BJ Sheppard, Self-Published, Smashwords

BJ Sheppard is back and his third Rainbow Connection story leaves you Rocking with Laughter!


“I’d risk everything for one kiss, everything. Yes I’d do anything.
Anything? Anything for you.” ― I’d Do Anything from Oliver


Title: The Rainbow Connection-Part III: Unwanted Guests and Strange Requests

Author: BJ Sheppard

Publisher: Smashwords

Pages/Word Count: 15,530 Words

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: It’s a slippery slope between perfection and perversion, and Liam Adams finds himself on the wrong side of the line.
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Angela Fiddler, Self-Published, Smashwords

Angela Fiddler’s “Lineage (Master of the Lines: Book One)” Is A High Stakes Paranormal Romance


“Jealousy is love in competition.” ― Toba Beta



Title: Lineage (Master of the Lines: Book One)

Author: Angela Fiddler

Publisher: Self-Published

Pages/Word Count: 157 Pages

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: Love didn’t just kick you when [you] were down; it staked you out and turned you into a vampire. Not that Vision was bitter. His ex-lover taught him nothing lasts forever, while his ex-master taught him to submit and the fine art of not resisting silk restraints. In exchange, Vision let both of them keep their heads. He considered it a fair trade-off.
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Jay Bell, Self-Published, Smashwords

Jay Bell Makes Love Feel A Little “Something Like Spring”


“If you had a time machine, would you go back and avoid getting together with Caesar? It would spare you the heartache you feel now, but think of everything else you would have missed out on. Would you take it all back?”

“No.”

“I wouldn’t take back any of mine either. Love is worth the pain.”–Jay Bell


Title: Something Like Spring (Seasons #4)

Author: Jay Bell

Publisher: Jay Bell Books

Pages/Word Count: 458 Pages

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: Nothing in this world is permanent. Friends, lovers, even family, can all disappear in the blink of an eye. Without these anchors, it’s all too easy to find oneself drifting.
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BJ Sheppard, Smashwords

“Sex, Lies and DVD Fines” leaves you breathless from laughter!


The bottom line is that people are never perfect, but love can be…” ― Tom Robbins


Title: The Rainbow Connection II: Sex, Lies, and DVD Fines

Author: BJ Shephard

Publisher: Smashwords

Pages/Word Count: 11,630 words

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: The course of true love never did run smooth for eccentric journalist Liam Adams..

After the success of his previous months column, Liam finds himself promoted and striving to impress with an article that will push the boundaries, not just of his work, but his love life as well. But will the subject of this months piece help or hinder as he struggles to keep his Rainbow Connection?
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Jay Northcote, Self-Published, Smashwords

Jay Northcote’s “Coming Home” Is A Gift Worth Giving Yourself This Holiday Season



“Sometimes all you need is a second chance because time wasn’t ready for the first one.” – Author Unknown


Are you looking for a feel-good holiday story? If so, look no further than Jay Northcote’s free Christmas short, Coming Home.

It’s a story that begins when a summer love affair ends, at a time when Jago and Will had become so much more than friends—before the logistics of college and the miles between them caused Will to decide it would be better to break up than to give a go at a long distance relationship. It’s not what Jago wanted, but it’s what he settled for rather than endure the humiliation of asking for something more, only to be rejected.
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Amazon Digital Services, Kol Anderson, Self-Published, Smashwords

At Its “Heart”, Kol Anderson Delivers More Than Just The Usual



“And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger-something better, pushing right back.” – Albert Camus


Roman Woodrow and Lucas Mayer meet on a plane en route to Vienna. Roman works for his father’s tech company and Lucas’s line of work is something of a mystery. Once they arrive, they spend a week sightseeing and enjoying getting to know each other before having one passionate night together. While Heart starts out as so many other boy meets boy/boy loses boy/boy finds boy and they live happily ever after books do, it quickly takes a dark turn. Roman disappears from Lucas’s life.

After several years, Lucas has been unable to get Roman out of his head or heart. He sees an opportunity to be in the same place as Roman and decides to take a chance on meeting up again. As Roman has made it clear he doesn’t spend more than one night with any one man, Lucas is taking a chance with his already bruised heart.
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Kol Anderson, Self-Published

Kol Anderson Is Here Today To Share Some “Heart” And To Give You A Chance To Win


THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED

BLURB:

Lucas Mayer is a hit-man, running from his past, and the one person he can think of having a future with is Roman Woodrow, a guy who’s always had trouble keeping steady relationships. Among the many addictions of Roman, is the devious and manipulative, Daniel Jones. But Lucas can’t give up Daniel’s secret without giving up his own.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

EXCERPT:

The Grand Hotel Wien’s multistory building appeared in front of them. Lucas remembered it from two of their previous encounters, where he had to wait in the lobby. The popular Tietz-designed façade was visible in all its historical glory, and Lucas understood why Roman had picked out this place for his stay. “I see the wisdom in choosing a hotel five minutes from the State Opera,” he said, as they entered the lobby through the main entrance.

“There are plenty of better hotels,” Roman admitted. “But I like the feel of this one. It doesn’t let you forget where you are.”

Roman led the way to the elevators, and they stopped on the fifth floor. He walked across the white painted halls towards the entrance to his suite, and swiped the magnetic key. Lucas followed him inside. “Wow,” he said, checking out the décor. “Now, I’m really feeling bad for myself.”

“Life-long slavery to my father has it perks I suppose,” Roman said, sitting on the couch, and started taking off his shoes.

“With that kind of money, I’m surprised you don’t have a vacation home here.” Roman looked up.

“You do have a vacation home here, don’t you?”

“It’s being used by a friend of my father ’s friend at the moment,” Roman said, placing his shoes aside. “Some favor he owed.”

“I’m guessing the privacy and independence this place offers is an advantage you prefer over some family home.”

“That too.”

Lucas walked over to the window wall where the mild traffic on the Kaerntner Ring 9 was visible beyond the glass. “Great view,” he said. “Reminds me how much I’m going to miss this place.”

