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RELEASE WEEK BLITZ: LAVENDER IN BLOOM BY LILY VELEZ

NEW RELEASE!

LAVENDER IN BLOOM BY LILY VELEZ

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ABOUT THE BOOK:

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It’s the year 1802 in Avignon, France

Noah Capet has spent most of his young life living simple and unvaried days in the hushed countryside of southern France. Quiet, reserved, and diffident, his preference for existing is to do so in solitude, keeping to himself both in town and on his family’s farm—a predilection that’s altogether disrupted when a newcomer to town by the name of Jeremie Perreault begins an unremitting quest to befriend him.

Jeremie is everything Noah is not. Charismatic and gregarious, he leaves a trail of charmed admirers in his wake wherever he goes. Expressive and idealistic, he talks without end about his deep love for old books and his spirited dream to one day travel the world on a literary pilgrimage.

Over the course of a single summer, the two form an unlikely friendship, but just as quickly as it develops, it soon entirely dissolves as they’re forced to face the truth of what has unexpectedly emerged between them.

Lavender in Bloom is a tender and tragic coming-of-age story about first love and self-discovery, and a poignant reminder that time is fleeting and always takes with it the choices we’re too afraid to make.

Publication Date: July 25th, 2016
Genre: Historical, Coming-of-Age Romance

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GUEST POSTThe Lavender in Bloom Playlist:

I absolutely love music and its power to stir the heart and so deeply move us. Creating a playlist for my books is one of my go-to strategies in my writer’s toolbox because listening to that playlist is the easiest way for me to get into the mood of a scene or the headspace of a particular character. Below, check out the tracks that made it onto the playlist for Lavender in Bloom, along with commentary on why each song’s so perfect for the story.

You can listen to the entire playlist for Lavender in Bloom here.

Frail Love by Cloves — This song was an absolute Godsend and I’m so glad I found it, as it ended up becoming the ‘theme song’ for Lavender in Bloom. Every last lyric was just perfect for Noah and Jeremie’s story. Especially these particular lines: I can’t live it like I’m living, I can’t live a lie, I’m giving up more than I should, forgive me for my frail love. 

All I Want by Kodaline — For the longest time, this track was the theme song for Lavender in Bloom. I honestly couldn’t listen to it without getting teary-eyed, as it so perfectly captures the tragedy of Noah and Jeremie’s story. Favorite lines: When you said your last goodbye, I died a little bit inside and If you loved me, then why’d you leave me?

The Beautiful Ones by The Battle of Land and Sea — I love this song because, for one, it’s a break from the sad songs, but also because I feel it sets the mood for Noah’s life in the countryside. It has a very rural feel to it that makes me think of a simple and tranquil living.

Say Something by A Great Big World ft. Christina Aguilera — Another perfect song for Noah and Jeremie’s story. In fact, there’s a point in Lavender in Bloom where Jeremie outright tells Noah to just say the word, and he’ll be his. There’s also a point where they’re sort of at odds, waiting for the other to make the first move (or speak the first word, as it were), and this song really captures that. Favorite lines: Anywhere I would’ve followed you and I will swallow my pride: you’re the one that I love and I’m saying goodbye.  

The Power of Love by Gabrielle Aplin — I included this song because it really captured the mood for a fable that’s featured in Lavender in Bloom. In fact, it’s a fable that describes how lavender first came into bloom in France. It’s based on an ‘alternate universe’ story featuring Noah and Jeremie, and it would be the perfect song for a montage of their love. Favorite line: The power of love, a force from above, cleaning my soul.

Make it Holy by The Staves — This is such a pretty song, and it’s perfect from Jeremie’s perspective. Favorite lines: I could make you want me, make you need me, make you mine. I could make it holy, make it special, make it right. 

Forgetting by David Gray — Another sad song. From the very first chords, this song just sets the mood for a scene of heartbreak. It kind of has a nostalgic feel to it. Despite the title of the song, it’s the type of song that makes you remember times long past.

