Blog Tour, Exclusive Excerpt, and Giveaway – Whippersnapper by Michael Rupured

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AboutTheBook

Whippersnapper-final (1)TITLE: Whippersnapper

AUTHOR: Michael Rupured

PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press

COVER ARTIST: Maria Fanning

LENGTH: 220 Pages

GENRE: Contemporary

RELEASE DATE: January 29, 2016

BLURB: Tellumo Magnamater is a fresh-out-of-college, first-year English teacher at Salt Lick County High School in Kentucky. He rides the bus to and from work, and every day he walks to the gym behind his small efficiency apartment to exercise. Perhaps because of being raised by two lesbians, Tellumo is attracted to older men. He sets his sights on fifty-something available bachelor Oliver Crumbly. But Tellumo isn’t the only resident interested in Oliver.

Peggy Tucker, a widow approaching her sixtieth birthday, is determined to marry again, and she thinks Oliver is her perfect match. Despite Tellumo and Peggy striking up a friendship at the gym, neither realizes they are interested in the same man. But the joke might be on both of them. Oliver, a retired history teacher, is the original crotchety old man who hates everything and everybody—especially young people.

Excerpt

Where are they? Tellumo Magnamater checked his smartphone for the twentieth time in as many minutes and peeked out between the blinds again. Ice and snow melted from car hoods and rooftops in a cacophony of splashes and trickling water. Sooty ridges of snow the same shade of gray as the late morning sky edged the glistening asphalt.

He hadn’t seen his mothers since August, when they’d helped him move to Fallisville for his first teaching job, three days before the first day of school. He’d planned to visit Cincinnati for Christmas until Snowmageddon—thirty inches of snow in a week’s time—had brought Northern Kentucky to a standstill, putting the kibosh on his holiday plans. Everyone else’s too. Churches canceled Christmas services, and bars remained closed on New Year’s Eve. Until yesterday’s warm front had pushed the temperature into the lower fifties, the mercury hadn’t climbed more than a degree or two above freezing since before Christmas, when the flurries had begun.

As Tellumo checked his smartphone for messages again, a white panel truck with Amazon Home Repair on the side in bright blue letters came into view—sporting noticeably more bumper stickers than the last time he’d seen it. He returned the device to his pocket and glanced around his efficiency apartment once more. Everything looked ready for company.

He ran out to greet his guests. Before the truck had come to a complete stop, the passenger side door opened and Trish bounded toward him, her camel coat unbuttoned to reveal the red-and-green plaid pants and gaudy Santa sweater she’d worn on Christmas for as long as he could remember.

“I’ve missed you so much!” She flung her arms around his neck, kissed his cheek, and held him tight.

He hugged her back, surprised by the tears in his eyes. “I’ve missed you too.” He kissed her cheek, released her, and then turned to Jules, waiting beside them.

“Sorry we’re late.” Jules squeezed him hard. “Roads haven’t been this clear since before Christmas. Everyone and her sister was out.” She let go of him and folded her arms across her chest. The creases in her khaki pants and the long sleeves of the oxford cloth shirt she wore were sharp enough to cut hair. “We made good time once we got out of Cincinnati.”

“I was starting to worry—you’re never late.” Tellumo kissed her cheek. “Need me to help you carry anything in?”

“Nah.” Jules shook her head. “Sorry to disappoint you, but there’s not much to carry.” She gave him a grin and a wink. “I’ll unload the car. You guys go on inside and catch up.”

“If you insist.” Trish grabbed Tellumo by the hand and pulled him toward his apartment. “Give her a few minutes to calm down,” she whispered. “We’ve been arguing since we got off of I-75.”

“About what?” Jules hadn’t seemed the least bit agitated or annoyed. Tellumo hung Trish’s coat on a hook on the back of his front door, leaving it ajar so Jules could get in with her hands full. “The car thing again?”

Trish nodded, plopped onto the sofa, and pushed her glasses up the bridge of her nose. “We’ve argued about it for weeks. She wanted your Christmas present from us to be the money for a down payment.” She patted the sofa cushion and motioned for him to sit. “Don’t get me wrong. I’ve missed you too, and having a car would make visits home easier, but if you don’t want the responsibility….”

“I don’t.” He sat down beside her and smiled. Though he still sometimes wondered, he’d long ago stopped trying to figure out which woman was his biological mother. Trish and Jules weren’t telling and looked enough alike to make guessing difficult. Knowing when he’d been younger might have made a difference, but after all these years was unlikely to alter his feelings for either parent. “I thought about getting a car, but I really don’t want the added expense.”

“Makes sense to me.” Trish ran her fingers through her curly brown hair and looked around. “This place can’t cost much. What do you do with your money?”

