Author Interview – In the Middle of Somewhere by Roan Parrish

Hello all! Please welcome the fabulous Roan Parrish who’s here today to answer a few questions on writing, guilty pleasures, pets, and more!

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What was the most challenging part of writing this story?

Stopping. As a reader, I really like long books, and I love series. (Also, I think being a longtime sci-fi and fantasy reader really primed me for length.) I love knowing tons of details about everything and will happily read pages-long descriptions of what someone’s house looks like. It’s just part of the incredible joy of getting to inhabit a world other than my own. But, of course, not everyone’s quite so keen on such things—and, no, there are no such descriptions in my book. So I kept having to tell myself not to write another scene of Rex and Daniel talking over dinner or not to describe Ginger’s tattoo shop in even more detail. As it stands, I guess In the Middle of Somewhere is a bit long for the genre, maybe? But not for me. Give me 500 pages of great character development, descriptions of stuff I’m interested in, and a little smooching, and I’m basically in heaven. J

Is there a genre you haven’t written in that you would love to write?

Oh, totally: mystery. I really enjoy mysteries but find the prospect of writing one pretty daunting. When I watch mysteries in the form of movies or TV, I definitely do the whole look for clues and try to solve the mystery thing. Strangely, though, when I’m reading mysteries, I don’t do that. I don’t try to solve the mystery at all, really. I think perhaps it’s just different training for those different media. Watching a movie is pure consumption, so I have lots of mental energy left to put the puzzle together. With reading, I kind of luxuriate in all the bits that have nothing to do with the mystery—prose style and characters’ thoughts and all—because that’s what I’m used to doing as a reader. For that reason, writing a mystery seems really difficult because I’m not trained to read that way. Of course, I say this, but I am actually writing a series that is sort of . . . mystery-adjacent? I think I’m refusing to say they’re mysteries to try and trick myself into not stressing about it.

What’s your guilty pleasure?

Gymnastics movies. Well, okay, I’m not actually guilty about it but people always seem slightly embarrassed for me when I bring up. I have no real interest in sports, but I do like sports narratives a lot. They are intrinsically dramatic, have ensemble casts, follow a built-in structure of episodes with escalating stakes. Good stuff. But gymnastics has the added delight of being both an individual and a team sport, so there’s this tricky desire to both beat your teammates and collaborate with them. And gymnastics movies usually revolve around some major competition so there are heroes and villains and . . . sparkly outfits! Besides, gymnastics is such a psychological sport that inevitably the characters are attempting to work through personal issues alongside their gymnastics issues. Delightful. What’s that? My favorite one? It’s a tie between a movie and a TV show.

Movie: definitely Stick It. This movie is legit wacky, with weird almost absurdist bits of humor, strange music video-esque graphics sequences, and Jeff Bridges. There are a few truly cringe-worthy moments, but it has lines like, “It’s not called gym-nice-tics,” and there is a political action against the gymnastics federation that attempts to control the gymnasts, so there you go. If anyone needs to borrow it, I definitely do not own the DVD (which has great bonus features).

TV show: Make It or Break It. Y’all. This show. It got cancelled midway through the third season, I think perhaps in a panic because the real Olympics were about to collide with the fictional Olympics in the show? Not sure. This show is terribly dramatic, includes a character who is evil incarnate, and also features Candace Cameron (strangely, she is not the evil incarnate).

Do you have any pets? If not, and you were given the choice to have any pet (fictional or real), what type of pet would you choose and why?

Oh, jeez, an invitation to talk about my cat? *Grabs it with both hands and hugs it!* I do: I have a lovely cat called Dorian Gray. She is very large and very gray and extremely soft and fluffy. I actually was never an animal person growing up. I didn’t hate them or anything, I was just indifferent. Then, during grad school (yes, I blame the intellectual alienation of grad school for turning me into a softie), all my friends had cats, somehow, and I got very jealous. I was really apprehensive about getting one, since I had no experience with pets, really, and was concerned I might hate sharing my space with this weird little thing that just wandered around touching all my stuff. But then I went to the shelter and all the other cats were either playing or trying to get my attention, but this one cat was just . . . kind of sitting there watching. I now know that Dorian’s just chill; at the time, though, I was convinced that she’d, like, given up all hope of finding a home and was resigned to eternal loneliness, so . . . I adopted her. 

