Giveaway + Blog Tour: Nights Without Night (Fox Lake #2) by Marina Vivancos


Marina Vivancos and Indigo Promotions are here today to celebrate the release of Nights Without Night, the second of the Fox Lake Series. Find out more about this contemporary romance, listen to the playlist and be sure to enter for your chance to win your own copy of the series below! Good luck!


Title:  Nights Without Night
Series: Fox Lake Series #2
Author: Marina Vivancos
Publisher:  Self-published
Release Date: 18th June 2018
Heat Level: 3 - Some Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 60,000 words
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Childhood Friends, Mental Health

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Nights Without Night: Soundtrack (link to playlist below)

Music is a big part of my writing process. Not necessarily because it inspires me directly—rarely do I listen to a song which sparks a concrete idea, although that’s happened once or twice (watch this space), but because it’s a crucial part of my day. I listen to music while I write, while I walk, when I travel. If it’s not music, it’s the radio or a podcast. I like to drown the world away.

When I write, I mostly listen to lyricless music; soundtracks, hip-hop lofi, etc. However, I love making playlists of songs that fit with the stories I write. I currently have 18 nascent Spotify playlists dedicated to stories—stories I haven’t even started planning, stories which still haven’t grown names for their main characters.

The playlist I’ve made for Nights Without Night hopefully captures the progression of the book. From distant longing, to lust, to depression, to hope, to togetherness. I found that, unlike most of all my other playlists, this one was mostly composed of lyricless songs. Songs that swell or tremble with sound and push thought out, salt water filling your lungs.

Maybe this lack of spoken word is to capture Isadoro’s inability to express what he’s going through to Iván. Maybe it’s just because that’s how hopelessness sounds in my own head. Mental health difficulties are tightly entwined with thoughts, but when I think of sadness it’s not a speech I want to give, but a wordless cry.

The first song that came to me when I was writing this story was Elegy for Dunkirk, from the soundtrack of the movie Atonement. For me, it represents the difficulty of war with comradery at its centre. The flowing strings, the approaching and dissolving voices, takes you on a blind journey that ends with more of a whimper than anything else.

But that’s not where the soundtrack ends. For me, the song that best fits the story is All My Joy, All My Pain, by Fabrizio Paterlini. It’s the turning point in the playlist. A beautiful piano piece, it starts soft and almost melancholic, or at least a little joyless, resigned. Then, a bracing breath. You can feel the music fill with a sudden, peeking light, like rays at the edge of a horizon. Even this, though, is not a straight line to the end. It’s repetitive, pausing at times as if to gain strength. By the end, although the piece returns to the notes with which it began, they sound different. When before they were softer, melting into each other a little, ambiguous, they end decisive, fingers leaning into the keyboard, sure of themselves now. The same experience seen in a different way. These sounds are not simply accepting what is, but prepared for what is to come.



Synopsis

Isadoro and Iván have known each other since before memories were memories, when they were just the imprint of shape and sound pressed inside your head. They were raised together in La Portera, between the orange trees and water reservoirs, under an endless blue sky. Where they grew up is where Iván’s love for Isadoro grew, too. There, from the earth and the water, organic and helpless.

Iván had grown used to this love. He’d grown used to absence, too.
Isadoro left for the military when they were both eighteen and took a piece of Iván with him. It was as inevitable as the baking sun and sandy winds of those lands. Iván didn't know how to fight it.

A thread between them remained. Phone calls, Skype sessions, rests between tours. But it was never quite enough.

After eight years, Isadoro comes back. At his core, he is the same man Iván has always known. But life has transformed them both from the malleable shapes of childhood and into the stiffer skin of adults. The situation is complicated further when they rekindle the ‘benefits’ portion of their friendship. The heat between them has always been undeniable, and now it scorches through them.

In the beginning, all seems well. But there are creatures under calm water. When they breach the surface, both Isadoro and Iván must learn how to help each other, but also to save themselves.

Please note: This story contains themes of affected mental health following the return from military combat. However, the ultimate focus of the story is on hope and recovery.
This story also contains very explicit scenes of a sexual nature.

Excerpt

The summer before Isadoro was finally deployed had run on borrowed time. I hadn’t applied to college but had gotten a summer job in La Portera while I figured out what to do with my life. After work, I would go to the beach with Isadoro, pretending this was any other summer and that adulthood wasn’t looming in September for both of us.

One night, we went down to the beach when it was late and dark. The sea was a pool of ink, the sound of it washing in and out a secret call. On Isadoro’s dare, we’d stripped our clothes and ran into the water, the coolness a relief from the thick summer air.

The half-moon had been a bowl of rice perched on the black. We’d swam around, free in the salt and the waves, pulling each other under in a familiar game. We’d been our child selves, free of the ties that tugged at us beyond the water.

When we tired and let ourselves drift, I remember Isadoro swimming close to me. Remember the moon in his eyes. The way his wet skin had felt against mine. It had almost been a kiss. Almost. But I couldn’t do that to myself. Not again. Not when he was leaving and he wasn’t in love with me back.

Who would have thought that I would be able to resist the pull of the moon at eighteen, and cave so many years later, caught completely in its tide.

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Meet the Author

When Marina was a child she couldn’t sleep. Night after dissolving night she just couldn’t sleep. Nothing much worked – until she started making up stories in her head. Suddenly, the transition into unconsciousness was a smooth dive into calm waters.

Marina is currently in a period of sleepless upheaval, and she hopes writing down the stories in her head will cast the same spell it did decades ago.

Marina hopes to write in a variety of romance sub-genres, from contemporary to supernatural to sci-fi. Her style, however, tends to focus on character-centred stories that explore different facets of the human experience, such as mental health. She also enjoys writing explicit, drawn-out sex scenes, so expect those to be a prominent feature of her stories.

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Review: Oskar Blows A Gasket by Claire Davis and Al Stewart

Armed with designer backpack full of make-up and retro music galore, Oskar sets off for college. And, with attitude even spikier than his heels, nothing is going to hold him back. Except maybe one thing…his past is shouting louder than the 80s songs he adores and it won't be ignored. Behind the effervescence are secrets, lies and sadness. Try as he might, not even Oskar can hide forever, and one day it isn't only pop icon Simon Le Bon who's going to catch up.

Who is writing letters? And why is a spy secretly following? 

Enter Bear, with dancing eyes and secrets of his own. Bear's kindness sparkles brighter than Lycra leggings, and everyone knows Oskar loves shiny things. Like every prophecy, their fates seem inevitably linked. As the walls of Oskar's defence crumble, Bear shows his hidden strength, but will it be enough to save them?

Find out in this far-out, zany tale of fame, first love and retro DJs.


Flawed characters are the best. Oskar is flawed.

Flawed characters aren’t always likable but they have a charisma that draws other characters (and the reader) into their world and we all want to be there, even if we may not always like said character. Oskar is that guy and man he has charisma in spades and an attitude to match. I liked how the authors introduce him though. I was expecting the bitchy snark based on the blurb, but the beginning balanced him out and softened him up enough so that I couldn’t wait to know more about what made Oskar tick.

Bear is Oskar’s complete antithesis and absolute complement. It takes a long time to get there, but it’s obvious from the beginning that Bear (the name that Oskar bestowed upon him) is completely powerless when he’s up against Oskar’s charms. I’m jumping the gun a bit and this is very cliche to say, but these two were made for one another.

