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GUEST POST and EXCERPT! In Vogue by Lucia Laurent

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Title: In Vogue

Author: Lucia Laurent

Word Count: 108k

Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance

Publisher: Ink & Smith Publishing

Release Date: September 29, 2016

 

 

BLURB:

King of New York fashion and editor-in-chief of the prestigious Couture magazine, Miles Brodeur loves his demanding job and a routine that means he always knows what’s coming next. Deeply involved in the magazine’s content and culture, Miles doesn’t have the time or the desire for a relationship.

Alexander Mackenzie is a former model turned magazine editor who is just learning about the politics that exist at the intersection of high fashion and publishing. He’s always dreamt of turning Miles’ head and one night, at a glamorous party, his fantasy becomes reality. But Miles’ workaholic nature conflicts with Alexander’s belief that “there’s more to life than what’s printed on the pages of a magazine.”

Despite their fundamental differences, Alexander can’t help but follow Miles back to New York, and once there it becomes clear their association could be addicting–and possibly life-changing.

Set in a world where the beauty of art and the written word collide, Miles is confronted by a fundamental question: is someone ever worth slowing down for?

GUEST POST:

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Becoming a Published Author

Since guest posts almost always involve some kind of a text about how the author came to write their book and what struggles they faced, and you’ve probably reads tens of these already, I thought I could spice it up and offer you something a bit different. So here we go, here’s ten things you probably didn’t figure out until you’ve become a published author.

  1. It’s all about knowing the shelves you put your book on. Is it romance, fantasy, crime, thriller? How do you see your book? It’s all about having a clear vision in order to find your audience.
  2. Writing is the easiest part. Editing is slightly more painful, depending on who you work with and how much you’re willing to say goodbye to. Regarding this, I’d say to have an open mind. Sometimes people see what you can’t because you are emotionally too involved. The hardest part by a mile is promoting it. You wrote a book? Awesome. So did hundreds of thousands of others. What are you gonna do about it?
  3. Reviews are your friend. Go get ’em. Be nice when asking, give away free copies for honest reviews, figure it out. They are the best way to pursuade people to buy your book.
  4. Social media. Talk about your book. But talk about other things too. Find your voice, relate to other authors, figure out what your place in the community is. The same old “Buy my book, it’s out on XX/XX/XXXX” will get you nowhere. And it’s boring in nowhere.
  5. Don’t burn any bridges. Got a bad review? Rant about it to your friends in private. Never post your bad emotions online. Be graceful and yell on Snapchat to your closest people who won’t tell.
  6. Writing is a business. And you should treat it as such. Hard work on all the steps – writing, editing and promoting will eventually pay off. You just have to keep going.
  7. How else are you going to get a glimpse of other people’s worlds? Connect with them, give them feedback! They’ll appreciate it as much as you do when someone does the same for you! Plus, it’s the best thing in the world.
  8. You’ll feel like you didn’t do enough. And that’s actually great – it means you still have that spark to keep going! So push forward, and do more! Great thing about this era is ebooks exist and you can get your book to be a huge success at any time, not just right after the launch!
  9. Go beyond your core readership. Your mind should be set to getting everyone to read it, not just the people you’re sure would enjoy it. Don’t settle.
  10. Your book probably won’t become a bestseller and that’s okay. It’s your baby, and as long as you are happy with results, you did great. If not, consult tip no#1 and try some more.

untitled2AUTHOR BIO:

Lucia lives in Europe, often switching it up between cities and people. She’s a fan of all things fashion, music and pop culture as well as a firm believer in studying your way to excellence.

Lucia thinks she’s a really good organizer when in fact her apartment is way messier than she’d like to admit. She spends way too much on shoes and plane tickets. Her soft spots are desserts, but a good meal of any kind will always get a “yes, please.”

In Vogue is Lucia’s first novel. Hopefully, it won’t be her last.

 

 

EXCERPT:

“Is that why David Beckham has been featured multiple times on the pages of your life’s work? Does your criteria seriously consist of one thing—a man’s ass?”

“Well the ass is a man’s best asset,” Alexander smirks, holding the martini glass up. “And don’t call the magazine my life’s work. There are far more important things in life, Miles Brodeur, than what’s printed on the pages of a magazine.”

“And what might those be?” he presses, although whatever Alexander comes up with will never convince him. He already feels the arousal slightly leaving his body, even though Alexander is looking at him the way he hasn’t been looked at by anyone in a very long time.

Pages of a magazine. And this man called himself an editor. No wonder Miles skipped London Fashion Week. It seems to be made out of cotton candy fluff.

“Love,” Alexander shoots back, his eyes wide and sincere. Staring directly at him, as if Miles’s whole life story was written behind his eyelids.

“Ah, the classic answer.” After letting out an audible sigh, Miles slightly bows his head, signaling the end of the conversation, an act he mastered years ago. He feels like someone’s poured ice water over his head. He should have realized Alexander would be the kind of person who looks for a partner who will reach for the stars with him.

