Bowl Full of Cherries: Beautiful Covers #Giveaway!

December 5, 2014

Paul Richmond, the Art Director for Dreamspinner Press, is a personal art hero of mine. I’d been drooling over his covers long before I became a DSP author and now, every time I receive a new cover spec sheet asking me about my cover preferences, I write down his name as dream artist on the off-chance that *the busiest man on the planet* might have some down time that I could selfishly monopolize for my own cover.

And then my dreams came true in the form of an early Christmas present… my very own Paul Richmond cover for Bowl Full of Cherries! And it is *so* *STINKING* *INSANELY* ~*~*GORGEOUS*~*~

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I showed it to my friends–people who have seen a cover or two or a million (oh, you silly librarians!)–and each said the same thing after gasping in delight. “It’s so charming!” 

In the spirit of GORGEOUS COVERS… let’s have another…

*~*~Giveaway!~*~*

What is one of your favorite book covers? One random commenter will win an ecopy of a book from the Raine O’Tierney Dreamspinner Press backlist. Winner will be drawn at 6:00 p.m. CST.

Bowl Full of Cherries: Turning Up The Tunes! #Giveaway!

December 5, 2014

It’s no secret to anyone who knows me and muh hubs and writing partner Siôn O’Tierney that we love (read: love, love, love, love, love, love, love, LOVE) holiday music. For about seven years we’ve been collecting and finely honing an epic playlist of our favorite alternative, indie, off-beat, weird holiday music. I think some Ivy League colleges are easier to get into than our playlist. Though to the casual listener our playlist may seem like a mess, it’s a big part of our connection with the season and with each other.

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In Bowl Full of Cherries, Rell and his twin Tyler couldn’t be more different. Rell is the super laid-back slacker, Tyler is the uptight hipster, but one thing they can agree on is Christmas music.

Here are a few songs the twins would definitely be into:

Xmas Cake by Rilo Kiley

Not Giving In by Rediscover

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel by Belle and Sebastian

*~*~CONTEST!~*~*

List your all-time favorite holiday song (traditional or non-traditional and performer) in the comments and one random commenter will win an ecopy of Bowl Full of Cherries.

Most Beautiful Words: In The Sunset Valley + Giveaway!

October 10, 2014

So, let’s talk a little bit more about Most Beautiful Words…! And then how about a giveaway?

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Twelve-year-old Autumn’s world is shattered when her beloved Great-Pop, Tommy Johnson, suffers a stroke that leaves him comatose. With everyone around her resigning themselves to the inevitable, Autumn is the only one not willing to give up. She and Great-Pop have more secret stories to share with each other, after all. More stories about Roy McMillan—the great love of Tommy’s life whom he lost fifty years ago.

Autumn struggles to keep Great-Pop on this side of death’s door. But how can she compete with the beautiful and mysterious Valley—a place of surreal magic where the sun never fully sets? Especially when there’s someone familiar in the Valley who will do everything he can to keep Great-Pop from returning to her.

~ ~ ~

The idea for this story came to me one day as my husband and I were cleaning the kitchen. I think I had a grand total of three half-sentences to say about it. A little girl befriends an old man who’s lost his partner and the man tells her all the stories of his past. When NaNoWriMo 2012 came along, the story grew to encompass Tommy and Roy and Autumn.

The place in the Valley where the sun never sets? Inspired by meditation practice. When I was trying to calm my nerves for the day, I would imagine a cottage, forming every detail of it in my mind. By the time I went to put it to paper, it was very familiar to me.

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*~*~GIVEAWAY TIME!~*~*

Interested in winning a copy of Most Beautiful WordsComment below with your answer to the following question:

What are the most beautiful words you’ve ever heard?

Did someone say prizes? Spaghetti Western Release Party @emlynley

September 17, 2014

It’s just not a release day party without some prizes, right?

So, while we’re celebrating the release of Spaghetti Western, you have several ways to win.

First, leave an answer to any of the questions on my posts today to win a $5 gift certificate from Dreamspinner Press. I’ll choose a winner after midnight so everyone who visits on Wednesday has a chance to win.

