Category Archives: Guest Author

New Release: The Belgian Chocolate Remedy by Julie Lynn Hayes

Blurb: Milan, a Belgian chocolatier, has lost his beloved brother. Yet life goes on, and he must ready his booth for Outfest—Ludolf would have wanted him to carry on. Jesse is a rudderless soul, unable to cope with the rejection of his lover. He comes to Lafayette, Indiana at the request of his best friend, Reggie. She inveigles him into helping her friend Milan… a way to pass the time, or something more?

Excerpt: Milan had gone back to his last batch of chocolate—unscathed and unburned—and removed it from the burner, where it was cooling. “Would you like to brush the molds with chocolate?” he asked.

“Sure, I guess.” Jesse shrugged. It didn’t seem that difficult, at least in theory. “What’s it for?”

“To coat them.” Milan pulled a pastry brush from a drawer. He already set the molds out; they were simply waiting to be used. “I have some in the freezer already done,” he explained, seeing Jessie’s questioning look. “This is not all I have.”

“Okay,” Jessie said, “just show me what you want me to do.”

“Here.” Milan carried the pot of chocolate to the center of the work table. “Set a trivet there, will you?”

“A what?”

“A trivet,” Milan repeated, nodding to the counter behind Jessie. “That blue thing there. I will set the pot on it so it does not burn the surface.”

“Sure.” Jessie laid the round blue object onto the table, as Milan set the pot. “Take the brush and dip it like this.” He demonstrated just how far into the chocolate he wanted him to go. “Then lightly brush over each mold, like so.

Jesse admired the ease with which Milan worked, as if he’d been born to do nothing else. He had very nice hands, he noticed. How would those hands feel on Jesse’s cock? Would he touch it with the same care? His breath caught at the thought.

Milan offered the pastry brush to Jessie. He shook himself from his reverie and took it, pushing the forbidden image away. “So you’re selling these tomorrow. At Outfest. Right?”

“That is correct,” Milan replied. “You are coming, yes?”

“I am unless I want Reggie to tan my hide.”

Milan smiled.

“She would, you know,” Jesse continued, “You ever see her get mad?”

“Yes, I have,” Milan admitted, “I would not care to be the object of her anger.”

“Me either.”

“A little lighter, please.” Milan had been watching Jessie work. “Here.” He laid his hand over the other man’s. “Like this. Just enough to coat it. I will fill it in after we put in the fruit.”

Their eyes met and for a moment their hands stopped moving, each acutely aware of the other. Milan broke away first. “I will do this one,” he offered, “then we can do the first freeze.”

“First freeze?”

“Yes. We are forming a shell so it will hold the weight of the candy.”

“Okay.” Jesse thought it made sense, but what did he know. He dipped the brush into the chocolate again, making his strokes lighter, earning a “bon” from Milan. He knew enough French to know that meant good. He relaxed a little at the praise.

Once they had set the molds into the freezer, Milan removed the completed candies that waited there. He showed Jesse how to unmold them, and how to put them into their little paper beds, and into the waiting boxes. Then he let him apply the second coating himself.

“You are doing well,” he encouraged him.

“Thanks.”

A few minutes of companionable silence passed, Jesse concentrating on the task at hand, Milan stealing surreptitious peeks at the brunet. Whether he was willing to admit it to himself, he was glad for his company. Jesse’s presence was pushing the shadows away.

“Milan?”

“Yes, Jesse?”

“This is your place, right?” Jessie encompassed the kitchen with his glance. He couldn’t help but feel a lot of love had gone into making this room the place it was. More than a kitchen, it was Milan’s haven.

“It is, yes. Mine.”

“When are you going to open, then? Reggie said you were going to open your candy store after Outfest, right?”

Milan paused in the act of retrieving a container of raisins from the refrigerator. It was a legitimate question. It’s what businesspeople did—they opened for business. So why was he so hesitant to set a date? Maybe because he didn’t see it ever happening, without Ludolf’s guidance.?

“I do not know,” he mumbled, setting the bowl on the table, not meeting Jesse’s eyes. “There is work that needs to be done, construction work and…and licenses…and I do not know what, I mean I just do not know…”

Jesse reached out his hand without thinking, but Milan had already turned away. Jesse’s heart ached for the other man—he sounded so alone, so lost. Jesse wanted to gather him up in his arms, comfort him, soothe him, stop his tears, and end his pain. And yes, he wanted to get naked with him, too—to touch him, feel him, and lose himself in Milan. He wanted to taste his lips and take away his misery.

