Thursday, April 19, 2018

Author Of The Month - J. Scott Coatsworth - Week Three



Welcome to our 3rd week of celebrations for the amazing






In today's post, we'll take about Between The Lines and The River City Chronicles. There's also a personal story Scott has chosen to share, plus another chance to win one of his books.




First up, Between The Lines


Blurb:

What if you could hear the words behind the words?

Brad Weston’s life seems perfect. He’s GQ handsome, the chief of staff for a Republican California state senator, and enjoys the power and the promise of a bright future. And he’s in a comfortable relationship with his boyfriend of six years, Alex.

Sam Fuller is Brad’s young blond blue-eyed intern, fresh out of college, running from a bad breakup, and questioning his choices and his new life in politics. To make things worse, Sam also has a thing for the boss, but Brad is already taken.

While looking for a gift for his boyfriend, Brad wanders into a curiosity shop and becomes fascinated by an old wooden medallion. Brad's not a superstitious man, but when he takes out the medallion in his office, he sees the world in a whole new light.

And nothing will ever be the same.


Excerpt:

It began with a medallion.
The piece was a simple wooden disk, hand carved with the shapes of leaves and forest boughs and polished by centuries of use, giving it a patina of great age.
It sat upon a small green velvet pillow—the kind jewelers sometimes use, rather unsuccessfully, to enhance a plain necklace of false pearls. The kind you might expect to find on your grandmother’s settee, in a slightly larger size, embroidered with “Home Sweet Home.”
Yet there was something compulsive about it—something hidden in the dark crevices of the carving, filled with the dust of ages.
At least that’s what Brad would recall years later, when he thought back on the first time he saw it: the moment when the lines of his mundane life suddenly snarled, snapped, and ultimately recombined into something quite different.
Of course, he didn’t know any of this at the time.
Something about the place—a little boutique store with a faded sign that read “Murdock’s Hardware and Fine Things,” on a nondescript block of K Street—caught his eye.
Brad had almost missed it. Funny how sometimes you knew a place so well that you no longer really saw it.
Crossing the threshold into the little shop, he felt strangely excited. Well, not quite excited. Entranced, maybe. Enticed by a strange smell inside—sandalwood.
Long rows of fading pegboard were full of tarnished metal hooks holding dusty little packets, some of them so covered in grime that it was impossible to tell what they held. Brad refrained from touching any of them, a little disgusted by it. He liked things neat and tidy, everything in its place.
An old fluorescent light fixture lit the cramped space. It had a short, one bulb flickering with an annoying buzz, the other shining a steady, reassuring glow. There was no one else about, not even the owner.
From somewhere in the back of the shop, music drifted through the air… an old song. “Moon River”? His grandmother would have known.
He wandered down one of the aisles, drawn by something. Some combination of the music, the incense, and a sense that there was something old and subtle at work here. The place was a window into the past, just a block from the bustle of his office and the modern age.
A lighted case sat at the back of the store, illuminated from inside, pushing back the gloom. It was filled with bits of junk: plastic lighters with pictures of World War II girls in bikinis, three decks of playing cards (the old style with the flowing red patterns intersecting like antique lace on the back), striped candy sticks in red and green and orange, their plastic wrappers yellowed with age. Salt and pepper shakers shaped like penguins with red-and-green scarves, an ancient little black typewriter, and a stack of old pens from various motels and gas stations.
Then he saw the medallion.



Get the book:






Second in today's line-up, The River City Chronicles 



Blurb:

A group of strangers, drawn together by an Italian cooking class. Everyone has a secret, and life has a funny way of bringing secrets out into the open.

As their lives intertwine, a new family starts to emerge, and nothing will be the same. In Sacramento, the River City, everything is about to change.











Excerpt:

Today the sun was shining, the Farmer’s Market was in full swing on the street in front of him, and he had an honest-to-goodness paying client to work for.
Marcos took a deep breath and sipped his extra-hot, decaf, two-pump sugar free skinny vanilla latte and dove in to his work.
The next two hours flew by. Although the work had grown a bit boring, he knew his stuff. He found a template he liked and got into the guts of it, redesigning it to match the look and feel of his client’s logo and style. He added one of his favorite database extensions, and configured it to handle the fields he needed to import from the old site. Then he downloaded the data from the existing site and imported it to the new one.
Soon, he had a rough first draft to ship back to his contact at River City.
“Can you spare a dollar?” a young girl with blond, spiky hair asked from the sidewalk below.
“Just a sec.” He rummaged through his wallet and handed her a five.
“Thanks,” she said, flashing him a bright smile.
“‘Welcome!” He downed the last of his now-cold coffee and stood, stretching and working out the kinks in his neck from being hunched over his laptop.
“Working hard, I see,” a guy at the next table said.
He was handsome enough—maybe five years younger than Marcos’ thirty-nine. He had fine features, thick blond hair and blue eyes, and wore a sharp dark gray suit with a black shirt and yellow tie.
“Yeah, programming.”
“I always hated that crap,” the guy half-stood and held out a hand. “I’m Dennis.” His smile was just a little too white.
“Marcos,” he replied, taking the man’s hand. Nice firm handshake. “So what do you do?”
“Me? I’m a salesman. I’m in town for the American Cheese Society convention.”
Marcos snorted. “Seriously?”
“Seriously. I represent Swisstown Cheese.” He handed over a card.
“Okay, that’s just awesome.”
“Thanks, I think.” He ran a hand through his thick blond hair. “Can I ask you something?”
Marcos closed his laptop. “Sure,” he said. “Shoot.”
“What is there for a guy to do in Sacramento for the afternoon?”
“Let’s see. Well, there’s the Sac Brew Bike if you like pub crawls. Or the Crocker, if you like art. And Sacramento has some great theatre, although most of that’s at night.”
Dennis was grinning.
“What?”
“I was hoping for something a little more… personal.”
Marcos was a good-looking guy. His salt and pepper hair had only made him more distinguished, and he wasn't too bad looking for his age. But rarely was someone so forward with him, at least not out on the street.
He kinda liked it.
“Sure… your place or mine?”



