A Lucy Review: Pisces Floors Taurus (Signs of Love #4.5) by Anyta Sunday

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Pisces Floors Taurus is a short, erotic follow up to Pisces Hooks Taurus, the story of Zane and Beckett.  This is about 25 pages in continuing the happily ever after that these guys deserve.  Mostly, it is Zane being anxious to have Beckett top for the first time, as well as hoping and waiting for Beckett to propose.  They have a mishap on a bridge that I so wish we had gotten to witness instead of hear about and Zane tries his best to seduce Beckett. 

Understandably, Beckett is nervous.  “Because I want you to like it, Zane…Really like it.  I don’t want you to be disappointed.”  Zane, who has only ever topped, understands the first time isn’t going to be pain-free but he also knows, “It’s about you and me.  About being close. About sharing that intimacy.”  These guys talk and I love that about them.

This is a cute, sexy addition to the Signs of Love series, particularly if you loved Zane and Beckett’s story. The shower curtain rings made me smile and the reason for the title was perfect.

Cover art is attractive and eye catching.

Sales Links:

Order it: https://books2read.com/pisces-floors-taurus

 

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 25 pages
Published January 15th 2019
Original Title Pisces Floors Taurus
ASIN B07M76Q25M
Edition Language English
Series Signs of Love #4.5

An Alisa Review: Home is Where The Heart Is (Isle of Misfit Toys) by Pelaam

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

On the Island of Misfits, Artie waits. As a teddy bear toy, no one wanted him, and he yearns for love and his forever home. When finally taken back to the human world, Artie doesn’t find a child waiting to claim him. Instead he has a life he never dreamed of and a niece to care for as Christmas fast approaches.

He’s given an opportunity for love but only has until Christmas. If he fails, he’ll lose not only the memories of his past life, but the chance to be united with his soul mate.

In a magical antique shop, Artie finds the man of his dreams. With time running out can Artie not just have his own happy ever after but save the shop from the owner’s unscrupulous nephew.

This was a cute story.  I thought the idea of these were interesting, the toys have both a human and a toy body that they can in either at any time but not shifting just seemingly shifting consciousness.

I felt for Artie and how lonely he felt but loved how willingly he took the reins of the new life he is given.  Cody is so adorable sweet and it is wonderful that he had Jeremy to support him and that Artie came to help him too.  Chrissy was also so adorable, even though she wasn’t around that long.  I enjoyed this story but didn’t feel a lot of depth in it, it felt like a nice fluffy story which was perfect for me right now.

The cover art by Kris Jacen is nice and liked the visual of the characters and the all so important Christmas tree.

Sales Links: MLR Books | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 21,000 pages

Published: November 9, 2018 by MLR Books

ISBN: 978-1-6412-21924

Edition Language: English

Series: Isle of Misfit Toys

Claudia Mayrant on Writing, Characters, and her new release Place Setting (States of Love) 

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Place Setting (States of Love) by Claudia Mayrant

Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: Brooke Albrecht

Purchase links:

Dreamspinner: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/place-setting-by-claudiamayrant-10094-b

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Place-Setting-States-ClaudiaMayrant-ebook/dp/B07MHSLTYM

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with Claudia Mayrant

How much of yourself goes into a character?

Every character I write has at least a little something of me in them. What that thing is or how much there is varies.  Sometimes it’s something in their background, sometimes a hobby or an interest, and sometimes it’s in the way they approach a relationship with a person or persons they care about.  In Place Setting, both Gray and Cameron come from a place very familiar to me and I can see their hometown of Summer Corners clearly in my head because it’s very much based on some towns back home. My love of cooking comes through in Gray’s profession as a chef, but I also wrote Gray as coming to his profession after life through him curveball — his childhood dream wasn’t going to happen so he made a new dream and struck out on a new path which is something I’ve worked through myself.

Does research play a role into choosing which genre you write?  Do you enjoy research or prefer making up your worlds and cultures?

Even if I wrote someone exactly like me in personality, appearance and background, I’d make an excuse to do research, because I love it so much (yes, I was one of those children who occasionally read the family’s World Book Encyclopedia for fun).  So, it doesn’t influence what genre I choose as I am going to find a way to do it anyway but I always look forward to it because no matter what I’m writing it gives me a more complete picture and makes the world of the book more real and solid in my mind.

I enjoy making up worlds and cultures but always have the reference books (and websites) close at hand when I do.

Do you read romances, as a teenager and as an adult?

Yes, though I go through phases where I’m reading a lot of them and then hardly any at all; it’s always been that way for me, like I’m devouring a buffet and then take ample time to digest.  In these phases I’m also almost always sticking to one category. My first romance book love where the teen contemporaries that filled mass-market spinners at the local mall bookstore.  After that, I admit I started sneaking my mom’s racy historicals full of petticoats and pirates. After college, it was back to contemporary but usually it was a mystery or fantasy and lately I’ve been into regencies.  I couldn’t possibly pick a favorite kind, and I’d like to explore writing some of each.

