Giveaway + Audio Release Blitz: Road of No Return: Hounds of Valhalla MC (Sex & Mayhem #1) by K.A. Merikan


Join authors K.A. Merikan and Signal Boost Promotions in the release blitz of Road of No Return in audio form, narrated by Wyatt Baker. Find out more about the series and enter in the giveaway to win your very own audiobook!






Length: 11hrs 30mins

Narrated by: Wyatt Baker

Cover Design: Natasha Snow

Blurb

Don’t talk to strangers.


Zak: Tattoo artist. Independent. Doesn’t do relationships.


Stitch: Outlaw biker. Deep in the closet. Doesn’t share his property.


On the day of Stitch’s divorce, lust personified enters the biker bar he’s celebrating at. Tattooed all over, pierced, confident, and hot as hellfire, Zak is the bone Stitch has waited for life to throw him. All Stitch wants is a sniff, a taste, a lick. What follows instead is gluttony of the most carnal sort, and nothing will ever be the same. Forced to hide his new love affair from the whole world, Stitch juggles family, club life, and crime, but it’s only a matter of time until it becomes too hard.


Zak moves to Lake Valley in search of peace and quiet, but when he puts his hand into the jaws of a Hound of Valhalla, life gets all but simple. In order to be with Stitch, Zak’s biker wet dream, he has to crawl right back into the closet. As heated as the relationship is, the secrets, the hiding, the violence, jealousy, and conservative attitudes in the town rub Zak in all the wrong ways. When pretending he doesn't know what his man does becomes impossible, Zak needs to decide if life with an outlaw biker is really what he wants.


As club life and the love affair collide, all that’s left in Zak and Stitch’s life is mayhem.


Warning: Contains adult content - a gritty storyline, explicit language, violence, and torture




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


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


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Audiobook Review: Fish Out of Water (Fish Out of Water #1) by Amy Lane

PI Jackson Rivers grew up on the mean streets of Del Paso Heights—and he doesn’t trust cops, even though he was one. When the man he thinks of as his brother is accused of killing a police officer in an obviously doctored crime, Jackson will move heaven and earth to keep Kaden and his family safe.

Defense attorney Ellery Cramer grew up with the proverbial silver spoon in his mouth, but that hasn’t stopped him from crushing on street-smart, swaggering Jackson Rivers for the past six years. But when Jackson asks for his help defending Kaden Cameron, Ellery is out of his depth—and not just with guarded, prickly Jackson. Kaden wasn’t just framed, he was framed by crooked cops, and the conspiracy goes higher than Ellery dares reach—and deep into Jackson’s troubled past.

Both men are soon enmeshed in the mystery of who killed the cop in the minimart, and engaged in a race against time to clear Kaden’s name. But when the mystery is solved and the bullets stop flying, they’ll have to deal with their personal complications… and an attraction that’s spiraled out of control.

Listening Length: 9 hours and 20 minutes
Narrator: Greg Tremblay




Reviewer: Annika

You might know this about me (or not) but I’m not really a fan of Amy Lane's. She’s written a couple of good books, but for the most part I don’t really like them. They mostly end up on the okay scale and are books that I could really do without. But I picked this book up – I’m a sucker for mysteries and romantic suspense and just couldn’t resist. So colour me very surprised the first time I picked up Fish Out of Water and not only liked it but I loved it. Maybe even worshipped it a little. I was hooked from the first to last word and just couldn't put the book down. So here we are, some 2.5 years later and at least a couple of re-reads, or in this case listen later, and I’m as in love with this book now as I was the first time around.

Jackson Rivers lost all faith in the system eight years ago when he was almost killed by a crooked cop. Now he’s working as a PI for a law office, but he’s still haunted by past evens and trust don’t come easy – or at all. When his brother is (falsely) arrested for killing a cop, Jackson knows things are about to get hairy again and that they need all the help they can get if they want to clear Kaden’s name. Ellery Cramer believes in justice, believes in the system. So when he’s asked to take on a case to defend a man accused of killing a cop he’s reluctant. But he’s persuaded to takes a look, and then he takes a closer one and realises there were far more going on than the arresting officers want to him to know.

This book’s main focus is the mystery. The romance between Jackson and Ellery is secondary. It’s there but never the main focus of the book, nor does it end with a happily ever after, rather a start of sorts. And it’s fitting with the characters; Jackson is so jaded and mistrustful that anything more would have been unbelievable. They are so different, but they still fit in some weird way, they are right for each other. I love them together.

Greg Tremblay is an outstanding narrator! He hits every word, every note and flicker of emotion just right. It’s almost like magic. It’s always such a joy to listen to his performances. It’s effortless on the listener’s part as he has so many distinct voices for the different characters that it’s easy to follow along. You never have to wonder who’s speaking, you just know. All of this is the reason of why I never tire of his books, I can listen to him days on end.

The story is not over when the book ends, there’s no major cliffhanger, nor is it finished, and I couldn’t be happier about that, I haven’t gotten enough of these guys just yet. Fish Out of Water is definitely worth the read! And a re-read or two for that matter ;)

A copy of this book was generously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.




