Saturday, December 8, 2018

About Me and What's To Come: Lynn Lorenz ~ Guest Post #Giveaway



It's another installment of About Me and What's To Come and this week we have author Lynn Lorenz here with us talking about what's new and whats to come. Also, there's a wonderful giveaway at the end so be sure to check that out.






Pushing Philip – a Common Powers Christmas
I’d wanted to write this book for the last 3 or 4 years, every time Christmas rolled around. I’d kick myself for not getting to it, earlier because I was swamped with writing obligations, and of late, due to my crazy life. Finally, I got to it – the last book in the Common Powers series – Pushing Phillip.
This series is about men who have sort of small powers, not superheroes. But any power can be “super” if one knows how to use it – or when.
In Soul Bonds, book one, Sammi has the power to hear his lovers’ thoughts, to know what they want in bed. For most of Sammi’s life, it’s been a curse. It’s made him valuable, but only as a sex slave. Meeting Mitchell, the man who can hear Sammi’s thoughts turns his life around, even as his presence nearly destroys Mitchell’s life.   Buy on Amazon.
Book two, Rush in the Dark, both men have a power, Rush can see in the dark, and Brian gets premonitions. Rush is deep in the closet, Brian is out and proud. But their gifts might save them both. Buy on Amazon.
Book three, Edward Unconditionally, has Edward Beauregard III, a man who can heal with his touch. He’s sent to heal his grandmother but must learn to find the strength deep inside him. Jack, the police chief, must find the strength to come out of his closet, risk the life he’s built, and openly love Edward. Buy on Amazon.
In Pushing Phillip, the final book, finds all our men back together at Christmas. We learn where they all are in their lives and loves and meet a new member of the “powers” club – Phillip. He’s a drifter who landed in their town and is trying to be a better man. His power is perhaps the most dangerous, if used for evil, and it’ll take a strong, good man to handle it. The object of his heart is Estaban, a mechanic who has an uncanny ability around cars. When Phillip’s life comes crashing down days before Christmas, he’ll needs friends and maybe a miracle. Leave it to our guys come to his rescue. Buy on Amazon.
I’m ending the series on a heartwarming note, and as always, a Happily Ever After. I hope you’ll enjoy it.
If you love a sweet Christmas short story, look for A Miracle for Markie, from MLR press, coming out on December 28th.  This tale of miracles involves seven-year-old Markie, his family, and a very special Nativity Scene. I hope you’ll get all the feels!  
In 2019, I’ll be bring back Locke and Blade, my paranormal/fantasy/witch story, to continue their next adventure. And I’m working on a rom-com called Visualize This! Set on a cruise ship, with plenty of disasters, missed opportunities, and hijinks. Hope it’ll see the light of day later in the year.


Thanks to Diverse Readers for this promo opportunity! And a special thanks to Meredith King!





Giveaway

Lynn is gifting a copy of Pushing Phillip to one lucky reader
Please fill out the rafflecopter below
Contest ends December 15th
thanks

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Release Blitz: Under The Felt Mistletoe by Nell Iris #Review #Excerpt #Giveaway



Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | JMS Books

Length: 13,000 words.

Publisher: JMS Books

Blurb

The most wonderful time of the year is about to get even better.

On a cold, rainy December morning, Finn’s beloved Grampa, his best friend and rock, makes a friend outside their home who he invites in for coffee. The last thing Finn expects is Nelson, a man with a painful past, who is beautiful and generous and turns Finn’s knees into jelly.

What starts out as a chance to get out of the rain, soon becomes more as Nelson helps Finn get ready for the Christmas market. They bond over coffee and fabric and Mariah Carey. Can handmade Christmas ornaments and an understanding heart give Nelson the love he’s been denied?


Review 

Finn and Nelson
Ow goshh I adored this little Christmas tale. It had so much in it:
Kindness, the warmth of family, humor, adorable personalities, the smell of Christmas, hurt softened by the sweetness of friendship, a blooming love... so much, my heart thumped faster.
Finn lives with his Grampa and when this always kind man asks a stranger inside for a warm coffee Finn’s breath is taken away when Nelson enters the kitchen. He is just everything he likes in a man.
Nelson was seeking his his family but they left without a trace. His disappointment disappears like snow under the sun when he enters their inviting home. This is the start of something special.
A dear tale, with an amazing Christmas spirit and considered a short story, I loved every part of it... life is so much better with the right people around!
Best way to read this delicious and comfortable Christmas story is with a hot chocolate under a fluffy blanket in a cozy chair, snow outside, and candles with a fireplace burning inside.
 

