Release Blitz for Stormy Nights by Jules Jones & Storm Duffy (giveaway)

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Title:  Stormy Nights

Author: Jules Jones, Storm Duffy

Publisher:  NineStar Press

Release Date: 7/24/17

Heat Level: 5 – Erotica

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 45000

Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, contemporary, paranormal, fantasy, mermen, fae, D/s, leather underwear fetish, older men, public sex, cottaging, menage

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Synopsis

Sex and love, lies and truth, shades in between. Happy endings and might-have-beens. Nine tales of these things between men.

Blurbs

Gone Fishing

Mike’s doctor prescribed a few weeks on a lonely beach as a rest cure for a weary mind. But even if the beach is empty, the sea holds more than fish.

Naked

Just how far will a man go to understand his partner’s desires? Will he bare all – including all of his skin to the razor blade?

One Size Fits All

Hugh’s everything that Gavin could ask for in a lover. Everything, apart from his taste in underwear. It’s boring. So Gavin decides to rummage through Hugh’s underwear drawer—and what he finds is so interesting that he tries it out for size.

The Fraudster

A forensic accountant’s job offer to a computer fraudster fresh from prison is a second chance for both.

A Sparrow Flies Through

High tech cottaging provides a few moments of light and warmth on a dark cold night.

If I Offered Thee a Bargain

Just one night of your life in exchange for seven years of love. Would you pay the price?
Jack never dreamed that a reluctant trip back to his home town would thrust him into the world of the sidhe. He finds that the legends are true, but the sidhe have changed.

Any Port in a Storm

A spilt coffee at the tram station on a snowy night leads to a table set for three.

Car Wash

Colin had always loved washing the neighbour’s car for pocket money. Rod’s classic car collection was a boy’s dream. And so is Rod, now Colin’s home from university and not a boy any more. Colin’s had a little fantasy about Rod’s vintage Jaguar and her gleaming curves for a while now…

Purchase

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

Meet the Author

Storm Duffy has a number of erotica shorts published under that and other names in a variety of venues, including “The Mammoth Book of Quick and Dirty Erotica”. As Jules Jones, she has written several erotic romance novellas and novels, including the first M/M romance published by Loose Id.

Amongst the 2500 or so books on shelves in her house, there is room for rather a lot of cross-stitch thread and entirely too many balls of wool. There are also more bits of computer kit than is quite reasonable for someone who doesn’t do that for a living. The two microscopes, on the other hand, are entirely in keeping with a career in science.

Website | Twitter | Authorgraph

 

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A MelanieM Review: A Triad in Three Acts: The Complete Forester Trilogy (Tales of the Forest #1-3) by Blaine D. Arden

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

A Triad in Three Acts“Your Path is muddy, Kelnaht, but don’t think avoiding the puddles will make it easier to travel.”
Kelnaht, a cloud elf, is a truth seeker caught between love and faith, when a murder reveals an illicit affair between two tree elves he desires more than he can admit. Kelnaht’s former lover Ianys once betrayed him, and the shunned forester Taruif is not allowed to talk to anyone but the guide, their spiritual pathfinder.

The guide mentioned puddles, but I envisioned lakes, deep treacherous lakes, and I was drowning.
Then a stripling goes missing from the tribe, and heavy rainfall hides all traces of his whereabouts. With days creeping by without a lead, it’s hard to keep the tribe’s spirits up, more so when Kelnaht’s own future depends on the elders. Taruif has been shunned for almost twenty turns, but now that a possible forester’s apprentice is coming of age, the elders consider reducing his sentence. Taruif could be set free.

“I have great responsibilities, but my path ahead is as foggy and blurred as the path behind me.”
Later, when several children fall ill with more than a summer bug, truth seeker Kelnaht is assigned to investigate. What he finds is deadly and threatens the life of every underage child in the tribe, including Ianys’ daughter Atèn. Then a wounded traveller is found in the forest, left to die after a vicious attack.

“There is always a way.”
Kelnaht, Taruif, and Ianys are meant to be together, but old promises and the decree of the elders prevent them from claiming each other openly at Solstice. Kelnaht can investigate murder and foul play, but he can’t see how he can keep both his lovers without breaking the rules. But if he believes in the guide’s words and trusts his faith in Ma’terra, they will find a way to clear the fog and puddles from their paths.

I read The Forester, the first book in The Tales of the Forest series by Blaine D. Arden when it first came out and promptly  fell in love. Drawn to the story by the lush, incredible cover by Simone’ and then by the tale of fae, a thwarted love and a triad, other elements in these tales drew me in and made me a complete adoring follower of the series.  The second book, Lost and Found: Forester Triad Act Two (Tales of the Forest, #2), just cemented that place in my mind and heart.  Now I got the final book in the trilogy and in a complete volume.  What a joy for me and those who have never read the series. So what were those elements you ask?

One, the use of a mystery or mysteries as a major plot point that Kelnaht, a truth seeker must solve  in each story, that brings out a truth or past histories about himself, or the other elves that he loves.  That would be his former lover Ianys and the shunner forester, Taruif.  Each of which is such an intriguing character that you are as drawn to them as Kelnaht is and these books let you see what it is he finds to love about each. Arden brings out the depths of character, the rage, the grief,  the flaws and you see them as Kelnaht sees them as his is the point of view of the stories.

Kalnaht is also such a mainstay as well as weaver of the tales and the triad here.  A cloud elf, he demonstrates incredible strengths…of character, of magic, and endurance and yet he too has his moments of fragility.  He is just a stunning main character and, for me at least,  the soul of these stories.

But Arden has surrounded Kalnaht with a  richness of culture. His village, his elders and village guide.  Its healers and its children.  They all play a huge part here and the author has imagined them brilliantly.  They live, work, laugh, and to our heartbreak, sometimes die and we feel everything that happens as though it is real.

And that  brings me to the last story in the series.  Its outstanding.  Full Circle: Forester Triad Act Three (Tales of the Forest, #3) starts off with first one, then another of the village’s children falling ill.  A heartbreaking scenario, especially true when the village has lost their children in the not too distant past. Then it sweeps up our triad, newly back together but keeping it a secret when Ianys’ daughter falls ill as well.  Yes, another mystery to solve, one so close to the heart for all three lovers that it threatens to tear them apart once more.

Arden makes us feel every bit of the direness of the situation, the pain of the parents, the building anxiety of the village as they wait to see whose children will fall next and the mystery as to where the illness is coming from.  You will be there in the square with them as the fear and anger builds, the hopelessness too.  Its such an incredible story because it also is where all the answers to the triad’s problems will arrive and all the history will be finally revealed.  Really, its one of those page turners I just couldn’t put down once I started.  I just love this series. Its amazing.

