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GUEST POST: Nurture by Jaime Samms & Sarah Masters

Nurture by Jaime Samms & Sarah Masters

No doubt about it, abuse is a difficult thing to read about. It’s difficult to write about, too.  Nurture explores abuse within a relationship—extreme abuse—and how two men fight their way through it. Three men if you count the new love interest—four and five men if you count the two friends also in the story. It’s a tale about pulling together, about helping a man see that what he’s suffered is abuse. All right, Paul knows his relationship with Carl isn’t normal, but he needs time to come to terms with that.

We see both sides of the coin, with Carl showing the reader why he’s abusive; how his upbringing and the things his father said to him brought him to where they are today—with Carl expressing his love for Paul in a manner that no one should express. By murdering people to prove how much he cares. His logic is twisted, but to him it makes absolute sense. To Paul, it’s horrific, and he wonders where and when Carl crossed that line. When did he shift from charming and wonderful to wicked and sadistic? Paul learns that it’s possible to feel empathy for a deranged and evil person—and that’s what he struggles with. Emotions and feelings have a habit of swaying our minds and hearts, and although Paul can see exactly what Carl has become, he still holds on to the fact somewhere deep inside that Carl wasn’t always like that.

However, Paul isn’t some whimpering bloke who refuses to see what’s right in front of his face. He can see it—has felt a fist or two connect with it as well—and it’s time to move on. The problem is, Carl isn’t about to let that happen, and rather than let Paul go, or get Paul to run away with him so he can have him all to himself, Carl would rather see Paul in jail than free. At least then he’d know where Paul was. Yes, twisted logic again, but through his eyes a child, we can see how he came to that conclusion—that Paul being incarcerated is better than Paul being free.

There are too many good people on Paul’s side, though, encouraging him, believing him—in him—and Paul’s journey, though as harrowing as Carl’s but in a completely different way, is about to take a different turn. He realises he must put the past behind him—and he must learn to let go. With the help of a police officer (Vic), and Paul’s friends Brian and Lil, he finds the courage to take the first step into a life without restraints. It’s a hard thing to do, walking away from an abuser, but the strength to do so is inside him. The problem is, Carl is stubborn and refuses to set him free.

Nurture isn’t a book everyone will want to read, we know that. But it is one we couldn’t not write. It called to us, and while writing, we wondered where on earth the plot would go next. We were surprised by ourselves on many occasions, and once we’d completed it, felt drained from the intensity of it all. But we’re glad we wrote it. Glad that if someone somewhere reads this book and alarm bells start ringing in their heads, giving them the courage to walk away like Paul, then we’ve done a good thing.

It’s not all doom and gloom. We also wanted to show that new horizons are out there, just waiting and, once a person is ready for it, beautiful things can happen. There’s hope, there’s a light at the end of a long and dark tunnel. There’s nurturing, not torturing.

There’s love.

URL for Nurture: https://www.pride-publishing.com/book/nurture

Jaime Samms Author Bio:

Jaime writes, romance, fantasy, urban fantasy, shifter stories about men, about life, about love. Her work is populated with mostly men, most of whom are into each other, and yes, we do mean into each other. You can find plenty of free reading on her website.

She also reviews for Dark Diva Reviews, mostly the same types of stories, and will happily spout her opinion on the books she reads to her kids, who she home schools. Finally, she’s occasionally gainfully employed. She writes for the love it, and hopes to pass on that love to her readers, her kids, and anyone else who comes along.

 

Sarah Masters Author Bio:

Sarah Masters is a multi-published author in three pen names writing several genres. She lives with her husband, youngest daughter, and a cat in England. She writes at weekends and is a cover artist/head of art in her day job. In another life she was an editor. Her other pen names are Natalie Dae and Geraldine O’Hara.

Sarah also co-authors with Jaime Samms, and as Natalie Dae she co-authors with Lily Harlem under the name Harlem Dae.

 

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RELEASE BLITZ: By The Numbers by RJ Scott

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
Paperback: Amazon US | Amazon UK 


Length: 37,400 words


Cover Design: Meredith Russell


Sanctuary Series


Guarding Morgan (Book #1) Amazon US | Amazon UK
The Only Easy Day (Book #2) Amazon US | Amazon UK
Face Value (Book #3) Amazon US | Amazon UK
Still Waters (Book #4) Amazon US | Amazon UK
Full Circle (Book #5) Amazon US | Amazon UK
The Journal of Sanctuary One (Book #6) Amazon US | Amazon UK
Worlds Collide (Book #7) Amazon US | Amazon UK
Accidental Hero (Book #8) Amazon US | Amazon UK

Ghost (Book #9) Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Blurb
 

Secrets and lies threaten Brandon and Daniel’s new love.


Brandon Hoselton is running scared, finding security in his obsession with patterns and numbers. With his family threatened, he feels he has nowhere left to go, and even considers ending his life to keep them safe. Until Sanctuary, in the shape of the enigmatic Daniel Karnes, gives him a reason to stay alive and offers the possibility of a future free from fear.


Former SEAL Daniel is new to Sanctuary, tasked with watching Brandon, a brilliant geek with way too many secrets. Falling in love with quirky Brandon is easy; now he just has to make sure secrets don’t end up with them both dying.


