An Ashlez Review: Julie the Pianist (Miss Baxter’s Girls Book 1) by Davina Lee

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Hilary Baxter is a retired dominatrix who runs a boarding house for young women. Equal parts loving mother and strict disciplinarian, her hope is to help each of her boarders live up to her full potential.

New boarder Julie quickly discovers Miss Baxter’s demanding disposition, as well as her sexy assistant Anise. It’s lust at first sight for Julie, but things take a kinky turn when Anise’s shirt rides up and Julie notices a strangely regular pattern of bruising.

With Anise’s guidance, Julie discovers not all hurts are bad hurts, and eventually finds herself entering Miss Baxter’s “extra-curricular room” for some formal education

Short but sweet book at first when I started reading I thought this is going to be a great read, then I realized it was nearly over.  I would not have expected to like it as much as I did given the length but I truly enjoyed it.

Just enough information to keep you interested, just enough sexual content to be a bit risqué.  Julie such a sweet girl i felt for her right away.  I adored the other girl presence and I love the piano.

Miss Baxter is not at all like I thought she’d be either but no spoilers so I’d read it and find out.

Cover- I adore the series covers they’re very erotic

Sales Links: JMS Books LLC | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 34 pages
Published May 25th 2019 by JMS Books LLC
ASINB07RTPC587
Other Editions
None found

Release Blitz for Orc Haven by Beryll and Osiris Brackhaus (excerpt)

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RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Orc Haven

Author: Beryll and Osiris Brackhaus

Publisher: Self-Published

Cover Artist: Anna Tiferet Sikorska | tiferetdesign.com

Genre/s: Fantasy FF Romance

Heat Rating:  1 flame out of five (A romantic relationship between the couple but no intimate scenes or sexual situations are described in the book. The book fades-to-black before any love scene.)

Length: 73 000 words /225 pages

It is a standalone story.

Release Date: October 13, 2018

Goodreads Link

 

Buy Links

Amazon US 

Amazon UK

 

 

Blurb

The great war is over. The Dark Queen has fallen, slain by a dwarven champion as the prophecies foretold.

Still struggling with her transition from farmer’s daughter to Hero of the Free Races, Irma barters her newfound fame for the power to change things for the betterment of all – including her former enemies.

With the Dark Queen’s death, her subjugated orcs either succumbed to madness or were slain in battle. Only few orcs remain, and Irma has sworn to protect them, to help them find their place among the Free Races. One of them is Vash, a breeding mother from the pits, searching for a new home among the ruins of her old world with a tiny horde of orc children in tow.

When they meet, they discover that despite their differences in size, upbringing and race, they share the same hopes for the future. And while the odds they face seem overwhelming, the feelings growing between them may be strong enough to overcome them all.

From Rainbow-Award-winning authors Beryll and Osiris Brackhaus comes a sweet, happy f/f romantasy that begins where other epic fantasy novels end, a stand-alone novel about courage, hope, and the importance of family.

 

Excerpt

Vash sniffed the pale blue berry. It didn’t smell of much, but that might have been due to the fact that her fingers smelled so much stronger, sour with sweat. Cautiously, she bit into it and nearly spit it out when its sharp taste exploded on her tongue, tangy enough to prick like needles. She had to force herself to keep her mouth closed and wait. It didn’t burn, so that was good. Her only way of telling whether it was poisonous was to trust her instincts, and so far, they had proven surprisingly accurate.

Like those roots she had found her maggots chewing on once. She had told them to keep away, but ‘no’, they just had to. A few hours later, they had been whimpering about their belly aches. They had been lucky nothing worse had happened. They could have died. Or they could have been back in the pits, where they would have been thrashed – first for disobeying and then for whining.

With a shudder, Vash forced that thought away. They were all lucky to have gotten out.

She swallowed the bit of berry and waited for that queasy feeling she got whenever she tried something inedible. Surprisingly few things out here were. The orcs‘  fabled constitution apparently also applied to being able to eat almost anything. Until their escape from the pits, she had never eaten anything but the slop cooked in their huge, grimy kettles. All the food delivered to them from outside went into those pots and was cooked until it didn’t taste of much at all. Even when their guardians had been set on slim rations, they had still received plenty. Vash were more important to the war effort than some stupid grunt that could easily be replaced. Vash were who made those replacements. They were the rarest kind of orc – those who could breed.

Her stomach grumbled angrily, but it was a pang of hunger, not nausea. Vash smiled. The berries were good and there were several bushes of them. A single one didn’t bear many fruits, but all together, they would feed the maggots tonight. And, if she managed to reign them in, they might even have some for tomorrow. She popped the other half into her mouth, and this time, she welcomed the taste. She started picking the bushes clean, gathering the berries into the makeshift bundle she had made of a tattered cloak.

Her own clothes were a ragged mix, the simple, coarse shift she had been wearing in the pits and whatever she had picked up since – a pair of sturdy leather pants that were a little too short, and a thick, padded tunic which she wore over the shift. Her lower arms and her feet were wrapped in rags both for warmth and protection. She’d even found a pair of fitting boots on a corpse a few days ago.

 

 

About the Authors

Beryll and Osiris Brackhaus are a couple currently living their happily ever after in the very heart of Germany, under the stern but loving surveillance of their cat.

Both of them are voracious but picky readers, they love telling stories and drinking tea, good food and the occasional violent movie. Together, they write novels of adventure and romance, hoping to share a little of their happiness with their readers.

An artist by heart, Beryll was writing stories even before she knew what letters were. As easily inspired as she is frustrated, her own work is never good enough (in her eyes). A perfectionist in the best and worst sense of the word at the same time and the driving creative force of the duo.

