New Release – Push & Pull

Push & Pull eBook Cover w_ Text

“Push & Pull” is live everywhere!

I am SO excited to share this story with you. Three years ago, I wrote the first book in The Midwest Series. I loved writing Nathan and Caleb’s story in “Bully & Exit”. But as I wrote it,  Caleb’s roommate, Lowell, started talking to me, His voice got clearer and clearer and he started flirting with Nathan’s roommate, Brent. Now, Lowell flirts with everyone. But I loved how flustered Brent got by it and it was clear that there was some mutual attraction there.

As the book wrapped up, I realized that Brent was supposed to be going on an epic road trip with Nathan. Since Nathan had just reunited with Caleb, he didn’t want to leave him for the summer.

This gave me the perfect opportunity to create a little conflict and set the scene for “Push & Pull”, which pairs Lowell and Brent together as they travel around Lake Michigan. Of course, both books set the scene for the third book, which will feature Micah Warner. Micah’s story, “Touch & Go” which will be released in 2019.

Why did it take me three years to get “Push & Pull” done? Well, my divorce happened, for one. I lost a lot of the momentum I had. And, apparently, Lowell didn’t like being ignored for a few months because he started to act up. Writing the story was like pulling teeth. Lowell wasn’t talking to me. Brent was being an asshole. Ugh! So frustrating. But after many, many drafts and even more long hours, it finally came together.

I am so proud of the way it turned out and so pleased with the story. I hope you love it as much as I do!

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Title: Push & Pull

Tagline: When is it time to stop living in the moment and think about the future?

Summary:

Brent Cameron has been dreaming about a road trip around Lake Michigan for years. When his best friend, Nathan, ditches him to spend the summer with his boyfriend, Caleb, Brent is pissed. Stuck between a rock and a hard place, he reluctantly agrees to take Caleb’s best friend, Lowell Prescott, instead.

Brent is a former hockey player and recently out of the closet. Lowell is an in-your-face gay guy who rebels against the limits people put on him. Tempers fly and sparks flare as they hit the road, which leads to a hot night they both regret in the morning. Despite the rocky start, Brent and Lowell slowly begin to realize they have a lot in common. As the miles disappear behind them so does their animosity. Casual hook-ups aren’t Brent’s thing, and Lowell doesn’t do relationships, so they agree to focus on their friendship.

By the time they make it to the shores of Lake Superior, their feelings have deepened past simple friendship, but neither of them have the guts to admit it. When the past intrudes, will it derail the trip and the possibility of a relationship?

Excerpt:

“Do you really mean to tell me you don’t want to get to know me in all sorts of ways? I don’t believe that. I’ve seen the way you look at me.” Lowell reached out and dragged a finger across the black fabric of Brent’s T-shirt before circling his nipple. Brent flinched again, backing away, even as the skin tightened and his nipple hardened to a pointy little nub.

Flustered and irritated by the reaction, Brent pushed Lowell’s hand away and crossed his arms. “You’re nuts if you think I’m taking you with me on this road trip.”

Lowell’s lips curved upward in a playful smile. “Oh, sweetheart, that’s what you think.”

The smile and words only served to make Brent angrier. He looked back at Nathan, feeling used. “Have you all just been cooking up this plan while I’ve been gone?”

“We’ve been talking about it for a couple of weeks, yeah,” Nathan said softly. “Trying to figure out the best solution.”

“What the FUCK? You couldn’t be bothered to mention this when we talked?”

Nathan’s uneasy look deepened. “I thought it might be better if we could discuss it in person.”

“You could have fucking called me and said, ‘Hey, can we meet in person? I need to talk about the trip with you.’ Don’t I at least get a say in what happens with the next two months of my life? Jesus, you guys are unbelievable.”

Nathan opened his mouth but Lowell spoke first. “Look, Brent, I get that you’re pissed, but you don’t have a lot of options at the moment. Frankly, you’re between a rock and a hard place right now, and I’m your only solution. Either you cancel your trip and lose money, which sucks. Or you change your plans and go by yourself, which also sucks. Or you take me. I also suck, but in much more enjoyable ways.” Lowell winked.

Brent gaped at him for a moment. Lowell stepped forward and put his finger under Brent’s chin. “Unless you’re offering to do something useful with that gorgeous mouth, I suggest you close it.”