Review: Shrewd Angel (The Christmas Angel #6) by Anyta Sunday

Pax Polo is the swashbuckling guitarist for Serenity Free.

Correction: Was the swashbuckling guitarist for Serenity Free.

Now he sports a black eye and his bros have kicked him out of their band—three weeks before Christmas. It’s an unfamiliar kick to his over-inflated ego, but . . . whatever.

No problem.

Thanks to some stellar eavesdropping, an unexpected angel ornament, and a bribe to open for his favorite band ever, Pax will weasel his way back into his mates’ good graces.

All he has to do is friend Clifford, the neighborhood man-shrew, for the summer. Distract him a bit so Clifford’s younger sister can sneak around.

It sounds like a piece of beginners Beethoven. Jolly good fun.

Easy.

Because, Pax totally knows how to friend people. He has heaps of friends. This shrew’s no match for his shrewd ways. Or is he?



Based on The Taming of the Shrew or as I like to say ‘10 things I hate about you’.

This was super sweet, and honestly a gay ‘10 things I hate about you’ seems like a dream from my teenage years, but did it live up to expectations? Yes and no. Pax and Chris were super funny and their friendship felt realistic. This was my favourite aspect of the book, their platonic chemistry, they clicked and it was cute to see.

My only issue was maybe the build up was a teeny tiny tad too long. I wanted some romantic feelings between these two way before they developed, but as I said the friendship was great so I'm not complaining...much.

I also didn't feel like there was any unnecessary drama, which is a relief with this type of plot and added lots of kudos points to the book. However, all in all I feel like this book was very enjoyable but also fairly forgettable. It felt more like a great friendship book and less like a romance.


A review copy was provided in exchange for an honest opinion.



Release Blitz + Giveaway: Eagle In The Hawthorn (Rowan Harbor Cycle #7) by Sam Burns


Celebrate the release of Eagle In The Hawthorn (Rowan Harbor Cycle #7) with author Sam Burns and Signal Boost Promotions. Learn about the latest in the paranormal series and enter in the Blackbird in the Reeds eBook giveaway!




Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UKExclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow with Kindle Unlimited

Length: 45,000 words approx.

Cover Design: Melanie Farlow @ Clause & Effect


The Rowan Harbor Cycle Series


Book #1 - Blackbird in the Reeds - Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book #2 - Wolf and the Holly - Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book #3 - Fox and Birch - Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book #4 - Hawk In The Rowan - Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book #5 - Stag and the Ashe - Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book #6 - Adder and Willow - Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book #6.5 - In Any Light - Amazon US | Amazon UK

Blurb




Rowan Harbor has had a tough winter, and Devon Murphy wants nothing more than to make it better. When he proposes a solution to the town’s low morale, it creates a rift in his relationship with his boyfriend, Wade. They’ve hardly ever argued, and when things get tense, Devon has no idea how to handle it.


But an evil presence in his town targets the people Devon loves, he has to put his personal worries aside and face danger down again. Will he be able to protect his town, and if he can, will Wade be waiting for him when it’s done?

Sam wrote her first fantasy epic with her best friend when she was ten. Like almost any epic fiction written by a ten year old, it was awful. She likes to think she’s improved since then, if only because she has better handwriting now.

If she’s not writing, she’s almost certainly either reading or lost down a Wikipedia rabbit hole while pretending to research for a novel.


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Cover Reveal + Giveaway: Crossing the Touchline (Aukland Med. #1) by Jay Hogan



Author Jay Hogan and Signal Boost Promotions reveal the new cover of Hogan's upcoming Dreamspinner Press novel, Crossing the Touchline (Aukland Med.)! Check out the rugby inspired cover and enter in the back list eBook giveaway!




Release Date: April 23 2019

Pre-Order: Dreamspinner

Cover Design: Kanaxa



Length: 119,000 words approx.



Publisher: Dreamspinner Press



Blurb



An Auckland Med. Story



What if you’ve worked your whole life for a dream, to play rugby for the most successful sports team on the planet, the New Zealand All Blacks?



What if that dream is so close you can smell it?



What if you meet someone?



What if you fall in love?



What if your dream will cost the man who’s stolen your heart?



And what if the dream changes?





Reuben Taylor has a choice to make.



Cameron Wano is that choice.



Jay Hogan is a New Zealand author writing in m/m romance, romantic suspense and fantasy. She has travelled extensively and has lived in quite a few countries. She has a BA degree in Nursing and in Theology, and in another life, she was an Intensive Care Nurse, Counselor, and a Lecturer.



She is a cat aficionado especially of Maine Coons, and an avid dog lover (but don’t tell the cat). She loves to cook- pretty damn good, loves to sing - pretty damn average, and as for loving full-time writing -absolutely… depending of course on the day, the word count, the deadline, how obliging her characters are, the ambient temperature in the Western Sahara, whether Jupiter is rising, the size of the ozone hole over New Zealand and how much coffee she’s had.



