Brigham’s Recommendations – “Borrowing Trouble” by Kade Boehme and Author Interview

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Author Interview:

What is your favorite M/M romance book?

Wow. What a hard question to answer. Hm. I could tell fave authors: Bonnie Dee & Summer Devon, Sue Brown, JL Langley. 

      Where did the inspiration for “Borrowing Trouble” come from?

I wanted to write a book about guys I KNEW, guys I grew up with. I wanted steady, southern guys. I hope I did them justice.

Are you a plotter or a pantster?

Totally a plotter. I only pants the “meat” of the story. I gotta have points A, B, and C before I can even start a book. 

Is there a story you’ve been dying to write, but don’t feel quite brave enough to tackle?

I am DYING to write a historical. But it’s scary because there’s so much research and stepping outside of your own narrative. It’s a lot of work. But I’d love to try.

Out of all of your books, who is your favorite character? Why?

Gavin. I feel like he was the one character that was the most like a younger me.

What was the most difficult part about writing Landon and Jay’s characters?

First, not getting carried away with their angst. I tend to enjoy the angst when I write haha. But really, it was hardest to write these guys in this place I knew they’d never be ONE HUNDRED PERCENT out and open and free, in the end. I tend to like bows neatly tied at the end of my stories. But, to make it super neat while being realistic they’d have had to have moved to some larger area and they didn’t want to lose their roots. So, I had to sacrifice some “romanticism”.

Do you have any strange writing habits?

I am, sadly, a total diva when I write. I MUST have had two cups of coffee, must have music on, and must have my social media stuff out of the way. If any of that isn’t done, I get distracted and can’t do a thing.

What type of research did you do for “Borrowing Trouble”?

I had to call old friends, mostly. I had to ask questions about saw mill work and carpentry, because I didn’t remember much from growing up w my dad.

How would you spend a perfect Saturday?

Writing like two thousand words, drinking coffee, then going out and having fireball, and ending the night with cheese cake. I’m simple. Haha.

Can you tell us a little bit about your next writing project?

Easy enough to say, I’m shipping two of my favorite guys and my usual bar. I’m looking forward to it because it’ll be my first serial.

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Summary:

After an amicable divorce, Jay Hill decided to move back to his rural hometown with his teenage kids. Being on good terms with his ex-wife and in laws has made the transition into single life pretty smooth. Things were good and uncomplicated. Then Landon Petty walked into his life. Landon didn’t expect to still be stuck in his hometown working at his dad’s sawmill at this point in his life. Being an openly gay truck driver was as awkward in practice as in description. When Jay came to take over managerial duties at his dad’s business, Landon was surprised to find a friend. When Jay turns out not to be as straight as he thought, things get complicated. When feelings for Landon shine a light on how much Jay’s life has been actually half lived, he’s forced to decide if he’ll jump in with both feet or if he’ll let Landon slip through his fingers.

Review:

I always enjoy Kade Boehme books, and “Borrowing Trouble” was no exception.  He consistently writes stories that suck you in and make you connect with the characters from the beginning. Jay and Landon were engaging characters with real depth and it was interesting following their journey, particularly Jay’s, as he begins to explore his sexuality. This trope can be so badly done, but Kade handled it with a deft touch that made this book truly enjoyable to read.

In particular, I enjoyed the end of the book and the realism of their happily-ever-after.  Although there was no doubt that these men would have a wonderful life together, it didn’t gloss over the issues they’d be likely to face in the future and contained just the right about of realism.  Beautifully done!

Buy Link:

Amazon

Contact Info:

Blog – http://kaderade.blogspot.com/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/kade.adam?fref=ts

Twitter – @kaderadenurface

Flash Fiction Monday – Missing Unicorn

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The entire living room seemed to shudder as the door slammed shut.  “A large female? You really had to call me a large female? And I am not missing. I went to visit my sister for a couple of days because you’re an asshat.”

