Cover Reveal for North to Zombieville by Meg Bawden (excerpt and giveaway)

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North to Zombieville (Zombieville #1) by Meg Bawden
Release Date: May 18, 2016

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Brooke Albrecht

Blurb

The year is 2028, and Dallas and Raleigh Jenson are torn apart when a worldwide zombie apocalypse ravages their home of Townsville, Australia. After a year of searching, Dallas, a former Australian army rifleman, finally reunites with Raleigh, but it’s not like old times. Not only do they have zombies to contend with, but also other humans, changed by desperation and willing to do anything to survive.

Dallas and Raleigh have changed too. So much so, that Dallas struggles with the idea that Raleigh no longer needs or wants his protection. But they will need to rely on each other and find strength in their love as they are forced to evade zombies and watch their friends die. As they fight for their lives in a brutal landscape where every supply and every step toward a potential cure is a battle to the death, only their trust in each other can keep them from perishing.

 

Pages or Words: 67,114 words
Categories: Horror, M/M Romance, Science Fiction

Excerpt

“Everything will be all right.”

“Will it, though?” Raleigh stared at him out of the corner of his eyes. “I’ve seen the movies, Dallas. I know how it goes. I don’t want to live in a life like that.” When they reached the door to the next floor, Raleigh twisted the knob and opened it, guiding him inside. “I thought about killing myself, you know.”

“What?” Dallas reeled back. Silence filled the room, the only sounds a dripping pipe and zombies’ roars from outside.

Raleigh wouldn’t look at him. He stared at the peeling black walls, his jaw tense. The Raleigh that Dallas remembered would be in tears, but this Raleigh wasn’t. He was sad, but he held in the tears. With Raleigh crossing his arms over his chest protectively, though, Dallas saw more of his Raleigh there, his soft heart hiding beneath the tough shell that this world had created.

“When?” Dallas asked, trying not to choke on his words. This room stunk of antiseptic liquids of some kind, and it nearly burned his nose. But nothing could distract him from what Raleigh was saying, not with the bombshell his husband had dropped on him.

“About six months in.” Raleigh took a step forward, and Dallas opened his good arm, pulling him closer. Raleigh pressed his face into Dallas’s neck. “I looked for you. Janey and I did. I was beginning to think you were dead. And this world… I hate it, Dal. Your friends die every day. You don’t know when it will be your last. There is no hope. No future. They outnumber us, and they are getting stronger. I was so lost without you. You were always my rock. I… I looked at my gun and I thought, maybe I could end it all. Right now.”

Buy the book

 Dreamspinner Press Ebook and Paperback

 

 

Meet the Author

 

Meg Bawden was born and raised in North Queensland, Australia. She’s loved stories since before she can remember and has always enjoyed creating characters of her own, even if it did begin with drawing faces on toilet rolls and giving them names. Wiring has always been a passion of hers and she’s loved the M/M genre since 2004, the first book she read being Rainbow Boys by Alex Sanchez.

Writing M/M since 2007, Meg has never had the confidence to attempt publishing her own stories, but in 2015, she decided that it was all about to change thanks to the amazing friends she’s made in the M/M genre and their support and encouragement. So watch out world, Meg Bawden is coming out to have some fun!

Where to find the author:

 


Tour Dates & Stops:

Parker Williams, Divine Magazine, A.M. Leibowitz, Kirsty Loves Books, Alpha Book Club,

Bayou Book Junkie, BFD Book Blog, Bonkers About Books, MM Good Book Reviews,

The Hat Party, Full Moon Dreaming, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, Molly Lolly,

Velvet Panic, Outrageous Heroes, Oh My Shelves, Chris McHart, The Dark Arts, Havan Fellows,

Open Skye Book Reviews, Wake Up Your Wild Side, Dawn’s Reading Nook, Caraway Carter,

Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews

Final

Giveaway

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Love The Supernatural? Sean Kerr is Talking Writing, the Supernatural and His Latest Release, Dead Camp (interview,excerpt and giveaway)

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Dead Camp (Dead Camp #1) by Sean Kerr
Release Date: January 1, 2016

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Extasy Books
Cover Artist: Latrisha Waters

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is so happy to have author Sean Kerr here today to share his thoughts on writing, the supernatural and his latest release, Dead Camp.  Welcome, Sean.

✍✍✍

  • Why do you write?

I love to create stories and characters, it’s a fantastic escape from every- day living. I love to take an idea and start developing a story and characters around it, and I love to see where it takes me! If I am lucky enough that an audience likes it and reads it, then that really is the ultimate thrill!

  • When did you decide to become a writer?

It was not a conscious decision. I have written since I was a child, and I am now 46! But when I decided to write Dead Camp, when the idea became so powerful and would not let me sleep, I decided that I would do everything in my power to get a publisher and get the work into as good a situation as possible. And it worked! Extasy books have been fabulous.

  • What genre are your books?

Supernatural, paranormal, horror, gay, a general sprinkling of erotica, conspiracy, history. Have I left anything out?

  • What draws you to this genre?

I have always loved supernatural/paranormal books, LOVED Twilight, LOVED the True Blood books, and that sent me off wanting to do my own spin on that genre. Plus I have always wanted to write a Vampire story, but one that changed the conventions, and hopefully does something a bit different with the genre.

  • What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?

I had an idea and it would not let me sleep. The idea grew and grew and I knew it would take a number of books to see it through, so I had to write it. I started Dead Camp to see where it would lead me, and now I know exactly where it is going and how the very last page of the series will look. I’m so excited about it that it stops me from sleeping because I keep seeing bits of it in my head. It’s an obsession, as is writing in general I think.

  • Do you write full-time or part-time?

Part time. I have an Interior Design business in Cardiff called Home Zone Design, with my fabulous business partner Jayne, so that takes up all my working days sadly. If I could walk away from that and write all day I would, but sadly we cannot afford to hire anyone so that isn’t going to happen lol!

  • Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?

I try to do a couple of hours a night and I try to do as much as I can on days off. However, my debut novel Dead Camp has just gone live on extasy books and Amazon and all my time has been spent doing social media stuff and trying to get the book out there, so I have been a bit lack of late!

  • How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?

Not sure about that. I do think my writing has improved dramatically over this process, my editors at extasy have been fantastic! I’ve always had a pretty active imagination, and this series is pushing that to the limits and I love it. The one thing that does happen when you write it that the more you do it, the better you become, and the more ideas you have!

  • What have you written?

Dead Camp is my first published work. I have written loads over the years, lots of bad stuff, lots of screen plays. I have a file full of half-finished things and ideas that I am looking forward to getting back to once the Dead Camp series is finished. While to go there yet though lol.

  • Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just seeing where an idea takes you?

I start from a rough outline, and before I start writing I always know where I need each character to go and where the story needs to go. Dead Camp is going to be a big series, possibly 6 books, and I know exactly where each one will be, start, end, and how each one affects the next, and I know exactly how it ends.

  • How do you market your books?

Facebook, twitter, Goodreads, yahoo groups. That is my main thrust at the moment and believe me it all takes a lot of doing. How effective it is I don’t know yet, I am a very small fish in a very, very large sea.

  • Is there any marketing technique you used that had an immediate impact on your sales figures?

Facebook. As soon as I announced the publication of the book, people were buying it. Also, because I am lucky enough to have a fantastic publisher in extasy books, they also sell it from their website, and they have a huge following, so hopefully at some point that will kick in.

  • What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

Never give up. Keep writing, even if it’s bad, because you will improve. If you have an idea, go with it. Don’t get sidetracked either, as I am now lol. You have to write all the time, to develop your style and your skills. Never take ‘NO’ as the final answer. I was refused by every agent in the Readers & Writers Handbook, but just when I thought there was no point in going on, I approached six publishers directly and within three weeks I had three offers.

