Series Tour + Giveaway: Winging It/Scoring Position (Hockey Ever After #1 & 2) by Ashlyn Kane & Morgan James



These hockey players have hard heads, soft hands, and sweet hearts. 

They’re not looking for love, but it’s a long season….



Book Title:  Winging It (Hockey Ever After 1)

Author: Ashlyn Kane & Morgan James

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: LC Chase

Length: 99 000 words/ 283 pages

Release Date: October 18, 2022

Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance

Tropes: Grumpy/sunshine, teammates to lovers, friends to lovers, professional athletes

Themes: Coming out, bisexual awakening, self-acceptance, friendship 

Heat Rating: 5 flames   

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


Buy Links

Amazon US  | Amazon UK

Kobo  |  Apple  |  Google Play


Hockey is Gabe Martin's life. Dante Baltierra just wants to have some fun on his way to the Hockey Hall of Fame. Falling for a teammate isn't in either game plan.

But plans change.

When Gabe gets outed, it turns his careful life upside-down. The chaos messes with his game and sends his team headlong into a losing streak. The last person he expects to pull him through it is Dante.

This season isn’t going the way Dante thought it would. Gabe’s sexuality doesn’t faze him, but his own does. Dante’s always been a “what you see is what you get” kind of guy, and having to hide his attraction to Gabe sucks. But so does losing, and his teammate needs him, so he puts in the effort to snap Gabe out of his funk.

He doesn’t mean to fall in love with the guy.

Getting involved with a teammate is a bad idea, but Dante is shameless, funny, and brilliant at hockey. Gabe can’t resist. Unfortunately, he struggles to share part of himself that he’s hidden for years, and Dante chafes at hiding their relationship. Can they find their feet before the ice slips out from under them?


Book Title: Scoring Position (Hockey Ever After 2)

Author: Ashlyn Kane & Morgan James

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: LC Chase

Length:  98 000 words/ 285 pages

Release Date: October 18, 2022

Genre: Contemporary M/M romance

Tropes: Opposites attract, roommates to lovers, age gap

Themes: Mental health, self-improvement, family pressure

Heat Rating: 5 flames   

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


Buy Links

Amazon US   |  Amazon UK  

Kobo  |  Apple  |  Google Play  |  B&N


Ryan Wright’s new hockey team is a dumpster fire. He expects to lose games—not his heart.

Ryan’s laid-back attitude should be an advantage in Indianapolis. Even if he doesn’t accomplish much on the ice, he can help his burned-out teammates off it. And no one needs a friend—or a hug—more than Nico Kirschbaum, the team’s struggling would-be superstar.

Nico doesn’t appreciate that management traded for another openly gay player and told them to make friends. Maybe he doesn’t know what his problem is, but he’ll solve it with hard work, not by bonding with the class clown.

It’s obvious to Ryan that Nico’s lonely, gifted, and cracking under pressure. No amount of physical practice will fix his mental game. But convincing Nico to let Ryan help means getting closer than is wise for Ryan’s heart—especially once he unearths Nico’s sense of humor.

Will Nico and Ryan risk making a pass, or will they keep missing 100 percent of the shots they don’t take?

Excerpt from WINGING IT

Dante waited in the lobby, curled into a chair that wasn’t quite big enough to be comfortable. He kept his back to the flow of people and his nose buried in his phone. Any other night, sure, he would be happy to sign autographs. Tonight… his brain was going to endlessly replay the scene he’d just walked in on.

How had he not known Gabe was into men? It seemed obvious now. Of course he never picked women up in bars or brought a girlfriend to a team event. Dante felt stupid for not noticing. 

Somehow Dante had stumbled onto a huge secret.

And now he had to work out what to do about it.

First, though, apparently he was going to think about Gabe’s broad palm on his partner’s chest. Gabe was a big guy—two inches taller than Dante, even if Dante was more solidly built. His partner had been clinging to Gabe’s muscular shoulder.

He should stop thinking about it, but his brain was trying to fill in details. Where had Gabe’s other hand been? Had it been placed on his partner’s thigh? Had he been putting his weight on it to steady himself? Or maybe he’d used it to tilt the man’s face to the right angle.

Dante exhaled sharply. This was really, really not his business. Dwelling on it would not do him any favors. He needed to pretend everything was normal. And obsessing about your teammate feeling up some guy—and kissing, can’t forget the kissing—was not that.

So. Normal. He’d been sexiled by a roommate. That was fine! It had happened before. Today, actually. He hoped Yorkie was having a better night than Gabe.

Most importantly, sexiling was normal.

Was it hot in here?

Footsteps jarred him out of his spiral, and he looked up to see Gabe walking toward him, head down, shoulders hunched. He didn’t exactly have the look of the freshly laid about him.


Or, like, probably not.

Gabe dropped into the chair across from him. He was loudly projecting that he would rather stand in front of fifty of Kitty’s slap shots than have this conversation.

At least they were on even footing in that respect.

Dante put his phone away. “So, uh, sorry for cockblocking you.” Even if it’s kind of your fault. Who doesn’t use the Do Not Disturb sign? Why didn’t you tell me to pound rocks when I asked to share?

Considering the circumstances, he kept a lid on these criticisms. He could bring them up later, when Gabe didn’t look like he was about to puke all over the hotel lobby.

“I wasn’t expecting it to be a problem,” Gabe said. He slumped farther, but Dante thought his shoulders were relaxing too. “Did you strike out or something?”

“Sort of. We passed her ex on the way back to her place and she made it like ten more feet before she burst into tears. So we stopped at Dairy Queen for ice cream, and then she went to the bathroom and fixed her makeup and we took a selfie for her Instagram, and I came back here.”

The color returned to Gabe’s face and he met Dante’s gaze for the first time since that hideously awkward moment upstairs. “Guess neither of us is getting laid tonight,” he said, a little tentatively, like he wasn’t sure Dante would laugh.

