Thursday, February 11, 2016

Virtual Book Tour: Baked

Please welcome author Colleen Charles, who is here to tell us about her new release, Baked. Colleen will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to one randomly drawn commenter via Rafflecopter. The more you comment, the better your chances of winning. To find out where the rest of the stops on her tour are, go here. Don't forget to look for the Rafflecopter at the end of this post.

by Colleen Charles


GENRE: Contemporary Romance




The first time I saw Gabe in my sensual cupcake bakery, I had no idea who he was. All I knew was chiseled perfection like him could never really want a girl like me. That didn't stop me from craving and lusting after everything I could never have. Success.

And I was trapped in a twisted frenemy relationship with my douche bag ex fiancee. I never would have dreamed who Gabe really was, what he wanted and why he wanted it.


My f*cked up family taught me a lot. Take rather than give. Anything. Everything.

Ally made me feel clean. Whole. I'd do anything to have her and even more to keep her. In spite of my past but more importantly ... because of it.

I took her tenuous control and worshiped her killer curves. I never suspected she'd steal my heart.



Blackness and strange noises rang through the gloom. What was this? I floated through it, as though I didn’t have a body, couldn’t feel any sensations. I was pretty sure I’d died, but heaven was black and smoky. Or had I gone to hell?

Then, there were voices, strange tones which skipped and repeated.

“Miss?” A gravelly voice, deep and comforting pierced the despotic darkness. “Can you hear me?”

Strong arms enveloped me, lifting me from the floor. I cracked an eyelid and slammed it shut again immediately. The smoke remained thick and the burning was so bad I couldn’t see through the moisture pooling in my eyes, the flood of tears protecting them. The crackle of fire returned in a rush and my body turned rigid in response.

“It’s okay. I’ve got you,” he murmured, and folded me closer to his hard chest. Safe. I felt safe in his arms. He took measured steps. “Is there anyone else in here? Anyone who needs help.”

I shook my head as a bout of coughing took over any ability to speak. Shouts rang out, men rushed by, disturbing the smoke, creating a whirlwind of warm air which brushed the sweaty strands of hair clinging to my forehead. It felt like a film of smoke and perspiration had encased my entire body.

“Codsworth,” I choked.

“What?” he asked. He had to be a fireman. Fresh air now. Or, was it him? He had the most amazing smell. I couldn’t open my eyes, could hardly breathe, but the scent of some woodsy cologne — Gucci? — permeated my nostrils through the haze of soot that lingered there.

“Codsworth,” I repeated. “My cat. He’s upstairs.” I clutched his arm with all my remaining strength. “Please …”

“Don’t worry,” he replied. “I’ll get him for you.” He quickened his pace and I clung to him with arms like noodles, resting my head against the fire retardant suit. He was as hard as a rock and for some reason, I felt like everything would be okay as he took charge.

The air grew clearer; there was a rush of wind and sound. Sirens blared, people chattered.

“Oh my God, can you believe it,” a woman said nearby.

“It doesn’t look too bad.” That was a man’s voice. Spectators probably, but my eyes were too scratchy to open yet and I didn’t even want to try.

“Here, take her,” the firefighter carrying me said, his deep voice raspier with the smoke. Then he placed me on a bed, a stretcher. Fingers brushed my ear, and the heat of his breath penetrated. “I’ll come back after I’ve found Codsworth. You’re safe now,” he promised, all calm confidence.

My skin erupted in tingles as gooseflesh spread across my skin. I forced my eyes open, staring through the blur of tears, but he was already gone.


“You’re fine now, just relax.” A woman in a paramedic outfit appeared beside me and placed an oxygen mask on my face.

I frowned at her, my eyes had cleared pretty fast, though my chest still felt croaky. My limbs were floppy too. None of it mattered compared to losing the bakery. Or Codsworth.

I tried to pull the mask off, but she stopped me.

“No, you rest now. There’ll be enough time for talking later.” The medic lifted a flashlight and checked one eye then the other. “Looks okay there.”

I let her carry on with her protocol, but I felt stronger by the minute. I’d inhaled a bit of smoke. I’d not been burned to a crisp. The blessed oxygen flooded my lungs, clearing my mind and body. But still, I was exhausted. To the bone.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Colleen Charles is the pen name of Tami Stark, #1 Bestselling Author on Amazon.

