Release Blitz + Giveaway: My First by Sky McCoy


Celebrate the release of My First with author Sky McCoy and Gay Book Promotions! Read about the fake boyfriends romance and enter in the $10 Amazon gift card giveaway!

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: My First

Author: Sky McCoy

Publisher: Sky McCoy

Cover Artist: Cate Ashwood

Release Date: May 17, 2021

Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance, Humor 

Trope: Fake Boyfriend, Age Gap, Friends to Lovers

Theme: Forgiveness 

Heat Rating:  5 flames

Length:  185 words/ pages 165

It is Book 1 of the Surrender Series

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Buy Links 

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK

A young man searching for his future, an older man living his life single. 

Can they both find the love they desire?  

Blurb 

Caden:

“Grayle Meadows was like no other man I’d ever met. He was tall, handsome, sophisticated, and sexy as hell. Eyes so blue you thought you were swimming in a seductive ocean, and you could lose yourself and never come up for air, and he was the first man I ever loved. I could have spent my life adoring and loving him, but for one thing, he said, ‘You’re too young.’ Twenty five wasn’t that young. I was just hitting my stride.”  

A young man searching for his future, an older man living his life single. Can they both find the love they desire?  

Submission series is an age gap (25/35) M/M Romance with HFN. The first book contains fake boyfriends and friends to lovers.    

Excerpt

Chapter 1

Caden

I’ve seen men, great-looking men. Some average, some tall, beautiful, handsome men, but I never thought much of it. However, when I laid eyes on Grayle Meadows for the first time, I knew I’d missed a lot in my life. 

The day I first caught sight of that man, I knew he was out of my league, but hey, foolishness and dreams are for young men, and I was going to dream until something, or someone woke me. However, it wasn’t happening today, because today my eyes were feasting on Grayle Meadows—hair perfect, eyes blue, face magnificent, suit perfect, wide muscular shoulders, thin waist, and he was stunning. 

All man, and I saw him first.    

I’d like to think I was the first to see Grayle. However, it was delusion on my part. I was sure there were many who laid eyes on this beautiful, handsome-looking man before I’d entered the picture called life. 

He appeared to be ten years my senior, therefore, to say others had seen him first had to be inadequate, and superfluous. In other words, unnecessary to say the least, because there was the likelihood that his mother and father saw him long before I did. Maybe a brother or sister or two could claim that trophy if they were giving them out for who spotted the handsome, sensuous, blue-eyed Grayle Meadows first. 

I’d throw in my medal for him being the sexiest, and most compelling man alive. I was sure he could have any woman, or man, if that was his choice, but I wanted him to pick me, and why not? I was young, gay, and available. Willing to go the distance if it called for that. He exuded sex in the way no other man could. He didn’t just walk, his steps measured, he sailed across the floor with no wind at his back, and when he spoke it was with a low raspy baritone voice.

I’d gladly hand over a medal, but no one could claim that they saw him the way I’d pictured him in my mind, then in my dreams, and how he’d invaded my senses when he first strolled into the shop where I’d worked every summer since my parents allowed me to have a summer job. 

I smelled his manly scent among all the customers standing at the counter waiting to be served. When I spotted him with his beautiful, strong face, deep intense eyes, I knew he was the man for me, and he’d be my first and only love.

 I dropped what I was doing and rushed over, elbowed one of my fellow workers, and my best friend Lane, took the scoop from his hand, and I stood waiting for my first and only to open those full lips, and tell me what he wanted—a blowjob from me, or a piece of my firm, hard, young ass.

Name it. I’m here to please, I thought, wearing a wide smile.   

I looked over at Lane. “Who is he? I saw him first.”

“His name is Grayle Meadows.” 

 I pushed Lane aside and stared at him, daring him to say a word, or take a step in Grayle’s direction, because he was mine, and I had dibs on him. 

Grayle leaned over, trying to decide on which vanilla flavor to order, and I couldn’t help but take in his scent on this hot false-spring day. Not even the heavenly smell of chocolate, strawberry ice cream, and lime sherbet could dull my senses, because his shaving lotion had overtaken me along with the flash of his big blue eyes, and his dark-auburn curly hair. It was a bad hair day for me, but not Grayle Meadows. I doubted he’d ever had a bad hair day or anything else, because there wasn’t enough heat and wind in the world to disturb and disrupt that full mane of beautiful shiny hair. 

I watched his large hands move to his hair, and his long fingers raked through it as he bent once more to look at all the flavors, and when he raised his head, his eyes locked with mine. He smiled and moved on. My heart lurched and my cock twitched. He was my first. Never had I had that feeling about anyone before where my dick involuntarily set off a firestorm that had gotten out of control. 

About the Author 

Hi, I'm Sky McCoy.

I write steamy M/M romance books, and I love to read hot M/M romance. Maybe steamy is too mild a term for my books. Maybe I should say that my gay romance books are hot, hot, hot. I enjoy writing about strong, flawed men who don't mind saying they're sorry when they hurt the ones they love.

I read and write across genres and what gives me pleasure, and there is nothing more pleasurable or satisfying to me than to write a happy ever after hot M/M romance with a kink or two.

My favorite books to read are anything M/M, vampires, werewolves, mystery, and steamy romance. I have been busy with reading and writing to bring you the best M/M romance books. Enjoy!

Social Media Links

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Release Blitz + Giveaway: Hold Him Close by J.P. Bowie


 Author J.P. Bowie and Pride Publishing host the Hold Him Close release blitz today! Read more about the contemporary romance and enter in the eBook giveaway courtesy of the author!

Hold Him Close

Word Count: 50,528 Book Length: NOVEL Pages: 200

Genres:

CONTEMPORARY EROTIC ROMANCE GAY GLBTQI

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Book Description

Sometimes love and loyalty are all you can count on.

Ten years ago, John White Eagle, then a film extra and stuntman, met Detective Mark Rossi and sparks immediately flew, despite the fact that Mark had just arrested John as a suspect in a murder case.

Fast forward ten years and John, now a private detective, and Mark, recently promoted to detective sergeant, are happily married, even if they still have to deal with those on the wrong side of the law.

Alex Vasquez, an old friend of John’s, is being blackmailed. When the blackmailer turns up dead and Alex skips town with his boyfriend, things look bad.

Penny Andrews hires John to find her missing brother, Sam, even though she fears he has been murdered, perhaps by their own father. John discovers that Sam is very much alive, in Afghanistan, searching for Jareem, the man he loves but had to leave behind.

Hindered by liars and hired assassins, things don’t look too good for John and Mark. Can they find Alex before the police do? And can they keep Sam and Jareem safe from those who believe in honor killing and are determined that Jareem will be their next target?

Publisher's Note: This book is related to The Set Up by J.P. Bowie.

 Excerpt

John White Eagle parked his Harley outside the building where he rented his office space and sprinted up the stairs, glancing at his phone as he took the steps two at a time.

“Good morning, John.” Millie Barnum, his secretary, greeted him with a bright smile.

“Morning, Millie. Anything urgent?”

“Just the message I’m guessing you’re reading on your phone right now.”

“Huh. You’re right. But I just left Mark at home. What can he want already?”

“That’s not for me to speculate on.” Millie, gray-haired, bespectacled, her appearance more suited to a school principal’s office than his slightly less-than-upscale space, stared at him with sparkling blue eyes. “What you boys get up to is certainly none of my business, thank goodness.”

