Category Archives: Friday Feature

Friday Feature, Guest Post & Giveaway: Controlled Burn by Erin McLellan

Hello! I’m Erin, and welcome to the blog tour for my m/m college romance, Controlled Burn! I can’t wait for you to meet Joel and Paulie, and hope you enjoy their romance as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Follow along as I stop off at several blogs throughout the week, and don’t forget to leave a comment for a chance to win a $25 Riptide Publishing gift card!


All writers struggle with mental blocks, writer’s block, or even burn out from time to time, and my favorite thing to do when I have a block is find pictures or images that inspire me.

This was really fun for me with Controlled Burn because I was so inspired by the setting of the book on a large scale—western Oklahoma and the Kansas Flint Hills—and a small scale—college. Here are some of the pictures that helped me through those moments of writer’s block!

I chose a lot of these images, like the one with the wind turbines, because they reminded me of western Oklahoma or Kansas. Some of the other pictures won’t make sense until you read the book, but I’d like to tell you a little about three of them.

Dance Club

Many of Joel and Paulie’s first interactions take place at a gay bar—the Lumberyard—that is close to campus. The Lumberyard was loosely based on a bar that I really liked to go to in college that had rave nights every Thursday. One of my favorite scenes to write in the whole book takes place at the Lumberyard. It involves Joel, Paulie, and a guy named David McDavid.

Railroad

Joel is a history major who is particularly interested in studying the West. During the book, he is working on a research proposal about the effects of the railroad on the settlers and inhabitants of the Midwest. I did a lot of research for this that didn’t end up in the book, but I hope Joel’s love and connection to the past still comes through.

Controlled Burn Fire

The image in the bottom left is of a patch burn in the Flint Hills. This is also sometimes called a prescribed burn or controlled burn, which is where the book gets its name. Controlled burns restore nutrients and promote growth in tallgrass prairies, and they are very common in the Flint Hills. Burning prairie is a practice that dates back to the earliest Native American inhabitants of the Great Plains, and continues to this day.


Title: Controlled Burn by Erin McLellan
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, New Adult, Erotic, Multiple Partners, Romance
Length: 293 pages/Word Count: 82,900

Summary:

At eighteen, Joel Smith’s life fell to pieces. His boyfriend died in a car crash while reading a sext from him, the local newspaper outed them both in the aftermath, and his parents got a divorce. Joel did everything possible to outrun his past: he moved to Oklahoma for college, legally changed his name, and started over.

Since then, he hasn’t let anyone get close—not his classmates, not his roommate, and definitely not his hookups. The strategy has served him well for over three years. Why would he change it now?

But Joel doesn’t plan on the articles about his boyfriend’s death being used as a case study in one of his classes. And he doesn’t plan on Paulie McPherson, who is sweet and giving and fun. In Paulie, he finds a home for the first time in years.

But love isn’t simple, and lies have a tendency to get in the way. Joel must figure out if he’ll allow his grief to rule him, or if his connection with Paulie is worth letting all of his walls come tumbling down.

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Purchase Link: Riptide Publishing


Author Bio

Erin McLellan writes contemporary romance, often set in the South or Midwest—particularly Oklahoma, Kansas, and Texas—with characters that are complex, good-hearted, and sometimes a little quirky. Erin likes her stories to have a sexy spark and a happily ever after.

Erin has a bachelor’s degree in creative writing from Oklahoma State University and a master’s degree in library and information studies from the University of Oklahoma. She has always enjoyed writing, but becoming a librarian and meeting enthusiastic romance readers helped her find her own writing passion. Now Erin cheerfully writes romance with characters across the LGBTQIA spectrum. A former public librarian, she still enjoys being surrounded by books and readers, but Erin hopes to find her stories on the shelves as well.

Originally from Oklahoma, she currently lives in Alaska with her husband, and spends her time dreaming up love stories set in the Great Plains. She is a lover of chocolate, college sports, antiquing, Dr Pepper, and binge-worthy TV shows.

Author Links: Website * Twitter * Goodreads * Instagram * Pinterest


Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Controlled Burn, one lucky winner will receive a $25 Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on August 19, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

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Friday Feature & Giveaway: Ethan’s Daughter by Rachel Brimble

Title: Ethan’s Daughter by Rachel Brimble
Templeton Cove Series Book Seven
Publisher: Harlequin
Imprint: Superromance
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Suspense
Length: 384 pages

Summary:

There’s safety in solitude…isn’t there?

Single dad and best-selling thriller writer Ethan James has no problem being Templeton Cove’s most famous recluse…until a surprise visit from the past plunges him into a real-life crime drama just as feisty nurse Leah Dixon barges her way into his world.