“If you’ll excuse me, I see my friend waiting for me. Thank you for the interesting conversation, Alexander.” His smile doesn’t quite reach his eyes when he looks at the young man before him. Zia, Miles’s longstanding best friend and Couture’s creative editor, has been lounging by a different bar, waiting patiently for Miles for the duration of this conversation. Miles shouldn’t use him as an excuse, but he does anyway.

Confusion is crystal clear on Alexander’s face, but that doesn’t stop Miles from turning on his heel and making his way toward that bar, Zia, and relative sanity.

Miles’s mind races, droplets of sweat forming on his forehead. The blue lines of his suit form a beautiful contrast to the ivory color of the floor as he strolls elegantly across the enormous hall, avoiding the tables filled with people interested to hear him speak. It’s not that he feels bad; only too much. His brain is in overdrive once again, and the alcohol he consumed not making it any easier for him to physically process it all.

Love was Roberto Luciano’s spring couture collection for Dior in 2009, which Miles oversaw Zia shooting in the gardens of Versailles.

Love was the thousands of hours of work that went into producing a one-of-a-kind bustier beaded with ivory pearls and a full skirt, evoking the classical romantic femininity of Dior’s silhouette. Miles still remembers the words Roberto said to him after he had shown the collection.

“It is our job to make people dream.” His Italian accent still rang bells in Miles’s mind, as if he was hearing him say it for the first time.

And to fall in love, Miles always added to the quote whenever he recalled that moment. Hopelessly, foolishly in love.

It’s what Miles always took for granted, knowing better than to question it. The Earth’s population might as well be divided into dream makers and dreamers. And dream makers don’t get to experience dreams. Artists don’t get to see happiness, because for them regularity isn’t optional; it is to be avoided at all costs. The list goes on in Miles’s head, always ending with the same conclusion. Some get to choose love, some get to choose their dreams. Only the lucky few get to have both. Miles has never been one of them.

Links: 

Amazon Pre-Order: http://goo.gl/65YGqA
Goodreads: http://goo.gl/q0YUB5
Twitter: https://twitter.com/lucia_laurent
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lucia_laurent/
Website: http://www.inkandsmith.com/invogue

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BLOG TOUR: Sweet Summer Sweat by Clare London

Sweet Summer Sweat – Clare London

Author: Clare London
 
Release Date: September 20 2016
 
Publisher: Jocular Press
 
Length: 74,000 words
 
Buy Links: 
 
Blurb
 
When you find a place where lust and sex rule life, and your every desire can be fulfilled, why would you ever want to leave?
Young runaway Scot and his boyfriend Jerry escape their deadbeat homes and families, hoping to leave prejudice behind them and travel to a new life in Las Vegas. Unprepared and naive, they’re lost almost at once, and shelter at a run-down, deserted motel in the middle of the scorching hot Nevada desert. A place with secrets, run by staff both gorgeous and uninhibited, and driven by a mysterious sexual connection Scot’s never even dared to dream.
All but drugged by the lazy heat and the hedonism around him, Scot watches as Jerry is seduced away and realizes their relationship was nothing more than shared lust. Restless, Scot knows he wants true love and real understanding. Could he find it with the mysterious and elusive owner of the motel, Connor Maxwell? Connor seems to think so, every time he appears and pursues Scot for his own. But where does Connor come from? It seems the passion calls him into being at its own whim.
Eventually, what binds Connor and his friends to the motel may be too strong for Scot to break through. Scot has ambitions to travel, to make something of his life – but is his only option to embrace life at the motel in his true lover’s arms?
Or will that love be strong enough to release them both…
Author Bio


Clare London took her pen name from the city where she lives, loves, and
writes. A lone, brave female in a frenetic, testosterone-fuelled family home,
she juggles her writing with her other day job as an accountant.

She’s written in many genres and across many settings, with award-winning
novels and short stories published both online and in print. She says she likes
variety in her writing while friends say she’s just fickle, but as long as both
theories spawn good fiction, she’s happy. Most of her work features male/male
romance and drama with a healthy serving of physical passion, as she enjoys
both reading and writing about strong, sympathetic, and sexy characters.

Clare currently has several novels sulking at that tricky chapter three
stage and plenty of other projects in mind… she just has to find out where
she left them in that frenetic, testosterone-fuelled family home.


Clare loves to hear from readers, and you can contact her here:

Website: http://www.clarelondon.com
E-mail: clarelondon11@yahoo.co.uk
Blog: www.clarelondon.com/blog
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/clarelondon
Twitter: https://twitter.com/clare_london
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/clarelondon

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/author/clarelondon/
Google+ : https://plus.google.com/u/0/+ClareLondon/posts

 

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GUEST POST: Immortal Ink: Reclaiming by Sean Michael

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Biting and Fisting and Piercing, Oh My!

By Sean Michael

I do love to play with vampires. After all, here are characters who come predisposed to biting. So you have to expect there’s going to be biting involved when it comes to sex with them. I certainly enjoy writing a little biting with my sex scenes. Biting and more.