“Riiight. You’d love it if I gave you the deets on what goes on at Chez Rossi/White Eagle. But that’s not going to happen. Mark and I are not taking the place of the characters you read about on your Kindle. At least not with an audience.”

“I like your hair grip,” Millie said, ignoring his comment about her love of male romantic fiction.

“I found it in a box when Mark and I moved into the new house in North Hollywood. My grandmother made it for me and I’d forgotten I even had it still.” He slipped a hand to the back of his head and fingered the intricate pattern of small beads. “It’s neat, isn’t it?”

Millie got up to take a closer look. “It’s beautiful. She must have had such a delicate touch.” She sighed. “And you have hair that’s far too lovely to be on a man. Anyway, you’d better get in touch with Mark right now. He sounded irritated that you hadn’t returned his call.”

“How the hell can he be irritated within the space of a half-hour since I left him?”

Millie pursed her lips. “Did you perhaps forget to kiss him goodbye?”

John chuckled. “As if. We might’ve been together for ten years, but he never lets me outta the house without savaging my mouth first.”

“Oh, my.” Millie clutched at her bosom. “The vision that just conjured up. Savaging, oh my.” She did a pretend stagger back to her desk, making John laugh. How did I ever get so lucky as to find a woman like Millie? Totally efficient on the computer and phone, but also unfazed by the high and the very low life that sometimes waltzed through the doors of JWE Investigations, looking for some kind of help, legal or otherwise. Then there was the fact that John just happened to be a gay man.

He’d explained that to her when she’d answered his ad and met him for an interview. “Just so you know, I’m gay and Native American,” he’d told her. “If you have a problem with either one, say so now.

I’ll have you know I am neither a racist nor a bigot,” she’d replied. “In fact, when I was a young girl, I used to cheer for the Indians in those old westerns…still do, when they repeat them on late-night TV.

She’d been less impressed with his office and had suggested that he give it a good coat of paint. “I have some nice prints I can bring in, and a couple of plants by the window will certainly give the place a little more ambience, don’t you think?

I think I’ve been taken over by a formidable force,” he’d told Mark when he’d gotten home that night. Mark had laughed but had helped him paint the office and given his full approval of Millie’s efficiency, and the set of Norman Rockwell prints she’d brought with her to brighten the walls.

She’d fallen in love with Mark at first sight. Not that John could be surprised by that. His husband was an amiable man, and movie-star gorgeous. They’d met when John had been set up to take the fall in a murder perpetrated by Greg Mathis, a then-famous actor who’d told John he was being blackmailed. Mathis had convinced John to go with him to a motel room to confront the blackmailer. Except, unbeknownst to John, the blackmailer was already dead, in the bathroom tub.

Mathis had told John the blackmailer hadn’t shown, but he’d coerced John into bed after handing him a drugged beer. Unaware of the beer being drugged, John hadn’t needed much coaxing into the offer of sex with Mathis. He’d been young, horny and still starry-eyed about his involvement with such a big celebrity, even admiring the man’s acting ability. In addition, Greg Mathis had been one of the most gorgeous men on the planet. As a matter of fact, he’d been nominated The Planet’s Sexiest Man more than once in a popular magazine. Alone with him in the room, John had wondered at Mathis’ eagerness to be fucked by him, insisting on going through with it even though John had been aware he wasn’t enjoying it at all. That look of pain had never morphed into one of pleasure.

When John had regained consciousness, the police had been hammering at the motel room’s door. The arresting officer, Detective Mark Rossi, had appeared to believe John’s story under interrogation, even if he wouldn’t divulge the name of the man he’d been with. John had been convinced no one would believe that Greg Mathis, super-macho movie star, could possibly be involved in such sleaze, but he’d reckoned without Mark totally seeing the truth in John’s story.

John had never dreamed that being arrested by Mark would later result in a dinner date with the handsome cop, and the mind-blowing sex that had followed. Those first bleak days when it had looked as if John were the only suspect, and the evidence against him had grown stronger, had only been tempered by Mark’s insistence that he’d believed John’s story.

Sometimes he wondered why his mind dwelled on that incident so often. He supposed it was because it had been the defining moment in his life. Mark had been with him throughout the ordeal, even when things had taken a decided downturn the day forensics had called Mark with the news that the sperm in the condom they’d found in the dead man’s rectum was a match for John’s DNA. It had been a measure of Mark’s faith in John’s innocence that he’d believed in him, despite that damning evidence.

His cell chimed with Mark’s ringtone. Oops, now he’ll be more than just irritated.

“John!” Millie’s voice from the main office held an accusatory tone. She knew Mark’s ringtone too. “Haven’t you called Mark yet?”

“Picking up now! Hi, sweetie, what’s up?”

“Don’t ‘hi, sweetie’ me.” Mark sounded pissed, and not improved by John’s quiet chuckle. “Hey, I’ve called a dozen times at least.”

“No you haven’t. Three times by my reckoning.”

“Then why the hell haven’t you responded? Don’t you know what day it is?”

“Uh, it’s Thursday, isn’t it?”

“It’s my dad’s birthday, smartass.”

“Fuck. Why didn’t you say something before I left the house?”

“Because…because I forgot about it, too—till about twenty minutes ago.”

“Oh good. That makes me feel better.”

John…”

He could almost feel the heat of Mark’s glare through the phone. Oh, that hot Italian blood. His cock pulsed in his briefs at the thought of Mark’s lush lips on his. “Sorry, didn’t mean to be flippant. Call him and say we’re taking him out to dinner—and how on earth could he have forgotten? I’ll pick up a card and a bottle of his favorite Scotch.”

“Okay, you are redeemed in my eyes. What about the restaurant?”

“I’ll leave that to you. He doesn’t like fancy, remember.”

“Louie’s Pub?”

“Perfect. Okay, man I love above all others on earth, I have to make like I’m working. Let me know the time I need to meet you.”

Mark chuckled. “You sure know how to blow some hot air up my ass.”

“That’s not all I know about what to do with your ass,” John said slyly. “Your mighty fine ass…an ass that belongs on the body of a much younger man, I might add.”

“Thank you, I think.”

“You can compliment my ass later. Gotta go. Ciao.”

“Ciao, baby. Love you.”

“Love you too.” From the start of their relationship, John had insisted they end their phone conversations with that sentiment. Not that he wanted to be morbid, but Mark’s career did involve an element of danger and it would kill John if something happened to Mark and he hadn’t heard those words that day. I’m a sentimental sap, I know, but there it is…

Millie sighed happily in the outer office.

“You shouldn’t eavesdrop, you know, Millie. It might sully your innocence.”

She barked out a sardonic laugh but didn’t say anything. John heard the door open and Millie say sweetly, “How can I help you?”

“Is Mr. Eagle in?” The voice was female and tentative.

“Do have an appointment with Mr. White Eagle, my dear?”

“No, but if he’s busy I can come back…”

“Just one moment.”

Millie stuck her head around John’s door. “You want to take this?” she whispered. “She looks sad.”

John groaned mentally. Most likely another suspicious wife wanting to find out who her errant husband was screwing when he was not at home with her and the kids. Some said that kind of investigating was the bread and butter of the business, but John hated it. There were so many disappointed and unhappy couples out there. It often made him feel guilty that he and Mark were so happy…most of the time. One thing was for sure—if the impossible ever happened, and Mark cheated on him, he wouldn’t have to hire a private detective to find out.

