Review: Second Chance by Jay Northcote

Everyone deserves a second chance.

Nate and his teenage daughter need a fresh start, so they move back to the village where he grew up. Nate’s transgender, and not used to disclosing his history, so it’s hard living where people knew him before. When Nate reconnects with Jack—his best friend from school and unrequited crush—his feelings return as strong as ever.

Jack’s returned home to get his life in order after an addiction to alcohol caused him to lose everything: his job, his driver’s licence, and nearly his life. He’s living with his parents, which is less than ideal, but rekindling his friendship with Nate—or Nat as Jack once knew him—is an unexpected benefit of being back home. Jack is amazed by Nate’s transformation, and can’t deny his attraction. Trying for more than friendship might ruin what they already have, but the chemistry between them is undeniable. 

Doubting his feelings are reciprocated, Nate fears he’s risking heartbreak. Jack’s reluctance to tell his parents about their relationship only reinforces Nate’s misgivings. With both their hearts on the line and their happiness at stake, Jack needs to make things right, and Nate has to be prepared to give him a second chance.

If I could stick more hearts to this story I would, in fact, I would stick ALL the hearts.

I finished Second Chance two weeks ago and I’m still thinking about the characters. It was like meeting new friends at pivotal points in their lives and I’m still fully invested even though I know an earned HEA was had.

Second Chance read so authentically I forgot I was even reading and I holed myself up for the day so I wouldn’t have to stop absorbing everything that was happening. Both Nate and Jack have returned home as adults and returning home is bittersweet. For Jack it’s definitely more bitter than sweet, but given his recent life choices and his relationship with his parents, it’s understandable. Nate has a solid family in his mom and a teenage daughter who isn’t easy, but who obviously loves him. Nate’s been settled in the village for a bit before Jack returns and when they first meet, Jack doesn’t even realize who Nate is.

Jack knew Nate as Nat back in school well before Nate transitioned and they were the best of friends. Both were loners until they found each other and the author gave a complete picture of their friendship and home lives via flashbacks throughout the book. When flashbacks work like they did in Second Chance, you get a story within a story and every bit of background evolves as it becomes relevant to current events so the reader gets added depth making the story just that much better.

As Jack and Nate got to know one another again as adults, the flashbacks also helped serve to give each of their younger voices the closure they never got when they were kids. Which made sense. Teenagers by nature are pretty self serving beasties in general and neither of them had the maturity to completely understand themselves much less anyone else. Jack was really pretty “normal” as far as teenagers go and he and Nat really had a special closeness. Nate was just beginning to understand why he wasn’t Nat and reading about him having to grow up as a teenage girl in love with her gay best friend is a recipe for heartbreak. As much as I did love the flashbacks, there was a melancholy air to them that got heavier as Nate’s story evolved.

Jack never understood why Nate cut off contact after school, but Nate has learned to be true in every aspect of his life. The honesty has served him well and in all truthfulness the story owes its strength to Nate’s honesty. Nate and Jack form a tentative friendship once again with a heavy dose of chemistry and Nate admits to Jack that he was in love with him back in the day and being best friends while Jack moved through a list of boyfriends was just too hard for Nate to watch.

Jack was honest with Nate too about his issues and the communication between the two of them was refreshing and necessary for this story. As the two got closer and decided to take their relationship to a physical level, Jack’s inner dialog was realistic and really very sweet. Jack was growing pretty smitten with Nate and more than anything else, he wanted to do right by Nate. A big part of that for the two of them was their compatibility sexually. There was no doubt there was intense attraction between them but Jack was in the dark about the specifics of Nate’s anatomy and what he was supposed to do. His naivete was charming and being that his concern was making his partner happy was sweetly impressive. Jack was lucky though, he was with Nate and Nate was open and let Jack know how intimacy works for him and Jack was wonderful about learning how to make Nate happy. The scenes between Nate and Jack were affectionately erotic and beautifully sensual.

The author really knows how to teach readers organically. Humans, being the nosy ass animals they are, are fascinated with what they don’t know. And let’s face it, what goes on behind closed doors or beneath the clothing of anyone is no one’s damn business. It doesn’t make anyone less nosy though and learning about transgender sexuality through relevant context is a pretty effective way to help understand human sexuality overall. No one should be defined solely by how, when or why they have consensual sex, but sexual orientation should always be respected and understanding and knowledge are invaluable to making that be a thing.

Remember when I said Jack wanted to do right by Nate? Well he did kind of blow it there towards the end. Jack’s parents weren’t cruel by any means, but they aren’t the most understanding and open either. Jack is in a pretty vulnerable place already and he’s not up to dealing with the feared fallout about their reaction to Jack’s relationship with Nate. Jack also felt guilty for not telling them about Nate, he knew he was being disrespectful to Nate, but he just didn’t have the confidence in himself yet. It really had nothing to do with Nate, but that’s easy to say when you aren’t the one being kept secret. An accidental run in made for an awkward and painful moment, but while the angst was true and earned, thankfully it didn’t last long. Jack learned a lot from Nate, most especially how to be brave. Jack pulled it together and did the right thing through lots of apologies and truth about what was in his heart for Nate.

