New Adult books

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Behind the Curtain

2014 Award Winners

Dawson Barnes recognizes his world is very small and very charmed. Running his community college theater like a petty god, he and his best friend, Benji know they'll succeed as stage techs after graduation. His father adores him, Benji would die for him, and Dawson never doubted the safety net of his family, even when life hit him below the belt.

But nothing prepared him for falling on Jared Emory's head.

Aloof dance superstar Jared is a sweet, vulnerable man and Dawson's life suits him like a fitted ballet slipper. They forge a long-distance romance from their love of the theater and the magic of Denny's. At first it's perfect: Dawson gets periodic visits and nookie from a gorgeous man who “gets” him—and Jared gets respite from the ultra-competitive world of dancing that almost consumed him.

That is until Jared shows up sick and desperate and Dawson finally sees the distance between them concealed painful things Jared kept inside. If he doesn’t grow up—and fast—his "superstar" might not survive his own weaknesses. That would be a shame, because the real, fragile Jared that Dawson sees behind the curtain is the person he can see spending his life with.

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Encore

Blue Notes

A Blue Notes Novel

Cool kid violinist Roger Nelson doesn’t give a damn about anything. Wannabe conductor John Fuchs is awkward, effeminate, and just figuring out he’s gay. Despite their differences, they become friends—then lovers—and after college, they try to make it work. But it’s the 1970s, and Roger can’t bring himself to admit he’s gay. Worse, after his brother is killed in Vietnam, Roger tries to live up to his memory and be the perfect son. Then after suffering one tragedy too many, he makes the biggest mistake of his life: Roger pushes John away.

Through the years, they dance around the truth and in and out of each other’s lives, never quite able to let go. Twenty years later, Roger still carries the pain of losing his dream of a brilliant career with him, while John is a superstar conductor with a wild reputation. John’s off-stage antics get him plenty of attention, good and bad, though deep down, he wants only Roger. Finally determined to hold on to what really matters, Roger asks John for another chance, and when John panics and runs, Roger has to convince him to listen to his heart.

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Don Jenkins will do anything for a happy, thriving family and home, but keeping his farm going is a constant challenge. He’s always depended on Griff McAllister, his partner and first love, to support him in his work and in his need to submit in the bedroom. When he discovers Griff might be losing faith in him, he’s at a loss for how to mend the relationship. Then Howard Campbell—a man Don and Griff both love beyond words—is added to the mix. With jealousy threatening their bond and the viability of the farm in question, Don’s dreams begin to crumble.

Nearly losing Howard in an accident serves as a wakeup call. They begin to pull their relationship out of the muck and work to remember why they came together in the first place. If they can figure out how to help one another and balance the dynamics of dominance and submission between them so each man gets what he needs, the trio might build the loving future they’ve dared to hope for. They must be brave enough to commit every resource they can muster—especially trust, understanding, and acceptance—and realize true love is never as easy as it looks.

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Relationships 101

Dear Diary | Book Three

Dear Diary: Book Three

Chris Bishop graduated high school with Josh, the love of his life, by his side. Agreeing it's not wise to room together, the boys choose to live in the dorms—separate dorms. But their decision fails to keep them apart, and on day one they’re caught making out by Chris's devilishly handsome new roommate, Patrick—who happens to bat for the same team, athletically and sexually speaking.

As Patrick and Chris vie for the position of track team captain, Patrick unintentionally fills Chris's mind with doubts about Josh's fidelity. Young relationships are rife with painful bumps. Will Chris and Josh see it through?

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It’s 1919, and Frank Huddleston has survived the battlefields of the Great War. A serious head injury has left him with amnesia so profound he must re-learn his name every morning from a note posted on the privy door.

Gerald “Jersey" Rohn, joined the Army because he wanted to feel like a man, but he returned from the trenches minus a leg and with no goal for his life. He’s plagued by the nightmare of his best friend’s death and has nervous fits, but refuses to associate those things with battle fatigue. He can't work his father's farm, so he takes a job supervising Frank, who is working his grandparents’ farm despite his head injury.

When Frank recovers enough to ask about his past, he discovers his grandparents know almost nothing about him, and they’re lying about what they do know. The men set out to discover Frank's past and get Jersey a prosthesis. They soon begin to care for each other, but they'll need to trust their hearts and put their pasts to rest if they are to turn attraction into a loving future.

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A Harmony Ink Press Title

As a musician at the popular college café Coed Joe’s, high school senior Kai Manter is never lacking for male attention. Out, proud, free-spirited, and sexually aware, Kai sets his sights on his darkly Gothic and undeniably bad-tempered coworker, Jamie Arlotta, a freshman at the local arts university. Sporting long hair and alluring hippie style, Kai expects his interest will be reciprocated, with satisfying sex as the end goal. That’s what usually happens. But Jamie’s lessons in life have been harsher. Having been sexually abused by his older stepbrother for several years, Jamie has grown an impenetrable outer shell meant to keep the world at a safe distance.

