Release Blitz for A Kiss Before Christmas by A E Ryecart (excerpt and giveaway)

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RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: A Kiss Before Christmas

Author:  A E Ryecart

Publisher: A E Ryecart

Cover Artist: Tammy Clark

Genre/s: Contemporary gay romance, Christmas story

Heat Rating:  2 flames

Length:  37,200 approx words

It is a standalone story.

Release Date: 15th November 2018

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Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US

Amazon UK 

Blurb

Christmas is looming and Jack De Lacy needs a solution to one hell of a fix.

Dumped by his boyfriend in favour of his best friend, Jack’s been busy bragging about the hot new man in his life.

A hot new man who doesn’t exist.

With an important function to attend where he’ll come face-to-face with his ex, Jack knows he’ll be a laughing stock when his boasts are exposed as nothing more than wishful thinking. He’s desperate but time, like his options, is running out.

Rory Kincaid is scared he won’t last another night sleeping rough on London’s frozen, snowbound streets. With all the homeless shelters full, Rory seeks refuge in the first empty doorway he stumbles across.

Finding Rory shivering in the sub-zero temperatures, Jack can no more send him away than kick a puppy out into the cold. A shower, shave and hot drink later, and the grubby street kid is transformed into a beautiful young man.

As the attraction between them grows, so does a plan that will get Jack out of the mess he’s in and give Rory a warm, safe home for Christmas. Sweet and adorable, Rory will make a great fake boyfriend for the holidays – the problem is, neither Jack nor Rory is sure where the make believe ends and the truth begins.

Warning: this 37k novella contains a camp Christmas tree, a drag queen Christmas fairy called Doris, way too many jugs of eggnog, a closet posh boy, and the sweetest Kiss Before Christmas ever.

Excerpt

Jack swung around. “Wait.”

The kid stopped and looked back over his shoulder, his body braced against the buffeting snow.

What am I doing? It was madness, but the feeling that he was kicking a puppy or leaving a kitten in a bag to die, weighed on Jack.

“You can come upstairs and have a have a cup of tea while you wait out the worst of the weather.” What the hell have I just done?

The kid shifted his weight from one already soaked foot to the other. “No, but thanks. I’ve caused you enough bother already. And you gave me some money – thank you. I’ll go—”

“I might be able to run to a sandwich as well.” What next? A bed for the night?

“I don’t know. . .”

“Well, make your mind up, and do it now. I’m not standing out here freezing my bollocks off for much longer. A cup of tea and a sandwich is the offer, and then you’re on your way. Take it or leave it.”

Jack turned and unlocked the door, the warmth from the hallway a welcome caress against his cold skin. It had been a rash offer but a good one on a night like this. Well, the kid had turned it down, so he’d have to take his chances on the streets.

“Yes. Please. If you’re sure?”

Jack looked over his shoulder. The wind had picked up, and huge snowflakes swirled around. Enough snow had already fallen to cover the black-and-white-tiled path, and it wouldn’t be long before there was a whole lot more. Jack jerked his head, and the boy retraced his steps, following Jack inside and up the stairs.

“No offence, but you really smell.” The words tumbled from Jack’s mouth, his nose wrinkling as he closed the door to his top-floor flat. The kid had only just walked over the threshold, but he was already stinking the place out. In the cold, outdoor air, Jack hadn’t smelled the tangy, ripe aroma but up close and in the warm. . . He sniffed and coughed as his throat closed up. Christ, it was horrible. He’d offered food and drink, but a shower was top of the list.

“Sorry, but I’ve run out of my usual cologne, so I’ve had to splash on Eau de Homeless.”

Jack froze, his arms half in, half out of his coat sleeves. He stared down at the stranger, the stinking, smelly stranger he’d let into his home. And what was the kid doing? Giving him lip. Which Jack knew he deserved. He carried on peeling off his coat and hung it on a hook on the wall. Yep, he’d deserved the comeback because he hadn’t been exactly tactful.

“Sorry. That was a bit – well, you know.” Jack glanced at the kid, but the brief flare of spirit had been doused, leaving him as cowering as he had been on the doorstep. “Look, I’ll sort you out a towel and some clean clothes. I’ve got some old clothes I was going to take to the charity shop, but you might as well have them. I’ll get you a spare razor, too.” Old enough for dark scruff to shadow his skin, Jack thought, so maybe not such a kid after all. Jack turned away, then stopped. A vital piece of information had been omitted.

“I’m Jack, by the way. What’s your name?”

“Rory.”

About the Author

I love all kinds of MM romance and gay fiction, but I especially like contemporary stories.  Born and raised in London, the city is part of my DNA so I like to set many of my stories in and around present-day London, providing the perfect, metropolitan backdrop to the main action. I write at home, in the gym, in cafés – in fact any place I can find a good coffee!

