Bishop by A.E. Via Blog Tour, Excerpt, Review & Giveaway!

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Hi guys, we have A.E. Via visiting today with the tour for her new release Bishop, we have a great excerpt, a brilliant giveaway and my review, so check out the post and then enter the giveaway! ❤️ ~Pixie~

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Bishop

(A True Lover’s Story 01)
by

A.E. Via

At only thirty-two, Bishop Stockley has lived a hard-knock life. His gang was his family, the streets his home. Until the crew he’d always called his brothers betrayed him. After doing five years in a federal prison, Bishop is back at his dad’s trailer and working for his landscaping company, thrust into a legit world where he’s no longer the alpha—a world where a criminal record is the least of his disadvantages, because Bishop can’t read or write. Illiteracy had never been an obstacle for him on the streets, he didn’t need to know how to read Moby Dick to survive, he needed to know how to read people… and that was a hustle he’d learned hard and fast. Now, he had to change his life.

Bishop’s only support system was a young, inexperienced dad who’d insisted he call him Mike all their life—since they looked more like brothers than father and son. And his hot-tempered, childhood, best friend from ’juvie, Trent. Bishop already had the deck stacked against him, but he wasn’t afraid of hard work to change his situation, and he did want to change. Especially after he encountered Edison Scala, a kind-spirited office manager who didn’t hesitate to come to his defense… a man that saw past Bishop’s grass-stained coveralls. A man who wasn’t intimidated by his stern features and his silence.

Edison hadn’t grown up the way most of his peers had. He’d been raised by a single father who’d owned an old-fashioned barber shop where Edison was taught how to not only shave with a straight razor, and shine shoes, but also how to treat others, to not judge, to be a gentleman, to be respectful and speak without profanity. But, the biggest lesson he’d learned, was to always be himself. His lack of friends and a social life wasn’t his fault. No matter how much weight he gained, no matter how many times his staff called him a square, Edison did not need to change.

Bishop knew Edison was off-limits. He’d made personal vows to himself when he was released from prison, ones that he never intended to break. But, when Edison asked him about providing landscaping services at his home, there was no way he could refuse. He hadn’t expected Edison to feed him, praise him, encourage him, and look at him the way he did—as if Bishop was somebody. Mike and Trent warned him not to mix business with pleasure and he didn’t intend to.

No multiple pairings. No cliffhangers. Ends with a very, very HFN.
Warning:
This book is a M/M contemporary romance, a hardened man’s struggle to find real love. There are no police chases or doors being kicked in, in this one. But, don’t worry. Bishop is still intense enough to keep you on the edge.

.•.•.**❣️ Amazon US | Amazon UK | Smashwords ❣️**.•.•.

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Excerpt!

“You all straight, dude?” The kid intercepted him when he was walking towards the checkout. Bishop was feeling elated with his new audiobooks, his own books. Now all he had to do was keep making strides to better his life.

“Actually. I am looking for one more thing.”

“Sure. Come on over here.” The young man swerved through the maze of tables and counters until he got to a customer service station in the center of the store. He pecked some keys on the keyboard and brought the monitor to life then asked Bishop what title he needed.

“I don’t have a title. What section is the… learn-how-to-read books?” Bishop had lowered his voice on the last part of his question, even though there was no one else at the counter.

“For what grade?” The guy asked.

Bishop grimaced. Dammit. His mind was already screaming for him to run, abort. Bishop felt someone approach on his right side waiting for service, gaping right at them. Was there no privacy with counter transactions anymore? Or did he just feel as if everybody was watching him.

“For elementary school?”

Bishop’s throat suddenly felt as if he had a block lodged in it. How’d he not think of this first? He couldn’t start with anything too heavy. It also didn’t help that he was now close to the children’s section of the store, and the sight of babies who looked no older than five or six were sitting at little tables and flipping through their books. Yeah, he needed to leave now. “I um. Thanks. I’m just gonna take these.”

The kid’s eyes widened then lowered as if he’d realized what Bishop was saying. First the audiobooks, now he was asking for a book on how-to-read. The guy wasn’t dumb. Then right on cue came the pitiful, I-feel-so-sorry-for-you expression.

“Good night,” Bishop murmured and turned to leave.

“Over there under the hanging unicorn in the far corner is something you might be looking for.”