Love stories about fae and  romance?  How about ones with a mystery thrown in as well?  Here is a trilogy you just shouldn’t pass up.  I highly recommend  A Triad in Three Acts: The Complete Forester Trilogy (Tales of the Forest #1-3) by Blaine D. Arden.  All three stories are  amazing.  So are the covers.  Grab this 3 in 1 volume up and prepare to fall in love three times over.

Cover art by Simone is one of the best covers of the year as are all three of the other  covers of the trilogy.

Sales Links

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Book Details:

ebook, 1st Edition, 309 pages
Published August 15th 2016 by Cayendi Press
ISBN139789082296686
Edition LanguageEnglish
URLhttp://www.cayendi.nl/?page_id=199
Series Tales of the Forest #1-3, The Forester Trilogy #1-3
CharactersKelnaht, Taruif, Ianys

The ForesterLost and FoundFull Circle

 

A Free Dreamer Review: Salt and Iron by Tam MacNeil

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5          ★★★★★

Salt and IronJames van Helsing is the youngest son of the famous monster-hunting family—and the family’s big disappointment. He’s falling in love with Gabe Marquez, his oldest friend and son of the family the van Helsings have worked alongside for years. Things get even harder for James when he becomes what he and everyone else despises most—a magic user.

He didn’t mean to evolve into such a despicable person, and he knows using magic is illegal, but there’s nothing James can do about it, no more than he can stop himself from loving Gabe. Just when things can’t seem to get worse, he and Gabe are called to help nab a network of magicians who are changing destiny. Not just any destiny, but the destinies of the van Helsing and Marquez families. James foresees a terrible fate, one in which monsters emerge from the cracks, along with his dark secret. And that’s when people start to die.

I absolutely loved “Salt and Iron”. I just couldn’t put it down. In fact, it was so addicting that it constantly made me late because I just couldn’t tear myself away from it.

The setting was unique. I don’t think I’ve ever read anything similar. I loved how the traditional myths about the Fae were carefully woven into the whole plot. It was utterly intriguing. The world building was very well done and it was easy to fall into the world.

James isn’t your average romance hero. He’s an alcoholic, occasionally swallows pills and is generally pretty pathetic. Still, I found myself sympathizing with him from the start. He’s a magic user in a family that hunts magic users. But he can’t help it, he can’t control his magic.

At times I could only gape in mute horror. There are so many truly ugly secrets hiding in this family. The revelations weren’t pretty and I definitely didn’t expect the consequences. They made me question every character at one point. I was never quite sure who was hiding what and why.

The love story is very low key. Both MCs aren’t in a very good place for most of the story, making the romantic feelings kind of take a backseat. The focus was more on the rest of the plot, which I really liked. There was a HEA for the relationship, so don’t worry.

Both the protagonists and the minor characters had real depth. It was easy to relate to James and Gabe. Some of the minor characters were really interesting as well and I loved the interactions between them and James and Gabe.

Long story short, this book was awesome. If you’re in the mood for great urban fantasy of the more violent sort, with a dash of romance, then go read this book. Just don’t expect an epic love story, or you’ll be disappointed.

I’d love to read more stories set in this universe and I’ll definitely a look at the author’s other works.

Cover: The cover by AngstyG is absolutely gorgeous. It shows the outlines of two men sitting at a dinner table. The background is completely black and the outlines are white. I think it depicts the general feel of the story really well.

It reminds me of a YA novel I read years ago, which is why I stopped to take a closer look at the book in the first place.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | ARe | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 200 pages
Published March 7th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781623809676
Edition LanguageEnglish

Holiday Book Spotlight Continues with Home For the Holiday M/M Anthology (excerpts/contests)

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 Blog Banner

Home for the Holidays

M/M Romance Anthology

SJ Himes

 Jenna Kendrick

Heather C. Leigh

Liv Rancourt

Felice Stevens

 HomeForTheHolidaysCover

Cover Design: LateNite Designs

Cover Photo: StockPhoto

Release Date: 11.29.15

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1lOHE4h

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1OvvQ0e

Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/1lOHPN5

Amazon AU: http://bit.ly/1OkPsWI

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Home can be a person as well as a place. Everyone deserves a home for the holidays, as the stories in this collection affirm.

 Proceeds from Home for the Holidays are being donated to the Ali Forney Center in New York City to help homeless LGBTQ youth.

 

 

*The Eighth Night by Jenna Kendrick

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Going home for the holiday only to find his parents have made other plans, Kai Meyers is thrilled to reunite with an old friend. Disowned by his religious family, Ari Fisher is used to being treated like a boy toy rather than a boyfriend, and now he only has eight days to reveal his secrets to Kai.

 

 TEASER

 JennaFinal

 

EXCERPT

The last thing Ari saw as the lights went out and the elevator jolted to a stop was Kai stumbling forward. Ari started to move closer to help him up, but his foot bumped into a piece of fruit or something, so he pulled back. Kelev barked, clearly upset by the chaos, while Kai called to the dog to make sure he was okay.

Ari, felt something sniffing at his pants leg. “Kelev, c’mere boy. Good boy.” He bent over to scratch his head. He was happy to see the dog was still alive; he had to be going on twelve or thirteen by now.

“You know Kelev? Well, obviously. I suppose you know my parents, then.”

Ari chuckled. “You could say that. But I know you even better. Well, I used to.” Apparently the dog remembered Ari better than his owner. He wished he could get a look at Kai’s face as he connected the dots. When he’d first spotted Kai in the corner, he’d been relieved to see the guy was too weighed down with Kelev and a metric crap-ton of grocery bags to notice him. He’d known there was always the chance of running into Kai. Ari might have even hoped for it subconsciously. Otherwise, he could have avoided the possibility by insisting Prescott and Thomas meet him at a hotel, as he did with some of his other clients.

“Wait a minute… Ari?”

“Long time, no see, Kai.”

“I can’t see you now, either.” Kai’s voice had matured over the past eight years, familiar and new at the same time. “Sorry, I was in my own world and didn’t notice you before the lights went out.”

“Hope you’re not still afraid of the dark.” Ari remembered them leaving a lamp on when they had sleepovers, but only until they’d hit middle school.

“Probably a hard sell after screaming like a teenage girl, but no, not generally.” Kai must’ve set the rest of the groceries down because Ari heard bags rustling and felt a can roll into the side of his shoe. “I don’t suppose you want to join me here on the floor. I’d try to get up, but I have a feeling I’d wind up tripping over an avocado and inadvertently turning it into guacamole.”

