Tag Archives: rock star

Release Blitz: Because of Ben by Lisa Henry

Because of Ben | Lisa Henry

Star Crossed #2

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Release Date: January 7th, 2022

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Blurb

Marco Chase is the lead singer for Static, one of the world’s most famous and successful rock bands. Marco’s bad boy rock star image isn’t just one he’s cultivated for his fans—it’s Marco all over. Marco’s past is full of one night stands, bad decisions, and blackouts. Marco never saw a cage he didn’t want to rattle—and from the moment he lays eyes on him, he really wants to rattle sweet, innocent Ben Selden’s cage.

Ben Selden comes from a fundamentalist Baptist family. Ben is struggling under the weight of knowing that he’s gay, and a lifetime’s teachings that tell him that his God will condemn him, and his family reject him, if they ever find out. With a future he doesn’t want already mapped out for him, Ben’s at a breaking point when he meets Marco.

Marco’s teasing, flirting, and obvious interest awakens a hunger in Ben, and he knows this might be his only chance to act on his attraction to a man—if he’s brave enough to risk his future, and his family, to take it. He doesn’t expect Marco to be his savior, but maybe a savior isn’t what Ben needs—maybe he just needs someone to believe in him enough that he’s willing to save himself.

Because of Ben is the second book in the Star Crossed series, where regular guys meet famous ones, and sparks fly.

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Excerpt

In the dining room, Marco veered straight for the coffee. If he couldn’t get his nicotine fix yet, he sure as shit needed his caffeine fix. Then, balancing his coffee cup carefully against the rim of a plate, he loaded up on bacon and toast and retreated to a table at the back. He unhooked his sunglasses from the neckband of his T-shirt and put them on. He was a rock star. He was supposed to look like a douche.

The dining room wasn’t too busy. An older couple, a woman in business attire, a couple with two young kids. A guy in checkered chef’s pants replacing the trays in the bain-marie.

Marco wiped his greasy fingers on his jeans and wondered where the closest place to buy cigarettes was. He’d ask at the desk when he extended his booking. Then he’d buy a pack and sit his ass down on one of the planters out front and smoke the day away. Because what else was there to do in Dayton?

He googled local tattoo shops. Was it cheating to see another tattoo artist on the side? Probably. When a guy pierced both your nipples, you bonded. Yeah, he’d wait until he was back in LA and see Jimmy again.

Ha! And his parents worried he couldn’t commit.

A bunch of young people in matching blue polo shirts and red lanyards came through the door. His first thought was multi-level marketing. They all looked like they’d drunk the Kool-Aid or the protein shake that cured cancer or whatever shit they were selling. As they lined up for the buffet, he saw that the shiny laminated cards hanging off their lanyards had crosses on them.

Marco almost recoiled like a vampire out of instinct.

There had to be thirty of them, all young and earnest. His gaze caught on a leggy redhead who looked like she might want to let down that high-pinned ponytail of hers with the right incentive, but then he got a look at the guy standing behind her in the line.

Pretty boys had always been his weakness, and this one was hella pretty. He couldn’t be more than twenty or twenty-one. He had bone structure as fine as a girl’s and light brown hair cut in a choppy style. He had pale skin, with a smattering of imperfect freckles across the bridge of his nose. Marco was too far away to see his eye color, but he imagined gray or blue. The guy had a full mouth that looked made for lazy kisses if Marco was feeling sweet, or messy blowjobs if he wasn’t. And something about that neatly tucked polo shirt and perfectly straight lanyard made him want to put the guy on his knees and get him good and dirty.

He grabbed his plate and headed for the buffet again. Squeezed right into line beside the guy because he’d guessed they’d all be too damned polite to call him out on it. He glanced at the guy’s lanyard.

Ben Selden.

Lancaster Bible College.

Tri-State Inter-College Faith Conference.

“Hey,” he said.

Pretty Boy Ben lifted his wide-eyed gaze from the tattoos curling out from underneath Marco’s sleeves. “Good morning.”

