Blog Tour, Exclusive Excerpt, and Giveaway – Scardust by Susanne Van Rooyen

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SCARDUST
by Suzanne van Rooyen
Publication Date: February 8, 2016
Genres: New Adult, Gay, LGBT, Science Fiction, Romance

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PURCHASE: Amazon | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | PRINT | B&N | Kobo | iBooks

SYNOPSIS: Dead Rock, Texas, 2037

Raleigh Williams made a promise to his brother before he died, that he’d scatter his ashes on Mars. Desperate to leave a life of bad memories behind and start over in the Martian colony, Raleigh fully intends to keep that promise. But his plans are thwarted when a meteor near-misses him in the desert, and Raleigh finds in its crater not debris or even a spacecraft, but a man covered in swirling scars and with no memory of who he is. At least he looks like a man—a man Raleigh can’t seem to keep his eyes off of—but whenever they touch it ignites a memory swap between them.

Raleigh agrees to help Meteor Man piece together his life through their cosmic connection. But the memory share goes both ways, and Raleigh becomes inexplicably entangled with a guy who is everything he needs—everything good that Raleigh is not—but might not even be human. As their minds and worlds collide, reality unravels and Raleigh must face a painful truth, one that could shatter his dreams of finding love, reaching Mars, and fulfilling his brother’s last wish.

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Excerpt

The Texas sky stretches an empty hand across the desert, reaching for the shimmer-slick horizon it won’t ever be able to hold. Bear and I hit the dirt road cutting between the fracking lands flanking old McCauley’s farm. It’s not even a farm any more, just a homestead crumbling down around a geriatric couple too stubborn to sell their land before they kick the bucket.

My feet lead me straight to the crater. Pain drills through the side of my skull, a screwdriver to the brain as a kaleidoscope of images form and fracture in my mind: Writing a final physics exam and not knowing all the answers, meeting my little sister’s first boyfriend, struggling against the effects of zero gravity.

The mental storm ends when I blink. What’s happening to me? Withdrawal from the meds shouldn’t be like this, not this intense or disorientating. This is more like a bad acid trip. How can I remember something I’ve never done? Please don’t let this be another episode.
Chilled despite the baking heat, I turn away from the crater and head back to the Interstate, the headache fading.

McCauley’s drought-slimmed cattle are ghost smudges in the dusk heat as Bear and I follow the trail of roadkill along the asphalt. The wind barrels across the land, dousing us in the stench of gasoline from the lonely pump-jacks studding the fields to the north. My scars burn as we approach the bone cross marking the spot where Weston met his maker.

First time I made the cuts right after West died, everyone thought I was trying to kill myself. I tried telling them it was Comanche tradition, a way of honoring the dead. All that got me was another prescription for meds I’m not sure I ever needed. They gave me the wrong cocktail too. Instead of the drugs making me happy, they made me crazy: make Daddy Sergeant Williams proud, throw sick bullets and score touchdowns, beat a kid’s head in and get sent to juvie kind of crazy.

I brush bird shit off the bleached leg-bones of a coyote with the hem of my shirt and splash bourbon into the dried out grass. My brother chose suicide over standing up to our father. Hope Dad enjoys hunting down insurgents in the Middle East while his eldest son sits in an urn on the mantelpiece.

“Hi, West,” I whisper. “Here’s to four years dead.”

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ABOUT SUZANNE VAN ROOYEN

Suzanne van Rooyen

Suzanne is a tattooed storyteller from South Africa. She currently lives in Sweden and is busy making friends with the ghosts of her Viking ancestors. Although she has a Master’s degree in music, Suzanne prefers conjuring strange worlds and creating quirky characters. When she grows up, she wants to be an elf – until then, she spends her time (when not writing) wall climbing, buying far too many books, and entertaining her shiba inu, Lego.

Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads

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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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BUY: AmazonB&NKOBOiBooksAReDreamspinner Press

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

BUY: AmazonAmazon PRINTB&NKOBOiBooksAReDreamspinner Press

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

Cover Reveal 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

Ghosts Cover

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.

Add to Goodreads

OTHER BOOKS IN THE POWER OF ZERO SERIES…

Job Hunt Cover

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

BUY: AmazonAmazon PRINTB&NKOBOiBooksAReDreamspinner Press

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.

Add to Goodreads

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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