Release Blitz + Giveaway: To Light a Fire (Speak its Name #1) by Kristian Parker

Author Kristian Parker hosts release blitz for new historical erotic romance, To Light a Fire (Speak its Name #1) from Pride Publishing! Find out more about the first the new series and enter in the eBook giveaway courtesy of the author!


To Light a Fire by Kristian Parker

Book 1 in the Speak Its Name series

Word Count: 19,038
Book Length: NOVELLA
Pages: 82


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Book Description

Frank never thought he would find love…until he met his friend’s servant.

It’s 1922 and Frank Harris has finished his exams at Cambridge. He had planned on going home to his parents’ Midlands shop until his friend Charlie Fitzwilliam issues a surprise invitation to stay at his family’s stately home.

Frank has nursed a secret attraction to Charlie since their first meeting and can’t resist a chance to spend time with him, but once there, it’s Tanner, a manservant, with whom he instantly falls in lust.

Charlie tries to force a local girl on Frank, and although Frank knows he should keep up appearances, it’s Tanner who sets a fire in him.

To Frank’s astonishment, Tanner is attracted to him too, and their mutual passion kindles, then burns strong. Only, their feelings must remain a secret—discovery would mean the ruin of them both.

But how long can love that blazes this bright be hidden?


Cambridge, 1922

“Come on, Harris. Don’t be a chump. You can read your precious architecture books at my place. I don’t know why you’re bothering, anyway—we’ve done the blasted exams.”

So spoke Charlie Fitzwilliam the third…or maybe the fourth, standing there in all his glory. As usual, the rest of his gang flanked him and glared at me. It didn’t do to say no to Charlie. I had been in awe of him for four years at Cambridge.

The polar opposite to me, he could make a boy feel awkward just by entering a room. Blond, muscular and his parents owned most of one of the bigger counties just outside London. I, on the other hand, had dark hair, could have been described as a little on the skinny side and certainly didn’t come from the right side of the tracks.

“Go on, Harris,” said one of his henchmen. They followed him everywhere, doing his dirty work and hoping against hope some of that Fitzwilliam magic would rub off on them. “Charlie will be bored if you don’t.”

“Why don’t you go and entertain him then?” I said gruffly.

It had been made clear when we started at university that I would be the lackey of the group and it didn’t do to let me forget it. Charlie’s lot were Harrow boys for whom Cambridge had been a natural next step. My place had been paid for by my parents saving hard and me getting the best marks possible at school.

My parents had several shops in Leicester, the middle of England, where I’d grown up and nothing ever happened. When I’d come to Cambridge, I’d been an awkward eighteen-year-old who had no idea how to use the right cutlery or which wine went with fish. Charlie had taken me under his wing, the others had been jealous and so my runt-of-the-litter position had become firmly cemented.

Charlie had more money than he would ever know what to do with. University was just a diversion, a chance to drink heavily, romance often and generally live a crazy life. The dire state of the economy didn’t come anywhere near him, happening only to other people.

An invitation to go to his house in the country could not be refused, and I found myself tempted by some time alone with him. Besides, I couldn’t apply in earnest to architectural partnerships until I knew my marks for my degree. We had sat our final exam last week and could only wait until August, when we would graduate.

I had planned to go home and help in the shops, but I would only be taking hours from our workers who needed them more than me.

“Just think of it. You can dig around my father’s books to your heart’s content.” Charlie clapped his arm around me, causing me to blush. He knew he had his fish on the line, and a grin creased the sides of my face.

“Fine. A week, no more.”

Charlie held up his hands. “A week is all I want from you. Mummy has demanded my presence in bloody Portugal after that. I’ll be dragged around endless vineyards in search of the perfect grapes for the perfect port. Oh, well done, old man. I hate being stuck in that house on my own. It’s just so boring.”

Having made the decision, I told my parents, and they were fine with it. They wanted me to get as much out of life as possible. Me having the chance to hobnob with a load of posh people would be a talking point for my mother for the rest of the year. God help her customers. They would soon be sick of hearing it.

With a heavy heart, I packed away my books, to send them home to my parents. I would never stand in this bedroom again. I had been lucky to get a set of rooms to myself—most of the other undergraduates shared. I would miss this tiny bit of independence. It might be cliché, but I had arrived a boy and was leaving a man. Charlie and his cronies were still like boys and probably always would be.

I had never gone in for the carousing life. Charlie had a reputation for smuggling girls from the local town into our halls. More than once he had persuaded me to let him use my room for a bit of privacy. As usual he had a henchman, or two, standing guard, and I would find a corner and retreat into my books. It amazed me why Charlie and his gang bothered with me at all. I must have been so boring to them, but Charlie had somehow bonded with me. On his own, when he wasn’t being an insufferable show-off, he could be quite good fun. We were both studying architectural history together. Charlie didn’t know his Christopher Wren from his Antoni Gaudi, and we’d spent many a late night sorting out his essays. In reality, I would write them for him, but I used to live for those nights. Charlie generally sat on the window ledge smoking and chatting while I scribbled away. The public image of Charlie could be hard to get past, but when he did let a person in, a decent chap lay beneath.

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About the Author

Kristian Parker


I have written for as long as I could write. In fact, before, when I would dictate to my auntie. I love to read, and I love to create worlds and characters.

I live in the English countryside. When I’m not writing, I like to get out there and think through the next scenario I’m going to throw my characters into.

Inspiration can be found anywhere, on a train, in a restaurant or in an office. I am always in search of the next character to find love in one of my stories. In a world of apps and online dating, it is important to remember love can be found when you least expect it.

Follow Kristian on Facebook.


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Kristian Parker's To Light a Fire Giveaway

ENTER HERE AND GET A FREE EBOOK FROM THE AUTHOR! Notice: This competition ends on 8th June 2021 at 5pm GMT. Competition hosted by Totally Entwined Group.

Review: This is Not a Horror Movie by Sara Dobie Bauer

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.

This is Not a Horror Movie is a 78,000-word new adult gay rom-com… with a monster.

I will be the first to admit that YA is not my go to but the three stories I’ve read from Bauer, I've quite enjoyed and was curious to see what she brought to the table in yet a different genre. To say the least, I wasn’t disappointed.

Emory is the sweetest most unassuming guy. Shy but brilliant, aspiring to be a writer, he hides behind his love of all things scary because it’s the greatest escape out there, and Emory likes to hide. Every year he and his family go to Florida for the summer, meeting up with other families who vacation there at the same time. It’s a yearly reunion of sorts and as always, Emory looks forward to secretly lusting after hunky gorgeous Connor, two years his senior. This year’s no different for Emory. He’s still awkward, still bamboozled often by his outgoing twin sister, and he’s still crushing oh so hard on his neighbor that he gets to ogle from afar for two blissful weeks.

