Love Holiday Stories? Check Out the New Release Blitz for Designer Holiday by Ari McKay! (giveaway)

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Length: 40,000 words approx.
 
Blurb
 

It’s never too late for a second chance at love… or is it?


Rayne Sadler left the tiny town of Holiday Pines and his childhood sweetheart, Emilio Rives, to make a name for himself in the world of interior design. For twelve years, he never looked back. Now he has the successful career he wanted, but no one to share his life.


Emilio isn’t happy when Rayne returns to Holiday Pines to renovate the local playhouse. The town wants to stimulate the failing tourist industry, but Emilio has no interest in reviving the ashes of his relationship with Rayne.


Yet shared memories and experiences are powerful things. As the playhouse is restored to its former glory, the friendship between Rayne and Emilio slowly returns as well, and their chemistry is as powerful as ever. Rayne has designs on Emilio’s heart, and he sets out to prove it. Will the magic of Christmas thaw Emilio’s heart, or will it remain as cold as mountain snow?

Ari McKay is the professional pseudonym for Arionrhod and McKay, who have been writing together for over a decade. Their collaborations encompass a wide variety of romance genres, including contemporary, fantasy, science fiction, gothic, and action/adventure. Their work includes the Blood Bathory series of paranormal novels, the Herc’s Mercs series, as well as two historical Westerns: Heart of Stone and Finding Forgiveness. When not writing, they can often be found scheming over costume designs or binge watching TV shows together.


Arionrhod is a systems engineer by day who is eagerly looking forward to (hopefully) becoming a full time writer in the not-too-distant future. Now that she is an empty-nester, she has turned her attentions to finding the perfect piece of land to build a fortress in preparation for the zombie apocalypse, and baking (and eating) far too many cakes.


McKay is an English teacher who has been writing for one reason or another most of her life. She also enjoys knitting, reading, cooking, and playing video games. She has been known to knit in public. Given she has the survival skills of a gnat, she’s relying on Arionrhod to help her survive the zombie apocalypse.


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Release Blitz for The Selkie Prince’s Unexpected Omega (The Royal Alphas #3) by J.J. Masters (excerpt)

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RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: The Selkie Prince’s Unexpected Omega

Series: The Royal Alphas, Book 3

Author: J.J. Masters

Publisher: Self-Published

Cover Artist: Megan Parker of EmCat Designs

Genre/s: Contemporary Romance (PNR/Gay/mpreg)

Length: 58 368 words/240 pages

It’s a standalone story within a series

Add on Goodreads

 

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US 

Amazon UK 

 

Blurb

An alpha claim. A possible heir. A Selkie prince whose mistake might just be what the fates intended.

Zale, the third alpha-born son of King Solomon, is concerned. His youngest brother, Caol, has been spending time with an unbonded omega. Being a responsible alpha, Zale feels it’s his duty to warn the omega Finn before he and Caol get into trouble. Especially since Finn had only been brought to the colony by their father in case his oldest brother’s fated mate couldn’t conceive. However, when Zale goes to Finn’s quarters to have a word with him, he isn’t expecting to discover what he does: the omega in the throes of oestrus and begging for an alpha’s assistance.

Finn has nowhere else to go. Not only unwanted by his own family, his previous alpha perished in a tragic accident. So for the past two years, the omega has relied on the King of the North’s generosity, even if it means he may end up as a surrogate for one of the alpha-born princes. Or even worse, the king’s sixth mate. But when the Prince Zale comes upon him during his heat, Finn demands relief from the alpha. Although afterward, has to live with the guilt. Now, he might not only be carrying the prince’s son, he may have very well ruined Zale’s chance to find his true fated mate…

Note: A 58k-plus word m/m shifter mpreg story, this is the third book in the Royal Alpha series. Due to the “knotty” times in this book, it is recommended for mature readers only. While it can be read as a standalone, it’s recommended to read the series in order. And, like all of my books, it has an HEA.

 

 

Excerpt

Zale’s jaw was tight and his teeth gritted as he waited in the hall outside of Finn’s quarters.

He knocked again. This time more loudly using the heel of his fist, since, apparently, his knuckles weren’t getting the job done.

The alpha-born prince was losing his patience, which he usually had an abundance of. Just not today. Especially since the visiting omega, Finn, had been seen sneaking off with Zale’s youngest brother Caol.

Which was dangerous.

Particularly since Caol was considered a Selkie slut. What humans would call a man-ho. He loved to rut with anyone who would let him, be it Selkie, human or hybrid. Most likely any male with a cock swinging between his legs.

Hell, he probably rutted with other species of shifters.

But even so, it brought Zale back to the problem at hand. He and his brothers had told their father, the King of the North, that he should send Finn away. Return the omega to his own colony. That he was no longer needed here at the Northern colony. But his father hadn’t listened.

No surprise there.

They all suspected that King Solomon had considered taking the omega for himself.

But a whole two years had passed since the King first brought Finn to the castle, so it made no sense for the unbonded male to remain. His father needed to shit or get off the pot. Either take Finn as his own to bear more sons or send the poor omega home so he could find an alpha of his very own.

Unfortunately, there wasn’t a fated mate waiting for Finn anywhere. His supposed alpha had been killed and eaten by an orca during their bonding swim from what Zale understood.

None of them had ever asked Finn about it because neither Zale or his brothers wanted to know those cringe-worthy details and they also were inclined to avoid him since he was an unbonded male. Again, being around an unbonded omega could be dangerous.

However, Caol tended to be reckless. If the omega came into heat, Caol would most likely be the proud father of a future pup. Zale could just imagine how the king’s head would spin at that news.

So, Zale needed to nip whatever was going on between Finn and Caol in the bud. For his youngest brother’s sake and also for Finn’s. If the omega had the urge to rut, he could do so with some of the betas the king kept on hand for that purpose. Nothing stopped Finn from taking a beta lover, especially since his corona membrane was no longer intact.

