Release Blitz + Giveaway: Dark Secret (Darker Daddy Bodyguards #2) by Sue Brown


TITLE: Dark Secret

SERIES: Darker Daddy Bodyguards Book 2

Author : Sue Brown

RELEASE DATE: July 28, 2022

PRICE: $4.99


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Sue Brown is a Londoner with a dream to live on a small island. Coffee fuels her addiction for writing romance with hot guys loving each other, and her Adorkadog snores in harmony as she creates.

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He killed his father. Now he expects to die in the cave. Alone. No one knows where he is. No one cares. The only thing keeping him from falling apart is the sound of a heartbeat in the darkness, strong and there for him.

Paolo killed his father, the head of the ruthless Acierno Mafia family, and fled the family home. Now he’s been kidnapped and held hostage, but he doesn’t know who kidnapped him or why. All he knows is he expects to die, alone in a cave.

Tiger’s tired of doing protection detail for Z-list celebrities and stroppy teenage kids of politicians. He’s also exhausted, his dreams full of cold and pain and a faint heartbeat reaching out to him.

Then he’s offered an assignment by Nico Acierno, the Prince of Darkness, to find his missing twin brother. He doesn’t want to take the assignment, but he’d like to sleep again without these dreams.

Will Tiger find Paolo before it’s too late?

Book #2 in Sue Brown’s Darker Daddy Bodyguard series, a Mafia Daddy Romance.

TEASER/ Non Exclusive Excerpt

I killed my father with one shot. The second I raised the gun and fired at Don Giovanni, the head of the Seattle Mafia Acierno family, I signed my own death warrant. I thought I’d meet my end at the hands of the Prince of Darkness, my twin brother, Nico, even though I fired to save his life. Instead, I’m going to die alone in this cave. Left to starve to death, locked in a cage by a man who never speaks to me.

I have no idea why I’ve been kidnapped, no idea why I’ve been left for so long. I know no one cares enough to rescue me. Not even my twin. Especially not my twin. Not one person gives a damn if I live or die. No one knows my dark secret.

The only thing that’s kept me alive so far is the sound of a heartbeat, strong and sure in the darkness. It never falters, never fades away. I listen to its regular beat. Male, I’m sure of it. Strong. It keeps me alive.

Drip. Drip.

The sound of running water woke Paolo Acierno from his restless dreams. He spent most of his time asleep now. There was nothing else to do.

“Ow! Hell!” It was barely more than a cracked whisper. His throat was dry, his voice almost non-existent, after an eternity of being held in the cave.

It must have rained. Paolo leaned toward the stream of water that ran down the wall of the cave to capture some in his dry mouth. An increase in the flow of water was one of the few changes Paolo noticed. He wondered whether it was raining now. Before he’d been kidnapped, he barely glanced outside the window. Now it was one of the major things he thought about.

When it rained heavily the water puddled in his cage. Paolo hated that as he couldn’t get away from it. He sat in one corner of the cage which had been his prison since he woke up from a drugged stupor and discovered he had plunged into the hell of eternal darkness. His wrists were bound, and he couldn’t break the zip ties. The cage was large enough for him to stand and move around for a few paces, but that was it.

At first, he’d made sure he exercised regularly. The next time his kidnapper came near him, Paolo would be out of there. But the kidnapper was a pro and Paolo never found a chance to escape. Now he huddled in the corner and never bothered to try, his spirit broken. His wrists were raw from the zip ties and moving hurt like hell.

Paolo slaked his thirst with a few mouthfuls of water. The water had felt like a slow form of torture for a man used to bottled water. It was disgusting, earthy, and heavily laden with minerals. As Paolo was bound, he couldn’t move away from the constant drip. Now the water was the only thing keeping him alive. One day he would stop drinking and wait for death.

When he was first kidnapped, Paolo had dreamed about the rich dinners and excellent coffee he’d left behind. It all seemed a distant memory now. His whole life had narrowed down to this cage, the dripping water, and the strong heartbeat in his mind. Paolo had thought he was going mad, the da dum of the heartbeat in sharp contrast to the drip drip of the water. He’d thought it was his own heartbeat until he realized how strong it was. Then he’d wondered if it was Nico’s, but he and his twin had never had a psychic connection. Paolo spent hours listening to the heartbeat. It kept him sane. He laughed at the thought that a phantom heartbeat was the only thing keeping him tethered to his humanity.

Even after all this time, Paolo didn’t know where he was or who had kidnapped him. He knew it was one man who coughed and spat on the ground. At first, he’d visited every few days with food which Paolo crammed down his throat. Paolo had swiftly learned not to antagonize him, or he would be beaten. By now Paolo barely noticed how cold and hungry he was. He accepted the food to keep him alive. The days between the man’s visits grew longer, the food barely a few mouthfuls, the beatings harder. The man was angry about something.

They—whoever they were—were keeping him alive. He didn’t know why. But Paolo knew he didn’t have long left to live. If the cold didn’t get him, the lack of food would. He was weak and exhausted. He stank and soiling himself was inevitable. Every so often, the man would uncuff his wrists and force him to wash in ice-cold water and change into another cheap hoody and sweatpants. Once, Paolo would have attempted to kill the man. Now he wanted this to be all over.

He’d given up wanting to live ages ago, not that he had much idea of how long he’d been down here. There was no night. No day. He could only measure time in the visits of the kidnapper, the speed of the running water, and the heartbeat in the darkness.

Paolo tugged on his wrists, trying to break the bond. But what was the point? Even if he got his hands free, he would still be trapped in a cage. In a cave. There was nowhere for him to go.

If only he hadn’t killed his father. If only he’d let his father kill Nico as he’d intended, then he wouldn’t be down here, alone and starving to death in a cave. But while Paolo Acierno was a bastard to his brother, he would never have let another kill him, not even their father, the head of the Acierno family. Don Giovanni had made two mistakes. No, three. He’d underestimated Nico’s brutal bodyguard. He’d underestimated Nico’s desire for power. And he’d underestimated Paolo’s rage for just about anything.

