Tag Archives: bears

The third bear romance is a lovely later life “coming out”

54025139._SY475_Hardwood by K.M. Neuhold

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This series from KM is shaping up into one of my favourites quite easily.

Each one has its own unique selling point and here it’s Everett, a 44-year-old who has pretty much always known he was gay but whose circumstances saw him end up married with a kid.

And I really loved that Kyleen didn’t make Val a “horrible bitch” or that Ev didn’t really love her. He did, he just wasn’t in love like he knows he should have been.

Instead, they were best friends and he’d used her as he reason for never coming out after they’d divorced because he didn’t want to cause her any pain. He’s also not come out to his three best gay friends and work partners because he thinks he’s left it too late after 10 years running a business together.

There’s relatively low angst, although I did get a wee bit frustrated with Ev, at the same time I absolutely could understand why he couldn’t ever quite get the words out to tell his ex-wife and his friends that he actually was gay.

This book still has the humour that the other two in the series were filled with, but it’s a more subdued and gentle type because Ev is just all ends up a sweetheart. When he falls, he falls hard and fast and I loved the dynamics in the pairing.

Watson is 40, so I very much appreciated this more mature pairing, and I loved how kind he was and what a massive capacity for love he had in his heart, not only for the kids he teaches, but for his foster siblings and for Everett.

Watching them fall head over heels and then try and deny the fact they were doing just that was sweet and exasperating at the same time. The build up to the big outing was done well and the fall-out from it felt wholly believable to me.

Now, having read this one, I’m even more desperate to get Ollie’s book because that poor guy really, really needs a man who’s willing to shout from the rooftops that he loves him and wants to spoil him rotten.

Please KM?!

#ARC kindly received from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review

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New Release Blitz: The Lion Lies Waiting by Glenn Quigley

The Lion Lies Waiting | Glenn Quigley

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: December 17, 2018

Heat Level: 2 – Fade to Black Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 88,600

Genre: Historical, Abduction, Addiction, Age-gap, Bears, Established Couple, Kidnapping, Mental illness, Over 40

Purchase

NineStar Press | Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

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Synopsis

Winter, 1780, and the solstice is fast approaching. Four months after the events of The Moth and Moon, burly fisherman Robin Shipp is preparing for his first Midwinter festival with his lover, the handsome baker Edwin Farriner.

But when a letter arrives begging for help, they must travel with their friend, Duncan, to Port Knot on sinister Blackrabbit Island for a final confrontation with Edwin’s mother. Also visiting the island are Lady Eva and her wife Iris, with a stunning proposition that could change Robin and Edwin’s lives forever.

The snow-covered harbour town of Port Knot is a dangerous place. While there, Robin, Edwin, and Duncan explore the menacing rooftop settlement known as the Roost, mingle with high society in the magnificent splendour of Chase Manor, and uncover a violent conspiracy threatening the island’s entire way of life.

Old rivalries will flare, shocking secrets will be revealed, and as Duncan’s scandalous past finally catches up with him, will it ultimately destroy them all?

The men will be tested to their limits as they discover that on Blackrabbit Island, the lion lies waiting.

Excerpt

On the tiny island of Merryapple, not far from the Cornish coast, almost every frost-kissed window was cheered with the light of a solstice lantern. Made of brass or copper or tin, each lantern was set with coloured glass, each one was polished and cared for, and each one was unique. Joyously lit were they with a red candle for the duration of the Midwinter celebrations, starting at the winter solstice and continuing through to New Year.

Always red, that was the tradition. Red for blood. Red for life. Red for love. Every member of the household had their own lantern skilfully engraved with their name. When a person died, their candle was removed and cast into the sea—their light taken from the lives of their loved ones.

Robin Shipp never liked that part of the tradition. From the age of ten, his solstice lantern stood alone on his windowsill, his father’s candle swallowed by the waves, just as his father himself had been. Whenever the lantern’s tinted glass flooded the room with cheer, he tried to remember the good times with his father, tried not to think about being alone.

And he managed it, for the most part. Robin was fifty years old and the past summer had seen a great many changes in his life. He’d discovered who his mother really was, cleared his father’s name, won the acceptance of the village, and started a relationship with a man he cared deeply for. It was December, 1780, and Robin was set for a Midwinter celebration to remember.

The little fishing village of Blashy Cove was shrouded in a chilly haze and the people were trying to remember how to walk on icy, cobbled roads. The previous night had seen the first proper snowfall of the season and the whole village was powdered, from hilltop to harbour, with the low, slate sky holding the promise of more to come. A mist clung tightly to the quiet sea.

In the ancient tavern named the Moth & Moon, Robin used the sleeve of his chunky, woollen jumper to rub frost away from one of the dozens of little panes of glass which formed a spacious bay window. He was a colossal man—tallest in the village—and wide to boot, with a jolly face and thick limbs made hard from a lifetime of oyster dredging in the bay. His solid, round belly rose when he laughed, and he laughed readily. His cap, with its unusual anchor pendant sewed to the band, sat askew, revealing a little of the single tuft of white hair which sprang from his otherwise bald head.

