Happy Book Birthday to Runaway Train by Lee Matthew Goldberg! I’m so happy and honored to be a part of the Xpresso Book Tours blog tour celebrating this poignant, heartbreaking and emotional book that is also a love letter to grunge music! Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for chance to win your own copy!
They told me I was an out-of-control train about to crash…
Everything changed when the police officer knocked on the door to tell me – a 16-year-old – that my older sister Kristen had died of a brain aneurysm. Cue the start of my parents neglecting me and my whole life spiraling out of control.
I decided now was the perfect time to skip town. It’s the early 90’s, Kurt Cobain runs the grunge music scene and I just experienced some serious trauma. What’s a girl supposed to do? I didn’t want to end up like Kristen, so I grabbed my bucket list, turned up my mixtape of the greatest 90’s hits and fled L.A. The goal was to end up at Kurt Cobain’s house in Seattle, but I never could have guessed what would happen along the way.
At turns heartbreaking, inspiring, and laugh out loud funny, Runaway Train is a wild journey of a bygone era and a portrait of a one-of-a-kind teenage girl trying to find herself again the only way she knows how.
“This book is a love letter to grunge music,” the author Lee Matthew Goldberg said himself in the acknowledgement, and it’s so true. For us who are old enough to have experienced the 1990s ourselves this book was an amazing walk down memory lane. It was also such a poignant, heartbreaking and emotional book about a troubled teen dealing with her demons, about hitting rock bottom and finding herself along an epic road trip. Ultimately, it’s a book about healing, seeing the good in people and believing in yourself.
Read my full review here: Runaway Train by Lee Matthew Goldberg
After graduating with an MFA from the New School, his writing has also appeared in The Millions, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, LitReactor, Monkeybicycle, Fiction Writers Review, Cagibi, Necessary Fiction, the anthology Dirty Boulevard, The Montreal Review, The Adirondack Review, The New Plains Review, Underwood Press and others. He is the editor-in-chief and co-founder of Fringe, dedicated to publishing fiction that’s outside-of-the-box. His pilots and screenplays have been finalists in Script Pipeline, Book Pipeline, Stage 32, We Screenplay, the New York Screenplay, Screencraft, and the Hollywood Screenplay contests. He is the co-curator of The Guerrilla Lit Reading Series and lives in New York City.
Connect with Lee Matthew Goldberg
Website • Twitter • Facebook • Instagram • Goodreads
Buy Runaway Train
Add on Goodreads
Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for chance to win an ebook copy of this book!
About the tour
Find all tour dates and more here: Xpresso Book Tours Runaway Train
4/27/2021 0 Comments
The Hate Project Blog Tour
Happy Book Birthday to The Hate Project by Kris Rippert! I’m so happy and honored to be a part of the Carina Adores Blog Tour celebrating this gem!
This arrangement is either exactly what they need--or a total disaster
Oscar is a grouch.
That’s a well-established fact among his tight-knit friend group, and they love him anyway.
Jack is an ass.
Jack, who’s always ready with a sly insult, who can’t have a conversation without arguing, and who Oscar may or may not have hooked up with on a strict no-commitment, one-time-only basis. Even if it was extremely hot.
Together, they’re a bickering, combative mess.
When Oscar is fired (answering phones is not for the anxiety-ridden), he somehow ends up working for Jack. Maybe while cleaning out Jack’s grandmother’s house they can stop fighting long enough to turn a one-night stand into a frenemies-with-benefits situation.
The house is an archaeological dig of love and dysfunction, and while Oscar thought he was prepared, he wasn’t. It’s impossible to delve so deeply into someone’s past without coming to understand them at least a little, but Oscar has boundaries for a reason—even if sometimes Jack makes him want to break them all down.
After all, hating Jack is less of a risk than loving him…
This was such a sweet, funny, and incredibly unique story! I loved the unsentimental way in which Oscar’s mental health problems were described and how he was allowed to be totally himself at all times; grumpy, acting out, getting panic attacks and lacking social skills, but still being such an adorable and wonderful person and having such a strong network of supporting friends in The Motherfuckers. And Jack stole my heart from the very start!
Read my full review here: The Hate Project by Kris Ripper
Buy The Hate Project by Kris Ripper
Harlequin • Amazon • Barnes & Noble • Apple Books • Kobo
Add on Goodreads
4/26/2021 0 Comments
Up in Smoke Blog Tour
I’m so happy and honored to be a part of the Carina Press Blog Tour celebrating Up in Smoke by Annabeth Albert! This sweet and heart-warming m/m romance will be released tomorrow (27th April)!
Three Men and a Baby meets Backdraft with explosive chemistry and heartfelt feels.
Freewheeling smoke jumper Brandt Wilder thrives on adrenaline. He’s never met a parachute he can’t repair or a dangerous situation he couldn’t wrangle his way out of. He’s popular and fun-loving and not at all looking to settle down or form lasting relationships. It’s a lifestyle that’s served him well…right up until the day he finds a baby on his doorstep.
