Release Blitz: This is Not a Horror Movie by Sara Dobie Bauer

 Author Sara Dobie Bauer and Gay Book Promotions host today's blitz for paranormal new adult, This is Not a Horror Movie! Check it out today!


Book Title: This is Not a Horror Movie

Author: Sara Dobie Bauer

Publisher: Self-published

Cover Artist: Natasha Snow Designs

Release Date: May 13, 2021

Genres: m/m new adult, gay paranormal romance, LGBTQ, romantic comedy

Trope: Friends to lovers

Themes: non-explicit, humorous, teens, Florida, summer vacation, hauntings, evil spirits

Heat Rating:  2 flames

Warnings: Scenes of graphic violence, death of minor characters, mentions of bullying, alcohol use

Length:  78 000 words

It is a standalone story.

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Buy Links - Available in Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK 



Emory Jones loves two things: horror movies and Connor Nichols. 

For the past four years, Emory, Connor, and their families have vacationed side by side on Longboat Key, Florida. Eighteen-year-old Emory has pined for his neighbor from behind the covers of Stephen King books, but college boy Connor has never noticed him. Probably because Emory looks like Jack Skellington with good hair.

Emory anticipates another predictable summer of sunburn and disappointment. Instead, he ends up with a mystery on his hands when a beloved beach bum goes missing, and Connor volunteers to help with the search. Turns out it’s not just scary movie cops who are worthless, so the boys start an investigation of their own—leading them straight to an abandoned beach resort.

Despite the danger, Emory and Connor grow closer, but as Emory’s gay dreams start coming true, so do the horror movie tropes he so loves. Even though he knows that sex equals death in slasher flicks, Emory can’t keep his hands off the guy of his teenage dreams.


I’m about to follow a mysterious rat into the darkness when a hand lands on my shoulder. I suck a panicked gasp in through my lips as Connor says, “Sorry! Sorry.”

I put my hands on my knees and relearn breathing.

He stands there, backlit like some kind of hot angel, and shrugs. “Maybe you should be thanking me.”


“You like to be scared,” he says.

He’s right. Haunted house in the neighborhood? I’m first. Spooky cemetery? Coming through. Maybe that’s part of the reason I always let Liz drag me to parties at the Outpost. It feels like being in a scary movie. I’m waiting for Leatherface to show up and murder the morally reprehensible youth. Of course, if horror movie rules are true, I’m totally dead. I lost my virginity at sixteen and more often than not spend “happy hour” sharing malt liquor with Longboat’s famous homeless dude, Leland.

“What are you doing over here?” Connor asks.

“Befriending local wildlife.” I glance over my shoulder into the dark. I shove hair out of my face—a nervous tic I’ve acquired since growing it out. Because I needed another nervous tic. “What are you doing over here?”

“Talking to you.” He grins, but I can feel a disconnect. 

Connor and I have always had a mutually agreed upon rhythm. He’s the big, gorgeous straight dude who puts up with me, the skinny, little gay kid. 


No one knows I’m gay down here. Florida is for family, not fu— Anyway.

In summers past, Connor wrestled me and tickled me, and I pretended not to like it. We talked about some things, mostly scary movies, but kept an emotional distance. He accepts me being a drama queen, and I never let him know I would climb Everest for his kiss. 

Staring at me with a dumb look on his face is not our rhythm.

I finally lose my shit. “Jesus, am I bleeding from my eyes?”

He coughs out a laugh. “What?”

“You’re looking at me funny.”

He looks away. “Oh.”

I cross my arms. I have, in fact, filled out a lot since last summer—and the lifeguarding helps—but I’m still self-conscious about my small frame and will probably never forget the jocks calling me “Tinker Bell” from seventh to tenth grade. I press my lips together and side-eye the kids dancing to some club beat on Liz’s phone. “Everyone’s looking at me funny, actually.”

Connor clears his throat and plucks at the front of his tight, white T-shirt. He looks like he wants to dive headfirst into the empty pool at his back.

“You don’t have to talk to me, you know.”

His blue eyes flit back my way. Even in the dark, I know they’re blue. He says, “But I like talking to you.”

I hug myself tighter and lift a shoulder. “Seen any good horror movies lately?”

His smile is back. “Tons. I saw this French one called Raw.”

I bounce up on my toes. “Cannibals! Oh my God, that movie was so good! The writing.” I tear at my hair in euphoric bliss.

He nods. “And the scene with the roommate.”

“And the ending!” I poke him in the chest. “Dude, I tried to get Liz to watch it. She’s all vegetarian now because she dated this hippie dude senior year. She said she gave up meat for her health, but I think it’s because he said he tasted death in her mouth.”

Connor does the silent open-mouth laugh thing that happens when my storytelling reaches peak levels of absurd. 

“She made it thirty minutes into the movie before she had to leave the room and vomit. Meanwhile, I was sitting there eating, like, spaghetti.”

He puts his hand on my shoulder as he keeps laughing. I smell his deodorant: sporty man stuff. “I can’t believe I almost didn’t come this year.”

That steals the air from my lungs. Sure, I should be avoiding the guy, looking forward to the future, but all of a sudden, I can’t imagine a summer without Connor Nichols making me blush.

