Blog Tour, Excerpt, and Giveaway – Ghosts by Jackie Keswick

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GHOSTS
by Jackie Keswick
The Power of Zero #2
Publication Date: February 10, 2016
Genres: Adult,Contemporary, LGBT, M/M, Novella, Romance, Suspense

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Synopsis: Jack Horwood doesn’t do families. Or Christmas. From the time his mother sold him to her pimp to the moment he walked out on the man he loved, Christmas has always been about change and painful choices. This year seems no different. Helping Daniel and Nico recover from their imprisonment and hunting down those responsible puts Jack in a frame of mind he doesn’t want to inflict on anyone. Least of all Gareth and the tentative relationship they’ve started to rebuild.

But Gareth, for whom Christmas is all about new beginnings, won’t let Jack take the easy way out. He makes him face his ghosts instead. Even when said ghosts invade their bedroom.

When Daniel’s parents are found, Jack is determined to settle the matter without involving Daniel at all. But fate decrees otherwise, and it’s Gareth who helps him finally understand that the strongest bonds are those forged together. Once he gets that, Jack can step up and make a decision designed to lay his ghosts to rest—for good.

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Excerpt

Gareth had been right, at least where the food was concerned. By the time the soup was a promise of velvety, orange-and-fennel-scented richness and the goose was roasted to perfection, Jack had started to regard cooking with Gareth as a new form of torture. He had prepared a mountain of sprouts, peeled blanched chestnuts until his fingertips were sore, and been smacked over the head more than once with a wooden spoon for sneaking strips of the rather tasty prosciutto he was supposed to wrap around the chipolatas.

“I bought extra so I could eat some,” he whined, only to hear Gareth laugh.

“I doubt you bought that much extra. And anyway, dinner is ready when you are.”

“Want me to light the fire?”

“Sounds good.”

Jack left Gareth to the contemplation of the contents of the wine rack while he lit the fire he’d set just that morning. A small flame sprang up from the thin shavings of kindling. The fresh pine he had added to the stack of wood hissed and caught fire, releasing scents of peace and woodland to mingle with the enticing aromas of roast goose and baked orange. The drapes were closed against the dark and damp of an English winter evening, and a golden glow suffused the room as the fire caught and grew.

Lighting the tall tapers on the dinner table and watching the tiny flames reflect on porcelain and crystal only added to Jack’s feeling of comfort and safety, and he wondered why he never felt like this in his own home, however many candles he lit.

The pop of a cork from the direction of the kitchen held the answer. And it was obvious.

Gareth made the difference.

Jack could lean on him without being thought weak. He watched Jack’s back without having to be asked, and he provided reason when Jack was too tired to think straight. Gareth Flynn was someone Jack didn’t want to be without—and for whom he was even prepared to brave ghosts.

In fact, Gareth did for him what he was trying to do for Daniel and Nico. That was the simple sum of it.

“What’s so amusing?” Gareth crossed to the dining table, carrying a tray that held a tureen of soup and a bottle of sparkling wine in a chiller.

Jack hadn’t realized he was smiling. He didn’t feel like explaining his epiphany just yet. It seemed silly that he’d been too busy settling into his new job at Nancarrow Mining, getting used to working for his former CO once more, and helping Nico and Daniel, to notice what was right in front of his face. He waved his hand, encompassing the candlelit tree, the fire, the table dressed in gleaming white linen, fine porcelain, crystal, and sparkling silverware. And more intangible things like warmth, the sense of being wanted, and the inviting aromas of Gareth’s cooking.

“This,” he said after a moment. “You. Christmas.” He stepped around the table and wound his arms around Gareth’s neck, pressing close. “I don’t do Christmas,” he said softly, brushing his lips over Gareth’s in a barely there caress. “Never have. I always used to work. And nobody’s ever….”

Gareth dotted a quick kiss on Jack’s forehead. “Which is exactly why I do it, of course,” he quipped. “Workaholics like you need a civilizing influence. And you like my cooking.” He pried Jack’s arms from his neck and turned him around. “Now sit down before the soup’s cold and the fizz goes flat!”

Jack complied without a word, happy in his anticipation of a spectacular dinner. He didn’t even bother to check his smile.

OTHER BOOKS IN THE POWER OF ZERO SERIES…

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JOB HUNT
by Jackie Keswick
The Power of Zero #1
Publication Date: May 13, 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, LGBT, M/M, Romance, Suspense

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Synopsis: You don’t greet your new boss dressed like an underage rent boy. But when Jack Horwood—ace hacker and ex-MI6 operative—opens the door to Gareth Flynn, he’s too busy to worry over details like that. And anyway, his potential new boss is his former Commanding Officer – the same guy Jack has had a crush on since he was seventeen. So he should understand, right?

