Guest Review: Phlous Reborn by Austin Miller

A CREATURE OF MYTH HAS BEEN REBORN IN THE MODERN WORLD. A LUCKY ACCIDENT, OR ARE THE FATES SERVING THE SCHEMES OF A VENGEFUL GOD?

Red inherits an unexpected destiny from his grandfather -- an ancient vial of Dionysian wine, which, when ingested, begins his transformation into the centaur, Pholus. Gifted with an incredible physique, a never-sated sexual hunger, and the ability to seduce anyone, Red’s new blessings change his world, until the price has to be paid.

For Pholus’ actions have awakened Heracles, the god that killed him, and Red soon finds himself in a very different reality, with real life-and-death consequences for his friends and lover! Will Pholus save them, or will he shoot himself in the foot as he has so many times in the past?

Mixing erotica, humor, mystery, action, and unexpected thrills and chills, PHOLUS REBORN is an adventure novel set against a mythological backdrop that challenges the concepts of identity and self-perception.


Reviewer: Free Dreamer



Okay, so "Pholus Reborn" was essentially 300 pages of porn, with a splash of Greek mythology to make for more interesting sex scenes.

There's nothing wrong with porn. Everybody likes to read a bit of porn now and then. But 300 pages of porn with nothing much else going on was just too much. It didn't help that many of the sex scenes didn't really work for me.

I didn't particularly care for Red. He's an aimless pothead who just kind of drifts through the plot and lets himself be steered by everybody around him. He doesn't seem to do much of anything, other than smoke weed and have sex. And sometimes he gets drunk.

Some of the sex scenes actively made me uncomfortable. The centaurs can seduce anybody with their pheromones, their victims are completely helpless. Most of the time the sexual partners were already willing in the first place, but there were a couple of occasion where the consent was rather dubious. What really bothered me here was not the fact that the dubcon was in there, it was the way it was written. Red and his friends didn't even bat an eye at it and it was never addressed as such. It was just normal, they're hot, so everybody must be glad to be allowed to have sex with them.

The rest of the sex was fairly repetitive. It was all about the huge cocks and the incredibly hot bodies. No connection at all, not even between the few couples that eventually started to evolve.

The one thing I found kind of interesting was the mythology part. But there was no subtle integration into the plot, it was just a huge info dump at the beginning of a chapter. We get what seemed like a Wikipedia article on the topic of the upcoming chapter and that's just no fun to read.

So, you know, if you're in the mood for a lot of porn with guys that are hung like horses and mostly love themselves, go for it. Just don't expect any sort of real plot or romance.

A copy provided for an honest review.



Release Blitz + Giveaway: Sol (Learning To Love #2) by Con Riley


 

Author Con Riley and Signal Boost Promotions promote new release, Sol (Learning To Love #2)! Find out more about the latest and enter in the giveaway! Good luck!

 




Cover Design: Natasha Snow

Length: 88,000 words approx.

Learning To Love Series 

Charles - All Buy Links

Solomon Trebeck’s heart broke the night of his bi-awakening.

Fifteen years later, Sol’s back in Cornwall where it happened, single, shy, and oh-so lonely. Teaching art to kids wasn’t his life plan. Neither is raising a teenage nephew, but with no family left to support him, a live-in job at a boarding school becomes his life raft.

Problem: that life raft is sinking.

Solution: Sol’s first love could have the cash to keep it afloat.

Reconnecting with Jace Pascoe might save the school—the one place Sol’s nephew is happy. Asking for his help opens old wounds, but Jace helps to heal them, fusing Sol’s broken heart back together. However, Jace has his own shadows, no matter how brightly his smile dazzles.

Falling for Jace again could be so easy. It could also be a huge risk when neither of them plans to stay in Cornwall forever….

♥ Featuring sweet angst, hurt/comfort, and second chances for a shy heart, Sol is a standalone MM romance novel in the Learning to Love series with a fulfilling happily ever after. ♥


CON RILEY lives on the wild and wonderful Welsh coast, with her head in the clouds and her feet in the ocean.

Injury curtailed her enjoyment of outdoor pursuits, so writing fiction now fills her free time. Love, loss, and redemption shape her romance stories, and her characters are flawed in ways that make them live and breathe.

When not people-watching or reading, she spends time staring at the sea from her kitchen window. If you see her, don’t disturb her — she’s probably thinking up new plots.

FACEBOOK GROUP: facebook.com/groups/458421868222590
TWITTER: twitter.com/con_riley
INSTA: instagram.com/con_riley
BOOKBUB: bookbub.com/authors/con-riley
AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE: amazon.com/Con-Riley/e/B00F8GT35O

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Release Blitz + Giveaway: Closer Than Blood Anthology by Various Authors


The taboo themed anthology Closer Than Blood is out! Check out today's promotion from authors Abrianna Denae, Claire Marta, Elouise R. East, N.J. Lysk and T.M. Chris, along with Gay Book Promotions!Plus, their hosting a giveaway where exclusive books and a $25 Amazon gift card are up for grabs! See below for more details!