Shane Travis is used to putting his country music career—and his own happiness—on hold after his sister rolls through his life. Like last spring when she convinced him to try skydiving for his birthday—and she walked away with the hot parachute instructor.
Now he gets to deliver the piece of news that will upend Brandt’s carefree life: he very well might be a dad.
Shane’s niece is safe in Brandt’s strong, capable hands, but too many questions remain unanswered. Co-parenting while they sort it out leads to late-night talks, and soul-bearing confessions lead to a most inconvenient attraction. Still, Shane can’t leave this makeshift family behind—even if it means playing house with the one man he can’t resist.
This was such a sweet and heart-warming m/m romance about two absolutely endearing guys falling in love at the same time as their whole lives got turned upside down. It was a truly enchanting story about stepping up to the biggest responsibilities of all, to realize that things you’d taken for granted in your life might not be what you actually need or want, and about finding happiness, love and family in the most unexpected way.
Read my full review here: Up in Smoke by Annabeth Albert
Connect with Annabeth Albert
Website • Twitter • Facebook • Instagram • Goodreads
Buy Up in Smoke by Annabeth Albert
Harlequin • Amazon • Barnes & Noble • Apple Books • Kobo
Add on Goodreads
Today is my stop on Pride Book Tours bookstagram tour for The Facts and Legends of Callie Catwell by Sophia DeRise. I’m so happy and honored to be a part of this tour celebrating the launch of this marvelous queer coming of age story woven with magic and adventure, where in the end sometimes reality is harder to face than a monster!
Being a teenager can be hard, especially if you’re Callie Catwell.
She already has plenty of worries in her life—a father struggling with anorexia, a friend with an abusive stepfather, an ex-boyfriend who won’t let their relationship go, and questioning her sexuality and new feelings for her best friend— and that’s not even taking into consideration the struggles that just come from growing up.
Things suddenly take a strange turn when she sees a monster in the Lost Lake one morning. Finding that monster soon becomes an obsession, one that distracts her from the anxieties in her life. While she initially welcomes the distraction, Callie soon has to decide if she is ready to face her struggles or ruin her relationships with her family and friends—and the monster’s strange magic—forever.
Find out more about the tour here: The Facts and Legends of Callie Catwell Bookstagram Tour
This book isn’t like anything I’ve ever read before! Completely unique in its mix of fairytale atmosphere with lake monsters and the very raw and painful reality with a dead mother, a father with eating disorders, a predator on/off boyfriend, a friend who is abused by his step dad and the struggle for Callie to figure out her own sexuality and feelings for her best friend. Beautiful and poignant, desperate and hopeful, and awkward and sweet at the same time.
Read my full review here: The Facts and Legends of Callie Catwell by Sophia DeRise
Buy The Facts and Legends of Callie Catwell
Connect with the author
I’m so happy and honored to be a part of the Gay Book Promotions blog tour celebrating the release of Taking A Chance: Charity Anthology by D.G. Carothers and others. All proceeds will be donated to the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for chance to win an Amazon Fire HD 8" Tablet + a $50 Amazon Gift Card!
Come take a chance with us and help support the AIDs Healthcare Foundation in the process.
Seventeen authors were challenged to take a chance to write something new and outside their normal box to help celebrate International Take A Chance Day. These authors went above and beyond by writing sixteen stories that span the gender and sexuality spectrum. They’ll make you laugh, cry, shout with joy as they take you on a journey through their contemporary, paranormal, science fiction, and adventurous stories.
All proceeds will be donated to the AIDs Healthcare Foundation. AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) is a global non-profit organization providing cutting-edge medicine and advocacy to over 1,000,000 people in 43 countries. They are currently the largest provider of HIV/AIDS medical care in the U.S.
This anthology will only be available for a limited time!
This anthology is such a unique collection of amazing stories all showing in different ways that love truly is love and doesn’t see any gender, race or sexuality! It’s part of a charity project to help celebrate International Take A Chance Day. Seventeen authors came together to write stories outside their comfort zones to explore gender and sexuality aspects that span the whole spectrum and genres from contemporary to sci fi to paranormal and relationships of all kinds, and with all proceeds going to the AIDs Healthcare Foundation. As in all anthologies there are stories you enjoy more than others, but all were very well written and added something unique.
Read my full review here: Taking A Chance Charity Anthology by D.G. Carothers and others
Buy Taking A Change
Amazon • Add on Goodreads
Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for chance to win an Amazon Fire HD 8" Tablet + a $50 Amazon Gift Card!
I’m so happy and honored to be a part of the Xpresso Book Tours blitz celebrating the release of The Other Prince by Alice Dolman! Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for chance to win a $20 Amazon gift card!