This story can be read for free on Scott's website.



A personal story

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Blogtour: When a Duke Pursues a Lady by Tabetha Waite


An innocent woman.
A loyal agent to the Crown.
A path of deception that tests the bonds of love.
When a Duke Pursues a Lady Tour Graphic
WHEN A DUKE PURSUES A LADY
Tabetha Waite
Series: Ways of Love Book 3
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Etopia Press
Publication Date: January 10, 2018



When a Duke Pursues a Lady
After three years trapped in an abusive and loveless marriage, Lyra Coventry has been arrested for the murder of her husband, the Earl of Weston. Although she's innocent of the crime, she has no one to turn to for help, until Alister Ayles, the Duke of Albright, comes forward to offer his aid. The handsome duke takes her into his custody, saving her from a jail cell. But Lyra doesn't suspect Alister's ulterior motive—to prove her guilty of treason—as she slowly loses her heart to a man who is far more than he seems...
Alister Ayles leads a secret life. To the ton, he is a dullard, the subject of ridicule. But as a highly respected agent for the Crown, he's discovered a higher purpose by protecting his country. Now he's faced with his toughest investigation to date, uncovering a plot against the Crown...and discovering whether or not Lyra, the woman he let slip through his fingers years ago, is a traitor. Nothing is as it seems, and as the plot unravels, the dangers to them increase. He struggles to keep his feelings for her contained, but when it comes down to a test of loyalty, will he stand strong, or fall prey to his desires?


Excerpt:

Lyra hadn’t heard the duke move, but suddenly, that husky voice brushed against the nape of her exposed neck. His arm came into her peripheral view; his masculine hand perilously close to touching hers on the shelf. “I meant no offense, Lady Weston. In fact, I’m rather amazed by your accomplishments. This is the most beautiful library I’ve seen in some time. It rather puts my own collection at Thorn Hall to shame.”

Lyra temporarily closed her eyes in an effort to gather her wits, not to absorb his nearness or his warmth. To enjoy such a thing at a time like this would be to question her sanity when her very existence was on the brink of ruin.

Even so, she couldn’t stop herself from whispering, “Why are you really here?”

Book Blitz: Five Dares by Eli Easton







Cover Design: Natasha Snow







Blurb

Andy Tyler has been the class daredevil since middle school. Over the years, he’s convinced his best friend, Jake Masterson, to perform some dangerous-looking stunts with him. But the dare they attempt on the night of their college graduation goes sideways. The firecrackers explode too soon and both of them end up with badly burned palms.

But hey, nothing gets the “terrible two-o” down for long, and they recuperate in style at Andy’s family cottage in Cape Cod. As the weeks go by, both Andy and Jake grow frustrated over the inability to use their hands for all sorts of daily activities—including getting off. So Andy begins a new series of dares that don’t just cross the friendship line, they obliterate it.

But what might be mere sexual relief to Andy is serious business to Jake, who only recently got over years of secret pining for his straight best friend. Inevitably, the burns heal, summer ends, and hearts are broken. To fix things, Andy will have to face the greatest dare of all.












Excerpt

The first few weeks at the cottage we had good weather and spent most of our time outside. Walter said our burns were coming along well. So far we’d avoided making things worse, which was a miracle. The burns were gnarly looking though, and painful when he rewrapped them.

My palms were the bright red of fresh blood. They looked like they’d been dipped in boiling water, with layers around the edge turning white and loose in spots. My hands alternated between a mild burning and piercing pain that went supernova anytime I accidentally clenched them or bumped them into something. Doing or lifting anything that required any pressure on the skin whatsoever was right out.

So by the time we’d been basking on the Nantucket Sound for two weeks, I was climbing the fucking walls.

“I’ve never been this damn horny in my life,” I complained to Jake, bitterly and sincerely.

It was almost noon, and we were sitting out on the dock like we usually did. It had been great hanging out together. We’d caught up on a lot of stuff we never seemed to get around to talking about during school—his upcoming new life. Harvard. Our mutual friends and exes. We’d told ghost stories. We’d taken long walks and kicked around a soccer ball for hours. We’d played poker on Jake’s tablet and consumed six seasons of The Walking Dead on the big-screen TV. It was nice having undivided Jake time, but I’d reached the point where frustration had me close to tears.

