Release Blitz & Giveaway: Lying Eyes by Robert Winter

Title:  Lying Eyes

Author: Robert Winter

Publisher:  Robert Winter Books (self-published)

Release Date: July 7, 2017

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 84300

Genre: Romance, Mystery, BDSM

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Synopsis

This bartender’s art lies in more than mixing drinks …

Randy Vaughan is a six-foot-three mass of mysteries to his customers and his friends. Why does a former Secret Service agent now own Mata Hari, a successful piano bar? Where did a muscle daddy get his passion for collecting fine art? If he’s as much a loner as his friends believe, why does he crave weekly sessions at an exclusive leather club?

Randy’s carefully private life unravels when Jack Fraser, a handsome art historian from England, walks into his bar, anxious to get his hands on a painting Randy owns. The desperation Randy glimpses in whiskey-colored eyes draws him in, as does the desire to submit that he senses beneath Jack’s elegant, driven exterior.

While wrestling with his attraction to Jack, Randy has to deal with a homeless teenager, a break-in at Mata Hari, and Jack’s relentless pursuit of the painting called Sunrise. It becomes clear someone’s lying to Randy. Unless he can figure out who and why, he may miss his chance at the love he’s dreamed about in the hidden places of his heart.

Note: Lying Eyes is a standalone gay romance novel with consensual bondage and a strong happy ending. It contains potential spoilers for Robert Winter’s prior novel, Every Breath You Take.

Purchase

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA

 

Excerpt

Saturday rolled around, and Randy headed to town early to make sure everything was ready for Mata Hari’s busiest evening of the week. Although the bar officially opened at five-thirty, it was rare for anyone to wander in much before seven o’clock. Randy was surprised when the front door opened at six to admit a good-looking man.

The stranger was probably about five foot nine or ten, and wore a three-piece suit that seemed tailored to accentuate a lean build. His dark hair was cut stylishly short on the sides but thick and swept back on the top, and his mustache and full beard were closely trimmed. A brightly colored necktie contrasted with the somber gray of his suit. Randy had trouble assessing the man’s age, but he would go with thirty. European, though—Randy would stake the bar on that guess.

The newcomer contemplated the walls of Mata Hari, passing almost dismissively over the art on display. He studied each piece for no more than a second before moving to the next, but Randy had a distinct impression the man sought something in particular. As he completed his survey, he kept turning and eventually met Randy’s eyes across the bar.

Immediately desire flared in the man’s face as his hungry gaze drifted over Randy’s tight white shirt and up to his face, lingering on his mouth. Shoulders tightened almost imperceptibly as he drew himself to his full height, yet Randy recognized a softening of hard edges. He lazily ran his own eyes to the stranger’s luxurious beard, and he imagined stroking the softness there. He sensed something accommodating. Something potentially submissive, yet more subtle than the wanton displays of obedience and posing he was used to on Mondays at his private club.

Something he would enjoy channeling and rewarding, in the right circumstance.

The man started toward the bar. As he moved, Randy had the odd sense that the suit he wore was ill-fitting, even though it seemed perfectly tailored. A step away from the bar, his face just—closed. That was the only word for it. One instant he was cruising Randy; the next he was stone.

Randy sighed to himself. The guy was probably a closet case on his first night at a gay bar. That usually meant an unsatisfying encounter, even if the newbie didn’t rabbit. In any case, it wasn’t Randy’s thing. He’d had plenty of virgin ass over the years, and preferred his men experienced.

Fine. Nothing for me here. He waited at the bar, vaguely disappointed.

“Sir, good evening.” The man’s accent was English, his words precise and elegant like his hair and his clothes and his beard. Probably from London. Up close, Randy could see his eyes were a deep shade of brown graced with streaks of gold around the pupils that caught the lights over the bar. “I’m looking for a Mr. Randall Vaughan.”

Despite forswearing his immediate attraction to the stranger, that honeyed voice caused Randy to smile slowly and show his teeth. He registered the slight widening of the eyes behind the stranger’s mask as he focused on Randy’s mouth.

“I’m Randy Vaughan. And you are…?”

The man blinked in surprise. “Oh. The Mr. Vaughan I was seeking is an art collector.”

Shit. Just another jerkwad, making assumptions right away. Randy was a big man so he couldn’t possibly be knowledgeable about art, could he? Well, fuck that noise. One more chance.

“I wouldn’t use the term collector, but…” Randy gestured at the walls.

“Quite so,” the man said distantly, and turned to sweep his gaze over the works on the nearest wall. “Neither would I.”

Randy’s back stiffened immediately. The stranger—no, the asshole—turned his attention back to Randy and held out a hand. He seemed oblivious to the fact that he’d just royally pissed Randy off. “My name is Jack Fraser. I’m from the Kensington Museum in London.” Fraser paused as if waiting for Randy to be impressed. “I sent you a letter recently.”

Randy willed himself not to think further about Fraser’s whiskey-colored eyes or the luxuriousness of his beard, and he didn’t take the offered hand. Instead, he wiped a small spill on the counter before him. “You did,” he agreed in a bored tone.

Fraser dropped his hand. “Ah, yes.” A pause. “My secretary didn’t hear from you to set up an appointment.”

“Which was my answer to your request,” Randy said, letting some snarl appear as he met Fraser’s eyes. They were still guarded and closed off, but Randy could see embers burning deep inside. In the right setting, and with proper motivation, he could imagine making those embers flare and ignite in the slender man before him. For the moment, though, the eyes just narrowed in calculation.

Before Fraser could say anything, Randy turned away. “If you’ll excuse me, I have work to do.”

“May I buy a pint?” Fraser asked, desperation shading his smooth accent.

Randy considered calling Malcolm over to deal with it, but stopped in front of the beer taps. He was annoyed at his lingering attraction, and he decided to push back on this prick a bit. “Fine. What’s your pleasure?”

“Guinness. If you have it.”

“Of course you’d drink Guinness.” A little scorn curled Randy’s lip. “Well, the closest beer I have is a stout from Flying Dog.” He let his sneer turn feral. “It’s called Pearl Necklace.” He dropped his eyes to Fraser’s necktie, as if he could picture that very thing replacing the colorful silk.

Fraser blinked nervously. Probably he could picture it too. Maybe he even imagined Randy’s hot jizz splattering his chest and neck as his reward. Well, he shouldn’t have been a condescending shit out of the gate then. Randy waited, one hand on the tap, the other idly scratching his ear to make his bicep flex under his white shirt. Fraser focused on his arm and swallowed audibly.

“That’ll be fine,” he said. “A, uh, Flying Dog then.” Randy drew the pint to set before Fraser on a coaster. He didn’t wait for the man to take a sip or comment, but headed to the other end of the bar to check inventory.

He stayed busy but somehow noticed that Fraser lingered at the bar for several minutes, apparently hoping Randy would come back and let him ask again about the piece Randy had purchased from the Gates Gallery. When Randy deliberately kept his distance, Fraser took his beer (which, Randy was pleased to note, was more than half gone) and wandered around the room to examine more carefully each painting displayed. Sometimes he moved on quickly to the next piece of art. Other times, he gave a slight shake of his head.

Randy’s ears burned, and he considered throwing the guy out. Since he’d opened Mata Hari no one had given him grief about his collection. To be honest, no one had studied it the way Fraser did, but still. Each piece had been acquired because Randy connected to something in it. To have this handsome English stuffed shirt look down his nose offended Randy in a way he couldn’t even articulate. He seethed inside the longer Fraser spent on his dismissive tour of the room.

