Category Archives: Release Publicity: LGBTQ+

Release Blitz: Inside Affair by Ella Frank

Inside Affair | Ella Frank

Prime Time #1

Release Date: May 27th, 2020

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Blurb

Xander

If I had to describe Sean Bailey, it would be: a surly, temperamental pain in my ass. Never in that equation would I ever include the word boyfriend—and not just because he’s straight.

The older brother of my life-long best friend, Sean is a detective for the Chicago PD, and is also known as Detective “Dick” for being…well, a surly, temperamental pain in everyone’s ass. He also happens to be the best they have, which is why I find myself on his doorstep the night my life is threatened by an anonymous stalker.

I only wanted the name of a bodyguard; I didn’t expect for Sean to volunteer for the job. Now, not only do I have a bodyguard, I also have a fake boyfriend.

Sean

It must be so hard to be Alexander Thorne, the number one prime-time news anchor in the country, with millions of dollars and a car that costs more than my house. I mean, I’m allowed to give him a hard time about it, but when some creep decides to cross the line and go after him, they’re gonna have to answer to me.

Going undercover has never been an issue in the past, so I don’t see why there’d be a problem now. Xander and I have known each other for years, so this should be a breeze. Except suddenly my stomach’s flipping when he looks my way, and my body comes alive whenever he brushes by me. I know I’m good at my job and playing a character and all, but this is getting out of hand.

I can’t be sure that either of us are playing anymore.

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About The Author

Ella Frank is the USA Today Bestselling Author of the Temptation series, including Try, Take, and Trust and is the co-author of the fan-favorite erotic serial, Sex Addict. Her Exquisite series has been praised as “scorching hot!” and “enticingly sexy!”

A life-long fan of the romance genre, Ella writes contemporary and erotic fiction.

Some of her favorite authors include Tiffany Reisz, Kresley Cole, Riley Hart, J.R. Ward, Erika Wilde, Gena Showalter, and Carly Philips.

Social Media

Facebook: http://bit.ly/2sYAgNc

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Stay up to date with Ella by joining her mailing list: http://bit.ly/2FFDzeI

Website: https://www.ellafrank.com

Join Ella and Brooke’s Facebook reader group, Brooke and Ella’s Naughty Umbrella: http://bit.ly/36KdvLx

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New Release Blitz: The Loyal Whispers by Kathryn Sommerlot

The Loyal Whispers | Kathryn Sommerlot

The Life Siphon #3

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Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: May 25, 2020

Heat Level: 1 – No Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 78,900

Buy Links:

NineStar Press | Amazon

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Blurb

Ravee: a pious Rad-em merchant’s daughter sailing with her family’s goods

Mairi: the Runonian king’s advisor seeing the outside world for the first time

Alesh: an alchemist’s apprentice in Joesar with a past rapidly catching up to her

Three women find themselves caught in the threads of change as the world threatens to fall apart around them. From across the Oldal Sea, the southern kingdom of Dusset has declared war, and if anyone is going to survive it, the alliance between Runon, Chayd, Rad-em, and Joesar must be solidified.

But there are forces at work that could undermine all the progress King Yudai and Tatsu have made. Peace treaty negotiations between the four realms could crumble at any time beneath the building tension.

As the women’s paths converge, they must navigate the true meaning of loyalty to themselves, their countries, and their families, while at the center of it all, a shattered king, hellbent on revenge, threatens the world balance.

Excerpt

The Loyal Whispers
Kathryn Sommerlot © 2020
All Rights Reserved

One: Ravee
Choked with debris, the waves lapped at the fire-blackened hull boards left behind, and worse yet, bodies bobbed in the spaces between splintered wood. They quivered up, bobbing with each crest, clothing billowing around motionless limbs, and Ravee had to turn away with one hand pressed to her mouth to keep her meager breakfast down. The air smelled of burning softwood and singed flesh interwoven into an overpowering and inescapable tang which did nothing to help her constantly queasy belly.

“Gods above,” Captain Wret hissed under his breath. When Ravee peeked over her shoulder, she couldn’t miss how his knuckles had blanched white, his fingers clamped around the deck rail. “What happened here?”

The answer seemed very obvious: the worst. The lingering fear of anyone who took to the seas was a shipwreck, whether it be by pirate attack or by the unforgiving elements, and the evidence of just such a tragedy lay strewn around their vessel in the whitecaps. But no storms had darkened the sky in the past week, only a clear blue horizon with favorable winds. Pirates tended to strip the ships of both treasure and hostages before destroying them. Broken shards of porcelain dishes floated among the wood, and anyone searching for profit wouldn’t leave something of value like that behind. The knowledge should have helped to ease Ravee’s nerves, for they were far less safe with their trade cargo if pirates roamed the Oldal Sea. Still, the uneasiness was slow to dissipate.