However, it’s different for Connor this time around. Apparently, Emory has blossomed into an elusive hottie who doesn't know the power of his killer good looks and charming self deprecation. Connor though, sure has noticed!

What I really loved about this book despite it’s very tame in the smex department self, was how much I enjoyed the way Emory and Connor were drawn, each with their own appealing and completely opposite characteristics, and though only told through Emory’s point of view, their distinct personalities shine through. Emory is slowly coming into his own, a lot scarred from high school bullying and unfortunately, hesitant to own up to his voice and be confident in his decisions. However, when he’s with Connor, though he’s often embarrassed and mortified, Emory never hides from his feelings (he really has no filter) and his emotions are on full display. Seen through Emory, Connor is like a dream come true, heroic, protective, treating Emory like he always should be, precious and appreciated.

This was often funny, silly, peppered with some snark and good shoutouts to the pop culture of all things horror, paranormal, and supernatural . The supporting cast was quirkily interesting and entertainingly outrageous at times, with a sassy wink at all the media entertainment rules and stereotypes. Add a spooky and gory otherworldly bent which was a tad incongruent to the mostly contemporary vibe that I thought it would maintain) and this actually made me anxious as I was legit creeped out and frightened several times for good measure. Toss in a very strong swoon factor as Emory and Cooper solidify their long latent hidden feelings and as I read, my glowing affinity towards them only grew.

Obviously, I liked these two adorable dreamy guys falling in love, solving crime and murder, and fighting off evil both metapohrically and literally. If the above sounds appealing, I’m confident fans of this author or those on the fence on whether or not to explore Bauer further should have no problem loving this!

Blog Tour + Giveaway: Fire in the Ice by Ryan Taylor & Joshua Harwood

It's the final day for the Fire in the Ice blog tour! Authors Ryan Taylor & Joshua Harwood, along with IndiGo Marketing, promote the new adult hockey romance, share their playlist and host a $25 Amazon gift card giveaway!

Title: Fire in the Ice

Author: Ryan Taylor & Joshua Harwood

Publisher: Wainscott Press

Release Date: May 14, 2021

Heat Level: 3 - Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 81,000 words

Genre: Romance, Gay Romance, MM Romance, Gay Hockey Romance, Gay Sports Romance, New Adult Gay Romance

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What if love threatened to destroy everything you’d worked for?

Hockey right winger Tyler Jensen isn’t thrilled to get the news he’s been traded to the Bethesda Barracudas. The team may be red-hot in the rankings, but there’s someone there he’d rather not have to see every day.

Defenseman Kevin Moore is one of the top-rated rookies in the country. He’s living the dream playing for the Barracudas—until he hears that his old high-school crush Tyler is joining the team. Ty was once everything Kev wanted, but their age difference got in the way. Tyler decided a three-year gap was too much and left Kevin behind.

In Bethesda, Tyler doesn’t take long to notice that Kevin has grown up into precisely the kind of man he can’t resist—brawny, brainy, and beautiful. Kev feels the pull too, and as the men become closer, they work hard to keep their budding relationship secret. Professional hockey may be welcoming gay players now, but Ty and Kev aren’t sure management would like the idea of two Barracudas taking teamwork to an entirely new level.

As the playoffs loom, news of their romance gets out. Ty and Kev, caught in a storm of controversy that threatens to destroy them, need a power play to save their careers. How will they find one before it’s too late?

Fire in the Ice delivers on the promise that second chances can work and dreams can come true. If you like exciting hockey, plenty of humor, a beautiful HEA, new adults, young athletes, and enough heat to burn down the house, this book is for you.

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Playlist for Fire in the Ice by Ryan Taylor and Joshua Harwood
Playlist Compiled by Ryan Taylor and Joshua Harwood
(We own no rights to the music or lyrics. All Copyrights, Trademarks, and Other Rights are held by their respective owners.)

The playlist is called Fire in the Ice. You can listen at As long as you’re a member of Spotify (you can create a no-cost account), you can listen to it there. If you are not a member, you should be able to find the songs elsewhere without any trouble.

We listen to a lot of music while we write. As we get further into a book, we find ourselves enjoying the same songs over and over. Certain music helps us shape characters and plot, and as a result, we associate some songs with particular scenes or chapters. The music puts us in the moment with the characters, allowing us to tell their story as effectively as possible.

This playlist includes some of the songs we listened to the most while writing Fire in the Ice. A synopsis of the book is just below. It doesn’t contain spoilers per se, but if you don’t like to know anything about a book before reading it, you should stop here and just listen to the playlist.

Kevin Moore had a terrible crush on Tyler Jensen when they were in high school. Kev was younger than Ty, and Ty had a boyfriend, but those kinds of details never do much to heal a youthful crush. We imagine young Kevin listened to a lot of music while he thought about Ty and dreamed about everything he wished could happen. As time passed, Kevin and Tyler became close friends. Even after Ty graduated, they stayed in touch and supported each other. Kevin’s crush never went away, but Tyler still had a boyfriend and wasn’t available.

Tyler wasn’t immune to Kevin’s charms, but even after he and his boyfriend broke up, he was afraid he was too old for Kev. Both young men and professional hockey players, Tyler and Kevin needed intimacy and companionship. They spent time searching for that special someone and eventually lost touch, but their feelings for each other never disappeared. We imagine both of them listened to songs like some of the ones on this playlist, longing for what they didn’t have—each other.

Fire in the Ice is a love story with a great HEA, and when Kevin and Tyler eventually met up again, romance wasn’t far away. Tyler wasn’t too old for Kevin anymore, and once they both said, “I’m in,” things happened quickly. The initial joy of love was overpowering, and they couldn’t stay away from each other. Their happiness combined with their love of hockey, and even a huge challenge that threatened their careers wasn’t enough to dampen their enthusiasm for each other.

We hope you’ll listen to the playlist and read the book. Please be sure to let us know what you think at

Here are the contents of the playlist:
  • Youth, Troye Sivan
  • Not in That Way, Sam Smith
  • Easy, Troye Sivan
  • Anchor, Novo Amor
  • Can’t Fight This Feeling, REO Speedwagon
  • A Sky Full of Stars, Coldplay
  • My Guy, Mary Wells
  • You Make My Dreams Come True, Hall and Oates
  • Love on Top, Beyoncé
  • Everything, Michael Bublé


Fire in the Ice
A Novel by Ryan Taylor & Joshua Harwood
Copyright © 2021 Ryan Taylor & Joshua Harwood. All Rights Reserved.