“Save it—like you’ve drilled into me since I could walk.” The furnished apartment had come with everything but dishes and linens. His additional needs were few—a smartphone, a laptop, Internet access with Wi-Fi, and a decent video gaming system. He lived on a fraction of his income and banked the rest. “Do we need to have a family meeting about the car thing… again?”

“No.” She shrugged. “Your mind is made up, and I’m not changing my vote.” She looped her arm over his shoulder and pulled him close. “Voting again would be pointless.”

“Thanks, Trish.” He kissed her cheek. His mothers had almost always presented a united front—especially in family meetings. On the rare occasion when they disagreed, his had been the deciding vote.

BuyLinks

Dreamspinner Press (eBook)

Dreamspinner Press (Paperback)

Amazon US

Amazon UK

All Romance eBooks

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

AuthorBio

AuthorPic

Michael Rupured loves to write. Before learning the alphabet, he filled page after page with rows of tiny circles he now believes were his first novels, and has been writing ever since. He lives in Athens, Georgia, grew up in Lexington, Kentucky, came out as a gay man at the age of twenty-one in the late 1970s, and considers surviving his wild and reckless twenties to have been a miracle. To find out what Michael’s up to now, visit his blog (rupured.com), follow him on Twitter (@crotchetyman) or send an e-mail message to mrupured@gmail.com.

:: Website & Blog :: Facebook :: Twitter :: Google+ ::

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Winner’s Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card

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TourSchedule

January 27: Prism Book Alliance

January 28: Drops of Ink

January 29: The Purple Rose Tea House

February 1: Kathy Mac Reviews

February 2: Cathy Writes Romance

February 3: Diverse Reader

February 4: Divine Magazine

February 5: The Novel Approach

February 8: Elisa – My reviews and Ramblings

February 9: Loving Without Limits

February 10: MM Good Book Reviews

February 11: Love Bytes Reviews

February 12: Unquietly Me

February 15: BFD Book Blog

February 16: Bayou Book Junkie

February 17: 3 Chicks After Dark

February 18: Alpha Book Club

February 19: My Fiction Nook

 

Blog Tour, Guest Post, and Giveaway – Inversion Point by Kelly Jensen and Jenn Burke

Inversion Point is the fourth book in the series I co-write with my buddy, Jenn Burke. We had a lot of fun writing this book. We got to introduce a new alien species to our galaxy and play with the galactic politics a little—this included poking fun at our series antagonist, the Allied Earth Forces (AEF), and at our governing body, which we call the Central Alliance of Planets and Stations or, as Felix puts it, CAPS if you like stupid acronyms, Central if you don’t.

Inversion Point also sees Zed and Felix happier and healthier. They’ve had six months to just be together—running jobs, visiting with Zed’s family on occasion, and lots of therapy for both of them. One of the cut scenes from the end of Skip Trace was their first joint therapy session. While it might not have added much to the book, I think it was something Jenn and I needed to write in order to move our characters forward. The evidence of Felix’s healing is clear in these two snippets from Inversion Point:

Therapy with the doc Zed had found for them was going…It was going. Maybe well. If pressed, he’d say well. Much as he hated sharing his thoughts with Dr. McMann, he could feel the difference unloading some of his shit had made. His mood had evened out, his sleep was largely undisturbed, and he hadn’t had the urge to further break himself in months. Why would he? He had Zed. (Felix)

Flick’s laugh. He’d been hearing it more and more since they’d started therapy. Not the half-swallowed snicker that sounded more mean than joyful, but the unfettered bark of laughter Zed remembered from the Academy. It hadn’t come out often then, either. Getting Flick to make that noise had become something of a pastime for him when they were kids. (Zed)

How’s Zed doing? He’s Zed. He doesn’t give away as much as Felix, not verbally, anyway. Zed internalizes a lot of his stress and one of the ways he deals with it is by holding himself to impossible standards—and setting himself impossible tasks. That’s what Inversion Point is all about, really. We get to meet the mysterious Species Four and they are, in the words of our editor, way cool. We also finally get to meet the creatures of Felix’s nightmares, the stin.

And Zed is the only person in the galaxy who can communicate with both species.

So we’ve set Zed this near impossible task and, as always, he dedicates every ounce of his being to it. Throw in his obsessive need to be perfect, his packaged guilt, and an ex-boyfriend of Felix’s who could have been Zed, has his life taken a different path, and…well, you have another galactic adventure with a healthy dollop of relationship angst.

If you haven’t met our guys, visit our website for extras such as short stories and links to previous guest posts and don’t forget to enter our giveaway for a chance to win the first three books of the Chaos Station series.