About the Author 

Sara Dobie Bauer is a bestselling romance author and mental health / LGBTQ advocate with a creative writing degree from Ohio University. She lives with her hottie husband and precious pup in Northeast Ohio, although she’d really like to live in a Tim Burton film.

Author Links

Blog/Website  |  Facebook  |  Private Facebook Group

Twitter  |  Instagram  |  Newsletter Sign-up  |  Freebies  

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

Guest Review: Give Way by Valentine Wheeler

Kevin McNamara's life after retirement is… fine. He has friends, a few consulting gigs, and an ex-wife he's finally on good terms with. But when he meets an intriguing stranger - a rarity in close-knit Swanley, Massachusetts - in his apartment lobby, he can’t stop thinking about him or about the unexpected attraction that knocked him flat.

Awais Siddiqui never thought he'd want to come back to his childhood hometown, but when his grandmother falls ill, he’s the only one who can move back to help. Awais figures he’ll be back in a big city soon enough–but then a silver fox on his route catches his eye.

Sometimes all you need is a special delivery.

Reviewer: Shee Reader

We meet Kevin on a cold slushy day walking up to his not all fabulous apartment building as the postal truck pulls up and out of it comes an intriguing stranger. The postal worker was tall, dark, and gorgeous, and a surprising new face in a smallish town. Kevin liked him instantly but was unable to see the attraction reciprocated by the younger man, and dismisses the interaction.

Awais liked the look of the silver fox immediately, but not his usual route, and being the newest hire meant he went where needed each day, didn’t know when he might next see Kevin again.

Of course, in romancelandia, we live for these “ah-well, we might never see each other again” moments as we rub our hands with glee for the next surprise meeting!

Of course, both men decide the time is right to go out for a beer, and OF COURSE they end up in the same bar *cheer*.

The little romance starts warmly, but Kevin is tortured by the age gap, and the fact that he vaguely knew Awais from childhood, before moving away, and puts up a real fight of having his first relationship with a man.

As Kevin explores his own understanding of his bisexuality, will the attraction to Awais something he allows himself to have?

Well, this book was a refreshing change for many that I read for a variety of reasons. The season is Christmas, but the MC’s are Jewish and Muslim so the whole festive thing is muted. One of the MC’s is of retirement age but is exploring his queerness for the first time. There are age and cultural gaps between the men that made this a really interesting and enjoyable story. I really loved the fact that the happily ever after was non typical, and the second chance flavour of it was delightfully hopeful.

This was a quick read and I would have appreciated more story about their life together.

I was given a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

Series Tour + Giveaway: Demon's Blood by Shari Sakurai

The Demon's Blood series tour stops by our blog today! Author Shari Sakurai and Gay Book Promotions share info on the paranormal series and host a back list eBook giveaway courtesy of the author! (3 winners)


Demon’s Blood Series by Shari Sakurai

The stories are best read in the following order:

Demon’s Blood (Demon’s Blood #1)

Never Change (Demon’s Blood short story)

Demon’s Life (Demon’s Blood #2)

Genres: Paranormal/vampires, LGBTQ, gay fiction

Overall Heat Rating for the series: 1 flame 

Publisher: Farnhurst Publishing

Cover Artist: Farnhurst Publishing


Book Title: Demon’s Blood (Demon’s Blood universe #1)

Author: Shari Sakurai

Length:  302 pages

Release Date: January 23, 2014

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Buy Links - Available in Kindle Unlimited

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Immortal blood is precious and Kokawa Taku’s makes him especially unique.

After vampire hunters force them to flee Tokyo, Taku and his lover, Thane, try to make a new life for themselves in England. But three months later Thane is still tormented by nightmares of the fire that almost cost them their lives. This leads to carelessness and the discovery of one of his victims.

When faced with threats from all sides Taku tries his best to protect them although his actions are met with disapproval and anger from Thane. Unknown to his lover, Taku is also struggling to keep hidden the truth of what really happened three months ago.

However, it is only a matter of time before Taku’s past and bloodline catches up with him.


Book Title: Never Change (Demon’s Blood universe short story)

Author: Shari Sakurai

Length: 47 pages

Release Date: December 1, 2018

It is part of the Demon’s Blood universe, but can be read as a standalone.

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Buy Links - Available in Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US  | Amazon UK 


Thane’s arms curved around his back and he felt the younger vampire trembling as he rested his head on Taku’s shoulder. So easily broken, Taku often forgot what it had been like in the beginning. For him things had been different, he reminded himself. He had already known what it felt like to take a life.

With Nagasaki in the grip of a bitter winter, two vampires struggle to hunt in the challenging conditions. When an opportunity to feed from a dying man presents itself, Taku insists that they take advantage of it. Yet his newly turned lover is left feeling devastated by their actions. Seeing Thane so distraught is more than Taku can bear and so he makes a decision to shield Thane as much as he can from the darker side to their existence. However his desire to protect Thane might one day cost him everything.

Never Change is a short story set in the Demon’s Blood universe.