“Camille  …”

“Don’t Camille me.” The curvy, rainbow-haired shifter wagged a finger at Roy.  “You plastered a missing poster of a unicorn all over Manhattan to get back at me because we had a fight.  Not cool, man.”

“It was meant to be a joke,” Roy replied weakly.  At the time—and given the amount of alcohol in his system—it had seemed like a good idea.  A way to make his girlfriend laugh.  Apparently, it had been the wrong choice.

Camille’s sky blue eyes narrowed.  “A joke.  You called me large, dipshit.  That’s never funny.”

Roy sidled closer and warily put a hand on Camille’s hip.  “You know I love your curves, babe. “

“Well, you aren’t going to be loving them tonight!” Camille spun on her heel and stalked toward the bedroom, tossing her mane of brightly colored hair over her shoulder.  It had taken some time to get used to living with a woman who was a pointy-horned horse half the time.  It was hell on their hardwood floors, that was for sure.  Roy was just grateful she’d never attempted to skewer him while angry. Slamming doors he could handle.

Through two closed doors, Roy heard the sound of rushing water and figured Camille would be in the bath for a while.  He sank onto the couch with a frown as he pondered how to apologize for their argument.  Properly this time.

Hours later, Roy felt the tickle of long hair across his back.  He blinked sleepily and rolled over, careful not to dislodge the woman kneeling over him. Soft lips feathered against his.  “You can’t bribe me with taffy every time we fight.”

Roy grinned against his girlfriend’s lips.  He was a candy maker and everyone knew the way to a unicorn’s heart was through sweets.  “Nope. Next time it’ll be cordial cherries.”


Please visit the flash fic group on Facebook and check out the links to the other authors’ flash fics for this week! We managed to lure the elusive Eileen Griffin out with a unicorn prompt so be sure to check out her fic!

I look forward to seeing you next Monday!

Brigham’s Recommendations – “Redeeming Hope” by Shell Taylor

Today’s recommendation is a little different than usual.  Not only did I post a review, but I have a guest post by the author herself.

Guest Post:

Massive thanks to Brigham for having me and allowing me to talk a little about Redeeming Hope. As my first work of original fiction, Redeeming Hope is so very special to me. No matter what happens with sales or reviews, I know I’ll look back at this month and smile. Rather than writing specifically about the book (because you can follow my blog tour and see lots of questions/answers about that), I thought I’d share a little about the inspiration behind it. When I chose Adam’s profession (founder of an LGBT youth center), I felt that for him, his job—which is also his passion—would be a huge defining factor in who he is as a person. So I started researching LGBT centers. What I found was both heartening and heartbreaking.

First of all, there aren’t nearly enough places for LGBT youth to find refuge. My prayer is that one day that changes because there will be far fewer LGBT youth needing them, but where I currently live, someone would have to travel at least an hour to find one, and that’s not that bad compared to a lot of places. I happen to be an hour from a major city. Secondly, some of the stories of the youth that I read are nothing short of miraculous. The strength these kids have is amazing, and there aren’t enough people speaking out for them. Redeeming Hope is clearly a work of fiction, but I can promise you that the youth in the story are real. And for every Kollin, who finds hope in other people who care about him immediately, there’s a Brian, who didn’t make it and the world may never know exactly why.

For those of you fortunate enough to be near an LGBT center, have the time, the compassion, the energy, and the willingness to be a visible ally, I encourage you to do so. There aren’t enough out there and you never know the difference you might make in someone’s life.

I’m so proud of this book because several people have told me how connected they felt to the characters, how realistic the youth at the center came across, and how invested they became in their lives. I feel very blessed that with my first venture into publishing, I was able to tell a story about something close to my heart.

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Summary:

Fifteen years ago Elijah Langley’s world came to an abrupt halt with the death of his high school boyfriend. He keeps his past—and his sexual orientation—hidden until he attends a fundraiser for The Center for HOPE, an LGBT youth center, where he meets Adam Lancaster, HOPE’s infuriatingly stubborn and sexy founder.

