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Release Blitz & Giveaway: Ghost (Sanctuary #9) by RJ Scott

Buy Links:  Amazon US  Amazon UK
Cover: BitterGrace Art

Length: 45,000 words

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


Blurb


Can you ever hold on to a ghost?


Elliot is tracking an elusive killer, codenamed Ghost, with ties to organized crime. Every time the Sanctuary team gets close, Ghost slips their grasp.


Cole has nowhere left to turn. With his father dying and his sister in danger, he turns for help to the very people trying to track him down. Sanctuary’s assistance is what he needs to punch another hole in Varga’s organization.


When Elliot and Cole meet, it isn’t just passion that consumes them. When lust becomes something more, Elliot realizes that sometimes you can’t hold on to a ghost, and that sacrifice is often the only way to make things right.

 
Chapter One
 

“This is not going to end well,” his sister warned him, an edge to her voice.
“I just need five minutes.” Cole was aiming for composed and in control, despite the fact his adrenaline was spiking dangerously high. Where was his center? Where was his ability to see events unfold before him with calm consideration?
Gone as soon as your two worlds began to collide with the horrible realization that today would finally be the day you might not make it out alive.
“Cole—”
“Do your job, sis.”
“Fuck you, big brother.”
Cole didn’t answer that one. As the controller of the op, she wouldn’t take her eyes off the meeting she was tasked with watching—six of Varga’s key men in a restaurant on Halsted, giving him the heads-up when they disbanded and headed toward the run-down warehouse district for the meeting. He was there to deal with a man who didn’t deserve to live on this earth, and he was already fighting the sickness roiling in his stomach.
Unfortunately, things had taken a turn for the worse, and Cole wished he could say he’d expected the shit to hit the fan, but he hadn’t. He’d honestly thought tonight would go smoothly given he’d evaded Sanctuary again.
He’d been the mouse avoiding the trap for so long that he’d not seen the pattern emerging. Slowly but surely, Sanctuary was getting closer, the proverbial thorn in his side. It was as though they were second-guessing him, tracking him enough to see patterns.
Patterns killed people in his line of work.
He checked his gun, considered holstering it. No one was supposed to die tonight; it was just a deal—money for human lives—something he’d been working on for months. His job was to fix this, but Sanctuary kept getting in his way.
And if they caught up with him again, with their do-good meddling and their freaking unanswered questions, he was way too smart to get caught.
Normally.
“Bad guys are only five minutes out,” his sister warned again. He didn’t answer, and she wouldn’t expect him to. “And you’ve got company with Sanctuary tracking your way.”
“Fuck.”
“You need me there?”
Cole weighed his options. She needed to be with their father, who couldn’t be left, so it was just Cole and his gun and his sorely tested wits.
He’d need his gun if he needed to get away from that Sanctuary fucker Elliot. The man was like a dog with a bone, and Cole couldn’t afford to be compromised tonight. Every meeting, every mission, Elliot got closer, yet Cole couldn’t move from his spot or everything would go to shit and he’d lose his chance of getting the best human return for his cash.
Sanctuary was the elite, but he knew he was better, or he’d have died a long time ago. Bravado and confidence had gotten him this far in life, mostly unharmed and thankfully alive. But if Elliot arrived when the shit was hitting the fan, he’d be collateral damage, and Cole wasn’t ready to work on those terms.
He moved even deeper into the shadows, his back against the brick wall, an exit to the street on his right, the parking lot on his left. Above his head was the fire escape pull-down ladder for that apartment block; at his feet, the ground was damp with the rain that had only eased up a few minutes ago, and distant streetlights sparkled in puddle remnants just outside the cloak of darkness. Everything was quiet; but moments away, following fuck-knows-what lead to get there, was Sanctuary.
Or, more correctly, Elliot, with his dogged determination and his uncanny ability to see beyond a scene and know exactly where Cole had gone.
Last time, Elliot had only missed him by a single minute, and Cole wasn’t ashamed to admit that the near misses sent a frisson of excitement up his spine. Too often he’d been the steady one, staring down a scope, a surgical removal to keep others safe, distanced from the kill and the action. The cat and mouse with Elliot was a game that he was enjoying far too much.
Add to which, Elliot was gorgeous and sexy, and all kinds of a hard-ass, and Cole was happy to surveil the guy every moment he could. Elliot was a good guy who didn’t smile much, but he’d broken up with his boyfriend two months before; he shopped organically and lived close to the place Sanctuary called Head Office in Chicago. All things being even, Elliot would score high on Cole’s list of ideal attributes in a lover. There was nothing better than roughing up an organic-loving tight-ass and reducing him to a puddle of goo in the middle of snow-white sheets.
Not that he’d spent a long time fantasizing about Elliot naked and in his bed.
He listened for the tiny noises that would give Elliot’s arrival away, not as close as breathing, but his movement could block sounds from the street beyond, if only infinitesimally.
The cold air promised more snow; Cole knew the only thing that could give him away would be the puff of his breath, so he burrowed down into the scarf twisted around his neck.
A soft scuff of leather on the sidewalk had Cole stiffening, and he briefly tightened his grip on the lethal SIG in his hand. He relaxed only a millisecond later when a woman’s laughter and a man’s voice had him focusing past the light and to the street beyond. He was right on Englewood’s district line, and the whole meeting was playing out in a place where he felt way too exposed. He knew his mark had set this meet here for a reason. Mario was a shifty fucker who played the game of criminal very well. Little did the man know that nothing was going to keep him safe if he fucked Cole over. Not tonight. Not ever.
The woman laughed again, but this time the sound seemed a little off, as if she hadn’t really meant to laugh. There was no real joy in the noise.
Too late he realized what that meant.
Too late when the whisper of a movement to his left turned into the barrel of a weapon smacking his temple.
The wall kept him standing, but the sweep of a foot behind his knee had him landing heavily on one side, in stagnant water. Cole didn’t lay there waiting for the next part of this dance; he was rolling even as he fell, one leg darting out as he rose, catching his assailant in the thigh and causing him to stumble back. Coming to a crouch, Cole admired the way the other man’s stumble turned into nothing more than a sidestep and a twisting motion that missed Cole by inches.