There’s something very primal about biting. It’s a marking of the other person, like a hickey, but more intense, deeper. A bite mark says this one is mine, keep your hands off. And there’s just something about that. Guh and yum and all those good three-letter semi-coherent words.

It is fun to write intense, extreme things now and then, too. Fisting. Piercings. Tattoos. Biting in especially sensitive areas. A little bloodplay. All these things fit so well into a book where both main characters are vampires. Let’s face it, vampires are immortal and heal up really well and usually quickly too, especially if they’ve got fresh blood in them.  What this means is that they can play pretty roughly and come out the other side just fine. So nothing is really off the table. These guys can explore all manner of rough play without any permanent damage.

So bring on the vampires, bring on the kink!

Immortal Ink: Reclaiming

Beau thought Aaron was dead to him… Imagine his surprise when his former lover slinks into his tattoo shop.

Eight months ago, vampire Beaudelaire Delacourte had it all. As a tattoo artist, he used his special ink and spells to permanently tattoo other immortals and spent countless hours feeding and indulging in BDSM with his human lover, Aaron. Then he asked to turn Aaron so his lover could join him permanently, but Aaron refused, not willing to give up his humanity. Since then, Beau has kept his head down and stayed in his shop, only interacting with his clients who all come for his special brand of ink.

When Aaron shows up on his doorstep, half-dead and apologizing, Beau is shocked to learn that his boy was turned at the local vampire club by Stephan, another vampire. Not only was Aaron turned, but his chest was torn open, his fangs were broken and he was left in an alley to die. Spurred by the need to see Beau one last time, Aaron has been hiding in an abandoned building until he found the strength to make it to Beau’s shop.

Beau takes his boy in again, promising that Aaron will earn his place back in Beau’s bed, and vowing that he will take revenge on Stephan. Unbeknownst to Beau, Aaron is only the first in a long line of humans who Stephan has created then turned out to fend for themselves. As Beau discovers that this is only one of the old rules that Stephan has broken, he and Aaron are drawn into a web of intrigue that can only end in someone’s death.

Reader Advisory: This books contains severe biting and bloodplay during sex between vampires. There is also a scene of fisting and some scenes of violence.

Buy link: https://www.pride-publishing.com/book/reclaiming

Bio:

Best-selling author Sean Michael is a maple leaf–loving Canadian who spends hours hiding out in used book stores. With far more ideas than time, Sean keeps several documents open at all times. From romance to fantasy, paranormal and sci-fi, Sean is limited only by the need for sleep—and the periodic Beaver Tail.

Sean fantasizes about one day retiring on a secluded island populated entirely by horseshoe crabs after inventing a brain-to-computer dictation system. Until then, Sean will continue to write the old-fashioned way.

Sean Michael on the web:

WEBSITE: http://www.seanmichaelwrites.com

BLOG: http://seanmichaelwrites.blogspot.ca

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/SeanMichaelWrites/

TWITTER: seanmichael09

 

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BLOG TOUR & GIVEAWAY: Guns n’ Boys Series by K.A. Merikan

Series Recap Tour & Giveaway

Guns n’ Boys Series 

K.A. Merikan 

Author: KA Merikan

Series Links

Guns n’ Boys: He is Poison (Book #1) Amazon US  Amazon UK
Guns n’ Boys: He is Mine (Book #2) Amazon US  Amazon UK
Guns n’ Boys: Paris (Book #2.1) Amazon US  Amazon UK 
Guns n’ Boys: Homicidal Instinct (Book #3) Amazon US  Amazon UK 
Guns n’ Boys: Swamp Blood (Book #4) Amazon US  Amazon UK 
Guns n’ Boys: Chokehold (Book #5) Amazon US Amazon UK 

Blurb
 

‘Guns n’ Boys’ is a twisted, dark erotic romance mixed with a crime thriller. It’s a long, turbulent journey of one couple deeply entrenched in the dealings of their mafia family. Behind the morbid humor and extreme violence hides the intense love affair of Domenico Acerbi, the mafia’s best hitman, and Seth Villani, the Don’s son.

Together, they have to deal with their blooming affection for each other, their family’s homophobia, their own prejudice, lust, jealousy, and violence. In true anti-hero fashion, they do so in most morally ambiguous ways. 

Giveaway

Prize: 3 eBooks from K.A. Merikan’s backlist.
Click here to enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway

Author Bio


K. A. Merikan is the pen name for Kat and Agnes Merikan, a team of writers, who are taken for sisters with surprising regularity. Kat’s the mean sergeant and survival specialist of the duo, never hesitating to kick Agnes’s ass when she’s slacking off. Her memory works like an easy-access catalogue, which allows her to keep up with both book details and social media. Also works as the emergency GPS. Agnes is the Merikan nitpicker, usually found busy with formatting and research. Her attention tends to be scattered, and despite pushing thirty, she needs to apply makeup to buy alcohol. Self-proclaimed queen of the roads.


