Michele M. Rakes’ Fourth and Long Blog Tour: Character Interview

acks, why did you not tell anyone what was going on when you were a kid?

The one time I told someone, they didn’t believe me, so best to keep my mouth shut. A word of a ten year old doesn’t hold as much weight as a man of Phelps stature.

What’s different now?

Jared and Irus. They need me to stand up to the bogeyman of my past. It’s time for me to stop being afraid of what people will say or what will happen to my career. The kids of my charity deserve someone strong to care for them. It’s gotta be me. Irus made me see that and I’ll never be able to adequately thank the man for the strength he gives me.

Do you feel you missed out on childhood?

Hell, I missed out on life. I cut myself off from all meaningful relationships. My life was sex and football. Sometimes in that order. A year ago, I would’ve never imagined there could be more.

Irus, how are you fitting into the new role as an out and proud gay football player?

First, I’m not a poster boy or anything. I’m a man, a husband, and a football player. I want to be recognized for my talents. Yes, I’m gay. Always have been—I just don’t want to hide anymore. I don’t think its healthy. I want to hold Jacks hand in public. I want to tell him how addicted I am to him. My job is to shut down wide receivers and I’m good at it, so I think that’s all people need to know. To me, a long career in football, a family that cares about me is important. I want to do right by Jared and Jacks. I’ve lead a blessed life and it keeps getting better.

There are people in the league opposed to gay players, how do you deal with them?

Jacks: Beat there ass on the field.

Irus: Or in a bar.

Jacks: That was one time.

Irus: Yeah, but everyone figured it’d be me doing the punching. Shocked the shit out of everyone when you nailed that asshat in the grill. Man, that guy was spewing the worst kind of hate—racist and sexist. Dude was big too. Thought he had you beat.

Jacks: There’ll always be someone who thinks they have a right to pound their opinion into you. I can’t fix what’s wrong with that, except to teach my children different. To show the world that two men can raise a good son or daughter. The league will learn by our example. So will other players, but I don’t expect them to make it easy. If it was easy, it wouldn’t be worth doing.

Since you brought up race, does the fact that you’re black and Jacks is white cause more grief than being gay?

Irus: Well, a few of my boys were surprised. Tay was a little hurt by it for some reason.

Jacks: That boy’s in the closet.

Irus: Taylor? No.

Jacks: My gaydar isn’t fucked like yours. Now, to answer the question of racism: I think when folks bring race into things, they’re already showing how ignorant they are—adding sexual slurs on to their brand of stupid makes them very ugly people. Good people will see that a mile away.

my-photo (2)

Title: Fourth and Long

Author: Michele M. Rakes

Length:Long Novel


Genre:LGBTTQ, Multicultural, Contemporary

Cover Artist: Valerie Tibbs



Irus Beaumont, cornerback for the Highlanders, has an issue with his nemesis: wideout for the Pirates, Jackson McCoy. Partly jealous over Jackson’s skill and ability to scrub coverage, Irus also struggles against an unbearable attraction to the receiver. Firmly ensconced in the closet, Irus also has a no football player rule, leaving his desires for Jackson unfulfilled. Anti-gay sentiment in the league keeps Irus closeted, even though he’d rather be out and proud. When Jackson McCoy suffers a gay bashing at the hands of his team mates after winning the national championship, he finds himself traded to the Highlanders. Spring training brings out Jackson’s competitive nature, eliciting the aggression of his new team’s cornerback, Irus Beaumont. In practice, Irus hurts Jackson badly. The injury places Jackson on the reserve roster. Jacks has plenty of time to contemplate his life, career, and his attraction to the sexy cornerback. Off to Orlando for the best rehab where guilt inspires Irus to call him every evening, Jackson can’t stop thinking about Irus, or what the season holds for his team.

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Author Bio

Michele Rakes Author Picture

Michele Micheal Rakes lives in a small town in the shadow of a big mountain. She works as a surgical technologist assisting in the removal of tonsils and testicles. She has three grown children, two psychotic Egyptian Mau’s, a husband with hair down to his ass, two Harley’s, and a ferret named Teeny Tiny Ferret Feet (husband insists her name Little Feet, we all know he’s wrong).

Links to reach Michele Rakes:









4/24/2015           Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents

4/24/2015           Cia’s Stories     


4/25/2015           Love Bytes

4/25/2015           The Purple Rose Tea House 


4/26/2015           Gay Media Reviews

4/26/2015           Divine Magazine  

4/26/2015           Because Two Men Are Better Than One   


4/27/2015           Man2ManTastic.blogspot

4/27/2015           Gay.Guy.Reading and Friends

4/27/2015           The Novel Approach


4/28/2015           Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews

4/28/2015           Two Chicks Obsessed with Books 

4/28/2015           Elisa -My reviews and Ramblings


4/29/2015        Bike Book Reviews 

4/29/2015         Drops of Ink


4/30/2015        Jill Prand

4/30/2015        MM Good Book Reviews    


5/1/2015         Bayou Book Junkie  

5/1/2015         BFD Book Blog

5/1/2015         Sid Love  


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Author Spotlight: Mia Kerick [Giveaway]

Inclination banner 851 x 312 (1)

I am so pleased to have author Mia Kerick on my blog. She is here talking about her newest release ‘Inclination’ that released from “Young Dudes Publishing (Cool Dudes)” today! Read on as she shares some interesting stuff here and find the details of the giveaway contest soon at the end of this post 😀


Why is Anthony Del Vecchio of Inclination the perfect Young Adult literary hero?
by Mia Kerick



Ever since I was a teen, I enjoyed reading about the selfless, totally devoted and exquisitely tortured hero in adult romance novels. I really didn’t know much about Young Adult books then, so I scoured the library for adult books featuring these tormented men, who could be saved only by romantic love. It became easier to find these kinds of books when I could search for “books with tortured heroes” online. And back when I read just M/F romance, I only chose historical romances with seriously tortured male heroes. (There are a surprisingly large number of them.) Once I found M/M romance, I started to prefer contemporary romance. But still—I found plenty of tortured souls to fall in love with and root for!! LOL.


But a hero in a Young Adult book must be different… and more.

Anthony Duck-Young Del Vecchio of my new release Inclination, is the perfect Young Adult hero. First of all, he is a teenager. Anthony, a sixteen-year-old junior at Wedgewood High School, is the perfect age for a Young Adult main character. And Anthony has a conflict, which is also mandatory. I’m not talking about a minor, “something is troubling me” sort of problem, but a major “my life cannot go on until I figure this out” kind of conflict. Furthermore, all of the events that occur in Inclination revolve around Anthony’s struggle to resolve this conflict. Also necessary to Anthony’s heroic nature is that Inclination is told from the perspective of the actual boy who is enduring this struggle—it Anthony Del Vecchio’s first hand account of the pain and growth that comes from a major coming-of-age struggle. And in the manner I have always appreciated, Anthony is quite a tortured soul, but his struggle will lead to him to more than the satisfaction of romantic love—it will lead him to growing up.


Let’s look at the details.

In Inclination, Anthony has finally accepted what he has long suspected: he is gay. His sexual orientation provides the central conflict of the story, as Anthony soon learns that homosexual behaviour is not acceptable in the Catholic Church, to which he is devoted. He is forced to swallow the notion that if he lives his life as an actively gay man, in a committed same-sex relationship, he will be a sinner in the eyes of his church. He will be condemned. In the early stages of his struggle with this conflict, Anthony makes attempts to solve his problem by trying to “not be gay any more”—by attempting to change his sexuality and be heterosexual. Upon realizing that his attempts to change himself in this way are fruitless, his desperation in regard to the conflict increases, leading to huge challenges.



In the course of Anthony’s journey (that he describes in first person depth in Inclination by detailing his most personal thoughts and even his dreams) to decide what he should do in regard to his his sexual orientation, he must bare his soul in ways he had never before dreamed of. He suffers the cruelty of public isolation, the bitterness of bullying and prejudice, and the unpleasantness of self-disgust. In suffering these things, Anthony is forced to be visible when what he craves is anonymity. On the brighter side, though, this struggle opens Anthony’s eyes and heart to the abundant compassion coming from places he’d never before imagined—the Goth emo rebel he always kept his distance from and the lesbian outcasts who are obviously sinners and the Jewish kids who he had long thought “missed the boat” as far as religion goes. His struggle opens his eyes to people he has never before made an effort to see. Anthony’s shaky progress through his conflict is not merely about his survival, but is about him becoming a better person. A true Young Adult hero.


The conflict necessary to create the coming-of-age types of changes in Anthony could come in many forms. It could be through a struggle to make a certain sports team or to survive a battle or to win a bet. However, Anthony’s conflict reflects who he is: a devout teenager who desires to live his life in a manner that pleases God. Through his struggle to determine if he can be both actively gay and pious, he faces more than just a question of right and wrong in regard to his sexuality. He faces who he has been and considers who he wants to be, and finds the maturity and wisdom to make very difficult decisions. Anthony sets new priorities as a thoughtful young man, and no longer as an obedient child. He finds the Grace to trust in himself and in his friends and in the God he knows. Over the course of this struggle, Anthony grows up.