Cole took the initiative, stepping right into the man’s space, up close to Elliot’s face, and in seconds he’d pushed him hard against the wall.
“Leave it,” Cole growled, when what he wanted to do was sit Elliot down and explain exactly why he needed Elliot to leave right the fuck now.
“Fuck you,” Elliot snapped, even as he fell limp in Cole’s hold, then yanked free to shove a knee right into Cole’s groin.
He missed by inches; the force of the shove went to Cole’s inner thigh, hard enough to give him a dead leg long enough to give Elliot the upper hand.
But Cole wasn’t done. He countered with a punch to Elliot’s face, feeling the wetness of fist on skin at the point where Elliot’s head snapped back with a spray of blood. A normal man would be on the ground after that—hell, a normal man wouldn’t have gotten out of Cole’s press against the wall.
Elliot wasn’t a normal man. He was trained, focused, and fucking vicious at it.
“They’re really close now; you need to end this with Sanctuary.”
His sister’s voice in his ear was enough to make Cole follow through with another punch that caught cheekbone and hair and then slid past to slam the wall. He cursed the contact and his stupidity at giving Elliot the upper hand. This time it was Cole himself up against the wall, and he could see dark eyes, focused and hard, and feel the fingers tightening on his throat. He attempted to go limp, but all Elliot did was push harder, which left only one thing. Elliot was close, and with a concerted effort, Cole snapped his head forward, the top smacking Elliot between the eyes.
Elliot crumpled at first, momentarily stunned, and then he stumbled to stand.
But Cole was prepared, retrieving his weapon and pointing it directly at Elliot. “Run,” he snapped.
Elliot said nothing, stepping toward him. Fuck, did the man not care that Cole had a gun on him?
“You have company one minute out.” The voice in his ear sounded a little frantic.
Fuck, this whole thing was going wrong. Cole had his mark and various cronies bearing down on him, and Sanctuary in the shape of Elliot right in the freaking middle.
But if Cole left, then what about the kids? Teenagers the same age as his brother, straight from the boat, working in slavery for the Varga organization. They had a deal, and tonight Cole had the money and the upper hand.
Or at least he had until Elliot tracked him down.
“You have to leave,” he snapped and gestured with the gun.
Surprise made Elliot frown, and only when he saw that did Cole realize he’d fucked up—they were standing under the street light. They needed to get back into the shadows. Cole shoved him back against the wall, wincing at the sound of Elliot’s skull making contact with the bricks before he wordlessly slid to the ground in the darkness.
And then it was too late to think of anything.
At the same time his sister’s frantic voice warned him that a car was turning onto the street, Cole heard a voice from the darkness.
So, his mark had sent an advance guard, and all Cole could think was that if it was his time to die, he didn’t want to take anyone with him.
“Drop the gun, asshole,” a voice said from somewhere beyond the light. He caught sight of the semi-automatic weapon as the person stepped forward; he didn’t stand a chance against that kind of firepower. The barrel of another gun poked at the base of his skull.
Cole dropped his pistol to the ground, feeling abruptly bereft. “It’s done,” he said to whoever the hell was behind him.
Cole lifted his hands and laced them behind his head, looking right into the darkness, not able to see Elliot’s form but hoping to hell he stayed the fuck down. Very deliberately he turned to face the man with the gun at his head.
“Talk to me,” his sister snapped at him, her voice dead and cold, gone past emotional and well into focused.
“You realize I have a meeting with Mario, right? That this was organized? He won’t take it well when he finds out you’re here with a gun on me.”
A nasal voice joined in. “I’m quite happy with the situation,” Mario said.
And right there and then, Cole knew time was up. He needed to confront this; he had a legitimate cover there, and he needed to maintain it. Slowly he unclasped his hands and let them hang loosely at his sides. “What the fuck, man?” he asked.
“Do you have access to the money?”
Cole wasn’t letting the evil fucker get control of the conversation. “How many?” he asked firmly.
Mario looked at him; a group of others, all armed, were crowding around him. Mario was nothing if not the nervous type, twitchy like a ferret, all sharp angles, and meth-head eyes. He’d made it so far in the Varga organization only due to the fact he was Varga’s nephew or cousin, or some such shit.
He was also suspicious as hell of anything and everything, which was why it had taken this long for Cole to get anywhere near him. Tonight wasn’t the night that Cole got to deal with erasing Mario from existence; he had kids to get out alive. That was his priority.
“You can have seven of them,” Mario said, his lips stretching in an obscene grin.
“The deal was for all ten.”
Mario shrugged as if he wasn’t playing with people’s lives. “I have a market for the other three,” he said nonchalantly.
Cole knew exactly what that meant: the younger girls parceled up and sold on. “All ten, or no deal,” he stated, keeping emotion out of his voice.
“Then the price goes up. No skin off my nose who gets them.”
“How much?”
“Well now… just how badly do you want them all?”
One of Mario’s men snickered, and the sound echoed in the otherwise quiet alley.
Cole could play it two ways: show his hand and admit he was desperate to get all ten of the illegals Mario had, or try to call his bluff.
“Fuck you,” Cole said, and drew himself tall. He wished he had his weapon, but he’d just have to hope to hell that confronting was the answer. “The deal’s off.”
He bent to pick up his weapon, slowly placing it back into the holster and straightening his jacket. Varga senior would be pissed with his lieutenant blowing a deal like that. Getting illegals to the city was one thing, offloading them with profit above and beyond what the illegals had probably paid to get there was an entirely different ball game. He could visualize the thought processes going on…Mario was the youngest of three lieutenants that reported to Varga, the one still out to prove himself, and he wouldn’t want to lose the deal.
“An extra ten,” Mario said, throwing it out as if it meant nothing to him.
“Five.” Cole couldn’t give in too easily.
“Hell, I can get double that on the ’net for the seven-year-old,” Mario said.
Cole had to stop the panic pushing at his chest and nausea that threatened to have him vomiting on the sidewalk. The idea of a child as young as seven being under this bastard’s control made him sick to his stomach. He pretended to consider the deal, knowing full well he’d pay every fucking cent. “Seven-five and we’re done, cash in the bank.” He even injected a small note of respect into his voice, which had Mario preening in front of his posse. He’d save face, and Cole would keep his persona of didn’t-give-a-shit human trafficker intact.
“I’ll take that,” Mario said.