The style in which the tale is told works perfectly for both their stories. They both get (and need to be) front and center in the present time and they both get to tell their histories through series of letters to family. While Oskar and Bear are complete opposites in just about every way, they both have a commonality in tales of heartbreaking childhoods. Very different, but the damage is still similar and like recognizes like, so I think the trust that eventually came to them made sense and was believable from the beginning.

Oskar is a sassy bitch in the beginning and Bear is more than happy to do his every bidding. Oskar wears his attitude like armor and Gareth just wants to be liked. It’s both amusing and slightly sad to read about them finding their feet in college. The first half of the story is told from Oskar’s perspective with a letter from Gareth to his father at the beginning of each. My heart broke in progressively smaller bits as I read Gareth’s letters until I was left completely shattered for him.
The method the authors used was just so good though and gave each of the characters extra depth in turn. I know I mentioned the style already, but it really was the perfect vehicle for this story so I ended up coming back to it.

The two come together, push each other away and let their quirks fly. It’s always the little things that bring a character to life, giving the whole story a level of depth and relatability that many others miss. Oskar is held together by his quirks and Gareth turns out to be a bit of an Oskar whisperer and their banter was a treat to read. Gareth is by nature a caretaker and Oskar needs caretaking, but the relationship still grew and balanced out because while Gareth did take care of Oskar, Oskar was fiercely protective of Gareth and Gareth needed someone to come to his defense with the passion only Oskar could bring to the party.

I was thankful that the two of them became an official couple well before the book was over. I needed to see them together and read how their dynamics evolved as their lives changed. Without that I don’t think I could have believed in their HEA as strongly as I did by the time the story was over. The book is more than just a coming of age novel, there is much more to it than that and the authors did an excellent job of balancing the story of a couple of broken boys with a heartwarming and humorous romance.



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

Release Blitz + Giveaway: Demon Familiar (Wanted #1) by Bellora Quinn and Sadie Rose Bermingham


Celebrate the release Demon Familiar (Wanted #1) with authors Bellora Quinn and Sadie Rose Bermingham and IndiGo Promotions! Learn more about the urban fantasy from Pride Publishing! Enter in the giveaway: two people have a chance to win a Demon Familiar eBook!

Title:  Demon Familiar
Series: Wanted #1
Author: Bellora Quinn and Sadie Rose Bermingham
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Release Date: June 19th 2018
Heat Level: 3 - Some Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 96,000 words
Genre: Romance, Fantasy, Alternate Reality

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Synopsis

Sometimes when you don’t know what you want, life gives you what you need.

When Neil Markovic witnesses the murder of his mother by Bone Men his world is thrown into turmoil. On the run from the assassins that killed her, his sorcerer father and the police, Neil finds help in the form of a tall half fae alchemist named Malachai. Mal seems more accepting than most of Neil’s demon bloodline, but curiously immune to his charms.

Malachai Valentine, disgraced scion of a noble Leprechaun clan, back in the Old Country, is happy living as an anonymous scrap dealer. Using his talent for alchemy to make fuel and potions, most days he doesn’t even think of his ruinous past. When a scared young man with a fancy car crashes into his life, at first, Mal thinks he can do without the hassle. But as Neil begins to get under his skin, Mal starts to reassess his hopes and ambitions.

Harassed by megalomaniac fae and stalked by sorcerous killers at every turn, Malachai and Neil must fight to be free, and to find what they both truly wanted.

Reader advisory: This book contains scenes of violence, murder and non-consensual sex.

Excerpt

Neil set the bushel of summer squash into the panel van with the rest of the produce ready to go to market tomorrow morning and jumped down. Mr. Yaetz patted him on the back. “That’s the last one. Good job, Neil. You best head home now. Don’t want to get caught outside the wards after nightfall, ’specially not in that fancy car.”

Neil stifled a wince and forced himself not to look around to see who might have overheard the mention of his ‘fancy car’. Mr. Yaetz didn’t mean anything by it, but the car was a sore point with his co-workers at the small greenhouse and urban farm lot. None of them had their own vehicle, much less a sleek convertible sports car. Explaining that it was his mother’s, not his, hadn’t stopped the digs about his ‘slumming with the common folk’ or brought him any closer to the camaraderie the rest of them shared.

“Thanks, Mr. Yaetz. I’ll see you tomorrow,” Neil told him and turned toward the front lot. He glanced at the horizon automatically, judging how much time he had. About forty-five minutes, maybe an hour. More than enough for the short drive home. He wasn’t likely to come across any shadow beasts here on the outskirts of the city but a pack hunting farther afield was always a possibility. Of course, if he did run across shadow beasts, they would have to catch him first and the Maserati was both fast and agile.

Neil slid behind the wheel and the powerful engine purred to life. With the sun slowly sinking behind him, he swung the car out onto the road and headed for home.

As expected, Neil pulled into the driveway with plenty of daylight left and no encounters with any creatures that came out after dark. Climbing the front steps, his thoughts preoccupied with a shower and dinner, he almost missed the broken seal on his front door. He stopped cold. The warding glyph, usually a subtle shimmering gold, was inert, dull gray and cracked with lines of black. A sick knot cramped in his belly and Neil pressed his thumb down on the latch and pushed the door open but hesitated on the threshold.

“Mom?”

He listened. No answer.

Neil stepped into the foyer and slowly moved into the hall. A picture had been knocked off the wall and the broken glass from the frame glittered in the fading sunlight streaming in behind him.

“Mom?” he called again, louder.

Something crashed in the kitchen, the metallic clatter of pans hitting the tile floor. Neil ran in that direction.

His mother screamed, “Neil, get out! Get out!”

Heart hammering, he skidded into the kitchen. A black-clad, hooded man held on to his struggling mother. Another man stood next to them with a curved knife in his hand—his eyes were flat black and icy cold as they slid over him. Neil rushed them, yelling, “Get away from her!” The man with the knife lifted his free arm and flung the outstretched fingers of his empty hand at him. Neil hit the stop spell so hard it jarred him from teeth to toes, knocking him on his ass.

“Neil!” his mother shrieked.

He lifted his head in time to see the man who had floored him lift the knife and draw it down the side of her throat and across her shoulder in two professional, vicious slashes. The other man let her go as her eyes went wide and her hands flew up to clutch at the wounds. The blood didn’t spray everywhere like it did in the movies. It welled up in a gush of red that soaked the front of her shirt as she choked and gasped then fell down on her knees.

“Mom! No!” Neil scrambled to his feet. The two men moved toward him in unison as his mother crumpled, face down on the floor. Her body sounded like a wet rag hitting the tiles and a shocking pool of red spread under her.

“Take him,” the one holding the bloody knife said. His voice was low, emotionless and without accent, like an automaton in one of the old films they occasionally streamed when the comms satellite was functioning.

On autopilot, Neil grabbed the pendant that hung on the chain around his neck and ripped it off, throwing it on the floor. The man reached to stop him, but it was too late. The glass pendant shattered and a wall of noxious smoke rose between him and the killers. It wouldn’t hold them long, a minute if he was lucky. Probably less. He turned and ran back down the hall, fleeing the house.

He stumbled down the steps and fumbled the keys from his pocket, hitting the lock button. He yanked the door open and was shaking so badly he dropped the keys on the floor.

“Fuck! Fuck!” He reached down and his fingers just touched the ring as the killers came running out of the front door. Neil grabbed the keyring and jammed the right key in the ignition. For one horrible second, he was sure it wouldn’t start even though he’d just driven the car home. The engine turned over as smooth as a kitten’s purr and he slammed the shifter in reverse just as the man with the blade grabbed the driver’s door handle. Neil put his foot down on the pedal. The tires squealed and the car shot backward down the driveway and into the street.

Blood pounded in his ears, almost drowning out the engine sounds as he threw the car into drive and floored the gas, clutching the steering wheel hard enough to turn his knuckles white. He looked in the rear-view mirror as he sped away. They would come after him. He turned at the next intersection. Then turned again. And again. He tried to focus on what to do next but all he could see was the shock and anguish on his mother’s face before she fell, and that bright pool of red spreading out under her. He looked in the mirror again but saw no sign of the men that had killed her. That didn’t mean anything. They could come, he knew it. He was heading out of the city following pure instinct, but now he slowed the car for just a moment. At the next turn, he doubled back the way he’d come.

Out of the city might seem safer, but it wasn’t. He had little money and the car would take him only so far. He needed resources.

He forced his fingers to relax on the steering wheel but his hands still shook. When he took a breath, it was shaky too. The red had been so stark against her blonde hair. Her eyes…had they been blank before she fell or after she hit the floor? No. No he couldn’t think of that now. He raised and hand and swiped at his wet cheeks.

Bone Men. Their name whispered across Neil’s mind in his father’s voice, from one of his many lessons. Assassins. Twisted by the sorcery that enhanced them, marked by the lives they took. Had she been their target? Was her death retribution for something his father had done? Or…or were they there for him?

His mind raced as fast as his pulse and the car he was driving. He took another deep breath and eased his foot back off the pedal a few degrees. He needed a clear head. He needed a plan. But first he needed somewhere to hide. Instinct told him to find someone he trusted, but his training overrode that idea. He could hear his father’s voice in his ear again. Trust no one, Nielob. If they come for you, go to ground. Speak to no one you know. Hide and wait. I will find you.

Not if he could help it. If he had his way, he’d lose both the Bone Men and his father, for good. The car would get him a good distance but he couldn’t keep it. It was traceable. He’d drive into the city, find someone he could sell the car to for scrap and use the money to get a ticket to as far away as it would take him.

He couldn’t take the car directly to a salvage yard without a title, too risky. He needed a fence. Months ago, while he’d been watering seedlings at work, he’d overheard Carl bragging about how his uncle was going to get a real car, one with a combustion engine. No one had believed him and Carl had gotten mad. Insisted his uncle knew a guy that dealt in contraband autos in the city. Hammersfell Road, next to the old Ackard Motors factory. There was a warehouse where they had raves. The fence organized them. Neil had no way of knowing if the bragging was just lies, but he had filed the information away anyway. His chin gave an odd quiver and the tightness in his throat squeezed hard enough to choke him. No. He couldn’t give in to tears now. He couldn’t afford to let out the sobs that threatened him. A safe place first. The grief tasted of bitter acid and wanted to strangle him, but he swallowed it down and kept going.

Purchase

Pride Publishing | Amazon

Meet the Author

Bellora Quinn

Originally hailing from Detroit Michigan, Bellora now resides on the sunny Gulf Coast of Florida where a herd of Dachshunds keeps her entertained. She got her start in writing at the dawn of the internet when she discovered PbEMs (Play by email) and found a passion for collaborative writing and steamy hot erotica. Soap Opera like blogs soon followed and eventually full novels. The majority of her stories are in the M/M genre with urban fantasy or paranormal settings and many with a strong BDSM flavour.

Sadie Rose Bermingham

A storyteller since before she started school, Sadie also enjoys reading, photography, live music and long walks on the beach. Sadie has worked as a bookseller, a pedigree editor for the racing industry and a local and family history researcher. Originally from the north of England, she has been working her way across the UK ever since. She currently resides on the south east coast with her long term partner, where she hopes to buy a mobile home and establish a whippet farm.

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Review: The Best Worst Honeymoon Ever by Andrew Grey

Tommy Gordon is all set for happily ever after—until heartbreak strikes when his husband-to-be leaves him at the altar. In a bid for distraction, his best friend, Grayson Phillips, suggests he takes advantage of the luxury honeymoon anyway! But the last thing Tommy wants is to go alone, so he invites Grayson and his son, Petey, along. Beautiful Bonaire lends itself to romance, and along with close quarters, relaxing on the water, and a matchmaking kid, Tommy and Grayson soon find themselves closer than ever… and considering more, much to Grayson’s delight. But before they can plan the best honeymoon ever, dark clouds descend in the form of Tommy’s ex and a sting from paradise that could ruin everything.


This was a sweet and simple romance of two best friends that finally fall in love. I am a fan of unrequited love and with this story we get it from both sides.

The story begins as Tommy Gordon is preparing to walk down the aisle and get married. He’s been attended to by his best friend Grayson Phillips and his nine year old son Petey when Grayson goes to check on the Tommy’s groom to be, Xavier. What Grayson finds isn’t promising and when Xavier shows up to tell Tommy he can’t marry him, the story becomes a bit somber. The downside doesn’t last for long as Tommy steps up to inform his friends and family what has happened and later Grayson suggesting Tommy still take his honeymoon and not let Xavier win. Of course, being best friends Tommy suggests that Grayson and Petey come along as well and we set off for a best worst honeymoon adventure.

I’ve always like the stories where one is jilted and still takes the honeymoon. It’s like flipping the bird to the jerk that either left you at the altar or never showed up but here, we get an extra bird when Tommy takes a good look at his best friend with new eyes.

Grayson has crushed on Tommy for years and even been a bit in love with him but their romantic time lines never crossed giving him an opportunity to tell Tommy how he feels. With nothing else to do on this vacation, Grayson goes for broke and finds out that Tommy feels the same way. But Tommy has a heavy dose of low self-esteem and has always been a people pleaser in relationships even when it’s to his detriment. Tommy is learning how to move on from Xavier’s betrayal while finding confidence and comfort in the arms of his best friend.

“I had no idea. You’ve been my friend all these years and I could have had you in my life… like this. I could have been with you and….”


“Sometimes it takes something out of the ordinary to see what’s been right in front of us the whole time.”

The story is pretty slow going but it fits the relaxed vibe of an island vacation. I like seeing the best friends spend time together and relearn who they are in a non-platonic way. Petey is a normal kid but pretty smart for his age who sees what is happening between his dad and Uncle Tommy and just wants everyone to be happy even if he has well based childish fears.

Tommy and Grayson move seemingly fast but knowing how long they have been friends and had feelings for each other it didn’t take belief suspension to see them moving from friends to lovers. They are perfect for one another and really have nothing but heart eyes but are also so damn rational it drove me a bit batty at times.

There is some drama around the halfway mark that I get as necessary and I do like how it was handled. The other drama at the end simply forced Tommy to accept what he wants and the epilogue was appropriate.

At the end of it all, this was a nice read that would be perfect for a day at the beach with the sound of the waves as a soundtrack to really get the vacation vibe going.


An ARC was provided by the publisher.



Release Blitz + Giveaway: Shipped (Until You #1) by Karrie Roman


Celebrate the release of Shipped (Until You #1) with author Karrie Roman and IndiGo Marketing! Learn more about the contemporary romance; enter in the $10 NineStar Press giveaway!


