Thursday, April 12, 2018

Blog Tour & Blogger Review: Hug it Out by Davidson King

Title: Hug it Out
Author: Davidson King
Series: Haven Hart Universe #2
Genre: M/M Romance
Release Date: March 29, 2018
Riordan Darcy has spent the last fourteen years building a name for himself as a notorious assassin. He travels the world taking the lives of some of the worst humanity has to offer, leaving his signature on every victim.

Riordan becomes unhappy and withdrawn from the world after a job goes horribly wrong and he makes the decision to get out of the life he was forced into, so long ago. When his meddling, older sister gives him a birthday gift that’s impossible to refuse, his plans to leave his life of crime take a backseat when he’s forced to protect the life of a veritable stranger.

When professional hugger and TLC provider, Teddy Harris, is offered a month-long companionship contract, he’s hard pressed to turn it down. Cuddler by day and a video game reviewer by night, Teddy’s need to make people feel loved and cared for is what drives him. When he meets Riordan Darcy, professional challenge and personal temptation collide, making it nearly impossible for him to endure a whole month with the gorgeous, enigmatic man without falling head over heels in love.

When a mole is discovered within Riordan’s organization, relationships are compromised, and people’s lives are in danger. Time isn’t on their side, and they discover answers can’t always be found by hugging it out when someone is hell-bent on eliminating each and every one of them. Can Riordan and Teddy survive long enough to fall in love, or will they die trying?

Riordan Darcy finds himself disheartened in his role as an assassin after a job goes wrong and his family is worried.  Teddy Harris, prefessional hugger and TLC provider, found his calling giving the kind of care to others that he found in his grandmother's arms growing up and he loves every minute of it.  When Riordan's sister hires Teddy for one month, she had no idea what she was starting.  Can these two polar opposites find happiness in each other's worlds or will love and comfort fail to conquer all?

First off I have to admit that when the author told us what Teddy's profession was, I chuckled and thought "okay that's a bit out there".  Now, I know how hugging can change your whole demeanor, how your day can be fulfilled or lacking.  Having set too many times by my mother's hospital bed as she was hooked up to a respirator and had to return to my lonely hotel room without a goodnight hug left many a day incomplete.  So I more than understood the needs and services that Teddy would be providing, I just did not know it was a profession.  So as the saying goes, "you're never too old to learn new tricks".

So on to Hug it Out.  Last fall I fell in love with Davidson King's writing, no that's not accurate enough because what she does is more than writing.  Davidson King is a storyteller.  Some might think that writers and storytellers are the same thing, I don't see it that way.  A writer tells a story but a storyteller creates a world that sucks you in, holds you there, and won't let go.  A storyteller creates a world you want to exist in, people you want to know, communities you want to see unfold outside your living room window.  Haven Hart may be a city that Miss King created but she does it in a way that it could be anywhere on the map.

All authors start somewhere but when their debut novel is as amazing as Snow Falling was, one wonders will their follow-up be The Empire Strikes Back caliber or go the way of Speed 2?  I can safely and honestly say that Hug it Out is a TESB-quality sequel.  Did Teddy and Riordan touch my heart as much as Snow and Chris? Probably not but I wouldn't want to place a bet on the difference.  I won't touch on the plot because as you know I don't do spoilers but let me just say that their story is a humdinger that had me hating such insignificant chores such as eating and sleeping.  I couldn't put it down but when I reached the last page, I kicked myself for not reading it slower to savor the awesomeness.

Some might say I haven't actually said much about the book or the characters and maybe that's true with the whole no spoiler rule I live by.  I will add that even though the characters, main and secondary, might not be people we would meet at the store or pumping gas, I still connected with their pain, tension, and the overall emotions they feel throughout.  Which only goes to strengthen my belief that Davidson King is more than just a writer as I said above.  A true gem that I am already looking forward to re-reading for years to come.

One final thing, for those who are wondering if you need to read Snow Falling first, its my personal preference to say yes but Hug it Out is a standalone in the Haven Hart Universe.  We see Snow and Chris from book one a few times and though it is not necessary to know their journey to understand Teddy and Riordan, I think it flows better if you read book one first but no, it is not a must.


When I opened my eyes, Riordan was watching me. He looked away quickly, but not fast enough. What did he see when he looked at me? A goofy gamer who loved to hug? Did he see the man behind the bunny suit? Maybe he wished I looked more like my friends and less like a nerd.

Odd that this was bothering me. Normally, I didn’t give a shit what people thought. Riordan was a client and I needed to remember that.

“I didn’t mean to be insulting, Teddy, or accusatory. It’s not every day I find out the man hired to keep me company is friends with Christopher Manos’ husband, a man who happens to be a well-known crime boss.” When he lifted his sunglasses and exposed his eyes, I felt better. The barrier was unnerving and reading people was better this way. “In my line of work, people are judged by those they associate with. Too many times, I’ve been right. Hang out with shit and you start to smell.”

Now it was my turn to react. “Snow is not shit. He’s an amazing guy. He may be married to a crime boss, but he’s not like that. He’s my friend because he treats me with respect. Now, I think I will be ending this lunch. You can put it all away. I’ll call a cab to take me home.”

Riordan jumped up when I did. His hands were inches from my arms, yet I could feel them as if they were on me. “Whoa, calm down. I wasn’t calling him shit. Wow.” He chuckled. “You’re a spitfire, huh?” He rubbed his hand over his buzzed head almost like he was nervous. “Here I thought you were all marshmallows and rainbows. It’s nice to see there’s a fire in your belly.”

“Look,” I said as I began putting the food away since it was obvious Riordan wasn’t going to do it. “I want to help you. Aisling hired me, and I know we said we’d give it a week, but I’m not sure it’s going to work. Perhaps you’d be more comfortable with someone else.”

I’d guessed Riordan was gay and called him paranoid. Both assumptions I would have never made with any other client. I also didn’t fight with clients. I was breaking all my own rules and cutting this short would be wise.

“You want to quit because we had a little spat?”

“It’s not a spat.” I tugged the blanket until he got the hint and moved off it. “I work for people who want me there. You don’t. This isn’t about you being a jerk about my friends or dropping me off to park.” I was mid-fold when I turned to give Riordan a sardonic look. “You do realize you pulled into a spot to let me out to find a spot, right?”

I could practically hear Riordan counting to ten as he closed his eyes and pinched the bridge of his nose. “I know. I had to deal with something. I can’t tell you, but…” He inched closer to me, eyes soft and sincere. “I don’t think you’re horrible. Our company is strange, but I like it. Let’s just do the whole month, it’ll be fine, I’m sure. I don’t want to start over with someone else.”

In a gesture almost too sweet, Riordan brushed a curl from my forehead and smiled. “I need you to not ask me about the things I do. I can’t tell you. Ever. But I promise I will relax more and stop being such a jerk.”

I could see the truth in his eyes. I knew calling it quits was probably the right thing to do. We were clashing left and right. He’d try to see things my way, but we’d argue again. But I was a fool sometimes and I really believed I could help him. “Okay. We can stick to the schedule for the month as planned. But if it doesn’t work, if we’re fighting or it’s stressful, we need to break the contract. Agreed?”


Who are some of your favorite authors and/or books to read when you need to relax? 
Matter of Time series by Mary Calmes or anything by Anyta Sunday.

If you were approached to have your book made into a film, who would you cast? 
Tom Holland as Teddy without a doubt and for Riordan… hmm… maybe Tom Hardy. Oh look at that TH and TH lol.

It's often asked what is your favorite part of being a writer but what is the easiest or most natural part of the creative process for you? 
Easiest part is allowing myself to relieve the creative pressure in my brain. Sounds weird I know but sometimes the ideas and thoughts consume me. When I get a story written it’s breathtaking for me.

Is there any one character you've created that is most like you? If yes, who and why? 
Oh wow. The character that is most like me hasn’t has his story yet. His book won’t come for a little bit, but you’ve seen him briefly in Hug It Out. I don’t want to tell anyone though I want to see if people can figure it out.

If you could go anywhere(finances, time, & obligations not an issue) where would you go and why?
Hawaii for like 3 months. Hands down!

