“The Author’s Guide to Book Blog Tours” by Tiffany Shand #Excerpts

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Authors Guide cover

Title: The Author’s Guide to Book Blog Tours

Author: Tiffany Shand

Genre: Nonfiction

~ Book Excerpts ~

Except 1

What is a blog tour?

A blog tour is a virtual blog tour. Instead of going to different locations and doing a book signing, you’re hosted on different blogs used by book bloggers. Blog tours are a great way to promote your book, get reviews and generate more sales.

How blog tours helped me

When I published my first novel I literally spent hundreds of pounds I couldn’t afford on two awful editors who did a lousy job with my book which left no money over for any kind of marketing. So I started searching around online for ways to market my book and I read a lot of different books about book marketing.

I became overwhelmed as there so much information out there by authors who say do this, do that. Their recommendations included spending hundreds on ads or PR packages, going to book signing events or giving away dozens of paperbacks. None of these options were financially or realistically possible for me. I started searching around for free ways to market my book. Aside from using a Kindle promo, where I made my book free for a few days and promoting on Facebook groups, the other result I had was of doing a blog tour.

I had heard about blog tours from other authors in my writing group but I wasn’t sure how they worked. So I queried another author from my group and she explained that blog tours are virtual book tours. Instead of going to bookstores and other places to do book signings, you are instead hosted on a blog where they promote your book via different kinds of posts.

Once I figured out how blog tours worked, I had a look around some different blog tour companies for the type of services they provided, but it still seemed a lot of money for my non-existent budget. So I decided to learn what I could and go down the do-it-yourself route.

Using a site called blogtour.org I started going through dozens of different blogs. This site isn’t as well indexed as other blog directory sites. I had to go through and search each blog individually.

Except 2

What are book bloggers?

Book bloggers have only been around for the past few years since the use of blogs became much more popular and website platforms became much more affordable for the everyday user.

Since the growth in popularity of blogs over the past few years, dozens of book lovers have taken to writing about their favorite books. A book blogger is someone who loves reading books and writes blog posts about it on their blog. This can include thoughts on books, excerpts, and posts about different books and reviews.

The different blogs reflect their owner’s tastes and vary in focus. Many readers will read a variety of different genres; other blogs will focus on a specific genre such as romance, fantasy, or young adult, etc.

Different blogs will have different kinds of audiences depending on what genre that blogger chooses to read. A blogger who likes to read a lot of different genres will probably have an audience who likes the same thing and chooses the type of posts they read on that blog.

Not every blogger will want to read your book, don’t ask a romance reader to read your sci-fi novel to help you promote your book. Choose a reader who enjoys your type of book. This may seem obvious but a lot of authors mass email book bloggers in any genre to try and promote their books, regardless of whether that blogger reads their book’s genre or not. There’s no point in trying to contact them if they don’t like your particular type of book, it’s just a waste of your time and theirs.

Excerpt 1

Querying book bloggers

Now you know what book bloggers are and what they do. After you’ve found some bloggers in your genre that you want to contact, it’s time to write the all-important query email. It can be good beforehand to comment and respond to some of their posts.

This is where you want to start approaching bloggers and find out what they can do for you. If you were trying to get your book published by traditional publishers and agents, you would send query letters asking them to consider your book for publication. It’s very similar when contacting bloggers as you’re asking them to consider reviewing or possibly promoting your book.

One word of warning before contacting any blogger: make sure you to check the reviewer’s particular reviewing style. Some reviewers can be quite snarky or may even post bad reviews if they don’t like a book. So as I said before it’s important to choose bloggers who like your style of book.

Can bloggers leave bad reviews? Yes, it does happen. I find you have to be thick-skinned to be an author. Don’t take reviews personally, not everyone is going to like your book. You can’t please everyone.

Now you’ve got your list of potential bloggers, start by approaching the first blogger on your list. It’s a good idea to always check their review policy again before you email anyone as review policies often get changed, especially if the blogger decides they are no longer taking submissions. Read through the page again and see how to contact them. Some bloggers have a contact form on their website, some will give out their email addresses or some prefer you to fill out forms such as Google forms.

Some review policies will state what kind of timeframe they have to review your book. Some bloggers may have a waiting list several months long. I have even seen blogs that have a waiting list of up to a year or two. So take that into consideration before contacting them if you want your book to be reviewed quickly. Remember it’s their blog and they make the rules.

You’ve put a lot of time and effort into writing your book and sent it out there into the world. Now it’s time to start marketing it – but you don’t know where to begin. That’s where book blog tours come in. Blog tours are a great way to market your book and find readers at the same time.

In this short eBook, you’ll learn what the benefits of blog tours, how to find tour hosts and organize your very own book blog tour.

~ Author Bio ~

Tiffany ShandTiffany Shand started writing short stories when she was a child. She has always done writing in one form or another and started writing novels in her early teens.

Tiffany loves to read books and discovered her love for fantasy and paranormal romance.  She writes both non-fiction and fiction and love helping writers to build their author platforms.

After doing a creative writing course in her early 20s, she is now a freelance writer and professional editor.

Tiffany lives in Essex with her two spoiled cats and one very nutty hamster.


Amazon Link (For Blog Tour Book)

Tiffany’s Website

Tiffany’s blog




“Enzo (Jinx Tattoos Series #1)” by Shyla Colt #BlogTour

Title: Enzo
Series: Jinx Tattoos Book 1
Author: Shyla Colt
Genre: Contemporary Romance

“WOW! I absolutely LOVED this heart wrenching story.” ~The Power of Three Readers

“5 jinxed stars!! Beautiful, gut wrenching and hot!” ~B1tches N Books

Neglected, abandoned by a heroin-addicted mother, and placed in foster care at ten, Enzo Jordan has learned one thing…love hurts. At thirty-five, he has a successful tattoo shop and his choice of women. The one-night stands are getting old, and the love he holds for his best friend, Aibhlinn is impossible to hide. When the attraction between them reaches a boiling point, he’s forced to choose between facing his fears and walking away. 
Aibhlinn Leahy has been in love with her best friend for years. The Irish-born comic book artist has poured time, energy, and love into the wounded man. His choice to walk away breaks her heart but frees her to explore a new future.
Life is a cruel and amazing thing. An abandoned baby brings the two back together, and they’re forced to examine the love that has long existed between them. This is a story of pain, scars, and fear. We all have demons to battle. The real decision is who’s in control…us or them?
*** Enzo is Book One in the Jinx Tattoos Series but is a STAND ALONE novel***

Enzo Chapter One


The alarm mocked him as he woke to limbs tangled with his own. The blonde from the night before snuggled into his side. He ran a hand through his hair and rested his head on the pillow. Overnights weren’t his norm, but waking up alone on today of all days wasn’t an option. He had a love-hate connection with the day of his birth, and thirty-four was too old to deal with shit with liquor. So…he fucked in excess and kept his liquor consumption to a minimum instead. Normally, he would be ready to go for round three, but all he wanted was silence…some peace. He moved away from the blonde and rolled from the bed, ready to wash away the night before.


“Time to go home, sweetheart,” he said.


She stretched her arms above her head, letting her blanket fall to her lap. Her perky breasts were perfection and obviously fake.


Still, Enzo took a moment to appreciate her investments.


“You sure I can’t tempt you into breakfast?” she purred.


“Positive, got somewhere to be.”


She pouted her plump red lips.

What kind of makeup shit lasts overnight? The thought of the chemicals involved made him shudder. “As amazing as you were last night, I’ll have to pass.”


She huffed and tossed the blankets aside, swinging her shapely legs over the side of the bed as she stood. She was petite, tanned, toned, and plastic. It made her easy to look at, have a good time with, and say good-bye to.


Not that he ever felt bad. She knew what she was getting into, they all did. He made it clear he didn’t do seconds and wasn’t looking for more than a mutual exchange of pleasure. Still, some of them seemed to think they would win some magical lottery, and things would change in the morning. He’d seen Tracee around the tattoo shop a million times. She was an ink chaser.

She wanted a tattoo artist for an old man in the worst way. He made it clear she was barking up the wrong tree, but she kept coming around. He wasn’t looking to have a significant other, and her desperation to land someone who would take care of her made his skin crawl. This would kill two birds with one stone.

“You’re a real ass, Enzo, you know that?” Tracee asked as she poured her body back into her skin-tight black dress.


“You already knew that, though, Trace. We knew this wasn’t more than a night of fun.”

She cocked her hip and narrowed her eyes. “You sure about that, sweetheart? We had a lot of fun. Imagine that in your bed every night.”


“Not looking for that, Trace,” he said with a shrug.


“Would you say the same thing if I had my head stuck in a book and my body covered from head to toe?” Tracee scoffed.

“What the fuck did you say?” Enzo asked, stepping forward.

The color drained from her face. She snatched up her sky-high heels and fled. “Nothing, see you around,” she muttered, skittering out the door before he could respond.


People wondered about him and his best friend, Aibhlinn. They didn’t think a man and a woman could be friends without jumping in the bed together. His theory was the exact opposite. Sex ruined things. It broke up lifelong relationships, made people paranoid, and upset the natural order you first had before romance entered the picture. No, his spitfire Irish lass with the piercing blue-green eyes and flowing chestnut mane would remain off limits forever.


