Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Fun Facts with K-Lee Klein + Giveaway


I'd like to welcome my friend and fellow co-founder of Hop Against Homophobia and Transphobia, K-Lee Klein, for a round of fun facts! 

Hello, y'all, I'm K-lee. Welcome to the book tour for my newest release, Unbreak My Heart. It's my first book from Amber Quill and just came out on August 25. Here's the blurb.

UNBREAK MY HEART

Brett Taylor has been doing just fine living in his own little world for the past three years, thank you very much.  Losing someone special is life changing, and Brett doesn't understand why everyone and their damn dog thinks they can get all up in his business about him needing to move on. He managed to make the transition from musician to rancher without relying on anyone else's opinion or help, and he certainly doesn't need some city kid coming into his life to disrupt his routine--one that involves grief, isolation, and a whole lot of Jack Daniels.

Moving from one meaningless job to the next, JT Campbell is on a quest to escape his old life and figure out who he is and where he belongs.  He's not looking to save anyone, let alone a secretive, hotter-than-hell rancher who wears his heart on his sleeve.  JT likes working for Brett, but Brett's made it perfectly clear that any relationship between them other than a professional one will never see the light of day.

But when JT's lust turns to love, and he gives in to his desire to find out what makes Brett tick, will his interest push Brett away?  Or will he, through his patience and support, be the one who can finally unbreak Brett's heart?

~~~

Erica has asked me to take part in her awesome game of 10 Fun Facts About Myself, so here we go.

http://redhotchilipeppers.com
- My cat's name is Chili and she's named after the Red Hot Chili Peppers whose logo was also my first tattoo.

- I've been on crutches for a year and a half because of my knee, but there is still no conclusion as to what's wrong with it. (Okay, maybe that's not such a fun fact)

- I'm a sneakers kind of girl – Rocketdogs being my shoe of choice. I can't wear heels (not even when I have two good knees) because I guess you could say I'm a bit of clutz and heels are very hazardous to my health. Rocketdogs are the most comfortable shoes I've found for my delicate little feet.

I expect we'll see them at GRL2013!

- My newest tattoo (#7) is sort of Hobbit themed – it has the official runes of the heirs of Durin—Thorin, Fili and Kili—and it has a quote from the movie.

- I don't read any much favorite f/m books anymore but Jamie, from Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, will forever be my greatest hero.

I don't read any f/m books either. Actually, I never did...

- When my daughter was in junior high she told me I was more boy-crazy than she was, and I guess I still am.

- I was a Thirty Seconds to Mars groupie in 2010. I followed them around Canada and the US and was in the pit for 12-14 shows—can't remember exactly. It was a whirlwind of a road trip and I have no idea how I survived it. Lol.

You were a groupie?? That is so cool ^.^

- I become obsessed with movies, TV shows, characters, actors, etc. very easily. (lol, you'd never know it from my blog at all) It can end up being all-consuming, for example my husband will ask me which dwarf (shirt) will be joining us for dinner since he knows that's all I've been wearing lately. ;)

No, we can't tell at all, hehehe.

- I name my electronics and my truck. I have a Fili-phone, a Kili-pad, a Thorin-top, and my truck's name is Kiedis.

- Long-haired men are my weakness, AND for myself, I'd go back to big 80's hair in a heartbeat.

They're my weakness, too. *Sigh*

Well, I hope there were a few entertaining facts that I chose. Thanks for joining me and thank you, Erica, for having me.

Thanks for being here, K-Lee, but we're not done yet. Continue reading this post to find information on how to win a copy of Unbreak My Heart, and read a touching excerpt from the book.

~~~

Unbreak My Heart is available at Amber Quill/Allure and All Romance in ebook form right now. It'll also be available in the Kindle store, B&N, Rainbow e-books, and eventually Kobo. Then mid to late September it will come out in print, as well. I'll have a few copies with me at GRL too. ;)

Finally, for a chance to win one of three draws just fill out my Rafflecopter form below and you'll be entered to win one of three prizes—two ebook copies of Unbreak My Heart, and one print copy. You can have another chance if you leave me a comment here—what's your favorite trope or subject matter in what you read?


I'll leave you with an excerpt from Unbreak My Heart:

The first shot went down like he was gargling with glass. The second burned just as bad, but by the fifth, the whiskey was smooth as silk. Brett pushed the bottle to the corner of the desk as he scrubbed his hand over his face. He should have gone to bed, or cranked up the hot tub and spent the rest of the night looking at the stars. Instead, the yellow pad of paper sat in front of him—the page still blank.

He knew he had something to say, but the words wouldn’t come. Usually the alcohol helped. Usually the fog in his head cleared and he was able to concentrate by the third shot, but he still felt stuck, still felt like there was something hidden in the gray of his brain—something important.