The ending was a treat and I love where their lives are heading. It really is a beginning for them and I miss them already. This book has a permanent spot on my reread shelf.

**a copy of this story was provided for an honest review**

Blog Tour: Incubus Honeymoon by August Li

August Li is making their clubhouse debut to promote Incubus Honeymoon! Find out more about this urban fantasy tale and more about the author below!

At some point every author will be asked, or will ask themselves, “Why do you write?”

For me, the answer tends to be different for each book.

Incubus Honeymoon stemmed, at least partially, from a sense of powerlessness. I’m not looking to spark political debate or start arguments of any kind. But I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in having watched certain events unfold with a sense of unreality and dread.

Maybe there wasn’t much I could do about the direction the country and the world were going, but dammit, my characters could do something about their world spiraling out of control. The first thing they had to do was notice and accept that something was wrong. This can be as a big of a hurdle as the physical fighting. People like to believe they’re living in a world that makes sense, where their hard work and integrity will pay off with a comfortable life, where eventually good and right will prevail. It’s comfortable and comforting to be able to trust in those things, and it’s just the opposite when denial can no longer be maintained. That moment of acceptance is so crucial to a character’s development, because once they can no longer deny what’s going on, they have a choice: ignore it or do something.

Obviously characters who don’t do anything don’t make the best protagonists, but as I explored these characters, I found that what catapults each into action is as telling as the varied ways they choose to oppose evil and the loss of their freedom. Some are idealists (or maybe anarchists) while others require a personal loss or a personal stake to join the fray. Their tipping points are as different as their approaches to the fight. Some are only conditionally invested. Some are kind of just assholes who don’t like to lose.

Part of the fun of writing this book was imaging how one might confront injustice if given the opportunity to wield power—in some cases, magical power. But the even more fun part was the discovery that they wouldn’t react how I expected, how I would. I’m not quite a pantster; I usually have a loose outline with plenty of room for characters to act—and change my plans—according to their natures. What I learned from this particular group of characters was that often, those who have the most power often have less to lose. So they’re not always the first to charge into battle, and even if they are, it’s not quite the heroic act it is when a regular person does it. Even so, it’s sometimes the regular people, the people with the least ability to fight, the most vulnerability, and the most to lose who display the most courage.

Please don’t let this lead you astray. If you’re expecting white knights, you’ll be disappointed. Nearly every character in this book is some form of criminal, or at least someone standing at the very farthest edge of accepted society. But what’s legal, what’s socially acceptable, and what’s right can be very different—and very differently judged, depending on the character.

I also discovered there’s more than one way to fight. Now anyone who knows me or my work knows I like sword fights, gun fights, and blowing things up. I like to whack a deserving party in the head with a wrench. There’s no shortage of any of that. Promise. Some of it will be, I truly hope, quite satisfying. But you can also fight with information, revealing an enemy’s secrets to make their allies lose trust in them. One of the characters is a hacker, and it was a delight to imagine how they would use their skills. Just sowing doubt can be so effective. But so can support. Some characters fight with… love is probably an exaggerated term, but care? Inspiring others, letting them know you have their backs, that you care what happens to them, can go a long way too.

But so too can just being pissed off.

I hope you’ll have as much fun discovering the nuances of Inky, Blossom, Dante, Jet, Emrys, Raphael, and the rest as I did. Oh, and Charlene. Never forget Charlene.

I can’t wait to see who readers like and relate to best!

As the so-called magical creatures go, I’m low on the hierarchy, and my powers aren’t much good to human mages. I’m a lover, not a fighter, through and through. I’m also selfish, lazy, and easily bored. But I’m damned good at what I do.

Too bad that won’t get my arse out of this sling.

Do one—granted, uncharacteristic—good deed, and now I’m held hostage to an arrogant faerie prince, trying to track down the one who summoned him while dodging gangbangers, gun runners, and Nazis. Add the powerful mage guilds scrambling to gather firepower for some doomsday event they’re sure is around the corner, and my cushy life of leisure might be nothing but a memory. On top of that, something’s compelling me to change on my most fundamental level. I’m not sure what I’ve got myself mixed up in, but nothing will ever be the same.

Bloody hell.
Featuring a new twist on urban fantasy combined with fast-paced action and intrigue, the Arcana Imperii series books are standalone adventures, each completely accessible to new readers.

Buy links:

DSP Publications

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Review: Soul Bond by J.S. Harker

Stealing his heart.

As a thief and a warlock, Noah survives by using his wit and charm to prey on the privileged. His dangerous criminal boss wants an enchanted dagger belonging to a family of wealthy mages, including their pampered—but handsome—son, Ben. Failing to complete the job will be hazardous to Noah’s survival.

Noah bumps into Ben at a lavish party, and as soon as they meet, the connection’s undeniable, and it goes much further than ordinary attraction. Their bond reaches into their souls, entwining and changing their magic.

Which Noah thinks he can use to get to the dagger. After all, he isn’t sure this soul bond Ben seems so obsessed with is even real.

