Tag Archives: PTSD

Book Blast: Complementary Colors by Adrienne Wilder

Complementary Colors | Adrienne Wilder

Cover Artist: Adrienne Wilder

Heat Rating: 5 flames

Length: 362 pages

It is a standalone story.

Buy Links:

Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US | Amazon UK

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Blurb

My sister Julia manipulated my life into a prison to keep me silent about our dirty family secret. Her greed made me a slave and circumstance left me with no way to escape.

Trapped, the only way I could silence the nightmares driving me to insanity was to wrap them in color, hold them with shadow, and stitch them to negative space with line.

But no matter how bright the pigments, no one could see my confession.

Except for Roy Callahan.

I thought he was just another nameless one-night stand in a long line of many.

But I was wrong. Roy could see past the façade of my life and through the veil color over the canvas. He could see what the world couldn’t.

And with him I’d find the courage to tell the truth about the boy.

The boy who kissed me.

The boy who loved me.

The boy whose name I couldn’t remember.

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Excerpt

Chapter One

I knew he didn’t belong the moment I saw him.

He wasn’t cut by money or shaped by political interests, and the rental he wore was a bad joke in the ocean of Versace suits and Chanel ball gowns, fitting him tight across the shoulders and short in the arms. A belt held up his pants, and the waves of extra fabric did nothing to accentuate the ass I knew was just as perfect as the rest of him.

I drank my champagne while the stranger picked his way through the clumps of people gathered in front of the hideous paintings I had on display.

“Paris, darling, Mr. Darcy was asking you about one of your works.” Julia put her hand on my arm. I ignored my sister and Mr. Darcy. Whatever it was he wanted to say to me, I’d heard it before; Mind-blowing, so unique, see the passion, the fire, and my favorite, it speaks to me.

Bullshit.

Only one person could see the dirty secret hidden within the lines, the color, the violence.

Me.

I handed Julia my empty glass.

She tightened her grip on my arm. “These people came a long way to meet you.”

They always came a long way to meet me. Even if it was a block away.

“Bathroom,” I said. Julia frowned. I think she knew I was lying but didn’t want to call me out on it in front of her friends. I peeled away her fingers. “If you don’t mind, of course.” I slipped into the crowd.

Julia would give Mr. Darcy and his flavor-of-the-year wife some excuse on my behalf. Then she’d slay them with her silver tongue, and by the end of the night, they’d write a check for some ungodly amount and buy a piece of hell I’d spewed out into the world.

They’d hang it in their country home or put it in their yacht. They’d smile and laugh and remain deaf to the confession screaming to be told.

Heat from the track lighting pressed down on my shoulders. Greetings cast out by guests floated in shades of black and gray.

I followed the stranger’s trail of color all the way to the back of the gallery. He disappeared around a partition and through a door. I checked to see if anyone was watching before I went in.

Cold fluorescents replaced track lighting, and the hum of the ventilation system snuffed out a burst of laughter. There were only two doors in the maintenance hall, besides the one that shut behind me.

A deep mechanical sound chugged from behind the one left open. I slipped inside and turned the knob so I could control the catch.

The man crouched beside an opening in one of the large metal units. Even on his knees, I could tell he was about my height, but his shoulders were wide, and his limbs were thick.

I hoped that trait didn’t stop at his legs and arms.

After a few minutes, he seemed satisfied and replaced the panel. When he stood, I had a brief glimpse of the curve of his ass when his slacks tightened.

He turned and dropped the tools he held. His hip hit the metal hull of the unit, and it boomed.

“Jesus Christ. You scared the shit out of me.”

A five o’clock shadow dusted his jaw, hardening his features enough to make him look dangerous. And there was already no doubt left in my mind that he could kill me if he wanted to.

He wiped his hands with a rag from his pocket. Scars crossed the knuckles of his callused fingers. The thought of his rough grip on my body left me hard.

