Wednesday, February 27, 2013

An excerpt from Lake Secrets, by Mary Schenten

“Well?” Gretchen said, perching on the edge of her chair and leaning toward me. “Well?”
“Well, what?” I smirked behind my glass of cold, sweet wine. 
“Don’t play dumb with me, Elly. What did you think of Seth? Did you have a good time the other night? Isn’t he a hunk?”
I shrugged. “He’s okay.” To tell the truth, he was better than okay. Since Gretchen had a way of overselling things she favored, my hopes for the blind date hadn’t been high. Fortunately, he’d greatly exceeded my expectations. 
A gust of wind caught my fine, light brown hair and swept it over my face. I straightened it out with my fingers as best I could.
Gretchen snorted inelegantly. “He’s certainly hotter than Dex. And nice. You can see that, right?” 
She settled back in her Adirondack chair next to mine. I welcomed the side-by-side arrangement of the chairs because it suited my wish to avoid continuous eye contact with my very perceptive friend. Now, even more so since she’d brought up Dex.
We sat facing the lake on the deck of her parents’ second home, ten miles north of Brainerd, Minnesota. The comfortable dwelling was nestled in the middle of a forest with leaves in full autumn color. Pine in all shapes and sizes provided a lovely contrast. The air had that crisp, clean, fall smell that heightened all the senses. 
I glanced at her, surprised by her intensity. “We’ve only had one date.” I paused. “It’s a little soon to start ordering wedding invitations.” I tried to make my voice light and teasing but I suspected she was having none of it.
“If he doesn’t help you get over Dex, I don’t know what will.” She brushed a hank of auburn hair behind one ear.
“What’s the rush? I’ve heard you say you should take your time after a breakup. Rebound relationships never last. Remember?"
“Rebound, hell." She half-choked on a swallow of wine. "Rebound is when you date someone within the first few months. How long has Dex been gone, anyway? A year?”
“No, not that long.” I paused, pretending to think. As if I didn’t know the exact number of months, days and hours since I’d last seen him. “Hmm. More like five or six months, I think. In the spring.” I sipped and the ice-cold wine hit my tongue with a hint of bubbles.
“Oh, yeah, that’s right. He stuck around to stiff you on a Christmas present. A little longer and he could have stiffed you on another birthday gift, too.”
I felt the stinging of tears but steeled myself. “Wow. You are my friend, right?”
“You know I am,” she said. That was Gretchen, no nonsense, on a mission and not about to sugar-coat anything. Taking a deep breath, she continued. “When boyfriends dump us, we’re supposed to be able to turn to our best friends.”           
“Who said he dumped me?” The words popped out of my mouth unexpectedly. Damn. Shut up. 
“Oh, sorry. I just assumed…” She leaned forward and set her glass on the floor beside her chair. Instead of leaning back, she twisted to look full in my face and squinted her steely-blue eyes to slits. “If he didn’t, why’re you so crushed?” 
My brain raced as I fought rising panic. I thought I’d conditioned myself to stifle those spontaneous remarks. Well, so what if she believed that? What difference did it make? None. Right?
She continued to stare. I’d never kept anything from her and it was driving her crazy because I wasn’t sharing every gory, intimate detail of how our relationship had ended.


Minnesota is the land of 10,000 lakes, and just as many love stories. Love in the Land of Lakes brings you seventeen of these stories, from two childhood sweethearts connecting on the end of a dock on a warm summer's evening, to a city boy's chaotic weekend at his girlfriend's primitive cabin. We bring you the story of a savvy horse who leads her owner to love in post–Civil War farm country, and the haunting romance of an ageless gambler who inhabits a historic riverboat and charms the boat's new owner.

A kaleidoscope of sunshine, snowstorms, and thunderstorms grace our contemporary, mystery, historical, and paranormal stories as the authors of Midwest Fiction Writers spin lovely romances that will send you drifting into happily ever afters.
Click here to see where the authors are stopping to blog and chat with you the reader.

