Book Blitz: The Fever King by Victoria Lee — Excerpt & Giveaway

A few weeks ago I received an ARC of The Fever King by Victoria Lee, one of my most anticipated releases of next year, and weeks after having read it I’m still thinking about it. This is a book you can’t miss out on (YA political fantasy! all-queer cast! important and always-relevant themes such as intergenerational trauma!) and I’m so happy to be able to be part of the book blitz that Xpresso Tours organized, so thank you so much to them for the opportunity!

Read on to find info and preorder links, as well as an excerpt from chapter one and a giveaway for a chance to win one of five ARCs!

 

The Fever King
Victoria Lee
Published by: Skyscape
Publication date: March 1st 2019
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

In the former United States, sixteen-year-old Noam Álvaro wakes up in a hospital bed, the sole survivor of the viral magic that killed his family and made him a technopath. His ability to control technology attracts the attention of the minister of defense and thrusts him into the magical elite of the nation of Carolinia.

The son of undocumented immigrants, Noam has spent his life fighting for the rights of refugees fleeing magical outbreaks—refugees Carolinia routinely deports with vicious efficiency. Sensing a way to make change, Noam accepts the minister’s offer to teach him the science behind his magic, secretly planning to use it against the government. But then he meets the minister’s son—cruel, dangerous, and achingly beautiful—and the way forward becomes less clear.

Caught between his purpose and his heart, Noam must decide who he can trust and how far he’s willing to go in pursuit of the greater good.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble

EXCERPT FROM CHAPTER 1:

He stood there for a second, staring woozily at the mess while sirens shrieked in his ears. He was sick. Magic festered in his veins, ready to consume him whole.

An outbreak.

His father, when Noam managed to weave his way back to his side, had fallen unconscious. His head lolled forward, and there was a bloody patch on his lap, yellow electricity flickering over the stain. The world undulated around them both in watery waves.

“It’s okay,” Noam said, knowing his dad couldn’t hear him. He sucked in a sharp breath and hitched his father’s body out of the chair. He shouldn’t—he couldn’t just leave him there like that. Noam had carried him around for three years, but today his father weighed twice as much as before. Noam’s arms quivered. His thoughts were white noise.

It’s okay, it’s okay, it’s okay, a voice kept repeating in Noam’s head.

He dumped his father’s body on the bed, skinny limbs sprawling. Noam tried to nudge him into a more comfortable position, but even that took effort. But this . . . it was more than he’d done for his mother. He’d left her corpse swinging on that rope for hours before Brennan had shown up to take her down.

His father still breathed, for now.

How long did it take to die? God, Noam couldn’t remember.

On shaky legs, Noam made his way back to the chair by the window. He couldn’t manage much more. The television kept turning itself on and off again, images blazing across a field of static snow and vanishing just as quickly. Noam saw it out of the corners of his eyes even when he tried not to look, the same way he saw his father’s unconscious body. That would be Noam soon.

Magic crawled like ivy up the sides of the fire escape next door.

Noam imagined his mother waiting for him with a smile and open arms, the past three years just a blink against eternity.

His hands sparked with something silver-blue and bright. Bolts shot between his fingers and flickered up his arms. The effect would have been beautiful were it not so deadly. And yet . . .

A shiver ricocheted up his spine.

Noam held a storm in his hands, and he couldn’t feel a thing.

 

Author Bio:

Victoria Lee grew up in Durham, North Carolina, where she spent twelve ascetic years as a vegetarian before discovering that spicy chicken wings are, in fact, a delicacy. She’s been a state finalist competitive pianist, a hitchhiker, a pizza connoisseur, an EMT, an expat in China and Sweden, and a science doctoral student. She’s also a bit of a snob about fancy whiskey. Lee writes early in the morning and then spends the rest of the day trying to impress her border collie puppy and make her experiments work. She currently lives in Pennsylvania with her partner.

For exclusive updates, excerpts, and giveaways, sign up for Victoria’s newsletter at https://victorialeewrites.com/newsletter/

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

 

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY!
(US/Canada only; ends November 15th)

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Release Blitz: Pisces Hooks Taurus (Signs of Love #4) by Anyta Sunday

Publisher: Anyta Sunday (self published)

Release Date (Print & Ebook): October 16, 2018

Length (Print & Ebook): 69000 words / 285 pages

Order now

Check out my review (spoiler: I gave it 5/5 stars)

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Book synopsis:

It’s a time for searching, and a time for finding, Pisces: keep casting your line and you will hook what you’re looking for.