“I replaced the coil.” The sound of his voice wrapped me in red and tied me up with gold. “That should relieve some of the strain on the unit. It’s pretty old, though.” He put his tools into a toolbox. “You might want to consider replacing it.”

I engaged the lock on the door.

He followed me with his eyes as I made a half circle around him. His physical appearance didn’t make him alluring. It was how he carried himself. Like a man who was one with the world and not above it. I grazed a look up and down his body.

“I’ll send you a bill.” He reached for his toolbox.

I got in the way, trapping him against the air-conditioning unit.

“Is there something else you ne—” He cleared his throat. “Need?”

“Are you afraid of me?”

He pulled himself to his full height. “Do I have a reason to be?”

“That depends.”

“On what?”

“On how much the idea of fucking me appeals to you.”

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About the Author

I am a writer of contemporary and speculative fiction and artist of all things monster. I live to create new worlds and the people in them. Several of my books have been best sellers both nationally and internationally. I have also been a finalist in the LAMDA awards, the “Oscars” of gay literary works.

I do my best to write original stories with powerful characters and emotion as well as a fast-paced plot. My goal isn’t just to deliver a good story but to take the reader into the story and let them experience the characters as if they are right there with them.

While almost all my books have a romantic element, I will be the first to admit, they are not traditional romance. In fact, I’d like to think there is nothing traditional about them. And the stories I paint are done so way outside the lines of traditional genres.

One of my favorite things to do as a writer is push the boundaries of what makes a story and to deliver the unexpected and maybe even change the perspective of the reader.

My characters are more often than not, beautifully flawed, not always the good guy, and make mistakes. Their stories will take dark turns which, in the end, make the light at the end of the tunnel all the brighter.

If you’re looking for something different, exciting, and unique, my books are for you.

Check out my website for updates and how to contact me. I love hearing from fans.

Social Media

Blog/Website | Facebook | Facebook group | Twitter

Newsletter Sign-up | Patreon | Goodreads

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Review Tour: Room For One More by Ari McKay

Room For One More | Ari McKay

Herc’s Mercs #8

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Buy Links:

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Universal Link

Exclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow with Kindle Unlimited

Length: 80,000 words approx.

READ MY REVIEW

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Blurb

Love may not be pie, but when it comes to your lover, sharing isn’t the easiest thing in the world.

When Joe Morrissey returns home, heartsick and traumatized by his latest mission, the last thing he expects is to find his partner and lover, Brian Finnegan, has fallen for someone else.

Even though Joe knows Finn has never been a one-man man, he has difficulty accepting Drew Martin’s place in Finn’s life — and especially in his heart. But when Finn is kidnapped by criminals seeking revenge on Joe, he’s forced to pair up with his rival to make sure Finn is kept safe.

Joe has no choice but to face his deepest issues, not only about Drew, but also about his own past that has come back to haunt him. Doubt and pain are tearing Joe apart…

Can Drew help put him back together, or does Finn risk losing both of the men he loves forever?

Trigger warnings: This book deals with PTSD and human trafficking. There are mentions of sexual and physical abuse, kidnapping, and child abuse (NOT GRAPHICALLY DEPICTED).

Herc’s Mercs Series

The Bigger They Come (Book #1) – Universal Link

Line In The Sand (Book #2) – Universal Link

Bloody But Unbowed (Book #3) – Universal Link

Once A Hero (Book #4) – Universal Link

The Harder They Fall (Book #5) – Universal Link

Where Angels Fear To Tread (Book #6) – Universal Link

No Pain, No Gain (Book #7) – Universal Link

Review Tour Schedule

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Ari McKay is the professional pseudonym for Arionrhod and McKay, who have been writing together for over a decade. Their collaborations encompass a wide variety of romance genres, including contemporary, fantasy, science fiction, gothic, and action/adventure.

