New Release – The Speakeasy #2 Extra Dirty

In addition to releasing “The Ghosts Between Us”, my co-written novel with K. Evan Coles was released!

It’s the second book in The Speakeasy series. The books in the series can be read as standalone stories, but if you haven’t read the first book and you’d like to, here is some more information about “With a Twist“!

If you’ve been eagerly waiting for Cam and Jesse’s story, here it is!

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Title: Extra Dirty

Author Name: K. Evan Coles and Brigham Vaughn

Tagline: Love, served extra dirty.

Series: The Speakeasy, #2

While the stories in this series are connected, each book features a new couple and can be read as a stand-alone.

Summary:

Jesse Murtagh loves his life as a wealthy bisexual businessman dedicated to the pursuit of pleasure. With a circle of friends he trusts implicitly, he enjoys a successful career in his family’s business and as co-owner of Under, an uptown speakeasy, with his friend with benefits, Kyle McKee.

Music teacher and part-time DJ Cameron Lewis lives modestly in a DUMBO loft and isn’t interested in serious relationships. However, he’s always up for some casual fun.

Doing a favor for his friend Carter Hamilton, Jesse meets Cam and is immediately charmed. When Jesse discovers Cam’s other life as a DJ, he is further intrigued. Viewing Cam as a challenge, Jesse pulls out all the stops, but his usual methods to avoid serious relationships fail. Though Cam has no intention of becoming attached, he begins to fall for Jesse, unaware that Jesse’s feelings are changing.

Afraid of heartbreak, Cam pulls away, leaving Jesse bewildered and hurt. They remain friends until a series of misunderstandings widens the rift to breaking point. When Cam steps in to help Jesse through a family crisis, they realize they care for each other more than they’ve been willing to admit. Jesse and Cam don’t want a traditional relationship, but can they build a future that makes them both happy?

Reader advisory: This book contains scenes of mmm ménage as well as references to homophobia and recreational drug use.

Publisher: Pride Publishing/Totally Entwined Group

Publication Date: March 26, 2019

Word Count /or Page Number: 89k + words

Formats/Price: eBook – $4.99 Available on Kindle and Kindle Unlimited

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Purchase “Extra Dirty” from the publisher:Pridelogo

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New Release – The Ghosts Between Us

Somehow in the excitement of “The Ghosts Between Us” being released, I forgot to blog about it. Whoops?

But if you did miss the news, the book is now live on Amazon and available on KU/Kindle.

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Title: The Ghosts Between Us

Author Name: Brigham Vaughn

Tagline: From Loss, A New Beginning

Series: The West Hills (Book 1)

While the stories in this series are connected, each book features a new couple and can be read as a stand-alone.

Summary:

Dr. Christopher Allen knows how to deal with death. He’s a psychiatrist who works with hospice patients and their families, helping them cope with grief and letting go. But Chris’s job doesn’t prepare him for the sudden death of his devil-may-care brother Cal.

At Cal’s funeral, Chris is completely thrown when he meets Elliot Rawlings, an artist Cal has been dating. Chris is hurt to discover that the brother he knew as straight was actually bisexual. Elliot is angry and resentful of having been kept hidden from Cal’s family.

After the funeral, a night of drinking at the bar with Cal’s friends leads to Chris and Elliot falling into bed together.  The next morning, they’re overwhelmed by guilt and grief and agree to never speak of it again.

But Cal’s apartment needs to be packed up and Elliot reluctantly agrees to help Chris, as well as answer some questions about Cal’s life and their relationship. Despite their guilt and initial dislike for one another, they sort through the pieces of Cal’s life and begin to fall for each other.

Despite his best efforts to fix things, Chris’s family seems to be crumbling around him and he begins to question who he is and what his role with them is.  As his feelings for Elliot grow, Chris must decide if they’re worth further damaging his fragile relationships with his friends and family.