Swallowing his inappropriate laughter, he said, “Okay, I’ll come out.” He got up from his desk and followed Millie as she approached the young woman standing nervously by the door. She was very young—early twenties, John guessed—and pale. Pale skin, pale blonde hair, eyebrows and eyelashes. Very little makeup. She wore a rose-pink blouse and a gray skirt, and clutched at a large bag slung over her left shoulder. A quick glance told John she wasn’t wearing a wedding ring. So maybe not the problem I first thought she had.

“Hi.” He held out his hand. “I’m John White Eagle.”

After a moment’s hesitation, she put her small hand in his. “P-Penny Andrews. I don’t have an appointment, but I wondered if I could speak with you for a few minutes?”

“Of course. Come on through. Would you like some coffee? Millie makes a wonderful cup.”

“Just some water, please. It’s a little warm outside today.”

“I’ll get that for you,” Millie said, walking over to the cooler.

John shepherded Miss Andrews into his office and indicated the seat opposite his. He waited until Millie had set a glass of water in front of her then left before he asked, “So how can I help you?”

“My brother is missing, and I think someone may have killed him.”

John stared at her for a moment. Thar was not what he’d expected her to say at all. “What makes you think that?”

“I haven’t seen him or been able to contact him in over a week.” She took a Kleenex out of her bag and passed it over her face briefly.

John had noticed the fine beads of sweat on her forehead and upper lip. Maybe she isn’t feeling well. “And that’s unusual?”

She nodded. “Yes. We are really, really close. We have been all our lives. Even when he was married, hardly a day went by that we didn’t talk at some point. We also meet up at least once a week for lunch. He works for Brennan Finance, downtown. I only work part-time, at a bookstore, so I take the bus to meet him.”

“And did you have a lunch date he didn’t show for?”

She nodded. “I wasn’t able to reach him for two days, but I went to our favorite diner near his office building on our regular day, and he didn’t show up. I called and called and went round to his apartment in Silver Lake. He didn’t answer my knocking. I asked his neighbor who he does some chores for if she’d seen him, and she said not since Friday, when he took her trash out. That was a week ago today.”

“Have you contacted the police to report him missing?”

“Oh, no. They’d most likely want to contact my father and I’m afraid that if they questioned him, he’d go ballistic.”

John frowned. “Why would he go ballistic? Would he not be worried like you are about his disappearance?”

She hesitated then said, “Sam and our father don’t get along. In fact, they hate each other. I’m afraid they might have gotten into some kind of fight. That happens a lot. They both have a temper, but our father can be violent. Not so much since Sam has grown up and can defend himself, but it used to be bad, and now…”

“Are you afraid of your father, Miss Andrews?”

She looked away and passed the tissue over her eyes, then nodded. “Sometimes. I don’t think he’d ever hurt me physically, but he yells when he’s mad…and he says some terrible things.”

“Like?”

“Like I killed my mother. She died as a result of giving birth to me, he says. I was three when she died, but he said she was never the same after I was born, that she’d gone through hell in labor and he’d known she’d never really recover from the trauma.”

Jeez… John already hated Mr. Andrews. What kind of a creep throws that in his daughter’s face? Especially as the girl had lost her mother at such an early age. And from the sound of it, he’d been doing it for a long time. He could see the toll it had taken on the young woman. She was so frail and nervous. Verbal abuse could be as hurtful as the physical kind. Detective Mark Rossi could attest to that from the countless abuse cases he’d dealt with.

“The truth is, Mr. White Eagle…” Her posture and voice seemed to shrink as she continued. “Although I pray he did not, I think my father might’ve killed Sam. Perhaps not deliberately, but by accident during one of their rows. Like I said, he has a terrible temper. He might have struck out at Sam. Perhaps not really meaning to kill him, but somehow…it happened.”

“That’s some accusation, Miss Andrews.” John frowned. “Could it not be that your brother simply wanted to get away for some personal reasons? Girlfriend trouble, maybe? Didn’t want anyone to know until he was ready to talk about it? There could be a hundred reasons why.”

She shook her head. “He wouldn’t want me to worry about him. He would tell me if was just going away for a time.”

“You seem so sure about that.” John drummed his fingers on the top of his desk. “Do you know everything about your brother’s state of mind, or his personal life?”

“I know enough,” she replied sharply. “Enough to know he has no girlfriend.”

“Boyfriend, then?”

She shook her head again. “He’s not gay. He was married at one time, for a year.”

John wasn’t about to give her a lecture on the ‘low-down’ so many married men indulged in when they wanted a brief time out from their marriage. Instead he asked, “You’re sure? I thought that might be the reason you want to employ a gay private detective.”

“No. I came to you because of an article about you in Vanity Fair, where you were instrumental in finding a young girl who’d been missing for several weeks. You succeeded where the police could not.”

“That’s not exactly true,” John said. “I had a lot of help from a detective sergeant in the LAPD. It was a joint effort.”

She nodded. “A detective sergeant who worked off the clock to help you…your husband.”

“That’s correct. VF tended to downplay Mark’s involvement—at his request, I might add. Nevertheless, it was a joint success, and might have ended differently had he not been at my side.”

“The article was better than some of the books I’ve read.” Miss Andrews was almost gushing. She gazed at John through watery eyes. “Will you please take my case? Find out what has happened to Sam?”

“I will,” John assured her. “But what makes you think your father might have actually killed your brother…his son? What could your bro have possibly done to bring that kind of reaction from your dad?”

“I really don’t know. Sam didn’t say anything about having a recent argument with him, or that they were more at odds than usual. Sam works for our father at his company. Father bought out the owners of Brennan Finance a couple of years ago. It might have had something to do with work. Sam tends to regard Brennan as being a bit cutthroat toward some of the less affluent clients, and also as secondary to what he really loves doing, but he would’ve told me if there’d have been a problem there.”

“What is it he really loves doing?” John asked.

She smiled. “He’s a bit of an adventurer. Loves going to foreign lands, researching cultures, that kind of thing.”

“So, couldn’t that be what he’s doing right now?”

“Yes, but as I said, he wouldn’t just go off without letting me know, especially if it was out of the country.”

She seemed pretty certain about this, so John thought it best to switch the line of questioning. “Have you asked your father if he knows where Sam is?”

“Yes, and he sort of fluffed it off. He said he didn’t have a clue. Then he added that he didn’t really care either. It was as if it didn’t matter to him.”

“Nice guy…”

She dabbed at her eyes again. “No, he’s not a nice guy, Mr. White Eagle. He’s my father, but I’m afraid there isn’t much of a loving father-daughter relationship between us. I couldn’t pretend otherwise.”

Clutching at the large bag she held on her lap, she bit her lip. “Oh, I’m sorry. You certainly don’t need to hear about any of that. Please find my brother, or find out what happened to him. I can pay your fee, whatever it is. It’s killing me not knowing where he is.”

“All right.” John was okay taking the case, but she had to know he couldn’t proceed without confronting Andrews Senior. “However, I have to warn you that the first person I’m going to talk to is your father. In my opinion, he has got to know something about your brother’s whereabouts. They work together, or rather your brother works for him. Would he not have run by your father the fact he needed time off?”

