In the YA Spotlight: A Boy Worth Knowing by Jennifer Cosgrove (excerpt and giveaway)

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Title:  A Boy Worth Knowing

Author: Jennifer Cosgrove

Publisher:  NineStar Press – SunFire Imprint

Release Date: March 20

Heat Level: 1 – No Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 62200

Genre: Romance, Young Adult, NineStar Press, LGBT, gay, bisexual, romance, young adult, contemporary, paranormal, coming of age, ghosts, family drama, high school, bullying

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Synopsis

Ghosts can’t seem to keep their opinions to themselves.

Seventeen-year-old Nate Shaw should know; he’s been talking to them since he was twelve. But they aren’t the only ones making his high school years a living hell. All Nate wants is to keep his secret and keep his head down until he can graduate. That is, until the new boy, James Powell, takes a seat next to him in homeroom. James not only notices him, he manages to work his way into Nate’s life. But James has issues of his own.

Between dead grandmothers and living aunts, Nate has to navigate the fact that he’s falling in love with his only friend, all while getting advice from the most unusual places.

Ghosts, bullies, first love: it’s a lot to deal with when you’re just trying to survive senior year.

Excerpt

A Boy Worth Knowing
Jennifer Cosgrove © 2017
All Rights Reserved

I loved autumn mornings.

The October air was just cold enough to set my lungs on fire, my breath visible in clouds of condensation, forcing all of the crap clogging up my head into the recycle bin. Bonus, I could pretend I was a dragon. Nothing could touch me; my morning run made everything go away, lost in miles at a time. Down an isolated country road.

Everything changed when I was twelve, and not for the better. That was when I started running. Five years of road I’d put behind me. My mom worried about me the first time I took off alone. Well, when she used to worry about me. I wished she was more worried about the reason I was running instead of the fact I was doing it down an empty road.

I turned the corner about a mile after leaving home, and that was when I saw him. Samuel was always lurking among the sunken headstones. Most people had no clue there used to be a cemetery out there. Looking closely, some of the stones that made up the foundation of the chapel could still be seen. No one else ever paid that much attention to it. Samuel glared at me as I got closer. He was a surly one.

My life was like the horror movies I loved. I talked to the dead. Well, technically dead. They were really spirits, or whatever. Whatever was left behind when people died. And they talked to me, for some reason. There was nothing like sitting in math class and having a ghost whisper in my ear while trying to take notes.

It happened all the damn time. I didn’t know how to handle it at first. And no one wanted to hang out with the crazy kid in the back of the room, muttering away to himself. I got used to it. Really. And the lack of a social life helped me get all of my homework done on time; all of the teachers loved me. That was good. Talking to ghosts wasn’t all bad.

I waved at Samuel as I ran by the cemetery. He shook a fist at me in return. Samuel wasn’t evil or anything, just grumpy. Couldn’t blame him, though. I looked him up one time and found out he’d died in the late eighteen hundreds. The cause of death on record was a heart attack. But Samuel told me his brother-in-law had poisoned him because he wouldn’t sell him his prize mule. I had no clue what was so special about that mule, but his brother-in-law evidently thought it was worth killing him over. I’d have been pretty surly myself.

Past the forgotten cemetery, a few miles to the McGregor farm, and then I’d swing around for home. Yes, I said McGregor farm. Small-town life— I couldn’t have made this stuff up if I’d tried.

There was another house just past the farm where I had to watch out for their beast of a dog. Dogs weren’t huge fans of mine. My Nana had a theory they could sense a bit of whatever it was that let us chat with those who’d “passed on.” I had no idea how that was even possible, but cats loved me, so yay.

Speaking of which, Aunt Susan’s overly fluffy cat waited by our mailbox. Arthur did that every time I went out for a run. He would sit there and then fall in behind to follow up the driveway until we got to the house. Then, it was a shady spot on the porch in the summer or, if it was cold like that day, into the house in front of the fireplace. I loved predictability.

The house used to be my grandmother’s. It was a standard farmhouse, old and creaky just like dozens more all around us, and it could have stood a little paint. But we called it home, and we liked it. It became Aunt Susan’s home. It had been left to her after Nana died, since my mom already owned one. It was a little out of the way and a long drive to the hospital where my aunt worked. But it was paid for, and that meant a lot.

I had to be quiet going in because Aunt Susan was not a morning person, and the floor squeaked just inside the back door. I was very much a morning person, and I followed the same routine each school or work day. Flipping on the coffee maker, I headed to my room to get ready for school. I got the shower running, since it took a while to heat up in an old farmhouse, and took a sniff to make sure a shower was actually necessary. Oh, yeah. I was gross.

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Meet the Author

Jennifer has always been a voracious reader and a well-established geek from an early age. She loves comics, movies, and anything that tells a compelling story.

When not writing, she likes knitting, dissecting/arguing about movies with her husband, and enjoying the general chaos that comes with having kids.

Website | Twitter | Goodreads | eMail

Tour Schedule

3/20 – My Fiction Nook

3/20 – Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

3/20 – Just Love

3/21 – Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews

3/21 – Diverse Reader

3/21 – Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents

3/22 – V’s Reads

3/22 – Molly Lolly

3/22 – MM Good Book Reviews

3/23 – Liz’s Reading Life

3/23 – Stories That Make You Smile

3/23 – Dog-Eared Daydreams

3/24 – Bayou Book Junkie

3/24 – Boy Meets Boy Reviews

3/24 – Love Bytes Reviews

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Release Day Blitz: The Broken Butterfly (In the Shadows #2) by Caitlin Ricci (excerpt and giveaway)

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Title:  The Broken Butterfly

Series: In the Shadows, book 2

Author: Caitlin Ricci

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: March 6

Heat Level: 1 – No Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 14900

Genre: Romance, NineStar Press, LGBT, gay, romance, ghost, demons, law enforcement, paranormal

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Synopsis

Carter is closer than ever to solving his latest cold case, but his disturbing dreams seem to be a warning to stay away from the truth. The victim, Jacob, deserves justice, and Carter can’t let a few bad dreams get in the way of that. When he goes to Malphas and Jamison for help, Carter learns that his dreams are more than they seem. What he learns is enough to send Malphas running, and as much as Carter wants to go with him and Jamison, he knows he can’t abandon Jacob so easily. Malphas says Jacob is being held by a powerful demon, and Carter knows he’s not in the business of doing favors for humans who aren’t Jamison. But to free Jacob, Carter is willing to do just about anything to convince Malphas to help him, even if it means making a deal with the devil.

Excerpt

The Broken Butterfly
Caitlin Ricci © 2017
All Rights Reserved

Some days Carter found it almost easy to be around Malphas. There were afternoons where Malphas would get Jamison and Carter drive-through cheeseburgers for lunch. He would sit quietly next to Jamison as if he was attempting to be on his best behavior during their lunch hour. During those afternoons, Carter could almost forget who Malphas was, what he was, and pretend he might have simply been a man Jamison was interested in and not the demon he actually was.

Then there were those times, like now, when Malphas was stretched out on the couch by himself while the three of them watched TV in the evenings. It had become routine since Carter had started staying with them. They each had a few slices of pizza in front of them, but unlike a normal person, Malphas had his pizza hovering in front of his face, close enough that he hardly had to move to take a bite, and whenever he wanted to turn the channel, he wiggled his fingers at the TV instead of using a remote.

Carter would have said something about how very nonhuman he was being, but it really didn’t matter. Malphas had gotten better about trying not to act so strangely when he was out with them or when he visited them at the precinct, and that was the important thing to remember when dealing with a demon. He was trying. Sometimes he still made light bulbs explode or people inexplicably changed their minds around him, especially when it benefited him or Jamison, but for the most part, Malphas was pretending to be just another normal human in the world. It was a relief not to have to feel like he had to constantly supervise the demon and remind him when he was acting out.

