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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Amazon

Barnes & Noble

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Amazon

Barnes & Noble

 

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!

 

 

 

 

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Brigham’s Recommendations – “Double Dutch Courage” by Helena Stone

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Sudden changes require great bravery. Can both men find the courage to be true to themselves and each other?

Blurb

Ronan Collins has spent most of his life in Dublin hiding who he really is. Coming out would hurt his mother, and Ronan isn’t going to be the second gay man to do that. When he receives news the father he has never known has died, leaving him both a house and a business in Amsterdam, he jumps on the opportunity to get to know the man who fathered him and to discover what he’s been denying himself for years.

Lucas Brandt thought he had it all when Paul Kelly offered him a job and rooms to live in. With Paul deceased he fears he may be about to lose both. He didn’t even know Paul had a son, and now this stranger is on his way from Dublin to pull the rug out from under Lucas’s feet.

The two men don’t expect to like each other, never mind feel attraction. With numerous reasons why hooking up would be a bad idea, why does giving in feel so much better? And is Ronan’s back story really as he’s always imagined it to be?

Excerpt:

Ronan seemed to search Lucas’s face for something, then lowered his gaze until Lucas was convinced he was staring at his lips. He mused that the sunshine had to be getting to him as the afternoon took on a dreamlike quality. Ronan licked his lips, the tip of his tongue tempting Lucas, teasing him. When Ronan leant forward Lucas wondered what was happening, whether he was imagining things. Surely Ronan wasn’t about to —

The soft press of Ronan’s lips against his elicited a sigh from Lucas. He would have been embarrassed about his reaction if he hadn’t been lost in the moment. It was the second time Ronan had taken him by surprise in this manner, except on this occasion he didn’t appear to have any intention of pulling back.

With so many reasons why this was the worst idea ever, it didn’t make any sense that the overriding thought running through his mind was more.

He cupped Ronan’s neck, keeping the pressure light, barely there. Ronan reacted as if Lucas had used force and pressed his lips firmer against his, parting them in the process.

Lucas was helpless against the onslaught. It had taken him days to stop obsessing about Ronan’s mouth after that quick, shy kiss a week earlier. There would be no coming back from this. He had no doubt he would end up hurt. Even as he had the thought, Lucas parted his own lips, slipped his tongue through the gap and tentatively caressed Ronan’s mouth.

“Oh.” Ronan’s soft exclamation meant his lips parted farther and Lucas took advantage. Fuck being sensible. Fuck worrying about tomorrow, or next week, or six months from today. He was here, now, and the tongue hesitantly exploring his was nothing like what he’d expected and everything he wanted it to be.

The kiss transported him back to his teenage years, to the first boy he’d ever kissed. Clumsy and with clashing teeth, it had been as awkward as it had been exciting. Pretty much as it was now, except this time it didn’t make sense.

He pulled back until the tips of their noses were the only parts of them still touching. Ronan’s lashes fluttered before he opened his eyes. They widened and he lowered his gaze.

“That bad, eh?” Ronan directed his words at the grass beneath their knees.

“Not bad.” Lucas tried to figure out what to say. Not sure what he was reacting to, he didn’t know which words to use either, so the truth would have to do. “It just brought back a memory of something I hadn’t thought about in ages.”

“Oh?”

Ronan still wouldn’t look at him and Lucas didn’t like it. He lifted Ronan’s chin with his index finger. “It reminded me of when I was fourteen and me and Hans, my best friend back then, decided to find out what the big deal about kissing was.”

“It was like your first kiss?” Ronan still tried to avoid meeting Lucas’s gaze.

“Yes.” Lucas smiled. He couldn’t believe Hans had slipped his mind. They’d done a lot of exploring together before Hans decided he was interested in girls after all. He got so lost in his reminiscence he almost missed the words Ronan muttered.

“Makes sense.”

It hit Lucas like a ton of bricks. Here was yet another reason why getting involved with Ronan was the worst idea ever. If he was right, he would be Ronan’s first in everything. The thought that Ronan’s inexperience might include kissing hadn’t crossed his mind until this moment. He wasn’t sure he could make that journey with Ronan without getting emotionally involved. He had to know for sure.

“I’m your first?”

The combination of shame and defeat Lucas read in Ronan’s expression tore at him. He didn’t need an answer. He also didn’t need to think about what to do next. Yes, he would end up getting hurt, but he’d deal with it. It wouldn’t be the first time or, in all likelihood, the last. He could be Ronan’s first and make it a good, a memorable, experience.

“I want to be your second, too.” He didn’t wait and pressed his lips back against Ronan’s before he could respond.

 

 

Kopstootje Meme

 

Review: 

I’ll be the first to admit, I am totally biased when it comes to Helena Stone’s books. We’re friends. I was staying at her home in Ireland when I beta read “Double Dutch Courage”. But biased or not, it’s a wonderful story.

