Today is my stop on Gay Book Promotion’s book blast for Crystal’s House of Queers by Brooke Skipstone. Don’t miss this chance to get a copy of this completely unique, gripping and empowering read for only 99c! And enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for chance to win a $20 Amazon gift card or one of three audiobook promo codes!
Three senior girls in rural Alaska escape their abusive pasts by raising their dyke flag for themselves and their community.
Crystal Rose woke up at three in the morning today, drenched in sweat and breathless after another sex dream with Haley Carson. Later at school in the tiny town of Clear, Alaska, Crystal saves Haley from an assault by her abusive boyfriend.
The two girls renew a love started years ago that had to stay hidden until now. But with Crystal’s grandparents in the hospital with Covid and the possibility of her drug addict parents returning from a 14-year absence, Crystal needs Haley as much as she needs Crystal.
They connect with Payton Reed, a gun-toting artist who helps them feel proud to be gay and willing to stand up to anyone. Together they struggle to make Crystal’s house safe for those who are hated for their love.
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Crystal’s room is small with drawings and photos stuck randomly all over the walls—closeups of leaves, flowers, and berries; intricate natural designs created by Labrador tea, spider webs, and lichen; every local animal, including a grizzly sow and two cubs digging through trashcans from this past June; sunrises and sunsets plus northern lights; and, of course, line drawings of her house and family, along with pages of self-portraits. Crystal’s entire world greets her every morning and evening. Nothing is ever removed or covered, just added to, now up one corner of the ceiling. A large white board on one wall displays a self-portrait drawing of Crystal sitting.
Haley stands in the doorway, open-mouthed, trying to absorb it all. “Damn, Crystal, you are something. I love this.”
Crystal smiles. “I’m glad. So do I.” She opens her closet to show Haley her clothing options, including a never-worn pair of stretch jeans Crystal bought at Value Village in Fairbanks—a size too big for her, but a size too small for Haley.
“I’m not sure my butt can fit into these,” says Haley, holding the pair waist high. “You’ll have fun watching me put these on.”
“Oooh, do I get to watch?”
“Certainly.” Haley raises a brow and half smiles as she pulls off her sweatshirt.
Crystal’s breath catches in her chest as her mouth gapes open.
“Oops! I forgot to pick out a shirt. Can I use your robe until I find something suitable?”
Crystal’s face reddens. “Sure.” She removes her robe and tosses it to Haley, who then tosses it on the bed. “Now we can stare at each other.”
Crystal licks her lips. “You are so evil.”
“I’m just getting started.” She tilts her head and cocks a brow. “Do you like evil?”
“So far.” Though she’s afraid her heart will burst, it’s beating so fast.
“Great.” Haley moves toward Crystal until their chests touch. “I love your drawing on the white board. Would you do another of me? Maybe one of us kissing?” Haley touches her lips to Crystal’s.
“Yes.” She struggles trying to pull her phone out of her pocket while Haley rubs her tongue tip over Crystal’s bottom lip. Gasping for air, Crystal asks, “Do you want me to take a pic or not?” Haley smiles and steps back a little. Crystal props her phone against the mirror on her dresser and sets the timer. “We have five seconds.”
Haley moves her hand to Crystal’s neck as they kiss. The camera takes the picture, but they don’t separate.
After a few more seconds, Haley pulls back just enough to speak. “You are the best kisser. Even in fifth grade I liked kissing you. Think of all that time I wasted.”
“We have plenty of time now.” She grabs her phone and shows Haley the photo. “I like that. I can draw it now, if you want.”
“Hold it for me.” Crystal takes her drawing pad and pen from her desk and sits in her chair.
Haley holds the phone against her cleavage, her boobs hanging over her arms. “Is that good?”
Crystal stares and shakes her head. “Evil. Pure evil!”
“Just focus on the photo, Crystal.” Haley slowly sways her torso, making her boobs jiggle close to Crystal’s face. “Can’t you focus?” Her voice drips with seduction.
