Sunday, May 28, 2017

Sunday's Safe Word Shelf: Before You Break by KC Wells & Parker Williams


Title: Before You Break
Authors: KC Wells & Parker Williams
Series: Secrets #1
Genre: M/M Romance, BDSM
Release Date: May 26, 2017
Cover Design: Reese Dante
Summary:
Six years ago Ellis walked into his first briefing as the newest member of London’s Specialist Firearms unit. He was partnered with Wayne and they became fast friends. When Wayne begins to notice changes—Ellis’s erratic temper, the effects of sleep deprivation—he knows he has to act before Ellis reaches his breaking point. He invites Ellis to the opening of the new BDSM club, Secrets, where Wayne has a membership. His purpose? He wants Ellis to glimpse the lifestyle before Wayne approaches him with a proposition. He wants to take Ellis in hand, to control his life because he wants his friend back, and he figures this is the only way to do it.

There are a few issues, however. Ellis is straight. Stubborn. And sexy. Wayne knows he has to put his own feelings aside to be what Ellis needs. What surprises the hell out of him is finding out what Ellis actually requires.


Prologue: July 2016
WAYNE DWYER sat in the back seat of the ARV, Ellis Mann beside him as usual, and Shaun Temple at the wheel. Wayne’s loaded carbine lay across his knees, a pistol strapped to his thigh. The early morning was wet and quiet as the convoy of seven police cars, two police vans, and an ambulance crawled its way across South London, the drizzle misting the windscreen.

Wayne was calm, his thoughts focused on the briefing that had taken place an hour previous. They were on their way to arrest a suspect the police had reason to believe was in possession of a weapon. Intelligence came from the officers who’d spent the last few hours reconnoitering the address.

“If anything goes wrong,” Shaun commented in his quiet voice, “this could be a long night.”

Beside Wayne, Ellis twitched, clenching and unclenching his hand on his thigh.

Wayne chuckled, more to ease the tension in Ellis than for any other reason. “And he could already be tucked up fast asleep in his bed by the time we get there.” The surveillance team had reported their suspect was home. As they neared the target’s building, an ARV and another police car, this time with local officers on board, veered off to cover the back of the building.

“Then let’s hope he doesn’t wake up and decide to seize a hostage,” Shaun muttered. He pulled the car over to the curb, and the other vehicles did the same. “Okay, rendezvous point.”

Wayne knew they were out of sight and sound of the flats. He’d studied the Google Earth images and the large-scale maps of the property and neighboring area.

“I’m with you,” Ellis murmured. “I hope he’s off in the Land of Nod. Makes things a damn sight easier.” They already knew what had occurred earlier that evening; the suspect and another man, both with records of violence, had threatened someone, demanding money they claimed was owed to them. The report said both men were armed.

The three men got out of the car and were joined by four more officers, all of them armed and fully kitted out with helmets, goggles, and body armor. Lewis was in command.

“Okay, check mobiles are off and radios turned down,” he instructed in a low voice. “Cassidy and Phelps have a carbine and pistol trained on the fourth floor in case our man gets desperate and decides to try and escape through the window.”

In a close-linked single file, they moved stealthily to the ten-story block of flats, part of the depressing seventies concrete jungle of gray with its raised footbridges and stone stairwells. Lewis was the first at the downstairs glass door, which he opened with a key as quietly as possible. Shaun slipped inside first, a bulletproof shield held up to protect himself, his Glock in his hand. Behind him the six officers made their way up the flights of concrete stairs, and Wayne’s nose twitched at the faint yet unmistakable aroma of stale urine. Peters carried the battering ram.

The building was silent when they lined up outside the flat’s door. Lewis signaled for Peters and Derwent, and the quiet was shattered as they rushed forward, breaking down the red front door. All of them rushed in, weapons ready, and Lewis called out, “Armed police! Armed police! Come on out. And let’s see those hands!”

Wayne trained his carbine at the bedroom door as it opened and a young man emerged from it, unsteady on his feet, dressed in a pair of boxers. He blinked at them, mouth falling open.

“Okay, okay,” he said, waving his hands in the air. “Not armed, all right?” His chest heaved.