“Double Dutch Courage” follows Ronan Collins from Dublin to Amsterdam as he learns about an inheritance left to him by his absent father, Paul, and begins to take the first steps toward being open about his attraction to men. Lucas Brant, Paul’s business partner and flatmate, helps guide Ronan along that path.

The author deftly weaves in Ronan’s discovery of Amsterdam through the story and it plays such a large role in the book, it needed to be mentioned. It’s wonderful and vivid and makes me want to travel there (more than I already did)!

This is a quiet story. Ronan’s journey doesn’t have huge, wildly dramatic twists and turns, but the gently unfolding self-discovery is no less compelling. The attraction between them and the building relationship is skillfully done and you’re rooting for them as Ronan overcomes those final obstacles and moves forward into the kind of future he’s always dreamed of.

“Double Dutch Courage” has wonderful characters, a fantastic setting, and a sweet romance. What more could any reader want?

Buy Links:

Amazon

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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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

Amazon US 

Amazon UK

 

 

 

Right Here, Right Now Anthology – The Soldier Next Door – Early Download

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If you pre-ordered a copy of the “Right Here, Right Now” anthology, you should already have it! If you didn’t, you can run to Pride’s Website and download your copy now. Otherwise, you’ll have to wait until October 3 to read my short story, “The Soldier Next Door” along with short stories from Lily Harlem, Samantha Cayto, Alexa Milne, Jon Keys, and Thom Collins.

Summary:

Sometimes, love is right next door.

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.

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

Excerpt:

Owen was still sleeping when Travis awoke. He was sprawled on the bed next to Travis, on his stomach. Travis’ fingertips itched with the need to touch him. He wanted to trace them down the long lines of Owen’s back.

It was morning now. Not so late he was worried he’d missed work, but late enough he knew he’d have to get up soon. For a moment, he contemplated calling in to work and staying in bed with Owen all day. But that had never been part of the deal.

The sex had been amazing. Phenomenal. But it was a one-off. Four—five—off, maybe? One night. He knew Owen didn’t want more. Of course this had to end, but that didn’t mean it had to end this second. Maybe he could convince Owen to take another shower with him, for a final soapy hand job or a quick, wet rim job. Travis had enjoyed himself too much to stop now.

“I’m heading to work,” he said forty-five minutes later. He’d sucked Owen off in the shower. Afterward, Owen had staggered back to bed and collapsed. He’d snored while Travis had gotten ready for work.

Owen squinted up at him. “Shit, I should leave.”

Travis shrugged. “If you want to go back to sleep, that’s fine. Just lock up behind you.”

“Cool, thanks.”

Travis leaned in to kiss him goodbye, then hesitated. Is that crossing a line?

Owen let out a small, annoyed-sounding grumble, looped an arm around Travis’ neck and pulled him down until their lips met.

What Travis had meant as a perfunctory goodbye became a lingering kiss. They were both panting by the time Travis tore himself away. “Damn.”

He stared down at Owen and shook his head. Funny, he’d warned Owen about the way feelings could get complicated and here he was the one having a hard time ending the night.

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.

Click on the logo below to purchase Calm

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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

Wake General Release!

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“Wake”–Book one in our two-part “Tidal” series–is now available for general release.

Grab your copy here on Amazon now!


Here’s a little teaser.

“’m I doin’ the right thing?” Carter slurred, while Riley lowered him onto the bed. Riley froze with Carter’s arm locked around his neck and their faces inches apart. God, how many times have we been in this position? Riley wondered. He reached up, unwound his friend’s arm and sat back, but left his hand pressed against the front of Carter’s shirt for a moment, enjoying the heat of his body underneath.

“What do you mean?” he asked hoarsely.

He started to pull away, but Carter reached up and covered Riley’s hand with his own, his long fingers holding it in place.

“Mar-marrying Kate,” Carter said thickly, hazel eyes dazed and glassy. They appeared especially dark right then, more brown than their usual greenish hue. Riley breathed shallowly, the words heavy on his tongue. He wanted so badly to tell him no, make him doubt what he was doing. The sight of Carter sprawled on his bed and the feel of their clasped hands made a spot in Riley’s chest ache. All night he’d been fighting his feelings for Carter, struggling to be happy for his friend, trying not to let anyone see his secret.

Here in private, Carter was giving him the chance to speak up. Perhaps Carter was ambivalent on some level about marrying Kate. He knew Carter loved her, but maybe some part of him was as conflicted as Riley. Riley could feel the words on his tongue and knew his friend well enough to suspect that if Riley told him he shouldn’t marry Kate, he wouldn’t go through with it the following day. But wasn’t that delaying the inevitable? Because Carter would marry. Eventually he’d give in to the pressure of his family’s expectations and marry someone.

Why not Kate? His toast to the couple at the rehearsal dinner earlier had been true. There was no woman in the world better for Carter than Kate. As much as Riley wanted to return to the times when they’d been in college—when they’d been friends who lived together and shared a woman between them—they could never go back. The vague, nebulous want inside Riley never seemed to coalesce into something concrete. He wanted Carter, but what did that mean? And what did he have to offer him?

