Blog Tour + Giveaway: Traitors of the Black Crown (Black Crown #1) by Cate Pearce

Other Worlds Ink and author Cate Pearce host today's tour stop for new queer fantasy series, Traitors of the Black Crown (Black Crown #1)! Discover more and enter in the giveaway!

 
Traitors Of The Black Crown - Cate Pearce

Cate Pearce has a new queer fantasy book out (ace, lesbian, pansexual/bisexual), Black Crown book 1: Traitors of the Black Crown. And there's a giveaway!

Three women will betray the black crown. A Knight. A Duchess. A Queen.

Raena Schinen narrowly escaped when the Queen’s guard murdered her entire family. If Raena’s survival is exposed, she’ll be next. For fifteen years Raena has hidden as a male Knight, “Sir Rowan”, consumed by her vengeful desire to assassinate the Queen.

The moment Raena is close enough to exact her revenge, she is unexpectedly exiled to a foreign land. There she serves the common-born Duchess Aven Colby, whose suspicious kinship with the Queen further threatens Raena’s delicate secrets.

Just as they become united in a common goal to curb a looming invasion, unexpected heat and romance blossoms between “Sir Rowan” and Aven. The peril demands they set out on a journey to form clandestine political alliances, risking the Queen’s wrath, and drawing Raena and Aven closer together.

But no one in the kingdom could have imagined the sinister foe rising from below the surface. In order to save themselves and those they love, Raena, Aven, and the Queen must recognize who are the oppressors and who will unite against the Black Crown.

Publisher | Publisher Hardcover | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads


Giveaway

Cate is giving away a Barnes & Noble gift card with this tour:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b60e8d47202/?


Excerpt

CHAPTER ONE

RAENA’S SPRING

“Knights of Hawk’s Keep. Come with me, you’re next.”

Raena and Finn stood from the wooden bench and left behind their weapons and armor. Clad in fighting pads over their tunics, they followed the man into a sitting room. The humble space held nothing but five chairs and was lit by candle sconces on the stone walls.

“Sit.” The man gestured.

Finn and Raena’s chairs scraped the stone floor as they settled into them.

Raena studied the man as he paused to look through a scroll bearing the Prince’s mark. Like most elder men of Candor, he had chestnut hair to his shoulders and a clean-shaven face. Raena thought his countenance was pleasant, though his skin was marked with deep crimson blemishes as if wine had soaked into it. He wore a decorative silk tunic of emerald and gold, the colors of House Payton; colors of the Queen’s house. It made Raena’s chest clench.

The man spoke with a low timbre. “You two are the only knights from Hawk’s Keep? I thought Lord Sylas was sending three.”

“Aye, we are the only two,” Raena answered. “I am Sir Rowan, son of Brande. This is Sir Finley, son of Wain. Sir Cames was the third, but he fell from a horse yesterday and has broken his arm.” Raena took care to deepen her voice and speak with authority, as she had practiced. There was an art and science to passing as the man she claimed to be, and confidence made all the difference. She disliked the notion that she may appear arrogant upon a first introduction, but better to be represented as an arrogant man than to reveal her secret.

“I see,” the man grumbled, “did he at least come with Lord Sylas, to spectate the events today?”

Raena glanced at Finn, whose eyes narrowed with concern.

“No, sir,” Finn said. “He was told to stay in the tents and rest. He was given several teas of nightflower from the healers.”

“Hmm. Very well, but the Prince will be informed,” the man retorted. “Let's begin. I'm called Sir Han'gahan, I'm a personal guard and knight to Queen Zarana and Prince Zander. I'll be explaining the events of the Knight's Trials to you, and I'll also be getting your history so we may tell it to the crowd."

"Our history?" Finn asked, scratching at the russet stubble that coated his cheeks.

"Aye," Han'gahan nodded, "there will be the greatest crowd you've ever seen, probably the greatest crowd ever assembled in all six kingdoms. The Prince wants every knight to have a story to excite the spectators. You should tell me all your achievements so I may share the details the Prince prefers. He is rather particular, as this is the first Knight’s Trial he’s ever conducted.”

Raena resisted the urge to look again at her friend Finn at the mention of sharing “everything”. She felt a ball of worry growing inside her gut, clenching her insides.

“Alright, both of you are a bit young,” Han’gahan said. “How long have you been knights for Sylas?”

“Two years,” Finn replied. “We are the same age, twenty-three.”

Han’gahan shrugged. “As I thought, you are barely men. Well, it might be a short tale of your conquests, as we haven’t seen war in Candor since you were likely born. But we’ll do our best. Let’s start with you, Finley, since you are apt to sharing. Was your father a hero of the Equinox battles?”

Finn rubbed his hairy face again, an anxious tic. “Not particularly, no. He was a guard for Hawk’s Keep, so he stayed and defended it from any chance of invasion by Ediva. He would have fought for Candor, if he’d been needed in the legions.”

“Hmm,” Han’gahan grunted. “Well, Ediva didn’t make it that far into Candor’s borders since the soldiers held them off at the Calam mountains, didn’t they? That’s all right though, lad. Anything else your father did, of note?”

Finn shook his head.

“Very well,” Han’gahan said. “How about your own notable achievements, what have you done as a knight? Have you killed any bandits or…whatever you do, in Hawk’s Keep?”

“We have seen bandits and the forest-raiders; the Ruvians,” Finn bit his lip. “I haven’t killed any, no. They are usually scared away, back into the pines. We do train for war, spar, and fight one another. We learn about the kingdoms and the famous battles of the Equinox.”

“As all knights do,” Han’gahan muttered. “Maybe you hunt, then? Have you killed anything at all?”

Finn shrugged. “I’ve killed boars.”

Raena grew restless with Finn’s simple humility. “We have a demonstration, sir. Every year Lord Sylas hosts a festival and we display our skill for combat. It’s swordsmanship, poleaxe defense, and archery. Finn, er, Sir Finley, has taken second prize. Many knights compete from a variety of Candor’s noble families.”

“There you go, lad,” Han’gahan clapped. “We can use that. Let’s talk about you then, Rowan. You’re a Boen-looking thing, aren’t you? Pardon me for saying it, but I haven’t seen golden hair and hairless pink flesh like yours in twenty years or more. You must have some Boen ancestors, long ago?”