He picked up the pen, letting it hover over the page, twisting it between his fingers, willing the damn thing to write on its own. He didn’t know why he was so wound up. He’d even dropped his goddamn beer bottle in the sink because he couldn’t control the shaking of his hands or the force of the need to shut himself away in his office with a different bottle altogether, the photo in the frame, and his words on the page. He studied the happy couple staring back at him in the frame, barely recognizing himself as he purposely drew his gaze to Walt.

“Gonna help me out here, Darlin’? Don’t seem to have the mind to help myself tonight so I sure could use the assistance.”

Pulling the bottle so it sat smack dab in the middle of the daunting yellow page, Brett caressed the shape, fingers running the full length, then down again. He’d never even liked the damn stuff until Walt died. The first bottle he’d finished had been Walt’s, and he’d downed it in an attempt to feel closer to him—like drinking the damn stuff would somehow make Walt stick to his insides. But all it had done was send him running into town the next day to get another bottle, and only The Good Lord himself knew how many more there’d been after that.

His anniversary blues didn’t generally last more than the day itself, but today had been different. He’d already assured himself he’d been productive so it hadn’t been a complete waste, and he’d even made that damn phone call he’d been fretting about for over a week. Supper had gone better than he’d expected, too, and talking to the kid afterward had been pleasant enough, but something still felt unsettled inside him.

Maybe he’d revealed too much about himself when he’d actually been planning on saying as little as possible. But the kid was comfortable to be around, and the conversation hadn’t been one-sided by any means. They’d both talked and listened, and it had been nice.

Nice. Familiar. Safe. All those things were good, but there was still a leftover confusion in his head. He was generally a forthcoming type of man, not hemming and hawing about things that could be said outright, but now he couldn't remember a time when he’d blatantly told someone he barely knew that he was gay. He didn't consider it to be a secret or anything to be hidden…at least not anymore, but once JT started stealing glances at him, he’d suddenly felt like a trapped animal.

The last thing he wanted was for the kid to get some weird idea in his head about seducing his boss, and Brett definitely didn't want to lead him on. Not that JT looked the type to be interested in forty-year-old ranchers with bad dispositions. The idea would have been funny if it weren't so damn nice to think about holding someone close again. Brett knew that person was not JT though, and he’d have to nip any ideas to the contrary in the bud before they flowered up into something neither of them could handle.

By the time JT had run his eyes over him for the fourth time, Brett hadn't been able to get the damn bottle in his hand fast enough. It just wasn't right—not JT’s interest, not the alcohol, not the stir of warmth in his groin, and not the pang of guilt in his heart. It wasn't something he’d given into with such determination in a while. Yet there he was with five shots under his belt, his mind still reeling and not a goddamn word written on the page.

He forewent the tumbler for his sixth and seventh swallows, the amber liquid finally warming his belly and washing away the fog in his brain. Unfortunately, it didn't cloud the shame in his heart so once he’d screwed on the cap and shoved the bottle away again, he put the frame back in the drawer.


BIO

K-lee Klein has lived in one part of Western Canada or another for her entire life. She’s a doting mother of three now-grown kids, and has had characters and plots running around her head for as long as she can remember.

She lives with a patient husband who totally does not get her thing for gay men, two spoiled but wonderful sons (who don’t get it either), and two also spoiled but beautiful cats. Her days are filled with texts and phone calls with her daughter who has already left the nest, and an abundance of fabulous gay men, large and small, bouncing off the walls of her skull, competing for their turns to tell their stories.

You can find all of K-lee’s books on her website:
And K-lee herself at

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Black Hurricane: Category Bestseller and top 50 Overall


Black Hurricane received its Bestseller star on All Romance eBooks today ^.^ This means that Black Hurricane has become a category bestseller Romance > GLBT > Gay Romance. Thank you, thank you, everyone who's bought a copy.


Furthermore, Black Hurricane is still on the Bestseller overall top 50 list, now in 22nd place (yesterday 37th) and still selling well on Amazon.



Black Hurricane: 4.5 Hearts from Hears On Fire


Yet again, Hearts on Fire Reviews was the first to review a new release of mine. They gave it 4.5 hearts and I absolutely loved reading the review!

Snippets:

"... This turns out to be none other than the lead singer of Black Hurricane, Dean McQueen.  In a meeting he is sad puppy-eyed into attending by Eric for Glitter Guy magazine, Jazz comes face to face with his nemesis from the past.  A nemesis who doesn’t even recognize him. He puts the moves on Jazz, not realizing he already knows the man. ..."

"As the book continues you begin to feel for Dean as well.  Yes, he was an ass to Jazz when they were younger but he had issues going as well. When they actually talk about the sex when they were younger it was a little heart breaking to see the difference of perspective.   Dean is showering Jazz with gifts that have relevance to their past and being respectful of him while they are rehearsing. ..."

