Friday, October 2, 2015

Virtual Blog Tour: M/M ~ Signs of Life by Melanie Hansen ~ (ARC Review, Author Interview, Excerpt + Giveaway)

Virtual Blog Tour: M/M ~ Signs of Life by Melanie Hansen ~ (ARC Review, Author Interview, Excerpt + Giveaway)

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Resilient Love #2
Melanie Hansen
Releasing Sept 28th, 2015
Dreamspinner Press


Successful lawyer Jeremy Speer has it all—a loving husband, a beautiful home, and a cherished dream that’s about to become reality. He’s learned not to take happiness for granted, meeting the challenges of life and love head-on with unwavering commitment and fierce devotion. A series of tragic events leave Jeremy shattered, adrift on a sea of unimaginable pain. He’s able to piece his life back together, but instead of embracing it, he merely exists, using isolation and punishing physical exertion to keep the world at bay.

High school teacher Kai Daniels has a heart for at-risk kids—he was one himself, and a teenage brush with the law and some troubled years behind bars left him scarred inside and out. With courage, hard work, and the support of friends, he’s built a fulfilling life that leaves no time for a relationship.

An intense encounter with Kai at a gay club ignites a spark in Jeremy that he thought was extinguished forever, but he’s unwilling to destroy the fragile peace he’s managed to create, and he leaves Kai humiliated and disappointed. Things should have ended there, but a bizarre occurrence brings the two together in a way neither of them expected.

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Jeremy stopped trying to pull away, dropping his gaze to the man’s lips, which were moist and slightly parted, the hoop through the full bottom one gleaming in the club lights.
“Have a drink with me, Sexy, and tell me your name.” The man leaned away and gestured for the bartender, the motion causing his T-shirt to pull even tighter across his chest, outlining what looked like a bar through his left nipple… oh sweet Jesus. Jeremy had never found piercings sexy before, but now all he could think about was that lip ring teasing the tip of his aching cock, feeling that hard silver bar in his own mouth while he tugged at it with his teeth and bit down….
Jeremy groaned under his breath, and the man gave him a knowing look as he started to hand Jeremy an ice-cold bottle of beer. Jeremy hesitated once again, and the man set the beer on the bar top and then gripped Jeremy’s hand, pulling it between his legs, pressing the palm against a steel-hard erection. Jeremy squeezed, and it was the man’s turn to groan.
“You wouldn’t leave me like this, would you?” he asked hoarsely. In answer Jeremy cupped him a little more firmly and squeezed again, enjoying the way the man closed his eyes, tipping his head back.
Jeremy took his hand away from the man’s cock and reached for his beer, taking a few gulps while watching the man do the same with his own drink.
“My name’s Jeremy.”
The man said something in return, but the music suddenly seemed to ramp up several more decibels and he couldn’t hear. He leaned closer. “What?”
The man gripped the back of Jeremy’s neck and put his lips directly to his ear, his hot breath making goose bumps pebble Jeremy’s skin. “My name’s Kai.” Kai licked the lobe of Jeremy’s ear and then bit it, and Jeremy groaned. He cupped Kai’s chin in his hand, stroking his thumb along his bottom lip.
“I’m going to fuck you so hard, Kai,” he breathed, leaning closer. Kai parted his lips in anticipation but Jeremy barely brushed their lips together before pulling away.
“Teasing me ain’t gonna make my cock any harder, dude,” Kai gasped on a laugh. “In fact I’m about to come in my goddamn pants.”
Jeremy reached between Kai’s legs again and palmed him, exulting in the feel of Kai lifting his hips into the touch. “If you do, I’ll lick you clean and start all over again.”
When Kai arched his neck back once more in helpless pleasure, Jeremy leaned in and dragged his parted lips up the length of that corded flesh and back down before sucking lightly on the hollow of Kai’s throat, tasting his skin.
“Jesus Christ, let’s get out of here,” Kai moaned, his accented voice husky with arousal. “I’ve got a room right down the street.”