Bishop followed the guy’s gaze and retreated to the, thankfully deserted, section of the store. He checked out the books on the shelves under the glittery stuffed animal and immediately felt like melting into the floor. And just that fast, his elated mood collapsed to his dirty boots. Most of the books had colorful pictures of smiling children on them, holding up books in victory. There were also flash cards and lesson books. All of them appearing to be for grade school. Bishop cursed under his breath then hurried and grabbed the one that said easy and had the number one in the top left corner, assuming it was a beginning level. He almost changed his mind again when he got to the front of the store and saw the line had backed up and there were only two cashiers working the registers. All these people in here on a Friday night and they’re not better staffed than this?

Bishop had his first-level lesson book tucked under his arm and the audiobooks in his hand while he slowly spun a carousel of bookmarks to avoid eye contact or idle chatter in the line. The sudden blare of a high-speed blender made him glance in the direction of the busy Starbucks. Bishop’s tongue caught in his throat when his eyes landed on the overly helpful man who’d approached him when he’d been surveying the Town Center property. Light eyes that brightened even more when he saw him. Shit. Bishop hoped like hell he wasn’t going to come over and try to… fuck.

Bishop panicked when the guy threw a finger up in his direction and stood from his round table, hurrying to gather his books and drink. He’d been sitting with someone, but he didn’t even bother to acknowledge his friend before he left him and came towards the front of the store.

No, no, no. Bishop hurried and untucked the workbook from his armpit and slid it underneath a stack of calendars on the table beside him. His hands almost shook as he made sure no parts of the elementary school book could be seen. Bishop looked up just in time to see Mr. Helpful entering at the opening of the line, making his way towards him with a surprised but slightly nervous expression playing over his face.

Bishop tried not to study him, but it was hard. The guy had a certain interesting quality to him. He was younger than him for sure, because his face was as smooth as silk, but he didn’t talk like it. He also didn’t dress like it. He had on slacks that fit his thick legs well and Bishop liked how they hugged him in all the right places. He had a slight pudge pushing against his nice leather belt and his chest was full, not broad and not ridged with definition either; but Bishop found he liked the way the whole package was put together.

“Hello,” the guy said in a pleasant tone, the word leaving those smiling lips on a winded breath.

Bishop nodded his head once then croaked, “Hey.”

“I’m um. I’m Edison. Do… do you remember me from the other night? I work at the—”

“I remember,” Bishop said, not meaning to cut him off, but he was nervous and pissed he’d almost got busted. Not only was Edison quite attractive up close and in all this bold lighting, but by-god he brought an amazing scent along with him. Clean, cool and inviting.

“Oh. Yeah, of course.” Edison laughed. He rubbed his hand down his sharp, black tie then glanced around as if he was searching for more words.

Bishop didn’t come to his rescue either. Instead, he continued to study Edison, not sure why he was so wound up around him. He was sure he was nothing but a laborer to this guy. However, he needed to play nice, he couldn’t jeopardize his job for anything. Bishop thought he’d done a good job on appearing less intimidating and not so ‘scowly’—as Mike had put it—however, Edison still wouldn’t meet and hold his eyes for long. When Bishop was able to remove his gaze from Edison’s soft-looking skin and full lips, he noticed he had two thick paperbacks braced in the crook of one arm.

Edison glanced down at his own selection then over at what Bishop had his hand. His face broke into a megawatt smile that almost blinded him. “Audiobooks. Nice. I love those, I have at least—”

“Man. Not cool, Edison,” A guy said rudely, talking over Edison’s calm voice. He’d come from out of nowhere. Or maybe Bishop just hadn’t bothered to notice anyone else. The guy Edison had been sitting with in the café was standing behind him practically frowning at the back of his skull. “You could’ve waited. I said I was wrapping up an email.”

Bishop watched Edison take a deep breath before bothering to turn and acknowledge his friend. “Wait for what, Skylar?”

“It’s just Sky.  I told you that a million times. I know you hate nicknames, but mine makes me sound sexy.” Skylar smirked.

“And as your boss that’s the opposite of what I’m going for… I told you that a million times.”

“Look. I’m not interested in standing in this line. Pay for these for me,” the man had the audacity to request.

Bishop didn’t know what to make of this arrogant prick. He stood there perplexed that they even made guys like this anymore—whiny, self-important and vain. As if he was a wannabe copy of one of the men in the GQ magazine he was holding.

“I think you can manage that yourself,” Edison said coolly, then turned back to Bishop. “So, anyway. I was mentioning my love for audiobooks too. I have so many I had to buy a separate bookcase just for those.”