When Fraser reached a landscape that was hung over a small settee, he gave a distinct snort. He set his empty beer glass on a nearby table and Randy swooped over to pick it up, ostentatiously swiping the wood as if it had left a ring. “Another Pearl Necklace?” he snarled.

“Ah, no. Thank you.” Fraser seemed surprised to find Randy standing so close, though his eyes remained closed off and stony. “But it was a quite nice stout after all. Thank you for the recommendation.”

Randy gestured at the landscape with his chin. “Is that painting offensive to you for some reason? You’re practically laughing at it.”

“What? Oh no, it’s…fine. Competent. It’s the presentation, the arrangement of the art, that I find amusing.”

Randy ran his gaze over the pieces arranged on that wall of the bar. He’d decided where to hang each and every work over a long stretch of time as he’d readied Mata Hari for opening. He revisited the collection frequently and rotated different pieces in and out of prominent positions. Most of his customers were oblivious but Randy took great satisfaction in presenting something unique in the atmosphere of his bar.

“What’s amusing about it?”

“Well, there’s no story, is there?” Fraser answered him.

“What do you mean?”

“Individually each piece is presentable. A few are even intriguing. But see here,” he gestured at the landscape, “this is a nicely executed pastoral, yet it’s positioned between a Japanese scroll and a watercolor of a monarch butterfly. The pieces say nothing about each other, and have no intrinsic relationship.

“But over there,” he indicated the wall opposite, “is a modern landscape. Change the frames to something complementary, place them side by side, and the two landscapes together suggest a conversation in, oh, quite a lot actually. Painting techniques, the subject and tonal changes in works separated by two artistic traditions. You see?”

Randy did see, but he’d be damned if he’d admit it. “Two landscapes here wouldn’t fit,” he said stubbornly.

“Ah. Art as furniture. Of course,” Fraser said with a smirk, and that did it.

“No charge for the Pearl Necklace,” Randy barked. “Since you made the trip for nothing.”

 

Meet the Author

Robert Winter lives and writes in Provincetown. He is a recovering lawyer who prefers writing about hot men in love much more than drafting a legal brief. He left behind the (allegedly) glamorous world of an international law firm to sit in his home office and dream up ways to torment his characters until they realize they are perfect for each other. When he isn’t writing, Robert likes to cook Indian food and explore new restaurants. He splits his attention between Andy, his partner of sixteen years, and Ling the Adventure Cat, who likes to fly in airplanes and explore the backyard jungle as long as the temperature and humidity are just right.

 

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | eMail

Giveaway

Enter for a chance to win a paperpack copy of Lying Eyes.

Three winners will be chosen, one lucky winner will receive a signed copy!

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Blog Tour & Giveaway: The Ruin of a Rake by Cat Sebastian

Together, they must decide what they’re willing to risk for love. 

THE RUIN OF A RAKE
Cat Sebastian
Releasing July 4, 2017
Avon Impulse

 Blurb

Rogue.


Libertine. Rake. Lord Courtenay has been called many things and has never much cared. But after the publication of a salacious novel supposedly based on his exploits, he finds himself shunned from society. Unable to see his nephew, he
is willing to do anything to improve his reputation, even if that means spending time with the most proper man in London.

Julian Medlock has spent years becoming the epitome of correct behavior. As far as he cares, if Courtenay finds himself in hot water, it’s his own fault for behaving so badly—and being so blasted irresistible. But when Julian’s sister asks him to rehabilitate Courtenay’s image, Julian is forced to spend time with the man he loathes—and lusts after—most.

As Courtenay begins to yearn for a love he fears he doesn’t deserve, Julian starts to understand how desire can drive a man to abandon all sense of propriety. But he has secrets he’s determined to keep, because if the truth came out, it would ruin everyone he loves. Together, they must decide what they’re willing to risk for love. 

 

Excerpt

London, 1817

Julian pursed his lips as he gazed at the symmetrical brick façade of his sister’s house. It was every bit as bad as he had feared. He could hear the racket from the street, for God’s sake. He pulled the brim of his hat lower on his forehead, as if concealing his face would go any distance toward mitigating the damage done by his sister having turned her house into a veritable brothel. Right in the middle of Mayfair, and at eleven in the morning, when the entire ton was on hand to bear witness to her degradation, no less. Say what one wanted about Eleanor—and at this moment Julian could only imagine what was being said—but she did not do things by halves.

As he climbed the steps to her door, the low rumble of masculine voices drifted from an open second story window. Somebody was playing a pianoforte—badly—and a lady was singing out of key.

No, not a lady. Julian suppressed a sigh. Whoever these women were in his sister’s house, they were not ladies. No lady in her right mind would consort with the sort of men Eleanor had been entertaining lately. Every young buck with a taste for vice had made his way to her house over these last weeks, along with their mistresses or courtesans or whatever one was meant to call them. And the worst of them, the blackguard who had started Eleanor on her path to becoming a byword for scandal, was Lord Courtenay.

A shiver trickled down Julian’s spine at the thought of encountering the man, and he could not decide whether it was from simple, honest loathing or something much, much worse.

The door swung open before Julian had raised his hand to the knocker.

“Mr. Medlock, thank goodness.” The look of abject relief on the face of Eleanor’s butler might have struck Julian as vaguely inappropriate under any other circumstance. But considering the tableau that presented itself in Eleanor’s vestibule, the butler’s informality hardly registered.

Propped against the elegantly papered wall, a man in full evening dress snored peacefully, a bottle of brandy cradled in his arms and a swath of bright crimson silk draped across his leg. A lady’s gown, Julian gathered. The original wearer of the garment was, mercifully, not present.

“I came as soon as I received your message.” Julian had not been best pleased to receive a letter from his sister’s butler, of all people, begging that he return to London ahead of schedule. Having secured a coveted invitation to a very promising house party, he was loath to leave early in order to evict a set of bohemians and reprobates from his sister’s house.

“The cook is threatening to quit, sir,” said the butler. Tilbury, a man of over fifty who had been with Eleanor since she and Julian had arrived in England, had gray circles under his eyes. No doubt the revels had interrupted his sleep. “And I’ve already sent all but the—ah—hardiest of the housemaids to the country. It wouldn’t do for them to be imposed upon. I’d never forgive myself.”

Julian nodded. “You were quite right to send for me. Where is my sister?” Several unmatched slippers were scattered along the stairs that led toward the drawing room and bedchambers. He gritted his teeth.

“Lady Standish is in her study, sir.”

Julian’s eyebrows shot up. “Her study,” he repeated. Eleanor was hosting an orgy—really, there was no use in pretending it was anything else—but ducked out to conduct an experiment. Truly, the experiments were bad enough, but Julian had always managed to conceal their existence. But to combine scientific pursuits with actual orgies struck Julian as excessive in all directions.

“You,” he said, nudging the sleeping man with the toe of his boot. He was not climbing over drunken bodies, not today, not any day. “Wake up.” The man opened his eyes with what seemed a great deal of effort. “Who are you? No, never mind, I can’t be bothered to care.” The man wasn’t any older than Julian himself, certainly not yet five and twenty, but Julian felt as old as time and as irritable as a school mistress compared to this specimen of self-indulgence. “Get up, restore that gown to its owner, and be gone before I decide to let your father know what you’ve been up to.” As so often happened when Julian ordered people about, this fellow complied.

Julian made his way to Eleanor’s study, and found her furiously scribbling at her writing table, a mass of wires and tubes arranged before her. She didn’t look up at the sound of the door opening, nor when he pointedly closed it behind him. Eleanor, once she was busy working, was utterly unreachable. She had been like this since they were children. He felt a rush of affection for her despite how much trouble she was causing him.