Paolo laughed to himself in the darkness. It was his rage at the unfairness of it all that had kept him alive all these weeks. That, and the heartbeat of a man who didn’t know he existed.

“Who are you?” he whispered.

Who was the man who kept him from tumbling into the eternal darkness, who could exposed his dark secret?



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Blog Tour + Giveaway: Sins of our Sons by Kristian Daniels



Book Title: Sins of our Sons

Author: Kristian Daniels

Publisher: Extasy Books

Release Date: May 28, 2022

Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance

Tropes: Forbidden love, murder, conversion therapy

Themes: Coming out, forgiveness, hate crime, love

Heat Rating: 3 flames

Length: 94 000 words/ 333 pages

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


Buy Links

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK  |  Extasy Books

Contemporary MM Romance, murder, conversion therapy


Young lovers Greg and Tyler secretly meet to spend time together, until a moment of passion by the moonlight throws their lives into chaos. When their parents learn about their little escapade, it opens a Pandora’s box that spreads family discord, resentment, and heartaches. When someone adds fuel to an already fragile situation, things get out of hand quickly. Will these two young lovers stay safe? How much can they endure before they break?


Nestled in southwest Alberta’s rolling foothills lies the quaint little town of Cardston—the Miller and Bradshaw families’ hometown. Cardston straddled the Lee Creek valley and served as a shopping and tourist hub for southwest Alberta, and was the unrivalled centre of Mormon life in Canada. Three-quarters of the town’s residents belonged to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, while the other quarter was Catholic and Baptist. The town’s social life revolved around family life, team sports and religion.

Greg Miller was the captain of the town football team, the Cardston Cougars, and the proud son of John and Teresa Miller. Greg’s parents owned the only shoe store in town, where Greg helped on weekends and summer holidays.

Greg and his teammates had been busy preparing for their next big game against the Calgary Golden Bears; it was the Cougars’ opportunity to bring back home the trophy they lost to the Bears three years ago. Unfortunately, John and Teresa couldn’t be there to cheer on their son—John had his business to run, and since Greg would be in Calgary, his mother would have to be at the store instead. Sales had been down, and closing for even one day could cause the family hardship in the coming months. Tyler had attended Greg’s practices ever since they met. You could tell in Tyler’s eyes how proud he was of his boyfriend―his secret boyfriend. Unfortunately, Greg and Tyler needed to be discreet and hide when they wanted to meet, a drawback of living in a small religious town.

It was Greg’s last year of high school, and if his team won the game, it could mean a scholarship for him at the University of Alberta and a golden chance to play for the Golden Bears. Over dinner, Greg asked his parents once more if they were sure they couldn’t make the game.

His father looked at him and said, “Sorry, Greg. I wish we could go, but we can’t close the business. You know how important November is to us.”

“Can’t you ask Steve to cover for you?”

“No. Steve has decided to move on, and even if he was still with us, I don’t have the money to pay for him to replace me. I’m sorry, son, you’ll have to do this one on your own.”

“You don’t need us there,” his mother said. “You’ll do just fine.”

“I know. It would have been nice to have you guys there, that’s all. But I understand,” Greg said.

“Besides,” his mother said, “if we went, we’d need a hotel room and Calgary’s expensive.”

Greg nodded and lowered his head. He quietly finished his meal, took his empty plate to the dishwasher, and went to his room. He turned on his computer and browsed the internet for anything and nothing, then went and laid in his bed, staring at the ceiling. Bummer. I’ll probably be the only guy whose parents won’t be there.

He texted Tyler about meeting up. Thirty minutes later, Greg stopped by the living room and told his parents he was going out. He hopped on his bike and met his boyfriend, Tyler, at Lee Creek Park.

Unlike Greg, who was a Catholic, Tyler was Baptist. Tyler thought being Baptist was very similar to other denominations, but their parents thought differently. A typical week for Tyler was packed with religion, beginning with a seminar at six in the morning, youth group on Wednesdays, and bible school on Sunday. In high school, Tyler was referred to as the boy who didn’t drink, smoke, or hook up with girls. There was nothing he’d like more than to be like the other guys his age, but his religion forbade it, as did his parents.

Tyler was already at the park when Greg arrived, sitting near the creek, leaning against a tree and lost in his thoughts. Greg quietly approached him from behind the tree and grabbed one of his arms.

“What the…” Tyler jerked his arm away, and Greg burst out laughing.

“You scared me,” Tyler said.

“How’s it going, dude?”

“Okay. And you? Ready for the big game?”

“I think so, but it’s a bummer my folks can’t come.”

“Oh, that’s too bad.”

“Yeah, but what can you do?” Greg said with a shrug.

“Would you like me to be there? I can be your cheering section in the audience,” Tyler said with a smile.

“You would do that?”

“Of course.”

“That would be so cool. We could rent a room for after the game.”

“Won’t you have one already?”

“Yeah, but we’re four of us in there, and I don’t think the coach would let you crash. Besides,” Greg said, leaning forward towards Tyler, “we wouldn’t be able to do this.” The two of them kissed.

“You have a point there,” Tyler said. “I’ll ask my parents to reserve a room for me. You need to keep your cash for university.”

“Will they let you go?” Greg asked, excited at the prospect of being with his boyfriend alone where no one knew them.

“Don’t worry about that. I’ll be there to support you,” Tyler said with confidence.

“I can’t wait for us to be at university so we can be together. I’m tired of hiding,” Greg said, looking at Tyler.

“Me too. You’ll have to wait, though, because you’re a school year ahead of me.” Tyler grinned.

“Right.” Greg made a sad face. “But you can join me the year after,” he said with a smile.

“Think of what would happen if our parents found out about us,” Tyler said, lost in his thoughts.

“That’s a scary thought. Come here.” Greg placed his hands on Tyler’s shoulder and lowered him on his lap.

Tyler rested his head on Greg’s lap, and Greg bent over and placed his lips on Tyler’s.