Raena straightened up and raised her chin. She had never been in a position to tell her false origin story alone. Lord Sylas had always introduced her as Rowan to visitors, and answered if they had questions about her heritage. Telling it now to one of the Queen’s knights, no less. “Perhaps. I’m a bastard, so there’s no telling.”

Han’gahan smiled. “Aye, nothing wrong with being a bastard. Your mother must’ve been Boenish. I’ve met your father, Brande, and he is as dark as any Calamytan. What a dog then, to go after another woman’s bed. I know he fought in the Equinox, so we will mention that when we speak of you. How about you? I don’t suppose you’ve killed bandits, or anything bigger than boars?”

Raena shook her head, “I haven’t. I trained as a squire under Lord Sylas and was knighted by him, the same as Finn.” Those were easy words to say, as all of them were true, at least.

Han’gahan waved his hand. “No matter. Perhaps you boys can prove yourselves in the Knight’s Trial today and have something to start telling tales about.”

“Rowan is being humble, sir,” Finn said. “He shared that I was second in the knight’s demonstrations, but he neglected to mention that he was first.”


Author Bio

Cate Pearce was homeschooled on a Christmas tree farm in rural Western Washington. At age eight she was fed-up with a plotline on Star Trek TNG so she wrote her own episodes on a Commodore 64. She has been a writer ever since, but only recently decided to share that information with you and the world.

Cate has two children which she delivered at-home with the assistance of saintly midwives. Cate is unapologetic in her fervor for feminism, queerness, and Christian faith. Aside from writing, her "day job" is to prepare organizations for response and recovery from catastrophic disasters. She lives in the Pacific Northwest.

Author Website: https://www.catepearce.com/

Author Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/catepearceauthor

Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/cate_pearce

Author Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cate_pearce/

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/20768928.Cate_Pearce

Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Cate-Pearce/e/B094P5G4BD/

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Release Blitz: Relevant Law (The Fearless Heart #2) by Janice Jarrell


Author Janice Jarrell and Gay Book Promotions returns with new release information for Relevant Law (The Fearless Heart #2)! See the latest from the contemporary romance series!

 

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title:  Relevant Law (The Fearless Heart, #2)

Author: Janice Jarrell

Publisher:  Self-Published

Cover Artist: Janice Jarrell and Robin E. Vuchnich

Release Date: September 25, 2021

Genre:  Contemporary M/M Romance

Tropes: Hurt/Comfort

Themes: Suspense, Angst, Abduction and Rescue

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length:  91 638 words/ around 215 pages

It is part of a series but can be read as a standalone.

Goodreads 

Buy Links - Available in Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK

Sometimes love is defined by fear.

Blurb

They’d been through it all and emerged victorious. Now they stood on the very brink of a whole new life bursting with possibilities and renewed hope for the future. Colin will take the bar exam and begin his promising career as an Assistant Commonwealth Attorney for the city of Charlottesville. Joshua receives his second Ph.D. and adds Forensic Psychologist to his list of achievements. What could possibly go wrong?

And then: 

Three students are abducted from the University of Virginia campus. All three are recovered alive but have been sexually assaulted and brutally beaten. From his new position as Assistant Commonwealth Attorney, Colin partners with both campus and city police in a combined task force determined to solve these horrific crimes and put the perpetrator behind bars. But can they succeed before the ‘campus abductor’ strikes again?

The abusive and volatile husband of one of Joshua’s patients threatens his life. Suddenly Joshua is under siege as he is stalked both at work and at home by an unstable assailant.

Entangled in both these life-threatening situations, Colin struggles to protect both the university he loves and the man he adores. But...

“Oh god, Josh, my sweet love, if anything’s happened to you...” his voice trailed off, unable to voice the unthinkable.

 “NO! Joshua’s mind shrieked. I can’t give up! I won’t give up! Colin will come! He’ll come!”

Warning: This novel discusses sensitive material which may be distressing to some readers. Relevant Law explores themes of abduction, physical violence, and non-graphic sexual assault. 

Excerpt 

Colin surged to his feet and strode toward the front desk just as Ray, the desk sergeant entered. He grabbed Colin’s arm and drew him toward the door. “A friend of yours found Joshua’s car by the Culbreth.” He shoved Colin toward the door where several uniformed officers waited. “Go with the guys!”

Without uttering a sound he moved through the station house door and into the darkness beyond. He felt the cool night air touch his face and as he lurched to a halt his heart jackhammered against his chest. “Oh, sweet Jesus, no!” he whispered, feeling his insides twist with horror. “NO!” As he reached the squad car, he felt a strong hand grab his arm and guide him into the vehicle.

“Just take it easy, Colin. We’ll find him.”

When the squad car approached the street where the Culbreth Theater was located they were nearly blinded by the spinning flash of police and ambulance lights. The area was already surrounded by law enforcement and Colin spotted both campus and city police cars parked at random angles, blocking off the street forcing them to stop where they were.

He bolted from the car and ran to where several police officers were gathered. Some were bending to examine the ground, and the beam from various flashlights darted here and there as others examined every inch of ground, sidewalk, bushes, and street.

“Colin!” a voice called, and he spun to see Lenny striding toward him. “Ray called me,” Lenny said, grabbing Colin in a tight embrace. “We’ll find him, Colin. I promise you. We’ll find him.”

He saw flashing police lights in the parking lot across the street and sprinted across the busy avenue to join them. He spotted Joshua’s car at once, surrounded by several uniformed police and moved toward it. As he approached, one of the officers grabbed his arm. “Colin, don’t touch it! We want to check it for prints or other evidence.”

Colin nodded but gave no response. He turned away and blindly stumbled back across the street to the theater. For a moment he stood, surrounded by the flashing lights, hearing the murmur of somber voices, feeling himself teetering on the edge of collapse. “Josh,” he moaned. “Oh god, this can’t be happening.”

He felt Lenny take his arm and lead him to one side. “Take it easy, buddy. Just let the guys work. They’ll figure it out. We’ll find him, Colin. We’re searching his car now, looking for anything that might help us. We can’t find his cellphone anywhere.”