Colleen Charles held a leadership position for a fortune 500 company for 26 years while writing suspenseful romance by night. Thrilled that she's now able to write full time, she can't wait to spend more time connecting with her readers. She’s also a certified life coach and a Reiki Master. She loves reading and writing stories that entertain and sweep women away from their everyday life. Colleen has shown and bred Arabian horses for over 30 years and lives in the Midwest with her human and furry families. In her spare time, she enjoys volunteering for underprivileged girls and homeless pets.

Baked is FREE on Kindle or Nook during the tour.



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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Wednesday Briefs: Moving Forward #21 (5.3)

Good morning and Happy Wednesday! If it's Wednesday, then it must be time for some flash fiction from the Wednesday Briefers! We're a group of authors who offer you our finest flash fiction every week, from 500 to 1000 words, inspired by one of our prompts!

In Moving Forward, Marshall and Lee continue to explore the cruise ship on their own, but is it inevitable that they run across Denver and his cousin eventually? Find out in this week's installment. Don't forget to visit the other Briefers! Their links follow my tale! Enjoy!

Moving Forward #21 (5.3)

They decided to randomly explore the ship on their own, rather than participating in some sort of organized tour. Just see what they could see.
What they saw was a lot of couples. Wall-to-wall men, holding hands, showing affection, kissing one another without inhibition. Smiling and laughing. Homophobia didn’t exist here, only love.  Everyone they passed was excited.  They greeted one another as if they knew no strangers, brought together by their common bond of loving other men.

It was amazing.

The dining room where they’d take their meals was huge.

“Think we’ll be sitting with someone else?” Marshall wondered.

“Most likely,” Lee said. “Looks like that’s the way it’s set up, anyway. It’ll be fun.”

“Yeah, it will.” For once, Marshall wasn’t worried about drawing anyone’s censure, or being hesitant to address a stranger, afraid of what he or she might think of Lee and him. Here, everything went, and all love was good. Here, he could be proud of being with such a handsome man as Lee.  Hell, he didn’t even care of Denver and Dustin joined them. He just didn’t want to see too much of them. He’d always liked Denver. Dustin, not so much.

Marshall noticed the tables were secured to the floor.  “They expecting rough weather?”

“Just a precaution. Probably required by the insurance carrier or something.” That made sense.

The room was well lit, and everything shone as if it was freshly polished, including the silverware. The tables were all set, probably for lunch. According to the brochure, lunch wasn’t as formal as dinner, and there were no set times for it.

On the Lido Deck, which was two levels above their cabin, they found another dining area which contained a long buffet.  “I’d like to try that at least once,” Marshall said. They’d been to buffets in San Antonio, and he loved having so many selections to choose from. Especially those of the beefy kind.

“Sounds good to me,” Lee said.

On the same floor, they found a huge swimming pool. Men were already lounging beside it or floating in it, some in suits so skimpy they were barely there.  This was a look that suited some rather well, others less so. A server circulated among those who chose to lounge beside the pool, and umbrellaed drinks were the order of the day.

“Want to hang out here?” Lee asked. “Get a drink?”

“Not right now,” Marshall said. “Later on, sure. Think the pool stays open all night?”

“I don’t know about all night, but pretty late. Guess that’s something we need to find out. What were you thinking about, skinny dipping in the middle of the night?” Lee grinned.

“I don’t think so.” Marshall laughed. “Especially when we have a hot tub right outside our bedroom door that’s a whole lot more private. But it would be fun to go swimming under the stars. If it’s not too crowded.”

“Then we’ll do that too,” Lee promised. “Anything you like.”

Marshall’s heart swelled with happiness. Lee was absolutely the best. “Mind if we stop by the room real quick and pick up the camera?”

“Sure, we can do that. You’re really jonesing to take some pictures, aren’t you?”

“I am,” Marshall admitted. “I’m going to make an album when we get home, something we can look at and remember. I just want to capture everything I can.”

“I love the way you think.” Lee pulled him close and kissed him, and for a long moment, nothing else mattered.