About the Author 

Kristian Daniels is a published author. His first novel Stolen Heart was published a little more than one year ago. An Information Technologist by profession, he retired a few years ago to dedicate his time to his storytelling. Kristian is passionate about writing. Fiction and coming–of-age stories are what he likes to write about.  Kristian lives and works out of his home in Canada and spends his summers traveling and enjoying a drink a good book and the sun by his pool.

Author Links

Blog/Website  |   Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Instagram


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Release Blitz + Giveaway: Spotlight on Love (Speak Its Name #3) by Kristian Parker


Spotlight on Love by Kristian Parker

Word Count: 19,602
Book Length: NOVELLA
Pages: 89



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Book Description

If love conquers all, George Lomax has its biggest challenge yet…

It’s 1923 and George Lomax is on the run. Not from the law but from his boss, the predatory stage company manager Waldo Waddington. George came to London from the States in a Harlem-style musical, but Waldo demands more than just a good performance on the stage from the males in his cast.

Fleeing, George arrives at Safe Haven Boarding House in Brighton and immerses himself in the loving, accepting world of Tanner, Charlie, Frank and Michael. A stroll in the local park brings him to Stanley Butterworth, a war veteran who’s experienced his own horrors, and it’s love at first sight for the two very different men.

But Waldo is hot on George’s heels, using George’s employment contract and visa to drag him back into his clutches. Can George find a way to not only be free but be free to love Stanley…if Stanley can overcome his own demons to love him back?

Reader advisory: This book contains homophobia and racism.


“Ladies and gentlemen, put your hands together for the Black Beauties of Broadway!”

The roar of the crowd hit like a tidal wave.

Ray King, the head of our company, stood in the centre of the line. He nodded and, in unison, we bowed. More feverish applause and a few shouts of “Bravo” came before the curtain fell, cocooning us from noise.

“I’ll miss that,” I said to the crew member who operated the pulley.

He clapped me on the shoulder. “You darkies can’t half dance. The next season is nearly sold out.”

We were the oddities of the West End. All-black reviews were commonplace on Broadway, but we were the first to hit London. People had travelled from all over the country to get a look at us. They loved us, which made a change from the heckling we got back home in the States.

We split down the middle and ran offstage, ready to meet in the dressing room. A few stagehands patted me on the back as I dashed through.

I might have been fast, but the room had already descended into a hubbub of noise and activity by the time I made my way through showgirls pulling feathers from their hair and tap dancers ripping off their shoes and massaging their feet.

My chair sat right in the middle of this commotion, and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. I sat next to Dorothy Brady, who had scooted in behind me and flopped in her seat. A cloud of the powder she covered her body in to make it less shiny erupted around her.

I sat next to her, throwing my boater hat onto the makeup stand.

“We did it, Georgie. A whole season behind us,” she said, leaning forward and giving me a kiss on the cheek.

“We certainly did. They say we’re sold out for the next run. We’d better enjoy the rest. Now let me get this grease off my face. I need a drink.”

Dorothy wriggled out of her gold-sequinned dress. She had no qualms about standing there in just her bloomers and I had given up trying to stop her.

“Oh, don’t look like that, you prude,” she said with a mock scowl. “I know I ain’t got anything in here for you, sugar.”

I lit two cigarettes and handed her one. She took a long drag, exhaling and sending the smoke swirl up to the already-nicotine-stained ceiling.

“This might not be the Palladium, but I sure am going to miss it,” she decided.

“It’s only a month,” I said, checking my neck for that awful tidemark the relentless makeup left.

I nudged her and pointed to the dazzling array of lotions and potions she had on her station.

“Get a shift on. I’d like to get out of here before the cock crows.”

She groaned, throwing her cigarette into an ashtray before dutifully scrubbing at her face with one of her pieces of kit.

Three claps reverberated around the room and the din suddenly stopped. We all spun around to see our lord and master, Waldo Waddington, standing in the doorway. One of the middle-rank theatre impresarios of New York, he’d seen profit in dragging us to these shores. Luckily, he had a smile on his face. Everyone returned to clearing the last vestiges of the stage from them as he weaved his way through the wooden chairs.

“Well done, Alvin. The highest kick yet,” Waldo said in his trademark Brooklyn drawl. “Betsy, if you drop that hat one more time, I’ll fine you.”

He reached our station and clapped his hand on my shoulder. “Georgie, what can I say? Not a dry eye in the house.”

“And we know what that means,” Dorothy said and covered her face with her towel, scrubbing hard at the panstick.

“I’m glad to see you’re taking care of your looks, Dorothy,” said Waldo, circling like a portly shark. “They go and you go, my dear.”

He carried on walking through. Dorothy stuck her tongue out before towelling off her face.

Once he’d reached the stage door, he clapped again.

“Thank you for tonight, ladies and gentlemen. As you know, the theatre is going dark for a month. They can fix all those little problems you’ve been busting my ass about for the last six months. Peggy has your cheques at the stage door and your Uncle Waldo has put a little something extra in, seeing as he’s so kind and all.”

A ripple of excitement ran through the room.

“You have a few days to yourselves, then I want you here for Wednesday rehearsals.”

A mutter of disappointment replaced the excitement. He’d said the theatre was closing for a month.

“I thought we were getting some time off,” I whispered to Dorothy.

“Sounds like that miserable bastard has changed his mind.”

“We don’t need rehearsals. We do it every night,” piped up Ray King, mirroring our thoughts. Ray was a dancer from Minnesota who could Charleston as though there was no tomorrow.

Waldo whirled around and scowled at him. “And what trouble would you get into if I just gave you a month off? Wednesday without fail.”

Dorothy made a face at me. “Oh, Georgie. Looks like your adventure won’t happen now. Please come to the park with me instead. I don’t want to be stuck with these parakeets on my own.”

I opened my mouth to respond but shut it again immediately as Dorothy spritzed herself with the perfume she’d been obsessed with ever since we’d sneaked out of our digs and gone to the stores on Bond Street. We didn’t care that we hardly had any money—just to be able to go into the shops was enough. Sure, we got stared at. White people aren’t all that different, no matter what side of the pond.

Once the haze had cleared, I made a big deal of choking.