“You don’t mind me cutting in, do you?”

Ben flushed. “Uh, no, you go ahead.”

Marco rolled his shoulders, tightening his shirt across his torso. He didn’t miss the way Ben’s gaze darted to his nipples and to the barbells pressing against the thin fabric of his shirt. He also didn’t miss the flush climbing Ben’s throat as he figured out what they were.

He reached out for some more bacon and used the tongs to wrestle a few more pieces onto his plate. Then he winked at Ben and stepped out of line again. “Thanks.”

Ben nodded and swallowed as Marco sauntered away.

Marco grinned as someone else in the line whispered, “Do you know who that is?”

Satan himself probably, according to this crowd, but it was nice to know that the Jesus kids had heard of him, even if they probably only bought his albums to burn them. Like Marco gave a fuck. As long as he got his cut of royalties, he didn’t give a shit if people shoved his merchandise up their asses. He’d always been a pragmatist.

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Start the Series

Not Until Noah

Star Crossed #1

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Blurb

Carter Westlake is on the brink of being Hollywood gold. Cast as the lead in a highly-anticipated sci-fi trilogy filming in Australia, he’s primed to be the next A-list action hero: all-American, hot as hell, and straight. The problem is, Carter can only check off two of those boxes. But that’s okay—his bisexuality can remain a secret until these movies are behind him.

Childhood educator Noah Jones has a plan. Work as a nanny for six months, make some extra cash, and move to the UK to teach. He doesn’t expect his new boss to be a Hollywood star. And he certainly isn’t prepared to fall for the guy.

One kiss sends them tumbling into a secret relationship, even though they both agree it can be nothing more than a fling. Carter needs to stay in the closet for the sake of his career, and Noah’s leaving. But when their feelings continue to grow into something deeper, Carter has a decision to make. Knowing that exposing his sexuality could cost him his career, would he rather carry on living a lie, or risk it all to stand tall in his truth?

Not Until Noah is the first book in the Star Crossed series, where regular guys meet famous ones, and sparks fly.

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About the Author

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Lisa likes to tell stories, mostly with hot guys and happily ever afters.

Lisa lives in tropical North Queensland, Australia. She doesn’t know why, because she hates the heat, but she suspects she’s too lazy to move. She spends half her time slaving away as a government minion, and the other half plotting her escape.

She attended university at sixteen, not because she was a child prodigy or anything, but because of a mix-up between international school systems early in life. She studied History and English, neither of them very thoroughly.

She shares her house with too many cats, a dog, a green tree frog that swims in the toilet, and as many possums as can break in every night. This is not how she imagined life as a grown-up.

Lisa has been published since 2012, and was a LAMBDA finalist for her quirky, awkward coming-of-age romance Adulting 101, and a Rainbow Awards finalist for 2019’s Anhaga.

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Website | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads | Bookbub | TwitterLisa Henry’s Hangout.

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Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Because Of Ben, Lisa is giving away a $20 Amazon Gift Card

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Release Blitz: Bring Me Home by Nicola Haken

Bring Me Home | Nicola Haken

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Release Date: October 11th, 2021

Cover Design: Golden Czermak at FuriousFotog

Universal Link: https://bit.ly/3alAccc

Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58914491-bring-me-home

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Blurb

Hugo Hayes has it all; the voice, the money, the looks. Adored by fans all over the world, there’s nothing more he could ever wish for. Or so it appears. But no one sees what happens off stage. Nobody knows where he came from, what he goes through, where he’s heading…

Except the girl he left behind. She’ll know. She always did.

Helen Jenkins is starting over. Back on the diet and heading for a career change, it’s time to stop wallowing in the past and give up missing the best friend who traded her in for fame and glory eight years ago. Harder than it sounds when his image and voice seem to follow her wherever she goes…

Harder still when he appears at her front door one rainy spring night.

Hugo is falling. After all these years, will Helen still be prepared to catch him before the inevitable crash? Or has he lost the only home he’s ever known, forever?

