Saturday, August 8, 2020

RELEASE BLITZ & EXCERPT - Off Balance (Peachtree #1) by Brigham Vaughn

RELEASE BLITZ


Book Title: Off-Balance

Author: Brigham Vaughn

Publisher: Two Peninsulas Press (Indie/Self-Published)

Cover Artist: Brigham Vaughn

Release Date: August 3, 2020

Genre/s: Contemporary M/M Romance

Trope/s: May/December, age gap, hurt comfort, 

rich man poor man, workplace romance

Themes: Grief, family acceptance/homophobia, exploring light kink, 

friends and chosen family, emotional baggage.

Heat Rating: 4 flames 

Length: 104 535 words/ 260 pages

It is the first book in a new series




Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

Love doesn’t always add up.




Russell Bishop is a rising star at Vantage Marketing.

Stephen Parker is the company’s CFO.

A spilled cup of coffee gives them an opportunity to act on the mutual attraction they’ve both been trying to ignore. But attraction isn’t enough with an almost twenty-year age gap and clashing expectations about their relationship.

Fiercely independent, Russ isn't sure he's ready for long-term commitment and Stephen is afraid history is repeating itself.

Their relationship reaches a crossroads when the death of Stephen’s father forces them to visit his hometown in southern Georgia. Estranged from his family, Stephen must come to terms with his past and say goodbye to the father whose expectations he could never live up to. The small, conservative town provides its own challenges as Russ must find the strength to be the man Stephen desperately needs.   

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_______________________________________________________________________________



“Hopefully, I’m not keeping you from a hot date tonight or something.”

Stephen let out a small snort of amusement. “Russ, I can’t remember the last time I had a hot date. Frankly, it’s been months since I’ve had a date of any sort. And they were lukewarm at best. If you’re asking if I’m single, the answer is yes.”

Embarrassed, Russ cleared his throat. “I was curious.”

“Nothing wrong with curiosity.”

“I’m single too,” Russ said. He cringed internally. Jesus. He’d had game once. Okay, maybe not game because he’d never had time to really develop it, but he used to be at least slightly smooth. This … whatever this was, was truly pathetic.

But Stephen didn’t seem too put out by his awkwardness. “Haven’t met the right person or no time to date?”

“Maybe a little of both,” Russ admitted. “It can be hard to meet men when you’re working fifty, sixty hours a week.” There. He’d at least managed to work the fact that he was gay into the conversation without doing it in the most cringey way possible.

“Absolutely,” Stephen said. “Though, from what I hear, you’re doing very well at Vantage.”

Russ blinked. He had no idea Stephen had even known who he was, much less that he’d been paying attention to how he was doing. “I had no idea you’d noticed me at work.”

“Oh, I noticed.” Stephen gave him a slow smile. “You needn’t worry about proving your worth, if that’s why you’re working those kind of hours.”

“I like to be thorough,” Russ said.

“Thoroughness is good.”

Was it Russ’s imagination or was there a hint of heat in Stephen’s eyes now and a faint rasp to his voice? “I like to make sure I take my time and fully grasp a topic,” Russ countered. “Get a real grip on it.”

“Traits like that will certainly allow you to get far at whatever you choose to do.”

Including with you? Russ wondered. “I’m trying to get ahead.”

The corner of Stephen’s mouth curved up even further. “That much is clear.”

“Think I’ll succeed?”

“I suppose it depends on what you’re trying to succeed at.”

“You don’t know?”

“I try not to make any assumptions about anything until I’m sure.”

Goddamn it. They were talking in circles and getting nowhere. Maybe Russ needed to try a different approach.

“I appreciate all of your help today,” Russ said. “I seriously can’t thank you enough.”

Stephen looked away from the TV again and shook his head, glancing at Russ with a small smile. “It’s the least I could do. I feel responsible for what happened.”

Russ smiled back, Stephen’s earnestness relaxing him. “Let’s call it even then, I guess. Or we could be up all night with this.”

