Tag Archives: coming out

New Release Blitz: Unraveling by Rick R. Reed

Unraveling | Rick R. Reed

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: January 13, 2020

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 68,300

Buy Links:

NineStar Press

Amazon

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Blurb

Randy Kay has the perfect life with his beautiful wife and adorable son. But Randy’s living a lie, untrue to himself and everyone who knows him. He’s gay.

Marriage and fatherhood, which he thought could change him, have failed. He doubts if anyone can love him for who he really is—especially himself.

With his wife’s blessing, he sets out to explore the gay world he’s hidden from all his life.

John Walsh, a paramedic with the Chicago Fire Department, is comfortable in his own skin as a gay man, yet he can never find someone who shares his desire to create a real relationship, a true family.

When Randy and John first spy each other in Chicago’s Boystown, all kinds of alarms go off—some of joy, others of deep-seated fear.

Randy and John must surmount multiple hurdles on the journey to a lasting, meaningful love. Will they succeed or will their chance at love go up in flames, destroyed by missed connections and a lack of self-acceptance?

Excerpt

Unraveling
Rick R. Reed © 2020
All Rights Reserved

Chapter One
RANDY

I have my death all planned out.

Unlike the thirty-two years that have gone before, I want my passing to be peaceful and free of the discord and pain I’ve lived with for as long as I can remember. I want it to be easy. Effortless. Guilt-free.

Whether it’s any of those things remains to be seen.

I’ve rented this hotel room at a small boutique hotel off Michigan Avenue. The Crewe House has been standing on this same ground on Oak Street for at least a hundred years. The rooms are small, fussy, and charming, with flocked wallpaper, four-poster beds, and claw-foot tubs and pedestal sinks in their black-and-white bathrooms. It’s charming, and I deserve something nice to gaze at before I close my eyes for good.

I have some sandalwood-scented candles lit, and the fragrance is warm, enveloping. Their soft flicker is the only illumination. Outside, the winter sky darkens early. Dusk’s cobalt blue makes silhouettes of the water towers, train tracks, and buildings to the west of the hotel. Near the horizon the sky is a shade of lavender that mesmerizes me, makes me think of changing my mind. If a sky like this can exist, with its electric bands of color, maybe the world isn’t such a horrible place.

Maybe I can go on.

No.

What else have I done to ease my passage into whatever comes next? I have a bottle of Veuve Cliquot, my favorite champagne, uncorked and resting in a silver ice bucket, filled with melting ice. A flute stands next to it, waiting.

I’ll wash the sleeping pills down with the bubbly.

Before getting into bed, I’ll turn on the cassette I have in my boombox, Abbey Road. I have it queued up to “Golden Slumbers.”

I’ve been carrying this weight for such a long time.

I long for smiles.

At last, I’ll undress and stretch out on the four-poster. I’ll pull the eiderdown duvet loosely over me and close my eyes.

The plan is I will slowly slip under, my brain becoming a soft velvety fog, and I’ll simply fall into the arms of a comforting—and obliterating—slumber.

I will not dream.

It won’t take long.

And I’ll leave a beautiful corpse.

That’s the plan, anyway. Some of my research into this method of offing myself runs counter to this gentle fantasy, but I don’t want to consider the downside of overdosing on strong barbiturates.

I want to go to sleep.

I want to forget the impossibility of being able to become the man I know I should be.

Husband.

Father.

I blink back tears as I sit on the bed, staring out at the deepening twilight. They don’t deserve this: what you’re going to leave them with. I know the voice inside, the one that’s always made me do the right thing, at the expense of my very being, is right. And even though they don’t deserve it, you know they will hurt, of course they will, but in the end, they’ll be better off.

Who wants a husband and father who can’t seem to make himself straight, despite trying therapy, the Catholic Church, the Buddhist faith, self-help groups, and self-help books. A group of pathetic married men meeting once a month and thinking they can change. Nothing works. If I could change, I would.

And since I can’t change, I’m left with three options:

Accept myself as I am. How can I do that? I’d be a failure as a husband, a father, a son, a brother. I’d go on wearing this suffocating mask. I’d continue to live a life that’s essentially a lie.

Everyone who loves me doesn’t even know me.

They love a façade, a projection, a mirage made of wishes, impossible hopes, and self-hatred.

No, acceptance is not an option. It never was.

Second, I could resist. I could knuckle down and brace myself against the attractions I feel, the dreams that pop up in my sleep despite my desperately not wanting them there. I could hold myself back from falling prey to the temptations I feel on the streets, the subway, the locker rooms—everywhere I encounter a beautiful man.

The reason I find myself here is because I can’t resist. Not anymore.

And the third option is simply the one I have to choose—remove myself from the pain. Remove myself from existing as this broken thing that God nor man can fix.

Yes, Violet and Henry both will find a way to move on, and they’ll be happier, more anchored in life without me.

Who needs a gay dad? Or a husband who, deep down, doesn’t want what his wife has to offer? Or worse, a dad who contracts the death sentence of AIDS?

Enough of the grim thoughts. They were not part of my plan. Tonight, I go out peacefully. I’ll shut my eyes and remember things like my joy six years ago when Henry was born and seeing him take his first breath. I shouted, “We got a boy!” and fell into the deepest, most effortless love I’ve ever felt. I’ll remember proposing to Violet when we were both college sophomores and the thrill when she accepted the cheap diamond-chips ring I gave her. Things will be okay now, I remember thinking. I can change.

I really believed that. And I know I love Violet as best I can.

It’s sad when your best simply isn’t good enough.