“Eleanor?” Nothing. He stooped to gather an empty wine bottle and a few abandoned goblets, letting them clink noisily together as he deposited them onto a table. Still no response. “Nora?” It almost physically hurt to say his childhood name for her when things felt so awkward and strained between them.

“It won’t work,” came a low drawl. “I’ve been sitting here these past two hours and I haven’t gotten a response.”

Banishing any evidence of surprise from his countenance, Julian turned to see Lord Courtenay himself sprawled in a low chair in a shadowy corner. There oughtn’t to have been any shadows in the middle of the day in a bright room, but trust Lord Courtenay to find one to lurk in.

Julian quickly schooled his face into some semblance of indifference. No, that was a reach; his face was simply not going to let him pretend indifference to Courtenay. He doubted whether anyone had ever shared space with Lord Courtenay without being very much aware of that fact. And it wasn’t only his preposterous good looks that made him so . . . noticeable. The man served as a sort of magnet for other people’s attention, and Julian hated himself for being one of those people. As far as he could tell, the man’s entire problem was that people paid a good deal too much attention to him. But one could hardly help it, not when he looked like that.

 
Tasty Author

Cat Sebastian lives in a swampy part of the South with her husband, three kids, and two dogs. Before her kids were born, she practiced law and taught high school and college writing. When she isn’t reading or writing, she’s doing crossword puzzles, bird watching, and wondering where she put her coffee cup.

Blog Tour: After the Dark (Killer Instinct #3) by Cynthia Eden

Series:
Source: Social Butterfly PR

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After the Dark by Cynthia Eden

Release Date: March 28th, 2017

Genre: Romantic Suspense

After the Dark from Cynthia Eden is now available now!

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Four months after being fired from the FBI and retreating to her hometown of Fairhope, Alabama, former special agent Samantha Dark is still learning to enjoy the peaceful anonymity of small-town life. Her confidence shaken, Samantha avoids contact with others. After all, when monsters live in plain sight, it’s hard to trust anyone. But when her former partner, Agent Blake Gamble, the ultimate good guy and someone who’s always believed in her, comes to town seeking her help with his latest case, Samantha is torn. Her fabled instincts let her down once before, when the killer who ruined her career got away under her watch, and there are no guarantees they won’t again.

But Blake doesn’t believe in ever giving up…especially when it comes to Samantha. While they could never pursue their mutual attraction before, when they were partners, now there’s nothing standing in their way…except the specter of known serial killer Cameron Latham. Cameron always claimed he and Samantha both had a darkness within that connected them…until Blake came into her life. Samantha knows that darkness is real—that it’s what allows her to penetrate the minds of sadistic killers. The last thing Samantha could bear, however, is to reveal her dark side to Blake and have him recoil from her. Blake wants to prove to Samantha that he can handle all her secrets—she just needs to trust him. But Samantha learned to be careful about whom to trust. Those close to you can turn on you in an instant…

Blake’s current case turns out to be the work of a copycat killer—a psycho pupil of Cameron’s who is seeking vengeance for his former master by planning to kill Samantha. But it serves as a catalyst for something more venomous—a reason for Cameron himself to reemerge, deadlier than ever. The last person Cameron wants harmed is Samantha. He’s more interested in eliminating perceived rival Blake for good.

Two deadly killers are after them, but Blake and Samantha know every monster has a weakness. It’s just a matter of finding who it is before it’s too late…

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Read Today!

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2kX13Ei

Amazon UK: https://goo.gl/8iSj5A

iBooks: https://goo.gl/4ZcjRD

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Kobo: https://goo.gl/QzuGEC

Google Play: https://goo.gl/Z6MltG

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About the Author:

Award-winning author Cynthia Eden writes dark tales of paranormal romance and romantic suspense. She is a New York Times, USA Today, Digital Book World and IndieReader bestseller. Cynthia is also a three-time finalist for the prestigious Romance Writers of America RITA® Award. Since she began writing full-time in 2005, Cynthia has written over fifty novels and novellas.

Cynthia lives along the Alabama Gulf Coast.

Connect with the Author:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cynthiaedenfanpage/

Twitter: @CynthiaEden

http://www.cynthiaeden.com

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Hard Wired by Megan Erickson & Santino Hassell

Hard Wired

Megan Erickson & Santino Hassell

Blog Tour

 


Title: Hard Wired
Series: Cyberlove, #3
Authors: Megan Erickson & Santino Hassell
Publisher: Megtino Press
Release Date: February 13, 2017
Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance / Gaymers

Blurb:

My FallenCon agenda is simple: sit on a couple of panels and let people meet the real me. Jesse Garvy—mod of a famous Twitch channel and, if I ever come out of my shell, future vlogger. I definitely didn’t plan to sleep with a moody tattooed fan-artist, but he’s gorgeous and can’t keep his hands off me. There’s a first time for everything, and my first time with a guy turns out to be the hottest experience of my life.

But the next day, I find out my moody fan-artist is Ian Larsen AKA Cherry—someone I’ve known online for years. And he’d known exactly who I was while shoving me up against that wall. Before I figure out whether to be pissed or flattered, the con ends.

Now we’re back online, and he’s acting like nothing happened. But despite the distance between us, and the way he clings to the safety of his online persona, we made a real connection that night. I don’t plan to let him forget.

Purchase Links

Universal Global Link: books2read.com/hardwired

EXCERPT

My review can be found here!! –> Mika’s review of Hard Wired!

 

“Finish your other drink. I want to show you something.”

Jesse did as commanded, tilting his head back and wincing, but he swallowed it in one gulp. I leaned in closer, pressing my body to his broader more muscular one, and tangled my fingers with his. He was so warm, and he smelled so good that I wanted to keep him close.

He dropped the glass to the table with a comical grimace. Jesse wasn’t much of a drinker, but he was still sharp. Even so, I leaned in and whispered, “Are you sober?”

“Does slightly tipsy count as sober?”

“In my world, yes. But… are you sober enough to make a decision you won’t regret about someone you know nothing about?”

Jesse sucked in another breath. I leaned back far enough to search his face and found parted lips still damp from the drink and dilating eyes. On a whim, I darted out my tongue to taste the gin and tonic on his lips. It tasted better.

“I won’t regret anything I decide,” he croaked.

“Excellent.”

My smile was slightly feral, but I couldn’t check my eagerness. This was happening. It was going to happen, anyway. And my heart was in my throat because I’d waited…dreamed…for years for this, and finally the moment was mine.

We speed-walked out of the party like a couple of over-excited kids, my hand sweaty as it gripped his. He didn’t pull away as our fingers twined together. I looked at him once to see he couldn’t take his eyes off me.

Fuck. I couldn’t believe this was happening.

FallenCon had completely taken over the convention center. There were cosplayers everywhere, people with badges, and drunk folks spilling out from the party. The entire place seemed like a party, and this was usually the moment that I loved the most. When everyone dropped their insecurities and their rivalries and online dramas, and we all had fun. Lost ourselves in a moment that would forever remain in our minds as the one time we truly enjoyed being out with others.

But my brain was a mantra of fuck other people, must have Jesse. I dragged him down a hallway, opened the first conference room door I saw, and was relieved to find the lights dimmed and no one inside.

“What’s—”

I had him up against the wall before he could ask the question. Those explosive blue eyes widened, but he didn’t shy away. And he didn’t hold up his hands in typical over-the-top adorkable Garvy fashion, a please wait sign, when I plastered myself against him. His body was harder than I’d imagined, the bumps and ridges of muscle causing my pulse to race faster.

“I hope you don’t regret this tomorrow,” I murmured.

He shook his head. “Never.”