Zane has it all planned out: land the perfect Meet Cute, fall in love, and live happily ever after.

Should be simple enough if he put his mind to it. A little creativity and some thinking outside of the box, and voila, he’d be married to the woman of his dreams.

It would be perfect.

And it would be before his visa ran out.

But why are his feelings running wild now that the pressure’s on? Why is his picture-perfect plan turning into a muddled mess of morphed metaphors he can’t make sense of anymore?

Just as well he’s met an English professor to help. And even though their first meet is anything but cute, this down-to-earth teacher may just be the realist Zane needs to ground him and give him a shot at love after all.

Don’t cast your line too wide, Pisces. Your perfect catch may already have bitten.

~ – ~ – ~

Pisces Hooks Taurus (Signs of Love #4) is an MM opposites-attract romantic comedy featuring an unapologetic romantic and a broken realist.

More wit, banter and bad puns – and even more heart-stopping slow burn!

Can be read as a standalone.

Tropes: friends-to-lovers, slow burn, will-they-or-won’t-they

Genre: New Adult, light-hearted contemporary gay romance

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Excerpt:

“What is that?”

Beckett’s mum and guests had left, and Beckett had brought Zane and his worldly belongings into an exposed-beam attic with a chain-pull light.

Zane set his box and suitcase against a slanted wall. The small, empty space contained a tiny window, a chest of drawers, and a low futon. Dust spokes glittered under the swaying light.

Beckett pointed at Zane’s box, one brow arched.

Zane laid the bearskin rug on the floor and straightened out the kinks. Beckett gaped at the bear poised as if to eat his ankle.

“I thought it was romantic,” Zane said with a sigh. He rested back on his heels, soft fur against his knees. “Now I’m kinda stuck with the beast.”

“Tough cross to bear.”

Zane grinned. “What’s with the word-wittage, anyway?”

“Word-wittage. Nice alliteration. I like playing with words.” Beckett sidestepped the bear and gestured around the attic. “The wooden slats are creaky, the bathroom is back down the ladder. My sister is returning from Europe Thursday, staying here until she finds her own place. The couch is too small for you, so . . . .”

“I’m totally cool to bunk with you.”

Beckett swept a hand through his hair, gaze darting toward the bed, the window. “There’ll be no bunking.”

Understood. He had a few days to find another accommodation—or convince Beckett that bunking could be fun.

Zane pulled his drawing tablet and stylus from their cushioned compartment. “Did you want to head to Chiffon with your friends? Whatever Chiffon is.”

“It’s a bar where we professors drink pinot noir and pontificate on the pleasures of punning.”

“Um . . . .”

“It’s a pretentious penis party.”

Zane turned around, armed with the supplies he needed to finish—or fix—the comic. “Sounds like a . . . picnic?”

The corners of Beckett’s mouth pulled up. Zane dropped the electronics to the bed and crossed over to the professor.

He tapped a finger against the wine stain at the side of Beckett’s blazer lapel. “Proof that you snorted your wine while we texted? I’ll have it dry-cleaned, if you’d like?”

“It’s not your fault. I’ll sort it out. Use it as an excuse to buy another one.”

Zane caught a whiff of Beckett’s clean scent with a subtle spicing of aftershave. Blue eyes met his, curious and hesitant.

A fat, black spider bungee-jumped from the beam above them and dangled in Zane’s face. He dropped the fingers that had lingered on Beckett’s chest and scrambled to the wall.

“Does a big, strapping man like you need me to remove the tiny bastard?”

“That’s a big, strapping yes.”

A few precise movements later, Beckett trapped the hairy beast in his hands. Insane yet heroic.

The bed squealed as Beckett kneeled on it. Zane crawled next to him, opened the window, and beat a quick retreat as Beckett set the spider free. “The sheets are freshly changed, and you can help yourself to breakfast.”

Fresh bed and breakfast? Lovely. But Zane was more concerned about suicidal spiders. He studied the ceiling with a shudder. “Do you think there are more?”

The window clapped shut, sealing off the cool breeze. “Would you feel better sleeping with my cat?”

Zane’s attention pivoted to Beckett’s hands fitting the lock. Long-fingered, deft, sure. “I’d feel better sleeping with you.”

Beckett let out a strangled sound, swung off the bed, and zipped to the ladder. “Good night, Zane,” he said, and dropped out of sight.

Zane called after him. “Fine, I’ll take the cat.”

Pisces Hooks Taurus 2

About Anyta Sunday:

HEART-STOPPING SLOW BURN

A bit about me: I’m a big, BIG fan of slow-burn romances. I love to read and write stories with characters who slowly fall in love.

Some of my favorite tropes to read and write are: Enemies to Lovers, Friends to Lovers, Clueless Guys, Bisexual, Pansexual, Demisexual, Oblivious MCs, Everyone (Else) Can See It, Slow Burn, Love Has No Boundaries.

I write a variety of stories, Contemporary MM Romances with a good dollop of angst, Contemporary lighthearted MM Romances, and even a splash of fantasy.

My books have been translated into German, Italian, French, and Thai.

Connect with Anyta:

Author website: http://www.anytasunday.com/

Author newsletter signup: http://www.anytasunday.com/newsletter-free-e-book/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/anytasundaybooks

Twitter: https://twitter.com/anytasunday

Instagram: https://instagram.com/anytasunday

Giveaway: Win an e-book set of 3 Signs of Love books: Leo Loves Aries, Scorpio Hates Virgo, and Gemini Keeps Capricorn or a reader’s choice of back catalog e-book by Anyta Sunday

 

Interview with Tara Gilboy, author of “Unwritten” (out on October 16th)

I was lucky enough to have been approved for an ARC of Unwritten by Tara Gilboy, a middle grade novel about a girl who has been taken out of a story into our real world and is trying to find out more about the world she comes from and especially about the author who wrote her in the story in the first place.

What I like about “books about books” is that there’s a lot of potential for reflections about fiction, about characters’ agency, about why we read and why we write stories. This book did just that, on top of an intriguing and sometimes a little dark plot.

I want to thank author Tara Gilboy so much for agreeing to this interview, and thank you to Jolly Fish Press for sending me the ARC through Netgalley!

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Synopsis: Twelve-year-old Gracie Freeman is living a normal life, but she is haunted by the fact that she is actually a character from a story, an unpublished fairy tale she’s never read. When she was a baby, her parents learned that she was supposed to die in the story, and with the help of a magic book, took her out of the story, and into the outside world, where she could be safe.

But Gracie longs to know what the story says about her. Despite her mother’s warnings, Gracie seeks out the story’s author, setting in motion a chain of events that draws herself, her mother, and other former storybook characters back into the forgotten tale. Inside the story, Gracie struggles to navigate the blurred boundary between who she really is and the surprising things the author wrote about her. As the story moves toward its deadly climax, Gracie realizes she’ll have to face a dark truth and figure out her own fairy tale ending.

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Silvia: How would you pitch your story to someone who hasn’t read the blurb?

Tara Gilboy: Thank you so much for having me today! Unwritten is a middle grade novel about a girl who lives in the real world but is actually a fairy tale character whose parents took her out of the story-world when she was a baby, so she could escape the fate of what was written about her. When she seeks out the story’s author, that fate – and the story’s villain — soon catch up with her.

S: Tell us a little bit about the main characters of Unwritten.

TG: The main character of Unwritten is Gracie, and she is a flawed character, which is perhaps why I love her so much. She can be stubborn, and she has a bit of a temper, but she’s also passionate and determined. When her mom refuses to tell her about the story written about her, she takes matters into her own hands. Walter is also a character from the story Gracie was born in. He is quieter than Gracie, and a bit kinder and more insightful, but he can also be stubborn in his own way. He’s less willing to believe in the “magic” of the story world, and is always looking for a scientific explanation. But I think he helps keep Gracie grounded. Both characters are fiercely loyal to one another.

S: What inspired you to write “a story within a story”, so to speak?

