Blog Tour + Giveaway: Nothing Special VI: Ex Meridian by A.E. Via

Author A.E. Via and Vibrant Promotions visit on the Nothing Special VI: Ex Meridian blog tour! Find out more today about the latest in the popular action series and enter in the $25 Amazon gift card giveaway! (4 Winners)

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Title: Nothing Special VI: Ex Meridian
Series: Nothing Special
Author: A.E. Via
M/M Action Romance
Edited by: Sue Laybourn
Cover Artist – Jay Aheer
Official Release Date: February 24, 2020

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Police Lieutenants, God and Day are under intense pressure from the chief to take back control of Atlanta’s streets. The last thing their task force needs is a pair of trained killers in town with a personal score to settle.
Take a man and strip him of his ability to feel compassion, empathy, remorse, or any of the emotions that make him human, but leave the ones that ignite rage and aggression and you have the perfect killing machine—now imagine two of them.
Code names Ex and Meridian are synonymous for ‘guaranteed death’ to international terrorists. Two broken men from the same crooked streets, recruited into an unsanctioned government program that few know about. Trained to operate most efficiently—lethally—together.
When Ex returns from an op in Bolivia to learn his little brother has been accidentally killed in a feud between drug gangs, he’s stateside before he can consider the rules he’ll be breaking, and of course Meridian is right beside him. There’s mayhem on the streets of Atlanta and the police are losing control. If Godfrey and his elite team of detectives can’t get the job done then they’d be happy to lighten their caseloads for them. And Ex nor Meridian care about doing it quietly.
“I know who you are.” The man grunted when Ex turned to leave. “You’re the fucking devil.”
Meridian walked past, glaring one final time. “Say that loud enough… maybe God will save you.”
But after their first run-in with the big lieutenant and his protective husband, Day, Ex and Meridian start to reevaluate their own relationship. Wondering if they could be even deadlier if they let loose the feelings for each other that they’ve been forced to suppress for years.
Meridian’s dark eyes stayed locked on his, “A man who can fight beside the one he loves doesn’t make him weaker, Ex—it makes him more dangerous.”
No multiple pairings. No cliffhangers. Ends with a HEA.
This is a partners-to-lovers, out-for-you, action romance.

Ex Meridian Teaser 7Ex Meridian Teaser 6

“I knew you were still on this earth, Xavier. I could feel it,” she whispered. “It wasn’t because they said there was no body to recover, but because I’m your mother and I know your spirit would’ve come to me if you’d died.”

Xavier glanced at the cross around her neck.

“But you have to leave now.” The tears had started to fall again and Ex flexed his hands when he had a foreign feeling to reach out and touch her. His mom looked tired and much older than her sixty-one years. “This city is in a war, and infested with drug gangs and violence. It’s no place for a disciplined man. I don’t know what you do in the military. Evan would never say much. But he said you were important. Don’t linger here, especially not for me. I’m gonna be moving to New Haven with John.”

He already knew this. He’d seen when Mr. Harold had been promoted to the New Haven district manager position at his Amazon job, and was able to put two and two together when she’d put her house on the market a week later.

“I just can’t take it here anymore. I think there’ve been thugs outside my home because I went to the police all those times. Trying to scare me. As if taking my Ev wasn’t enough,” she gasped as if struck by an immense pain in her chest and before he knew what he was doing, he’d reached for her hand and held on. She seemed to gather a bit more strength when she glanced at their connection then clutched him back. “I’ll leave a forwarding address with the post office.”

“Don’t,” Ex said. “I’ll find you.”

His mom swallowed, her gaze darting to Meridian who hadn’t made a move, but Ex was very aware of him. “Even the cops couldn’t help me. Or any of us who’ve complained that still live in my neighborhood. There’s a big-time police drug task force here that the mayor put together a few years ago, but they refused to help me. Or they couldn’t help me. Their hands were tied, I don’t know. But my son’s killer roams the streets freely, enjoying his life while I—”

Are the police corrupt? He saw the subtle shift in Meridian’s posture. He was obviously thinking the same thing. How could it be so difficult to get an arrest when Evan was an innocent victim of a drive-by that had happened in broad daylight? Where were the eyewitnesses? Had there been no one on the street at the time? Were all of the street cameras broken? Ex let out a long breath, releasing his rage.

His brother’s murderer had gotten off scot-free.

His mom looked damn near frantic as she begged him. “You have to leave Atlanta. You’re all I’ve got left. Please. Go and never come back here again, Xavier.”

He couldn’t stomach being the one to cause her more grief. He did what he did easiest. He lied without feeling the slightest amount of guilt. “I will, Mom.” As soon as we’re done here. He’d leave after they’d delivered everyone responsible for terrorizing the neighborhood into a grave just like his brother’s. And he wouldn’t lose sleep over it.

With one last hug to last her another eight years, his mother was out of the limousine and gone in her vehicle back to her youngest son’s funeral repast. As they exited the garage, Meridian retrieved his phone from his inside jacket pocket and dialed their driver’s cell. Slade picked up on the first ring.

Meridian’s voice gave Ex chills down his spine. “Get me everything you can on a police drug task force here in one of Atlanta’s precincts.”

As always, they were thinking the same thing, “If the police are corrupt. We’ll take care of them too.”