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Excerpt

We had to wait for the cameras to capture an appropriate amount of applause before someone shouted, “Cut!” and when they did, I was outta that chair before the word had finished leaving their mouth. I stormed from the set, ripping the mic pack from my back, eyes focused on my target.

Drew.

He raised his hands in a protective stance, his mouth melting into an apologetic frown.

“Don’t ever do that to me again,” I barked, shoving the mic pack into his chest. I didn’t wait around to listen to his excuses or apologies. I needed out. Out of the studio, out of the heat, the whole fucking building. I barged past crew members, blustered through mazes of corridors lined with framed photos of stars from the various TV shows produced here, until I found a set of exit doors.

The rush of air smacking me in the face as I pushed open the double doors felt like breaking the surface of the ocean. Finally, I could breathe again, after being pinned under water for almost an hour, splashing, screaming, begging, too far from the shore for anyone to notice. Outside, I leaned back against a wall, closed my eyes. I had about a minute before hyperventilation set in and I lost control of my senses.

Breathe,I told myself. One, two, three, four…hold… I inhaled slowly, focused on my diaphragm, the vision of it expanding a little more with every breath. One, two, three, four… Box breathing, a therapist had called it back in my high school days. Belly breathing, said another. Sometimes it worked, if I noticed myself slipping in time. Other times, the anxiety flourished so quickly it retained all the power, leaving me helpless. Scared.

“There you are.” I was vaguely aware of Helen’s voice, but I couldn’t distract myself enough to focus on it. “Hugo?”

One, two, three, four…

“It’s okay, Hugo. I’m right here.”

I heard her footsteps come closer. It made my heart rate spike, the nerves under my skin feel like barbed wire. No. Not Helen. If I couldn’t bear Helen’s touch…where did that leave me?

Alone. Forever.

One, two, three, four…

“It’ll be over soon,” Helen whispered, cupping my cheek.

I felt the muscles freeze inside my body. Nausea tore through my stomach. Irritation tightened my lips. “Get off,” I mouthed, teeth gritted. I felt like a bastard, a useless and selfish motherfucker, but I couldn’t stand it. Her skin on my skin. The sound of her breath. “I’m sorry,” I choked out, because I was. Truly fucking sorry. I lovedher…but I couldn’t be near her, couldn’t even look at her. Not yet.

“It’s okay, it’s okay,” she said softly, footsteps retreating. She understood. She fucking understood.

Why?Why was she still here? She deserved better than this.

The end befell eventually. Always did. After what could’ve been several minutes or an hour, a sense of calm encircled me, floated from above like weightless chiffon and moulded itself to my body. Breathing became natural again. I could smell the brine from the canal that ran the length of the studios and beyond. I could hear Helen…and appreciate her.

My eyes peeled open. “Hey.”

She smiled, though her eyes looked heavy. Sad. “Hey.”

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About The Author

Born in Manchester, England, Nicola Haken is an author of multiple genre-hopping romance novels, including Bring Me Home, Broken, and Goodbye Kate.

She lives in Rochdale with her husband, four children, and a menagerie of pets, is addicted to Pepsi Max and chicken nuggets, and wishes Harry Styles was her best friend. Like one of her characters, Hugo Hayes, Nicola is autistic, and has battled with her mental health her entire life – winning every time…eventually. With two of her kids also on the spectrum, life can get pretty…interesting!

When she’s not locked in her office playing with her imaginary friends, she can usually be found reading, binge-watching boxsets, or belting out great songs and pretending she doesn’t sound like a cat in distress.

Oh, and if the kids ever ask, she moonlights as the Pink Power Ranger while they’re sleeping…

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

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Website: https://www.nicolahaken.co.uk

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Release Blitz: Code Red by N. R. Walker

Code Red | N. R. Walker

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Release Date: June 24th, 2021

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

Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58276804-code-red

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Blurb

Maddox Kershaw is the main vocalist of the world’s biggest boy band. He’s at the top of every music chart, every award show, every social media platform, and every sexiest-man-alive list. He’s the bad boy, the enigma, the man everyone on the planet wants a piece of.

