Even if you have the biggest TBR pile in the world, it’s always hard to resist stocking up on a new title or two whenever a sale comes along. And to mark Read An E-book Week, Tirgearr Publishing is throwing one of their excellent Smashwords sales. This means all Tirgearr titles priced above 99c are available at half price until March 13th. If you haven’t read it already (and why not), you can get your hands on my historical romance novella, One Knight In Muiden, part of the City Knights series for this bargain price. If you love handsome knights and tales of innocent deception that turn into something more complicated, this is the one for you. To find the book on Smashwords, click on the link below, and don’t forget to use the code EBW50 when you check out. And keep reading those e-books!
I’m very happy to have authors Ryan Taylor and Joshua Harwood here today. Their new holiday-hockey romance, Nice Catching You, has just been released. Ryan and Josh are not only co-authors, but they’re married in real life. Let’s get right into things, guys. Why do you write, and when did you start?
RYAN: We began writing our first book, No Brief Affair, in mid-2017, after we got home from our honeymoon. Our love story was and is a beautiful thing, and we were so incredibly proud of what we had. We wanted to honor and celebrate it. A lot of our own story is in that book.
JOSH: That’s right. There’s a lot of fiction in there, but much of it is either true or closely related to real events.
Is that true of all your books?
RYAN: Only in the sense that we can’t write without putting something of ourselves into the characters. I’m not sure any author can to be honest.
JOSH: There’s more true or somewhat-true material in Legally Bound simply because it’s the continuation of No Brief Affair.
Let’s move to the new book, Nice Catching You. What is it about?
JOSH: Nice Catching You tells the story of two lonely young men, Nick and Jacob, who find each other. Nick is a nationally known college hockey star who’s never found his way out of the closet. Jacob is a law student at Nick’s university. He’s been out for a long time but had no luck with love.
RYAN: Since Nick is a celebrity, it doesn’t take long for word of the romance to spread. Once it does, some people go nuts. National news reporters flood the college, the university administration freaks out, fans are all over the place, and Nick’s team and coaches are split in their responses.
JOSH: That’s the book’s conflict, and the story is about how Nick and Jacob deal with it. We always have happy endings, so it isn’t a question of whether the guys will get one, but how.
You’ve said the book deals with the issue of homophobia in sports. Can you explain that?
RYAN: I think the better way to say it is that Nice Catching You shines a light on the issue. There’s homophobia in organized sports, for sure. But there are also many decent, open people who support a person’s right to live an authentic life.
JOSH: People who realize that the sex of the person a player loves has nothing to do with their ability or value as a player.
RYAN: There’s never been an openly gay player for an NHL team while he was actively playing, but that’s going to change, probably soon. There are already openly gay players in college and junior hockey, and they’re outstanding.
JOSH: The smart people who run professional hockey teams aren’t going to exclude some of the best players out there simply because they’re gay.
If there are already gay college and junior players, what is the point of your story?
RYAN: Look, we’re sitting here talking about how there actually are openly gay players now. It’s something worth commenting about. Recently, a top junior hockey player came out, and it was big news. It’s still an unusual, controversial thing.
JOSH: Nice Catching You is timely and relevant because a player’s being gay is big news, and people are divided about whether it’s “right for the sport.”
RYAN: Josh and I look forward to the day when a player is no more newsworthy for being gay than for being straight.
That sounds great. What would you say to people who ask why they should read Nice Catching You?
RYAN: It’s a beautiful love story involving a great sport. The book is cute, funny, and full of hope.
JOSH: There’s a serious side, but it’s a happy book. After the year we’ve all had, people need something to help them believe it’s possible to overcome difficult situations.
RYAN: If you want something to give you lots of feels, and to bring the holiday season alive with its promise of hope and good tidings, Nice Catching You is the book to read.
One last very important question. Is there any actual hockey in the book?
RYAN: Get out of here! There’s great hockey in the book.
JOSH: Nick is the top college hockey star in the country. What kind of book wouldn’t have him playing the game?
RYAN: Read it and see. You’ll love the action!
Sounds awesome to me. I can’t wait to read it. Thanks for being with us, guys, and good luck with the book. It’s Nice Catching You: A Holiday Love Story.
Interview by Jerome Clark
Nice Catching You is available at Amazon for Kindle, Kindle Unlimited, and in paperback.
US Link: http://bit.ly/NiceCatchingYou
Universal Link: mybook.to/NiceCatchingYou
Find all Ryan and Josh’s social media through their Linktree: https://linktr.ee/ryan.josh.
Title: Nice Catching You: A Holiday Love Story
Author: Ryan Taylor & Joshua Harwood
Release Date: 10/30/2020
Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex
Length: 84,000 words
Genre: Romance, Gay Holiday Romance, Contemporary Gay Romance, Holiday Romance
What happens when the No. 1 college hockey star in the country falls in love—with a man?
Nick Johnson, a top prospect for a pro hockey team, has a secret: he’s gay. Tired of living in the closet for the sport he loves, he sees no way out.
Jacob Meyer’s string of bad boyfriends left him cynical about love. Instead, he focuses on his studies as a third-year law student. With a new job waiting for him, he’s eager to graduate and move on.
On a school-sponsored trip, Nick and Jacob meet in a most unexpected way. When Nick tells Jacob his secret, they decide to hang out, just as friends. But their attraction is too strong to ignore, and they soon begin dating.
Since Nick is a big man on campus, it doesn’t take long for people to notice his attachment to Jacob. All hell breaks loose when the relationship gets out. As the national media descends, university officials try to figure out how to solve their “problem.” Their efforts divide Nick’s team, inflame fans, and put Nick and Jacob’s futures in jeopardy. Will the men be able to survive a plot to destroy them without derailing both their careers?
Nice Catching You is an out-for-you romance featuring a lot of love, exciting hockey, and a beautiful holiday. There’s also plenty of steam and a very happy ending.
Sunday, December 4
I haven’t been on many buses, but I was starting to think I might die on this one. The snow began falling before we left Whiteface Mountain early in the afternoon, not unusual for one of the top ski resorts in the Northeast. We were due in Syracuse before six, and I hoped the weather didn’t delay us much. The last week of classes would start the next day, and I had work to do.
The snow was coming down hard, and by the time we reached I-87, I could see very little out the window. Many of the cars had pulled over to the side, and others were creeping along with their hazards flashing. Our bus joined the traffic and immediately began slipping all over the road.
With fifty-odd college students on the trip, there had been a lot of noise when we left the resort, but nerves had soon taken over, and people were mostly quiet now. I sat alone, three rows from the back of the bus, trying to read a case for Federal Courts. With only one more semester of law school to go, I needed to do well. A big firm in Boston offered me a job right before Thanksgiving, contingent on my maintaining a 3.8 GPA. Pulling a C in Fed Courts would bring me slightly under the requirement. Although I had high hopes for a job in DC, I couldn’t risk losing the Boston offer.
Between the bus sliding in the snow and the constant chatter from the guys in the seat behind me, I couldn’t concentrate at all. They were hockey players, and they kept up a conversation about the game, other players, cars, and whatever else dumb undergrad jocks talk about. They were the only people behind me except for their friend, who was passed out on a seat in the back.
Whoa! The rear end of the bus lurched violently into the left lane. I tried to grab something to hold onto, but I was already airborne by the time I dropped the heavy casebook. Hands grabbed my shoulders but didn’t slow my momentum. Dreading the impact with the seat across the aisle, I screwed my eyes shut and held my breath. All at once, something stopped me. Rather, someone stopped me, and that someone had brawny arms and a hard body. He’d caught me in midair.
“You all right?”
“What?” On my back in the man’s arms, facing the top of the bus, I couldn’t see much. I turned my head, trying to find out who had hold of me.
I craned my neck in the other direction just as he leaned over, and it was—shit!—one of the hockey guys who’d been sitting behind me. I’d seen him over the weekend with his buddies, at least one of whom had laughed at me the whole time. Now they’d laugh even harder, and I’d be known as the skinny little runt who couldn’t even stay in his seat—the twit who had to be rescued by a real man.
Purchase at Amazon
Meet the Author
Ryan Taylor and Joshua Harwood met in law school and were married in 2017. They live in a suburb of Washington, DC, and share their home with a big, cuddly German shepherd. Ryan and Josh enjoy travel, friends, and advocating for causes dear to their hearts. Ryan also loves to swim, and Josh likes to putter in the garden whenever he can. The romance they were so lucky to find with each other inspires their stories about love between out and proud men.
11/2 Love Bytes Reviews http://lovebytesreviews.com/
11/3 The (Really) Naughty Corner https://elizabethcoldwell.wordpress.com
11/4 My Fiction Nook https://myfictionnook.com
11/5 Two Chicks Obsessed with Books and Eye Candy http://twochicksobsessed.com/
11/6 Joyfully Jay http://joyfullyjay.com
Ryan and Joshua are offering one lucky reader the chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card. You can enter via the Rafflecopter page – just click here. Good luck!
This tour was organised by Indigo Marketing and Design
It’s the spookiest time of year, and that means lots of delicious ghost stories to enjoy. Two of the themes I love writing about most are the paranormal and rock bands, and in The Ghost of You, I had the chance to do both (and borrow a title from My Chemical Romance, because they kind of deserve it…)
The Ghost of You follows what happens to Casey when his lover, rock star and recovering alcoholic Fisher Kelty dies from an overdose of booze and pills. The press think it was suicide, the coroner rules it an accidental death, and Casey tries to pick up the remnants of his life. But when strange things start happening to him, is Fisher trying to get back in touch with him, and if so, why?
Here’s an extract from the story that will hopefully give you chills of the nicest kind
Stepping under the steamy spray, I couldn’t help but let out a deep sigh of contentment. I reached for the bottle of shower gel, poured a generous amount into my palm and rubbed the creamy lather over my skin. The heady scent of lavender and chamomile, designed to relax and soothe, filled the little shower stall, and the steady pulse of the water beat down on me, like dozens of fingers gently massaging my scalp and back.
I relaxed into the sensation as it grew more intense, resting my palms against the tiled wall. It really felt as if someone were kneading the muscles in my shoulders, using their thumbs to ease out the knots of tension that had built while I’d hunched over the racks in Boardwalk Sounds, sorting the recently acquired albums.
“Mmm, that feels so good,” I murmured to no one in particular, overcome with the temptation to reach down and grab hold of my cock. Go on, a seductive voice in my head whispered, do it. You need this. How long is it since you jerked yourself off?
I let my hand drop to the base of my shaft and skim lightly along its length. Pleasure rippled through my belly and my knees went weak as I gave myself over to stroking and caressing myself. I closed my eyes and lifted my head, letting the hot spray trickle down my face and neck.
It had to be my imagination, but I swore I felt the press of a body against mine. The phantom touch moved lower, gliding down the planes of my lower back and coming to rest on my ass cheeks before digging in hard. I gasped in shock and stopped playing with myself. No imagining things now. The hard length of a cock nestled between my butt cheeks and something—or someone—had squeezed my ass.
When I glanced behind me, for the briefest moment I caught a glimpse of Fisher, hair wet, broad chest bare and so insubstantial I saw all the way through it to the clear glass door of the shower stall. Then he disappeared, and so did his grip on my ass.
Shocked, I shut off the water and leaped out of the shower. As I grabbed a towel and wrapped it around me, my cock stood up hard, proof of how turned-on I’d been—still was, if I were honest.
There’s no such thing as ghosts, I told myself as my hard-on wilted and my heart rate slowed to something approaching normal. And if even if they did exist, they’d roam the halls of ruined castles, or spooky old Gothic mansions, not this modern, glass-fronted home overlooking the beach. But try as I might to make myself believe otherwise, in my heart I knew I’d been up close and personal with a specter bearing Fisher’s face.
It seems every day of the year is dedicated to commemorating some unique, quirky or bizarre event – whether that’s officially going caroling, talking like a pirate or being Ed Balls – and today just happens to be World Lion Day. Founded by the Big Cat Rescue organisation, it aims to pay tribute to the beautiful and majestic lion while raising awareness of the threats posed by poachers, disease and everything else that has led to them being placed on the endangered species list.
As you might know from reading my books, the Lionhearts MM shifter romance series in particular, I adore lions (and pretty much all big cats), so to mark World Lion Day, here’s a couple of gorgeous shots of the animals for you:
One unforgettable summer, nerdy student Noah finds his stay at his grandmother’s home in New Hampshire enlivened beyond his wildest dreams by the presence of the handyman’s nephew, Spiro. The handsome young Greek is Noah’s opposite in just about every way, but they make an almost instant connection.
Twelve years later, unable to get his first love out of his head and tired of all his romances failing, Noah makes the impulsive decision to fly out to the tiny Greek island of Lemnos in the hope of finding Spiro. But is he heading on a wild goose chase, and what will happen if he and Spiro finally meet again after all this time.
Far Away is an interesting romance that plays with the always seductive idea of ‘the one who got away’, and the thought that when you do find closure in an unfinished relationship it will end with a Happily Ever After. The Greek island setting is nicely described, making you feel you can almost feel the waves lapping at your feet and taste the stifado, and Spiros is more than just an exotic hunk, with heart and depth. Bryan T Clark ensures that things don’t go too smoothly or predictably for Noah, who’s an unusual character in that he suffers from IBS – not a condition that often rears its uncomfortable head in romance fiction. Noah is also a twin, and the death of his brother when they were both children informs many of Noah’s decisions, as well as those of his parents. There’s a moment or two in the book when the descriptions of Noah’s mother’s behaviour make you think she might become a study in the grief caused by losing a child, which would humanise her as a character. Instead, she’s simply presented as the standard homophobic bitch – a sadly recurring fate for too many female relatives in MM romance. But that quibble aside, Far Away has much to recommend it if you’re looking to immerse yourself in the seductive vibe of a holiday love affair.
I was given a copy of Far Away by Lori at Indigo Marketing and Design in return for an honest review.
I’ve become a big fan of ambience – I mean the videos you find on YouTube and the tracks on Spotify designed to create a mood or a time and a place. Often, these are pure ‘white noise’ – everything from pounding rain to the sound of a washing machine churning, which many people find aid them in drifting off to sleep. But an increasing number of very talented people are creating – or recreating – soundtracks with any number of voices, sounds, or pieces of music woven together to whisk you off to somewhere less mundane than the room where you’re working or studying. Some of them are even based on books, for fans of the Harry Potter series or Tolkien’s epic fantasy doorstops. But you don’t have to look too hard to find one that could be the perfect accompaniment to the romance books in your TBR pile.
For instance, on a channel called Ambience of Yesteryear, I found this little beauty. To me, it really enhances the scene in my mediaeval romance, One Knight in Muiden, where the story’s heroine, Lady Swaneke, begins to grow increasingly attracted to the brooding and mysterious knight, Sir Alwin, as the characters eat together in the great hall of Muiden Castle. Take a listen and see what you think – and if you know of any other great ambient sounds I should be checking out why don’t you leave me a comment.
And if you haven’t yet read One Knight In Muiden, now’s a great time to pick up a copy, as all the Tirgearr books that aren’t perma-priced at 99p/99c are currently on sale for half price in the Smashwords summer sale.
You can find more details about both One Knight in Muiden and my City Nights book, One Night in Brussels, on my Tirgearr publishing page, and if you click on the graphic below you’ll be taken to the Smashwords site for One Knight in Muiden. Don’t forget to use the code SSW50 at checkout, and happy reading, whatever you choose as the background noise to accompany it!
Dreaming of Italian sunshine but know you won’t be travelling any time soon? Well, I can offer you a dreamy Tuscan getaway, complete with a handsome dominant who knows exactly what to do with ropes and the power of his command.
Tamed In Tuscany is part of the Totally Bound/Pride Publishing Rules of Summer collection, featuring steamy BDSM tales set in the hottest months of the year. It’s the story of Isabel, who is sent on a networking retreat by her boss, only to discover one of the other participants in this select event is her former master, Kelvin, who broke her heart when he ended their relationship and returned to New York. Emotions are stirred up, and when Kelvin wants to pick up where he left off, Isabel knows she should say no, but the thought of being under his instruction once more is too much to resist.
Here’s a short excerpt to whet your appetite:
Kelvin took a seat on the bed and reached out to grasp my hand. He pulled me down to sit next to him. “There’s an old Chinese legend which states there is an invisible red thread connecting those who are destined to meet, regardless of time, place or circumstance. And though this thread may stretch or tangle, it will never break.” He stroked his thumb in gentle circles over my palm. “I believe we are joined by that thread, Isabel, and have been since the day we met.”
“It’s a lovely story, but I don’t believe in fate or destiny or whatever you want to call it.”
Kelvin laughed. “Well, it might be I am simply more superstitious than you. Blame my upbringing if you like. I’m sure you still have feelings for me, though, and I intend to prove it.”
“How?” Coming from anyone else, such a casually overconfident statement would have infuriated me. From Kelvin, it was a simple statement of fact, even though I didn’t want to admit it. Part of me yearned to turn my head to his and capture his soft, full lips in a kiss, to sink to my knees at his feet and beg him to master me again. But I’d given in to those yearnings before and it had left me bruised and broken when he’d walked away from our relationship.
“I would like a sign from you that you’re willing to submit to me again. That you feel the tug of the red thread between us, as I believe you do. At dinner tonight, I want you to excuse yourself from the table at exactly eight o’clock, go to the bathroom, remove your underwear, and bring it back to me.”
My eyes went wide and I opened my mouth to respond to his outrageous suggestion, but the words died on my lips. At the thought of carrying out his command, a pulse began to beat hard between my legs. However much I might object, this simple act of submission turned me on.
Kelvin held up a finger. “Don’t say yes or no right now. When eight o’clock comes around, I’ll have my answer. And I should leave you to change. I’ll see you for drinks on the terrace, okay?”
With that, he rose from the bed. Once he had left the room, I picked up my hairbrush and threw it at the door. How dare he stroll back into my life and want to pick up as if the past eight years hadn’t happened? How could he sweep aside all the hurt so easily? Yet there’d been a trace of sadness in his eyes when he’d talked about leaving me, a faint sign of the guilt and remorse I’d always longed for him to express. I’d never seen Kelvin Lim appear as exposed as he had in that moment.
If you want to find out more, Tamed In Tuscany is available to preorder now from https://www.firstforromance.com/book/tamed-in-tuscany. Buona lettura! (That’s happy reading in Italian…)
Harry Alexander and Grant Hunter have both made their names on reality shows, but while Grant is happy to milk his fame for all it’s worth, Harry is tiring of being famous for nothing more than having been on TV. When they bump into each other at a nightclub where Harry’s making a personal appearance, it’s obvious there’s a connection between them, but Harry really doesn’t like Grant’s co-stars on the show Sexy Northerners, and unfortunately where Grant goes the rest of his crew are never too far behind. Can the two men ever get together for long enough to act on their desires for each other, or are they destined to be celebrity ships that pass in the night?
Never Too Famous is a fun, hot novella that taps into our current obsession for reality TV and the outrageous micro-celebs these shows create. Harry is an ‘old school’ star, in that he became famous for actually doing a job – in this case, an engineer on a cruise ship – while Grant is from a show that, like Geordie Shore, Made In Chelsea and their ilk, simply features a cast of pretty young things fighting, shagging, and agonising about every last detail of their hook-ups. It wouldn’t surprise me to learn that Thom Collins has spent some time working in TV, because he really captures the vibe of the low-rent TV chat shows where characters like Grant and Harry would wring out the last drops of their fame, and he has plenty to say about the people who are willing to distort their looks with cosmetic surgery, release sex tapes, and generally do whatever desperate things it takes to stay in the public eye.
