Blog Tour: Kel's Keeper by K.C. Wells

Welcome author K.C. Wells & Vibrant Promotions who are here today promoting Kel's Keeper. Find out more about this Daddy/boy contemporary romance & read an excerpt too!

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Kel's Keeper
KC Wells
M/M Romance, Daddy/boy, Age gap
Release Date: 09.01.19
Kel's Keeper Cover
Cover by Meredith Russell
Photographer by Ben Fink
Models: Adam Keith and Joe Ryan

When Kel Taylor’s life changes irrevocably, he finds himself alone in the world. He might have rebelled a little against his parents, but that didn’t mean he was ready to lose them. Unable to cope with his grief and feelings of guilt, he turns to booze, but before he hits rock bottom, someone dives into the murky waters to save him.
Luc Bryant watched Kel grow from the little kid whose football broke a pane in his greenhouse, into the sexy young man who sent heat racing through him. That was when Luc stopped watching and distanced himself, because he didn’t want to be that kind of a man. And that’s how things continued, until he saw to what depths the boy had sunk. Luc will be damned if he’ll let Kel kill himself. What Kel needs is a friend, and Luc’s shoulders are plenty big enough to bear his burdens.

Kel doesn’t need a friend. He needs a pair of strong arms to hold him, a broad chest to curl up against, someone to listen to him, someone who cares for him… and a whole lot more.
What he needs is a Daddy.
He just doesn’t know it yet.

A stand-alone book that contains an age gap relationship between a sexy daddy and a virgin.

Amazon US

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Kel's Keeper Teaser Rule 10Kel's Keeper Teaser Rule 9Kel's Keeper Teaser Rule 8promo post #3

The time for worrying about Kel had long past. Luc had to do something.

After the funeral, he’d kept his promise and checked in on the boy regularly, and at first it had looked like Kel was coming through this. At least, Luc assumed he was. He didn’t get to see Kel all that much, but their brief conversations over the property boundary were proof that Kel was alive and well, if looking a little thin.

Then the conversations dwindled, as did the phone calls. Kel politely refused Luc’s invitations to eat with him. He refused Luc’s offers of assistance. And lately there had been far too many occasions when Kel didn’t answer his phone. No reply to texts. When Luc had ventured across to knock at the door, there had been no answer. Of course, he could have been out, but somehow Luc doubted that. When April gave way to May, Luc’s disquiet increased.

There were signs of life at the house next door, however. Walmart trucks came and went, and more than once, Luc dashed out to catch Kel before he closed the front door, but he was never fast enough.

Almost as though the boy was avoiding him, which if it were true, would be extremely ironic.

The day arrived when Luc wasn’t content to sit back anymore and wait for something to happen. It was time for the last resort—and that meant Christine’s spare key, the one he’d never gotten around to giving back to Kel. Thank God.

Luc grabbed it from the hook in the kitchen where he kept his keys, and went out of the house. Kel’s car was in the driveway, and judging by the state of the ground beneath it, Kel hadn’t moved it for a while. That only added to Luc’s sense of foreboding.

He went around to the front door, not bothering to ring the bell. After weeks of his knocks going unanswered, there seemed little point. Luc inserted the key into the lock, praying there wasn’t a chain attached on the other side. Thankfully, the door opened, and Luc stepped quietly into the silent interior. He peered into the sitting room, then the dining room, but there was no sign of Kel. When he entered the kitchen, the sight was enough to stop him in his tracks.

Dishes were piled high on every countertop. The dishwasher door was open, and Luc peeked inside. It was full of dirty dishes. The sink was full too, and the trash looked like it hadn’t been taken out for weeks.

Luc noted the pizza boxes and take-out cartons. At least he’s eating something. It was only when he took a closer look at one corner of the kitchen that the full extent of the situation hit him.

Bottles. Lots and lots of empty bottles. And most of it was the hard stuff, Luc was dismayed to see. There were empty cans and bottles of hard cider, and bottles of wine too. It appeared as if Kel had drunk his way through the contents of a bar.

Dear God, what state is he in, if he’s drunk all that?

