Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Release Blitz: Flare by Posy Roberts

Title: Flare
Author: Posy Roberts
Series: North Star Trilogy #3
Genre: M/M Romance
Release Date: August 28, 2018
Cover Design: Olive Us Designs
After tremendous loss, Hugo and Kevin seek stability for themselves and the kids. They never expected family and friends to toss obstacles in the way of their happily ever after.

Love and family to fight for.

Hugo and Kevin strive to put their lives back together after tragedy, doing everything in their power to create a stable life. Hugo’s acting career is back on track, and Kevin hires a nanny to help with the kids as they discover their new normal. But when Erin’s parents seek full custody of Brooke and Finn, that stability is shattered.

With Hugo working in LA or New York, the distance from his new family gets to him. At home, the nanny’s hands-on approach leaves Hugo feeling pushed out, so he leaves his beloved apartment and eclectic neighborhood behind to move in with Kevin.

Hugo has a hard time fitting in with the suburbanites with Kevin’s passive-aggressive “friends” making Hugo feel anything but welcome. As the custody case heads to mediation, Brooke is bullied about having two dads, and Hugo realizes his mere presence might be doing more harm than good.

Hugo must decide to stay and fight for his family or leave and let them live in peace.

To say Kevin was pissed was an understatement. He was well into the realm of seething. Enraged. Hell, foaming at the mouth might’ve been a better description.

Hugo did everything in his power to ooze calm, to appear unruffled, and to concentrate as he read through the legal documents.

Kevin barely scanned the papers before handing them over with shaking hands, saying, “Please tell me these aren’t saying what I think they are.”

Unfortunately, the papers lacked details they both wanted, so Hugo was unsure how to respond.

Why would they do this?

Kevin’s in-laws wanted custody of the kids. And not temporarily, but until Brooke and Finn turned eighteen. So, Kyle and Tasha Clarke, Kevin’s late wife’s parents, wanted to take his kids away from him.

With every passing second, Hugo’s silence and forced calm brought Kevin closer to apoplectic.

“It says here the kids are experiencing harm.” Hugo pointed to a paragraph. “Well, Finn in particular. I don’t get why they say that. Finn’s doing great now.” As great as a six-year-old could months after losing his mom to a horrific battle with brain cancer.

He’d had the hardest time of anyone, at least when looking from the outside in. Finn wore his emotions on his sleeve, especially compared to his eleven-year-old sister. Brooke kept all sorts of feelings bottled up, but that didn’t mean she wasn’t grieving. That was just her way.

What did the Clarkes expect after the kids lost their mom? Sunshine and unicorns? Did they expect that loss wouldn’t have long-lasting effects? They were in the depths of mourning, and that didn’t wash off the day after the funeral or the week after, and certainly not just three months after. But the kids had made great strides in therapy and were now open about their feelings.

“Oh, Christ.” Kevin gripped his hair in ferocious panic, eyes flashing. “I know exactly what this is.”

Witnessing Kevin so out of sorts frightened Hugo. He always handled problems with reserved calm.

Kevin untangled his fingers from blond hair that had grown back thicker and shinier after their solidarity shave when Erin lost her hair. Kevin’s new emotion looked a lot like guilt.

“When I took them up to Fargo last month, Finn had one of his awful meltdowns.” Kevin paced between the living room and the kitchen. Hugo saw him thinking.

Finn’s meltdowns started not long after Erin died, along with nightmares and bed-wetting. Brooke had nightmares too. For a very long time, Kevin’s bed was filled with not only Hugo, but also Brooke and Finn trying to fall back asleep. The dog too. It was a good thing Kevin had a California King; they were still squished, but they made do. The kids needed them.

The entire house was in mourning. Erin died at the end of February, and it wasn’t until now, as the school year finished and summer started, that everyone got on the right track again. Sort of. At least they were no longer reeling in pain they couldn’t comprehend.

The knock on Kevin’s front door that morning was like a bucket of ice-cold water dragging them back into the gloom they’d worked tirelessly to crawl away from. They’d done everything in their power for the past nine months to be honest with Kevin’s kids while still protecting them.

It was hard.

It was fucking hard.

In the kitchen, Hugo poured kibble into Lulu’s bowl as Kevin hit Start on the coffeemaker, grabbed the cream, and pulled down two mugs. Kevin leaned against the counter.

