SLAVE is now a full time reviewer for Guys Like Romance, Too!

Please note that SLAVE's Erotic Review is on hiatus to catch up on reviews.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Country boys end our month!



Howdy, folks! Mychael Black here.

I've been writing (for various publishers) since about 2005. In all that time, my best known books are usually paranormals (vampires, angels, demons, etc). Let's face it: I'm known for my otherworldly guys.

So would you believe me if I told you that two of my strongest men are NOT paranormal in any shape, form, or fashion? Yeah, hard to believe--even for me.

Robbie Sexton and Seth Ellis--two men I never meant to go beyond a single short story--sparked an entire, on-going series: Hearth & Home ( http://www.mychaelblackbooks.com/ebooks/hearth-and-home-breakdown/ ). They're two very different men, but they somehow work. Seth is almost zenlike, whereas Robbie has a rather short-fused temper (not that I *coughs* know anything about that…). Seth is from a town in Texas--Taylor, to be exact. And yes, it does indeed exist. Robbie hails from north Alabama--my old stomping grounds.

I think what I love about this series, beyond the characters themselves, is the setting. The tavern ruins where Robbie and Seth got married? Real. One of my favorite places in Huntsville, Alabama, as a matter of fact. The tavern ruins are on Monte Sano Mountain: http://huntsville.about.com/library/blank/blpictavern.htm That second picture? That's where Robbie and Seth stood during the ceremony.

I was born in Birmingham, Alabama, but I grew up all over north Alabama: Killen, Florence, Huntsville, New Market. I lived in other areas, too: Athens, Madison. No matter where I go, no matter how backwards the state can be (and we won't even go there…), it will always be home.

I hope you enjoy reading about the sights and sounds of north Alabama as much as I enjoyed revisiting them through the eyes of my two contemporary men.

***

Bio:

Call me Katherine or Mychael--I'll answer to both. I'm a mother, partner, student, author by trade, and editor by compulsion. I've been in the publishing business for several years, namely as a writer but also as an editor on occasion. It never fails, though. I always end up editing eventually.

I'm a proud bibliophile, to which my poor sagging bookcases can attest. I read all the time, namely fantasy and romance.

When not writing or reading or editing, I...eat. Maybe sleep. Or watch Spongebob. Yes. I am a self-proclaimed, thirty-something year old Spongebob Squarepants addict. Much to my partner's dismay. It's fun.

If you're curious about what I write (and who wouldn't be?!), then you can find me below:

http://www.mychaelblackbooks.com/
http://www.mychaelblackbooks.com/category/blog/
http://www.facebook.com/mychael.black
https://twitter.com/kjohnson1976

***



Blurb for 'Going Home':

When Robbie’s father dies and he agrees to leave Baltimore for a backwoods farm in Alabama, he’s counting on a lot of things. A funeral. Problems with his brother Russ. A lot of time spent in the closet. What he doesn’t count on is the new farm hand, Seth. The handsome Texan has him drooling from the moment they meet, and has him well in hand not long after. That kind of comfort is just what he needs as family issues rear their ugly heads, but will it last for them after the first rush wears off?

BUY: http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&manufacturers_id=57&products_id=561

***

Excerpt from 'Going Home':

“Wow. Very nice. You an artist?”

The Southern drawl pulled Robbie’s attention from the sketchbook on his lap to the tall, tanned body standing in front of him. If he looked straight ahead, his line of sight was dead level with the man’s crotch, and even through a layer of faded denim, it was obvious the man was packin’. Gaze continuing upward, Robbie drank in the sweat-slick skin, stretched taut over chiseled muscles and tanned to a soft golden brown. A light dusting of pale brown hair -- bleached gold by the sun -- began at the man’s chest and drew a path down his sun-kissed torso, only to disappear beneath his jeans.

His shoulders were broad and the sleeves of his thin, blue plaid shirt were rolled up, tight around hard biceps. A black cowboy hat sat on his head, cocked forward just enough to hide his face. As Robbie stood, the man tipped the hat back, taking Robbie’s breath away. Eyes greener than the new spring grass reflected the man’s easy smile. The slightest hint of a five o’clock shadow gave him a ruggedly sexy look. Not that he needed the help.

“Name’s Seth Ellis,” the sun god said, extending a hand downward.

Regaining his composure, Robbie stood and brushed the grass off of his right hand before shaking Seth’s. “Robbie Sexton.”

Recognition set in Seth’s eyes then. “Oh, man. Your dad?”