The fire alarm went off! I sat bolt upright, my heart pounding like a bass drum and the soaring panic making it hard to breathe. Just as I threw a leg over the side of the bed, I realized I didn’t know where the door was. Hell, I couldn’t even remember what city we were in. Sweat ran into my eyes, and I called for Thompson, my roommate. He didn’t answer. Had he run for safety and left me sleeping?

I finally came around enough to realize the noise wasn’t the fire alarm—it was the alarm on my phone. Thompson wasn’t there because we weren’t on a road trip. In fact, he and I weren’t even on the same team anymore. The Seattle Cohos had traded me, and I was a Bethesda-fuckin-Barracuda now. Woo-hoo! The fact that I had a terrible crush on one of my new teammates, who definitely did not return the feelings, made my new life a thrilling prospect. I wondered if there was any chance Kevin might change his mind and give me a chance. Doubtful, after what happened last fall.

It was way too early to get up, and I stretched my way through a big yawn. I’d flown to DC with Birky Ferrell, my teammate who had also been traded, and we didn’t get into town until about eleven the night before. That had only been eight p.m. Seattle time, so I didn’t fall asleep for hours. According to my phone, it was currently seven a.m. in Washington, and I was due in Bethesda by eight thirty. Time to get my ass out of bed and into the shower.

Lucky me, I had a whole new team to get to know. Too bad they’d played in Seattle only ten days earlier, and I’d gotten into it with one of their defensemen, Pierre Gagné. The rest of the game hadn’t exactly been friendly between the Barracudas and me, and I didn’t know what kind of reception to expect at Cuda Arena. I hoped they’d be in the mood to let bygones be bygones.

An hour later, Birky and I were in an Uber creeping its way through rush-hour traffic toward Bethesda. Bob Shuford, the head coach, wanted to see us before our first practice with the team. I studied Birky’s profile while he looked out the window. His craggy face was handsome, and he wore his brown hair in a crew cut. Birky was an enforcer, so he got into his share of brawls, and a few scars gave his face character.

He turned his attention away from the street. “You nervous?”

“No more than you.”

“We’ll be fine. They’re lucky to have us. You heard they made Johnson captain?”

“Yeah, I saw that last night.”

Birky shifted in his seat, so he could see me. “You know him, right? I’ve seen you two talking when the teams played each other.”

“We went to prep school together at St. Mark’s.” I took a deep breath and leaned back in the seat. Nick and I had so much more than gone to prep school together, but that was a lifetime ago. For five of the last seven years, we’d only been friends from a distance.

“Seems like a good guy.”

I smiled. “Nick is one of the nicest men you’ll ever meet. Best thing they could have done, making him captain. He was team captain in high school, and he’s a born leader.”

“Sounds like what they needed. Keefer’s an ass.”

“You’re almost right.”

He cocked his head.

“Nick as captain is what we need, Birky. We’re Barracudas now.”


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Meet the Author

Ryan Taylor and Joshua Harwood met in law school and were married in 2017. They live in a suburb of Washington, DC, and share their home with a big, cuddly German shepherd. Ryan and Josh enjoy travel, friends, and advocating for causes dear to their hearts. Ryan also loves to swim, and Josh likes to putter in the garden whenever he can. The romance they were so lucky to find with each other inspires their stories about love between out and proud men.

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Audiobook Release Blitz + Giveaway: Stylite: Mystery (Stylite Chronicles #1) by Tag Gregory & Lily Marie

Authors Tag Gregory & Lily Marie, along with IndiGo Marketing. celebrate the audiobook release of William Pierre narrated romantic suspense, Stylite: Mystery (Stylite Chronicles #1)! Discover more and enter in the eBook giveaway to books #2 + #3 of The Stylite Chronicles!

Title: Stylite: Mystery

Series: The Stylite Chronicles - Book One

Author: Tag Gregory & Lily Marie

Narrator: William Pierre

Publisher: Self-Published

Release Date: 5/1/21

Heat Level: 1 - No Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 05 Hours 48 Minutes

Genre: Romance, Mystery, History, LGBTQ, Contemporary Gay Literature

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Book One of the Stylite Chronicles. A curious art history student disturbs a lonely recluse holed up in an historic building in downtown Pittsburgh's "Golden Triangle". Together, they investigate the mystery behind the building and in the process unearth evidence of a long-dead, illicit love affair. Will that ancient romance help kindle a modern one for our history sleuths at the same time? 

It's a Mystery, History, Romance.


Egbert seemed quite taken by the end result and my ego swelled several sizes as he looked at the pictures, even asking me to make them bigger at times so he could see certain details better. I started to explain some of the various techniques I’d employed and why I’d added some of the different elements.

“I like this part,” he said, his finger shaking slightly as he pointed towards a particularly detailed part of my painting that incorporated some of the details from the cornice work of the building.

I beamed once again. Having him like my work meant a lot to me; which was odd, because usually, as long as I liked my work I didn’t care so much what others thought. But all of a sudden it mattered what THIS guy thought. That was different. It made me uncomfortable, but uncomfortable in a good way maybe. I’d have to think on why, exactly, that was. Later, though, because I was too busy bragging to my man to worry on it right then.

“. . . Yeah. I’m pretty happy with how it turned out and all,” I summarized when it seemed like we’d talked the painting to death finally. “Now I just have to hope that my professor agrees when I turn it in tomorrow.”

“So, as of tomorrow, you’re done with the project?” Egbert asked, sounding a little disappointed by that prospect.

“Yeah. Which is good, too, because I have to get started on studying for finals for my other classes, all of which I put off while I was working on this monster.” When Mystery Man looked away, seeming to hesitate about whatever it was he’d been about to say, I felt like I’d said something wrong. To backtrack I asked, “why? Was there something else? Something you think I missed?”

“No. No, nothing like that,” he stumbled over whatever it was he meant to say for a moment or two until it seemed like he just decided to blurt it out. “It’s just that, when you seemed interested in that old letter and the drawing, I remembered that my grandfather had a file of old records he kept that he’d found when he bought the building, and I thought you might be interested in looking through them. But, if you’re done with the project, I guess you wouldn’t be interested . . .”

“No! I mean, yeah, I’m finished with the project, but I would definitely love to take a look at whatever you’ve found. Really. If you’re okay with that?”

He looked relieved when I insisted I was still interested and I watched as he unlocked one of the drawers of his desk and pulled out a huge leather binder, filled to the brim with ageing papers. I was surprised that the file was one of the least clean things in the entire building. There might have even been some dust on the jacket of the folder. But, since it was dust that had been in the building for a while, as opposed to dust that came from some stranger outside, maybe it was safe enough, because my man just swiped at it perfunctorily with one of his wipes and then seemed good.