“You said you loved the smell of this Channel Five.”

I threw back my head and roared. “How many times? It’s Chanel Number Five.” I used my French accent for the last bit.

She sprayed in my direction.

“Georgie,” Waldo shouted across the room. “I’ll be waiting outside.”

All eyes were on me.

“Looks like you’re up.” Dorothy grimaced.

There went my gin and tonic in the theatre bar. I resumed getting the makeup off.

“So?” Dorothy continued. “The park would give you an excuse to get away early.”

I had toyed with the idea of telling her my plans or not.

“Keep a secret?” I asked.

“Of course.”

“I’m going on my adventure whatever he says.”

She looked around in case any of the company were listening. People would use anything to dodge a night with Waldo.

“Are you crazy? Where are you going?”

“Remember that guy who I talked to the other week? The one who lived on the coast?”

She screwed her face up as she tried to remember. We were expected to entertain select patrons in the bar after a show and they did all tend to merge into one.

“The old guy in the wheelchair?”

“That’s the one. He told me about a place called Safe Haven in Brighton. Sounds like it’s right up my street.”

Dorothy put her hand on my thigh. “I don’t like it, Georgie. Waldo will be after you when he finds out.”

With most of the makeup off, I stared at the door that exited where Waldo’s car would be waiting.

“I guess I’ll have to be extra nice to him tonight then. It’ll only be for a week or so. He keeps us under lock and key.

Dorothy looked worried. “Don’t come crying to me when he puts you on the first boat home.”

I shrugged, getting my things together. “I thought we’d have more freedom coming to London. One trip to a store in three months? We could be anywhere. I want to see something.”

“Lucky you got another rave review tonight. Maybe he’ll go easy on his star.”

I winked at her and walked out of the dressing room. No one jeered or laughed. They would be relieved it wasn’t their turn.

As I walked out onto the rainy London street, the car waited in the alleyway. Henry leapt out and opened the door, smirking at me as I climbed in.

“Georgie,” Waldo said, his hand instantly falling onto my thigh. “Glad you’re free tonight.”

He loved to play the game that we had any choice in the matter. I think he actually believed we would choose to spend our time in his room.

Henry got into the front and the car zoomed off through the busy streets. I stared out of the window at the couples going for a late dinner or the gangs of friends out for a drink. To them, freedom came easily. It was taking me all my nerves to grab a tiny slice of it.

Waldo’s rooms were in the Empire Hotel near to our digs, but a world apart. A lounge full of red velvet furniture led through to a bedroom complete with four-poster bed.

The routine had become second nature. We all compared notes after one or the other had been “invited” up here.

I poured Waldo a bourbon on ice. I still got a kick that I could do that so openly. In the US, a black man wouldn’t be allowed in this room unless he were cleaning it. As for pouring drinks, I could end up in the slammer if someone saw in the window.

I handed him his drink and took a sip from my gin. He came over and pulled my jacket off my shoulders and massaged my arm.

“It’s been a while, Georgie.”

I tried to look petulant. “You’ve had Ray up here all week.”

Waldo kissed the top of my head. “Don’t get jealous.”

He walked over to the ruby-red velvet sofa and flopped his great body down. The furniture creaked in protest. I knew the feeling.

Patting the seat next to him, he kicked his shoes off. Dutifully I sat down next to him.

“There’ll be crowing in the Hen House tonight,” Waldo said, leaning back and closing his eyes.

Our digs were a small block of rooms a few streets away from the theatre. When we’d arrived, we’d been so excited that we were in the middle of London, but our faces had dropped when we’d seen Mr Bridge and Mr Mitchell, doormen at the “Hen House” as it was dubbed. We weren’t allowed out. Not without Waldo’s permission.

I don’t want my investments damaged,” he’d proclaimed.

We were working most nights and slept into the morning, but the afternoons dragged. Dorothy and I smoked cigarettes in her room and listened to the people rushing by outside.

“Couldn’t you let us have just a week or two? We’ll be careful.”

Waldo opened his eyes. “The fuck I can. If you get run over by a trolley bus, where do I find a headliner negro with a New Orleans accent? No, Georgie. You’re way too precious.”

We were just a money-making venture to him.

“Now, why don’t you go run us a bath? I’ll be right in.”

I feigned a smile and downed my gin in one. The rest of the night’s performance stretched out in front of me…I’d need all my acting skills for this.

Buy Links

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About the Author

Kristian Parker

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

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

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

Follow Kristian on Facebook.


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Audiobook Tour: Breaking Cover (Life Lessons #2) by Kaje Harper



Book Title: Breaking Cover (Life Lessons Book 2)

Author and Publisher: Kaje Harper

Narrator: JF Harding

Release Date: June 29, 2022

Genre: Contemporary/Mystery M/M romance

Tropes: Modest age-gap, in the closet

Themes: Coming out, gay parenting

Heat Rating:  4 flames

Length: 9 hours and 46 minutes

It is best read after book 1.

The book does not end on a cliffhanger. It has a solid HFN ending, not yet a HEA. 

Audiobooks 3 and 4 are scheduled for later this summer.


Buy Links - Audible, KU and Paperback

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Amazon US  |  Amazon UK

Sometimes one moment defines a man


For homicide detective Mac, it's been a good year. Having Tony to go home to makes him a better cop and a better person. For Tony, it's been hard being in love with a man he can't touch in public. Evasions and outright lying to friends and family take a little of the shine off his relationship with Mac, but Tony is determined to make it work.

As the Minneapolis Police Department moves into a hot, humid summer, Mac is faced with a different challenge. A killer has murdered two blond women, and the police have no real clues. Mac hates to think that another murder may be the only way they'll make progress with the case. But when that murder happens, it hits close to home for Tony. And suddenly Mac faces an ultimatum: come out into the sunlight and stand beside Tony as his lover, or walk away and live without a piece of his heart.

About the Author  

I get asked about my name a lot. It's not something exotic, though. “Kaje” is pronounced just like “cage” – it’s an old nickname, and my pronouns are she/her/hers. I’ve been writing far longer than I care to admit (*whispers – forty-five years*), although mostly for my own entertainment. I write M/M romance, often with added mystery, fantasy, historical, SciFi, paranormal… I also have Young Adult short stories (some released under the pen name Kira Harp.)  