Robbie nodded. “Yeah. We knew it was comin’. Was just a matter of time.”

“Sorry about that,” Seth said.

“Thanks.” As Seth released his hand, Robbie noticed it was done with a bit of hesitation. Oh. Now that was promising. “I was just going to grab a beer. You wanna join me?”

Please say yes. Please, oh, please say yes!

“Sure,” Seth said, grin wide and, if Robbie dared to hope, full of ulterior motives.

Robbie snuck around the porch and into the front yard, snagging two beer bottles from one of the big coolers and making it away without being seen. Hell, yes! The day was looking up! He returned to Seth and handed him one of the bottles.

“Follow me,” he said. “I know some of the best places around here where a man can find some peace.”

“Of what?” Seth chuckled before taking a long drink.

Robbie glanced over at him. “If the right person’s offering…” He left the rest unsaid, waiting to see if Seth took the bait. A smile played across Seth’s lips just before they oh-so-slowly wrapped to the mouth of the beer bottle.

“So,” Seth said, “is he offering?”

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Pender takes us back to Las Vegas!



Hi everyone,
I’m Pender Mackie. I’m here to tell you a little bit about my latest release and second full-length novel, Single Use Only.

It’s funny, but I never intended to write this story. Mike and Chris started out as secondary characters in my first novel, Stage Fright.

In Stage Fright Chris and Mike have a mutual friend, Jesse, who dances at an all-male revue in Las Vegas. Chris is Jesse’s roommate and a hopeless cook with a fondness for goofy T-shirts. Mike is Jesse’s best friend, and a kind of mentor for him. Chris and Mike never met in that story, but my editor thought they’d be perfect for each other.

When I imagined Chris and Mike together I realized she was right and Single Use Only was born.


Single Use Only Tagline
Mike’s tired of the hook-up scene, Chris hasn’t even been to a real gay bar, but when the two men meet they discover they have much more in common than a mutual friend.