She has complex boys telling stories in her head that demand attention and a considerable number of words to go with them. Their journeys are never straightforward and even surprise Jay. She does her best to plot things out ahead of time but those pesky characters seem to have a mind of their own. Go figure.



You can find Jay at:

https://www.facebook.com/JayHoganAuthor

https://twitter.com/jayhoganauthor

jayhoganauthor@gmail.com


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Release Blitz + Giveaway: Kicking up My Heels (Kev #3) by Liam Livings


Celebrate the release of Kicking up My Heels (Kev #3) with author Liam Livings and IndiGo Marketing! Learn more about the latest in the contemporary series and enter in the $10 NineStar Press credit giveaway!

Title: Kicking Up My Heels...in Heels
Series: Kev, Book Three
Author: Liam Livings
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: February 11, 2019
Heat Level: 3 - Some Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 67300
Genre: Contemporary, LGBT, gay, Cross-dressing, drag queens, AIDS, new adult

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Synopsis

It’s the year 2000 and Kev’s twenty. He’s a proper grown up now. Maybe. He knows what he’s doing. And what he’s doing isn’t what he wants to be doing. He’s working in TK Maxx and instead he wants to be singing and dancing and bantering and laughing on stage. He. Loves. It. And they pay him too!

Kev’s continued search for his Prince Charming leads him to look in all the wrong places for all the wrong men and, inevitably, gets him in something of a pickle: physically, emotionally, and medically too.

But his mum and friend Tony are there to help pick up the pieces when it all falls apart as it so often does with Kev.

Optimism, a plan, and being really good at performing on stage, drive Kev forward. After all, he’s been performing off stage all his life.

Contains gay pride marches, multiple incidents of alcohol-induced idiocy, friends and family who stick with you no matter what you do, a lot of showtunes and camp humour, and a complete absence of smartphones and social media. He’s Kev, fly him.

Excerpt

Kicking Up My Heels…in Heels
Liam Livings © 2019
All Rights Reserved

Chapter One
November 1999

Kieran and Jo were back from uni in London for half term, autumn term, or some term or another, and I met them in Salisbury for a drink and a good gossip. I met them in full Ginger Spice outfit. During the day. Yes. Part of the I am Kev hear me roar approach Tony and I had come up with, I was trying this new fearless, notice the fear and do it anyway thing, on for size. It seemed to suit me actually. It was also two big fingers up at my ex-boyfriend Aaron and his vile comments to me about dressing up, and the whole Arthur or Martha thing. Well, I wanted to dress as both Arthur and Martha, depending on how the mood took me, so Aaron and anyone else who didn’t like that could stick it.

Ever since Daddy Do Nothing, as Mum and I referred to him, had come back into my life, then disappeared again, just as quickly, it has spurred me on to dress more. It was a sort of two fingers up to Daddy Do Nothing too. An “I don’t need your approval, I know what I’m about, and I am fabulous, so you can disappear to your village and back to your new girlfriend and stepdaughter, and I’ll be fabulous over here”. All of that. His rejection to my cross-dressing had inadvertently brought out the flag waving slightly military—as in strong, organised, standing up for my rights not as in part of the actual army—drag queen in me.

Some people in my life had been more accepting of it than others. Jo, in particular, was always a bit sniffy about what I wore, and when I wore it, but he wasn’t really one of my friends, he just came as a set of two with Kieran. Of course, I wouldn’t ever tell Kieran that, I’d never want to upset him, so I simply bit my tongue and ignored Jo’s comments, or how he sometimes excluded me from things with his subtle and slimy excuses. It wasn’t worth making a fuss, not for Kieran’s sake. But today, when I was meeting both Kieran and Jo, I knew what I had to do. I knew I had to dress to both impress and make an impression. If I could stand on stage and sing to a packed pub, I sure as hell could walk into a pub dressed like a real woman and order a few drinks.

I finished my realistic makeup, adjusted my red wig with a bleached stripe, just like Ginger Spice’s hair. I checked there was enough padding for my bra to make an impression under the little Union Flag dress I’d run up for myself exactly like Geri Halliwell had, by sewing a tea towel onto the front of a little black strappy dress. I pursed my lips, reapplied red lipstick, added a touch more blue eye shadow in both a homage to the blonde one from Abba, and Geri, obviously, and I was ready to go. I clumped my way downstairs in the black platform boots I’d bought with my staff discount from TK Maxx.

I swept past Mum in the kitchen.

She was drying some crockery at the sink with a spotless tea towel. She put the mug down. “Don’t take this the wrong way, love. You look fabulous. Honestly, it’s the ginger one from that girl group, isn’t it? Where do you think you’re going like that, love?”

“I told you. I’m seeing Kieran and Jo, in town.”

“Singing afterwards?”

“Nope. Just them, then I’ll be home. It won’t be a late one. Promise.”

She looked me up and down, trying to take in what she saw before her. She pursed her mouth. “So, what’s with the outfit, love? Seems like a lot of effort for a drink with some friends. I worry about you, what people say. Some others are like that Aaron you went out with.” She paused, clasping her hands together in front of herself. “Sadly.”