An entertainer and craftsman in his approach to writing, Osiris is the down-to-earth, practical part of our duo. Broadly interested in almost every subject and skill, with a sunny mood and caring personality, he strives to bring the human nature into focus of each of his stories.

 

Author Links

Blog/Website 

Facebook

Twitter: @brackhaus  

Goodreads

 

RELEASE BLITZ SCHEDULE

 

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

Hannah Carmack on Tagging, Writing, and her new release Seven-Sided Spy (guest blog)

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Seven-Sided Spy by Hannah Carmack
NineStar Press
Release Date: January 15th

Buy at NineStar Press

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Hannah Carmack here today to talk about her new release Seven-Sided Spy and her thoughts on writing, tagging and unhappily every after.  Welcome, Hannah.

Hannah Carmack on Unhappily Ever After

At first, I thought the tagging was a mistake. The manuscript was back from the proofer and below Heat Level: 0 (Which is a measure of spicy romance scenes, not general warmth of the novel’s content,) was a list of tags:

Abduction, historical, spies, no HEA or HFN, revenge, gay, lesbian, eating disorder, secret agent, graphic violence, m/c dies.

M/C DIES. My immediate thought was ‘Uh, spoiler?’ As fast as my fingers could type, I wrote my editor asking if there’d been an error in tagging. I was surprised to learn that there hadn’t. Now, my editor is the bomb.com and my press is flippin’ the best, so I was surprised that they’d include a tag that gave away so much. Especially in a book where the ending is so emotionally charged. Coupled with the no HEA or HFN (which stand for Happily Ever After and Happy For Now,) I was certain that we’d given too much away.

Then, it happened. As I sent the Advance Reader Copies out, tags included, I had a reviewer write me back. They expressed immense gratitude that I’d included the spoiler-y tags and decided that they needed to pass on the novel at this time in their life. Which I completely understand, respect, and applaud them for. Self-care comes first, kids.

The tags that I initially pushed back on were in fact that the tags that mattered the most. Had I not included them, my book, whose goal it is to bring pleasure to readers, could have hurt someone. In the times we’re in, it may be best to take the Adam Silvera Approach. Being completely upfront with your readers about anything that could be seen as upsetting or distressing –Dog deaths included– is one of the kindest things you can do. 

Blurb

In the midst of the cold war, the CIA’s finest and most fatal female agent, Diana Riley, vanishes. Kidnapped by the KGB and taken to the backcountry of North Carolina, she and her team of unsavory partners are forced to undergo illegal experimentation.

But, when the experiments leave them horribly deformed and unable to reenter society without someone crying monster, the previously glamorous and high-maintenance spies must escape KGB captivity and avoid recapture at the hands of Nikola, a ruthless KGB agent with an intense and well-justified grudge against her former flame.

INTERLUDE PRESS TOUR: Storm Season by Pene Henson (excerpt and giveaway)

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Storm Season by Pene Henson
I
nterlude Press
Release Date: February 2, 2017

Available for Purchase at

Interlude Press

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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Pene Henson here today.  Welcome, Pene!

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Today Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is very lucky to be interviewing Pene Henson author of Storm Season.

Hi Pene, thanks for stopping by today! Could you tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.

I’m Australian, extroverted and hard to ruffle. Also I’m pretty tall, mostly lacking in sporting prowess, and way less funny than I’d like to be. I live with my wife and our two divinely awesome kids in Sydney, along with a ferociously loving cat. Right now it’s summer and the days are long and hot. We spend our weekends in the grassy backyard with friends and champagne, playing whatever sports are currently in season. It’s a good life. Though with work and writing, it’s sometimes busier than I’d like.

I grew up dreaming of being an astronaut or an experimental physicist. I love sciences and mechanics but I’d do a dreadful job of either of those things so fortunately surprised myself by developing a career in law and writing.

I’ve always written poetry and short fiction. I never really dreamed of a novel until I was writing one. It was delightful to build a whole world, the first in Hawaii and on the ocean, and fall in love with my own characters.  

Storm Season is my second novel. It’s set on the Australian East Coast, in land and in cities that I know well. Like my previous novel, it’s essentially a happy queer story. It’s a romance between a bubbly and adorable fashion blogger and a capable park ranger living alone in a remote cabin. As you’d imagine, these women have vastly different experiences. They think they have vastly different priorities. Trapped together by a storm, however, they uncover not just a deep attraction to one another but also all the ways they fit together. And then, of course, the storm breaks and they have to work out what will happen when they return to their ordinary lives. 

What are your ambitions for your writing career?

Mostly I want to write stories that focus on queer characters falling in love, over and over. If I can do that, and continue writing stories that are mostly outside, then I’ll be happy. I want readers to be moved by the characters, and to see the beautiful world and new loves through their eyes. It sounds a little boring, I don’t want to move on. But every story is different because every character is different and their character dictates how things move forward and how they love. I just want to write romances that are happy and kind and moving and make one or two people feel less alone.

How many published books do you have? Can you tell us something about them?

So far, there’s only the two.

The first is called Into the Blue. The book’s set in a ramshackle blue beach house on the North Shore of Oahu in Hawaii. Its leads are young men, surfers and best friends, who’ve grown up on the ocean. They love one another as friends and have built a found family with three others in their home on the beach. Early in the book, one of them has the chance to head off on a world pro-surfing tour and the other tags along.

Time in new places, on new beaches, brings these friends to explore a physical relationship. It’s this perfect bubble of time, private hotels and cabins, gorgeous views interspersed by surfing competitions. Things only get real when they have to return home and work out how to be around one another.

