Monday, October 21, 2019

Review Tour: Bishop by A.E. Via #Review #Giveaway

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK 

Length: 121,000 words approx.

Cover Design: Simply Defined Art


At only thirty-two, Bishop Stockley has lived a hard-knock life. His gang was his family, the streets his home. Until the crew he’d always called his brothers betrayed him. After doing five years in a federal prison, Bishop is back at his dad’s trailer and working for his landscaping company, thrust into a legit world where he’s no longer the alpha—a world where a criminal record is the least of his disadvantages, because Bishop can’t read or write. Illiteracy had never been an obstacle for him on the streets, he didn’t need to know how to read Moby Dick to survive, he needed to know how to read people… and that was a hustle he’d learned hard and fast. Now, he had to change his life.

Bishop’s only support system was a young, inexperienced dad who’d insisted he call him Mike all their life—since they looked more like brothers than father and son. And his hot-tempered, childhood, best friend from ’juvie, Trent. Bishop already had the deck stacked against him, but he wasn’t afraid of hard work to change his situation, and he did want to change. Especially after he encountered Edison Scala, a kind-spirited office manager who didn’t hesitate to come to his defense… a man that saw past Bishop’s grass-stained coveralls. A man who wasn’t intimidated by his stern features and his silence.

Edison hadn’t grown up the way most of his peers had. He’d been raised by a single father who’d owned an old-fashioned barber shop where Edison was taught how to not only shave with a straight razor, and shine shoes, but also how to treat others, to not judge, to be a gentleman, to be respectful and speak without profanity. But, the biggest lesson he’d learned, was to always be himself. His lack of friends and a social life wasn’t his fault. No matter how much weight he gained, no matter how many times his staff called him a square, Edison did not need to change.

Bishop knew Edison was off-limits. He’d made personal vows to himself when he was released from prison, ones that he never intended to break. But, when Edison asked him about providing landscaping services at his home, there was no way he could refuse. He hadn’t expected Edison to feed him, praise him, encourage him, and look at him the way he did—as if Bishop was somebody. Mike and Trent warned him not to mix business with pleasure and he didn’t intend to.

No multiple pairings. No cliffhangers. Ends with a very, very HFN.
This book is a M/M contemporary romance, a hardened man’s struggle to find real love. There are no police chases or doors being kicked in, in this one. But, don’t worry. Bishop is still intense enough to keep you on the edge.


It started right away with all the feelings, it touched me and I fell immediately in love.

Edison likes to take good care of himself, a few joys he has in life. He is lonely, with no real friends or a lover. It’s him and his kitchen, because besides being the boss at work, in private he loves to cook and enjoy the results. He is the nicest guy, has excellent taste, he’s kind, no harm towards others, polite and sadly people find a way to hurt him.
Bishop has a complicated relationship with his father. He has to call him Mike like a friend.
After a rough life on the streets, with gangs and now free after five years behind bars, he can work for his father’s landscaping company. The best part of the job is designing, he is good at it. When he got the opportunity to work at Edison’s home he didn’t think twice, he is smitten by the man. He couldn’t guess how Edison is the softest and kind balsam for his heart. Only, he has a past and a significant secret.

We get to meet Bishop’s best friend Trent and his father Mike. They are of great importance in this story. They are fun and wonderful. Edison is a lonely guy, luckily he got two lovely third-degree family members and sadly also some annoying colleagues.
We learn about Bishops and Edison’s life, past and present and what a life they have!

The way the story is developed is quite special, attention to specific things, like the interior of a nice warm home, the emotional facial expressions, little gestures, delicate emotions at just the right moments, using scent and timbre, which made this all into a precious read. I was thrilled both men weren’t flawless, it made them so real and approachable, all this was beautifully woven through this story. 
The writing style was one with passion for humanity, all captivatingly written, it had the most comfortable pace. I loved this story immensely! The title of this book says A True Love Story and omg it was the best, my heart exploded at times such deep moving love there was. The development of the relationship from Bishop and Edison was in one word excellent! Bishop and Edison were so overwhelming special together, my heart yearned, I loved them so hard. 

Highly recommended!