Not tears of boredom either. Sexually frustrated tears.

“Turn page,” Jake responded. He was reading on his Kindle.

“I’m not sure how that would help me get off,” I joked.

Jake snorted, but he didn’t rise to the bait.

I shifted in my chair. I wasn’t kidding. I couldn’t remember the last time I’d gone more than two days without an orgasm. Probably not since I’d figured out the magical wonderland that was my dick when I was eleven years old. I’d had a permanent semi for days now, and my loose, silky gym shorts—worn because I could get them up and down by myself if I scooched against a wall—were doing nothing to disguise it or help it go away.

I moved my bandaged hands onto the arms of the deck chair and looked down at myself. Even looking at my crotch made my dick grow under the silky blue fabric. It was like a hopeful puppy anticipating attention.

In my peripheral vision, I saw Jake glance at it too. He leaned forward in his chair, hunching toward the Kindle, which was propped on a little table in front of him. “Turn page.”

“You did not just read an entire page.” I smirked.

“Shut up, Mr. TMI.” Jake fake-read some more.

But I knew I had his attention. “Have you figured out a way to get off yet? Because I haven’t.”

“No,” he said in a distracted voice. Despite his blasé look, I knew there was no way he was absorbing a single word on that Kindle screen.

“Me neither. I tried humping the bed, but it didn’t work. Fucking mattress is so soft and lumpy.”

“Can you not give me the gory details?” Jake hunched further and stared at the Kindle.

“Rubbing against the tiles in the shower didn’t work. They’re too hard.”

He snorted. “What are you, the Goldilocks of self-love?”

I chuckled. “That’s me. I need something just right.” I used a filthy voice on the last bit.

Jake shifted uneasily but didn’t look at me. “Too bad Amber dumped you. Maybe you could call her and play the poor invalid card. She might be willing to drive down for a conjugal visit.”

“Nah. So not worth the bowing and scraping I’d have to do.”

I gave it a moment, trying to build up my nerve.

I hadn’t been kidding. I’d tried a half-dozen ways to get off, but nothing was working. So I’d put some serious brain power into figuring out a solution. I was good at working around obstacles, but the obvious answer—the thing I really wanted—involved Jake, and I wasn’t sure how he’d react.

Just thinking about it, I plumped up further, causing a definite tent in my shorts. I half expected Jake to tease me, something like, You could poke someone’s eye out with that thing.

But all he said was, “Turn page.”

“So . . . you haven’t gotten off since before the hospital?” I asked.

Release Blitz: Life Is A Stevie Wonder Song by V.L. Locey





Length: 87 pages

Cover Design: Sloan J Designs



Blurb
Authors know that their muse is a fickle creature. Best-selling spy novelist Steven Ramsey has been in a hate-hate relationship with his inspiration for months. When Steven's publisher lays a legal ultimatum upon him, with a rapidly approaching deadline, he knows he must do something to kick-start his creativity or face the unemployment line. His daughter comes up with a possible answer: a summer camp for the creative soul. With nothing to lose, Steven packs up his laptop, phonograph, and beloved record albums and heads from Greenwich Village to the Catskill Mountains.

There, among a horde of college students attending for extra credits, is Declan Pomeroy, a photographer of fey creatures who is twenty-two years younger than Steven. The woods are a magical place, and he quickly finds himself falling under the spell of the free-spirited photographer. Confusion wars with desire as Steven succumbs to the feelings welling up inside. But, sadly, summer camp always must end. Can a man who has just found himself really leave the person that makes his heart sing?








Excerpt

I set my sights on the road. Someone called my name. I would know his singsong voice anywhere. I lifted a hand in greeting, my ugly ape feet glued to this fucking spot in the road. Declan bounded down the two stairs, racing toward me. My heart began to hammer behind my ribs. He ran across his freshly mowed lawn wearing a smile as big as the Catskills. I was not prepared for the leap he made at me. I caught him but just barely. He wrapped his arms and legs around me like some sort of invasive vine. His mouth smashed against mine. My knees grew rubbery as my prick roused in my shorts. I cupped his ass with both hands.

"I am so glad to see you," he purred between kisses.

Someone back on the porch shouted. My grip on his backside lessened and he slid to the ground with a pout. "Come meet the guys. We were just talking about you."

"You kids don’t want an old dinosaur breaking up your good times."

"Just stop." Declan grabbed my wrist and tugged me along in his wake. For being so slender, he was a strong little tugboat. The boys on the porch greeted me warmly. They were incredibly similar in style, which, I guess, reflects on the age. Conformity to the current trends is everything when you're young. Each young man wore cargo shorts, low-cut tank tops, Nikes, sunglasses, and ball caps turned backward. Aside from hair coloring all four, and that included Declan—although his ankle bracelet and pink bandana ascot showed a modicum of individuality—were cookie-cutter young males. I was greeted with "Yo" and "'Sup" after Declan introduced me.

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