Crystal clears her throat and closes her eyes. “I think I can. I think I can.” She takes a deep breath, opens her eyes, and places her pen on the paper. Haley sways faster. Crystal starts a line then runs it off the page. “Can you please stop moving?” she pleads, unable to turn away from Haley’s breasts. “Just for a few minutes?” She rips off the page and readies another.
Her voice coy, sweet, and sultry—“As you wish. I’ll stand perfectly still.” She holds the camera away from her body, partially covering her breasts.
Crystal starts a line under her chin, sweeps down to make hair, then her face and lips before moving to Haley’s lips, hair, and then ending with her hand. She stares at the drawing for a few seconds then turns it around. “What do you think?”
“Oh, my god! I love it. We look good together.” She gives Crystal a kiss. “Thank you. Thank you.”
Crystal’s House of Queers was a heart-wrenching and unique queer coming of age story full of friendship, love, acceptance and forgiveness, sexual discovery and the creation of a queer safe haven for others suffering from abuse and harassments. I loved the positive undertone even though there were so many difficult topics (abuse, addiction, disability, teenage pregnancy, homophobia and more) and how strong and able all female characters were portrayed, which in the end really made it such an empowering story!
Read my full review here: Crystal’s House of Queers
About the Author
Brooke Skipstone is a multi-award-winning author who lives in Alaska where she watches the mountains change colors with the seasons from her balcony. Where she feels the constant rush toward winter as the sunlight wanes for six months of the year, seven minutes each day, bringing crushing cold that lingers even as the sun climbs again. Where the burst of life during summer is urgent under twenty-four-hour daylight, lush and decadent. Where fish swim hundreds of miles up rivers past bear claws and nets and wheels and lines of rubber-clad combat fishers, arriving humped and ragged, dying as they spawn. Where danger from the land and its animals exhilarates the senses, forcing her to appreciate the difference between life and death. Where the edge between is sometimes too alluring.
Crystal’s House of Queers is her third novel. Visit her website for information about her first two novels, Some Laneys Died and Someone To Kiss My Scars.
Buy Crystal’s House of Queers
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Thank you so much Wander with Jon for the Vincent Ehindero Blogger Award nomination! I feel so honored. Go check out Jon’s wonderful and artistic book blog, it’s such a favorite of mine! And along with that, thank you to Vincent for creating this award for bloggers to be recognised!
My answers to Jon’s questions
What do you love to do on a quiet day?
That’s easy, read books of course… It’s my favorite thing to do any day!
Who inspires you to do good?
As a fellow Swede I must say Greta Thunberg! She’s amazing! And also Michelle Obama, she’s another role model of mine.
When was the last time you treated yourself? What did you do/ purchase for yourself? If you haven’t done it already, I encourage you to treat yourself now!
Well, thank you! I did treat myself with some new clothes recently though. During the pandemic I’ve been mostly staying at home in my comfy clothes and I desperately needed some new nice things to wear around people again…
Given the chance to travel an all expense paid trip, where would you like to go?
On the top of my bucket list is Machu Picchu and to walk the Inca trail.
How do you like to take your coffee/ tea?
I’m a coffee addict, I drink way too much coffee a day! I like my coffee brewed (drip coffee) in a large cup with milk.
If you’re interested to do this tag as well, consider yourself nominated by me! I also specifically nominate these favorite bloggers of mine:
That’s it! Please join in and help spread the love to other bloggers too!
Today is my stop on Xpresso Book Tours’ blitz for the romantic, “a Netflix movie waiting to happen”, fun and sweet It’s Not PMS, it’s You by Rich Amooi. Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card!
“Romantic Comedy of the Year!”
“This novel is a Netflix movie waiting to happen.”
“I loved every second of this book!”
“Warning: This author causes book hangovers.”
“Oh my. Be still my heart.”
“Laugh out loud of epic proportions.”
“Loved it. Still laughing.”
