Tag Archives: Spotlight

Blog Tour and Review: 24/7 (The Subs Club #4) by J.A. Rock

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Hi! I’m J.A. Rock, and right now I’m touring the internet talking about my latest release, 24/7—Book 4 in The Subs Club series. Thanks so much to the blogs that are hosting me on this tour, and be sure to leave comments on the tour posts for a chance to win a $15 Riptide Publishing gift card!

About 24/7

We started the Subs Club to make the kink community safer for subs. Except now the others are so busy chasing their happy endings, it’s like they’ve forgotten what Bill did to Hal and the fact that he got away with it. They used to think I was betraying Hal’s memory by hooking up with the owners of the club where he died. Now they don’t seem to care about any of it anymore.

Maybe I am sometimes angry with GK and Kel for giving Bill a second chance, but they’ve been mentoring me for a year now, and whatever else they’ve done, they make me feel incredibly safe. So I want to try something: I want to offer them my complete submission, 24/7. To serve the people who forgave Bill. That’s the way I want to hurt.

Except I’m starting to care about them in a way I never meant to—and I think they feel the same way. But after Hal, I don’t know if I want to be in love again. Because what I really need, more than anything, is to see Bill brought to justice. Even if I have to do it myself. Even if it means losing GK and Kel.

—Gould

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About the Subs Club series

After the death of their friend Hal at the hands of an irresponsible dom, submissive friends Dave, Kamen, Miles, and Gould band together to form the Subs Club—an organization seeking to expose dangerous local doms. The club slowly evolves as romances blossom, loyalties are tested, and tensions mount in a community already struggling for unity in the wake of Hal’s death.

From domestic discipline to knife play to fashion paraphilia, and from family drama to new jobs to first loves, the members of the Subs Club explore life’s kinks inside and outside of the bedroom as they attempt to let go of the past and move forward.

About the Author

J.A. Rock is the author of queer romance and suspense novels, including By His Rules, Take the Long Way Home, and, with Lisa Henry, The Good Boy and When All The World Sleeps. She holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Alabama and a BA in theater from Case Western Reserve University. J.A. also writes queer fiction and essays under the name Jill Smith. Raised in Ohio and West Virginia, she now lives in Chicago with her dog, Professor Anne Studebaker.

Website: www.jarockauthor.com

Blog: http://jarockauthor.blogspot.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jarockauthor

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ja.rock.39

Giveaway

J.A. Rock is giving away $15 in Riptide Publishing credit. Leave a comment to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on June 11, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

Our Thoughts

From the beginning of the series, Gould is the one friend we know the least about. What we do knows is that he was Hal’s best friend since childhood and they became involved in a relationship that didn’t quite work out. Hal is taken from Gould in the most unfortunate way, during a BDSM scene at club Riddle. The whole situation was tragic and handled in such a way that no one really knew what really happened and who was to blame. Gould feels it is 100 percent obvious. Bill, the Dom Hal was playing with, was responsible and he got off. He didn’t pay. He is alive living his life (not in jail, not paying for his crime) and Hal is dead.

Gould was the quiet one of the bunch. When they wanted him to take part in their group conversations, they could always count on him to be there and respond in the affirmative. It’s like Gould was just part of the furniture. This is why we don’t know him well going into his story. What we quickly discover is that Gould is a mess. Thank goodness for the internal dialogue JA Rock writes for Gould. Without it, we’d have nothing on him. He just doesn’t speak his mind. Ever. It’s actually frustrating at times and impacts his relationships and potential play partners. He never really says what he wants or needs in a scene let alone when with friends. He just goes along with whatever is done, suggested, or planned.

Gould starts to play with Greg and Kel, the owners of Riddle. I truly wondered if he was doing this to get revenge for them forgiving Bill and mentoring him after the trial. Soon, it is apparent that he actually is attracted to Kel and has a growing fondness for Greg as well. The whole Bill and Hal situation just muddies up everything for Gould. He’s still grieving but does it silently and internally. No one can help him because he just won’t talk! Gould asks Kel to be his Master so he can be her slave, thinking the degradation and humiliation will help break him and remove all the pain. That might have worked if he wasn’t holding onto so much pain and guilt. He thinks so lowly of himself but he’s also seriously missing Hal. He’s not whole and trying to become whole through humiliation isn’t the answer.

Needless to say, it becomes a total shit storm (sorry for the language but it is) for everyone, Gould, Greg, Kel, Dave, Miles, and Kamen. Even as the story finishes I felt Gould was still unstable. Finally healing, yes. Better, yes. Still unstable, yes. He was just so all over the place emotionally and he had no outlet. no communication skills to work through everything and heal. Instead, he deflects and thinks that giving up who he is through being a slave will make everything better. The pain from losing Hal would disappear. Thing is, Gould was holding onto Hal so tightly that he would never be able to let go of the pain. He sought memories of Hal out, trying so hard to hold on to every memory that he was self-sabotaging.

If I had to choose one word to describe Gould and his story, it would be complex. I still don’t feel I fully know him or understand his wants or needs. I do believe that’s because he doesn’t either. Gould will continue to be an enigma in chaos until he fully heals and that’s totally okay. He has amazing friends and they are there for him in good and bad times.

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!

Spotlight: Promises, Part 2 by A.E. Via

Promises 2 Teaser

PROMISES – PART 2 by A.E. Via
Series: BOUNTY HUNTERS #1
M/M GAY ROMANCE CONTEMPORARY
Edited by: Tina Adamski
Cover Artist – Jay Aheer
PAGE COUNT – 280
Release Date: March 20th, 2016

Blurb:

Roman “Quick” Webb is one badass bounty hunter on the crime­filled streets of Atlanta. He’s fearless when it comes to carrying out his dangerous job alongside his longtime best friend and business partner, Duke. However, there is one thing that has begun to cause Quick concern and it’s the dreadful thought of living out the rest of his life alone. Seeing his best friend and his son fall in love and sharing the special connection that only true soulmates can, has made him all the more aware of what’s lacking in his life.

Love.

Dr. Cayson Chauncey has been wildly attracted to the big, tattooed hunter for almost a year, ever since he performed the surgery that saved Quick’s best friend’s life. Cayson must’ve mistaken Quick’s gratitude for something more, because the one time he tried to make his desires known, he was harshly rebuffed and left on the man’s doorstep feeling stupid for hitting on an obviously very straight man.

Cayson never dated a man who was willing to come out of hiding and be with him. Now at almost forty, Cayson is intent on no longer being anyone’s dirty secret. Having experienced countless disappointments, and having taken a stand not to fall for any more tricks, Cayson is more than a little skeptical when Quick comes around asking for a second chance to prove himself. The gorgeous man had already made it clear he was definitely uninterested in Cayson… or so he’d thought.

Dr. Chauncey stirred up Quick’s suppressed, most carnal desires from a place deep down inside of him. He’d reacted so badly the first time that now his sexy surgeon wanted nothing to do with him. It was going to take a fair amount of patience and a whole lot of wooing involved as Quick sets out to convince Cayson that he’s worth another chance and that he is the brave lover who Cayson has been looking for.

With a scorned ex and a very dangerous job thrown into the mix, Cayson’s happiness and all of Quick’s promises may not be as easy to keep as they’d hoped.

PARTS ONE AND TWO IN THIS SERIES CAN BOTH BE READ AS STANDALONES. THERE ARE NO CLIFFHANGERS IN EITHER BOOKS.

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Excerpt from Promises- Part 2:

“Look, Doc. I’m not good at this, okay. I’m not as good looking as Duke and I’m not smooth like my son. I like you and I have no clue on what I’m supposed to say to get you to believe me or forgive me for being an ass before. I hope the flowers helped, though.” Quick was nervously tapping a couple fingers on his knee while he spoke. “I, um. I was married before to a woman. I was lying to myself all through my senior year in high school, and then next thing I know my beard girlfriend is pregnant, so I did the right thing. I never got a real opportunity to explore the other side of my sexuality. Everything was all about Vaughan when he was born.”

“Why are you telling me this?” Cayson asked. He hoped it wasn’t rude, but he needed to know. “Because I’m sorry and I’m trying to get another chance.” Quick’s brow turned down determinedly. “I don’t know how to date a man – what to say, what not to say – so I was hoping you’d cut me some slack. Obviously, I wasn’t saying the right things before and surprisingly, there was nothing on YouTube to really help me.”

Promises Part 2 Teaser #2

Meet the author:

A.E. Via is still a fairly new author in the beautiful gay erotic genre. Her writing embodies everything from spicy to scandalous. Her stories often include intriguing edges and twists that take readers to new, thought-provoking depths.

When she’s not clicking away at her laptop, she devotes herself to her family—a husband and four children, her two pets, a Maltese dog and her white Siamese cat, ELynn, named after the late, great gay romance author E. Lynn Harris.

While this is only her eighth novel, she has plenty more to come. So stalk her– she loves that – because the male on male action is just heating up!