Prick must not have noticed that Edison was interested in something else besides him, because the second he did, he tucked his phone into his designer jeans pocket and folded his arms over his chest to observe. Bishop didn’t like the irritated expression he bored into Edison’s head or the repulsed look he gave him.

“I really like this place. Barnes & Noble, I mean. Not Starbucks. It’s really amazing and I could probably sit in here all night. So do… do you come here often?” Edison seemed to grimace at his cliché line and the awkwardness of the delivery, then tried to recover by smiling. “Not like… that. I mean to read… like on a Friday night?”

“Smooth,” Edison’s friend crooned before releasing a hushed round of giggles.

Bishop felt his frown had dug firmly back into place. His forehead felt warm and his left temple pulsed as his impatience crested.

Edison seemed to bristle at his friend’s comment, but didn’t bother to acknowledge him. Instead he pointed at Bishop’s CDs. “For a while I was on a straight audio kick, but it wasn’t long before I went back to hardcopies and my Kindle.”

Bishop nodded, wishing he had more to say but he didn’t. He literally had nothing to add because he wasn’t entirely sure what Edison was talking about. He watched him nibble on his bottom lip, his skin pinking slightly around his jaw. “They’re nice to listen to when I cook.”

“Which is all the time,” the prick muttered behind his fist then looked off in another direction as if someone else had said it.

“Skylar. Can you…?” Edison huffed and turned towards the taller man. “Just give me your magazine, I’ll pay for it.”

Bishop could only imagine the glower he was wearing. He wanted to call this guy out so badly, but he knew better. It wasn’t his place. And this store certainly wasn’t the place. Bishop was far from his world. Though his and Mike’s trailer in Norfolk was only twenty minutes away from Virginia Beach by Interstate 264, it might as well have been twenty days away.  Hampton Roads was a big, rich community, but unfortunately he lived in the poorest parts.

“Oh no, that’s quite all right, Edison. I think I’ll stay and watch this.” Skylar laughed again, and Bishop thought it sounded like a witch’s cackle.

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About A.E.!

A.E. Via Author PicA.E. (Adrienne) Via has been a best-selling author in gay romance for five years now, but she’s no stranger to MM. She’s been an avid reader of gay lit for over twenty years before she picked up her laptop to place her own kiss on this beautiful genre. She’s also the founder and owner of Via Star Wings Books, having published a couple of great new up and coming MM authors.

A.E. has a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from Virginia Wesleyan College that she used to start her own paralegal firm after she graduated in 2008. She spent five years preparing and filing bankruptcy petitions for struggling blue collar workers who couldn’t afford to file with a lawyer. It was a rewarding and satisfying career… but another path called to me. Writing.

A.E.’s writing embodies everything from hopelessly romantic to adventure, to scandalous. Her stories often include intriguing edges and twists that take readers to new, thought-provoking depths.

Now that she’s gotten over her 10 books published hump, she’s kind of known now for her play rough and love hard, bad boy, alphas. However, I do like to push myself to step out of my comfort zone and explore with different tropes, but I never push myself into a whole other genre. I’m head over heels for gay romance and I have tons of more hot stories to tell.

Be sure to visit Adrienne on her social media pages and subscribe to her newsletter to never miss another release date! https://goo.gl/GbfCyk or Go to A.E. Via’s official website http://authoraevia.com  for more detailed information on how to contact her, follow her, or a sneak peek on upcoming work, free reads, VSWB submissions, and where she’ll appear next.

Amazon | Goodreads | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

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Giveaway!

Win a Backlist Ebook From A.E. Via!

Review!

A.E. Via - Bishop Cover s bnjk83Title: Bishop

Series: A True Lover’s Story 01

Author: A.E. Via

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novel (336pgs)

ISBN: B07YJ64VNP

Publisher: Via Star Wing Books (27th September 2019)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 5 Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: At only thirty-two, Bishop Stockley has lived a hard-knock life. His gang was his family, the streets his home. Until the crew he’d always called his brothers betrayed him. After doing five years in a federal prison, Bishop is back at his dad’s trailer and working for his landscaping company, thrust into a legit world where he’s no longer the alpha—a world where a criminal record is the least of his disadvantages, because Bishop can’t read or write. Illiteracy had never been an obstacle for him on the streets, he didn’t need to know how to read Moby Dick to survive, he needed to know how to read people… and that was a hustle he’d learned hard and fast. Now, he had to change his life.