“I don’t even know what set him off,” Kevin said, “but Finn was in the family room with Kyle and Tasha. I was playing a game with Brooke in the kitchen. He screamed. When I ran in, Kyle was about to hit him. Instinct took over, and I did what we always do when he loses it; I held him in a bear hug and talked until he calmed down.”

“That’s it? You think that’s why they’re trying to take your kids away, cuz you helped Finn come back to center?” Hugo asked in disbelief.

“I can’t think what else it would be.” Kevin finally took a deep breath.

If the bear hug was it, no judge in their right mind would take the kids away based on a therapist-approved calming technique.

“Tasha said I was upsetting him more, but I told her the bear hug settled him.”

“But Kyle was about to hit him? Like, slap him or what?” Hugo asked.

“Probably. I’m not sure. I was focused on Finn, but it didn’t look good.”

“Did you ever find out what set him off?”

“Nothing specific, but after that, Finn wanted to go home. He was nervous. What did they say to him? He only has those meltdowns when he feels helpless. Maybe he’d be willing to talk more about it now. He sure as heck wasn’t then. I haven’t asked for at least a week.”

It was Saturday, so they’d have to wait until Monday to talk to Kevin’s lawyer about the papers, which was frustrating as hell. They discussed calling the Clarkes, but considering there were legal papers in hand, that wasn’t prudent. Let the lawyer handle it because he understood the law, they both agreed.

“Are you sure you can’t just call your lawyer at home?” Hugo tried. “Or do you have lawyer friends? There’s got to be something you can do.”

“Mark would probably be fine if I called him at home if it were an emergency, but this isn’t.”

Hugo rested his palm in the center of Kevin’s chest. His heart thundered, and when Hugo looked up into his gray eyes, there were tears. Kevin so rarely cried, only if he felt out of control. Sliding a hand to his neck, Hugo teased the downy skin behind his ear where it met up with blond hair.

“Just call him, love,” Hugo whispered. “Let him triple bill you. Who cares if it’s an emergency in his eyes? It’s an emergency in yours, and I can feel it right here. Your heart’s going a million miles an hour.”

“Do they know?” Kevin’s voice tightened. “Do they have any clue how hard these last months have been on the kids? What we’ve done to make life better for them?” He answered his own questions with a shake of his head. “They left after the funeral and barely talked to my kids since. Their own grandkids. They’re mourning the loss too. I get that. But I thought our visit up there went well, except that one thing. Gah! I didn’t go there soon enough.”

“Don’t second-guess yourself. Call Mark. He knows custody law. He can answer questions you don’t even know to ask.”

Kevin grabbed his phone and picked up his pacing again as he waited for his lawyer to answer.

Author Bio:
Posy Roberts started reading romance when she was young, sneaking peeks at adult books long before she should’ve. Textbooks eventually replaced the novels, and for years she existed without reading for fun. When she finally picked up a romance two decades later, it was like slipping on a soft hoodie . . . that didn’t quite fit like it used to. She wanted something more.

She wanted to read about men falling in love with each other. She wanted to explore beyond the happily ever after and see characters navigate the unpredictability of life. So Posy sat down at her keyboard to write the books she wanted to read.

Her stories have been USA Today’s Happily Ever After Must-Reads and Rainbow Award finalists. When she’s not writing, she’s spending time with her family and friends and doing anything possible to get out of grocery shopping and cooking.

EMAIL: posywrites@gmail.com

Flare #3


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Release Blitz: Top and Tails by Clare London

Title: Top and Tails
Author: Clare London
Series: With a Kick #9
Genre: M/M/M, M/M Romance, Poly
Release Date: August 27, 2018
Cover Design: Lou Harper @ Cover Affairs
Three men, one love—and a passion he only ever dreamed of.

Karel Novak is content with his busy job in hotel refurbishment, enjoying the social scene in Soho, London and the company of new friends he met through working at With A Kick. All he’s missing is a special man in his life. Or maybe two.

His first meeting with the mercurial pole dancer Leroy and his socially anxious partner Griff isn’t impressive, but none of them can ignore the sexual spark that flares between the three men.

Their relationship builds in steps of passion, frustration, and finally love. Both Leroy and Griff have complex issues in their lives to work through, and at first Karel brings a new dynamic that both settles and supports them.

