Book Blitz & Excerpt: Then He Happened + Giveaway

Then He Happened
Claudia Burgoa
Publication date: May 6th 2019
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Jason is a cynical rich playboy.
He doesn’t take life seriously,
He doesn’t believe in settling down.

Eileen’s thirtieth birthday is almost here.
But as always she’s her parent’s afterthought.
Her family is too busy planning a shotgun wedding for her older sister—and she has to help.
It’s just another year where she’s overlooked.
But the best man is smoking hot and actually notices her and makes her feel special.

Jason doesn’t believe in commitment, but Eileen intrigues him.

She’s not the kind of girl he usually hooks up with.

She doesn’t even fall for his charm.
He’s made it his task to convince her that he’s not the shallow man she thinks he is.
But can Jason give up his playboy lifestyle to become what Eileen needs?

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It’s a perfect day to take one last trip to Steamboat before the season closes.

But where am I?

Racing from Boulder to Colorado Springs to look at a wedding venue for my cousin. Marek fucking owes me.

When I heard they would extend the ski season this year, I was so excited. But how well that worked out. Saturdays are supposed to be fun days.

I don’t ask for much. I just need a place, a plan, a beautiful companion, and a bottle of liquor. See? Straight forward, nice and easy. That keeps me satiated for an entire weekend. It really doesn’t take much to keep me happy and satisfied.

What’s abso-fucking-lutely not satisfying, is touring the grounds of the Broadmoor to scout the perfect place for a shotgun wedding.

“So what’s wrong with Vegas again?” I suggest, half joking.

Eileen shrugs. “Nothing. It’s a great town, really weird. Lots of movies take place there. I don’t know why people hate on it so much.”

“But for a shotgun wedding or maybe eloping?” I clarify. “My assistant can make the reservations. I’ll get a plane. We’ll be there before six. There are plenty of venues. We could probably pick one on the spot.”

She laughs. Like seriously laughs for about a minute like I just said the funniest, most amazing joke in the history of jokes.

When she finally sobers up, she asks with that curious voice, “Did you run that idea by Charlie already?”

I rub the back of my neck sheepishly. “No.”

“Well if you do, I want to be right there. I’ll have my camera ready.”

I shoot her an unimpressed frown. “I’m not joking.”

“Me neither.” She shakes her head, laughing once again. “She’ll try to kill you right on the spot. That’s worth taping.”

“Oh come on, it’s a great idea,” I insist.

“You’re talking about my sister,” she says, waving her journal in my face. “She thinks the only wedding worth having is a wedding that’s as glamorous as a royal affair.”

“We could make Vegas glamorous,” I grumble.

“Mom wouldn’t like it either. What about the guests? Would you fly all of them, pay for the accommodations and their expenses?”

Well, I can’t argue with that. I shrug. She smiles and looks back at the horizon.

“I think either here or the Mountain View Terrace,” I say because I’m done exploring the grounds.

“What do you think?”

She hums. “I think the Mountain View Terrace would be perfect at sunset. Especially if we take this place up on that discount for doing Friday instead of Saturday.”

That sounds reasonable. “Okay, but will her royal obnoxiousness, Princess Charlie agree to that?”

Eileen snorts. “As long as it looks amazing on her Instagram account, I’m sure she’ll agree to that.”

She seems so sure of herself. But with all the bullshit we’ve been through and all the crap her sister’s put her through, I don’t want us to fuck this up.

“But is this the place?” I ask earnestly.

She looks around for a bit. Her eyes comb over every inch of this place so meticulously.

“What do you think?” I ask while she studies the landscape and compares it with the pictures.

She stands on the middle of the gazebo looks left right and then toward the mountains.

“Does it make you want to say I do?” she asks curiously.

I shake my head. “There’s nothing that would make me stand up in front of a bunch of people and say I do.” Again, I don’t say.

“So a smaller setting?” She doesn’t even look at me as she talks. She’s admiring the mountain view. “This isn’t too big. They said up to a hundred and thirty guests. We don’t have to invite everyone to the ceremony. We’ll take whatever they have for the reception.”

It’s still too many people, I think.