Coffee or tea?

COFFEE! Nuf said. Okay, actually, one more thing to say. In addition to drinking coffee, I love love love cooking with coffee. Recently, I’ve been making a rub of unbrewed coffee grounds, brown sugar, cayenne pepper, cumin, salt, and pepper for salmon and it’s pretty awesome.

What are you working on now?

I’m working on the third book in the In the Middle of Somewhere series right now.

I’m also writing a series that’s linked to Edgar Allan Poe’s detective stories. It’s set in 19th century New York and features a Poe expert who gets caught up in the investigation of a murder that the police think might be Poe-related. The Poe expert and the detective in charge of the case are simultaneously irritated by and attracted to each other, and they have some adventures, romantic and otherwise. So, yeah, as I mentioned above: mystery-adjacent.

Why did you decide to write M/M Romance?

My favorite part of reading has always been, uh, having feelings, I guess? And falling in all kinds of love with all kinds of characters. And romance, as a genre or a frame, unapologetically puts characters and feelings in the foreground of the story. So, even when it intersects with another genre—mystery or horror—the focus on characters and feelings is still there rather than being viewed as something that detracts from the work. I think I wanted to write under that banner because of this focus. So that, even if I write a series of Edgar Allan Poe-related mysteries (er, mysteries-adjacent), a reader will know that the characters and their feelingzzz will be featured, rather than incidental. I mean, romance novels are often dismissed for precisely this focus—as happens with nearly any media form that gets culturally associated with women—but for those of us who are all about characters and feelings, declaring something a romance serves as a kind of beacon for the reader that assures them they can have their horror or mystery stories and retain their romance too.

What did you enjoy most about writing this story?

Well, my favorite part about writing in general is that there’s always a story going on that I get to participate in. So, if I’m walking around or on the subway or eating a bagel, there are always bits that make me think about my story, or bits that make their way into the story. It’s like getting to live in two worlds at once.

In terms of this story in particular, I think in terms of pure enjoyment the conversations between Daniel and Ginger (his best friend) were up there. As a reader, I really like a strong cast of secondary characters—both for themselves and for the way they make the main characters prismatic—so those were super fun to write.

What are you finding to be the most challenging part of being a published author?

Gosh, well, I know I’m the nine-millionth person to say this, but the hardest thing is the moment when the potential energy of the book kind of transmutes into kinetic energy and I don’t have control over it anymore. Of course, that’s also the really cool part—especially when it means hearing from people who’ve really enjoyed the book or to whom it’s meant something. Oh, and social media. Social media is hard.

Which of your characters is most like you?

Well, at the risk of sounding like a raging egomaniac I think all of the major characters have elements of me in them. I mean, okay, Daniel from In the Middle of Somewhere and I share certain . . . propensities. Toward over-thinking and over-analysis, for example. Toward expecting the worst and being suspicious of anything that isn’t. Being bad at accepting help. And, of course, Rex and I share our superhero physiques. J

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Title: In the Middle of Somewhere (In the Middle of Somewhere, #1)
Author: Roan Parrish
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publication Date: July 10, 2015
Word Count: 138,000 words

Purchase Links
Dreamspinner ebookDreamspinner paperbackAmazon ebookBarnes & Noble ebookAllRomance ebook | KoboGoogle play ebook 

2015NewAbout the Book

DANIEL MULLIGAN is tough, snarky, and tattooed, hiding his self-consciousness behind sarcasm. Daniel has never fit in—not at home with his auto mechanic father and brothers, and not at school where his Ivy League classmates look down on him. Now, Daniel’s relieved to have a job at a small college in Northern Michigan, but, a city boy through and through, when Daniel arrives in Holiday, Michigan, it’s clear that this small town is one more place he just won’t fit in.

REX VALE clings to routine to keep loneliness at bay: honing his large, muscular body until it can handle anything, perfecting his recipes, and making custom furniture. Rex has lived in Holiday for years, but his shyness and imposing size have kept him from connecting with people. Though he loves the quiet and solitude of his little cabin in the woods, Rex can’t help but want someone to share it with.