He placed the folder on the desk and pushed it towards me. “Here, knock yourself out.”

I paused briefly before making my way over and running my hand along the smooth leather surface of the file folder; it was so soft. “Wow.”

“You can . . .” He cleared his throat once again. “You can take it home with you to have a look through if you’d like. I just . . . I need it back.”

I couldn’t seem to control my face around this man, I don’t think I’d smiled this much in years. He was basically inviting me back! Well, that’s what I was taking from it anyway. “You know, I might have questions while I’m looking through this stuff. If I can’t figure it out, maybe I could come back and you could go over it with me? You might know more about the history, after all,” I suggested.

He shrugged his shoulders nonchalantly, like it didn’t bother him either way, but I knew that he liked my suggestion. “Sure. I could make time,” he replied, trying to sound all cool and unconcerned even though I could detect a smile hiding in that beard of his. “I’m . . . I’m not busy tomorrow afternoon.”

I wondered when he was ever busy, seeing as he didn’t seem to ever leave the building, but I didn’t think our relationship was ready for that line of questioning yet. “Sounds great. I should be done with classes by around three tomorrow. How about I come back after that?”

“Okay,” he agreed readily enough. “Although, I suspect this is probably the first time in history someone invited their burglar to come back for more.”

“I’m not a burglar. Just . . .”

“Just a brat. I know,” he teased me with that glint of humor in his eyes that I was starting to get to like.

“Good thing you like brats, huh?” I replied, because, yeah, I WAS a brat and, as a brat, I wasn’t about to let him get the last word like that. Then I picked up the binder full of documents and my bag and started for the door before he could say anything more. “See you tomorrow, Egbert.

“Later, Brat.”

In my head I was already planning out what I’d say when I saw my Mystery Man the following day as I galloped down the stairs and out the lobby doors. I felt a little giddy - which was a word you really don’t understand until it happens to you, but which I now totally GOT, because I felt giddy as a fucking school girl and that was really pathetic, I know, but it was how I felt so deal with it, okay...

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 Meet the Author

Tag Gregory and Lily Marie are the co-authors of several exciting romance series, including the Time Adventures Series and The Stylite Chronicles. Tag has been writing for almost a decade, bringing an eclectic background as a lawyer, microbiologist, all-around nerd, and adventurer. Lily has also been writing for several years, is a resident of the UK, and is the more visually creative of the two. Together they bring an off-kilter sense of humor, unbounded curiosity, a love of details, and astonishing powers of research to all their writing. If you are looking for a gripping story, with compelling characters that deal with real world issues, then you're in the right place.

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Cover Reveal: Triple Affinity (D’Vaire #23) by Jessamyn Kingley

Author Jessamyn Kingley and Gay Book Promotions reveal the new cover for upcoming paranormal romance, Triple Affinity (D’Vaire #23)! Check it out and the book information today!


Book Title: Triple Affinity (D’Vaire, Book 23)

Author: Jessamyn Kingley

Publisher: Independently Published

Cover Artist: LJ Anderson, Mayhem Cover Creations

Release Date: June 10, 2021

Genres: M/M/M Urban Fantasy

Tropes: Fated Mates

Themes: Fate, Love, Ménage

Heat Rating:  3 flames

Length: 103 900 words

With the odds stacked against them, can three men find love?


Joining the Council of Sorcery and Shifters was a simple decision for the ruler of the brown bears. Two centuries later, Artair Ursus Arctos is a successful leader with a loving family, and the only thing he wants is his mate. Artair is fascinated by magic and secretly hopes to find forever with a sorcerer.

As a child, Lochlan Airle had privilege and wealth but lacked any control. He walked away from his prominent family at eighteen, only to get fired from countless jobs. Behind the scenes, his mother uses all her connections to break his spirit, but she will not deter him. After finally landing a job at the Circle of Mages, a matebond is the last thing on his mind.

Twenty-six-year-old Riker McKenna has a hard-earned doctorate and enough magic to guarantee immortality. Although his brother’s decision to stay with their wastrel parents broke his heart, Riker is determined to make the most of everything. When he qualifies for employment at the Circle of Mages, he does not know it will lead him to his mates.

Within a week, the three men meet and must confront the poor odds of triple matebonds in the Council. To reach the affinity they desire, they will have to rapidly adjust to each other and all the surprises life has in store.

About the Author 

Jessamyn Kingley lives in Nevada where she begs the men in her head to tell her their amazing stories which she dutifully writes it all down in what has become a small mountain of notebooks. She falls in love with each couple and swears whatever book she wrote last is her absolute favorite.

Jessamyn is married and working toward remembering to start the dishwasher without being distracted by the scent of the magical detergent. For personal enjoyment, she aids in cat rescue while slashing and gashing her way through mobs in various MMORPGs. Caffeine is her very best friend and is only cast aside briefly for the sin better known as BBQ potato chips.

Visit her website 

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Release Blitz + Giveaway: Crystal’s House of Queers by Brooke Skipstone

Author Brooke Skipstone and Gay Book Promotions host today's blitz for romantic suspense, Crystal’s House of Queers! Read more and enter in the $20 Amazon gift card giveaway!


Book Title: Crystal’s House of Queers

Author:  Brooke Skipstone

Publisher:  Skipstone Publishing

Cover Artist: Cherie Chapman @ccbookdesign

Release Date: May 24, 2021

Genres: LGBTQ Fiction, Lesbian Fiction/Suspense, Lesbian Romance, Lesbian Coming of age

Tropes:  Friends to lovers, found family, coming of age, power femme

Themes: Coming out, forgiveness, no secrets, overcoming past abuse, fight because we love

Heat Rating: 3 or 3.5 flames

Length: 93 000 words/ 330 pages

It is a standalone story.

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Three senior girls in rural Alaska escape their abusive pasts by raising their dyke flag for themselves and their community.


Crystal Rose woke up at three in the morning today, drenched in sweat and breathless after another sex dream with Haley Carson. Later at school in the tiny town of Clear, Alaska, Crystal saves Haley from an assault by her abusive boyfriend.

The two girls renew a love started years ago that had to stay hidden until now. But with Crystal’s grandparents in the hospital with Covid and the possibility of her drug addict parents returning from a 14-year absence, Crystal needs Haley as much as she needs Crystal.

They connect with Payton Reed, a gun-toting artist who helps them feel proud to be gay and willing to stand up to anyone. Together they struggle to make Crystal’s house safe for those who are hated for their love.


Crystal and JD are very happy to be back in school. They’d been online from mid-March through May and then from late August until Monday, two days ago. During that time, Crystal had seen virtually none of her classmates. She’d never been very social, but she had missed seeing her art teacher and especially Haley. They’d been close friends in the elementary grades but had drifted apart in high school. 