Book Title: Demon’s Life (Demon’s Blood universe #2)

Author: Shari Sakurai

Publisher: Farnhurst Publishing

Length:  322 pages

Release Date:  November 4, 2019

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Buy Links

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Out of respect for the relationship we once had I will spare your life. However, if you try to obstruct me again then I will kill you

Vampires are now an endangered species. Possessed by the demon Kurai, Kokawa Taku has sworn to eradicate all those whom he deems inferior.

Determined to free Taku from the demon’s corruption, Thane seeks help from Taku’s sire, Takata Koji. Thane’s search for answers takes him to Hong Kong where he learns the devastating truth. That in order to save Taku, Thane may have to kill him.

Refusing to accept this, Thane makes a decision that places the fate of all vampires in the balance. However Thane is unaware of the betrayal around him and that his actions will either save Taku or destroy him.

Excerpt from Demon’s Blood (Demon’s Blood universe #1)

Ōtsuki, Kai Province, Honshū, JAPAN, 29 January 1714

Takata Koji knew he was dying. The sickness that had swept through his village had been relentless and had claimed the lives of scores already. He had fallen ill five days ago, two days after his younger sister, Kaede, died. The physician had just been to see him. The grim expression on the man’s face and the distraught weeping of his mother only confirmed what, deep down, Koji already knew. He did not want to die. He was only twenty-five. He wanted to cling onto life with every fibre of his being. But simply the will to live was not enough. Koji’s body ached and he could not get warm, no matter how many blankets his mother brought him. His voice had failed him two nights ago and was yet to return.

It was a cruel hand of fate that the direct descendants of the Takata clan had managed to survive elimination at the hands of their enemy only to perish now. The Okada clan had defeated his relatives almost a hundred and fifty years ago in battle. Of their branch of the family Koji was the only male born; the last heir. His mother could bear no more children.

Hearing the voices of his parents Koji glanced towards the shoji. He had only seen his father once since he became ill. His mother said the man was consumed by grief. Koji knew better than this. Takata Kazuhiro had talked of nothing other than reclaiming his clan’s status and land since Koji was a boy. Yet his own frailties had prevented him from achieving this himself. Some of the Takata clan’s descendants had managed to secure positions within the Tokugawa Shogunate. However, a poor background and ill health had prevented Kazuhiro from doing the same. Koji had been his last hope. It was more than his son dying; it was Kazuhiro’s dreams too. 

Koji inhaled deeply, finding even this intake of air difficult as he shifted his position on the futon. The movement caused one of the woven blankets to slip off him and onto the tatami floor. There it remained. Koji lacked the strength to reach over for it. A hacking cough shook his fragile form. He had lost so much weight that his clothes hung off of him. The last time he had gazed at his reflection he had seen a corpse rather than a man staring back. 

Koji gasped, fighting to catch his breath as the painful tickling sensation in the back of this throat relentlessly forced the violent coughing fit. A metallic taste welled up in his mouth and the frightened young man gagged over the side of the futon. The hand automatically flying to his mouth came back slicked with crimson. 

“Nishimura-san!” his mother raced into his bedroom screaming for the physician at the sight of her son’s blood. Koji felt hands on his shoulders. He was roughly shaken when he failed to respond. Panicked golden eyes raised to meet his mother’s terrified ones even as his vision began to fail him. 

“Koji! Koji!” 

Her cries were becoming fainter now and the darkness that he was falling into was more inviting. As much as he feared death, Koji now felt some relief at its embrace. He was so tired. As much as he wished to hold onto life he realised that, deep down, all he really wanted was to be free of the pain.


Candles flickered in the dark, the heat from their burning light touching his sensitive skin as he was drawn from unconsciousness once more. Hot, red wax dripped onto the stone altar from the ceiling above. One spot landed on his palm, causing a hiss of pain to escape him. The clan’s Mon – coat of arms – was etched crudely into the low ceiling. The large circle and rhombi making up the outline of the symbol seemed to swell in size the longer that he stared at them. The two smaller diamonds in the centre were coloured completely in red. 

Koji could hear the hum of lowered voices around him yet they remained in shadow. He tugged weakly on the rope that bound his arms above his head and back against the stone surface. An unnecessary precaution, for the fever had robbed him of most of his strength. He could barely curl a palm into a fist.

A weakened cough alerted them to his wakefulness and one man stepped forward. Koji tried to make a sound but a gentle gasp was all that was permitted from dry lips as his father approached. Takata Kazuhiro’s stern expression did not falter although there was some regret lingering in his reddened eyes. 

Kazuhiro sustained a leg injury in a fight before Koji was born and had walked with a stick ever since. He leaned heavily on this now, as though it would somehow give him strength. A candle lit lamp was held in his free hand. Koji shifted slightly under his father’s gaze not understanding the situation or the reason for the man’s silence. He had slowly begun to recognise the room that he was in and confusion filled him. It was the village shrine. 

“Kazuhiro!” Another voice broke through the quiet murmurs. Koji’s gaze turned to the newcomer. Tears stained his mother’s cheeks. Her hair had fallen free from her usual ponytail to tangle around her face in wild waves. The streaks of silver were clearly visible now. Since he had fallen sick she seemed to have aged twenty years.

