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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

It's Winter at the Beach but Love is still in the air


The Beach Boys are back! The Beach Boys: Winter (MM)

This title is offered at a 10% discount. Offer ends midnight CST, March 4th
Outrageously gay Hudson Smith owns Hudson’s Clothing Store at Two Waters Beach. He loves his job but he wishes he had a partner to love. Elliott Greene is shy and unassertive. He’s here at the beach for a week’s vacation in mid-winter because everyone else at work wanted the warm weather for their vacation time. Elliott is cold and Hudson invites him into the store to warm up. They drink tea and talk, getting to know each other. Elliott ends up remaining in the store with Hudson all day long as they begin to get to know each other and share their stories.
Hudson is very attracted to his shy, blushing guest, and is proud when Elliott proves there’s a smart brain and a gentle humor hidden behind the bland fa├žade. Meanwhile Elliott determines to follow his grandpop’s advice and stop being too nice to everyone and instead to ask for what he wants.

Buy link: http://www.bookstrand.com/the-beach-boys-winter

STORY EXCERPT

The family left and Hudson returned to rearranging his window. He ended up following a sort of rainbow theme, with red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple items flowing across the display space.

He piled the stock which had been on display on the sales counter, and went outside to look at his window.

A man was staring at it, his shoulders hunched in a hooded sweatshirt and his hands tucked under his armpits.

“Are you cold, dahling? Come inside where it’s warmer,” said Hudson.

The man was probably waiting for his wife or kids, but he might as well warm up a little while he did so.

“Oh. I…um…thank you.”

“You’re welcome.

Hudson held the door open for him, grabbed the ladder and hurried out to the stockroom, flipping the switch on his tea kettle as he did.

Of course almost everyone preferred coffee to tea, but he was a tea drinker, particularly Earl Grey He really liked the light citrusy flavor and the uplifting feeling the tea gave him.

His guest had drifted to the men’s racks, looking at some sweatshirts, although not in the bright colors Hudson had put in the window. He was holding a black one right now. Oh well, Hudson hadn’t expected to sell him anything, just to offer him a few minutes inside in the warmth until his family had finished whatever they were doing.

He picked the little pink baseball cap up off the floor and put it back on the rack, and then took an armload of T-shirts that had been in the old window display and began hanging them where they belonged.

The man came over to him diffidently. “These sweatshirts are so thick and fleecy. They’re much nicer than the one I’m wearing. Is it okay if I try it on, please?”

“Sure. There’s a change room at the very back of the store, or you could just stand here in front of the mirror and try it.

The man blushed adorably. “I wasn’t planning to get undressed. I just didn’t want you to think I was stealing it when you’ve been so kind to me.”

“Not a problem, dahling. Let’s see if it’s a good fit for you.”

When he wasn’t hunched up with cold, he was rather good looking, Hudson thought. Two or even three inches taller than him and quite muscular as well. Not like a body-builder, but with strength and definition in his arms and chest. Hudson wished it was summer and he could see the man’s naked chest. He was sure it’d be worth giving a second look over or even a third. Hmm, oh yes, and touching him. That might be even more fun to do.

Hudson had an excellent gaydar and he was beginning to believe the man was gay. Which didn’t mean he was unattached, but hell, a man could dream.

Hudson walked behind his guest and smoothed the sweater across his back, tugging it down over his ass, and lightly brushing his hand over the man’s butt as he did so.

Hudson kept his gaze on the man’s face in the mirror, and although the blush deepened a shade, he didn’t flinch or move away. Breathing a little more heavily Hudson stepped closer behind him and smoothed his hands down the sleeves of the sweater.

“That looks very good on you. It’ll keep you nice and warm, dahling. My name’s Hudson. What’s yours?”

“Elliott. You’ve been very kind to me.”

“Are you on a schedule? If you could stay around for a while we could maybe have a cup of tea together. Or I could send out for a coffee for you if you don’t drink tea.”

“I usually drink coffee, but I’d like to have a cup of tea with you. But what about the store? Or did you mean after you shut?”

“Unfortunately it’s just me here in the winter, but we can still sit in the back room and talk. Maybe get to know each other a little.”