Crystal unties her hair and shakes her head. “One reason we went back this week is that special needs students don’t learn as much in remote learning.”

“Who said that?” asks Summer.

“SPED teacher.” Crystal bends over the table to grab her computer and feels her grandmother’s eyes searching her, just like she felt the moose eyes earlier. 

“Crystal, why aren’t you wearing a bra?”

She lifts her eyes to Summer, who signals to hold her shirt against her chest. “Why are you looking?” She stays bent as she shoves books and her computer into her bag. “No one cared about me wearing a bra before. What difference does it make now?”

“Crystal, we’ve talked about this. You developed over the summer. You can’t be flashing everyone.”

“Am I flashing, or are you making a special effort to look down my shirt?” She feels blood rushing to her face. Her eyes throb.

“Please stand up straight.”

Crystal finishes stuffing her pack without hurrying, drags the zipper closed then swings her pack onto her shoulder as she stands. “Better?”

“Please put on your bra.”

Mac coughs. “Just don’t bend over in front of the boys, Crystal, and keep your jacket zipped.”

Crystal cocks a brow. “Because it’d be my fault if they stared at my boobs?”

JD laughs. “Gena calls them boobs too. A lot of my friends call them tits.”

“JD!” Everyone flinches when Summer slaps the table. Crystal can remember only one or two other times when she screamed at JD. He now stands with his mouth open, breathing noisily. His eyes bulge. “There’s no need to be crude. Why are you and Gena talking about her . . . breasts?”

Because they’ve been having sex for the past six months, thinks Crystal so loud she wonders whether anyone hears her. “C’mon, JD. We need to go.” Crystal pushes a chair farther under the table and heads for the door.

Summer grabs her arm. “Why are you being so defiant about this?”

“I’ve gone my whole life without my chest being strangled and bound. No one cared. Now if I don’t crush my boobs all day and much of the night, there’s something wrong with me. Guys go shirtless at PE all the time. Why can’t the girls?”

“That’d be embarrassing,” laughs JD as he moves through the door. “Hope you feel better, Mac.”

Summer releases Crystal’s arm and wrings her hands. “Now you want to go topless? Where are you getting these ideas?”

“Why do I have to get them from somewhere besides my own head? Cause I’m too dumb?” Her heart pounds in her chest and lips tighten against her teeth. She wants to say much more but is afraid to start another argument. She tries to slow her breathing. “Hope you feel better, Mac.” She exits the house and heads toward her Honda 4-wheeler where JD sits sideways behind the seat.

“I think it’s my turn to drive,” he says, just like every morning.

Crystal straddles the seat and starts the motor. “It’s not your turn until you’re older than me.”

“And what day will that happen?”

“Exactly.” She zips up her jacket, shifts gears, and races away from the house down her long driveway, bordered by spruce and aspen. 

Last weekend, Kato told her she needed to wear a bra when she returned to school. He said he didn’t want guys staring at her all day. They’d been best friends their whole lives and had never even kissed. Then her boobs grew over the summer, and he couldn’t keep his hands off her. He complained she was teasing him, being coy, making him think dirty thoughts. All during July and August, she’d felt excited and confused, sometimes angry. Before this past weekend, they’d only kissed, and honestly, she’d never wanted to do anything more.

But she finally relented. The experience wasn’t very exciting, certainly nothing like her dreams of girls. Or kissing Haley in fifth grade.

At first, the dreams bothered her. Could something more be wrong with her brain beyond what school told her? She’s never fantasized about a boy. After Saturday’s session with Kato, she believes she understands why, but doesn’t know what to do or who to tell. 

Maybe Haley? 

What’s the worst that could happen?

She could laugh. Walk away. Tell others.

What’s the best she could say?

Me too.

How amazing would that be?

When the best option offers so great a reward, Crystal always ignores the danger. Witness—her encounter with the moose this morning.

Maybe she’ll talk to Haley today.

About the Author 

Brooke Skipstone is a multi-award winning author who lives in Alaska where she watches the mountains change colors with the seasons from her balcony. Where she feels the constant rush toward winter as the sunlight wanes for six months of the year, seven minutes each day, bringing crushing cold that lingers even as the sun climbs again. Where the burst of life during summer is urgent under twenty-four-hour daylight, lush and decadent. Where fish swim hundreds of miles up rivers past bear claws and nets and wheels and lines of rubber-clad combat fishers, arriving humped and ragged, dying as they spawn. Where danger from the land and its animals exhilarates the senses, forcing her to appreciate the difference between life and death. Where the edge between is sometimes too alluring.

Crystal’s House of Queers is her third novel. 

Visit her website for information about her first two novels, Some Laneys Died and Someone To Kiss My Scars.

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Series Tour + Giveaway: Naughty in Pendleton by Brigham Vaughn

Author Brigham Vaughn and Gay Book Promotions drop by with the Naughty in Pendleton series tour! Discover more about both books and enter in the $25 Amazon gift card giveaway!


Naughty in Pendleton by Brigham Vaughn


Book Title: Date in a Pinch

Author: Brigham Vaughn

Publisher: Two Peninsulas Press (Indie/Self-Published)

Cover Artist: Brigham Vaughn

Length: 72 681 words/ 252 pages

Release Date: February 11, 2021

Genres: Contemporary M/M Romance, Bisexual Romance, BDSM romance

Tropes: Workplace romance, small town romance, friends with benefits romance, kinky tutor 

Themes: Letting go of the past, believing in love, healing power of love

Heat Rating: 4 flames    

Although the books follow in chronological order, each book features a different couple and can be read as a standalone

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 A sweet geek and an experienced Dom: someone’s about to learn their lesson …


When chemistry teacher Neil Greene gets an unexpected delivery at Pendleton High, he's mortified when his fellow teacher and crush sees the contents that hint at the adventurous love life he’s dying to explore. Curious but inexperienced, Neil has no idea how to live out his fantasies until the hot lit teacher offers a helping hand.

Alexander Ford likes to be in charge in the bedroom and he’s happy to tutor Neil in all things naughty. But when Neil asks him to pretend to be his date for the Sweetheart’s Game at Pendleton Bay’s Love Fest, Neil may be the one teaching Alexander about love.

Warning: Date in a Pinch includes impact play, bondage, and a Dom who isn’t quite ready to admit he’s found the love of his life. 


