Friday, August 19, 2016

Blog tour: Showing Him the Ropes by Christa Tomlinson (Excerpt, Author Interview, Reviews + Giveaway)

Blog tour: Showing Him the Ropes by Christa Tomlinson (Excerpt, Author Interview, Reviews + Giveaway)

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Title: Showing Him the Ropes
Author: Christa Tomlinson
Series Title and Number: Champions of Desire #1
Publisher: Self Published
Cover Artist: Jay Aheer
Release Date: August 16, 2016
Heat Level: 4
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: appx 74,000 / 180 p
Genre/Tags: M/M Romance, Contemporary, Erotic, Sports

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Chance “The Chancellor” Gerhardt is a mainstay for Frontier Professional Wrestling. He’s won multiple championships and has the respect of the locker room. But after ten years at the top, Chance is looking for a new challenge. The one he gets, mentoring FPW’s young rookie, is both unexpected and unwanted.

Devin Jacobs is a hot new talent signed by Frontier Professional Wrestling. He’s always been a fan of The Chancellor, and not just because of the older man’s skill in the ring. He has it bad for the steely eyed veteran wrestler. Unfortunately for Devin, The Chancellor doesn’t believe in mixing business with pleasure, and isn’t looking to get involved with anyone. Or is he? During long nights traveling and working together, Devin catches more than one secretly admiring glance from The Chancellor…

Devin is determined to earn victories and championships in the ring. But he’d also love the opportunity to win Chance’s heart. Can the two of them navigate their way through the hyper masculinity and backstage politics of professional wrestling to the most important victory of all? Or will their shot at love be defeated 1-2-3?

Christa Tomlinson is a lifelong fan of professional wrestling. When she’s not writing, Christa can be found watching her favorite classic matches or traveling to live wrestling events.


Devin changed the subject again. “So are you married?

“Hell no.”

“Are you seeing anybody?”


“Mess around with the ring rats then?”

Chance laughed. “Not even close.”

Devin thought that was an interesting answer. “So do you not hook up with any chicks? Should your gimmick be The Monk instead of The Chancellor?”

“I’m not a damn monk.”

“So then who-.”

Chance cut him off. “This conversation is done.”

Devin sat there quiet for a moment. Chance sounded just like him when he’d been trying to squirm out of admitting he was gay. And it made him wonder. Could The Chancellor be gay as well? “I don’t hook up with any of the groupies either.”


“I’m just saying, while we’re traveling together, you won’t have to worry about me bringing any girls up to our hotel room.”

Chance snorted and flicked on the right blinker to get over and exit the freeway. “Trust me, you wouldn’t. Because I wouldn’t allow it.”

Devin laughed as they drove down the exit ramp. “Is that right? What would you do if I did, spank me?” They’d come to idle at a stop light, so Chance turned and looked at him. His face was half in shadow, but Devin saw him run his eyes over him. And his heart started to pound. He knew that look. He'd seen that look plenty of times before - from guys who were interested in him. Seeing it from The Chancellor was the last thing he'd expected. But before he could decide what to say, or if he even should say anything, the light turned green. Chance turned back around to proceed through the intersection...


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***A copy of this book was provided by the publisher/author in exchange for an honest  and fair review***

He's known to the fans as “The Chancellor” and they love to hate him. As one of the most veteran wrestlers with Frontier Professional Wrestling, he's a leader and someone his colleagues look up to in and out of the ring. He’s getting tired though, after a decade being the "Chancellor" and the toll it's taken on his body, he's starting to think of the future. When his boss Alex announces Chance will be mentoring FPW’s newest rookie face, he's not happy. Chance enjoys his solitude whenever he can get it, not to mention he's likes to keep his personal life private. 

Devin Jacobs is finally seeing his dream come to fruition. He's just been signed by Frontier Professional Wrestling and the man he's been paired up with as a mentor is none other than The Chancellor, the man he's crushed on for years.  Chance is all about teaching the rookie what he needs to know but Devin wants more. Unfortunately, the Chancellor doesn't get involved with others on the roster and he's definitely not looking to start a relationship with anyone even if he's attracted to Devin. But between the constant traveling, nights in hotels and working together, Devin starts to realize Chance is having as hard of a time fighting their attraction as Devin is. 

I really loved this story and truth be told, while I'm forced to watch wrestling because of my husband, I'm not really a fan. What I am a fan of, though, is two great men who are meant for each other and that ignore what might be easier, what's expected of them, all in the name of love.  And come on, let's not ignore the fact that these two men sound pretty yummy together *winks*. 

In all seriousness, though, both characters brought depth to this story and made it less about professional wrestlers and more about two athletes at very different points in their careers. Chance is the experience and the wisdom, while Devin is the energy and fire. They need each other for many reasons, in and out of the bedroom. Devin needs help to truly establish himself in the ring, to know how to perform in this league of talent and experience. Most of all Devin needs the chance to prove what he can do and who he can be and Chance is the man to do that. 

Chance needs someone to come home to. He needs a person who will support him, trust him and give him a place to be himself. With Devin he's not The Chancellor, he's just Chance and he has nothing to prove. For a man who's used to being there for everyone else, it's time for him to find someone who will be there for him. 

The moments of their matches were very good, easy to see in my head. I also loved the intimate moments between the MCs. I'm hoping to see more from these two and possibly Tre and Brandon (just putting that out there). The story is very well written and wonderfully entertaining. I definitely recommend it. 

4.5 Stars!  


Heather's Review

**Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie in exchange for a fair and honest review**

I was excited to read and review this book! When I was in elementary school, professional wrestling was HUGE to me! I attended several pro and semi-pro events and watched all pay per view events with my aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents.

Showing Him The Ropes is about The Chancellor, Chance Gerhardt, who has been wrestling for ten years and is at the top of his game and newbie Devin Jacobs. Devin's father was a wrestler and Devin grew up watching and crushing on The Chancellor. Chance is asked/encouraged/forced to mentor the newbie, which in their world means driving, rooming and training together daily.

The first thing I thought when I started this book and got to the section of Professional Wrestling Terms: Who knew all those additional terms were needed when it came to the wrestling world!

This book started a little slow for me, but as The Chancellor would tell me, Slow Down! I loved the storyline and really didn't feel that it was predictable. There is a 12 year age difference between Devin and Chance and I think that difference was highlighted in regards to how each of them felt about the possibility of something happening between them. Devlin being younger didn't see any problems with pursuing Chance.

There were several supporting characters introduced and I really hope that get their own storylines, which I will happily read!  Overall, I thought this was a great story and would definitely recommend it!

4.5 Stars

Today we're happy to have Christa Tomlinson joining us here at Bayou Book Junkie to answer some questions.

When did you write your first story and what was the inspiration for it?

Well, my first story was an attempt at a historical romance back in middle school. It wasn’t very good and some of it was written on pages in the JC Penny’s catalog! My first published story was written around 2009. It was to answer an anthology call for an online publisher. It didn’t get picked up, but eventually another e-pub bought it.

Do you have a writing schedule or do you just write when you can find the time?

I do. I seem to function better when I have a schedule. Currently, I write Monday thru Wednesday from 9 a.m. until my brain is too tired to go on. I normally try to get in another hour or two on Thursdays and Fridays before I have to go to the day job.

Briefly describe the writing process. Do you create an outline first?  Do you seek out inspirational pictures, videos or music? Do you just let the words flow and then go back and try and make some sense out it?

First for me is the day dream phase. I toss ideas around in my head, jotting a few things down to make sure I don’t forget them. Once I think I’ve got a good feel for the characters and the story, I do a really rough outline where I just quickly spit out everything that I think will happen. Then I create a chapter outline. After that comes a scene outline. Finally I start writing. So as you can see, I’m a plotter, not a pantser.

How much research do you do when writing a story and what are the best sources you’ve found for giving an authentic voice to your characters?

I do lots of research. For me, it’s one of the best ways to make sure I don’t get stuck with writer’s block because I have so much information ready to use. Plus, it saves time from having to stop and do research once you’ve already started writing. To make sure that I give an authentic voice to my characters, I first make sure that I know who my characters are. Education level, temperament, home town and age are all things that play a part in a character’s “voice.” And I always work to give each of my characters their own voice so that it doesn’t seem like they are all the same. So I read, research online, watch movies, listen to people talk, whatever is necessary to solidify a character in my head before I ever start writing.

What’s harder, naming your characters, creating the title for your book or the cover design process?

Definitely coming up with the title. I’m so bad at it! I have friends and family who help me pick out my titles. Character naming is much easier. I know where the character is from and what they are like, so it makes it fairly simple to pick out a name that matches. And the cover art part is fun, mostly because I don’t have to actually do the work. I let my cover artist, Jay Aheer, know what I’m looking for and she comes up with the image.

"How do you answer the question “Oh, you're an author...what do you write?"
I normally just say romance novels. If they press for more, I’ll say erotic romance. If they want to know more than that (and I feel comfortable responding) I let them know it’s m/m.

What does your family think of your writing?

They’re proud of the fact that I’m a writer and published. But I also think they don’t quite get that this is something I can make a career of. And only one or two approve of the fact that I write m/m – the rest just skip over that part when discussing it with me.

Tell us about your current work in process and what you’ve got planned for the future.

I’m in the beginning stages of writing book two in the Champions of Desire series. After that, I’ll do book three, then switch over to one of my other series to finish it up. At least, that’s the plan. Plans can change – especially if I get a really good idea in my head.

Do you have any advice for all the aspiring writers out there?

Yes. Write. Don’t worry about trends, or if a publisher will buy your story, or stopping to edit as you go. If you do all or any of that, you’ll never get a story complete. Write the story all the way to the end. Finish it. Then worry about everything else. You can’t publish what doesn’t exist.

If I were snooping around your kitchen and looked in your refrigerator right now, what would I find?

Ha! Not much. I rarely cook so I only have milk for cereal, whatever fruit I’m craving and the basics for a salad. And bacon.

If you could sequester yourself for a week somewhere and just focus on your writing, where would you go and what would the environment be like?

I’d go to one of those nice cabin resorts in a wooded lake area. I think that would be perfect. I could sit on the deck to plan and write. Then go for walks to get fresh air and refresh my creativity. I’m getting giddy just thinking about it! I hope to be able to take a writing retreat next year.

What internet site do you surf to the most?

Twitter. I think I’m addicted. Come chat with me on there! @ShockZ314

Meet the Author

Christa Tomlinson is an exciting up and coming author in erotic romance. Her first self-published novel, The Sergeant, was an Amazon Best Seller for Gay and Lesbian Erotica for seven weeks straight.

Although Christa graduated from The University of Missouri-St. Louis with a degree in History, she currently prefers to write contemporary romance. She loves to create stories that are emotional and lovely with sex that is integral to the characters' romantic arc. Her books include straight couples, curvy couples, gay, and multicultural couples. Love is love and everyone should have their story told. 

Christa lives in Houston, Texas with her two dogs, and is a retired roller derby player.

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Rafflecopter Prize: Three lucky winners will each receive a signed paperback copy and cover art posters of Showing Him the Ropes. 

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  1. I just finished this book and I am so in love with these characters. I need MORE!!!

    1. I feel the same way. I could totally go for a follow up book! 💜