Tag Archives: PTSD

Blog Tour and Review: Cookies by Teodora Kostova

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Cookies by Teodora Kostova
Published April 16, 2016
Published by Teodora Kostova
Cover Art by Jay Aheer at Simply Defined Art
Categories: MM Romance, Contemporary

How exciting! We’re hosting a tour stop for Teodora Kostova today and we have an exclusive excerpt from the book Cookies to share with you! Enjoy! This book is as sweet as it’s name. :)

Blurb:

I went to war, running away from myself. I came back in pieces to find out who I really was…

It took me nearly ten years, two tours in Afghanistan and losing a leg to come to terms with who I really am.

Two years after coming back from war, I can say that I’m finally content. I’m as fit as ever, my prosthetic leg allowing me the freedom to move and exercise as if nothing has changed. I own a small bakery in the centre of Cambridge, and I have a loyal circle of friends that I can always count on.

And yet…

Yet, there’s something missing. A part of me craves the intimacy, the deep connection to another human being. But another – bigger – part of me is terrified of letting anyone in.

My internal conflict didn’t stand a chance when I met Jay. He stormed through my defence walls like a hurricane, wrapping around me with gentle force until I had no choice but to surrender.

Surrendering has never felt so good.

Will Jay want to stay when he sees the real me? When he sees the nightmares and insecurities clawing at my soul? When he realises the burden I come with may be heavier than we both can carry?

My name is Amir Gopal and this is my story.

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Exclusive Excerpt:

“Oh my god, these are incredible!” Jay exclaimed as he bit into a brownie, bringing his other hand to wipe at the caramel sauce dripping down his chin. I grinned, eating my own brownie in a much more controlled fashion.

He didn’t speak again until he’d eaten two more brownies, all the while moaning in pleasure. My cock throbbed in my pants with his every obscene moan. I’d been in various stages of arousal all evening, ever since Jay had walked through my door dripping wet, and my control was very close to snapping. Jay’s flirting, his kisses, his laughter and jokes, the smell of his skin, the way his eyes lit up when he spoke… I couldn’t take it anymore. I couldn’t spend another second without having him in my arms.

He finished his third brownie, his eyes rolling back as he licked caramel off his fingers. Fucking hell. I leaned over the counter, caught his wrist and sucked a caramel soaked finger into my mouth. His eyes shot wide, the blissful expression gone.

“Do you know how irresistible you are?” I murmured as I sucked his fingers clean. “You could tempt a monk.”

Jay’s lips quirked up, his eyelids dropping seductively. “Am I tempting you?”

“Ever since that first day I saw you.”

I drew him close and kissed him, slowly, enjoying the sweetness from the brownies on his tongue. Underneath, Jay’s unique flavour seduced me, lured me in like a siren song. I didn’t want to resist it. I wanted Jay more than I was afraid of my own insecurities.

My hands slid around his body, drawing him even closer. His sticky fingers found their way into my hair, and Jay grabbed handfuls of it, clutching to a point of pain. I groaned, the slight discomfort turning me on even more.

“God, Jay…” I moaned his name between kisses, moving my hand to cup his jaw. Jay whimpered in my arms, his red, glistening lips parted in pleasure.

I couldn’t stop this if I wanted to. And I definitely didn’t want to.

“Stay?” I asked, nuzzling his neck. My hands moved to his ass, squeezing and kneading the firm flesh, eliciting a low groan from Jay.

“Are you sure?” Jay managed to ask before I took his mouth again, possessively biting his lower lip.

I wasn’t sure. A small part of me – the insecure, sceptical, unhappy part me – didn’t trust Jay. But the rest of me needed Jay, right this second. I needed to hold him, feel his bare skin under my fingers, touch every inch of his body and make him scream my name. And if he got disgusted by my damaged body and ran – then so be it. I’d rather know now than later, when I’d fallen too hard.

“Yes,” I replied, a second too late. Jay sensed my hesitation and slowed down our frantic kiss, cupping my face with both his hands and peering into my eyes.

“You know I like you just the way you are, right?”

I swallowed hard. “You haven’t seen all of me yet.”

“You’re amazing,” Jay said, kissing me softly. “And smart.” Kiss. “And kind.” Another kiss. “And funny.” He kissed me longer this time, as if making a point. “And you have scars. It all makes you who you are, and I really like who you are, Amir.”

I closed my eyes, letting the words sink in. Jay kissed me again before I peeled myself off of him and took his hand, leading him to my bedroom. He followed without any resistance.