“Find something to cover him with before you take him outside,” Lewis directed. Shaun cuffed him, all the while reading him his rights. Wayne ducked into his bedroom and grabbed the black bedspread from the bed. He returned to the scene, threw it over the suspect’s shoulders, and watched as Shaun led him from the flat.

Ellis jerked toward the second bedroom door and froze when a small girl appeared, rubbing eyes that went wide when she saw the officers. She began to wail, and another child and a woman spilled out of the room.

“What the fuck are you doing in my home?” the woman screeched, automatically indicating for the girls to stand behind her before pulling her robe around her.

Lewis ignored her indignant shrieks. “Peters, escort these people downstairs to the third floor.” Peters did as instructed, and Ellis guided them through the door. Once they were safely out of the way, Lewis got on his radio. “Okay, bring in Troy.”

Wayne remained still while they waited for Troy, the police dog, and his handler. He gave Ellis a glance as his buddy came back into the flat. This was the nerve-racking part of such an operation—the meticulous search of the property to ensure there wasn’t a second hidden armed man. With the suspect and his family taken care of, the seven officers and dog searched all corners of the flat for the next twenty minutes. Once they were assured it was empty, it was time to go. The local officers would be in next to search for weapons.

They filed out of the flat and downstairs to the vehicles. “Debrief back at operations,” Lewis announced. Wayne knew it would be quick; everything had gone smoothly. Only two hours left until his shift ended at 7:00 a.m.

“Well, that was textbook,” Ellis commented as he climbed into the back of the ARV.

“Yeah, it’s nice when that happens.” After six years as a Specialist Firearms police officer, Wayne was accustomed to the pattern, the sudden changes in pace. One minute they could be out on a quiet patrol, the next thrown into action. From one extreme to the other.

Shaun’s radio burst into life. “Nine-nine-nine call made from an address that’s on your route,” the tinny voice stated. “A neighbor has heard a woman in the upstairs flat screaming. She has reason to believe there’s a weapon involved. We haven’t got enough to corroborate this, but given the address, you might want to check it out. Local officers have been called to this address before. Can you assist? You’re three minutes from the scene, and your commander has been advised.”

Ellis’s face fell, and Wayne knew what was going through his mind. Strictly speaking, it should have been passed on to uniform or possibly the armed officers unit. They were still on duty, however, and he knew Ellis wouldn’t suggest leaving the call to the locals, not if they were closer. Wayne leaned forward. “Take it, Shaun. If we’re closer than uniform, it makes sense. Besides, Lewis has okayed it.”

Shaun nodded and spoke into his radio mic. “Affirmative.” After receiving the details, he spoke again. “We are en route. Please ensure there will be backup.”

“Affirmative. Over and out.”

Shaun pulled away from the curb. He drove quickly through the empty streets. It seemed like no time before they were arriving at the address, a two-story house. Wayne and Ellis got out and hurried to the front door. A middle-aged woman in a blue dressing gown met them. Her eyes widened when she saw them.

“Oh my God, what have they sent me, the Flying Squad?”

“Not quite. Nearest available officers, ma’am,” Wayne said politely.

With a trembling finger, she pointed to the staircase. “They’re upstairs. You be careful now. He’s a bad’un. Everyone around here knows about—”

“It’s okay, ma’am,” Ellis interjected in a whisper. When a low cry reached them, he signaled for her to go back into her ground-floor flat before he led them toward the stairs. They inched their way up the narrow steps, Ellis’s gun drawn. When they reached the first floor, the door to the flat stood ajar. Ellis put his finger to his lips and crept inside, Wayne right behind him.

The first room was empty, but Wayne caught sight of the first signs of a struggle. A chair lay overturned, a man’s shoe beside it. Wayne quickly assessed the situation. There wasn’t enough evidence to indicate what was going on, but a loud noise from along the hallway had both of them stiffening.

“Help!” A woman’s voice, clearly frightened, pierced the quiet house. “Anybody, please!”

Before Wayne could react, Ellis shouted out, “Armed police! We’re coming in!” He darted out of the room and along the dimly lit hallway, his gun held high.

What the fuck? Wayne hurried after him, adrenaline pumping through him. What is he playing at?

When he reached the room at the end, Ellis flung open the door and Wayne followed him inside. In the middle of the room was a double bed, where a man lay on top of a woman. She was struggling beneath him, but he was clearly stronger. With one hand he pinned her wrists to the pillow above her head while the other wasn’t in sight. Her satin slip was torn at the shoulder. A large knife lay on the bed beside them, and before Wayne could react, the man clambered off her and picked it up. He brandished it at Ellis.

“Back off.” His eyes were huge, darting his gaze from Ellis to Wayne.

Ellis pointed his gun at the man. “Put the knife down,” he ordered. “Now!”

The man paled and dropped it onto the floor, where it clattered against the varnished floorboards. Wayne gave an inward sigh of relief and Ellis’s tension diminished visibly.

When the woman made a lunge for the bedside cabinet, Ellis froze. Wayne watched in disbelief as a second later she pulled out a revolver and pointed it at her assailant. Aw fuck. What dismayed him more was Ellis’s reaction.

His partner hesitated, his weapon at his side.

Wayne took control, his heart pounding. “Put that gun down now!” he shouted. He aimed his Glock, making sure she saw it.

Her face crumpled and she collapsed onto the bed, sobbing, and dropped the revolver onto the duvet.

Wayne shuddered with relief. “Cuff him,” he barked at Ellis before approaching the bed. He holstered his pistol and helped the woman to her feet. He spoke into his radio. “Shaun, has backup arrived yet? I need transport for two people as fast as you can.”

“Got it.”

Wayne guided her out of the room, leaving the revolver where it had fallen. He’d deal with that once she and the assailant were safely in police custody. Wayne followed Ellis and the man down the stairs and out of the house. By the time they reached the car, two more came around the corner and pulled up in front of it. Two local officers got out of each and separated the couple, helping each into the back seat of their cars, both of them cuffed. After a brief conversation with Wayne, the officers got into the cars and left.

“Just got to pick up the knife and revolver,” he told Shaun. He signaled to Ellis to follow him back into the house and up the stairs. Once inside the flat, Wayne couldn’t hold in his emotions any longer.

“What the fuck is wrong with you?” he growled.

Ellis frowned. “What are you talking about?”

“I’m talking about you apparently leaving your brains in the car.” Wayne took a deep breath. “First off, since when do you shout out before you’ve even seen what’s going on? You had no fucking idea what was going on in that bedroom. All you did by yelling too soon was announce our presence to that guy. You put us in danger.”

“What?” Ellis gaped at him.

“You gave him time to prepare for us entering the room. We could have walked in there to find a loaded gun pointed at our chests.” He clenched his gloved fists. “But what worries me more is your lack of reaction. Why didn’t you aim at her?”

Ellis froze, his face ashen. “Instinct. I judged her to be the victim. I mean, she was the one screaming, right? And I… I didn’t think she’d shoot.”

“Why—because she’s a woman? Damn it, Ellis, you know better. You’ve come up against armed women before, same as I have, but this time you held back.”

“She… she collapsed.”

“But you couldn’t have known she’d give up so easily.”

“She wasn’t a threat,” Ellis insisted.

“Not to you—but that guy was in immediate danger. You should have issued her a warning and then fired to protect him, damn it!” Wayne pushed down hard on his anger and bewilderment. “Okay, so there were a couple of options open to you, and yeah, there’s never a right or wrong answer to the question ‘should I shoot?’ But in my opinion? I’d have gone for it.” He stared at Ellis, unblinking. “What concerns me is that you didn’t.”

Ellis swallowed. “You think I fucked up.” His chest heaved, his eyes full of dismay.

His obvious distress put a damper on Wayne’s emotions. “Let’s bag the weapons and get out of here, all right? We still have a debrief to take care of back at operations.”

“Are… are you going to mention what happened here?” Ellis locked gazes with him.

Shit.

Wayne assessed his buddy and came to a rapid decision. “No,” he said at last. “Though I should.” In his heart he knew it was the latest in a series of incidents that worried the hell out of him. Jesus, what the fuck is going on here, Ellis?

This was getting out of hand.

“Let’s move before Shaun gets it into his head that we’re taking too bloody long.” He reached out and patted Ellis’s shoulder. “We can talk about this another time.”

Ellis nodded, albeit with obvious reluctance.

Wayne bagged the knife and the revolver and followed Ellis from the flat. He stared at his retreating colleague’s back as they descended the stairs.

And we are going to talk about this.