The only way of destroying Varga is to cut the crime boss’s money, and the two men become part of an intricate take-down involving millions of dollars. But Brandon has a secret he can never share with Daniel, and their new love is at stake.

When the villain has murder in mind, sometimes the only way to stay alive is to lie.

 
Excerpt
 

Brandon took down the drapes in his room as soon as he was able to. He could have asked his sisters, but they didn’t know just how badly looking at the geometric pattern in the fabric upset his equilibrium. They knew he was weird; most sisters thought their big brothers were weird. But he also had twitches and nervous tics about certain things, and they’d seen it all, even though his list of crazy was something he could manage now.


They didn’t need to know he’d spent three hours last night counting the squares on the drapes and being irritated to the point of stimming that they weren’t even and the stitching was wrong. And Jesus, stimming—having to move his fingers, loosen his muscles, anything to ground himself—he hadn’t done that in years.


And hell if he was going to ask Daniel into his room to help him, because Daniel was someone Brandon did not want in his space. Not taking down drapes, or talking to him, or even breathing near him. There was only so much of Daniel that Brandon could take, because when he was anywhere near him, he lost his ability to form coherent sentences. He didn’t have time to have these powerful feelings of lust that kept hitting him.


Like the time he and Daniel had met on the landing and Daniel had been in just a towel. They’d only been together a few days, but Daniel was funny, and sexy, and dangerous, and exactly everything Brandon should be avoiding in his life.


He had way too much to worry about, and a date written in his memory that he wouldn’t forget any time soon. The deal he had—to stay alive, to hide himself away, and then to present himself to Varga—was just about the only thing that filled his thoughts.


Varga thought that, on a given date, Brandon would join him in his huge mansion, pull together all the funds Varga had hidden in various places, and then join him in whatever country the US didn’t have an extradition treaty with.


Like hell he would. He was meeting with Varga, getting all his money, dispersing it to the right causes, and sending any intel he could get out to the authorities.


And then Varga would kill him for doing that.


Inevitable, really, and something he’d come to terms with. He’d blown his chance to do this when he’d worked for Varga, so he had to make up for it. He was doing the right thing.


He’d been biding his time in Hope, but had been unfortunate to be scooped up by Sanctuary. He just needed to work out a way to get away from them, and in particular Daniel, but he had about ten days to go yet until that magic date when Varga had decided he would be leaving the country.


For now, Sanctuary was safe for him and his sisters.


So yeah, choosing to avoid having Daniel in his room, with his probing questions and his distracting body, was an easy decision to make in among all that crap.


The only downside was that it meant he had to take the drapes down himself.


Trying to shoot himself hadn’t gone so well; instead of being dead and gone, he had a through shot and muscle damage which hurt like knives in his skin. He waited until day four, when the pain in his shoulder had lessened to the point where he could at least manage to get out of bed and to the window but he couldn’t handle looking at those drapes any longer.


Today he actually felt capable of dealing with drapes he didn’t need anyway. There were blinds at the windows, and behind the blinds each window was coated so you could see out but no one could see in. He pushed the offending fabric under the bed and clambered back to a standing position, wincing in pain as he banged his shoulder, and sat on the edge of his bed.


The drapes were still there—he could picture them under the bed—and exasperated, he lay back on the mattress and attempted to think of something else. Blue skies, blue mugs, blue eyes. Anything blue, because it was a color that calmed him.


He lasted about a minute.


Huffing, he rolled up carefully and reached under the bed, pulling out the drapes and screwing them into a ball. Opening his door, he threw them out onto the landing, not even checking if anyone was standing there.


Daniel. Of course it would be Daniel, who reacted like a ninja and had the drapes under submission in seconds.


Once they were dead, or at least overpowered with some sort of karate move, Brandon felt like he should apologize.


“My bad,” he said, and shut the door in Daniel’s face.


He expected the knock, but hadn’t quite decided what he was going to say to Daniel when he came in. Maybe if he ignored the request to enter and said nothing, then Daniel might go away.


Daniel knocked again, and this time instead of waiting for Brandon to say he could come in, he pushed his way in, looking irritable. He was shirtless, his hair wet—evidence of a recent shower—his sweats hanging low on his hips and every muscle deliciously tight and toned.


“What the hell, Brandon?” he asked, his dark eyes angry, his lips in a set line. He wasn’t holding the drapes, so Brandon counted that as a win.


“I didn’t want them up at my window,” Brandon explained, and eased himself down into the chair by his bed. He was most comfortable there; he could see out the window and it was easier to keep the pressure off his injury.


“So you decided to throw them in my face?” Daniel sounded less pissed and more confused about getting fabric in his face.


Brandon indicated the door. “To be fair, I didn’t know you were there.” Then he couldn’t resist, “And you heroically subdued them so fast, I knew you could handle the danger.”

Author Bio


RJ Scott is the bestselling romance author of over 100 romance books. She writes emotional stories of complicated characters, cowboys, millionaire, princes, and the men and women 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.