Stephen quirked an eyebrow up at him, eyes crinkling at the corners with amusement. Fuck, what a turn on. Why older men were such an attraction for him, Russ would never be sure, but he’d realized it in college. He’d had a brief fling with a professor named Jack Burns after the semester was over. It wasn’t the forbidden aspect of it—they’d both waited until after Russ was no longer his student—but he liked the age difference.

A man with a fit body, handsome face, graying hair, and a killer smile always got Russ going. Hell, his head and ankle ached and he was still thinking about what Stephen would be like in bed. And was he flirting? God, Russ hoped so. “Well, being up all night isn’t always a bad thing.”

Stephen’s lips turned up at the corners in amusement. “You don’t think so?”

Russ shrugged. “It depends on the reason, doesn’t it?”

“Yes, I suppose it does,” Stephen murmured. He shifted to face Russ. “I’m afraid all of the best reasons are off the table at the moment though, aren’t they?”

“Too bad.”

_______________________________________________________________________________




Brigham Vaughn is on the adventure of a lifetime as a full-time author. She devours books at an alarming rate and hasn’t let her short arms and long torso stop her from doing yoga. She makes a killer key lime pie, hates green peppers, and loves wine tasting tours. A collector of vintage Nancy Drew books and green glassware, she enjoys poking around in antique shops and refinishing thrift store furniture. An avid photographer, she dreams of traveling the world and she can’t wait to discover everything else life has to offer her.

Her books range from short stories to novellas to novels. They explore gay, bisexual, lesbian, and polyamorous romance in contemporary settings.


Author Links




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Thursday, August 6, 2020

RELEASE BLITZ & EXCERPT - Ex-Bandmates (Local Beats #1) by Zoe Lee

Ex-Bandmates RDB Banner


Ex-Bandmates

Local Beats Series, Book One

Zoe Lee

M/M Contemporary Romance

Release Date: 08.06.20

Cover Design: Emilie DeMun Designs

Cover Photo: Stock Photo


Ex-Bandmates Cover



Asher From the second Lucas Carlson shows up in my garage for band practice, I’m drawn in by his eyes, his awkward rambling, and his incredible musical talents. But we share a best friend, and he’s only our temporary drummer while he’s in Chicago for a summer internship. It should be easy to ignore the way he brings something out in me that no one has before.

Lucas Asher Bernthal is a grumpy stockbroker whose band, Signal Fire, is vital to my best friend’s happiness. I don’t want to mess it up for her, so all I have to do is drum and keep my head down. It should be easy not to crush on a man so beyond my grasp, who writes lyrics that pierce straight through me.

Despite all of the reasons to stay away, we’re drawn together and bring something new out in each other. Every song pulls us closer together, but we won’t be bandmates forever.

This is the first book in the Local Beats Series, an 80,000 word MM romance featuring musicians with day jobs, a night club, and lots of songs, with a guaranteed HEA and no cliffhanger.

Amazon US


Ex-Bandmates Teaser 1

Ex-Bandmates Teaser 2



ASHER

 

“I already know all your songs, dude,” Lucas claimed. 

Shooting him an incredulous look, I rolled my shoulders.

With a shrug, one corner of that lush mouth curled up, sly and knowing, and my stomach dropped even as he said cockily, “I’m an incredible drummer and I do know all your songs. You’re lucky I’m in town because you’d be screwed for this gig you’ve got on Saturday if I couldn’t fill in.”

Closing my eyes, trying not to enjoy Lucas’s endearing combination of mature confidence and immature sense of humor, I let a growl seep out of my throat.

“That’s a good growl for a man with such a mild tenor,” he commented.

“Okay!” Dan chirped, giving me a pleading look. “Can we start with ‘Promises,’ maybe?”

Amy tipped her head at Lucas as if to prompt him.

Lucas settled on Eli’s stool, then shook his shoulders and arms out and cracked his neck. He pulled a pair of drumsticks out of his messenger bag and scooted the stool farther from the kit, stretching out one sneaker to test the distance to the kick drum. He looked up to where all of us were watching him, and then he said as if we were the insane ones in this scenario, “Leslie starts ‘Promises.’” 