When Daniel arrives in Holiday, they are smitten with each other, but though the sex is intense and explosive, Rex fears that Daniel will be one more in a long line of people to leave him, and Daniel has learned that letting anyone in could be a fatal weakness. Just as they begin to break down the walls that have been keeping them apart, Daniel is called home to Philadelphia where a secret is revealed that changes the way he understands everything.

Can a scrappy professor, an intense carpenter, and a stray dog make a go of it in their cabin in the woods? Sometimes, you have to go to the middle of nowhere to end up exactly where you want to be.

Author Roan Parrish

About the Author:

ROAN PARRISH grew up in Michigan and lives in Philadelphia, but is always a few minutes away from deciding to move. A former academic, she’s used to writing things that no one reads. She still loves to geek out about books, movies, TV, and music—now, though, she’s excited to be writing the kind of romantic, angsty stories that she loves to escape into.

When not writing, she can usually be found cutting her friends’ hair, wandering through whatever city she’s in while listening to torch songs and melodic death metal, or cooking overly elaborate meals. One time she may or may not have baked a six-layer chocolate cake and then thrown it out the window in a fit of pique. She loves bonfires, winter beaches, minor chord harmonies, and cheese. But mostly cheese.

twitter: @RoanParrish  |
facebook: roanparrish  |
instagram: @roanparrish  |
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Interview & Excerpt – Drama Queen by Joe Cosentino

Hello all! Please welcome our fabulous guest, Joe Cosentino who’s been kind enough to answer a few questions about his newest release, guilty pleasures, writing, and more.

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C: What was the most challenging part of writing this story?

J: DRAMA QUEEN is a fast-paced, hysterically funny whodunit with a dose of gay romance. In addition to Nicky and Noah, there are five murder victims and six suspects with constant clues, red herrings, plot twists and turns, and a shocking ending. While the novel was an incredible amount of fun to write, there were a lot of balls (no pun intended) for me to keep in the air.

C: Do you have a designated writing area at home? What’s it like?

J: Like Martin Anderson, the theatre department head in DRAMA QUEEN, my study has a large cherry wood desk opposite a fireplace with a cherry wood mantle and a cherry wood bookcase. I also have a window seat looking out over the woods. It’s the perfect place to write.

C: What’s your guilty pleasure?

J: Like Nicky Abbondanza, the Directing Professor and leading character in DRAMA QUEEN, I swallow vitamins like air.

C: What do you do when you’re not writing?

J: Like Noah Oliver, the Acting Professor and Nicky’s amore in DRAMA QUEEN, I am a theatre college professor. Like Nicky I have directed college productions. Like Martin I am the department head.

C: Why did you decide to write M/M Romance?

J: Besides being personal to me, there are so many untold gay stories. Just go to the mall and see the array of posters of upcoming films without one gay or lesbian character in them.

C: What did you enjoy most about writing this story?

J: I love that it is a series, so I can build on the characters. In DRAMA QUEEN, Nicky and Noah have to uncover why college theatre professors are dropping like stage curtains while Nicky directs the college play production—a murder mystery. In DRAMA MUSCLE, Nicky and Noah have to find out why musclemen are dropping like weights in the Physical Education department while Nicky directs the Student Bodybuilding Competition. In DRAMA CRUISE, Nicky and Noah go on a cruise to Alaska, and discover why college theatre professors are going overboard like lifeboats while Nicky directs a murder mystery dinner theatre show onboard ship. As Nicky and Noah fall deeper in love with each novel, my hope is the readers will fall in love with them.

C: What’s your writing process like? Are you a plotter, a pantser, or both?

J: Since I was a professional actor, I start with character, writing a long character biography for each character. Next I move on to the outline. However, once the characters start talking, I often deviate from the outline. I give the second draft to my spouse. After getting his notes, I do a third draft, which goes to the publisher.

C: What are you finding to be the most challenging part of being a published author?

J: Finding the time to promote my work. Thank you for your help with that!

C: What advice would you give to an aspiring author looking to get published?

J: Don’t write for a particular publisher. Write your best work, which is personal for you then look for the right publisher for that work.

C: What are your plans for the future? What more can we look forward to from you?