He peered out through the thick glass and across to the newly built and bustling market hall in the harbour. Just a roof held up by heavy wooden poles, but it helped keep the rain off. It was market day, and the traders hadn’t let the snow and ice put them off. Stalls selling fish sat next to ones loaded with goods from the island’s only farm. Others sold all manner of clothing and trinkets from the mainland and beyond.

Under the cover of their new roof, the traders stamped their feet and hugged themselves to stay warm, their laughter and singing turning to fog in the frosty air. The smell of the morning catch mixed with that of the hot spiced brews they drank to keep their spirits up. It was the last market day for the duration of Midwinter and so the villagers were stocking up on the essentials.

“Never mind the sightseeing” came a voice from behind Robin. “Get those beads up or we’ll never get finished before nightfall.”

Mr. George Reed—the bearded innkeeper—was directing his staff and volunteers with a series of points and barks.

“Right you are!” Robin called back.

With meaty fingers, he tied one end of a long string of colourful but mismatched glass beads to an errant nail above the window frame. As he reached up to secure the other end, he tugged too hard and the string snapped, casting beads across the floor and seats. They ran under chairs and behind booths. A cerulean bead ran over the uneven wooden floorboards and came to rest at the foot of George Reed, who stood with his hands on his hips, shaking his head. Robin tipped his cap back and looked sheepish.

“Ah, sorry, George,” he said.

“No, it’s my fault, I should have known better,” George said with a laugh, “but you’re the only one tall enough to reach without a ladder. Why don’t you go and help move those tables?”

Robin slapped George on the shoulder as he lumbered towards the bar where some men had grabbed each end of a bench and were clearing a space. With a great heave, he single-handedly picked up a heavy oak table and swung it about, almost knocking over one of the other helpers. With a mighty thump, he set it down by the far wall, knocking over several tankards of beer in the process.

He lifted a cloth and began moping it up as best he could, but he was just making it worse, spreading the foamy liquid out ever further. The bar steward he almost knocked over took his own cloth and pushed the much taller Robin out the way, with a polite-but-firm: “Yes, thank you, Mr. Shipp.”

“Is this your idea of helping?”

Duncan Hunger stood at the door of the inn with a tall object covered with a blanket and resting in a cart.

“It is, as it ’appens!” Robin replied.

Duncan was a very short, very stocky man in his late thirties. He had a full head of thick, black, wavy hair, with sideburns down to his jaw and he wore a pair of spectacles of his own design. Small, gold-rimmed and circular, they had an extra array of little lenses on movable armatures. They were an enormous help in his work as toymaker.

“Give me a hand with this,” Duncan said.

Robin grabbed one side of the object’s base and Duncan took the other.

“’Eavier than it looks,” he said.

“Aren’t we all?” Duncan said.

Together, they lifted it out of the cart and manoeuvred it to the space the staff had cleared.

“Careful, careful,” Duncan said as he slid the object into place.

Robin pulled his hands away too quickly and the item hit the wooden floor with a heavy, jangly thump, as if someone had dropped a box of cutlery.

“What part of ‘careful’ did you find the most confusing?” Duncan asked.

Robin stood bolt upright, clenching his fists and biting his pale lower lip as Duncan glanced under the cloth to satisfy himself nothing had been damaged. Relieved, Robin went to lift the material at his side, but Duncan quickly slapped his hand away.

“No peeking! You’ll spoil the surprise.”

“This is the Midwinter centrepiece you’ve been workin’ on all these weeks? What is it?”

“I told you, it’s a surprise.”

“Yes, but what—”

“You’ll see at Midwinter’s Eve!”

Meet the Author

Glenn Quigley is a graphic designer originally from Dublin and now living in Lisburn, Northern Ireland. He creates bear designs for www.themoodybear.com.

He has been interested in writing since he was a child, as essay writing was the one and only thing he was ever any good at in school. When not writing or designing, he enjoys photography and has recently taken up watercolour painting.

Website | Twitter | eMail


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Release Blitz: Through the Tunnel by Daniel Mitton

 Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Exstasy 

 Length: 79,777 words
 Blurb
 

What would you do if you rode into a mountain tunnel in North Carolina and then rode out into a different world? Adam Stephens is about to find out…

Adam Stephens is a man with a mission. It has been three years since they chopped that malignant brain tumor out of his head, and he is off on a solo motorcycle camping trip through the Appalachian Mountains.

When he rides into the Pine Mountain Tunnel in North Carolina and rides out into another realm—a realm that comes complete with a big sexy grizzly bear shifter, mages, and an evil sorcerer—he isn’t sure he isn’t lying in the tunnel after crashing his bike. Can such a world exist? Or is he dreaming? If he is dreaming…it sure is realistic.

Along the way, there will be some major hurdles to surpass including no indoor plumbing…and no coffee. A man needs some basic luxuries, correct?

Excerpt
 

“Fine, if it’ll get you off my damned back, I’ll take the cell phone. And you already know I’m taking my Kindle so I can read in those serene mountain campgrounds that I picked out along the way.” Adam roared, as he stomped down the hallway to get the phone from his bedroom.