AEVia-Logo-JayAheer2015-white-black-Large (1)
A.E. Via has been a best-selling author in the beautiful gay romance genre for six years now, but she’s no stranger to MM. She’s been an avid reader of gay literature for over twenty years before she picked up her laptop to place her own kiss on this genre. She’s also the founder and owner of Via Star Wings Books, having published a couple great, new up and coming MM authors.
A.E. has a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from Virginia Wesleyan College that she used to start her own paralegal firm after she graduated in 2008. She spent five years preparing and filing bankruptcy petitions for struggling blue collar workers who couldn’t afford to file with a lawyer. It was a rewarding and satisfying career… but another path called to her.
A.E.’s novels embodies everything from hopelessly romantic to adventure, to scandalous. Her stories often include intriguing edges and twists that take readers to new, thought-provoking depths.
She’s recently celebrated her 20th book anniversary, and is well-known for her hardcore, love hard, bad boy, alphas. However, she does like to push herself to step out of her comfort zone, exploring different tropes. She’s head over heels for gay romance and she has tons of more hot stories to tell.
Be sure to visit Adrienne on her social media pages and subscribe to her newsletter to never miss another release date! Go to A.E. Via’s official website for more detailed information on how to contact her, follow her, or a sneak peek at upcoming work, free reads, VSWB submissions, and where she’ll appear next.

Author Official Website:
A.E. Newsletter Signup:


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Blog Tour + Giveaway: Thicker Than Water by Becca Seymour

Author Becca Seymour and Other Worlds Ink visit on the Thicker than Water blog tour! Learn more about the new urban fantasy and enter in the $20 Amazon gift card giveaway!

Thicker Than Water

Becca Seymour has a new MM/FF paranormal/urban fantasy romance out: "Thicker Than Water."

Outcast operative in the Supernatural Investigation & Crime Bureau (SICB) Callen Blackheath finds himself doing what he does best: defying orders and giving his boss a headache in the thick of an operation he shouldn’t be in. And there’s no way he’s walking away, not when the investigation has become deadly personal.

Needing to protect the only family member he has left, this wolf shifter will do whatever it takes to stop the blood farms and destroy the dangerous drugs the vampires will kill for. But he doesn’t expect Liam “Thatch” Thatcher, the head of a special task force team, to receive a bite that pulls him into the centre of Callen’s world.

Bonded by memories and blood, together they navigate the operation that has wider reaches than they could ever imagine. And when it comes to matters of the heart, Callen knows in order to win, he needs to risk it all.

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Heat rippled over my skin. The singed scent of hair clogged my ability to track the way out, leaving me momentarily cursing my stubbornness for going this alone. My boss would never let me live it down if I got myself charred to a crisp or killed. At least the latter would mean I wouldn’t have to listen to his pompous spiel about following protocol. The dick had it out for me. He had since I’d joined this team three years ago, and despite my success rate on missions, he hadn’t taken kindly to the son of the Blackheath alpha joining the Supernatural Investigation & Crime Bureau.

Creaking beams followed by the crash of timber had me blinking hard against the blackening smoke. There had to be a way out. While Brent, my division leader, thought I was foolhardy—or perhaps simply a fool—I had studied the schematics of the lab prior to entering. What I hadn’t planned for was Jonas Cartwright to set the damn thing on fire with me in it.

Focussed on pushing my senses beyond the sound of the licking fire and groaning foundations, I closed my eyes, hoping for a ripple, something, anything that would get me out of this situation. Two beats, three, four… but nothing. I could either stay planted, hoping a miracle would happen, or I could act. Neither seemed like a smart move but staying put and being roasted was not an option. The raw heat travelling up my arms, removing my hairs along the way, cried out for my retreat.

Action it was.

In barely a split second, my eyes shifted. While the heightened sight wouldn’t help with the smoke, the electricity had been tripped by the fire, and I needed all the help I could get.

I cursed up a storm in my head as I raced the way I’d come. With a leap over a toppled cabinet, a swerve away from the licks of fire trailing along workstation dividers, I swore the whole time I would find Cartwright and put him to ground once and for all. The way ahead was blocked, and no barrelling through would solve that. I screeched to a stop. “Shit.” I looked left and right, thinking hard about the drawings I’d glanced at ten seconds before entering the lab. Screw Brent and his demands for being well-prepared. I had no doubt my name, Callen, was already a regular curse from him. This would simply give him more ammunition. It was better than him seething my surname, Blackheath, I supposed, but still, ten seconds of my eyes roaming over the layout was as good as studying in my world.

Before I could figure out my next move, a small scrape of metal to my left had me turning in that direction. I seriously hoped I wasn’t racing towards more flames, but the sound was distinctive, controlled.

On reaching a hallway I didn’t recognise, I stumbled. “What the hell?” At the end of the darkened hallway was a glass door. While smoke spiralled through the space, it wasn’t as black, the fire not yet having reached the area. I crouched low to avoid the white smoke, my eyes focussed on the hand scratching against the glass door. Blood smeared with every gentle swipe, the movement slowing down.

No one was supposed to be here. Ignoring the fact that Cartwright had blown my half-arsed recon out of the window and taken me by surprise, there seriously shouldn’t have been anyone else on site. An unfamiliar edge of panic flared to life in my chest. This was not good.

I charged towards the glass, stopping short of barrelling into it to try the handle. It wouldn’t have been the first time I’d broken down a door unnecessarily. I didn’t want to crash through a glass door unless I had to. While I healed quickly, shards of glass cutting through my skin still hurt something fierce.

Testing the handle with one hand, I hit the glass lower down, trying to get the attention of the person attempting to get out. Their bloody hand peeking out a white lab coat twitched at the loud thud. “Shit,” I grumbled. The door was locked. “Hey.” I beat against the glass panel harder. It was partially misted for privacy, and visibility was unclear. Unable to tell who was on the other side or whether the smoke had breached the room from another direction, for once, I considered my options.

“Hey.” I tried again, my hand smacking the glass harder, not yet intending to break through. “Can you hear me?” Steadying my breath took concentration, but I needed to listen carefully.

“Code.” The voice was gravelly. “P-Panel.”

