I’m so happy and honored to be a part of the Gay Book Promotions Book Blast for the addictive and fast-pace mystery, m/m romance story Love Him/Hate Him by Chris Bedell! Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card or a $10 Between the Lines Publishing Gift Code!
Connor is out. Liam is the secretly gay football player. Together they must navigate a hush-hush relationship while working together to solve the murder of Liam’s sister.
17-year-old Connor doesn’t believe his best friend’s death was an accident. Falling down the stairs was random, and Connor can’t help but wonder if someone might’ve pushed her…
Determined to find out the truth, Connor starts his own investigation. Along the way, he discovers Evelyn’s affair with a married man and thought she was pregnant before she died. Connor thinks he’s found her killer, but an airtight alibi forces him to look in a new direction. Perhaps closer to home.
Complicating the situation more is Connor’s own secret – an unexpected hook up with Evelyn’s twin brother, Liam, at a party the previous spring. Afterward, Liam goes on a homophobic rant and punches Connor, leaving him confused. His confusion deepens when, after Evelyn’s death, Liam apologizes and they start to hook up secretly.
Liam is trapped between his attraction to Connor and his abusive father. Connor struggles with his growing attraction for Liam. Their secret rendezvous are fun, but if Connor is going to have more with Liam, he’ll have to be honest about his feelings and his suspicions on who killed Evelyn. Will either survive the truth coming out?
I left the hair salon the following evening.
A faint chill permeated the air, and the waxiness of the full moon glinted against the ground, providing extra lighting while I walked to my Mercedes.
Normally, I wouldn’t have picked a 7:00 P.M. appointment, but it was all the hair salon had had on such short notice.
“The fuck you doing at a hair salon?” someone called.
I whipped my body around. Liam stood about ten feet from me.
“I’ve gotta go.” I pulled out my car keys, then grabbed the car door handle.
“Please don’t leave,” he pleaded.
I looked over my shoulder, meeting his eyes. “Why would I do you any favors?”
“Because I wanted to apologize.”
Wow. Lucky me, getting two surprises in less than a week. First Evelyn’s death, now this. The only difference was that there was a chance this surprise would be wanted.
This was such an addictive and fast paced high school murder mystery and m/m enemies to lovers to enemies to lovers (yes, multiple times) story! Read my full review here: Love Him/Hate Him by Chris Bedell
About Chris Bedell
Chris Bedell’s previous publishing credits include Thought Catalog, Entropy Magazine, Chicago Literati, and Foliate Oak Literary Magazine, among others. His debut YA Fantasy novel In The Name of Magic was published in 2018. His 2019 books include his NA Thriller Burning Bridges and his YA Paranormal Romance novel Deathly Desires. In addition to his YA Thriller Bewteen Love and Murder, Chris had several other books released in 2020, including his YA Contemporary I’ll See You Again. Furthermore, Chris graduated with a BA in Creative Writing from Fairleigh Dickinson University in 2016.
Connect with Chris Bedell
Twitter • Instagram • Amazon
Buy Love Him/Hate Him by Chris Bedell
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Happy Book Birthday to Why Can’t Relationships Be Like Pizza by Andy V. Roamer! Today is my stop on the Gay Book Promotions Book Tour celebrating the release of the third book in The Pizza Chronicles series!
The books in the Pizza Chronicles series follow the main character, RV, through his high school years, as he tries to answer his many questions about life, God, prayer, sexuality, being the son of immigrants, and staying loyal to his heritage while carving out his own life and relationships.
Overall Heat Rating for the series: 1 flame. The stories should be read in the following order:
Book 1: Why Can’t Life Be Like Pizza?
Book 2: Why Can’t Freshman Summer Be Like Pizza?
Book 3: Why Can’t Relationships Be Like Pizza?
New Release today, 15 March 2021: Why Can’t Relationships Be Like Pizza?
In Why Can’t Relationships Be Like Pizza?, RV begins sophomore year in high school, though his relationships create more questions than answers.
RV is trying to maintain his newfound friendship with Bobby, but it’s becoming harder and harder. Bobby seems a different, more distant, person. RV’s friend Carole is distracted with the ups and downs in her relationships with the French boyfriends she met during her summer in Paris. RV’s new friend Mark is focused on his family’s troubles. School is a mixed bag. But Mr. Aniso, RV’s former teacher and mentor, is there to lean on, especially when near tragedy strikes and RV needs Mr. Aniso’s counsel to stay strong and provide help where it’s needed most.
Excerpt from Why Can’t Relationships Be Like Pizza?
“Hey, RV! Long time no see.”
“Can I sit down?”