Sadly, no-one is going to do it for you, so you have to do it for yourself!

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

Eli is so arrogant and so self-assured, that you can’t help but love him. It’s not so much what he does that is special, it’s the horror he has been through. He has been through so much that you would think it could not get any worse. But as Dead Camp begins, it does get worse, and his history unfolds through the books to the point where you really need something good to happen to him. He thinks his arrogance and his sexy attitude can get him through it all, but he discovers that nothing is further from the truth.

  • Where do your ideas come from?

The strangest of places. Dead Camp came to me while watching a World War two film. Documentaries on the Discovery channel also fuel my imagination. Also, there are a couple of future books I would like to write inspired by some terrible nightmare I had as a child that have always stayed with me.

  • What is the hardest thing about writing?

Getting the time to write!

  • What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?

Finding someone to take it seriously and publish it. Agents didn’t want to know. Three publishers did straight away.

  • Who is your favorite character in your book and why?

Eli, because he is so naughty and I would love to be him!

  • Who is your least favorite character and why?

Melek. He is so bad that you can’t help but love him. Not all evil is as dark as you think.

  • What is your next project?

Dead Camp book two out so I am trying to get the third one written as we speak!

  • Who is your favorite fictional character and why?

Count Dracula. I have read that book so many times I can almost recite it! He is not strictly evil, and I think in the end he just wants to be loved. That feels as relevant today as it did when it was first written.

  • What one person from history would you like to meet and why?

Judy Garland. I’m gay, need I say more?

  • If there was one thing you could do to change the world, what would it be?

End poverty.

  • Who is your favorite author?

Charlaine Harris

  • What is one thing you hate about being a writer?

That I have to work in a shop in order to survive instead of writing all day lol.

    Thank you, Sean!  That was outstanding.  Now I can’t wait to read your story.  More about Dead Camp below….

RC

Blurb

Eli is an ancient vampire with an ego the size of a planet and a sex drive to match, but his tumultuous past left him broken, so he hides from humanity and cowers from love, left to endure the crushing guilt that haunts his every waking moment. Even his best friend Malachi, a ghost who is hopelessly in love with Eli, remains unaware of all that transpired in London. Malachi can never know the truth.

When the Angel Daniyyel pays an unwelcome visit, Eli must face his secrets, secrets that he has tried so long to hide. To make matters worse, a chance encounter with the most beautiful man he has ever seen shatters his beloved isolation, pushing him into the world of the living once more. Something about this strange man seems so familiar, but Eli can’t even remember who he was before he became a vampire, never mind explain the unwanted emotions the enigmatic stranger ignites in his dead heart. So Eli has a choice—return to the world that ruined him, or continue his self-imposed exile with no hope of salvation.

 

Pages or Words: 87,422 words, 260 pages

Categories: Dark Themes, Erotica, Fiction, Gay Fiction, Historical, Horror, M/M Romance, Mystery, Paranormal, Romance, Vampires/Demons, Thriller

Excerpt:

Three prisoners had died in my block that night, two elderly and one young man not old enough to grow pubes. It sickened me. Never, in all my years, had I witnessed such a callous waste of human life. And then to see my fellow prisoners undressing the dead, striping their cold stiff bodies before my unbelieving eyes horrified me even more, and I clung onto Jakob’s broken body for dear life. All around me the clunk of bodies against wood and concrete. My eyes tried not to see and my ears tried not to hear.

A cold clammy hand gently caressed my arm and I nearly shot off my shelf in shock. I didn’t scream. I refused to scream.

“My friend, I’m sorry, my friend, but you must undress him. The rubbish men will be here soon and you must strip him of all clothing before they take him. Please, you must do this for him—they will be less kind than you. Do you understand?”

“Why? Why must we do this?”

“His clothes are of value, my friend. They will be re-used for the next intake.”

“And what of his body, what will become of Jakob?”

“You don’t want to know, my friend.” His whispered words made every hair on my body stand on end. A sound outside caused him to return to his unsavoury task with renewed urgency. “Quickly, they are here.”

What followed felt like a dream. I had undressed many a man under many circumstances, but that was a first. Already poor Jakob stiffened, and it pained me to hear and feel his bones crack as I gently prised his pale thin body from the clothes. I whispered my apologies into his unhearing ears and I hated my eyes for glancing across his pale dead flesh.

I had to free them, all of them. That place, that death camp, it had to end.

I lifted his dead naked body into my arms. Emotion, so alien to me, invaded the shrivelled blackness that was my soul, and I knew my eyes betrayed my grief. Emotions made you weak. Emotions made you vulnerable, emotions hurt. And I was hurting. The passing of that human, that mortal man I had known for less than a day, had brought back that affliction from which I had been running from for so very long.

I had only opened my heart to the world again but for the briefest of moments. And already I felt pain.

Gideon hurt me. He made me feel unloved, unwanted, he made me feel ugly. How I would crave for his touch, how desperate I was for his love, to feel the thrill of his fingers upon my bare flesh, to feel his attraction to me, to feel wanted. But all he ever did was refuse me. Every time I tried to touch him, he turned me away. He was not in the mood, he told me to come back later.

Come back later.

But later never came.

I carried that pale body into the grey wet misery of morning. The sun was trying desperately to penetrate the thick layers of brooding clouds that clung stubbornly over the camp, but the sun was losing. Rain dripped incessantly from the skies, melting the remaining snow into a muddy slush. Grey skies, grey ground, grey people. The camp drained the colour out of everything. Welwelsburg was like me, a vampire, sucking the life out of everything it encountered, sucking away hope and dignity, leaving nothing but pale grey husks clinging to the brink of existence.

Two men stood next to a large flatbed trolley. Dead, naked bodies lay crumpled in a pile on top of the trolley, legs and arms sticking out at all angles like some grotesque starfish. I saw children amongst the corpses.

Pale white flickering figures surrounded the trolley. Insubstantial wisps of lives spent before their time. The rubbish men looked at me expectantly but I could not move for the sight of those spectral beings and I clutched Jakob’s dead body tightly to my chest, unwilling to relinquish my charge. If I put him on that trolley then he would be dead, another lump of cold meat on the pile. He deserved more than that.

The ghostly figures turned to look at me, each one knowing me, seeing me, seeing me see them. And they smiled at me. Cold shivering prickles erupted across my skin as their eyes took me in and they were such kind eyes, such trusting eyes. A figure pushed its way between them, its shadowy form brushing gently against the others as it came to stand before me.

Buy the book

Extasy books  | Amazon UK  | Amazon US  | Barnes & Noble Nook | Kobo

 

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Meet the author:

I think that as I approach that milestone that is fifty, I must be one of the oldest gamers on the face of this earth. Many a day you will find me lashed to my PS4 enjoying a good session of Skyrim. Who doesn’t love a good session of Skyrim?
I love writing—I have done it since I was a child when I would happily write about the latest episode of Doctor Who (Tom Baker in those days) in my schoolbooks. Growing up and becoming a business owner with my friend Jayne left little time to pursue my dream of publication, but of late the desire and the compulsion to put words onto paper have once again dominated my life so that now, my laptop has become surgically fused to my fingertips.
There is something desperately satisfying about telling a story. My fascination with History, Religion and Conspiracy theories have, in this instance, gone hand-in-hand with my love of all things vampire, fantasy, sci-fi and horror. I drove my parents nuts when I was young because that was all I would read about in books, all I would watch on television, but they have held me in good stead, and long may my obsession with the subjects continue, at least, that is, until the day they put me in my own wooden box. And imagination is such a wonderful thing. I once had a rather vivid dream about David Tennant and the Tardis console, but I could not possibly go into details about that here. Let’s just say that my polarity was well and truly reversed.
Dead Camp is just the beginning. I have to check my knickers every day at the thought that this book is now in the public domain. My first book, and I hope the first of many. And to those out there who love to write, who love to transport us to new worlds, or old worlds with a twisted perspective, I say to you keep going. I never thought I would ever see my work available to download, and thanks to eXtasy Books, the dream that I always thought unobtainable has finally come true. So thank you all at eXtasy, I am one happy homosexual thanks to you, and thank you the reader for taking the time to read this strange tale and allowing Eli and the incomparable Malachi into your lives.
And now I really need Skyrim.