Thank you, Lucy, at Hearts on Fire Reviews ^.^ To read the whole review, please visit their site.


Sunday, August 25, 2013

Black Hurricane: Amazon and ARe Bestseller


Thank you, thank you, thank you, to everyone who has bought a copy of Black Hurricane. It's been high on the category lists on Amazon since early yesterday and it just reached the All Romance eBooks top 50 Bestsellers today ^.^ I am so thrilled and so very grateful. It certainly spikes up my enthusiasm to write more (and faster!). 

This is the current status on Amazon:
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,264 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
#32 in Books > Gay & Lesbian > Literature & Fiction > Fiction > Romance
#33 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Romance > Gay Romance
#33 in Books > Gay & Lesbian > Literature & Fiction > Fiction > Gay

It went higher just before I went to bed last night: 17, 17 and 24. I have no idea how it did after I went to bed, I'm just glad it's doing well :)


Friday, August 23, 2013

Black Hurricane on ARe

Just a quick update! Black Hurricane is now available on ARe ^.^ I assume Amazon and other places will follow.

Release: Black Hurricane (Sexy Rockers)


It's out! 
Black Hurricane (Boston Boys #3) is currently available in MLR Press' storeARe, Amazon and other places.

This title can be read as a standalone.

Blurb:

Twenty-three year old Jasper Jones fell in love with Dean McQueen at fourteen, but after a disastrous relationship, Jazz would like nothing better than to see the rock star choke in his own vomit.

After a catastrophic reunion, Dean seems bent on destroying Jazz's life. It all started when an impromptu bar performance ended up on YouTube and Jazz became an internet sensation overnight. The name "Jazdean" keeps popping up in headlines and the paparazzi stalk his every move. To make matters worse, Jazz is about to end up on the streets for the second time in his life.

In a desperate attempt to keep his home, Jazz signs a deal with Dean's band, Black Hurricane, to perform at a couple of concerts. It feels like one of Dean's feeble attempts to get Jazz back, but painted into a corner like he is, Jazz has no choice.

Again, here are the check notes:

Sex - check!
Drugs - small check!
Rock 'n' roll - check!
Leather - check!
Jeans - check!
Angst - check!
Eric - check!
Funny moments - check!
Hot Boston boys - check check check!

There's even a playlist with songs that either inspired my writing or I listened to whilst writing.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Black Hurricane: Excerpt


