Release Blitz + Giveaway: Grayality by Carey PW


Grayality by Carey PW

Word Count:  78,383
Pages: 308



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Book Description

Love knows no gender.

Pate Boone, a twenty-six-year-old transgender man, embarks on a new adventure when his childhood best friend, and yes, ex-lover, Oakley Ogden, convinces him to escape their hometown in hopes for something new.

They land in Cloverleaf, a tiny rural town in Montana, so that Oakley can care for his granny who is battling breast cancer. She pressures the two young men to enroll in a nearby college. Pate immediately becomes enthralled with Maybelle, a young, vivacious freshman to whom he fears revealing his transgender identity. Still, he finds it impossible to resist Maybelle, even after he meets her ex, Bullet, a large, violent man determined to keep Pate away from “his girl.”

But there are others who accept Pate immediately, like Stormy. An outdoorsy, rugged freshman, Stormy warns Pate away from Maybelle and Bullet, but Pate’s too infatuated to heed these warnings.

Oakley tries to support his friend’s new love but finds himself entangled in his own emotional calamity when he unintentionally falls for Jody, a gay and ostentatiously confident drag queen. This new relationship awakens deep internal conflicts in Oakley as he struggles to accept his bisexuality, lashing out at Pate and causing friction between him and Jody.

Oakley must decide if he can overcome his insecurities so he doesn’t lose the love of his life. And Pate must discover if the love between him and Maybelle is strong enough for her to accept him as a transgender man, or if she will break his heart.

Reader advisory: This book contains references to homophobia, transphobia, physical assault and a past suicide attempt. There is use of marijuana and smoking, as well as mentions of gender dysphoria and past sexual assault.


How did I get here?

The question engulfed me as my eyes cringed and my guts tensed up as Oakley and I flew down the highway going seventy-five miles per hour. All I saw were miles of flat earth, lazy summer cows and the occasional rolling hill extending off into some unknown horizon. It looked distant and hopeless.

I was twenty-six years old and going nowhere. The only thing that I’d ever known for certain was that I wanted to be a man. I spent most of my high school days and early twenties working endless shifts at whatever hourly wage job would have me. I also worked small tutoring jobs, helping high school drop-outs study for their GEDs, or helping kids in the neighborhood get through high school trigonometry. Luckily, I got a steady gig as a bartender in East Atlanta that offered full-time benefits and insurance, something I had thought was an elusive dream. It took years of sacrifice and slaving away to scrape together enough funds to pay for my hormones and, eventually, my top surgery. Of course, kids typically stay on their parents’ insurance until their mid-twenties (thanks Obama!), but I was not welcome at home anymore and didn’t want to bug my parents for their insurance card. So I had to do it on my own.

I performed well in high school and later in college, maintaining a four-point-oh average and getting enough scholarships to help me fund my bachelor’s degree in English education. However, when I realized that I was transgender, college just wasn’t a priority anymore. I dropped out after two years to work full-time and earn more money for treatment.

Now, my current transitioning journey had been halted. I’d been taking hormones for more than two years and had top surgery ten months ago. I had no more funds to pursue the full transition, the coveted bottom surgery. I was now more visibly a man, but I was a man with no job, no more money and no support, except for Oakley.

Oakley and I met in the first grade. He was the typical “rebel” southerner who wore death metal shirts and played lead guitar in a death metal band. Oakley was my first everything. First friend, first real boyfriend (good ol’ ninth grade) and first sexual experience.

Oakley had a slow start into adulthood. He came close to marrying a girl he met after high school. Her family owned a dry-cleaning business, and they let Oakley manage one of their stores. A few years later, the girl got pregnant, and it seemed that Oakley’s future was set. For someone so rebellious, here he was getting married, having babies, buying a home and working in the family business. What a sell-out, I thought. A few months before the wedding, the girl told him that she had been seeing the drummer in his metal band and that the baby was the spawn of their passionate, clandestine romance that occurred often in the backseat of his truck while Oakley was tuning his guitar. Oakley never fully recovered.

Here we are, years later, Oakley childless, and me breastless.

A few months ago, Oakley’s grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer. She was having a double mastectomy done in Seattle and would be returning to her ranch in a small town in Eastern Montana. She needed someone to take care of her and provide transportation for medical appointments. She offered Oakley free room and board, homecooked Granny meals and a beautiful, skyscraper-free skyline. Her only caveat was that she wanted Oakley to enroll in the local university and hold a part-time job. Since he had spent his childhood and adolescent years taking many trips to Montana for snowboarding and skiing, Oakley claimed that he was ready for a change and that the South just wasn’t where his soul belonged. Too afraid to embark on this new Pacific Northwest adventure on his own, he talked his grandmother into letting me move with him.

Neither of us grew up in urban, crowded, skyscraper jungles, but we were products of endless major highways with exits every five to ten miles that glowed under golden arches and gas station beams. As Oakley’s 2004 Pontiac Sunfire flew up Highway 2, my eyes frantically searched for lights, gas stations, food and civilization, only to see nothing more than flat earth and cattle ranches every time our car passed over a hill. I think I will need to develop a strong bladder.

