The Secret of Hunter's Bog by Ally Blue Blog Tour, Guest Post, Excerpt, Review & Giveaway!

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Hi y’all! I’m Ally Blue. Welcome to my blog tour for my newest book, The Secret of Hunter’s Bog. Thank you for stopping by. Be sure to comment on this post, or any of the posts on the tour, for a chance to win a full set of my Mojo Mysteries seriesDemon Dog, A Ghost Most Elusive, and Myth Adventures—in the winner’s choice of electronic format. Read on and enjoy!

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The Secret of Hunter’s Bog

by

Ally Blue

For Koichi McNab, the shop he and his twin sister Kimmy are opening in Hunter’s Bog Mall is a fresh start after their old one burned down. A way to move on. Especially when he meets the hunky owner of the luxury camping goods store next door. Koichi’s never been an outdoorsy guy, but Will Hood just might change his mind.

Will came to Southern Alabama to establish his own life away from his big, intrusive family—and in hopes of finding Anthony, the lover who vanished two years ago. But meeting Koichi throws everything off-kilter. Anthony was a long time ago. Koichi’s right here, smart and funny and cute, and Will wants him.

As Koichi and Will become friends, then lovers, Will’s past and Koichi’s present tangle into a dangerous knot that brings them face-to-face with secrets, theft, treachery . . . maybe even murder. With their lives on the line, their only way to safety is together.

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Ally Blue

I love a spooky mystery.

Ever since my grade school days, I’ve always loved mysteries with a flavor of the supernatural. Doesn’t matter if it turns out not to be a real ghost after all. Even the possibility of it has always intrigued me. It won’t come as a surprise to anyone, I think, that I watched Scooby Doo every Saturday without fail, or that I was—am—a huge Nancy Drew fan back in the day. In fact, I still have quite a few of the books. My two favorites are The Secret of Shadow Ranch and The Mystery of the Tolling Bell.

My latest release is called The Secret of Hunter’s Bog. Anybody notice any similarities here? Anybody?

Of course you do. Our experiences in life create who we become. By the same token, the art we find moving as children and teens—books, movies, music, poetry, all of it—has a tremendous influence on what we create as we grow into adulthood. And I believe we all create something, whether or not we do it professionally.

I think a lot about my own influences, and I’m aware of how much my childhood Nancy Drew obsession has colored my writing. The Secret of Hunter’s Bog is hardly a teen sleuth adventure, but it does contain elements of the Spooky Mystery. For instance, there’s a ghost legend. It doesn’t figure as heavily into my story as the ghost stories often did in the Nancy Drew books, but it’s there. Also, I’ve included a couple of intertwining mysteries that I think are pretty cool and intriguing. I hope y’all will agree with me.

Where The Secret of Hunter’s Bog differs most from a traditional Nancy Drew-type tale is—you guessed it—the romance. I mean, sure, Nancy dated, she had her boyfriend Ned, but there was never anything you’d properly call romance. And for all its mystery and adventure—and that stuff is definitely there—my book is totally a romance. My boys, Will and Koichi, have a few external obstacles and a whole truckload of internal ones to overcome, but rest assured, they get their happy ending.

So, there you have it. My version of the Spooky Mystery, only this one also has a Sexy Romance. What could be better?

Thank you so much to my host here on the blog for having me here today, and thank you to all the readers for stopping by. Y’all are awesome!

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Excerpt

By the time Kimmy got back with the burgers, Will and Koichi had the tent setup finished. The three of them sat cross-legged in the middle of the floor and ate, talking and laughing the whole time. Afterward, the twins insisted on hanging around to help Will finish setting up his various displays. He was grateful for more reasons than simply the work. Having them around drove away the pensive quiet, not to mention the loneliness that had dogged him ever since he left Houston.

No. Longer than that. Ever since Anthony had vanished more than two years ago. The rift his affair with Anthony had caused between him and his family had never healed. How could it? Growing up dyslexic, cripplingly shy, and homeschooled by a private tutor, he’d had no friends. All he’d had was his family. He’d thought they loved him unconditionally. They’d let him live at home while he earned his business degree from the University of Houston. Attending his dad’s alma mater, then going to work for him—helping with payroll on the ranch—had gone a long way toward gaining him the approval and affection he’d always craved from his stern, distant father.