A.E. Via has been a best-selling author in the beautiful gay romance genre for five years now, but she’s no stranger to MM. She’s been an avid reader of gay lit for over fifteen years before she picked up her laptop to place her own kiss on this genre. She’s also the founder and owner of Via Star Wings Books, having published a couple great new up and coming MM authors.

A.E. has a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from Virginia Wesleyan College that she used to start her own paralegal firm after she graduated in 2008. She spent five years preparing and filing bankruptcy petitions for struggling blue collar workers who couldn’t afford to file with a lawyer. It was a rewarding and satisfying career… but another path called to her. Writing.

A.E.’s writing embodies everything from hopelessly romantic to adventure, to scandalous. Her stories often include intriguing edges and twists that take readers to new, thought-provoking depths.

Now that she’s gotten over her 10 books published hump, she’s kind of known now for her hardcore, play rough and love hard, bad boy, alphas. However, she does like to push herself to step out of her comfort zone, exploring different tropes, but she won’t push herself into a whole other genre. She’s head over heels for gay romance and she has tons of more hot stories to tell.

Be sure to visit Adrienne on her social media pages and subscribe to her newsletter to never miss another release date! Go to A.E. Via’s official website for more detailed information on how to contact her, follow her, or a sneak peak at upcoming work, free reads, VSWB submissions, and where she’ll appear next.

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Monday, October 14, 2019

Craig Chats: So... I Did A Thing...

So… I did a thing.

In March of last year, I announced I was no longer going to be writing M/M books. Since then, I’ve attempted my hand at YA, Fantasy, and Sci-Fi, but kept getting derailed by life.
I had a flood. I bought a house. My ex left me and I lost that house. It’s been a journey.
Then, about five months ago, I got this crazy idea—what if I wrote about myself? My life. My story. What if I told the tale of how I came to be here, with all the twists and turns life threw at me?
That’s how “That Time I… Survived My Teens” was born, and I’m SO glad I did it.

This book has kept me sane through my breakup while simultaneously helping me come to terms with a lot of anger and hatred from my past. Whenever I felt like crying about my relationship, or my mind was invaded my memories from 10+ years ago, I turned to this book and let it out. I let it all out. 

And I feel so much better for it.

All I can ask is that you give it a shot. I can’t promise my journey will do much for you, other than (hopefully) elicit a few laughs, but if you want to read about a queer kid growing up in a homophobic town, experimenting with booze and boys on the weekends, then this might be for you.


The Saturday prior to starting this memoir, my ex-fiancĂ© and I had two of his work friends over for an old-fashioned games night. And when I say “old-fashioned,” I’m talking about dice, cards, racking up your points on an abacus, etc. You know, the things people entertained themselves with before politicians blamed every violent fart that wafted their way on video games.

Stop doing that.

Anyway, seeing as I didn’t know who these people were and would’ve much rather spent the evening on the sofa with our dog, I was less than optimistic. If anything, the whole ordeal was going to be like sitting through a Christopher Nolan movie. Sure, I’d say I was having a great time to fit in, but in all honesty, I wouldn’t have a clue what was happening, and I’d probably need to take a nap midway through.

Hours before they arrived, just as I’d started to have those “what if I accidentally say something so obscenely offensive or mind-numbingly stupid, I’ll be haunted by the memory of it for years to come” thoughts, my ex ran down into the basement in which I dwell, his eyes frantic, and begged—

“Please don’t talk about choking on dicks when they get here.”

Come again?

“Please, Craig. That kind of talk makes them uncomfortable. Don’t do it.”

I felt a flurry of emotions in the picosecond it took for his words to register: amused, bemused, offended. It sounded like a joke, but his face was full of fear—a fear that I would be unequivocally crude to these complete strangers, and that my behavior would burn bridges he obviously wanted to keep erect (more on erections later).

That was when it hit me like a pair of loose-hanging nuts to the taint; a realization that I, Craig Thomas Barker, had a pattern of behavior that stretched across my life since adolescence—

I’m the person you get warned about before meeting. I’m the person that gets warned before going anywhere.

Like Carrie Bradshaw, “I couldn’t help but wonder” why that was. So, in order to understand who I am today, I decided to take a look at the years that shaped me. I spread my life out on the table, lubed it with the flare of artistic exaggeration, and went at it until I found my answer.

