Category Archives: LGBTQ+

Release Blitz: The Students of Barrenmoor Ridge | Jackson Marsh

The Students of Barrenmoor Ridge | Jackson Marsh

Barrenmoor Ridge #2

BANNER1 - The Students of Barrenmoor Ridge

Release Date: Monday, February 17 2020

Length: 86,000

Cover Artist: Andjela K

Buy Links:

Amazon Print

 Amazon US | Amazon CAN | Amazon UK

Amazon AUS | Amazon GER | Amazon FRN

Amazon SPN | Amazon ITA | Amazon NL

Amazon JAP | Amazon BZL | Amazon MX | Amazon IND |

COVER - The Students of Barrenmoor Ridge

Blurb

Liam has set himself a goal. To come out to his best friend, Casper, before his 18th birthday while hiking at Fellborough in the Yorkshire Dales.

Things don’t go according to plan, and when a violent storm hits, the camping trip takes a potentially fatal turn. Local mountaineers, John Hamilton and his husband Gary are called to help, but it soon becomes apparent that the rescue is more than physical. Liam and Casper both have secrets that when known, have the potential break or mend their hearts.

***

A mix of YA, romance and adventure, The Students of Barrenmoor Ridge brings back popular characters from the first Barrenmoor book in a familiar setting with love, mountaineering and the dangers of both.

The Mentor of Barrenmoor Ridge is the first book in the Barrenmoor Series of MM romances with a mountain rescue theme. ‘The Students’ takes place two years later, and it is better, but not vital, to read the stories in order.

BANNER2 - The Students of Barrenmoor Ridge

Excerpt

John was unable to sleep that night. The raging wind didn’t bother him even though the roof tiles rattled, and he knew the old yew tree would be creaking as it bent towards the lean-to. He was used to it and so was the cottage. It was well built.

Gary was curled up behind him, spooned in with one arm across John’s chest. The bedroom was warm, Gary’s presence warmer, and the pillows were soft. There was no reason sleep shouldn’t come, they were safe from the battering, cocooned in the perfect shelter of each other’s arms, and yet…

The scream of the wind as it charged them from the summit of Lhotse, the vibrations of the ground when an avalanche fell, the hiss of snow stinging the tent, and the mountain’s roar, all sounds he heard through the inconsequential force six doing its best to rattle the house. The bitter bite of memory gnawed at his mind for sure, but the main reason his thoughts leapt from the anesthetising approach of sleep to the worst conditions in the world had nothing to do with the past.

There were people out there now, at Everest, yes, but also on the fells. The team were over at Northpeak and they’d picked a fine night for training, but closer to home, there were hikers and climbers huddled beneath inadequate canvas hoping their pegging was sound and wishing the night would end. Daylight might bring security, but it didn’t guarantee good weather, and it was still hours away. A lot could happen. The storm had worsened to a frightening zenith before the thunder abated slightly, but still he couldn’t sleep. The lessening conditions meant the eye of the storm was overhead, and there would be more, possibly worse, to follow.

He pictured the fell from above, seeing through the agitated clouds to the swamped ground a mile below. Lit by lightning bursts, he imagined it as waves frozen in mid-roll with Fellborough peak a crest and the lower terrain its ripples. Peppered around it were insignificant dots of inappropriate colour, the shop-bought, budget tents of the unwary trembling against the elements.

He had pictured the scene on many nights as he lay listening to the conditions and wating for the MRT radio to spark into life, or for his pager to double-beep the call sign, but tonight he was seeing it more clearly, as if it was unfolding on a widescreen television in high definition. Unaffected by the storm, he floated above it, watching over its potential victims, safe at his altitude and apart. The unhinged tempest beneath blasted from one insane thought to another, swiping at anything in its path, but John was safe, hovering on a warm updraft that dulled him towards the soft paws of sleep.

Until he fell.

Security gone. No handholds, no rope, only the empty space between him and the life-taking certainty of rock.

Gasping, he opened his eyes as his body jerked. The clock glowed one-forty-seven, and Gary had rolled away leaving him exposed and vulnerable. The pager was silent, and John was safe in his bed, but a few miles away, people might be battling for their lives, and all he could do was wait.

The rain no longer stung when it swiped Liam’s face, his flesh was too numb to register the pain. The torch beam was nothing more than a thread through barely penetrable blackness, but it showed him the ground a few steps at a time.

That was all he needed to do, take it slowly using common sense and exercising caution. The tent had been facing west, and he found the way down from the ledge between two large boulders with no trouble. Straight on to the south, he met the path. Over to his left, the lightning was now on the horizon, and the wind was swooping down from the fell on his right. If the storm didn’t change direction, it would keep him on course, and the path, now more like a stream, was marked here and there by cairns. With the wind to one side and the dying lightning to the other, he only needed to keep going downhill until he met the riverbed. If it was flooded, he’d wade straight through to if he had to.