Ashes by Madi Diaz — This is another song I see as being from Jeremie’s perspective, especially toward the end of the book, when he asks Noah to make a certain decision. Favorite lines: Don’t you let me down and No, I won’t stand to keep watching you stay. 

I Will Love You by Gin Wigmore — One of the few happy love song on the Lavender in Bloom playlist, and the only one with a more upbeat melody. As such, it’s very much treasured. This is a cute one, too. I love every single lyric, but my favorite lines are: If you die before I do, I know that heartache will kill me, too, so if I ever lived again, it would be to find you. It’s especially perfect because I can definitely see Noah and Jeremie as living many lives and finding each other in each one.

Tell Me How to Feel by Maggie Eckford — This song captures one of the main character’s thoughts in the wake of the book’s concluding actions, in which they just feel so blindsided, lost, and heartbroken.

Benediction by Luke Sital-Singh — This song has a sad vibe from the start, and it’s also one I picked because it instantly makes me think of the lavender fable and Noah and Jeremie’s ‘alternate universe’ story. Favorite lines: There’s a knock in the silence, I see death at the door, But I know we’ll be alright, ‘Cause your hands are still warm and I’m sorry we don’t have forever, but come die with me.

Hengilas by Jonsi — This song’s in another language (Icelandic!), but it has such an atmospheric quality to it that just draws you in. Favorite lines: We look into foreign eyes, yet we have always known each other. Perfect, because Jeremie has a line in Lavender in Bloom about Noah’s eyes feeling like home even from the moment he first looked into them.  

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

DSC_6040fourLily Velez has been writing stories since she was six years old. Not much has changed since then. She still prefers the written word and her overactive imagination over the ‘real world’ (though to be fair, her stories no longer feature talking dinosaurs). A graduate of Rollins College and a Florida native, when she’s not reading or writing, she spends most of her days wrangling up her pit bulls Noah and Luna, planning exciting travel adventures, and nursing her addiction to cheese. All this when she isn’t participating in the extreme sport known as napping. You can learn more about Lily and her books at www.lilyvelezbooks.com.

CONNECT WITH LILY:

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Release Blitz and Review: Debt by K.C. Wells

Title: Debt
Author: K.C. Wells
Genre: M/M Romance
Release Date: May 27, 2016
Release Blitz Hosted by Enticing Journey Book Promotions


Two months after Mitch Jenkins had the rug pulled out from under him when his two-year relationship came to an abrupt end, he is still hurting. A colleague’s attempt to cheer him up brings Mitch to a secret “club.” Mitch isn’t remotely interested in the twinks parading like peacocks, until he spies the young man at the back of the room, nose firmly in a book and oblivious to his surroundings. Now Mitch is interested.

Nikko Kurokawa wants to pay his debt and get the hell out of the Black Lounge—where he is forced not only to have sex, but sometimes suffer abuse to please clients. Earning his freedom isn’t proving easy, especially when he starts attracting interest. Life becomes that little bit easier to bear when he meets Mitch, who is nothing like the other men who frequent the club. And when Mitch crawls under his skin and into his heart, Nikko figures he can put up with anything. Before long he’ll be out of there, and he and Mitch can figure out if they have a future together.

Neither of them counted on those who don’t want Nikko to leave….

“Debt is sexy & dangerous; it has it all: age gap, hurt-comfort, suspense, sweetness, serious steam, a happy ending, and two men who refuse to give up on each other.” – Reader review

“Well written, at times heartbreaking, often touching, very sexy, and with an unforgettable storyline and characters, Debt is without a doubt one of my favourites among K.C. Well’s amazing books.” – Reader review

“Have you ever come across a book that grabs you by the heart, shakes you up, drags you through a myriad of emotions, then spits you out the other side happy and hopeful, yet wondering what happened and how you got there? Well, Debt by K.c. Wells is one of those stories.” – Reader review

“So?” Aaron nudged him again. “Which one lights your candle?” He grinned. “You’ve got to admit, there are some beautiful men in there.” He nodded toward one young man standing nearest the window. He was stroking down over his chest and well-defined abs, to where a thick cock jutted out toward them. Just then the young man turned and bent over, reaching back to spread his cheeks and reveal a pink, glistening hole, clearly lubed. He wiggled his ass, his dick bobbing stiffly.