I reach over for the bottle of sleeping pills on the nightstand. There are thirty of them, and I intend to take them all, two or three at a time. If it takes the whole bottle of champagne to get them down, well, things could be worse. No?

I tip the bottle and look at the tablets against the dark wood, so innocent, yet so lethal.

I’m just reaching for one when there’s a sudden knock on the door. Loud. Forceful. Urgent.

“Randy? Randy? Open up, please.”

The door knob turns as Violet’s voice penetrates the heavy wood of the door, making her sound muffled.

I close my eyes. I could ignore her, hope she goes away.

How did she find out where I was anyway?

She wasn’t supposed to know until she got the letter, the one neatly folded and an arm’s length away on the nightstand.

Pounding. “Please!” Violet calls.

I gather the pills, shoving them back in the bottle, then hide the container in a nightstand drawer.

How will I explain?

I get up, cross the room, and open the door.

About the Author

Real Men. True Love.

Rick R. Reed draws inspiration from the lives of gay men to craft stories that quicken the heartbeat, engage emotions, and keep the pages turning. Although he dabbles in horror, dark suspense, and comedy, his attention always returns to the power of love.

He’s the award-winning and bestselling author of more than fifty works of published fiction and is forever at work on yet another book. Lambda Literary has called him: “A writer that doesn’t disappoint…” Rick lives in Palm Springs, CA with his beloved husband and their fierce Chihuahua/Shiba Inu mix.

Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram

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Release Blitz: In This Bed of Snowflakes We Lie by Sophia Soames

In This Bed of Snowflakes We Lie | Sophia Soames

Cover Artist: Miriam Latu

Release Date: November 14, 2019

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length: 62 891 words

It is a standalone story.

Buy Links:

Available on Kindle Unlimited

Universal Link

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Add on Goodreads

Blurb

Love is supposed to be easy. You are supposed to find your person and fall in love, and then you hold each other and kiss and live happily ever after.

Well, Erik has ended up in the wrong bloody love story. He is stuck in the one full of angst and worries and confusion and pain. Lots of pain

Oskar Høiland hides from life. It just makes things easier that way, not having to face all the fears and drama of living. He especially hides from other people, because Oskar has grown up fearing the snide remarks and the quick glances that strip him of the tiny scraps of confidence he still has left. He is just going to keep existing. Work hard to complete his medical degree and perhaps watch a few more series on Netflix in peace and quiet over Christmas.

Erik Nøst Hansen should be an almost fully-fledged adult. He should be able to sort out the mess that festers in his head and stop lying. It’s just hard. And it’s bloody terrifying to even acknowledge the thoughts that swirl around in his head at night when he can’t sleep. He also needs to figure out how to talk to the boy downstairs. The one with the golden curls and the crooked smile. The boy who is completely monopolising Erik’s messed-up heart.

A story of falling in love and being brave. A Christmas tale with a difference, set in the university dorms of central Oslo, where lies are uncovered, snowflakes are falling all over the place, and beds are made to lie in. There is a slightly unconventional family. A mess of animal onesies. Too much food and a very Merry Christmas.

Excerpt

Oskar’s first instinct is to flee. Run. Hide somewhere until the thing in his bed has disappeared. He blinks. Shakes his head in disbelief and looks again.

Nope. He’s still there. There is still a very-much-fast-asleep person in his bed, his breathing soft against Oskar’s pillow, and that ridiculous pink bandana is sliding down over his eyes.

He moves carefully to get a closer look, then recoils back as he remembers. No clothes! He is stark naked in his own room, like a normal person would be. It’s just, this dude is there. Right there. On his bed.

Yes, he had left his door unlocked, but then that doesn’t mean any random person can just come in and decide to sleep in his bed? Does it? Especially when the random person is flat-out drunk. Oskar can smell the alcohol now, his body recoiling at the fumes escaping along with little bubbles of spit at the corner of the dude’s mouth. Beer-scented mouthfuls of air with every breath. Every little snore.

He doesn’t know how he didn’t realise someone was here before. I mean, the dude is not exactly quiet, snuffling and snoring and smacking his lips together in his sleep.

Oskar’s eardrums are still ringing from having his earphones on the highest volume, and the beats from upstairs are still going strong, but still, he should have noticed. How the fuck didn’t he notice?

There are a pair of threadbare joggers on the floor, which he pulls on, and the t-shirt on the floor looks clean enough, so he pulls it over his damp hair and tiptoes further up along the side of his bed to get a closer look.

It’s definitely one of the guys from upstairs. The tall pretty one. The one with all the girlfriends. The one with the reputation.

Yes, Oskar listens. He might not speak much to the other students, but his hearing is good—well, it was until today, and he will sue if his hearing is damaged from this bloody party, starting with suing the pants off this dude that has crashed Oskar’s planned Netflix marathon—and he pays attention to the stories. The tall tales of weekend shenanigans. The obvious boasting and lies. And the things that might actually be true.

Like the whispers doing the rounds about this guy. The tall one with the messy dark-brown hair and full lips. Kisses like he means it. Great lay apparently. Can get any girl he wants. That’s what he has heard. Hangs around with the dark-haired guy with the black floppy fringe, and that lanky boy with the frizzy hair. Well, he probably hangs around with everyone. Always smiling and never alone. Never sitting on his own in the cafeteria like Oskar, hiding in the corner with his headphones on.

No, this dude is always the centre of attention. Surrounded by people clinging to his every word. Laughing at his jokes. Staring adoringly at him as he throws his head back in laughter.

