BLOG TOUR: “Robin (Birds of a Feather 1)” by Rain Carrington. $25.00 Gift Card Giveaway Included!

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Book Title: Robin (Birds
of a Feather 1)

Author: Rain
Carrington

Publisher:
Self-Published

Cover Artist: Rain
Carrington

Genre/s: Contemporary M/M Romance

Trope/s: Forbidden love

Themes: Poor little rich boy falls in love with his “brother”

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length: 70 000
words

Book 2 pre-order will be
available on release day.

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Buy Link

Universal Link

 

Will Robin ever find the
love he’s been denied his entire life?

 

Blurb

Coming from wealth but neglected emotionally, Robin
Pavasaris flies to Connecticut, in search

of what he’d missed all his life. The love of a
parent.

What he got, however, was a wicked stepmother that
would rival those in fairy tales and a father succumbed to guilt, silent as he watches his son

hurt by another mother figure. Filip Pavasaris is helpless to act. In fact, Robin fears he’ll have
no ally in the huge, cold manor.

That’s until his half-brother, Alex, comes home from
graduate school. The first time they see one another, it was like Robin had found every
dream he hadn’t known he had. Then, he learns their relation and his heart is sore once
again.

It doesn’t matter, however, as Alex takes Robin under his
wing, teaching him how to survive in the home. The more time they spend together, the
more Robin fears he’s falling for his own brother. On top of that, he can never let anyone at
Dove’s Landing know he’s gay. Their religion wouldn’t allow a gay son, and he’d lose the
millions his mother coveted from his trust fund.

A confession and a kiss breaks everything apart, and Robin
runs for his life, and from his heartbreak.

This is an ongoing series, with temporary resolutions
at the end of each, along with a
few cliffhangers.

TRIGGER WARNINGS: dubcon/noncon, drug
use, and more! Please read the warning inside the book.

 

 

Excerpt

Robin Pavasaris was hurrying to the den near his room where Troy waited, ready to give him
his lessons for the day and something else. Troy was tall and handsome, in a geeky way, but
still, Robin thought he was perfect. Not to mention he loved the guy.

Their affair had started months previous, right around his eighteenth birthday. Troy and he
had flirted for the last couple years of Troy’s employment as his tutor, but he told Robin he
could do nothing about it, since Robin was underage. Once Robin hit that magic, invisible
marker, they’d kissed, made love, and since then, the lessons had been cut short in favor of
spending hours in bed instead.

When he got into the room, there he was, his boyfriend. Well, technically he wasn’t allowed
to call Troy that. Officially, he was Robin’s tutor, but he could have his secret.

“Hey,” he purred.

“Shh. Close the door,” Troy chided. After Robin did just that, he rushed to the table in the

middle of the room, the big glass and chrome desk pushed to the back of the room near the
oversized windows and sat close to Troy.

After a fast kiss on Troy’s succulent lips, Robin whispered, “I missed you.”

Troy was light skinned and marked with a thousand freckles, and Robin was in love with
every single one of them. “Stop horsing around, Robin. You have three finals coming up and
if you fail, your mother will kill me. She has to show your grades to your father.”

“I know, but I concentrate so much better after we…you know.”

Robin was terribly shy, but with Troy, he felt he could let his hair down a little. Not that his
actual hair could be let down, as short as it was, never growing over the tops of his ears, like
his mother liked it. The sandy blond color came from his father, as Chelsea’s was strict black,
but he did inherit her cat-green eyes.

“Not now,” Troy told him, impatient. “Work first, and if we have time…then we’ll fuck.”

“Don’t say it like that,” Robin pleaded, his romantic sensibilities unable to see anything they
were doing as less than the purest form of adoration.

“Fine. We can make love. Get that book open. I already have your assignments lined out
from the website.”

After a long sigh of disappointment, Robin set his mind to task, wanting to do what he had
to, to make Troy happy.

He didn’t care much if his grades suffered. He’d always been a straight-A student, so if his
grades flagged some, it wouldn’t hurt him much. He’d been accepted into a top college,
several, in fact, all far from home so he’d never have to visit if he didn’t want to.

The pages of the book were a blur as he read fast, taking in at least most of the information.
He studied in his room at night, and thought he was likely ready for his finals, but he’d never
disappoint Troy.

“Okay, finish up with that, study those last four pages, they’re big on the exam, then let’s get
to trig.”

“Ugh. I hate trig. I have to think too much.”

He finally got laughter from Troy. “I used to say the same thing. It’ll all come in handy once
you get to college.” He softened more and asked, “Are you excited? To go?”

“Yes. Very. I still hope you can come with me.”

“I live here, Robin. You need to go, start your life.”

Like every time he said things like that, Robin’s heart squeezed painfully, and he felt tears

springing to his eyes, that he quickly blinked away. “You’re…you’re part of my life, Troy.”

“Right now, I am. Robin, I said we’ll talk about this stuff later. Okay?”

Time felt like it was ticking louder and louder in his head, his heart beating right along with
it, faster and faster, until he felt like he couldn’t breathe. “It’s always later, Troy, and this is it!
There is no more later! I’m going away after the summer and we’ll… we might never see
each other again!”

Troy took his face into both hands and stopped Robin’s tirade with a kiss. At first, Robin tried
to pull back from the kiss, but like always, Troy’s warmth, the most warmth he’d gotten from
another human in his life, won over his pain. He let himself be kissed, tilting his head and
letting his breathing finally slow.

When the kiss ended, Troy’s saliva drying on Robin’s lips, he was again lulled into a sense of
love and need. “Let’s get back to work, and I promise, Robin, we’ll talk soon.”

 

About the Author

I love writing, it’s been my dream for many years, and in
October of 2013, when my first book went live on Amazon, that dream came true.

Writing love stories that are centered on flawed but lovable
characters is my passion. Finding love between people isn’t easy, nor should it be. Even in a
book, there have to be obstacles for the story to feel real.

I am a mother of three amazing people, and three adorable
fur babies. I live in Colorado but love many other places besides my home. One state in
particular is New Mexico, the state where I was born has always held a place in my
heart.

People and places make my stories what they are. Each
character I’ve written is a part of me in some way. Each place I write is as well. Adventures
come in many ways, and each of my stories has taken me on an adventure that I
treasure.

Come with me on my adventures and fall in love with my
characters, as I have. I promise, you will love the ride.

 

Author Links

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Facebook Page

Instagram | BookBub | Queeromance

Goodreads | MeWe | Newsletter Sign-up

 

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3rd: eCopy of
Robin

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BLOG TOUR: “The Harder We Fall” by Rebecca Raine. Rafflecopter Giveaway Included!

BLOG TOUR

Book Title: The Harder We Fall

Author: Rebecca Raine

Cover Artist: Bec Rivers

Release Date: March 29, 2021

Genre: MM Romance

Trope: Hurt/Comfort

Themes: Grief, Penance, Personal Growth

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length: 70,000 words

It is a standalone book.

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Buy Links – Available in Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US | Amazon UK

For years, I’ve been bound by sleeplessness and sorrow. His voice threatens to set me free.

Blurb

Insomnia. It’s part of the penance I pay for my greatest mistake. But when an ill-timed doze behind the wheel of my car nearly introduces me to a pole, I know something has to change.

Sleep with Me, a locally-made meditation app, promises a cure. I don’t expect it to work. Nor do I expect to become enthralled by the voice of its creator, Sam Stephenson. His ability to coax forth my nightly surrender is unnerving. I have to meet this man and learn the secret behind his techniques, so I can evict him from my head—and still get a good night’s sleep.

In person, the quiet and reclusive Sam is his own kind of complicated. He needs my business skills as much as I need his meditation skills and we forge an unlikely partnership. But the attraction between us soon flares into passion and, as we grow closer, I start to long for more than my guilty conscience will allow.

I have no right to love, not after the damage I’ve done. How can I give Sam all he deserves, when our chance at a happy ending was ruined before we even met?

Excerpt

“We’re running out of time.”

