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GUEST POST: The Perfect Gift by Joe Cosentino

What do Capri, Italy and Philadelphia, PA have in common. It turns out a lot actually. Both are gorgeous, magical, romantic, and the perfect place to spend the winter holidays. Capri has its ancient, quaint church with stained glass windows and pipe organ, steep white cliffs hovering over clear turquoise water, historic villas, and mouthwatering food. Philly is home to the Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest ice skating, Franklin Square Holiday Festival and Electrical Spectacle Holiday Light Show, Christmas Village, Holiday Market in Dilworth Park, Germantown Avenue’s Winter Wonderland with Victorian-costumed carolers and bell ringers, and Dickensian Street where people dressed as characters from Dickens’ novels stand in front of Victorian-style bay-windowed shops lit up for the holidays.

Two years ago, I wrote a holiday short novella loosely based on my trip to the magical and gorgeous island of Capri: A Home for the Holidays. Bobby, a young, Italian American law student traveling to Capri during the winter holidays meets his quaint Italian relatives, and falls in love with his handsome, muscular, sexy Italian distant cousin, Paolo. Readers and listeners loved the e-book and audiobook performed by the talented Joel Leslie, feeling as if they could see, hear, taste, and touch the captivating characters and romantic locations. Since A Home for the Holidays leaves open the future of Bobby’s and Paolo’s relationship; Joel, readers, reviewers, and Dreamspinner Press staff asked me why I hadn’t written a sequel. So this month we are releasing The Perfect Gift e-book.

The two-part story begins a year after A Home for the Holiday ends. Bobby and Paolo are living in Philadelphia as a junior lawyer and junior fashion designer. When Paolo proposes, Bobby’s family and friends are intent on giving the couple a gaudy, elaborate wedding against their wishes. Bobby and Paolo jump through quite a few holiday hoops and finally have their perfect December wedding (December Grooms). A year later, since it’s Christmas time, the couple tour many of the quaint and wonderful holiday sites in the area featuring elaborately decorated trees and wreathes, Dickensian villages, Victorian carolers and bell ringers, vendors selling hot mulled cider and roasted chestnuts, and bay-windowed shops. They exchange beautiful gifts, and enjoy spending Christmas with Bobby’s eccentric family and hilarious friend Jared. While playing department store Santa, Bobby’s father suffers a heart attack. A man in a Santa suit, who Bobby assumes is his father’s replacement, brings the young couple to the hospital room of a sick little boy. Like the child we celebrate at Christmas, could this boy be the holiday gift leading to happily ever after for Bobby and Paolo (An Unexpected Present)?

I hope you enjoy Bobby and Paolo’s next adventures in Bobby’s beautiful hometown. And I hope you get what you need for Christmas. Enjoy my special holiday gift to you. Please know that it comes wrapped in a huge ribbon of love.

 

THE PERFECT GIFT (Bobby and Paolo Holiday Stories, Book 2)

by JOE COSENTINO

published by Dreamspinner Press, e-book $4.99

Blurb

Back in America after finding A Home for the Holidays and each other in Capri, new couple Bobby McGrath and Paolo Mascobello are ready to tie the knot during the winter holidays. Their families, friends, and pastor offer more advice than sages on speed. So, young lawyer Bobby and fashion designer Paolo are caught in the matrimonial holiday circus. Will a shocking turn of events somehow lead to the perfect wedding for the December grooms?

The following Christmas, Bobby and Paolo aren’t feeling the holiday spirit. They have a nice apartment, designer clothes, entertaining and supportive friends and family, but little time for each other. While out shopping in their quaint local holiday village, Bobby and Paolo encounter Gregory, an adorable seven-year-old who changes their lives forever, offering them a true holiday miracle… if they’re willing to accept it.

What reviewers said about A Home for the Holidays (Bobby and Paolo Holiday Stories, Book 1):

“I adore the character of Bobby…the heartwarming family moments…the love the author has for Capri and the people there flows off the page in every word he has written…..When you finish reading this story, you will want to book your own flight to Italy and boat to Capri.” Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

“Joe Cosentino’s holiday novella, A Home for the Holidays, delivers in every way that a romantic, feel-good story should. Every book I read by this author continuously pulls me in and wraps me up like a warm blanket.” Kathy Mac Reviews

“The one thing you can’t escape when reading Cosentino’s books is his humour; it’s what draws me back time and again to this author. Sometimes the humour is subtle, sometimes it’s unashamedly overt – every time it is hilarious.” Boy Meets Boy Reviews

I’m going to go on record saying that Joe Cosentino pretty much has me at hello. His writing style is incredibly smooth with beautiful details that never feel like too much or too little. Even in this very short story, I felt like I was right there in Capri with Bobby. Both the scenery and Bobby’s emotions are painted with lush, vivid detail…exceptional writing and beautifully gift-wrapped love story.” AM Leibowitz

Bestselling author Joe Cosentino wrote In My Heart/An Infatuation & A Shooting Star, the Bobby and Paolo Holiday stories: A Home for the Holidays and The Perfect Gift, The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland (Dreamspinner Press); the Nicky and Noah mysteries: Drama Queen, Drama Muscle, Drama Cruise, (Lethe Press), Drama Luau, Drama Detective; the Cozzi Cove series: Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back, Cozzi Cove: Moving Forward, Cozzi Cove: Stepping Out, Cozzi Cove: New Beginnings (NineStar Press); and the Jana Lane mysteries: Paper Doll, Porcelain Doll, Satin Doll, China Doll, Rag Doll (The Wild Rose Press). He has appeared in principal acting roles in film, television, and theatre, opposite stars such as Bruce Willis, Rosie O’Donnell, Nathan Lane, Holland Taylor, Charles Keating, and Jason Robards. Joe is currently Head of the Department/Professor at a college in upstate New York, and is happily married. He was voted 1st Place Favorite LGBT Mystery, Humorous, and Contemporary Author of 2015, and 2nd Place Favorite LGBT Romance Author of 2015 by the readers of Divine Magazine. He has also won many Rainbow Award Honorable Mentions including for In My Heart/An Infatuation & A Shooting Star. http://www.JoeCosentino.weebly.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/JoeCosentinoauthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JoeCosen

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4071647.Joe_Cosentino

Amazon: Author.to/JoeCosentino

Excerpt 

“Hi, Mom. What are you doing?”

“Sitting home alone like a dog.”

That’s Mom’s logic. If their house isn’t full of people eating and carrying on, she’s alone. “Where’s Dad?”

“In his den, watching the game on TV as usual.”

I’m Bobby McGrath. Since this is my story, I should tell you more about myself. I have frizzy red hair, green eyes, and a swimmer’s body, thanks to the pool at my gym. The swimmer’s body is thanks to the pool. The red hair and green eyes are courtesy of my dad’s side of the family, which my mom calls the Bad Seed. And I passed the bar. I don’t mean I’m a recovering alcoholic. I aced my bar exam, and I’ve been a junior lawyer for nearly a year now.

“Bobby, are you listening to me or thinking about one of your cases?”

“I’m listening, Mom.” I sat on the window seat in my Victorian apartment’s turret and gazed out at the carolers appropriately dressed in Victorian garb as they sang in front of the department store across the street. That’s the department store where my father is manager and plays Santa every December. “How did Dad’s physical go with Dr. Sherman?”

“He said Dad’s overweight. Like we didn’t know. For that we shelled out a thirty-dollar co-pay.”

“Did you mention how Dad’s been forgetting a few things lately?”

“I told him how your father forgot to take out the garbage, sweep out the garage, and chase the squirrels out of our summerhouse in the backyard.”

I couldn’t help thinking Dad’s memory lapses were intentional.

“Dr. Sherman asked Dad some questions, like Dad’s birthdate and our anniversary.”

“And?”

“Your father never remembers things like that, so I answered for him.”

“Mom, you shouldn’t have—”

“Your father’s fine, except for an enlarged prostrate.”

“That’s prostate.”

“Don’t correct your mother, especially now.”

“What’s wrong?”

“You know I don’t like to burden you with my problems.”

“All right. I should get on my laptop to do some research for a—”

“I’m worried about your sister.”