The second is this one, Storm Season. In some ways it’s the same story. Two people with a deep connection and chemistry that they explore while away from real life. In this book, that perfect bubble away from the world is Lien and Claudie’s time trapped together in a cabin in a storm. Their connection might be new but they have time to develop it as the rain goes on and on outside. But just like Into the Blue, these women need to return to homes and jobs someday. Once they’re home they can learn what their connection means in real life.

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?

Lien is this sort of sparkling, outgoing bundle of optimism and fashion. She’s kind of ridiculous and adorable. She’s confident of her ability to make people like her. She lives in Sydney and is surrounded by friends, she’s popular on social media, she’s successful as a journalist in her own light way. With all this going on, she keeps her head busy and her heart busy. Underneath that buzz, she’s kind and thoughtful, she apologizes too much, she wants to make the world better, and she cares too much what people think. The story watches her grow into herself a bit, not all the way, and gain confidence in herself without other people. This gives her room to be about more than just a busy social life and fashion blogging. However much she still loves her friends and her social life and fashion blogging!

Claudie is a wilderness ranger living alone in the middle of nowhere NSW. Unsurprisingly, she’s kind of reclusive and pretty cranky. She’s innately capable. She keeps her own company and plays guitars to the wildlife. She has history beyond that, of course. She’s a talented songwriter and full of charisma. She left her career as an up and coming indie rockstar in some pretty awful circumstances and she’s been hiding ever since. Time with Lien wakes her up a bit, shows her that there are possibilities out there that she’d forgotten. 

What are you working on at the moment? What’s it about?

I’ve just started working on a short that I hope to have published by late in the year. It’s an f/f romance about a pro-basketballer coming home to Montana, to wide open skies and odd small towns. It’s about remembering who you are, and it’s about falling back in love with an old crush. 

Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?

In the midst of deadlines I do, I use Pacemaker at pacemaker.press to give myself a chance of having word count goals that vary daily depending on my needs. With two young kids and a more than full time job I need all the help I can get.

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About Storm Season

The great outdoors isn’t so great for Sydney It-Girl Lien Hong. It’s too dark, too quiet, and there are spiders in the toilet of the cabin she is sharing with friends on the way to a New South Wales music festival. To make matters worse, she’s been separated from her companions and taken a bad fall. With a storm approaching, her rescue comes in the form of a striking wilderness ranger named Claudia Sokolov, whose isolated cabin, soulful voice and collection of guitars bely a complicated history. While they wait out the weather, the women find an undeniable connection—one that puts them both on new trajectories that last long after the storm has cleared.

 

Excerpt from Storm Season

 

Two weeks ago, Lien had to resign herself to coming up north in the first place. Now she’s resigning herself to going home to Sydney. Of course, not everything will be terrible. She’s pretty sure a shower with no line outside the door will change her life. She’ll have her local restaurants back, rather than dealing with her friends’ inconsistent cooking. She can’t wait for clean sheets and clean clothes and a full length mirror so she can feel like herself again. Also, there’ll be way fewer flies.

But Sydney also means she has no chance to bump into a gorgeous park ranger while grabbing groceries or walking to the train. Somehow Claudie’s had no last minute change of heart. Not that Lien was holding out hope but—damn it, Lien was completely holding out hope.

* * *

Lien’s focus is on Claudie. “You’re being unfair. I never thought of you as a cause,” she says. Her voice is choked.

“I only meant that you want to build my band for me. I need to do it for myself.”

“I never wanted that. I wanted to help. You could definitely use help.” Lien’s eyes glitter in the streetlight. She lifts her chin. “But more than that, I wanted to spend time with you, Claudie. Look, I had this whole plan to ask you to go on a date with me.” She swallows. “I didn’t want a cause. I was kind of hoping for a girlfriend.” Car headlights arc behind them. Lien goes on. “What I said up at the cabin? That I thought we could be something? Nothing changed for me. I still think we could work. But you don’t. You push me away if I come close. So I’m done. I’m not going to trail around after you trying to prove that I’m a different person from the one you made up in your head. I can’t make you believe this would work when you’ve already made up your mind that it won’t.”

She whirls around and strides away. She’s across the road in a break in the traffic before Claudie has time to think. Lien’s white dress reflects the green and red and white of the city lights. Her hair flies out behind her.

Claudie can’t breathe. The rest of the world keeps moving. Wind spirals in the trees that line the street. A few clouds tumble across the sky and block the moon. A siren wails in the distance.

Lien’s the opposite of what Claudie needs. She’s hectic. She’s interfering. She’ll move on. It’s taken months for Claudie to realize that none of that matters.

* * *

“Come out here,” calls Claudie from the deck.

Claudie’s leaning on the railing looking over the vast expanse of nothing. “Come and stand at the edge here,” she says. “It’s like the edge of the universe.”

It’s dark; there’s nothing out there. The world smells rich and wet. Lien holds herself still and looks out with the cabin lights behind her.

“Wait a sec,” says Claudie.

She steps back toward the house and reaches inside the cabin door. Everything goes dark.

“Hey—” Lien can’t see a thing. They haven’t had lights in days, and now Claudie’s turning them off. The blackness seems complete.

“You’re okay,” says Claudie. “It’ll take a moment for your eyes to adjust. I figured—It’s been raining so much. You haven’t had a clear night up here. I wanted to show you.” She moves beside Lien against the railing.

And as Lien’s eyes accustom themselves to the dark, the sky opens up above them. The Milky Way sweeps a path of light across the great black bowl. Around that the night extends from one clear horizon to the other, lit by a thousand layers of stars on stars, dazzling bright in the dark.