“So, we are,” I say with a false show of surprise. “It’s my fault, of course.” I pause, trying to figure out how to word the next part without making it obvious this was part of my plan all along. “I could always email you the questions. Then you can take as long as you like to answer them. After you send them back, I’ll write up a plan and we can meet again to discuss it.”

He looks aghast at the idea. “That’s a lot of work. I don’t want to take up too much of your time.”

“Actually, Sam, I’m the one asking for more of your time.” I brandish my most charming smile. It’s worked on men in the past, though I’m not usually trying this hard for the win. Desperation may have knocked the polish off.

Sam’s mouth drops open and somehow he manages to look panicked and thrilled at the same time. “You want to see me again?” he asks. “For the quid pro quo, I mean.”

“If you don’t mind.” I try to look calm, but my pulse is roaring like an express train. If he says no, I’m screwed. “I know this is all a bit odd, me coming to you the way I have. I suppose I hoped, once we met, you might be willing to give this whole process some more time.”

He shifts in his chair again, his gaze dropping. There’s no sign of his earlier trepidation, though, only a subtle wariness. “This was never going to be one hour, was it?”

“Not really, no,” I say, surprised at my honesty. “Not if we’re both going to get what we want from this.”

I can feel his attention all over me, even with his gaze glued to the table. “What exactly do you want from me, Tristan?”

It’s the voice. Right there in front of me. Coming from his mouth. Holy fuck.

Hearing that voice say my name, after all the ways I’ve used and abused his—in curses and moans and whispered pleas—is a goddamned fantasy come to life. Lust surges through my veins and I want to growl in frustration. This infatuation has to end. “I need to stop sleeping with you.”

His head snaps upright and we both gasp.

My right hand slaps over my mouth. “Fuck, I didn’t mean it like that.”

Looking away again, he releases a shaky breath. “It’s all right.” He runs absent hands along his arms, soothing a severe case of goosebumps. Sam is responding to my voice, my words, the same way I inevitably respond to his.

How would we respond to each other’s touch? Stifling a groan, I shift clenched fists into my lap. That’s not what this is about. I’m obsessed enough without learning the texture of his skin and the taste of his—

Sam starts to laugh, really laugh. “That stupid name,” he manages to say between breaths. “Sleep with Me. It wasn’t even my idea, but it certainly does get a reaction.” There’s another peel of laughter, as if he’s releasing all the tension from his body, and I find myself joining in. Every time we look at each other it gets worse and before I know it my stomach is sore from laughing. It feels good to laugh at myself. Weird, but good.

“Let me rephrase,” I say as we start to regain our composure. “What I mean is, now you’ve succeeded in getting me to sleep, I want to figure out how to do it on my own.”

“Should be easy enough. It’s probably something in the phrasing.”

Reality seeps back in, killing off the last of my amusement. “No, it’s something else.” Sam isn’t the first person to tell me to let go of my guilt. My mother used to say it constantly. It wasn’t your fault, Tristan. You shouldn’t blame yourself.She didn’t believe her words any more than I did, but she tried. “I don’t know what it is about you that’s different. I don’t think it’s necessarily something you can teach me, but whatever it is, I need to figure it out.”

“So, what’s the plan?” he asks with a baffled expression. “Are you going to hang around me until you get your answer through osmosis or something?”

“Maybe? I don’t know.” I drop my head into my hands. “Honestly, I’m making this up as I go along.”

“You and me both,” he says with a snort. “I don’t know if I can give you the answer you’re looking for, Tristan. But I’ll try.”

Slumping back in my chair, I release a sigh. “Thank you, Sam.”

He smiles that tiny smile and I try not to drool when his cheeks turn pink. “It’s my pleasure.”

About the Author

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.

Sign up for Rebecca’s newsletter and receive

a FREE copy of All the Broken Pieces

Social Media Links

Blog/Website | Facebook | Facebook Author Page

Pinterest | Instagram | BookBub | Goodreads

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BLOG TOUR: “All the Way Out” by Ingrid Sterling. Rafflecopter Giveaway Included!

BLOG TOUR

Book Title: All the Way Out

Author: Ingrid Sterling

Publisher: Literary Wanderlust

Release Date: April 1, 2021

Genre/s: Contemporary M/M Romance, New Adult

Trope/s: One-night stand turned into true love; Forced proximity; Athlete with musician; closeted sports star

Themes: Self-acceptance, coming out publicly

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length: 79 000/263 pages

It is a standalone book.

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Buy Links – Available in Kindle Unlimited

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Literary Wanderlust | Bookshop.org

 

 

Blurb

Even at that young age Zach knew that those two truths – all-star athlete and homosexual male – could not exist concurrently. So, he’d started dating Rebecca, his devoutly Catholic girlfriend who wants to wait to have sex until she’s married, during his junior year of high school and never looked back.

But on the last night of a team trip to Rome, on the cusp of his senior season at Northwestern University, a Heisman, a number 1 draft pick and a National Championship, Zach seeks out one last anonymous encounter. He opens Grindr and slips out into the Italian summer night to meet Liam – Liam who has a face that looks like it was carved from Carrara marble by one of the ancient greats and whose brazen facade becomes sheepish when he’s asked about his past in Paris. The night is intense, better than Zach could have imagined. But like all one-night stands, it comes to an end by morning’s light.

But what happens to Zach’s carefully manicured plans for a professional football career and a life in the closet when Liam shows up, not only on the Northwestern campus the first day of the fall semester, but in Zach’s upper-level Plato seminar, too?

 

 

Excerpt

“What are you doing in my upper level classics seminar?” Liam snapped.

Um, I’m fulfilling my degree requirements,” Zach snapped back. “What are you doing in my upper level classics seminar? You live in Rome.”

“No, I was regrouping in Rome. I’d been going to school in Paris before that but—Wait, degree requirements? You’re a Classics major? Mr. Hotshot-starting-quarterback is a Classics major?” Liam’s voice came out shriller than he would have liked.

Zach set his hips back against the table, crossing his arms with a sudden smugness. “A Classics major focusing in Pax Romana philosophers with a 3.7 GPA, you mean? Yeah. I am. How do you think I recognized that ridiculous Metamorphoses quote on your Grindr profile?”

“I figured you Googled it like everyone else usually did.”

Zach’s face softened at Liam’s unintentional reveal. “Why didn’t you say anything about coming to school in the States that night?” Zach asked.

Liam leveled him with a look. “I don’t remember us doing an awful lot of talking.”

“We talked enough. You could have mentioned it.”

“I’d only decided to come here a week or so before we met,” Liam explained. “I barely knew anything about Northwestern aside from the fact that it has a pretty well-respected music program. Certainly not enough to know it has some big deal football team. And besides, what were the chances?”

“I’m not a betting man, but I definitely wouldn’t have taken these odds.” Doe-eyed panic lingered on Zach’s face even as he shifted to a more conversational tone. “So, the music school, huh? That’s cool. I remember you had music on your desk. What do you play?”

“Piano mostly, but I’m a composition major. I added a Classics minor ‘cause I can, here. My other school didn’t offer liberal arts courses.” Zach nodded, and Liam realized it was probably his turn to attempt conversation. “A jock with a brain, then. Color me impressed.”

Zach gave a bored lift of his shoulder. “It makes for a great human-interest story. I think every bad pun about Greek gods or Roman gladiators has been made about me at least once. The ESPN announcers think they are so fucking clever.”

Liam stared at him. “You keep saying these things thinking I know what they mean.”

“ESPN.” Zach gave him a patient grin. “It’s a cable sports network that shows games. You know, on the TV.”

“Yeah, alright.” Liam’s pursed lips morphed into an unbidden smile.

It was impossible not to note how the tension in the room had slipped away. The looks that passed between them carried a certain playfulness once they were forced to accept the inconceivable fact that they were both here in the same city, at the same school, and even in the same class. And into that ease slipped the feelings of attraction and memories of the intimacy they’d found on Liam’s mattress by the end of their night together. Liam had sought hidden parts of Zach’s body with his fingers. That small, insinuating touch, burned into his memory, had ignited such terrified want in Zach’s bright blue eyes that Liam had known that he would have been allowed to feel Zach from the inside if only they’d had more time. One more night. One more hour, even. And now here Zach was, standing before him. It was as baffling as it was thrilling. Liam certainly wouldn’t mind if they wound up hooking up again.