Title:  Shipped
Series: Until You, Book One
Author: Karrie Roman
Publisher:  NineStar Press
Release Date: June 18, 2018
Heat Level: 3 - Some Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 69200
Genre: Contemporary, friends to lovers, actors, fandom, ship, beard, slowburn/UST, stalker, attempted murder, family drama

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Synopsis

Ryan Lowe has been a lonely nobody all his life. The only time he ever feels the rush of living is when he’s acting. Wanting to get as far away from his small town life and alcoholic father as possible, he leaves Australia to pursue a career as an actor in the bright lights of Hollywood, never stopping to consider the fame that might come with it.

Lucas Evers understands fame. He’s been a successful actor on the small-screen for years and loves his career. Nothing comes for free though, and the price he’s paid for his success is keeping who he is hidden from the world. He married his best friend to keep both of their secrets, and until now, he has been content with the cost of his fame.

When Lucas and Ryan are cast in a new television series based on a wildly popular book series everything changes for them. The show is a worldwide hit and together they have just become the most popular ship on the planet. As they begin to realize it’s not just their characters falling in love, the cost of their fame rises. Together they must face stalkers, anxiety, panic attacks, and attempted murder.

Excerpt

Shipped
Karrie Roman © 2018
All Rights Reserved

Prologue
Unknown Aussie could be our new Sam

Out of the half-dozen people in the room, he was the only one who was standing. It didn’t matter to him; he needed to stand; it was the only way he knew how to do this and he had to do it well. This was his big chance; he felt it. Actually, it was the first real chance he’d had in months. He called on all of his training—which wasn’t much—focused as he’d been taught, and gave it his best shot.

“I didn’t do it for me, and I didn’t do it for her.” He bent down to look into the greenest eyes he’d ever seen. They were so bright—almost electric—and especially in this town, he couldn’t even be sure they were real, but they were certainly breathtaking. “I did it for you—always for you,” he finished on little more than a whisper.

The amazing green eyes flared with anger, darkening them. Their owner slammed his palm on the table in front of him. “I never asked you to. I never wanted you to—”

“Then what do you want from me?” He raised his voice in anger too.

“I don’t want anything from you right now. I gave you a chance, Sam. I begged you and you chose to walk away. I don’t know what else there is to talk about.”

“Dominic, please. I made a mistake. I never should have listened to Trina, never should have gone with her. I believed it was the right thing to do. I thought it would help. Please…come back. It’s dangerous for you out here, alone.” He let fear bleed into his plea, hoping he was pulling this off. He kept his gaze on those green eyes, doing his best to block out every other person in the room. He knew any chemistry between them would sell it, and chemistry started with eye contact.

“Is that actual concern for me, Sam, or do you and the rest of the team only need me for my talents?”

“Of course, I’m concerned for you, Dom. I never once said I didn’t care.”

“And cut.” A deep voice broke into the scene, and Ryan immediately relaxed. Acting never came easy to him, though it was this challenge and the rush of performing that attracted him to it. “Good job, both of you. Ryan, as you know, we’ve already cast Lucas as Dominic and you played off really well against him today as Sam. We’ll take a look at your test on the screen to make sure the magic here in the room translates onto film. We should have an answer for you in a few days.” Mike Faraday, one of the hottest producers in television these days, was far less intimidating than Ryan had expected. He was a big man, but his face was the complete opposite of a resting bitch face—he seemed to wear a perpetual smile.

“Thank you, Mr. Faraday, for this opportunity.” Ryan then turned to Lucas Evers, who still sat at the table from where he’d read his lines. “Thank you, Lucas. I really enjoyed doing the scenes with you.” This had been the last of three scenes he’d done with Lucas as part of the final audition, and he’d loved every second of it.

“Likewise, Ryan. Good job.” Lucas finally stood and reached to shake Ryan’s hand. Ryan had watched Lucas in his old role on Tides for many years, but the man was far better-looking in person and had a presence that, even being new to the industry, Ryan had no doubt was required for mega-stardom. Lucas Evers would one day be a Hollywood idol.

“Oh, Ryan, sorry, but just to make sure”—Ryan turned toward the casting agent with the delightful name of Molly Anne Moskin—“we want to double-check you understand the character of Sam Dawson is gay. Meaning you would be required, at some point, to do romantic scenes with men. We want to be sure it’s not a problem for you.”

The saying beggars can’t be choosers flitted across Ryan’s mind, but the simple fact was he didn’t care. He had no experience with men, but he’d never ruled them out either. He’d found more than a few attractive from time to time. The truth was, though, he’d been far too busy working to support his acting classes and running around to auditions to care too much about a personal life. So, no, some gay scenes didn’t bother him at all.

“Of course, Molly. It’s no problem at all.” He hastened to reassure her because he’d hate to lose this role over something he thought of as a non-issue.

“Excellent. Well, your look is spot-on: tall, dark, and handsome. And those dark-brown eyes are screaming to be on the screen, and don’t get me started on that jawline. Rawrr. So I guess, well…we’ll be in contact.” Molly Anne reached out and shook his hand.

Ryan made his way around the room, thanking the others present before saying goodbye. He walked out the door and through the maze-like corridors of the enormous studio offices and couldn’t help wondering if his life was about to change in extraordinary ways he’d hardly dared to imagine even in his wildest dreams.

Purchase

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Meet the Author

Karrie lives in Australia’s sunshine state with her husband and two sons, though she hates the sun with a passion. She dreams of one day living in the wettest and coldest habitable place she can find. She has been writing stories in her head for years but has finally managed to pull the words out of her head and share them with others. She spends her days trying to type her stories on the computer without disturbing her beloved cat Lu curled up on the keyboard. She probably reads far too much.

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Review: Under a Blue Moon (Camp H.O.W.L. #2) by Bru Baker

Once in a blue moon, opposites find they’re a perfect match.

Nick Perry is tired of helping people with their marriages, so when a spot opens up to work with teens at Camp H.O.W.L., he jumps at it. He doesn’t expect to fall in lust with the dreamy new camp doctor, Drew Welch. But Drew is human, and Nick has seen secrets ruin too many relationships to think that a human/werewolf romance can go anywhere.

Happy-go-lucky Drew may not sprout claws, but he’s been part of the Were community all his life. He has no trouble fitting in at the camp—except for Nick’s stubborn refusal to acknowledge the growing attraction between them and his ridiculous stance on dating humans. Fate intervenes when one of his private practice patients threatens Drew’s life. Will the close call help Nick to see a connection like theirs isn’t something to let go of?


This series, this author and this line are a dream made in this gingers shifter romance reading heaven! I loved being in the world of Camp H.O.W.L with Tate and Adrian and now we get more with Drew and Nick.

Since Tate and Adrian have left camp life for New York, there is an open spot for a camp counselor for the wolflings learning to control their shift and it’s a good thing because Nick Perry is Tate’s replacement and the camp also has a new staff doctor, Drew Welch at the infirmary. But what these two new employees at the camp don’t know is each other so when their mutual flight gets delayed and they end up sharing a passionate night together neither of them can nor want to forget. It’s just a shame the next time they’ll see each other is during a “get to know the new guy” meeting at the camp and well, let’s just say it wasn’t what either man expected.

I loved the take on this with a wolf and a human. Sure, it has happened before in books but usually the human is introduced to the shifters animal form later in the story as a big reveal. Here, Drew grew up with a Pack as his step father is second in his Pack and married Drew’s very human mother. Drew has grown up just as any wolf would save the ability to shift. He knows how shifters think, he knows their silent language and he knows what one grumpy hot as hell wolf needs and what Drew wants. Thankfully Drew is pretty freaking patient because his wolf, isn’t as confident.