The universe goes on forever. It’s huge, and Lien’s tiny and breathless in front of it.

In that moment nothing is worth thinking about beyond that sky, nothing but the huge universe and Claudie’s hand, steady and close beside Lien’s on the railing, Claudie’s warm body so near. Lien twines her pinkie around Claudie’s. They stand under the stars, still and silent.

When Lien turns, Claudie’s cheekbones are traced in blue-white and her eyes reflect a thousand pinprick lights. She’s beautiful. She’s from a whole other world.

* * *

Storm Season will be published by Interlude Press on February 2, 2017. Connect with author Pene Henson at PeneHenson.com; on Facebook at facebook.com/penewrites and on Twitter at @penehenson.

About the Author

Pene Henson has gone from British boarding schools to New York City law firms. She now lives in Sydney, Australia, where she is an intellectual property lawyer and published poet who is deeply immersed in the city’s LGBTQIA community. She spends her spare time enjoying the outdoors and gazing at the ocean with her gorgeous wife and two unexpectedly exceptional sons. Into the Blue, her first novel, was published by Interlude Press in 2016 and received a starred review from Publishers Weekly.

Storm Season will be published by Interlude Press on February 2, 2017. Connect with author Pene Henson at PeneHenson.com; on Facebook at facebook.com/penewrites and on Twitter at @penehenson.

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In the LGBTQIA Release Spotlight: Finding Lizzie by Karma Kingsley

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Finding Lizzie by Karma Kingsley
Cover Artist: Natasha Snow

NineStar Press

Purchase It Here at NineStarLogoFinal

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Karma Kingsley here with her author Playlist for Finding Lizzie. Welcome, Karma!

My Playlist by Karma Kingsley

Justin Timberlake’s FutureSex/LoveSound & The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill

When I was in high school, I had a really good, really weird, really quirky friend with a car that she’d named Sophia. And this is not an endorsement, but we used to skip class…A LOT. But we didn’t skip class to get high behind the gym or some other teen-angst afternoon special kind of thing, but we’d hang out in Sophia and listen to Justin Timberlake and Lauryn Hill with a various mix of Michael Jackson albums in there. We were obsessed with those artists. They were our One Direction/Justin Bieber/ whoever else the kids fangirl over these days. And writing Lizzie kind of made me think of this particular era of my life; a time when I was still figuring all of my shit out.  

James Arthur & Bibi Bourelly

There’s no deep, significant reason that these two are on the playlist. Their voices are just heaven in my ears, so everything they touch gets put on every playlist.

Let it Happen & Bring Me The Horizon’s That’s the Spirit

I just love these bands, but they’re on the playlist likely because the release dates just synced up with when I was writing. But there is a Let it Happen lyric that I think fits Lizzie’s story pretty perfectly. It’s “The good news is the bad news could be good news if you change your point of view.” Which aside from being true in just life in general, it applies to Lizzie because she’s sort of in this place where she’s left her long term boyfriend, her relationship with her mother is hanging on by a thread and she’s completely lost this life that was comfortable and safe and that didn’t make her take these huge introspective looks at herself. It all sounds pretty awful but then this confident, wild girl walks into her life and takes all of that bad news perspective and flips it on its head…I bet if you give me long enough I could come up with a good BMTH quote that applies too 😉

Hozier & Tegan & Sara

At least one Hozier song makes it onto every playlist I have. Specifically, Jackie & Wilson I think works for Lizzie and Kerra. If they ever have kids and their names are Jackie and Wilson, this is the source. And what playlist is complete without a little Sainthood?

Drake & Eminem

Because sometimes I fancy myself a rapper.

About Finding Lizzie 

Lizzie doesn’t know what she wants from life, but she’s sure it’s not the attention of her suffocating boyfriend, RJ. A chance encounter with a group of women on the day of the local Pride parade leads her to meet the wild, free-spirited Kerra. Lizzie begins to realise she’s crazy about Kerra, but how can she come out in a small town where prejudice is rife and even her own mother thinks being a lesbian is wrong? Can Lizzie find herself without losing everything else in the process?

Genre: Contemporary
Sex Content: N/A
Pairing: FF
Orientation: Bisexual, Lesbian
Identity: Cis
Length: Long Novel
Words: 106100
Pages: 213

Purchase Links:

COUPON CODE: Get 20% off preorder on NineStar Press website with coupon code “preorder”

* (Good until release day)

Excerpt

Karma Kingley © 2016

All Rights Reserved

The warm metal stung her arms as she slid down the length of the car to sit on the pavement. The instant need to sulk overtook her as she let herself obsess over her life choices, hating each and every one that had led her to the middle of who knows where, waiting for a man she didn’t want to see.

She let herself wade in her misery, listening only to the sounds of her own sorrow. She didn’t even hear the Jeep when it pulled up next to her.

“Hey hot-stuff, show us what you got!” a voice shouted from the backseat of the Jeep as someone tossed a necklace of rainbow beads at her. Elizabeth attempted to back away, her flight instincts kicking in almost immediately, but the two-ton car behind her blocked her path.

“Excuse me?” She squinted her eyes against the sunlight, searching the Jeep full of women for the culprit that was throwing plastic jewelry at her.

“Oh, are you not with the parade?” the woman behind the wheel asked her. She seemed genuinely confused as she scratched at the orange bandanna covering her forehead.

“Parade?” Elizabeth shook her head in apprehension.

A woman squashed in the middle of all the others stood up, grabbing hold of one of the bars connected to the roof of the Jeep. “Excuse these crazy ladies. We thought you were part of Pride. We didn’t mean to throw things at you for no reason.”

The woman smiled at her and Elizabeth felt her blood heat up. She was probably the most beautiful woman Elizabeth had ever seen and her smile made everything in Elizabeth’s life seem a little less tragic.

“Are you okay, love?” Elizabeth realized she’d been staring at the woman for an abnormally long time without saying anything.

“Yeah. Um…my car broke down.” Elizabeth pointed lamely at her car, as she fought against the dumbfounded stupor that smile had sent her into.

The woman jumped across all the ladies in the Jeep and landed in front of Elizabeth. It was the fastest, smoothest transaction of movement she’d ever seen and she had to will herself not to gasp in awe.

“I’ll take a look for you.” She opened the front door to the car and stopped short. “I think you’re just out of gas.”

Elizabeth watched her every move, unable to tear her eyes away. “Oh, umm…yeah, I know. That’s what I meant. My car umm…ran out of gas.” She fidgeted uncontrollably as she babbled on like an idiot.

“You sure you’re okay?” She took a step forward and Elizabeth unconsciously took one backwards, keeping the distance between them.

“I think you make her nervous.” One of the girls in the Jeep howled as the others erupted in giggles.

The woman looked back at the cackling group of her friends. She straightened her necktie as she took another step forward, the gesture seeming to make her even more attractive. Elizabeth swallowed hard but she wouldn’t allow herself to take another step away. “Is it true? Do I make you nervous?” The woman raised an eyebrow, making Elizabeth’s heart beat double-time.

“N-no. I’m not gay.” Elizabeth mentally scolded herself for her unorthodox reaction.

A smile spread across the woman’s face. “Sure you aren’t.” She gave Elizabeth a wink before returning to her friends in the Jeep. “We’re headed into the city to grab some drinks. You want to come along? We could grab some gas while we’re out there.”

Elizabeth looked down at her phone. “My boy…” She stopped, rethinking what she was about to say. “I have someone coming to get me.”

“Baby, it’s Pride. It’ll be hours before anyone makes it through the city to this side of town,” the purple-and-orange-clad driver shouted at her.

“Yeah, come on, come with us,” another voice from inside the Jeep called out to her.

“Come with us. Come with us,” they all chanted at her, making her laugh as they continued in unison.

She held her hands up. “All right, all right. I could use a drink anyways.” She considered her day so far and sighed at the truth in the statement. She could use several drinks.

Author Bio

Karma is a wine-enthusiast, feminist, activist, humanitarian, vegetarian and just all around liberal and that often seeps into her writing. She loves any place with white, white sand and blue, blue water and an endless supply of mo-suffix drinks (Moscato, Mojito, etc.).

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Karma_Kingsley

Smashwords author page: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/karmakingsley

Email: KarmaKingsley@gmail.com

Check out NineStar Press events calendar for information on additional blog stops for Finding Lizzie and other upcoming releases!

Book Blitz – Cinnamon and Cigarettes by Samantha Kate (excerpt and giveaway)

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Title: Cinnamon and Cigarettes

Author: Samantha Kate

Publisher: Torquere Press

Cover Artist: Kris Norris

Release Date: June 1, 2016

Heat Level: 3

Pairing: F/F

Length: 88,800 words

Genre/Tags: Contemporary, Bisexual, Lesbian Romance, New Adult

Add to Goodreads

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Synopsis

Sara Clarke, recent college grad, is sweet, demure, and cautious in all things, but especially romance—until she meets Moira Estrada, a bold amateur pilot and patron at the library where Sara works. Their intimacy blooms rapidly as they share everything from a sudden medical emergency to Christmas with the Estrada family. With her dashing new girlfriend by her side, Sara learns to overcome some of her greatest fears, whether they be acknowledging her own bisexuality, flying across the sky in a Cessna, or falling in love for the first time.

But Sara’s fear of confrontation is harder to conquer. When asked about her relationship, she finds herself lying to her family, pretending to date a man so she can avoid conflict with her straight-laced and image-conscious parents. But her attempts to please everyone cannot last forever and could result in far worse than her parents’ disapproval: she might lose the respect of her new friends at the library, or become estranged from her sister—or, worst of all, Sara might lose the only person she’s ever truly loved.

Excerpt

Moira pulled her key-ring out of her pocket, plucking out a large silver key from her collection. “Fasten your seat belt. We’re starting the engine now.”

She inserted the key; the plane gave a small lurch as the engine burst to life beneath Sara’s feet, and the propeller began to spin. This engine was nothing like the smooth start of a car; it ignited with a roar, like a motorcycle gunning to maximum velocity, and within moments that sound was pierced with sharp, rhythmic bursts from the propeller’s increasing oscillation. The sound was cacophonous; Sara put her hands to her ears, to block out a fraction of the din.

Amid the noise, she heard Moira speaking into her microphone. “Fairways Air Control, this is Lamassu. Oil pressure gauge is green, transponder is on. Are you receiving transmission?…Okay, thank you. Requesting permission to taxi to Runway Three…You’re the man, sir.”

Sara smiled faintly at her pilot. Moira’s combination of aviation jargon and casual slang was, admittedly, really endearing. So was the way her eyes widened as she scanned the blinking lights and bright monitors in front of her, grinning gleefully, looking simultaneously mischievous and reverent.

“Hang on,” Moira said, removing one hand from the controller and fumbling around by her feet. “I forgot to give you your intercom.” She withdrew another pair of headphones, handing them over. “These will help with the noise.”

Sara put on her headphones; the cacophony was quelled into the distance, now just a background ambiance. In the forefront now was Moira’s voice, smooth and sanguine, every word spoken directly in Sara’s ears.

“Removing parking brake now,” Moira said, a hand reaching out to pull the brake knob near Sara’s knee. The plane slid forward, and Sara gulped, hoping to keep her stomach from lurching as well. “Beginning taxi.”

They slid along the main “road” at a slow crawl. Sara noted each white stripe that passed by until they’d arrived at one of the runways; they did a slow 90-degree turn until they faced the open road. It was barely wide enough to accommodate the plane’s wings, and the forest was perhaps a mile ahead. Was that really enough space for them to take off? Even in such a small aircraft? Wouldn’t it take a massive amount of acceleration to lift them into the air? Was this even possible? Was it—

“Trim and flaps set,” said the voice in Sara’s ear, shaking her out of her fretting. Moira had a more “official” tone now, like one might hear over an automated line, with measured rising and falling inflections. “Engine temperature normal. Wingtip strobes on. Airspeed indicator reads zero.”

Sara fidgeted with the boom mic on her headphones. “That’s a lot of things to know about,” she whispered into it.

Moira turned her head, smiled, and put one hand on Sara’s knee. “That it is. But I’ve had my license for almost four years now, and if I were a shit pilot, they wouldn’t let me waltz back in those doors.” She grinned. “I’m going to bring you home safe, Sara. I promise.”

Sara nodded slowly.

“Okay,” Moira continued, pulling her hand back and gripping the throttle, “Lamassu departing now.

She pushed the throttle in, gradually but firmly, and they lurched forward, slowly at first, but soon they were gathering speed—the pine trees lining the runway lost the detail of their branches and needles, and soon they were a blur of dark teal and mossy green, punctuated by open field—and Sara’s stomach was shoved down and back into the seat; she felt like where she once had flesh and sinew and blood there was now only a void, an empty space filling itself with nothing but the rush of incoming air—

“Okay, Sara, we’re going to lift off—now!

Sara hadn’t known what it was like to lose the ground beneath her until this moment, when Lamassu’s nose flicked up and an anchor tied around her feet her whole life came undone, evaporated, dissipated into the afternoon sunlight—she realized it existed only when it ceased to exist. Suddenly there was space around her in every direction; she was now bound by nothing. The seat belt wrapped snug around her waist, the windshield ahead, the pane of glass a few inches from her right cheek—they seemed trivial, insignificant, incapable of truly binding her when the space beneath her feet was exponentially expanding.

“You’ve taken flight, dear.”

Soon the white lines beneath them vanished as well, as the runway shrank down, becoming a tiny part of a tiny complex that was quickly passing beneath and behind, no longer required, no longer relevant. She needed nothing in the air, only that constant whir of propeller oscillation, the humming of the engine, and the whipping of wind through the microscopic crack between the window and the fuselage. She almost thought she might float above her own seat, no longer subject to earth’s gravitational force.

“How are you feeling?”

Even Moira’s voice was distant now.

“I’m fine,” she said, in a tone that was half hummed, half spoken. She reached one hand up to the windowpane, tracing random curves along the glass with a couple of fingers. “I…I’m flying.”

“That you are.” Moira dropped her professional tone, her voice wrapping snugly around Sara’s head again. “And how does it feel?”

Even the trees were shrinking away now, becoming indistinct clusters of viridian mixed with a soft palette of mossy and earthy hues, separated by strips of gray asphalt drawing mechanical grids along the earth. She looked ahead, and for the first time took in the sky; its cerulean blue spread out infinitely across the horizon, accented with a few wispy cirrus clouds and an occasional burst of gold light reflecting from nearby lakes.

“It’s liberating.”

“Perfect.” Moira pressed a few more buttons, and the plane gently pitched forward, sliding into a consistent altitude. Within a few minutes they leveled off, thousands of feet above the earth, the bustling metropolis a mere memory behind them.

Purchase

Torquere Press

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Meet the Author

Samantha Kate works as a paralibrarian (that’s library support staff) for her day job. In her free time, she tries to pursue more creative projects than is humanly possible. Cinnamon and Cigarettes is her first novel; her short story, “Bottom of the River,” was published in Torquere Press’ Twisted Fables anthology in February 2016.

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Giveaway

Rafflecopter Prize: One winner will be selected to win an eBook copy of Cinnamon and Cigarettes.

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Coffee Sip and Book Break with Elle E. Ire ‘Vicious Circle’ (excerpt and giveaway)

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Book Name: Vicious Circle (Guardian Assassin #1) by Elle E. Ire
Release Date: November 4, 2015

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Torquere Press

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Blurb

Assassin meets innocent. When sweet and attractive Kila asks Cor to eliminate her abusive brother, Cor is more than willing to take the contract, but things aren’t what they seem, and for Cor, her trust and love aren’t easy to give.

 

Excerpt

Kila might not pose a threat, but she was not what she appeared to be.

She pulled the covers from me and examined the wound on my arm. It showed no signs of infection. She’d done a good job, a better job than a barmaid should have.

My eyelids grew heavier. The room became dim, and I blinked to clear my vision. “You’ve had medical training.”

“You could say that.” She wrapped the blankets around me and tucked them in like a mother for her child. Something about her made me feel warm and safe. I fought to shake it off.

“What else could I say? Who are you?” I demanded.

She smiled cryptically. “I’m the least important member of my family. Not like you.”

I scowled at her. “What the hell is that supposed to mean?” My voice rose and fell in my ears, echoing in a disconcerting manner.

She turned away from me, instead facing my table, the bag, the book. “You are

Corianne Sandros, the Core of Sardonen. And I want to hire you to kill my brother.”

Pages or Words: 92,800 words
Categories: Lesbian Romance, Science Fiction

Buy the book:  Torquere Books

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Meet the Author

Elle E. Ire resides in the Disney-created town of Celebration, Florida, with her spouse, twin daughters, and two dogs. A graduate of the University of Miami, she earned her Bachelor’s degree in creative writing but left the MFA program when they refused to allow her to write genre fiction, instead receiving a Master’s in Literature mostly made up of writing courses. Currently, she teaches writing to seventh and eighth graders. She and her spouse run several writing groups, as well as present at many local and statewide conferences.

Where to find the author:

 

 


Tour Dates & Stops:

Parker Williams, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Jessie G. Books, Full Moon Dreaming, Bayou Book Junkie, Vampires, Werewolves, and Fairies, Oh My, Inked Rainbow Reads, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, Happily Ever Chapter, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, BFD Book Blog, Unquietly Me, Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings, Bonkers About Books, The Hat Party, Havan Fellows, Nephy Hart, Velvet Panic

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Giveaway

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: E-copy of ‘Vicious Circle.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  Link and prizes provided by the author and Pride Promotions.

 

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A Stella Review: How We Began Anthology by Edie Danford , Alexis Hall , Delphine Dryden , Vanessa North , Amy Jo Cousins , Annabeth Albert , Geonn Cannon

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RATING 4 stars out of 5

How We Began Anthology coverHow does love begin?

A glance, a gesture, an unexpected offer of help from a stranger…or from a good friend. A smile across a counter at a coffee shop or video store. A secret revealed in a song from another place and time. Or in a love ballad crooned at a high school dance.

In this anthology of never-before-published sweet LGBTQ+ stories, six authors explore the beginnings of love between young and new adult couples.

All proceeds will support The Trevor Project’s work with crisis intervention and suicide prevention for LGBTQ+ youth.

How We Began is a sweet and interesting young adult anthology. All stories are really well done, I found some of my favorite authors and a couple of new to me writers. It has a perfect mix in plots, characters, genre and feelings. I particularly liked how each story has a “DearAuthor” at the start. Each very thoughtful.

The purpose of this anthology is really honorable and for this it deserves more than 5 stars but I’ll try to be honest in my review.

TruNorth by Alexis Hall 3,5 stars

Noah and Callum sing in a band called TruNorth. One night after a concert in New Berlin, Noah sees Callum sneaking out from their hotel and follows his mate to a place called Eldorado. Here Noah will find Aisling.

It’s not a news I’m a huge fan of Alexis Hall’s works, I’m sorry to say this dystopian tale is not his best but the magical atmosphere of his words is still there, no worries. Surely  the story is too short to be more developed but what I more missed were some specific elements in the setting and a connection with the MCs. I liked them together and how the story easily carry on till a right and sweet ending.

Unexpected Dragons by Delphine Dryden 4 stars

This is an unexpected surprise by a new to me author, I liked it a lot. For being so short this fantasy story worked so well to me, it has loveable  characters and a great defined world building, not many informations but what the author give me is more than enough to understand this dragons’ society. While it focuses more on the first shift for Zev and the romantic story between Rook and Zev is just outlined, there is space for some second characters like Zev parents that added emotions to a well done story. I want more!

A Song for Sweater-boy by Vanessa North 5 stars

Only Vanessa North could have picked an autistic young man as Jamie, high IQ, sweet and loyal to his family and Ash, an ambitious musician, beautiful and in probation, mix them in a prison-knitting program and score an awesome sweet and clever story, full of emotions and the unforeseen tears at the end. One of the few shorts I read so far that I’m feel really satisfied, I almost don’t want to know more about these boys, cause I know they are enjoying their HEA and I don’t want to disturb them. Really well done.

The Taste of Coffee and Cream by Amy Jo Cousins 4 stars

I had a hard time to get into this one and I’m really not sure why, cause at the end I realized this was the most complex, delicate and hurtful story. The writing style (hard to like) caught me unprepared for the beautiful development of Jude’s life. Her strength is clear in the braveness she has when each week takes a trip to another town to be the one true Jude. But her pain is weakened with the help of her savior, Owen and his mother, the most amazing woman in the world.

First in Line by Annabeth Albert 3,75 stars

First Line is an easy and quick story, just reading the title it brings me a smile on my face. The author was good at showing us how a shy farm boy like Ethaniel can collide (literally) with the force of nature is Nesto, out and proud and so supportive, and not only survive to his first day at college but easily coming out from his closet cause he is now in the right place. There are a lot of struggles but it is mostly a short full of positive feelings.

Extinction Level Events by Geonn Cannon 3,5 stars

This was my first ever FF story, I had no idea and I have to say I liked it a lot, especially the writing and the dialogues, engaging and never boring. I get the purpose of the author, to write about be brave to come out to the people who love us. I liked the characters but it needed a little more in the romantic part, I appreciated the beautiful friendship between Cassandra and Natalie but I wanted a couple of more pages about Cass’ new life and love.

The COVER is well done but I’d have preferred something different. Two boys can’t well represent an anthology with these variety of characters.

SALE LINK: AMAZON

BOOK DETAILS

Kindle Edition, 297 pages
Expected publication: November 9th 2015 by Pink Kayak Press LLC
ASIN B016E0LULM
Edition Language English

 

Need An Anthology to Love? Well, Love is a Mess Has the Stories for You! (contest)

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Time to Focus on Anthologies!

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Title: Love Is A Mess (a Supposed Crimes anthology)
Release Date: January 3, 2015

Author Names/Stories:

  • Viral Valentine by L. M. Perrin
    When a Valentine’s Day prank goes badly, Paige’s guilt won’t let her watch the victim walk away without a proper apology.
  • Date Blind by Geonn Cannon
    A woman discovers the worst possible blind date scenario when her date turns out to be someone who bullied her in high school.
  • The Politician and the Pilot by Amber Kinsey
    A politician and a pilot make a steamy connection on Valentine’s Day.
  • Bar Tryst by Rachael Orman
    After her roommate blackmailed her into going to an Anti-Valentine’s day party, Vanessa decided to make the best of it especially when the bartender shared that she was looking to have a good time too.
  • Quarter Life: Energy Feed by Adrian J. Smith
    With strange creatures in her path, Faye is determined to get the information she wants no matter the cost.
  • Property of Cupid by Eva Lefoy
    Will an ancient Greek god give up half his powers to love a mere human? Or will Cupid loose his golden arrow, letting Jeremy fall in love with another man?
  • Private Dance by A. M. Leibowitz
    With Alex’s sexy boyfriend, Phin, gone for three weeks, there’s only one option: let his best friend’s kids lead him on a treasure hunt through town to find his Valentine’s gift waiting for him to unwrap.
  • The Last Mitzvah by Michael DuPuy
    One man seeks salvation over love, death, and ice cream.

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About the authors:

A. M. Leibowitz is a spouse, parent, feminist, and book-lover falling somewhere on the Geek-Nerd Spectrum. She keeps warm through the long, cold western New York winters by writing romantic plot twists and happy-for-now endings. In between noveling and editing, she blogs coffee-fueled, quirky commentary on faith, culture, writing, and her family at amleibowitz.com.

Adrian J. Smith, aka AJ, loves to write women, and specifically women who are strong, independent and fall in love with other women. She claims bisexuality but is probably closer to omnisexual. She’s a go with the flow type of person. She loves writing urban fantasy and creatures and powers of all different kinds. She also loves writing women in uniform, because let’s face it, a woman in uniform has an irresistible draw. Most of her stories have a romantic element, but if you want action, drama, plot with a hint of romance, she’s the author for you. Find her at adrianjsmith.wordpress.com.

Amber Kinsey is a part-time federal employee, full-time geek, and occasional writer. She lives in a suburb of Nashville, TN with her three cats: one is the light of her life; the other two are just little stinkers.

Eva Lefoy writes and reads all kinds of romance, and is a certified Trekkie. She’s also terribly addicted to chocolate, tea, and hiking. One of these days, she’ll figure out the meaning of life, quit her job, and go travel the galaxy. Until then, she’s writing down all her dirty thoughts for the sake of future explorers. You can find her blog at writery.wordpress.com.

Geonn Cannon is the author of On the Air, Gemini, World on Fire, The Following Sea, Tilting at Windmills, Only Flame and Air, Confused by Shadows, Chasing Dragons, What Matter Wounds?, Silence Out Loud, the Riley Parra series, Railroad Spine, Gunfire Echoes, the Underdogs series, Girls Don’t Hit, and The Rise and Fall of Radiation Canary. He also wrote an official tie-in novel for Stargate SG-1 titled “Two Roads” and contributed a Stargate Atlantis story to the “Far Horizons” anthology. An archive of free stories can be found at geonncannon.com. When he’s not writing, he’s asleep.

L. M. Perrin is an English major who writes fiction to break up the monotony of analyzing novels. She lives in Leelanau County, also known as Michigan’s pinky finger, with her dog and the occasional stray cat, and in her opinion there is nothing wrong with spending a night binging on Netflix and pizza. This is her first published piece.

Michael DuPuy, while not investigating epistemological dead ends, cultivates a greater understanding of the folly of man most often by recreating as many of such folly’s as possible through no intent of his own. Michael turned to writing as a method of perhaps extending his sanity and to justify his coffee consumption. If anything this tactic has backfired.

Rachael Orman: Mother by day. Writer by night. I spend a majority of my day with my children and reading while my nights are filled with the sound of the keyboard as I work on my next work. 

I have written in F/F, F/F/M, F/F/F and then of course F/M genres…. So, beware, I do not always have the most ‘traditional’ scenes. And one day I will venture into M/M, just have to find the time. 

I love to try new things and learn from every piece of work I write. I’ll write just about anything once to learn from it. I’ve even ventured out of my normal erotica genre into Monster Erotica. Doubt you’ll find me writing anything not erotic as you can barely get me to even read something out of that category, but then again, you never know what I might try next.

About the Publisher:
Supposed Crimes, LLC publishes fiction and poetry primarily featuring lesbian characters and themes. The focus is on genre fiction–Westerns, Science Fiction, Horror, Action–rather than just romance. That’s how we set ourselves apart from our competitors. Our characters happen to love women and kick ass.

“Supposed crimes” refers to the idea that homosexuality is outlawed, and that our authors are being subversive by writing. As times change this becomes more tongue-in-cheek, but can still apply broadly to our culture. Christians writing lesbians and men writing lesbians are also subversive ideas in this industry, and we promote people bending the rules.

Publisher: Supposed Crimes, LLC
Cover Artist: C.E. Case
Categories: LGBT fiction, Romance, Gay Romance, Lesbian Romance
Pages or Words: 35,000 words, 119 pages
Tour Dates: February 9, 2015

Tour Stops: Parker Williams, Rebecca Cohen Writes, MM Good Book Reviews, Fallen Angel Reviews, Molly Lolly, Kristy’s Brain Food, BFD Book Blog, Cate Ashwood, Wake Up Your Wild Side, Wicked Wolves and Dreaming Dragons, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, The Hat Party, Velvet Panic, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Kimi-Chan, Carly’s Book Reviews

 

Contest: Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: E-copy of ‘Love Is A Mess’. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

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