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author_photoHi, my name is Teodora and I live in London with my husband and my son. I’ve been writing ever since I can remember, but it became my full time job a few years ago when I decided that everything else I’ve tried bores me to death and I have to do what I’ve always wanted to do, but never had the guts to fully embrace. I’ve been a journalist, an editor, a personal assistant and an interior designer among other things, but as soon as the novelty of the new, exciting job wears off, I always go back to writing. Being twitchy, impatient, loud and hasty are not qualities that help a writer, because I have to sit alone, preferably still, and write for most of the day, but I absolutely love it. It’s the only time that I’m truly at peace and the only thing I can do for more than ten minutes at a time – my son has a bigger attention span than me.
When I’m procrastinating, I like to go to the gym, cook Italian meals (and eat them), read, listen to rock music, watch indie movies and True Blood re-runs. Or, in the worst case scenario, get beaten at every Nintendo Wii game by a very inventive kid.

Don’t be shy and get in touch – I love connecting with my readers.
Blog: www.teodorakostova.blogspot.com
Twitter: @Teodora_Kostova https://twitter.com/Teodora_Kostova
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/teodorakostovaauthor
E-mail: t.t.kostova@gmail.com
Instagram: teodorika1

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Our Thoughts:

A sweet morsel from Teodora Kostova. I know, I know, but I couldn’t resist saying that! There’s no angst or black moment in this story. We’re talking pure love, devotion, and reasoning between Amir and Jay from the start.

Amir is the owner of Cookie’s, a bakery and coffee shop. He’s a former war veteran who has many scars from his tours overseas. Scars that are both internal and external. The internal scars are PTSD and the feeling of fear that accompanies relationships. Opening up and letting someone see inside and to also see the scars outside. The burns and puckered skin, the amputated leg. Amir has worked tirelessly to move past the trauma and make a life for himself. Cookie’s is his escape and his way of being himself.

Amir keeps close to his past by visiting a center for veterans. He visits the center every night, taking Cookie’s leftover cookies, brownies, and cakes. It also gives him a chance to visit with friends who understand what his life was and is like.

One day Jay walks into Cookie’s and it’s a game changer. There’s instant attraction and interest between the two. By the second visit, Amir takes a chance and gives Jay his number. That is the start of something truly beautiful between them. Jay is wide-eyed innocence in walking form. He’s happy, trusting, and extremely giving. He has a love of the arts but also has a keen business sense, thanks to his family business and studies at uni.

Jay is totally understanding and giving of himself to Amir. Amir has so many things to work past to give himself fully to Jay, he can’t make the words he wants to say come out of his mouth. Their journey together is slow, steady, and sure. They don’t waver and ride out the rough spots as they come. All along, the love and special moments carry them. Jay trustsin their love fully and Amir must learn to do the same. A purely sweet love story for fans of ‘happy forever and ever always’ relationships.

RATING: BAD ASS BOOTS!!

Silver Scars by Posy Roberts

Silver ScarsReleased 22 June 2015

Published by Labyrinth Bound Press

Cover Artist: Natasha Snow

Blurb:

A bomb destroyed high-powered lawyer Gil Lemieux’s seemingly perfect life, and PTSD has ruled every decision since the explosion that left him scarred inside and outside. Moving home with his mom is meant to be a temporary measure, just like proofreading for a medical institution is only meant to be a stopgap. But two years after taking on the wrong court case, he’s still living in fear.

Keith Kramer might be based 1,500 miles away from Gil, but their shared work brings them together—a chance meeting that’s life-changing. Gil is drawn to Keith’s good looks and intelligence, but it’s his innate understanding that Gil is more than the scars on his skin that is truly attractive. He’s everything Gil used to be and more. It blows Gil’s mind that his attraction might be returned.

Only doubt could widen the distance between them. Keith’s hopefulness, borne out of surviving some tough challenges of his own, isn’t enough to bridge the distance alone. Gil will need to believe he has as much to offer as Keith if they’re to build a life together.

Sales Links: Amazon • All Romance eBooks

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Our thoughts:

I’ve read one other book by Posy Roberts, Tangled Minds. The complexity of the feelings within that book is what propelled me to read Silver Scars. If it had a fraction of the intensity of Tangled Minds I knew I would love the story. Well folks, I was blown away. Literally could not put this book down no matter how intense or sad it became and believe me, it was both.

Gil was a victim of a trauma. A disgruntled parent from one of his court cases decided to seek revenge for his poor choices and Gil was the brunt of his rage. A rage that took from him his life. Everything he was, gone. His looks, his sanity, his freedom, peace of mind, relaxation, career, independence. All gone in a blink. Now, Gil is trying to cope, with the help of his mother and a very determined psychotherapists. He’s working as a copy editor and his job takes him to the company’s home base (away from Arizona to Wisconsin).

While on his little trip outside his comfort zone, Gil meets Keith. What a meeting it is! Keith is a strong personality. Very personable and dapper. He finds Gil attractive and the feeling is mutual. They have a great evening and that turns into an extended night. They find out that they’re both scarred in different way, for different reasons. Both have suffered and been dealt a bad hand in life. Keith has moved past the worst of his trauma and he’s able to help Gil. Thus begins their long and successful long distance relationship.

While apart they use Skype and phone conversations to really get to know each other. To show support, encourage and help each other. They even have some kinky fun with it. Before they know it, they’re ready to make this relationship more. But they’re both struggling and broken. Gil with his severe PTSD and Keith with a leg injury that’s becoming worse.

Posy Roberts manages to capture the raw emotion these men would have while navigating such tragic circumstances. I longed to see these two happy and together. Once together, I longed for them to click and work and stay together. These two had something unique. A special understanding of each other that firmly deepened their love and commitment to each other. I enjoyed watching the happy times but also marveled at how they could be strong for each other when the chips were down.

Overall, this was a beautiful story of overcoming obstacles and doubt. Working through suffering and trauma to find themselves, their strength and with that an everlasting love. Beautiful steps from start to finish. Bring tissues because this one made the tears fall a few times.

RATING: STILETTOS ALL THE WAY!!

BLOG TOUR and GUEST POST: Silver Scars by Posy Roberts

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Silver Scars by Posy Roberts
Release Date: June 22, 2015
Publisher: Labyrinth Bound Press
Cover Artist: Natasha Snow
Word Count: 86,700 words
Categories: Contemporary, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Romance

We welcome author Posy Roberts to 3 Chicks After Dark! She’s here to share insight on Gil, the main protagonist in her new release, Silver Scars. We appreciate Posy’s openness on the topic of PTSD and how it molded the pages of Silver Scars. Thanks, Posy!

From Posy Roberts:

In Silver Scars, the main character, Gil Lemieux, suffers from Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. For those of you unfamiliar with PTSD, it’s what was originally called Shell Shock, the condition WWI soldiers often came home with. The term PTSD didn’t come about until the ’80s, though many other terms have been used over the years.

But PTSD isn’t a disorder only experienced by soldiers. People who have experienced trauma in the form of stress events, sexual assault, threats to their life, or even witnessing accidents can be affected.

I’ve experienced PTSD myself, after being raped. Prior to that, I was a brash, bold college student who didn’t give a second thought about walking across campus alone at eleven at night. After, I was very different. Walking on campus during the day with numerous people around could freak me out. I scanned every place I went, refused to sit with my back to the door, startled easily, and eventually had flashbacks.

When it came to writing about Gil’s experiences with PTSD, I researched deeper so his experience was not my own. He would react to his fears in a much different way than I did because he was a different person, so I dug into the psychology literature.

Some days writing about Gil was very easy and natural. Other days it was hard to even open my file. It took me months to write this story, and I was very insecure about it at first. Now that it’s out there, I realize that was because I felt exposed in a way I’ve never felt with a book before.

I’m very protective of Gil. He’s an extraordinarily strong man who doubts himself at every turn because of what that bomb stole from him. His entire past—career, confidence, friendships, haven, love life—is untouchable now. He has no hope for his future. He lives with his mother, can’t work as a lawyer anymore—which was part of his identity—and he reacts violently to touch, stagnating his love life.

Writing about someone so hopeless at the start of the book ended up influencing how it was written. I tried writing in third person, past tense like other books I’ve written. Nope. Gil refused and demanded first person. Okay. I could do that. I enjoy writing in first person. But Gil wasn’t happy with that either.

When I finally started listening to all he was saying, I was writing in first person, present tense. Gil was too afraid to look back and too afraid to look forward. The only moment he could think about was right this second, and he was so inside his own head—as a way to protect himself from all he feared—first person was the only way he was willing to talk to me.

Gil’s PTSD and anxiety truly changed how this story was written. I’m glad I listened to him, because words started to pour out of me once I did.

Blurb:

A bomb destroyed high-powered lawyer Gil Lemieux’s seemingly perfect life, and PTSD has ruled every decision since the explosion that left him scarred inside and outside. Moving home with his mom is meant to be a temporary measure, just like proofreading for a medical institution is only meant to be a stopgap. But two years after taking on the wrong court case, he’s still living in fear.

Keith Kramer might be based 1,500 miles away from Gil, but their shared work brings them together—a chance meeting that’s life-changing. Gil is drawn to Keith’s good looks and intelligence, but it’s his innate understanding that Gil is more than the scars on his skin that is truly attractive. He’s everything Gil used to be and more. It blows Gil’s mind that his attraction might be returned.

Only doubt could widen the distance between them. Keith’s hopefulness, borne out of surviving some tough challenges of his own, isn’t enough to bridge the distance alone. Gil will need to believe he has as much to offer as Keith if they’re to build a life together.