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.


mailto:rj@rjscott.co.uk
www.rjscott.co.uk/
www.facebook.com/author.rjscott?ref=ts&fref=ts
www.goodreads.com/author/show/3432558.R_J_Scott
twitter.com/Rjscott_author
www.librarything.com/author/scottrj

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NEW RELEASE: The Master Will Appear by L.A. Witt

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK


Length: 120,000 words


Blurb


Dr. Mikhail “Misha” Budnikov takes one look at fellow fencer Ryan O’Connor and instantly knows his type. The undisciplined hothead is all ego with no finesse and even less control. In short, Misha’s pet peeves personified. To put the arrogant kid in check, Misha challenges him to a sparring match, which he predictably wins.


Not so predictably, Ryan asks him to be a mentor and show him how to fence. Startled by the moment of humility, Misha agrees.


What begins as fencing lessons becomes something much hotter, and before they know it, Misha is giving Ryan an entirely different kind of education. Dominance, submission, pain, pleasure—at the hands of an older, experienced man, a whole new world is opening up for Ryan.


As the trust deepens and their bond strengthens, though, Ryan retreats because that sham called love left him jaded long ago. Cynical beyond his years, he’s not letting his guard down, least of all for a thrice-divorced man twice his age.


Now Misha has to find a way to crack through those defenses…or accept defeat and walk away from the submissive who might just be the love of his life.

 

 
Author Bio
 

L.A. Witt is an abnormal M/M romance writer who has finally been released from the purgatorial corn maze of Omaha, Nebraska, and now spends her time on the southwestern coast of Spain. In between wondering how she didn’t lose her mind in Omaha, she explores the country with her husband, several clairvoyant hamsters, and an ever-growing herd of rabid plot bunnies. She also has substantially more time on her hands these days, as she has recruited a small army of mercenaries to search South America for her nemesis, romance author Lauren Gallagher, but don’t tell Lauren. And definitely don’t tell Lori A. Witt or Ann Gallagher. Neither of those twits can keep their mouths shut…


Website: http://www.gallagherwitt.com
E-mail: gallagherwitt@gmail.com
Twitter: @GallagherWitt
Blog: http://gallagherwitt.blogspot.com

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GUEST POST: Silent Voice by Thom Collins

Thanks for having me here today to talk about my new release Silent Voices. This story was a lot of fun to write but the inspiration for it came about in the most mundane fashion. I was so bored with my daily commute one morning last autumn that I veered off onto a completely unknown road, knowing that it would eventually lead me in the direction I needed to be for work. The road itself was twisty with hair pin bends, deep woods and isolated farm houses. So much more interesting than my usual route. I began to take this journey every morning. It was sometime during the second week that I noticed a large manor house set back from the road behind a gated wall. Each day I paid more attention to the old house as I passed and ask myself the kind of “what if” questions that kick start so many good stories. On arrival at the office, I would quickly scribble down the latest round of ideas my morning commute had provided. Being the kind of author I am, I didn’t imagine tea parties and happy families behind those gates, but something far darker and sinister. In this way Winterstone Grange, the black heart of the story, began to take shape.

Silent Voices is set in the North East of England, in a combination of real and fictional locations. My lead character Josh Jackson is a restaurateur in the centre of Durham. While his restaurant The Cellar Steps is fictitious, the street where it’s located is very real. It’s one of my favourite parts of the city, full of secret corners, alcoves and hidden court yards. Silent Voices is essentially a thriller as Josh is drawn into a dark web of secrets and cover-ups while searching for his young cousin. It’s also a love story. Josh’s search for his cousin leads him to Ed, a journalist, researching Winterstone Grange for reasons of his own. Both characters were great fun to write – modern, sexy, intelligent guys – and their attraction for each other is seriously hot.

This is my third release with Pride Publishing and my first novella. My previous releases where Closer by Morning, a novel, and Gods of Vengeance, a short story. I love the novella format, as both a writer and a reader. I like the balance of action, drama and character, delivered at great pace, in a story that can be enjoyed in one or two sittings.  I can’t wait to write more like this.

Blurb

A desire for justice as strong as their passion for each other.

Concerned about the welfare of his young cousin, Josh Jackson, a restaurant owner, traces the boy to Winterstone Grange, a gated manor deep in the country. Miles from anywhere, the protected walls of this stately house conceal dark secrets. Josh’s search brings him into contact with Ed Brolin, a handsome journalist who has spent weeks investigating the secrets of the Grange and its owner. Ray Armstrong is a wealthy business man with influential connections in Parliament and the police. Ed knows exactly what goes on at the Grange but without evidence, he hasn’t got a story.

Drawn together by instant attraction and a powerful hunger for justice, Josh and Ed are determined to expose the sordid secrets of the grange despite the risks it poses. Josh has never met a man like Ed before—so strong, determined and masculine. Falling in love is easy. But they’ll have to put their emotions aside if they’re going to give a voice to all the silent victims of Winterstone Grange.

EXTRACT

Josh Jackson didn’t worry when his cousin failed to come home. It was Saturday night and Kevin was eighteen. Josh wasn’t about to impose a curfew on the kid. Neither was he going to babysit. Kevin was old enough to take care of himself.

Josh checked Kevin’s room when he came home from work at one o’clock. The spare bed hadn’t been made since Kevin had gotten out of it that morning and yesterday’s clothes were all over the floor—discarded jeans with his boxers still inside them, a scruffy T-shirt and a pair of dirty socks. The smell of the socks hit him from the doorway. Despite the reek of cheap deodorant and aftershave filling the room, the socks were pungent. Teenagers. Josh wasn’t about to tidy up after him so he left things as they were, including the damp towel draped over the foot of the bed. The kid was only staying a few nights. If he wanted to live in a mess like that, so be it, so long as he left the place as he’d found it when he moved on.