Our Stories:
Bobbers 'N Bait - The evocative marketing gimmick at the new bait store in town has the fishing outfitter all hot and bothered.
A Cut Above the Rest - Rachel knew that a simple haircut had the power to change someone’s life. What she wasn’t counting on though, was how it would change hers.
Lira & Gavril - A dilapidated riverboat brings together a passionate historic preservationist and a man who called it home during the Victorian era.
Rosemary Heim
Lake Dreams - Olivia had her life all planned out. All except for that one impulsive night with her childhood crush. Can he convince her the result is worth the risk?
Hook, Line and Stinker - An LA makeover artist comes home to Minnesota and must use all her skills to tame a wild man.
Kathy Johnson
Snowbound - Caught in a snowstorm, the last person she expects to need her help is the man she loved but lost to someone else.
Rose Marie Meuwissen
Dancing in the Moonlight - Anna Thorstad never imagined reopening her parents' lake cabin would also open her heart to love again.
Barbara Mills
Hooked - An avid outdoorswoman takes her city born and raised boyfriend for a chaotic weekend at her family's primitive cabin on the lake.
J.S. Overmier
Henrietta's Man - A savvy horse carries her Civil War-torn soldier north in search of healing and a future.
Coming Home - A young widow’s faith and courage are tested when she falls in love with her husband’s best friend.
Her Stranger - Each night a stranger comes to Rachel’s cabin door. What is it that makes her fall into his arms?
Lake Secrets - A weekend getaway at the scene of the crime has Elly struggling to keep a secret from her best friend.
Unwrapped - Movie star Sloan Leighton sells love; she doesn’t believe in it. Then one frozen midnight on the shores of Lake Superior, everything changes.
The Bouncing Bobber - Will a budding romance, sidetracked by youth and ambition, be what it takes to lure Jacob and Nate back into love’s net?
What's Up Dock? - Sophie’s handsome new neighbor is burying body bags in his garden. But he’s afraid of raccoons—how could he be a killer?
Naomi Stone
Wind from the Lake - Wishing on a star? Alien contact? When childhood friends Connie and Hank meet again, they don't need to believe in anything but each other.
Roadside Catch - She swore off relationships with doctors, until one finds her injured on the roadside and has her rethinking the possibilities.

Purchase on Amazon, Smashwords, and AllRomanceebooks 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Choice (A Nobleman Novel)-Page Turner Books Review Tour

Blurb: Nila and Blake’s journey of love and challenges continue in The Choice. Nila is face with many choices, one of which is the choice of mortality or immortality. She makes surprising new friends and discovers secrets about an old one. More is revealed to Nila about Blake’s past. Their love will be tested with the challenges they are met with and the secrets that are revealed.

About Ronda Caudill: Ronda was born and raised in Virginia. Writing has always been a passion of hers. She earned  Ph.D. in Education from Capella University. The two writers who inspire her the most are Edgar Allan Poe and H.P. Lovecraft.  Discovering Edgar Allan Poe when she was eleven years old opened up an entirely new world to her. A world that she has shared with her daughters. She is blessed with a wonderful husband and two beautiful daughters who both inspire and support her.

You can contact Ronda at the following places:

I struggled with what to say about this book. I was a reader long before I became a writer and when I review something I'd rather say something nice or positive about what I've read or nothing at all. Keep in mind, I'm only one person and this is my opinion and nothing more.

My Review of The Choice by Ronda Caudill, Ph.D
I really wanted to be a part of this story. The blurb intrigued me and the plot was engaging. However, I’d have like more showing instead of telling. It was hard for me to connect with the characters on an emotional level because I was told what to feel instead of being allowed to experience it along with the characters.
The Nila, her Nobleman, and their friends were great and I loved the concept of reincarnated lovers finding their way back to each other and the whole immortal power deal. The thing that kept me reading was there were enough questions to keep me turning the page. At the climatic moment, I didn’t even get that breathless twinge I was hoping for. Part of me would like to read what happened between Lorelei and Nila, but not sure if I could.

About Page Turner Book Tours:

Page Turner Book Tours is fronted by the face behind Read2Review Kate. Page Turner Book Tours has been put together to help promote authors and give something back to the writing world. Kate has put together a team of incredibly talented people to help with the project by incorporating their individual skills into making new, fresh and exciting promotional plans that we hope you agree are amazing. If you would like to book a tour with Page Turner Book Tours please check out their tour packages. If you would like to become a tour host with Page Turner Book Tours please check out their Tour Host page. You wont be disappointed!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Under the Gun by Michael Mandrake

Camdyn Hardy is a former cop who has his own private investigator business. Due to a misunderstanding from a client, he gets into an argument with his lover Tay. Right after, they breakup Camdyn is left alone to think about his future as a PI and his love life. 
Malik Day was recently discharged under the DADT policy and is looking to get his life on track. The main reason he joined was because he dreamed of being a ranking officer. Now that it’s been taken away, he desires to start his life anew and find someone to share it with. 
After two weeks the men meet at a shooting range and find out they have a lot in common. Once they engage in a one on one match, they proceed to a bar to have drinks and get to know one another better. They both discover their affinity for guns as well as Camdyn’s need for a new partner at Camdyn & Associates. Malik is intrigued but afraid to ask him and decides to wait till they are closer. Camdyn is excited about this prospect as well but waits for Malik to say the word. Finally, in an erotic encounter, true feelings are revealed. 
In the next books, the story continues where the twosome began their work and love relationship. Together they’ll take on cases investigating cheating husbands or wives, companies with defector employees all the while trying to maintain their newfound commitment to one another as well as having a little fun in the process.