Book Title: Embracing His Shame

Author: Brigham Vaughn

Publisher: Two Peninsulas Press (Indie/Self-Published)

Cover Artist: Brigham Vaughn

Length:   87 471 words/ 337 pages

Release Date: May 21, 2021

Genres: Contemporary M/M Romance, Bisexual Romance, BDSM Romance

Tropes: Opposites attract romance, small town romance, friends with benefits romance

Themes: Letting go of the past, believing in love, healing power of love

Heat Rating: 4 flames 

Although the books follow in chronological order, each book features a different couple and can be read as a standalone

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Buy Links - Available in Kindle Unlimited

Universal Link  |  Amazon US  |  Amazon UK 

 A bad boy mechanic and a kinky accountant: can an indecent proposal lead to love?


Though Forrest Patton looks like a tweedy, uptight accountant, he’s anything but. Underneath the fussy bow ties and love of color-coded spreadsheets lies a man searching for someone to peel back the layers and fulfill his shameful fantasies. Eavesdropping at the diner in town leads him to wonder if the local mechanic might just be the man for the job.

Jarod Keener likes it rough, and he makes no secret of that. But he never expects to be approached with an offer to trade accounting advice for some dirty, risky fun. Always up for a challenge, Jarod dives in head first but Forrest doesn’t trust anyone to give him the humiliation he needs once feelings start to get in the way. 

When a secret about Jarod’s family upends everything, Forrest will have to decide if he’s willing to give Jarod a chance to show him that he can have love and the kink he longs for. 

Warning: Embracing His Shame includes: mild humiliation play, small-town gossip, and two men falling in love despite their best efforts.


“I have a proposal for you.” Forrest squared his shoulders and fought the urge to fuss with his bow tie. He'd figured he might as well show up in Full Forrest Mode so Jarod would know what he was getting into. Forrest had tried to pretend he was someone he wasn’t in the past and that had never worked out well. He was never going to be anything but a tall, skinny cycling nut who dressed like somebody’s grandpa. He just had to hope that would do it for Jarod. 

“A proposal, huh?” Jarod smirked. 

Forrest had heard plenty of rumors about Jarod since he’d arrived in town. That he was a hell of a mechanic. That he was an unrepentant man-whore. That he was a kinky deviant. It was the last two Forrest was really, really banking on.

“Yes.” Forrest cleared his throat, the scent of grease, oil, and metal teasing at his nostrils again. “I’ve outlined a plan.” He stepped closer and thrust out his hand, papers trembling a little.

Jarrod blinked down at the slightly rustling sheets. “Why don’t ya’ spell it out for me. I don’t go much for reading.”

“Pretty sure the dog-eared Isaac Azimov book I saw you reading at The Good Yolk the other morning says otherwise,” Forrest blurted out. He’d spotted it on the table as he’d left last weekend. All part of the reconnaissance work he’d done.

“Seems like you’ve been payin’ real close attention to me,” Jarod said, raising a single eyebrow. He took a step closer and the scents of the garage were replaced with something rich and deep. Animalistic, with hints of tobacco and cinnamon, and something warm and sweet that lingered in Forrest’s nostrils. “Funny. I don’t know who you are.”

“Forrest Patton.” He squared his shoulders. “I’m an accountant in town.”

“Huh. Yeah, your name does ring a few bells. Can’t say as I’ve ever seen you before though.” Jarod’s gaze flicked up and down his body. This morning, Forrest wore dark green trousers, a gray cardigan, a white and gray check button down shirt, and a bow tie he’d had to re-tie three times before it would lay flat. He tried not to squirm as he imagined Jarod staring at him like that while he was naked. 

“Well, I’ve got work to do now,” Jarod said as he turned away and ambled toward the car, picking up a wrench of some sort along the way. At least Forrest was pretty sure it was a wrench. “I’ll work. You talk. You can read the damn paperwork aloud if you want.”

Damn it, that ruined Forrest’s whole approach of not talking about things. 

Jarod bent over the engine again, focused and intent as he reached in with the tool. His hands were already a little grimy from the work he’d been doing this morning. Shit, that was sexy too.

Forrest cleared his throat and plunged forward, trying to regroup. “I want to do the books for your business in exchange for various kinky sexual favors.”

Jarod straightened abruptly, his head smacking the hood of the car with a painful-sounding thud. A moment later the metallic clatter of the wrench hitting the concrete echoed around them. 

Jarod swore as he backed up, rubbing his head. He squinted at Forrest “What?”

“I know you’re a Dom or Top of some sort.” Forrest lifted his chin. “And I want you to dominate me.”

Jarod let out a noise of disbelief. “You do, do you?”

“Yes, I do.” 

Unlikely of a pair as they were, Forrest was dead serious about this. Most Doms took one look at him and assumed he was only the sweet, innocent accountant the world saw him as. They refused to see that underneath the sweater vests and the bow ties and the tweed was someone who longed to be treated with more than kid gloves. Forrest was tired of polite. Tired of being treated like he was made of spun glass. He wanted to feel shame crawling hot over his skin and revel in it. And he was convinced Jarod was the man to do it.

“You think you have what it takes to keep up with a guy like me?” Jarod asked. There was a dangerous glitter in his eyes that made Forrest’s breath go shallow. 

“I’m not a virgin in any sense. I’ve had sex with plenty of men. I’m not particularly submissive but I love being forced to do something. I’ve never found anyone who can handle what I want. I think some of the things I’ve fantasized about would make even you think twice,” he said defiantly. 

“Alright, I’ll admit, you have me curious.” Jarod stepped up into his space, clearly trying to intimidate him. Forrest squared his shoulders, refusing to back down. “Tell me what you want. What makes your motor rev?”

“Humiliation,” Forrest said. His heart thumped in his chest as he said the words aloud. “Degradation. The dirtier the better. I want you to use me.”

“Well, well, well,” Jarod drawled as a slow smile spread over his face. “Who’d have thought Pendleton Bay’s accountant was such a filthy fuck?”

Even those relatively tame words sent heat spiraling through Forrest. His knees went weak, his palms got sweaty, and his cock twitched in anticipation of what was to come. Oh yes, this was exactly what he’d been looking for. 

“You ready to find out just how deep that filth goes?” Forrest asked, lifting his chin.

Jarod chuckled and grabbed his hair, sending stinging pain through Forrest’s body that settled low in his groin, throbbing in time with his heartbeat. 

“Oh, I’m ready. But I think you may have bitten off more than you can chew, boy,” Jarod said and the warning in his voice sent another thrill through Forrest’s body.

Forrest titled his head defiantly. “Try me.”

About the Author

Brigham Vaughn is on the adventure of a lifetime as a full-time author. She devours books at an alarming rate and hasn't let her short arms and long torso stop her from doing yoga. She makes a killer key lime pie, hates green peppers, and loves wine tasting tours. A collector of vintage Nancy Drew books and green glassware, she enjoys poking around in antique shops and refinishing thrift store furniture. An avid photographer, she dreams of traveling the world and she can't wait to discover everything else life has to offer her.

Her books range from short stories to novellas to novels. They explore gay, bisexual, lesbian, and polyamorous romance in contemporary settings.

Author Links

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Release Blitz + Giveaway: Wyvern Ways & Elven Magic (Fire & Flutter #2) by Bailey Bradford

Don't miss the final day of the Wyvern Ways & Elven Magic (Fire & Flutter #2) release blitz, courtesy of author Bailey Bradford and Pride Publishing! Read more and enter in the eBook giveaway from the author!

Wyvern Ways & Elven Magic by Bailey Bradford

Book 2 in the Fire & Flutter series

Word Count: 54,247
Book Length: NOVEL
Pages: 219



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Book Description

Take one magic-sensitive wyvern shifter, one horny royal-adjacent elf…and stand well back.

Brick’s a wyvern shifter, but he’s not wily or skilled in diplomacy like wyvern shifters should be. Instead, he’s big and brawny and slower than the rest of his family—the ruling family. Worse, he doesn’t fare well around magic, so being in the elf kingdom for the royal wedding celebrations is one big nosebleed. Literally.

Jagger’s an elf. A royal-adjacent one, whose family have been chancellors and councilors to the king for centuries. It must have skipped a generation, however, as Jagger’s more interested in drinking and seducing his way through the kingdom. Well, everyone wants to know if it’s true what they say about elves, right? Spoiler alert—it is.

When Brick discovers he’s being handed over as part of the wyvern-elf alliance treaty, he fumes and decides to cut ties with his family to make his own way in the world. But first, he has to find his way out of the elf kingdom. Asking at the tavern for an elf to be his guide, he’s taken to a room where a half-naked Jagger is lounging on a four-poster bed.

And that’s just the beginning of their dangerous, crazy and sexy adventure…


“Ow!” Brick grabbed at the hand slapping his face and glared at its owner. If he hadn’t known who was hitting him, the selection of bright cocktail rings and the jingling bracelets she wore would have told him it was his younger sister, Scarlet. “Any reason you’re smacking my face?”

Scarlet tilted her head, her forehead creased. “Habit? Whatevs. Hold still—”

Brick held still enough for her to shove wads of cotton wool up his nostrils, then brushed her hand away. Scarlet’s sharp fingernails near any of his body parts made him uneasy at the best of times, and in the rumbling, jolting carriage he and she were currently traveling in, more so. Her nails were long and pointed and they gleamed the brightest mahogany shade she could find, all to mimic the talons they became when she shifted.

Well, that’s only natural, Brick reasoned. Wyverns in general were proud of being wyverns, the ruling family even more so and his sister, the youngest offspring of the Ruby Throne, in particular.

“Thanks,” he muttered, the thick clog in his voice not just due to his nosebleed and the wedges of cotton wool. “Thanks for staying with me.” He knew she’d rather be flying alongside the carriage with their father, Potentate Carnell of the Ruby Throne, and mother, the First Lady Cerise, not to mention the son and heir, Lord Gules, and their older sister, Lady Vermillion. But it was her turn to keep him company, and Scarlet, like all of them, put family duty first.

“Sit up straight,” she replied, wagging a finger in the direction of his face to tell him it was the best way to deal with a nosebleed. She knew. All his family did—Brick got them when he was around magic, and they were prepared for today. “Open wide for your pills.”

Brick obediently opened his mouth, and Scarlet, snickering, moved back to the farthest corner of the royal carriage and flicked in first one tablet, then another, using her middle finger and thumb to launch them as if she were playing a game and getting points. Scarlet performed her family obligations, sure…and made sure she had fun doing so. But she loved Brick, just as he did her.

He tried not to choke—the tablets were huge and foul-tasting. “Thanks,” he repeated, wishing she’d thought to give him a drink to swallow them down with. Actually, no—he didn’t want her squirting it in with a water pistol. He checked the cotton wool was still in place up each nostril. “There must be a lot of magic in the air here.”

“Well, duh,” his sister replied. “Inside the elven kingdom, and just approaching the capital? What d’you expect? They breathe it in and fart it out here, then breathe it in again.” Oh, she was a charmer. “I got orders to smarten you up—you’re not gonna bleed on me, are you?”

He shook his head and let her pull his smart suit jacket into place as if he were a baby, for all she was younger than he was. Well, that fits, with me being as useless as a hatchling. She tutted and brushed off the shoulders and lapels, as if he had flaking head scales. I don’t, do I? That’d be all he needed, with them having to look their best as they arrived for this regal state occasion.

As soon as Scarlet settled back again, grumbling that there wasn’t much she could do with his short hair, he took a sly peep in the glass of the carriage window to check for scale-flake. He caught a quick glimpse of his bronze skin and slitted gold eyes before the spectacle outside claimed his attention. Oh, not the well-maintained kingdom they were driving through, with its paved roads, sturdy-looking buildings and general cleanliness all signs of its good governance, but his family, in the air above the small procession.

Brick lowered the glass to see better. The four royal wyverns made a stunning, vibrant swoop of color as they flew, their wings beating with synchronized grace, their heads turning slowly on their long, elegant necks to incline this way and that at the gasps and applause from townsfolk lining the route, who were all eager to see visiting nobles and dignitaries.

“Elven folk must be used to flying beasts, right?” he asked Scarlet.

She scoffed. “Not like us.”

“Yeah.” Brick had to admit that. A woman stumbled, shading her eyes against the wyverns’ shimmering scales, the gleaming shades of red carefully arranged from his father Carnell’s shining cardinal to his mother Cerise’s glossy pomegranate—“the first seen in the kingdom in a hundred years!” as she often reminded people.

His brother Gules’ proud imperial red came next, then his sister Vermillion’s brash crimson. The family at wing, in the correct order, looked like flames burning up the sky.

Although why they should want to arrive anywhere making the place look like it was on fire, Brick couldn’t fathom. What he did know was Scarlet wanted to be up there too, making an entrance like a bold streak of lava against the blue and white of the sky. He jumped as the most jewel-colored creature of the quartet swooped low and stuck her beak through the window—his mother, checking in on him.

She couldn’t talk in her shifted form, of course, but he had no problem interpreting her caw and twists and jerks of her head. She was concerned for him—she loved him. They all did. Like they would any slow-witted hatchling. He wasn’t wily or cunning, no asset in statecraft or trade negotiations, so they gave him busy work. Grunt work. He nodded to show Cerise he was fine and reached up to pat her on the head, near the top, just after the brow ridge finished.

With a click of her beak, she took off again and rejoined Carnell, circling him with a slow flap of her wings before taking her place at his side. He flicked his tail out to slide along hers.

“Oh, ewww!” Scarlet, on the seat opposite him now, pointed up at the Potentate and First Lady and retched like a caterwaul bringing up a hairball. She made a show of rummaging for one of the sick bags they kept for Brick—there was no telling what form his sensitivity to magic might take. “Old people foreplay is just gross.”

Brick didn’t think it was that bad. Sure, he had no wish whatsoever to see his parents making out like subadults or immatures ever, anywhere, but that they were still loving and affectionate was…something he didn’t see himself ever having. The only people who’d wanted him so far had been those seeking a way into the ruling family and using him as their way to get within polishing distance of the Ruby Throne.

“Mommy, look!” A little girl on the sidewalk near a tavern, her eyes full of wonder, tugged at her mother’s arm. “Up there—dragons!”

Wyverns!” yelled Scarlet, flinging herself so far out of the window to correct the kid that Brick, alarmed for her safety, grabbed at the back of her dress. “Look at the picture, small fry!” She tapped the crest on the side of the royal coach, a plain outline of an almost S-shaped beast, its wings stretched and its slim legs prominent. “Count the limbs, kid. There’s two, not four. We look like lumbering oxen dragons to you?”

She subsided into her seat again and shot Brick a glance. “No offense, bro.”

“I know.” Brick was wide and tall, built like a brick smokehouse, as the saying went, whereas wyverns, in addition to being wily, were light and lithe. Winged serpents, really. He tried not to feel like he was letting down the Ruby Throne, but…

You’re not even red!” Olahf had scorned when, realizing a relationship with Brick wouldn’t bring him into the inner governing circle, he’d ended things between them. “Brick by name and brick by nature and brick by color!” Yeah, Olahf didn’t really have the gift of eloquence a senator or diplomat should, although his tongue could be said to have been silver in other ways… Brick shivered at the memory, then felt sad.

How much of that had been fake? Had Olahf even liked him? If not, their relationship had been, well, transactional at best and icky at worst. It had also made him dwell on his experiences with all the other wyvern shifters who’d befriended him over the years…and hadn’t seemed very friendly. How many had if not used him, then put up with him, for what they could get out of it?

Would life have been different if I were called Flame, or, or Rosso? Maybe if the former, he’d have been dashing and just a little bit dangerous, or if the latter, darkly seductive and a lot more dangerous?

“Persimmon’s a good name,” he mused out loud. “Then Sim would be a good nick. ‘Hey, Sim, coming out for a quick tankard of sack mead?’ Maybe Simmy? ‘Simmy, joining us for dawn patrol?’ Perse? Percy?”

“What? No—you know what? Never mind.” Scarlet waved a hand at him. “Because we’re nearly there.”

About to ask his sister how she knew they were almost at their destination—where they’d be doing some trade-and-aid diplomacy over drinks—Brick saw the ceremonial herald bird flying to join the four wyverns in the sky. The escort would please his mother, who was into appearances. Even his father had commented more than once that the elves had used to do things properly, and that he hoped the Storm King was keeping up traditions.

“He will as long as he has Jerrick advising him,” Cerise always replied. “Jerrick served Jade’s father, too, and Jerrick’s father, Jacron, was chancellor to the Storm Emperor before that. And Jerrick’s son—” She usually stopped herself there.

“Gotta love ya and leave ya!” Scarlet opened the carriage door even though the vehicle was still trundling along.

“I feel okay now the meds have kicked in,” Brick assured her. “Shouldn’t I join in?”

“And risk you having an allergy—sorry, sensitivity—attack up above and bleeding down on Jade or his big green groom?” Scarlet sniggered. “While it would be hilarious, best not.” Blowing a kiss over her shoulder at him, she launched herself from the open door.

Scarlet shifted effortlessly in midair and took her place just behind Gules and Vermillion. It was hardly worth her shifting, though, when the carriage jolted to a stop at the top of a meadow. Two ruby and pale jade pavilions stood proudly, their pennants waving in the early evening breeze, and councilors and nobles waited before them.

The Ruby Throne circled the meadow in a group, then made a tighter circle of the tents to finally drop into the space set up beneath the main pavilion’s awning. They descended one at a time from Carnell to Scarlet—all executing flawless landings and simultaneous shifts back to their other-forms the second their claws touched the ground, clothing themselves as they did so.

They’d left a space for him, and Brick decided he was going to take it properly, instead of scuttling to it, shamefaced. Ignoring his headache and throbbing nose, he ran a few paces and leaped as high as he could with a gurgled “Eaaarrgghhh!” to shift into his wyvern form and, oh, how good it felt to be in the air again, stretching his wings.

He liked the world better in his shifted form. He loved the view from up on high, how things looked when seen from his bigger, more golden than yellow eyes. Scents were more acute to his snout, with its slits for nostrils, than to his other-form nose, which was broad and had never worked as well after being broken during a heated game of tail ball. Which his team had still lost.

Okay, so he wasn’t all polished and gleaming reds like the others, but he liked his scales, with their rust and terra-cotta and ochre shades. Recalling Cerise’s insistence that his hues were “alternative reds” made him snort with laughter and swish his tail, the triangular barb it ended in swinging near his face.

He was going to do this! He dropped lower. I can do this! Can drop into that landing zone! The really small landing zone… I can’t do this.

Believe in yourself!” Cerise had told him over and over since hatchhood. He would. He did! With a high-pitched squeal, a bit like a teakettle coming to the boil, he took a final squint at the target zone, landed, shifted and…belched. Oh gods. He’d meant to clothe himself, not burp one out. And certainly not such a loud one…or one that stank like a dragon’s taint.

“Oh, ewwwwwwww!” cried Scarlet, her longest ever. She pinched her nose closed with her talon-like fingers. She’d get the worst of the stench, being next to him. “How, how, is that so foul? What the fuck you been doing, bro, sucking off a troll?”

“Could have been worse!” called a voice from the crowd. “Just imagine if he’d farted!”

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About the Author

Bailey Bradford

A native Texan, Bailey spends her days spinning stories around in her head, which has contributed to more than one incident of tripping over her own feet. Evenings are reserved for pounding away at the keyboard, as are early morning hours. Sleep? Doesn't happen much. Writing is too much fun, and there are too many characters bouncing about, tapping on Bailey's brain demanding to be let out.

Caffeine and chocolate are permanent fixtures in Bailey's office and are never far from hand at any given time. Removing either of those necessities from Bailey's presence can result in what is known as A Very, Very Scary Bailey and is not advised under any circumstances.


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Bailey Bradford's Wyvern Ways & Elven Magic

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