A survivor of a turbulent childhood, Adam understands better than most the challenges his youth face. He’s drawn to Elijah’s baby blues and devilish smile but refuses to compromise his values and climb back into the closet for anyone—not even the man showering time and money on HOPE. Months of constant flirting wear down Adam’s resolve until he surrenders to his desires, but Elijah can’t shake his demons.

When a youth from the center is brutally assaulted, Elijah must find a way to confront the fears and memories that are starting to ruin his life, so he can stand strong for those he loves.

Review:

Shell Taylor’s debut novel, “Redeeming Hope,” certainly wasn’t a quick boy-meets-boy, fall in love, and live happily ever after type of story.  It wasn’t an easy road for Adam and Eli to travel.  It was, however, a wonderful story and well-worth reading.

Eli is a successful, closeted bisexual businessman with a past that haunts him and Adam is a hard-working man who runs a non-profit center for LGBT youth called HOPE. There’s a strong attraction from the beginning, but a series of misunderstandings and some serious issues stand in the way of them pursuing it.

The issue of LGBT youth homelessness was handled perfectly. It brought attention to a serious problem without ever seeming preachy or overblown and the kids’ stories tugged at my heartstrings in a natural, sincere way.

One of the kids from the center, Kollin, plays a huge role in the story. He has a great sense of humor and his banter with Eli was one of my favorite parts.  Along with a cast of other fantastic characters, Kollin helps Eli see what his life has been missing.  The journey all of the characters make is wonderful and I enjoyed the realistic growth they experienced along the way.

My favorite part of the story was the way all of their lives changed when Eli and Adam met.  The ripples from that meeting spread outward to include the kids at the center, their friends, family, and a large part of that community.

I am so excited to read the next book in the series and I really enjoyed the teaser at the end.  Of course, I’ll be biting my nails and anxiously awaiting its release because it sounds VERY intriguing.

Buy Links:

Amazon

Dreamspinner Press

Contact Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shelltaylorpens

Twitter: @ShellTaylorPens

Tumblr: https://www.tumblr.com/blog/shelltaylorpens

DSP: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/AuthorArcade/shell-taylor

Website: www.shelltaylorpens.wordpress.com

Email: shell4jmu@gmail.com

Flash Fic Monday – Excitement

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On the path in front of him, Kurt stopped in his tracks and Victor’s feet slid on the dew-damp grass as he tried to do the same.  He cursed as he ran into the man in front of him, his hands curling around the thick biceps to get his balance.

“Damn,” Kurt whispered, his tone almost reverent.

You aren’t kidding, Victor thought.  Just being in such close proximity made his head spin.

“I didn’t know it would be like that. Your photos are going to be amazing.”

Victor chuckled internally and shook his head.  Right. The reason they’d been hacking their way through overgrown brush for three days was the photo shoot he’d been planning for six months.  Not the man he’d been lusting after for nearly as long.

Reluctantly, he let go of Kurt and stepped to the side. He blinked at the sight of the twisted steel forms rising from the trees, partially obscured by the fog.  The rusted metal looked almost sculptural in the heavy, early-morning air.  Victor’s hand went to the camera hanging around his neck.

“I just never dreamed it would be so …” Kurt let out a sigh and Victor nodded. It was incredible.  “How fast did they go?”

“Fast,” Victor replied as he took off the lens cap and brought the viewfinder to his face.  “It was absolutely exhilarating.”

After the collapse of the Western world, nothing even remotely like a rollercoaster remained.  Victor was old enough to remember them from his childhood, but Kurt had been born after.  Even now, although society was beginning to rebuild, engineers were focused on infrastructure, not amusement parks.  Victor’s day job was useful and productive—creative fields just weren’t necessary in this new world they lived in—but Victor had inherited his father’s ancient camera, and with some creative modifications, he made it work.  Now, Victor was trying to catalogue all the long-forgotten relics from the old society.  He didn’t know why, exactly, but something in his blood told him it was important.