Excerpt
Chris found the revue’s admin office, but it was closed.
Now what? He shifted the cardboard box. It wasn’t heavy, just awkward. Maybe he could leave it with someone.
From around a corner a young guy appeared. Dress pants, dress shirt, a black vest with a name tag. Perfect.
“Hey,” Chris called, “you work here?”
The guy, tall, blond, and with one of those faces that was all cheekbones and eyes, stopped and scowled. “Why?”
Great. The only employee around, and it had to be one with an attitude. Chris half held out the box. “I wanted to drop this off. It’s a bunch of costumes.”
Mr. Attitude—Devon, according to his name tag—deliberately folded his arms. “Do I look like a stripper?”
“I don’t know.” Chris looked Devon up and down, taking his time. If the guy was going to be an asshat, he deserved to be messed with. “Do you?”
“Puh-lease.” Devon rolled his eyes. “I’m the bartender.”
Huh. This was the guy who had replaced Val? Chris hoped the cranky bartender didn’t depend on tips to make ends meet. “So can I leave this with you?”
“No. I have to get the bar stocked, ready to open. You’ll have to come back later.”
Devon stared at him, a smug little smile playing around his mouth. It was clear he expected Chris to do some groveling or maybe argue, but that was so not happening. Chris didn’t say anything, just waited him out patiently. In his line of work as a blackjack dealer, he met a lot of people with overinflated egos, and it took more than a bartender with a chip on his shoulder to get a rise out of him.
Devon gave a long-suffering sigh. “I guess I could find someone for you. Wait here.”
He turned and headed back the way he’d come.
Chris set the box down and slouched against the wall. Five minutes later he was starting to think the bartender had had the last laugh. He’d have to try again another day. What a pain in the ass.
“You’ve got a delivery?”
Chris straightened. From farther down the hall, a man wearing jeans and a T-shirt strode toward him. The guy was a few years older and big. Broad shoulders, powerful arms, dark blond hair pulled back in a no-nonsense ponytail. Sexy little goatee that was more stubble than beard. Nice.
Chris bent and picked up the box. He waited as the man came closer. Striking blue eyes full of good-natured intelligence, a few threads of silver shot through that dark blond hair. Very nice.
“Devon said you had a delivery.”
Chris mentally cursed out the bartender. What an airhead. “Not exactly.”
He explained about Jesse’s old costumes. When he mentioned Jesse’s name, the man’s face lit up, but he waited for Chris to finish speaking. “…but the office was closed, and that bartender wasn’t the most helpful guy.” Or the brightest bulb in the chandelier.
“Yeah, Devon’s kind of self-obsessed.” The man’s tone said Devon was old news. “So how do you know Jesse?” he asked with more animation.
“We were roommates.”
“You’re Chris.”
The big man examined him. Under that curious gaze a tendril of heat unfurled in Chris’s gut, like the first wisps of smoke from a fire. Down, boy.
Chris looked up at him from under his lashes. “That’s me. And you are…?”
Oh, God. He held his breath. Please don’t be Chaz. Don’t let me be warm for that asshole dance captain.
“Mike Strenton.” Mike offered his hand. “I’m a friend of Jesse’s.”
Damn, this was Mike? Chris’s preconceived idea of Mike didn’t mesh with the hot guy standing in front of him. Why had he never been lucky enough to be at home when Jesse brought Mike around?
“Chris Bennington.” He juggled the box to shake hands and made a quick save as the cardboard slid toward the floor.
“Whoa.” Mike grabbed for the box too, fingertips brushing Chris’s and causing that tendril of heat to twist and curl.
Chris relinquished his hold. “You’re the props manager, right?”
“Uh-huh.” Mike smiled as if pleased that he knew.
Chris had a sudden urge to finger comb his shaggy hair into submission. He stuffed his hands in his back pockets instead and rocked back on his heels. “So can any of the stri—dancers use that stuff?”
Mike grinned at his automatic correction. “Most of this will probably fit Tyson, and he’ll be glad to get the clothes. His washing machine chewed up a pair of jeans just last week.”
“Uh, he doesn’t wear that stuff at home, does he? Call me crazy, but I’d hate to walk down the street in pants someone could rip right off me with one good tug.”
Though the idea of being undressed by this guy flitted pleasantly through his mind.
Mike laughed. “No, but the guys are responsible for maintaining and washing their own costumes.”
“Right. I knew that,” Chris said. Way to make a good impression.
Their gazes met, and Mike’s smile grew smaller but didn’t fade altogether. There was speculation in those eyes. Maybe a question. Chris let his interest show for a couple of seconds before he lost his nerve and dropped his gaze. Chickenshit.
“I’ll put this in the locker room. I don’t have a lot of time right now, or I’d show you around.” Mike glanced at the box. “Thanks for bringing this down.”
“No problem. I should have done it sooner.”
Mike leaned in a little. “I could show you around another time, or maybe meet for coffee? Catch up on what Jesse’s been doing in New York.”
Chris hesitated. Which one of them was supposed to catch up? He’d talked to Jesse just last week. About to say so, he paused. Maybe Mike and Jesse didn’t keep in touch, or more likely Mike was hitting on him. Did Chris want him to? God, he was crap at this stuff.
He jumped as a man appeared at his elbow as if from nowhere. He’d been so focused on the big blond he hadn’t heard the other guy’s approach.
The man called out a greeting as he passed. “Hey, Mike. How’s it going?”
“Good. You?”
The guy kept walking, waggling his hand from side to side. “Same old, same old.”
Chris allowed himself the briefest of glances at that muscular, denim-clad ass. Was he one of the dancers? He carried a gym bag slung over one shoulder and was built like someone who’d look good naked, not all pale skin and jutting hip bones. Chris’s gaze flicked to Mike. Had he seen him sneak a peek? Hard to say.
Mike jerked his chin toward the man’s receding back. “That’s Brad. He’s one of our senior dancers.”
“Oh…great,” Chris said, which was totally lame.
Mike discreetly checked his watch, and Chris straightened, recognizing he’d been dismissed. Well, no wonder. He sucked at normal-sounding chitchat. “I guess I should let you get back to work.”
Mike smiled, laugh lines appearing around his blue eyes. “Anytime you want to get together, just let me know.”
“Thanks.” Chris swallowed. Maybe he was imagining the flirtatious tone, but he couldn’t stop thinking of their sweaty bodies heaving together. He shook his head to clear it.
“It was nice meeting you, Chris,” Mike said.
Chris liked hearing Mike say his name. For the first time he realized if he dropped the R, his name sounded like kiss. “Same here,” he murmured.
Chris left, aware the other man was watching him walk away. He wondered if that sharp gaze had slipped to his ass. His gait stiffened as he tried to minimize any wiggle of his hips.
Had he just been cruised, or was Mike simply looking for an update on Jesse? He honestly couldn’t tell. He really was crap at this stuff.

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