The very thought of her made him smile. Even on his darkest day, she never failed to bring him a little happiness. He walked to the front door of his house and locked the door behind Tracee. A quick glance at the clock told him he had about thirty minutes to get his ass into gear. He walked back over the maple hardwood floor and into the bathroom. The white on white tiles and glass shower enclosure made the room appear more open and easy to get into and out of, which made the space tolerable.

Turning on the hot water, he sank onto the bench at the far end of the massive stall and let the gathering steam clear his pores and his muddled head. Lack of sleep and beer had him feeling sluggish. After a few minutes, he rose to his feet, stepped under the spray, quickly soaped down, and rinsed off.


He was pulling on his plaid button up when the doorbell rang. A few moments later, the lock turned.


“You decent, birthday boy?” Aibhlinn called with that slight lilt he’d grown to love.


“Yeah, I’m coming out now,” Enzo called back. He appeared in the doorway and smiled.


Dressed in a pair of black skinny jeans that hugged her thick thighs, and large ass, she was mouthwatering.


Off limits didn’t mean he couldn’t admire her assets. An off the shoulder Pink Floyd sweater displayed tantalizing porcelain flesh. She had her hair pulled up into a messy bun that showed off her long, slender neck.


“You ready to go?” she asked.


“What? No breakfast?” he shot back.


She rolled her eyes. “Smart ass. We’ll be back for that later. If you don’t hurry, we’ll miss the sunrise.”


He nodded his head and walked toward her, wrapping an arm around her waist as they hugged. He pressed a kiss to her forehead. “Thanks for coming, Ave.”


“Where else would I be?” she whispered.

Anywhere, with someone worthy of your time and affection. It was his deepest fear. That she would enter a romantic relationship and their friendship would go by the wayside. It was selfish wanting her to remain his number one girl…she deserved more. It worked for them now. They were both artists obsessed by the act of creating.

The years were passing swiftly, and she’d gone from unknown to sought after in her career field. First come loves, and then comes marriage. He snarled, pushing the thought of the day she, too, left him far in the background of his brain.

“Come on, I’ll drive,” she said, pulling him to the door.

He allowed her to manipulate him.

At five-foot-eleven, she still lacked the strength to move him if he resisted. Along with fucking, he liked to workout. It kept his head from getting overcrowded and allowed him a healthy way to work out his frustrations. Locking the door behind them, he followed her to the black SUV.


She hit the fob and unlocked the door.


Enzo was at the driver’s side, opening her door before she could protest. He knew how to treat a woman. He wasn’t so fucked up that he felt a sick need to use and abuse them. His mother, the angel who adopted him and straightened his ass out, would skin him alive if he ever went that route.


“Thanks, Enz,” she said, climbing into her seat.

He made his way to the passenger side then leaned his head back against the headrest, and zoned out as she pulled out of his driveway and headed for their destination.


Fog hung in the air, creating a thin layer of white. The haze turned the massive structure that was their destination into something mystical, or creepy, depending on how one looked at it. Bundled against the fall chill, they made their way from the car and into Ault Park, in the direction of the pavilion.


After the climb, his eyes drank in the frosted landscape. He shoved his hands in his pockets.


This park held good and bad memories. His birth mother brought him here many times. Originally, he thought it was because she was a good mother who loved the outdoors and knew he loved to be among the beauty the park offered. As he grew, he understood it was a public place to get her fix. No one thought twice of a man, a woman, and a child walking through the woods.


He would never forget the first time his brain registered the cash she gave Uncle Ian was for drugs. The tiny brown squares were heroin. They’d found her body here on his sixteenth birthday, needle still in her arm, eyes vacant, and body cold. She’d turned a day he already loathed into something even worse.


He inhaled, embracing the chilly air that crept down his throat and into his chest.


The ache meant he was alive. That he’d survived against the odds. Thinking of the days scrounging for food in garbage cans, stealing from the stores, and running drugs for dope boys to feed his starving gut…he shuddered. She’d always saved the most fucked up shit for his birthday, like an anti-birthday gift. That last day she’d left and never returned was his twelfth birthday.

He bowed his head in solemn remembrance. All the bullshit made it hard for a guy to feel joy on the day he came into the world and landed in a pile of festering shit. But that’s not where I am now. He glanced over at the woman standing beside him as the sky yielded from an inky blue to a purple, and a dusky orange. The sun’s rays turned everything golden, and for that moment in time, things were clean and new. The world was a hopeful place. The darkness was banished.


“Nature’s first green is gold, her hardest hue to hold. Her early leaf’s a flower; but only so an hour. Then leaf subsides to leaf. So Eden sank to grief, so dawn goes down to day. Nothing gold can stay,” he whispered, quoting Robert Frost’s “Nothing Gold Can Stay”. There was a man who understood how to live in the moments before dawn ended. He hadn’t gotten there yet.

Ava tangled her fingers with his, and he let her. She was a blazing white light in the murkiness. His Irish angel on his shoulder, constantly encouraging him to do better, insisting he reach for his dreams, and repeatedly telling him he was worthy. She was the best present he’d ever received, on the same day his mother left this Earth. Perhaps that’s why he liked having her with him on his birthday.



He sat in the back of the room, sketching in the expensive pad Mrs. Jordan had purchased for him as a birthday gift. As far as foster parents went, Karen and her husband Bill were one of the rare ones. Not only were they decent, they seemed to enjoy having him and the other boys there. The children who moved in and out were more than a paycheck; they were a chance to change lives. He thought it was an act at first. Now, he understood they were the genuine article. He’d been here six months, and other than bumping heads on being accountable for his whereabouts, it had been fairly smooth sailing. The high school was the same as any other, but he dug the art teacher, Ms. Leahy. The Irish woman with bright red hair, blue eyes, and a melodic accent encouraged him to hone his skills.

She said he had the potential to be a great artist. It was something he’d never really heard before. Writing and poetry were a means to escape from the shitty surroundings he often found himself trapped in. Artists and writers understood pain in the intimate way a boxing coach knew the mechanics of fighting.


“Hey, that’s good.”

He continued to darken the area of the crow’s wing.


“Hey, did you hear me?”


Peering up, he found himself lost in an ocean of an intense blue-green gaze. He blinked and took in the entire package.

The girl leaning over his shoulder was dressed from head to toe in a black dress with black tights and tall black boots. Her deep red lipstick stood out against her pale face and made her hair look more red than brown.


“You talking to me?” he asked.


“Yeah. I like the way you’re shading that in,” she replied, gesturing toward the paper.


“Uhh, thanks?”


She laughed. “That’s about the usual response to me.” She held out her hand. “Aibhlinn Leahy, I’m Ms. Leahy’s daughter. I just transferred to this high school.”


So, she didn’t know to stay away from the degenerate foster boy yet. “Enzo,” he said, quickly shaking her hand.


“Ahh, it’s nice to meet someone else around here with a unique name.”


He snorted. Heads turned to glance back at them. He scowled, and they faced forward. “Look, you’re new here, so you don’t know any better. But…I should warn you. Being seen with me will get you labeled as an outcast.”


“And now, you’ve intrigued me,” she said with a smile that showed the tiny dimple in her right cheek.


He shook his head, not willing to be the bad boy to some good girl gone wrong. “I should also mention, I don’t like people.”

“Oh, you’ll like me, I promise.” She sank onto the seat beside him and set down her pad. “You like comics?”

He blinked, trying to keep up with her crazy topic jumps. “Yeah.”


She opened her page. “Me too.


The impressive comic strip of Wolverine made him whistle. “You did this?”


“Yeah, need to work on my shading in certain areas. Which is why your work caught my eye.”

So, it’d been a self-serving thing. That he could understand. “Your detail is on point. I could use some pointers.”


“Then I’ll help you and you can help me,” she offered.



He had no way of knowing it was the start of a lifelong relationship that would in many ways define him as a man.





After they returned from Ault Park, Aibhlinn studied Enzo from beneath her lashes. He seemed more sullen this year than he had previously. “What’s wrong?” she asked, setting his bowl of steel cut oats and toast in front of him.


“You know I hate my birthday,” Enzo replied, and pushed the oats around with his spoon like a petulant child.

His pouty expression was adorable. She tried not to smile at the picture he presented. It was all too easy to imagine what little Enzo looked like once upon a time. “No, this feels like more than that,” she said, frowning.

He glanced up at her and sighed. “We’re getting old.”

She snorted. “Speak for yourself, grandpa. We’ve barely hit our thirties.”

“Yeah, but you know how fast time flies. We’ll blink, and it’ll be our forties.”


“So?” she asked, shaking her head.


He shrugged. “Makes a person wonder what their contribution to the world is, or why they were brought here in the first place.”

“What about Jinx Tattoos? You guys are taking names and kicking ass. You just did an interview with the local paper. That’s not something a mediocre shop does,” she said.

“Yeah, I mean, business wise I’m doing okay, just…”


“Ahh, so we’re talking about an ailment of a spiritual nature, then?”




“What? If it’s not logical, it’s of the heart. Why do you always get antsy when I mention this?”

“Because I don’t know if I believe in this shit. I mean, what kind of God lets all this crap happen to innocent people”


“One who believes in free will. He allows us to do what we choose, even when it’s soul killing and bat shit crazy acts.”


