Cover Reveal and Excerpt for A SECOND HARVEST by Eli Easton

A Second Harvest Cover Reveal Blitz BannerHi there! I’m so excited to share a first look at a new contemporary M/M romance from Eli Easton. I’ve loved her books, including HOW TO HOWL AT THE MOON, HOW TO WALK LIKE A MAN, and HOW TO WISH UPON A STAR, so I’m excited to read A SECOND HARVEST, which sounds like an unexpected love story for two mature men who thought their time had passed. I’ll share a review for the book in July once it releases, but in the meantime…

Check out this evocative cover!
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About the book:
David Fisher has lived by the rules all his life. Born to a Mennonite family, he obeyed his father and took over the family farm, married, and had two children. Now with his kids both in college and his wife deceased, he runs his farm alone and without joy, counting off the days of a life half lived.

Christie Landon, graphic designer, Manhattanite, and fierce gay party boy, needs a change. Now thirty, he figures it’s time to grow up and think about his future. When his best friend overdoses, Christie resolves to take a break from the city. He heads to a small house in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, to rest, recoup, and reflect.

But life in the country is boring, despite glimpses of the hunky silver fox next door. When Christie’s creativity latches on to cooking, he decides to approach his widower neighbor with a plan to share meals and grocery expenses. David agrees, and soon the odd couple find they really enjoy spending time together.

Christie challenges the boundaries of David’s closed world and brings out feelings he buried long ago. If he can break free of the past, he might find a second chance at happiness.

How about a little taste?

Chapter 1

David sat against the rough wooden boards of the cow stall and watched Gertrude die. She opened her big brown eyes once toward the end and gazed at him for a long moment. In the glow of the lantern light, her lashes cast deep shadows so David couldn’t see what emotion might be in those eyes. Was she grateful he was sitting up with her? Did she know it was time to go? Was she relieved to finally be leaving this farm where she’d spent her entire long life?

But she was just a cow. Probably she thought none of those things. When she closed her eyes again, it was for the last time. An hour later she stopped breathing, and she was gone.

It felt like an era passed with her, silently and stealthily. David was there when Gertrude was born. She was the first cow that was his, designated as such while still in the womb, a birthday present from his parents. He raised her and showed her at the Harrisburg farm fair when he was in eleventh grade. She was a beautiful brown jersey with classic lines, and she won a third-place ribbon that day. David was proud enough to burst. For years afterward Gertrude was a reliable, strong milking cow.

A farmer didn’t get sentimental about animals. That was plain stupid. But David was not able to kill Gertrude when her milk production fell off. She’d half performed for another decade until he eventually retired her to pasture. If anyone asked, he told them it was good to have a mature cow around to show the rebellious younger ones what was what, teach them the routine. And Gertrude was a leader by personality. She knew how to put other cows and heifers in their places. But the truth was, David just couldn’t bear to load her in the truck and take her to the slaughterhouse.

She was a part of his boyhood, and it was right she was dead now. God knew the boy in him was a far distant memory.

He turned off the lights in the barn and walked back to the house. It was foolishness to have stayed up with her. The day’s work had to be done whether or not he had a good night’s rest. He was too old for this.

The light in the kitchen was on as he approached the house. He checked his watch. It was just past 5:00 a.m. Amy must be up.

For the past two years, Amy had come home from college for the summer to work as a nursing intern at the Lancaster hospital and to help him run a CSA program on the farm. It was Amy who did all the customer work. She made up the flyers, packed the boxes of produce, and met with the customers every week when they came to pick up their shares. She was good at that sort of thing. He wished he could pay her more, but like every other operation on the farm, the profit from the CSA was a very faint line of green. David honestly didn’t know how most farmers made it. His grandfather had paid off the farm, but still, between property taxes, upkeep and maintenance, animal feed, and everything else, he made just enough to get by. As his dad used to say, the gravy was thin.

He opened the sliding glass door and saw Amy in her bathrobe pulling some fresh eggs from the fridge.

“Hey, Dad.” She yawned. “What are you doing out at the barn so early?”

“Gertrude passed.”

