Blog Tour Stop & Giveaway: Active Duty Anthology edited by Neil Plakcy

active dutyTitle: Active Duty Anthology edited by Neil Plakcy
Publisher: Cleis Press
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic, M/M, Romance
Length: 240 pages


Do Ask Do Tell

The military has never been sexier when these hunky heroes serve their country and each other in Active Duty: Gay Military Erotic Romance, an anthology edited by Neil Plakcy. Experience the thrill of romantic trysts in the middle of battle, witness the everlasting bonds that develop between men who have put their lives on the line for one another day after day, and swoon over the charismatic charm and hard bodies that only the most disciplined of soldiers possess. With the abolition of the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy, being gay in the armed services has never been more accepted, and this collection has fourteen stories celebrating the freedom of our heroes to love and to lust after whomever they desire.

In Shane Allison’s “Weekend Leave”, a man falls in love with a soldier after a night at a bar, an Air Force captain can finally marry his beloved in “Soaring” by Michael Bracken, and when it comes to hierarchies in the military, rank certainly has its privileges for the Sergeants in Bearmuffin’sSemper Fi Wrestlers.” The stories in Active Duty are as touchingly honest as they are sexy and will give readers a newfound appreciation for these men in uniform.

“The public displays of affection between soldiers and other men, the first same-sex service academy prom dates, and the first same-sex military weddings serve to illustrate something we have known all along—that gay men are strong, brave and resilient, the very characteristics that make a great soldier.”—Neil Plakcy, from the Introduction

Purchase Links: Cleis Press * Amazon * B&N * iBooks * Google Play

Editor Bio

Neil Plakcy is the author of nineteen novels and collections of short stories, as well as the editor of many anthologies for Cleis Press, including Hard Hats, Surfer Boys, Skater Boys, The Handsome Prince, Model Men, Sexy Sailors, and Beach Bums. He began his erotic writing career with a story for Honcho magazine called “The Cop Who Caught Me”, and he’s been writing about cops and sex ever since, most recently with seven novels in the Mahu mystery series. He lives in South Florida. Find him at his website

Print Giveaway

Cleis Press is giving away a PRINT copy of the Active Duty Anthology to one lucky winner (US/Canadian Addresses ONLY). To enter today’s contest, fill out the form below by 5 PM mountain time Friday AUGUST 1st:

It’s that easy! The winner will be selected using Cleis Press will mail the winner a PRINT copy of the Active Duty Anthology. The winner will be posted HERE on Saturday.

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Blog Tour Stop, Guest Blog, Exerpt & Giveaway: Snake Charmer by Carol Lynne

snake prizes

Join Carol Lynne on her blog tour to celebrate the release of Snake Charmer. Find out more about her and her writing as each day she reveals answers to more questions.

Don’t miss out on the fun by entering for your chance to win a bundle of eBooks from Carol’s backlist with Totally Bound Publishing here:

Please click HERE if the form is unavailable.

Where does your love for Cowboys come from?

Ummm, have you seen a cowboy in person? I live in Kansas, and I grew up going to the local county fair, so I guess my crush started at a very early age. I’ve never seen a cowboy who wasn’t incredibly sure of himself without being arrogant. They walk tall and proud with a fine layer of dust on their clothing and boots, and I’m here to tell you, they are truly worthy of my swoons as they pass by.

Several years ago, I was lucky enough to spend an entire week on a working cattle ranch in Montana. It was a vacation organized through a gay travel company, so not only was I the only female, but the only straight person on the trip. Riding horses through the majestic Montana countryside surrounded by gay men wearing hats and cowboy boots gave me quite a few story ideas and a whole new appreciation for tight jeans.

Visit Cattle Valley today for your own cowboy experience and let me know if your imagination runs wild for cowboys.

snake charmerTitle: Snake Charmer by Carol Lynne
Cattle Valley Series Book 31
Publisher: Totally Bound
Genre: Contemporary, M/M, Erotic, Romance
Length: Short Novel/Word Count: 30,229


This is book thirty one in the Cattle Valley series, see the full series listing here

Sometimes it takes finding an opposite to show us the beauty within ourselves.

When security consultant and ex-mercenary, Gabrielo ‘Snake’ Barbas, thwarts an attack of one of his co-workers, Riley Banks, he takes it upon himself to keep the smaller man safe. His job is made harder when he discovers the attacker is actually Riley’s ex-boyfriend, a ruthless man from a very wealthy and powerful family.

After a night of passion, Snake decides to take Riley far away from Richmond, Virginia to a town in Wyoming for the annual Cattle Valley Days celebration. He should have known that sex with Riley wouldn’t be enough, but he feels he has nothing else to give such a nice guy. Riley is the sexiest man Snake’s ever taken to his bed despite Riley’s claim otherwise.

Riley knows he’s average-looking at best, so why does Snake continue to flatter him? It’s obvious he’s not going to kick Snake out of bed, even after Snake informs him that sex is all he has to give. Why does Snake see him so differently than the rest of the world?

While Riley is busy trying to figure out the man who touches him like no other has before, Snake is busy trying to protect him from a monster in a business suit.

Purchase Link: Totally Bound


Gabrielo ‘Snake’ Barbas pushed his jaw to the side, cracking his neck, as he continued to stare at the surveillance monitor. Training hadn’t been part of his job as a recruiter for Tisdale Security, but he hadn’t been happy with the shoddy work performed recently in the control room. He spotted a shiny red car parked in the back of the employee parking lot and waited for Brian, the technician, to take notice.

When Brian switched the feed to a different camera, showing the back of the building, Snake crossed his arms over his chest and groaned. “Go back,” he ordered.

“To what?” Brian asked.

“The parking lot.” A good technician was worth his weight in gold if you could find one, and Snake had a feeling he needed to keep looking. Brian was a nice enough guy but didn’t have the passion necessary for the work. Watching surveillance footage all day could be boring as fuck if you didn’t have the drive for it.

“What am I supposed to see?” Brian pulled the parking lot up on three different monitors, giving himself three separate angles to study.

With a resigned sigh, Snake leaned forward and tapped the glass. “What’s that?”

“A car.” Brian glanced at Snake. “There are a lot of cars. It’s a parking lot.”

“How many cars do you see with people in them?” Hell. It was like trying to teach a newborn to walk.

“None, but maybe he’s just waiting for someone or taking a call or something.”

“Possibly,” Snake agreed. “But it’s your job to make sure he poses no threat.”

“How do I do that? I’m not supposed to leave the command center,” Brian blustered.

“You fucking watch him. It’s your goddamn job!” Snake was losing his patience, which didn’t bode well for poor Brian. He was beginning to rethink his decision to settle down and give up the mercenary career that had netted him a bundle of cash. Lifting his hands, he started to run his fingers through his hair, only to remember he’d cut it off, skull short, only the day before.

Author Bio

An avid reader for years, one day Carol Lynne decided to write her own brand of erotic romance. Carol juggles between being a full-time mother and a full-time writer. These days, you can usually find Carol either cleaning jelly out of the carpet or nestled in her favourite chair writing steamy love scenes.

Author Link: Totally Bound



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Review: The Oleander Sisters by Elaine Hussey

oleander sistersTitle: The Oleander Sisters by Elaine Hussey
Publisher: Harlequin
Imprint: Mira
Genre: Historical (’60s), Fiction
Length: 352 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


An emotionally riveting tale of the bonds of family and the power of hope in the sultry Deep South

In 1969, the first footsteps on the moon brighten America with possibilities. But along the Mississippi Gulf Coast, a category five storm is brewing, and the Blake sisters of Biloxi are restless for change. Beth “Sis” Blake has always been the caretaker, the dutiful one, with the weight of her family’s happiness—and their secrets—on her shoulders. She dreams of taking off to pursue her own destiny, but not before doing whatever it takes to rescue her sister.

Emily Blake, an unwed mother trying to live down her past, wants the security of marriage for the sake of her five-year-old son, Andy. But secure is the last thing she feels with her new husband. Now she must put aside pride, and trust family to help her find the courage to escape.

With Hurricane Camille stirring up havoc, two sisters—each desperate to break free—begin a remarkable journey where they’ll discover that in the wake of destruction lies new life, unshakable strength and the chance to begin again. Dreams are reborn and the unforgettable force of friendship is revealed in The Oleander Sisters, an extraordinary story of courage, love and sacrifice.

The Review:

The Oleander Sisters by Elaine Hussey is a truly amazing novel that is heartwarming, poignant and ultimately, uplifting. Taking place in Mississippi during late summer in 1969, the Blake’s are a close-knit family whose lives are becoming frayed around the edges in the weeks leading up and immediately following sister Emily’s wedding.

The Oleander Sisters takes place between two unforgettable events in American history. Beginning with Neil Armstrong’s exciting moon landing, the Blake family is thrilled with their brother Jim’s safe return from Vietnam but there are mixed emotions about Emily’s upcoming wedding. Oldest sister Beth (who is mainly addressed as “Sis”) does not like or trust Emily’s fiancé but Emily refuses to heed her sister’s warnings. Jim may be back in Mississippi but he cannot escape the ravages of war and he suffers from bouts of PTSD. The family’s matriarch, grandmother Sweet Mama, is losing her battle with dementia and she is no longer able to hide her failing memory but luckily she can count on her lifelong friend, Beulah, to fill in the gaps.

In the weeks leading up to Hurricane Camille, the Blake family continues to deteriorate. During preparations for Emily’s garden wedding, Sis uncovers a bewildering secret that no one is willing to discuss. Immediately following her wedding, Emily quickly realizes she has made a terrible mistake but will she escape her marriage unscathed? Sis has gladly shouldered responsibility for her family, but she is only now feeling the weight of her own unrealized dream of having a husband and kids of her own.

But there also glimpses of hope and happiness interspersed with the family’s crises. Emily’s son Andy is delightfully innocent and he remains mostly untouched by the drama surrounding him. An old family friend returns to town and a romance begins to bloom for Sis. Jim is rock solid in the face of danger and with his help, they emerge from tragedy stronger than ever.

The Oleander Sisters is wonderful novel of love, strength and devotion. Elaine Hussey brings the Mississippi coast and the characters vibrantly to life. It is a realistic and gritty portrayal of strong Southern women who will do anything to protect their family. An absolutely riveting novel that I highly recommend.

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Filed under Elaine Hussey, Fiction, Harlequin, Historical (60s), Mira, Rated B+, Review, The Oleander Sisters

Review: The Dog Park by Laura Caldwell

dog parkTitle: The Dog Park by Laura Caldwell
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 352 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


A couple’s best friend? 

Stylist Jessica Champlin knows it takes more than a darling goldendoodle to save a marriage. She and her ex-husband, investigative journalist Sebastian Hess, had too many irreconcilable differences for even their beloved dog, Baxter, to heal. So they’ve agreed to joint custody, and life has settled into a prickly normalcy.

But when Baxter heroically rescues a child and the video footage goes viral, Jess and Sebastian are thrown together again, and her life takes some very unexpected twists. The line of dogwear she creates becomes wildly successful, and suddenly she’s in the spotlight with everyone watching—the press, the new guy she’s seeing, Sebastian and the past she never imagined she would face again. Soon there’s only one person by her side—and it’s the person she least expected. She’s willing to open up to a new normal…just as long as Baxter approves.

The Review:

The Dog Park by Laura Caldwell is an absolutely delightful novel about an adorable dog named Baxter and his dog mom, Jessica Champlin. This sweet and light-hearted read is also a wonderful journey of self-discovery and healing for Jessica after she and Baxter unexpectedly become an overnight sensation on social media and in the press after Baxter saves a young girl’s life.

Jessica and her ex-husband Sebastian Hess adopted Baxter as a puppy in an effort to save their marriage. Although both fell madly in love with Baxter, their marriage ended in divorce and now they share joint custody of their lovable dog. After the video of Baxter’s heroic exploit goes viral, Jessica begins a wildly successful dogwear line while Baxter remains everyone’s favorite canine hero.

Since Jessica and Sebastian share custody of Baxter, they continue to see one another on a regular basis. They still have some of the same arguments that led to their divorce but when Jessica becomes involved with her new business, a lot of her animosity towards Sebastian lessens. She also begins a new romance and she is surprised by how much she enjoys her new life. But a shocking betrayal by someone close to her exposes her long hidden secrets and leads to a long overdue reconciliation with someone from her past. When another calamity strikes close to home, Jessica finds help from unexpected people in her life, but her most startling discovery is the hidden strength she finds within herself as she takes charge of a frightening situation.

The Dog Park by Laura Caldwell is an engaging novel with a charming cast of characters and a refreshingly unique storyline. While there is a bit of a romantic element, it is not a traditional romance. Instead, it focuses mainly on lead protagonist, Jessica, as she heals the wounds of her past. It is a fun, heartwarming read that I absolutely loved and highly recommend to everyone who enjoys stories with animals.

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Filed under Contemporary, Harlequin, Laura Caldwell, Mira, Rated B+, Review, Romance, The Dog Park

The Week Ahead July 28-Aug 3

Here’s a look at what’s happening this week at Book Reviews & More by Kathy:

This week’s book reviews:

July 28: The Oleander Sisters by Olivia Hussey (New Release)
July 28: The Dog Park by Laura Caldwell (New Release)
July 29: Lead by Kylie Scott (New Release)
July 29: Tempting a Sinner by Kate Pearce (New Release)
July 29: Mr. Right Goes Wrong by Pamela Morsi (New Release)
July 31: Home the Hard Way by Z.A. Maxfield (New Release)
August 1: The Reasons We Stay by Laura Drake (New Release)

Blog Tours:

July 28: Active Duty Anthology
July 28: Carol Lynne
July 29: Kylie Scott
July 29: Shannon Richard
July 30: Stephanie Evanovich
July 30: Ann Lewis Hamilton
July 31: Z.A. Maxfield
July 31: Lan LLP
August 1: Moticia Knight
August 3: Lucy Woodhull

Winning Wednesdays (July 30) eBooks up for grabs are:

Falling for Her Husband by Karen Erickson
Swinger Style by Jayne Rylon
Takedown by Cat Grant

Click here for more info on entering the eBook contests.

This week’s Friday’s Feature: Rachael Johns.

This week’s Saturday Spotlight: Lia Riley.

Have a great week!!

***All the eBooks in this week’s Winning Wednesday & Saturday Series Spotlight giveaways have been purchased by Book Reviews & More by Kathy.***

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Filed under The Week Ahead