I searched quickly and found a panel off to my right. “I need the code.” Each word came out calm and clear. Panicking now could possibly get us both killed.

“Five.” A cough wracked through him, loud and sounding painful. I squinted, wondering what the hell this guy had been through. “Two. Seven. Seven. Four. Nine.”

I hit the numbers as he said them.

“Hash,” he finished, and the door clicked, swinging open when the guy fell against it. He landed on the floor.

Unconscious at my feet, the man was sprawled on his front. I tugged him to the side. With no idea where we were, I couldn’t simply throw the guy over my shoulder and start charging around, hitting dead ends and burning doors wherever we went. Decision made, I cast a quick glance at the man. Wet blood covered his rich black skin, but his moving chest indicated he was breathing. Barely. Christ, I hoped he didn’t die on me. After a final glance, I rushed into the unlocked room. Just because it had been sealed from the inside didn’t mean I wouldn’t be able to get through another exit.

A door on the opposite side of the room was my target. I headed straight there, spotting vials and another room off to my right. Before I reached the exit, the scent hit me. Blood, and it wasn’t from the unconscious lab tech in the hallway. I took a tentative step in the direction the scent came from, bile already churning in my gut.

No. It couldn’t be.

Another step forward, and I held my breath, not wanting to believe it could be true.

Wide-eyed, I gasped for breath, then regretted the action immediately. Metallic, familiar, and dead. The combination of the three threatened to buckle my knees. Unable to look away, I stared hard, hating every second. But I had to do this. Flesh, torn muscle, mutilated claws; the image seared itself into my mind. Once there, a shockwave of pain ripped through me.


This time I let my knees go and landed on the floor, my knee finding the blood the same shade of my own. It was her. Hazel. My baby sister.

Author Bio

Becca Seymour

Becca Seymour lives and breathes all things book related. Usually with at least three books being read and two WiPs being written at the same time, life is merrily hectic. She tends to do nothing by halves so happily seeks the craziness and busyness life offers.

Living on her small property in Queensland with her human family as well as her animal family of cows, chooks, and dogs, Becca appreciates the beauty of the world around her and is a believer that love truly is love.

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Cover Reveal: What He Really Needs by Ryan Taylor & Joshua Harwood

Authors Ryan Taylor & Joshua Harwood, along with IndiGo Marketing, reveal the cover of What He Really Needs! Check out today's info about the upcoming contemporary romance today!

What He Really Needs by Ryan Taylor and Joshua Harwood

Cover created by Cherie Fox

RELEASE DATE: March 20, 2020

Available to Pre-Order at Amazon

Cayo Suárez, who is gay, and Ben Roth, an admitted Oblivious Straight Guy, were roommates in law school, but two years after graduating, they have lost touch. After an accidental meeting, Cayo invites Ben to stay with him while Ben looks for his own apartment. There’s only one complication, but it’s a big one—Cayo has been in love with Ben since they met.

What begins as a heartwarming reunion of old friends heats up quickly, and Ben starts to wonder if he’s as straight as he always thought he was. Cayo and Ben reconnect in a most unexpected way, but their jobs complicate things. Cayo works for low-income people at Legal Assistance, and Ben works for the man.

When Ben and Cayo become involved in a controversial case, powerful people with a lot to lose seize control of the situation. They want to bend the case’s outcome to their own nefarious ends, and they’ll destroy anyone who tries to stand up to them. Will Cayo and Ben find a way to save Ben’s career, and their budding relationship, before it’s too late?

What He Really Needs is an action-packed book full of warmth and humor, a first-time bisexual awakening, a healthy dose of suspense, steamy sexy times, and an extraordinarily happy ending.

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Book Blast + Giveaway: Promises: Part 1 (Bounty Hunters #1) by A.E. Via

Check out today's book blast from author A.E. Via and Vibrant Promotions for Promises: Part 1 (Bounty Hunters #1)! Don't miss the $25 Amazon gift card giveaway! (4 winners)

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Promises: Part 1
Bounty Hunters Series, Book 1
Author A.E. Via
M/M Romance
Release Date: 10.14.15

Promises Part 1 Cover
Duke Morgan owns and operates one of the largest bail bond companies in Atlanta. Not only does he bond criminals out of jail, he and his notorious group of bounty hunters will also track them down and ensure they show up for court.
Roman ‘Quick’ Webb is Duke’s business partner and best friend. Both men are in their forties and have given up on the happily ever after with the ranch-style home, and white picket fence. They’d both tried it and failed miserably. But they have their friendship and they have the business.
When Quick’s son, Vaughan Webb returns – after seven years - from studying abroad with his law degree in hand, he’s back to claim what he’s always wanted…his fathers’ best friend… Duke Morgan. Vaughan has always claimed to be a classic gentleman with an old soul. He didn’t party and screw up in school like his buddies. He was focused and dedicated to becoming the man worthy of Duke’s love.
It’s a complex and messy situation as Duke and Quick figure out how to still be best friends when one of them is sleeping with his friend’s one and only son. But when Duke is hurt on the job, all the unimportant trivialities fall to the wayside and Vaughan and Quick put their heads together to save Duke.

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Promises Part 1 Teaser 2Promises Part 1 Teaser 3

As they strolled, Duke stopped and took Vaughan’s hand into his and kissed his palm. His man’s grin was sexy and assured. “Don’t think you can’t say what’s on your mind, okay. I know I bitched earlier, but I may have overreacted.”

Vaughan moved in closer, both of their sweaty chests molding to each other even through the thin tank tops they wore. “You didn’t overreact. I was being a mother hen. I want to be your man, not your handler.”

“You are my man,” Duke whispered, backing both of them up. “And for the record. I don’t mind being handled.”