The man nodded firmly and patted the front of the sweater. “Let me just pay for this first. I want to leave it on. It fits well and it’s very warm.”

Hudson had visions of other ways of warming the man up, but he’d said he’d stay for a while to talk and that was an awesome starting point.

Buy link: http://www.bookstrand.com/the-beach-boys-winter


Sunday, February 22, 2015

#medievalmonday2015 – The Bruised Thistle


Please welcome author Ashley York today.

#medievalmonday2015 – The Bruised Thistle


My feature is the first in The Order of the Scottish Thistle Series – The Bruised Thistle.

Blurb: Iseabail MacNaughton, the orphaned daughter of a Scottish laird, is forced to flee her home and seek assistance against her lecherous uncle who has usurped her family’s land. When she meets Seumas, a strong and valiant mercenary, she cannot help wondering if he could be the one to stand with her again her uncle. But with a price on her head and enemies on all sides, her trust is not something she can afford to give lightly…
Seumas MacDonell is a man wounded in body and soul, driven by guilt. When he rescues Iseabail from one of his own men, he cannot deny the attraction he feels for her, despite the wound that left him unable to act on it. In the hope of finding redemption for his sins, he agrees to help Iseabail…but will his feeling for her prove to be the ultimate obstacle to his salvation?

EXCERPT:
“Methinks ye wish to place a curse on me with that look of yers… What is yer name?”
Though she jumped at the sound of his voice, she could not help watching as he poured water from a pitcher to a bowl sitting on the table beside the fire. Mesmerized by the motion and the play of firelight over his expansive chest, she did not notice right away when he stopped his movements. She met his eyes. Her heart beat faster and that strange heat centered in her belly again.
He quirked a brow. “I asked ye a question and I expect an answer…or do ye not know how to act with yer betters?”
Her better? Though she seethed inside, Iseabail bit her tongue before she gave herself away. If he but knew how much land her clan called their own…
Nay, Iseabail. Remember the part you play here.
Lowering her eyes, she quietly answered him. “Forgive me, m’lord. I forget myself.” Unsure what else the charade called for, she curtseyed slightly.
“Yer name?” He still didn’t move. His brows were raised in expectation yet again.
“My name is Iseabail.”
He nodded, apparently appeased. “And my name is Seumas.”
His face settled into a slight smile and he continued with his washing. His muscles flexed as he rubbed across his chest and down his arms, scrubbing the soap into lather then rinsing it clean until his skin glistened. When he finished, he reached for the cloth beside him but turned his face to her.
She exhaled slowly.
“Come here, Iseabail.”
His tone was coaxing, as if speaking to a newly harnessed foal. She took the few steps toward him. When he reached for her face, she tensed and her mouth went dry. He was no better than her uncle, after all, and disappointment washed over her. She glanced down, steeling herself for the imminent assault, before facing him. His hand stopped just short of her face. Their eyes met and she could tell he was insulted by his tight lips and furrowed brow.
He wiped her cheek with a wet finger. “Ye’re filthy,” he said with disgust. “Make use of my water and be quick about it.” Seumas walked away, rubbing his hands dry.

Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Apple:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00HAF9TI2
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-bruised-thistle-ashley-york/1117746350?ean=9780990864004
http://store.kobobooks.com/en-au/books/the-bruised-thistle-1/I6gtXkNwd0C3PY5rE3OFtQ?MixID=I6gtXkNwd0C3PY5rE3OFtQ&PageNumber=1
https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id949291249
website: www.ashleyyorkauthor.com

Video: https://animoto.com/play/pudY6nbT1fP1Gr2T8yFOxg

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Medieval Monday: Love Those Knight and Ladies



THE HEART OF THE PHOENIX by Barbara Bettis.

Excerpt:
At first, Evie thought it was the thud of her headache. Then the pounding came again, louder. She groaned and turned over. Opening her eyes told nothing; the blackness in the cabin was impenetrable.

“Marie?” Her voice rasped in a dry throat. Blasted tears.

No one answered. The girl must still be on deck. Evie might as well have left Marie behind, for all the assistance the maid provided. With a groan, she swung her feet over the side of the bunk and felt her way along the wall toward the sound of another insistent knock.