Colin lowered his head and nodded without fully understanding, then spun as the sound of heartbroken sobbing reached his ears. He saw David kneeling on the ground, embracing someone who was bent over, clutching a cloth garment, rocking back and forth as if in pain. He moved to where David knelt and fell to the ground beside him. The voice was Nate’s.

“I heard him!” Nate choked out, shaking with sobs. “I heard him cry out, but I ignored it. Thought I was imagining things! It’s my fault! He brought me my jacket and it’s my fault! Oh god, oh god, oh god! Josh!” He lifted his head and his tear-streaked face twisted in pain when he saw Colin kneeling beside him. “Oh god, Colin, forgive me!”

About the Author 

 My name is Janice Jarrell. I am a retired grandmother who lives in Seattle, WA.  I have two children and three grandsons. I’ve been writing gay romance since I was twelve years old, only back then it wasn’t called ‘gay romance’. In fact, it had no name at all. It was the fifty’s, and it was worth your life to admit to being gay, let alone confess to being a girl who constantly fantasized about relationships between gay men. Hell, I didn’t even know what a homosexual was. I lived on a farm out in the sticks in a tiny Michigan village and I’d never, to my knowledge, even heard the word. I just knew I loved the thought of boy-on-boy romance. I just knew that there was something hot going on between Tom Corbett and his Space Cadets and all those guys on ‘Combat’.

I wrote slash fanfiction for 30 years, writing over 337 stories, some as short as 100 words (a drabble), some as long as a series which was over 119,012 words. I enjoy writing my stories. I enjoyed the feedback I received from my readers. It was a creative release I’d been searching for my entire life and I blessed the Internet for leading me to this artistic oasis for my spirit.

Love’s Magic was my very first step into writing my own characters. I will always be grateful to the slash fanfiction community for nurturing the budding author until she was ready to blossom into a fully realized novelist. It’s been an amazing thing to watch the gay community’s growth over these past twenty years. My own journey has echoed theirs in many ways, and I’m grateful to all those gay activists who fought to give the gay community the rights and privileges they always deserved. Love’s Trials, Love’s Glory, and Love’s Lawyer were the second and third, and forth books in the series and all four books are available in audio format on Audible.

I’m also grateful to the gay romance community, readers, authors, publishers and promoters, who are making these, my retirement years, the most creative ones of my life. When I'm not writing, I'm traveling, walking, hiking, knitting, crocheting, and weaving.

I'm very excited about the upcoming release of my fifth contemporary gay romance novel, Relevant Law. Those of you who fell in love with Joshua and Colin in the four previous books in this series are in for a bit of angst in this latest episode. A dark and sinister cloud hangs over the University of Virginia after three students are abducted, raped and beaten. Colin works with both campus and city police to catch the perpetrator, but his hard work and effort proves futile when Joshua turns up missing!

Despite their struggles there are still many passionate, loving moments and the friends they treasure will be there to help them find their way.

Social Media Links

Audible Profile  |  YouTube

Blog/Website  |  Instagram  |   Facebook  |  Amazon Author Page  

Goodreads  |   Twitter   |  Pinterest

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

Release Blitz + Giveaway: Tangled Warriors (Weavers Circle #4) by Jocelynn Drake & Rinda Elliott


Author duo Jocelynn Drake & Rinda Elliott, along with IndiGo Marketing, celebrate the latest release from popular fantasy series, Tangled Warriors (Weavers Circle #4)! Read more and enter in the giveaway!

Title: Tangled Warriors

Series: Weavers Circle #4

Author: Jocelynn Drake & Rinda Elliott

Publisher: Drake & Elliott Publishing LLC

Release Date: September 24, 2021

Heat Level: 4 - Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 85k

Genre: Romance, Fantasy, Thriller/Suspense,

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Synopsis

Lucien Cummings

The pestilents are trying to kill him.

He’s pretty sure the Water Weaver wants to kill him as well.

But after two months of fighting an attraction for a man who couldn’t possibly be his mate, Lucien cracks when he’s pulled into an impulsive threesome with Calder and a sexy man they picked up in a bar.

That night was earth shattering.

And now he needs to figure out how to keep both men safe and his.

Calder Saito

Calder doesn’t want to fight his attraction for the Fire Weaver any longer, but they can’t really be soul mates, right?

And what about Gio? The sexy man gives him such a feeling of completeness and peace.

Could one man really have two soul mates?

Gio Russo

Can’t he just have them both?

Tangled Warriors is the fourth book in the Weavers Circle series. This MMM paranormal romance includes fast-paced action, running through Savannah, secrets, shapeshifting, kidnapping, deadly Girl Scouts, sexy times, insecurity, three crazy old ladies, soul mates, and magic!

Excerpt

“Shots!” Gio suddenly proclaimed. “I think we could all use a round of shots. What do you say?” He looked up at Lucien and smiled. “Join me in a round of shots. Break the ice.”

“Nothing feels icy to me,” Lucien murmured, while the fingers on Calder’s waist tightened.

He suddenly felt bad. He was intruding like an annoying little brother. Yes, his intention had been to stop Lucien from hitting on this guy, but now that he was standing there, he felt how wrong it was. What Lucien did and who he slept with was none of his business. He was supposed to be working on getting rid of the bad blood between him and Lucien, not making matters worse.

“None for me,” Calder said softly. “I’ll grab the drinks and get out of your way.”

Gio surprised him by cupping the side of his face with a warm calloused hand. “Oh no, sweetness. We don’t want you going anywhere. You’ve got to stay.” Gio looked over Calder’s shoulder at Lucien. “We want him to stay, right?”

Calder tensed, waiting for the rejection, but Lucien shocked him even more by pulling him in tighter so that he could feel Lucien’s groin against the small of his back. Those long fingers slipped down from his waist to caress his hip bone, sending the most delicious tingles all over his body. “Stay. Have a shot with us,” Lucian pressed. His voice was warm and so very tempting. Calder couldn’t remember ever hearing Lucien talk to him like that. He wanted to live in that voice. Just curl up in it like a warm, handmade quilt.

Releasing him, Gio turned to the bartender as she delivered Lucien’s and Calder’s mix of drinks and ordered a round of shots. Calder didn’t hear what he’d ordered exactly because Gio had also slotted himself better against Calder, causing his brain to short out. He was now in the one place he’d never thought he’d be—a Gio-Lucien sammich. Even with all their clothes on, it was now his favorite kind of sandwich. He would happily eat it every day for the rest of his life.

Calder was too tongue-tied to manage words. He nodded. At least he thought he nodded. He must have done something, because Gio’s smile grew wider. A second hand landed on his hip right where Lucien’s

The shots arrived, and Gio slid one over to Lucien before physically placing one in Calder’s hand as if he knew that his brain wasn’t in control of his body any longer. He watched as Gio clicked his shot glass on Lucien’s and then Calder’s. Tipping his head back, he sent the amber liquid down his long, sexy throat. Calder did the same without a thought. The burn was enough to wake him out of his stupor.

Sucking in a harsh breath, he coughed several times while slamming his shot glass on the bar. Gio grabbed his hand again and shoved a drink into it. Without thinking, Calder sipped it, relieved that it was his gin and tonic. The addition of more alcohol to his system probably wasn’t the smartest, but at least it had gotten rid of his coughing.

When he could breathe, he took a deep drink and set the glass on the bar to find Gio smiling at him while Lucien’s hand continued to dig possessively into his hip.

You okay?” Lucien inquired. For once, the question didn’t sound spiteful or mean. There was genuine concern in his tone.

Calder managed a small nod and Gio laughed.

Of course he’s okay. What are you drinking, sweetness?” Before Calder could answer, Gio leaned in and licked his bottom lip, sucking it into his mouth for a second, then releasing it with a wet pop. “Mmm…gin and tonic. Not bad.”

Calder barely heard the words. It was just a rush of blood past his ears as it raced to his steadily hardening dick.

As Gio moved away, he reached past Calder and pulled Lucien close. “And what are you drinking?” Calder watched as Gio licked his way into Lucien’s slack, welcoming mouth. He didn’t know what turned him on more—actually kissing Gio or watching Gio kiss Lucien. It defied all logic, but it was clear that his libido had zero interest in logic. He only wanted to know all the wonderful things Gio could do with his mouth.

Gio released Lucien and licked his own lips slowly. His dark eyes had turned black as his pupils dilated with desire. “I can tell this is going to be a fun night already. I suggest we head to my place so we can get more comfortable and less likely to be arrested.”

We? Calder croaked out.

Purchase at Amazon

Meet the Author

 

Jocelynn Drake and Rinda Elliott have teamed up to combine their evil genius to create intense gay romantic suspense stories that have car chases, shoot outs, explosions, scorching hot love scenes, and tender, tear-jerking moments. Their first joint books are in the Unbreakable Bonds series.

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Review: Seducing the Sorcerer by Lee Welch

Homeless and jobless, Fenn Todd has nearly run out of hope. All he has left is his longing for horses and the strength of his own two hands. But when he’s cheated into accepting a very ugly sackcloth horse, he’s catapulted into a world of magic, politics and desire.

Fenn’s invited to stay at the black tower, home of the most terrifying man in the realm: Morgrim, the court sorcerer. Morgrim has a reputation as a scheming villain, but he seems surprisingly charming—and sexy—and Fenn falls hard for him.

However, nothing is as it seems and everyone at the tower is lying about something. Beset by evil hexes, violent political intrigue and a horse that eats eiderdowns, Fenn must make the hardest choices of his life.

Can a plain man like Fenn ever find true love with a scheming sorcerer?





I think I’m safe to say that I’m not the only one who has been waiting impatiently for Welch’s next creation and overall, I wasn’t disappointed.

What the blurb doesn’t tell you is that this is really rich in world building. As with Salt Magic, Skin Magic, the atmosphere is weighted and full of portent. This realm is steeped in magic (though it’s sadly dwindling), with a history of war, current political machinations, and a drought that is affecting everyone.

Our hero Fenn has not had it easy, and his story is quite heartbreaking. He doesn’t want a handout or anyone’s pity but life has been quite unfair. It has shaped who he has become and of course, every decision and reaction that befalls him for better or for worse is influenced by his past. When Fenn unexpectedly is confronted with the kingdom’s most intimidating, scariest court sorcerer, he doesn’t know whether to run for the hills screaming or at least partake in the small comforts offered before being blasted into oblivion.

Admittedly, this starts off at an extremely unhurried pace, making me wonder often if there would be any more to this tale than the daily goings on of Fenn and Morgrim eyeballing each other and not having conversations. However, at the halfway point (be patient dear reader) things literally take off and revelations abound and lives are endangered and a kingdom hangs on the precipice of annihilation. Well…. mild dramatics aside, the potential for dire consequences is a real threat, and Fenn must believe in himself and in Morgrim, should they ever have the chance of making things right with their country and with each other.

So again, beware of very leisurely beginnings. This also had a lot of self-flagellation from both Fenn and Morgrim, a lot of hurt comfort all intermixed with a bit of D/s kink that may or may not be your thing (it sorta kinda wasn’t for me). On the other hand, be prepared to be charmed by a gruff gentle giant with a tender heart who only wants to believe in hope again, a misunderstood sorcerer with always good intentions, and magically created stubborn silly horses who can fly. Don’t forget lots of subterfuge, spies and bad guys, kidnapping and double crosses, all interspersed with a slow brewing romance with a deeply satisfying conclusion.

Despite having enjoyed Salt Magic, Skin Magic and Mended with Gold just a tad more, there’s no doubt Welch can write. She definitely can create. I would not say no should she deign our presence with more of her imagination and skill. Hopefully, we won’t have to wait long, but I’m okay with being patient no matter what.



Audiobook Tour: Leap of Faith by C F White


Author C.F. White and Gay Book Promotions host today's audiobook tour stop for Leap of Faith! Read more about the Piers Ryman narrated enemies to lovers romance today!

AUDIOBOOK TOUR

Book Title: Leap of Faith 

Author: C F White

Publisher: C F White

Narrator: Piers Ryman

Release Date: August 14, 2021

Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance

Tropes: Age-gap, enemies to lovers, slow burn 

Themes: Found family 

Heat Rating: 4 flames   

Length:  9 hours and 13 minutes

It is a standalone story, although the story continues as a web serial on my website with the first chapter available to download for free in audio after signing up to my newsletter.