After moving to London, Amelia Glendale landed her dream job as a lawyer at the Queen’s Charitable Foundation. But when the queen dies, Amelia finds herself working for her longtime royal crush, Prince Leo – and his stuffy older brother Prince Edmund.
Charismatic Prince Leo was once known for his hard-partying ways, but has settled down and thrown himself into a life of philanthropy. He’s Amelia’s perfect man and she’s sure they’d get along if she wasn’t too star-struck to speak to him.
Prince Edmund has always been the sensible brother and dutiful heir, until a scandal of epic proportions leaves his reputation in tatters. With his comfortable existence disrupted, he sees a chance to build a life and relationship where he is more than just his position.
Thrown into the princes’ orbit, Amelia discovers that maybe the perfect man for her isn’t the prince she expected. Will Amelia get her fairytale ending, or will the pressures of life in the spotlight be too much to bear?
This feel-good romantic comedy about love, friendship and tiaras is perfect for fans of American Royals and The Royal We.
“I know it’s been a long day, but would you like to come back with me for dinner? Lucy and Emma are coming over for a post-trip debrief, and I’m sure they’d like to see you.”
“I’d love to, but I promised Penny I’d have dinner with her. She’ll disown me for sure if I stand her up.”
“Are you sure? Am I going to have to get down on my knees and beg?”
Now that’s an image. How am I meant to say no to that?
“Alright, I’ll come for dinner. But I’m going to have to leave early—eight p.m. at the latest. Don’t let me lose track of time.”
“I wouldn’t dream of it.”
Walters is standing squinting out the window as the flight attendant disarms the door. He turns around and walks towards us.
“Excuse me, Your Highness. It seems we have an issue.”
“What’s the matter?”
“There are photographers on the runway. We’ve called airport security, but it may take a while to clear them.”
“Are the cars ready to go outside?”
“In that case, let’s just get to the cars quickly and head out.”
“Are you sure, sir?”
“Yes, quite sure. I don’t want to spend an hour waiting for airport security to deal with it.”
“As you wish, sir,” Walters responds. He strides back to the door and nods to the flight attendant who opens the door.
With the door open, Walters walks towards the stairs with Edmund and me following behind.
“What are we having for dinner then? Have you got your chef on standby?”
“I’ll have you know that I don’t have a chef.”
“But you can order food from the kitchens at the other apartments, right?”
“Well, yes, Helena has extra kitchen staff, so they can cater for the rest of us. But that’s not the same as having my own dedicated chef.”
“Oh, of course not, Your Highness. You’re the picture of the everyman. The public would never question the cost of the monarchy again if they knew you were here sharing chefs,” I say, rolling my eyes.
No response. Eddie is frozen at the door with his back to me. Oops, maybe that one went too far.
“Hey, I’m sorry. It was just a joke…”
“It’s not you,” Eddie says stiffly. “It’s them.”
My gaze follows Eddie’s hand as he gestures out the door to the runway. On the ground is a pack of at least forty people with cameras and microphones. There are flashbulbs going off everywhere and photographers and reporters jostling and yelling over each other, trying to get our attention. This is not what I pictured when Walters said there were photographers here.
Watching the scene down on the ground, I try to figure out how so many people got here so fast. Is this what it’s always like when Eddie goes out? There were reporters following us around in Kenya, but it was nothing like this. They were a small group of pre-approved professionals. Something about this pack is far rougher and more volatile.
“What do we do?”
“They’ve already seen us, so I say we keep our heads down and get to the cars as fast as possible. You’d better head back to your flat. If they get photos of us going into KP together, things are going to escalate quickly.”
“Right, of course. Okay, I guess I’ll head home.”
Eddie walks down the steep stairs and I follow, watching my feet and trying to pretend that this is a totally normal experience that I am completely fine with. The facade doesn’t last long.
Halfway down the stairs, the wind dies down and I’m hit by a wall of sound. Everyone on the ground is yelling. Reporters are shouting questions, airport security officers are screaming at the reporters to move back and Walters and the PPOs are urging Eddie and me to move faster and get to the cars. Making my way across the tarmac to the car, I keep my head down and catch bits and pieces of the questions being hurled at Eddie through the chaos.
“Why did you cheat, Edmund?”
“What did Sibella say?”
“Give us a kiss!”
“How long have you been seeing her?”
After what seems like an hour, I make it to the car, and a PPO opens the door and starts pushing me in. As he does, I look up and see a lone reporter with floppy brown hair and tortoise-shell glasses staring at me. Not Eddie, me. “Oi, Amelia! How does it feel to finally catch a prince?” Before he can say anything else, I’m shoved into the backseat and the door slams shut next to me.
“Camden, is it, ma’am?” the driver asks, looking at me in the rear-view mirror.
“We’re headed to an address in Camden?”
“Oh, yes. Thank you.”