About the Author:
 Michael Mandrake is the gay male muse of author Sharita Lira who enjoys writing stories of everyday men in love in regular settings as well as extraordinary. Michael’s latest book True Meaning of Love is a self pubbed publication now available at Amazon and other online retailers. Please visit A Gay Man in a Females Body for more info.
When he made it to the office, he signed the necessary papers and waited as the man finished his transaction. Lazily, he leaned on the counter and nonchalantly glanced at a hot looking man that stood less than twenty feet away. Malik grinned and moistened his lips in the gorgeous stranger’s direction.
The attractive guy gave him more than an eye and winked. Obviously, he plays on my team. His lush brown-and-blond hair barely kissed his shoulders. Beautiful azure eyes the same color as the Pacific. Lips so slim and kissable, Malik knew he could enjoy them for hours. Wicked visions crossed his mind as he eyed the scruff on the man’s cheeks. He liked a little roughness when making love.
The snug, black shirt fit well, hugging his bulging muscles. Malik eyed the ink that peeked from under one sleeve and salivated. His skinny, black jeans clung to his taut buttocks; Malik’s own trousers felt a little tight in the crotch. “Mhmmm.” Malik tried to keep his stares from being obvious to the clerk. 
Would the hot man like to play with him a little? Malik sure hoped so.
It had been a long while since his last fuck. He’d spent the time searching for employment, going to job fairs, and not getting any call backs. Malik had remained so focused on getting a job; he’d ignored the signals of his groin needing a release from other than his own hand. Too long. He headed for the door and wished the handsome man would follow.
Maybe it’s time to stop looking for work and attempt to find a man.
Just when he stepped out, a voice stopped him. 
Malik slowly turned around. It was indeed him, the hottie he’d been eyeing. It shocked Malik to see the guy was actually speaking to him. “Hello.” Malik was taken aback by the guy speaking to him, but he guessed he warranted a greeting when they exchanged more than a passing glance.
The man stepped closer to him and held out his hand. “Name’s Camdyn. And you are?”
“Malik.” He accepted the handshake and returned it firmly. “Nice to meet you.” He raised an eyebrow.
“Same here.” Malik noticed Camdyn continued to hold on to his palm. Of course he didn’t mind; it felt unexpectedly soft and warm. “Um, you been comin’ here a while?”
“Yeah, I um…” Malik stopped short and bit his lip. He tried not to sound too excited. This was the last place he’d expected to be picked up at. The shooting range? Malik would’ve never thought of this place to meet other gay men. 
“I been around, but I just got back in town.”
“Yeah? I’m guessin’ from the getup you served in the Army.”
“Uh huh… I um… yeah, let’s go outside.” Quickly, he pulled his hands away, even though he didn’t want to. Surely, he wanted to talk with Camdyn some more, but away from others coming in and out of the shop. He felt a little uncomfortable being picked up at some place so manly, but in a way, he liked it.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Knocking on Heaven's Door by Zillah Anderson

Remember when everyone else thought they knew you? Remember when everyone else thought they knew better?
Layla’s a small-town teen trying to be herself and is misinterpreted at every turn. She’s not popular  because her dad’s a minister and her interests never seem to match those around her. She’s learned to keep to herself and her music – big mistake. When her love of classic rock makes her parents wonder if she’s “getting ideas” she finds herself shipped off to church camp. There she’s faced with horrible food and her day is planned out by the millisecond. To make matters worse her bunkmate is the cheery, tow-the-line sort and Donna, her nemesis, is at the same camp and is determined to make things hard for her. The only thing Layla has left to cling to is her music, but when her interests and character are challenged will her faith in herself and her shaky trust in something more be strong enough to see her through?

About the Author:
Never one to run from uncomfortable or unusual subject matter, Zillah Anderson is an author of the speculative, the dark, and the sexy – and sometimes all three at once. She is the author of The Inheritance and the young adult title Knocking Down Heaven’s Door with No Boundaries Press, the erotic short Power Chord with Rebel Ink Press, and has also had her work included in the Wicked East Press Anthology Halloween Frights vol. III. She resides in the Midwest, loves all things crafty and nerdy, and writes while she bides her time for her true purpose: total world domination.

After getting checked in, I headed out to my cabin to dump my gear before orientation. No, cabin was an optimistic word. I can still see that building in my head: an enormous brown wooden structure that looked more like a workhouse or a barrack than a happy little camp house. Like the main buildings my home away from home could have used a coat of paint and some insecticide. It was amazing that the wooden structure hadn’t rotted away from being stuck back in the damp forest so long.
The inside of my cell didn’t give me a reason to be any more optimistic. Besides the obligatory sections of bunk beds there were wooden chests of drawers and a couple wobbly tables and chairs. It was all very Berenstain Bears meets Camp Crystal Lake. Still, it wasn’t like I had a choice in the matter. All I could really do was make the best of it and wait things out.
Common sense ruled that most of the beds in the room were occupied, or else they’d grown their own bedding out of boredom. Sighing, I dragged my stuff to the one empty lower bunk and began to make myself at home. I was so wrapped up in self-pity that I was only interested in getting my bed made so I could escape the humid, musty-smelling place.
“Wow, you’re new aren’t you?” a perky voice chirped. I jumped hard enough to slam my head into the rickety bunk above mine.
“Wild observation,” I hissed through the throbbing in my skull. A girl the size of my forearm slid gracefully off the top bunk and dropped to the floor without a sound. I’d been in high school long enough to be an expert profiler and there was no doubt in my mind that she was a cheerleader. The summer just kept getting better.
“I’m Missy; I’ve been coming here ever since I was nine,” she added then beamed a smile any dentist or orthodontist would probably be tempted to frame. I was tempted to ask if she wanted a medal for the accomplishment but held my tongue. I’d been around youth group enough to know that if there was something to count attendance for, there were pins and badges to commemorate it. Sure enough, on the crisp white polo shirt she sported was a small gold pin with a series of added bars to show off each year she’d returned to the asylum.
“I’m Layla,” I managed as I gracefully slammed my stuff onto the bottom bunk in an effort to encourage her to leave me alone.
“Isn’t that Hebrew for something?” she asked with a tilt of the head that was probably meant to show off her blonde locks. It just made her look like a curious Labrador retriever.
“Dunno. I think my parents’ gave me the name because they were listening to Derek and the Dominoes when I was conceived,” I said as I busied myself tucking clothes away and dutifully slid my Bible under my pillow. It was an outright lie, but it was worth seeing Missy’s baffled expression. Having an unusual name meant you got tired of explaining it really quick. I’d already come to the conclusion that as soon as I was old enough to get a tattoo I would get my name, its pronunciation, and its meaning inked someplace really visible so I’d never have to have that conversation ever again.
“Are you planning on wearing that to the orientation?” she asked in an attempt to change the subject, and nodded to my Led Zeppelin shirt. As she stared her expression grew dubious. I wasn’t a size zero blonde cheerleader, but I wasn’t anything to sneeze at. Still, it seemed she was more interested in the strange, presumably satanic writing scrawled across my chest than my chest itself. At least I hoped so.
“Sure, what’s wrong with it?” I asked, my raised eyebrows practically daring her to say it. In those days, I had fun antagonizing girls like Missy. They were all for preaching peace and acceptance and knew they should lead by example. Despite that philosophy, quite often the synapses just didn’t connect the saying to the doing, especially once Sunday was over.
“Well, it’s just that…we don’t really wear stuff like that here. What’s ‘Stairway to Heaven,’ anyway?”
“You’ve never heard of that?” I blanched and slid my bag under the bed. “Oh, wow, Missy; you’ve never heard that song? I mean, it’s ‘Stairway to Heaven!’ It’s like one of the best Christian rock songs ever, all about God’s forgiveness and salvation and stuff! You have to climb the Stairway to Heaven if you’re gonna be saved, right?”
I could see her ticking through her mental Bible retention in the silence that followed. Luckily, most Sunday school lessons focus on the same ten to twelve stories over and over again. It was one advantage of being a pastor’s kid – I could do far more than hold my own in a fight over the Bible, though I hated to get into those types of arguments. No one ever won and it wasn’t about the book or spirituality, itself, but about proving that you were right. No thank you. “Yeah, I think I remember reading that somewhere. I’ll have to go looking for that song…though Led Zeppelin doesn’t really sound like a Christian group.”
I shook my head in pity. “C’mon Missy, you’re forgetting where it talks about the absence of faith causing one to descend from salvation with the strength of a zeppelin crafted from lead,” I went on, more and more amazed when she nodded somberly. That was the trouble with all the new, watered-down translations; for all I knew there was a verse that had been retranslated as such.
“You’re so right, Layla. You’re so, so right,” Missy nodded and placed one of her perfectly-manicured hands on my shoulder. She looked like she was nearly in tears, moved as she was. “I’m so glad you’re my bunkmate.” I followed her numbly towards Harmony Hall.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Book Blitz Tour-The Other Man by Selah Janel

All Andrew wanted was the typical American dream: a good career, a nice house, and a typical loving family. Instead he has a menial job, a small apartment, and children that remind him of creatures out of a sci-fi movie. To add insult to injury, he’s well aware that he’s not the only man that inhabits his wife’s thoughts and daily life. But how can he put up a fight when he’s reminded of the competition every time Bethany turns on the CD player? After one eventful dinner conversation when expectations, disappointments, and secrets collide, life may never be the same.
Buy Links: No Boundaries Press / Amazon /

About the Author:
Selah Janel has been blessed with a giant imagination since she was little and convinced that fairies lived in the nearby state park or vampires hid in the abandoned barns outside of town. Her appreciation for a good story was enhanced by a love of reading, the many talented storytellers that surrounded her, and a healthy curiosity for everything. A talent for warping everything she learned didn’t hurt, either. She gravitates to writing fantasy and horror, but can be convinced to pursue any genre if the idea is good enough. Often her stories feature the unknown creeping into the “real” world and she loves to find the magical in the mundane.
 She has four e-books with No Boundaries Press, including the upcoming novel ‘In the Red’. Her work has also been included in ‘The MacGuffin’, ‘The Realm Beyond’, ‘Stories for Children Magazine’, and the upcoming Wicked East Press anthology ‘Bedtime Stories for Girls’. She likes her music to rock, her vampires lethal, her fairies to play mind games, and her princesses to hold their own.