Nick is grumpy and prickly but cautious. Having been a private marriage counselor, he knows that keeping secrets from your partner can lead to nothing but trouble and feels being with a human would mean keeping secrets about his wolf. It’s a justifiable reason to not get into a romantic relationship with a human but Drew isn’t just any human and Nick is put through his own sets of lessons to learn and accept this.

Watching Nick and Drew first meet hot and heavy and then have Nick react the way he does to Drew was so much fun to read. Having read shifters, I knew Nick felt Drew as his mate long before he accepted it but it’s always fun to watch the romantic clueless fumble along with their affection and try to pass it off as something it’s not. I loved watching Drew prove Nick wrong time and time again and Nick finally accepting what he feels for Drew and that his fears of intimacy have nothing to do with Drew being Human.

GAH! Nick is total wolf in everything that concerns Drew that I was grinning like a fool. The whole smell deal, the way he is calmed when Drew is around, the protectiveness and of course, the jealousy and need to claim what’s his. It was fantastic seeing Nick be all wolf over his human even when he tried to fight it so damn hard.

Of course it was great to get bits of Tate and Adrian again and I am really hoping there is another book because there are strong hints throughout with Harris and Jackson that need to be explored long after that flirting at the hospital. I mean, right? There’s more???? Please?

This was just a pure delight to read. The UST was amazing and the games the men play was a blast to follow along with. Drew knows how to get to Nick and playing a little dirty even in a yoga class made me grin like a fool. The bit of drama at the end was perfect for the story, the title is spot on with what it means and that epilogue made my hopeless romantic heart happy.


An ARC was provided by the publisher.



Release Blitz + Giveaway: Omen Operation (Isolation #1) by Taylor Brooke


Omen Operation (Isolation #1) is officially out from NineStar Press! Celebrate with author Taylor Brooke and IndiGo Marketing! Learn more about the sci-fi new adult QUILTBAG romance and enter in the giveaway to win $10 NineStar Press credit!

Title:  Omen Operation
Series: Isolation, Book One
Author: Taylor Brooke
Publisher:  NineStar Press
Release Date: June 18, 2018
Heat Level: 2 - Fade to Black Sex
Pairing: Male/Female, Male/Male, Female/Female
Length: 61100
Genre: Science Fiction, New adult, thriller, sci-fi, romance, virus, conspiracy, super-soldiers

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Synopsis

An epidemic hits the country, and Brooklyn Harper is stolen from the life she knew.

Implanted in a rural camp, Brooklyn and her friends are severed from their families and the outside world. Each day is filled with combat training to assure their safety against a mysterious virus and the creatures it creates—violent humanoids with black blood.

Two years later, Brooklyn’s cabin-mate, Dawson Winters, finds a letter that shatters the illusion they’ve been living in. There is a world outside Camp Eleven, and the virus that supposedly destroyed their country seems non-existent.

After a daring escape, Brooklyn finds the world they’ve left behind harbors the normalcy she remembers. But when they are attacked by a black-blooded creature in the city, Brooklyn and her friends realize there is more to Camp Eleven than they thought.

Someone took them, someone trained them, and now someone is trying to find them.

As their exploration continues, the group is faced with impossible feats while betrayal, love, and secrets force Brooklyn and her friends to fight for their life, their freedom, and most of all, each other.

Excerpt

Omen Operation
Taylor Brooke © 2018
All Rights Reserved

Chapter One
Flames chewed on a pile of logs in the middle of a large fire pit. Five people sat around it, huddled together for warmth. Brooklyn always sat closest, palms outstretched and glowing against the flames. Somehow, the smell of burning wood made things feel more temporary. Even if every night it reminded her of making s’mores on the beach back home—of brine and hot cement and San Diego.

Home seemed distant now.

The grounds had an array of fire pits scattered between the housing cabins that coaxed the fifteen inhabitants of ISO Recovery Camp Eleven to spread out among themselves and unwind.

“Hey, is your hand okay?” Gabriel asked.

Brooklyn turned her gaze to the girl lying in her lap. Gabriel. Her eyes reminded Brooklyn of a comic book character. They were green like jungle canopies, sharp and defined by dark lashes and thick brows. The day the tall blonde was dropped off at the camp was the first day Brooklyn didn’t feel alone. That day, two years ago, bravery became easier.

“It’s fine.” Brooklyn shrugged. “I just tweaked it when we were training.”

Gabriel’s bottom lip was shadowed by a small scar on the right side of her smile. It was hardly noticeable, a tiny defect on a fine-boned, fiercely beautiful face. She pushed her cheek into Brooklyn’s thigh and nodded, fingertips playing with the frayed ends of Brooklyn’s jeans, absently touching the exposed skin on her ankle.

Black combat boots shifted on the other side of the circle. Dawson, a boy with a hard jawline and wild eyes, tilted his head to the side. He wore bitterness like a badge and lifted his chin to peer over the fire at Gabriel. “You’re too strong for your own good.”

Brooklyn sighed.

Gabriel grinned. “Wouldn’t you know? I had you tapped out in under a minute yesterday, didn’t I?”

His lips twitched. Smiling suited him.

“You did…” He held his hands against his chest in mock surrender. “Maybe you should take it easy on us.”

Two others sat beside them; one was a boy with black tunnels set snugly in the stretched lobes of his ears and a stud buried in the middle of his tongue. His smile was wide and contagious, set neatly on a narrow face with high cheekbones. Julian had been the first to introduce himself to Brooklyn when she arrived. He’d had the sun in his eyes, and the first thing he’d said to her was, “I don’t know where the hell we are, but apparently we’re not gonna die.” He’d laughed, showed her around, and he hadn’t pretended to have any answers. His uncertainty had been refreshing.

Brooklyn swayed when the last of their small pack nudged his head against her shoulder.

“You should let me wrap it up for you in case it’s sprained,” Porter said.

“I’m fine,” Brooklyn said.

Porter leered at her over a pair of black-rimmed glasses resting on the tip of his nose. “Suit yourself,” he mumbled, and reached under his beanie to scratch the back of his head.

Brooklyn didn’t bother answering. She inhaled the smell of campfire and Porter’s cologne, memorized the gentle sweep of Gabriel’s fingertip on her foot, and tilted her head back to look at the sky. The stars glowed, shining bright and commanding attention, against a vast and constant black sheet. Night was alive here. More alive than back home. She rolled her lips together. Constellations rested low behind the trees that lined the outskirts of the camp and curved over the peak of a distant mountain.

At least it’s a beautiful cage we’re stuck in, she thought.

The shrill squeal of a whistle cut through the air. Dawson rolled his eyes. Gabriel groaned and stood. Another day gone, another night stuck in a cabin without answers, without her family, barely holding on to the last thread of hope that she might make it back to southern California someday. She followed the others into their dorm, a dusty cabin that reminded her of grade school and pre-teen summers. Three sets of bunks made up their living quarters. To the right through a doorway was an adjoined bathroom with shower stalls and toilets. To the left was a closet filled with boots and coats. Cheap, scratchy sheets and a heavy comforter kept the cold at bay.

Brooklyn watched Dawson move around the familiar space. She listened to Julian’s mattress squeak and Porter unlace his boots. She didn’t want to be used to this—to Camp Eleven and what she’d learned there. To the handsome boys who slept in the same room as her. To Gabriel Serisky, who was dangerous and lovely, and out of reach.

She wanted crashing waves and a too-bright sun. She wanted to be soft again. To be the Brooklyn she was before the outbreak again.

“You all right, Brooklyn?” Porter set his glasses on the nightstand between their bunks.

“Yeah,” she said quickly, and then again, slower, “yeah, I’m fine.”

Brooklyn fell asleep to the sound of the bed above her squeaking under the weight of Gabriel’s hips, and the hum of Julian’s soft snores from across the room.

When she closed her eyes, she hoped for peacefulness. For nothing.

But the same memories came for her. Old memories. Distorted, cruel memories. And they made her afraid.

Purchase

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

Meet the Author

Taylor Brooke (she/they) worked as a special effects makeup artist for many years before she wrote her first book. When she’s not writing, she’s exploring the Pacific Northwest, backpacking, or reading. She is the author of The Camellia Clock Cycle and writes #ownvoices Queer books about love, secrets and magic.

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Guest Review: Angel's Fall by Liv Rider

The angels exiled him and stripped him of his wings. Now they want his help.
The last thing he needs is to fall for one….


Half-angel Dashiell Lam has a lot of reasons to distrust angels after they exiled him four years ago. When angel Cael Moriah comes looking for him, Dashiell’s certain he’s no different—even if Cael’s the most gorgeous angel Dashiell’s ever seen. Dashiell’s instinct is to send him packing, but he can’t deny the effect Cael has on him. Then Cael makes him an offer he can’t refuse: help him, and the angels will restore his wings.

Cael’s done everything the angelic order has ever asked of him, but working with a jaded fallen angel? Not part of the plan. But he has a mission to complete, and Dashiell’s the only one who can help him. It doesn’t matter that Dashiell inspires a very un-angelic desire in him. The last thing he needs is to get involved with someone who thinks angels are the enemy.

Angels aren’t supposed to form attachments—and they definitely aren’t supposed to fall in love. But sometimes even angels can’t resist temptation. Can an angel and fallen half-angel work together to save the world—and each other?

Angel’s Fall is an m/m paranormal angel romance with a HEA and no cliffhangers.


Reviewer: Shee Reader


The story opens up with Dashiell whiling his evening away in a bar, when in walks Cael. The angel is breathtaking and has clearly been sent to get rid of Dashiell once and for all. But that’s not quite true. Gorgeous Cael needs help from the fallen angel. The half-angel might just be able to help Cael save everyone and everything. Despite every sense he possesses telling Dashiell to bolt, an uneasy alliance is formed. Can these two men, one from the dark side, one from the light, work together in a world where not everything is as it seems?

This book is gripping from the outset. It took awhile for us to find out why Dashiell’s wings had been wrenched from his back and him thrown out of heaven, but it is apparent that there are forces of which we know nothing!

Cael’s character took a while to grow on me. He’s obviously pretty, but there has to be more than that! by the end of the tale, he shows Dashiell all he has come to mean to the angel with the size of his sacrifice. It was stunning.

The world building was fascinating, with the other dimension aspect to a world we know already. It was so absorbing, with a wide range of scary and appealing characters helming our heroes save the world, and hopefully find each other.

Recommended!



Release Blitz + Giveaway: The Merchant's Love (Chronicles of Tournai #6) by Antonia Aquilante


Author Antonia Aquilante and IndiGo Marketing celebrate the release of The Merchant's Love (Chronicles of Tournai #6)! Find out the latest paranormal/fantasy romance and enter in the $10 NineStar Press credit giveaway!

Title:  The Merchant's Love
Series: Chronicles of Tournai, Book Six
Author: Antonia Aquilante
Publisher:  NineStar Press
Release Date: June 18, 2018
Heat Level: 3 - Some Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 106100
Genre: Paranormal, Fantasy, fantasy, paranormal, shifters, cats, magic users, demisexual, bisexual, family drama, royalty, friends to lovers, slow burn

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Synopsis

Faelen, cousin to the prince and son of a diplomat, has finally come home to Tournai after years away. The pull to return was almost tangible, and the sense of rightness at being back is absolute. He wants nothing more than to put down roots and build a life among family while pursuing his linguistic studies. Becoming involved in magic meant to protect Tournai isn’t part of his plans…but falling in love is even more unexpected and unfamiliar, but he finds himself doing just that as his friendship with Maxen deepens into something more.

Maxen, second son of a wealthy merchant family, longs to leave Tournai and see everywhere he can. All his life, he’s found places on maps and dreamed, planning out routes to get to them. For now, he’s tied to Tournai’s capital city by family obligations and his position in their shipping business. Someday, though, he’ll be able to travel. His sudden attraction to Faelen shocks him, but their friendship soon becomes a necessary part of his life. Love, however, has no place in his plans, especially not love for a royal cousin with secrets who wants nothing more than to stay in one place.

For Faelen and Maxen to build something real between them, they must resolve their differences, but when magic goes awry and all Faelen’s secrets are revealed, will Maxen remain at his side?

Excerpt

The Merchant’s Love
Antonia Aquilante © 2018
All Rights Reserved

Chapter One
In the last decade since his father was appointed ambassador to the kingdom of Teilo, Faelen had been on the grounds of Tournai’s royal palace three times, if he included today. The relief, happiness, and utter sense of home flooding through him as soon as he stepped off the boat had been shocking in its intensity, but not surprising otherwise. Sometime in the middle of the journey, he’d been hit with the bone-deep certainty that he needed to be back in Tournai. He’d mentioned it to Alexander, who admitted feeling the same—which Faelen was happy to hear from his twin, even if it did make the whole thing stranger.

He tried not to dwell on it, which was made a bit easier because of his discomfort that they were arriving unannounced and uninvited.

Well, not entirely uninvited. Faelen’s cousin Etan was getting married in a couple of weeks, and the entire family had been invited to the wedding, but Faelen couldn’t imagine Philip, the crown prince, and Amory, his husband, expected them to descend on the palace for it. Faelen certainly hadn’t expected them to make the long trip to Tournai, but Mother had other reasons for bringing him, Alexander, and Thibault back home.

He and Alexander would be staying in Jumelle longer than that if they had their way.

They alighted from the hired carriage at the palace, a servant handing Mother down and the rest of them following. If the servant was surprised to see Princess Edine and her three sons (and quite a few trunks), he didn’t show it, even if their arrival would cause a scramble to ready rooms for their party.

Faelen stopped as soon as his feet touched the stones of the courtyard and looked up. The palace towers soared above him, white stone glowing in the afternoon sunlight. Like something out of a tale. He’d always thought so, and no amount of visits could end that fancy.

Alexander leaned into his shoulder, just enough to divert Faelen’s attention. He looked into his twin’s face, nearly identical to his own. Alexander’s eyes were without their usual gleam of mischief. “Come on. No time to daydream.”

“I’m just looking.” Still, he set off walking quickly at Alexander’s side, but not so quickly that they’d catch up to Mother and the others who’d gotten well ahead of them. “I always think I’m exaggerating how beautiful it is in my thoughts, but I’m not.”

“No.” Alexander smiled slightly as he trotted up the stairs to the open doors. “We’ll get to see more of it now. Unless we get shipped off to Grandfather with Thibault.”

Faelen went cold all over. No. He loved Grandfather, but he didn’t want to be stuck so far from Jumelle and the university. He and Alexander had been pursuing their studies at the university in Teilo before Mother insisted they return to Tournai. Thibault would be going to Grandfather to help him with running his modest estate, which would one day be his. Faelen and Alexander had no part in that, and Faelen refused to give up all he’d accomplished so far and all he hoped to because of the move.

Alexander clasped his hand. “Don’t worry. We’ll stay in the city.”

The “somehow” was unspoken. Their parents didn’t keep a house in the city. Before the marriage, Father’s family wouldn’t have been able to afford it. With what Mother brought to it, they could have, but it would’ve been pointless with Father’s diplomatic ambitions. Faelen and Alexander couldn’t afford a house on their own at this point, and Mother had made no mention of providing lodgings in her hasty, yet vehement, instructions that they pack everything. Faelen and Alexander had discussed it in whispers on the boat, wondering whether they could take rooms together in the university quarter. They’d talked before about returning to Tournai on their own, but Mother had surprised them before they’d made any plans.

“Of course, we will,” Faelen responded.

“Faelen, Alexander. Don’t dawdle.” Mother’s voice floated back to them, not loud but still echoing in the enormous entry hall.

Alexander rolled his eyes eloquently, and Faelen forced back a smile and nodded. Nevertheless, they obediently quickened their pace to catch up. Mother sailed through the palace corridors, her heels tapping on the marble floors with authority, as if she wasn’t following behind a servant leading them somewhere.

Which turned out to be a small parlor in the guest wing of the palace. Mother’s lips turned down in a slight frown, but Faelen wasn’t sure what she’d anticipated. No one expected them. It was unrealistic to think rooms would be waiting for them at all times.

“Have the princes been notified of our arrival?” Mother asked the servant.

“Their Highnesses are being notified now, Princess Edine. I’ll bring refreshments for you.” He bowed and left at her dismissal.

“I’ll suppose we’ll have to wait, then. I’d prefer to have been settled in our rooms first, but we’ll have to make do.” Mother seated herself in a velvet-cushioned chair near the fireplace where a small fire crackled. Thibault took a chair near her, but Alexander wandered to the windows. Faelen paused for a moment, indecisive, and then drifted over to where Alexander stood.

The windows looked out over the garden, their position one floor up giving them a decent vantage point. In the falling dusk, lanterns had been lit along the paths closer to the palace, and Faelen caught sight of a couple strolling along one of them, the men holding hands and seemingly in no hurry. He squinted, trying to see who they were in the shadows, but the door opened before he could.

He turned to find not a maid with the expected refreshments but Philip and Amory. Philip was Faelen’s cousin—his father had been Mother’s oldest brother—and he’d come to the throne only about five years ago after the sudden, untimely death of his parents. Faelen and his family had returned to Tournai for the funerals and the coronation, the first time he’d been back since they’d left for Teilo when he was all of ten years old. They returned again when Philip shocked everyone by marrying Amory, a man and a commoner. Faelen liked what little he’d found out of Amory then, and Amory had certainly won over Tournai in the meantime. Faelen was hoping to get to know him better—and Philip too, as the last he’d spent time with Philip he’d been a child and Philip just into his teenage years. He looked forward to meeting their son, Julien, as well.

Philip had the look of Tournai’s royal family—something Faelen and Alexander strayed from slightly—with his dark hair and classically handsome features. He carried himself as the ruler he was, and his hazel eyes were sharp as they took in the room. Amory was a match for him in looks with his dark eyes and shining auburn curls. He seemed to have grown into his role, carrying himself with more confidence than Faelen remembered at their wedding.

“Aunt Edine,” Philip said as he came into the room, and they all bowed or curtsied. “And Thibault, Alexander, and Faelen. What a surprise. We didn’t expect you.”

Mother didn’t move to embrace Philip. She wasn’t the type for demonstrations of affection, especially to the crown prince, even if he was her nephew. “We left Teilo quite suddenly. A boat was about to depart that would get us here in time for Etan’s wedding.”

“Etan will be happy you’re all able to attend.” Philip didn’t mention that no one had dreamed they would. “And, of course, Amory and I would be delighted if you would stay here at the palace while you remain in Jumelle.”

“Thank you, Philip. We’d be honored to accept your hospitality.” She left it unsaid that she’d certainly anticipated the invitation. Faelen doubted there had been a thought otherwise in her mind.

Purchase

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


Meet the Author

Antonia Aquilante has been making up stories for as long as she can remember, and at the age of twelve, decided she would be a writer when she grew up. After many years and a few career detours, she has returned to that original plan. Her stories have changed over the years, but one thing has remained consistent—they all end in happily ever after.

She has a fondness for travel (and a long list of places she wants to visit and revisit), taking photos, family history, fabulous shoes, baking treats (which she shares with friends and family), and of course, reading. She usually has at least two books started at once and never goes anywhere without her Kindle. Though she is a convert to e-books, she still loves paper books the best, and there are a couple thousand of them residing in her home with her.

Born and raised in New Jersey, Antonia is living there again after years in Washington, DC and North Carolina for school and work. She enjoys being back in the Garden State but admits to being tempted every so often to run away from home and live in Italy.

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Release Blitz: Rainbow Place (Rainbow Place #1) by Jay Northcote

Jay Northcote and Signal Boost Promotions celebrate the release of Rainbow Place (Rainbow Place #1)! Check out today's blitz!




Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Length: 54,000 words approx.

Cover Design: Garrett Leigh @ Black Jazz Design

Blurb

Can Jason find the courage he needs to be the man Seb deserves?


When Seb Radcliffe relocates to a seaside town in Cornwall, he feels like a fish out of water. He misses queer spaces and the sense of community he enjoyed when he was living in the city, and decides to open an LGBT-friendly cafe–bar.


Jason Dunn is the builder Seb hires to help renovate the rundown space where the cafe will be housed. Jason is also gay, but unlike Seb, he’s deep in the closet. He’s never had a relationship with another man—only allowing himself the occasional hook up with guys who are prepared to be discreet.


The attraction between the two men is instant and impossible to ignore. But while Seb is out and proud, Jason is terrified of being exposed. With the grand opening of Rainbow Place approaching, tension is growing among some locals who object to Seb’s plans. When things escalate, Jason is forced to choose whether to hide in the shadows and let Seb down, or to openly support the man he’s fallen so hard for.


Although this book is part of a series, it has a satisfying happy ending and can be read as a standalone.




Author Bio


Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England. He comes from a family of writers, but always used to believe that the gene for fiction writing had passed him by. He spent years only ever writing emails, articles, or website content.


One day, Jay decided to try and write a short story—just to see if he could—and found it rather addictive. He hasn’t stopped writing since.


Jay writes contemporary romance about men who fall in love with other men. He has five books published by Dreamspinner Press, and also self-publishes under the imprint Jaybird Press. Many of his books are now available as audiobooks.


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Release Blitz + Giveaway: The Recruit by Addison Albright


Vampire novella, The Recruit is out from JMS Books! Celebrate with author Addison Albright and IndiGo Marketing! Learn more today and enter in the eBook back list giveaway!

Title:  The Recruit
Author: Addison Albright
Publisher: JMS Books, LLC
Release Date: June 16, 2018
Heat Level: 2 - Fade to Black Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: Novella / 69 pages in PDF / 22,181 words
Genre: Romance, Paranormal, Vampires, HEA, Gay, Bisexual, Contemporary, Bargain, Hope, Blood Mates

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Synopsis

Albert Manlii has walked this earth for more than two thousand years, but survival on his own was never easy. Now he leads a faction of highly organized vampires who carefully guard the secret of their existence. Unlike the old days, potential recruits are carefully selected and presented with an offer.