He’s also burned out and exhausted, isolated and lonely. Not in a good headspace at the start of a tour.

Roscoe Hall is Maddox’s personal manager. His job is high-flying, high-demand, high-profile, and he loves it. Maddox has consumed his entire life for the past four years. Roscoe knows him. He sees the real Maddox no one else gets to see.

He’s also in love with him.

When the tour and stress become too much, when the world begins to close in, Roscoe becomes Maddox’s lifeline. But as Maddox knows already, and as Roscoe is about to learn, the brighter the spotlight, the darker the shadow.

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Excerpt

“Roscoe Hall,” I answered my phone, out of time and patience. It didn’t dawn on me that it was Ryan’s number until after I’d said my name. It was my twentieth call this morning already.

“Just confirming ETA for 9:00 am.”

I checked my watch. It was 7:30 now and I’d already been up for far too long. It was a big day, and I could take a moment to breathe once we were all together.

“Yeah, Ryan. Will be there, thanks.”

There was a brief pause. “Is Maddox with you?”

“On my way to get him now.”

“See you there.”

I pocketed my phone and did one last check. Phone, wallet, passport, tickets, keys. I grabbed my carry-on, locked my front door, and wheeled my suitcase down to the waiting car. I hadn’t even greeted the driver when my phone rang again, and it beeped again on my way to collect Maddox.

I was organized and efficient, aggressively so.

It’s what made me good at my job. Being the personal manager for one of the world’s biggest boy bands was every minute of my life.

These boys didn’t accept second best for anything, and neither did I.

And I should clarify that while they were classified as a boy band, they were men. They might have started out as boys—they were just kids in high school when they formed their first band. But they were twenty-three now. They’d done the small local gigs, needing their parents’ permission to play in bars and clubs around LA when they were underage.

The story of how the band called Atrous made it to the big time was well-known.

The five boys came from nothing. A garage band that crossed pop with rock and rap, playing small gigs wherever they could, when a well-known radio DJ saw them and uploaded footage to his social media. Platinum Entertainment, one of America’s biggest entertainment management companies, signed them, and they’d been on the top of the world music stage for the last four years.

To the outside world, these guys were the ultimate success story.

They had no idea what went on when the lights went out.

Saying I was the personal manager of the whole band wasn’t true either. Personal assistant, handler, manager. It was all the same. But it wasn’t just me. I was one of three. Ryan Morten, Amber Seratt, and I were the personal managers of Atrous, as a whole. While the three managers looked after the five band members, I was, however, the unstated personal manager of one of them in particular.

Lead vocalist and rapper, main dancer, bad boy, Maddox Kershaw.

Ryan and Amber took care of Jeremy, Wes, Luke, and Blake. But Maddox was mine.

Well, not mine. But mine.

God, how I wished he were mine . . .

Over the last four years, Maddox and I’d just gelled. He didn’t trust easily, and for some reason he’d put his trust in me. And the truth was, he needed his own personal manager more than the other four guys.

Maddox was the face of Atrous. Unwilling, but the face, nonetheless.

He carried the weight of their reputation, their brand. He was the one they hounded, the one they chased, the one they followed, the one that made headlines every other day.

He wore black, he had a full sleeve of tattoos, perfect skin, and he had attitude to spare. His motto was to burn down the institutions, to stand tall for those who had to kneel, and to speak for those who had been silenced.

He resonated with the youth around the world.

He was also incredibly good-looking.

When I say good-looking, I mean hot. Sexy, enigmatic, ethereal, even.

His heritage had been talked about a million times. So much of his life was public. His grandmother on his mother’s side was Japanese, and his grandparents on his father’s side were Dutch. He was a second generation American, a very talented musician, and he was incredibly smart.

He sang like an angel and danced like the devil.

And he answered the door looking like a mix of both. His hair was wet from the shower, he smelled warm and clean, he wore black cargo pants, a black T-shirt, and combat boots. It was his standard attire. Seeing him like that made my heart feel far too big for my chest. “Forget your key?” he asked. He even almost smiled.