Author Interview:

Thanks so much to Bayou Book Club for hosting me today!  I’ve recently released my second novel, Signs of Life, through Dreamspinner Press, and I sat down to answer a few questions:
1.     What inspired this story?  
Actually, this story was inspired by a local newspaper article I read about a man whose wife was killed in a car accident.  She was pregnant and they were able to deliver the baby, but sadly he died a few days later.  I couldn’t imagine what this husband and father was feeling:  One day his family was alive and well and the next they were just…gone.  How did he cope?  How did he go on?  I felt that would make a compelling story and character study, and Signs of Life was born.
2.     Is there a message in this book you would like readers to grasp?  
Even though the themes of grief and loss permeate this story, my ultimate intention was for it to be a celebration of the resiliency of the human spirit, gratitude for the gift of second chances and our capacity for discovering renewed happiness and joy in unexpected places.  
3.   What is your favorite genre to read?  
Pretty much all I read anymore is non-fiction, especially autobiographies.  The last few I’ve read and loved are Soldier of Change, by Steve Snyder-Hill, War by Sebastian Junger and It’s What I Do by Lynsey Addario.  I can highly recommend each and every one of these books.
4. Can you share the project(s) you are currently working on?
Right now I’m working on a May/December m/m romance featuring an Afghanistan war veteran and the father of the veteran’s teammate, whose son was killed in action.  They are brought together in sadness by the son’s death, but they become close friends and finally fall in love, finding healing in each other.
5. Besides writing what else do you enjoy doing?

I love reading, of course, and spending time with my 5th and 6th grade boys, who definitely keep me on my toes!

Tracy and Mari's Review

Tracy: The first thing I'll say is, it's gonna be a tough read when the author has you sobbing in the first chapter! OMG!! Attorney, Jeremy Speer's story starts off so heart wrenchingly sad. After he suffers a major loss, he packs up and takes off. We next see Jeremy two years later. He has relocated from California to Oregon. He meets high school teacher, Kai Daniels at a gay bar. After an anonymous hook-up in a back alley, Jeremy takes off, without even a word. These two men are thrown back together by extenuating circumstances. What happens next? You'll have to read to find out!

Mari: So true, Tracy! I was almost afraid to keep on reading after that first chapter wrecked me so badly! It was so sad, everything Jeremy had to go through after the death of his family would have wrecked anyone and yet, he pulled through everything. It wasn't easy and up until the moment when he meets Kai, he's barely living, more like going through the motions. Kai reawakens him, and even if he feels guilty at first, he can't stay away from Kai. 

Tracy: I loved "Everything Changes". After reading it I was devastated to check out goodreads only to discover this was debut novel, so when I saw the book had a sequel, I couldn't wait to sink my teeth into it! Melanie didn't disappoint. This was an amazing story. Sad, but amazing. It was also HOT!! Hello!! Melanie can write a hot and dirty sex scene.

 This is a story of growth, for both men. They both learn to say goodbye to the past, so they can move on to the future. Their characters were well developed. I loved them and I felt like I knew them. The chemistry between them was amazing. The book moved along at a nice pace and held my attention from the first to last page.

Loved both books in the series and highly recommend them!

Mari: I haven't read Everything Changes, but I plan to as soon as possible. And I agree about this being an amazing, heart-wrenching story. Jeremy and Kai are awesome together, the sex scenes were sizzling hot, but above all I adored that they both were willing to do just about everything for each other. They wanted to protect, cherish and just be there for the other, and even when it sort of blew on their faces, they managed to overcome it all. I started this book crying and ended up crying, just for a different motive. Definitely recommendable!

Melanie Hansen has spent time in Texas and Florida prisons…for work. She’s been in a room with a 17-year-old mass murderer who was also one of the most soft-spoken and polite teenagers she’s ever met. After a 13-year career as a court reporter, she can tell many stories both hilarious and heartbreaking.

She grew up with an Air Force dad, and ended up marrying a Navy man. After living and working all over the country, she hopes to bring these rich and varied life experiences to her stories about people finding love amidst real-life struggles.

Melanie left the stressful world of the courtroom behind and now enjoys a rewarding career transcribing for a deaf student. She currently lives in Arizona with her husband and two sons.

Check out the first in the Resilient Love Series

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