But an alpha? No. He could not rut with an alpha that was not his mate.

That was against Selkie law.

Caol knew that. As did Finn.

Therefore, Zale was being a good older brother and trying to head off a disaster.

Or that’s what he told himself.

Yes, he was protecting not only Caol but this omega… who continued to live among a castle-full of alphas even though that was unsafe.

He stared at the heavy wood door and cursed. Why wasn’t Finn answering?

He leaned closer and shouted, “Finn! Are you in there? Open your door.”

Zale listened carefully. Nothing.

He was done knocking. He had announced his presence and now it was time to take the next step…

Into the omega’s quarters.

 

About the Author 

J.J. Masters is the alter-ego of a USA Today bestselling author who writes hot, gay romance filled with heart, humor and heat. J.J. became fascinated with mpreg romance as soon as she figured out what mpreg stood for. She loves to write about “knotty” men!

You can join JJ’s FB Group here: https://www.facebook.com/JJMastersAuthor/  or her newsletter here: https://bit.ly/2E2zcaB to keep up with exclusive content and news.

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A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Semper Fae (Endangered Fae #3) by Angel Martinez

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

The is book three in the Endangered Fae series. While you could probably read this alone, it would be best if you started from book one. Having said that, this is the best book so far and shows what could have been possible in the first two books. This is just more fun and action packed, with layers. It also introduces many new characters. All of the sudden weird paranormal phenomena is happening all over. Human magic is different from fae magic, but they are connected. Just as the shifter fae start to get a magical illness, humans start turning into vampires and werewolves, or developing new powers. I love the idea that all of the legends and lore are real, and are now alive because the Veil is open again.

While this book still has a lot of Finn and Diego, Finn is sidelined a bit with an illness and Diego has bigger problems. The main romance is between Zach, the marine medic from book two, and Lugh. Zach is working as the head of Lugh’s security detail. Lugh is, of course, a shifter fae and part bull. This book is more explicitly bestial than the previous books. There is also an element of dubcon. They seem to find their footing at the end and know what works for them. There were two times in the book when something is a huge emotional deal, and all is quickly forgiven when someone is injured, once with Zach and his parents and once with Lugh and Zach. There could be a better way of working out these conflicts.

As mentioned there are several new characters but the main five are The Silver Adepts, a human coven: Kara, Nate, Brandon, Will, and Minky. Will has awful premonitions, so Minky tries writing to Diego for help, but he isn’t taking them seriously. They have a plan to kidnap him and things go horribly wrong. There was a hint of dragons in book two, so I was waiting for the dragons! Diego and Zach go to find them for help with knowledge about human magic. The dragon lord eventually comes to help train the coven in how to better access their magic. The final showdown and rescue mission, in fact much of the book, reminds me of a comic book. This is no bad thing.

Zach becomes the human Consul for the fae now that Diego is ill. The book leaves some of our characters in the Otherworld making it possible for future books to take place on either side of the Veil. There is now so much magic in the world, these stories could go anywhere or even have spin-offs, so I’ll have to wait and see where the series goes.

The cover art is by Emmy @ studioenp. All the covers in the series are eye catching and fit together.

Sales Links:  Pride Publishing | Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 368 pages
Published October 23rd 2018 by Pride Publishing (first published January 13th 2013)
ASINB07HQ4DXQQ
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesEndangered Fae #3

A MelanieM Release Day Review: Christmas Kitsch by Amy Lane

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

 

Sometimes the best Christmas gift is knowing what you really want.

Rusty Baker is a rich, entitled, oblivious jock, and he might have stayed that way if he hadn’t become friends with out-and-proud Oliver Campbell from the wrong side of the tracks. When Oliver kisses him goodbye before Rusty leaves for college, Rusty is forced to rethink everything he knows about himself.

But nothing can help Rusty survive a semester at Stanford, and he returns home for Thanksgiving break clinging to the one thing he knows to be true: Oliver is the best thing that’s ever happened to him.

Rusty’s parents disagree, and Rusty finds himself homeless for the holidays. But with Oliver’s love and the help of Oliver’s amazing family, Rusty realizes that failing college doesn’t mean he can’t pass real life with flying rainbow colors.

Nobody can built characters quite like Amy Lane and put them into situations that then quietly begin to tear the reader’s heart apart, piece by tiny little piece. Rusty Baker is one such character, improbbly so.  On the exterior, he’s would appear to have everything to succeed in life.  He’s  rich, a jock, with a father who is determined to see him into a great school and going places.   That’s the exterior.

It takes  meeting Oliver, not rich not a jock, to reveal the real Rusty Baker. The gentle, insecure, and gay person Rusty is.  There’s also more that becomes readily apparent to Oliver as he tutors Rusty through his classes in high school.  Rusty has a learning disability that never goes named here but is perfectly spelled out in the way he “feels” when he get overwhelmed by his classes, projects, or professors.  God, how you feel for him.

Throughout the story, and as you can imagine Rusty’s life, the damage done to him hasn’t been delivered through physical blows, damning smacks to the body, but in deadly featherlight cuts to the heart and psyche.  It’s been his father, his mother supporting the patriarch, behind the worst of them. Amy Lane, like a surgeon of phrases, uses her words to slice through Rusty and our hearts over and over at unexpected times, leaving all of us shattered.

I was not prepared for how much this book would hurt.

But for all the wounds, there is the healing balm of Oliver, Oliver’s Dad and his family, Rusty’s sister, and even Rusty’s college roommate who encircle this damaged young man, help him to heal, build him a new foundation of family, support, and love.

Oddly, enough I think of Oliver and Rusty snuggling with Peanut as one of my favorite scenes.  All happy and content, perfect Christmas.   For me, even with all the Amy Lane tears that fell, this was a holiday story to remember.  And treasure.

It’s one I highly recommend.