Brent snapped his mouth shut fast enough to rattle his teeth. “What the fuck are you talking about?”

Lowell’s eyes twinkled. “Well, there’s this thing gay boys do, it’s called—”

“I know what sucking cock is,” Brent yelled, confused and annoyed by the pretty twink with the big eyes who always made him feel off-kilter and out of control.

“Good to know, sweets, good to know.”

“And make all the jokes you want, but this isn’t fucking funny. My whole summer is ruined.” Brent turned to Nathan. “And you. You’re a complete traitor. You’re right though, I have no choice but to put up with him.” He jerked a thumb to indicate Lowell. “So fuck you, Nathan. If you think I am going to forgive you for saddling me with that cock-hungry twink for two months you have another thing coming!”

Nathan made a sound of protest. Brent scowled and held out his hand to Lowell, ignoring Nathan completely. “If I’m stuck with you, then we’re taking your car. And hand over the damn keys. I’m driving.”

Series and Number: The Midwest Series, #2

Publisher: Two Peninsulas Press (Indie/Self-Published)

Publication Date: October 24, 2018

Word Count /or Page Number: 91,409 words/275 pages

Formats/Price: eBook – 4.99

Paperback (Coming soon)

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“With a Twist” is Live!

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Love, Served With a Twist

The first book in The Speakeasy series is now live! K Evan Coles and I are so excited to share With a Twist with you!

As we worked on Wake and Calm we fell in love with many of the supporting characters. In The Speakeasy series you’ll see Will, Jesse, Kyle, and Malcolm, plus Riley and Carter, and a whole new cast of guys to fall in love with.

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Title: With a Twist

Pre-Order: Now

General Release: September 25

Blurb:

Nursing a broken heart when his ex-boyfriend, Riley, leaves him for the love of his life, Carter, Will Martin throws himself into teaching at NYU and writing. An invite from Riley to a speakeasy called Under helps Will begin to heal, and he finds himself enjoying both the drinks and the company.

Soon after, he’s shaken by news of his father’s cancer diagnosis and Will reluctantly returns to Long Island to see the man who disowned him after he was outed.

Sparks fly when Will meets his father’s mentee, Republican Senator David Mori, who is both mixed race and openly gay. Will is looking for a no-strings-attached fling and David is leery of getting involved with his mentor’s son, so they keep their affair a secret.

As his father’s health worsens, Will elects to remain in Garden City and his relationship with David grows beyond casual sex. Now, both men must decide how to bridge the divide between them.

Excerpt:

David did his best not to stare at William Jr. as they shook hands, but he nearly flinched away from the odd tingling sensation he felt where their skins met.

He’d seen photos of William Jr.—no, Will—around the Martin’s home, but they depicted a sweet-faced boy growing from toddlerhood into his late teens. Fully adult Will was, as David’s sister would say, stupidly attractive. He’d inherited both parents’ good looks, including Bill’s athletic physique and Agnes’ regal bone structure.

Tall and rangy, Will appeared lean beneath his gray Henley and dark jeans. He had a square jaw and the artfully styled brown hair his mother had spoken of so fondly. His large blue-grey eyes were almost dazed. He was checking David out—ogling him, really—and to say this surprised David was an almost comic understatement.

Where the hell is this coming from?

Bill and Agnes had talked at length about their children during his last visit, detailing educations and careers, and expressing affection for Olivia’s children and pride in Will’s accomplishments. They hadn’t mentioned their son being gay or bi, though, nor had anyone in the Senator’s social circles.

David dropped Will’s hand. “All right if I come in?” He gestured at the briefcase slung over his shoulder and tried another smile. “I need to unpack the docs and organize them a bit—shouldn’t take me more than a minute,” he added, keeping his tone even in the face of Will’s wide-eyed stare. “I have a card from the Senator’s staff and a few others signed by his colleagues, too.”

The tips of Will’s ears turned pink and he immediately backed away from the door, gesturing for David to follow. “Of course, yes, come in. I expected a delivery man or one of the neighbors and not…well, not someone like you.”

David quirked a brow and stepped into the foyer. “Someone like me?”

“Someone from my father’s office.” Will shrugged and shut the door. His features were pinched when he turned back to David. “I suppose it’s too much to expect him to wait a few days after major surgery before he starts back at it again, but how can he when you people enable him?”