Except this dude is now here. And Oskar hasn’t got a clue what to do.

He could go get Freddie, he supposes, and they could probably manhandle the dude out of the room. Dump him on the sofa for the night. He is quite sure the girls would approve, and in the morning, he would wake up and find this guy on the sofa making all the girls laugh, having charmed them into making him coffee and buttering his toast and spoon feeding him their secret imported stash of Swedish Treo hangover fizz, whilst placing tiny morsels of hot buttered toast on his tongue.

He pushes that scene out of his head with a sigh. The boy is his problem. He is in Oskar’s bed. And if he doesn’t get him out of here, things will be shit awkward in the morning, he is sure of that.

“Dude,” he whispers, and nudges the guy’s shoulder before he can stop himself. He should think this through, make some kind of plan. Maybe wake him up gently so he doesn’t scare the shit out of the poor guy, waking up and realising he has crashed in Oskar’s bed, instead of wherever he thought he was crashing.

He probably took a wrong turn, thinking this was Madeleine’s room. Or Ingvild’s. Or one of the other girls. Maybe he thought he could get lucky by just throwing himself in some lucky girl’s bed. Just like that. Oskar wonders if people do that, just full-on go for it and shamelessly offer themselves like that.

Oskar shudders at the thought. It’s a mistake whatever it is, and Oskar won’t let him get away with this. Not tonight. Not now. He doesn’t need the grief, or the inevitable shaming in the morning when this dude tells all his friends that the nerd downstairs tried to get him in the sack. Lies and raw laughter trying to make light of a situation that he knows will end badly, with Oskar being the butt of every joke. The one the girls will gossip about and point their fingers at. The one that came on to one of the beautiful people. One of their people. Where Oskar just doesn’t belong.

Because the boy is beautiful, even Oskar can see that. Soft long dark hair framing his face, freckles decorating his pale skin and those lips. Even his fucking profile is perfect, his straight nose burrowing into Oskar’s pillow.

“Dude, come on! Wake up.” Oskar shakes his shoulder this time, but the guy is dead. Dead to the world. Not a hint of pretending to wake up. He just snores and burrows further into the pillow.

“YO. MATE!” This guy is no mate of his. Nor will they ever be, mates or whatever, but Oskar is shouting now. Desperate. He needs to get to bed. He needs an hour of some mindless American sitcom to calm him down. He needs to sleep. Please.

He tries to pull the guy off the bed, grabbing the dude by the ankles only to realise the guy is still wearing shoes. Big clumsy boots with heels. Ridiculous. I mean who wears shit like that in the middle of winter? It’s not like December in Oslo is the place for something that wouldn’t look out of place in a Texas Rodeo.

“Fuck,” he grits between his teeth.

The sofa out in the main room is seriously uncomfortable. No one ever bothers to even sit on it, and even if he considers sleeping there, the bleach fumes would make him retch before long.

It’s not like he could go sleep in anyone else’s room. It’s just not the kind of thing he could do. Not his thing. Not that he is close enough to any of the others to warrant such a request.

He could sleep on his own floor, he supposes, except that the dude is lying on top of his duvet.

It takes a few good pulls, but finally the duvet gives way and the dude rolls over as Oskar drags the fabric from underneath his body. He almost bursts into laughter, because the dude is now on his back, mouth wide open and the bandana has slipped down covering his eyes and nose. He looks like a twat.

A drunk snoring twat in ridiculous boots.

Oskar is a medical student. Oskar fucking knows what can happen. He wouldn’t be a responsible human being if he didn’t ensure that his unwelcome roommate at least survives the night.

The boots come off his feet to reveal socks underneath. Ridiculous socks with little reindeers and Santas that make Oskar swallow another inappropriate giggle. This isn’t funny. This isn’t funny at all.

He rolls the bandana up over the dude’s fringe, carefully removing it before tossing it aside, and straddles his body to try to roll him into the recovery position. He has done it several times in training, but always with willing perfectly conscious subjects underneath him. Never a half-dead comatose man breathing alcohol fumes at him, making him retch in disgust.

It takes a few goes, and Oskar gets braver as the guy is definitely out for the count. He doesn’t wake up, even when Oskar knees him in the balls by mistake, trying to manhandle his shoulder over towards the mattress. But he is finally there, safely in position on his side with his hand supporting his chin, so any accidental vomiting won’t choke him to death and there is nothing restricting around his neck to hinder his breathing. His airway is open, and he is safe. In the middle of Oskar’s bed.

Oskar wants to cry. He wants to bury his face in his hands and howl. Scream out in frustration.

Instead, he covers the unconscious body in his warm duvet and switches off the light. Lets his own body slide in under the covers at the very edge of the bed, as far away as he can get. Oskar lies there, perched on the edge of the mattress, yet he can still feel the breath from the other man hitting the back of his neck. Soft puffs of air stroking the skin under his still-damp hair.

He shudders. It’s hours until he finally falls asleep. Restless and terrified of what he might find next to him in the morning.

About the Author

Sophia Soames should be old enough to know better but has barely grown up. She has been known to fangirl over tv-shows, has fallen in and out of love with more popstars than she dares to remember, and has a ridiculously high-flying (un-)glamourous real-life job.

Her long-suffering husband just laughs at her antics. Their children are feral. The Au Pair just sighs.

She lives in a creaky old house in rural London, although her heart is still in Scandinavia.

Discovering that the stories in her head make sense when written down has been part of the most hilarious midlife crisis ever and she hopes it may long continue.