I wasn’t so sure, but I drew him in for a kiss. That first taste had been nothing compared to his mouth slanting open for me, immediately inviting my tongue. I gave it to him with sweeping glides, fucking his mouth with it, and drinking every delightful little sound he made.

It was Jesse’s first time kissing a guy, and I knew I should be making it sweet or gentle. Probationary, even. But I couldn’t. I ravaged him until we were clutching each other in the kind of raw make-out that belonged in the back of a pickup truck after a night of drunken tailgating, not in this haven for gamers and nerds.

We were grinding on each other, and I was too dazed to know when it had happened. All I knew was that the heaviness pressing against my own erection was causing my knees to weaken.

My moans filled every corner of the room, but I didn’t care if I seemed desperate or slutty. That he didn’t understand why a kiss was causing me to tremble with need. He couldn’t know that I’d imagined this so often, that I’d drawn it, that I’d wished for it. And he couldn’t have known that sliding his hand into my hair and holding me harder against him would unleash the part of me that wanted nothing more than to drop to my knees.

Follow Cerise on Tumblr: https://artboycerise.tumblr.com/

Check out All the Books in the Cyberlove Series

Strong Signal

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Fast Connection

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Giveaway

The contest if for a signed set of the Cyberlove series – can only be shipped in the U.S.
And second place is a $10 Amazon Gift Card – Can be international Winner

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About the Authors

Megan Erickson

 

Megan Erickson is a USA Today bestselling author of romance that sizzles. Her books have a touch of nerd, a dash of humor, and always have a happily ever after. A former journalist, she switched to fiction when she decided she liked writing her own endings better.
She lives in Pennsylvania with her very own nerdy husband and two kids. Although rather fun-sized, she’s been told she has a full-sized personality. When Megan isn’t writing, she’s either lounging with her two cats named after John Hughes characters or… thinking about writing.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon | FB Group

 

 

Santino Hassell

Santino Hassell was raised by a conservative family, but he was anything but traditional. He grew up to be a smart-mouthed, school cutting grunge kid, then a transient twenty-something, and eventually transformed into an unlikely romance author.

Santino writes queer romance that is heavily influenced by the gritty, urban landscape of New York City, his belief that human relationships are complex and flawed, and his own life experiences.

Social Media:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon | FB Group | Patreon

 

Blog Tour – Short Stay by Heidi Cullinan

Short Stay Blog Tour

Oh My Shelves is beyond excited to be part of the blog tour for Short Stay by Heidi Cullinan. Our resident ginger loved this and is a HUGE fan of the Love Lessons and Special Delivery series! Check out the post to get answers to some must know questions, get a glimpse into lunch with beloved characters and a chance to win paperbacks in the Love Lessons series.  

* * * * * *

Why Did You Write This Story?

I hadn’t planned on writing this story at all. I’d meant to write something for my Patreon readers as a Christmas present, but it got long and complicated, so I asked them what they wanted in a short story from a known character universe. They voted, and Baz and Elijah won, though Walter and Kelly were only one vote down, and the Special Delivery series characters had a strong showing too, so I decided what the heck, let’s include them all.

I meant the story to be short, but I don’t do short well. I was having too much fun playing with the characters and thinking of things to include I knew would delight my readers. I told them, as I wrote, that every time I got stuck I asked myself, “What would the readers want right now?” then tried to give it to them. I didn’t back down from anything cheesy, didn’t let any critical voices in my head.

The result was something I loved writing and my patrons loved reading. In truth all stories are written for readers, but this one really was. It wouldn’t have happened without them. It was designed with specific readers in mind, ones I’ve come to know and appreciate more deeply in the past six months. It felt exactly like it was meant to: a gift to readers I care very much about. And they enthusiastically let me share it with everyone else, so here we are.

You crossed the streams on this one big time, sending the Love Lessons characters into the Special Delivery characters’ world. Why did you do that?

It started as a lark. I’d meant for Baz and Elijah to go to Vegas in Lonely Hearts in an early draft, so I was eager to send them there now. And I thought, well, the Special Delivery characters have to say hi, since they live there. But I couldn’t resist sending them to Herod’s itself, and then everything snowballed. I should have known better. Randy always steals the show. But it’s okay, because he does it so well.

Will what happened in Short Stay become canon in either or both series?

Yes. It doesn’t change much in Special Delivery except now Randy wants a Tesla. For the Love Lessons series, though…well, I’m not giving any spoilers, but it changed a lot in what I had planned for the rest of the White House gang story arc. Which is fine, because shaking things up and making me scared always gives me good energy in a story.

What’s next in your production queue?

My muses have been fickle lately, and every time I make plans they thwart them. What I’m working on right now, for better or for worse, are two more after-HEA stories: Shelter the Sea, a novella in the Roosevelt series, and Enjoy the Dance, a short novel in the Dancing series. (Yes, Dance With Me is part of a series now.)

Shelter the Sea is still slightly amorphous, but essentially Emmet is trying to help a friend in trouble and doing a little more growing up in the process. Enjoy the Dance began as my attempt to chronicle what happened to Ed and Laurie between Dance With Me and when they appeared in Lonely Hearts, and how the radical change in the state of marriage equality affected them personally. We also find out what happened to Duon.

After that, I’m working on the next full novels in the Love Lessons, Roosevelt, and Clockwork Love series. As per usual I’m also working on several other things as well. What specifically comes next is difficult to say, but suffice it to say, something will float to the top.

* * * * * *

~Excerpt~

Lunch With the Boys

Walter and Kelly had left, as had Randy, but Mitch and Sam were still there, sitting in what Elijah had begun to think of as “Randy’s booth.” They welcomed him over when they saw him.

“Where’s your other half?” Mitch asked in his Texas drawl.

“Sleeping. I didn’t want to wake him, but I needed to get out of the dark for a bit.” Elijah had barely slid into his seat before the same waitress from the day before placed a Dirty Whiskey in front of him. He thanked her with a nod and took a sip. “What are you guys up to?”

“We’re waiting for my brother. He’s had a long day of rehearsal, and Steve’s deep into a project, so we thought we’d take Chenco out to pamper him at his favorite vegan restaurant.” Sam glanced at Mitch, who nodded. “You’re welcome to come along, with or without Baz.”

Elijah hesitated. “It sounds good, but I don’t know how long he’ll sleep, and I don’t want to be gone if he’s up and wants to do something.” He remembered the day before, their argument, and couldn’t help a wry smile. “Though if he were awake, he’d tell me to go.”

Sam leaned into Mitch. “I love how devoted the two of you are to each other. When are you getting married again?” When the question made Elijah shutter, Sam sat up, concerned. “I’m sorry, was that an uncomfortable question?”

How the hell should he answer? “We don’t have a date set, and whenever it is, I’m not going to look forward to it. Baz’s mother means well, but she’s a Momzilla on the best of days, and since she heard we were getting married, she’s been off the charts. There is no incarnation of our ceremony that doesn’t result in her taking over and turning it into some major social event for rich white people from Chicago. I can’t blame her, because this is her only son getting married. But it overwhelms me. I wish I could skip the ceremony and jump simply to being married to Baz.”

Mitch raised his eyebrows. “You can do that today, in Vegas. It’s called eloping.”

Elijah laughed bitterly. “Yeah, she’d be thrilled to find out we’d done an end run on her. But…even if I could know us running off to city hall wouldn’t mean she was gunning for my head on a platter, I kind of want some pomp and circumstance at our wedding.” He blushed, feeling ridiculous and exposed admitting it, but it wasn’t as if these people knew him or ever would. “I never thought I’d get married. I never thought anybody would feel that way about me. I still don’t always understand how I ended up with someone like Baz. You don’t get more opposite than the two of us, for family background.” His blush deepened, and he regretted not stopping his mouth on his first inclination. Damn Dirty Whiskeys.