“Which one?”

“Both of them.”

I took a sip of Lemon Zinger tea and braced myself for a long story.

“They work so hard at their jobs and taking care of the kids, they never see their husbands.”

My sisters’ know-it-all spouses? “Is that a bad thing?”

“Watch your mouth, mister. I’m your mother. In my day we never disrespected our parents, no matter how wrong they were about everything. And we never took drugs.”

“I don’t take drugs, Mom; neither does Paolo.”

“But plenty of young people today are drug addicts, Bobby. They say they’re nervous. If young people are nervous, they should do what I do, and take a Prozac.”

As Mom rambled on about the sad state of our youth, I glanced over at the antique cherry coffee table to a framed picture of Paolo and me smiling in front of the Mascobello villa in Capri, Italy. That’s where I met Paolo, when I visited my extended family. Don’t freak out. Paolo is a very distant cousin. He has dreamy sapphire eyes, wavy chestnut hair, more muscles than a daytime television star, and a little-boy pout that makes me want to take care of him for the rest of his life. Which I do. Since Paolo was quite the playboy in Capri, I had my doubts about our relationship. But we’ve been living in boyfriend bliss here in Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love, for a year now.

Buy Links

http://myBook.to/PerfectGift

Barnes & Noble

 

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EXCERPT: Fairies At The Bottom Of The Garden by Cheryl Headford

Blurb

All Keiron wants is a quiet life. Fat chance with a boyfriend like Bren. But if he thought Bren complicated his life, that was nothing compared to the complications that begin when he opens the door to what he thinks is a naked boy claiming to be his slave.

Draven is a fairy with his sights set on the handsome human who keeps a wild place in the garden for fairies. When Draven slips through a fairy gate into the city, he sets in motion a series of events that binds him to Keiron forever, and just might be the end of him.

While Draven explores Keiron’s world with wide-eyed wonder, Keiron does everything he can to keep Draven’s at bay, until the only way to save Draven and bring him home is to step into a world that should exist only in children stories.

Excerpt

Fairies at the Bottom of the Garden

Cheryl Headford © 2017

All Rights Reserved

Keiron hurried home at the end of a very long day, anticipating some peace and quiet. He liked a quiet life, so what had possessed him to take on a boyfriend like Bren Donovan was anyone’s guess. Whatever else it might be, life with Bren was certainly not quiet, and it was slowly wearing Keiron out.

It was almost a relief Bren wouldn’t be staying at the flat that night. Although they were practically living together, Bren had his own place and sometimes felt the need to stay there. This was usually because a member of his family—or particularly flighty friend—was coming to stay. It wasn’t as if his family wasn’t aware of their relationship, but Bren was shy about “rubbing it in their faces”. Keiron didn’t understand because Bren’s mother seemed to like him a great deal and considered him to be a stabilising influence on her son.

Keiron was a conservative person and so different to Bren, they might as well live in different worlds. As for Bren’s friends, they were usually very like him—loud, messy, and irresponsible. Keiron couldn’t stand them. He was lucky if nothing got broken, and they always left the flat in a complete mess. If Bren wanted to live in a pigsty, so be it. He could do it in his own home.

This weekend, with the bank holiday, Bren was getting both. His friends were congregating on Saturday. Then his parents and sister were coming on Sunday, and staying through until Tuesday morning. Keiron had a Bren-free weekend and was looking forward to it.

If it hadn’t been for their differences on this point, they’d have moved in together a long time ago. Bren chafed for it, but Keiron couldn’t handle his flat descending into chaos, and it wasn’t even as if Bren helped tidy up afterwards. Keiron cringed at the thought of having that chaos and therefore stress every day.

Not only that, but Bren was the most jealous person Keiron had ever come across. Keiron was constantly accused of looking at other men, and God forbid he spoke to one. Bren was a firebrand, completely living up to his fiery red-headed Irish-descended promise. Sometimes it was exciting, even invigorating, yet at other times Keiron longed for the peace and stability he used to have before Bren burst in on him. Maybe at twenty-two, he was just getting old.

Keiron ordered takeaway and, while he waited for it to arrive, wandered down to the bottom of the garden, a beer in his hand, his hair damp from the bath. The sun was still high and warm enough for him to be wearing a thin T-shirt and shorts. The smell of a barbecue drifted over from a neighbouring garden and his mouth watered.

Savouring his drink, he sank onto the stone bench under the rose arbour. It afforded a good view of the whole garden. It was a big one. A long lawn stretched ahead of him to the decking immediately outside the house, where a large wooden table, a number of items of garden furniture, and a shiny silver gas barbecue sat.

Sometimes, he had Bren’s friends around for a barbecue. They weren’t so bad out here in the garden, although they made such a mess of the barbecue itself that it took him days to get it properly clean. He smiled to himself. Sometimes, living with Bren was like having a teenage son. Fortunately, Bren was very good at things he’d hate to think any son of his could do.

The lawn was bordered on either side by flower beds and bushes, which hid the wooden fences separating his garden from the ones on either side. To his left, screened from the arbour by a yew hedge, was a garden pool with a rock fountain and fat koi swimming under lily pads. There used to be more fish—before Bren’s friends found the pond. He pursed his lips at the thought.

To the right was a shrubbery. A large variety of plants made up a wild area of about thirty square feet. Bren loved it, of course. He’d burrowed into it and, within a week, had made a green cave right in the middle. He’d floored it with an old piece of carpet he’d found on a skip. It had taken a long time and a lot of carpet-cleaner to persuade Keiron to enter it, but he had to admit, making love outside under the bushes in the darkness was something he’d come to enjoy very much.

Bren had been surprised he had such a wild place in his neat garden, in his neat life. Perhaps it was the thing that sealed the deal with Bren, who’d been reluctant to get involved with someone so unlike himself, and likely to “cramp his style”.

“But why?” he’d asked. “It doesn’t seem like you to have a wild place like this. It’s so out of place—with the garden and with you. Why haven’t you ‘tamed’ it? Everything else in your life is tame. You’re the most vanilla person I know—except for this.”

They were in the “cave” at the time. It was dark but warm, and they were holding each other in the afterglow of amazing sex. Keiron had smiled lazily and sighed.

“My mother used to live out in the country somewhere when she was a child. My grandmother never took to city life. She told me once there was no room in a city for life, real life. Nowhere for roots to reach the earth. No place for the fairies.”

“Fairies?”

“Oh yes, she was very superstitious about fairies. Never had anything made of iron in the garden. Put out saucers of warm milk if there was a deep frost or snow. And always had a wild place in the garden—for the fairies.”

Bren had smiled at him. “I never thought you had any of that in you, Keiron. I guess there’s hope for you yet.”

Keiron had grinned and held Bren tightly in his arms.

Keiron smiled at the memory and took a drink of his beer. Something caught his eye, and he turned towards the shrubbery. He was sure he’d seen something move, shooting across his vision, behind the trees. He stared hard, but there was nothing there. It must have been a squirrel. He saw them now and again, scrabbling for nuts under the hazel tree or acorns from the enormous oak that overhung the garden from next door.

With a sigh, he settled back and took another drink. His stomach rumbled, and he glanced at his watch, wondering when his pizza would get there. The deliveryman was a regular, and if there was no answer at the door, he’d text to say he’d arrived. So Keiron could relax and not worry about—

There was definitely something there. It moved again. He’d seen it—a flash of white. A cat? Most of the neighbours had cats, and they liked to hang about in the shrubbery, waiting to pounce on unsuspecting birds. It had taken a lot of work to get rid of the smell of cat pee from the carpet.

Ah well. Although…something nagged at the back of his mind. It wasn’t a cat. It couldn’t have been a cat because it hadn’t looked like a cat. It had looked like a person. A small person with a pale pointed face. But it had only been a fraction of a second, a flash, an impression. It was nonsense, of course.

Maybe it was one of the fairies. He smiled.

There was no further movement in the bushes, so when the text came to herald the arrival of his pizza, he wandered back into the house.

He decided to eat his stuffed-crust vegetable supreme at the kitchen table. It was a beautiful night. Other than distant strains of music drifting over from the barbecue, there was the type of silence that magnified the slightest sound. Like the silence that came with snow. It was magical.