“Are you sure that there is a town on this road?” I asked, more to myself than Oakley. “And why the fuck is it so cold? It’s freakin’ July!” I shoved my hands into my armpits in futile hopes of warmth. All my clothes were packed tight into old suitcases and garbage bags in the trunk, and I was sporting a tight-fitting black tank to show off my petite but toned biceps. But when our little Sunfire pulled into the dark, shady gas station along the Montana and North Dakota border, my face was met with a slap of icy cold wind and droplets of rain, sending a piercing shiver up my spine. I checked the weather on my phone. It read forty-five degrees.

“I’ve never actually driven here. We’ve always flown in from Billings in the eight-seater plane. Trust me, it will look better when we reach Cloverleaf,” Oakley calmly assured me.

Rising up from the conservative Southern trenches that had filled my belly with a large, hardened rock, I had learned to keep my mouth shut and my head down. As my eyes scoured the landscape of dilapidated derelict buildings and closed businesses when our car arrived in town, my heart wasn’t optimistic that Cloverleaf was going to be the place for me to thrive. As I looked closely at a man climbing out of his gargantuan four-by-four truck, I could just make out the ruggedness of his dirty hands with bloody cracks, his stiff, muddy boots that were probably black underneath all the dirt, and his deep forehead wrinkles from the hours in the blazing sun and frigid wind. Even if men here accepted me as a man, I didn’t know how I would interact with this form of masculinity. Instead, I gently caressed my soft, delicate, feminine hands.

I wasn’t a man’s man, yet in some ways, I was. I’d always been athletic. I played sports in elementary and middle school before quitting to work during high school. I was never talented, always preferring to support the good players rather than put myself out there, especially with the form-fitting uniforms that showcased my bouncy breasts when I ran. However, sports offered me a good excuse to exercise and stay fit in an attempt to avoid developing female curves.

Even after I started working, I still jogged three miles daily and lifted weights to make everything as lean and tight as possible. It took about a year and a half for the testosterone to thin me out like a man. As I ran my hands along my thigh bones that were hugged by my runner’s muscles, then along my abdomen where I could now feel the subtle crevices that nearly formed a complete six-pack, I finally adored my body. Years of working out and restricting my diet still left a hovering, protruding belly of fat that stuck out, and round hips that insisted on telling the whole world that I was a woman and never allowed me to have the body that my exercise efforts and heart cried out for. I scratched between my legs, waking up from my physical admiration as my genitals reminded me that I was still only half a man.

“You’ll be fine. There’s still a lot of pretty girls around here. And we’ll be hot stuff because we’re new and exotic,” Oakley sang as he rubbed his septum bullring piercing, causing his shirt sleeve to rise, revealing his array of skull tattoos.

Oakley and I were similar guys. We both had small, skinny physiques that prevented us from appearing like tough, dominant masculines, so we chose to paint our bodies with as many skulls, horror tattoos and gag-inducing piercings as possible to prove our masculinity in another kind of “tough” way. After all, I didn’t think that truck-driving ranching man who I saw at the last town was “man enough” to stick a needle in his septum or through his penis, as Oakley bravely did a few weeks ago. Yet, I felt that our masculinity was always dismissed because it didn’t follow stereotypical displays that involved driving trucks, getting dirty or flexing muscles. On the other hand, maybe it was all in my head.

“How do you suggest that I date around here?” I asked, throwing my hand up at the ocean of perpetual brown fields. “It would only take two seconds before everyone here knows I’m a freak.”

“You’re not a freak.”

“Yeah, well, say that to all the other men without vaginas.” I crossed my arms.

“I think there are a lot of women who wouldn’t care. Women are more open with their sexuality,” he argued.

“But then you add the no job, no money, no car—”

“We’ll get jobs,” he interrupted me. “There’s always hourly work around here. That’s easy. You can save up for a car. And we’re going to college, so our financial situation is acceptable.”

“Are you really into the college thing?” I challenged.

“Are you?” Oakley turned his eyes sideways to search for any dishonesty.

I heaved in a gulp of air as I looked away from him and focused my gaze on a worn-down Misfits sticker on his dashboard.

“What?” he urged.

“It’s just a waste of time,” I grumbled.

“You’re a good teacher. You’re going to be a good teacher—”

“No one is going to hire or accept a trans teacher in schools. Even if I get certified and hired, if I am ‘discovered’”—I made quotation marks with my fingers—“it’s over. And even if it’s not, I don’t want to put up the fight, you know?”

“Why not?”

“Because I’m not trying to be some transgender freedom fighter.” I sighed. “I just don’t want anyone around here to know about it, okay? Like don’t tell anybody.”

“Granny knows,” he reminded me.

“Besides Granny.”


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About the Author

Carey PW

Writing has always been my passion, as well as the way that I process my own life experiences. I am an openly transgender (AFAB), panromantic asexual living in rural Montana. There are few LGBTQIA+ resources here, and I always feel there is more room needed for LGBTQIA+ literary works. I have always written fiction as a hobby and earned a B.A. in English Literature and a M.Ed. in English Education from the University of Georgia; however, I ended up earning a Ph.D. in 2013, which moved most of my writing to the academic genre in which I have published several co-authored articles in peer-reviewed academic journals.

After coming out as transgender in 2018 and as asexual in 2020, I decided to refocus my writing on LGBTQIA+ themes in which I write about my own experiences through fictional characters and stories. Writing about my experiences has been extremely therapeutic for me. I am particularly enthralled with the complexities behind LGBTQIA+ identities and highly advocate that sexuality and gender identity exists on a spectrum. This topic is highly personal because my husband married me when I presented as a woman and was adamant that he could not be with a man. He underwent his own process of reevaluating his sexuality and now identifies as bisexual with a preference for women and feminine men. I think he is a wonderful example of the true fluidity behind sexuality.