The moment was interrupted by a familiar voice. “Well, looky who’s here. Thought we might run into you somewhere, didn’t know it’d be so soon.”

They broke apart leisurely, as if they had all the time in the world, and Lee slid his arm around Marshall’s waist. “On a ship this size, that might not happen as often as you think,” Lee said. “You guys get all settled in your room?”

“Pretty much, just looking around,” Denver said. “What’s up with you two?”

“Just looking around ourselves,” Lee replied. “We were just going down to our cabin for a minute. You eat yet?”

“No, not yet, been too busy.” Denver glanced at his watch. “I think they’re probably serving now, don’t you?”

“Why don’t we have lunch together?” Dustin quickly suggested.

Lee didn’t answer immediately, and at first Marshall he was against the idea. Then he caught on that he was waiting for Marshall to extend an invitation. He was too happy today; not even Dustin could disturb that, so why not? “That sounds like a good idea,” he said. He could sense Lee’s approbation in his touch, and he felt good for having done something to please Lee.

“There’s a buffet down on Lido deck. Want to meet us there in ten or fifteen minutes?” Lee suggested.

“I think we saw that, yeah,” Denver said. “Sure, meet you there. C’mon, Dustin, we can scope out the tables before they get there.”

“See you down there,” Dustin said. Was Marshall imagining things, or did Dustin’s gaze linger a little too long on Lee? The other man turned to follow his cousin, and Marshall dismissed the idea as a bit too wild. Just his imagination.

They took the elevator down to the Empress deck, and found their cabin with little trouble. Lee pushed open the door. “Go ahead and get the camera, I’ll be right out,” he said, heading toward the bathroom.

Marshall laid his suitcase on the bed and unzipped it. Carefully stowed in the pouch was the digital camera Lee had given him for Christmas one year. It took really good pictures, and Marshall enjoyed playing with the different functions.

He heard a flush, then water, and when the door opened, he was ready, snapping Lee’s picture. Lee gave him a I-don’t-believe-you-did-that look. “Is this how it’s going to be for the whole trip? You gonna play paparazzi on me?”

“You know it.” Marshall grinned. “With and without clothes.”

Lee shook his head.

to be continued

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Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Virtual Cover Reveal: Murder at Morningside

Please welcome author Sandra Bretting, who is here to reveal the cover of her new release, Murder at Morningside. Sandra will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to one randomly drawn commenter via Rafflecopter. The  more you comment, the better your chances of winning. To find the other stops on her tour, go here. Don't forget to look for the Rafflecopter at the end of this post.

Murder at Morningside
by Sandra Bretting


GENRE: Cozy Mystery



Hat designer Missy DuBois opened her shop, Crowning Glory, along Louisiana's Great River Road to cater to the sophisticated Southern bride. But bless her heart, who knew creating stylish wedding veils would lead to murder?



Time rewound with each footfall as I began to climb the grand outer staircase at Morningside Plantation. The limestone steps, burdened with the history of five generations, heaved their way toward heaven.

At the top lay a wide-plank verandah supported by columns painted pure white, like the clouds. By the time I took a third step, the digital camera in my right hand began to dissolve into the sterling silver handle of a ladies parasol. The visitors’ guide in my left hand magically transformed into a ballroom dance card bound by a satin cord.

Another step and the Mississippi River came into view as it flowed to the Gulf, languid as a waltz and the color of sweet tea. Could that be a whistle from a steamboat ferrying passengers past the plantation? If so, a turn and a wave wouldn’t be out of the question once I reached the top of the stairs, and good manners would dictate it.

I was about to do that when I realized the whistle was only my friend’s cell and not a Mississippi riverboat. “Ambrose! Turn that thing off. Honestly.”

“Sorry.” He shrugged. “I always forget you were Scarlett O’Hara in a past life.”

The mood was broken, though, and the sterling silver in my hand returned to plastic while the linen dance card hardened to a glossy brochure.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Sandra Bretting works as a freelance feature writer under contract to the Houston Chronicle. She received a journalism degree from the University of Missouri School of Journalism and wrote for other publications (including the Los Angeles Times and Orange Coast Magazine) before moving to Texas.