Their work includes the Blood Bathory series of paranormal novels, the Herc’s Mercs series, as well as two historical Westerns: Heart of Stone and Finding Forgiveness. When not writing, they can often be found scheming over costume designs or binge-watching TV shows together.

Arionrhod is a systems engineer by day who is eagerly looking forward to (hopefully) becoming a full-time writer in the not-too-distant future. Now that she is an empty-nester, she has turned her attentions to finding the perfect piece of land to build a fortress in preparation for the zombie apocalypse, and baking (and eating) far too many cakes.

McKay is an English teacher who has been writing for one reason or another most of her life. She also enjoys knitting, reading, cooking, and playing video games. She has been known to knit in public. Given she has the survival skills of a gnat, she’s relying on Arionrhod to help her survive the zombie apocalypse.

Social Media

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Twitter

Website


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Release Blitz: Room For One More by Ari McKay

Room For One More | Ari McKay

Herc’s Mercs #8

RBBanner-24

Buy Links:

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Universal Link

Exclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow with Kindle Unlimited

Length: 80,000 words approx.

RFOMcover.jpg

Blurb

Love may not be pie, but when it comes to your lover, sharing isn’t the easiest thing in the world.

When Joe Morrissey returns home, heartsick and traumatized by his latest mission, the last thing he expects is to find his partner and lover, Brian Finnegan, has fallen for someone else.

Even though Joe knows Finn has never been a one-man man, he has difficulty accepting Drew Martin’s place in Finn’s life — and especially in his heart. But when Finn is kidnapped by criminals seeking revenge on Joe, he’s forced to pair up with his rival to make sure Finn is kept safe.

Joe has no choice but to face his deepest issues, not only about Drew, but also about his own past that has come back to haunt him. Doubt and pain are tearing Joe apart…

Can Drew help put him back together, or does Finn risk losing both of the men he loves forever?

Trigger warnings: This book deals with PTSD and human trafficking. There are mentions of sexual and physical abuse, kidnapping, and child abuse (NOT GRAPHICALLY DEPICTED).

Herc’s Mercs Series

The Bigger They Come (Book #1) – Universal Link

Line In The Sand (Book #2) – Universal Link

Bloody But Unbowed (Book #3) – Universal Link

Once A Hero (Book #4) – Universal Link

The Harder They Fall (Book #5) – Universal Link

Where Angels Fear To Tread (Book #6) – Universal Link

No Pain, No Gain (Book #7) – Universal Link

Copy of Logo.jpg

Ari McKay is the professional pseudonym for Arionrhod and McKay, who have been writing together for over a decade. Their collaborations encompass a wide variety of romance genres, including contemporary, fantasy, science fiction, gothic, and action/adventure.

Their work includes the Blood Bathory series of paranormal novels, the Herc’s Mercs series, as well as two historical Westerns: Heart of Stone and Finding Forgiveness. When not writing, they can often be found scheming over costume designs or binge-watching TV shows together.

Arionrhod is a systems engineer by day who is eagerly looking forward to (hopefully) becoming a full-time writer in the not-too-distant future. Now that she is an empty-nester, she has turned her attentions to finding the perfect piece of land to build a fortress in preparation for the zombie apocalypse, and baking (and eating) far too many cakes.

McKay is an English teacher who has been writing for one reason or another most of her life. She also enjoys knitting, reading, cooking, and playing video games. She has been known to knit in public. Given she has the survival skills of a gnat, she’s relying on Arionrhod to help her survive the zombie apocalypse.

Social Media

Facebook

Twitter

Website


Giveaway

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And three makes it perfect in this latest Herc’s Mercs romance

herc8.jpegRoom For One More by Ari McKay

My rating: 5 out of 5

It’s been a while but Ari McKay finally takes us back to the guys at Herc’s Mercs with this exploration about how sometimes we don’t always know what we need until the moment it falls in front of us.

For Finn being just two with Joe wasn’t where he saw his life long term even though he was in love with him.