“Because, if He didn’t, we’d be nothing more than puppets. This forces us to be accountable for our actions.”

“You believe that? After everything?” he asked.

She sighed. “After what happened to my father you mean? Yes. He made bad decisions, and it cost him his life. Catalyst being, my mother got out of there and made a better life for us.” Her heart turned to lead as she thought about her father and his obsession with purifying Ireland. They’d lost him to a bomb. He lived by the gun, and he died by it. Her mother had distanced herself from his associates and casually applied for a working visa. The rest was history.


“I’m sorry.” He set his spoon down and placed his hand over hers. “That was shitty of me.”

She shook her head. “No, it’s okay. You asked an honest question. I try not to think about that too much, Enzo. It’s no use rehashing a past none of us can change. If anything, I used it as a model for what not to do. We can’t control the things that happen to us. But we can decide what to do with the rest of our life afterward.”


“You make it sound so damn easy, Ave.”


“Ack, I never said that. I’m a bag full of crazy on a good day and fully aware I’m a thirty-four-year-old comic book author who has a sorely lacking social life, a D.O.A. love life, and very few friends.”

“You’re brilliant, and you know it,” Enzo countered.


She laughed. “To you maybe.”

“More than me. I’ve watched you work your ass off to get where you are. I remember when you were pounding the pavement submitting your resume everywhere, doing any sort of pro bono work you could to get your name out there. You worked a bevy of craptastic jobs to support yourself while you went after your dream. Now, you’re well on your way to achieving them. Own that shit.”

Heat rushed to her cheeks, and she glanced away. She would never possess his swagger. Some days her plentiful contracts felt like a streak of good luck, though she had the work history to prove it to be anything but that.


“One day some man is going to swoop in and whisk you away from me. Then who’ll be here to call me on my shit?”

“Your mother, and come on, you know that’s never going to happen. I’ll always have time for you.” It could be you if you’d let yourself try with me.

“Even after you get hitched and pop out a few babies?” He met her gaze, pinning her to the spot with his thoughtful expression.

Something she couldn’t name crossed his face.


“Well, thank you for marrying me off and knocking me up.”


“What? We both know you’re dying to have kids.”


“With the right man…someday, yes. At this point, I’ve never had a relationship make it to the one year mark. I’m a lot to handle, and it’s going to take one hell of a man to get me even half as well as you do.” She willed him to finally see what was in front of him. They were a key and lock, made to fit and always working in tandem. It was a rarity.

“We’re not getting any younger, Ave. That day is coming around the corner.”


Unless you step up to the plate. She glanced out the window, afraid he would see the longing in her eyes. Maybe he’s trying to tell me we are never going to happen and I need to move on without him. And my ass is too stupid to realize it. “I don’t feel the crush of age the way you do. I think it’ll happen organically. Life has a way of putting you on the right path eventually. For now, I’m in love with my life. I love my vintage two-bedroom apartment in the charming historic building. The freedom of being a freelancer, and the point I’ve reached in my career. Why borrow trouble worrying about what may or may not happen?”


“Just like that?” Enzo snapped.

“No, it’s a conscious choice I make daily. You know I live in my head. I’ve been in the dark before…really deep. I’m trying not to return there. I didn’t like it much the first time.”


Enzo nodded and shoveled a spoonful of oats into his mouth. He was a brooding thinker, her creative best friend. Most only saw the successful tattoo artist with a hot bod, and what they took for a short fuse. While he might have some anger issues about certain events, he never flew off the handle or did anything impulsive. He was a brooder. A deep thinking individual who camouflaged his sensitivity with humor, crassness, and walls.

She’d scaled them one by one over the years, but an unbreakable obstacle remained. She forced herself to eat her breakfast. Times like this, it was best to let the silence remain between them. His birthdate was always rough. She never really understood why he wanted her with him. He never went into detail, simply saying it made him feel better.

She was a sucker that way, not wanting to bring up painful memories of his past. Maybe I should practice tough love? How could she when the majority of his formative years had been hell? The things that happened to you in the first five years shaped your life forever, she knew that more than most.


They finished their meal, and she took the plates away, washing them by hand to give herself time to figure out how to best approach him.

“So what movie are we starting with?” she asked, wiping the kitchen island down. The horror movie marathon had grown legendary. People would show up with birthday offerings, popcorn, candy, and snacks. He celebrated the traditional way with family the day after his birthday. This day was just for them.

“The bloodier, the better,” he answered.

“Hmmm, classic or modern?”

He leaned in closer. “That depends on what you have in mind.”

“Dead Alive or Saw, the first film.”

“Hmmm. Dead Alive. I could use a bit of laughter with my gore.”

“Excellent choice. Morning margaritas?” she asked, quirking an eyebrow up.

He laughed. “Yeah right.”


She laughed with him and retrieved a bottle of scotch and two glass tumblers. Setting the personalized glasses onto the counter that she’d brought back from Ireland on a visit, she moved to the fridge for the ice. “You get the movie cued up, and I’ll be in a minute,” she said.


“On it.”


Aibhlinn then pulled out the plastic black ice tray and cracked the round ball of ice out of its mold. Setting one gently into a glass, she repeated the process, proud of the habits Enzo picked up from her. Her love of fine whiskey was another trait she’d inherited from her father. Back home, people took their drinks quite seriously. While her mother could drink with the best of them, she wasn’t as particular on her pick of poison.

She poured them both a healthy dollop and placed them—along with the bottle—onto a chocolate wood breakfast tray she’d bought. It was amazing how many of her touches she could see throughout his house. If she’d left it up to him, the place would still be a barren bachelor’s pad. The man could be his own worst enemy. It was like he didn’t believe he deserved happiness. She entered the room, set the tray on the black table in front of the couch, and sank onto the soft grey cushion.


“You ready?” he asked.


“Let the horrorathon begin,” she replied solemnly with a nod.


He snickered and pressed play.


As the movie began, she tucked her legs under her and leaned into his side. It was the only time she could get this close casually. His body exuded heat, and the scent of something dark and delicious seeped from his pores. She knew the brand of body wash he used, but it was something about his chemistry that turned the scent into an indescribable buffet for the senses. Content, she let herself get lost in the movie.


“The nineties gave us such great one liners,” Enzo noted as the priest showed off his ninja assassin skills while claiming to kick ass for the Lord.

She laughed. “Well, yeah, but so did Peter Jackson. He’s a special kind of sick and twisted, though he hides it well these days. I mean, Meet the Feebles?”


“Truth. I’d like to see him do another horror movie.”


“It’ll never happen. He knows where his bread and butter lies,” she said.


“That’s the double edge sword of fame I suppose. When you’re just making a name, you’re not expected to do anything in particular. The world is your playground, and the only limitation is your imagination. Then you get recognition, get labeled, and wind up stuck in a box. He’s still making Lord of the Ring films how many years later?”

“I don’t know, he has a cult film following, too, though. That’s something to be proud of. Plus, there was District 9. That was a step back toward those movies where he really flexed his creative muscles and stepped ‘outside of the box’,” she said using air quotes.

“Yeah, that’s true. I forgot about that one. I actually liked it a lot.”


“I know. I did, too.” She smiled up at him.

“Well, you do tend to have pretty good taste.”

“Shut up, I’m awesome,” she retorted.

“Yeah, you are. Thanks for hanging with me.”


“Hey, traditions are meant to be kept,” she replied, careful to keep things light.

They returned their attention to the movie, and she allowed herself to enjoy his closeness.


A knock sounded on the door halfway through the movie.

Enzo pressed pause. “Got to be Rhys. No one else gets up this early.”


“I’ll get it,” Aibhlinn said, eager to put some distance between the two of them. It was a little too easy to pretend things between them could be romantic behavior. She peered out the window above the door and grinned at the sight of the blond male with green eyes. The baby of the brothers, he had a lightheartedness about him. She opened the door. “Rhys.”


“Aibhlinn,” Rhys cried, sweeping her up into his arms.


“I told you about treating her like a doll,” Enzo barked from the couch.

Aibhlinn giggled.


“Should we royally piss him off, then?” Rhys asked.


She nodded her head.


“When are you going to let me make an honest woman out of you?” Rhys asked, loud enough for Enzo to hear.


“I don’t know. What do you have to offer?” Aibhlinn asked in a sultry voice.


“Okay, seriously?” Enzo grumbled.


She and Rhys laughed.


“What? I only came here to see Aibhlinn,” Rhys defended.


“No way, man, it’s my day. Get your own girl,” Enzo growled.

Rhys’ eyes widened.

Aibhlinn quickly looked away, ignoring the blood that rushed to her face.

“I am,” Rhys said.

“Pain in my ass,” Enzo stated as his voice drew near. He entered the living room and scowled at his brother who held out a bag.


“Don’t shoot the messenger. It’s from Mom.”


“And she told you to bring it to me at the ass crack of dawn?” Enzo asked.


“She said first thing, and then proceeded to call me to make sure.”

“What is it?” Enzo asked.

“No clue, bro. She gave it to me last night when I was over there for dinner. Happy womb liberation day.”

“Thanks,” Enzo grumbled.


“Well, I’ll let you two do whatever it is you do when you’re together,” Rhys said.

Enzo rolled his eyes. “I’m starting to think you have a crush on my girl for real,” Enzo accused, wrapping his arm around her shoulder.

“All I’m saying is, Netflix and Chill has led to many babies, so please be safe,” Rhys teased.

Enzo stepped forward.


Rhys moved back, laughing. “I’m headed to the gym now. I got an early appointment that’ll take a good chunk of my day up.”


“Where do they want it?” Enzo asked.


“A back piece. Luckily, it’s not their first. I always cringe when first times come in and try to do a back piece in one sitting.” Rhys shook his head.

Enzo snorted. “Call me if you need anything.”


“We won’t, and if we do, I’m calling Noah. It’s your day.” Rhys and Enzo fist bumped. “See you soon, pretty girl,” Rhys said, giving her a hug before he disappeared out the door.

She spun around. “Open the bag.”


He laughed and removed the red tissue paper. “Oh, man, she did good.” He pulled out a bulky box set. “We are watching Kill Bill next.”

She leaned in and read the description. It was a gift set featuring Quentin Tarantino’s best and bloodiest. “I love your mom. She’s so cool.”

“Trust me, the feeling is mutual with your mom. Come on, let’s finish our movie before we’re interrupted again.” Enzo led her back into the living room.


Once again, she was lost to her thoughts of what if. Enzo was the sun. She had no choice but to keep circling him.


We fight it down, and we live it down, or we bear it bravely well,


But the best men die of a broken heart for the things they cannot tell.


“Things We Dare Not Tell” ~Henry Lawson




A leanbuh (uh LAN-uv): My child


Shyla Colt grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, but has lived a variety of different places thanks to her wanderlust, interesting careers, and marriage to a United States Marine. She’s always loved books and wrote her very first novel at the age of fifteen. She keeps a copy of her first submission letter on her desk for inspiration. After a lifetime of traveling, she settled down and knew her time had come to write. Diving into her new career like she does everything else, with enthusiasm, research and a lot of prayers, she had her first book published in June of 2011. As a full-time writer, stay at home mother, and wife, there’s never a dull moment in her household.She weaves her tales in spare moments and the evenings with a cup of coffee or tea at her side and the characters in her head for company. A self-professed rebel with a pen. Her goal is to diversify romance as she continues to genre hop, and offer up strong female characters.


Shea Balik interviews Kiss of Leather’s Eddie Wollard…and gets cake! #BlogTour

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sb-cf-kissofleather-fullTitle: “Kiss of Leather MM, Cedar Falls #13”

Author: Shea Balik

Genre: MMRomance, Gay

Release Date: July 20, 2016

Bookstrand           Goodreads


I felt like I was floating as I once more walked down Main Street to meet with Eddie at Thick and Creamy for our interview. July is my birthday month. Yes, I celebrate the entire month long, and the opportunity to go back to Cedar Falls was the best present I could have ever asked for.

I chuckle as I pass each storefront, loving their names. They were all there, Doggie Style, Kiss of Leather, which just opened, High and Tight, Nice ‘N Rosy, not to mention all the shops across the street.

Finally, I reached Thick and Creamy. Opening the door, I nearly jumped out of my skin when a cry of, “Happy Birthday,” greeted me.

Tears sprang to my eyes as I saw all the characters that have become a part of my life were there with joy shining from their faces. I had to brace myself when Jesse launched himself into my arms for a fierce hug that left me unable to breathe as he wrapped his arms around me.

“Happy birthday, Shea,” Jesse said as he started bouncing just enough to force me to jump with him. “I can’t believe you’re here in time for us to celebrate your birthday.”

I knew Jesse had more enthusiasm than an excitable puppy but I’ve never gotten to see it firsthand. It was…intense and made me want to dance with abandon. I tilted my head back and laughed out loud, not caring what anyone thought of my uncoordinated moves.

But these men were family. They would never leave me to make a fool out of myself alone. The country music that had been playing in the background was turned up and the men joined right in while taking turns to hug me.

By the end of the song, Zane brought out a cake with enough candles to be considered a forest fire. A round of Happy Birthday was sung, with Jesse, Vail and Ethan easily heard above the others as they practically screamed the tune.

“Was it necessary to put all those candles on the cake?” I asked. Eyeing the flames, I knew I was never going to get them all blown out in one breath. There were just too many of them.

Jesse nodded enthusiastically. “Yes it was.” Then he waved a hand toward me as if dismissing my obvious dismay of having to face my age so glaringly. “Age is just a number, sweetie. You’re only as old as you feel.”

“Says the not-even-thirty-year-old,” I mumbled.

“Come on,” Vail said as he took my hand and brought me closer to the cake. “You need to blow these out before the whole place starts on fire,” he joked.

Seeing my glare, Vail stopped laughing, sort of. “Come on, honey. We’ll all help.”

“Don’t forget to make a wish,” Jesse called out. “And make sure it’s a good one, like you are inspired to write a whole other book about Parker and I.”

“Me,” Ryder corrected.

Jesse blinked at Ryder. “What?”

“You should have said Parker and me,” Ryder explained.

Jesse frowned. “Why would I want Shea to write a book about you and Parker?”

“No,” Ryder started to say then shook his head. “Never mind. It doesn’t matter.”

“If it doesn’t matter, why did you bring it up?” Jesse asked.

As the two bickered, all I could see was the wax of the candles dripping on top of the cake as they melted at an alarming rate. “Guys,” I said. “Can we blow out these candles before I have nothing to blow out?”

Just like a puppy, once a new stimulus was added, Jesse forgot all about the argument with Ryder. “Did you decide on a wish?” His eyes were dancing with merriment as he started to bounce. “Do I get another book where Parker and I fuck our brains out?”

There was a lot of laughter and several groans that followed that. But Parker stepped up to Jesse’s back and enfolded his husband in a hug. “Is this her wish or yours, angel?”

Jesse looked over his shoulder at Parker. “Why can’t it be both?”

“Sorry Jesse, but there are too many other characters who haven’t had their stories told, clamoring in my head.” I hated to see Jesse’s smile dim so I added. “But I promise to write you a second story as soon as I have time.” Which, with as many characters as there are chattering in my head, might be years, but Jesse didn’t need to know that.

Closing my eyes, I made my wish.

When I opened them, I counted to three. I, along with men who have shared their lives with me, blew out all of those candles in just one try. “See,” Vail said with a smirk. “I told you, you could do it.” Then he slapped the handle of a knife in my hand. “Now make a wish on the first cut so we can eat.”

I have had many wonderful and amazing birthdays, including my niece being born on my birthday, but never had I been so touched by what these men did for me. Living inside my own head made it more difficult to make friends, so to have these men go out of their way to throw me this party meant a lot.

Eating my cake, chocolate with white buttercream frosting, I made my way over to the man I was there to meet, Eddie. Just off to the side, as if he was still a bit nervous to be a part of the group, Eddie stood with his boyfriend, Axl, by his side feeding Eddie his cake.

The pair was so sweet together, I almost hated to interrupt, but I needed to interview Eddie before it was time for me to go. A glance at my phone to find I only had a few minutes left, spurred me to approach Eddie and Axl.

“Eddie, Axl. It’s good to see the two of you have managed to find a way to get past your hang-ups so you can be together.” I had feared that wouldn’t happen as I had written Kiss of Leather. The two just hadn’t seemed like they’d be able to get out of their own heads long enough to see they were perfect together.

Pink infused Eddie’s cheeks as Axl chuckled and said, “Me too.” He placed a kiss to Eddie’s lips. His gaze heated as he repeated, “Me too.”

“I hate to do this, but I don’t have much time before I need to go and I still need to interview Eddie. Do you mind if I ask a few questions?” I asked.

Eddie straightened, his head bobbing up and down. “Of course. I’m sorry, I completely forgot you have to go soon. Ask away.”

SHEA: When I wrote Will’s story, most of his clumsiness faded away after he met Taden. Has the same thing happened for you?

EDDIE: Blushed furiously and glanced toward the floor as if he didn’t want to answer.

AXL: Eddie is amazing in all he does. If he has a few accidents now and then, it only makes him that much more endearing.

SHEA: I hated that I’d made Eddie so uncomfortable. Had I known he was still having issues, I wouldn’t have asked. Reaching out, I placed my hand on his arm. I’m sorry Eddie. I didn’t mean to bring up a bad subject.

EDDIE: Shrugged. It’s okay. I just wish I wasn’t always dropping things or, you know, tripping over air.

JESSE: Are you kidding? Jesse didn’t have any problem interrupting the interview. This man is up for Cedar Falls Man of the Year for all he’s managed to do to Betty Sue and the Mayor. I even tried to have a parade in his honor but Eddie refused.

EDDIE: Turned such a bright shade of red, I wondered if he would combust.

AXL: Jesse, this is Will’s interview. He agreed to this party for Shea’s sake, but only so long as you gave him privacy for the interview.

JESSE: Scowling. I was just trying to make sure Shea knew how proud we are of Eddie and wouldn’t want him to change anything about himself.

EDDIE: Smiled at Jesse. Thank you, Jesse. The two hugged before Jesse went back over to the party.

SHEA: You were uncomfortable in the beginning hanging out with the other men here. Do you still feel that way?