J: I have quite a few new releases coming up. Dreamspinner Press is publishing my second Bittersweet Dreams novella, A SHOOTING STAR, in the fall; my holiday novella A HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS, in December; and my gay fairytale stories, THE NAKED PRINCE AND OTHER TALES FROM FAIRYLAND in the winter. Lethe Press is publishing DRAMA MUSCLE and DRAMA CRUISE, but I don’t yet have the publication dates. I am currently writing a new romance novel, COZZI COVE: BOUNCING BACK.

C: Which of your characters is most like you?

J: Martin Anderson, the theatre department head, in the Nicky and Noah series was patterned after me. So movie producers, I’m ready for my close-up!



Author: Joe Cosentino
Series: A Nicky and Noah Mystery
Publisher: Lethe Press
Published: May 27th, 2015
Genre: Gay Comedy Mystery Romance
Length: 196 Pages
ISBN: 9781311345837

2015NewAbout the Book

It could be curtains for college theatre professor Nicky Abbondanza. With dead bodies popping up all over campus, Nicky must use his drama skills to figure out who is playing the role of murderer before it is lights out for Nicky and his colleagues. Complicating matters is Nicky’s huge crush on Noah Oliver, a gorgeous assistant professor in his department, who may or may not be involved with a cocky graduate assistant…and is also the top suspect for the murders! You will be applauding and shouting Bravo for Joe Cosentino’s fast-paced, side-splittingly funny, edge-of-your-seat, delightfully entertaining novel. Curtain up!

Purchase Links

Amazon Kindle eBook | Lethe Press Paperback | Smashwords


I left my students to their private discussion and joined my young graduate assistant seated on a red velvet bench in a turreted area of the lobby. As I dug into my sizable piece of cake, Scotty leaned into me like a cat facing a sardine, “Since it looks like the tech rehearsal will run late, I can teach your morning Theatre History class tomorrow.”

“That won’t be necessary, Scotty.” Just stick your finger down your throat then head to the gym as usual.

“With teaching your classes, assessing and updating curriculum, going to faculty meetings, advising students, writing your articles, advising the theatre club, and directing plays, I worry that you may get sick.”

You’d unleash the bubonic plague if it meant getting my job. I patted his shaved and oiled knee, and said a la Margo Channing, “I’m fine, Scotty. Just leave your notes on tonight’s performance in my office box tomorrow.”

“Am I too late for the party?” My knees dipped as Noah Oliver took off his coat and scarf and stood next to me. “Happy birthday, Nicky!” He winked at me.

Maybe we can adopt seven children, run away to the hills, and start a family singing act.

Scotty leapt from his seat like it was a pogo stick. “Have a piece of cake, Noah. No nuts!”

I beg your pardon?

“Thanks for remembering, Scotty.” Noah sat between Scotty and me and dug into the creamy wonder. Was that a familiar smile between Scotty and Noah?!

Scotty explained as if he was Noah’s husband, “Noah is allergic to nuts, Nicky.”

Hopefully not to mine.

Noah took me in with his baby blue eyes. Did I notice a look of lust in them? “How’s the show going?”

What show? Oh! “We’re all exhausted, frazzled, panicked, and certain of a great opening night.”

Noah squeezed my hand. “You’re an amazing director. The creative way you move your characters around the stage, how the elements of design compliment the story, and your unique vision is thrilling to watch. I expect nothing short of brilliance in this production.” Noah beamed with pride. “And you have some powerful student actors in the show.” Scotty collected our empty plates. “Noah is a terrific acting teacher.” He gazed at Noah with pure adoration. “The students are lucky to have you.”

Since theatre is a collaborative art, I said, “Tyler’s execution of David’s scenic design is amazing, and as usual Tyler has been a total work horse. Ariella’s costumes have an incredible gothic look, but they’re light enough for the students to move around in them.”

Noah whispered in my ear, and I restrained myself from throwing myself on top of him. “Can I speak to you about something…personal?”

“Sure.” How about a June wedding? 

2015NewAbout the author
Joe Cosentino is the author of An Infatuation and Paper Doll. He is the head of the department/professor at a college in upstate New York. Sorry, gents, but he is happily married.