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jenna Kendrick writes male/male new adult and contemporary romance, her favorite genre to read. She lives in Upstate New York, where she spends the better part of the year trying to stay warm and dry. When she’s not writing, she reads, watches The Princess Bride and The Avengers far too often, spends time with her husband and friends, and drinks more coffee and tea than she’d care to admit. She shares her home office with her dog, Tally, and her cats, Loki and Tamiris.

Jenna spent most of her class time in high school writing bad poetry and short stories in which her teachers were the villains. She began writing in earnest in college, putting it aside for a few years to work as a teacher and product manager for several online services. In addition to writing fiction, Jenna also writes nonfiction technical books under another name.

 

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS

Facebook — https://www.facebook.com/jennakendrickauthor

Twitter — https://twitter.com/jennakendauth

Instagram — https://www.instagram.com/jennakendrickauthor/

Tumblr — http://jennakendrickauthor.tumblr.com

 

 

*24-Hour Hold by Heather C. Leigh

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Detectives Damon Porter and Anderson Malloy are now partners at Denver’s Major Case Unit. The problem is, they used to be boyfriends, and now they’re feeling anything but friendly towards each other.

TEASER 

HeatherCLEigh 

 

EXCERPT

“Still drinking enough coffee each day to keep Seattle’s coffee houses running for a year?” I ask, leaning back on the counter while Damon turns on the tap, rinsing his hands and attempting to wipe off the spill on his shirt with a wet paper towel.

He scowls, his dark brown eyes locking on mine. “Fuck you, Anderson.” Thoroughly annoyed with me, I watch, fascinated, as my ex-lover’s hands clench into tight fists. Damon tosses the used paper towel into the garbage can before whirling back around in my direction. His mouth opens, no doubt to tell me off, then snaps back shut.

My eyes drop to that full, red mouth—a mouth I’ve tasted hundreds, maybe thousands of times before—and molten heat spreads out from my groin.

I’m in the middle of imagining a detailed scenario that involves kneeling down on the hideous linoleum of the kitchenette and yanking down his perfectly pressed dress pants to suck on his cock when I realize he’s gone.

Shit.

It takes me a few minutes, but I finally find Damon in the conference room, quietly stewing while he sets up his laptop. He has the files open on the table.

“So,” I close the door behind me and his head of brown hair twitches as he ignores me. “Show me what you’ve got.” I drop into the swivel chair closest to him and snap my gum while spinning back and forth.

“Do you mind not doing that?” Porter scowls and turns away, fiddling with his computer. Fascinated, I watch the muscles of his back tense up under his starched button-down.

“Doing what?” I ask innocently, popping the gum again. Nothing turns me on more than riling up Damon Porter. Watching him go from cool and collected to hot and bothered makes my dick hard.

“Listen, D. I—”

The beautiful man beside me jerks around, practically snarling in my face. “Don’t. Call. Me. That.”

“Whoa!” I hold my hands up defensively, noting the way his hands are fisted at his sides. “Calm down, Porter.”

“Fuck you.”

“Jesus, Porter. Hold a grudge much?”

His eyes close and I recognize the way his entire body shudders. Damon Porter is close to losing his carefully crafted control.

“Sorry,” I mumble. “I didn’t expect this,” I motion between the two of us, “to be so uncomfortable.”

Those big brown eyes of his pop open, dark lashes fluttering wide as my words sink in. “Wait,” he says. “You knew I worked here?” Oops. I can practically see his sharp mind working to quickly put the pieces together. “Did you… Did you come to Denver, to this department specifically, knowing you would be working with me?”

My skin heats up from his dead-on conclusion. Damon leans close, the familiar scent of his aftershave hitting me hard. “What’s your game, Anderson?”

I can feel the heat coming off of him, even through the multiple layers of both his perfect white dress shirt and my rumpled old blue one. My throat is tight and I have to work to swallow in order to speak. “I don’t have a game. I moved back to Denver, applied for a job, they assigned me to your department. It’s temporary, so don’t get your starched boxers in a bunch.”

It’s the truth. Stretched, but the truth nonetheless.

Damon’s molten brown eyes narrow, his nostrils flare in anger. When he speaks, the formal, uptight man I know does the unthinkable. He cracks a joke.

“Still chewing that shitty gum, huh?”

I swallow again when his gaze drops to my mouth. Desire rushes through me, sending blood pulsing to my groin. “Yeah.”

He nods, as if confirming some thought in his own head, before turning to face his laptop. His professional façade slams into place like a thick steel door. With one long, elegant finger, Damon points at the files in front of me. “I guess you’ll have to start at the beginning. You read the reports and familiarize yourself with the cases, I’ll continue trying to find a link between the robberies.”

“Sure, D. Whatever you say.”

Porter’s mouth twitches, but he doesn’t correct me for calling him D. That little victory gives me enough confidence to grin, snapping my gum as I pull open the first file.

If I can just get past the four hundred fifty-three other layers of protection my ex has put up to keep me out, I’m golden.

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Heather C. Leigh is the author of the Amazon bestselling Famous series. She likes to write about the ‘dark’ side of fame. The part that the public doesn’t get to see, how difficult it is to live in a fishbowl and how that affects relationships.

Heather was born and raised in New England and currently lives outside Atlanta, GA with her husband, 2 kids, and French Bulldog, Shelby.

She loves the Red Sox, the Patriots, and anything chocolate (but not white chocolate, everyone knows it’s not real chocolate so it doesn’t count) and has left explicit instructions in her will to have her ashes snuck into Fenway Park and sneakily sprinkled all over while her family enjoys beer, hot dogs, and a wicked good time.

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS

Website: https://www.heatherleighauthor.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HeatherCLeighAuthor

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/goodreadscomHeather_Leigh

Twitter: https://twitter.com/HeatherLeigh_8

Instagram: http://instagram.com/heatherleighauthor/

 

 

*Learning to Love by Felice Stevens

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Returning home for the holiday, caterer Gideon Marks tried hard to push away his high school crush. But Rabbi Jonah Fine wouldn’t let him run again, or keep the secret Gideon’s tried so desperately to hide.

TEASER

LearningToLoveFinal 

EXCERPT

The bells above the shop tinkled and Sean glanced over my shoulder.

“I’m sorry, sir but we’re closed.”

“I’m not here to buy anything, I came to talk to Gideon.”

I spun around to face Jonah. “I’ve got nothing to say to you.” I walked behind the register, putting the expanse of the counter between us. Jonah had changed from this morning and now wore a heavy sweater, corduroy pants and a black leather motorcycle jacket. He looked tired, windblown and utterly desirable. Despite my words, I couldn’t tear my gaze away from his face.

Ten years away hadn’t changed the irrevocable fact that I still wanted Jonah, now more than ever. There were some people who got under your skin and no matter what you did to erase them from your mind and heart, they remained, clinging to your soul.