“Aw! That’s a shame.” Amy didn’t sound too broken up about it. Then again Amy learned young not to get attached to the animals.

He grabbed a glass from the cupboard, went to the fridge, and poured himself some orange juice. But when he went to lift it to his mouth, he was surprised to discover a hard, thick lump in his throat. He put the glass back on the counter and breathed. Ridiculous. He hadn’t gotten particularly choked up, even when Susan died. But then she was sick for a few years. Her death was a blessing in the end.

“Things live. Things die. That’s the way of it.” His voice was gruff, but the lump eased. He drank his juice.

When he put the glass down, Amy was watching him with a frown. “You sound so cynical. I worry about you, Dad. You should take Mrs. Robeson up on her offer for dinner. I think she really likes you.”

“I’m not interested in Mrs. Robeson.”

Amy rolled her eyes. “You should give her a chance. Mom’s been gone two years now. She wouldn’t want you to be alone forever. And Mrs. Robeson taught both Joe and me in Sunday school. She’s a very nice lady.”

David gave Amy a warning look. “I don’t care to discuss my love life, thank you. Are you gonna cook those eggs, or are you waiting for them to hatch?”

Amy snorted a laugh, but she opened a cupboard and brought out a skillet. “Slave driver! I just worry about you. I hate that you’re all alone here when I go back to school. Joe hardly ever comes home.”

“I don’t mind.”

“I know! That’s the problem. You’re turning into a crusty old hermit. Next time I see you, you’ll have a beard down to your belly button. I know you live on TV dinners, hotdogs, and chips. It’s not healthy. You should get remarried. I know Pastor Mitchell thinks so.”

“Pastor Mitchell wants to get some of his old maids and widows married off so he doesn’t have to handhold them so much. I’m not interested.”

David was half teasing, but Amy still gasped. “Dad! That’s a terrible thing so say!”

David waggled his eyebrows, unrepentant, and exited the kitchen.

He went upstairs and took a shower. The sleepless night hit him along with the hot water, and he knew it would be a long day. Why had he felt compelled to sit up with Gertrude? She probably hadn’t even known he was there. But at the thought of her, another wave of sadness hit him. An image ran through his mind—one of falling leaves and the boy he’d been playing in them, laughing. He had no idea where that came from or why.

Out of the shower, he used a hand to wipe off the fogged mirror. He looked at himself critically to see if he could get away with not shaving this morning. His reflection surprised him briefly, as it always did. He felt so old. He always expected to see white hair and a sagging face when he looked in the mirror. But there were only a few strands of gray at the temples of his dark-brown hair and in his close-cropped beard. His face was not young, but it wasn’t sagging yet either. He’d lost a good thirty pounds since Susan died, so he actually looked younger.

Fine. He might not look old, but he sure felt it. And he suddenly understood why he sat up with Gertrude. He wanted to watch her as she escaped the farm at last, as she simply left her body and went away, gone where no one could prevent her going and no one could follow.

One day David would leave too, maybe just that way. He’d shut his eyes and vanish, leaving a shell behind. But dear Lord, he was only forty-one this past May. Even if he died when his dad did, at age fifty-eight, he had years to wait yet.

Just to… wait.

Oh, man! This one is gonna get me in the feels, I just know it!

Interested? You can find A SECOND HARVEST on Goodreads, and pre-order it in advance of its July 1st release on Dreamspinner Press (eBook or Paperback).

Eli EastonAbout the Author:
Having been, at various times and under different names, a minister’s daughter, a computer programmer, the author of paranormal mysteries, a game designer, an organic farmer, an avid hiker, and a profound sleeper, Eli is happily embarking on yet another incarnation as a m/m romance author.

As an addicted reader of such, she is tinkled pink when an author manages to combine literary merit, vast stores of humor, melting hotness and eye-dabbing sweetness into one story. She promises to strive to achieve most of that most of the time. She currently lives on a farm in Pennsylvania with her husband, three bulldogs, three cows and six chickens. All of them (except for the husband) are female, hence explaining the naked men that have taken up residence in her latest fiction writing.