After decades of writing just for fun, my husband convinced me I really should submit something, somewhere. My first professionally published book, Life Lessons, came out in May 2011. I now have a good-sized backlist in ebooks and print, both free and professionally published, including Amazon bestseller The Rebuilding Year and Rainbow Award Best Mystery-Thriller Tracefinder: Contact. A complete list with links can be found on my website "Books" page at

Social Media Links

Audible Profile  |  Blog/Website  |  Newsletter Sign-up

Facebook | Facebook Group: Kaje's Conversation Corner  

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Meet the Narrator

JF Harding Facebook Page  |  Facebook Group

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Release Blitz + Giveaway: Don’t Hold Back (Chasing Gold #2) by Colette Davison



Book Title: Don’t Hold Back (Chasing Gold Book 2)

Author and Publisher: Colette Davison

Cover Artist: Colette Davison

Release Date: July 26, 2022

Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance

Tropes: Rivals to lovers, grumpy and sunshine, slow burn, hurt/comfort

Themes: Winning isn’t everything, learning to love yourself

Heat Rating:  3 flames

Length:  93,000 words

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


Buy Links - Available in Kindle Unlimited

Universal Link  |  Amazon US  |  Amazon UK 

Can rivals gain Olympic glory and love?


Garret has spent years training in gymnastics, but the pressure has taken its toll. Despite qualifying for the Olympics, failing to medal at the World Championships is all he can think about.

Anger is taking control and strangling his ability to focus on training, when his main rival, Team USA gymnast, Ryder Anderson, arrives at the gym to train alongside him.

Garrett wants to hate Ryder, but he can’t ignore his rival’s sunshine personality and handsome looks. Discovering Ryder is fighting a battle against himself, Garrett’s anger turns to admiration and then love. 

Dating his rival isn’t against the rules, but that doesn’t make it a good idea. Can they make a relationship work despite the pressure of the Olympics, or will they crack under the strain?

Don’t Hold Back is an M/M sports romance with a grumpy gymnast who falls for his sunshiny rival. It has a slow-burn relationship and some hurt/comfort.

Trigger warnings: Don’t Hold Back features a character who has anorexia.


“Ryder.” Lennie waved him across. “Good work. I’ve got two options for you.”

Ryder raised his eyebrows as he waited. From the look on Lennie’s face, he wasn’t sure he’d like either of them.

“You could go to Boulder and train alongside David Marshall.”

David was a two-time Olympian.

“Isn’t he trained by Isaiah Hobbs these days?” Ryder asked, trying hard not to scowl.


“That’s not really an option, then is it?”

“Hobbs said he’d have you.”

Ryder shook his head and half turned away. “I don’t particularly care.”

“I didn’t think you’d go for it. But Boulder’s closer to home than my next suggestion.”

“There’s not much farther away than that.”

“The other option is to come with me.”

“To England?”

Lennie nodded. “I’ve called in a favour at my old gym in Leeds. They’d be happy to have us. We could train around visiting hours. They’re pretty prescriptive. You’d get more training hours in if you went to Boulder.”

“I’d rather take the week off than train under Isaiah again.” He folded his arms and dipped his chin. “England, huh? I’ve always wanted to see Buckingham Palace.”

Lennie laughed. “Leeds and London aren’t exactly next door.”


“Seriously, what do you think?”

Ryder drew in a breath. “Travelling’s always harder than being home, but I’d rather train with you in England than with Isaiah. But only if you’re sure.”

“I am. We can stay at my parents’ house. Dad won’t mind if you take over the kitchen. Or if you prefer, we can rent somewhere.”

“Sounds good.” It was easy to say, less easy to feel.

Ryder always felt anxious about travelling, especially when it meant staying somewhere else for any length of time. But travelling was unavoidable at his level of gymnastics, so he dealt with it.

“You’re sure?”

Ryder smiled and nodded. He wouldn’t train under Isaiah again. He couldn’t.

“You won’t be the only Olympian training at the gym we’ll be using,” Lennie said.


“Two members of the British team train there. Reece Matthews and Garrett Kidd.”

“They’re great gymnasts.”


Ryder laughed. “Garrett’s the handsome scowling one, right?”

Lennie gave him a stern look.

“What? He is handsome, and he was very scowly at Worlds when I went to congratulate him.”

“You beat him.”


Lennie rolled his eyes. “He probably thought you were rubbing your win in his face.”

“Me? Nah. Why would I do that?”

Lennie raised an eyebrow.

“I barely beat him in the all-around final. It was by point four or something.”

“Point two.”

“Oh. Even closer than I thought.” Ryder shrugged. “Either one of us could have won on the day. I was just luckier. See? Now I’m looking forward to a trip to England.”

Lennie shook his head and sighed. “Let’s see your floor routine again.”

Ryder grinned. “On it.”

About the Author

Colette’s personal love story began at university, where she met her future husband. An evening of flirting, in the shadow of Lancaster castle, eventually led to a fairytale wedding. She’s enjoying her own ‘happy ever after’ in the north of England with her husband, two beautiful children and her writing.

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Release Blitz + Giveaway: Falling for Vince (Love Me Do #4) by Megan Slayer


Falling for Vince by Megan Slayer

Book 4 in the Love Me Do series

Word Count: 40,427
Book Length: SHORT NOVEL
Pages: 161



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Book Description

Are second chances possible when the first chance never really happened?

Vince Rhodes has loved Cody Burrows for years, but he’s never been bold enough to ask him out. This wallflower is ready to make a move, so he enlists the help of James, the resident stylist at Dye Hard Style and unofficial matchmaker, to hook him up with his crush. Vince is betting it all on Cody giving him a chance, but will he?

Cody Burrows has admired Vince since they were both in high school. While he was the solid athlete unable to come out, Vince showed his rainbow proudly. Now they’re both older and wiser…and matched up by James. Will Cody allow himself to be free with Vince and find his heart’s delight or will he keep the barriers around his heart forever?

Maybe falling for Vince is just what Cody needs…



“One more rep. You’ve got it in you.” Cody Burrows spotted for his client Bri. He didn’t want her to overstress herself, but liked how she’d pushed to the next weight level on the machine. “You’ve got this.”

She did another squat on the machine, then placed the weight back in the rack. “Damn, you’re making me work hard today.”

“If you want to make the stage this year, you need to keep up the hard reps.” He handed her a towel. “You’re building great muscle, so you should be pleased with your results. You’ve got your spray tan scheduled, right?”

“I do.” She patted down her face and shoved the stray wisps of her hair out of her eyes. “Should be Monday so it’s set for the competition on Wednesday.”

“Good.” He loved working at Workout! and helping his clients get into shape. Some people around Norville considered him a gym rat and he didn’t care. He liked the way he looked, liked helping people realize their fitness dreams and keeping the town fit.

“I’m excited for the competition. I never thought I’d do a body builder anything.” She grinned and her green eyes glittered. “Paul is so proud of me.”

“He should be. You should be proud of yourself, though. You’ve put in the hours and it shows.” Cody took the towel from her and sighed as her boyfriend crossed the room.

Bri kissed Paul on the lips and seemed to forget Cody was standing there.

Cody tossed the towel in the bin, then left the lovers to their conversation. He tamped down his jealousy along the way. Some men would’ve wanted to be with Bri—she was pretty, smart and took care of herself. But he wasn’t interested in women.

He wasn’t interested in her boyfriend, either. Paul was nice, but too much of a jock. Cody liked the quiet types. The sensitive men who liked to read and could converse with him about music. Most people saw Cody as the muscle-bound guy at the gym or the former high school athlete who’d brought Norville High School awards in cross-country and track. According to some, he had it all, but not what he wanted the most.

A relationship.

Truth be told, he was jealous of Bri and Paul, but of what they had and how they shared their passion for each other. He hated being alone and missed having someone in his life. Someone to share conversations and his bed. Someone to hold when the nights were chilly or thunderstorms rolled through. He might be forty-one, but he still feared the rolls of thunder and streaks of lightning.

“They’re so full of each other.” Ty, one of the other trainers, joined Cody at the counter. “I’d say get a room, but they’d probably do it.”

“Probably.” He logged the time with Bri on the app, then checked the calendar. He didn’t have another client today, but he’d have to come back to the gym to work the counter at six. One of these days he’d have a full day off.

“Are you working with anyone else today?” Ty asked. “You’re always booked.”

“Not this afternoon. I’m heading to Dye Hard Style to get a haircut, then back here to run the desk.” He shrugged. “Dawson says he can’t get more trainers, but he might if he’d put out a call for help wanted.”

“That’d make sense.” Ty leaned on the counter and folded his arms. “I don’t know why you’re getting a cut already. It’s barely grown out.”

“I like to keep my hair short.” His style was part of his armor. If he looked like the jock, then no one would expect much from him. He could hide behind his façade and stay safe. He’d been hurt too many times by men who thought he wasn’t bright and hated when they found out the opposite.

“You should grow it out a little. Just on top.” Ty frowned, then crossed his ankles. “You might get a date that way.”

“Who says I need a date?” Besides me?

“Me, for one. I hate seeing you so sad. You act like you’re in a good mood, but I see the way you glare at the couples. You’re lonely.”

He hated when Ty was right. “So?”

“You want someone.”

He groaned. “But I never get out of here long enough to meet someone. The guys who come in here think I’m stupid. That I’ve got muscles for brains, not actual brains.” He squeezed his phone. “I tried to date a guy I met while working out and he got upset when I knew about Mozart but not the latest basketball scores.”

“You’re not into basketball. You like football and baseball,” Ty said. “That’s his fault for not knowing what you like.”

“Ah, but that’s the thing. He didn’t take the time to get to know me. All he saw was I had muscles and could get him a cut rate to work out here.” He shook his head. He knew going in that Chad would be a dead-end, but he’d still tried…and failed.

“Chad was a dick.”

He wouldn’t argue that one. “Good thing he’s history.”

“I still think there’s someone out there for you,” Ty said. “Why not ask James at Dye Hard? He’s already cutting your hair and he’s got quite the track record for pairing guys. You could get lucky.”

“I could.” He’d considered asking James, but hesitated. What if James laughed or said no? What if he wasn’t interested in helping? Vince couldn’t handle the rejection.

“You should ask him.” Ty closed the date book on the computer. “Go. You’ll be late and James gets snippy when his clients are late.”

“I know.” He tucked his phone in his pocket, then his keys from the drawer. Since he’d be coming back, he saw no reason to take his gym bag. “I’ll be back by five.”

“Take your time. I’m on the clock until six.” Ty waved. “Go.”

“Thanks.” He hurried out of the gym, then down the two blocks to Dye Hard Style. Ty was right—he didn’t need the haircut, but he wanted to talk to someone who wasn’t connected to his work. He also rather liked the way he looked after a fresh cut. Besides, he enjoyed his conversations with James.

He hustled through the glass doors of Dye Hard Style and marveled at the new movie posters in the lit frames. He appreciated how James had left the theater looking mostly the way it had during its heyday—except now housing a hair salon. The popcorn counter featured rows of hair products and the main lobby had been turned into the guts of the salon. The bright lights added a certain feel to the room that other salons lacked.

A young man with dyed gray hair stood at the turnstile. “You’re on time.”

He should know this man’s name, but James ran through receptionists so fast it was hard to keep up. “I am.” This one knew who he was, so he should know this guy’s name. “Jack?”

“Kyson,” he snapped. “I’m working on breaking a record.”

“Oh?” Cody made his way through the turnstile. “What’s that?”

“Working here for more than a week. James is a taskmaster.” Kyson crinkled his nose. “At least he keeps my color in check. He’s waiting on you. Don’t trip on the dog.”

“I’ll be careful.” He stopped to pet James’ dog on the head. “Hi, Doob.”