If there’s anything I thought I’d never ever do in my twenty-three years of life, it’d be sitting in a stifling press conference room waiting for the rock band, Black Hurricane, to arrive. It’s not like I had much choice. My buddy, Eric, pulled out all the sympathy cards to get me to go, including a cute puppy dog pout, bribes of dinner at his and Alex’s, and a whole night of free booze at Clash, the gay night club down in South Boston. I could have said no, but Eric’s cute as hell even without the puppy dog pout, Alex’s cooking is to die for, and I’ll seriously need all the booze I can get after this conference. In the end it was the wages Eric promised me for acting as his photographer. I’m running out of oil paint and I could do with new guitar strings. Taking pictures at this specific conference is one hell of a high price to pay though. I can be such a pushover.
It’s not like I’m going to get up close and personal with the lead singer, Dean McQueen, anyway. Eric and I are sitting in the back with at least ten rows of chairs between us and the platform. It seems like every news agency in Boston decided to show up for this, and no wonder, since the star himself is a purebred Bostonian. Eric’s been buzzing about Black Hurricane—or more specifically Dean—and he’s told me half a dozen times that they’re ending their tour in this city, following up with a couple of charity concerts.
Eric pulls his platinum hair into a low ponytail, sky-blue eyes scanning the empty table on the platform. His white skin looks even paler against the deep-red sleeve of his shirt as he tucks a few strands of hair behind his ears.
“I can’t believe this is happening, Jazz. I’m actually gonna see him,” he says, for the umpteenth time.
I roll my eyes as I slide further down in the uncomfortable plastic chair, fiddling with the sparkly pink tag hanging around my neck that screams Glitter Guys Magazine. Eric has a matching one. He made them this morning when he found out he had to have some sort of a tag from the magazine he’s representing. A magazine owned by Alex and run by Eric. The fact that they’re lovers has nothing to do with Eric landing the job, or so he insists.
The buzz in the room dies down as a couple of people walk out on the platform. A red-haired woman smoothes down her grey pencil skirt before she sits at the far end. The second person, a handsome middle-aged man, buttons his matching grey jacket, the white cuffs of his shirt shining against his tanned skin. I can practically taste the anticipation in the room, but there’s still no sign of Black Hurricane.
“Ohmigod, ohmigod, ohmigod,” Eric whispers, craning his neck to see the open doorway.
“Dude, chill. You’re acting like a fangirl,” I whisper.
“I am a fangirl,” Eric squeals, fingers trembling over his mouth as the leather clad members walk in, one by one.
The middle-aged man sits on one of the two middle chairs while the band members slump into the remaining seats, leaving the second middle one free, supposedly for Dean McQueen who hasn’t bothered to show up on time. The middle-aged man leans forward to the microphone and introduces himself as Jack Coleman, Black Hurricane’s manager.
He clears his throat. “Dean will be with us shortly.”
The room erupts with questions and I wonder how anyone is supposed to be able to hear a single thing to answer out of all the chicken squabble.
“We’ll start when Dean gets here,” Coleman says into the mike.
Eric leans toward me when everyone goes back to talking in hushed tones. “That’s the drummer, Maxime Lefevre.” He points at the African American with long brown hair, muscular body and a smile to die for. “Bass player, Lucas Hut.” He nods to a plain looking white guy with an honest-to-God perm in his blond hair, or maybe his hair really is that curly. “And guitar player, Yin Shaolin,” he says, gesturing to the Asian guy with the black hair spikes and vast eye makeup. “Their keyboard player just quit, they’re borrowing someone for the rest of the tour.”
“Are those their real names?” Who’d name their kid Yin Shaolin?
“Only their first names.”
Eric suddenly grabs my thigh and digs his nails into my ripped jeans. “Ohmigod, ohmigod, ohmigod!” he squeals as another band member walks in. He’s wearing a pair of tight leather pants, a crisp white shirt only buttoned in the middle. About my height at five-ten, small hips, thin torso and long legs. His skin is white, but not so white that it’s a stark contrast against the black hair that brushes his shoulders and bangs artfully styled around his narrow face. The confidence oozing from him as he walks is sexy as hell. I wouldn’t mind a half an hour alone with that guy…until I get a really good look at his face and realize it’s him.
Dean fucking McQueen.
The star himself sits his royal ass in the middle, leans forward and speaks into the mike. “Sorry I’m late. Couldn’t find a parking spot.”
The people in the room laugh while all I can manage is a nasty sneer at the lame joke. Then they start asking questions I can’t hear. Nor can I hear the answers. The only thing I hear is that deep voice every time he speaks into the microphone. It’s not that I enjoy listening to him or his music. No way. Every time I hear that voice I want to pick up my guitar and smash it against the wall —not because Dean McQueen inspires me to go nuts with his deep, husky voice and rebellious lyrics. No, it’s because I hate the dude. And I don’t mean just hate; I loathe him. I wish he’d drop dead right this second, preferably choking on his vomit, Jimmy Hendrix style, in front of the press.
“Jazz, take pictures!” Eric pokes me hard in the side with his bony elbow.
I wince and raise the camera, clicking a shot.
“Go to the front, like they’re doing.” He points at the photographers running to the front and clicking madly on their cameras.
Heaving a sigh, I drag my ass off the chair to walk forward. I rake my hand through my hair before I glance back at the monstrosity on the platform. Never in a million years would I have thought I’d be in this position. Suddenly oil paint and new guitar strings don’t seem all that important. I just wanna get out, but Eric needs these pictures for the magazine and I’d rather die than let one of my friends down.
My heart thuds when I see Dean looking right back at me as I approach. His brow furrows as if he’s trying to place me. Typical. Of course he wouldn’t remember me. Why would he? My heart hammers a fast beat as my body breaks out in sweat. The inside of my throat thickens, stopping half of the oxygen from reaching my lungs. And still, I’m having the hardest time looking away.
Am I nervous under his green-eyed gaze? Or is it just the hate? It’s been years since I last saw him.
Not wanting to give the wrong impression of an adoring fan, I narrow my eyes and spew out all the venom I feel for this man into one, hateful glare, just before I raise the camera and snap my shots.
