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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Blog Tour ~ The Marine in Unit A by Kris Cook

Title: The Marine in Unit A
Series: A Mockingbird Place Novella
Author: Kris Cook
Genre: M/M Romance
Published: September 15, 2015
The man who has been more of a dad to me than my biological father is dead. 
He rescued me from the streets six years ago—a runaway teenage boy, escaping a family who thought I was an abomination. 
Now what do I do? I have no one. 
My life might look great from the outside. I’m in college. I have my own apartment. I have lots of friends. 
But I’m dying on the inside. 
I feel so alone. Lost. Hopeless. 
I’m not the kind of person to wallow in self-pity. I need a distraction. 
The guy moving into Unit A may be just what I need to take my mind off of losing my dad. 
**** 
21-year old Oliver Lancaster is attracted to 22-year old Adam Stockton, the former-Marine moving into Unit A. But attraction for the closeted man morphs quickly into something deeper, something meaningful, something that terrifies Oliver. What will happen if Adam learns about the secret from his past? 
Warning: contains skinny dipping, two hot men kissing, and sexual situations taking place in a 10-unit Mediterranean complex filled with college-aged hotties.
“Loved this book! Very touching love story and has me wanting to know more about the residents at Mockingbird Place.” ~ The Smut-Brarians
“It is well written, and you can feel the intensity of the words and the emotions of the characters in the book.” ~ Bloggin' With M.Brennan
“A very nice read that I totally enjoyed. I will read more by this author especially this series.” ~ Inked Rainbow Reads
The Marine in Unit A Mockingbird Place 
© 2015 Kris Cook
I stay behind as everyone says their goodbyes to him. I’m not ready to leave.
He hugs Martha and Sarah last. They wave to me, and then walk out.
When Adam shuts the door, I ask him, “How about another beer? There’s three left.”
“Actually, I’m hungry. Are you?”
“Starving.”
He walks into the kitchen and holds up a grocery bag. “You like ramen noodles? I’m not much of a cook and I figured it might be too late to go out by the time I finished. I was right, even with all the help of our wonderful neighbors and you.”
This will be our first meal together. “Noodles and beer? Sounds perfect.”
Adam laughs. “I even got cupcakes for dessert. Now all we need to do is find a pot in one of these boxes so we can boil the noodles.”
A few minutes later, our dinner is ready to eat.
He looks in several boxes. “I found forks but no plates or bowls. Oh, well. I guess we’ll have to eat out of the pot. And since my dining room table is loaded with boxes and my new sofa won’t be delivered until tomorrow, we’ll have to sit on the floor.” He walks into the living room, carrying a couple of forks and our pot of noodles.
I plop down in the same place I sat in before everyone else arrived. “It’ll be like an indoor picnic.”
He laughs, sits down next to me and then scoots even closer. So close my heart skips a beat.
Adam holds the pot out for me. “You take the first bite.”
Heat rushes through me as I twirl my fork in the pot. I wonder if he realizes how intimate this feels. Was my first instinct about him right? Is he gay? I’m confused. I’m not about to bring up that subject now, especially remembering how he acted when I mentioned the gay strip club. Right now I must be patient with him. I like Adam. If he isn’t gay, I hope we can at least be friends. But if he is…well, that is a different story.
As I taste the noodles, his eyes are fixed on me. “How did I do, Oliver?”
“Delicious.” I haven’t eaten ramen noodles in a very long time. Malcolm was an excellent cook and taught me everything he knew about the kitchen. We always ate like kings. “It has a flavor I can’t quite figure out.”
Laughing, Adam places his arm around me. “It’s beer. I’m no chef and I don’t have any spices except salt and pepper, but I thought if I poured some of my beer in the pot it might make our noodles taste better.”
“It does taste great. Good idea.”
“Really? You’re not just saying that, are you?”
“Yes. Really.” I smile at his enthusiasm. I’ve witnessed a sliver of his dark side when he adamantly stated he wasn’t gay. But now, he seems completely relaxed and open. This seems to be another side to his personality. How many sides does he have? Adam is still a mystery to me.
We polish off the entire pot of noodles quickly.
“I guess we were hungry.” He finishes his beer and remains next to me. “Ready for dessert?”
I would much rather taste his lips, but for now, I will settle for a cupcake. “I would love dessert.”
He jumps to his feet, collecting our two forks and the empty pot, and returns to the kitchen.
Again, I notice his slight limp. I really wish I knew what happened to him. But if I say something it might end the evening, and I don’t want it to end. We’ve only had a little time alone together. I want more, but feel if I stay much longer, I will screw things up.
He brings the cupcakes on a napkin. “There’s a chocolate and a vanilla. Which one do you want?”
I look into his dark eyes, wondering what it would be like to hold him close. “Chocolate, please.”
“That’s my favorite, too.” He sits down even closer to me than before, the sides of our legs touching with only the fabric of our jeans keeping our skin apart.
My heart begins to race. “How about we cut the cupcakes in two, Adam, and split them? That way we both get a taste of our favorite.”
He laughs in such a way I can’t help but smile. It’s hearty and warm. “Oliver, you’re a genius.”
He takes a bite of his chocolate slice and closes his eyes. “Mmm.”
I can’t help but stare at the drop of icing that is on his thick lips. When his tongue appears and sweeps it into his mouth, I think I’m going to pass out. He is the hottest guy I’ve ever met. I need to get control of myself or my excitement will get the better of me.
Adam’s eyes pop open. “What are you waiting for? It’s delicious.”
I take a bite of mine. In the sexiest voice I can muster, I say, “It is so delicious—sweet, moist, and creamy.”
“You should be the bakery’s spokesperson. Have you ever thought about doing commercials?”
So much for trying to sound sexy, but I’m not ready to give up. Not yet. “No, I never have.”
“You should consider it. You’ve got a great voice.”
“Thanks. This has been a blast, Adam.”
“A blast?” He grins again. “I’m glad but I feel like I’ve taken advantage of you. This has been a lot of work.”
Please take advantage of me. “Next time I want to cook dinner for you.”
“That would be great. I’ll bring a six-pack or a bottle of wine. But don’t think you have to top my meal.” He grins, holding up his remaining cupcake half. “This is five-star dining at its best.”
“Yes, it is. And the company can’t be beat.” Despite how much I want to stay, I wrap up the remainder of my dessert in the napkin. “It’s late. I better go.”
A flash of disappointment appears on his face and then quickly vanishes. He gets up on his feet. “Thanks, buddy. Without your help and all the other neighbors pitching in, I wouldn’t have been able to get the truck unloaded.” He holds out his hand in the universal gesture of friendship.
Is this all we are ever going to be? Just friends?
I can’t resist testing the water, just a little. “Come on, buddy. We’ve shared noodles. We’re friends who deserve a hug.” I pull him in and he doesn’t resist.
It still doesn’t confirm my suspicions about him, but it does give me a reason to hope.
Though starting in straight erotic romance, Kris's total focus now is on gay romance. When asked why recently, his answer was "My muse finally came out of the closet. Isn't it about time? I’ve been out since I was twenty-five." A voracious reader, Kris loves many genres of fiction, but this writer's favorite books are romances that are edgy, sexy, with rich characters and unique challenges. Kris' influences include Anne Rice, JR Ward, Lexi Blake and Shayla Black. Last year, Kris married the love of his life Stephen. 
 
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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Release Day Blitz ~ The Marine in Unit A by Kris Cook

Title: The Marine in Unit A
Series: A Mockingbird Place Novella
Author: Kris Cook
Genre: M/M Romance
Release Date: September 15, 2015
The man who has been more of a dad to me than my biological father is dead. 
He rescued me from the streets six years ago—a runaway teenage boy, escaping a family who thought I was an abomination. 
Now what do I do? I have no one. 
My life might look great from the outside. I’m in college. I have my own apartment. I have lots of friends. 
But I’m dying on the inside. 
I feel so alone. Lost. Hopeless. 
I’m not the kind of person to wallow in self-pity. I need a distraction. 
The guy moving into Unit A may be just what I need to take my mind off of losing my dad. 
**** 
21-year old Oliver Lancaster is attracted to 22-year old Adam Stockton, the former-Marine moving into Unit A. But attraction for the closeted man morphs quickly into something deeper, something meaningful, something that terrifies Oliver. What will happen if Adam learns about the secret from his past? 
Warning: contains skinny dipping, two hot men kissing, and sexual situations taking place in a 10-unit Mediterranean complex filled with college-aged hotties.
“Loved this book! Very touching love story and has me wanting to know more about the residents at Mockingbird Place.” ~ The Smut-Brarians
“It is well written, and you can feel the intensity of the words and the emotions of the characters in the book.” ~ Bloggin' With M.Brennan
“A very nice read that I totally enjoyed. I will read more by this author especially this series.” ~ Inked Rainbow Reads
The Marine in Unit A Mockingbird Place 
© 2015 Kris Cook
Having been awake all night, I step out of the shower. The rally doesn’t start until noon, but I need something, anything that can distract me from thinking about what happened with Adam. Giving him space is what Martha and Sarah think I should do, so I decide to let a single day pass. But if I don’t hear from him by tomorrow, I will make the first move to fix things between us. And besides, Adam still needs help setting up his apartment before his mother arrives, and I want to be that help. 

