BRVL Book Promotions

Possessed by Passion


 

Experience the passion

𝗣𝗥𝗘-𝗢𝗥𝗗𝗘𝗥 𝗧𝗢𝗗𝗔𝗬! ➜ Possessed by Passion

Releasing 3.16

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08JN8923K

Dark Romance & Paranormal

Kobo: https://bit.ly/35FXys0

 UBL: https://books2read.com/u/31qZ0M

Apple: https://apple.co/3kqjj3e

Nook: https://bit.ly/33GUjhw

𝐀𝐁𝐎𝐔𝐓 𝐓𝐇𝐄 𝐁𝐎𝐎𝐊

Passions pulsate.
Destinies collide.
Humans, angels, and demons alike are possessed with a common bind—desire.

Experience exquisite and sultry seraphs, demonic witches, a hellfire phoenix, a vengeful gargoyle, ordinary humans with dark sides, vampires, werewolves, ghostly spirits, and other creatures of the night, who will whet your desire for romance and seduction. Travel with them into their worlds as they lust for love, romance, and pleasure.

Will they find what they are searching for? Will you?
Find out in this twenty-plus, limited time paranormal and dark romance collection by USA Today, international bestselling, and award-winning authors.

Experience the passion.

Find your passion today in twenty plus stories by the following authors:

Bella Emy – USA Today Bestseller
Alyssa Drake – USA Today Bestseller
Erin Lee – USA Today Bestseller
Lorah Jaiyn – USA Today Bestseller
Cora Kenborn – USA Today Bestseller
Catherine Wiltcher – International Bestseller
Murphy Wallace – International Bestseller
N. Isabelle Blanco – International Bestseller
Diana Register – International Bestseller
Rena Marin – International Bestseller
John Watson – International Bestseller
Rita Delude – International Bestseller
Stephanie Ayers – International Bestseller
Yolanda Allard – International Bestseller
Sian B. Claven – International Bestseller
Olivia Marie – International Bestseller
M W Brown – International Bestseller
LJC Fynn – International Bestseller
Tiffany Carby – International Bestseller
Michelle Edwards – International Bestseller
Tracy A. Ball – International Bestseller
Eve Corso – International Bestseller
Marie Ahls – Internatonal Bestseller
Rheanon Nicole – International Bestseller
Cloud S Riser – International Bestselle

#Romance #DarkRomance #Paranormal #Bookbub #Goodreads #Amazon #Kindle #KU

~~&~~~~&~~~~&~~~~&~~

#BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee

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@Erin Lee Author

@Olivia Marie

 @Stephanie Ayers

BRVL Book Promotions

Bike Business By Lynn Michaels





 

Everyone is chasing their own dreams, but Johnny isn’t sure he even has one.

#1ClickHere:  ➜ Bike Business By Lynn Michaels

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07V1C2W6V

𝗗𝗼𝘄𝗻𝗹𝗼𝗮𝗱 𝗙𝗥𝗘𝗘 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝗞𝗶𝗻𝗱𝗹𝗲 𝗨𝗻𝗹𝗶𝗺𝗶𝘁𝗲𝗱

M/M Romance

CHECK OUT ALSO ON AUDIO

https://www.audible.com/pd/Bike-Business-Audiobook/B08YPBGX3Y?asin=B08YPBGX3Y

𝐀𝐁𝐎𝐔𝐓 𝐓𝐇𝐄 𝐁𝐎𝐎𝐊

Everyone is chasing their own dreams, but Johnny isn’t sure he even has one.

Apex Racing is expanding and absorbing Pilot and his lovers. Everyone is happy with it…except for Johnny. He’s constantly feeling left out and more alone than ever before. It’s time to seek out his own win, and find his holeshot even if it’s off the track and away from Pilot.

Gavin is determined to put together the hottest Supercross team, and he wants that to include Bryce Nickels. But that seems almost impossible since Bryce signed with Apex. Perhaps he needs a new angle, like the sexy business partner of the bodyguard, Johnny Killebrew. Maybe he’ll sign on more than he bargained for.

