Love Christmas Romances? Check Out the New Release Blitz for Peter Cratchit’s Christmas Carol by Drew Marvin Frayne (excerpt and giveaway)

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Title: Peter Cratchit’s Christmas Carol

Author: Drew Marvin Frayne

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: November 18, 2019

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 36100

Genre: Historical Holiday, LGBT, Christmas, romance, fairy tale, businessmen, ghost, prostitution, poverty, 19th century England, pirates, tear-jerker, time travel

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Synopsis

Peter Cratchit, a young lad preparing to make his way in the world, is the eldest son of Scrooge’s lowly clerk Bob Cratchit. Peter flourishes under the tutelage of his “Uncle” Scrooge and seeks to make his mark as a man of business, like his uncle before him.

One Christmas Eve, as Scrooge lays dying, Peter embarks on a risky ocean voyage that he believes will secure the future for his family. Onboard, Peter finds love, happiness, and success, only to lose it all by the voyage’s end.

Returning to London, Peter shuns his family and instead finds himself living on the streets, haunted by his failures and his dead lover, selling his body just to survive while he waits for the winter cold to claim him once and for all. But winter snows also mean Christmas is coming, and for the Cratchit family, Christmas is a time of miracles. Can a visit from three familiar spirits change Peter’s life again? Is there one more miracle in store for the lost son of one of Dickens’ most enduring families?

Excerpt

Peter Cratchit’s Christmas Carol
Drew Marvin Frayne © 2019
All Rights Reserved

Scrooge was dead: to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. He died some two years past on this very day, Christmas Eve. I would it were not so; yet I suspect the old man would not agree. He became rather infirm at the end, frail and forgetful, and though he did his best to remain cheerful, I know he hated to show weakness of any kind. It wasn’t a matter of pride, nor vanity; no, it wasn’t for his sake that he cared so. It was that, as he himself often said, he had become a sort of safeguard, a protector, to his family and to his community, and he hated the thought of us carrying on without him there, watching over us all. And we, of course, would clasp his hand and tell him that he would be looking over us in the next life, and that such thoughts brought us great comfort, and they should bring him great comfort too. And he would sigh, and agree with us, and settle in, at least for a while, until another great spasm wracked his breast, and his chest would heave with immense, raggedy gasps for air, and his worries arose all over again.

He died a good death, if it could be said that any death should be regarded as good. Though I have not spent nearly as many years as Scrooge did on this planet, I have knocked about a bit, and circumstance has shown me both great fortune and great tragedy. And as such, I have come to believe there is no good death to be had in this world. I have seen many poor wretches, past all hope of recovery from whatever it was that ailed them—whether it be an infliction of the body or the soul—beg for death, pray for it, and have watched it come in many guises, be it the cold, or the cough, or the cutthroat. I have seen their prayers answered, even if those answers came in some form of pain they had never envisioned. And yet I say, when the end did finally come, each and every one begged to stay, begged for their final breath to be forestalled, begged to live for even one moment more. Yea, though I have been on this world for less than a quarter of a century, I have come to know its horrors and have learned the greatest horror of all is that there is no world, no life, beyond this one.

Scrooge would not have agreed with this; oft he told us the tale of his visitation by his old friend, Jacob Marley, dead seven years in the grave before his return, and the further visitations by the three spirits who haunted him, also on a Christmas Eve. To Scrooge, there was no greater evidence of providence than this, and he lived such feelings in his heart for the rest of his life. I was glad of it; we all were, all of London town, though those of us who were closest to him felt his change of heart and his largesse most keenly. And many was the time, as a young man, on a Christmas Eve like this one, I sat cross-legged on the floor at Scrooge’s feet and listened to his tales of Christmas ghosts and astonishing spirits, of visitations to the past, and of the wondrous things that are yet to come.