Two months ago, when Malphas had first come barreling into their lives, Carter would have never thought Malphas was anything other than a monster, and some days he hadn’t changed much at all, but he was always trying to be better. If only to please Jamison and stay on his good side.

Carter froze as he felt something warm drape over his shoulder. It still unnerved him sometimes to have his shadow around, especially since it was just a feeling and nothing nearly as corporeal as Malphas was. That would have made it easier, he was sure, if he could see whatever it was, whoever it was, that was following him around almost constantly.

“Is he here?” Carter asked Malphas. He’d started to give his shadow a gender. It made referring to him easier.

Malphas glanced over and then lifted his black eyes to something just above Carter’s shoulder. “Yep.” After a second, he added, “Well, it’s not my fault he can’t see you. Clearly you don’t belong in this realm. You should really go away.”

“That’s rich coming from a demon,” Carter replied, instantly coming to his shadow’s defense for no reason at all.

Jamison looked between them but said nothing. He’d been getting between them less and less. They hadn’t needed him to play referee when Malphas had shown no real interest in hurting Carter lately. There was the occasional jibe about him being an idiot, but even that had turned mostly playful.

Warmth spread down his shoulder to his arm, and Carter lifted his palm as the comfortable feeling flowed to his hand. He closed his eyes and imagined that whatever it was following him was holding his hand. Carter felt the slightest bit of pressure, but it wasn’t much, and he was half-certain he was actually imagining the whole thing.

“Hey,” he whispered. He could almost believe that he, whatever it was, was pushing back against him too.

Jamison got up from where he’d been sitting, and his movement distracted Carter enough that he lost the connection with his shadow.

“I wish I knew his name,” Carter said as he glanced behind him.

Mal snorted. “Why? He’s not actually part of this plane. He’s like…déjà vu or something like that. You know he’s here. I know he’s here. But he doesn’t actually exist here. It’s weird. He’s not a ghost or something like that. He’s stuck.”

That got Carter’s attention in a hurry, and Jamison paused on his way into the kitchen as well. “What do you mean he’s stuck?” Jamison asked Mal.

“Just that he’s where he is because he’s trapped there. It’s hard to explain to people who aren’t dead yet. When you die, I’ll show you.” Mal shrugged.

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

Meet the Author

Caitlin was fortunate growing up to be surrounded by family and teachers that encouraged her love of reading. She has always been a voracious reader, and that love of the written word easily morphed into a passion for writing. She comes from a military family, and the men and women of the armed forces are close to her heart. She also enjoys gardening and horseback riding in the Colorado Rockies where she calls home with her wonderful husband and their two dogs. Her belief that there is no one true path to happily ever after runs deeply through all of her stories.

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Release Day Blitz: The Visionary by Charli Coty (excerpt and giveaway)

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Title:  The Visionary

Author: Charli Coty

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: January 30

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 78600

Genre: Romance, NineStar Press, paranormal, age gap, gay, LGBT, ESP, erotic romance, private detective

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Synopsis

Colin Page, eighteen-year-old community college student, apple polisher and all-around goody-goody, has a secret. He sees things that aren’t there. Unfortunately, the Doc Martens on the floor of the mail vestibule in his apartment building really are there and attached to a dead body. Hunkered over the body is someone Colin had barely noticed before, Private Investigator Al Green. Most people scare Colin, but for some reason, Al doesn’t, even after he reveals that he knows about the hidden reality of their world.

Alonzo Green, despite his low-power mind, is determined to help right the wrongs he unknowingly contributed to. He’s also hopelessly smitten. He knows it’s wrong—probably even dangerous—to enlist Colin’s help with the investigation. And that’s before considering all Al has to fear from Colin’s fiercely protective and powerful mother.

Colin and Al put some of the pieces together, but as soon as one thing becomes clear, the picture changes. The search for the Big Bad takes them from Portland to Tacoma and Seattle, and eventually to San Francisco, but their journey into each other’s arms is much shorter.

Excerpt

The Visionary

Charli Coty © 2017

All Rights Reserved

Colin always hesitated before getting into the rickety old elevator. It didn’t seem safe to ride in something, even four floors, if you could see the individual boards―which looked suspiciously similar to two-by-fours―vibrating. Or maybe it had more to do with the dust, grime, and cobwebs coating every visible surface, or maybe the preconceived notion he’d had that college would be different from high school. He held his breath and stepped in as the door closed.

He looked around, and thought he was alone in the lobby until he’d made it halfway to the front door. Someone cursed, and Colin turned to see a pair of black Doc Martens lying on the floor, partially sticking out from the mailbox alcove. He recognized the white symbols hand drawn on the backs of the heels. The guy who owned those boots―Tattoo Guy―lived in the building, but he and Colin hadn’t done more than nod hello. Colin’s mom had warned him time and again not to talk to anyone in the building because he’d be dragged into some drama or other, and he needed to focus on school. Maybe Tattoo Guy was hurt and needed help. He couldn’t just leave.

He reached the juncture of the hallway and the alcove housing the tarnished little brass doors to everyone’s mailboxes and saw another familiar someone. The large man was hunkered down beside Tattoo Guy. He wore battered jeans and steel-toed boots with a hole in the leather of one toe. The neck of his dark-green T-shirt was stretched out of shape, and his black leather jacket looked a half size too small. Colin struggled to come up with a word to describe him but couldn’t think of an antonym to doppelganger. That man was everything Colin was not, especially tall and dark.

“What’s that purple mist?” Colin asked, startling himself. He never spoke to strangers, especially not about―

“It’s more a fog.”

Odd. The man didn’t seem surprised. It did remind Colin of pictures of fog rolling in around the Golden Gate Bridge. Only these misty tendrils were purple and gradually disappeared as they moved farther away from Tattoo Guy.

“Why won’t you answer me?”

“What else do you see?” He turned slightly toward Colin but remained hunkered down, studying Tattoo Guy but not touching him.

“Nothing.” Colin blinked, and that fast, it wasn’t true anymore. “Crap, his tattoo just moved.”

“The raven?”

“No. The flower.” The purple tendrils had decayed so much they’d stopped diverting Colin’s attention from the blood on Tattoo Guy’s arm and the back of his shirt. He was obviously more than hurt.

“The violet moved?”

“It slapped the cymbal. I heard it.” Colin thought about running, but his feet refused to move.

“Anything else?”

“Like what?”

“It’d help if one of them named the killer.” The large man stood slowly and brushed off his hands. A little over six feet tall and slightly bulky, his long shaggy hair and full beard shot through with gray made him look like a street person. “Some of these tats have mouths. Are they saying anything?”

“What?” Colin took a step back. “Aren’t you going to call the police?”

“Already have. But I plan on starting an investigation of my own. The police are busy. If he doesn’t have any family to make noise―and I know he doesn’t―they won’t put much effort into finding out who killed him.”

“Why do you think someone killed him?”

“Murder is purple.” He slowly reached into his jacket and smiled as he brought out a pastel-green business card. “I’m a private investigator. Al Green.”

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NineStar Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords

 

Meet the Author

Charli misspent a large chunk of her youth on the back of a Harley, meeting people and having adventures that sometimes pop up in her fiction. She grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area during a drought, and found her true home in the soggy Pacific Northwest. Charli has survived earthquakes, tornadoes, and floods, but couldn’t make it through one day without stories.

Charli Coty is a pseudonym of the author known as Charley Descoteaux.