He also doesn’t count on being caught red-handed…. Or falling in love.

Another winner in the Dreamspun Beyond series and this one really balanced out the paranormal with the fluff so darn well. I was hooked on Noah and Ben immediately and was ready to learn all about Mages, Warlocks and the mythical/unattainable soul bond.
It isn’t possible. It is a story.
Being a hopeless romantic I am head over heels for the possibility that fate has one person out there for you and that usually, it’s the least person you’d expect. Maybe it’s because my husband and I on paper don’t make sense at all and yet we’re going on two decades together or maybe it’s just me being in love with love and watching fools fall… you know? Either way, the idea of fated mates or magical beings that can bond to one another that creates a romance far beyond the normal really turns my crank.

Being told with dual POV’s we get Noah first as he goes from a waiter at a high class Mage party into a bathroom to use magic to change his appearance. The description of the act was perfect down to the smell that happens when magic is used and we begin to know what Noah who is not a mage is doing at this party. It appears he has a job to do and that job is to steal a dagger. We aren’t told right away if being a thief if Noah’s normal MO but we are introduced to one hell of sexy man that turns Noah on at first looks and stirs his magic more than anyone ever has.

Oh but I adored Ben! Sure he is the son of a powerful Magus, but Ben is truly his own man. He is a fellow hopeless romantic and believes in the soul bond and has been searching for the man who would be his everything. When he spots Noah at the party and they touch, the spark is undeniable and even the knowledge that Noah is about to steal from his family doesn’t stop Ben in pursuit of what most believe will never be found.
“A soul bond is a rare occurrence. Some seek it their whole lives. Some believe they achieve it, only to discover someone else.”
“But it’s just a story.”
“Didn’t use to be. Once upon a time, everyone could find their mate if they tried.”
I am not going to ramble per my usual about this, but trust me I could. I loved every bit of this book to the masquerade element of Noah changing his appearance at the party to the Cinderella aspect of leaving his coat behind and Ben coming after him. I loved the opposites attract trope with not only Ben being a mage and Noah being a warlock, but the men being from opposite sides of the magic society and still choosing their bond and love above everything. This was super romantic full of suspense regarding the dagger Noah was to steal and what it will cost him if he doesn’t complete the job. It was amazing with these two as they learn what their magic can do when they are together and how to control it. It was beautiful to witness the intense and intimate moments between them and how I hope in my heart they begin to change the way their worlds react to each other and one day blend together to be stronger.

I simply loved this story of Ben and Noah and wish them nothing more than a bond that even the stills can’t break and many more breathtaking moments of love.

Release Blitz + Giveaway: A Mage's Power (The Inquisition Trilogy #1) by Casey Wolfe

Author Casey Wolfe and IndiGo Marketing celebrate the release of A Mage's Power (The Inquisition Trilogy #1) ! Check out today's blitz and enter in the $10 NineStar Press giveaway!

Title: A Mage's Power
Series: The Inquisition Trilogy, Book One
Author: Casey Wolfe
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: July 16, 2018
Heat Level: 2 - Fade to Black Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 70800
Genre: Paranormal, mages, witches, shifters, dark, magic

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Built on the bones of an ancient city, modern-day Everstrand is where master mage, Rowan, has set up his enchantment shop. When not hanging out with his werewolf best friend, Caleb, or studying, he dabbles in herbology and the controversial practice of blood magic. A prodigy who has already earned two masters, Rowan’s bound and determined to reach the distinction of grandmaster, a mage who obtains a masters in all five Schools of Magic.

Shaw works for the Inquisition, the organization charged with policing the magical races collectively known as magicae. Recently, it has come under scrutiny as magicae begin to disappear and reports of violence increase. With secrets of his own on the line, Shaw is willing to risk everything to find out just what is going on behind all the locked doors.

When Rowan and Shaw are entangled in each other’s worlds, it becomes evident that their hearts are as much at risk as their lives. They must find the truth and stop a conspiracy before it’s too late.


A Mage’s Power
Casey Wolfe © 2018
All Rights Reserved

Chapter One
The city of Everstrand came into view when Rowan’s dirt bike broke through the last of the forest. The engine whirred as he caught a little air over a bump, wind whipping at his blond hair. He laughed, leaving dust in his wake. Spring was fast approaching and Rowan was enjoying the sunshine and warming temperatures perhaps a bit too much.

The dirt roads leading from the Sacred Timber, where he lived, gave way to the paved roadways of civilization. Rowan much preferred the solitude of nature to the bustle of Osterian’s capital city, so it was just as well he tended to keep his trips there to a minimum.

Not that the city was completely horrible. It was ancient, and a lot of the original structures had been well-preserved as the city expanded over the centuries. The Everstrand Mages Guild was part of the oldest section. It sat on a broken piece of land that was enchanted to float in the air above the Grey Tides—visible even now. Chains kept it bound to the cliffside so that it didn’t drift away.