As her stomach settled and stopped roiling at the grisly aftermath, Ravee turned back to peer over the ship’s side. If it hadn’t been pirates and couldn’t have been the weather, few other possibilities made sense. Ships didn’t simply spontaneously break apart, and the sea serpents had already entered their dormant months. A horrible stillness settled over the remains, as though not even the sun’s bright rays could touch the bloody mess.

“Look!” one of the deckhands yelled. “Rad-em colors!”

The man’s outburst prompted a scrambling of boots across slick boards as the sailors searched for something to reach the silk with. Eventually, the cloth floated near enough for a man to fish it out with one of the long deck mops, and while Ravee’s heart skipped at the sight of her countrymen’s flag, the shock paled in comparison to what came up after it. More silks, strung together on the single rope line, tangled together in a mess of clumped, torn fabric. Ravee had never heard of the countries sailing under a united banner, not even in the oldest orated history lessons. She whispered a prayer under her breath as the crewman struggled with the cord, grateful her hands weren’t visibly shaking.

Captain Wret pushed the sailor aside to grab at the bulk, and his hands were steadier than the deckhand’s had been. He pulled the Rad-em colors free, and then the rest one at a time, peeling the sopping layers apart until four flags lay spread across the deck. Four silk banners, fraying and burned on the right side as though they’d caught fire as the ship went down and only the briny seawater had stopped them from being completely devoured.

Four silk banners representing the kingdoms of the southern coastline.

Ravee’s stomach twisted again with a painful throb.

“Rad-em,” Wret said, pointing, “Chayd, Runon, and Joesar.”

“Impossible,” one of the men argued. “They’d never sail together like this, and under united colors?”

All the flags had been displayed on a single vessel, and to have such a bold showing could mean only one thing.

“They were on official business,” Ravee whispered, speaking before she could stop herself. Wret’s head snapped in her direction, his eyes sharp, but he didn’t stop her from continuing, which was something. “In an official capacity.”

“Yes,” Wret said. “They were traveling as ambassadors. Peaceful ones, likely, given the treaty negotiations.”

“Who would attack a ship containing peaceful representatives from all four of the coastal kingdoms?” the sailor nearest to Ravee asked.

Wret’s gaze shifted to the broken, charred pieces of the ship still floating out on the sea. “The easiest way to answer that is to figure out where they were going.”

Then his expression morphed, cycling through surprise and shock before hardening in resolve. He crossed to the rail with long steps and hesitated only for a moment, scanning the water before shouting, “Get a lifeboat dropped! Someone’s alive down there.”

In the resulting chaos, Ravee was pushed back, shoulders bumping into her arms with such force her skin would bruise. She couldn’t see around the sailors to confirm for herself, and she knew better than to try to fight it; Captain Wret was displeased enough already to have her aboard his ship accompanying her family’s goods and hadn’t bothered to keep his feelings quiet. Making her presence known could result in banishment to the belowdecks sleeping quarters afforded to her.

A lifeboat splashed down into the sea and a few of the sailors started up nervous muttering, but it wasn’t until several moved to the rigging that Ravee felt confident enough to slip through the small crowd to the railing again.

The sailors in the lifeboat were pulling a body out of the water, and despite Wret’s earlier outcry, the man looked very dead to Ravee. He didn’t so much as twitch as the sailors rowed toward the ship’s side and prepared the dinghy to be lifted back up. When one of the crew hauled the man over the rail and deposited him onto the deck, his head lolled lifelessly to one side. Bits of his shirt had been eaten away by the flames and a nasty-looking cut sliced across his forehead, the red of the still flowing blood mingling with the sea water clinging to his skin. The sailors spent a long moment staring at him in silence.

In the stillness, the air above the ship’s deck shimmered as shivers ran the length of Ravee’s spine in a familiar tremble. Bithlad, God of healing, appeared behind her with all four of his hands ghosting over her biceps as he whispered, He’s alive. Help him.

Ravee darted in between the sailors, nostrils burning with the lingering smell of the less fortunate passengers and her feet propelled by the murmured command. She pressed her head to the injured man’s chest, shoulders sagging at the muffled breath sounds. He was alive, but only barely so.

“How did you know?” she asked Captain Wret, who had advanced to hover uncomfortably over her shoulder.

“He was clinging to one of the bigger pieces of the ship’s hull, and his position was too unnatural to have been the result of post-death rigor.”

Ravee studied the man’s body. “I doubt he would’ve lasted much longer out there in this state.”

“He may not be the only one. The lifeboat’s already prepared—we should search the area for more survivors,” Wret said, and he walked away to bark the orders at his crew.

