Thursday, February 20, 2014

Strain by Amelia C Gormley Blog Tour ~ Review, Guest Post with Bonus BDSM Scene from Strain & Giveaway

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Title ~ Strain

Author ~ Amelia C Gormley

Publisher ~ Riptide Publishing

Release Date ~ 17th February 2014

Genre ~ M/M Post Apocalyptic

Rating ~ 4.5 Stars

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Synopsis

In a world with little hope and no rules, the only thing they have to lose is themselves.

Rhys Cooper is a dead man. Cut off from the world since childhood, he’s finally exposed to the lethal virus that wiped out most of the human race. Now  his only hope for survival is infection by another strain that might provide immunity. But it’s sexually transmitted, and the degradation he feels at submitting to the entire squad of soldiers that rescued him eclipses any potential for pleasure—except with Darius, the squadron’s respected, capable leader.

Sergeant Darius Murrell has seen too much death and too little humanity. He’s spent a decade putting plague victims out of their misery and escorting survivors to a safe haven he can never enjoy. He’d rather help Rhys live than put him down, so when Rhys can’t reconcile himself to doing what’s necessary to survive, Darius is forced to save Rhys in spite of himself.

But with each passing day, it looks less and less likely that Rhys can be saved. And that means that Darius might soon have to put a bullet in the head of the one person in years who reminds him of what it means to be human.

Monique’s Review

One of my favourite sub genres within M/M Romance is Post Apocalyptic novels, I love the raw grittiness of them, where life is stripped down to baser instincts and the most intrinsic and essential need to just survive becomes paramount, mix that with some D/s power exchange and BDSM elements, throw in a slow burning, intense and extremely erotic relationship between two MC’s and I’m ecstatic. Especially, when the author does it all to perfection and Amelia Gormley did just that, she captured my attention and sated my imagination and need for dark and depraved reads which hit all my kink buttons. From the very first page I was captivated and my heart held hostage by both Darius and Rhys… I loved them! It’s a remarkable story  and the plot development and world building is such that you are there, you can see it all with your own eyes and you can feel the desolation of humanity… when clinging onto any  tiny sliver of hope becomes all consuming, and that is exactly what this book was to me, ALL CONSUMING for the duration. I just couldn’t put it down! I want MORE, really I do, and I will get to that at the end because I can see some serious stalking taking place until Ms Gormley concedes and writes a book 2!!

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So if you read the blurb, you may think this is going to be some kind of fuck fest and in essence I suppose it is, because it’s a do or die situation. There are also elements of non con and dub con in this book along with a little knife/blood play which isn’t to everyone’s taste, but of course my depraved mind just soaks it all up. Having said that, there is so much more to this book, it’s about the emotional and psychological impact on our two MC’s of Rhys’s possible death and their fight for his life, with the uncertainty of it all creating a bond between them, giving that glimmer of hope for the future. But Rhys’s survival touched more than just Darius, because now all the Jugs were invested in ensuring Rhys contracts the virus needed for immunity.

It was agonising to watch Rhys, inside he was just a child that wants love and affection, a boy that still needed to grieve for his lost family, he is sweet and idealistic with a innocence that should have been nurtured. I had a constant knot and ache in my chest for his desperate loneliness. Now he has to fight for his life with sex, a lot of sex, as in several times a day sex, with a parade of soldiers… the humiliation and degradation of it making him shut down emotionally… because Darius was the only man he wanted, with Darius Rhys comes alive inside whilst the others leave him feeling numb.

Darius is a leader, stoic, guarded and tough with comfort and compassion unfamiliar to him, hardened as he is by the harsh and stark realities of their existence. But Rhys ignites something within Darius he finds hard to control, the Alpha strain the Jugs were infected with, kicks in his dominate side, causing overwhelming jealousy and a need to protect… Conflicted and fearful of his sexual desires that seem to have become more deviant in nature because of Rhys’s responsiveness and need to be controlled, he withdraws. Which of course causes all kinds of conflicting emotions in Rhys, struggling with his conscience because of his own desires and zero life experiences with which to draw from except for a zealot priest with a god complex and his son who both physically and mentally abused him.

This is a very emotional journey for both men, who seem to have found a connection, a trust and understanding in a world where they are surrounded by devastation and death, where every moment is precious, they at last have something other than surviving the next day to hope for.