Miriam Latu is a Norway based artist, specialising in hand-drawn pencil portraits. She works with old-school pen and paper, and more of her work can be found on Instagram @om_hundre_ar_er_allting.

Also by Sophia Soames, with cover artwork by Miriam Latu

717 miles

717 miles Christmas

The Scandinavian Comfort Series

Little Harbour

Open Water

IN THIS BED OF SNOWFLAKES WE LIE

What If It All Goes Right? (Out Jan 2020)

Come join my Facebook reader’s group

Sophia Soames’ Little Harbour

Find me on social media @sophiasoames on all platforms

Facebook: Sophia Soames | Twitter: @sophiasoames | Instagram: @sophiasoames

Giveaway

717 miles – Christmas Special

A short novella to follow on from where the novel 717 miles left off.

This will be FREE to download from Amazon from November 14 -18.

Just follow the link and enjoy.

Mybook.to/717milesChristmas

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Please note that this is not a standalone story and should be read after completing 717 miles.

Add on Goodreads

Blurb

717 miles Christmas Special

I promised myself many years ago that I would never set foot in London again.
I promised. Adam promised. I said I wouldn’t. He said I would never have to.
Yet here we are again, and life has become quite surreal. This is us, a good few years later, older and wiser with more baggage than the baggage belt at Heathrow.

And now it is Christmas and Adam is working too much and I have far too much time to think about things that shouldn’t really matter. Or maybe they should?

717 miles Christmas Special is a short novella to follow on from 717 miles, the novel, and should not be read as a standalone.

Follow the tour and check out the other blog posts and reviews here

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Cover Reveal: Unscripted by J.R. Gray

Unscripted | J.R. Gray

Unscripted Cover Art.jpg

Publisher: Graybooks

Release Date (Print & Ebook): November 6th, 2019

Length (Print & Ebook): 83,000 words

Buy Links:

https://jrgraybooks.com/unscripted/

Blurb

Movie star 101: A smile hides all pain.

Quellcrist King has been playing a part his entire life. The more famous he becomes, the more he hides. The only person he ever let see the real him rose with him from nothing to the very top.

They were the king and queen of Hollywood— and then she wanted a divorce. The only way to survive his depression is to bury himself in work. If he can be a character, maybe he won’t have to remember himself. A gay role can’t be any different than playing a straight one, can it?

But instead of finding solace in the character, he finds it in his costar. Hale becomes his best friend, his lifeline, the light in his darkness. Quell is forced to examine everything he thought he knew about himself while filming intimate scenes with Hale that feel more real than anything ever has before.

He’s lived his entire life following the script. What would life be like unscripted?

