We’re so pleased to be hosting authors Karen Stivali, Santino Hassell, and Damon Suede on the #NYCDreamer blog tour today. Enjoy the exclusive excerpts from each of books, and then be sure to click on the Rafflecopter widget below to enter for the chance to win an autographed paperback copy of each book.
Blurb – Moment of Silence: Growing up, Jason Stern led a charmed life complete with devoted sisters, a father who was one of Brooklyn’s most respected rabbis, and a mother who made the world’s best babka. He headed to NYU ready for anything—except falling for the wrong guy, coming out, and getting disowned by his once-loving family. In spite of that, Jason managed to graduate with honors. He’s got friends who treat him like family, and he’s proudly running the largest LGBTQ teen shelter in Manhattan. Life is good, but he’s still falling for the wrong men.
When charming, sexy Quinn Fitzpatrick begins work at the shelter, Jason falls hard and fast. Quinn is tall, blond, funny—damn near perfect. Only if Quinn’s gay, even he doesn’t seem to know it. If he does, he’s not telling anyone. And he’s about one ceremony away from becoming a Catholic priest.
Long hours of work turn to long nights of talking and laughter, and Jason dares to hope this time he’s falling for the right guy. But Quinn’s got a past to deal with and major decisions to make about his future. When Quinn leaves for a silent retreat, Jason knows the silence may change everything.
Pre-Order Link: Dreamspinner Press
Other books in the Moments In Time series: MOMENT OF IMPACT (Book 1) || MOMENT OF TRUTH (Book 2) || MOMENT OF CLARITY (Book 3) || MOMENTS IN TIME (a compilation of Books 1-3)
Excerpt: (In this scene Jason and Quinn have gone out to grab a bite to eat together and Jason is teaching Quinn the joys of all the ethnic foods that are so readily available in the area of the East Village where they’re working together to expand the local LGBTQ Teen Shelter.)
Pierogi were just what the evening required. We got two orders, potato with fried onions and cheese, doused in butter. To round things out, we added a gigantic link of kielbasa and finished it all off with blueberry blintzes. By the time we were done eating, I was so full I could barely move.
“This was awesome.” Quinn licked a purple streak of blueberry off his fork before setting it down and pushing his plate away.
I was too mesmerized by the sight of his tongue to speak right away.
The waitress stopped at our booth. “All set?”
She placed the paper check between us, and Quinn reached for it, but I grabbed it first. “I’ve got this one. Make up for the popcorn you gave away.”
“You don’t have to do that.” He pulled out his wallet and put a twenty on the table.
“You can’t let anyone do anything for you, can you?”
Quinn’s eyes bugged, then softened. “Yeah, I guess I do have a problem with that sometimes.”
“Okay, most of the time.”
“You know what they say. The first step is admitting you have a problem. And the second is letting me pay for dinner.” I stuck the check and enough money for the meal and tip under the glass sugar shaker, then grabbed Quinn’s twenty, folded it in half, leaned over, and tucked it into his shirt pocket.
My fingers were in the pocket before I fully realized what I was doing. Then the whole universe condensed into the drag of my fingers on that two-inch-square area of his chest. His rock-solid chest that tightened the instant I made contact. My own chest froze, devoid of air. I’d forgotten how to breathe. All I could do was think about the fact that I had my hand on this man who’d consumed my waking and sleeping hours for weeks. And I had to let go. Literally.
About the Author: Karen Stivali is a prolific writer, compulsive baker and chocoholic with a penchant for books, movies, and fictional British men. She’s also the multiple award-winning author of contemporary and erotic romances. She writes novels about love…like real life, only hotter.
Karen’s lifelong fascination with people has led her to careers ranging from hand-drawn animator, to party planner, to marriage and family counselor, but writing has always been her passion. Karen enjoys nothing more than following her characters on their journey toward love. Whether the couples are m/f or m/m, it’s guaranteed that Karen’s novels are filled with food, friendship, love, and smoking hot sex—all the best things in life.
When Karen isn’t writing (and often when she is), she can be found on Twitter attempting witty banter and detailing the antics of her fruit-loving cat, BadKitteh. She loves to hear from readers (and other writers), so don’t hesitate to contact/follow/like her at:
Blurb – Sunset Park (A Five Boroughs Story): Raymond Rodriguez’s days of shoving responsibility to the wayside are over. His older brother wants to live with his boyfriend, so Raymond has to get his act together and find a place of his own. But when out-and-proud David Butler offers to be his roommate, Raymond agrees for reasons other than needing a place to crash.