Unfortunately for Joe, Finn was it and while he was willing to put up with the love of his life have occasional one-off flings, he wasn’t at all prepared for Finn to fall in love with someone else as well.

This book could have been over the top angsty but it wasn’t. It realistically examined the complications when a relationship is struggling to adapt and change. That it was tied in to a mission overseas dealing in human trafficking provided the necessary impetus for Joe’s feelings towards Drew to change as he drew strength from the older man while dealing with his own internalised traumas.

For me, this expansion of two into three really was room for one more, they didn’t change, they expanded to encompass three because each one really did need the other two, including Joe.

I never felt like it wasn’t 100% his decision and his own emotional connection to Drew which drove him into being willing to start again with them as a three. That the cover reflects this with a photo of Instagram throuple Nick, Leo and Joe, is just the icing on the cake.

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

Complex and beautifully phrased romance

grounded-t-kostova-customdesign-jayaheer2016-smallpreviewGrounded by Teodora Kostova

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Teodora Kostova has an incredible talent for putting you into the heads of her characters and making you feel all their emotions.

She also manages to pass a subtle commentary on just how we treat our military veterans, home and abroad, and also on the futility of a war that no one can remember the justification for.

Greg’s experiences as an RAF pilot are expertly drawn out, placing the reader in the heat and destruction of the conflict in Afghanistan. We also live through the emotionally draining effects of being the one left at home.

With so many family members and friends in the various branches of the UK’s military, I could relate to this a lot. It’s an ordeal being the person serving’s rock, especially when dealing with crises of your own.

I think it was perhaps a tad overlong, Shane’s many moments of introspection could have been reduced a bit but, overall, there was so much other excellent story building, I let it ride.

I preferred this to Cookies in the end, but it was a close call. Greg and Shane just shaded it with the super cute epilogue.

View all my Goodreads reviews

New Release Blitz: Scarred by Mia Kerick

Scarred | Mia Kerick

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Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: December 31, 2018

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 68,500

Genre: Contemporary, contemporary, PTSD, dissociative disorder, stalking, kidnapping, homophobia, family issues

Purchase

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

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Synopsis

Even in paradise, beautiful faces can hide scarred souls.

ONE tropical island.

Placida Island’s gentle ocean breezes and rolling surf beckon to those who wish to reside in remote tropical serenity.

TWO men living in self-imposed exile.

Wearing twisted ropes of mutilated skin on his back and carrying devastating damage in his soul from severe childhood abuse, Matthew North lives alone in a rustic cabin on the shore, avoiding human contact.

~

Gender fluidity his perceived “crime” against family and friends, Vedie Wilson flees his childhood home so he can freely express his identity.

THREE persecutors seeking their warped view of justice.

Vedie’s past refuses to stay in the faraway city he left behind when family members, intent on forcing him to change, threaten the precious peace he’s found.

TOO MANY scars to count.

Their beautiful faces masking deeply scarred souls, Matt and Vedie live in hiding from the world and each other.

Can they unite and embrace each other’s painful pasts, leaving the scars behind, to find love?

Excerpt

Vedie

By ten, I’m sweaty as a deckhand from bussing tables on the beach, and I’m sorely in need of a brew or six. But seeing as I’ve got no cash to burn, I’m gonna have to leave my coworkers—who’re revving up over by the tiki bar—to their night of hard partying. I grab my leopard-print backpack from the hook on the back wall of the bar and head to the men’s room to turn into the other me.

And just as I figured, Joey’s waiting on me there. “You gonna come party with us tonight, sweet Vedie?”

“No can do, Joey, much as I want to.” Safe inside a stall, I pull off my sweaty green The Only Tiki Hut on Placida Island work T-shirt. As soon as I replace it with a dark red, stretchy lace off-the-shoulder number, I can breathe easy. Next, I strip off my khaki shorts and yank on my favorite black velvet pair. Even though I’ve gotta ride my bike home, I kick my high-tops into my backpack and slide on a pair of jeweled flip-flops. After taking a quick piss, I head out of the stall and plant my ass in front of the mirror beside Joey, who’s standing there like he’s got nothing better to do than count the drips of water leaking from the faucet.