James rounded the corner to greet him. “Hi.” He picked up a cape and shook it out. “He likes you. Come on over.”

The black dog swished his tail and allowed Cody to pet him a few more moments, then joined James by the chair. Doob had become a fixture at the salon and a mascot of sorts.

“He likes you, too.” Cody rested on the chair and folded his hands on his lap. “I like how you’ve trimmed him.”

“Oh that.” James draped the covering over him. “Honestly, it was to get the knots out of his fur, but it has made him extra handsome. He’s a well-behaved dog. I don’t know why no one wants to come for him.”

“Maybe they moved and couldn’t take him.” He blinked as James sprayed water on his hair. “Or he ran away and they gave up looking for him.”

“See, I don’t know how anyone would do that. He’s a good dog.” James combed Cody’s hair. “And another thing, why would you leave your dog behind? I get that maybe you can’t take him with you, but find him a home or take him to the shelter. Don’t just leave him.”

“Not everyone thinks the way you and I do.” Cody averted his gaze. He didn’t mind looking at his reflection, but not right now.

“So…we’re doing another buzz or are you willing to let me do something a little different?” James asked. “I’ve got some ideas and I know you’ll like them if you’re willing to change just a little.”

He wanted to protest and demand his usual cut, but what the hell? Why not try something new? “Go for it.”

“You’re serious?” James beamed. “Cody?”

“Why not? I’m tired of looking the same and if you’ve got an idea what to do, then do it. I mean, Jesus. I’m over forty, I’m single and I want people to take me seriously,” Cody said. “While you’re at it, will you help me?” His hands shook. Thank God the cape covered them. He hated being nervous, but this was a huge ask.

“What do you want me to do?” James narrowed his eyes, then rubbed his chin before turning Cody away from the mirror.

“Will you help me find a date?” There. He’d asked. He’d put himself out there.

“You need a date?” James massaged Cody’s scalp. “I don’t believe it.”

“Guys see my muscles and run the other way. They think I’m stupid.” He fought the urge to shake his head and held still for fear he’d mess up whatever James was doing with his hair. “If they remember me from school, they remember when I flubbed the name of the school during my signing day. They remember when I punched Dirk Goggins because he’d given his girlfriend a black eye and I refused to let him hurt her. If they’ve been to Workout! they think I’m foolish for spending so much time in the gym or expect me to spar with someone because I’m a hulk of a man. I can’t win.”

“They’re wrong,” James said. “You’re more than a few mistakes.”

“Why don’t men see that?” He hated sounding so whiny, but all he could think about was Chad giving him a pitiful look before he walked out. “If you’d only use your head instead of your muscles, you’d get somewhere. You’d be dangerous. But you’re not. You’re just walking testosterone.” Chad hadn’t known him at all.

“People see what they want and you know that, but you’ve got to change their perception,” James said.


“Well, you’ve done the first thing, which is asking me for help. Since you’ve asked and I want to accommodate you, what kind of man are you looking for?”

“For a date?”

“I’m already giving you the haircut, so yes, the date,” James said. He ran the comb over Cody’s head.

He had to think about this for a moment. “I’d like someone who is sweet, sensitive, likes to read and listen to music, is caring, handsome and not obsessed with his own ego.”

“So you want the impossible.”


James stepped around the chair to face Cody. He cocked his hip and folded his arms. “Are you available on Saturday? Like eight-ish?”

“Sure.” He wouldn’t even have to clear his schedule. “I’m not working then.”

“Good. Go to Club Jester at eight and look for a man in a Hawaiian shirt. You’ll wear a dark blue button-down—you’ve got one, right?” James asked.

“I have one, yes,” he replied. “But you’re kidding about the Hawaiian shirt, right?”

“Not a bit. Are you still interested?”

He didn’t have much choice. He wanted to meet someone. “Sure. With you?”

“Nah. I’m chained to this shop. I can’t leave, even if I want to,” James said. “But I do have a man in mind. He’s perfect for you—if you’ll trust me.”

“I do.”

James removed the cape, then turned him to face the mirror. “What do you think? I trimmed the sides quite close, but left the top a bit longer. It gives some length to your face and the dark of your hair sets off your eyes. It gives you more of an updated look, too. What do you think?”

He’d become so used to seeing himself in the buzz cut that he wasn’t ready for the slight change. He swept his gaze over his reflection and resisted the urge to demand his usual cut. James was right. The slight length made his eyes stand out and brought out the angularity of his face. “I like it.”

“Do you?” James rested his hands on Cody’s shoulders. “You don’t look convinced.”

“I’m getting used to it.” He tipped his head to admire himself from a few more angles. “It’s good. What do I owe you?”

“Nothing. This one’s on the house since you’ve been here every week for the last three months,” James said. “You won’t have to come back right away. Give yourself a week off.”

“You’d lose revenue.” He left the chair. “I don’t want to cheat you.”

“Honey, if you go on the date and it works out, then that’s plenty of payment. I want you to be happy.” James grinned and flicked his hand. “You’d better tell me how it goes, though. I want to know all the lurid details, doll. I don’t just pair up anyone, and I know this will be good for you if you’re willing to try.”

“I am.” He placed a ten-dollar bill on James’ counter, then shook hands with him. “Thank you.” He wouldn’t have asked for the haircut on his own, but the more he looked at himself, the more he liked the style.


“Bye, Doob.” He patted the dog on the head once more, then walked out of the salon. He had a date. Excitement slid through his veins, then switched to fear. A date. Holy fucking shit. What if the guy wasn’t his type? What if he was, but wasn’t interested? What if he made a fool of himself in front of the man? His stomach lurched and his nerves got the better of him for a moment. No, he’d asked for this help and would see the date through.

But the idea of wearing a button-down shirt irked him. He’d grown so accustomed to wearing his sports gear that he’d forgotten how to dress like a regular guy. Did he even know how to any longer? He wore shorts and sleeveless tees even in the winter. Would his sleeved shirts even fit? At least he had two days to sort out his wardrobe. Maybe Ty would have something he could borrow if nothing in his closet fit.