This was the school lunchroom, not Joe’s Pizza, but it was still nice to be sitting there with Bobby. It feels like ages since we’ve had any time together. Another one of the Big Guy’s tricks? Last year Bobby was my Biology partner. I got to know him and really like him. And I think he liked me. This year I hardly ever see him. Even at lunch. I know he’s busy on the varsity football team, but that excuse is getting pretty old. So, are we not supposed to like each other anymore? Is that what you’re telling me, Big Guy?
I tried to push the Big Guy out of mind and concentrate on Bobby. He asked me how I was doing.
“Fine,” I said. “How are you doing?”
Bobby and I sat there in silence for a bit. “How’s football?” I asked, just to keep the conversation going.
Bobby started telling me about the game last week. He was excited because he caught a long pass for a touchdown.
“That’s great!” I said.
“Yeah. My first varsity touchdown for Latin!”
I raised the can of Coke I was drinking. “Go Bobby! Here’s to more touchdowns!”
“Thanks.” Bobby raised the soda he was drinking, and we clinked cans.
“I’m really happy for you,” I said. “Latin’s hero.”
“Thanks,” Bobby said again, though I could see he was a little embarrassed by my compliments.
Was he blushing? Remembering what had happened in the woods, I had a sudden urge to touch his face. I wondered if Bobby would ever let me do that again.
There was another small moment of silence as Bobby looked away from me and focused on his sandwich. “So, what’s new with you?” he asked, still chewing on his food.
“Nothing much,” I answered. “I’m studying hard, waiting for my PSAT scores, trying to stay out of trouble.” I told him about the Halloween party. “I wish you’d been there. We had a great time.”
“Yeah, I heard.” Bobby looked away again. “I—I was tired. Practice takes a lot of out of me, so I need to rest.”
“Yeah, I guess it does.”
“Sorry I wasn’t there though. It sounds like it was good.”
“Yeah, it was.” I told him about what Mr. Felucci said. That the teachers would help us out with anything we were doing on climate change.
Bobby nodded. “That’s great.”
Why did I get the feeling Bobby was just nodding to agree with me? That his mind was on other things and he didn’t care one way or the other what I was saying?
We were silent again. Bobby finished his sandwich, cleaned up his area, and stood up suddenly. “Gotta go, RV. I’m late. Nice to catch up with you.”
“Yeah. Good to catch up.”
“See you soon.” He turned back around as he was leaving. “At another game maybe?”
And he was gone.
I felt more and more depressed as he walked away. I’ve never spent any time with Bobby that felt so awkward. Not knowing what to say to each other? When did that happen to Bobby and me? What did it mean?
Something definitely has changed in our friendship. And it makes me very sad. And I don’t know what to do about it. I suppose Mr. Aniso would tell me I need to talk to Bobby. Do I have the guts to do that? What would I say? And what would Bobby say back? Just thinking about that gets me so scared.
Read my full review here: Why Can’t Relationships Be Like Pizza?
Nine Star Press | Amazon US | Amazon UK
Check out the first two books in The Pizza Chronicles Series as well:
Why Can’t Life Be Like Pizza?
In Why Can’t Life Be Like Pizza? RV begins freshman year at demanding Boston Latin School, doing his best to keep up and fit in while wrestling with his immigrant heritage and his sexuality.
Wrestling with his sexuality, along with a lot of other things, RV thinks all is okay when he starts going out with Carole. But things get more complicated when RV develops a crush on Bobby, a football player in his class, who admits he may have gay feelings, too. Bobby is African American and facing his own pressures. Luckily, RV develops a friendship with Mr. Aniso, his Latin teacher, who is gay and always there to talk to when the pressure becomes overwhelming.
Read my full review here: Why Can’t Life Be Like Pizza?
NineStar Press | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Add on Goodreads
Why Can’t Freshman Summer Be Like Pizza?
In Why Can’t Freshman Summer Be Like Pizza? RV and Bobby have survived freshman year and are looking forward to spending a wonderful summer together. But life has other plans.
RV and Bobby’s summer is not what they wish for. They hardly have time to spend with each other. Bobby is busy at football camp and working at a job his father has pressured him into taking. RV is busy with a summer job, too, and also has to help his parents pass their U.S. citizenship test. His friend Carole jumps at the chance to spend her summer in Paris. As always, Mr. Aniso, RV’s Latin teacher is there to talk to when RV gets too lonely. He’s also there when RV inadvertently spills one of Bobby’s secrets, and Bobby is so angry at him RV is afraid he’s ready to cut off the friendship.
Read my full review here: Why Can’t Freshman Summer Be Like Pizza?
Nine Star Press | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Add on Goodreads
About the Author
Andy V. Roamer grew up in the Boston area and moved to New York City after college. He worked in book publishing for many years, starting out in the children’s and YA books division and then wearing many other hats. This is his first novel about RV, the teenage son of immigrants from Lithuania in Eastern Europe, as RV tries to negotiate his demanding high school, his budding sexuality, and new relationships. He has written an adult novel, Confessions of a Gay Curmudgeon, under the pen name Andy V. Ambrose. To relax, Andy loves to ride his bike, read, watch foreign and independent movies, and travel.