Aaron smothered a chuckle. “Wow. He’s eager.”

That wasn’t the word in Mitch’s mind. He preferred blatant, and it wasn’t turning him on. In fact, none of them were.

“This is a mistake,” he said quietly. “Thanks for bringing me here, but honestly, this isn’t me. And there isn’t one guy who does it for me.” His gaze swept across the room, taking in the smiling, pouting faces and….

Mitch stopped, his pulse quickening. “Him.” How did I miss him?

Aaron peered in the direction of Mitch’s stare. “Which one?”

At the back of the room was a small table and a couple of armchairs facing each other. In one of them sat a young man with long, black hair tied in a single braid down his back. He was Japanese in appearance, with small, round glasses perched on his nose. Physically he was slight, not that tall as far as Mitch could tell. Unlike the others, he wore a pair of jeans and a white shirt.

What caught Mitch’s attention was the fact that he was reading a book, his legs curled up under him, lost in his own world.

“Mitch?” Aaron pinched his arm.

“Hey!” Mitch grumbled, rubbing the spot near his elbow. “What was that for?”

“You were off in cloud cuckoo land.” Aaron cocked his eyebrows. “Well? I repeat, which one?”

“The one with the book.” There was something so delightfully incongruous about him that Mitch was intrigued.

“Really?”

Mitch dragged his gaze away to give Aaron a firm stare. “You said to take my pick, so I pick him.” He couldn’t account for the way his body reacted to the young man. His heart pounded and his mouth was dry.

“That’s Nikko. He’s new here.”

Mitch turned toward the speaker. A dark-haired man wearing a black suit and matching shirt smiled at him. “My name is Randy. I’m here to give you any information you require.” He gave a flick of his head toward the window. “Nikko only joined us recently. Would you like to meet him, and if so, for how long?”

His heart still racing, Mitch regarded the young man who was oblivious to his surroundings. “An hour?”

Beside him Aaron chuckled. “And that’s my cue to leave.” He patted Mitch on the arm. “Enjoy, with my blessing. You can tell me all about it on Monday.”

“Thanks, Aaron.” Mitch gave him a warm smile. “And as for Monday? Uh-uh.” The smile became a grin. “I don’t kiss and tell.”

He snorted. “Spoilsport. And you have nothing to thank me for yet.” Aaron grinned. “See ya.” He walked toward the door and gave one last wave before disappearing through it.

Mitch returned his attention to Randy, who was regarding him with a hint of amusement. Mitch cleared his throat. “I’m sorry, I’m new to all this.”

Randy’s smile widened. “Then you and Nikko have something in common. Do you have your card?” Mitch held it up and Randy peered at it. “Okay, that’s fine. If you’ll come with me, please?”

He led Mitch through the door at the end of the lounge. They were in a long hallway with doors on either side. Randy escorted Mitch to door number seven and opened it. The room was small, but what it lacked in size, it made up for in furnishings. In the corner was a Chinese painted screen and a washbasin with a thick towel hanging from a rail beside it. Most of the space was taken up by a bed adorned with white sheets, a soft gray comforter, pillows, and cushions. A wide chair faced the bed, its cushions deep. There were no windows. At the head of the bed was a large mirror, and beside it, a small cabinet with two drawers.

“You’ll find condoms and packets of lube in the cabinet,” Randy said. “You’re aware of the club’s strict safe-sex policy.”

Mitch nodded. He had no problem with that. He’d never had bareback sex in his life.

“There are also some toys, should you require them. If there’s something particular you’d like, simply ask. We do cater for those clients who are into S&M, but they generally stipulate their needs ahead of time. Would that be of interest to you this evening?”

Mitch was sure his face was bright red. “Uh, not for me, thank you.”

Randy gave a polite nod. “Then I shall go and bring Nikko to you.” He exited the room.