It was his fault that Casper was in trouble. Whatever had made him go out unprotected in the storm, and whatever had happened next didn’t matter. There was nothing that could be done to change that, all that mattered now was finding someone who could save him. Repercussions of a bad decision would come, and Liam would deserve them – unprepared, inexperienced, thinking he knew what he was doing… Why hadn’t he just taken Casper down to the beach at home to tell him? Why drag him halfway up the country and make him climb a hill to ruin their friendship? He could have done that weeks ago had he not been such a ridiculous romantic. There was nothing romantic about destroying their friendship and leaving his best friend shivering to death on…

He yelled at himself to stop. Beating himself up wouldn’t do any good. He had to concentrate on his footing, and pretend he knew what he was doing. Casper needed him to be strong, to be wise, to take only a course of action that would lead to rescue, everything else had to wait.

Not knowing how far he had descended, he stopped and took out his phone. Sheltering it as best he could against his chest, he switched it on only to find no signal and the battery bar now glowing red. The phone back in his pocket, the torch aimed at the path, his head down, he continued.

The rain was easing off, that was a blessing, but the gale roared in his ears, low and booming one moment, high-pitched the next. As uncoordinated as his frozen feet, as wild as the anger he turned in on himself, it would not leave him alone. It taunted and jabbed as it bullied, and in the cacophony, he imagined laughter, spiteful and insulting, but deserved.

Another sound grew closer on a rumbling vibration beneath his feet, and a few paces further, he came to the edge of the riverbed.

Except now there was no bed, only river as thousands of gallons of water teamed from the blackness on his right to vanish back into the night on his left. The torch lit foam spewing around rocks in untamed channels that bubbled wildly and fast across his path. There was no way to judge the depth, and no way of knowing if the rocks that stood above the surface were stable, but equally, there was no time to think about it. Squinting through dripping eyelashes and aiming his light, it was impossible to see how wide it was either, but he knew for certain that there was no way to go up and around. Downhill, it could flow east for miles and take him off his path. The only way was through, and he knew he might not survive.

About The Author

AUTHOR PIC - The Students of Barrenmoor Ridge - Jackson Marsh

Jackson Marsh is a British born author of novels and screenplays.

Jackson has a background of theatre, cabaret and music and yet holds a social policy degree. He was born on the Romney Marshes in Kent, UK, but now lives on a mountainous Greek island. During the 1980s in London he campaigned for gay rights and performed political satire cabaret, writing song and reviews, appearing at Pride events, national venues and on television.

He moved to Greece in 2002 and married his partner there in 2017. He has won awards for his gay erotic writing, and in 2007, won a European-wide award for short stories. In 2017, he won awards for his screenplay writing.

Jackson is the author of ‘The Clearwater Mysteries’, and also writes fiction under the name James Collins.

Author Website: www.jacksonmarsh.com

Author Facebook (Personal): https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002130420544

Author Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/jacksonmarshauthor/

Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/CollinsWords26

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17332953.Jackson_Marsh

Author QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/jackson-marsh/

Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Jackson-Marsh/e/B077LDT5ZL/

Giveaway

Jackson is giving away a $20 Amazon gift card with this tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

LOGO - Other Worlds Ink

Release Blitz: Cancer Ships Aquarius by Anyta Sunday

Cancer Ships Aquarius | Anyta Sunday

Signs of Love #5

Release Date: February 17, 2020

Buy Links:

https://www.anytasunday.com/#cancer-ships-aquarius

CancerShipsAquarius-f

 Blurb

Prepare to dip your toe into the biggest adventure of your life, Cancer. There’s romance in the air, and it smells deliciously salty.

Dumped by the fifth girl in two years and abandoned by his best friends, Reid Glover is alone and in need of a home.

Desperate, he interviews to become a live-in manny aboard widowed Sullivan Bell’s yacht, the Aquarian.

The job? Not to look after thirteen-year-old Joanna. No, this child-mastermind needs Reid to befriend her dad, urge him to participate more in family life, encourage him to date, oh, and become his closest confidant and help him unleash his bottled emotions.

No pressure.

At least he’s not entirely out of his depth.

Okay, so he may have a slight aversion to the ocean. And possibly attract more than his fair share of misadventure.

But he is a pro at crying.

Watch out, Sullivan. Reid is on his way with a family-sized carton of tissues. He will help Sullivan through his fears. Will help him find love again.

Will absolutely not fall for him in the process . . .

Caution, Cancer, how long will you fool yourself?

Cancer Ships Aquarius GraphicExcerpt

Reid dragged his gaze over every damn inch of Sullivan. The hard jaw, that corded neck, those arms that flexed as he folded his arms over his whistle, the hint of defined abs denting his shirt, those solid thighs. He prodded a finger against Sullivan’s stomach—yep, definitely washboard. “Nope. You’re meat lovers, through and through.”

A curious flush speckled the base of Sullivan’s neck. “This will be a meat-lover free year.” Sullivan’s blue gaze tickled over Reid’s face in earnest. “No matter the temptation.”