“A moment,” she called. “I’m coming.” Who had the nerve to wake her in what must be
the middle of the night? Hah. Need she even wonder? Her toe collided with something, and she yelped as she landed on her knees on the wood plank floor. Just what she needed. A broken foot.

The door burst open, bringing with it a dim light. “What’s wrong?” Stephen’s deep voice filled the room. “Where’s the damned lantern?”

“If I knew, I would have lighted it.” Blasted man. Did he think she enjoyed stumbling around in the dark? He acted as if she did so just to plague him.

Holding a shielded ship’s lantern high, he stepped toward the desk. “Here it is. Where’s that lightskirt who’s supposed to be your companion?”

“Leave Marie alone. I wanted privacy and gave her permission go above.” Never mind that Evie had just complained about the same thing. He had no right to do so.

“What do you want?” she asked. “Is something wrong?”

“A little late to ask that, isn’t it?” He bent to coax the cabin lantern to flame.

“Oh, for the love of heaven. Stop plaguing me. Why are you here?”

“I thought you’d like to know the identity of our fellow passenger.”

“At this hour? Could you not have waited until morning?” Sweet Mary, preserve her patience. He was the most maddening man alive.

Light flared in the cabin’s shuttered lantern, throwing a shadow across his face, reminding Evie of another reason he should not be here. Her body instantly throbbed to life.

She pressed her palms against her stomach and inhaled. Calm. She needed calm. He was not the most beautiful man she’d ever beheld. He did not possess the power to heat her blood to boiling.

He did not care that she thought of him night and day.

That much was true, for certain.
“I have news that will make the rest of your trip joyful.”

His words centered her whirling mind, and Evie eyed him warily. What news could possible make her happy right now?

She ventured a guess. “You are leaving? Your second in command, the delightful Sir Macsen, will accompany me the rest of the way home?”

“Much better.”

She could tell he was angry now by the way he glowered and roared in that whispery sort of way no one else could hear, but left her with no doubt of his displeasure.

“Your betrothed.” He bent and scooped her off the floor.

“What? What about him?”

“That’s the identity of the illustrious lord who crosses to England with us.”

“You’re drunk. And put me down. I’m perfectly capable of getting up on my own.”

“Be quiet. You have blood on your leg.”

“Of course I do. I tripped and fell trying to answer your pounding when you could as easily have opened—“ His words finally penetrated her throbbing head. “I’m bleeding?”

Oh, blast. The contents of her—empty—stomach churned. She attended the villagers’ hurts, bound the cuts and scrapes of servants and their children. The sight of their blood bothered her not a whit.

But her own? Black spots danced at the corners of her vision, becoming larger and larger until she heard Stephen’s voice.

“Evie, Evie. What the hell?”

His voice echoed so far away. If she didn’t know better, she’d vow he sounded alarmed. Perhaps she’d close her eyes for a moment.

As the ringing in her ears crescendoed , she recalled his words. Betrothed.

Her betrothed was on board?

Dear Lord, just let me die.


Blurb:

Some call him a ruthless mercenary; she calls him the knight of her heart.

Memories
LadyEvelynn’s childhood hero is home—bitter, hard, tempting as sin. And haunted by secrets. A now-grown Evie offers friendship, but Sir Stephen's cruel rejection crushes her, and she resolves to forget him. Yet when an unexpected war throws them together, she finds love isn’t so easy to dismiss. If only the king hadn’t betrothed her to another.
Can be cruel
Sir Stephen lives a double life while he seeks the treacherous outlaws who murdered his friends. Driven by revenge, he thinks his heart is closed to love. His childhood shadow, Lady Evie, unexpectedly challenges that belief. He rebuffs her, but he can’t forget her, although he knows she’s to wed the king’s favorite.
And deadly
When his drive for vengeance leads to Evie’s kidnapping, Stephen must choose between retribution and the love he’s denied too long. Surely King John will see reason. Convict the murderers; convince the king. Simple. Until a startling revelation threatens everything.


