A Stella Release Day Review: Lincoln’s Park (Links In the Chain) by Parker Williams

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RATING 3,75  out of 5 stars

A Links In the Chain Story

Lincoln Merriweather was born an entitled brat with a silver spoon lodged so deep, it might never have come out. At the BDSM club or in business, Lincoln was a storm, blowing in and disrupting the lives of everyone he touched, until the day he met a man who peeled away the tarnished layers to expose a decent person.

Lincoln found—then lost—love.

Since then, he’s tried to atone for his past, including walking away from his family’s wealth. He opened a diner, hiring people to work for him that he would have spit on before his epiphany. He’s found peace, which he’s about to lose to a hazel-eyed man.

Noel Simmons wound up on the street when his parents discovered he was gay. His path leads him to Lincoln’s diner, where he asks for a job. He’s thrilled when Lincoln agrees to hire him, but finds his new boss perplexing. Can anyone be this kind and decent?

What starts out as business becomes something more. Noel discovers he needs Lincoln in order to feel safe. Lincoln needs Noel to complete him. But when Lincoln’s past gets in the way of his present, will the two have a future?

As always Parker Williams is a guarantee. As soon as I started this new release, I understood it was going to be a beautiful journey into these guys lives. Lincoln and Noel was simply amazing, together and as individuals. The strength both of them had when they took their complicated worlds and morphed into something better and filled with love, was striking. Lincoln was so brave to say no to his family’s money and start a new diner that little by little became a sort of sanctuary for people who needed to be cared or just a second chance. His big heart, more than once hurt, was still open and ready to welcome more friends. Someone like Noel was exactly who Lincoln was waiting for and when the younger man walked into his diner, Lincoln soon fell for Noel.

I loved the two main characters deeply and with no hesitation because they were pure, always positive and so open and full of love to give, it was a joy to read each new chapter. Their relationship and the ones they had created with Kate and Robert were real and perfect like every friendship or love story should be. I think all of us should deserve someone like these  guys into our lives.

Although I adored Lincoln’s Park, I admit I didn’t give it a higher rating because the last chapters, when something I can’t spoiler happened, weren’t really what I expected from this author. It was too simple, almost a cliché, resolve things with that meeting, seen too many times already in movies and books, it missed some freshness and originality.

Still, I can’t wait to read the second installment in this new series and I feel to recommend this novel and everything else the author has written.

The cover art by Reese Dante is lovely and well done but I can’t see in the model neither of the two MCs.

SALE LINKS  Dreamspinner PressAmazon

BOOK DETAILS

ebook, 244 pages

Published October 16th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN13 9781640806139

Edition Language English

A Free Dreamer Review: Yakuza (Guns and Roses #1) by Lilia Blanc

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Rating: 1 star out of 5

The people of Tawano are used to the yakuza. They know to avoid them, to get off the streets when fights are brewing. At least, most of them do.

When college student Hiroshi makes a fatal mistake, and finds himself held at knife point, there’s only one person who can help him: Kazuo, the yakuza who controls Tawano, and the one who started the fight in the first place.

They’re completely different, and as their paths keep crossing, neither of them can understand the other—but it’s clear they’ll have to, or the dangers that follow Kazuo could claim more than just the lives of a few city-folk.

Oh boy. This book was a mess. To say that I didn’t particularly like “Yakuza” would be the understatement of the year. I don’t think there’s anything I liked about this book.

I picked this up because I’m a huge fan of Japan but was very disappointed. This has absolutely zero “Japanese vibe”. The MCs have Japanese names and Hiroshi is obsessed with manga but that’s about it.

The writing style was awkward. It read like the text was originally written in a foreign language and then badly translated into English. It annoyed me from the very beginning.

Then there’s Hiroshi. I’ve come across a few too stupid to live characters in my reading life but he’s probably one of the worst cases ever. Seriously, it’s a miracle he managed to stay alive this long. He’s absolutely obsessed with his books. Unrealistically so. He’s caught up in a gun fight, ends up being held hostage, with a knife to his throat, and drops his newly bought book. And all he can think of is his damaged book. Seriously? Oh, and he gets awesome discounts at the bookshop where he works because he’s so popular with the female customers. I’ve worked as a bookseller for almost four years now and let me tell you, that’s not how it works. At all.

Kazuo wasn’t much better. He wasn’t quite as stupid as Hiroshi but he was seriously creepy at times. He turned into an obsessive stalker and endangered Hiroshi. And he just made ridiculous assumptions. Just because a guy forgets a hot bondage Yaoi in your car, doesn’t mean that guy wants to try out bondage himself. Much less with a random stranger who almost got him killed the first time they met. And then turned into a creepy stalker.

After the first couple of pages, I figured this would turn into somewhat hot bondage porn. There’s a completely ridiculous sex scene at Hiroshi’s workplace pretty early on. But there isn’t all that much more explicit sex after that. At least porn would have been mildly entertaining.

It didn’t help that there was a weird love triangle that came out of nowhere toward the end. And the ending itself will definitely disappoint anybody who was at least somewhat invested in the MCs. Personally, I didn’t really care. It was just annoying and ridiculous, like the rest of the book.

Honestly, I can’t imagine how anybody could enjoy this book. The romance is seriously lacking, there’s really only one very explicit sex scene and the rest of the plot is harebrained. Honestly, it reminded me of a bad Yaoi, without the added benefit of pretty pictures.