I finish getting ready, and take one last look at my hair before leaving my apartment. I park my car in the student parking lot. The university I attend has a large green space in the middle of campus. Mature trees line the sidewalks that are sparsely filled with students going to and from their classes and dormitories. In the fall the grounds will be teeming with students. 
I look at the time on my cell. 8:21am. I have over three and a half hours to kill before the rally. Where to go? The library? No. I didn’t need to go over my speech any more, since I’ve spent several early morning hours already working on it. I am ready. So I decide to get a bite of breakfast in the cafeteria. 

When I walk inside, I see Adam at a table filling out some paperwork. I freeze in place. I am in a quandary whether to approach him or not, whether to follow Martha and Sarah’s advice or not, whether to tamp down my desire to sit down next to him to say how sorry I am—or not. 

Adam looks at me. Did he feel me staring at him? Before I can step back to the entrance to leave, he waves me over. I feel my shoulders relax as relief rolls through me. At least he is willing to talk to me again. I take cautious steps in his direction. Gone are his jeans and T-shirt and facial hair. He is clean-shaven, wearing black slacks and a white dress shirt and blue tie. Casual or dress up, with whiskers or without, Adam is the epitome of masculine beauty. 

“Have a seat, Oliver.”
I do, waiting for him to lay into me again about seeing his prosthetic legs. “Would you mind if I put your name down as a reference on this application? 

They’re asking for a student or professor’s name. You’re the only one I know.” He looks at me with those damn gorgeous doe eyes. “I have the option to leave it blank if you don’t want me to.” 

“Please. Use my name. I’ll be happy to be your reference.” Your friend. Your boyfriend. Whatever. 
“Thanks, buddy.” He smiles and then goes back to filling out the paperwork. 
I have the strongest urge to bring up what happened last night to try to clear the air. But hearing Martha and Sarah’s words of advice replay in my head, I keep my mouth shut. If he isn’t ready to talk about it, then I certainly am not going to mention it. I will give him whatever space and time he needs. At least he isn’t asking me to leave. 
“Done.” He stands. “Wish me luck.” 

“Sure. For what?”
“That I can get a job in the cafeteria. Are you in a hurry?”
“I don’t have to be anywhere until noon.”
“Good. Let me turn this in and maybe I could trouble you with that tour around campus you offered me.”

I am so glad he’s asking for my help. “I’ll be happy to show you some shortcuts.” “You’re a lifesaver. My sense of direction is shot. I wish you could have seen the 

look on my face when I walked into the women’s locker room by mistake earlier. Why the door was unlocked I have no clue, but I could feel my cheeks burning when the girls started giggling and running for cover. I turned and walked out as fast I could, buddy.” 
“You really do need my help. It took me a whole semester to figure out how to get around this place. But I’m surprised that you walked into the women’s locker room. Isn’t a good sense of direction necessary on the battlefield?” Oh shit. Why did I bring that up? 
“It’s easy on the battlefield. You just have to know where the bullets are coming from.” He smiles, which makes me feel better. “I’m starving, how about you?” 

“Famished.” 

“Breakfast is on me.” He hands me a twenty-dollar bill. “The lady in charge asked me to fill this out today but won’t be able to interview me until next week. Let me turn this application in and you order us some breakfast. Then we’ll go on the tour. I’ll be right back.” 

He walks away. His limp is gone. No one in the cafeteria has a clue that he is missing a leg but me. And it certainly doesn’t bother me, not one bit. I don’t know how he lost his leg, but obviously he hasn’t quite accepted it yet. He mentioned a friend was supposed to help him initially, but the guy never showed. Did Adam have any help packing and loading before driving to Mockingbird Place? He didn’t seem overly tired that night, but he is a strong guy. A former-Marine. I guess he’s not limping because he got some rest after unloading his things into Malcolm’s old place. No, Adam’s place. Unit A is Adam’s. I go and order two sausage egg cheese biscuits and orange juices for us. When I get back to our table, he is already there. 

Adam looks up at me. “Breakfast is served?” 

I place the tray on the table. “Yes, sir.” I can’t resist and salute Adam, instantly worrying I might be overstepping again. Thus far he’s been very closed mouth about his military service. But he returns the salute with a devilish grin, easing my concerns. We eat our breakfast, talking about everything except the main issue on my mind. 

“I bet you’re glad our complex has a pool,” he says. “It’s going to be very hot according the weatherman for the next several days.” 

“You like to swim?”
He shrugs. “I used to.”

I brace myself, thinking we might be getting close to opening Pandora’s box about what happened. But as usual, Adam changes the subject. “Oliver, how about you show me the buildings where my classes are going to be first?” 
“Sure thing.” 
He hands me his schedule, and I realize the lid on the infamous box is not only shut tight, it is also locked with no sign of the key in sight. What is it going to take for Adam to explain his sudden and over-the-top reaction to me learning he lost his leg? And will I ever learn if he is gay or straight? 
As we leave the cafeteria, he asks, “Do you know the guy who lives in Unit D? Long black hair. Blue eyes. Good looking. He invited me to a party tonight at his and his roommate’s place.” 
“That’s Trace. I’m going, too. In fact the whole complex should be there. It’ll give you another chance to get to know everyone.” 
“The ones who helped us move my things were very nice, though the MMA fighter is a bit intense.” 
“Tony’s that way, but I believe he’s really a good guy underneath all that darkness.” “I wasn’t sure I would go, but now that I know you’re going I will.”

We had so much drama last night, and today he’s acting like it never happened. 
Now, he says he only is going to the party if I’m going. Damn. He confuses me so much. I sense now is not the time to confront him with what I’m feeling. But if not now, when? “I’m glad you’re going, too.” 

We walk around campus, and I point out the iconic spots.

“That’s Dallas Hall, the oldest building on campus.”

“It’s quite grand. I like the dome.”

When we got to the building that had the last class on his list, he turns to me. 

“Thanks, buddy.” Buddy. There’s that word again. But better to be called that than nothing. I did say I would settle for friendship, but can I really? The more time I spend with him the more my feelings get mixed up. 
“No trouble, Adam. I enjoyed hanging out.” 

“Me, too. I would have been completely lost on my first day of classes if it hadn’t been for you and your fantastic tour.” He sighs. “I better get back to looking for a job.” 
“Do you plan on working the entire time you’re in school?” 

“Yeah. With the financial aid I’m getting I don’t have to work, but I want to. It will give me extra spending money and will keep me busy.” 

I have a feeling that he likes keeping busy so he doesn’t have to face bigger issues inside him. “You don’t seem like you would be happy working in food service to me. Have you thought about doing something else?” 

“Like what?” 

“I know the guy who heads the campus police department, Chief Torres. He told me the other day he has two openings. I bet he’d love to hire you, especially with your military background.” 

“Right.” Adam shakes his head. “A one-legged Marine would make such a great police officer.” 

I am nervous to push him, but have to try. At least he’s mentioning his service—and missing leg. It’s a start. “Adam, I saw you unload that truck and move all those boxes and furniture into your place. You’re strong and capable. You would definitely be an asset to Torres’s department.” 

“You really think so?”
My cell rings. “I know so.” I answer the call.

“Oliver, where are you?” Candy’s voice sounds frantic. “I’m at the engineering building.” 
“That’s clear across campus. You’re supposed to speak in two minutes.” “Oh crap. The time got away from me. I’ll run. Stall if you have to.” “Hurry.”

“Sorry, Adam, but I have to go. I’ve got a speech to give.” 

“I’d like to hear it.” 

“Then follow me.”
Though starting in straight erotic romance, Kris's total focus now is on gay romance. When asked why recently, his answer was "My muse finally came out of the closet. Isn't it about time? I’ve been out since I was twenty-five." A voracious reader, Kris loves many genres of fiction, but this writer's favorite books are romances that are edgy, sexy, with rich characters and unique challenges. Kris' influences include Anne Rice, JR Ward, Lexi Blake and Shayla Black. Last year, Kris married the love of his life Stephen. 
 
The Cowboy in Unit E
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