David is Raymond’s opposite in almost every way—he’s Connecticut prim and proper while Raymond is a sarcastic longshoreman from Queens—but their friendship is solid. Their closeness surprises everyone as does their not-so-playful flirtation, since Raymond has always kept his bicurious side a secret.
Once they’re under the same roof, flirting turns physical, and soon their easy camaraderie is in danger of being lost to frustrating sexual tension and the stark cultural differences that set them apart. Now Raymond not only has to commit to his new independence—he has to commit to his feelings for David or risk losing him for good.
Pre-Order Link: Dreamspinner Press
Other Books in the Five Boroughs Series: SUTPHIN BOULEVARD || Book 2: FIRST AND FIRST coming in April 2016
Excerpt: St. Mark’s Place was crowded with the usual blend of posers, hipsters, and NYU students. I only knew the place had once been a haven for punks and alternative rocker kids because Oli got all woe is me about it, even though he’d transformed himself from a teen who had used safety pins instead of zippers to a guy who wouldn’t go anywhere without a shiny, wingtip shoe. The only surviving relics of that era seemed to be the street vendors selling pipes and bongs, a thrift shop that catered to the eccentric, and an overpriced punk rock boutique that I could not step in without feeling like an intruder.
“I used to cut school down here when I was a kid,” Raymond noted as we bypassed the new high-rise buildings that were being constructed along St. Mark’s Place.
“Haven’t been back in a minute.”
“What did you do down here?”
Raymond gave a rolling shrug, eyes flicking over cramped doorways leading to narrow gift shops and eateries. “It didn’t used to be tourist central. There was a tattoo and piercing shop down those stairs that didn’t card me,” he said, jerking his chin across the street. The place he was talking about was almost hidden by a staircase leading up to a brownstone, and more stalls with snarky tourist gifts. One vendor was selling an array of neon wigs. “And The Continental was a venue for indie bands. Now it’s just some bar.”
“I didn’t take you for the indie band type,” I said. “Or I wouldn’t have before I scoped out your Spotify playlists.”
“You really do be snooping, don’t you?”
“I’m a curious person.”
“You’re a creeper.”
If only he knew just how creepy I could be. Like watching him sleep for a few minutes before waking him up in the morning (Raymond almost always hit snooze on his alarm enough times to actually be late), or wearing his hoodies or sweaters not just because the excess fabric was cozy, but because they smelled like him. But he hadn’t yet caught on to those things, and I wasn’t going to tell him.
We walked to the end of the block before veering down a short staircase to the Afghan restaurant. It was mostly empty except for a few couples sitting at the tables around the perimeter of the dim space, so I pleaded with the hostess to seat us at the elevated table by the window with the masses of cushions in lieu of chairs. It was swathed in gold and maroon, overly decadent, but it made me want to squish in next to Raymond instead of sitting across from him. I lingered by the side of the table until he rolled his eyes and scooted over to make room for me. Us sitting next to each other looked exceptionally gay, but Raymond either didn’t notice or didn’t care.
We ordered mantoo and ashe soup, two different kebabs, and a quorma dish to share. I also pointedly ignored Raymond’s snickers as I ordered peach flavored hookah. The hookah went mostly ignored while we sampled the food, primarily because eating off the same plate as Raymond in public was making me conscious of details I would have otherwise ignored. How his body was half turned to me, our knees pressed together, the way he leaned in to reach something and did not shy away when I automatically pushed back his hair. Many simple, easy moments that added up to a degree of implied intimacy only seen with couples.
“These people probably think we’re on a date,” I said once the plates were cleared. “We look like we’re together.”
Raymond looked at me as he exhaled a cloud of peach-scented smoke. “Your point being?”
“These people don’t care. It’s, like, queer central down here.”
I wrapped my lips around the mouthpiece, enjoying the dampness from his mouth. The taste washed over me, and the inhaling and exhaling soothed me.
I blew smoke into his face. He didn’t fan it away, and I thought he looked even more attractive in the dim, golden light with wisps of smoke hanging between us.
About the Author: Santino is a writer of queer romance heavily influenced by the gritty, urban landscape of New York City, his belief that human relationships are complex and flawed, and his own life experiences.
Blurb – PENT UP: Mix business with pleasure and take cover.
Ruben Oso moves to Manhattan to start his life over as a low-rent bodyguard and stumbles into a gig in a swanky Park Avenue penthouse. What begins as executive protection turns personal working for a debonair zillionaire who makes Ruben question everything about himself.
Watching over financial hotshot Andy Bauer puts Ruben in an impossible position. He knows zero about shady trading and his cocky boss lives barricaded in a glass tower with wall-to-wall secrets and hot-and-cold-running paranoia. Can the danger be real? Is Andy for real?
What’s a bullet catcher to do? Ruben knows his emotions are out of control even as he races to untangle a high-priced conspiracy and his crazy feelings before somebody gets dead. If his suspicions are right, Andy will pay a price neither can afford, and Ruben may discover there’s no way to guard a heart.
Excerpt (Chapter Four): Sometimes a plan is just a list of things that don’t happen.
Ruben talked Andy into working out and some basic self-defense training. In exchange, Ruben consented to hit the paths in Central Park three mornings a week at dawn. He refused to sleep over, but the tradeoff seemed fair.
Ruben made it downtown half-awake, freshly rinsed and wearing old soccer shorts and duct-taped Nikes. The Iris doormen watched them leave with undisguised pity. What did they know about staying in shape at forty?
The first time they met in the Iris lobby at 6:00 a.m., Andy chided, “The early bird catches the worm.”
“Sure.” Ruben raised one grumpy brow. “But the early worm gets eaten by the bird.”
What he learned is that jogging is legalized suicide.
Ruben, a few steps behind for much of the trek to the park, watched the sweat spread across Andy’s back like faint wings and then creep toward his waistband before they’d even started in earnest. He’d forgotten that it was almost July.
Andy, for his part, led the way silently, allowing Ruben to follow the subtle cues of his body. No need to speak really. Together, they fell into a lope that Ruben hoped he could sustain without puking, pissing his shorts, or passing out.
Central Park was shaded but the morning sun still drizzled over them like hot grease. Humidity made breathing slow and arduous as they pounded the concrete paths under the trees. His quads burned and after ten minutes he could feel sweat glinting off him with every step.
Andy obviously knew how to pace himself, matching Ruben tread for tread. He was slippery with perspiration but looked relaxed and happy for some horrible reason. His corded legs took the terrain effortlessly.
Ruben focused on keeping his breath steady. He’d been cooped up indoors for too many weeks. He hadn’t realized just how much he missed sun, trees, sky. On the other hand, his thighs and calves felt flayed raw.
Without thinking Ruben took off his T-shirt and wrapped it around his fist. Too hot to feel self-conscious. Besides, he’d been in New York long enough to start losing the Florida color, his brown skin dulling to a fishbelly-beige. Sunlight slid over his shoulders like a heavy robe.
Andy looked him up and down but said nothing.
Suddenly jogging seemed like a great idea.
After fifteen minutes, the air didn’t even feel hot anymore and Ruben could feel his thirsty skin drinking the crazy green light that snuck through the trees. Sweat slid down his ribs, staining his waistband dark.
Andy gave what sounded like a big, satisfied sigh and Ruben realized he could hear it as if Andy had exhaled right into his ear because the city was so far away.
Aside from the scuff of their shoes on the path, the noises of Manhattan waking up had all but vanished. No cars yet. A dozy scent of bark and fresh grass hung in the air and the skyscrapers rose like geometric cliffs too distant to deserve caution. He snuck a look at Andy and caught him looking back.
Andy nodded and raised his eyebrows, some secret arcing between them.
Not that Central Park was a secret, but that it hid one: this mild dappled glow that filtered out the city. Strange, but somehow familiar.
About the Author: Damon Suede grew up out-n-proud deep in the anus of right-wing America, and escaped as soon as it was legal. Having lived all over, he’s earned his crust as a model, a messenger, a promoter, a programmer, a sculptor, a singer, a stripper, a bookkeeper, a bartender, a techie, a teacher, a director… but writing has ever been his bread and butter.
Though new to romance fiction, Damon has been a full-time writer for print, stage, and screen for two decades. He has won some awards, but counts his blessings more often: his amazing friends, his demented family, his beautiful husband, his loyal fans, and his silly, stern, seductive Muse who keeps whispering in his ear, year after year. Get in touch with him at DamonSuede.com.
Tour Dates and Stops:
30 November: Prism Book Alliance
30 November: The Novel Approach
1 December: FB Party (with 8 authors)
3 December: Guilty Pleasures?
4 December: Love Bytes Reviews
9 December: Joyfully Jay
11 December: Ever After
14 December: Heroes & Heartbreakers
17 December: FB NYC party
21 December: Scandalicious Book Blog
28 December: Sinfully Sexy…
The Fine Print:
*Entrants must be 18 years or older to qualify
*Some residency restrictions may apply
*All comments must be relevant to the author’s prompt to be eligible (when applicable)
*The Novel Approach will not be held liable for prize delivery unless otherwise specified
*Void where prohibited by law