His feet moved, as though his thoughts had manifested themselves into action. His fingers brushed across the top of the table as he edged around it, toward Milan. He had no clear purpose he simply needed to be closer to him.

Milan was a few inches taller than Jesse, he discovered, as he came up behind him. Jesse’s lips were at about the level of Milan’s jaw, and he found it hard not to simply kiss him there, to stop his shoulders from shaking, to stem the tears he suspected were falling. He reached up his arms, wanting to hug Milan to him tightly, to take the first step—

The tinkle of the shop bell. Jesse retreated, stumbling back to his side of the table. In his haste, his hand knocked a spoon off the table. It clattered onto the floor. Milan spun around, dabbing at one eye with his right hand. He left a small smear of chocolate on his cheekbone. Jesse bent to retrieve the spoon, resisting the urge to wipe the chocolate away. The moment passed; he felt like a coward.

Bio:

Julie Lynn Hayes first began publishing short stories and poetry in the 1990’s, when it was a different ballgame altogether, and Ebooks hadn’t been dreamed of yet. That changed in 2010 with the acceptance of her first romance novel. She’s come a long way since that first book appeared, and is finding the journey a very educational one.

She lives in St. Louis with her daughter Sarah and her cat Ramesses. She often writes of two men finding true love and happiness in one another’s arms, and is a great believer in the happily ever after. She likes to write in different genres, to stretch herself in order to see what is possible. Her great challenge is to be told something can’t be done—she feels compelled to do it.

When she isn’t writing, she enjoys crafts, such as crocheting and cross stitch, needlepoint and knitting, and she loves to cook, spending time watching the Food Network. Her favorite chef is Geoffrey Zakarian. Her family thinks she’s a bit off, but she doesn’t mind. Marching to the beat of one’s own drummer is a good thing, after all. Her published works can be found at Dreamspinner Press, eXtasy Books, and Amber Quill Press.

 

Sales link:

http://www.extasybooks.com/julie-lynn-hayes/The-Belgian-Chocolate-Remedy/

 

My links:

Blog

Twitter @Shelley_runyon

Facebook

My Goodreads

Dreamspinner

eXtasy Books

Amber Quill

 

Wednesday Briefs: September 10, 2014

Here is a list of all the authors flashing this week, along with a brief snippet from their latest free work. Click the link after the snippet to be taken to the complete story on the author’s home page.

Buried Treasure 9 By Carol Pedroso

 I am embarrassed to say I panicked, big time.
 I was on my own with the best friend I had loved for years and he was waiting for me to join him in bed!!
Suddenly everything form the last few days started hitting me at once.
I had dug my best friend up from under a landslide.
That best friend had then come to stay with me and needed full on care at first.
 I had failed to find Crystal in time to save her.
 I was now tasked with finding and capturing – if not killing – her father.
  I had…

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Wednesday Briefs: September 3, 2014

No, I haven’t lost my mind. This is what should have been posted on Wednesday, and I apologize for the lateness of this post – both to my writers and to our readers – but I was unable to post, as my computer died Monday and I didn’t get back online until after Wednesday had passed. But better late than never, right? Enjoy!

Julie L. Hayes

Here is a list of all the authors flashing this week, along with a brief snippet from their latest free work. Click the link after the snippet to be taken to the complete story on the author’s home page.

 Aesthetics of Invention: Part 7 by Ravon Silvius
Kenneth ached to return the favor Thorn had given him in the forest outside the inventor’s college. He could barely focus as he walked past the familiar talentless man who watched the entrance at night, thought of nothing but Thorn as he stabled Jade and took his bags, and wasn’t bothered at all by the dusty scent of the dingy hallways as they walked down to Thorn’s room.

“Home sweet home for the next week,” Thorn said, swinging his door open. The hinges creaked, and Thorn winced. “I’ll have to oil that.”

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New Release: Forbidden Waters by LM Brown

Mermen and Homosexuality

Homosexuality and how it is perceived by people plays a large part in many male/male stories. Homophobia is still prevalent despite the efforts of many to ensure equal rights for everyone, no matter who a person chooses to love.

To add an element of homophobia to Forbidden Waters was something I was initially reluctant to do, but at the end of the day the story required it. It does, however, have something of a twist to the theme.

For most mer people homosexuality is not considered to be any different from heterosexuality. If a merman wants to lie with another man, or a mermaid with a woman, then they do so. However, in the sunken city of Atlantis things are a little different.

The once large and thriving community is now far smaller with the number of births of mer babies falling each mating season. In Atlantis, where the figures are closely monitored, the numbers speak for themselves.

To ensure the survival of the race homosexual relations have been forbidden. Each merman and mermaid is expected to do their duty to bring new life into the world and even those mermen who crave their own gender’s touch are not exempt from the law.

Prince Finn is the heir to the throne of Atlantis and he is one such merman who has no desire at all for the female form. His position makes it doubly dangerous for Kyle, a new merman to the city, and the prince’s new bodyguard.

Homosexuality in the city of Atlantis is punishable by exile from all the oceans of the world, a high price to pay for a merman, I’m sure you will agree.

forbiddenwaters 200x320

Blurb

To save his clan from ever-increasing shark attacks, merman Kyle seeks sanctuary for his people in the sunken city of Atlantis, even though he knows that as a homosexual merman, he will be sacrificing his own chance for love. Love finds him anyway in the form of Prince Finn, the rebellious young heir to the Atlantean throne.

When their relationship is discovered, Kyle is the one to pay the price. Banished from the oceans, he seeks shelter in England and finds a new love with human, Jake Seabrook.

For Jake, Kyle is the chance to move on from the crush he has on his straight best friend. The strange man he found naked on the beach seems to fit into his life with ease. If only Kyle weren’t keeping secrets from him, Jake could see them having a future together.

Things are not what they seem for either of the men and when Kyle discovers the truth about Finn, he knows he must return to Atlantis.

Three men, a tangled relationship, and one chance for happiness—if they can trust enough to take it.

 

Excerpt

Kyle shook his head and was about to say something else when the sound of someone in pain drifted through his mind. He knew instinctively it was Finn and swam past the queen to the resting chamber. Queen Coral followed at his back. They found Finn curled up in Kyle’s sleeping sponge, his tail curled around him. He clutched his stomach in obvious pain.

Ignoring the queen for the moment, Kyle rushed to Finn and gathered him into his arms.

“I’m here, Finn,” Kyle murmured. “I’ve got you now.”

Finn groaned and wrapped himself round Kyle. “I hate this. The heat of the season gets worse every time. I thought it might help to be here in your home, but it didn’t. It’ll pass by the end of the day. It just hurts not to mate when the desire is so strong.”

“Damn,” Kyle swore under his breath. At twenty years of age, Finn had already gone through nearly ten mating seasons without relief. That was more than Dax and Undine had lived through combined. The pain Kyle suffered from would be nothing compared to what Finn was dealing with right now.

Kyle glared at the queen. “Do you see what your stupid rules are putting your son through?”

“This is not my fault,” the queen argued.

“Don’t fight,” Finn interrupted. “Just hold me Kyle. It’s helping.”

Kyle tightened his grip and kissed Finn on the top of his head. “I’m here now. I won’t leave you.”

Finn settled down a little and began to rub up against Kyle. He could tell what the merman was trying to do, but Finn’s efforts were in vain. Mermen simply couldn’t find release in their half-fish form. No matter how Finn mimicked the movements of the act of mating, they could never actually see it through to completion while under the water. Which meant Finn could never find relief as long as his parents held him prisoner under the waves.

“Kyle, help me,” Finn begged. “Take me to the island. Let me know you the way I need to.”

“I forbid it,” Queen Coral ordered.

Kyle ignored her and sent his next thoughts privately to Finn. “I promise this won’t happen next mating season. Next time I’ll take you with me, even if I have to kidnap you to do it.”

 

Buy Link

https://www.totallybound.com/forbidden-waters

 

Bio

L.M. Brown lives in England, in a quaint little village time doesn’t seem to have touched. No, wait a minute—that’s the retirement biography. Right now, she is in England in a medium sized town no one has ever heard of, so she won’t bore you with the details. Keeping her company are numerous sexy men. She just wishes they weren’t all inside her head.

L.M. believes there is nothing hotter or sweeter than two men in love with each other… unless it is three.

L.M. Brown loves hearing from readers so don’t be shy.

 Links

Where to find L.M. Brown

Website & Blog – http://lmbrownauthor.wordpress.com/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/groups/LMBrownTreasureTrove/

Twitter – @LMBrownAuthor

 

Wednesday Briefs: August 20, 2014

Here is a list of all the authors flashing this week, along with a brief snippet from their latest free work. Click the link after the snippet to be taken to the complete story on the author’s home page.

Buried Treasure: Part 6 By Carol Pedroso

The helicopter shook as it took off. Craig was strapped to a bed in the back and I was sitting beside him belted to my chair. He grabbed my hand and clung on as we reached the height we needed and set off towards Chapmistres View.