Dean’s eyebrows lift. I don’t know if he’s recognized me. It’s doubtful, since I looked so different back then. He leans behind the Asian guy, whatever his name was, to whisper to the woman who stretches toward Dean. She nods and I swallow hard when her brown eyes seek me out. She lifts a piece of paper on her clipboard and writes something down. What the hell was that? Are they going to sic security on me and kick me out? Just in case, I snap pictures like crazy: of Dean being his smart-ass self, acting indifferent to everything; of the Asian guy telling jokes and smiling with his whole face; of the perm-dude barely saying a word; of the African American with the constant smirk on his lips and an “I-just-came-from-an-orgy” look in his eyes; of the red-haired woman scribbling notes, and of the owns-the-world manager shooting his mouth off as if he’s doing twenty questions in less than a minute. Single shots, group shots, and even shots of colorful Eric in the sea of blue suits, with his hand raised for a question.
It all seems to pass in a blur. I can only thank my lucky stars that it seems to end pretty quickly and before I know it I’m heading toward the hotel lobby.
“Jazz, wait!” Eric calls and grabs my arm. I look down into his exhilarated face. “Where are you going? We have the private interview to go to.”
“Private interview?” I hardly recognize my own voice.
“Yeah, come on.” He pulls me toward the back, pushing us through the crowd. “I think Dean might be trying to score points with the gay community, you know, after he got outed last year. He’s been doing a lot of interviews with gay magazines, but I was too late to book one. Didn’t know about this conference until last minute. I couldn’t believe it when the assistant came up to me just now and offered a private interview. She said I should bring you to take pictures.”
Eric is yanked backward by my sudden stop.
“Eric, I didn’t sign up for that. Can’t you just take the pictures?”
“What?” he asks, his voice rising in a pitch. “No way, I have like five minutes in there before it’s someone else’s turn. I didn’t manage to get a single question in during the press conference. I have two hundred and sixteen questions prepared. Two hundred and sixteen!
He clutches a stack of pink stationary to his chest.
“Come on, Jazz. Please. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. I’ll double your pay. Buy you more drinks. Just whatever, I’ll do it.”
Goddamn Eric. Why does he have to be so adorably pathetic when he begs for something? He has this way of looking like someone kidnapped Santa on Christmas Eve. I don’t think he’s doing it on purpose though, like he’s manipulating people or anything. He just has this enthusiasm that infects everyone around him and the world lives or dies with his spirit. It was the first thing that drew me to him.
“Fine,” I mutter after a sigh and push my fingers through my now tangled hair. The light-brown strands are laying in clumps around my cheeks, down to my chin. “Fine, but you owe me drinks. Lots of them.”
“Tonight?” Eric has a huge smile on his face as we continue walking through the less crowded area.
“Not tonight, I’m working.”
“The Flying Frenchmen?”
“Enrique’s Pizza’s,” I reply as we push through an entryway into a long hallway, brushing past the woman in the pencil skirt.
“Oh, tomorrow then?”
“Also working.”
“Enrique’s?”
“The Flying Frenchmen. Come on, I told you this yesterday when you asked about going to Clash.”
“God, how am I supposed to remember? You have like, six jobs or something.”
The red-haired woman guides us into a waiting area full of reporters and photographers.
“They’re just temp jobs. It’s my last night at Enrique’s tonight. At least for now.”
We take a seat in the corner and begin what will probably be the longest wait of my life. Or the shortest. I really don’t want to go see Dean and it seems that every time you don’t want to be somewhere, time passes way too quickly.
The beige wall is cool against my shoulder blades as I close my eyes. It feels like my stomach is being eaten by critters from the inside. Hundreds of questions run through my mind as we wait. Why were we invited? Did Dean recognize me? Is he going to talk to me? What should I say? Maybe I won’t have to say anything since Eric will do the talking.
“Oh, I love this song.” Eric sighs and looks up to the speakers blasting out a deep, husky voice. The music isn’t loud, but now that Eric’s pointed it out to me it’s impossible for me to ignore it. Dean sings rock, almost heavy metal, but in my opinion his voice would be much better suited for ballads. I’ve only heard a couple of ballads by Black Hurricane, though I flick past the radio channels whenever I can. Damn band is so popular that DJ’s play their songs in clubs and they’re even sometimes on store speakers when I go out shopping. There’s really no escaping them.
“God, he has to be the sexiest man alive.” Eric stares up at a big poster I hadn’t noticed. Dean in all his glory: leather pants stretched over the small bump on his backside, a couple of belts hanging on his hips. His torso is bare, with lots of necklaces hanging to his navel and lots of bracelets adorn his bare arms. A black tribal tattoo curls around his left upper arm and stretches over his shoulder and pectoral. His face is contorted as he screams into the microphone with blue lights shining behind, showering his black hair in a blue glow. Some people look ugly when their faces are contorted like that. Dean is beautiful no matter what and I hate it. Hate, hate, hate.
“Sexier than Alex?” I tear my eyes from the poster.
“No, sexiest after Alex,” Eric corrects. “Just wish I’d have met Dean before meeting Alex so I could’ve had a little fun with him, that’s all,” he continues with a wink.
“Well, if Alex doesn’t mind sharing, I have it on good authority that Dean McQueen is a complete slut. He’d definitely take you.”
Christ, just saying that name out loud makes me shudder in the same way the sound of someone dragging their nails across a chalkboard would.
“Alex and I don’t share. It’s relationship rule number one.” Eric reaches forward to search through his satchel.
“Not even if it’s McQueen?” I ask, pinching Eric’s little purple-jeaned butt as he bends further toward the floor.
“Hands off, Jazz. Alex will kill you if he ever finds out you did that.” He sits back with his satchel in his lap.
“Yeah, right. He’s harmless as a hamster.”
“Hey, hamsters bite hard. My cousin Kaleb had one back in Virginia. That nasty piece of lint not only shit everywhere, it also drew blood every time we’d hunt it down to put it back in its cage. Stupid thing kept breaking out.”
“Hardly stupid if it could figure out how to get out, was it?”
Eric snorts as he straightens up and stretches his body, the whole five foot six of it. “Goddamn it, I can’t find my Sprite. Pretty sure I saw a dispenser out in the hallway. We’re not gonna be called in for hours anyway.”