It was time to act before Ellis did something stupid and jeopardized not only his own life, but those of his fellow officers. And Wayne knew exactly what was needed.

Time to take you in hand, boy.

Author Bios:
KC Wells
Born and raised in the north-west of England, K.C. WELLS always loved writing. Words were important. Full stop. However, when childhood gave way to adulthood, the writing ceased, as life got in the way. K.C. discovered erotic fiction in 2009, when the purchase of a ménage storyline led to the startling discovery that reading about men in love was damn hot. In 2012, arriving at a really low point in life led to the desperate need to do something creative.

An even bigger discovery waited in the wings—writing about men in love was even hotter….

K.C. now writes full-time and is loving every minute of her new career. The laptop still has no idea of what hit it… it only knows that it wants a rest, please. And it now has to get used to the idea that where K.C goes, it goes.

And as for those men in love that she writes about? The list of stories just waiting to be written is getting longer… and longer….

K.C. loves to hear from readers.

Parker Williams
Parker Williams began to write as a teen, but never showed his work to anyone. As he grew older, he drifted away from writing, but his love of the written word moved him to reading. A chance encounter with an author changed the course of his life as she encouraged him to never give up on a dream. With the help of some amazing friends, he rediscovered the joy of writing, thanks to a community of writers who have become his family.

Parker firmly believes in love, but is also of the opinion that anything worth having requires work and sacrifice (plus a little hurt and angst, too). The course of love is never a smooth one, and Happily Ever After always has a price tag.


KC Wells
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Parker Williams
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Saturday, May 27, 2017

Saturday's Series Spotlight: Accidental Roots by Elle Keaton


Series: Accidental Roots #1 & 2
Author: Elle Keaton
Genre: M/M Romance

Storm Season #1
Summary:
They say you can’t go home again, Adam Klay doesn’t intend to until the death of his father, a famous artist, forces his return to Skagit, Washington. Cleaning up his father’s chaotic life was never on Adam’s bucket list. Worse, Adam finds himself inexplicably drawn to the elusive, terminally-clumsy, gorgeous, Micah Ryan. No way is he getting involved with someone from his hometown, he’s always insisted the best view of Skagit was in his rearview mirror.

Micah Ryan has been coasting on auto-pilot since his family was killed in a car accident a decade earlier. He runs a web business and has an irritable cat. He hardly leaves his house, unless it is for his afternoon espresso. His world tips upside down when Adam Klay rolls into town. For the first time in years, he feels alive. Unfortunately, Micah’s return to the living has been noticed and is not appreciated.

Someone has a secret. Someone is exploiting the vulnerable youth population in Skagit. Teenagers are disappearing, young women turning up dead, the dirty secrets of Skagit are surfacing.

No Pressure #2
Summary:
Home is where the heart is, right? Except when it's not. Not when you're afraid for your life.

Joey James has given up on finding his 'Prince Charming'. There is no such thing, he needs to be realistic about his chances of a lasting relationship. A chance encounter with a former school mate at the local grocery store changes everything-maybe. Before Joey can decide what to do about it, he is swept into a terrifying scheme. Forced into helping a dangerous stranger in exchange for his family's safety, Joey begins a perilous journey into the criminal underbelly of Skagit. He will do whatever is needed to protect his family.

Buck Swanfeldt had a secret crush on Joey James in high school. Social anxiety and a two-year age difference made it impossible for him to approach Joey then. Life since high school has been challenging. And lonely. Eight years later, fate brings them together and Buck decides to act. He utterly fails. He would have left it at that, except fate seems to be intent on pushing Joey in his direction, and clearly Joey needs someone at his back.

Dark, sordid secrets hiding in Skagit are bubbling to the surface, danger lurks in unexpected places. Buck has never been anyone's hero but something about Joey has him throwing caution to the wind. Together the two men take on a dangerous force greater than themselves. But sometimes our worst enemy is ourselves.

Storm Season #1
Sometimes going home is the last thing you want but is exactly what you need.  Well, that's what Adam Klay is facing when he returns to Skagit to sort out his father's estate.  Micah Ryan on the flipside hasn't left Skagit since losing his family in a car accident nearly ten years prior.  When fate, destiny, or just plain dumb luck puts these two on the same course their lives will never be the same.