Sales Links:  Amazon

The cover is okay, I guess. Probably the best part of the entire book.

Book details: Kindle Edition, 220 pages

Published September 4th 2018 by Deep Desires Press

A Lila Review: Rebuilding Hope (Kindred #1) by Jessie G.

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Holden Bancroft was born with a better than average brain and not much else. Often described as strange and sickly, his attempts to conform only made him look foolish and a life-long diet of pills hasn’t provided a cure. Deciding to strengthen the only tool in his arsenal was liberating and learning became his greatest joy. But each episode is another reminder that his time is limited, and Holden intends to use everything he’s learned to help the small town of Hope before he dies.

Alpha Crowley Lomond, Zenith of the Americas, isn’t exactly happy with his ascension. Leading isn’t the problem, it’s acting like he’s somehow better than every other shifter that chafes. But while living and working beside them may seem noble, Crowley is more than just an alpha. As Zenith, he’s their example, their teacher and guide, and the one they will turn to when their way of life is threatened.

Meeting changes them in ways they never could have predicted and unveils a web of deceit that began long before they were born. Together, they will have to unravel the lies and reconcile the consequences if they are to protect the shifter way of life. Along the way, Crowley will become the Zenith his Kindred was born to love and their enemies will learn that there’s nothing more dangerous than fated mates.

Rebuilding Hope is a refreshing take on shifters and fated mates. I had trouble following the start of the story but after re-reading the first two scenes it was easier to follow. There’s a lot of new terms and background information that can be confusing too. And the timeline is a bit murky.

I enjoyed Crowley’s and Holden’s first meeting on how taken with each other they were. It was truly a sweet hook-up. It was interesting to see how the fates brought them together, and how they worked as a couple.

The story has a great set of supporting characters and a world build that would take more than one book to understand. There’s a lot more to learn and discover about these characters. It’s definitely a good start to a new series.

The cover by Andrew Reyna matches the author’s styles, but it takes away from the series individuality. I guess it’s a good issue to have when the reader has to stop to see if it’s a new book to an older series. The models do match Crowley and Holden.

Sale Links: Amazon | Nook | iBooks

Book Details:

ebook, 200 pages
Published: September 24, 2018, by Jessie G Books, Inc.
Edition Language: English

Series:  Kindred
Book #1: Rebuilding Hope

M.D. Grimm on the Need to Write and the new SyFy Saga ‘Leopold (Saga of the Bold People #1)’ (guest post, excerpt, and giveaway)

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Leopold

Leopold (Saga of the Bold People #1)

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host M.D. Grimm here today on tour for their latest release, Leopold.  Welcome!

✒︎

Discovery of the need to Write by M.D. Grimm

Good day folks!

Thanks for joining me to celebrate my newest release, Leopold (Saga of the Bold People 1). It is an m/m romance sci-fi epic, and it’s the first book of a 6-book saga. I am super excited to finally release this bad boy that’s taken me around eight years to revise and edit.

I realized I wanted to write in the second grade. No joke. We had a silly assignment to write a short story (1 page long) using all or most of the words the teacher provided on the blackboard. I loved it way too much. Every time there was a story-writing assignment, no matter how silly or simple, I leapt on it, giving all the effort I could muster. I started writing really short stories off and on, and then I entered middle school and became a voracious reader.

During my college years, I collected ideas but didn’t write, due to time and mental capacity restraints. However, during my study abroad in Ireland one summer I wrote a short m/m romance titled “A Giant’s Friend.” It became my first published book. Granted, it got mixed reviews, and some nasty negative reviews, but I was still proud of it (it has since been re-pubbed in my anthology “Guardians of a Giant’s Treasure”). I submitted my second story to Dreamspinner Press, and it received better reviews than the first. That story was “Psychic Moon,” the first book in my The Shifters series.

It was only after several more submissions and releases that I started to get a feel for this “writing thing” that I do. I’m still learning and growing and each story is an opportunity to flex my muscles and challenge myself. I’m still learning my own style of writing and what characters and situations I tend toward.

Leopold came out of the blue one fine summer day. He beamed his thoughts into my mind, and I was off to the races. Unfortunately, I wasn’t equipped to write his story correctly the first time so after years (!) and countless edits and re-writes I finally know he’s ready to be released.

Now I have to jump on book two. I never do anything the easy way. Counting Leopold, I am now currently working on four series simultaneously. And I work 40 hours a week at my day job. Shot me now.

I have three stories contracted with Dreamspinner Press for 2019: a vampire story, the latest shifter book (#13), and the prequel to “On Wings of Thunder.”

Until next time,

May dragons guard your dreams,

M.D. Grimm

✒︎

M.D. Grimm has a new MM sci fi book out:

How does a human survive in an alien dominated InterGalactic Community? By becoming an assassin, of course.

At least, that’s what Leopold thought when he became an assassin for the elite. Pretending to be an alien known as Voidstriker, Leopold feeds his appetite for vengeance, killing aliens as well as taking their money. It’s a win-win to his mind. That is, until a bounty is placed upon his head.

With his true identity now revealed to the IG Community, Leopold knows it’s only a matter of time before the powerful family members of his victims come for blood. Far worse is the fact that the one who put the bounty on his head, is the one he most fears.

A routine job three cycles ago brought him face-to-face with Mastrodai, a prince of the powerful Mrrog Nation. Not only did Leopold—accidentally—destroy part of Mastrodai’s moon, but one glimpse of the mighty alien had him feeling desire for the first time in his life. He ran, and like predator after prey, Mastrodai never stopped hunting him.