But although he loves his men, Karel gradually realises the issues are still present. His partners struggle with living individually as well as together. His heartfelt wish is for them to create a lasting bond as a trio—but that means putting others first, all too often.

And will that mean sacrificing his own joy and dreams?

Karel needed to stop this conversation. Not that the guys weren’t perfectly entitled to talk about whatever they chose, in their own home. But he didn’t want to get drawn into—

“There are several sculpture exhibitions in the arts festival, one at the local school.” Griff opened the booklet, as if ready to search the index.

“Karel?” Leroy was looking at him curiously. His hand squeezed Karel’s, his thumb distracting, massaging Karel’s wrist. He threw a comment to Griff, over his shoulder. “Let’s talk about something else.”


Leroy rolled his eyes. “Man, it’s too late tonight for chatting about art and stuff. Isn’t it?” The question was aimed at Karel.

“I… don’t mind,” he said.

But Leroy laughed. He swept the brochure from Griff’s hand, dropped it on the far end of the counter, then turned fully to face Karel. “Yeah. Talk about something else, Griff. Something just for fun. Like the time you made chilli frozen yoghurt and burned my mouth at the same time my tongue froze to my teeth—”

“—or the time you bought kids’ dance tights by mistake, fell over trying to put them on, and nearly strangled your balls?” Griff countered.

Everyone laughed. The awkward moment had passed. Karel was relieved he hadn’t been led astray by his own worries. The kitchen was suddenly full again of amused banter, with Griff leaning over the counter to gossip, and Leroy’s soothing yet stimulating touch on Karel’s skin.

And underlying all of it, a thread of fizzing, humming desire growing between them. Karel wondered how he would have coped if the conversation had gone a more cultural route, when all he could think about at the moment was energetic, obscene sex with these men.

He didn’t think he was presuming anything, either.

Finally, Leroy collected their empty plates, placed them in the dishwasher, then sauntered back to where Karel sat. He didn’t sit back down again, but stood there, his hip nudging Karel’s. Griff wiped the counter briskly but thoroughly with a wet cloth, placed it neatly on the side of the sink, took off his glasses, then came to stand beside him.

The dance was moving into its second set.

Karel stood, as steadily as he could. His skin prickled as if electricity sparkled over it, and his limbs felt almost too weak to respond. But when Leroy leaned in to kiss him, he was more than ready. He cupped Leroy’s cheek, thumbing the gentle bed of stubble, enjoying the brush of Leroy’s hair on the back of his hand. Karel pushed his tongue gently at Leroy’s mouth and the lips parted quickly, eagerly, for him. They kissed in near silence, the only sound their panting, the soft slick of their mouths.

And Griff’s soft breath in Karel’s other ear.

“We’ve taken this evening in the wrong order,” he said. When Karel turned reluctantly from Leroy’s kiss, he found Griff staring at him with a slow, seductive smile that Karel hadn’t seen before. “Dessert before the main course.”

“No,” Leroy said from behind Karel. “That was only ice cream. The proper dessert hasn’t even been served yet.”

“Whatever,” Griff murmured, rolling his eyes like Leroy had earlier, still smiling at Karel. He lifted his face for a kiss. His lips were plumper, his mouth wider. Karel didn’t know why he should be shocked that Griff’s taste was so different, but he was delighted by it. Griff was surprisingly assertive, thrusting his tongue into Karel’s mouth, his beard softly tickling Karel’s chin.

Leroy hadn’t moved away. His breath was warm on Karel’s neck, but Karel appreciated the way Leroy took his time: no one was hurrying. He relaxed into Griff’s kiss as he had Leroy’s, and behind him, Leroy’s lips touched the nape of his neck, kissing around to Karel’s throat and down towards his collarbone. Griff nipped briefly at Karel’s lower lip, just shy of breaking the skin and Karel gasped. Leroy slid his fingers briefly, tantalisingly, under the neck of Karel’s T-shirt, running along the seam, tugging it away from his body.

“I worked on the site today,” Karel said, not surprised to find his voice was hoarse. “I’m sweaty. My clothes are dusty.”

“You can shower here,” Griff said quickly. “If you want. Or…”

“…No. Do it after,” Leroy said, just as quick. His tone roughened. “I want you like this.”