Yet even then, I was a skeptic. After his tale was complete, Old Scrooge, as wise at reading faces as he was at managing his business, would frequently tousle my hair and tell me, “Young Master Peter, you must have the conviction of your faith. It is not enough to simply believe; you must know Christmas, and keep it in your heart all the year long.” Such words were enough for Tim and for the others; but I, I would only smile, and say, “Yes, Uncle Scrooge,” in a manner and tone that were always respectful, but that the cunning old man also knew to be mollifying. And Scrooge would then bend quite low—for he was a tall, wizened old fellow, and I have always been inclined to be undersized—and he would say to me, “You must not fear the world so much, Peter Cratchit.” And I would nod, and he would pat my cheek, or sometimes playfully pinch my nose. But what he meant by those words, I cannot say. In my experience, there is much to fear in this world, and much calamity the world will set upon the unwary soul who is not ever vigilant.

A growl in my stomach disturbed my thoughts. Time to dispense with these ruminations on the past; I was hungry. I willed my body out of its bed, a small recess in the side of a crumbling brick building used for the storage of livestock, a cramped pen to house the beasts before they were led to slaughter. The recess provided some shelter from the elements; there had been rain last night, so it was useful to keep dry, though the rain had been only a drizzle, and the weather was unseasonably temperate for so late in December. That was no small mercy.

The recess had once been a side door, now sealed up, when the building had been used for some other purpose, long forgotten to time. The smell of animal excrement that clung to the building—and to those who worked or, like me, dwelt within her—was formidable, but it also meant the alley I called my home remained deserted during the nightly hours. Safety in this life often comes at great cost. Those who have suffered at the world’s hands know this lesson all too well. The men who tended the animals had assembled a small cleaning station, clean water and a strong lye soap, behind the building, and they charitably did not begrudge my use of it from time to time, provided I did not tarry, and they did not see me. I hastened in my morning ablutions and made my way out to the street.

There was a bakery on Saint Martin’s Close; it was there I would seek to break my fast. Every morning, my repast was the same: two hot buttered rolls and a small tankard of ale. The only difference was whether the baker would tally the cost of his labors on my tongue or on my tail.

I made my way down Carol Street to the main Camden Road. I used to live on this very road, as a youth, but far down the other end from those places where I now worked and resided. Camden Town was named for Camden Road; the road was the heart of the ward, bisecting it in the north and making up the entirety of its western edge. It was impossible to be in Camden Town and avoid the Camden Road. And yet, in all of my wanderings through this neighborhood, I always avoided the familiar façade of my former house, with its chipped paint and ill-fitted front door. I was more interested in the thick, oaken door that led to the alley behind the bakery, where the business received deliveries of flour and other such supplies. I knocked. Some days, the baker answered promptly, as if expecting me; other days, like today, I had to wait. He was a busy man, having woke well before the dawn to assemble his breads and rolls and pastries and cakes. His bakery was a small one, but he did a good measure of custom, enough to keep him in flour and dough and sugar and coal for the ovens. Still, he had only one boy to help him prepare the daily wares—in this neighborhood, even relative prosperity resulted in genuine poverty.

Whether the boy was his son, or some urchin off the street, I do not know. The baker and I did not converse on such matters. It was, in part, because the man’s well of English was so deficient that any conversation would prove inconsequential at best. I could not identify his native tongue, and he spoke only the English of a tradesman and knew the terms for barter and exchange, and little more. My own English improved greatly under the tutelage of Ebenezer Scrooge, who gave me books to read and provided college-trained tutors to sharpen my intellect. I was beyond basic schooling by the time our families came together; but my mind was quick and hungered for knowledge, and Uncle Scrooge filled it with book after book on all manner of subjects—history, literature, economics, philosophy, mythology, the principles of business. I eagerly took it all in, save perhaps the poets, who I found too disordered, too insubstantial, to truly relish. Still, for an occasion such as this, the silver portion of my tongue was not really necessary. It was my tongue’s other talents that the baker was interested in. I suppose, in the end, this, like so much in life, was simply a matter of business. I needed what the baker had to offer; he felt the same. Talk would only prolong the necessities of exchange.

The man finally answered and hurried me inside. In nicer weather, he sometimes took his payment in the alley, but he did not like the cold and the damp, so he ushered me into a cramped cookery room stuffed with coal- and wood-burning ovens. I had no objection to being enveloped in warmth; it made for a pleasant change of atmosphere from my usual status at this time of year.

I could see by the sights and sounds of his distresses that my morning patron was more harried than usual. His eyes were darting around the room. His gestures were quick, and rough, and impatient. He was a large, hirsute man, with a rotund belly and a gray, prickly beard, which, at the moment, was dusted in a rather generous supply of flour.

I was no longer fond of beards; I generally preferred smooth-faced youths, like myself, and not the wooly chins of older men, though, in my line of work, older men were my main custom. And this was business, not pleasure, and the baker felt the same as I, especially today. Even as he penned me into his back kitchen, he continued to bellow orders to the boy out front. I often wondered what the boy thought of our exchanges. Perhaps it was of no consequence to him. Perhaps he was grateful he did not have to provide a similar service. Or perhaps he did. Who can say.

Purchase

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

Meet the Author

Drew Marvin Frayne is the pen name of a long-time author (Lambda Literary Award finalist) who is finally taking the opportunity to indulge his more sentimental and romantic side. When not writing the author lives with his husband of 20+ years and their dog of 10+ years in a brick home in the Northeast. Find out more on Drew’s Website.

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Don’t Miss Out on the Review Tour and Giveaway for Broken News by Sara Dobie Bauer (excerpt)

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RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Broken News: M/M Mafia Romance

Author: Sara Dobie Bauer

Publisher: Self-published

Cover Artist: Quin Perin

Release Date: August 22, 2019

Genre/s: M/M Romance, M/M Thriller

Trope/s: May/December (age gap), mafia

Themes: redemption, first love, sacrifice, age gap, hurt/comfort, prostitution

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length: 62 000 words

It is a standalone story.

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Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK

 

 

Blurb

He was supposed to hurt him. Ruin him. Instead, he fell in love.

In the big, bad city, Eric West holds the reins. A mafia king, he is feared, ruthless, and obsessed with a man half his age. 

Will, his favorite whore, is young, beautiful, and the only person to ever bring him to his knees. 

Will is a man to kill for.

A man to change for.

But what if Will isn’t what he seems?

*** Broken News is a standalone M/M romance featuring age gap, detailed adult content, violence, hurt/comfort, and mentions of rape/dubious consent.***

 

 

Excerpt 

Miss Catherine paused. “He’s been waiting,” she whispered and walked away. The only evidence of her presence was the sound of velvet dragging on carpet as she disappeared barefoot, back to her other guests.

The rest was up to Eric. Of course he’d flown first class from London but hoped he didn’t smell too much like airplane upholstery and cheap wine. He straightened his tie and adjusted his suit. He ran the palms of his hands over his slick, blond hair and took one long, deep breath before opening the door.

The room was as he imagined, cast in shadows of firelight, and a man stood facing the front window. He had the edge of a heavy curtain raised as he stared into the city’s night. At the sound of the door closing, the man turned—if he could be considered a man. He more resembled a wide-eyed teen, but beautiful, so very beautiful. 

Eric sighed, smiled, and shook his head. “My God,” he said.

Dark eyes appraised him. “I could say the same.”

They both took steps forward, which brought Eric’s new whore further into the orange light. Pressed to guess an age—and knowing Le Chateau only hired whores at least twenty-one or older—Eric guessed twenty-two at most. He wore the body and face of a youth but bearing of a confident man. His hair was black—short on the sides, long on top—and shined with the midnight luster of a thoroughbred’s flank. His eyes were shining, dark pools in the firelight but probably brown in the sun. He had high cheekbones, an angular jaw, and skin the color of untouched morning snow. Despite the poised demeanor, he was small in stature and frame, dressed in a black suit Eric imagined had been sewn for him, stitch by invisible stitch. Despite all the young man’s beautiful accouterments, it was his mouth that deserved worship, possibly idols built: a mouth so full, lush, and decadent, Eric was already half hard.

He stepped into the stranger’s space, towering almost a foot above the young whore, and opened the man’s suit coat. Eric ran his palms over slim sides and thumbed at the tops of jutting hipbones. Then, Eric bent forward with his mouth half open and sucked one wet, gentle kiss against the side of his neck. He smelled like spicy cologne and scotch.

“What’s your name?” He ran the tip of his nose over the stranger’s earlobe.

“Will,” he said.

“My name is Eric.”

“I know.”

Eric pulled back enough to see a small smile on Will’s face. His teeth were white and perfectly, perfectly straight. 

“You must have cost a lot of money,” Eric said.

Will stepped forward and rubbed his nose across Eric’s carved chin. He practically breathed his response into Eric’s mouth: “And worth every penny.”

With that mouth so close, Eric was done talking. He slid one of his hands behind Will’s head and took hold to the back of his neck. His thumb was lost in soft black hair as he pulled Will even closer until their lips met. Eric moved slowly and savored the pliant softness. Will opened his mouth and allowed Eric’s tongue inside. Not only did he smell like scotch but tasted like it, too—something expensive with a lingering edge of vanilla. Eric’s other hand went to Will’s lower back and pressed their bodies together, which earned him a deep, delightful moan from his new toy.

 

About the Author 

Sara Dobie Bauer is a bestselling author, model, mental health speaker, and LGBTQ advocate with a creative writing degree from Ohio University. Twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize, she lives in Northeast Ohio, although she’d really like to live in a Tim Burton film. She is author of the Bite Somebody series and Escape Trilogy, among other sexy things.

Author Links

Blog/Website  |  Facebook  |  Facebook closed group

Twitter  |  Instagram  |  Newsletter Sign-up  

Goodreads  |  Amazon

 

Giveaway

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5 eBook copies of Escaping Exile, book one of the Escape Trilogy

3 eBook copies of my novella, A Lord to Love

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A MelanieM Review: A Step too Far (Too Far #2) by H.L. Day

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Two men. Three identities. An unstoppable attraction.

Desperate for his luck to change, Jake Spencer manages to land a dance contract with Dmitry Gruzdev. The job has plenty of perks, including a simmering lust between him and Dmitry’s hulking brute of a bodyguard, Mikhail. Life is finally looking up. Except as the shine wears off, it becomes clear that Jake’s stepped into a world of darkness and depravity where Bratva answers to no one and allies are not what they seem.

Mikhail’s hiding a secret: there is no Mikhail. He’s simply a front for undercover operative, Ryan Harris. A means to gain access to Dmitry. Ryan’s not stupid. There’s no way he’s going to get distracted by a pretty face, no matter how attractive Jake might be. That would be far too dangerous for all concerned. Only it’s not that simple and before Ryan knows it, the line between personal and professional begins to blur spectacularly.

Lust develops into more. Secrets start to unravel. Ryan’s got an impossible choice to make: keep Jake safe or maintain his cover. But how much does Dmitry know? The hunted may be about to become the hunter, blowing both men’s worlds to pieces and leaving them with nothing.

Can a relationship built on lies ever lead to love?

Warning: This book contains a seductive dancer prone to getting into trouble, a gruff man who’s anything but, and a villain who just won’t go away.

A Step too Far (Too Far #2) by H.L. Day picks up after the events of A Dance Too Far where Dmitry’s loses his star dancer (and much more), Valentin.  Valentin’s escape has left a hole in Dmitry’s organization as a cover, the lack of a dancer a continuing blow to the mobster’s pride and other self interests and something needs to be done about it.  Immediately.

Questions that Valentin asked himself in the last story were what had happened to Mikhail, the stoic Russian bodyguard who had finally risked everything to help Valentin.  And why?  A Step too Far gives us those answers and so much more. Including the startling information that Mikhail is actually undercover agent Ryan Harris trying to gather intel and take down a Russian gang. The toll of being Mikhail is becoming too much, he’s seen and been a part of to too much. And now Dimitry has tasked him with finding Valentin’s replacement.

Day actually splits this character into Mikail/Ryan, that’s how it reads for most of the story because he’s two completely different personalities.  One cold, ruthless, and trying to being sexless.  The other warm,torn, intelligent, with a conscious that’s telling him he can’t keep doing this no matter the end result.   We see them both.  First it’s mostly Mikhail staying in character, then a mixture, and then finally mostly Ryan as that personality becomes dominant, dangerous while undercover.

The reason why?  A young dancer name Jake who to his peril falls naively into the space vacated by Valentin because he wants to dance and needs an apartment to live, while having little outside ties.  The perfect victim.  Unlike Valentin who had been with Dimitry for a decade when we met him (and endured the abuse and control), Jake is fresh, happy, bouncy even, full of optimism and, trust me, the reader just starts to cringe from the moment Dimitry ushers him into his office and shuts the door.

Because this is a darker story than the first.  Valentin had figured things out in a decades time, had methods to deal with Dimitry’s twisted love and abuse.  But here Dimitry feels no love for Jake, he’s just a commodity.  And what happens between Jake and Mikhail/Ryan is one that develops more than once because its with different men, a neat trick, narratively speaking.

Mixed in with all this is a deep espionage storyline, a high suspense thread that will have you on your seat,  and a long, drawn out climax and resolution  that includes timely and perfect appearances by Max and Valentin to give Ryan and Jake the ending their deserve.

The one thing that did bother me, the lack of therapy for Jake, was finally given a brief mention, a rationale as to why it didn’t work, and what was helping.  I’m not sure I ever bought it , and yes, that was one of my issues in the first story as well.  But at least it was mentioned here.  That was a step up.

I tried to think about how I compared the two stories and decided I couldn’t.  That was like comparing the two men as dancers.  Totally different in so many ways.  I liked some things about this story better but really not the characters.  The characters in both stories are amazing.  And this one leaves me wondering if there is anywhere to go from here.  Just not sure.

But if you love your contemporary romance with raw sex, open emotion, some darkness and wild suspense.  This story and the one prior to it, which you much read before this one, are just the thing!  Pick up Valentin’s story and then head straight for Jake’s. Be prepared to  be totally connected and unable to put them down.  I highly recommend them both.

Cover art: H.L. Day.  That’s post Dimitry Jake alright.  I like the cover but truthfully nothing can match that impact of the first one.

Sales Links: Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 275 pages
Published June 3rd 2019 by Amazon Digital Services
ASIN B07SNCMDNW
Edition Language English

Release Blitz and Giveaway for Forgive Me Father by TL Travis

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UKExclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow with Kindle Unlimited
 
Length: 55,000 words approx.
 
Cover – Model: Kegan R. Ward | Photographer: Eric McKinney | Design: Mayhem Designs
 
Series
 
Greyson Fox – Amazon US | Amazon UKCurrently only 99c/99p
 
Blurb
 

Shunned and cast aside by his faith and family, Jamie is left to do whatever it takes to survive.


He comes across a group of kids in the same predicament, braving the streets of Seattle due to circumstances beyond their control. Lost souls who’ve slipped through the cracks of the broken systems society forced them into. Yet they still offer what little they have to him, including their home.


As time moves on, darkness surrounds him and when one of their own fall’s victim to the streets, Jamie wonders if there’s anything left worth living for. When his savior appears out of nowhere, he finds it hard to believe its real because he knows he’s not worth loving.


This is Jamie’s story from the #1 Amazon Bestselling book, Greyson Fox.


Potential triggers:
Sexual and physical abuse by church and family members, cheating, drug usage, prostitution and thoughts of suicide. Flashbacks of the abuse are present throughout this book. These are the opinions of the characters and in no way reflect the author.

 

About The Author

 

TL Travis is the author of The Sebastian Chronicles along with numerous other erotic novelettes (and many more in the works), The Elders Trilogy – an erotic paranormal (Vampire) romance novel series and many non-fiction articles.


In her spare time she likes to fish, enjoy all the Pacific Northwest has to offer, spin spicy erotic webs for readers to enjoy, and rescue any 4 legged lost souls she comes across. Since her children are grown and have flown the coop, she’s taken to spoiling her two deaf white boxers even more so than they were before.


To view TL Travis literary and photography works please visit her website at www.tltravis.com TL Travis can also be followed on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/tltravisauthor
Or via twitter at http://www.twitter.com/tltravis1

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