Luc checked the rest of the first floor, but there was still no sign. He paused at the foot of the stairs, his nostrils flaring. The smell of stale alcohol was very noticeable. Luc mounted the stairs, his heart pounding. This is not good. This is way worse than I thought. Already he was kicking himself for not charging in sooner.

When he reached the door to Kel’s room, Luc paused, steeling himself for whatever lay beyond it, and praying fervently that the boy hadn’t choked to death on his own vomit. He pushed open the door and heaved an internal sigh of relief at the sight that awaited him.

Kel was in his bed, only the top of his head visible above the comforter, but he was clearly breathing. The room was in semidarkness, and the reek of alcohol was at its strongest, accompanied by the smell of stale sweat. Luc crossed the floor, put his hand to the lump beneath the covers, and gave Kel a light shake.


Luc gave him a stronger shake, and Kel’s groggy voice shattered the quiet. “Wha?”

“Kel,” Luc said urgently. “It’s Luc.”

“Go ’way.”

Like Luc was going to do that. “No, I’m not going anywhere. Remember?” He slowly drew back the comforter, only to have Kel seize it from him and pull it back over himself. Half-closed brown eyes regarded him with incredulity.

“How’d you get in here?”

“I have a key. You mom gave it to me. Remember, she asked me to check on the house?”

Kel propped himself up on his elbows, and the comforter slid lower, revealing…

Well, I certainly didn’t expect that.

Kel had a tattoo, a pattern of black swirls and spikes that covered his right shoulder, his pec and came halfway down his upper arm. There was also a lot more body hair than Luc had been prepared for. Before Luc could utter another word, Kel set his jaw. “I want it back, then I want you to leave.”

Luc slowly shook his head. “No. You need help.”

Kel’s eyes blazed, and he sat bolt upright. “You. Need. To. Go. Now.”

“And let you keep doing this to yourself? Kel, you’re better than this.”

Kel’s jaw dropped, then he snapped it shut. “You need to go,” he repeated through gritted teeth. “I don’t want you seeing me like this. I’m a pathetic excuse for a human being. Help me? You couldn’t help me. I’m a hopeless case. I’m worse than useless.”

Luc’s stomach turned over. What the fuck had happened? “I have no idea where all this is coming from,” he said, doing his best to keep his voice even. “I know you, Kel. You’re nothing like the person you just described.”

Kel stared up at him, a dazed look in his eyes, his mouth open. “Know me? You don’t know me! Even my parents didn’t know me!” His chest rose and fell rapidly, his breathing harsh and staccato. “If they did, they’d have shunned me for the abomination that I am.”

Abomination? “Kel, I—”

I was not a good son!” Kel yelled, the cords of his neck standing out. “And if they’d seen into my heart, they’d have been horrified. I went against their teachings.” He brought his left hand down hard on his right pec, wincing. “This. This would have given them so much pain, and I still had it done, knowing that.” His eyes glistened. “And there was worse than this. So many things I wanted to tell them, but I couldn’t, because they’d have been so damned disappointed in me. And now it’s too late. They’re never going to know what I’m really like. And I can’t bear that.” Tears spilled over his cheeks, his shoulders shook, and he sobbed.

Luc knew what he was seeing. In an instant, he sat on the bed, drew back the comforter, and pulled Kel into his lap, his arms around him. It was no surprise when the boy threw his arms around Luc’s neck and buried his face in Luc’s chest, his knees up to his chest, harsh sobs racking his body. “It’s okay,” Luc whispered. “Let it out. It’s all right to let it out, Kel.” Hot tears soaked into his shirt.

“I… can’t… stop… it from… hurting…” Kel choked out between sobs.

“It’s supposed to hurt.” Luc held onto him, one arm around his back, the other around his legs, cradling him, aware of the tremors that jolted through Kel’s frame. “This is grief. You’ve held on to your emotions so tightly, but now you have to let go.”

Kel’s sobs increased in volume and frequency, and Luc remained silent, gently rocking him in his arms, a weeping young man dressed only in his briefs, curled up against Luc’s chest and clinging to him. Luc’s arms were full to capacity: Kel might have been shorter than him, but he’d obviously been working out at some point. Little by little the tears subsided, and Kel’s breathing became less erratic. Luc brought his rocking to a halt, his nose buried in Kel’s hair. Finally, Kel moved gingerly, as though embarrassed by his position.