Ruth “Ruthless” Harper is on the verge of becoming managing partner at her all-male consulting firm and she won’t let anything stand in her way. That includes men, relationships, and that dreaded F word, FEELINGS—distractions she eliminated long ago.
After the worst day ever (a near-death experience and a public wedgie, for starters), Ruth realizes she doesn’t want to live and die alone. She puts together a business plan to find the perfect man and dives head first into the murky online dating pool. All she wants is a high-powered executive who understands how important her career is. If only it were that easy.
Problem is most men are intimidated by Ruth’s confidence and shocked by her bluntness. The exception being her landscape designer, Nick, whose cool demeanor and unsolicited dating advice are driving her nuts. He’s the antithesis of the business-oriented man Ruth envisions for herself, so why do all signs keep pointing back to him?
A romantic comedy novel for the ages. Order now. Don’t delay. Operators are standing by.
Only 99¢ for a limited time!
I have orchestrated multi-million dollar business deals and have butted heads with Fortune 500 CEOs and some of the biggest corporate lawyers in the country, but my biggest challenge by far was trying to remove a monster wedgie during my spinning class without the gorgeous guy behind me noticing.
Casually turning my head to the right, I checked my periphery, confident I looked like some halfwit who was thinking of changing lanes on a stationary bike.
I couldn’t tell if the man had his eyes focused on me or on the instructor in front of the class, but it didn’t matter at this point. I had real-world issues here and needed to solve the dilemma before my butt sucked all my clothes inside my body and turned me inside out.
With every revolution of my bike’s spinning wheel, the wedgie seemed determined to go deeper, like a burrowing squirrel who hadn’t found a suitable place for habitation.
I got up at five in the morning for this torture?
To make matters worse, the instructor—Manson, Mussolini, or whatever his name was—appeared to be on a mission to send us all into cardiac arrest. And don’t even get me started on the chafing from a bike seat that was obviously manufactured with materials excavated from the surface of Mars.
I needed a distraction for the extraction.
Glancing down at my water bottle in the drink holder, I came up with the perfect plan. I would wait for the instructor to get us up off our seats again for the next sprint, then drop my water bottle on the floor to create a ruckus.
If the man behind me was a gentleman—no wagers, please—he would get off his bike and get the water bottle for me, thus taking any attention away from my derrière long enough for me to perform the embarrassing and delicate wedgie-removing procedure without him seeing.
Ironically, the song changed to “Shake Your Booty” by KC and the Sunshine Band.
“Off your butts!” the instructor barked out like a psychotic sea lion with Tourette’s. “Take it up to level five for a sprint. Thirty seconds. Go! Go! Go!”
I slammed my water bottle to the floor behind me for the distraction.
It crashed against the back wall with a loud BOOM.
Never let it be said I did anything half-assed.
No pun intended.
I checked my periphery again to see if the guy fell for the trap.
He slowed his pedaling and glanced behind him at my bottle on the floor.
After he made a move to get off his bike, I lifted my butt off the seat, leaned forward on the handlebars, shifted all my body weight over to my left hand, and used my right hand to reach behind me and remove the mother of all wedgies.
Completing the task was proving to be difficult since it was almost impossible to pedal while standing up on the bike with only one hand gripping the handlebars.
I used one finger, then two, then three, but still couldn’t dig out the wedgie that must have been halfway to China by now.
Losing confidence with every second that passed, I wobbled back and forth like the Elvis bobblehead doll on the dashboard of my dad’s 1977 Cadillac Coupe deVille.
Things were heading south in a hurry.
There was a sharp pain in my left wrist.
My elbow buckled.
The fall to the floor was not graceful.
I banged my shoulder on the handlebars on the way down, slid off the bike sideways, and hooked my foot on top of the pedal. My other leg flew over my head and got wedged in between the bike seat and the drink holder.
Now, I had two wedgies.
Before I had a chance to untangle and upright myself, two hands gripped me from under my armpits and lifted me to my feet in one swift motion.