Sam, unsurprisingly, turned soft and empathetic, a bottle-blond Kelly. “I never thought I’d leave Iowa, until I met Mitch. At best I hoped to get away to Des Moines. We aren’t so opposite as you and Baz, but we have other ways we’re different, I suppose.”

Mitch gave him an incredulous look. “Yeah, starting with our twelve-year age difference.”

Sam hushed him. “The point is, different can be good. You bring things out in each other, I think. Challenge each other. I didn’t want to move out to Las Vegas, but I wanted to be nearer to Randy and Ethan, and Mitch wanted to develop a relationship with his half-brother. Mitch likes to run cross-country jobs, but he’s driving local runs now almost all the time because we’re getting tired of not having a home base. Or rather, we want to be at the home base more.” He bit his lip, glanced at Mitch shyly, and added, “And because maybe someday soon we’ll make our own family.”

Yeah, this guy really was a Kelly. Elijah pulled the napkin from beneath his drink and shredded the edge absently. “I don’t know if I want a family beyond Baz.”

“It’s okay if you don’t,” Mitch said. “And it’s okay if you don’t now and do later.”

Chenco appeared, well-scrubbed and exhausted. Sam scooted out of the booth to break the news about the restaurant, which Chenco seemed pleased by, and once again invited Elijah to come along. Before Elijah could decline, however, Mitch leaned over to tap him on the arm and give him a heavy look.

“You come on out with us. We’ll tell Randy to take a break from party planning and bring Baz on over if he wakes up before we get back. Or Randy can keep him company, whichever Baz prefers.”

Mitch said this in such a rumbly, bossy way Elijah didn’t feel no was an option. And so he ended up piling into a sedan with the three of them, driving through the city into a residential area north of the city.

The restaurant was nice—fancy, but not formal, and the food wasn’t bad. Elijah ordered a fried tofu buddha bowl, which smelled delicious as it was placed before him. It tasted good too.

“My friends and I are eating more plant-based,” he said around bites. “We haven’t been doing it long at the White House, but we’re trying. We need to make stuff like this, though. It’s so good.”

Chenco raised an eyebrow. “The White House?”

Elijah always forgot how weird it sounded. “It’s this big house we all rent off Campustown. It’s white, and it’s a house, so…White House. Someone made the joke a million years ago, and I guess it stuck.”

“It’s so cool you get to live there with all your friends.” Sam looked jealous. “I lived with my aunt and uncle for most of college. My aunt and uncle who hated me.”

“My first year I lived in the dorms. My parents were…” Elijah stopped, the urge to share abruptly washed over with the urge to self-protect.

Mitch’s drawl was gentle, reassuring. “Randy told us your story. Glad you got out okay.”

Elijah poked at his bowl, appetite gone. “Some days I’m less okay than others.”

Sam put a hand near Elijah’s plate. “My mom died when I was seventeen after being sick all her life, and I had to live with the horrid aunt and uncle afterward. Mitch’s mom left when he was eight, meaning he was raised by his father who, from the sounds of it, would get along fine with yours. When Chenco was kicked out by his mother, he had to go live with their father—who then left the only home he had to the KKK when he died. We get it, Elijah. Trust me. We get it. And it’s okay. You’re okay. Even when you don’t feel it.”

Elijah moved his gaze around the table, taking in the serious but understanding and accepting faces of the three men. He felt exposed…but also seen, and in a way making something deep inside him unwind. The same place inside him Randy had touched. Randy, who had been kicked out in high school and done tricks to survive, same as Elijah.

“Family is essential. Find it, make it, seize it however you can. If it walks up to you and welcomes you home and you don’t have reason to doubt it’s real, don’t argue. Just go through the door.” Chenco winked and nudged Elijah’s bowl. “Eat your dinner. Anyone with that many hickeys on his neck had enough sex to require calorie replacement.”

Elijah ate. He also, on the drive to the hotel, got out his phone and opened Facebook again. Pulled down the still-unanswered friend request from Penny.

He didn’t know how to tell if the request was real or not, but he clicked accept anyway.

 


ShortStay_LargeShort Stay by Heidi Cullinan
Series: Love Lessons, Book Three Point Five
Release Date: May 24, 2016
Pages: 118 • Cover Artist: Kanaxa
Published By: Heidi Cullinan
Purchase Links:
AmazonARe iTunes • Smashwords   Kobo

Hot messes have a hard time with happily ever after.

Baz Acker and Elijah Prince have it all. They’re engaged, and their wedding is guaranteed to be a spectacle no event will ever top. So why are they hunkered down in a quiet corner of the Acker mansion, restless and edgy while they wait out the holidays? 

When Baz suggests a road trip with Walter and Kelly to Las Vegas, it sounds like an ideal escape, but it turns out Vegas only amplifies their unease. Elijah can’t slough off the self-hating his parents programmed into him, and he worries how that will affect his marriage. Baz, crippled en route because of too much time spent in the car without rest, must face the truth that his wealth and influence can’t always counteract the limits his disability will put on his—and Elijah’s—life.

With help from their friends, a wily poker player, a take-no-prisoners drag queen, and a smooth-talking casino owner, they face the truth that happiness is a state of mind, not a destination where they book a stay. What happens in Vegas won’t stay in Vegas—it will follow them all the way down the aisle.

This novella is a continuation of a story begun in the novel Lonely Hearts in the Love Lessons series and was written at the request of Heidi’s Patreon readers.


Follow the tour! 

Follow along to learn more about the book and for chances to win prizes, including a paperback set of the Love Lessons series!

May 20th – Review and Giveaway at Lucy Marker

May 23Ticket To Anywhere

May 24Diverse Reader

SS Blog Tour VerticalMay 24Bayou Book Junkie

May 24Keysmash Blog

May 24Just Love Romance

May 24 – The Day Before You Came

May 25Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words

May 25My Fiction Nook

May 26Oh My Shelves

May 26 Joyfully Jay

May 26Bike Book Reviews

May 26Sinfully

May 27PrettySassyCool

Rafflecopter PrizeMay 27Molly Lolly

May 27Just Love Romance

May 30Viviana, Enchantess of Books

June 2Prism Book Alliance

June 3The Novel Approach

June 3Wicked Faerie’s Tales & Reviews

June 4Love Bytes

 

~GIVEAWAY~

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About Heidi Cullinan

Heidi grew up in love with story. She fell asleep listening to Disney long-playing records and read her Little House On The Prairie books until they fell apart. She ran through the woods inventing stories of witches and fairies and enchanted trees and spent hours beneath the lilac bush imagining the lives of the settlers who had inhabited the homestead log cabin and two-story late 1800s home on her family farm. She created epic storylines for her Barbies until it wasn’t satisfying enough to do so any longer (age ten), and then she started writing them down. Her first novel, The Life and Times of Michelle Matthews, was published when she was twelve in the school anthology and took up nearly half of it.

Though Heidi continued to write novels through high school (and still has the Rubbermaid tub full in her bedroom), she stopped in college, deciding it was time to grow up and do something meaningful with her life. When the specifics of that didn’t pan out, Heidi ended up in grad school to become a teacher, and through one of the courses rediscovered her love of romance novels. She began to write again on the side, continued to do so while she taught seventh grade language arts and reading, and when she quit teaching to have her daughter, she took up writing with more seriousness, both as a stress relief and as a potential means of bringing in money.