Josh shut the door and went to bed. He wished his cousin luck. If the boy wanted to get laid, he’d rather he did it somewhere else. It was bad enough that Josh’s lodger, Bobby, regarded the place as a Grindr pit stop, without his cousin treating it like a knocking shop, too.

Josh read for a while and half-listened for the sound of Kevin coming home, but eventually fell asleep.

He wasn’t overly concerned in the morning to find Kevin’s room just as he’d left it, though by now it smelled considerably worse. The fancy fragrances had worn off and all that remained was the fetid odor of teenage sweat and damp towel. So, he stayed out all night. Good on him. Josh had been a teenager once, a horny one at that, so he could totally relate. Kevin wouldn’t get the chance to fuck around much when he was at home. His mother had very rigid views on that. It wouldn’t have mattered whether Kevin had turned out straight or gay. His mother had raised a good boy and intended to keep him that way.

Kevin will be going back to her in a couple of days. He might as well have fun while the leash is off.

He was a good-looking lad. Josh knew he’d be popular in town. A little baby-faced for his age, but with the family features of blue eyes and blond hair, his fresh twinkie image would attract plenty of attention. He looked a lot like Josh had at that age. Josh had been a slim-looking twink until well into his twenties. It was only in the last few years he’d filled out with muscle and looked more like a man. The beard helped. How grateful he’d been when the ability to grow more than a few wisps of pale chin-fluff finally occurred. He kept it neat with a regular trim, but now that he had grown a beard, he couldn’t ever see himself being without one.

Josh called Kevin’s mobile while waiting for his morning coffee to brew. It rang a few times before going to voicemail. “Hi, it’s me,” he said. “Not checking up on you, I just want to know you’re okay. Give me a ring back, or a text when you get this message. Just to say you’re alive… Otherwise I’ll have to call your mother,” he added jokingly and hung up.

He had bigger concerns than a randy teenager. His restaurant, The Cellar Steps, was short on staff today and fully booked for both lunch and dinner. He’d asked all his remaining staff to come in early to help with the prep and service, which meant getting in even earlier himself. As the owner, it wasn’t necessary, since he employed a manager for the day-to-day running, but Josh believed in setting an example from the top down. That meant rolling up his sleeves when things got tight. He thought about putting a little cash Kevin’s way to help out, if he arrived home in decent time and wasn’t too hung over.

He heard the heavy thud of the newspapers landing in the hall. Perfect timing. A little news and some freshly brewed coffee. A relaxing start to an otherwise hectic day.

Josh sat at the kitchen table with multiple Sunday supplements spread all around him when Bobby stumbled out of his bedroom in just his boxers and a T-shirt, yawning and scratching his belly and balls at the same time. His semi-hard dick waggled in the front of his shorts. Bobby lurched into the bathroom and returned a few minutes later, looking fractionally more awake, minus morning wood.

“Coffee?” Bobby asked. “Okay if I help myself?”

“You know where it is,” Josh said, drawing back from the stench of alcohol that came off him in stale waves. “Jesus, your blood must be one hundred proof.”

“I think I’m still drunk,” Bobby observed. “The hangover hasn’t kicked in yet.”

“I don’t envy you when it does.”

“One cup of this and I’m crawling back beneath the duvet.”

Josh looked at him uncertainly. An idea had just occurred to him. He hoped he was wrong. “I don’t suppose my cousin is under that duvet with you?”

Bobby chuckled, his dark eyes crinkling. “Wouldn’t that be something? He is kinda hot. But little blond cupcakes are not my thing. In Kevin’s case, I could make an exception. Maybe.”

“But did you?”

“Too close to home, bro. The kid’s a cutie but he ain’t worth the earache. I’d never hear the last of it.”

It was some relief. Josh didn’t have a problem with his young cousin fucking around—but with Bobby, no way. His lodger was a good friend but a total slut. Kevin would need a lot more experience under his belt before he was ready for that old hound. “I don’t suppose you do know where he is? He hasn’t been home.”

“He’s between somebody’s sheets, all right. I walked into town with him last night, had a drink and showed him where to go.”

“You left him on his own?”

“No, he left me. I guess I cramped his style. He headed off toward Gala Square with a group of studenty types. He didn’t know how fast to ditch me once he got to talking to people his own age.”

Josh loosened up again. He’d been right about Kevin. He knew what he was doing. A young man in a new city making friends fast. There was nothing to worry about.

BUY LINKS

Pride Publishing: https://www.pride-publishing.com/book/silent-voices

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06XXH9T1N/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1491562233&sr=8-3&keywords=thom+collins

Amazon USA: https://www.amazon.com/Silent-Voices-Thom-Collins-ebook/dp/B06XXH9T1N/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1491562407&sr=8-3&keywords=thom+collins

KOBO: https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/silent-voices-15

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/silent-voices-thom-collins/1126168330;jsessionid=5F7489723C6FD83BD2A1910F02E6693C.prodny_store02-atgap09?ean=9781786515605

Thom Collins Bio

Thom Collins is the author of the novel Closer by Morning, with Pride Publishing. His love of page turning thrillers began at an early age when his mother caught him reading the latest Jackie Collins book and promptly confiscated it, sparking a life-long love of raunchy novels.

His novella Silent Voices will be published by Pride in May, followed by the novel Anthem of the Sea, the first book in the Anthem Trilogy. He has recently finished writing the second book in a series and is making plans for the third.

Thom has lived in the North East of England his whole life. He grew up in Northumberland and now lives in County Durham with his husband and two cats. He loves all kinds of genre fiction, especially bonk-busters, thrillers, romance and horror. He is also a cookery book addict with far too many titles cluttering his shelves. When not writing he can be found in the kitchen trying out new recipes. He’s a keen traveler but with a fear of flying that gets worse with age. Since taking his first cruise in 2013 he realized that sailing is the way to go.

Links:

Blog: www. thomcollinsauthor.blogspot.co.uk/

Twitter:   @thomwolf     and  @realthomcollins

Email: thomcollinsauthor@aol.com

 

 

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Release Blitz: While You See a Chance by Alexa Milne

Buy Links: Manifold | Amazon US | Amazon UK


Publisher: Manifold Press


Length: 58,000 words


Blurb

As children growing up in South Wales, Sion, Phil and Helen were known as the Three Musketeers, always together and never apart – but time moves on. Sion left to lecture in history at Yale. Phil married Helen because it seemed the obvious thing to do, and they settled down to life in Manchester.


Now all three are approaching sixty. After the death of his partner, and wanting to solve a family mystery, Sion returns to his childhood home to start again. When Helen announces she wants a divorce, Phil also returns home, to a new teaching job, and to renovate the ruin of a house he and Sion once dreamed of living in.

Neither man knows the other is back. Neither man knows how the other feels. With so much unsaid, and so many years apart, can Sion and Phil finally face the truth and take a chance on finding happiness together?



Excerpt“D’you want help with packing your shopping, sir?” the girl on the till asked in a sing-song voice typical of the area.“No, thanks, I haven’t got much.” He pulled off a few plastic bags, a difference from the usual brown paper of American supermarkets. In a hurry, he didn’t pay much attention to the people around until a voice, that came from so long ago, distracted him. He lifted his head.

“You have to pay five pence each for those, sir. New rules.”

Sion turned his attention back to the girl. “That’s fine. Don’t worry.”

“You could get a bag for life, sir.”

“Whatever’s easiest.”

He glanced over to the other till in the direction of the voice where a large man stood stuffing his purchases into a bag. He stood well over six feet, with broad shoulders, which Sion supposed tapered down to narrower hips. A heavy suede coat covered the man’s rear, making it hard to tell. His luxuriant salt and pepper locks reflected the many shades that older ginger-haired men often had when mixed with grey. Strands curled over the fur collar of his coat. Something familiar about the man made Sion’s senses tingle.

The assistant at the other till spoke to the customer. “That’ll be eighteen seventy-four please, Mr Price, and I’ll see you at parents’ evening tonight. I hope Jamie’s been behaving himself this term.”

Sion’s breath hitched, and the girl on his till gave him a puzzled look as he turned away. The noise he’d made must have been more audible than he’d intended. Now he was absolutely certain of the man’s identity, even if he hadn’t seen his face. He leaned on the counter and took a deep breath, hoping to slow his racing pulse.

“Are you all right, sir?” the girl asked. “I guess with that accent you’re not from around here. On holiday, is it? It’s a lovely part of Wales, even at this time of year. Lots to do.”

“Yes, sorry, and no, I’ve just moved here,” he said, raising his head to meet her concerned gaze, but keeping his face down. “How much do I owe?”

The girl told him and he handed over the money in a hurry, not wanting to lose sight of the other man. Sion followed his childhood friend until he stopped behind a Land Rover near the entrance. Shaking slightly, Sion moved nearer.

“Phil?” he asked quietly, not wanting to make the man jump.

“What the – ?” Phil stared at him then rubbed his eyes as if he couldn’t quite believe them.

The shock on his friend’s face made Sion step back for a moment. He took in the figure in front of him. Phil had turned into a huge bear of a man, complete with beard. He’d always had the height, but now he had the breadth as well. Sion imagined his size might intimidate the small children in his charge. Now, Phil simply stared, his eyes wide with shock, then took a step backwards as if he’d seen a ghost.

“It’s me, Phil,” Sion said. He supposed he’d also changed over the last thirty years. His hair, now grey, was cut short at the sides but longer on top. He’d put on a few pounds since his teens, but remained lean and wiry, although more through luck and genetics, than diet and exercise.

“Bloody hell.” Phil continued staring, then put out his hand. Sion took it, and they stood shaking and saying nothing for an awkward moment. “My God, Sion, hmm, I’m sorry, I wasn’t expecting … What on earth are you doing here? Are you here for Christmas?”

“I’ve just bought a house locally. I’m back to stay. I guess I’m the last person you expected to find out shopping. Mind you, I could say the same for you. I thought you lived up north.”

“I’ve been back four years. I’m head at a local primary school. When Helen and I got divorced, I decided to come home to Wales. So, why on earth are you here of all places?”

Sion had to collect his thoughts and process that information. Phil and Helen had split up? Come on, get your act together. “I decided to move back after … It doesn’t matter for now, it’s a long story. Look, why don’t you and I have dinner tonight and catch up? There must be a decent local restaurant – unless you’re busy, of course. Sorry, that was presumptuous of me.”

Phil lifted the bag into his car then slammed the boot closed. “No … I mean yes. I’m sorry, I can’t do tonight. I’ve got to get going. I slipped out at lunchtime to get a few bits and pieces for parents’ evening.”

Sion heard the shake in his old friend’s voice, but resisted the temptation to reach out and touch him again. “It’s okay,” Sion said, reaching into his pocket for his wallet. He took out a change-of-address card. “I live here now. Call me any time.”

Sion waited while Phil parked the trolley in the bay to the front of the building and returned to his car.

“I will, but I’m not sure when. It’s a busy time of year, leading up to the holidays.” Phil glanced at his watch. “I’ve got to go.”

Sion moved closer and this time touched the other man’s arm. “It’s so good to see you again.”

Phil continued to stare at the ground, obviously unable to look him in the eye. “You too, but I must get off. I’ll call as soon as I can.” Phil jumped into his car without looking back.

Sion watched the Land Rover pull out of the car park before returning to his SUV. Sitting in the driver’s seat, he reached for his wallet again. Tucked away inside, he found the photo he’d carried with him for over thirty years, taken the day before he went off on his own to Oxford University. Everyone had called them the Three Musketeers, himself, Phil and Helen, always together, sharing everything except their deepest darkest secrets. Sion had loved Phil with a passion, but had never told him. Phil and Helen had gone off together to Manchester University, and had married not long after they’d graduated. Not wanting to stay, Sion had emigrated to America to lecture in history at Yale.

Leaning back in his seat, he thought back to the conversation he’d had with Helen the day before he’d left for Oxford. He’d often wondered if she ever told Phil about his confession that, being gay, he could never feel that way about her. Sion hoped she hadn’t. He’d been surprised to hear of their engagement, but hoped she’d come to love Phil. For the truth and tragedy of Sion’s life was that he’d only ever been in love with one person, and he’d just watched him drive away.

 

Author Bio


Originally from South Wales, Alexa has lived for over thirty years in the North West of England. Now retired, after a long career in teaching, she devotes her time to her obsessions. Alexa began writing when her favourite character was killed in her favourite show. After producing a lot of fanfiction she ventured into original writing. She is currently owned by a mad cat and spends her time writing about the men in her head, watching her favourite television programmes and usually crying over her favourite football team.

 

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RELEASE BLITZ with GIVEAWAY: Laurent and the Beast by K.A. Merikan

 

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK


Length: 135,000 words


Cover: Natasha Snow


Blurb

Nothing can stop true love. Not time. Not even the devil himself. 


1805. Laurent. Indentured servant. Desperate to escape a life that is falling apart.

2017. Beast. Kings of Hell Motorcycle Club vice president. His fists do the talking.

Beast has been disfigured in a fire, but he’s covered his skin with tattoos to make sure no one mistakes his scars for weakness. The accident not only hurt his body, but damaged his soul and self-esteem, so he’s wrapped himself in a tight cocoon of violence and mayhem where no one can reach him.

Until one night, when he finds a young man covered in blood in their clubhouse. Sweet, innocent, and as beautiful as an angel fallen from heaven, Laurent pulls on all of Beast’s heartstrings. Laurent is so lost in the world around him, and is such a tangled mystery, that Beast can’t help but let the man claw his way into the stone that is Beast’s heart.

In 1805, Laurent has no family, no means, and his eyesight is failing. To escape a life of poverty, he uses his beauty, but that only backfires and leads him to a catastrophe that changes his life forever. He takes one step into the abyss and is transported to the future, ready to fight for a life worth living.

What he doesn’t expect in his way is a brutal, gruff wall of tattooed muscle with a tender side that only Laurent is allowed to touch. And yet, if Laurent ever wants to earn his freedom, he might have to tear out the heart of the very man who took care of him when it mattered most.


Excerpt 

Hound’s alarmed growling was coming his way, along with whines, when he reached the right door and opened it, only to have the massive Rottweiler’s body rush past him and into the corridor. Beast expected his pet to rush toward the room where the accident happened just minutes ago but Hound looked back at Beast, as if signalling he wanted to be followed, and rushed the other way, stirring the worst of feelings in Beast.

Was there an intruder somewhere in the house? With the sheer size of the former asylum that has served as the Kings of Hell Clubhouse for the last fifteen years, it was easy to overlook things happening in the disused parts of the property. They once had a bunch of teenagers who came over wanting to spy on the orgy. That thankfully didn’t end in blood, and out of the whole mess they got Jake to join their ranks.

Beast wondered whether he shouldn’t go back to the armory and get himself a gun but ultimately decided against it. There would be police and emergency services coming for Davy, and he didn’t want to run around with a firearm, no matter how good their relationship with the local police was.

Hound moved as if he were following a clear trail, but Beast couldn’t smell anything apart from dust and dampness. They were leaving behind the shouting and even the sound of the ambulance approaching, and eventually entered a corridor so disused it had a thick layer of dust on the floor. Now even Beast could see faint footprints in the dust, and next to them, dark droplets that could be blood.

Hound smelled the traces, looked back and broke into a run, which had Beast following him with the worst of expectations as to what he would eventually find. His heart beat faster as they ran down the dark hallway.

The building was a labyrinth, and this far away from where they all lived and worked, it wasn’t even wired anymore, so he breathed in the smell of mildew and followed Hound through the darkness in hope he would not stumble.

Windows in the doorless rooms on both sides of the corridor were the only source of light, now delivering a faint red and blue glow of the approaching ambulance. For all Beast knew, this could have been a gothic castle, something out of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, with bloodthirsty monsters waiting for their next victim in one of the endless hallways, and yet he only ran faster, listening to the steady tap of Hound’s paws.

Without any hesitation whatsoever, Hound rushed inside one of the rooms and gave a growl so vicious something inside Beast mourned his decision not to take a gun with him. But no one shot at him when Hound let out a single bark. Beast pushed past the empty doorway, jumping over a fallen chair, only to see someone hiding in the shadows.

Judging by the long, wavy hair and small stature, Beast at first thought it was a woman, but then the person spoke with a distinctly male voice.

“I… I’m not certain where I am.” The stranger took half a step out of the shadow, and into the flashing light coming from outside. His accent was distinctly foreign. French maybe?

Beast took him in with a scowl. Blood covered the stranger’s face, hair, dripped from his chin, from the tips of his trembling fingers, and stained the outfit that looked as if he’d stolen it from the set of a costume drama. Knee-high boots, fitted pants, a vest worn under a tailcoat.

“What the fuck are you doing on our property, boy?” hissed Beast, watching the soft features of a very young man. “Whose blood is this?” he asked, still cautious. In his experience, a non-threatening presence could hide an adept fighter, so he was not taking any chances as he joined Hound in front of the stranger, who was so short in comparison to Beast’s own six foot five form that his red-stained head only reached Beast’s pecs.

The stranger backed away into the corner, whimpering in fear the moment Hound growled at him again and lowered his head, but Beast wasn’t having any of it and grabbed the boy’s arm. “Is the blood yours then? Someone attacked you? Where?” he asked, not hesitating to pat the intruder down, to make sure there were no weapons hiding under the fancy coat.

The boy tried to weasel out of his grip, but he didn’t seem adept at using force. “N-no. I don’t think it’s mine. I don’t know. Is this hell?”

Beast groaned, staring at the silly-looking young man, whose white shirt was completely drenched in red. Someone must have died to produce this much blood.

“You will explain yourself to King.”


 
 
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.

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RELEASE DAY & GIVEAWAY: Well-Tailored by Silvia Violet

Silvia Violet has a new book out. Check out the book and follow the tour to see some reviews for this story set in the Thorne & Dash world.

 



Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | iTunes | Barnes & Noble | KOBO


Cover Design: LC Chase


Length: 62,000 words


Thorne and Dash Series


Professional Distance (Book #1) Amazon US | Amazon UK
Personal Entanglement (Book #2) Amazon US | Amazon UK
Perfect Alignment (Book #3) Amazon US | Amazon UK


Blurb


Marc longs for a grand romance, but he doubts he’ll ever be that lucky. Then he meets Darius, an arrogant tailor who pushes all his buttons. When Darius offers him a job, Marc hesitates—he needs a direction for the future, not another man who doesn’t believe in relationships.


Darius lives by a few unbreakable rules: never sleep with employees, fashion should be simple, and romance is for fools. Marc, with his shimmery-sweaters collection, makes him want to break every single one.


They quickly give in to desire, but Darius wants to protect himself and Marc refuses to repeat past mistakes. It’s only when they let go of assumptions, that love has a chance to take hold.

 
Well-Tailored is a companion novel to the Thorne and Dash series. It can be read as a standalone. 
 
Author Bio



Silvia Violet writes fun, sexy stories that will leave you smiling and satisfied. She has a thing for characters who are in need of comfort and enjoys helping them surrender to love even when they doubt it exists. Silvia’s stories include sizzling contemporaries, paranormals, and historicals. When she needs a break from listening to the voices in her head, she spends time baking, taking long walks, curling up with her favorite books, and spending time with her family.


Newsletter: http://silviaviolet.com/newsletter
Website: http://silviaviolet.com
Facebook: http://facebook.com/silvia.violet
Twitter: http://twitter.com/Silvia_Violet
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/silvia.violet/
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GUEST POST! The Undercover Pet by Samantha Cayto

Blog Post:

Threesome, How does that Work, Exactly?

One of the most frequently asked questions authors get is “where do you get your stories from?” Which is quickly followed up by “do you do the things you write about?” That second one is a question erotica writers particularly love getting. We wish we did all the things we write about. In my case, given that I’m a woman who writes about men having sex with other men, the answer is no. I’m simply not, shall we say, equipped to do so.

I honestly can’t tell you where my story ideas come from. They just of pop into my head. I think most authors would tell you that it’s not hard to come up with stories. What’s hard is keeping those stories inside you. That’s what got me writing finally, and I don’t think I’m unusual in that regard. I ended up focusing on MM erotica because those are the kind of stories that appeal to me. My college psych professor would probably say I’ve taken the theory of penis envy to the extreme. I would say I write about men banging other men because it’s hot.

So, if two men having sex is a great idea, why not three? From a writer’s perspective, the problem when you describe two guys having sex is that pronouns are tricky. Which “he” or which “him” is putting what where? Add in a third guy (or a fourth or more) and you’ve got quite the grammatical nightmare to sort out. But, it’s worth it in the end. The combinations are endless, and maybe it doesn’t matter if the reader loses track of body parts so long as everyone is having a good time!

I wanted to bring my Alien Slave Masters series to a conclusion, at least for now and in a way that ties up the storyline running through books. There’s something about the combination of a strong male interacting with a younger, more vulnerable male that I find particularly satisfying. My Travian characters were originally conceived as being supermen, totally alpha and hyper-masculine. But, at the same time, I realized that alpha males need more subordinate males because otherwise what’s the point of being an alpha? I’d done alien master/human pet various ways, then even turned it around to human master/alien pet. It seemed like the logical thing to do was to mix the concept up one more time to include alien master/human pet/alien pet.

In The Undercover Pet, I hope readers will find a satisfactory conclusion to the storyline and enjoy the dynamics of how a strong male deals with two submissive ones at the same time. And, how those submissive boys handle the natural rivalry of both trying to please the same master. I wanted the sexual chemistry among the three of them to be as hot as could be, creating various combinations of sexual play. It’s a fun math problem when it comes down to it – more things to play with means more fun all around. I’d like to think, too, that even as a story like that ends, the lovers involved will find a way to make their threesome a long lasting relationship.

Blurb for The Undercover Pet:

Ben Miller has volunteered for a near-suicide mission. He’s been offered as a pet to a vicious traitor in order to infiltrate the Travian rebellion. His goal is to learn the identities of all the traitors so that the Empire can end the murderous scheme for good. Terrified but determined, he yields his freedom and virginity to the coldly brutal, yet surprisingly appealing Dane.

Kath, banished from his family due to a stupid indiscretion, has been given a chance at redemption. While gathering intel on the rebellion, he is whisked away by Dane for his personal pleasure. The unexpected change gives him a chance to really make a difference, so long as he can survive Dane’s use of him and his own growing desire for his master.

Having spent most of his life bored on his mother’s estate, Dane has found a way to make his mark. Donning the mantle of a murderous traitor, he seeks a way to bring down the rebellion. Using the boys under his control is a necessary evil. The pleasure he finds in them is both disturbing and unexpected.

Ben, Kath, and Dane are hidden allies—if they can just learn to trust one another and use their growing affection for their common cause.

URL: https://www.pride-publishing.com/book/the-undercover-pet

Author Bio:

Samantha Cayto is a Boston-area native who practices as a business lawyer by day while writing erotic romance at night—the steamier the better. She likes to push the envelope when it comes to writing about passion and is delighted other women agree that guy-on-guy sex is the hottest ever.

She lives a typical suburban life with her husband, three kids and three dogs. Her children don’t understand why they can’t read what she writes, but her husband is always willing to lend her a hand—and anything else—when she needs to chore

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RELEASE BLITZ and GIVEAWAY: A Good Neighbour by Clare London

 



Buy Links: Dreamspinner | Amazon US | Amazon UK


Length: 18,825 


Cover: Tibbs Design


Blurb

A London Lads Story

A secret affair can’t go on forever.

Dylan Philips admits it himself: he’s a relentlessly single man in a small suburban town, both proud of and resigned to being a good teacher and a devoted nephew to his mischievous great-aunts.

When the aunts take a hand in matchmaking him with Josie Whitman, the girl who lives along the street, Dylan doesn’t tell them what kind of soul mate he’s really looking for—and the fact that he’s already found the man in question. It’s not Josie who’s travelling from London every month to her town property, but her journalist brother Neal. And Dylan meets up with Neal whenever he can.

But decisions must be made for their future. Dylan is risk-averse to everything from overseas travel to coming out, whereas Neal embraces adventure—and now he wants to take Dylan with him.

Horrified that his chance at love will move even further out of his reach, Dylan realises it’s time for him to own up to what kind of man he really is. He needs to find courage and compromise. And who knows whether the great-aunts will be a help or a hindrance with that?

First Edition published as A Good Neighbor by Amber Quill Press/Amber Allure, 2009.




April 19 – Urban Smoothie Read, Books Laid Bare Boys, The Way She Reads
April 21 – Molly Lolly
April 24 – Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words
April 26 – Dog-Eared Daydreams
April 28 – Making It Happen
May 1 – M/M Book Addicts, MM Good Book Reviews
May 3 – Diverse Reader, Sarandipity
May 8 – Jim’s Blog
May 10 – Book Lovers 4Ever, Bayou Book Junkie, Love To Read Romance Books

Author Bio

Clare took the pen name London 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 the weekly wash, waiting for the far distant day when she can afford to give up her day job as an accountant. She’s written in many genres and across many settings, with 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 3 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.
All the details and free fiction are available at her website. Visit her today and say hello!

Website: http://www.clarelondon.com
Blog: http://clarelondon.livejournal.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/clarelondon
Facebook chat: https://www.facebook.com/groups/clarelondoncalling/
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/clare_london
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/clarelondon
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/author/clarelondon

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