A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audio Review: Whiskey and Moonshine by Elizabeth Noble and John Solo (Narrator)

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

This review is of the audio version, and I’m pleased to say John Solo’s narrations get better each time I hear him. For this one, the emotion, the pace, and the voices were spot-on. New-to-me author Elizabeth Noble brings a sweet tale of redemption as Colt Hale explores a distillery on the rest stop his bus makes as he’s heading for Charleston, SC, and he realizes he needn’t go any farther to find his place in the world.

Surviving on the streets of his hometown becomes impossible, so Cole heads south to wherever his funds will take him, but the stop to visit the distillery pays off when he learns of a job opening for a janitor, and he manages to convince them he’d be good at it. Not only is he good at that, but also at every other job he takes on his climb up the ladder. When he hears the company is looking for a spokesman, he even gets that job, and that’s when he meets the man behind the scenes: Malone Kensington. Mal is the driving force for the whiskey and moonshine-making business, but he’s not one to stand out and wants no part in being the spokesman. He’s more than happy to let Cole take over social media, photo ops, and other public appearances. And during the getting-to-know-you phase of their relationship, he realizes he likes Cole more than as an employee.

This is, after all, a Dreamspun Desires story, so it follows the old romance tropes but is executed very nicely. The two fall in love but have a spat over paperwork Cole is forced to sign by the Board of Directors, and then Cole’s past catches up to him. There’s lots of excitement mixed in here with the sweetness and romance. Let’s just say it was very enjoyable, and I didn’t want it to end, though at that point Mal and Cole were into their HEA and likely wanted me out of their private lives. LOL. I highly recommend audio format for this story. It’s not only a great way to spend leisure time, but it left me with a nice warm and fuzzy feeling.

  

The cover by Alexandria Corza features a handsome young man in front of whiskey barrels. It’s attractive and is obviously Colt, the young man who finds a new home at Kensington Distillery.

Sales Links:  Amazon | Audible

Audio Details:

(Listening Length: 6 hours and 52 minutes.)

Audible Audio, 7 pages
Published June 20th 2019 by Dreamspinner Press (first published January 15th 2019)
ASIN B07SF7YBRS
Edition Language English

A MelanieM Release Day Review: Whiskey and Moonshine by Elizabeth Noble

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Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5

Drunk on love.

Like a well-aged whiskey, master distiller and old-money entrepreneur Malone Kensington is elegant and refined. Unfortunately he’s also a perfectionist who is more dedicated to the success of his generations-old company than his own love life.

That company needs a public spokesman.

What Colton Hale lacks in sophistication, he more than makes up for with the charisma that’s allowed him to survive on the street from a young age and charm his way into the lucrative—if overwhelming—public position at the Kensington Distillery. When Mal takes Colt under his wing, hoping to polish off his rough edges, opposites attract and a passionate romance blossoms despite the differences in age and background. But can it survive a Kensington Board of Directors who believe Colt is nothing but a gold digger and a kidnapper determined to profit from the love of Mal’s life—dead or alive?

I enjoyed Whiskey and Moonshine, a Dreamspun Desires title by Elizabeth Noble as I do most of her romances.  She created two wonderful main characters in Colton Hale and Mal Kensington, as well as including a age difference/economic level advantage to make it interesting.  On top of that?  The basis and foundation of Whiskey and Moonshine is a famous family held whiskey/moonshine distillery along the line of Jack Daniels so the reader gets some fascinating inside details on how whiskey is cured and stored.  I really could have used a little more of that.  But what we get is enough to provide an authentic “flavor” and framework for Mal and the Kensington Distillery.

I actually found the novel the strongest when it had  Colton working in the janitorial department and scanning the company boards for jobs to work his way up in a company and place he was clearly meant to be.  Touching, real, and given his background, easy to connect with his struggles to move forward.  And delight in a company that continued to accept him.

When the company chooses Colton to be the ‘face” of the distillery, then the novel moves into several new stages.  The romance stage and changes in dynamics for many of the relationships here, including Colton and Mal. We lose that intimate connection Colton was having with the  distillery oddly enough as he becomes it’s spokesperson and it removes him from the actual jobs itself.  Colton keeps saying he wants to learn the business but that’s impossible when your job is public relations and “the road”.  That’s one hole that never gets completely filled in this story.

The warm, loving relationship between Mal and Colton is lovely and sweetly based on complete truths on Colton’s background.  A nice changeup from other novels.  But it’s also a bit of a reality bump for me in the story.  I didn’t have issues with their relationship, not the age difference or anything else for that matter.  Mine was more of a corporate common sense one.  Colton had lived on the  streets for years, turning tricks and doing what he had to survive.  He told Mal and the people who hired him.  Admirable and truthful.  Hire him for lots of things.  But not the very public “face” of Kensington Distillery who appears on The Tonight Show for all his former johns to see.  I really don’t see that happening in RL, nor that he didn’t have even one charge for soliciting after all those years on the streets in Toledo for someone to find.  So that all that strike me as realistic?  Uh, no,  not really.  That strikes me as a public relations nightmare.

Does it come up? No.  Other things yes, this huge one no.  So there are things here you either  just pretend to overlook or they don’t matter to begin with, because you are enjoying the romance so.

And that’s ok, it’s a really sweet romance with some angst and drama in the wings.  It all gets sorted out in time for a HEA in the Smokies.  If you like contemporary romance, Elizabeth Noble, and the Dreamspun Desires line, then Whiskey and Moonshine is another story you will want to grab up.

Cover Artist: Alexandria Corza has done a fine job with the cover and story elements.  Great job.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

 

Book Details:

ebook, 238 pages
Published January 15th 2019 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 139781640803824
Edition Language English

Elizabeth Noble On Ebooks, Writing, and her new release Whiskey and Moonshine (author guest post)

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Whiskey and Moonshine by Elizabeth Noble

Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Alexandria Corza

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Elizabeth Noble here today on tour with her latest release Whiskey and Moonshine.  Welcome, Elizabeth.

 

 

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with Elizabeth Noble

Hello and welcome to another stop on my Whiskey and Moonshine tour. Thank you so much for everyone at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words for hosting me today. They asked me a few questions!

