Monday, August 17, 2015

Monday's Montage Mantlepiece: Summer Lovin'

Summer is here, and the loving is easy!

Slake your thirst for romance with Summer Lovin'—an anthology for lazy days and summer sunshine.

Go skinny-dipping in a disused quarry. Hang out with the boys in the band. Meet a bad boy made good, and one with a shy smile that hides a dark secret. Or maybe get your heart pillaged by a Viking re-enactor.

With gentle humour, hot sauce and a hefty scoop of romance, enjoy a quintet of sultry stories of men loving men from Clare London, Chrissy Munder, JL Merrow, Josephine Myles, and Lou Harper.

The mercury's not the only thing that's rising!

Stories Included:
Summer Hire by Chrissy Munder
Lost and Found on Lindisfarne by JL Merrow
Salt ’n’ Vinegar by Clare London
Werewolves of Venice Beach by Lou Harper
By Quarry Lake by Josephine Myles

Summer Hire by Chrissy Munder
Jim Carlson had nothing against porn. Being twenty-two and single, he had more than a passing acquaintance with that particular genre of filmmaking, thank you very much. But other than one night his first year in college where he was really, really, drunk? He'd never thought he'd be starring in one.

Was he dreaming? Jim didn't think so. A restless sleeper at the best of times, he had trouble adjusting to new places, and the Vedders' attic bedroom, while cozy, wasn't his familiar campus apartment. He gave the inside of his wrist a surreptitious pinch to make sure, and rubbed at the resulting sting. Okay, he was definitely awake. Option two? This was one of those shock-based television shows, and some third-rate celebrity host was going to jump out of nowhere and yell, "Surprise, here's your gay fantasy".

Either way, Jim couldn't help but check for cameras. Because when he and his friend, Cheryl Vedder, had strolled into the stifling hot garage to meet their new employer; some buddy of her brother's who ran a repair/summer rental business, they'd walked right into a scene from one of his favorite all-adult DVDs.

Cars on hoists? Check. An assortment of tools scattered around the benches alongside the back? Check. Tires piled against the other wall? Country music blaring from the battered radio in the corner? The air itself a heady mix of oil and exhaust? Oh yeah, it was all there. Including the man over by the hoist who made Jim want to slide on over and drop to his knees in the purest time-honored tradition, the better to properly say hello.

Jim savored the view. 'Cause seriously, somehow someone had poked through his DVD collection and put all of his favorites in one drool worthy, coverall wearing package.

He hummed approval at the shoulder-length dark hair pulled into a messy ponytail before letting let his gaze wander its greedy way over each inch of sweaty, lean, and--be still his beating heart--tattooed muscle. The thin white tank and slim waist exposed by the unzipped coveralls completed the picture. Yeah, he was a sucker for the classics. Sue him.

Jim told himself the prickly sensation crawling under his skin was from the humidity, and wiped at the sweat beaded on his forehead as every hunky-mechanic-meets-twink-customer vignette he'd ever beat off to flashed through his mind.

Forget the fun-in-the-sun summer Cheryl had promised him in return for a few hours of mindless labor. Forget the chance to use this break to find a job and a place to live, both of which he desperately needed now that he had graduated and was basically homeless without the security of campus housing. If this was the scenery the west side of Michigan had to offer, his summer was looking up. Sure, there was the whole pesky is he gay/is he straight thing to deal with, but Jim was willing to take the risk.

"O.M.G." Jim breathed as he clutched at Cheryl's arm. "I think I'm in love."

Author Bios:
Chrissy Munder
I usually try to let my writing speak for itself but I’ve been told that a bit of info about me might be amusing to some readers. Never let it be said I stood in the way of anyone’s amusement! So, for the curious, here’s a little background on your’s truly.

The joke when I was growing up was that no one could remember a time when I wasn’t reading. I was born with a book in my hand (ouch, sorry about that, Mom!) and haven’t put it down since. At the age of seven I commandeered an old desk in the basement, set out some pencils and paper and grandly announced the “writer was at work”.

Well, the more practical aspects of life interrupted those plans and I was forced to become a practicing realist in an effort to combat my tendency to dream but here I am once again, happy to share with you my love of romance and fiction.

Even though I’ve lived in more states than I have fingers to count I tend to set a fair portion of my fiction along the Western Coast of Michigan and I always try to highlight a few interesting aspects of the coast in my stories.

I feel there isn’t a more romantic or interesting location around and I am a firm believer in the transforming magic of romance in all its many guises whether it be het, m/m or f/f.

Please, come with me and share the magic.