Luc let go, and Kel sat on the bed beside him. He sniffed, then wiped a hand across his eyes. “I’m sorry.”

“You have nothing to apologize for. If you knew how long I’ve been waiting for you to show some emotion over their deaths….” Luc stroked Kel’s hair. “It’s perfectly normal. And nothing to be embarrassed about. Although….” Luc wrinkled his nose.

Kel swallowed. “I guess I smell a bit ripe, huh?”

“Just a little,” Luc lied. “Nothing a good shower wouldn’t put right. If you think you can stay upright for that long. You might be a little shaky on your legs.” He stood, and held out a hand to Kel, who took it and pulled himself to his feet. Luc watched him anxiously. “Well?”

Kel expelled a long shuddering breath. “I can manage a shower.”

Luc nodded in approval. “And while you’re doing that, I’ll go downstairs and make you something to eat.” He cocked his head to one side. “That’s assuming there’s food in your kitchen. Edible food.”

Kel bit his lip. “Yeah, about that…”

Luc rolled his eyes. “Get washed. I’ll go to my place and raid the refrigerator. Take as long as you like.”

For the first time since Luc had entered his room, there was a flash of the old Kel. “Is that Luc-speak for ‘you stink’?”

Luc laughed. “Shower, dirty boy. Then I’ll feed you. And then… we can talk.” He felt a good deal lighter. That had been a cathartic moment, and while Kel still had a way to go, the outlook was hopeful.

What puzzled him were a couple of things Kel had said. At this point Luc wasn’t sure if he was going to leave them for now, or bring them out into the open. Because sooner or later, they had to talk about them.

KC Wells Logo
K.C. Wells started writing in 2012, although the idea of writing a novel had been in her head since she was a child. But after reading that first gay romance in 2009, she was hooked.

She now writes full time, and the line of men in her head, clamouring to tell their story, is getting longer and longer. If the frequent visits by plot bunnies are anything to go by, that’s not about to change anytime soon.
If you want to follow her exploits, you can sign up for her monthly newsletter:
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Release Blitz + Giveaway: Fated Hearts (Shadow Bound #1) by Garrett Leigh

Join author Garrett Leigh & Signal Boost Promotions in celebrating the release of Fated Hearts (Shadow Bound #1)! Find out more about this paranormal romance & enter in the giveaway to win a backlist ebook from the author!

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal Link - Exclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow with Kindle Unlimited.

Length: 60,000 words approx.

Cover Design: Black Jazz Design


"He's not a wolf."

Devastated by the death of his best friend, Zio is a soldier with one thing on his mind: revenge. Consumed by a conflict that's raged as long as he's been alive, he's had little time or inclination to learn the legends of the shifter world he was raised in. And he certainly doesn't have time to deal with a shifter of a different kind, even if it's for the good of the war effort. For the good of his pack. The fact that he's already crossed paths with the new face in his unit is almost irrelevant.


Do no harm. Give life not death: it's the oath Devan was reborn to live by, so when he's sent abroad to embed with a wolf pack as their resident healer, he doesn't hesitate. In the supernatural world, some bonds are instant--soldiers become brothers, pack become family. But others run deeper and before long, Devan's at the mercy of instincts he can't control. Zio's inner wolf is desperate to be with Devan, while Devan struggles to keep the pack safe. But as the war escalates, and new love is tainted by anguish and pain, the battles within might prove the toughest of them all.

"I won't let him die."

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

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

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

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




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Audiobook Review: Dirty Mind by Roe Horvat

Alexander Popescu is a university lecturer in a quiet German town. He's a respectable man in his thirties who stays fit, has a decent career, and travels alone - his only vice is an occasional greasy meal. And beer. And violent computer games. Nobody has to know about the other Alex - the acclaimed porn writer. His ingenious erotic fantasies earn him good money and keep his capricious mind harmlessly entertained.

When his young friend and protégé Christian transfers to Freiburg for medical school, Alex is overjoyed...and terrified that Christian will find out about Alex's indecent alter ego. The time they spend together, as lovely as it is, could overturn Alex's carefully balanced life. Suddenly, the writing is not good enough, his hair seems to be thinning, his careful hookups leave him unfulfilled, and his dreams are haunted by the innocent young man he's vowed to protect.

However, Christian is not a boy anymore. He's a grown man of 21, clever, and deadly attractive. And he's hiding some secrets of his own.

Listening Length: 5 hours and 10 minutes
Narrator: Vance Bastian

I’ve almost read every single Horvat book out there, and I’ve yet to be disappointed.

This story is a bit more light hearted, featuring Alex - professor and incognito porn writer - who while on vacation befriends a young lad named Christian, 12 years his junior and way out of his league. What ensues after that fateful night is a unique friendship carefully cultivated through correspondence over the next few years, and when Christian moves to where Alex lives to go to medical school, it sorta kinda definitely throws Alex a lot off kilter.

What ensues is a push pull as Alex struggles with his attraction to the vibrant Christian, trying to maintain boundaries but failing miserably at staunching his growing feelings. Being what Alex perceives as way too old (as well as keeping his erotic alter ego a secret) are just flimsy excuses for Alex to deny himself a chance at happiness. Luckily, Christian knows what he wants and takes the necessary steps needed to get Alex’s head out of his own ass.

Narrated by Vance Bastian, I felt that he was perfectly serviceable and I’m positive that many have and would enjoy his performance. For me though, my perceived expectations as to how I wanted these characters to sound like just did not fully mesh with Bastian’s interpretation and performance.

Regardless, this features a great slow burn, as friends become lovers and accept the age gap that isn’t and shouldn’t be a factor in their relationship (as well as that dirty little secret). Full of great UST and sexy, never shirking on the feels - that’s what I love about Horvat and this author thankfully, has yet to miss the mark!

A copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Blog Tour + Giveaway: Love You So Sweetly (Love You So #4) by Tara Lain

Welcome author Tara Lain to the blog as she visits on the Love You So Sweetly (Love You So #4) blog tour! The author not only shares some background on the latest in the popular series, she also hosts a giveaway for a $10 Amazon gift card!

Take it away, Tara!

Big City, Small Town, and Sweet Tea

I’m so excited to be here to introduce you to my new book, LOVE YOU SO SWEETLY. This book, of course, involves my favorite trope, opposites attract, but it also turns on another fun theme -- big city/small town. This theme gave me a chance to revisit my roots in the southeast.

Back in Love You So Madly (book 2 in this series but they all honestly stand alone), I briefly introduced a character named Remy Merced. He’s the youngest son of a very wealthy woman who owns one of America’s biggest retail chains. We meet him in that book as the guy who is responsible for diversifying his family company into technology, and we know that, unlike the rest of the family that hails from Arkansas, Remy was pretty much raised in Orange County, California.
We don’t see much of Remy in Love You So Madly, but his mom does make one tantalizing comment about him being the one person in the family most likely to be gay. That was too much of an invitation to pass up. I had to give Remy his own book. So after totally leaving the Merced family in book 3, Love You So Special, I came back in book 4 to let Remy come out of his closet.

I figured a guy who was raised to SoCal and involved with technology might have grown pretty far away from his Arkansas roots, so I couldn’t resist making his love interest a sweet, slightly nerdy, small-town Arkansas boy who’s much the opposite of everything that Remy thinks he values. Harper’s brilliant in business and he’s left his life in Arkansas because of a hurt inflicted by the town he was so devoted to. Still, they can’t take the small town out of the boy, and Harper’s life sucks Remy in.

It was great fun spending time in my familiar surroundings of upscale Orange County and then driving across the country to my imaginary rural Arkansas town. I hope you’ll check out LOVE YOU SO SWEETLY to discover how these guys resolve their romance that is long-distance in more ways than miles.

Book Blurb:

The youngest son of one of America’s richest families, Remy Merced is so busy trying to save his family company from collapse, he’s never taken time to figure out if he’s gay, much less if he’s happy. Then his meddling mama hires him an assistant who’s everything Remy thinks he doesn’t want. Cute Harper Treadwell, from rural Arkansas, is a brilliant business prodigy… and openly gay. His wit and charm could confirm Remy’s suspicions about his own sexuality almost instantly—if they weren’t both already partnered.

When Remy’s girlfriend and Harper’s boyfriend get a little too friendly, Remy finds that the path to happiness requires a long drive in an old Prius, a growing appreciation for small towns, and a whole lot of sweet tea. But before they can forge a future—they have to let go of the past.

Intro Line: Reading his future in a glass of sweet tea.

Book Links:
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Excerpt LOVE YOU SO SWEETLY -- Dasher

But he and Felicity hadn’t had sex in weeks. Shouldn’t he have a set of horns that would put Dasher, Dancer, and Prancer to shame? Hell, he was in his twenties. Even if he was sleepwalking, shouldn’t he be ready to stick his cock in anything female that passed within five feet of him? Wasn’t that the way most guys felt? Shit, these questions haunted the back of his brain all the time while the front worried about the business. And it wasn’t like he didn’t know why it worried him.

He sipped coffee and glanced at John Jack, who was smiling at his wife with open lust. It’d be nice to have somebody he trusted to tell him straight if he was undersexed or asexual, or…. He sighed softly. But he and John Jack didn’t have that kind of relationship. John Jack was seven years older and was more a product of Arkansas than California. He put a lot of store in “being a man,” and Remy was scared of what John Jack would say if Remy tried to get personal. Remy worked all the time, so everyone he knew was associated with the company, and since Remy was the boss, who the hell was he going to tell his troubles to?

His mama’s voice came from the direction of the kitchen, telling Nigel she’d like some more ice cream.
Felicity turned to Remy and leaned in. “I’m going to make my excuses. I’m too tired.” She put a hand on his arm. “Sorry, dear.” She kissed his cheek, rose, said a fast goodbye to Trudy and John Jack, and was gone before Mama even made it into the room.

Remy had a pretty good idea he shouldn’t be smiling.

Series Information

Link above image to Amazon:

Book 1:

Dreamspinner Press:

Book 2:

Book Links:
Dreamspinner Press:

Book 3:

Book Links:
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Author’s Bio:

Tara Lain believes in happy ever afters – and magic. Same thing. In fact, she says, she doesn’t believe, she knows. Tara shares this passion in her best-selling stories that star her unique, charismatic heroes — the beautiful boys of romance — and adventurous heroines. Quarterbacks and cops, werewolves and witches, blue collar or billionaires, Tara’s characters, readers say, love deeply, resolve seemingly insurmountable differences, and ultimately live their lives authentically. After many years living in southern California, Tara, her soulmate honey and her soulmate dog decided they wanted less cars and more trees, prompting a move to Ashland, Oregon where Tara’s creating new stories and loving living in a small town with big culture. Likely a Gryffindor but possessed of Parseltongue, Tara loves animals of all kinds, diversity, open minds, coconut crunch ice cream from Zoeys, and her readers. She also loves to hear from you.

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Blog Tour + Giveaway: A Crown of Iron & Silver (Soulbound #3) by Hailey Turner

Join author Hailey Turner & A Novel Take PR in celebrating the release of the third Soulbound book, A Crown of Iron & Silver! Find out more about this urban fantasy, read an exclusive excerpt & enter in the giveaway to win a backlist ebook. Good luck!

The world building in this book is astounding, and I’m so in love with Patrick and Jono. Each time I think Hailey can’t get any better and then she does!
--Lily Morton, author of the Mixed Messages series

No one combines world building and page-turning action like Hailey Turner, but somehow A Crown of Iron and Silver still managed to exceed my every expectation! The machinations of gods, conniving fae, and corrupt shifters kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time, and the development of Jono and Patrick’s relationship - loyalty, caring, and passion that sears the page - cemented this as one of my favorite reads of 2019. This series gets better with every book, and I can not recommend it highly enough! 
--May Archer, author of The Way Home and Love in O’Leary series

Series (name + # in series):  Soulbound III

Publisher:  Self-Published

Release Date (Print & Ebook):  September 10, 2019

Length (Print & Ebook): 107,043

Subgenre:  LGBTQ Urban Fantasy

Warnings:  None

Book synopsis:
Never promise a life that isn’t yours to give.