Do you feel there’s a tight line between Mary Sue or should I say Gary Stu and using your own experiences to create a character?

I think when writing a book there are many instances where, as a writer, my own experiences influence the plot. There are times I don’t even realize what I’ve done! I don’t believe I’ve ever set out to write a story based on some part of my life. However, we all have different experiences in life and some of those details work their way into a story. There are little things, such as I almost always have a character with certain likes and dislikes similar or the same as mine. I don’t necessarily consider this as inserting myself into the story in the way a Mary Sue would be.

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

I write in the genres I write because those are the ones I love reading the most. I enjoy research maybe a little too much but it’s the other way around. I pick the genre then I do the research, formulate a plot and develop characters to fit within that genre. Even with world building and creating new cultures there is a certain amount of research that’s needed.

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

Yes, very much so. I’ve always enjoyed scifi and mysteries and as a child those were amongst my preferred books. I don’t like horror, so the discovery of urban fantasy made me happy. I think I got into that genre a little later in life.

Do you like HFN or HEA? And why?

I’m not a fan of tragedies and am definitely a person who needs a good outcome to a story. The HFN or HEA doesn’t have to be flowers and weddings, but I want everyone happy by the end of the story.

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

I love ebooks and ezines! It’s great to have one device, whether it be a phone, Kindle or tablet, with the ability to store all sorts of reading materials. I get my newspapers that way too. Convenience isn’t the only aspect that matters to me. With eBooks there is no need for massive amounts of paper or physical storage space and of course, shipping anywhere is free. It’s really a more environmentally sound choice. As technology improves and more people develop more of a proficiency with that tech I think eBooks, ezines, digital newspapers will become more of the standard.

How do you choose your covers?  (curious on my part)

The covers for the Dreamspun Desires books are stylized, so there were far fewer choices to be made. I like to have something on the cover represent the story as a whole. In this case it’s the whiskey barrels in the background. I try to match cover models to at least one character

Do you have a favorite among your own stories?  And why?

I’d have to say Quarry from The Vampire Guard series and Collared Souls from Sentries would be my two most favorite stories. In both books I was able to delve more deeply into the characters and their worlds while filling in some backstory. They were fun and satisfying books to write.

What’s next for you as an author?

I’m alternating between an urban fantasy/romantic suspense series and a contemporary romantic suspense series.

The urban fantasy series is called El Corazon. It revolves around a family of werewolves, one of whom is a bounty hunter. In the series there are four different types of magical humans and I plan one book for each type. I hope to have book one, Scintilla, out later this year.

The romantic suspense series is called Gang of Thieves and the heroes don’t always live inside the law.

 

Blurb: 

Drunk on love.

Like a well-aged whiskey, master distiller and old-money entrepreneur Malone Kensington is elegant and refined. Unfortunately he’s also a perfectionist who is more dedicated to the success of his generations-old company than his own love life.

That company needs a public spokesman.

What Colton Hale lacks in sophistication, he more than makes up for with the charisma that’s allowed him to survive on the street from a young age and charm his way into the lucrative—if overwhelming—public position at the Kensington Distillery. When Mal takes Colt under his wing, hoping to polish off his rough edges, opposites attract and a passionate romance blossoms despite the differences in age and background. But can it survive a Kensington Board of Directors who believe Colt is nothing but a gold digger and a kidnapper determined to profit from the love of Mal’s life—dead or alive?

Excerpt:

Mal climbed down from the SUV and waited for Colt. “We have to be back at the studio in—” He glanced at his watch. “—six hours. I’m going to bed.”

“Okay,” Colt agreed brightly. As they rode the elevator to their floor, Colt said, “I think I liked the spiced cranberry the best. But damn, I understand why you drink the nonalcoholic stuff most of the time. We probably shouldn’t have sampled so many flavors.”

“Hmm, got that right,” Mal whispered.

When they left the elevator, Colt stumbled, and Mal grabbed him around the waist to steady him. Colt put one hand on Mal’s chest and smiled, sending warmth spreading through him from where Colt’s hand rested. Mal’s room was closer to the elevator, and Colt leaned against the door, searching his pockets. “I think I lost my keycard.”

Mal swiped his own card through the door lock. When it opened, Colt fell backward into the room. He would have landed flat on his ass had Mal not darted forward, grabbing him again.

“You sorta like taking hold of me so I don’t fall,” Colt murmured and leaned in close enough their lips almost touched.

“You’re sorta uncoordinated.” Mal skimmed his lips over Colt’s cheek.

Winding one arm around Mal, Colt inched closer. “I’m drunk. That doesn’t count.” He licked so lightly over Mal’s ear it made Mal shudder.

Mal kicked the door shut, then turned Colt so he was trapped against it by Mal’s presence. Colt hauled Mal closer and dipped his head so he could kiss Mal’s neck and trail his lips over Mal’s jaw.

About the Author

Mystery, action, chills, and thrills spiced with romance and desire. ELIZABETH NOBLE started telling stories before she actually knew how to write, and her family was very happy when she learned to put words on a page. Those words turned into books and fan fiction that turned into a genuine love of M/M fiction. Being able to share her stories is really a dream come true. She has a real love for a good mystery complete with murder and twisty plots as well as all things sci-fi, futuristic, and supernatural.

Elizabeth has three grown children and is now happily owned by an adorable mixed breed canine princess, a spunky Cardigan Welsh Corgi and their sidekick, tabby cat. She lives in her native northeast Ohio, the perfect place for gardening, winter and summer sports (go Tribe and Cavs!). When she’s not writing she’s working as a veterinary nurse, so don’t be surprised to see her men with a pet or three who are a very big part of their lives.

Elizabeth has received a number of amateur writing awards. Since being published, several of her novels have received Honorable Mentions in the Rainbow Awards. Jewel Cave was a runner-up in the Gay Mystery/Thriller category in the 2015 Rainbow Awards. Ringed Love was a winner in the Gay Fantasy Romance category of the 2016 Rainbow Awards.

 

 

Website (please include at least this link)  http://www.elizabeth-noble.com

E-Mail: elizabeth.noble19@gmail.com

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A Chaos Moondrawn Advent Review: Twenty-Nine Hours to Eternity by Elizabeth Noble

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Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5

A Story from the Warmest Wishes: Dreamspinner Press 2018 Advent Calendar

Being gay and pagan can make for a lonely holiday season, as Ian knows well. He’s used to celebrating alone. The last place he expects to meet a like-minded guy is at LAX during a twenty-nine-hour layover.