Unscripted - Square 2.png

Excerpt

Quell

“You’re serious about this?” Mel sat with the television script in front of him at my rented Malibu house. He’d flown in from a project he’d been working on in Vancouver because I’d begged him to.
I knew he’d read it. He’d probably read the first draft the minute it landed in his in box. He was one of those people who couldn’t leave any alerts on his phone.
“I’m serious. I paid cash for the rights,” I said.
Mel slowly blinked. “You actors have too much cash and not enough sense. Who are you going to sell this to?”
“You don’t think with both our names attached I’ll be able to sell it?” I knew if I got him on board, I’d be able to make the project happen.
“It’s gay. And not ‘dip your toe in the gay waters and queer bait the fans’, this is like ‘in your face with a big gay dick’ gay. I should know.” Mel was perfect for this. A queer director for a queer project was something I wholly believed in. I had to sell him on it.
“So are you, which is why I want you to be the other show runner with me.” I grinned. “I know you’ll do it right. The queer people will know you won’t bait them.”
He rolled his eyes. “Honey, you want me to make space in my schedule to do something you’re not even sure if you can sell?”
“With both our names attached, it will sell,” I said, sure he was going to do it already.
Mel scowled but he had to know I was right. “You remember you’re straight, right? Who are you going to play? There is no fucking way you’re going to be a bisexual pirate.”
“No, I’m going to be the gay prince.” I grinned because I knew he wasn’t expecting it.
“Flint.” Mel threw his head back and shook it as he spun in a slow circle in his office chair. “I googled the book on the way here after I read the script.”
“And?” I asked.
“There is explicit gay sex in it.” Mel pointed out like I hadn’t read the books.
“And?” What he didn’t know is I’d been reading the books for three years and I couldn’t stop. I couldn’t get them out of my mind. They were top of the New York Times Bestseller List and the latest had debuted at number one. That’s when I knew I had to buy the project and now.
“You’re straight,” Mel said.
“So?” I stared into his eyes.
“Who the fuck are you going to sell it to? We can’t do this shit on a network.” Mel was pointing out all the things I’d already gone over in my head.
“Good thing streaming services are all the rage. We’ll have our pick.” I was way ahead of him. He just didn’t know it yet.
He righted himself planting both feet on the ground. “Can you afford to fund a pilot? There’s a reason people like us don’t produce this stuff. Because it’s a massive investment without a promise of return. Think about it, Quell. You’re comfortable. You have a nice house. How many millions are you going to sink into this with the risk of it not selling?”
“I’m not selling a pilot. I already have meetings lined up with all the big streamers. I’m selling the season outright. The book has a track record. And with our names I’m going to sell the whole first season, maybe two.”
“The balls on you. Are they golden, Q? Are they like the size of grapefruits?” He held up his hands like he was holding a small melon.
“Tell me I can’t do it.”
“Fuck no because then you’ll do it and rub it in my face for the next fifty years.” He scrubbed a hand over his face. “Who are you going to get as writers?”
“I have a list of names. You can give me a list of names and we’ll get it together after I sell it.”
“I’ll take that drink now.”
I stood to get us both drinks, setting the aged whiskey on the table in front of him. I held up my glass and he picked his up. “To making magic and gay ass pirates.”
He clinked his glass with mine. “I didn’t say I was in yet.”
“You didn’t have to.” I sipped the whiskey, welcoming the burn in my throat.
I needed the distraction, a project to pour all my time into. My life was in shambles, but I wasn’t about to tell him that. If he thought I was doing this for anything other than love for the project, he wouldn’t do it. And I did love it. I’d been obsessed with the books from the first pages. I wanted to lose myself in this world to forget my reality and I had the ability to make it a reality for a little while.
“Are you really going to be able to shoot the sex? You’re straight.”
“You’ve said that. How many times have you seen me film straight sex scenes with someone I wasn’t attracted to?”
“Onion breath was bad. She used to come stand behind me.”
I shuddered. “Michael Bay always picks the weirdest people to be obsessed with.”
“No shit.” He set his glass in front of himself and spun it in place. “Is Rachael okay with you doing this?”
It didn’t matter what Rachael was okay with anymore, but I wasn’t allowed to tell him that. We were going to pretend to be happy until her next movie was out. Because happy Hollywood couples sold movies.
“She told me to do what makes me happy.” Which was more like a fuck off when she’d said it, but it still amounted to the same thing.
“You giving her a part on it?”
“No, she’s booked solid.” Or so I was going to tell people.
“What? She always comes with you to shoots.” He tilted his head and stared at me.
“I know.” I faked a smile. Sometimes being an actor saved my life. “But we can’t work it out. It will be fine. I’ll have way more to do with this project being the show runner.”
“No shit. I don’t think you know what you’re getting yourself into.”
I did know and I needed it. I needed to not be in my head for a little while because I couldn’t sit home another day watching my life falling apart around me and not lose it.
“Do you realize I’m going to enjoy every minute of you awkwardly having to make gay sex convincing?”
“You’re going to have to give me all the pointers then.”
“I could show you.” He wagged his brows at me.
And we both cringed then laughed.
“Can you imagine?” I asked.
“It would be like fucking my brother. No thanks. But that won’t stop me from staring at your ass.”
“Like you haven’t seen it.” I scoffed. “And my balls when we were filming in New Zealand and we had that wardrobe thing.”
He slapped his thigh and whiskey came out of his nose. “Fuck me. I’d forgotten about that. Who the fuck is going to let the two of us loose in charge?”
“They will.”
“I know. It’s the scary part, yeah?”
I slid papers over the table.
He picked them up. “I’ll have my lawyer go over them and send them back.”
“Better do it quick. I have meetings Monday to sell it.”
Mel’s mouth dropped open. Exactly what I’d been hoping he’d do. “You dog.”
“And when I say you’ve joined on, it will make the deal what much sweeter.”
“How far is this along?”
“I’ve been busy, and I wanted you to join on because you thought it was a good idea not because you thought it was already sold,” I admitted.
“You know I wouldn’t do anything I didn’t think was a good idea.” He crossed his arms over his chest and I was worried I’d offended him.
“I know but still. I wanted to sell you on it.”
He nodded. “I guess I’m extending through Monday.”
A grin spread across my face. “Can you afford to?”
“My assistant director can do what needs to be done for the weekend. Most everyone is off anyway.”
“Good. It will be better to have you there.” It was all coming together.
“Where’s Rachael?” Mel glanced around my office like he hadn’t noticed she wasn’t in the house before.
“Filming. They needed to fix a scene they found an issue with in post-production.”
“You didn’t go with her?” I felt like my excuses were Swiss cheese and if Mel saw through me already, maybe everyone else would too.
“No, I was taking care of this. It’s just for a few days.”
“Do you really have the time in your schedule to go right into this?”
“Yeah, Rachael and I talked about it. She starts her new movie and I didn’t want to let this go. It’s all about timing. She’ll be finishing up by the time we go to film and she can come up to Vancouver when she’s done.”
He nodded, satisfied. Maybe I could do this. Maybe I could carry the secret that was slowly killing me. If I didn’t say it out loud, it wasn’t real.

About The Author

Gray is a cynical Chicago native, who drinks coffee all day, barely sleeps, and is a little too fashion obsessed. He writes realistic and damaged characters because everyone deserves a happily ever after.

Website | Instagram | Patreon | Twitter – Personal | Twitter – Books | Facebook | Facebook Group | Tumblr | Mailing List | Amazon Author Page

 

 

Blog Tour: Just Like Heaven by T.L. Bradford

Just Like Heaven | T.L. Bradford

BLOG TOUR BANNER.jpg

Cover Artist: Photo by Neospot, design by T.L. Bradford

Release Date: September 4, 2019

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length: 181,000 words/ 479 pages

It is a standalone book.

Buy Links:

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Add on Goodreads

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Blurb

What do you covet?

Noah Sinclair
Noah Sinclair is best described as an egotistical, pompous, anal-retentive, asshat. And those are his better qualities. Lately, Noah has lost touch with his playboy character “Jace” on the show Americana and can’t quite put his finger on why. The studio decides it is time to shake up his character by making him an offer he can’t refuse, literally. They will introduce a new love interest for his character “Jace.” Only this time, there’s a twist.

Josh Hill
Josh Hill is up a creek and sinking fast. He’s got no job, no money, no credit and is about to be kicked out of his apartment. Opportunity comes in the form of a job offer from the show Americana. Everything should be perfect; only there is one hitch. He will be the new love interest for Noah Sinclair’s character on the beloved show.