Her Missy DuBois Mysteries series debuts from Kensington/Lyrical Underground in May 2016. Bretting’s previous mysteries include Unholy Lies (2012) and Bless the Dying (2014). Readers can reach her online at and through Facebook at

Buy Links:




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Monday, February 8, 2016

Virtual Book Tour: Good Morning Diego Garcia

Please welcome author Susan Joyce, who is here to tell us about her new release, Good Morning Diego Garcia. Susan will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to one randomly drawn commenter via Rafflecopter. The more you comment, the better your chances of winning. To find out where the other stops on the tour are, go here. Don't forget to look for the Rafflecopter at the end of this post.

Good Morning Diego Garcia
by Susan Joyce


GENRE: travel adventure/memoir



When Susan and Charles receive a letter from Cyprus friends, now in Taiwan, they get a chance to help crew a sailboat from Sri Lanka across the Indian Ocean. They have no clue what to expect. Susan reminds Charles she isn't a good swimmer. He tells her a life jacket will do the trick, and convinces her it's the opportunity of a lifetime. A must-do travel adventure. They say goodbye to friends and family in sunny California, fly to New York and on to India, arriving the day the Indian government has issued a state of emergency. And then onto the boat, and into the ocean. In monsoon season. With no charts.

In this true-life travel adventure, Susan keeps a journal and records her bizarre thoughts and telling dreams. A real life thriller, Susan's monsoon-season journey is about discovery and spiritual realization—one dream at a time.



“Are you afraid now?” Mia asked.

“No,” I answered. “I wish I could stop the world and get off. I wish I was experiencing another life in an alternative universe. A calmer one.”

“Maybe we are,” Mia said. “Maybe we are dead.”

“Maybe we are and observing,” I added. “A future life.”

I was surprised to see Mia smile. “A previous life.”

Charles looked disturbed by the conversation and shook his head in disbelief. “Susan,” he said, “enough!”

I stopped talking when I noticed Dylan had joined us.

Mia looked at him like she had seen a ghost.

“What's the problem?” Dylan asked Charles.

“We're all dead,” Charles said.

“We died in a storm at sea,” Mia added.

“And we will carry on sailing through eternity,” Charles said.

Looking concerned, Dylan shook his head and went back to his room.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Born in Los Angeles, California, Susan Joyce spent most of her childhood in Tucson, Arizona and returned to LA as a young working woman. Inspired as a child by postcards from her globe-trotting great aunt, Susan left the United States at age 20 to see the world.

She planned on being gone for a year, but ended up living her 20s and 30s in Europe and the Middle East. As a Jill of all trades, she worked as a secretary, freelance writer, taught computer classes, wrote songs, and became an accomplished artist while writing her first children's book, "Peel, the Extraordinary Elephant."

An award-winning author and editor of children's books, Susan's first adult book in her memoir series, "The Lullaby Illusion--A Journey of Awakening" is a travelogue of the politics of Europe, the United States, and Israel during a twelve year 'roller-coaster' period of her life and an adventure of survival through friends and sheer determination.

The Lullaby Illusion was awarded
* Readers' Favorite 5-Stars and the 2014 GOLD Medal Winner, Non-Fiction--Travel in the 2014 Readers' Favorite International Book Awards.
* Honorable Mention Prize Winner--2014 Stargazer Literary Prizes

Her second memoir, "Good Morning Diego Garcia" is about her adventure from India and across the Indian Ocean in monsoon season in 1975.
Available for pre-order:

Read more about Susan's life adventures at:
Stop in and say hello to Susan here:


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Friday, February 5, 2016

Virtual Book Tour: The Law of Attraction

Author Name: Jay Northcote

Book Name: The Law of Attraction

Release Date: February 5, 2016

When a professional relationship turns personal, it’s impossible to resist the law of attraction.
Alec Rowland is a high-flying lawyer in a London firm whose career is his life. He doesn’t have time for relationships and his sexuality is a closely guarded secret. After picking up a cute guy on a Friday night, Alec’s world is rocked to its foundations when his one night stand shows up in the office on Monday morning—as the new temp on his team.
Ed Piper is desperate to prove himself in his new job. The last thing he needs is to be distracted by a crush on his boss. It’s hard to ignore the attraction he feels, even though Alec’s a difficult bastard to work for.
Both men strive to maintain a professional relationship, but tempers fray, passions ignite, and soon they’re both falling hard and fast. If they’re ever going to find a way to be together, Alec needs to be honest about who he really is because Ed won’t go back in the closet for anyone.