Storm Season is a wonderful blend of romance, drama, mystery, comedy, and it's all tied up together in a great big bow of heat and chemistry.  I always find mysteries to be a very hard genre to review because I don't do spoilers and with a mystery every little detail can be a huge spoiler so all I will say is that I was hooked from page one and dreaded when I had to put my kindle down when my need for sleep overwhelmed my want to read.

No Pressure #2
No Pressure is much like book one, Storm Season, not because its a copy or too formulaic but because it's jam packed with a little bit of everything and the author meshes it together perfectly.  Joey James is a nurse we met in book one who finds himself in a position he never dreamed possible, and it's not a pleasant one.  Bucky Swanfeldt, who we also met in the first installment, has found that destiny has given him a second chance to get to know his youthful crush.  Just like Adam and Micah from Storm Season, Bucky and Joey are facing a situation that could change their entire existence, good and bad.

The chemistry between Joey and Bucky may not be instantaneous since Joey didn't even remember Bucky when Bucky stopped him and said hello in the store but you just know its lurking in the shadows, kind of like when the bad guys are preparing to spring a trap.  That's not so say I'm comparing Bucky and Joey's connection to bad guys just the "around the corner" feel.

Overall Series Review:
Luckily for me I didn't have to wait before reading No Pressure, I was able to go straight from book one to book two.  Are these standalones? No. Yes, there are resolutions to the mystery in Storm Season but not the whole picture.  You really must read them in order but you won't be disappointed because Accidental Roots kept me on the edge of my seat so much I probably would have been safer to just sprawl on the floor and neglect everything around me until I finished.  Wherever you choose to sit, or sprawl, this is definitely a series that will hold your attention to the very end.  Elle Keaton is new to me and with Accidental Roots she has certainly found her way towards the top of my author's to watch list.

RATING: 

Author Bio:
Author, photographer, rare Pacific Northwest Native, Elle grew up in Seattle, WA., with the Cascade Mountain range to the east and Olympics to the west. Less than two hours northwest lie the majestic San Juan Islands. To the northeast is the Methow Valley and the scrub deserts of Eastern Washington. Geography ripe with material.

A graduate of Western Washington University, Elle has a BS in biology which taught her to be tenacious. The closest she has come to biology since then is having two kids. Like an experiment or something. She’s lived in four states (none of which were gaseous), London England, and Hong Kong; always knows what time it is, and has no problem finding parking even in the most difficult places. Cannot balance a checking account.

Elle's series Accidental Roots, mostly set in the Skagit Valley of Western Washington, will make its debut spring of 2017. Storm Season is tender, sometimes irreverent, full of nosy neighbors and help when the hero didn’t think he needed it. Writing has always been a passion but not something she was able to take seriously until recently. Now her head is full of ideas and not enough time in each day.


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Storm Season #1

No Pressure #2

Raffles to Rattles by Stacy Eaton

Title: Raffles to Rattles
Author: Stacy Eaton
Series: Celebration #8
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: May 26, 2017
Summary:
When Sophia Thayer realized that she’d squandered her savings, she decided to take on a second job. She didn’t particularly want to dust off her four-inch dancing shoes and get back into that line of work, but she knew the money would be good, especially if she got the job at Pleasure Your Fantasies.

Scott Allen has had a thing for Sophia since he’d met her, and it wasn’t until she won him at the Valentine’s Day Bachelor Auction that he realized the feeling might be mutual. Although a relationship didn’t initially work out, Scott didn’t give up on a future with her—not until he saw her dancing on stage at a gentlemen’s club and noticed that the owner was staking a claim on her.

When Sophia realizes she’s pregnant with Scott’s child, can the two of them figure out how to move forward and raise the child together—or will her past and present career choices keep Scott from her side?


The Celebration Series
Welcome to the eighth book in the Celebration Township Series, Raffles to Rattles. This series consists of thirteen novel and novellas that take place over the course of a year, beginning with Christmas. During that year, twelve more stories will unfold in the Township of Celebration, Pennsylvania, and each release will coincide with an upcoming holiday.


The house lights darkened and the curtain parted as the music ramped up. Sparkling silver heels and bright red toenails commanded my attention. My eyes rose to shapely legs, and I found myself, strangely enough, licking my lips.

“No way,” Nolan said just as Jason choked on his drink, spraying it all over me.