Kai is angry at first when he takes the brunt of Jamie’s bad temper, but after Kai accidentally discovers the abuse Jamie has suffered, he wants to fix things. Kai’s plan is based on what he knows best—music—and he stages a “musical intervention” to let Jamie know he’s not alone and things can get better. When Jamie’s perspective changes and he emerges from his shell, Kai changes, too, gaining a whole new understanding of what sex can be when love is there too.

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Biochemistry

Chemistry Series | Book Two

Sequel to Organic Chemistry
Chemistry: Book Two

When his college biochemistry class turns out to be much more difficult than star quarterback Freddie Samuelson imagined, his lab partner, Kurt Maxwell, agrees to help. They’re very different: a rich kid athlete and a hardworking openly gay scholarship student. But Kurt slips past Freddie’s defenses, and little by little—despite Freddie ignoring his own sexuality in the past—Freddie realizes he wants to get to know Kurt, especially when Kurt helps him through more challenges than their science class. But it isn’t long before rumors begin to fly, and the obstacles Freddie will face may block him from both the future he planned on and the future he didn’t know he wanted.

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The Sweetest Scent

Senses and Sensations

A Senses and Sensations Story

Football player Bro Sumner and genderqueer Lacey Adair are an exclusive item. Though their high school years have been mostly happy, they continually face dangerous opposition—including a bully on Bro’s team and Lacey’s violent alcoholic father—because Lacey won’t live the traditional gender role she was born to. She chooses to wear dresses and makeup and appear female; underneath the wrappings, she’s content with physically being a male in a gay relationship with Bro, and she doesn’t want that to change.

Their differing plans for the future after graduation, however, may create changes they can’t weather. A compromise with the help of relatives and friends means Bro and Lacey can go to school only an hour apart, but they still miss each other. It’s not long before they make new friendships and discover new romantic possibilities. Temptations, jealousies, distance, and expanding horizons could sever their relationship forever unless they can keep their dream of a life together alive in their hearts.

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Dumb Jock: The Musical

Dumb Jock | Book Four

Dumb Jock: Book Four

Evan Drake needs to be a role model to his younger brother Brandon, and although he’s a star on his high school basketball team, there’s more to him than meets the eye. He’s interested in many things, including drama and singing, and when he joins drama club, he meets Noah Sheridan, and he’s pretty interested in him, too.

Noah is a super smart, cute but nerdy kid who has written a high school play about two gay students who attended Boyne City High twenty years ago, and who, in real life, fell in love with each other. When the drama department elects to use the play for their high school musical, Noah urges Evan to audition for the lead role. Evan ultimately decides he wants to be in the play, but when he shows up to audition, it sends shockwaves throughout the school. His teammates are furious, and so is his best friend Bryan. As Evan and Noah grow closer, Bryan gets more traitorous, and it seems he wants nothing more than to see his former friend broken down.

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Anything Could Happen

The Boy Who Came In From the Cold and Anything Could Happen

Moving to Kansas City could be the best thing Austin Shelbourne has ever done. For a start, he can stop living a lie and finally come out of the closet. And there's a chance, though slim, that he might be able to locate the love of his life, Todd Burton. It had seemed like a good idea when he seduced his friend, but Todd freaked out and vanished. Austin hopes to find Todd, make things right between them, and win his love. But when he meets actor Guy Campbell, things get even more confusing.

The moment Guy sets eyes on Austin, he knows Austin is The One. But Austin makes it clear he feels a responsibility to Todd, and Guy has some dark secrets of his own. He’s found redemption in acting and directing, but worries that if Austin learns the truth, he might not be able bear it. And what if Todd accepts Austin's apology and the love Austin offers? Guy wants Austin desperately, but he also wants him to be happy. In the play of life, with the happiness of good men in the balance, anything could happen.

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Pasha Batalov has lived his whole life doing what a good son is expected to do. He dropped out of school to help run the failing family restaurant, and ever since he’s put up with his difficult business partner, who also happens to be his father. And, of course, he keeps his sexual orientation a secret from his conservative Russian family. After being closeted costs him his first serious relationship, Pasha resigns himself to one-night stands and loneliness.

But after a chance encounter with lost delivery truck driver, Daniel Englewood, Pasha starts to question all of his assumptions about life. Daniel is sweet, funny, smart, drop-dead gorgeous—and for the last six years, he’s been living with HIV. Pasha worries that he won’t be strong enough to help Daniel if HIV turns to AIDS, but he can’t walk away from their deepening attraction. He also doesn’t know if he can be strong enough to face the hardest task that a relationship with Daniel demands: coming out to his family and friends, and risking losing everything else he holds dear.