“Look,” Zach started, “This is crazy that you’re here, and I hope you love your time at Northwestern as much as I have, but it’s probably for the best if we don’t interact.”

Liam was rendered mute.

“I mean, I know we’re in class together,” Zach continued. “We’ll have to interact, discussion grades and everything, but what I mean is, we shouldn’t be friendly.”

“Why not?” Liam asked after another stunned beat.

“It’s nothing personal. In fact, I think you’re—” Zach stopped. He pressed his eyes closed and shook his head sadly. He took another steadying breath before speaking again. “It would make things really difficult for me. Like I told you in Rome, no one knows about me. About me and…” He spoke the next word at a careful volume. “Men. In fact, you’re the only person on this entire campus who does.”

Zach’s sexuality was a secret that should have bound them. But instead, Zach was using it to put a wedge between them, between even the possibility of them. Liam didn’t think the conversation could get any more ridiculous.

 

About the Author

I named myself “Ingrid” after a character in a story I started writing and will never finish.

I named myself “Sterling” after my dad’s boyhood dreams.

I’m a Yankee who has lived south of the Mason Dixon for a decade and I use ‘Y’all’ without irony. I dance in my kitchen. I vote. I love all the cats in the world and a good IPA. I will scream over college sports.

I write about love, with love, because #loveislove.

With two degrees in music performance, I strive to make my words sing. The rhythm and pacing of the prose are as important to me as my complicated, imperfect characters and my guaranteed happily-ever-afters.

 

 

Author Links

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BLOG: “Claw of Exile” by J.K. Jones

BLOG TOUR

Book Title: Claw of Exile

Author: J.K. Jones 

Publisher: Self-published

Release Date: February 20, 2021 

Genre/s: MM werewolf romance, interracial romance, MM paranormal romance, Action and adventure,

Tropes: Enemies to lovers 

Heat Rating:  4 flames  

Length:  68 995 words

It is the first book in the series. Book 2 due to be released in December. 

Add on Goodreads

 

Buy Links

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK 

 

He kills to survive 

 

Blurb 

Exiled.

Cursed. Abandoned. Ryu Suzuki is no stranger to these things.

For years he wandered the Outlands with nothing but his Katana to keep him safe. Kuroi kage—Black Shadow is what they call him. A phantom Omega. He belongs nowhere. He is no-one. Until a vicious disease spreading like wildfire threatens everyone he loves. 

After a series of unfortunate events, the game changes. Now he’s forced to go back to his long-forgotten pack, the Silvercrest Howlers. Suddenly, he’s staring at the man who ruined everything in the first place.

The Alpha that betrayed him. The White Lotus. 

Micah McCorbyn.

He also happens to be his mate.

Claw of Exile is a dark MM romance series. Each book is a whirlwind experience, high octane and will have you at the edge of your seat. Enemies to lovers, friends to lovers, hurt comfort, gay paranormal romance, gay betrayal romance and so much more. Follow Ryu into the Exiled series and strap yourself in for a wild ride.

 

Excerpt 

Chapter 1

The Outlands

Yokohama Japan 21’

 

Ryu Suzuki is rotten.

Like all forbidden fruit, they say, he appears lush with deliciousness, but his insides are the color brown, sodden with the foul stench of bacteria. They are black and blue they say, slimy green, covered with rot and deterioration. It’s disgusting to look at. 

The fruit is shriveled up, with pus oozing through the thick skin. On the outside he looks perfectly normal, shining—shimmering in the light, deceiving everyone.

Ryu is the picture of ripening fruit, ample with flavor, ready to be tasted and explored by anyone who dared. Conversely, among other fruits, he would never let on his infectious disease until it was too late, and it spread.

They say Ryu Suzuki is indeed rotten to the core.

His bitter hands grip the headboard as the man above moves forcefully. The durable bend and twists of his hips make him choke violently, back arching off the bed, pale skin shining in the moonlight.

His hair sprawls like a black curtain, long and silky in the sheets. Earlier that day, it had been upon him, the slick and fever of desire, so ripe and deep it made him wrench in anguish.

Ryu found the closest Alpha, decent size, large and empowering, and released his intoxicating scent. No Alpha could ever resist. Ryu lured him into his tiny apartment, no more the size of a small box, with the bathroom and kitchen all being in one spot.

The Alpha didn’t ask questions, he tossed Ryu onto the bed, tearing off his clothes in a deep rage that would later consume him in his rut.

No kisses. No words of any kind.

Just lips, teeth, and skin.

Fuck—the man licks down the pale column of his neck, lapping at the skin, tonguing his glans, causing passion to tear through him.

He comes again for the fifth time that evening, soaking the Alpha and the sheets. This goes on for several more hours. When it’s over, they are both covered in sweat, the stench of sex and freesia filling the room.

The Alphas knot dies down.

And Ryu knows what’s coming next. The Alpha stands, barely letting the air cool around them, throwing on his tight white t-shirt and jeans, his physique muscular, arms rippling and straining against the fabric.

He isn’t bad looking.

Just not at all Ryu’s type.

“You got a mate?” The Alpha asks.

They all did. Ryu ignores the question, lazily stroking his flat stomach, noting the sharp arch of his hip bones. He hasn’t eaten in days.

“Silent type eh?” The Alpha probes. “Look…. I only did this because you seemed desperate.”

That’s what they all say. Ryu wants to crackle in maniacal laughter. He doesn’t though, his eyes watch coolly, like a feline.

“You have a mate,” he continues. “I can tell. Your Māku is strong, very strong. He must be a powerful Alpha. You shouldn’t be wandering around here without him. Whatever happened between you two… it doesn’t matter…the stench of another Alpha on his Omega is enough to drive one mad…”

Isn’t that what Ryu wants? To drive his Alpha mad? He turns his head away dismissively. This conversation is over.

 

About the Author 

Heaven and hell, demons and angels. J.K Jones has always had an affinity for otherworldly things. From her debut novel, it’s easy to see she loves all things crawling in the shadows. As it so happens, J.K Jones is the author of a gritty, fun, action-packed, soul-rending novel. Her characters are so dark and twisted they defy the dimensions of this world. She does not believe in HEA, she does believe in writing a suitable ending for her characters. Never will you read any of her works where the characters ride off into the sunset together. Not going to happen. There is nothing J.K. Jones loves more than a tragic ending. She is an avid reader, poet, and LGBTQ activist. She is a University graduate with a BA in Sociology, also has a TESOL certificate for teaching English as a Second Language.

 

Author Links

Blog/Website  |   Instagram  |   Newsletter Sign-up

 

 

 

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BLOG TOUR: “The Good Ship Lollipop” by Patrick Benjamin

BLOG TOUR

Book Title: The Good Ship Lollipop

Author: Patrick Benjamin

Publisher: KDP Publishing

Cover Artist: Rebecca Covers

Genre/s: Contemporary M/M Romance, Comedy

Trope/s: Love triangles, Frenemies

Themes: Moving on, learning to love again

Heat Rating: 3 flames

Length: 140 000 words/430 pages

It is a standalone book.

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Kyle must choose between the love of his past and the man he could love in the future

 

Blurb

For fifteen years, Kyle and Dustin seemed like the perfect couple. That was until Kyle came home to discover Dustin in bed with a yoga instructor half his age and twice his flexibility. Two years and countless therapy hours later, Kyle has almost put the incident behind him. Being nearly forty and single makes a man bitter, but he’s making do.

Yet, when Kyle’s best friend asks him to be her Man of Honor, on her ten-day Caribbean wedding cruise, Kyle finds himself in a most uncomfortable situation. He ends up trapped on a seafaring vessel for ten days with the man who practically destroyed him.

Face to face with Dustin for the first time since the breakup, unresolved feelings float to the surface, and Kyle and Dustin both begin to wonder if their story is as over as it seems.

While navigating unchartered waters with Dustin, Kyle also meets Jax, a sexy Australian who likes to cruise in more ways than one. Kyle is more than happy to let Jax distract him for ten days. Still, when Jax suggests that he might want more than just a few days of fun, Kyle must choose between the love of his past or the man he could love in the future.

 

Excerpt

No, absolutely not!” I nearly choked on a spinach leaf.

“You have to come,” Sapphire insisted. “I want you to be my Man of Honor.”

“A) That’s not a thing. B) The answer is still no.”

“I can’t get married without you.”

“Sure, you can. There’s no law against it. People do it all the time.”

When Sapphire offered to take me to lunch, I should have suspected something treacherous was afoot. Sapphire and I were like sisters. Sisters of different races and one of them with a penis, but sisters, nonetheless. Our relationship was something enormous and incomprehensible to most people. On paper, we had nothing in common. We had completely different backgrounds and cultural experiences that cultivated entirely different perspectives of the world around us. Despite those differences, we had found each other.

As close as we were, the girl had never offered to buy lunch. She seldom volunteered to pay for anything. That should have been warning number one. When she suggested my favorite Italian restaurant, Armando’s, that should have been warning number two. When she volunteered to foot the bill to attend her destination wedding cruise, I should have known to prepare myself for the Armageddon of bad news.

“You spent fifteen years with the man. What are ten more days?” She spoke with her hands. A piece of chicken flung off her fork and onto the table beside us. The senior couple, who were trying to enjoy their eighteen-dollar salads, glared at us like we each had two heads.

“I’m so sorry,” I mouthed to them.

“I can’t believe you would miss your best friend’s wedding over a tiny, little, uncomfortable inconvenience like this.”

“A cockroach infestation is a tiny inconvenience. Gonorrhea is uncomfortable. What you’re asking me to do is far worse.”

“Don’t be dramatic,” Sapphire said, waving her hand. “Dustin is not that bad.”

“Isn’t he?” He was too tall, too fit, too classically pretty, and all too aware of the fact. He was narcissistic and untrustworthy, but he was also charming and exceptionally good at putting on an innocent act. He could flash his white teeth and his dimples and get people to believe anything he wanted. Still, if you looked into his eyes, you could tell he was soulless.

“Why would you want everyone to join you on your honeymoon, anyway?” I shifted focus. “I hate to tell you this, but if you can’t stand to be alone with Justin for ten days, you probably shouldn’t marry him.”

“Very funny,” she said dryly. “I want everyone there because I want my wedding to be an experience. An amazing memory we can all look back on together.”

“I am not spending ten days, on a tiny boat, in the middle of the Caribbean, with him.”

“It’s a cruise ship,” she corrected. “Besides, you won’t be with Dustin. You’ll be with me.”

“Lies!” I wasn’t buying any of it. “I know exactly what will happen. You and Justin will be too busy enjoying your Caribbean honeymoon to spend any time with me. Then I’ll be trapped, in the middle of the ocean, with no one to talk to except Beelzebub’s concubine.”

“He’s not going to be the only other person there, you know. Several other people will be in our group. You can make one of them your wingman. My father loves you. You can hang-out with him.”

“Honey, don’t take this the wrong way. If I’m on an exotic vacation, and the only man who wants to spend time with me is your sixty-five-year-old arthritic father, I might drown myself in a bathtub.”

“Don’t be silly,” Sapphire dismissed. “You’ll be surrounded by water. There’d be no need to draw a bath.”

I did not look amused.

“I can’t believe you’re still so angry. It’s been over a year.” It had been eighteen months since the breakup, and yes, I was still harboring, hurting, and hating.

I hadn’t seen or spoken to Dustin since the incident. As instructed, he had been gone when I returned to the apartment. With Sapphire’s help and some very strategic planning, I had avoided him throughout the entire decoupling process.

I left yellow Post-it Notes on everything he could take and was extremely vindictive about it. He could have the Blu-ray player, but not the discs or the TV. He could take the kitchen table, but not the chairs. I even kept the Keurig, though I permitted him to take his pods. What kind of monster drank decaf anyway? I also instructed Sapphire to guard the jazz record collection with her life. I detested jazz music, and we both knew it. I planned to pawn or destroy the albums later.

The first few weeks after the breakup, Dustin tried tirelessly to communicate with me. He sent me text messages that I didn’t answer and left voice mails that I refused to listen to. Dustin tried everything short of smoke signals. He even sent me an old-fashioned letter, which I didn’t open and burned immediately. I had nothing to say to him and had no desire to hear what he had to say to me. I had never been an incredibly trusting person, and his betrayal had reinforced all those walls that I had been trying, for years, to dismantle.

Being the forgiving person she was, Sapphire tried to convince me to give Dustin a second chance. Still, I refused, steadfast in my determination that he’d had his chance. Since then, she had been careful not to mention him. Even though I knew full well that she saw him regularly. He was her fiancé’s twin brother. She had to remain cordial. I did not and had no intention of ever being so.

“You simply have to come. We’re going to so many beautiful islands: Turks and Caicos, Bonaire, St. Thomas, and Aruba. You’ve always wanted to go to Aruba.”

That was true, but still, “If you put us on a ship together, I promise you, I will throw him overboard.”

She smiled wide, her teeth gleaming white against the contrast of her chocolate skin. “That’s fine! Just promise you’ll make it look like an accident.”

“Duh,” was the most mature response I could muster. “I don’t want to end up someone’s bitch in a Caribbean prison.”

“Don’t you, though?”

Dirty, prison sex would have been the most action I’d seen in a while. Thirty-nine may have been young by hetero standards, but in the queer world, I was practically a spinster. Being classified as an elder gay meant that my dating pool had been reduced to a few categories. First, those men who were so weird or creepy that nobody wanted them, or second, those who were so bitter and jaded by relationships past that dating them was like trying to build a house out of straw. I was a card-carrying member of category two.

Of course, there was always a third group. Younger men. They were excellent in theory, with their zero percent body fat and their permanent erections. However, too often, their perfect bodies and sexual appetites only camouflaged the fact that they lacked any real substance. If brains were dynamite, most of them couldn’t blow their nose. There were always exceptions. Old souls that knew how to converse about more than just Rhi-Rhi’s new album or T-Swizzle’s latest boyfriend. Those younger men wanted more than sugar daddies. Though, I still couldn’t imagine having enough in common with someone who hadn’t even been alive during the original run of Friends.

It wasn’t that I couldn’t get a date. Even close to forty, I was still cute. Not as attractive as I was at twenty, but I wasn’t a hunchback or anything. My deep green eyes matched my red hair, which I kept cropped short to avoid the bozo-clown-realness it would become if left to grow-out. I was tall and still decently shaped, a little thicker in some places than I’d prefer, but that came with age. At least, that’s what I told myself. I had a good understanding of where that put me in the queer hierarchy. Guys would still bang me; they just wouldn’t brag about it anymore.

Admittedly, the realization that I was no longer prime real estate took some getting used to. Before Dustin, I had been a penthouse in Manhattan, but after fifteen years in couple-town, I was shocked to discover I was now a brownstone in Queens. Next stop? Condemned building in Jersey!

That being said, I was optimistic about my life, even if it meant spending it alone.

“The ship is huge,” Sapphire was still talking. “You won’t even really have to see each other. There are also excursions at every port: zip-lining, snorkeling, hikes, surfing. Come on. You can orbit around each other for ten days without committing a violent felony.”

“Great, so I can spend the entire time by myself?”

“There’s going to be thousands of people on this ship. It’s a floating city. If you’re so worried about being by yourself, you could always try making friends.”

“You’ve known me for twenty years. Am I the type of person who makes friends?”

I was about to find out.