Sixteen-year-old Anthony Duck-Young Del Vecchio is a nice Catholic boy with a very big problem. It’s not the challenge of fitting in as the lone adopted South Korean in a close-knit family of Italian-Americans. Nor is it being the one introverted son in a family jam-packed with gregarious daughters. Anthony’s problem is far more serious—he is the only gay kid in Our Way, his church’s youth group. As a high school junior, Anthony has finally come to accept his sexual orientation, but he struggles to determine if a gay man can live as a faithful Christian. And as he faces his dilemma, there are complications. After confiding his gayness to his intolerant adult youth group leader, he’s asked to find a new organization with which to worship. He’s beaten up in the church parking lot by a fanatical teen. His former best pal bullies him in the locker room. His Catholic friends even stage an intervention to lead him back to the “right path.” Meanwhile, Anthony develops romantic feelings for David Gandy, an emo, out and proud junior at his high school, who seems to have all the answers about how someone can be gay and Christian, too.

Will Anthony be able to balance his family, friends and new feelings for David with his changing beliefs about his faith so he can live a satisfying life and not risk his soul in the process?




Mia Kerick is the mother of four exceptional children—all named after saints—and five nonpedigreed cats—all named after the next best thing to saints, Boston Red Sox players. Her husband of twenty-two years has been told by many that he has the patience of Job, but don’t ask Mia about that, as it is a sensitive subject.

Mia focuses her stories on the emotional growth of troubled young people and their relationships, and she believes that physical intimacy has a place in a love story, but not until it is firmly established as a love story. As a teen, Mia filled spiral-bound notebooks with romantic tales of tortured heroes (most of whom happened to strongly resemble lead vocalists of 1980s big-hair bands) and stuffed them under her mattress for safekeeping. She is thankful to Dreamspinner Press, Harmony Ink Press, and CreateSpace for providing her with alternate places to stash her stories.

Mia is a social liberal and cheers for each and every victory made in the name of human rights, especially marital equality. Her only major regret: never having taken typing or computer class in school, destining her to a life consumed with two-fingered pecking and constant prayer to the Gods of Technology.


Giveaway Details

Leave a comment and get a chance to win a free e-copy of Inclination!!


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Cover Reveal & Giveaway: Anthony & Leo by Sue Brown


TITLE: Anthony & Leo

SERIES: Frankie’s – Book Three

AUTHOR: Sue Brown

PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press

LENGTH: 30000 words approx..

COVER ARTIST: Paul Richmond

RELEASE DATE: March 25, 2015

BLURB: Watching Marchant train his new sub leaves Tony unhappy at not having found a Dom of his own. Running Marchant’s BDSM club, Tony sees who the Doms prefer and it isn’t him—too big, too old, and too hairy. When his friend Jordan suggests he look outside the club, Tony’s mind turns to Leo, a man he met in a traffic jam. Tony manages to arrange a date and happily learns Leo is funny, very toppy, and not adverse to Tony’s lifestyle. As a bonus, Leo sells sex toys. When tragedy strikes the club, Tony fears he can’t help the mourning club members, but Leo offers his unwavering support. After such a tough start, Tony believes Leo is the Dom he’s been looking for, until he catches him kissing another man.




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Sue Brown is owned by her dog and two children. When she isn’t following their orders, she can be found plotting at her laptop. In fact she hides so she can plot and has gotten expert at ignoring the orders.

Sue discovered M/M erotica at the time she woke up to find two men kissing on her favorite television series. The series was boring; the kissing was not. She may be late to the party, but she’s made up for it since, writing fan fiction until she was brave enough to venture out into the world of original fiction.


Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/SueBrownsStories

Twitter: https://twitter.com/suebrownstories

Google+: https://plus.google.com/+SueBrownstories/

Blog: http://suebrownsstories.blogspot.co.uk/

Website: http://www.suebrownstories.com/


Tour Participants –
Love Bytes Reviews – http://lovebytesreviews.com/
The Novel Approach –  http://thenovelapproachreviews.com/
Prism Book Alliance – http://www.prismbookalliance.com/
Sue Brown’s Author Blog – http://suebrownsstories.blogspot.in/
Sid Love’s Author Blog – https://sidlovewrites.wordpress.com/blog/