They love the weird and wonderful, stepping out of the box, and bending stereotypes both in life and books. When you pick up a Merikan book, there’s one thing you can be sure of – it will be full of surprises.


Website: http://kamerikan.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/KA_Merikan
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KAMerikan/
Pinterest: https://uk.pinterest.com/KAMerikan/

 

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GUEST POST: The Secret Life of Thomas Commons By Brittany Weekley

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To believe the falsehoods 18th century London society told him molded a man of means, seemed to be the life of Thomas Franklin Commons.
Just as the meaninglessness of his everyday life seems inescapable due to an arranged marriage, he meets Wesley Ashfield; a curious and carefree man who forever changes Thomas’s perception of the meaning of life, love, and the struggle to be true to one’s self.

GUEST POST

I started writing from a young age. It all started with journals. I would sit down and spill my feelings and daily activities onto paper. I still enjoy going back to those. It takes me back to where it all began for me as a writer.

When I was 14 years old, I started experimenting with short stories. I’ll be honest with you, they were terrible, but the passion was there. There was room for improvement, and I knew if I kept working at it, I would get there. It would be years before I penned my first novel.

Like many other authors, I did not start with fanfiction. I got my ideas from the people around me and through classic literature. Jane Austen was a big inspiration for me. Since I am a history buff, I decided to put all my focus on historical fiction. I immersed myself in classic literature and period dramas. This is where my characters Thomas and Wesley came from.

I consider a lot of my work controversial in a way. I write deep, human stories that are emotionally driven and cover topics that are touchy for some readers. I try not to leave anything out.  I want my readers to view the things I write about from a different perspective. For example, my novel is about two gay men living in the 18th century who have a hidden romantic relationship with one another, but they are eventually caught and arrested for sodomy. During this time in my novel, being gay was a crime. I wanted to shed some light on what it may have been like for someone in their position. Although this story is romantic, it’s also tragic. Readers are faced with reality rather than a fairytale ending. How the ending of my book is perceived depends upon the reader.

Inspiration comes in many forms. As authors, it all depends on what we’re writing about and what works for us. For me, I get my inspiration through music. If I can find that one song that connects me to my characters, I can begin my journey with them. It’s like starting a new relationship. The first draft is when I really get to know them. The second draft with when we start to become friends. Anything after that, I consider them family. However, there have been times when I just couldn’t click with my characters.  That’s when I start something new.

Being an author is hard work. I always say that if an author is out to make money and become famous, they’re in for a huge disappointment. The best part of being an author is when you can reach your readers on an emotional level, and for that to happen, you have to be passionate about your story. Only then is it truly rewarding.

BUY LINKS

The Secret Life of Thomas Commons is now available through print on demand.

Smashwords

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

You can reach Brittany on Twitter and through her website!

Twitter: @BBWeekley

Website: http://brittanyweekleyauthor.weebly.com/

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BLOG TOUR & GIVEAWAY: Crooked Tree Ranch by RJ Scott

Series Recap Tour 

Crooked Tree Ranch (Montana #1)

 RJ Scott

Author: RJ Scott
 
Cover Design: Meredith Russell
 
Length: 67,000 words
 
 
Series
 
Blurb
 
When a cowboy, meets the guy from the city, he can’t know how much things will change.

On the spur of the moment, with his life collapsing around him, Jay Sullivan answers an ad for a business manager with an expertise in marketing, on a dude ranch in Montana.

With his sister, Ashley, niece, Kirsten and nephew, Josh, in tow, he moves lock stock and barrel from New York to Montana to start a new life on Crooked Tree Ranch.

Foreman and part owner of the ranch, ex rodeo star Nathaniel ‘Nate’ Todd has been running the dude ranch, for five years ever since his mentor Marcus Allen became ill.

His brothers convince him that he needs to get an expert in to help the business grow. He knows things have to change and but when the new guy turns up, with a troubled family in tow – he just isn’t prepared for how much.

NB: This is a previously released title. It includes a new chapter and is re-edited with new cover art.
GIVEAWAY
Prize: $20 Amazon or ARe giftcard
Click here to enter the Giveaway.

 

Author Bio:

RJ Scott is the bestselling gay romance author of over ninety MM romance books. She writes emotional stories of complicated characters, cowboys, millionaire, princes, and the men who get mixed up in their lives. RJ is known for writing books that always end with a happy ever after. She lives just outside London and spends every waking minute she isn’t with family either reading or writing. 

 
RJ also writes MF romance under the name Rozenn Scott.
 
The last time she had a week’s break from writing she didn’t like it one little bit, and she has yet to meet a bottle of wine she couldn’t defeat.
 

 

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GUEST POST and GIVEAWAY: Vespers By Irene Preston & Liv Rancourt

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Release Date: September 13, 2016

Blurb

Thaddeus Dupont has had over eighty years to forget…

The vampire spends his nights chanting the Liturgy of the Hours and ruthlessly disciplines those unnatural urges he’s vowed never again to indulge. He is at the command of the White Monks, who summon him at will to destroy demons. In return, the monks provide for his sustenance and promise the return of his immortal soul.

Sarasija Mishra’s most compelling job qualification might be his type O blood…

The 22-year-old college grad just moved across the country to work for some recluse he can’t even find on the internet. Sounds sketchy, but the salary is awesome and he can’t afford to be picky.  On arrival he discovers a few details his contract neglected to mention, like the alligator-infested swamp, the demon attacks, and the nature of his employer’s “special diet”. A smart guy would leave, but after one look into Dupont’s mesmerizing eyes, Sarasija can’t seem to walk away. Too bad his boss expected “Sara” to be a girl.

Falling in love is hard at any age…

The vampire can’t fight his hungers forever, especially since Sara’s brought him light, laughter and a very masculine heat. After yielding to temptation, Thaddeus must make a choice.  Killing demons may save his soul, but keeping the faith will cost him his heart.

Vespers is a complete novel with no cliffhanger. It can be enjoyed as a standalone or read as the first book in the Hours of the Night series.

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Guest Post: Another New Orleans Vampire…

Thanks so much to Two Men Are Better Than One for having us as guests on the blog. Irene and I are very excited to be here and to tell you all about our upcoming release, Vespers.

Prior to Vespers, neither of us had any experience with co-writing. We started with a high-level premise, and worked out the details as a team. Basically our original idea was to rework Beauty and the Beast, except the Beast is a (male) vampire, and Beauty is a handsome Asian man named Sarasija Mishra (aka Sara).

His brother…was correct. Sara was too pretty for his own good. (Thaddeus Dupont, shortly after having been taken down a step.)

After we decided to work together on this project, I sketched out a few ideas and sent them to Irene. I had a college student with a science background, a house in the Pacific Northwest forest, and demons running amuck. She responded with something along the lines of, “that’s great, but I’m pretty sure the first scene takes place somewhere in the Bayou, so can we move to Louisiana, please?”

And thus, another New Orleans vampire was born. Well, she did say please….

For all that there have been a couple (hundred) other vampire novels set in New Orleans, I really can’t think of a better setting for the story we ended up writing. I wanted to give our vampire a twist, so instead of an uber-rich, decadent creature of the night, Thaddeus Dupont has a contract to serve the Catholic Church. He was studying to be a monk before being turned as a vampire in 1925, and that training – along with the structure provided by chanting the monastic hours – defines who he is.

There’s not many cities outside of Rome with a stronger Catholic flavor than New Orleans. Beyond the prominent festival of Mardi Gras, the Church provided a common bond for the multiple cultures who settled there. For example, Louisiana is the only state in the US divided up in parishes rather than counties – parishes formed by ecclesiastical communities rather than civic ones. Given that the Church is an intrinsic part of life there, what better place for a vampire monk to live?

He cowered against the wall of the crypt as the shadows settled around him. The twenty-first century ceased to exist, and Sara understood why the demons had lured Dupont here. The sounds of the city were strangely muted. With the thick row of wall vaults separating him from the rest of the Garden District even the cars a few yards away sounded muffled and far away. The spirits of New Orleans pressed around him. (Sara Mishra, right after breaking into the Lafayette No 1 cemetery.)

The other thing that really worked for our story was the architecture. Beyond the historic churches and the gorgeous, atmospheric cemeteries, there’s the Gothic kaleidoscope of the French Quarter and the stately elegance of the Garden District. The heat and humidity added atmosphere, and the vegetation – the cypress trees and magnolias and wisteria – added spice.

You know, there’s a reason so many vampire stories are set in this city.

In a nod to the heritage of New Orleans vampires, the street number for Thaddeus Dupont’s Garden District is right next door to Ann Rice’s – or it would be, if Mr. Dupont’s house actually existed. One of the most entertaining parts of the project was putting together the Pinterest board. Jump HERE if you want to see the images that both inspired and reflected our story. We sent the Pinterest link to Kanaxa, our cover artist, who absolutely nailed the vibe of the story with her art.

If my home had a name, it would be Dupont’s Folly. I’d acquired it in the late 1920s, the result of a game of Bourré gone awry—for my opponent, anyway. I appreciated the symmetry of the house’s structure, the simplicity of the double-gallery design. Deep porches faced the street, supported by Italianate ironwork and Doric columns. The front rooms never saw direct sunlight, allowing me to move about before nightfall. (Thaddeus Dupont, describing the house that really isn’t right next door to Ann Rice’s house.)

We could probably have come up with a decent story with a Northwest setting – and pinky-swear our vampire wouldn’t sparkle – but New Orleans just gave us so much more to work with. We hope you enjoy our addition to the lore! Keep reading for an excerpt and a link to our giveaway. Thanks again!

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Excerpt

The loss of music settled over them with the next layer of twilight. The boat slid through the water as Bren navigated through tree stumps, low-hanging branches, and occasional knolls of land. Without the radio, the sounds of the swamp took over—crickets so loud, they should have drowned out the music, the lower thrum of frogs, and the occasional screech of a bird. Apparently, he needed a better soundtrack, because Dr. John tuned in to his head where there was no Off switch.

Bren flicked a switch, and lights at both ends of the boat came on, beating back some of the gloom. Sara forced his fingers to unclench from the seat. Jesus, he’d been admiring the same cypress trees and Spanish moss out the window all day. Except down in it, the scenery seemed less romantic and more…

“What the hell?” He scrambled across the seat. “Alligator! Bren, there’s an alligator over here!”

Bren peered over the side of the boat, where dark eyes glided above darker water. “Wow, he’s a big ’un. Don’t worry, they aren’t usually aggressive. I wouldn’t do any night swimming, though. You’ll have to get used to them out here. Might be more of them than there are us.”

Bren sounded so casual, he felt like an idiot. Except, alligator. No. Sorry, he refused to feel unmanned by his fear of a six-foot predator with very large teeth.

“Maybe we should have called Mr. Dupont to let him know we’re on the way.” He needed to talk. Anything to break the mood and make things seem more normal.

“Eh, wouldn’t have done any good. He works nights. Way I hear, even if he’s up, he won’t answer his phone half the time.”

Major distraction, because now curiosity was killing him. The Deal with Dupont—works nights. What the hell did he do all night in the middle of a swamp? Sara tried to figure out some way of pumping Bren for information without coming off like a gossip and couldn’t do it. The best he could come up with was “Your grandmother knows him?”

“Well, they’ve been doing business for a while. I guess she knows him as well as anyone. He mostly keeps to himself.”

“You’ve never met him?”

“I’ve seen him over at his dock a few times.” She frowned. “You know, I could swear I’ve talked to him, but I can’t remember when or what we talked about. Or maybe I’m remembering his father. The land’s been in the same family for generations.”

“No offense, but are you sure you know where we’re going?”

She scoffed at him. “’Fraid I’ll feed your Yankee ass to the gators?”

“Crossed my mind.”

She laughed. “I’ve done plenty of deliveries out to his place. Don’t worry, I’ll get you there in one piece.”

A few minutes later, she made good on her promise as the swamp gave way to actual land. Bren guided the boat up to a long, skinny pier jutting out from a sloping lawn. In the fading light, Sara could barely make out a large structure set back among the trees. Bren steadied the boat while he clambered out onto the pier with his duffel, then peered up toward the house. “I don’t see any lights. You want me to come up with you?”

Yes. Except she had promised her grandmother she would come straight home, and he was a big boy. He didn’t need someone to hold his hand while he walked a hundred feet to meet his boss.

“He’s probably in the back.”

“I guess. You sure you don’t want me to hang out for bit, just in case?”

“I’ll be fine. He’s expecting me, and I’ll be living here. I mean, his other assistants survived, right? It’s not like he’s an axe murder.” That came out as a joke, right?

“Yeah, no. You’re right. They all seem to love the job. I just, what if he’s not home?”

“No, she said he expected me by six, so he must be in there. Get home to your grandmother.”

“Have it your way.” She pushed off from the dock. “Good luck with the new job.”

Sara watched the boat disappear into the swamp, then picked up his duffel and started across the lawn. The house wasn’t as far as he had thought. The distance was an optical illusion, because a structure that big should have seemed a lot more obvious. Instead, the trees, the wispy Spanish moss, and the hint of fog along the ground combined to deflect the eye until the house seemed to waver insubstantially in mist. Sara got an impression of a steep roof and aged wood, then he was on the long porch running the length of the house without knowing quite how he had traveled the last few yards.

God, it had been a long day.

Tall windows lined the porch, but they were shuttered, so he couldn’t see anything inside. The door was heavy wood behind a screen. There was no bell. Why was knocking so much harder?

Sara stood outside, his heart pounding in his chest, and called himself every kind of idiot. Mr. Dupont expected him. This would be his home for the next year. If it hadn’t been for a fender bender on an endless bridge, he would be inside right now. He wiped sweaty palms down his pants. Took a deep breath and tapped on the doorframe.

The long wait should have given him a chance to calm down. Instead, his reluctance to disturb the silent house grew. He counted to a hundred, slowly, and then rapped harder.

The third time, he pounded.

After that, he cursed. Quietly, under his breath, in case the door suddenly opened.

He left his bag and walked the length of the porch and through spongy earth down both sides of the house, looking for any hint of light. Nothing. No light. No sound. The utter inanimateness of the building mocked him. He went around to the front. Feeling like a total douche, he opened the screen door and tried the knob. Locked.

Well, that was just…super swell.

A cast-iron patio set occupied one end of the porch. He sank down into one of the chairs, stared out at the water, and took stock of his situation. He was in the middle of a swamp at a house that looked deserted. He had no phone. It was almost full dark. He slicked his hand through sweat-soaked hair. At least he wouldn’t freeze.

Down by the water, some of the shadows began to move, followed a second later by the sound of bodies sliding into the water. Probably more of them than us. The sounds of the crickets and bullfrogs faded behind a high-pitched whine next to his right ear. A second later, he slapped at a sharp sting against his arm, then another. He looked down to find a visible smear of blood and another mosquito settling in for lunch.

Freakin’ perfect. He mostly keeps to himself. Bren’s words from earlier snuck into the forefront of his brain. Only how the neighbors described every axe murderer ever. What kind of person advertises for a personal assistant in a town 3,000 miles away? He propped his feet up on the table and settled back in the chair, too tired to come up with any new explanations for Dupont. I don’t know, Ma.

The final bit of twilight faded, and living in the city hadn’t prepared him for the reality of night. Even straining his eyes, he couldn’t see a damn thing. He could hear plenty, though, most of it scary as shit. Yeah, man had invented fire first thing, because this kind of dark ate your soul and left your body for whatever crawled up out of the swamp.

He sat in the dark, cursing his own stupidity for not stopping earlier to buy a fifteen-dollar car charger and trying not to jump at every crackle and splash. He was so focused on the noises in front of him, he completely missed the first signs of life from the house.

He didn’t hear the door open or movement on the porch, but suddenly, every instinct screamed to high alert. Danger. Way more danger than anything the swamp had served up.

He froze and tried to focus past the sound of blood rushing behind his ears as his heart rate kicked into high gear.

Something was on the porch behind him.

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About the Authors

About Irene Preston

Irene Preston has to write romances, after all she is living one.  As a starving college student, she met her dream man who whisked her away on a romantic honeymoon across Europe.  Today they live in the beautiful hill country outside of Austin, Texas where Dream Man is still working hard to make sure she never has to take off her rose-colored glasses.

Where to find Irene

IrenePreston.com

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About Liv Rancourt
I write romance: m/f, m/m, and v/h, where the h is for human and the v is for vampire … or sometimes demon … I lean more towards funny than angst. When I’m not writing I take care of tiny premature babies or teenagers, depending on whether I’m at home or at work. My husband is a soul of patience, my dog’s cuteness is legendary, and we share the homestead with three ferrets. Who steal things. Because they’re brats.

Where to find Liv

LivRancourt.com

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COVER REVEAL: A Kind of Honesty by Lane Hayes

A Kind of Honesty Reveal BannerTitle: A Kind of Honesty

Series: A Kind of Story, #3

Author: Lane Hayes

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Release Date: October 7, 2016

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 85K

Genre: Romance, Bisexual, Rock star, NYC, humor

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Synopsis

Music is Tim Chalmers’s great escape and the one thing that’s never let him down. But his band Spiral’s meteoric rise to fame has made it difficult for the drummer to maintain a low profile. Unwanted press pesters him after a public breakup with a volatile ex-girlfriend who loves the limelight as much as he loathes it. Tim’s main goal is to avoid confrontation. However, when he meets a handsome stranger in a dive bar who turns out to be someone he may know, everything changes.

Carter Hamilton-Temple might be a successful financial consultant with more brains, sophistication, and charm than most, but he always falls for the wrong guys: closet cases or men with issues. He can’t fight his attraction to the tattooed rock star, but can he trust his own judgment? When the thrill of danger combined with a fierce physical connection proves too strong for either man to resist, a quiet liaison away from the public eye and curious friends seems like a safe bet. But some secrets are hard to keep. When rumors threaten to rock his world, Tim realizes it’s time to confront his fear with his own kind of honesty.

Excerpt

“What kind of a rock star are you? You’re supposed to love sex, drugs, and alcohol. I haven’t known you long, but you seem to only really like one out of three,” Carter commented idly as he shuffled the cards.

“You’re right. I’m a sucky rock star. I rarely have more than one drink when I go out for dinner or even at a bar. Two at a party. Anything more usually leads to trouble. And I never take drugs. Even cold medicine makes me nervous.” I winked and gave him a lecherous grin that no doubt looked far from provocative in my current condition. “But I love sex.”

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Meet the Author

Lane Hayes is finally doing what she loves best. Writing! An avid reader from an early age, Lane has always been drawn to romance novels. She truly believes there is nothing more inspiring than a well-told love story with beautifully written characters. Lane discovered the M/M genre a fews ago and was instantly hooked. Her first novel was a finalist in the 2013 Rainbow Awards. She is the bestselling author of the Better Than Stories series and Right and Wrong Stories and the new A Kind of Stories series. She loves travel, chocolate, and wine (in no particular order). Lane lives in Southern California with her amazing husband in an almost empty nest.

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GUEST POST: Snapshots at the Fontaine Motel by Skot Harris

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Snapshots at the Fontaine Motel by Skot Harris
Publication Date: August 25, 2016

Genre: Murder Mystery, Road Trip, Action-Adventure, LGBT

GUEST POST

Many thanks and big ol’ KAPOW! to BTMABTO for generously giving me a guest post to present my third novel, Snapshots at the Fontaine Motel!

What started as an English class short story during my junior year of high school and eventually evolved and changed and edited and rewrote itself into its published state, the novel gives a cheeky wink and nod to such movie greats as Thelma & Louise and The Breakfast Club. My initial inspiration came from my close-knit circle of high school friends. What would happen in the mid-90s if we had been involved in a horrific crime of murder? Would the friendship be strong enough to survive such a dangerous situation? If so, what kind of life could be created on the run from the law? Would there be any hope or possibility for a real life, with love or any kind of future? These questions were the foundation for Snapshots at the Fontaine Motel.

Stuffed with murder, tears, sarcasm, and endless pop culture references, the novel takes the reader on a lightning-fast journey, exploring coming-of-age themes like self-discovery, love, loyalty and betrayal, set against the backdrop of pre-cell phones and pre-internet ‘90s America… 

BLURB

May 1996.

Six friends—inseparable since childhood—seek immediate revenge after one of them is brutally attacked. But their vigilante justice spins violently out of control and leaves the attacker dead, accidentally killed by their own hands.

Desperate to save themselves as the FBI inches dangerously close, they flee Michigan, speeding across state lines and dusty backroads that lead to the Fontaine Motel, an isolated, rundown hideout in the middle of nowhere Oklahoma.

In a few lightning-fast days, their temporary safety leads to much more—self-discovery, love, and deadly secrets that will not only change everything, but threaten the very lives they’re frantic to protect…

***

The novel features a tender and heartbreaking gay subplot: Matt and Ford have been best friends since before they could speak. Matt is a sarcastic, witty, handsome wannabe photographer. Ford is a beautiful, shy and fiercely loyal baseball player who may or may not be madly in love with Matt. After accidentally murdering the high school bully with their friends, Matt and Ford are forced to confront their feelings for each other, especially as the FBI inches closer every day. And when Matt meets a handsome, rugged cowboy named Casey, Ford can’t waste any more time. If he has any hope to share his life—whatever kind of life any of them may have left—with Matt, he must decide whether to make the courageous decision to confess his feelings or live with disastrous consequences without every knowing what could have been…

About Skot Harris

SkotHarrisPicSkot Harris has spent the last 10+ years travelling the world as a dressing room assistant and backstage manager for various musicians, everyone from Linkin Park to Drake to Neil Diamond to Taylor Swift to Neil Diamond to and more. But his first love has always been writing. He graduated with a degree in creative writing from the University of Michigan and published his first novel, Ann Arbor South ’96, in 2006. It was based on his turbulent high school years in ‘90s Michigan. Its sequel,Heart on the Run, came in 2009. His latest (and greatest) novel, Snapshots at the Fontaine Motel, was published in August 2016. He grew up near Detroit with a pop culture obsession. Born a rolling stone, Skot lived all over the US and moved to the United Kingdom for love in 2009. He married a beautiful British boy in 2011 and continues to live in England.

Website: http://www.skotharris.com/

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Snapshots-Fontaine-Motel-Skot-Harris/dp/1535117036/

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Snapshots-Fontaine-Motel-Skot-Harris/dp/1535117036/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Snapshots-at-the-Fontaine-Motel/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31679304-snapshots-at-the-fontaine-motel/

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RETRO TOUR AND GIVEAWAY! Tournament of Shadows by SA Meade

Retro Review Tour & Giveaway 

 SA Meade – Tournament of Shadows

Author: SA Meade
 
 
Length: 55,000 words
 
Blurb
 
In a shadowy game where defeat can mean death, a deal with the enemy can change things forever.
 
In 1842, Captain Gabriel O’Riordan of the 8th King’s Royal Irish Hussars is sent on a
mission to Bukhara. His task—to try to free two of his compatriots from the clutches of a mentally unstable Emir. On his way, he encounters Valentin Yakolev, an officer in the Russian Army, who is also on a mission—to persuade the Emir that an alliance with Russia would be in his best interest. Gabriel, disguised as a holy man, is not happy to be the object of Yakolev’s intense scrutiny. After all, he’s working for the opposing team in the Great Game being played between their two nations. When Gabriel realises that his mission is little more than a forlorn hope, a game he has no chance of winning, he’s desperate enough to turn to Valentin for help and offers him anything in return. What he doesn’t expect is to have his plans to return to Calcutta scuppered by events.
 
Instead, he and Valentin flee north, fighting off bandits, their desire for each other and the hardship of desert travel. Their travails bring them closer together until a secret from Valentin’s past tears them apart.
 
Can they set the past behind them and move on together?
 
Author Bio
 
S.A. Laybourn lives in Wiltshire with her son and two needy cats. She works as a freelance editor and sometimes writes stories. Her alter-ego S.A. Meade writes gay romance. She loves cooking, reading, gin and tonic and the occasional glass of wine. She is not terribly domesticated and has trouble finding things that she thought she’d put in a ‘safe’ place.
 
You can find her books at:

And follow her on:

 
 
 
 

 Giveaway!

Click the image below to win two of S.A. Meade’s backlist stories.

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