Mitch gazed around him while he removed his jacket. He placed it on the chair and examined the prints on the wall. The room was definitely nothing like he’d expected; he’d had something much more austere in mind. A glance behind the screen revealed a toilet, tastefully hidden from view.

They really do think of everything.

Mitch scanned the walls and corners for any sign of a camera. Nothing. But from a safety aspect alone, he knew there had to be one in there somewhere.

Damn, they’re good.

He came back to the bed and sat, bouncing on it to test its springiness.

“Are we to be using it as a trampoline?” a soft voice asked.

Mitch jerked his head toward the door just as it closed gently. Nikko stood there, his fingers laced together in front of him, dark brown eyes focused on Mitch, his braid not visible, his expression impassive.

Mitch coughed and rose to his feet. “Maybe not.” He took a few steps toward Nikko, his hand extended, his belly tensed. Inwardly he cursed his uncertainty. It wasn’t as if he was a stranger to meeting guys, but after two years of being in a relationship, he felt decidedly out of practice. And this was definitely a new experience.

Nikko took his hand almost shyly and shook it, his fingers cool to the touch. “I’m Nikko.” The handshake over, he laced his fingers once more and stepped back, maintaining his distance from Mitch. His manner had Mitch retreating too.

“Is that your real name, or just one you use here?” Mitch wanted to know. When Nikko raised his eyebrows, Mitch felt the warm flush that rose up his chest and neck. “I’m sorry. This is my first time in a… in one of these places.”

Nikko became still for a moment, tension evident in his posture. When he smiled, it didn’t reach his eyes. “Then we have something in common. And to answer your question, Nikko is my real name. May I know yours?” Those eyes were captivating, a rich, deep brown framed with long, sooty black lashes, and set in a pale, unblemished face.

“I’m Mitch.” It was on the tip of his tongue to say Pleased to meet you, but the words sounded wrong given the circumstances. I don’t suppose there are etiquette rules for greeting a hooker in a brothel.

Not that Nikko resembled his preconceptions of what a hooker looked like. The young man was beautiful, maybe five foot five, six max. He felt tiny next to Mitch’s five foot eleven. Those clasped fingers were slim, his hands delicate. Mitch was reminded of one of his mother’s ethereal porcelain figurines in her china cabinet back home. They shared that same fragile quality.

“Are… are you feeling awkward too?” Nikko asked, biting his bottom lip. “You’re my first… client.” A flush crept across his cheeks and his ears turned red.

His words stirred something in Mitch’s chest, an absurd desire to enfold Nikko in his arms, to protect him. The yearning took him by surprise. Maybe it was Nikko’s slight build, his fragility, that engendered the inclination. Whatever it was, it sent a rush of warmth through Mitch’s body.

He beckoned to Nikko. “Come here.”

Slowly Nikko walked over to him, his gaze fixed on Mitch’s face. He stopped a few feet in front of him and tilted his chin up, not quite meeting Mitch’s gaze. The rapid rise and fall of Nikko’s chest, the ragged breathing, betrayed the nerves he hid. Mitch stretched out his hand to cup Nikko’s face, his large hand exaggerating the diminutive young man’s size.

“How old are you?” Mitch asked quietly. Nikko had to be barely legal.

“I-I’m twenty-two,” Nikko said in a low voice that cracked. “I know how I look, Mitch. I’m old enough to work here. This may be my first time with a client, but I’m not a virgin.”

“I never thought for a second that a virgin would be working here,” Mitch admitted. He tilted his head. “You can come closer, you know. I won’t hurt you.”

Nikko swallowed, blinking. “I… I’m sorry. It’s just that you’re not how I expected a client to be.”

Mitch took a step closer. “How did you think I would be?” He kept his voice low and soothing. Nikko reminded him of a colt he’d spent time with on his uncle’s farm as a boy. The young man gave an impression of being about to bolt at any second.

Nikko took a deep breath. “I didn’t expect to be treated with so much… respect.”