Excerpt

Sunday arrives with clear skies and no rain, but instead, the temperature has dropped overnight and hovers in the low thirties. I arm myself with a thermos of coffee and dress accordingly: long johns under my orange bellbottom corduroy pants, a long-sleeved t-shirt and a turtleneck layered under my windbreaker, a fluffy scarf wound around my neck and a beanie that makes my hair look ridiculous. It flattens everything under the hat, but at the ribbed cuff, my curls explode in every direction with a vengeance.

A lot of people attend the first market of the season and despite the cold pluming my breath in front of me, everyone is in high spirits and full of holiday cheer. My neighbor to the right, Mrs. Winterbottom -- yes, that’s her real name -- is dressed as Mrs. Santa and sells magnificent hand-crafted fir wreaths. On my left, Mr. and Mrs. Carruthers sell gold-brushed chocolate pralines that are too pretty to eat and taste even better.

Every vendor plays holiday music, greets the shoppers with a jolly ho-ho-ho, and a comment on the weather. The shoppers, in turn, have deep pockets and are eager to acquire the merchandise. People love my ornaments, and my stuff flies off the table. I will be cleaned out completely before the market closes if this continues. I need to spend more time sewing so I can bring lots more next week.

After a couple hours, huge powdery snowflakes start sailing leisurely from the sky, adding to the holiday feeling. The only downer on this fabulous day is that I ran out of coffee early. Mrs. Winterbottom forgot hers at home, and I shared mine with her. I wouldn’t let my worst enemy go without coffee if I could do something about it.

But in a lull between customers, a savior arrives.

Nelson. Carrying two paper cups in mittened hands.

Warmth flashes in my chest at the sight of him; his shy smile and brown eyes that are warm enough to thaw the thin layer of ice from the pond in the middle of the park where the market is held.

“Hi,” he says, sounding out of breath. “I know you like coffee, but I thought maybe hot chocolate would be nice in this cold?” He holds out of the cups and if we weren’t separated by the table I would show my gratitude by hugging the stuffing out of the man. New acquaintance or not.

“My hero!” I accept the offering, tear off the lid, and inhale. The sweet, slightly bitter aroma makes my mouth water. I take a small sip, but it isn’t too hot to drink so I have some more. I hum in happiness and smile at him. “This is awesome. Thank you so much.”

Nelson’s gaze is glued to my mouth with eyelids heavy and lips parted. “You’ve got ...” He sets down his cup and pulls off his red and white mittens, then he leans forward and swipes the pad of his thumb along my upper lip.

I draw a stuttering breath.

“You had chocolate on your lip,” he rasps, his voice so deliciously rumbly I feel it all the way in my bones. “There. All gone.” He does a final sweep before withdrawing.

I can’t help it; my hand flies to my mouth and I finger my lip as though I’m trying to stop the lingering warmth from evaporating.

“Thank you.” My voice is hoarse. Our eyes lock as he picks up the mittens and put them back on. My breathing grows shallow and the Christmas music cacophony and loud buzz of the market-goers fade into the background. All I see is him. All I hear is his breathing.

“Finn. I ...”


Nell Iris is a romantic at heart who believes everyone deserves a happy ending. She’s a bona fide bookworm (learned to read long before she started school), wouldn’t dream of going anywhere without something to read (not even the ladies’ room), loves music (and singing along but, let’s face it, she’s no Celine Dion), and is a real Star Trek nerd (“Make it so”). She loves words, poetry, wine, and Sudoku, and absolutely adores elephants!

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

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

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

Email contact@nelliris.com
Web www.nelliris.com
Twitter @nellirisauthor
Facebook page www.facebook.com/nellirisauthor
Facebook profile www.facebook.com/nell.iris.12
Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/nelliris
Instagram https://www.instagram.com/nell_iris/
QueeRomance Ink https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/nell-iris/

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Friday, December 7, 2018

Promotional Post: The Christmas Lights Battle by Skylar M. Cates ~ Guest Post #Review #Giveaway





Author: Skylar M. Cates
Title: The Christmas Lights Battle
Self Published
Publication Date: December 5, 2018
Length: 212 pages

Reviewed by Meredith


Synopsis

For a single dad and his neighbor, the Christmas competition is on!