What’s next for you as an author? Have you ever put a story away, thinking it just didn’t work?  Then years/months/whatever later inspiration struck and you loved it?

I’m treating this as one question and answering out of order, to boot! Yes, I have put something away, a story with two characters that I love and I think, have some sweet and sizzling chemistry but something about their relationship journey together just wasn’t jelling like it should. That was a couple of years ago and since finishing Place Setting, I’ve come back to it and there’s a clearer path – so that is what’s next, getting these two fellas through their story to their happy end

 

With so much going on in the world today, do you write to explain?  To get away?  To move past?  To widen our knowledge?  Why do you write?

I write to give myself- and hopefully my readers – an interlude away from real-life concerns and responsibilities for a little while.  I don’t think escapism and entertainment is mutually exclusive with explanation or education but as a storyteller, I’d say I’m most consciously trying to do the former though not at the expense of the latter.  I’ve found that experiencing hope, joy, and laughter often help make a fertile ground for a growing mind, so sharing those is something I strive to do with my writing.

 

 

Blurb

Cameron Dunlop has lived in the Lowcountry town of Summer Corners, South Carolina, his whole life. He loves his home, but his little town in the Deep South doesn’t offer much in the way of dating options.

Chef Gray Callahan has enjoyed success in the kitchen, but his last relationship sunk like a bad soufflé. When plans for his sister’s wedding go awry, it provides the perfect excuse to pack up and go home, where he can help out as he decides how to start his life over.

Gray’s path crosses Cameron’s, and he realizes together they might have all the ingredients to save the day—with maybe enough left over for something sweet just for the two of them.

States of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the United States.

About the Author 

Claudia Mayrant has been exploring the world around her since she was old enough to get around under her own power. Since then, she’s enjoyed visiting as many places as she can.

For all her love of travel, she’s most relaxed back in the South on a Gulf Coast beach with good friends, refreshing beverages, and plenty of sunscreen.

Author twitter: @ClaudiaMayrant

Author Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/claudiamayrant/

New Release Blitz for Half Life by Gregory L. Norris (excerpt and giveaway)

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Title: Half-Life

Author: Gregory L. Norris

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: January 21, 2019

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 14300

Genre: Paranormal, LGBT, witches, zombies, gay, magic

Add to Goodreads

Synopsis

Whitney Abbott travels to the seaside Maine town of Window to begin a new life in his uncle’s home. Robert Abbott is well-to-do and owns several high-end restaurants. Whitney will start at the bottom and work his way up at the flagship. But from the moment Whitney exits his car in the drive of the big, brooding house, he senses the sinister atmosphere surrounding his relations.

His cousin November, princess of the estate, feigns joy at having Whitney in town. And November’s handsome athlete boyfriend, Griffin, is an enigma. Soon after his arrival, Griffin warns Whitney to leave. With nowhere to go—and certain that his attraction to Griffin goes both ways—Whitney is drawn into November’s malevolent plans. Plans that will pit Whitney against dark supernatural forces in order to save both his and Griffin’s lives.

Excerpt

Half-Life
Gregory L. Norris © 2019
All Rights Reserved

I hit the switch. The familiar cold, white glare from the overhead lights rained across the kitchen, prep station, and the industrial dishwasher, scenes of so many long shifts and leg cramps. The light did little to remove the greater darkness that hung over the back of my uncle’s restaurant. The gloom swirling outside had followed me into Abbott’s Table, one of your finer dining establishments along this part of Maine’s Rocky Headlands. Rain pelted the oblong window above the prep-station sink, where I’d cleaned and breaded untold thousands of shrimp. The ghostly aroma of garlic, lobster, and grilled meat hung over the place. Cloying, with an edge of lemon cleaner.

“Hello?” I called.

My heart hammered against my ribcage. I imagined my balls shriveling up against the root of my dick. An icy finger stroked my spine.

“Anyone here? It’s me, Whitney.”

Identifying myself made the creeping sensation even worse. The darkness had pursued me, constantly there at the periphery hiding in shadowy corners. Here in my uncle’s flagship restaurant after hours, the unwanted attention from sinister powers was more tangible, more intimate. I choked down a heavy swallow to find my mouth had gone completely dry.

“Griffin, it’s me. I saw your truck in the lot,” I said, aware of how my lips risked a smile at the mention of his name. Griffin. My heart raced for different reasons after that. “Griff?”

I checked the kitchen—empty. Willing my legs forward, I pushed past the rightward pair of swivel doors, hearing the awful voice of the restaurant’s manager, Marc with a c—Always keep to the right, that’s how it’s done at Abbott’s Table. The dining room sat dark and empty, chairs stacked upside down over tabletops, the floors swept, mopped, and shiny under the green glow of the exit lights.