Rowan needed to stop by the Guild at some point, but he wanted to go to his shop first. One wouldn’t think he’d be able to make a living by being open a few days out of the week; however, an enchanter’s services were always a valuable commodity. Considering Rowan was the sole master enchanter in the entire city offering his services to the public, he wasn’t worried about losing business.

Having timed his arrival after the morning rush, Rowan had no problems getting to the shop. He cut through a few narrow side alleys to the Orchard Street Mall. He loved that it was all outdoors, restricted to foot traffic only, instead of a typical mall complex. It gave the area a certain charm, with the unique facades and plentiful landscaping.

Rowan parked his bike in the section reserved for vendors, permit tag sealed in place with magic to prevent theft. Satchel strap over his shoulder, he made his way down the cobblestone paths, past shops of every size and type.

Nestled between a bookstore and a pastry shop—that he frequented probably more than he should have—was Charmed to Meet You. Even now, the name made him cringe a little. It had been his late grandmother’s suggestion, and with no counter-name in hand, Rowan had relented. It seemed he was stuck with it too—at least his customers thought it was cute.

Once inside, he flipped on the lights and tossed his satchel onto the counter. He shrugged out of his brown leather jacket, hanging it on the rack. The weather may have been breaking, but riding his bike still required protection from the chill. It was nice enough to open the windows, which he did with a flick of his hand. A breeze swept inside, the fresh air swapping out the stale from over the weekend.

It was a small shop, designed more as a work space than a storefront, with all the shelving behind the counter holding his supplies. There were no displays or little charm trinkets lying around. Everything he did was custom. Let them go to a kitschy tourist trap if they wanted some run-of-the-mill good luck charm. He had better things to do.

Already finished with current orders, Rowan decided today was a good day to work on his own projects. He sat on his stool and pulled a thick book from his satchel before stowing the bag under the counter by his parchment, ink, and quills. It might have been old-fashioned of him, but he enjoyed the feel of a quill in his hand and handmade paper under his fingers—his grandmother’s influence, no doubt, as she had been the one to give him his first grimoire filled with parchment. After that, a notebook and pen simply wouldn’t do for anything involving his magical studies.

“Now, where was I?”

One of the few things he’d taken from his grandmother’s cottage was her magic books, but he hadn’t been able to read them until recently. Even looking at them had invoked powerful memories of her, and it was far too heartbreaking to consider. They had sat around, gathering dust, for the last half-dozen years, and Rowan thought it was about time to get over it. Thus, he’d begun pouring over her old grimoires and spell theory books in earnest.

Naturally, no sooner had he gotten settled, his cell phone chimed. It turned out to be his best friend, Caleb, and Rowan wasn’t surprised at the inquiry: “Lunch today?”

Rowan smiled while typing out a reply text: “Of course.” As though Caleb didn’t come out to Rowan’s cottage enough, the werewolf was always on him to hang out when he was in town. “Now hush. I’m studying.”

The returned zipped-lip emoji made Rowan laugh. “Damn wolf,” he said affectionately, shaking his head as he set the phone aside.

Not that the silence lasted long. From the back of the shop, Rowan heard a soft meow. He turned to find the brown tabby cat that roamed the neighborhood, slipping through the window and landing gracefully on a stack of books. “Hey, Badger.”

The cat meowed again, making his way along the shelves before jumping onto the front counter. Badger purred, rubbing his head against Rowan’s arm, demanding attention. Rowan scratched behind the cat’s ears. He certainly was an animal magnet.

Badger had shown up in the shop one day when Rowan had opened one of the back windows to vent the smoke from a failed experiment—not one of his prouder moments. Rowan had no desire for a cat, but he couldn’t just throw the guy back out into the wet snow either. Thankfully for Rowan, the cat didn’t exactly want to be kept.

Badger came and went on his own whims, although it seemed he’d picked up Rowan’s schedule and was sure to drop by to see him. Rowan figured part of it had to do with the fact he was keeping meat treats around. Not that he minded. Badger was a quiet, comforting presence who mostly took advantage of the warm, dry place by curling up on the counter and napping.

Caleb had saddled the cat with his name. Rowan wasn’t planning to name him—after all, he had proven to be his own animal—but Caleb had pointed out they couldn’t keep calling him “the cat.” Badger should have been thankful Rowan vetoed Whiskers.

The bell above the door announced the arrival of a customer, one of Rowan’s regulars. Most of Marian’s requests were idiotic, but he wasn’t about to turn down her money. If she wanted to keep wasting it at his shop, that was fine by him.

“Rowan, hon, there you are,” the older woman gushed, coming up to the counter. “Did you get my message?”

“I actually just got in.” Rowan may have sounded apologetic, but he wasn’t in the least. Marian had the habit of freaking out over nothing and believing she needed magical interference to deal with every little challenge. Think of the money, he reminded himself.

“Oh, I am in desperate need of your help. It’s my neighbor. The old fool has been trying to curse me.”

Rowan had to hold back an exasperated sigh. This was going to take a while. He closed his book regretfully.

“Curses are serious business,” Rowan said. “Are you sure?” Despite his words, he was already moving toward the shelves. They were set perpendicular to the counter, so he was still able to see Marian as he searched for various things he would require.