“Lookin’ good, pretty Miss Vedie…mmmhmm…”

No matter if I’m dressed like a dude or a lady, Joey always stares at me like I’m a juicy bowl of strawberry shortcake—he licks his lips, and I know he wants to take himself a nice big bite of a flavor he can’t get at home. Then he slaps his hand hard against my thigh, and creepy-slow, it climbs my leg. It’s headed for my ass cheek, or my name ain’t Vedie Wilson.

“Hands out of the cookie jar, Joey, my man.” I don’t appreciate it when any dude gropes me without asking for permission first. But the sad truth is I’m never gonna want Joey’s hands on me. While he gawks, I pull a shimmery hairband out of my bag and wrap it around my head to hold the damp dreads off my face. “Got yourself a sweet tooth, looks like, Joey. You’d be wise to get your ass home to your sweet wife, not that you asked me for no words of wisdom.”

“Not gonna even think about goin’ home ’til I had me some fun,” Joey replies, jamming his hand in his pocket—probably to keep it from curving around my ass.

When I bend to rinse the sweat off my face, he stays quiet and doesn’t goose me. Maybe this time he heard what I told him about getting his ass home to Mrs. Joey. But more likely he’s checking out my butt.

“Baybeee…uh-huh…mmmhmm…nice ass you got there in them sweet little shorts…”

I sigh real loud, “I’ve got some shit to do here, big dawg, so if that’s all you wanted.” The only way to get this guy to take a hike is to tell him point-blank that he’s gotta head on out. “Catch ya on the flip side.”

He leans in so close his scratchy beard brushes my neck, and I shiver in the bad way. He takes a deep sniff—I guess he likes the smell of sweaty dude—and then finally bails. And right about now, I sorely wish the tiki hut restaurant had one of those one-person anything goes restrooms—for a dude, a lady, or whoever you feel like at the moment—but at least now I’m finally alone in the men’s room.

I pull out my makeup bag and quickly powder my nose so it doesn’t shine in the moonlight, and I glide a deep shade of maroon over my lips. But I take the time to be an artist with my eyeliner and mascara because I figure eyes oughta say something.

When I look good enough that I’d wanna do me if I got hot for ladies, I figure I’m looking good enough for public viewing. And my new perfume smells like the freedom I’ve got down here on Placida Island—coconuts and wildflowers and the ocean and honey. I spray it on heavy all over my neck and chest.

As I saunter out of the men’s room, I don’t miss that it’s funny how I went in here looking all-dude, but coming out, you could mistake me for a lady. Ha! More like a red-hot, sexy mama—smooth and silky everywhere except for the four-day beard.

I’m a guy, though, even when I’m dressed this fine. And in my opinion—not that anybody gives two shits what I think—the combo of smooth legs and a stubbly chin says, in your face, assholes! I don’t have to choose how I show myself to the world anymore.

Meet the Author

Mia Kerick is the mother of four exceptional children—one in law school, another at a dance conservatory, a third studying at Mia’s alma mater, Boston College, and her lone son still in high school.

She has published more than twenty books of LGBTQ romance when not editing National Honor Society essays, offering opinions on college and law school applications, helping to create dance bios, and reviewing English papers. Her husband of twenty-five years has been told by many that he has the patience of Job, but don’t ask Mia about this, as it is a sensitive subject.

Mia focuses her stories on the emotional growth of troubled young people and their relationships. She has a great affinity for the tortured hero in literature, and as a teen, Mia filled spiral-bound notebooks with tales of tortured heroes and stuffed them under her mattress for safekeeping. She is thankful to NineStar Press for providing her with an alternate place to stash her stories.

Her books have been featured in Kirkus Reviews magazine, and have won Rainbow Awards for Best Transgender Contemporary Romance and Best YA Lesbian Fiction, a Reader Views’ Book by Book Publicity Literary Award, the Jack Eadon Award for Best Book in Contemporary Drama, an Indie Fab Award, and a Royal Dragonfly Award for Cultural Diversity, among other awards.

Mia Kerick is a social liberal and cheers for each and every victory made in the name of human rights. Her only major regret: never having taken typing or computer class in school, destining her to a life consumed with two-fingered pecking and constant prayer to the Gods of Technology.

Contact Mia at miakerick@gmail.com or visit to see what is going on in Mia’s world.

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Release Blitz: Teach Me To Touch You by Joshua Landon

Teach Me To Touch You | Joshua Landon

Teach Me #1

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Genre/s: Gay Romance

Length: 27,000 words approx. /100 pages

Heat Rating: 3 flames

Release Date: December 23, 2018

Add on Goodreads

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US  Amazon UK

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Blurb

When Austin’s father deserts his young family, he leaves Austin and his sister to struggle with poverty and neglect at home and bullying at school. When Austin’s first girlfriend kisses him in high school, his PTSD flashback to childhood abuse scares his girlfriend away.

A Marine at eighteen, Austin returns home after four years with his PTSD aggravated by nightmares of war. He fears he’ll never have a sex life.

Daniel, a psychiatric technician with a speciality in PTSD, helps Austin readjust to civilian life. Over months of work together, trust grows between them along with an attraction they hide from each other since Austin is straight and Daniel is gay.

A gifted healer, Daniel believes a sexual relationship between them could harm Austin, though Austin is anxious to learn to touch again. But when their visits are scheduled to end, both men must deeply examine their concerns and untangle their desires for the future.

Excerpt

Austin

I was seven when my dad left for work in the morning and never came back. My sister Julie was six.

It was a bad year, the first truly awful year. Not that the years before had been ideal, with my parents snapping at each other over each little affront, but at least they’d both been part of my life. And with either parent alone, I’d felt like a normal kid. It wasn’t entirely self-deceptive—it was all I knew.

But the day my dad pushed my mom against the wall, cocking back one huge fist to strike her, I ran to push myself between them.

“No, Dad, don’t!” I’d cried.

He’d looked at me, lowered his fist, and never spoke another word to me.

In the morning, he was gone.

At first, the dad-sized hole inside me seemed about to swallow me up. I was sure I’d die like the baby bird I’d found in the yard early that spring. I’d given it water and worms in a shoebox with crumpled toilet paper for warmth, but it wouldn’t eat or drink and grew steadily weaker. When it quit moving altogether, my mother stroked my hair, soothing me in a whisper

“Its tiny heart quit beating, Tintin. Baby birds are too small to survive without their parents. But you gave it the best care you could. Its death isn’t your fault.”

I buried the bird in the back corner of our Mountlake Terrace yard without fanfare, digging its grave in the frozen ground with icy fingers that held a bent teaspoon.

Despite my mother’s insistence that I wasn’t to blame, I knew the truth. I’d failed the bird just as I had failed my father.


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Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win book 2 in the Teach Me series.

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About the Author

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A fanboy of books, theater, and cinema and a supporter of the LGBT+ community, Joshua Landon lives in the greenbelt and park-filled community of Lynnwood, Washington not far from Seattle, Edmonds and Everett—a great location to experience the outdoors, music and the arts.

He recently authored the three Teach Me novellas, a romance about two young men: a troubled Marine and a talented healer. They will become available for order through Amazon online in multiple countries, releasing between December 23, 2018 and February 2019.

When not writing, Landon enjoys building stage sets, bungee jumping, river rafting, and watching films from all eras. He shares his bookshelf-lined home with a middle-aged tomcat, and his backyard fills seasonally with wild rabbits.

Author Links

Instagram: Joshua Landon

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