So, opposites are supposed to attract, right? Not so fast. No one said life was that easy. Both actors find themselves in untested waters. Will they be able to play a same-sex couple with no prior experience authentically? Well, they say practice makes perfect.

Carefree, fun-loving Josh and uptight, overbearing Noah, realize they need to make the best of their bad situation and are forced to find common ground. Over time, their roles in each other’s lives become blurred. Is their attraction fake, or is it real? To top it off, Noah has a dark skeleton in his closet that can prevent them from ever moving forward.

Can they get on the same page and save both of their careers and their relationship?

Or will they end up yesterday’s tabloid fodder?

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Excerpt

Chapter 1

It’s been almost 10 minutes. Five to go. Fuck.

I have no clue what this meeting is about, and I am not in the mood to be dealing with Steph and Genie’s crap today. Some random stagehand just came back here to let me know my attendance was required. I try to think back and wonder if I personally offended anybody yet today. Hmm… Nope. Not today, anyway.

Four minutes.

Steph and Genie are the producers for the show I star on called Americana. It’s a newer concept in programming. The show streams daily on Netflix as an evening drama. Small town life under a microscope is the idea. It’s a modern-day spin on a soap opera really, but there is no way on earth I am admitting to working on a soap opera. The show itself is heavily ingrained in social media where the characters have taken on a life all their own. It’s been almost two years now since they cast me, and the show has been live.

Three minutes.

I graduated from college several years ago. After that, I spent a couple of years bartending and serving. With good parts so scarce, I was lucky to get this opportunity. The show has been a ratings winner, and the entire cast is becoming well known.

What drew me to the part was its unique take on the dissection of America and how different communities have changed over time. Our show takes place in America’s heartland. It focuses on the lives and loves of the residents of Greenfield, Indiana.

My character, Jace, is the town barkeeper. He was a great role to play early on because he had a lot of interaction with the main cast. Lately, though, something has changed, and I’m not feeling in touch with the character as much as I once did. It’s showing in my performance, so I’m sure that’s what this meeting is about.

Two minutes.

I’ll bet it has to do with me flubbing lines lately. I haven’t been able to focus, and it looks like they have noticed. My part is getting reduced to nothing. Maybe this is the kick in the pants I need to move on. Ash, one of my castmates on the show, mentioned that they are having open auditions for a new show on FOX. Who knows, it may work out for a season or two. The only thing is that FOX has a bad reputation for short-term junky shows.

One minute.

Maybe they aren’t going to renew my contract. Oh god. I’m being sacked. I can see it now. Gah, I’m already planning my pity party table for one.

I reluctantly get up from my chair, padding out of the room, trying hard not to make eye contact with anyone. I arrive at the end of the hall and hold my hand on the doorknob. “Okay here it goes,” I say to no one in particular.

I enter the room and see Genie and Steph seated across from each other around a large square glass table. Steph is probably in his early 40s, (never can tell for sure in Hollywood), smallish frame with short sandy brown hair, mischievous eyes and a car salesman smile. He is kicking back with his half-eaten Subway sandwich hanging out of his mouth.

Genie looks up to see me. She has her requisite Starbucks Spiced Vanilla Chai Latte and is eating some salad that looks unhealthier than Steph’s meatball sub. “Noah, right on time, per usual.”

“Hey, guys.” I’m hoping to keep good vibes flowing.

Steph says, “Come on in and take a seat. Shut the door behind you.”

Oh boy, that doesn’t sound good. I move toward the desk, taking a chair next to the window, moving it in close next to Genie. The smell of the eggs on her salad is strong. Steph takes a napkin to his lips to wipe the marinara sauce off and starts talking.

“Noah, you’ve been here for over a year, right?”

“Uh, yeah, almost two years next month.”

“So, you’re up for contract negotiations then, right?”

“Yeah, I haven’t talked with my agent about it yet.”

“Well, that is what Genie and I would like to discuss.”

I swear the smell of the eggs is getting stronger. It is permeating the entire atmosphere.

“You know we get the daily stats on the show’s overall performance and having talked; we decided we are going to have to make some changes.”

It’s coming. I feel it. With the show being purely streaming, it is easy for the showrunners to pull up all types of analytics on the show, like what age group is watching, and income bracket. Annoyingly, they can also track what parts of the show are being watched and skipped over. A favorite character will have higher click averages than a third-tier one. With my part being scaled back so much, I’m fairly sure my numbers are in the gutter. For sure I’m getting the boot. I start sweating.

Genie jumps in and says, “Your numbers have been pretty consistent, but not growing at the pace we would like to see.” All I can smell now is the nauseating stench of eggs. I am going to puke. Right here. Right now. Right on their fancy $3000 glass table.

Genie looks at me with concern in her eyes. “Are you okay? You don’t look so hot. Would you like a glass of water?” She jumps up from the table to grab me a glass. Her dark hair is nearly falling out of the messy bun at the back of her head.

“Yeah, that would be great.” She comes back and sets the glass down in front of me. I pick it up and drink slowly. My throat is constricted, and I nearly choke. She is still concerned and looks over to Steph. She pushes her black-framed glasses up on her nose and turns back to me.

Sensing my stress, she quickly says, “We are thinking of taking your character into a new direction.”

“A new direction? Okay, what were you guys thinking about?”

Steph says, “We’ve done some marketing research and have found some niches that we think will work well for our show.” He crams in another mouthful of sub.

Ever the tag team, Genie says, “It’s a direction that may be more challenging, but we think given your range that you would best be able to play the role.”