Pages or Words: 62,000 words

Categories: Contemporary, M/M Romance, Romance

His companion was still watching him, seemingly waiting for him to make his move. Alec felt irrationally irritated. This wasn’t how it was supposed to go. Even though he only did it occasionally, picking up men was easy for Alec. Buying a drink was more than he usually bothered to do for the twinks he hooked up with when he was in the mood for a warm body to fuck. Alec was well aware of his own attractiveness and used it to his advantage. A crook of a finger, a tilt of his head, or even just a look was usually enough to make them come running.
But this guy didn’t seem to know the rules of the game.
“Strong, silent type, huh?” He suddenly grinned at Alec, all neat white teeth and dimples. “You could start by telling me your name. Mine’s Ed.”
“Alec.” He handed a note to the barman as he came back with their drinks. “Keep the change.”
“Cheers, mate.” The barman winked as he pocketed the tip.
Ed’s eyebrows lifted. “Change from a twenty? You must have money to burn.”
“Something like that.” Alec let his gaze rake deliberately down Ed, examining him from the front this time. His arms were still folded over his chest and his T-shirt had ridden up enough to expose a feathered line of hair on his belly, leading down to a nice-looking package in obscenely tight skinny jeans. “I hope you bottom?”
Ed blinked and choked on his mouthful of rum and Coke. Alec suppressed the urge to grin, enjoying the fact that Ed had momentarily lost his cool.
“I’ve been known to,” Ed replied, rallying. He licked his lips.
“Good.” Alec held his gaze, noting with satisfaction that Ed’s pupils had blown wide and his lips parted as Alec looked at them. God, he had a pretty mouth. Alec lifted his glass and downed his drink. The burn of the whisky tore through him and made his nerves tingle with anticipation. He needed a good fuck; it had been too long. “Drink up, then.”

Buy the book:

Meet the author:

Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England, with her husband, two children, and two cats.

She comes from a family of writers, but she always used to believe that the gene for fiction writing had passed her by. She spent years only ever writing emails, articles, or website content. One day, she decided to try and write a short story–just to see if she could–and found it rather addictive. She hasn’t stopped writing since.

Where to find the author:

Publisher: Jaybird Press
Cover Artist: Garrett Leigh

Tour Dates & Stops:

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Wednesday Briefs: Moving Forward #20 (5.2)

Good morning and Happy Hump Day! If it's Wednesday, it must be time for some flash fiction from the Wednesday Briefers! We're a group of authors who bring you our finest flash fiction every week, between 500 and 1000 words, inspired by one of our prompts!

This week, in Moving Forward, Marshall and Lee, now on board the Wandering Star, check out their cabin. See what they're up to in this week's episode! Then check out the other Briefers, whose links follow my tale. Enjoy!

Moving Forward #20 (5.2)

“You’re absolutely the best!” Marshall enthused. “Can we check it out?”

“Of course we can.” Lee’s eyes twinkled. “Gotta find out if it’s all it’s cracked up to be, don’t we?”

Marshall whooped enthusiastically, kissed Lee again, then scurried across the room. He paused by the door, one hand on the knob, looking at Lee expectantly. “You’re coming, aren’t you?”

Lee laughed. “Of course, Mr. Impatient.” He sauntered toward Marshall, as if they had all the time in the world. Marshall tamped down his impatience. This was a cruise. He had a feeling time worked differently here, as though they were in a whole different world. Which, in a way, they were. A world filled with men just like them.

When Lee joined him, Marshall pushed open the door and stepped out. What he saw floored him again.

“A hot tub?” He turned amazed eyes toward Lee. “There’s a hot tub out here. Did you know… I mean did you plan…” Flustered, he shut up and gazed around him, open-mouthed.