Keiron laughed at himself. Magical? That’s what you get for thinking of fairies.

Something flashed at the window and he glanced up sharply. There was nothing there, but there had been. In that fraction of a second between his head beginning to move and his eyes orienting on the window, there had been something or someone peeping in. Someone with a small pointy face. Shit.

Take it easy. If something was there, he didn’t want to frighten it away before he found out what it was.

He took up the uneaten pizza, making a show of putting it onto a plate and into the fridge. The back door was open to let in the summer warmth, and the bin was next to it, out of sight of the window. He folded the pizza box, and headed for the bin—only he wasn’t going to the bin at all. He lifted the lid, so the sound carried out into the garden, but before he let the lid drop, he dived for the back door.

There was nothing there, but there had been. There had been someone crouching under the window, peeping in. It was someone with long white hair, a pointed face, and unnaturally blue eyes. It was all seen in the blink of an eye, and after he’d blinked, there was nothing there and no sign there ever had been.

“I know you’re there. I’ve seen you three times now,” he called into the silence. “I know what you are.” Why had he even said that? It couldn’t have been anything but a figment of his imagination. Human beings couldn’t move that fast, and it was certainly no animal. Then what? A fairy? Hah.

Smiling at his own foolishness, he went back into the house and closed the door.

He was halfway through the remaining pizza, drinking his third bottle of beer and feeling pretty mellow, when there was a soft tapping at the back door. This surprised him very much. No one ever knocked on the back door. Why would they? How could they? They’d have to be in the garden, and there were only two ways into it, the door at which they now tapped or a tiny gate right at the bottom, which would have necessitated them traipsing right through the garden. Who would do that?

With a frown, gripping the bottle in his hand like a weapon, he walked through the kitchen to the door. He could see a vague form through the frosted glass. There was definitely someone there. He wondered if they’d disappear by the time he opened the door.

When the door opened, Keiron froze. He’d never seen anything—or anyone—remotely like the creature who stood on his back doorstep.

Neither spoke.

Keiron blinked, half expecting the creature to vanish before he opened his eyes. He didn’t. He seemed human enough. A boy of seventeen or eighteen years old, with long silvery-white hair and a pretty elfin face. Long white lashes swept over the downturned eyes and skin so pale it appeared translucent, seeming almost to glow in the gathering dusk. He was slender, willowy, and completely naked.

“Who the hell are you?” Keiron eventually asked. The boy looked up and Keiron recoiled. Nothing with eyes like that could be human. They were blue, but it wasn’t any blue he’d ever seen before. It was a brilliant electric blue with a metallic sheen that marked him as something very different to anyone Keiron had ever encountered.

“Draven,” the boy said automatically in a light singsong voice.

“What do you want?”

“Whatever you want.”

“I…want…I want to know who you are and why you’re standing naked on my back doorstep.”

“I’m…Draven,” he said with an anxious little smile. “I’m yours.”

Buy Links

NineStar Press

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Smashwords

Kobo

About the Author

Cheryl was born into a poor mining family in the South Wales Valleys. Until she was 16, the toilet was at the bottom of the garden and the bath hung on the wall. Her refrigerator was a stone slab in the pantry and there was a black lead fireplace in the kitchen. They look lovely in a museum but aren’t so much fun to clean.

Cheryl has always been a storyteller. As a child, she’d make up stories for her nieces, nephews and cousin and they’d explore the imaginary worlds she created, in play. Later in life, Cheryl became the storyteller for a reenactment group who travelled widely, giving a taste of life in the Iron Age. As well as having an opportunity to run around hitting people with a sword, she had an opportunity to tell stories of all kinds, sometimes of her own making, to all kinds of people. The criticism was sometimes harsh, especially from the children, but the reward enormous.

It was here she began to appreciate the power of stories and the primal need to hear them. In ancient times, the wandering bard was the only source of news, and the storyteller the heart of the village, keeping the lore and the magic alive. Although much of the magic has been lost, the stories still provide a link to the part of us that still wants to believe that it’s still there, somewhere. In present times, Cheryl lives in a terraced house in the valleys with her son, dog, bearded dragon and three cats. Her daughter has deserted her for the big city, but they’re still close. She’s never been happier since she was made redundant and is able to devote herself entirely to her twin loves of writing and art, with a healthy smattering of magic and mayhem.

Website: www.cherylheadford.com/

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

Blog: www.nephylim-author.blogspot.co.uk/

Twitter: www.twitter.com/SevenPointStar

Facebook: www.facebook.com/Nephylim.author/

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BLOG TOUR: Gay for Pay by T.M Smith

Song and Scene, plus an Excerpt and Giveaway

Hello everyone and thanks for stopping by Nic’s blog today for their stop on my blog tour. It’s always fun for me to interact with my peers, and since I also do reviews for MMGBR, I’m very excited to see who decided to review Gay for Pay and what their thoughts on the story are.

Today I’m going to talk a little about the music behind my book, why I chose this song and how it represents something in the story. If you’ve read the synopsis for Gay for Pay then you know Chris is broken almost as soon as the book begins. One mistake when he was eighteen changed his life irrevocably. The song Ghost Town by Adam Lambert screamed Chris from the first time I heard it. The chorus for the song is, “My heart is a Ghost Town” and that so perfectly fits Chris at the start.

“I died last night in my dreams, all of the machines have been disconnected.” After the accident, Chris continues to think he should have died as well.

“Time was thrown out the wind, and all of my friends had been disinfected.” After the accident everyone in Chris’s life abandons him, except for his best friend Michael.

It almost seemed like Adam Lambert had read an early draft of my story then wrote this song. Everything about it screams Chris and his pain and confusion. But let me assure you, he finds happiness. There is some darkness in the book early on, but the sun begins to shine soon enough.

I hope you’ll all grab a copy of this new release and enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Here’s an exclusive excerpt from Gay for Pay…

“So that’s why you don’t like the guy, and here I thought it was his charming personality.” Chris was trying to lighten the mood, but he wasn’t certain it’d worked since Linc didn’t respond. They walked in relative silence for a while and Chris was enjoying the scenery but also starting to wonder how far out along the water they were going to walk. He stopped and turned back to look and see how far the house was, shocked when it looked tiny in the distance.

He spun around, intent on asking Linc if they could start heading back to the house, running right into a wall. Well, not a wall really, but Linc’s toned chest sure felt like one when Chris barreled into him. He reached up and gripped Chris’s arms to stop him from falling over. Chris smiled and moved to pull back, but Linc held him in place, their bodies just inches apart.

He opened his mouth to tell Linc to release him, but he couldn’t form the words. Chris shook his head, swallowing, trying to add a little moisture to his suddenly dry mouth. When Linc’s tongue darted out, running over his bottom lip, Chris inhaled a sharp breath and tried to break free of Linc’s hold once more, to no avail. If anything, Chris thought his grip tightened. “Can I kiss you?” Linc whispered, his body already slowly moving closer to Chris.

Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. He wanted Linc to kiss him, and it scared him shitless. In his head he was saying no; he was shaking his head vigorously, no! But his body had a mind of its own. He could feel his head nodding and he closed his eyes as Linc’s warm, wet lips touched his. The kiss was chaste. Linc didn’t press further than a simple peck on the mouth, though lingering for a long time. When Linc pulled away there was a low moan, and Chris’s knees almost gave out when he realized he was the one groaning. 



Gay for Pay was originally published in 2015. Flash forward nearly 3 years later and I have learned so much, become more comfortable as a writer and I’m writing better stories for my readers. So, my editor and I decided to go back to the book that started it all. It was the first book we worked on together and it was the first book in the now wildly popular All Cocks stories. I guess you could say we’ve come full circle. 

 

Gay for Pay

An All Cocks story, book 1 
Buy links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | Amazon DE

 

A military brat born and raised at Ft. Benning Georgia;
TM Smith is an avid reader, reviewer and writer. A Texas transplant, she now
calls DFW her home. Most days she can be found curled up with a good book, or
ticking away on her next novel.
 