TG: You know, it’s interesting, because the idea for this novel didn’t start with it being a “story within a story.” It started with the idea of being on the run from someone. I kept having this recurring dream about being forced to flee in the middle of the night, and packing all my things in the car before some sort of supernatural entity caught up with me. I started playing around with this idea and doing some freewriting about shaping it into a story. What would these characters be running from? That idea kind of gradually evolved into the “story within a story,” which quickly became much more complicated than I had anticipated, with questions about fate and free will. I always smile to myself when readers mention the book being short and simple because there were many, many drafts that were extremely long and confusing while I figured this stuff out.

S: This is your debut. Have you always wanted to become a writer?

TG: Oh, yes, for as long as I can remember. I’ve wanted to write pretty much since I learned to read, and I still have some of the stories I wrote in elementary school. My mom recently gave me a letter I wrote to a publisher when I was in third grade, asking if I could write books for their series. (Apparently she never mailed it!) Unfortunately, until I was in my twenties, I had never actually met a writer, and so writing started to seem like this kind of “impossible dream.” Then in college, I took some creative writing classes, published a couple short stories, and worked as an editor at a literary journal, and I realized: “Hey, I can really do this!”

S: Do your characters sometimes take their destiny on their own hands or do you always have complete control over what you write?

TG: Oh my goodness, my characters ALWAYS take their destiny in their own hands. I am horrible at outlining because if I plan out everything in the story ahead of time, when I sit down to write, everything feels a bit “forced,” as if I am trying to make my characters do things that don’t feel natural for them. I actually just wrote a scene the other day, where at the end of it, a character had done something that took me completely by surprise, and when I had finished the scene, I kind of sat there thinking “Wow. I had no idea that was going to happen when I sat down to write.” But it took the story in a new and wonderful direction I had not anticipated, and was much better than what I had initially planned.

S: What are your favorite stories to read about? How do they inspire you in your own work?

TG: I feel like this changes all the time depending on my mood. Sometimes I go through periods where I am reading a lot of historical fiction, or ghost stories, or classics, or fantasy…. One thing that is consistent, though, is that middle grade and young adult are my absolute favorite books to read – I rarely read adult novels anymore. I feel like in middle grade and young adult novels, the stories are condensed into their essential elements – there’s no room to let the story digress and go off on tangents – so the focus is on telling a good story, which is something that is really important to me. I always start off my writing day by reading: reading books I love keeps me inspired. I’m working on another fantasy right now and reading a lot of Harry Potter to keep myself inspired. I think JK Rowling is a genius at both developing character and creating exciting plots.

S: How did your experiences as a writer influence you when writing the character of Gertrude Winters?

TG: Gertrude’s character is interesting to me because I was so reluctant to bring her into the book in a major way, and I’m not sure why. My critique partners kept telling me in draft after draft that I needed to reveal more of who she is and explain why she had written the story she did. I think in the initial drafts, I really didn’t know why Gertrude wrote the story, or perhaps I was hesitant to really start examining my own creative process through her. I think in some ways Gertrude’s writing process is really an exaggeration of the writing process of many writers. We all kind of “write behind our backs,” so to speak, where we draw on things in our own lives, or repeatedly explore themes that are important to us, sometimes subconsciously. My critique partners have pointed out that a lot of my work explores relationships between mothers and daughters, something that I never set out to do intentionally, but comes up again and again in my writing. Gertrude, I think, takes this tendency even further, basing her characters on people she knows, and drawing on her own experiences in a huge way as she shapes her stories. And, of course, one thing that I have in common with Gertrude is that I love writing villains – they are such interesting characters!

S: I think the way you talked about heroes and villains in this book was brilliant. What do you hope your young readers take away from it?

TG: Thank you so much! This idea of heroes and villains is something that evolved in later drafts, and it is SO important to me. I am so concerned lately by this kind of “call out culture” that is so prevalent on social media right now. Any time someone makes a mistake, or does or says something bad, that mistake can immediately be made public, and more and more, I’ve been seeing people labeled as either “good” or “bad,” without compassion or consideration for “why” the person might have done the things they did. Everyone makes mistakes – we don’t say or do the right things all the time, but the important thing is being able to learn from those mistakes, move on, and try to do better next time. People are so much more complex than the labels we ascribe to them. Heroes often do bad things, and villains are capable of doing good. I hope readers will be inspired from my book to offer compassion and forgiveness when others make mistakes, and consider the whole person, rather than simply the mistake.