“Do not do this,” she pleaded softly of her husband. “Nishimura-san—”

“Cannot help him,” Kazuhiro finished for her. His words were as hard as stone. “This is the only way.”

“He is our son! And you would condemn him to this!”

“It will save his life,” Kazuhiro gestured to the two men – whom were neighbours of the Takata’s – standing behind him. “It is a great gift, Natsumi.”

“How can you call it a gift? It is a curse!”

Koji watched helplessly as the two younger men seized his mother and dragged her from his line of sight and back into shadow. He could make out her further protests and sobs for a few moments. A cry pierced the calm of the room. Then silence followed. 

About the Author

Shari Sakurai is a British author of paranormal, horror, science fiction and fantasy novels that almost always feature a LGBTQ protagonist and/or antagonist. She has always loved to write and it is her escape from the sometimes stressful modern life!

Aside from writing, Shari enjoys reading, watching movies, listening to (loud!) music, going to rock concerts and learning more about other societies and cultures. Japanese culture is of particular interest to her and she often incorporates Japanese themes and influences into her work.

Shari loves a challenge and has taken part and won the National Novel Writing Month challenge eleven times!

Author Links

Blog/Website  |  Facebook

Twitter  |   Instagram


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one of three ebooks from Shari's backlist 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

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Release Blitz + Giveaway: On a Roll (Food Truck Warriors #3) by Beth Bolden

Author Beth Bolden and  Gay Book Promotions celebrate the new release of On a Roll (Food Truck Warriors #3)! See more about the enemies to lovers standalone and enter in the $25 Amazon gift card giveaway!


Book Title:  On a Roll (Food Truck Warriors #3)

Author: Beth Bolden

Publisher: Beth Bolden Books

Cover Artist: AngstyG Book Cover and Media Design

Release Date: May 6, 2021

Genre/s: Contemporary gay romance

Trope/s:  Enemies to lovers, found family

Themes: Building trust, finding love again

Length:  84 000 words

Heat Rating:  4 flames       

It is a standalone story.

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Buy Links - Available in Kindle Unlimited

Universal Link  |  Amazon US  |   Amazon UK 

If they could stop arguing for a hot second . . . they just might fall in love.


Gabriel Moretti and Sean Cooper should be friends. They’re both passionate about serving delicious food to their customers. They both love to kick back with the other food truck owners at the collective they’ve joined. But maybe it’s possible to have too much in common . . .

Especially when they’ve chosen the exact same name for their food trucks.

Gabriel and Sean know that one of them will have to change the name. The only question is, who’s willing to give in first?

It’s inevitable that with such a difficult decision, their tempers flare. But to their shock, their deeply-buried chemistry ignites too. Could it be that for them fighting is actually flirting, and what they really crave is each other? 


“Someone’s name needs to change by September first,” Tony said. “That’s the first home game at the Coliseum,” he added, referring to the home football stadium of the University of Southern California—the lot was situated only a few blocks away from the stadium entrance, and they already knew on game days, they’d be overwhelmed.

“Alright,” Sean said. “We’ll figure something out.” That gave them a little over a month to either make a decision—or kill each other. Whichever came first.

Tony stood. “Good luck,” he said. “I’ll be around if you decide you need a referee.” And then he was gone, leaving the two of them alone.

Sean couldn’t remember a time they’d ever been alone. Their friends had probably gone out of their way to make sure of that. Not sure if anything would still be left standing if it was just the two of them.

“Not for this,” Gabriel said, and the underlying intensity—the intimacy—in his voice made Sean’s hand freeze on his beer bottle.

He glanced up, and Gabriel was staring at him, those dark eyes reflecting his tone. More than once during the last two years, Sean had been reminded of his very first reaction to Gabriel.

Tall. Big. Broad. Beautiful.

It had been the first time since Milo that he’d seen a guy and felt that instantaneous moment of attraction. Then Gabriel had opened his mouth, and the moment was gone, but it had existed.

Sean often remembered it at the worst possible times. Like right now.

“So,” Sean said, clearing his throat. Trying not to think of how dark the corner of the bar was, how the flickering candle on the table was reflected in Gabriel’s eyes. How the light turned his face into a Renaissance masterpiece. “How are we going to do this?”

“All business,” Gabriel teased, but the edge of his voice was almost . . . sweet. Like he thought Sean’s attempt to be professional wasn’t annoying, but cute.

Something that Sean never expected from Gabriel was sweetness.

“Did we have something else we needed to talk about that isn’t business?” Sean wondered.

“No, but we have time. Over a month,” Gabriel said, taking a sip of his beer. “What’s the rush? Maybe we’ll negotiate better if we get to know each other first.”

“You mean that you want to charm me first so that you’ll get the upper hand.” He didn’t really think that was true—Gabriel could be difficult and frustrating and slippery, but Sean wasn’t sure that he’d do something so underhanded. He wasn’t a bad guy. Sean had learned that much by watching his friendship with Tony and Lucas and Ash and Tate blossom.

Even their own relationship, while still combative, had lost the sharper edges in the last few months.