 

About the Author

This is Patrick Benjamin’s second novel. He was excited to try his hand at something lighter and more humorous than his debut novel (The Road Between). Patrick can most often be found spending quiet evenings at home with his husband, Jarrett and his puppy, Dax. When he’s not writing, Patrick can often be seen performing on stage as his glamorous drag persona Tequila Mockingbird. He also volunteers on the Board of Directors of a non-profit organization that has proudly served the LGBTQ2S+ community for 45 years.

 

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BLOG TOUR: “Dark Flame” by Kat Silver. $25.00 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway.

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Book Title: Dark Flame (Flame-Born 1)

Author: Kat Silver

Publisher: Self-Published

Cover Artist: Bookfly

Release Date: February 6, 2021

Genre/s: MM paranormal/urban fantasy

Trope/s: Enemies to Lovers

Themes: Finding home and self. Self-discovery. Self-acceptance. Learning to trust.

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length:  82 000 words/310 pages

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Hunted by a vampire prince. Caged by his rescuer. Can Michael escape the dark destiny written in his blood, or will his own heart be his undoing?

 

Blurb 

“I know who you are because you belong to me. You were born to be mine.” ~ Alexei Vasiliev, the vampire prince.

Haunted by the death of his parents, Michael Blakeley wants answers. The twenty-six-year-old martial artist seeks their killer, but he also wants to know why electronics short out at his touch, and why his libido is a raging fire.

When a group of soldiers calling themselves Guardians rescue him from a back alley ambush and claim to have the answers he needs, he agrees to go with them. Especially when they tell him the attackers were vampires. But nothing in this supernatural underworld is as it seems, and when the silver-eyed commander cages him instead, Michael’s answers slip further away.

Can Michael find safety from the vampires who claim him? Can he escape the dark destiny he discovers is written into his blood? And will he break the chains of the commander who keeps him captive? The one man he has no desire to leave?

Dark Flame is the first pulse-pounding book in the Flame Born LGBT urban fantasy series. If you like enemies to lovers, shifters, sexy vampire princes, and scorching heat, you’ll love this smoldering tale of bloodlust and magic. 

Warning: Dark Flame is a gay erotic love story. It contains explicit language and sexual scenes between men, and is meant for adult readers only. There is content some readers may find distressing. See inside for potential triggers. 

 

Excerpt 

I kneel and hang my head and wait. I have to. I want to. There’s an elation in my chest, as though I’m about to meet a secret beloved I’m only now remembering. My attention draws upward, compelled to the stunning creature. I couldn’t look away if my life depended on it, but I avoid meeting his dark gaze. 

With unearthly grace, the vampire saunters toward me, his eyes riveted to my face. The closer he comes, the more the battle slips into the background. It could be only the two of us here in the steelworks. Weapons fly around himbolts and swords whistle through the air, heading for his chest, but stop midflight before they can meet their target and clatter to the concrete. He doesn’t spare them a glance.

The nearer he stalks, the harder my heart pounds. My breath comes in shallow puffs. Cold sweat soaks my T-shirt. My nails puncture the soft flesh of my palms. I feel defenseless. 

The prince stands in front of me, close enough to touch, a towering demigod, his immense wings creating a shadowed cavern.

I force my eyes down, fixing them on a patch of crimson blood painted across the concrete. I resist a baffling urge to lean and rest my head against his hip.

Strong, elegant fingers cup my chin to lift my face. I tense, my stomach twisting with panic. I’m certain that once I meet those black eyes, it’s over. His fingers burn hot against my chin. The touch tingles my skin like champagne. I melt into his hand and look up, finding two pools of darkest night. My resistance vanishes.

Master. The word hangs in my mind. 

I will never let it leave my lips.

 

About the Author 

I’m a simple northern English lass with an addiction to writing, as well as all things romance. Also addicted to cats, cat videos, and anything with, you know, cats in it. And there’s chocolate, and tea, coffee too, and rainy Sundays. Okay, I have many addictions. But my first love has always been story in all its forms, from movies to books to anecdotes told over a beer at the local pub. If we’re sharing a story, I’m all ears. And if it’s fantasy with sexy heroes and vampires and lots of angsty luuurve, I’m probably drooling. Come in, pour yourself a tea, and kick your shoes off. Let me tell you a story.

 

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BLOG TOUR: “Pansies’ Revenge” by Jeffrey Buchanan

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for

Three historical novels by Jeffrey Buchanan

💜Sucking Feijoas 💜The Smile of the Dispossessed 💜Pansies’ Revenge

💜Sucking Feijoas 💜The Smile of the Dispossessed 💜Pansies’ Revenge

 

BOOK 1

Book Title: Sucking Feijoas

Author: Jeffrey Buchanan

Publisher: https://lgbtqipressnz.com

Cover Artist: FormattingExperts.com

Length: 283 pages

Release Date: June 24, 2020

Genre: Gay Historical novel, LGBTQI Literary / Historical Fiction

Themes: gay liberation, coming out

It is a standalone story.

Goodreads

 

Buy links

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Blurb

George thinks he’s a real man…until he is seduced by an American serviceman on duty in New Zealand during WW2.

Neddy, the son of Lebanese migrants, marries a peasant girl in an attempt to overcome his attraction to men.

Garth, an intellectual, working-class Catholic boy, escapes to Mexico but eventually returns to reveal a painful secret.

Set in New Zealand, Lebanon and Mexico between 1942 and 1986, SUCKING FEIJOAS follows the lives of gay men and how, with ingenuity, courage and love, they managed their lives – despite the odds. Now in its third edition, this deeply engaging story about sexuality, class, race and the culture wars that surrounded them, is as relevant as ever. SUCKING FEIJOAS is riveting storytelling, gay history, empowering.

 

Excerpt

George was ecstatic that the party was going to be held in what he now referred to as his apartment. ‘Flat’ was definitely out as a term of reference to his abode now that he had such wonderful and sophisticated friends as Garth Griffin and Neddy Berdawni. He looked around his living room, a haven of peace and loveliness, which would soon be the scene of the wild party he’d planned in honour of the passing of the Homosexual Law Reform Bill.

All’erta! All’erta!Abb’etta zingara! he sang in a falsetto accompaniment to the opera blasting from his stereo. ‘All’erta.’ He lifted the needle from the record and put it back a few grooves so that he could again hear the soprano rejoicing in his favourite refrain from Il Trovatore. ‘All’erta! All’ertd! Abb’etta zingara!’

Food was displayed on the Formica table in his kitchen. It looked glorious, the madeira cake and the stuffed mushrooms. But best of all was that fabulous Arabic concoction with the name he had the same difficulty in pronouncing as the frantic refrains from the opera.

All’erta!’ he sang as he sniffed Neddy’s hummus. ‘Amazing,’ he said, ‘it feels so good to be able to sing opera without thinking it might get me arrested. Us poor, poor queens, for so many centuries denied our pleasures!’

On the wall in front of him was a picture of Mount Taranaki, which he stared at as he reached into a cupboard for the bottle of sherry. The huge, handsome flanks of that monstrous mountain. So many decades of admiring it. So many tortures endured in its presence, each like the ice axes that climbers stuck in the flanks of that wily old mountain.

‘And there you still are.’ He saluted the mountain. ‘And me too,’ he said as he downed a mouthful of the deliciously sickly sherry. ‘Still alert, still surviving.’

He bent over the table and stuck his finger in the delicious dip he’d come to adore since Neddy had first made it for him. ‘Hmmmm, hmmiss, homos, oh something or other,’ he said in a pickled hiss. He licked his finger with the creamy substance smeared over it and closed his eyes in satisfaction.

 

BOOK 2

Book Title: The Smile of the Dispossessed

Author: Jeffrey Buchanan

Publisher: https://lgbtqipressnz.com

Cover Artist: FormattingExperts.com

Length: 313 pages

Release Date: March 19, 2020

Genre/s: Gay historical romance

Themes: LGBTQ refugees

It is a standalone story.