Well, shit. David wanted to escort himself right back out of the door. Of course, Bill’s family would be feeling protective of him right now—he was fortunate to be alive. In the meantime, his son had definitely regained his composure and decided to focus his irritation on David.

“He’s barely been home twenty-four hours—how did you even know he’d come home?”

David didn’t bother correcting Will’s mistaking him for a member of Bill’s staff. “Agnes messaged me yesterday evening,” he replied gently and licked his lips at the surprise streaking across Will’s face. “I asked her to keep me updated on your father’s surgery, and we’ve been swapping messages since your parents drove to Philly.”

“You text message with my mother?”

“Just about Bill,” David assured. “Your parents have no idea I planned to come by today. Bill didn’t ask for these files. I used them and the cards as an excuse to stop by to see how he’s doing in person.” He watched the tension in Will’s face ease. “So, how is he? Doing, I mean.”

“He’s fine.”

Buy Now:

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Blog Tour:

And be sure to follow the blog tour from September 25-October 8. There will be exclusive excerpts, interviews, blog posts, and a giveaway! You’ll have a chance to win a $20 Amazon gift card.

 

Available for Pre-Order – “With a Twist”

Love, served with a twist.

 

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K Evan Coles and I are so excited to announce that the first book in our new series is now available for pre-order. With a Twist has been in the works for a while now and we can’t wait to share it with you.

As we worked on Wake and Calm we realized that we had some awfully interesting supporting characters who demanded that their stories be told. Before we’d ever finished Riley and Carter’s stories, The Speakeasy series was born.

Since we’d tortured Will so much in the Tidal series, we thought it was only fair that he found love too. The idea for his story, With a Twist, came together quickly. Since we wanted to touch base with Riley and Carter from time to time, we created a place for all of the characters to hang out and we named it Under. It is a speakeasy owned by Jesse and Kyle, whose stories will also be told in the upcoming books Extra Dirty and Behind the Stick. And not to worry,  we haven’t forgotten Malcolm. He’ll find love too in Straight Up. 

We love all of these characters deeply and are so excited to share them with you.

Title: With a Twist

Pre-Order: Now

General Release: September 25

Blurb:

Nursing a broken heart when his ex-boyfriend, Riley, leaves him for the love of his life, Carter, Will Martin throws himself into teaching at NYU and writing. An invite from Riley to a speakeasy called Under helps Will begin to heal, and he finds himself enjoying both the drinks and the company.

Soon after, he’s shaken by news of his father’s cancer diagnosis and Will reluctantly returns to Long Island to see the man who disowned him after he was outed.

Sparks fly when Will meets his father’s mentee, Republican Senator David Mori, who is both mixed race and openly gay. Will is looking for a no-strings-attached fling and David is leery of getting involved with his mentor’s son, so they keep their affair a secret.

As his father’s health worsens, Will elects to remain in Garden City and his relationship with David grows beyond casual sex. Now, both men must decide how to bridge the divide between them.

Excerpt:

David did his best not to stare at William Jr. as they shook hands, but he nearly flinched away from the odd tingling sensation he felt where their skins met.

He’d seen photos of William Jr.—no, Will—around the Martin’s home, but they depicted a sweet-faced boy growing from toddlerhood into his late teens. Fully adult Will was, as David’s sister would say, stupidly attractive. He’d inherited both parents’ good looks, including Bill’s athletic physique and Agnes’ regal bone structure.

Tall and rangy, Will appeared lean beneath his gray Henley and dark jeans. He had a square jaw and the artfully styled brown hair his mother had spoken of so fondly. His large blue-grey eyes were almost dazed. He was checking David out—ogling him, really—and to say this surprised David was an almost comic understatement.

Where the hell is this coming from?

Bill and Agnes had talked at length about their children during his last visit, detailing educations and careers, and expressing affection for Olivia’s children and pride in Will’s accomplishments. They hadn’t mentioned their son being gay or bi, though, nor had anyone in the Senator’s social circles.

David dropped Will’s hand. “All right if I come in?” He gestured at the briefcase slung over his shoulder and tried another smile. “I need to unpack the docs and organize them a bit—shouldn’t take me more than a minute,” he added, keeping his tone even in the face of Will’s wide-eyed stare. “I have a card from the Senator’s staff and a few others signed by his colleagues, too.”