Gabriel shrugged. “The best negotiation is one where we both get what we want.”

“I’m not sure how we can do that,” Sean admitted. “We both want the same thing.”

“Do we?”

Sean made a frustrated noise. “You know we do. We’ve wanted the same goddamn thing for the last two years, and you even threw a meatball at my chest to try to get me to cave. So don’t start, okay? I’m not stupid. I know exactly what you’re after.”

“Do you?” Gabriel’s mouth curved into something dangerous. Or maybe that was the unwanted attraction to him blooming inside Sean.

“You want to win,” Sean said.

“Maybe we can figure out a way we can both win,” Gabriel suggested.

“Based on what I know we want, I find that hard to believe,” Sean said. Then hesitated. This was exactly why Tony hadn’t wanted to leave them alone. Had wanted to play referee. He hadn’t thought they could do this on their own. Maybe he was right. But then, they’d never actually tried either.

Gabriel drained the rest of his beer and set it on the table with a decisive click. “I need more alcohol for this,” he muttered, standing up. “You want something?”

About the Author 

A lifelong Pacific Northwester, Beth Bolden has just recently moved to North Carolina with her supportive husband. Beth still believes in Keeping Portland Weird, and intends to be just as weird in Raleigh.

Beth has been writing practically since she learned the alphabet. Unfortunately, her first foray into novel writing, titled Big Bear with Sparkly Earrings, wasn’t a bestseller, but hope springs eternal. She’s published twenty-three novels and seven novellas.

Author Links

Blog/Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |   BookBub

Instagram  |  Newsletter Sign-up


Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win

a $25 Amazon gift card

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

Follow the tour and check out the other blog posts and reviews here

Release Blitz + Giveaway: Between Empires and Continents (Luxor City #2) by Sasha Hope

Author Sasha Hope and IndiGo Marketing return with a new release blitz for the latest in the urban fantasy omegaverse series, Between Empires and Continents (Luxor City #2)! Find out more and enter in the $10 NineStar Press credit giveaway!

Title: Between Empires and Continents

Series: A Luxor City Novel

Author: Sasha Hope

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: 05/10/2021

Heat Level: 3 - Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 55300

Genre: Contemporary, LGBTQIA+, Romance, futuristic, urban fantasy, gay, bisexual, Alpha/omega dynamic, cruise ship, traveling in disguise, bodyguard, arranged marriage

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Luxor City, a once lawless metropolis on the brink of civil war, is now at peace, but even in lighter times there are always shadows. In the technicolor streets of the Southern Empire, Junsu Sun, the Alpha heir to one of Luxor City’s great crime families, busies himself by dealing with a blacklisted group known as the Underground.

After taking down one of the Underground’s notorious leaders, Junsu assumes he’ll be given time to rest and recuperate, but his mother, Alpha Xijuan Sun, has a new mission for him, involving a luxury cruise and a new mate, Omega Kaito Yamaguchi, of the powerful Yamaguchi family. Ever the dutiful son, Junsu obeys his orders as if it were any other mission, but this sort of engagement isn’t exactly the type of thing he’s used to and Kaito Yamaguchi certainly isn’t the sort of Omega he’s used to either.

Kaito is impatient, impassable, and impossible. He’s a spoiled Omega who is pissed off that his family have reorganized his life and thrust him into this arranged mating with some Luxor City Alpha he’s never met before. Kaito hasn’t even seen a picture of Junsu Sun, a fact that Junsu uses to his advantage.

Faced with a week spent trapped on a luxury cruise with a rude, bratty Omega who doesn’t even know who he is, Junsu decides to play a little trick on his future mate. But just how far will he let things go and where is the line between a little trick and a painful deception?

Meanwhile, other secrets floating between empires and continents are about to spill out onto the deck.


Between Empires and Continents
Sasha Hope © 2021
All Rights Reserved

The Southern Empire glittered like a neon jewel at the tip of the vast island metropolis that was Luxor City, offering visitors and locals alike a chance to live another life. Between the intersections of technicolor streets, every threshold was another opportunity to experience the height of southern entertainment and luxury. The South’s booming city center was a shining district renowned for its fine dining and nightlife. People from all over the world sailed for weeks just to pay a visit. But, as is the trouble in all cities, dark corners filled space among the shadows cast by dazzling lights.

Junsu Sun was proud of the Empire he would one day inherit. Recent increases in corruption were no surprise in a city founded largely on the drug trade between Luxor and the Second Continent. Still, Junsu wasn’t pleased to find out just how deep the opium-coated rabbit hole went. The underground world that had been built up in the back alleys between skyscrapers both enraged and fascinated him to no end.

Since the unification of Luxor City and the newfound peace between the island’s three territories—North, Central, and South—Junsu had been on a quest to know more about his Empire and the inner workings of their expansive business. As the sole heir to Xijuan Sun, the aging Alpha of the Southern Empire, he was starting to feel the weight of duty falling more and more heavily upon his shoulders. Despite only occupying the southern tip of Luxor City, the territory his family’s Empire encompassed was vast and densely populated.

Junsu had no idea what went down in some of the red-light hotspots dotting the city’s entertainment district, but over the past few weeks he’d been carefully slipping into the inner circles of some of the city’s most notorious gangsters, learning more and more about the Southern underbelly, what the Sun family and their allies simply called the Underground.

This was how he found himself sitting around a table playing Mah-jongg with a group of Alphas his mother would have killed as soon as she’d looked at them. These were members of the Underground, people whose fidelity to the Sun family was always in question. They stepped around rules and edicts to run their shady district nightclubs off the grid.

This evening, however, they were all sitting together glowering at Mah-jongg tiles with knowing black eyes.

Four Alphas were seated as is required in Mah-jongg, one person per side of a perfectly square table: North, South, East and West. Junsu occupied the East seat. He leaned into a soft chair with its back to a large loading bay door. Though prominent industrial pieces of architecture were blatantly scattered about the Underground hideout, there was a luxury apparent in the chic den only the highest rollers could afford. Eccentric art pieces decorated the walls and were often lit with neon beams, adding ambience to the eclectic atmosphere.

Junsu hadn’t been expecting this Underground gang to literally be inside an underground venue, but he found something vaguely amusing about their headquarters. In the darkness, dull violet lights illuminated the faces of gamblers and socialites. Their smirking features glowed in an ominous manner. The exposed piping above their table rattled and hissed, probably taking on the tide water from the nearby shoreline. The noise was almost drowned out by the pounding music coming from the club on the floor above.

Junsu stared down at his onyx and jade Mah-jongg tiles, running his thumb over one of the gold-painted engravings marking it. He smiled at his latest pick and flipped his pieces down onto the table, showing off the winning hand.

“My game again,” he uttered before reaching a lazy hand over to his drink. He hid a smirk around the rim of his glass as the rest of the Alphas at the table groaned.

Junsu, the newcomer, had won his third game in a row.

“You know, Sun. It’s only polite to let your elders win sometimes,” the middle-aged man at the West side of the table grunted around the end of a newly lit cigarette. He was the Underground’s leader, an Alpha called Naoto Kim. His wrinkled features were drawn up in a smirk, visibly amused by Junsu’s luck even while his eyes were narrowed with a hint of suspicion.

Junsu could see it, but he simply chuckled and moved his tiles back into the center of the table. He was lucky to have secured this meeting with Naoto Kim, but he wasn’t about to lose on purpose just to stroke the other Alpha’s ego.

“My mother is a good teacher,” Junsu murmured as he drew a hand over the tiles, mixing them about over the velvet-covered tabletop. In contrast to this venue, his mother had a few high-tech tables back in the casino capable of shuffling themselves. Her tables moved the tiles into a mechanical repository under the green velvet before restacking and dealing them out in neat piles. Naoto’s club was a little passé, but Junsu was polite enough not to mention it.

Naoto’s lazy gaze traced Junsu’s hand as it moved over the tiles while he shuffled. With gritted teeth, he laughed to himself before taking a long drag off his cigarette. Smoke billowed from between his lips, momentarily obscuring his glaring eyes.

“I bet you regret inviting the Sun kid over for playtime now. Hey, Seijin?” Tae, the man on the North side of the table, said to the man at the South.

Seijin didn’t look too happy. As a younger member of the gang, his pockets weren’t anywhere near as loaded as his fellows’ and Junsu had practically emptied them out.

Junsu had met Seijin through a contact who’d infiltrated the Underground. Buddying up to the young Alpha had been a cinch. After a few meetups, money had exchanged hands and Junsu eventually convinced Seijin to let him in on one of their Mah-jongg games to give him a chance to meet with Naoto Kim. Junsu had a particular interest in the Underground membership and their trade. They were an up-and-coming group and, despite the conflict between the Underground and the Sun family, Junsu had paid great attention to their business.

“Look, Junsu didn’t come here to play Mah-jongg. All right, Tae?” Seijin snapped back. “He’s not just here to fleece me.”

“Seijin’s right,” Junsu said with a nod. He tossed a few tiles across the table with an absent flick of the wrist. “I didn’t come here to play. I came for business.”

Naoto stared at him, still glaring down the end of his cigarette. “Not sure if we need your mother’s business,” he muttered in response.

“Not hers. Mine,” Junsu replied curtly.


NineStar Press | Books2Read

Meet the Author

Sasha Hope is a lover of story, art and design based in Canada. As a writer and an artist, she enjoys having the opportunity to create new characters and build new worlds for readers to explore. Having studied linguistics and a myriad of languages from a young age, she is passionate about including characters of different backgrounds in her work. Whether the setting is fantasy or reality, she believes that a diverse cast with diverse languages and cultures is a wonderful thing.

Crafting stories that embrace MM romance and erotica is her modus operandi. When she is not creating new worlds she is travelling this one looking for inspiration or enjoying her career in the videogame industry.

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Release Blitz + Giveaway: Love Bleeds Deep (Fatal Fidelity #2) by Rien Gray

Author Rien Gray and IndiGo Marketing host today's release blitz for Love Bleeds Deep (Fatal Fidelity #2)! Read more about the darker romantic suspense and enter in the $10 NineStar Press credit giveaway!

Title: Love Bleeds Deep

Series: Fatal Fidelity, Book Two

Author: Rien Gray

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: 05/10/2021

Heat Level: 3 - Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 51100

Genre: Contemporary, LGBTQIA+, contemporary, romantic suspense, nonbinary, queer, bisexual, interracial, established couple, assassin, dark, #ownvoices, PTSD, revenge

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With her husband dead, Justine finds herself balancing newfound freedom and a blossoming relationship with Campbell. They steal her away to a slice of paradise in France, but it’s a working holiday, and their new contract is a heavy hitter.

A local diplomat wants her ex-boyfriend—also her ex-bodyguard—dead. He’s been stalking her for weeks, and his years of experience as a Special Forces interrogator make him a hard target to catch. He’ll kill anyone who gets too close: Campbell included.

Campbell is used to giving up everything for the job, but old memories and old friends leave a weakness to exploit. Justine takes Campbell back from the brink of a violent collapse, but it comes at a dire price.

What survives afterwards will change them both forever.

The books in the Fatal Fidelity series are best read in order.


Love Bleeds Deep
Rien Gray © 2021
All Rights Reserved

The first time I flew to Paris, I was twenty.

I didn’t have a first-class seat, but back then, it didn’t matter. Knowing I was going to paint surrounded by masterpieces I’d only seen in books and slideshows overwhelmed everything else. It was my capstone year in college, and even now, the memories feel more like a dream. Happiness seemed inevitable, with the brightest future in front of me I could possibly imagine. After I came home and graduated, I met the man who would one day be my husband. In a few short years, we were married.

It was all a façade. I lost my art, my friends, my dignity, and half my sanity to Richard’s abuse. By the time he’d devoured a decade of my life, I was convinced there could be no way out. Then I met the person who made everything right.

Campbell sits next to me in a cushy blue seat, gray eyes locked on the murder mystery they bought from the terminal on our way in. They’ve already made it halfway through the book, only taking breaks between chapters to nurse the cool glass of water by their elbow. The same hands holding their drink with care, turning pages without leaving a single crease in the spine, are responsible for killing Richard without a hint of remorse.

There are a lot of ways and reasons to love someone. I don’t love Campbell because they’re a killer, but it’s not despite that either. They’re utterly confident, competent, and quick-witted, which makes them very good at their job, but what’s under the mask is what I care about. When they’re protective of me, when they’re grieving, when we’re in bed and it’s as if the world has shrunk down to fit the two of us and no one else.

Somehow in the scheme of things, murder barely makes the list.

“You’re smiling,” Campbell says, eyes still focused on the book.

I startle a little bit. After how we met, I should be used to their ability to read everyone around them, but repeated exposure doesn’t make it any less uncanny. “How can you tell when you’re not even looking at me?”

“Emotion doesn’t only show on the face. Whether we’re smiling or bracing for impact, it goes through the whole body in a hundred subtle ways.” Campbell’s gaze meets mine, dark with amusement. “But I did look at you. You were too busy staring at my hands.”

Heat rushes up the back of my neck. Guilty as charged. “You have very nice hands.”

They accept the compliment with a quick flash of teeth. “Yet I don’t think that’s what was on your mind.”

If we were elsewhere, I might have kissed Campbell or drawn them close, whispered all the thank-yous and apologies brimming on my tongue. Except we’re on a plane with a hundred other people, and even the privacy curtain can’t make me so bold.

I settle for shifting in my seat to lean my head against their shoulder. Campbell adjusts slightly, making the angle more gentle for my neck. They make no comment on my silence, turning to the next page, but their attention on me lingers. Drawing Campbell’s eye is its own sort of satisfaction.

“I have a silly question,” I say.

Campbell gestures with the book. “The mystery part of this murder is a four out of ten at best, if that’s what you’re wondering.”

A soft laugh leaves my lips. “No. I…”

Are they going to take offense to me asking? I know it’s possible, but I’ll take full responsibility either way.

“Is Campbell your first or your last name?”

They raise a brow, but it’s followed by silence. I’m about to apologize when a smile slowly pulls across their lips.

“You fell for me without knowing the answer?”

Now I’m flustered for an entirely different reason. “Yes. I mean, I know it’s your name; I just…feel like I’m missing context. Never mind. I said it was silly.”

“It’s not,” Campbell counters, the mirth fading from their face. “I know everything about you, Justine. At least, a lot more than I should for someone who never asked those questions.”

I hadn’t thought about it that way.

They set the book down in their lap, holding the page with one knee before reaching into their jacket. It’s a nice one, made of black, butter-soft leather and tailored perfectly to Campbell’s frame. I’m not sure what they’re looking for until Campbell pulls out their passport, offering it to me between two fingers.

“See for yourself.”


NineStar Press | Books2Read

Meet the Author

Rien Gray is a queer, nonbinary writer who has worked in ghostwriting, TTRPGS, and video games. They have a treasured (and ever-growing) collection of LGBTQ+ history books as well as a deep, abiding love for Greek myth. Rien has an upcoming short story in Neon Hemlock’s Baffling Magazine. They live in Ireland.

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Release Blitz + Giveaway: The Ballad of Crow & Sparrow by V.L. Locey

Author V.L. Locey and Signal Boost Promotions celebrate the release of Western romance, The Ballad of Crow & Sparrow! Find out more and enter in the back list eBook giveaway!


Cover Design: Designs By Sloan

Length: 74,337 


Sometimes a man’s biggest blunder can turn into his greatest triumph.

Orphaned at fourteen, Crow Poulin now has to hunt and trap the White Mountains of Arizona, as his father had taught him, all alone. It’s a lonely existence, until one morning, while checking his trap line, Crow finds more than a rabbit in a snare. He stumbles across the outlaw Jack Wittington lying half dead in the wilds. He takes the wanted man in, heals him, and in return for saving his life, the smooth-talking criminal invites Crow to join his family. Starved for human interaction and a father figure, Crow leaves the mountains behind for what he assumes will be a brighter future.

Six years pass. Crow is now a man, as well as a member of the Wittington Gang. He may be considered an outlaw, but his father’s morals are warring loudly with the lifestyle of his adopted family. When the gang decides to rob a train, Crow has no choice but to go along to keep a tight rein on the more bloodthirsty members. It doesn’t take long for the scheme to go horribly astray.

Instead of gold-filled coffers, the gang finds Spencer Haughton, son of cattle baron and railroad tycoon Woodford Haughton, cowering in the family’s opulent private car. The outlaws grab the sickly heir in hopes of ransoming him off. Things then go from bad to worse for them when the law rides down on the Wittington hideout and Crow is given Spencer to hide until the ransom is paid. The pretty young man is nothing at all like anyone Crow has ever met before. Delicate, refined, well-educated, and possessed of a singing voice to rival the songs of the birds in the trees, Crow slowly finds himself falling for the winsome rich boy. But can two such opposite souls find the love they’re both seeking in each other’s arms?

USA Today Bestselling Author V.L. Locey – Penning LGBT hockey romance that skates into sinful pleasures.

V.L. Locey loves worn jeans, yoga, belly laughs, walking, reading and writing lusty tales, Greek mythology, Torchwood and Dr. Who, the New York Rangers, comic books, and coffee. (Not necessarily in that order.) She shares her life with her husband, her daughter, one dog, two cats, a pair of geese, far too many chickens, and two steers.

When not writing spicy romances, she enjoys spending her day with her menagerie in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania with a cup of fresh java in one hand and a steamy romance novel in the other.

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Review: Up in Smoke (Hotshots #4) by Annabeth Albert

Three Men and a Baby meets Backdraft with explosive chemistry and heartfelt feels.

Freewheeling smoke jumper Brandt Wilder thrives on adrenaline. He’s never met a parachute he can’t repair or a dangerous situation he couldn’t wrangle his way out of. He’s popular and fun-loving and not at all looking to settle down or form lasting relationships. It’s a lifestyle that’s served him well…right up until the day he finds a baby on his doorstep.

Shane Travis is used to putting his country music career—and his own happiness—on hold after his sister rolls through his life. Like last spring when she convinced him to try skydiving for his birthday—and she walked away with the hot parachute instructor.

Now he gets to deliver the piece of news that will upend Brandt’s carefree life: he very well might be a dad.

Shane’s niece is safe in Brandt’s strong, capable hands, but too many questions remain unanswered. Co-parenting while they sort it out leads to late-night talks, and soul-bearing confessions lead to a most inconvenient attraction. Still, Shane can’t leave this makeshift family behind—even if it means playing house with the one man he can’t resist.

Heartwarming and sweet.

Brandt and Shane first meet on a skydiving excursion. There are sparks between them, but nothing comes of it.

In fact, things go in an entirely different direction. Mainly, an unexpected niece on Shane’s doorstep - who also happens to be Brandt’s daughter.

Yeah it’s a bit of an odd situation, but hey families can be weird!

Also, kudos to the author for portraying the mother, Shelley, in a compassionate light. Things happen, and sometimes the hardest decision can be the right one.

From the get-go, I adored how devoted Shane and Brandt were to little Jewel. They did what needed to be done, even if it all happened very suddenly.

This is definitely a very baby-centric story. A lot of the interactions and page-time revolve around how the two men adjust to coparenting. So beware if that’s not your jam!

That’s not to say that the romance plays second fiddle - Shane and Brandt’s connection and pull towards one another is the big elephant in the room. And the two find it harder and harder to resist.

When they finally give in, sparks fly! A+ for experimenting and being open to new things.

And on top of that, the two men just clicked. They were mature and communicated openly, and they were willing to make space in their lives for each other and for Jewel.

This isn’t an overly angsty or drama-filled read. Some major life events happen, but overall it’s a fairly low-key book. I liked the easy pace.

The story did drag a bit in the second half, but then I think it was just because of my personal preferences. Shane’s music career storyline just wasn’t particularly interesting for me.

However, the HEA and epilogue were lovely. Everything was tied together perfectly with a bow on top.

If you’re looking for an easily enjoyable romance about two men and their unexpected baby, give ‘Up in Smoke’ a try!

A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.