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Silver Scars

Sales Links: Amazon • All Romance eBooks

Meet the author:

Posy Roberts writes about romantic male love. Whether these characters are family men, drag queens, or lonely men searching for connections, they all find a home in her stories.
Posy is married to a man who makes sure she doesn’t forget to eat or sleep; her daughter, a budding author and dedicated Whovian, helps her come up with character names. When Posy’s not writing, she enjoys crafting, hiking, and singing spontaneously about the mundane, just to make normal seem more interesting.

Where to find the author:

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/posyroberts11
Twitter: https://twitter.com/PosyRoberts
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/posyroberts/
Facebook Author Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/757618490928296/
Website: http://posyroberts.com/

Tour Dates and Stops:

22-Jun
Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings
My Fiction Nook
Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words

23-Jun
Inked Rainbow Reads
3 Chicks After Dark
As The Pages Turn
Cate Ashwood
Happily Ever Chapter
Prism Book Alliance

24-Jun
Sinfully Addicted to All Male Romance
Molly Lolly
Vampires, Werewolves, and Fairies, Oh My
Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews
Bayou Book Junkie

25-Jun
MM Good Book Reviews
Hearts on Fire
Bike Book ReviewsBFD Book Blog

26-Jun
Rainbow Gold Reviews
Love Bytes
Two Chicks Obsessed With Books and Eye Candy
Chris McHart
Multitasking Mommas
Carly’s Book Reviews

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BLOG TOUR: TAKING WHAT’S HIS BY DIANE ALBERT

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ABOUT THE BOOK:

Taking What's His CoverA sexy category romance from Entangled’s Brazen imprint…

Some lines are meant to be crossed…

One explosive device was all it took to turn Holt Cunningham from ass-kicking Marine to IT technician. Hell, he’s still not over it. So when the cute little strawberry blonde at the bar asks him to kiss her, Holt can’t resist the temptation of a sexy distraction. Before he knows it, she’s blown his mind…and then skipped out the next morning.

Lydia Thomas never expected things with Holt to go quite that far, but oh, it was worth it. After being far too good for way too long, she was ready to be bad. Except that there’s that tiny detail that Lydia kept to herself-Holt just spent the night doing naughty things…with his best friend’s little sister.

One night isn’t nearly enough. But with his friendship on the line, how far will Holt go in order to claim what’s his?

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OUR THOUGHTS:

There’s nothing spectacularly different or unpredictable about this particular story; you know the pattern of one such as this – best friend and little sister hopelessly fall for each other in a forbidden relationship. It can only be a matter of time before it’s all too much and they give in to the attraction.  What’s exceptionally unpredictable, however, is the amazing emotion and passion Alberts delivers. I felt like I was linked to the characters by a live wire –  the intensity of their connection is palpable. Sometimes the denial is unbearable, but all in all it’s a fantastic ride.

Holt’s a relatively broken guy. Sure he’s trying to hold it together, but suffering as he did while serving in the military, there’s bound to be some PTSD to work out. Not to mention the cognitive struggles he’s coping with daily take their toll. His strength and determination are two of his most appealing qualities, and I can see how Lydia falls for him. I think there’s something compelling about strong, dominant characters who reveal their vulnerability. It changes how we view them, and I know as a reader, I absolutely love when they show their weaknesses.

Lydia happens to be exactly the patient, caring person Holt needs. Of course the major complication is her older brother and Holt’s BFF, Steven. I know there’s guy code about dating sisters and all of that, but I don’t think I’ve ever been more frustrated by a story where it was a factor. I mean, I wanted to personally plead their case to Steven, because anyone can see these two have something special. And hot. Can’t forget that! Alberts writes some amazingly intimate and sensual moments between them, and it’s plain to see their connection happens at a very base level.

I’d recommend this book and the entire Shillings Agency series to romance readers who enjoy a sweet, sexy story complete with interesting characters and emotional complexity. Diane Alberts will captivate you with her expressive style and keep you wanting more.

RATING: BAD ASS BOOTS!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

DIANE ALBERTSDiane Alberts is a multi-published, bestselling contemporary romance author with Entangled Publishing. She also writes New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling new adult books under the name Jen McLaughlin. She’s hit the Top 100 lists on Amazon and Barnes and Noble numerous times with numerous titles. She was mentioned in Forbes alongside E. L. James as one of the breakout independent authors to dominate the bestselling lists. Diane is represented by Louise Fury at The Bent Agency.

Diane has always been a dreamer with a vivid imagination, but it wasn’t until 2011 that she put her pen where her brain was, and became a published author.  Since receiving her first contract offer, she has yet to stop writing. Though she lives in the mountains, she really wishes she was surrounded by a hot, sunny beach with crystal clear water. She lives in Northeast Pennsylvania with her four kids, a husband, a schnauzer mutt, and a cat. Her goal is to write so many fantastic stories that even a non-romance reader will know her name.

CONNECT WITH DIANE: 

WEBSITE / FACEBOOK / TWITTER / GOODREADS

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