Julian Moss wants to give his children a happy Christmas. Since his divorce, Julian has no time for a social life; he’s been doing the tiring work of two parents while his cheating ex-husband dodges his responsibilities. If that isn’t stressful enough, he has to deal with his new—and ridiculously good-looking—neighbor and his noisy dogs. Christmas used to be Julian’s favorite holiday, but lately all he sees is the cost. Then Julian’s young son tells him about a Christmas lights competition with a much-needed prize.

Leo Adams is going to be alone for Christmas…again. All he’s ever wanted is to be accepted by his family, but he knows that will never happen. Deciding to focus on his career as a personal trainer, Leo develops a boot camp program on the beach, but he needs publicity. The lights competition offers Leo a way to get some free press, and if it annoys his snooty neighbor Julian—all the better.

The battle is on, and both Julian and Leo want to win. The stakes are high, the reward is great, and the neighbors are in it to win it. There’s nothing like a little competition to make Christmas at Shelby Beach extra merry and bright.






Guest Post 

Season’s Greetings! Skylar, here. I’m thrilled to be here to share my upcoming release The Christmas Lights Battle: A Shelby Beach Romance.
Many times when I attend a conference, one of the most popular questions is “Where do you get your inspiration?”  Truthfully, there are some books that do not have an interesting origin. But The Christmas Lights Battle was inspired by my real life friend.
Every year, my friend James has a huge party at his house the day after Thanksgiving. He sends out invitations a month in advance. So last year, even though we were still full from all the turkey and pies, my husband and I knew the party would be massive.
We expected to eat a lot of food. Not wanting to go to the party empty-handed, I made a pasta salad and my children baked cookies.  When my husband returned from the Black Friday deals (he’s the shopper in our family), we all piled into our van and drove to his house. Then we arrived at the house, and I saw this party would be different from the other ones that James had thrown.
He had always loved Christmas lights. One of his joys was to decorate his yard. But that year…well, James had gone light-crazy. He had big lights on his six-foot tree with a giant Santa underneath playing a guitar that flashed Christmas Rocks! There were different colors every five minutes—it was rainbow overload. My kids pointed out the inflatables from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer that decorated his porch. He had Santa and Rudolph, but also the Abominable Snowman and even Hermey, the aspiring dentist. When we saw how many lights he had, my husband and I laughed and said his electricity bill must be sky high. But honestly, we also thought it was sweet. James clearly loved Christmas and had gone all out.
James told us that he was thinking about entering a lights competition. He wanted to use his computer and create an entire show, timing the lights with music. As he excitedly discussed his plans, the idea for The Christmas Lights Battle was born!
All writers can relate to this next part: I wanted to leave because I needed to write.
 Already ideas were shaping in my mind of who might enter a lights competition and why. From then on, it was all I could think about. I didn’t leave since the party had just started, but as I stood in his yard and gazed at the twinkling lights, Julian and Leo spoke to me. In spite of the noise of the crowd, their voices were all I heard. Julian and Leo would be neighbors. Their battle would begin with some hostility, but soon it would give way to friendship and then to love….
Flash forward one year later: I am standing with James, admiring his new decorations. My book is in the final stages of being edited, and I feel blessed that exactly a year ago the inspiration for this story came to me. It arrived the way the best things in life often do—as a surprise.

Happy holidays!








Review

I love this time of year; Christmas music, pine scented everything, bright lights, love, and laughter... Oh and the holiday books! Every year I wait for the truck load of Christmas books and decide which I'm going to read in between all the holiday bustle. I am so happy I got to read The Christmas Lights Battle by Skylar M. Cates. This is such a touching story that has laughter, family, tradition, and love.

Julian had a lot of family and love and Leo didn't. Sure Leo had friends, his chosen family, but this time of year always left him aching for family. Julian has that in abundance, and while he's going through some struggles of his own he realized Leo was the final piece to the perfect family.

When I finished reading this book I felt lighter and happy and like I needed to up my lighting game. This is a do not miss for your holiday TBR list. And when I say list, I mean bump it up there. You won't be sorry.




Giveaway

Tell me about your most memorable holiday party. One commenter will win an e-book of choice from my backlist.

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