The tips of Will’s ears turned pink and he immediately backed away from the door, gesturing for David to follow. “Of course, yes, come in. I expected a delivery man or one of the neighbors and not…well, not someone like you.”

David quirked a brow and stepped into the foyer. “Someone like me?”

“Someone from my father’s office.” Will shrugged and shut the door. His features were pinched when he turned back to David. “I suppose it’s too much to expect him to wait a few days after major surgery before he starts back at it again, but how can he when you people enable him?”

Well, shit. David wanted to escort himself right back out of the door. Of course, Bill’s family would be feeling protective of him right now—he was fortunate to be alive. In the meantime, his son had definitely regained his composure and decided to focus his irritation on David.

“He’s barely been home twenty-four hours—how did you even know he’d come home?”

David didn’t bother correcting Will’s mistaking him for a member of Bill’s staff. “Agnes messaged me yesterday evening,” he replied gently and licked his lips at the surprise streaking across Will’s face. “I asked her to keep me updated on your father’s surgery, and we’ve been swapping messages since your parents drove to Philly.”

“You text message with my mother?”

“Just about Bill,” David assured. “Your parents have no idea I planned to come by today. Bill didn’t ask for these files. I used them and the cards as an excuse to stop by to see how he’s doing in person.” He watched the tension in Will’s face ease. “So, how is he? Doing, I mean.”

“He’s fine.”

Pre-Order:

Click below to pre-order and you’ll get With a Twist the moment it goes live on September 25!

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Paperbacks are Available!

*throws confetti*

I dragged my heels on getting the paperback out for “Between the Studs” *hangs head* but I got it done along with “Corked” so they are both available now on Amazon and Barnes & Noble! Just in time for Pride events!

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Barnes & Noble

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Anyone interested in signed copies, please contact me directly at brighamvaughn@gmail.com or send me a PM on Facebook or Twitter.

I would be delighted to sign a copy (of any of my books) and send it your way!

 

 

 

 

Corked is Live (Almost Everywhere)!

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Unfortunately, I had a few hiccups with my book release yesterday. WordPress didn’t seem to want to let me create a new blog post (grr). The books didn’t go live in time on Barnes & Noble and Kobo (still waiting on Kobo). But I’m still very excited to announce that “Corked” is available for sale!

Available Now

In my previous post, I talked a bit about how the three books in “The Wine Tasting Series” became “Corked” but I should also talk about how the “Corked” cover came to be. I live in Michigan and I’ve made several trips to the Traverse City area for wine tastings with friends, so this is an area (and subject!) near and dear to my heart.

As I usually do, I took oodles of photos when I was there. I unearthed those photos when I planned the cover of “Corked” and was delighted to find the perfect image for it. Can’t you just picture Sean and Lucas strolling through the vines and admiring the view?

Corked Vineyard

Summary:

Sean Powell is having a terrible day. When he walks into Bistro Argent, ready to unwind over a glass of wine with the sommelier, he’s stunned to discover his friend has been replaced by a hot young guy with big ideas. Lucas Spencer is determined to liven up the staid and stodgy wine list, but his brash approach alienates the wine distributor during their first meeting.

There’s no avoiding each other though and the more they butt heads, the hotter the tension between them gets. As they work together and their relationship progresses, they have to figure out how to blend their professional frustration and personal attraction without risking their careers.

Lucas is eleven years younger than Sean, and despite their sizzling chemistry and compatibility, Sean can’t quite believe the feelings are mutual. A wine tasting trip to Traverse City, Michigan threatens their fledgling relationship. Sean’s insecurities rise to the surface as Lucas’s fears of losing Sean lead to jealousy.

Does the relationship have legs or will they find out it’s corked?

Excerpt:

“I want to talk to Richard about setting up some classes at the restaurant, maybe on Sundays after brunch, kind of an ‘intro to wine’ type of thing explaining the different types of wine and how to properly taste them.”

“Sounds great,” Sean said and then added, “Hey, I meant to ask, did Richard respond to your earlier text?”

“Oh, I’m not sure,” Lucas replied, handing Sean the box containing the half case of wine they’d purchased. He fished in his pocket for the phone. He pulled it out, smiling at the photo of Sean in the vintage truck he’d set as his background before he noticed the text notification. “Looks like he did.”

“Oh, yeah? What did he say?” Sean asked.

