Title: Professor Adorkable
Author: Edie Danford
Series: Domesticated Inc. #1
Release date: September 18, 2018
Genre: m/m contemporary romance
Sub-genre/tropes: Romance, Boss, Housekeeper, Best Friends, Nerd
Heat level: 4 - lots of sex
Length: approx. 90,000 words
Buy it: Amazon
What happens when a star-gazing professor falls for his hot young housekeeper? One heck of an earthy explosion…
Professor Marek Janos's genius at analyzing stellar explosions doesn't apply to his own disordered world. Forgetting to eat, sleep, and leave his lab has triggered some epic personal disasters. When his family insists he hire live-in help, he discovers home life has awesome benefits. His new housekeeper's smile sparks more energy than a supernova. And the way he moves? It rocks Marek's galaxy.
Pete Schulz took a tough fall from his high-flying life in Hollywood. But how does a guy whose best skill is getting dirty clean up his act? His new gig with Domesticated Inc seems like a great first step. Keeping house for a nerdy young astrophysics professor is exactly the low-key, no-chance-for-trouble job he needs, right?
Living together is surprisingly easy for both men. And fun. And more than a little hot. It's when they're faced with the idea of living apart that the truly messy work begins…
“I made the mess,” I tell my housekeeper. “So I will clean it up.”
“Yeah, I know you can clean it up if given several hours,” Pete responds, his smile crooked. There are no signs of exasperation on his face or in his tone. No signs that he’s upset I’ve woken him up with the sound of breaking glass, and that his once-pristine kitchen floor is now covered with a mess I could have easily avoided if I’d been paying attention. “But it’s my job. Tomorrow morning your job is to go teach a class. You’ll sleep until eight, eat a good breakfast, and then be off.”
I raise my eyebrows. “That is exactly how it will happen?”
“I’ll make sure of it.”
“What if I want to negotiate?”
“Yes. Things can be negotiated in a democratic household, yes?”
I smile. “We have no dictators here. Or kings or queens.”
“Well.” He snorts. “There is that matter of your uncle signing my paycheck. But I get what you’re saying, I guess. What were you interested in negotiating?”
“Tonight I feel…antsy? Unable to relax.” I move my shoulders up and down to show him all this tension I’m experiencing. “I’ll go upstairs and sleep, but first I would like company. To hang out with you. For a while.”
His mouth droops as he folds his arms across his bare chest and stares at me. “So you’re saying you’ll let me do my job. But only if I give up my free time for you?”
“Um.” It’s cool in the kitchen, but my face suddenly becomes steam-burn hot.
Damn. I’m incredibly bad at talking to him—or any guy—I find attractive. Doesn’t matter where I am—Prague, Pasadena, Chicago. My language barrier isn’t about Czech versus English. It’s about my head versus my tongue.
What I want with Pete is complicated, not simple. But, as usual, I’ve said words that could be construed as—
God, I don’t even know what.
“You suck at negotiating, Marek.” He says it with a kind note in his voice.
“Yes.” I clear my throat. “I do.”
He sighs and runs his hand over his short hair—hair I want so fucking badly to touch. Is it bristly, soft? Would it sift through my fingers easily, or would it be like my hair and cling to my skin?
“I suppose we could listen to one Harry Potter chapter,” he says, lacking his usual enthusiasm for the idea. “But just one. And if you fall asleep or if I fall asleep or if we both fall asleep, it will
be your job to wake up and go back to bed. No sleepovers. That’s a rule that’s not allowed to change.”
I swallow. Ordinarily I would give him shit about the unreasonableness of his request—if we’re asleep, how will we know we’re asleep and thus breaking his rules?
But I keep quiet tonight. I know I’m pushing him. I know he’s beginning to figure out I want more than just his company. So much more.
If this were a work-related matter, I would get my way with a few basic words. Logic applies in my lab. When it comes to my personal life, however, logic rarely applies. Basic words never seem to work.
If I tell Pete what I really want—to take him into his room, to put him on his comfortable bed, to kiss his clever mouth over and over and over, to blow him until his sweet hotness spills down my throat, to hold him tightly and use friction to excellent effect (inside or outside our bodies, I don’t care) until we both come—then he would say “no” quickly and firmly, and quietly shut that detestable door in my face. And I’ll be lucky if he’s still around in the morning.
The situation between us is confusing. I hope this is more than just his workplace. We are friends. He’s my best friend, actually. And he’s the one who makes this place a home.
Occasionally, I have a hard time understanding…what had my language tutor called it? Nuance. Nuanced meanings. Pete and I have a lot of nuances happening between us.
“One chapter would be good,” I tell him. “Chapter Twelve. ‘The Tri-wizard Tournament.’ I need to know all about it.”
He nods and tips his head toward the open door to his suite. “I’ll meet you in there.”
My heart bounces around in my chest—more zaps from that ionizer—but my head doesn’t like the take-care-of-business look on Pete’s face. No smile, no teasing, no dancing notes to the way his boots clap against the tile floor. He checks the locks and the deadbolts on the back door and walks toward his room.
He glances at his doorway and then me, his eyebrows rising. He looks as though he’s holding his breath, maybe holding back a sigh.
Maybe it would be better to give him space tonight. Better for me to be apart from what I want so much, but can’t have. I should walk away, go back to my room without bothering Pete.
My damp toes stick to the cold floor. I want to be more than a job for him. I want to be more than some guy he feels sorry for, some guy who can’t even say what he wants.
I walk over to the sink and retrieve a glass from the nearby cabinet. I fill the glass half full at the tap and then drink. I set it down carefully. The water is cold, but my skin feels hot. I can feel Pete watching me, waiting.
My eyes shift to the hallway. But my feet carry me toward Pete.
About the author:
Edie lives in Vermont with her husband, two sons, and random creatures that might or might not be pets. She loves libraries (where she's found play, work, and love since she was a kid), long walks (unless ice is involved), lewd language (in the right context), luscious romance (of any variety), and alliteration.
Title: Love Spell
Author: Mia Kerick
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release date: September 17, 2018
Cover artist: Natasha Snow
Genre: m/m contemporary young adult romance
Sub-genre/tropes: non-binary, bullying, homophobia, coming-of-age, humorous
Heat level: 1 - no sex
Length: approx. 43,300 words
Chance César is fabulously gay, but his gender identity—or, as he phrases it, “being stuck in the gray area between girl and boy”—remains confusing. Nonetheless, he struts his stuff on the catwalk in black patent leather pumps and a snug-in-all-the-right (wrong)-places orange tuxedo as the winner of this year’s Miss (ter) Harvest Moon Festival. He rules supreme at the local Beans and Greens Farm’s annual fall celebration, serenaded by the enthusiastic catcalls of his BFF, Emily Benson.
Although he refuses to visually fade into the background of his rural New Hampshire town, Chance is socially invisible—except when being tormented by familiar bullies. But sparks fly when Chance, Pumpkin Pageant Queen, meets Jasper (Jazz) Donahue, winner of the Pumpkin Carving King contest. Chance wants to be noticed and admired and romantically embraced by Jazz, in all of his neon-orange-haired glory.
And so at a sleepover, Chance and Emily conduct intense, late-night research, and find an online article: “Ten Scientifically Proven Ways to Make a Man Fall in Love With You.” Along with a bonus love spell thrown in for good measure, it becomes the basis of their strategy to capture Jazz’s heart.
But will this “no-fail” plan work? Can Chance and Jazz fall under the fickle spell of love?
Mia Kerick © 2018
All Rights Reserved
Shine On, Harvest Moon
Just call me brazen.
It occurs to me that brazen—unabashedly bold and without an inkling of shame—is the perfectly appropriate word to describe moi right about now. It is, however, the only perfectly appropriate part of this evening. Which is perfectly appropriate, in my humble opinion. So get over it.
I lift my chin just enough to stop the stiff orange spikes of glitter-gelled hair from flopping forward onto my forehead. Who can blame me? These spikes are razor sharp—best they stay upright on my head where they belong. And gravity can only do so much to that end.
Okaaaayyyy…sidetracked much? Forces rebellious thoughts on business at hand.
Chance César is a brazen B.
I stare ’em down, but only after I pop the collar of the blinding “Orange Crush” tuxedo I’m rockin’ and shrug my shoulders in a sort of what-the-fuck fashion. Rule of thumb in this queen’s life—first things must always come first.
Pop, shrug, and only then is it kosher to stare. I clear my throat.
“Eat your ginger-haired heart out, Ed Sheeran.”
Based on the buzz of scandalized chatter blowing about in the crisp evening breeze, I’m reasonably certain that nobody in the crowd heard me speak. And although several of the girls currently gawking at me may do double backflips over my red-haired counterpart across the pond, they don’t give a rat’s ass about Chance César. In fact, I have a sneaking suspicion that they view my atomic tangerine locks as more reminiscent of Bozo the Clown than of the smexy singer-songwriter.
They are, however, completely unaware that this carrot top is going to make Harvest Moon Festival history tonight.
Refusing to succumb to the impulse to duck my head, I take a single shaky step forward onto the stage that’s been set up on the dusty ground beside a vast—by New England standards—cornfield. The stage doesn’t wobble, but my knees sure as shit do. Okay, I’m an honest diva and I tell it like it is. And I’m what you might call a freaking wreck.
Nonetheless, this brazen B takes a deep breath, blows it out in a single gush, and starts to strut. This boy’s werkin’ it.
Smi-zeee!! Yeah, my smile is painted on, just like my trousers.
Chance, you are by far the edgiest Miss Harvest Moon this ramshackle town has ever had the good fortune to gaze upon. I am a major fan of positive self-talk.
Using the feigned British accent I’ve perfected—thanks to long hours of tedious practice in my bathroom—I dish out my next thought aloud. “I wish I’d put in a tad more practice walking in these bloody heels before going public in ’em.” And despite one slight stumble—a close call to be sure—the clicking sound my pumps make is crisp and confident. I saunter out onto the catwalk.
#TrueConfessions: Faking foreign accents is a hobby of mine. I can yammer it up in improvised French, German, Mexican, Russian, and plenty more accents, but I don’t mimic Asian languages, as it seems too close to ridicule. My plan for the rest of the night is to continue vocalizing my abundant thoughts in Standard British, with a hint of Cockney thrown in for charm. After all, New Hampshire is the “Live Free or Die” state, and I’ll do what I laaaa-like. Yaaasss!
“Introducing this year’s lovely…or, um, handsome Miss…ter…Harvest Moon. Let’s hear an enthusiastic round of applause for Chance César!” Mrs. Higgins always speaks using a lolling Southern twang, although I’m sure she’s lived her entire life right here in less-than-gentile, way-too-many-dirt-roads, Fiske, New Hampshire. (Like, can you say backwoods Fiske without it sounding too much like backward Fiske?) TBH, I’m thrilled: it seems I’m not the only one with an affinity for a colorful accent. But the applause is disappointingly, but not surprisingly, scattered.
“Woot!” A solitary hoot splits the night—it’s quite impossible to miss— and I recognize an undeniably shrill and nasal quality in the sound. I know without a doubt that the hooter is my best (only) friend, Emily Benson. In my not so humble opinion, Emily’s hooting for my benefit is as liberating a sound as Lady Gaga bellowing “Born This Way” live on the Grammy Awards after emerging from a large egg.
My Emily is everything! Not to be dramatic, but whatevs.
In any case, the single, supportive hoot is followed by mucho expected heckling. “Chances are, Chance César is gonna moon the crowd!” It’s a girl’s voice, for sure. I do not have a lot of female fans here in Fiske.
“Come on, Miss Harvest Moon, bend over and flash us your full moon!” A dude mocks me next. I’m proud to say I’m an equal opportunity victim of harassment.
I don’t blink once in the face of the jeering. This type of inconvenience is par for the course in my life, and thus, I consider it a challenge of stoic endurance. I simply place one fine pointy-toed pump in front of the other, my eyes focused on the mountain in the distance. I’m especially proud that, amidst the chaos, I remember to offer the crowd my best beauty queen wave.
Yeah, this is some beauty pageant realness.
“Thank you, lovelies, for coming here today.” I speak in my most Princess Diaries-esque tone.
“Werk it, girlfriend—werk hard!” Yes, it’s Emily again. And like always, she’s got my spectacular back.
“Aw, shit, we must be havin’ a lunar eclipse or somethin’.” It’s another pubescent male voice, and a deep one at that. “There ain’t no moon to be seen ’round these parts!” The heckler is a douche I know too well from school named Edwin Darling—whom I less than fondly, and very privately, refer to as “Eddie the Appalling.” I watch as he looks away from me to take in the full moon in the dark night sky and shrugs.
The lunar eclipse one-liner is actually fairly humorous. I toss out ten points for creativity in Edwin’s general direction by allowing a restrained smile, but I never remove my eyes from the single treeless spot on Mount Vernier.
Time for a mental detour. Why is this one spot bare-assed of all trees?
That’s when the music starts, and I’m more than glad for the downbeat. It helps me focus, plus it’s much easier to sashay to the sound of a jazzy snare drum than to the unpleasant clamor of heckling. Not that my backside won’t wiggle righteously to any sound at all. Because, rest assured, it will.
“Shine On, Harvest Moon.” Whoever is in charge of the sound system plays the Liza Minnelli version, which may be the silver lining to this farce. For as long as I can remember, it’s been the more traditional, not to mention folksy, Four Aces version for Miss Harvest Moon’s victorious stroll up and down the creaky runway. I will say that tonight is a first for the Liza rendition, and I’m curious as to whether it is coincidental.
But who really cares? Ring them sparkly silver bells for Liza M!
On a side note, I wonder: Is it a good thing or a bad thing that Liza Minnelli’s voice brings out the dramatic streak in me? Okay, okaaaayyyy…so maybe it doesn’t take more than a gentle nudge to get me going in a theatrical direction. But, hey, drama ain’t a crime. My mind is pulled to the back of my bedroom closet (how ironic), where my flapper get-up hangs. Panic sets in… Should I have worn that instead? But it’s a muted peach—not a vivid orange—as seems fitting for a pumpkin festival. And then there’s the whole not-a-single-soul-except-Mom-Dad-and-Emily-has-yet-seen-Chance César-in-full-female-garb thing that held me back from rockin’ the vintage coral dress with its spectacular tiers of flesh-colored fringe.
Tonight is Beans and Green Farm’s Annual Harvest Moon Festival, and for northern New Hampshire, this is a big freaking deal—the whole town shows up for cheesy shit like this. In light of this recognition, I confirm that pumpkin orange attire is mandatorbs. I mean, I went so far as to dye my hair for tonight’s festivities; the least I can do is choose garments that enhance my Halloween-chic style.
At the end of the catwalk, I indulge the audience by providing them with their deepest desire. I stand there, still as a scarecrow—for ten seconds, give or take—so they can drink in the sight of me, from spiky glittering head to pointy patent leather toes. I allow them this rare opportunity for freeze-frame viewing pleasure. Whether they admire me for having the balls to strut around ultraconservative Fiske wearing a scandalously snug-in-all-the-wrong-(right)-places orange tuxedo and four-inch black pumps—which I will admit is a public first for me—or they wish the shining harvest moon would fall on my house and crush me while I sleep, what they all really want most is a good long moment to study me.
To twerk or not to twerk, that is the question.
When the spectators finally start to squirm, I throw out a few of my best vogue fem moves to the tune of some subtle arm, wrist, and hand action, followed by several full-body poses, avoiding the death drop move as I haven’t yet mastered it in pumps. And when it’s time to once again get this glam show on the road, I pivot on my toes and strut briskly—America’s Next Top Model style—back to the stage where my boss, the owner of Beans and Greens Farm, stands nervously clutching my crown.
Mrs. Higgins is a tall glass of water, in the manner of a large-boned Iowa farm girl, but she’s accustomed to crowning petite high school junior girls, not nearly grown senior boys in four-inch heels. I crouch beside her politely and, I dare say, delicately, and she carefully nestles the crystal-studded crown in my spiky mop of neon-orange hair.
“Be careful, Mrs. H,” I warn beneath my breath. “Those spikes might look harmless, but they’re sharp enough to slice off your little finger.”
She offers me half of a crooked smile, for which I give her credit. I, Mrs. Higgins’ very own “boy with the bad attitude on cash register three,” have broken about every rule Beans and Greens has established for its hordes of Fiske High School summer workers, right down to the “no jewelry at work” clause. But a couple of points go to the lady because she manages to force out a grimace that could be mistaken for a smile…if your standard for smiles is on the low side. Besides, I’m not about to remove my nose ring. It in no way impedes my ability to count, ring up, and bag cucumbers.
This is when I spin on a single heel to face the crowd.
“You don’t happen to have any…very brief…words of wisdom for our audience, do you, Chance?” Mrs. Higgins asks, speaking into an oversized microphone. But despite the laid-back accent, I can tell she’s wary. Like a rat in a corner.
“Yes, as a matter of fact, I do.” My clipped British accent momentarily stuns the woman, and I take the opportunity to snatch the microphone from her less-than-dainty hand. Realizing it’s now in my possession, Mrs. Higgins shudders. “I just want to thank you all, my beloved coworkers at Beans and Greens Farm, for voting me in as this year’s Miss Harvest Moon.” I wipe imaginary tears from my eyes with my wrist, sniff for added effect, and, of course, I employ a most gracious, high-pitched tone of voice. “I am so honored to represent you all here tonight.” I sound like Eliza Doolittle in the stage play, My Fair Lady.
The crowd is silent. Maybe it’s a stunned silence. I sincerely hope so.
I follow dainty sniffling with my best duck-faced lip pout. Mrs. Higgins makes a sudden grab for the microphone, but I’m more agile. I only have to twist my shoulders ever so slightly to the left to block her move. She eyes me with a new respect.
And then I lower my voice so it’s all man—momentarily losing the delightful British inflection—and pose my question to the crowd.
“So you thought voting for me as Miss Harvest Moon would humiliate me—dull my shine or rain on my parade, perhaps?” I wag one well-manicured finger at the crowd while swishing my ass back and forth in matched rhythm. “Well, in your face, my sorry backwoods homies, cuz I’m here and I’m queer and I’m shining on—just like that big ol’ harvest moon!”
Without hesitation, I bend, just enough to grab Mrs. Higgins around the waist, and lift her off her size eleven feet (by my best visual estimate) and swing the lady around, probs ’til she’s seeing more stars than the ones in the dark Harvest Moon sky.
I’d bet my ahhh-mazing ass that no other Miss Harvest Moon has ever given Mrs. Higgins a joyride like that!
About the author:
Mia Kerick is the mother of four exceptional children—one in law school, another at a dance conservatory, a third studying at Mia’s alma mater, Boston College, and her lone son still in high school. She has published more than twenty books of LGBTQ romance when not editing National Honor Society essays, offering opinions on college and law school applications, helping to create dance bios, and reviewing English papers. Her husband of twenty-five years has been told by many that he has the patience of Job, but don’t ask Mia about this, as it is a sensitive subject.
Mia focuses her stories on the emotional growth of troubled young people and their relationships. She has a great affinity for the tortured hero in literature, and as a teen, Mia filled spiral-bound notebooks with tales of tortured heroes and stuffed them under her mattress for safekeeping. She is thankful to NineStar Press for providing her with an alternate place to stash her stories.
Her books have been featured in Kirkus Reviews magazine, and have won Rainbow Awards for Best Transgender Contemporary Romance and Best YA Lesbian Fiction, a Reader Views’ Book by Book Publicity Literary Award, the Jack Eadon Award for Best Book in Contemporary Drama, an Indie Fab Award, and a Royal Dragonfly Award for Cultural Diversity, among other awards.
Mia Kerick is a social liberal and cheers for each and every victory made in the name of human rights. Her only major regret: never having taken typing or computer class in school, destining her to a life consumed with two-fingered pecking and constant prayer to the Gods of Technology. Contact Mia at email@example.com or visit at www.miakerickya.com to see what is going on in Mia’s world.
One lucky winner will receive a $10.00 NineStar Press Gift Code!
amyaislin Blog, Books, Excerpts, Giveaway, Release Blitz Commitment series, contemporary, established couple, IndiGo Marketing & Design, Karen Botha, m/m romance, mechanic, race car driving, self-published 0
Title: Jump Start
Author: Karen Botha
Series: Commitment #3
Release date: September 17, 2018
Genre: m/m contemporary romance
Heat level: 3 - some sex
Length: 230 pages
Buy it: Amazon
Falling in love is easy.
Making it work, well, that's where the fun begins.
Falling in love with Kyle Beaumont helped Elliott Judd find a romantic piece of himself he didn't know existed. The two men take the next step in their relationship when Kyle moves into Elliott's place, but despite the passion he feels for his talented mechanic and lover, the scorching hot race car driver suddenly feels out of place in his own home.
Kyle adores Elliott, and thinks of him as the love of his life he didn't see coming. But calling a mansion home and fitting into Elliott's space is more of a culture shock than he'd anticipated.
Join Kyle and Elliott as they adjust to sharing their lives with one another, both in and out of the spotlight. You'll laugh, you'll cry, and you'll wonder if these two will ever get it right.
Something about bringing in boxes and depositing a bunch of functional home making equipment within them means the temperature of an apartment grows cold. I’m moving about, shifting things from one place to another, cleaning inside kitchen cupboards ready for tomorrow morning’s handover with the rental agent. I should be warm. But I’m frozen to my core.
This was the place that I argued with my dad, one of our last conversations and certainly our last argument.
This is where I was living when I opened the contract for my new position which would eventually lead to meeting Elliott. I’ll be leaving a part of my history within these grubby walls. I know moving doesn’t mean you abandon the memories, but I’m still taken aback by how sentimental I feel about a place I never really liked that much. I guess it’s like splitting up with a girlfriend you don’t like. You’re still sad it didn’t work out, but you never had expectations in the first place.
Humans are complicated. It baffles me how we can make sense of others when we very often can’t make sense of ourselves.
About the author:
Ooh, where to start? I used to work in a proper job that was KILLING me -- slowly! I packed it all in and retrained as a massage therapist and reflexologist which meant I had downtime to fill and I knew just the thing.
So, now I spend more hours than I work in my office conjuring up all manner of sex scenes and scrapes. I say I'm so happy because I have whichever imaginary friends with me, doing exactly what I like, when I want. Who could ask for more? Hah!
By the way, now I have NO downtime.
Please follow me, I'm on Facebook and Twitter Twatter and Instagram and I have my own website, www.KarenBotha.com. It would be great to get some interaction from you guys. Much as I love my imaginary friends, it's great to speak to real people too.
Title: Sugar Fighter
Author: Charity Parkerson
Series: Sugar Daddies #1
Book #2: Sugar Boss → Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #3: Sugar Bear → Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #4: Sugar Tycoon → Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #5: Sugar Dom → Amazon US | Amazon UK - Out September 24
Book #6: Sugar Bastard → Amazon US | Amazon UK - Out October 8
Publisher: Punk and Sissy Publications
Release date: June 25, 2018
Cover artist: Charity Parkerson
Genre: m/m contemporary romance
Length: 50 pages
Zeke is the older man. The richer man. The man who plans to give Korey the world.
As MMA’s Light Heavyweight champion, Zeke’s million-dollar matches and multi-million-dollar sponsorships have given him the freedom to do whatever he likes. It pleases him to spoil Korey. Before Zeke’s best friend Charlie was deployed two years ago, he made Zeke swear he’d care for his brother Korey if anything happened to him. When Charlie is killed by a roadside bomb, Zeke takes the young college student in, determined to give him everything he requires to succeed. He never expects to end up hoping he can keep Korey under more than his roof. He needs Korey beneath him.
If Korey had been in his right mind after Charlie’s death, he would’ve turned down Zeke’s offer. By the time he realizes his mistake, he’s already addicted to Zeke’s powerful presence. He never meant to end up dependent on the man’s smiles and hot glances. The money, Korey could live without. The man has him hooked. There’s only one problem—neither man wants to cross the line from friends to lovers, ruining what they have.
Sugar Fighter is a short introduction to a new series by Charity Parkerson, Sugar Daddies. This series will feature male/male May/December romances where the men are hot, rich, naughty, and don’t like to be told no.
About the author:
Charity Parkerson is an award winning and multi-published author with several companies. Born with no filter from her brain to her mouth, she decided to take this odd quirk and insert it in her characters.
* Seven-time Readers' Favorite Award Winner
*2015 Passionate Plume Award Finalist
*2013 Reviewers' Choice Award Winner
*2012 ARRA Finalist for Favorite Paranormal Romance
*Five-time winner of The Mistress of the Darkpath
Check out the brand new covers for Julie Bozza's Butterfly Hunter Trilogy.
Title: Butterfly Hunter
Author: Julie Bozza
Series: The Butterfly Hunter Trilogy #1
Release date: September 15, 2018
Cover artist: Gayna Murphy
Genre: m/m contemporary romance
Length: approx. 57,000 words / 165 pages
The most beautiful things happen when you least expect them.
It started as a simple assignment for Aussie bush guide Dave Taylor – escort a lone Englishman in quest of an unknown species of butterfly. However Nicholas Goring is no ordinary tourist, his search is far from straightforward, and it’s starting to look as if the butterflies don’t want to be found. As Dave teaches Nicholas everything he needs to survive in the Outback he discovers that he too has quite a bit to learn – and that very often the best way to locate something really important is just not to want to find it…
They were silent while Dave led his client out to the car park, paid off his ticket, found the car and put the bags in the boot, insisting in a mutter that he didn’t need Goring’s assistance.
It wasn’t until they were heading into the city on Kingsford Smith Drive that Dave finally spoke. “I’ll take you to the hotel. I booked it with an early check–in. I’m sure you’ll be glad of a shower and change of clothes.” When he risked a glance at the man, Dave was disconcerted to find that Goring’s smile once again had a wicked kick to it. “Um,” said Dave, “sir…”
“I always had a thing for chauffeurs,” the man confided.
“Huh.” Dave frowned, and stared very hard at the road ahead, though he wasn’t entirely sure how much he was actually seeing. “Well. What do you do when they don’t have a thing for you?”
Goring chuckled, sounding genuinely amused. “Ah, come on. Seize the day!”
“Mate, life’s not thatshort.”
The chuckle turned into a laugh – and Dave liked that. Still, he was relieved when Goring said, “All right, I’ll stop. Don’t mind me. I hardly got a wink of sleep on that damned plane.”
“You weren’t exactly travelling cattle class. Were you?”
“No, but …” Goring looked away, biting at his lower lip. He was a tall, scrawny man, and his lips were the plumpest thing about him. They were a dash of pink on his pale face. They were almost pretty. “Too much on my mind, I suppose.”
Dave let a beat go by, and then headed for safer ground. “Common wisdom is to stay awake for as long as you can today, and try not to sleep until tonight. Get into the new time zone as soon as you can.”
“Yes, so I’ve heard.”
“And I find that people like to start with a good breakfast, to keep their energy levels up. The hotel – you’re at the Hilton – is known for their breakfasts.”
“It’s up to you, but I’ll keep you company, if you like. For as much of the day as suits.”
“Starting with breakfast … ?”
“If you like,” Dave repeated. “And later, if you have people here, I can drop you off wherever. Just tell me what you want to do and then, you know, feel free to change your plans if you can’t stay awake any longer or whatever.”
Goring was staring at him. “I understand.” After a moment, he added, “I don’t know why I was expecting laconic rather than loquacious.”
Dave glanced at him. “Dunno if I’m your typical Aussie, mate.”
Another laugh, though wry this time rather than genuine. Then Goring asked, “Will Mr Taylor be able to join us for breakfast?”
“What?” Dave grimaced as he turned right onto Albert Street. They were almost there. “No, I’m – I’mDave Taylor.”
“I guess I didn’t – No, I didn’t introduce myself. The meeting at the airport didn’t, uh –”
“Didn’t quite go as planned,” Goring smoothly supplied.
“No. My fault. Look, we’re here,” Dave said. “I’ll drop you off, and you can check in while I park.”
“No need. I’ll stay with you.”
Dave glanced at him, and thought that Goring wasn’t merely being polite. In any case, he needed to decide right away, as he was already approaching the car park. He nodded, and flipped on the indicator. So be it. Almost nothing this morning had gone as intended, so why not this as well?
They were silent again as Dave collected a ticket, and then quickly chose an empty space on the ground floor – it was still too early to be busy. Once he’d parked, they both got out, and met around the back of the car. Dave looked the man in the eye, and held his hand out. “Good morning, uh, sir. I’m Dave Taylor.”
Goring shook his hand with a cool firmness before disengaging. “I’m pleased to meet you, Mr Taylor. Call me Nicholas.”
“David,” said Nicholas.
Dave grinned, and turned to open the boot, started lifting the three bags out. “All right, but no one calls me that. It’s Dave or – well, my friends call me Davey.”
“Would you join me for breakfast, David?”
“Sure. Thanks,” he added, quite genuinely. “We can talk over your trip. I’ve brought maps and such.”
“Good. Here, let me –”
But Dave only handed over the cabin–sized bag, and insisted on wheeling the larger cases. “I’ve got it,” he said. He attempted the three syllables as they emerged into sunlight: “Nicholas.” He wondered how long it would be before he was allowed to go with Nick or Nicky.
“Thank you.” The man’s smile was a little gentler by now.
Of course it had all gone horribly wrong so far, and God only knew what that meant for the rest of the trip, but it seemed that at least Dave had been forgiven for his part of the shambles. He nodded, both accepting and returning the thanks. Nicholas seemed to understand. As they walked shoulder to shoulder into the hotel, Dave dared to think the next three months mightn’t be a complete disaster.
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Darcy’s newest assignment is boyfriend to a wealthy socialite, he never expected the intense attraction to his date’s brother. Falling for Adrian is dangerous, and certainly not part of the plan.
Adrian has been as unlucky in love as his sister, but even he doesn’t approve of hiring a boyfriend, whatever the reason. Until he meets Darcy. Then he comes to realize that love can happen in the most unexpected of ways.
One week. That is all the two men need to fall in lust, but will they have a lifetime to fall in love?
About the authors:
RJ’s goal is to write stories with a heart of romance, a troubled road to reach happiness, and most importantly, that hint of a happily ever after.
RJ is the author of the over one hundred novels and discovered romance in books at a very young age. She realized that if there wasn’t romance on the page, she could create it in her head, and is a lifelong writer.
She lives and works out of her home in the beautiful English countryside, spends her spare time reading, watching films, and enjoying time with her family.
The last time she had a week’s break from writing she didn’t like it one little bit and has yet to meet a bottle of wine she couldn’t defeat.
She’s always thrilled to hear from readers, bloggers and other writers. Please contact via the following links below:
Meredith Russell lives in the heart of England. An avid fan of many story genres, she enjoys nothing less than a happy ending. She believes in heroes and romance and strives to reflect this in her writing. Sharing her imagination and passion for stories and characters is a dream Meredith is excited to turn into reality.
I had the pleasure of meeting Diana at the book fair at the RT Booklovers Convention in Reno back in May and she was super sweet and lovely and was utterly shocked that I wanted to buy her book 🙂 I'm so excited to have her on my blog today for the cover reveal of her upcoming book, Love Over Logic! Check out the awesome cover below.
Title: Love Over Logic
Author: Diana A. Hicks
Series: Desert Monsoon #2
Release date: November 15, 2018
Cover artist: Pink Ink Designs
Genre: contemporary romance
Attorney, Emilia Prado has been living in hiding, ever since the local cartel killed her dad and left her and her mom for dead. But when her long lost cousin needs help leaving her drug lord husband, Emilia knows her time for justice has come.
Hot shot lawyer, Dom Moretti never met a case he couldn’t win. Each win puts distance between him and an old life he wants to forget. But when Emilia, a crush from law school, asks for his help, the life he worked so hard for hangs in the balance.
Out to even the score, Emilia is ready to enact revenge on her father’s killer. But will she risk losing Dom to a side of himself he thought was dead and buried?
About the author:
When Diana is not writing, she enjoys kickboxing, traveling, and indulging in the simple joys of life like wine and chocolate. She lives in Atlanta, and loves spending time with her two children and husband.
Connect with Diana on social media to stay up to date on her latest releases.
amyaislin Blog, Books, Excerpts, Giveaway, Release Blitz 5-stars, Brooklyn Ray, established couple, IndiGo Marketing & Design, m/m romance, magic, NineStar Press, paranormal, Port Lewis Witches, witches 0
Author: Brooklyn Ray
Series: Port Lewis Witches #2
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release date: September 10, 2018
Cover artist: Natasha Snow
Genre: m/m paranormal romance
Sub-genre/tropes: LGBT, witches, magic, kelpie, sacrifice, established couple
Heat level: 3 - some sex
Length: approx. 33,200 words
Warning: Depictions of blood play, murder, death, and gore
Port Lewis, a coastal town perched on the Washington cliffs, is home to Crescent Cafe, a slew of micro-breweries, a downtown packed with antique boutiques, and violent, ancient storms. Thunder shakes rooftops and lightening cuts through dark skies, but Liam Montgomery has never been afraid.
One night, Liam hears the scream of a kelpie, a Water horse whose cry foretells the beginning of a prophecy. Kelpies have not set foot on shore for decades, but as Liam digs into his magic and his family’s history, he uncovers a mysterious secret that could ripple into the lives of everyone around him.
Liam’s tea-leaves spells out murder. The life of someone he loves is on the line. An unwelcome kelpie speaks in riddles. The Queen of Water demands a sacrifice.
The Montgomery name is soaked in blood and secrets. Liam’s fate is sealed, but he’ll do whatever it takes to change it—even if it risks his circle, his magic, and his life.
Brooklyn Ray © 2018
All Rights Reserved
The ocean swept around Liam’s ankles. Night hovered over the water, turning what was left of the day into a washboard of dusty rose and deep violet. Sea foam dampened his calves. He rolled a smooth, gray stone in his palm.
Magic made itself known, a current wound tight in his core, churning blood and flexing bone. Uncertainty misted his cheeks, stung his eyes, and even when he willed it away, it clung to him. All magic was different—Fire, Earth, Air—but Water was something else entirely. It waited for no one. When it took, it took completely. When it gave, it gave until it hurt. Liam wasn’t used to being volatile, but tonight his magic thrashed within him, whispering lies about power and promises about the deep.
Storm Wielder, the ocean said. Come closer.
Port Lewis was a beautiful, awful place full of beautiful, awful things—the ocean and beaches, the unyielding storms, and wet weather-beaten sidewalks. Liam Montgomery often wondered if he was one of those beautiful, awful things too. Full of rage and antiquity; powerful and unknowable.
Warm fingertips followed the ridge of his knuckles and slid over the stone he kept worrying in his right hand. Ryder’s energy blistered and taunted. Its darkness had an unmistakable heartbeat, a tantalizing, insidious taste that Liam still wasn’t quite used to. A hot breath hit Liam’s neck and he closed his eyes.
“You’re still out here,” Ryder said. His lips touched the shell of Liam’s ear and Liam was reminded that unknowable was a useless label with Ryder Wolfe, who knew him like clouds knew rain and foxes knew forests.
Ryder was one of those beautiful, awful things. He might’ve been the most beautiful. The most awful.
Liam leaned back until his spine met Ryder’s torso. “Where else would I be?”
“I can think of a few places.” Ryder’s lips curved into a smile against Liam’s neck. A long, pale index finger traced the veins in his wrist to his thumb, over his knuckles and back again. “Labradorite.” He touched the smooth surface of the stone and hummed appreciatively when Liam let him pluck it from his palm. “The stone of transformation?”
“Yeah, figured it might be worth a try.” Liam tilted his head until Ryder’s lips were close enough to catch. He kissed him gently, a soft press and nothing more. “How’s Jordan?”
“Ruthless,” Ryder said through a groan. “I didn’t think being a necromancer would be this difficult or require a fuck-ton of studying. How’s the ocean?”
Liam smirked. He flicked his gaze to the sea and said, “It’s ruthless too.”
“Anything new out here?” Ryder’s chin settled on Liam’s shoulder. “Merfolk stealing babies in the night?” he mused playfully. “Selkies and sirens arguing over meals?”
“Selkies don’t eat people,” Liam corrected. “And no, there’s nothing new out here. Not yet, at least.”
“Not yet,” Ryder teased. His mouth dusted Liam’s jaw, following the line of it to his cheek. “C’mon, Water witch, we’ve got a circle meeting.”
“Joy.” Liam would’ve stayed at the beach with Ryder and the ocean for hours if he could’ve. He would’ve stripped down to nothing and dragged Ryder into the water with him, touched and been touched, let moonlight drape over their skin. But the ocean sang too loudly tonight, and if Liam let it have him, he might not make it back to shore. “Are we at least eating?”
“Yeah, of course. You think I’d agree to a circle meeting after training with my sister if Tyler didn’t promise to bring pizza?” Ryder stepped in front of him, the fine angles of his face sharp and pronounced. His shaved head was covered by a beanie that slouched over the back of his neck, and a black peacoat was snug over his broad shoulders.
It had been weeks since Ryder decided to become a necromancer. Since his Fire magic battled with the darkness inside him, since a King of hell took residence in his body, since he died and came back as this—a powerful, wicked darkling. It’d been weeks since Liam and Ryder cut through the red tape wrapped around their friendship and fell into bed together.
Everything still felt new, somehow.
“Are we going to the house?” Liam asked.
Ryder laced their fingers and tugged. His palm radiated heat. “The barn, actually. But yeah, we’re going to Tyler’s.”
They walked toward the banks at the edge of the beach. Roots sprouted from the dirt, tickling the sand. Giant trees that had fallen years and years ago littered the place between beach and forest, home to crabs and critters, overgrown with odd teal moss and sprinkled with beige mushrooms.
Somewhere far off, an owl hooted. Somewhere closer, a creature screamed.
It echoed from the water, a gurgled, awful howl, torn and pained, as if it’d ridden the backs of waves for miles and miles. The sound looped through gusts of wind, splintering around them.
Liam had heard it before. Once. He whipped around at the same time Ryder did, fingers buckled in Ryder’s iron grip. Ryder’s magic surged. Heat blistered the air, lashing out at the unknown.
“What the fuck was that?” Ryder shifted in front of Liam. Black tendrils snaked over the ground beneath his heavy combat boots.
“A kelpie,” Liam whispered. He watched Ryder carefully, the way his jaw tightened, the way black drifted over his eyes like ink on a canvas. “Chill out, Ry. Put that shit away.”
“Fuck off,” Ryder hissed. “I don’t need some water horse biting a chunk out of my neck tonight, all right? Since when have they come this close to shore?”
The shrill, sudden call of the kelpie echoed until it faded, replaced by waves crashing, wind careening through tree branches, and Ryder’s steady breath beside him.
“They don’t—they haven’t in a long time,” Liam said. He squeezed the heel of his shoes in his free hand. “It’s unusual. It means…”
“It means we’re leaving,” Ryder snapped. He tugged Liam’s hand until Liam stumbled along, glancing over his shoulder as he went.
The ocean looked back at him, whispering, wanting.
The kelpie’s call meant something was coming for him.
Liam swallowed hard. He kept hold of Ryder’s hand and listened for another scream, for the sound of hooves, but they never came. He climbed into the driver’s seat of his old Subaru and stared out the windshield, hand tight around the steering wheel.
Mist clouded the glass, but he could still see the black ocean yards away, the white foam on dark sand and the moon’s smile rippling on the water.
Ryder climbed into the passenger seat. “Hey,” he rasped. “Princess.”
Liam tore his gaze from the sea. Ryder’s sharp eyes melted back to their jungle green and picked him apart, long eyelashes sweeping up and down. His lips thinned, and he reached over to brush his knuckles over Liam’s thigh.
“Don’t call me that,” Liam mumbled. “I’m fine. It’s just the moon.”
Ryder scoffed. His hand stayed put on Liam’s thigh, and Liam was grateful. “It’s just the moon,” Ryder parroted sarcastically.
The car rumbled to life. The headlights cut a path through the darkness as they drove to the canyon outside the Port Lewis woods.
Liam watched the ocean disappear in the rearview mirror, but he knew it would follow him.
I must have been in the mood for something dark, because I loved this! I loved Liam and Ryder's relationship, that I'd-die-for-you but also I'd-kill-to-protect-you mentally.
This is the second book in a continuing series, which, silly me didn't realize before picking this up, but I have to hand it to the author: at no time did I feel like I got plopped into something with no background info. Yes, I was a little lost when it came to the dynamics of Liam and Ryder's circle, but in terms of the storyline, I was able to catch on pretty quick.
There's a lot packed in to this novella, but it's so well-written and some the descriptions actually gave me goosebumps, like I was watching a horror movie. I'm going to go back and read the first one now lol, and I look forward to book 3, which appears to be Donovan and Tyler's story.
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amyaislin Blog, Book Reviews, Books, Excerpts, Giveaway, Release Blitz 3.5 stars, A Novel Take PR, Hailey Turner, m/m romance, mages, magic, self-published, shifters, Soulbound series, urban fantasy, vampire 0
Title: A Ferry of Bones & Gold
Author: Hailey Turner
Series: Soulbound #1
Release date: September 12, 2018
Cover artist: AngstyG
Genre: m/m urban fantasy
Length: approx. 114,700 words
Buy it: Amazon
When the gods come calling, you don’t get to say no.
Patrick Collins is three years into a career as a special agent for the Supernatural Operations Agency when the gods come calling to collect a soul debt he owes them. An immortal has gone missing in New York City and bodies are showing up in the wake of demon-led ritual killings that Patrick recognizes all too easily from his nightmares.
Unable to walk away, Patrick finds himself once again facing off against mercenary magic users belonging to the Dominion Sect. Standing his ground alone has never been a winning option in Patrick’s experience, but it’s been years since he’s had a partner he could trust.
Looking for allies in all the wrong places, Patrick discovers the Dominion Sect’s next target is the same werewolf the Fates themselves have thrown into his path. Patrick has been inexplicably attracted to the man from their first meeting, but desire has no place in war. That doesn’t stop Patrick from wanting what he shouldn’t have. Jonothon de Vere is gorgeous, dangerous, and nothing but trouble—to the case, to the fight against every hell, and ultimately, to Patrick’s heart and soul.
In the end, all debts must be paid, and Patrick can only do what he does best—cheat death.
Magic, murder, and mayhem! You won’t want to miss the first book in a brand new, pulse-pounding m/m urban fantasy series!
“Don’t let the Fates take control of your life, Jono. Marek doesn’t have a choice, but you do,” Patrick said quietly.
Jono reached out and trailed his fingers along the edge of Patrick’s jaw, his touch warm, like it always was. “Guess we’re just gonna have to murder the fuck out of the Dominion Sect bastards together then, won’t we?”
Patrick was reminded of a lesson learned the hard way in the field—rules of engagement were for people who were never desperate.
Must be why I’ve always been a rule breaker,Patrick thought, before saying, “You know our chances are shit, right?”
“Can’t be much worse than waking up in hospital after a bad car crash with the werevirus running through your veins.”
“Didn’t take you for an optimist.”
“I can be with the right motivation.”
The filthy look Jono shot him made Patrick wish they were alone in his apartment with nothing to do tonight but fuck. Except there was a plan in the works that involved saving a city and time wasn’t on their side.
I love a good urban fantasy novel, and while A Ferry of Bones & Gold was good, it's a hard book to review because I liked certain parts of it, and didn't like others.
What I liked:
- Patrick. He was a complex character, very three-dimensional, and he made a great way into the story. I liked his take-no-shit attitude and his insistence on doing things his way.
- Magic. Anything with magic and I'm like:
- The world Hailey Turner created by bringing magic, shifters, vampires, and gods together.
- The way all of the characters played off each other.
What I didn't like:
Most of what I didn't like had to do with some of the choices the author made, both stylistically and chronologically. Let me explain.
- We'd often get whole paragraphs of info-dumps. Yes, we need the information in a book like this that isn't a contemporary or historical, and I understand it's the first book in a series so the story needs to be set up...but the info-dump felt like an info-dump. Like "Here, you need all of this info so I'm just going to dump it on you." I much prefer when need-to-know information is weaved in organically so it doesn't feel like I'm being talked at. Info-dump takes me right out of the story.
- There were some oddly phrased sentences that had me re-reading sometimes once or twice, and, in one case, five or six times to understand the meaning.
- For most of the story we're told that Patrick owes a soul debt because of something his father did, but we're not told why. Who was his father to the immortals that Patrick now owes them a debt?
- 73% in to A Ferry of Bones & Gold: this is where we find out the answers to this question, the question of why Patrick owes a soul debt and to who. But, in my opinion, it's much too late in the story for this kind of revelation. It's a huge piece of the story and a huge piece of why Patrick does certain things and acts a certain way, and the fact that I just didn't know this information up-front impacted my enjoyment of the story because up until 73% there was a huge piece missing. It was like going forward with only half the information. It was probably done to keep the tension up and keep the reader reading to find out why, and I'll admit it worked, but not knowing this actually made me frustrated at not knowing, and not in a good way.
- We're told also that Patrick lost his ability to tap a ley line because of something that happened in his old job, but we don't find out how it happened until 89% into the book. Again, this is information that I thought was given to the reader much too late. There are ways to keep tension up for the reader without withholding critical information.
- Patrick and Jono. I liked them. Separately. But together I felt like something was missing from their relationship, some spark of chemistry. I just didn't feel their desire for the other.
Overall, I give A Ferry of Bones & Gold 3.5 stars. I did like it and I loved the concept, but it was the execution of it that hindered my enjoyment of the story. That being said, I do look forward to reading the rest of the series!
About the author:
Hailey Turner is big city girl who spoils her cats rotten and has a demanding day job that she loves, but not as much as she loves writing. She’s been writing since she was a young child and enjoys reading almost as much as creating a new story. Hailey loves stories with lots of action, gritty relationships, and an eventual HEA that satisfies the heart.
Newsletter: You can keep up with Hailey's future projects by joining her newsletter, where you can instantly download the free Metahuman Files short story A Distant Devotionand the Soulbound short story Down A Twisted Path: http://eepurl.com/cAEejL
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