She turns back to me, as if reading my fucking mind. “You’re being weirdly quiet. Still deciding about your ideal wedding?”

Instead of responding, I ask a question of my own. “Does this place make you want to tie your life to another person?”

She squints, craning her neck to look up at me. For a few beats she remains quiet.

“I don’t know if this is the place,” she says. “First I’d need the right guy. I’m not getting married to just anyone.”

“So you’re still looking for him?”

She turns to look at me and flashes this smile she has on her face so fucking much. There’s such tenderness in those eyes. That face just soothes me.

“I’m too busy to get a haircut let alone date someone who isn’t worth my time. But you know, I wouldn’t marry someone just because I got pregnant.”

“Like your sister,” I say what she’s trying to avoid.

She shrugs.

“I look at her and Marek and I’m just not feeling it” she says, taking the scene in one more time before walking toward me. “Wouldn’t you want to organize the most important day of your life?”

“I think they’re busy trying to score a house,” I say.

“When I find a guy worth shit, I don’t want to be worried about a wedding or where we’re going to live.”

The air is thin here. It goes well with the crisp afternoon air. Eileen is cool, but calloused when it comes to love. Wonder if it’s a family trait and she’s just a gold digger.

So I prod a little. “What if he can only afford a studio, doesn’t have a car or can afford to pay for the wedding of your dreams?”

“Maybe that’s why 50 percent of marriages end up in divorce,” she says. “People get married all the time for all the wrong reasons. You do it because you’ve come to realize that someone cares enough to see your bullshit and love you anyway. If you’re too concerned about her looks, her job…where she lives…you’re wasting your time.”

She sighs. “I don’t think that many weddings are about love. They’re a convoluted status symbol. If you want it so badly, just elope.”

My eyebrows shoot up. Well fuck, I wasn’t expecting that. “What if you can afford the wedding?”

She gives me an impish smile. “Then, I’ll think about inviting a few people and do something small. Ten, fifteen people from each side of the family. You seem like the kind of guy that would let her do everything pay for it. You like to please people.”

“And why the fuck would I do that?”

“Middle child, we have the tendency to make everyone happy, right?”

“Maybe I would help her organize it.” I let my gaze wander around, anywhere but her direction. “I’m here, aren’t I?”

That last statement doesn’t sit well. We don’t know each other, and she just assumes—not that she’s wrong about it.

“Come on,” she says inviting me to stand right by the gazebo. “Let’s try this out.”

“Try it?”

“Duh, we need to test drive this place.” She extends her hand wiggling her fingers as she calls me to her. “What do you think?”

I take her hand. It’s warm. Her grip soft yet firm. She feels so familiar. I don’t know what it is that I’m waiting for as I stand right in front of her. She squeezes my hand, kinda like she’s saying, “chill the fuck out.”

Reluctantly, I take a deep breath. This place smells like pine with hints of hazelnut and cherry? Warm and bright, just like her. Her eyes stare at me curiously. Then, she nudges me to stare at the horizon again.

“Could you?” she whispers with a chuckle. “Doesn’t it make you want to fall stupidly in love?”

The sky goes on forever. Just like her laugh.

I swallow thickly, terrified of how she made my heart beat fast.

“Yeah,” I mumble, holding her tight because I don’t want to fall.

Author Bio:

Claudia is an award-winning, USA Today bestselling author. She lives in Colorado, working for a small IT. She has three children and manages a chaotic household of two confused dogs, and a wonderful husband who shares her love of all things geek. To survive she works continually to find purpose for the voices flitting through her head, plus she consumes high quantities of chocolate to keep the last threads of sanity intact.

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Spotlight & Excerpt: In Strange Woods + Giveaway

In Strange Woods

Author: Claire Cray

Publisher: Self-Published

Release Date: August 28, 2020

Cover Artist: Sneaky T 

Genre/s: Contemporary M/M Romantic Mystery, M/M Gothic Romance

Trope/s: Instant attraction, Hurt comfort, Tortured protagonist, Family secret,

Long lost relative, Country boy/City boy, Rural romance, Fish out of water 

Themes: Healing, Found family, Redemption, Heritage, Belonging, Homecoming

Heat Rating:  3 – 4 flames 

Length: 71 370 words /204 pages

It is a standalone book.



Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US  |   Amazon UK 



Reeling with grief after the mysterious massacre of his wealthy family, moody New York photographer James Worthington Crane decides to take his downward spiral somewhere far away: to the rural Oregon Coast, where he’s just inherited a random piece of property hidden somewhere in the woods upriver.

But when James pulls into the decaying seaside town of Brooks, everyone thinks he’s someone else—an elusive local outlaw named Beau. Now James must fight through his grief to unravel a tangled web of family secrets and forgotten history…with help from a soft-spoken local hunk named Hunter Quaid.

Hunter’s been on his own since he left his fundamentalist family at the age of fifteen. It’s taken years of hard work to build the steady life he has now, fixing up seaside houses while living alone in a trailer by the river. Then James blows in like a winter storm, disturbing the peace and stirring up a hunger like nothing he’s ever felt.

As Hunter helps James search for the truth, their lives intertwine in unexpected ways—and they begin to discover what it means to find out where you really belong.



Hunter pulled his truck into one of the slanted parking spaces along the Brooks sea wall and turned off the ignition, cutting off Bobbie Gentry in the middle of ‘Ode to Billie Joe’ to let the roar of the waves take over. It was windy out, and he took a second to rake his dark-blond hair into a stubby ponytail at the nape of his neck before getting out of the truck. 

His work boots hit the asphalt with a heavy thud, and he strolled over to the rustic stone barricade to look out at the dark ocean. A wave immediately exploded up in front of him, white foam fanning out and dissolving like a burst of fireworks, and he filled his lungs with the sharp, salty air. It never got old, no matter how many times he came here. None of it did, though. Not the trees, the rivers, the sunsets, the storms. This rugged little chunk of the coast had been his most consistent, and sometimes his only, source of joy since the first summer his parents dropped him off at his grandma’s place upriver, where he now lived alone.   

Today had been long as hell, but satisfying. He was in the middle of renovating a beautiful midcentury house on Cedar Crest, a wooded cliffside high up on the north edge of town. It was the biggest project he’d ever landed since striking out on his own as a contractor, and it was turning out to be a dream come true. The owner was some Portland banker who didn’t give a shit what he did as long as he stayed within budget, and Hunter relished the freedom to make actual design choices.   

Matter of fact, life was pretty good these days, wasn’t it? Business was good, anyway, and that was a lot. Yeah. Steady work with nobody telling him what to do, a place to sleep by the river, all the ocean air he wanted every day…what more could he ask for? There was a time when he wouldn’t have dared to dream so—

A car alarm went off suddenly, jarring him from his thoughts, and he turned his head. Several seagulls were scattering noisily from the sea wall near a black hatchback several spaces away, its horn blasting and lights flashing. He couldn’t see what had set it off. A nosy gull, maybe, or the splash of a wave. At any rate, that wrapped up his relaxing after-work sit by the ocean. 

But just as he was about to turn back to his truck, the driver’s side door of the hatchback clunked open and slowly creaked ajar. 

Hunter watched, intrigued, as a hand slipped out through the crack, followed by an arm, and then a mop of wavy dark hair. Then, to his amazement, an entire tall, slim man slid out onto the pavement, pooling there in a tangle of long limbs and dark clothing. 

The alarm was still making a ruckus. The man groaned low and rolled to his side, wrestling with himself for a moment before yanking a key fob out of his back pocket. He jabbed it toward the car several times until the alarm stopped, then fell on his back with an unintelligible mutter. Just then, a big wave spouted over the wall and showered him with seawater.

Hunter winced sympathetically. Hell of a place to be drunk off your ass. Dude definitely wasn’t from around here. He looked about Hunter’s age, stylish in a cool, classic kind of way. Black jeans, black boots, battered brown leather jacket. Nothing flashy, but obviously outside the local dress code of Carhartts, hooded sweatshirts, and rain gear. Hunter couldn’t help admiring the long lines of the stranger’s body, his carelessly tousled hair. 

With a shake of his head and a soft sigh, he turned his gaze back toward the ocean again. Life was good, and all. He loved it here. So what if it wasn’t overflowing with romantic options for a quiet gay man with a taste for tall, slim guys dressed like drifters from the 1960s? No one got to have it all.

Life is good, he told himself stubbornly. Life is fine. Life’s going just great. 

The sound of an approaching engine made him glance back over his shoulder, and suddenly he sprang into motion before he could think. 

The drunk man was staggering onto the highway, his dark silhouette backlit by the high beams of a log truck that was roaring around the bend. 

Another half-second would have been too late. The driver didn’t even seem to see them. The air from the passing truck threw him off balance as he yanked the drunken dumbass out of the road, and they both fell back on the pavement. 

“You okay?” Hunter asked breathlessly.


About the Author  

Claire Cray writes gay romance featuring hot, complicated men in weird situations. Offbeat and character-driven with a gothic bent, her work has been described as deeply atmospheric and a little bit strange.

Born and raised in the rural Pacific Northwest, Claire takes inspiration from its rich, moody vibes: the ancient forests, rugged coastlines, eccentric characters, and whispers of dark mystery in even the tiniest little towns. Combine all that with steamy sensuality and psychological drama, and you’ve got a story by Claire Cray.

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Book Blitz w/ Excerpt: Where We Begin + giveaway

Where We Begin
(The Berkshires #1)
By Janey King
New Adult Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 250 Pages
November 1, 2020

Fate never gives you everything you want. But sometimes, when you least expect it, you get exactly what (or who) you need…

Hannah’s life has suddenly become a lot less. Jobless, homeless, and boyfriend-less, that is. Now, all she wants is a fresh start—and her sister’s charming small town is the perfect setting for it. Finding a new romance is nowhere on her agenda. Too bad her heart (the stupid organ that beats a little faster every time her new boss is near) didn’t get the memo.

Collin hasn’t been lucky when it comes to romance, either. But knowing he’s not cut out for love doesn’t stop him from wanting his beautiful new employee with an intensity that terrifies him. He barely survived losing his fiancée. Losing Hannah…well, he’s afraid there wouldn’t be any coming back from that.

Can Hannah and Collin overcome the pain of their pasts—and the secrets they’re both still carrying—to take a shot at happily ever after? Or are they destined to remain star crossed forever?

Where We Begin, Book 1 in The Berkshires series, is a lightly angsty, sweet, new adult contemporary romance featuring a down-but-not-out heroine and the beaten-but-not-broken hero of her dreams. Get ready to fall in love with your next favorite book boyfriend.

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On SALE for 99¢ in ebook, $7.99 in print for a limited time!


I bring my truck to a stop in the street and see that girl named Hannah that Layla just hired. She’s hunched over what appears to be a snapping turtle in the middle of the road. She turns toward me and then looks up at the sky and shakes her head.

I press the pedal down and apply the brakes, shut the engine off, and get out of my truck. She brings her gaze back to me while I make my way up to her and the turtle. When I get close, she purses her lips together, like she’s annoyed that I’m here.

I laugh to myself. This girl just seems to get herself into all kinds of trouble. Who crouches in the middle of the road with a turtle? She could get taken out in seconds.

When I first saw her spilling that coffee everywhere, I thought, wow, she’s startlingly beautiful. Now, being up close to her, it just further strengthens my case. I drink in all of her for a moment. Her features are glamorous, the olive skin and high cheekbones. The blue and green in her eyes are just something else. She seems sweet and has a charming way about her that’s incredibly alluring.

If I’d met her under different circumstances, I’d already have her number and our first date set up.

About the Author

Janey King is a sweet New Adult romance author. Where We Begin is her debut novel.

She lives in New Jersey with her husband and young son in a historic house that was built in 1887. When she’s not writing, she can be found fixing or redoing something in her house, tending to her gardens and planter boxes, riding her bike all over town, and sitting on the beach during the warm summer months. She must have lived a past life in the UK because her search for teahouses, plates of tiny sandwiches, and scones has become an obsession everywhere she goes.

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One winner will receive a cherry wood classical guitar style bookmark-laser engraved, a signed copy of Where We Begin and a $15 Amazon gift card (US only)

Ends November 5, 2020


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