Ethan’s first priority is to protect his daughter. His second priority is to keep Leah out of this dark web—and that means out of his bed. Except Leah isn’t going anywhere; she’s afraid little Daisy is in danger. Ethan couldn’t live with himself if anything happened to Leah…but pushing her away may be even harder!

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Purchase Links: Harlequin * Amazon * B&N * Google Play * iTunes * Kobo


Excerpt

He stared into her eyes. He had to kiss her, had to see if she tasted as good as she smelled. “Leah…”

“Just kiss me already.” She smiled and leaned toward him, her mouth hovering just centimeters from his. “I know you want to. I can see it in those beautiful eyes of yours.”

He pulled her closer and kissed her. She lightly moaned before gently easing her tongue to his and Ethan kissed her deeper, harder, sliding his hands to her waist. She lifted from the couch and slid onto in his lap. He wound his hands into the silky, soft hair at the nape of her neck and she dug the fingers of one hand into his shoulder, the other gripping his upper arm.

Deep desire rippled through his body as arousal burned, the stirring of his erection pressing against the confines of his jeans.

He drew back and released a slow breath, their gazes locked as she exhaled a shaky breath and slipped from his lap onto the couch. “Well, there won’t be any going back from a kiss like that anytime soon.”

“So it’s not just me who is kind of scared then?”

“Scared?” She shook her head and reached for her wineglass. “It will take lot more than a kiss like that to scare me.”

Daisy murmured and shifted in her sleep and Ethan snapped his gaze to the couch, his body on his alert and guilt slipping into its familiar place. “God, if she’d seen us…”

“She didn’t.” She slid her hand onto his thigh and leaned back against the couch. “Let’s just take one day at a time. We’ve shared dinner and a kiss. We’re not getting married and we’re not bound by blood.” She smiled, her gaze happy. “Who knows what might happen tomorrow? Let’s just enjoy our time together. Okay?”

He faced her as trepidation over the huge possibility of what tomorrow might bring whispered through him.


Author Bio

Rachel Brimble lives with her husband and two teenage daughters in a small town near Bath in the UK. After having several novels published by small US presses, she secured agent representation in 2011. Since 2013, she has had seven books published by Harlequin Superromance (Templeton Cove Stories) and an eight coming in Feb 2018. She also has four Victorian romances with eKensington/Lyrical Press.

Rachel is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and Romance Writers of America, and was selected to mentor the Superromance finalist of So You Think You Can Write 2014 contest. When she isn’t writing, you’ll find Rachel with her head in a book or walking the beautiful English countryside with her family. Her dream place to live is Bourton-on-the-Water in South West England.

Author Links: Website * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads


Giveaway

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Follow the rest of the tour HERE.

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Friday Feature, Guest Post & Giveaway: Heat Wave by Elyse Springer

Summer is here, and what better way to relax by the pool than with a steamy romance! I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say that Sara and Laura’s relationship is hotter than Manhattan in July, and I can’t wait to introduce you to these snarky and sexy ladies. I’ll be touring throughout the week to talk about my new release, Heat Wave, and I hope you’ll follow along. Plus, there’s a pretty sweet prize in it if you do!


About Laura and Sara

Every time I write a book, I come up with a complete background and history for my characters. Even if I don’t use any of it in the story, it helps me create fully fleshed characters, so I can understand their motivations and dreams. With Sara and Laura, that was no different, though their backstory and families never appear in Heat Wave.

The sheets I create for these characters are massive and highly detailed (yes, I used to play D&D, is it that obvious??), but here are some of the basics from both Sara and Laura’s character sheets.

Name: Sara Elaine Walker

Hometown: Trenton, NJ

Parents: Joanna and Albert Walker (both still live in New Jersey)

Siblings: None

Birthdate: November 4

Ethnicity: White/Caucasian

Religion: Agnostic

Address: Brooklyn

Sexuality: Straight Definitely bisexual

Myers-Briggs: ESTJ

Common gestures/fidgets: taps her nails when impatient; often paces or moves around a lot when processing emotion (frustration, anger, excitement)

Police Record: Underage drinking (19)

Drink of choice: Corona

Favorite Food: anything salty (fries, pretzels, etc)

Name: Laura Quinn Murphy

Hometown: Los Angeles, CA

Parents: Sonia and Michael Murphy (both moved to San Diego)

Siblings: two brothers (Brian and Liam)

Birthdate: March 30

Ethnicity: White/Caucasian

Religion: Catholic (lapsed)