EDDIE: He smiled brightly. No. Those guys have become my best friends. Especially Will. We hang out all the time.

AXL: A rumble that sounded an awful lot like a growl came from Axl. They also get Eddie into trouble with their antics.

EDDIE: His grin grew bigger. They do at that. But it’s worth every spanking. Eddies eyes widened as he suddenly realized what he’d said in front of me. I mean…

AXL Chuckling. I think Shea understands exactly what you mean, baby.

SHEA: The alarm on my phone went off signaling it was time to wrap this up. Damn, I’m almost out of time. Let me ask one more question. Have you had any contact with your Uncle Ira recently?

JESSE: Laughing hysterically, he came up and threw his arm around my shoulders. Are…you…kidding? Jesse had trouble being understood around the laughter. His uncle came in just two days ago and…

AXL: Jesse. The warning in Axl’s voice would have made the devil pause, but not Jesse.

JESSE: As if Axl hadn’t said a word, Jesse continued. By the time Uncle Ira left he was covered in a mix of hot fudge and whipped cream with a jar of cherries. Jesse’s laughter had him bending over to catch his breath. I was here and saw every bit of it, and still can’t begin to explain how Eddie had managed it. He slapped his thigh. I’m telling you, this guy is going to get voted as Man of the Year.

By then the rest of the group was joining in on the laughter, even Eddie. It was good to see Eddie being able to laugh at his clumsiness without always running away. We all have those moments after all. Learning to laugh at them and move on makes life so much easier.

My second alarm went off.

“Sorry, guys, but I need to go if I’m going to make my flight home.” I hated having to leave. One day I was going to spend the night in Cedar Falls, just so I could spend more time with these men, whom I’ve come to love.

Hugs, waves and tears were all given before I managed to get out of Thick and Creamy and walk to my car. As I drove out of town, I smiled at the voices in my head, all begging for their stories to be told. I may not be able to stay in Cedar Falls for long, but I would be back. The characters demanded it.

~ Stalk the Author – Shea Balik ~









Shea’s “Kiss of Leather” Scavenger Hunt runs through July 31st. Join the event and join the hunt for a chance at over a dozen prizes that include ebooks, ice cream gift cards, and the items pictured below! https://www.facebook.com/events/1587424421563469/

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“Kiss of Leather MM, Cedar Falls #13” by Shea Balik #BlogTour

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sb-cf-kissofleather-fullTitle: “Kiss of Leather MM, Cedar Falls #13”

Author: Shea Balik

Genre: MMRomance, Gay

Release Date: July 20, 2016

Bookstrand           Goodreads



He had to be hallucinating. Didn’t he? Nothing else made sense. At the door, with a dozen yellow daisies in his hand, was Axl, staring right at Eddie with an intensity that Eddie swore he could feel, like a caress.

Goosebumps broke out over his skin. Then again, that could be because he was bent over the freezer like an idiot with scoop in hand, partially buried in the strawberry ice cream. He’d been in that position since he’d looked up to find Axl standing there. By the slight amusement in Axl’s dark brown eyes, it had been a few minutes.

The cold he’d been feeling was replaced by the heat of embarrassment at being caught staring so blatantly. It took far more effort than it should have for Eddie to continue scooping out the ice cream for the banana split.

Had he realized his brain wouldn’t be able to work with Axl around, Eddie wouldn’t have wished so hard that the man show up. That wasn’t true. As weird as it sounds, he’d missed Axl the moment he’d left yesterday.

It had taken everything inside of him not to chase Axl down Main Street just to be near him again. Something Eddie couldn’t remember ever feeling for anyone in his life. Then again, he’d never actually dated, or even kissed.

Once when he’d been desperate to know what being with a man was like, he’d gone to a gay bar in Atlanta. A man had taken an interest, but they hadn’t even exchanged more than a dozen words before the guy had taken him into the bathroom.

Kissing hadn’t happened, or foreplay. Eddie had been shoved down to his knees and a cock had been shoved into his mouth. One of the dozen words had been used to tell him to “suck.” As soon as the guy had come, he’d zipped his pants up and left Eddie still kneeling on the ground.

Embarrassed and bitter that he hadn’t gotten off, Eddie went back home. Just like with the rest of his life, Eddie figured he was too big of a loser for anyone to want to have sex with him. So he never bothered to try again.

Once he had a scoop of strawberry, vanilla, and chocolate arranged around the banana, Eddie turned to go back to the back counter where the sauces were kept. It had only been two days, yet he’d still managed to once more forget he couldn’t spin on the anti-slip mats.

He felt himself falling. Wildly, he looked around for something to hold onto. He prayed he could stop his free-fall, but he’d turned just enough that he couldn’t grab the ice cream case, yet not far enough to have any hope of reaching the back counter to stop his fall.

Dismayed that Axl would witness his disgrace, Eddie wished for a hole to open up and swallow him whole. Life just sucked and Eddie was done trying to live it, not when he seemed hell bent on making a laughing stock of himself.

His momentum downward was suddenly stopped by strong hands on his shoulders. Grateful, Eddie looked up to thank whoever had stopped his ultimate journey of disgrace to the floor, only to find dark brown eyes staring back at him with concern in them.

“Are you okay, Eddie?” Axl asked.

It was too much. How was he supposed to live in a world that treated him like a joke? What did you expect? That voice so similar to his uncle said in his head. You are a joke.

“Hey,” Axl’s deep voice silenced that voice that knew just how to torment Eddie.

Surprised, Eddie stared up at Axl in wonder. He’d tried his entire life to get that voice to shut up, but nothing had ever worked. “How did you do that?” he asked.

Eddie hadn’t thought it possible. Yet the voice that would usually continue to berate him wasn’t there.

“Do what?” Axl asked.

Eddie opened his mouth to tell Axl, but then he realized he was about to admit to voices in his head talking to him. Quickly, he shut his mouth once more. It would only end with him in the mental institution, just where his uncle had threatened to send Eddie if he didn’t get his head out of his ass and act like a normal person. His uncle’s words, not Eddie’s.

“Nothing,” he said.

“Excuse me, are you planning to make my banana split?” the man Eddie had been waiting on asked.

Heat filled his face, a routine event for Eddie. “Yes. Give me just a minute and I’ll have it ready for you.”

As he headed to the back counter to get another container for the banana split that was now on the floor, Eddie could have sworn he heard the customer mumble, “Clumsy idiot.”

Mortified, tears sprang to Eddie’s eyes. Blindly, he reached out for the plastic boat they made the banana splits in when he heard what sounded like a growl. Except, that was impossible. Wasn’t it?

~ Stalk the Author – Shea Balik ~









Shea’s “Kiss of Leather” Scavenger Hunt runs through July 31st. Join the event and join the hunt for a chance at over a dozen prizes that include ebooks, ice cream gift cards, and the items pictured below! https://www.facebook.com/events/1587424421563469/

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From Shea Balik – “Kiss of Leather MM, Cedar Falls #13” #BlogTour

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sb-cf-kissofleather-fullTitle: “Kiss of Leather MM, Cedar Falls #13”

Author: Shea Balik

Genre: MMRomance, Gay

Release Date: July 20, 2016

Bookstrand           Goodreads



Welcome to Cedar Falls, a small North Carolina town nestled amongst the Smokey Mountains. Where the people are friendly and the men are hot.

Eddie Wollard has been beaten down by life. If his constant screw ups didn’t reinforce what a loser he was, his Uncle Ira was more than happy to remind him every chance he got. No one could ever love a klutz like him.

Axl Rhodes just moved to Cedar Falls. Axl had promised he would slow down and smell the roses, but he hadn’t counted it being quite so…slow and boring. Then he met Eddie Wollard, a man who fascinated him. Now he just has to convince Eddie how well they fit together.

But even in a small town like Cedar Falls, nothing is ever that easy. Can Axl show Eddie they belong together? More importantly can he convince Eddie of the pleasure that can be found with the Kiss of Leather?

~ Q and A with Shea Balik ~

Q. Tell us something about Shea Balik, the person.

A. I grew up in the north, mostly Illinois and Michigan, but in high school my family moved to Nashville, Tennessee. I graduated from high school there before marrying and moving to Norfolk, Virginia where my husband was stationed in the Navy. Unfortunately, we didn’t make it and ended up divorced but I did get an amazing son out of my marriage, so I can’t complain.

Now I live in sunny Florida, where the weather is always warm, or so we like to brag to the Northerners who are freezing their asses off in the winter while under six feet of snow and driving on ice. Nope, there is no ice down here, except for what we put in our drinks to keep cool on the sandy beaches with the sun baking our skin to a golden brown. Well, unless you are me, who burns instead of tans.
It is the perfect life, if one discounts the hurricanes and rainy season. Still, it beats having to shovel snow for months out of the year.

As for traveling, I am still working on traveling to every state within the United States. I’ve been to at least half. My favorite mode of transportation is the car, for I feel it is the best way to see the country. Okay, okay. It may have something to do with my being afraid to fly, no make that terrified. I always felt if we were meant to fly, we’d have wings. Not that I won’t get on a plane, because I will, and do. After all, how else does one get to Hawaii quickly?