I’d already explained to her my I am Kev hear me roar, and she knew how upset Dad’s disappearance had made me, so I simply said, “I am not letting people like Dad or Aaron, make me ashamed of who I am. I am who I am and I’m doing it more and more.” I put my hands on my hips and thrust my fake bosoms towards her. “All right?”

She nodded slowly. “Just you take care, love. I don’t want anyone hurting you. Watch where you park. Walk where it’s lit. Don’t cut along by the river. That’s dark this time of year, and you never know the sort of people who hang around the industrial entrance out the back of Argos. Watch yourself.”

“Promise.”

She tapped her cheek.

I kissed her cheek then jumped into my car, checking my reflection one last time in my mirror, brushing aside a minor doubt about whether I was doing the right thing, and drove to the nearest car park to the sports pub where I’d asked them to meet me.

There was no need for me to worry, I was well used to doing female impersonations by now in public. Kieran and Jo were full of uni talk, as expected, but they seemed to be enjoying it, so I was pleased for them. Jo gave me a few looks and made some comments, as I knew he would, but I easily brushed them aside. And a man mistook me for a real woman, so that made my day. I’d passed, as they say in cross-dressing circles. My first passing.

I only felt slightly scared once as I tottered loudly on my heels back to the car, using the long route through town. I came across a big group of teenagers on the corner by the bank on the way to the market square. I debated crossing the road and then decided they’d know I was scared, so instead, flicked my hair over my shoulder, stuck my fake bosoms up, and clip-clopped through the middle of them with a few words about being sorry and could I squeeze through. A few of them looked up and looked back at me again—I saw them in the reflection of shop windows as I continued tottering to the car—but no more. I held my head high. If anyone had started anything, I was in a busy bit of town, which even that late was full of people, and after a few loud screams, I was sure they’d have run away, most bullies being cowards in disguise really.

So, battle fought and won, now for the next one.

Purchase

NineStar Press | Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Meet the Author

Liam Livings lives where east London ends and becomes Essex. He shares his house with his boyfriend and cat. He enjoys baking, cooking, classic cars and socialising with friends. He has a sweet tooth for food and entertainment: loving to escape from real life with a romantic book; enjoying a good cry at a sad, funny and camp film; and listening to musical cheesy pop from the eighties to now. He tirelessly watches an awful lot of Gilmore Girls in the name of writing ‘research’.

Published since 2013 by a variety of British and American presses, his gay romance and gay fiction focuses on friendships, British humour, romance with plenty of sparkle. He’s a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, and the Chartered Institute of Marketing. With a masters in creative writing from Kingston University, he teaches writing workshops with his partner in sarcasm and humour, Virginia Heath as www.realpeoplewritebooks.com and has also ghost written a client’s 5 Star reviewed autobiography.

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Review: Just Here for the Pain (The Underdogs #2) by K.A. Merikan

---. Whips and chains - not optional .---

Sid. Drummer for The Underdogs. Secretly yearning for pain and submission.

Asher. AKA Stan. Stalker. More than meets the eye.

It’s hard to find good hookups while on tour. Sid wants pain, humiliation, and the kind of sex that isn’t easy to get from one-night stands. So for now, he’s given up, settled for an online Dom to get his rocks off, and focused on his band instead. The Underdogs are getting increasingly popular, but there is one fan who has followed Sid since before he even joined the band, and he’s driving Sid mad! Rich, spoiled hipster brat looking for the bad boy experience. If he knew what Sid was really into, he would run for the hills.

Asher is convinced that Sid is The One, his One True Love, his endgame. Years ago, Asher lost his virginity to Sid, and from that moment on, he knew it was meant to be. They had a spark, that honest connection that couldn’t be faked. The members of Sid’s band call him a stalker, but all he wants is to offer Sid his love. When Sid finally chokes out what he wants, Asher is more than ready to unleash it on him.

But the last time Sid was out as gay and submissive, he got badly burnt when his former band kicked him out, and the doors to many opportunities slammed in his face. Asher wants the whole world to know that he’s dating Sid. Problem is, Sid would much rather keep the relationship as pain-with-benefits. 

POSSIBLE SPOILERS: Themes: rock band, alternative lifestyles, tattoos, BDSM, commitment, family issues, coming out, life on tour, friends with benefits become something more, first love , stalking, fanboy Genre: Contemporary M/M Rocker Romance Heat level: Scorching hot, explicit BDSM scenes Length: ~90,000 words (Can be read as standalone, HEA)



I, too, just came for the pain and the pain did #TeamPain proud. Just look at this list!

  • humiliation
  • spanking/paddling
  • CBT
  • sensory deprivation
  • electro-play
  • force play
  • bondage with suspension
  • chastity
  • cock choking/breath play/face fucking

In other words...