Address: Queens

Sexuality: Bisexual

Myers-Briggs: ESFP

Common gestures/fidgets: twirls/tangles her hair, often pulling it up/putting it back down/repeat

Police Record: None

Drink of choice: Margaritas

Favorite Food: Sushi


Title: Heat Wave by Elyse Springer
Seasons of Love Series Book Three
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Lesbian, Erotic, BDSM, Romance
Length: 262 pages/Word Count: 66,700

Summary:

Sara Walker’s life is going nowhere fast: she has a job she enjoys but doesn’t love, friends who are too busy to hang out with her, and no boyfriend in sight. Then a phone call on a lonely Friday night changes everything, and suddenly she’s spending her weekends with Laura. Newly single and openly bisexual, Laura makes Sara think decidedly not-straight thoughts.

Laura Murphy, with her red hair, freckles, and killer curves, is any guy’s wet dream. But Laura’s done with guys for now, and it’s Sara who can’t stop dreaming about her. When Sara finally gives in to the curiosity, Laura blows her mind and pushes her further than she’s ever gone before.

But Laura makes it very clear that this is only a rebound fling, and she’s still planning to move to California. She’s more than happy to tie Sara up, but she’s not ready to be tied down. If Sara wants to keep her, she’s going to have to work hard to convince Laura that New York is worth staying for . . . and so is she.

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Purchase Link: Riptide Publishing


About the Season of Love Universe

New York is the city that never sleeps: where everything can change in the blink of an eye, and where anything is possible—especially romance. In the bitter cold of winter or the impossible humidity of mid-summer, your own happily ever after might be right around the corner.

The people of New York come from all walks of life, and the relationships are just as diverse. So whether you’re a waiter or an aspiring actor, a banker or a model, falling in love can happen quicker than the seasons change.

Check out Seasons of Love! http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/universe/seasons-love


Author Bio

Elyse is an author and world-traveler, whose unique life experiences have helped to shape the stories that she wants to tell. She writes romances with LGBTQ+ characters and relationships, and believes that every person deserves a Happily Ever After. When she’s not staring futilely at her computer screen, El spends her time adding stamps to her passport, catching up on her terrifying TBR list, and learning to be a better adult.

She’s always happy to chat with other readers, and you can find her online at:

Author Links: Website * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads


Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Heat Wave, one lucky winner will receive a $10 Amazon gift card! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on August 5, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

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Friday Feature & Giveaway: Got Mine by Nicole Loufas

Title: Got Mine by Nicole Loufas
Men of Trance Series Book One
Publisher: Nicole Loufas
Genre: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Length: 187 pages

Summary:

When his precocious daughter is accepted into a hipster private school – Theodore Sway sacrifices his ego, his morals, and his body hair so Lulu isn’t damned to a life of ramen noodles and broken dreams.

Theo takes a job at Trance; the city’s only women’s club, and soon becomes its star attraction. That still isn’t enough to pay his daughter’s tuition and the ever-rising cost of his San Francisco neighborhood. With the help of Rico, a fellow entertainer and part-time pimp; Theo earns extra cash through a series of hilarious side jobs.

When a demon from his past returns; Theo’s sexy stage persona becomes a liability and threatens his role as the world’s okayest dad.

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Purchase Link: Amazon


Excerpt

Most of my parenting skills were derived from animated sitcoms and Adam Sandler movies. My father rarely made a special appearance in my life, so guys like Homer Simpson and Peter Griffin were my mentors. I’ve never strangled my daughter or attempted to run her over with a car, and yet, I’d still take second place to Homer for father of the year.

Because one: I can’t afford a car.

And two: I don’t have a killer job in a nuclear facility that probably offers an excellent benefits package.

Fatherhood has been a learn-as-you-go experience for me. I can’t tell you how many times I wrapped my daughter in a t-shirt and plastic bag because I forgot to buy diapers. Or fed her fish-shaped crackers and apple juice for dinner. And maybe, just maybe, Lulu’s first word was shit.

Could’ve been sit or spit.

Tonight, I’m upping my game. I’m going full Mike Brady. Minus the suit and tie.

Minus clothes period.

If there is one thing television has taught me; it’s this:

Good fathers make sacrifices.

Whether it’s giving up on your dream to play professional baseball or shaving all your body hair, good dads provide a better life for the people they love. Believe it or not, there are men in this world who put their children first. I’ve never actually met one of these unicorns, but I’m pretty sure they exist. If things work out with my new job; I’ll be shitting rainbows by the end of the month.

I turn off the shower, pull a towel from the silver bar on the wall, and perform a sniff test. I try to hit the laundry mat once a week, but when you have to decide between clean towels and eating; a case of ramen noodles wins every time.

The struggle is real; but it won’t last forever. One day I’ll have so many fresh fucking towels I’ll need a closet to hold them all.

Goals.

Goals are good.

Clean towels are even better.


Author Bio

Nicole was born and raised in California. She claims to be a San Francisco native, however she’s lived in both Northern and Southern California. She credits her creativity to the fact that she attended 12 schools between kindergarten and her senior year in high school. Her nomadic childhood allowed her to reinvent herself often. Some might say she was a liar. While others see the stories she told as a coping mechanism. Twelve schools, in six cities, in twelve years – give her a break. Today she channels her storytelling ability into writing novels. Long story short – kids that lie become writers.

Author Links: Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Goodreads


Giveaway

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Friday Feature & Giveaway: House of Cards by Garrett Leigh

Title: House of Cards by Garrett Leigh
Porthkennack Series Book Four
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, M/M, Romance
Length: 249 pages/Word Count: 66,000

Summary:

Calum Hardy’s life has unravelled. Reeling from the betrayal of a man he once loved, he boards a train heading south, with no real idea where he’s going except a world away from London.

Brix Lusmoore can hardly believe his eyes when he spots one of his oldest friends outside Truro station. He hasn’t seen Calum since he fled the capital himself four years ago, harbouring a life-changing secret. But despite the years of silence, their old bond remains, warm and true—and layered with simmering heat they’ve never forgotten.

Calum takes refuge with Brix and a job at his Porthkennack tattoo shop. Bit by bit, he rebuilds his life, but both men carry the ghosts of the past, and it will take more than a rekindled friendship and the magic of the Cornish coast to chase them away.

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Purchase Link: Riptide Publishing


About Porthkennack

Welcome to Porthkennack, a charming Cornish seaside town with a long and sometimes sinister history. Legend says King Arthur’s Black Knight built the fort on the headland here, and it’s a certainty that the town was founded on the proceeds of smuggling, piracy on the high seas, and the deliberate wrecking of cargo ships on the rocky shore. Nowadays it draws in the tourists with sunshine and surfing, but locals know that the ghosts of its Gothic past are never far below the surface.

This collaborative story world is brought to you by five award-winning, best-selling British LGBTQ romance authors: Alex BeecroftJoanna ChambersCharlie CochraneGarrett Leigh, and JL Merrow. Follow Porthkennack and its inhabitants through the centuries and through the full rainbow spectrum with historical and contemporary stand-alone titles.

Check out Porthkennack! http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/universe/porthkennack


Author Bio

Garrett Leigh is an award-winning British writer and book designer, currently working for Dreamspinner Press, Loose Id, Riptide Publishing, and Fox Love Press.

Garrett’s debut novel, Slide, won Best Bisexual Debut at the 2014 Rainbow Book Awards, and her polyamorous novel, Misfits was a finalist in the 2016 LAMBDA awards.

When not writing, Garrett can generally be found procrastinating on Twitter, cooking up a storm, or sitting on her behind doing as little as possible, all the while shouting at her menagerie of children and animals and attempting to tame her unruly and wonderful FOX.

Garrett is also an award winning cover artist, taking the silver medal at the Benjamin Franklin Book Awards in 2016. She designs for various publishing houses and independent authors at blackjazzdesign.com, and co-owns the specialist stock site moonstockphotography.com with renowned LGBTQA+ photographer Dan Burgess.

Author Links: Website * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads * Cover Art Enquiries


Giveaway

To celebrate the release of House of Cards, one lucky winner will receive a $25 Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on July 22, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

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Friday Feature & Giveaway: The Duchess and the Highwayman by Beverley Oakley

Title: The Duchess and the Highwayman by Beverley Oakley
Publisher: Beverley Oakley
Genre: Historical, Romance, Mystery/Suspense
Length: 261 pages

Summary:

A duchess disguised as a lady’s maid; a gentleman parading as a highwayman.
She’s on the run from a murderer, he’s in pursuit of one…

In a remote Norfolk manor, Phoebe, Lady Cavanaugh is wrongfully accused by her servants of her brutal husband’s murder.

There’s little sympathy in the district for the duchess who’s taken a lover and made clear she despised her husband. The local magistrate has also vowed revenge since Lady Cavanaugh rebuffed his advances.

When Phoebe is discovered in the forest wearing only a chemise stained with the blood of her murdered husband, she persuades the noble ‘highwayman’ who rescues her that she is Lady Cavanaugh’s maidservant.
Hugh Redding has his own reasons for hunting down the man who would have Phoebe tried and hanged for murder. He plans to turn ‘the maidservant with aspirations above her station’ into the ‘lady’ who might testify against the very villain who would see Phoebe dead.

But despite the fierce attraction between Phoebe and the ‘highwayman’, Phoebe is not in a position to admit she’s the ‘murderous duchess’ hunted across the land.

Seizing an opportunity to strike at the social and financial standing of the man who has profited by her distress, Phoebe is drawn into a dangerous intrigue.

But when disaster strikes, she fears Hugh will lack the sympathy or understanding of her unusual predicament to even want to save her a second time.

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Purchase Links: Amazon * B&N * iTunes * Kobo * Other Retailers


Excerpt

“The doctor doubts Ulrick will make Michelmas.” The lazy drawl of her husband’s cousin punctuated the silence as Phoebe resumed her position in an armchair by the fire.

Wentworth raised his cut glass tumbler to the light as he sighed in appreciation of Ulrick’s best brandy. He took a sip and smacked his lips, meeting Phoebe’s eye across her sleeping husband whom she’d made more comfortable in his large leather armchair with the tasselled cushion Phoebe had embroidered to support his neck.

The odious creature could not help but interpret Phoebe’s critical expression correctly, but there was no defensiveness in his tone as he chuckled. “The old bastard can’t enjoy his riches when he’s gone.” His teeth were white; sharp and wolfish beneath his black moustache and Phoebe looked away, pretending concentration on her handiwork while her stomach clenched with revulsion and fear. She would not dignify Wentworth’s grasping remarks with a response.

For a few minutes Ulrick’s wheezing, rattling cough and the hiss of the fire broke the silence. The harsh caw of a raven in the darkness made Phoebe jump but she kept her fingers busy with her embroidery and her head averted from Wentworth’s hard stare.

Tonight? Would Wentworth insist on claiming her tonight, with Ulrick so very ill and likely to need her?

Wentworth drained his glass, placing the empty vessel clumsily upon the low table beside him. Empty vessel. It’s what she’d always been made to feel as Ulrick’s wife. “Ulrick was always mean with his liquor. A good supply for his heir, then, eh, Phoebe?” Ulrick’s Heir. Wentworth imbued the word with the disgust he’d always felt for the fact that Wentworth was not Ulrick’s heir. It was hardly better than the reproach that had always hardened Ulrick’s tone in the days he could speak and implied that Phoebe had failed in providing him with a son to continue the family line.

Phoebe glanced up and saw Wentworth’s thin lips were pursed, observing fleetingly that he looked like a malevolent raven, his dark eyes glittering in the face she’d once thought so handsome. She tried not to show her fear.

“How long do you suppose it’ll take my brother to drink the lot once he inherits?” There it was. The bitterness he didn’t bother to hide.

“Hush, Wentworth. You’ll wake Ulrick.” Phoebe cast the sleeping invalid a nervous look.

“The doctor opines that our poorly Lord Cavanaugh will not last three months.” Wentworth didn’t trouble to lower his voice. “My guess is he’ll be gone long before Michealmas.”

Phoebe could bear it no longer. She dropped her handiwork into her lap and sent her husband’s regular and increasingly unwelcome guest an imploring look. “Please, Wentworth. He’s not dead yet. Have the good grace to keep such thoughts to yourself. What if he hears you?”

Wentworth gave a short laugh. “What do I have to lose by my graveyard talk? It’s not as if Ulrick’s in any position to deny me what my imbecile brothers already have simply by virtue of them being alive.”

How many times had she heard the same complaints? Phoebe forced aside her weary frustration and rose. “I’m going to bed.”


Author Bio

Beverley Oakley was seventeen when she bundled up her first her 500+ page romance and sent it to a publisher. Unfortunately drowning her heroine on the last page was apparently not in line with the expectations of romance readers so Beverley became a journalist.

Twenty-six years later Beverley was delighted to receive her first publishing contract from Robert Hale (UK) for a romance in which she ensured her heroine was saved from drowning in the icy North Sea.

Since 2009 Beverley has written more than thirteen historical romances, mostly set in England during the early nineteenth century. Mystery, intrigue and adventure spill from their pages and if she can pull off a thrilling race to save someone’s honour – or a worthy damsel from the noose – it’s time to celebrate with a good single malt Scotch.

Beverley lives with her husband, two daughters and a Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy the size of a pony opposite a picturesque nineteenth century lunatic asylum. She also writes Africa-set adventure-filled romances tarring handsome bush pilot heroes, and historical romances with less steam and more sexual tension, as Beverley Eikli.

You can get in contact with Beverley at:

Author Links: Website * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads


Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the rest of the tour HERE.

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