Leopold is convinced that Mastrodai wants bloody revenge. But when he finally confronts the mrrog, he is stunned to realize Mastrodai wants something very different. Something surprisingly intimate—the one thing that scares Leopold more than torture.

Amazon | Smashwords


Giveaway

M.D. is giving away one eBook copy of her book Ruby: Lost and Found with this tour. Enter via Rafflecopter:

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Excerpt

Leopold meme

I climbed out the broken window onto the platform and tried to activate my holo-cuffs again. After several failed attempts, I realized they weren’t going to help me. Damn things were shit! Swallowing my curses, I jammed on my helmet and started to climb down. By the third floor, the ladder had been broken. I would need to jump. Fantastic. Three levels down. If I landed slightly wrong I would at worst break something, at best sprain something. I had no choice. My helmet impeded by vision so I took it off. I dangled it from my fingertips for a moment before letting it drop. To me, the sound it made upon impact was like a crack of thunder, but it was merely a thud. I took a deep breath and crawled down as much of the ladder as I could, and hung there a moment, gauging my descent.

One, two… three.I let go and hit the ground on my feet and rolled, taking off most of the pressure. It jarred me, but nothing sprained or broke. Success!

I stood, about to grab my helmet, when I saw figures coming toward the mouth of the alley. I froze. I recognized them. They were mrrogs, and that meant he couldn’t be too far behind.

I shivered violently, demanding my legs to move. It took them a moment before they finally got the idea. I crouched slowly on the ground before moving silently backward. One foot, one hand, one foot… on and on until I reached the other end of the alley. I kept myself against the wall, in the shadows, and knew they hadn’t seen me. They were too busy contemplating my land cruiser. If they tried to deactivate the security system it would blow them up, along with the cruz. I would lose my baby, yes, but I would rather it be trash then have it in their hands.

I reached the end of the alley and continued to crouch until I turned the corner, and was out of their line of vision. My heart thundered annoyingly in my ears, and I bowed my head, steadying my breathing. Okay, my cruz was screwed. I couldn’t open fire on them without alerting everyone in the vicinity. I couldn’t run the distance to my ship and needed another way to get to it. I would have to steal a transport.

Great, I had a plan, such as it was. I stood, took two steps back for good measure, and ran into something. I stilled. It wasn’t a building and it wasn’t a transport as I was on the bloody sidewalk. No, it was a body. My heart fluttered, and I knew who it was without a doubt. My body knew, my damn, traitorous body. I could feel his heat pump against my own cold body, and I felt his chest move as he breathed. How did I not sense him behind me? My mouth opened in a silent scream because I knew this was it, I was caught. I shouted mentally at my legs to move but it was as if they were rooted to the blasted ground.

A small breeze blew from behind me, behind us, and I caught his scent. My stupid cock jumped to attention. Kill me now, please. He smelled wonderful. I wanted to close my eyes and wallow in it without any other thought in my head. I wanted to melt against him and have those strong arms—

My eyes had nearly closed when I popped them open. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw something move. I tracked the large arm, covered in a black sleeve, and the golden hand as it lifted and came toward me. My legs finally kicked into action, and I ducked agilely and rolled under his raised arm before straightening, and running faster than I ever had in my life. I heard him shout out orders in a deep voice. I realized it was the first time I’d ever heard him speak. Despite the situation, I thought he had a lovely voice. I jerked out of that stupid thought when I heard rapid footsteps behind me. Was he chasingme?

I glanced behind, saw the truth in those blazing yellow eyes, in that golden face, and pumped my legs faster. I wove and dodged around large trash bins, unable to keep myself from glancing back. Mastrodai simply leapt overthe trash bins, landing on his hands, and continuing on all fours to chase me, quickly gaining ground.

Shit, shit, shit!

Clouds rolled in overhead, and the moon grew darker, mistier. I needed to lose him. How? His large nose indicated his overdeveloped scent glands, and the way his eyes glimmered in the dark, when I dared another look behind, told me he had no problem hunting in the shadows.

I was so dead.

Recognizing the buildings around me, I swerved sharply to my right and raced down several narrow alleyways. The confined spaces forced him to throttle his boosters. He was still way too damn agile for someone his size, but he couldn’t use his full speed in the alleys unless he wanted to run into a wall. The turns forced him to slow down just enough, and more and more I was starting to lose sight of him whenever I glanced back.

I let my own nose lead me to the large, festering trash pile set along a creek with questionable cleanliness. Trash was rarely collected this far out and, in this case, it would prove to be my savior. Granted, I enjoyed being clean, but survival called for disgusting measures, at times.

After a few more turns, I burst out in the opening and dashed to the trash. I took a deep breath, closed my eyes, and dove inside. Eewwww!I swam through the garbage and shut down my mind from speculating what it consisted of. After what felt like forever, I popped out the other end and sucked in a gigantic breath of the foulest air I’d ever tasted. That would kill his ability to track me, no matter how powerful his nose. Without stopping, I rolled forward and dropped to the ground. I didn’t look behind for Mastrodai before staggering toward the creek and jumping it. The water was swift and sure and carried me farther down the city.

I managed to lose him for now, but it wasn’t over, yet. Not even close.

The hunt was on.


