Tag Archives: bisexuality

Blog Tour and Review: Power Play (Scoring Chances #3) by Avon Gale

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Power Play by Avon Gale
Series: Scoring Chances book 3
(This book can be read as a standalone)
Release Date: May 9, 2016
Pages or Words: 240 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Aaron Anderson
Categories: Bisexual, Contemporary, Fiction

We’re happy to host Avon Gale today as she tours for her newest release in the Scoring Chances series, Power Play. Today, Avon Gale shares a fun playlist of songs from within the pages of Power Play. These songs are pominent during some of the funnier, outlandish, and sometimes bizarre moments that Misha and Max face as coaching staff for Belsey, the GM of the Spitfires. Definitely read the excerpt, partake in the playlist, and pick-up a copy of Power Play.

Blurb:

A freak accident during the Stanley Cup Playoffs put an end to Max Ashford’s hockey career. Despite everything, Max gets back into the game he loves—only this time, behind the bench as an assistant coach of the Spartanburg Spitfires, the worst team in the entire league. But nothing prepares him for the shock when he learns the new head coach is Misha Samarin, the man who caused Max’s accident.

After spending guilt-ridden years for his part in Max’s accident, Russian native Misha Samarin has no idea what to do when he’s confronted with Max’s presence. Max’s optimism plays havoc with Misha’s equilibrium—as does the fierce attraction that springs up between them.

Not only must they navigate Misha’s remorse and a past he’s spent a lifetime to forget, but also a sleazy GM determined to use their history as a marketing hook. But when an unwelcome visitor targets the team, Misha revisits his darkest days, which might cost him and Max the beginning they’ve worked so hard to build.

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Excerpt:

“I’d never watched this, you know.”

“The YouTube video?” Misha had seen that too. It was filed with angry commenters yelling that he should be deported back to Russia.

“The hit.”

Misha blinked. “You’ve seen the commercial, though. Yes?”

“Yeah, I wish I could say I haven’t seen that. But I meant, I didn’t watch this until a few months ago. They played that game on the NHL channel, so I watched it.”

It never occurred to Misha that Max wouldn’t have seen it, but then he remembered that Max was the hero, not the villain of the story. Misha watched the hit play out on the screen. What must that feel like, to watch the moment it all ended? When Max hit the ice, did he know that game was his last? Did Misha know it was his? How had he felt? He couldn’t remember.

The scene switched to the replay. Misha watched dispassionately, retreated into the blinding pain of his migraine, and told himself that it was all right to suffer, that he should, that he deserved it.

Max paused the video. “Look. See what I have there?”

Misha blinked. He had not expected questions. “I—what?”

“The puck, Misha. The puck. Your hit wasn’t late.”

Oh. “Yes. I know.”

Max stared at him. On the television screen, their younger selves were suspended at the moment everything changed.

A playlist from Avon Gale for Power Play:

Here’s a song playlist for Power Play! If you like, I’ve made one on Youtube here:

These songs are referenced in the book in various ways:

“I Need a Hero” – Bonnie Tyler

“It’s Raining Men” — The Weather Girls

“One Night in Bangkok” (Chess the Musical) – Murray Head

Champion (in which Alexander Ovechkin raps for a bit at about minute 3:00)

Soviet National Anthem (the version from “The Hunt for Red October”)

Other songs:

“Rose Tattoo” – Dropkick Murphys (I highly recommend the video about the

Habs/Bruins rivalry that premiered at the Winter Classic – and was way better than that travesty of the game https://youtu.be/PbkfV-iR0nA

“Time to Go” – Dropkick Murphys (this one’s for the Bruins, and for Isaac Drake, the Spitfires’ feisty goalie!)

And because no hockey playlist should be without it:

“The Hockey Song” by Stompin’ Tom Connors

Meet the author:

Avon Gale was once the mayor on Foursquare of Jazzercise and Lollicup, which should tell you all you need to know about her as a person. She likes road trips, rock concerts, drinking Kentucky bourbon and yelling at hockey. She’s a displaced southerner living in a liberal midwestern college town, and when she’s not writing you can find her at the salon, making her clients look and feel fabulous. She never gets tired of people and their stories — either real or the ones she makes up in her head.

Join my mailing list http://eepurl.com/bGLSrD

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Our thoughts:

A stoic, brooding, and sexy Russian. A sweet, energetic, optimistic American. Hells yeah! Bring it Avon Gale! Power Play, the third installment in the Scoring Chances series is a must read for sport romance lovers!

Misha Samarin has been hired as the head coach for the ECHL team, the Spartanburg Spitfires. The team with a losing record. The bottom of the barrel. The new owner is looking for some drama and hires Max Ashford as the assistant head coach. These two have a tragic history. Misha is responsible for the career ending hit on Max. Misha has never been able to move past the event and never played another day of professional hockey following it. Neither did Max. It seems their fate was similar but one has moved past it and there other has not.

Max finds himself attracted to Misha and is determined to get to know him. Doing so requires more than just delving into his newly discovered bisexuality, it also requires navigating a man who’s brooding and fierce. Misha is also hesitant due to their past and Max has to show Misha that he’s not angry over what happened, he never was  angry at him.

All the hesitation and self loathing from Misha turns out to be more deeply seeded than Max realized. I was surprised by what the big reveal from the past was. I expected it to be the obvious father connection to crime but it was much more personal for Misha and his self-inflicted disgust with himself. Max is ever the sweet, understanding, practical man and he helps Misha pick himself up from this as well.

Power Play is multifaceted: Max has to come out to his family; Misha must face and accept multiple things from the past; the team has to win hockey; they have to protect their goalie from extortion. Never a dull moment to be had! When they’re not navigating all of that, Max and Misha are tearing it up in the bedroom. They move slowly but it never lacks heat or connection. Once they become comfortable and ready to give it all, there’s no holding them back. It’s fiery romance and eager enthusiasm laced with a sultry verbal Russian, a perfectly sexy combination.

A truly enjoyable novel from start to finish! An added bonus is the first chapter from the next book and it’s sure to be a treat! I’ll be anxiously awaiting its release!

Tour Dates & Stops:

9-May:

My Fiction Nook, Open Skye Book Reviews, Inked Rainbow Reads, Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings,

Oh My Shelves

10-May:

Two Chicks Obsessed With Books and Eye Candy, Joyfully Jay, Jessie G. Books, Rednecks and Romance,

Anna Butler Fiction

11-May:

MM Good Book Reviews, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Posy Roberts, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents

12-May:

Love Bytes, The Novel Approach, Unquietly Me, Happily Ever Chapter

13-May

BFD Book Blog, The Hat Party, MM Book Escape

16-May

Havan Fellows, Divine Magazine, Outrageous Heroes, Prism Book Alliance, Boys on the Brink Reviews

17-May

3 Chicks After Dark, Full Moon Dreaming, Butterfly-O-Meter

18-May

Foxylutely Book Reviews, Three Books Over The Rainbow, V’s Reads

19-May

Book Lovers 4Ever, Charley Descoteaux, Mikky’s World of Books, Carly’s Book Reviews

20-May

Making It Happen, Kirsty Loves Books, Bayou Book Junkie

21-May

A.M. Leibowitz, Alpha Book Club, Molly Lolly, Man2ManTastic

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Blog Tour and Review: Patchwork Paradise by Indra Vaughn

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Patchwork Paradise by Indra Vaughn
Releases: March 28, 2016
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Word count: 73,300
Page count: 262
Type: Standalone
Cover by: Lou Harper

About Patchwork Paradise

Oliver and Samuel’s relationship is fairy-tale perfect. They share a gorgeous house in Antwerp, go out with their friends every weekend, and count down the days to their dream wedding. But their happy ending is shattered one late night, and just like that, Ollie is left bereft and alone.

The months that follow are long and dark, but slowly Ollie emerges from his grief. He even braves the waters of online dating, though deep down he doesn’t believe he can find that connection again. He doesn’t think to look for love right in front of him: his bisexual friend Thomas, the gentle giant with a kind heart and sad eyes who’s wanted him all along.

When Thomas suddenly discovers he has a son who needs him, he’s ill prepared. Ollie opens up his house—Sam’s house—and lets them in. Ollie doesn’t know what scares him more: the responsibility of caring for a baby, or the way Thomas is steadily winning his heart. It will take all the courage he has to discover whether or not fairy tales can happen for real.

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Our thoughts:

Indra Vaughn knows how to deliver grief. She ripped my soul in two as Ollie grieved over losing Samuel. Torn. To. Shreds. The intense guilt and grief were raw emotions that pulled tissue after tissue from the box next to me as I read. Intense. Real. Vulnerable. This is how Patchwork Paradise begins but it’s not all sadness and loss.

We endure Ollie’s grief over losing Samuel for a large part of the novel, but it’s important to Ollie’s story. During his time of sorrow and loss he has to relearn life as he knows it. He’s been with Samuel since they were kids. Friends, then lovers at age sixteen. They were to be married and would live happily ever after. That was cut short and now Ollie has to find a new normal.  Now, life is no more touches and enveloping hugs. Being alone becomes something he gets used to but the loneliness is suffocating.

During this time of struggle,  it’s pure torture to read Patchwork Paradise!  Almost every memory, whether good or bad, would provoke tears. Ollie’s emotions are so profound that they impacted me with every word. Boxes of tissues. Seriously, boxes.

Over time, Ollie realizes that missing Samuel doesn’t hurt as much and that his coping and moving on isn’t the end of the world. What he never expected was to discover that Thomas, his dear friend, had always desired him. Knowing that fact propels Ollie to really think of Thomas in a new light. To consider a potential relationship with the man he’s called a friend for so long. Just when Ollie thinks it’s possible and within reach, Thomas pulls away.

Thomas pulling away becomes a common theme from then on. He’s so badly in love with Ollie that he can’t stand the thought of losing him in any way. Nothing just might be preferable to living and losing. This is infuriating to Ollie. He’s been there. Loved deeply and lost tragically. How could Thomas be so callous?!

There’s so much that goes on in this novel. From Oliver losing Samuel to the whole friendship dynamic between Oliver, Cleo, Imran and Thomas. Samuel’s parents applying unnecessary pressures on Oliver. Lastly, a baby is added to the mix. I honestly don’t know how Oliver kept it together so well. Once he grieved, he picked himself up and started taking small steps forward. WhenThomas entered the scene as a potential love interest, things became so complicated. It was worth it though because Oliver’s life would take a turn that it never would have with Samuel. He was lucky to fall in love and be loved twice in a lifetime and each one of those loves was unique and fulfilling.

Patchwork Paradise is definitely not a lighthearted story. It’s deeply emotional. Your heart will ache from Ollie’s pain. Your eyes will swell with tears, but it all worth it in the end!

RATING: STILETTOS!!

About Indra Vaughn

After living in Michigan, USA for seven wonderful years, Indra Vaughn returned back to her Belgian roots. There she will continue to consume herbal tea, do yoga wherever the mat fits, and devour books while single parenting a little boy and working as a nurse.

The stories of boys and their unrequited love will no doubt keep finding their way onto the page—and hopefully into readers hands—even if it takes a little more time.

And if she gleefully posts pictures of snow-free streets in winter, you’ll have to forgive her. Those Michigan blizzards won’t be forgotten in a hurry.

Connect with Indra:

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/indra.vaughn.7

Twitter https://twitter.com/VaughnIndra

Giveaway

To celebrate, Indra is giving away an ebook from her backlist at EVERY BLOG STOP! She’ll also be giving out a grand prize of $25 in Riptide credit. Leave a comment to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on April 2, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!