Ian’s never felt so comfortable or compatible with another man, even if there is an air of mystery to Race.

Race is no stranger to holiday isolation, and he decides they should seize the opportunity they’ve been given and observe the Saturnalia the way it was meant to be. A grand celebration ensues, where every moment is special and every meal a feast. The ancient traditions take on new meaning as the men find meaning in each other. But each of them has a destiny and for their paths to continue together, it’ll take a kind of magic that hasn’t been seen in centuries.

This short story is about Ian and Race who meet at LAX and decided to celebrate the last day of Saturnalia together. Ian has to work Christmas eve and is about to fly out to Hawaii when disaster strikes. This story is not told in linear time, but through flashbacks. The authors shows them spending the day and evening getting to know one another. This story is explicit. There is a real connection between them, but Race is not who he seems to be. I don’t want to spoil it so you’ll have to read it, but the title should give you a clue.

The cover art is by L.C. Chase. While appropriate to Ian, it’s not very exciting.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 30 pages
Published December 1st 2018 by Dreamspinner Press
ASINB07L1S2QV5

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audiobook Review: High Test by Elizabeth Noble and Colin Darcy (Narrator)

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

At times elementary, this story is loaded with trope—though in a way that’s to be expected with these Dreamspun Desires stories. Some of the writing was too unpolished and not what I expected. It’s possible though, that some of my impression of the simplistic prose is from the narrator, who told the story in a somewhat singsong voice, although thankfully, he used a different voice for each MC. The non-dialogue portions of the book sounded as if a high school kid were standing in front of the class trying to read in a way sure to please the teacher.

I liked the overall plot concept and I especially love May-December romances, though this one was a bit much—one MC was twice as old as the other. Neal Kirchner, wealthy and well-known architect meets Hayden Owens at the Owens Coffee Company shop one morning when he stops by to try a cup of their brew. He strikes up a conversation with the cute barista and from then on, coffee becomes a part of his morning, and sometimes evening, routine—especially when Hayden is working the closing shift.

He and Hayden go out together, though Hayden never lets him see his apartment and soon becomes convinced that Neal thinks his family owns the Owens coffee shops. Hayden is finishing graduate school, majoring in auto design and engineering, and he and Neal find they have a lot in common due to their technical interests. Though he tries several times to tell Neal that he’s not wealthy and is in fact a poor, struggling student, something, or someone, always interferes just when he’s ready to spill the beans.

Naturally, this causes an issue when the truth comes out, but it’s not what Hayden thinks it’s going to be and it was entertaining and interesting, even though it was a tried-and-true romance trope. I did want to smack Hayden upside the head a few times and I wanted to fast forward my audiobook each time he fell into his self-inflicted angst, but on the whole, I liked the story and the characters, and I think much of my negatives simply came from the narrator’s performance.

If you are interested in May-December romance and like the old romance tropes many of us grew up with, this one should fill the slot.

Cover art by Bree Archer depicts an older dark-skinned man in a business suit against the backdrop of a coffee shop—the perfect depiction of Neal Kirchner, the older architect who falls for the young barista.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | Audible | iTunes

Audiobook Details:

Audible Audio. Length 5:12
Published March 22nd 2018 by Dreamspinner Press
ASINB07BFHXHHQ
Edition Language English

A MelanieM Release Day Review: High Test by Elizabeth Noble

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

The coffee is rich. Hayden isn’t. But Neal doesn’t need to know that—yet.

Hayden Owens is just your typical graduate student working his way through school as a barista for the Owens Coffee Company—no relation. But he keeps the “no relation” part to himself when he meets dashing architect, Neal Kirchner, a successful older man from an old-money family. Hayden doesn’t exactly lie, but he figures it can’t hurt for Neal to believe he’s a rich kid. After all, Hayden doesn’t want Neal thinking he’s a gold digger.

The closer they become, the harder it gets for Hayden to come clean. Something always seems to get in the way. When a company bankruptcy and a jilted, vindictive woman threaten to expose his charade, Hayden thinks it’s all gone down the drain. Luckily Neal is ready with some innocent trickery of his own.

High Test by Elizabeth Noble is a sweet contemporary romance from Dreamspinner Press’ Dreamspun Desires line.  While not exactly Cinderfella, it does have the rich man/poor man trope down  as part of the storyline.  Student Hayden Owens meets older rich Neal Kirchner at his university function for his department.  Their attraction is mutual and a relationship is built over a succession of dates.

The author’s characterizations are solid and multidimensional. We immediately like both men and understand the attraction between them, the age difference notwithstanding.  The same goes for the vast disparity in station and income…we are able to see the imbalance through the descriptions of Neal’s attire, house, etc. but his mannerisms are such, that he gently makes that fade away in his actions towards Hayden.  This is a lovely romance and their interactions and personal dynamics as they work their way towards a relationship will have you rooting for the couple.

There is some drama as there should be and then a wonderful finale.  All ends well and downright as romantically as you would have hoped for. Such a sweet, warm hearted read that I can’t help but smile as I recommend it to all lovers of romantic stories.

Cover Artist: Bree Archer.  I love the cover art and the character it represents.  Just perfect.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 202 pages
Expected publication: December 1st 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN13 9781635339642
Edition Language English

In Our New Release Spotlight: Quarry (The Vampire Guard #2) by Elizabeth Noble (author interview and special excerpt)

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Quarry (The Vampire Guard #2) by Elizabeth Noble
D
SP Publications

Available for Purchase at

DSP Publications

amazon square borderB&N borderKobo border:

 and Google Play

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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Elizabeth Noble here today. Welcome, Elizabeth. Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your latest novel.

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Thank you for having me on your blog today! I loved the questions you sent.

Are you a planner or a pantzer when writing a story? And why?

The short answer to the first question is yes. I do a bit of a combination and my story planning is something akin to chaos. Honestly, sometimes I don’t know how I pull it all together to create a book. I know there are authors who have detailed outlines for every chapter.

I’m not one of them.

Generally, I start out with a few scene ideas that turns into a plot. Then I’ll complete a rough story synopsis and general outline for the book as a whole. My outlines or story overviews are mostly a few lines of this, that, and something else that needs to happen somewhere begin Chapter 1 and The End. I take those few scene ideas and write a story around them. No one is more surprised than I am at how I interconnect those scenes. It’s a discovery and journey I love taking with each and every book.

As to the second question, the why…I really have no idea. I’ve accepted that’s simply the way my mind works. I’ve tried various method of detailed outlines or mind maps and they turn into a log jam every time.

How early in your life did you begin writing?

Honestly? Before I could write. I remember when I was very little making up and telling stories to anyone and everyone who’d listen. I think at that time in my life I was a constant chatterer and probably drove those around me nuts. I lived with my grandparents and though I have siblings I spent very little of my life with them. So, in essence, I grew up an only child. My grandparents, particularly my grandfather, loved books and encouraged my storytelling. I think they were happy when I learned how to write, however. I was always gifted with pads of paper and pencils!

Were you an early reader or were you read to and what childhood books had an impact on you as a child that you remember to this day and why?

I don’t remember being read to, but I’m sure I was. I do remember reading books even before I started school, and I remember my grandmother teaching me to read. She used to get frustrated when I was in early grade school and only brought home books on birds and wildlife from the library instead of storybooks.

The books I loved the most as a child were ones like Black Beauty, King of the Wind, Call of the Wild and Lassie. After those I loved books by Jules Verne and read all of them.

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Blurb

The members of the Vampire Guard—Jonas Forge, spy and soldier turned cop; computer hacker extraordinaire Blair Turner; Declan, thief, con man, and ex-pirate; and medical examiner and werewolf Dr. Lucas Coate—face a dangerous and elusive enemy.

And this time, it’s personal.

Over the course of three hundred years, a man has touched each of their lives in ways they are only just realizing. When a hunt for a psychotic killer in the present resurrects memories and clues from the past, they discover how they have been affected and are bound by the existence of a ruthless vampire criminal. Now, while preventing a heist at a high-tech art show and thwarting several large-scale explosions, the team must employ their unique blend of science and supernatural abilities to put an end to the machinations of the man toying with their lives.

This time, he won’t slip through their fingers.

This time, it’s more than a case. It’s a hunt, and Forge, Blair, Declan, and Lucas won’t stop until they’ve captured their quarry.

Excerpt (this was one of those scenes that lead to the rest of the book):

Jonas laid his hand on Declan’s shoulder for a few beats. “It’s okay.” He settled on the ground beside Blair and pulled him close. “You’ll be fine.”

Blair reached over and ran two fingers down Jonas’s cheek. “You’ll do okay without me.”

Jonas sighed and shook his head. He shifted his weight so he squatted as much as possible behind Blair instead of beside him and slipped his hands under Blair’s arms.

“Ready?” Declan asked. Jonas nodded.

“We can do this,” Lucas said. He, along with Ori and Kai, positioned themselves with Declan at various points along the chunk of concrete pinning and trapping Blair. Even with all four of them, it was a strain lifting what had at one time been a wall. They got it up far enough so Jonas could haul Blair out.

Blair shouted through clenched teeth and shuddered. He reached around and gripped Jonas’s shirt with one hand. Shifting him carefully, Jonas hefted Blair up and held him in his arms.

“I don’t want you to die,” Blair whispered. He rested his head on Jonas’s shoulder and ran his fingertips over Jonas’s cheek again. “Declan promised he’d take care of you.”

Jonas raised his eyebrows and sighed. Declan pinched the bridge of his nose for a few seconds and said, “He’s lost a lot of blood.”

Jonas leaned to the side and stared down at the dark puddle under the chunk of concrete. “I see.”

Blair gasped a few times and touched Jonas’s face again. “Don’t die. You don’t have to die if I do.”

“I have no plans on dying, and you’re not going to either. Not today anyway,” Jonas said softly.

“Normal folks die from blood loss. You vamps are cool. All you do is become delirious.” Lucas patted Jonas’s arm. “Get him on the stretcher so I can see what we need to do.”

Once Blair was on the stretcher, Lucas ripped the material covering his leg. Bones stuck out in places they shouldn’t have, and his leg bent sideways right below his knee.

Lucas reached up and put his hand on the side of Blair’s neck. “The good news is, you’re a vampire, and this will be healed in a week or two. The bad news is, you’re a vampire, and there isn’t a lot I can do about painkillers.”

Blair licked his lips and nodded. “Quick. Do it quick.”

quarry_fbbanner_dspp

About the Author

Elizabeth Noble lives by the adage “I can’t not write”. She can’t remember a time when she didn’t make up stories and eventually she learned how to write them down. A part of every day is spent living in worlds she created that are filled with intrigue and espionage.  Using a real love of scifi and urban fantasy highlighted by twisty plots she crafts stories taking place in a slightly altered version of our world.

When she’s not chronicling the adventures of her many characters Elizabeth is a veterinary nurse living in her native Cleveland, Ohio. She shares her little brick house with an adorable canine princess and her tabby cat side-kick. Elizabeth is a fan of baseball, basketball (go Cavs and Indians!) and gardening. She can often be found working in her ‘outside office’ listening to classic rock and plotting her next novel waiting for it to be dark enough to gaze at the stars.

Elizabeth received several amateur writing awards. Since being published, several of her novels have received honorable mentions in the Rainbow Awards. Her novel Jewel Cave was a runner-up in the 2015 Rainbow Awards in the Gay Mystery/Thriller category. Ringed Love was a winner in the Gay Fantasy Romance category of the 2016 Rainbow Awards.

Please visit Elizabeth Noble at:

Visit The Vampire Guard:

  • The Vampire Guard website: http://bit.ly/232TyHH
  • Email members of The Vampire Guard:  jr.vampx@gmail.com

Other links:

An Alisa Review: Quarry (The Vampire Guard #2) by Elizabeth Noble

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

 

quarryThe members of the Vampire Guard—Jonas Forge, spy and soldier turned cop; computer hacker extraordinaire Blair Turner; Declan, thief, con man, and ex-pirate; and medical examiner and werewolf Dr. Lucas Coate—face a dangerous and elusive enemy.

