We are thrilled to welcome Melanie Hansen back to Sinfully. She has popped in to share with you the gorgeous cover by Natasha Snow of her upcoming book Pieces of Me, due for release on the 16th January. Go check it out and don’t forget to enter the giveaway.
Pieces of Me
Release Date: 16th January 2017
Publisher: NineStar Publishing
Cover Artist: Natasha Snow
Genre: Contemporary Gay Romance
Scott Ashworth is a beautiful man and the hottest club host on the Phoenix gay scene. He takes what he wants, does what he wants, and does whom he wants. It’s a good life, but the journey to local popularity and fame wasn’t an easy one. For all that Scott’s looks are a blessing, at the same time they’re a curse—the source of his alcoholic mother’s inexplicable hatred.
Rylan Mahoney dreams of photojournalistic glory. He’s in Phoenix looking for the story of a lifetime, but the project isn’t coming to fruition. Needing rent money, he accepts a gig at Phoenix Pride hawking lewd lollipops and edible condoms…all while wearing gold lamé hot pants and a matching bow tie. When Rylan’s house keys and street clothes go missing after his shift, he’s desperate, until a stranger in a convertible stops to help.
The man is absolute sex on legs, and Rylan is jolted when he recognizes him—his stepbrother Scott Ashworth, long missing but suddenly larger than life. Scott is affluent and successful now, light years away from his hardscrabble days living with Rylan in a double-wide trailer deep in the heart of the Florida Panhandle.
Reunited after six years apart, Scott and Rylan are determined to put their past behind them, but fate may have other ideas and leave their future in jeopardy yet again.
This book contains sexually explicit content which is only suitable for mature readers, including underage sexual interaction. There are mentions of abuse and a cliffhanger.
A Word from Melanie Hansen
Wow, I can't believe it’s been an entire year since my last book release! 2016 was a difficult year for me, as it was for a lot of people. When I started Pieces of Me during NaNo 2015, I intended for it to be light, humorous and sexy…a stepbrother story that showcases my home state of Arizona. As I worked on it, though, it turned a little more personal.
In this story, Scott Ashworth is a successful underwear model and host at the fabulous gay club Spectrum Nights. He seems to have it all, but yet he struggles with insecurity and a deep-seated sense of inadequacy. It affects everything he does, every choice he makes, even if he doesn't consciously realize it. Despite his fabulous good looks, he still considers himself worthless, a screw-up, and he battles a self-loathing that's almost paralyzing at times. Looking at him, no one would ever know what's going on inside him. Instead it shows in the way he treats people, the way he acts, and his inability to commit or let anyone in.
Inadequacy. Insecurity. Regret. All of us do battle with these feelings, and at times it's worse than others. Myself personally, this past year I had a good friend commit suicide, and not long ago my 13-year-old son started showing signs of a serious mood disorder. I've discovered the hard way that imposter syndrome really is a thing, and it doesn't just apply to creative endeavors such as writing...but also to being a friend, and a parent.
The way we feel about ourselves drives the choices we make, and Scott's life has been a series of one poor choice after the other. Perception is everything, and who we surround ourselves with has a lot to do with that. Forgiving ourselves for past mistakes, believing we actually deserve the good things that come our way, well, it's a process, and one I still struggle with.
In the end, Scott is one of my favorite characters I've ever written. He's not damaged, or broken...he's human. And that's why I love him.
Scott was stretched out full length on the couch and appeared to be sound asleep, so Rylan busied himself testing the lighting and changing out the memory card in his camera, letting him rest.
Finally he knelt next to him and put his hand on Scott’s thigh, whispering his name. Scott’s eyes blinked open, the vivid green warm and sleepy. Rylan took a few quick shots before Scott was fully awake, the photoset he wanted to capture clear in his mind’s eye.
“I’m going to move you how I want you, okay? Just relax.” He pushed at Scott’s left knee until it was crooked along the back of the couch, encouraging him to rest his right foot on the floor.
“Arms above your head, please.”
Scott complied and stretched like a sinuous cat, arching his back. Rylan swallowed hard when Scott’s abs flexed with the movement, his hips lifting as he sighed and sank back down onto the cushions with a husky groan.
Rylan took a few deep breaths, cleared his throat, and said, “I’m going to kneel right here and take a few shots, okay?” He patted the end of the couch between Scott’s sprawled legs, and Scott gave a lazy nod.
“What are you going for here, Ry?” he asked, his voice warm and throaty with sleep. “Tell me so I can help.”
Rylan bit his lip. “Well—”
Scott suddenly ran his hand over his face and hair and grimaced. “I should probably fix myself up a little first,” he grunted. “I’ve been dancing, and I’m all sweaty—”
He made to sit up and Rylan put his hand on his knee to stop him. “The way you look is perfect,” he said huskily. “It’s what I was aiming for. You’re flushed and tousled, on the couch, waiting for—”
“Who? My lover?” Scott murmured, his eyes taking on a heated glow. “Mmm. Tell me more.” He crossed his arms behind his head and let his crooked knee fall farther to the side. Rylan held the camera out in front of him, trying to keep his hands from shaking and ruining the shot as he centered Scott on the view screen. Holy shit, he was beautiful, all golden brown skin and sexy bulge, his full lips parted and green eyes slumberous.
“Get a grip, Rylan,” he muttered under his breath. “You’re a pro, remember?” He cleared his throat and raised his voice so Scott could hear. “Yeah. You’ve met someone at the club and brought them home. Things got hot and heavy on the couch, and the other person excused themselves for a moment. You’re waiting for them to come back.”
“Hmm,” Scott said musingly. “In the interests of accuracy, if that’s the scenario you’re going for, I’d probably be doing this.” Holding Rylan’s eyes with his, he slid his hand slowly down his belly until his fingertips were flirting with the waistband of his briefs. “While I waited, of course.”
Rylan sat there, his gaze fixed on Scott’s hand, until Scott nudged him with his knee. “Gonna take pictures, or just stare?”
Rylan felt his face flush scarlet, and he huffed out an embarrassed laugh. “Sorry,” he mumbled. “Taking pictures.” He snapped off several, biting back a groan as Scott slid his hand fully into his underwear and cupped himself, fingers stroking.
“Jesus, Scott,” he breathed, heat pooling low in his abdomen, hyperaware of the fact there were hundreds of people not all that far away. The house music still pounded, but up here in the balcony, away from the speakers, it was more of a dull roar in the background than an all-out onslaught.
Scott gave him a slow wink, a sensual smile curving his lips. “Trying to keep it real here, Rylan.” He closed his eyes and tilted his head back, lips parted. “Mmm, hurry up, lover of mine.”
Rylan depressed the shutter button a few times with a shaking finger and pushed off the couch to standing, the erection he couldn’t suppress anymore tenting out his jeans. “You,” he rasped, palming himself soothingly, “are fucking dangerous to my sanity.”
Scott’s eyes opened to slits, and he sat up in one smooth motion, draping his arms over the back of the couch, his legs spread wide. “And you,” he countered, “are even more beautiful when you’re turned on. Just sayin’.”
Meet Melanie Hansen
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.
Melanie is gifting to one lucky reader a $20 Amazon Gift Card.