She frowned. “He won’t like you asking questions.”

John smiled. “I’m kinda used to that aspect of the job. Let me have your brother’s cell number, and do you have a photo of him, by any chance?”

“Uh, yes, but it’s the only one I have in my bag. I hate to give it up.”

“That’s okay. Millie will make a copy for me.”

“Oh, okay.” She rifled through the contents of her bag then produced a business card from her wallet and handed it to John. “His cell and office numbers are on the card…and here’s his photo.”

Whoa… John involuntarily widened his eyes as he gazed at the photo Penny had given him. The guy was a looker, without a doubt. Blond, like his sister, but with stronger features, clear blue eyes and full lips that were parted in a killer smile that showed off straight, white teeth.

“He’s handsome, isn’t he?”

John flicked his gaze back to Penny Andrews. “Yes, he is. Okay, I’ll take on your case and I’ll do my best to give you peace of mind about your brother. I’ll need a check up front for two days of my time, but Millie will take care of all that for you. If I find out where your bro is within a day, I’ll refund half the check amount. If it takes more than two days then it’s on a daily basis, but I’ll keep you apprised of my progress each day.”

“That sounds fair.” She followed him to Millie’s desk to write the check and waited for Millie to photocopy her brother’s picture. “Thank you for taking this on. And please, find Sam for me…safe and sound if possible.”

John smiled and held out his hand, taking hers gently. “I’ll do my best, Miss Andrews.” He showed her out then returned to his desk. He fingered Sam’s business card for a beat or two then picked up his phone and called the man’s cell number. No harm in trying… After a couple of rings, he was directed to Sam’s voicemail.

“Oh, hi. My name is John White Eagle. I’m a private detective, and your sister, Penny, hired me to find you. She is concerned for your safety. Please, either call her or return my call so that I can verify your whereabouts with her. Would appreciate a prompt reply. Thank you.”

Okay, so his phone is still active…let’s see if he still is.

“So, what do you think, Millie?” he asked, after he’d given her a quick rundown of the conversation with Penny Andrews.

His secretary sighed. “From what you’ve told me, I think she’s a very unhappy girl, something I saw in her before she even spoke to you. If it turns out that her brother has been killed, it will be devastating for her. But don’t you think she’s far too dependent on him? This over-insistence on how close they are seems strange to me. Could she be holding something back?”

John nodded. “Yeah, I got that too. Interesting case. I think my first course of action will be to pay a surprise visit to the creepy father.”

“Better you than me,” Millie said snippily. “I can already tell that he and I would not have a friendly conversation.”

John grinned. “Know what you mean, but I’ll try not to be too in his face.”

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About the Author

J.P. Bowie

J.P. Bowie was born in Scotland and toured British theatres in numerous musical shows including Stephen Sondheim’s Company.

He emigrated to the States and worked in Las Vegas, Nevada for the magicians Siegfried and Roy as their Head of Wardrobe at the Mirage Hotel. He is currently living with his husband in sunny San Diego, California.

Find J.P. on Facebook and Twitter.

Giveaway

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J.P. Bowie's Hold Him Close Giveaway

ENTER HERE AND GET A FREE EBOOK FROM THE AUTHOR! Notice: This competition ends on 1st June 2021 at 5pm GMT. Competition hosted by Totally Entwined Group.

Release Blitz + Giveaway: The Homecoming Prince (The Castaway Prince #3) by Isabelle Adler


Author Isabelle Adler and IndiGo Marketing host today's release blitz for The Homecoming Prince (The Castaway Prince #3)! Find out more about the latest in the fantasy series and enter in the $10 NineStar Press credit giveaway!

Title: The Homecoming Prince

Series: The Castaway Prince, Book Three

Author: Isabelle Adler

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: 05/17/2021

Heat Level: 3 - Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 25300

Genre: Fantasy, LGBTQIA+, action/adventure, bisexual, cross-dressing, established couple, fantasy, genderbending, genderfluid, political, royalty, war

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Description

Having returned to the continent following Warren’s illness, Stephan and Warren are certain they’ve escaped the notice of spies from Seveihar and are ready to build a new future for themselves. However, their quiet life is shaken once again when they receive a message from Stephan’s sister, Nessa. She begs him to return home and help her stand against their older brother, Robert, who is abusing his power by oppressing his subjects and starting an unnecessary war with the neighboring country of Esnia.

With dark family secrets coming to light, Stephan is faced with a difficult choice between safety and happiness in exile with the man he loves, and his duty as a prince to protect his people from tyranny. And yet, amid all the dangers, the greatest risk he might face is a broken heart…

The Homecoming Prince is the final book in The Castaway Prince series. For best enjoyment, please read the books in order.

Excerpt

The Homecoming Prince
Isabelle Adler © 2021
All Rights Reserved

“I’m glad to say you look slightly less awful today,” Stephan said.

His tone was teasing, but it masked a very real concern. Warren’s bout of illness had been so prolonged and so grave that for a while Stephan had feared the worst.

Those days had been nothing short of horrible. He’d known plenty of wretchedness and weathered plenty of dangers, but nothing could ever come close to the long hours spent by his lover’s sickbed, holding his hand, wiping the sweat off his brow, and hoping the next rattling breath wouldn’t be the last while Warren thrashed about with fever.

“Always such a sweet talker,” Warren said.

A weak smile played on his lips as he brought a cup of tea to his mouth. He sat up on the narrow bed, propped against a stack of pillows. The only room they could afford at the inn had a tiny fireplace, which gave off more smoke than heat. The feeble flames fought a losing battle against the mid-autumn chill seeping through the windows and walls. But Stephan had piled all the blankets he could find on the bed, and the tea was hot and strong, at least.

Stephan took his own cup, savoring the warmth that spread through his fingers.

“You should go downstairs to the common room and warm by the big fire,” Warren said, having undoubtedly noticed him shiver. The illness did nothing to lessen his usual perspicacity. “Maybe get something to eat too.”

Stephan shook his head. They were running too low on funds for him to luxuriate in more than one meal a day now, and they’d already eaten lunch. Besides, he wouldn’t leave Warren alone in a drafty, cramped room while he enjoyed himself downstairs. Had their roles been reversed (as they so often had been), Warren wouldn’t have moved from Stephan’s side even for a moment unless for some dire need.

“I don’t actually mind the winter,” Stephan said wistfully. “We’ve been traveling through hot-climate lands for so long, the nip in the air is refreshing. It reminds me of home.”

Warren raised a skeptical eyebrow, but Stephan was being truthful. He’d loved Segor; the short time spent living together in the port city of Varta, free to express their love for each other, had been the happiest in his life. But when they were forced to flee, pursued by his brother Robert’s assassins, things had begun to go awry. The South Isles, where they’d found a temporary refuge, had proved too much of an extreme environment for them to thrive in. When Warren had fallen sick, the local physician had advised he return to the familiar climate of the continent—which they had, despite the risk inherent in such a journey.

“I do miss Seveihar sometimes,” Stephan confessed, coming to perch on the edge of the bed with his cup of tea. Warren folded his long legs, making room for him. “Even the winters at the castle, with the winds whistling through window cracks, and those endless creaking staircases. I always knew the cold and the snow would abate eventually, and then it’d be spring again, and then summer. The summers were always so beautiful there, up in the mountains.”