Author Bio

M.D. Grimm has wanted to write stories since second grade (kind of young to make life decisions, but whatever) and nothing has changed since then (well, plenty of things actually, but not that!). Thankfully, she has indulgent parents who let her dream, but also made sure she understood she’d need a steady job to pay the bills (they never let her forget it!).

After graduating from the University of Oregon and majoring in English, (let’s be honest: useless degree, what else was she going to do with it?) she started on her writing career and couldn’t be happier.

Working by day and writing by night (or any spare time she can carve out), she enjoys embarking on romantic quests and daring adventures (living vicariously, you could say) and creating characters that always triumph against the villain, (or else what’s the point?) finding their soul mate in the process.

Author Website: https://www.mdgrimmwrites.com/

Author Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001710645622

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&query=md+grimm

Author QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/m-d-grimm/

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Fantasy Spotlight Special for Soulbound (The Republic #4) by Archer Kay Leah (Playlist, Excerpt and Giveaway!)

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Soulbound

Soulbound (The Republic #4)

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Archer Kay Leah here today on tour for their latest story in The Republic series, Soulbound. Archer has brought along a Soulbound Playlist for all our readers to enjoy. Check it out below.

 

Soulbound Playlist – The Loving, the Hopeful, and the Sensual

Welcome, everyone! I’m Archer Kay Leah, author of LGTBQA+ romances with a fantastical kick (and sometimes even sci fi). Thanks for dropping by, and many thanks to Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words for hosting me today! ❤

One of the things I adore most is music, from way back in the times of Gregorian chant and before that all the way up to what’s new right now. Seriously, it’s my addiction, and it blends with my writing in a big way. Some authors prefer silence or shows/movies while they write, but I’m one who needs the right tunes on hand to ground me in the right moods and feelings while the creative process happens.

In a previous stop on the tour, I shared the major themes from the playlist for Soulbound, but today I’m sharing other sounds of the book, including love songs, the more hope-inspired tracks, and a few sensual tracks that hogged the limelight for a bit… or for at least a quarter of the book, actually.

Darren Hayes — Insatiable

First up is this sensual, seductive track from the lead singer of Savage Garden. The mood, tempo, and (most of) the lyrics are so perfect for Mayr and Tash. They’re a couple that doesn’t want to keep their hands off each other, or lips, or any part of the body, to be honest. They’re happiest when they’re left alone in the same room and just being them, no expectations, no judgment, no nothing to get in the way. This is a song for those who can’t get enough of intimate moments.

Ed Sheeran — Give Me Love

One of my favourite Ed Sheeran songs! I love how it’s put together, with a beautiful blend of music, vocal, and lyric. I can’t help but sing along, with a bit of my heart just sort of being tossed out with it. If Mayr and Tash ever decided to dance together, this would be a song they’d choose. The overall sound is definitely them, even though the lyrics don’t completely match up, but it works well with the constant yearning they have for each other. There’s the soft and tender part of the song, but then towards the end, it goes a bit harder, more… insistent, and plays out into a gentle, pleading end. Then the track switches over into “The Parting Glass,” an old, traditional piece that I also enjoy.

In some ways, this song would’ve been more suited for the second book in the series, Four, where Mayr and Tash first met. Though I think there’s a place for it here, because sometimes — at least in the beginning — even when they have each other, they pine for more because they haven’t quite reached the full force of their relationship. That comes with time, effort, and the willingness to finally surrender completely to what they have.

Enigma — Age of Loneliness & Enigma — Carly’s Song (Remix)

Two versions of the same song that I’ve loved since I was a teenager. Then again, it’s Enigma, which I adore. (It was because of an Enigma album that I fell in love with Gregorian chant!)

This song is a sensual, sexy piece in terms of sound and vibe. It’s always in my repertoire while writing romances or anything with intimate elements, particularly for sex scenes and even sparring scenes. With the original version of the song, “Age of Loneliness,” the rhythm and key kills me, the drums and beats are perfect, the vocals are entrancing and diverse like the music itself, and the way the different tracks are blended together is brilliant, with awesome timing of particular sounds that make the song special. It’s a feast for the ears and brain, one I feed off while writing and really sink into. “Carly’s Song (Remix)” is no less captivating, with its own sound, but never losing that sensual flavour. There were a few scenes in Soulbound that called for both versions, which I tended to alternate. Fun. Times.

Enigma — Return to Innocence

More Enigma, but this one was for the hope it speaks to. The encouragement. Courage. Self-acceptance and being true to oneself, no matter what others think. This song is uplifting, beautiful. It not only brings me to tears, it gives me goosebumps. There have been times when my confidence and self-esteem have hit terrible lows or grief and loss have hit so hard, I’ve cried-sung my way through this a few times to feel better. The music video is also a piece of art, with stunning images that tell a touching story.

This was great for Soulbound when Tash needed a boost of hope. Being in his head… sometimes it’s rough, and his soul just hurts. There are days where he hates himself, hates what he’s done, and fears the future. But there are bright moments, too, where he’s swept away into happy thoughts and devotion and things smooth out for a while, because he’s finding his redemption and peace in those around him. There were other scenes, too, where this song worked perfectly, though I can’t really talk about them without spoilers!

Joseph Trapanese (Insurgent Soundtrack) — Amity

Here’s one of my favourite pieces from the Insurgent soundtrack (second movie of the Divergent franchise), though I love the whole soundtrack, to be honest. Joseph Trapanese is a composer I’ve quickly come to treasure because he’s amazing. “Amity” is only one of his beautiful pieces, where everything is finely placed, the music is wonderfully played, there’s movement, there’s emotion, and it gives me wicked chills, right down through my legs. It makes my heart ache, my eyes tear up, and there’s a powerful force that comes through via the string ensemble, brief instances of percussion, the purr of the bass line, and other sounds mixed in.

With all of that, this song was great for scenes when characters were dealing with heavy emotions and tough choices. When their emotions were being pushed too far, but they kept holding onto hope and the will the fight. It’s a piece that conveys (to me, at least) strength, vulnerability, and determination.

Loreena McKennitt — Samain Night

One of my favourite Loreena McKennitt songs (though, okay, I have many). It kept coming up while I wrote, attaching itself to Mayr and Tash whenever they went into sweet and squishy mode. The song really stuck with them, enough that whenever I listen to it now, I associate it with them.

Maybe it’s the harp that did it, with the violin and the guitar and Loreena’s lovely voice. Maybe it was the lyrics and the title which connects to the Celtic Pagan holiday of Samhain (especially since the religion in The Republic series is inspired by Pagan beliefs and practices). Or maybe it’s just because the song is just so pretty and touching and these characters really couldn’t get enough. Either way, this song leaves me gutted with imagery and romantic notions.

Placebo — Running Up That Hill

Yes. Yes, yes, and yes! Sensual. Darkly sexy. Perfect for scenes where things get steamy.

This is only one of the many covers of Kate Bush’s song in my music library (plus Kate’s original and her remake of it, because I LOVE Kate Bush, always have — she’s brilliant), but this version is the only one with this particular feeling to it. It worked with Mayr and Tash so well, I kept playing it over and over and over… It just didn’t want to stop.

The Weeknd — As You Are

Here’s the first of a few songs by The Weeknd that made it to Soulbound‘s playlist because of their sensual groove. More and more, I’m turning to The Weeknd when I need tunes for intimate, romantic, and downright sexy scenes.

For this book, I tended to associate this song with what was going on between Mayr, Tash, and Arieve — all three of them, together, since they all suffer from a similar worry that they aren’t good enough for their lovers. Mayr and Tash have figured themselves out, for the most part, but Arieve hasn’t been as lucky. She’s struggling with her own relationship issues and some of the lyrics remind me of everything they’ve all gone through. This tune had all the right feels in terms of tone, rhythm, mood, and meaning of the song. They really do take each other as they are, challenges and flaws included.

The Weeknd — Love in the Sky

Easily one of my top favourites of The Weeknd’s, which will end up on several of my playlists because the sound of it is just Mmmm, yes, please. It hits all the right notes. The mood is very Mayr and Tash when they’re in hot-and-heavy mode. The lyrics don’t really apply to them, but I don’t care: the groove is where it’s at. Slow, sensual, delicious… It’s kind of (but so completely not) terrible how much a single track can still inspire me even after I’ve listened to it a few hundred times. Though my characters really don’t care, because they’ll make me listen to it a few more hundred times… and I’ll happily sing along.

The Weeknd — Where You Belong

After I heard this song once, I was hooked — still am, won’t lie. It’s got that lovely dark, delicious feel I adore from The Weeknd and I just can’t… stop… listening. Again, this one’s for when Mayr and Tash are alone and best left that way because they’ve gone X-rated. Though I think I may have had this going during that one time, at the tavern…

And with that little nugget, thank you so much for reading! I love hearing from readers, so feel free to share your thoughts, questions, and comments. And if there are any songs that you particularly love, I’d love to hear about them!

 

 

Archer Kay Leah has a new MM/MMF fantasy romance book out:

In a relationship that violates rules and expectations, Mayr and Tash have found their perfect match in each other. Despite their fears and difficult pasts, they hope for a shared future with security and a family. When Mayr’s secret first love, Arieve, proposes they create that family with her, it seems dreams could become reality.

But life is complicated, and so is the delicate balance between duty and love. While Mayr protects the Dahe family at all costs, Tash is determined to succeed as a priest. Both positions require sacrifice, forcing their relationship into painful choices. To make matters worse, criminals lurk in the shadows, seeking revenge on them and those they guard.

The life they want risks losing everything—including Arieve and each other. Even if they can have it all, keeping it may take more than they can give.

Warnings: “Soulbound” contains some explicit content, references to self-harm, suicide, and mentions of suicide-related behavior and intent. This story also contains instances of graphic violence, references to rape and domestic abuse, and depictions and mentions of depression.

About the Series:

With the right people and the right price, the Republic of Kattal can be brought to its knees. But for every line crossed, someone waits on the other side, ready to push back.

Armed and ready to defend their lives, these heroes are not afraid of the fight. They stare adversity in the eye and dance with the darkness within. But in their justice, there is wisdom. In wisdom, there is protection. In it all, there is love. Sometimes it’s a matter of saving a village; sometimes it’s a matter of saving the one they can’t live without. Sometimes it’s just about doing the right thing and learning to love oneself.

Magic may lurk in the shadows. Crime may never sleep. But love doesn’t back down.

Less Than Three Press | Amazon | Amazon CAN | Amazon UK | Amazon International | Bookstrand | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | QueeRomance Ink | Smashwords | Goodreads


Giveaway

Archer is giving away three $10 Amazon gift cards with this tour – enter to win via Rafflecopter:

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Excerpt

Soulbound Meme 2 - Archer Kay Leah

Silence fell, deep with meaning conveyed by long gazes and soft smiles. Why had he expected Aeley to say anything different?

Three loud knocks rapped the door, scaring them both. Cursing under his breath, Mayr opened the door.

Arieve.

Every foul word tumbled back down Mayr’s throat. “Hey.” He leaned against the door, one arm sliding up the side.

In an instant, he tripped on his own feet and stumbled into the door, swinging it open further.

“You can’t possibly be drunk already.” The corners of Arieve’s eyes crinkled with her smile, her glossed lips painted pink like her cheeks. Dark curls and plaits cascaded over her shoulders, the firelight lending a golden hue to the white-blonde streaks in the fringe of hair across her forehead. She held a silver tray, presenting two glass goblets filled with a bluish-purple drink and fragments of gold leaf sprinkled on top. “Otherwise, this might be a bad idea.”

“What’s a bad idea?” Mayr grimaced, his mouth suddenly dry as if filled with pillow stuffing. Quick to recover, he smoothed his shirt, resettled his belts, and slicked back his hair, pretending he meant to be clumsy.

“Your after-dinner drinks. Lira was going to bring them, but I thought I’d save her the trip. She’s having fun trading stories with your mother.” Arieve cleared her throat. “I didn’t want to interrupt your conversation.”

The tray rattled in her hand. The drinks threatened to slosh over the rims.

Mayr steadied the tray. “Thanks for that. This. These.” He offered her an awkward smile and took the goblets. “I’ll let you get back.” So you won’t see me kick my own ass for being completely inappropriate.

“Thanks, Arieve,” Aeley called from her desk.

“You’re welcome.” Arieve hesitated as she lowered the tray. She swayed gently, the rich green layers of her tiered, ruffled skirts moving with her. “I’ll let you finish.”

Before Mayr could say anything else, Arieve hurried down the hall and around the corner.

“I wonder what the mix is this time.” Aeley snatched one goblet to sniff it. “Hint of gaffa nectar, soured pamolea extract, and a bite of fulore. Plus maybe, probably—” another sniff “—syrup from the Sailor’s Sweetheart bush.” She took a sip and nodded. Flakes of gold leaf clung to her top lip. “Not as fun as last night’s concoction, but I could get used to it.”

“That’s what you always say.” Mayr brushed the flakes from Aeley’s lips with his thumb.

Aeley wiped her mouth on her sleeve. “Not always, just a lot. Cook knows her stuff. To be fair, she’s known me since I was three, getting into her puddings and tarts anytime she turned around. I trust that when she serves up a hodgeypodgey drink, it’s got personality.” She tapped her goblet against his. “I’m heading back to our guests. You should, too, considering it’s yourparty. We can resume this conversation later.”

After a kiss to his cheek, Aeley flounced out the door and through the corridor, humming to herself.

Mayr stared into his goblet, watching the gold swirl in an abstract pattern. My stomach. My head. I can’t even…

He set the goblet on Aeley’s desk. He needed Tash’s forgiveness more than he deserved a fancy drink.

As he exited the room, questions assaulted him hard enough to drown the sound of the door latch as it caught. One question practically shouted above all the others: how much had Arieve heard of his conversation with Aeley?

His heartbeat faltered. He was mortified. The door was not impervious to sound. What would Arieve think of him had she heard…

Hey, stupid! It doesn’t matter.Mayr grumbled and hooked his thumbs around the back of his belts. It still comes out to you’re taken and happy, so shut up.Dragging his heels, he wandered through the corridor and turned into the next, towards the ballroom.

Around the corner, Arieve leaned against the wall, head bowed, with her face hidden by her hair. She twined the trailing black laces of her bright green tunic around her fingers and pulled taut, then released them only to repeat the process. The empty tray rested beside her, abandoned against the wall.

“Hey.” Mayr stopped, careful to leave two foot lengths between them. “I thought you went back?” He toyed with his marriage ring, twisting the band nervously. Memories of Tash surged forward, the airy weight of his kisses almost real enough to feel.

“I wanted to wait for you.” Arieve raised her head and offered a tender smile. “I probably won’t get a word in the rest of the night given the company, so I thought…”

She was in his arms before he could reply. Her hug stole his surprise, shredding it until all that remained was stunned.

“Congratulations,” she murmured, her forehead tucked beneath his chin. “He’s got a good heart, solid. You’ve found your match. If the Four could grant me one wish tonight, it’d be for you two to have everything you desire.”

Mayr hesitated, his hands hovering over Arieve’s back. Touching was a bad idea, especially while he kept Tash from the truth. “Thank you.” Quick as he could, he embraced Arieve and pushed her away, feeling worse than the coward he was. “Let’s go back. I need to stop my mother from revealing every baby story she has or everyone’s going to hear about my naked backside and trailing diaper crowns.”

Arieve picked up the tray and started up the hall. “I’m sure Tash is soaking them up as we speak.” She laughed, the joyous sound digging up a dozen memories.

Memories he needed to lock up and burn down.

He followed Arieve and cast his gaze to the ceiling. Please, Reverent Goddesses, get me through tonight. Then let’s talk about strength of will, because one of these days I’m going to have to confess everything and it’ll hurt more than scorching my pride.


Author Bio

Archer Kay Leah was raised in Canada, growing up in a port town at a time when it was starting to become more diverse, both visibly and vocally. Combined with the variety of interests found in Archer’s family and the never-ending need to be creative, this diversity inspired a love for toying with characters and their relationships, exploring new experiences and difficult situations.

Archer most enjoys writing speculative fiction and is engaged in a very particular love affair with fantasy, especially when it is dark and emotionally charged. When not reading and writing for work or play, Archer is a geek with too many hobbies and keeps busy with other creative endeavors, a music addiction, and whatever else comes along. Archer lives in London, Ontario with a bigender partner and rather chatty cat.

Author Website: http://archerkayleah.wordpress.com/

Author Facebook (Author Page): http://facebook.com/archerkayleah

Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/archerkayleah

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/ArcherKayLeah

Author QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/archer-kay-leah/

Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/author/archerkayleah

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Release Blitz – Fling (A Nothing Serious Novel) by Baylin Crow (excerpt and giveaway)

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Length: 275 pages approx.
 
Cover Design: Baylin Crow
 
Blurb
 

Our time together has an expiration date.


HAYDEN: I don’t remember a time when I didn’t love him.
The only guy I’ve ever wanted sees me as nothing more than the kid next door and his younger sister’s best friend. But when Dean comes home after college graduation, things are different. I’ve grown up, and the way his golden-brown gaze scorches a path over my body tells me he’s noticed. When he makes me an offer I should refuse, I’m caught between my feelings for him and logic screaming that this idea is doomed to end in heartbreak.


DEAN: I’m not interested in anything serious but I need to have him.
I plan on spending a few months at home relaxing before beginning my dream internship. What I don’t count on is my little sister’s best friend sending me for a loop. He should be off-limits, but the pull I feel toward him is too strong to ignore. When I come up with a solution to spend the summer together in secret, I’m sure I have it all figured out. I just need to work him out of my system.


It’s supposed to be free of complications…a fling. By the end of summer, it’s anything but simple.

 
Excerpt
 

I must have drifted off because I woke up dry mouthed and thirsty. After removing Reese’s arm from where it lay on my chest, I slipped my glasses on and climbed off the bed. My steps were light as I slipped from her room and padded downstairs to the kitchen. I grabbed a glass from the cabinet, filling it with filtered water from the refrigerator dispenser.


The cool liquid slid down my parched throat as I downed every drop before refilling it. The second disappeared just as quickly and I set the empty glass in the sink. Wiping my mouth with the back of my hand, I turned to go back upstairs. As I passed through the large foyer, a sound caught my attention and I froze. Keys jingled. Then the lock on the front door clicked once more and the door swung open revealing Dean with a large gym bag slung over his shoulder. He wasn’t supposed to be home until the next day and judging by his wide-eyed stare, he wasn’t expecting to run into me either.


“Hi,” I squeaked, while frozen in place.


He stepped inside, closing the door behind him with a soft snick before re-locking it. “If it wasn’t for the glasses and dark hair, I wouldn’t even recognize you.” He kept his voice low. I’d finally hit a major growth spurt over the last year and had put on enough weight that I didn’t resemble a beanpole. “What are you doing here in the middle of the night, Hayden?” His eyes narrowed in suspicion.


“Sleeping. I got up for a glass of water.” He paused and his lips flattened into a thin line so I hurried on. “I thought you weren’t coming back until tomorrow.”


“I decided to go ahead and make the drive and got a flat for my trouble. Otherwise, I would have been here earlier.” He said with a tired sigh. “It’s good and weird to see you.” His gaze scanned the length of my body and chills raced over my skin.


When I couldn’t find my voice, he adjusted the strap on his shoulder. “I’m beat so I’m going to head to bed. I’ll grab the rest of my things tomorrow.”


I nodded and followed behind him up the stairs. Halfway up, he glanced over his shoulder with a frown but kept going. “Aren’t you headed in the wrong direction?”


“No, I’m staying the night.” Didn’t I already say that? When I paused outside Reese’s room, Dean’s eyes narrowed to slits.


“You’re staying in Reese’s room? I mean, I always thought you two would end up together.”


Why would he think that? Reese had to have told him I came out earlier this year. “We’re not.”


If he heard me, he didn’t acknowledge what I said. “Does Mom know you’re having sleepovers though? Like in the same room?” He didn’t let me respond. Again. “And I’m assuming in the same bed.”


I couldn’t wrap my head around why he was worried. Dean continued his whispered rant, and without thinking, I stepped into his personal space and slapped my hand over his mouth.


The impulsive action seemed to startle us both. His eyes grew wide and he froze.


I couldn’t believe I’d just done that, but he wouldn’t listen. I held eye contact. “Shh.”


Dean didn’t remove my hand, and I wasn’t sure he’d let me finish if I moved it so I kept it there. “Reese and I aren’t together. I’m gay.” He cocked his head and seemed to study me. How could he not know? “She didn’t tell you?”


When he shook his head, I became aware of his soft lips against my palm. His breaths tickled the sensitive flesh and I realized my gaze had locked onto that connection. Clearing my throat, I ripped my hand away.


As I waited for his reaction, I pushed my glasses up my nose in a nervous tic I wished I could kick.


Dean’s gaze roamed the length of my body, making my breathing race in and out of my lungs. His gaze seemed to caress my skin causing butterflies to take flight in my stomach while long, tan fingers rubbed his squared chin. And unless I was imagining things, his pupils had dilated. “How did I not know?”


It was the same question I’d been asking myself. Their mom knew, so why hadn’t Reese told him? “I only came out this year and I don’t advertise it. But I don’t hide it either.”


Having no idea what he’d think, I crossed my arms over my chest and lifted my chin while repressing the desire to flee into Reese’s room.


“Calm down, I get it.” Dean held his hands up in surrender. Just as he opened his mouth to continue, a loud chime cut into our whispered conversation.


“Shit.” He scrambled to pull the phone from his pocket and silenced it. His gaze shot from one end of the hallway to the other as if searching for any sign of someone being woken up. Glancing down at the screen, he scowled.


“What’s wrong?” I asked, my arms loosening and falling to my sides.


Dean’s gaze held mine, pausing long enough that I thought he wouldn’t answer my question.


He stood straight so I mimicked his posture. “Someone I used to date.” He grimaced as if the word left a sour taste in his mouth that rivaled the pit developing in my stomach. I didn’t want to hear this. “Well not date exactly. His name was Brady.” He cocked a brow with a shameless grin.


His words took a minute to process and even when it registered, my shock held me mute. Unfortunately it didn’t hinder my jaw from dropping.


“Oh.” Brilliant response, Hayden.


“Oh?” He snickered. “I guess my baby sister didn’t divulge my sordid secret either? Well, it seems we’ve both had a big year. Honestly, I wasn’t positive I was bi until a few years ago, but it turns out I have a thing for both.” He shrugged, pressed the side button on his phone, and then stuffed it back in his pocket. “This guy, he’s a clinger. I told him I wasn’t looking for anything serious, but I guess he refuses to accept it.”


Offering a weak smile, I attempted to hide the disappointment weighing me down. The blasé way he spoke about hookups made my chest ache. Dean hadn’t changed at all. Not that I’d expected him to or had a right to wish it. “The downside of playing the field,” I managed to make it sound like a joke.
He chuckled. “I guess. Well, I’m going to go…” He hitched his thumb over his back toward his room and turned to go. Rooted to the spot, I stared long after his door closed behind him.

Bios are challenging. I don’t have a clue how to write about myself. Fictional characters, sure! Me? Not so much. Lol. It’s the reason my author bio stayed practically blank until after I finished my second novel.


Who am I? Well, I live in Texas where the heat and I don’t get along. One day I hope to call Northeast USA home. I’m a wife and mother of 2 ridiculously cute kids. I have 2 dogs and 1 cat, the latter of which is a spoiled brat, but she’s my spoiled brat. ❤


I fell in love with writing during elementary school with my first “bare book”. And only within the last few years have I been able to try my hand at it as a career (which I have high hopes for btw!).


Spending the day under a fluffy blanket reading or writing away on my laptop with a mountain of coffee is my idea of time well spent. I get to live so many lives through books that I consider myself genuinely lucky to call myself an avid reader.


That’s me in a nutshell. I hope I’m finding my place among like-minded people. ❤❤❤ And I hope you’ll enjoy reading the stories I write.

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Release Blitz and Giveaway for Roads Series by Garrett Leigh

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Roads Series – Available Exclusive to Amazon and on Kindle Unlimited
 
Book #1 – Slide – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #2 – Rare – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #3 – Circle – Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Cover Design: Black Jazz Design
 
Slide
 

Don’t look back. Don’t you ever look back…


Shy tattoo artist Ash has a troubled past. Years of neglect, drug abuse, and life on the streets have taken their toll, and sometimes it seems the deep, unspoken bond with his lover is the only balm for wounds he doesn’t quite understand.


Chicago paramedic Pete is warmth, love, and strength—things Ash never knew he could have, and never even knew he wanted until Pete showed him. But fate is a cruel, cruel mistress, and when nightmares collide with the present, their tentatively built world comes crashing down.


Traumatic events in Pete’s work life distance him from home, and he doesn’t realize until it’s too late that Ash has slipped away. Betrayal, secrets, and lies unfold, and when a devastating coincidence takes hold, Pete must fight with all he has to save the love of his life.

 
Rare
 
Paramedic Pete Adams lived through the year from hell watching his lover, Ash, fall apart, and the precarious balance between work and home is becoming more strained. His heart is always home, with Ash, but the dark side to his job is weighing him down.


Tattoo artist Ash Fagin is recovering from a nervous breakdown triggered by revelations about his traumatic childhood. His battle with mental illness is far from over, but with Pete by his side, he’s feeling good again, so good he doesn’t notice something missing until it walks right into his living room.


Ash believes he’s had enough coincidence in his life, but when a voice from the past comes looking for him, it takes the devastating injuries of the one he loves most to convince him to let a ghost become the family he never knew he wanted.

Garrett Leigh is an award-winning British writer and book designer, currently working for Dreamspinner Press, Loose Id, Riptide Publishing, and Fox Love Press.


Garrett’s debut novel, Slide, won Best Bisexual Debut at the 2014 Rainbow Book Awards, and her polyamorous novel, Misfits was a finalist in the 2016 LAMBDA awards.


When not writing, Garrett can generally be found procrastinating on Twitter, cooking up a storm, or sitting on her behind doing as little as possible, all the while shouting at her menagerie of children and animals and attempting to tame her unruly and wonderful FOX.


Garrett is also an award winning cover artist, taking the silver medal at the Benjamin Franklin Book Awards in 2016. She designs for various publishing houses and independent authors at blackjazzdesign.com, and co-owns the specialist stock sitemoonstockphotography.com with renowned LGBTQA+ photographer Dan Burgess.


Website: http://www.garrettleigh.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/garrettleighauthor/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Garrett_Leigh

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