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BLOG TOUR: People Fish by Medella Kingston (excerpt and giveaway)

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PeopleFish by Medella Kingston

Publisher:  NineStar Press
Release Date: January 23rd

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Synopsis

 

Her Cree grandmother called it the gift of seeing, but for Petra “Pete” Orvatch, knowing things in ways that defy explanation has made reality and fantasy blur in a world where the clocks literally go backward. Her fascinating and clairvoyant mind is a riddle that many doctors have tried to solve with medication. Love comes her way unexpectedly when she meets Fiona Angeli, a stunningly beautiful single mother. A risk-taker by nature, Fiona is not scared off by her new lover’s psychic abilities and eccentricities.

 

The two of them share passion and secrets on a magical and surprising journey, and their torrid love affair takes them to thrilling new places until betrayal divides them. Both these women fight battles within themselves; Fiona must gain control of her dangerous compulsions, and Pete’s onerous gift ultimately puts her at risk of losing herself in the gap between delusions and the real world.

 

Title:  PeopleFish
Author: Medella Kingston

 

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex
Pairing: Female/Female
Length: 118000

Genre: Romance, lesbian, bisexual, paranormal, Addiction, psychic ability, romance

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33546115

Excerpt

PeopleFish

Medella Kingston © 2017

All Rights Reserved

 

 

Pete looked up from the mystery she was reading and scanned the faces in the waiting room. There was Tired Pinched Mom, with faded blond ponytail and dark roots coming in. She had one kid under control and was now quietly negotiating with the other. Next to this trio sat Man Too Large for His Seat, who seemed to be staring at his shoes or sleeping with his eyes open. In the corner was someone so nondescript she couldn’t instantly name her—then it came to her: Any Woman. This woman was neither thin nor large, short nor tall, and had a slightly exotic yet familiar face. She looked as if she could be from many different places, like Greece, Morocco, Central America, or New Jersey. She was text-messaging so quickly, Pete half expected her thumbs to spark and set fire to her phone.

 

Doesn’t anyone people-watch anymore? Was she the only person left who liked to read faces and create narratives? Maybe so. She’d never stop doing it. She’d been spinning this stuff since she was little—much to the annoyance of her mother. Instead of acknowledging the creative gifts of her child, or at the very least being entertained by them, she’d say, “God will punish you, Petra Marie, for thinking bad thoughts about people and making up lies.”

 

Some traits must skip generations, because Grandma Sweets had the right attitude. She’d join right in and embellish her granddaughter’s rough outlines of strangers’ lives with additions that could only come from a seasoned mind. If Pete said a passenger on the bus looked guilty, Gram Sweets would say, “Of course he looks guilty, he ought to! Instead of cooking a turkey for Thanksgiving, he cooked his wife!”

 

Her reminiscing was perforated by the staccato ring of a telephone.

 

“Cambridge Holistic Health and Wellness Center, please hold.”

 

Please hold? No one else is on the line; is this receptionista just fucking with the caller? Pete dog-eared the page in her paperback, closed it, slipped it into her bag, and decided to devote all of her energy to observing. She was just about to make up a story about the receptionist when her eyes landed on something strange. She hadn’t noticed the cheap plastic clock on the wallpapered wall before, but now she couldn’t take her eyes off it because the second hand was moving backward.

 

At first she thought she was seeing things, since her imagination was such a well-developed muscle. So she did something that made her feel seven instead of thirty-seven. She closed her eyes to reset, inhaled a long, slow breath, and then opened them, hoping this simple act could alter what she saw, or make things feel right again. She didn’t return her gaze to the clock right away, but rather avoided its face like you would dodge direct eye contact in a volley of flirt-and-stare with a stranger who’d caught you looking.

 

She panned her eyes evenly over all she had just taken in. Now the previously obedient child of the two was acting petulant, Man Too Large for His Seat actually was asleep, and Any Woman had stopped texting and was staring back at Pete. This startled her a bit. She looked away and then forced herself to look at the clock again. The red second hand was still moving backward and now instead of 2:27, it was 2:26, and the room seemed brighter to her than it had been just a minute ago.

 

“Petra Orvatch?”

 

She heard the automaton call her but she couldn’t move—she felt obligated to monitor the clock and confirm that it was in fact going backward, but knew she shouldn’t say anything about it. It was one of those times when she couldn’t expect people to understand her. These occurrences had happened ever since she could remember and could be confusing, amusing, or even downright dangerous.

Meet the Author

 

About the Author

Medella Kingston fell in love with writing at an early age and published articles, poems, and stories when she was growing up. She wrote, performed, and sold songs for movie soundtracks, and continued writing short stories for her own pleasure. She currently sings in the band Omnesia, which has aired locally on UC Berkeley’s radio station and been heard as far east as Goa and the Mumbai University. She lives with her partner and their two dogs in the East Bay. PeopleFish is Medella’s first novel, and she is currently working on a new book.

Author Links

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Tour Schedule

1/23 – On Top Down Under – http://ontopdownunderbookreviews.com/

1/23 – Scatteredt Thoughts And Rogue Words – https://scatteredthoughtsandroguewords.com/

1/24 – Molly Lolly; Reader, Reviewer, Lover of Words – https://mollylollyauthor.wordpress.com

1/24 – Stories That Make You Smile – https://authoraddisonalbright.com

1/25 – Erotica For All  http://eroticaforall.co.uk

1/25 – Divine Magazine – http://divinemagazine.biz

1/26 – MM Good Book Reviews – https://mmgoodbookreviews.wordpress.com/

1/26 – Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents – http://fangirlmomentsandmytwocents.blogspot.com

1/26 – Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews – http://wickedfaeriesreviews.blogspot.com

1/26 – Boy Meets Boy Reviews – boymeetsboyreviews.blogspot.com

1/27 – Happily Ever Chapter – https://www.facebook.com/happilyeverchapter

1/27 – Sharing Links and Wisdom – http://sharinglinksandwisdom.blogspot.com

1/27 – Love Bytes – www.lovebytesreviews.com

Giveaway

One lucky winner will receive an ebook of their choice from NineStar Press
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Book Blitz for The Wolves of Daos 5 by Rebecca James (Excerpt and Giveaway)

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Title: The Wolves of Daos 5

Series: Wolves of Daos 5 1

Author: Rebecca James

Publisher: Rebecca James

Cover Artist: Brandyjo Newton

Release Date: September 24, 2016

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 195

Genre: Romance, Science Fiction, mpreg, shifter, paranormal,

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Synopsis

Michael has wrestled with anxiety his entire life, and finding out he’s half-werewolf doesn’t help matters. When bond-mate, Quinn, takes Michael to the werewolf colony, Michael finds more surprises in store for him, and some may be more than he can handle.

Excerpt

Looking over his shoulder as they walked, Michael saw that the milling crowd that had been gathering at the palace gates now filed in behind them, as though they’d been waiting for Quinn and Michael’s arrival in order to be admitted. Looking ahead, a vast courtyard lay before them with pruned hedges and extensive gardens that had been cut back in preparation for the coming winter. Michael’s heart picked up when he spotted what appeared to be several huge lizards lounging in the inner courtyard near the front of the palace where he and Quinn were not, thankfully, headed.
“Komodo dragons?” Michael asked.
“What? Oh, yes. We brought them here from Indonesia. Very effective deterrents to trespassers.”
“I’ll bet.” Michael stared at the frightening creatures.
“This way,” Quinn said, setting off toward the side, passing through an archway and along an ivy-covered wall where two guards led three chained and naked men headed for a door leading away from the main part of the stone structure. Quinn propelled Michael toward a larger iron door at the far end of the narrow lane. Michael couldn’t help but stare at the men. Were they slaves? They certainly appeared to be, with their dirty appearance and hands and feet manacled and the long chain connecting them one to the other.
“Prisoners,” Quinn said, as though answering Michael’s unasked question. Sometimes he really did seem to read Michael’s mind. “Escor. Scum.”
The corridor leading to the door was narrow and crowded. Quinn wrapped his arm around Michael’s waist and maneuvered them through, while Michael continued to stare at the prisoners. He’d never seen anyone like them; completely hairless, lacking even eyebrows and lashes, with long, slim feet and oddly-shaped heads. Two large werewolves wearing red tangas and brandishing curved sticks urged the prisoners along. As Quinn and Michael passed the line of men, one looked directly at Michael, his silver eyes with dark, vertical pupils reminding Michael of a snake. Michael thought they must be contact lenses—he’d seen some that gave a similar effect. As Michael returned the gaze, quick as lightning, the man’s tongue darted out, thin and forked, touching Michael on the arm at the same time that Atlas yelled and pulled Michael backward until his shoulder hit the opposite wall. Quinn threw himself at the prisoner, his hands around the man’s thick throat.

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Rebecca James | Amazon | Smashwords | ARe

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Meet the Author

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Rebecca James writes m/m and m/m/m romance in the contemporary, paranormal, and sci-fi genres. Writing has been her passion since childhood, but it wasn’t until recently that she got up the courage to publish. She lives in the southern United States with her husband and three children.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | eMail

 

Giveaway

One lucky winner will get an ebook of their choice from Rebecca’s backlist

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Dive Back into the Magical AURA Fantasy Series with Kellen’s Awakening (AURA #3) by Bellora Quinn and Angel Martinez

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Kellen’s Awakening (AURA #3) by Bellora Quinn and Angel Martinez
Release Date: May 3, 2016

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Publisher: Pride Publishing
Cover Artist: Emmy Ellis

Blurb

The staff at AURA has had a busy summer. Between chronic understaffing, dealing with warring goblin factions and an unusual number of hazardous Events, everyone is overworked. Sinistrus the incubus, newly hired as an AURA medic, actually enjoys his busy new life of responsible employee and faithful lover to his gorgeous police sergeant, Ness the centaur. Life would be perfect, except for a niggling suspicion about a colleague. Everyone else seems to disagree, but Sin’s certain something’s not right with that pixie.

Kellen, a pixie crossover, loves his job working in AURA medical, even if he is something of an outsider. His job and the friends he manages to make are happy spots in an otherwise dark and secretive life. As the rest of AURA tries to discover the root of the inexplicable rise in violence and large scale Events, Kellen fights to preserve his own life and what dignity he has left.

These two unlikely heroes must put their differences aside and navigate tragedy and ever-escalating disaster together in order to stop the sinister forces that hold Kellen in thrall.

 

Pages or Words: 69,000 words
Series should be read in order
Categories: Alternate Universe, Contemporary, Gay Fiction, Paranormal, Romance, Urban Fantasy

 Special Excerpt

Tenzin glanced up at the clock and realized the time had gotten away from him. He kissed Kai’s cheek and gathered up their lunch things. “I’m sorry, love. I have an interview and must be off. New medic, I’m hoping.”

Kai made shooing motions with both hands. “Go, go. I hope this one works out better than the last three.”

The last three had been human, one hopelessly underqualified, one perhaps not entirely comfortable being interviewed by a yeti and the third hiding pernicious bigotry behind a bright smile. The one today was reported to be a pixie, and Tenzin wasn’t disappointed when he found the slender, fidgeting slip of an applicant waiting in the elevator lobby.

Hello, there.” Tenzin extended a hand. “I’m Tenzin, the medical department supervisor. You must be Kellen?”

Yes. I am. Nice to meet you.” He shook his hand, brief but firm.

Come into the department. We’ll talk in one of the empty patient rooms.” Tenzin led the way, pleased that the pixie hadn’t flinched at his appearance. When they had settled, Tenzin on the little plastic chair in the room, Kellen on the rolling stool, he leafed through the interview file and began. “Why don’t you start by telling me about your prior experience.”

I don’t have a lot of experience, yet.” Kellen answered. “The placement counselor asked about my skills when I crossed over and thought I might do best working in some way for AURA. I couldn’t pass the test for enforcement, and I didn’t think research was a good fit, so I asked to take the classes for medical.”

Tenzin tried hard not to frown. “I see. You do seem to have passed the classes with good academic scores. What did you do in your past life? Before you crossed over?”

Well, I would have probably become a soldier eventually. Most of us do. I wasn’t old enough to join the ranks though. I was good at organizing things.”

Even without his wings out Kellen seemed to droop a bit, perhaps realizing that he wasn’t exactly painting a stellar picture of his skill set. While Tenzin didn’t disbelieve the revelation about pixie soldiers as someone else might have, he had experience with fierce flower fairies after all, he had the feeling something was off here.

Organization is important in a medical department,” Tenzin said gently. “What sorts of things did you organize?”

Nectar and honey, mostly.”

Ah, food supplies. For your family?”

For the colony. See, the collection squads were always going to the closest hives and groves first, and by the time anyone got to the outer reaches the fruit would be over ripe, or some of the neighboring colonies had poached the farthest hives. So I set up a rotation, so they went out to collect more evenly. Our stores increased almost thirty percent.”

Tenzin nodded. “That’s very resourceful.”

He didn’t need another trainee, he needed someone who could step into the breach, as it were. But Kellen seemed like such a sincere, intelligent individual, Tenzin didn’t want him to slip through the cracks. He was trying desperately to think of a solution when the air above his head erupted in chittering from whirling colorful beings. His troop of flower fairies zipped around his head, chattering with such agitation he couldn’t understand them. A blur of pink hovered in front of his nose, Brianna pointing sternly at the flower fairies by his right shoulder.

Oh, dear. How did this happen?” Briac and Tara cradled sapphire-blue Timon between them, his wing bent at an impossible angle. “It’s alright, it’s alright little ones. We’ll set it. I think perhaps some surgical tape will hold it in place.”

Kellen made a small sound and Tenzin looked over at him to see him shaking his head. “Not tape. The wing membrane needs to breathe, and the adhesive might tear the wing when it’s removed. A gauze wrap would be best.”

The words were soft, almost apologetic, as if Kellen were afraid to contradict him. Brianna scolded, telling Tenzin she would’ve told him the same thing, but he held up a finger to halt her.

Very sensible. Would you like to do it, Kellen? Supplies are in the cabinet there.”

Rather than answer Kellen simply set to work. With a roll of gauze and some cotton swabs he used forceps and scissors to fashion a tiny flexible cast and sling to hold the wing immobile and support it from below. Timon sat still for him on the table while the rest of the troop alternately hovered or landed on Kellen’s head and shoulders while he worked. He hummed soothingly under his breath when he set the wing in place, while his fingers worked oh-so-delicately on the fragile wing.

Tenzin blinked in surprise. Not that he’d spent much time with pixies, but he didn’t expect the healing song like the ones the elf healers used. He glanced at Brianna who gave him a nod and glowed in approval. The youngster didn’t have much field experience, but, goddess knew he needed someone with knowledge of wing membranes. Timon flexed his uninjured wing and let out a little chirping sigh, obviously relieved when Kellen had finished.

Well then.” Tenzin picked Timon up and let him nestle into his shoulder fur. “I only have one question left. Do you have issues working with any race or species?”

No. We’re all in this together now, aren’t we. I just want to be able to help people.”

There was a lie in there somewhere, or perhaps an omission, but Tenzin felt confident they could deal with whatever the obstacle was if it came up. “So when can you start?”

 

Buy the book:  Pride Publishing

 

RC

 

 

 

Meet the authors:

Angel Martinez

The unlikely black sheep of an ivory tower intellectual family, Angel Martinez has managed to make her way through life reasonably unscathed. Despite a wildly misspent youth, she snagged a degree in English Lit, married once and did it right the first time, (same husband for almost twenty-four years) gave birth to one amazing son, (now in college) and realized at some point that she could get paid for writing.

Published since 2006, Angel’s cynical heart cloaks a desperate romantic. You’ll find drama and humor given equal weight in her writing and don’t expect sad endings. Life is sad enough.

She currently lives in Delaware in a drinking town with a college problem and writes Science Fiction and Fantasy centered around gay heroes.

Bellora Quinn

Originally hailing from Detroit Michigan, Bellora now resides on the sunny Gulf Coast of Florida where a herd of Dachshunds keeps her entertained. She got her start in writing at the dawn of the internet when she discovered PbEMs (Play by email) and found a passion for collaborative writing and steamy hot erotica. Soap Opera like blogs soon followed and eventually full novels.

The majority of her stories are in the M/M genre with urban fantasy or paranormal settings and many with a strong BDSM flavour.

Where to find the authors:

Facebook:

Facebook Author Page:

Twitter:

  • @BelloraQ
  • @AngelMartinezrr

Pinterest:

 


Tour Dates & Stops:

3-May: Oh My Shelves, The Novel Approach

4-May: Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Molly Lolly, My Fiction Nook

5-May: Love Bytes, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, A.M. Leibowitz

6-May: Havan Fellows. MM Good Book Reviews, BFD Book Blog

9-May: Prism Book Alliance, Bayou Book Junkie, Nephy Hart

Final

Giveaway

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: $10 Pride Publishing gift card.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.
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L.G. Fabbo-Gonnella’s Vampire P.I. is Back in The Case of the Thwarted Lovers (excerpt and giveaway)

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Title: The Case of the Thwarted Lovers
Author: L.G. Fabbo-Gonnella
Series: Mark Julian, Vampire P.I., Book Six
Genre: Mystery, Detective, Gay romance, Paranormal
Length: Novel
Publisher: Ai Press

Synopsis

It’s been a long shift for Detective Vincent Pasquale. Back at his desk at the station he finds a phone message from his vampire spouse, Mark, waiting for him.

“Hi. I figured calling your station phone number was more secure than using a cell. Listen our friend Dexter found something about who may have tried to frame Jean-Claude. Turns out that there is a lot more to this thing! It’s big. Jean-Claude and Jaime are meeting me here before we all head over to see Tortego at his offices. We should be there in a half hour and we figure this meeting will run most of the day. If you can join us fine but if not I’ll tell you about it later after your shift is over. Call me.”

A few moments later a report comes into the station about a possible terrorist bomb explosion at a Midtown office building. No survivors are reported. To his horror Vinnie realizes the bombsite’s address is the exact location of Tortego’s offices. In a panic Vinnie rushes to the scene where, out of nowhere, he is shot from behind by an unknown assailant. Its’ four funerals and a wedding, as the newest Julian book unfolds.

Excerpt

   Vinnie was still trying to make sense of what he had just heard when suddenly a loud commotion erupted in the outer room of the police station. Everyone in the squad turned their heads to see a young police rookie burst into the room. “A bomb just went off by Saint Pat’s,” the shaken young Latino officer hurriedly blurted out. “The blast took out at least one building! There are injuries and maybe worse.”

There was silent for a few seconds before a multitude of voices broke out asking questions of the rookie. Some of the older detectives grabbed their jackets just as their Captain quickly strode into the room to speak to everyone in the squad room. All talking ceased as the men and women in the room paused to stare at their boss. “We don’t know if it’s terrorists but everyone should understand that right now we are in code red,” he calmly said. “We’ve drilled for this since 9/11. You all know what to do and what our city and I both expect from every person here. Get to your assigned posts now!” Within seconds, people were quickly scrambling to obey.

As the news of where the explosion fully sunk into his mind a terrifying thought took hold of Vinnie. “Captain, what buildings!” he yelled out amid the squad room’s commotion. “What building went up?”

The Captain looked at a paper and gave out the address. When Vinnie heard it he sat down in his chair. That’s where Tortego’s office is located, his mind screamed as he ran his hand through his dark curls in horror. Sweet Christ in heaven, Mark, Jaime, and Jean-Claude are there with him! The frantic detective quickly got up and ran to his Captain. “I need to go to that explosion site, sir,” he said while trying to stay calm.

 

The Case of the Thwarted Lovers Banner

Buy Links

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01EQAWGJW/
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01EQAWGJW/
Amazon AU: http://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B01EQAWGJW/
Amazon DE: http://www.amazon.de/dp/B01EQAWGJW/

Giveaway

Prizes: 2 bundles of Books One, Two, and Three in the Mark Julian, Vampire P.I. Series

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More in the Mark Julian, Vampire P.I. Series

While each individual mystery can be read as a stand along, there are storylines that continue from one book to another, so we recommend you use the series in order:

Book One – The Case of the Choirboy Killer
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00L8H28U4/

Book Two – The Case of the Strega’s Touch
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LU0DNF8/

Book Three – The Case of the Heavenly Host
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00PD1LGKY/

Book Four – The Case of the Vampire Hunter
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0113C3UNM/

Book Five – The Case No One Foretold
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B016B0F3ZE/

About the author

L.G.Fabbo-Gonnella is a resident of NYC. He has often said Manhattan is the underlying unspoken character in many of his books. “I guess it’s a love affair that I have with her,” he once said. “I could live here forever and yet still find magical things about her that I never knew existed.”

When not seeking out interesting new locales for his books he can be found dinning with friends and enjoying all the city he adores has to offer.

Though he has not yet met the supernatural denizens of NYC, he does hope too one day. And yes, there is a “letter Lounge” albeit under a different name.

He can be reached at L.G.Fabbo.Gonnella@gmail.co
Facebook: https://facebook.com/Mystery-writings-of-LG-Fabbo-Gonnella
Website: http://fabbo-gonnella.blogspot.com

Love Wolf Shifters? A.F. Henley is Here Talking Wolf, en Garde (Wolf #2) (guest post, special teaser and giveaway)

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Wolf en Garde Front Cover

Wolf, en Garde (Wolf #2) by A.F. Henley
L
ess Than Three Press
Release Date May 17

Cover Artist: Raphael (website https://boysininkandcolour.com/ )

Pre Purchase/Buy Link/Read a Full Excerpt Here

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is thrilled to have A.F.Henley here to talk about the sequel to Wolf.  Welcome, A.F., tell  us more about Wolf, en Garde and what we can expect from this amazing series.

***********

 

So, here we are again! I’m crazy excited to be joining you here on Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words to introduce (or, in some cases reintroduce) the characters and places of my newest release, Wolf en Garde. For those who joined me months ago with the Wolf, WY tour: welcome back; I’ve missed you! For those who are meeting the friends and villains of Wolf for the first time—hello, it’s great to meet you!

I’ve said it before, but I’ve never been a series writer. When I wrote “The End” I meant it. I left the characters with their HEA or HFN, and that was that: farewell, amen, good luck. However, with Wolf, WY there was an entire story brewing underneath the romance of Randy and Vaughn. I could see it trying to bubble up through the rest of the words and it intrigued me to no end. Had it been just a case of, “Okay, but what happened to Lyle? Or Isaac or Hannah?” I probably wouldn’t have bothered. Not because I didn’t care, but simply because there are a million stories in the naked city (or however that goes) and my head always seems to be swimming with them. Wolf had something it wanted to say to me, to you, and it wasn’t about to let me stop.

And here with are… with Lyle’s story, and the next “chapter” of the Wolf series.

I’d like to take you on a bit of a journey with this blog tour; give you a chance to meet the new characters and to shake hands with the ones you already know, explain the settings and the locations, and hopefully pique your interest in the “what comes next” of the Wolf series with some tiny teasers from the novel. But I won’t ask you to hop on board without a thank you for showing up. Follow through to the end of the post to learn how you could win your very own signed, print copy of Wolf en Garde, a sterling silver (nickel and lead-free) Howling Wolf Bangle, and a $20 gift certificate to the Less Than Three Press book market. After all, your time is valuable, and I can’t thank you enough for being here.

But first, the teaser. And what better way to start than with our main character: Lyle O’Connell. When we met Lyle, he was a young man going through the kind of change that we’ve all experienced but with a whole heck of a lot of extra… uh… fun?… thrown in for good measure. Let’s hope it made him a better man…

Tiny Teaser: Introducing – Lyle O’Connell

For all the times Lyle had ever included the words “teeming with” in a thought or statement—which, when he considered it, were actually few and far between—none had been as accurate as his thought that the airport was teeming with people. From the smallest shrieking infant to the tallest ear-budded man, from the casual vacationer in their comfy travel clothes to the business people in their suits and skirts, every shape, size and ethnicity was represented. It was the largest, loudest, most chaotic group of people that Lyle had ever been part of in his life. And it was fucking amazing.

He’d felt the buzz of the terminal before he’d been halfway across the jet bridge that brought him from the small plane that had carried him, his father, his siblings, and Randy, his father’s—partner, Lyle thought, and instantly diminished the word to friend—from the airport in Casper to their current stop in Denver. They wouldn’t be there for long, a mere hour before they’d step back onto a (hopefully) much bigger plane and finish their journey up to D.C., and Lyle intended to enjoy every single second of it. The smells were intense and copious: hormones heavy with fear, anxiety, grief, and excitement; fast food, restaurant food, alcohol; cologne over sweat and perfume over fabric softeners. If he could have done it without consequence, Lyle would have forced himself into a shift right then and there. The thought of experiencing all those scents with a nose more educated than the one he wore at that moment was almost too seductive.

His father wasn’t doing quite so well, which meant that, through proximity alone, neither was Randy. That fact was more amusing than it probably should have been, though Lyle was doing his best not to let his amusement show. His father, Vaughn, wouldn’t be impressed in the least if Lyle made those feelings obvious. Respect and subservience to the normal majority of their world was not just expected, it was insisted upon—to the point that when Lyle had wandered a little too deep into instinctual territory over dominating those around him, Lyle had been shipped off and brainwashed by the fucking committee until he’d sworn up and down that he was wrong and was going to live within their rules. It had been a bullshit season for Lyle, that winter and early spring he’d spent in the clutches of the GDBCG (the Genetics Development and Biological Connectivity Group, who worked for the Committee with respect to research and rehabilitation), and Lyle had no intention of ending back there. Besides, the next time it might not just be a few months of parroting back rules and expectations. Next time, they just might decide Lyle wasn’t worth the effort and put a bullet in his head. They could do it, too. Without anybody ever lifting an eyebrow over what had happened.

Wolf, en Garde Excerpt
© AF Henley, 2016

Wolf Animation GIF Header

Blurb

Wolf, en Garde

Three years ago Lyle made a mistake that cost him his freedom, and almost his life. Now, sick to death of watching his father love the man that Lyle wanted, Lyle accepts an offer to leave Wolf, WY behind and see what life in Washington, D.C. can do for him instead.

When Lyle comes across a seductive, attractive stranger with a fascinating yet terrifying view of humanity, he’s more than intrigued. It doesn’t take Lyle long to realize that Arius isn’t just playing games, though, and when Lyle runs across a secret in Arius’ lair he has no choice but to flee, even knowing his actions will enrage Arius.

On the run, with only a psychic’s second sight and his own instinct to help him, Lyle has nowhere to go but home. The only question is, will they have him when he shows up.

Genre: Gay, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Notes: Wolf, WY contains some explicit and violent content
Book 2 in the Wolf series

Purchasing Link above – save 15% by preordering your copy today! Discount available until May 17th

 

The Giveaway

On behalf of the tour, please join the giveaway by taking part in the Rafflecopter below. The prize consists of a sterling silver (nickel and lead-free) Howling Wolf charm bangle, a $20 Gift Certificate to the Less Than Three Press book market (free books!), and a signed, print copy of Wolf, WY.

For all the terms and conditions, please check out the t’s and c’s posted on the Rafflecopter.

** Please note that this giveaway is being offered tour-wide and there will be one winner awarded for the entire event.

Wolf en Garde Giveaway

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As always, my heartfelt thanks to Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words for having me today. It is an honour and a pleasure to be back and I can’t stress enough that authors like myself could never pull it off without sites like yours.

And a huge thanks to you, my friends, for reading and joining me. Best of luck with the giveaway and I hope you enjoyed the post!

Until next time,

AF Henley ❤

AF Henley_Avatar cropped

About the Author

Henley was born with a full-blown passion for run-on sentences, a zealous indulgence in all words descriptive, and the endearing tendency to overuse punctuation. Since the early years Henley has been an enthusiastic writer, from the first few I-love-my-dog stories to the current leap into erotica.

A self-professed Google genius, Henley lives for the hours spent digging through the Internet for ‘research purposes’ which, more often than not, lead seven thousand miles away from first intentions but bring Henley to new discoveries and ideas that, once seeded, tend to flourish.

Henley has been proudly publishing with Less Than Three Press since 2012.

For more information, please stop by for a visit at afhenley.com.

In Our Spotlight: Mate Me, Hate Me, Date Me, Love Me (Unexpected #3) by Chris McHart

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Mate ME Cover final

Mate Me, Hate Me, Date Me, Love Me (Unexpected #3) by Chris McHart
Release Date: April 27, 2016

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Rawmance Publishing
Cover Artist: Chris McHart

 

Blurb

When his father, King Harold, forces Prince Gerome to mate a complete stranger in order to save his unborn child, he complies with a heavy heart and says goodbye to all his dreams of finding love. Gerome’s hurt and treats his mate the way he’s been taught all his life: through power and submission. But with Luis, it doesn’t work.

When Luis is mated off to a stranger, his world ends. He was a carefree student one day and the next a vampire prince demands his submission. He can’t run, but he can hide and hate in silence. So he withdraws until only a shell remains.

Neither of the men has any chance of finding love together until a friend intervenes. Can Gerome forget what he’s been taught all his life, and is it possible for Luis to forget what’s happened to him? Will they ever find their own happy ending? Or can love blossom where only hate exists?

 

Pages or Words: 85,500 words
Can be read as a standalone, but would make more sense if you read the others, too.
Categories: Alternate Universe, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Paranormal, Romance

 

Excerpt

Excerpt Mate Me, Hate Me, Date Me, Love Me

Luis’ mother turned to him and took his hand with her cold one. Her beautiful blue eyes sought his, and she visibly took a deep breath. “I have to tell you something. Please hear me out before you say anything.”

Luis swallowed hard. What would come now? His hands were clammy, but he could only wipe one on his jeans as his mother still held the other. Luis stared at her face and tried to figure out what was wrong. Something bad happened. Something really bad. Blood pulsed in his ears while he waited for his mother or father to speak again.

“The Vampire King from Munich visited us yesterday. He had a proposal for us. His son, Gerome, needs a mate. He’s seen the picture of you at the coven meeting from a few months ago and thinks you’d be a good match. The prince is going to take over the crown soon, and he needs a mate by his side. You, to be specific.” His mother paused and tightened her hold on his hand. “I agreed. A mating to the prince will bring a lot of power to our coven. And the king paid us a good deal of money for the match.”

“You what?” Luis yelled, trying to pull his hand back, but his mother held him tightly. He jumped up from his seat and tried to yank away from his mother’s grasp. What the fuck were they thinking? They had to be kidding. He was not going to mate some guy he never met. They were totally crazy. Nuts.

His mother didn’t relent, firmly keeping his hand in her grip.

“Let me go! I won’t mate someone you picked! What do you think you’re doing?” His voice cracked, but his mother didn’t even flinch.

“Calm down. You knew this was coming. Everyone gets mated. It’s the way things are done,” his mother said calmly, even though her fingers still dug into Luis’ hand. It hurt, but he couldn’t focus on that now. He needed to get away before they married him off. His mind raced, turning over possibilities. He couldn’t simply mate someone. What if he ran away and hid? Would one of his friends help him to lay low? If the king wanted him as a mate for his son, would hiding help at all? Or would they find him?

Buy the Book

 

AllRomance | Amazon  | Amazon UK  | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon CA

 

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Meet the Author:

Chris McHart lives in Germany, with her husband, slave, Dom, partner in crime, and muse (all in one person, not even she’s that kinky!). She loves her husband, men in kilts and Scotch Whisky. Her idea of a perfect evening is to curl up with her laptop and write (the other options are not suitable to post in public).

Where to find the author:

 


Tour Dates & Stops:

Parker Williams, Divine Magazine, Alpha Book Club, Kirsty Loves Books, Happily Ever Chapter,

MM Good Book Reviews, Gay Media Reviews, BFD Book Blog, My Fiction Nook, Mikky’s World of Books,

A.M. Leibowitz, Dawn’s Reading Nook, Book Lovers 4Ever, Molly Lolly, Jessie G. Books, Havan Fellows,

Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings, Oh My Shelves, Caraway Carter, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words,

Bayou Book Junkie, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Open Skye Book Reviews, Unquietly Me,

Velvet Panic, Outrageous Heroes

Final

 Giveaway

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: (2) Print copies of ‘Mate Me, Hate Me, Date Me, Love Me’ by Christ McHart. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

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Love A Hidden Gem? Candy Land (Hidden Gem#3) by Lissa Kasey is the Amazing Trilogy Finale (excerpt and giveaway)

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Candy Land

Candy Land (Hidden Gem#3) by Lissa Kasey
Release Date: April 25, 2016

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Shobana Appavu

Blurb

Cameron “Candy” Michelson Jr. doesn’t have time for distractions. He’s too busy restructuring the red-light district into an adult playland for City M and running the Hidden Gem. But when his companion, Avery “Ivy” Laurent, grows closer to Jack, an investigator for the Institute of Scientific Study, Candy can’t hide his jealousy. Nor his own interest in Jack.

Ivy is crazy about Jack, but he’s also in love with Candy. Ideally, Ivy longs for all three of them to be together, but between Jack’s nonexistent libido and Candy’s supercharged needs, Ivy isn’t sure how to make it work.

When Jack gets called in to help the City M police department investigate a series of violently murdered companions, both Candy and Ivy brace for trouble. But nothing prepares them for Candy becoming the prime suspect.

In a future landscape of corrupt government officials, brutal BDSM crimes, and a host of dark creatures, Candy, Ivy, and Jack must work together to find the killer, save themselves—and learn how to trust each other.

Pages or Words: 100,000 words
Should be read as a series
Categories: BDSM, Fantasy, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Ménage, Paranormal, Romance, Shifters, Urban Fantasy

 

Excerpt

Candy groaned when he realized he was the most innocent in the dark side of the world of the three of them.

Him innocent. Unbelievable.

Dom, whore, and pimp, he shouldn’t inch at the idea of death and blood, but he did. Fuck. Had Paris known how worthless he was going to be when it came to monsters, gore, and the supernatural shit of the world?

He glanced at Jack, sighing over his natural boy-next-door beauty. His dark blond hair was long, curling around his ears, and somewhat unruly. It looked soft, and Candy longed to run his fingers through it. He’d met more handsome men than Jack, Paris and Shane being prime specimens of men, but something about him drew Candy in deep. His eyes were a soft shade of honey brown, with specks of dark chocolate that glistened if the light hit them just right. He always held himself apart, shoulders squared, head high. Con dent, Candy thought. But every once in a while he’d get a glimpse of something lurking beneath all that bravado—a childlike innocence and fear. It was the little boy hiding his heart behind the badge that made Candy want Jack so bad. He wanted to take that fear away, show him that while the world might not be safe, he wasn’t alone anymore.

Had Ivy even gotten to taste those thick lips? Or experience Jack’s strong arms wrapped around him? Had he chased away the overconfident man and fearful child long enough to see the real Jack? Did Candy have a chance? Should he even care if his death was just around the corner? Fuck. If there was anything he hated it was uncertainty. Whatever Aki saw would happen. Candy had no doubt about that. If he was going to die today or even a year from now, shouldn’t he just live every moment like it was his last? What would Jack do if Candy threw himself at him? Kissed the breath out of him? Asked to be held? Candy growled to himself and shook his head. He didn’t know where to start, but somehow he was sure aggression wouldn’t be welcome.

Jack stayed on his heel while Candy wandered, but seemed to be inspecting the property himself, maybe looking for clues that had been missed by the police. He had this nervous habit of biting his lip when he was deep in thought. Candy had noticed it ages ago, and it drove him nuts. It was an almost boyish cuteness that made Candy want to kiss Jack just to stop him from worrying at his lip, but now he knew it wouldn’t be welcomed and it irritated him. His tight pants bit into his lling cock. It wasn’t fair to be attracted to someone so badly.

He’d looked up the term Ivy had left for him after his last client: asexuality. A lack of emotional interest in sex. There were a dozen divisions within the term, some even sex- or relationship-averse, meaning they were repulsed by sex. Did sex disgust Jack? Was that why he hugged himself whenever he entered the Gem and refused to meet anyone’s eyes? Candy had thought it was just shyness, and maybe it partially was. He just didn’t quite understand. How could someone be physically able to have sex, but not want to? If he asked Jack, would he answer?

Candy sighed to himself and headed up the stairs. Even the stairs were caked in grease and grime. Ivy had lived here for several years, walking those steps in bare feet. Candy didn’t want to see, but he had to get his mind off Jack. The nastiness of the Red Delight client rooms would hopefully wilt his erection. If he’d been home he would have found a spare moment with Ivy to alleviate some tension. Here there was nothing but sticky floors, stained walls, and the stench of years of cigarette smoke.

Jack followed him up the stairs. Neither of them spoke or touched anything. A door at the far end was still marked with the yellow paint used by the police to indicate the crime area. Jack rubbed his nose and grabbed Candy’s arm before either of them could make a step toward that door. “It still smells of death up here. We should go back down. There’s nothing to see, right? You don’t want the actual building, just the land.”

“Ivy is too free with information,” Candy said, somewhat annoyed. How was it fair for Jack to know so much about him when Candy knew almost nothing about Jack?

“He worries about you. Wants to take care of you.” “Funny. I’d say he does the same for you.”

Jack shrugged. “He’s a friend. I thought he was your friend too.”

Candy stepped into Jack’s personal bubble. “I fuck him regularly. We’re more than just friends.”

Jack didn’t step back, nor did he appear to be shocked by Candy’s words, which stole some of Candy’s anger. Ivy had obviously not been dishonest with either of them. Though Candy had never expected him to fully disclose his sex life to Jack. “Why does that matter?” Jack asked finally. “I’m friends with Shane and Aki doesn’t mind. I know they have sex often.”

Did Jack really not know? Maybe he didn’t get that Ivy wanted more than friendship. Hell, Candy would have liked to get to know Jack on a more personal level too, only his hackles were always raised by the man. He had this feeling that Jack would have to be the man of the relationship. The guy in charge, the Dominant, and Goddess knew Candy hated to give up control. Not that he didn’t like occasionally having someone hold him down and pound into him. Fuck, his head was messed up. And why did Jack smell so damn good?

Candy stood close enough that if he leaned forward just a bit he could finally capture Jack’s abused lip. When had he grown tall enough to nearly meet Jack eye to eye? And the strength of Jack’s hand on his arm… Candy knew it could hold him, maybe even be enough to restrain him. He sucked in a deep breath; his cock ached to be touched and leaked in his pants. It made him angry. He was never rational when angry. Paris had been trying for years to teach him to bury that wild emotion and had failed. Candy opened his mouth to say something scathing, only Jack spoke first.

“I never got to thank you for the book,” Jack said. “At least not in person. I’m sure Ivy told you I was grateful. But I really do like it. It’s like owning a piece of history. I’m in awe that you even found it.”

An odd mash of glee filled Candy’s gut. Jack liked the book. He knew that, of course, Ivy had told him so, but it was different hearing it from the man himself. The anger fell away. Did Jack really see him?

“The cake too. That was pretty amazing. I have the rest of it in my freezer. Been eating it a little at a time. Ivy helped me cut it into slices so I could freeze it and unthaw it as I want. I’ve never been a huge fan of sweets, but the lemon and strawberry mix is good. I’ve never had anyone give me anything. Thank you.”

Candy gave in to his need to touch and be touched. Even if it meant Jack shoved him away, he had to step forward, close that space and try. He leaned forward, not daring to kiss Jack, but enough to rest his forehead on Jack’s shoulder, arm loose around his waist. He kept their hips apart so as not to startle Jack with his erection. He almost expected Jack to step back. But he didn’t. His arms circled around Candy’s back, patting his shoulder lightly.

“The new hair color is good,” Jack told him. “Makes me think of flowers. Not that you’re flowery, but I’m sort of hoping spring comes soon. I don’t like the cold very much.” He seemed to be rambling now. Breathing a little hitched. Candy couldn’t recall Jack ever speaking to him so much. “More you than that brown I saw you with at Solstice. And I’m glad the jacket ts. When I saw it last week I told Ivy it would be perfect for you. I don’t know when your birthday is, but if it makes you feel better you can pretend it’s a present for your birthday, or maybe a late Solstice present.”

The clothes, or at least the jacket, had been from Jack? Candy wished they were in a better place. He would have shoved Jack against the wall and proved to him how great sex could be. Only he couldn’t imagine touching anything in here and not coming away with some nasty disease. “Thank you. The coat is nice. Warm.”

Jack rubbed Candy’s arms. “That’s what I thought when I saw it. That it would keep you warm, and the color is nice. Bright, like your hair always was.” He hesitated in his touch, but Candy moved closer to him, assuring him that it was okay. “It’s been a while since I saw you last. I hope you’re doing okay. I mean, I’m sure Ivy would have told me if you weren’t, but it’s good to see for myself that you’re looking good….”

Jack thought he looked good? Manny appeared on the stairs a moment later, saving Candy from doing something stupid, like stealing a kiss from Jack.

“Oscar’s finished,” Manny told him. He said nothing about the embrace that would have embarrassed Candy had anyone else seen.

Candy pulled away reluctantly. He couldn’t meet Jack’s eyes as he made his way downstairs. If he had, he’d have said something stupid, like ask if they could go back to his place afterward. Jack probably would have taken the proposal badly anyway.

Yohan didn’t look any happier. And the offer was even lower. Candy took the screen and added a small sum of money to it. This was their final offer. “Take it or leave it,” Candy told him.

“You’re ripping me off,” Yohan protested. “Just because you can.”

Candy shrugged. Jack took the screen and glanced over it. “Looks fair to me. The condition of the building is questionable. I noticed more cracks in the walls and ceiling than the building code would allow, even for an older structure. There’s substantial water damage upstairs, so the roof is bad. Probably should have been replaced years ago. And then there are the health code violations….”

“I’ll take your offer,” Yohan said, most likely to shut Jack up before he could air the long list of problems with the property. Oscar stepped in to get his signature and thumb print on several e-documents.

Candy couldn’t help but grin at Jack, who gave him a nonchalant shrug. “Everyone out to the bus,” Candy instructed the companions. “You’ll be heading to Cardinal Sins.”

“What will we be doing there?” one of them asked.

“Paris will interview each of you and find a suitable job. Most likely serving drinks, food, maybe cleaning or cooking. He’s pretty well stocked in companions right now.” And all of these whores were well past their prime. Candy would have to find out where Yohan had sold the others to. There weren’t many brothels left in City M, and he hated the idea of any whore being left to be abused by some asshole pimp.

“No more whoring?” another clarified.
“Not likely.” He ushered them toward the door.
Jack still stood between him and Yohan. Yohan had several bags

packed and there was a car that wasn’t part of Candy’s entourage parked near the curb. “Will you be leaving town, then?” Jack asked Yohan. “I’d like to know where to nd you in case more questions come up about this case.”

Yohan shook his head. “Not my problem anymore. That belongs to him now too.” He waved his hand at Candy and made his way out the door and down to the car.

There was another unmarked car parked across the street that Jack saluted lightly. The passenger window rolled up, and as soon as Yohan’s car eased away from the curb, the black sedan followed.

“Ino,” Jack informed Candy. “He’ll let me know if Yohan leaves town or hides out somewhere. I really do want to know where he goes, just in case.”

Candy nodded, a little shocked by Jack’s foresight. If Candy had been thinking ahead, he’d have put one of the guards on the task. It was just more proof that he hadn’t gotten enough sleep. He watched the former companions all board the bus and sent a text off to Paris that they would be in need of immediate healthcare as well as clothing and jobs. Oscar held out the last of the documents for him to review and sign. Moments later, with money transferred, it was time to return to the Gem and to Ivy. If only he could bring Jack with him. He knew for certain Ivy wouldn’t mind at all.

Jack stood less than two feet away. He was looking around, a confused expression on his face. “Everything okay?” Candy asked him. He reached out to touch Jack’s arm. Oscar was already headed back to the car when Jack’s eyes widened in alarm and the same instant something sliced into Candy. For a moment he stood there, startled, confused at the odd, growing, wet heat suddenly pouring down his back, and then the fiery pain that erupted from his back and through his stomach. Hot pokers seemed to melt through his body, driving mind-numbing pain to every nerve.

His breath faltered as blood filled a lung. He choked on the rising fluid and spit out a gush of red and froth. The world turned into a wild swirl of fading colors, all centering on Jack’s face. His expression was horrified, and then a moment later, Jack was no longer there and a black tiger leapt at Candy.

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Meet the author:

Lissa Kasey is more than just romance. She specializes in depth characters, detailed world building, and twisting plots to keep you clinging to your book reader. All stories have a side of romance, emotionally messed up protagonists and feature LGBTGA spectrum characters facing real world problems no matter how fictional the story.

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