Phillip Brewer has weeks to live—if he lets his disease run its course. He doesn’t want to die, but given a choice, will his desire to live outweigh his concerns about the vampires’ ethics?

When the new recruit’s missteps are cause for concern, can Albert control the fallout, or will Phillip’s life once again be torn apart?

Excerpt

The man moved to the bench and raised a brow in a welcoming fashion, silently inviting Phillip to join him. Phillip shrugged. He’d planned to sit here anyway, so why not have a conversation with a pleasant man while he did it?

“My name’s Albert.” He held out a hand, and Phillip shook it. The hand felt cooler than Phillip expected for someone walking on a warm day, but not exceptionally so. Perhaps he had a fever himself, and that made the man’s hand seem cooler than normal.

“Phillip.” He didn’t elaborate. There wasn’t anything he could think of to add. Small talk eluded him.

“I’m pleased to meet you, Phillip.” Albert paused, as if gathering his thoughts.

“Likewise.” Phillip kept his reply simple. Oddly enough, something about the gravity of Albert’s demeanor gave him the impression the man had directed him to the bench with a purpose in mind that had nothing to do with idle chit-chat, so he might as well let the man control the conversation. Albert didn’t give off a crazed serial-killer vibe, not that it would matter at this point as long as whatever he chose to do didn’t add pain to Phillip’s death. Not likely he’d try anything like that in broad daylight with people around, anyway.

Albert looked directly into his eyes with a steady gaze. “Phillip, I want to show you something, and I ask that you keep an open mind and hear me out before reacting.”

Phillip sat back. He hadn’t developed any expectations for this conversation, but if he had, this direction wasn’t anything he would have considered.

“I think we can help each other,” Albert continued.

“I’m dying,” Phillip said. He would have thought his appearance made that apparent, but perhaps not. “Whatever you have in mind, I’m sorry, but I won’t be able to make a deal with you.”

“Please, hear me out.” Albert held out an arm. “This seems like an unusual request, I know, but I’d like you to examine my arm. Go ahead and touch it. I want you to assure yourself that it is, indeed, my real arm and not any kind of advanced prosthetic or makeup designed to create a special effect.”

Phillips eyes widened. “Unusual request” was putting it lightly. But what the hell, he might as well add an interesting interlude to his final hours—or minutes, if this man turned out to be a homicidal maniac.

He put both hands on the well-shaped forearm. He felt for a pulse at the wrist and found one. The hairs appeared natural and moved appropriately as Phillip ran his hand across them. Veins were visible where expected. Phillip manipulated the man’s fingers and wrist. The bones on the back of Albert’s hand, and tendons at the inside of his wrist, moved correctly, becoming more or less prominent when the hand flexed. Then he lightly pinched Albert’s skin in various places. It felt perfectly normal, although still slightly cooler than usual.

When Phillip withdrew his hands, Albert lowered his arm. “Are you satisfied that this is indeed my natural arm?”

“Yes.” Phillip eyed him warily.

“Remember, keep an open mind and maintain your composure. Give me the opportunity to explain what you’re about to see.”

Weirder and weirder. Phillip narrowed his eyes but remained curiously drawn to hearing this man out. “All right.”

Albert took a quick glance around, and Phillip followed his gaze. The people he’d noticed earlier were still in sight, but nobody new had appeared.

Phillip held his breath when a small razor blade appeared in Albert’s other hand. Albert slowly drew the blade across the arm Phillip had just examined, cutting deeply enough for the tissue to separate. There was no way it was a fake blade merely drawing atop his skin. He was cutting deeply, but the blood that appeared was black, not red, and the gash closed up within seconds as the razor dragged up the length of that forearm.

“What the hell.” Phillip gasped and fought to keep his respiration steady as he turned to stare at Albert’s face. He’d been so riveted by what was happening to the man’s arm, he’d neglected to check his expression. Had that hurt? Albert’s face was tight, so maybe, although his mask of calm quickly returned.

“Do you trust your own eyes?” Albert asked. The razor disappeared into a pocket, replaced by a cloth handkerchief, which he used to wipe the remaining dark fluid—blood?—from his arm.

“I’ll admit I’m drugged up, but nothing that would explain that.” He’d pointedly requested medication that would not cause him to hallucinate or overly diminish his ability to reason. There was no point dragging out his life if he couldn’t consciously enjoy it.

He’d seen plenty of street magic in his day. Sleight of hand, etcetera, but this transcended all of that. There was simply no logical explanation for what he’d just seen.

“You accept what you just witnessed at face value?”

Phillip pursed his lips a moment before replying. “Okay. Yes. Obviously, there’s something superhuman about you.” Or he wasn’t human at all. An alien maybe?

“That’s one way to put it,” Albert said. “I was once fully human, but now…no, not quite human anymore.”

Phillip sat still as he digested that comment. Albert had “once” been human. He’d also approached Phillip—seemingly sought him out—and he’d said, “I think we can help each other.” Was there more than one logical deduction to make here?

“Please.” Phillip swallowed as a shiver of hope drifted over his skin. “I need you to spell out what you meant—earlier. Before your demonstration.”

Albert smiled. It was the smile of a man who sensed he had his fish on the hook. “About helping each other?”

Phillip nodded.

“You don’t need to die yet. I’ve been walking this earth for more than two thousand years.” Albert spoke calmly as Phillip froze in place, clenching his hands at his belly.

Two thousand years? And he wanted to make a deal with Phillip?

Did Phillip want to? What was in it for him? Everlasting life, apparently. But would it be an existence he wanted? “Who are you? You’re immortal. But how?”

“Immortal in the sense that I, and others like me, won’t appear to become older beyond our age at the time of transition. Nor will we die of natural causes. We can be killed, though. You’ve witnessed my self-healing abilities, but anything that would instantly kill a human will kill me…us, too.”

“So, if I agreed, this cancer would disappear just like that?” Phillip snapped his fingers.

“Like all of our ‘supernatural’ capabilities, self-healing improves over time. As a new convert, you won’t immediately feel better. It’ll take about a day for you to feel one hundred percent.”

That was hardly a deterrent, but Albert was obviously holding back. What facilitated this “transition”? “You still haven’t answered the question. Who are your people?”

Albert hesitated for a moment before replying. “The word you’re searching for is ‘vampire.’”

Phillip burst out laughing. He didn’t know what the hell he’d been thinking Albert’s answer would be, but the existence of some kind of magical immortality potion was difficult enough to believe without throwing in something that absurd.

Albert’s revelation probably should have made Phillip run in the opposite direction—if he’d believed it, or made him angry—because really, what kind of person fucked with a dying man like that? But at least his final hours were diverting. “You had me going there for a while.”

Tilting his head to the side, Albert raised a single eyebrow as he continued to gaze at Phillip. “Not the usual reaction. Intriguing, though. You don’t believe me, do you?”

“Please,” Phillip scoffed and gestured toward the bright sun overhead.

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Meet the Author

 
Addison Albright is a writer living in the middle of the USA. Her stories are gay romance in contemporary, fantasy, and paranormal genres. She generally adds a subtle touch of humor, a smidgen of drama/angst, and a healthy dose of slice-of-life to her stories. Her education includes a BS in Education with a major in mathematics and a minor in chemistry. Addison loves spending time with her family, reading, popcorn, boating, french fries, “open window weather,” cats, math, and anything chocolate. She loves to read pretty much anything and everything, anytime and anywhere.

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