 

And this time, it’s personal.

 

Over the course of three hundred years, a man has touched each of their lives in ways they are only just realizing. When a hunt for a psychotic killer in the present resurrects memories and clues from the past, they discover how they have been affected and are bound by the existence of a ruthless vampire criminal. Now, while preventing a heist at a high-tech art show and thwarting several large-scale explosions, the team must employ their unique blend of science and supernatural abilities to put an end to the machinations of the man toying with their lives.

 

This time, he won’t slip through their fingers.

 

This time, it’s more than a case. It’s a hunt, and Forge, Blair, Declan, and Lucas won’t stop until they’ve captured their quarry.

 

This was a great continuance of the Vampire Guard series.  These four characters are wonderful for each other; they can play off the others’ strengths wonderfully.  This book kept moving with another twist just around the corner to keep the reader’s interest.

 

In this story we see even more of the characters’ backgrounds and how they are connected.  I love how connected all of the friends are and not just the soul mates when disasters happen and when they are just laid back.  They are all surprised by the additional connections they find to each other while working on this case.

 

I loved seeing them play off each other’s strengths to solve the mystery and catch the bad guy.  Being able to see the thoughts and emotions of the four main characters goes a long way to understand what is going on in the story and to stay connected with the many characters.  I will commend this author, she does a wonderful job with her writing of keeping the characters separated that I don’t get confused and have to check back on which character I am focusing on at the time as I often to in other books.  I am loving this series and can’t wait to read more when they come out.

 

Cover art by TL Bland is great and is following the basic pattern for the series.

 

Sales Links: DSP Publications | Amazon | B&N

 

Book Details:

ebook, 200 pages

Expected Publication: January 17, 2017 by DSP Publications

Edition Language: English

Series: The Vampire Guard #2

 

Cover Reveal for Quarry – Book 2 of The Vampire Guard by Elizabeth Noble

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Quarry – Book 2 of The Vampire Guard by Elizabeth Noble

(Available for pre-order from DSP Publications on October 17, 2016)

DSP Publications Sales links: eBook  PaperBack  Series page

Cover artist: TL Bland

Blurb

The members of the Vampire Guard—Jonas Forge, spy and soldier turned cop; computer hacker extraordinaire Blair Turner; Declan, thief, con man, and ex-pirate; and medical examiner and werewolf Dr. Lucas Coate—face a dangerous and elusive enemy.

And this time, it’s personal.

Over the course of three hundred years, a man has touched each of their lives in ways they are only just realizing. When a hunt for a psychotic killer in the present resurrects memories and clues from the past, they discover how they have been affected and are bound by the existence of a ruthless vampire criminal. Now, while preventing a heist at a high-tech art show and thwarting several large-scale explosions, the team must employ their unique blend of science and supernatural abilities to put an end to the machinations of the man toying with their lives.

This time, he won’t slip through their fingers.

This time, it’s more than a case. It’s a hunt, and Forge, Blair, Declan, and Lucas won’t stop until they’ve captured their quarry.

Excerpt

Chapter 1

Southern California, Present Day

Declan sprinted into traffic and across the street, dodging cars effortlessly as he ran. Blair bolted after him.

Cars were speeding through the street, horns blaring when they were cut off by other vehicles traveling in from intersecting thoroughfares. Squealing tires followed almost immediately in the wake of all the various tones from the horns. The noise was ear-shattering, and the commotion caused by traffic lights out of control was almost impossible to comprehend. Blair was running after Declan at such a high rate of speed that headlights and streetlights appeared as streaks crossing his path. It was dizzying.

One car swerved wildly, and Declan was cut off, nearly running right into its bumper. The cacophony of horns and tires increased trifold. Blair was willing to bet most of the drivers never saw Declan weaving through the pandemonium since he moved so quickly.

“Bastard,” Blair grumbled.

Blair was a vampire, the same as Declan, and could see Declan’s actions though human or werewolf eyes weren’t able to. Too bad Blair couldn’t mimic Declan’s smooth moves. A car careened around a corner and right into Declan’s path. He jumped up, slid across the hood on his ass, and hit the pavement running without missing a beat.

Blair hated him.

Blair’s actions were less than smooth, and trying to keep up, even though he was the faster runner between them, made him feel horribly inept. His attempt at Declan’s move over and around the cars resulted in Blair’s face narrowly escaping an intimate meeting with the pavement.

Growling, he shoved off the ground and raced after Declan. They were chasing a human; it shouldn’t be this hard to catch the guy. The man was smart; he was using the flow of traffic, or, more precisely, manipulating the traffic to stay ahead of Declan and Blair. Whether he knew he was being chased by vampires, or even believed they existed, Blair had no idea. Now wasn’t the time to figure it out either.

Where the hell was Forge? Shouldn’t Blair’s soul mate be dropping from a rooftop or charging from some alleyway to tackle this asshole they were chasing about now? It was Forge’s usual MO, and Blair suspected Forge liked doing things that way.

Trouble was, he wasn’t doing it now.

They were separated by enough distance it wasn’t possible for Blair to hear Forge. The transmitter in his wristband wasn’t working. They were both vampires and soul mates, so they shared a very powerful emotional bond, each experiencing the other’s emotions. Their bond wasn’t going to help with details on their exact position, however. Blair suspected the traffic-light hack wasn’t the only hack going on right now. Their wristbands relied on radio frequency, as well as Bluetooth, and something was being used to jam their transmissions.

Blair would have to figure that little detail out later. He was preoccupied with keeping up with Declan and their suspect right now. Maybe he and the fourth member of their team, Lucas Coate, a werewolf bonded to Declan, were more reliant on the technology they used daily than their mates, but Jonas Forge and Declan had been born long before the use of electricity, let alone wearable wireless communications. They’d worked together as intelligence operatives without such tools and without the Internet. Blair really wished they’d get on with showing off those skills about now.

Declan rounded a corner, and Blair raced after him. There was less traffic on this street. Surely they’d catch up to the man they chased. The guy hit the fencing around a construction site at a full run, leaping halfway to the top and scrambling over the top before he jumped to the ground.

Barely breaking stride, Declan bent his knees and cleared the fence in one bound, landing neatly—and on both feet—on the other side. Blair heard him mutter something in French that sounded very unkind. The fact that they couldn’t catch a human who was slower and weaker, with worse eyesight in the dark, was clearly pissing Declan off.

Those details were certainly pissing Blair off. “Any time now, Forge,” he mumbled. The frustration he felt from his mate told Blair that Forge and Lucas weren’t close by and were struggling to get a fix on their location. Didn’t that just make their situation even better?

Blair tried to hurdle the fence Declan-style, but his leap fell short, and he slammed into the top rail, doubling over it with a grunt. He grabbed it and swung over but didn’t land nicely on his feet. Instead he dropped into a disorganized heap in the dirt. Blowing out a growl, he got to his feet and sprinted after Declan again.

Declan stopped at one end of the site. It looked like some sort of upscale apartment complex and appeared to be one of those places with stores, wine bar, restaurants, and loft apartments—all with a convenient parking garage underneath. Blair remembered seeing them referred to as lifestyle centers.

“Where’d he go?” Blair was a bit breathless.

Declan held one hand up and cocked his head, saying, “Shh… I think….” He pointed out a direction. “Over there. Hear him?”

Blair nodded and ran with Declan through the partially built complex. Thuds and pings echoed around the area and bounced off varied textured surfaces. It was difficult filtering the exact location of the sounds, but Declan seemed to be following a determined path. Blair followed Declan. Blair was the guy who did the research and ran the tech end of their team. He was stay-in- the-surveillance-van guy, not go-out-into-the-field guy. Those roles belonged to Declan and Forge. Blair liked the van and wanted his job back.

Being in the van was going to have to wait, for now he had this job. Everything had gotten mixed up and out of whack with this assignment, which was what left Declan and Blair chasing an annoyingly slippery human through a construction site.

The trail Declan followed took them up an escalator or, more to the point, where an escalator was in the process of being installed. When they reached the top, Declan waved Blair to the right, and he took a left. Blair didn’t question Declan’s instincts and concentrated on the sounds around him. Footsteps: his, Declan’s, and two other sets, not one.

“What the crap?” Blair muttered. The footsteps were going in two different directions, which was why Declan had them split up. Blair stopped and glanced around. It was dark in here, but vampire sight didn’t require much light. Up one level and farther to the right, something moved. Blair sprinted in that direction. He gave up on Declan’s fancy leaping and bounding moves and took the stairs.

Halfway up he stopped and turned around. Holding his breath, he stood and listened. Forge was always telling him to utilize the strongest sense a vampire had—his hearing. Right now what he was hearing didn’t make sense. Blair might never be the warrior Forge was or the spy James Bond wished he was, like Declan, or a man such as Lucas who adapted to and was comfortable in every social situation. But he wasn’t without his own skill set.

Warning bells were ringing in his head. It took him a few seconds to narrow down the cause: a series of clicks and a barely audible whine. Blair checked his wristband again. Still no signal. He turned in a slow circle. Now he heard no footsteps other than Declan’s, and he had slowed to a walk. No one was speaking, but Blair did hear breathing. Three distinct patterns. One he recognized as Declan. The other two were in close proximity to each other, and at least one of them was the man they’d chased in here. The layout of the building and the materials used were making it difficult, since sounds were bouncing off partially constructed walls.

He looked down at the main level. Declan had come back into view and was gazing up at Blair. He shrugged and spread his hands wide.

Another series of clicks and a buzz.

Blair tried his wristband a second time. Neither that, nor the earbud he wore, was working. He had no signal, but someone did, and it was a private system—that much Blair had already figured out. Noise from the transmission came to Blair in bits, but nothing he could make sense of. Yet he felt he should recognize the noise.

After moving down the stairs a few steps, Blair stopped and listened again, then shook his head very slightly.

A different noise, a snapping sort of sound, made both him and Declan look to the left. Declan held up his hand and stalked silently in the direction of the sound. Blair knew the sound but couldn’t place it.

“Shit,” he said, only loudly enough that Declan was the single person who would hear him. Blair started running down the steps. The hair along the back of his neck rose, and a shiver worked down Blair’s spine. Whatever that noise was, it meant danger. He was sure of it.

Another click.
Blair shouted, “Declan!” He dove off the side of the steps and launched himself at Declan. Declan turned in time to catch Blair. At the same time, a low rumble started beneath their feet. The floor vibrated, and the low rumble erupted into a deafening roar.
“What the—” Declan hissed as Blair wrapped both arms around his shoulders and used his momentum to shove them both backward.
The flooring several yards from them opened up. Brick, metal, and glass dropped through to the parking level below, creating a deafening roar. Dust and dirt billowed up from somewhere beneath them. Declan pushed off the floor and spun them around and away from the blast. A brilliant flash of light struck, and then dust and debris turned everything hazy and dark. The stores and wine bar disappeared as Declan and Blair were plunged down, along with chunks of cement, into the cavernous depths of the parking garage.

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Elizabeth Noble bio:

Elizabeth Noble lives by the adage “I can’t not write”. She can’t remember a time when she didn’t make up stories and eventually she learned how to write them down. A part of every day is spent living in worlds she created that are filled with intrigue and espionage. Using a real love of scifi and urban fantasy highlighted by twisty plots she crafts stories taking place in a slightly altered version of our world.

When she’s not chronicling the adventures of her many characters Elizabeth is a veterinary nurse living in her native Cleveland, Ohio. She shares her little brick house with an adorable canine princess and her tabby cat side-kick. Elizabeth is a fan of baseball, basketball (go Cavs and Indians!) and gardening. She can often be found working in her ‘outside office’ listening to classic rock and plotting her next novel waiting for it to be dark enough to gaze at the stars.

Elizabeth received several amateur writing awards. Since being published two of her novels have received honorable mentions in the Rainbow Awards. Her novel Jewel Cave was a runner up in the 2015 Rainbow awards in the Gay Mystery/Thriller category.

Please visit Elizabeth Noble at:
Emotion in Motion: http://www.elizabeth-noble.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/elizabeth.noble.77

Facebook group: On the Patio with Elizabeth Noble: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1551582581800123/

Twitter: @elizabethnoble1
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/elizabethnoble1/
Elizabeth’s direct email is: elizabeth.noble19@gmail.com

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Visit The Vampire Guard:
The Vampire Guard website: http://elizabeth-noble-thevampireguard.weebly.com/
Email members of The Vampire Guard: jr.vampx@gmail.com

One Pulse Anthology and a Interview with Jon Keys, author of A Single Night

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One Pulse (A Dreamspinner Press Anthology)

Release Date September 17
Purchase Links

Stories drive life. Sometimes life is good; sometimes life is bad. But it’s the nature of our community that in the aftermath of an act of hatred, we respond with love. Because darkness cannot exist in the presence of light. Cruelty cannot stand against compassion. Negativity will never overcome hope.

To show our support for those affected by the Orlando shooting, our authors, editors, artists, and staff have volunteered their talents to create this anthology. All proceeds will be donated to LGBT organizations in central Florida. Join us as we celebrate the triumph of love over every obstacle.

Jon Keys—A Single Night
Alicia Nordwell—About Best Friends & Boyfriends
Mickie B. Ashling—Adíos
M.T. Aspen —Asking for Trouble
M.A. Church—Chasing Tyme
Caitlin Ricci—Coming Out
George Seaton—Cucurrucucú
Jayce Ellis—Dance
Bree Cariad—Everyday Miracles
Chrissy Munder—Everything I Need
Ellis Carrington—For the First Time
Felicitas Ivey—Get Me to the Church Town Hall on Time
John Amory—Happy Pride
Grace R. Duncan—Hope
John Goode—Let Them Eat Cake
J. C. Long—Magical Boys Just Wanna Have Fun
Elizabeth Noble—Magicicada
Renee Stevens—More Than a Pact
Troy Storm—One Big Happy… Bunch
Connie Bailey—One Heart at a Time
Dev Bentham—Perfection
Andrea Speed—Pride
Laura Lascarso—Pull
Lila Leigh Hunter—Raffled Kiss
Emery C. Walters—Ranch Dressing
C.C. Dado—Read My Lips
Sera Kane—The Stag’s Bane
KC Burn—The Tithe
Vicktor Alexander—The Wooing of the Marqués de Sierra de Outes
Edmond Manning—They Danced

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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is proud to help host Dreamspinner Press’s release week for its One Pulse Anthology, a collection of stories written in the aftermath of the horror of the shootings in Orlando.  Here today, is Jon Keys, author of the wonderful Obsidian series and the story, A Single Night. Welcome, Jon, to Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words.

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A Single Night by Jon Keys from the One Pulse Anthology

Interview

  • Where do you normally draw your inspiration for a book from?  A memory, a myth, a place or journey, or something far more personal?Good question! For me it can be from almost anything: a random comment; a location I’ve never been to before, or a familiar one I revisit. I’ve written a few stories based on fairy tales. Many of the contemporary novels begin as a “what if” story. For example, a novel I’m writing now is built from the question of what would happen if a college professor fell for his mechanic. From there I’ve added twists and turns to take it beyond the obvious.
  • Are you a planner or a pantzer when writing a story? And  why?Both. I start out planning the important elements of the novel. Lately I’ve been mapping stories out to get their flow. But once I begin writing, all kinds of twists and turns happen that I hadn’t foreseen. When they do I usually let them run their course.
  • Contemporary, supernatural, fantasy, or science fiction narratives or something else?  Does any genre draw you more than another when writing it or reading it and why does it do so?Well the reading side is easier, so lets start there. Science fiction and fantasy are big time favorites. I enjoy the peek at another world or another time. All of those situations appeal to me as a reader. So far as other genre that are in the mix; some murder mysteries will fall in from time to time. I enjoy solving the puzzles and figuring out the who done it. Contemporary is also in the combination. Nothing scratches an itch sometimes quite like a good love story. But even then I want to know about their life, where they live and other background. I guess that element comes through on both my reading and writing. I want them to have a feeling of place.Writing follows some of the same lines of thought, but the emphasis has been different. Most of my writing has focused around contemporary, or at least the first handful of stories was firmly rooted in the here and now. They also had a strong rural/cowboy flavor to them.  But over the last several stories the focus is on fantasy. Whether it was the retelling of a classic fairy tale or the worlds of high fantasy, I’ve found writing these created worlds very satisfying. I love creating worlds and the animals and people who populate them. But in my next novel set to be released early in 2017 I’m back firmly in the contemporary world, telling cowboy stories again. I seem to have somewhat of a split writing personality!
  • If you had a character you’ve written you would write differently now at this time in your writing career, who would it be and why?The characters I’d probably want most to redo would be some of the antagonists, particularly Peter’s ex from Home Grown. He’d be much more multilayered now, more ominous. Yeah, he would be the character I could change more than most others.
  • Can an author have favorites among their characters and do you have them?Sure! I think authors can definitely have favorites. Some characters come out with so much personality and personal growth that you can’t help but cheer them on and want them to win. Terja from Obsidian Sun was one of those. He grew and changed so much through the course of the books.
  • If you were to be stranded on a small demi-planet, island, or god forbid LaGuardia in a snowstorm, what books would you take to read or authors on your comfort list?Oh jeez, I always go back to these later and can think of a dozen more. My test of a good read is how many times I’ve reread them. Some authors who have made it on my reread list: Anne McCaffrey’s Pern, Mercedes Lackey’s Valdemar world, Allen Dean Foster, and for humor I love Robert Aspirin; the MYTH series, Phule’s Company and the Dragon Series. Yeah, that would be the short list, at least for now.
  • How early in your life did you begin writing?.I’m not one of the child prodigies I’m afraid. I never considered writing until a few years ago and I thought, “I can do that” and gave it a try. Now? Well it’s become quite an addiction for me.
  • Were you an early reader or were you read to and what childhood books had an impact on you as a child that you remember to this day and why?I read a lot of books, but don’t remember too many of the early ones. Actually the oldest book that I remember was Mother Goose. I had people read that book to me until I could ‘read’ the book out loud. Oddly enough the novel I remember from elementary school was Farmer Boy and yes, I was an adult before I realized it was part of the Little House on the Prairie series. But I could identify with Alfonzo. Later I found more science fiction and fantasy books. Of course I had the classic collection of all the comic books I could afford. I’d never heard of a graphic novel in those days.
  • If you were writing your life as a romance novel, what would the title be?Oh wow, hard question. I agonize over titles. I really like for them to work on a number of levels. Maybe “Here we go again.”

Blurb:

The aftermath of tragedy calls for more than just physical healing, but Devon and Logan may find it with family—and with each other.

Author Bio

Jon Keys’ earliest memories revolve around books; with the first ones he can recall reading himself being “The Warlord of Mars” and anything with Tarzan. (The local library wasn’t particularly up to date.) But as puberty set in he started sneaking his mother’s romance magazines and added the world of romance and erotica to his mix of science fiction, fantasy, Native American, westerns and comic books.

A voracious reader for almost half a century, Jon has only recently begun creating his own flights of fiction for the entertainment of others. Born in the Southwest and now living in the Midwest, Jon has worked as a ranch hand, teacher, computer tech, roughneck, designer, retail clerk, welder, artist, and, yes, pool boy; with interests ranging from kayaking and hunting to painting and cooking, he draws from a wide range of life experiences to create written works that draw the reader in and wrap them in a good story.

Buy links:

eBook: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/one-pulse-7577-b

Social Media:

Excerpt:

Logan couldn’t help but notice Devon’s limp was more pronounced than normal. The wear and tear on his husband was visible tonight when Devon grabbed the back of the sofa. His fingers dug into the thick padding as he sighed.

“Sit down, please. I’ll call Michelle and Doug and reschedule. They’ll understand,” Logan said.

“I’m fine. Watch.” Devon winked at Logan, then vaulted over the back of the heavy piece of furniture to land with a bounce on the dense cushions.

A slight rattle and a stifled groan of pain made Logan cringe. “Would you behave, Devon! You’ll mess something up.”

Devon wrapped his meaty arms around Logan and worked to pull him on top. But Logan grabbed his face and planted a kiss on his forehead.

“Knock it off. It’s your sister who’s on her way,” Logan said.

But Devon ignored the protest, pulled Logan close, and pressed their lips together. The tingle in the pit of Logan’s stomach was the same he’d gotten the night they met. In the years since, it had only gotten stronger. Logan took a deep breath and filled his senses with Devon’s masculine scent, letting himself melt against the muscular chest and feel safe. His thoughts became fuzzy and his crotch tight as their closeness sent delicious jolts through Logan. He realized this wasn’t going like it should when they had guests arriving. Logan pushed away, wet his lips, and grinned.

“I have to cook supper before they get here. Go change into something comfortable. And hang up your dress clothes, because I’m the one who has to iron your crap.”

When Devon made an attempt to stand and his breath hissed through his teeth. Logan stepped over to help, but Devon waved him away. “When I can’t get my fat ass off the sofa, I’ll let you know.”

Logan rolled his eyes but stepped back. The effort took several tries before Devon stood. He shot Logan a wink and a smile. “See, told you I didn’t need help.”

Logan’s lips formed a tight line, and he started toward the kitchen. “You’re a stubborn jackass. Now go change.” He pulled out ingredients for dinner and within a few minutes had food strewn across the counters. He had the ingredients for the first course ready when Devon reappeared, still wearing his clothes from work.

“What do you want me to do?” Devon asked.

Logan glanced over and sighed. “Just once you could listen. Sit. Rest. They’ll want to play games until late.”

“I’ll help. I can make a pasta dish.”

Logan studied him for a minute before lifting an eyebrow. “Yeah, pasta would be good. What did you have in mind?”

Devon smirked as he made his way to the refrigerator while Logan worked on getting the entrée ready. He was preparing steaks and fresh vegetables from their garden for grilling. Logan spread them over two trays, seasoned them, and then coated everything with good olive oil they’d discovered on their trip to Italy. It was one of the little indulgences they allowed themselves. Devon was still working his way through the contents of the fridge when Logan stepped out onto their patio to get the grill ready.

While it heated, he looked around the yard and enjoyed the spring flowers he and Devon cared for with meticulous attention. They’d remodeled the deck last year and put in a Jacuzzi. He’d paid for it as part of Devon’s fortieth birthday gift. But he’d also hoped it would help keep the scar tissue on Devon’s leg a little more flexible. Whether it did or didn’t, they enjoyed having the little oasis to escape into each evening. Devon’s job as a victims’ advocate became stressful at times, and Logan wanted him to have a place to unwind.

Logan turned his attention to the barbecue, decided everything was fine, and slipped into the house. He glanced over at Devon and froze. A second later, he started laughing.

Devon turned to him and lifted an eyebrow. “Something wrong?”

“Nope. Not at all. I was just wondering if you’d left anything in the fridge.”

“You questioning my ability to make pasta salad?”

Logan held up both hands in surrender. “No, no. Nothing like that.”

Devon turned to his cutting board and diced peppers with the chef knife Logan bought him last Christmas. The mix of ingredients was unique, but Devon seemed satisfied with his hoard, so Logan didn’t care. No one’s crying, no one’s bleeding, then it isn’t a big deal. They worked together in the kitchen with practiced ease. Logan decided to make shot glass desserts for a treat. Devon was putting his salad in the fridge as Logan sprinkled pecans into the last dessert glass.

Devon was up to something; he was smirking too much over making pasta salad. Logan waited a minute before checking to see what was happening. He wasn’t surprised to discover the source of Devon’s amusement about the dish he’d made.

He frowned at the penis-shaped pasta filling the bowl. “Really? Another porn pasta creation? And for your sister?”

By this time Devon was cackling. “She’ll think it’s great, and Doug will turn a nice shade of red. It’ll all be good.”

Logan sighed and glanced at his watch. “Fine, keep your cock pasta. Your sister will be here soon. We need to shower.” He looked at Devon and lifted one brow. “And taking off your tie doesn’t mean you got relaxed.” Logan stood with an expression he hoped looked appropriately stern.

“If you ask me if I need help, I swear I’ll beat you with a wet noodle.”

Logan chuckled and waved him away. “Go shower. I’ll set the table. If you behave, I’ll come wash your back.”

“If you put out later, maybe I’ll let you,” Devon said with a laugh.