Ravee stayed where she was kneeling with one hand on the man’s shoulder, wishing she could will him to wake up. His eyes stayed closed, though it was comforting to see his chest rise and fall, even if the breaths were shallow. The lack of movement gave her a better opportunity to check him for injuries. Though bleeding steadily, the cut on his head wasn’t deep, but as she peeled back the soaking layer of clothing from his torso, she exposed a fresh wave of crimson. Along his side darted a dark gash, and it seemed his shirt had been the only thing holding what remained of the skin together. Ravee clasped her hand against the wound in shock.

“Please!” she called, and one of the crewmen thrust a rudimentary first aid kit into her open hand.

At least she had a needle and thread, even without time to sterilize the metal. Ravee sent up a quick prayer to Urutte, God of fate. Her family sold leather goods, and while she’d never had to sew flesh before, her needlework skill ranked high. Her hands trembled so badly she pricked her own finger trying to stitch the wound, and all she could think of was how thankful she was the man remained unconscious. It would’ve been agony if he’d been awake to feel the needle threading through his already flayed skin.

She wanted to vomit, and somehow managed to keep all the bile in until she’d finished. Running to the railing took two heart-pounding moments, and she only barely made it in time to avoid her breakfast splashing across the deck. Her cheeks warmed, but there wasn’t time to be embarrassed; the lifeboat was hauling another body from the sea, and Ravee wiped her forehead with her shirt sleeve before moving to the newest one. Bithlad’s presence behind her faded, but she murmured a prayer the God might watch over the rest of the poor souls fished out from the brine.

By the time the entire area had been scoured, the sailors had found two more survivors, and Captain Wret called the search off as the sun set bright behind the wreckage. Fewer pieces of the unfortunate ship remained than had floated earlier along the whitecaps, and even many of the dead had been pulled beneath by the undertow. Wret’s men found four survivors total, including the first man: two more men and one woman. The crew carried the limp bodies to the bulkhead closest to the rudder and did what they could with the extra bedding supplies. But it wasn’t much, and as Ravee stood looking over the remnants of the ship’s unfortunate passengers, she could hardly breathe.

The man whose side she’d stitched closed seemed to have stabilized, and the woman had surface burns seemingly unrelated to her head trauma, but the last one, an older male whose arm had been severed at the wrist, was unlikely to make it through the night even with the tourniquet and linen wrapping they’d employed. Knowing the background of their survivors was impossible. They could have been crew on the ship, servants accompanying the envoys, or the dignitaries themselves, but until one of them woke with a clear enough head, Wret’s Sheersilk was sailing blind.

An entire ship destroyed, with nothing stolen and the passengers left to bloat.

“Where was their course?” Ravee asked as Captain Wret’s heavy footsteps sounded down the wooden stairs behind her.

“This far south? Dusset, probably, the same as us.”

Ravee swallowed hard. “You said earlier we’d know who did this by studying their heading. What does this mean?”

Wret’s face, almost unrecognizable without its usual sneer, was grim. “It’s possible someone has declared war on us all.”

The man missing his hand let out a low moan, and Ravee wrapped her arms around her chest to try to fight the sudden chill sweeping through the bulkhead.

About the Author

Kathryn Sommerlot is a coffee addict and craft beer enthusiast with a detailed zombie apocalypse plan. Originally from the cornfields of the American Midwest, she got her master’s degree and moved across the ocean to become a high school teacher in Japan.

When she isn’t wrangling teenage brains into critical thinking, she spends her time writing, crocheting, and hiking with her husband.

She enjoys LGBTQ fiction, but she is particularly interested in genre fiction that just happens to have LGBTQ protagonists.

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Release Blitz: Pieces of You by N.R. Walker

Pieces of You | N.R. Walker

Missing Pieces #1

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Release Date: May 22nd, 2020

Universal Link: http://mybook.to/piecesofyoublog

Add To Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/53351569-pieces-of-you

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Blurb

Dallas Muller has everything he never expected he’d have. He owns a successful motorbike mechanic shop in Newcastle, and he’s madly in love with his boyfriend of four years, Justin Keith.

Justin has always struggled to find where he fit in, never realising his true worth or what it means to be loved—until he met Dallas. Living and working together might be too much for some, but Dallas and Justin wouldn’t have it any other way.

When a terrible accident tears their world apart, Justin’s left with no memory of Dallas or their relationship. Trying to put the pieces back together is almost impossible when some pieces are blank and some are missing altogether. Dallas has to let Justin find his own way back to him and just hope that their love will light the way.

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About The Author

N.R. Walker is an Australian author, who loves her genre of gay romance. She loves writing and spends far too much time doing it, but wouldn’t have it any other way.

She is many things: a mother, a wife, a sister, a writer. She has pretty, pretty boys who live in her head, who don’t let her sleep at night unless she gives them life with words.