“I won’t tell if you won’t.” 

“Deal,” Gabe said. The lines of tension in his face disappeared under a relieved half smile.

Good. Dante was glad they’d settled that. “Great.” He yawned. “So can we go upstairs now? I’ve had just enough booze and ice cream to make me sleepy.”

When they got up to the hotel room, Dante said, “I wish you’d told me you liked guys.” His shoes thunked dully against the wall as he kicked them off. “I wouldn’t have tried so hard to hook you up with chicks last season.” Or last week.

Gabe stared at Dante’s shoes. Then he lined his own up neatly under the desk. “It’s not something I advertise.”

“No shit.” Dante shimmied out of his jeans. 

After a beat, Gabe said, “You’re being really cool about this.”

Dante sat in the desk chair. He had a habit of saying the first thing that came to mind, and right now that was Actually, I’m kind of freaking out. He needed to take his time. “I mean, obviously I’m not mad or upset or whatever. I’m—accepting? Ugh, that’s a garbage word.” He huffed, frustrated with himself. “Look, you’re… gay?”

The muscle at the hinge of Gabe’s jaw bunched. “Yeah.” 

“Cool.” He drummed the fingers of his left hand on the desktop, realized he was doing it, and forced himself to stop. “And obviously if you haven’t told the team, you’re expecting some of them to be assholes. And that sucks. Because as far as I’m concerned, my reaction? Is, like, a pretty low bar.”

Gabe rubbed the back of his neck. “I mean, it’s not like you could come in and introduce yourself.”

If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. Dante was losing his grip on reality. “Yeah, maybe not. You mind if I shower now? I stink like dance club.”

“Sure. I’m just gonna….” Gabe picked up the television remote.

The television came on, and a moment later Dante closed the bathroom door behind him and started the water. Mechanically, he removed his clothes and stepped under the spray. The hot water sluiced over him, washing away the sweat and club grime and what had maybe been just a little too much hair gel.

But the image of Gabe kissing another man on the bed in their hotel room stuck with him, and now, in relative privacy and naked, alone with his thoughts, Dante was forced to confront the truth of his own semi.

“I did not see this coming,” he muttered as he reached for his shampoo.

About the Authors

Ashlyn Kane likes to think she can do it all, but her follow-through often proves her undoing. Her house is as full of half-finished projects as her writing folder. With the help of her ADHD meds, she gets by. 

An early reader and talker, Ashlyn has always had a flair for language and storytelling. As an eight-year-old, she attended her first writers’ workshop. As a teenager, she won an amateur poetry competition. As an adult, she received a starred review in Publishers Weekly for her novel Fake Dating the Prince. There were quite a few years in the middle there, but who’s counting? 

Her hobbies include DIY home decor, container gardening (no pulling weeds), music, and spending time with her enormous chocolate lapdog. She is the fortunate wife of a wonderful man, the daughter of two sets of great parents, and the proud older sister/sister-in-law of the world’s biggest nerds.

Morgan James is a clueless (older) millennial who’s still trying to figure out what they’ll be when they grow up and enjoying the journey to get there. Now, with a couple of degrees, a few stints in Europe, and more than one false start to a career, they eagerly wait to see what’s next. James started writing fiction before they could spell and wrote their first (unpublished) novel in middle school. They haven’t stopped writing since. Geek, artist, archer, and fanatic, Morgan tends to pass their free hours with in imaginary worlds and people on pages and screens—it’s an addiction. As is their love of coffee and tea. They live in Canada with their massive collection of unread books, where they are the personal servant of too many four-legged creatures.

Author Links

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Blog Tour + Giveaway: Sigrid and Elyn by Edale Lane


Sigrid & Elyn - Edale Lane

Edale Lane has a new FF alt history mystery romance book out: Sigrid & Elyn.

Attracted by passion, repelled by war. Can two shieldmaidens navigate battlegrounds of the sword and the heart?

Pre-Viking Scandinavia. Sigrid the Valiant is legendary throughout the kingdoms of Norvegr, along with her twin brother, for their many heroic deeds, but her heart has not found a home. Now, racing on the heels of their father’s murder, a neighboring kingdom’s raids threaten to cause an all-out war.

Elyn is a young shieldmaiden with a score to settle, fighting her own insecurities along with enemies who threaten her homeland, but she remains unconvinced all is as it seems.

When the two clash on opposite sides of their shield walls, sparks fly from both their swords and passions. But when they talk, the two fierce women discover an antagonist’s plot has pitted their kingdoms against each other.

Will Sigrid and Elyn move past their suspicions and differences to forge a relationship and foil the villain’s scheme, or will the enemy’s assassins end their search for the truth?

Action, adventure, and intrigue ride together with romance in this enemies-to-lovers saga from the pre-Viking land of Norvegr. Award-winning, best-selling author Edale Lane brings history to life in this fast-paced sapphic novel. Grab your ax and rönd and join the quest by clicking to buy now!

Warnings: violence, rape (in a memory), slavery as part of society.

Get It at Amazon


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Sigrid & Elyn meme

Elyn’s heart pounded in her chest as she weighed her options. Right here, right now, she could kill Jarl Sigrid the Valiant and gain great fame and renown. With no witnesses, she could concoct any story she liked about how the epic battle in the cave occurred… except without witnesses, people may say Sigrid died in the fall and all Elyn did was chop at her corpse making it appear she had been victorious. A further problem with that option was that the gods saw everything. To kill an unarmed, unconscious opponent was a dishonorable display of cowardice akin to murder.

What would Sigrid do? Elyn lifted her ax but hesitated. One so well respected would not slay an incapacitated foe, would she?

But what troubled Elyn the most was the true impetus behind her reluctance—she didn’t want to kill Sigrid. She wanted her to live. Lowering her weapon, she gazed at the fair legendary hero. Though caked in dust sticking to blood and sweat, her legs pinned under heavy jagged rocks, she was the most astounding human being Elyn had ever laid eyes on. Maybe it was not her beautiful face or toned body, but the songs and stories that hailed her victories over man and beast, that saluted her valor and generosity that most fueled Elyn’s imagination. Perhaps it was how Sigrid had saved her from a spear hurled on the battlefield when it had been against her own best interest. But maybe it was the strange energy that pulsed through Elyn’s sensations whenever they were near each other that compelled her to choose mercy. Then again, it could merely be her own sense of unworthiness.

I am nobody, she thought. I can’t kill a jarl, a female warrior jarl… a lovely, helpless woman of distinction. She needs my help.

Elyn shoved the ax back into her belt and lifted heavy stones off the fallen shieldmaiden, tossing them aside. As she worked, Sigrid awoke. Sky-blue eyes blinked and the trapped woman coughed away dust, soon becoming aware she was not alone.

With a startled expression, Sigrid grabbed her sword and swung it at Elyn, who had to jump to avoid its reach. “Do not think of crushing me with a slab of limestone!” she blasted with rage igniting in her glare. Sigrid’s voice was robust enough to overpower the burble of the waterfall. “I could carve you like a roasted pig even without the use of my legs.”

An admiring smile tugged at the corner of Elyn’s lips, and something sprang to life deep within her core. “I am certain that you could, Jarl Sigrid, but if you will notice, I am not attacking you, but digging you out of the rubble.”

“What happened?” Sigrid raised her left hand to the gash on her forehead.

“The ground gave way, and we fell into this pit chased by large rocks. I think a Jotnar is to blame,” Elyn replied in a placid tone that seemed to disarm Sigrid.

As her focus cleared, she aimed it on Elyn’s face. “I find myself at a disadvantage,” Sigrid admitted. “You know who I am, but I am not familiar with you. What is your name?”

Elyn heaved the last of the big rocks pinning Sigrid’s legs to the side and sat on it. “I am Elyn, a shieldmaiden of Firdafylke. I live in a village called Kaldrlogr. It would appear for the moment we are trapped in this crevice. Thus far, no one has appeared at the fissure above to lend aid, and I suspect the battle continues.”

Sigrid nodded. Elyn! So that is your name. Satisfaction nestled within Sigrid until she recalled why they were there. Feelings of languid infatuation evaporated, and vengeful wrath rushed in to seize their place. She pushed up on her sword, gathering her legs under her body, and struggled to her feet. She could tell her injuries were more than superficial, and she could not bear weight on her right leg, but she was determined. Mirroring her movement with caution, Elyn rose from her rock and shifted a hand to the ax on her belt.

Pinning the flame-haired shieldmaiden with a frigid glare, Sigrid snarled. “Why did your raiders attack our farms? It is fortunate you were not among their number as we left none alive.”

She cocked her sword arm for a swing, and in an instant, Elyn whipped out her ax to block the whirling blade. The motion of the stroke rendered Sigrid off balance, and she could have easily toppled over, but her opponent pushed against her steel with her weapon until she was upright and steady on her one good leg. Elyn’s action surprised Sigrid, though she was glad for it.

“We did no such thing!” her foe declared with heated conviction. She hoisted her ax, poised at the ready.

Sigrid realized she was in no condition to fight, so she had better rein in her temper. She glanced down at Elyn’s sturdy legs, shapely hips, rounded breasts, up to luscious full lips, and finally into stunning green eyes and held them.

“Several of my friends were killed,” Sigrid asserted, and she felt a quiver go through her body. “A dozen men under the banner of Firdafylke carrying shields with your colors,” she testified, motioning to Elyn’s rönd lying a few feet away, “attacked the outlying farms of my village, Gnóttdalr. They burned homes, slew livestock, murdered women and children, then tried to flee like cowardly rodents.”

Elyn’s brows knit together in concern. “When was this?”

“Less than two weeks ago,” Sigrid confirmed. With her shoulder stiff and in pain, she lowered her sword but kept a firm grip on its hilt. “Maybe a week and a day after the first time we fought.” Sigrid tried to calculate, but her head throbbed. Has it been three weeks I have spent dreaming of you?

“That is impossible!” Elyn’s declaration snapped Sigrid’s thoughts back into focus. “It wasn’t us. All of Jarl Njord’s warriors are accounted for at that time and none have gone missing,” the younger woman insisted.

Sigrid’s frown deepened. “I know about Jarl Njord and his intentions for the throne of Firdafylke. With King Tortryggr’s mind and strength failing, he supposes to increase his fame by defeating us, but it shan’t work.”

“What are you talking about?” Elyn fumed and tossed her empty hand into the air. “There is nothing wrong with King Tortryggr’s health, mental or otherwise. And while it is true Njord has ambitions, he is not a traitor. What about your King Grimolf? Greedy to the core! We know about his plans to take over our kingdom, how he has promised all you jarls will double your holdings.”

“Nothing but sheep dung!” Sigrid retorted. “That is the biggest load of shite I’ve ever heard.”

Elyn’s brows narrowed, and her scowl deepened. “What about the Svithjod raiders that attacked our farms? We had defenseless people killed by your warriors, too. Did they make sport of it? Was it a game to them?”

“We did no such thing!” Sigrid’s voice reverberated about the cavern, which only increased the throbbing in her head. “We supported you several years ago when Raumsdal assaulted your land. I personally led a team of wagons to reinforce your army with supplies, and my brother brought volunteers to join your defenses.”

“I know,” Elyn countered, “which is why we feel so betrayed that you have invaded now. Maybe the raiders did not come from your band, but they flew the raven flag and carried the yellow and black shields of Svithjod. Why do you lie?”

She raised her ax in a defiant motion and Sigrid reacted instantaneously, slamming her sword to bear against it. “I do not lie!”

The two shieldmaidens pressed closely together, hot with anger and confusion. Sigrid was not expecting the arousal she experienced at the proximity to her enemy, but her desire could not be denied. It was baffling and unacceptable. Only a handle of wood and a blade of steel stood between them. Sigrid kept her balance on her one good leg, but if Elyn pulled away, she would surely fall. She felt the heat of her breath, inhaled her intoxicating scent, and her body ached for a woman she should not want. Is this a trick? Have I been bewitched? A part of her wished to examine Elyn’s every feature in intricate detail, while reason ordered her emotions to stand down.

Elyn slowly backed away, almost as if she was being careful to not cause Sigrid to fall. “No, you do not lie.” The words rang with sincere belief and Sigrid eased her muscles as she mirrored her foe to relax. They lowered their weapons at the same time. “But neither do I.”

Author Bio

Edale Lane

Edale Lane is an award-winning author (Rainbow Awards, Imaginarium Awards, Lesfic Bard Awards) who is realizing her dream of being a full-time writer. She is the alter-ego of author Melodie Romeo, (Tribute in Blood, Terror in Time, and others) who founded Past and Prologue Press. Both identities are qualified to write historical fiction by virtue of an MA in History and 24 years spent as a teacher, along with skill and dedication regarding research. A native of Vicksburg, MS, Edale (or Melodie) is also a musician who loves animals, gardening, and nature. After driving an 18-wheeler cross-country for eight years, she now lives with her partner in beautiful Chilliwack, B.C. Canada.

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Release Blitz: Beauty and Valor (D’Vaire #32) by Jessamyn Kingley



Book Title: Beauty and Valor (D’Vaire, Book 32)

Author and Publisher: Jessamyn Kingley

Cover Artist: LJ Anderson of Mayhem Cover Creations

Release Date: October 20, 2022

Genres: MM Fantasy/Paranormal Romance

Tropes: Fated mates

Themes: Love, overcoming obstacles

Heat Rating:  3 flames

Length:  88 638 words

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

Goodreads Series Link

Buy Links - Available in Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK

Perfection comes in many forms, and true courage is beautiful.


Preston Hawthorneonca-Stone is a warrior. In a fit of rage, his father changed Preston’s life on a horrible day in 1994. Now a brain injury survivor, Preston lives with his brother and their growing family. A recent addition to the Council of Sorcery and Shifters, Preston has landed his dream job of working with animals. 

Resurrected in 1995, Ridgely Walsh is dedicated to his job and the tightknit group of friends he considers family. With his penchant for honesty, Ridgely is the level-headed and sometimes hard-assed member of their little group. Ridgely doesn’t play foolish games, and he accepts people at face value.

Although Ridgely yearns for a mate, nothing prepares him for the moment he meets Preston. The beautiful jaguar-human hybrid with the big brown eyes halts Ridgely in his tracks. Ridgely rapidly discovers his true purpose is to be a good partner to his other half. Preston is equally taken with Ridgely but fears how the fallen knight will handle his imperfections. Together, they must navigate the path Fate chose for them and discover what it means to love unconditionally.


“That’s okay," Ridgely said. "We’ll work around your schedule. There are seven days in a week. We’ll work our dates into the nights you’re free.”


The lack of enthusiasm in Preston’s voice had a chill running through Ridgely. Although they hadn’t known each other long, they talked frequently, and the man enchanted Ridgely. Until that moment, Ridgely had believed they were on the same page, but perhaps he’d misjudged the situation. It was difficult to discuss it without being able to see the emotions cross Preston’s face, and Ridgely wished he were with him. However, there was no way Ridgely could wait until their date the following night to get the answers he needed.

“Tell me what’s on your mind,” Ridgely prompted and internally winced at the sharpness in his voice.

“I have challenges.”

“I know,” Ridgely responded softly. “That’s not a problem for me.”

“Okay. I didn’t want to bombard you with them at the start though.”

“Don’t worry so much. Talk to me.”

“I tire easily sometimes, and I also have insomnia. I’m concerned that if I’m out most nights, I’ll get exhausted because I still have work and do my therapies. I don’t want my schedule to overwhelm me, and it makes me sad because I want to be with you. Maybe I should wait to do the school stuff.”

“Absolutely not, Dimples. There’s no reason we can’t approach things casually. If we hung out and relaxed instead of dressing up for fancy restaurants, would that make things easier for you? Because honestly, that sounds like more fun anyway.”

“Maybe you could come to my house and have dinner with my family.”

“And meet some cuddly kittens?”

“Yes. You could watch a movie with me in my room or take a nap with me if you wanted. You wouldn’t even have to wear your clothes.”

Ridgely’s laughter was full-throated. “I’m going to need you to repeat that when I can see your face.”

“I’m probably blushing, but I’ve already spent plenty of time wondering what you look like naked.”

“I’ve used my imagination a lot lately too. Invite me to your house for dinner.”

“Tomorrow, instead of you picking a restaurant?”

“All I need is an address.”

Snagging a pen from his desk drawer, Ridgely jotted down the information he needed, then promised to call Preston later. After hanging up, nervousness crept in. Although Ridgely loved the idea of a more relaxed avenue to get to know Preston better, meeting a couple of Council leaders was intimidating. 

“Okay, so I was curious before, but now I’m dying to meet Preston,” Warner said.

Ridgely nearly jumped at the sound of Warner’s voice. So swept up in talking to Preston, Ridgely had forgotten he wasn’t alone, which was nuts since he’d shared an office with Warner for nearly two decades. 


“Your voice and body language completely changed when you spoke with your mate. I’ve never seen that side of you. You were practically gushing.”

“Clearly, I was not, but I won’t pretend I don’t like him either.”

“I feel so good about this now. I was nervous you’d over-analyze every aspect of your relationship and drive your man crazy.”

“Glad to hear it because, clearly, your opinion of the situation is what matters most,” Ridgely deadpanned.

“Seriously, I must meet this beautiful dimpled man.”

“Find some patience, Warner. Or better yet, find your other half.”

“I wish,” Warner replied, and Ridgely did too. 

Ridgely wanted everyone to have Fate pair them with someone as wonderful as Preston was turning out to be. And the fact that Preston was pursuing a dream pleased Ridgely. It wasn’t enough for Preston to have only pieces of what he wanted; Ridgely intended to ensure that his mate had everything.

About the Author 

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

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

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Release Blitz + Giveaway: Heart of Egypt by Megan Slayer


Heart of Egypt by Megan Slayer

Word Count: 22,554
Book Length: NOVELLA
Pages: 93



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Book Description

His heart has always belonged to the man he loves—a modern-day actor?

Thutmose knew from the moment he purchased the six-carat ruby that he had something special. So much so, he refused to turn the gem over to the Pharaoh. His punishment for his disobedience? Death and a curse. He shall wear the Heart of Egypt for eternity.

Second chances aren’t permitted—until Aiden touches his coffin.

Aiden Cory, star of the show Hunters, has no idea he’s stumbled on a mummy or the chance at finding true love. When he meets Thut, he’s head-over-heels. He doesn’t know about the Heart of Egypt, but he knows he’s attracted to Thut. There’s the minor problem of Thut being a mummy.

Can modern love save Thut from an ancient curse?


“The gift of this ruby is the gift of eternal love,” the merchant said. “Use and give of it wisely.”

Thutmose held the ruby and measured the weight in his hand. The large gem seemed so heavy against his skin, and so dark red. The color reminded him of blood. Of the deep connection between souls. He needed this ruby. “I shall have it.”

“The price is steep,” the merchant said. “You will pay with your life.”

Pay with his life…every peddler thought he could use that line as a threat because of Thutmose’s wealth. He wasn’t scared of curses or prices. He’d made quite the nice fortune for himself through his dealings with the Pharaoh and his land holdings. The price of this gem wasn’t out of his reach. “I shall have it.”

“Very well.” The merchant accepted Thutmose’s payment and bowed. “The gem is yours. Guard it with your life.”

What an odd thing to say. Thutmose wrapped the gem in a scrap of cloth, then tucked the bundle in the pouch he kept on a strip of leather around his neck. He nodded to the peddler before the man left his home.

Thutmose left his couch and strode to the window. The gem weighed heavy around his neck, but also felt like a part of him now. Like he’d never been without it.

His lover, Azizi, stood beside him and slid his arm around Thutmose’s waist. “My beloved.”

He embraced Azizi. “How was your rest?”

“Not well.” Worry lines crinkled at the corners of Azizi’s eyes. “The Pharaoh knows about us.”

“So?” The Pharaoh had taken a great many lovers. What did Thutmose’s love life matter to one so great?

“He has demanded your presence.” Azizi trembled. “And mine.”

“We will see him.” He didn’t understand Azizi’s hesitance. “Is there something you’re not telling me?”

Azizi balled his hands on Thutmose’s chest. “The Pharaoh has demanded a price for us to stay together.”

“He has our allegiance.” Didn’t he? “Have you lost faith in the Pharaoh?”

“I have not.” Azizi hesitated again. “The Pharaoh believes we have upset the gods, therefore have upset him.”


“I know not.” Azizi touched the leather pouch. “Did you bring me a gift?”

“Not this time.” He wasn’t sure what he’d do with the precious gem, but he wasn’t ready to give it away. Did Azizi deserve such an expensive present? Thutmose wasn’t sure.

“You bought the gem,” Azizi said. “Is it as brilliant as I’m told?”

Why was Azizi so interested in the ruby? “It is.”

“You should give it as an offering to the Pharaoh. Maybe he will smile on us and allow us to be together,” Azizi said. “Maybe he will allow us into his personal confidences and we can attain a spot in the kingdom.”

“Is that what you want? For me to pay for us to be together?” He shouldn’t have to bribe the Pharaoh this way. Besides, the Pharaoh would never allow Azizi into the realm of the aristocracy, even through his connection to Thutmose—unless Azizi knew something more than he’d let on.

“The Pharaoh believes we should give him an offering.” Azizi let go of him. “Don’t you care about me? Enough to give up your precious gem? Will you help me become part of the inner circle? Or will you prevent me because…”

Thutmose paused. Did he? He didn’t want to give the ruby to anyone—not to buy the Pharaoh’s favor or to keep Azizi in his life. He wanted to be happy. To do that, he needed to get to the bottom of this. He didn’t understand what he’d done to upset the Pharaoh or to cause this problem. He served the Pharaoh diligently and never spoke out against the gods. Then again, he wasn’t sure what had brought on Azizi’s interest in becoming part of the aristocracy. Did he ever really love Thutmose? Was his association with Thutmose there only to improve his position in society? To get him closer to the Pharaoh? Thutmose hated having doubts, but he didn’t trust his lover. Not now.

“We shall see him today.” He’d get the situation handled once and for all.

“Very good, my beloved.” Azizi smiled, but the fear didn’t leave his eyes.

Thutmose never wanted to see his lover upset. He’d waited so long to find Azizi and refused to let anyone, even the Pharaoh, take him away. According to whisperings around the kingdom, the Pharaoh had many lovers of both sexes. Did he want another lover? Or did Azizi want something of the Pharaoh? That wouldn’t surprise Thutmose. Many of the workers and low born did anything possible to gain the favor of the kingdom.

The Pharaoh couldn’t have Azizi—not yet. But the conversation did irritate Thutmose. Why was Azizi so interested in the gem, too? What did he want with the ruby? He hated to wonder about his lover, but he’d learned so many others couldn’t be trusted. He didn’t want Azizi to be like them, but right now…he wasn’t sure.

Thutmose let go of his lover and gestured to his servants to leave. He and Azizi would speak to the Pharaoh at once and clear up this problem. The faster they did, the sooner they could get on with their lives.

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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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Release Blitz + Giveaway: Terribly Tristan (Bad Boyfriends, Inc. #3) by Lisa Henry & Sarah Honey


Terribly Tristan by Lisa Henry & Sarah Honey

Book 3 in the Bad Boyfriends, Inc. series

Word Count: 62,357
Book Length: NOVEL
Pages: 246



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Book Description

One and done has always been the rule—so what happens when once isn’t enough?

Leo Fisher is the outward picture of respectability, just like his parents raised him to be. But when he inherits a crumbling terrace house from his great-uncle, he also inherits a tenant who turns his world upside down. Tristan is brazen, gorgeous, experienced and utterly fabulous. He’s everything Leo is not—so why is Leo drawn to him? Leo has always made the right choices—the sensible choices—yet here he is, hooking up with his tenant, who’s a rent boy.

Tristan Montague is not a rent boy. Not exactly. He’s a Bad Boyfriend. For a fee, he’ll turn any date into the kind of disaster that will have his client’s unsuspecting parents begging them to date anyone but him. Boyfriending for cash is fun—but for real? No thanks. As far as Tristan is concerned, there are far too many flowers in the garden of love to settle on just one bloom. Instead, he flits happily from lover to lover like a glorious gay butterfly, and he doesn’t do repeats.

Except when he meets his cute, awkward landlord Leo, Tristan finds himself rethinking his ‘no repeats’ rule. He plans to show Leo that he, too, can be a glorious gay butterfly, but when physical attraction becomes something deeper, Tristan realizes he might be ready to hang up his wings and date…for real.

But in order for Leo to take a stand against his overbearing parents, Tristan will need to play the Bad Boyfriend one last time—and it’s going to have to be spectacular.

Reader advisory: This book contains instances of homophobia, and the death of a minor character.


On an otherwise unremarkable Saturday morning, Tristan Montague was woken by a hard pounding. And not the sort he liked. The sort he liked, he realised as he unglued his eyelids, wouldn’t be forthcoming at all—last night’s hook-up was still crashed out beside him flat on his back, with his mouth open as he snored. This pounding, unfortunately, was coming from his bedroom door.

“Wha?” Tristan grizzled. The house had better be on fire, seriously, because it was only—he flopped an arm out, fingers searching for his phone on his nightstand—11.37 a.m. That was inhumane for a Saturday. Unless it was Sunday—but no, it would be just as inhumane for a Sunday.

The pounding on his door continued.

Tristan rolled out of bed and shuffled to his door. He pulled it open and glared at Harry, his housemate.

“Tristan!” Harry exclaimed, then his wide-eyed gaze travelled down Tristan’s naked body and back again. By the time it returned to his face, Harry was bright pink in that adorkable way that made Tristan want to ruffle his hair, pinch his cheeks and possibly rail him over the back of the couch into next week. Harry was out of bounds, though. Not only was he like the awkward little brother Tristan had never had, but Harry was also stupidly in love with Jack, their other housemate. They gave each other such heart eyes over breakfast each morning that Tristan half expected the local wildlife to burst into song every time, Disney-style. The local wildlife, in their case, being the mice infesting the walls and the huntsman spider that lived in the shower. “Tristan, you’re naked!”

There wasn’t really anything Tristan could say to that, so he nodded and waved his hand in front of himself like a showcase model on a television game show.

Harry’s blush extended all the way up to his glasses. “Like, really, all the way, naked.”

He sighed. “Did you wake me up just to tell me that?”

Harry blinked at him. “No! I woke you up to tell you that Mr. Erskine is dead!”

“Oh.” Tristan felt a moment of actual regret. Their landlord was at least six hundred years old, and batshit crazy in the best possible way. He loved to drop in and collect the rent money from the Milo tin in the kitchen, then spend hours regaling Tristan with stories of the Cross back in the seventies. And Tristan loved listening, because Kings Cross back in the day had been wild. “I thought the Milo tin was getting full.”

“I thought he’d just forgotten to collect the rent.”

Tristan sighed again. “Wow. That really, really sucks. Mr. Erskine was an awesome old bloke.”

“He once offered me a hundred dollars to play with his hair,” Harry said, his brows pulling together. “Which didn’t make any sense, because he was bald.”

“Well, not everywhere, probably.”

Harry blinked rapidly. “Oh. I didn’t think of that.” His mouth turned down. “Ew. Was he sexually harassing me?”

“To be fair, I think he sexually harassed everyone without realising it,” Tristan said. “Oh, man. What’s going to happen to this place, do you think?”

Harry looked slightly panicked. “I don’t know! I can’t afford to live anywhere else!”

The old terrace house in Dickson Street, Newtown, was a complete dump. It was the rotten, blackened tooth in an otherwise pristine smile of gorgeously renovated veneers, but it was cheap. Well, cheap by Sydney standards, at least. Which wasn’t saying much. Tristan would be okay whatever happened, but Harry and Jack were on incredibly tight budgets.

“I mean, these things take months, right?” Tristan asked. “Wills and probate and all that bullshit. And there’s probably some law that you can’t just throw tenants out on the street without notice. Isn’t there?”

Harry chewed his bottom lip. “I don’t know.”

“Hey, don’t stress about it,” Tristan said, even though it was pointless, because Harry stressed about everything. “It’ll all work out in the end.” He lifted his nose and sniffed as the scent of bacon and eggs cooking reached him, and his stomach growled. He brightened. “Is Jack making breakfast?”

Harry blocked him as he tried to step out of the room. “Tris!”


“You’re naked.”

“Oh yeah.” He reached around to grab his robe off the hook on the back of his door. “Breakfast first, then crisis, okay?”

Harry nodded unhappily, and they headed down the stairs.

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About the Author

Lisa Henry

Lisa likes to tell stories, mostly with hot guys and happily ever afters. Lisa lives in tropical North

Lisa lives in tropical North Queensland, Australia. She doesn’t know why, because she hates the heat, but she suspects she’s too lazy to move. She spends half her time slaving away as a government minion, and the other half plotting her escape.

She attended university at sixteen, not because she was a child prodigy or anything, but because of a mix-up between international school systems early in life. She studied History and English, neither of them very thoroughly.

Lisa has been published since 2012, and was a LAMBDA finalist for her quirky, awkward coming-of-age romance Adulting 101, and a Rainbow Awards finalist for 2019’s Anhaga.

Find out more at Lisa's website and blog. You can follow her on Bookbub and sign up to her newsletter.

Sarah Honey

Sarah started life in New Zealand. She came to Australia for a working holiday, loved it, and never left. She lives in Western Australia with her partner, two cats, two dogs and a life-size replica TARDIS.

She spends half her time at a day job and the rest of her time reading and writing about clueless men falling in love.

Her proudest achievements include having adult kids who will still be seen with her in public, the ability to make a decent sourdough loaf, and knowing all the words to Bohemian Rhapsody.

Terribly Tristan will be her seventh published novel in collaboration with Lisa Henry.


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Release Blitz + Giveaway: We, Kraken (Volcano Chronicles #2) by Eule Grey


Title:  We, Kraken

Series: Volcano Chronicles, Book Two

Author: Eule Grey

Publisher:  NineStar Press

Release Date: 10/11/2022

Heat Level: 1 - No Sex

Pairing: Female/Female

Length: 53200

Genre: Fantasy, YA, alternate universe/fantasy, lesbian, intercultural, culture and inclusion, student, artist, wartime trauma, PTSD, anxiety, othering, child abuse/endangerment, human rights, equality, voice and representation, redemption, creativity as a vehicle of change, atonement, family, identity, folklore, sea creatures, restorative justice

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Kraken monsters come from the sea. Don’t they?

Devora Kraken seems to have everything under control and all she could ask for. Like the neighbourhood tunnels, where she can hang out with monsters and mermaids both. If sometimes it’s not clear which is which, that’s only normal—right? Anyway, Devi has plenty else to keep her busy, including a good cop, bad cop set of family members. And if all of that isn’t enough, there’s even a cute girl at the new school across town trying to get Devi’s attention!

From the deep waters of the past, something wakes up and marches through Mainland. One terrible night, blood is spilt, and gangs gather in the woods. Devi’s cousin, Jon, leaves for the speak-and-listen trials, and nothing will be the same again.

Devi sets off on a journey of discovery that will take her from her home in Exer City across Mainland and into Craw. It won’t be easy—her brother Korl refuses to talk about the past, or why Jon left. He won’t speak of the gun under the bed or the pile of mermaid figurines. Korl refuses to talk about anything!

What’s a monster anyway? Who better than Devora Kraken to find out?


We, Kraken
Eule Grey © 2022
All Rights Reserved

The night I called my brother a murderer was the worst of my life. It was early summer, with heat bristling and people noising until dawn. Even the birds didn’t sleep. But I’d been sent to bed at ten, like always. Grumbling and defiant. Sick of the status quo. My brother was a stickler for rules. Although I was fifteen, he treated me as if I were a little kid.

School tomorrow, Devi!

Don’t forget to clean your teeth.

No wandering the flat during the night.

The usual Kraken rubbish. I went to bed and somehow nodded off. Just after midnight, I crashed awake to an unsettling dream about a stone bridge.

I called in vain for my cousin. “Jon?”

Then got up and padded into the kitchen, half asleep, with ultra-raw senses. A single light bulb stung my sensitive eyes. A high-pitched electrical scream emanated from our battered fridge.

It took a few minutes to make sense of the midnight scene. Except for my cousin, Jon, every member of the Kraken gang was present. Farlo, who paced the kitchen. Bersha and Tomi, scrubbing blood from their hands. My brother, Korl, and his girlfriend, Anees, talking in a corner.

A gun lay on the edge of the table. Black, metallic, and menacing.

A gun.

I should have asked where it came from and why it was in our kitchen. Rumours of guns and knives were rife throughout Exer City, but I’d never thought my family were involved. As far as I knew, the Kraken gang avoided trouble.

“What’s going on? Has anyone seen Jon? I did knock,” I said stupidly. Obliviously. Trying to avoid being told off. My brother was a rule dictator, and I didn’t want to be grounded again.

Korl stopped whispering. For a really long minute, he didn’t say anything, only looked across at me where I huddled in striped nightie and cat-print socks.

It was then I realised and acknowledged something was very wrong. Korl’s face was vacant, glassy-eyed, and lacking in expression. It upset me. I wanted him to shout the safety of our normal boundaries: Get back to bed! You don’t wander the flat at night alone.

But he didn’t. Nobody said a word. The only sounds were of frenzied scrubbing and the screaming electric wire. Minutes went by. I didn’t think of the significance of the gun.

Absent-mindedly, I picked up a cloth and started wiping the table. “Blood. Urgh.”

Anees leapt into action and shook my brother’s arm until he rattled. “Devi!” she hissed violently. “Put the gun down. Go to bed and lock the door. Now!”

The moments of excruciating weirdness came to an abrupt end when Korl thumped the fridge hard enough to break open the universe. “Get that thing out of here! Why have you people brought a gun into my home?”

His voice was strained and wild. I thought he was about to cry and considered going back to bed. Although I often ignored my brother, it was usually obvious when it was time to bolt.

He blinked, looked from Tomi to Anees, and then finally at me. His eyes went from glazed to heated. When he spoke, he’d regained control.

“Go to bed, Devi. Everyone get out except Anees.”

I finished cleaning the weapon but didn’t let it go.

Right then, Jon walked in and saw me holding the gun. I swear, every normal sound in the flat—screaming fridge wire, dripping tap, Korl’s alarm clock—stopped. My kind-hearted cousin disintegrated. His hands trembled and tears started in his eyes. Normally, I’d have run to help.

“Jon,” Korl said. “Mate! It’s not what you think. Nobody’s seriously hurt. It was just a scrape.”

A huge sob ripped through my cousin’s body, and he uttered a horrible sound of pain. It transported me from numbness into a different reality.

I hallucinated a soldier; lying in a heap on the ground. Our flat became a large hall, and somehow, I knew the visage was a memory.

“He’s dead!” I threw the gun. It skittered, rolled, and landed in a corner.

Next thing, I was locked in my bedroom with no memory of the journey there. I was resentful and angry, but not scared. Jon would be around in the morning to hug me and listen to my childish rants. He’d sort it out, like always—explain what was going on and make me feel better.

I fell asleep hugging my knees by the door and was woken sometime later by Korl.

“What are you doing down there?” he said. “Get into bed.”

I did as he demanded despite being stiff from cold. It didn’t matter Breen was hot during the day. Once the sun went down, the temperature plummeted. “At last! You can’t ignore me forever.” My voice shook from lack of sleep and delayed shock at the events from earlier.

He switched on the lamp. “You’re so dramatic. Who’s ignoring you?” He felt my ice-cold arm and groaned. “Devi Bee, you’re shivering.”

I didn’t feel well. What had happened in the kitchen didn’t seem real. Nothing made sense. It was as if the whole night had happened years before.

“Did you see the soldier, Korl? What—what happened? Where’s Jon? Is he all right?”

From the way my brother’s shoulders stiffened, it was obvious he’d heard and knew to what I referred. “You’re freezing.”

“What do you expect? You abandoned me like dirt.”

It was easy to be defiant. After all, Jon was in the next room and would stop anything bad from happening to me. In the morning, he’d make us hot chocolate and pancakes and laugh about what had happened; he would.

My thoughts led back to the gun. “Whose blood was it? What’s going on? I’m scared.”

Korl flinched. “No need to be. You could do with an extra layer. It’s sub-zero in here.”

He left and carelessly dragged back a blanket from Jon’s room. It was the blue one with pictures of horses, my cousin’s favourite. I bought it for him last winter when it seemed the snow would never stop falling. We’d talked about where we wanted to ride on horseback. Because we didn’t have much money, every gift was precious. My cousin wouldn’t like Korl taking the blanket or dragging it across the floor.

“Won’t Jon need that? Put it back,” I said.

“He won’t need it. He won’t mind.”

Korl thoughtfully tucked me in and made jokes. He was indifferent to the events of a few hours before and even sang a stupid song about how to bath a cow. It incensed me, but I wasn’t ready to broach the subject of the gun or why my cousin had been so upset when I held it.


NineStar Press | Books2Read

Meet the Author

Eule Grey has settled, for now, in the north UK. She’s worked in education, justice, youth work, and even tried her hand at butter-spreading in a sandwich factory. Sadly, she wasn’t much good at any of them! She writes novels, novellas, poetry, and a messy combination of all three. Nothing about Eule is tidy but she rocks a boogie on a Saturday night! For now, Eule is she/her or they/them. Eule has not yet arrived at a pronoun that feels right.

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Release Blitz + Giveaway: Betrayal by Pelaam and Wolf Island by Jason Wrench


Betrayal by Pelaam

Wolf Island by Jason Wrench

A Wolf in Billionaire's Clothing Collection

Book Description

Betrayal by Pelaam

Zale Zelinski is a billionaire, and pack Alpha Tawera is a runaway fae. Their worlds are about to collide in more ways than one.

Zale Zelinski is a CEO, a playboy, a pack Alpha and a billionaire. When attacks are made on livestock in nearby farms, suspicion falls on the shifter community.

Tawera, one of the patupaiarehe of the nearby forest, is horrified to find his family is planning his marriage—one he doesn’t want. He runs away to hide in the human world.

When the two meet, instinct takes over before both recover their wits. But when they meet again, Tawera recognizes that Zale is the mate he has dreamed of.

However, while there’s danger nearby, Zale keeps Tawera at arm’s length, prepared to let him—as well as others—think he feels nothing.

Time is against them as Zale slowly uncovers a nest of betrayal, treachery and murder. Then his enemies strike at those dearest to him.

Even if Zale can track down those responsible for the attacks and bring them to account, can he keep the love of an increasingly estranged Tawera—or will he lose him forever?

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Wolf Island by Jason Wrench

Being bitten doesn’t change the man who becomes a wolf. Only the love of a strong alpha does that.

Markus Julson IV is a billionaire investment financier who lives in New York with his husband, Danny Fletcher. His family has led the Manhattan pack for more than a century. Once a month, he flies to a secluded island in the ocean to let the wolf living in him run free. But when a stranger crashes onto his island and is bitten by his wolf, Markus’ world changes in an instant.

Dr. Peter Roberts is an assistant professor of marine cell and molecular biology at NYU whose research vessel is forced ashore onto an uncharted island during a storm. To find help, he leaves the protection of the boat and is bitten by a wolf during the storm, which changes him in more ways than one.

Markus must quickly bring Peter into the underbelly of wolf politics, because their chance encounter on the island may be fate or something more sinister. To further complicate things, Markus must manage his life with his husband while dealing with his wolf, who has chosen Peter as his mate.

Polyamorous relationships with paranormal beings are always complicated.

Reader advisory: This book has a scene of double anal penetration, and a murder.

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About the Authors


Living in clean, green New Zealand, Pelaam is a multi-published author of gay romance and erotica. When not working at writing, Pelaam likes to indulge in her other passions of cookery and wine appreciation.

Jason Wrench

Jason Wrench is a professor in the Department of Communication at SUNY New Paltz and has authored/edited 15+ books and over 35 academic research articles. He is also an avid reader and regularly reviews books for publishers in a wide number of genres. This book marks his first full-length work of fiction. Find out more about Jason at his website.


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