Elliot’s rough upbringing has left him distrustful of getting close to anyone, much less another man who isn’t willing to acknowledge him in public. The odds seem stacked against Chris and Elliot, but if they can overcome them, they may be able to lay Cal’s ghost to rest, along with their own demons.

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

Publication Date: February 26, 2019

Word Count /or Page Number: 130k + words

Formats/Price: eBook – $5.99 Available on Kindle and Kindle Unlimited

 

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Readers are loving “The Ghosts Between Us” and you will too!

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Coming Soon – The Ghosts Between Us

If it feels like I’ve been teasing you with promises of this book for years, it’s because, well, I have. Somewhere about five years ago, the idea for it popped into my head. I jotted a few things down and then went on to work on other projects. Slowly, over that time, I’ve worked on the story. I did it in fits and starts as I struggled with it. First titled, “In Mourning” it slowly morphed into a massively long novel that explores grief, family, relationships, and love.

To be honest, it’s felt like a story I had to grow into. Both as an author and as a human. There were life experiences I needed to have along with writing skills I needed to develop. This story refused to be ready because I wasn’t ready.

But in a sudden burst of both inspiration and motivation, it came together. My beta readers returned it with some helpful suggestions for how to tweak and polish it, and a blog tour is being arranged.

I am truly excited to share this book with you–maybe more so than with any other book I’ve previously written–because I am so proud of it. I love the characters and I love the story and it was a real stretch for me as an author. I hope you’ll keep an eye out for it next month when it’s available because I know you’re going to love it as much as I do.

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Title: The Ghosts Between Us

Author Name: Brigham Vaughn

Tagline: From Loss, A New Beginning

Series: The West Hills (Book 1)

While the stories in this series are connected, each book features a new couple and can be read as a stand-alone.

Summary:

Dr. Christopher Allen knows how to deal with death. He’s a psychiatrist who works with hospice patients and their families, helping them cope with grief and letting go. But Chris’s job doesn’t prepare him for the sudden death of his devil-may-care brother Cal.

At Cal’s funeral, Chris is completely thrown when he meets Elliot Rawlings, an artist Cal has been dating. Chris is hurt to discover that the brother he knew as straight was actually bisexual. Elliot is angry and resentful of having been kept hidden from Cal’s family.

After the funeral, a night of drinking at the bar with Cal’s friends leads to Chris and Elliot falling into bed together.  The next morning, they’re overwhelmed by guilt and grief and agree to never speak of it again.

But Cal’s apartment needs to be packed up and Elliot reluctantly agrees to help Chris, as well as answer some questions about Cal’s life and their relationship. Despite their guilt and initial dislike for one another, they sort through the pieces of Cal’s life and begin to fall for each other.

Despite his best efforts to fix things, Chris’s family seems to be crumbling around him and he begins to question who he is and what his role with them is.  As his feelings for Elliot grow, Chris must decide if they’re worth further damaging his fragile relationships with his friends and family.

Elliot’s rough upbringing has left him distrustful of getting close to anyone, much less another man who isn’t willing to acknowledge him in public. The odds seem stacked against Chris and Elliot, but if they can overcome them, they may be able to lay Cal’s ghost to rest, along with their own demons.

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

Publication Date: February 26, 2019

Word Count /or Page Number: 130k + words

Formats/Price: eBook – $5.99 Available on Kindle and Kindle Unlimited

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43690574-the-ghosts-between-us

 


The pre-order for this book won’t be available until February 22, but if you want to be notified about The Ghosts Between Us when it goes live there are two options!

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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.”

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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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Corked is Live (Almost Everywhere)!

Corked Cover

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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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.”

Links:

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Calm – Early Download

It’s early download day for Calm! If you haven’t pre-ordered it yet, go straight to Pride Publishing’s website!

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Calm is book two in the Tidal Series.

Here is a new teaser from it:

The restaurant door flew open. Startled, he straightened and turned to see a scowling Will Martin.