“I remember.” Traces of hoarseness clung to Warren’s voice, but already he sounded so much more vital than before. “I remember how you loved to roam the woods around the castle. Until…”

“Until it became too dangerous for me to go out on my own,” Stephan said. “It still is.”

The old pain of realizing his own brother hated him enough to plot his assassination flared back into life. The worries and tribulations of the last few weeks had almost made him forget the true reason for his self-imposed exile, but he knew better now than to think it was all behind him. The events that had driven them from their safe little haven in Segor into the dangers of the unknown had demonstrated all too clearly that they couldn’t afford to let their guard down again.

Warren reached for Stephan’s hand, threading their fingers together, and they exchanged a brief, bitter smile. Some of Stephan’s anger and disappointment dissipated into their shared warmth, as they always did.

“I’m sorry,” Stephan said.

“For what?”

“I seem to always bring danger to our doorstep. Even when we move halfway across the world.”

“And if it weren’t for you, I’d never have seen anything of the world.”

“Don’t joke. You fell sick because of me. If I hadn’t been so careless in Varta, we wouldn’t have had to travel so far, putting so much strain on you. It’s my fault.”

“It’s not,” Warren said. “And if I had a choice, I would have done it again. All of it. I would do anything just to be with you.”

Stephan shook his head, swallowing around the lump suddenly lodged in his throat.

“I love you,” he said, ignoring the treacherous crack in his voice. “So much.”

Warren’s hand on his tightened, and his eyes flashed in the low lighting, illuminated by the same surge of desire that washed over Stephan. That smoldering look made Stephan’s heart beat faster, filling him with the hope and relief for which he’d yearned for days.

He took the half-empty cup out of Warren’s hand and leaned down to brush his lips against his, tasting the strong flavor of steeped herbs.

It took some effort to pull back. He wanted nothing more than to sink further into Warren’s embrace, but the faint wheezing in Warren’s chest reminded him of the need for prudence.

“It’s late. I’ll go downstairs to fetch us some dinner,” Stephan said, rising from the bed. The desire to see Warren hale again outweighed the need to be frugal.

“I’m not that hungry. At least, not for food. Can’t you stay?”

“You need to eat to get your strength back,” Stephan said sternly. “If you can kiss, you can chew.”

Warren rolled his eyes and sighed dramatically, settling back on the pillows. “Fine. Just please hurry back.”

Purchase

NineStar Press | Books2Read

Meet the Author

A voracious reader from the age of five, Isabelle Adler has always dreamed of one day putting her own stories into writing. She loves traveling, art, and science, and finds inspiration in all of these. Her favorite genres include sci-fi, fantasy, and historical adventure. She also firmly believes in the unlimited powers of imagination and caffeine.

Website |Twitter

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Review: Haven (Magic Emporium) by Morgan Brice

(Set in the world of Fox Hollow, but can stand alone).

Old secrets, hidden psychics, secret shifters, ghosts, scandals—and true love.

A series of long-ago disappearances leads cold case private detective Austin Williams to investigate a troubled sanitarium.

Jamie Miller is new in town, temporarily running the local historical association, and he willingly signs on to help solve Austin’s mystery.

Sparks fly between them as they dig into the hospital’s troubled past. But someone wants the past to stay buried—and is willing to bury Austin and Jamie to keep it that way.

Haven is part of the multi-author Magic Emporium Series. Each book stands alone, but each one features an appearance by Marden’s Magic Emporium, a shop that can appear anywhere, but only once and only when someone’s in dire need. This book contains explicit scenes and a guaranteed HEA.


A solid Magic Emporium entry!

As per the blurb, at the request of Austin’s grandmother, he travels to the Adirondacks to see if he can solve the 50+ year old mystery of her missing brother who was committed to the shady Havenwood Psychiatric Hospital as a teen. While investigating, Austin acquires the help of Jamie, temporary archivist of the local Historical Association, to see if there’s any information to glean as to what happened to not only Thomas but to the many other patients who happened to also disappear from the sanitarium over the years. What they find seems implausible but as the evidence piles up, Austin and Jamie can only deny the truth for so long.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that such a small town is dedicated to keeping its dark secrets. This had a nice sinister feel to it, along with the classic harassment from those who don’t want Austin and Jamie digging deeper to find the facts, and then a life threatening situation where of course, aided by the mysterious Emporium, the tragic awful past comes to light to mete out justice.

Overall, I thought this was well written with a good mystery and a decent romance with unsurprising lightning quick love proclamations. This story takes place in Brice’s ubiquitous Fox Hollow universe that also encompasses another pseudonym (Gail Z. Martin) and involves no less than five other interconnected series. Despite such a daunting and massive backlog, I thankfully had no trouble following along when other characters popped up to lend a helping hand despite never having read any of this author’s books before.

Again, this had good bones, interlaced with paranormal and supernatural elements as Austin and Jamie both have some interesting “powers” that assist their cause and make them ultimately, truly connect. What stood out for me the most though was the strong glimpse into the secretive Fox Hollow which will surely nudge readers to check out Brice’s many many other works!




Blog Tour + Giveaway: Infernal Hope (Love Songs for Lost Worlds #3) by Sionnach Wintergreen


It's the final tour stop for Infernal Hope (Love Songs for Lost Worlds #3)! Author Sionnach Wintergreen and Other Worlds Ink share not only more info about the paranormal series finale, there is also a $15 Amazon gift card giveaway! Don't miss out!

Infernal Hope - Sionnach Wintergreen

Sionnach Wintergreen has a new MM paranormal historical fantasy romance out, Love Songs for Lost Worlds book 3: Infernal Hope. And there's a giveaway!

Ex-necromancer Frank Hope risked his life to help his demon lover Kasimir return to his homeland, a dimension humans call Hell and Kasimir calls the Eternal Realm—a beautiful medievalesque land. Now, because Kasimir is the heir apparent to a vast, wealthy kingdom, the two live in luxury in a palace by the sea. But darkness haunts them.

Necromancers, humans sworn to capture and slay demons for Earth’s energy corporations to use as fuel, continue to strike the Eternal Realm. Strife between the Eternals’ kingdoms grows as well.

When war breaks out with a neighboring land, Frank and Kasimir are forced to make hard choices that threaten their relationship—and even their lives. Is their love truly meant to be? Will the universe that once smiled upon them turn against them?

This is the final book in the Love Songs for Lost Worlds trilogy and combines elements of fantasy, paranormal, and gay romance within the framework of an alternate 1980s world.

Warnings: Violence, gay bashing, suicidal ideation, foul language, explicit sex, light bondage, vomiting, suicide attempt and sexual assault

About the Series:

Kasimir, a demon boy, secretly watched a human boy, Frank through an interdimensional window. While Kasimir struggled with an abusive father, Frank grieved his father’s death. Little Kasimir watched...and fell I’m love.

Years later, Frank, who always felt like a loser, discovers he has a special power—commanding demons. That’s a valuable skill to corporations like DemonCo who slay and process demons to be used as fuel. When fate brings Kasimir and Frank together, they meet as enemies, but Kasimir believes they are destined to be lovers.

With themes of redemption, courage, and true love, this paranormal fantasy series is set in an alternate 1980’s Texas and the mystical Eternal Realm.