I push myself out of my seat and hang onto the camera bag as we step out into the hall.
“You’re right though,” says Eric as we stop by the dispenser. “That piece of shit hamster was a devious mastermind, so don’t underestimate my boyfriend. He’s smarter than all of us combined.”
“Smart enough not to let you near his money.” I shoot Eric a smirk as he pops some coins into the machine and punches the Sprite button. The can rolls down into the slot.
Eric picks it up before turning around with his hand on his skinny hip. “Hey, I never ask him for money. I make my own.”
“You’re still in college.”
“Yeah, but hello. I’m also the chief editor of Glitter Guys Magazine. I’m rolling in the dough. I’ve turned that sucker around in only five months. It’s one of the hottest selling gay magazines today. We sold out two months in a row and the subscriptions have more than quadrupled. And that’s not including the online subscriptions. We’ve —”
“Okay, okay, you totally lost me at ‘rolling in the dough’. Fine, you make your own money; you are your own man and all that. Still doesn’t mean you’re not spending it. Are those new boots you’re wearing?”
Eric grins and shows off his shiny new black ankle boots. “Hell yeah. Gucci’s. Alex has a closet full of designer shoes. Wish I could borrow, but his feet are way bigger than mine. Besides, his style is different. Speaking of styles… What do you call yours? Hobo chic? You lose a bet or something?”
He eyes my beat-up sneakers, torn jeans and paint splattered T-shirt. Not exactly a conference outfit, but no one stopped me in the doorway to force a jacket on my back.
“I spend whatever money I make on party clothes, bro. No point in wearing them in daylight. They sparkle so much in the sun they’d make people blind.”
“Uh-huh. And what do you think Dean McQueen will do when he sees you wearing that? He’ll look right past you, eyeball my ass and ask for my number, is what he’ll do. Seriously dude.”
“Dean McQueen can go suck my balls.”
“Not with you dressed like that, he won’t.” Eric pops his soda open and quickly skids backward as the soda fizzes out of the hole and dribbles down the can to form a small puddle on the floor. “Shit.”
“Bro, I don’t need clothes to stand out. I have my gorgeous smile and that just-got-out-of-bed hairstyle. That’s all I ever need to get dates.”
I’m not really this conceited; I just like yanking his chain.
“Well, you just got out of bed. That isn’t style, that’s just you being lazy with the comb. Why don’t you —”
“Eric Wesley and Terrance Nihal Adani?” the red-haired woman asks, checking her list and crossing out a line.
What the hell? We haven’t even been waiting for fifteen minutes. With any luck, they’re kicking us out.
“Actually, Terry couldn’t make it, so it’s —”
“Andrew,” I shoot in before Eric can give my name. If Dean hasn’t figured out who I am, I’m not going to help him. I don’t want him to figure out who I am. But still I kinda do, just so he’ll understand where my glares are coming from.
“This way, please,” she says with a smile, gesturing to a room at the far end of the hall.
“Andrew?” Eric mouths as we walk, a deep frown on his face.
“It’s the guy I was with last night,” I whisper back and give him a wink. “He’s why I just got out of bed before I got here.”
Eric shakes his head and adjusts the strap on his shoulder as we walk to a couple of beefy guys on either side of a door. Security? Seriously?
One of them grabs a hold of the doorknob and opens the door. Eric prematurely gasps as soon as he walks into the dark furnished room, looking around for a sign of the band members. There’s no one inside.
Once the door closes another opens and in walks my nightmare. The guy who ruined my life. My nemesis, as my best friend Cal-Al would say. The critters in my stomach start gnawing on my insides at triple speed.
Dean’s green eyes do a quick brush over Eric before they focus on me with the same quizzical look he had on before. No, he doesn’t know who I am. I let out a breath I’d been holding, relieved and annoyed at the same time. This time I’m prepared and manage not to get caught like a deer in the headlights. I avoid his eyes by pulling out the camera and fiddling with it, trying to make myself appear busy. I can still feel his gaze on me, but only glance up when Eric snaps out of his awe.
“Oh my God, Mr. McQueen. I’m a huge fan of yours,” he says, stepping forward with an outstretched arm. Very professional, Eric. He stops a few inches from Dean, as though he’s not sure if he’s allowed to shake hands with his idol. Dean looks away from me to give Eric another once-over.
“Just Dean’s fine,” he says with a damn sexy smirk, and I swear I can hear Eric squeak a little as Dean takes his hand in a firm handshake. He gestures at the brown couches and they sit down on either side of a coffee table. “The others won’t be in on this one.”
I stand firmly in the doorway. Dean’s acting all fake, being nice and polite. No doubt the room he just came from is full of the patented Black Hurricane booze, drugs, and skimpy little fangirls and boys.
“That’s totally fine,” says Eric with a huge smile as he studies Dean from head to toe. “Um, I’m Eric Wesley, Glitter Guys Magazine, and this is…” He looks over his shoulder.
“What?” I ask, going back to polishing the spotless camera lens.
“Andreas?”
“Andrew,” I say in a short tone, just to make it clear that I’m here only to take pictures.
“Yes, Andrew.” Eric smiles back at Dean.
“Nice to meet you, Andrew,” says the deep, husky voice that makes me shudder down to the core. Was that a leer? Is that what this is all about? He wants to get in my pants?
Instead of replying, I start snapping shots of Eric and Dean as Eric puts a tape recorder on the coffee table.
“This okay?”
Dean shrugs, his green eyes seeking me out again. I thin my lips and continue to take pictures.
Eric asks questions from his list, speaking very fast as if trying to get in as many of his two hundred and sixteen questions as possible before the five minutes are up. Dean is laid back with a hint of the “I don’t give a shit” attitude he always portrays. He seems to be looking into the camera whenever I take close-ups, and when it becomes too much I start snapping pictures of Eric instead.
“Jazz, you’re supposed to be taking pictures of Dean,” Eric reminds me with a scowl.
“Sorry,” I mutter with a sigh, turning back to Dean.
“Jazz?” Dean asks, directing the question at me.
I only hesitate a second before I continue clicking. “Jazzman. Andrew Jazzman.” Shit. That was a close one. I wasn’t known as “Jazz” back then, but the nickname is too close to “Jasper” for comfort.
His eyes run over my body like they’ve been doing ever since I came in. Goddamn it. That is what this is all about. He wants to get in my pants. Or more like, get me out of my pants. It infuriates me, but at the same time I feel like smirking. He so chose the wrong dude.