Andrew squeezed himself to his place at the head of the table and glared at the boom box that sat on the counter right beside his head. With smug satisfaction he turned the CD off. As soon as the sound died away the spark of light that inhabited Bethany went out. Her slender shoulders drooped a little more, her delicate blonde head bent slightly, and the set of her mouth became tighter, as if she had a migraine coming on. Instead of being full of youth and motherhood she looked like a tired homemaker or a condemned prisoner. Is this how she feels with me around? Is this the effect I have on my own wife? He bit the inside of his cheek and studied the vinyl tablecloth. Don’t I get tired too? Don’t I get disappointed? I’m trapped in this life, just like she is. At least I live in reality! It was petty and childish, but he felt so much better when the stereo was turned off. It was just a hunk of metal and electricity then, not a challenge.
Miranda and Gregory returned and dutifully sat in their booster seat and high chair. They smacked still-sticky hands together and bowed tousled heads in the pre-meal ritual. Andrew cringed in slight disgust. When he was a boy his father had looked so happy at the end of the day. The old man had been full of contentment and Andrew still remembered being in awe of him. When he was nine at his parents’ dining room table he hadn’t been able to wait until that position of power and benevolence would be his own someday. And now here I am.
Yet as hard as Andrew tried the corners of his mouth wouldn’t climb upwards as he glanced over at his kids. The longer things went on the harder it was to smile even for his wife. The whole scene that should have been reminiscent of Norman Rockwell left him apathetic at best, and Andrew fought the urge to check his watch. There were other places he could be – places he should be. Places where he belonged. No, you belong here. This is what you wanted and now you have it. You live with it. It isn’t your fault you were given a raw deal. At least at the office he fit in, even if he was low on the corporate ladder. My opinion’s valued there. I’m around people just like me and not… Andrew’s thoughts trailed off and he swallowed down his frustration. This is your life, he reminded himself. It’s what you wanted — well what you thought you wanted. You just have to stick with it until things get better.
His inner pep talk faded when Bethany abruptly got up from her seat. “Forgot the broccoli!” she explained and dashed to retrieve it.
“But I hate broccoli,” Andrew sighed. The kids relaxed their angelic poses and began to regard their plates with sneaky expressions.
“I know, but they really love it. It’s one of the few vegetables they’ll eat without a fight,” Beth countered, the edges of her voice worn with fatigue like old denim. Andrew grunted a reply and idly trailed his finger over the mismatched plate before he sucked off the juices.
“You’re not supposed to eat before the prayer!” Miranda shouted and jabbed an accusing finger at him. Gregory followed his sister’s lead and cast out his arm, nearly sending his baby cup flying.
“I just put my finger in the sauce!” he snapped. His voice was less the deep paternal tone he would have liked and more like a teenager’s lame excuse. Bethany re-entered and a frown tugged across her face as the putrid green-filled bowl was placed on the table. No wonder the kids loved it; it probably enhanced their natural smell.
Andrew coolly returned her stare before clearing his throat. Let’s just get this over with and then you can go get some real food. “Alright, come on, let’s pray — what are you doing!?” Right in front of him, bold as could be, Miranda very carefully leaned over and ran a delicate pink tongue over the center of her plate. 
“I just ran my tongue through the sauce!” Her voice was solemn and she took a moment to wipe at her mouth with her shirt sleeve. Bethany made a slight choking laugh before reigning herself in.
 “Not at the table. And use a napkin,” she reprimanded, but her lip twitched as she struggled not to look his way. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Book Blitz-Safe by C. Kennedy

They met at ten, they kissed at twelve, and were madly in love at eighteen. Caleb is the captain of the swim team and the hottest senior in school. Nico is small and beautiful and has an Italian father who rules with an iron fist. Literally. Nico is never safe from his vicious father. One morning Caleb forgets himself and pecks Nico’s lips at school. A teacher sees them and tattles to the Headmaster. Accidentally outing themselves is the least of their problems. The ball set in motion by the school’s calls to their parents may get Nico killed.

About the Author:
Talking about yourself is a cruel form of torture. Tall or short? Short. Big or small? Small. Blonde, green… Have I said enough? Or, did you want something like this?
Raised on the mean streets and back lots of Hollywood by a Yoda-look-alike grandfather, C. Kennedy doesn’t conform, doesn’t fit in, and is epic awkward and lives to perfect a deep-seated oppositional defiance disorder. In a constant state of fascination with the trivial, Kennedy contemplates such weighty questions as If time and space are curved, then where do all the straight people come from? When not writing, Kennedy can be found taming waves on western shores, pondering the nutritional value of sunsets, appreciating the much maligned dandelion, unhooking guide ropes from stanchions, and marveling at all things ordinary. 
Website www.C-Kennedy.Com

The lunch bell rings and Caleb bolts from his seat. Once in the hall, he pulls his cellular from his pocket and rereads the text message from his dad. Man, I’m in so much shit, Caleb thinks morosely. He races to his locker and prays that Nico will be there waiting for him. He rounds the corner and searches through the bustling, milling students. Nico isn’t there. Crap. He needs to find him, and quick. He jogs to his locker, spins the combination lock, and curses under his breath when it won’t open. He stresses and has to do it three times before he gets the damn locker open. Be easy, Caleb. It isn’t the end of the world. Whom was he kidding? It’s a freakin’ disaster.
The students who pass give him looks. By now, they know. Shit, where in hell was Nico?
“Hey,” Liam says casually as he finds Caleb at his locker.
Caleb returns a soft “Hey.”
“What’s going on, man?” Liam whispers.
Caleb doesn’t know what to say as he slams the locker door and turns to him. “What’d you hear?”
“They’re saying you kissed Nico.”
Caleb meets Liam’s questioning gaze. Short of Nico, Liam was his BFF. There was no sense in lying to him. The word was already out. He nods once.
“Yeah? It’s true? You’re gay?”
Caleb takes a deep breath and releases a shuddering sigh. “Yeah.”
Caleb runs a nervous hand through his unruly blond hair. “Yeah.”
Liam claps him on the back. “No shit. You could have told me, man.”
Caleb sighs again, a tremble on the air. “Sorry, man. I’ve never known how to tell anyone.”
Liam gives him a warm smile. “Yeah, you gotta feel totally awkward, bro. You gonna make practice today?”
This surprises Caleb. “You’re okay with it?”
“Fine, bro. To each his own, you know? And Nico’s a great guy.”
Caleb breathes a giant sigh of relief. “Thanks, man.”
“No problem. You gonna make practice today?”
“Doubt it. The school called my dad. He’s picking me up after school.”
“That going to be a hassle? We got State Finals on Saturday and you’re our Captain. We depend on you, bro.”
Caleb smiled a smile that didn’t reach his eyes. It was going to be a serious hassle. “I’ll be okay for Saturday. Can you lead practice for me today?”
“No problem. Text me tonight when the sentencing is over. See you at our table?”
“Yeah, I gotta find Nico.”
“Yeah, okay. See you there.”
Liam waves him off as he walks away. 
That definitely went better than expected. Liam had always been cool, though, and a good friend. The rest of the world? They usually sucked.
Caleb worries about Nico. Nico isn’t good with confrontation. Nico is afraid most of the time. Nico is only safe when he is with Caleb. He has to find Nico. Now.
He jogs down the hall, making his way through the throng of students. A girl giggles and puts a hand over her mouth then points at him. The girl next to her bursts out laughing. They know. This is a freakin’ disaster.
Caleb rounds another corner and doesn’t see Nico at his locker. Shit. Nico has Phys. Ed. right before lunch. He exits the building and makes his way to the gym. He checks down each row of lockers and doesn’t see Nico. Damn it, where in hell is he? “Nico, you in here?” he calls as he heads toward the bathroom and shoves through the door.
There, squatted with his face buried in his arms, is Nico in tears.
“Ah, shit,” Caleb says under his breath as he pulls Nico into his arms. 
A strangled sob escapes Nico as he wraps his arms tightly around Caleb’s waist. “The school called my dad. He’s coming to get me after school.”
“I know. They called mine, too.”
“My dad’s going to kill me, Caleb.”
Caleb winces at Nico’s words as he pets the curls he loves so much. Nico’s dad is dangerous. Nico’s dad is someone to be terrified of. “My dad will talk to him.”
“What’s going to happen to us?”
“The worst the school can do is suspend us.”
“No, I mean, what about us?”
Caleb lifts Nico’s chin with gentle fingertips. “What do you mean, what about us? We’re fine. Nothing’s going to happen to you and me.”
“You’re not going to break up with me?”
Pain sears Caleb’s heart. How could Nico even think such a thing? “Nicolò, baby, don’t even go there. I love you. Always have, always will. In a few months we’ll be off to college and all of this will be behind us.” He places a chaste kiss on Nico’s lips. 
“’Kay.” Nico releases a long, shuddering sigh and squeezes Caleb’s waist before he pulls away. He rubs the tears from his eyes with the heels of his hands then goes to a sink and rinses his face with cool water. “I’d die if I lost you, Caleb.”
Caleb cards his fingers through Nico’s curls. “Nothing like that is ever going to happen. Everything will be okay.”
Nico turns the water off and reaches for a paper towel. “What’s your dad going to say?”
“He’ll think it’s bad news, but he’s easier than Mom is. Let’s get to lunch. You need something to eat.”
“’Kay. People are already talking.”
“I know. Mr. Higgins obviously couldn’t keep his big mouth shut. Liam asked me about it and I told him the truth. He’s okay with it.”
Nico looks up at Caleb as Caleb leads him by the elbow from the gym. “He is?”
“Yeah, he’s fine with it.”
* * *
Caleb reads his dad’s text message one last time before the bell rings ending his last period class. THE SCHOOL CALLED. BE ON THE FRONT STEPS AT 3. He doesn’t know what the school told his dad and he doesn’t want to be the one to tell him. God, how could he be so stupid as to kiss Nico at school? 
It just happens. They’re always so careful at school, but he’d been kissing Nico for almost six years and isn’t thinking. It just seems natural to kiss him when they part to go their separate ways to class. Of all people, Mr. Higgins, the peevish algebra teacher, had to be the one to see them. All they do is peck lips. It isn’t even a full-on snog. Mr. Higgins acts as if they were caught in flagrante delicto. He scolded them heartily then rushed off to the Headmaster’s office. Man, they’d done so much more than kiss. If Mr. Higgins only knew. Caleb isn’t sure whom he’s angrier with. Himself or Mr. Higgins. Shit, what a freakin’ disaster. 
This is the first time in his seventeen-and-a-half-year existence that he’s ever been in trouble. He suddenly has a horrible thought. A suspension would get him kicked off the swim team. He’d worked hard to become Captain of the team, swimming every afternoon after school for three hours. Three hours every day that he could have spent with Nico. Three more hours each day that Nico could have been safe. Fear and anxiety claw at his heart and his mind reels with rising fear.
The bell rings and he flies from his seat.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Dark Side of the Moon-Review Tour