Jesus. A wave of desire swamped Karel from head to foot. He leaned away from Griff as Leroy peeled the T-shirt over his head.

Griff’s gaze dropped to Karel’s chest and he licked his lips.

Leroy sighed happily. Then he took Karel’s hand and led him out of the kitchen.

Author Bio:
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!

EMAIL: clarelondon11@yahoo.co.uk

Top & Tails #9

Series(#2 & 4 by Sue Brown)

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Book Blast: The Pearl by Geoffrey Knight

Title: The Pearl
Author: Geoffrey Knight
Genre: M/M Romance
Release Date: January 25, 2017
The Top End of Australia—a tropical paradise filled with beauty. Wonder. Danger.

For two young boys growing up in the Northern Territory—half-Aboriginal Jarrah "Jad" Yindi and his best friend Luke Lawson—the remote beaches and aqua waters of the Top End are a playground of adventure. And as two best friends become young men, true love washes over them like the sea upon the sand.

But life is full of challenges and change, and if Jad is to discover who he really is, he must piece together his ancestral past, his dream-filled present and his uncertain future to become the man he was always destined to be.

Through water and fire; through love and loss; through the days of youth to the stories of the world's oldest living culture, journey across the heart of Australia to discover what's in the heart of one young man.

The moon set and the last hour before dawn was the hardest. I could barely see where I was going. More than once my boots slid on a rock and I hit the ground, bruising my side, my back, my thigh.

Slowly the black of night turned to the blue of a new day.

Slowly the stars disappeared and the pink of dawn filled the sky.

And then, with a sigh of relief, I saw the sun break on the far horizon and rise in a wavy ball.

I felt the instant blast of heat.

Then I looked around, and in the light of day I felt so incredibly alone. And so far away from everything I knew and loved.

I was in Arnhem Land.

Vast and roadless.

A sparse landscape of rocks and canyons, scrubby bushland and red sand, most of it untouched by humankind for millions upon millions of years.

And here we were.

Me and Billy Shakespear in our rijis and nothing else.

I squinted into the sun. Billy was still fifty metres ahead of me, his barefoot step certain and unceasing.

My step was more erratic, desperate to keep up. I stumbled on another rock. I felt the bite of the sun on my brown skin which had lightened noticeably from my time in Sydney. My time away from the beaches and waters—my childhood playground—of the tropical north.

“Billy, wait up.” I breathed it at first, unsure of whether or not I really wanted to announce it.

Then my left foot slid forward on a loose rock and I fell backward on my arse so hard it made me grunt in pain.

That’s when I saw what had been sleeping under the rock.

That’s when I screamed out, “Billy!”

Growing up in the Northern Territory, I knew enough about snakes to know an Inland Taipan when I saw one. I’d seen charts. I’d studied it at school. And now I was staring at the world’s deadliest snake as it came swirling angrily through the red sand toward me, heading straight for the clumsy bastard that had tipped over its rock, slithering between my sprawled legs. And me, wearing nothing but that stupid riji to protect me?

“Billy!” I tried to squirm backward, elbowing my way frantically through the sand. The snake was faster than me, relentless in its pursuit. “Billy!!”

The old Aborigine was still fifty metres away when I heard him shout, “Stop! Stay still!”

In the heat of the desert sun, against my natural tendency to run from confrontation—especially one this deadly—I froze.

The second I stopping scrambling, the snake stopped chasing.

Its body was still curled, ready to spring, ready to attack at any second.

And all the while I lay there panting in terror, propped on my elbows, legs spread with the killer snake between my knees, staring at me, its tongue flicking in and out, tasting my fear. Or rather, reading the threat. This much I knew, we learned it in school. Along with the fact that a single bite from an Inland Taipan can kill a hundred adult humans. But hell, when there’s one of them twenty centimetres from your balls, it doesn’t matter what your teachers taught you. You just want that snake gone.

My legs trembled.

That’s when the pearl shell of my riji quivered and picked up the sun.

The rainbow shimmer caught the eyes of the snake.

The Taipan raised its head, not aggressively, but hypnotically.

Its eyes seemed caught in the glint of the pearl shell. Mesmerised.

So much so that it didn’t notice the head of Billy’s spear nudge gently into the sand beneath its curved body.

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.

EMAIL: skipnrope@iinet.net.au

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