I looked up, dazed, confused, blinking a few times.
It was the guy who had been on the bike behind me. “Are you okay?”
There was genuine concern in his voice, but I was a big girl and could take care of myself.
Flustered, I said the first thing I could think of. “I do that all the time.”
A smile tugged at the corner of his lips. “Of course.”
Rich believes in public displays of affection, silliness, infinite possibilities, donuts, gratitude, laughter, and happily ever after.
Get a FREE romantic comedy by visiting his website at richamooi.com.
Connect with Rich Amooi
Website • Facebook • Instagram • Amazon
Buy It’s Not PMS, It’s You
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Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card!
I’m so happy and honored to be a part of the Gay Book Promotions blog tour celebrating the release of Full Speed Ahead, the fourth (and final, I believe?) book in Beth Bolden’s wonderful Food Truck Warriors series! Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card!
Lennox’s favorite escape is the Food Truck Warriors . . .until it needs his protection.
Ash isn’t running from his past—he’s already left it way behind. He’s built a business from scratch, using all the lessons that his father taught him, and every day at his food truck is a challenge he was born to tackle.
But when a stalker appears, hinting that he knows the secrets Ash has tried so hard to bury, he needs more help than his food truck friends can provide. He needs a professional.
Lennox is a mystery. He’s been coming around the Food Truck Warriors for months now, and nobody knows if that’s even his real name. But Ash knows he’s fascinated by the man, and the feeling seems to be mutual.
When the threat to Ash becomes a little too real, Lennox intervenes, and finally, the electricity between them transforms into something very much like love. But now their safety—and their hearts—are on the line.
After climbing into the truck, Ash set his coffee on the counter and checked his watch. His delivery should be here any moment, if they were on time, which . . . Ash had learned practically from the cradle what to do with suppliers who wouldn’t keep to their timelines or couldn’t be relied upon.
They really didn’t want to be late today.
Ash wasn’t in the mood for it.
He glanced out the front window, and froze.
There was a piece of paper taped to it—something that had definitely not been there when he’d closed up last night.
Ash stared at the words, printed in damning black and white.
It was an interview that his father had done—likely one of hundreds, if not thousands, he’d done over the course of his illustrious career. But in this one, he had mentioned his son, Oliver. Who Stephan Atkinson had said with some humor, liked to be called Ash.
A silly affectation, his father told the interviewer, that he would grow out of.
Ash had been . . . maybe thirteen or fourteen if he remembered correctly, when this article had come out, and he’d been furious. It had been one of the many things he’d been pissed at his father for.
Now someone had found it, dredged it out of the bowels of magazine hell, had photocopied it, and taped it to his window. Not facing outwards, so anyone could see it, but inwards, so only Ash could.
Fury flashed with a frightening power through him. He didn’t hesitate. He grabbed his keys, and with shaking fingers, locked up behind him. Walked around to the front of his truck, tore the paper off, leaving the edges trapped by the neatly placed tape fluttering in the early morning breeze, and forgoing his bicycle, took off for the one place that he’d told himself he would not go.
Who else could have done this? Ash thought angrily as he stormed towards his destination. It was still so early the streets were essentially empty. He’s the only one who knows.
The building that Tony had described was only a few blocks away.
It had been remodeled, with a glass-front office on the lower level, and a living space on the top. There were a separate set of stairs leading to a discreet door on a wrought iron landing.
A discreet black-lettered sign, matching the wrought iron of the stairs and contrasting with the freshly painted taupe stucco of the building itself, indicated that this was the offices of Protectorate.
It might be early, but Ash could see a figure already in the office below.
Tony had mentioned offhandedly that Lennox was a workaholic, always in the office, so it was not a huge stretch to imagine that it was him, up early, and already working.
Ash walked over to the door, and pulled it, fully expecting it to be locked, but to his surprise it opened easily.
Even though he must have been the one to unlock it, Lennox looked up with shock as he walked in.