Lucas nearly tripped getting on the trolley as he read Richard’s response.

What is wrong with you two? You think about fucking at work and work during your vacation instead of fucking. Stop thinking about my goddamn restaurant and go screw.

He was still laughing as they took their seats, and Sean had to wrestle the phone away from him to see the message. “Richard!” he exclaimed, his hand going to his forehead to rub at his temples. “Jesus, that man is incorrigible.”

“He’s your friend,” Lucas pointed out, still laughing as he took his phone back and replied to Richard.

“I don’t claim him!” Sean protested. “Besides, he’s your friend now, too.”

“Damn it,” Lucas muttered jokingly. “That’s what I get for dating you. Couldn’t you have brought something better to the relationship than Richard Brayden?”

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Coming Soon – Corked (Wine Tasting Series Re-Release)

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Four years ago, very early on in my publishing journey, I wrote Spit or Swallow. It was a funny and hot little short story about a wine distributor and a sommelier butting heads over wine.

I hadn’t originally planned to write Aftertaste, but readers clamored for more of Sean and Lucas’s story, and I eventually wrapped up their happily-ever-after with Finish. 

Because they were short stories, I didn’t get an overwhelming amount of sales. I thought bundling them into a single file as The Wine Tasting Series might help, but the sales were even lower for that. Some of it, I think, was a lackluster cover and lack of promotion. I had other projects to work on though that needed to take priority, so I let it languish in my backlist.

A few months ago, I pulled it out and dusted it off and realized that while the plot itself was solid, my writing had drastically improved over the years. I began to ponder the idea of a re-release. Three short stories together came in at about 34,000 words, which was novella length. Could I fix it up so that I could bring new readers in?

As I polished the writing and tweaked the pacing so it flowed as a novella, I began to realize there were scenes that I could expand by showing, not telling. (My middle school English teacher would be so proud!)

And as the story came together, I realized it needed a new title. It didn’t take long before Corked popped into my head.  Once I had the title, a cover came together. And as I began the final editing process, I realized an epilogue would really add to the story. There was definitely more of Lucas and Sean’s story to tell. When it was all done, it came together with a grand total of 42,000 words. New readers will get to discover the story for the first time as a long novella and previous readers will enjoy almost 8,000 words of additional content!

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Title: Corked

Release Date: April 28, 2018

Length: 42,031 words (Novella)

Blurb:

Sean Powell is having a terrible day. When he walks into Bistro Argent, ready to unwind over a glass of wine with the sommelier, he’s stunned to discover his friend has been replaced by a hot young guy with big ideas. Lucas Spencer is determined to liven up the staid and stodgy wine list, but his brash approach alienates the wine distributor during their first meeting.

There’s no avoiding each other though and the more they butt heads, the hotter the tension between them gets. As they work together and their relationship progresses, they have to figure out how to blend their professional frustration and personal attraction without risking their careers.

Lucas is eleven years younger than Sean, and despite their sizzling chemistry and compatibility, Sean can’t quite believe the feelings are mutual. A wine tasting trip to Traverse City, Michigan threatens their fledgling relationship. Sean’s insecurities rise to the surface as Lucas’s fears of losing Sean lead to jealousy.

Does the relationship have legs or will they find out it’s corked?


There’s no pre-order for this book, but if you want to get your hands on Corked as soon as it’s available there are two options!

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New Release – “Between the Studs”

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I didn’t plan to write a Valentine’s Day story this year. But I was relaxing in the bath on January 22, browsing Pinterest on my phone (because I like to live dangerously). There was some pin about installing shelves “between the studs”. The phrase immediately leaped out at me as a great book title, especially for an MMF poly story.

Before I knew what was happening, a plot bunny was chomping away at me and I had to get out of the bath to write it down. I wrote over 1,500 words that first night, then added another 3,500. It was going to be absolutely perfect for Valentine’s Day, so I talked to my co-writer and warned her I might be a bit slow getting the chapters for our story back to her while I focused on getting this story ready for a Valentine’s Day release.

What I thought was originally going to be a 10-15k short story quickly morphed into a monster 33k word novella.

Blurb:

After a busy and successful year at her bakery, divorcée Aimee Lucas decides to splurge on a bathroom renovation. The owner of Lucas’s Fine Cakes and Pastries is tired of lackluster Valentine’s Days, so she’s looking forward to a solo celebration this year. Why bother with a mediocre date when she can relax in a tub with a glass of wine?