I shot Leslie an impatient look and started, my voice strung out, “Leslie, for f*ck’s—” 

But then the timer on my cell went off.

“Is it your pizza?” Dan asked as his face split into a toothy, hungry grin.

“I made lasagna,” I muttered, and Dan and Amy moaned in delight.

“Asher, I didn’t know you were domestic,” Lucas gasped dramatically as he twirled his drumsticks like a show-off. “Is it meat or veggie? No, wait, surprise me.”

“Why would you know anything about me?” I grumbled. 

Lucas laughed again. This time he threw his head back, baring a long neck, and I couldn’t stop my mouth from drying out or my throat almost clicking when I swallowed. 

“Seriously?” he all but yelped, his cheeks going splotchy red. He whirled on Leslie and accused, “Haven’t you told him anything about me?” He turned back to me so fast I got whiplash, and said, “I’ve been hearing about you since Leslie met all of you and you started the band. They’ve come up to Wisconsin like a dozen times to hang out, go camping, and spend the holidays at Leslie’s parent’s house. Dan and I took this epic Harold and Kumar kind of road trip—never mind that for now—” 

The timer blared again and I inhaled and shot out a quick breath, grasping for patience as I dug out my cell and stabbed the button to end the timer. Then I stalked into my kitchen, switched on the oven light, and bent to check the lasagna, which was the perfect amount of crispy for Leslie and Amy.

From the garage, Leslie said with her icy-hot sarcasm on perfect point, “I have no idea how Asher could forget a single detail I’ve shared about you, because you’re so memorable.”

Amy snorted and played a high wa-waaaa on her guitar, making the four of them snicker.

“Hey Leslie, how did your annual review go at work?” Dan asked earnestly while I lunged to grab the potholders off their hook, snorting despite myself. “You said you were going to talk to them about a raise maybe.” There was a pause while I set the pan on top of the stove, and then he added, like he couldn’t help it, “Totally can’t blame you if you decided not to ask though, that’s intimidating.”

“I can blame my boss for saying no when I asked though,” Leslie snarked a little bitterly. 

“Dude,” Lucas said, from right behind me.

I jerked, the oven door banging into the meat of my thigh just over my knee. 

“F*cking shit,” I hissed, rubbing the stinging skin as I glared at my oven door. 

Lucas skidded into my periphery, hands hovering somewhere near the corner of the stove. “You aren’t bleeding, are you? Because I am a very manly man, with like half a Master’s degree and shit, but...” He swallowed hard, his sharp Adam’s apple bobbing when his throat constricted.

I found myself shaking my head and reassuring him even though I was the one who’d gotten hurt because the kid walked as quietly as a damn ninja, apparently. “I’m not bleeding.”

“That’s good—ah, good thing you have thighs like a lumberjack or something.”

I straightened and crossed my arms over my chest, one eyebrow trailing high.

“See?” Lucas asked. One eye squinted in accusation while his pouty mouth curled the very slightest bit on the right side. “You look like a lumberjack, which is kind of what Wolverine was in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, which is not the best example of Wolverine, but it’s okay, you kind of look like Wolverine anyway, with the muscles and shoulders and beard and, Jesus, that eyebrow—”

“Lucas,” I interrupted. I made my voice as low and firm as possible.

“Yep, right,” he stuttered, holding up his hands in surrender and taking a few exaggerated steps back. “I’ll stop telling the incredibly straight lead singer of my new band—temporary new band, I meant, obviously!—about how he’s hot like Wolverine and just grab some plates and shit.”

While I was honestly caught up trying to decide which part of his rambling was the stupidest, he dove for the stack of plates and the shaker of red pepper flakes I’d already gotten out before fleeing at top speed. Dumbly, I looked down at myself. “Lumberjack,” I scoffed, then made a salad and cut up the lasagna, while the others came into the living room, bickering about a movie.




Zoe writes contemporary romances and believed everyone will get extraordinary love stories since before she ever fell in love. She lives with her family near the mountains in Colorado, where she writes while listening to music, never drinks coffee, reads books in one sitting, and watches too many movies and tv shows. She’s been writing since she was a kid, but luckily she knows how grown-ups work now. Mostly.