One of the posse stepped forward, and intel was buzzing in his ear about twelve souls being inside the warehouse. Not ten, twelve. Two of them were moving around, the other ten not moving much. Twelve heat signatures, so all ten kids were alive—but the extra two? Mario was fucking with him, had likely placed two men inside. Cole would take a step inside the warehouse, and be a dead man.
How had he blown his cover? This wasn’t the first deal he’d brokered with Mario, setting up his cover as a trader in human flesh, looking for ways to save lives and get deep into Varga’s organization at the same time. But something wasn’t right…
Very carefully and deliberately he pulled out his cell, and with a few button presses, transferred the fifty, plus the extra seven-five, into the account he’d been given details of. Next to Mario one of the guys checked his own cell and nodded.
“It’s cleared.”
Mario tossed the key card for the warehouse to Cole, who caught it deftly. “All yours,” Mario said, and then he turned and left, taking everyone with him.
“Heads-up,” his sister said. “The extra two have left the building at the rear. Hovering outside the closed door.”
What the fuck?
Cole crossed to the steel door and waved the card at the lock, half surprised when the door actually clicked and swung open. He pushed his way in to be faced with piles of packing cases and pallets. Pulling the door shut behind him, he cautiously made his way around the piles and checked out the corners of the warehouse. He’d lost contact with outside assistance since he’d walked in there, just one hell of a lot of static and not much in the way of a voice.
He rounded what he imagined was the last corner to find ten—he counted—kids and teenagers, none older than fourteen: six girls and four boys huddled together, bound with chains to a metal framework. Most of them stared at him with dead eyes; only the youngest was whimpering and crying. What had they been through to get here? Torn from their families, placed into shipping containers, and then passed around to their new owners on payment of money?
Immediately he went to a crouch and held out a hand in a gesture of innocence. “It’s okay,” he said in English. “I’m here to help.”
He repeated it in as many languages as he’d learned those words in, hoping to hell he’d hit the jackpot somewhere along the way. He approached the closest child, a boy of thirteen or so who stared at him blankly. Apologizing in soft tones, Cole reached over and checked the chain. He found a simple lock that he could have them out of quickly. He pulled out his kit, dealt first with one lock, then another, his hands shaky at first, waiting to die in a hail of bullets. At least he could get the kids away.
The radio crackled and hissed in his ear; he could only make out a few words. Fire! Get out.
Resolutely he continued with the chains until all ten were free; he realized they’d all gathered close to him, some holding hands, but all looking to him as smoke edged under the boxes and into their corner. Cole was considerably taller than the children, and he could see past the nearest blockage to a hint of fire beyond, cutting them off from the exit.
So, that was how he was being taken out of the equation; that was how Mario deleted him from the Chicago sex trade. Mario was removing a rival, along with ten innocent kids.
Think.
“Sis? Can you hear me?” He spoke loudly above the sound of the littlest girl crying. In a smooth move, he scooped her up, holding her tight. If there was no way out of here and they were all going to die, what would he do? He had bullets; he could shoot some of the kids? Fuck, the horror was sick inside him. Think. Think. He wasn’t going to let anyone burn to death.
Stop, he told himself. There’s nothing to be won by planning for the worst.
He looked up at the vents and tiny windows about twenty feet from the floor. He could pile boxes, pass the kids up, smash the window.
The heat was getting noticeable; the huddle of kids pressed tighter. They didn’t have much time. An explosion of glass had them all ducking as panes shattered around them. Had the fire reached the windows?
Then he heard shouting.
“Up here!” a voice demanded, and peering up, Cole could see Elliot scrambling through the space and lowering himself in, dropping and rolling awkwardly. “Get the boxes.”
For a second, Cole was immobile, and then adrenaline flooded into him. Between him and Elliot, they made a pile of boxes and crates. A step up, lifting and dragging, and one by one the kids were out of the window, wriggling through the space. Elliot went next, going out, then reaching back in as fire began to lick at the boxes.
Cole’s breathing became labored. And then he spotted the smallest kid, curled into a ball, her face hidden by her hands and her long dark hair. She was so tiny and scared, way down on the ground, not climbing up as the others had done. Cole thought she’d been first out, but in the chaos, he’d missed her.
“Kid!” Elliot shouted from the window.
But if anything, she curled tighter, her hands over her ears, rocking slowly. “I’m going back down,” Cole said.
“You have thirty seconds before this whole place lights up.”
Cole didn’t hesitate—he wasn’t about to leave a child behind. He jumped lithely to the floor and into a crouch, cursing at the pain shooting up from his knee, as he crawled low under the choking smoke to where the girl huddled.
He grabbed her, but she wailed and fought against his hold. Cole ignored the scratching of fingers and the sheer panic, and climbed the crates up to the window, his chest tight; breathing hard. There he unfurled her fingers, shoving the girl through the space to Elliot, who yanked her through.
“Is that ten?” Cole gasped as the box he stood on wavered; he gripped hard at the windowsill.
“Get out.”
“Is that all ten kids?”
“Yes, grab hold!” Elliot held out a hand.
Cole tried to grip as the pile toppled, their fingers touched, and then the world fell away, stopped in a millisecond by Elliot leaning in and grabbing at Cole. Elliot pulled, and Cole scrambled, and the hungry fire bit at him, burned him even as he fell out of the building and the force of hitting the trash cans below was enough to steal his breath.
“Jesus,” Elliot snapped, smacking at Cole’s jacket to extinguish the flames as Cole shrugged it off in a panic.
As he rolled, he pulled his weapon from its holster and pointed it right between Elliot’s eyes, waiting for him to make a move. All Elliot did was raise his hands and stare at Cole with an expression that Cole couldn’t read.
Cole asked, “Where are Mario’s two goons?”
“Out cold. You’re not the man we profiled. Who the fuck are you really?”
Cole didn’t answer.
“You should know I called 911,” Elliot said, his expression unreadable.
Was Elliot giving him a chance to leave? A warning? He seemed more interested in hugging the kids to him protectively than in taking Cole down.
Cole looked away from the kids to Elliot and holstered his gun. “Do this for them,” he said. To get involved with the cops at that moment would destroy everything. “The Andreas Home on Windsor Street. It’s a special place for kids taken from their parents like this. Will you take them?”
Elliot nodded. “Yes,” he said, all seriousness. Then he inclined his head toward the sound of sirens.