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Appearances Matter

Dumb Jock | Book Three

Dumb Jock: Book Three

At age sixteen, Todd Hoffman is a social outcast. He lives with his mother in a rundown mobile home and doesn’t wear the nice clothes or drive fancy cars like the other students. He has one outlet: he secretly writes fan fiction about a boy falling in love with another boy he’s crushing on, and posts it online.

When Galen Caulfield, Todd’s real life object of affection, notices him and asks him out, Todd feels like he’s living his fantasy. Soon enough he realizes that fantasy and reality are two very different propositions.

Galen is the high school soccer team captain, clearly out of Todd’s league. On top of that, he’s popular, good-looking, and confident, so everyone thinks he’s straight. Now it’s up to Todd to decide whether Galen is the boy of his dreams or just another dumb jock.

2nd Edition
First Edition published by Amazon Digital Services, Aug 24, 2012.

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Taking Chances

Foster High Stories

A Tales from Foster High Story

Fearing the backlash of living as a gay man in Foster, Texas, Matt Wallace runs away to California, only to find it isn’t the Promised Land he’d hoped for. Christmas sees Matt returning to Foster, where he bumps into his old flame, high school jock Tyler Parker.

Now that they’re older, it doesn’t take Matt too long to figure out that love at first sight is a very real thing. The only problem is neither Matt nor Tyler seems to know what to do after that. They’re both running from the past—and each other—requiring some reverse engineering to actually spur the relationship past the false start.

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Pride

Dear Diary | Book Two

Dear Diary: Book Two

Prom ends with a bang of unexpected epic proportions and leaves Chris with a disheartened outlook on where he is in his life, when he should be on top of the world. He's graduating high school with honors and has the best boyfriend in the world, but things still aren't right. Bullies make him doubt his choice to accept the way he feels and come out of the closet. Those friends turned foes make him realize how much the narrow-minded masses can hate gay people.

And everyone Chris loves starts to worry about him.

To give Chris a new perspective, his parents and loving boyfriend send him to his first gay pride—but Chris doesn't see the point, and he damn sure doesn't want to go. Will pride help him see there's nothing wrong with him? Will it change his feelings and his mind?

2nd Edition
First Edition published by Allison Cassatta, January 2012

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Another Dumb Jock

Dumb Jock | Book Two

Sequel to Dumb Jock
Dumb Jock: Book Two

Jeff Irwin and Brett Willson raised a fine son, Adam, in their unconventional, judgment-free family. But being the son of two dads has its challenges. Although Adam loves them, he’s determined to prove he’s not gay, like they are. To this end he’s become the star pitcher of his high school baseball team, a true jock.

Then Adam is suspended after he gets into a fight at school, and his dads find out his grades are slipping. Determined to put him back on track, they hire him a tutor: a short, nerdy kid named Trevor. Despite his resistance, soon enough Adam’s worst nightmare comes true when he finds himself attracted to Trevor. This gives him a choice: follow his heart or become just another dumb jock.

2nd Edition
First Edition published by CreateSpace, January 2012.

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Despite the stigma against magiks other than the four elemental types, Jeremy Ashe works hard toward a degree in runic studies, navigating his way through family disproval and school clique politics while trying to figure out what he wants to do with the rest of his life. What he never figured on is The Flame, Samuin College’s fire mage prodigy, Marcus Smith. Sparks strike and threaten to raze Jeremy’s plans to the ground. When strange fires begin to burn all over campus, clues point to Marcus. Suddenly life isn’t just complicated, it’s dangerous.

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Dear Diary

Dear Diary | Book One

Dear Diary: Book One

Chris Bishop has everything a high school senior could want—a loving family, a perfect girlfriend, and a bright, shining future. At his dad’s suggestion, he spends a summer working at a law firm to gain experience, but he never bargained on meeting Josh. Josh is handsome and green-eyed and just what Chris doesn’t want—or does he? Some things Chris has admitted only to his digital diary, but by the time prom comes around, he needs to make a decision: risk the pain of honesty about himself and his feelings for Josh, or play it safe and lose what matters most.

2nd Edition
First Edition published by XoXo Publishing, June 2011

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Unfinished Business

Beggars and Choosers and Unfinished Business

Sequel to Beggars and Choosers

After struggling through dishonesty, betrayal, and the kind of pasts they’d like to leave behind them, Brett Taylor and Cory Butana are back together and starting to build a new life. Brett has a good job. Cory has started college. But not everything goes the way they planned.

Still recovering from the emotional and physical repercussions of a brutal assault, Cory finds himself trapped by his own insecurity and fear, unable to believe that his heart is safe with Brett or that his body is safe without him. On the other hand, Brett has total faith in Cory’s love and commitment, even though he still struggles with his own ghosts.

With girls flocking to Brett’s side and a wannabe-lover lab partner feeding his doubts, Cory can’t find a way to tell Brett about the unfinished business that haunts him. If Brett wants to save him, he’ll have to see through Cory’s deception in time.

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