For a little while, at least. Then he’d fallen in love with a stable worker named Anthony Ruiz, and was forcibly reminded that his family’s reputation mattered far more to them—especially to his father—than his happiness did.

Having people around who were there because they liked him was novel and fantastic. He didn’t want it to end.

Kimmy stepped back from a portable table that she’d decorated with his best flatware and a lovely tin lantern with cutout stars. “I like it. What d’you think, Will?”

“It’s gorgeous.” He looked around his shop. Everything was in place, something that would’ve taken him at least a couple of days on his own. “It’s all gorgeous. I never could’ve done this without you two. Thank you so, so much.”

Smiling, Kimmy ran over, rose on her tiptoes, and kissed his cheek. “We were glad to do it, honey.”

Koichi slapped him on the back. “Don’t worry. We’ll take our payment in tent-based servitude.”

A whole series of decidedly impure images sashayed across Will’s vision. He shoved them away, because, damn it, now was not the time. “I’m already looking forward to it.”

“When are we going?” Kimmy peered up at him with an eager sparkle in her eyes. “Sorry, I don’t mean to rush you or anything. It’s just, I’m super excited. I’ve never been glamping before.”

“Hmm.” Will considered. “How about tomorrow night? The weather’s supposed to be nice. And now that the shop’s all set up, thanks to the two of you, I actually have the time to do it before the big opening on Friday.” He glanced from Kimmy to her brother and back again. “What about it? Does that work for y’all?”

“Sounds good to me.” Koichi raised his eyebrows at Kimmy. “What about it, sis?”

“Perfect. We don’t open ’til Friday either.” She squealed, grabbed Will’s hands, and bounced on her toes. “Yay! This is gonna be so much fun!”

He laughed. “I’m going to make sure y’all have the time of your lives.”

Koichi hmphed, but a smile curled his lips and crinkled the corners of his eyes. “We’ll see, my friend. We’ll see.” He grabbed his sister by the shoulders. “Let the man go, Kimmy. We need to lock up and get going. You promised Mama you’d stop by before you went home, remember?”

“Oh shit, I did, didn’t I?” She dropped Will’s hands and let her head fall backward with a heartfelt groan. “Okay, well, no point in putting it off. Will, gimme your phone, I’ll put my number in. You can call me in the morning and tell me what time we need to be here.”

“Okay.” He fished his phone out of his pocket and handed it to her, and took hers when she shoved it at him. He thumbed on her phone, found the contacts, and started entering his information. “When should I call you?”

“Anytime. I’m usually up by six.” She finished typing and glanced at Koichi, who was watching the two of them with transparent amusement. “I’ll call Chichi later. He never gets up ’til like nine.”

Will snickered as they traded phones again. “‘Chichi’? Seriously?”

Koichi aimed a fierce frown at him. “Hey, it’s silly, but it’s not that bad.”

They didn’t know. That made it even funnier. Will laughed out loud.

The twins exchanged a what the fuck look, which made Will laugh harder, in spite of how stupid he was starting to feel.

“Wait, time-out.” Koichi stepped in front of Will and stared up at him with a stubborn determination that he found dead sexy. “Explain why that’s so funny.”

Will grinned. “‘Chichi’ is Mexican slang for . . .” He stopped, remembering that he’d literally just met the twins today. Would they be offended? They didn’t seem like the type. Especially Kimmy. But you never could tell. “Uh. You know.” He held his hands cupped in front of his chest. “Bosoms. Only the T word.”

The twins gaped at him. He had about half a second to notice for the first time how much they really did look alike. Then Koichi shook his head and turned away with a resigned sigh while Kimmy busted out laughing.

“You realize,” Koichi said, raising his voice over his sister’s guffaws, “that she’s going to use this against me.”

Will scratched his head. “Um . . .”

“Titty McNab! Oh my God.” Kimmy wiped tears from her face. “Yeah, this is now a thing. Get used to it.”

Koichi glared. Will hunched his shoulders. “Sorry?”

The death glare eased into something softer. Warmer.

Koichi covered his face with both hands. “Christ almighty. The two of you are a pain in my ass.” He dropped his hands. A smile was fighting its way through the irritation. “All right. This subject is dead. See you tomorrow, Will.”

He nodded. “Looking forward to it.”

Kimmy reached up to wrap her arms around his neck and hugged him. “Talk to you then, honey. Night.”

“Good night. And thank you both for everything.”

They left in a flurry of good-nights and see-you-laters. He waited until they were out of sight, then went into the office to fetch his toothbrush and soap.

A few minutes later, face washed and teeth brushed, he flipped off the lights and stood at the back door watching the sun set over Hunter’s Bog. Ever since arriving here a couple of weeks ago, he’d loved the serene, disheveled beauty of the marsh. It called him to explore—to take a canoe, or tramp off on foot, and search out the secrets of the crooked creeks, the moss-hung trees, the beds of reeds that whistled in the wind like lonely spirits. In the orange light of the sinking sun, the trees became black statues springing from rivers of fire.

In all his life, Will had never seen anything more stunning, or more mysterious.

He wondered if there was enough dry land in there for a decent campsite. The wheels in his brain started turning because he’d been born and raised as a businessman, and that was part of who he was. There had to be plenty of clients who’d pay for a luxury camping expedition into the bog. Especially the more well-off clients. If there was one thing he knew for a fact about people with too much money, it was that they were always on the lookout for the next exciting thing to relieve the boredom of their lives. Swamp glamping wasn’t exactly on a par with exploring the Amazon, but it was different enough to appeal to the rich and adventurous.

He was still standing there mentally developing the idea when a swift movement in the marsh caught his eye. Frowning, he pressed his forehead to the window and cupped his hands around his eyes. Maybe he’d just seen a bird, or a squirrel. Even a deer. Animals were everywhere out there.

He’d almost convinced himself he’d imagined it when it happened again—a shadow, gray in the deepening dusk, flitting quick as thought from tree to tree. It had no discernible form, even when he squinted to see better.

A hard chill ran up Will’s spine. He ignored it, flung open the door, and marched across the parking lot to the edge of the swamp.

The mid-April evening was warm and humid. A sluggish breeze flowed from the west in tired fits and starts, bringing with it the wet, earthy smell of the marsh. The crickets and bullfrogs and night birds he’d grown used to were strangely silent.

Try as he might, he couldn’t see the shadow anymore. But he couldn’t shake the sense of something watching.

He stood barefoot in the overgrown grass at the edge of the parking lot, peering into the growing dark, until the neck-prickling feel of unfriendly eyes on him eased and the familiar sounds of a Southern night returned. Finally, when full dark had fallen and the streetlamp at the end of the parking lot came on, he turned and went back inside.

He washed his feet before entering the display tent. Keeping it clean was important, since it had to double as his makeshift living space and a selling point for his business.

Gotta find a damn place to live.

That would have to wait until he’d made some actual money on this venture. With a deep sigh, he turned on the battery-powered lamp he’d bought at a yard sale, stretched out on the lounge chair with his book, and settled in to read.

– Read more at: http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/the-secret-of-hunters-bog (Just click the excerpt tab)

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About Ally

Ally Blue is acknowledged by the world at large (or at least by her heroes, who tend to suffer a lot) as the Popess of Gay Angst.

She has a great big suggestively-shaped hat and rides in a bullet-proof Plexiglas bubble in Christmas parades. Her harem of manwhores does double duty as bodyguards and inspirational entertainment. Her favorite band is Radiohead, her favorite color is lime green and her favorite way to waste a perfectly good Saturday is to watch all three extended version LOTR movies in a row.

Her ultimate dream is to one day ditch the evil day job and support the family on manlove alone. She is not a hippie or a brain surgeon, no matter what her kids’ friends say.

Connect with Ally:

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Giveaway!

Leave a comment for a chance to win a full set of Ally’s Mojo Mysteries seriesDemon Dog, A Ghost Most Elusive, and Myth Adventures—in the winner’s choice of electronic format. 

(Just leave a comment on this post)
Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!
(Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on March 12, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. Entries. )

Review

TheSecretOfHuntersBog_600x900Title: The Secret of Hunter’s Bog

Author: Ally Blue

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Length: Novel (212pgs)

ISBN: 978-1-62649-373-5

Publisher: Riptide Publishing (March 7, 2016)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Reviewer: Lisa

Blurb: For Koichi McNab, the shop he and his twin sister Kimmy are opening in Hunter’s Bog Mall is a fresh start after their old one burned down. A way to move on. Especially when he meets the hunky owner of the luxury camping goods store next door. Koichi’s never been an outdoorsy guy, but Will Hood just might change his mind.

Will came to Southern Alabama to establish his own life away from his big, intrusive family—and in hopes of finding Anthony, the lover who vanished two years ago. But meeting Koichi throws everything off-kilter. Anthony was a long time ago. Koichi’s right here, smart and funny and cute, and Will wants him.

As Koichi and Will become friends, then lovers, Will’s past and Koichi’s present tangle into a dangerous knot that brings them face-to-face with secrets, theft, treachery . . . maybe even murder.

With their lives on the line, their only way to safety is together.

Product Link: http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/the-secret-of-hunters-bog

Review: I have read a few of Ally Blue’s stories and have always been intrigued by the worlds she creates.

I love a good suspense type of story that has a bit of danger in it. It always keeps me guessing however this one was just a bit off to me. I felt like I knew some of the answers before it even happened. Other than that the story was a pretty good story. It flowed just right and was exceptionally sweet.

Koichi and his twin sister are opening up a little shop near the bog. After a terrible fire at their last shop, they settled for this new setting. It comes with lots of bonus consistently of a sexy neighbor.

Will came to Alabama after a fight with his family, setting up his new shop right next to Koichi. He has a few secrets and one of them was his love for a man who had run when he was younger. He came here to find Anthony. It turns out Anthony is the one with all the surprises.

Will and Koichi hit it off from the start. There is a lot of sparks flying around them both. Now while that is all hot and sexy, it doesn’t necessarily mean an instant love thing. Yet somehow this author has made that connection for us. I must admit that when Will explains what he is cooking one night I was starving by the end of the book.

The characters didn’t really make the right impact that they should have with me. However the shocker is it didn’t seem to matter that much for me. This story was a blast to read and I definitely will want to read Ally’s next book. Although the spooky part never did get solved which was a drag for me.

The title is what really makes me want to know the answers. Dang secrets are always secret. I really want to know the answers to that, so I hope that Ally will turn this into a series.

I would definitely recommend this book.

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Check out the other blogs on the blog tour

March 7, 2016 – Booklover Sue
March 7, 2016 – Fresh Fiction
March 7, 2016 – The Novel Approach
March 8, 2016 – Prism Book Alliance
March 8, 2016 – Erotica for All
March 8, 2016 – GGR-Review
March 8, 2016 – The Jeep Diva
March 8, 2016 – Cup o’ Porn
March 9, 2016 – Love Bytes Reviews
March 9, 2016 – Book Reviews and More by Kathy
March 9, 2016 – Man2Mantastic
March 9, 2016 – Wicked Faerie’s Tales
March 10, 2016 – Sinfully MM Book Reviews
March 10, 2016 – MM Good Book Reviews
March 10, 2016 – The Day Before You Came
March 10, 2016 – Just Love Romance
March 11, 2016 – My Fiction Nook
March 11, 2016 – All I Want and More
March 11, 2016 – TTC Books and More
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13 thoughts on “The Secret of Hunter's Bog by Ally Blue Blog Tour, Guest Post, Excerpt, Review & Giveaway!

  1. Thanks for the post and review! I loved Nancy Drew when I was a kid, too.

    jen(dot)f(at)mac(dot)com

  2. Ah, yes I remember Ned. There’s a crossover with Hardy Boys that never occurred to me before.

  3. Love the concept, and it’s definitely going to be hotter than Nancy and Ned!

    vitajex(at)aol(Dot)com

  4. I devoured the Nancy Drew books, until a later series when she started dating some other guy. I was amazed to discover the series was written by a whole heap of different authors under the one name. I was also into other young adventure/mystery books like The Hardy Boys and The Three Investigators (Hitchcock). I guess this led me into my teen years where I loved books with substance from Agatha Christie to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and then a heap of inspirational fantasy writers. Having several of my favourite genres thrown together – mystery, supernatural, MM romance etc – guarantees this story will end up in my ebook library. Thank you for the review.
    hojurose(at)gmail(dot)com

  5. I’m really looking forward to starting reading this series. Thank you for the chance
    susanaperez7140(at)gmail(dot)com

  6. I din’t read too many Nancy Drew books as a kid, but they were fun. Thank you for the post and insight into the book as well as the excerpt and giveaway chance!
    jczlapin@gmail.com

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