Likewise, I choose to write about what it means to be LGBTQIA+ in a rural community like my current residence in Montana. Rural communities offer their own unique challenges due to little to no existing resources in some areas and a true feeling of isolation and invisibility. I want to share my experience coming out in a rural community and choosing to live openly as a transgender person and openly in a same-sex marriage.

Additionally, I work full-time as a human services instructor and a mental health counselor at a community college. Through this work, I also educate and advocate for the LGBTQIA+ community. My work as an educator and a counselor fuels my desire to use my fiction to increase awareness and acceptance for LGBTQIA+ people. Lastly, I would characterize my writing as person-centered, a term created by Carl Rogers as a counseling therapy and later as a life philosophy. My works center around the beauty and extraordinary complexity in being vulnerably authentic.

Check out Carey's website and Instagram.


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Release Blitz: Force Majeure by Sophia Soames



Book Title: Force Majeure

Author and Publisher: Sophia Soames

Cover Model: Rourke

Release Date: July 15, 2022

Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance

Trope: Childhood friends to Lovers

Themes: Jealousy, Hurt/Comfort, Set in Berlin

Heat Rating: 4 flames   

Length: 32 000 words

It is a standalone story.


Buy Links

Universal Link  |  Amazon US  |  Amazon UK

Love is an earthquake that relocates the centre of the universe.


Oakley Hoffman is a walking, talking natural disaster. Not only does he seem to be the only functioning adult in his family, but he also stomps around creating irrational earthquakes with every badly thought-out ridiculous move he makes. He barely survived lockdown, and with life returning to something that vaguely resembles normal, Oakley has landed himself an inconvenient infatuation with his former best friend. Well, if he’s totally honest, he’s probably nursed that crush for years. Yet, this time around, infatuation has brought a bad streak of jealousy to boot.

Force Majeure is a 32K novella featuring childhood friends to lovers in adulthood, with explicit content intended for mature readers. No trigger warnings.

Force Majeure refers to a clause that is included in contracts to remove liability for natural and unavoidable catastrophes that interrupt the expected course of events.


The clinking of the lock to the Demircis’ apartment kicks me out of my daydreams, and my heart jolts as I jump to my feet, almost tripping myself up in an effort to not look like I’m loitering.

“I could hear you a mile off,” Cem says, shuffling out into the hall, shivering despite the duvet draped around his shoulders like a royal cape. “You need to go to work and stop trying to scratch my head through the walls.”

He sits on the step. Too weak to fight the pull of his presence, I plonk down beside him, probably bruising my arse in the process, because I know I’ll get what I’ve been craving. Cem has always needed contact, and here I am, being squashed against the wall as he leans his body against mine and his head falls heavily on my shoulder.

“I’m a dick,” he says, bang on with the self-reflection.

“Yeah,” I want to shout at him, scream in his goddamn face, shake him until he gets his head in gear and sees how he has shattered my world. But I don’t. I can be a calm, reasonable person, and I have far too much self-control to fall apart in front of Cemil Demirci.

“I got carried away at the weekend,” he continues. “There was a party, and then I stayed over with friends, and time just kind of evaporated, you know?” Excuses. Always excuses.

“You have an exam today,” I say. If I sound angry, it’s because I can’t help myself.

“It’s under control.” He sighs deeply and turns his head so his nose is pressed into my shoulder. That’s something else he does to reel me in. Why do I let him so cheaply buy my forgiveness? “I studied all week, so I’m good. It’s all in here.” His hand pokes out of the duvet to point at his head. “I’m not worried about the exams.”

I’m not worried either. Cem is too clever for his own good. He’ll read a book and memorise every line, quoting it back at me in long, rambling sentences I barely understand. Nor have I ever seen him use a calculator. He scribbles down numbers at frightening speed on whatever surface he can find and then does the calculation in his head.

Cem knows stuff. Far too much stuff.

“I miss you,” I whisper without meaning to. Even shielded by all the jealousy and anger I feel, knowing I’m slowly, irrevocably losing him again, it’s the truth. He is the calm to my inner storm, and I will forgive him for anything and everything. And I hate myself for it.

About the Author 

Sophia Soames should be old enough to know better but has barely grown up. She has been known to fangirl over TV shows, has fallen in and out of love with more popstars than she dares to remember, and has a ridiculously high-flying (un-)glamourous real-life job.

Her long-suffering husband just laughs at her antics. Their children are feral. The Au Pair just sighs.

She lives in a creaky old house in rural London, although her heart is still in Scandinavia.

Discovering that the stories in her head make sense when written down has been part of the most hilarious midlife crisis ever, and she hopes it may long continue.

Find me on social media @sophiasoames on all platforms

Christina Stern is a Russian based artist. Quick sketches and portraits drawn in pencil are what she likes to do the most. Her work can be found on @christinastern on Instagram

Aurelia Morris is a cover artist, photographer, Photoshop wiz and eternal fangirl. She works in many mediums under more aliases that she can keep track of.

Social Media Links

Facebook Group: Sophia Soames’ Little Harbour 

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Release Blitz + Giveaway: Spade's Choice by L.A. Day


Spade's Choice by L.A. Day

Book 1 in the Inclusion MC series

Word Count: 12,812
Book Length: SHORT STORY
Pages: 56



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Book Description

He turned his back on his brothers for the man he loved.