Ash imagined they probably didn’t get much foot traffic.
He stomped over to where Lennox sat at a desk, and slapped the paper down in front of him.
“What the fuck is this?” he demanded to know.
Lennox stared at the writing. He took his time answering, clearly reading through the words on the page once, and maybe even twice. Finally he looked up. “It looks like an interview that your father did, talking about his restaurants, and also his son.” He hesitated. “You.”
“Yes, thank you, I can read just as well as you can,” Ash bit off. “What I mean is why was it taped to my truck’s front window this morning?”
“Taped to your . . .”
“And not facing out, but facing in,” Ash interrupted. “So I would see it, but nobody else. Someone wants me to know they’ve figured out who my father is.”
“And you think that’s me.”
Ash gestured wildly, pacing between Lennox’s desk, and the other, currently unoccupied. “Who else could it be?”
“Do you really think I needed to do this to get your attention?” Lennox asked, his tone dry.
I love Beth Bolden’s m/m foodie romances, and Full Speed Ahead was another adorable, sweet and heartwarming story about second chances, being brave to share your deepest secrets and the empowering love of found families. You can find my gushing reviews for Full Speed Ahead and the previous three books in the Food Truck Warriors series here:
Drive Me Crazy
Hit The Brakes
On A Roll
Full Speed Ahead
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 Full Spead Ahead
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About the tour
Follow the tour and check out the other blog posts and reviews here: Gay Book Promotions Full Spead Ahead Release Blitz
I’m so happy and honored to be a part of the Gay Book Promotions blog tour celebrating the release of This or That by Hope Irving! Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for chance to win a $20 Amazon gift card!
Sometimes, a kiss can knock you out faster than a blow to the head, rendering you unable to think straight.
Sometimes, a kiss can knock you out faster than a blow to the head, rendering you unable to think straight.
When drunken Michael Clayton stole a sloppy kiss in a Parisian club, he didn’t know that this would mean war. War, as in being taught a lesson by a shameless cowboy. War, as in being given a taste of his own medicine. War, as in being left dumbfounded and yearning for more. Blame it on the alcohol, right? Damn, Mike hated the guy for muddling his assumed straight orientation and raising unwelcome questions.
When noble Troy Hunter stole a revenge kiss from a despicable hot playboy, he didn’t know that it would be all but forgotten months later. Landing a gig on a Rio-bound cruise ship, the rising DJ is dazed when Mike strikes back with a vengeance during their second encounter, fueling his appetite for dominance. Blame it on the blazing sun, right? Damn, Troy hates the guy for pushing all of his buttons and rubbing salt in old wounds.
It shouldn’t have happened, but now all bets are off. Their feelings quickly escalate into something that they aren’t willing to label. It’s easier this way, until it isn’t… because life’s no cruise and some experiences are life-altering. Between Troy’s painful past and Mike’s unsettling present, their future together might be short-lived, unless their insane chemistry compels them to push their limits and each other. So, which is it? This or that?
This or That was previously part of a charity anthology entitled Anyone But You; it was originally published in early 2021. Since then, I’ve added new content, including a bonus epilogue! Same enemies-to-lovers storyline. Same hot and sweet characters. More focus on certain scenes. Discover or rediscover Mike and Troy’s story… If you’ve read Omega Artist (A Cocky Hero Club novel), this is your chance to see how it all started for two familiar faces that you only briefly met since This or That is a standalone prequel.
It’s impossible to think straight when he’s this close. As annoying as he is, I can’t let him escape my clutches.
Out of reflex, my palms land on his taut chest and shove him out of my personal space. I need oxygen, and his presence isn’t helping. Too bad he doesn’t budge, his daring eyes capturing mine. “You and your...” I stutter and, before he says something inappropriate, quickly add, “big mouth.”
A moan leaves his smart mouth. Seriously? “You know what they say...” He shrugs, an amused expression on his conceited face. “Big mouth, big—”
Narrowing my eyes, I can’t help but want to muzzle his smart mouth and put it to better use. He’s impossible! Who says things like that?
The fucker unsettles me yet again by shooting me a raunchy once-over, licking his sinful lips. “Stop looking at me like that,” I hiss.
What the hell does he want from me? We’re not quite touching. His pupils are so dilated that it’s clear, even in the waning sunlight. “Or what?”
Cutting off any chance of response, his commanding lips mold against mine and his arms circle my waist. I can’t move. Once again, his lips on mine feel so wrong and, at the same time, so right. The friction of his stubble on my clean-shaven skin and the dance of his frenzied tongue with my greedy one send me into overdrive.
Whimpering, I wiggle as if possessed. Going a mile a minute, my brain is at war with my body, which craves more unprecedented sensations. The sloppy Parisian kiss the cowboy stole months ago enticed a hidden desire that has no place in my well-planned life. Worse, our encounter elicited sensations that I’ve been desperate to recreate in a flurry of one-night stands, but nothing’s worked so far.
What’s left of my willpower eventually propels me to stop the mind-boggling tongue action. He needs to accept that I run the show.
The air thickens between us as we huff and puff.
His half-mast eyes are so much darker than they were a minute ago. Should I keep playing with him? “What’d you do that for?”
“You’re not gonna win at this game, cowboy,” I sneer in a rushed voice; an expression of my false bravado. “So you think.” Acutely attuned to my hungry body, one of Hunter’s legs subtly treads closer and he leans into me.
Within seconds, his tongue fills my mouth again. Shuddering under his touch, my resolve crumbles as the asshat deepens the kiss. I stiffen when it evolves from bruising to tender, although our encounter is anything but. My body temperature skyrockets, along with my libido.
Unaware of the all-consuming passion that this kiss provokes in me, he thrusts his hip against mine, banging my back into the wall. His jean-clad semi rubs, grazes, and expands against mine that’s desperate for release. I try to pace myself, but it’s a lost cause.
Overwhelmed by a myriad of toe-curling sensations, my brain shuts down and allows my ravenous body to do the talking; maybe that’s the kind of talking Hunter was referring to earlier!
Talk, my ass! No, no, no, keep my ass out of this!
With that thought in mind, my tempted body is given the green light to act. Without warning, I close the gap between us and my knuckles trace his sculpted abs. At once, his intoxicating scent numbs my consciousness, and I act on the unthinkable the second his hands snake around my body. And just when I think the fever has reached its peak, the conniving man betrays me, ditching my waist in favor of my hair.
Why can’t you stop? Get a hold of yourself. This is your game, not his...
Then why does the simple act of his fingers running through my short hair increase the unbearable pressure building between my legs? I don’t even give a flying fuck if I come in my pants.
Damn, it’s hot in here!
His urgent mouth devours my expletives and beads of sweat run down the side of my face, but I’m too far gone to swipe them away. I’m too blissed out to care. I’m too needy to break the spell quite yet. My senses are on alert. I want to hate him. I hate to want him. So much...
This was such a fun and addictive m/m romance with a burning chemistry between the two main characters. It was so fast-paced that I read it all in just a few hours! I really enjoyed the writing style with the banter between Troy and Mike, the sweet romance, Mike’s supportive mother and friends and the message to stay true to who you are. Even if that turned out to be something you never expected…
Read my full review here: This or That by Hope Irving
Hope’s suspenseful and complex love stories are modern fairytales that feature an unconventional Prince Charming and a headstrong heroine. A natural introvert, she enjoys tormenting her flawed characters with a hint of darkness and sometimes magical elements. Still, her heart melts when love conquers all. Her work has been described as “genre-defying,” “refreshingly unique,” and “an emotional rollercoaster read.”
Connect with Hope Irving
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Buy This or That
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Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for chance to win a $20 Amazon gift card!
About the tour
Follow the tour and check out the other blog posts and reviews here: Gay Book Promotions This or That Release Blitz