For out-of-the country traveling, I have been to every Caribbean country that cruise ships visit, several times. Being a Floridian means easy access to ports and cheaper rates. Although, now that I’ve cruised so often, I get discounts for being a frequent cruiser. In a perfect world, I would cruise around the world, but I don’t see that happening anytime soon, unless I win the lottery.

I have also been to India, three times. Each time I went it impacted my life in profound ways. But for me, the thing that sunk in the most, was just how lucky I am to live in the United States. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always known that, but seeing just how people live in other countries, especially the poor, isn’t something one can easily forget. Not that it was all I saw, for it wasn’t. The people I dealt with were kind, generous and eager to please. I enjoyed getting a chance to visit there and experiencing their culture, which was rich with history.

Q. Why did you decide to become a writer?

A. I have always developed stories in my head growing up. I finally decided to put those stories down on paper. I’m just grateful others like my stories too.

Q. Where do you get your story ideas?

A. My favorite thing to do is people watch, even going so far as to listen in on their conversations. It doesn’t take much, just a few words and my mind is off and running with a new story.

Q. What is your typical day like?

A. Well right now I’m working full-time for my family’s business. I am up working most mornings by 7 a.m. but working for my family gives me some flexibility to take a couple of hours off each afternoon to write. Wednesday is my only day off and I spent most of that day writing.

Q. What are your hobbies?

A. Reading, need I say more? Seriously I read every chance I get across most genres. I also love to travel. It allows me to meet new people, see new sights and try new things.

Q. Who did you look up to the most growing up?

A. My sister. She is several years older than I am and I always wanted to be just like her. Even to the point of doing things I didn’t like. She was a softball player and so I tried to be the same. I quickly realized that wasn’t a good idea. Even now she is one of my best friends and I still look up to her. Love you, sis.

Many thanks to Shea for visiting with us, and letting us into her world.


~ Stalk the Author – Shea Balik ~









Shea’s “Kiss of Leather” Scavenger Hunt runs through July 31st. Join the event and join the hunt for a chance at over a dozen prizes that include ebooks, ice cream gift cards, and the items pictured below! https://www.facebook.com/events/1587424421563469/

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“Kiss of Leather MM, Cedar Falls #13” by Shea Balik #BlogTour #Excerpt18+

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sb-cf-kissofleather-fullTitle: “Kiss of Leather MM, Cedar Falls #13”

Author: Shea Balik

Genre: MMRomance, Gay

Release Date: July 20, 2016

Bookstrand           Goodreads


Adult Excerpt 18+:

Dinner had been far more strained than Axl had hoped. Eddie might have agreed to give Axl’s way a try, but he clearly was uncomfortable with it. When Axl ordered for Eddie, he thought Eddie just might get up and walk out.

It got so awkward Axl seriously considered not opening the car door for Eddie just to make him relax. The thing was, Axl just knew if Eddie would give the lifestyle Axl wanted a chance, he’d love it.

For all of Eddie’s objections, Axl had noticed Eddie’s soft smile each time Axl had treated him like the treasure he was. It was only when Eddie’s brain started to take over that the man would frown and become stiff as a board.

But as unusual as this night had been, Axl still didn’t want it to end. “Would you like to visit my store? It’s not exactly finished, but I’d still like you to see it.” The weird thing was, Axl did want Eddie to see it. He wanted Eddie’s opinion before things got to the point they couldn’t be undone.

“Sure.” The smile Eddie gave him was a reward Axl hadn’t expected and was thrilled that he’d gotten. Things had been much too strained this evening. Maybe, if he could get Eddie to relax a bit, the night might still be salvaged.

Not that Axl would call it a total loss. The few times Eddie had let his guard down during dinner had shown Axl glimpses into the man’s personality. Eddie was funny, although he seemed too worried about making a fool of himself to talk much. With time, Axl hoped to help Eddie feel easier in his skin and not worry about what others thought.

Since it was dark, Axl parked in front of his shop instead of in the back parking lot like he normally did. Pride filled him when Eddie waited in the truck for Axl to open the door. Eddie may not be sure yet if this type of relationship was what he wanted, but at least he was giving it a chance.

That Eddie took the hand he held out without being asked was just icing on the cake. Feeling he deserved a reward, the moment Eddie’s feet touched the ground, Axl tugged him close and leaned down to capture that sweet mouth.

Just like it always seemed to happen, the moment their lips touched a firestorm raced through Axl’s veins straight down to his dick. It was all he could do not to take Eddie right there up against the truck in the middle of Main Street.

Never in Axl’s life had he ever felt such an intense desire for another. There was a clawing need to make Eddie his in the most carnal ways possible. A need that Axl was having a hard time controlling.

His hands went to that perfect ass and grabbed on, squeezing the globes even as he slammed their bodies until he could feel the hard ridge of Eddie’s cock pressed against him. Eddie thrust his body into Axl’s, trying to get more friction. Shoving one leg between Eddie’s, Axl let him ride his thigh.

A loud motor roared to life nearby, reminding Axl they were standing next to his truck that was parked right on Main Street. Reluctantly, he pulled back. He couldn’t help but smile when Eddie whined in dismay.

He hated having to put an end to the heart-stopping kiss, but it helped that Eddie clearly felt the same. Maybe, if he played his cards right, they could continue where they left off inside. Now that there were walls, there was measure of privacy. “Why don’t we head inside?”

Taking Eddie’s hand, Axl pulled him along to the door. He cursed when his hand shook so hard he couldn’t get the key in. Taking a breath to steady himself, Axl sent up a thankful prayer when the key slid in.

As soon as the door shut, Axl flipped the lock and led Eddie to the room that would eventually display his BDSM work. Right now it didn’t look like much and smelled of paint. He and Brent managed to get all the walls sanded and primed. Tomorrow morning Axl would head to the paint store and pick out what colors he wanted.

Not wasting any time, he took Eddie back into his arms. Fusing their lips together, Axl coaxed Eddie’s tongue into his mouth and sucked lightly on the appendage. Axl swallowed down the moan that Eddie pushed into the kiss.

Need took over. With Eddie not only having never experienced BDSM before, but also being a virgin, Axl knew he was going to need to go slowly. As much as he wanted to bury himself deep into that round ass, Axl wasn’t about to let Eddie’s first time be rushed.

The man deserved to be taken care of properly. But that didn’t mean Axl couldn’t show him a taste of what was to come.


~ Stalk the Author – Shea Balik ~









Shea’s “Kiss of Leather” Scavenger Hunt runs through July 31st. Join the event and join the hunt for a chance at over a dozen prizes that include ebooks, ice cream gift cards, and the items pictured below! https://www.facebook.com/events/1587424421563469/

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#BlogTour: “Bring Your Own Baker (Death By Cupcake Series, #2)” by DE Haggerty

Bring Your Own Baker cover

Bring your own Baker

blog tour


Book Title: Bring Your Own Baker (Death By Cupcake Series, #2)
Author: DE Haggerty
Genre: Mystery
Release Date: June 20, 2016
Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions


book blurb

Anna just wants to earn enough money on the side to buy into the bakery, Callie’s Cakes, where she works together with her best nerd pal Callie. The last thing she expects to see when she walks into Arthur’s apartment to do some moonlighting is a blood bath. Callie’s ready to jump into the investigation into Arthur’s murder, and she’s bringing another bakery worker, Kristie, into their hijinks whether Kristie wants to or not. But things aren’t as they seem. There are gang affiliations, illegal gambling dens, and ladies of the night to wade through. Will Anna and Callie discover who murdered Arthur or will Callie’s detective boyfriend and Anna’s self-appointed protector put a stop to such aspirations?

Come join us at Callie’s Cakes, where murder investigations are on the menu, but make sure to bring your own baker, because Anna’s a bit preoccupied at the moment.

Warning: This is NOT your mom’s cozy mystery. Bring Your Own Baker may be a ‘clean’ read, but if gangs, illegal gambling, and pimps make you turn your nose up at your e-reader, you might want to skip this one. Although you’ll be missing some sizzling chemistry between Anna and her protector. Not to mention a whole bunch of witty dialogue.


I grasp the weapon in my hand and throw it with all my might at him. The weapon makes a ‘tee-hee’ sound as it hits his stomach.

“Did you just throw a Pillsbury dough boy at me?” His voice carries a hint of humor. The Pillsbury dough boy was probably not the best item to grab from the kitchen to use as a weapon. Obviously, I’m totally losing it.

I inch backward into the kitchen searching for a more appropriate weapon. Dag nab it! The knives are way over on the other side. I have no choice. Without taking my eyes of the man, I grab a perfectly formed and probably fricking delicious muffin from the tin and throw it at the intruder. It seems my fastball needs some work as he just catches the muffin as if I merely lobbed it in his direction. He smiles and, not bothering with the paper liner, takes a huge bite.

“Mmmm…,” he groans around a mouthful. “This is really good.”

“Seriously?” I throw my arms in the air before planting my hands on my hips. “If you want my muffins, just come to the bakery. You don’t have to break in.” Uh oh, I nearly forgot that he broke in. I start backing up again, getting ever closer to those knives.

The man’s eyes narrow as he notices me shuffling my way towards the potential weapons. He stalks me and, when he’s only an arm’s length away, reaches around me and grabs the knife block. He keeps his eyes steady on me as he places the block on top of the refrigerator. Somewhere I can only reach if I get out my step ladder.

“Who are you? And what are you doing here?” I may be terrified and my voice may stutter a bit, but I’m not backing down. Not. One. Bit.

“You’re a feisty little thing, aren’t you?”

“Who you calling little?” Apparently, I have no regard for my safety at all as I’m now goading an intruder.

The man chuckles. His smile shows a perfect set of teeth. Huh, not exactly what I expected from Mr. Piercings and Tattoos. “For a pink-haired pixie, you sure aren’t afraid, are you?”


meet the author

I grew up reading everything I could get my hands on from my mom’s Harlequin romances to Nancy Drew to Little Women. When I wasn’t flipping pages in a library book, I was penning horrendous poems, writing songs no one should ever sing, or drafting stories which have thankfully been destroyed. College and a stint in the U.S. Army came along, robbing me of free time to write and read, although I did manage every once in a while to sneak a book into my rucksack between rolled up socks, MRIs, t-shirts, and cold weather gear. A few years into my legal career, I was exhausted, fed up, and just plain done. I quit my job and sat down to write a manuscript, which I promptly hid in the attic after returning to the law. Another job change, this time from lawyer to B&B owner and I was again fed up and ready to scream I quit, which is incredibly difficult when you own the business. Thus, I shut the B&B during the week and in the off-seaso n and started writing. Several books later I find myself in Istanbul writing full-time.

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Never Trust a Skinny Cupcake Baker by DE Haggerty

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Review Blog Tour – “Phaelyn” & “Teague” (Dark Shadows #2.5 & #3) by Ariel Marie

Double Book Tour

Phaelyn (The Dark Shadows 2.5)

The Dark Shadows were charged with the responsibility of protecting the vampire nation. Going after the kidnapped vampire royal guard was all in a day’s work. 

Idris Lafayette waited inside of his prison cell for the Dark Shadows to come for him. Idris knew that they would be relentless in their quest to find him. No vampire left behind. Through all of the torture and experiments the necromancers put him through he refused to break. He held onto a small shred of hope. Hope that he would be rescued, hope that the Shadows would tear through the necro’s hidden underground lair and kill them all. He yearned to get at least one last glimpse of her. 

As the lone female Dark Shadow member, Phaelyn Otvos was used to being singled out. She was one of the deadliest females to ever hold a sword. Enemies underestimated her, while potential lovers were intimidated by her. Her latest assignment—retrieve the missing vampire guard. The one person who captured her heart years ago was now her mission. Thrown together in the midst of the war between vampire and necromancers, will Phaelyn and Idris recognize that they were meant for each other? 

~~~Felicia’s Review of “Phaelyn”~~~

5/5 Stars!

We found Idris!

I was truly bugged at the end of Toma, when I couldn’t remember what happened to Idris. I even went back and re-read through the fight sequence twice! Good to see him…but as a hostage…not so much. But the Olarus are an honorable family, and never gave up searching for Idris. Says a lot about their character…and his. I also loved that Idris KNEW they would come for him – he just had to hold on.

Enjoyed the opening sequence, detailing how Phaelyn came to be a made vampire. Gave more depth to her, and explained not only why she’d never again be a victim, but her motivation to excel as a Shadow warrior. Would have enjoyed some of the same for Idris, but not having it didn’t detract from the story.

It was a bit surprising to find that while both Idris and Phaelyn were pledged to the Royal Family, they actually had little contact with each other. Explains some of their hesitancy and unfounded doubts.

This author has a knack for writing villains I truly loathe! Like Xalak before him, Zoreal made me wish I could kill him myself! LOL! The description of Idris after his last “session” with Zoreal was it for me – he had to go!

Good team effort out in the woods. Shadow warriors will not be deterred…no matter how many versi there are!

It was also refreshing to see Idris and Phaelyn not go through endless, unnecessary denial about being mates, being together, blah, blah, blah. They both knew that despite being vampires, time was still a gift.

Good to see those around the Royal Family also find their fated mates.

Loved this surprise installment in the Dark Shadows series, and definitely recommend it!


Teague (The Dark Shadows 3)

The necromancers are not the only ones with allies…. 

Failure is not an option. Teague Olaru, vampire prince and Dark Shadow warrior, has received his orders. Seek out the vampire’s long time ally, the valkyries, and convince them to stand with the vampires in their war against the necromancers. It should have been a straightforward mission, that is, until he met Bella. 

Arabella Kaldana, Valkyrie warrior, had led the life of a seasoned maiden warrior staying true to her oaths and protecting the good people of Aphadore. She’s never had doubts about the life she was destined for, until she met Teague. The sexy vampire was never far from her thoughts. He had her wanting more. 

Teague and Arabella’s budding relationship is put to the test in the midst of the war. Arabella’s ultimate destiny has been presented to her and she’s torn…. follow her destiny or follow her heart?

~~~Felicia’s Review of “Teague”~~~

5/5 Stars!

Just when I believe Toma is my favorite Dark Shadows story, in walks Teague! LOL!

I don’t know what it is about a man who gets smacked in the face by love, but they’re just too adorable! The usually confident, cocky, snarky youngest son of Vladimir and Alin Olaru barely recognizes himself when he meets…and is unable to claim his fated mate, the Valkyrie warrior princess, Arabella.

Sent to enlist the Valkyries’ assistance in eliminating mega-witch, Rowena, Teague is cautioned by older brother, Nicu, to not make trouble with the virginal Valkyries. The last thing Teague expected to find…or was even on his mind…was the woman he was meant to spend his life with.

Arabella makes the list of my favorite book heroines. No whining and running for this Valkyrie Princess. A true warrior in character and spirit, she was perplexed by her feelings for Teague. But, she was very honest with herself…and him. She wanted him, and wanted to BE with him, but her Valkyrie destiny was her priority. Even as she broke her maiden vow, she knew nothing else would come of it. I’m sure she would have been thrilled at that point, if things were different, but not once did she try to manipulate the situation or evade her duty. She was as honorable a warrior as Teague was…and he admired her for that.

The scene during the queen’s hearing was chaotic. That hag, Rowena, was bound and determined to have her way. My heart broke for Teague as the scene ended, and as they returned to the Aphadore realm. It was hard watching him when he returned home and to his Shadow warrior duties, but the scene with Toma was touching for the fact that it let Teague know his feelings were valid and he wasn’t alone.

I wasn’t surprised at the identity of Arabella’s father, but definitely was at how it played into the final scenes of the story. Great plot twist!

This series just keeps getting better and better! By the time we get to Nicu, I’ll probably internally combust! LOL! But for now, 1-click Teague and take his journey to love…while we wait for Adrian!


For centuries, a vicious war has raged on between the Necromancers and Vampires. Two powerful races who refused to surrender in defeat. A half a century ago, the Necromancers disappeared from the face of the Earth…. until now.

Nadira Olaru, the youngest offspring of the Vampire King has become the target of the re-emerging Necromancers. The King of the Necromancers has offered a peace treaty, an offer he refuses to take no for an answer. His one demand— Nadira to mate with his son. The Dark Shadows, Vampire warriors run by her eldest brother, have been charged with protecting the Vampirian Princess at all cost. 

Zac Cooper, human police detective, never believed in the supernatural world, that is, until he witnessed a dead body walk right out of the morgue. Fate brings Zac and Nadira together. Twice. Nadira knows that Zac is her Fated Mate, but now he is caught in the middle of the war between the Vampires and Necromancers.

Nadira is torn, should she be selfish and mate with the love of her life for all eternity? Or should she sacrifice their love forever, and let him go, in order to save him?

For centuries, the Dark Shadows have been charged with protecting the Vampire nation. Necromancers, their mortal enemies, are growing bolder and stronger in their attempt to destroy the vampires. Anika Massey, best friend to the vampirian princess, has lusted after her friend’s older brother, Toma, for years and he doesn’t seem to even notice she exists. At least, she didn’t think the Dark Shadows warrior did, until the necromancers turned their focus on her. He noticed her. One touch and Toma Olaru knew he wouldn’t be able to give her up. Since their first meeting he could not get the curvy human female off of his mind. He knew it wasn’t right for him to have feelings for his sister’s best friend, but fate had decided that she’s his mate. She’s human and according to Vampire laws, he cannot have her and should have never touched her. Anika understands the ways of the vampires and knows she must let Toma go, but will Toma be willing to let her go?

Ariel Marie fell in
love with books at an early age. She can remember her first favorite book! She
read the book so many times that it fell apart and she was devastated!
Fast-forward thirty something years later, Ariel now writes books she hopes
readers will fall in love with and read over and over. Paranormal romance is
her favorite genre. Who doesn’t love Shifters, Witches, Faes and all the other
paranormals? She just loves writing about couple’s first meeting, the magnetism
of when their eyes first meet and the first kiss! Her favorite part of writing
paranormals is creating the world that the characters live in. 

Ariel Marie loves
connecting with her readers. Once a month she personally writes her newsletter
for her readers. They are one of the first to learn about book releases,
contest and events that she is participating in.

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Chapter Reveal: “The Alpha’s Heart M/M, Paranormal Wars: Amur 1” by Shea Balik

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“The Alpha’s Heart M/M, Paranormal Wars: Amur 1”

by Shea Balik

Release Date: May 31, 2016

Bookstrand     Goodreads


Ten minutes later a winded soldier came racing back. “Alpha Ren is sending someone to escort him,” the man told the guard who hadn’t taken his eyes off Taye the entire time they’d been standing there.

“He better send more than one,” the guard muttered.

Taye had tried to go for innocent and unassuming, but the guard clearly hadn’t been buying it. Not that it mattered. Taye was getting what he wanted, to see Kija Ren face to face. Then he could find out for himself if the Alpha was a traitor or not.

Based on the ineptitude of the men he’d encountered so far, Taye couldn’t say what he’d expected from the escorts the Alpha was sending. He definitely didn’t think it was the two men heading their way. They took lethal to a level that was just plan scary. Since Taye trained with some of the most dangerous men on the planet that was saying something.

Not that these two men stood a chance against Alek Rykov’s inner circle. Still Taye had to admit to a moment of trepidation as they stalked toward him. The grace with which they moved reminded him of Alek. It must have something to do with being a cat shifter.

Raidon Tao, second to the Asian Alpha and Divine Death, the Asian assassin, appeared just as deadly as their file had indicated. Both men had fought in the Great War fiercely. From the battlefield reports, they had enjoyed the kill a little too much.

Although, the same could be said about a lot of paranormals at the time. After being experimented and tortured for years at the hands of the humans, many Shifters and Mystics took it out on the human population who dared to wage war on them.

Even Taye, who had only endured fifteen years at the hands of the humans, had felt nothing but rage at those who had thought it was okay to do unspeakable things to the paranormals just because they were different.

Taye had been one of the lucky ones. Somehow he’d been noticed by Maui Koa, a Fire Mystic, who eventually became Alek’s enforcer. Even though Maui had been drowning in his own rage at what had happened to him in those labs, he didn’t let Taye do the same. Somehow a man who didn’t see the good in the world was able to force Taye to see it.

It had taken time and a lot of blood shed for Taye to recognize the soul eating fury that had been inside of him. When he did, Taye knew he had to change. Now he fought for what was right, not for the joy of killing. It helped him sleep better at night.

“What business do you have with the Alpha?” Raidon asked. His expression was one of boredom, but Taye could see the alertness in the second’s eyes. By the way his gaze stopped at certain spots on Taye’s body, Raidon had noticed the weapons Taye was carrying. The man missed nothing.

But it was the assassin with him, Devine Death, who preferred to be called, Death, that scared the shit out of Taye. Never had he seen such cold, soulless eyes as Death’s. They were so dark, Taye would swear they were black. This was a man who would kill just because he could.

“My name is Taye Kata,” he repeated yet again. “I’m from Stone Haven and I need to speak with the Alpha.”

Neither man before him moved or said a word. They just stared at Taye.

But this wasn’t Taye’s first rodeo. If he could survive Maui doing the same with the addition of a fireball being casually tossed from hand to hand as if the man were contemplating throwing it at him, Taye could handle anything.

It was five minutes before Raidon’s lips lifted a fraction. If he’d been alone, Taye would have pumped his fist in the air at a job well done. Since he wasn’t, he just continued to stare, not showing any indication that he was happy to be accepted.

“Come with us,” Raidon said. The gate was lifted and Taye soon found himself following the second with Death at his back. It wasn’t exactly the position he’d prefer. Not that it mattered. From everything he’d read, if Death was in the area, there was no where a person could hide. At least this way, Taye knew he was there.

What Taye didn’t understand was why no one bothered to remove his weapons. They had to be concerned about his intentions. If Taye was correct, and he was sure he was, the Asian Territory had the other five nukes. They not only knew about the plans to destroy Stone Haven, they were in on it. So why would they take a chance with their Alpha’s life. Unless they wanted Kija Ren dead.

Was Alek right? Was Kija being set up?

Large ornate doors that stood at least twenty feet high opened to a large foyer. It seemed impossible but the inside was even more ostentatious than the outside. Marble floors gleamed brightly as they made their way to another set of doors that were painted with a scene of a bloody battle from the Great War.

Triumphant paranormals raised their bloody weapons in victory as they stood over humans who lay in pools of their own blood. It was gruesome to say the least. Taye knew several of his kind who would appreciate the scene. Which was why, after four days, the Alpha Primus hadn’t opened the Alliance’s computer system.

Alek knew he had too many enemies who wanted to see him dead to risk the lives of his people. Until they had the worst of the radiation cleaned up and the wounded were on the mend, or at least somewhere safe, Alek wouldn’t reinitiate the system.

The doors before Taye opened and his jaw dropped. The room was blanketed in gold and jewels. Only the marble floor escaped the gaudy appearance. It was like the Alpha wanted everyone to know just how rich he was. From what Alek had said, Kija Ren had been a simple man with simple tastes.

The few trips Alek had made to the Asian Territory shortly after the Alliance had been formed, Kija had lived in a two room hut. The Alpha could often be found toiling in the fields with his men. So how did a man go from that to this?

“The Alpha will be with you shortly,” a small man with a goatee said from the other side of the room. Then he opened a door and disappeared through it.

Raidon and Devine flanked Taye. Their pose was casual, but Taye wasn’t fooled. They were both poised and ready to strike if need be.

Then the door the small man had left through, opened once more and the man who looked so much like the picture Taye had been fascinated with the whole trip strode into the room. Kija Ren.

A small gasp Taye couldn’t hold back escaped as the aroma of earthy musk filled the room. It couldn’t be. Yet everything inside of Taye said it was. Before him stood Kija Ren, the Alpha. A man suspected of being a traitor to the Alliance – and Taye’s mate.

About the Author

Shea Balik has always had a vivid imagination with stories running around in her head.  Often her stories are taken from observations of other people with her own spin. Traveling is one of her favorite ways of fulfilling her passion of people watching.  You never know, one day you may spark her imagination for her next book.

Whether at home or traveling she is usually in front of her computer writing or curled up with a good book.

For out of the country traveling, Shea has been to every Caribbean country that cruise ships visit, several times.  Being a Floridian means easy access to ports and cheaper rates.  Although, now that she’s cruised so often, Shea gets discounts for being a frequent cruiser.  In a perfect world, Shea would cruise around the world, but she don’t see that happening anytime soon, unless she wins the lottery.

You never know, one day you may spark her imagination for her next book.

Whether at home or traveling she is usually in front of her computer writing or curled up with a good book.

~~Shea’s Links~~

 Bookstrand – http://bit.ly/SheaOnBookstrand
Website – http://bit.ly/SheaBalikWebsite
Facebook – http://bit.ly/SheaOnFacebook
Amazon – http://bit.ly/SheaOnAmazon
Twitter – http://bit.ly/SheaOnTwitter
Pinterest – http://bit.ly/SheaOnPinterest
Instagram – http://bit.ly/SheaOnInstagram
Goodreads – http://bit.ly/SheaOnGoodreads

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“The Alpha’s Heart M/M Paranormal Wars: Amur 1” by Shea Balik

Alphas Heart Cover

“The Alpha’s Heart MM, Paranormal Wars: Amur 1”

Author: Shea Balik

Release Date: May 31, 2016

Bookstrand   Goodreads

After surviving one suicide mission, Taye Kata was sent on another one, to find a traitor. When he comes face to face with the suspected traitor, his heart sinks. The man believed to have had a part of the worst attack in Alliance history is his mate.

Kija Ren had been set up.  Worse, his own Cadre was responsible.  It was only a matter of time before the Alpha Primus, Alek Rykov came after him for the crimes committed against the Alliance.  Maybe he deserved death for not being the Alpha the Asian Territory needed.  Ready for Alek Rykov’s worst, Kija had been completely unprepared when Taye Kata showed up on his doorstep.  How could the Gods be so cruel as to send him his mate now?

With nuclear weapons still unaccounted for, Taye and Kija must find a way to trust each other if they want to stop another attack from happening.

~~About the Author – Meet Shea Balik~~

Shea Balik has always had a vivid imagination with stories running around in her head.  Often her stories are taken from observations of other people with her own spin. Traveling is one of her favorite ways of fulfilling her passion of people watching.  You never know, one day you may spark her imagination for her next book.
Whether at home or traveling she is usually in front of her computer writing or curled up with a good book.

For out of the country traveling, Shea has been to every Caribbean country that cruise ships visit, several times.  Being a Floridian means easy access to ports and cheaper rates.  Although, now that she’s cruised so often, Shea gets discounts for being a frequent cruiser.  In a perfect world, Shea would cruise around the world, but she don’t see that happening anytime soon, unless she wins the lottery.

You never know, one day you may spark her imagination for her next book.

Whether at home or traveling she is usually in front of her computer writing or curled up with a good book.

~~Shea’s Links~~

 Bookstrand – http://bit.ly/SheaOnBookstrand
Website – http://bit.ly/SheaBalikWebsite
Facebook – http://bit.ly/SheaOnFacebook
Amazon – http://bit.ly/SheaOnAmazon
Twitter – http://bit.ly/SheaOnTwitter
Pinterest – http://bit.ly/SheaOnPinterest
Instagram – http://bit.ly/SheaOnInstagram
Goodreads – http://bit.ly/SheaOnGoodreads