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Goodreads | Pre-order

 

Release Blitz: Thrall by Avon Gale & Roan Parrish

Publisher: Philtre Press

Release Date (Print & Ebook): September 27th, 2018

Subgenre: Mystery

Order here: AmazonAll other vendors

Thrall Graphic 1

Synopsis:

Dating Sucks & Love Bites

Happy couple Mina Murray and Lucy Westenra have begun to garner national attention for their quirky New Orleans true-crime podcast, Shadowcast. When Lucy’s brother Harker disappears while researching the popular new dating app Thrall, they’re thrown into a real-life mystery. Aided by their social media expert, Arthur, and Harker’s professor, Van Helsing, they follow the trail, hoping to find Harker before it’s too late.

When their investigation crosses the path of a possible serial killer, the line between fantasy and reality begins to blur. And as they race against the app’s countdown clock, so does the line between friendship and love. What starts as a flirtatious rivalry between computer-savvy Arthur and techno-averse Van Helsing becomes much more, and Mina and Lucy’s relationship is tested in the fires of social media.

As they get down to the wire, the group discovers that nothing on their screens is as it seems—including their enemy.

A modern retelling of Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

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Teaser Excerpt #2:

Lucy Westenra

You there baby?

Mina Murray

I’m here. How are you holding up? You had nightmares last night, huh?

Lucy Westenra

Sorry i woke you 😦

Mina Murray

Shh no way. ❤

Lucy Westenra

So um…I brought Harker’s tablet to work bc I knew today would be a slow day and uh…

I looked at his search history <_____________________<

Mina Murray

Oh god, is it porn that no sister should ever see?

Lucy Westenra

I wish it WAS

Mina Murray

Uh oh. What is it babe?

Lucy Westenra

Here I’m sending the screenshots I took to your email

Mina Murray

Oh. That is…a bit grim.

But you KNOW my search history is !!! bc of ShadowCast.

Lucy Westenra

Yeah, he clearly doesn’t listen to our podcast if he doesn’t even know where to hide a body :/

Mina Murray

😀

Lucy Westenra

Ok I’m not trying to be paranoid buuuut…this is a creepy thing to find in Hark’s history! Why would he need to know where to dump a body? Mina is my brother a killer?!

I’m only half kidding!

Mina Murray

Well, ok hmm. He googled bars, so maybe he had a date and was coming up with…conversational topics? * hopeful emoji*

Lucy Westenra

Right like, Hey, come here often, want to know where the best place to hide a body is?

Mina Murray

I mean, can’t lie, that’d be way more appealing than 90% of my first dates soooo

Anyway.

Lucy Westenra

This is…god, what if he was abducted and the person who took him looked up where to dump his body!!!?

Mina Murray

That’s really scary, but seems pretty unlikely. There are a lot of more logical explanations than that a killer would use their victim’s own tablet to see where to dump him and then leave it behind. Don’t worry, L

Lucy Westenra

This is just not like him. I mean, sure, he’s weird but…this seems weird, even for him.

Mina Murray

For real, there is probably a totally reasonable explanation for his search history that has nothing to do with abduction or murder, just like there is for ours when we look up stuff like that.

Research or…hell, maybe he was watching a tv show and wanted to fact check.

There are tons of reasons.

Lucy Westenra

Yeah, you’re right, there are tons of reasons. It’s just this weird feeling I keep getting.

About the Authors:

Avon Gale

Avon Gale was once the mayor on Foursquare of Jazzercise and Lollicup, which should tell you all you need to know about her as a person. She likes road trips, rock concerts, drinking Kentucky bourbon, JRPGs and yelling at hockey. She’s a displaced southerner living in a liberal midwestern college town, and she never gets tired of people and their stories — either real or the ones she makes up in her head.

Avon is represented by Courtney Miller-Callihan at Handspun Literary Agency.

Connect with Avon: Twitter | Facebook | Newsletter | Instagram | Website

Roan Parrish

Roan Parrish lives in Philadelphia, where she is gradually attempting to write love stories in every genre.