Or he could back out.

No. He didn’t want to let James down by not showing up.

He shook his head and walked back to Workout!

The date might not be what he wanted, but he had the feeling it would be just what he needed.

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About the Author

Megan Slayer

Megan Slayer, aka Wendi Zwaduk, is a multi-published, award-winning author of more than one-hundred short stories and novels. She’s been writing since 2008 and published since 2009. Her stories range from the contemporary and paranormal to LGBTQ and BDSM themes. No matter what the length, her works are always hot, but with a lot of heart. She enjoys giving her characters a second chance at love, no matter what the form. She’s been the runner up in the Kink Category at Love Romances Café as well as nominated at the LRC for best author, best contemporary, best ménage and best anthology. Her books have made it to the bestseller lists on

When she’s not writing, Megan spends time with her husband and son as well as three dogs and three cats. She enjoys art, music and racing, but football is her sport of choice.

Find out more about Megan on her website, and sign up for the newsletter here. You can also check out her Blog, Amazon Author Page, Bookbub and Instagram.


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Blog Tour + Giveaway: Herald's Call (Sing For Me #3) by Jaymie Wagner


Herald's Call - Jaymie Wagner

Jaymie Wagner has a new FFF urban fantasy out, Sing For Me book 3: Herald's Call. And there's a giveaway.

Woe to the wolf who dares to call

With unworthy hearts lest darkness fall

Dour note this horn will play

The hounds shall rise and wolves shall bay

Through the horn Herne shall command

By blood of the Hunt and a worthy hand!

It is said that long ago Herne, the god of the Hunt, could use his Horn to make wolves obey his commands. A legend that Amy Oakley, Alpha of the Howlers pack, learned as a child and stopped believing in long before her first change beneath the full moon.

After spending three years fighting for her lovers and packmates’ right to live among the werewolves of Londinium, all she wants is a chance to breathe, go back to running her pub, and never see the manipulative Marcel Charron again.

As an ancient prophecy begins to unfold, can Amy and the Howlers find the Horn of Herne and keep it out of Marcel’s hands, or will his web of schemes and plots spell doom for their pack and the rest of London’s werewolves?

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About the Series:

When Leah Corbyn was bitten on her mail route by a dog, she expected to go to the hospital for some stitches, a few days of medical leave, and for life to go on.

She had no idea that two weeks later she would become a werewolf under the full moon, or spend the next year trying to hide her 'condition', but after meeting and dating fellow werewolf Amy Oakley, it wasn't long before she started to find an entire community in the shadows of London.

Surrounded by unexpected friends and dangerous enemies, Amy, Leah, and their packmate Amélie must fight to make a place for themselves, unaware that the conditions of an ancient prophecy are being met...


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Herald's Call banner

Leah swallowed hard, and her voice was a hushed, raspy whisper. "Do you think...I mean...if my mum was a werewolf and she knew I wasn't going to be. Could that be why she got rid of me?"

"Oh," Amy breathed as she pulled Leah into a hug. "Oh, pup."

"I mean..." Leah shook her head, tears starting to well in her eyes. "I never really knew anything. Where I came from. Why I was abandoned. Nobody even knows who gave me up. They just found me like a lost wallet!" She shuddered in Amy's arms, tears running down her face.

"I finally learned something about where I came from and suddenly I wish I hadn't!"

Abigail sat down slowly. "Leah," she said in her most kind but firm doctor's voice. "I can't speak to why your parents made that decision. I wish I could. What I can tell you is that mitochondrial DNA takes a very long time to change from generation to generation, and the fact that you did not possess the full were sequences until you were turned suggests that it was a fairly distant ancestor. Five or six generations, easily."

She waited for Leah to meet her eyes before she concluded: "Whatever their reasons, this was not one of them."

Leah gave a sniff and dried her eyes with the back of her hand as she sat up. "That's...that helps. Thanks, Abby."

"Of course." Abigail smiled at all of them before going back to the papers. "So – as I said, we don't know as much, medically, as we would like about Turning. But this does suggest a few things to me. For one - it may explain part of why you survived the process, particularly with a diet that was...not terribly conducive to your new existence."

That got a weak laugh out of Leah, and Amélie smiled with relief. If she could was a good sign. "So - you think that explains my eyes, too?"

"It would seem so," Abigail agreed with a nod. "I am not certain why it took so long to express, but my theory is that some of the latent werewolf traits you carry finally began to show through."

Leah's lips pulled into a slight frown. "Could that be part of why I'm a different sort of wolf than whoever turned me?"

Abigail nodded again. "Likely, yes."

Amy reached up to lightly scratch at Leah's scalp as she examined the different sets of results. "Does that explain Leah's ear, too?"

Abigail shook her head and went back to the first chart. "The trait that affects the development of cartilage in the ear is an autosomal one. It most likely came from the were who bit you."

Amélie looked down at the results again, and suddenly felt like she'd been given the last piece of a puzzle.

No one has been able to find the wolf who bit Leah...but they were assuming it was a were who lived in England.

Leah said the 'dog' who attacked her had a blonde and pale grey coat.

Marcel knew Leah was Turned.

Marcel knew Leah had no family.

Marcel knew where the Howl was.

Leah never spoke to Marcel at the trial, and Amy would not have told him anything about Leah or herself. If the records from Leah's trial were sealed, there is no way he should have known any of the things he tried to use against us.

Marcel always said his ears drooped because of an old injury from a fight...but Marcel lied about almost everything.

Her chest felt tight as the facts began to add up.


Marcel is a liar.

Her mouth felt dry as she looked up. "Abigail?"

Everyone turned to look at her, and Amélie didn't try to hide the dread and shock she felt.

"I know who Turned Leah."

Author Bio

Herald's Call - Jaymie Wagner<\center>

Jaymie Wagner is a queer, trans, polyamorous author who lives in the Twin Cities with her cats and an alarming collection of tiny giant robots.

She has been published in several anthologies, short story collections, and posts her “Fractured Fantasies” twitter micro-stories where she explores different ideas and kinks.

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