Vaughan’s eyes sparkled with mischief. When Vaughan’s back hit the tall fence, Duke felt himself being pulled in tighter. Tilting his head automatically, Duke went in for another taste of his own. Vaughan was the same height and they fit so perfectly together, as if the fates had designed them for each other. It was crazy to think that way, but there had to be some divine intervention, because while Duke wasn’t chopped liver, men like Vaughan didn’t end up with men like him. One thing for sure was Duke didn’t question Vaughan’s loyalty or dedication to him, for obvious reasons.

Duke closed his eyes and let Vaughan’s strong hands roam his body. “You feel so damn good. Full of tight muscles,” Vaughan murmured in between sweet kisses. “I want all of you, Duke. The good, the wonderful, the bad, the ornery; everything that makes you, you. I want it.”

Duke held his head back, gazing up at the warm sun. The Atlanta heat had nothing on his man’s scorching tongue. Vaughan moaned low and deep in his throat while he sucked on Duke’s skin, running that sinful tongue along his Adam’s apple before dipping into the dimple just beneath it.

“Fuck. Feels good.” Duke’s cock was so hard and uncomfortable it bordered on painful. He was constantly getting erections, but no release. Although his abdominal pain had significantly reduced—unless he overdid it—he still wasn’t sure how an orgasm would feel. He was sure Vaughan would practically make his head pop off, especially since it’d been far too long since he’d had someone other than himself responsible for giving him pleasure.

“You taste so good, sweetheart,” Vaughan marveled in his smooth, velvety tone. “I don’t know how much longer I can resist you.”

AEVia-Logo-JayAheer2015-white-black-Large (1)
A.E. Via has been a best-selling author in the beautiful gay romance genre for six years now, but she’s no stranger to MM. She’s been an avid reader of gay lit for over fifteen years before she picked up her laptop to place her own kiss on this genre. She’s also the founder and owner of Via Star Wings Books, having published a couple great new up and coming MM authors.
A.E. has a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from Virginia Wesleyan College that she used to start her own paralegal firm after she graduated in 2008. She spent five years preparing and filing bankruptcy petitions for struggling blue collar workers who couldn’t afford to file with a lawyer. It was a rewarding and satisfying career… but another path called to her.
A.E.’s novels embodies everything from hopelessly romantic to adventure, to scandalous. Her stories often include intriguing edges and twists that take readers to new, thought-provoking depths.
She’s recently celebrated her 20th book anniversary, and is kind of known now for her hardcore, play rough and love hard, bad boy, alphas. However, she does like to push herself to step out of her comfort zone, exploring different tropes, but she won’t push herself into a whole other genre. She’s head over heels for gay romance and she has tons of more hot stories to tell.
Be sure to visit Adrienne on her social media pages and subscribe to her newsletter to never miss another release date! Go to A.E. Via’s official website for more detailed information on how to contact her, follow her, or a sneak peek at upcoming work, free reads, VSWB submissions, and where she’ll appear next.
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Release Blitz + Giveaway: Falling for My Roommate by Garrett Leigh

Join author Garrett Leigh and Signal Boost Promotions for the release blitz of Falling for My Roommate! Discover more today and enter in the Lucky eBook giveaway!

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

Cover Design: Black Jazz Design


Falling for his roommate gives ex footballer Micah the second chance he deserves, and what could be better than loving your best friend?


I’m a broke ex-football player with a bum leg and PTSD. Last summer, I had two choices: the streets, or find a cheap room to rent in the city. I chose the second option, which landed me with a brand-new problem, cos I hadn’t banked on my roommate becoming my best friend. Or that before long I’d find myself head over heels in love with him. Trouble is, even if Sam likes me back, I ain’t fit to be no one’s boyfriend. I don’t know how. All I do is wade through every precious moment and hope that he doesn’t regret the day he ever met me.


I’m a gay book nerd with no business falling in love with hunky athletes. Micah is the dictionary definition of beautiful, inside and out, he just doesn’t know it. And he definitely doesn’t know I’m ridiculously in love with him. The embarrassing kind of love.

He’s all I can think about.

But it’s not as simple as loving someone who doesn’t love me back. Micah is damaged goods—at least, that’s how he’d put it. The world has chewed him up and spat him out, and he thinks he deserved it. That he’s still the battered mess he was a year ago.

I want to shake him, and shout in his face that he’s not. To force the truth on him and make him believe in himself the way I do. But I can’t save Micah. One day, perhaps he’ll realise that he already saved himself.

Garrett Leigh is an award-winning British writer and book designer.

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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Blog Tour + Giveaway: Work-Love Balance (Out & About #1) by Allison Temple

Welcome author Allison Temple to the blog as she visits with the Work-Love Balance (Out & About #1) blog tour! Learn more about the new contemporary romance and enter in the giveaway for a chance to win a back list eBook!

The customer always comes first, but IT consultant Brady Jansen loves to hate Nash O’Hara. Except the fine line between hate and attraction means sometimes Brady can’t help it when he crosses the boundary between professional and personal.

Recently divorced, workaholic Nash knows he’s hard to please. When the smart-mouthed IT consultant he depends on to keep his office running offers a no-commitment hookup, it seems like exactly what he and Brady both need to get through a busy summer at work. No one has to know about their arrangement.

But the more time they spend together, the more secrets they have to keep from the people around them—and from each other. The lies are piling up, until it’s hard to tell who’s fooling whom. If Brady and Nash want to find the balance between work and love, a little honesty will go a long way.

Work-Love Balance is a 67k contemporary MM romance. It’s hot enough you’ll want to make sure the air conditioning is on in your cubicle, and heartfelt enough you’ll want to smack both characters before the end. HEA guaranteed.


Leave a comment telling us about your first job. One commenter will win the tour-wide prize of any ebook from Allison’s backlist.