Cole grabbed what was left of his jacket, and with one last look at Elliot and the kids, he was gone.

 

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
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RELEASE BLITZ for MOMO: MY EVERYTHING by Posy Roberts

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK


Publisher: Labyrinth Bound Press


Length: 27,000 words


Cover Image: Igor Madjinca



Photo Editing: Posy Roberts


Cover Typography: Natasha Snow


Blurb


William Harris is a reserved man, private and guarded. He has no one to go home to. He’s never found a man worth sticking around for. He’s never been in love. And he’s convinced he’s happy with his lone-wolf life.


Nate Kelly is William’s opposite, social and easy going. He comes into William’s life as the elegant geisha Momo. When William realizes Momo is a man in drag, he’s captivated.


From their first date, William’s world changes. Nate is nothing like his usual type. And William soon finds out being with this carefree man means always being on display and attracting attention, which makes him want to retreat. He tries to keep Nate at arm’s length, but it’s no use. Nate’s transformed his life in a matter of months and keeps drawing him back in.


If they stand a chance, William has to be comfortable standing next to someone so at home in the limelight. Their future together and William’s happiness depend on it. Is Nate the man finally worth giving up William’s solitary existence? Is he worth sticking around for?


*Extensively reworked from the short story, The Measure of a Man.


Author Bio


Posy Roberts writes about the realistic struggles of men looking for love. Whether her characters are family men, drag queens, or lonely men searching for connections, they all find a home in her stories.


Posy is a Jill of all trades and master of the drill and paintbrush. She’s married to a partner who makes sure she doesn’t forget to eat or sleep during her writing frenzies. Her daughter, a budding author and cinematographer, helps her come up with character names. For fun, Posy enjoys crafting, hiking, and singing spontaneously about the mundane, just to make regular life more interesting.


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Wee Angus – Available FREE for a Limited Time Only!

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BLOG TOUR, EXCERPT AND GIVEAWAY! How the Other Half Lives by Clare London

 
 
Length: 20,000 words
 
 
 
Blurb
 

Compulsively neat freak meets chaotic slob: can their living space survive the conflict?

Martin Harrison keeps himself to himself and his Central London flat as neat as a new pin. Maybe he should loosen up and enjoy more of a social life, but in his mind, that’s tantamount to opening the floodgates to emotional chaos. He agrees, however, to join the flat-sitting scheme in his building and look after another tenant’s flat in exchange for a similar watch over his when he’s travelling for his work.

A floor away in the same building, Russ McNeely is happy with his life as a freelance cook and a self-confessed domestic slob. He also joins the flat-sitting scheme, both to be neighbourly and to help keep his flat in order, as Russ also travels for his work.

For a while, the very dissimilar men never meet. Martin is horrified at the mess at Russ’s flat, while Russ finds Martin’s minimalist style creepy. But in a spirit of generosity, each of them starts to help the other out by rearranging things in their own inimitable way.

Until the day a hiccup in the schedule brings them face-to-face at last.

 
Excerpt
 

There’s no way I think Ethan’s amusement is justified, no way at all. I suppose I imagined he would share my righteous horror at the experience I’ve just been through. No… suffered is the appropriate word.
“Holy crap in a handbasket, Martin, if you could only see the expression on your face! Was it really that bad?” He laughs, rather too loudly and too long for my liking. “Come on, we’re living in a sophisticated city, in a hub of the civilised world, not some kind of ghetto. These are very smart flats, and the tenants have to pass some kind of credit check before moving in. Your upstairs flat-sit can’t have been the hellhole you so graphically describe.”
“It was.” I’m still shuddering at the mere memory. “Initially I thought the place had been burgled. I’ve never seen such a mess in my life. Everything jumbled together. Nothing labelled, stacked properly, or cleared away.” Ethan’s still laughing at me, and I don’t approve of his levity. “There were dirty plates, Ethan. Lots of them, and not just in the sink! I found an umbrella in the bathroom, a car maintenance kit in the kitchen, and some correspondence pinned to the wall in the lobby with a fork. Like a…. Like a spear.” It remained the most aggressive vision. “There was dust on the top of every door frame, and a very disturbing colour scheme on the walls of the living room. I had a headache after my first evening visit.”
“So, what do you have to do? Do you have to live there while the owner’s away?”
Thankfully, I catch that glint of mischief back in his eye. “Very amusing, I’m sure. No, I only have to check in on a daily basis. Make sure that the alarm is set, turn off lights that have been left on—every single one, Ethan!—and collect up the post. Sensible things like that.”
“Post?”
From the sly look on Ethan’s face, I suspect he’s still provoking me. “What about it?”
“I believe you can tell a lot by a person’s post.”
“I believe so too,” I reply dryly. “But if that’s the case, I’m not much the wiser, having waded through a mass of free flyers and invitations to various gourmet events. The owner appears to be in the catering trade, or has ambitions to be. Unless they’re a professional gamer—there were several magazines with lurid covers of impossibly cantilevered animated women, or surly assassins dressed in camouflage, with guns larger than their own torsos.”
“How the other half lives,” murmurs my so-called friend, unable to hide his grin. “You sorted through it for the owner, then?”
“Well, of course I did.” I can feel a slight flush on my cheeks. “Among other things. The owner obviously needs help, and I… had a spare hour. For example, I put the car kit and the umbrella back in the hall, and took a large pile of bedding from the living room to the dresser in the bedroom. Then back in the living room, I sorted a total mess of CDs into alphabetical order.”
I’m slightly disturbed that I sound like someone’s domestic help, but I’m also secretly impressed with how efficient I’d been in the allotted time. “Oh, and there was a hideous smell in the bathroom. I was going to alert the caretaker of the building, but upon investigation, I found a filthy bottle of stagnant liquid in the linen cupboard by the boiler. I disposed of that, of course.”
“Of course,” Ethan murmurs.
“I did find washing-up the crockery particularly challenging. The tenant appears to cook extensively and uses some very eccentric, exotically flavoured ingredients. If left to dry on the china, they stain—that’s all I’ll say about it.” I finally acknowledge Ethan’s amusement at my expense. “You’re the one who told me to show some neighbourliness.”
“So, you found out who owns this flat?”
“Um. Well, barely.” One would think Ethan assumed some ulterior motive in me, like common curiosity or something equally alien to my calm self-sufficiency. “A person called McNeely, initial R. Apart from that, I have no information. The owner never turned up for the introductory meeting. The management committee provided the key and the details, including the signed agreement to my access.” I shift, inexplicably uncomfortable for a moment. “I’m not sure all of this meets your criteria of making new friends and influencing people, so perhaps I should just let it drop.”
Ethan raises an eyebrow sceptically. I think we’ve either been friends for too long, or else his empathy is improving.
“Okay.” I sigh heavily and a little petulantly. “I’ll persist with it. Actually, I had some ideas for a shoe storage rack in the hallway and more efficient shelving in the kitchen. He might be interested in that, as I’ve never seen so many ill-assorted utensils scattered all over the counter. And I did think a formal message board for him would be an excellent idea.”
“He? Him?” Ethan’s eyelids flicker and his mouth tightens, as if he’s trying hard to keep his expression neutral. Maybe my empathy is improving too.
“I saw his flat, remember? I saw the post. And—” I’m racked with another shudder. “—I saw the piles of unfolded laundry. It’s a male tenant. Please don’t ask me to elaborate.”
“Underwear?” Ethan is relentless. “I believe you can tell a lot by a person’s—”
I glare at him and he bites back the rest of the sentence. “I can assure you, I didn’t stay any longer than necessary. I was going to play some of the CDs that had been left out of their cases, just to check whether they were still serviceable, but I couldn’t get the equipment to work.”
Ethan frowns. “It was broken?”
“No, no.” I’m impatient with him now, and although I like his company, I’m hoping he’ll go soon. There’s something disturbing my thoughts, and I need to wipe the whole flat-sitting episode from my mind. I need to settle back in my own place, on my own, with my things around me. I need… peace. “The place was the most appalling jumble, Ethan. I just couldn’t find the remote control. Then when I was about to lock up and leave, I found it under the—”
Now it’s my turn to bite off my unfortunate words, but it’s too late. Ethan’s all but pounced on me.
“Where, Martin? Where did you find it?”
“Under the laundry,” The flush is all over my neck now. “If you must know, it was under a pile of boxer shorts illustrated with a character called Super Mario.”

 
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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⭐ FREE BOOKS!!! ⭐M/M Romance Valentine’s Giveaway 10th -15th February

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The M/M Romance Valentine’s Giveaway event has been organized by author Isobel Starling as a way of giving readers a little bit of free valentine’s love in these days of uncertainty and turmoil and to find new readers for a group of super authors.

On the event page readers can download 34 new stories — Shorts, novelettes, and excerpts from established M/M authors and several new authors.  We have a wonderfully diverse range of subgenres on offer – Contemporary, BDSM, Erotica, Fantasy, Historical, Comedy, and Paranormal.

The full list of featured authors is:

Jordan Castillo Price, Isobel Starling, Liv Rancourt, Kasia Bacon, A.D Ellis, Irene Preston, Avylinn Winter, Chris Mc Hart, Sandra Schwab, Leta Blake, J.R Gray, Barbara Elsborg, A.E Ryecart, Naaju Rorrete, Lucy Lennox, Megs Pritchard, A. Y Venona, Nic Starr, A.E Wasp, Alina Popescu, Johnny Williams, Shane K. Morton,  Dale Cameron Lowry, Lila Leigh Hunter, April Kelley, Bronwyn Heeley, Michele Notaro, D.J Jamison, Kay Simone, Tina T. Kove, Michael Mandrake, J. Scott Coatsworth, Leona Windwalker, and Alicia Nordwell.

The giveaway page will be live on 10th February until the 15th of February, so if your want to get a head start on your Goodreads reading challenge, or just want some quick fun reads, why not download a few short stories and give a little love back by leaving reviews for the authors.

That’s 34 FREE gay romance stories!

Click here to see all the books you can download for FREE and get the links.

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⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Want to share the news about this fabulous giveaway? Here’s a ready-made tweet.

Click to Tweet: ⭐ FREE gay romance books from 34 authors ⭐ #gayromance #mmromance #freebooks #lovewins http://wp.me/p4tUbj-10z
Tweet: ⭐ FREE gay romance books from 34 authors ⭐ #gayromance #mmromance #freebooks #lovewins https://ctt.ec/7FlI9+

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The first ever LGBT Book Lover Mystery Box! #LoveKnowsNoLimits

Exciting news!

Have you heard of Book Lover Mystery Boxes? What a fabulous concept, just like Christmas or your birthday every month!

Book Lover Mystery Box is pretty much as the name suggests – it’s a box that contains romance books, swag and other gifts, but you don’t know exactly what you’re going to receive until the box arrives. There is a new box every month and you can buy a single box or a 3 or 6-month subscription. There’s even a box for kids too. It’s a fantastic gift idea, whether the gift is for someone else or you just want to spoil yourself. 🙂

Click here to find out more about Book Lover Mystery Boxes.

But the best thing about the March box? It’s the first LGBT box!

Let’s try to make this a huge success because that way there will be more gay romance boxes for us lovers of m/m romance. So please share anything you see about BLMB March boxes – the more readers that know the better.

Personally, I love the surprise element, but I also think it’s a wonderful way of getting my hands on signed paperbacks for a really reasonable cost. It’s only AU$39.99 (including postage in Australia), but is available for sale internationally too.

Click here if you want to order the BLMB March Box.

The girls (Ang & Kylie) from BLMB said “Are you guys ready for BLMB’s 1st LGBT Box?! I know we are excited to get them into your hands. This box means so much to the both of us, it is literally our favorite genre and what better way to celebrate than with . . . .

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So in the first box there’s a signed paperback from Nic Starr (that’s me!) 🙂 plus another LGBT paperback along with some swag.

There will also be a Golden Ticket giveaway

There will be a limited amount of amazing swag, we really want to focus on getting you guys more books and fewer nick-nacks. However, there will be a golden ticket in every box giving you the chance at some awesome prizes, including;

* 1 (one) free BLMB!
* BLMB Mug
* $10 off your total order
* $15 off a 3-Month Subscription
* $20 off a 6-Month Subscription
* eBook of your choice (value of $5)
* Mystery Paperback * Swag pack

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What to tell your friends about this spectacular idea? Here’s a ready-made tweet for you.

Click to Tweet: ⭐ORDER NOW! ⭐The first ever #LGBT only mystery box from Book Lover Mystery Box ⭐ #gayromance #mmromance http://wp.me/p4tUbj-10i

Tweet: ⭐ORDER NOW! ⭐The first ever #LGBT only mystery box from Book Lover Mystery Box ⭐ #gayromance #mmromance https://ctt.ec/8i4PS+

Click to Tweet: 🌈Order your mystery #LGBT book box: a signed @nicstarr_author book, a mystery paperback, swag & more! ❤ #gayromance http://wp.me/p4tUbj-10i

Tweet: 🌈Order your mystery #LGBT book box: a signed @nicstarr_author book, a mystery paperback, swag & more! ❤ #gayromance https://ctt.ec/pYEdj+

 

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FREE BOOK from Nic Starr #gayromance #mmromance #free

I just wanted to let you know that I’ve finally got around to starting a newsletter with all my author news. At this stage, I expect to issue a newsletter once or twice a month depending on how much news there is to share.

And there are bonuses when you sign up!

Every newsletter subscriber receives a FREE copy of Sticky Fingers, and each month one lucky subscriber will be selected to receive a prize.

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One weekend away will change everything.

At twenty-five, Jeff Wilder is dissatisfied with city life and unsure of his future direction. The only thing he really cares about is his monthly visit to his grandfather in the country.

His exact opposite, Danny Amaro is an artist and a free spirit. He believes in taking chances and living life to the full. Over one weekend, Danny gives Jeff a glimpse of what life could be like if he opens himself to change.

Can a new friend, shared passion, and marmalade, be the ingredients to set Jeff in a new direction?

Click Here to subscribe to my VIP reader’s mailing list.

You’ll be the first to hear about new releases, special offers, and giveaways plus some exclusive content.

Plus, you’ll get a FREE copy of Sticky Fingers.

Happy reading!

Nic ❤

Want to share this great news? Here’s a ready made tweet for you. 🙂

CLICK TO TWEET: Sign up to Nic Starr’s News and get a #FREE ebook #gayromance #mmromance #freeebooks http://eepurl.com/b3CTzj

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BLOG TOUR & GUEST POST ~ Sam’s Story by Dylan Joseph

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Book Blurb:

When Dylan agreed to take a trip with his mom to a South Carolina campground, he wasn’t expecting much—until he met Sam, the lifeguard at the indoor pool. From that moment on, Dylan and Sam are thrust into a roller coaster of self-discovery. For them, even life’s most ordinary moments—brushing one’s teeth, playing a game of basketball, watching the sky—become precious. Sam’s Story is a poetic and heart melting read.

Release video:

 

 

Guest Post:

Hello readers! My name is Dylan Joseph and I am a 26-year-old gay author. I just published my first book: “Sam’s Story.” The book shows the struggle of growing up gay but it is much more than that. Aren’t you tired of hearing the sad stories about being gay? Sam’s Story is the possibility of love for the gay community. The kind of love the helps you better understand yourself. The kind of love that is not based around sex. The kind of love that we all want in our 20s.

My Coming Out:  It was the spring of 2006 and one of my close friends Lark asked me to go to the high school senior prom. I immediately said “Yes!” It wasn’t until later that day I realized she wanted to go to prom with me. I am gay. It was at this point I realized it was time for me to come out. A few days later I found myself standing in the basement as my mom was practicing piano. “I’m gay.” I said quite bluntly. It was a shock for her certainly but she was absolutely loving and supportive. In fact, all of my family and friends were supportive as the word spread. Within a year of coming out I met my first boyfriend, Krystian. For four years we enjoyed a deeply loving relationship full of beautiful memories and lots of laughs. This is what is like to be a gay youth in the 21st century. Surprised? We are so used to hearing the story about the gay teen that was rejected by his family or even worse— he committed suicide. This is an unfortunate truth and we have the best organizations working on it. One of my favorites is The Trevor Project where I am donating 10% of my book profits. There is a new story emerging that needs to be told. Focusing our efforts on telling a new story of the healthy gay man will create a context for the next generation of gay youth to live into.

Social Constructs:  Why will telling a new story help? A social construct is something that is generally agreed upon. Human beings agree on things through language thus a social construct is created by language. The story that is being told (using language) can impact reality by becoming a social construct. When we look back to Ancient Greece a great example is provided. In Athens, homosexuality was a normal and an integral part of how their society functioned. A male Athenian citizen would take on a younger man, the former being the erastís and the latter being the eranamus. The erastís would be responsible for the eranamus’ formal education including being a scholar, gymnast, artist and warrior. He would also teach the young man to be a lover. This was not a scene out of the bathes but a way of forging a bond so he could be role model. This may not be the ideal way to express homosexuality but this shows that throughout time the social constructs around homosexuality have changed. How do they change? They change by story telling, by language and by agreement.

Looking on the Bright Side:  Currently, the social construct around homosexuality has a few different aspects. Some of the major tones are ideas like: not acceptable, acceptable, a struggle, teasing, bullying, and suicide. It is different depending on where you are living in the country. Generally, it is something like a shell or wall over the gay populations head. Something to break through and something that constantly puts up resistance. We have demonstrated in the streets and in the courts. We have started to break that wall down. We are at a point where we must begin to also tell the positive story of being gay. This is what will make that wall (social construct) disappear for future generations. It may not be gone by time we are gone but we must think bigger then our lifetime. We must be bigger then our own lives and live to strive for the whole of humanity to thrive. So when you talk to the youth and when you share yourself as a gay man support them in their struggle. But really, really stress the marvelous life and joy it is to be a gay man. They will take that and run with it. This goes for our world as well. In the west, we are very lucky and many gay men around the world do not have the opportunity we have. It makes it even more important for us to tell this story.

Sam’s Story:  Sam’s Story is my way of telling my story. Sharing my life, my love and my struggle. It shows not only love on a surface level, but love that is deep and transformative. I believe when you meet a soul mate they help you grow into a better version of yourself. They help you transform old attitudes and past experiences that no longer benefit you. They also bring this love out of you that you have never seen before, a love you can cherish and share. If you are interested in supporting this movement towards a more positive gay future get your copy of Sam’s Story. It could be for yourself or a loved one. Pass on the love and tell the good story.

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Buy link:

Amazon – ebook

Amazon – Paperback

Author Bio:

11933390_10153577171330987_4882139375842354518_nDylan Joseph is a warrior, a healer, and a poet. He has a passion for the Chinese martial arts and meditation. His writing reflects the satisfaction he receives from discovering what it means to be human. He writes to entertain, to create worlds that inspire, worlds that provoke thought, and worlds that force his readers to live in another’s shoes. His goal is to create works that inspire people to live their lives to the fullest and fulfill all their dreams. Dylan is a 26-year-old gay man that grew up on Long Island, New York. He loves most people and certainly the opportunity to live life on planet Earth. Memento Mori. Tempus Fugit. Carpe Diem!

Social Links:

www.dylanjosephm.com
www.facebook.com/dylanjosephm
www.goodreads.com/dylanjosephm
www.Instagram.com/dylanjosephm

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Alpha Delta by RJ Scott

Now Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

This book was previously published with All Romance Publishing. There are no additions to the original story, just a change of cover art but due to the demise of All Romance, if you have already purchased this title and require a copy, please email Rachel (rjscott.team@gmail.com) with proof of purchase and she will send you a replacement.


 
 
Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
The Book

Officer Finn Hallan has never run from a fight. With Niall’s life and love at stake, he’s not about to start now…

Finn Hallan is a member of the elite Norwegian Emergency Response Unit, code name Delta. When the team is sent to respond to a hostage situation on a Oil Platform in the Norwegian Sea, he has to face demons he thought he had buried a long time ago.

Scottish engineer Niall Faulkner’s skills in oil platform decommissioning takes him to the Forseti platform at the worst possible time. When he’s captured by terrorists, his only thought is that he will never get to tell his lover how he really feels.

Can Finn keep Niall alive? Or will they both die at the hands of hijackers in the frigid waters of the Norwegian sea?

Excerpt

Chapter 1

The call came in just past fourteen hundred hours, Erik beating him to ops by about two seconds, both men pulling on vests and arranging holsters.

Finn had been reading, spending the quiet down time before dinner trying to get his head around some of the shit that had gone down today. Time at the Urskar training facility was hard work but it wasn’t hard physical work that was bugging Finn. He knew exactly what it was.

Niall.

They’d talked this morning; he was working on the Forseti platform in the Heidrun oilfield for the next few weeks. They wouldn’t be seeing each other for a while, and that was fine. Finn was good with that. Of course, he didn’t like the fact Finn was flying in this weather. The storm passing through near the Forseti platform was a big one. And yes, he had to admit to himself he’d checked. And that was the problem. He’d checked the storm, he’d worried about the flight, and he was already missing the feisty, nerdy, sexy engineer enough to have it consuming his thoughts. All the what-ifs and the whens, and mostly the whys. He didn’t usually do serious, but Niall could make him change his mind. One guy with a soft voice and a wicked mouth comes along and suddenly Finn was losing control of his touch but don’t keep policy.

Then, this morning he’d fucked up. Big time.

He hadn’t been paying attention and he’d seriously blown things in training. He’d let his guard down and got a helmet full of pink dye with a spot-on head shot from a crowing Erik. It wasn’t so much the kill shot, it was why Finn had been distracted. He’d been thinking about Niall, and not in the I want to fuck that sideways kind of way, but in an I hope he’s okay and I’ll miss him kind of way.

Then Erik had to go and manage to kill him. It was the first time Erik had ever gotten the drop on Finn in training. It had taken three hair washes and vigorous scrubbing to get the pink out of his hair and off his left temple.

Fucker.

When they reached the briefing room Erik grinned at him, that shit-eating grin that told Finn he wouldn’t be living it down that Erik’s team had taken first blood in the mini war game they were taking part in. The grin didn’t last long, subsiding as soon as Cap walked in. After all, it didn’t matter what had happened this morning; now they were all about whatever had caused them to be alerted.

“About thirty minutes ago four bodies were found at the Grane oil terminal, identified as security assigned to the NorsDev Forseti Platform.”

Cap stared straight at Finn and for a brief moment Finn wasn’t really understanding the words. Then one thing hit him square in the chest. Forseti. That was where Niall was.

Rising to his feet he didn’t know what to say as fear gripped him. “Four?”

“We have reason to believe these four men were replaced so that a team of hijackers could get onto Forseti.”

“That’s being decom’d.” Erik sounded puzzled. “What kind of collateral does an empty oil platform have?”

“Only four?” Finn interjected. “What about the engineers? Niall Faulkner and his brother Ewan?”

Erik looked up at him and Finn could see the moment the information made sense in his head.

“Fuck. Niall is on Forseti?”

“Both of them… Niall and Ewan. Did they go? Does someone know if he…?” The rest of the team all stared at him, Cap included, and Finn realized he was coming off as a mad man. He subsided. No one could get information out if Finn was raving like a fucking lovesick moron.

“The pilots are back, they took one engineer and four security replacements. So, souls on the platform are one engineer, six skeleton crew, and the four security replacements. Eleven souls in all.”

The bottom fell out of Finn and dread stole his breath. Was it Niall or Ewan on Forseti? With who? Terrorists?

“Intel is showing no communications, or demands, but chatter has it that this is an isolated cell connected to the Hofstad Network out of Denmark.” Cap slid his finger on the laptop and the screen changed behind him to show four faces. Three fair-haired, one dark, all in fatigues with long addendums at the bottom of the photo. Ex-Marine, one former SAS. The names a blur. Except for one.

Svein Roberg.

“He’s dead,” Erik said in disbelief, echoing Finn’s thoughts exactly. Roberg had a long history of fighting the good fight for whichever side paid him most. Ex-Special Forces, he had finally been taken down by the ERU two years before, just after Finn joined the team. In fact, it had been Finn who faced him down after tracking him to a small holding in Alta. They’d chased him to the Alta Dam, where the murdering fucker had died.

The bastard had tried extortion in the name of environmental concern and had killed three oil workers in an explosion at one of the dry land containment depots. Finn would never forget Svein’s face. He didn’t even fight when Erik and Finn had him cornered, simply dropped his weapon and raised his hands.

In the best traditions of all grandstanding bad guys he laughed then said, “I live to fight another day,” repeating this over and over as he fell to his knees. There had been madness in his words, and cunning in his silver eyes. Only when Finn had stepped forward did the madness manifest in a blur of motion, the two men grappling for the weapon and a bullet leaving Finn’s gun and carving into Svein’s neck, blood spurting. Time had slowed and Finn had watched in horror and a curious fascination as the terrorist leaped in a grotesque twist of muscles over the dam wall and down into the churning water below.

“They never found his body,” Finn said softly. But Finn hadn’t cared then. The fucker had a bullet in his neck and had fallen over six hundred feet. He had to have been dead.

“Until four weeks ago his file was silent, but chatter indicated there was movement and he was implicated right in the center of it all.”

“And no one thought to brief us?” Finn demanded hotly. “Why the fuck not?”

Several others in the team, Erik included, added their alarm.

Cap held up a hand and quieted the room. “Wheels up in ten,” he said.

And that was it. They knew nothing. They didn’t know why Forseti was the platform involved or why Svein Roberg had shown up. But, whatever information they received, they would be ready for action when they knew what the hell to do.

Erik grabbed his arm as Finn made to leave. “Finn?” he asked. The question was loaded. It was, are you sure you’re okay, do you know the man you’ve been seeing is on Forseti, and can you handle this, all wrapped up in one word.

Finn nodded. Didn’t matter how he felt or what he actually said to voice any of it, he was going with the team and he wasn’t putting doubt in Erik’s head.

“Let’s get this done.”

Author Bio

RJ Scott is the bestselling author of over one hundred romance books. She writes emotional stories of complicated characters, cowboys, millionaire, princes, and the partners 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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Are you looking for A Summer Fling? #FREE #gayromance #mmromance

summer_fling-200x300Blurb

Daniel falls hard for a guest at the hotel where he works. Ryan McFarland is frantically trying to finish his novel on a deadline and cannot be distracted. The two men find their attraction impossible to ignore, however. The only question is what will happen when it’s time for Ryan to leave.
A Summer Fling was originally published in 2011 under the title Surf’s Up, as part of the Goodreads M/M Romance Group’s “Don’t Read in the Closet” fest. Bite the Dust, a short story based on a fictional character in Surf’s Up, was a finalist in the “Just One Bite” Contest. The contest specifically called for a vampire-based story under 3000 words, which is why it’s so short.

Free!

Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00E7E0FDM
Enjoy!