“I’m certain,” Marian insisted, as Rowan knew she would. “It’s my garden! Everything is just…dying. It was fine one day, and the next…” She threw her hands in the air, which was apparently supposed to mean something.

Rowan hummed in false agreement. “Yes, that does sound serious. Have you thought of reporting it?” Humoring her didn’t mean he couldn’t take a few jabs at her expense.

“Heavens, no. Those fools don’t do a thing. You should know that, dear.”

Rowan rolled his eyes. This is what I got a masters for?

It wasn’t the first time he’d thought it, and not even with Marian’s ridiculous requests. There he was, the youngest mage ever with a masters degree—now two—and he was humoring people who needed to keep plants alive despite their lack of green thumb, prevent a neighbor’s dog from shitting in their yard, or protect from griffin attack—because somebody told them they were rampant in the south of Osterian where they planned to vacation. Money was money, though, so Rowan stomached the inane requests and prayed for those that were a good use of his time.

“Do you think you can help me?” Marian asked, before cooing at Badger. He was thoroughly unamused, relocating himself to one of the shelves near Rowan. “He is such a beautiful cat. It’s so precious how he follows you.”

“Yes, he is,” Rowan agreed, Badger rubbing his head against his shoulder. “And, yes, I can most certainly help you out. If you have more shopping to get done, I can have it ready in about an hour.”

Marian clapped her hands together. “Oh, that’s wonderful. I do appreciate it.”

“No trouble at all.” He kept the fake smile in place until the door shut behind her. “One charm to stop you from murdering your own plants, coming up,” he griped. Looking at Badger, he raised a brow. “Why is everything a curse or whatever with her? I swear I don’t understand mundanes.” He spoke of those without magic.

Badger meowed as if he understood. Rowan smiled at him, gathering up the supplies he needed to make the charm in question.

He turned to another shelf, pausing when he saw the potion sitting there. “I forgot about this.” Rowan had been dabbling with potion-making lately. Despite not being an actual School of Magic, herbology—like divination and runes—was an offered course at many guilds. While anyone could learn such skills, magic could often enhance the effects.

“This…wasn’t exactly the color I hoped for,” Rowan admitted, turning the small glass bottle over in his hand. The sickly green liquid sloshed around, unchanged. “So much for that.”

He may have been something of a prodigy—passing his apprenticeship at eighteen, and earning his first masters at twenty-one—but he was far from great at all areas of magic. Likely, his grandmother would have kept him on track, except she’d died shortly after he opened Charmed to Meet You. She missed his second masters at twenty-four, and without her around to scold him, he’d spent the last four years messing around here and there with all sorts of other magic—including intensive study in blood magic—without truly settling on a new course of study.

Perhaps two masters would have been more than enough for any mage to have, but not him. He was bound and determined to reach the distinction of grandmaster, a mage who had obtained a masters in all five Schools of Magic. First, he needed to get through his next exam.


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Meet the Author

Author of gay romantic fiction, from contemporary to paranormal and everything in between.

For Casey, existence equals writing. History nerd, film enthusiast, music lover, avid gamer, and just an all-around geek. Add in an unapologetic addiction to loose-leaf tea and you get the general picture. Married, with furry four-legged children, Casey lives happily in the middle of nowhere Ohio.

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Review: A Fool and His Manny (The Mannies #4) by Amy Lane

Seeing the truth and falling in love.

Dustin Robbins-Grayson was a surly adolescent when Quinlan Gregory started the nanny gig. After a rocky start, he grew into Quinlan's friend and confidant—and a damned sexy man.

At twenty-one, Dusty sees how Quinlan sacrificed his own life and desires to care for Dusty’s family. He’s ready to claim Quinlan—he's never met a kinder, more capable, more lovable man. Or a lonelier one. Quinlan has spent his life as the stranger on the edge of the photograph, but Dusty wants Quinlan to be the center of his world. First he has to convince Quinlan he’s an adult, their love is real, and Quinlan can be more than a friend and caregiver. Can he show Quin that he deserves to be both a man and a lover, and that in Dusty’s eyes, he’s never been “just the manny?”

Back when I read Stand by Your Manny and realized that sweet Quinlan who crushed on Sammy was being paired with the oldest of the Robbins-Grayson children and the bratty, Dustin I was ready. I had the thought of “I can’t wait for the next book…Dustin and Quin??? Really? Bring it on, Amy Lane. Bring it on.” And that thought actually got a response from Amy Lane herself warning me that Dustin and Quin would break me in the sweetest ways and OMG was she every right! This book one hell of a helping of hurt/comfort and I am wiping my chin from my meal. Good lord. This was so good.

Real quick: this is listed 4th in The Mannies series and if you don’t want to be confused on who everyone is, you might wanna catch up if you haven’t already. The Lowell-Robbins-Robbins-Grayson clan is pretty damn big but it’s a fantastic read seeing how this family comes together.