She likes it when they do dirty, dirty things… but likes it even more when they fall in love.

She used to think having people in her head talking to her was weird, until one day she happened across other writers who told her it was normal.

She’s been writing ever since…

Social Media

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Email:

nrwalker@nrwalker.net

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Blog Tour: The Girl Next Door by Chelsea M. Cameron

The Girl Next Door | Chelsea M. Cameron

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Length: approx. 60,000 words / 272 pages

Publisher: Carina Press (Carina Adores)

Release Date: May 26, 2020

Buy Links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Girl-Next-Door-Chelsea-Cameron/dp/1335146946

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-girl-next-door-chelsea-m-cameron/1135551933

iTunes: https://books.apple.com/us/book/the-girl-next-door/id1491603923

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-girl-next-door-77

Google: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Chelsea_M_Cameron_The_Girl_Next_Door?id=GjXEDwAAQBAJ

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Blurb 

Iris Turner hightailed it out of Salty Cove, Maine, without so much as a backward glance. Which is why finding herself back in her hometown—in her childhood bedroom, no less—has the normally upbeat Iris feeling a bit down and out. Her spirits get a much-needed lift, though, at the sight of the sexy girl next door.

No one knows why Jude Wicks is back in Salty Cove, and that’s just how she likes it. Jude never imagined she’d be once again living in her parents’ house, never mind hauling lobster like a local. But the solitude is just what she needs—until Iris tempts her to open up.

A no-strings summer fling seems like the perfect distraction for both women. Jude rides a motorcycle, kisses hard and gives Iris the perfect distraction from her tangled mess of a life. But come September, Iris is still determined to get out of this zero-stoplight town.

That is, unless Jude can give her a reason to stay…

One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise!

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Carina Adores is home to highly romantic contemporary love stories featuring beloved romance tropes, where LGBTQ+ characters find their happily-ever-afters.

A new Carina Adores title is available each month:

The Hideaway Inn by Philip William Stover (available May 26, 2020)

Just Like That by Cole McCade (available June 30, 2020)

Hairpin Curves by Elia Winters (available July 28, 2020

Better Than People by Roan Parrish (available August 25, 2020)

Full Moon in Leo by Brooklyn Ray (available September 29, 2020)

If You Can’t Stand the Heat by KD Fisher (available October 27, 2020)

Just Like Us by Cole McCade (available November 24, 2020)

 4-AuthorPhoto_TheGirlNextDoor_Cameron

About The Author

Chelsea M. Cameron is a New York Times, USA Today and internationally bestselling author from Maine who now lives and works in Boston. She’s a red velvet cake enthusiast, obsessive tea drinker, vegetarian, former cheerleader, and world’s worst video gamer.

When not writing, she enjoys watching infomercials, tweeting, and playing fetch with her cat, Sassenach. She has a degree in journalism from the University of Maine, Orono that she promptly abandoned to write about the people in her own head.

More often than not, these people turn out to be just as weird as she is.

Social Media

Website: https://chelseamcameron.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/chel_c_cam

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/chelccam/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Chelsea-M-Cameron-Official-Author-Page-304422529610919/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5752359.Chelsea_M_Cameron

New Release Blitz: Lighting The Lamp by K.R. Collins

Lighting the Lamp | K.R. Collins

Sophie Fournier #3

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Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: May 25, 2020

Heat Level: 1 – No Sex

Pairing: Female/Female

Length: 100,100

Buy Links:

NineStar Press | Amazon | Smashwords | Kobo

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Blurb

Entering her third season, Sophie Fournier has almost everything she wants. She’s the captain of the Concord Condors, she’s roommates and linemates with Elsa Nyberg, the elite Swedish winger she’s wanted to play alongside since the Zurich U-Tourney.

There are two major things she’s missing, though. She doesn’t have her next contract lined up, and she still hasn’t won the Maple Cup, hockey’s most coveted prize. If she wins the Cup, she’ll have leverage going into her contract negotiations.

And, in case she needed more motivation, this is Benoit Delacroix’s final season as a Concord Condor, and she’s determined he won’t retire without lifting the Cup.

Excerpt

Lighting the Lamp
K.R. Collins © 2020
All Rights Reserved

Chapter One
The 2013 draft in Orlando, Florida marks the third one Sophie’s attended. She made history in 2011 when she was the first woman drafted into the North American Hockey League. Last year, she was given the honor of selecting Elsa Nyberg for her team, the Concord Condors.

This year, Sophie’s responsibilities are fewer, but she’s still here representing the League. Unlike other players, who watch the draft from their couches or receive alerts while on the beach or touring wine country, Sophie is here in a crisp black pantsuit, a red pocket square her only flash of color.

She’s here so the Commissioner can lay a heavy hand on her shoulder and lean in for pictures to prove how progressive his league is, as if one woman among hundreds of men is progress. Well, it is progress, but it isn’t nearly enough.