I checked the bar and both of the public heads, finding the same result: no Griffin. My pulse continued its mad speed. Danger juice soured in my bloodstream. His truck in the far corner of the Abbott’s Table parking lot could have meant a hundred different things on any other night—Griffin out having fun with some of his hockey league buddies, late fun, guy stuff. I knew he wasn’t with the Ice Queen. No, after what had happened and the kiss that followed, Griffin wouldn’t have gone back to confront my cousin, November Abbott.

That kiss…

For a wonderful instant, the storm cloud dissolved, and I was in my car again, his big hand cupping my cheek, his mouth crushed over mine, claiming me as his and offering me all he had to give in return. I remembered the warm scent of pinesap, of Griffin’s magnificent body, the swell of his erection pressing against me as we kissed, and the certainty that what we both felt, while undeniably physical, went past simple attraction. Dare I again think it? Love.

I loved Griffin, and he loved me.

The rain pounding the world outside the restaurant’s windows unleashed eerie silver dapples across the dining room. I stood pondering, waiting for a sound, a sign. When none came, I turned and hastened back in the direction of the kitchen exit.

“Whitney…”

I dug in my sneaker treads on the rubber mat set between the kitchen and rear door, at first thinking I’d hallucinated Griffin’s voice. But then I faced the direction of the sound and found myself staring at the one corner of the restaurant I hadn’t thought to search: the walk-in refrigerator and freezer.

Reaching the big stainless-steel door seemed to take longer than the actual few seconds. I tugged on the latch. The door resisted, as though someone was pulling at the same time from the other side. The inner voice that had told me a week earlier to turn around, to not travel north to the town of Window, Maine, was back, urging me to get out. Just leave. Run!

I drew in a breath, smelling the rain, the kitchen’s funk, and the trace of clean, athletic sweat from the T-shirt I wore—Griffin’s sweat, and Griffin’s shirt, borrowed on an afternoon that now felt part of another decade. I pulled harder. The door released. A gust of cold, foggy air billowed out.

The front part of the walk-in was already lit up from inside, even though the light switch was off. I pushed through the long plastic strips of the freezer curtain and into the wide space that housed expensive cuts of tomahawk steaks, bins of heirloom tomatoes and other fresh produce from the local farmer’s market, and, I discovered, one sacrificial altar.

I froze, my eyes recording details—the waxy candles, three, burning around the body on the folding table, the sprigs of Datura stramonium Devil’s Snare flowers draped around the nude man’s corpse laid out in a funeral pose. I recognized the patch of hairy, athletic lower leg, upon which a winged lion had been inked.

“Griffin,” I gasped.

A breeze that hadn’t been there the previous second whispered through the walk-in, stirring the leaves of bunches of basil, parsley, and other fresh herbs. My paralysis broke. I moved beside the table, my eyes wide, not blinking. Griffin, naked, his hands folded over his midriff. Even as I reached my trembling fingers toward his and the voice in my head screamed for me to run—run from the restaurant, from Window, Maine, and, above all else, from Griffin—my eyes recorded the pallor of his skin. Griffin’s flesh was gray in the flickering candlelight.

My hand covered his. A chill raced up my fingertips. He was icy to the touch. No, impossible—hours before, in that other era, he’d held me, kissed me. And I had seen proof of our tomorrow together even as the storm clouds raced over our heads. Griffin had pledged his love and promised to return.

I glanced at Griffin’s big jock feet—still sexy despite their grayness, up his legs, past his junk, and all the way to his eyes, clamped shut. I gripped his hands, the fingers interlaced in prayer, and squeezed.

“Griffin!”

The dead man’s eyes shot open. Gone was their beyond-blue color—what I’d come to think of as twin sapphire gemstones. What focused upon me now was a pair of predator’s eyes with a wolf’s silver sharpness. The hands beneath my fingers abandoned their illusion of prayer and seized hold of my arm. I shrieked, attempting to pull away. Right before the corpse’s legs swung out and the altar collapsed, toppling candles, I saw Griffin’s mouth open. He licked his lips. His teeth chattered. The dead man salivated hungrily.

And then his weight spilled on top of me, and he was snapping at my throat.

Purchase

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

Meet the Author

Raised on a healthy diet of creature double features and classic SF television, Gregory L. Norris is a full-time professional writer, with work appearing in numerous short story anthologies, national magazines, novels, the occasional TV episode, and, so far, one produced feature film (Brutal Colors, which debuted on Amazon Prime January 2016). A former feature writer and columnist at Sci Fi, the official magazine of the Sci Fi Channel (before all those ridiculous Ys invaded), he once worked as a screenwriter on two episodes of Paramount’s modern classic, Star Trek: Voyager. Two of his paranormal novels (written under my rom-de-plume, Jo Atkinson) were published by Home Shopping Network as part of their “Escape With Romance” line — the first time HSN has offered novels to their global customer base. He judged the 2012 Lambda Awards in the SF/F/H category. Three times now, his stories have notched Honorable Mentions in Ellen Datlow’s Best-of books. In May 2016, he traveled to Hollywood to accept HM in the Roswell Awards in Short SF Writing.His story “Drowning” appears in the Italian anthology THE BEAUTY OF DEATH 2, alongside tales by none other than Peter Straub and Clive Barker. Follow his literary adventures at http://www.gregorylnorris.blogspot.com.