Buy links:
Amazon: http://bitly.com/1vSZgLG
The Wild Rose Press: http://bitly.com/1nIViQz
Website: http://www.barbarabettis.blogspot.com/

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OEPYbGWkYI0

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The Beach Boys: Fall


At Two Waters Beach it's fall now and time for another MM romance.

Saber Crouch is ready to settle down and find his soulmate. But everyone at Two Waters beach where he is vacationing is already with a partner or a family. Until he sees Moses Sandler.
Moses doesn’t believe he’s worthy of having a partner. He feels old and fat. His boyfriend left him and his sister told him he was likely to have a heart attack if he didn’t lose weight. Despite all this Moses can’t help being drawn to Saber.
The attraction between them is undeniable, even though Moses can’t believe he’s worthy of the attention of such a handsome, fit man as Saber. Nevertheless they progress at the speed of light from meeting, to touching, to bed. Not that they actually reach the bed. The sand is much closer and all they need is a flat surface.
Moses is very afraid this is going to be a one-night stand. Or, at the most, a few days’ fling.

Buy link: http://www.bookstrand.com/the-beach-boys-fall

Adult Excerpt

They swam up and down beside the sandbar for a while longer, and Moses felt himself gaining confidence as they splashed and hung out together.
Saber duck-dived into the water and picked up a piece of seaweed and threw it at Moses. “Catch!”
“What the fuck? I thought you didn’t like getting water in your ears.”
“I don’t.”
“Well how about seaweed in your ears?” Moses threw the wet blob back at Saber, deliberately aiming at the side of his head.
Saber grinned widely, his blue eyes flashing in the sunlight and Moses knew it was game on.
For the next five minutes they wrestled each other in and out of the water. The seaweed drifted away, and Saber’s hat came off. Moses threw it onto the sandbar, but Saber didn’t go after it. Instead he used Moses’s distraction, to wrap his leg around Moses’s calves and flip him over.
Moses sank under the water, gulping a mouthful of ocean before getting his feet under himself again and bending down to grab Saber’s hips. Somehow he ended up with his hand hooked through the waistband of Saber’s board shorts and he brushed across a very impressive erection. Instantly his own dick went hard and he stood up straight looking into Saber’s eyes.
“Yes. I want you. And you want me, too.”
Moses nodded. His body was burning with lust even though he was chest-deep in water and hardly knew this man. But he did know he wanted him.
Saber pulled Moses hard against himself and ground his cock across Moses’s dick.
Heat and lust raced through Moses and he rubbed back, wrapping his arms around Saber just under the waterline for privacy. If there could even be such a thing as privacy on a public beach in the middle of the day. Moses couldn’t resist sliding his palm inside Saber’s board shorts and cupping the blond’s taut ass. Actually gripping the hard cock pressing into his own dick would have been even better but he liked being jammed against this semi-stranger too much to step back even to hold his cock.
And then all the air was sucked from his lungs as his board shorts were pushed off his hips and a big hand grabbed his dick and began methodically stroking it from root to tip.
“What—?”
“Sh. No one can tell what’s going on under the water. I’d like to kiss you as well, but people could see that. Right now, no one on the beach can see anything more than our heads, and anyone on a boat won’t be coming this close to the sandbar so we’re safe.”
“Safe?” Moses could barely gasp the word out as Saber gave a wicked little twist to his hand that almost made him come on the spot. But then he realized that two could play this game as well. He gripped the ass he was holding tighter and used both hands to massage the taut muscles there, before sliding a tentative finger into Saber’s butt crack.
Instantly Saber widened his legs, and tugged harder on Moses’s cock. Moses wanted to do more. To touch Saber more intimately, but he was going to come any moment now and he was struggling to believe that he was even doing this with a man he’d only known for half an hour and on a tourist beach where dozens of people were only a few hundred yards away from them.
He teased a finger around Saber’s back door, and slid it just inside the tight muscle ring and then groaned as cum burst out of his cock all over his belly and Saber’s hand.
Moses’s entire body jerked in release, half of his reaction delight and the other half astonishment that he was even doing this. And then he concentrated on Saber. This man, this almost stranger, had pleasured him and deserved equal treatment.
Moses took hold of Saber’s cock, running his fingernails over the head and across the ridge where the cockhead and shaft joined. At the same tome he pressed his finger deeper into Saber’s ass, and twisted his digit, feeling for the hard little ball of Saber’s prostate gland.
“Shit!” Saber exploded over his hand before he even realized he’d been successful.
Quickly he pulled Saber tighter against his body and held him as he shook.
Saber gripped his face and possessed his lips in a quick, harsh kiss, and then they moved a little apart to rise off in the water surrounding them.
“Let’s sit on the sand bar and talk. It’s time we got acquainted,” said Saber.
Moses just stared at him. “I reckon we just got acquainted, but yes.”
It was only then he remembered his overweight belly and wondered if, once Saber saw him properly, he’d regret what they’d done and not want to spend any more time with him.