Available on August 23rd 2013

Monday, August 19, 2013

Black Hurricane: Confirmed Release Date!


That's right. Prepare to be swept away in a black hurricane of Jazz and Dean on Friday August 23rd. I just received my author copies of Black Hurricane. A lot of you already know who sexy Jazz is, but might be wondering who the hell this Dean person is. He's Black Hurricane's lead singer and he's also someone from Jazz's past. Oh, and he's on the book cover.

I will share an excerpt soon! For now, here's the blurb:

Twenty-three year old Jasper Jones fell in love with Dean McQueen at fourteen, but after a disastrous relationship, Jazz would like nothing better than to see the rock star choke on his own vomit.

After a catastrophic reunion, Dean seems bent on destroying Jazz’s life. It all started when an impromptu bar performance ended up on YouTube and Jazz became an internet sensation overnight. The name “Jazdean” keeps popping up in headlines and the paparazzi stalk his every move. To make matters worse, Jazz is about to end up on the streets for the second time in his life. 

In a desperate attempt to keep his home, Jazz signs a deal with Dean’s band, Black Hurricane, to perform at a couple of concerts. It feels like one of Dean’s feeble attempts to get Jazz back, but painted into a corner like he is, Jazz has no choice.

What to expect? Angst, resentment, sexual tension, rock music, snickers, and support from friends.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Grade-A-Sex Deal: 4 Stars from The Romance Reviews


The reviews come flying in! And now that I've said that they'll probably stop. 

The Romance Reviews gave Grade-A-Sex Deal 4 stars and a nice review. Here's a snippet:

"This is a fun and sexy read, despite the glaring moral issue of trading sex for grades. It was kind of easy to look past though since Danny is just so stuck in his mediocre life, you can't help but root for him. So, in this romance, it worked for me. They are a fun couple to read about and balance each other perfectly."

Thank you, Breann at The Romance Reviews :)


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Absolutely Eric: Unusual Choices in the Romance Genre


Absolutely Eric received 4 stars from Rarely Dusty Books:

"Now that I've given off enough warnings, let's talk about the awesomeness that is this story. There's the fact that I couldn't put the book down even if I'd wanted to. It kept me up until 4 in the morning on a school/work night. The tension is omnipotent and you just want to know when they, meaning Eric and Alex, will get things worked out already.

...

I admire Pike for these not so usual choices in the romance genre. It definitely brings a new dimension to the emotional spectrum of my romance reading. My poor heart.

It's surely Pike's skill to write compelling and solid romances that is to blame for tugging at my heartstrings so hard and keeping me up half of the night. Her engaging characters and clever use of humor don't hurt the enjoyment either."

Thank you, Janna at Rarely Dusty Books :)


Sunday, August 11, 2013

The Armchair Reader: Cold Hands Receives 5 Stars


Cold Hands received 5 stars from Cole Riann at The Armchair Reader. Again, the review is very carefully composed and Cole put a lot of thought into it. I love such reviews ^.^

Snippet:

"The real difference between the first story and the second isn’t the point of view, but in the focus of their relationship. If you look at these stories together as one, then this story is the payoff. The first was the setup, the background and the premise — the meetings in the dark with Casper’s “secret admirer” and the subsequent reveal of his real identity — but, Cold Hands is the meat and bones of their relationship. This story carries on to peel back the layers and find out if these guys have a solid base to build any relationship upon and how they go about doing that." To read the rest, please visit The Armchair Reader.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Welcome, Brother: “Witty romantic short with bite”


Imagine how happy I was when I finally managed to get online at the summer house and saw a new review. Welcome, Brother received 5 stars from Rainbow Book Reviews! The review is a pleasure to read, so well composed. Here's a snippet:

"Carefully woven into the romantic college–orientated short, are a mystery to be solved, a charismatic supporting character, and a devious plot that casts a degree of realism to this elegantly phrased tale. Seen through Kyler’s eyes and his very real fears, the story begins in a slightly whimsical manner, so the sharp turn into darkness surprised me in all the right ways; much praise for the author’s ability to pack the very real punch into a story of this length. The romance between the two men was a bit unusual, and while both Hunter and Kyler were nicely fleshed out, for me the real strength of the story were the events surrounding the mystery."

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Blog Appearances With Ellie Potts and S.H. Roddey


A couple of fellow authors hosted me on their blogs in the past week and I wanted to give them a shout-out for it. Ellie Potts writes (non-m/m) sci-fi/fantasy and paranormal books and has a LOT of irons in the fire. Horror writer S.H. Roddey (non-m/m) also gave me a blog appearance in her interesting series of guest blogs titled "Where Are They Now?" - that is, what the former NBP writers are up to. The links I've included are direct to my blog entries on their sites.

As for NBP, although I've spent the whole summer learning how to format and self-publish (time I was going to write the next Boston Boys novel!), it gave me a valuable experience and I'm thankful for that. I doubt I'd have had the courage to create Ice Cave Publishing if I hadn't learned what I did from NBP and the fellow authors (and editors) there. That's why I'm breaking tradition and hosting these two lovely ladies on my blog today. Girls, you are officially the first non-m/m authors to receive a shout-out on my blog! Do check out their stories:

Journey with authors Selah Janel and S.H. Roddey to a world where every idea is a possibility and every genre an invitation. In this collection of forty-seven short stories, lines blur and worlds collide in strange and wonderful new ways. Get lost with the authors as they wander among fantasy, horror, science fiction, and other speculative musings.
Shadows can’t hurt you, and sometimes it’s all right to venture off the path.
Available on Amazon.

Welcome to the Opposite Side where monsters really do roam the night, but The Supervisors make sure that the monsters don’t get noticed by the normal humans. Meet Leslie, a Supervisor and a blood witch, one of four in California. Blood witches are said to have powers that rival gods, that’s why they were almost hunted to extinction. Leslie came into her power late, and fell in with the wrong crowd before she became a Supervisor. Nathan is king of the local werebear clan, and he has plans for the future of his pack, the other local shapeshifters, but also has his eyes set on Leslie. She is not your ordinary Blood Witch, and together they can stir up power that the world has never seen. But nothing is as it seems in the Opposite Side, and Leslie’s already different world is going to be shaken as a new case starts a chain of events that can lead to a feud war.
Available on Amazon.

In the future the earth is in a civil war against the rich and the poor. People have escaped off to the Moon or the new colonies on Mars to get away from the fighting. On a cargo ship, Marigold, Matt Reyes and his second Corey have put together a group of misfits who are trying to stay neutral. They come across knowledge that soon will throw them back into the war whether they like it or not. They have to survive cannibal pirates, a bomb-happy bounty hunter and a Galactic Order official who knows a crew mate's darkest secret.
Available on Amazon.

Watch as demons are born, monsters come alive, take a walk with a crying stranger, sit down to play chess with a strange old man, see what happens when Lucifer has an eye on you, or watch what happens when you win in a future lottery. Meet monsters, killers, mutants and demons in Flight of Delusion, a collection of short stories that range from odd to scary and all that in-between.
Available on Amazon.