Spade is a bisexual biker struggling with his sexual identity when he meets Cyrus, his new neighbor. An instant attraction is formed and he wastes little time in getting to know Cy. Spade has never had a relationship he couldn’t easily walk away from but this time might be different. As his feelings deepen, he must choose between Cyrus and his club.

Cyrus is intimidated and intrigued by the big biker next door. Cyrus has never explored his sexual feelings for a man until he meets Spade. When Spade makes advances, he willingly surrenders to him. He wants to experience everything with Spade because he knows the dominant biker will soon tire of him.

Spade quickly realizes he must give up the club even if it means losing his best friend, Snake, because he can’t part from Cyrus. When Snake discovers his secret, they almost come to blows, but Cyrus helps to negotiate peace between the two friends.

Spade’s choice means giving up the biker lifestyle he loves but it could be the beginning of something even better.


The midday sun blasted Spade’s back as he cranked the nut on the rear axle of his motorcycle. He’d returned home from a long run over the weekend and noticed the sprocket teeth were worn. He would have preferred to have done this in the garage at the club but he was avoiding the drama. A couple of the members’ ol’ ladies were in a snit about a new club chick hitting on their men. So he was steering clear of the club until that shit got shut down. If it were his ol’ lady, he’d have laid some leather to her ass. Maybe that’s why I’m single. He chuckled to himself then cursed when the wrench slipped and he busted his knuckles.

A slamming door drew his attention and he stood to see a guy on the back porch of the adjacent house. He shared a double-wide driveway with the other home. He’d seen the car in the driveway late last night when he’d finally ridden in. At the time, he’d been too tired to give it a thought. The house had sat empty for a few months. Recently he’d heard it had sold to a single guy. He was glad there wouldn’t be children running around. He didn’t dislike kids, however he didn’t want to deal with parents complaining about the sound of his bike or the way he looked. The guy jogged down the steps into his backyard and out of view behind his privacy fence. From what Spade had seen, he was a couple years younger than his own thirty. Crouching down, he went back to tightening the nuts, making sure they were snug and even.

An hour later, his bike roared to life as he took it for a test drive. He had other things to get done today so he rode a few blocks, grabbed some beer and returned. He bent to examine his work. Finding everything in order, he patted his leather seat and stood to find his new neighbor standing on the drive. He blinked, startled by his unheard approach.

“Sup?” Spade gave a nod to the younger guy, who eyed him anxiously. The deer in the headlights look wasn’t a surprise. He’d been told he was intimidating as fuck. The motorcycle and cut alone caused trepidation but he stood six-foot-three with a substantial build and more ink showing than skin.

“Hello,” the man finally answered with a slight nod.

“Name’s Spade,” he said. He took a couple steps and stretched out his hand.

“Cyrus,” he replied. A smooth, soft hand gripped Spade’s firmly.

“Live alone?” Spade asked.

Cyrus glanced around nervously before answering, “Yeah.”

“Me too.” Spade couldn’t help smirking at the other man’s unease. “Beer is getting warm so I better head in.” Glancing over his shoulder as he headed for his door, Spade was rewarded with a glimpse of a nice ass in a tight pair of pants. Spade chuckled. Cyrus really would be nervous if he knew what he was thinking about that ass.

At the door, Spade cocked his head as something on the corner of Cyrus’ bumper caught his eye. He made a quick detour across the driveway to investigate. A gay pride rainbow sticker curled just around the edge. “Sweet.” Spade whistled as he headed back to the door. Soon, he would give Cyrus the ride of his life.

* * * *

Spade finished his third beer while watching a high school football game, which wasn’t holding his interest. Getting up to take a leak, he glanced out the window. Cyrus had yet to put up curtains and his house was ablaze with lights. Spade shook his head and wondered, was he afraid of the dark or what?

“Oh hello.” Cyrus had just appeared in his living room, stark naked except for the towel he held in front of his crotch. Spade tilted his head as he admired his neighbor’s fine ass. From here, the younger dude appeared to be all lean muscle. Cyrus bent forward to grab the remote and Dipper, as Spade affectionately called his dick, stirred behind the well-worn denim of his jeans. The television flipped between the sports news channels. To Spade’s delight, Cyrus flung the towel over his shoulder before heading back toward the bathroom. His dick wasn’t bad either, Spade thought. For a thin guy, Cyrus had some girth. Nothing like his behemoth Dipper, but it was nothing to be embarrassed about.

“Fuck.” Spade shifted his arousal. He might have to enjoy some self-love, because he wasn’t gonna be able to sleep like this.

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About the Author

L.A. Day

L.A. Day is a multi-published author of erotic romances. Her heroes might be bikers, shifters, vampires, aliens, time-travelers, barbarians, billionaires, or CEO's but they are always strong, assertive men! Her heroines might be tough or submissive but they are always sassy, funny, and sarcastic. In real life, Laura is a wife, mother, and dog lover. She loves to collect pottery and you can often find her at antique and resale shops. Her friends are often SHOCKED that their seemingly sweet friend writes dirty books. 

Follow L.A. Day on Instagram and check out her website.


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Blog Tour + Giveaway: Naughty by Nature: A Gay Erotica Anthology by Various Authors



Book Title: Naughty by Nature: A Gay Erotica Anthology

Cover Artist: Samantha Santana, Amai Designs

Release Date: July 1, 2022

Genre: M/M erotica short stories

Trope: Outdoor sex

Themes: Coming out, forgiveness

Heat Rating:  5 flames  

Length: 75 000 words/314 pages 


Buy Links

Universal Link  |  Amazon US  |  Amazon UK

Boy meets boy… and nature takes its course!


From strangers in the night to happy couples looking for a little spice, Naughty by Nature has the story for you. Each short story features steamy adult encounters in the great outdoors, not to mention a delicious variety of kinks. After all, roughing it shouldn't have to mean giving up all our creature comforts that bring… pleasure.

 So grab your sleeping bag and get back to nature in all the best ways. With a total of eleven stories by some of your favorite MM Romance authors, you're sure to find something to have you howling at the moon in no time!

Featuring stories by:

Abigail Kade

Charity Parkerson

C.J. Vincent

Elizabeth Silver

Evie Hampton

Gia Reaves

Julia Talbot

Lynn Van Dorn

Marie Sinclair

Pandora Pine

Shane K. Morton

All author links


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Release Blitz + Giveaway: Seaspray by Rick R. Reed


Title: Seaspray

Author: Rick R. Reed

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: 07/12/2022

Heat Level: 2 - Fade to Black Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 52200

Genre: Paranormal, LGBTQIA+, amnesia, coming of age, virgins, magical realism, second chances, family drama

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Winslow Birkel is a sweet young man in his first relationship. But his boyfriend, the charming and fiery Chad Loveless, has become increasingly abusive to the point where Winslow fears for his life.

Everything changes in a single night when Winslow, fleeing yet another epic fight, goes out to a local bar and finds a sympathetic ear in a new friend, Darryn Maxwell. But when he comes home, Chad’s waiting. He’s got it in for Winslow, whom he wrongly accuses of being unfaithful.

The stormy night sends Winslow off on a journey to escape. The last thing he recalls is skidding off the road and into the river. When he awakens, he’s mysteriously in the charming seaside town of Seaspray, where people are warm and welcoming, yet their appearances and disappearances are all too inexplicable.

Back home, Darryn wonders what’s happened to the new guy he met during his first outing to the local gay bar, the Q. Darryn knows Winslow’s been abused, but he also feels he’s quickly fallen in love with Winslow.

Can Winslow and Darryn decipher their respective mysteries? Is it possible for them to reunite? Is Chad still lurking and plotting to make sure Winslow never loves anyone else? The answers to these questions await you in Seaspray, where you may, or may not, ever leave.


Rick R. Reed © 2022
All Rights Reserved


I opened my eyes to a world of blue and green. An eel, long with zebra stripes, swam by, undulating. A school of goldfish with Margaret Keane eyes and puckered lips circled, putting me in the eye of a surreal hurricane. A flick of their tails and they swam off as one.

The bubbles floated up, pouring from my mouth and nostrils.

My lungs weren’t tight. There was no desperate need to breathe, no panic. Mentally, I went back and forth—remain underwater, watching the play of light and shadow and the undulating flora in its rainbow of neon colors, or kick and rise to the surface.

But what was above, beyond the water, was a mystery.

The threat of certain death caused me to ascend toward the light shimmering on the water’s surface.

I broke through, sucking sweet, cold air into my lungs. I smiled, treading water.

I was not afraid.

For the first time in so long—I. Was. Not. Afraid.

I swirled in the gentle waves, which were as warm as a comforting bath, despite the chill in the air. White birds, gulls perhaps, pinwheeled above me in a leaden sky, the color of pewter. All across the water’s surface, strands of mist lay. The mist extended toward a rocky shoreline, dotted here and there with driftwood.

Cliffs rose up, chalky white at the edge of the beach. At the top, stands of pine towered over the sea, sentinels. Tree-covered hills, in shades of deep emerald, reached to touch the leaden sky. The top ones were shrouded in mist.

Where was I?

I stretched out in the water, part of me unwilling to leave, but following an instinct for self-preservation, I swam slowly to the shore. It felt like I was far from it, maybe even by as much as a mile, yet I covered the distance in mere minutes.

I pulled myself onto the beach, breathing harder but not gasping, and lay among the pebbles. Oddly, it was as comfortable as my grandma’s feather bed once was.

I remained there for a while, staring up at the sky, where the charcoal clouds were beginning to be burned away by the sun. As the gray vanished, it was replaced with patches of blue.

I could lie here all day, resting.

And then I tensed. A memory floated into consciousness, making me recall a horrible night. When was it? Paradoxically, the memory could have been years or only minutes ago.

My name is Winslow Birkel, and this is one of the things memory is forcing me to confront:


I sank into the driver’s seat of my beat-up Nissan Versa. At the little riverfront park, I marked the slow progress of a river barge cutting through the dark water. Its lights, reflected on the water’s shifting black surface, were the picture of loneliness.

I could identify with loneliness. Separation. Isolation. These days, they were my only companions.

I also could identify with fanciful notions and, in my mind’s eye, realized how the reflections of the barge’s lights on the dark water, golden, appeared to be traveling upward. If I looked at them just the right way, I could visualize them as shimmering fountains contrasted against a black background. How I longed to enter a world of golden fountains casting off the darkness.