“I hope you don’t mean the hotel room,” Roman said, from behind him. Lucas covered the distance between them and kissed Roman a little harder this time. He broke the kiss, and then looking into Roman’s eyes, he smiled. Roman’s face had changed, as if he could feel the heat coming off of Lucas. He leaned into him and tilted his head, giving Lucas access to his neck and Lucas began to lightly kiss up the expanse of bare skin, and the smell of him made Lucas’ cock twitch.

He could feel the tremors as Roman’s body answered his call and he allowed Lucas to move his mouth further towards his ear, nibbling on the lobe. Roman hard cock pressed against his in attempt to get some friction. They started kissing again and Roman led him towards the couch, pushing him to sit, while he got between Lucas’ legs and slid the pants off him, taking the briefs and leaving Lucas bare from the waist down. When Roman’s tongue started gliding over Lucas’ cock, Lucas was sure he was about to explode. “Fuck, Roman!”

It didn’t help that Roman was incredibly good. Lucas dropped his head back and let himself get carried away. Every minute that Roman was with him seemed perfect, and like everything he had ever wanted. Roman used his mouth on him for a long time, and when he thought Lucas was ready he stood up. “I’ll get the condoms,” he said, and started to take off his shirt, tossing it aside on his way to the bedroom. When he came back out, he was naked and holding a bottle of lube and condoms in one hand, and his cock stood erect in front of Lucas, bare and waiting. Lucas, who was resisting the urge to stroke himself, never got a chance to think as Roman straddled him on the sofa, and taking Lucas’ cock and pulling a condom over it, he slowly started lubing it up. Lucas reached for the lube and smeared some on his fingers, and pulling Roman closer, his hand caressed Roman’s ass as he slid first one, and then two lubed fingers in, moving them in and out. Roman grunted and his hands gripped Lucas’ shoulders for support, and his cock rubbed against him. Lucas started moving his fingers faster, and Roman kissed him again, making Lucas long for release.

“Fuck me,” Roman whispered, and Lucas took his finger out, and used that hand to place his cock against Roman’s ass, and Roman shifted to give him better access. Lucas would have gone slower but Roman just forced himself on him, and took control of the movements. Roman’s hand started moving over his own cock in a frenzy—he was riding Lucas, and Lucas was sure he was about to come, but Roman was the first one to find release. Just the sight of Roman’s cum on his chest and the feeling of being ass deep in him was enough to bring Lucas to orgasm. Roman’s body flopped over Lucas, panting and sweaty. Finally, Roman climbed off him. “Want to take a bath with me?” he asked.

“I don’t know.”

“What’s the matter old man?” Roman said. “Afraid I’m going to make you go a second time?”

“Should I be?”

Roman grinned. “Let’s just see what happens.” He walked into the bedroom as Lucas took off the shirt he was wearing, feeling a little silly now that he was naked, and the moment of passion had passed. He watched as Roman filled the bath, and waited for the water to achieve the right temperature. When he was satisfied, he stepped inside. The water was already foaming when Lucas got in. Roman sat across from him and lit up a smoke. Lucas felt his stare as he tried to shift into a better position. “Not that comfortable having two people in a bathtub,” Roman said. “Not at all like you see in the movies.”

“Maybe, they’re just really skinny people.”

“Hey! I’m skinny too.”

“Yes, but I’m not,” Lucas said.

“And what is this obsession guys have with being skinny anyway?”

“Maybe we just want to fit in bathtubs, Luke. Ever think of that?”

“Right.”

Roman’s gaze bore into him as Lucas tried to search for something to talk about, but Roman beat him to it. “You don’t fuck like you look,” he said, on an inhale.

Lucas watched the wisps of smoke disappear into the humid air. “What’s that supposed to mean?”

“That you don’t fuck like you look.”

“I mean, is that a compliment?”

“Yes, yes of course! Definitely a compliment,” Roman replied. “I just mean, you know how you sometimes see people and you wonder how they’re going to be in bed? For instance, I had this incredibly hot teacher at NYU and he used to wear glasses, and I always wondered if he took them off when he was fucking. Two months later, I walked in on him boning the librarian, and he was still wearing them. He saw me, but he never stopped fucking her. He just smiled at me, like it was the most natural thing to do, and kept going, sure I wasn’t going to rat him out.”

“Either that, or he was so lost in the moment, he really didn’t care.”

“Exactly,” Roman said. “So, you know, sometimes when you see a person, you picture them in those naughty postures, but in my experience it’s always different from the reality. Not better or worse, just different.”

“Did my reality disappoint you?”

“I told you it was a compliment.”

“But you admit you were picturing me in naughty postures before we even kissed?”

“I was picturing you in naughty postures when I sat with you in the airplane.”

“That can’t be true.”

“It is,” Roman said. “The minute I saw you my mind went straight to sex. Don’t tell me yours didn’t.”

“Isn’t that kind of useless? I mean what if I wasn’t gay?”

“What’s that got to do with anything?”

“I’m just saying it would be disappointing.”

“No, it would be natural to see a hot guy and to have your mind go straight to sex. What happens afterwards is completed unrelated.”

“And by that definition, I’m a hot guy?”

“You’re hot by every definition,” Roman said, stubbing out the cigarette in a tiny crystal ashtray.

“Yeah, right.”

“I’m sitting here in my bathtub with you, and you’re still not convinced.”

“Fine,” Lucas said, running his hands over Roman’s legs. “You convinced me.”

Roman smiled, and his foot lodged itself close to Lucas’ balls under the water. Lucas tried to find something else to concentrate on, but Roman’s lips were making it difficult. All he could think of doing was to kiss him again, so he tried to lure the conversation away from sex. “What are your plans for tomorrow?”

“Why?” Roman asked. “What’s special about tomorrow?”

“Nothing,” Lucas said. “Besides the fact that I have a plane to catch.”

“You’re leaving?”

“That was the plan,” Lucas said. “Unless, we make some new plans.”

Roman stared into his eyes. “Why do we have to make plans?” he said, his foot reaching the most awkward places. “Can’t we just live in the moment?”

“Sure,” Lucas said. “We can do that.”