Joshua Ward and Matt Mitchell co-own a construction company, but there’s a bit more to their partnership than they let on. Although both men have caught the eye of many a homeowner, they never mix business with pleasure.

When Aimee hires J&M Construction to remodel her bathroom, she never expects to find a date. Much less two.

As the project continues, Aimee, Matt, and Josh find themselves drawn to one another. Matt and Josh are happy together, but they’re looking for a woman to be their third, and it quickly becomes clear Aimee might just be whom they’ve been searching for.

With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, they all have decisions to make. Can Matt and Josh broach the subject without losing their customer? And will Aimee decide she just wants a fling with the hunky contractors, or is it time for her to take a leap of faith on something more?

Excerpt:

Paula nodded knowingly when Aimee finished. “They’re totally into you! I definitely didn’t get any cozy chats with them over coffee or flirtatious banter.”

“Yeah, but both of them? I mean, are they just hedging their bets? Figuring I’ll choose one or the other?”

“Maybe. Maybe not though. They could just be into that.”

“Into what?” Aimee’s eyes got big as she realized what Paula meant. “Oh. You mean …?”

“Mmhmm. Maybe they like gettin’ it on together with a gorgeous woman.”

Threesomes. Well that wasn’t something Aimee had ever considered. Well, there had been the one time in college where she’d sort of ended up in bed with a couple, but she hadn’t been into the girl enough to go down on her and it had involved a lot of drunken fumbling. It had been sort of hot though, she mused.

But two guys? That was something altogether different. And this was no college experimentation. She was a grown adult for goodness sake. She owned a house and a business. She couldn’t really be thinking about it. Could she?

“You’re thinking about it, aren’t you?” Paula teased.

“No!” Aimee protested. But Paula’s arched eyebrow and the disbelief etched on her face prompted her to clarify. “I mean, yes, I’m thinking about what you suggested but not because I’m considering doing it.”

“Why not?”

Aimee sputtered. “Because that’s crazy! And so not me.”

“When was the last time you got laid?”

“Way too long ago,” Aimee admitted. “But come on, I can’t just answer the door tomorrow in lingerie and fuck me heels and say ‘hey boys, wanna fuck me?”

Purchase:

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New Release – Famiglia (Italian)

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For over a year now, I’ve been working with Quioxte Translation (formerly Francy et Alex Translations) and I can’t speak highly enough about them. They’ve been a joy to work with.

In spring of 2016, I released Compromessi, the Italian translation of “Equals”.  Last November I released the second book, Partners (apparently there’s not a direct translation for the title in Italian).

Because the third book is set around the holidays, we decided to wait until this December to publish the third book. It is now live!

After much internal struggle, I decided to release it on Kindle Unlimited. I’ve avoided doing that with any other books. I’ll be honest, I have a lot of concerns that long-term, KU devalues books and harms authors sales.

But sales are down all over and when the people at Quioxte Translations strongly suggested I enroll Famiglia in KU, I decided to take a gamble. They know far more about the Italian market than I do and I’m looking at it like an experiment. I’ll see how the book does and go from there.

So for the next three months, Famiglia will be exclusively available on Amazon. Click on the image below to grab your copy!

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The Soldier Next Door – Book Release

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Title: Soldier Next Door

Tagline: Sometimes, love is right next door.

Reader Advisory: This book contains brief mentions of PTSD and war-related injuries.

Publisher’s Note: This book was previously released as part of the Right Here, Right Now anthology with Pride Publishing.

General Release Date: 28th November 2017

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Blurb:

All twenty-seven-year-old Travis Schultz is supposed to do is keep an eye on the kid next door for a few weeks while his parents are out of town. Eighteen-year-old Owen Wheeler has other plans. Newly graduated, with plans to enlist in the Army, Owen wants to get laid before he ships out and he’s had a crush on Travis for years.

The age difference and the responsibility he’s been entrusted with make Travis hesitant, but the attraction is too much to deny. When the casual one-night stand turns into something more, Travis has no idea how to tell Owen how he feels. He misses his opportunity before Owen leaves and is left at home with a broken heart when Owen cuts off all contact.

When they meet again years later, Owen is in the midst of recovery from being injured in the line of duty and Travis will have to decide if he can forgive Owen and try again.