Reid held his gaze. “I’ll try but what if I’m weak?”

About the Author

AnytaSunday_Author_Photo_small-225x300

A bit about me, Anyta Sunday: I’m a big, BIG fan of slow-burn romances. I love to read and write stories with characters who slowly fall in love.

Some of my favorite tropes to read and write are: Enemies to Lovers, Friends to Lovers, Clueless Guys, Bisexual, Pansexual, Demisexual, Oblivious MCs, Everyone (Else) Can See It, Slow Burn, Love Has No Boundaries.

I write a variety of stories, Contemporary MM Romances with a good dollop of angst, Contemporary lighthearted MM Romances, and even a splash of fantasy.

My books have been translated into German, Italian, French, Spanish, and Thai.

Social Media

Author website: http://www.anytasunday.com/

Author newsletter signup: http://www.anytasunday.com/newsletter-free-e-book/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/SlowBurnSundays/

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/anytasunday

Instagram: https://instagram.com/anytasunday

BookBub: https://bookbub.com/authors/anyta-sunday

Giveaway

Win 1 set of all five paperbacks of the “Signs of Love” series by Anyta Sunday, or 1 of 3 sets of the e-books.

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

CsA_GreatLoveIsAnAdventure

Release Blitz: Under Siege by Katey Hawthorne

Under Siege | Katey Hawthorne

Superpowered Love #9

UnderSiege RDB Banner Final

Release date: 17.02.20

Universal Link:

mybook.to/Under_Siege

Under Siege Cover

Blurb

After shaking off a toxic boyfriend, admissions counselor and activist Kieran returns to his safe place: the lake house. Andrew and Gabriel have welcomed him there as an occasional third in their bed since they got together, and nothing could be more comforting. Kieran knows it’s not a long-term situation for him, but Andrew and Gabriel have other ideas.

Just when everyone’s settled, Andrew and Gabriel’s unspecified law enforcement work brings Rocco, a mysterious figure fond of long skirts and heavy metal, into their protective custody. Though no one can tell Kieran what kind of trouble Rocco’s in, the two get closer and closer until their mutual attraction is too much to deny. To start a real, honest relationship, Rocco will have to come clean about his big, superpowered secret.

Before they can find their way to happily ever after, though, Rocco’s trouble shows up to lay siege to the lake house. Maybe, if they can fight their way out, Rocco can be free to live and love Kieran once and for all.

Excerpt

“Your hair’s so silky.”

“You’ll make me vain.”

“You deserve to be.” I started brushing his locks in long, gentle strokes. The same instinct that had told me not to push my luck earlier pinged again, though, and so I went back to the former subject: “Historical-era Marry, Fuck, Kill. Or if you’re not into marriage, fucking, or murder, we could change one of those to ‘befriend’ or even—”

“Marriage, fucking, and murder are cool.” Rocco sounded amused. “Well, okay, no, murder is not cool, but for the purposes of a game, sure. Where to first?”

I started finger-combing idly as I considered. “You said eighteenth century. Let’s do that first. Lemme think… Okay, got it: Mozart, Marie Antoinette, Ben Franklin.”

“Fuck Ben Franklin—heard he was an old perv,” Rocco replied immediately.

“Totes.”

“Murder Marie Antoinette, because fuck the monarchy.”

“Zero sympathy,” I agreed.

“Marry Mozart. To be in the presence of a genius, right?”

“He sounds high maintenance, but I’d probably pick the same.”

Rocco chuckled.

I realized I wasn’t actually doing anything but playing with his hair, even if he wasn’t complaining. I should probably do something about that—

He cut into my internal monologue with, “I got an idea. I just gotta check some dates.” Thankfully, Andrew had smuggled him that burner phone after all, once he’d made Rocco promise to use it only for general web surfing. It didn’t have any money on it, so it was basically a wifi-only iPod.

I smiled and started applying some hair gel to sections and combing it through carefully. After a few seconds, he said, “William Wallace, Genghis Khan, Eleanor of Aquitaine,” he said.

“Wait, which one was she?” I asked.

“Queen of England, married to Henry II. Her kids were Richard the Lionheart and Bad King John.”

“Oh, Katharine Hepburn in The Lion in Winter,” I said.

“Exactly!”

“Obviously marry Eleanor. Amazing,” I said. “I love a fierce lady who fucks up her kids that hard.”

“Right on,” he replied.

“Ummm…fuck Genghis Khan. That’d be a wild ride. No, wait, I can’t murder William

Wallace. Scotland would hate me. This is a hard one.”

He laughed, and I realized that was exactly why he’d done it. “Think of it as Mel Gibson.”

“Okay, yeah, we’re murdering Wallace.” I asked, “What era is this anyhow?”

“High Middle Ages,” he replied.

“Fancy.”

“Thank you, Wikipedia.”

“I got one,” I said, tugging at his hair to get it to lie down flat. I needed it to dry a little before I could tease it up. That had to be how to get the bouffant look, right? “Madonna, Janet Jackson, David Bowie.”

“Oh god, eighties, why?”

“Don’t tell Andrew you said that.”

“Okay, okay, uh…” He paused. “Marry Janet, fuck David, kill Madonna.”

Really don’t tell Andrew that last part. Though he’d approve of the Bowie thing.”

“Who wouldn’t?”

“No one who saw Labyrinth.”

SuperpoweredLoveSeries

Series Link:

http://www.kateyhawthorne.com/p/under-siege.html

About The Author

Katey Hawthorne is an avid reader and writer of superpowered and paranormal romance, even though the only degree she holds is in the history of art. (Or, possibly, because the only degree she holds is in the history of art.)

Originally from the Appalachian foothills of West Virginia, she currently lives in Ohio with her family, two cats, and two huge puppies. In her spare time she enjoys travel, comic books, B-movies, loud music, video games, Epiphones, and Bushmills. Her favorite causes include animal rescue and bisexual representation in media.

She is an unashamed fangirl and collects nerdy tattoos like she’s trying to prove it.

Social Media

http://www.kateyhawthorne.com

https://www.facebook.com/katey.hawthorne.33

https://www.facebook.com/groups/kateyhawthornes/

http://hawthornetaylor.tumblr.com/

https://twitter.com/hawthornetaylor

https://www.instagram.com/hawthornekatey/

http://www.kateyhawthorne.com/p/newsletter.html

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Vibrant Promotions Logo (1)

Under Siege Blurb

 

Book Blast: Embracing His Syn by A.E. Via

Embracing His Syn | AE Via

Nothing Special Series #2

Embracing His Syn Book Blast Banner

Release Date: July 28, 2014

Universal Buy Link:

http://mybook.to/Embracing_His_Syn

Embracing His Syn Cover

Blurb

Sergeant Corbin ‘Syn’ Sydney had dedicated his life to becoming the best detective. So when he heard there was an opening on the notorious Atlanta Narcotics Task Force, he jumped at the chance.

But, what he wasn’t ready for was realizing just how lonely he’d made himself, when he observed the loving and dedicated relationship between the two men he served under: Lieutenant Cashel ‘God’ Godfrey and Lieutenant Leonidis Day.

Syn prepared himself to accept his lonely fate until he walked into a small pub and met the long-haired, tattooed bartender, Furious Barkley. Before Syn can even understand why, he’s overcome with feelings he barely recognizes: passion, yearning, craving. And if the dark, lustful gazes are anything to go by, Furious might be feeling the same things for him.

Just two things need to happen before Syn and Furi can give each other what’s been missing from their lives for so long… Syn needs to find the evidence that proves Furi’s innocence of murder, as well as protect him from a past that refuses to let go.

God, Day, Ronowski, and Johnson are still as entertaining as ever…

You’ll swoon over God’s massive take-charge attitude…

You’ll laugh hysterically at Day’s never-ending wit…

You’ll fall in love with Furious’ mysterious, sexy demeanor…

and…

You’ll embrace Syn…

Disclaimer: The main characters of this book DO NOT participate in polygamous sexual pairings.

Embracing His Syn Promo 4

Excerpt

Syn paid his tab for the one beer and left the pub. Somehow making love in an elevator didn’t appeal to him anymore. If he was being honest, women in general rarely did. He’d always felt they were more of a distraction than anything and he’d had very little time for distractions while focusing on his career. Syn looked up and down the street, about to cross to his building when a familiar figure caught his eye just a half-block up.

Furious. That’s what the man in the pub had called him. Interesting name.

Syn detoured and headed in that direction. His body completely ignoring what his brain was screaming. He just looks like him … this is not the same. Syn walked slowly, Furious wasn’t going anywhere since he appeared to be waiting for the bus. He watched a billow of smoke emerge from full, pink lips. Smoking. It was a filthy habit, but somehow, Furious made it look kind of hot. Syn was just a few feet away and saw that Furious had ear buds in, his hands tucked into the pockets of his jacket, head hanging down and all that hair falling over his beautiful face.

Beautiful face. Syn watched the man remove the cigarette from his lips.

“Uh oh. Stranger danger.”

Syn looked behind him but no one was there.

“I mean you. You just gonna stand there and stare, man?” Furious raised his head and turned slowly, pinning Syn with a hot glance.

“Name’s –”

“Yeah. I know your name, you told me already.” Furious cut him off. “Your cologne will give you away every time.”

Syn stepped a little closer. “Does it smell that bad?”

“Nope. Smells that good,” he said on an exhale of smoke.

Nothing Special Series Promo 1

Nothing Special Series Link

mybook.to/NothingSpecialSeries

About The Author

AEVia-Logo-JayAheer2015-white-black-Large

A.E. Via has been a best-selling author in the beautiful gay romance genre for six years now, but she’s no stranger to MM. She’s been an avid reader of gay lit for over fifteen years before she picked up her laptop to place her own kiss on this genre. She’s also the founder and owner of Via Star Wings Books, having published a couple great new up and coming MM authors.