[Please leave a way to contact you (i.e. email address) in your comment]

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Author Bio

Allison Temple has been a writer since the second grade, when she wrote a short story about a girl and her horse. Her grandmother typed it out for her and said she’s never seen so many quotation marks from a seven-year-old before. Allison took that as a challenge and has gone on to try to break her previous record in all her subsequent works.

Allison lives in Toronto with her very patient husband and the world’s neediest cat. She splits her free time between writing, community theater stage management, and traveling anywhere that has good wine. Tragically, this leaves no time to clean her house.

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Release Blitz: Soul Weave by A. Nybo

Looking for a new romantic fantasy to try? See today's release blitz for Soul Weave from author A. Nybo and Vibrant Promotions!

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Soul Weave
A. Nybo
Gay Fantasy Romance
Release Date: 03.10.20

Soul Weave
Cover Artist: A. Nybo
TREACHERY IS afoot among the wizards of Tangia. The wizard king bids his northern champion, Aquilon Tenista, to seek and destroy those responsible for the theft of the wizards’ mindseers. To shield his own mindseer from the thief, Aquilon needs a bag woven of thread spun from his soul in which his can hide. He solicits the aid of Lucien, a clan witch, to weave the bag.
A low-caste widower, Lucien is betrothed to his clan’s war leader. The only way he can delay the arranged marriage long enough to affect his escape is to accept Aquilon’s commission and join his quest.
Watching the enchanting spell weaver interact with the fiber of his soul is pure torment for Aquilon. As the attraction between the two men grow, a sinister presence within the magic cloth begins to emerge. Threads of the enemy’s deception must be severed if they are to have any hope of preventing war and saving their people.

SW Graphic Teaser copy

In searching for firewood, his icy feet made walking through the undergrowth painful, but Lucien wasn’t prepared to return to camp for his hide shoes. Stepping gingerly around a prickle bush, he spotted an old gray branch that would burn nicely. As he picked it up, he heard rustling in the undergrowth to his right and quietly straightened to see what caused the noise.

The spark of fear of being confronted by a stranger lessened when he peered into crystalline blue eyes. They sparkled with wisdom and youthful vitality. A charming smile stole across the man’s face.

Lucien finally blinked.

“You’ve taken me by surprise, gentle man.” The stranger spoke softly, his low voice sounding like amiable music.

Lucien covered the feather tattoo on his neck with his hand when he noticed the stranger’s eyes dart to it.

The man appeared to be in his late twenties. His features brimmed with spirit. Tousled black hair hung to broad shoulders, and when he tilted his head slightly, Lucien caught a glimpse of a silver earring.

Entranced, Lucien couldn’t avert his gaze.

“I see I have taken you by surprise also.” Straightening, the man peered over the undergrowth and laughed. “It appears we have the same desperate purpose. Is your fire lit yet, sir?”

Lucien managed little more than to snap his mouth closed.

“Would you care to share mine?”

It was dangerous to share a fire with an unknown man. But those eyes…. “Yes.”

“Bring your branch and together we will warm the entire Tabbrela clan territory,” he said humorously.

As the man helped Lucien pick a path through the undergrowth, Lucien snatched glimpses of him. His hide trousers were like any clansman’s, but the floppy-necked green-and-gray-flecked woolen tunic was unlike any other he’d seen.

“Where are you from?” Lucien asked when his branch was taken from him to add to the collection. “You’re not from around here.”

The man tilted his head as he laughed, and his hair fell back to expose the black symbols etched into the thick silver earring. “Am I not dressed appropriately?”

Apparently his assessment hadn’t been quite as covert as he’d intended. Lucien smiled. “That rather depends. For what occasion are you dressing?”

The man’s eyebrows lifted and then lowered in amusement. “I was dressing for the festival to be held between the Jarani and Tabbrela.” Holding his armload of wood away from his body, he looked down at his clothes before turning merry eyes back to Lucien’s. “Do you think I’ve miscalculated?”

“No one will take offense at your attire.” Lucien tried to rid himself of the smile that possessed his lips. “But I think they might wonder who, other than Jarani and Tabbrela, dare come to their festival.”

“Years of experience tell me no bard is turned from a celebration,” he said.

“A bard?” Delight sparked Lucien’s curiosity. “What is your specialty?”

“I play music far better than I tell stories.”

Already Lucien was looking forward to hearing him play. “What instrument?”


Approaching the fire, Lucien tried not to drool at the sight of three rabbits cooking or the warmth the glowing coals promised. The sight of the flames alone was enough to remind him how cold his feet were.

As the bard stoked the fire, Lucien crowded the other side, sitting with his feet almost among the embers.

“Why are you not at the Tabbrela camp?” the bard asked.

Lucien warmed his hands. “Ah, well, that is a story only a bard could do justice to, and I am no bard.”

A wry smile crept to the bard’s lips. “Sir, you have gracious manners, but ‘mind your own business’ would have sufficed.” He feigned a sigh of dejection. “Perhaps I’m not worthy to confide in, but am I worthy enough to share a meal with?”

“Definitely. My name is Lucien.”

“You may call me Aquilon. But should you choose to confide in me, then you may call me Ilon.” He waggled his eyebrows.

His beguiling grin almost persuaded Lucien to relate the woeful tale of his impending life sentence—what others preferred to call “marriage.”

He leveled a cautious gaze at the bard. “Was there something in particular you wanted to know?”

“I do think it a little odd that such a gentle soul is in the sylvans alone when there is warmth, food, and protection at the Tabbrela camp.”

“Being forced to partner their war leader doesn’t sound like protection to me.”

Aquilon’s eyebrows lifted, and he chuckled. “You must be a man of high regard if you find it beneath you to partner a war leader.”

Lucien’s irritation flared.