“Gideon, please.” He darted a quick look at Sean who’d apparently forgotten about his hot date and was intent on having a ringside seat to my sex life. “Can we please go somewhere and talk?”

“Go ahead, boss. I’ll close up.”

Rico leaned against the doorway, his dark eyes fixated on Jonah. I knew my obvious attraction wouldn’t bother Rico; we hadn’t been together in years. The deep friendship and mutual respect between us was rock solid.

Jonah hadn’t taken his eyes off of me, his face an unreadable mask. If I said nothing, I could let him think Rico and I were lovers and he would no doubt leave me alone.

“Gid, go on, man. Give the guy a break.”

Rico’s urging broke me out of my deep thoughts. “Okay,” I said begrudgingly. “Let me get my jacket and I’ll be right back.”

I hurried to my office, pulled on my jacket and shoved the contracts Rico had worked on earlier into my backpack. By the time I’d returned, Sean had finally left and Rico and Jonah were discussing the demise of the kosher deli in New York City.

“Have a good one, guys.” Rico shook Jonah’s hand and gave me a swift hug. “Don’t fuck it up man.” His breath tickled my ear. “I got a feeling this one’s for real.”

I pushed him away, giving him a funny smile and a shake of my head. “See you tomorrow. We need to plan the wait-staff for the party and then go through the other orders. Plus I need to contact some of the people I met last night, who said they wanted to maybe hire us for their small dinner parties.”

“Will you get out of here already and stop talking business?” Rico shoved me toward Jonah. “Take him and feed him so he’ll shut up.”

Jonah held the door for me and side by side we walked down the block. Christmas lights had already gone up on the lampposts and in store windows and happy people walked with bright red and green shopping bags stuffed with their purchases. The entire city was seized with holiday cheer, yet all I felt was depressed.

“Have you eaten dinner?”

We stopped at a corner waiting for the traffic light to change. “No, but it’s Saturday night. Why aren’t you out on a date or something?”

Jonah’s sweet smile disarmed me. “Um, I thought I was.”

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Felice Stevens has always been a romantic at heart. While life is tough, she believes there is a happy ending for everyone. She started reading traditional historical romances as a teenager, then life and law school got in the way. It wasn’t until she picked up a copy of Bertrice Small and became swept away to Queen Elizabeth’s court that her interest in romance novels was renewed.

But somewhere along the way, her reading shifted to stories of men falling in love. Once she picked up her first gay romance, she became so enamored of the character-driven stories and the overwhelming emotion there was no turning back.

Felice lives in New York City with her husband and two children. Her day begins with a lot of caffeine and ends with a glass or two of red wine. Although she practices law, she daydreams of a time when she can sit by a beach and write beautiful stories of men falling in love. Although there is bound to be some angst along the way, a Happily Ever After is always guaranteed.

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS

Twitter:https://twitter.com/FeliceStevens1

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/felicestevens/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8432880.Felice_Stevens

Instagram: https://instagram.com/FeliceStevens

Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/felicestevensauthor?ref=hl

*Saving Silas by SJ Himes

Paramedic Gael Dominic wasn’t expecting much from the holidays. Blood, death, and loneliness were constants. So when tragedy puts a wounded Silas in his path, Gael takes a chance on his alleyway angel and love.

TEASER

SJHime

EXCERPT

“Find my son! He was shot, for Christ’s sake, he can’t make it too far. Does this place even have security? Morris, call the local department, I want my son found.” Warner sounded mad, but there wasn’t a frantic component to his tone that most worried parents had when their kids got hurt. He sounded…aggravated.

Gael looked up, eyes searching. This was a split in the Recovery level, the hall to the right swinging around to more patient rooms, the hall to the left leading to the surgery suites, exam rooms, and x-ray….and the elevator to the staff exit. It emptied out in the sequestered lot the doctors and staff used.

He headed in that direction, eyes peeled, making swift work of his search. He kept his actions subtle, not wanting to clue anyone in to the fact he was looking for someone. He smiled at the people he knew but kept going, and passed a cart full of clean scrubs, the plastic lid ajar. The pressed piles made it apparent that a pair of pants and a shirt were missing. Someone took them before the cart made it back down the hall to the doctor’s lounge.

Gael stopped at the elevator, and was about to hit the button, but the staircase several feet away was the better option. No one used the stairs in a hospital.

He entered the stairwell, letting the door swing shut soundlessly behind him. Gael listened, eyes shut, head tilted to the side. A scuffle, the faintest hint of a quivering breath, just below him.

Gael opened his eyes and took the stairs down fast, keeping his footfalls as quiet as he could. He found his quarry the next level down, huddled against the wall, tears running down his bone-white cheeks, hands shaking as he tried to push the door open. He was wearing the purloined scrubs, and the dark blue color merely accentuated the pallor of the young man’s skin. Gael moved just as Silas started to fall over, and he caught him about his waist, holding his angel to his side, keeping him upright.

Silas’ head fell back on his shoulder, and Gael found himself forgetting what he was about to say when a pair of the truest green eyes locked on to his. Every muscle in his body thrummed with electricity, and Gael held him tighter, taking his whole weight.

“Hi, handsome,” Silas breathed out, giving him a tiny twist of a smile, eyes watering. “I’d love to make out in the staircase with you, but I kinda need to escape right now.”

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

I’m a thirty something bisexual cisgendered woman with way too big an imagination, but that comes in handy when I’m writing. I have been writing since I was a child, when I took a four page assignment on what I was going to do on summer vacation and turned it into a 100 page fantasy epic all written by hand…in crayons. No joke.

I work a day job, but I can’t share for who, since the Old Man isn’t as liberated as the people who read my books. I’m married, I have furbabies, and I live with loved ones. I adore a certain show about a British consulting detective and his grumpy army doctor, and that spawned an addiction to Johnlock fanfiction, which then evolved into me writing it. Gawd, that’s embarrassing. Put this down in the TMI section of my Bio, okay? I enjoy martial arts, movies where things blow up, and I wish I lived in a Marvel movie.

I live in the beautiful and lonely Berkshire County in Massachusetts, and I see way more wildlife than I care to on a daily basis (bears!). My perfect day is reading surrounded by friends and family who don’t think it’s odd I want to hang out but not talk, and my favorite scent of all time is a cool fall evening with leaves burning….less a scent, and more of an experience.
My writing is focused on gay and lesbian people, who are more than interesting side characters that hang out with the heterosexual MCs. My wish for the future is that when people ask me what I do for a living, I can say, “I write gay romance,” and NOT get weird looks.  Also write under pen name Revella Hawthorne.