There will be more women drafted today and tomorrow, and Sophie’s confident at least one of them will play against her this season. She refuses to hope Elsa will keep her promise and make the jump from the Swedish Hockey League to the NAHL this year, but she has high expectations for Alexis Engelking.

The American is slated to be drafted high. Lenny Dernier, infamous for his rants on The National Sports Network, is already wringing his hands over her upcoming inclusion among hockey’s best. Once, forgetting she was mic’d up, Engelking dropped an f-bomb on live television. Dernier accused her of being “a terrible role model for our Canadian children” as if every Canadian who has played the game is an angel.

Indianapolis files on stage to make the first selection of the draft, a long procession of middle to upper-aged white men in suits. The TVs behind the stage show Engelking sit up straighter in her seat as if she’s anticipating her name being called. Her hair is chopped short, jagged angles as sharp as her cheekbones.

A different camera shows Chad Kensington, another American, slumped in his seat. His blond hair is parted to the side and slicked to stay there. His mother elbows him, and he makes a half-hearted attempt to sit up straight.

“Thank you, Orlando, for hosting us today,” Indy’s owner says. The crowd, predictably, cheers. When he thanks the Commissioner, the crowd boos, also predictable. Sophie doesn’t remember the Commissioner facing constant heckling when she was younger, but he’d made himself no friends when the League ground to halt during the 2010-2011 season.

Indy’s owner steps aside so his grandson, a cute kid with chubby cheeks and a Renegades ball cap on his head, can step up to the mic. They have to lower it for him, and the boy checks the cards in his hands before he looks over his shoulder. His grandfather smiles encouragingly. “Um, first overall, the Indianapolis Renegades select Chad Kensington.”

Kensington stands up and shoots the nearest camera a pair of finger guns. His smile is as greasy as his hair. Sophie’s seen enough tape to know he’s talented, but he struts up to the stage as if he thinks the League should be grateful to have him. His suit is too big in the shoulders and too long in the leg as if he expects to grow into it. He’s dwarfed by the men on stage; the only ones he’s taller than are the owner’s two grandkids. He taps the brim of the grandson’s hat. The owner’s granddaughter hides behind the man who Sophie assumes is her father.

Sophie discreetly checks her phone as she waits for all the hoopla to finish. Being at the draft always brings back memories of her own. She wasn’t sure she’d be invited until a few months before and, even once she was there, it wasn’t a guarantee a team would select her. In case being the first woman to try to play in the NAHL wasn’t enough of a barrier, the Commissioner required teams to apply to be co-ed.

The Concord Condors were the only team able to draft her, and she sat in the stands as they made selection after selection, never calling her name. It took two hundred and twenty-four names until hers was called. Instead of being drafted first, or even first round, she was dead last.

She shakes the memory aside as Seattle comes on stage. Sophie quits feeling sorry for herself. Barrett Corderman is the one who deserves her pity as Seattle drafts him. She’s making a name for herself in Concord, pulling her franchise from the depths of the League and turning them into a real contender. Seattle, on the other hand, is where players have their love of hockey sucked out of them.

Indianapolis makes another appearance for the fourth pick, gained in a trade last season. This time, the owner ushers his granddaughter on stage, and Sophie has a good idea of where this is headed. When the girl calls out Alexis Engelking’s name, Sophie allows herself a smile. Engelking marks the fourth woman drafted into the League, and the highest selected of them all. There’s a tightness around Engelking’s eyes as she accepts her jersey as if she felt she deserved to go higher.

Welcome to the club.

*

Concord drafts a defenseman with the first of their first-round picks. With their second, they select Tanner Bechtol. He’s small like Kensington, and his hair falls into his eyes, only for him to shake it back out of his face. He looks overwhelmed by everyone on the stage, and it takes two tries for him to pull his jersey over his head.

It isn’t exactly a promising start, and she expects a lot out of him. This is one of the picks which came from trading their captain, Matty, at the deadline last year. Bechtol stumbles off the stage. He would’ve tripped and face-planted in front of the cameras if Mr. Wilcox didn’t steady him. Sophie keeps her expression tranquil in case anyone is watching her, but inside, she scowls. This is who they gave Matty up for?

About the Author

K.R. Collins went to college in Pennsylvania where she learned to write and fell in love with hockey. When she isn’t working or writing, she watches hockey games and claims it’s for research. You can find K.R. on Twitter.

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Blog Tour: The Hideaway Inn by Philip William Stover

The Hideaway Inn | Philip William Stover

Seasons of New Hope #1

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Length: approx. 64,000 words / 288 pages

Publisher: Carina Press (Carina Adores)

Release Date: May 26, 2020

Buy Links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Hideaway-Inn-Seasons-New-Hope/dp/1335146938

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-hideaway-inn-philip-william-stover/1135551932

iTunes: https://books.apple.com/us/book/the-hideaway-inn/id1491603926

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-hideaway-inn-2

Google: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Philip_William_Stover_The_Hideaway_Inn

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Blurb

High school wasn’t the right time or place for their relationship to grow, but now, fifteen years later, a chance encounter changes both of their lives forever.

No one in the charming river town of New Hope, Pennsylvania, needs to know that Vince Amato plans on flipping The Hideaway Inn to the highest bidder and returning to his luxury lifestyle in New York City. He needs to make his last remaining investment turn a profit…even if that means temporarily relocating to the quirky small town where he endured growing up. He’s spent years reinventing himself and won’t let his past dictate his future.

But on his way to New Hope, Vince gets stuck in the middle of nowhere and his past might be the only thing that can get him to his future. Specifically Tack O’Leary, the gorgeous, easygoing farm boy who broke his heart and who picks Vince up in his dilapidated truck.

Tack comes to the rescue not only with a ride but also by signing on to be the chef at The Hideaway for the summer. As Vince and Tack open their hearts to each other again, Vince learns that being true to himself doesn’t mean shutting down a second chance with Tack—it means starting over and letting love in.

One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise!

Carina Adores-Horizontal Logo

Carina Adores is home to highly romantic contemporary love stories featuring beloved romance tropes, where LGBTQ+ characters find their happily-ever-afters.

A new Carina Adores title is available each month:

The Girl Next Door by Chelsea M. Cameron (available May 26, 2020)

Just Like That by Cole McCade (available June 30, 2020)

Hairpin Curves by Elia Winters (available July 28, 2020

Better Than People by Roan Parrish (available August 25, 2020)

Full Moon in Leo by Brooklyn Ray (available September 29, 2020)

If You Can’t Stand the Heat by KD Fisher (available October 27, 2020)

Just Like Us by Cole McCade (available November 24, 2020)

4-AuthorPhoto_TheHideawayInn_Stover

About The Author

Philip William Stover splits his time between Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and New York City. He has an MFA in writing and is a clinical professor at New York University where he is the former chair of the writing curriculum.

As a freelance journalist, his essays and reviews have appeared in Newsday, The Forward, The Tony Awards, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Houston Chronicle, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and other national publications.

Philip grew up tearing the covers off the romance novels he devoured so he wouldn’t get teased at school. Now he enjoys traveling the world with his husband of over twenty years and sitting in front of the woodstove with their half-Bassett, half-Sharpei rescue pup and he would never consider defacing any of the books he loves.

He is thrilled to be returning to romance and loves to write cozy, warm-hearted stories served by hairy forearms with a side of fries.

Social Medai

Website: https://www.philipwilliamstover.com/

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Release Blitz: The New Normal by L.J. Hayward

The New Normal | L.J. Hayward

A Gold Coast Collage Novel #1

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Release Date: May 26th, 2020

Universal Link: http://getbook.at/TheNewNormal

Add To Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/53376947-the-new-normal

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Blurb

Brian Stagliano’s life should be pretty sweet right now. Two of his closest friends are getting married, and he’s taking a new, exciting step in his career as a doctor. Most amazing though, his best mate has been given the all-clear from cancer. But Brian’s normal has just been tipped A over T and the friendship he’s relied on for years is in danger. All because of five little words.

Andrew Fitzroy should be on top of the world. The cancer that’s haunted him is gone. He can finally get on with his life—except he doesn’t know what that life is anymore. Is he brave enough to come out as bisexual? Should he pursue architecture or stay in construction? Either way, Andrew knows happiness won’t be his until he has what his engaged friends have—love, joy, passion. So, he says those five little words to Brian—I’m in love with you.

Friends since childhood, Brian and Andrew have always been closer than brothers. Best mates. Nothing could ever tear them apart. Except for those five little words. Now, Brian’s not sure about so many things—their friendship, his own desires—and the foundation Andrew’s built his world on feels like its crumbling.

But if they manage not to destroy everything they have together, Andrew and Brian might just find a new normal with each other.

 

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Special Excerpt

Hello! I’m L.J. Hayward and you may know me from the Death and the Devil series, MM romantic suspense about a spy and an assassin. Now I have a new story for you all, the first book in a series of MM contemporary romances set in my home city of the Gold Coast, Australia.

The series is called Gold Coast Collage and book one is The New Normal, about Brian Stagliano and Andrew Fitzroy, best friends since they were kids. They’ve shared a lot of ups and downs, including the Big C, and now they’ll have to fight to survive the next one as well—the one where Andrew tells Brian that he’s in love with him.

Please enjoy this exclusive excerpt from the first chapter of The New Normal.

Cheers, L.J.

~~~

Picture 1

Brian Stagliano leaned on the bar in Tots—Top of Tedder Bar and Grill, to the uninitiated—and watched the bartender pull the last of his beers. The guy tilted the frosted glass just right, forming a perfect foam head, then set it down on the tray holding the rest of Brian’s order.

“That’ll be forty-two dollars.”

Wincing, Brian tapped his card on the wireless EFTPOS machine. Carly and her expensive cocktails. He might be a doctor now but interns didn’t get paid a whole heap.

However, tonight was all about celebration and that wouldn’t happen until everyone had their drinks. Tray in hand, Brian wove his way through the crowded tables to where his friends had set up for the evening. Tots, a rooftop bar on the north end of Tedder Ave, looked out over the trendy street of boutiques and restaurants, with its paved road, twinkling lights and footpath greenery. Tall apartment buildings blocked the view of the ocean, but Brian could smell it when the breeze came in from the east or north.

“What is taking so long?” a loud voice called, catching his attention. “Dying of dehydration here.”

Smirking at James, Brian set the tray down on the table with his friends around it. “Blame Carly. She’s the one who made the bartender google the recipe for her cocktail.”

Carly took her tall glass of cloudy apple juice doctored with spirits Brian had never heard of before and stuck her pierced tongue out at him.

“Cosmo for Elle.” Brian handed out the rest of the drinks. “Cider for Troy, beers for me and James. And finally, a tall glass of freshly squeezed orange juice, no added sugar, for Mr. My Body is a Temple.”

Across the table, Andrew took the glass in one hand, flipping him the finger with the other.

“Love you, too, mate,” Brian said sweetly as he sat.

“Sneer all you want, Bri Bri.” Carly winked as she used the pet name Brian hated. “You just wish you looked as good as Andrew.” She squeezed the firm biceps prominently displayed beside her as Andrew rested his elbow on the table. “I think this is the best arm here.”

James and Troy scoffed at her claim, getting into a bulging biceps battle, and Andrew, blushing to the roots of his dark-blond hair, put his arm down. Brian couldn’t help but smile at his best friend as he dodged out of the way of the other guys thrusting flexed muscles at each other. Troy and James worked as stunt jet-skiers at the H2GO water park so they were incredibly fit—and competitive.

Carly had a point though. Andrew did look good, from the fresh crop of blond curls on his head, to the new bulk of muscles on his arms and chest. The smile that had disappeared for so long was starting to make semi-regular appearances. One flashed over his mate’s mouth now as he caught Brian’s gaze, brown eyes sparkling in the lights of the bar. Yeah, he looked worlds better than he had six months ago, when chemo and depression had waged joint wars on his body. Brian had seriously worried at times that he was going to lose him. But he hadn’t and here they were, with everything in the world to celebrate.

On that thought, Brian raised his glass. “Okay, let’s toast.”

His friends all groaned but hoisted their drinks. James slopped some of his beer over the side of the glass and Elle shoved a couple of napkins at him to clean up the mess.

“Can’t take you anywhere,” she muttered.

James leered comically at her. “Any excuse to keep me at home and all to yourself.”

Elle snorted, but her lips turned up in a little smile.

Troy pretended to throw up in his mouth. “It’s disgusting to watch. Who invited them?”

Carly rolled her eyes at her twin brother. “Who invited you, Debbie Downer?”

“As current favourite for Best Man, my presence is mandatory.”

As the twins bickered, Brian shook his head and checked on Andrew. The smile was gone and his glass had lowered nearly back to the table. Time to do this thing.

“Everyone, shut up!” When the twins had closed their mouths, he continued. “Tonight’s toast is a very important one. One I’ve been waiting to make for a long, looooong time.”

“You lost your virginity?” Troy had clearly just shaved his undercut and then spiked up the longer strands of hair on top of his head for the evening. With his exaggeratedly wide eyes and gaping mouth he looked more like a cartoon character who’d had the fright of their life than a twenty-six-year-old responsible for his own life. “Our little boy, finally a man.”

James and Carly snickered. Brian threw a withering glare at Troy, who grinned back, then yelped and jerked back in his chair.

“Who kicked me?” Troy automatically turned to James, who protested his innocence.

Andrew’s wink was swift but Brian caught it. He grinned his thanks, then resumed his toast.

“Okay, kids, it’s adulting time.” When everyone had settled again and raised their glasses, Brian got serious. “We’ve all known each other for a long time now, with the exception of our problem child here.” He patted Troy on the head.

Troy shrugged off his hand and gave an overly indignant, “Hey!”

“Well you are the problem child,” Brian said sweetly. “You only agreed to meet us, your twin’s bestest ever friends, after you got kicked out of that ski show in Sydney. For reasons you’ve never revealed, I might add.”

Troy scowled at Brian. “For your information, Mr. Doctor Sir, I was protesting the touching of the ’do.” He made sure his hair still had some height while the others, including his sister, laughed.