Author Links

Blog/Website

Facebook

Twitter

Giveaway

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win one of 2 copies of the ebook of A Kiss Before Christmas.

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RELEASE BLITZ SCHEDULE

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Review of the Warder Series by Mary Calmes

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Continuing our Series week, I am featuring a series I loved, this time by Mary Calmes.  I love her writing and other series by her will be included in the Spotlight on Series at a later date:

Rating for the Series: 5 stars

In her Warder series, Mary Calmes has created a group of memorable characters and a special universe for them to live and play in.  In the Warder universe, demons and other hell creatures have the ability to visit our world via portals.  Once here, they wreck death and destruction on the unwary human race ignorant of their presence.  The only thing standing between hell and humans?  Warders, a group  of people  called to duty by their special talents and gifts.  Each city has such a group defending it against the abyss.  Its leader is called a Sentinel, the oldest of Warders.  They (male or female) lead a team of five Warders, like the five points of a pentagram.  Each Warder, usually a orphan when called, has a special gift to go along with the powers all Warders hold.  And while the Warders are incredibly powerful, they also have a need for a Hearth, a person who provides the Warder with a home, a safe place to channel their energy, someone to love them and for them to love.

As the Sentinel explains it. “We have found over the centuries that all power and no heart will kill a warder…“My men protect me and each other, and to do that, they need a balance in their lives. For a warder, their hearth—home—is vital and necessary.”  And without a Hearth, the Warder eventually dies. And not just anyone can become a Hearth to a Warder. If a Warder sleeps with someone and that person is not their Hearth, then the Warder drains away the life force of the person they are sleeping with, leaving them aged and withered.  If the Warder leaves quickly enough and never returns, the person rebounds back to the age they had been. But when the Warder finds their Hearth, a bond is formed and the Hearth acquires  special powers of their own, including keeping their Warder safely energized while not being drained themselves.  Their Hearths are their connection to the real world they are protecting.

The Warder series is the story of the five Warders of San Francisco and their Hearths. In each of the  first four books, we have two Warders in desperate need of a hearth, a Warder whose Hearth disappears into another dimension due to a demon’s plan, of an already established couple, their backstory and the dangers that await a Warder and Hearth the longer they stay together  and the final book is the story a Warder who visits his Hearth’s home and finds all is not what it should be.  Each book is a tale that will tug at your heart and bring you a new couple to love.  Mary Calmes gift of characterization flows from book to book, with each member of a couple the yin to their partner’s yang.  Sometimes the story is told from the Hearth’s pov, like Julien Nash in His Hearth. We learn along with Julien, what Ryan Dean really is and what is means to be a Warder and his Hearth.  It’s a great introduction to the group of men and the series.  In other books, it is the Warder telling the story and that is equally necessary to fully understand the pressures and turmoil of a Warder’s inner life as well as the toll all the killings and death of innocents take on their souls.And facing off with the Warders and their Hearths are a series of demons and hell dimensions as well crafted as the Warders themselves.  Calmes skillfully builds the anticipation and anxiety as each couple struggles to find and then keep their relationship safe, irregardless of its longevity.

I have been asked several times to name my favorite Warder couple and found it impossible to do.  I meet one couple and fall in love with them, read another book in the series and love that couple and so on.  Each couple is so different as each Warder brings his own set of needs, insecurities and power to the relationship and that is balanced by the strengths and qualities of their Hearth, giving each story its own flavor and depth.  I love this series and have heard that Mary Calmes might be writing one last story in the series.  I hope its true.

Here is the books in the order they should be read to fully grasp the role each Warder plays in the group and who all the characters are that are mentioned, complete with outstanding covers by artist Reese Dante:

His Hearth (Warder #1):  This is the story of Warder Ryan Dean and his Hearth, Julien Nash.  It is told from Julien’s pov and gives the reader the backstory on Sentinels and Warders. Julien Nash is searching for his date at the company Christmas party and finds him with another man in the copy room. Stunned and more than a little irritated when his date comes to find him, their argument is interrupted by former model turned broadcaster, Ryan Dean, who takes his date’s place. Their connection to each other is immediate and Julien finds himself taking Ryan home after the dinner is over.  One night turns into the weekend of love and lust that comes to an abrupt end when Julien comes out of the bedroom to find Ryan in deadly combat with four demons. When Ryan’s true nature and calling is revealed, Julien must make a choice that will affect the rest of their lives.