“What’s the direction you were thinking?”

She looks over to Steph, then back at me. “Your character, Jace Alexander will enter into a relationship with a new character, named Max.”

“Max? Well, what is Maxine’s backstory?” I let out a huge breath. They had me there for a minute.

“It’s just Max, not Maxine. Specifically, Max Shephard,” Steph says.

Slowly my head starts to wrap around what they are saying. “So, wait, Max is a guy?”

“Yep,” they say in unison.

“You made him gay?”

“Look, Noah, I know this is a real shock, but think of it this way. You will have a unique storyline, and it will get people back into your character again,” says Steph. “It’s been what, a year now since Jace broke up with Gracie? The character has just been drifting, and we need to get that viewership back.”

“Are you kidding me? How the hell am I supposed to play gay? This is so far out of my league. I—”

“I’m going to be honest with you,” Steph says, finally having put this sub down. “Genie and I had to go to bat for you to keep you on the show. They were ready to cut you. We pulled this idea out that we had a little while ago and they went for it. So basically, you stay on the show on the condition that you accept this storyline. Otherwise, they are releasing you at the end of your contract.”

I sit back in my chair, dumbstruck. I look between the two of them and see there is no way out. I have no words.

Genie says, “I know you feel blindsided and I don’t blame you for being upset but think about this rationally. This is the opportunity you have been waiting for. A chance to stretch your acting skills.”

“Yeah, but…”

Then she pulls forward in her chair, she grabs my hand and looks me in the eye. “You don’t have to answer right now. Think about it over the weekend, and we can all talk about it again on Monday.”

I don’t say a word, still unmoving and dazed.

“We have an audition video for the actor we have in mind. Why don’t you take this copy and see if you think you can make this work?”

Wordlessly, I take the flash drive and get up to leave. I go back to my dressing room and finally lose the contents of my stomach.

About the Author

T.L. always hated math, so it was a good thing she had a way with words. Since she was a shy and quirky kid; words were her best friends. She would imagine entire worlds in her head and talk to herself endlessly. Her mother wondered if she was speaking with ghosts for a while.

Her older sister was a voracious reader of trashy romance novels and would pass them down to her after she had finished them. T.L. was the only 10-year-old kid sitting in class reading “The Stud” by Jackie Collins during reading time. Oddly enough, she never got called out on it.

As she grew older, her tastes evolved, but one thing held fast; her undying attachment to love stories. One day out of the blue, she decided to write the love stories she always wanted to read instead of searching for her story. Since then, writing has been a dream fulfilled for her and she could not be happier.

She enjoys writing about love, regardless of gender and is a proud supporter of the LGBTQ community.

T.L. calls the Pacific Northwest her home and enjoys the quiet rural life of her little oceanside home with her playful/crazy husband and their giant dog Noah.

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Audio Release Blitz: Out In The Field by Lane Hayes & Narrated by Michael Pauley

Out In The Field | Lane Hayes & Narrated by Michael Pauley

Out in College #4

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Release Date: July 11

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 5 hrs and 31 mins

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Blurb

Max Maldonado loves baseball. He knows playing first base at a private college probably won’t get him to the big leagues, but he doesn’t mind. He loves the game and his teammates.

If he has to stay in the closet until he graduates, that’s okay. Baseball comes first. Relationships are complicated anyway. And after his recent messy breakup, Max prefers to keep things simple.

Phoenix Bell is a fabulous theater geek. He’s excited about his recent transfer to a new school with an elite liberal arts program. Life has been on hold for a while, but this opportunity feels like the fresh start he was hoping for when he moved to California.

And the chance reunion with the hot closeted jock is an unexpected surprise. The two men have nothing in common and their timing couldn’t be worse. However, when their unconventional alliance blossoms into friendship and perhaps something more, it may be time to make some hard decisions. And perhaps risk it all…out in the field.

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Meet the Author

Lane Hayes is grateful to finally be doing what she loves best. Writing full-time! It’s no secret Lane loves a good romance novel. An avid reader from an early age, she has always been drawn to well-told love story with beautifully written characters. These days she prefers the leading roles to both be men.

Lane discovered the MM genre a few years ago and was instantly hooked. Her debut novel was a 2013 Rainbow Award finalist and subsequent books have received Honorable Mentions, and were First Place winners in the 2016 and 2017 Rainbow Awards. She loves red wine, chocolate and travel (in no particular order). Lane lives in Southern California with her amazing husband in a newly empty nest.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Bookbub | Amazon

Meet the Narrator

Michael has well over 50 audiobook titles currently available for purchase on Audible.com. He is versed in multiple styles and genres including fiction (novels and short stories) ranging from romance to science fiction to crime dramas to thrillers; business strategy books; health and wellness books; and even an occasional children’s book.

Fans of Michael’s narration are welcome to follow him on social media including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and SoundCloud.

If you are interested in working with Michael to produce your next audio book, you can contact him directly at voice@michaelpauley.info

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Release Blitz: Bernard’s Diary by S. L. Danielson

Bernard’s Diary | S. L. Danielson

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Cover Artist: Diana TC (triumphcovers.com)

Release Date: June 28, 2019

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length: 44,000 words/142 pages

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Blurb

Can a suicidal bellhop find true love?

Bernard Covington, suicidal and not the most handsome man in the world, would be happy to leave the world behind altogether.

That is until he meets Dr. Jack Larson. The physician takes his wounded heart and soul and patches them back together, but is he Mr.Perfect?