Riley stared at his friend, watching Carter’s unfocused, almost hopeful gaze. Riley felt the beat of Carter’s heart through the soft, polished cotton shirt under his palm and he ached, wanting to tell his friend to call off the wedding.

But the answer to his earlier question was nothing. Riley had nothing to offer Carter. He couldn’t give him the life and family he wanted, couldn’t give Carter the chance to make his family proud. Hell, Riley didn’t even know what he wanted or if he could ever give Carter what he deserved. With his fucked-up family, maybe he wasn’t even capable of caring about Carter like Kate would.

Carter would be happier married to Kate and Riley knew it was the right choice for his friend. For both of them. With Carter married, Riley could make his parents happy by finally settling down with a woman. He could stop wasting his life wishing for something that would never happen.

“Yeah, buddy, it’s the right thing,” he lied, feeling the weight of the words close over him, like the thud of a door slamming shut. He could never take them back.

Flash Fiction Monday – Whiskey and Need

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“We shouldn’t be doing this,” Rey said, but there was no conviction to his tone, just thick need, barely suppressed.

The garish light from the neon motel sign lit the side of Barrett’s face and highlighted the rugged handsomeness. Rey’s chest felt tight as he looked at his partner, Barrett. Partner in the Springfield police department, that is. Not his lover. Or at least they hadn’t been.

But their mouths were inches apart and Barrett’s grip on his shirt was tight.

They’d been skirting this moment for weeks now. Months of getting to know the man under the stoic façade, months of noticing the width of Barrett’s shoulders, the solidity and heat of his body, and months of fighting it. Weeks of wondering what his mouth tasted like. Days of being holed up in this motel together and trying not to stare at Barrett’s chest, broad and lightly furred, damp from the shower as he walked around the room in a towel.

“You think I don’t know that?” Barrett’s voice was a low rumble and Rey felt his gut clench as he imagined that sound in his ear as Rey pinned him to the bed.

No, he knew Barrett understood the dangers as well as he did: work conflict, the danger of being found out by their colleagues, Barrett’s family.

Barrett half-rose in his seat, pulling Rey toward him.

Rey’s head swam; his brain entirely incapable of rational thought anymore. The throb in his groin and the need in his chest overwhelmed everything else.  They shouldn’t  … and yet  …

Barrett’s mouth landed on his, tasting of whiskey and need.


 

This week’s flash is short, but hopefully sweet.

Please visit the flash fic group on Facebook and check out the links to the other authors’ flash fics for this week!

I look forward to seeing you next Monday!

 

Brigham’s Recommendations – Blueberry Boys by Vanessa North

Summary:

Love is coming into season.

Connor Graham is a city boy—a celebrated fashion photographer in New York. When his uncle’s death drags him back to the family blueberry farm, all he wants to do is sell it as quickly as he can. Until he meets his uncle’s tenant farmer.

Jed Jones, shy and stammering, devout and dedicated, has always yearned for land of his own and a man to share it with. Kept in the closet by his church, family, and disastrous first love, he longs to be accepted for who he is. But now, with his farm and his future in Connor’s careless hands, he stands to lose even the little he has.

Neither man expects the connection between them. Jed sees Connor—appreciates his art and passion like no one else in this godforsaken town ever has. Connor hears Jed—looks past his stutter to listen to the man inside. The time they share is idyllic, but with the farm sale pending, even their sanctuary is a source of tension. As work, family, and their town’s old-fashioned attitudes pull them apart, they must find a way to reconcile commitments to their careers and to each other.

Review:

Before I say anything else, let me say how much I love the cover of this book. Maybe because it brings back memories of picking blueberries with my family when I was a kid, but something about it evokes a warm, sweet feeling in me.

It fits with the story so well because overall it’s a gentle story. That’s not to say there wasn’t conflict in the story. Far from it. There’s conflict between Jed and Connor as they try  to figure out what will happen with the farm and how to make a relationship work when they live such drastically different lives. There’s conflict between the men and the town. There’s conflict between Jed and his family and his coming out. Conflict between Connor and his brother Scott. The conflict kept me turning the pages and wondering how on earth they would ever resolve it. But there’s a certain sweetness to Connor and Jed’s relationship that permeates the story.

There’s also steamy chemistry and some incredibly hot scenes between them. Connor is a photographer, and let me tell you, there is a phenomenally hot scene involving a camera that shouldn’t be missed. But throughout every steamy scene is a certain amount of tenderness and sweetness that I absolutely loved.

I think the author did an excellent job resolving all of the conflict in the story in a realistic way. Not everything was wrapped up in a neat little bow, but there was a hopeful feel that in time, relationships with family will be mended. And Connor and Jed carved out a perfect life that they can enjoy together.

Buy Links:

Amazon

Riptide Publishing