Even though now, on this beach, I felt totally free of pain as though someone had dosed me with morphine, the memory of pain in my ribs was there. I imagined the intensity of the hurt when I dared to draw in a deep breath.

Like a doctor in a film, I visualized the bruise on my lower back above where my kidneys were. I could still feel the dull, unrelenting throb. The red marks in the shape of fists darkened to purple, a malevolent blooming.

Yet even with the bursts of nauseating pain, what hurt the most wasn’t physical.

I knew I’d fled the house I’d once occupied—I’d never call it a home because home meant warmth, security, stability, and most of all, safety.

I’d dashed out, looking over my shoulder at a menacing figure standing in the open front doorway of our house, fists clenched. Chad Loveless, my partner—I’d never call him my beloved, or lover, or even friend, not ever again—glared.

What had it been this time? Oh yeah, I’d broken his favorite coffee mug, the one with a German shepherd cartoon figure on a black background, as I was washing dishes. The mug had been slippery in my sudsy hands, and it had dropped. I’d gasped as it shattered on the linoleum kitchen floor, the dread and terror way out of proportion, rising immediately.

And so did Chad. He hurried into the kitchen from his recliner in the front room and forced me to the floor by the back of my neck.

The most menacing thing about this man I’d thrown my lot in with (love no longer entered the equation) was—and this would be surprising to an outsider—his smile. The smile never wavered, not when Chad was berating me for some real or imagined fault, nor when a fist connected with a soft spot on my body—rarely my face—it was our little secret, hidden by the baggy jeans and sweatshirts I favored.

He’d smile and smile and smile, as though what he was delivering was not pain and casual cruelty, but joy.

Joy had not had a place in our house for such a long time. Back then I didn’t think I’d know if I’d recognize the emotion if it turned up at the front door wearing a ribbon.


NineStar Press | Books2Read

Meet the Author

Rick R. Reed is an award-winning and bestselling author of more than fifty works of published fiction. He is a Lambda Literary Award finalist. Entertainment Weekly has described his work as “heartrending and sensitive.” Lambda Literary has called him: “A writer that doesn’t disappoint…” Find him at Rick lives in Palm Springs, CA, with his husband, Bruce, and their fierce Chihuahua/Shiba Inu mix, Kodi.

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Blog Tour + Giveaway: End of the Line (Jake's Bar #1) by AG Meiers



Release Date: July 7, 2022

Genres: Contemporary M/M Romance Suspense – Two men falling in love while budging bullets and chasing bad guys.

Tropes:  Mistaken identity / opposites attract / lone wolf meets stubborn pretty boy / age gap / found family

Themes:  Falling in love / chasing bad guys / overcoming trust issues / finding balance and letting go of other people’s expectations

Length: 77 672 words

Heat Rating: 4 flames 

It is a standalone book and is the first in the series to be published. It does not end on a cliffhanger. Suspense and Romance is complete, but there’s a 2nd book with a new couple and a continuation of the suspense plot.


Buy Links

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK

Opposites Attract…T R O U B L E…


Jake Devlin knows trouble when he sees it and he wants no part of it. His quiet, peaceful life is a hard-fought dream. And the man who stumbles through the backdoor of Jake’s bar—beaten to hell—he is trouble with a capital T. The last thing Jake needs is to get involved with the sexy and secretive stranger. He definitely shouldn’t offer him a place to stay. But…he does…

Murder and mayhem follow Detective Miguel Conway. One minute he’s working a case, and the next, his cover is blown and he barely escapes with his life. Con didn’t expect Jake to offer help when he needs it most. And he definitely wasn’t prepared to fall for the grumpy ex-Marine. But…he does…

Attraction sparks as the two men are thrown together to figure out who wants to keep Con quiet and why. Well, at least Con is trying to solve his case. Jake is mainly trying to protect the young, impulsive cop. Midnight stakeouts, a celebrity wedding, and passion-filled nights—can Jake and Con find the balance between taking risks and keeping safe? And turn attraction into happily ever after?

But none of that matters if they fail to get the target off Con’s back…

Series: End of the Line, Book 1 in the award-winning Jake’s Bar series, is a steamy, M/M romantic suspense featuring a rainbow-colored bar full of quirky characters, and all the romance you can handle. It’s a place where you can always find support (and a cold beer) when life spins out of control. So, download today, and get ready to fall in love with Jake’s Bar.


A gay bar. Thank you, Jesus. A fucking gay bar. Loud and proud. Con’s kind of place, but none of Murphy’s men would be caught dead in here. Con’s body hurt all over, but they hadn’t found him. He’d given his pursuers the slip and was out of the rain.

About an hour ago—close to two in the morning—Jake had flipped the lights on and kicked everybody out. People barely dared to finish their drinks when the big, bulky man with his booming voice told them to go the fuck home. Con would be surprised if any of them would come back. Damn, Jake was something else. Con had a thing for guys who took charge and thinking of it sent sparks down his spine.

Jake had offered Con to call it a night as soon as the last guest had left the place. Clearly, he hadn’t missed that Con was moving slower and slower as the night progressed. And fuck, his ribs hurt something fierce. Still, he had declined Jake’s offer to leave right away. The bar owner had raised an eyebrow, but much to his relief, Jake had started to put the chairs up himself while Con got a broom. And every time he tried to do anything but sweep, Jake had thundered at him to stay out of the way.