Bernard and Jack develop a romance, but soon the tide begins to shift as Jack’s past is revealed and it becomes a game-changer for the couple to deal with.

Will Bernard and Jack have a happy ending or will he succumb to his desire to end it all or will dealing with Jack’s phantoms keep him going? Only Bernard’s diary knows what secrets lurk in his soul…

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Excerpt

Prologue

Bernard sat on his bed after another long day at the hotel just a few miles away. He was a bellhop.

Not the most glamorous profession, but the only one he could get years ago when his life plans changed drastically. He raked his fingers through his thick salt-n-pepper hair and yawned wide. He reached down and opened up his nightstand drawer and pulled out his journal. He flipped to an open page and plucked off the pen that was attached to the outside and clicked the point down.

I can’t hold this in much longer. Jeremy makes me want to explode every time I get near that incredible body of his! He’s such a good customer, tips well, and never has much luggage. I love bringing up room service to him…I wish it were me that was staying behind in the room with him. I have to tell him how I feel; he must suspect something by now. I’d give anything to have a real man in my life for once, just once! Something’s gotta change in a big way or…shit. I’ve just, I’ve got to do this before I fall apart and die a 46-yr-old virgin. Wishing myself luck!

Chapter 1: Fateful Night

August 8th. 10 p.m. The blinding red and blue strobing from the ambulance lights lit up the dark street. It’d been a silent evening until its arrival. Two paramedics rushed up the concrete steps to the midnight blue steel entry door on the far side of the long, rectangular apartment building. The lights from the ambulance painted a brilliant hue onto the otherwise dull, gray brick building. Even the trim was gray and all of it was rusted and falling apart.

Another medic followed after, steering a gurney down the steps. Their patient was out cold and stripped from the waist up. He had all kinds of medical apparatus on him; IVs, a breathing mask, and a defibrillator on standby. Finally, the two medics maneuvered their patient down and into the waiting ambulance.

“Ok, what’ve we got?” barked the voice over the radio.

“Heart attack and attempted suicide,” the medic replied in a professional, matter-of-fact tone.

“Any defib?”

“Shocked him twice. 46-year-old male, obese, two bad wrist lacerations, and ingestion of pills.”

“10-4, we’ll be ready.”

The ambulance pulled into the emergency department at Adams County hospital. It wasn’t a fully-equipped center, but it would have to do. The patient was near death. The doors on the ambulance flew open and the stat team ran out to greet them. In charge was a tall, handsome young doctor named Jack Larson. They ran with the gurney inside and to a treatment room. There were four people working on him at once, but Jack kept order to the chaos.

“Nurse, type and cross-match his blood and start him on Narcan.”

“Yes, Doctor.”

“What’re his vitals?” he demanded.

“BP is 90 over 50, pulse 135,” the lead nurse replied.“Damn, too high. What’s our patient’s name?”

“Bernard Covington.” The other nurse read it from the report.

He touched the patient’s shoulder and leaned over him. “Mr. Covington? Can you hear me?” He pulled out his exam flashlight and pulled up the man’s eyelids one at a time to check the dilation.

“He’s out cold, doc. Cops said they found him like this, pills were right next to him.” One of the medics chimed in.

“How many and what kind?” Dr. Larson asked.

“Effexor, 50 mg. Had 30 pills filled, only 20 were found, and it was just filled.” The nurse drew the necessary blood and labeled it for the lab.

The doctor groaned. He hated seeing suicide cases. “All right, let’s pump his stomach, suture these wrists too. They’re pretty deep.”

“Yes, sir.” The nurse prepared the needle, cleansed the wounds, and very skillfully sewed up the wounds. He wrapped them in a thick, cushy layer of gauze and laid them at the patient’s side.

“Good job, Higgins.” Dr. Larson nodded at him.

“Damn, Dr. Jack; that’s the worst I’ve seen. Cops found a butcher knife with blood on it.”

Jack looked at the nurse in surprise. “A butcher knife? Damn, Bernard, you’d cut your hand off.”

He pursed his lips and shook his head.

“He’s stabilizing, Dr. Larson,” the nurse reported.

“Alright, go prep him and pump his stomach. Keep him on constant watch.”

“Yes, Doctor.”

About the Author

S. L. (Stephanie) Danielson began writing at the tender age of five. She knew it was her calling from the moment she put pen to paper. In her teens she began writing alternative works and the genre stuck. She created ever more elaborate tales and finally in her early 20’s years began to create works with her new love; male/male romance. She has since written more than 30 works both solo and collaborations).

Stephanie is classically trained in business, accounting, and HR/training, possessing both an undergrad and graduate degree. She also owned and operated Romance First Publishing where the ultimate goal was to help other unknown, as well as known authors get their start in the publishing world.

Beyond writing, her other hobbies include painting, gaming, and spending time with her husband and two cherished cats.

Her blog is www.sldanielsoncom.wordpress.com and email is ladyauthorsld@gmail.com

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Doctor Dickward gets a great redemption arc

I've Got YouI’ve Got You by Becca Seymour

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love me a good redemption arc and that’s just what I got here as Becca Seymour completely turns around Doctor Dickwad and had me falling for him big time.

Davis was just the right man for Scott to lean on, first in friendship and then more, as he came to terms with acknowledging his sexuality out loud and all the levels of anxiety and doubt that came with it.

The narrative does a great job of slowly peeling back all the layers, never excusing Scott for his poor behaviour towards Carter in the first book, but giving explanations for why.

I loved pretty much everything in this story, including Scott’s sister and her two kids, and it never felt like the plot was ticking off boxes.

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

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