Strain ends on a HFN, but as I said earlier, I wanted more… I wanted to see their intimacy and passion grow, I wanted more from Darius, to see into his heart and watch him totally let himself go and just love… and I wanted to see how Rhys would fit into life at the Fort… because there are a whole host of great secondary characters in this book that I also want more from!  I went through hell and back with these two men, I fought revs and unfriendlys with them, I sweat blood and tears and also walked every god damn mile with them. I was filled with nervous anxiety and apprehension and just when I felt the calm, it was over… GUTTED!!! This book is a five star read, without a doubt, It’s excellent and if I knew there was a book 2 on the horizon then it would be up there on my fav shelf… but that little niggle of wanting more, actually forget that, I NEED MORE, is what’s holding it back from the five stars it so deserves. So Amelia, I may become a woman possessed until I get what I need!

 

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AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | ALL ROMANCE

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A Word from Amelia C Gormley

including a BDSM Bonus Scene from Strain

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Do you like DVD extras? Yeah? So do I. In fact, it’s entirely possible I’ve watched the appendices on the Lord of the Rings extended editions more times than I have the movies themselves.

So for the Strain blog tour, I’m going to try to make my posts a bit like the “behind-the-scenes/making-of” documentaries you might find on a good DVD. A lot of things the world-building and events that Strain depends on happen long before the events of the book itself, and while an in-depth recap of them during the course of Strain got in the way of the flow of the story, I find some of the back-story fascinating and hope you will as well.

Be sure to check the blog tour page at Riptide to see when each of these posts is scheduled.

Commenters at each stop along the way will be entered into a drawing for the chance to win one of three ebook copies of Impulse: The Complete Trilogy, the all-in-one edition of my novel-in-three parts. Please include your contact information, either email, Twitter, or Facebook. The Contest will be open until February 28th, with the winner being announced March 1—just in time for the release of Every Inch of the Way/To the Very Last Inch (The Professor’s Rule #4 and #5), the final two instalments of my series with Heidi Belleau. So stay tuned for that as well!

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The Strain Blog Tour, Part Five: Oh, But This Darling Was Tough to Kill.

My guiding rule for writing sex has always been that it has to accomplish something in terms of plot, relationship, or character development. At the very least, the characters have to be exploring a new kink or kind of sex, even if it’s not doing anything else.

This is not a unique philosophy by any stretch of the imagination, I know, but I rarely have had any difficulty following it. I usually have no problem knowing when a sex scene isn’t working, because if it’s not, the characters just refuse to have sex. They’ll want to fade to black at the bedroom door.

I’m serious! There have been times when a story has entirely stalled out at a sex scene, and it has finally occurred to me that the reason it has done so is that there is absolutely nothing new happening in that sex scene. This actually posed quite a problem in the editing of Strain because my editor Sarah Frantz really wanted to find some places to trim the word count—a goal with which I generally agreed—and the logical place to look was at the sex scenes. Except that as we went through them one by one, we could not find a single one that didn’t accomplish something necessary in the context of the story.

Including this one here, which we did end up deleting. By all rights, according to my guideline for writing smut, it should have stayed in. Throughout the story I make several allusions to Rhys having a masochistic bent, and this is the scene where he and Darius graduate from rough, forceful sex to actual pain play. It highlights Rhys’s desperation to experience as much of life as he can before his impending death. It demonstrates the way Rhys’s sexual and emotional withholding from Darius is finally crumbling and he lets himself be vulnerable, which in turn sets up an important scene that follows. It shows the depth of the emotional attachment that has developed between Rhys and Darius. And it concludes with a perfectly elegant summation of the contradictory world they find themselves in.

And yet, it still wasn’t working. Every editing pass we did, my mind tripped over it like a root sticking out of the ground until I finally had to ask Sarah whether she felt it was truly necessary. Eventually, it hit the scrap heap because while it did accomplish all those things, it didn’t feel like that counterbalanced it detracting in other ways. Some of the material got redistributed to other scenes, but the scene as a whole was removed.

But, for those of you who wanted to see Rhys and Darius carry their penchant for rough sex a little further, here you go. The deleted sex scene (Content warning: contains belt whipping and references to more extreme pain play.)

 

Bonus Deleted BDSM Scene

 

As they began the journey back north across the high desert of eastern Oregon, opting to return to the boats and the river rather than risk the mountain passes this close to winter, Darius continued as fiercely as he had begun, as if he could compel Rhys’s cells to accept the Alpha strain by force of will. As if he could drive out, with the bruising grasp of his hands and the punishing thrust of his cock, the corruption Rhys knew was spreading through his body.

Rhys begged him to do it. The more certain he became that he was dying, the more he craved Darius’s penchant for brutality. He wanted to pack into the days he had left every memory he could make, every sensation he could feel from a life he’d barely had a chance to live.

He didn’t know if Darius understood that, but even if he didn’t, he still managed to deliver exactly what Rhys needed.

Please!” Rhys sobbed, already quivering on the edge of orgasm after Darius’s mouth had abandoned him. Darius forced him down onto a wooden bench and paused, ready to slide into his lubed ass, Rhys’s moans echoed off broken tile in the darkened locker room. For once he made no effort to contain them.

The Jugs had made camp in a high school gymnasium that night, where they would stay for several days while Emmy recuperated from her abortion. All the entrances were barricaded save the one they controlled. Secured in the center of the large cinderblock building, there was no chance any passing revenants would hear Rhys’s screams, and for once it wasn’t a breach of security to slip away to the next room for more privacy.

“Please, what, boy?” Darius jerked Rhys’s head back by his hair, which had grown longer as the weeks passed. Soon Rhys really would need to take Darius up on that offer of a trim.

“Please . . .” Rhys’s fingers scrambled at the flaky varnish of the old wooden bench, and he rocked back, trying to hasten Darius along. “I want it.”

The fat head of Darius’s cock began to work into him, stretching, aching, spreading, making his groans echo.

Then the pressure and the burn disappeared, leaving Rhys’s asshole empty and twitching. “No.” He rocked once more, pushing back, seeking it again with a discontented moan.

“Oh, God.” Rhys panted against the bench.

“Up, boy. On your hands and knees. I want your ass on fire before I fuck you.”

Rhys froze, looking over his shoulder in bewildered fear as Darius began to unthread his belt from his pants. Darius lifted an eyebrow at Rhys as he hovered, torn between terror and longing.

“Don’t tell me you’re not dying for me to hurt you, boy,” Darius drawled, his voice dripping with lazy insouciance.

He was right, of course. Pain, too—the kind Rhys chose rather than the kind forced upon him—was a sensation he would soon lose his chance to experience.

Rhys crawled onto the bench and knelt on the crackling surface, staring at the flakes in the flickering light of the candle until Darius’s shadow loomed over his on the tiles, the serpentine line of the belt slithering across the shade thrown by Rhys’s body.

He closed his eyes and let his head drop into the cradle of his arms, blocking both shadow and reality from his sight. It was sound, rather than sensation, that made him jump on the first blow. The sudden snap twanged off the ceramic walls, and what had begun as an almost painless strike began to resolve itself in a steadily warming line across his ass.

It didn’t remain steady—or painless—for long.

Warmth became burning and burning became blistering agony. Moans transformed to wails that swelled into screams. The strokes of the belt, which started out as an almost pleasant tingle, escalated to streaks of molten fire searing into the flesh of his ass and the backs of his thighs. Rhys howled, rocking from side to side as if he could evade the pain. When he lunged to escape, Darius slammed him back down onto the bench with a hand planted between his shoulder blades and began to whip him even faster and harder.

The blows rained what felt like stripes of lava lashing across his skin, until Rhys’s yells dissolved into broken sobbing. He wept as he hadn’t wept since he was twelve and Jacob had set out to make his life hell for every moment of weakness he displayed. He wept for himself, his life so soon to be cut short, and for Gabe, whom he would lose, and for Darius, whom he knew would never allow himself to mourn once Rhys was gone. Barking sobs and pleas tumbled from his mouth in an unrestrained torrent, until finally he lacked the breath even to beg. He went limp beneath Darius’s hand, swaying with each blow without any actual effort to escape. His keening moans rose after each twanging echo of the belt as it cracked against his skin, punctuated by hiccoughing sobs.

In blissful agony, he surrendered. Apart from his body, apart from his impending death, apart from suffering present and past. Caught in pain and freed from it, he didn’t register the moment Darius tossed the belt aside, not until Darius lifted him bodily off the bench and sank down onto the gritty floor with Rhys in his arms.

I never loved him more than I did in that moment.

As Darius kissed the trails of his tears, licking them all the way down to where the salt crusted at the edges of Rhys’s mouth, Rhys understood what Joe meant.

They moved together, when Rhys was capable of moving. He straddled Darius’s thighs and Darius’s fingers stung where they smeared lube over his welts on their way to his ass, but Rhys didn’t hesitate before sinking down on Darius’s cock. The ache of that first stretch was almost lost in the heat tormenting his skin. The burn when he settled onto the small, tight whorls of dark hair springing from Darius’s muscular thighs made the stretching more intense, more fraught with both pain and pleasure. Heedless of the welts, Darius seized a handful of Rhys’s burning ass and grasped his hip, lifting and lowering him. Rhys cried out and tightened around him, and it got even better.

And between the rough, urgent thrusts were kisses, intense, tender, worshipful kisses where Darius cupped the back of Rhys’s head and drank his tears, swallowing the cries from his mouth.

As the pain and intensity became more manageable, Rhys began to chase it, riding Darius without reservation, without hesitation, driving down upon him. He threw his head back and gloried in it, letting his moans echo without constraint until Darius heaved Rhys off his lap.

“Turn around, boy.”

It took an effort to coordinate his limbs and obey, but when he sank back down on Darius’s cock, it was even better. His welted ass rubbed on Darius’s hips and belly, and Darius’s cock stroked more firmly past his prostate.

The tenderness became something far more demanding.

“Does it hurt, boy?” Darius hissed behind Rhys’s ear, jerking on Rhys’s sharp hips at the culmination of each thrust. “Does it hurt, being fucked while your ass is burning?”

“Yes . . .” Rhys groaned, leaning his head back against Darius’s shoulder to enjoy the change of angle. “God, yes.”

“Someday I’ll find an honest-to-God whip, or even just a switch. I’ll whip you here . . .” He pushed Rhys forward again, scraping blunted fingernails down Rhys’s shoulders and back. “Whip you so hard it’ll break the skin and leave marks.”

On the heels of that final whisper, he wrapped his hand around Rhys’s cock, stroking hard. At the same time Darius’s tongue traced down the line left by his imaginary whip and Rhys came with a shout.

When he could see again, he watched the flickering, jolting dance of their shadows on the wall as Darius lifted and lowered him the final few strokes.

And later, when reason returned as Darius held him, drained and shivering in his lap, Rhys decided there was something inescapably beautiful about the fact that they made these memories in ruined places.

 

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About Amelia

Amelia C. Gormley may seem like anyone else. But the truth is she sings in the shower, dances doing laundry, and writes blisteringly hot m/m erotic romance while her son is at school. When she’s not writing in her Pacific Northwest home, Amelia single-handedly juggles her husband, her son, their home, and the obstacles of life by turning into an everyday superhero. And that, she supposes, is just like anyone else

Her self-published novel-in-three-parts, Impulse (Inertia, Book One; Acceleration, Book Two; and Velocity, Book Three) can be found at most major online book retailers, and be sure to check Riptide for her latest releases, including her Highland historical, The Laird’s Forbidden Lover, the The Professor’s Rule series of erotic novelettes (co-written with Heidi Belleau), and Strain. Stay tuned for her upcoming Riptide releases, which include the final two books in The Professor’s Rule (coming the first week of March) and Saugatuck Summer, coming in May.

Connect with Amelia

FACEBOOK | TWITTER | WEBSITE | BOOKLIKES | GOODREADS | TUMBLR

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The Strain Blog Tour:

Part One: Project Juggernaut
Part Two: The Juggernaut Battalion
Part Three: Does a Sex Scene Have to be Sexy?
Part Four: The Women of Delta Company
Part Five: Bonus Deleted BDSM Scene
Part Six: Giving Life (Fluid Exchange as a Theme in Strain)
Part Seven: A Sneak Peek at Bane, the prequel to Strain.

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Giveaway

PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW TO BE ENTERED

Commenters at each stop along the way will be entered into a drawing for the chance to win one of three ebook copies of Impulse: The Complete Trilogy, the all-in-one edition of my novel-in-three parts. Please include your contact information, either email, Twitter, or Facebook. The Contest will be open until February 28th, with the winner being announced March 1—just in time for the release of Every Inch of the Way/To the Very Last Inch (The Professor’s Rule #4 and #5), the final two instalments of my series with Heidi Belleau. So stay tuned for that as well!

GOOD LUCK!

64 comments:

  1. I loved Strain! Would've been hotter with that scene left in :)
    I'd love to win the Impulse Trilogy

    leetee2007@hotmail.com

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    1. LOL thank you! It was definitely hard to let go of it. I'm glad you enjoyed it!

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  2. Thanks for the extra :)
    valeridavila@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are very welcome! Good luck in the drawing!

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  3. Can't wait to read this one!!

    glaukos5@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you get a chance to check it out! Thanks for stopping by!

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  4. love the extra scene!! Thanks for the giveaway

    jasdarts@hotmail.com

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Jill! Glad you enjoyed! Good luck!

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  5. I haven't read a book from this subgenre before, sounds intense.

    acm05atjuno.com

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    Replies
    1. Well, I hope you get a chance to check it out and enjoy, Anne! Thanks for commenting!

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  6. I loved the extra and thanks for the giveaway!

    jessiem950@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're very welcome! Good luck in the drawing!

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  7. book sounds great
    jmarinich33@aol.com

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Jodi! I hope you get a chance to check it out!

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  8. Thanks for the deleted scene and the giveaway!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Loved the deleted scene. :) Thank you for the giveaway.
    kimlrkim@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I'm glad you liked it, Kim! Good luck!

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  10. Awesome Thanks for the giveaway
    rainwater_sky01@hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  11. Loved that and need to read this.
    leighannecrisp at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  12. I do not think my comment went through. I did love the excerpt. Thanks
    debby236 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awesome! I'm glad you enjoyed (and glad this comment made it through!) Good luck!

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  13. *speechless*

    Just... no words.

    ashley.vanburen[at]gmail[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. lol I'll take that as a compliment! Glad you enjoyed!

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  14. This looks soooo good! Just added it to my Amazon wishlist!

    subwife683 (at) yahoo.com (dot) com
    @kokodokochu

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thanks for the giveaway

    brittaunt at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  16. Thanks for the giveaway! Sounds like a must read!

    janiecers[at]gmail[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Janice! Good luck in the drawing!

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  17. Love this sweet giveaway! A must read for me!
    Paulb403@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  18. Thanks for the review and deleted scene!

    vitajex@aol dot com

    ReplyDelete
  19. Sounds really good, thanks for the chance! caraolson24@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  20. ooh, I have a stalker now? lol, thanks so much for the lovely review, Monique!

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    Replies
    1. Absolutely!!! ...and thank you for the AMAZING book!!! But I do want more ;)

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  21. h my, what a scene. I haven't read Strain yet but it's in my queue list. Thanks so much for the fun deleted scene.

    humhumbum AT yahoo DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  22. I love the series and I agree that scene would have just made it hotter. Reading it just makes me want to read the series over again, lol. Thanks for the giveaway.

    fsteph55(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  23. I can't wait to read this.
    debbie-1985(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  24. Holy hell!! That was HOT!! The deleted scene in itself was a great story! I'm just venturing into the M/M, BDSM, etc., genres and I'm glad I have! Not a bad way to broaden one's horizons! ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Damn -- forgot my email... dihuffer@gmail.com

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  25. OMG, thank you so much! I loved to win <3
    garazi-preciosa@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're very welcome! The giveaway is for Impulse, a different title, but I hope you check out Strain, too! Good luck!

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  26. Wow! That deleted scene is hot. I'd love to win the book!
    jczlapin(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! The drawing is for Impulse, another one of my titles. I do hope you check out Strain, though! Good luck!

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  27. It must be hard letting go sometimes.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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    1. It very much was. Thanks for commenting!

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  28. I would love to win this ! Thank you for the giveaway ! msstick72(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your interest, Mins, though the drawing is for another one of my titles, one I hope you will enjoy just as much. I do hope you check out Strain, though! Good luck!

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  29. That was a hot and hard to read BDSM scene. I see this book is full of hard moments and hard realities, can't wait to read!

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    1. The book definitely has some very difficult content, though I hope readers find it more rewarding for that fact. I hope you check it out!

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  30. Thanks for the scene and the chance at a copy.

    alishead1 @ yahoo.com

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    1. My pleasure, Alishea, though it should be noted that the giveaway is for a copy of another book, not Strain. Still, I hope you check it out. Good luck!

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  31. Loved the scene. Very intriguing.
    marsh10@netzero.com

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  32. Thank you Amelia for your post and giveaway!!! [ mevalem258 AT gmail DOT com ]

    ReplyDelete
  33. Strain looks quite interesting! I'd love to be entered in the giveaway. Thanks!

    Twitter @ stormcloude

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I hope you give it a look! Good luck in the drawing!

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  34. Thanks for the giveaway!!

    sgibby1642@yahoo.com

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  35. i just finished saugatuck summer. looking forward to reading your other books!

    ReplyDelete