A.E. has a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from Virginia Wesleyan College that she used to start her own paralegal firm after she graduated in 2008. She spent five years preparing and filing bankruptcy petitions for struggling blue collar workers who couldn’t afford to file with a lawyer. It was a rewarding and satisfying career… but another path called to her.

Writing.

A.E.’s novels embodies everything from hopelessly romantic to adventure, to scandalous. Her stories often include intriguing edges and twists that take readers to new, thought-provoking depths.

She’s recently celebrated her 20th book anniversary, and is kind of known now for her hardcore, play rough and love hard, bad boy, alphas. However, she does like to push herself to step out of her comfort zone, exploring different tropes, but she won’t push herself into a whole other genre. She’s head over heels for gay romance and she has tons of more hot stories to tell.

Be sure to visit Adrienne on her social media pages and subscribe to her newsletter to never miss another release date! Go to A.E. Via’s official website http://authoraevia.com for more detailed information on how to contact her, follow her, or a sneak peek at upcoming work, free reads, VSWB submissions, and where she’ll appear next.

Social Media

Amazon Author Page: http://bit.ly/AuthorAEVia

Author Official Website: http://authoraevia.com

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/aeviaauthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorAEVia

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7354860.A_E_Via

A.E. Newsletter Signup: https://goo.gl/4hfuMh

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Vibrant Promotions Logo (1)

Embracing His Syn - Teaser 1

New Release Blitz: The Weight of Living by M.A. Hinkle

The Weight of Living by M.A. Hinkle

Cherrywood Grove #3

The Weight of Living Banner

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: February 17, 2020

Heat Level: 1 – No Sex

Pairing: Female/Female

Length: 79,500

Buy Links:

NineStar Press | Amazon

Smashwords

Barnes & Noble | Kobo

 Add to Goodreads

TheWeightofLiving-f500

 Blurb

When she arrives in Cherrywood Grove for a working vacation, shy photographer Trisha Ivy expects to kick back and relax, enjoying her last summer of freedom before turning into a real adult with a mortgage and a nine-to-five.

After all, her real life is back in Chicago with her best friend Bella, not a sleepy small town. But Trisha keeps running into beautiful, confident Gabi Gonzalez, a caterer working all the same weddings…and she’s the daughter of Trisha’s favorite local TV star. Trisha can’t resist getting to know her. After all, she’s only in town for the summer, and Gabi is straight. What harm could it do?

Gabi Gonzalez has spent most of her life trying to escape Cherrywood Grove and find something bigger and better. During an internship in Milwaukee, she thought she’d finally found it. But after her father’s sudden death, she returns home and tries to squeeze back into the same childhood roles: kid sister, cool aunt, tireless worker.

She’s just resigned herself to going through the motions when she meets Trisha, someone who finally sees Gabi for her own self instead of putting her in a box. Can Gabi open up to Trisha about what she really wants before Trisha leaves town for good?

Excerpt

The Weight of Living
M.A. Hinkle © 2020
All Rights Reserved

June
2015, Three Months Before: The Time Gabi Was a Grumpy Tomatillo

Gabi had expected Soledad to laugh when she came in the room, and she was not disappointed. “What is your outfit?” Soledad asked, putting her hands on her hips. “I didn’t even know you owned a dress.”

Gabi busied herself rolling up the sleeves of her cardigan. She had short-sleeved ones, but none of them had been washed recently, so they smelled musty like the closet at her parents’ house. When she left for her internship, she’d only brought blazers. “I own several, as it happens. You remember how I used to dress. This is for business.”

Soledad glanced at her own outfit—a bright, short-sleeved button-down and her favorite gold chain. Gabi would have called it a self-conscious look if she didn’t know Soledad so well. “Well, sorry, I thought this was a TV show, not a board meeting.”

The twist to her voice was surprisingly nervous, and Gabi glanced at her again. “You don’t have to change. You look great.”

The idea of Soledad looking anything but great—except maybe elbow deep in week-old fryer grease—was unfathomable. Soledad’s hair was always sleek and freshly gelled; her shirts were always bright as jewels against her brown skin.

But she still didn’t relax; she was twisting the gold chain between her fingers, a gesture usually reserved for long talks on the phone with her latest girlfriend.

“You look fine,” Gabi repeated. “I have to dress this way to make my parents happy. You saw how my mom reacted when she noticed my short hair.” She affected a high-pitched voice, which sounded nothing like her mother but made the point. “‘Ay, mija, tu pelo! What did you do to yourself?’”

Soledad winced. “I thought I wasn’t supposed to remember.”

“She didn’t mean it.” Though Gabi’s mother certainly had. Gabi’s hair hadn’t been shorter than shoulder-length since a classmate rubbed gum in it in kindergarten. “Anyway, it’s too late to change, so they can’t say anything even if they want to.”

Gabi’s parents wouldn’t say a word. From the moment they laid eyes on Soledad, they had adored her. They’d spent the whole weekend hanging on her every word and laughing hysterically at her jokes.

Gabi clapped Soledad on the back. Touching her so casually seemed strange, but no stranger than Soledad’s nerves. She hadn’t even blinked when one of the guys in their internship group nearly cut off a finger slicing ham. “Come on, chill. This really isn’t a big deal.”

“Easy for you to say.” Soledad let Gabi nudge her toward the kitchen anyway. Today, they were filming in the big industrial kitchen on campus, which Gabi had hoped would put Soledad at ease, but no dice. “You’ve been on TV since you were, like, five.”

“Six.”

Soledad shot her a look, but before she could tell Gabi off, Gabi’s father Carlos swept into the room. As usual, several members of the crew trailed him trying to get his attention, but Carlos ignored them, making a beeline for Gabi’s side. He gave her a loud smacking kiss on the cheek, and Gabi dutifully rolled her eyes. She’d missed it since she’d been away for almost a year now, but her dad would get a big head if she let him know.

“There’s my girl. Or one of them, anyway.” He turned to Soledad. “I’m outnumbered, and it only keeps getting worse. I prayed and prayed Soledad would have a boy, but alas. Oh well. There’s always you, Gabi.”

“Not planning on kids, Dad,” said Gabi.

He draped an arm around her shoulders. “You haven’t met the right man yet, mija. I thought I would be a bachelor forever too, but here I am.”

Soledad snorted, and Gabi’s father wagged a finger at her. “Your opinion does not count, Señorita Rivera! Although when Sarah’s old enough, I will appreciate your help vetting her choice of woman.”

Gabi caught Soledad’s eye, both of them startled. Sarah was only seventeen, and their internship was nearly over. They hadn’t discussed the future, but it probably didn’t involve either of them hanging out in Cherrywood Grove.

Before Gabi had to figure out how to drop any bombshells on her father, Sarah popped up at his elbow. “Abuelo, I’ve already had three girlfriends.”

“Si, si, mijita, I know, but high school does not count.”

Sarah puffed up, a sure sign she was going to lecture all of them on exactly how serious she could be. And also, probably ageism or something. Gabi would have to step in. She loved watching Sarah unleash herself, and so did Carlos, but they were on a tight schedule today.

“Sarah, you said yourself you broke up with them because they weren’t mature enough for you.”

Sarah’s shoulders relaxed. “It’s true, I suppose. But Abuelo’s right about your boyfriends, Gabi. They were all garbage.”

Soledad did nothing to hide her smirk. Gabi pretended not to notice.

Carlos let go of Gabi, but only so he could pull Sarah to his side instead. “Now, have you got notes for me, hmm?”

“Yep.” Sarah held up her binder, labeled Talk of the Town in her impeccable handwriting. “Although I still couldn’t decide on one part. I know you said you didn’t like this line—” She flipped through the pages until she found one highlighted in blue. “—but I couldn’t think of a better substitute. Yours doesn’t roll off the tongue.”

“Ah! Lucky for us, our resident tiebreaker is here!” He reached out for Gabi again, holding one girl in each arm.

Soledad caught Gabi’s eye, her hand covering her mouth to hide a laugh.

Gabi made a face at her to indicate, I will deal with you later. To her father, she said, “Okay, okay, let me see.”

Her father passed her the binder. The line in question was a scientific explanation about egg proteins. Sarah’s version involved the actual names; Carlos’s was more simplistic. He never liked to go into too much detail in case it lost people’s attention. But his was patronizingly vague.

“Sarah’s is better,” Gabi declared. “But ditch the scientific terms. Call them proteins. We can put a graphic up with their proper names in a post if it’ll bother you so much.”

“It will,” said Sarah, though not as sharply as usual since she’d won the argument. “Don’t go anywhere, Abuelo. I have more notes.”

Gabi took the chance to duck out from under her father’s arm. Soledad was clearly still ill at ease, which would make for a stiff and uninteresting performance. And Gabi was the resident problem-solver, after all.

“Good, good, let’s talk.” Carlos touched Gabi’s elbow before she managed to slip away completely. “Oh, Gabriela, your sister was looking for you.”

Gabi waited until Carlos walked away, an arm still around Sarah’s shoulders, before letting out a disgusted sigh. “Of course she is.”

“Rosa’s pretty cool.” Soledad was only trying to tweak Gabi’s nose, but Gabi could never resist the bait.

“And beautiful and talented and blah blah blah.” Gabi adjusted the sleeves of her cardigan again, already sliding down. She’d forgotten how fussy feminine clothes were. “You only like her because you think she’s hot.”

“And you’re only cranky because she’s older than you and can challenge your authority.”

“Don’t you start rubbing in the age difference. My parents are bad enough. I can only handle being called their little surprise so many times in one week. And you wonder why I needed a break.”

Gabi shooed Soledad out the door over to the prep area, where Gabi’s sister, Rosa, was bent over a row of papier-mâché tomatillos painted with faces. Despite the barely dry paint, she was wearing a far fancier dress than Gabi’s, tied with a sash at her waist emphasizing her curves. If Gabi wore a similar dress, she’d look flat as a board. Or like Frankenstein’s monster.

Soledad tilted her head. “Are these supposed to be your family?” she asked, picking up one with Carlos’s distinctive broad nose.

“Oh, of course! And there’s you over here.” Rosa picked up one tucked behind the others with Soledad’s dimple in her left cheek. “You can take it home after the shoot if you’d like. A little memento. Otherwise, it’ll end up lost in Papá’s house somewhere. He’s less organized than I am.”

Gabi found her own. “Why am I frowning?”

“You’re unripe, obviously. Papá wanted some models to demonstrate how to shop for fresh tomatillos. See, he’s bruised, and Mamá is overripe.”

“You have way too much fun with this stuff.”

“Are you kidding me? She’s living the dream.” Soledad gently replaced her tomatillo next to Gabi’s. “Hell yeah I’m taking my mini-me home.”

“We’ll have to find a safe spot so your roommates don’t trash her.” Gabi poked Rosa’s arm. “Now what did you want me for?”

“What did I want you for?” Rosa tapped her cheek and then brightened. “Ah. Yes. Carry this, please? I’d ask one of the tech guys to help, but something always ends up broken.” She pointed at a box of miscellaneous props. “Also, it’s your turn to hide the armadillo. Several times over, but we’ll let it slide.”

“Can I do it?” Soledad asked, picking through the box. “It’s my favorite part.” She found it near the bottom and held it up, grinning. It was one of Rosa’s first props for the show and thus a little worse for wear, but it still worked.

“You have to be sneaky. Dad keeps his eyes peeled better than you’d think.” Gabi started to pick up the prop box, but her sleeves had slipped down again. She growled and shrugged off her cardigan.

“Bare arms? The scandal!” Soledad winked at her.

“I’m simply glad she’s wearing real clothes again,” said Rosa absently, picking up a tiny paintbrush to touch up a detail on Carlos’s tomatillo. “I have no idea where you got the outfit you arrived in, mi amor, but it should have been burned.”

Gabi caught Soledad’s eye and mouthed, I told you so. She grabbed the box. “Stop messing with those. We’ll need them sooner than you think.”

“All right, all right.” Rosa stepped back. “I’ll be there in a moment.”

“If you aren’t on set in five, I’m sending one of the tech guys here.”

Rosa flapped a hand at her, already inspecting another tomatillo to doubtless make a minuscule change no one else would notice, even in HD.

Rolling her eyes, Gabi nodded at the doorway, and Soledad headed out first, though she lingered in the hallway instead of walking right back into the kitchen.

“Getting cold feet after all?” Gabi asked, though she could never imagine Soledad intimidated. Then again, she’d never imagined her nervous either. “Say the word and you can leave. It’s not going to mess anything up.”

“Don’t be silly. This is awesome. It’s—” Soledad traced the swirling patterns painted on the armadillo, her expression thoughtful. When she spoke, her voice had softened. “You’re lucky, you know? I wasn’t sure what to think when you invited me to visit, but your family’s as good as it looks from the outside. It’s pretty cool. You’re so much less awkward here.”

Gabi adjusted her grip on the box, unsure what to say. She and Soledad rarely discussed personal topics. She wasn’t even sure why she’d invited Soledad to come visit during their break. Soledad was the only one without family to visit over the holidays, yes, but she’d been excited for the break from her roommates. Her own parents were nothing to write home about.

“I guess,” Gabi said, when the silence threatened to turn strange between them. It happened sometimes, both of them holding their breath for no reason Gabi could make sense of. “I’ve never thought about it.”

Soledad’s expression didn’t change. “I’m not surprised. It makes you even luckier.” As fast as it came, her mood passed, and she lifted her head, flashing Gabi one of her signature cocky grins. “It’s your job to distract your papá while I hide this.”

Gabi grinned back. “I see how it is. I’m always stuck playing the sidekick.”

“Damn straight you are.”

When they got back to the main filming area, Carlos had apparently decided on the finalized version of the script and settled on a good area to film the intro. Sarah waved them over to the corner, out of frame.

“Are we interrupting something?” Soledad whispered. She’d gone tense again, and now it was too late to do anything to loosen her up. Oh well. Most of the guests were bad on camera too.

“He’s not started yet. Trust me, you’ll know when.” Gabi sat in a folding chair beside Sarah; Soledad turned hers around and propped her arms on the back, as was her way.

“They’re only testing the acoustics in this room right now,” Sarah said, making notes in a different, rainbow-colored binder. “It’ll be a while before anything interesting happens.”