“Don’t worry, ma’am,” he says, his eyes softening. “You’ll get used to it.”
This was such an adorable, sweet and quirky feel-good rom com! I binge-read this book in one sitting, so smitten by the wonderful characters and the fun and charming story with a royal twist!
Read my full review here: The Other Prince by Alice Dolman
I live in Australia with my husband and three small humans. In my seventeen seconds of free time each day I love reading romantic comedies, watching cheesy Netflix movies and baking cakes which I absolutely do not eat most of myself.
To be the first to hear about new releases and exclusive extras, head to www.alicedolman.com and sign up for my newsletter.
Connect with Alice Dolman
Website • Facebook • Instagram • Goodreads
Buy The Other Prince
Amazon • Add on Goodreads
Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for chance to win a $20 Amazon gift card!
I’m so happy and honored to be a part of the Gay Book Promotions blog tour celebrating the release of Hit The Brakes, the second book in Beth Bolden’s wonderful Food Truck Warriors series! Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card!
Can they fake it til Tate makes it?
Tate Ward is in a bind. His food truck hasn’t been the runaway success he’d always dreamt it would be. When he tries to join a new food truck collective to gain a larger following, his sales aren’t even high enough to win a spot. What he needs is a high profile endorsement—and he knows just the guy.
Tate hasn’t seen Chase Riley since high school. It’s been ten long years of watching from a distance as Chase conquers football fields and fan’s hearts.
Tate never wanted Chase to know that he had the world’s stupidest crush on him, because he always believed Chase was straight.
But desperate times call for desperate measures . . .
When Chase offers a tempting plan that could fulfill all his dreams, Tate knows he can’t say no. All he has to do is pretend that his very real feelings are actually fake.
But faking it with Chase, while leading to wild success and even wilder nights, is everything that Tate feared it would be. All it’s done is leave him wanting the impossible: Chase’s heart.
A few minutes later, Tate re-emerged from the shiny silver truck, carrying a paper plate in one hand and a bottle of water in the other.
He headed in Chase’s direction, and without saying a word, sat down opposite him and slid the plate across the table.
“Rachel’s heating up the mac and cheese. It’ll be out in a second.”
“No soup?” Chase wondered.
“We’re out.” Tate shrugged. “Busy day. Shouldn’t have come at the end of lunch hour.”
“I had a meeting,” Chase said. One he probably could’ve canceled, but he also knew what would happen if he’d shown up when there was a crowd here. It’d have become a circus, and he wouldn’t have gotten a moment alone to talk to Tate.
The grilled cheese was perfectly browned and crispy, glistening at the edges with butter and melted cheese. It looked just as good as Chase remembered, and when he bit into it . . . bliss.
He chewed and swallowed. Wished he had about a thousand other bites. “This is even better than I remember it,” Chase said.
Tate drummed his fingers against the worn wooden grain of the tabletop impatiently. “It’s been ten years. I was a kid. I’ve refined the recipe since then.”
“I don’t suppose you’d tell me your secret ingredient,” Chase wondered. Tell me all your secrets. Please.
“Secret ingredient? Time? Patience?” Tate seemed annoyed he was here, and maybe it was his fear of being found out but, deep down, Chase was worried it was something else. Maybe it had only been Chase who’d been so affected by their classes together twice a week. He hadn’t wanted to believe that was true, because he knew flirting and Tate had undeniably flirted with him. Had always responded, even when Chase hadn’t really known what they were doing.
Honestly, he still didn’t know what they’d been doing.
Chase finished one triangular half with three more big bites. “Well, I thought about this sandwich a lot,” he said. I thought about you.
Tate looked incredulous. “I made you one grilled cheese sandwich, in high school, and you’ve been thinking about it ever since? For ten years?”
It sounded ridiculous when Tate put it like that. “Well, it was a good sandwich,” Chase retorted. “And so is this one.”
“Does this mean you’re not going to sue us?”
Chase groaned. “I never planned on suing you. I just wanted . . .” What had he wanted? He hadn’t let himself contemplate exactly what it was that he wanted from Tate, hadn’t given himself the chance, but now, even with Tate seemingly annoyed, that indescribable tension hummed between them.
He’d wanted to know that he hadn’t misremembered or imagined it after all. He’d wanted to know if it had been real.
“No? You just came here to intimidate me?”
“Oh for God’s sake,” Chase said. “I’m not here to sue you or intimidate you or any of that crap. Is it so hard to believe I just wanted to see you again? See how you’re doing?”
Tate stared at him. Those gray eyes—usually so warm but opaque now—had always unnerved him. Before, in the best possible ways. But now? Chase didn’t know what to think.
“You really aren’t here to demand I stop talking about you?”
Chase shrugged. “You posted that you make my favorite sandwich in LA. Technically, it was true. You did, just ten years ago. And now I’ve confirmed, officially, that you still do.”
Tate tugged off his beanie and ran his hand through his hair, the auburn strands of it shining in the mid-afternoon California sunshine. “I’m sorry, it’s just hard for me to believe that you’re not pissed.”
“I could pretend to be pissed off if it’d make you feel better,” Chase offered.
Tate chuckled. “No, no, that’s okay. I’m . . . I guess I’m just surprised. I’d have thought you’d hate people who use your name.”
“Most people, yeah,” Chase admitted, biting into the second half of his sandwich.
“But you’re not most people. Never have been.”
I love Beth Bolden’s adorable, sweet and heartwarming m/m foodie romance, and you can find my gushing 5 star reviews for both the books in the Food Truck Warriors series here:
Drive Me Crazy
Hit The Brakes
About the Author
A lifelong Pacific Northwester, Beth Bolden has just recently moved to North Carolina with her supportive husband. Beth still believes in Keeping Portland Weird, and intends to be just as weird in Raleigh.
Beth has been writing practically since she learned the alphabet. Unfortunately, her first foray into novel writing, titled Big Bear with Sparkly Earrings, wasn’t a bestseller, but hope springs eternal. She’s published twenty-three novels and seven novellas.
Connect with Beth Bolden
Website • Facebook • Twitter • Instagram • BookBub • Newsletter Sign-up
Buy Hit The Brakes
Amazon • Add on Goodreads
Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card!
4/4/2021 0 Comments
Young King Arthur Book Blast
I’m so happy and honored to be a part of the Gay Book Promotions Book Blast for Young King Arthur and the Round Table Knights by Siryn Sueng! This is such a sweet retelling of the King Arthur legend with a queer twist!
Arthur grew up a peasant, but when he was fourteen, Excalibur chose him, and now as King Arthur, he must learn to play the game of royalty quickly … or suffer the consequences.
There was no reason for Arthur to think he would ever become king.
A peasant and son of a baker, Arthur grew up in the castle town of Camelot. When he attended the choosing ceremony, it was merely to see who would draw the Holy Sword, Excalibur – to see who would inherit the throne of the recently departed King Uther. He never expected the sword would choose him…
But it did.
Now, at the young age of fourteen, he has become King Arthur, and for all the power he has gained, he has made just as many enemies. Surrounded by the Knights of the Round Table, and led by the mysterious mage, Merlin, Arthur is grateful for his allies, though he would just as soon return to his old life. Surely, someone more worthy should be chosen as king.
Arthur is in the middle of chaos, a world where everyone wants more than they let on, where many hate the idea of a young boy with no noble background being crowned king; where cold stares and whispered words are just as sharp as an assassin’s blade.
As Arthur fends for his life, he must draw on the strength of his knights, especially fifteen-year-old Mordred, who becomes closer to him than the mere bounds of duty. He must become king, not just in name, but in his heart.
And he must do it quickly, because his enemies want more than just his crown…
Two days had passed since I’d pulled the sword free—since becoming King. On the first full day within the castle, Merlin had found me wandering the halls and dragged me back to my room to be fitted for an outrageous amount of clothing. We discussed Illian.
Merlin assured me that he was being treated well within the dungeons, despite his cold attitude that he gave to everyone. Nothing would be done to him without my consultation. That fact only added more weight.
He also brought up his conversation with my mother and the letter I should expect. The day after, I received it. She’d expressed her worries, but also her love and support. She praised me, and though I knew it was meant as encouragement, it only made me more wary and frightened. My station as King was not something to take so lightly—even if she had all the confidence in the world. I tried to reply, but nothing I wrote seemed fitting. Rather, it all seemed more like complaints and childish pleading. It wasn’t something I wanted to send to her, not after having her praise me.
Within the mirror, the striking blue doublet that covered me looked even more out of place as I thought about my mother’s letter. The kingly raiment I now wore wasn’t the only one. I had a rich dark purple one, a red one, a light blue, and a solid black. And to think, those were just for me to wear when I wasn’t in the throne room! All the different clothes were going to make my head explode.
“Yes, he did a wonderful job,” Elias said. “Perfect fit. Of course, he is the best tailor in the lands. Only the best for our King.” He stepped back from me and bowed.
“I don’t need the best,” I said softly, but Elias caught it.
“I suppose it’s good to know that you haven’t drowned in the riches, but at the same time you do need to look the part at least.”
I turned to look out the window. The sea burst against the cliff side, throwing water in a violent display of white foam. I watched the waves for a moment longer, knowing that I needed to get going. I was stalling because I was nervous about meeting the knights. What were they going to think of me? I was young, and a peasant. No royal blood flowed through my veins.
I chewed on my lower lip. Elias touched my arm. I looked over at him. He didn’t say anything, but he didn’t have to. I nodded and followed him out of the room and into the large corridor.