Many million pages later, Heidi has learned a lot about writing, more than she ever wanted to know about publishing, and most importantly, finally figured out that writing IS the meaningful something she wants to do with her life. A passionate advocate for LGBT rights, Heidi volunteered for One Iowa during the fight for marriage equality and donates with her husband as a monthly partner to the Human Rights Campaign and Lambda Legal. She encourages you to support your own local and national LGBT rights groups, too

Heidi enjoys reading, watching movies and TV with her family, and listening all kinds of music. She has a husband, a daughter, and too many cats. Heidi is an active social networker, and of course has good old-fashioned email.

Book Blast: Ruby Red Booty Shorts and a Louisville Slugger by Lexi Ander

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~Excerpt~

Diego walked the dreaming. Not the normal everyday imaginings of deep sleep, but the type of dream his abuela whispered of, where the veil of time drew back to show him the future. Unlike a normal dreamscape, where the colors were flat and the people one-dimensional figments of his imagination, here in the dreaming he’d one day be able to walk the scape as events unfolded around real people.

He was barely twelve years old and this was his very first dreaming. Abuela would be proud, and even though he wanted to run and tell her, he had to put his enthusiasm aside and do his duty well. Until the veil dropped back down, he wouldn’t be able to pull away from the dreaming. But why would he want to? This was a blessing from the Gods. His responsibility was to watch and learn, but more importantly, he had to remember.

A heavy fog caressed his skin as the mist slid past him. The cold touch caused a shiver to work its way up his spine. He stood in a warehouse, and the concrete had a layer of grit that clung to the bottom of his bare feet. The smell of old oil burned his nose and coated his tongue. No matter how many times he swallowed, the rancid taste clung to his mouth. People clustered around a painted circle in the open area of the floor. Diego recognized many of the gangbangers that belonged to The Man who ruled their streets of East L. A. with an iron fist.RC

A lead ball formed in Diego’s stomach. No one looked at or acknowledged him, but they moved out of his way all the same. Diego’s toes butted up against the broad white line. The mark wasn’t painted on the floor as he’d first thought, but was chalky, like the powder used to mark a baseball diamond. The noise of the crowd unnerved him. He could see the faces of the people, mouths moving exaggeratedly as they spoke, but their voices were odd: their slow, slurred speech made the words almost intelligible. The laughter, though—the eerie cackling skirted over his skin and filled him with dread.

On the other side, the crowd hoisted someone above them. He rode the outstretched arms until he reached the edge of the circle and then they set the person on his feet inside. Diego’s brother, Hector, appeared alternatively nervous and excited as he bounced around the interior of the ring on the balls of his feet. Five years older than Diego, Hector was the tallest person in their family, just shy of five foot ten. Diego wanted to have a strong body like his brother’s when he was older, but his madre told him Hector spent too much time at the gym and not enough time on his studies to make good grades. Hector claimed he had to be strong to protect their sisters from the vatos. Diego couldn’t deny how proud he was when people stepped warily away from the line when Hector bounced close, yelling excitedly at the crowd. His hermano had a reputation for ruthlessness when he defended the familia, and the vatos had learned the hard way to keep space between them and Hector.

Something—someone—stepped into the circle, the figure blurred and wispy-thin as if they were a ghost and not a solid person. Hector halted before the apparition, his expression sobering, his pinky tapping nervously on his thigh. Who would make Hector anxious? Hector was fearless; no one scared him. Well, perhaps there was one person. The Cadillac Man. Now that Diego thought about it, the sensation pressing against his skin wasn’t caused by the crowd, but had always been caused by the nearness of the Cadillac Man.

“Hector Emmanuel Hernandez,” Diego flinched, shocked Hector had given someone his full name. Their abuela warned to never do so. Names had power and could be used against them. The raspy quality of the voice caused Diego’s hair to stand on end. “Do you vow your service unto me, do as I bid of your own free will, and will you be loyal to me in exchange for the safety of your family?”

BannerTemplateHector bobbed his head at each question, bouncing in place. “Yes, sir.”

Black smoke drifted from the blurred figure, the tendrils snaking around Hector’s ankles. “No,” Diego breathed. Something was wrong—he had to stop Hector. He went to step over the line and an electrical current zapped him as he ran into an invisible wall. Blue webbed lines spread out from where he frantically struck the barrier again and again, ignoring the sharp pain in his fists.

“Will you accept the gift of the jaguar, willingly submit to the way of the warriors of old?” The grating voice held an air of expectation.

Diego slammed his fist against the wall. “Hector, no!” he shouted.

“Enter your blood into the book of binding.” The apparition held out a large weathered tome several inches thick.

Withdrawing a pocket knife from his jeans, Hector sliced his palm over the yellowed pages. He squeezed blood from his fist while Diego yelled and screamed for Hector to stop. Couldn’t he feel the wrongness of this place, in the people surrounding him? Did Hector not see the darkness of the person he was vowing himself to?

“It is done.” The finality of the statement was like a punch to Diego’s gut.

He didn’t understand what happened, only that Hector had committed to something he couldn’t walk away from. The dark mist swirled around Hector, clinging to his body, stroking him almost lovingly. Without being told, Diego knew it was evil. How could Hector not sense the vileness?

Banner300x250The blurred figure retreated from the circle and the spectators took several steps back. Hector’s smile faltered, but he pumped his fists in the air like a prize fighter. Diego yelled for Hector to run. Something would happen. The tension of the oncoming moment caused his skin to crawl with unease. Hector stopped in the center of the ring and spread his feet, his expression scared but determined. A large jaguar prowled forward, the low growl the only warning before the cat leapt. Hector struggled as he was borne to the ground, screaming while powerful jaws clamped down on his shoulder. The jaguar planted a massive paw in the middle of Hector’s chest as it mauled him.

Diego fell to his knees, desperate to reach Hector but unable to answer his brother’s call for help. Hector fought, but Diego could see how quickly Hector’s strength left him, until he struggled no more. The feline released him, roaring in his face, bloody saliva dripping from its wide jaws. Too much blood pooled around Hector, and his head tilted toward Diego as his body shuddered. Diego pressed against the barrier, the sting no longer registering because he was too wrapped up in his grief as he watched his brother die.

“Diego.” Even though Hector whispered, he heard his name clearly, as if Hector sat right next to him. Hector’s gaze ran along the gathered crowd, eerily coming to rest where Diego knelt. “Lo siento, hermano. I didn’t mean to break my promise,” he rasped.

 


RubyRedBootyShortsRed Ruby Booty Shorts and a Louisville Slugger by Lexi Ander
Series: I.O.N.
Release Date: March 2, 2016
Words: 50,000 • Cover Artist: Aisha Akeiu
Published By: Less Than Three Press
Purchase Links:
Less Than Three Amazon • AR B&N   Bookstrand iTunes

Eager to escape the shadows of a tragic loss, Diego built a new life with his best friend, Beck. When he finally decided one night to admit that he’s in love with Beck, that new life takes a new, hot and happy turn. But happiness is easily shattered, as he’s learned all too well, and this time it’s ruined by the arrival of a mysterious package and then men bent on violence.