“Anyway,” Brian said firmly to draw back everyone’s attention. “We’ve all been through the big moments together, but none of them get bigger than the Big C.”

All laughter faded away and there were solemn nods and deep breaths around the table. Carly slid her arm through Andrew’s and leaned against him lightly, which didn’t alter the sudden look of oh-shit-exit-time that had appeared on Andrew’s face.

Brian grinned unmercifully at him. “Andrew Fitzroy. My mate since the day he knocked over Zack Green on the sports field for calling me a sissy for missing the ball in T-Ball. Andrew, the bravest seven-year-old ever. Dude, you’ve been the bro of my heart for nearly twenty years.”

A chorus of “awws” and a wave of battering eyelashes went around the table. Andrew’s ears were bright pink but his gaze bored into Brian with equal parts “right back atcha” and “I’m begging you don’t.” But this was Brian’s role in their friendship, to make sure Andrew got the recognition he deserved, because he would never go looking for it himself.

“Andrew, you scared the ever-living shit out of me,” Brian said, no longer talking to them all, but to the man directly across from him. “I seriously thought I’d lost you a couple of times there and, mate, I do not want to ever experience that again, okay?”

Their circle of friends had gone quiet and it felt like a cone of silence had descended over their table. The noise of the bar around them faded away and it was just Brian and Andrew and the people who’d stuck by them through shit times.

“Okay?” Brian repeated firmly, wanting his best friend to acknowledge the seriousness of his words.

Andrew nodded, never looking away. “Okay.”

“Good.” Taking a deep breath, Brian conjured up the smile he’d put aside so everyone knew how serious he was. As he spoke, though, the smile became natural again. “I know you didn’t want me to make a fuss about this, but these are our friends, you big dork. They’ve been with you through this, just as much as I have and tonight, they have every right to celebrate this with you, too.”

Carly gasped and tears brimmed in her eyes, though her smile grew into a wide grin. Elle was trembling as she looked from Andrew to Brian and back again, as if the urge to jump on Andrew was barely contained. James was nodding, his shoulders relaxing from the tension that had been building in them since Brian started his toast. Troy was staring at the tabletop intently, rolling his glass through the gathered condensation, but his lower lip was pulled tightly between his teeth, a sure sign he was holding something momentous back.

This was what Andrew needed to see, his friends showing just how much they loved him.

“This morning,” Brian said quietly, “Andrew got the official all clear. No more cancer.”

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About The Author

Hi! I’m L.J. Hayward and I’ll be your author for this biography.

L.J. Hayward has been telling stories for most of her life, a good deal of them of the tall variety. She loves reading but doesn’t seem to have enough time between wanting to be a more disciplined writer, being the actual erratic writer she is, and working for dollars in a dungeon laboratory.

She also lives on the Gold Coast in Queensland, but rarely sees a beach and can’t surf, though she thinks living on a houseboat might be fun. At least then she’d have an excuse to get a cat.

Me Just Rambling & Stuff
I’ve been telling tales (some of them of the tall variety) for most of my life. The first book I ever produced was about Easter, as I recall, and was written in crude pictographs. In my defence, I reckon I was about three. Stapler-binding was the format of choice (way, way before the advent of the e-book).

First story with words (and pictures) was about a trip to the moon, in which I included the exhaustive research I did on the matter by saying it took three days to get there. Sadly, the trip was cut short when a puddle of blood (!! – quite gory for its day and age) was discovered on the moon, so the characters had to leave before the murderous aliens found them. Nail bitting stuff!

Beyond that, I don’t recall exactly when I began to think seriously about writing. I always enjoyed a creative writing exercise in high school, but hated scientific writing in university. Not enough room for drama or humour or unicorns. But even before I began writing stories down, I was writing them in my head. Serious writing started around the mid-twenties. Good writing started a couple of years later. Even better writing is still in progress.

As a pathology scientist, blood and medicine is a big part of my life and, naturally, have an influence on my writing. My first book, Blood Work, had its origins in how blood behaves in transfusions (vampires drinking blood is basically a transfusion, right? Right.).

Of course, recently I’ve moved into M/M romantic suspense, with the publication of Where Death Meets the Devil. I’m blaming Manna Francis’s Administration series for hooking me into the wonderfully wide and diverse realm of queer fiction. It’s a genre pool I plan on wallowing in for good long while. 😉

Social Media
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Giveaway

To celebrate L.J.’s new release, we are giving away $10 Amazon GC and an e-copy of your choice of one of L.J. Hayward’s back listed books.

Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for your chance to win!

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