Get It At Amazon

Book One | Book Two


Giveaway

Sionnach is giving away a $15 Amazon gift card with this tour:

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Excerpt

Palace of the Kingdom of the Onyx Moon

Kasimir

I hold Frank in the dark. He still has dreams of his former life, nightmares. He doesn’t usually wake up, he just fights things in his sleep, moving jerkily and making unintelligible noises. I put my arms around him and snuggle him against my chest. After a few minutes, he relaxes.

I relax, as well. I hate whatever things lurk in his past that disturb him so. We are living a beautiful life with each other. He seems happy—ecstatic even. But when he sleeps, he’s still pursued by whatever things haunt him.

Things haunt us here, but he is unaware of them.

He doesn’t know the Vanishings have increased, or that we stopped going to the village because the animosity toward him there had begun to worry me. When someone calls him a Necromancer, he corrects them happily—‘ex-Necromancer.’ He doesn’t realize that doesn’t matter to nearly everyone here. To my mother, Rahvel, Bedon, Varalica, and me, he’s a hero. To everyone else, he’s still a villain. And I know that would break his heart.

I’ve instructed Bedon and Varalica not to discuss the Vanishings in front of Frank. He’s blissfully unaware of how dangerous it is to live beyond the palace’s shields.

The only things he fears are in his dreams, and I will have it that way for as long as possible.

So I hold my beloved, and press my lips to his head, his face, and tell him ‘I’m here,’ in hopes my words create a lifeline to the pleasures he loves so much in our world.

I can’t fully partake in those pleasures myself. I love Frank dearly, but I can’t relax here like he does when he’s awake.

I’m free of my betrothal and want to frolic with Frank for as long as I can. I live in fear of the next time my father wants to forge alliances with my hand. Although I’m allowed a measure of say in such things, I still fear confrontations with my father. Frank has my heart, will always have my heart, but I worry how long our freedom will last.

However much I love being here with Frank, I never wanted this. When I Vanished from the Eternal Realm, when Frank summoned me, I was terrified. Once I learned I would not be processed for fiendium but would be his familiar, instead, I was actually happy. Not only was I with the man I had fallen in love with when we were children, I no longer had to worry about being king. I didn’t have to deal with my father’s constant mocking. All I had to do was love Frank.

Now, it’s all back on my shoulders—all of the responsibility, all of the abuse, and the prospect of being married off to someone else. Sometimes, I almost wish he hadn’t saved me. I wish he had gone to Eden and let me die.

I can’t tell him any of that. He’s haunted by enough without my adding worries. For now, there’s only us and our love.

#

Next day - The King’s Beach/center>

Frank/center>

I flop down on our blanket. “I don’t know if I’ll ever come again,” I tell Kasimir. “I’m all out.”

Kasimir turns over, his dazzling eyes alight with mischief. “Twenty minutes from now you’ll be all over me again.”

“Yeah, well...okay. But right now, I feel completely drained.”

“So do I. I wish it were lunchtime already. I’m famished!” He lifts up on one elbow. “You seemed to quite enjoy that sparkling wine yesterday. Would you like me to ask Bedon to get some more of that for us?”

Before I can answer, a man flies from the cliff above us and lands neatly next to us. He’s wearing the colors of the king, black and emerald green. Livery, I think I’ve heard Kasimir call it. I think he’s a messenger. His skin is darker than Kasimir’s, almost bronze, and his bat wings are nearly black. Like all of the eligos, he’s striking and handsome. And again, I feel like the luckiest guy alive, because Kasimir, surrounded by men who all look like underwear models, has chosen me.

It seems so weird now to think I was ever a Necromancer. That I ever worked for DemonCo and thought about killing Eternals to make fiendium. The human world runs on fiendium, on the lives of the eligos and all of the other inhabitants of this world. It’s just a world, like ours, but we somehow decided it was ours to pillage and justified our greed by saying they were demons, evil incarnate, when they’re actually just people and animals from another world.

I catch my snap, then. I haven’t actually been listening to what Mr. Bronze has been saying, but Kasimir stands up, raining sand, with an alarmed expression on his beautiful face. “I see,” says Kasimir. “I need to change clothes....”

“Wear your armor. They leave in an hour.” He turns toward the cliff and raises his wings as if to fly. “Oh,” he faces Kasimir again. “He said to bring your pet monster.” With that he flaps his wings and flies back toward the cliff.

Awww. Kasimir’s asshole father’s term of endearment for me. Great. What now? “What was that all about?”

“We need to fly back to the palace,” says Kasimir. His wings shoot out behind him. They look like giant hawk’s wings, feathered instead of webbed like most other eligos and copper striped with gold. They’re breathtaking. It doesn’t matter how fucking awesome they are, however, I still hate flying. I endure it, but it still makes me feel faint. I hate heights, which kind of sucks when the love of your life has wings.

“What’s going on?”

He spreads his arms so I can hug him while he carries me. “Father is confronting an army from the Kingdom of the Red Moon. He wants us to ride with him.”


Author Bio

I’m Sionnach (prounced SHUHN ukh) and I’m a trans male author of romance and fantasy. Most of my books are gay romances because they’re so much fun to write. Opposites attract is my favorite trope with hurt/comfort right behind it. Few things are as fun to me as bringing men to life and pushing them into each other’s arms. I love happily ever afters and believe true love is absolutely real.

Before I started writing full time, I volunteered as a grant writer for animal rescue nonprofits. I love animals, and they inevitably find their way into my stories. I share my life with my husband and seven spoiled cats. I’m also the emotional support human to a crazy husky. He/him

Website: https://www.SionnachWintergreen.com

Facebook (Personal): https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100010515095870

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/everwintergreen

Twitter: https://twitter.com/everwintergreen

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sionnachwintergreen/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15258737.Sionnach_Wintergreen

QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/sionnach-wintergreen/

Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Sionnach-Wintergreen/e/B01FOU8PS4

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Release Blitz: This is Not a Horror Movie by Sara Dobie Bauer


 Author Sara Dobie Bauer and Gay Book Promotions host today's blitz for paranormal new adult, This is Not a Horror Movie! Check it out today!

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: This is Not a Horror Movie

Author: Sara Dobie Bauer

Publisher: Self-published

Cover Artist: Natasha Snow Designs

Release Date: May 13, 2021

Genres: m/m new adult, gay paranormal romance, LGBTQ, romantic comedy

Trope: Friends to lovers

Themes: non-explicit, humorous, teens, Florida, summer vacation, hauntings, evil spirits

Heat Rating:  2 flames

Warnings: Scenes of graphic violence, death of minor characters, mentions of bullying, alcohol use

Length:  78 000 words

It is a standalone story.

Add on Goodreads

Buy Links - Available in Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK 

 


Blurb

Emory Jones loves two things: horror movies and Connor Nichols. 

For the past four years, Emory, Connor, and their families have vacationed side by side on Longboat Key, Florida. Eighteen-year-old Emory has pined for his neighbor from behind the covers of Stephen King books, but college boy Connor has never noticed him. Probably because Emory looks like Jack Skellington with good hair.

Emory anticipates another predictable summer of sunburn and disappointment. Instead, he ends up with a mystery on his hands when a beloved beach bum goes missing, and Connor volunteers to help with the search. Turns out it’s not just scary movie cops who are worthless, so the boys start an investigation of their own—leading them straight to an abandoned beach resort.