Memories of a dead brother and an untouchable drug lord rise inevitably to the surface, and Diego dreads that the man he loves is mired in the world that Diego tried to escape. But Beck’s secrets aren’t so simple, and neither is the world in which Diego has been living…


Tour Dates & Stops:

BadgeParker Williams, Divine Magazine, BFD Book Blog, Decadent Delights, Full Moon Dreaming, Molly Lolly,

Oh My Shelves, Andrew Q. Gordon, Happily Ever Chapter, Bayou Book Junkie, Book Lovers 4Ever,

Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, My Fiction Nook, Havan Fellows,

Alpha Book Club, Kirsty Loves Books, MM Good Book Reviews, Three Books Over The Rainbow,

Bonkers About Books, Velvet Panic

 

 

 

Final

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About Lexi Ander

Lexi has always been an avid reader, and at a young age started reading (secretly) her mother’s romances (the ones she was told not to touch). She was the only teenager she knew of who would be grounded from reading. Later, with a pencil and a note book, she wrote her own stories and shared them with friends because she loved to see their reactions. A Texas transplant, Lexi now kicks her boots up in the Midwest with her Yankee husband and her eighty-pound puppies named after vacuum cleaners.

Cover Reveal + Excerpt: North to Zombieville by Meg Bawden

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Continue reading →

About Meg Bawden

Meg Bawden was born and raised in North Queensland, Australia. She’s loved stories since before she can remember and has always enjoyed creating characters of her own, even if it did begin with drawing faces on toilet rolls and giving them names. Wiring has always been a passion of hers and she’s loved the M/M genre since 2004, the first book she read being Rainbow Boys by Alex Sanchez.

Writing M/M since 2007, Meg has never had the confidence to attempt publishing her own stories, but in 2015, she decided that it was all about to change thanks to the amazing friends she’s made in the M/M genre and their support and encouragement. So watch out world, Meg Bawden is coming out to have some fun!

Guest Post: Ariel Tachna

Oh My Shelves welcomes author Ariel Tachna to the blog to chat about her latest release in the Dreamspun Desires series, Unstable Stud – releasing from Dreamspinner Press Friday, April 15, 2016 – as well as giving us personal insight on how she learned to write.

Be sure to check out the excerpt after the post… 

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Everything I know about writing…

I learned from Janelle Taylor

As I sit here waiting for RT to start, I can’t help but think about my first RT and the incredible friendship that grew out of a most unlikely series of events. It all starts with the story of how I learned to write.

When I was twelve, I told my mother I needed pens, then I took some of my babysitting money and walked to Walgreens. I bought the pens I told her I needed, but I also bought my first adult romance novel, Destiny’s Temptress by Janelle Taylor, a torrid Civil War romance between a Southern belle and a rancher from Texas. I hid it in my purse because it had a bodice-ripper cover my mother would never have approved of. I read it at night beneath the covers and hid it between my mattresses during the day while I was at school. I devoured it. More than once. And then when I got home from school some days, instead of picking up a book, I picked up a pen, and I started writing.

Remember, I was twelve, so you can imagine how awkward some of those early chapters were. But I was smart and I was an avid reader, so I could usually tell when what I was putting on paper didn’t work the way I wanted it to. The problem was figuring out how to fix it. So I did the first thing that came to mind and went back to Janelle’s book. I’d find a scene that created the effect I was going for, and I’d read it again, looking for how she made it work. Then I’d go back to my scene and try to fix it by using the techniques I’d identified from her book.

I read that book until it was in pieces. Actual pieces. The spine broke (it was a mass-market paperback) and pages started falling out, and finally I had no choice but to toss it out. I’d read dozens if not hundreds of other romance novels by that point, but it was Janelle’s I always went back to when I needed technical assistance.

Four years ago at my first RT, I met Janelle Taylor, and I told her the story I just shared with you. I’m not sure what I was expecting, besides just needing to let her know what an impact she had on me. I certainly wasn’t expecting the friendship that’s grown out of it or the incredible, overwhelming gift of her author copy of Destiny’s Temptress that now resides safely behind glass in my curio cabinet, where curious fingers and overeager puppies can’t get to it. I wasn’t expecting the peer-to-peer advice that resulted in Conquer the Flames being written in a matter of weeks, and I wasn’t expecting the unflinching reaction to hearing that I write gay romance. I certainly wasn’t expecting her to ask for a copy of one of my books and to tell people she was going to read it on the way home. I wasn’t expecting any of those things, but I got them anyway.

Janelle isn’t at RT this year because of family health issues, but being here makes me think of her nonetheless. So here’s to Janelle Taylor, and learning to write, and many, many more books and conversations and years to come.

* * * * * *

 

~Excerpt~

“We’re going to try a little experiment,” he said softly. “Do you trust me?”

King looked at him placidly. Luke walked to King’s left side and draped his arms across King’s back. The thoroughbred was too tall for him to get any of his weight up there easily, but it was a start. King turned his head to see what Luke was doing, but when Luke didn’t move, King grabbed another mouthful of hay and chewed on it in perfect contentment. “Don’t freak out,” Luke whispered repeatedly under his breath as he bounced on his toes and jumped, putting his chest across King’s back for a few seconds before he slid off.

King turned to look at him again but gave no sign of protest. “Okay,” he said, stroking King’s mane. “You don’t seem to mind me on your back at least that much, so I’m going to learn what Joe can teach me, and we’re going to do this for Clay. All right, King? For Clay.”

King whickered softly and bobbed his head.

For Clay.


UnstableStudLGUnstable Stud by Ariel Tachna
Series: Lexington Lovers, Dreamspun Desires
Release Date: April 15, 2016
Pages: 204
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAmazonARe

Horses were his passion, until he laid eyes on his boss.

Eighteen months ago, tragedy struck Bywater Farm when a riding accident killed Clay Hunter’s lover and traumatized his prize horse, King of Hearts. Clay and King lingered in limbo, surviving but not really living, until a breath of fresh air in the form of Luke Davis, a new groom in the stud barn, revives them both.

When a fall from King’s back sends Luke to the emergency room, Clay watches the shaky foundation of their budding relationship tumble down. Can Clay really love a jockey again, or will his fear of losing another man he loves keep them apart for good?

 


 

About Ariel Tachna

When Ariel Tachna was twelve years old, she discovered two things: the French language and romance novels. Those two loves have defined her ever since. By the time she finished high school, she’d written four novels, none of which anyone would want to read now, featuring a young woman who was—you guessed it—bilingual. That girl was everything Ariel wanted to be at age twelve and wasn’t.

She now lives on the outskirts of Houston with her husband (who also speaks French), her kids (who understand French even when they’re too lazy to speak it back), and their two dogs (who steadfastly refuse to answer any French commands).

Blog Tour: Excerpt & Giveaway: The Last Favor by Meg Harding

Oh My Shelves welcomes author Meg Harding to the blog tell us a bit about her newest release, The Last Favor – from Dreampsinner Press April 6, 2016 – give us a wonderful excerpt and offer an ebook copy of one of her backlist stories as a giveaway. 

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* * * * * *

Hi everyone, and thanks for having me today Oh My Shelves! I’m here to talk about my latest novella The Last Favor. I always find choosing an excerpt difficult: Is this scene too revealing? Is this something a reader would prefer to be surprised by? Is it interesting enough? I waffled a lot about what scene would be perfect to introduce you to Andy and Flynn, and I came to the conclusion it’s the reunion scene. The excerpt below is short and sweet, and I feel really sets the stage for Andy’s conflict and Flynn’s personality.

Excerpt:

He isn’t expecting much when he opens the door, just a reasonably attractive man by Clint’s standards, which aren’t always credible. He hasn’t given any thought to what color hair the man would have (rich sable), or the color of his eyes (bright blue like the sun off a lake), or how tall he might be (several inches taller than Andy himself).

He hasn’t given any thought to whether he’d know the man.

He closes the door in that familiar face only moments after opening it, his stomach plummeting so far down it feels like it’s at his feet. His breathing is fast, his heart thumping away double time. He braces himself against the door, letting his head hang between his arms. There’s a good chance he’s having a panic attack. Flynn Barnett is standing on his doorstep. He tries to take a slow, long breath in.