Cover Artist: Alexandria Corza.  Not a fan of this cover.  There is so much more the artist could have pulled from.  Indistinguishable from any other couple.  Nothing special that separates it out for this story.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, Second Edition, 200 pages
Expected publication: December 7th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press LLC (first published December 7th 2013)
ASINB07JGXPM71
Edition Language English
Characters Oliver Campbell, Russell “Rusty” Calvin Baker setting California (United States)
El Dorado, California (United States)

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audio Review: P.S. I Spook You by S.E. Harmon and Noah Michael Levine (Narrator)

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

From the blurb: SA Rain Christiansen used to be the agency’s golden boy. It just takes one moment of weakness, one slight, tiny, itty-bitty paranormal sighting, and all of a sudden he’s the agency’s embarrassment. His boss gives him one last chance to redeem himself—go down to Brickell Bay, play nice with the local police, and leave the ghost sightings behind. Rain is determined to do exactly that, even if it kills him. Cold-case detective Daniel McKenna’s latest investigation is going nowhere fast. Five years earlier, high school student Amy Greene went missing after leaving her part-time job and was never seen again. Daniel is glad to finally have the FBI help that his department requested, even if it does come in the form of his ex. It doesn’t help that Rain is pretty sure he’s falling in love with Danny all over again—if he ever stopped. Add to that the frustration of seeing ghosts at every turn while he works a case that’s stalled in its tracks, and Rain is starting to wonder if second chances and happy endings are just for fairy tales.

This was a great story with an established couple who drifted apart and are thrown together by work circumstances, one reluctant medium—FBI SA Rain Christiansen, and cold-case detective Daniel McKenna, who still loves Rain but not his ability to see ghosts. 

The story has so much potential with more than one ghost making requests of Rain whose friends and former lover all seem to think he’s lost his mind. One cold case provides the main plot substance as Rain is visited by the victim’s ghost who leads him to her car hidden in the Everglades. Explain that to his boss and his lover? No way do they understand. There’s a lot of push-pull on the romance and plenty of suspects. Of course, Rain is the type of self-willed character who leaps before he looks, landing him in deep trouble. I liked the plot and the dynamic between Rain and Daniel, as well as Rain’s snarky, humorous attitude.

What pulled the story down a notch for me was the narration. When the speaker wasn’t identified in the dialogue, I couldn’t really tell who was speaking until I figured it out based on what was said. In other words, the narration wasn’t good. The narrator didn’t have enough distinction between the voices of the two MCs. He also mispronounced words, though that’s minor in comparison to the major issue of having two similar voices. I was frequently lost, and though I found the story interesting, I feel sad that I didn’t enjoy it as much as my friends who read the e-book seemed to. So, though I can recommend the story to those who enjoy a mix of romance and mystery, I don’t recommend the audio version.

The cover features two young men kissing in the upper pane while in the bottom pane of the cover a young girl stands with her back to the camera—a great representation of the missing girl.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | Audible |

Audiobook Details:

Audible Audio, Unabridged, 9 pages
Published October 23rd 2018 by Tantor Audio (first published June 12th 2017)
Original Title P.S. I Spook You
Edition Language English setting Miami, Florida (United States)
Florida (United States)

An Alisa Review: The Last Prince by Shawn Bailey

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Empress Mun-Hee Yi is dying of cancer. And for the last twenty years she has been living in Manhattan, NY after seeking asylum for her and her four-year-old grandson Ji-Sung Yi since her husband and Ji-Sung’s parents were assassinated by her nephew Eun-So Yi in a coup to take over the throne.

Since learning about her illness, Ji-Sung has been helping his grandmother with her bucket list. There were just two things left. Number 99 is for them to return to their native land, and number 100 is that she wants to be buried beside her husband Emperor Si-Woo on the grounds of the Blue Palace. As luck would have it Eun-So Yi is executed for his crimes but Ji-Sung hopes number 100 won’t happen for a long, long time. Unbeknownst to him, Mun-Hee has another thing on her list…to see that her grandson find love and to settle down.

This was an okay story, though I’m not sure how I feel about a grandma setting up her grandson and pushing someone to him.  Ji-Sung is being thrown into the life he was meant to live but luckily has great people to support and help him.

The way this story was written didn’t allow much connection to the characters.  We do see parts of the story from different points of view it just seemed as if from a distance.  In the end I am not totally sure how I feel about Ji-Sung and Kyung-Soon’s relationship and how it seems to be hidden.

The cover art by Melody Pond is nice and gives a nice view of Ji-Sung’s new home.

Sales Links: MLR Books | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 11,000 pages

Published: October 25, 2018 by MLR Books

ISBN: 978-1-64122-2013

Edition Language: English

Jaime Samms on Backyard Paradise and her new release Sunshine in the Dragon’s Heart by Jaime Samms

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Sunshine in the Dragon’s Heart by Jaime Samms
Dreamspinner Press
Cover Art: Tiferet Designs

Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | B&N

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Jaime Samms here today on tour with her latest novel, Sunshine in the Dragon’s Heart.  Welcome, Jaime.

This book has been such a joy to write. It really brought me back to some childhood places. I set it in what I call my “back yard”. In my head, I was once again wandering the acres of scrub forest that have overgrown the cow fields where my own mother used to drive the cows to the barn. They are by no means old growth, majestic or wonderous. They are poplar stands and aspen groves and dense, prickly pine and spruce stands. When I was a kid, there were also a ton of white-bark birch trees. A tiny creek runs through it and there is a hill near the back line of the property where blueberries grow thick and wild in the summer.

It’s not paradise. But as a kid growing up with that out the back door, it was my paradise. The squishy moss beds and the trickle of the creek were the backdrop for all my day dreams. And trust me, I had many, many day dreams.