Blog Tour, Interview, & Giveaway – Enforcing Emory by Mickie B. Ashling

Enforcing Emory Tour Banner

Charlie, thank you for the opportunity to appear on your blog for my new novel, Enforcing Emory. Even though I’m not sharing an excerpt today, I do bring many giveaways which your readers can avail of by adding their name to the Rafflecopter. Winners will be chosen at the very end of the blog tour. I’d like to mention that this novel is set in a new-to-me universe (figure skating/hockey) so there’s no need to catch up on any other books as it’s not part of a series. Yet. The characters continue to reside in my head and are talking sequel or spin-off. Right now I’m asking them to be quiet as I have other works in progress.

What was the most challenging part of writing this story?

The hockey. I love the sport and have watched many games, but writing a play-by-play sequence was difficult. I had to enlist the help of a few guys who were players and one who did announcing. They were very helpful. I also recorded parts of some games to listen to the announcer and get a better sense of the common lingo.

Is there a genre you haven’t written in that you would love to write?

I’ve never written a paranormal; in fact, I don’t even read the genre, but you changed that with your Thirds series. I held off for the longest time because I was sure I’d be bored out of my mind, but when I saw it available in audiobook format, I thought I’d give it a try. Boy, was I wrong! I really enjoyed the world building, your great characters, and the entertaining dialog. The premise kept me engaged from start to finish. I just downloaded the second book in the series, which goes to show you how much I enjoyed it. Would I ever write something in this genre? My muse hasn’t nudged me yet, but I’m more open to the idea.

What’s a typical writing day like for you?

I wake up very early to create new material. I can only do it after I’ve had a solid six hours of sleep and my brain is refreshed. Coffee starts automatically brewing at 3:30 and that’s when I sit down and write. I try and do a chapter a day (usually 3-4K words), but it doesn’t always work out. Sometimes it takes me two days to finish a chapter. Then I go on FB and Twitter for about thirty minutes. I try not to stay on there too long or I won’t get anything done. I’ve recently retired from the EDJ, so my schedule might change as far as the waking hours but I honestly doubt it. I’ve always been a morning person. I do all my edits in the afternoon or evening.

What’s your guilty pleasure?

Full body massages. I rarely indulge because they’re so expensive, but when I go on a cruise I usually cave. I figure, what the hell. They’re going to take my left kidney by the end of the trip, so I might as well enjoy all the amenities while I’m on board.

Do you have any pets? If not, and you were given the choice to have any pet (fictional or real), what type of pet would you choose and why?

I had a beautiful Dalmatian for 13 years. His name was Charlie, coincidentally, and he loved to cuddle. He’d squeeze in beside me at night while I read or watched TV. His guilty pleasure was popcorn, and we shared a bowl whenever I was in the mood. It’s been almost 4 years since he passed, and I’m starting to think about getting another dog. Thanks to Brandon Witt and his love of Corgis, I’ve become obsessed with the idea of owning one. I’d like a shelter dog though (Charlie was), so I don’t know if I’ll get my wish on the Corgi. We’ll have to see how it all plays out.

What do you do when you’re not writing?

I came to the realization a while back that writing is terrible for one’s health unless you make a concerted effort to get off the damn chair or couch and do some form of exercise. Ugh…what a chore…but necessary or the alternative is genuine pain down the road. I’ve been trying very hard to get on the treadmill at least 4 days a week and then do some free weights for my arms, shoulders, and neck, which take a beating with the constant writing. I get together with my kids as often as possible, but they’re grown and have their own lives. I’m not the kind of mom who just shows up unannounced. Mostly, I write. I always tell my editor I have no life so it works 

What are you working on now?

By the time this interview is posted, I hope to have submitted my current WIP set in Karachi, Pakistan, where I lived for a brief time. I’ve been doing extensive research on the region—its people and the Muslim faith—and hope I don’t end up on someone’s list because of all my Google searches. It’s creepy how big brother always knows what you’re up to while you’re on the internet.

What did you enjoy most about writing this story?

My characters. Emory is probably the most flamboyant gay man I’ve ever written. Conversely, he’s also the most courageous, and I loved telling his story. His father, Tom, is a secondary character who practically steals the show. My beta readers and editors mentioned how much they enjoyed his presence in the story. Nik’s role is fairly typical—the beleaguered athlete who’s conflicted about his orientation and terrified to come out—but I hope that I was able to throw in a few twists to make his story unique.

How did it feel to sign that first contract?

It was my ticket to freedom. My 29-year marriage was crumbling, and I was waffling on my decision to stay and be miserable or walk away and hope for the best. I’d submitted Horizons (my first novel) to another publisher, and it had been rejected, so I was pretty despondent. After reworking it, I sent it to Dreamspinner Press for consideration. A few weeks later, I was driving home from work and really wishing I was going somewhere else. I said a prayer to my mother (who’d died years before) and asked her for a sign on what I should do about my marriage. When I got home and opened my email, I saw the acceptance letter from Elizabeth North and I started bawling. It was the push I needed to pull up my big girl pants and move on. I’ve never told this story to anyone in the public forum but it’s the honest truth. I don’t think I’d be sitting here answering questions as a published author if not for Elizabeth and her faith in me and my talent.

What advice would you give to an aspiring author looking to get published?

Write every day, read as much as you can in the genre you’re drawn to, and never, ever give up. It’s the age-old story of the tortoise and hare. The one who sticks to it, no matter how long it takes, will get the prize in the end. Keep on dreaming and do your homework to make each and every dream come true. Talking about your ideas will get you nowhere. You need to write them down!

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2015NewAbout the Book

Olympic figure skater Emory Lowe falls in lust the moment he lays eyes on his new neighbor, hockey player Nikolai (Nik) Vetrov. On the surface, Nik is a typical badass enforcer, intimidating and dangerous, on and off the ice. The only son of Ukrainian immigrants, Nik has been groomed from childhood to fulfill his father’s dreams of seeing him in the Hockey Hall of Fame. Igor guides his son toward that goal with a controlling—and abusive—hand, steering him clear of anyone who might ruin his chances.

Although Emory is the US National Figure Skating champion, he’s in-your-face gay, and his audacious persona rubs Nik and his family the wrong way. Raised by supportive and loving parents, Emory is Nik’s polar opposite in every way but one—his desire to succeed. Underneath the fluff and glitter beats the heart of a fierce competitor, and this side of Emory’s personality begins to close the distance between the two athletes.

While the attraction was one-sided in the beginning, Nik finds himself responding to Emory’s flirting. Before the incongruous pair have a chance at any sort of relationship, they must survive the pressures of career, separation, and most importantly, Igor’s ruthless homophobia.

Purchase Links

Dreamspinner Press | All Romance eBooks | Amazon

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2015NewAbout the author

Mickie B. Ashling is the alter-ego of a multifaceted woman raised by a single mother who preferred reading over other forms of entertainment. She found a kindred spirit in her oldest child and encouraged her with a steady supply of dog-eared paperbacks. Romance was the preferred genre, and historical romances topped her favorites list.

By the time Mickie discovered her own talent for writing, real life had intruded, and the business of earning a living and raising four sons took priority. With the advent of e-publishing and the inevitable emptying nest, dreams were resurrected, and the storyteller was reborn.

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 loves to travel and has lived in the Philippines, Spain, and the Middle East but currently resides in a suburb outside Chicago.


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


Using Rafflecopter below, enter to win one of these prizes (contest open internationally): a $20 Dreamspinner gift certificate, one of five ecopies of Enforcing Emory, or an audio copy of Fire Horse. Must be 18 or older to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

2015NewTour Info

May 25 – The Novel Approach

May 25 – Garrett Leigh

May 26 – Charlie Cochet

May 27 – Emotion in Motion

May 28 – BA Tortuga

May 29 – On Top Down Under Book Reviews

May 31 – Diverse Reader

June 1 – Prism Book Alliance

June 2 – Book Reviews & More by Kathy

June 2 – Cup o’ Porn

June 3 – WoW…from The Scarf Princess

June 4 – Love Bytes

June 5 – Divine Magazine

June 8 – MM Good Book Reviews

June 9 – Sinfully…Addicted to All Male Romance

June 10 – Hearts On Fire

Tour and materials organized by PAS Promotions
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