Lynne

       ✨✨Reviewed by Michele✨✨

TITLE: Fighter

SERIES: The Brick Yard

AUTHOR: Carol Lynne

PUBLISHER: Pride Publishing

RELEASE DATE: February 9, 2017

BLURB: For Lucky Gunn, the hardest fight of his life happens outside the cage.

On the South Side of Chicago sits an old gym called The Brick Yard.

Ten years ago, on a bitterly cold day, Lucky Gunn wandered into The Brick Yard dressed in a threadbare jacket, looking for refuge. He hadn’t expected the owner, Tony Brick, to welcome him with a job and a place to sleep when Lucky’s abusive and drug-addicted mother made it too dangerous to return home.

Dray was a gay man living in a world of straight fighters. When his secret was exposed to the media, he dropped out, giving Lucky a piece of advice-if you want to make it as a MMA fighter, bury the part of yourself that won’t be accepted.

Lucky discovered the cage was the perfect place to keep his demons at bay, but when he learns his trainer and mentor, Brick, is suffering from end-stage cancer, he begins to spiral out of control. After eight years, Dray returns to help Lucky and Brick deal with the devastating news.

With Dray so close, Lucky’s old desires return, and Dray teaches him more than how to fight. Torn between his career and the passion he feels for Dray, Lucky’s past demons resurface in full force, threatening his sanity and his budding relationship with Dray.

Despite leaving the cage years earlier, Dray finds himself in the battle of his life with the only man he’s ever loved. Will he stand and fight or walk away like he did years earlier?

REVIEW: First let me say I loved this book. It really captured my heart. This book is truly a angsty romance that will have you experiencing every range of emotion possible. This is a love story, but it reads like a labor of love for Ms. Lynne. 

This very emotional story is about two men, one of whom has had his dream of becoming a MMA snatched from him, and the other is trying to become the next champion. I fell head first into the story of Lucky Gunn’s life. As you meet these very complex characters you will get pulled into a very intriguing and intensely emotional story I couldn’t put down and neither will you. The Brick Yard becomes a safe haven for Lucky and many other boys who suffer from physical and emotional abuse…sometimes neglect at the hand of a parent. The owner of the Brick Yard, who goes by the name Brick ( I know right), becomes a father figure to Lucky. 

I thoroughly enjoyed the journey of these two men and their connection to the others that form a family of sorts. As you meet Dray, Mack, and the boys you will laugh, cry, and at times get very angry. I’m a fan of this author and this book did not disappoint. Without a doubt this  will be one of my favorites for this year.

RATING: 🌟🌟🌟🌟.5

BUY LINKS:

Amazon

Pride Publishing

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Only Forever by Scotty Cade

Reviewed by Kiwi

 

TITLE: Only Forever

SERIES:

AUTHOR: Scotty Cade

PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press

RELEASE DATE: November 30, 2016

 

BLURB: Master Captain Theodore Gourdin has always loved the ocean. But his devotion to maritime life left little possibility for a long-term relationship. After two failed marriages, Theo gave up on finding the person who completed him and decided the sea was his soul mate. When offered the opportunity to captain the newly launched mega yacht Eternity, Theo jumped at the chance. With Eternity’s maiden voyage looming, Theo focused all his energies on hiring his crew and readying his ship. The last thing he expected was to finally lose his heart in the process.

 

After twelve years at sea, First Officer Heath Rawlins was restless and in need of a change. A gay seaman’s life could be a lonely one, but to Heath the positives far outweighed the negatives. With excellent recommendations and an impressive resume, he was quickly offered a position on the private mega yacht Eternity. Heath’s heart skipped several beats when he finally met the ship’s captain. He was handsome and charming. And… familiar? Had they met somewhere before? Highly unlikely. But as smitten as Heath was with the gorgeous captain, everything inside him screamed, Abandon ship! Rough seas ahead!

 

REVIEW: This is another well written book by Scotty Cade. The story grabbed my attention with the very beginning. The prologue was a little heartbreaking. Set in a different time (1942), the story is about two men, one who, named Edward, unfortunately, has just lost the love of his life, Steven. But at the prologue’s end, sadly, Edward also passes away. Then the story flashes forward to the present time and gives us Heath and Theo. Heath to me seems to me to be a bit of a restless spirit or at least unhappy in his current job. He makes the decision to leave his current position and is quickly offered another one on a luxury yacht. It’s here that he meets Theo.

 

Theo is the captain of the luxury yacht where Heath is hired to work on and from the beginning, the attraction is strong and the sparks fly between the two men.  Not only that, there seems to be a bit of a sense of déjà vu between them. But there’s another catch: both men are supposedly straight but they keep having dreams about two men named Edward and Steven. This is where the story gets even more interesting. I haven’t read many stories featuring reincarnation but this is a trope that is seldom used that should be explored more. I definitely felt that the author did an amazing job of taking something that one would think would make the storyline boring but he managed to make it absolutely fantastic.

 

I absolutely loved the premise of this story. Everything about this book is so vivid and bright. I can’t describe it any other way.  The author’s writing style is amazing.  I was completely immersed in this story. His descriptions of the yacht, the crew’s lives, the weather, everything. As I’ve stated in past reviews of this author’s work, I thought that his descriptions were wordy but have since learned that his descriptions serve an important purpose. It draws you completely into the story. Thinking back on it now, I can remember feeling like I experience the same things that the characters are experiencing. You can definitely tell that the author has a vast knowledge of being on a boat or a ship. I’ve never in my life been near a boat but by the end of that book, I felt like I had taken a pleasure cruise. I definitely appreciate his descriptions as they give you the reader, the full experience of the story being told. Not only that but I felt that I got a special treat with the twist. Wow, I did not see that one coming. I loved it all.  

 

This book was beautifully written, which is par for the course for this author. I really appreciate his work.  This author’s characters are men of a particular age so you know that you’re going to get a more mature romance.  This is a signature Scotty Cade book: well written characters, wonderful plots and storylines and dialogues. You can also expect the editing to be spot on perfect.  Never in any of Cade’s book have I ever found one misspelled word, poor sentence or paragraph structure or plot holes. This author definitely believes in doing research before he writes the first word of any of his books.  The end result is a beautifully written, polished book. 

 

I definitely must give a nod to the super talented Reese Dante, the cover artist. Scotty has used this artist on virtually every one of his books and I must say that the beautiful cover matches the beautiful words within.

 

This is a story that will linger with you long after you’ve finished reading it.

 

 RATING: 🌟🌟🌟Amazing🌟🌟🌟

 

BUY LINKS:

 

Amazon

 

Dreamspinner Press

 

 

 

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The Gaia Protocol by Alec Nortan Blog Tour with Excerpt and Giveaway

Title:  The Gaia Protocol

Author: Alec Nortan

Publisher:  NineStar Press – SunFire Imprint

Release Date: February 6th

Heat Level: 1 – No Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 83700

Genre: Romance, Young Adult, Dystopian future; enemies to lovers; gods; mythical creatures

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Synopsis

Long ago, the Gods came back to earth and banished all science from Earth. When Prome finds an amulet in the ruins of an ancient city, he doesn’t expect it to take him and his friend Malia on a quest to discover the long forgotten secret of the Technologists, to meet someone who awakens feelings of love in him, nor to defy the Gods themselves.

Excerpt

The Gaia Protocol
Alec Nortan © 2017
All Rights Reserved

I’m crouching behind the wall of a half-collapsed building. I usually don’t taunt the Fates like this, but my hiding place seems safer than the arrows of my pursuers.

I hear footsteps outside. I take a peek, just long enough to see a dozen hoplites marching down the street, their bows at the ready. They’re scanning, surrounding, searching. As they come nearer, my heart beats faster. I flatten myself on the ground. If I could sink into it, I would, but the only thing sinking is a painfully sharp stone into my ribs.

The Goddess Tyche has blessed me with her luck: I hear them move away at a brisk pace.

When I’m sure they’re far enough away, I sit, propping myself against the wall in a more comfortable position. I massage my ribs to ease the pain. Only then do I muster the courage to look at my leg. It’s still shuddering from the electric arrow, but luckily, the arrow missed, only grazing the flesh. Had the arrow really hit me, I would already be dead. I know how it works. I’ve seen it before.

A few years ago, during a search, a Technologist hiding in our village tried to run away. The hoplite shot him in the arm. The man jerked but kept running. He snatched the arrow out of his limp arm. The hoplite then shot several arrows as fast as he could without even aiming. The arrows flew, veering toward the Technologist midflight. None missed.

Though the arrow missed me, it still hurts like hell, from both the wound and the aftereffects of the jolt. I take off my neckerchief and improvise a bandage to stop the bleeding.

Why did the legion attack me? Scavenging in the old city isn’t forbidden.

I used to come here as a child and climb inside the deserted skyscrapers, looking for objects to trade on the market. Today, I’ve found some kind of amulet. It’s a small, flat, metallic rectangle with geometric signs on it. It’s probably not worth a bowl of soup, but it looks nice. I’ve put a leather string through a small hole and kept it around my neck to offer to Malia. She’ll like it.

I look at the sky. The sun is already halfway down the horizon. I have to move if I want to make it home before nightfall. My leg doesn’t feel much better. I take a tentative step and wince at the pain. I won’t be able to run, but I can walk.

Walking back should usually take me a couple of hours, but not today. I have to move carefully between the buildings, hiding at suspect sounds, checking for movement in every direction before crossing a road. Two hours walking only brings me to the outskirts of what used to be a great city. Here, the last remnants of houses are swallowed by the first trees of the forest.