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In the Spotlight Tour and Giveaway: If I Ever (Hell or High Water #4) by S.E. Jakes

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If I Ever (Hell or High Water #4) by S.E. Jakes

Riptide Publishing
Cover Art: L.C. Chase

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | Amazon

About If I Ever

Some ghosts refuse to stay buried . . .

Prophet and Tom have been through the wringer more times than they can count, both as partners in the field and in life. Yet despite it all, they’ve built something great together. But now they need to protect it again: Prophet’s old nemesis, John Morse, is back and threatening everything he loves.

Prophet is driven enough to take John down alone, and with a chance to do exactly that on the table, he runs with it, risking himself in the process. But trusting Tom to help him is so much more than mission critical.

It’s the final stand, and with Tom and his team behind him, Prophet’s in for the fight of his life. Then a figure from his past goes missing, and the consequence of an old mission rears its head. As complications and destruction mount all around them, getting out alive becomes the most important mission of their lives.

Now available from Riptide Publishing!

About Extreme Escapes and Hell or High Water

Extreme Escapes, LTD recruits only the best mercenaries for its black ops missions. Prophet — former SEAL, former CIA, current pain in the ass — has worked there for years, comfortable in his role as a lethal shadow, helping those the government can’t — or won’t — save.

Tom Boudreaux — failed FBI agent, failed sheriff, full-time believer in bad luck — jumps at the chance for salvation offered by EE. He’s eager to feel useful again, even if it means partnering with a man like Prophet, who doesn’t want a partner at all.

But as the two men work through missions that mix their personal lives with their professional ones, the lines between good and evil, friend and foe, and enemy and lover all begin to blur.

The Hell or High Water novels are best enjoyed in series order:

  1. Catch a Ghost
  2. Long Time Gone
  3. Daylight Again

3.5 Not Fade Away

  1. If I Ever

And don’t miss the bonus novellas in the Extreme Escapes universe!

Free Falling  | Dirty Deeds

 

About SE Jakes

SE Jakes writes m/m romance. She believes in happy endings and fighting for what you want in both fiction and real life. She lives in New York with her family, and most days, she can be found happily writing (in bed). No really…

SE Jakes is the alter ego of New York Times bestselling paranormal and romantic suspense author Stephanie Tyler.

Connect with SE:

Giveaway

To celebrate the release of IF I EVER one lucky person will win an ecopy of Running Wild, a Havoc novel by SE Jakes! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on January 26, 2019. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following along, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

An Ashlez Review: I Wished For You by Colette Davison

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5
Three wishes.

Seb wants to be happy.
Matt wants to find ‘the one.’
Connor wants them.

Two drunken kisses.

Seb didn’t plan to kiss Matt and Connor, but he doesn’t regret it, even if it has changed their friendship forever.

Matt has never considered dating a man before, let alone two. Despite his confusion, being with Seb and Connor feels right.

One uncertain future.

Connor’s potential fate has stopped him living and loving. Can he face his fears to be with the men he loves?

First of all this was a “slow burn/fast burn” book.  I felt like it was taking ages to get anywhere between the characters, and there was too much inner strife between each except Seb, I do think Seb is my absolute favourite.
Seb – sure of himself, knows what he wants, going through a bit of a time in the beginning but quickly realizes things can be better – and he’s so darn funny and adorable I just wanna pinch him
Matt – a mans man I’d say, he’s very sure of himself once he gets going but in the first he honestly acts the most girly to me
Connor – here’s the quiet one of the bunch, given his job I’d think he was more manly and outgoing but honestly he’s more of a read a book in front of a fire type to me, and really frustrating to read all his woes .. I’m sorry but he got whiny for me and I just wanted his parts to be over

I first got really into the book and wished for more, then when more happened I kind of got bored, the writing was a bit repetitive for me, though still their relationship as it progressed was interesting (except Connor) I have never read a book like this maybe that’s why I struggled a bit more than I should have .. it was overall a great MMM read and i’d read it again just for some Seb.

Cover – very apt, and I felt very accurate
Sales Links:  Amazon
Book Details:
Kindle Edition, 224 pages
Expected publication: January 22nd 2019
ASINB 07MGHF6Q1
Edition Language English

An Alisa Review: At Home (Finding Home #1) by Carly Marie

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Rating:  5 stars out of 5

As the lead vocalist for country music’s hottest band, Derek Edwards knows that coming out as gay could mean the end of his career. With his life in the spotlight and too much on the line, Derek won’t let himself think about finding a boyfriend, much less the Daddy he desperately desires.

Sheriff Colt Westfield has better things to do than following Hollywood heartthrobs or the latest singing sensations. So when one drink turns into a mind-blowing one-night stand, he has no idea who he was with. That is, until he’s dragged to a concert and sees his sexy one night stand strutting around on stage.

With a record label, management team, and fans watching, will they be able to find what they both need?

I do love me some kinky stuff, especially age play and this book hit the spot.  Derek and Colt hit it off right off the bat and are so great together.

Derek has been struggling since coming out to his family and his father’s distance since and the record label’s demand that he stay in the closet.  It’s been a long time since Colt has had a boy to take care of and he jumps in with both feet from the beginning.

It was easy to connect with these characters and great to see the story from both of their view points.  I loved how their needs complemented each other and how much support Colt was to Derek when he needed it.  I felt for Derek when the stress and schedule was overwhelming him but it was amazing how just one day of letting it all go helped him to center and be ready to face the problems the next day, we all have something that does it but Colt did it for him.  It was also heartwarming that Colt was able to help Derek’s father clear the air and get their relationship back on track.

I look forward to more of these books and can’t wait to see what other kinks the author brings out.

The cover art by Soxational Cover Art is great and I think it is perfect for the story.

Sales Link: Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 199 pages

Publication: December 10, 2018

Edition Language: English

Series: Finding Home #1

A MelanieM Review: One-On-One (Cayuga Cougars #5) by V.L. Locey

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Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5

The past few years have been a bit chaotic for Cougars new associate coach, Lancaster Hart. After an amiable divorce he began living his life as the gay man he’d kept closeted for far too long. With the recent move to Cayuga, he’s away from his support system and properly made sweet tea. Despite a roster filled with new friends and associates, he’s spending his nights alone.

As his team gears up to make a run at the Calder Cup, Lancaster discovers that not everything in upstate New York is wine, woodlands, and chilly conservative ideals. At a summer music festival, he first lays eyes on Townsend Harris, folksy/blues singer by night and mayoral office assistant by day. Lancaster is enraptured with the man’s powerful sultry voice. Also, Town just might be the most beautiful man he has seen in all his forty-one years.

The two hit it off at an informal meet and greet after the show, where they spend the night talking and sipping wine. One evening of conversation and an incendiary goodbye kiss leads them into a scorching love affair that might be exactly what Lancaster has been searching for his whole life. Can his team pull off professionally what he’s hoping to do privately as well? Or will capturing their dream evade both the Cougars and Lancaster?

Let me state right away that I loved this story.  The couple (Townsend Harris and Lancaster Hart) filled me with warmth, laughter, and more love than I expected. I easily could have used several books dedicated to these two men, their now extended family, and their new journey together.  That’s how much I came to adore them.  They were funny, relatable, and that dialog often had me giggling madly away!  Then came Lancaster’s kids and grandmother Marigold, and my love affair was complete and seriously, I need more books with this troop!  This is a story that I felt was just beginning with readers, not ending.

Call it the Harris/Hart Family Saga….

And the Cayuga Cougars….

Well, yes, I think that’s probably my issue with a book I loved.  It’s a story full of beginnings and its supposed to be a series finale. A story about endings. Instead there’s a huge element with a pair that’s absolutely a cliffhanger.

For me, a series finale wraps things up.  Gives its characters and its readers a sense of closure, hopefully happy ones, but closure nevertheless. Storylines are ended, arcs come to a close, and couples/their relationships head out the door in a manner that make all those stories we read mean something.  For us and them.

And while we end up with a team that accomplished one thing, it’s also in a state fraught with uncertainty.  Realistic? Yes.  A series finale? Hmmmm, perhaps not.

Now there are three more books coming to be written about one couple.  But it’s not a team book.  So a sense of incompletion lingers. At least for me.

So, did I love One-On-One (Cayuga Cougars #5) by V.L. Locey?  Yes.  I took Townsend and Lancaster completely into my heart.  I adored their romance and the town of Cayuga. I got to see it in a way I’ve never seen it before.  It was an intimate portrait of a small village and its people.  Scenic, layered, and so connectable.  Had it not been a series finale, the rating would have been considerably higher.

Only that aspect of the story brought the rating down because it just doesn’t  feel like a series finale to me.  I’m left thinking there’s more to come, more for each team member to play a role in another story and that’s not how a series finale should leave me.

I do recommend this story and the series.  It’s a terrific ride, especially if you love hockey and romance.

Cover Design: Rêverie Design & Formatting.  I like the cover, goes with the series and the models ages could be older enough to be the characters.

Sales Links:

Book Details:

ebook
Published January 16th 2019
Edition Language English

Series Cayuga Cougars #5

Cayuga Cougars Series

Book #1 – Snap Shot – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #2 – Open Net – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #3 – Coach’s Challenge – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #4 – Overtime – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #5 – One-On-One series finale

 

Cayuga Cougars (5 books)

  • Snap Shot (Cayuga Cougars, #1)
  • Open Net (Cayuga Cougars, #2)
  • Coach's Challenge (Cayuga Cougars, #3)
  • Overtime (Cayuga Cougars #4)

New Release Tour for Abaddon’s Locusts (A BJ Vinson Mystery #5) by Don Travis

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Abaddon's Locusts - Don Travis

DSP Publications author Don Travis has a new gay mystery book out: Abaddon’s Locusts.

When B. J. Vinson, confidential investigator, learns his young friend, Jazz Penrod, has disappeared and has not been heard from in a month, he discovers some ominous emails. Jazz has been corresponding with a “Juan” through a dating site, and that single clue draws BJ and his significant other, Paul Barton, into the brutal but lucrative world of human trafficking.

Their trail leads to a mysterious Albuquerquean known only as Silver Wings, who protects the Bulgarian cartel that moves people—mostly the young and vulnerable—around the state to be sold into modern-day slavery, sexual and otherwise. Can BJ and Paul locate and expose Silver Wings without putting Jazz’s life in jeopardy? Hell, can they do so without putting themselves at risk? People start dying as BJ, Paul, and Henry Secatero, Jazz’s Navajo half-brother, get too close. To find the answer, bring down the ring, and save Jazz, they’ll need to locate the place where human trafficking ties into the Navajo Nation and the gay underground.

About the Series:

BJ Vinson, a gay former-Marine, ex-cop licensed private investigator tries to pick his cases carefully, but prior loyalties or his sense of justice or something always gets in his way. He finds himself traveling all over his beloved state of New Mexico with his companion Paul Barton to mend other people’s problems.

DSP Publications (eBook) | DSP Publications (paperback) | Amazon | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | QueeRomance Ink | Google Play


Giveaway

Don and DSP Publications are giving away a $10 DSPP gift card with this tour. For a chance to win, enter via Rafflecopter:
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Excerpt

Abaddon's Locusts banner

Prologue

Two men gazed down at the sleeping youth sprawled across the mattress. The older, his pleasant features blemished by a glint of cruelty in his dark eyes, smoothed silver wings of luxuriant hair at his temples before handing over a number of $100 bills to a young Hispanic almost as handsome as the boy on the bed.

Now fully clothed, Silver Wings exuded the authority of a player, of someone who counted. “Fucking beautiful. How old did you say he is?”

“Eighteen. Barely. Know that’s older’nyou usually like. But he’s a rare one, no? As lindaas a woman and as macho as a man. He took care of you, huh?”

Silver Wings rubbed his eyes as if remembering the last hour. “Fantastic. Must have worn himself out. Does he usually go comatose?”

“Ah, that is the drug. He claims he gets a bigger bang by charging up. But you benefit as well, no?” He eyed his companion. “He is yours for $25,000.”

Interest flickered and died. “Tempting. But my household isn’t set up for that kind of arrangement. I prefer to call when I feel the need. Even if that means sharing him.”

“You don’t take him, then we move him south.”

“South? To Mexico, you mean? Juárez?” That wouldn’t be too bad. El Paso was a short hop, and Juárez lay just across the border.

“At first, but then we gonna trade him up.”

Silver Wings understood the human trafficking language of trading up, but it was unusual to move members of the “family” out of country these days. “In Juárez? Sounds more like trading him down.”

¡Órale! There’s some big money in Juárez. But a bigwig in the Middle East went apeshitover the kid’s pics. He wants him. And for a lot more than twenty-five. I only give you that price to let you know how much we ’preciateyour help.”

“Middle East, huh?” Silver Wings licked his lips. “Put off that transfer while I see if I can work something out.”

“Two days. Then I gotta move him. You know, easier to ship him overseas from Mexico than from the States.”

Silver Wings’ voice hardened. “You can do better than that. Give me a week to reorder my life. I’d like to visit him a couple of times. Usual fee, of course. That gives you reason enough to hold him here.”

“Okay, but not no more’n a week. I got people to answer to, you know.”

“I’d like him again tomorrow night, but it will have to be late. I have a dinner meeting.”

Hispano lowered his head. “As you wish. All you gotta do is call me.”

Silver Wings left the motel reluctantly. What would take place in that room now that they were alone? Just thinking about it raised a bead of sweat on his upper lip.

His mind returned to the offer he had received. The boy was expensive, and the economy was still struggling to recover from the Great Recession of 2008… but it was only money.

Chapter 1

Monday, August 9, 2010, Albuquerque, New Mexico

I parked the Impala in front of my detached single-car garage and sat for a moment trying to figure out the cacophony on the radio. I’d failed to reset the station after Paul and I went for a rare game of weekend golf at the North Valley Country Club. Paul Barton was the sun in my sky, but I still struggled to understand my companion’s taste in music. Now something called “Alejandro” by a gal proclaiming herself to be Lady Gaga committed assault on my classical-music-loving ears. As I switched off the noise and stepped from the car, a high, uncertain voice snagged my attention.

“Yoo-hoo, Mr. Vinson. BJ!”

Mrs. Gertrude Wardlow, the late-afternoon sun catching in wayward strands of her white hair, waved at me from the foot of her driveway. She had lived in the white brick across the street for as long as I could remember. Mrs. W. and her husband, Herb, had been with the Drug Enforcement Administration from the time it was formed in 1973 until their retirement. Some ten years ago, Herb passed on to his reward—an urn on his widow’s mantelpiece. I walked out to meet her in the middle of Post Oak Drive.

“I’m so glad I caught you.” She fiddled with frilly lace at the neck of her lavender blouse. “A man on a Harley has been driving up and down the street. He stopped at your place twice. Rang the bell and then rode off.”

No doubt she was recalling the time when two thugs on another motorcycle attempted to gun me down. When she’d yelled to distract their murderous attention, they shot up the front of her house, scattering her husband all over the carpet.

I touched her shoulder. “Don’t worry, I’m not involved in any gang disputes at the moment. Not that I know of, anyway.”

Her smile turned impish. “That was an interesting day, wasn’t it? I just thought you should be aware someone was trying to contact you.”

“Thank you, Mrs. W. I’ll be on the lookout.”

After exchanging pleasantries, we parted. I mounted the steps to my front porch and paused to enjoy the welcoming aroma of tea roses my late mother planted. No evidence of a note on the door or in the mailbox. That meant the mysterious biker would probably return. I went inside and forgot the matter as I removed one of Paul’s casseroles from the fridge and got out a pan of rolls. I enjoyed their yeasty aroma almost as much as I liked their yeasty taste. Our household mantra was Paul Barton, freelance journalist, whips up gourmet meals; B. J. Vinson, formerMarineand ex-cop turned confidential investigator, burns toast.

We planned to stay home tonight and watch an episode of a new gumshoe program on the tube called The Glades. Matt Passmore, the guy who played the detective, was a way-cool customer who Paul claimed should be my role model. I’d no sooner set the dishes to heating than a rumble on the street caught my attention. A moment later the doorbell rang.


Author Bio

Don Travis is an Okie turned New Mexican. Each of his B. J. Vinson mystery novels features some region of his beautiful adopted state as prominently as it does his protagonist, a gay former Marine, ex-cop turned confidential investigator. Don never made it to the Marines (three years in the Army instead) and certainly didn’t join the Albuquerque Police Department.

He thought he was a paint artist for a while but ditched that for writing a few years back. A loner, he fulfills his social needs by attending SouthWest Writers meetings and teaching a free weekly writing class called Wordwrights at the North Domingo Multigenerational Center, an Albuquerque community center.

Author Website: http://www.dontravis.com
Author Facebook (Personal): https://www.facebook.com/donald.travis.982
Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/dontravis3

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New Release Blitz for Contact (A New World #1) by M.D. Neu (excerpt and giveaway)

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Title: Contact

Series: A New World, Book One

Author: M.D. Neu

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: January 21, 2019

Heat Level: 2 – Fade to Black Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 71800

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Synopsis

A little blue world, the third planet from the sun. It’s home to seven billion people—with all manner of faiths, beliefs, and customs, divided by bigotry and misunderstanding—who will soon be told they are not alone in the universe. Anyone watching from the outside would pass by this fractured and tumultuous world, unless they had no other choice. Todd Landon is one of these people, living and working in a section of the world called the United States of America. His life is similar to those around him: home, family, work, friends, and a husband.

On the cusp of the greatest announcement humankind has ever witnessed, Todd’s personal world is thrown into turmoil when his estranged brother shows up on his front porch with news of ships heading for Earth’s orbit. The ships are holding the Nentraee, a humanoid race who have come to Earth in need of help after fleeing the destruction of their homeworld. How will one man bridge the gap for both the Humans and Nentraee, amongst mistrust, terrorist attacks, and personal loss? Will this be the start of a new age of man or will bigotry and miscommunication bring this small world to its knees and final end?

Excerpt

Contact
M.D. Neu © 2019
All Rights Reserved

Maintenance drones passed the Speaker General’s window as Mirtoff stifled a yawn. How long would they be here this time? The fleet stopped in a holding pattern while repairs were performed, the darkness of space surrounding them. Soft light from the window surround bathed her in a warm glow as she brushed away the few strands of hair that dropped from her tightly braided bun.

The past several months had been difficult, and she’d had little sleep. The suffering of her people weighed heavily on her. Mining Ship 9 had a malfunction in one of its storage bays while on an Ĩ-type asteroid pulling out much-needed water, nickel, cobalt, and platinum. One hundred and fifty people died that day.

She perused her terminal, chairs, conference table, and sofa. At times her office was claustrophobic. It’s bigger than what most of my people have. She gathered her scattered thoughts and sipped from the now warm cup of tuma.

Faa was curled up on the couch. Their gazes met, and a comforting smile filled his face. He closed his big green eyes and nestled his gray, fur-covered head onto one of the sofa’s pillows for a nap. His tail shifted gently back and forth.

He’s calm today.

They’d been inseparable since he was plucked from the wreckage of Agricultural Ship 15 ten years ago when he was a seyas. Perhaps a month old. She had been consoling survivors and reviewing the damage. Twelve people died that day, including her sister-in-law.

Faa still suffered from nightmares, but he had always been a sensitive cádo. If he could communicate his pain and fear better so she might help him, maybe it wouldn’t bother her so much, but the cádo were limited in that manner. She always considered it so unfair to them, particularly Faa.

Sighing, Mirtoff took a final swallow of her tuma, savoring the last of the now warm liquid, preferring it chilled as it should be, but unwilling to cool it again. The sweet, spicy flavors were still there, so the taste was pleasant enough. Turning her attention back to the chaos of her desk and the report-filled datapads, she rubbed her temple. The people and the cádo were weary of traveling through space. It had been too long.

If J’Veesa had intended Mirtoff and the Nentraee people to wander the stars, she would never have created their world, even if it was gone now. They had a home once.

They needed to find somewhere they could build a new life, a new world. They needed off these ships.

She glanced out the window again at the 450 ships carrying her people. How long would it take them to find a home?

Of course, there were other worlds and other civilizations, but none that fit her people and their needs. J’Veesa never meant for the Nentraee to be worshiped like gods; there was only one God, J’Veesa. Many names, yes, but there was only one.

They needed to either find a world void of life or one with a civilization they could work with and learn from. Their first choice was a world with equals on it.

What if they never found one? What if the ships stopped working? What if they were forced to do what some in the military had suggested? What if they had to take advantage of a lesser civilization? Or worse, what if…

“Enough,” she huffed and turned back to the reports.

Faa startled and glanced up at her. “Provider?” he asked in a soft murmur. His speech was poor but understandable.

“It’s nothing, little one. I’m sorry.”

He shook his head and settled back in his chair, his big eyes not leaving her.

She grabbed one of the datapads to review. Agricultural Ship 23 was still under repair, forcing the other agro ships to increase production and require rationing. Again. She sighed.

There was a chirp at the door. Odd. Is it that late? Faa’s eyes didn’t leave her, but his floppy ears perked up.

Her aide, Danu, was gone for the day. The lines of her mouth softened into a smile when the visitor’s image appeared on her desk monitor. She tapped a button on the screen, and then the door opened swiftly and Mi’ko entered.

“Vice speaker, tell me you’ve brought good news,” Mirtoff’s brows raised, and her lips pulled up at the edges. “Would you like a tuma? It’s a little warm, but it’s still good.”

Faa looked at the vice speaker; his eyes softened and his muzzle twitched. If anything happened to her or her family, she wouldn’t be surprised if he chose Mi’ko as his new Provider.

Mi’ko regarded her with his aging, aqua eyes. The wrinkles around his mouth turned up into a smile as he spoke. “No, thank you, Madam Speaker.”

He was still in his traditional gray suit. She wondered if he’d been home yet. His brown hair was neatly groomed and pulled back, past his shoulders. His lopsided tieback was coming loose, which allowed a few wisps of hair to fall free.

“I have news,” Mi’ko said. “The signals we’ve been studying have promise. We locked onto the frequencies, followed them, and found more transmissions.” He typed on his datapad and a three-dimensional holographic image lifted from the screen, revealing a small solar system. He pointed at the third planetoid, and it zoomed in. “I think this might be what we’ve been looking for.”

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Meet the Author

M.D. Neu is a LGBTQA Fiction Writer with a love for writing and travel. Living in the heart of Silicon Valley (San Jose, California) and growing up around technology, he’s always been fascinated with what could be. Specifically drawn to Science Fiction and Paranormal television and novels, M.D. Neu was inspired by the great Gene Roddenberry, George Lucas, Stephen King, Alfred Hitchcock and Kim Stanley Robinson. An odd combination, but one that has influenced his writing.

Growing up in an accepting family as a gay man, he always wondered why there were never stories reflecting who he was. Constantly surrounded by characters that only reflected heterosexual society, M.D. Neu decided he wanted to change that. So, he took to writing, wanting to tell good stories that reflected our diverse world.

When M.D. Neu isn’t writing, he works for a non-profit and travels with his biggest supporter and his harshest critic, Eric, his husband of eighteen plus years.

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