The book does not end on a cliffhanger, although there is a possibility of continuation as mentioned above. 

Goodreads

Buy Links

Audible US  |   Audible UK   

Amazon US  |   Amazon UK

Sometimes all you need is a little push 

Blurb 

Running from his shattered gymnastics career, Charlie Avrill’s one hope for redemption is the strange and colourful world of the circus. His skills should make him a good fit for seasoned performer, Darius Lungo. But Darius won’t compromise his high stakes act for just anyone.

Still mourning the loss of his performance partner who unexpectedly abandoned the show, Darius’s heart can’t take another temporary filler. No matter how perfect Charlie might seem at first glance. But the circus is dying, and Darius owes his bosses a stellar act to sell.

Putting their differences aside to recreate the star attraction, Darius and Charlie grow closer with each rehearsal. But Charlie’s only in the ring for a one-night-only performance and the circus is due at its next stop—off the island and into Europe.

Can Charlie push aside his fears and take the leap of faith to change his entire life? And, if he does, will Darius still be there to catch him?

Leap of Faith is a standalone age-gap, enemies to lovers, mm romance where the twists and turns don’t only happen in the ring.

About the Author

Brought up in a relatively small town in Hertfordshire, C F White managed to do what most other residents try to do and fail—leave.

Studying at a West London university, she realised there was a whole city out there waiting to be discovered, so, much like Dick Whittington before her, she never made it back home and still endlessly search for the streets paved with gold, slowly coming to the realisation they’re mostly paved with chewing gum. And the odd bit of graffiti. And those little circles of yellow spray paint where the council point out the pot holes to someone who is supposedly meant to fix them instead of staring at them vacantly whilst holding a polystyrene cup of watered-down coffee.

Eventually she moved West to East along that vast District Line and settled for pie and mash, cockles and winkles and a bit of Knees Up Mother Brown to live in the East End of London; securing a job and creating a life, a home and a family.

After her second son was born with a rare disability, C F White’s life changed and it brought pen back to and paper after having written stories as a child but never had the confidence to show them to the world. Now, having embarked on this writing journey, C F White can’t stop. 

So strap in, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.  

Author Links

Twitter @CFWhiteUK  |  Facebook  |  Blog

Instagram  |  Newsletter Sign-up

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

Release Blitz + Giveaway: In Deep (Hooked on You #1) by Bailey Bradford

Author Bailey Bradford and Pride Publishing host today's blitz for paranormal romance, In Deep (Hooked on You #1)! Check out today's book info and don't miss the giveaway!

In Deep by Bailey Bradford

Book 1 in the Hooked on You series

Word Count: 57,279
Book Length: NOVEL
Pages: 257

Genres:

CONTEMPORARY
EROTIC ROMANCE
GAY
GLBTQI
PARANORMAL

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Book Description

Titus wanted a summer fling—then he wanted more…

Titus Eisenhower loves his job as an elementary school teacher in a small Texas town. Sure, he has to be careful, but not being out is fine with him since he’s not interested in dating another man after his last relationship went so badly. But now he’s got the career he’s always wanted, a safe place to be and friends. Isn’t that everything he’s dreamed of?

But when he meets a man he can’t resist, Titus realizes he’s stifled a part of himself…and a part of his dream. He can’t trust another man ever again, but he can manage a little summer fling, right? Wrong—everything about the mysterious Draven calls to him, and the two share a connection Titus has never dreamed of.

That’s already mind-blowing, but learning the truth about Draven is world-shattering. With evil threatening, and old enemies closing in, Titus will have to believe in things he didn’t know were possible if he and Draven are to stand a chance…

Reader advisory: This book contains scenes of fighting, reference to murder and abusive relationships and arson.

Publisher's Note: This book was previously published as Across the Tides. It has been revised and reedited for publication with Pride Publishing.

Excerpt

“Come on, kids, let’s see if we can find any shells!” Titus Eisenhower nodded to the parent volunteers forming a human wall between the Pre-K children and the ocean, keeping the kids from getting in past their ankles. The annual field trip to the beach was one of the highlights of the school year for the kids and teachers alike.

Seeing the children’s faces lit up with joy, hearing their shrieks of—mostly—laughter, watching them run and splash in the bit of water they could reach…it made his heart swell every single time he got to take part in this trip, and this was his fifth with one of his classes.

The other teachers were at his sides, vigilant, but when it came to children and water, all parents, all adults, needed to be watching the whole group.

This year’s parents were great. He’d only had one pissed-off dad who had refused to let his child go since he couldn’t just hang out with his kid. Other than that, there’d been plenty of parent volunteers, and, wonder of wonders, they got on well, too. Last year, two of the dads had gotten into a fist fight over some perceived insult. That had been a disaster.

“God, I bet we don’t ever get such a great group of parents again,” said Stacy Evans, his best friend and colleague. She’d been hired the same year he had, and they’d become fast friends. Stacy’s bright-orange hair was all over the place as the beach breeze whipped it about. She shoved uselessly at several flapping strands. “Why, oh why don’t hair ties work for me?”

“Honey, that hair can’t be tamed any more than you can,” quipped Michelle Ochoa. She was older than Titus and Stacy, but not by too many years. “You’re as wild and powerful as the wind.”

Michelle was also Stacy’s girlfriend, though no one but Titus knew that.

Stacy laughed. “Whatever. When I’m blinded by my own hair, then what’ll I do?”

“Mr. Eisenhowew, I finded a shell!” Little Bobby Garza hopped in place as he waved a sandy glob in the air. “Wook!”

Titus grinned and jogged over to Bobby before squatting so he could be eye to eye with the boy. “Hey, you did! That’s awesome! Want to dip it in the next wave and see if we can get the sand off?”

“Yes!” Bobby’s delighted shriek made Titus’ ears ache, but the rest of him filled with sheer wonder and delight. He loved his job, and he loved the kids, loved seeing them grow and learn. It made him less cynical every time he saw the world shine in a child’s eyes.

“Then let’s do it.”

Titus got the other kids to show their treasures. A couple were upset that they didn’t find good shells, but, overall, everything was going surprisingly well.