We left the castle and crossed from the tree-lined grounds into the gardens. The smells of the flowers permeated my senses. I took a deep breath. The scents calmed some of my nerves.
Ahead of us on the other side of the castle grounds stood the Knights’ Tower, where they all resided. The tower was imposing, dark in color, and vines crawled up the sides of the rocks. Windows lined the entire building, spiraling up to the top. Elias led me to the tower’s set of wooden doors and bowed to me.
“This is as far as I can go, Your Majesty.”
My heart clenched and ice shot through my chest. I was going to be alone with the knights. Terror flooded me and I began to tremble. Elias touched my arm again. I focused on him. He smiled and the gentle look helped me relax.
“You will be just fine, my lord. They might be rough around the edges, but they’re loyal and actually very nice.”
“Okay. I’ll be just fine. Thank you, Elias. I’ll see you later.”
He bowed and left me standing in front of the doors. I contemplated leaving and hiding in the library. I turned and took a step forward—right into a warm body. With a startled gasp, I stumbled back and bowed forward as I squeaked, “Forgive me! I didn’t see you there! I’m sorry I ran into you!”
The one who I had run into snickered and I recognized that tone well. I looked up to see Merlin smirking at me. My heart fell like it had become a lump of lead. I stared at him as he laughed at me. I could feel a hot blush creeping across my face.
“My, my. You’re a King now, my lord. You don’t bow to anyone. So, what is it that has you cowering before the Knights’ Tower? Are you intimidated by them?” Merlin seemed a little more welcoming, but I still didn’t like the look on his face. It seemed like he was scrutinizing me beneath his outward demeanor.
I turned back to the double doors and swallowed dryly. “They won’t approve of me.”
“Not everyone will. But that’s what it means to be king. No one is loved on their first day on the throne. Everyone questions the new crown; that is simply how it is. It takes time to earn trust and loyalty. You will earn it. But…if you do nothing, then you will have nothing.”
His words shook me. The mage was right. I understood then why he was the advisor to the King of Camelot. He knew what he was talking about. Despite being condescending at times, he was truly helpful.
“I can’t avoid everything, and why should I? Thank you, Merlin.”
He bowed to me. “Of course, Your Majesty. It’s what I’m here for. So, shall we?”
I turned around and pulled the door open.
I really enjoyed this version with Arthur as a fifteen-year-old peasant boy who accidentally grips the Excalibur and finds himself thrown into a completely unknown world full of betrayal, conspiracies and threats to his life. Luckily though, his kind heart and moral compass soon helps him gain Merlin’s and the knights’ trust and friendship. Perhaps even more from one on them... But the most wonderful twist is how the mighty mage Merlin is a hottie in this story. Like a real hunk showing of his muscular chest under the wizard cloak, but also so sweet and kind and sassy. I really love this version of Merlin!
Read my full review here: Young King Arthur and the Round Table Knights by Siryn Sueng
About Siryn Sueng
Siryn Sueng is a writer of fantasy, paranormal, and even Sci-Fi genres. She’s married to a wonderful husband with a minion of two years. They have a full house with three adorable fur babies, Anubis -the mighty cat hunter- Kida -the momma bear- and Mishka -the loveable husky.
Siryn is a lover of games on a wide range of platforms. She plays on the PC, console, and hand-held devices including the phone. Japan is where she would love to visit sometime and is a huge inspiration to many of her projects. She’s a huge fan of Japan, including manga and anime. Siryn has even begun to dabble in comic/manga script writing. Future works in this will be posted on WebToon.
Connect with Siryn Sueng
Website • Twitter
Buy Young King Arthur and the Round Table Knights by Siryn Sueng
Amazon • Smashwords • Apple Books • B&N • Kobo
Add on Goodreads
I have teamed up with young adult author Kate Larkindale to host an international giveaway of a paperback copy of one of her books (The Sidewalk’s Regrets, An Unstill Life or Stumped) of your own choice! The giveaway is international and runs for a week, until Friday April 9th.
Kate Larkindale is the author of The Sidewalk’s Regrets, An Unstill Life or Stumped, as well as a marketing executive for a national film agency, film reviewer and mother to two boys. Enter this Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win one of the books of your own choice (find out more about the books below):
(In case the embedded link doesn’t work, please copy and paste https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/14f4ecb01/? into your web browser.)
To enter you must be following me on Instragram (@anniesreadingtips). For extra entries follow Kate Larkindale on Twitter (@vampyr14) and sign up for her newsletter.
This giveaway will run for a week and closes on Friday April 9th. The winner will be announced publicly in a comment to this post and on Instagram. Not affiliated with Instagram or anyone else but me and Kate Larkindale. Must be a public account. No repost, spam or giveaway accounts. BEST OF LUCK!