Author Bio:
Davidson King, always had a hope that someday her daydreams would become real-life stories. As a child, you would often find her in her own world, thinking up the most insane situations. It may have taken her awhile, but she made her dream come true with her first published work, Snow Falling.

When she’s not writing you can find her blogging away on Diverse Reader, her review and promotional site. She managed to wrangle herself a husband who matched her crazy and they hatched three wonderful children.

If you were to ask her what gave her the courage to finally publish, she’d tell you it was her amazing family and friends. Support is vital in all things and when you’re afraid of your dreams, it will be your cheering section that will lift you up.


Hug it Out #2

Snow Falling #1

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Cover Reveal: The Blessing by Lizzie Lee

Title: The Blessing
Author: Lizzie Lee
Series: Colorado #1
Genre: Erotica Romance
Expected Release Date: May 1, 2018
Cover Design: Jada D'Lee Designs
After years of drifting, Trevor Warren’s world comes crashing down with the news of his brother’s death. Returning to his hometown in Evergreen, Colorado for his brother and sister-in-law’s funerals, Trevor realizes he has but a moment to grieve before his nephew, Greyson, is thrust into his life. Becoming the legal guardian to Greyson will either be a blessing or a curse. His late brother, Dean, was the golden child—the perfect son, husband, and father—while Trevor was his polar opposite. Despite his rough past, Trevor pulls his life together to become the father Greyson deserves. Although he tries to be a better man, he never feels like he’s good enough… especially for his neighbor, Veronica Clark.

Veronica “Ronnie” Clark is the picture of maturity and success. Despite having her life together, she’s always felt as if something was missing. From the moment she saw Trevor, she knew he was trouble wrapped in a sinfully attractive package. While she would usually shy away from men like Trevor—something about his rugged appearance captivated her. His handsome face, gorgeous ink, and wounded aura may have caught her attention, but it’s his giving heart that kept her yearning for more.

“You’ll get me through this, won’t you, Grey?” I ask him, wanting to laugh as he smiles up at me, watching my mouth move as if he were trying to understand. I take his smile as a positive response and kiss his forehead again. Everything will be all right. 

I end up selfishly using Grey as a security blanket during dinner. As soon as my mother set a bottle of red wine on the table, I knew I was in for one hell of a night. I keep Grey in my lap, rocking him while I try to focus on anything other than the Merlot which is taunting me from a few feet away. Disappointment overwhelms me as I consider the power the drink holds over me. I’ve spent the past five years letting alcohol decide my fate, and now that I’m home, I want to regain my control. It’s not just me anymore. I have a child depending on me. 

I pull my eyes away from the bottle and focus on my nephew. To my surprise, he’s staring up at me with wide, curious eyes. My heart splinters as I look at him. Now that Dean is dead, I can feel all my love pouring into his son. My heart fucking breaks, knowing Grey will most likely not remember his parents. He’ll never know how wonderful they were. He probably doesn’t have an inkling of understanding as to what has happened to them. I want to give him back everything he lost. Hell, I would’ve gladly taken my brother’s place, so he could have gotten more time with his son. But none of that is possible now. There’s no deal I could possibly make with God to bring him or my sister-in-law back. So, I’ll do the next best thing: I’ll devote my life to their child and try to give him the world. My brother would have expected that, and I’ll be damned if I let him down this time. 

I’m done with the nights I spent blackout drunk--partying until dawn. I’m done with the random hookups with nameless women. I’m done with losing myself in a bottle of whiskey. That Trevor is gone. All that’s left is a broken man who’d do anything to make shit right for his nephew. I look away from Grey and give the bottle of Merlot a challenging stare. I’ll be damned if I let shit like this ruin my life any longer. I stare at the bottle as if doing so will take away my craving for it. It doesn’t. Only time will take care of that. I look down at my motivation and smile. Don’t worry, Grey. There’s two of us now.

Author Bio:
Lizzie Lee is twenty-three years old and lives in Carmel, Indiana. When she's not writing, she loves to spend her time reading, online shopping, attempting Pinterest projects, and watching cult horror movies.