It had been so long since I’d seen him smile . . .

Yes, I had a key to his house. But that was for emergencies only. I followed him inside. “You ready? The others are meeting us there.”

He grumbled something that sounded like assent. His house was still dark, open and vast, mind-bogglingly expensive, and it felt empty. It was in Beverly Hills, worth a reported twelve million with incredible views of the canyon and the city, but Maddox had the blinds drawn.

He plucked a black hoodie off the back of his sofa and pulled it on. I ignored how his T-shirt lifted a little, exposing a sliver of pale skin above his waistband. I’d seen him shirtless a thousand times. Hell, I’d even seen him in his underwear. It was nothing new, but it still managed to warm my blood.

I grabbed his two suitcases, wheeling them toward the door. He picked up his black backpack. “Got my passport?”

“Yep,” I replied. “We’re all good. Your mom’s got her key and security numbers?”

“Yeah,” he said with a shrug.

His mother was going to come look after his place while we were gone. We’d be gone for almost seven weeks. Seven long, grueling weeks.

“Come on, I have an iced coffee waiting for you in the car.”

He pulled up his hood, but I swear there was the beginning of a smile before the shadow stole it.

My phone buzzed again, and I pulled it out of my pocket and groaned at the screen. Another message that could wait until we were in the car. I pulled the door shut behind us, made sure it was locked, and wheeled the luggage to the waiting car. I opened the car door for him, I closed the door for him, I loaded the bags into the trunk—it was my job to do these things for him—and finally I got into the back of the car with Maddox.

My phone buzzed again, and I thumbed out a quick reply. We’d been driving for about ten minutes when I realized Maddox hadn’t said a word. He’d sipped his coffee but not much else. I looked at him then, really looked at him, and underneath the killer good looks was a tired man.

“You sleep okay?” I asked.

He scoffed as his answer, then glanced pointedly at my phone. “Did you? Has your phone stopped yet?”

I didn’t need to reply because we both knew the answer.

He nodded because he knew he was right and proving his point, I replied to some more emails and messages on the drive downtown. Yes, we all lived in LA, and yes, we were staying at a hotel in LA because when the tour began, the band and the whole crew would stay together. Mostly for logistical and security reasons, but also for bonding. We were one unit from day one, regardless of location.

As the car pulled into the hotel’s underground parking lot, Maddox’s eyes trained on the people rushing about. “The guys are already here?” he asked.

“Yep. Arrived five minutes ago.”

His shoulders relaxed a little, and for that I was glad. He and his bandmates were like brothers; they’d been through everything together. He was closer to Jeremy than the others, but the bond between the five of them was clear. I was relieved that he’d be with them again. I was pretty sure he’d spent the last few days by himself, holed up in his house. I’d spoken to him on the phone, even came to see him a few times, but getting ready for a tour was a busy time for me.

Before we came to a complete stop, he was quiet and chewed on his bottom lip. I wanted to ask him if he was okay, but there wasn’t time. I doubted he’d even answer that question, or answer it honestly, anyway.

“You excited?” I asked instead. “Sellout stadium tour, twenty-three concerts. You ready for that?”

He met my gaze and didn’t look away. His smile was as brief as it was beautiful. “Yeah. Of course.”

I didn’t believe him, and it was devastating how he could look right at me with those dark, dark eyes and speak so sincerely while he lied.

I spent almost every day with him. I knew him. I knew the real Maddox Kershaw, not the Maddox he showed the world. The private one, the quiet one, the intellectual one . . .

The miserable one.

The Maddox I’d been secretly in love with for years . . . the Maddox I could never have.

“Maddox,” I said, but his door opened from the outside, and people were getting luggage from our car and giving directions, and there was no time.

The commotion had begun. These seven weeks were going to be brutal.

He lowered his head, pulled up his hood to hide his face, and got out of the car.

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About The Author

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

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

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

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

She’s been writing ever since…

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