“Seriously?” asks a deep, familiar voice in a slow drawl that’s somewhat muffled by the door. “This is a bit petty, no?”

Andy is going to kill Clint. He is going to tear him to pieces. “There’s been a misunderstanding,” he says. “I think you should ask your driver to take you to a hotel for the night.”

“My driver left.”

“Andy?” asks his mom, appearing in the hall behind him. “What’s going on? Let the poor man in.”

Andy shakes his head no. “He can’t stay.”

“You’re being ridiculous and very rude,” she says, eyeing him with concern. Her concern doesn’t stop her from gently prodding him out of the way so she can open the door. “You,” she breathes, standing frozen in the doorway, staring at their guest.

“Hello, Mrs. Wilson. Pleasure to see you again. It has been quite some time.”

She shuts the door in his face.

Andy can’t help it. He starts to laugh, and he can’t make himself stop. His mother doesn’t say one word, waiting for him to calm down on his own time. “You know he’s not going to leave if we don’t let him in,” points out Andy. “Probably climb the side of the house and come in through one of our bedroom windows.”

“I’ll go check and make sure they’re all locked.” And bless her, she starts to move like that’s exactly what she’s going to do.

“No,” says Andy, rubbing at his eyes, which are watering from his laughter. “I’m going to let him in. It was just the shock at first. That’s all. I’m fine. It’s fine. Everything’s fine.” He can be a mature adult about this. Clint wouldn’t have sent Flynn to him if it weren’t important. He knew their history.

He reopens the door and stares into a face from his past. A face he’d never thought to see again. Had kissed and stroked and even at times mended. The face of a man he had loved beyond words. A man who had given him the absolute happiest and the horrifyingly worst moments of his life.

“Hello, Flynn.”


LastFavor[The]LGThe Last Favor by Meg Harding
Release Date: April 6, 2016
Pages: 124 • 
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAmazonARe

Three years ago Andrew Wilson and Flynn Barnett were in a relationship, until Flynn made a mistake that nearly cost Andrew his life. Andrew walked away from the FBI, his home, and his partner, and started over back in Montreal, running a restaurant.

Fast forward to the present and Andrew is knee-deep in preparations for his sister’s wedding. When an ex-colleague calls to ask for one last favor, the last person he expects to walk through his door is Flynn, in need of a place to stay. Only thing is, Andrew can’t say no.

Two weeks of wedding hijinks bring back all the old feelings that have simmered below the surface. Caught in a cycle of fighting and making up, the two men try to figure out if there’s anything they can salvage. And even if there is, Andrew can’t be sure this time will be any different.

 


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About Meg Harding

Meg Harding is a graduate student, currently studying MA Publishing in the UK. She plans to continue on to become an editor, all while continuing to write. When she isn’t writing she enjoys the theatre, concerts, and lazing about in front of the TV.

Blog Tour: Exclusive Excerpt – Spring Fever by Poppy Dennison

 

Oh My Shelves welcomes author Poppy Dennison to the blog to share an exclusive excerpt from her new novella Spring Fever, book two in her Holly Creek Series – releasing from Dreamspinner Press Friday, April 1, 2016.  Our resident ginger, Sara, is in love with this series and can’t wait for more to come. 

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Exclusive Excerpt

Welcome back to Holly Creek, home of Jefferson Lee Davis and the quirky small town neighbors that always seem to get into trouble. In Spring Fever, Jefferson Lee has finally found his happily ever after with Sheriff Zane– or has he? Trouble is getting thick as Gracie’s gravy for our favorite small town boy! In this exclusive excerpt, Jefferson Lee faces off against one of the biggest challenges in Holly Creek: Gracie, the elderly owner of the town’s only diner.

“Oh my God. I forgot to tell you the worst part!”

Zane’s eyebrows rose, and he took another drink of coffee.

“Mr. Hartman said he got an eyeful of us and that we needed to close the blinds!”

At that, Zane’s smile dimmed. “What does that mean?”

“You know exactly what that means! He not only saw my butt when I was a baby, but now he’s seen it as a grown up. I’m—I can’t, Zane!”

Zane chuckled and squeezed Jefferson’s shoulder. “He can’t see that far into my house, darlin’. Stop panicking. He probably saw us kissing in the living room the other night. Remember when we—”

Jefferson covered Zane’s mouth with his hand. His cheeks heated, and he imagined they were turning as red as the checkered curtains covering the diner window behind him. “I remember very clearly.”

He removed his hand slowly when Zane didn’t seem inclined to continue. He forgot Zane’s patience as he spoke the moment Jefferson’s hand was free and clear. “Okay, so next time I put you up against the wall, I’ll make sure the blinds are closed first,” Zane said once he’d given Jefferson a heated glance that had him squirming in his seat.

“Glad you can think so clearly when we’re, you know.”

“Can’t even say it out loud?”

“No! What if Gracie heard me?”

Zane leaned in and whispered in Jefferson’s ear. “I liked fucking you against the wall. Your hot little hole squeezed me so tight.”

Jefferson shivered, and his jeans grew uncomfortably tight. “Stop that.”

“Gonna do it again tonight. Been imagining bending you over the back of the couch and making you scream.”

Fortunately Gracie herself arrived at the table carrying a tray with their food. She smiled at Zane and placed his plate down in front of him—fluffy scrambled eggs, three slices of bacon, and a little dish of grits. Zane beamed up at her.

With a glare, she slapped a plate down in front of Jefferson. “Egg white omelet with spinach and a side of fruit.”

Jefferson scowled, and she scowled back. “I wanted hash browns.”

“Want in one hand and crap in the other. See which one fills up first.”

“Gracie! That’s disgusting!”

“Uh-huh. If I hear you whine one more time about your jeans being tight, I’m going to whoop you. Now eat your healthy breakfast, and be happy I’m feeding you!”

Well, it looks like Gracie wins this round. To find out more about Holly Creek and it’s residents check out Dogwood Days and Spring Fever!


HollyCreekSpringFeverFSSpring Fever by Poppy Dennison
Series: Holly Creek
Release Date: 
April 1, 2016
Pages:
70 • Cover Artist: A.J. Corza Pages
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAmazon ARe • B&N

Holly Creek: Book Two

Jefferson Lee Davis, Holly Creek’s new Director of Publicity, is gearing up for the next big town event, the summer Rose Festival. The job is running smoothly, but the course of true love has hit a rocky patch. His hunky boyfriend, Sheriff Zane Yarbrough, is receiving mysterious phone calls he doesn’t want to discuss. While Jefferson Lee is blindsided by jealousy, the second shoe drops with the appearance of a handsome stranger in the small tight-knit community. Needing answers, Jefferson Lee enlists his best gal-pal Clover Crofton to help find out what secrets Zane is hiding. When they land themselves in more trouble than Jefferson Lee bargained for, he and Zane face the first big test of their relationship. Zane and Jefferson Lee must work through their trust issues if they’re going to make it as a couple, and Clover may just have a thing or two to learn herself.


Available April 1, 2016

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About Poppy Dennison

Add two parts sass and one part sweet and you have Poppy Dennison to T—sweet tea that is. Raised by a gaggle of Southern women who love reading and have backbones of steel, Poppy was brought up to see the best in people but always speak her mind. Mix it all together, like Grandma’s famous cobbler, and you get a sassy, Southern lady with a quick wit and loads of charm, who will soften any blow with “Bless your heart.” Her books reflect her small town roots, are filled with all the comforts of home, and come with side dish of spicy, because that’s the way she likes it.