After they’d got the kids lined up—and allowed the parent volunteers to take their kids home in their own vehicles, rather than making them ride the buses—Titus took a moment to look back at the ocean. The waves were slight, which was normal for this area of the coast. It was only one-thirty in the afternoon, so the sun was high and bright, the reflection on the water exquisite in its beauty.

“Just think…next weekend, we’re going to be here in our own beachfront condo, partying—or relaxing, more likely—for a whole seven days,” Stacy said, her soft voice breaking into Titus’ quiet appreciation of the view.

Not that he minded. He grinned at Stacy. “You and me and some margaritas,” he promised.

Stacy nodded. “Darn right. I’m so looking forward to it.”

“Me, too.” Titus and Stacy had started their beach tradition their first year at the school. Michelle and Stacy hadn’t been dating then. They’d fallen for each other a little over two years ago, but Michelle didn’t come to the beach vacations. She had prior commitments with her family in Michigan that took her away.

Titus privately thought Michelle didn’t want to intrude, and he had mixed feelings about that. He didn’t want to be a third wheel, but he hated to think Stacy might regret Michelle not being there.

“Stop brooding,” Stacy said, poking his arm. “You’re going to get wrinkles all over your forehead and around your eyes before you hit thirty if you keep doing that.”

“I wasn’t brooding,” Titus protested, immediately trying to smooth out his features.

“Yeah? Then what were you frowning at?” Stacy asked.

“Y’all need to hurry up—we have to get on the road,” Michelle called out to them.

“Oops, we’re holding everyone up.” Titus grinned, relieved at being saved from having to answer Stacy’s question.

“I’ll keep bugging you until you answer me,” Stacy promised as they rushed to the buses.

Titus could have protested, but he knew better. Besides, all he had to do was tell Stacy the truth—he didn’t want her to feel like Michelle wasn’t welcome.

But he’d keep the other truth to himself—that he was lonely, and when he’d looked out over the water, that sense of loneliness had permeated his happiness, and now, melancholy lingered in the place where joy had been. Yes, I’ll definitely keep that secret.

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About the Author

 Bailey Bradford

A native Texan, Bailey spends her days spinning stories around in her head, which has contributed to more than one incident of tripping over her own feet. Evenings are reserved for pounding away at the keyboard, as are early morning hours. Sleep? Doesn't happen much. Writing is too much fun, and there are too many characters bouncing about, tapping on Bailey's brain demanding to be let out.

Caffeine and chocolate are permanent fixtures in Bailey's office and are never far from hand at any given time. Removing either of those necessities from Bailey's presence can result in what is known as A Very, Very Scary Bailey and is not advised under any circumstances.

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Release Blitz + Giveaway: Shaken Worlds by Gemma Johns


Author Gemma Johns and IndiGo Marketing host release blitz for contemporary romance, Shaken Worlds! Read more and check out the attached giveaway from NineStar Press!

Title: Shaken Worlds

Author: Gemma Johns

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: 09/08/2021

Heat Level: 2 - Fade to Black Sex

Pairing: Female/Female

Length: 80900

Genre: Contemporary, LGBTQIA+, lesbian, contemporary, family-drama, established couple, foster care

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Description

Melissa’s world was shaken when her three children were taken by Child Services. A few suburbs away, a couple were excitedly preparing to become foster parents. Zara and Renee have been busily preparing their home and their lives to become mothers. Despite their preparation, their world is shaken by the arrival of their children. Their first placement, three siblings needing a loving home turn the couple into an instant family. But while the couple are rejoicing their new roles, Melissa is spiralling into depression she fears she’ll never get out of.

As Zara learns more about the children’s background, she is touched by Melissa’s story. In contrast, Renee has grown to become a fiercely protective stay-at-home-mother determined to do everything for the children, with no regard to their birth mother. As Zara’s motivations for foster care shift, the couple find themselves battling with questions such as “Why are we doing this?”, “What is the right thing to do?” and whether their relationship is as secure as they first expected. Could the very thing they thought might bring them even closer together actually tear them apart?

Narrated by three voices—the birth mother, Melissa, and the two foster carers, Renee and Zara, Shaken Worlds is a novel about what it means to be a mother and the way three women view their role for the same three children.

Excerpt

Shaken Worlds
Gemma Johns © 2021
All Rights Reserved

Melissa

I was hit with the memory as soon as I woke up. I instantly felt sick. I needed to talk to someone, but I didn’t know who would listen and not judge. Anyone who heard my story would surely feel better than me. I was sick of people judging me – I’d just had months of it. Months of interviews, phone calls, people watching me. I was exhausted, to the bone. I listened out for my son’s wail, but it didn’t come. Perhaps I’d never hear it again. And with that realisation, the tears welled up in my eyes and soon fat teardrops were falling down my face.

“You’re a mess, Melissa,” I told myself. “It’s no wonder, no wonder at all, that they don’t think you’re a fit mother.” But then I thought about it more. “Surely, an unfit mother wouldn’t be this upset? I have a natural motherly instinct. Hell, I’m waiting for my son to cry! Unfit mothers just don’t care, do they?”

And then it hit me – today I’m listening out for my son to cry, but three months earlier, I wasn’t. Maybe I was just that kind of unfit mother. I walked to the kitchen, pissed off. Angry at the system, angry at the people, angry at the courts, but most of all, angry at myself.

Zara

The alarm clock startled me from my dreams. I couldn’t even remember what I was dreaming about, but I knew I’d rather be asleep than awake. Renee stirred beside me, and sighed, but we didn’t talk. Instead, on autopilot, I padded to the shower, thinking about my day ahead. I turned the water on to hot, middle of winter, and waited for it to heat up while I stripped. I looked at myself in the mirror, mostly happy with what I saw. A little pudgy in the middle, but you get that at 35. Or at least the girls in my family get it around their mid-thirties. I showered and then came out of the bathroom. By now Renee looked more awake. “Hey,” she said.

“Hey,” I pulled a pair of charcoal trousers out of my wardrobe. Grabbing a white bra and white satin blouse, I got ready for work. “What’s your day like, today?” I asked Renee, as I brushed my long, dark hair.