I glanced at him as I swiped at my face and saw he was staring at the stage, mouth gaping. For some reason, instead of looking at the stage, I glanced at Nolan, who sat stick-straight in his chair, his brows hiked so high on his forehead that they almost disappeared into his hairline.

I snapped my attention to the stage. The woman was halfway down the runway, in the middle of a spin around the pole, her head back, her hair flowing in ribbons of silky brown locks as she went ’round and ’round. When she slid down the pole, she landed in a crouch and stared straight at Quinn Monroe with a look that made me think she wanted to devour him.

“Is that—” I couldn’t get the words out of my mouth.

“What the hell is Sophia doing on that stage?” Nolan whispered over the table without tearing his eyes off of her.

“The hell if I know. She didn’t tell me she was doing this.” I punched Jason, who shifted in his chair, “Did she tell you?”

He whipped his head my way and then back to the stage, “No, Sassy didn’t tell me.”

“Sassy?” Nolan said.

“That’s her stage name, Sassy Pants.”

I was dumbstruck as I watched her move. I had thought she was beautiful before, but this woman in front of me was like my wildest desire unleashed. Seduction oozed off of her. Her long light brown hair had been darkened to a deep brown, and her sexy heart-shaped face was expertly made up to enhance her cheekbones, her seductive eyes, and her pouty lips.

“Damn, she’s good,” Jason said softly, “really good.”

I wanted to punch him in the head and tell him to stop ogling her. In fact, as that thought crossed my mind, I glanced around to see every man in the room, and there were a lot of them, watching every move she made.

I resumed my scrutiny of her, and, for the next several minutes, I was breathless as she took control not only of the stage, but of the crowd, too. The shimmering silver booty shorts she wore looked like a second skin, and the matching silver bra barely concealed the nipple area of her breasts. I forced myself to stay calm, while not trying to picture what I knew was under those tiny strips of cloth.

When her time was up, a man approached Quinn and bent down. The man nodded, and then he turned and walked toward the back. Quinn rose from his chair and headed in the opposite direction as he buttoned his suit jacket.

Reba’s voice startled me as she spoke to us, and her words were like a knife to my chest, “Looks like she gets to dance privately for the boss, lucky girl.”



  

Flirting with Fireworks #9(June 12, 2017)
Summary:
Brandy Nottingham has known Casey Lowe since high school and can’t wait to see firsthand how wonderful Casey’s life is with Thad Wagner in Celebration Township. As Brandy is introduced to some of Casey’s friends, she literally collides with a man from her past.

It’s been fourteen years since Chase Stevens held Brandy in his arms, and while the two of them clean the tray of paint they spilled on themselves, Chase is painfully reminded of how he’d been left on the pier all alone all those years ago.

As Chase and Brandy try to find a way to deal with the painful and embarrassing past, Brandy needs to decide what her future is going to be. If she were to stay in Celebration, she could lose everything she’s ever known—including her family and their money.

Could Chase be enough for her, or will he realize that he could never offer her the life to which she is accustomed?

Author Bio:
Stacy Eaton began her writing career in October of 2010 and as each year goes by, she releases more and more novels. Stacy recently took an early retirement from law enforcement after over fifteen years of service, with her last three in investigations and crime scene investigation.

Stacy resides in southeastern Pennsylvania with her husband, who works in law enforcement, and her teen daughter who is working toward her second degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do and on the choral and cheerleading squads at school. She also has a son who is currently serving in the United States Navy.

Stacy is very involved in Domestic Violence Awareness and served on the Board of Directors for her local Domestic Violence Center for three years. She continues to volunteer with them when she has time.


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Raffles to Rattlers #8
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Tangled in Tinsel #1
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Tears to Cheers #2
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Heathens to Hearts #3
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Rainbows Bring Riches #4
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Sweet as Sugar #5
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Making Mom Mad #6
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Sparklers or Spankings #7
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Flirting with Fireworks #9
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Release Day Blitz: Find His Way Home by Nell Iris

Title: Find His Way Home
Author: Nell Iris
Genre: M/M Romance
Release Date: May 27, 2017
Publisher: JMS Books
Summary:
Shakespeare-loving teacher Elliot Dunn has been unhappy living in the big city for a long time. He yearns for fresh air, visible stars, and stillness, but his relationship with divorce lawyer Mick Hudson keeps him from moving away.

When a dramatic event occurs in Elliot’s class, he’s shaken to his core and suddenly can’t stay anymore. He leaves his partner of two years behind and returns to the tiny town in the mountains where he grew up.

Living in a rented cabin in the woods, with only an owl for company, Elliot slowly regains his peace of mind. But being away from Mick is agonizing, and when a ghost from Elliot's past pays him a visit, everything comes to a head.

Elliot is faced with a hard decision. Should he stay on the stress-free mountainside alone, or return to the hustle of the city and try to make a life with Mick?


He spent the rest of the afternoon pacing his living room with Lady Gaga blasting from the speakers. He heard his phone ring at some point, but ignored it and kept pacing, rubbing his palms on his head, tousling his short hair. The phone rang several more times, but Elliot walked and walked, until the front door flung open and a wild-eyed Mick stood there, glaring at him.

Mick’s gaze roved over him, making sure he was okay, and then he marched over to the stereo and cut off Gaga in the middle of a rah-rah. “What the hell, Elliot?”

The curse stopped Elliot’s pacing, and he stared at his lover with wide eyes. His well-spoken, hot-shot lawyer partner never used profanities. During their time together, Elliot had heard him swear maybe once or twice, and him doing it now knocked the wind out of Elliot's fury. He groaned, grabbed his lover’s hand, and hauled him over to the couch where he sank down, pulling Mick with him.

“I’m sorry. But I’m angry.”

“I can tell. What happened?”

“I let them buy me, that’s what happened.” Elliot spat out the words.

“What?” The question was so loud Elliot flinched. Mick sighed, stood and shook off his coat, unbuttoned his suit jacket, and kicked off his shoes. Then he sat back down, turned to Elliot, and wrinkled his nose when he saw the state of his hair. “It looks like you’ve tried to pull it out,” he muttered, and ran his fingers through Elliot's locks, trying in vain to tame it. “Tell me what happened.”

When Elliot had recounted the afternoon’s events, Mick grabbed his hands and drew him closer, and he followed willingly. He ended up straddling Mick’s lap, arms around his neck, and his forehead leaning on his lover’s shoulder.

“I’m so sorry,” Mick mumbled and rubbed his stubble against Elliot's temple.

“I shouldn’t have taken the money,” Elliot grunted. “I’m so stupid.”

“You’re not stupid. You had no other choice.”

“There’s always another choice.”

“What else could you have done?”

“I could have told them to go fuck themselves,” he gritted out. He took a deep breath, forcing himself to calm down. “Or I could quit.”

It was several minutes before Mick asked, “And do what?”

Elliot held his breath for a moment before whispering, “I could go back home.” Mick stiffened. “I hate it here.”

“I know.” The thickness of Mick’s voice hit Elliot like a freight train, but he didn’t take back his words. He couldn’t.

“I have to go home. At least for a while. I need silence.” He caught his lower lip between his teeth to stop it from quivering. “This was the last drop, you know?”

Mick nodded and tightened his arms around Elliot until they felt like bands of steel surrounding him. “What about us?”

“I don’t know.” He hesitated. “You could come,” he whispered, knowing what the answer would be.

He heard Mick inhale a shuddering breath, and a drop of wetness landed on Elliot's cheek. “I wish I could.” Mick voice trembled.

“I can’t stay. Even for you, honey.” Elliot was crying now too, big hot tears wetting Mick’s expensive wool suit jacket.

“I know.”

When their tears finally dried, they spent the rest of the night making desperate love, saying nothing, letting their bodies do all the talking.

Two days later Elliot was back home, enjoying the peace and quiet in a freezing cabin in the mountains. Trying to stifle the disillusionment he felt with the world and himself, while hoping he would have time to get over it before it was time to go back to work.

Author Bio:
Nell Iris is a romantic at heart who believes everyone deserves a happy ending. She’s a bona fide bookworm (learned to read long before she started school), wouldn’t dream of going anywhere without something to read (not even the ladies room), loves music (and singing along but let’s face it, she’s not Celine Dion), and is a real Star Trek nerd (Make it so). She loves words, poetry, wine, and Sudoku, and absolutely adores elephants!

Nell believes passionately in equality for all regardless of race, gender or sexuality, and wants to make the world a better, less hateful, place.

Nell is a 40-something bisexual Swedish woman, married to the love of her life, and a proud mama of a grown daughter. She left the Scandinavian cold and darkness for warmer and sunnier Malaysia a few years ago, where she spends her days writing, surfing the Internet, enjoying the heat, and eating good food. One day she decided to chase her life long dream of being a writer, sat down in front of her laptop, and wrote a story about two men falling in love.

Nell Iris writes gay romance, prefers sweet over angsty, and wants to write diverse and different characters.


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Friday, May 26, 2017

Friday's Film Adaptions: Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo by Ted W Lawson


Summary:
Ted W. Lawson’s classic Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo appears in an enhanced reprint edition on the sixtieth anniversary of the Doolittle Raid on Japan. “One of the worst feelings about that time,” Ted W. Lawson writes, “was that there was no tangible enemy. It was like being slugged with a single punch in a dark room, and having no way of knowing where to slug back.” He added, “And, too, there was a helpless, filled-up, want-to-do-something feeling that [the Japanese] weren’t coming—that we’d have to go all the way over there to punch back and get even.”

Lawson gives a vivid eyewitness account of the unorthodox assignment that eighty five intrepid volunteer airmen—the “Tokyo Raiders”—under the command of celebrated flier James H. Doolittle executed in April 1942. The plan called for sixteen B-25 twin-engine medium bombers of the Army Air Corps to take off from the aircraft carrier Hornet, bomb industrial targets in Japan, and land at airfields in China. While the raid came off flawlessly, completely surprising the enemy, a shortage of fuel caused by an early departure, bad weather, and darkness took a heavy toll of the raiders. For many, the escape from China proved a greater ordeal. Peter B. Mersky provides new information on the genesis of the raid, places it in the context of the early operations against Japan, and updates Ted Lawson’s biography.

Film
General Jimmy Doolittle trains American troops for the first airborne attacks on Japan.

Release Date: November 15, 1944
Release Time: 138 minutes

Cast:
Van Johnson as Lieutenant Ted W. Lawson
Robert Walker as Corporal David Thatcher
Tim Murdock as Lt. Dean Davenport
Don DeFore as Lt. Charles McClure
Herbert Gunn as Lt. Bob Clever (as Gordon McDonald)
Phyllis Thaxter as Ellen Lawson
Stephen McNally as Lt. Thomas "Doc" White (as Horace McNally)
Spencer Tracy as Lieutenant Colonel James Doolittle
John R. Reilly as Lt. Jacob "Shorty" Manch
Robert Mitchum as Lt. Bob Gray
Scott McKay as Captain David M. "Davey" Jones
Donald Curtis as Lt. Randall
Louis Jean Heydt as Navy Lieutenant Henry Miller
William "Bill" Phillips as Lt. Don Smith
Douglas Cowan as Lt. Everett "Brick" Holstrom
Paul Langton as Captain "Ski" York
Leon Ames as Lt. Jurika
Bill Williams as Bud Felton
Robert Bice as "Jig" White
Hsin Kung as Dr. Chung (as Dr. Hsin Kung)
Benson Fong as Young Dr. Chung
Ching Wah Lee as Guerilla Charlie
Alan Napier as Mr. Parker
Ann Shoemaker as Mrs. Parker
Dorothy Morris as Jane (as Dorothy Ruth Morris)
Jacqueline White as Emmy York
Selena Royle as Mrs. Reynolds
John Dehner as Lieutenant Commander (uncredited)
Blake Edwards as Lt. Smith's Crewman (uncredited)

Awards:
1944 Academy Awards
Robert Surtees, Harold Hal Rosson - Best Black and White Cinematography - Nominated
Arnold A. Gillespie, Donald Jahraus, Warren Newcombe, Douglas Shearer - Best Special Effects - Won



Author Bio:
Ted W. Lawson (1917-1992) was a native of California. He joined the Army Air Corps while working for the Douglas Aircraft Company in Santa Monica and received his wings in November 1940. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, he volunteered for a secret mission that evolved into the raid on Tokyo in April 1942. Random House published his account of the raid, Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo, in 1943. Lawson subsequently served as a technical adviser to MGM during the making of the popular wartime movie based on his book. After retiring from military service in 1945, he reentered private industry and worked on several projects that involved aircraft and space programs.


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