Clare London
Clare took the pen name London from the city where she lives, loves, and writes. A lone, brave female in a frenetic, testosterone-fuelled family home, she juggles her writing with her other day job as an accountant. She’s written in many genres and across many settings, with award-winning novels and short stories published both online and in print. She says she likes variety in her writing while friends say she’s just fickle, but as long as both theories spawn good fiction, she’s happy. Most of her work features male/male romance and drama with a healthy serving of physical passion, as she enjoys both reading and writing about strong, sympathetic and sexy characters.

Clare currently has several novels sulking at that tricky chapter 3 stage and plenty of other projects in mind . . . she just has to find out where she left them in that frenetic, testosterone-fuelled family home.

All the details and free fiction are available at her website. Visit her today and say hello!

J.L. Merrow
JL Merrow is that rare beast, an English person who refuses to drink tea. She read Natural Sciences at Cambridge, where she learned many things, chief amongst which was that she never wanted to see the inside of a lab ever again. Her one regret is that she never mastered the ability of punting one-handed whilst holding a glass of champagne.

She writes across genres, with a preference for contemporary gay romance and the paranormal, and is frequently accused of humour. Her novella Muscling Through was a 2013 EPIC Award finalist, and her novel Slam! won the 2013 Rainbow Award for Best LGBT Romantic Comedy. Her novel Relief Valve is a finalist in the 2015 EPIC Awards.

JL Merrow is a member of the UK GLBTQ Fiction Meet organising team.

Josephine Myles
English through and through, Josephine Myles is addicted to tea and busy cultivating a reputation for eccentricity. She writes gay erotica and romance, but finds the erotica keeps cuddling up to the romance, and the romance keeps corrupting the erotica. She blames her rebellious muse but he never listens to her anyway, no matter how much she threatens him with a big stick. She's beginning to suspect he enjoys it.

Note to readers: I don't read reviews of my stories on here anymore, as I think they're geared for other readers, not the writers (plus I'm chicken and would rather stick my fingers in my ears going "la-la-la"). If you'd like to let me know what you thought about any of my stories, please PM me or send me an email. I'd be very happy to hear from you :)

Lou Harper
Under a prickly, cynical surface Lou Harper is an incorrigible romantic. Her love affair with the written word started at a tender age. There was never a time when stories weren't romping around in her head. She is currently embroiled in a ruinous romance with adjectives. In her free time Lou stalks deviant words and feral narratives.

Lou's favorite animal is the hedgehog. She likes nature, books, movies, photography, and good food. She has a temper and mood swings.

Lou has misspent most of her life in parts of Europe and the US, but is now firmly settled in Los Angeles and worships the sun. However, she thinks the ocean smells funny. Lou is a loner, a misfit, and a happy drunk.

Chrissy Munder

Clare London

J.L. Merrow

Josephine Myles

Lou Harper

B&N  /  KOBO  /  iTUNES  /  ARe

Over the Fence by Melanie Moreland

Title: Over the Fence
Author: Melanie Moreland
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: August 4, 2015

There are so many ways to fall in love in today’s world. Besides the usual bars and blind dates, you can meet someone from any part of the world via the computer. The scope is endless. Possibilities abound, if that’s what you want.

But what happens when you aren’t searching for love, and it shows up—way closer than you ever expected?

Two neighbors—strangers— with one thing in common—they share a fence.
But is that the only thing they share?

Nathan Fraser lives a solitary life, never letting anyone get too close. It’s safer that way.
Kourtney Whyte hides from the world and behind her work, too afraid to really live her life to the fullest. Rejection is what she knows best.

But one night, the sound of her soft voice and the tantalizing aroma of her evening meal, prove too enticing for Nathan to ignore.

So begins their unconventional relationship—talking, learning, texting, and gradually opening up to one another, all over the fence.

That is, until the day Nathan braves the high fence to protect Kourtney from her past, and changes everything forever.

Can they move forward together, without the buffer of the fence?

Or will their pasts prove to be too much of a barrier?

In a world where looks are so important and often impact our first impressions, Over the Fence is a refreshing change of pace.  Nathan and Kourtney come to know and care for each other before ever laying eyes on the other even though they live just feet, even inches, apart.  That alone had my heart won over but as you continue reading you begin to wish you had a fence in your own life once in a while, because the fence might not be so much of keeping the world out but giving you the freedom to let the person within the space to shine.  When that speaks true for both Nathan and Kourtney then maybe they will find that piece of  themselves they never knew was missing.  I can honestly say that there isn't a rating scale out there that goes high enough to fully express just how much I love and recommend this book or the author.  If you have not read Melanie Moreland before, this is a great one to start with because the powerful emotions Over the Fence invoke will knock you on your ass in all the best ways imaginable.


Author Bio:
Melanie Moreland lives a happy and content life in a quiet area of Ontario with her husband and four children. Nothing means more to her than her friends and family, and she cherishes every moment spent with them.