“Fuck!” My outburst sends a few scared birds flying away. It has taken me far too long. The sun is already sinking behind the highest ruins. Now I really have to hurry, despite my leg.

I scrutinize the nearby trees. I don’t see anything moving. I walk to them and find a broken bough to use as a crutch. I come back swiftly to the safety of the road.

During the day, traveling on the road is usually safe enough. But the forest… Only parties of adults enter it. Sometimes, one goes in alone. And sometimes, they don’t come back.

During the night, forest or road, no one goes out. Too many things lurk in the dark.

Purchase

NineStar Press – SunFire Imprint | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Smashwords

Meet the Author

Alec Nortan is a French social services worker. Though he learned English at school, he chooses this language to write in. His works are gay-related fictions, varying from young adult, science fiction or fantasy adventure, to romance.

Facebook | Goodreads | eMail

Tour Schedule

2/6 – Stories That Make You Smile

2/6 – MM Good Book Reviews

2/7 – Books,Dreams,Life

2/8 – Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents

2/8 – The Novel Approach

2/9 – Prism Book Alliance

2/9 – Sharing Links and Wisdom

2/10 – The Kimi-chan Experience

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Guest Post by TJ Nichols, author of Warlock in Training

The ups and downs of writing Warlock in Training
The easiest part of writing Warlock in Training was getting started. Angus was a character in a bit of flash fiction and that was all he was meant to be. I grabbed the first name that I thought of and that was that.

However I found it really hard to forget about him. What happened to him after he was taken across the void and he ended up in Demonside? What was his demon like? What was Demonside like? I envisioned it night be a novella at most. But then I started writing just to see where the story took me and I realized that it was more than a novella…so maybe three?

By the time I’d written fifty thousand words I was in deep and the human and demon worlds were very much alive in my mind and I knew this was no quick novella or even novella series, this was a full on urban fantasy series that would cover four books. I have since gone on to do a rough outline of those books so I know where I’m going. With book 2 written it’s all coming together.

This makes it sound like it was a magical walk in the park where I wrote a story and it got published.

And while’s it true I was lucky enough to get a publisher I did have to do a revise and resubmit (for those not familiar it’s where the publisher goes, well we really like it but it has a couple of major flaws preventing us from buying it. Fix this and this and then let us have another look). I was more than happy to make those changes, not that it was easy to do that. I think I gutted 10k of defective scenes and rewrote scenes that worked better.

That wasn’t the hardest part of writing Warlock in Training.

Creating two very different worlds that used the same magic but in very different ways wasn’t the hardest part either. I had a lot of fun creating Vinland and working out the history of how this alternative country came to be (Angus lives in our world, but it’s a place where magic exists and as a result the country borders we are familiar with don’t exist. I couldn’t add magic and assume that history followed the same path). I researched desert civilizations and ecosystems for Demonside. I also research the little ice age that happened in the seventeenth century.

The hardest part of this book was what started as a cute idea to ensure that the heroes got plenty of naked time (while I was reading plenty of urban fantasy most of it was very light on when it came to sexy times). Sex magic…because writing those intimate scenes isn’t hard enough already.

Sex scenes are a bit like fight scenes, there’s body parts doing things to other body parts and emotions are running at a high and if there are more than two people then you really need to keep count of arms and legs and other bits…. Adding magic and having to keep the ritual in mind was another level of complication.

Those scenes would take me forever to write. I’d go through once just to map out what was going to happen body wise, and work out what the change in the character was (and sometimes I’d decide that I needed to do it from the other POV), then I’d go through it again making sure I put in enough magical working.

There is one big group working which I actually just skipped in the first draft and left myself the note: orgy here. Needless to say when I was doing the second draft and I found the note I hated my past self for being such a lazy so and so. I’m glad I left it though as I knew what needed to happen because I’d written the fall out—writing is weird like that sometimes. Sometimes you have to know what happens in the future to go back and fix the past.
Bio
TJ Nichols is an avid runner and martial arts enthusiast who first started writing as child. Many years later while working as a civil designer TJ decided to pick up a pen and start writing again. Having grown up reading thrillers and fantasy novels it’s no surprise that mixing danger and magic comes so easily, writing urban fantasy allows TJ to bring magic to the everyday.
With two cats acting as supervisors TJ has gone from designing roads to building worlds and wouldn’t have it any other way. After traveling all over the world and Australia, TJ now lives in Perth, Western Australia.
Website: tjnichols-author.blogspot.com
Twitter: @TobyJNichols
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TJNichols.author/

Blurb

Angus Donohue 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.

Ebook: 978-1-63533-267-4
Print: 978-1-63533-266-7

https://www.dsppublications.com/books/warlock-in-training-by-tj-nichols-353-b
https://www.kobo.com/au/en/ebook/warlock-in-training
https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/warlock-in-training/id1185020865?mt=11
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/warlock-in-training-tj-nichols/1125367830?ean=2940157520151
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N2W56EH/