Second, I’m extending my special free bonus story offer for anyone who buys Spaghetti Western from Dreamspinner  Press today (Wed, 17 September). Here’s how to claim your free story. You must show proof of purchase today at DSP or through 9/16 at distributors.

Third, Rafflecopter!  

I love Rafflecopter giveaways. This time you can win this gorgeous horse pendant as well as some other nice prizes. (The Rafflecopter isn’t displaying properly here, so click the link or the horse to enter).

pegasus pendant
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

Spaghetti Western

A Novel in the Delectable Series

Cordon Bleu-trained chef Riley Emerson arrives in Aspen, Colorado for a summer at the best restaurant in town, only to discover his jerk of a boyfriend has dumped him, leaving his heart and his plans in tatters. Doubting himself and longing for a change of pace, he takes a low-paying position at the Rocking Z guest ranch, though he expects nature up close and personal won’t hold a candle to his exciting Paris lifestyle.

When born-and-bred cattle rancher Colby Zane spots a newcomer being pawed at by a passel of horny cowboys at Aspen’s Club Rawhide, he rushes in, throws the guy over his shoulder, and rescues him. Sober, Riley Emerson is sweet and sexy, but not interested in more than a one-night stand. Still, Colby’s over the moon when Riley later arrives as the new cook on his family’s ranch.

But all’s not well at the Rocking Z. Unsurmountable financial problems force them to seek a cash infusion from outside investor Fitz Wellington. Fitz is hot for Colby, and he won’t sign on the dotted line without some very personal incentives. The future of the ranch is at stake, and Colby’s just that desperate, but saving the Z might mean losing Riley.

 

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 About EM Lynley

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EM Lynley writes gay erotic romance. She loves books where the hero gets the guy and the loving is 11 on a scale of 10. A Rainbow Award winner and EPIC finalist, EM has worked in high finance, high tech, and in the wine industry, though she’d rather be writing hot, romantic man-on-man action. She spent 10 years as an economist and financial analyst, including a year as a White House Staff Economist, but only because all the intern positions were filled. Tired of boring herself and others with dry business reports and articles, her creative muse is back and naughtier than ever. She has lived and worked in London, Tokyo and Washington, D.C., but the San Francisco Bay Area is home for now.

She is the author of Sex, Lies & Wedding Bells, the Precious Gems series from Dreamspinner Press, and the Rewriting History series starring a sexy jewel thief, among others.

 

Visit her online WebsiteBlogFacebookTwitterNewsletter

 

A Matter of When – Giveaway

September 15, 2014

I’ve spent the day chatting about A Matter of When, now let’s get to the fun part, shall we?  How about a giveaway of an e-book copy?

But first, let’s talk about the little things that make life sweeter.

Rocker Henri can afford the finer things in life, but is won over by Sebastian’s kindness, highlighted in one simple gesture: a tuna fish sandwich unlike any he’s had before, because “anything worth doing is worth doing well.”

The sandwich reminds Henri of the when he was younger and his mother used to show affection with food. Sometimes we overlook the simplicity of the love baked into our favorite cookies, or a loved one making us soup when we don’t feel well.

Instead of simply entering a comment and telling me you like to enter the contest, why not name one comfort food that brings back good memories? You don’t have to, mind you, but I’d love to hear your stories.

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Ebook from Dreamspinner Press

Print from Dreamspinner Press

Amazon

All Romance eBooks

A Rose by Any Other Name Release Day Party: Excerpt

September 12, 2014

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Hello all! Thank you all for joining the release day party for A Rose by Any Other Name. How about a fun little snippet. This scene is where Julius (Eros) and Edward meet face to face for the first time. Edward has already seen Eros perform on stage, and thanks to his cousin Maxfield’s shenanigans, Edward has somehow found himself in Julius’s dressing room.

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JULIUS TOOK a deep calming breath, plastered a smile on his face, and quietly stepped into his dressing room. His bare feet didn’t make a sound as he crossed the velvety-soft carpet to his dressing table. He lifted his eyes to the mirror, and his witty remark died on his lips. “You’re not Ares.”

He turned to stare at the stranger sitting in his favorite armchair.