Praise for Holeshot Christmas:
“The writing was spot on once again and the storyline flowed really well. A Christmas feel good sexy story for the win!” ~Morningstar with Diverse Reader Blog.

“Holeshot Christmas is a delightful little visit with Davey and Tyler. It’s sweet, cute, and a lot of fun.” ~Amy’s mmromance reviews

Bike Business is the fourth title in the Holeshot series. For your reading enjoyment, the preferred reading order is as follows:
SERIES https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B078RZC6TJ


The Holeshot
Holeshot 2
Holeshot Christmas
Bike Business: A Holeshot Novel

#MMRomance #KU  #gayromance #menlovingmen #queerreads #lovebooks #rainbowread #LGBTQ #bookish

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#BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee

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BRVL Book Promotions

Worthless By J.Grayland




 

Jaxon Cane is a charismatic fire fighter from Australia

NEW RELEASE 𝗧𝗢𝗗𝗔𝗬! Worthless By J.Grayland

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08XZL3RB3

𝗗𝗼𝘄𝗻𝗹𝗼𝗮𝗱 𝗙𝗥𝗘𝗘 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝗞𝗶𝗻𝗱𝗹𝗲 𝗨𝗻𝗹𝗶𝗺𝗶𝘁𝗲𝗱

𝐀𝐁𝐎𝐔𝐓 𝐓𝐇𝐄 𝐁𝐎𝐎𝐊

Jaxon Cane is a charismatic fire fighter from Australia. After his mum passes away, his sister, Molly, suggests that he take a break and come live with her and her husband, Caleb for a while in Sunnyville, California US. When Jaxon starts his job at the local fire station 13 he fits right in with the guys until one night when he’s dispatched to a car accident and consequently suffers a minor burn. He is taken to the local hospital where he meets hospice nurse, Ella Grey, a sassy and caring but undoubtedly guarded woman whom he falls for almost instantly. In his pursuit of this enigmatic carer, he realizes that capturing her heart might be more complex than he first thought, for even though Ella seems confident and self-assured, she is yet to see her own self-worth. J.Grayland’s Worthless is an emotionally charged contemporary romance written in K.Bromberg’s Everyday Heroes Worlds Project.

#Romance #Contemporary #Bookbub #Goodreads #Amazon #Kindle #KU #chicklit #JGrayland #KBWorlds #FREEonKU

J. Grayland Links

BOOKBUB: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/j-grayland

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16842698.J_Gray

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/author/j.grayland

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#BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee

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@jgraylandauthor 

BRVL Book Promotions

Leather Paddles by Brina Brady





 

He’s had it with Doms. Never again…but maybe this one is different?

#1ClickHere:  ➜ Leather Paddles by Brina Brady

US https://www.amazon.com/dp/B082FVS7LP

International Link mybook.to/LeatherPaddles

𝗗𝗼𝘄𝗻𝗹𝗼𝗮𝗱 𝗙𝗥𝗘𝗘 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝗞𝗶𝗻𝗱𝗹𝗲 𝗨𝗻𝗹𝗶𝗺𝗶𝘁𝗲𝗱

M/M Romance

CHECK OUT ALSO ON AUDIO

US http://adbl.co/38YnWx4

UK http://adbl.co/2XhzNkN

FR http://bit.ly/2LhBRGl

DE http://adbl.co/350lbdt

𝐀𝐁𝐎𝐔𝐓 𝐓𝐇𝐄 𝐁𝐎𝐎𝐊

He’s had it with Doms. Never again…but maybe this one is different?

Twenty-two-year-old Jesse finds himself abandoned by his abusive Dom after four years in an unhappy BDSM relationship. Devastated, he moves in with his best friend, Charlie, and his Dom. He attends college and works in the university library. He doesn’t have time nor plans to look for another Dom.

Master Andrew, the owner of BDSM club Leather Paddles, lost his husband five years ago. Ever since, he plays with different subs and is perfectly happy to leave it with that. He doesn’t want another boy to call his own.

Once Master Andrew meets Jesse, things click for both of them, but Jesse remains skittish about getting involved with anyone. However, Master Andrew comes up with a plan to rein Jesse in his playroom and his heart.