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Closer Than Blood (A Gay Taboo Anthology)

Author: Abrianna Denae, Claire Marta, Elouise R. East, N.J. Lysk, T.M. Chris

Publisher: Self-Published

Cover Artist: TRC Designs

Release Date: October 14

Genre:  Contemporary M/M Romance, Taboo 

Tropes: Forbidden love, Taboo, Age Gap

Pairings:  It's twincest, uncle/nephew, father/son, and brocest.

Themes: Co-dependence, Taboo Love, Forgiveness, Hope, Life Lessons, Learning from Mistakes

Heat Rating:  4-5 flames   

Length:  85 000 words

There are no cliffhangers.

Goodreads

Buy Links - Available in Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK 

Are you ready for 4 taboo stories about men who are Closer Than Blood?

Blurb

Are you ready for 4 taboo stories about men who are Closer Than Blood?

It’s all about brotherly love, even if it’s His Brother’s Brat

These are men for whom family and romance are Entwined.

And yet, who can resist When Fantasies Collide?

But remember that love can get messy and lead to Mutual Destruction.

Grab this anthology to dip into your taboo side. 

Mutual Destruction by Abrianna Denae and Claire Marta

When Fantasies Collide by Elouise R. East

Entwined by N.J. Lysk

His Brother’s Brat by T.M. Chris

Giveaway

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win:  

Prize 1: $25 Amazon gift card or 

Prize 2: Exclusive selection of direct-to-kindle books by the anthology authors: Rogue Royal by Elouise East Not to be Borne by N.J. Lysk Cabel by Summer Stanton Coven by Claire Marta Three Times as Good by T.M. Chris

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

Release Blitz + Giveaway: Far from Home by Vincent Traughber Meis


Far from Home is out from NineStar Press! Celebrate with author Vincent Traughber Meis and IndiGo Marketing! Read more about the short story collection and enter in the giveaway!
 



Title: Far from Home

Author: Vincent Traughber Meis

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: 10/11/2021

Heat Level: 2 - Fade to Black Sex

Pairing: No Romance, Male/Male, Female/Female

Length: 62800

Genre: Contemporary, LGBTQIA+, Age-gap, Athlete, Gender-bending, Illness/disease, In the closet, Interracial, Intercultural, Medical personnel, Political, Psychic ability, Pandemic, Teaching, Travel, UST

Add to Goodreads


Description

Far from Home is a collection of twelve short stories, taking the reader on a journey from the desert sands of the Middle East to a forbidden Caribbean island, and many points in between.

Though two of the stories are set in the U.S., others find gay people dealing with gayness in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Spain, Turkey, Cuba, Mexico, and the Netherlands, places where the characters are physically and psychologically far from the comfort of home. Most of the stories focus on Gay men suffering alienation, confusion, violence, and loss in the eternal search for love while they travel or live in other cultures.

The overall focus is on LGBTQ people as they venture out into the world.

Excerpt

Far From Home
Vincent Traughber Meis© 2021
All Rights Reserved

It’s a coffee-colored afternoon: thick, murky, unsweetened, bitter, poured in a long stream from a dallah, hot but cooling rapidly. The air is the color of cardamom seeds, their skin, their eyes. This time of day the same dull brown coats the inside of his head after a rising time of 4:30 a.m., fumbling in darkness to strangle the alarm. He sees the days, weeks, months stretched out in front of him, a path paved in riyals, leading him through the wan desert and, he hopes, toward an oasis. Or is it only a mirage? How much longer does he have to be in the Kingdom? He glances at his watch, calculating the amount of money he has made in the last hour, a pittance compared to the CEO of the international company he works for, though for him and his pre-Saudi life, a fortune.

A thunderstorm that morning flashed out of the murky sky, pummeling this flat wide expanse of beach with a long rain. Rainstorms in the desert are a new phenomenon for him. For days a ceiling has pressed down lower and lower, alternately dropping and holding back its holy water, instantly sullied by its touching of the land. A chain of dirty puddles formed upon a resistant ground, hurrying to stagnation, calling mosquitoes to come perform their pagan rituals of breeding. Garbage, carried by the wind, strewn across the sand, has summoned flies and maggot producers of all types. He steps gingerly toward the sea, avoiding broken bottles and rusting cans, happily less vulnerable in his sneakers than the Saudis in their sandals.

His eyes squint against the gritty air, and pluck from this soiled landscape a man of fine features, an apparition, his white shalwar kameez fluttering in the breeze, bushy dark hair uncovered, not Saudi, Urdu speaker most likely by his attire. But he is real. His beckoning smile cleans the air and calms the American’s rancor, transforming it to the far more dangerous trap of desire. What had he been angry about? He doesn’t remember. No doubt a minor annoyance due to an inexplicable part of his host country’s culture.

“Hello,” the man says, tugging lightly on his thick mustache. “Where you from?”

“American, and you?”

“Pakistani. I am Adil.”

They shake hands. “I’m Mark.”

Adil releases his hand and touches his heart. “Nice to meet you,” he says in a beguiling accent. The sun attempts to burn its way through the cloud cover, but the Pakistani’s black eyes are already shining, providing light. “What you do?”

“Just walking.”

“Me, too. Watch out.” He points out a piece of glass. He’s wearing dressy black boots. “My day off I come here to visit friends.”

“From where?”

“Jubail. I work there. And you?”

“I’m at the Navy base. I teach English.”

“Oh, maybe you help me with my English.” Eyebrows rise high above his smile, white teeth, suggesting an exchange of some sort. “We go have coffee?”

“Yes, but please, no Arabic coffee.”

“Ha ha. Maybe you like it sweet.”

They walk back to the corniche and cross to the shopping center on the other side. Just inside the entrance to the bustling center with a lofty roof of skylights is a café, tables between planters filled with lush plastic plants. They order cappuccinos and sit in the male section separated from the smaller family section where several women sit, black shadows of human form you can see through the latticework dividers if you are so inclined.

Adil glances toward the family section. “Are you married?”

It is always one of the first questions. Trick question. Mark wonders what the correct answer is. He can say he was, but he’s divorced now. Or never married. He decides on a simple no. “And you?”

“Not yet. I work here to finish my contract, then I go back and get married.” He shows his pearly white teeth again. He’s old enough to have crow’s feet, a few strands of gray in his hair. He wears the kameez open halfway down, his hairy chest peeking above his tank top.

A man in Western clothes, Mediterranean looks, passes by, looks up, and shouts an angry threat. The pigeon takes flight as do several others who have been cooing on the rafters. The man goes to the counter and asks for a napkin, brushes his shoulder. Adil laughs. “Maybe is good luck for him,” Adil says. “Let’s go for a drive. Prayer call is coming.”

“You have a car?”

“Yes. You surprised?”

“No. That’s cool.” Mark, despite being much higher in the hierarchy of foreign workers, relies on public transportation. As they exit, Adil puts his hand lightly on Mark’s lower back, entreating him to go first out of the cool into heat. The sun has made a brief appearance but is dropping behind the layer of haze, perpetually lounging on the horizon. They walk side by side. High in the minaret a speaker crackles and a voice begins. It is the Asr prayer call.

“You don’t go to the mosque?”

Adil turns to Mark with a smirk. “Not today.”

“Why not today?”

“Because I meet a new friend.”

Movement surrounds them as shops close. Screeching metal doors slide down tight tracks cutting through the damp air, sounding like screams until they are drowned by the sudden shot-like explosion of the fully extended doors striking the pavement. From across the street comes the clang of gates brought together and the eerie rattle of a chain joining them in a clumsy embrace. The sounds echo up and down the block as a car speeds by on the corniche, honking at each intersection sending shadowy figures scurrying, gripping more tightly the plastic shopping bags dangling from their wrists. Men duck into cars and alleys as the scarves on their heads flap with the sudden haste.

“Come on,” says Adil as he picks up the pace, and a short time later stops at a car. “Ta da!” It is not pretty. The white Nissan is several years old and suffering from the sea air. “This is my baby. Don’t laugh.”

They get on the road out into the desert. Mark has no idea where they’re going or if he’ll ever make it back, something he tries not to think about as he sits in the death seat with a mad Pakistani at the wheel. Adil reaches over and opens the glove compartment. “Look in there. Poems I wrote. Go ahead. Look.”

Purchase

NineStar Press | Books2Read

Meet the Author

Vincent Traughber Meis started writing plays as a child in the Midwest and cajoled his sisters to act in performing them for neighbors. In high school, one of his short stories won a local contest sponsored by the newspaper. After graduating from college, he worked on a number of short stories and began his first novel. In the 1980’s and 90’s he published a number of pieces, mostly travel articles in publications such as, The Advocate, LA Weekly, In Style, and Our World. His travels have inspired his five novels, all set at least partially in foreign countries: Eddie’s Desert Rose (2011), Tio Jorge (2012), and Down in Cuba (2013), Deluge (2016) and Four Calling Burds (2019). Tio Jorge received a Rainbow Award in the category of Bisexual Fiction in 2012. Down in Cuba received two Rainbow Awards in 2013. Recently stories have been published in three collections: WITH:New Gay Fiction, Best Gay Erotica Vol 1 and Best Gay Erotica Vol 4. He lives in San Leandro, CA with his husband.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

  Blog Button 2

Book Blast: The Yakuza Path: The Deafening Silence (Book #4) by Amy Tasukada


Check out today's book blast for The Yakuza Path: The Deafening Silence (Book #4) from author Amy Tasukada and Gay Book Promotions! 