Bishop’s only support system was a young, inexperienced dad who’d insisted he call him Mike all their life—since they looked more like brothers than father and son. And his hot-tempered, childhood, best friend from ’juvie, Trent. Bishop already had the deck stacked against him, but he wasn’t afraid of hard work to change his situation, and he did want to change. Especially after he encountered Edison Scala, a kind-spirited office manager who didn’t hesitate to come to his defense… a man that saw past Bishop’s grass-stained coveralls. A man who wasn’t intimidated by his stern features and his silence.

Edison hadn’t grown up the way most of his peers had. He’d been raised by a single father who’d owned an old-fashioned barber shop where Edison was taught how to not only shave with a straight razor, and shine shoes, but also how to treat others, to not judge, to be a gentleman, to be respectful and speak without profanity. But, the biggest lesson he’d learned, was to always be himself. His lack of friends and a social life wasn’t his fault. No matter how much weight he gained, no matter how many times his staff called him a square, Edison did not need to change.

Bishop knew Edison was off-limits. He’d made personal vows to himself when he was released from prison, ones that he never intended to break. But, when Edison asked him about providing landscaping services at his home, there was no way he could refuse. He hadn’t expected Edison to feed him, praise him, encourage him, and look at him the way he did—as if Bishop was somebody. Mike and Trent warned him not to mix business with pleasure and he didn’t intend to.

No multiple pairings. No cliffhangers. Ends with a very, very HFN.
Warning:
This book is a M/M contemporary romance, a hardened man’s struggle to find real love. There are no police chases or doors being kicked in, in this one. But, don’t worry. Bishop is still intense enough to keep you on the edge.

Purchase Link: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Smashwords

Review: Recently released from prison Bishop has turned his life around with the help of his father Mike, Trent his best friend has been by his side from childhood and Bishop is determined that neither of them will fall back into the old ways. Working at his dad’s landscaping company gives Bishop options he’s never had before and meeting a man at one of the job sites changes his life further, making Bishop determined to tackle his illiteracy.

Edison has worked hard for his position in the company he works in and while he is lonely he isn’t about to change himself for others. Meeting Bishop has him longing for something he’s never had before, and Bishop’s past isn’t something that will turn Edison away from him.

This is an amazing story that kept me reading. This story isn’t like A.E. Via’s exciting action packed stories, it’s a slow burn love story with two amazing regular men. Each man has his issues and they handle them in different ways.

Bishop has confidence in himself in some aspects but in others he’s unsure and outright scared, Edison is confident in his work life but his social life is a total disaster and that includes his interaction with work colleagues. Each man alone struggles through their issues but together they find the confidence to tackle their problems.

God, when I started reading his book I had my doubts because just contemporary isn’t my thing, I like danger and action, angst and anger thrown in but this time around A.E. Via snatched my attention and made me enjoy it with her amazing writing skills and her wonderful characters.

A.E. Via hit straight to my heart with Bishop and Edison because although Bishop is built and hunky with a dash of danger Edison could be any man on the street with a bit of a paunch and his love of food. While Edison has had a great childhood and has a wonderful job that he loves Bishop has had a much different childhood with a very young dad who treated him like a brother and his education was on the streets.

I loved how A.E. didn’t have Edison on a diet, working out to lose weight, she had Edison loving himself and accepting that he wasn’t a stick thin model. Bishop is written as a man who admits his mistakes and is honest from the beginning with Edison but his fear of admitting his biggest secret was touching and so damn real.

The way that Bishop’s struggles were written was so touching, it wasn’t brushed over or made to seem like a simple solution was at hand, it also showed how Mike, Bishop’s dad, and his best friend Trent had his back and helped him in any way that they can. Mike and Trent are amazing and I can’t wait to see more of both of them in the future.

The relationship between Bishop and Edison is slow burn and amazing, these two together finding their way is wonderful, I loved watching as they fell in love and sorted out their relationship which does have a couple of hiccups along the way. The way that Edison sticks up for his love for Bishop is something to aspire to have, an unending belief in the love that you have where doubts can’t crawl in is just special.

If I could I’d give this book 10 hearts, it’s a fantastic love story that doesn’t skimp on character building or make Bishop and Edison super confident, it doesn’t make them perfect men or have them sorting problems with a quick fix. It has them facing twisted meddling with fears and doubts, it has them confronting back stabbers with quiet confidence, and while they’d love to take things into their own hands they know when to step back and let others do their jobs.

I recommend this to those who adore true love stories with wonderful characters, dealing with bitter men with quiet confidence, and working to overcome their problems without quick fixes. Those readers who are expecting danger and action will be disappointed but you just might fall in love with Bishop and Edison anyway.

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