Now Mitch got it. “Come closer,” he said, coaxingly. When Nikko hesitated, Mitch gave him a warm smile. “Nikko, I meant it. I will not hurt you. I don’t have it in me to do that.”

Nikko regarded him in silence. “I believe you.” He inhaled slowly and took that last step to bring him to Mitch.

Mitch couldn’t help himself. He bent his head lower and took Nikko’s mouth in a gentle kiss. Nikko held himself still for a moment longer before putting his slim arms around Mitch’s neck and responding, his lips parting.

When Mitch broke the kiss, Nikko looked up at him with shining eyes. “Thank you.”

“For what?”

Nikko smiled, this time genuinely. “For being gentle.” His breathing hitched. “You… you make this easier than I thought it would be, Mitch.”

Mitch’s first reaction was a surge of pleasure, until a thought nagged at him. He paused, his hands on Nikko’s shoulders. “Are you here because you want to be?” Something about Nikko’s choice of words tugged at his mind.

Nikko regarded him, face calm. “I chose to be here, Mitch. Have no doubt about that.” There was no trace of deception in his voice or expression. He reached up with both hands and cupped Mitch’s face. “Kiss me again?” His Adam’s apple bobbed.

“Are you asking because you want to be kissed or because you feel you should ask?”

Nikko stared at him, lowering his hands, his eyes wide. “You are… perceptive.”

Mitch shrugged. “I use my eyes, is all. If you’d rather we sit on the bed for a while, maybe chat, that’s okay, I don’t mind.” He waited for Nikko to make the next move. The young man was skittish enough without Mitch making matters worse.

Nikko’s breathing grew more even. “Then I should like you to kiss me, because”—he stroked Mitch’s cheek, the touch light, and for the first time, he looked Mitch in the eye—“because I want you to.”

Mitch smiled. “That’s better.” He caressed Nikko’s cheek, brushing his fingertips over his cheekbones. “Because I want to kiss you.”

Nikko closed his eyes, lips parted, waiting.

Fuck. Nikko was beautiful.
Born and raised in the north-west of England, K.C. WELLS always loved writing. Words were important. Full stop. However, when childhood gave way to adulthood, the writing ceased, as life got in the way. K.C. discovered erotic fiction in 2009, when the purchase of a ménage storyline led to the startling discovery that reading about men in love was damn hot. In 2012, arriving at a really low point in life led to the desperate need to do something creative. An even bigger discovery waited in the wings—writing about men in love was even hotter….


K.C. now writes full-time and is loving every minute of her new career. The laptop still has no idea of what hit it… it only knows that it wants a rest, please. And it now has to get used to the idea that where K.C goes, it goes. 

And as for those men in love that she writes about? The list of stories just waiting to be written is getting longer… and longer….

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Our thoughts:

When Mitch and Nikko meet, it isn’t under the best of circumstances. Mitch has been thrust into an exclusive club with some non traditional perks. His coworker brought him there and even though he’s hesitant, and his head is screaming for him to leave, he can’t make his legs move. There’s a young man curled in a chair in the back of the room with his nose in a book. A sweet yet handsome face that appeals to Mitch on many levels. Nikko is the reason Mitch stays and decides to spend his visit with Nikko.

Mitch’s life has been good but unfulfilling. He’s a teacher, has a great, supportive family, good friends, and relationship or two along the way. He wants ‘the one,’ the one man he will be happy with and spend the rest of his life with. His last relationship ended with Mitch being called boring. That shakes him a bit and he’s unsteady when he meets Nikko. He’s trying to see if he can do unattached and one offs. Even with Nikko, a prostitute, that doesn’t seem possible.

Nikko is not a prostitute. Well, he is, but forced into it isn’t the same as choosing it. Nikko is stuck. He’s been played and owes a huge debt because of his brother. Never in his life would he have imagined being where he is. Never would he have thought the man who forced him into the situation would be dishonest and evil. Feeling naïve and hopeless, Nikko is grateful for Mitch, a gentle soul who seems to care for Nikko. A man who gives more than he takes, that’s not natural under the circumstance in which they meet up. Mitch is almost too good to be true. Nikko finds himself falling for Mitch but how ridiculous is that considering he’s trapped.

The first part of the story is about them navigating their situation and the rise of feelings for each other. Enough feelings that Nikko spills his story and Mitch is determined to get Nikko out of his situation. He needs to save Nikko. As crazy as it sounds, it actually works. Now for the last half of their story, they must figure out if they can make it together. If they want the same things and can give just enough to bring themselves together for good.

Debt starts out as a bleak situation but it quickly moves to sweet, sweet romance. Mitch is all love and devotion and he’s finally found the one guy he can see himself with for life. Is Nikko able to commit to that or is he too broken?

RATING: BAD ASS BOOTS

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RELEASE BLITZ: How to Save a Life by Andria Large

How do you save someone’s life?There’s the obvious way of physically saving them from a tragic end.
Then there’s the more subtle way of saving someone who doesn’t know they need to be saved. Someone who is drowning emotionally and has no idea that they are slowing dying.

Ezra Whitmore is one of those people. After tragically losing his wife, he’s still going through the motions, but not really living. All he has now is his son, Spencer, and his career as a dentist. The life he thought he was going to have has been torn apart. The things he had once enjoyed no longer feel the same without the person he had shared everything with.

That is, until Ferris Jenkins crashes into his life. Not only does the lifeguard save his son from literally drowning in the ocean, but he also slowly starts to bring Ezra back to life.

As soon as Ferris lays eyes on Ezra, he can’t get the gorgeous dentist out of his head. He knows nothing will ever happen between them because…well, Ezra is straight and he’s gay. You can imagine Ferris’ surprise when Ezra gets drunk one night, kisses him, and admits that he’s always been attracted to guys. This gives Ferris hope that maybe, just maybe, he can land the man of his dreams.

Andria is married and a stay at home mother with two crazy little girls and two psychotic cats. She doesn’t go anywhere without her precious iPhone and a purse full of animal crackers. She used to be completely obsessed with the Backstreet Boys, but now is only mildly obsessed (still goes to every concert when they are in town). She loves cartoons and Disney movies, and can probably recite every line from Dumb and Dumber. Humor is a must in her life; otherwise, it would be completely boring. Pepsi is her weakness, along with anything chocolate. She can’t sing to save her life, but she pretends she can when she is alone in her car with the music blasting so that she can’t hear herself.She loves to read Romance. Paranormal, Scottish, Military, Police, Firefighters, Athletes, Cowboys and M/M are her favorite. She is not so much a fan of YA, though. If you haven’t been able to tell from reading her books, she likes – whether she is reading them or writing them – lots of hot steamy sex.
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RELEASE BLITZ: ONE NIGHT SERIES by A.M. Willard

Today’s release blitz features the One Night series by A.M. Willard. You can now get all three of these previously released stories in one ebook! Take a look:

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Release Date: January 11, 2015
Published by Kingsnake Publishing

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PURCHASE A COPY FROM AMAZON: US / UK / CA AU

ABOUT THE BOOKS:

Girlglass One Night updatedOne Night
Angela Stephens is happy isn’t she? She’s married and has the career she’s always wanted. Traveling the world has always been Angela’s dream, but what happens when the distance between her and Christopher is put to the test. Will Angela give in to one night of pure bliss with a stranger?

 

080715-talking-couple-02One More Night
Can Angela save her marriage? Does she want to? Will her one night with Logan Black be just that, or will he find his way into her heart? What secrets is Christopher keeping from her? Is it too late for Angela to have it all? Will she find true happiness and love, along with the family she has always yearned for?

 

Handsome man silhouetteForever Night
All Angela Stephens ever wanted was a career, a faithful husband and a family. When her heart was shattered, Logan Black swooped in to pick up the pieces.

Does a marriage full of secrets and lies hold Angela back from her one true love?

Logan Black has it all, but when he met Angela Stephens he realized what was missing.
Will Angela be able to tame the ultimate playboy?

Will Logan and Angela chose a Forever Night?

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