An Alisa Review: The Ninth Elixir by Pelaam

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Crevyn is a student of the College of Mystic Arts with an affinity to animals, especially those with magical properties of their own. He is one of a chosen few to undertake a quest for the Ninth Elixir. The finder’s reward is to be claimed by one of the arcane Masters.

But Crevyn’s opponent is a man used to winning, who will use any means at his disposal to ensure he brings back the Ninth Elixir.

At the risk of losing to Garvit, Crevyn still take time to help those in need. But even if he’s successful in finding the elixir, the trick will be surviving the challenge.

I enjoyed this story, though a little bit of a set up as they knew who would win the challenge.  Crevyn really was a sweet guy and did the right thing the whole way through.

I thought it was strange that they went through with the whole search for the elixir when Crevyn was the only one who could complete it.  I guess it gave them the ability to get rid of Garvit but it was a weird way to go about it.  I think it was a different way to meet your mate and it looks like Crevyn gets a good life but not much detail into their lives.

I like the cover art by Written Ink Designs the visual of Crevyn.

Sales Links: JMS Books | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 50 pages

Published: July 27, 2019 by JMS Books

ISBN: 9781634865593

Edition Language: English

Need A New Story? Check our the Tour for T.A.D.: The Angel of Death by M.D. Neu (excerpt) a MM paranormal/alternate universe novel!

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The Angel of Death

M.D Neu has a new MM paranormal/alternate universe book out: T.A.D – The Angel of Death.

Tad loves bouncing around in time and watching mankind grow and change. He loves humanity and helping when he can. However, his job isn’t conducive to helping people. He’s an Angel of Death.

Doug is fun loving and a drama queen. Despite his witty exterior, he has a dark history and is prone to self-destruction. He’s also an amazing drag queen and hairstylist with big dreams.

When Tad pushes the boundaries of his duties too far, his angel wings are stripped away from him, and he is sent to New York City to live as a human. Lost and alone he ends up meeting Doug, and the two start a friendship that will shape them both and last a lifetime. But nothing is simple when you’re dealing with a former Angel of Death and a Drag Queen. Could these two cause the fabric of our world to collapse or will they manage to keep the future as it should?

NineStar Press | Goodreads


Giveaway

Giveaway:

Marvin is giving away a $20 Amazon gift card with this reveal and tour. Enter via Rafflecopter:

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Excerpt

The Angel of Death

Doug glanced up at the big void where the buildings once stood.

How could anyone do that? All those people, and for what? Thank God, no one I know was there. Thank goodness, Garret’s train was running late. Even from across the river, seeing the buildings fall, one minute there, the next not, awful. Not knowing if Garret was alive or dead. The not knowing was awful, and it seemed to last forever. Then getting his call when the phones were back up. It was a relief. Still, the not knowing? Horrible. How do survivors do it?

Doug shuddered. He had to look away before he started to cry again. That day. The world wasn’t the same. How could it be? Would it ever be the same again? He swiped at his eyes, keeping the tears he was trying to hold back from dropping. He caught his reflection in one of the storefront windows and fussed with his blond spiky hair.

One year.

The months right after the attack had been hell for everyone. People from all over the world sent support and offered help. But New York was moving on, as it should. They already had seven different architects offering new designs to fill the empty skyline. Mayor Giuliani was doing everything he could for the city, and there was even talk of him running for president.

Doug checked his flip phone and picked up his pace. He was running late. He shouldn’t have spent the night at Tim’s, but leaving such a sexy guy was no easy task. Not to mention they might have partied too much.

I doubt that is even possible. You can never party too much.

There was a large group of mourners, and he had to step to the side to let them pass. He took a deep cleansing breath, pushing all thoughts from his mind, and started walking again. He rushed past the families and friends heading to Ground Zero. Now he had to hustle to make it to work. He’d gotten lucky no one he was familiar with was killed. Still, every time he thought about the attack and looked up at the twin lights filling the night sky, he wanted to cry.

Monsters.

Why President Bush didn’t blow up the whole of the Middle East after the attack, Doug would never understand. Instead, the president sent troops to Afghanistan, searching for Osama bin Laden and taking out Al-Qaeda.