Buy link: http://www.bookstrand.com/the-beach-boys-fall

Sunday, February 8, 2015

It's Medieval Monday. The Highlander’s Tempestuous Bride


Welcome to Medieval Monday! My guest today is Cathy MacRae, with "The Highlander’s Tempestuous Bride".

What happens when the sixteen-year-old daughter of the laird, destined to dutifully marry to benefit the clan, falls in love with the wrong lad? In Medieval times, punishments ranged from forced marriage to the man chosen by the laird, to imprisonment, life in a nunnery, or even death.
Gilda does not set out to defy her parents, but when she falls in love with the son of the laird of a neighboring clan that has been at war with hers for years, things are bound to go wrong.

Book cover blurb:
Returning home after a ten-year absence, Ryan Macraig falls for a fiery, red-haired lass from the wrong side of the firth. He can’t ignore his need to see her again, even knowing she must be a hated Macrory.
Gilda Macrory trespasses Macraig land, but haunting memories of the young man she once met there draw her to the forbidden place. Learning he is Laird Macraig’s son threatens her dreams, for her father would never agree to a marriage between his daughter and their enemy’s son.
With pirates raiding the coast, bad blood between the Macraig and Macrory clans could cost Ryan and Gilda their love—and their lives.


Excerpt:
“Are ye sure . . .” A quick stride took him back to her side.
Gilda jerked the knot at her waist and the skirt fell free, but not before Ryan got a glimpse of slender ankles. She settled an arch look on him and it was all he could do to keep from laughing at the regal air she portrayed.
“I am fine. I am also certain I will not meet ye here again?” Though couched as a question, her tone indicated she’d rather see anyone other than him the next time she ventured out to pick berries.
Ryan shrugged. “I think the berries are about finished for the year. Mayhap the Macraig cook will send a lad out to pick the rest. We like sweets like jams and pastries at Ard Castle, too, ye know.”
“Goodness knows the men at Ard Castle need sweetening,” Gilda shot back, her cheeks pinking as she clearly regretted her quick retort.
“A kiss from a pretty lass would help sweeten this Macraig’s disposition.” Ryan marveled at the swirling colors changing Gilda’s eyes from silver to stormy gray.
Though a well-trained young warrior, Ryan was not quick enough to dodge the palm of Gilda’s hand as it made stinging contact with his cheek. He rubbed his jaw ruefully. He should have remembered though the lass had fascinating gray eyes, she also possessed fiery red hair and a temper to match.
He opened his mouth to apologize, but Gilda had already spun, her back ramrod straight as she marched away, the handle of her basket gripped tight in one hand. The other hand clenched and opened, possibly to relieve the answering sting he felt on his cheek, perhaps echoing a desire to encircle his neck.
Ryan grinned. He would have regretted the apology, anyway.

Buy links: http://www.amazon.com/Highlanders-Tempestuous-Bride-Book-ebook/dp/B00P89UHME/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1415196871&sr=8-3&keywords=cathy+macrae

Cathy's website: www.cathymacraeauthor.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cathy-MacRae-Author/349522085132210?ref=hl

A video about our medieval Monday books: https://animoto.com/play/pudY6nbT1fP1Gr2T8yFOxg

Monday, February 2, 2015

Time Enough to Love on Medieval Monday


BELEAGUERED, Book 3 of Time Enough to Love:

When death holds sway in the world, can even the greatest love survive?

Finally in France, Alyse and Thomas return to their roles as courtiers to Princess Joanna. Their passion for one another continues to smolder hot and deep—until one fateful encounter changes everything.

During a formal banquet, Alyse must share an intimate dance with Geoffrey, her first love. His searing touch proves Alyse’s love and desire for him is as strong as when they first met. Tormented by this revelation, Alyse is bitterly torn between the love of her life and her love for her husband.

Into this agonizing situation, the disaster of the Black Death rears its head, decimating the princess’s retinue and threatening all their lives. Alyse, Thomas and Geoffrey must try to save the princess from the ravening disease but at a dire cost to themselves. With her world plunged into chaos, Alyse struggles with her feelings for both of the men she loves. But which love will survive?


EXCERPT FROM Beleaguered:
Geoffrey hurried on with a suggestion. “’Twould be the work of a few moments for me to teach it you, my lady.”
It would have to serve. She shot a look over her shoulder at her husband, who nodded and laughed with the princess though his eyes were trained on her. Best get on with it then. The sooner ’twas done, the better.
“Your skill at dancing is such that you would certainly learn the steps with but slight instruction from me.” Geoffrey leaned so close his voice, against her ear made her jump and recall herself. She stepped back and looked at him.
His practiced courtier’s smile flickered at her, and she caught something deeper shining in his eyes that she fought not to see. Her heart stuttered a beat.Her body flushed with the anticipation of dancing with him again even as misgivings swirled in her mind. No good would come of this dance, but Thomas watched closely to see that she acted cordially to Geoffrey. Would that it was an act.
With a sense of heavy foreboding, she extended her hand to him. “Very well, Sir Geoffrey. What must I do first?”
He placed her hand atop his arm and led her to their place in the circle of dancers then grasped her hand to pull her around to face him.
The moment his hand touched her skin, a streak of fire shot through her. Her mouth went dry, and her gaze flew to his face. Surely he felt that as well?
He stared back, his eyes mirroring all too clearly the blaze that coursed up her arm.
Damn Geoffrey Longford.
In a daze, she looked around at the other dancers, expecting them to stare accusingly at her. As if they could see this sinful feeling that tore at her soul. At a loss for how to act, she raised her gaze to beseech Geoffrey. “What do we do now?”
’Twas an apt question for, God forgive her, at the touch of Geoffrey’s hand, all thought of her husband had fled. She was back on the deck of the Phillipa, facing him once more. Loving him once more.
Geoffrey cleared his throat, his face flushed, and said simply, “Follow me.”
Then they were twirling around the circle, hands clasped, arms touching intimately, He seemed to brand her wherever he touched. The figure reversed, and her other side was scorched as if a red-hot blade seared her. Her gaze locked onto Geoffrey’s, and the music, the dancers, the Great Hall and all its inhabitants melted away until all that was left was the whisper of his breath in her ear and the heat of his body pressed close against her.
He leaned in closer to whisper, “I must lift you now.”
Before she could grasp that staggering news, his arm went around her waist and he lifted her, twirling them around full circle. She panted, blood pounding in her temples, roaring in her ears.
They continued to dance, but she moved as though she were a doll made of rags, her legs barely able to stand. Her world narrowed to the single source of light and life that was the man who held her in his arms again. The man whose love she could no longer deny. Despite the agony of the betrayal, in the core of her being she knew neither the vows she had spoken to Thomas nor the passion they had enjoyed in his bed would ever match the intensity of love and belonging she shared with Geoffrey. As soon compare a candle’s flame to the sun.

Buy link for Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Beleaguered-Book-Time-Enough-Love-ebook/dp/B00LR5WDKC/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1420515726&sr=1-1&keywords=beleaguered

website: http://jennajaxon.wordpress.com

More medieval Monday for you here:
https://animoto.com/play/pudY6nbT1fP1Gr2T8yFOxg

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Mary Menage Reviews Valentine's Authors' Tour


Good news for lovers of menages. Mary is featuring a passel of menage authors on her blog from 9-17 February.

All the details are still secret, including who is participating, but there will be a lot of menage goodness. That's guaranteed.

Her blog is: https://marymenage.wordpress.com/