FB https://www.facebook.com/ZoeLeeBooks

IG https://www.instagram.com/zoe_lee_books/

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Wednesday, August 5, 2020

RELEASE BLITZ, EXCERPT, GIVEAWAY & REVIEW - Bashed by Rick R Reed



Title: Bashed
Author: Rick R. Reed
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: August 3, 2020
Heat Level: 3 - Some Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 69800
Genre: Contemporary, LGBTQIA+, grief, revenge, men over 40, romance, contemporary

Add to Goodreads


It should have been a perfect night out. Instead, Mark and Donald collide with tragedy when they leave their favorite night spot. That dark October night, three gay-bashers emerge from the gloom, armed with slurs, fists, and an aluminum baseball bat.

The hate crime leaves Donald lost and alone, clinging to the memory of the only man he ever loved. He is haunted, both literally and figuratively, by Mark and what might have been. Trapped in a limbo offering no closure, Donald can’t immediately accept the salvation his new neighbor, Walter, offers. Walter’s kindness and patience are qualities his sixteen-year-old nephew, Justin, understands well. Walter provides the only sense of family the boy’s ever known. But Justin holds a dark secret that threatens to tear Donald and Walter apart before their love even has a chance to blossom.



My Rating - 4 Stars!


It comes as no surprise given the title, that Bashed is a tough read. Rick Reed will leave you heart-broken throughout.

With a gay bashing at the start, Donald is left mourning Mark's death. Unfortunately, events like this are all too real and this one is based on a real attack. Everything about this story will leave you gutted. 

It's a powerful story of homophobia and gay bashing. It's a story with murder, attacks, grief, and guilt. It's a tale of regret and pain. It's also a tale of survival and healing. 

Although there is the presence of Walter to aid Donald in this ability to move forward, this is a story that is about Donald and Mark. Their love was strong, their story beautiful, and it's ending tragic. It's also a story about Justin and his emotions throughout.

The writing is fabulous, written in several povs, giving the reader the side of all involved. And damn, it is a story who will never forget. 

Bashed is an impressive read, but make sure you are in the right state of mind when picking up this one. This is an extremely serious story of pain and homophobia. There is nothing happy about this tale, but it is a poignant read that will leave you shaken. 


Bashed
Rick R. Reed © 2020
All Rights Reserved

The night had turned cold while they were in the Brig, one of Chicago’s oldest and most infamous leather establishments. A strong wind out of the north had blown away the cloud cover that allowed the city of Chicago to retain a little Indian summer heat this late October night. With the wind, the temperature had plunged nearly twenty degrees, from a relatively balmy sixty-two, down to the low forties. But the wind had also revealed a sprinkling of stars, visible even with the ambient light from downtown. And the moon had emerged, almost full, lending a silvery cast to North Clark Street.

Donald wrapped his arms around Mark as they headed south on Clark, toward the side street where they had left their car. Even with his chaps, biker jacket, and boots, Donald felt the chill bite into him, vicious. He couldn’t imagine how Mark was faring, wearing only a T-shirt and jeans. He’d get his boy into leather one of these days! It was just past three a.m., and the far north side neighborhood called Andersonville, once the province of Swedes and working class folk, and now the home of yuppies and gays, was quiet. A lone taxi headed north up Clark, looking for fares. Someone even unsteadier on his feet came out of the adult bookstore ahead of them, blinking rapidly, and looking around, perhaps for more excitement than he had found in the bookstore. Donald thought that, once upon a time, he could have been the sad, singular man emerging from an adult bookstore while the rest of the world slept, but things had changed since he had met Mark six months ago.

“I feel almost—almost—like we’re the only two people on earth,” Donald said to Mark, drawing him in close for a sloppy, beery kiss. When he pulled his mouth away, he flashed the crooked grin he knew entranced his boyfriend and completed the thought with, “And that’s fine by me.”

Mark grinned back, then rubbed his upper arms. “It’s not fine by me. Not when it’s this frickin’ cold! Let’s get home!”

They wrapped their arms around each other to ward off the cold, much as they had done the night they met, back in March, in the same leather bar. And once again, they were just a bit boozy and flushed with need for each other. Tonight, the weather outside may not have been as frigidly cold as it had been last winter when they had first laid eyes upon one another, but the heat and electricity passing between them was still burning as brightly as that very first night.

Donald stopped again in the middle of the sidewalk, pulling Mark close and planting a kiss on his cheek. There was no one around, and in this neighborhood, such displays really were nothing to worry about, Donald thought. Hell, most anyone they encountered would either be sympathetic or jealous. He nipped at Mark’s earlobe and whispered, “I love you, you know that?” He paused to breathe in Mark’s scent and to nuzzle his nose in Mark’s blond curls.

And Mark stopped, right there in the middle of Clark Street, on an early Sunday morning, and placed his hands on Donald’s shoulders, so he would stop walking and so he could look right back into Mark’s penetrating stare. “And I love you, Donald.” He gave a small grin and looked down at the ground for just a second, almost as if he was embarrassed, and then said, “And I always will. This is a forever thing.”

Donald felt a rush of warmth go through him at the exact same moment a harsh wind, full of chill and with the smell of dark water, glided east from over Lake Michigan. He pulled Mark close and kissed him full on the mouth, his tongue lifting Mark’s and doing a little duel with it. Neither of them closed their eyes, preferring instead to stare into each other’s rapt gazes. Just as they were breaking apart, they stiffened as the roar of a souped-up engine shattered the still of the night. The backfire issuing forth from the car’s muffler made both men jump. They gave each other a quick glance, then laughed.

The car, an old maroon Duster that had been tricked out beyond good sense, taste, or fiscal responsibility, slowed across from the pair. Three shadowy figures moved inside. One of them rolled down a window, and a young male face, pale and marred by acne in the moon’s light, emerged making a kissing sound, exaggerated and prolonged. Donald heard the other guys in the car laughing. He stiffened and felt a trickle of sweat roll into the small of his back, in spite of the chill in the air.

Just as suddenly as they had arrived, they roared off, leaving them in a wake of sour-smelling exhaust. But they did not leave without casting a parting shot out the window. “Fucking faggots!”

Donald shook his head, glancing over at Mark, whose young face was creased with worry. “Don’t let shit like that get to you. They’re idiots. And chickenshits… It’s pretty easy to call names at people from a speeding car.”

Purchase

NineStar Press | Amazon

Real Men. True Love.

Rick R. Reed is an award-winning and bestselling author of more than fifty works of published fiction. He is a Lambda Literary Award finalist. Entertainment Weekly has described his work as “heartrending and sensitive.” Lambda Literary has called him: “A writer that doesn’t disappoint…” Find him at www.rickrreedreality.blogspot.com. Rick lives in Palm Springs, CA, with his husband, Bruce, and their fierce Chihuahua/Shiba Inu mix, Kodi.

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COVER REVEAL, EXCERPT & GIVEAWAY - The Experiment by Rebecca Raine

COVER REVEAL


Book Title: The Experiment

Author: Rebecca Raine

Cover Artist: Bec Rivers 

Release Date: Tuesday, 18 August (AEST)

Genre/s: Contemporary MM Romance

Trope/s: Friends-to-Lovers, Gay for You, First-time Gay

Themes: Friendship, Self-discovery, Self-experimentation

Heat Rating: 4 flames 

Length: 85 000 words/ approx. 210 pages

It is a standalone book.


 


When a single kiss calls your sexuality into question,
there’s only one sure path to a reliable answer: further research.




Patrick

I like to think I know myself outside and in. As a developmental psychologist, I’ve spent years exploring the true foundations of my identity. So, when losing a bet means kissing my best friend, Logan, I already know I’m going to hate every second of it. All the relevant questions regarding my sexuality were asked and answered years ago. The results were conclusive: despite the odd same-sex attraction, I dislike being touched by men.

That is, it seems, until Logan is the man doing the touching. The intense desire aroused by his kiss contradicts all my expectations and I have no idea how to integrate the new information. Thankfully, I know exactly how to uncover the truth about myself—once and for all.