When he applied for the job in Nancarrow Mining’s corporate security division, Jack had hoped for peaceful days repelling cyber attacks. Maybe a bit of corporate espionage on the side. His plans didn’t include rescuing abused children, hunting pimps, or dealing with his overly protective and hot-as-hell boss, Gareth Flynn.

Walking away is not an option. Jack never takes the easy way out. More than that, meeting Gareth raises old ghosts that Jack needs to put to rest. Rescuing kids. Taking risks. Saving the day. Jack can do all that – but deciding what to do about his attraction to Gareth isn’t the sort of cloak-and-dagger game Jack plays well. Yet Gareth, strong and smart and always on hand when needed, might be Jack’s salvation.

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ABOUT JACKIE KESWICK

Jackie Keswick

Jackie Keswick was born behind the Iron Curtain with itchy feet, a bent for rocks and a recurrent dream of stepping off a bus in the middle of nowhere to go home. She’s worked in a hospital and as the only girl with 52 men on an oil rig, spent a winter in Moscow and a summer in Iceland and finally settled in the country of her dreams with her dream team: a husband, a cat, a tandem, a hammer and a laptop.

Jackie loves stories about unexpected reunions and second chances, and men who don’t follow the rules when those rules are stupid. She has a thing for green eyes and tight cyclist’s butts and is a great believer in making up soundtracks for everything, including her characters and the cat.

And she still hasn’t found the place where the bus stops.

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TOUR SCHEDULE

February 15- Prism Book Alliance, Excerpt
February 15- Extreme Bookaholics Blog, Excerpt / Spotlight
February 15- Inked Rainbow Reads, Review
February 15- LuLo Fangirl, Review / Excerpt

February 16- Love Bytes, Excerpt
February 16- Books For Fun, Review

February 17- The Purple Rose Tea House, Excerpt
February 17- Sweet N Sassy Book A Holics, Spotlight
February 17- Jacklynn Love’s Reading, Excerpt / Spotlight

February 18- Maari Loves Her Indies, Excerpt
February 18- Two Chicks Obsessed with Books and Eye Candy, Review / Excerpt
February 18- Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Review / Excerpt / Spotlight

February 19- Nerd Girl Official, Excerpt
February 19- Snugglebooks, Excerpt
February 19- Vampires, Crime and Angels…Eclectic Me, Excerpt
February 19- Rainbow Gold Reviews, Excerpt / Spotlight
February 19- Bayou Book Junkie, Review
February 19- Foxylutely Books!, Review

Blog Tour, Exclusive Excerpt, and Giveaway – Deep by A.L. Bates

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Title: Deep
Author: A.L. Bates
Genre: Science Fiction, Gay Romance, Gay SciFi
Length: Long Novella
Publisher: Wayward Ink Publishing

Synopsis

Fleeing from a troubled past that left him feeling tarnished and used, Sean finds work as a medic aboard the deep sea mining ship Ariel, on a distant planet.

Under the leader ship of the infuriating, yet charismatic, Captain Joel Riley, Sean settles into his simple, but dangerous, new life. It’s a life he soon comes to love; albeit one in which he conceals his sexuality and avoids intimacy.

But Sean’s new world is turned on its head when an old face threatens to expose him for the man he used to be.

With Joel’s help, will Sean learn to come to terms with his past and become a man he can be proud of?

Deep AL Bates

Buy Links

Don’t miss the Valentine’s Day Sale (February 11-17) 50% off on WIP’s website and 40% off on ARe!

WIP: http://www.waywardinkpublishing.com/product/deep-by-al-bates/
Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/Deep-L-Bates-ebook/dp/B01AOB6VW0/
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Deep-L-Bates-ebook/dp/B01AOB6VW0/
Amazon AU: http://www.amazon.com.au/Deep-L-Bates-ebook/dp/B01AOB6VW0/
Amazon DE: http://www.amazon.de/Deep-L-Bates-ebook/dp/B01AOB6VW0/
ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-deep-1969763-177.html

Exclusive Excerpt

Sean stopped him, pushing his hand away before it could make contact. “What are you doing?”

With a sigh, Joel stepped back. “Trying to take care of you.”

“Why?”

“You know why.” Joel twisted his lips, struggling to get out his next words. “I-I care about you. I care about you a lot and I want to care for you.”

A pang of guilt surged through Sean. He’d never expected Joel to be so open with his feelings. He thought the captain would try to ignore what had happened between them, or discard it as a moment of madness. He should have remembered that Joel never made anything easy for him.

“Captain, Joel, I….” Sean toyed with the blanket. “I meant what I said. What happened that night was a mistake.”

Joel gave him a challenging look. “You don’t find me attractive, is that it?”