New York City is decked out for the holidays, and Special Agent Patrick Collins is looking forward to a reunion with his old team when he gets assigned a new case. A human child is missing, and the changeling left in her place causes a prominent witch family to demand justice from the fae.

Meanwhile, continued harassment from the New York City god pack forces Jonothon de Vere to formally establish his own with Patrick. Doing so will mean a civil war within the werecreature community—a war they risk losing from the start without alliances. Making bargains with the fae is never wise, but Patrick and Jono have nothing to lose when a fae lord comes asking for their help.

The Summer Lady has been kidnapped from the Seelie Court, and if they can find her, Patrick and Jono will cement an alliance with the fae. But the clues to her disappearance are found in Tír na nÓg, and the Otherworld has never been kind to mortals.

Venturing past the veil, Patrick and Jono risk losing territory, time, and their very lives while searching for answers. Because the Queen of Air and Darkness knows they are coming—and the ruler of the Unseelie Court has an offer for them they can’t possibly refuse.

A Crown of Iron & Silver is a 107k word m/m urban fantasy with a gay romantic subplot and a HFN ending. It is a direct sequel to All Souls Near & Nigh. Reading the prior books in the series would be helpful in enjoying this one.

Exclusive Excerpt for Boy Meets Boy

“I still think I should call my office,” Sage said as she dumped her long umbrella in the bin on the landing outside their door once they made it up the stairs.
“I don’t know what fae Court your bosses work for,” Patrick retorted, keeping his voice low.
“Not the one that calls down the Sluagh.”
“That’s not saying much. Both Courts have their own kind of Wild Hunt.”
“Which my bosses wouldn’t let loose on New York City without a damn good reason, and the one riding the storm last night wasn’t theirs.”
“You sure about that? That storm could’ve hidden anything in the clouds. It hid the Sluagh, remember?”
Jono closed the door behind them, the flat a bit cooler now with some of the heat let out. “Wild Hunt?”
“Have you seen the morning news?” Sage asked. She dropped her Birkin bag on the dining room table before divesting herself of the ankle-length winter wool coat she wore.
“Just woke up.” Jono watched as Patrick carefully laid a sleeping baby not even a year old on the sofa. “I thought you said the case was about a missing child? Did you find the sprog and steal it?”
“Someone was stolen, but not her.” Patrick straightened up and turned to face them. He looked tired, green eyes red-rimmed from lack of sleep. “Tell me there’s coffee.”
“I made tea.”
“Ugh. This is America. We threw your tea in the Boston Harbor for a reason.”

About Hailey Turner:

Hailey Turner is big city girl who spoils her cats rotten and has a demanding day job that she loves, but not as much as she loves writing. She’s been writing since she was a young child and enjoys reading almost as much as creating a new story. Hailey loves stories with lots of action, gritty relationships, and an eventual HEA that satisfies the heart.

Connect with Hailey Turner:

Newsletter:  You can keep up with Hailey's future projects by joining her newsletter, where you can instantly download several free short stories:

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Blog Tour: The Priest (Chronicles of the Riftlands #2) by Rowan McAllister

Welcome author Rowan McAllister to the blog as they visit on The Priest (Chronicles of the Riftlands #2) blog tour! Learn more about the latest in the Dreamspinner Press fantasy series and learn more about the book through the author's visit and their love for the fantasy genre today!

Title: The Priest
Series: Chronicles of the Riftlands, Book Two
Author: Rowan McAllister
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: September 10,2019

Blurb: Brother Tasnerek, one of the infamous Thirty-Six stone bearers, is facing a dangerous crisis of faith after uncovering a secret that could shake the foundations of the Brotherhood of Harot. When Tas is sent to protect a tiny village on the edge of Rassa’s borders from Riftspawn, he struggles to resume his duties, risking his life and the lives of those around him.

Girik has always been an outsider, but to help his sick mother, he agrees to be the village’s offering in a painful ritual deemed necessary by the Brotherhood. But when the priest has a crisis of conscience, Girik offers his help to untangle a web of lies—even if it means getting closer than he ever imagined and committing sacrilege in the process.
With a monster lurking in the forest, a wandering mage mysteriously appearing, and more secrets awakening to unravel the truths of their world, Tas and Girik must make grave decisions. A life without danger seems a far-off hope, but love just might be theirs… if they survive.

Thanks to everyone for joining me on stop number two of my blog tour for the second book in my love letter to fantasy: The Priest!

As I may have mentioned when book one came out, fantasy novels were my first love. My mother read them every night, so I didn’t even have to go out and buy my own as a young tween/teenager. The house was full of them! And even though I may have strayed with romance from my early twenties on, like all first loves, I’ve never forgotten them.

Good news is, I can get both in one now, and I can write both in one too!

One of the things I like best about romance is that the readers aren’t ashamed of the tropes they love. Too often in fantasy circles, I see people talking down about the use of tropes in stories and sneering at them as if they weren’t the very thing that gives definition to the genre. But here in romance-land we celebrate our tropes, we love them for the comfy little slippers, dozen roses, or box of chocolates they are. When we find something we like, we want more and more and more of it, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. Tropes are the framework we hang the details of a truly interesting story on and romance is all in the details.

This series is a nod and a thank you to all the things I love about both romance and fantasy rolled together, so I thought I’d share a few of the tropes/pop-culture and fantasy inspirations for book 2, The Priest.

In creating Kita, the world in which the series takes place, Rassa was the first of the three kingdoms that sprang to life in my imagination because it was inspired by one of my favorite series from my teens; The Valdemar books by Mercedes Lackey. Her country of Karse, with its heavy religious influence and its demon monsters in the dark, still strikes a chord with me decades after the first time I read the books. Now, obviously the concept is older than the Catholic Church in Medieval Europe, but something about the feeling of Karse and how it fit in her world stayed with me. It’s not the ultimate looming evil of Tolkein’s Mordor. It’s the all-too-human evil of fanaticism and the people who use it to their advantage.

Tas’s character sprang out of that world, as the crusader knight, the cleric-class hero who receives his power from divine intervention. He evolved from the question: what happens when a true-believer who is good and loyal loses faith in the very thing he fights for? What happens when Captain America has his Civil War or when America no longer lives up to the high standards and mythos he’s created around it? A crisis of faith and tortured hero resonate with us because we’ve all had a trust betrayed or become disenchanted with something at least once in our lives. Anyone who’s ever read “Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong” by James W. Loewen knows exactly what I’m talking about. What does a true-believer do when the object of his faith is proved false?

Girik, on the other hand, sprang from the classic trusty sidekick and loyal companion tropes. He’s the Watson to Tas’s Holmes, the Alfred to Tas’s Batman- insert slash fiction of your choice here. In my previous blog tour post, I mention Bette Midler’s “Wind Beneath My Wings” because that’s Girik. He’s the man who’s perfectly content to stand in the shadows and be overjoyed while the one he cares for basks in the light. He finds joy in others’ successes and others’ happiness. The strong silent type who catches the hero when he stumbles and puts the pieces back together again.

The Wanderer, book one in the series, has its fair share of loveable tropes too, from the old man in the woods/wizard/teacher character of Lyuc to the scrappy young man who comes from nothing, Yan. And I fully intend to continue bathing in the warm pool of the tropes I love as the chronicles continue, but you’ll have to wait for the next books to see which ones!

Author Bio:
Rowan McAllister is an unapologetically romantic jack of all trades and a sucker for good food, good cocktails, rich fibers, a great beat, and anything else that indulges the senses. In addition to a continuing love affair with words, she likes to play with textiles, metal, wood, stone, and whatever other interesting scraps of life she can get her hands on. She lives in the woods, on the very edge of suburbia—where civilization drops off and nature takes over—sharing her home with her patient, loving, and grounded husband, three furry rescues, and a whole lot of books, booze, and fabric. Her chosen family is a madcap collection of people as diverse as her interests, all of whom act as her muses in so many ways, and she would be lost without them. Whether her stories have a historical, fantasy, or contemporary setting, they always feature characters who still believe in true love, happy endings, and the oft-underappreciated value of sarcasm.

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