Where to find the author:

 


Tour Dates & Stops:

29-Mar: Full Moon Dreaming, Velvet Panic, BFD Book Blog

5-Apr: Rednecks and Romance, Jessie G. Books, Hearts on Fire, The Dark Arts

12-Apr: Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words

19-Apr: Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Inked Rainbow Reads, Emotion In Motion, Book Lovers 4Ever

26-Apr: Bonkers About Books, Divine Magazine, Nephy Hart, The Hat Party

3-May: My Fiction Nook, MM Book Escape, Bayou Book Junkie

10-May: Dawn’s Reading Nook, Cathy Brockman Romances, Unquietly Me

17-May: Kirsty Loves Books, The Novel Approach

24-May: Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings, Havan Fellows

31-May: MM Good Book Reviews, Making It Happen, Love Bytes

7-Jun: Happily Ever Chapter, Alpha Book Club

14-Jun: Molly Lolly, A.M. Leibowitz, Outrageous Heroes

Final

Giveaway

Enter to win.

 

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Zombies are Here in DC Juris’s ‘Bad Moon Rising’ (excerpt and contest)

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Bad Moon Rising by DC Juris
Release Date: November 11, 2015

Publisher: Torquere Press
Cover Artist: Kris Norris

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Blurb

Bryce never expected to find himself smack in the middle of a zombie apocalypse, and he certainly never expected to meet the man of his dreams along the way. But there’s more than zombies in the way of his happily ever after. Richard comes with baggage, in the form of his on again, off again bipolar lover Cole, who is off his meds and descending into his own mental hell at an alarming rate. Will the three men be able to work out their romantic feelings? Oh yeah…and then there’s that little issue of the zombies…

Previously published by Breathless Press.

Excerpt

“Stay down!”

“What’s going on?” I whispered.

“Looters,” Cole revealed. “They’re going up and down the street, searching cars.”

Well, at least they wouldn’t steal it, since we had the keys, and the chances of them sticking around to do any real damage to it seemed pretty slim, too. All we had to do was wait it out, and they’d go away.

Dolly stood and paced to the door, walking back and forth in front of it like she was on guard duty.

On the street, yelling broke out, and gunshots echoed in the night.

Richard cursed.

Our visitors had apparently been discovered. Shouts of run and look out descended into just inarticulate screaming and then the unthinkable: Dolly started barking.

Cole lunged for her, but the damage had already been done. The people outside started banging on our door, pleading to be let in.

“What do we do?” I looked to Richard, who was shaking his head.

“Nothing.”

“But if we don’t let them in, they’ll be infected,” I argued. Those were people outside — we had to help them. What if the roles were reversed? What if that had been me outside?

“And if we do let them in, we’ll be infected.” He reached for one of our backpacks and started shoving things inside. “We can’t stay here. Cole, shut that damned mutt up!”

“I’m trying!” Cole struggled with Dolly, trying to get her calmed down and quiet.

Richard threw a bag at me, hitting me square in the chest and bringing me back to reality. “Pack light. We’ll be walking.”

“The car–“

“Is compromised. We’ll never get near it. Hurry up. Cole!”

Cole scrambled back to us, dragging Dolly behind him.

Outside the shouting and banging intensified. Someone must’ve gotten smart, because a brick came careening through an exposed part of the door glass near the top. It sailed through the air, barely missing Richard’s head.

“Time to go!” Richard shoved Cole toward the back door. “Bryce, help me with the boards!”

I grabbed up a discarded hammer and handed it over to him while I fished in my bag for the crowbar I’d brought. We struggled with the boards, hacking and pulling. Richard’s face turned red with his exertion, and the warmth of my own efforts spread out from my arm muscles, making my chest tight and painful.

“Hurry up, guys!” Cole shouted.

I glanced back at the front door. The newcomers — two beefy men and a scraggly haired woman — had managed to get several of the boards free and were shouting at us. Behind them, I could see the horde moving closer. The woman let out a scream and disappeared from sight. The men didn’t even look back for her — they just kept on coming.

“Bryce!” Richard had gotten enough of the boards cleared for us to get through. I jumped out after him as he pulled Cole through. We ran along the back alley, Cole carrying a still-barking Dolly.

“Shut her up! She’s going to give us away!” Richard smacked at Dolly’s muzzle as he ran.

That seemed to stifle her for a few minutes, and we made it down the alley and through two more without chase. At last Richard stopped, heaving for air, and leaned against the wall of a building. I didn’t want to stop. My nerves on fire with adrenaline and fear, I ran past him.

“Bryce!”

I ignored him. Fight or flight had kicked in. I wasn’t much to look at size-wise — I had no hope of fighting off a crowd of hungry zombies, so flight it was. I had to get away from there. Like a rat in a maze, I kept running through alleys and streets I didn’t know and couldn’t really see, until I stepped square into a hole and stumbled. I put my arms out and tried to catch myself, but only succeeded in falling on my wrist, wrenching it back against my arm. I couldn’t keep from crying out, but even the momentary pain didn’t stop me.

I surged to my feet again, but I must’ve injured my left ankle in the fall as well, because it wouldn’t support my weight and I fell back down. Undaunted, I crawled for my life. Footsteps grew nearer and nearer. They’d catch me, but I’d be damned if they’d catch me easily.

“Bryce! Stop!”

I rolled over under the power of someone else. At any other time, I probably would’ve registered that the person was Richard. But right then, I didn’t recognize him. He knew my name, kept yelling it over and over — that much I realized — but it made no difference to me. I fought him as hard as I could, and at last, he simply pinned my wrists and collapsed on top of me.

He stopped yelling, instead resorted to just whispering my name in my ear again and again in a monotonous tone that finally managed to bore into my brain and made me stop struggling.

Richard pulled back and looked down at me. “I’m getting up, okay?”

I nodded. Still feeling skittish though, I tried experimentally to wrest one of my wrists out of his grip.

“Easy,” he cooed. “You’re not in danger.”

“Not yet,” Cole chimed in from behind him.

“You’re not helping,” Richard snapped at him.

Pages or Words: 31,000 words
Categories: Contemporary, Fiction, Gay Fiction, Horror, M/M Romance, Romance, Thriller

Buy the book: Torquere Books

 

RC

Meet the author:

Romance author, sic-fi fan club Captain, cosplayer, reigning Queen of Monkeyland, and random menace. Yep, we’re talking about DC Juris. She’s a cupcake making, football watching, rubber duck collecting, drag show loving, full of fabulous with a Capital F kinda gal. She’s also an Ordained Minister and an amateur photographer. She lives in Upstate NY with her husband, three dogs, and three cats. When she’s not writing, you can find her in her favorite chair watching “Star Trek” and “Supernatural” repeats on Netflix, or surfing the web for porn. Er… research. Surfing the web for research. She may speak softly but she lives and loves loudly. Just ask the neighbors. ::wink::

 

Where to find the author:

 


Tour Dates & Stops:

Parker Williams, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Bayou Book Junkie, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, Inked Rainbow Reads, Happily Ever Chapter, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, BFD Book Blog, MM Good Book Reviews, Ogitchida Book Blog, Bonkers About Books, The Hat Party, V’s Reads, Dawn’s Reading Nook, Kimi-Chan, Jessie G. Books, Open Skye Book Reviews

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Giveaway

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: E-copy of ‘Bad Moon Rising’ by DC Juris.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Link and prize provided by the author and Pride Promotions.

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Scary Spotlight: Haunted Hotties 2 Anthology from Torquere Press (excerpts and contest)

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Authors Name: McKay, Rob Rosen, Dakota Caudill, Elizabeth Coldwell,
Jessica Payseur, Jessica Chase, Louisa Bacio, Charles Payseur,
Helena Maeve, Avery Dawes

Anthology: Haunted Hotties Volume II
Release Date: October 28, 2015

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Torquere Press
Cover Artist: BSClay

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Blurb

This Halloween collection has a little something for everybody. With demons, ghosts, psychics, reapers, shifters, and witches… a rainbow of paranormal/supernatural is included.

In Everything a Big Bad Wolf Could Want by McKay, Whimsy has to decide if he’s in love with his straight, next-door neighbor by Halloween or risk losing him forever. In Casper the Horny Ghost by Rob Rosen, Chris not only inherited a long-abandoned house, he also inherited the ghost that came with it. In Necromantic by Dakota Caudill, Kaitlyn’s always felt like she was waiting for something, but she never expected her new girlfriend to be able to raise the dead. In The Man in Green by Elizabeth Coldwell, Richard intends to cut down all the trees surrounding his new property, but the man in the woods has other ideas. In Haunts Old and New by Jessica Payseur, Rosalie doesn’t like the new ghost that’s in her house and yet, she can’t seem to stay away from her. In The Fisher Lot by Jessica Chase, it turns out being dared to spend the night in the local “haunted house” might be the best thing that’s ever happened to Barney.

In Open by Louisa Bacio, Martina keeps trying to pretend that everything is fine, but the ghosts in her new B&B are just as determined to get her attention. In A Friendly Ghostbusting by Charles Payseur, an old rival who once humiliated him is not what Cas needs as he sets out to explore an old psychiatric prison. In Darkling by Helena Maeve, Eugene tried to warn Caleb and his friends away from Ledwich University and soon enough they’ll learn… they really should have listened. In The Devil’s in the Details by Avery Dawes, since they died during the Civil War, Oliver and Francis get one night a year together; but they have to be careful or they’ll never get another one.

 

Pages or Words: 63,000 words

Categories: Contemporary, Gay Fiction, Historical, Horror, Humor, Lesbian Romance, M/M Romance, Paranormal, Romance, Anthology – Please remember not all stories in an anthology encompass all catetgories.

Excerpt

Excerpt from Everything a Big Bad Wolf Could Want by McKay

He rolled his head to look at Harlan, wanting to make sure he was all right, only to find Harlan lying on his side, looking at him. They gazed at each other in silence for a long moment, then Harlan reached out and stroked Whimsy’s cheek.

“My wolf likes you,” he said, his voice raspy with a strange undercurrent like a growl beneath the surface.

“That’s good, isn’t it?” Whimsy mustered a smile, trying to resist the urge to nuzzle against Harlan’s fingers. That wasn’t his right.

Suddenly, Harlan moved, and Whimsy found himself pinned beneath Harlan’s large, heavy, naked body. “It likes you more’n it likes Barbara.”

This close, Whimsy could see something feral in Harlan’s eyes, as if the wolf hadn’t loosened its grip completely yet, and he wanted to call it forth. He wanted to belong to it, and he was overwhelmed by a desire to show his throat and surrender that he’d never felt with anyone before.

“Maybe that should tell you something,” he said boldly. If he were a noble, self-sacrificing man, he would have extricated himself and encouraged Harlan to think only of his girlfriend, but he wasn’t that noble or self-sacrificing, and he couldn’t bring himself to feel terribly guilty about it at the moment.

“I like women. But there’s something about you, Whims…” Harlan bent his head and ran his nose along the length of Whimsy’s throat as if scenting him, and Whimsy shivered as he tilted his head back.

Whimsy shifted beneath Harlan just enough to seat Harlan’s lean hips in the cradle of his thighs, and Harlan settled there like they were made to fit together. Feeling bolder, Whimsy slid one hand along Harlan’s arm to rest on his shoulder, testing to see what Harlan would allow.

“Liking women doesn’t mean you can’t like men too,” he pointed out. “It’s not an either-or thing for some people. Maybe you like both.”

“Maybe I do. I’ve thought about other men before, including you. I don’t know.” Harlan released a long, slow sigh. “There’s a lotta things I don’t know these days.”

“I know I like you a lot,” Whimsy whispered, sliding his hand to the back of Harlan’s neck and stroking it gently. “I think we could be good together.”

 

Buy the book: Torquere Books

 

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Where to find the authors:

 


Tour Dates & Stops:

Parker Williams, The Hat Party, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, Jessie G. Books, KathyMac Reviews, Happily Ever Chapter, BFD Book Blog, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Havan Fellows, Bayou Book Junkie, Vampires, Werewolves, and Fairies, Oh My, Inked Rainbow Reads, Unquietly Me, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Charley Descoteaux, Cheekypee Reads and Reviews, MM Good Book Reviews, Bonkers About Books, Divine Magazine, Posy Roberts, Velvet Panic

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Giveaway

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

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Want Some Spooktacular Stories? Check Out Haunted Hotties In Time for All Hallows Eve! (Excerpt and giveway)

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Author Names: Kiernan Kelly, Laney Cairo, Alex Cohen, Katey Hawthorne,
Jamie Jennings, Aaron Michaels, Jacey Mills, L.J. Hamlin, Shira Glassman,
Sheri Velarde, Kassandra Lea, Mychael Black

Book Name: Haunted Hotties Volume 1
Release Date: October 14, 2015

Goodreads Link:
Publisher: Torquere Press
Cover Artist: BSClay

Buy the book:  Torquere Books

 

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Blurb(s)

This Halloween collection has a little something for everybody. With demons, ghosts, psychics, reapers, shifters, and witches… a rainbow of paranormal/supernatural is included.

In Nine-Tenths of the Law by Kiernan Kelly, Oliver discovers he has a haunted sex toy. In Bear Hugs by Laney Cairo, Martin’s boyfriend might be bear shifter and apparently that’s news to him. In Houdini’s Masquerade by Alex Cohen, when Lila meets a succubus, everything changes. In Præsidium by Katey Hawthorne, Thackeray needs helps from a witch who won’t help him until he explains his demon. In Black Cat by Jamie Jennings, when a cat shifter can see ghosts, Micah’s simple life suddenly isn’t. In Haunted Honeymoon by Aaron Michaels, Dylan and Jake seem to be sharing their non-honeymoon with a couple of ghosts.

In And the Tarot Cards Said by Jacey Mills, an insistent ghost shouldn’t be too much to handle for psychic Vassily and his Tarot-reading assistant Ben. In Spirit Wolf by L.J. Hamlin, when Dawson rescues an injured wolf shifter, it’s not just his book that gets worked on while getting back to nature. In Wet Nails by Shira Glassman, it’s not every day a glamorous ’50s actress comes out of a TV but lonely grad student Adina isn’t complaining. In Possessed by Love by Sheri Velarde, a storm trapping them together gives Andrew and Damian the chance they’ve been waiting for. In The Last Night by Kassandra Lea, Eric gets one night a year and he always picks one particular Halloween. In Molly by Mychael Black, Detectives Cameron and Chase discover the murderer plaguing their city is more sinister than they could have known and not entirely human.

 

Pages or Words: 71,000 words
Categories: Contemporary, Gay Fiction, Horror, Lesbian Romance, M/M Romance, Paranormal, Romance, Anthology

Excerpt: From Nine-Tenths of the Law by Kiernan Kelly

Let me set the scene for you. There I was, on my bed, naked, my asshole greased, and the butt plug inserted in it as far as possible, angled to hit my prostate, the vibrating option turned on. I was fisting my cock, rock hard and slick with lube, edging so close to orgasm my balls felt ready to pop.

“Fuck, it’s dark in here.”

I believe I may have completely levitated off the mattress. I know my hard-on wilted like an ice sculpture in a microwave. Scanning the bedroom, I looked for an intruder, but could see no one.

“Tight, too. I always did love a tight, hot ass.”

The speaker was British; the voice, deep and sexy, and coming from right behind me. I spun around in a circle a few times, trying to catch the person I assumed could only be a machete-wielding-chainsaw-brandishing-serial killer that happened to have a silky, dark chocolate voice, but I couldn’t see anyone. As far as I could discover, I was alone, which of course meant I’d imagined the voice.

“What are you doing, Olivier? Stop it at once. You’re making me dizzy.”

Olivier? No one had called me that in years, not since… Hearing the old nickname was shocking enough to leach the fear out of me for a minute. It took me another full sixty seconds to realize the deliciously decadent voice was not only real, but also somewhat familiar, and more importantly, coming from my ass.

That’s when I finally fainted.

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Where to find Torquere Press:

RC

 

Tour Dates & Stops:

Parker Williams, Happily Ever Chapter, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, MM Good Book Reviews, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, Cheekypee Reads and Reviews, BFD Book Blog, 3 Chicks After Dark, V’s Reads, Decadent Delights, The Hat Party, Book Reviews, Rants, and Raves, Havan Fellows, Divine Magazine, KathyMac Reviews, Andrew Q. Gordon, Jessie G. Books, Sinfully Addicted to All Male Romance, Foxylutely Book Reviews, Chris McHart, Redz World, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Sassygirl Books, Three Books Over The Rainbow, Bayou Book Junkie, The Jena Wade, The Day Before You Came, the Twins: Talon ps & Princess so, Open Skye Book Reviews, Inked Rainbow Reads, Velvet Panic, Iyana Jenna, Vampires, Werewolves, and Fairies, Oh My, Emotion in Motion

Giveaway

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

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Its Here! The Bad Boys Club Box Set by M.A. Church (3 excerpts and a giveaway)

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Bad Boys Club Box Set by M.A. Church
Release Date: June 26, 2015

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Publisher: Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Bryan Keller

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Sales Links: Changeling Press

STRW Author BookSynopsis

Not all romances are sweet and fluffy.

Pounding music and writhing bodies fill the dance floor at Night Moves. A small, very elite group of friends called The Bad Boys Club use the place as their personal hunting grounds. Spoilt, powerful, and totally amoral, they use men without thought for the consequences of their actions. But each of these predators harbors a secret desire, a passion, that drives him.
And it hasn’t gone unnoticed.

Three dangerous paranormals on the prowl for a mate stalk the humans. Dark and deadly desires are their calling cards. A demon prince, an ancient vampire, and one of the deadliest werewolves to exist have their sights on The Bad Boys Club and their sensual secrets. Love comes in all forms, even for unscrupulous humans and lethal paranormals.

Publisher’s Note: Bad Boy’s Club contains the previously published novellas Lust and Ice, Into the Darkness, and Haunting the Night.

Pages or Words: 146 pages

Categories: BDSM, Erotica, Gay Fiction, Horror, Dark Romance, Paranormal, Voyeurism & Exhibitionism, Dark Desires. (Book two also contains a ménage.)

STRW Spotlight Book Excerpt

Excerpt from Lust and Ice:

“You have the devil’s own luck,” Jordan groaned.
“Actually, that’s Kain. I’m still behind him by two virgins.”
“How do you find these guys?” Allen complained. “I’ve only managed to find two!”
“Oh shut up. You’re one ahead of me.” Jordan rolled his eyes.
“Back on subject, fellows. Did I mention how sweetly he cried?” Hugh smirked. “And get this… he’s thinks I’m going to keep calling him now, be his boyfriend. Seems like he was waiting for that special someone, the love of his life.”
“Yeah, right. What a loser.” Allen sneered. “How often did you have to tell him you loved him?”
“Too many times.” Hugh’s disgust was clear as he raised his glass and winked. “Like I’d be caught dead outside of a bedroom with someone like that.”
“Goes without saying.” Kain sprawled in his chair. “So, how’s it looking down there? Fill me in.”
“Jordan and I have a bet going about who’s going to do that redhead on the dance floor first,” Allen said. “He’s the one with the green shirt, there in the middle.”
“Why not do him together?” Hugh asked.
“We plan to.” Allen winked. “I said I’d do him first. We’ll tag team him later. Been awhile since Jordan and I got to do a double penetration.”
Kain’s hearty laugh boomed out, drawing attention from those around them. “I almost feel sorry for the guy.” Kain glanced around the group; several pairs of disbelieving eyes stared back at him. “Okay, no I don’t.”
“The legendary Ice feels sorry?” Hugh’s lips twisted. “That’ll be a cold day in hell.”
“Hell wouldn’t have me.”
“Oh yeah, it would. Personally, I think we’d end up ruling hell.” Allen smirked at Kain.
“Ah, someone has that position, remember?” Jordan shrugged.
“We could be kings, or lords.”
“There’s supposed to be seven princes of hell. One for each deadly sin.” Hugh rolled his eyes as his friends stared at him. “What?”

Excerpt from Into the Darkness:

“Same plan as usual?”
Allen waited until Jordan turned and looked at him. “Why mess with what works? I’ll move in first, then you come in after I set him up. We’ll get him all hot and bothered, then take his ass home. I bet we have him in bed before the hour is out.”
Jordan slapped Allen on the back. “I agree. If it isn’t broke, why fix it? Although it would be nice, for once, if our marks didn’t just fall to the floor and puddle at our feet.”
“Are you nuts? Besides, what do you expect out of these sluts?” Allen shrugged. “And by the way, I will fuck him first.”
“Keep telling yourself that. Got a feeling he’s going to beg me to do him first.”
Allen rolled his eyes. They’d just see about that. “My place or yours this time?”
They lived just a block apart. Allen had tried to buy an apartment in the same building as Jordan, but there had been nothing available that was as nice. Allen ended up purchasing his own place as close as he could to Jordan.
Jordan shrugged as he searched the dance floor. “Doesn’t matter to me, but my place is probably cleaner. The maid came yesterday.”
“Fine by me, we’ll do him at your place then. Besides, you have more toys. And a bigger bed.”
“Thought you took care of that little oversight?”
“My new bed will be arriving next week. Plus, I want you to go with me to check out some of the toys I found at this new place that just opened up. You have a better feel for things like that.”
“Competitive asshole.”
Allen chuckled. “Pot… meet kettle. You went out and bought a new BMW just because I got one. I’m not even going to mention the hair.”
Jordan shrugged, then stepped aside as someone — a tiny blond who looked entirely too young to be allowed in the club — passed him. “I liked yours better. Hey Allen, did you see that little blond twink?”
Allen raised an eyebrow as he looked in the direction Jordan indicated. “Hmm? No, I didn’t. But a blond? Really? Are you feeling okay?”
“Not for us, you shit. I was thinking that was more along the line of what Hugh likes — young, sweet, and innocent. Even though he doesn’t look old enough to be in here.”
“Playing matchmaker now, are you?”
“Fuck off.” Jordan laughed as he pushed Allen toward the dance floor.

Excerpt from Haunting The Night:

Hugh sat at the table watching as Kain, Jordan, and Allen made their moves on the prey they’d picked out. He’d checked the dance floor, and not one guy he saw impressed him so far. He needed a change — something or someone to break the monotony. With a sigh, he picked up his glass. Before he could take a drink, that feeling of being watched hit him square between the shoulder blades again. His shoulders tensed and chill bumps broke out over his flesh.
“What the hell?” While he was used to being stared at, and even got his own fair share of attention from the paparazzi, this was different. More intense, more… threatening, almost. Unease flooded him, and he couldn’t shake the recurring feeling of danger. Hugh glanced around, but didn’t see anyone taking an undue interest in him. Maybe a family member of one of the defendants they’d gotten off was stalking him. Hugh dismissed the idea immediately; that was just silly.
More likely his old man had someone keeping an eye on him. Now that he could believe — the nosey old bastard. “Fuck this.” The whole night had been off from the get-go, and he’d had enough. He rose, with every intention of leaving, when the overhead lights spotlighted someone at the bar below.
“Well, hello,” he murmured as he stared at the young man at the main bar. Jesus, how had he missed this one? He was perfect. Damned if he was leaving now. The night was suddenly looking up.
Dressed simply, in faded jeans, a black T-shirt, and a leather bomber jacket, was a stranger, one of the most gorgeous men Hugh had ever seen. He was everything he wanted in a man — cute, small, and blond. The perfect twink. Actually, the tiny blond looked entirely too young to be in Night Moves, but he was sure the guy wouldn’t be allowed in if he was underage. To make things even better, his target was staring at him. Even from this distance, he could see the hunger dancing in the stranger’s eyes. He was a little more blue-collar than Hugh normally went for, but what the hell. Hadn’t he just been thinking he needed a change?
“Yeah, why not?”
Hugh had taken no more than a few steps when the man at the bar winked at him. Most of the twinks he picked up were either drama queens or shy little guys. There was certainly nothing shy about this man. Hugh raised an eyebrow. He’d have to show the stranger who was in charge, of course, then they could have some fun. At least it looked like he wasn’t going to have to put out much effort tonight, and that suited him just fine. Hugh made his way downstairs to the main bar and to the guy waiting on him.

STRW Author Bio and Contacts

M.A. Church is a true Southern belle who spent many years in the elementary education sector. Now she spends her days lost in fantasy worlds, arguing with hardheaded aliens on far-off planets, herding her numerous shifters, or trying to tempt her country boys away from their fishing poles. It’s a full time job, but hey, someone’s gotta do it!

When not writing, she’s exploring the latest M/M novel to hit the market, watching her beloved Steelers, or sitting glued to HGTV. That’s if she’s not on the back porch tending to the demanding wildlife around the pond in the backyard. The ducks are very outspoken. She’s married to her high school sweetheart, and they have two children.

She was a finalist in the Rainbow awards for 2013. Drop by her blog at http://machurch00.blogspot.com/

Where to find the author:
Blog * Twitter * Facebook *  * Goodreads *

 


Tour Dates & Stops: July 9, 2015

Parker Williams, The Hat Party, Bayou Book Junkie, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Havan Fellows, Inked Rainbow Reads, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Full Moon Dreaming, BFD Book Blog, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, Vampires, Werewolves, and Fairies, Oh My, Kimi-Chan, The Fuzzy, Fluffy World of Chris T. Kat, Mikky’s World of Books, Dawn’s Reading Nook, Charley Descoteaux, MM Good Book Reviews, Andrew Q. Gordon, Velvet Panic, Michael Mandrake, It’s Raining Men, Molly Lolly

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Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: One ebook from my backlist and a $25 Amazon GC.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  Link and Prizes provided by the author and Pride Promotions.

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New Book Spotlight: Light in Endless Darkness by Huston Piner (Excerpt and Giveaway)

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Book Name: Light in Endless Darkness by Huston Piner
Release Date: May 13, 2015

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Goodreads Link
Publisher: Torquere Press
Cover Artist: BSClay

Sales Links: Torquere Books

Blurb:

Kevin Reeves lives with his mother and abusive father and dreams of going to Dickerson University. Lonely and easily cowed, he works as a janitor to save money and signs up for night courses at the community college. There, he meets Dominic Pierce, a sexy emo who also happens to be blind. Kevin is immediately attracted to Dominic and soon a mutual attraction develops into a full-blown romance. After a violent confrontation with his father leads to Kevin moving in with Dominic, he discovers that the neighborhood gang is terrified of the blind emo, referring to him as El Sanguijuela.

Meanwhile, Jacky Larson, who outed Kevin as a sophomore, begins blackmailing him for sex at work, leaving him ashamed and panicked that Dominic will dump him if he finds out. But Dominic has dark secrets of his own, including a job he won’t discuss that keeps him away from sunup to sunset and secret nightly excursions. Can Kevin get away from his blackmailer without losing Dominic in the process? Will he ever discover what Dominic does all day and where he sneaks out to every night? And can their love survive when Kevin finally uncovers the truth?

Pages or Words: 57,500 words

Categories: BDSM, Contemporary, Erotica, Gay Fiction, Horror, M/M Romance, New Adult, Paranormal, Romance

Excerpt:

We were no sooner on the couch than Dominic had me in his arms and I was really flying. He nibbled on my neck, sending waves of pleasure through me. The sharp edge of his teeth grazed my skin, ready to bite into me. But he stopped and froze all over for a second, leaned back, and his sightless eyes betrayed a confused indecision that startled me. For a moment, he seemed lost. But before I could formulate words to ask him what was wrong, his expression changed, his lips returned to mine, and his tongue renewed its attack.

Friday night, his kisses had been tentative and delicate, but now he pressed his lips to mine with animal-like ferocity and gripped me in a powerful embrace. He licked and nibbled on my neck while unbuttoning my shirt, and then he nudged me forward to remove it.

I started to lift his pullover, but he pushed my hands away. His fingers explored my naked torso and roamed over every inch of exposed skin, adding to the tension building up inside me.

 

About the author:

Huston Piner writes books prominently featuring gay characters. His first book My Life as a Myth was nominated for the 2014 Stonewall Book Award for Children’s and Young Adult Literature and was a 2013 Rainbow Awards finalist. His second book, the highly anticipated Conjoined at the Soul, was published in February 2015. In the edgy Light in Endless Darkness, his first New Adult offering, he explores the supernatural romance of a gay vampire. Huston lives in the mythical town of Chadham, Virginia, with his partner and three domineering cats.

Where to find the author:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/huston.piner
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Huston-Piner/409082522533786
Twitter: https://twitter.com/HustonPiner
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/hustonpiner/
Other: http://www.hustonpiner.com/home.html
Other: http://huston-piner.livejournal.com/


Tour Dates & Stops: May 11, 2015
Parker Williams, Rainbow Gold Reviews, Kimi-Chan, Molly Lolly, Inked Rainbow Reads, BFD Book Blog, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Bike Book Reviews, Decadent Delights, Bayou Book Junkie, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, Divine Magazine, Chris McHart, Boys on the Brink Reviews, MM Good Book Reviews, Wake Up Your Wild Side, Velvet Panic, Nephylim, 3 Chicks After Dark, The Hat Party, Vampires, Werewolves, and Fairies, Oh My

Giveaway

Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Link and Prizes provided by the author and Pride Promotions. Enter to win aq Rafflecopter Prize: E-copy of ‘Light In Endless Darkness’ by Huston Piner
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Want Some Zombie Love? Spotlight on My Zombie Boyfriend by T. Strange (excerpt and contest)

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My Zombie Boyfriend by T. Strange

Goodreads Link
Release Date: April 15, 2015

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New author T. Strange is here with her first book, My Zombie Boyfriend.  Check out the blurb and excerpt below and don’t forget to enter the contest at the end!

STRW Author BookSynopsis

 

About My Zombie Boyfriend

Edward Grey is a medical student by day, necromancer by night. He lives alone with the first zombie he ever raised, his childhood cat, Boo. Edward’s life is simple: studying medicine, training his necromantic powers with his mentor, Mariel, and having weekly dinners with his parents. When he finds a very attractive corpse in a park and brings it home to reanimate, he accidentally creates a sassy, free-willed zombie who believes Edward is the one who murdered him.

With no memory of his former life, Edward names the zombie Kit and tries to win his trust. Kit slowly adjusts to his new un-life with Edward’s help, though he’s still suspicious of Edward’s role in his death and is convinced that Edward is hiding his former identity. Edward is very attracted to Kit, but understands why Kit doesn’t trust him. As they become closer to one another, Kit turns to Edward for comfort and love. The fragile trust they’ve built together will be tested when Kit unexpectedly regains his memory and seeks revenge on his murderers.

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Pages or Words: 64,000 words

Categories: Humor, Romance, Horror, Contemporary, M/M Romance, Urban Fantasy, New Adult, Fiction, Gay Fiction, Paranormal

STRW Spotlight Book Excerpt

Kit took one look at the concoction and raised his eyebrows in disbelief and disgust. “What is that supposed to be?”

“It’s your food. Mmm! Delicious, brains! Zombies love brains!” I could see right away that I had gone too far.

“I am not a dog or a child, Edward. And I don’t appreciate your stereotyping.”

Oh, great. I had offended a zombie. What a schmuck. “I’m sorry, Kit. Won’t you at least try it?”

“Is that a slice of brain?”

“…yes. Technically. It’s not human!”

“Oh, it’s a brain, but it’s not human. That makes it all better. What’s in the rest of it?”

“The rest of the cow?” No, this was not going at all well. I pleaded. I cajoled. I begged.

He poured it down the sink.

Publisher: Torquere Press
Cover Artist: B. S. Clay

Sales Links:  Torquere Press

STRW Author Bio and Contacts

About Author T. Strange

My Zombie Boyfriend is T. Strange’s first full-length novel, though she has published several shorter works with Torquere Press. When not writing, T. enjoys gardening, spending time with her horse, and, of course, reading. T. lives in Canada with her wife, surrounded by pets.

Where to find the author:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tq.strange
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorTStrange
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TqStrange
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/tqstrange/
Goodreads Author Page
Tumblr: http://tqstrange.tumblr.com/
Torquere Author Page

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Tour Dates & Stops: April 10, 2015

Parker Williams, Bayou Book Junkie, Tara Lain, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, Molly Lolly,

Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Love Bytes, Charley Descoteaux, Decadent Delights, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, BFD Book Blog, Cate Ashwood, Divine Magazine, MM Good Book Reviews, TTC Books and More, Andrew Q. Gordon, Rainbow Gold Reviews, Wake Up Your Wild Side, 3 Chicks After Dark

 

STRW Spotlight Contest Header

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: E-copy of ‘My Zombie Boyfriend’ by T. Strange. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Rafflecopter link and prizes provided by the author and Pride Promotions.

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Review: The Prince and the Practitioner by Christian Baines

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

The Prince and the Practitioner coverEliot had been practicing magic for most of his life but never had he been successful in summoning a demon…until now.  Far too impulsive for his own good, Eliot’s spell casting has always been a hit or miss proposition.  Sometimes it worked, mostly it didn’t.  So when the summoning succeeded and brought forth a demon, it didn’t work out exactly as Eliot had hoped.  Instead of a demon to control, the demon Prynthius now had control of Eliot.  With Prynthius deep within Eliot’s body, Eliot decides, to his horror and pain, that the only way to dislodge the demon is to pass him on to another unsuspecting body, one that the demon must approve of before the transfer is made.

Dean, tall, gorgeous and sexy, seems like the perfect target when Eliot sees him at the local gay hookup bar.  With the demon’s pain induced instructions echoing in his mind, Eliot accepts Dean’s invitation to return home with him for a night full of hot sex and kinky exploration.  But is Dean as straightforward as he appears?  Who will be left standing when all the secrets are exposed?

Christian Baines’ first novel, The Beast Without, was a terrific supernatural tale of horror.  It contained multidimensional characters and a complex plot.  At 234 pages, the author gave himself the length necessary to explore in detail the world he was creating as well as construct a complex history for his main and secondary characters.  It was a refreshing take on creatures dominating all forms of media these days,  vampires and werewolves, and I loved it.

The Prince and the Practitioner has many of the same elements that exemplified The Beast Without but at approximately 27 pages it seems to be missing the breadth and detail necessary to make this story feel as well constructed and polished as the one that preceded it.

Once again Christian Baines has chosen to feature in his story a couple of creatures seen often in novels and on tv and movie screens these days, the demon and the wizard.  Baines appears to enjoy tearing away any romantic overlay from often used character types to pare them down to the horrific bare bones they are capable of.  That is certainly the case with his characters here.     Eliot is not an especially admirable person.  He is certainly not one most readers will relate to.  His is a slapdash morality, one more composed of expediency and self interest than one based in any sort of ethicality and righteousness. Prynthius is everything a malevolent demon should be or at least the backstory provided by the author makes him out to be.  Prynthius is more a dubious outline of a monster than a fleshed out one.  And that lack of solidity lessens the impact his demon is supposed to make.

Dean only snaps into place as a credible character midway through the story.  I can understand why the author made this decision but again it delays the cohesion to the narrative.  The story starts off more like a simplistic piece of porn than a tale of horror.  Had Baines given the reader a little more substance, a little more back story to the opening scenes of The Prince and the Practitioner, this would have felt more polished and solid than the story it finally morphed into.

I don’t have to like a book  or its characters to admire the cleverness of the plot is or the preciseness of the prose, both of which can be found within this story. Like fun house mirrors, nothing is as it seems here but still I had an issue or two with Eliot. With characters whose sense of morality has the same properties as a puddle of muddy water, one character’s righteous indignation at the end seemed false and out of place, especially considering the events that preceded it.  Either the author meant to show Eliot’s gift of self deception to be as endless as I felt it was or the hypocrisy of the scene didn’t bother him as it did me.  This departure from the persona the author has created felt like a break in the characterization, an unnecessary one to my mind.

I do feel the twist at the end elevated The Prince and the Practitioner past porn into a story with layers as opposed to merely sequential sex scenes.  I only wish that the author had included trace elements early on that hinted at the depth and twists of plot to come.  So too does any tenderness and compassion feel completely out of place among these egocentric masters of magic.

This short story contains elements of bdsm (whipping to be precise), D/s, and non con.  For some readers, including lovers of horror, this quick read might be just the thing for you.  For others, especially those lovers of stories of romantic love, I recommend you look elsewhere and to another author as romance does not seem to be in Christian Baines’ box of literary ingredients the way horror and the supernatural most certainly are.

I am looking  forward to what his imagination turns to next.  At any rate I expect it to be entertaining and worthy of discussion.  I leave any recommendations up to you.

Cover art by Wilde City Press.  This cover has a generic feel to it.  It certainly does not speak to the magic and demon you will find inside.

Book Details:

ebook, 1st Edition
Published January 15th 2014 by Wilde City Press

Review: Wild Onions by Sarah Black

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Wild Onions coverStill healing from his many injuries,  both physical and emotional, photographer Robert Mitchell has returned to the cabin he shared with his partner Val to grieve over Val’s death and determine whether he should sell it or hold onto the place full of memories and ghosts.  Just over a year ago, Robert’s life was happy and full.  He had his work, and his long time lover.  And then it was gone. With a mountain of debt looming over him from their hospital bills, Robert is unsure of his future but he still  can’t let go of his past, seeing and hearing Val’s ghost everywhere. Then Robert meets a young Blackfoot indian fly fishing in the Salmon River just outside the cabin and everything changes.

Cody Calling Eagle, a Physical Anthropologist halfway through his dissertation  and temporary wildlife official, wanders into Robert’s life during a day of  fly fishing.  The attraction between them is immediate and magnetic.  Cody’s good natured demeanor and open heart draws the lonely, grieving Robert in, providing the emotional nourishment he is so in need of.   Cody has crushed on Robert for years, and now follows his heart into a relationship he has longed for.

But the cabin and the land it sits on contains old buried secrets just waiting to emerge.  And when an accident lets them out to spread their evil once more, it threatens not only Robert and Cody’s new relationship but even their lives.  It will take everything Robert and Cody have to give and more to save themselves and the community around them from a dark history that has come alive once more.

Wild Onions is remarkable in so many ways.  It combines a variety of tropes so smoothly and effortlessly that the story flows from present day to the tumultuous era of the last of the Indian Wars, from the contemporary to the supernatural and back to the past without so much as a disruptive ripple.  Unless of course the author puts it there.  There are contemporary relationships and love affairs, a supernatural romance, several mysteries, an element of the terrifying and of course an historical background.  All of which are folded into the narrative to give the reader a compelling story set amongst one of the most beautiful landscapes the United States has to offer, western Idaho and the banks of the Salmon River.

I have long been a fan of Sarah Black and Wild Onions is a perfect example why I find her writing so captivating and addictive.  First there is her characters.  Robert Mitchell is a portrait of a man grounded in grief and memories, unable and perhaps unwilling to move beyond his past.  His grief is soft but tangible and its met by the quiet of the cabin and its surroundings.  Sarah Black matches the man to his environment, a monotone of emptiness and solitude that anyone who has lost someone will recognize.  Then she disturbs his static existence by the arrival of Cody Calling Eagle, a Blackfoot doctoral candidate fighting his own ambivalence over his future and passions for history and his people.  Cody is a wonderful character, his warm, open nature and bright shining intelligence warms the page and provides the story with such a charismatic presence that the reader  cannot help but be drawn to him, as is Robert.  It’s a meeting unexpected and yet so natural.  It feels as right to the reader as it does to the men.  And before we know it, we feel intimately connected to Robert and Cody and their relationship.

Here is a small excerpt (another is at the very end).  Robert has just stepped into the river for the first time in over a year, his stance and emotions unsteady:

Robert grinned at him. “Wonder how many times you hear that in the course of a week? We must be in Idaho! I’m Robert Mitchell.”

The man reached for his hand and they shook. “I’m Cody Calling Eagle. So,” he nodded toward the fishing pole in Robert’s hand, “what’s with this? You have a no-hook fishing technique? You’re not a vegetarian, are you? One of those guys who think it’s cruel to eat the poor fish?”

Robert shook his head. “I just don’t know how to do it. Good fishermen have tried to teach me, but it didn’t stick.”

Cody was looking at him with interest now, his warm, dark eyes moving over Robert’s face in a way that was almost unfamiliar, it had been so long. And Robert found himself wondering if this guy might be a friend. The possibility of a new friend, that was a good feeling.

“I knew Val. My grandfather, he was the silversmith.” Cody’s eyes were on the heavy silver and turquoise cuff on Robert’s wrist. “He made your cuff. I remember watching him when he set the turquoise. I sure was sorry to hear about the accident.” He cleared his throat. “You don’t know how to fish, but do you know what to do with a nice piece of speckled trout in a frying pan?”

That small excerpt of the first time Robert and Cody meet eases the reader into the story with the same fluidity of splash and movement of the Salmon River, so much a part of the setting and relationships.  The river is a deep part of  Cody’s nature and its importance is as powerful as the land itself. Sarah Black has lived in Idaho and now resides there again. She is familiar with the geographical landscape of Wild Onions and her love of the area and its native peoples are the bedrock upon which this story rests.

Intertwined with scenes of the growing relationship between Robert and Cody are historical facts and flashbacks to 1882, a time when the native tribes, including the Blackfoot, lost their land, their living and often most of their people to the wars against the U.S. that just concluded.  These scenes form both the basis and the springboard for the supernatural elements that start to appear and are such a hugely emotional and terrifying component in this story.

If history sounds a bit dry, trust me it’s not.  Its inclusion here is so well done, so enthralling and yes, shameful, that you might forget its an actual part of our history as Americans.   The time the author has spent among the various tribes in the United States shows in the in depth knowledge and respect that threads through the story of Wild Onions like the yarn in a tapestry, a part of the whole, subtle and necessary.

Black does justice to the supernatural aspect of her tale as well.  I won’t give anything away but there are some hair-raising, downright scary things going on here, enough to terrorize the reader into leaving the nightlight on at bedtime.  And it has its own grounding in Native American lore too.

All these ingredients combine to present the reader with a tale of romance, love  and terror that won’t allow you to put it down until its concluded and will leave  you thinking long past the last page.  I adored this story.  I loved the men, their relationship, as well as  the community which rallied to save them.  I think you will adore Wild Onions as much as I did.  Grab it up and prepare to fall in love.

Book Details:

ebook, 96 pages approximately
Buy Link: :HERE IT IS!
Published September 23rd 2013

ASIN B00FE5G7IK,

edition language English

Book Blurb and Excerpt:

THE YEAR was 1882, and the last of the native tribes had dropped to their knees and slipped on their yokes under the boots and guns of the US Cavalry. The Blackfoot were the last, and then the buffalo hunt failed. The vast plains were barren and empty, and the people began to starve. Desperation spread like poison across the land. Evil men, seeing their chance, fed on the hunger, ate the clean hearts of the people. The blood that was spilled in 1882 has not been avenged today. The ghosts are waiting for someone to set them free.

Excerpt:

Robert looked over to the corner of the porch. Their old fishing poles were leaning against the screen. He carried them back to his chair, started untangling the nylon fishing line. Val’s pole was for serious fishermen, a supple thin Orvis fly rod with a reel full of braided yellow nylon. His pole was cheap, from Wal-Mart, with a soft cork handle and a reel with a sticky thumb button. Val laughed when he saw it, said it was for little boys fishing at reservoirs.

He put Val’s pole back in the corner, carried his down the slope to the river bank. It took him a little while to find his balance again. He didn’t try to get into the water. That would probably be too much for his shaky leg. But after a few casts he got his rhythm again, let the weight fly out low over the water.

There was a splash a bit upriver, and a moment later a young man appeared, walking down the middle of the shallow river from rock to rock in green hip waders, dressed in the dark green uniform of Fish and Wildlife. He had a fishing pole over his shoulder and a woven oak creel. From the weight of it on his shoulder, Robert could see he’d had some luck. He was Indian, Blackfoot, maybe, and his long hair was tied back at his collar. He raised a hand in greeting.

Robert nodded back. “Evening.” He reeled in his line, and the man watched the red and white bobber bouncing across the water in front of him.
The man’s face was impassive, but he blinked a couple of times when he watched the line come out of the water, bobber, lead weight, no hook. No fish. “I guess I don’t need to ask you if you have a fishing license,” the man said. “Since you aren’t really fishing.”

Robert nodded to the creel over the man’s shoulder. “Looks like you’ve had some luck.”

The man eased the basket off his shoulder, dipped it down into the icy river water. “Yes, I sure did.” He slapped the Fish and Wildlife patch on his uniform shirt. “Course, I don’t need no stinkin’ license! Just another example of the generalized corruption of the Federal Government.”

Robert grinned at him. “Wonder how many times you hear that in the course of a week? We must be in Idaho! I’m Robert Mitchell.”

The man reached for his hand and they shook. “I’m Cody Calling Eagle.