“It’s not that.” It definitely wasn’t that. “I just don’t want to do this. I don’t want you to care for me and I’d be grateful if you stopped.”

Joel looked bemused. “You want me to stop caring about you?”

“Yes, please.”

“Sorry, Doc, you kind of stirred up a lot of deep feelings I didn’t even realize I had. I’m not sure I can simply cut them out. Not sure I want to, either.”

“I’d be grateful if you could try for the remainder of the voyage, since I’m stuck here.” Sean fixed him with his most serious look. “If you do care about me, then that would be the caring thing to do.”

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About the author

A.L. BATES has a keen interest in Sci-fi and adventure novels and enjoys writing stories with strong characters in imaginative backgrounds. Although an avid writer, Deep is the first published novella by A.L. Bates.

A.L. Bates can be found on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authoralbates

ASL in Signs of Desire by Tempeste O’RIley

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Good morning, Charlie and readers (waves)

aslposterOne of the most interesting things I’ve gotten to do while writing—at least lately—is figure out how to write out Sign Language. Adrian Key’s, one of the main characters in Signs of Desire is Deaf, and while he can speak English, that is not his “first” or native language. American Sign Language (ASL) is not just signed English either (that is a separate thing, though it does use the same signs in a different way). The structure of the sentence is different. How many words are actually signed is different. The speed and way things are said is often different. Heck, ASL often uses the whole body for emphasis. The way you change your body or face can change the meaning completely, the same as how a Hearing person does with tone and facial changes.

Then you add in trying to show that on paper… and showing when it’s signed only versus spoken quoted speech and yeah, it got interesting at times. I’m sure I drove my editors nuts, lol. (Especially since I also like to use italics for internal thoughts and for emphasis)

What I ended up doing was mixing the two, so “ASL is like this.” Both quoted and in italics. So, would you like to see what some of the signs mentioned in the book look like? Well, the two sites Simon looks up signs on are real. My favorite—and the one my ASL 1 and 3 professor (who was Deaf and I totally had a crush on, btw)—is http://www.aslpro.com/cgi-bin/aslpro/aslpro.cgi You can watch real people doing signs. They are broken down by letter, for babies, biblical, conversational phrases, and more there. It even has an area where you can quiz yourself! And yes, I used to use it before a big test to get my speed and accuracy up.

But enough about my insane attempts to write a non-spoken language, lol, instead, enjoy the story and see how Simon and Adrian learn to trust and love in each other and in love itself, together. Thank you for having me!

Signs of Desire
by Tempeste O’Riley
Desires Entwined, #4
M/M Erotic Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Reese Dante
Release Date: November 30, 2014 (ebook/print)
Length: Novel / 200 pages

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Description:

Simon Tyler knows his job as a gay romance author makes his lack of faith in love more than a little ironic, but he’s tired of being used for his wallet. When a night out turns into a matchmaking scheme orchestrated by his best friends—though he’s not the target—Simon’s not thrilled, but since he’s sworn off happily-ever-after anyway, he goes along with it… until he meets the object of their efforts, Adrian, and finds perhaps he hasn’t given up on love after all.

Professor Adrian Keys has tried to date hearing men before, but being deaf himself, he’s never had any success at making a connection. After his friends con him into going out and Adrian realizes it’s all an elaborate plan to set him up, he braces for yet another failure, only to discover there is a spark—except it’s not with the man his friends had in mind, but with Simon Tyler instead.

Not all their friends have found a way past their romantic failures, but Simon and Adrian might be on the path to happily-ever-after.

Excerpt:

When his cell beeped, alerting him of a text, he pulled his thoughts back to the present and checked to see who was texting him. Chase. It was only then that he realized he’d been standing in the open doorway to his office for a half hour. Forcing himself to focus, Simon stuffed the last of his bagel into his mouth as he stepped over to his desk, setting his coffee mug—the huge one that kept the drink hot for hours (a gift from James that he loved)—down before he read the text and turned on his computer. He snorted at the words, glad he wasn’t drinking his hot coffee right then. Yeah, of course Chase wanted to know how last night had gone. Ugh!

»Adrian drove me home. He was very nice but quiet. That’s it. «

He set the cell down beside his laptop, shaking his head. Sometimes he wondered how he and not Chase was the romance author. The man was a hopeless romantic, though only his close friends knew that. Simon settled on the ball, then opened Microsoft Word, knowing he had to work through his latest round of edits. The story was angstier than his usual, the characters’ journey a little rougher than his normal style. He knew the tone had changed thanks to his own love life being dead. Still, he thought it a good story, if a little painful before the characters got their happily ever after. Even in his current mood, he couldn’t make himself write a romance with a sad or painful ending. He knew authors who wrote that way, many he even loved, but it just wasn’t in him to do that to his characters—they deserved love too, dammit, even if he didn’t seem to.

By the time he had the current manuscript open to where he’d left off, Chase had already texted him again, twice, demanding more details. Why Chase thought anything had happened between him and Adrian was beyond him. Simon used to love to dance and party as much as Chase, but just like Chase, he was a long-term kind of guy. Unlike Dale. Now he’d probably gotten some the night before—from Grayson if he got his way, or from some other cutie at the club—but that had never been Simon’s thing. Dancing with all the sexy boys, oh yes! Taking them to the back rooms or home, no.

»I have work to do. So do you, ya nosy brat! *kisses*«

»Be that way. HUFF«

»Love you too. Now be good! TTFN«

After hitting Send again, Simon set the phone to the side and dove into the world of his characters and the list of comments and edits scribbled across his digital pages.

Three more chapters in, Simon’s cell rang, pulling him out of his work and the world he’d created. He blinked hard, trying to get his eyes to focus on something other than the text on the page, as he scooped up his phone. He hit the Answer button before checking the display, but as soon as the voice of his caller came through, he groaned.

“Simon!” The yell did nothing for his headache, but he resigned himself to another painful chat.

“Yes, Zoey?”

“Don’t you ‘yes, Zoey’ me, Simon.” He loved his sister, really, but since he came out shortly after graduation, he’d rarely spoken to her—she’d sided with his parents, claiming he was only playing gay to hurt them. A concept that never had made any sense to him. “Mom and Dad’s anniversary is coming up soon, and I want you there. It’s in the ballroom at The Pfister. It’s time you stop all this nonsense and come back to your family! They need you.”

“You know full well I can’t go to their party, Zoey. I’m not welcome there.”

“You would be if you’d do the right thing and act like a normal person instead of continuing this gay nonsense.” Her tone dripped disgust, though that was normal for her as well as his parents, on the odd occasion they all spoke. The last time he’d spoken with his mother, she’d tried to set him up on a date with a girl and told him his father would help him get a nice, normal job with good people at the construction site he owned. God, he hated the word normal!

“I’m not acting gay, Sissy. I am gay. I like being who I am. And I do not need their approval to live my life. So thanks for the reminder, but I’ll have to pass on the party. I will send them a present, though, as I do every year.” Simon always sent his parents a gift card for Red Lobster—even though many of their friends thought Red Lobster too common, he knew how much his mother loved their food—flowers for his mom, and a gift certificate for the pro shop at his father’s country club. He wasn’t even certain they used the cards, such things probably being beneath them. He never received the same in return, but that never stopped him from trying.

The sigh she let out was as loud as it was annoying. “Fine! Don’t say we didn’t try to include you in the family.” With that said, she hung up.

Simon shook his head as he set the phone down again. Why do I bother answering her calls? He knew the answer but didn’t want to think about her, or them, any longer.

Resource Links:

Praise:

“I found it a beautiful tale of unhappiness changed to romance and then love with a happy ending.”

—Rainbow Book Reviews, on “Designs of Desire”

Designs of Desire is a tough realistic book that is touched by violence countered by the growing love between the two heroes.”

—Sensual Reads, on “Designs of Desire”

“It’s a great book to fall into and enjoy some really good characters.”

—Love Bytes, on “Desires’ Guardian”

“This is my favorite in this series so far. I love seeing how these characters are growing, all of them. As individuals, as couples, as friends, and as a family.”

—MM Good Book Reviews, on “Desires’ Guardian”

“The writer did an excellent job with the characters, they are likable and perfect. Not perfect in the way that they have no flaws, but in a way that they grab you and complement each other.”

—Love Bytes Reviews, on “Temptations of Desire”

Other Works by Author:Other Books

Designs of DesireSimple Desires*+ – Bound by Desire* – Desires’ GuardianTemptations of DesireMicah’s Medicine+ – Truth in Lace* – Caged Sanctuary

*shorts in series +shorts in anthologies

About the Author:

TO-logo-250-transparentTempeste O’Riley is an out and proud pansexual genderfluid whose best friend growing up had the courage to do what they couldn’t–defy the hate and come out. He has been their hero ever since.

Tempe is a hopeless romantic that loves strong relationships and happily-ever-afters. Though new to writing M/M, they has done many things in their life, though writing has always drawn them back–no matter what else life has thrown their way. They counts their friends, family, and Muse as their greatest blessings in life. They lives in Wisconsin with their children, reading, writing, and enjoying life.

Tempe is also a proud PAN member of Romance Writers of America®, Rainbow Romance Writers, and WisRWA. Learn more about Tempeste and their writing at http://tempesteoriley.com.

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