Despite the danger, Emory and Connor grow closer, but as Emory’s gay dreams start coming true, so do the horror movie tropes he so loves. Even though he knows that sex equals death in slasher flicks, Emory can’t keep his hands off the guy of his teenage dreams.

 Excerpt 

I’m about to follow a mysterious rat into the darkness when a hand lands on my shoulder. I suck a panicked gasp in through my lips as Connor says, “Sorry! Sorry.”

I put my hands on my knees and relearn breathing.

He stands there, backlit like some kind of hot angel, and shrugs. “Maybe you should be thanking me.”

“What?”

“You like to be scared,” he says.

He’s right. Haunted house in the neighborhood? I’m first. Spooky cemetery? Coming through. Maybe that’s part of the reason I always let Liz drag me to parties at the Outpost. It feels like being in a scary movie. I’m waiting for Leatherface to show up and murder the morally reprehensible youth. Of course, if horror movie rules are true, I’m totally dead. I lost my virginity at sixteen and more often than not spend “happy hour” sharing malt liquor with Longboat’s famous homeless dude, Leland.

“What are you doing over here?” Connor asks.

“Befriending local wildlife.” I glance over my shoulder into the dark. I shove hair out of my face—a nervous tic I’ve acquired since growing it out. Because I needed another nervous tic. “What are you doing over here?”

“Talking to you.” He grins, but I can feel a disconnect. 

Connor and I have always had a mutually agreed upon rhythm. He’s the big, gorgeous straight dude who puts up with me, the skinny, little gay kid. 

Well. 

No one knows I’m gay down here. Florida is for family, not fu— Anyway.

In summers past, Connor wrestled me and tickled me, and I pretended not to like it. We talked about some things, mostly scary movies, but kept an emotional distance. He accepts me being a drama queen, and I never let him know I would climb Everest for his kiss. 

Staring at me with a dumb look on his face is not our rhythm.

I finally lose my shit. “Jesus, am I bleeding from my eyes?”

He coughs out a laugh. “What?”

“You’re looking at me funny.”

He looks away. “Oh.”

I cross my arms. I have, in fact, filled out a lot since last summer—and the lifeguarding helps—but I’m still self-conscious about my small frame and will probably never forget the jocks calling me “Tinker Bell” from seventh to tenth grade. I press my lips together and side-eye the kids dancing to some club beat on Liz’s phone. “Everyone’s looking at me funny, actually.”

Connor clears his throat and plucks at the front of his tight, white T-shirt. He looks like he wants to dive headfirst into the empty pool at his back.

“You don’t have to talk to me, you know.”

His blue eyes flit back my way. Even in the dark, I know they’re blue. He says, “But I like talking to you.”

I hug myself tighter and lift a shoulder. “Seen any good horror movies lately?”

His smile is back. “Tons. I saw this French one called Raw.”

I bounce up on my toes. “Cannibals! Oh my God, that movie was so good! The writing.” I tear at my hair in euphoric bliss.

He nods. “And the scene with the roommate.”

“And the ending!” I poke him in the chest. “Dude, I tried to get Liz to watch it. She’s all vegetarian now because she dated this hippie dude senior year. She said she gave up meat for her health, but I think it’s because he said he tasted death in her mouth.”

Connor does the silent open-mouth laugh thing that happens when my storytelling reaches peak levels of absurd. 

“She made it thirty minutes into the movie before she had to leave the room and vomit. Meanwhile, I was sitting there eating, like, spaghetti.”

He puts his hand on my shoulder as he keeps laughing. I smell his deodorant: sporty man stuff. “I can’t believe I almost didn’t come this year.”

That steals the air from my lungs. Sure, I should be avoiding the guy, looking forward to the future, but all of a sudden, I can’t imagine a summer without Connor Nichols making me blush.

About the Author 

Sara Dobie Bauer is a bestselling romance author and mental health / LGBTQ advocate with a creative writing degree from Ohio University. She lives with her hottie husband and precious pup in Northeast Ohio, although she’d really like to live in a Tim Burton film.

Author Links

Blog/Website  |  Facebook  |  Private Facebook Group

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Hosted by Gay Book Promotions


Guest Review: Give Way by Valentine Wheeler

Kevin McNamara's life after retirement is… fine. He has friends, a few consulting gigs, and an ex-wife he's finally on good terms with. But when he meets an intriguing stranger - a rarity in close-knit Swanley, Massachusetts - in his apartment lobby, he can’t stop thinking about him or about the unexpected attraction that knocked him flat.

Awais Siddiqui never thought he'd want to come back to his childhood hometown, but when his grandmother falls ill, he’s the only one who can move back to help. Awais figures he’ll be back in a big city soon enough–but then a silver fox on his route catches his eye.

Sometimes all you need is a special delivery.




Reviewer: Shee Reader

We meet Kevin on a cold slushy day walking up to his not all fabulous apartment building as the postal truck pulls up and out of it comes an intriguing stranger. The postal worker was tall, dark, and gorgeous, and a surprising new face in a smallish town. Kevin liked him instantly but was unable to see the attraction reciprocated by the younger man, and dismisses the interaction.

Awais liked the look of the silver fox immediately, but not his usual route, and being the newest hire meant he went where needed each day, didn’t know when he might next see Kevin again.

Of course, in romancelandia, we live for these “ah-well, we might never see each other again” moments as we rub our hands with glee for the next surprise meeting!

Of course, both men decide the time is right to go out for a beer, and OF COURSE they end up in the same bar *cheer*.

The little romance starts warmly, but Kevin is tortured by the age gap, and the fact that he vaguely knew Awais from childhood, before moving away, and puts up a real fight of having his first relationship with a man.

As Kevin explores his own understanding of his bisexuality, will the attraction to Awais something he allows himself to have?

Well, this book was a refreshing change for many that I read for a variety of reasons. The season is Christmas, but the MC’s are Jewish and Muslim so the whole festive thing is muted. One of the MC’s is of retirement age but is exploring his queerness for the first time. There are age and cultural gaps between the men that made this a really interesting and enjoyable story. I really loved the fact that the happily ever after was non typical, and the second chance flavour of it was delightfully hopeful.

This was a quick read and I would have appreciated more story about their life together.

I was given a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.



Series Tour + Giveaway: Demon's Blood by Shari Sakurai

The Demon's Blood series tour stops by our blog today! Author Shari Sakurai and Gay Book Promotions share info on the paranormal series and host a back list eBook giveaway courtesy of the author! (3 winners)

SERIES TOUR

Demon’s Blood Series by Shari Sakurai

The stories are best read in the following order:

Demon’s Blood (Demon’s Blood #1)

Never Change (Demon’s Blood short story)

Demon’s Life (Demon’s Blood #2)

Genres: Paranormal/vampires, LGBTQ, gay fiction

Overall Heat Rating for the series: 1 flame 

Publisher: Farnhurst Publishing

Cover Artist: Farnhurst Publishing

BOOK 1

Book Title: Demon’s Blood (Demon’s Blood universe #1)

Author: Shari Sakurai

Length:  302 pages

Release Date: January 23, 2014

Add on Goodreads

Buy Links - Available in Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US  | Amazon UK  

Blurb

Immortal blood is precious and Kokawa Taku’s makes him especially unique.

After vampire hunters force them to flee Tokyo, Taku and his lover, Thane, try to make a new life for themselves in England. But three months later Thane is still tormented by nightmares of the fire that almost cost them their lives. This leads to carelessness and the discovery of one of his victims.

When faced with threats from all sides Taku tries his best to protect them although his actions are met with disapproval and anger from Thane. Unknown to his lover, Taku is also struggling to keep hidden the truth of what really happened three months ago.

However, it is only a matter of time before Taku’s past and bloodline catches up with him.

BOOK 2

Book Title: Never Change (Demon’s Blood universe short story)

Author: Shari Sakurai

Length: 47 pages

Release Date: December 1, 2018

It is part of the Demon’s Blood universe, but can be read as a standalone.

Add on Goodreads

Buy Links - Available in Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US  | Amazon UK 

Blurb

Thane’s arms curved around his back and he felt the younger vampire trembling as he rested his head on Taku’s shoulder. So easily broken, Taku often forgot what it had been like in the beginning. For him things had been different, he reminded himself. He had already known what it felt like to take a life.

With Nagasaki in the grip of a bitter winter, two vampires struggle to hunt in the challenging conditions. When an opportunity to feed from a dying man presents itself, Taku insists that they take advantage of it. Yet his newly turned lover is left feeling devastated by their actions. Seeing Thane so distraught is more than Taku can bear and so he makes a decision to shield Thane as much as he can from the darker side to their existence. However his desire to protect Thane might one day cost him everything.

Never Change is a short story set in the Demon’s Blood universe.

BOOK 3

Book Title: Demon’s Life (Demon’s Blood universe #2)

Author: Shari Sakurai

Publisher: Farnhurst Publishing

Length:  322 pages

Release Date:  November 4, 2019

Add on Goodreads

Buy Links

Amazon US  | Amazon UK 

Blurb

Out of respect for the relationship we once had I will spare your life. However, if you try to obstruct me again then I will kill you

Vampires are now an endangered species. Possessed by the demon Kurai, Kokawa Taku has sworn to eradicate all those whom he deems inferior.

Determined to free Taku from the demon’s corruption, Thane seeks help from Taku’s sire, Takata Koji. Thane’s search for answers takes him to Hong Kong where he learns the devastating truth. That in order to save Taku, Thane may have to kill him.

Refusing to accept this, Thane makes a decision that places the fate of all vampires in the balance. However Thane is unaware of the betrayal around him and that his actions will either save Taku or destroy him.

Excerpt from Demon’s Blood (Demon’s Blood universe #1)

Ōtsuki, Kai Province, Honshū, JAPAN, 29 January 1714

Takata Koji knew he was dying. The sickness that had swept through his village had been relentless and had claimed the lives of scores already. He had fallen ill five days ago, two days after his younger sister, Kaede, died. The physician had just been to see him. The grim expression on the man’s face and the distraught weeping of his mother only confirmed what, deep down, Koji already knew. He did not want to die. He was only twenty-five. He wanted to cling onto life with every fibre of his being. But simply the will to live was not enough. Koji’s body ached and he could not get warm, no matter how many blankets his mother brought him. His voice had failed him two nights ago and was yet to return.

It was a cruel hand of fate that the direct descendants of the Takata clan had managed to survive elimination at the hands of their enemy only to perish now. The Okada clan had defeated his relatives almost a hundred and fifty years ago in battle. Of their branch of the family Koji was the only male born; the last heir. His mother could bear no more children.

Hearing the voices of his parents Koji glanced towards the shoji. He had only seen his father once since he became ill. His mother said the man was consumed by grief. Koji knew better than this. Takata Kazuhiro had talked of nothing other than reclaiming his clan’s status and land since Koji was a boy. Yet his own frailties had prevented him from achieving this himself. Some of the Takata clan’s descendants had managed to secure positions within the Tokugawa Shogunate. However, a poor background and ill health had prevented Kazuhiro from doing the same. Koji had been his last hope. It was more than his son dying; it was Kazuhiro’s dreams too. 

Koji inhaled deeply, finding even this intake of air difficult as he shifted his position on the futon. The movement caused one of the woven blankets to slip off him and onto the tatami floor. There it remained. Koji lacked the strength to reach over for it. A hacking cough shook his fragile form. He had lost so much weight that his clothes hung off of him. The last time he had gazed at his reflection he had seen a corpse rather than a man staring back. 

Koji gasped, fighting to catch his breath as the painful tickling sensation in the back of this throat relentlessly forced the violent coughing fit. A metallic taste welled up in his mouth and the frightened young man gagged over the side of the futon. The hand automatically flying to his mouth came back slicked with crimson. 

“Nishimura-san!” his mother raced into his bedroom screaming for the physician at the sight of her son’s blood. Koji felt hands on his shoulders. He was roughly shaken when he failed to respond. Panicked golden eyes raised to meet his mother’s terrified ones even as his vision began to fail him. 

“Koji! Koji!” 

Her cries were becoming fainter now and the darkness that he was falling into was more inviting. As much as he feared death, Koji now felt some relief at its embrace. He was so tired. As much as he wished to hold onto life he realised that, deep down, all he really wanted was to be free of the pain.

***

Candles flickered in the dark, the heat from their burning light touching his sensitive skin as he was drawn from unconsciousness once more. Hot, red wax dripped onto the stone altar from the ceiling above. One spot landed on his palm, causing a hiss of pain to escape him. The clan’s Mon – coat of arms – was etched crudely into the low ceiling. The large circle and rhombi making up the outline of the symbol seemed to swell in size the longer that he stared at them. The two smaller diamonds in the centre were coloured completely in red. 

Koji could hear the hum of lowered voices around him yet they remained in shadow. He tugged weakly on the rope that bound his arms above his head and back against the stone surface. An unnecessary precaution, for the fever had robbed him of most of his strength. He could barely curl a palm into a fist.

A weakened cough alerted them to his wakefulness and one man stepped forward. Koji tried to make a sound but a gentle gasp was all that was permitted from dry lips as his father approached. Takata Kazuhiro’s stern expression did not falter although there was some regret lingering in his reddened eyes. 

Kazuhiro sustained a leg injury in a fight before Koji was born and had walked with a stick ever since. He leaned heavily on this now, as though it would somehow give him strength. A candle lit lamp was held in his free hand. Koji shifted slightly under his father’s gaze not understanding the situation or the reason for the man’s silence. He had slowly begun to recognise the room that he was in and confusion filled him. It was the village shrine. 

“Kazuhiro!” Another voice broke through the quiet murmurs. Koji’s gaze turned to the newcomer. Tears stained his mother’s cheeks. Her hair had fallen free from her usual ponytail to tangle around her face in wild waves. The streaks of silver were clearly visible now. Since he had fallen sick she seemed to have aged twenty years.

“Do not do this,” she pleaded softly of her husband. “Nishimura-san—”

“Cannot help him,” Kazuhiro finished for her. His words were as hard as stone. “This is the only way.”

“He is our son! And you would condemn him to this!”

“It will save his life,” Kazuhiro gestured to the two men – whom were neighbours of the Takata’s – standing behind him. “It is a great gift, Natsumi.”

“How can you call it a gift? It is a curse!”

Koji watched helplessly as the two younger men seized his mother and dragged her from his line of sight and back into shadow. He could make out her further protests and sobs for a few moments. A cry pierced the calm of the room. Then silence followed. 

About the Author

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

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

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

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