Smith is a single mom of three disturbingly outspoken and
decidedly different kids, one of which is Autistic. Besides her writing, she is
passionate about Autism advocacy and LGBT rights. Because, seriously people,
Love is Love!
 
 
 
Author links: Amazon || Smashwords || Website || Facebook || Twitter 
Goodreads || Pinterest || Youtube || Payhip || Queer Romance INC~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Follow the tour…

Dec 1st
Love Bytes – Spotlight
& Guest post
Cathy Writes Romance
Review & Spotlight
Gay Media Reviews – Review
& Spotlight
Dec 2nd
Two Book Pushers
Spotlight & Excerpt
Dec 3rd
MM Midnight Café
Spotlight & Playlist
The O’Raven Chronicles – Something Wicked
Dec 4th
Because Two Men are Better
– Spotlight & Song/Scene
The Novel Approach
Spotlight & Guest Post
Dec 5th
Making It Happen  – Review & Guest post
Dec 6th
Happily Ever Chapter
Review & This or That
Dec 7th
Bayou Book Junkie – Review
& Song/Scene

 

Smashly BookalicousReviews – Spotlight only
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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Join the All Cocks INC Groupies page on facebook for exclusive excerpts, content, early peek at covers and giveaways that are just for members of the group. 
 💥  All Cocks Series Box Set Vol 1  💥 
 💥  FREE ON KINDLE UNLIMITED  💥 
   Box Set package sold exclusively through Amazon   
NOTE: this box set includes the 2nd edition of Gay for Pay

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GUEST POST with GIVEAWAY: One Word by Anne Barwell

Thanks for hosting me today as part of my blog tour for One Word, the 3rd book in my Hidden Places series from Dreamspinner Press.

I have a Rafflecopter running as part of the tour so be sure to enter.  Dreamspinner Press also have the ebooks for Cat’s Quill (book 1) and Magic’s Muse (book 2) on sale for 75% off on 6th November as part of their daily deals newsletter.

Blurb

A Hidden Places Story

Ethan Leavitt arrives in the idyllic village of Oakwood to search for a missing friend. Having always prided himself on his ability to find rational explanations, Ethan’s trust in concrete evidence and logic is tested by the mystery of Oakwood and Tomas’s disappearance.

Donovan Campbell’s happy, sometimes flippant, exterior hides a past he’d rather forget. As he struggles with his memories and to hold on to the inn he owns with his best friend, the last thing Donovan needs is for some guy he’s only just met to start getting under his skin. When a bank robbery escalates into a dangerous situation, Donovan must embrace a part of himself he can no longer ignore in order to save a future that might never have the chance to exist.

Ethan learns that often the person you’re looking for is not the one you find. But have he and Donovan both realized that too late…?

Excerpt

“I’m so sorry, Jane,” Ethan said, “and I apologize for my insensitivity earlier. It was completely out of line.”

She managed a shaky smile. “Thank you for being understanding. Good afternoon, gentlemen. I guess it’s a good thing that I have the day off, isn’t it?”

“I’m sorry for kicking you,” Donovan said after she’d left.

“I can be an insensitive jerk at times. Lord knows, I’ve been told that often enough.”

“Not always. You’ve got a kind side to you too.”

Ethan’s concern for Jane had been real enough, as was his mortification that he’d been rude once he’d seen that she was upset.

“You say that like it’s a good thing.” Ethan retrieved his napkin from the side of his plate and wiped his mouth. “Sometimes it’s not, you know. People take advantage. Not that I’m saying she is, but….” He sighed. “Just forget it, okay.”

“Okay.” Donovan wondered who had hurt Ethan and recently. He’d seen enough to connect the dots. “Lots of assholes in this world, unfortunately.”

“And some decent people too. Oakwood’s been good for reminding me of that.”

“Are you sure you’re okay to come to London with me tomorrow?” Donovan couldn’t help but think that something in their conversation had triggered Ethan’s reaction. He’d said Mitchell and Vincent were good friends. Perhaps it was this acquaintance he’d mentioned? The one who had introduced him to them.

“I’m looking forward to it.” Ethan glanced at Donovan’s empty plate. “Have you had enough lunch?”

“Yes, thanks. I was hungrier than I realized.” Donovan finished the last of his beer.

“I went to see the owner of the Chronicle the other day, but he was too busy to talk and suggested we meet briefly today instead. I’m hoping, as he’s been working at the newspaper a while, he can tell me some old stories about Oakwood that didn’t end up in print. You’re welcome to come if you’d like.”

“Thanks for the offer, but I need to do some work at the inn this afternoon. We had to replace some weatherboards a few months ago, and I need to get them painted before winter.” Donovan wished he could have said yes, but Heidi was stressing about it. If he didn’t get onto it soon, she’d be out there doing it herself, and she did enough already. Part of their agreement in taking on the inn was that they split the workload between them, and Donovan made sure he pulled his weight. “You’re okay to find your own way back?”

“Yes, I’ll be fine. Thanks for asking.” Ethan pushed back his chair and walked over to the counter to pay for their meal. “I’ll see you later, at the inn.”

“Okay. Sounds good.” Donovan didn’t follow him immediately but instead stayed at the table watching Ethan at the counter. His hair curled up slightly at the back, his jacket falling to mid-ass, not quite covering it. He had a very nice ass.

Bet he kisses well too.

Oh fuck. Donovan closed his eyes for a moment. Where the hell had that thought come from? He was falling for the guy, wasn’t he—falling for a guy who wasn’t interested and would be walking out of his life in a couple of days.

Donovan heard footsteps walking away. He opened his eyes just in time to see Ethan disappear out the door. It was time to leave and bury himself in the work he needed to get done. He stood and headed for the door, giving Eoin and his friends a wave as he passed their table.

He hadn’t missed the money the three men had given Craig or the grins they all wore.

Donovan groaned. Great, that was all he needed. The pub door slammed as he stalked through it. Yep, they were running another betting pool all right.

It wasn’t his fault they were wasting their time. They’d find that out soon enough for themselves.

Buy Link

Buy Link: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/one-word-by-anne-barwell-9001-b

Giveaway

Click here to enter the Rafflecopter

Blog Tour

You can find the list of sites taking part in the blog tour here:

https://annebarwell.wordpress.com/blog-hops/

Author Bio

Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand.  She shares her home with two cats who are convinced that the house is run to suit them; this is an ongoing “discussion,” and to date it appears as though the cats may be winning.

In 2008 she completed her conjoint BA in English Literature and Music/Bachelor of Teaching. She has worked as a music teacher, a primary school teacher, and now works in a library. She is a member of the Upper Hutt Science Fiction Club and plays violin for Hutt Valley Orchestra.

She is an avid reader across a wide range of genres and a watcher of far too many TV series and movies, although it can be argued that there is no such thing as “too many.” These, of course, are best enjoyed with a decent cup of tea and further the continuing argument that the concept of “spare time” is really just a myth. She also hosts other authors, reviews for the GLBTQ Historical Site “Our Story” and Top2Bottom Reviews, and writes monthly blog posts for Authors Speak and Love Bytes.

Anne’s books have received honorable mentions four times and reached the finals three times in the Rainbow Awards.  She has also been nominated twice in the Goodreads M/M Romance Reader’s Choice Awards—once for Best Fantasy and once for Best Historical.

Website & Blog: http://annebarwell.wordpress.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/anne.barwell.1

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/sylvrebarwellhoffmann/

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/115084832208481414034/posts

Instagram: https://instagram.com/anne.barwell

Twitter: https://twitter.com/annebarwell

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4862410.Anne_Barwell

Dreamspinner Press Author Page:

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/authors/anne-barwell-65

DSP Publications Author Page:

https://www.dsppublications.com/authors/anne-barwell-49

Queeromance Ink Author Page:

https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/anne-barwell/

New Zealand Rainbow Romance Writers:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/491382394538058/

 

 

 

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GUEST POST with GIVEAWAY: Nocturne by Irene Preston & Liv Rancourt

Guest Post

Thanks so much to Nic & RJ for having us as guests. Today is Nocturne’s release day, and Irene and I are so excited to see this one makes its way into the world!