About the books:
The Sidewalk’s Regrets
Seventeen-year-old Sacha McLeod isn’t looking for someone to rock her world. But when she hears the boy in the music store play the guitar, the music thrills her and she falls hard for Dylan and his sound.
Sacha finds herself spending less time with her violin and more time with this guy. Her plans for her violin-virtuoso future—and her self-confidence—are shattered when she screws up the audition for a summer music program. Failure isn’t something she’s had to face before, so when Dylan asks her to spend her vacation with him in the city, she lies to her parents, pretends she won a place in the summer school, and secretly moves in with Dylan.
She’s expecting romance, music, and passion, but when she finds herself playing second fiddle to Dylan’s newly acquired drug habit, she realizes despite what the songs say, sometimes love isn’t all you need.
Find out more
An Unstill Life
When your whole world is falling apart, what are the chances you’ll find love in the most unexpected of places?
Livvie feels like she’s losing everything: her two best friends have abandoned her for their boyfriends, her mother continues to ignore her, while her sister, Jules, is sick again and getting worse by the day. Add in the request Jules has made of her and Livvie feels like she’s losing her mind, too.
Her only escape is in the art room, where she discovers not only a refuge from her life, but also a kindred soul in Bianca, the school “freak”. Livvie’s always felt invisible, at school and at home, but with Bianca, she finally feels like someone sees the real Livvie. As the relationship deepens and it comes time to take the romance public, will Livvie be able to take that step?
Livvie’s about to find out if she has what it takes to make the tough decisions and stand up for herself—for the first time in her life.
Find out more
Seventeen-year-old Ozzy has a super-hot girlfriend who’s ready to take their relationship to the next level. Tonight. At the lake.
But a missing condom scuttles his plans for seduction. Furious, Ozzy takes his girlfriend home and drives off - into the path of an oncoming truck. He wakes up in the hospital with both legs amputated above the knees.
When his girlfriend runs out of his hospital room gagging after one look at him, Ozzy knows he’s a hideous freak. He becomes convinced he’s blown any chance of getting a girlfriend and having sex.
Determined to prove he can still be a man, Ozzy throws himself into dumping the burden of his virginity, but finds there’s a limited number of people willing to touch legless dudes in wheelchairs. His obsession takes him into the seedy underworld of brothels and escort services where he discovers the difference between sex and intimacy, and that sometimes the price you pay for getting what you want is much higher than a sex worker’s fee.
Find out more
Also don’t miss Kate Larkindale’s latest release, Chasing the Taillights! It’s a heart wrenching story of survival, hidden truths, loneliness, confusion and guilt that seems amazing! (This book is not yet available in print and is therefore not part of the giveaway, but it’s available in ebook version or to preorder, so make sure to check it out too:
Chasing the Taillights
Lucy and Tony share nothing except genes. Tony’s the champion diver destined for greatness. Lucy’s biggest concern is getting Cute Guy from the burger joint to ask her out.
After an accident kills their parents, the siblings are forced to rely on one another—and decide whether to reveal their secrets.
Lucy can’t tell Tony what she knows about the accident for fear of destroying the tentative bond between them. If she doesn’t confess, she might lose her mind. If she does, she might lose the only person she has left who loves her.
Tony has problems too. Between diving practice, classes and concealing the crush he has on his best friend Jake, Tony needs to find room in his life for his sister, but his own stability dwindles with every passing day.
As the siblings struggle to overcome a lifetime of past conflicts and jealousies, they discover they might have more in common than a love of rock music.
Find out more
I’m so happy and honored to be a part of the Gay Book Promotions blog tour celebrating this adorable, gripping and heart-warming m/m romance about a closeted star football player having to choose between risking his whole career or being brave enough to reveal his most vulnerable self for a chance of true love and happiness. Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for chance to win one of three ebook copies of All the Way Out!
Ever since Zach was 14 years old, he knew two things about himself:
1) He wanted to play football at the highest levels of college and pro ball.
2) He was gay.
Even at that young age Zach knew that those two truths - all-star athlete and homosexual male - could not exist concurrently. So, he’d started dating Rebecca, his devoutly Catholic girlfriend who wants to wait to have sex until she’s married, during his junior year of high school and never looked back.
But on the last night of a team trip to Rome, on the cusp of his senior season at Northwestern University, a Heisman, a number 1 draft pick and a National Championship, Zach seeks out one last anonymous encounter. He opens Grindr and slips out into the Italian summer night to meet Liam - Liam who has a face that looks like it was carved from Carrara marble by one of the ancient greats and whose brazen facade becomes sheepish when he’s asked about his past in Paris. The night is intense, better than Zach could have imagined. But like all one-night stands, it comes to an end by morning’s light.
But what happens to Zach’s carefully manicured plans for a professional football career and a life in the closet when Liam shows up, not only on the Northwestern campus the first day of the fall semester, but in Zach’s upper-level Plato seminar, too?
“What are you doing in my upper level classics seminar?” Liam snapped.
“Um, I’m fulfilling my degree requirements,” Zach snapped back. “What are you doing in my upper level classics seminar? You live in Rome.”
“No, I was regrouping in Rome. I’d been going to school in Paris before that but—Wait, degree requirements? You’re a Classics major? Mr. Hotshot-starting-quarterback is a Classics major?” Liam’s voice came out shriller than he would have liked.
Zach set his hips back against the table, crossing his arms with a sudden smugness. “A Classics major focusing in Pax Romana philosophers with a 3.7 GPA, you mean? Yeah. I am. How do you think I recognized that ridiculous Metamorphoses quote on your Grindr profile?”
“I figured you Googled it like everyone else usually did.”
Zach’s face softened at Liam’s unintentional reveal. “Why didn’t you say anything about coming to school in the States that night?” Zach asked.
Liam leveled him with a look. “I don’t remember us doing an awful lot of talking.”
“We talked enough. You could have mentioned it.”
“I’d only decided to come here a week or so before we met,” Liam explained. “I barely knew anything about Northwestern aside from the fact that it has a pretty well-respected music program. Certainly not enough to know it has some big deal football team. And besides, what were the chances?”
“I’m not a betting man, but I definitely wouldn’t have taken these odds.” Doe-eyed panic lingered on Zach’s face even as he shifted to a more conversational tone. “So, the music school, huh? That’s cool. I remember you had music on your desk. What do you play?”
“Piano mostly, but I’m a composition major. I added a Classics minor ‘cause I can, here. My other school didn’t offer liberal arts courses.” Zach nodded, and Liam realized it was probably his turn to attempt conversation. “A jock with a brain, then. Color me impressed.”
Zach gave a bored lift of his shoulder. “It makes for a great human-interest story. I think every bad pun about Greek gods or Roman gladiators has been made about me at least once. The ESPN announcers think they are so fucking clever.”
Liam stared at him. “You keep saying these things thinking I know what they mean.”
“ESPN.” Zach gave him a patient grin. “It’s a cable sports network that shows games. You know, on the TV.”
“Yeah, alright.” Liam’s pursed lips morphed into an unbidden smile.
It was impossible not to note how the tension in the room had slipped away. The looks that passed between them carried a certain playfulness once they were forced to accept the inconceivable fact that they were both here in the same city, at the same school, and even in the same class. And into that ease slipped the feelings of attraction and memories of the intimacy they’d found on Liam’s mattress by the end of their night together. Liam had sought hidden parts of Zach’s body with his fingers. That small, insinuating touch, burned into his memory, had ignited such terrified want in Zach’s bright blue eyes that Liam had known that he would been allowed to feel Zach from the inside if only they’d had more time. One more night. One more hour, even. And now here Zach was, standing before him. It was as baffling as it was thrilling. Liam certainly wouldn’t mind if they wound up hooking up again.
“Look,” Zach started, “This is crazy that you’re here, and I hope you love your time at Northwestern as much as I have, but it’s probably for the best if we don’t interact.”
Liam was rendered mute.
“I mean, I know we’re in class together,” Zach continued. “We’ll have to interact, discussion grades and everything, but what I mean is, we shouldn’t be friendly.”
“Why not?” Liam asked after another stunned beat.
“It’s nothing personal. In fact, I think you’re—” Zach stopped. He pressed his eyes closed and shook his head sadly. He took another steadying breath before speaking again. “It would make things really difficult for me. Like I told you in Rome, no one knows about me. About me and…” He spoke the next word at a careful volume. “Men. In fact, you’re the only person on this entire campus who does.”
Zach’s sexuality was a secret that should have bound them. But instead, Zach was using it to put a wedge between them, between even the possibility of them. Liam didn’t think the conversation could get any more ridiculous.
This is easily one of my absolute favorite m/m romances ever! I absolutely loved this book! It was such a powerful story about accepting and being proud of who you are, for wanting things and for being brave enough to chase after those things no matter how scary it feels or how hard it might make your life. It dealt with difficult topics in an honest and realistic way, but it was also such an uplifting, heart-warming, sweet and emotional rollercoaster for a love story!
Read my full 5 star review here: All The Way Out
I dance in my kitchen. I vote. I love all the cats in the world and a good IPA. I will scream over college sports.
I write about love, with love, because #loveislove.
With two degrees in music performance, I strive to make my words sing. The rhythm and pacing of the prose are as important to me as my complicated, imperfect characters and my guaranteed happily-ever-afters.
Connect with Ingrid Sterling
Website • Twitter • Instagram • Newsletter Sign-up
Buy All The Way Out
Amazon • Literary Wanderlust • Bookshop.org
Add on Goodreads
All The Way Out is released today, April 1st! Happy Book Birthday to his marvelous book!
Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for chance to win one of three ebook copies of All the Way Out!