Logan

I’ve put a lot of effort into keeping Patrick out of my fantasies and in the friend-zone. Our recent lip-lock may have unleashed my feelings for him temporarily, but I’ll get them back on their platonic track in no time. Falling for a friend, especially a sexually ambivalent friend, is a one-way ticket to heartache.

But, when the unforeseen impact of our kiss inspires Patrick to conduct an experiment into the extent of his bisexuality, I can’t resist volunteering to help. If any man is going to join Patrick on his journey of self-discovery, it’s sure as hell going to be me.




“I refuse to give up,” Patrick insists. “I came here to kiss a man and I’m not leaving until I do.”

Dropping my head back, I swear at the ceiling. “Fine, but you’ll have to find him yourself. I’m done.” It was a stupid bet anyway.

“I will.” He tugs at his bottom lip with two fingers as he leans on the table, eyes intent. “I just need someone more like…” The words trail off uncertainly. “Someone like…” His head swivels and those blue eyes widen as they lock with mine. “You.”

My eyebrows make a leap for the ceiling. “What?”

“I could kiss you.” His whole body turns towards me, catching up with the insanity of his brain. “Why not? You’re hot. Guys fall all over you, and if I had a guy-type it would totally be you—obviously.”

“Obviously?” I repeat. “How is that obvious?”

He tuts. “We don’t hang out all the time because you rub me the wrong way.”

I haven’t rubbed him in any way—right or wrong. Still, the words make my stomach drop, in direct counterpoint to my cock.

“I don’t kiss straight guys,” I tell him. “You’re more trouble than your tight little virgin arses are worth.” I’ve already learned that lesson, and I don’t need a repeat.

“I’m not some random straight guy. We’ve been friends forever.”

“It’s been a year, Patrick.”

“Yeah, but it feels like forever.” He licks his lips. “I would feel comfortable doing this with you.”

My jaw drops. “It’s nice to know the thought of kissing me makes you feel so… comfortable.” I make sure to emphasise the last word, exposing it as the flaming insult it is. “It’s still not happening.”

“But—”

“Nope.” I hold up a hand to cut him off.

Releasing a breath, he slumps forward over the table. “Fine. Don’t kiss me.”

The silence isn’t comfortable this time. Actually, it’s really fucking awkward.

“I’m gonna go get us another drink,” Patrick announces, straightening from his lean. “Then I’ll kiss the hell out of the first guy who says yes, and we can call it a night.”

He doesn’t look at me as he walks away. I sure do look at him though. From the top of his brunette head all the way down to his well-formed arse. It’s not a temptation I give in to often. I wouldn’t be doing it now if he hadn’t opened his bloody mouth.

The second he suggested the stupid bet I should have known it would end badly. I didn’t even bother trying to win the game of pool. Kissing a woman would have been no big deal. I’ve done it before, back when I was a kid and I wasn’t ready for the world to know my interests lay elsewhere. At least me losing the bet wouldn’t have ended in all this drama.

Gazing out at the sea of men, I wonder who Patrick will end up kissing. Probably some arsehole who’ll try to grope him or get his grind on before the kiss is done. The idea doesn’t sit well. If anybody is going to grope my friend, it bloody well should be me.

“Fuck it,” I mutter before taking off after him. If he kisses some wanker before I get my hands on him, I’m gonna be pissed.




 

Rebecca is a long-time lover of all things romance. Whether it’s a book, movie, or real life, she will always have more fun if there’s a love interest thrown into the mix. She lives in Queensland, Australia with her very own hero husband, two quirky kids and one big, black dog. Other than reading and writing books, her favourite things include loud music, enjoying a glass of wine on the patio, organising everything in existence, and spending too much time on the Internet.

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one of five mobi copies of The Experiment



 



 

RELEASE BLITZ & EXCERPT - Off Balance (Peachtree #1) by Brigham Vaughn

RELEASE BLITZ Book Title: Off-Balance Author: Brigham Vaughn Publisher: Two Peninsulas Press (Indie/Self-Published) Cove...