Other people keep interfering, trying to separate the couple. Are Master Andrew and Jesse up to the challenge to move forward to their happily ever after?

Leather Paddles is a stand-alone MM romance featuring an insecure boy and a strict but caring Master. It has BDSM elements and a guaranteed HEA. Required is about two gay men raised by mob bosses, realizing their families are enemies, regardless, both want their happy ever after. This story is book two of a MM romance that follows their relationship. It has some D/s and light BDSM elements.

#MMRomance #KU #BDSM #HEA #gayromance #menlovingmen #queerreads #lovebooks #rainbowread #LGBTQ #bookish

Brina Links

My email address: mailto:brinabrady@gmail.com

 Please visit my WordPress Blog here: http://brinabrady.wordpress.com

 Friend me on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/brina.brady.3

Follow me on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/BrinaBrady

Follow me on BookBub here: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/brina-brady

Follow me on Pinterest here: http://www.pinterest.com/brinabrady/

Join my Reader’s Group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/146904702344189/

 Follow me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bradybrina/

 My Audiobook page: shorturl.at/buSTX

~~&~~~~&~~~~&~~~~&~~

#BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee

Indie Author Service http://ow.ly/avgO50DLhhC

~~&&~~ HOSTED BY:~~&&~~ BRVL—Book Review Virginia Lee: http://ow.ly/Urab50DLh

@brinabrady  

BRVL Book Promotions

Stars Belong to Us





 

You see, I usually find myself among strangers because I drift here and there, trying to forget the bad things that have happened to me.

𝗣𝗥𝗘-𝗢𝗥𝗗𝗘𝗥 𝗧𝗢𝗗𝗔𝗬! ➜ Stars Belong to Us

Releasing 3.31

➜http://ow.ly/R43150DY6tS

M/M  YA Romance #LGBTQ

by best selling author Annabeth Chatwin

Eliot throws parties like Jay Gatsby. 

But no one loves Eliot. Not really. 

Not until Jonas. 

~~&~~~~&~~~~&~~~~&~~

#BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee

Indie Author Service http://ow.ly/avgO50DLhhC

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Blog Tour

A Lifetime of Men

 

Literary Fiction

Date Published: August 26, 2020 (ebook); September 22, 2020 (print)

Publisher: Propertius Press


photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png

 

Tolan has always let her mother have one secret — how she got that scar on her face — playing along with her mother’s game of inventing outlandish tales to explain the wound away. But when she finds a manuscript on her mother’s computer that promises to reveal the true story, Tolan only hesitates for a moment before curiosity compels her to read on.

She’s hoping for answers, but instead, she finds more mysteries tucked away in her mother’s past. Her mother appears to be associated with Bo, a feisty photojournalist who flies to Cuba in pursuit of a story and becomes embedded with Castro’s rebels, but Tolan can’t quite work out their connection. She’s more clear about the relationship between her mother and Michael, a man twelve years her senior. They bond over their shared outcast status, and their friendship quickly becomes intimate, but the relationship antagonizes the self-appointed moral watchdogs in their small town, who start to convert their threats into action. Tolan is pretty sure that Michael is her father. Her mother told her he died years ago, but the book suggests their story had a different ending.

Almost overnight, everything Tolan thought she knew about herself and her family has changed. She wants answers, but to find them, she risks destroying her closest relationships.

 



About the Author

Ciahnan Darrell’s short stories and essays have appeared in several journals, most recently in The Columbia Review, and his story, ‘What Remains,’ was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He is a contributing editor at Marginalia, an international review of literature along the nexus of history, theology, and religion. He holds an MDiv from the University of Chicago, an MA in philosophy and the arts from Stony Brook University, and an MA and PhD in comparative literature from the University at Buffalo. A Lifetime of Men is his first novel.


Contact Links

Website

Facebook

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Goodreads: Author profile / Book page

Instagram

LinkedIn

 

Purchase Links

Amazon

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Directly from the publisher (best value)

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Book Depository

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RABT Book Tours & PR
BRVL Book Promotions

In The Eye of The Storm By H.M Wolfe


 

  🖤𝗣𝗥𝗘-𝗢𝗥𝗗𝗘𝗥 𝗧𝗢𝗗𝗔𝗬! ➜ In The Eye of The Storm By H.M Wolfe

➜New Series Full Circle series

➜Releasing 4.15

http://ow.ly/3nqz50DLhhF

M/M Romance

Fabian Bloom is happier than ever, surrounded by the affection and respect of those he holds dear and having the love of his husband Lance. 

What happens when the ghosts of his dark, distant past resurface, threatening to destroy his newfound peace? Will he able to stand up and fight, or will the whirlwind suck him in?

#MMRomance #SUSPENSE #Preorder #HMWolfe #BRVL #gayromance #menlovingmen #queerreads #lovebooks #rainbowread #LGBTQ #bookish

𝐁𝐋𝐎𝐆𝐆𝐄𝐑𝐒 & 𝐁𝐎𝐎𝐊𝐒𝐓𝐀𝐆𝐑𝐀𝐌𝐌𝐄𝐑𝐒

http://ow.ly/YhmS50DLhhD

➜Join The Dragons’ House Sexy Dragons to hear about all these sexy couples and when new books are coming out. Don’t forget to tell them Virginia sent you to the wild side

http://ow.ly/gN9B50DCyol

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#BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee

Indie Author Service http://ow.ly/avgO50DLhhC

~~&&~~ HOSTED BY:~~&&~~ BRVL—Book Review Virginia Lee: http://ow.ly/Urab50DLh

@H.MWolfe

Release Blitz

Starting from the Top

Title: Starting From The Top

Series: Starting From, #5

Author: Lane Hayes

Publisher: Lane Hayes

Release Date: March 8, 2021

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 83k

Genre: Romance, Age Gap, Rock and Roll, Hurt and Comfort, Bisexual, Contemporary Romance

Add to Goodreads

Synopsis

The guitarist, the dad, and a band on the rise… Johnny A quiet place to live and some time to recharge before my band heads out on the road again sounds amazing. I wouldn’t mind a distraction too, but my new neighbor is off-limits. There are rules about not getting involved with your bandmate’s ex, right? And Sean isn’t my type anyway. He’s too bossy, too commanding, and he has way too much baggage. I’ve learned that it’s best to let go of the heavy stuff. So why am I so drawn to him? Sean Coming out later in life has taught me to protect my privacy at all costs. And while juggling a handful of businesses and two kids isn’t easy, I excel at the art of multitasking and keeping everything separate. But Johnny blurs those lines. He’s easy-going, sweet-natured, and cool. In short, he’s everything I’m not. I want to know all about him…starting from the top.

Excerpt

The cheery sound of family fun drifted through the house…the dog barking, cupboards closing, and a girlish squeal of delight. And more dog barking. I chuckled at the chaotic homey cacophony. I would never have envisioned this was Sean’s life. He’d always seemed like a badass boss to me—not a man who’d wear an apron to bake cupcakes with his daughter while his son had a guitar lesson. His chocolate mussed hair and concerned parental frown made him look goofy and yet very…endearing. In a hot dad way. Okay. Definitely time to go. I reached for the knob just as Sean did. “I’ll walk you out,” he insisted, holding the door open. I stepped onto the porch and blinked against the bright afternoon sun at the hilltop view of the city. “Wow. This is nice.” “Yeah,” he agreed absently. “How was he?” “Amazing. The next Chuck Berry.” Sean sighed grumpily. “Less sarcasm, please.” “Sorry, Dad.” I snickered. “He was great. I mean, he sucked, but I think he had fun. I told him to keep the guitar and practice on his own. If you want me to come back, I will.” “Really? That’s good.” He stared at the horizon for a moment before glancing my way. “I wanted to—why are you smiling at me?” “You’re fuckin’ covered in chocolate. It’s in your ear.” I made a face and tugged at my own ear. He gestured at the apron. “Baking isn’t my thing.” I flashed a megawatt grin at him. “Sure, it is. Are you decorating those cupcakes with anything besides frosting?” “Sprinkles. You’re welcome to join us.” “Thanks, but I don’t want to crash your family time.” Sean inclined his head. “So…did he talk to you?” “It took a little coaxing. Full disclosure…we played video games before we picked up the guitars. You’re not paying me, so I don’t really feel guilty. I just don’t want you to think it was a jam session from the start.” “I know.” “You know?” I repeated. “I snuck in to see how you were doing. Hulk let you down. You might want to go with Iron Man or Captain America next time.” “I’ll keep that in mind.” I snort-laughed, then sobered. “As for Parker…he’s a good kid. He’s shy, reserved, and likes organization. He seems like the kind of person who excels at things he can control. I bet he builds killer Lego sets. He might learn a few songs, but I doubt he’s a savant. You never know, though. Kids are sponges. They pick up stuff you and I would never catch.” “That’s true. I’m impressed. And you’re right…about everything. He keeps a lot inside. He’s always been that way. Very thoughtful and methodical. He sets a high bar for himself. He likes to get things right the first time. He does well in school, but he’s struggling with the transition to junior high. His old friends tried out for sports and he opted not to. It’s left him feeling ostracized and alone. Hormones don’t help. I thought it might be good for him to spend time with someone cool who—” “Cooler than you?” “Well, let’s not get crazy.” Sean flipped the corner of his apron and let out a self-deprecating laugh. “I just…thanks for doing this. I appreciate it.” “No problem. Hey, if he really is interested, we can do this regularly. My schedule is light for the next couple of months, but it’ll get crazy again in late spring.” “I’ll call you.” “Text me. I hate phone calls.” I held out my right hand and snatched it away a second later, narrowing my gaze. “You have frosting on your nose.” “My nose?” He wiped his hand over the apron, then across the tip of his nose. “Did I get it?” “No. Come here. Let me help you.” I stepped into his space and brushed the sugary goodness away. “Did you get it?” he asked in a huskier than normal tone. “Yeah, but it’s on your ear and your chin and…” “Where else?” “Here.” I ran the pad of my thumb under this bottom lip. “Got it.” I didn’t move. I should have, but something held me in place. I studied his features, noting the flecks in his eyes. I wondered what color they were…gold, green, brown? I traced a line at the corner of his mouth, rubbing the scruff of his neatly-trimmed beard. I stared at his full lips for a long moment before meeting his gaze. Then I inched closer and…kissed him.

Purchase at Amazon

Meet the Author

Lane Hayes loves a good romance! An avid reader from an early age, she has always been drawn to well-told love story with beautifully written characters. Her debut novel was a 2013 Rainbow Award finalist and subsequent books have received Honorable Mentions, and were winners in the 2016, 2017, and 2018-2019 Rainbow Awards. She loves red wine, chocolate and travel (in no particular order). Lane lives in Southern California with her amazing husband in a not quite empty nest.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram | Bookbub

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Release Blitz

The Social Climber

Title: The Social Climber

Author: Jere’ M. Climber

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: 03/08/2021

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 40900

Genre: Contemporary, LGBTQIA+, new adult, family-drama, 1980s, high school, coming out, friends to lovers, sexually transmitted infection

Add to Goodreads

Description

High school classmates, Josh Livingstone who’s gay, and his straight friend Simon LePage, hatch a plot to improve their status at school by creating new images for themselves. But their efforts ultimately blow up in their faces, leading to both comical and heartbreaking results, as they learn lessons in life and love the hard way.

Excerpt

The Social Climber Jere’ M. Fishback © 2021 All Rights Reserved Life’s never easy, is it? I was born working class, so you might say I didn’t experience the finer things this world had to offer, not as a boy anyway. I grew up in Pinellas Park, Florida, a place mostly populated by working stiffs and their families, coupon-clipping retirees, and trailer park dwellers. We had our own high school, but every year our football team sucked, due to lousy coaches, indolent linemen who wouldn’t hit too hard, and lack of a decent place kicker, since we didn’t have a youth soccer league in Pinellas Park. Some folks tried to start one once, but only three kids signed up. That’s right—three. Are you surprised I actually know the meaning of a word like “indolent”? Well, I’m not stupid, as you will soon see. Back to my early life… Here’s an example of our pitiful Pinellas Park subculture: When I was in fourth grade, our school principal, Lyman Reddick, got himself suspended for arriving at school with a loaded deer rifle hanging from the rack in his truck cab, the dumb shit. Even at age nine, I’d have known better. I mean, bringing a gun to a school full of kids—how stupid is that? He’s lucky the school board didn’t order his nuts cut off. My daddy was a plumber. For a time, he worked for Sonny Saunders, snaking clogged sinks and sewer lines, fixing leaky faucets, and installing new toilets for folks who couldn’t or wouldn’t do that sort of work themselves. But Daddy was an independent cuss; he didn’t like the crap Sonny dished out to everyone who worked for him; plus, Sonny didn’t pay worth shit. So, Daddy quit and started his own plumbing business. He had little cards printed up, calling himself “Rodney the Sunshine Plumber,” and he sent me and my older sister, Sarah, from door to door, handing out the cards offering new customers a 15 percent discount on their first service call. And it was kind of scary knocking on doors and ringing doorbells, especially at houses with Beware of Dog signs in their yards. I could hear the barking inside when I approached. Sometimes, grouchy men or women would answer their doors; they’d tell me to get lost and leave them alone. But most folks were nice enough. They’d take a card and turn it over in their fingers while diddling their lips, and more than a few would say something pleasant like “It’s sweet you’re helping your daddy with his business.” I believe there are many good people in this world, I truly do. It’s just the asshole minority who ruin everything for the rest of us. About my parents… Daddy’s from a village called Poverty Hill, South Carolina, right across the Savannah River from Augusta. His parents still live there in a double-wide trailer, off in the woods, with a deep well, a septic tank, four dogs, and a leaky roof. The nearest Walmart’s in Belvedere. We only stayed in Poverty Hill once, when I was ten. What I remember best about that visit was Daddy and Grandpa getting into an argument after drinking too much George Dickel on Christmas Eve. Around midnight, Momma and Daddy rousted me and Sarah from our beds. They threw all our shit into the trunk of Momma’s car—suitcases, wrapped Christmas gifts, and even a turkey we’d brought from Florida. Then we drove all night, with Momma behind the wheel while Daddy snored in the passenger seat. We arrived in Pinellas Park just when the sun came up. I’ll tell you, that was one crazy Christmas at our house. When we got home from Poverty Hill, everyone went to bed and slept till noon, and I don’t know who was in a worse mood when we all got up, Daddy or Momma. Momma’s one-quarter Cherokee, and when she gets angry, you’d best look out since her blood takes to boiling and then all hell breaks loose. You know Momma’s mad when she starts throwing things: dishes, saucepans, ashtrays, you name it. And that Christmas afternoon, her target was Daddy. She kept pelting him with household items; I think she even threw a vacuum cleaner at him. Daddy didn’t try to stop her. He just lay on the living room sofa, nursing his hangover and sheltering his head with a throw pillow while Momma hurled insults and tangible objects. “Rodney, you sonofabitch,” she hollered after heaving a coffee can at Daddy. “That’s the last time you’ll drag me and our kids up to godforsaken Poverty Hill. And if I never see your folks again, it’ll be too soon.” Momma didn’t get the turkey into the oven till three that day, so we had to eat dinner at eight. At least by then, Momma had settled down. She made Daddy get off the sofa and head for the bathroom to shower and shave. “You’re not going to look like a bum at the table tonight,” she told him. “Set an example for your children, why don’t you?” Momma was a fine cook, and dinner was very good, despite everybody’s soured holiday spirit. The turkey meat was moist, and the bread stuffing, mashed potatoes, and fresh green beans were all tasty, especially when I drowned them in gravy. Halfway through the meal, we all started smiling a little, and Daddy even laughed a few times when describing his quarrel with Grandpa. “The dumbass squandered most of his November social security check on lottery tickets, so he didn’t have any money to buy Christmas gifts for my momma, nor for Josh and Sarah.” My name’s Joshua by the way, but everyone has always called me Josh, even my schoolteachers. Like always, Momma and Daddy went overboard on presents for me and my sister. Sarah, who was eleven and getting to the age where her appearance mattered to her, received mostly clothing items and face makeup, while I got a Nintendo with several games, and also a BB gun, something I’d requested the past two Christmases but didn’t receive. “You’re old enough to own one now,” Daddy said. “Shoot at cans and bottles in the backyard, by the garage, but leave the birds and squirrels alone. If I catch you taking shots at living things, I’ll take the gun away. Understand?” Anyway, Daddy’s plumbing business did okay. He had a way with people; he could talk to a perfect stranger like he’d known the guy all his life. At first, he got business mostly by word of mouth, and then a general contractor started using him on jobsites to run sewer lines, hook up sinks, and install toilets. The money rolled in, and Daddy bought a new Silverado king cab. It looked so pretty and shiny, sitting in our driveway, but then the contractor went belly-up. Without the contractor’s flow of business, Daddy fell behind on his truck payments, and eventually the bank repossessed the Silverado. It was a sad day, I’ll tell you, when they towed that truck away. Daddy had to borrow money from his brother, Vernon, who lived in Cocoa Beach, so he could buy a used truck, a beat-up F-150 with oxidized paint and missing its front bumper. The poor thing looked so forlorn, and I’m sure my folks felt embarrassed when the neighbors saw it, but a plumber has to have transportation. He has to carry his tools and all to wherever he’s working. Momma was a dynamite seamstress; she did work for others in our part of town, making drapes, altering dresses, and letting the waists out on men’s trousers. Again, most of her work came via word of mouth, and it was all cash business. IRS never knew about income Momma generated from her sewing. Looking back, I realize our circumstances were modest by most folks’ standards. Okay, our house had three bedrooms and two baths, but the floors were bare linoleum and the furniture looked like it came from a thrift store. Thank god we at least had central air-conditioning, a blessing in central Florida’s sweltering climate. Sarah and I were both good students, although Sarah was smarter and more popular than me. She always got straight A’s, while I earned a mix of A’s and B’s. And god forbid if I got assigned to the same teacher Sarah had been taught by the previous year. It happened fairly often, and when it did, on the first day of school when the teacher called roll, things always went something like this: “Joshua Livingstone?” I’d raise my hand. “Are you related to Sarah Livingstone?” “She’s my sister.” The teacher would cluck her tongue while shaking her head. “You’ve got some big shoes to fill in my classroom, mister. I hope you’re up to it.” Great. Just great… When I reached seventh grade, I attended Pinellas Park Junior High, a one-story brick structure with exterior corridors and a basketball gymnasium. PE was required for all students, and on my first day at school, I met with my instructor, Coach McCullough, and my male classmates in the gym, where the students sat on bleachers and listened to McCullough acquaint us with his expectations. A gruff, barrel-chested man with a mullet haircut, he wore football shorts, leather sneakers, and a T-shirt damp in the armpits. A whistle hung from his neck by a braided cord. “Unless you’re sick, I expect each of you to dress out every time class meets, no exceptions.” Momma had already taken me shopping at J. C. Penney for my PE uniform: a T-shirt with the school’s name on it, cotton shorts, a jock strap, athletic socks, and tennis shoes. We had to buy a combination lock for my gym locker too. McCullough led us into the locker room, where odors of mildew and human sweat hung in the steamy air. Rows of lockers lined the walls, except on one end of the room, where the tiled gang showers were located. “You’ll change in here each class period and lock your belongings in your assigned locker. At the end of class, you’ll have fifteen minutes to shower and get dressed before dismissal bell. Showers are mandatory for all students. Again, no exceptions.” My heart raced and I swallowed hard. I have to get naked in front of all these guys? I glanced here and there. Some boys blushed and several more chewed hangnails or wagged their knees. So, I wasn’t the only one in the room who felt nervous about bathing with others. But it seemed we had no choice, and I figured if the older guys at our school had managed to survive gang showering, I could too. Grow some balls, Livingstone. You can do it.

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Meet the Author

Jere’ M. Fishback is a former journalist and trial attorney. He lives on a barrier island on Florida’s Gulf coast, where he enjoys watching sunsets with a glass of wine in his hand and a grin on his face.

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