“What the hell, Riley?” his date snarled. “I thought you were going to be right back. You missed my best man speech, cutting the cake and their first dance. I had planned to ask you to dance, but you’ve been out here talking to Carter. Or ignoring me, I’m not sure which.”

“Shit. I feel terrible, Will, I didn’t mean to take so long…”

“This is getting ridiculous. I’ve done my best to be understanding about your relationship with him. You’re good friends and I respect that. Hell, I respect that you still have some lingering romantic feelings for him. But this has got to stop.”

“Will…” Riley said weakly, hating that he’d hurt someone who had been so good to him, but unable to deny that he didn’t really know where things stood with Carter. “I never meant…”

“I know you didn’t, but it doesn’t change the fact that I feel like I have to compete with your best friend for your affection. Not to mention your attention.”

“I told Carter that I know I need to focus more on my relationship with you. That I need to make it more of a priority.”

“It shouldn’t be so damn hard to want to spend time with me.” Will smiled sadly. “You left me, at one of my closest friend’s weddings, to talk to him. I need you to make a decision about your priorities. Because right now, I feel like I rate pretty low.”

“I am honestly, sincerely sorry. I made a mistake and I want to fix it.” Riley stepped closer. “Please, let me make it up to you.”

But Will shook his head and stepped back. “I need some space. Spend a couple of days figuring your shit out with Carter. Then we’ll talk.” He reached for the door to the restaurant and Riley went to stop him, then hesitated. Although he wanted to chase after Will and apologize again, Will had a point. Riley wasn’t sure about his feelings for Carter and maybe he needed to make that decision before he did anything else.

Long after Will had disappeared, Riley stood and stared at the door of the restaurant, deep in thought.

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Calm – Pre-Order

Yesterday K Evan Coles and I teased you with the cover of Calm, today, we’re offering it for pre-order!

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If you’ve been dying to read the conclusion to Wake, this is the perfect opportunity to do it!

By pre-ordering through Pride’s website, you’ll get the book the moment it’s available for early release on August 15, a full month before it’s available for general release on September 12 everywhere else!

Here’s a teaser for you:

“I’m really sorry, Ri,” Carter blurted. Riley pressed his lips tightly together. “I’m sorrier than you can imagine for the way I disappeared after you came out. I didn’t know what else to do…how else to keep everything together. But I should have been a better friend to you.”

The tips of Riley’s ears turned red as he stared at Carter. A server approached then and Riley changed gears instantly, smiling as he ordered a large macchiato.

Carter ordered the same, aware of Riley’s gaze, and cursed himself for becoming so flustered.

“I’ve never been here before,” he began when they were alone again, striving to keep his voice light. “Come here often?”

Riley nodded. “Often enough to know what’s good without really needing to think about it. I have friends in the neighborhood and this is one place everyone agrees on when we’re craving different kinds of food.”

Carter dropped his gaze to the tabletop while Riley spoke. He imagined the man from the photographs to be one of the friends Riley had mentioned. Riley looked relaxed tonight, impossibly handsome and put together in his beautiful blue suit. Whatever difficulties he’d experienced since coming out, he was clearly flourishing now. And wasn’t Carter a god-awful mess in comparison?

“Carter?” Riley’s gaze had thawed slightly when Carter looked up. “I was asking how you’ve been.”

“I’m…still trying to figure stuff out.” Carter gave him a weak smile. “I wasn’t lying earlier when I said that I was coping. I still have my job, though, see the kids and sometimes get together with friends. I do okay.”

Riley gave him a knowing glance. “But nothing’s the same. Everything in your life—”

“Is different,” Carter finished. “Pretty much everything outside of my job is radically different. And figuring it all out is fucking tiring.”

“I understand,” Riley replied.

“I know you do.” Carter clasped his hands together in his lap. “Dan’s been pushing me to talk to you…told me if anyone would understand how I’m feeling, it would be you.”

Pre-Order Calm Here