Connect with Andy V. Roamer
Website | Facebook | Instagram
Follow the tour and check out the other blog posts and reviews here!
I’m so happy and honored to be a part of the Gay Book Promotions Cover Reveal for The Harder We Fall by Rebecca Raine. Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win one of five ebook copies of this wonderful book!
For years, I’ve been bound by sleeplessness and sorrow. His voice threatens to set me free.
Insomnia. It’s part of the penance I pay for my greatest mistake. But when an ill-timed doze behind the wheel of my car nearly introduces me to a pole, I know something has to change.
Sleep with Me, a locally-made meditation app, promises a cure. I don’t expect it to work. Nor do I expect to become enthralled by the voice of its creator, Sam Stephenson. His ability to coax forth my nightly surrender is unnerving. I have to meet this man and learn the secret behind his techniques, so I can evict him from my head—and still get a good night’s sleep.
In person, the quiet and reclusive Sam is his own kind of complicated. He needs my business skills as much as I need his meditation skills and we forge an unlikely partnership. But the attraction between us soon flares into passion and, as we grow closer, I start to long for more than my guilty conscience will allow.
I have no right to love, not after the damage I’ve done. How can I give Sam all he deserves, when our chance at a happy ending was ruined before we even met?
“You know, openly gay men don’t usually spend so much time in a closet.”
He grins, glancing at the walls surrounding us. “It never occurred to me to spend time in the metaphorical closet. Mum accepted me, I assumed others would, too. Which hasn’t always been the case, but I have no regrets there.” His eyebrows lift in question. “What about you?”
“For a while,” I say with a shrug. “Then I got caught kissing a boy while drunk at a high school party. There wasn’t much point denying it after that?”
“Did the other students give you a hard time?”
A bitter laugh bubbles up through my chest but I tamp it down. “Sometimes. But they had better reasons to hate me. I was used to people talking behind my back, staring when I walked past. Being out didn’t change my life overly much.”
Sam frowns as he puts a hand over mine on my knee. The questions are there in his eyes. Why did people hate you? What happened? What did you do?
His mouth opens, but I beat him to the punch. “You use this place for more than recording now?”
He stops, and then a barely perceptible nod acknowledges my right to keep my past to myself. “I do,” he says, looking around the room. “There’s so much I struggle to do. Talking to new people, going out, doing stuff. It’s tiring, always having to work so hard to do things other people do without thought. When I’m in here, I can just be.” He smiles, and there’s an ease to it I’ve never seen before.
“When you’re leading your class, you make it seem so easy. Sitting there, being you. Like nothing can touch you.”
He watches me for a long moment. “Your thoughts can’t hurt you, Tristan. Not by themselves.” He’s said those words to me before, but apparently I need reminding.
“My thoughts could,” I whisper. “If I let them. I’m not brave like you.”
Both our hands are joined now, our fingers threaded together over my knees. This time, the tremor isn’t coming from his side. Why am I saying these things? He brought me here to show me his sanctuary, and I’m treating it like a confessional.
“You are brave,” he says with quiet insistence. “I know you’re scared. But you’re here, asking for help when you need it. That’s brave.” A new depth has crept into his tone as we’ve talked. A commanding gentleness I recognise.
“Your voice…” I take a shaky breath, my mouth twitching at the corners. “My siren has arrived.”
His expression turns bashful as he ducks his head. “I didn’t mean to.”
“No, don’t stop.” My grip on him tightens. “Please.”
Meeting my gaze, he nods. “It doesn’t usually happen spontaneously. Only when I’m recording or teaching a class. It’s this place, I suppose. I feel safe here.” As he speaks, his thumbs stroke my palms and I shiver.
“Having me here doesn’t spoil the feeling?”
“No.” A touch of awe glints in the blue. “I think, maybe, I feel safe with you, too.”
I don’t move when he lets go of my hands and raises up off the cushion so he can scoot closer. I don’t move when he extends his legs over my still folded ones, so his calves bracket my hips and his feet touch down behind me. He’s not actually in my lap, his arse is still on the floor in front of me, but it’s a close thing.
I don’t move as he reaches out to touch my cheeks, stroking his thumbs over them. My own hands remain on my knees, my fingers digging in there. I don’t move, but my heart is a wild thing in my chest and my breathing is laboured. Shudders rack my body as he brushes his nose against mine. When his breath fans across my lips, I still don’t move. But I close my eyes, and I wait.
His closed lips touch mine. They’re soft and tentative. Barely pressing against me. They’re hopeful lips, in search of a response.
I move to give him one.
Connect with Rebecca Raine
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The Harder We Fall will be released on March 29th!