Excerpt:

“Travis, sweetie, can you grab the potato salad out of the fridge?”

Travis glanced up from his phone to look at his mom. “Sure, which one?”

“Oh, I made the mustard potato salad since you’re home. I know it’s your favorite. Your dad bitched and bitched, but I promised I’d make him some of his favorite soon.” Judy Schultz fussed with the flowers one more time, even though they were already perfect.

Travis stood and slipped his phone into his pocket. “No, not which potato salad, which fridge?”

“Oh.” Her hand fluttered distractedly. “The one in the basement.” She yelled after him as he turned to walk away. “Oh, and can you grab the big cooler we always put drinks in? There’s ice in it already. And once that’s up, can you set up the drinks on the deck?”

“Sure, Mom.” Travis chuckled to himself and jogged down the stairs. She was always a little flustered before her annual Fourth of July barbecue. It was a huge party—half the neighborhood came, along with all of her book club friends and their families.

Travis paused when he reached the bottom step. There was a man sitting on the couch, knees spread wide, elbows propped on them, head hanging.

“Hey,” Travis called out in a soft voice, not wanting to startle the guy, but he jerked upright and for a moment Travis would swear there was sheer terror in his eyes.

“Fuck,” he swore. Travis saw him take a deep breath and when he set down the can of soda he’d been holding and placed it on the coffee table, his hand was trembling.

“Shit, sorry. Didn’t mean to startle you, man…Owen?”

“Hey.” He stood and half-turned to face Travis.

Owen was taller now. A hell of a lot more bulked up. His voice was even deeper. And his eyes had the shadowed appearance of a man who’d seen far too much. But he still looked like the guy Travis had never intended to fall for.

Travis swallowed hard and stared at the man who’d broken his heart four years ago.

“You’re home.”

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Calm – General Release

“Calm” is available for general release today!

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Here’s a little teaser from the book.

Jesse licked his lips, appearing to consider his words before speaking. “I know you agreed to meet me here tonight—I mean, you messaged me back, which I took as a sign that you were willing to spend some time with me.”

It was Carter’s turn to frown. “I wouldn’t be here if I wasn’t.”

“Are you sure?” Jesse asked gently. “Because I can’t help feeling I’m making you incredibly uncomfortable.”

Carter’s chest ached at Jesse’s earnest words. God, he was so fucked up.

“It’s not you.” He paused, then laughed with relief when Jesse grinned and broke the awkwardness between them at last. “I’m sorry. It’s a bit early to be spouting relationship clichés, especially when we hardly know each other.”

“Hey, I’m just glad you don’t look like you’re about to bolt,” Jesse told him, head cocked as sat back in his seat.

“I’m not,” Carter assured, “and you’re right. I wouldn’t have messaged you back if I didn’t want to see you again. I’m just out of practice with dating.”

“What makes you think this is a date?” Jesse’s eyes twinkled and he picked up his menu.

“Honestly, nothing. I’m a bit hopeless in social situations lately.”

Jesse dropped one corner of the menu to reach across the table and lay a hand on Carter’s.

“Relax. I asked you to dinner because I enjoyed spending time with you last week. I thought there was something between us worth exploring. But whatever happens depends on you, too. Tonight isn’t about business and I don’t want you to feel as though you’re being forced to be here.”

“I don’t.” Carter struggled to smile through his lingering guilt. “I meant what I said before—I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t want to be.”

Jesse’s megawatt smile lit his face once more. “Then let me buy you dinner.”

Things between them were easier from there. Carter and Jesse fell naturally into conversation, ranging through various topics rather than focusing on any one thing. They shared oysters on the half shell and tuna tartare to start, then moved on to NY strip steaks for the main course, with another bottle of wine.

Carter relaxed as they ate and talked, even while his attraction to Jesse increased. The idea of acting on the impulse appealed, but it worried Carter too. He was out of his depth when it came to fooling around with men. He’d been dating, but hadn’t gone beyond a few kisses with any of the men he’d seen. Jesse, so confident and assertive, was on a whole other plane from any of them, even when Carter included Riley in the mix.

Then again, he didn’t really know Riley anymore, did he? When it came down to it, Riley had more in common with Jesse now than he did with Carter. Maybe that has always been the case, Carter thought, and his stomach dropped with the realization.

Pride

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