I hope I shared some of my love of that place in this book. Life changes all the time, and some day, this might not be there any more, or might not be mine to visit whenever I want. So I had to do my best to preserve it however I could, and since words are my thing, that’s what I used this time.

Hopefully, Sunny and Emile can inhabit that spot in our imaginations for a long, long time.

Blurb:

When Sunny retires to the northern Ontario wilderness to mourn his parents’ deaths, he’s hoping the change of scenery will afford him some peace and quiet.

 

His hopes are soon spectacularly dashed.

 

In self-imposed exile, dragon Emile runs across the Fold between his dimension and Sunny’s—and right into Sunny’s arms. Centuries out of touch with human culture, bright, beautiful Emile incinerates any hope Sunny had for an ordinary existence. With dryads and water sprites coming to life all around them, Sunny can’t deny the magic Emile brings to his life—or his heart. But that same magic leads the unrelenting dragon who would keep Emile captive right to them. To save his love, Sunny will have to reach deep and find some magic of his own.

About the Author

Jaime has been published since the fall of 2008. Her Stories about men falling in love are the stories that she loves to read, so they are also the stories she loves to write.

 

Spare time, when it can be found rolled into a ball at the back of the dryer or cavorting with the dust bunnies in the corners, is spent crocheting, drawing, gardening (weather permitting, of course, since she is Canadian!), or watching movies. She has a day job which she loves, and two kids, and thankfully, wonderful husband who shoulders more than his fair share.

 

She graduated some time ago from college with a fine arts diploma, and a major in textile arts, which basically qualifies her to draw pictures and create things with string and fabric. One always needs an official slip of paper to fall back on after all . . .

 

 

Website: http://jaimesamms.com

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Blog Tour for The Stars May Rise and Fall by Estella Mirai (excerpt and giveaway)

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BLOG TOUR

Book Title: The Stars May Rise and Fall

An M/M retelling of Phantom of the Opera set in turn-of-the-millennium Japan

Author: Estella Mirai

Publisher: Self-published

Cover Artist: MiblArt

Genre/s: M/M romance, contemporary

Heat Rating: 2 flames

Length: 90 000 words/320 pages

It is a standalone story.

Add on Goodreads 

Blurb

Teru came to Tokyo with dreams of making it big in the glam-metal visual kei scene, but three years later, all he has to show for it is a head of hot pink hair and some skill with an eyeliner pencil. He may look the part, but he doesn’t sound it, and constant bickering among his bandmates has him worried about his future. When he finds a mysterious business card in his bag, he’s willing to take any help he can get.

Help comes in the form of Rei, a crippled, disfigured composer whose own career was ended by an accident before it had really begun. With Teru’s voice and looks, and Rei’s money and songwriting skills, both of their dreams seem about to come true – but a forbidden kiss and a late-night confession threaten to tear it all apart. Now Teru, who has spent most of his life denying his attraction to men, and Rei, who vowed long ago never to love again, must reconcile their feelings with their careers – and with their carefully constructed ideas of themselves.



THE STARS MAY RISE AND FALL is an M/M retelling of Phantom of the Opera, set in Tokyo at the turn of the millennium. It comes with a healthy dose of angst and a dollop of nostalgia, as well as an age-difference romance, a physically disabled love interest, and memorable characters who will stay with you long after the pages are closed.

Buy Links

Amazon US

Amazon UK 

Excerpt 

I can help you. Call me.

Teru ran his finger around the edge of the card. Maybe it had been a mistake. Should he call, and let whoever had left it know?

He opened the window and lit a cigarette. The smoke floated out into the muggy Tokyo night.

“This is stupid,” he said aloud. “It’s one in the morning. Whoever it is, they’re asleep.”

But Teru wasn’t asleep. His bandmates probably weren’t asleep either. If it was a musician who had left the card, one in the morning was better than one in the afternoon.

I can help you. Call me.

He picked up his phone and dialed.

It rang once, twice—and Teru cut the connection. This is stupid. But he didn’t feel stupid. He felt guilty, like he’d been doing something he shouldn’t.

He stubbed out the cigarette and walked across the room to the refrigerator. Nothing but a pack of noodles and a flat Diet Coke. Even though he’d already had a couple with the guys after the show, what Teru really needed was a beer.

On the other side of the room, the phone rang.

The floor was littered with clothes and magazines and Playstation controllers. Teru almost tripped as he lunged for the phone, and then only crouched there, watching it, with his nerves wrapped around his voice box like a snake. There was no name with the number, but Teru knew it by heart. He’d only been staring at it for the past hour.

The ringing stopped. An engine rumbled outside Teru’s window, and a train clattered over distant tracks. Upstairs, slippered feet padded across a tatami floor. The air was thick with an anticipation far from silence—but just as easily shattered by the trill of a different ring.

Teru’s fingers fumbled to open the text.

I heard you sing.

He stared, waiting for the words to sink in. They didn’t, though. They made no sense.

It had only been a mistake after all.

You’ve got the wrong number, he replied. This is Teru, the drummer for La Rose Verboten. I don’t sing.

And then: You should.

The phone rang again.

“Hello?”

“You have a beautiful voice.”

It wasn’t Yasu. It wasn’t anyone he knew.

“Hello?” Teru repeated. “Who is this?”

“A friend.” The voice was male, deep and effortlessly sensual in a way that Seika would have envied. It made Teru distinctly uncomfortable.

“Look,” Teru said. “I think you want Bara. I’m not the singer. I’m the drummer. The one with pink hair?”

“I heard you,” the man pressed. “In the dressing room. I can help you.”

In the dressing room? There’d been no one else in there.

“Is this some kind of joke?”

“Not at all.”

“What do you want?” Teru whispered.

“To teach you. To help you. Will you meet with me?”

Teru’s palms were sweaty, his face flushed. It was partly exhaustion, partly a lingering buzz… but it was more than that. He felt dirty. This was worse than what he felt with Seika—and it was just a voice on the goddamn phone.

“There’s a studio in Koenji,” he heard himself say.

“No!” the man snapped, and he took a sharp, hissing breath. “No studios. You may come to my apartment.”

“Your apartment?”

“Please. It is… difficult, for me to go out.”

“Um… okay.” What the hell did that mean?

“I live in Meguro,” the man said. “Near the live house. I can send you the address. If you’ll come.” There was a plea in his voice, a quiet desperation. Teru swallowed, hard.

“You want to give me singing lessons?”

“Yes.”

This was insane. “When?”

“Whenever you are free.”

Teru glanced at his calendar. June, 2000. Three years, almost to the day, since he had stepped off the night bus from Niigata. After all that time, he didn’t even have anything to lose.

About the Author

Estella Mirai lives just outside of Tokyo with her human family and a very spoiled lap cat. When she isn’t reading or writing, she works in editing and translation—which means that 99% percent of her day is usually words. In her minimal free time, she enjoys watching musicals, cooking (badly), and slaughtering power ballads at karaoke.

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Love Holiday Stories? Check Out Mischief Corner Books”Escape From the Holidays” Collection (Guest Post from Gregory Norris and giveaway)

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Escape from the Holidays collection - Mischief Corner Books

Escape from the Holidays Collection

For the second year in a row, Mischief Corner Books is putting out a winter holiday collection – Escape from the Holidays – ten stories revolving around various December holidays:

The end of year holidays can get overwhelming for anyone. Things to do. People to see. Last minute work obligations to take care of. Sometimes it’s just easier to escape from it all, running away from the responsibilities and expectations, or ignore the underlying disappointment from relatives who don’t see eye-to-eye with you.

Because escaping the holiday grind can lead to new, unexpected paths, and breathe new life into one that’s been stuck in a rut. Giving something to run to instead.

Sometimes, getting away from it all lets you know what you really have. Sometimes, taking a chance on the unknown leads to what you really want.

Thanksgiving – Gregory Norris

I grew up enjoying the best Thanksgivings with family thanks to my maternal grandmother, Rachel, and grandfather, Wallace, in a big, mysterious house on Foster’s Pond in Massachusetts that no longer exists. My grandmother cooked everything from scratch. We played board games, walked in the snowy woods, and stuffed ourselves on the incredible feast. It was a glimpse of Heaven.

The year my grandfather passed away, the Thanksgiving tradition ended. At the age of fifteen, having newly discovered my love for writing, I began a new one—penning a complete story as a way to show thanks for the permission I’d been given into that vast universe.

My parents divorced. Thanksgivings ended for me. Years later I met Bruce, and we decided we’d celebrate holidays again. We began holding an annual Thanksgiving open house, and I cooked everything from scratch like my Grandmother Rachel, including her recipe for cranberry sauce, a reliable hit among diners. We invited friends from our writers’ group and others who didn’t have family to spend the holiday with. Bruce made four pies—pecan, pumpkin, and two blueberry pies (my favorite).

Then he was diagnosed with a vicious cousin of Parkinson’s Disease and, with his health failing, in 2017 we were left with no other choice but to cancel our Thanksgiving open house. But almost every year since 1980, I’ve kept with the tradition of penning a complete short story on Thanksgiving Day.

Early this past October, Bruce saw a new neurologist. She treated the late, great actor Kathryn Hepburn. In fact, Hepburn lived with her for a year and blurbed the doctor’s book. She promised she could help us and delivered by putting my husband on a low dose of a medicine used for treating coma patients. The results were nearly instantaneous and borderline miraculous. So much so that a version of my husband is back, coherent, present.

We missed having our home, Xanadu, filled with cherished writers’ group friends, the family we’ve chosen, and put out the invitation for this year’s open house on Thanksgiving Day. Which means I’ll be up super early to start the meal—and also begin work on my annual Thanksgiving Day story. This year’s literary offering will either be a hockey-themed mystery or a fiery ‘pyromance’, to be determined that morning.


Giveaway

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About the Books:

COVER - Stay Awhile

Stay Awhile

Author: Kassandra Lea
Release Date: 11/28/18
Word Count: 5K
Cover Artist: Catherine Dair
Genres: Contemporary, Holiday, Romance
Pairings: M/M

Tropes: second chance
Keywords: Thanksgiving, Asexual, Romance

The holidays are usually a whirlwind of busy activity for Anson—decorating, baking for friends—but this year, his heart isn’t in it. He’d hoped coming out to Daly as asexual would be the right thing to do. Since then, he hasn’t heard a word from the handsome photographer.

Now Daly’s suddenly shown up at his front door, asking Anson to trust him, to come with him. He doesn’t dare hope in case this is just another build up to a bigger heartbreak.

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I have my mom to thank for so much. First of all, she fostered a love of reading. According to her I’ve been reading since I could hold a book and I got my first library card at age 3. Growing up I used to read 100 books a year, but of course, that doesn’t happen as often since there’s writing to do and a day job.

Secondly, I have to thank her for always pushing me to keep chasing my dream of being an author. Who else am I going to bounce ideas off of, and she helps me when I get stuck. Suppose you could say she’s my biggest fan.

When I’m not writing I enjoy time with my dog, tending my garden, baking sweet treats, walking through crunchy fall leaves and blankets of cold snow, playing video games, and reading! I’ve a fondness for horses and blankets (is it possible to own too many?)

And yes, some days I still wish I was Batman.

For more information about Kassandra’s work, please visit:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/cheddarsgal
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7369580.Kassandra_Lea
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/leakassie/


COVER - Burning Down the House

Burning Down the House

Author: Gregory Norris
Release Date: 12/1/18
Word Count: 11K
Cover Artist: Catherine Dair
Genres: Contemporary, Holiday, Romance
Pairings: M/M
Tropes: Family, Reluctant Suitor
Keywords: Thanksgiving, Romance

Leo’s quiet vacation in Vermont is cut short by news that his beloved grandmother’s in the hospital because she tried to burn down her own house. Feeling low and depressed that she might be falling victim to dementia, Leo takes comfort in a man he meets in the hospital’s Quiet Room. The encounter’s supposed to be a one-night stand, one and done, no strings attached, but Leo’s surprised when he wants more.

The problem is that Aaron comes with strings and complications—ones Leo isn’t sure he wants to deal with on top of his own problems. Leo’s going to have to reach deep if he wants more than superficial, but he’s determined to try if the universe will just cooperate.

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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 last January). 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 his 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. Norris judged the 2012 Lambda Awards in the SF/F/H category. Three times now, his short stories have notched Honorable Mentions by Ellen Datlow. He won Honorable Mention in the 2016 Roswell Awards in Short SF for his short story ‘Mandered’. Norris lives and writes in the outer limits of New Hampshire with his husband, their small pride of rescue cats, and his emerald-eyed muse. Follow his literary adventures on Facebook, or at http://www.gregorylnorris.blogspot.com

For more information about Gregory’s work, please visit:

Website: https://gregorylnorris.blogspot.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gregory.norris.10
Email: gregorynorris@gmail.com


COVER - The Holiday Spirit

The Holiday Spirit

Author: Carole Cummings
Release Date: 12/5/18
Word Count: 5K
Cover Artist: Catherine Dair
Genres: Fantasy, Holiday, Humor, Romance
Pairings: M/M
Tropes: Office Romance
Keywords: Christmas, North Pole, Elves

It’s hard being the PA for the Holiday Spirit.

Julian is more dedicated than most, and knows the job inside and out. But that doesn’t mean he’ll still have a job when the new Holiday Spirit is elected. It also doesn’t mean he’s immune to the *cough* charms of the office, but that’s a whole other problem.

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Carole lives with her husband and family in Pennsylvania, USA, where she spends her time trying to find time to write. Recipient of various amateur and professional writing awards, several of her short stories have been translated into Spanish, German, Chinese and Polish.

Author of the Aisling and Wolf’s-own series, Carole is currently in the process of developing several other works, including more short stories than anyone will ever want to read, and novels that turn into series when she’s not looking.

Carole is an avid reader of just about anything that’s written well and has good characters. She is a lifelong writer of the ‘movies’ that run constantly in her head. Surprisingly, she does manage sleep in there somewhere, and though she is rumored to live on coffee and Pixy Stix™, no one has as yet suggested she might be more comfortable in a padded room.

…Well. Not to her face.

For more information about Carole’s work, please visit:

Website: http://www.carolecummings.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/carole.cummings.9
Page: https://www.facebook.com/Carole-Cummings-129381137086663/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CummingsCarole
Email: carole@carolecummings.com


COVER - Slow Thaw

Slow Thaw

Author: J. Scott Coatsworth
Release Date: 12/8/18
Word Count: 22K
Cover Artist: Catherine Dair
Genres: Contemporary, Near Future SF, Holiday, Romance
Pairings: M/M
Tropes: Enemies to Lovers, Workplace Romance
Keywords: scientists, isolated setting, Antarctic

Javier Fernandez is a climate scientist living in a research station near the South Pole. Since his husband was killed in a car crash, he’s preferred to be alone, and is less than thrilled to have a junior scientist thrust upon him by his rich patron.

Col Steele is a trans man fleeing a bad break-up. He is ready for the next step in his career, and eager to spend Christmas anywhere but at home.

When a crack in the ice separates the two men from safety, they are forced to come to terms with their own losses and each other.

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Scott is the admin for the Queer Sci Fi site. He has been writing since elementary school, when he and won a University of Arizona writing contest in 4th grade for his first sci fi story (with illustrations!). He finished his first novel in his mid twenties, but after seeing it rejected by ten publishers, he gave up on writing for a while.

Over the ensuing years, he came back to it periodically, but it never stuck. Then one day, he was complaining to Mark, his husband, early last year about how he had been derailed yet again by the death of a family member, and Mark said to him “the only one stopping you from writing is you.”

Since then, Scott has gone back to writing in a big way, finishing more than a dozen short stories – some new, some that he had started years before – and seeing his first sale. He’s embarking on a new trilogy, and also runs a support group for writers of gay sci fi, fantasy, and supernatural fiction.

For more information about Scott’s work, please visit:

Website: http://www.jscottcoatsworth.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jscoatsworth
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/jscottcoatsworth
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/jscottcoatsworthauthor/


COVER - Celebrations in the Seasons of Long Nights

Celebrations In The Season Of Long Nights

Author: Mere Rain
Release Date: 12/12/18
Word Count: 12K
Cover Artist: Catherine Dair
Genres: Paranormal, Holiday, Romance
Pairings: M/M
Tropes: Protector, Anticipating Abandonment
Keywords: Demon hunter, holiday

Having escaped his abusive family by winning a scholarship to college, Shahin promised himself he would never go back. So when his plans for winter break fall through and he’s left homeless for a month, he decides he’d rather camp in the park than go home. But he doesn’t realize it’s the solstice, the longest night of the year, the start of the season when the supernatural is at its strongest.

Yima is a demon-hunter, a duty passed down through his family. He doesn’t resent it, but it does get lonely, especially since his work is at its most difficult and dangerous when everyone else is celebrating with family. After he rescues Shahin from a demon attack and finds that he has nowhere safe to stay, he takes him back to his flat.

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Mere Rain is an international nonentity of mystery whose library resides in California.

Mere likes reading, travel, food, art, and you.

For more information about Mere’s work, please visit:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mere.rain.54/
Email: mererainwriting@gmail.com


COVER - The Holiday Home Hotel

The Holiday Home Hotel

Author: Lou Sylvre
Release Date: 12/15/18
Word Count: 30K
Cover Artist: Catherine Dair
Genres: Magical Realism, Paranormal, Holiday, Interracial, Romance
Pairings: M/M
Tropes: second chances, divine interference
Keywords: singer, drag, hotel, gods

Daren Novak and Gunny Schuler have known each other since freshmen days at the University of Washington, where they’d started a romance Daren assumed would last. But at the start of winter break, Gunny bowed to the dictates of his lifelong religion and his overbearing father and left UW never to return.

After a failed marriage, Gunny built a quiet life embracing his gay identity, and left his North Dakota home, his marriage, and his father’s business for a forestry and teaching career in Oregon. Meanwhile, Daren has built up his own life around managing a unique holiday venue, the Holiday Home Hotel, and performing for the guests in drag as “Dare.”

A decade has passed since they last saw each other, but now winter’s harsh weather brings them face to face—helped along by a minor goddess and powerful forest spirit. Too much hurt might lie between them now to fix things, but interfering supernatural beings are determined to force them to try.

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Lou Sylvre loves romance with all its ups and downs, and she likes to conjure it into books. The sweethearts on her pages are men who end up loving each other, and sometimes saving each other from unspeakable danger. It’s all pretty crazy and very sexy.

As if you’d want to know more, she’ll happily tell you that she is a proudly bisexual woman, a mother, grandmother, lover of languages, and cat-herder. She works closely with lead cat and writing assistant, the (male) Queen of Budapest, Boudreau St. Clair.

She is the author of the six well-loved books of the Vasquez and James Series and a holiday favorite, Falling Snow on Snow. She teamed up with Kiwi author Anne Barwell to write Sunset at Pencarrow, an adventurous tale of New Zealand romance.

For more information about Lou’s work, please visit:

Website: http://www.rainbow-gate.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorLouSylvre/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Sylvre
Blog: http://www.sylvre.rainbow-gate.com
Email: lou.sylvre@gmail.com


COVER - Something to Celebrate

Something to Celebrate

Author: Evelyn Benvie
Release Date: 12/19/18
Word Count: 21K
Cover Artist: Catherine Dair
Genres: Paranormal, Holiday, Romance, Interracial
Pairings: M/NB
Tropes: Mysterious stranger, culture clash
Keywords: holiday, yokai, Japanese myth, demisexual, nonbinary

Niko doesn’t hate the holidays; that would require too much commitment. He just doesn’t care about them anymore. He’s a demi, disillusioned mess and he doesn’t care about much at all. That is, until an enticing stranger blows into his life this Christmas and catches his attention–and his heart.

Fan is lost and lonely, a winter spirit adrift in a human world that has all but forgotten them. And then they meet Niko, a young man with the ability to see them, and they remember what it means to stay somewhere. To want someone.

Chance brings them together. But is chance enough to build a relationship on?

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Evelyn Benvie is a wooly jumper from a family of black sheep and has always wanted to be a writer. She was raised on a steady diet of classic fantasy and science fiction but grew dissatisfied with the way people and relationships were often portrayed in mainstream books. Like, why does the princess have to get married at all? Why are aliens gender-coded? Why is every single person straight?

So she dreamed of writing sensible books with sensible characters who better reflected her own experiences as a queer woman. It’s taken a while, and fiction has gotten a lot more diverse since then (even as her own characters have gotten a whole lot less sensible), but it’s all good. “Something To Celebrate” is her first major publication; please continue to support the author in the future!

For more information about Evelyn’s work, please visit:

Website: http://www.evelynbenvie.com
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/EvelynBenvie


COVER - Holiday Hijinks

Holiday Hijinks

Author: Toni Griffin
Release Date: 12/22/18
Word Count: 22K
Cover Artist: Lou Harper
Genres: Paranormal, Holiday
Pairings: M/M
Tropes: family, comedy of errors
Keywords: hellhound, demons, holiday, Christmas

This year the holidays seem to be rubbing Archie the wrong way. He can’t stand that damn happy music blasting in the stores and all over the radio. The decorations went up far too early—and don’t even get Archie started on how cheery everyone is.

Seeing the holidays cause Archie to slip back into a depression, Adze decides to take matters into his own hands. The one thing his mate has always wanted is to see the Tudor houses in England. Besides, it’s the perfect time to escape the humdrum heat in Melbourne. Adze can’t think of anything better than curling up in front of a roaring fire with his mate while snow falls outside.

Of course, life would never be that easy. Baby demon stowaways and Christmas Krampuses hell-bent on doing good leave the pair wondering just where things went wrong.

Buy Links Coming Soon

Toni Griffin lives in Darwin, the smallest of Australia’s capital cities. Born and raised in the state she’s a Territorian through and through. Growing up Toni hated English with a passion (as her editors can probably attest to) and found her strength lies with numbers.

Now, though, she loves escaping to the worlds she creates and hopes to continue to do so for many years to come. She’s a single mother of one and works full time. When she’s not writing you can just about guarantee that she will be reading one of the many MM authors she loves.

Feel free to drop her a line at info@tonigriffin.net anytime.

For more information about Toni’s work, please visit:

Website: http://tonigriffin.net
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/toni.griffin.author


COVER - Yule Planet

Yule Planet

Author: Angel Martinez
Release Date: 12/26/18
Word Count: 15K
Cover Artist: L.C. Chase
Genres: Science Fiction, Humor, Romance
Pairings: F/F
Tropes: enemies to lovers, displaced person
Keywords: alien planet, snow, Yule, resort, shipwrecked

Sofia Cancino is tired of her mundane life, her artificial environment and her large, boisterous family descending every holiday season. She’s promised herself this year will be different and books a stay on the exclusive—and expensive–holiday-themed resort, Yule Planet. She looks forward to being pampered while reconnecting with Old Earth traditions steeped in the magic and mysticism of nature. Everything will be perfect and she’ll leave as a more authentic human, better connected to her roots.

Naturally, things go horribly wrong. Sofia’s landing pod goes off course and instead of stepping out on the landing pad at the resort, she finds herself in the snow-swept perpetual winter of the planet’s hinterlands. If that wasn’t bad enough, she’s “rescued” by a band of criminals on work release who run deliveries to the resort from far-flung shuttle delivery sites. They refuse to take her, a paying customer, to the resort and insist on dragging her along on their parcel run. Riding giant monsters. In frigid weather. Not to mention, Marta, who handles the monsters, obviously hates her.

If Sofia survives her vacation, she’s definitely yelling at someone’s supervisor until she gets a refund.

Buy Links Coming Soon

While Angel Martinez is the adult fiction pen name of a writer of several genres, she writes both kinds of queer fiction – Science Fiction and Fantasy. Currently living part time in the hectic sprawl of northern Delaware, (and full time inside the author’s head) Angel has one husband, one son, two cats, a changing variety of other furred and scaled companions, a love of all things beautiful and a terrible addiction to the consumption of both knowledge and chocolate.

For more information on Angel’s work, please visit:

Website: https://angelmartinezauthor.weebly.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Angel.Martinez.author
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1010469.Angel_Martinez
Email: angelmartinezauthor@gmail.com


COVER - Waiting on the Rain

Waiting on the Rain

Author: Freddy MacKay
Release Date: 12/29/18
Word Count: 25K
Cover Artist: Catherine Dair
Genres: Paranormal, Holiday, Romance
Pairings: M/M

One young man desperate to make things right for the monks who raised him. Another looking to escape the limelight. The two best friends stuck in time because of promises.

A couple looking to make a bigger unconventional family—one young woman who wants to help the world become a more beautiful place, one transwoman looking to put down roots for the both of them.

Love isn’t always easy, but the good kind is worth fighting for, even when others don’t understand it. The story of what becomes of their love is what will be passed down into legend. Because stories like this, people remember.

When Jira, Boon, Areeya and Fon come together to celebrate Yee Peng and Loy Krathong, sparks fly and dreams coalesce. But that’s only the beginning…

Buy Links Coming Soon

Freddy grew up in the Midwest, playing sports and running around outside. And honestly, that much has not changed since Freddy was small and throwing worms at other kids, except worm throwing has been replaced with a healthy geocaching addiction. Freddy enjoys traveling and holds the view a person should continually to learn about new things and people whenever possible.

Freddy’s contemporary LGBTQ book, Incubation: Finding Peace 2, won 3rd Place – Best Gay Erotic Fiction in the 2012 Rainbow Awards. In 2013, Freddy’s story, Internment, tied for 3rd Place – Best Gay Fantasy in the Rainbow Awards. Freddy’s steampunk/SF story, Feel Me, was a Finalist and honorable mention in the 2014 Rainbow Awards for SF. And in 2015, Freddy’s urban fantasy Snow on Spirit Bridge was also a Finalist and honorable mention.

For more information on Freddy’s work, please visit or email:

Website: https://freddysstereograph.weebly.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/FreddyMacKay
Email: freddy.m.mackay@gmail.com

A MelanieM New Release Review: Owned by Fate (Dragon Soul #5) by Sean Michael

Standard

Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

 

The Beteferoce brothers: five dragon shifters, each with a strong elemental power and a destiny that will not be denied.

Dr. Mike Beteferoce turned his back on magic long ago. His heart broke and his desire for a soul mate disappeared. When he sees his family crest branded above Corryn’s heart, his first instinct is to flee. The last thing he wants now is a Fae interfering in his life—especially one who has already rejected him.

But fate has other plans.

Corryn knows Mike is his soul mate, has known since the sigil was branded on his skin centuries ago. Long before Mike came to him as a studly young dragon just entering his prime. It was far too early for them to be together then, but now their time has come.

But despite their draw to each other, Corryn doesn’t believe Mike can accept him for who—and what—he is. Mike must breathe life into their bond—loving Corryn as both soul mate and Fae—if they are to fulfill their destiny

In what I assumes is the finale for the Dragon Soul series,Owned by Fate (Dragon Soul #5) by Sean Michael gives us the last story of the fifth Beteferoce dragon brother.  He’s the one that has been missing from the other brother’s stories, a mere mention in passing of a brother who never comes to close into the new family dynamics that is happening.  Each brother has been finding his mate, drawn in part through a tattoo placed there by Corryn, an elf long in service to the Beteferoce family.  But we never knew exactly what  Mike or Corryn’s story was. Now we get both because they are fiercely intertwined as we should have suspected.

In a  deeply satisfying finale, we learn the origin of Corryn’s role with the Beteferoce brothers, the magical tattoos he’s used to draw each mate to each brother, and his own back history with Mike.  In one section, it’s unbelievably painful, enough to draw tears, I’ve come to care that much for Corryn over the series.  All the brothers and their mates for that matter, so it’s an enormous plus that we get the inclusion of all the couples here at the end for the big finale.

I loved the section with all the mated pairs flying together as I could see it so clearly.  My only wish is that this book was twice as long.  Half for the couple to figure their relationship and the rest to all come together to untangle the lore surrounding them  and their mates and the resolution.

But I will be happy with Owned by Fate. It supplied me with the answers to the questions raised in the other stories, all the brothers appeared with their mates and got their HEA, and a lovely finale!  Sigh!  Dragons are definitely a weakness of mine and Sean Michael’s series checked all the boxes.  If you love sexy men, kinky hot scenes, and dragons this is the series for you!

Cover art is nice, brands the series and is eye catching.

Sales Links:  Carina Press | Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 1st edition, 234 pages
Published December 3rd 2018 by Carina Press
ASIN B07DCTM62M
Edition Language English
Series Dragon Soul

 

Series:

Branded by Flames

Seduced by the Tide

Bound by Thorns

Born of Air

Owned by Fate