“Are you trying to dig a hole with that broom? I think that corner is clean enough,” Jake said quietly from across the room, his tall frame propped against the bar—arms crossed—watching. Jake’s calm focus sent chills over Con’s body as he forced himself to relax with a few more long inhales and exhales. His overtired brain fired some images of being at the receiving end of Jake’s laser sharp attention under different circumstance—with a whole lot less distance between them, and fewer clothes. Jake was hot in an angry, pissed-off way. Square. Solid. A force to be reckoned with.

Loud tapping of Jake’s fingers onto the bar brought Con back from his wayward thoughts. For a moment, the impatient rhythm was the only sound, then Jake let out a huff of air and said, “Listen, I’m not sure how to ask this, but—do you have anywhere to go tonight?”

“Yes, of course, I—” Con’s answer had been a reflex, but he actually had no idea how to end this sentence.

“You can stay here if you have nowhere safe to go.”

Nowhere safe. How did he know? Con’s heart skipped a beat and then started to race again in his chest. His eyes shot over to the front door. How the fuck did he know?

“Hey, calm down.” Jake pushed himself up from the counter and walked a few steps closer but then stopped again. “You have no defensive wounds. And, well, you’re a big dude, so I wonder what happened to you tonight.”

Three against one. I never had a chance.

“It’s fine. You’re safe. Is it okay if I touch you?” Jake was suddenly by his side, his voice soft. Gently, a hand came down on his shoulder. “It’s okay. Why don’t you just stay on my couch tonight?”

The warmth of Jake’s hand seeped through his skin. Con gritted his jaw to steel himself against the sudden need to lean in. Any other time, he’d have given Jake crap for treating him like a wounded animal, but his beat-up body was starting to give in on him. “That would be great,” he managed through clenched teeth.

About the Author  

Eighteen years ago, AG Meiers came to the US for adventure and stayed for love. Currently, she lives in New England with her husband and two awesome kids—balancing work, friends and family, and writing.

When she has some free time, her favorite thing to do is travel and visit new places. Her past trips have already brought her to a variety of countries on four continents. She never passes up an opportunity to experience different cultures, diverse people and amazing locations.

Even though she has been dreaming up stories all her life, she has only recently started to write them down and share them with the world. As a writer she loves to put her characters through a lot of challenges, conflict and heartbreak, before she allows them to find their happy-ever-after.

Author Links

Blog/Website  |  Facebook  |  Instagram 


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Series Tour + Giveaway: The Perfect World Series by Shari Sakurai



The Perfect World Series by Shari Sakurai

Superhero. Supervillain. Super-complicated

The stories should be read in order:

Perfect World (Perfect World #1)

Adam (companion novel)

New Era (Perfect World #2)

Broken World (Perfect World #3)

Publisher: Farnhurst Publishing

Cover Artist: Shari Sakurai

Genres: LGBTQ / Science Fiction / Superhero Fiction

Tropes:  Enemies to lovers

Overall Heat Rating for the series: 1 flame



Book Title:  Perfect World

Length: 341 pages

Release Date: July 18, 2014

This book ends on a cliffhanger.


Buy Links - Available in Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US   |  Amazon UK 


London, 2115

It is the year 2115 and the world is very different. With climate changes, natural disasters and war shaping the landscape, England has become a nation made up of several super cities and wasteland in between.

Eric Rawlins is a genetically engineered superhero created by the London Security Agency (L.S.A) to defend and protect the city against both national and international threats. With his superior abilities, celebrity status and beautiful girlfriend, Eric appears to have the perfect life. However, it is an illusion created by the L.S.A in order to control him.

Eric's nemesis is the charismatic Adam Larimore. The only son of billionaire business tycoon Victor Larimore, Adam is gifted with a genius level IQ as well as the same longevity as Eric.

When the actions of the L.S.A throw the two of them together Eric finds himself questioning everything that he has ever known as well as discovering the true course of events that led to Adam turning to a life of crime. As they become closer Eric realises that the L.S.A may be the real threat to London. But can he trust Adam or is he part of Adam’s plan for revenge against those who have wronged him?


Book Title: Adam

Length: 243 pages

Release Date: March 12, 2016

It can be read as a standalone but it is best to read with the Perfect World series.

The book does not end on a cliffhanger.


Buy Links - Available in Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK 


Adam Larimore is on a mission of self-destruct. After learning that he was genetically engineered for the sole purpose of inheriting his father’s empire, Adam has been determined to ruin his father’s life and, in the process, his own. When Ivan Williams, the man soon to become the Head of the London Security Agency (L.S.A), approaches Adam with the offer of a business partnership, Adam discovers the appalling truth behind the technological and genetic advancements that have come to shape England. His relationship with his father is at breaking point and when events take a devastating turn, Adam finds himself pushed further than perhaps he wanted to go.


Book Title: New Era

Length: 272 pages

Release Date: May 28, 2018

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


Buy Links - Available in Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK


Eric Rawlins is a broken man. Still reeling from the L.S.A’s betrayal and then the death of his lover, Eric is struggling with his new responsibilities in north London. When a proposition from the Government heightens the stakes, Eric very quickly finds himself faced with a choice that could change the destiny of the entire country.

Eric knows that he has to step up and become the hero that those closest to him are convinced that he can be, but a deadly confrontation with the L.S.A’s new special agent leaves his belief in tatters.

Meanwhile, unknown to Eric, Adam awakens to once again find himself a pawn in Ivan Williams’ play for power.


Book Title:  Broken World

Length: 87 569 words

Release Date: July 8, 2022

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

Warning for some readers: This novel contains a brief non-graphic depiction of a suicide attempt, which may be a trigger for some readers.


Buy Links - Available in Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK


Eric Rawlins has made the people of England a promise. That he will stand for them against Ivan Williams and the L.S.A, but with politics and agendas threatening to dictate his every move, Eric struggles to find allies that he can trust. 

When a daring mission to rescue Adam’s staff goes awry, Eric finds that he is starting to question himself in ways that shake him to the very core. Whilst grappling with his inner turmoil, Eric can also see that Adam is struggling against his own demons. 

As the pressure begins to build, Eric takes the fight to Williams. However, Adam’s dangerous obsession with revenge threatens to not only put the entire operation in jeopardy, but his relationship with Eric too.

Excerpt from Broken World

Adam moved as soon as the L.S.A agents did. He slammed into Elle and knocked her to the ground. As the gunfire started, Adam kept her covered with his own body. Beneath him her screams were barely audible over the shooting. It was not just coming from the White Tower, but from the opposite direction where the barracks had been located.

Then he felt a hand on his arm. Glancing up he was relieved to see Eric leaning down over them. Adam reacted immediately. He got to his feet and dragging Elle up with him, Adam pushed her into Eric’s arms.

“Go!” he snapped when he saw how Eric hesitated. “I’ll be right behind you!”

Lifting Elle up off the ground, Eric started to run back towards the bridge and Perses. The gunfire began to fade into the background as the L.S.A seemed to now be concentrating on whoever it was who had started shooting at them.

They had passed the ruins of the Bell Tower when it happened. Adam felt something crash into him, and he was thrown back into the masonry. Pain exploded from his left shoulder and travelled all the way down his arm.

“Eric!” he tried to shout, but the pain had robbed his voice of its strength and his boyfriend’s name came out as a choked whisper.

“I’m afraid he’s long gone,” Neil’s sneering figure appeared in Adam’s line of vision. “It’s just you and me!”

Neil reached down and dragged Adam back to his feet by his good arm. He looked battered and almost deranged. Neil’s nose was still bleeding and when he spoke Adam could see blood staining his teeth red. His eyes were wild and one of his pupils was enlarged. There was blood in his hair, matting the blond against his head. Still despite all this, he seemed supercharged with his fury. All of it was directed at Adam.

“Dad’s going to be pretty pissed off about this mess!” Neil snarled as he started to pull Adam back towards where Traitor’s Gate had once stood. “But maybe if I bring him you, he will be more inclined to look passed all of this!”

Adam tried to dig his heels into the ground, to make it as difficult for Neil as possible but his struggles barely seemed to make a difference.

“Eric!” he croaked into his radio. As soon as he spoke, Neil lunged forwards and ripped it from his ear. Suddenly free, Adam drew back whilst his uninjured hand went for his gun. Neil was on him before he could raise the weapon. He struck Adam hard around the side of the head. Pain blossomed from the impact as he once more fell to the ground. The cry that escaped Adam as he landed amused Neil. His snarl twisted into a sadistic grin as he once more hauled Adam back to his feet. For a few seconds, the pain forced Adam let himself be dragged through the former Traitor’s Gate site and towards the river.

If he gets me back into south London, then it’s all over…

Adam renewed his struggling. He could not move his left arm and Neil still had hold of his right, so he quickly changed tactics. Using his momentum to push himself closer to the other man, Adam brought his knee up between Neil’s legs with as much force as he could muster. Neil yelled angrily, but he did not let Adam go as he doubled over. His action jerked Adam off his feet, and he would have fallen had Neil not kept his hold on his arm.

“You’re going to fucking pay for that!” Neil screamed furiously as he slammed Adam against the metal railings that cordoned off the Thames from the Tower of London site. One hand still held Adam firmly in place whilst the other closed around his throat.

Adam gasped. Pinned between Neil’s body and the railing, he was unable to move more than a token struggle. He tried to pull his arm free, but with the pressure on his neck increasing Adam was finding it impossible to breathe. Neil loomed over him, and he was close enough that Adam could see the red lines streaking through the whites of his eyes. He was not trying to kill Adam, just force him into unconsciousness. This thought gave him little comfort. If he was taken back to the L.S.A headquarters, then he would be dead by the end of the day.

Adam’s vision was starting to blur, and he had stopped fighting. He could feel the cold press of the railing at his back and the metal shaking under their combined weight.

“Neil...” Adam choked out with the last of his strength. “The railing…”

Yet as he spoke, he felt it give way. Adam shot his arm out, trying to reach for something - anything - to save him, but his hand closed around nothing other than air. As he felt himself falling, Neil drew back and managed to catch his footing right on the edge. The sight of him stumbling onto the firmer ground was the last thing Adam saw as he hit the water. Immediately as the cold river enveloped him, Adam fought for the surface. However, with only the use of one arm, he was unable to break his head above the water. Feebly he tried to kick, but his already oxygen-starved lungs could not take anymore. Adam barely had a moment to feel afraid before he blacked out.

Copyright © 2022 Shari Sakurai

All rights reserved

About the Author

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

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

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

Author Links

Blog/Website  |  Facebook

Twitter  |   Instagram  |  Goodreads


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