When not writing, she can usually be found cutting her friends’ hair, meandering through whatever city she’s in while listening to torch songs and melodic death metal, or cooking overly elaborate meals. She loves bonfires, winter beaches, minor chord harmonies, and self-tattooing. One time she may or may not have baked a six-layer chocolate cake and then thrown it out the window in a fit of pique.

Connect with Roan: Parrish or Perish FB Group | Twitter | Instagram | BookBub | Newsletter

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Giveaway! Win 1 of 3 e-copies of any back catalog book by Avon Gale or Roan Parrish!

Cover Reveal: Thrall by Avon Gale and Roan Parrish

Publisher: Philtre Press

Release Date (Print & Ebook): September 27th, 2018

Subgenre: Mystery

Order here: Amazon | All other vendors 

Synopsis:

Dating Sucks & Love Bites

Happy couple Mina Murray and Lucy Westenra have begun to garner national attention for their quirky New Orleans true-crime podcast, Shadowcast. When Lucy’s brother Harker disappears while researching the popular new dating app Thrall, they’re thrown into a real-life mystery. Aided by their social media expert, Arthur, and Harker’s professor, Van Helsing, they follow the trail, hoping to find Harker before it’s too late.

When their investigation crosses the path of a possible serial killer, the line between fantasy and reality begins to blur. And as they race against the app’s countdown clock, so does the line between friendship and love. What starts as a flirtatious rivalry between computer-savvy Arthur and techno-averse Van Helsing becomes much more, and Mina and Lucy’s relationship is tested in the fires of social media.

As they get down to the wire, the group discovers that nothing on their screens is as it seems—including their enemy.

A modern retelling of Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

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Sneak Peek of Thrall:

Van Helsing

I…no. You know you’re young enough to be one of my graduate students? Though much better dressed. But if your flirting is sincere, then I welcome it. I can’t deny that I felt something between us this morning.

Arthur Quincey

I, uh, definitely felt something

Ugh, sorry, that was a terrible joke—you should be impressed, I never get this nervous. but seriously, so did I. It’s definitely sincere.

Van Helsing

I am also nervous. I…I suppose I don’t quite know what to say next. I’ve never attempted to flirt on a—what is this, chat?

Arthur Quincey

OMG, Gus. (I’m…look, that name reminds me of the musical Cats, which I loathe so can I call you Van?)

It’s kind of hot you just said you were nervous btw (and yeah, it’s chat)

Van Helsing

I got the feeling you were calling me Professor on purpose, no? Yes, I suppose I can suffer through Van, if you must.

Ah, well, I’m very gratified you think so.

Arthur Quincey

Yeah, because I like it. The professor thing is totally a turn-on. And I like the idea of making you like that name, Van. Just because no one else has.

About the Authors:

Avon Gale

Avon Gale was once the mayor on Foursquare of Jazzercise and Lollicup, which should tell you all you need to know about her as a person. She likes road trips, rock concerts, drinking Kentucky bourbon, JRPGs and yelling at hockey. She’s a displaced southerner living in a liberal midwestern college town, and she never gets tired of people and their stories — either real or the ones she makes up in her head.

Avon is represented by Courtney Miller-Callihan at Handspun Literary Agency.

 Connect with Avon: Twitter | Facebook | Newsletter | Instagram | Website

Roan Parrish

Roan Parrish lives in Philadelphia, where she is gradually attempting to write love stories in every genre.

When not writing, she can usually be found cutting her friends’ hair, meandering through whatever city she’s in while listening to torch songs and melodic death metal, or cooking overly elaborate meals. She loves bonfires, winter beaches, minor chord harmonies, and self-tattooing. One time she may or may not have baked a six-layer chocolate cake and then thrown it out the window in a fit of pique.

Connect with Roan: Parrish or Perish FB Group | Twitter | Instagram | BookBub | Newsletter

Release Blitz: Calling Calling Calling Me by Natasha Washington

Happy book birthday to a book I absolutely loved! You can read my full review here and you can read an excerpt, find out more about the book and enter a giveaway to win an e-copy by keeping reading this post.

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Publisher: Natasha Washington

Release Date: September 4, 2018

Subgenre: Contemporary Queer Romance/New Adult

Tropes/Themes: college romance, first time, fish out of water

Book Synopsis: Patrick Mahoney has one goal in mind: get out of his native Fresno and find freedom in the rainbow and glitter-painted streets of San Francisco. As a college freshman, he’s sure he’ll finally have the chance to be himself, away from the judgmental eyes of his conservative hometown.