Just as long as they find and kill the monsters who did this to us.

Doug couldn’t help but stop again and glance up to where the twin towers once stood. He quickly wiped at his eyes. “I need to get out of here.” He moved over to the brick façade and leaned against the wall as more people passed him, heading to the memorial ceremony.

“So much suffering and for what?” Doug mumbled. He started walking again, taking a deep breath and trying to avoid the crowds. A woman in a dark jacket passed him and bumped his shoulder, causing him to step closer to an alley. She didn’t bother saying anything; however, Doug thought she said something about his size. He caught his reflection again. He hated how everything made him feel so fat. Nothing he wore looked right on him. Even the baggy pants still made him look fat and messy. He would need to start at the gym if he wanted to continue dating Tim and keep up with his partying. He frowned.

At least I have good hair.

He played with the spikes of his hair.

“It’s my fault,” a gruff voice whispered from behind him.

Doug startled and turned around, but no one was there. He glanced over to the dumpster.

Sitting there, a raggedy black man, with kinky hair in desperate need of a cut and wash, stared at him. The man had the most beautiful green eyes Doug had ever seen. The rich tones of his skin really made his eyes pop, quite possibly the unkempt man’s best feature. The man was in shambles, and tears streamed down his dirty cheeks.

The anniversary affects everyone.

“I did this,” the man groaned through his sobs. “And now I’m being punished.”

Doug wasn’t sure what to do or say. Should he walk away and get to the salon? Leave what appeared to be the crazy homeless guy alone? Could he do that now that they made eye contact? Could he do that today of all days? The man needed help. The man needed a shower and clean clothes. Perhaps, if he talked to him, that would be enough…well, the talk and ten bucks.

That’s what Shannon would do. Talk to him and give him money. Shannon was such a kind soul, and I need to be more like him, more like he was. To honor him. Just like my drag name. Maybe Miss Enshannon needs to be more. I need to be more.

Doug’s heart ached at the memories of Shannon and how wonderful he was. When he picked his drag name there was no doubt on what it would be, but to honor someone you loved had to be more than using their name.

“It’s not your fault.” He knelt close to the man, still keeping his distance just in case. “It was the work of terrorists. They killed all those people, not you.”

“I should have stopped them. I should have done more,” the dirty man moaned.

“Oh, baby, no one could have done more,” Doug offered. Some people thought the government knew about the attack beforehand and the president allowed it to happen. Doug didn’t buy it. Why anyone listened to these people was beyond him, but they did. He just wished they would shut up and crawl back under the rocks they came from. They weren’t helping anyone, and in the long run, their remarks and comments only hurt people more.

“Now, I’m being punished. They sent me here and took my wings,” the man whispered.

Was this guy a pilot? Oh, that would be awful. I bet he was supposed to fly one of the planes, and he couldn’t take it. Survivor’s guilt.


Author Bio

M.D. Neu

M.D. Neu is a queer 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, Alice Walker, Alfred Hitchcock, Harvey Fierstein, Anne Rice, 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 twenty plus years.

Author Website: http://www.mdneu.com

Author Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/mdneuauthor/

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

Author Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authormdneu/

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17206592.M_D_Neu

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

Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/M-D-Neu/e/B076FK1S14/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

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Review Tour and Giveaway for Wolf Lost (The Wolves of Kismet #1) by Sam Burns

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal LinkExclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow With Kindle Unlimited
 
Length: 50,000 words approx.
 
Cover Design: Natasha Snow
 
Blurb



An omega on the run.


An alpha fractured.


Sawyer Holt can’t go home. The Alpha who has replaced his father wants to use him as a tool to cement his political power, and Sawyer isn’t interested in marrying his father’s murderer.


Dez Sullivan’s leg may never heal from his last mission in Afghanistan, but he’s getting used to that. What he can’t adapt to are the nightmares and the tremor in his hand that the doctors insist is all in his head. Next to that, being a brand new werewolf seems easy, until Sawyer Holt blows into his life. The omega activates his burgeoning wolf instincts in a new way, and they threaten to overwhelm his common sense.


Both men are in Colorado searching for a new start, a new pack, and the safety they’ve lost. Their meeting is pure Kismet.