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Release Day Blitz: And the Beagle Makes Three by Geoffrey Knight

Title: And the Beagle Makes Three
Author: Geoffrey Knight
Genre: M/M Romance, Comedy
Release Date: April 12, 2018
When Stuart Summerfield finally realized he was gay, he knew that telling his beloved wife Claire would be one of the hardest, most heartbreaking things he would ever do. Unfortunately Stu’s coming out wasn’t simply heartbreaking… it had the most unexpected and tragic consequences imaginable.

Now, almost one year after the car accident that took Claire’s life, Stu has buried himself in his work to push through the pain and guilt while doing his best to raise, Atticus, their young son, who has himself handled his grief in his own unique way. While getting by one day at a time proves difficult enough, it never crossed Stu’s mind that the family’s annual weekend away at the lakeside home of his sister-in-law, Bethany, would still go ahead now that Claire was gone.

Atticus, however, has other ideas. With his loyal beagle Digby by his side, Atty makes a phone call to Aunt Bethany in an effort to keep the family tradition alive, no matter what chaos and calamity might ensue.

And so over the course of one weekend filled with commotion—and emotion—Stu and Atty are about to learn that healing can open up your heart, that grief can sometimes be good, and that nobody travels the road to recovery alone.

Atty pondered a fry mid-bite. “Dad, can I ask you a question?”

“Of course you can. What’s up?”

“Did you always know you were gay?” Atty’s question was delivered with such matter-of-fact curiosity he might as well have been asking what happened to the dinosaurs or where do snowflakes come from.

Stu took a breath and held it a moment, then answered, “Well… I don’t know exactly. I think so. Maybe. It’s just that, all your life the world tells you to be one thing. And so, you become that one thing. Until one day you wake up and discover you’re not that thing at all, and realize ‘Oh my God, I’ve been this other thing all along and I never stopped to figure it out.’ But until you really accept that, you can never really be happy, or make anyone else happy for that matter. Does that make sense?”

Atty nodded. “Vanilla ice cream,” he said.

“You want vanilla ice cream? You’ve barely touched your burger.”

“No, I mean, that’s kinda like being a fan of vanilla ice cream. All your life people tell you chocolate ice cream is the best, so they serve you chocolate ice cream and want you to eat chocolate ice cream and expect you to love chocolate ice cream… when in fact vanilla’s your favorite.”

“But you do love chocolate ice cream.”

Atty shook his head. “No, Dad. You do.”

“You’ve always liked vanilla? Why didn’t you say so?”

“You’ve always liked boys? Why didn’t you say so?” Atty stopped pondering his fry and ate it.

Stu put his burger down. “Atty, God, I’m sorry. I never… I just thought… I mean, I never realized you weren’t into chocolate ice cream.”

Atty shrugged. “It’s okay Dad. Nobody ever realized about you either, not even Mom. You don’t exactly act gay.”

“I think there’s probably a lot of guys out there who don’t exactly act gay. At least I hope there are, anyway. I think I’d prefer the low-key type.”

“I guess we’ll find out what ‘type’ you like if you ever go out on an actual date, huh?” Atty pointed to his Dad with his next fry, “Which brings me to my next question. When are you gonna go out on a date? You’ve got as far as ‘I’m gay’. Where’s your proof?”

“Oh, Atty. When I came out, everything happened all at once. There was so much to deal with, all I could worry about was you.”

“Dad, it’s been almost a year. I’m okay now. Maybe it’s time to start worrying about you.”

Geoffrey KnightAuthor Bio:
Geoffrey Knight is the author of more than 30 gay fiction novels, novellas and short stories, ranging in genre from gay adventure, gay romance, gay suspense and gay comedies. He is the recipient of two Rainbow Awards including Best Mystery Winner and Best Overall Gay Fiction Runner-up. His work has been featured in several anthologies including Best Gay Erotica 2013, and he appeared as Guest of Honor at the inaugural Rainbow Con in Florida, 2014.

Geoffrey has worked in advertising, politics and journalism, but nothing is as fun as telling stories. He lives with his partner, their baby daughter, two dogs and two cats in a rambling old house in North Queensland, Australia, where the paint is fraying and life is good.


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