Tooth and Nail (Warder#2):  Warder Malic watched as his best friend and fellow Warder Ryan find his Hearth and vowed never to let another get that close, no matter the cost.  Just the thought of loving someone, being that vulnerable scared the hell out of him, Malic preferred being the snarly, sarcastic person that his reputation purported him to be. Until he came across a angel being attacked by drunken thugs in a bathroom and everything changed. Dylan is only 19.  On his way home from his temporary job as a Christmas angel in a seasonal boutique, he stops at a bar and gets into trouble immediately. He is rescued  when a tall scary blond man pulls off his attackers and makes sure Dylan is safe.  Dylan knows he has found the man he was meant to love.  Now if he can only convince him.  Malic is drawn to the gorgeous young man in his arms.  The strength of that attraction sends him running off into the night. But fate has other plans and Malic soons meet up with Dylan again, and again. How much will it take before Malic accepts what Dylan already knows to be true, Dylan is his Hearth and they belong together.

Heart In Hand (Warder#3): Hearth Simon Kim loves his Warder Leith Haas but a Warders life is a dangerous one and Simon has always held a part of himself back from Leith, afraid to let that last part of him open to the perils of a Warder/Hearth relationship.  Then Leith disappears into a demon dimension while trying to rescue Simon and others from a demon trap.  Now Simon must risk everything, including sacrificing his heart,if he is going to get his Warder and love back safely.

Sinnerman (Warder#4). Warder Jackson Tybalt is secure in his relationship with his Hearth until he catches him cheating on him.  The loss of his Hearth/love, causes Jackson in his grief and rage to become a loose cannon, reckless in pursuit of demons, heedless of his own safety, drunken and irresponsible, Jackson now threatens the security of his group and the welfare of the humans he is supposed to protect.  Then kyrie Raphael offers him a relationship that Jackson thinks is built on darkness, lust and pain. This is what Jackson has been seeking and Jackson accepts.  Raphael is a demon who just happens to hunt his own.  He has wanted Jackson as his own for some time and jumps at the opportunity the depressed Jackson gives him.  What follows is an exploration of ” what a body needs to bandage the wounds of the heart, and Raphael will hide the tenderness he feels for Jackson for as long as the warder wears the guise of the Sinnerman.”  I do think this is my favorite of the series.  Far darker than the books before it, it has a depth combined with a vivid description of a man lost in emotional turmoil.  And Raphael is just an outstanding character.

Nexus (Warder#5):Nexus is the story of Marcus Roth. top criminal lawyer and Warder and his Hearth, Joseph Locke. They are an interracial couple, with the added twist that Joseph Locke is also blind.  They are an established couple which makes the story even more interesting. Nexus begins with Marcus and Joseph traveling to Lexington, Kentucky to celebrate Joe’s grandfather’s birthday. Joe’s family is unaware, even after all the years they have been together of the special nature of their bond of Warder/Hearth.  When a demon threatens the family, the local Warder group demonstrates just how ineffectual they have become and Marcus must step in and take charge of the situation.  As the situation gets more dangerous, Marcus’ identity is revealed to Joe’s family and Marcus must face a tremendous sacrifice to save them all.

Again, a totally different take from the other couples.  Marcus and Joe are still deeply in love after many years together but Marcus doesn’t realize how important he is not only to Joe but to all the other Warders.  It is a study of a traumatized man trying unsuccessfully to recover from an ordeal.  Marcus and Joe grab the reader from the start, their story is multilayered and easy to empathize with.  Loved them.

Cherish Your Name (Warder#6):  Malic Sunden is accompanying his Hearth, Dylan Shaw, home for the holidays.  Dylan has assured him that his parents and sibling will love him but that’s not the case.  Dylan’s parents make it obvious that they think Malic is a cradle robber and that Dylan could do much better.  Dylan is occupied with his old friends, and doesn’t see what his family’s disapproval is doing, making Malic rethink their relationship.  On top of that, the Shaw’s neighbor is coming on to Malic and a demon with his own agenda, wipes Malic’s memory clean and kidnaps him to another dimension. An amnesiac Malic must fight his way back to a home he no longer remembers with just a name to use as a beacon.  As a Warder Christmas story, it has all the right elements, a house decorated for Christmas that would be worthy of the Kranks, a disgruntled family, too much celebrating and a demon to threaten to detroy Malic and Dylan’s bond, that is if Dylan’s family doesn’t accomplish that first.  I love Dylan and Malic and loved that we got another story featuring their relationship.  We left it at the very beginning of the bond in Tooth and Nail and this gives us a glimpse into the relationship months later.  As with the previous books, some of the other Warders make appearances as well.  Loved it.

And now all the books have been published in print editions in two books.  Collection #1 contains books 1-3, and Collection #2 has books 4-6.  All available from Dreamspinner Press and Amazon.

Here are the covers for the printed collections, I love those covers, just gorgeous. Great design: