Release Blitz + Giveaway: Rising Heat by Elizabeth Hollows

Author Elizabeth Hollows and Pride Publishing celebrate the release of Rising Heat! Read more and enter in the First Romance gift card giveaway!


Rising Heat by Elizabeth Hollows

Word Count: 68,506 

Book Length: 

NOVEL Pages: 270







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Book Description


Can a sweet and sexy fireman change a fling into a happily ever after?

Neil Farris is your typical ‘love ’em and leave ’em’ type. He’s been told his biggest fear is commitment, but he’s not bothered by that. He doesn’t see the point of a long-term relationship. He either gets bored or his partners realize he’s too bossy and scathing. It’s easier to stick to one-night stands.

When his boring work conference in Brisbane sends him to the wrong hotel, he finds himself surrounded by gorgeous firemen. Luckily for him, one of them is gay and interested in a good time.

Scott Fields is everything Neil looks for in a fling—gorgeous, good in bed and temporary. He’s also nice and considerate, which is a bonus. It’s a shame Neil only gets two nights with the fireman before he’s returning home.

However, much to his surprise, he runs into Scott a few days later. It turns out they’re both from the same town. When Scott asks him out, Neil is hesitant but agrees. He really isn’t interested in dating or relationships. Can the sweet and sexy fireman change his mind?


Neil Farris had never seen the point to relationships. They only seemed to breed drama and boredom. Why choose one person to sleep with when the options for many were only a bar trip away?

His co-worker Denise often joked that he could find a fling in a haystack. He took it as a point of pride. He didn’t need to settle down into monotony when he could be the envy of many with a few well-placed flirtations. Sex was what he was after, not some white picket fence.

Yet despite her remarks, Neil hadn’t expected to have much luck at his yearly manager’s meeting. Not only did he know better than to sleep with his colleagues if he wanted his flings to remain flings, but the last three years had been the same boring routine.

He managed a men’s clothing store that specialized in affordable formal and stylish casual wear. Hardgroves was a leader in the industry with twelve stores in Queensland alone, and they wanted to maintain their foothold in the market. He’d driven the four hours down to Brisbane with the plan to check into his hotel and catch up with the few other managers he liked.

Instead, he found a mistake in the booking culminating in his lost reservation. Thirty minutes of back and forth with the company and he had alternative accommodation in a different hotel twenty minutes across town.

When he finally arrived, tired and annoyed, the last thing he’d expected was a lobby full of eye candy. A dozen muscled men were carrying duffel bags and chatting in small groups. Some were tanned, and some had tattoos. There were a few women with them, but Neil only had eyes for the guys.

Let it be a convention for gay singles.

He didn’t know where to look, but Neil quickly found his attention grabbed by a man at reception. His upper body had an attractive V-shape, his arms were muscled without bulging and the view only got better farther down. Neil crossed the lobby to stand behind him. The man’s khaki pants hinted at a firm bottom and taut thighs. He was a head taller than Neil with short black hair that was spiking at the top. He was compact in a way that showed he was no stranger to working out.

Now that’s a man I’d happily show a good time.

Neil would have continued his admiration if the man hadn’t stepped backward and turned. He nearly collided with Neil but jerked away in time.

“Sorry,” he apologized. “I didn’t realize someone was there.”

The man’s eyes were as blue as the sky, and his smile was friendly. Neil swallowed down three pickup lines.

“Don’t worry about it.”

The man flashed another grin before taking a better grip on his bag. He walked over to a group congregating farther inside the hotel. They welcomed him with laughter, backslaps and familiarity. Neil forced his attention to the reception desk rather than the man’s biceps. The young woman behind the desk gave him a knowing smile.

“Annual fireman’s training,” she explained. Her eyes flicked toward the men before back to Neil, and she lowered her voice. “It gives us the best view in the city for the next week.”

“I suddenly don’t mind being in a different hotel from my colleagues.”

“Ooh, you get all the firemen to yourself. Well, half of them.” She winked. “I want my share, too.”

Neil laughed. He glanced at the men again, lingering on the one who’d almost bumped into him. He was just Neil’s type. Being a fireman only added to his appeal.

When Neil turned back to the receptionist, he matched her grin.

“How about you get the straight ones and I’ll get the gay ones?”

“Perfect!” They shared another smile before she cleared her throat. “Now, how can I help you?”

“I’ve got a reservation.”

She took a few minutes to sort everything out, but Neil soon picked up his small suitcase and headed to his room. The hotel wasn’t the height of luxury, but it was well-maintained. The two-story building had a bar off the lobby, along with a small restaurant. His room was on the ground floor and down a hall just past reception. It had all the standard amenities with a decent-sized bed. He placed his suitcase on the luggage rack and opened it. Originally, he’d planned to order room service and relax, but the firefighters changed things. Pulling out a nice dress shirt and jeans, Neil headed to the bathroom. It didn’t matter that it wasn’t a club. He needed to look his best if was going to catch anyone’s attention. A quick shower helped Neil feel refreshed, and he double-checked his reflection in the mirror. His sandy-blond hair looked naturally tousled and fell just below his ears. The shirt he wore was white with a subtle pattern of small palm trees. The leather bracelet around his left wrist partially obscured his tattoo of a sun. He grinned at the mirror, knowing he looked good.

Grabbing his wallet, room key and phone, Neil slipped them into the pocket of his jeans and stepped out of the room. The hall was empty, but when he reached the lobby, he noted that there weren’t as many firemen as there had been before. Neil was quick to spot the one from reception. He was at the bar, ordering drinks with four others. It only took one more once-over for Neil to make his choice. He crossed the room and took a place leaning against the bar two stools down from the group. His chosen firefighter glanced at him, his blue eyes locking onto Neil’s green. Neil smiled. He held the man’s gaze, feeling a thrill go through him. Neil knew the game well, and he was certain there was interest in the fireman’s eyes. Neil only looked away when the bartender approached.

Once his beer was poured, he glanced back at the man and subtly listened to the conversation. They were talking about the upcoming training course and their travels to get to Brisbane. Three of them were from the same town but the other two were from different parts of the state.

It sounded a lot like Neil’s own management meeting. He took a sip of his beer and glanced at the men again. His blue-eyed fireman was already looking at him. If they had been at a club, Neil would crook his finger and gesture the man over. Or maybe he’d turn on his stool, sprawling his back over the bar and making it easy for the fireman to step between his open legs. However, with the man surrounded by his friends and colleagues, Neil knew it would be better to wait. He settled for smiling again before taking his beer and heading into the attached restaurant.

Neil selected an empty table with a good view. The group from the bar plus nine more firefighters entered the restaurant for dinner. There were attractive men wherever Neil turned, but he found his gaze kept falling back to the same man. He was watching Neil, too. They exchanged glances throughout dinner, and that found anticipation and desire sparking through Neil. He felt confident enough to move back to the bar after his meal. He ordered another drink and waited. A few of the firemen left to return to their rooms, but the one Neil cared about was soon stopping at the bar stool beside Neil’s.

“Mind if I join you?” he asked

“Not at all.” Neil shifted to better face him and held out his hand. “I’m Neil.”

“Scott,” he replied.

Their palms lingered together for longer than necessary and a noticeable tension was thrumming through the air as their gazes stayed locked. It didn’t take a genius to realize the guy was interested in him, too.

Gay, hot and only meters from my hotel room. Could this be any more perfect?

When they dropped hands, Scott took a seat on the stool. He angled his body close enough that their shoulders brushed. Neil’s desire grew from that small touch.

“I didn’t think there would be anyone else here,” Scott said. “I thought we’d have booked out the hotel.”

“Seems I slipped through the cracks,” Neil replied. “Lucky me.”

When the bartender came over, Scott ordered a matching beer. Neil had another sip of his but kept his gaze on the fireman. Scott was lightly tanned and had a cluster of three small moles on the side of his neck. Neil wanted to mouth at them until the skin surrounding them was red and flushed. This was the type of fireman who’d be perfect for their famous, shirtless charity calendars—only Neil wanted him removed of all his clothes.

“So, what brings you to the hotel?” Scott asked, dragging Neil’s attention from Scott’s neck.

“Annual manager’s meeting,” he said. “There was a mistake with my booking, so I ended up here.” Neil openly ran his gaze over Scott. “Not that I’m complaining. In fact, I’m going to take advantage of my good fortune.”

Because if a one-night stand was practically falling in his lap, he wasn’t about to ignore it. Lately, it took more effort and drinks for Neil to get into someone’s pants. Right now, Neil felt he could score before they reached a second glass.

“Sounds like a good plan to me,” Scott said, his attention dropping to Neil’s mouth. “A lot of the guys are having an early night.” He caught Neil’s gaze again. “But I figure that I’m in a new city, and I should have some fun.”

There was a suggestive note to his voice that filled Neil with eagerness. He held out his glass for a toast.

“To a night of fun, then.”

Scott brought their glasses together with a soft clink. They never broke eye contact, and Neil already knew they would have sex by the end of the night.

In fact, if he played his cards right, Neil was certain it could happen within the hour.

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About the Author

Elizabeth Hollows

Elizabeth Hollows is an Australian writer of LGBT love stories specializing in homosexual or lesbian romance.

Her preferred genres are fantasy, science fiction and contemporary/modern.

She has been writing since she was twelve, but has spent the last few years writing romance stories and discovering a passion for LGBT romance.

When Elizabeth is not writing she embroiders, reads and plots her next novel. She is a fan of the winter months and always has a book in her handbag and a cup of tea nearby.

You can find Elizabeth at her website here


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Blog Tour + Giveaway: The Bandalore (Pitch & Sickle #1) by D.K. Girl

Author D.K. Girl and Gay Book Promotions make a blog tour stop for The Bandalore (Pitch & Sickle #1) from The Diabolus Chronicles 1! Read more and enter in the $10 Amazon gift card giveaway!


Book Title: The Bandalore - Pitch & Sickle Book One

(An MM Gaslamp Fantasy Series) (The Diabolus Chronicles 1)

Author: D K Girl

Cover Artist: Deranged Doctor Designs

Release Date: February 25, 2021 

Book 4 in the series is due out April 13

Genre:  Historical MM

Tropes: Slow, slow burn, opposites attract

Themes: Loneliness and friendship

Heat Rating: 2 flames    

Length:  285 pages

It is not a standalone book. This is the first book in the Gaslamp Fantasy series, The Diabolus Chronicles.

It has an unresolved storyline, rather than outright cliffhanger.


Buy Links - Available in Kindle Unlimited 

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK

Silas Mercer died once. He’d rather not do it again.


1885 London, England

Silas Mercer died once. He’d rather not do it again.

On his return to the world of the living, Silas finds himself in the hands of the mysterious Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.

The Order has London society clamouring for their services, with tarot readings, seances and exorcisms among their arcane specialities.

Now they seem intent on making Silas their newest recruit.

But they want far more from him than cheap parlour tricks.

When the Order partners him with the scandalous rake, Tobias Astaroth, Silas's new life is turned on its head in more ways than one.

Tobias is quick-tempered, dangerously charming, and far more than the man he seems. 

For Silas, surviving what the Order has planned for him will be a challenge.

But finding a way to survive Tobias Astaroth could prove impossible.

A slow-burn MM Gaslamp Fantasy series.

Contains: Sexual content, violence and rather a lot of cursing.

This is the first book in the thrilling Gaslamp Fantasy series, The Diabolus Chronicles


Mr Astaroth was clearly drunk. Reason perhaps why he failed to be wearing any shoes. Silas noted the large brown stain upon the white of his linen shirt with great consternation. The mark appeared not dissimilar to blood. His dark trousers bore a tear at his right thigh, and the material at his knees was notably caked with dirt.

Gilmore cried out, more pain in the sound this time. ‘You’re breaking my leg, you bastard.’

Silas looked to the bandalore, hoping there might be a musical direction sung to him. But the wood was quiet. He should go to the man’s assistance, Silas needed no magical trinket to tell him so. Man, or gnome, Gilmore was in clear distress. But Silas hesitated.

‘Dear me, do you think I would truly do such a thing?’ Tobias’s words got away from him, slipping and sliding from his intoxicated tongue. A shadow curved around his right eye, a rising bruise.

‘I know you would,’ Gilmore hollered. ‘You crave harm more than your cock craves fucking.’

With no warning, Tobias landed a punch against Gilmore’s belly. Half-hearted as it was, it at last spurred Silas from his reticence. He took a step forward.

‘Now, see here-‘

‘Tobias! Set him down, now.’ Jane moved across the green, clad in a nightgown of the most delicate white lace. Combined with her airy way of moving, it was as though a ghost rushed towards them. ‘Now, Pitch. I will not ask you again.’

The man’s smile was a cruel slash across his damaged face. ‘As you wish. Catch him if you can.’

He lowered Gilmore and seemed certain to set him down, albeit on his head, but at the very last moment, he drew back his arm and swung the frantic Gilmore straight up into the air. Without an ounce of effort apparent, Tobias’s throw sent the screaming, kicking man skyward. Soaring higher even than Silas’s cottage roof.

‘Help me!’

Gilmore seemed to hang in the air for a moment. His scream curdled the blood.

‘Gilmore!’ Silas dashed in beneath the unfortunate gnome, seeking to position himself so he might catch Gilmore when he fell. A dangerous notion, considering the speed of descent, but the man would surely suffer grievous injury otherwise. Silas glanced at the grinning man at his side. The viciousness that simmered within Tobias Astaroth’s emerald eyes was breathtaking.

‘Stop!’ Jane’s command came with a rush of violent wind. A great force swept past Silas, lifting the hairs on his head. The gust swept in beneath the tumbling Gilmore, and at once his downward journey halted in a dead stop in midair. The gnome sobbed, hanging limp against his invisible support, drifting slowly down, a leaf upon a gentle breeze.

‘Why must you ruin my fun?’ Tobias folded his arms, staring hard at Jane as she approached, a pout upon his full lips.

The sun drifted from behind a cloud, its rays setting his eyes alight once more, and marking the pronounced angles of his face. Despite his notable injuries, his odd beauty, accentuated by bowed lips and long dark lashes, was still evident. Rather captivating, if Silas were honest, but he’d just now glimpsed a ferocity beneath the delicate exterior which lent it a certain ugliness. 

About the Author  

Danielle K Girl is an Aussie who lives in stunning Tasmania with her three furkids, cats Luffy, Sweetie and Ren.

Her idea of heaven is a farm full of rescue animals, with a vegie garden that sprouts peanut M&M’s and chocolate wheaten biscuits.

When she’s not keyboard-deep in mysterious, beguiling worlds, she is binge watching K-Dramas, listening to K-Pop or hiking through the beautiful Tasmanian wilderness.

Author Links

Blog/Website  |  Facebook  |  Instagram

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Release Blitz: The Last Beginning (Endings and Beginnings #1) by Abrianna Denae

Author Abrianna Denae and Gay Book Promotions host new release blitz for friends to lovers romance, The Last Beginning (Endings and Beginnings #1)! Read more today!


Book Title: The Last Beginning

Author and Publisher: Abrianna Denae

Cover Artist: Designs by Morningstar

Release Date: April 5, 2022

Genre/s: Contemporary M/M Romance 

Trope/s: Friends to lovers, hurt/comfort

Heat Rating: 3 flames     

Length: 61 000 words/210 pages

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


Buy Links

Universal Amazon link  |  Amazon US  |  Amazon UK


“Nobody tells you how one moment, one decision, can change the course of your entire life.” 

Kit Briar is starting over. At thirty-three, he thought he had his life planned out, but a devastating revelation sends him back to his hometown, desperate to make a life for himself and his son. 

“Sometimes, a single kiss can lead a person down a road they never expected.”

Lawson Craig never meant to fall in love with his hot new neighbor, his life's complicated enough. Except Kit and his young son fulfill a void he did know he had. The more he tries to fight against the mutual attraction, the harder it is to stay away. 

“If it came down to it, I’d let him go. I’d let him go because he deserves someone so much better than me.” 

Lawson and Kit find themselves in a whirlwind romance. They fall hard and fast, but every choice comes with consequences and neither of them are prepared for what happens when their blissful bubble pops. They’ll have to learn to trust in each other and what they’re trying to build in order to get the happy ending they’ve both always wanted. When every road seems to lead to heartbreak, how will they ever find forever? 


We lean back against the counter and talk about random things for a while. It’s nice. I have some friends but no one I hang out with regularly. I don’t want to get ahead of myself, this could be just a one time thing, but I like the vibe Kit has, I’m hoping he likes mine too.

“You said you’re from the area?” I ask after a lapse in conversation.

Kit nods, “Yeah, my family all still live close. My siblings helped me move in today.”

“How many siblings do you have?”

He smiles a little, “Two sisters and two brothers. I’m the baby of the family and they all treat me that way. Never mind that I'm a grown ass man.”

“I think siblings are supposed to do that. I’m one of two. I have an older brother, we’re close since neither of us talk to our parents anymore. What about you?”

“I’m pretty close to all my siblings. It’s just my dad. Mom passed away when I was eight.”

“Wow. Five kids for one person, did he ever remarry?”

“No. He dated someone for a long time, but they broke up about five years ago. He’s gone on dates since but says he’s too old for anything serious.”

I scoff. “I don’t think love cares how old you are.”

Kit smiles at me and I ignore the way my heart trips over itself. “That’s what my sisters say, but I think he’s content. He has us and his grandkids. He’s enjoying his life.”

“Can’t say I blame him. I’d probably be the same.”

Kit looks at me, his dark brown eyes assessing, “Yeah? Believe in love for everyone but yourself?”

“Ehh,” I make a seesaw motion with my hand. “Yes and no. Would I like to have that one person I spend the rest of my life with, knowing that they’re it for me? Yes, I think most people want that. Do I think it’ll happen?” I shrug, “It’s complicated.”

“Trust me,” Kit sighs, “I know all about complications.”

Is it me or are we closer than before? My arm brushes his and I try not to react like a fucking teenager with their first crush. It’s ridiculous really, the things I feel for this man that I’ve known an hour.

“Tell me about the neighborhood?” He asks, breaking into my thoughts. “You said the neighbor on your other side hates you?”

I sigh and ignore how fucking close his mouth suddenly is to mine. We’re almost the same height, it would be nothing to lean forward and kiss him.

“Uh yeah, she’s a total bitch. I mean, maybe. I think it’s just me. She’s older, in her fifties I’d say. I try to be nice and do things like mow her yard and take her garbage cans out, things like that. She glares at me and never shows any appreciation. I can’t tell if she really hates me or if she is just a really sour person, you know?

“When I first moved in I made cookies, brownies, and muffins for her, the previous owners of this house, and the people across the street from me. She’s the only one who refused to take anything from me. Which, I get, it was kinda weird to have this stranger show up with a bunch of baked goods, but you’d have thought I offered up straight poison the way she acted.”

“She doesn’t know what she’s missing. More for me.” Kit smiles and I can’t help but smile as well.

“You’ll have to come into the bakery some time, I’ll give you a discount.”

Kit pouts, “Oh so I only get free stuff at home.”

“Yep. Gotta make that money.”

He huffs out a laugh, “I’d happily pay for anything made by you.”

It’s not my imagination this time. He definitely leaned forward.

“You flatter me,” I hope that didn’t come out as breathless as I think. “What if the only thing I can make are cookies?”

“I like cookies.” He whispers.

We’re so fucking close. 


I don’t know who moves first. One second we’re a breath apart, the next, our lips are touching in an impossibly soft kiss.

Neither of us move for a moment, and then Kit slowly moves his mouth over mine. I follow his lead, keeping the kiss soft and slow.

A hand grabs my hip and I groan as our bodies come together. Kit takes that opportunity to deepen the kiss. His tongue sweeps against my lip and I allow him in my mouth.

Gasping, I fight him for dominance. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt anything this good. He lets me take control of the kiss and I push him against the counter. Our lower bodies are flush and I can feel his arousal brushing against mine. Shivering, I press my lips harder to his. Tangling one hand in his hair, I pull back enough to bite at his lip, making him moan.

“Shit,” he gasps before kissing me hard.

I press my hips into his and groan at the sensation. Kit’s hands grip my ass tightly and it feels so fucking good. I almost beg him to fuck me, but that’d be reckless. Kissing him is enough for now.

We pull apart for breath, both of us panting softly. “Just so you know,” I tell him, “I don’t go around kissing all the neighbors.”

He laughs breathlessly, “That one neighbor might like you if you did.”

I snort and shake my head. “You’re prettier.”

I kiss him again, softer now. Our tongues meet and it’s perfect. Best kiss I’ve ever had. I could spend hours just kissing this man. Crazy? Absolutely, but it’s not the craziest thing I’ve done, not by a long shot.

About the Author 

Abrianna Denae is a twenty-five-year-old author living in Northern California. An English major, they have always had a passion for writing.

Deciding to sit down and write one of the many stories that had plagued their mind for years was the easy part—finding the time to do it was a different story.

Caffeine is their best friend, and sleep is her worst enemy.

A lover of books that make the reader feel something, Abrianna tries to incorporate as much of their real-world views and feelings into their stories as they can.

Social Media Links

Facebook  |  Facebook Group  |  Twitter  |  Instagram

BookBub  |  Goodreads Author Page  |  Amazon Author Page  

You can also email her at

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Release Blitz + Giveaway: The Star Gods' Slave (Of Gods and Men #2) by AT Lander

AT Lander and Pride Publishing celebrate new release, The Star Gods' Slave (Of Gods and Men #2)! Read more about the mythology erotica and enter in the First Romance gift card giveaway!


The Star Gods' Slave by AT Lander

Book 2 in the Of Gods and Men series

Word Count: 28,755
Book Length: NOVELLA
Pages: 123



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Book Description

Twin gods, one man, and a secret desire…

Lucius, a handsome and bookish Roman sailor, knows his fate is sealed when he’s captured by pirates and sold as a slave. Yet his new master is far more than he seems and brings Lucius into a world unlike any he could’ve imagined.

The Gemini twins—the roguish Castor and the kindly Pollux—might seem as different as night and day, but they’re a match in gorgeous looks and dominant mastery. Kept apart by fate, the brothers both find their attention drawn to a single, mortal man—Lucius.

Free of his chains and the shackles of custom, Lucius can finally submit to his desire and embrace true love. Yet there are secrets in the star gods’ realm, an ancient darkness with the power to tear them all apart.

Can Lucius save his rescuers from a thousand-year-old nightmare or will three hearts be left broken forever?

Reader advisory: This book contains mentions of slavery, references to death and kidnap.


Lucius tugged in vain at his manacled wrists, cursing the irony of it all. He’d liked chains once, back when he’d visited the taverns for a bit of wine and fun. It had been a game then, pretending to be helpless when he knew he was free.

Now he wasn’t free and would never be free again. There was no rescue coming—his home city of Rome was young and small and far away, nothing compared to the mighty states of Greece. Besides, what would Lucius’ king care for a single ship or an orphaned sailor with no one to pay his ransom? Perhaps it would have been better to drown when the pirates had come and rammed his ship to splinters, rather than be reduced to this.

“Next, number twenty-seven!” the auctioneer shouted, and Lucius was dragged up onto the block. The courtyard below him bristled with men, all staring up at him with cold, assessing eyes. He wanted to bow his head, to curl in on himself, but he set his jaw and raised his chin in defiance. He would not show weakness in front of these Athenian dogs.

Of course he was showing everything else. His body had been stripped bare, exposing every inch of skin to the crowd. He’d been nude in public before, at sports and games and communal baths, but this sent a hot surge of shame through Lucius’ gut. The men below him didn’t see him as a person, just a piece of property for sale.

“Look at this strong, hardy Latin barbarian!” the auctioneer called, gesturing for Lucius to turn and show the crowd his body. “Such exotic fair hair, such bewitching gray eyes! He may be too old for the whorehouse, but he’s still got fine lips and an ass made for the bedchamber!”

A smack on the rump made Lucius’ hackles rise. He clenched his jaw—an outburst would not help him here. He had to keep a cool head.

“Or if you want to put those muscles to work,” the auctioneer continued, grabbing a biceps and squeezing, “he’s a perfect fit for the farm, the oars or the mines! You may even use him for crafting or the household, if you have the patience to teach him civilized speech—”

“I speak Greek, you arrogant—” Lucius snapped, then stopped dead. The whole plaza had fallen silent with shock, and he realized he had made a serious mistake.

No, he could use this, turn his blunder into a gamble. He had no way to back down, so instead he stepped forward.

“I also speak the tongues of Egypt, Phoenicia and Babylon!” he cried, as though over the noise of raging seas. “I can sail and navigate by the stars. I can read and write, do arithmetic and be an asset to any house or business!”

The men in the crowd remained speechless for a long moment, while Lucius kept his head up. If he could prove his worth, get a position as a secretary or bookkeeper or translator, he might live a relatively comfortable life—


A kick landed between Lucius’ shoulder blades, sending him crashing to his knees. He bit down a cry of pain, and the crowd began to laugh.

“I stand corrected,” the auctioneer said with an audible sneer. “We have a scholarly savage here! What am I bid for the pleasure of breaking this educated boy to bridle?”

“Two hundred drachmas,” shouted a voice from the crowd, and Lucius raised his head to see a man with a face like a rat, accompanied by a whip-wielding overseer.

“Two hundred to slave-breaker Stolos!” the auctioneer replied. “Do I hear two hundred and ten?”

“Two-ten!” another voice cried.

“Two-ten to slave-breaker Brygos! Do I hear two-twenty?”

Oh no, oh nonononono… The gamble had failed and failed hard. Lucius stared at the wooden floor beneath him with unseeing eyes as the two men went back and forth, fighting over the profit they’d get from the Roman’s mind once they’d broken his will. It was all he could do to keep from shaking.

Through his pounding ears, he heard the bidding slow to a stop, and the auctioneer’s voice calling out one last time.

“Two hundred and ninety to slave-breaker Stolos! Two-ninety going once, going twice—”

“One thousand.”

Lucius’ head snapped up, his eyes wide. The voice had been clear and resonant, cutting through all other sound like a knife through mist. Everyone turned to stare at the speaker, who…had he always been there? Lucius would surely have noticed him.

He was young, handsome and clean-shaven, with light brown hair and sun-bronzed skin, lounging against a column like he owned the whole street. His crossed arms bulged with corded muscle, and his legs below his short tunic were long and shapely. His left eye was covered by a patch, but the dark brown right eye glinted with mischief.

“One…” The auctioneer gaped like a landed sea bass. “One thousand?”

“One thousand,” the speaker confirmed, a faint Spartan accent to his Greek. He strode forward with an easy grace, pulling a bulging coin purse from his belt and tossing it at the auctioneer’s feet.

The auctioneer didn’t bother to ask whether anyone else would match the obscene price, just snatched up the purse and shoved it into an attendant’s hands.

“Sold, for one thousand drachmas to the one-eyed stranger!” he cried, then whispered to his assistant, “Make sure you count those coins twice! No, three times!”

It must have all been in order, because the next thing Lucius knew, he was being wrapped in a simple loincloth and having a leash tied to his collar before being handed off to the handsome stranger. The man gave him a lopsided smile, his single eye raking his prize up and down, before he turned to the slave seller.

“Come on,” he said, “I paid a thousand—the least you can do is throw in some sandals! Don’t want him stepping on a pot-shard in the street, now do I?”

Sandals were quickly produced, as well as a cape to settle around Lucius’ shoulders. The gestures were oddly comforting, even though the manacles stayed on his wrists. At last his new owner was satisfied, and took up the leash with a firm hand.

“Let’s go, cutie,” he said, smirking wickedly. “Time to get you home.”

A shiver went down Lucius’ spine, and he wasn’t sure if it was fear or something else. He’d already had horrible visions of being sold as a bed-slave, but something about this man made it seem less frightening and more tempting. That single laughing brown eye promised trouble, and that lopsided smile promised far, far more.

When Lucius saw his new master’s horse, he gasped out loud. The sailor was no judge of horseflesh, but he had no need to be—the animal was clearly tall and strong, snowy-white and glossy without a single mark or blemish. Lucius had known the stranger was wealthy, but this stallion was fit for a king.

“Here you go,” the man said, grabbing his slave by the waist and hoisting him up as though he weighed nothing at all. “Get comfortable—it’s a long ride.”

The animal stayed perfectly still while Lucius settled onto its bare back, unconcerned by his clumsy seat or the way their mutual master hopped up behind him. The one-eyed man took up the reins in a relaxed hand, wrapping the other arm around his new slave’s waist. The heat of the stranger’s body behind him made Lucius shudder, and hot breath ghosted across his cheek as the man peered over his shoulder.

“Who are you?” Lucius asked, forgetting to be polite in his confusion.

“Your master,” the stranger replied with a soft chuckle in his new slave’s ear. “That is all you need to know.”

Then he clicked his tongue, urging the horse into a steady, rolling gait that carried them along with the grace and speed of wind.

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About the Author

AT Lander

AT Lander has loved stories, both the reading and the telling, since she was a child. Born in upstate New York to an English professor and a former librarian, she now lives in the queerest part of Massachusetts. She never leaves home without a knitting project or a pencil, and she’s never met a cat she doesn’t like.

She has worked as an history museum guide, a professional storyteller, and an actress, sharing tales of what was, what could have been, and what can only be imagined. World mythology is her driving passion, as what better way to understand a people than through the tales they tell?

Follow AT Lander on Twitter and Facebook.


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Release Blitz: Long Past Dawn by J.K. Jones

Author J.K. Jones and Gay Book Promotions share new forbidden love release, Long Past Dawn! Read more about the gang romance today!


Book Title: Long Past Dawn

Author and Publisher: J.K. Jones

Release Date: March 23, 2022

Genre: M/M Romance

Tropes: Forbidden love, friends to lovers, Gang Romance, High School Romance

Themes: Coming out, drug addiction, abuse forgiveness

Heat Rating:  4 flames    

Length: 54 858 words/250 pages

It is a standalone story but has a soft cliffhanger.


Buy Links - Available in Kindle Unlimited

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Delinquent. Savagery runs hot in his veins. Miguel González doesn’t have any memories that don’t include cruel fists raining down on him. The only light in his life had been his younger sister Valeria, who was slaughtered during a drug run by the Gulf cartels.
Vengeance is the only answer.
War is brewing between the Gulf cartels and Los Zetas. With it, a rising drug lord threatening to destroy everything he’s working towards. Miguel will need to claw his way to the top if he wants justice.
It’s a new school year. There are a bunch of new faces, fresh and eager to learn as they navigate through high school. Most people fear him.
Then there’s him.
Javier Hernández isn’t afraid.
There’s something strange about Javier, something lethal. His gaze is deep, penetrating. Like two blades covered in frost, sinking into his chest.
Javier breaks beautiful things.
But Miguel begs for it.

Warning: Novella, gang wars, deals with alcohol addiction, substance abuse, HFN ending.


St. Augustine, Florida

Miguel storms across the sea of bodies, shoving his way to the bar. He barks his order, choking back something sweet and citrus. Fists pound in the air as raucous party-goers sway to the music.

Where’s Mateo? He was supposed to be here.

The bruise on his eye throbs, blood still trickling down his brow from where his foster father, Felipe, had punched him earlier. He can’t even remember what he did to piss Felipe off. It started with a few jeers here and there, scathing comments about being a freeloader, then it ended with Felipe’s fist raining down on him.

Fucking bastard. Miguel knows he shouldn’t have left Valeria alone with him.

It’s all the same shit. Guilt rakes up and down his body, but he pays at the counter, not bothering to flash his fake ID before he downs his drink.

Shit. No sign of Mateo. Oh, well. He can’t wait forever.

Miguel fights his way through the crowd, desperate to get home soon. It’s late. Valeria will be worried. That’s enough motivation to keep him moving faster. He’s only about halfway across the room when he finally loses his patience and shoves into the next person blocking his path.

The man turns, a deadly glint in his eye as he checks who just pushed him. Miguel glares back defiantly, the stranger looking barely old enough to be allowed in a club at all.

He’s handsome. Devastatingly so. Miguel’s heart jams in his throat as the man smiles, sleek and cool. Deadly. A shiver runs down his spine and he banishes it with the hot flood of disgust that washes through him. This is not the time or place. Valeria, his younger sister, is waiting for him.

The man’s gaze morphs into something softer, steel melted down with fire. A smirk drags across his face and he steps closer. His hair is wild auburn curls, his skin ochre like the setting sun. The stranger’s eyes are a swirling mix of greens, blues, and browns, a smoky hazel. He’s wearing a neon green sheer top, his pierced nipples flickering in the strobe lights, and his black skin-tight jeans make his legs look endless.

“Can you back the fuck off?” Miguel tries to say but his voice gets lost in the heavy, pounding bass. He huffs out a breath and turns to continue elbowing his way through the crowd. He barely manages a step, when a hand encircles his wrist, the strength in that grip forcing him to stop.

He whips his head around to look back at the man who is impeding his escape. The fiery look is still there, as Miguel glowers at him. The man just grins lazily, tugging on his wrist until he trips forward.

The move causes Miguel to press up against the man, both of his hands splaying across his chest and his face nearly buried in the crook of the man’s neck. What the fuck? He tries to wrench himself back, to regain some distance from the man, when the other bends slightly to brush his lips against the shell of Miguel’s ear.

“Leaving so soon?” His voice is hot and wet against his earlobe. Miguel shivers and he feels the other man smile. “Dance with me.”

Fuck no. The way their bodies move is not what Miguel would call dancing. It’s too slow to match the beat of the song. The stranger slots one of his thighs between Miguel’s legs and presses forward, rolling his hips indecently. Miguel sucks in a sharp breath. With half a mind to punch the man in the throat, he leans back slightly only to find his movement being followed as a pair of lips attach themselves to his throat.

About the Author  

Heaven and hell, demons and angels. J.K Jones has always had an affinity for otherworldly things. From her debut novel, it’s easy to see she loves all things crawling in the shadows. As it so happens, J.K Jones is the author of a gritty, fun, action-packed, soul-rending novel. Her characters are so dark and twisted they defy the dimensions of this world. She does not believe in HEA, she does believe in writing a suitable ending for her characters. Never will you read any of her works where the characters ride off into the sunset together. Not going to happen. There is nothing J.K. Jones loves more than a tragic ending. She is an avid reader, poet, and LGBTQ activist. She is a University graduate with a BA in Sociology, also has a TESOL certificate for teaching English as a Second Language.

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Review: Hex Work (Babylon Boys #1) by T.A. Moore

My name is Jonah Carrow, and it’s been 300 days since I laid a hex.

OK, Jonah Carrow isn’t actually an alcoholic. But there’s no support group of lapsed hex-slingers in Jerusalem, so he’s got to make do. He goes for the bad coffee and the reminder that he just has to take normal one day at a time.

Unfortunately, his past isn’t willing to go down without a fight.

A chance encounter with a desperate Deborah Seddon, and a warning that ‘they’re watching’, pulls Jonah back into the world he’d tried to leave behind. Now he has to navigate ghosts, curses, and the hottest bad idea warlock he’s ever met…all without a single hex to his name.

But nobody ever said normal was easy. Not to Jonah anyhow.

Now, I’m no TA Moore expert, but what I’ve consistently found so far is that she creates unique worlds and set ups, leaving some things to the imagination, some things to infer. Despite some nebulousness that is just this side of frustrating (or maybe because of it) this was quite the compelling read, spurring me to finish this in almost one go.

This is a world of magic but it’s not the kind of magic that is benign or kind and is done for good. It’s the kind that has consequences, which can be dangerous and often demands a price that many can’t pay.

Jonah knows too well the repercussions of throwing hexes and despite being very adept at it, he’s determined to lead a magic free life, treating his compulsion like an alcoholic. He’s just minding his own business, trying to hide from his infamous family legacy when he’s unwillingly made a person of interest as he’s approached by an off kilter stranger. This sets in motion coming to the attention of the local magical mafia biker gang, and Jonah soon finds himself a target of some deadly curse where he must bargain for his life, drawing him deeper into a world he’s trying to avoid, where temptation is a constant struggle against his self imposed abstinence.

Ensue a dark twisty story with snarky suspense and some grisly horror as Jonah must find answers for those he doesn’t want to associate with. There’s a couple romantic options here too, where neither evolves past a promise of a date or a kiss, but I’m finding that Moore does brewing sexual tension like nobody’s business and I”m all here for it! It remains to be seen if this becomes a triangle or not.

Overall, this touches on addiction, religion, the morally gray areas of action and thought. This thing has layers, steeped in mystery, curses, family legends, and pervasive secrets. Moore once again brings this first act to a good conclusion but there's a promise for more in store for Jonah and his personal struggles. I’m invested, and I’ll be eagerly waiting for the next installment!

Release Blitz + Giveaway: Healing Their Wounds (City of Fountains #3) by Hayden West

Healing Their Wounds (City of Fountains #3) is out from Pride Publishing! Celebrate with author Hayden West! Read more and enter in the First Romance gift card giveaway!

Healing Their Wounds by Hayden West

Book 3 in the City of Fountains series

General Release Date: 29th March 2022

Word Count: 15,470
Book Length: NOVELLA
Pages: 69



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Book Description

Sometimes you have to face the past to heal old wounds.

Craig Donaldson has been through a lot in his life. There’s one good thing that has come from it—his son. Owning his own business is hard but he’s making it work. Landing in the hospital after a car accident brings into his life someone he wasn’t sure he needed. The problem is, Craig isn’t positive he’s willing to expose himself to more wounds.

Dr. Hobert ‘Bobby’ Pearson loves his job at the hospital. Being the disappointment of his family isn’t something he is happy with. It seems as though when he gets close to someone he feels he could start a real relationship with, the past shows up and he’s again left alone. His family leaves fresh wounds in their wake. This new patient he has, however, hits all kinds of emotions inside him.

Will they be able to heal together? Or will past pain keep them apart?


Craig leaned forward, his heart caught in his throat. Perspiration dripped down his face, and he shuddered as excitement thrummed through him. So close. Oh God, he was close. So close.

He tensed, words lodged in the back of his throat, almost ready to be released but Not. Quite. Yet. Fingers curved, digging for purchase on something, anything, around him.

A few more seconds. He could hold out. He wouldn’t let go until he was sure. That strain on his body didn’t matter two seconds later.

He erupted, launching up from the hard bleacher seat he’d been on as he watched his son and his team compete in the semi-finals of the Little League World Series.


All around the parents and friends of the team were cheering beside him. His son, Cody, was twelve this year, and it was his last year to participate. And Cody’s double had allowed his teammate to get that winning run.

Craig’s legs were weak as he continued cheering. He wanted to sink back down to the seat, but wouldn’t. Tears burned his eyes as he watched all of his son’s teammates gather and cheer to celebrate their win.

“Congrats, Craig.”

He accepted the hug from the father of another player, Christopher.

“Same to you. This is great for them.”

The man crossed his arms and nodded. “Sure will help line up the women.”

Craig frowned. “They’re twelve.”

Christopher smirked. “Never too young to start.”

Craig disagreed. “Yeah, they are. And it’s not happening with my boy.”

The man’s wife dropped between them with a squeal. “What are you two talking about? Colleges that will come after them?”

“Something like that,” Christopher said.

Emily kissed Craig’s cheek. “Congratulations, Craig.”

“You too, Emily.”

The blonde bounced down a few more bleacher steps to continue chatting it up with other families. Their son was one of the pitchers on the team.

“I just mean,” Christopher continued, “I need him to know he should have a bitch on his arm, not be sucking dick, isn’t that right?”

Holding Christopher’s blue eyes, Craig clamped his mouth down on his initial response and weighed his words. The last thing he wanted to do was make the year difficult for his son.

“Right now? Right now, I’m going to be the supportive and very fucking proud father of my son. I’m not thinking of his choice in a partner, because he’s twelve.” He stepped closer and lowered his voice. “I’ll support my son regardless, because it’s not only his choice but as his parent, it’s mine to support and love him unconditionally.”

Leaving before he put his fist in the man’s face, he walked to the steps and made his way down, progress hampered by all the celebrating. Not that he minded.

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About the Author

Hayden West

Hayden West lives in the Pacific Northwest, enjoys being outdoors, and hanging out with friends when not working on the next novella to be released. Find Hayden at their website and blog.


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Blog Tour + Giveaway: Blood Prophecy (Blackwood Pack #11) by Mary Rundle

The Blood Prophecy (Blackwood Pack #11) blog tour visits BMBR today! Author Mary Rundle and Other Worlds Ink share info about the fated mates romance and also a giveaway for a chance to win a $20 Amazon gift card + a Blackwood Pack Mug!


Blood Prophecy - Mary Rundle

Mary Rundle has a new MM paranormal romance out - Blackwood Pack book 11: Blood Prophecy. And there's a giveaway!

This is part of a continuing series by Amazon International Bestselling Author, Mary Rundle – reading the previous titles is advised. Readers will enjoy catching up with members of the Blackwood Pack and reading about what is happening to them as the pack does what it does best ̶ caring for one another, fighting evil, and helping shifters everywhere.

Finally free after spending more than 50 years controlled by a cruel master, Lucius has one goal only—return to the family taken from him when Valerian transformed him into a vampire. But he soon finds that even though his master is now dead, a death grip on him remains. Stripped of his powers to translocate and in constant pain, Lucius’ only hope is to follow a force pulling him toward a place he hopes will end his suffering.

Brady, a retired attorney, who worked at the Witches Governing Council, arrives at the Blackwood Pack after agreeing to help one of the pack’s brothers whose mate is the new Ruler of the Mystic Realm, and whose life is in danger because he wants to end the blatant corruption and exploitation of low level magic users.

Brady meets the pack’s members and is in awe of the powers the Fates have bestowed on them. But, after his previous years of dealing with the unscrupulous members of Witches’ Governing Council—and then being ousted for his efforts to achieve justice—he’s become distrustful of outward appearances.

Called into Alpha Blackwood’s office, Brady learns the Fates have given him the young vampire as his mate. But Lucius, having been found unconscious, lies dying, and Brady must decide if he is willing to do the only thing that will save his mate.

Eventually, Brady and Lucius begin a journey, where the past and present are woven together until both achieve the love and happiness they always desired, but never knew how or where to find.

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Mary is giving away a $20 Amazon gift card + a Blackwood Pack Mug with this tour:

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Blood Prophecy meme

“Will do…thanks Penn.” After ending the call, Jackson turned to Brady. He was relieved to see some of his wariness gone, but there was still an air of caution. Guessing Brady was still reconsidering his decision, Jackson decided to focus on why he wanted a meeting. “I know you’ve been promised any assistance you might need from me in regard to helping Remy and Carson deal with the Witches’ Governing Council, but I want you to hear it directly from me. As Alpha of the Blackwood Pack, I guarantee you can count on us to be there for you. The trouble with giving you my word is that you have no idea exactly what kind of help I can offer which, if I were you, would have me questioning exactly what my word is worth.”

“Oracle has given me some idea of the powers the Fates bestowed on you and your brothers,” Brady murmured.

“Yes, she told me, but I believe you should know everything before you commit to the task ahead,” Jackson said.

Brady snorted, “I don’t even know what the task is until I speak to the Ruler of All Magic.”

“Franky, I don’t either,” Jackson said, “but from what I could glean from Oracle…Carson, Remy, and his three young brothers are in mortal danger by a magic user or magic users unknown.”

“That about sums up what I know, too,” Brady muttered.

“Right…so how about we fill in some of those blanks. In order for you to do whatever you need to do for Remy, I think it’s critical you to know exactly what gifts are at your command. Do you agree?”

“My command?” Brady asked, anger and panic jostling for control of his voice. “You just can’t go handing out that kind of power. What if I possess bad intentions? Do you have any idea the havoc I could wreak in the paranormal world? This is exactly why…why…oh, never mind.”

“This is exactly why…what?” Jackson asked softly.

Shaking his head, Brady wouldn’t give voice to his thoughts. What the Fates had decreed certainly wasn’t any business of his and bitching about their decisions wouldn’t change anything.

Jackson leaned forward, looking at Brady intently before speaking. “If you were going to say it’s insane my pack has so many powers…I would agree with you. Or if you were thinking the Fates made a mistake…I’d say the jury is still out on that. But if you think my pack would ever use these powers for any purposes other than what they were given for, then I would say, you’re dead wrong. How can I be so certain? Because I know my pack and I’ll stake my life on the righteousness of each and every member in it.”

“I’m sorry if you thought I was insulting you, Alpha…I wasn’t,” Brady replied, chastising himself for his lack of tact. “My thoughts pertained to the Fates’ decisions. I’ve seen what power in the wrong hands can do. It’s the reason I agreed to help…to right a wrong done to many magic users for years now.”

“No insult taken, Brady,” Jackson said, softening his tone. “I’m not arrogant enough to assume I know why the Fates did what they did, but I do know evil will never find a foothold here. And if that’s the sole reason my pack was blessed, then the paranormal world will only benefit from it.” Jackson paused before continuing. “When Oracle warned me that my brother and his family were threatened and asked my permission to reveal my pack’s gifts to you, I gave it without hesitation and, frankly, you are the first outside this pack to know. Honestly, if there were any other way to protect Carson and Remy, I would’ve jumped on it like a duck on a June Bug. Does you knowing about us make me nervous? Absolutely. But I also trust Mystia and Oracle implicitly and their assurances about your motives has eased my mind…somewhat.”

“You can trust me,” Brady replied. “As I promised Oracle, I will never betray her…or your confidence.”

“I believe you,” Jackson said, smiling. “Now, back to the job at hand. I’ve decided to assign Dylon as your contact person regarding whatever it is you need from us.”

“Why did you pick him?” Brady asked, wondering if this was a subtle attempt by Jackson to be able to sidestep any help he might need.

“Dylon has the power of Hercules, giving him extraordinary strength and courage, and the ability to solve any problem presented to him. But what’s most important in this case is his strategic brilliance. Once you tell him the situation, he will be responsible for selecting which pack member…or members…would best be able to assist you and make sure the mission succeeds.”

“What if there are multiple missions?” asked Brady. “What if it takes several months before I can get everything sorted out?”

Shrugging, Jackson said, “It doesn’t matter. I’m committed no matter how long it takes. As far as I’m concerned, the job isn’t finished until Carson and his family are safe.” Hearing a rapping on the door frame, Jackson’s gaze shifted over there, smiling at the man waiting for permission to enter. “Dylon, come in. Did they arrive safely?”

Taking a chair next to Mystia, Dylon greeted her and Brady before turning back to Jackson. “Everyone’s fine. At Sawyer’s insistence, Mac took Alex downstairs to check him over and Glenn’s with them.”

Author Bio

Mary Rundle logo

A few years ago, I wrote my first book, Dire Warning. Readers loved it and I was on my way to chronicle the Blackwood Pack, seven brothers who are gay wolf shifters in search of their fated mates—stories about love at first sight with twists and turns, angst and humor, romance and adventure and, of course, happy endings. Since then, the pack has expanded, allowing more stories to be told and different paranormals to be included. The series has become, as one reader described it…an “Epic Saga.”

Now, eleven books later, Blood Prophecy, has just been published. I love the M/M paranormal genre because it gives my imagination a lot of territory in which to roam. My mind can really run wild and come up with some amazing stuff when it doesn’t have to stay inside the box. My story ideas come to me as if they were being channeled by my characters, all of whom I love (except for a few villains). They are eager to recount their lives, loves and adventures, and are not reluctant to let it all out when it comes to revealing steamy details. My writing style is free-wheeling and uninhibited and my readers tell me they love it that way; that it makes them feel like they’re right in on the action and a member of the Blackwood Pack.

I live in the Northeast and love the beautiful change of seasons, my husband, and our quirky calico cat, though not necessarily in that order. I read a lot (good for the mind) and love gardening (good for the soul). And I’m always happy to hear from my readers and can be reached through Facebook, my private Facebook Group, Twitter, Instagram, or my website.

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