Blog Tour: The Necessary Deaths by David C. Dawson

The Necessary Deaths
David C. Dawson
The first of the Dominic Delingpole Mysteries.

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Dreamspinner Press
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BLURB

A young journalism student lies unconscious in a hospital bed in Brighton, England. His life hangs in the balance after a ketamine overdose. But was it attempted suicide, or attempted murder? At the request of the student’s mother, British lawyer Dominic Delingpole reluctantly takes on the role of investigator, aided by his outspoken opera singer partner, Jonathan McFadden.

The student’s boyfriend discovers compromising photographs hidden in his lover’s room. The photographs not only feature senior politicians and business chiefs, but the young journalist himself. Is he being blackmailed, or is he the blackmailer?

As Dominic and Jonathan investigate further, their lives are threatened and three people are murdered. They uncover a conspiracy that reaches into the highest levels of government and powerful corporations. The people behind it are ruthless, no one can be trusted. The bond between Dominic and Jonathan deepens as they struggle not only for answers, but for their very survival.

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EXCERPT

“Mrs. Gregory,” said Dominic. “I would be very happy to have you as a client, but I’m not sure in what way I can act for you.”

Samantha smiled. “And neither am I just at the moment. Let’s call you a professional friend. I have no one else who I can turn to, and your legal mind will help me to see things a little more clearly. As you can tell, I’m a little emotional just now.” She turned away to wipe a tear from the corner of her eye. Then she looked at him steadily.

“Simon and I are very close. Ever since Richard, his father, died in a climbing accident, we have been a very tight family unit. I’d like to think Simon and I can tell each other everything.”

Dominic wondered if she was keeping up a brave front, or whether she really believed Simon told her everything. Her comments clearly contradicted what Simon’s housemate Jay had said an hour ago. Dominic decided that, as she was his client, he owed her the duty of honesty, and he should tell her about what he had learned in the last few hours.
“Samantha, I’m afraid I believe Simon may not have confided everything in you in recent times. I went to see John this morning before coming here. He told me about their relationship and how Simon was not yet ready to tell you.”

Samantha smiled.

“Dominic, I’m his mother. Do you think that I didn’t know?” She sighed. “I knew he was finding it difficult to tell me, and I was waiting for him to pick the right time. I didn’t want to rush him.” She paused. “But yes, you’re right, and I am wrong. Simon hasn’t confided everything to me; I merely know and am waiting for him to tell me. John is a lovely boy, and I was just pleased to know that Simon is happy.”

Samantha narrowed her eyes slightly as she asked, “But why do you think that means he must have kept other secrets from me? Surely you of all people must know how difficult it is to come out?”

Dominic blushed briefly. “Everyone’s circumstances are different, of course, and for young people it really is much easier….”

“Oh nonsense! Can I just say that I think it’s a bit rich for you to judge Simon when you’re so secretive about yourself? We spent nearly three hours in the car together last night, and I still don’t know whether or not you have a boyfriend!”
This time Dominic’s face turned crimson.

“Samantha, could we just get back to—”

“Well, do you?”

Dominic sighed. “I think it’s my turn to acknowledge that I am wrong. Yes, I do have a partner, and no, I am not very open about it. In this day and age, it probably is unnecessary for me to be quite so discreet. But after a while, it gets to be almost a habit.”

Samantha giggled. “Oh, Dominic, how delightfully bashful you are! I imagine that it’s rare you have a conversation like this with your clients.”

Dominic smiled. “Samantha, I can tell you truthfully that I have never had a conversation like this with my clients. You must meet Jonathan some time. I think you two would get on like a house on fire.”

 

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David C. Dawson is an author, award-winning journalist and documentary maker, living near Oxford in the UK.

He has traveled extensively, filming in nearly every continent of the world. He has lived in London, Geneva and San Francisco, but now prefers the tranquillity of the Oxfordshire countryside.

David is a Mathematics graduate from Southampton University in England. After graduating, he joined the BBC in London as a trainee journalist. He worked in radio newsrooms for several years before moving to television as a documentary director. During the growing AIDS crisis in the late eighties, he is proud to say that he directed the first demonstration of putting on a condom on British television.

After more than twenty years with the BBC, he left to go freelance. He has produced videos for several charities, including Ethiopiaid; which works to end poverty in Ethiopia, and Hestia; a London-based mental health charity.

David has one son, who is also a successful filmmaker.

In his spare time, David tours Europe on his ageing Triumph motorbike and sings with the London Gay Men’s Chorus. He has sung with the Chorus at St Paul’s Cathedral, The Roundhouse and the Royal Festival Hall, but David is most proud of the time they sang at the House of Lords, campaigning for equal marriage to be legalized in the UK.

Website www.davidcdawson.co.uk
Blog http://blog.davidcdawson.co.uk/#home
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/david.c.dawson.5
Twitter https://twitter.com/david_c_dawson

Blog Tour: Warrior Pledge by E E Montgomery

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Available from:
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When the two moons of Thalazar cross orbits, the Warrior Pledge must be completed or the cat-shifting Mafdeti nation will face annihilation. There are four who can save the people and their land: the Silver Shining from Rock, the Great Heart Farseeing, the Changeling, and the Pure. They must find each other before time runs out.

Silver-eyed Checa is Captain of the Guard for the Mafdeti. Thanks to the friendship and loyalty of Heath, son of the Mafdeti Matriarch, Checa has survived and thrived after a childhood of horrific abuse. He knows Heath is his Bond-Mate but refuses to bond with the younger man because he feels he isn’t worthy. Nor does Heath’s mother approve of her son bonding with a lowborn warrior.

Together they face deadly wing-strikes from carnivorous birds, earthquake, betrayal, ambush, and an enemy invasion, only to be confronted with the possibility that the Warrior Pledge will bond Checa and Heath to others. If Checa is to complete the Warrior Pledge, he must overcome the belief that he doesn’t deserve Heath’s love, and fight for the one man who can make him whole.

EXCERPT:

  1. Warrior Pledge

THE BREEZE dropped as the sun peeped between the mountain peaks on the other side of the valley. A shiver ran across Checa’s shoulders, and with a thought he deepened his slide from human to were and thickened the fur at his ruff. To the north the trees that followed the river were dry and brittle, more than half of them already dead. Radiating out from that line were patches of darkness and light, a camo pattern of toxic sludge and severe drought. Even this high up, he could smell the rot that had taken over the valley. The farms provided a patchwork of gray and brown, sliced unevenly by the sludge emanating from the river systems. Smoke curled from a few farmhouse chimneys, but most lay abandoned, their inhabitants having long given up trying to eke a living from the dying land.

To the east the sky grew dark as the norrgel took flight and headed south. Checa blinked to enhance his sight and watched the wings rise and fall, the deadly threads trailing from wings and tail, waving gracefully in the movement. Far below the first horn blew, its familiar sound picked up and echoed by other watchers throughout the valley.

Wings up. Time to find shelter or die.

Checa had never known a time when a norrgel watch wasn’t needed.

A parrot squawked. He closed his eyes against the growing light, and deep in his soul, the two moons, Makai and Nayeli, moved inexorably closer in their ages-old battle for supremacy. Another sign the prophecy was coming true.

Checa refused to be part of it. No matter what, he wasn’t going to be the hero who would save the world. He wouldn’t let his star rise on the back of another’s death.

His be-damned eyes had turned bright silver when he was sixteen, the moment he’d killed the Bastard. The judge had found out, proclaimed Checa the Silver Shining from Rock, overturned his conviction, taken him to the palace, and put him with the guards for training. None of his fellow trainees had believed he was the one. Checa was a gutter rat from the slums, a murderer. He knew how to fight, though, so that’s what he did. Every time another guard challenged him.

In the ravine below, a flock of parrots took flight. Checa shook his head and huffed in irritation. Even with fifteen years training behind him, Heath could never move anywhere quietly. Checa checked the norrgel, but they were still flying south, their screeches rising every time they found something to hunt.

Checa had killed for the second time when he was eighteen. It was an accident while training in the field, but his eyes had changed to silver again. No one challenged him to a fight after that, except when forced to for training. For a long time, no one spoke to him. Except Heath.

“Checa!”

His name carried in the still air, and an involuntary smile overtook him at the joy in Heath’s voice. Checa’s muscles twitched, wanting to move, to go down and meet him, see the morning light grow as it reached Heath’s features. Just that one sight would be enough to make Checa’s day complete, even if it hadn’t yet really begun.

He returned to his human form and counted his breaths to ensure he remained in place, sitting cross-legged on the platform. There’d been an unusual vibration in the air during the night, an unsteadiness growing louder the closer the moons moved, and even though he wasn’t a Seer, he had to determine what it meant. As Captain of the Guard, it was his duty to keep his people safe. Whether they liked or trusted him made no difference.

“Checa!”

Heath was closer now, the sound of him crashing through the brush a rhythmic counterpoint to his steady footfalls on the leaf-strewn ground. Checa allowed his posture to relax and straightened his legs. He shifted forward so his balance would be stronger, wiped the new smile from his face, and waited.

Heath burst into the clearing like a new spring bloom and launched himself at Checa. Checa braced his legs against the edge of the platform, opened his arms, and caught the younger man as he flew to him. They landed flat on the platform, the bare skin of their chests fusing, Heath’s sweat soaking into Checa’s chest hair and becoming his own. Checa oomphed as his head hit the stone and Heath’s landing knocked the air from his lungs, but he didn’t release his hold, and his smile broke free again.

Some days this was all he had. This was the best of everything he had.

He wrapped his arms around Heath more securely.

“Sorry,” whispered Heath as he snuggled his head under Checa’s collarbone.

Checa ran his fingers through Heath’s long, tangled hair, relishing the touch of smooth skin at the back of his neck. “You’ve been running,” he said as he loosened another knot. He lifted the now-smooth strand and released it. It fell like a waterfall of gold and bronze, copper and chocolate in the strengthening light.

“I had to.” Heath pressed his lips against Checa’s chest and inhaled before relaxing in a boneless heap. “It’s faster.”

“And you just had to race up here to snuggle?”

Heath nodded, then chuckled. “I don’t think I’ll get any more time alone today. And snuggling with you is always worth racing for.”

“So what had you in such a tearing rush?” Checa continued gently smoothing Heath’s hair, not in any hurry to break the contact he craved, but Heath bounced up to sit squarely over Checa’s groin. Checa groaned at the change in pressure and punched his hips up. Their loincloths prevented direct contact, but Heath’s every ridge and bulge pressed against Checa and raised his interest.

Heath grinned. “Yeah, that too, but you’ve got to hear this. It’s happening, Checa! It’s finally happening.” Heath bounced in his excitement.

Checa grabbed Heath’s hips and lifted him off, ignoring the pouting scowl he got in return. Once they were seated on the platform, with dawn washing its gentle light over them and the soft breeze returning, he raised an eyebrow and waited.

“Stop it.” Heath slapped Checa’s arm. “I’m not some test animal. You don’t have to experiment to see how long I stay silent.”

“Clearly not long. So tell me what’s happening.”

Heath leaned forward and pressed his lips to Checa’s neck. Checa groaned at the light suction. Unable to resist he dragged Heath back on top of him and gripped his asscheeks, pulling him tight against him. Heath groaned. They wouldn’t be doing any more talking for a while.

Times like this, when they were alone with little likelihood of anyone discovering them together, were rare. Checa slipped his hand between them and pushed their loincloths out of the way. Heath’s solid, hot cock pressed against his stomach. As Checa wriggled his hand, Heath lifted just enough to align their cocks, then pressed down again.

Checa wrapped his arms around Heath, not letting him slip or slide just yet. “Let me feel you,” he whispered.

“If I could, I’d brand you.”

Checa stilled.

Heath huffed an irritated sigh. “I know you won’t bond with me, Checa. I know my mother would never give her approval. But none of that changes the fact that I would do so in a minute. I’d have you wear my brand so everyone would know you’re mine.”

As Heath spoke, Checa writhed, unable to remain still at the possessive note in Heath’s voice or the picture he painted of the two of them bound forever. He slipped his hand between them again and grasped their cocks together, squeezing before setting up a rhythm that would bring them both to the brink.

Heath lifted up until he was sitting on Checa’s thighs again, his hands between them, slipping in the precome as he fisted Checa’s cock hand over hand. They stroked together, in tandem, their gasping breaths loud in the quiet of the early morning.

“Come for me, Checa. Let me see your eyes when you come,” rasped Heath.

The words were enough to set Checa off. With effort he forced his eyes to stay open as he shot stream after stream of milky liquid on his chest and stomach.

“Yes,” hissed Heath as he leaned forward, his gaze locked on Checa’s as he convulsed in the throes of pleasure. After a few frozen seconds, Heath collapsed, boneless, on top of Checa and snuggled his face in the crook of his neck.

“I think this is your favorite position,” said Checa once his breathing began to even out.

“Any way I get to touch you is my favorite.” Heath huffed, relaxation slowing his words. “I love the way your eyes change when you come. They’re so bright and beautiful.”

Checa resumed rifling through Heath’s hair, sifting the soft strands over his shoulders and back. Only Heath thought his very ordinary green-gray was beautiful. “Tell me why you came tearing up here.”

Heath jumped off, fixed his loincloth, and bounced around the clearing. “You’ve been summoned by the Matriarch.”

Fuck. They’d been found out. Heath’s mother had made it clear that Checa wasn’t good enough for her only son. He was going to be banished, or worse. The roaring red pain flashed through him and he hunched his shoulders and allowed the Change to take him.

As fur grew across his shoulders and his muscles bulged underneath, his incisors lengthened and his hips and knees articulated. He could run on all fours like this, in his were form, or he could continue to full cat mode. He could run faster like that. Faster and longer.

Checa jumped off the platform and flexed his arms to prepare for the full shift, only to find Heath in front of him. Scowling. Angry.

“What the fuck are you doing?” Heath shoved hard at Checa’s chest, making him stumble backward. “Change back right now.”

Heath. His Heath. Checa deflated. As his breath left him in surrender, so too did his muscles reduce and his fur diminish. The sting of it popping back beneath his skin made him shiver. Heath was right. A leader, especially a military leader, couldn’t run when something went wrong. A good leader would stay and listen. A good soldier would stay and fight.

He crossed his arms across his chest and gifted Heath with a scowl of his own. “Why does your mother want to see me?”

Heath huffed out a frustrated breath and looked over the valley, his jaw tight. Finally he closed his eyes in a long blink and breathed deeply. When he opened them again, his temper was restored even if his eyes didn’t hold the same joy they had a few minutes before.

“The summons is from the Matriarch. If my mother found out about us, she wouldn’t hide behind her job. She’d scoop my balls out with a spoon and send you to the norrgel nests.”

Checa sighed. “You’re right. I’m sorry. I’m just—”

Scared.

“I know. Me too. But, Checa—” Heath’s eyes glowed with renewed excitement. “—it’s coming. The signs are all there. It’s time for the Warrior Pledge! The Matriarch has called the Seer to the city.”

That’s what that vibration was.

Checa jammed his fists onto his hips and looked out over the Analee Valley. The Descendants lived there now, those born of the aliens that had landed a millennium ago and taken what they wanted—but once it had been the hunting grounds for the Mafdeti. If the Warrior Pledge worked, it would be again, but Checa wouldn’t live to see it. The breeze dropped along with his hopes. If Heath was right and it truly was time for the Warrior Pledge, then he had to say good-bye. He’d studied the legends and knew only one of the four would survive. As Silver Shining from Rock, it probably wouldn’t be him.

“Checa, do you know what this means?” Heath was so close behind him, Checa could feel him vibrating with anticipation. He turned to look at the only man he would ever love. “You’re Silver Shining from Rock. You’re the only one who has the eyes, and now that it’s time, that means it’s you.” Heath reached up and cradled Checa’s face. “It’s you!”

Checa had endured the fascination with his eyes since he was sixteen. He preferred disbelief. No one else had silver eyes. Everyone else in every pride throughout the mountain ranges both north and south of the Analee Valley had yellow or green or, in the case of the ruling families, brown. Like Heath’s. Checa’s were a common green, as pale as sun-dried grass, except when he killed.

“Checa?”

Checa ignored Heath as much as he could with him standing so close, his warmth seeping into his back. He continued to look out over the valley. “What signs have you seen?”

Heath sighed, a contented sound that let Checa know he’d been waiting to be asked. “The Chronicles detail a series of events that lead up to the Pledge. The norrgel are nesting earlier this year. Their numbers are double what they were five years ago. The Crystal River has dried up, releasing only a toxic sludge that’s threatening every life in the valley.” He grabbed Checa’s elbow and turned him away from a wisp of smoke at the far end of the valley. “I had a dream,” Heath said significantly. “Last night, I had a dream.”

“You’ve dreamed before. What was special about this one?”

“There were four in the dream, just as the Pledge describes.” He crossed his arms and lifted his chin smugly. “And when I woke, I was standing by the window.”

“The window?”

Heath nodded. “The one that looks over the valley.” He grasped Checa’s hands and squeezed them. “I was in Pledge stance, Checa. Pledge stance. You know what that means, don’t you?”

If it was anyone else, Checa could ignore them. Not Heath. Heath came from a long line of rulers and Seers. If he told you he had a dream, you’d damn well better listen. He looked down the valley again. “So… the Warrior Pledge.”

“Yes! And I’m one of them.” Heath bounced on the balls of his feet in his excitement. “And so are you.”

“No, you’re not.” Checa gestured to his eyes. “I have to be, but you’re not going to be involved.”

The Farseeing dies.

“Bullshit. I’ve known since I met you that I’m the Great Heart Farseeing.”

“You were eight. You couldn’t know anything that young.” Checa increased the derisive tone in his voice. He had to get Heath to accept he couldn’t be part of this. He needed to speak to the Matriarch and get her to forbid Heath to go. “And why would you think you’re the Farseeing? Because you had a dream?”

Heath’s face changed so rapidly Checa couldn’t keep up with the emotions flitting across his features. Hurt, certainly—again—but also anger. He saw that one clearly a split second before Heath hauled back and let fly, his fist hitting squarely on Checa’s jaw. Blood flooded Checa’s mouth as he bit his tongue, and he staggered back several steps before he found his footing again.

“Fuck you, Checa,” panted Heath, his eyes glowing wetly in the bright morning light. “Fuck you,” he whispered.

Heath turned and trudged back down the mountain. Checa waited just long enough to acknowledge he was a bastard, then ran after him.

“Heath! Wait!” He stumbled over tree roots on his dash down the hill. Heath must have shifted as soon as he was out of sight to be so far ahead already. Checa crashed between some trees, back onto the rugged path they used to reach the top. In front of him was a large, growling cat, his tawny fur ruffled aggressively. “I’m sorry,” Checa panted. “I shouldn’t have said that. It’s not true.”

The air wavered and the cat’s features blurred and shortened as his body rose. Checa sighed in relief as Heath allowed his body to flow through the stages from cat to were to man. He smiled at the graceful Change. “I love watching you do that.”

Heath strode toward him, fists clenched. “Why do you always do that?”

The smile evaporated, and Checa took a step backward.

Heath shoved at Checa’s chest. “You’re my m—my best friend. Friends are supposed to support each other, not lie.”

“Heath—”

“Shut up! What is it? It’s okay to spend every day with me but it’s not okay to acknowledge I might have a future outside this claustrophobic warren of caves? It’s okay to fuck me, but only if you make me feel worthless at every opportunity?”

“You’re not worthless.”

“Then why do you always tell me I am?”

“Heath.” Checa tried reason. “The Warrior Pledge is for warriors, not Seers.”

“I am a fucking warrior, Checa. You trained me yourself. Remember? There’s not one fucking soldier I can’t flatten if I want to, except maybe you. Don’t you dare try to tell me I’m not a fucking warrior.”

“You’re a Seer.”

“Yes, I’m a Seer. What the fuck do you think being a Seer means? It means I’m farseeing. I’m a fucking farseeing fucking warrior! How long since you recited the fucking Warrior Pledge, Checa? Or are you just going to ignore that because you don’t think I’m capable of being the Farseeing one?” He punched Checa’s shoulder. Checa rolled with it. “You think being a Seer is easy? I’ve worked fifteen years to get where I am: a Warrior Seer. All you had to do was kill the bastard who murdered your brother for your fucking silver eyes to come out, but I’m the one not good enough?” Heath’s voice wavered and tears welled in his eyes. “Fuck you, Checa.” He angrily brushed the tears away and reached to shove Checa again, but he didn’t make contact. The fight went out of him: his shoulders dropped, his hands unclenched, the breath left him in a rush. “Fuck you,” he whispered again.

Then he turned and ran down the path.

“Heath,” Checa whispered. “It’s not you who isn’t good enough.” The gusty sigh that left him as Heath disappeared into the forest took most of the joy he’d been feeling just a few minutes before. Killing Warden wasn’t the only thing the Bastard had done. It wasn’t the only reason Checa had spilled the man’s guts over the basement floor. After what the Bastard had done to Checa, Checa would never be good enough for Heath. But he’d do whatever it took to protect him, both from the knowledge of what Checa had done and from the dangers inherent in the Warrior Pledge.

He followed Heath down the mountain, slowly, no longer interested in watching the new day’s light awaken the lands.

 

 

A few months before

JUN PUSHED farther back between the rocks as the men in the tan uniforms walked by. Imperial soldiers on patrol. That wasn’t unusual, but this was the fourth patrol in this area this week. At least Fan was with them. He grinned at the thought of what he’d do to his lover when he finally got him away from his unit.

The soldiers clung to the thin shadows around the rocky outcropping. Like twists of dust, they slipped between the tall columns of stone into the only shelter from the unforgiving sun.

As the heel of the last soldier disappeared around the outcropping of boulders, a shadow caught Jun’s attention. He moved his head slightly, not enough to let the hidden man know he’d noticed him. An Exile, the detritus of the land, criminals and madmen the lot of them. When the man stopped and slipped between two nearby boulders, Jun edged closer, glad he was in were form. A thick black wedge of fur ran from the back of his neck to the crack between his buttocks, thinned and faded to gray as it wrapped around to his stomach. The fur darkened and thickened again on forearms and shins before thinning to nothing over his large square hands and feet. It helped him blend with the landscape. With luck, Jun would be able to move past the man’s hiding place and follow the soldiers without being seen.

Then the fool moved and Jun knew the man had spotted him. There was nothing for it now but to engage and see if he could get some answers as to why he was there, following an Imperial patrol.

Jun sidled up against the rock, keeping to the slim midday shadows, his focus partly on the soldiers ahead and partly on the sky, watching for norrgel.

As he approached the crevice where the Exile was hiding, the man grabbed his arm and dragged him into the gap between the boulders. Jun reacted, swinging the Exile around and pressing his forearm hard against the man’s throat. The Exile gripped Jun’s arm, his breathing harsh in the confined space.

“What the fuck are you doing? Imperial soldiers kill people like you,” the Exile croaked through the pressure against his throat.

Jun tensed. Why would the Exile be concerned about a Mafdeti? At least he was smart enough not to try to fight. Jun, like most Mafdeti, was a massive, heavyset man, his body rippling muscle and strength. He fought to win or die, and he fought dirty. The Exile didn’t stand a chance.

Jun relaxed his muscles so that all the Exile would feel under his fingertips was warm, soft fur. He waited while the man sucked in a tight, relieved breath.

“The patrol has been here since dawn.” The man tilted his head so he could see around the edge of the rock and out to the desert beyond. Jun knew there wasn’t much to see, just white and charcoal on black, the dark shapes shimmering in the heat, the landscape stripped of color in the noonday sun.

“That’s not a regular patrol,” Jun murmured as he crowded behind the Exile.

“I know. They’re searching for something. Or someone.”

Jun cursed and released the man, stepping farther back into the shadows. Had they found out about his visits? It was the only explanation he could think of, though he always approached the city from a different direction and never stayed in one spot long enough to be detected.

“Shit. How could they have found out?” the Exile cursed.

Every molecule in Jun’s body jumped to high alert. “They’re after you?”

“It’s possible.”

“Because you’re an Exile or…?” He left the question hanging. He couldn’t think of any reason a lone Exile would be in this area, unless…. “Are there others out there?” Drett. Was he going to have to spend the entire day rescuing careless bloody Exiles?

“No.” The man offered no further explanation.

Jun pushed farther back between the rocks. It would be relatively easy for the soldiers to find them. It wasn’t as if there were a lot of hiding places out there in the desert. Not on the surface anyway, but Jun had another agenda. Something more urgent. “Are you going to stay squashed in here all day?” His voice rumbled through the black hair hanging down the Exile’s neck.

The man shivered and took a small step forward, putting space between their bodies. He turned his head and whispered, “If we’re going to be that intimate, you’d better know my name. I’m Fisher.”

Jun looked closely at Fisher. At first he thought the man wore camouflage makeup but then realized it was the pigmentation of his skin that made him look mottled with patches of smooth ivory and darkest chocolate.

Fisher moved forward a little more to look out at the desert, then back to Jun. “I’d rather be stuck here all day than dead.”

Jun smiled, just the corners of his lips lifting, and leaned back against the wedge of rock behind him. “So, what are we going to do to pass the time?”

Fisher scowled and slid down the rock to squat in the sand. There was something not quite right about the Exile, but Jun couldn’t work it out. Why would he be this close to the city and alone, unless he was looking for something… or someone? Fisher had been following the patrol, not trying to avoid it. Jun didn’t need to know. He had an appointment to keep, and he needed to warn Fan they were being followed. He just had to make sure that he and his lover weren’t caught in the cross fire, whatever it was.

Fisher looked up at him and smiled a smile that would fool Jun’s mother. “I don’t know what you have planned, but I’m going to sleep for a while, then leave.” He lowered his buttocks onto the sand but kept his feet under him, like a soldier, ready to rise quickly. Then he closed his eyes and ignored Jun.

After several minutes, Fisher’s breathing slowed and the muscles in his neck and back relaxed. His head dropped forward, cheeks landing on his knees. The pressure forced his mouth open and saliva dribbled out. Time passed and Fisher settled more comfortably into position. Jun wasn’t fooled Fisher was asleep, but he was almost impossible to track once he was out of sight, so he moved past slowly, barely brushing Fisher’s hair, thanking the Elders he could move so quickly and silently.

Within seconds he was back in the scorching sun, following the patrol. He kept his steps deliberate and silent as he closed the distance between himself and the last man in the Imperial patrol.

The slip and crunch of a sandy body sliding against rock was the only warning Jun had before a tan-clothed arm shot out between boulders and dragged him into a small area. As Jun scented his mate, he swiftly changed to fully human form.

“Thank the Elders you managed to get away. I’ve been waiting all day.” Jun grabbed Fan’s sandy brown hair and kissed him roughly.

“We’re on extended patrol.” Fan was panting, whether from his flight to Jun or from arousal, Jun didn’t care. He was there and that was all that mattered. “There’ve been intruders spotted.” Jun fumbled at Fan’s belt; the buckle clinked as it released. A low groan from Fan covered the sounds. “We can’t…. The others.”

“I’m so desperate for you it’ll be over before they notice you’re not right behind them.” Jun dropped to his knees, nuzzling Fan’s groin as he tugged his clothing out of the way. Within seconds his mouth closed around the warm, silky skin of Fan’s cock. Jun sucked in a deep breath as he tasted him. It was like coming home. There was no fragrance, no taste that brought more peace to him or that he craved more.

Fan groaned, the sound muffled as he shoved his hand over his mouth. Jun sucked harder, fondled Fan’s balls, and tugged gently.

“Jun, wait, it’s too much. I’m going to….”

Jun moved his fingers behind Fan’s balls to the delicate skin beyond. Frantic thrusts jammed against the back of his throat as warm liquid flooded his mouth. Above him, Fan keened like an animal in pain.

“Yes,” Jun hissed around Fan’s cock.

“Jun!”

Behind the cry sand slid against sand. Jun stilled, listening closely, his own need to come forgotten at the threat of discovery.

“What is it?”

He rose to his feet and drew his mate into a quick hug. “Nothing. It’s fine. You’d better get back before they miss you.”

“Two days?” Fan’s smooth tenor sounded gravelly and breathless.

“I’ll be here.” Jun dragged him into his arms, relishing any time he could get with him, wishing things were different and they could be together all the time. He pressed closer, letting his gentle kisses tell Fan what he needed to know. “Watch out for a tail.”

Fan’s eyes narrowed, but he nodded his understanding. He righted his clothing and walked away, sand crunching against rock as he headed through the maze of boulders and back to his unit. Jun watched him go, leaning back against the rock, waiting to make sure they hadn’t been discovered by Fan’s teammates and listening for the man on the other side of the boulder.

 

Author Links:

Web, blog and free short stories: www.eemontgomery.com
Email: eemontgomery11@gmail.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ewynelaine.montgomery
Twitter: https://twitter.com/EEMontgomery1
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5347023.E_E_Montgomery
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/E-E-Montgomery/e/B008LO3SBA/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/eemontgomery11/
Dreamspinner Press: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/AuthorArcade/e-e-montgomery
Escape Publishing: http://www.escapepublishing.com.au/author/ee-montgomery

 

Blog Tour: Will You Be My Escort by Meg Harding

Will You Be My Escort
#2 in The Carlisles Series
200 pages
Dreamspinner Press
Cover by Reese Dante

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Buy Links:

Dreamspinner  

Barnes and Noble

All Romance

Amazon

A Carlisles novel

Jackson Carlisle has rotten luck with men and women, and after an especially bad situation, he takes a step back from romance. But with a two-week family reunion in Hawaii looming, his mom is determined to set him up with one of the sweet singles she knows would be perfect for him. A normal person would tell her no and be done with it. Instead, Jackson tells her he has a boyfriend. The only problem? He doesn’t.

Aaron Wilkes is an escort. He’s a little surprised when a friend’s girlfriend hires him to date her brother, but he’s had stranger jobs. Jackson is cute, and he thinks a fling with Aaron might be just the kind of no-strings-attached fun he needs to get over his dry spell. As they explore the islands together, their carefully laid plans begin to get away from them. Feelings aren’t supposed to come into play, but that shouldn’t be a problem. After all, you can’t fall in love in two weeks….

Excerpt:

Part of being in a large family means everyone knows everything. And it’s never forgotten, because inevitably someone remembers it. So Jackson doesn’t know how he hasn’t heard about the family reunion until he’s staring at the ridiculous card on his dark-cream tiled counter. Someone has taken the time to make a collage of the entire family’s faces and merge them into lettering that reads “You’re invited to the Carlisle Family Reunion.” He’s not sure whether to be impressed or appalled.

His phone starts to trill. He picks it up without looking. “Are you seeing this?” asks James. “I think I’m hallucinating it.”

“No,” says Jackson. “I’ve got it in front of me. It’s painfully real.”

The last thing in the world he wants to do is attend a family reunion. It’s a two-week-long affair at a resort in Hawaii (which would be lovely if the family reunion aspect was removed), occurring in three weeks’ time, during which they’re going to be surrounded by obnoxious extended family. It’s like something from a horror film.

“I don’t know why you’re complaining,” he says to James. “You’ve got a boyfriend.” He thinks about it. “Can Bastien not come?” He runs two businesses and works a lot, but he’s got a partner who can probably take things over.

“Bastien can come,” grumbles James. “He’s annoyingly excited for it.”

“He’s in for a rude awakening,” mutters Jackson. Bastien hasn’t met anyone outside of their immediate close-knit group yet—he wasn’t around for the last reunion. He’s probably expecting everyone to be like their particular branch of Carlisles. The extended family isn’t like them. Well, in some ways they are, but in others… no. They’re an eclectic group of people who mostly only bother to get together and converse for a period longer than a two-word holiday or birthday card every five years.

There’s a reason for that.

His call waiting goes off. He pulls the phone from his ear. “Mom’s calling,” he says on a sigh. “I’ll call you back.”

“Don’t bother,” says James. “I’m coming over, and we’re going to drink till we forget we’ve been invited.”

Jackson rolls his eyes. “You’re a drama queen.” He drops the call in the middle of James’s indignant squawks. “Hello,” he says to his mom.

“Hello, sweetie,” she says. “Did you get the invitation?”

He glares at their obnoxious collaged faces. “I did.” He looks closer. Someone has photoshopped a curled mustache onto James’s face. He holds the phone away from him as he snickers. Their cousin Bobby must have made the card. He hates James. “James has a mustache in the picture,” he tells his mom. “Did you see that?”

Her sigh is long and pained. “I did. I’m calling to let you know you have to go. You can’t get out of this.” She goes silent, but there’s something about it that makes Jackson feel like there’s more coming. He has a feeling he’s not going to like it. “I know things have been rough, since you had to move and all….”

And he called that.

“But I have a friend, she has a delightful daughter, and I think you two would really get along. She might take some of the pressure off the reunion? And I think it’ll be good for you. I don’t mean to worry, but you haven’t dated anyone since Angel.” He winces at the name. “It’s time to try again, don’t you think? Move on? We’re all worried about you, dear. I have a friend with a son too, he’s a bit older than you, but he’s got a nice job.”

The last thing he wants is to be set up by his mother. A sane person would tell her to butt out and hang up. Politely of course; this is his mom after all. Jackson has a short supply of sanity, though, and he’s been running on very little sleep for the last month. What comes out of his mouth, instead of “no, thank you” or “I don’t need someone else to be happy,” is “I’m already seeing someone.”

 

 

Giveaway: Paperback copy of Dinner for One

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Bio:

Meg Harding is a graduate of UCF and Anglia Ruskin University. For as long as she can remember, writing has always been her passion, but she had an inability to ever actually finish anything. She’s immensely happy that her inability has fled and looks forward to where her mind will take her next. She’s a sucker for happy endings, the beach, and superheroes.  In her dream life she owns a wildlife conservation and is surrounded by puppies. She’s a film buff, voracious reader, and a massive geek.

 

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Goodreads

 

 

 

Blog Tour: Taming the Wyld by Lucie Archer

Today I’d like to share one of my fellow author’s States of Love story. Please welcome Lucie Archer with her story Taming the Wyld.

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AVAILABLE NOW

Taming the Wyld
States of Love – Alaska

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Bree Archer

Genre:
Contemporary
Length: 35,209 Words

Rating: Adult/Mature

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Blurb:

The Witness Protection Program dumps JD Smith practically at the ends of the earth—in Two Pines, Alaska—to protect him until he can testify against a dangerous gang. He tries to stick to his story and keep his head down, but it’s impossible to ignore bush pilot Jake Wylder, a sexy loner with quite a reputation around the small town.

Flying medical supplies around Alaska suits Jake’s wild streak and love of freedom. He’s perfectly content to keep his romantic encounters casual—at least until he meets JD. Something about the nurse makes Jake think settling down might not be such a hardship. Now he just needs to convince JD he’s serious—which won’t be easy, given his past.

For a relationship to stand a chance, JD must testify so he can return to Two Pines as the man he really is—and Jake must grow into the man JD needs him to be.


Hello everyone! Thanks for joining me on the last day of my blog tour, and a big thank you to Renee for having me. This was my first tour ever and I had a lot of fun discussing Taming the Wyld along the way, but I wanted to wrap things up with a look to the future. I have several projects in the works, and so I thought I’d offer up a sneak peak at one.

This is the opening of my short story, Abstract Heart, written for Dreamspinner Press’s Love Wins charity anthology to benefit the victims of the Pulse shooting in Orlando. I’m super proud of it and happy I could help the innocent victims in a meaningful way. I hope you enjoy!


Abstract Heart
Love Wins Anthology
Release: December 2016

Nick Walters had a thing for abstract art. He took one random art class in college as part of his core curriculum, and a few of the finer points stuck with him. Of course that wasn’t the reason he spent nearly every lunch break sitting on the same bench outside the Pleasant View Museum of Modern Art before popping in for fifteen minutes to admire some of the pieces. No, that had a lot more to do with a very different kind of art appreciation.

“His name’s Kris, and technically, I’ve never talked to him,” Nick admitted. He’d done his best to throw Courtney off his scent, but his sister never turned down the opportunity to treat him like one of the suspects she interrogated on a regular basis. Sometimes he resented how well she did her job.

“Then how do you know his name?”

“Nametag.”

She smirked over the rim of her mug, mouth concealed, but he saw the amusement sparkling in her eyes. “And why haven’t you talked to him yet?” she pressed, taking a moment to blow on her coffee while he digested the question.

Nick sighed, fingers tightening around the warm ceramic in his hands. She knew damn well how hard of a time he had it when it came to talking to men. He had anxiety issues and problems with low self-esteem, but he did his best, practicing the techniques his mother’s therapist friend suggested that “normal” people took for granted.

It frustrated him when his own family couldn’t grasp how hard it was for him to initiate a conversation with a stranger on a train about the weather or comment on a random guy’s jacket without the heavy feeling in his chest trying to boil him in his own skin. And that’s exactly how it felt, pulse racing, palms sweating, and his shirt so soaked with perspiration afterward that he had no choice but to change.

Yeah, real sexy stuff.

“Seriously, Court? Do you know me at all?” He chanced a sip of his coffee as an excuse not to elaborate and accepted the burn his tongue received as a consequence.

“How are you going to meet someone if you can’t talk to people?”

He shrugged and took another sip.

“Really, what’s the worst that could happen if you just said ‘hello?’ ”

“Um, the Earth could open up and swallow me.”

“She said worst,” their mother interjected. She’d slipped in the back door and now stood in front of the sink, her hands caked in dirt from working in her garden. “I think that would be a dream come true for you,” she snickered. Courtney joined in much to his chagrin.

“I honestly don’t know why I come over here,” he mumbled to himself, shaking his head in annoyance.

“Because I feed you,” his mother replied.

She had a point, but he didn’t know whether food could make up for regular Saturday morning interrogations. Russell, his stepfather, saved him from further harassment when he joined them in the kitchen, but Courtney made him promise to at least say “Hi” to Kris the next time he saw him.

He reluctantly agreed. How hard could it really be?


There you have it! The aim is for a December release, so keep a look out. And in the meantime, grab yourself a copy of Taming the Wyld!

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Meet Lucie:

Lucie Archer is a student of the universe who is obsessed with the stars, in love with beaches, and crazy about dudes falling in love. She tells stories of romance, love, and life, with a little bit of passion thrown in for good measure. Because what’s life without a little pop and sizzle?

When she’s not writing, she can be found tending to her garden, playing with her four-legged children, or procrastinating. Although, she spends a lot of time fending off random plot bunnies that threaten to derail her WIP’s.

Website & blog: www.luciearcher.com

Facebook page: www.facebook.com/writerluciearcher

Twitter: www.twitter.com/Lucie_Archer

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Blog tour:

September 14: MM Good Book Reviews (https://mmgoodbookreviews.wordpress.com/2016/09/14/taming-the-wyld-by-lucie-archer-blog-tour-intro-excerpt-giveaway/)

September 20: Dreamspinner Press blog (http://blog.dreamspinnerpress.com/2016/09/20/taming-wyld-research-lucie-archer/)

September 21 – Release day: Tammy’s 2 cents (http://www.ttcbooksandmore.com)

September 22: Alpha Book Reviews (http://alphabookclub.org/2016/09/22/taming-wyld-lucie-archer-guest-post/)

September 23: My Fiction Nook (http://www.myfictionnook.com)

September 26: Love Bytes (http://lovebytesreviews.com)

September 26: Renee Stephens (http://reneestevens.net)

 

Blog Tour – Waiting for Patrick by Brynn Stein

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Welcome to my blog tour for Waiting for Patrick. I’m offering giveaways of one signed copy, one electronic copy, and a choice of one title from my backlist. Comment below and at any of my other blog stops (posted below) to be entered to win. One comment, one entry. Dreamspinner is offering my other paranormal titles (Haunted, Lifeline, and What No One Else Can Hear ) for $0.99 during “Weekend Reads” on September 2, 3, and 4, in honor of Waiting for Patrick being my ninth published book. Waiting for Patrick will be available at a discounted price throughout the tour (September 1 through 15). Winners of the raffle will be announced on September 16th.

Interview with Renee Stevens

Renee sent me some questions she wanted me to answer. Below are the results.

Quickly, give us the title and genre of your book and a 30-word or less tagline.

Waiting for Patrick, m/m paranormal. “Nothing is impossible if you’re willing to wait for it.”

Who is your intended audience and why should they read your book?

I guess my intended audience is a subgenre of a subgenre. People who read m/m romance, who also like paranormal topics, specifically ghosts, etc. I think Waiting for Patrick is different than a typical ghost story. The ghost is not scary, for one thing. But there’s a twist to the whole tale that I think paranormal fans will find fresh and intriguing.

Who is your favorite character from your book and why?

I think probably Sheri. She’s Elliot’s longtime friend who has a fiery personality. She’s outspoken and sure of herself and not afraid to stand up to, and for, her friends (or anyone else who needs it).

Is there a certain type of scene that’s harder for you to write than others?

Graphic sex scenes. I’ve been getting more comfortable with them and there is a lot more sex in this book than in any of my others. My oldest daughter actually blushed when she proofread it for me. In all my other books, I’ve tended to capitalize on the emotional connection more than just pure sex. There’s some of both in this book.

Is there one subject you would never write about as an author?

I doubt I’d ever write underage sex scenes. In my Young Adult book, Ray of Sunlight, the boys are both very nearly 18 (Russ actually turns 18 during the course of the story), but there still isn’t any sex between them. Largely because of CJ’s medical condition, but still.

Do you read your review? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?

I’ve been told not to read reviews, but yeah, I do, though I never respond either way. The good ones feed my ego for weeks! The bad ones, not so much. They used to really bother me. Over the years, though, I’ve developed a bit thicker skin. In some cases, the bad reviews seemed to actually boost sales, though (or at least a lot of people emailed me saying they bought it because of the mixed reviews). Living Again got blasted by one reviewer on Good Reads, but other readers spontaneously took up for the book, reporting that they loved it for some of the very reasons the original poster hated it. As an author, it was nice to see readers ‘coming to my rescue’, so to speak.

As to advice as to how to deal with the bad? Don’t read them. I’ve recently established the habit of looking at the ratings first. If it’s a 4 or 5, I’ll read the review. 1 or 2? Nope, moving on. (3’s? It kind of depends on the day). I’ve decided I ultimately write a story that I’m proud of. It’s my best effort at the time it’s published (though I think I’m getting better all the time) and I’m happy with it. I can’t please everyone, and I’ve decided I’m not even going to try. Sure, I love to have good reviews. But I try not to be too bothered by the occasional bad one.

Do you have a favorite conference you attend? What is it?

The only one I’ve been too so far is Rainbow Con last year. I loved it, learned a lot from the panels, and plan to attend it next year come hell or high water.

Rapid Fire Questions:

What is your biggest fear?

Spiders, or fire. Or maybe causing a fire by trying to burn out the spiders.

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

Teleportation. Wow, could I save a lot of time in my job if I didn’t have to drive from one client to another. And vacations? How great would it be to be able to teleport wherever you want to go? No standing in endless lines at the airport or driving for hours on end. And what I couldn’t do with the money I’d saved!

Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before.

Australia. Don’t ask me why exactly, given the size of creepy crawlers in the land down under (see above mention of fear of spiders). I just have always wanted to go. (Here’s where that teleporting would come in handy).

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Blurb

Architect Elliot Graham has bought and restored dozens of historic homes to their original splendor. As in his personal life, he loves them and leaves them, selling them off without looking back. But there’s something about the old plantation house he finds in South Carolina—a connection he can’t explain. He feels as though he recognizes the house, as if within its crumbling walls he might find something he doesn’t even realize he’s lost.

Ben Myers had promised his lover and soul mate, Patrick, that he would wait for his return. Ben has kept his word ever since Patrick left him to wait at the plantation house—during the Civil War. For the first time in many long years, Ben is no longer alone, and he reaches out to Elliot in dreams. Elliot tries to convince Ben that Patrick isn’t coming back, but Ben’s devotion is about to change not only his lonely existence, but Elliot’s life as well.

Buy Link:

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/waiting-for-patrick-by-brynn-stein-7518-b

About the Author

Brynn has always loved to write about strong male characters and their close friendships. When she found the world of m/m fiction, she fell in love. Finally, a way to bring those strong male characters together and let those emotional connections spill over into deeper relationships. Sometimes her characters go through the emotional wringer, but they always have each other.

Brynn lives in Virginia near her two grown daughters who support her writing and sometimes act as proof readers. Both of her daughters are also aspiring writers and hopefully it’ll just be a matter of time before they have their own author’s biography.

Brynn was a teacher by profession for thirty years. She worked in special education with children with emotional disabilities. She has recently changed careers and is now working as a mental health counselor to this same population and their families. When she is not working or writing, she loves to draw and paint. She also gets outside as often as she can, reads anything that doesn’t move out of the way, and is always looking for her next story.

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Contact Brynn:

Websites:

Other Blog Stops

Date

Blog Name

Blog Owner

Blog Address

September 1st Bike Book Reviews Becky http://bikebookreviews.blogspot.com/
September 2nd Drops of Ink Anne Barwell http://anne-barwell.livejournal.com/
September 2nd Snow’s Untangled Threads and Musings Snow Tigra http://snowtigra.blogspot.com/
September 3rd Antonia Aquilante Antonia Acquilante www.antoniaaquilante.com/blog
September 3rd The Story Struggle and Beyond Ki Brightly www.brightlybooks.wordpress.com
September 4th Thianna Durston Thianna Durston Http://mm.thiannad.com
September 4th Unconventional Love Stories Charley Descoteaux https://cdescoteauxwrites.com/
September 4th Misadventures of the Heart Heloise West https://velvetpanic2.wordpress.com/
September 5th Sandra Bard Sandra Bard http://sandrabard.tumblr.com
September 5th Tempest O’Riley Tempe O’Riley http://tempesteoriley.com/
September 6th Jackie Keswick Jackie Keswick http://www.jackiekeswick.co.uk
September 7th Chaos in the Moonlight K-lee Kline http://chaosinthemoonlight.blogspot.ca/?m=1&zx=8a3ea5613ebace1d
September 8th Grace R. Duncan Grace Duncan http://www.grace-duncan.com/graces-blog
September 8th Brita Addams Brita Addams http://www.britaaddams.net/
September 8th Cryselle’s Bookshelf Chryselle www.crysellesbookshelf.com
September 9th Emotion in Motion Elizabeth Noble http://www.elizabeth-noble.com/my-blog
September 9th MM Good Books Review https://mmgoodbookreviews.wordpress.com/
September 10th Jacob Z Flores Jacob Flores http://www.jacobzflores.com/
September 11th Andrew’s Blog Andrew Grey http://andrewgreybooks.com/blog/
September 12th Nicki J Marcus Nicki Marcus http://www.nickijmarkus.com
September 12th Rainbow Gold Reviews Marc Fleischhauer rainbowgoldreviews.wordpress.com
September 13th PD Singer PD Singer http://wp.me/puLP9-1bg
September 14th Our Story LGBTQ Historical Fiction Christopher Moss https://ourstoryglbtqhistoricalfiction.com
September 15th Renee Stevens Renee Stevens http://reneestevens.net/blog-2/
September 15th Purple Rose Tea House Charlie Cochet http://purpleroseteahouse.com
September 15th Open Skye Book Reviews http://openskyebookreviews.com/
September 15th The Novel Approach Reviews Lisa (Novel Approach) http://www.thenovelapproachreviews.com/

Blog Tour: Faded Love by M.A. Church

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Hey, everyone! As of last night I rereleased Faded Love. This is a short story I wrote in 2012 for an anthology centering around scars. I got the rights back when I demanded the rights back for The Harvest: Taken.

Recently did I decide to do something with it. I haven’t added to the story, but it has been re-edited, which it desperately needed. It also has a new cover, thanks to the wonderful Kris Norris.

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Blurb:

People often say that the true perfection of the human form is in its imperfections.

Obviously those people never lived a life of a model. Perfection is flawless. Desired. Demanded. Superstar model Ashley is living the dream. As one of the top models in the world, anything he desires is at his fingertips. Perfection on the surface hides human flaws, though. The one thing Ashley fears? Commitment. If it isn’t broke, why fix it? He and his lover, Will, have the perfect relationship. Or so Ashley thinks until Will starts pushing for more.

Then a moment in time shatters the illusion of his perfection, and Ashley finds the very basis of his existence torn. Bruised. Wrecked and destroyed. Scarred.

A near-fatal car accident leaves Ashley permanently disfigured, his career in a tailspin. Only his lover, Will, has a chance to pull him out of his depression. Can Ashley see there is more to him than just a perfect face? Scars can fade, but true love never will.

 Excerpt:

Chapter One

It was late evening when Ashley stumbled into his apartment and dropped his bags next to the door. The California shoot had gone well, but the flight back had been a nightmare. He had to jog the length of a concourse, while doing this incognito, and barely made it to the gate on his connecting flight. The damn attendants were closing the doors as he got there.

Then they ran into turbulent weather, which his stomach hadn’t appreciated. Plus his in-seat video monitor was malfunctioning and inoperable. Good thing he brought a book. But it did irk him that everyone else could watch movies and TV shows.

Ashley lurched to the bedroom and glared at the clock next to the bed. “Shit. I should call Will.” Ashley scrubbed at his face. He was stressed and tired. What he should do was go to bed, but he was too tired to sleep… if that made any sense.

He jumped when his cell rang and, recognizing the ringtone, fished it out of his pocket. Should he answer it? He missed Will, but lately things had been tense. He cared for the other man, probably more than anyone else in his life. The sex was good, and they enjoyed each other’s company.

Things between them were easy and loose. Open. Ashley liked the hands-off approach they were taking toward their relationship, which was why he couldn’t understand why suddenly Will was pushing for more. It stopped ringing, and he sighed.

Standing around staring at his phone certainly wasn’t going to relieve his tension. He could either get drunk then have to sweat the calories off tomorrow, or he could call Will and work off the tension that way.

It was a no-brainer. He unlocked his cell and called Will back.

Buy Link:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Faded-Love-M-Church-ebook/dp/B01KR0AMRI

ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-fadedlove-2090291-149.html

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/659768

Author Bio:

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

When not writing, she’s on the back porch tending to the demanding wildlife around the pond in the backyard. The ducks are very outspoken. She’s married to her high school sweetheart, and they have two grown children.

She was a finalist in the 2013 Rainbow Awards, runner up in the 2015 Rainbow Awards, and is a member of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

Author Links:

Blog * Twitter * Facebook * The Harvest FB fan page * Goodreads * Amazon * E-mail*

Blog Tour: The N’awlins Exotica/Paranormal series

Writing Book Series

Author Sharita Lira

Thanks to everyone for joining me. Today, I’m talking about book series and why they’re a double edged sword. Why you say? Well, for the reader they’re great! You create a world with multiple characters, focusing on them, what they do, and in romance, how they interact with one another to fall in love. I’ve heard it all. Readers love series because they want to feel like they know the characters personally as well as their stories. And they have to be long! YES, the longer the better. 200 pages plus, give me angst, drama, romance, and some hot sex to boot.

Yes, it’s great.

It’s awesome.

And then comes the hard part; WRITING IT.

Believe me, I’m a reader too, so I love a good book series. Sue Brown’s Morning Report, Mercy Celeste, Southern Scrimmage, Avril Ashton’s Sinners Series. Yes, I love all of these and that’s just m/m. And then I think of my own. My N’awlins Exotica and Paranormal, Under the Gun, The Wretched, and my co-Author series Wounded with Remmy Duchene, just to name a few. They’re wonderful. I’ve enjoyed writing them, but they’re a serious pain in the ass.

Why you say? Well, as much as I love all my characters, there’s a lot that goes into writing them. Remembering little details like their eye and hair color, how it was cut, was it long, short? The temperament of the characters, where they lived, what was the last thing they’d done, what do they like to eat? Are they vegetarian? I had this issue with Orrin when I finally wrote his book. Then I recalled he ate a ham sandwich in book one.

Scratch that! *laughs*

And then, making it more complicated when the characters crossover into other books, IE N’awlins Exotica where I bring Ryland there and take Kajika to Paranormal!

UGH!

There is so much work that goes into these and then, when you make them related you have to remember the backstory. What happens in the last book? What did Eli do to his last victim? What did Corey do to piss Nicolai off? I need to re-read it to find out. Yeah, now you see why the book series is a pain? Don’t get me wrong, I love em but, as I stated to Remmy, I’m going to try making them standalones from now on!

What about you? If you’re a reader, tell me about some of your fave series! Doesn’t have to be mine and if you’re an author, you can do it too, but tell me how you keep everything straight in every book? Do you make notecards on each character Have you plotted all 100 books in the series from day one?

Thanks for listening to me today!

* * * *

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The city of New Orleans is rich in tradition, diverse, and known for the inspiration it provides. In the “Big Easy” there lies the hunger for the erotic as well as the unknown. The residents here feel that sexual energy and it reveals itself through their various creative activities.

Join the characters as they take a wild ride on the edge, enjoying their town for all it has to offer. There’s a certain magic in the air, an erotic magic that cannot be ignored.

Books 1-3 On Sale 99 Cents until August 29th

Book 1

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Blurb:

New Orleans is supposed to be the big easy. One night changes everything for Frankie Choteau.

New Orleans. A city rich in tradition, diversity, and on the comeback trail from hurricane Katrina. Francois “Frankie” Choteau, a resident of this town, a cop with a hot temper and low tolerance for bs. Kajika Fortier, a transplant from Oklahoma came here looking for a dream and unfortunately it’s turned into a nightmare. On a hot summer night, they meet and cross paths during a very difficult situation. Despite this, the attraction between them is evident and loneliness for both men is a fate worse than death. They’d both like a chance at happiness but will the circumstances and Frankie’s uneasiness prevent their happy ever after?

Amazon
All Romance
Smashwords

Read the first chapter here

Book 2

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Blurb:

Livin’ in N’awlins ain’t all that easy…

Kajika Fortier loves his job, the attention he gets from onlookers, and Frankie Choteau. However, his new partner’s jealousy, mood swings, and over protectiveness drives Kajika to the brink but at the same time, excites him to no end.

To complicate things further, a murderer is on the loose looking for blood. All three of the killer’s victims are strippers which not only makes Frankie nervous about Kajika’s safety but leaves him questioning his love for being a homicide detective. Coupled with the stresses of cold cases as well as some fellow officers shunning him for coming out, Frankie is having second thoughts about staying in New Orleans. Despite the encouragement from Vance, Kenina, and Orrin as well as new chief Quinn Murray, Frankie is wondering if his life’s passion really is to catch the killers.

Will the new couple survive these new issues that impede their nearly perfect union? Or will the relationship fail, thus leaving Kajika alone and a target for New Orleans latest serial killer? Detective Choteau and Kajika’s commitment to one another is being tested in more ways than one and they only have one another to lean on.

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Book 3

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Blurb:

Living in the Big Easy is downright deadly especially if you’re a stripper. When another exotic dancer is found dead in her apartment, the heat mounts on Frankie and his fellow detectives to find the killer. Due to the magnitude of this unsolved mystery along with the LaBoy murders, tension runs high at Nineteen making it hard for all to breathe around the police station and sending everyone into a frenzy.

There’s no denying Frankie’s love for Kajika but in the back of his mind, hot thoughts of the mutual jerk off with Orrin Daugherty loom over his head. Though the feelings are mutual, Orrin wants nothing to do with this and pushes Frankie away. Add in to the mix his fascination with partner Vance Morain along with his severe case of blue balls and you got one hell of a predicament for these for complex and volatile men.

The men at Nineteen are burning with desire for one another and pleasure is beginning to be almost as important as business.

Will the sinful disruptions stop them from finding the killer roaming the streets of the Big Easy?

WARNING: Lots of lewd dialogue and smoldering sex between males.

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Author Sharita Lira:

In one word, crazy. Just crazy enough to have 3 different muses running around in her head, driving her to sheer exhaustion with new plot bunnies and complex characters.

This happily married mother of two beautiful children loves music, computers, reading, and still enjoys reading and writing fanfiction. She’s a proud member of the Erotica Readers & Writers Association, as well as an advocate for rights of LGBT citizens. She’s also a contributor to the heavy metal ezine Fourteeng.net.

For more information, please visit http://www.thelitriad.com as well as her Facebook fanpage, The Literary Triad.

The Literary Triad – http://www.thelitriad.com/
Michael Mandrake – http://tabooindeed.blogspot.com
BLMorticia – http://blmorticia.wordpress.com
Rawiya – http://rawiyaerotica.wordpress.com
TriadPromo – http://triadliteraryworks.blogspot.com/
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Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/TheLiteraryTriad
AuthorGraph – http://www.authorgraph.com/authors/rawiyamikembl

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Blog Tour: When Fate Falls Short by Brooke Edwards

 A Bittersweet Dreams Title

It’s an unfortunate truth: love doesn’t always conquer all. Regardless of its strength, sometimes fate intervenes, tragedy strikes, or forces conspire against it. These stories of romance do not offer a traditional happy ending, but the strong and enduring love will still touch your heart and maybe move you to tears.

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BLURB

Childhood sweethearts Nathan Maxwell and Sean Adams took ten years to realize they belonged together, followed by ten years of bliss. When it is snatched away, Sean is left alone with the aftermath. Lost and grieving in a world that doesn’t make sense without Nathan by his side, he struggles to keep himself afloat… until he meets Jesse Lawrence.

The shadow of a congenital heart defect has hung over Jesse like a dark cloud all his life. Nathan’s death saves Jesse’s life by providing the heart Jesse needs to survive, and a chance encounter between their best friends plants Jesse in Sean’s orbit. But how well can a love triangle between a dead man, his grieving lover, and the one with his heart beating in his chest possibly turn out? Real feelings and pure intentions might not be enough.

EXCERPT

August 2015

It’s the twentieth anniversary of the day they first met when Nathan doesn’t come home from running errands, and Sean is in a panic. He’s over an hour late for dinner, and none of Sean’s five calls has been answered.

Sean is staring at the entryway expectantly, knees bouncing with anxiety, when his phone lights up and starts vibrating across the edge of the kitchen table. Sean lunges for it and sees the picture of Nathan, a candid snap with his eyes crinkled in laughter, flash on the screen. He’s filled with a strange combination of worry, anger, and relief all at once.

“Where are you?” he asks, a little garbled and strangled as he holds the phone to his ear. “Are you okay? Nate, it’s seven thirt—”

“I’m sorry, I’m not him!” an unfamiliar voice, shaky and female, rushes to say, and Sean’s words die in his throat. “You’re the emergency contact in this phone? I picked it up and checked. It’s not a name, it just says ‘Light of your damn life,’ so I assumed but I wasn’t sure, and I’m—” The woman breaks off suddenly and makes a garbled sound of her own. “Wow, I’m so sorry.”

Sean feels a heavy chill weigh him down suddenly. “What happened to Nathan?”

“There was an accident,” she says. “A couple of hours ago, I think? I’m sorry I couldn’t call earlier, but your—Nathan, you said? Nathan was crossing the road. A car hit him—”

Sean’s chest grows tight. “Where is he?”

“Cedars-Sinai. My name’s Katie. I was across the street when it happened. I called the ambulance and came to the hospital after them. I—he must have dropped his things. His phone. It’s kind of banged up. I grabbed it and realized I had the emergency information, so I came after them. Sorry I didn’t call right then, but everything happened really fast. It was—it was pretty bad.” She swallows audibly. “I’m here, but they won’t tell me anything so I can’t give you any news. I’m sorry, but you should come.”

“It’s okay.” Sean stands on unsteady legs, heavy and unbalanced with Katie’s words. He glances around for the keys. “I’m leaving now. Thank you. I’ll—I’ll see you there, okay?” He hangs up before Katie can say anything more.

He swipes the keys from the counter and leaves their dinner, cold and abandoned, on the table. His fingers are trembling as he stabs at the screen of his phone, trying to find one of Nathan’s parents’ numbers while heading for the front door. He doesn’t know which one he presses Call for, only that neither Tania nor Richard is the one to answer it. Lauren’s two-and-a-half-year-old, Ryder, starts babbling happily into the receiver as soon as the call connects.

Sean catches himself against the side of his car, fumbling with the keys, and takes a deep breath. “Ry, buddy, I need you to put Pa or Gram on.” His mouth tastes sour with dread. “Please. Pa or Gram.”

Ryder continues to babble for a few seconds before he grows distant and Richard’s voice, warm as if he’s just been laughing, replaces it. “Sean. How was dinner?”

Sean yanks the door open and half falls into the seat. “Nate’s in the hospital,” he manages to say, and suddenly his whole body is shaking along with his hands. “He was late and someone just called me. There was a car, he was crossing the road, something, I don’t know. She said it was bad and I’m going now.”

“Cedars?”

Sean can hear Tania calling out to Lauren in the background. “Yes—yes, Cedars,” he says. The first three attempts at getting the key into the ignition fail, but the fourth try is a success. He leans against the steering wheel and fumbles for his seat belt. “Are you coming?”

“Of course,” Richard says instantly. “We’ll meet you there. Are you okay?”

“I’ll see you there,” Sean says and hangs up, tossing the phone onto the passenger seat.

A lump settles somewhere in the back of his throat. He coughs as the engine idles, swallows against the taste of bile, and tries to ignore the burn in his eyes as he shifts the car into gear.

“Nathan Maxwell,” Sean says when he gets to reception. His hands are still shaking, haven’t stopped shaking since even before the phone call, and he rests them on the counter. “There was an—an accident? Someone called me and said he was here and I need to—I need to see Nathan, okay—”

“You’re here for Nathan?” comes from somewhere behind him.

Sean turns and sees a young woman struggling to get up from one of the seats. Her long hair is piled messily on top of her head with a bright hairband, and she abandons her handbag and coat on the seat to hurry toward him.

“You—you called me?” he asks. “Katie?”

She nods hurriedly. “Yes, that’s me. They haven’t told me anything, but I heard them say they took him into surgery.”

There’s a spot of dark red on the collar of her blouse and a smear across the cuff too, and Sean’s knees buckle a little. He forces one foot out in a half step just to stay upright.

Katie reaches out hesitantly and grips his forearm with strong fingers. “Surgery is good,” she says, and Sean almost laughs at the wavering conviction in her voice. She grips harder and repeats it. “Surgery is good.” Her voice is steadier. “Means he’s fighting, right?”

Sean doesn’t know what to say to that, so he just nods and tries desperately to ignore the fact that Nathan’s blood is on her blouse. He turns back to the reception counter. “Nathan Maxwell,” he repeats. “Please.”

The woman behind the desk gets up and comes around the desk. He doesn’t realize how badly he’s shaking until she puts a hand under the elbow of his other arm to get a solid grip and has to hold on as tightly as Katie is.

“This way, sir.”

AUTHOR BIO

Author, dreamer, fangirl and foodie – twenty-something Brooke Edwards will always call Australia home no matter where the wanderlust takes her. Her tertiary education bounced from history and linguistics to criminology and history and even went as far as nutrition and sports/exercise science. Making ends meet through a similarly wide variety of jobs from education, retail, fitness, hospitality and finance means she never has any shortage of inspiration for characters or their adventures. Writing, closely followed by the culinary arts, has been her longest-running and most consistent passion and her greatest dream would be to one day not have to do anything else but write. Until then, she can probably be found in a caffeine-induced haze either behind her computer or in the kitchen.

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Blog Tour: Cosmic Inception by Alicia Nordwell

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So many tour stops, so many planets, so much fun! As today is the end of the Release Tour for Cosmic Inception, I wanted to share a bit about where it all began: Caeorleia. There’s nothing like seeing the story come alive in your head, but I always like to see what authors of my favorite stories have in mind when it comes to settings or characters. I’ve shared two other planets with you during this tour, so I couldn’t leave Caeorleia out. In the past I’ve included images to represented different elements from Caeorleia, but these really bring to life what I see when I write about the planet. Enjoy!

Agravali flowers Pre-explosion

                     Agravali flowers Pre-explosion

Caeorleia Jungle

Caeorleian Jungle

Caeorleia from Space

Caeorleia from Space – Protected by the bio net

Their journey will span the universe and back, but there’s no guarantee they’ll make it together.

Though Nick and Fieo are drawn to each other, their relationship has never been easy. Their differences go beyond their races, but they’ve managed to work together to prevent the spread of corruption, growing closer along the way. Nick still battles the effects of years of loneliness, fear, and pain but surprises everyone when he refuses to stay behind when Fieo is sent on a vital mission to find the Collectors. Fieo objects, but there’s no stopping Nick when he sets his mind to something. Over the course of their mission, it becomes clear Nick is more than anyone ever imagined, but the mystery of his past threatens to derail his future.

The search for the truth will take Fieo and Nick far from Caeorleia, to worlds both familiar and completely alien, and put stress on their already tenuous relationship. It’s a journey that will either tear them apart or finally bring them together.

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press Cover Artist: Christine Griffin
Length: 288 Pages, 110.5k

Buy Links:



Where to Find More from Alicia Nordwell

Alicia Nordwell is one of those not so rare creatures, a reader turned writer. Striving to find something interesting to read one day, she decided to write what she wanted instead. Then the voices started … Yep, not only does she talk about herself in the third person for bios, she has voices in her head constantly clamoring to get out.

Fortunately for readers, with the encouragement of her family and friends, she decided for her own sanity to keep writing. Now you can find her stories both free and e-published! She can be found quite often at her blog, where she has a lot of free fiction for readers to enjoy or working hard, or maybe hardly working, as an admin on GayAuthors.org under her online nickname, Cia.

Oh yeah, she’s a wife, mom of two, and lives in the dreary, yet ideal for her redhead complexion, Pacific Northwest. Except for when she disappears into one of the many worlds in her head, of course!

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7-28: Cia’s Stories: Winners Revealed!

Blog Tour: Love Is Love Poetry Anthology – Various Authors

A collection of poems composed by over fifty authors

in aid of the victims and survivors of the Orlando Pulse Attack.

 

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On June 12, 2016, the most horrendous mass shooting in US history and an unfathomable act of hate was directed at the LGBT community in Orlando. The horror of this tragedy reverberated around the world, leaving millions shocked and appalled at the senseless violence that destroyed so many innocent lives.

In a display of solidarity with the victims and survivors of the Pulse nightclub shooting, a group of LGBTQ+ and straight allies, from all across the globe, came together to produce a collection of poems in celebration of love and acceptance.

The resulting Love is Love Poetry Anthology is dedicated to the families and victims of the shooting and all proceeds of this work will be donated to Equality Florida’s Pulse Victims Fund.

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In this small way, the authors, along with the readers who purchase this work, seek to contribute to the lives of those who still suffer from the consequences of the malice directed toward them, and offer some positivity and compassion in the face of such bigotry.

Contributing Authors:

AC Benus, Aditus, Andrew Jericho, Ann Anderson, Ash Marie, Asta Idonea, Betti Gefecht, Cam Kennedy, Cynus Eldranai, Darren White, dughlas, Eddy LeFey, Eden Winters, EmiGS Em, F.E. Feeley Jr., Gelybi , Headstall, Jack L. Pyke, Jana Denardo, Jason Frazier, Jay Rookwood, J.L. Merrow, Karina Rye, Kathy Griffith, Kay Ellis, Kaye P. Hallows, Kit Loffstadt, Laura B. Damone, Layla Dorine, Lily G. Blunt, L.J. Harris, L.M. Somerton, Louis Stevens, L.S.K Harris, L.V. Lloyd, Lynn Michaels, Maggie Chatterton, Maria Siopis, Monika De Giorgi, Parker Owens, Patricia Nelson, Pelaam, Petra Howard, Ravyn Bryce, Rick R. Reed, Ruski, Valik and Addy, S.J. Davis, Skylar M. Cates, Star Brady, Steve Baldry, Susan Crane, Tamara Miles, Tash Hatzipetrou, Tim Landon, Tracy Gee, Vicki Tubridy, Victoria Kinnaird, and Wendy Rathbone.

 

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Sincere thanks go to everyone who contributed their time, energy, and skills in the making of this beautiful anthology.

Special thanks also go to Jay Aheer (Simply Defined Art) for the fabulous cover art,

Kelly O’Brien for the ‘Love Wins’ artwork,

and Petra Howard and Tash Hatzipetrou for proofreading the final document.

 

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Many thanks to Kelly O’Brien for contributing the

“Love Wins’ artwork.

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