Catch up with Eli on her website, Facebook, and twitter.
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They Found A WAY HOME–My Review

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for the final book in Keira Andrew’s Amish Love series, A WAY HOME. I’ve previously reviewed A FORBIDDEN RUMSPRINGA and A CLEAN BREAK, and I know these books have made an impact on me, not only because they are enjoyable. I really dig books that teach me a bit about another culture, and I can safely say I’ve gotten an insiders peek into Amish life. It is fascinating!
(These are adult reads, and are NOT about religion, only how religion is part of the lives of these men.)

A Way Home (Gay Amish Romance #3)About the book:
Will returning to their Amish roots renew their faith in each other?

Isaac and David never thought they’d go back to the Amish world. But when Isaac’s younger brother is stricken with cancer, they don’t hesitate to return. Their relationship is on the rocks after insecurity and fear drove a wedge between them in San Francisco, and David is determined to make things right. Yet if they thought navigating “English” life was confusing, being back in Zebulon is even more complicated.

Their families are desperate to bring them back into the fold, and pressure from the community builds. Isaac and David yearn for a future together, but each day it becomes harder to hide the truth about who they really are. They’re caught between two worlds, and if they’re not careful it could tear them further apart.

Can Isaac and David make their way back to each other—and find a place to call home?

This is the final chapter in a trilogy of forbidden Amish love.

My Review:
This is the third book in a series. It is recommended that you read in order.

To sum up the series: David and Isaac are two young men from a sheltered Amish community in Zebulon, MN. They had left to find a life together because they are gay and closeted, and can’t persist in the Amish life as gay men. After several months living in San Fransisco with Isaac’s shunned brother, Aaron and his wife Jen, they have some issues to resolve including alcoholism and fidelity.

In this final book, Aaron and Isaac have traveled to Zebulon to provide blood samples for matching to their younger brother, Nathan, who is suffering an advanced nasal cancer. Isaac feels guilty that he didn’t complain about Nathan’s awful snoring when he still shared a room/bed with him–before he left–fearing that his complaints may have caused earlier detection.

Aaron is distraught because he has missed his family for the past decade, and his parents will not speak directly to him, nor will they let him visit his siblings, except Nathan, who is hospital-bound.

David was left behind in San Fran because he was AWOL at the time the summons came, having had a big fight with Isaac and a drunken binge that left him unreachable. Jen helped to clean him up and get him on the way, but he and Issac have a lot to resolve, not the least of which is the status of their relationship. Plus, returning to Zebulon means confronting his choices with his mother and five younger sisters that he had cared for since his father’s death years before.

If you have followed this series, you will note that this final installment is less on the sexytimes and more on the emotional minefield in which Isaac and David find themselves. At every turn they are begged, cajoled and threatened to give up their “English” ways and return to Amish life. They struggle with the desire to have some connection to their families and still be able to life their true life, as gay men.

I was glad the betrayal aspect which remained from the previous book was quickly, and appropriately, resolved. As with any relationship, there are bound to be growing pains, and David and Isaac must acknowledge their shortfalls to each other in order to build a better life going forward.

I have been charmed by David and Isaac throughout this series, and was no less so in this final installment. I was SO GLAD to see their unsettled feelings regarding Zebulon resolved, and to know that life will go on in the positive direction.

The attitudes of the fictional Amish in the book feel accurately rendered and likely, which is both good and frustrating. Good because it lends an authenticity to the story. Frustrating because they are incredibly intransigent, and this causes a lot of heartache. Shunning is the worst kind of “tough love,” an extreme type of emotional manipulation, and while I can understand it, I do not want to condone it, like it or promote it. Still, I felt it, and Like Aaron, Isaac and David, I didn’t want to feel it ever again.

The book is a solid HEA, the series is a solid HEA, and it’s absolutely brilliant. Cannot recommend enough.

Interested? You can find A WAY HOME on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and AllRomance.

A Forbidden Rumspringa (Gay Amish Romance #1)As for the first book–A FORBIDDEN RUMSPRINGA–it is a story of many firsts, told by Isaac. Isaac is the “new” eldest son of his house. I say “new” in quotes, because his eldest brother, Aaron, was excommunicated when he left the Amish community several years before. Isaac is uncomfortable in his Amish home because he doesn’t feel attracted to girls. He’s actually quite attracted to David, an Amish carpenter who takes Isaac on as an apprentice.

Together, they find out about love, and life, during their forays into each other, and the “English” world just outside their settlement. Isaac knows he can never watch David marry, but he never suspects how deep David loves only him. It is a touching story that really got to me. Check out my review for more details.

Interested? You can find A FORBIDDEN RUMSPRINGA on Goodreads, All Romance, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.

A Clean Break (Gay Amish Romance #2)The second book, A CLEAN BREAK, is told from David’s point of view, and it’s a big departure from what I expected. Me, with my moony love for love, thought it would be a hope-filled book with tons of joy and hearts and flowers. The reality is a much better story. It is a struggle for David to adapt to his new life, a life of dependence upon Isaac’s brother, Aaron. David has never been able to lean on anyone, and he wants desperately to take care of Isaac, plus he’s distraught over leaving his mother and sisters behind, to fend for themselves. His worries turn into anxiety and panic attacks which he medicates with alcohol. It’s got a lot of love, but there is a whole lot of growth and change that both Isaac and David must endure in order to make their path in the strange landscape of San Francisco. It is a remarkable story that will resonate. Check out my review for more information.

Interested? You can find A CLEAN BREAK on Goodreads, All Romance, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.

Keira AndrewsAbout the Author:
After writing for years yet never really finding the right inspiration, Keira discovered her voice in gay romance, which has become a passion. She writes contemporary, historical, paranormal and fantasy fiction, and—although she loves delicious angst along the way—Keira firmly believes in happy endings. For as Oscar Wilde once said, “The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what fiction means.”

You can catch up with Keira on her website, Facebook, twitter, and Goodreads.

Thanks for popping in and keep reading my friends!

Conflict and Compassion in A CLEAN BREAK–A Review

Hi there! Today I want to share a review for a contemporary M/M romance by Kiera Andrews. A CLEAN BREAK is the sequel to A FORBIDDEN RUMSPRINGA, and it’s just as honest and conflicted as the first book. Issac and David are two young men raised in a very sheltered, xenophobic Amish community, and they have fled because they found love with each other, a love they knew their families would never accept…

A Clean Break (Gay Amish Romance #2)About the Book:
David and Isaac have found happiness in each other’s arms. In faraway San Francisco, Isaac’s brother Aaron helps them explore confusing “English” life and move beyond the looming shadow of their Amish roots. For the first time, David and Isaac can be openly gay, yet they struggle to reconcile their sexuality with their faith. At least they don’t have to hide their relationship, which should make everything easier. Right?

But while Isaac thrives at school and makes new friends, David wrestles to come to terms with the reality of the outside world. Haunted by guilt at leaving his mother and sisters behind in Zebulon, he’s overwhelmed by the hustle and bustle of the city as he works to get his carpentry business off the ground.

While David and Isaac finally sleep side by side each night, fear and insecurity could drive them miles apart.

This is the second chapter in a trilogy of forbidden Amish love. This book features explicit sex and is not an inspirational/Christian novel.

My Review:
This is the second book in a series, and I think it’s best to read these books in order.

Isaac and David have fled their Amish community in Zebulon, Minnesota, and are living with Isaac’s brother Aaron. Aaron had left Amish life ten years ago, and has completely adapted to the ‘English’ life. He got a college degree and is now a teacher, and married to a Filipino woman who is a physician. They live in San Francisco, and are fully willing to support a David and Isaac until they can support themselves. They also fully accept Isaac and David being gay.

This book is told from David’s POV, and David is truly struggling. By leaving he abandoned his mother and four younger sisters. He was the only man of the family and he fears that they are struggling. He is too scared to write and find out however. Adjusting to English life is difficult in some ways, and not in others…

Isaac smiled sadly. “It’s amazing, isn’t it? How quickly we get used to breaking the Ordnung. Practically everything we do here is against the rules. But once you start, it’s easy.”

“Easy not to think about it, at least.” For when he thought about it, David remembered how hard things were in Zebulon. His chest tightened as he imagined how Mother and the girls would be struggling without him. Who would break the ice in the well, or chop the wood for the stove? Or—

As the cable car dropped off its passengers and did a loop around the turntable to face the way it had come, David shook his head as if he could shake free his thoughts. He could never go back. Only forward with Isaac.

Being in San Francisco and seeing openly gay people is a huge culture shock. Isaac and David have believed their love is a sin, but witnessing other men embracing and even kissing helps them to better accept each other.

“I want to worship you,” he whispered. Isaac was beautiful and good, and David wanted him to know it.

Groaning, Isaac dragged David’s head down for a hard kiss as he spread his legs and wrapped them around David’s hips. Isaac gasped, “It doesn’t feel wrong. Does it?”

David could only shake his head, desperate for them to be naked so he could experience the heat and sweat of Isaac’s body against him. Since that first night among the trees with loyal Kaffi standing guard, touching Isaac—loving Isaac—had only ever felt right despite everything.

Not only because of how good it made David’s body feel, but in the way it reached into his soul through every pore. In every shared moan and smile, in every tremble of limbs and press of lips, he was whole.

Their love is strong, but distance does begin to grow. Isaac decides to go to school, and David is nervous to begin a carpentry business on his own. Everything in this place, this new life, is foreign, and David is embarrassed about how little he knows and understands.

“I’m so glad you’re here. If you’d stayed, I don’t know what I’d do. I’d miss you so much I wouldn’t be able to stand it.”

“I’ll never leave you, Eechel. I’m right here. Go back to sleep.” He kissed Isaac’s head.

David stared at the faint pattern of the street lamps through the blinds, shadows and light spreading over the walls and ceiling. His earlier resolve grew stronger with each little shuddering breath Isaac took.

No more procrastination and naps. He’d get his business up and running so he could take proper care of Isaac. He would keep him safe and happy. He wouldn’t disappoint him. As Isaac burrowed close, David petted him and murmured a lullaby he hadn’t heard in years.

David’s struggle is intense and silent. He’s afraid to confide in anyone, to reveal his fears which leads to panic attacks, and further separation from Isaac. Isaac wants David to meet his friends from school, but David is ashamed that he will appear stupid to them, and continually puts it off. Plus, other men are showing too keen an interest in David, and Isaac suspects David wants someone else. There are lots of hurt feelings, lots of empty liquor bottles and lots of tears, but things end on a strained (but POSITIVE!!!!) note.

I can’t believe I love gay Amish romance, but I totally do. This series has me hooked. The feelings are so raw, and there’s a good amount of sexytimes. I am anxious to see how David and Isaac move forward, together, in the next book.

Interested? You can find A CLEAN BREAK on Goodreads, All Romance, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.

A Forbidden Rumspringa (Gay Amish Romance #1)As for the first book–A FORBIDDEN RUMSPRINGA–it is a story of many firsts, told by Isaac. Isaac is the “new” eldest son of his house. I say “new” in quotes, because his eldest brother, Aaron, was excommunicated when he left the Amish community several years before. Isaac is uncomfortable in his Amish home because he doesn’t feel attracted to girls. He’s actually quite attracted to David, an Amish carpenter who takes Isaac on as an apprentice.

Together, they find out about love, and life, during their forays into each other, and the “English” world just outside their settlement. Isaac knows he can never watch David marry, but he never suspects how deep David loves only him. It is a touching story that really got to me. Check out my review for more details.

Interested? You can find A FORBIDDEN RUMSPRINGA on Goodreads, All Romance, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.

Keira AndrewsAbout the Author:
After writing for years yet never really finding the right inspiration, Keira discovered her voice in gay romance, which has become a passion. She writes contemporary, historical, paranormal and fantasy fiction, and—although she loves delicious angst along the way—Keira firmly believes in happy endings. For as Oscar Wilde once said, “The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what fiction means.”

You can catch up with Keira on her website, Facebook, twitter, and Goodreads.

Thanks for popping in and keep reading my friends!