The balcony was completely private—they couldn’t see their neighbors and he assumed nobody could see them. The hot tub occupied one corner of the balcony, while two comfortable-looking deck chairs and a table with an umbrella took up the rest.

“Do you know what we can do out here?” Marshall’s mind was already racing, visions of a naked Lee dancing in his head.

“We can take breakfast, if we want, right there.” Lee nodded toward the table. “Have a beer in the evening. Or whatever we want.”

“We can do more than that and you know it.” Marshall approached the hot tub, running his fingers over the gleaming side rails. He trailed his hand into the water, which was warm and inviting.

“What do I know?” Lee teased, having joined Marshall beside the tub. He dipped his fingers into the water. “That feels very nice. It’ll be good to relax in.”

“Relax?” Marshall snorted. “Is that what you call it?”

“Is that what I call what?” Lee played innocent, but Marshall knew better.

“Are you telling me you have no intentions on fucking me in this?” he demanded.

“Never crossed my mind,” Lee said, maintaining a straight face before breaking into a grin. “You know me better than that, I think. It’s pretty much what I had in mind too.”

Marshall grinned back, then frowned slightly. “Are you sure it’s completely private?” Sure didn’t want to provide a show for anyone.

“Well, I believe that’s why they call it a private balcony,” Lee replied, “because it’s private. Now, if someone figures out how to spy on us from the sea, I can’t help that, but I’m pretty sure that’s not likely to happen, either.”

Marshall couldn’t believe Lee had gone to all this trouble for him. For them. How could anyone doubt they loved one another? Or that Lee was what was best for Marshall? “This is going to be the best cruise ever!” he said fervently.

“Absolutely,” Lee agreed. “Until the next one.”

“Next one?”

“I figure there’s a lot of world out there to see, and we should see as much of it as we can. What do you think?”

Marshall thought his heart would explode with happiness. He gave a loud whoop, which produced a smile from Lee.  “I think that’s the best idea ever.” He had a sudden idea. “I should start taking pictures now. Then we’ll have the whole story of our first cruise, from start to finish.”

“Go for it,” Lee agreed. “You’re the photographer in the family.”

Marshall grinned, but then his face fell. “I forgot. The bags aren’t here yet, and I packed the camera in my suitcase.”

“Everything will still be here when it comes,” Lee said. “No rush.”

No rush indeed.

They sat in the chairs, just to see how they felt, pronounced them very comfortable and relaxed there for a few minutes, soaking up what little view there was. Which wasn’t much yet, since they were still in port. The ship wouldn’t leave until nine or ten that night. Sometime in the morning, they’d reach their first destination—the port of St. John.

They looked over some of the paperwork they’d been given, studying the map of the ship. “Where will we be eating?”

“Here.” Lee pointed to a dining room located just a deck above them. “Right there. We have an eight-thirty time slot.”

“That’s not bad. I just hope the food’s good.”

“Guess we’ll find out,” Lee said. “I know there’s room service too, if we get hungry between meals, or late at night.”

A knock on the door interrupted him. Lee went to the door and opened it to one of the ship stewards. “I have your luggage, sir,” he said.

Lee stood aside, and the man carried their suitcases in. “Where would you like these, sir?”

“Right there’s fine.” Lee indicated the floor by the couch. The steward sent their bags there, and Lee tipped him.

“Thank you, sir. Enjoy your cruise.” He smiled at them both, before making his exit. They could hear the wheels of his cart, then his knock at the next cabin door.

“You sure we brought everything we’ll need?” Marshall thought over everything he’d packed, certain he must have forgotten something.

“You mean like your computer?” Lee teased. “No work on this trip. We’re here to have fun.” He pulled Marshall close to him, circling him with his arms. “You’re lucky I let you keep that smart ass phone of yours. I might just have to take it away.”

“It’s a smartphone,” Marshall corrected him.

“Not when it’s yours,” Lee quipped, and stilled any possible response with a long, hard kiss.
By the time Marshall came up for air, he’d forgotten what he might have been arguing about.

“Why don’t you take your pictures, real quick, and then let’s go explore the ship?” Lee suggested.

“I like the way you think.” Marshall grinned.

to be continued

Now go see what the other Briefers are up to!