Go to A.E. Via’s official website http://authoraevia.com for more detailed information on how to contact her, follow her, or a sneak peak on upcoming work, free reads, and where she’ll appear next.

Author Official Website  •  Facebook Author Page  •  Facebook  •  Twitter  •  Amazon Author Page

SPOTLIGHT AND REVIEW: Broken by Nicola Haken

Title: Broken
Author: Nicola Haken
Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance
Release Date: February 29, 2016

When Theodore Davenport decides to switch his mundane job for a career, he walks into Holden House Publishing with enthusiasm and determination to succeed. As he settles into his new role, makes new friends, and dreams of making it to the top, everything is going to plan.

Until he meets James Holden, CEO of Holden House.

James Holden hasn’t been able to stop thinking about his encounter with the timid man he met in a club bathroom last week, and when he discovers the one haunting his dreams is an employee, he can’t seem to stop himself from pursuing him.

Just a little fun – that’s what James tells himself. He can’t afford to care for someone who can never reciprocate, not once they find out who he really is. James believes nobody deserves the burden of being attached to him. He’s a complicated man. Damaged. Difficult. Demanding.

Broken.

Is Theodore strong enough to confront James’ demons? More importantly, is James?

(M/M romance. Not suitable for readers under 18 years of age due to language and sexual content. ***Please note*** This book contains scenes of self harm, mental illness and suicidal ideation which may pose as a trigger, or be uncomfortable for some readers.)


 

“Broken is truly a remarkable book. I was blown away by it, by the raw and sincere way Ms. Haken took these men through the roller coaster of living with unrelenting demons. And now, as I sit here wondering if I have to courage to post this review, all I can think about is how far into my heart Theo and James have embedded themselves–and how I hope they never leave. I think it might be too hard to say goodbye…although maybe not as hard as it was find the words that I hope compel you to read this breathtaking book.” ~ Beth, Give Me Books 


“A stunning but achingly painful read” ~ Author Sloane Kennedy 


“This is an amazing book full of so much raw emotion that it gripped me and wouldn’t let up. I felt like I was watching a movie in my head and I wanted to just jump in the book and give James a huge hug. Lots of FEELz in this book.. both good and bad.” ~ Alpha Book Club



Nicola lives in Rochdale, England with her husband and four children (six if you include the dog and cat!) She is the author the author of the m/m romance Souls of the Knight series, and is currently working on a standalone with new boys, James and Theo, due for release early 2016. When she is not busy playing with her imaginary book friends (or talking about them with real life friends!) she can usually be found carrying out her ordinary mum/housewife/all round slave duties. Oh, and if the kids ever ask, she moonlights as the Pink Power Ranger while they’re sleeping…

review

Absolutely amazing. An emotional journey I didn’t want to end.

I have a thing for emotionally grueling books. The harder the story, the more the men suffer, the more I enjoy.  Life is messy and a story like I mentioned, to me, is real life. The struggles, hardships, stressors, they’re what make life difficult but help us know we’re alive and kicking trying to fight through.

Fighting through is exactly what James David Holden is doing. From the moment we meet him, James is trying to keep it together. From his job to his personal life, he’s treading water. He’s a bit of an arrogant bastard but not to the point of hating him. No, that feeling is strictly for his mother. She is another level of selfish that James in nowhere near.

Take-charge-James meets Theodore one night in a bar and that sets the stage for their volatile relationship to emerge. Volatile because James is a jerk at first but Theodore can’t stop gravitating towards him anyway. Doing as James asks and going against everything Theo knows he should be doing with regards to James. It’s quite comical to see Theo struggle. He’s powerless when it comes to James.

As we get to know both men through their job (Theo works for Holden) and their dating we discover a bigger secret. James suffers from mental illness. He’s sure this will push Theo away, he almost hopes it will. That would support what he’s felt all along, he’s not loveable. Not worth having to deal with manic depression and suicidal tendencies. Not worth love and effort. However, James greatly underestimates Theo’s love and devotion. Theo has a huge heart and he’s willing to pull James closer, not push him away.

Broken is a beautiful story of hope. Hope in love. Hope in healing. Hope in tragedy. Hope in a new day. Hope in therapy. James is so shattered. He must totally break and smash into pieces before he can become new. To put the pieces together again and grow. The pieces might be permanently damaged and worse for wear, but they’re there.  With Theo by his side, James just might be able to overcome. Theo, his rock, his anchor. Theo, a beacon of light, hope and love.

Yes the story is emotional, but it’s not overwhelmingly so. I recommend Broken, it’s a must read. It’s raw, it’s truth, it’s beauty.

RATING: STILETTOS!!



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