Still, they all quieted when someone called for silence, and the cameraman counted down like they were truly filming. Soledad leaned forward in her chair, mouthing the words along with Carlos: “¡Hola! I’m Carlos Gonzalez, and you’re not, coming to you live from the greatest kitchen in the world.”

They had recently tweaked the intro for this episode, and Gabi ought to have paid attention. Yet she found herself watching Soledad, her eyes bright with excitement, and when Carlos forgot a line and the whole crew broke up in laughter, Gabi realized she hadn’t heard a word he said.

Meet the Author

M.A. Hinkle swears a lot and makes jokes at inappropriate times, so she writes about characters who do the same thing.

She’s also worked as an editor and proofreader for the last eight years, critiquing everything from graduate school applications to romance novels.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Button 2

The Weight of Living Now Available

Another wonderfully complex historical adventure with queer notes

50751264._SX318_SY475_The Lost Future of Pepperharrow by Natasha Pulley

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’m not sure just quite how to review this book.

It’s such a complex narrative, wrapping a number of different threads together to create a rich mix of historical fiction with a steampunk style and a quiet bit of queer romance.

There’s no spoilers here, it would utterly ruin the beautiful way Natasha Pulley’s sequel to the truly brilliant The Watchmaker of Filigree Street, slowly gives up its secrets.

My heart was in my mouth on many occasions. The title itself a nod to a plot line which turns out to be quite heartbreaking in it’s own way.

Taking events from actual history and intertwining them with the characters of Thaniel and Keito gives the reader a real sense of place, coupled with the almost mystical nature of the electrical experimentation.

While her second book, The Bedlam Stacks was just as beautifully written, it didn’t capture me like these two have.

I was so very pleased to be asked to review this one by Bloomsbury and it lived up to all my expectations.

I really hope there’s another trip to come which will let the reader linger a while longer with this pair and their adopted daughter Six.

#ARC kindly received from the publishers via NetGalley in return for an honest and unbiased review.

View all my reviews

New Release Blitz: Behind the Sun, Above the Moon Anthology

Behind the Sun, Above the Moon Anthology   | Multiple Authors

Behind the Sun Banner

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: February 17, 2020

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: M/NB, F/NB

Length: 91,300

Buy Link:

NineStar Press | Amazon

Smashwords

Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Add to Goodreads

BehindtheSun-500

Blurb

A Queer anthology inspired by magic and the cosmos, a vast and beautiful place where planets, stars, comets—entire galaxies, even—live without borders, specifications or binaries.

Stories span science fiction, science fantasy, contemporary, fabulism and magical realism, and celebrate Non-binary and Transgender characters.

twice-spent comet
On an isolated asteroid, Fer serves out their sentence with a found family of ramshackle criminals. Life takes an exciting turn when they befriend Ophelia, a beautiful humanoid creature with a tail like a comet.

From Dusk to Dying Sun
Jay Morrison almost believes the rumors of magic and mischief haunting the US-50. But their partner, Luis Inoa, has made a career guarding the dusty Nevada trails. According to him, the only scary things on the highway are the silences, until a group of tourists break open the sun and disappear into a fiery blaze.

Lost/Found
When Hollis Griffin, a lonely sex worker living in Venice Beach, forms an unlikely friendship with a fallen star, she begins to face the truth about her life, her past, and what the future holds.

Awry with Dandelions
For thirty seconds every night, a disembodied specter named Mette visits with Orin who has long since written the ghost woman off as a recurring dream. But when Mette suggests meeting in real life, Orin’s inner world turns out to be more substantial than imaginary, and xie embarks on a journey to discover the truth of Mette and their strange connection.

The Far Touch
A long-standing coven of witches trek to their sacred space and accidentally discover life on another planet when their Solstice celebration interferes with a lone practitioner.

Ink and Stars
Locked in a contract to steal their ex-lovers ship, Chaz Neoma comes face to face with consequences, lost partnership, and the chance at a future, after discovering they aren’t the last Weaver in the universe.

Horologium
In the far reaches of the Horologium Supercluster, an astronaux is stranded alone on a long-distance astral ship where they’re visited by three apparitions, telling stories of ancestors who traveled space before them. Coeie must decide whether to follow the ghosts of the past, or forge their own path through the cosmos.

Death Marked
As chief security officer in the Lunar Guard, Enzi is in charge of the security for their sister’s coming of age ceremony. A fragile relationship with their family doesn’t make keeping Ulsa safe any easier, and neither does a group of pesky drones or a hidden plot to overthrow their sister’s place in the family.

Weave the Dark, Weave the Light
On a crisp night, Ari, a supposed elemental witch, meets Jonathan Aster, a powerful being they desperately want to understand. As they explore an intense, intimate and passionate relationship, Ari unearths long-hidden mysteries about themself and their magic.

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

IndiGo Badge

Behind the Sun Now Available

« Older Entries Recent Entries »