Josh Dirda’s never wanted to be tied down before, preferring the emotional ease of the one night stand. But when Patrick moves into the apartment that Josh shares with three friends, Josh is caught up in Patrick’s sly wit and quietly creative spirit. As Patrick’s self-appointed tour guide, Josh can be Patrick’s introduction to the city he loves. But after a drunken Halloween hook-up crosses lines, Patrick and Josh must reckon with their true feelings—and decide whether they can let go of the ghosts that haunt them.

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Excerpt

The day Patrick drove up to move in, Kai opened the door for him with a finger pressed to his lips.

“I—” Patrick started to say, but stopped when he saw Kai’s face.

Kai stepped silently to the side, so Patrick had a clear view into the hallway. Josh had his back turned to them both, and he was writhing around in a way that Patrick imagined was supposed to be dancing. He had huge headphones over his ears, and when he turned slightly, Patrick could see he was mouthing the words only he could hear.

Laughter bubbled up in his throat. He felt like a reporter on Animal Planet. A wild Josh has been sighted—

Josh swung around in a particularly enthusiastic approximation of a jazz square, saw them both and nearly fell over. His eyes widened, his lips parted, and he pushed his earphones back onto his shoulders.

“Duuuuude,” Kai stated. “Epic.”

“What’s up, Patrick?” Josh said, his voice sounding a bit high and breathless. “You here with your moving truck?”

“Oh God, right,” Kai said, slapping his forehead with his hand. “I totally forgot you were moving in today.”

“Did you think he drove five hours up from Fresno to visit?” Josh asked.

“Shut up,” Kai said. “We’re really awesome. Of course he’d drive five hours just to see us. You got much stuff? Let’s do this.”

“I’m going to wake up Mike,” Josh said.

It was nearly one p.m. on a Saturday, and yet somehow Patrick was not surprised that Mike was still asleep.

“You want to jump on his bed,” Kai said.

“Dude, obviously,” Josh said, and disappeared down the hallway.

Kai rolled his eyes, then followed Patrick out to where he parked the truck. “Is your mom here?”

As if on cue, his mom hopped out of the passenger seat, waving enthusiastically. Patrick was pretty sure his mom would have wanted to marry Kai, if she were single and he wasn’t nearly twenty years younger than her. Actually, he wasn’t so sure she cared about that last part.

“Kai, so good to see you,” she said, squeezing his arm, and oh God, she was blushing.

Patrick’s dad appeared then, still disgruntled from the traffic coming up, muttering something about this snotty city with no parking. When he saw Kai, he schooled his features into a polite expression and held out his hand.

“You must be Mr. Maloney,” Kai said, smiling. “So good to meet you, sir.”

His dad looked pleased at the greeting, and they chatted a bit about the weather here and how different it was from the blinding desert haze of Fresno.

“It’s those ocean breezes, sir, keeps the heat off our backs,” Kai said, while Patrick rolled up the back door of the U-Haul and tried to will all its contents inside the apartment with the power of his mind.

Mike and Josh tumbled out a minute later, Mike half-asleep and looking like a hot mess in a wrinkled T-shirt and a pair of sweatpants. Josh had enough energy for all of them combined, though, as he orchestrated the moving of furniture and boxes like someone who was either extraordinarily good at strategic planning or had done this a lot.

About Natasha Washington: Natasha Washington lives in Philadelphia, where she writes queer love stories in both YA (as Sonia Belasco) and romance. She has spent much of her professional life working with young people as a mentor, tutor, or therapist. When not writing, she is likely cooking, taking long, meandering walks, or listening to dance music or 90s hip-hop.

Connect with Natasha: Website | Twitter | Instagram

Enter the giveaway to win one of two e-copies of Calling Calling Calling Me!

Secret Release Blitz: Love Letters (#1—#3) by Anyta Sunday

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Surprise! Anyta Sunday just released not one, not two, but  t h r e e  new novels in her all-new series, Love Letters!

Letters A, B and C are out today, July 31st, and here are the covers and info about them! Reviews are coming out on the blog soon, in the meantime you can enjoy an excerpt at the end of this post.