Victor had hired Kurt to help him get to the old, closed-down amusement park.  It had been a pleasant—if strenuous—couple of days, and Victor felt a moment of remorse that tomorrow morning, they’d be heading back to the city. He only had one day to shoot; he had to make the most of it.

By the end of that day Victor’s feet hurt, his forearms were scratched from a patch of brambles he’d stumbled into, and even Kurt—rugged guide that he was—looked exhausted.  Now, Victor smiled at him over the crackling campfire they’d made at the base of one of the huge steel monsters.  “I really can’t thank you enough for doing this.”

Kurt shrugged, rubbing at his bearded jaw.  “Hey, this was great. I’ve always been curious to see them.  I never dreamed they’d be so big. I just wish I knew what it was like to ride one.”

Victor glanced up at the rusted metal far, far above them.  “It was pretty breathtaking,” he admitted, although his memories were from so long ago, he sometimes wondered if they were even remotely accurate.  He remembered the adrenaline and his heart slamming in his chest at the wild speed as the ‘coaster whipped around a curve.

“I can imagine.”

Victor jerked in surprise when Kurt’s voice came from far closer than a few moments before.  Kurt stood in front of him, expression strangely intense.  Victor’s heart seemed to echo his childhood memories, pounding far too fast as he got to his feet, compelled by the look in the other man’s eyes.

“Yeah.” Kurt’s voice was soft as he leaned closer.  “I imagine it’s a lot like being around you.”

Victor’s hand trembled as their lips pressed softly together.  This—being intimate with a man—was as looked down on as being an artist was.  Practicality ruled in this new society and a man who couldn’t rebuild the population or the world they lived in wasn’t thought highly of.

But, as their bodies pressed together from toe to forehead, Victor thought he might just be willing to take the risk.

Much like riding a roller coaster, the fear only added to the excitement.


Please visit the flash fic group on Facebook and check out the links to the other authors’ flash fics for this week! I really loved Theo’s and Helena’s this week.

I look forward to seeing you next Monday!

Connection Release

Connection Final Final Cover

“Connection” was a long time coming.  Since the moment I created Evan’s character in “Partners” I knew I was going to have to tell his story as well.  If nothing else, my betas would have come after me with pointy things until I did!

It was during a conversation with Allison that it occurred to me that Jeremy was the perfect partner for Evan. I actually gasped when I thought of the pairing, because it was so unexpected, but perfect.  I hadn’t planned on another May/December romance, but Jeremy’s a stubborn one, and despite the fact that he and Evan seemed all wrong for each other on paper, I knew they’d be just what the other needed.  Evan needs someone who can recognize his loneliness and pull him out of his shell a little.  And Jeremy needs someone like Evan who simply doesn’t see Jeremy’s scars as a problem.

Meredith King made me a beautiful trailer for the story and I am so in love with the way it compliments the story.

Summary:

After a lifetime of being told he’s worthless, shy, sheltered Evan Harris is forced out of the closet and kicked out of his home.  Friends in Atlanta give him a place to stay while he gets on his feet, but despite his eagerness to explore the city, it isn’t exactly what he expected.

Physically and emotionally scarred from a devastating car accident, Jeremy Lewis struggles to reconcile the brash, outgoing man he used to be with the social recluse he’s become.

Loneliness draws them to each other, but a strong mutual attraction isn’t enough to overcome their pasts.  In order to be together, Evan must discover his own worth and Jeremy must trust someone to see past his scars.

Excerpt:

“So how do you know the grooms?” The man he was pretty sure he recognized from the sporting goods store dropped onto the stool to his left, and Evan jerked, spilling some of his drink on the bar.

“Oh, um, I met Russ and Stephen last fall when they were in Stephen’s hometown. I worked at the funeral home there when they buried his father.”

The guy frowned. “So you’re just visiting Atlanta then?”

Evan shook his head. “No. I moved to Atlanta in February. When we met last fall, Russ was nice enough to kind of”—he struggled to find the right words as he mopped up the spill—“take me under his wing, I guess. Once I moved here, Russ and Stephen helped me get settled and find the guts to go off on my own.”