“Not too bad. I have a few meetings.” Renee works as an Executive Assistant to some big-wig in an accounting firm. She’s a very efficient worker. I, on the other hand, am a more ambitious, but less organised, academic.

“My day isn’t so bad either,” I was half concentrating on doing my makeup as I spoke. “I’ve got to finish writing a paper, but other than that, not too much. Maybe tonight we could go out for dinner?”

“Yeah,” Renee said, lightly slapping my bum as she walked past me on her way to the bathroom. “Good idea.” Neither of us had much motivation to cook by the end of the week, so I’d known she’d agree. I put some shoes on – my comfortable flats, being a Friday, after all—and walked out to the kitchen. Although I was hoping to get ready for work pretty quickly, I decided to brew the nice coffee pot, rather than the horrible instant stuff. And just as I got my coffee cup ready, the phone rang, interrupting my thoughts.

“Hello?” I popped my toast in the toaster.

“Hello, I’m looking for Zara or Renee.”.

“That’s me.” I then realised she wouldn’t be able to decipher which of us I was, added, “I’m Zara.”

“Hi, Zara. I’m Angela from Sydney Child Services.”

“Oh, right?” I was intrigued. Renee and I had trained to become foster carers over the past few months and finally had everything approved last week. I knew we had one form still outstanding, so I figured Angela was ringing about that. Unless…oh, I didn’t dare wonder; instead, I held my breath.

“Last night, we had three children come into care.” The toast sprung up from the toaster and I felt faint. Three children? Why was she telling me this? I wondered, not daring to dream.

“We haven’t got a placement for them, yet, they came in so late, and as you were recently approved as foster carers, we wondered whether you would be interested in the placement.”

“Three children?” I repeated. “Wow,” I laughed nervously. I heard Renee finish up in the bathroom, so I raced to the bedroom and gestured silently, trying to get her attention. I repeated myself, “three children,” emphasising three. Renee’s eyes widened.

“What?” she whispered, alarmed, and I flagged my hands to shush her, so I could hear Angela continue.

“Yes,” Angela replied. “They’re in your age group. Normally we wouldn’t have a first placement of three children, but they’re in your age group, and we do like to keep siblings together. Plus, we do have such a shortage of carers.”

“Of course.” I nodded, even though Angela couldn’t see that. I knew all that, they’d emphasised all this in our training sessions. Still, I wondered if we could handle three children. “Could you tell me more?” I asked, stalling for time.

“I haven’t met them myself, but I hear they’re quiet children. Then again, given the circumstances, it’s hard to know what to expect. A baby boy, he’s eight months old.” We’d always imagined a baby boy! “Twin girls, they’re three.”

“When would they need placement?” I asked, even though I already knew the answer.

“Immediately,” came the reply.

Although it wasn’t a shock, it hit me. We could be a family of five today! “I’ll discuss it with Renee and get back to you,” I said.

“Sure, Zara. As you can imagine, this is a matter of urgency. I mean…”

“Yeah, I’ll get straight back to you, in about twenty minutes.” I said, feeling the pressure.

Renee sat down and gave me a funny smile. “Give it to me,” she said, half-laughing.

“Three kids. Eight months and three.”

“That’s only two.”

I shook my head. “There’s TWO three-year-olds.”

“TWO three-year-olds? Wow, that’s hard to deal with!” We laughed.

“Boys or girls?” she asked.

“Baby boy and twin girls.”

“Identical?”

I shrugged. “Honestly we didn’t go into that much detail. They only went into care overnight. Quiet kids, apparently.”

“Yeah, but imagine being taken from your family. Of course, you’d be quiet. Three kids?” She shook her head in disbelief.

“Too much?” I asked her, a little disappointed. “Maybe we should say no. There will be more offers, more kids.” I was worried that if we said no, we would go to the bottom of the list, but I didn’t say that.

“Looks, it’s possible. We always wanted three kids. Not all at once, but one day,” she said, clearly thinking it over. She looked a bit like a deer caught in the headlights.

“This woman, Angela. She needs an answer ASAP.”

“ASAP,” Renee repeated. She shook her head. “It’s just such a leap.”

“Yeah, but it’s a leap we are ready for.”

“So you think we should do it?” she asked me.

“I don’t know. I mean, maybe it’s short term, maybe it’s long term. I didn’t even ask. But these kids are probably sitting in some office right now, scared. They need a loving home, and this is why we did this.”

“Yeah, but I haven’t even finished work yet!”

“That’s okay, Renee. I reckon I could work from home, classes are over for now. How long do you need?” Deep down, I was a little worried about staying at home with children, but I had the flexibility in my career that Renee didn’t have, and it would only be until Renee’s boss would be able to replace her.

“A month. Anthony could replace me in a month,” Renee said decisively, “but are you sure you can do this?” I nodded with certainty I didn’t entirely feel.

“So we’re doing this? I’ll stay home with the kids, then you take over. Yeah? We’re really doing this?” I was beside myself with excitement and nerves and couldn’t believe this was really happening.

“Yeah. Ring the lady back. Maybe I’ll see if Anthony can do without me today. Shit, Zara. Which room will we put the baby in?” Renee looked anxious.

“The one with the cot,” I said, laughing. I couldn’t believe she was even asking that question right now, but I kept laughing. “Who cares? Let’s just ring Angela back.”

Purchase at NineStar Press

Meet the Author

Gemma Johns has always loved writing and wanted to write a novel since she first discovered how much she loved reading them. Her older sister told her she needed to ‘live a little’ before she wrote a novel. Years later, Gemma has now lived a lot, so finally decided to put pen to paper. Writing fiction is a part time gig for her, and she has a full time job in academia. Gemma lives in Australia with her wife and their five children.

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Release Blitz + Giveaway: Summer Storms by Thomas Grant Bruso


 

Author Thomas Grant Bruso and IndiGo Marketing share new release information for coming of age romance, Summer Storms! Find out more and enter in the NineStar Press credit giveaway!

Title: Summer Storms

Author: Thomas Grant Bruso

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: 09/20/2021

Heat Level: 2 - Fade to Black Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 39900

Genre: Contemporary, LGBTQIA+, high school, grief, coming of age, hurt/comfort, harassment

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Description

Sixteen-year-old Earl Layman is going stir-crazy. Secluded with the flu inside the four walls of his home and only the escape of his video games to help him through, Earl is struggling to keep his sanity.

That is until he notices the boy next door, seventeen-year-old Rex Chambers, raking leaves in the adjacent yard.

Earl’s summer is about to change. Before another torrential rainstorm hits the small upstate New York town of Betham County, they meet during an awkward cell phone exchange. As they start to connect through occasional texts, Earl and Rex enter the throes of adolescent lust.

In the early stages of forging a lasting connection, their family situations threaten to destroy all they are working for.

Excerpt

Summer Storms
Thomas Grant Bruso © 2021
All Rights Reserved

EARL

Earl was a funny name for a sixteen-year-old boy. It reminded Earl of an older man, like his late uncle Fred who died when Earl was two years old.

As he stared down at a photo album spread open across his lap, the pictures of his uncle Fred and family reminded him of a conversation he’d had with his mother years before about death and dying.

Earl ran a finger over a photo of his uncle smiling back at him from beneath the glossy sheet of paper: white buck teeth, dark-brown eyes, thinning blond widow’s peak, and a handlebar moustache. Earl had pulled the album out of storage when memories of his life in Jessup, New York, resurfaced while he was sick from school this week. He flipped through scads of photos, faces from yesteryear, as he wiped his moist eyes with the back of his hand, reminiscing.

The idea to trek down memory lane came clear to Earl when he’d had a silent, reflective moment about his own life—his purpose, and who he was.

Six years ago when his family was living in a tiny, two-bedroom duplex in the small town of Jessup, before they moved to Betham County, Earl and his mother had a long conversation about life and death. Earl asked the most obvious question: “Why does everybody have to die?”

“Even the good guys like Uncle Fred die,” she’d said.

The conversation with his mother had been triggered by his finding their cat, Shells, unresponsive, just after he’d stumbled out of bed early one morning to use the bathroom. Shells was lying on the floor, curled up in a corner. Earl crouched next to her and ran his hand through her soft black-and-white fur. She did not move, so Earl yelled for his parents. He recalled the sad expressions on their faces when they came running to him.

Earl cried when he and his father had to bury Shells in the backyard, a fragment of memories now many miles behind them. Earl had sat with his mother that morning as she answered his questions, the importance of death, and the grief that comes with losing life’s precious things.

“Like Uncle Fred and Shells,” she’d said, “everything and everybody has a purpose. That’s why it’s important to love and care for everyone and everything, people and animals, every day. It’s sad to lose a pet or a family member, but it’s also natural and part of life.”

“Are you and Dad going to die like Uncle Fred and Shells?”

“One day. But not for a long time.”

His mother’s hug, the safety of her warm embrace, made Earl happy. After saying goodbye to Uncle Fred and Shells, Earl never wanted to let go of his parents. They were all he had.

Now, on this morning in early May, Earl’s thoughts returned to his past. He stared at the photos wedged beneath the glossy plastic sheets of film in the photo album.

He took a breath as he turned through pages of smiling faces—his family members in various pictures. He smiled back, deep in thought, tears falling and blotting the top of the album.

A rattling of glass bottles jarred his concentration, pulling him out of his momentary trance. He set the photo album on his bed and went to the window, gazing out into another sweltering day. Though gray clouds buckled beneath a darkening May sky that promised another rainstorm, the air was thick like clam chowder.

He was at home, sick from school for the third day this week, if his fever didn’t break. Earl had been bedridden with nowhere to go. He checked his cell phone for messages—from anybody. He missed human contact from his class friends, especially his best friend, Andy Gelman.

Traffic hummed along on the main artery of Betham County, a street over, and Earl caught a glimpse of a woman walking her dog. A young bicyclist pedaled to class. And the boy next door, Rex Chambers, on whom Earl had a small crush, bagged recycling for weekly pickup. Rex looked up at him, waved, and smiled. “Mornin’.” He placed the recycling bin by the side of the street and ambled to the fence separating the yards.

Earl’s face flushed; his skin tingled. Maybe it was the flu, or he was just feeling embarrassed. Shy. Staring at the cute guy who rode his mother’s motorcycle to school every morning this year made Earl light-headed.

“Cat got your tongue?” Rex yelled up from the neighboring yard, pulling the motorcycle away from where it was leaning against the fence and reaching for the helmet hanging on the handlebars. “You need a ride to school?”

“I…um…”

Rex tossed the black Darth Vader–like helmet back and forth in his hands like a basketball. His dark hair was slicked with a generous amount of gel, and his angelic eyes and chiseled face set the cogwheels in Earl’s rusty thoughts in motion. “I haven’t seen you around this week. Where’ve you been?” Rex asked.

Earl grinned back at the tall, handsome boy. Was Rex keeping track of how many days I’ve been out of school? “I’m sick.”

“Another day, then?”

Earl nodded, lifted a hand to wave. “See you around.”

“If you need anything, let me know.”

Earl bit down on his bottom lip. He couldn’t believe the boy next door had talked to him; he did not know Rex well. They didn’t talk every day, and when they passed each other in the hallway at Betham County High, Earl was too nervous to speak to him or engage him in conversation. He’d smile at the gorgeous guy, but it was a brief moment in his long day. A fleeting exchange of waves or grins, and both young men went their separate ways. The only class Earl and Rex shared was study hall. But by ninth period, Rex usually ditched the boring forty-five-minute class to take off on his motorcycle and ride around town.

“Feel better!” Rex yelled up to him. He put the helmet on, swung his leg over the cycle and started the engine. “I’m off! Another boring day at Betham County High.”

Earl looked away and smirked.

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Meet the Author

Thomas Grant Bruso knew at an early age he wanted to be a writer. He has been a voracious reader of genre fiction since he was a kid.

His literary inspirations are Dean Koontz, Stephen King, Ellen Hart, Jim Grimsley, Karin Fossum, Sam J. Miller, Joyce Carol Oates, and John Connolly.

Bruso loves animals, book-reading, writing fiction, prefers Sudoku to crossword puzzles.

In another life, he was a freelance writer and wrote for magazines and newspapers. In college, he was a winner for the Hermon H. Doh Sonnet Competition. Now, he writes book reviews for his hometown newspaper, The Press Republican.

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