Government agent Derrick Thomas awakens from a disturbing dream to find a message from his father asking for help. As he sets out to lend his assistance he quickly discovers that not only has his father gone missing, but that a clandestine government agency is out to derail his search before it can begin. After the murders of two of his father's colleagues and the further disappearances of his mother and sister, Derrick is thrust into a battle for the lives of his family while attempting to uncover details of a secret government program which may hold the key to his family's whereabouts. Will he be able to save them and uncover the truth before he becomes the next victim of a government bent on keeping him silent?

Buy Links
Amazon UK:

Amazon USA:

My Review

An interesting and engaging story. It took a moment or two for me to get the rhythm of the story, but once I did it was riveting and compelling. I was on the edge of my seat with the suspense and action as it unfolded. This is definitely a must read and I’m glad I got a chance to read it. Can’t wait to see more from this author.

Contest Alert

The author, Ahmad Taylor, is giving away a copy of The Boy Who Lit Up the Sky to one lucky commenter. So be sure to leave a comment. :-)

About Ahmad Taylor: Ahmad is a 36 year old writer currently residing and writing in the heat of south Florida. Originally from Brooklyn, New York, his debut best-selling Sci-fi/Suspense/Thriller: Dark Side of the Moon incorporates knowledge from his prior law enforcement career, and a vivid imagination for the intense and suspenseful.

After being a semi-finalist for The Kindle Book Review: Best Indie Book of 2012, Ahmad has begun the sequel to Dark Side, which will be released in early 2013. He is also working on a shocking Crime/Thriller which will be out mid-2013.

You can contact Ahmad at the following places:

Page Turner Book Tours is fronted by the face behind Read2Review Kate.
Page Turner Book Tours has been put together to help promote authors
and give something back to the writing world. Kate has put together a
team of incredibly talented people to help with the project by
incorporating their individual skills into making new, fresh and
exciting promotional plans that we hope you agree are amazing. If you
would like to book a tour with Page Turner Book Tours please check out
their tour packages. If you would like to become a tour host with Page
Turner Book Tours please check out their Tour Host page. You wont be

Friday, February 8, 2013

Thyne Series-Kharisma Rhayne

 Knowing Thyne

It's Thyne & Adison's 5th wedding anniversary.
Adison has always known that Thyne had an interest in men. She could tell by the way he looked at them. Rather than be offended when he finally told her three years into their marriage, she found it arousing. Now, on their little getaway for their 5th anniversary, Adison wants to make things memorable for her husband. She wants to continue their great sex life and also wants to watch him with another man--hoping that maybe, in the end, he'll let her join in with them.

Having Thyne
Another year has passed and Adison has planned an anniversary treat for Thyne that she hopes will surpass the last one. But in pushing her boundaries to outdo herself, will she push the limits of Thyne's bounds?

About the Author:
Ten years ago, Kharisma traded in snow, ice and tornadoes for sun, heat, sand and mountains. She now lives in beautiful Arizona with her husband, 4 kids & 9 rescue dogs and 5 goats.
Now, in her eleventh year in Arizona, she is once again braving new terrain and has moved up into the White Mountains.  This will be the first year that she will see freezing temperatures and snow.
Her love for nature and animals is well known and she gets to indulge it in her new home with wolves, coyotes, snakes, and various other creatures as her nearest neighbors. Living in the middle of nowhere is something she wouldn’t change for the world.
Dabbling in writing through Junior High and High School, Kharisma officially got her start writing LGBT, BDSM and erotica. Never one to slow down, she started writing several additional genres including crime, medical, historical and paranormal. Her latest adventure is a dark horror.
When you pick up one of her books, she wants you to walk away turned on and inspired! Come take a stroll into Kharisma’s worlds of ecstasy, love, adventure and fear.
WebBlogFacebook – Twitter @KharismaRhayne – Goodreads - Amazon

Excerpt Knowing Thyne:
Adison smiled as she grabbed the keys from the counter and drug her wheeled suitcase behind her. She had started planning her sixth anniversary only several months after she and Thyne celebrated their fifth.
She’d booked the exact same hotel as last time. Why not? It held some great memories.
Smiling, she remembered the fun and excitement of the last time they were at the hotel. Would Thyne expect the same thing? They’re relationship had flourished since their getaway. And, to her surprise, Thyne hadn’t mentioned a desire to be with another man.
That had been her anniversary gift to Thyne. After five years of marriage, he’d never told her that he was bi. She had assumed it for a while and then suddenly, she had just been positive. It caused her to invite a beautiful gay man named Seth into their anniversary suite.
Even now she could feel herself getting wet remembering Seth and Thyne together.
Hurriedly, she deposited the suitcase into the trunk where Thyne had put his that morning. Always a workaholic, he wouldn’t take the Friday off to start the weekend away early. He had said that his work ethic was why they could take these getaways.
Smiling to herself, she headed back in. Wheels crunched on the driveway. She turned and watched Thyne pull up to the house. Maybe he was looking forward to the weekend as much as she.
Adison could tell Thyne was anxious from his chipped greeting and speedy shower.
Much as the previous year, they were silent on their drive to the hotel, simply holding hands. Check in was also went much the same and Adison was pleased to see Thyne’s reaction to the same suite.
 “How did you manage the same room?”
 “I booked it three months after we were here,” Adison replied with a smile.
When they entered the room, in yet another repeat of their first visit Thyne asked, “Want to go down to the beach before dinner?”
She smiled and shook her head.
 “So then, tell me, Adison, what do you have planned for our weekend this time?” Thyne had an amused look on his face, as though knowing her reply would be to bypass the beach once again.
"Oh hell." Adison tossed her hands in the air. "You know I wanted to wait a bit to get into this part. If you think for a minute I can top last year, you’re going to be very disappointed. You know, you’ve not mentioned wanting to be with another man either. Nor have your brought up Seth.”
Adison watched Thyne for some kind of reaction. No matter what she thought she might see, it wasn’t there. He simply sat waiting for her to continue speaking.
Reaching into her bag, she pulled out the strap on she had brought with her last year. They’d never used it.
 “Remember this, Thyne? And how I asked if you’d let me use it on you?” 
He gave a slight nod.

Excerpt Having Thyne:
This was the weekend. Tonight she and Thyne would go away for their fifth wedding anniversary. Well, not really away as in exotic location, something had to be saved for their tenth anniversary, but to a beautiful resort hotel about an hour from home. She had them both packed and was ready to enjoy it. Would her surprise be too much?
After what seemed like forever, Thyne finally arrived. Adison had played this out in her head over and over. Now that the time was here, she was nervous. As he loaded their luggage into to the trunk she occupied her mind with different versions of how the weekend might play out. Would he enjoy her surprise? 
Suddenly, this weekend gift looked like a huge risk.
Though they held hands all the way to the hotel, they rode in silence. Could her husband feel her panic? Or was it guilt? Was she doing the right thing?
Once in their suite, Adison relaxed. The view was breathtaking. The beach was stunning with its crystal clear blue water. The hot summer weather was perfect, a light breeze flowing into their room from the open balcony doors.
“So, what do you want to do first? Go down to the beach for a swim before dinner,” Thyne asked, snapping her from her enjoyment of the view.
“No, I don’t think so. Maybe in the morning, a day on the beach sounds nice.” Adison’s reply was deep with thought. She fidgeted within her suitcase simply moving items back and forth, even though there was nothing she needed. How would she start the evening?
“Alright then. So, what is it that you do want to do? Maybe we could go to dinner and have an early night?”
Thyne's brow creased with his confusion. He had her number. That was certain. Normally she’d be dragging him to the beach to get the sand under her feet. She loved the beach; the sand, the sun, the water, time slowing down. 
“Thyne, take off your clothes.”