“Remind me again why he would head for a community that is made up of witches and vampires. Especially when two of those vampires are the oldest known two on this island.” Craig asked me as we watched the scenery whizz by.

“Well the first point would be that Chapmistres is the nearest community

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Hero Worship – A Review by Julie Lynn Hayes

Hero Worship cover

 

Hero Worship

  • Author: Phoenix Emrys
  • Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
  • American release date: June 8, 2014
  • Format/Genre/Length: Novel/M/M Contemporary Romance/213 pages
  • Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★

High School can either make you or break you. Back in the day, Doug “King” Fisher was ruler of all he surveyed—the cock of the walk. White Knight par excellence, he led his band of faithful followers, the Knights of Right. Their mission was to protect the weak and downtrodden, to vanquish bullies. It’s 1975 and school has just ended. King is officially done with high school, having graduated. Time to go. When he hears the familiar sound of bullying, he cannot help but intervene, and protects a helpless young man with pretty blue eyes, by the name of Barry. Then he moves on, realizing to his chagrin that their paths shall never cross again.

Fast forward a few years. King is going on 57, and his life is not how he imagined it would be. Owner of a small shop that specializes in comic-cum-movie memorabilia, he barely ekes out a living. A far cry from the dreams he once had. He has one employee, a sassy sixteen-year-old named Jennifer. And he has a long-time crush on one-time TV action hero, Rex Rodman, who at one time had the hottest action show on TV. But that all changed when Rex derailed his career with a single announcement—admitting to something that King has never had the nerve to, although their secret is one and the same.

 

As King’s birthday approaches, he evaluates his life and finds it lacking. He spends more time with his mother than anyone else. And the big love he once dreamed of having has never materialized.

 

But something funny is going on, something is in the air. What it is, he can’t quite put his finger on. The question is—will it be a change for the better, or will a bad situation become worse?

 

I totally fell in love with this book from the beginning. I was originally attracted by it, when I saw the first promotion, for two reason. One—the hero is 57, same as me. And two, it’s about hero worship. Something I can relate to.

 

This is my first time reading this author, but it won’t be the last. She has an easy, humorous, witty style that simply flows. King is the narrator, and he is both funny and self-deprecating. I loved all the references to familiar shows and characters.

 

This story is a modern day version of It’s a Wonderful Life, and you’ll note that King’s former employer’s name is Bailey, although this story does not take place at Christmas, but in July. You can’t help but like King, and root for him to take a chance on love, and just be himself.

 

This is a definite feel-good story, one I know I’ll read again. If you’re looking for explicit sex scenes, don’t look here. Hot kisses? You’ll find them. And a wonderful romance.

 

I look forward to reading more by this author.

New release: Heart Not Mine by Lily Velden

Heart Knot Mine cover

 

Heart Knot Mine

Author: Lily Velden

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

American release date: May 1, 2014

Format/Genre/Length: Novel/M/M Contemporary Romance/236 pages

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★ ★

Noah Daniels’ love life is—to put it mildly—unsatisfactory. None of the women he’s been dating really do it for him, but he doesn’t know why. None of them strikes a spark inside of him. What’s the matter with him? His brother Mitch and his wife Miranda have spark—in spades. Noah wants what they have. Why can’t he have it too?

When the opportunity arises for a job exchange—he’ll go to London for a semester and teach art at central Saint Martens while his British counterpart takes his own position in Chicago—Noah decides to go for it. Maybe he just needs a change.

He settles into the other guy—Robert Callinan’s flat, and becomes familiar with his new surroundings. He meets Robert’s next door neighbor, Mrs. Higginbotham—a very friendly older lady who welcomes him with a casserole. Noah does some exploring of London in the week before he’s due to start work, and he likes what he sees.

While settling into his new digs, Noah makes an interesting discovery—some homemade porn DVD’s—featuring Robert. Noah can’t seem not to watch—or his body to react. His inadvertent voyeurism starts him on a voyage of self-discovery he’ll never forget.

 

More than just a holy cow I’m gay book, this is one man’s discovery of who he really is, one that will take him to some very interesting places, especially as he finds himself increasingly drawn to the star of the DVDs—the man whose bed he’s sleeping in.

But, as with most such journeys, there are ugly truths to be learned as well. I cried in places, laughed in others—and found a lot of heart in these pages. Most importantly, I felt.

I first read Lily Velden in her story, Hunter or Hunted, in the Love, Loss, Laughter & Lust anthology. I knew then she can write. This book more than confirms that.

Her style is classic and descriptive, her characters well-drawn. I look forward to reading the next book and see where Noah goes from here. Well done, Ms. Velden, well done!