He chuckled and nudged Evan’s elbow with his. “I dunno, seems like you must have had some guts in the first place.”

“Maybe.” Evan blushed. “I’d like to think so.”

“How do you like Atlanta?”

“It’s lonely,” Evan said, surprising himself with his candor. The drink he was working on must’ve loosened his tongue. “I mean, it’s fine, I guess. I just haven’t met anyone yet.” In his head, Atlanta had been a gay man’s paradise where there would be available guys everywhere he looked, but it hadn’t worked out that way. At least, not for him.

“Amen, kid.” The guy raised his glass and clinked it against Evan’s. “What’s your name, anyway?”

“Evan Harris.” He glanced at the guy out of the corner of his eye.

“Nice to meet you. Jeremy Lewis.” He narrowed his eyes at Evan. “Wait a minute, you came into Johnson’s sporting goods a while ago, didn’t you? You needed running shoes, I think.”

“I … yeah,” Evan replied, shocked but flattered that the guy—Jeremy—had remembered him. “I did. Russ suggested I go there, actually. Um, thanks for your help, by the way. The new shoes are much better. The fit specialist did a great job.”

Jeremy grinned. “Glad to hear my employees know what they’re doing.”

Evan wasn’t sure what else to say about running shoes that wouldn’t make him sound like an idiot, but he didn’t want Jeremy to stop talking to him, so he changed the subject. “How do you know them?”

“Stephen and Russ? I just met Russ a few months ago, but Stephen’s my ex.”

“Really?” Evan gaped at him for a moment before all the pieces fell into place. Stephen had mentioned his ex’s car accident. That explained the limp and the scar. “Oh.”

“Mmmhmm. Stephen’s always had a thing for younger guys. We met when I was twenty, and he was … oh, must have been about thirty-two, thirty-three, maybe? Hell if I can remember. It’s been fifteen years.”

Which meant Jeremy was in his mid-thirties now. Up close, Evan could see the lines around his eyes when he smiled. Evan liked them.

“You’re not jealous of Russ?” he blurted out, then bit his lip, hoping Jeremy wasn’t offended.

“It’s complicated,” Jeremy said with a sigh as his lips twisted in a bitter smile. “I know Russ is a hell of a lot better for Stephen than I ever was, and I’m glad they’re happy together. It’s … it’s not that I want to be with Stephen, and, hell, I’m not a relationship kinda guy, but something about seeing them together makes me envious, you know?”

“Yeah, I know.” Evan sighed.

Jeremy nudged him with his elbow again. “Come on, kid, I’m sure you can’t have any trouble picking up guys.”

Evan sputtered, nearly choking on his drink and wondering how the guy knew he was gay. Am I obvious? he wondered. “Umm, I haven’t exactly ever done it before …” he muttered into his glass, embarrassed to confess his lack of dating experience but unable to hold his tongue.

“Don’t tell me you’re a virgin?” Jeremy’s gaze was disbelieving, and the tips of Evan’s ears went red-hot.

“Okay, I won’t then.” Evan tilted his drink back and shook an ice cube into his mouth, crunching down on it. He refused to look at the guy next to him for fear he’d turn tomato red.

Jeremy whistled quietly. “Kid, if you go into a gay club it’ll be like waving a steak at starving tigers. They’ll be all over you.”

“I think you’ve had too much to drink,” Evan protested. “I’m nothing special.”

“Oh, Jesus, you have to be kidding me.” Jeremy stood with a groan. “Okay, unless you’ve got somewhere you need to be, I want you to come have a seat with me at a booth over there. My leg is fucking killing me, and we need to have a long talk about why you don’t realize you’re the kind of pretty little twink who makes gay men cream their jockstraps.”

Evan blushed, but he followed Jeremy toward the cozy booths anyway, embarrassed, terrified, and completely intrigued by the gorgeous guy who had called him pretty.

Buy Links:

All Romance

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Amazon CA

Barnes & Noble

iTunes

Kobo

Smashwords