IPCover600

2015NewAbout the Book 

Inversion Point

Book four of Chaos Station

Zander and Felix’s relationship has been to the brink and back: the Human-Stin War, imprisonment and death/resurrection. Zander’s death, to be specific, and the experience has left him…changed. The mysterious race known as the Guardians chose to revive him and appointed him as their emissary. A high honor, but he could do without the group of would-be cultists following him around the galaxy.

When a recently discovered species destroys a stin probe, Zander’s new role soon commands all of his time and focus. The human ambassador—Felix’s ex-lover, much to Zander’s annoyance—pulls them into strategy talks aimed at preserving galactic peace. Soon everyone is relying on Zander’s Guardian tech to telepathically communicate with the strange aliens.

Only Felix seems concerned with the strain piling up on Zander, but he has his own resolve tested when the very stin that imprisoned him show up to a summit. Zander and Felix will both have to find a way to face their doubts and preserve their love—while preventing another galaxy-wide war.

Amazon | Amazon UK | B&N | Kobo | iBooks | Carina Press

 

2015NewAbout the author

Jenn and Kelly met in 2009 through a mutual infatuation with a man who wasn’t real. After all but crashing the video game’s forums with daily dissection of their obsession, they started writing together, discovered they really liked writing together and began plotting stories in worlds of their own creation.

The CHAOS STATION series aren’t the first books they’ve written together, and they’re pretty sure they won’t be the last. As long as their so-called smartphones keep making autocorrects that trigger brainstorming sessions, they’ll have enough character ideas and plots to keep them writing for years to come.

www.chaosstation.com

Connect with Jenn: Twitter | Facebook | Website

Connect with Kelly: Twitter | Facebook | Website

 

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Prize: The first three books in the Chaos Station series, Chaos Station, Lonely Shore and Skip Trace and a $25 gift card to the online bookseller of your choice.

Signing up for our newsletter gives access to our free Chaos Station story, “Graduation”.

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Terms: Rafflecopter runs from 12:00 AM EST 1/25/2016 to 12:00 AM EST 2/1/2016. Giveaway is open internationally. Gift card value is US dollars. Winner will be contacted via email.

 

2015NewTour Info

1/25     Straight Shootin’ Book Reviews

1/26     Purple Rose Teahouse

1/27     Joyfully Jay

1/28     Smitten with Reading

1/29     Prism Book Alliance

1/29     The Novel Approach

 

Blog Tour, Exclusive Excerpt, and Giveaway – Yesterday by Mickie B. Ashling

Tour Banner Yesterday

I’d like to thank fellow author Charlie Cochet for giving me the opportunity to appear on her blog once again to share an exclusive excerpt of my latest release, Yesterday. This novel is a standalone, a period piece set during the final days of the Pahlavi dynasty. The time and place aren’t conducive to romance, especially between two men, but love and logic aren’t always compatible as Kamran and Grady soon find out. Can a chance meeting alter one’s destiny? The answers are revealed within the pages of Yesterday.

The striking cover was designed by multitalented author and cover artist Catt Ford. Aside from the giveaways, which are listed on the Rafflecopter widget, I bring an exclusive excerpt. I hope you enjoy the sneak peek.

YesterdayLG

2015NewAbout the Book

In June of 1978 Grady Ormond, eighteen-year-old son of diplomat Peter Ormond, accompanies his father to his new posting as US Ambassador to Pakistan. Neighboring Iran is on the brink of a civil war, with the monarchy in danger of being overthrown.

Grady will be leaving for New York City in late August to study cinematography and has been warned to keep his homosexual orientation tightly under wraps while on vacation. Repercussions in the predominantly Islamic region could be severe.

On their first night in Karachi, his father hosts a cocktail party to meet the local dignitaries. Grady is introduced to His Highness Prince Kamran Izadi, nephew of the Shah of Iran. Twenty-three-year-old Kamran has recently returned from the UK, where he spent eleven years, first as a student, and then as a financial analyst.

The attraction is immediate—unforeseen and dangerously powerful—but neither one dares to make a move. Odds are so stacked against them it’s futile to even entertain a friendship, but they do, and their world tilts precariously.

With his country in turmoil and Grady about to leave for college, Kamran makes a decision that will change their lives forever.

2015NewExcerpt

The cool air blowing out of the air-conditioning vents in the Land Rover was such a wonderful contrast to the squelching heat we’d just escaped. I could have happily stayed in the car for the rest of the day. All too soon, we were bumping up a long dirt driveway toward a white stone edifice sitting on a rise. I was no farmer, but I recognized oranges and lemons and, in addition, several much larger trees with thick limbs weighed down by fat golden mangoes. There were also palm, banana, and other large varieties of vegetation I didn’t recognize bordering the edifice and acting like a natural canopy against the harsh sun.

