Wednesday, November 14, 2018

RELEASE BLITZ & REVIEW - Rocky Road Of Love...In Heels by Liam Livings


Title: Rocky Road of Love...in Heels
Series: Kev, Book Two
Author: Liam Livings
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: November 12, 2018
Heat Level: 3 - Some Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 63200
Genre: Contemporary, contemporary, cross dressing, drag queen, family drama, coming-of-age, gay, romance, 1990s

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Synopsis

Still single, despite his best efforts,
Kev is a gay cross-dressing teenager, searching for love in the late nineties
in Wiltshire. He may not know whether to put Yours Sincerely or Yours
Faithfully at the end of a letter, but he sure can belt out a show tune in a
pair of heels and a frock.

Looking after his worrying mum, who
refuses to slow down despite having a funny turn and ending up in hospital,
Kev’s working in a shop to support the household now his dad has left.
Irreconcilable differences. His dad said Kev needed fixing and Kev and his mum
thought he was perfect as he is.

Tony, his best friend and Human League
fan agrees, although he thinks Kev’s a chaotic big-hearted, trusting mess. But
he’s Tony’s mess and they’re there for each other through useless boyfriends,
jobs, and studying. Because that’s what friends are for, right?

Contains an inordinate amount of singing
on stage, many costume changes, lashings of heart, family and friendship, an
almost complete absence of the internet and a big dollop of optimism.



Review 
My Rating - 5 Stars!

This book. Wow. Rocky Road Of Love...In Heels is an absolutely spectacular novel by Liam Livings.

I had no idea when I started this book, how positively amazing and powerful it would be. Kev's journey is a heart-wrenching, emotional ride that I will never forget.

So many tough topics are discussed. There's abuse; mental, verbal and physical. There's also the struggle to be accepted as a cross-dresser, as well as the struggles with opening yourself up to friends. Everything is perfectly developed, amazingly written, creating a riveting story.

All I can say is - thank you Liam Livings for this book. It is truly a gift to have read it.  



Excerpt

Rocky Road of Love…in Heels
Liam Livings © 2018
All Rights Reserved

Chapter One
May 1999

Still no sign of Kieran. He was in
Australia with Jo, living it up in the sun, enjoying the fun with the surfers
and costumes and whatever else they had planned. And where was I? I was still
in the same little village just outside Salisbury, with Mum. Who was better
now. On the mend the doctors said. Making a full recovery, was another phrase
they used at her review meeting.

I knew my luck was going to change
because it was my birthday. Nineteen. I was in the final part of those teenaged
days. This time next year, I’d be twenty. A proper adult. Probably.

Anyway, that’s a year away.

I was at the bar, of the Sailor’s Arms
pub, in Southampton, getting Tony and Donna a drink.

Tony said, flicking his fringe from his
eye, “One round, and then it’s back to us paying. This is your night. I told
you how it was going to work, didn’t I?”

Donna sipped her lime and soda, the
designated driver for the night. “Same again. Stack ’em up baby and I’ll glug
’em down.” She slapped her thigh. “If half as much has happened to you as he’s
told me, you should be selling the rights to your story to a film company,
love. Get back sharpish I want to hear all about your last gig. He said
everyone stood and clapped at the end and asked for an encore.” She turned to
Tony.

He nodded, flicking his fringe again.

So, in preparation for regaling them
with the story of my past glories, I went to the bar for my one round of the
night.

No Jo and Kieran because, oh yes, I told
you that. The bar was three deep and I stood politely, waiting my turn, trying
to catch the eyes of the bar staff with a smile. Much better than waving money
at them. Oh no, never do that.

I wore a very understated and normal
pair of flared jeans, platform trainers and a grey T-shirt with three-quarter
length sleeves, Chinese wording across the front. Goodness only knew what it
said, but its bright yellow and white had caught my eye in the shop. It had
been a busy week of performing, lots of different costume changes, sets to
learn, so tonight I wanted a night off from all that. And a night off from
looking after Mum—not that I begrudged her it, not at all, but I wanted a night
of not having to worry or think about her and taking her to appointments,
picking her up, having to slip off work early to collect her, fitting eighty
minutes of things into an hour. All that. And the Plan. I definitely wanted a
night off from the Plan. And aren’t they always the nights when something
unexpected happens? Like when you’re really gagging for it, and really on a
manhunt, it’s a barren desert, but when you’ve sworn off men, it’s like a
real-life underwear catalogue for Calvin Klein.

Well, this was one of those nights, this
was the night, he came along.

And there in front of me, all six feet
six and a bit of him, dark blond hair, dark jeans and a red and white plaid
shirt, was a man who reminded me of He-Man.

“What have you done to mean you’re
getting all the drinks?” He smiled, and his teeth were almost as white as
He-Man’s too.

I smiled at him weakly. Now was not the
time for men. Now was the time for friends, that was what we’d agreed a while
ago, since my run of terrible luck with boyfriends over the past year.

He held his hand for me to shake.
“Aaron.”

Another weak smile. I really wanted him
to leave me alone, but part of me, and I was well aware which part, wanted to
see if he still looked like He-Man under the plaid shirt, or whether he was
wearing one of those fake muscle stomachs I’d read about in Gay Times. I caught
the eye of a barman, shouted my order and thanked him.

Aaron’s hand hung in the air between us,
not quite limp, he didn’t look like the sort of man who’d have anything limp
about him, no, it was more in anticipation. He had a light dusting of mousy
blond hair on the back of his hand, and his nails were perfectly clean and
trimmed. “Why are you here tonight? Look, if it’s with friends, I’m just making
conversation, I’ll leave you alone once I’ve got my drinks. I’m only having
one, and then I’m off. I’m here on my lonesome.” And he did the smile thing
again, and this time his blue eyes did something too, a sort of smile with the
eyes, and I knew he wasn’t lying.

My stomach fluttered with butterflies.
Shit, I think he might be my next mistake. I shook his hand. His handshake was
firm. A good pump up and down. Smooth hand. It smelt of hand cream. He didn’t
roof houses or shift pianos for a living. I looked up to his face. “It’s my
birthday.” I was still holding his hand and found myself smiling back at him,
staring into his greeny-blue eyes.

“How come you’re buying the drinks?”

“They’ve already got me a few, and I
don’t want to take the piss. They did say it was my night, I could do anything
I wanted, I didn’t have to pay for a thing. But I don’t want to freeload off
them. Not with friends. You know?”

“I’ve just left an old friend’s
twenty-first. Not that old. He wanted a pub crawl in the city centre, so we
started at Above Bar and worked our way down towards St. Mary’s street.” He
paused, told the barman what drink he wanted, then returned to staring at me.
“He’s not that old, this friend. Twenty-one’s not old, is it?”

I laughed. “I’m nineteen, so you’re an
old man as far as I’m concerned. Once you’re in your twenties, it’s downhill
all the way. So I’ve heard.”

He knocked my shoulder playfully.
“Cheeky. Anyway, after all that beer swilling in the sports bars. We ended up
at the one by the river. They all wanted to go, so I followed alone.”

I knew of it well. It had a TV to rival
the cinema and was always full of men in brightly coloured sports shirts,
shouting at the TV and drinking pints of lager. I usually avoided it. “So you
thought you’d grab yourself a bit of gay before going home.”

He laughed, his white teeth flashed.
“No, nothing like that. I’m not on the pull. I just wanted to be. Without
having to think about where I was.”

I looked him up and down. “Wouldn’t
think you’d have too much problem blending in those places.”

“You’re hardly Julian Clarey yourself.”

Little did he know. I smiled, handed
over my money as my drinks had arrived. “Still, better get back. My friends’ll
be wondering what’s happened to me.” I started to leave.

He put his hand on my shoulder. “Wait
until my drink’s here, eh? Keep me company a bit longer. I was enjoying talking
to you.”

Is he really? Or is that just a line.
“Five minutes.” I put the drinks back on the bar and sipped mine. I peered
through the crowd to try and catch a glimpse of Tony’s lopsided black haircut
but couldn’t see anything.

“What do you do?”

I rolled my eyes, internally, at his
wonderfully original question and told him about TK Max and some singing work
too, leaving out the dressing up part.

“I love coming here for the cabaret.
That’s why I came here. Needed something to balance all the sport in the other
pub. I hoped there’d be one of the drag acts on. I enjoy them. The put-downs,
the songs. I’m a fan of it all.” He leant forward and whispered, like he was
going to say something illegal. “It’s a bit of a guilty pleasure of mine as it
goes. Do you like all that stuff?”

I smelt his aftershave. A sweet musky
scent. His cheek had brushed against my ear as he’d whispered to me. The finest
dusting of a weekend beard grazed my ear. Maybe I’ll stay with him just another
five minutes, just until I’m a third through my drink. “Funny you should say
that, I do actually. You know the singing I told you about?”

He nodded, accepting his drink and
paying, taking a sip and listening to me as I told him about the Plan, and
performing at that pub, and others in I’d visited on the circuit.

He asked me how I’d got into it, and how
did I know I could perform.

“I’ve been performing all my life
really,” I said with a smile. “Always loved karaoke, so singing on stage was
pretty obvious for me.”

He chinked his now almost empty glass
against mine, which was almost finished too.


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Meet the Author


Liam Livings lives where east London
ends and becomes Essex. He shares his house with his boyfriend and cat. He
enjoys baking, cooking, classic cars and socialising with friends. He has a
sweet tooth for food and entertainment: loving to escape from real life with a
romantic book; enjoying a good cry at a sad, funny and camp film; and listening
to musical cheesy pop from the eighties to now. He tirelessly watches an awful
lot of Gilmore Girls in the name of writing ‘research’.

Published since 2013 by a variety of
British and American presses, his gay romance and gay fiction focuses on
friendships, British humour, romance with plenty of sparkle. He’s a member of
the Romantic Novelists’ Association, and the Chartered Institute of Marketing.
With a masters in creative writing from Kingston University, he teaches writing
workshops with his partner in sarcasm and humour, Virginia Heath as
www.realpeoplewritebooks.com and has also ghost written a client’s 5 Star
reviewed autobiography.


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