The man looked down at himself as if to verify the fact. “No,” he replied with a shake of his head, a smile tugging the corner of his lips when he looked back up at Julius. “Merely a mortal.”

Amusing fellow, Julius thought wryly. “I see.”

He cocked his head to one side, his gaze shamelessly raking over every inch of his uninvited guest. How had he managed to get in? The door to his dressing room was always locked and had at least two security guards posted outside. Granted, many had tried to sneak in, but none had succeeded, not without Julius’s approval. Yet here the fellow was, looking as if he wanted to be somewhere else. Not the usual response Julius was accustomed to and certainly not from someone who had somehow broken into his dressing room.

Assessing the man, Julius had to admit the fellow was pleasing to the eye, if not a little stiff. He was handsome, muscular, and broad shouldered. Nice legs, Julius mused, nice toes too. Hygiene was nonnegotiable. He preferred his men clean and trimmed. All of which this mystery man seemed to be. Despite being on the old-fashioned side—the fellow’s black hair being neatly parted on one side—he had a nice tan, making his sharp hazel eyes stand out, a bottom lip fuller than the top, a smooth chiseled jaw, and enough hair to make him perceptibly masculine without turning him into a fur coat. He wasn’t anything to write home about. At least that was Julius’s initial impression. However, on further inspection, something about the slight fidget, the hands clasped between the knees, the fascinated expression on his face as he swept a gaze around the room held Julius’s attention. It was almost… sweet.

Well, that wouldn’t do at all! Julius sauntered over, bringing the most amusing jump from his guest as he perched himself on the chair’s armrest and swung his legs up, delicately resting his feet on the man’s thigh. His handsome guest swallowed visibly, and Julius smiled at the fellow’s obvious discomfort.

“What’s your name, sailor?” Julius slipped his fingers into thick jet-black hair. It was surprisingly silky and not saturated with pomade. Unfortunately some of his guests wore so much of the stuff, Julius feared they might go up in flames one of these days. Considering how much smoking went on in the place, he was surprised it hadn’t happened already.

“Edward.” He straightened as if he were standing before a court judge, his chest rising and falling quicker now.

“And what do you do for a living, Edward?” Julius leaned forward to shift some of the weight from his wings. If he lost his balance, landing in Edward’s strong arms would be far more preferable to landing on the floor.

“I’m an executive for Clarence and Company Department Stores,” Edward replied nervously.

Julius should have known. Another dapper daddy out for a night of scandalous behavior before returning to his office in the morning, pretending for all the world his soul wasn’t as damned as the wanton degenerate he’d paid to have his way with the night before. After all, they were all “normal” men, while men like Julius were the deviants. They were all the same—and the more dough they had, the worse they were. Once again, he reminded himself of why he smiled and batted his lashes for men like Edward. Although this fella looked in over his head, and Julius was quite certain he hadn’t seen him around the club before. He would have remembered. Aphrodite must have added a new member. Interesting. Edward wasn’t just any dapper daddy, but a wealthy one.

Julius reached out to caress Edward’s cheek. “And what exactly where you hoping for, Edward?” He made his way slowly down to Edward’s neck, his collarbone, down his chest. His middle finger ghosted over Edward’s nipple, bringing a gasp from him. Oh, but he was wonderfully responsive to the touch. Julius was enjoying himself more than he thought he would. By now, anyone else would have been groping, gripping, and spanking. Julius enjoyed a good spanking, but not from just anyone. From the right person, it was titillating. From the wrong person, it irritated Julius to the point of physical retaliation, as in a good slap to the cheek and an end to the evening. Edward looked as if he was about to pass out at any moment, whether from fright or pleasure was anyone’s guess.

“Nothing,” Edward replied when he found his voice.

“Nothing?” Julius pouted, sliding one foot down Edward’s thigh and under his costume until his toes found what he was looking for, giving Edward a start. “Oh, but this doesn’t feel like ‘nothing’ to me. In fact, it feels like something—a big and hard something.” That was no line. Dear, dear Edward was deliciously endowed. Shame he was such a wet blanket. Still….

Edward gave a nervous laugh. “Sorry, I’m a little uh….”

“Excited?” Julius finished for him with a wicked smile.

“Yes, well, difficult not be under such circumstances.” Edward reached down to slowly and carefully nudge Julius’s foot away from his groin.

Well now, what was this? First time anyone had ever pushed him away. He could certainly have some fun with this one.

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Don’t forget the giveaway! I’ll be giving away an eBook of the winner’s choice to two lucky winners. Winners will be chosen at random and announced on the final post of the day at 8pm. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment on any of today’s party posts!

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Blurb: Nights in the roaring city remind bright young things that life’s too short to take for granted. Tucked away in Times Square hides the Pantheon: a secret cabaret for wealthy gay men. Pretty young men in elaborate costumes and rouged lips are eager to please, and the champagne flows all night long. It’s a world of frivolity, fantasy, and debauchery. As Eros, the most sought after performer at the Pantheon, Julius uses his beauty and charm on enthusiastic patrons, but growing weary of superficial love, he longs to make a better life for himself.

Five years after being declared mentally unfit after surviving the trenches of No Man’s Land, Edward Joseph Clarence Junior pieced his shattered life back together. Now he’s ready to take on the family empire. To celebrate his thirtieth birthday, Edward’s cousin takes him to the most posh nightclub in town, the Pantheon. Falling under the sway of Eros, Edward and Julius find a love they’ve never imagined and the chance for a future they had only dared to dream about. But as Ares, a notorious gangster and Julius’s most important—and dangerous— client watches them, the threat to their love and their lives grows by the day.

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 Available from:

Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | All Romance eBooks

Paperbacks ordered through Dreamspinner Press qualify for Free Shipping to GRL for pick-up!

Use code: GRL2014

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About the Author:

Charlie Cochet is an author by day and artist by night. Always quick to succumb to the whispers of her wayward muse, no star is out of reach when following her passion. From Historical to Fantasy, Contemporary to Science Fiction, there’s bound to be plenty of mischief for her heroes to find themselves in, and plenty of romance, too!

Currently residing in South Florida, Charlie looks forward to migrating to a land where the weather includes seasons other than hot, hotter, and boy, it’s hot! When she isn’t writing, she can usually be found reading, drawing, or watching movies. She runs on coffee, thrives on music, and loves to hear from readers.

Website | THIRDS HQ | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Tumblr | Newsletter

 

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Blog Tour Hosts & Events
11th Sept – The Novel Approach
12th Sept – Dreamspinner Press Blog Release Day Party
13th Sept – Hearts on Fire
15th Sept – Joyfully Jay (Exclusive excerpt)
16th Sept – Attention is Arbitrary
17th Sept – Prism Book Alliance
19th Sept – Sinfully Sexy Book Reviews (Exclusive giveaway)
20th Sept – The Blogger Girls
21st Sept – Meet the Author Facebook Chat (giveaway)
22nd Sept – Bookwinked
23rd Sept – Twitter Takeover with Lex Chase (giveaway)

Blog Tour Giveaway

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Finally Home Release Party: Bon Voyage

August 29, 2014

Toast

Well, it’s been a heck of a party, folks. Thank you to Dreamspinner Press for letting me take over their blog for a day, and thank you to everyone who stopped by to listen to me talk about Finally Home!

We do have one bit of unfinished business before we part ways–it’s time to announce the winner of the giveaway!

And, according to the random number generator, the winner is:

 Trix!

Giveaway Winner

Congratulations! Please email me at zeekensington @ gmail.com so I can arrange your prize!

If you didn’t win, please don’t fret. There’s a second way to win! This release party marks the kick-off of a two-week blog tour (August 29-September 12) where not only will I be talking up Finally Home, but I’ll be giving away an autographed book bundle of Finally Home and Two Tickets to Paradise.

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August 29: Dreamspinner Press Blog Party 

August 29: MM Good Book Reviews

September 1: Allison Cassatta

September 2: The Novel Approach

September 3: Charlie Cochet’s Purple Rose Tea House

September 4: Cup o’ Porn

September 7: LIVE Facebook Chat with Dreamspinner Press

September 8: Prism Book Alliance

September 10: Guys Like Romance, Too

September 11: Vicktor Alexander’s Purple Fantasy Den

September 12: Zee Kensington (home blog)–Giveaway winner reveal

 

Thank you all again! I hope to see you again down the road. May your travels be safe, and may you always find your way back home.

Finally Home
When novice backpacker Marco and seasoned travel writer Chris parted ways in Bangkok, they thought it was the end of their summer romance. Three months later, though, a change of assignment reunites Chris and Marco, and the pair embarks on an adventure greater than ten days trekking through Thailand—forming a real relationship amid family drama, coming out fears, career woes, and personal demons.

Now available from Dreamspinner Press in eBook and Paperback!

 

Finally Home Release Party: Location Inspiration Part 2

August 29, 2014

Let’s bring it back to Marco and Chris’ respective hometowns: Los Angeles and New York.

Santa Monica Palm Trees

Santa Monica, CA

…Marco resumed the important task at hand—updating his Facebook account with pictures of yesterday’s after-work walk on the beach in Santa Monica. Sure, it hadn’t been a weekend in tropical Hua Hin, but the sun and surf had done wonders for his mood.—Finally Home

 

LAX International Terminal

Los Angeles International Airport, Los Angeles, CA

Marco felt like he was waiting in the bowels of a spaceship, with the ring of lights hovering above and the panels of cobalt light lining the wall. In a place like this, it seemed more likely that little green men would materialize than Chris would actually show up.—Finally Home

*Source

 

405 Freeway

405 Freeway, Los Angeles, CA

“I swear, freeways look the same everywhere. Only difference is the language of the signs,” Chris murmured. “I’m not used to seeing them only in English.”—Finally Home

*By Mariordo (Mario Roberto Duran Ortiz) (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

 

FDR Drive

FDR Drive, Manhattan, NY

Autumn dusk was swallowing New York slowly, and the streets and buildings fought back with hundreds of little lights of their own. He didn’t have a poetic view of the downtown skyline from here, but the sight of the East River was enough to make his New York pulse beat a little faster.—Finally Home

*Photo by Ryan Vaarsi (Flickr: Comedy on the FDR, New York City, May 2011) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

 

Upper West Side NYC

Upper West Side, Manhattan, NY

With the TV off, the apartment was nearly silent, with no hint of the urban, nocturnal energy humming outside. More than the expensive leather couch or the granite countertops, the silence was testament to just how pricey the condo was, a combination of prime location and well-insulated walls.—Finally Home

 

Central Park

Central Park, Manhattan, NY

He hummed as he scrolled through the dozens of pictures he’d taken with his smartphone since he’d left Chris’s apartment around eleven. He’d traipsed through Central Park until he came out on the Lower West Side, then navigated the subway to Greenwich Village.—Finally Home

 

Brooklyn_Bridge

Brooklyn Bridge, New York

He told Chris about the phone conversation. By the time he finished, they were at the first arch of the mile-long bridge. They had the viewing platform mostly to themselves—aside from a few hearty bicyclists, they seemed to be the only visitors crazy enough to brave the cold October wind lashing the bridge.—Finally Home

 I hope you enjoyed the slideshow!

How about you? Do you have any links you want to share to your favorite travel photos?

Finally Home
When novice backpacker Marco and seasoned travel writer Chris parted ways in Bangkok, they thought it was the end of their summer romance. Three months later, though, a change of assignment reunites Chris and Marco, and the pair embarks on an adventure greater than ten days trekking through Thailand—forming a real relationship amid family drama, coming out fears, career woes, and personal demons.

Now available from Dreamspinner Press in eBook and Paperback!

Finally Home Blog Tour and Giveaway

Finally Home blog tour banner

Join me on my blog tour (August 29-September 12) and enter to win an autographed book bundle of Finally Home and Two Tickets to Paradise!

 

Finally Home Release Party: Location Inspiration Part 1

August 29, 2014

Since travel is a huge theme in Finally Home, I drew a lot of inspiration for both the character and plot from the various cities the guys stop in. Whenever I could, I tried to use locations I’d visited before so I could more accurately capture their experiences, from the smell of the air to the color of the buildings.

I’d like to share with you some of the photos of the places that inspired Krung Thep, City of Angels and Finally Home. Let’s start with the international locations, Thailand and Mexico.

Grand Palace Bangkok

Grand Palace, Bangkok, Thailand

They’d spent the past couple hours wandering the expansive palace grounds, taking in the detailed murals, jeweled temples, and towering yak demon statues. They’d said little, but a sort of quiet camaraderie had grown between the two travelers amid the tinkle of hundreds of golden bells.—Krung Thep, City of Angels

 

View from Baiyoke

Baiyoke Sky Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand

From up here, they seemed closer to the large, honey-colored moon than to the ground below, and Marco’s heart soared as he drank in the view. —Krung Thep, City of Angels

 

 Sukhumvit road

Sukhumvit Road, Bangkok, Thailand

They left the restaurant, joining the flow of foot traffic back toward Sukhumvit Road, one of Bangkok’s main drags. The night lent some relief from the constant humid heat, though not a real reprieve. That was the rainy season in the tropics for you.—Finally Home

 

elephant in night market

Hua Hin Night Market, Hua Hin, Thailand

“And that was when the elephant walked down the street! I mean, right down the middle of the night market!” Marco waved his hand for emphasis, almost spilling his Thai iced tea on his date. “It was a baby, sure, but it was still almost as tall as I was!”—Finally Home

 

Street in Coyoacan

Coyoacan, Mexico City, Mexico

Chris had been staying in Coyoacán for a couple of weeks with some old ex-pat friends…after spending a month in the crowded, diesel-soaked hub that was the heart of Mexico City, it was a relief to take some time in one of the city’s quieter, greener boroughs.—Finally Home

*Photo by AlejandroLinaresGarcia (Own work) [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons

 

PlazaHidalgoCoyoacan

Plaza Hidalgo, Coyoacan, Mexico

He turned into the heart of the Plaza Hidalgo, which was bustling with color and activity, hoping to banish the shadows from his mind.—Finally Home

*Photo by AlejandroLinaresGarcia (Own work) [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Finally Home
When novice backpacker Marco and seasoned travel writer Chris parted ways in Bangkok, they thought it was the end of their summer romance. Three months later, though, a change of assignment reunites Chris and Marco, and the pair embarks on an adventure greater than ten days trekking through Thailand—forming a real relationship amid family drama, coming out fears, career woes, and personal demons.

Now available from Dreamspinner Press in eBook and Paperback!

Finally Home Blog Tour and Giveaway

Finally Home blog tour banner

Join me on my blog tour (August 29-September 12) and enter to win an autographed book bundle of Finally Home and Two Tickets to Paradise!

Finally Home Release Party: Giveaway!

August 29, 2014

Alright, I think it’s about time for the giveaway! Oh boy!

I’m offering an eBook bundle of Finally Home and Two Tickets to Paradise (the anthology Krung Thep, City of Angels appeared in) to one lucky winner.

The giveaway is open until 7 pm PST tonight, August 29, 2014. At that time, I’ll randomly select one winner from the answers below, and announce at the end of the party at 8 pm PST. To be valid, though, you have to answer my question: are you more of a traveler or a tourist?

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Are you like Chris, who prefers to go off the beaten path on his own and discover new treasures—though it occasionally leads to trouble? Or, are you more like Marco, who plays it safe by sticking to known areas and traveling with friends—though it sometimes means missing out on experiences? Or, are you a little of both?

Finally Home
When novice backpacker Marco and seasoned travel writer Chris parted ways in Bangkok, they thought it was the end of their summer romance. Three months later, though, a change of assignment reunites Chris and Marco, and the pair embarks on an adventure greater than ten days trekking through Thailand—forming a real relationship amid family drama, coming out fears, career woes, and personal demons.

Now available from Dreamspinner Press in eBook and Paperback!

Finally Home Blog Tour and Giveaway

Finally Home blog tour banner

Join me on my blog tour (August 29-September 12) and enter to win an autographed book bundle of Finally Home and Two Tickets to Paradise!