This isn’t so much a memoir as it is a gay’s journey to discover himself; don’t expect structure, coherency, or a thoroughly thought out narrative with a climactic closing paragraph that gives any of this dribble closure. I’m no one special, I’m not famous, and I don’t have much to say that hasn’t been said before, but I have lived a life, and all twenty-six years of that life has culminated in a single sentence—

“Please don’t talk about choking on dicks when they get here.”

This memoir explains why…
And it was cheaper than therapy.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

GRL Spotlight: Ashe Winters

GayRomLit or as some refer to it as GRL truly is the must-attend event for people who create and celebrate LGBT romance. For those who are unfamiliar with what GRL is I can try and summarize it. Every year in October (this year it’s the 17th to the 20th with pre-events on the 16th) the LGBT community consisting of authors, narrators, readers, and professionals gather to share in their love of LGBT romance. There are signings, author lounges, many events, spotlights, it really is hours of fun.
The location changes every year and on the opening night of each year the spot for the next year  is announced. During this time at GRL there are two signings. One for Registered Authors and one for Featured Authors.
At these signings you can go to the authors’ tables, talk, have them sign swag they have, books you’ve brought, pick up pre-orders, and they will even sign something you brought from home.
Lounges are set up as well these are outside the signing times. Registered authors have one and featured have two lounges.
There will also be spotlights with readings, Q&A’s and so much more.
Now until October 14th Diverse Reader is spotlighting authors that will be at this years GRL. And if you want to know more about it simply head over to the site by clicking here:

Where to Find Me

Look for this image on the table runner!

Author Lounges

10/17 (Thurs.) from 9:00 AM - 9:45 AM
10/18 (Fri.) from 12:00 PM - 12:45 PM

The Book Room

10/17 (Thurs.) from 11:00 AM - 11:45 AM
(I’ll have several paperbacks with me for purchase. I can take credit cards, exact cash, or you can direct PayPal me)

Storyteller Spotlight

With Amy Aislin and Kayleigh Sky

Imaginary Places in Real World Settings
What do the unique paradigms of Amy’s contemporary novels, Kayleigh’s paranormal/urban fantasy/sci-fi worlds, and Ashe’s use of real big cities in both contemporary and urban fantasy all have in common? They are creations of imaginary places in real life settings.
Join these authors as they explore the inherent problems and creative solutions that come with altering real life settings to accommodate imaginary places.

 10/18 (Fri.) from 9:30 AM - 10:20 AM

Featured Author Book Signing

10/19 (Sat.) from 10:00 AM - 12:30 AM

I’m not panicking. Are you panicking?? Oh, wait, that really is me panicking. Eek! This is my first GRL as a Featured Author and is my debut to any kind of signing as an author. I’ve been to two GRL’s so far, Denver and Portsmouth, VA, but I was there as a reader. I’m very much looking forward to being on the other side of the table, meeting everyone. But make no mistake, I’m still totally a reader at heart, and I’ll be a squealy fangirl right along with the rest of you.

If you could sum up most of my writing, I’d say I focus a lot on a lot of fluff and a lot of slow burn MM romance. Most of my works are friends-to-lovers, which honestly, I didn’t plan at all. It just happened that way. Guess we know what kind of characters live in my head, huh? My two most well-known contemporaries are Kiss Me Tomorrow and Shipping Orders, both part of the Valentine’s Inc. Universe. But, that’s not all I write.

The series that has my current focus features a snarky vampire who despises the human race and the human with mysterious powers he ends up stuck with while they both try to stay alive. It’s an MM Urban Fantasy series called Consequences of a Sin. The second book, Tethered Souls, came out on October 4th. I’ll have paperbacks of both books with me at GRL, and I might be coerced into giving a hint or two about the next book. If you like slow, slow, slow burn (seriously, Avery and Ryker are the definition of slow burn at this point), mystery, vampires, witches, and snarky banter, you should check out this series.

I’ll also have several of my contemporaries on hand in paperback form, including the two Valentine’s Inc. books. Come see me!

Fractured Truth (Consequences of a Sin: Book 1)

Universal Link:



Human beings are nothing but lowly trash. Fit only for consumption. That's my motto in life and why I avoid everything to do with them beyond an evening meal. Then he shows up with his delicious scent, and I can't seem to resist hunting him down. But when my hunt gets interrupted by a spray of bullets and I become the prey, I find myself falling into some strange rabbit hole where I have to rely on this incredible smelling human with strange powers to stay alive. How freakin' peachy is that?


Being left on the doorstep of a church when I was infant meant my life began shrouded in questions. And that's how it has remained. Question after question. For a human, I have magical powers I don't understand. After all, magic went extinct a few hundred years ago. I shouldn't exist the way I do. Spending my life in the shadows has always been the safest place. Then a snarky wildcat of a vampire literally passes out in my lap, and my instincts kick into overdrive. Protect him at all costs. Even if I want to strangle him half the time.

Fractured Truth is the first book in the Consequences of a Sin series which follows Avery and Ryker as they try to find the truth behind a Sin that altered the history of their world. Each book will end with a HFN (or close to it) while the overarching plot continues into the next book. Some cliffhangers are likely.

Kiss Me Tomorrow (Valentine’s Inc. Book 8)

Universal Link:


Do what you have to do to stay alive. 
Don’t get attached. 
Rely on no one but yourself. 

Thrown out by my parents as a teen, I learned to survive the streets following a few simple rules. Those rules have stayed with me, kept me safe, alive, and working toward my dreams. 

Between my night job as a date-for-hire with Valentine’s Inc. and my daytime classes, I don’t have time for relationships. Even if I did, no guy wants a serious relationship with an ex-hooker. I know where to keep my expectations. 

My Valentine’s night job should have been business as usual. My “date”, with his weird love of cheesy pick-up lines, is anything but the usual I’d prepared for. Malcolm turns the tables on me, nearly charming the pants right off me. For once, I wouldn’t mind exploring this crazy spark between us for something more. Do I dare trust my heart Mal is different? Or will he walk away the minute he discovers my past?

A blind date. A spark they don’t expect. And a secret that could end it all. Kiss Me Tomorrow is a sweet MM romance of two men learning to trust their hearts to overcome their past, and part of the multi-author Valentine's Inc. Series. 

Shipping Orders (Valentine’s Inc. Cruises Book 2)

Universal Link:


A happy ever after is not in the cards for me. But a short fling aboard a ship crossing the Atlantic might just be exactly what I need. 

When my friends suggest I take a much-needed vacation on their Valentine’s Inc. hosted cruise, I leap at the chance. I don’t have a lot of expectations for this matchmaking singles cruise—I’m certainly not looking for a future Mr. Chase Kelton. 

What I’m not prepared for is walking into my assigned suite to find a man passed out on the first day. I recognize the shy barista immediately. He’s been serving me my morning fix for a year and driving me crazy with the hard shell he keeps locked around himself. I want to break it. I know there’s an entirely different man beneath it that I’m itching to reveal.

Reign is the proverbial fish out of water, and when I discover the real reason he’s on this cruise, I see an opportunity I can’t resist. He needs a companion to show him the ropes—I can do that and so much more.

An introverted barista with a crush, a wealthy executive afraid to fall in love, and a summer fling with an expiration date neither of them wants to keep. Shipping Orders is a full length, standalone novel in the Valentine’s Inc. Cruises multi-author series. 

Just One Kiss

Universal Link:


I never expected to feel anything for him; he’s just my roommate and friend. Then one single drunken kiss that shouldn’t have meant anything turns my world upside down. 

The lingering warmth from the brush of his lips consumes me. I can't breathe when he's near, so I flee every time he comes close. Yet I need his help to keep me from the academic probation that will cost me the last year of my university football career.

I want more. But we’re just friends, and he’s about to graduate. I’m not sure he’s even gay. Why did that kiss have to change everything?

Just One Kiss is a sweet, MM romance featuring college roommates, friends-to-lovers, and a love that sweeps them both away.


When asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, my answer was only one thing: a published author. Now I’m living that dream, and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Romance is essential in every one of my stories. I enjoy exploring people falling in love. I guarantee a HEA in all my stories.

I’m an LGBTQIA+ author and strong supporter of the rainbow community. All my stories feature positive representation of this community that I hold dear to my heart.

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