“Oh, you mean those campgrounds in the bear infested forests, which you picked out without even seeing them?” George yelled down the hallway sarcastically. He had made it clear to Adam—repeatedly—that camping in a tent in the mountains, alone, was the dumbest idea he had ever heard of. “Oh, and don’t forget, you’re riding right by where they filmed Deliverance. Someone might just tell you that you have a pretty mouth.”


“I could get so lucky,” Adam said quietly as he walked back into the kitchen. “And as to the campgrounds, I’ve already got my sites picked out and pre-paid, so it will be an easy trip. Relax, I’ve already got my bike packed. I’ve double checked everything, and if there’s anything I forgot, it isn’t like there isn’t a Walmart store every twenty miles along the way. I can stop and buy extra supplies. I’m not going to be riding through the wilderness.

“For your part, Georgie…don’t forget to come over and feed my cat. Otherwise, poor Cooper will be dead before I get back. And this time don’t forget the cat box! When I went away for those few days last year, you didn’t scoop and it was practically liquefied when I got back. That was disgusting dude, disgusting.”


Twenty minutes later—George having been mollified—Adam climbed on his motorcycle to begin his epic journey from South Florida to the Quebec line in New Hampshire. He had his tent, his sleeping bag, and enough food for a few days. Now if didn’t rain, the trip would be fantastic.


Not quite three days into his trip, and Adam was riding through the mountains of North Carolina already, which was quite a feat on a motorcycle—if he did say so himself, especially on these back roads. In a car, he might have done the trip in one day, but on his bike, it was far more strenuous on his body. Better to ride safely than quickly, and besides the views were fantastic. The Blue Ridge Parkway was proving to be as beautiful as he’d heard, and at least, so far, he hadn’t seen any bears.


Camping the first night in Florida had almost been a washout, after riding through thunderstorms nearly the entire length of the state and having to set his tent up in the middle of a downpour. Then last night in that creepy deserted campground in Northern Georgia, with all its bear warning signs, was so cold. How it was possible to be in the thirties when it had been ninety when he left his house in Cape Coral was beyond his comprehension. He could only wonder what the coming night’s campsite would bring. He hoped they would at least have hot showers at this one. His shower that morning in Georgia, with only ice-cold water and a thirty-eight-fucking-degree breeze blowing in through a louvered stall wall, had almost killed him. His balls had retracted so far that he didn’t think they’d crawled back out of his body since. At least it had warmed up fast and was now somewhere pleasantly in the seventies with bright sunshine.


Sighting an exit sign ahead, Adam pulled off the Parkway and stopped at the combination rest area and information center. He needed to pee, and it would probably be smart to grab a physical Blue Ridge Parkway map. His map app on his smartphone kept trying to direct him off the Parkway to a much faster Interstate Highway option.


After using the rest room, Adam walked into the information center, picked up one of the free maps from the display by the door, and approached the cute bearded guy behind the counter. “Does this map show all the tunnels and campgrounds? I’m heading for Linville Falls tonight, and I’d like to keep track of where I am during the day.”


“It does, but man, I’m glad it’s you, not me. That’s a long way to go on this type of road in one day on a motorcycle. Good luck with that.”


Adam smiled and thanked him. Walking back outside, he took one last look around, decided he probably didn’t need to walk up the trail to the scenic overlook, and instead walked back to his bike. He put his helmet back on, climbed on the bike and headed back to the highway.


He had no idea that he wouldn’t be making the campground that day.


God, I love these. Adam’s spirit was flying as he roared into yet another of the stone tunnels along the route. This one, the Pine Mountain Tunnel, was supposedly the longest on the Parkway and it was even better than the previous ones. As he rode into the pitch-black darkness, his light glinted off the reflective lane markers along the center line. Just imagine how much stone is over my head right now…I wish this would go on for miles.


Adam pushed his acceleration up and zoomed through the darkness toward the light that he could now see at the other end. Within seconds he flew out…into a torrential rainstorm. What the fuck, it was just sunny!


Adam’s bike slammed into a huge mud puddle, splashing water up and all over him, effectively drenching him before the heavy rain even had time to get him wet. He slammed on his brakes and tried to come to a rapid stop. Instead, his large, heavy motorcycle slid sideways in the loose mud and the next thing he knew he was going down. His bike hit the ground on its right side and then stalled, leaving Adam lying on the ground with it. He groaned. Damn, that’s going to hurt later.

 
 Author Bio

Daniel Mitton is not a statistic. When the doctors broke the news to him that he would be dead by the end of 2013 from brain cancer, he scoffed at them. He has proven them incorrect, and continues to prove them more incorrect every day.


He is now pursuing his lifelong dream of telling other people his stories in writing. His overactive imagination used to get him in trouble. It will be interesting to see what happens this time.


My Name Was Karl is his first self-published work, but he already has two other books in a queue somewhere at a publisher.


Daniel was born and raised in northern New Hampshire, but now lives in sunny Southwest Florida with his husband of nearly twenty-eight years. He totally doesn’t get why some people complain it is too hot in Florida!

 

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