Harry and Grant are nicely contrasted as characters, with the older Harry initially appearing the more grounded one in relation to the brash, cocky Grant, but as the story progresses and Grant finds himself trying to help a friend who is getting sucked deeper into the seedy side of fame, it becomes obvious they’re really not too different after all. The attraction between them is a slow burn, but when they finally get together, the sex is steamy and the affection between them palpable.
My only quibble with the book is that for something produced by Pride Publishing, who have very high standards in everything from editing to cover design, there’s a noticeable number of mistakes in this copy of the text, though hopefully those have now been fixed.
If you’ve ever thought being a reality TV star might be fun, Never Too Famous might make you think again, and as this is the first book in a series – Success – all about men in the public eye, I can’t wait to see what comes
Never Too Famous is published by Pride Publishing and is available from First For Romance, Amazon US and Amazon UK. I was given a copy of the book by Lucy Felthouse at Writer Marketing Services in return for an honest review.
Longing to travel but can’t go anywhere at the moment? Well, you can bring the hottest cities and adventures in the world to your e-reader courtesy of the Feed Your Reader blog tour and price promotion for Tirgearr’s City Nights and City Knights series. Set in cities as varied as Memphis and Manchester, Budapest and Barcelona, each one has a perfect mix of erotic romance and great storytelling that’ll have you hungry for more. All the titles are on offer for 99p/99c and among those available are my own romantic suspense tale, One Night In Brussels, and the historical adventure, One Knight In Muiden.
The blog tour is organised by Goddess Fish Promotions, and it runs until April 3rd. You can find a list of all the blogs taking part (and it’s a pretty long list!), by clicking on the image below.
If that’s not enough, Goddess Fish is also running a Rafflecopter giveaway to win a $25 Amazon gift card – that’ll buy you a lot of City Nights books! No purchase is necessary – to enter, simply visit the Feed Your Reader bargain books page on the Goddess Fish site. Good luck!
Heart surgeon Dr Grant Anderson and Leo Garner were a couple until handsome movie star Curtis Banks swept Leo off his feet. Six years later, Leo arrives unexpectedly back in Grant’s life, and it seems like fate has given the two of them a second chance at love. The prickly Grant even finds himself bonding with five-year-old Lucky, Leo’s adopted daughter. But Leo’s kidneys have failed, and the process of finding him a donor is proving harder than expected, especially as Leo’s system is already fragile from an earlier heart transplant. Grant can’t bear the prospect of losing Leo – what will he do when Leo’s life is literally in someone else’s hands?
Stay Lucky was originally released by Leta Blake under a pen name, but just like Grant and Leo, it’s getting a second chance. Readers who like stories of couples overcoming the odds to find the true love they were originally denied should enjoy this story, but I didn’t like it half as much as I’d expected to. Blake warns readers upfront that some might find Lucky overly precocious (count me among their number, and I was a precocious brat myself…) but Grant, whose POV the story is told from, is also a very off-putting character. He has all the worst characteristics of a stereotypical surgeon – he’s arrogant, stubborn and seriously believes he’s better than everyone else, particularly the surgeon tasked with Leo’s kidney transplant, and Lucky’s class teacher, who’s on the end of a couple of unpleasant tongue lashings for not finding Lucky as adorably gifted as Grant does. This makes it hard to care about the agonies Grant goes through when Leo is at death’s door. Not to mention that in order for Leo and Grant to achieve their happy family unit, most of the secondary characters have to be terrible people – most notably Leo’s husband, Curtis, and Leo’s drug addict sister, who is Lucky’s biological mother.
Leta Blake writes well, creating an intense connection between Grant and Leo in the sex scenes and those rare moments when Grant’s vulnerability shines through, and the non-linear storyline (the action is told in a series of flashbacks intercut with present-day events) adds interest, but I won’t be rushing back to spend time with this particular set of characters.
Stay Lucky is available from Amazon US and Amazon UK. You can find out more about Leta Blake on her website. I was given a copy of the book by Indigo Marketing and Design in return for an honest review.