A pair of sleek black-and-white dogs ran up to the car the minute it rolled to a stop. They looked like greyhounds—deep chested and long legged—but covered with feathery fur on their ears and curved tails. When Kamran stepped out of the vehicle, they ran up to him, tails wagging happily. He got down on his haunches and rubbed each one behind the ears, speaking to them softly in his language. He stood and gestured for me to come close.

“Put out your hand so they can smell you,” he said. “They’re normally docile but have been known to snap at strangers.”

I did as I was told and watched in wary silence as the animals slowly approached. “What are their names?”

“Zena and Sher.”

Naturally, the first thing that came to mind was Sonny and Cher, who were all the rage a few years back. The animals’ large eyes, long, narrow heads, and silky hair hanging down their droopy ears, framing their faces, reminded me a lot of the iconic diva, a favorite among so many of my friends. In the weeks to come, I’d refer to Zena as Sonny because it flowed so much better with Sher. After a while, Kamran stopped correcting me.

As soon as we walked into the house, I was enchanted. The difference between the nondescript exterior and jewellike interior was unexpected. Colorful mosaic tiles were painstakingly laid out on walls and ceilings, and the floors were covered with large tiles that looked, to my untrained eye, like creamy marble. I supposed that given the opulence of the rest of the place, it wasn’t too farfetched. The house was built around a courtyard with open arches on one side of the walkway and closed rooms on the other. The materials were most likely chosen to withstand the rain that supposedly fell in pummeling sheets once monsoon season started. A small fountain in the center of the courtyard provided the soothing sounds of running water as it cycled through a pair of dolphins that appeared to be leaping out of its depths.

There were several iron birdcages strategically placed along the walls of the room with different varieties of exotic birds. One cage in particular caught my attention. A pair of birds in varying shades of green with deep garnet markings on their sides watched us as we approached.

“Are they parrots?” I asked curiously. They looked like them only smaller. As soon as they heard me talk, they began to screech loudly, swaying back and forth, long claws tightly gripping the wooded perches. They had large reddish-orange beaks that would probably do some serious damage to a finger if provoked.

“They’re Alexandrine parakeets,” Kamran informed me. “Named after Alexander the Great, who’s credited with bringing them to this region.”

“Do they bite?”

“Absolutely,” he said. “Don’t try petting them, or you’ll regret it.” Despite the warning, he opened the cage, stuck his hand inside, and one of the birds hopped right onto his outstretched forefinger. Slowly, he took him out, all the while crooning to the creature in Farsi.

“He’s obviously trainable,” I commented, watching in fascination as Kamran and the bird communicated mysteriously. “Does he have a name?”

“Xandar,” he said with a quirk to his lip. “And the female is named Rhoxana.”

“Naturally,” I said. “I should have guessed.”

Purchase Links

Dreamspinner Press eBook | Dreamspinner Press Paperback | All Romance eBooks | Amazon

2015NewAbout the author

Mickie B. Ashling is the pseudonym of a multifaceted woman who is a product of her upbringing in multiple cultures, having lived in Japan, the Philippines, Spain, and the Middle East. Fluent in three languages, she’s a citizen of the world and an interesting mixture of East and West. A little bit of this and a lot of that have brought a unique touch to her literary voice she could never learn from textbooks.

By the time Mickie discovered her talent for writing, real life got in the way, and the business of raising four sons took priority. With the advent of e-publishing—and the inevitable emptying nest—dreams of becoming a published writer were resurrected and she’s never looked back.

She stumbled into the world of men who love men in 2002 and continues to draw inspiration from their ongoing struggle to find equality and happiness in this oftentimes skewed and intolerant world. Her award-winning novels have been called “gut wrenching, daring, and thought provoking.” She admits to being an angst queen and making her men work damn hard for their happy endings.

Mickie currently resides in a suburb outside Chicago.

connectwiththeauthor

Email | Facebook | Twitter | Website | Blog | Goodreads & Ask the Author

2015NewGiveaway

Three winners will win an ebook copy of Yesterday, a signed print copy of Yesterday, or a Dreamspinner gift certificate. Contest open internationally. Must be 18 or older to enter.

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2015NewTour Info

Jan. 20 – Hearts On Fire

Jan. 21 – The Novel Approach

Jan. 22 – Diverse Reader

Jan. 22 – Multitaskingmommas

Jan. 25 – Charlie Cochet

Jan. 26 – On Top Down Under Book Reviews

Jan. 27 – Love Bytes

Jan. 28 – Prism Book Alliance

Jan. 29 – MM Good Book Reviews

Feb. 1 – Rainbow Gold Reviews

Feb. 2 – Sinfully

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