Read Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words 6 star review here. We highly recommend it.

 

Sam Burns wrote her first fantasy epic with her best friend when she was ten. Like almost any epic fiction written by a ten year old, it was awful. She likes to think she’s improved since then, if only because she has better handwriting now.
If she’s not writing, she’s almost certainly either reading or lost down a Wikipedia rabbit hole while pretending to research for a novel.

 
 
 

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September Reading and Sports  (cont’d. This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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September Reading and Sports  (cont’d)

So with the sounds of Friday night high school football as well as the Saturday game that plays behind me still ringing in my ears, I’m well aware of the place that September has as a marker for  certain sports. Fall especially.  It trumpets the call to the line, the shout of “play ball”, and the loud roar of air horns so ubiquitous  at games these days.  Football once again is flooding the media with team speculation, games, and player drama of all types.  One player was let go after being fined for repeated bad behavior and immediately resigned and rehired (Antonio Brown from the raiders to the Patriots), another famously retired pre 30 early leaving millions on the table because of injuries and pain (Andrew Luck).  That drew some derision from some corners, support from much more considering what we know now about brain injuries and the treatment of players as a commodity.  And then there is this.

One that pertains to this community and certainly our stories.  A story and excerpt in The Advocate about NFL lineman Ryan O’Callaghan and his new story My Life on the Line: How the NFL Damn Near Killed Me, and Ended Up Saving My Life by Ryan O’Callaghan and Cyd Zeigler, courtesy of Akashic Books.

 

If we are ever inclined to think that perhaps these authors take it too far in these stories, make the angst and pain too much, make the terror of discovery, and have a character collapse under the weight of being closeted or being unable to face those he loves with the truth that he is gay, well, just read even the excerpt from The Advocate to know perhaps how much some of those authors may have been holding back.  This book is now on my list for this month and I will be reviewing it here.  But go to that link and bring a box of tissues and prepare for a window into courage.

I think we sometimes forget the reality behind our stories.  The grit beneath the sweet contemporary, the raw behind the warm-hearted goodness.  Reading the excerpt from My Life On the Line was a swift and needed reminder of the men who still fight for the right to be who they are in professional and non professional sports these days.  We still have so far to go.

Have a great Sunday.

Now for this week ahead…

 

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, September 8:

  • Dine with Me by Layla Reyne Promo
  • September Reading and This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, September 9:

  • Review Tour – Sam Burns – Wolf Lost
  • Blog Tour – Last Call in Wonderland by Rob Browatzke
  • Check our the Tour for T.A.D.: The Art of Death by M.D. Neu
  • An Alisa Review: The Ninth Elixir by Pelaam
  • An Ashlez Review: Wolf Lost (The Wolves of Kismet #1) by Sam Burns
  •  Caryn Review : Last Call in Wonderland by Rob Browatzke

Tuesday, September 10:

  • Release Blitz Happy For You by Anyta Sunday
  • Release Blitz SOULBOUND #3 by Hailey Turner
  • PROMO Andrew Grey
  • An Alisa Review: Kept in the Dark (Locke and Keyes Agency #1) by Charlie Cochet
  • A MelanieM Prerelease Review: Goalie Interference (Hat Trick #2) by Avon Gale and Piper Vaughn
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Dead Man Stalking (Blood and Bone #1) by T.A. Moore

Wednesday, September 11:

  • PROMO PARKER WILLIAMS
  • Cover Reveal, for FLAME AND ASH by Morgan Brice
  • An Alisa Review: Love Potion #9 by Tinnean
  • A Lucy Review: Happy for You (Love and Family #3) by Anyta Sunday
  • A MelanieM Audio Review: Family Camp (Daddy Dearest #1) by Eli Easton and Matthew Shaw (Narrator)

Thursday, September 12:

  • AUDIOBOOK REVIEW TOUR – Tainted Life by Mel Gough
  • Blog Post – Sam Burns – Wolf Lost
  •  PROMO Rowan McAllister
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Hellion (415 Ink #3) by Rhys Ford
  • A Stella Review :Stained Hearts (Links in the Chain #3) by Parker Williams
  • An Alisa Audio Review: Dirty Mind by Roe Horvat and Vance Bastian (Narrator)

Friday, September 13:

  • Audio Review Tour for Family Camp (Daddy Dearest #1) by Eli Easton and Matthew Shaw (Narrator)
  • Release Blitz Garrett Leigh – Fated Hearts
  • Promo Tara Lain
  • A Lila Review: Mystery of the Bones (Snow in Winter #4) by C.S. Poe
  • An Alisa Review: Hearts of Blood (Chevalier) by Kay Doherty
  • An Ashlez Review Resonance (Rhythm of Love #2) by Neve Wilder

Saturday, September 14:

  • Release Blitz – Leta Blake – Bitter Heat (Heat of Love #3)

Release Blitz and Giveaway for Wolf Lost (The Wolves of Kismet #1) by Sam Burns

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal LinkExclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow With Kindle Unlimited
 
Length: 50,000 words approx.
 
Cover Design: Natasha Snow
 
Blurb



An omega on the run.


An alpha fractured.


Sawyer Holt can’t go home. The Alpha who has replaced his father wants to use him as a tool to cement his political power, and Sawyer isn’t interested in marrying his father’s murderer.


Dez Sullivan’s leg may never heal from his last mission in Afghanistan, but he’s getting used to that. What he can’t adapt to are the nightmares and the tremor in his hand that the doctors insist is all in his head. Next to that, being a brand new werewolf seems easy, until Sawyer Holt blows into his life. The omega activates his burgeoning wolf instincts in a new way, and they threaten to overwhelm his common sense.


Both men are in Colorado searching for a new start, a new pack, and the safety they’ve lost. Their meeting is pure Kismet.

 

Sam Burns wrote her first fantasy epic with her best friend when she was ten. Like almost any epic fiction written by a ten year old, it was awful. She likes to think she’s improved since then, if only because she has better handwriting now.
If she’s not writing, she’s almost certainly either reading or lost down a Wikipedia rabbit hole while pretending to research for a novel.

 
 
 

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Cover Reveal for Nightside: An Erie Vampire Tale by V.L. Locey (giveaway)

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Release Date: October 23 2019
 
Cover Design: Meredith Russell
 
Length: 50,236 words
 
Erie Series
 
An Erie Collection – Universal Link
 
Blurb



Being a new member of the undead sect has its ups and downs, something that newly embraced Akio Lee is finding out first hand. Being able to spend eternity with his beloved Vincente, the man who introduced him to life in the nightside, is a definite up. Having to sneak up and feed on strangers? That’s one of the downsides, and something that Akio is finding difficult to swallow. But what other option is there for a recently wed vampire couple who need blood to survive?


Finding a new donor perhaps? One who comes into the lifestyle willingly, as Akio had done, and is open to the unique and sensual relationship that develops when three men have a blood bond. A man who can exist in both the nightside and the dayside worlds. A man like Dalton Briggs, the tall, dark, and handsome caretaker of the manse Akio and Vincente now call home? Dalton seems to tick every box Akio and Vincente have: he’s comfortable around vampires, he’s obviously into men, he’s drop dead gorgeous, and he’s human. But will the outgoing handyman be willing to offer two vampires his vein, his body, his heart?

USA Today Bestselling Author V.L. Locey – Penning LGBT hockey romance that skates into sinful pleasures.


V.L. Locey loves worn jeans, yoga, belly laughs, walking, reading and writing lusty tales, Greek mythology, Torchwood and Dr. Who, the New York Rangers, comic books, and coffee. (Not necessarily in that order.) She shares her life with her husband, her daughter, one dog, two cats, a pair of geese, far too many chickens, and two steers.


When not writing spicy romances, she enjoys spending her day with her menagerie in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania with a cup of fresh java in one hand and a steamy romance novel in the other.

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A Stella Review: Gentleman Wolf (Capital Wolves Duet #1) by Joanna Chambers

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RATING 4,5 out of 5 stars

An elegant werewolf in Edinburgh…

1788. When Lindsay Somerville, the most elegant werewolf in Paris, learns that the man who held him in abject captivity for decades is on his way to France, intent on recapturing him, he knows he must leave the Continent for his own safety. Lindsay cannot take the risk of being recaptured—he may have been free for a century but he can still feel the ghost of his old chains under his fine clothes.

… on a mission…

While he’s in Edinburgh, Lindsay has been tasked with acquiring the “Naismith Papers”, the writings of a long-dead witchfinder. It should be a straightforward mission—all Lindsay has to do is charm an elderly book collector, Hector Cruikshank. But Cruikshank may not be all he seems, and there are others who want the papers.

… meets his match

As if that were not enough, while tracking down the Naismith Papers, Lindsay meets stubborn architect Drew Nicol. Although the attraction between them is intense, Nicol seems frustratingly determined to resist Lindsay’s advances. Somehow though, Lindsay can’t seem to accept Nicol’s rejection. Is he just moonstruck, or is Nicol bonded to him in ways he doesn’t yet understand?

Note: this is the first book of a duology – the story continues and will complete in the second book, Master Wolf.

How could I have resisted when I saw this new release from Joanna Chambers? Not just an historical, but a paranormal too with werewolves. I was over the moon and I wasn’t disappointed at all. Apart from a little particular, the novel ends with a cliffhanger, which I’m not a fan, at all.  In this case, it’s a one more reason I can’t wait for the next installment in the duology.

I was gone for Lindsay from the beginning, sure the first pages weren’t easy to read but later I found myself in a beautiful world enlightened by this eccentric, loyal and lovely person Lindsay is. I followed him through his journey to Edinburgh and there I saw seeing him be so bewitched with Nicol. I learnt how much they both suffered in the past, in different ways, how much they were still linked to that past, especially Nicol, who’s still too deep in grief and guilt.

The story is full of surprises, I wasn’t waiting for the twist at the end (didn’t see it in the least), and I wasn’t expecting Nicol to be so firm in resist Lindsay and his obvious interest and so much more for the sombre human. I can’t wait to know how their relationship will develop.

When it comes to historicals, this author is a guarantee, although I hugely prefer contemporary stories, I’m always so happy to make an exception for her, the writing style is perfect, the plot and the characters so interesting, each time I end with a full heart and a stupid smile on my mouth.

The cover art by Felix d’Eon is different and cute, I like the style and the frame.

 

BOOK DETAILS

Kindle Edition, 1st edition, 216 pages

Published August 26th 2019

ASIN B07VF2JWW3

Edition Language English

A Lucy Review: The Low Road by Eleanor Harkstead

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Can a lonely driver and a tragic hitchhiker cheat both time and death?

One night in the pouring rain, Alex stops on Gallows Hill to pick up a hitch-hiker.  But when the hitch-hiker vanishes from the passenger seat, Alex fears for his sanity.

Then he discovers that Gallows Hill is a place filled with ghosts – smugglers, witches and highwaymen.

And a young, tragic hitch-hiker named Joe.

When Joe appears again on Gallows Hill, Alex dares to hope that they can cheat both time and death.  But how can there be a future for them when Joe is trapped in a few minutes of a rainy night forty years ago?

This very short (25 pages of content) ghost story centers on Alex, a traveler on a stormy night who picks up a drenched hitchhiker named Joe.  Joe is friendly, flirty and very grateful for the ride.  He is heading to a party with his friends in town and Alex is happy to help out.  When they shake hands, “Alex tried not to wince at the iciness of Joe’s grip”, and turns the heat on for him.  It is only when he turns to talk to Joe and discovers he has suddenly disappeared that Alex begins to question his own sanity.  Alex lost his father a year ago and decides it has something to do with that.  He will find a counselor and also figures that since he can’t find a boyfriend, his mind has conjured one up. 

On returning to the same road, Alex picks up Joe again and again.  Each time they share a little more information about each other and Alex is falling a bit.  With a ghost, how can this happen?  He doesn’t know and he tries to find out who the sweet, tragic Joe was.  I loved the use of the library for research, since today almost everyone uses the Internet instead.  Alex finds the information he is looking for, but what to do about it?  It’s like Groundhog Day for Joe, reliving (so to speak) the same short journey over and over again.

The story is very short but I felt it was developed enough to give some depth to the characters, particularly Alex, and I liked the ending, as well as the little twist.  This probably won’t be everyone’s cuppa tea, mainly due to the length, but it was a super quick interesting ghostly romance.  This was my first time reading Eleanor Harkstead, the author, and I will be trying another of her books.

The cover, showing Alex in his suit, was pretty but didn’t fit the story in my opinion.

Sales Links:  Pride Publishing | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 45 pages
Expected publication: October 15th 2019 by Pride Publishing
ISBN139781913186357
Edition Language English
URL https://www.firstforromance.com/book/the-low-road

Check Out the Review Tour and Giveaway for Gentleman Wolf (Capital Wolves Duet #1) by Joanna Chambers

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Length: 216 pages
 

Cover Design: Felix d’Eon

 
Blurb
 

An elegant werewolf in Edinburgh…


1788. When Lindsay Somerville, the most elegant werewolf in Paris, learns that the man who held him in abject captivity for decades is on his way to France, intent on recapturing him, he knows he must leave the Continent for his own safety. Lindsay cannot take the risk of being recaptured—he may have been free for a century but he can still feel the ghost of his old chains under his fine clothes.


… on a mission…


While he’s in Edinburgh, Lindsay has been tasked with acquiring the “Naismith Papers”, the writings of a long-dead witchfinder. It should be a straightforward mission—all Lindsay has to do is charm an elderly book collector, Hector Cruikshank. But Cruikshank may not be all he seems, and there are others who want the papers.


… meets his match


As if that were not enough, while tracking down the Naismith Papers, Lindsay meets stubborn architect Drew Nicol. Although the attraction between them is intense, Nicol seems frustratingly determined to resist Lindsay’s advances. Somehow though, Lindsay can’t seem to accept Nicol’s rejection. Is he just moonstruck, or is Nicol bonded to him in ways he doesn’t yet understand?


Note: this is the first book of a duology – the story continues and will complete in the second book, Master Wolf.

 

About The Author


Joanna Chambers always wanted to write. She spent over 20 years staring at blank sheets of paper and despairing of ever writing a single word. In between staring at blank sheets of paper, she studied law, met her husband and had two children. Whilst nursing her first child, she rediscovered her love of romance and found her muse. Joanna lives in Scotland with her family and finds time to write by eschewing sleep and popular culture.

 
 

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Cover Reveal for T.A.D. – The Angel of Death by MD Neu (excerpt and giveaway)

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The Angel of Death

M.D Neu has a new MM paranormal/alternate universe book out: T.A.D – The Angel of Death.

Tad loves bouncing around in time and watching mankind grow and change. He loves humanity and helping when he can. However, his job isn’t conducive to helping people. He’s an Angel of Death.

Doug is fun loving and a drama queen. Despite his witty exterior, he has a dark history and is prone to self-destruction. He’s also an amazing drag queen and hairstylist with big dreams.

When Tad pushes the boundaries of his duties too far, his angel wings are stripped away from him, and he is sent to New York City to live as a human. Lost and alone he ends up meeting Doug, and the two start a friendship that will shape them both and last a lifetime. But nothing is simple when you’re dealing with a former Angel of Death and a Drag Queen. Could these two cause the fabric of our world to collapse or will they manage to keep the future as it should?

NineStar Press | Goodreads


Giveaway

Giveaway:

Marvin is giving away a $20 Amazon gift card with this reveal and tour. Enter via Rafflecopter:

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Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b60e8d4781/?


Excerpt

The Angel of Death

Doug glanced up at the big void where the buildings once stood.

How could anyone do that? All those people, and for what? Thank God, no one I know was there. Thank goodness, Garret’s train was running late. Even from across the river, seeing the buildings fall, one minute there, the next not, awful. Not knowing if Garret was alive or dead. The not knowing was awful, and it seemed to last forever. Then getting his call when the phones were back up. It was a relief. Still, the not knowing? Horrible. How do survivors do it?

Doug shuddered. He had to look away before he started to cry again. That day. The world wasn’t the same. How could it be? Would it ever be the same again? He swiped at his eyes, keeping the tears he was trying to hold back from dropping. He caught his reflection in one of the storefront windows and fussed with his blond spiky hair.

One year.

The months right after the attack had been hell for everyone. People from all over the world sent support and offered help. But New York was moving on, as it should. They already had seven different architects offering new designs to fill the empty skyline. Mayor Giuliani was doing everything he could for the city, and there was even talk of him running for president.

Doug checked his flip phone and picked up his pace. He was running late. He shouldn’t have spent the night at Tim’s, but leaving such a sexy guy was no easy task. Not to mention they might have partied too much.

I doubt that is even possible. You can never party too much.

There was a large group of mourners, and he had to step to the side to let them pass. He took a deep cleansing breath, pushing all thoughts from his mind, and started walking again. He rushed past the families and friends heading to Ground Zero. Now he had to hustle to make it to work. He’d gotten lucky no one he was familiar with was killed. Still, every time he thought about the attack and looked up at the twin lights filling the night sky, he wanted to cry.

Monsters.

Why President Bush didn’t blow up the whole of the Middle East after the attack, Doug would never understand. Instead, the president sent troops to Afghanistan, searching for Osama bin Laden and taking out Al-Qaeda.

Just as long as they find and kill the monsters who did this to us.

Doug couldn’t help but stop again and glance up to where the twin towers once stood. He quickly wiped at his eyes. “I need to get out of here.” He moved over to the brick façade and leaned against the wall as more people passed him, heading to the memorial ceremony.

“So much suffering and for what?” Doug mumbled. He started walking again, taking a deep breath and trying to avoid the crowds. A woman in a dark jacket passed him and bumped his shoulder, causing him to step closer to an alley. She didn’t bother saying anything; however, Doug thought she said something about his size. He caught his reflection again. He hated how everything made him feel so fat. Nothing he wore looked right on him. Even the baggy pants still made him look fat and messy. He would need to start at the gym if he wanted to continue dating Tim and keep up with his partying. He frowned.

At least I have good hair.

He played with the spikes of his hair.

“It’s my fault,” a gruff voice whispered from behind him.

Doug startled and turned around, but no one was there. He glanced over to the dumpster.

Sitting there, a raggedy black man, with kinky hair in desperate need of a cut and wash, stared at him. The man had the most beautiful green eyes Doug had ever seen. The rich tones of his skin really made his eyes pop, quite possibly the unkempt man’s best feature. The man was in shambles, and tears streamed down his dirty cheeks.

The anniversary affects everyone.

“I did this,” the man groaned through his sobs. “And now I’m being punished.”

Doug wasn’t sure what to do or say. Should he walk away and get to the salon? Leave what appeared to be the crazy homeless guy alone? Could he do that now that they made eye contact? Could he do that today of all days? The man needed help. The man needed a shower and clean clothes. Perhaps, if he talked to him, that would be enough…well, the talk and ten bucks.

That’s what Shannon would do. Talk to him and give him money. Shannon was such a kind soul, and I need to be more like him, more like he was. To honor him. Just like my drag name. Maybe Miss Enshannon needs to be more. I need to be more.

Doug’s heart ached at the memories of Shannon and how wonderful he was. When he picked his drag name there was no doubt on what it would be, but to honor someone you loved had to be more than using their name.

“It’s not your fault.” He knelt close to the man, still keeping his distance just in case. “It was the work of terrorists. They killed all those people, not you.”

“I should have stopped them. I should have done more,” the dirty man moaned.

“Oh, baby, no one could have done more,” Doug offered. Some people thought the government knew about the attack beforehand and the president allowed it to happen. Doug didn’t buy it. Why anyone listened to these people was beyond him, but they did. He just wished they would shut up and crawl back under the rocks they came from. They weren’t helping anyone, and in the long run, their remarks and comments only hurt people more.

“Now, I’m being punished. They sent me here and took my wings,” the man whispered.

Was this guy a pilot? Oh, that would be awful. I bet he was supposed to fly one of the planes, and he couldn’t take it. Survivor’s guilt.


Author Bio

M.D. Neu

M.D. Neu is a queer 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, Alice Walker, Alfred Hitchcock, Harvey Fierstein, Anne Rice, 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 twenty plus years.

Author Website: http://www.mdneu.com

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