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Friday, January 29, 2016

Release Day Blitz: Devious Minds by Colleen Helme

Devious Minds 
(A Shelby Nichols Adventure Series #8)
by Colleen Helme


It’s been almost a year since a near-fatal gunshot wound left Shelby Nichols with the ability to read minds. In that time she’s faced one problem after another. She’s been shot at, framed for murder, and targeted by a serial killer, just to name a few. Now she’s trying to help her lawyer husband win a murder trial that will enable him to become a partner in his law firm. Sounds easy, right? But nothing ever goes as planned when it comes to Shelby Nichols.

When special agent, Blake Beauchaine, shows up to collect a debt from Shelby, things get even more complicated, and Shelby is soon on her way to Paris. A routine meeting with a rogue agent reveals a sinister plot, putting Shelby into the cross-hairs of a known terrorist. Even worse, she doesn’t speak French, so it seems her mind-reading abilities won’t help her this time.

Things go from bad to downright dangerous for Shelby, especially since her usual guardians, Uncle Joey, and his hit-man, Ramos, are back in the states. Lost and on her own in the streets of Paris, can Shelby escape the cold-blooded killer in time to stop his devious plans, or will this be the end of the line for Shelby Nichols?

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The first day of spring arrived, filling me with an overwhelming sense of freedom. Even though the temperature wasn’t real warm, it meant that winter was officially over. Even better, a ride on the motorcycle behind Ramos was now a possibility.
I’d missed that and I’d missed him. He’d been gone for two weeks helping Uncle Joey take care of some out-of-town business. I wasn’t exactly sure what that entailed and... believe me, I didn’t want to know. Jackie, Uncle Joey’s secretary and wife, told me they were both due back in the next few days, and deep down where I didn’t want to admit it, I could hardly wait to see them again.
That probably made me a bad person, since I worked for Uncle Joey, and he was a mob-boss. Ramos was his hit-man and he’d saved my life a few times. I had to admit, it was a far cry from the first time I’d met Ramos almost a year ago, when he was thinking he might have to kill me for the big boss.
I’d had to tell Uncle Joey my secret that I could read minds to stop that from happening. Since then, my skills had come in handy for Uncle Joey, and gotten me into a lot of trouble. But he’d always been there to bail me out, both literally and figuratively.
So now I helped Uncle Joey, not because I was forced into it, but because I wanted to. That was just twisted on so many levels, and he wasn’t even my real uncle. But I couldn’t seem to stop, so I did my best to keep on the right side of things.
Ramos was another part of that story. He was one hot and swoon-worthy man any woman would fall for. I had to keep reminding myself that I was happily married every time I laid eyes on him. He was the quintessential bad boy and, like a decadent chocolate dessert with whipped cream and a cherry on top, something that I might want in the worst way, but would also be very bad for me.
If I wasn’t married with kids... well, who knew what could happen, but I loved my husband and children, and Ramos respected that. Even so, there were still times when my heart seemed to have a mind of its own around him, and I’d have to rein it in or lose control, which was not an option.
Only a handful of people knew I could read minds, and I liked it that way. I told everyone else I had premonitions, and that mostly worked. I also had my own consulting agency, which included helping the police along with my own clients. Because of that, I managed to get into even more trouble, and that wasn’t counting the mob-boss part.
Like now.
My husband, Chris, had asked for my help on a hard case. He was an associate partner in the prestigious law firm of Cohen, Larsen and Pratt. This case was the single most important event of Chris’ career, mostly because the partners were looking to replace the Cohen part of the firm, and changing it to Larsen, Pratt and... Nichols.
This was a huge deal, and I wondered if the fact that Chris handled all of Uncle Joey’s accounts had something to do with it. Probably, but I wasn’t touching that with a ten foot pole. This put a lot of pressure on me. Not as much as Chris, but still… I didn’t want to screw it up for him.
That brought me to my problem. I wasn’t sure I wanted to help Chris, mostly because he was defending a woman accused of killing her husband, and ten million dollars from the life insurance policy was in the balance. To complicate matters even more, the husband’s company was one of Chris’ biggest clients.
If they won, Chris’ firm would get a nice, fat share, and also keep the company as a client. But from everything he’d told me, she sounded guilty as sin. If I listened to her thoughts, I’d know for sure, and that would just ruin everything. It made me realize that sometimes my ‘gift’ wasn’t so great. Not when I had to use it to get someone off who actually deserved some jail time.
But... wasn’t that what I did for Uncle Joey? So how was this any worse?
In fact, I’d recently made a deal with a government agent to keep Uncle Joey out of prison. In exchange for my help on one of his cases, he’d agreed to make any charges against Uncle Joey disappear. When Uncle Joey found out what I’d done, he wasn’t too happy with me. Especially since he thought I’d told Blake Beauchaine I could read minds.
Once he knew I hadn’t, and Blake just wanted me for what he thought were my mad interrogation skills, he’d calmed down. Still, Uncle Joey told me he could have handled anything Blake might have thrown at him without my deal. To be honest, it kind of hurt my feelings. Then he made me promise to involve him if Blake ever came to collect.
So now on top of everything else, I had Blake’s phone call to look forward to, and Uncle Joey to involve after that. It was enough to give me an ulcer.
“Shelby? We’re ready for you,” Chris said, poking his head out of the conference room.

The Shelby Nichols Adventure Series

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About The Author

As the author of the Shelby Nichols Adventure Series, Colleen is often asked if Shelby Nichols is her alter-ego. “Definitely,” she says. “Shelby is the epitome of everything I wish I dared to be.” Known for her laugh since she was a kid, Colleen has always tried to find the humor in every situation and continues to enjoy writing about Shelby’s adventures. “I love getting Shelby into trouble… I just don’t always know how to get her out of it!” Colleen lives in the Rocky Mountains with her family. Besides writing, she loves a good book, biking, hiking, and playing board and card games with family and friends. She loves to connect with readers and admits that fans of the series keep her writing.

You can find Colleen at 



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Friday, January 15, 2016

Tara Lain's "Tackling The Tight End" Blog Tour

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January 28, 2016

Tackling The Tight End
(Long Pass Chronicles Series, #3)
By Tara Lain

Everyone wants the best for SCU student and tight end, Raven Nez—and they know exactly what that is. Enter the NFL draft, become a big football hero, promote his tribe’s casino, and make a lot of money to help people on the reservation. Just one problem. Raven really wants to work with gay kids, and while he loves his tribe and likes football, his visions for the future don’t mesh with theirs. Then the casino board hires a talented student filmmaker to create ads for the tribal business and asks Raven to work with him. But the filmmaker is Dennis Hascomb, a guy with so much to hide and a life so ugly it’s beyond Raven’s understanding. Still he’s drawn to Dennis's pain and incredible ability to survive. Captivated by Raven’s stories of the two-spirited and by the amazing joy of finally having a friend, Dennis knows he has to break free from everything he’s ever been taught was good—but that’s a struggle that could kill him and Raven, too. Is there a chance for “the great red hope” and the “whitest guy on earth”? A future for the serpent and the raven?

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Raven laid out paper plates with pizza, two Cokes, and a bowl of potato chips on a box he used for a coffee table in front of the couch. He set them up so that Dennis either had to sit on the floor—not too comfortable, considering it was very worn carpet—or sit beside Raven. Maybe he could get Dennis to relax a little.

The movie started, and Dennis took a bite of cheese and artichoke hearts. He sighed and closed his eyes for a second.

Raven smiled. “Good?”

“Oh yeah. I always have dinner with my parents, which means I never get to eat anything normal.”

“They must really have bought into all that crap about eating together keeps the family together.”

“Yeah.” He pointed at the screen. “Okay, so you know this was partly an homage to the old western serials, right?”

Raven wrote in the air as he said, “Cowboooooys in Spaaaaaace.”

“Exactly. But it goes a lot deeper. It’s a real Biblical epic battle of good versus evil. I mean Luke, right? This is the book of Luke. And the Force. Interesting that most of the ordinary dumb bad guys make fun of the ancient religion, but Darth Vader knows and uses the Force. That’s what makes him so powerful. Darth, of course, is a play on Dark, and all the Darths in the series are the most dangerous villains.”

“Vader is short for invader?”

“I think that’s where it came from, but did you know that vader means father in Dutch?” He laughed. “They probably weren’t so surprised at the whole ‘Luke’s father’ revelation in the Netherlands.”

“No kidding?”

Dennis leaned forward for a piece of pepperoni pizza just as Raven grabbed for the same one. Their hands touched as they both held the crust. Raven grinned. “If they did this in a movie, you’d probably say it was contrived, right? Could never happen. The director should get a more original idea to get them together.”

“Yeah.” Raven heard Dennis swallow.

“So now that you have us here, director Hascomb, what do you plan to do with us?”

Dennis swallowed again, lifted his thumb, and gently rubbed Raven’s little finger.

Well damn, he’d had a fair amount of sex in his twenty-one years, but nothing had ever dived straight to his dick quite as fast as that gentle caress. “Man, you do it for me.”

“I-I do?”

“Yeah. That’s no demand or even request. I just want you to know.”

“What’s it like to kiss a guy?”

Their fingers stroked and twined. Nothing else moved if he didn’t count the expanding of cocks. “I don’t know. It’s great. Maybe not that different from kissing a girl. More stubble, I guess.” Raven wiped his other hand across his chin. “But not from me. No beard.”

“I’ve never kissed a girl. I tried to have sex a couple times but skipped the kissing part.”

“Well, hell, man. That means—”

On the screen, the 3-D projection of Princess Leia popped out of the communication device in R2-D2. Dennis stared at their linked hands. “Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi—”

Raven joined in. “You’re our only hope.” He reached a hand around Dennis’s head and pulled him closer, then pressed half-open lips to Dennis’s closed mouth. Stroking gently, he persuaded those full pink lips apart and slipped his tongue slightly between. Dennis startled, but Raven held his head just tight enough to keep them in contact, but not so tight as to scare him.

Dennis shivered, made a little gurgling sound in his throat, brought his hands up against Raven’s shoulders, and then—some dam gave way. He dissolved in Raven’s arms, even wrapping his own around Raven’s chest, and oh God, his mouth opened, accepting all of Raven’s tongue. Sweet. As Raven’s tongue slid in, Dennis sucked. Jesus, Raven practically came just from the heat of that suction. 

“Hi. I’ve been trying to reach you.”

Those blue-green eyes flicked all over the room. “Sorry. I was so busy. When I found I had this short window, I just came here. I figured you’d be tied up, so I didn’t bother you.”

Raven crossed his arms. “What’s going on?”

“What?” Dennis swallowed hard.

“Come on.” Raven took his arm and pulled. Dennis pulled back, but Raven was stronger, and Dennis obviously didn’t want to make a scene, so he walked as if it was his idea. Raven pushed the side door open and half guided, half hauled Dennis out to the smoking patio, where no smokers were currently hanging out. He dropped him in a chair and pulled another one over beside him. “Talk.”

Dennis crossed his arms. “About what, Raven? I don’t have much time, and I need to get some more footage.”

“I don’t care if you never get another inch of video again.”

That got his attention. “What?”

“Two days ago you and I were dissecting Pulp Fiction and planning a video for the Gay Youth Shelter. Now you won’t look me in the eye. What happened?”

He shook his head but said nothing.

“Dennis? I’m serious. I’m not going to work with you like this.”

Again he just shook his head, but damn, were those tears?

Raven reached out and touched his hand. Dennis yanked his hand back into his own lap.

“Come on.”

Dennis blinked. “Where?”

“We’re going for a walk.” He extended his hand. Dennis didn’t take it, but he stood. Raven started walking, and Dennis fell in beside him.

The casino stood on a patch of land that abutted a flood control channel. They’d planted bushes and trees in a strip along the channel to make it a pleasant walkway, with benches here and there. Since it was a weekday, nobody was out. Raven ambled quietly for about fifteen minutes. Dennis walked beside him but hardly seemed relaxed. His shoulders bowed, and he stared at his feet. Finally Raven flopped down onto one of the benches. For a couple of minutes Dennis stayed standing, but then he gave in and sat.

Raven picked up a small rock and tossed it. “Want to talk about it?”

Dennis shook his head again.

“Something bad happened.” He didn’t make it a question.

“I guess.”

“Did I offend you in some way?”

His head snapped up. “No. No way, man.”

“But I must be involved somehow, or you wouldn’t be avoiding me.”

“Kind of. I mean, indirectly.”

“Would it make a difference if I said I promise to be discreet? Tell nobody unless you say it’s okay?”

“You know, don’t you?”

Raven shrugged. “No. I’m just thinking about what might be upsetting you.”

“I think I’m gay.”

Raven smiled. “Two-spirited.”

Dennis cracked a half grin. “Did you guess that?”

“Maybe a little.”

“Do I look like a fag?”

Raven glanced at him sideways. “Remember who you’re talking to.”

“Sorry. I just thought it might be like a big neon sign on my head or something.”

“No. But I’m not usually attracted to straight men.”

Dennis’s head swung toward Raven in an arc. “Uh, do you, I mean, uh—”

“Am I attracted to you? Yes, very.”

“Holy shit.” The H came out in a long breath.

Raven looked over. “Does that idea appeal to you?”

“I think so.”

Not a ringing endorsement. “So that’s why I thought there was a chance you were gay. I sensed the attraction between us. That’s all.”

“All? Jesus, that’s kind of amazing.”

Better. “So is that why you’ve been avoiding me?”

Dennis nodded. “Kind of. Being gay isn’t really convenient for me.” He laughed, but it didn’t sound funny.

“Have you got a girlfriend?”

“No. Parents.”

“I know about that.”

That look of pain blinked in his eyes and was gone.

“So why do you think you’re gay?”

He frowned. “I thought you said I was.”

Raven grinned. “My word isn’t law on this subject. I just said I thought you might be since I feel a pull between us. But maybe you’re straight and I just think you’re gorgeous.”

Dennis swallowed. “Thank you. I think. I’ve kind of suspected for a while. I don’t much like girls. Like that, I mean. Never have. But I’ve never been with a guy.”

Raven smiled. “Are you asexual, or do you jerk off a lot?”

He looked uncomfortable, but before Raven could tell him not to answer, he said, “I spank the monkey when I can.” He breathed. Weird. Most young guys jerked off all the time. Dennis raised his head. “But I’m not asexual. I’m definitely attracted to guys.”

“Surprised you haven’t done anything about it. I’m sure you’ve had interest.”

He stared at his hands. “It’s complicated.”

“Look, just because you think you’re gay doesn’t mean you have to start cruising West Hollywood. Take it slow. It’s your life, man. Live it like you want.” He should listen to his own advice.

“I wish.” Apparently they had that in common.

Birds chirped and breezes blew, but Dennis looked like he was at the bottom of a well with no ladder.

Raven put a firm hand on Dennis’s arm. Dennis jumped, but Raven didn’t move. “Hey, I like you. We have to work together. Let’s just be friends and not worry about the rest, okay?”

“Really?” He looked up with pleading eyes.

“Yeah. What do you think, I have to jump your bones just because you’re pretty? We have two videos to make, right? Maybe, if you’ve got time, we have some movies to see and shit.” Raven grinned.

For a second he thought Dennis might cry. Instead he smiled like he’d witnessed the second coming. “I’d like that, man.”

“Good. So would I. Now let’s get back to the buffet and video it right before we eat some of it, okay?”

Dennis smiled, but as they walked, he wiped a hand across his eyes. 

The Long Pass Chronicles Series

About the Author

Tara Lain writes the Beautiful Boys of Romance in LGBT erotic romance novels that star her unique, charismatic heroes. Her first novel was published in January of 2011 and she’s now somewhere around book 23. Her best­selling novels have garnered awards for Best Series, Best Contemporary Romance, Best Ménage, Best LGBT Romance, Best Gay Characters, and Tara has been named Best Writer of the Year in the LRC Awards. In her other job, Tara owns an advertising and public relations firm. She often does workshops on both author promotion and writing craft. She lives with her soul­mate husband and her soul­mate dog in Laguna Beach, California, a pretty seaside town where she sets a lot of her books. Passionate about diversity, justice, and new experiences, Tara says on her tombstone it will say “Yes”!

You can find Tara at



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