Known as the quiet one with the big laugh, Melanie works for the sporting teams of a local university. Her (box) office job, while demanding, is rewarding as she cheers on her team to victory.

While seriously addicted to coffee, and somewhat challenged with all things computer-related and technical, she relishes baking, cooking, and trying new recipes for people to sample. She loves to throw dinner parties and socialize, and also enjoys traveling, here and abroad, but finds coming home is always the best part of any trip.

Melanie delights in writing a good romance story with some bumps along the way, but is a true believer in happily ever after. When her head isn’t buried in a book, it is bent over a keyboard, furiously typing away as her characters dictate their creative story lines to her even more inspired tales, for all to enjoy.


Over the Fence

Into the Storm

Beneath the Scars

Brought to you by:

Cover Reveal: Compass by Jeanne McDonald

Title: Compass
Author: Jeanne McDonald
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Expected Release Date: November 17, 2015
Cover Design: Jada D'Lee Designs

As teenagers, time is infinite and love is made of fairy tales and caramel corn. For Alexis York and Ryan Fisher, their friendship was the cornerstone of who they were. In the wake of a family tragedy, that friendship was torn apart by time and distance. Unrequited love was never reciprocated, and two lives that were once intertwined, now moved on different trajectories.

Fifteen years later, these two friends are given a second chance to correct the mistakes of the past. With one flight, a new home, and a little help from a tiny red compass, Alexis and Ryan are reunited, setting them back on the same course. Together, they find themselves on a journey of rediscovery, friendship, hope, and love.

Yet, when the harsh realities of life threaten to tear them apart for good,  will Alexis and Ryan lose all hope of a happily ever after? Or will the childhood promises of forever lead these two hearts through impossible odds and back into each other's arms?

"You're my compass. My one true north."

Author Bio:
Jeanne McDonald is an author, a mother, a wife, a student of knowledge and of life, a coffee addict, a philosophy novice, a pop culture connoisseur, inspired by music, encouraged by words, and a believer in true love.  When she's not spending time with her family, she can be found reading, writing, enjoying a great film, chatting with friends or diligently working toward her bachelor's degree in literature.  A proud Texan, Jeanne currently resides in the Dallas/Fort Worth area with her family.


Brought to you by:

Dead in a Dumpster by BL Blair

Title: Dead in a Dumpster
Author: BL Blair
Series: Leah Norwood Mystery #1
Genre: Romantic Suspense, Mystery
Release Date: September 23, 2014
Cover Design: Nicole Spence/Cover Shot Creations
When Leah Norwood finds the body of Isabel Meeks in the dumpster behind her store, she can’t believe the police consider her a suspect. Sure, she didn’t liked Isabel, but then again, neither did anyone else. Isabel had a condescending attitude and a bad reputation. As manager of the antique store, Patina, she had made a lot of enemies.

There is Patina’s assistant manager, the handsome and charming Trent. Isabel was blackmailing him. There is Patina’s owner, the aloof and influential Anthony Thorpe.  Isabel was smuggling drugs through his store. And there is the entire drug dealing Cantono family. Isabel had lost a box containing heroin from one of their shipments. That is just to name a few and didn’t even include the stranger who was seen arguing with Isabel just hours before her death.

The police have too many suspects and too many soft alibis. Leah needs to prove to the sexy new chief of police that she had nothing to do with Isabel’s death.

Leah loves a good mystery. Can she find the killer before the police arrest her for murder?