“Tell me,” Aquilon said. “Do I have a prince in my midst?”

“No, you have the company of a black-feather epicene who would prefer to partner the clan fool should he be the person he loved.”

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A. Nybo lives in Western Australia. She believes the perfect recipe for reality includes imagining, creating, chocolate and coffee. Amounts and tools for each vary for any given day, but the magic is in the making. Her perfect creative storm is fired by music, travel, nature, and the ever-expanding dimensions of the mind.

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Release Blitz + Giveaway: Raining Men (Chaser #2) by Rick R. Reed

Rick R. Reed and IndiGo Marketing host today's release blitz for Raining Men (Chaser #2)! Learn more about the latest in the popular series and enter in the $10 NineStar Press credit giveaway!

Title: Raining Men
Series: Chaser, Book Two
Author: Rick R. Reed
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: March 9, 2020
Heat Level: 3 - Some Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 100416
Genre: Contemporary, LGBTQIA+, sex addiction, therapy, friends to lovers, hurt-comfort, guilt, reparation, over 40

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The character you loved to hate in Chaser becomes the character you will simply love in Raining Men.

It’s been raining men for most of Bobby Nelson’s adult life. Normally, he wouldn’t have it any other way, but lately something’s missing. Now, he wants the deluge to slow to a single special drop. But is it even possible for Bobby to find “the one” after endless years of hooking up?

When Bobby’s father passes away, Bobby finally examines his rocky relationship with the man and how it might have contributed to his inability to find the love he yearns for. Guided by a sexy therapist, a Sex Addicts Anonymous group, a well-endowed Chihuahua named Johnny Wadd, and Bobby’s own cache of memories, Bobby takes a spiritual, sexual, and emotional journey to discover that life’s most satisfactory love connections lie in quality, not quantity. And when he’s ready to love not only himself but someone else, sex and love fit, at last, into one perfect package.


Raining Men
Rick R. Reed © 2020
All Rights Reserved

Bobby sat on a leather chair in therapist Camille D’Amico’s office, took in his surroundings, and mused on why the therapist had arranged the office as she had.

He made certain assumptions. Camille had placed the seating to be comfortable, yet not confrontational. Bobby supposed she wanted her office to have the effect, the ambiance, of a living room—a safe, calm place where she and her charges could relax like two old friends, just gabbing, getting to the heart of their problems. The office was dimly lit—blinds drawn and a Pottery Barn ceramic lamp the only illumination, sixty watt—and for Bobby, it had what he imagined to be the desired effect: calming. From the small charging/speaker unit on Camille’s desk, the violin of Joshua Bell played softly, a warm background accompaniment.

Camille adjusted her halo of frizzy brown hair, running her fingers through it, and pushed her glasses up on the bridge of her nose. She didn’t say anything, and Bobby supposed she was waiting for him to begin.

Bobby fidgeted with a button on his sport coat, not sure where to start. Camille eyed him up and down, and Bobby knew what she saw: a tall, lean man with above-average—well, way above if he were being honest—looks. And it wasn’t just his vanity that informed him. He had been told more times than he could count that he was gorgeous, hot, that he had the kind of virile beauty seldom seen outside of men’s fashion magazines. His clothes were expensive, tasteful—a soft navy blazer with a white, button-down, Egyptian cotton shirt crisp beneath it. His jeans were indigo blue, the kind that went for hundreds of dollars a pair. His red suede sneakers bore the subtle Prada logo beneath the laces. Bobby had thrown the look together to display a kind of casual elegance, and from the way the therapist was eyeing him, it succeeded in spades.

Even Bobby’s face spoke of good health and clean living. Skin so fine it almost appeared without pores. His auburn hair, close cropped, had just a touch of product to give it sheen, even here in this dimly lit warren. From him wafted the aroma of Hermès, sprayed in a cloud that Bobby had walked into, to ensure he got just the right amount on him.

In short, he knew he appeared to be a man who had everything—health, looks, money.

He imagined the therapist must be thinking: So what the hell is he doing here? And then, sadly, he guessed her next thought might be: And why is it impossible for him to erase that mask of sadness that seems to cling to his face, marring those perfect features?

I’ll wait for him to tell me.

Bobby knew how therapists operated, even if he had never been to one. He had read enough about them and seen enough of them in movies and TV shows to know their modus operandi. She would know, Bobby surmised, that silence was often the most powerful tool in a head doctor’s arsenal. Silence prodded, pushing for respite, for release. It was human nature, these days especially, to want to fill that quiet void with talk.

But Bobby, too, waited. A full two or three minutes had passed since Camille had made her initial small talk greetings. Yet Bobby still played with the pewter button on his blazer, seldom lifting his arresting gray eyes to meet her gaze.

Camille tapped the toe of her shoe on the bamboo flooring, and Bobby wondered if she was beginning to get impatient. She stopped tapping suddenly when Bobby moved his gaze from looking around the room to her foot. He finally spoke.

“Caden sent me.”

Camille nodded. The simple nod and the sudden light in Camille’s eyes told Bobby she remembered his old friend. He imagined what the pair must have once discussed, here, in this very room. She had probably helped Caden through love problems that most young men experience and issues with his mother’s battle with cancer. Camille smiled, and Bobby thought it was because she knew Caden was now in a good place, in love with a wonderful man. Bobby wondered if she had heard Caden was moving in with his boyfriend, Kevin. Bobby wanted to tell her that Caden’s mother was winning her battle with that hateful disease and that she was now recuperating at home, struggling through chemo treatments with grace and humor.

But he only knew these latter two things because he had heard them from a mutual friend one night at Roscoe’s along the Halsted strip known in Chicago as Boystown. He had not heard them from Caden.

He had not heard a word from Caden.

“Caden DeSarro?”