Goodreads

 

Buy Links

Universal link | Website | Book Depository

 

 

Blurb

“The Smile of the Dispossessed” is a love story and a political thriller set in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Malaysia and Indonesia. The novel tells the story of Fadhi and Adam who flee Baghad in the final days of the Saddam Hussien regime when they are ‘outed’ as being gay and accused of being enemies of the state. Despite having been lovers for many years, under the pressures of being refugees, they separate and go their own ways, both men hoping to find freedom in a country that will accept them for who they are. “The Smile of the Dispossessed” demonstrates the enduring requirement to maintain faith in humanity and the power of love.

 

Excerpt

The music had changed again from disco to house and that beat was what Adam wanted, the newness of it, the complete modernity, the throb of what was the latest from Ibiza and Paris.

“You will not defeat me,” he said. He took the last swig from his bottle and went by himself to the dance floor. In his tight white tee shirt and blue jeans and white sneakers with his hair cut short and three days of beard, he knew he was the centre of attraction as he moved his body to the steady beat.

“I’m the handsome Arab,” he thought. “I’m the male they all want.” In the soap opera the music would now be reaching a crescendo as the main character found himself powerful and showed the world that when you are strong you get what you want and not what you de-serve. For a while in Baghdad there had been a fabulous Brazilian soap played on national television but the dancing and the partying had been too much for the authorities and it was eventually banned. Adam felt as if he had reached Sao Paulo now and that he was in it at last, that thing he wanted so much, that space he deserved. It was the vacuum left by the Brazilians, it was the magazine where the Paris models looked glamorous and led a life of luxury and fun. And at that moment on the dance floor he knew what his life was: he was a handsome and slightly crazy Palestinian and people desired him for that. Dancing there he saw his persona and was satisfied. The soaps were life and life was the soaps. He was in the midst of this felicitous conundrum when the blond squeezed amongst the dancers and started moving rhythmically next to him.

The blond had powder blue eyes, the colour of tropical oceans. His smile was as easy as his movements on the dance floor. They didn’t speak. There was no need to as they danced through two sets of the music. It was just like the soaps had ordered. A new sequel had begun and the audience was being led into it willingly and with abandon. The first thing the blond said to Adam sounded as if it had been scripted in a studio, the writers working in participation for the exact line of introduction: “I thought about you all day and all night.”

 

BOOK 3

Book Title: Pansies’ Revenge

Author: Jeffrey Buchanan

Publisher: https://lgbtqipressnz.com

Length: 305 pages

Release Date: April 22, 2020

Genre/s: LGBTQI Historical / Literary fiction

Literary novel about the LGBTQI community set in Wellington, New Zealand in 1918 during the Spanish Flu.

It is a standalone story.

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Buy Links

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Blurb

A vibrant, entertaining, often darkly Gothic story is filled with passion, love, pathos, farce and humour. Pansies’ Revenge lays bare the political, social and cultural fabric of New Zealand society at a pivotal time in the nation’s history. Set in 1918 the novel explores what it was like to resist political oppression and at the same time, face a global pandemic.

It is late 1918 and in Wellington, New Zealand, four years of world war and the ravages of the Spanish flu are taking their toll on the inhabitants.

All are not for King and Country. The members of the Te Aro book club: queer, feminist, bohemian, disgruntled, are accused of sedition for reading Crime and Punishment and drawing from it the roots of the problems facing the world. The more intently they read, the more the crazed characters of the book appear to manifest themselves in Wellington.

Intrigues deepen: Cecil and Sybil Meatyard, who work the crowds to a frenzy of patriotism in the streets of Wellington for the New Zealand Women’s Anti-German League, disappear. Their diatribes about war shirkers, spies and Pansies have upset a lot of people. The sinister Crawford Denton, detective and sensualist, follows the case. A 1918 MeToo Movement begins as the influenza pandemic takes hold.

This vibrant, entertaining, often darkly Gothic story is filled with passion, love, pathos, farce and humour. Pansies’ Revenge lays bare the political, social and cultural fabric of New Zealand society at a pivotal time in the nation’s history.

 

Excerpt

Chapter One

Alexander Powderham, fortyish, handsome, bohemian, limped his way up Cuba Street. His left leg, having been crippled from infantile paralysis, was supported by a steel brace. He was dependent also on canes, of which he had an impressive collection, and on this occasion, he was using one intricately carved by Aroha Raharuhi, his longtime lover.

The air was unseasonably warm for mid-September Wellington, which heightened the smell rising from the mounds of horse ordure left from the morning’s military parade. Outside the Duchess Tea Rooms, Alexander paused and rested on his good leg while he adjusted his recently tailored jacket, smoothing down the Irish linen with his hands, delighting in its texture and colour of golden flax. Then he adjusted his silk tie, cream coloured with charcoal flecks, loosening the knot a little at the undone top button to ensure that rakish look, which was one of casual elegance. The white, Egyptian cotton shirt had also been crafted especially for him by the clothiers Munster & Munster who, through four years of war, had survived patriotic vandalism by hanging a large sign across their shop windows, WE ARE NOT HUNS: WE SUPPORT KING AND COUNTRY. Alexander’s chocolate brown, wide-brimmed hat with a duck’s feather poking from the green woven band was also avant-garde, of a high-quality felt and based on a design he had seen in a fashion weekly from London.

 

About the Author

Jeffrey Buchanan was born in Wellington, New Zealand, to a Lebanese – New Zealand family. For thirty years, including a decade with the United Nations, he worked in multiple countries in education, the promotion of human rights, gender equality and the empowerment of women. He was based for several years in the Middle East. For his Doctorate, he researched the structural, cultural and ideological components of Islamic education. Now he follows the warm weather with his husband Stuart, reads and writes fiction, and daydreams.

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BLOG TOUR: “As Far Ad I Can Tell: Finding My Father In World War II” by Philip Gambone

BLOG TOUR

Book Title: As Far As I Can Tell: Finding My Father In World War II

Author: Philip Gambone

Publisher: Rattling Good Yarns Press

Release Date: October 30, 2020

Genre: Memoir

Trope/s: Father/Son Relationships

Themes: Connecting to the past, Understanding our fathers,

Father/Son silence and the inherent lack of communications,

Coming to terms with history

Heat Rating: 2 flames Length: 155 000 words/474 pages

It is a standalone book.

Goodreads

 

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(Note – The Rattling Good Yarns online store only ships within the US)

Amazon US | Amazon UK

2021 Lambda Literary Award Nominated

 

Blurb

Philip Gambone, a gay man, never told his father the reason why he was rejected from the draft during the Vietnam War. In turn, his father never talked about his participation in World War II. Father and son were enigmas to each other. Gambone, an award-winning novelist and non-fiction writer, spent seven years uncovering who the man his quiet, taciturn father had been, by retracing his father’s journey through WWII. As Far As I Can Tell not only reconstructs what Gambone’s father endured, it also chronicles his own emotional odyssey as he followed his father’s route from Liverpool to the Elbe River. A journey that challenged the author’s thinking about war, about European history, and about “civilization.”

 

Philip Gambone weaves a moving memoir of his family, a vivid portrayal of his travels through the locales of WWII, and a powerful description of what that war was like to the men who fought it on the ground into a seamless and eloquent narrative.” — Hon. Barney Frank, former Congressman, Massachusetts

“A single question pulses through As Far As I Can Tell: why didn’t my father talk about his time in the war? With meticulous research, Philip Gambone puts sound to silence, offering us a book-length love letter, not just to his father, but to anyone whose life has been hemmed in by obligation, obedience, and the brutality of the system. It’s also a coming to terms with the unknown in others, which is its own hard grace. A vital, dynamic read.” — Paul Lisicky, author of Later: My Life at the Edge of the World

“As Far As I Can Tell is a fascinating mix of autobiography, travelogue, and historical research that not only takes us on a great adventure in search of what World War Two was like for those who fought in the European theater but probes that most difficult of all subjects, the relationship between a father and a son — in this case, a gay son. Extensively researched, highly literate and profoundly thoughtful, the story Gambone tells uses not only soldiers’ memoirs but writers as disparate as Samuel Johnson and James Lord to make this a reader’s delight.”— Andrew Holleran, author of Dancer from the Dance

 

Excerpt

On February 12, 1942, Dad reported for induction. The chief business was the physical examination, which was conducted assembly-line fashion. The inductees were naked, wearing only a number around their necks. It was the most comprehensive physical most of them had ever had. For some it was intimidating, for others embarrassing.

Most inductees were eager to pass the physical exam, so eager in fact that in many cases, they indulged in “negative malingering,” trying to conceal conditions that might get them disqualified. Once the physical was out of the way, the only screening that remained was a brief interview with an army psychiatrist, who had been instructed to look for “neuropsychosis,” a diagnosis that covered all sort of emotional ills from phobias to excessive sweating and evidence of mental deficiency.

Paul Marshall, who ended up in the same division as Dad, remembered being asked at his physical if he liked girls. “I didn’t quite understand what he meant about it. I told him, ‘Why sure, I like girls.’” Later Marshall figured out what he was really being asked. “The ultimate question mark of manliness,” James Lord, himself a homosexual, recalled. “Do you like girls? Or prefer confinement in a federal penitentiary for the remainder of your unnatural life.” The terror of being considered a sexual leper or worse, “unfit to honor the flag of your forebears,” was real. Lord answered, Yes, he liked girls, and was promptly accepted into the army.

Not every homosexual inductee lied. Some, like Donald Vining, came clean with his interviewer, who turned out to be “marvelously tolerant, taking the whole thing easily and calmly, without shock and without condescension.” The interviewer marked Vining’s papers “sui generis ‘H’ overt,” and he was out.

My father passed his induction physical. Hale, hearty, and decidedly heterosexual, he needed none of the remedial medical work—dental, optometric—that millions of other inductees did. With the physical and the psychological screenings done, Dad signed his induction papers, was fingerprinted, and issued a serial number. The final piece of business was the administration of the oath of allegiance, done, according to army regulations, “with proper ceremony.” Once sworn in, Dad was sent home to put things in order before he went off to Camp Perry to be processed for basic training.

Twenty-eight years after Dad’s, my own induction notice arrived, during my senior year in college. I was instructed to report to my hometown on May 6, where the Army would put me on a bus and drive me to the Armed Forces Examining and Entrance Station in South Boston. I remember standing, before dawn, on a curb outside the town offices waiting for the bus. Other fellows from my high school were there, and I nervously tried to make small talk with them. We’d had nothing in common in high school, and the situation hadn’t changed in the intervening years.

My recollection of that day is shrouded in numbness. I remember standing in a line, stripped to my underwear, making my way from one examining station to the next. I kept assuring myself I could not possibly go to Vietnam, that the good fortune I’d enjoyed so far would see me to a different destiny than the one where I would end up dead in a jungle in Southeast Asia.

I was clutching a letter from my dentist attesting to the fact that I needed braces, in those days a cause for rejection. But aside from that, I had not taken any steps to ensure that I wouldn’t be taken. I’d heard stories of guys planning to go to their induction physicals drunk, or stoned, or wearing dresses and makeup. Others said they would flee to Canada or apply for conscientious objector status. I had made no such plans. Throughout senior year, I had been sitting on my damn butt, still banking on magic or luck to get me the hell out.

I passed every exam. I was not overweight. I did not have flat feet or a heart murmur. My blood pressure was excellent. At one station, I handed over the dentist’s letter. The examiner gave it a perfunctory glance and tucked it into my file.

At last, I came to the psychological screening area. All I remember is the examiner asking me if I’d ever had any homosexual experiences. And when I said yes, he followed up with a few more questions. Had I sought counseling? Did I intend to stop? That was it. He thanked me and I moved on. Less than two weeks later, I received a notice from the AFEES: “Found Not Acceptable

for Induction Under Current Standards.” I’d been declared 4-F. In the parlance of the day, I had “fagged out.” My parents thought the dentist’s letter about braces had done the trick.

 

About the Author

Philip Gambone is a writer of fiction and nonfiction. His debut collection of short stories, The Language We Use Up Here, was nominated for a Lambda Literary Award. His novel, Beijing, was nominated for two awards, including a PEN/Bingham Award for Best First Novel.

Phil has extensive publishing credits in nonfiction as well. He has contributed numerous essays, reviews, features pieces, and scholarly articles to several local and national journals including The New York Times Book Review and The Boston Globe. He is a regular contributor to The Gay & Lesbian Review.

His longer essays have appeared in a number of anthologies, including Hometowns, Sister and Brother, Wrestling with the Angel, Inside Out, Boys Like Us, Wonderlands, and Big Trips.

Phil’s book of interviews, Something Inside: Conversations with Gay Fiction Writers, was named one of the “Best Books of 1999” by Pride magazine. His Travels in a Gay Nation: Portraits of LGBTQ Americans was nominated for an American Library Association Award.

Phil’s scholarly writing includes biographical entries on Frank Kameny in the Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford) and Gary Glickman in Contemporary Gay American Novelists: A Bio-Bibliographical Critical Sourcebook. He also wrote three chapters on Chinese history for two high school textbooks published by Cheng and Tsui.

He is a recipient of artist’s fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation, and the Massachusetts Arts Council. He has also been listed in Best American Short Stories.

Phil taught high school English for over forty years. He also taught writing at the University of Massachusetts, Boston College, and in the freshman expository writing program at Harvard. He was twice awarded Distinguished Teaching Citations by Harvard. In 2013, he was honored by the Department of Continuing Education upon completing his twenty-fifth year of teaching for the Harvard Extension School.

 

 

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Continue Reading BLOG TOUR: “As Far Ad I Can Tell: Finding My Father In World War II” by Philip Gambone

BLOG TOUR: “The Offering” by Rosary Deville. $10.00 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway Included! See entry link below:

BLOG TOUR

Book Title: The Offering

Author: Rosary Deville

Publisher: Self Published

Cover Artist: Zoe Perdita

Release Date: November 13, 2020

Genre/s: M/M dark erotica, taboo, mpreg, paranormal/urban romance,

shifter fantasy, werewolves

Trope/s: alphas and betas, strong/unruly protagonist

Themes: dubious/non consent. forced marriage, societal inequality,

abuse, violence, dom/sub, BDSM

Heat Rating: 5 flames

Length: approx. 65 000 words/ 250 pages

It is Book 1 out of 2. Book 2 will be released later in 2021.

 

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US | Amazon UK

 

A beta in an oppressive werewolf society must participate in a mating ceremony where alphas hunt their future mates.

 

Blurb

As a beta in Wereduin society, Fern has no choice but to be mated when he comes of age. The ideal beta wereduin was subservient to their alpha, bears young, and knows their place in society.

Fern isn’t like that.

Rather than become an extension of his alpha, Fern wants to play in his band, hang out with his friends, and stay himself.

Now of age, Fern is to be placed in the Offering—an annual ceremony where alphas hunt and claim their beta mates. And whose attention does Fern attract? None other than Donovan Blackfang, a Highborne alpha who will stop at nothing but to claim Fern’s heart, body, and soul.

 

Excerpt

Someone grabbed the nape of my neck. Shit, no! Why hadn’t I paid more attention to my surroundings?

This alpha male was stout and gray. His jagged claws dug into my shoulder, and it ripped a cry from my throat. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw another beta. This alpha must have been cornering her before I showed up. She didn’t look back at me as she made her escape. The alpha who had me could have come from my worst nightmares. He had a large scar across his eye. His thick, weather-worn hide told me he’d been at this game for a while. He could be my papa’s age, not that age mattered for werewolves, but his face was truly menacing. The glee I found in his glowing red eyes terrified me. Veins riddled his muscular physique. One of his ears had been chewed off. He gripped my shoulder, tearing my skin. I clawed at his hands, face, biting wherever I could as he forced me onto the ground.

I felt sure I was a goner when he was knocked off of me. Growling surrounded us. It was the large, black alpha that had taken on the slaver. He snarled at the alpha who had been about to rape me. Slowly, I crawled away on my hands and knees. That was when he turned his fangs on me, growling. He didn’t want me to leave, as if he already felt some ownership of me. Something in his eyes halted me and trapped my breath in my throat. I shook my head rapidly.

No!

There was no way I would be claimed tonight. And certainly not by a male. I took off running, leaving them to their fight.

It was over shockingly quick. The dark alpha won. My alpha. It confused me when I momentarily thought of him as mine. My body wanted to submit. Arousal grew heavy in my groin, heating up my body.

Hell, no!

Instincts be damned, I was not born so I could have some male alpha’s pups.

The black alpha picked up speed.

Just then, two alpha males sprang from either side of the woods. I ducked low, and they collided into each other. I dodged around them. The left one snatched me back before the alpha on the right knocked him to the ground.

Both alphas were beautiful—if I allowed myself to think something like that about the same sex. One was a scarlet red, while the other a golden bronze. Hopefully, the two would also stop the black alpha who still followed me, and I could make a getaway.

Both tried, not wanting to let a challenger slip by.

I dragged out a relieved sigh. Part of me was disappointed, and that part scared me. The rest of me was thankful. I didn’t want any of them to win—especially the strong dark alpha.

It was apparent by their beauty that all three alphas fighting over me were from the upper-class. But my eye was drawn to the dark one—jet black with those piercing neon-blue eyes and riddled, muscular physique. Of the three, he was the most handsome. Shaking my head and trying to remove those unwanted thoughts about the beautiful alphas fighting for me, I left them to battle.

When I heard them following me, I stole a glance over my shoulder. My heart stopped. Both the scarlet and golden-bronze alphas chased behind me. The dark werewolf must have been beaten. My heart sank. I wanted to slap myself. Why did I feel so let down?

I ran blindly through the forest and over the rocks until I backed myself against a cliff. Both werewolves approached me, snarling. I retreated as far as I could go before I drew my fangs. There was no way I was going down without a fight.

Perhaps they formed an alliance because they no longer fought each other. Instead, they homed in on me. Was I about to be claimed by two males?

How would they take me? I only had one opening. Would they both try to fit? My body trembled, but my beta brain started to submit. It craved having the alphas’ cocks inside me.

Backing away, I shook my head and crouched low. They sprang at me, but before they could touch me, a black shadow leaped from the cliff over my head. He landed in front of me.

There he is again!

The black alpha.

Gratitude overwhelmed me, and I could do nothing but stare at him. I wanted this alpha. I ached inside. Precum dripped from my hard cock. I wanted him inside of me.

Violently, I shook my head. No. I did not want to be claimed by anyone tonight. I found a small opening created by their fighting and snuck out. The black alpha growled at me, and I couldn’t stop my shiver. He wanted me to wait for him. He wanted me to let him claim me. Already, it felt like he had his claws around my heart.

 

 

About the Author

Rosary is an author of erotica ranging from sweet and fluffy, to dark and taboo. She aims to foster a sex-positive experience for readers to indulge their fantasies in a fun and safe space. Sometimes she uses her writing to journey into the often hidden and taboo depths of human sexuality, and hopes readers will take away from her stories, not an acceptance of violence and sexual abuse, but rather a way to embrace their inner desires often shamed by society.

 

 

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Continue Reading BLOG TOUR: “The Offering” by Rosary Deville. $10.00 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway Included! See entry link below:

BLOG TOUR: “Handled” by Romilly King”

BLOG TOUR

Book Title: Handled: A dark gay romance

Author: Romilly King

Publisher: Self-Published

Release Date: October 29, 2020

Genre: Dark M/M Romance

Themes: justice, retribution, and unsuitable love

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length: 175 pages

Trigger warning: violence, mentions of suicide, and torture.

It’s also a happy for now not a happy ever after

as there are two further books in the series.

Goodreads

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Blurb

Serial killers think if it all goes south and they finally get caught that their swan song is a day in court, making the families relive the agony while they get off on that delicious pain, all over again.

Not happening. Not anymore. We’re not making celebrities out of monsters. We’re not giving them a stage to strut on.

Now they get an audience of two.

One to Handle the problem, one to Witness it.

I’m a Witness. I trained for six years to do my duty, to manage my contracted killer, and to watch justice be done.

I knew it would be hard, the first time, to watch the eye for an eye moment.

I expected to feel a lot of things – fear, disgust, guilt.

I didn’t expect to feel turned on.

And I didn’t expect my contracted killer to look quite so pretty with blood on his hands.

HANDLED is a dark gay romance with themes of justice, retribution, and unsuitable love. It is not for the faint of heart and contains graphic scenes intended for an adult audience.

Excerpt

Chapter One

Gray

I wake no less irritated than when I went to sleep. Frustration and arousal are rolling at a low level simmer in my brain and my body. I should have sought a release but I couldn’t make my mind up if I needed to hurt, or be hurt.

Normally I know exactly what I want.

Watching the kill turned me on, it always does, there was pain involved, and although I was fifteen feet away I could feel it, smell it, almost taste it as the wire of the garotte carved through the dirty skin of the neck.

It was the laziness of the killer that confused my arousal though. He was sloppy, his victim was random, there was no finesse anywhere, no evolution in technique, no learning or adapting.

The pain on the victims face had caused a jerk in my limbic system, my cock going half hard, my blood sluggishly stirring, but the lacklustre carry through from the killer snuffed my rising hormones.

I know I will be a lot harder when I kill him.

The pleasure will last a lot longer.

The best I can say about last night’s kill was that it was quick. Which was a blessing for the victim.

It was the second time I had seen this killer perform, and the previous operation had been no more inspiring than this one.

I roll out of bed, I have time for a shower before watching the congressional committee do their annual rehashing of old issues before failing to find a way out of their ethical conundrum.

It is essential viewing, it gives me insight into which way the wind is blowing on Capitol Hill with regard to my employment and more than that, my existence.

Chances are the wind will still be gusting in my direction. The public remains fascinated and frequently aroused by people like me, but reluctant to face the unpalatable truth that the human genome throws us up for a reason, and that reason is survival.

Apart from that it’s always amusing to watch the Director deliver this year’s version of his you can’t handle the truth monologue.

Under the warm water of the shower I feel again the urge to give into the sexual side of my issues but it’s not worth it. It won’t assuage the itch, and I still can’t decide, hurt me or hurt someone else.

Sometimes, when the disconnect is bad, I look down at my body and I am surprised, because it isn’t what I expect to see. I see smooth lean muscle and length when what I expect to see is skinny and short and dirty, with old blood on the backs of my legs, grime ground into too pale skin, and my ribs like a toast rack.

The curling arousal makes it worse. I need to kill or this vision of me becomes the more prevalent one, and that isn’t helpful, it takes the confidence away.

I don’t have bad memories per se, I just had my evolution forced, and so the real me, the me now, it sometimes regresses, and if I look in the mirror I see both of us, one standing inside the other. The grown Handler and the tortured child.

Once I get my new Witness and handle this killer it will be so much clearer, and then I can take my release with clarity and passion.

Rubbing my hair dry I walk naked into the bedroom and flick on the tv. The committee is coming to order, the Director adjusting his microphone smoothly on the desk in front of him – I honestly don’t know how he has the patience for this, but then we have different mentalities. His various assistants

are congregated behind him looking like a row of funeral directors, which is essentially what they are – all dark shiny graduates of the Witness program.

It would be nice if one of them was assigned to me, preferably one that I won’t want to kill within the first half hour, and then we can get the show back on the road and I can finally let the curling, aching need in me find its path to completion.

About the Author

Romilly is queer. Romilly wakes up every morning and decides which (witch) to be. Some days Romilly is an Imp, some days a Fairy, some days a Stoic, and some days a Gladiator. Romilly has a classical education, a filthy mouth and loves OTK spankings and strong Sirs who give love and punishment in equal measure.

Romilly is also very shy but makes every effort to engage with people from all walks of life and likes making friends and meeting fans on social media.

Author Links

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Continue Reading BLOG TOUR: “Handled” by Romilly King”