     I turned around and saw Griggs standing near one of the displays toward the back of the store.  He gave me a lazy smile.  My heartbeat sped up a little.  Olivia was right, as usual.  I was attracted to him.  I didn’t really know what, if anything, I would do about that.  Alexander Griggs was very different from the men I usually dated, and I seriously doubted he was interested in me.  Griggs seemed like the type of man who dated blonde, willowy, sophisticated women.  In other words, not me.
     “Are you ready to leave?” he asked me.
     I nodded, rose from the chair, and headed toward him.  I moved the attraction issue to the back of my mind.  Once the police solved Isabel’s murder, I would probably seldom see Griggs so there was no point in trying to decide a course of action.  He was staring at one of the displays with a slight smile on his face.  I followed his gaze trying to determine what had captured his attention.  Was there something wrong?  Had I missed something?
     “What is it?” I asked when I reached him.
     He turned and looked at me.  He nodded toward the display.  The look on his face made me light-headed.  His mouth curled into a sensual smile, the indentation growing deeper.  “At least now I know why you smell like strawberries.”
     I tore my gaze from him and looked at the display.  It was the fragrance that Olivia had created for me, Leah's Strawberry Essence.  I tried not to blush but felt my face heat up.  He laughed softly.
     “Come on.  I'll drive you home.  There’s nothing more we can do here.  Ross and Bottoms have finished dusting for prints.  We have to wait to see if there is a match before we can proceed.”
     The other officers were waiting outside, and once we left the building, Bottoms started boarding up the door.  Griggs led me back to his SUV.  We waited in the car until they had finished securing the store.  The officer with Bottoms, whom I assumed was Ross, came over to the car.
     “The door should hold until the morning,” she said to Griggs.  “Benjie and I will drive by on our rounds.”
     “Thanks, Megan.  Goodnight.”
     “Goodnight, Chief.  ‘Night, Ms. Norwood.”
     Griggs headed back to my apartment.  We didn’t talk on the way.  I was suddenly exhausted.  I hadn’t slept well the last two nights, and it was now close to midnight.  I really wasn’t much of a night owl and found it difficult to keep my eyes open.  I was now very glad that Griggs was driving.
     He pulled up in front of the complex.  I opened my door and step out onto the sidewalk.  I was surprised when Griggs turned off the car and opened his door as well.  “You don’t have to get out.”
     “I need to check your place,” he told me.
     “What?  Why?” I asked.
     “Because someone broke into your store looking for something in those boxes.  We both know it was the heroin.  They didn’t find it.  Or at least not all of it.  If it was someone who is familiar with your habits, then they may come looking here.”
     “Oh,” I said in a small voice.  That had never occurred to me.  Of course, the drug dealers would want their drugs back.  I suddenly wished I had my gun.
     “I’ve asked Reddish to tell the press that we have found the heroin.  But it may take a few hours for that to get out.  So I’m going to check your apartment to make sure that no one is in there, and Cisneros and Albright are on guard duty.”
     He pointed to the police car parked near my stairwell.  I hadn’t noticed it when we pulled up.  I looked at Griggs.  His face was serious and determined.  If he thought I was going to argue, he was crazy.  Besides, I was too tired to argue anyway.
     “Thanks,” I said and led him up the stairs.  Griggs had me wait outside while he checked the apartment.  When he said it was all clear, I went in.  I stood in the doorway.  It looked just like I had left it.
     “Make sure you lock the door, and if you hear anything out of the ordinary, call 911,” Griggs said as he walked over to me.  “By tomorrow, everyone should know that we have the drugs, and no one should be after you.  Call me if you have any questions.”
     “I will,” I told him.  “Thanks again.”
     When he didn’t say anything, I looked up.  He was watching me.  His bright green eyes held me in place as they swept across my face.
     “I like strawberries,” he said softly.  He leaned forward just a touch, and I thought for a moment that he was going to kiss me.  My heart started to pound, and my palms began to sweat.  My breath caught in my throat, and I swayed toward him, just a little, but he quickly moved past me out the door.
     “Don’t leave town,” he ordered as he headed down the stairs.

Author Bio:
B. L. Blair writes simple and sweet romance and mystery/romance stories.  Like most authors, she has been writing most of her life and has dozens of books started.  She just needs the time to finish them.

She is the author of the Holton Romance Series and the Leah Norwood Mysteries.  She enjoys reading books, writing books, and traveling wherever and as often as time and money allows.  She is currently working on her latest book set in Texas, where she lives with her family.



Brought to you by: 

Release Day Blitz: Saving Her by Alexis Noelle

Title: Saving Her
Author: Alexis Noelle
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: August 17, 2015
My heart was crushed by a man who promised me everything and then took it all away. He proved to me that you never really know someone. People lie. Love is meant for fairy tales, not real life. He makes me want to throw caution to the wind. I don’t want love, but I do want Mason Brooks.

Love is a fantasy. Something that people convince themselves is real, but it isn’t. I was taught at a very young age that love is toxic. Since then I have learned to not need anyone. I have a small group of friends but they are given my loyalty. I have no use for love. She is dangerous to me. She makes me wonder what her touch would feel like. Lacey Hunt is toxic to me.

When two people are irreparably broken can they rise from the ashes?
Can love exist in two black hearts?

Author Bio:
Alexis Noelle lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with her husband, and three kids. On top a writing career, she is a full-time student and a full-time mom. She loves spending time with her kids, although she has to hide the computer from them when she is writing! She love being active and being outdoors, especially if it involves any kind of shopping.

She has always been passionate about writing. She loves to read romance books and feels like being able to lose yourself in a book is one of the more exciting aspects. The books she loves to read and write will be ones that make you feel for the characters. Ashley believes that you should have an opinion on every character in a book whether you love them, hate them, or think they are up to something.

She also believes that the most important critic is your reader, so she loves to hear from the readers. She want her fans to be open & talk to her about what they want for the characters in the story, and what they would like to see happen.


Brought to you by: