A MelanieM Review: Partner with Benefits (Kolar Creek Tales #2) by Val Francis


Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5


When Michael Broadhurst invites a total stranger to share his sleeper on the overnight train, he’s asking for trouble—not that his life could get any more complicated than it already is.

After years of working on outback properties, Gazza Kelly is finally heading back to the city. With his criminal past behind him, Gazza has no plans until he’s invited to spend the night with a guy he’s never met before.

Partner with Benefits (Kolar Creek Tales #2) by Val Francis is one of those stories I had to slowly get into.  I found the premise inviting and loved that cover but getting a real connection to the story can be laid at the feet of one of the main characters.

That would be Michael Broadhurst, the privileged, sensitive, and honestly, sort of whiny second son to the powerful Broadhurst family.  Yes, the author sets it up that we immediately understand that Michael’s father and oldest brother are the bully bookends that have kept Michael sandwiched between them, beaten down and feeling inconsequential.  But has Michael ever tried helping himself?  Nope.

In some books, you feel that total lack of self worth and inability to protect one’s self.  But here, at least in the beginning and really, most of the the first half,  Michael just whines about the loss of the money, how he’s bad at writing, relationships with woman, etc. until you just want to smack him upside the head.  The saving grace is that he’s offset by Gazza, the recently released ex prisoner who Michael meets on the train.  Gazza full of gritty, real life issues and a past that Michael can’t begin to conceive of, befriends the  “supposedly straight” Michael and they become friends of a sort.

The story’s focus is primarily on Michael, his cold, emotionally dysfunctional family and the challenge that awaits him and Gazza in Kolar Creek.  That’s the section that saved this story for me and where Michael finally grew up and came alive.  Here we learned more about Gazza, his background and the abuses in prison.  Their slow movements towards a relationship, Michael’s acceptance of his sexuality, and yes, a permanence for them both.  I wish this section had been extended and the early section reduced.

But that’s just me.

By the time you get to the Epilogue, you will get the HEA you will hope for this couple and their relationship.  I have read the first Kolar Creek Tales story by Val Francis, Bombay Bushie (Kolar Creek Tales #1).  But I enjoyed this one so I will seek that one out as well.  Plus that couple makes an appearance in this story and they intrigued me.

If you like contemporary M/M romance, you will like Partner with Benefits (Kolar Creek Tales #2) by Val Francis.  I’ll be checking out the other story in the series and will let you know what I find.

Cover art:  Love this cover. great job with the characters and scenery.

Sales Links:  Extasy Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 171 pages
Published February 23rd 2018 by eXtasy Books Inc
ISBN 1487418051 (ISBN13: 9781487418052)
Edition LanguageEnglish

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audiobook Review: How to Bang a Billionaire (Arden St. Ives #1) by Alexis Hall and Joel Leslie (Narrator)


Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Fun! Fun! Fun! I thoroughly enjoyed this story from the beginning. Between the author’s sense of humor and Joel Leslie’s delivery of the one-liners and humorous remarks, I was floating along on a sea of happiness and finding it difficult to stop listening when pesky things like real life kept me from continuing. 

I also wondered why the ratings for this story weren’t higher, and that’s when I found out many people were comparing this to <i>Fifty Shades of Gray</i> or citing that the author seemed to be simulating that story.  Thankfully, I not only never read it, I therefore never jumped on the bandwagon to praise it or to castigate it.  It was of no interest to me, and I’m thankful about that now because it didn’t influence my opinion on this story one little iota. 

As I’ve learned from other audiobooks, when Joel narrates, my enjoyment is not so much about the story, it’s about the performance.  And what a performance!  With a capital P.  I felt as if I was watching a movie or TV show.  And as I said, I couldn’t put this down. 

Arden was a sweetheart, a very self-effacing soon-to-be Oxford graduate, and only helping out a friend when he made the call on behalf of the alumni fundraiser and connected with Caspian Hart.  They engaged in a bit of Arden-like banter, and wonder of wonder, at the actual event, Caspian himself sought out Arden!   

Without giving away the plot, I can say that this was not the heavy BDSM that I anticipated from the blurb.  In fact, there was some light bondage, but I wouldn’t personally classify it as a BDSM story.  It’s a love story, pure and simple—but with all the complications one would expect from an emotionally aloof billionaire and an inexperienced young man with self-esteem issues. 

My heart broke for Arden, and though he was responsible for Arden’s heartache and self-flagellation, Caspian was a wounded soul in his own way, so my heart broke for him as well. 

I loved the voices Joel Leslie gave them—they felt spot-on—perfect in every way. 

Needless to say, I very highly recommend this story to lovers of MM romance—a very definite  must-buy in audio format. 

Cover art:  Rich and dark in tone.  Love it.

Sales Links:  Amazon

Audiobook Details:

Audible Audio Edition
Listening Length: 11 hours
Program Type: Audiobook
Version: Unabridged
Publisher: Hachette Audio
Audible.com Release Date: January 16, 2018
Whispersync for Voice: Ready
Language: English

An Ali Review: ​​​​Oskar Blows a Gasket​ by Al Stewart​

 Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Oskar Braithwaite is bold, brash and gorgeous. Just ask him.

Armed with designer backpack full of make-up and retro music galore, Oskar sets off for college. And, with attitude even spikier than his heels, nothing is going to hold him back. Except maybe one thing…his past is shouting louder than the 80s songs he adores and it won’t be ignored. Behind the effervescence are secrets, lies and sadness. Try as he might, not even Oskar can hide forever, and one day it isn’t only pop icon Simon Le Bon who’s going to catch up.

Who is writing letters? And why is a spy secretly following?

Enter Bear, with dancing eyes and secrets of his own. Bear’s kindness sparkles brighter than Lycra leggings, and everyone knows Oskar loves shiny things. Like every prophecy, their fates seem inevitably linked. As the walls of Oskar’s defence crumble, Bear shows his hidden strength, but will it be enough to save them?

Find out in this far-out, zany tale of fame, first love and retro DJs.

This story  is about two very different young men who meet on a train. Oskar is brash and attention seeking.  Bear is quiet and wants people to like him.
Oskar is a handful and Bear is not really sure how to deal with him at first. It seems that Oskar has everything under control until Bear comes across an incident that makes him realize Oskar is trying to hide major parts of himself.  Over the course of the story the two young men get to know each other and know each other’s secrets.
This story is part coming of age, part love story and all unique.  I always enjoy this author duo’s work and this story was no exception.  It was entertaining from beginning to end. You never know what you’re going to get when you try one of their books and I love that so much.
I thought this was an excellent read and I highly recommend it.
Cover:  I think the cover is alright.  I don’t dislike it but it doesn’t stand out to me either.
Book Details:
Expected publication: March 30th 2018 by Beaten Track Publishing
Edition LanguageEnglish








It’s the End of the World as We Know It

Deadline: May 31, 2018

We are looking for queer romance and erotic romance stories set during an apocalyptic or post-apocalyptic event. Stories can also be dystopian, but don’t have to be. It’s the end of the world — or the world as we know it has already ended — and two (or more) survivors find love among the rubble.


Leveling Up

Deadline: June 30, 2018

We are looking for queer romance and erotic romance stories in which friends take their relationships to the next level. This could also mean frenemies, enemies, or rivals whose animosity morphs into love. Two characters meet unexpectedly after years of being apart. Reconnecting makes them realize their break up was caused by a misunderstanding, or maybe a meddlesome third party. Perhaps it isn’t until tragedy strikes that your character finds out who his or her real friends are. Can something good come out of something bad?


It Was a Dark and Stormy Night

Deadline: July 31, 2018

We are looking for paranormal or horror queer romance and erotic romance stories which begin with that age-old line, It was a dark and stormy night. With that as your opener, where do your characters take us? (Note: whether you actually open your story with that phrase is up to you, but use it as an inspiration). These stories will be released in October, just in time for Halloween.


Culture Clash

Deadline: August 31, 2018

We are looking for queer romance and erotic romance stories in which two people come together despite differences. This can be interpreted in a number of ways. Different cultures — a Brit and an American hit it off on an international flight, perhaps. Or different ways of life — think City Mouse meets Country Mouse and all the fun that might entail. And this isn’t limited to contemporary stories — maybe an astronaut falls for an alien, or a Western outlaw for a Native American chief.


Jolly Holidays

Deadline: September 30, 2018

We are looking for queer romance and erotic romance stories set during winter holidays. Christmas, of course, but we’re also open to Hanukkah, Yule, Kwanzaa, Boxing Day, New Year’s. You could also do Chinese New Year, Diwali, Valentine’s Day … any holiday set during the winter months. (Thanksgiving isn’t included because we may not be able to schedule a turkey day story this year, but if you have one in mind, let us know and we’ll see if we can work it in). Please state the holiday in your submission so we know where it might fit into our schedule.


Sweet Reunions

Deadline: October 31, 2018

We are looking for queer romance and erotic romance stories in which former lovers or old flames meet up again later in life only to find that the fire still burns between them. Maybe a pair of high school buddies discover their true feelings for each other at their twentieth class reunion. Or former coworkers connect again years later at a new place of employment. Or former band mates reconnect for a reunion tour that leads to an encore performance in the bedroom.


Boy/Girl Next Door

Deadline: November 30, 2018

We are looking for queer romance and erotic romance stories where the main character falls for a sexy neighbor. This could be someone who lives next door, but might also mean a coworker in an adjacent cubicle, a fellow soldier in the same unit, or another athlete on the same team. Just anyone the MC has admired/loved from afar who’s suddenly interested in them, too.


May/December Kind of Love

Deadline: December 31, 2018

We are looking for queer romance and erotic romance stories about lovers whose age gap only enhances their relationship. Maybe a young man is fed up of shallow players his own age, so he goes for a bit of maturity and is pleasantly surprised. Or an older character jaded by life hooks up with someone younger. Not expecting a connection, they’re pleasantly surprised when the young man or woman asks for a second date. Or a college frat boy finds love with an experienced leather daddy who likes to be in control.



  • These aren’t anthology calls — stories swill be released as individual ebooks with unique covers
  • Stories over 60k will also go into print
  • Payment is 50% net royalties from all channels, paid quarterly
  • Our contracts are for 2 years exclusive rights and autorenew
  • Stories must be 12,000 words or higher
  • Stories must contain a romance — any heat level, from sweet to erotic
  • The central romance must be LGBTQ ONLY
  • Stories can be any subgenre (contemporary, sci-fi, fantasy, historical, paranormal, western, etc.)
  • Stories must have a HEA or HFN ending
  • Adult stories only (no YA)

All stories submitted must adhere to the general guidelines found on our website. We do not consider multiple or simultaneous submissions. Reprints will be considered only if the author holds exclusive rights to republish.



Please follow our submission guidelines on our site at http://jms-books.com to submit your stories. Submissions over 40,000 words must include a chapter-by-chapter synopsis.

We will acknowledge submissions within 1 day and have a response to you within 4 business days.

S.E. Harmon on Writing, Characters, and her latest novel “The Blueprint” (author interview)


The Blueprint (The Game #1) by S.E. Harmon
Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Kanaxa

Buy Links

Dreamspinner PressAmazon   |   Kobo  | B&N

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have SE Harmon here today talking about writing, characters, and her latest novel, The Blueprint.  Welcome, SE!


~ Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with SE Harmon ~


Has your choice of childhood or teenage reading genres carried into your own choices for writing?

I was banned from reading romances as a kid…my mother called them “love books” and told me I was too young to read such things. That only led to me coming up with more and more creative ways to sneak and read them. At one point, I was actually reading in the shower (with my back turned to the spray). I think this career choice was pretty much inevitable.

How do you feel about the ebook format and where do you see it going?

I was a hold-out on ebooks. I love a good paperback book in my hands–the look of them, the feel of them, even smell them…sublime. One of my favorite days of the publishing process is when my author copies arrive in the mail and I can hold the book in my hands. Rub it on my face a little. Dance with…okay, nevermind, this is getting a little weird.

At one point, I ran out of space for my paperbacks and actually rented a storage unit for them. An actual storage unit. I defended myself to friends and family and claimed it was for other things, but we all knew the truth. I lost the majority of my book collection when spiders took over my storage unit…but that’s another story, one that involves me running away from the unit with bug spray—a can of Raid that might as well have been air freshener for all the good it did.

Now that I’ve thoroughly established my long-standing love affair with books, I must admit I truly appreciate the convenience of ebooks. My ereader is with me at all times and ebooks are definitely here to stay.

How much of yourself goes into a character?

Little bits here and there, but mainly a sense of humor–I wouldn’t be able to relate to the character otherwise. I don’t know how to relate to pod people who can answer questions without a nice, piping hot side of sarcasm.

Do you like HFN or HEA? And why?

HEA, always. Real life is full of HFNs. I want the fairy tale in my fiction. If you’ve read The Blueprint, you may notice that it is a bit of a HFN, but don’t fear. Kelly and Blue get their HEA in the sequel, Darker Blue.


Kelly Cannon is generally satisfied with his life—he has a great job that he loves, friends, and a wonderful family. But his love life has reached a new level of pitiful. Why? Well, his heart decided to break all the rules. Don’t fall in love with a straight guy. And definitely don’t fall in love with your best friend.

NFL standout Britton “Blue” Montgomery has pressure coming at him from all sides. From his father, who’s only interested in Blue’s football career. From his coaches, who just want him to play without getting injured again. The fans. His agent. His mother, who popped back up on the radar after leaving his family years ago. Now his relationship with Kelly is on shaky ground, and that frightens Blue more than anything.

When Kelly admits he’s in love with Blue, bonds are tested, and Blue has to decide what’s really important. He doesn’t want to lose the number one person in his life, but the cost to keep Kelly close might be more than he’s willing to pay.

It’s a good thing his nickname is the Blueprint—it’s time to draft a new set of plans.

Release Date: March 13 2018

Edition/Formats Available: ebook & Print


My phone rang for the third time, and I swore and dug in my pocket. “Yeah?”

“Wow.” Blue’s deep voice sounded vaguely impressed. “You only made me call three times.”

“I figured answering was the polite thing to do.”

“And since when do you do the polite thing?” His chuckle was warm and soft. “I figured I’d call and congratulate you. It didn’t seem like the type of thing to leave on voicemail.”

Congratulate me. It bothered me that he wasn’t bothered that I was possibly getting engaged to someone else. I felt a little… deflated.

I cleared my throat. It was hard to hear him clearly over the din in the background—a hip-hop beat, loud voices, and the occasional raucous laughter. “Where are you, anyway? I thought you had a game.”

“I did. One of the players wanted to show off his new boat, and it turned into a thing. I thought I’d swing by after—”

“There is no after. We’re pretty much wrapping things up over here.” The fact that his party sounded a thousand times more fun than mine didn’t improve my mood. “Sounds like you guys are having a good time. You must’ve won.”

“Of course. I can’t think of a better way to kick off a season than winning our last preseason game.” At my lack of response, he went on. “So where’s Robert?”

Probably at a witch doctor’s house asking him to construct a skinny, black-haired, gray-eyed voodoo doll named Kelly.

“Gone,” I said shortly. “I told him no. Well, to be perfectly accurate, I said yes, and then I said no.”

“Fuck, Kel.” Even over the noise in the background, I could hear the exasperation. “I thought you liked Robert.”

“I did. Just not enough to marry him.”

“Wow.” He seemed nonplussed for a moment. “I don’t know what to say to that.”

“It is what it is.”

Somewhere in the background, a feminine voice murmured something. She sounded close. Like almost in his ear. Something… flirty? Blue murmured something back, and then she giggled. Giggled. I tightened my hand on the phone. I couldn’t lie—I wanted to hurt him right then, even though I had absolutely no right to be angry, no right to expect his exclusive attention.


This was why I’d been pulling away from Blue. Because he had no idea how hard it was to be just friends. But the more I pulled away, the harder Blue pushed for things to remain just the way they were.

“I have to go,” I said shortly.

“Maybe I could drop by sometime this week. I know things have been kind of crazy lately, but we could hang out. Catch a movie? I know I could stand to watch something other than game film.” The smile in his voice invited me to laugh along, but I wasn’t in the mood.

“I’m going to be pretty busy this week.”

I heard the question in his voice. “The entire week?”

“Yes. I have a job, you know.” Defensiveness made my voice sharp, and I couldn’t seem to stop myself. “I can’t just drop everything every time you decide to stop by.”

“I’m not asking you to. If you’re busy, you’re busy.” He paused. “Are you sure you’re okay? You sound weird.”

“I’m fine. Call me later, okay?”

“Sure. As long as you’re really all right.”

Why wouldn’t I be? Did I sound pissed? Annoyed? Irritated that I couldn’t have his undivided attention for two minutes? I was feeling pretty raw. Alone. Jealous that he was somewhere with some woman having a perfectly good time. I was ready to curse out whoever said love should be multiplied, not divided. I wanted Blue’s love all to myself, and that was… well, ridiculous. I had to hang up before I said some shit I probably shouldn’t say.

“Of course I’ll help you with that,” I said loudly, pretending to talk to someone else. “Blue, I’ve got to go.” I jabbed the end button and sent the phone to sleep. He called right back, and I put the ringer on silent.

I honestly didn’t know what else there was to say.


About the Author

S.E. Harmon has had a lifelong love affair with writing. It’s been both wonderful and rocky (they’ve divorced several times), but they always manage to come back together. She’s a native Floridian with a Bachelor of Arts and a Masters in Fine Arts, and now splits her days between voraciously reading romance novels and squirreling away someplace to write them. Her current beta reader is a nosy American Eskimo who begrudgingly accepts payment in the form of dog biscuits.

Website: http://seharmon.weebly.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/seharmonbooks/

New Release Blitz for The Vampire’s Angel by Damian Serbu (excerpt and giveaway)


Title:  The Vampire’s Angel

Author: Damian Serbu

Publisher:  NineStar Press

Release Date: March 19, 2018

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 106400

Genre: Paranormal Romance, LGBT, historical, gay, paranormal, vampire, revolution, magic

Add to Goodreads


As Paris devolves into chaos amidst the French Revolution, three lives intertwine.

Xavier, a devout priest, struggles to hold on to his trust in humanity only to find his own faith threatened with the longing he finds for a mysterious American visitor. Thomas fights against the Catholic Church to win Xavier’s heart, but hiding his undead nature will threaten the love he longs to find with this abbé. Xavier’s sister, Catherine, works with Thomas to bring them together while protecting the family fortune but falls prey herself to evil forces.

The death, peril, and catastrophes of a revolution collide with a world of magic, vampires, and personal demons as Xavier, Thomas, and Catherine fight to find peace and love amidst the destruction.


The Vampire’s Angel
Damian Serbu © 2018
All Rights Reserved

One: Angel Sighting
14 May 1789

The night at last darkened as Thomas wandered the Parisian streets, feeling the people’s anger. Though the current French environment shunned the wealthy, Thomas’s commanding presence allowed him to walk about with little resistance. Besides, if his personality failed to assuage someone, his American citizenship placated them soon enough. Coming from a land that had already tossed out a king provided him a certain reverence.

The evening proved calm, however, with no one shouting or rioting. Perhaps later, Thomas might venture to the salons for conversation, but for the moment, he watched the common people as he headed from his flat along the Seine toward the Bastille. He sought the poor that evening, not the stuffy rich who bored him even in their nastiness.

Thomas dodged a puddle of mud and almost ran into a wealthy woman.

She grunted but then smiled when she looked up at him. “Pardon me.”

“It was my fault.” Thomas bowed. “I should apologize to you.”

She giggled and walked away, but not before turning around to glance at him one more time.

His reflection in a nearby window reminded him why so many women and men stopped to admire him. His muscular frame, his long black hair tied in a bow at the base of his neck, and his all-black attire, which defied the contemporary fashion of men wearing bright colors, combined to create an allure. Thomas knew he possessed a sex appeal. He captivated them so much they seldom commented with their usual prejudice on his darker complexion.

He turned onto Rue St. Louis and headed north. The houses there were dingier, the streets narrower, and the people dirtier. He traveled well into a residential area and found a secluded corner, the perfect place to watch for that night’s prey.

A few workers stumbled by, already drunk and searching for their homes, then some children frolicked along with a group of women. Still, nothing tempted him. Next, a soldier patrolled the streets and stared at him with suspicion, a prey that proved more to Thomas’s liking. Unfortunately, he saw goodness in the soldier’s face. He would not tempt fate with that one. The young man brushed a lock of blond hair out of his eye and passed as Thomas watched and marveled at his beautiful tight backside when he faded into the night.

Thomas nearly lost his breath when he turned and looked the other way. An angel?

The man had short brown hair, piercing hazel eyes, and soft skin. He carried the slight tone in his muscles, which so attracted Thomas, with a hint of nervousness. Not too masculine, but neither too feminine.

As the gentleman passed, Thomas fell in behind to study him further.

Only after Thomas almost drooled over the beauty in front of him did the clothing hit him. A priest. Thomas shook his head. How on earth did a godlike creature end up serving that vile Catholic Church?

He followed, anyway, hiding among the buildings and trailing so quietly that the priest never suspected a man behind him scrutinized every angle of his body beneath the black robe.

As they passed a narrow street, the priest turned and peered toward the cramped passage, then dashed down it. Thomas rushed to follow and hid in a doorway nearby.

“Can I help you?” the priest asked. “What is it?” He knelt before a young girl, perhaps no more than four, and placed his hand on her shoulder. She sobbed and slumped against the priest, who wrapped his arms around her. “Talk to me. You’re safe. What can I do?”

Her breathing finally slowed. “I’m lost.”

“What’s your name, dear?”

“Delphine,” she whispered.

“Well, Delphine, we’ll find your home. Can you give me some clues?”

Thomas listened as the priest quizzed her. She relaxed as the conversation continued and giggled as the priest joked and moved down the long alley with her, talking to her until he stooped down and picked her up while continuing to chat.

“Do you think we’re close?” he asked.

“I think so.” She looked around, clinging to him.

“Ah! Delphine!” A woman ran toward them, so the priest put the girl on the ground and stood aside as she sprinted to collapse in the woman’s arms.

“Mama,” she shouted.

“I’ve looked everywhere for you,” her mother replied. “What did I tell you about wandering away? We have just moved, after all. You’ll get lost in this big city.” Then she crossed herself. “Abbé, God intervened yet again to save my daughter.”

“Merely one of his servants, Madame.” The sound of his resonant voice sent waves of passion through Thomas.

“How can I repay you?” she asked.

“You owe me nothing,” the priest said as he turned to Delphine. “And you, little one, you must be careful in Paris. You can get lost easily, so stay close to your mother.”

She giggled as he tickled her stomach. “I will, Abbé.”

After they left, the priest turned and his eyes widened when he saw Thomas. He paused.

“Monsieur, pardon me. I didn’t see you.”

“I didn’t mean to startle you, Father. Good evening.” They gazed at each other for a long moment.

“No harm. Good evening, sir.” The priest nodded and walked away.

Too good to be true. Thomas stalked the priest as he turned the corner and entered the gate of a small church. There, Thomas leaned against a building, breathing heavily from the passion that erupted inside him, a longing he must satisfy. He wanted to stand outside the church and wait for the priest, or even knock on the door and talk to him again, but he was too unsettled. He remembered an establishment nearby that would serve his purpose well, so he raced to it, slammed through the doors, and sat before he fell, when a young man of about eighteen years approached him.

“Monsieur, you look unwell. Can I assist you?”

The youngster wasted little time. He needed a bath, but otherwise presented an adorable face and solid little body.

“What are you offering?” Thomas smirked.

“Come, I’ll show you.” He grabbed Thomas’s hand and pulled him up a stairway and into a dimly lit room. “I assume you know this’ll cost you, and that I don’t play the passive role.”

“Quite the entrepreneur. I can pay what you charge.” Thomas closed the door and embraced the youth as he kissed him. With great speed, he threw the youngster onto the bed and tore off both of their clothes.

“Slow down,” the young man pleaded.

Thomas did so and kissed the boy’s neck. His fangs descended, and he softly pricked the dirty skin to taste the blood before he took their interaction further.

“Do you enjoy biting?” the boy asked.

“Only momentarily,” Thomas replied before he plunged his fangs into the vein for a deeper taste.

As the hot liquid flowed across his lips, images of the boy’s life saturated Thomas’s mind. The vision confirmed what Thomas already ascertained. The young man prostituted himself part-time and was a useless degenerate who attacked and robbed innocent people. He assaulted children, including his brother, for sport. Ah, yes. And, of course, he murdered without remorse.

He grabbed the young man’s hair and kissed him, then rolled him over against his will. He struggled for the first time, but Thomas held him tightly.

“I told you,” he said, “I don’t—”

Thomas clamped his hand over the victim’s mouth. “Relax.” He stopped squirming and Thomas let him go. “What if I double the price? Or triple it, even?”

The lad contemplated for a moment. “Triple? Just to bugger me?”

Thomas petted his hair. “Yes.”

“Fine. But I won’t like it.” Yet he ground his ass into Thomas’s crotch.

Thomas thrust inside of him and pounded. The young man wriggled and bit his lower lip, but he never tried to stop Thomas until the vampire finished, his tension released as he exploded inside the nice bubble ass.

Sated, he released the lad, who pushed him off, cursing. “I told you, and I warned you, you ass.” He scrambled off the bed and snatched a knife from under the mattress, and in his nakedness came toward Thomas.

When the youth tried to stab him, Thomas grabbed his wrist and squeezed hard until the blade dropped to the floor. He pulled the young man toward him and stared into his eyes, his expression terrified.

“I thought we had an agreement? Besides, you can’t win. You won’t haunt this city anymore. Go peacefully.”

Thomas bent the boy’s head to the side and plunged his fangs back into the flesh, sucking the delicious blood until the youth’s heart stopped.

Thomas kissed the puncture wounds to heal them and flung the corpse to the floor before dressing, loving that a large city meant no one questioned yet another death. Sexually satisfied and fed, he brushed his clothing off before hurrying down the stairs and out the door without anyone noticing.


NineStar Press | Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Meet the Author

Damian Serbu lives in the Chicago area with his husband and two dogs, Akasha and Chewbacca. The dogs control his life, tell him what to write, and threaten to eat him in the middle of the night if he disobeys. He previously authored several novels now out of print, and is excited to reignite his writing with Ninestar Press!

Coming this fall, his latest vampire novel: The Vampire’s Protégé. Keep up to date with him on Facebook, Twitter, or at http://www.DamianSerbu.com.

Website | Facebook | Twitter


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RELEASE DAY BLITZ Moon Illusion (The Better to Kiss You With 3 ) by Michelle Osgood (exclusive excerpt and giveaway)



Title  MOON ILLUSION (The Better to Kiss You With 3 ) by Michelle Osgood

Publisher: Interlude Press

Release Date (Print & Ebook):  March 22, 2018

Buy links:

Interlude Press Web Store: https://store.interludepress.com/collections/moon-illusion-by-michelle-osgood

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2tddArC

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/moon-illusion-michelle-osgood/1127756493?ean=2940155070726

Apple: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/moon-illusion-michelle-osgood/1127756493?ean=2940155070726

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/774932

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/moon-illusion-1

Book Depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/Moon-Illusion-Michelle-Osgood/9781945053566 /?a_aid=InterludePress

Indiebound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781945053566?aff=InterludePress

Book blurb:

Nathan Roberts was just your average polyamorous librarian living in Vancouver until his best friend, Deanna started dating a werewolf. While hosting the small pack in his apartment while they hid from the underground network of Huntsmen, Nathan enjoyed a casual fling with Cole, the pack leader’s brother. But now, he may just be falling for him.

When his neighbor is murdered, Nathan is convinced the death is linked to the supernatural, but Cole and their friends deny any paranormal connection. This leads to a fracture of trust in their relationship, and Cole’s pack is left to deal with an unknown killer on the loose. As Nathan pursues answers on his own, he must come to terms with the truth, and his feelings for Cole.

Exclusive Excerpt for Scattered Thoughts:

Content warning: Blood

Nathan flung out his arms to catch himself, but it wasn’t enough. His palms slid against the floor; his forearms and butt landed with enough force to bruise before his head cracked against the cement floor. Stars burst across his vision. He had one breathless, suspended moment of relief that he was relatively intact until pain radiated like a halo from the back of his skull.

Nathan groaned. His eyes blinked open. Ow.

He sat up gingerly. His hands and arms were wet with something dark: a viscous liquid that was the unpleasant color of blood. Ew.

Now he’d have to shower before his nap. And, maybe, the way his head pounded sickeningly, he’d also have to throw up the pad thai he’d just eaten.

He’d let go of the garbage and the recycling as well as his phone on his way down. They all seemed to have landed clear of the mess that Nathan slipped on, but empty containers were strewn across the floor.

Careful of his sure-to-be-bruised body, Nathan eased himself up. When he wobbled to his feet, the smell caught him—hot copper, like a penny left sitting in the sun.

Not looks like blood, but is blood.

The pad thai threatened to come up then and there. Nathan gritted his teeth against the swell of nausea, closed his eyes, and breathed through his mouth. He realized his mistake instantly when the heavy scent coated his throat. He gagged and lurched to the side. He grabbed the nearest recycling bin to steady himself and took several deep breaths through his nose. CARDBOARD PAPER ONLY the bin announced. Nathan focused on the crisp shape of letters until the immediate need to puke passed. He wasn’t ruling out puking later. In fact, he suspected it was likely.

After one more deep breath, Nathan steeled himself and turned.

Blood, more than he’d ever seen, more than he realized was possible to see, coated the floor like spilled paint. Five liters. Just over five liters—that’s how much blood could be in the human body. His brain helpfully offered up an image of a plastic, four-liter milk jug and a second one-liter carton. When he thought about it like that, with the neat, sanitized whiteness of the two-percent milk he used to drink as a kid, the amount seemed terribly innocuous, hardly anything. But the amount on the floor, the amount that pooled on the concrete, that drew his eyes unerringly to its center, there was nothing innocuous about that, nor about the body.

It was a body. That was one thing Nathan was certain of, even if the rest of his reality was slowly tilting sideways. It was a body and not a person, because people couldn’t survive losing all that blood—four point seven to five point five liters, depending on size—just as they couldn’t survive losing their heads or both their hands without immediate medical attention. And whoever this was had lost all the above.

It was total overkill. To kill someone—and it wasn’t as if Nathan planned on killing someone, but it paid to have some idea how to kill someone just in case it was ever necessary— there were a hell of a lot of easier ways to do it than behead them. Besides, it wasn’t as though swords or axes or other traditional beheading tools were common in 2017 Vancouver.


That thought sparked in Nathan’s mind. The only people he’d seen who carried axes were the Huntsmen. And sure, they were metaphorical axes rather than literal axes—they were tattoos of an axe—but if the Huntsmen could get their hands on automatic weapons, an actual axe was hardly a stretch.

Nathan crept forward, careful to edge around the blood as much as possible. He should feel something, he knew: guilt, fear, horror. But curiosity fueled him and, for now, it had pushed aside everything else, even nausea, and replaced it with a much simpler need: to know.

Why behead a human? Why behead a human and take their hands? It didn’t make sense. Real life wasn’t an episode of Dexter. If you wanted to kill someone, there were a thousand easier ways.

Say what you wanted to kill wasn’t human, though. Say it was superhuman. Supernatural.


About Michelle Osgood:

Michelle Osgood writes queer, feminist romance from her tiny apartment in Vancouver, BC. She loves stories in all media, especially those created by Shonda Rhimes, and dreams of one day owning a wine cellar to rival Olivia Pope’s. She is active in Vancouver’s poly and LGBTQ communities, never turns down a debate about pop culture, and is trying to learn how to cook. Her novels The Better to Kiss You With (2016) and Huntsmen (2017) were published by Interlude Press.

Connect with Michelle: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads


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Length (Print & Ebook): 210 pages / 61,000 words

Subgenre: Contemporary Romance: Paranormal, LGBT/Urban Fantasy

Author’s content warnings:

Moon Illusion by Michelle Osgood

Additional Themes

  • Insomnia, paranoia, alcohol and marijuana use
  • Chapter 5: Graphic violence and an animal death during a dream sequence
  • Chapters 7-8: Gore
  • Chapter 16: Animal death
  • Chapters 18-20: Graphic violence during a dream sequence
  • Chapters 33-44: Domestic abuse, graphic violence, stalking