Aside from a few ill chosen words Asher took to his newly discovered dominant tendencies like a duck to water. Fancy that. AND they refrained from jumping into the deep end which I appreciated. Asher is diligent in his studies on how to fulfill Sid's needs and since he's charismatic as all get out he soon finds experienced dominants that are willing to give advice/mentor him.

Sid... *heavy sigh* I did not care for. Brattiness is one of the things I try to avoid in my kinky reads and though Sid doesn't consider himself a submissive, he sure acts like one and his attitude grated both inside and outside of the scenes. Though he does straighten up once he's gotten enough endorphins floating in his system. But I never took to him. He's a pill and why he's a pill wasn't explained well.

Most of the stuff outside of the scenes fell flat for me. From the beginning I felt like I got dropped into the middle of a story and had to scramble to figure out the backstory. I'm not sure if it was explained better in the first one or if it was deliberate but neither character was developed beyond a certain point and there's only so much I can just accept as 'because reasons'.

Some of The Underdogs were interesting and added to the narrative positively which was surprising. Because rockstars. However, I've no clue what the purpose of Sid's sister's storyline was. They save her from the cult and then that's pretty much it other than her being window dressing periodically. Perhaps she will crop up later but it seemed like a quasi-melodramatic squirrel to me.

As for the couple and their coupletry... the beginnings of Sid and Asher's relationship skeeved me and maybe I read more into certain things than I should've, but at one point it seemed as though Sid was using Asher for kink because he was a live human and one he knew he could manipulate, at multiple other times he seemed embarrassed by him and at another point Asher seemed to be essentially blackmailing Sid into a relationship.


None of that equals going the distance in my book but then all the sudden they take a quick turn into Sapsville that was unexpected given Sid's general fussiness and seeming aversion to Asher. Asher, on the other hand, has been gaga over Sid since always so one would think he'd be a permanent resident on Cloud 9.

One would be wrong.

The back and forth went on far too long. Their angsting over the others feels became redundant and I questioned whether or not an editor had a go at this book at all. It also needed to be proofed.

While I liked the kink I would only recommend this to fans of pain play as the rest of the narrative requires quite of bit of reality suspension or if you're generally a fan of these authors, but my opinions are my own and most of the reviews are positive so YMMV.



A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.



Giveaway + Blog Tour: Old Sins (Lindenshaw Mysteries #4) by Charlie Cochrane


Join in the Lindenshaw mysteries blog tour fun with author Charlie Cochrane and Riptide Publishing. Find out more about the latest installment, Old Sins, as well as the entire series and be sure to leave a comment to be entered in the giveaway for a swag bag from the author!



A detective, his boyfriend and their dog. That’s the Lindenshaw mysteries in a nutshell. Old Sins is the fourth installment in the series, and not only does Robin have a murder to investigate, he and Adam have got the “little” matter of their nuptials to start planning. And, of course, Campbell the Newfoundland gets his cold wet nose into things, as usual.


About Old Sins
Past sins have present consequences.
Detective Chief Inspector Robin Bright and his partner, deputy headteacher Adam Matthews, have just consigned their summer holiday to the photo album. It’s time to get back to the daily grind, and the biggest problem they’re expecting to face: their wedding plans. Then fate strikes—literally—with a bang.
Someone letting loose shots on the common, a murder designed to look like a suicide, and the return of a teacher who made Robin’s childhood hell all conspire to turn this into one of his trickiest cases yet.
Especially when somebody might be targeting their Newfoundland, Campbell. Robin is used to his and Adam’s lives being in danger, but this takes the—dog—biscuit.
About the Lindenshaw Mysteries

Adam Matthews's life changed when Inspector Robin Bright walked into his classroom to investigate a murder.
Now it seems like all the television series are right: the leafy villages of England do indeed conceal a hotbed of crime, murder, and intrigue. Lindenshaw is proving the point.
Detective work might be Robin's job, but Adam somehow keeps getting involved—even though being a teacher is hardly the best training for solving crimes. Then again, Campbell, Adam's irrepressible Newfoundland dog, seems to have a nose for figuring things out, so how hard can it be?
About Charlie Cochrane
Because Charlie Cochrane couldn't be trusted to do any of her jobs of choice—like managing a rugby team—she writes. Her mystery novels include the Edwardian era Cambridge Fellows series, and the contemporary Lindenshaw Mysteries. Multi-published, she has titles with Carina, Riptide, Endeavour and Bold Strokes, among others.
A member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, Mystery People and International Thriller Writers Inc, Charlie regularly appears at literary festivals and at reader and author conferences with The Deadly Dames.
Connect with Charlie:
      Website:charliecochrane.co.uk/
      Twitter: @charliecochrane
      Facebook profile page: facebook.com/charlie.cochrane.18

To celebrate the release of Old Sins one lucky person will win a swag bag from Charlie! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on February 16, 2019. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following along, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

Release Blitz + Giveaway: Foreign to You by Jeremy Martin


Author Jeremy Martin and IndiGo Marketing promote fantasy YA, Foreign to You! Learn more today and enter in the $10 NineStar Press credit giveaway!