“That’s the one.”

“He’s a good friend to have.”

“Was. Was a good friend.” Bobby realized Caden must have stopped coming to see her before Bobby had betrayed him, and the shame caused a rush of heat to rise to his face.


“He and I kind of reached a parting of the ways, I guess you might say. I…” Bobby sighed and his voice trailed off. He stared down at the floor.

Camille said nothing.

“I kind of screwed up our friendship. I was an ass.”

Camille cocked her head, a subtle indication for him to continue.

“You want to know what I did, huh?”

“I want to know what you want to tell me, Bobby.”

“I tried to steal his boyfriend.”

Camille nodded.

“In my defense, I didn’t think Caden wanted him anymore.”

He guessed that the therapist’s first reaction to such news would be to recoil. Why not? Here before her was a man who had done a very bad thing, a reprehensible thing, and it seemed like he was sitting here wanting to blame the victim. He didn’t think Caden wanted him anymore? Seriously? What kind of defense was that? Even if that was the case, and it was, someone still didn’t go after a person their best friend had fallen in love with, no matter how sweet and sexy the man was.

But Camille, if she had any judgments, kept them to herself. Her face revealed nothing but a sincere desire to know more.


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Meet the Author

Real Men. True Love.

Rick R. Reed draws inspiration from the lives of gay men to craft stories that quicken the heartbeat, engage emotions, and keep the pages turning. Although he dabbles in horror, dark suspense, and comedy, his attention always returns to the power of love. He’s the award-winning and bestselling author of more than fifty works of published fiction and is forever at work on yet another book. Lambda Literary has called him: “A writer that doesn’t disappoint…” You can find him at Rick lives in Palm Springs, CA, with his beloved husband, Bruce, and their fierce Chihuahua/Shiba Inu mix, Kodi.

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Review: Give Me a Hand (Beyond Desire #1) by Gwen Martin

ᴛʜᴇɪʀ ᴡᴏʀʟᴅꜱ ᴄᴏʟʟɪᴅᴇᴅ. ᴇᴠᴇʀʏᴛʜɪɴɢ ᴄʜᴀɴɢᴇᴅ.

Cam and Jude had been college roommates for two years, fitting into each other's lives with ease.

That is, until Cam walked in on Jude getting off alone in their shared dorm bathroom.

Everything shifted between the two of them, awakening feelings Cam hadn't felt for anyone in a long time. Feelings Cam believed had shriveled up after surviving a near fatal car accident to then suffer a disastrous breakup with his first love.

Since then, Cam kept his heart sealed tight in a fortress, keeping himself busy with a lot of mindless hookups and a steadfast refusal to ever commit.

Cam's life had been predictable. He knew what he wanted.

Until that impromptu mutual orgasm with Jude.

Cam didn't want a boyfriend, and he certainly didn't *need* a relationship.

But he knew one thing he did crave and that was more of Jude McAlister.

Will Cam be able to work through his painful past if Jude offered him a chance at more?

***Give Me A Hand is the first book in the Beyond Desire Series, but is a standalone novel. Each book in the series will feature a different couple, but the couples will show up throughout the series. It is approximately 50,000 words and a New Adult Friends to Lovers romance between two men with explicit language and graphic sex intended for Adults Only.***

I had high hopes this would be sort of an NA version of Want Me. Alas, it was not.

Give Me a Hand follows your basic romance algorithm: MCs meet/are hot for each other, the courting ritual, feelings happen, conflict/misunderstanding which leads one of them to realize how many feelings they had for the other MC which leads to the big finish of HFN/HEA.

I like the romance algorithm otherwise we wouldn't be here. Martin delivered the bones of the algorithm but the filling needs some polish and here's a quick rundown of my biggest issues:

Telling vs. Showing: it's all told from Cam's POV and he's been through some hardships thus he's guarded with his heart. Understandable. He talks an awful lot about his feelings for Jude but all of those feelings always, and I do mean always, leads back to sex. Sex is great but it doesn't equal love and when you're trying to convince me that the characters are 'right for each other' I need to be shown that connection on more than just a sexual level. Most of their time together is spent doing sexy things rather than discovering each other's personalities and whether or not they mesh, so when we got to the HFN my first thought was 'less than a year' before Jude moves on.

Anthropomorphizing: if I had to read about Cam's innards jumping, swooping, turning, twisting, skipping, etc. I was going to call the ambulance myself.

Characters: not only did I not invest in them as a couple but they never reached fully realized status and-death knell-I didn't like them.

All that being said, not many authors can hit a home run their first time up at bat but I do think Martin shows promise, though to be fair, many will likely not have the issues I did. However, my opinions are my own and YMMV.

An ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review.

Release Blitz + Giveaway: Jeopardy in Tights (Men of the Pantheon #1) by K. Childs

Enjoy superheroes? Join author K. Childs and IndiGo Marketing as they celebrate the release of Jeopardy in Tights (Men of the Pantheon #1) from NineStar Press! Find out more of the first in the superpowered romance and enter in the $10 NSP credit giveaway!

Title: Jeopardy in Tights
Series: Men of the Pantheon, Book One
Author: K. Childs
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: March 9, 2020
Heat Level: 3 - Some Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 42600
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy, LGBTQIA+, sci-fi, alternate universe, super heroes, super powers, bodyguard, businessman, interracial, second chances

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Down on his luck ex-security meets CEO looking for special bodyguard. Fine print: hazardous working conditions.

Errol Mason got fired from his last job and put on a blacklist for a good reason. Now, scraping the bottom of the barrel and desperate for any job, he finally lands an interview with Stardust Global.

Errol’s interviewer, company CEO Nathan Parkes, has a secret, one that might get Errol killed. All Nate wants is a meatshield while he goes on a one-man crusade against a bunch of psycho cultists and tries to rescue his missing stepmother. Errol is the meatshield in this equation.

Things start pear-shaped and only get worse from there. Between military small-arms fire, freeway fisticuffs, and escaping the cult’s secret bases, the duo quickly forms a bond of trust and lust.


Jeopardy in Tights
K. Childs © 2020
All Rights Reserved

Errol Mason stood stark naked in front of about twenty people. His cheap suit, seams torn, had partially melted and unraveled like tissue paper around one of the exposed building support struts. The foyer of Stardust Global was a mess. Standing there nude, in the rubble and debris, he recalled a similar nightmare as a teen.

An hour ago, Errol worried that he’d look shabby for this job interview at Stardust Global. His breath smelled like chicken Cup Noodles—his only diet for weeks now—he needed a haircut, and his shaver had broken halfway down his left cheek, leaving him with a three-week shadow on one side. No water in the apartment, clothing smelling of sweat and mold. Going commando had seemed like a good idea to reduce the smell.

He needed this job.

He was broke: stealing spoons and sugar packets from fast food stores broke. Three months behind on rent broke.

“Did you see that?” Someone took a photo of Errol. Like they’d never seen a naked black man before.

He grabbed what was left of his pants, dusty with soot and partially melted. He didn’t have enough fabric here to cover himself. The scrap fell to pieces in his hands as he pulled out his thin wallet and phone. Wallet singed; old shitty phone, still working.

A lady bravely rushed from the crowd of spectators, holding out a floral yellow towel. Though damp and smelling like women’s body spray, it beat flashing his junk to a bunch of strangers. Errol wrapped the towel around his waist with a “Thanks.”

The obsidian dermis covering Errol’s body dried and cracked as he limped down from the wreckage of concrete and mangled van. His coal-black dermis transformed into flakes, revealing Errol’s dark-brown skin, chilled and covered in gooseflesh from adrenaline.

With the immediate danger over, people began to process, and phones came out. Plenty to see.

Errol hardly took the headline in the destruction of the foyer. That belonged to a skinny bald man in a pair of overalls, slumped over the crumpled hood of the totaled van now supported by a pillar of rubble with a very Errol-shaped hole in it.

The short, unimpressive series of events that had led to Errol’s nakedness were a confusing blur. Errol didn’t sit high on anyone’s list of friends, but he’d done nothing to deserve the lunatic who’d crashed through the glass doors and rammed right into him and the concrete pillars.

Errol had ended up crashing into and through the decorative wall behind the reception desk. The car hit Errol and the support pillar, halting its momentum, and the driver, a skinny bald man, had scrambled out, yelled something about inequality, and sprouted flames from his hands in impressive gouts.

Errol, being rather annoyed from getting hit by cars, picked himself up out of the rubble and marched right through the flame. It burned most of his clothing, but Errol’s dermis, a strange liquid metal coating his body under his clothing, was resistant to most midrange temperatures.

Errol had summarily cracked heads with the madman.

The lunatic now lay sprawled on the hood, dazed and probably concussed.

Errol did not feel the least bit sorry.

His last good shirt was nothing but ruined synthetic fabric rags.

The elevator dinged, and the lobby flooded with more of the well-to-do in their fancy unmelted clothing and uncharred shoes.

He was supposed to be interviewing for a security job. The first interview anyone had given him in eight months.


Errol needed a drink.

“You must be Mr. Mason.”

The man who spoke wore a navy-blue suit and smelled faintly of new leather. He extended a hand for shaking. His nails were neat and manicured, and his palm, when Errol took it, was soft. A man who moisturized. The handshake was limp, gentle. Errol followed the arm up to a face. Smokey-green eyes and thin, pale lips schooled into a polite smile. The gentleman’s soft blond hair swept in a curly wave over one side. Clean-shaven, young; he looked like a model for a men’s fashion magazine.

“Hi.” Errol prided himself on being quick with words. He wasn’t eloquent, but then, he didn’t wear fancy suits or moisturize.

“Nice work taking out the trash.” It was a bit familiar of the gentleman, the way he said it.

“I’m sorry, but I don’t think we’ve met?” Errol would definitely have remembered this guy.

“Nathan Parkes. Stardust Global General Chief Executive.” There was a lot of title in that introduction.

Errol straightened up, clutching his towel. This was the guy who’d emailed him for the job interview. “Oh, hi. I mean, hello.” He looked down. “Sorry, I’m wearing a towel.”

“I asked my assistant to find you something to wear. Least I can do,” Parkes said. “Your résumé says you spent time working for Miltech?”

Errol brushed some of the dermis from his hair, feeling about as self-conscious as one might in a situation like this. “Yeah. I mean, yes. As an armored van escort.”

“And you served in the army during the war?”

Errol nodded. He didn’t like recounting the events or his service during the two-year war and alien invasion that had devastated the planet. He’d spent six months fighting aliens in what had once been Florida. “I was on troop transport.”

“So you’ve been through a few combat experiences? How about de-escalations?”

This felt like a job interview.


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Meet the Author

By day, Kristy works as an IT Project Coordinator. She wanted to be a fairy princess when she grew up but sadly discovered the job was no longer on the market. Instead, she embarked on a career to at least write about princesses in castles and grand adventures. She lives in Sydney, Australia, with an abundance of old comics and cute anime figurines.

By night, Kristy is a hippy and foodie, enjoying the life of a city-bred lady and trying all the latest restaurants and foodie crazes she can. She is most at home throwing money around in a handcrafts market, eating gourmet chocolate, discussing the various ramen recipes between restaurants, and browsing second-hand bookstores for undiscovered gems. She is a consummate spinster and lover of animals but has yet to receive a crazy cat lady starter kit.

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