Roman’s foot moved again, and Lucas jumped. “I don’t like tomorrows,” Roman said. “It makes me miserable thinking about some tentative future that may or may not happen when I have you right here, right now, and everything’s so great.”

“I’m starting to think you might be right.”

“I wish this was it,” Roman said, suddenly and his voice took on a darker tone. “I wish the rest of my life was trapped in this moment. That I had no other feelings to feel ever again, but the way I’m feeling with you right now.”

“That’s a beautiful thing to say.”

“No,” Roman whined. “It’s actually a very depressing thing to say!”

“Are you depressed?”

“Not particularly,” Roman said. “Just about as depressed as anyone who has to suffer life, I guess.” His foot stopped moving. “I know what you’re thinking—typical existential bullshit.”

“Come here,” Lucas said.

“Why?”

“Just come over here.”

Roman used the corners of the bathtub to propel himself forward and carefully went closer to Lucas, knees between his thighs, and Lucas drew him in for a kiss. “Whatever it is that’s bothering you,” he said. “You have a lifetime ahead of you to deal with it.”



BUY LINKS:

SMASHWORDS | CREATESPACE | AMAZON

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BJ Sheppard, Self-Published, Smashwords

“Romance Reads and Secret Needs” – BJ Sheppard’s Got It Covered



“Gym toned, carb ignorant and blissfully unaware of the emotional resonance of words, I have been knee deep in thigh-knockers without thought or feeling for as long as I could recall.” – BJ Sheppard


BLURB: Liam Adams thought that writing about life would be easy. He couldn’t have been more wrong.

Situated at a non-functional desk in the farthest corner of his fifth floor communal office, Liam has been charged with writing a segment for the company’s gay e-zine, “The Rainbow Connection”. Trying to disseminate the role of gender in the readership of gay literature, Liam soon starts to realize the jarring juxtaposition between the sentimental tales of love and his own fly-by-night sexual agenda. Not a stranger to the company of strangers, Liam is set on a path to discover why it’s the journey that matters most of all, and it takes a village to help him on his quest. From the overeating Social Networking Executive, to the liquor-addled Editor, Liam treads the road to enlightenment; and as the article reaches completion, the man realizes his latest sexual conquest could prove to be his last.

Humour and heart collide, as one man’s journey takes a fork in the road and straight down a path of no return. Can Liam find his Rainbow Connection with a man who had been there all along?

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Self-Published, Smashwords, Thaddeus J

“The Sol of Jupiter” Is Love In The Time Of DADT


“The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.” ― Ernest Hemingway


BLURB: Turner Michaels is an idealistic junior enlisted communicator that wants nothing more than to successfully execute his duties. After being transferred to a light armored reconnaissance unit in the middle of the Mojave Desert, the young U.S. Marine starts to feel a bit overwhelmed and out of place from his usual role of support – that is until he is reunited with his old friend Jace Sozio. Reconnecting with one another is simple, but neither of them could have imagined the intense yet awkward attraction that would grow between them. Though admitting these feelings to one another poses a dilemma for the men, as neither wants it to threaten their close friendship. Taking things to a whole new level raises a number of other questions as well. First and foremost, would their peers accept them, or would they have to forever hide their relationship? And admitting their true feelings for one another is easier said than done. Their harsh supervisor is demanding and makes life miserable for the pair, and they also have a number of very good (though sometimes annoying) friends that make them question if they even need enemies. But with the help of their family and inspiring leaders the two will discover that loyalty and support are stronger than bigotry and misperception. Proving that the Corps indeed is a sacred brotherhood where men can trust one another with their very lives.

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2.5 Stars, Justin South, Self-Published, Smashwords

“Paul & Sam” Is A Teenage Love Story Wrapped In A Murder Mystery



“Justice isn’t about fixing the past; it’s about healing the past’s future.” ― Jackson Burnett


Justin South’s Paul & Sam is the story of two nineteen-year-old boys who are brought together in a rather coincidental fashion and under some fairly serendipitous circumstances, as their lives had intertwined some years before in a near-tragic way, and now that this connection has been revealed years later, is subsequently manipulated and transformed into a romantic relationship. There is no build up to these boys falling in love because they were in love before they ever really met, which is a significant plot-point and one I won’t reveal. Suffice it to say I needed a bit more to help me to buy into their relationship.
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2 Stars, Kevin Anthony, Self-Published, Smashwords

“Feast, Stray, Love” Is A Story With Potential That Missed The Mark



“But if you’re gonna dine with them cannibals
Sooner or later, darling, you’re gonna get eaten . . .” ― Nick Cave


The advent of E-publishing has given authors, and aspiring authors, a whole new world in which to experiment with their craft. From fan fiction to self-publishing original work, the means of delivering a story to potential readers has never been easier, and sometimes for readers, it’s even infinitely rewarding because the cost of feeding our voracious appetites for the written word has never been cheaper. On the surface, there doesn’t seem to be a losing side in the proposition. Sadly, however, as with anything good, there is always the potential for an equal amount of the opposite, and that’s where Feast, Stray, Love falls: solidly within the realms of a story that had some potential but fell woefully short in its execution.
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Kia Zi Shiru, Smashwords

The Past Informs The Future In “Disturbed Fate”



“Sometimes things have to go very wrong before they can be right.” ― Samantha Freber


BLURB: Marc, a small pet shop owner and seer, needs help with his store, but his new employee, Galen, brings with him more trouble than expected. Marc tries to keep their relationship professional even if Galen seems insistent on taking it to the next level. And then there is the problem of Galen’s past.
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Cherry Dare, Self-Published, Smashwords

“Prince of Silk and Thorns” Is A Can’t-Put-It-Down Read

“First best is falling in love. Second best is being in love.” – Maya Angelou



It’s not often that I am surprised by romance novel and this was a very pleasant surprise, indeed. When Prince of Silk of Thorns came across for review, I have to admit I was a bit underwhelmed by the cover- Cherries on a rope? What does that have to do with a Prince? The story being a mixture of historical fantasy was not my usual genre either. I have to admit that I reluctantly dove into the story and after about 10 pages couldn’t put the darn thing down!

The story is about Prince Alar and a peasant boy, Garin, who Alar finds working in a field. Alar takes Garin as a slave and takes him back to the palace. From the get-go the sexual tension and chemistry between the two MC’s is palpable and takes on a life of its own. Garin is a sexual virgin who has always been drawn to men, and the seemingly cruel Alar just seems interested in satisfying his own needs. However, the relationship between slave and master that takes at first a BDSM slant grows into something more. The two men start to fall in love and Garin, who saves the “half fallen angel” Alar, from an assassination attempt puts his own life in danger to ensure the safety and health of Alar. It’s through many political intrigues in a medieval world that Garin and Alar find love, and they work to put each man on equal footing with one another for the sake of the love they have for one another.

This book is not only engrossing in plot but let me tell you, the sex scenes between the MC’s are kept fresh and incredibly sensual. Dare makes each and every sexual encounter between Garin and Alar fresh and invigorating. The sex in this book is not the same old hat. It’s involved in the storyline and flows seamlessly with the plot, and each and every encounter makes the relationship between the two main characters palpable and real.

This book is GREAT and is something that will stay with me for a very long time. Yes the language can be a bit flowery but beyond that, this book is wonderful. I look forward to reading much more from this author. Never judge a book by its cover!

Reviewed by: Bruce

You can buy Prince of Silk and Thorns here:

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K.A. Merikan, Self-Published, Smashwords

Everyone’s Needs Are Met In “Special Needs”

“When a fantasy turns you on, you’re obligated to God and nature to start doing it—right away.” – Stuart Brand



This was a book of firsts for me. I’ve never read anything from the author, and I’ve never read about a main character being wheelchair bound. I was interested to see how the author would develop a character with special needs; would it be about the person or the chair? I’m so glad I did.

Liam has a history of sleeping with his bosses and then getting fired. He’s out of a job and living in his car, so he’s pretty desperate to find a job. He interviews for a job as a caretaker for a young B&B owner who is in a wheelchair. He gets the job and is determined to keep it, so it’s hands off his employer, who just happens to be the cutest thing Liam has ever seen.

Ryan, Liam’s employer, inherited his B&B from his late aunt. It’s not just any B&B, Ryan turned it into a kinky sex fetish B&B, where there are many themed rooms for people to come and live out their fantasies. I fell in love with Ryan’s character immediately. He’s funny, he has a cute way of just blurting out whatever he wants sexually at the most inappropriate times, he made me laugh out loud quite often. He’s very self conscience of his legs and is so shy, he’s never really had a boyfriend before. He has a website that caters to people who have a fetish for disabled people, and is happy to do his part to contribute whatever he can to make them happy.

The story itself tells the day to day running of the B&B. We meet Ryan’s two employees who work there, Rodney and Fay who add their own sauciness to the mix. We get a look at what Liam’s duties are as well, cooking meals, taking Ryan shopping and carrying up and down the stairs to his bedroom. Liam hasn’t told Ryan he’s gay. In his head its better to have Ryan think he’s straight, so he’s not tempted to have sex with yet another one of his bosses. It kinda back fires on Liam as he tries to find Ryan a boyfriend, all the while lusting after him himself. And what he doesn’t know is that Ryan is feeling the same for him.

I actually loved the slow pace of this book. We really get to know Liam and Ryan and their daily interactions with one another. Their easy going rapport with each other was very sweet and you see them evolve into more than just employee and employer. You see a very emotional bond form between them that eventually goes beyond friendship.

There are many scenes in this book that are so sweet and heartwarming. The role playing, bondage scenes Ryan wants, Liam is happy to oblige. There are some scenes that are a little disturbing too. Especially, the ones with Ryan’s boyfriend/stalker. This book has a little bit of everything and I found it to be very entertaining to read. And yes, it has a major cliffhanger at the end that I didn’t see coming, but you know, I didn’t care.

I loved this book and wouldn’t let an abrupt ending keep me from reading it. You’ll be missing out on a great, unique story if you do.

Reviewed by: Lynn

You can buy Special Needs (Special Needs #1) here:

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Hannah Johnson, Self-Published, Smashwords

Know Not Why by Hannah Johnson

Sarcasm isn’t just a way to mask your emotions and distance yourself from others. It’s also super-duper satisfying. – Unknown.

Howie Jenkins is a man with a plan. Yeah, that’s right, his plan is to work at the locally owned Artie Kraft’s Arts and Crafts store so he can increase his odds of getting laid because, of course, arts + crafts = babes. Everyone knows that. Everyone but me, I think. If I’d been Howie’s BFF, I’d have been less worried about how sad that plan is and more concerned with the fact that the biggest flaw in the questionably brilliant idea may be that the mean age of the patrons who frequent arts and crafts stores isn’t exactly within Howie’s 18-25 year old demographic. And they have 2.2 kids. And the employees are largely older women. I’ve been to arts and crafts stores. I know these things. I am that thing. But more power to the boy. He goes for it, gets the job in spite of the fact that Howie is probably the last guy Arthur Kraft wants to hire, and score! there’s a pretty, perky, and blond teenage Kristy Quinn who works there and is just ripe for the pickin’. Almost. Too bad Kristy already has a boyfriend. And she thinks Howie’s gay. Ouch. Double whammy.

And then there’s also Cora Caldwell, of the Rocky Horror Show Caldwells, but Cora could easily eat Howie and then reassemble his bones into something edgy and artful, so Cora’s a big no. Plus, she’s fairly awesome in a totally bitchy way. I kind of girl crushed on her, as well as Howie’s above-referenced BFF Amber. And then there’s the fact that the ‘rents keep trying to make with the matching between Amber and Howie, but she only has eyes for Howie’s twinly opposite and over-achieving brother, Daniel, who’s in love with the aggressively ordinary Emily.

It’s a conundrum.

I’ve been thinking about this book for a few days now and have come to the conclusion that I think whether you like it or not will depend entirely upon whether you like Howie Jenkins, the story’s narrator. See, Howie is…slightly annoying. But in a rather adorkable way! He’s adorkably annoying. Or annoyingly adorkable, I can’t decide which. Sometimes I just wanted him not to talk for a minute, that’s all. That Howie, well, he’s turned being a wiseass into a true art form. In fact, wiseassery may very well be his first language, but there’s a valid reason he hides behind all that snarky comedy, and you’ll just have to read the book if you want to find out why. I found him utterly endearing and wanted him to shut his freaking pie hole, all at the same time. He’s kind of like my kids—can work a last nerve like a pro, but now that he’s gone, I miss him.

But Howie’s not the only character in this book who lets his snark-flag fly high and proud. No, most of the characters are quite fluent in the articulation of mocky banter, others are merely fluent in utter nonsense, while still others don’t speak anything but literal and just get lost in the crossfire of all that extra-witty repartee. While I loved the premise of this story, I have to say there were times when the sarcasm overload began to take its toll on me. There was a lot of adorable and very touching stuff going on in this book too, though, so I soldiered through and am ultimately very, very glad I did.

What began as quite possibly the doofiest plan in the world turned into such a sweet enemies-to-lovers, coming-out story, as well as an unlikely romance between the unquestionably more sophisticated and giftedly eyelashed Arthur Kraft and our cluelessly adorable Howie, who tried so hard to be straight, but one kiss from Arthur, and Doh! hey, hm, maybe Howie’s not as straight as he always thought he was. And suddenly Howie’s living a double-life, one in which he can be himself at the struggling little arts and crafts store where his friends know the new and improved Howie, and the other where he has to hide the fact that Arthur is the first person in the whole wide world who has ever made Howie feel the way he feels when they’re together.

And P.S. – Howie has the best mom ever.

There is no doubt about it; this book is just precious, but for me, sometimes it felt like it suffered under the weight of its own über-verbose preciousness, meaning that at 317 pages, this one probably would’ve been trimmed down quite a bit had it been traditionally published. As it stands, however, for a self-pub, I’d say Hannah Johnson has a very promising future in this writerly biz.

Buy Know Not Why here:

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Cary Attwell, Self-Published, Smashwords

The Other Guy by Cary Attwell

Accept the things to which fate binds you, and love the people with whom fate brings you together. – Marcus Aurelius

Have you ever just wanted to hug a book really hard and then kiss it and then thank it for giving you hours of bliss? Oh. Well, maybe it’s just me. But, gaaaah, I want to shout my love for this one from the rooftops, for it is sublime. And then it ended. And now I want a sequel. I’d settle for an epilogue. A haiku?

The telephone rang
Emory professed his love
Happy forever

Okay, I suck at the haiku, but you get the point. I want to see what happens after the phone call.

The Other Guy is the story of Emory James, and to say that Emory is unlucky in love is kind of an understatement, considering that his fiancé has just ditched him at the altar and run off with her first college boyfriend (picture Elaine and Ben at the end of The Graduate). But never let it be said that Emory’s not a classy guy. The booze, food, and band are already paid for, after all; the reception must go on. And furthermore, so must the honeymoon. Or at least that’s what Emory decided once the sobbing stopped. A trip to Thailand, where no one knows him or the humiliation he’s suffered, is just what he needs; a week in paradise where he can be someone other than Emory James – The Other Guy. Emory can be the Good-Looking Bastard and none will be the wiser. He’s such a trooper. And Jeremy Renner’s playing him in the movie.

Well, this is where Nate Harris enters the picture, and this is where things really started getting good. Chemistry? Pish. Nate is a force of nature, and it’s clear from word one that he and Emory have a connection that goes far beyond a simple bromance. But Emory? Well, Emory’s not gay and things happen and then he blurts right out why he’s in Thailand on his aborted honeymoon after Nate kisses him in the rain… Emory’s not gay? Pish. And then that force of nature that is their attraction to each other takes over. And then Nate flies home. So much for their vacation romance.

Or is it?

It wouldn’t be much of a book if that was the end of the story, would it? Nope. Months later, Fate with a capital-F makes sure to give these boys a karmic boot to the posterior, and shoves them directly back into each other’s orbit, and if there were any two people whose lives needed to coalesce, it’d be these two. But you can’t possibly think it’d be that simple, can you? Nope. So, Emory is probably gay, or at least bi, but getting him to admit it to himself, let alone to anyone else, becomes a roadblock to his and Nate’s happiness. And then there’s angst. And the return of the fickle fiancé who’s decided she made a big mistake. Yikes, conflict.

Well, if there’s anything we’ve all learned from romantic fiction, it’s that love always finds a way. Sometimes all it takes is the verbal smackdown from your best friend, and the courage to face your fears, and the chance to ask for forgiveness that all comes together in the perfect storm of resolution and helps a guy navigate his way to Happily-Ever-Afterland before he takes a wrong turn at The-One-That-Got-Awayville.

But I still want to know what happens after that phone call.

The Other Guy is Cary Attwell’s debut novel, and all I can say is that I’ll be watching for any- and everything else I can find from this author. This book is charming and clever and I adored it so much that I couldn’t put it down. In fact, I may just go ahead and read it again.

Buy The Other Guy here:

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Finn Marlowe, Smashwords

Not His Kiss to Take – Some FREE Kink From Finn Marlowe

Ethics is knowing the difference between what you have a right to do and what is right to do. – Potter Stewart

I’m going to be one-hundred percent honest here and tell you I almost stopped reading this book at least a half dozen times before I even made it to the halfway mark. Yeah, it was like that. This was a really difficult storyline for me to get rah-rah-happy about because I felt like some dirty old perverted lecher for reading it. It made me want to go shower repeatedly. And then I liked it. Oy, the conflict.

Not His Kiss to Take contains what might be considered some seriously difficult subject matter to wrap your head around: off screen rape, the repeated predatory pursuit of the victim—the straight victim, by the way—by the man who has assumed the role of the young man’s doctor and caretaker, auto-erotic asphyxiation, enema play, and then, on top of that, the book boils down to what is essentially an extended sex scene that begins immediately with the doctor penetrating the victim’s anus with fingers and that enema nozzle, and sprouting wood while he was doing it. See? I had a hard time getting beyond the fact that Dr. Evan Harrison would not only cross the line of ethics between doctor and patient, but that he’d obliterate that line in his want of Jamie, a man fourteen years younger than Evan, and a man who’s not only vulnerable and reliant upon Evan, but is also seemingly compelled to submit to Evan’s authority. At least in the bedroom.

But then… Then why, if I had all these squickalicious greasy-brained feelings, did I end up reading this book in a single sitting, getting a mere four hours of sleep because I couldn’t put it down? I can’t say it’s because it’s the best book I’ve ever read, because, while I liked it, it’s not. I can’t say it’s because these characters have darted their way to the top of the list of my all-time favorite couples, because, while I liked them (or eventually did), they haven’t. I can’t say it’s flawlessly written, because it isn’t—but it’s free, so I’m definitely not complaining. So why did I start justifying things in my mind? Things like, Evan isn’t technically a practicing physician because he suffers from migraines, so that being the case, has he really breached the doctor/patient code of ethics? Can there be a breach of trust if the very damaged person you’ve brought into your home doesn’t really trust you in the first place? Things like, hey, these guys are two consenting adults, so who am I to question what constitutes stepping over that invisible moral line, even though Jamie’s consent felt more than a little manipulated at times by Evan’s sexual magnetism.

Then I finished the book and decided I’m still not sure what drew me in, at least nothing I want to examine too closely, like the fact that it was incredibly (and maybe inappropriately?) provocative and erotic. But beyond that, I truly did want to see if Evan would ever come to the conclusion that what he’d done was in any way questionable, if not flat out wrong. And he does. And I needed to see that Jamie was okay with the way his relationship had evolved with Evan. And he was. Eventually. Was it convincing? Mmmm… sure, why not? I was honestly happy for them in the end, which I’m not sure I believed would or could happen in the beginning, considering I wasn’t even certain I’d finish the book to find out.

So, if you feel like putting on your kinky-boots and not having to pay a lot of money for it, give this one a try.

You can download it here:

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Amelia C. Gormley, Smashwords

Acceleration (Impulse, Book 2) by Amelia C. Gormley – There’s Still Time To Enter To Win!

You can clutch the past so tightly to your chest that it leaves your arms too full to embrace the present. – Jan Glidewell

Amelia C. Gormley’s “Impulse” series could easily be subtitled The Erotic Anatomy of a Relationship, and whether you like it or not may depend on how much you love to get into the nuts and bolts of what makes a man who he is, and why everything that has happened to him in the past has a bearing on everything he does and feels and says—or doesn’t allow himself to say—in the present.

Acceleration is the continuation of the story begun in Inertia, the story of Derrick Chance and Gavin Hayes, two men who have brought a fair amount of baggage into their relationship, and the ways in which they’re working to sort out their trust and communication issues outside of the bedroom—the one place Derrick seems to be able to understand what he needs from Gavin—and how the backdraft of their sexual connection influences them in other ways, as Derrick learns he wants the pleasure/pain of sexual submission, and Gavin accepts that his dominance and the need to mark and claim Derrick is not in any way a form of hatred, neither of himself nor of gay men in general, but is simply an innate part of who he is.

The two men still have a ways to go to mend all the things that are wrong with their relationship, both in the ways Derrick tends to alienate Gavin in his instinct to keep parts of himself to himself, as well as in what’s becoming the unfortunate realities of prejudice and what it means to Derrick now that he’s living as an openly gay man. And of course, there’s also the overarching shadow of Gavin’s HIV status and the weight it places upon so many of Derrick’s actions and reactions.

I’m completely hooked on these guys, no question about that. This serial is one-hundred percent character driven and is an erotic interface of psychological boundaries and sexual release and relationships 101. I want to stick around and play voyeur in their bedroom, and I want to follow them headlong into all the challenges they still have coming their way in the next book, Velocity.

Available for purchase at the following E-tailers:

AMAZON
ALL ROMANCE EBOOKS
KOBO
SMASHWORDS
RAINBOW EBOOKS

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Amelia C. Gormley, Smashwords

Inertia (Impulse, Book #1) by Amelia C. Gormley

“I have ever since seemed to myself … a kind of solitary wanderer in the wild of life.” – Samuel Johnson

Derrick Chance has been alone for ten years, ten years during which he has lived a half-life of working and taking care of the needs of others, all while ignoring the fact that his own risk-free and insular existence is adding up to little more than a pole to pole exercise in denial; denying himself the right to love and to be loved in return, to feel all the beautiful fears of falling, and instead being paralyzed by the risk that comes with trying to weave your life into the tapestry of another’s, the needing of that intimacy and the sharing of all the uncontrollable and unpredictable good, bad, ugly, and indifferent that fate sometimes throws your way just to make sure you’re paying attention.

And Derrick was fine with it, or at least resigned to it; not that he was unaware there was a different way to live, but he was content with his life, as monotone as it was—until he was hired by Gavin Hayes to do a small home-improvement job; then suddenly he saw someone who made him want things, need things, things he knew were missing but were absent from his life by his choice rather than by his fault. And then there was fear, because losing his heart and letting someone in meant leaving himself open to the pain of losing…again. And it’s more than he’s willing to forfeit…for at least a short while, until a pair of whiskey-colored eyes brought an intensity of feeling to his life, and he found he couldn’t look away.

Inertia, book one in the Impulse series is an exploration of the tenuous beginning of a relationship between two men whose pasts have very much influenced who they are and what they’re willing to compromise in order to see where their attraction to each other could go. Potentially devastating truths nearly undo them before they even have a chance to explore their potential—truths that for Gavin could be life altering, truths that for Derrick could be too much to overcome because they signal the possibility of a repeat of his painful past.

Amelia C. Gormley has treated me to something that, as a reader, I love more than just about anything: a character driven story that’s allowed me the chance to become invested in the lives and trials of the people she’s created, and the promise of what will be an emotional journey, for sure, as Derrick and Gavin continue to navigate their way into a relationship that seems destined for both hope and hardship.

Inertia offers no quick resolutions or easy answers for these two characters—there’s still too much for them to work through and too far yet to go, but there’s progress and promise and that’s all I need to keep me coming back for more.

Be sure to stay tuned, because Amelia C. Gormley is going to be back on November 25, 2012, to offer one lucky reader the chance to win Book Two in the Impulse series, Acceleration!

Buy Inertia (Impulse, Book #1) here:

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Ethan Day, Geoffrey Knight, Smashwords

Wanna Catch A Fox? Leave A Comment And You Just Might!

“Secrets are made to be found out with time.” – Charles Sanford

Are there any two authors who were destined to collaborate more so than Geoffrey Knight and Ethan Day? I mean, Knight and Day? Come on. It’s synchronicity, isn’t it? Well, let me tell you, I’m thinking this was a long time coming and they should just keep it coming for a very long time. All the things I love about their work individually, is something to celebrate collectively in To Catch a Fox, the story of Jonathan Fox, a hardboiled New Orleans Private Investigator who’s up to his eyeballs in family secrets, murder threats, and some steamy manlovin’ with Tucker Wilder, a down-on-his-luck screenwriter who finds himself up to his eyeballs in family secrets, murder threats… Yeah, you get the picture.

There’s danger and action galore, explosions and explosive intrigue, when past sins and a sinister betrayal threaten everything Jonathan had believed to be true about his father and the way in which he died. A rich and colorful palette of characters paint the landscape of this story with vibrant personalities and just the right touch of humor, suspense, scandal, angst, and romance.

There’s even an albino alligator. Yes, you read that right, and trust me when I say she (he?) takes a right nasty bite out of crime.

And as if all that wasn’t enough, there’s an evil, evil ::shakes fist:: cliffhanger to bring this installment of the series to a close. You didn’t think Jonathan and Tucker were going to ride off happily into the sunset just yet now, did you? Where would the fun be in that? No, you’ll have to tune in next time for the continuing saga in A Fox in the Hole, Book two in the Knight and Day Fox Mystery Series, coming soon to theaters near you.

Okay, not really, but it should be.

Geoff and Ethan are busy gearing up for GayRomLit 2012, but I have them here in spirit today to offer one lucky reader the chance to win To Catch a Fox. All you have to do is leave a comment on this post and you’ll automatically be registered to win! And please make sure to leave your email address in your comment so we know how to contact you! Good luck!

**Contest deadline is 11:59pm Pacific (2:59am Eastern) on Wednesday, October 17, 2012. The drawing will be conducted on October 18th, the first day of GRL, so there may be a slight delay in either Geoff of Ethan contacting you with your prize. Thanks in advance for your patience.** :)

BUY LINK

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Daniel A. Kaine, Self-Published, Smashwords

Dawn of Darkness (Daeva #1) by Daniel A. Kaine

“Hell is empty and all the devils are here.” – William Shakespeare

Nearly a century ago, humans and vampires lived together peacefully, even amidst the religious prophesying that their integration would most certainly bring about Armageddon one day. When a great plague swept across the globe and decimated nearly all the world’s population, it appeared the prophets were right and the vampires were indeed a scourge, and the resulting demise of the human race. It’s now the year 2105, vampires and humans are once again predator and prey, but within the dystopian landscape of what had once been France, one civilized community still exists among the ruins, Rachat, a stronghold in which an army of young men and women with supernatural abilities become lethal weapons in the fight against the vampiric enemy.

Mikhail Hart and Ashley White are two newly minted soldiers in the Silver Dawn Battalion, two young men with powers that give them an advantage in this war against the undead. They, along with their preternatural comrades, have been spoon-fed from the propaganda vessel, taught to believe that the course of their history was directed and dictated by the nightdwellers who have the power to control their thoughts and feed on them like human cattle. But the truth is that the truth is still out there waiting to be discovered. And when Mik gets a little too close to those truths, life as he knows it becomes something more like a small corner of hell, where the devil he knows is every bit as dangerous and the devil he doesn’t, and some of the worst lies are the lies he tells himself, for those are the lies that convince him the one person in the world he loves is lost to him forever.

The battle lines are drawn, and Mik has chosen sides. It’s the invisible line of warring ideology that has separated him from Ash, and now they’re on opposing ends of the personal and political agenda that has sprung from the deception and manipulation of the puppet regime. It is the fine line they both toe but cannot cross until they learn to trust that their love is the most powerful weapon they have in this battle between good and evil, and that survival can mean the difference between living or merely existing.

If you’ve read any small amount of paranormal fantasy over the past few years, you might feel, like me, that vampires have been done to death. After reading everything from Bram Stoker’s original to those of the sparkling variety, I feel like I’ve seen every possible permutation of the bloodsucker theme in between, but I have to say I was very pleased with Dawn of the Darkness, Daniel A. Kaine’s self-published debut. Mr. Kaine’s vampires are a mixed bag of daywalkers, nightdwellers, those who have striven to hang on to a bit of their humanity and to prove they’re not all the soulless monsters they’ve been made out to be, as well as those who are very much the monsters vampires have always been. There’s no attempt to bend or break the roles and rules, no sensationalizing for the sake of introducing something different. These vamps are sometimes horrific, sometimes entirely humane, and I liked the contrasts.

This novel is introspective speculative fiction, a blend of horror and young adult romance. It’s a story of betrayal and of healing and forgiveness, at once altogether gory, then utterly poignant in its portrayal of the broken pasts that have shaped who Mik and Ash have become. Though the going was a bit slow at times, and there were some rough edges to this gem, I was thoroughly invested in the journey and am looking forward to its continuation in Origin of Darkness, book #2 in the Daeva series.

Daniel A. Kaine is a GayRomLit participating author. Find out a bit more about Daniel HERE.

Buy Dawn of Darkness HERE.

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Kaje Harper, Self-Published, Smashwords

Into Deep Waters by Kaje Harper

“Yesterday, December 7, 1941—a date which will live in infamy…” – Franklin D. Roosevelt

More than twenty-three-hundred people lost their lives, but there were figurative casualties as well, because even those who survived the attack were stripped of all the absolutes they’d known up to that now infamous day. It was the death of peace, as well as loud and living proof that the “War to End All Wars” was nothing more than a precursor to the horror that was to follow.

Daniel Acardi was at Pearl Harbor, serving onboard the USS California. He was among the survivors. Jacob Segal’s brother Brian wasn’t so fortunate. But everyone, regardless of which side of life or death he fell on, paid a steep price in the aftermath of that attack.

Daniel and Jacob were young men, both just babies, really, all things considered—men who were forced to grow up all too quickly, men who grew old before their time because neither knew then if he would have the opportunity to grow old naturally—serving onboard the USS Gageway, in the South Pacific, a place where the blue sky and the deep ocean were never safe, and the water sometimes flowed red with valor and sacrifice.

Into Deep Waters is the story of two teenagers who met in the midst of horror yet managed to fall deeply in love in spite of all the dangers they faced, not only from the enemy but from the men with whom they served, if their secret were ever to be revealed. Their story is one of immeasurable courage and of honor, and of farewell and of reunion. It is a story that spans sixty-nine years and is a revelation of a deep and abiding love that persevered and thrived through denial, through War and its many scars—both physical and psychological—and through a social revolution that brought the two men, now aged and well and truly loved, out of the shadows and into the light and eventually to a place where they could celebrate their union with family and friends at their sides.

It was sixty-nine years that passed in a mere one-hundred-seventy-two pages in which Kaje Harper painted a picture both beautiful and terrifying to imagine. Daniel and Jacob endured through hardship and conflict but survived and reached toward their vintage years, to a place where they could then reflect upon an entire lifetime of commitment and communion, could still feel the strength of their bond, and could still see the boys they once were even in the twilight of their lives.

Into Deep Waters is at times a gentle romance, at others a brutal and honest portrayal of war and of the men who were dubbed “The Greatest Generation” for very good reason.

It has also generously been offered for FREE and can be downloaded HERE.

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Kaje Harper, Smashwords

Lies and Consequences by Kaje Harper

Christopher Fletcher is a habitual liar. He’s also an author, so he’s well versed in creating fictions, and he uses that talent like an armor to protect a Christopher no one truly knows, maybe not even Christopher himself.

Chris has crafted a variety of persona in his adult life—the timid writer, the dutiful son seeking God’s benevolence through the approval of his parents, the fiancé, even a Self whom he has named Robin, an orphan and a club twink. Robin is the doppelganger, who, through the looking glass, is the mirror opposite of Chris: confident where Chris is shy, colorful where Chris is subdued. These different characters reside in a single man and he has become so accustomed to weaving a tangled web of lies over the years that he practices to deceive even himself.

Ian McCallum is not the sort of man who frequents clubs like the Gold Coast, but he’s there playing wingman to his best friend Trent on the night he meets Robin, the blue haired club twink that a man like Ian would never be attracted to. Only he is. And for a man like Ian, a man for whom being in control is an imperative, the out of control Robin effortlessly draws Ian into his web and into a place where survival for Ian becomes a question of whether he can come to terms with how much of himself he’s willing to compromise for the sake of the man with whom he’s fallen in love, even the parts of that man that never truly existed.

When someone shows you who they are, believe them because no one knows himself better than he himself does. Unless you’re a man who has spent his entire life trying to be who his parents expect him to be—perfect—and has been pretending so long that he’s not entirely sure which parts of himself are real. White lies, small lies, big lies, lies by omission: Christopher has spun them all. The question for Ian becomes whether he can stop expecting Chris to be someone other than who he is and who he needs to be to cope with his dysfunctional childhood.

They say truth is stranger than fiction, and the series of unfortunate events that happen to Ian McCallum and Christopher Robin Fletcher are the sorts of things any author would kill for his Muse to visit upon him, because they are the stuff of which only a writer could dream up to have happen to two protagonists in a novel—bar fights, plane crashes, stalkers, kidnappers, shoot-outs—Kaje Harper keeps Ian and Chris busy just trying to stay alive, let alone coming to terms with the way they feel for each other.

There’s a lot of plot to absorb in Lies and Consequences, so much so that there were times I found myself becoming a little impatient to get to the resolution of the story. Every situation Ian and Chris were involved in interfered with and complicated their relationship even further, but those dangers and deceptions also helped to progress things between the two men, to help Ian come to terms with his feelings for Chris, so it’s difficult to find too much fault based on my own eagerness to see how things would unfold.

Kaje Harper has generously offered Lies and Consequences for FREE, not terribly common for a full-length novel; I’d definitely say the time I spent with Chris and Ian was well worth the cost.

Download Lies and Consequences HERE.

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Smashwords, Tasha D-Drake

Me, Myself and I by Tasha D-Drake

Ah, here we go again—me sitting around eagerly anticipating a sequel to a book that baited and hooked me in with the oddity of its premise. Yes, Me, Myself and I is that book, and yes, I cannot wait to see what the author has in store next for these characters.

This book, in what I believe is ultimately going to be a trilogy, is little more than a tease, really. It introduces the reader to actor Tristan Havering, who has just wrapped up his role as a supervillian in a blockbuster sci-fi movie series in which his character ultimately finds redemption and returns to the side of the just.

In a freak turn of life imitating art, Tristan is propelled into a parallel reality—or is he? That’s the real question here: was he dreaming or did the events truly happen as he lived them? Whichever is the case, Tristan is thrown into an alternate universe where the movie sets on which he had immersed himself in the role of the broken and deadly antihero Devon, have suddenly become an elaborate scene where his co-actors are not actors at all but are in reality the people whom they portray in the films. When Tristan comes face-to-face with the “real” Devon—well, that’s when things get really strange, weirdly erotic, and that’s when I knew I couldn’t wait to see how the author was going to progress the story arc because, yes, there is no resolution at the end of Me, Myself and I, only a little more bait on the hook.

I loved the twists and turns and mind games this book played on me. If the utterly inexplicable wrapped in a puzzle of the completely impossible is at all appealing, this book certainly delivers.

Oh, and did I happen to mention it’s FREE? You can download the book from Smashwords HERE.

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