 

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS

Amazon/SJ Himes: http://amzn.to/210nIeU

Amazon/Revella Hawthorne: http://amzn.to/210nW5P

Blog as SJ Himes: http://www.wherethewolvesrun.blogspot.com/

Twitter : @WriterSJHimes

Facebook/SJ Himes: https://www.facebook.com/SJHimes/

Facebook/Revella Hawthorne: https://www.facebook.com/Revella-Hawthorne-742177039236198/

*Christmas in LaLa Land by Liv Rancourt

For a Danaan sidhe like Aron, touching a human has consequences, while Damian’s hiding some serious scars behind his smile. A holiday trip to LA forces them to choose between acting on their attraction or giving up on love because of the past.

TEASER

Liv Rav 2

EXCERPT

“I’m sorry. The hotel is closed for a private party.” Blondie stalked over, making the most of her Heels from Hell. The huge lobby had a high arched ceiling and fabric drapes covering the walls. And every possible surface was hung or draped or covered with something red, green, or glittering.

“Um, Ophelia?”

The ploofy redhead almost dropped the string of stars she’d been draping over an enormous pearl chandelier. “I’m Ophelia.”

Her eyes were the same gray as the murk rolling in off San Francisco Bay before the sun rose. Soft, but cold. Spooky. I took a couple steps further in, trying not to let my hopes get ahead of me. “I’m Aron, Connealagh’s younger brother.”

“No shit!? Are you as big a bitch as she is?” The blonde’s shriek immediately turned into laughter.

Ophelia scrambled down off the ladder, freezing me with her ice-vision. “Connie has a brother?” She came at me fast. No time to duck. Only my face offered bare skin, so that’s what she reached for, cupping my cheek with her palm. “Aron.” Her whisper held confirmation, as if she’d been able to verify my story with a touch.

“Oh.” I started to giggle. Her fingertips held so much joy she fizzed. I turned into her, inhaling a hippie-princess mix of roses and patchouli and sweat. Love ran under the fizz, heavy and deep, the emotion tempered by danger and fear. Thoughtlessly I reached out, finding a firm, pregnant belly under her swirling, embroidered caftan. “She’s beautiful.” I smiled into my cousin’s frightening eyes. “Your Leah is a lovely little girl.”

“Um…” She raised an eyebrow. ““Not born yet.”

“Crap. I’m sorry.” I eased out of her grasp. “I can feel emotions and stuff. Sometimes. I didn’t know…”

She exhaled, puffing out her cheeks and shaking her head. “How ’bout you let me tell Gabriel we’re having a girl before sharing, okay?” Without breaking our connection, she pointed at Blondie. “Shut up, you. My cheeks will not freeze that way.”

Behind us, Damian made a choked sound. The jewel-tone fabric on the walls seemed to dim, though that had to be my imagination.

“Who’s your friend?” Ophelia took hold of my gloved hand.

Grateful for even that little display of support, I suddenly didn’t think I could deal with the say-goodbye-to-Damian thing.

“Damian Jones.” He crossed the tile floor, coming closer. I didn’t turn around. Ophelia didn’t leave my side.

His hand, extended to shake, crossed the corner of my vision.

“Sorry Damian,” Ophelia said, wrapping a protective arm around me. “It’s nice to meet you, but I don’t shake hands, okay?”

“Must be a family thing.” His footsteps retreated, and I wanted to whip myself for driving all the sunlight out of his voice.

Gathering as much courage as I could muster, I pivoted, staying within Ophelia’s circle of safety. “Thank you, Damian, for giving me a ride down here, and I’m sorry…” For knowing my limits? For caring too much to entrap you? For being afraid? If I didn’t like him so much, I’d treat him like that poor sucker in the night club bathroom. If I didn’t respect him so much, I’d try to explain. “Just, sorry.”

“Yeah? Well, all your stuff’s out on the steps. You have a happy holiday, okay?”

Ophelia’s gaze was positively balmy compared with the deep freeze in his tone.

He disappeared, leaving me with my cousin and her freakishly blond friend.

“Well, fuck if I don’t suddenly have a taste for chocolate.” Blondie squealed. She had tiny star tattoos and glitter sprinkles down one cheek and a skirt so short it should be illegal. Something triggered my memory of Ophelia’s only visit to Mari-Elle’s. Her friend, a serpent deity named Suzie or Sandy or something, had been shot on our doorstep. Nothing really kills a deity, though, so maybe this was the same girl.

“Shut up, Sally,” Ophelia said.

Yep, serpent deity.

“No way, sister-mine.” A man appeared on the other side of the ladder. Just, like, appeared. “That cocoa crisp plays for my team.” He disappeared before his voice trailed away.

My face must have asked what the fuck without words because Ophelia started to laugh.

“You have the ghost of Jason Patrick living in your lobby?” I asked.

“Jason Patrick is not dead.” The man appeared on the near side of the ladder. “But thank you, sweetie.”

“No living with him,” Sally muttered.

Ophelia left off laughing long enough to introduce me to Jimmy. “You had the ghost part right, anyway.”

“Aren’t you a pretty little fruit.” Jimmy appeared right next to me. He draped his arm around my shoulders, cool and surprisingly peaceful. “Did you invite him specially for me to play with, Ophie?”

“I didn’t invite him at all.” Keeping hold of my hand, Ophelia drew me over to an antique love seat that could have belonged to Marie Antoinette. She and I sat, and Jimmy perched on the arm next to me. Sally scooted her butt onto a large mahogany desk right across from us.

None of them looked particularly threatening. In fact, staying here could be fun. I grappled my twittering nerves and dove in. “It started because Mari-Elle and I—”

“Oh yeah, how is Mother?” For the first time since I’d met her, Ophelia’s effervescence dampened.

“Gorgeous, frightening, and kind of mean.” Wow! Did I just say that? Because slandering someone’s mother is such a great lead-in to a favor.

Ophelia snickered. “You’re giving her too much credit.”

Well at least my cousin didn’t act insulted. I relaxed against the couch. “I decided I wanted a break from the life for … reasons, and I’ve always wanted to visit L.A.” The next part was the scariest, so I spit it out fast. “I’m hoping I can crash here for a while.” I clasped my hands so tightly the leather on my palms squeaked. “I mean, I know it’s rude to just show up, but I kinda hoped I could rent a room here in the hotel.”

Sally hissed a laugh. “It’s not that kind of hotel.”

“He can totally stay,” Jimmy said. Between his square chin, curly mullet, and micro-skinny tie, he really did look like ‘80s-era Jason Patrick. “How ’bout 312? It’s right at the top of the stairs.”

A broad staircase curled up from one corner of the room, opposite a double set of very black doors.

Ophelia finger-combed red ringlets away from her face. “You know, I think that’ll work.” She fixed me in her cold-slate gaze. “You know what this place is, right? I’m not kidding when I say it’s a gateway to Hell. Couple times an hour Hell’s escorts bring in the souls of the damned, and I send them down. You can’t freak out when that happens, and you absolutely cannot go through those doors.” She pointed at the black doors, and while I generally love a good dare, this seemed like a stupid time to take up a challenge.

“You got it. I’ll even help”—I glanced around at the Christmas insanity “—decorate.”

 ABOUT THE AUTHOR

I write romance: m/f, m/m, and v/h, where the h is for human and the v is for vampire … or sometimes demon … I lean more towards funny than angst. When I’m not writing I take care of tiny premature babies or teenagers, depending on whether I’m at home or at work. My husband is a soul of patience, my dog’s cuteness is legendary, and we share the homestead with three ferrets. Who steal things. Because they’re brats.

For sneak peeks and previews and other assorted freebies, go HERE to sign up for my mailing list.

Come find me. We’ll have fun!

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS

Blog: www.liv-rancourt.blogspot.com

Facebook www.facebook.com/liv.rancourt

Twitter www.twitter.com/LivRancourt

GIVEAWAY

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A Paul B Review: Needing Noel (Moon Pack #14) by Amber Kell

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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars                   ★★★★

Needing Noel coverNoel lost his first mate and their daughter to a fire more than ten years ago.  Will he be able to accept his second mate after such a devastating loss?

Noel Thistleborn has spent the last few years as personal assistant to the king of the fae.  He tries to keep busy to help him forget about the fire that killed both his mate and their daughter.  As part of his duties, he must organize the dragon-mating ball that is being put on by King Kylen.  While he would prefer not to attend the ball itself, Kylen has ordered all single fae must show up.  Kylen gives a concession to Noel in that he can make a brief appearance before he may leave for the night.

Hartmut (Hart) has had a crush on the dragon leader for a number of years.  However, Rhaegar has recently met his mates, a fae and a wolf shifter.  Now he wants the same kind of unconditional love that he sees his friend has.  He hopes that the upcoming ball being held by the fae king to help dragons find their mates will produce some positive results.

When Hart arrives at the ball, his dragon smells something wonderful and indicates to Hart that his mate is in the area.   He tracks Noel down and tells him that he believes Noel is his mate.  Noel tells Hart that he has already had a mate and he does not want another one.  When Hart explains that unlike fae, dragons may only get one mate and that he just wants to get to know Noel better, Noel agrees to a dinner date.  However, having been initially turned down by Noel, Hart wonders if it is even worth the bother.

As the party is winding down, Rhaeger informs Noel that while Hart is a dragon, he has a soft heart.  Just as he is ready to leave, Noel is confronted by his former brother-in-law and is told that the fire almost ten years ago was not what it may seem.  Could either his first mate or his daughter still be alive?  How will Noel convince Hart that he does truly want him while finding answers to questions his brother-in-law put forth?

This fourteenth book in the Moon Pack delivers, as have previous books.  I have enjoyed how Ms. Kell has expanded the universe in the series.  This has allowed her flexibility to keep the series continuing to great success.  The one issue I did have with the book was the epilogue.  While it does further the overall Moon Pack storyline of Anthony becoming a full fledge god grandson of Zeus, the three characters in the epilogue appeared no where else in the book except for brief mentions by the main characters in the story.  Those who have not been reading the series might not know what to make of seemingly extra material.

The cover design by Meredith Russell is simply stunning.  The top half of the cover has our two protagonists shirtless standing in some room.  The bottom half shows Hart’s dragon either landing or about to take off with his wings fully extended beside the fae castle.

Sales Links:  All Romance (ARe) | Amazon | Buy It Here

Book Details:

Ebook:  84 pages
Published:  July 17, 2015 by Amber Kell Books
ASIN:  B011YXUIVC
Edition:  English
Series:  Moon Pack

  • Attracting Anthony (Moon Pack #1)
  • Baiting Ben (Moon Pack #2)
  • Courting Calvin (Moon Pack #3)
  • Denying Dare (Moon Pack #4)
  • Enticing Elliott (Moon Pack #5)
  • Finding Ferro (Moon Pack #6)
  • Getting Gabe (Moon Pack #7)
  • Hunting Henry (Moon Pack #8)
  • Inflaming Inno (Moon Pack #9)
  • Judging Jager (Moon Pack #10)
  • Keeping Kylen (Moon Pack #11)
  • Loving Leif (Moon Pack #12)
  • Marking Mikel (Moon Pack #13)
  • Needing Noel (Moon Pack #14)

Author Book Tour & Contest: An Interview with Angel Martinez on Finn (Endangered Fae #1)

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On Tour with Angel Martinez and the first in her new series,

Finn (Endangered Fae #1)

ScatteredThoughtsandRogueWords welcomes Angel Martinez here today to talk about the new series and the story that starts it, Finn ( Endangered Fae #1).  Contest: Angel Martinez has brought along with her a Rafflecopter giveaway. To enter to win an eBook copy of Finn: Endangered Fae, visit this Rafflecopter link and fill out the form.  Contest ends June 13th. 

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STRW: Thanks, Angel, for stopping by today.  I am always fascinated by the different approaches authors take the writing process and inspiration.
What research did you do for this novel?

AM: It’s funny. People don’t often associate research with fantasy. They think you can just toss it together all higgledy-piggledy. You can’t. You have to understand the genesis and history of your world, the nature of the characters and its magic, and the natural history of any non-human species you use. Urban fantasy is compounded with real world research as well. Sure I’ve been to New York and New Brunswick, but it had been awhile. What did I have to research?

Brooklyn neighborhoods, streets and where a Goodwill was located
The Metropolitan Museum of Art (it’s changed enormously since I saw it last)
Fundy National Park, the trees and wildlife there, and its surroundings
What to do for a carsick dog
Pookas – I dug through every old story I could find with a pooka reference and then had to decide what I wanted to use and what to discard
Wendigo – again, I knew something but not enough. I needed everything I could dig up.

STRW: So many people are enthralled by the Fae.  And there is a huge amount of Fae folklore and writings to draw from.  Did you create your own or draw from some of the more traditional aspects?

AM: I went straight to Irish legend, the old stories of the Tuatha Dé Danann and the several waves of invasions, of heroes and gods and ancient wars. My fae are directly built on those old stories, though I’ve made certain to characterize them as neither gods nor humans. Those stories and the old folktales people my fae courts and my Otherworld.

Obviously, I’ve taken liberties in creating distinct fae species and setting down the rules and characteristics of each type, but the old stories from the age of heroes are their forerunners.
STRW:What drew you to write about the Fae?  What was your inspiration for this story?

AM: I suppose you could say my inspiration was a lifetime of stories, a deep love from early childhood for stories of fairies and non-human realms. They’ve always been with me. I suppose I had to write about them eventually.

This story specifically was a reaction to an internal need, though. My first M/M story was a contemporary piece – one written for a specific reason. But I wasn’t comfortable with contemporary fiction and probably never will be. I don’t read it. Why would I write it? My critique partners urged me to turn to what I loved. Why didn’t I write a fantasy? Elves and things. I wrinkled my nose. Everyone had written about elves. I didn’t want to do what had been done a hundred times already. So I dove for the books and searched until I found a critter that people rarely discussed. The pooka.

STRW: How many books are planned for this series?

AM: There are currently four – three already written and one in the works. I may find I need a fifth, depending on where things end up, but four has been the goal for some time now.
STRW: How long have you been writing or writing in the M/M genre?

AM: I’ve always written something, from the time that I could write. I first started writing novels in, oh, 1998 or so? I think that’s about right. The first novel was written for my son as a chapter-by-chapter bedtime story – a novel that will most likely never see the light of day. Then I spent several years writing mainstream science fiction, with no success in finding a publisher until a short story sold in 2005. I probably started writing M/M romance in 2001 but didn’t seek publication for a few years. The first M/M story I wrote specifically for publication was contracted in 2007.

So, the answer to the question is: a lifetime of writing, almost ten years as a published author and over seven years as a M/M fiction author.

STRW:  Thank you, Angel Martinez, for a great interview and for stopping by today.  And for all readers, check out Finn (Endangered Fae #1) below and don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for a chance to win a copy of this book for your own!

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Finn_432(1) coverBook Name: Finn (Endangered Fae #1)
Author Name: Angel Martinez
Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 205 pages
Published May 2nd 2014 by MLR Press (first published July 2nd 2009)
original titleFinn
ASINB00K3496AS
edition languageEnglish
seriesEndangered Fae #1
charactersFinn Shannon, Diego Sandoval
settingNew Brunswick (Canada)

literary awardsDark Diva Top Pick

Buy Links: MLR Press   Amazon   ARe

 

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

Author Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/amartinez2
Facebook Author Page
Pinterest
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Twitter:
Cover Artist: Lex Valentine
Publisher: MLR Publishing
Blurb:

Lost and starving, Finn wakes to a poisoned world, but a man comes to him, a white light in the darkness—can a centuries old pooka find what he needs with a heartbroken, modern man?

When Diego rescues a naked man from the rail of the Brooklyn Bridge, he just wants to get the poor man out of traffic and to social services. He gets more than he bargained for when he discovers Finn is an ailing pooka, poisoned by the city’s pollution. To help him recover, Diego takes him to New Brunswick where Finn inadvertently wakes an ancient, evil spirit: the wendigo.

While they struggle to find a way to destroy the wendigo before it can possess Diego or kill nearby innocents, Diego wrestles with his growing feelings for Finn. Kill the monster and navigate a relationship between a modern man and a centuries old pooka. Piece of cake

Finn (Endangered Fae #1) Excerpt:

The ordeal of the shower seemed cruel, but Finn was filthy and smelled like a dumpster during a garbage strike. Diego placed one of his plastic kitchen chairs in the middle of the shower and installed Finn there, but he only slumped against the chair back, eyes closed, face turned into the spray.
Too exhausted to even flinch.

Diego fought down the little shiver of revulsion at the stench, stripped to his boxers, and stepped into the stall with him. He attacked the tangled mass of hair first, positioning Finn so his head hung back over the chair. No lice—a good sign. He might have been homeless, but he probably hadn’t lived on the streets too long. The nest of midnight snarls unwound under the caress of water and shampoo. If Finn stood, his hair would reach at least to the top curve of his butt. A strange blue-black iridescence shone in it, his natural coloring as far as Diego could tell rather than bottled special effects.

The rest Diego washed with a loofah, shoving away modesty out of a need to get Finn to his rest. An ache lodged around his heart to see how malnutrition had ravaged what probably had been a lean-muscled frame. An athlete, perhaps, before he went off the deep end, an impression reinforced by the absence of almost all body hair. Waxed or electrolysis-denuded—only Finn’s crotch sported a black thatch of soft hair. Swimmer, perhaps. The Olympic competitors often shaved it all off for every small gain in streamlining.

He turned off the water and tugged at Finn’s arm. “Come on. Let’s get you settled. You can’t sleep in the shower.”

Finn staggered to his feet and Diego all but carried him to Mitch’s room. The spare room, he corrected himself. He usually kept the door closed so the stark, unfurnished space wasn’t glaring at him.

He sat Finn down against the wall, brought him a pair of flannel pajamas, soft with age, and went out to the front closet to retrieve the air mattress and vacuum. Six boxes lay stacked against the wall; all that remained of Mitch’s things. Diego ran a hand over one, and then shook his head against the temptation to open the top and look at its contents. When he returned, Finn hadn’t moved from where he sat, naked and dozing in a patch of sunlight.

“You might want to put those on.” Diego toed the pajamas closer as he dragged the air mattress into place. When Finn’s only response was a long sigh, he added, “We need to get you warm. I don’t want to have to take you to Emergency.”

With a puzzled frown, Finn unfolded the material and managed, after looking back and forth between the pajamas and Diego’s jeans a few times, to pull the bottoms on. His efforts with the top, though, were sabotaged when the vacuum roared to life. He startled and scuttled sideways, wide-eyed and panting.

Diego hurried to switch it off. “Sorry. Should have warned you.”

“Is it some sort of small dragon?”

For a moment, Diego stared in blank surprise before he caught himself. At least the nature of Finn’s delusion was becoming clearer. He might even share his history later when he had the energy, perhaps some tragic story of an exiled prince. For now, Diego thought it best to play along.

“Not a dragon. Just a machine. It blows out and sucks in air with great force.”

“Ah.” Finn seemed disappointed, but waved a hand for him to continue.

Mattress inflated, Finn dressed and installed in bed, Diego thought he should get something in him before he drifted off. He tried tap water first but Finn jerked his head away, the color draining from his face.

“Tainted,” he gasped. “Great Dagda, it reeks.”

Diego sniffed above the glass, puzzled. New York City water, piped in from the mountains, was cleaner than most but it was treated. Chlorine. Fluoride. Maybe Finn had an allergy to one or the other.

Bottled water produced a less violent reaction. Finn smelled it, nose crinkled, but he downed half the bottle in desperate gulps before Diego could take it back from him. Hydration, at least, wouldn’t be an issue.

The hurdle of food remained. Starvation often did terrible things to the body’s ability to accept nourishment. Not the best time to offer a hamburger and fries. Diego decided he should start with the foods one was supposed to give sick kids: bananas, rice, applesauce and toast, minus the applesauce, since he didn’t have any.

Finn wouldn’t touch the boiled-in-tap-water rice. He nibbled a corner of the toast and set it aside with murmured apologies. The banana completely stumped him. He turned it over and over in his hands and finally tried to bite through the skin.

“You eat these?” He handed it back to Diego with a grimace.

All right, so his reality doesn’t include New World fruit. Diego peeled the banana for him and handed it back. “You don’t eat the skin. Try the inside.”

Finn took a careful bite and his eyes widened. “That’s not bad.”

Diego could only watch anxiously, praying his guest wouldn’t choke, as the rest disappeared in three bites. With a contented sigh, Finn handed the peel back, gathered the covers into a circle in the center of the mattress, and curled into a tight ball inside his nest. By the time Diego brought an extra comforter to cover him, Finn was fast asleep.

Clean and at rest, his face had a childlike quality with his hair tucked behind one finely-curved ear. Diego wasn’t certain it was a handsome face, almost unearthly in its delicacy, and though Finn stood six inches taller, he had the odd feeling he could scoop that long frame up in his arms without much effort.
He backed out and closed the door as quietly as he could, confident Finn wouldn’t die on him. Tomorrow he would see about finding the right agency to take his guest, preferably one that wouldn’t hand him right over to immigration.

A few hours of peace while Finn sle

Crystalpt should let him at least get through the current chapter he was writing.

The moment he sat ready at his desk, fingers poised over the keys, the phone rang.

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FinnBadge for TourTour Dates: June 2, 2014 – June 13, 2014
Tour Stops:
June 2: Tara Lain
June 3: Parker Williams
June 4: Kimi-Chan, Jade, Talon SO
June 5: Book Reviews Rants, and Raves, MM Good Books
June 6: Nephylim, Hearts on Fire
June 9: Prism Book AllianceDawn’s Reading Nook 
June 10: Love Bytes, My Fiction Nook
June 11: Fallen Angel Reviews
June 12: The Novel Approach, Rainbow Gold Reviews
June 13: Amanda C. Stone, Velvet Panic, ScatteredThoughtsandRogueWords
Contest Link for an eBook copy of Finn: Rafflecopter Link

 

WillPride

Review of The Druid Stone by Heidi Belleau and Violetta Vane

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Rating: 4.75 stars

Sean O’Hara has not had an easy life but he never knew what terror was until the nightmares started.  Night after night he relives the torture and death of a young man.  It all started after he inherited an Irish stone from his great grandfather. After seeing every type of doctor and taking all sorts of medicine, Sean is at wits end until he sees an advertisement in the paper and decides this is the only way he is going to get the help he needs, even if it takes him to Ireland.

Cormac Kelly is a Druid.  He runs a paranormal investigation business that is also his family’s calling.  Like his father, and his grandfather before him, Cormac sees the world in layers, including the realm of the fae.  He doesn’t have time for frivolous calls from American tourists wanting to see the Ireland of the movies and fairytales.  Cormac knows those fairytales have their basis in things humans should not meddle in.

But when Cormac meets Sean, he realizes that the stone Sean carries is hexed and Sean’s plight is all too real.  The haunted, pale American touches Cormac on many levels.  He hasn’t been more than just physically attracted to someone in a long time but now Sean pulls at him both physically and emotionally, although Cormac is loathe to admit the latter.  As they investigate Sean’s stone and the meaning of his nightmares, they find the sidhe of Ancient Ireland are deeply involved and not just in Sean’s case.  Ten years earlier, Cormac lost the love of his life on a night he was to destroy a changling child, now both cases are twining together.  As the danger surrounds them, Cormac and Sean must journey into the past through the realm of the sidhe to solve both cases and save their burgeoning relationship as well as their lives.

I am becoming obsessed with the stories of Heidi Belleau and Violetta Vane.  As they did with Hawaiian Gothic, they throw us pell-mell into another land, mire us in its customs and cement upon us both the fascination and obsession that Ireland holds for us. They do this as they weave a story of two men of Ireland, one so rooted in the old ways that he cannot bear to leave the family lands and township.  The other, Sean O’Hara, is of Irish descent.  Ireland has a deep hold on both of them but only one is aware of its true power.  The authors use  these wonderful characters to explore Ireland and her mythology, sink us deep into her alluring land, her people, and the Fae of Ancient lore. Belleau and Vane feed us information about the Irish countryside and folklore so skillfully that not once did I feel as though a info dump had occurred.

I have always loved Irish folklore and have the groaning library shelves to prove it.  And reading an author(s) take on the Fae is almost a compulsive read for me.  Belleau and Vane did an outstanding job of bringing the Sidhe to life in all their seductive and terrifying ways.  When Sean meets Finnbheara, the Sidhe lord, you feel Sean’s helpless attraction as well as his fear so real, so powerful does Finnbheara come across. Almost half of the book takes place in the realm of the Sidhe and the vivid descriptions keep the reader engaged, pulling us into a world so authentic that the characters fears become our own.

Along with Ireland itself, the characters of The Druid Stone are as believably realistic as the people next door.  They have made mistakes, have faults and histories of loss and love. Cormac shows an amount of arrogance and pride that at times makes him dislikable but hidden behind it is a need to keep himself separate from others and from the possibility of love so deep is his hurt and guilt over Michael’s loss. Sean is a beautiful character, with unexpected facets and layers that quickly endear him to the reader as well as the other characters in the book, human and otherwise. Sean’s sexuality is also an area of confusion for himself and the reader.  Cormac is his first real male love but his previous encounters with women have been unsatisfactory. So it is never completely resolved as to whether Sean is bisexual, gay or “gay for Cormac”.  I don’t think it really matters to either the story or their relationship, but Sean reads bisexual to me.  There are aspects to his sexuality that I cannot discuss because of spoilers but in the end, it is the love between two individuals that matter and not labels.

If I have any quibble, it is that towards the end, their journey towards happiness has one too many obstacles to overcome to my satisfaction.  Perhaps, I was getting too impatient but one less jump to clear would have made this a 5 star instead of 4.75 star read for me. As it is this story ticks so many boxes for me.  I am of Irish and Scottish ancestry and have had three Irish Wolfhounds to enrich my life.  I love Ireland with a passion, the land, the culture, the feeling of coming home when I visit.  Reading this book took me back there, what a gift. I loved this book and will reread it again.  I hope you will yourself doing the same.  Slainte!

Cover: Gorgeous cover.  I couldn’t locate the name of the cover artist.  My only quibble is that I would have loved to see a Irish Wolfhound somewhere on the cover.  But that’s just me!

Read my review of Hawaiian Gothic by Heidi Belleau and Violetta Vane here.