BOOK BLAST

Book Title:  The Yakuza Path: The Deafening Silence (Book 4)

Author: Amy Tasukada

Publisher: ‎ Macarons & Tea Publishing

Release Date: December 1, 2018

Genre: Gay thriller, NOT ROMANCE

Tropes: Bad boys, tragic hero, unrequited love

Themes: Mafia, betrayal 

Heat Rating:  3 flames

Length:  235 pages

It can read as a standalone but you get more if you follow the series.

The book ends on a cliffhanger.

Goodreads

Buy Links 

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK  |  Kobo

Apple Books  |  B&N  | Google Play  |  Books2Read

An unproven alliance. A broken promise. A mafia boss must shed blood to secure peace…

Blurb 

Nao Murata is on the verge of brokering peace between his syndicate and the  Mafufugumi mob. To seal the deal, he’ll need to pick up Russian prostitutes to appease his newest ally. When the exchange goes sour, both sides draw blades and Nao has no choice but to care for a blood-soaked enemy. If the man doesn’t make it through the night, Nao and his crew will pay with their lives.

Outnumbered and stranded in enemy territory, Nao is forced to fight his way out before the Mafufugumi Godfather takes the deal off the table. As his wounded enemy’s heartbeat slows, Nao must act fast or condemn his syndicate to a brutal war.

The Deafening Silence is the fourth book in a series of Japanese mafia thrillers. If you like twisty action, authentic settings, and a touch of gay romance, then you’ll love Amy Tasukada’s pulse-pounding series.

Buy The Deafening Silence to immerse yourself in a bloody mafia tale today!

The Yakuza Path Series

BOOK 1 - Blood Stained Tea

BOOK 2 - Better Than Suicide

BOOK 3 - One Thousand Cranes

BOOK 4 - The Deafening Silence

BOOK 5 - Flowers of Flesh and Blood

BOOK 6 - Wrapped in Screams 

Releasing in November

Pre-Order here

Excerpt 

A car’s engine accelerating pulled Aki’s attention away from the phone. His eyes grew wide as a red Ferrari 458 pulled up in front of him. The sculpted body and raised headlights on the fenders sent a shiver down Aki’s spine. He was in love.

The door opened, and Shinji stepped out wearing tight black jeans and a red plaid coat with a few more zippers than necessary to give it a rocker vibe. But that car!

“You like it?” Shinji asked, gesturing to the sweetest ride Aki had been able to get close to in a long time.

“Like it?” Aki ran his hand across the warm hood. “I’m ready to propose.”

Shinji leaned over beside Aki and tapped the hood. “She does have one hell of a purr when she’s hot.”

Shinji’s red jacket rode up and revealed jeans hugging his ass like a second skin. He was showing off, but at the same time, Aki didn’t mind. If Nao could sleep with some Russian bastard, Aki could stare at the ass of an attractive guy with an even hotter car.

“You want to drive?” Shinji tossed the keys to Aki, who caught them in one hand.

“You mean it?”

“I don’t tease—at least not outside the bedroom.”

No other keys ever felt like they belonged in his hand. Aki shoved the briefcase in the back and slid into the driver’s seat. He brushed his hands over the fine leather detail. His fingers were made for the steering wheel.

“I always wanted to drive something like this.”

Shinji got beside him. “Murata doesn’t let you drive his flashy cars?”

Aki laughed. “Domestic brands aren’t known for their looks.”

“Jun told us he didn’t buy things not made by Japanese companies, but I didn’t believe him.”

“It’s true—everything from cars to suits. The only foreign thing he touches is his tea.”

“And a good hooker.”

Aki slammed on the gas, peeling out onto the street.

“Show-off.” Shinji grinned.

Aki asked, “Where’s the pawn shop?”

Shinji grabbed on to the door and let out a small laugh. “Good thing we have a deal with the cops.”

“Really? I’ve had a hard time getting ahold of Jun.”

“You have to ask the right person.”

“I see. Who’s the right person?”

“I forgot his name since I just deal with our Russia allies.”

Aki floored the accelerator, speeding through a changing light. “Father Murata is disappointed he hasn’t been released yet.”

“Don’t worry. We don’t want to raise suspicion. He’ll be released by the time we get back from the exchange with the Russians.”

More like get done holding Jun hostage. Nao was right. Something was off about the whole trip.

Aki slowed to a stop at a red light. The engine purred as if crying to be set free. Sports cars weren’t meant to be stuck idling.

Shinji pointed. “It’ll be a right at the next light.”

Shinji’s hair fell in his eyes, and he swept it back. Even with the coat, his biceps bulged. Nao kept his muscles lean, refining them in a boxing ring rather than lifting weights like Shinji must’ve done to get them so large.

Aki licked his lips. Both were appealing in their own way. Shinji probably would look hotter pinning Aki’s hands above his head and would have much more power behind each of his slamming thrusts. He could imagine the marks left on his back from being banged against the wall. Shinji could mark his body anyway he wanted. A small moan left the back of Aki’s throat, and if Shinji had heard it, he thankfully didn’t react, but Aki’s body had.

He blamed it on the car and the way it vibrated when they stopped. Not the fact that Shinji was objectively the hottest guy who’d ever hit on him before. Aki hadn’t just imagined what sex with him would be like for a full light change.

The light switched to green and Aki peeled out, hoping it would distract Shinji enough not to notice the bulge growing in Aki’s trousers.

About the Author 

International best-selling author Amy Tasukada writes thrilling times of crime, love, and gore. Readers who crave diverse characters, unique settings, and edge-of-your-seat action will devour her Yakuza Path series. Readers who seek less blood and more love will swoon over the Yakuza Path Romance and Would it Be Okay to Love You? Series. Amy is an atheist, queer author who enjoys drinking tea, Japanese street fashion and visual kei music.  Her calico cat, O’Hara, is never far from her side. Amy lives in North Texas, but is always planning her next trip to Japan.

Author Links

Blog/Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |    Instagram   

 Newsletter Sign-up  (FREE chapter of an exclusive story sent every month)

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

Book Blast + Giveaway: You’ll Be Fine by Jen Michalski


 

Author Jen Michalski and Gay Book Promotions share book blast for family romance, You’ll Be Fine from NineStar Press! Read more about the romantic comedy and enter in the You'll Be Fine book giveaway!

BOOK BLAST

Book Title: You’ll Be Fine

Author: Jen Michalski

Publisher: NineStar Press

Cover Artist: Natasha Snow

Release Date: August 2, 2021

Genres: Contemporary F/F Romance, Family comedy, trans character

Tropes:  Comedy of errors, love triangle

Theme:  Forgiveness

Heat Rating: 2 flames     

Length: 77 900 words/ 343 pages

It is a standalone book and does not end on a cliffhanger.

Goodreads

Buy Links 

Publisher  |  B&N

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK 

Second chances don’t mean repeating the same mistakes

Blurb  

After Alex’s mother passes away, Alex takes leave from her job as a writer for a lifestyle magazine to return home to Maryland and join her brother Owen, a study in failure to launch, in sorting out their mother’s whimsical, often self-destructive, life.

While home, Alex plans to profile Juliette Sprigg, an Eastern Shore restaurant owner and celebrity chef in the making who Alex secretly dated in high school. And when Alex enlists the help of Carolyn, the editor of the local newspaper, in finding a photographer for the article’s photo shoot, Alex struggles with the deepening, tender relationship that blossoms between them as well.

To complicate matters, Alex and Owen’s “Aunt” Johanna, who has transitioned to a woman, offers to come from Seattle to help with arrangements, and all hell breaks loose when she announces she is actually Alex and Owen’s long-estranged father. Can Alex accept her mother and father for who they are, rather than who she hoped they would be? And can Alex apply the same philosophy to herself?

“An enjoyable story about an adult trying to grow up.” - Kirkus Reviews

Excerpt 

The last time she’d seen Juliette was high school graduation. They hadn’t spoken for weeks, and their last names—Sprigg and Maas—ensured they’d be nowhere near each other in the audience of graduating seniors. Alex had told Owen and her mother to meet her in the parking lot after the ceremony. She had no intention of lingering in the high school gym, drinking fruit punch and eating sheet cake emblazoned with GO SENIORS and CONGRATULATIONS with the other kids who’d treated her like she was some highly contagious lesbian fungus.

She’d gotten through the first row of cars and spotted her mother in the fourth row, near the exit, leaning against their Subaru. Her mother wore Ray Bans and a black fedora, her arms crossed like she was the third Blues Brother or had materialized from some mid-80s new wave music video. As Alex raised her hand to wave to her, she felt another hand on her shoulder.

“Alex.” It was Juliette’s mother, Barbara Sprigg. She wore a floral print dress with a ruffled collar. A small crucifix hugged her thick neck. Her hair was red like Juliette’s but her face ruddier, plastered with freckles. She smiled. “You’re in a hurry! Congratulations!”

“Thanks.” Alex glanced over Mrs. Sprigg’s shoulder, saw Juliette, still in her graduation gown, lagging behind with her father and little sister. “My mom is taking us out to dinner.”

“Oh, I won’t keep you.” Mrs. Sprigg said, clasping Alex’s forearm as she did so. “You haven’t been by the house for a long time—Juliette says you’ve been so busy getting ready for Swarthmore. I’m sure your mother is so proud.”

“Uh huh.” Alex nodded. “I know Juliette is excited to go to Eastern Shore State.”

“Well, she’s⎯” Mrs. Sprigg glanced over her shoulder, “never been much of the academic type. I’m just glad I taught her to bake.”

“It’s a shame they didn’t let you guys supply the cakes.” Juliette’s mother ran a bake shop in town. Even now, she smelled faintly of sugar and frosting.

“Well, they wanted some asinine discount,” Mrs. Sprigg snorted. “Because Juliette is a student. Fine, but a 50% discount?”

“It was very nice to talk to you.” Alex tugged her arm away gently. “But I’ve got to go.”

“Is everything okay at home now, dear?” Mrs. Sprigg looked in the direction of the Subaru.

“Yes, why?” Alex glanced at Juliette again, her dark red hair, the few strands that stuck to her lip gloss. Alex wondered if the lip gloss smelled like mint, or strawberry. She wondered how Juliette’s hair would feel splayed between her fingers at that moment.

“Okay. I’m glad.” Mrs. Sprigg nodded, and Alex wondered what Juliette had told her. There was a lot, she thought, she could tell Mrs. Sprigg about Juliette.

They embraced, a half, light, back-patting hug, their cheeks brushing.

“Stay away from my daughter,” Mrs. Sprigg murmured into Alex’s ear. Then, as if nothing happened, Mrs. Sprigg waved vigorously and went to join the rest of the Spriggs. Stunned, Alex watched them walk toward their Buick. Before they reached it, Juliette turned her head, her mouth parted, her eyes searching Alex’s. Alex wondered, for a moment, if she had been too hasty, too harsh, to Juliette, if there was something salvageable between them.

No, she decided. Her life after high school would be awesome, and she wouldn’t remember Juliette any more than their high school mascot or her mom’s boyfriend Lewis. She held up her hand to Juliette, as if to wave. Instead, she gave her the finger and joined Owen and her mother at the other side of the parking lot.

“Did you just flip someone off?” Her mother lowered her sunglasses. Her hazel eyes bored into Alex with an unwavering intensity of a gamma ray. “At graduation?”

“It was Juliette,” Alex murmured, shaking her head. In her new life, she would be more mature. She felt fears in her eyes. “I shouldn’t have. I just—”

“Are you kidding?” Her mother grabbed Alex by the shoulders and looked up at her. She grinned. Alex noted her mother had borrowed her lipstick. “I’m more proud of that than your stupid diploma.”

Her mother pulled a pack of Benson & Hedges out of her dark cotton blazer with the rolled-up sleeves and tapped out a cigarette.

“Smoke?” She held out the pack to Alex. “You’re almost eighteen.”

Alex shook her head. “I don’t want lung cancer.”

“Your choice.” Her mother shrugged, lighting hers. She took a drag, then exhaled with a flourish. “Welcome to adulthood.”

About the Author 

Jen Michalski is the author of three novels, The Summer She Was Under Water, The Tide King (both Black Lawrence Press), and You’ll Be Fine (NineStar Press), a couplet of novellas entitled Could You Be With Her Now (Dzanc Books), and three collections of fiction. Her work has appeared in more than 100 publications, including Poets & Writers, The Washington Post, and the Literary Hub, and she’s been nominated for the Pushcart Prize six times. She lives in Carlsbad, California, with her partner and dog.

Author Links

Blog/Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter

Giveaway 

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win

one of five ebooks/paperback copies of You’ll Be Fine

(reader’s choice)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

Review: Salvation (Darkest Skies #3) by Garrett Leigh

Reformed gang boss Dante Pope is out after a four-year stretch in prison. But freedom has found him faster than he’s ready for. His only brother hates him, and with nothing but PTSD and a newfound fascination with plants for company, the outside world is a terrifying place.

A prisoner rehabilitation scheme lands him at a stately home that might as well be the moon. Working for gorgeous gardener Sid is a welcome distraction—his shoulders are broad, his rugged jaw unshaven, and his long, tanned legs?

Wow.

But Sid has problems of his own. A life-changing disease has left him limited in ways he can’t bear and accepting help, even from a stranger, makes him want to curl up and die.

If Dante would let him.

Newsflash: he won’t, and he’s not a stranger for long. With his dark smile and sinister ink, Dante Pope is the most beautiful man Sid has ever seen. Life is hard, but falling for each other is easy.

Sunshine and shadows.

Old ghosts can haunt Dante all they like. Loving Sid is the only salvation he’ll ever need.



Dante is released from prison to a country garden. He’s determined to make the most of this second chance, and leave his old life in the past for good.

Sid looks after his gardens and manages his chronic illness. He doesn’t need complications, which is what Dante is.

The two men come from very different backgrounds, but the attraction is there from the start. Despite their differences, they’re actually very similar men.

Both are cranky, a bit antisocial, and prefer each other’s quiet company. Some common ground to build a relationship on!

I really enjoyed reading how working in the gardens side by side brought the two together. It led to homemade dinners, shared smokes (literally), and eventually stolen kisses.

Is there anything hotter than a man who just wants to feed you? Sid’s a total catch! His quiet determination in continuing with his daily life as much as he could made him even more admirable.

For his part, Dante has had a massive character improvement. Even better is that he was well aware of it, and actively identified and changed behaviours that were his old self. The self-awareness is what made him likeable, after the previous events.

I will say though - I found Sid’s repeated insistence that Dante was completely blame-free and a good man irritating. Yes, Dante is a good man now, but that doesn’t erase the past. Sid could have supported Dante without constantly throwing on the rose-coloured glasses.

I also found that the book dragged quite a bit in the middle. It could have been tightened up.

But that aside, Sid and Dante are incredibly sweet together in their little English countryside bubble. Not to mention hot!

They have a major stumbling block thrown at them, but they get through it for the better on the other end.

Overall, though this isn’t my favourite book in the series, it was still an enjoyable read. Would recommend it if you've read the two preceding books!


A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.


Release Blitz + Giveaway: The Tea House by Amanda Meuwissen


 Don't miss today's release blitz for horror romance short story, The Tea House, from author Amanda Meuwissen and Gay Book Promotions! Learn more and enter in The Tea House eBook giveaway!

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: The Tea House

Author: Amanda Meuwissen

Publisher: Amanda Meuwissen Books

Cover Artist: Amanda Meuwissen

Release Date: October 1, 2021

Genre: Horror Paranormal M/M Romance

Tropes: Secret identity, secret powers, first love

Themes: Starting over

Heat Rating:  4 flames    

***Note that this contains graphic blood and violence. Dubious consent could also be called out, since one of them is a monster in disguise, but the couple does end things on a HFN, even really a HEA. 

Length: 18 112 words

It is a standalone story and does not end on a cliffhanger.

Goodreads

Buy Links - Available in Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US   |  Amazon UK

Every rose has its thorns.

Blurb

Jaime is looking for sanctuary and a new start after escaping his stepfather. With little money to his name, he doubts he can afford the gorgeous bed and breakfast he stumbles upon, surrounded by tea roses inside and out. Then Logan, the handsome young concierge, surprises Jaime with a ‘pay what you can’ policy, and Jaime is instantly smitten. 

Little does Jaime know the Tea House is plagued by rumors of monsters and disappearances and is known by another name. 

Hollow House. 

Excerpt 

“What do you do?” Jaime took his first bite of filet and nearly had his eyes roll into the back of his head. 

Wow

“I’m an investigative journalist. Sort of. Trying to be. I work for an online publication focused on the paranormal and unsolved mysteries right now. That’s why I’m here.”

“Here? For what?”

“There’s local rumors about this place being cursed or something and having a run of unexplained disappearances. When it’s not the Tea House, people call it…” Rick glanced around and leaned closer as if sharing a great secret. “Hollow House.”

Jaime would have laughed, but he couldn’t help the chill that trickled down his spine. “Hollow? Why that?”

Rick shrugged. “Like a hollow in a tree, I guess. You know, a bottomless pit that sucks you in and you never leave. Well, some people leave. But there are stories!”

Jaime relaxed. Stories was probably all it was, and it wasn’t hard to imagine where they’d come from with an old building like this and all the mystery around a benefactor. “I’ll let you know if any of the roses start wilting.” 

Rick barked a laugh. “Eh, it pays.”

Logan was finishing up serving the family, after taking a few custom orders for milk and some extra bread. At least the family genuinely seemed nice, all thanking Logan affably, even the little girl, who couldn’t have been older than four. 

As Logan wheeled the food cart back across the room, Sheila and Gary stopped him to order wine. There must be a limit on glasses the guests could have because Gary tried slipping a twenty into Logan’s pocket with a request for a couple bottles, but Logan politely refused and set the bill on the table. 

Rick stopped him to ask for a glass of wine too. “You, Jaime?”

“Oh, um… I like wine, and my mom used to let me have a glass or two on occasion, but I’m not old enough.” He felt like a preteen having to say that even though he was almost twenty and hardly a kid.

“Guess you won’t make an exception in this case either, huh, Mr. Concierge?” Rick grinned Logan’s way.

Logan looked honestly apologetic. “I’m sorry, Jaime, but—”

“It’s fine,” Jaime broke in. A glass of wine would have been nice after the day he’d had, but he didn’t want to get Logan in trouble. “Thanks anyway. Dinner is amazing.”

Logan preened again, and then proceeded to move the cart into the corner of the room near the door before departing, which still had several covered plates on it, as if waiting for other patrons. 

“Jaime, huh? He’s never used my first name before,” Rick said with a teasing smirk, and Jaime felt the heat rise in his cheeks. “Don’t worry. I won’t ask you to try schmoozing for my benefit just coz he likes you. Not that I’m not tempted. I don’t think I’m ever gonna crack him. I keep trying to catch some of the other help instead, but they are seriously ghosts. I’ve never seen a single one.”

“Maybe because they’re all really good at their jobs and like it here,” Jaime offered. It wasn’t hard to tell Logan took great pride in his work. “They don’t want some reporter getting them fired.”

“Fair.” Rick chuckled. “But a haunting or monster story exposĂ© could be good for business. People love that stuff! Why do you think I have a job? Anyway, there’s always at least one unhappy worker. I just need to find them. I was thinking of staying up as late as I can tonight, maybe take a midnight stroll through the halls. Feel like joining me?”

Jaime coughed around his next heavenly bite of filet. He liked Rick. This wasn’t some creep trying to hit on him or get him into trouble, but Rick was definitely a thrill-seeker and maybe a bit of a bad influence. “I don’t think Logan would be too happy about that.”

“You like him too, don’t you?” Rick’s grin turned fond older brother more than pure teasing. “I’m not much of an authority on the subject, but he sure is pretty. You’re, what? Nineteen, twenty? And he can’t be more than twenty-two. Sounds like an even match to me.” 

“I’m just passing through,” Jaime said with a bashful chuckle. 

Rick caught Jaime’s eye and winked. “Never stopped me. But I guess that means I can’t convince you to potentially piss pretty boy off, huh?” 

“Sorry, I’ll pass.” 

“Had to try.” 

They enjoyed their meal with Rick telling Jaime about some of the stories he’d covered in the past. Mostly potential hauntings, and while he had a few tales of the unexplained happen to him, nothing he’d experienced was concrete evidence of the paranormal. 

Logan brought out the drinks and tended to additional needs of the guests, including seconds for the family upon request, which Logan provided from the cart. No matter what Logan was doing, he always passed Jaime a soft smile or flutter of his long pale lashes whenever their eyes met. 

About the Author 

Amanda Meuwissen is a bisexual author, with a primary focus on M/M romance. As author of the paranormal romance trilogy The Incubus Saga and several other titles with various publishers, Amanda regularly attends local comic conventions for fun and to meet with fans, where she will often be seen in costume as one of her favorite fictional characters. She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with her husband, John, and their cat, Helga.

Author Links

Blog/Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter

Instagram  |  Pinterest  |  Newsletter Sign-up

Giveaway 

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win

an eBook copy of this short, as well as the author’s newest full-length release, By the Red Moonlight.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

Pre-release Blitz + Giveaway: Wicked Lovely (The Black Blade Chronicles #1) by J.K. Hogan


 

Author J.K. Hogan and Gay Book Promotions share pre-release info for upcoming fantasy romance, Wicked Lovely (The Black Blade Chronicles #1)! Read more and enter in the $20 Amazon gift card giveaway!

PRE-RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Wicked Lovely (The Black Blade Chronicles, Book 1)

Author: J.K. Hogan

Publisher:  Euphoria Press

Cover Artist: J.K. Hogan @ www.wickedpixeldesigns.com

Release Date: October 12, 2021

Genre: M/M Fantasy Romance

Tropes: Enemies to lovers

Themes: Adventure/quest (kind of Game of Thrones-esque but queer)

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length: 90 000 words

It is the first book in the series and not a standalone story. There will be an HEA over a three-book arc. The first book isn’t quite a cliffhanger, more of a to be continued ending.

Goodreads

Pre-Order Links

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK 

“Coming soon from the mind of romance author J.K. Hogan: a new series that combines the adventure and magic of epic fantasy with the enchantment of romance.”

Blurb

Darkness grows in the realm of Taleth. To the west, a power-hungry despot schemes to conquer kingdoms and territories alike by chasing an ancient elven prophecy that could give him the power to rule all. In the east, after a prince’s murder goes years unanswered, a princess learns there was much more to her brother’s death—and to her life—than she realized.

The House of Kjenelach is shaken to its foundation when Princess Sigrid is stolen away. Her faithful guardian, Sir Senne Clayward, reluctantly accepts help from his nemesis, a notorious halfling mercenary of questionable morals—but indispensable tracking skills—called Kasimir vas Hjardar.

Kasimir makes his living hunting monsters, both creatures and men. While he exists outside the law, he lives by his own unassailable code of honor. At the top of that list: never harm a child. When he turns down a contract to kidnap Sigrid and later finds out she was taken by someone else, he offers his help to the prickly knight tasked with protecting her.

Together, they embark upon a journey across the continent to save Sigrid and foil King Prosper’s plans to conquer Taleth. The way is fraught with dangers and pitfalls, from supernatural beasts to Senne’s deathly fear of magic, but they must not fail, for Sigrid may very well be the savior of the realm: the long prophesied Aisnellach Fuil. Somehow, the two men must set their differences aside and work together to rescue Sigrid, and possibly find love along the way.

About the Author 

J.K. Hogan has been telling stories for as long as she can remember, beginning with writing cast lists and storylines for her toys growing up. When she finally decided to put pen to paper, she found her true passion. She is greatly inspired by all kinds of music and often creates a “soundtrack” for her stories as she writes them.

J.K. resides in North Carolina with her husband, two sons, and their pets. If she isn’t writing, J.K. can be found designing book covers at Wicked Pixel Designs, creating fiber art and supplies at Earthbound Fiber Arts watching Hurricanes Hockey and, of course, reading!

Social Media Links

Blog/Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter

Instagram  |   Amazon  |  Pinterest

Giveaway 

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win

a $20 Amazon Gift Card.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions