Caesar Romano’s catering career is doing better than he’d ever dreamed. And so is his love life—even if his boyfriend’s house in Staten Island is way too far from civilization for his liking. But then in short order, Caesar is duped into helping his cousin propose, is tricked by his best friend and business partner into appearing on live television, and is harassed by a thug-like personal trainer and his far too beautiful wife. In fact, Caesar is almost too busy to notice that something is troubling his PI boyfriend, Dan Albright.
Laid-back, open, charming—that’s the impression hunky former NYPD Detective Dan Albright gives everyone. Caesar can add sexually adventurous and a bit of an exhibitionist. But he also knows that Dan is hiding something—something dark and a little dangerous—and when Dan’s silence over his mysterious past threatens to harm them both, it’s Caesar’s turn to save the day.
But then again, a break-in, a gallery party, an heirloom ring, a new suit, and a stalker with bad BO are all just a typical week for Caesar Romano.
Sunshine poured into the kitchen, warming a row of spiny potted herbs on the windowsill. Outside, the neat suburban backyard burst with green shrubbery and midsummer flowers. A plump gray bird sat on the clothesline and a squirrel frolicked in the grass, both a reminder that I needed to get the hell back to the city because, honest to God, it was like the country out here.
I snagged my phone mid-ring, and my favorite cousin’s Italian mug stared back at me. Joey and I looked nearly identical, except for his product-slickened hair, his penchant for gold chains, and his ability to carry off scrubby facial hair. He rarely called, so I skipped the preliminaries. “Hey. Everything okay? Who died?”
“What? No. Jeez, can’t a guy call his family just to say hello?”
“You’d think so, but that’s never been the case.”
“Where’ve you been, Caesar? I haven’t seen you in two weeks. Not since you busted your rib.”
“Working. We have more business than we can handle.” Solid truth. I hadn’t taken a day off since starting my new career in the catering world, unless you counted the three days the doctor had ordered me to rest. “It’s wedding season. We have a wedding, a shower, a dinner, and the Fourth coming up. Stop by Posh Nosh if you want to see me.”
“I would, but I have school. I’m busy too. I get it. Are you home?”
“Home?” I didn’t even know what that meant these days. I’d been ping-ponging between my humble room at Nana’s house in Brooklyn, the job in the city, and Dan’s bed in the hinterlands. I’d spent more time on public transit in the past two weeks than I had in the last year. Honestly? I was fatigued. I tucked my towel, watched a robin pull a worm from the grass, and revised my plans. “I’ll be at Nan’s tonight.” My libido could take a rest. And missing dinner with Nan was never a smart idea. “What do you need?”
“Me? Well, uh, I need advice.”
1. If you were to describe your e-book/book in only one word, what would it be?
2. Have you ever been hit by the infamous “writer’s block”?
What did you do to escape it?
It takes time and patience to get through. I think ‘block’ is a blanket term that can cover a lot of things. I suffered from some life changing situations, stress, and depression. We built a house. My husband took a job in a foreign country. My kids were graduating and moving on to college. There were a lot of things that culminated in me not being able to write. My mental health was more important than forcing myself to put words onto paper. Plus, the words I managed really stunk. To beat the blues, I exercise, I travel, and I disconnect from the internet. Unplugging has a profound effect on creativity!
3. What’s the longest time you’ve spent working on a project?
10 months, but my writing is very sporadic. I don’t write full time.
4. Would you say becoming an author has changed you?
In what way?
It’s opened new doors, new friendships, and new understandings.
5. Was there ever a time, during your work on the e-book/book, when you felt like giving up? What made you change your mind?
I always feel like giving up. LOL. It’s just that you can’t. You have to decide that the things most worth doing are sometimes the hardest.
6. How do you deal with bad reviews or acid criticism? What would you advise other authors to that effect?
They suck. I whine to my friends, and after years of learning the hard way, I try not to read them. But bad reviews are part of being a professional author. Some of us get more than others (cough) but I don’t write for reviewers. I write for my readers, and I write because that’s who I am. I have stories to tell.
1. If you could wish for any one thing, and it would immediately come true, what would you wish for?
To have my family together for Christmas.
2. If you were stranded on an isolated island, what’s the one book you’d absolutely wish to have with you?
The Eye of the World.
3. Name your favorite fruit.
4. Coffee or tea?
5. Favorite season?
All of them
6. How about fav time of 24 hours?
7. Were you a boyscout/girlscout?
8. Favorite food for breakfast?
Anything with jam.
9. Latest book you’ve bought and read?
Joanna Chamber’s Humbug
10. Do you collect things like stamps, or key chains, or shoes?
Thimbles and Starbucks mugs
11. Favorite color, you know you want to tell us!
12. Drama or comedy?
13. Have a fav quote or personal motto?
Make it work.
14. Cats or dogs?
15. Dinner by candlelight or a night out clubbing?
16. What song have you listened to most recently?
The Front Bottoms 2YL
17. What first came to mind after reading question no. 1 of the Fun Facts section? I mean that thing that you reconsidered after giving it more thought 😛
Still the same answer. I would like to have all three chicks in the nest for the holidays.
1. Your top secret, uber guilty pleasure is…good wine.
2. Your oldest memory is...making a kite out of newspaper and a scarf and trying to make it fly.
3. If everyone would receive a prize for being best at something, you’d be no. 1 at…losing my keys.
4. The one thing you’d do anything to avoid/get out of is… going to the gym.
5. Your favorite part of a date is… dessert.
6. If a character from any book could become real and you could spend a day with them, it would be… from the book…Tiffany Aching from Tiffany Aching Series.
7. You were/are a hardcore fan of…The Front Bottoms.
8. You’d immediately fall for someone who…is funny and self-confident.
9. If you could have any one superpower, it would be... writing faster!
10. The one thing that always brightens your day is… my husband texting me ‘good morning love’.
11. The awesomest thing in your life is… my beagle!
To celebrate the release of With This Bling, L.B. Gregg is giving away a Romano and Albright mug with swag, and a $40 gift card to Amazon! Your first comment at each stop on this tour enters you in the drawing. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on December 12, 2015. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. Entries. Follow the tour for more opportunities to enter the giveaway! Don’t forget to leave your email or method of contact so Riptide can reach you if you win!
About the Author & Links:
When not working from her home in the rolling hills of Northwestern Connecticut, author L.B. Gregg can be spotted in coffee shops from Berlin to Singapore to Panama–sipping lattes and writing sweet, hot, often funny, stories about men who love men.
For more info on L.B., because surely one can never get too much of a good thing, you can follow her on her preferred social media, Facebook. You can also e-mail L.B. at lbgregg at lbgregg dot com, visit her website www.lbgregg.com, be her GoodReads pal or follow her sporadic appearances on twitter.
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