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Series blurb:

Feisty. Nerdy. Sexy. Secretive.

Greenville has them all.

A small town with big hearts, Greenville awakens at the mercy of Millionaire Row, the wealthy neighborhood across the tracks from Poplar Low.

Bad-tempered boys meet cheeky lovers.

Colliding worlds spark a fire of emotion. Heat rages. Hearts mend. Love is lost. And found.

Love Letters are playful, sexy, contemporary M/M stories that can be read as standalones.

Welcome to Greenville. Come for the sexy boys. Stay for the HEA.


Admiring Ash

AdmiringAsh-f

 

Series:  Love Letters #1

Publisher: Anyta Sunday (self-published)

Release Date (Print & Ebook): July 31st, 2018

Length (Print & Ebook): 41600 words / 222 pages

Subgenre: Light-hearted, sexy gay romance

Direct Link: https://www.anytasunday.com/projects/admiring-ash

 

Book blurb:

A is for Ash Heartford.

Adorable, strong, and independent.

Abandoned by his parents and attached to only one person—his little sister.

Attracted to River, the sultry man who saunters onto his doorstep with startling news.

Always yearning for more River, yet afraid to let him in.

Should he play it safe, or claim his legacy and risk losing his heart?

A is for Admiring Ash.

Tropes: Slow burn, virgin, one true love, happily ever after, related but not, hurt/comfort, forbidden love

Themes: Sudden inheritance, broken family, insta-dad

Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance


Begging Ben

BeggingBen-f

 

Series: Love Letters #2

Publisher: Anyta Sunday (self-published)

Release Date (Print & Ebook): July 31st, 2018

Length (Print & Ebook): 41000 words / 220 pages

Subgenre: Light-hearted, sexy gay romance

Direct Link:

https://www.anytasunday.com/projects/begging-ben

 

Book blurb:

B is for Ben Spengler.

Brilliant. Bashful. Burned.

Brimming with desire for his BFF Landon, who is beyond compare.

But they aren’t the same Ben and Landon anymore. Not after what Landon did. And didn’t do.

Bitter about his unrequited love.

Bound by a night of drunken promises.

Will the chemistry between them change, or will Ben break first?

B is for Begging Ben.

Tropes: Pretend boyfriend, friends to lovers, virgin, brother-like, jealousy

Themes: Science, geek, alcohol induced oblivion

Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance


Challenging Chance

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Series: Love Letters #3

Publisher: Anyta Sunday (self-published)

Release Date (Print & Ebook): July 31st, 2018

Length (Print & Ebook): 32000 words / 182 pages

Subgenre: Light-hearted, sexy gay romance

Direct Link: https://www.anytasunday.com/projects/challenging-chance

 

Book blurb:

C is for Chance Roosevelt-Sutton.

Chiseled jaw. Smug attitude. Wild ways.

Chained to his ego—or so everyone thinks. Except his personal assistant, Brook. He knows better.

Chance is challenged to make his father happy for once, but he needs Brook’s help.

Choosing honesty is too risky, so instead they choose secrecy.

Choked by their pasts, they dream of a better life . . . and

Charm each other into submission.

Will their pasts ruin what they have, or will they grow together?

C is for Challenging Chance.

Tropes: Alpha male, millionaire bad boy, athlete, help/comfort

Themes: Basketball, coming out

Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance

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Excerpt from Begging Ben:

“What do you want from a real marriage?”

Ben paused, clawing back the “you” desperately trying to escape him. Not Landon. He was over that. “I want to have someone who supports me, and vice versa. I want conversations and shared interests. I want common goals, my husband and I, a team. Us against the world. I want to be so close to him that I can guess what he is thinking. I want a man who sees I have failures and flaws but loves me anyway. Who has a fantastic sense of humor and finds joy laughing at the silly things. And . . . .”

“And?”

Ben couldn’t hold Landon’s deeply curious gaze. “I want to be his first choice. Not a backup when the guy he really wants doesn’t want him back.”

The silence that followed felt thick and taut, and Ben struggled to breathe.

Landon sat back with a determined stare toward the road. He licked his bottom lip and his hand rested on the wheel, thumb tapping. “You deserve all that, Ben. That and more.”

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