Title: Foreign to You
Author: Jeremy Martin
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: February 11, 2019
Heat Level: 1 - No Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 83900
Genre: Fantasy, LGBT, Young adult, fantasy, shifters, hunter, stag, forest, reincarnation

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Synopsis

The harmony between humans and fianna, a species of shapeshifting deer, begins to wither as racial tensions and deeply rooted resentment turns violent.

Ruthless hunter Finn Hail and prophesied liberator Adelaide may be heroes to their own species, but they are enemies to each other. With war on the horizon, the reluctant pair must team up to find the most elusive of prey: the god of the Forest.

As enemies press in from all sides, true intentions begin to show. For Finn to save the boy he cares for most, he might need to aim his gun at the very god he seeks. And Adelaide, with her festering hatred for mankind, will have to determine if peace holds true salvation for her people.

Excerpt

Foreign to You
Jeremy Martin © 2019
All Rights Reserved

It is strange to sit in the Forest with a rifle, bullets, and the intention to kill. The Forest is meant to be a place of harmony, where the order of things is meticulous, spontaneous, and beautiful.

I am a blemish in an otherwise blissful system.

My only justification for upsetting said balance is that I am here, with a gun, to silence another disturbance.

“To the right,” Jay whispers, his words turning into clouds similar to a furnace expelling smoke. His voice is so soft the branches seem to lean downward greedily, as if the leaves could catch each of his words like raindrops. With the meek backdrop of the Forest, Jay’s features are highlighted and prominent. His sturdy jaw, light stubble, and bright eyes were all a combination of classic handsome.

I, on the other hand, am classically average. Brown hair, dull eyes, and a nose that’s a little too big.

After waiting in the same spot an unholy amount of time, my body had sunk deeper in Pa’s musky leather jacket while my muscles and thoughts had stiffened from neglect. The slightest stirring from Jay startles me out of my daydreaming and from my cocoon of warmth. Unlike me in the present moment, Jay’s attention and energy are crisp and alert while his entire body leans forward in anticipation.

“Do you see him?” Jay murmurs with thinly veiled anxiety. He scrambles for his rifle with shaky fingers, brings the scope up to gaze through. I blame the cold, or my own fleeting concentration, but I cannot see what he does. The only abnormalities I see in the surrounding Forest are the slabs of meat Jay strung up on the branches like decorations to attract the ferals.

With a huff of frustration, he angles my line of sight with his rough fingers, squishing my cheeks, and gripping my head. Within an instant of the contact of his skin on mine, my mind sharpens.

Allowing my gaze to soften so I can absorb more of my surroundings, I finally see the tiniest of movements. A flash of white that doesn’t belong to the never-ending bark. A drifting smudge in the sea of stillness. Yet, the Forest is so dense the leaves tend to bunch together like armor, protecting its inhabitants from invaders. Between one blink and the next, the Forest returns to its previous state. Not a twig out of place. Nothing exposed.

“Found ya,” Jay says, his voice trembling. I study his nervous movements. Gloved fingers twitching individually. Teeth tugging at his bottom lip. Chest barely rising and falling as he forgets to breathe. For he has the skills of a great hunter, but not the heart for it. Jay was the boy who once found a rabbit with a broken leg and attempted to nurse it back to health. He was the same boy that cried for four days after his father snapped the creature’s neck to put it out of its misery.

I’m not good at vocalizing emotions, making them into pretty little words, which is a genetic trait from Pa. All I can tell Jay is, “Stay calm,” and that doesn’t sound like near enough. I wish I could tell him that we should head back to town, that he deserved much more than loud rifles and dirt.

But I don’t say those things.

I move past him, my boots squishing in the mixture of mud and snow. Each step is heavier than it needs to be, and my impatience starts to hum within my ears with each squish, squish. As I stalk, I strain to find the distortion of the brown that slipped away.

“It was probably a raccoon,” I tell Jay, despite knowing we are meant to be silent. Loud hunters gain no prizes. “I bet you got caught—”

A snort comes from my right, and as I turn, I find a beast stationed between two oak trees.

Its massive frame looms before me with red-rimmed eyes, thick and building black veins, patchy fur, and teeth bared. My eyes soak up every inch of the deer, my heart hammering in time with his exhales. From this distance, the beast is nearly magnificent, practically the size of a horse. His nostrils flare as he paws at the ground, catching all wayward smells while each muscle twitches and throbs. Unlike his cousins, this stag does not flee at the sight of a human. Instead, he lowers his brow defiantly, his antlers posed daggers.

It is an unholy combination of god and devil.

A loud crack fires off behind me, and before I can even blink, the bark of the nearest oak shatters into a thousand shards.

With fear leading it, the stag rears back onto his hind legs and lashes out with hooves strong enough to break bones. I attempt to leap backward, but my boots do not leave the mud willingly. As I fall onto the ground, my rifle skids across the Forest floor. I scramble for the dagger stored at my hip, but my gloves make the hilt as slick as a trout. As the stag brings down the weight of its body with an aggravated snort, I roll to my side so that the hooves bury themselves into muck, not flesh. I manage to free my knife and drag it across the beast’s torso before I make a dash for safety.

The buck, alarmed by the sudden pain, moves his eyes frantically, rolling them around his skull and exposing the whites. Its scream, a noise rivaling that of a horn being blown, attacks me even from a distance.

Another gunshot fires off too close, missing once more. As mud rains down from the misfire, the stag flees, taking blood and the stench of rot with it deep into the lush green.

Crawling out from the bush I dove into, I can hear Jay abandoning his usual stealth to reach me. His right boot slips in the slush as he nears me, causing him to crash down beside me. “Shit, Finn. Are you okay?” His hand creeps near my knee before stopping inches from it. “I thought—”

“What even was that?” I snap, pointing at the crude hole in the ground. Instantly, Jay’s cheeks flare red, his face hardening defensively. “You were aiming for it, right?” Jay is deadly silent. I work my jaw, hoping to alleviate the ringing still echoing in my eardrums.

Jay curls his fingers into fists. “Next time would you rather I let you go? You seemed to be handling it well,” he bites back with sarcasm.

At the lodge, Jay will find any reason not to pick up a gun. Instead, he studies the plants, tinkers with complex traps, and vanishes like a frightened barn cat at the sound of a rifle exploding. I shouldn’t be surprised he’s an awful shot, considering his lack of practice.

“Well, I’m alive,” I tell him, wanting more than anything to be on the move again, and to distance myself from the anger that quickly rose to the top. “But maybe leave the guns to me?”

After a quick smile, Jay squares his shoulders and flexes his hands as the facade of a hunter starts to settle back over him. As the best parts of him get stuffed away. “I’ll find him again,” he promises, and I have no doubt that he will. It’s often teased that Jay has a nose more acute than a hound. He carries a rifle for formalities, but his talents lie within his knowledge of the land. Animal droppings, tracks, and broken twigs are all parts of Jay’s trade. It’s what makes him valuable to a band of killers. “We are losing daylight,” he points out. “And we’re approaching Falling Rock.”

Are we that far out? I think, dazed. With Jay, time isn’t something I usually keep up on. When we were young, I would battle fatigue for one more hour with him.

I scratch at my neckline where sweat starts to bead. “Well, I left you a blood trail, so my portion of help is exhausted.” I let the edges of my lips rise, and Jay accepts it with a nod. This is how comrades treat one another.

Right?

Jay rises, body hunched close to the ground as he follows the red through the bushes.

Once upon a time, back when it became evident a gun only felt natural in one of our grips, Jay tried teaching me the art of tracking, taking great pride in his skill. But at that age, when I was young and full of pride, I pretended it didn’t interest me. Eventually, after I’d declined his guiding hand enough many times, Jay stopped trying to explain his methods to me.

Today, Jay is further removed, his words shorter than usual. The same tension sparking between us with the simplest of blunders, or the slightest of nods, because this is the first time Jay is tracking a feral.

The first time I have been tasked with killing a feral.

This feral is a rarity. The majority of the ferals stay in the Forest, killing what crosses their paths. Yet, this particular beast had entered human territory, killing a farmer and his wife before peeling back into the trees. It makes our mission important. It is more than just killing.

It is justice.

After a rough mile of trekking over minor cliffs and rocky outposts, Jay brings me to a halt with a snap of his wrist. As he shrinks down, I mimic him. Pointing at the snow, he shows me a large divot in the otherwise perfect layer of white. I don’t need to be a tracker to know the buck must have slipped on ice, crashing into the remaining snow and splashing against the fluff like a sponge full of red paint.

I pop two bullets into my rifle, check the safety, and snap the chambers shut. Slinging the gun onto my back, I notice that Jay’s eyes barely leave the blood, lost in the color. Doubt is starting to build upon his shoulders, gnawing at his edges.

“Are you ready?” I ask. He doesn’t know it, but the same uneasiness lines my stomach.

“We’ve come this far,” he tells me. He takes a bold step forward, and I can do nothing but follow. Despite the ground dropping away into a steep slope, it is clear the feral struggled up the side of the mountain.

Jay begins climbing first, taking fistfuls of roots and rocks, to propel himself along. As we move, the blood remains consistent on our right. Before long, Jay crawls over the top of the outpost, disappearing for a moment before reappearing to hoist me up. Once we are on even ground, I want to thank him, crack a joke, or anything, but my words are swallowed up as I look over Jay’s shoulder and across the plateau.

I follow red snow until I find the once four-legged stag wobbling on two legs, erect for a breath before plummeting onto his knees. There is blood all over his body, tainting his skin like a rampant infection. Even from here, I can see his muscles quivering and shaking, his body burning off the gentle flakes that land on his shoulders.

His frail human shoulders.

Every part of him seems at war as he spasms and writhes. Despite the fur drifting off his body in decaying clumps, his antlers still hang from his brow, holding steady in the air with crimson stains along the tines.

I snap my rifle in front of me.

When the stag turns to me, he tries to raise his hands. Hands that should be human but are jagged and blackened. A droplet of blood creeps from his eye and down his cheek and drips onto his bare leg.

It is clear he is suffering, caught between two bodies.

I hear him mumbling, but I can’t make out the individual words. Despite my head screaming, don’t get any closer, you idiot, I find my boots propelling me forward. As I near the fiend, his voice breaks like a young boy in puberty. “Begin again,” he raves. “Begin again, begin again—” he lets out a tangle of screams, his claws tearing into his cheeks. “Pain, pain, rebirth.”

“Finn,” Jay says, grabbing my shoulder with his giant hands, startling me from my daze. “It might not be too late. We might be able to help him.”

“He is sick,” I say. I stare at a point behind the beast, letting my words flood me with false confidence. “He is just an animal.” It is Pa logic. Town logic.

“Wait, Finn,” Jay pleads. None of the other hunters would hesitate to kill the feral, I want to tell him. Not after the feral’s hands were stained with blood. Blood from Norsewood.

“He’s changing—”

“It’s too late for that,” I tell him sternly. “He has already done enough damage.”

Jay looks away, squinting into the distance. “Something doesn’t feel right.”

Killing never feels right, I want to tell him. But in the seconds I take my eyes off him, the feral lunges at me, fangs angled at my throat.

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Meet the Author

Jeremy Martin, born and raised in Lancaster County Pennsylvania, considers himself to be a part-time writer and a full-time mess. If he isn’t nose-deep in a book, he’s obsessively playing video games, re-watching The Office for the umpteenth time, or lost in nature. Foreign to You is his debut novel.

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Audiobook Review: Coming Back (Belladonna Arms #3) by John Inman

Barney Teegarden knows what it’s like to be alone. He knows what it’s like to have a romantic heart, yet no love in his life to unleash the romance on. With the help of a friend, he acquires a lease in a seedy apartment building perched high on a hill in downtown San Diego. The Belladonna Arms is not only filled with the quirkiest cast of characters imaginable, it is also famous for sprinkling love dust on even the loneliest of the lovelorn.

At the Arms, Barney finds friendship, acceptance, and an adopted family that lightens his lonely life. Hell, he even finds a cat. But still true love eludes him.

When his drag queen landlord, Arthur, takes it into his head to rescue a homeless former tenant, he enlists Barney’s help. It is Barney who shows this lost soul how to trust again—and in return Barney discovers love for the first time in his life.

It’s funny how even the hardest battles can be fought and won with laughter, hugs, friends, plus a little faith in the goodness of others. All it takes to begin the healing is the simple act of coming back.

Narrator: Shawn Hertel
Listening Length: 5 hrs and 53 mins



I have a serious soft spot in my heart for the Belladonna Arms series by John Inman. Every time I read a new one I’m all, “ooooooh, this one’s my favorite” and then the next one comes and I do the same thing. So, the audiobooks are a real treat to revisit, because each one gets a chance to be my favorite again! Total book logic that makes sense. Don’t question it, just roll with it.

The series is set in my hometown of San Diego which is an added bonus since I can picture every locale the author describes and he describes San Diego very well. Belladonna Arms feels like home when you get invited in, as terrible as it sounds aesthetically, the Arms are home to those who need the love pollen, and the Arms delivers.

While I may be fickle with my favoriting, in all honesty, Coming Back is probably my favorite of the Belladonna Arms series. The characters are extra deserving of the pollen, and the arc spans from books one through three, heavier on the one and three.

Barney is an unassuming everyman, he’s relatable and kind and I couldn’t help but want the best for him from the moment he moved in. He and Arthur, the resident owner/landlord/drag queen extraordinaire, bond from the moment they meet and it’s a perfect friendship for what Arthur ends up planning to bring an original member of the Arms back to the fold.

Arthur has shenanigans planned, he always seems to, and he’s his altruistic self wrapped in yards of organza and feathered boas gets Barney in on his plans. Coming Back is more than just a meet-cute and romance, it’s redemption and second chances and it has a depth beyond rom-com that I appreciated on every level.

I don’t want to go into too much detail, because spoilers and all (even though you can read every other review by now and figure out who comes back home), suffice it to say, Coming Back is everything you want in a redemption, second chance, first romance story. There’s laughs, a little bit of angst and lots of love. Coming Back delivers a John Inman trait that I love. He doesn’t wait until the very end to bring his MC’s together and that is one of the things that makes him a go-to/auto-buy author for me. I get to see the MC’s as individuals and as a couple, I get to get lots of time with them together as they grow and it makes me buy into an HEA easily.

The audiobooks from the Belladonna Arms series have different narrators for each story. I actually love that they’re all different, it gives each story its own voice, both literally and figuratively. Each one has been a great fit and Coming Back is right in line with the first two. This is the first time I’ve listened to Shawn Hertel narrate and he has Barney down perfectly. And his Arthur is spot in. I liked his tone very much, he was just enough without being too much all the way through.




**a copy of this audiobook was provided for an honest review**