Actually, I’m writing this post a week before the release, so I’m still in the nervous stage. The first couple reviews have been positive, though, and we’re grateful for readers’ enthusiastic response.

So why the nerves?

Nocturne is the second book in our Hours of the Night series, but this is the first time either of us had written a sequel. Bonfire, our holiday novella, doesn’t really count. For that story, we deliberately focused on the relationship between Thaddeus and Sara, and let most of the dangling plot threads from Vespers, well, dangle.

But with Nocturne, we had to pick them back up. After we remembered what they were. (lol!) I’m going to quote Irene here…

I love being in Thad and Sara’s world, so I’m always excited to return there. In just two novels and a novella, though, it’s insane how much we already have to go back and look up.

Honestly, remembering the story arcs didn’t make us as crazy as figuring out how to balance them, so that the wrong one didn’t take over. We posed questions in Vespers that we really don’t want to answer until book 3, if then. We also struggled (hard) with figuring out how much backstory to include so that new readers could enjoy the story without boring people who’d read the earlier books.

Irene’s the detail girl, while I tend to think in terms of the bigger picture get lazy and write whatever comes to mind first. Which was a problem when, near the end of the first draft, I’d set a few scenes in a room that didn’t exist in Vespers.

Oops.

So, yeah. It took us a while, but we’re ready for release day, and I think we’re both tremendously proud of the story we created. Keep reading here for an excerpt, and be sure and enter our rafflecopter giveaway. Someone’s gonna end up with a $

Buy Links

Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | More Stores

Special Release Pricing

Vespers (Book 1) – $0.99 reg. $3.99

Bonfire (Book 1.5) – $0.99 reg. $2.99

Nocturne (Book 2) – $2.99 reg. $4.99

Giveaway

Win a Gift Card!

Click here to enter the Rafflecopter

The giveaway will open be thru 10/31/17.

Blurb

It’s Mardi Gras, cher, but this year le bon temps kick off with murder…

For generations, the White Monks have treated the vampire Thaddeus Dupont as a weapon in their battle against demons. However, when a prominent matron drops dead at a party, Thaddeus and his lover Sarasija are asked to find her killer. Their investigation leads them to an old southern family with connections everywhere: Louisiana politics, big business, the Church, and an organization just as secret as the White Monks.

Meanwhile, an esoteric text containing spells for demon-summoning has disappeared, Thaddeus is losing control of le monstre, and Sara is troubled by disturbing dreams. These nightmares could be a side-effect of dating a vampire, or they could be a remnant of his brush with evil. As the nights wear on, Sara fears they are a manifestation of something darker – a secret that could destroy his relationship with Thaddeus.

Nocturne is only $2.99 (40% off) through Oct. 12.

Don’t miss Vespers and Bonfire (Hours of the Night 1 and 1.5) at the special price of $0.99 for the same period!

Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | More Stores

About the Authors

Join Liv & Irene in their private reader group, After Hours!

About Irene Preston

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

Where to find Irene

IrenePreston.com

Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Mailing List | Goodreads | After Hours

About Liv Rancourt

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

Where to find Liv

LivRancourt.com

Facebook | Twitter | Mailing List | Goodreads | After Hours

Excerpt

The demons did not die easily.

We’d found them spray-painting nonsense syllables on the side of an abandoned brick building, not too many blocks from the river. One went down easily. The other, a small person, put up quite a fight, leaving Nohea and me bruised and breathless. Our walk back to the car was slow, and I was shamefully grateful to sink into the leather seat of my business manager’s sports car.

“Well.” Nohea slammed her door and glanced at me sideways. “That was a barrel of fun, wasn’t it?”

The second demon whimpered right before I deanimated her, and the echo of that pathetic sound tempered my response. “I’m glad no innocents were involved.” Assuming one of the possessed women had summoned the demon in the first place. Brother George’s accusation that I’d neglected my duty still chafed. I’d never refused to do anything they’d asked me to do.

Nohea rubbed at her face with an air of exhaustion. “So, where to, boss? You still want to chase Sara down?”

Did I? I stretched my sense, seeking Sara’s sweet warmth. And found… “Merde.” I whispered the word, surprise blossoming into a sense of horror.

“What?” Unconcerned, Nohea rolled her head from side to side, stretching as much as the small space would allow.

“I cannot find him.” I whispered the words, as if saying them any louder would make them true. I sprang from the car, spinning in a circle, reaching out with everything I possessed.

Rien.

Nohea climbed out of the car, eyes wide. “Thaddeus?”

“He is…nowhere.” I refused to give credence to the most obvious reason for this circumstance.

“He’s probably at the house by now. Come on, get back in the car.”

I made another slow circle, taking in the abandoned building, the ramshackle shotgun houses, the rust, the despair.

And not one particle of Sara’s spirit.

A buzzing noise came from the car, as unimportant and irritating as a wasp. Pain crashed over me in waves, and I stood with my hands clasped on top of my head, forcing my body to breathe.

The buzzing came again, and then Nohea’s voice. “Thaddeus, come on.” She stood in front of me, holding a cell phone. “Brother Michael wants to talk to you.”

“I do not…” The words faded. I clung to her gaze, as if by the force of our wills combined, we could alter this terrible thing.

She nodded once, sharply. “I’m sorry, Brother Michael, but Thaddeus is unavailable. How ’bout I take a message for you.” She paused, catching her lower lip in her teeth. “Okay.” Her silence went on a beat too long. “He says”—she pressed the phone to her chest—“wait. Just talk to him.”

Holding the phone out like a weapon, she came closer. I found myself taking it from her, holding it against my ear, all while trapped in a miasma of distress. “Yes?”

“Thaddeus, where is your companion? Where is Sara?” Brother Michael said frantically. “Nohea wouldn’t answer me just now, but you must know.”

“I…do not.”

 

Nocturne is only $2.99 (40% off) through Oct. 12.

Don’t miss Vespers and Bonfire (Hours of the Night 1 and 1.5) at the special price of $0.99 for the same period!

Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | More Stores

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT with GIVEAWAY: Gatekeeper by Charity Parkerson

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BLURB

He’s a player. Everyone knows it. Except Sean isn’t a game to him.

Mateo has been the biggest contender for the Super Lightweight title for over two years. No matter how hard he works, he can’t seem to beat the current champ. Since boxing is all he has in the world, it’s an issue. His confidence is in the can, and his social life is non-existent. Mateo has had no real friends or relationships that have lasted longer than one night in years. That is, until he meets a man whose beautiful heart leaves him mystified.

Rescuing a drunk from the parking lot of his workplace, Slip, isn’t a new thing for Sean. People leave the bar and grill plastered and intent on driving all the time. Usually, Sean calls them a cab and sends them on their way. Mateo is the first one he’s ever taken home. There’s something sad about Mateo. Sean lost all his friends years ago, and he sees a kindred spirit in the sexy boxer. It’s easier than he ever dreams to consider the man his best friend in no time at all. Except he’s not. Mateo is so much more.

It’ll take the purest heart to save a broken man from a hellish life. Unfortunately, when it comes to Mateo and Sean, it’s hard to know who needs rescuing the most.

Find Gatekeeper on Goodreads

Find the Low Blow series on Goodreads

Pre-Order: Amazon Universal

Releases 30th October.

EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT

“Just read the report,” Renato snapped, sounding furious. “You are worth millions and this guy is a thief.”

Sean sat on the steps. He couldn’t take another step.

“I don’t give a shit what you dug up on Sean. He’s no thief.”

Renato growled. “He stole money and a car from a guy he was dating. It’s all in the police report.”

“And?” Mateo sounded bored, but Sean thought he’d faint. He couldn’t force a full breath into his lungs.

“And what? He’s a fucking crook and you’re bringing him to your mother’s house for Christmas. You mark my words, son, he’ll sue us over that cut. He saw an easy mark in you.”

“I am easy,” Mateo said, obviously attempting to give his dad a stroke.

“Goddamn it, Mateo. Everything isn’t always a joke. Even if he doesn’t mean you harm, he will hurt you. You have a reputation to uphold. If you ever stop fucking around and actually win a title, everyone will be talking about him and not you. You’ll look like a fool.”

Mateo laughed. It was so fake it hurt Sean’s heart. “I thought I was a gatekeeper. That’s what you’ve always said, so really, there’s nothing to worry about.”

“Pull your fucking head out of your ass,” Renato roared, making Sean jump. “Stop thinking with your dick and embarrassing everyone. You’re a man. Act like it. You’ve had your mother crying all night— the way you always do. I’ve never met a more selfish, ungrateful—”

“Okay, well, this has been fun,” Mateo said, cutting him off. “It’s always nice when you stop by for a visit. I’ll walk you out.”

“If it wasn’t for your grandmother always coddling you.”

“Yes, I know,” Mateo said, sounding tired. “I wouldn’t suck dick. Yada yada. Let’s go.

“We should’ve beat you as a child,” Renato said, his voice getting farther away.

“It wouldn’t have helped,” Mateo said with laughter lacing his voice. “I let people beat me now and I kind of like it.”

 

GIVEAWAY: Win a Kindle Fire with case

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author

Charity profile pic

Charity Parkerson is an award winning and multi-published author with Ellora’s Cave Publishing, Midnight Books, and Punk & Sissy Publications. Born with no filter from her brain to her mouth, she decided to take this odd quirk and insert it in her characters.

*Winner of 2, 2014 Readers’ Favorite Awards

*2014 Golden Ankh nominee

*2013 Readers’ Favorite Award Winner

*2013 Reviewers’ Choice Award Winner

*2012 ARRA Finalist for Favorite Paranormal Romance

*Five-time winner of The Mistress of the Darkpath

Links: Website | Facebook | Facebook Group | Twitter

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EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT: Honey and Heat by Rian Durant

Blurb

Linden has only one thing on his mind a few days away from Christmas—his pending university exams. That is, until he meets his neighbors’ son who has returned for the holidays. Brice Stevens is gorgeous, but he’s insufferable.

It’s Linden’s first love, and he falls hard for Brice, despite Brice’s occasionally aloof and cool behavior. It’s an emotional ride for both of them while Linden takes a crash course in real love and Brice learns to trust in a relationship.

Exclusive Excerpt

“Do you want some coffee? I was just…”
“Yes, that would be cool. I’ll probably have a long night.”
Linden wished he could slap his mind or his imagination or whatever it was that at the mention of late night started projecting wild scenes involving Brice which distinctly reminded him of a music video, but he didn’t remember which exactly. Without commenting further, he went to the kitchen to boil some water and mixed the ingredients taking his time to relax. When he went back to his room with the tray, Brice looked quite comfortable sitting in his armchair with one of the textbooks in hand.
“Political science? You don’t strike me as the type of person to delve into politics.”
He left the tray and shrugged. “It’s just one of the basics courses we have, otherwise you are right. Sugar, stevia?”
Brice’s eyes crawled over him the same way they did with the room and that unnerved him. He knew he was acting stupid but couldn’t help it, especially when the observation went on with the silence between them.
“So did I pass the assessment? Hm? Do you want me to show you my grades or some recommendations from the places I’ve worked? Maybe I can get back the key then?”
He quirked his eyebrow again, and after taking a sip from his coffee, Brice replied, “Not until I’m gone. I don’t want you walking in on me again when… you know.”
He prayed that it was dark enough so the blush on his cheeks remained unobserved, but his prayers weren’t heard because the blue eyes focused on his face and that cursed smile twisted his lips again. Brice was about to suck the sanity out of him without any permission.
“By the way, something sweet would be good.”

Buy links

NineStar Press ||Amazon.com || Amazon.co.uk || Amazon.de|| Smashwords

Author Bio

Rian is one of those who are both blessed and cursed by the insatiable desire to write, primarily M/M (insert more Ms if you like) stories.

Always having a plot in mind is hard when having a day time job but Rian manages them currently, assisted by the priceless support of her soul mate, lots of coffee and pure obstinacy.

What makes Rian smile is anything that could be the reason for that spark in the eyes, accompanied by the exclamation: “Oh my, I just saw something!”

Links

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/riandurantauthor/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/rian_durant
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rian_durant/
Blog: https://riandurant.wordpress.com/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14370031.Rian_Durant

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RELEASE BLITZ with GIVEAWAY: Circle by Garrett Leigh

 

 

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Length: 50,000 words approx
 
Cover Design: Garrett Leigh @ Black Jazz Design
 
Roads Series
 
Slide (Book #1) Amazon US | Amazon UK
Rare (Book #2) Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Blurb
 

I love him…but he’s forgotten why.


A lot can happen in six years, and Ash and Pete have seen their world flipped upside down more times than most. Being parents to Pete’s young nephew wasn’t in their plan, but life happens to them and they roll with the punches. Or at least they did, until new heartache rocks their hard-won happily-ever-after.


Ash loves Pete as much as ever—more, in fact—but Pete battles alone with a burden that weighs heavily on his heart. Ash is no stranger to dark clouds, but the secret Pete keeps from him is a storm that could break them.


Despite the fierce love that once buoyed them, they’re both drowning until a new friend throws them a lifeline. His wisdom offers insight—for better or worse, real love is rarely a smooth journey. For Ash and Pete to come full circle once more, they’ll have to hit the road and chase it.

Excerpt



Okay, so feline-themed clubs were definitely not my bag, but I couldn’t deny that it felt amazing to be out and proud with Ash. I sank into a couple of beers, and the dark cloud that had become my constant companion lifted a touch, chased away by neon lights, glitter, and the swathes of naked man skin all around us.


Not that I took much notice of any man but Ash. He was never going to take his shirt off in public, but he didn’t need to. The fucker turned heads wherever he went, and the fact that he had no idea made me love him even more.


Made me want him even more.


We didn’t dance. Ever. But clubs had always made us horny in the past, and this one was no exception. The music ramped up and the heat seeped into us. The crowds thickened, pushing us ever closer. I pressed myself tight against Ash, so absorbed in him that I forgot to glare at anyone who dared look his way, and backed him into a nearby wall. “I like this club.”


“Yeah?” Ash hadn’t touched any booze, but his face was as flushed as mine felt, his eyes as hooded, and his skin jumped when I slid my hands beneath his T-shirt and over his chest. He licked his lips. “Do you think we’re gonna be here long?”


I doubted it, and it wouldn’t be the first time we’d cut loose early to run home and bang. But we weren’t at home now, and as I kissed Ash, it occurred to me that we’d never fucked anywhere that wasn’t our home. If tonight went the way most of our club adventures had before, where would it end? Would Ash fuck me in a hotel? I honestly had no idea. And whose fault is that? If I’d come with him when he’d first started traveling two years ago, I’d know, and perhaps would have even persuaded him that we could fuck anywhere we damn well pleased.


We kissed for hours in the club. The fact that Ash made no move to hustle me out clued me in to how he felt about banging in our hotel room, but I didn’t let that stop me enjoying him. Because, fuck, I’d missed him, even though he’d been right there from the moment I’d met him. Ash was my home, my family, my everything. We didn’t need to screw for me to know that.

Author Bio

Garrett Leigh is an award-winning British writer and book designer, currently working for Dreamspinner Press, Loose Id, Riptide Publishing, and Fox Love Press.

Garrett’s debut novel, Slide, won Best Bisexual Debut at the 2014 Rainbow Book Awards, and her polyamorous novel, Misfits was a finalist in the 2016 LAMBDA awards.

When not writing, Garrett can generally be found procrastinating on Twitter, cooking up a storm, or sitting on her behind doing as little as possible, all the while shouting at her menagerie of children and animals and attempting to tame her unruly and wonderful FOX.

Garrett is also an award winning cover artist, taking the silver medal at the Benjamin Franklin Book Awards in 2016. She designs for various publishing houses and independent authors at blackjazzdesign.com, and co-owns the specialist stock sitemoonstockphotography.com with renowned LGBTQA+ photographer Dan Burgess.

Website: http://www.garrettleigh.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/garrettleighauthor/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Garrett_Leigh

 Giveaway

Click here to enter the Rafflecopter

 

Hosted By Signal Boost Promotions

 

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UPCOMING RELEASE: Alpha’s Warlock by Kris Sawyer

 BLURB: Clyde Barrington is a werewolf with a curse on his head. Every night, he shifts from human to wolf and lives the life of a lonely predator, never fully accepted by his pack. When he saves a handsome stranger from a fire, everything changes.

In a world divided by the ancient feud between werewolves and warlocks, Clyde and Terry must learn to trust each other. When wolves start to disappear, their bond is tested by the fear of a pack now balanced on the edge of destruction.

Amidst a web of lies, deceits and betrayals, Clyde must decide where his loyalties lie, and choose between a forbidden love and the ties that bind him to his brothers. Is Terry an enemy to the pack, or the saviour that will lead them out of the darkness?

EXCERPT

The feeling of creeping heat, pleasant at first, began at Terry’s feet. He was dreaming of summer in Mississippi, where his boyhood had been spent in the sultry air of the southern bayou. The sheet that clung to his naked chest felt clammy and damp, but in sleep was no more than the humid brush of a vine against his forearms. He was unconscious by the time the exterior propane tank blew a hole, clear through his kitchen wall.

The alarm from the volunteer fire department called the villagers to action, but the house was fully engulfed by the time they gathered and hooked the canvas hoses to the hydrant. Being a member of the crew gave each volunteer a tax deduction and some pocket change, but the frightened group had always hoped never to be called to a genuine blaze. The real thing was so different from the annual training, which simply involved setting someone’s decrepit barn on fire and laughing about it later over a beer. They turned their hoses on the inferno and bent their backs to ensure it didn’t spread to the nearby barn. None made any attempt to enter the house, and few believed anyone inside could be left alive.

So focused were the men on their labors that they didn’t notice the shadow that crept quickly from the edge of the pine forest. The figure bounded on soundless paws, a sliver of moon catching gray fur as it paused before a shattered window, smoke belching from the jagged opening. In seconds, the shadow had disappeared over the sill.

Terry was oblivious to the powerful jaws that tore away the bedding, and did not feel himself being clutched by two sinewy forearms to the beast’s massive chest. It leapt from the window as the structural beams began to crumble, leaving a trail of blood against the broken pane that ripped at the animal’s side. Running on its hind paws, the animal carried its prize to the edge of the forest and laid the unconscious form gently on the ground.

As he slowly regained consciousness, all Terry could feel was a raw burning in his lungs and he gasped at the pain of each breath. Rolling to his side, he pushed himself to sit, bewildered at his surroundings. He was wearing only his boxers, and began to shiver uncontrollably in the cool of the autumn air. In the distance, he could see the flames licking at the roof of his house, and a dozen frantic forms scurrying like ants around its glowing perimeter.

A scuffling to his left brought Terry’s attention abruptly to the shaggy form that stood immobile between the towering lodge pines. The wolf’s eyes were fixed on his own, and fear shot down Terry’s spine as he scrambled to get to his feet. The wolf remained unmoving, staring intently at the man he had rescued but content to keep his distance. Smears of blood spread across Terry’s thighs but he could find no injury to account for their presence. It was only when the wolf bent to lick his wound that Terry could fathom a connection between his sudden awakening and the animal’s presence. He knew without comprehending that the wolf meant him no harm.

When it was clear that the man had recovered his senses, the wolf rose on his hind legs and gave an unearthly howl, shattering the silence between them. A distant voice returned the call and it was taken up by a dozen others, echoing through the trees and filling Terry with a blind terror. Closing his jaws, the wolf turned abruptly and was gone, lost to the darkness which was quiet once more.

Terry began his slow and painful return to a house that was now a steaming mound of embers.

LENGTH: 15000 words approx

GENRE: M/M, Romance, Fantasy, Paranormal

~~ PRE-ORDER IT NOW – http://amzn.to/2wcw630 ~~

Add it to your Goodreads TBR list – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36068143-cursed

——————-

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kris Sawyer is the pseudonym of Sid Love, who has written several books in the M/M Romance genre but with the Alpha’s Warlock series, he intends to introduce a new world of supernatural beings that will intrigue the readers.

Sawyer grew up in one of busiest cities in the world, Mumbai, listening to the excerpts of Indian epics from his father every night. He is a Potter-head and loves a good mystery in the books he reads.

Alpha’s Warlock is Sawyer’s dream project that he’s been working on forever!

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RELEASE BLITZ: Peep Show by Clare London

 

 
Length: 16,000 words
 
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
 
Blurb
 

Ever wanted to spy secretly on other peopleís lives?


Ken doesnít have a choice: his student summer job is manning the CCTV screens for the new central London shopping mall. But instead of spotting criminals or vandals, he becomes fascinated by a cute waiter from the local bistro who sneaks out to the backyard for his breakóand plays sexy to the camera.


Is he an old friend, or just an anonymous exhibitionist? Should Ken be excited by this naughty peepshow, or will people think heís a voyeuristic pervert? Poor Kenís confused and thrilled in turn. Itís like living in one of the movies heís studying at university. He knows the man canít see him, yet Ken feels a connection of some kind. It all encourages Ken to continue with his guilt-ridden Waiter Watch.



Ken bears the suspense as long as he can, until a chance meeting and an abortive blind date provide the explanation to the secret assignations. But will this guide Ken to a real-life chance of romance?


First Edition published by Amber Quill Press/Amber Allure, 2013.

 

Excerpt


Ken had to admit he hated his job. With a passion. Or rather, with a slow-burning boredom and distaste. Passion implied some kind of energyóthe agony and the ecstasy!óand Ken had none of that left after another night sitting in the small, stuffy room and gazing at a wall of screens.


He leaned back in his hard-backed chair, stretched, and yawned. A glance at the clock confirmed it was a good hour until his official break time, when the steroid-enhanced Tomas would reluctantly pause in strutting his security patrol around the shopping centre, and arrive to cover Kenís post while he went for coffee and a sandwich. Then another two hours until the end of the shift at 2:00 a.m., when old Charlie would shuffle in for duty, complete with his tatty Aran cardigan, his Maeve Binchy paperback, and an oversized thermos of homemade vegetable soup, to take over from Ken until the offices opened.


Ken sighed. What a way to spend a Saturday nightóor any night, for that matter.


Over three hours to go.


Over three hoursÖ.


He yawned again. The screens flickered and settled into a range of views from another angle. There was a bank of them, covering critical points around the shopping centre, and they were manned 24/7. Ken was one of those ìmanningî people. He was meant to watch the screens closely at all times. The centre was a small one, in Surbiton on the outskirts of London, and couldnít compete with the massive retail complexes built off the M25 in Essex or central Londonís Oxford Street. It was really just a dozen shops hanging out together under the same roof. But these were high-fashion, prestigious-designer stores, full of valuable goods and constantly at threat from thieves, vandals, and general abusers. Or so Kenís summer-job employers, Safeguard Assured, would have people believe.


Ken thought it wouldnít be so bad if he actually saw something. Look out, itís beHIND you! He knew it was ludicrous to wish for theft, destruction, or general abuseówhatever that coveredóbut heíd been working here for over a month now, and heíd seen nothing untoward. Nothing at all. No fights, no malicious damage to the shops or the building, no tanks ramming through the night-time shutters, no intercontinental ballistic missiles shrieking in from the dark night skies aboveóonly twenty-four hours left to protect historic London!óto destroy everything the population held dearÖ.


Okay, so his mind was rambling again. His mum always said he had a vivid imagination. Heíd chosen well when he took a media and film studies course at Kingston University, because heíd always spent far too much time imagining book and movie quotes around real-life events. Of course, Mumís respect wasnít always matched by the rest of the familyóDad said Ken lived in a fantasy world, and his teenage brother, Joe, said he was just a sad bloke. Ken sighed again. He knew he was pretty safe here in the control roomóexcept, of course, from the intercontinental ballistic missile scenarioóbecause he wasnít expected to leap into personal action if he saw any crime taking place. Thereíd never been any training session for that, just a brief run-through of the screens and the logging in and out procedures, and a schedule of the night-time shifts. Heíd been given a list of contact numbers if he needed help. From the way his boss had wrinkled his nose at that, Ken knew it wouldnít be welcome if he called up his boss at a quarter to midnight to ask where the milk was for his tea. Iím sorry, caller, thereís no record of that numberÖ. No, the contact numbers were for the duty security guards like Tomas, and also an emergency number to the local police station. That was if something went seriously wrong.


Which it never did.


No, of course he wasnít inviting that missile again. But Ken hadnít seen any action so far except people coming and going at the takeaways and late-night restaurants, which stayed open until the early hours of the morning. He swung aimlessly back and forth on his chair and opened another packet of cheesy snacks. He could feel the coating sticking to his teeth, but at least chewing it off helped to keep him awake. The Lord of the Rings paperbackóthree books in one, special offer!óhad been last weekís additional incentive, but the boxed set of assorted crime thrillers heíd borrowed from Mum this weekómurder, intrigue, and suspense from some of Britainís finest!óhadnít worked as effectively. Screen-watchers werenít meant to spend their time with their head in a bookóhow would they see the incoming missile?óbut it was about the only way to keep the boredom at bay.


ìYou should knit,î his mate Simon had suggested. Simon knitted, but not lumpy long scarves or hideously misshapen Christmas gloves like Kenís gran. Si created cool beanie hats and cotton gilets and wonderful album cover designs on sweaters. He was studying textile design at the same university, with fellow students far more arty than Kenís peers, judging by their clothing and the bold interior design of their rooms. Ken had tried knitting a hat onceóyou shouldnít knock it until youíve tried it, right?óand Mum was still using it as a tea cosy. She said the gaps down the side gave the steam somewhere to go. Ken hadnít battled with knitting needles againóhe was happier with a storyboard. Yet where had his first year of film studies taken him? Watching rain fall on the concrete pavement outside a shopping centre for hours at a time. There was irony there, somewhere.


Heíd tried plenty of things to help pass the time. He played solitaire until he found himself almost homicidal when a three of clubs refused to reveal itself. The book of crosswords had been abandoned at page nine, after heíd expressed his frustration by inserting every obscene word he could think of, whether they fit the grid or not. And his songwriting attempts had never got any further than I woke up this morning before he started salivating for bacon sandwiches and brown sauce. Heíd tried sketching out a storyboard for a film project of his own but, unfortunately, Charlie had caught sight of it one night, and now he kept suggesting Ken should remake a couple of Maeve Binchyís classic stories. Charlie even suggested casting and the songs for the soundtrack. Much as he liked the old codger, Ken now found it less teeth-grinding to keep that work for the privacy of his own room. So he was back to nothing but the screens for distraction.


There was a small yard at the back of one of the restaurants where the waiters came out to smoke. It was plumb in the middle of Kenís central screen. This one was a French bistro, which meant the prices were too high for his student pocket. Spare a coin for a sandwich, sir? He didnít have sound as well as a view, but he watched the way the waiting staff nodded to each other, laughed, shared matches for the ciggies. There wasnít much space to move around in the yard, because the wall between the restaurant and the next-door dry cleaners was covered almost entirely with huge, shoulder-high recycling and waste bins. The waiters leaned against the bins or scuffed their shoes on them. Sometimes the chef opened the door from the restaurant and yelled at them to get their arses back to work. Well, Ken couldnít actually hear the words, but the chefís face looked flushed and impatientóeven in grainy black-and-whiteóand Kenís imagination supplied the language. Although the waiters rolled their eyes and mimicked his gestures as soon as he turned his back, they usually stubbed out the cigarettes quickly and shuffled back indoors.


Sometimes Ken saw them leaving at the end of their shift from a gate at the farthest point of the yard. It was a shortcut back to the housing estate across the ring road. He had to imagine the gate, because it was out of view of the camera, but the waiters would tumble out of the back door with their coats on and backpacks slung over their shoulders, waving and joking with the new shift who were taking over. The place did breakfasts too. Didnít it ever close?


Heíd noticed a group of friends who seemed to work and travel everywhere togetheróa cluster of students like him, presumably, all dressed in similar hoodies and jeans; two men who were obviously a romantic couple; a mother and daughter who still had a smile for each other after a long night in the kitchen.


Ken grimaced. So it had come to thisóhe was getting familiar with the monochrome faces of people heíd never meet in real life, probably didnít want to meet, and who probably wouldnít want to meet him. He didnít think of them as friends, did he? Thatís what his other good mate Robbie said when Ken shared some of his stories at the pub. ìYouíre not mates with these people, Kenny. Thatíd be bloody weird.î Everyone around the table agreed with Robbie. In fact, Ken laughed and agreed too.


Because thatís not how it was. He preferred to consider the people caught on CCTV as his own private soap opera. Previously, on the Surbiton Spectrum Shopping Centre Security ChannelÖ. The waiters at the restaurant. The foxes that came sniffing around the bins, arrogantly careless of anyone else. The police cars that periodically cruised the front of the centre. The fat man who ran the all-night grocer/newsagents, who took a break every now and then, drained a bottle of cola, and had a thorough scratch of his crotch through trousers shiny with wear. The young couple who stocked up the Moroccan cafÈ at weekends and who loitered in the service road behind the shop for a snogging session. The boy would have taken it further; Ken could see his eagernessóand bloody quick handsóbut the girl was always looking over her shoulder in case someone caught them.


Yes, even outside shopping hours, there was a lot of activity in and around the centre. It wasnít really what Ken was employed to watch out for, but he reckoned he could weave it into his film projects; he could let it inspire him. Everyone enjoyed people-watching, didnít they? And his personal soap opera was benign. It wasnít full of clichÈ gun battles or car chases. Only sometimes did he feel like a voyeur, but without the sexiness.


A waiter ambled out of the French bistro, and Kenís attention darted back to that screen. The young man moved quicklyómaybe he only had a few minutesí breakóand made for the far side of the yard. That corner was partially hidden by two of the largest bins and out of reach of the security lights. The only CCTV screen that covered it was one of the oldest and with the poorest picture. Sometimes one of the waiting staff would sneak behind these particular bins, and Ken assumed it was because they didnít want to be seen, either by CCTV or from inside the restaurant. Was that what this man was doing? He had his back to Ken, hiding what he was up to. Was he smoking? Taking drugs? Ken had seen it on other evenings. Was he meant to report that kind of thing, or just crimes that involved damage to the centre itself? And how hypocritical would he be, when heíd smoked more than a few things in his time?


He peered more closely and wished there was a zoom feature. He didnít like to touch the controls too much, since the time heíd fiddled with the brightness, messed up screens one to four, and spent three hours looking at staticóIím breaking up! Iím breaking up!óuntil Charlie arrived. The old man had shrugged at Kenís apology, turned the control button to its fullest point, thumped somewhere under the desk, and the screens had all popped back into focus. Luckily, of course, the missile hadnít arrived at that very time, though Ken rather thought thereíd be other clues if the building were attacked from space.


The man in the yard turned his head, and Ken caught sight of his shadowed profile. He wasnít smoking; he was sucking juice from a carton. A new employee? Ken didnít think heíd noticed him before. Tall, lithe body in tight black trousers and a white shirt that stretched taut over his pecs, short-cropped dark hair, prominent but attractive nose. Ken couldnít see his eyes because he was looking down at the carton, but the heavy lids were sexy. Even though the picture was blurred, Ken could tell that clearly enough. And the way the manís lips tightened on the carton straw wasÖ. Be still, my beating heart. Ken laughed at himself a little bitterly. His poor old dick hadnít hardened that quickly for a long time. He shifted on the seat, trying to get comfortable again. He really needed to get back out in the dating game again. Oh wait, first he had to find the time to date, didnít he? But if and when he did, this was just the kind of look heíd always liked, ever since school days, however shallow Mum would say it was to judge a book by its cover aloneÖ.


And then the guy turned towards the camera so that one side of his face eased out of the shadowsóand he winked.


Huh? Ken leaned forwards in his chair, startled, but the moment was gone. The waiter turned on his heel, threw his empty carton into the bin, and sauntered back inside the restaurant.

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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. Sheís 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 sheís just fickle, but as long as both theories spawn good fiction, sheís 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
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