I love the way this is told! We get a bit of an awkward situation as Quinlan comes home to his apartment to a Dustin in his bed living out one of Quin’s dirtiest fantasies. It just sucks that Quin is so sick, having picked up a bug while on his last summer tour and incapable of walking, let alone being productive with Dustin. This gives a chance for us to know something has happened between these two which needs to be settled and with a turn of a page, we are seven years into the past where Quinlan and Dustin meet.

Dustin is the oldest child of Nica and Jacob Robbins-Grayson. He’s always been the kid who was known for getting into trouble. He’s also the kid who gets carrot cake for his birthday though he hates it and we finally learn why in this book. But Dusty, for all his rough edges he presents has a soft side when it comes to his family and those he claims as family. In the beginning, when he first meets Quinlan, he’s coming from a place of grief having Taylor leaving as their manny to move in with Brandon and this family doesn’t like to see the ones they love go. Granted, Taylor and Brandon aren’t going far. But the kids have grown to love Taylor and this is an adjustment. So, of course, 14 year old Dustin is a brat to 20 year old Quin, who just wants to be part of a family, but doesn’t know how to get one.

Quinlan… we met him in Sammy and Cooper’s book and I adored him. I thought I would love his story but I had no idea how much or how much it would break my heart. Quin is a fantastic, but guarded young man, who never ate dinner with the family he cared for because he didn’t think he was wanted. And yet, all it took was an invite from a young Dustin who needed the support of the man who now meant more to him than any of the mannies before.

I absolutely love that Quin and Dusty have a discussion about crushes and that they bond over their shared crush of Sammy. It was just too stinking cute to not tuck away in my memory but that discussion was more than just about crushes; it gave Dustin the courage to come out to his family and it gave Dustin an insight to how Quinlan needed to be loved. It’s a damn good thing Dustin stored that insight away in his Quin files preparing to use them when he thought Quin would be ready.

These two made me smile, made me laugh, they made me ache and they made me so stupidly happy. I love every damn thing they went through because it brought them closer together and really allowed Quinlan to see how much he is loved and not just by Dustin. You see, there is a running theme with this series and it’s one of unconditional love of family. The family that Quinlan walked away from doesn’t and didn’t deserve him and it was fate that he was asked to care for “Sammy’s family” because that is where he belongs. I have to say, I would love the have been in that crowded room to hear Conroy’s speech… Nica and Jacob raised some amazing kids!

Speaking of Sammy’s family, of course they are involved in this, as Quinlan takes care of Jacob and Nica’s kids; seeing them on page more was a pure delight. Nica is fierce and protective of all her kids and my mother’s heart hurt along with hers as she wants nothing more than to take care of Quin and have him feel how much she loved him. Of course, there is comedy with this family and I wouldn’t expect anything less and it’s a full package once you are in these pages; laughs, tears, triumphs, setbacks and family pictures where no one is on the edge.

I just want to hug this book, so I can hug everyone in it. I can’t believe the angst bit with Sammy Lane put me through, but I get how it belonged in Quinlan’s story arc. I can’t believe what shitty parents Quinlan had but I love that he was on the take me or watch me go path when he came out and made himself into the amazing man he is today. I love that Dustin knew at eighteen that Quinlan was everything to him and that he waited so he wouldn’t spook the love of his life with his intense feelings. I love the freaking crazy cats, I love that the boys peed in bushes because they didn’t want to dry off and go into the house when they were young, I love Nica not judging and I love Channing and Tino going balls to the wall business when it comes to protecting Quinlan.

But what I love most of all is Quin accepting that Dustin isn’t a boy he used to take care of, but a man he’s watched grow up and one he has fallen head over heels for. Their romance was super swoony from the first kiss to selfies on the road to Quinlan not getting the question being asked. They are amazing together and this whole series give me hope and joy in a current world where the day to day can be pretty dark.

Release Blitz + Giveaway: Fallen For You by Jules Dee

Author Jules Dee and IndiGo Marketing celebrate the release of paranormal romance, Fallen for You! Learn more today and enter in the $10 NineStar Press credit giveaway!

Title: Fallen for You
Author: Jules Dee
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: July 16, 2018
Heat Level: 3 - Some Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 70100
Genre: Paranormal, romance, paranormal, BDSM lite

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When you work with someone for years, you think you know them pretty well.

Casey Wicker and Martin Bishop are a British Secret Service team with a reputation for ignoring rules but delivering results. They’ve also built a tight friendship, with more than a spark of unspoken attraction.

While on assignment to Scotland Yard, Martin rescues Casey and exposes him to a life-changing secret. Martin is not what he seems, and now that Casey is aware of that, the knowledge most likely comes with a death sentence.

When a way to avoid the tragic ending is suggested, it may very well take more cooperation than anyone is willing to expend.


Fallen for You
Jules Dee © 2018
All Rights Reserved

Chapter One
“You’re utter rubbish at this, you know that, right?” Casey shouted as Martin’s long legs ate up the distance ahead of them, arms and shoulders bunching and rolling in graceful synchronicity.

“In what particular way—” Martin ducked around a corner and took off down the next street, shouting back over his shoulder “—am I rubbish?”

“You, Martin Christopher Bishop—” Casey suddenly grabbed his arm roughly and pulled him into a shadowed doorway. “—are rubbish at the whole secret part of secret agent.”

They stood close together, heads almost level, breathing hard and grinning in spite of the danger as the sounds of angry shouting faded in the distance.

“We got the document we were after, didn’t we? I don’t see the problem.” Martin’s eyes sparkled bright blue even in the dimly lit recess as he ran a hand quickly through his short dark hair. Casey smiled at the familiar habit that tended to appear when in risky situations.

“You don’t see—” Casey took a moment to bend, putting his hands on his knees, and gasped great lungfuls of air as his shaggy blonde hair fell over his eyes. “You don’t see the problem? We can never come back to Liberec, you idiot. You might as well have signed into the hotel as James Bond if you intended to grab the papers in broad daylight.”

Martin leant against the rough bricks, chuckling as he tucked the documents in question away inside his jacket. “Don’t make such a fuss. What’re the chances we’ll ever need to come back to this area of Prague anyway?”

Casey straightened and tried for his most withering stare, his brown gaze meeting Martin’s, before giving in and laughing along with his partner. “Hopeless. You’re hopeless. Why do I work with you?”

“My rakish charm, my scintillating conversation? C’mon, admit it, you love me.” He ducked his head out, casting a quick glance both ways. “The coast is clear. Ready for another sprint?”

“Always.” He took one last breath and broke into a run. “And I don’t love you, for the record. You’re a complete tit.”


NineStar Press | Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Meet the Author

Jules Dee doesn’t understand what she has done to deserve her magnificent life. She is surrounded and supported by her husband and her friends. Her cats appreciate that her habit of writing creates long hours of lap-time, which they are happy to consume and repay her with purrs.

When she isn’t writing, she spends her days running the Technology Service Desk for a Local Council in Metropolitan Melbourne and fixing things that are broken.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | eMail


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Review: Rhino Ash (Saturday Barbies #2) by Lindsey Black

Ashley Jameson always tries to do the right thing, but that’s hard when your nephew keeps eating crayons, your niece is dressed as a pudding and your obnoxious older brothers crash the church’s Sunday brunch with the guy you’ve been crushing on for five years. Going to work to fight fires is a welcome relief from family obligations, until the Riot Squad arrives to investigate and Ashley once again finds himself dealing with his siblings. Oh ... and Finn Hale.

But Finn’s dark past continues to haunt him. As work gets increasingly busy with a string of arson attacks on illegal immigrants, Finn steps in to be the shoulder Ashley needs to lean on, but Ashley struggles to do the same for the man he loves. Juggling family and work can be difficult, but Ashley soon discovers that the real challenge is when it's not a struggle at all ... because you'll do anything for the ones you love.

I have to say that I was ready for Ashley to get a story after meeting his crazy but lovable family in Fishy Riot. I was not disappointed in witnessing him wrestle with his crush and growing feelings for the man who works with his twin brothers, Finn Hale. I love seeing this crush go from Hale to Finn. And Ashley really own his feelings and own the man he is falling in love with.

Ashley and Finn have been crushing on one another for years and while everyone can see it clear as day on Ash’s face, they had no clue about Finn...including Ash. But these two dance around each other with their respective jobs. The fact that Finn works with Ash’s twin brothers Clay and Taylor meant they were bound to be in contact numerous times. But it’s that one time, the one-time Finn is hurt and Ash finally has a chance to take care of him that they share a kiss, a few declarations and a cock block of epic proportions.
‘Finn … I like you.’
‘Good to know, since I’m naked in bed with you.’
‘I want you to be mine,’
‘Ash, I’ve been yours for years, you were just too stupid to notice.’
When we get the few moments of these two together, it’s brilliant. Ash and Finn have this raw honesty when it comes to their feelings and I loved the communication between them and how they knew when to push and when to back off. I would like to see Finn out running his dog and the plush rabbit to see how truly bizarre it all looks. I would hate to see Ash on the news so much even though it’s his job.

This was a fun book, I laughed a lot with both men because that’s what they do. They laugh a lot. So much in fact I decided to do a search of the word because it started to bug me. Not in a bad way but I don’t know? My favorite emotion is laughter through tears but in this, it seemed that just when we were getting serious, when Finn was telling the story about his back and things got heavy as they should be with a story like that, we were back to laughing and it took me out of the story.

I don’t want it to seem like I didn’t like this book because I really did. I just found the balance between the crimes, fires, romance and laughs not to be as balanced as I would have liked and I feel off balance having finished it and trying to sort out my feelings. The author is amazing with telling a story and bringing out emotions organically but once again, it all felt so fast that I never had time to really settle in and get comfortable.
Your family are completely bonkers, but I like them. They don’t care what people think as long as they’re together. That’s how it’s supposed to be.
This series is a lot of fun but sometimes the fun can be exhausting. I am not sure why this one felt more over the top than Taylor’s book did since that book could basically own the title over the top but Taylor’s book had more quiet and intimate moments with he and Sietta. I think for me, Ash and Finn never really got a quiet moment. I mean, even their sex felt rushed and I really wanted them to take their time with one another but everything felt like it had a insane sense of urgency to it that kept me from falling in love with their story like I wanted to. But then again, looking back on Finn’s life I can see a reason for it but at the same time, I wanted the time between Finn and Ash to be at a slower pace than the world around them.

I don’t know.

Even though the pace was a little too fast for me, I’d still recommend.

Blog Tour + Giveaway: The Wulf Chronicles by Wulf Francu Godgluck

The Wulf Chronicles blog tour visits Boy Meets Boy Reviews! Celebrate with author Wulf Francu Godgluck and Vibrant Promotions! The author shares the inner workings of his brain about his series! Learn more today and enter in The Wulf Chronicles eBook giveaway! (2 winners--good luck!)

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The Wulf Chronicles
Wulf Chron Book 1
Wulf Francu Godgluck
Gay Fantasy
Release Date: 06.11.18
The Wulf Chronicles Cover

1 THE WULF CHRONICLES 3D Image of Book Cover
What if werewolves were real?
What if one of them was different?
What if you were a defective werewolf?
This is not the story of how one night I got bitten and my life changed. Nor is it the story of how I went on a savage killing spree that left me tormented with guilt and dread the next morning.
This is the story of a boy, a boy who’s spent his life running from the shadows of monsters. A boy who never understood why the world hated him with so much odium. Why his mother would throw away her only life to protect his. Why he was never allowed to have friends. Why he never had the childhood every child should. Why he was never allowed to cherish happiness.
This is the story of a boy becoming himself, embracing his vulnerability and learning to accept and love.
This is a story about a werewolf, trying to find the answers to why he was born defective.
And maybe that’s the very reason I become the main course on the menu.
The Wulf Chronicles Teaser 1

A lycan’s sexual orientation was a completely nonproblematic topic. Most lycans, before meeting and knowing the gender of their mates, tended to be bisexual, however, there were the few cases, as with Leo, where a lycan knew beforehand what gender they were drawn to. And, luckily, the mating call was never cruel in that regard.

Contrary to how prejudice and discriminatory the Council and lycan community’s views on females were, homosexuality had never fazed the lycan race. It was part of their ancestry, as natural and accepting as bleeding.

“Go,”she growled at him, “before you shatter my stoic façade and have me in tears. I’m honored to know this beautiful thing is happening in my presence.”

Leo smiled, turned, and ascended the stairs, his grin fading as he neared the bathroom the Beta occupied.

He clutched the doorknob, squeezing his eyelids and drawing in a shaky breath, willing himself to calm down.

The knob ripped from under Leo’s grasp as the door swung open, the momentum of Cooler’s movements and of Leo’s stumble at the abrupt occurrence, sent them colliding into each other.

Cooler grabbed Leo by the throat and shoved him against the bathroom wall, his one eye glowing a furious blue fire as he glared up at him.

“If the pretty puppy wanted a kiss, all he had to do was whimper.”

Leo swallowed against the clutched grip squeezing his windpipe, any response stuck in his throat. Cooler leaned in close, released Leo’s neck, and cupped the back of his head, pulling him down before sealing their lips together.

Fire screamed through him, heat gnawed to the tips of Leo’s fingertips and toes as Cooler wrenched open Leo’s lips with nip of his teeth, shoving his fat tongue into Leo’s mouth…

No one said a lycan claiming his mate was a pretty event.

The kiss that followed was a soft and gentle devastation of sweet hunger.

Cooler’s lips were pure lightning against Leo’s, every hair on his body pulsated to attention. His growl simmered through their mouths, giving Leo ample knowledge of how much power resided within his mate, the vibration, a thunder, rattled him to his soul.

He didn’t dare touch Cooler. Just because they were sucking lips, didn’t mean the Beta had accepted Leo as his.

Cooler pulled back, his eye a bone-chilling dark as he glared up into Leo’s gaze.

Fat fingers slid from behind Leo’s neck, mapping their way along his cheek to brush over his lips, only to catch him by the chin.

Leo closed his eyes, both needing and dreading the words about to spill from his mate.

But time stretched, and it stretched, and it stretched as he waited.

His lips moved involuntarily, quivering, ready to speak, but only a whimper undulated through him. Cooler grunted, halting Leo’s tongue and washing hot air up into Leo’s face, reminding him of how close the Beta’s lips were to his own.

His insides squirmed, anticipating, hoping and wanting Cooler to bless him with another taste.

No kiss came, no words either. Only the scent of his mate. A spicy, intoxicating, rugged musk. Prime Bloods tended to have a heavier, far more domineering scent than half-breeds. That and, of course, the raw power they emanated were the only physical truths that set them apart.


I want to thank everyone from Boy Meets Boy Reviews for this opportunity for a guest post on their blog.

I’m so happy to be here! Seriously, thank you guys.

I wanted to touch today on something a little different, a view into my chaotic mind and why at times my writing tend to be a little (or very confusing) to some readers.

Most readers who has stuck with me since my first book and every other book thereafter, knows my writing style by now. It's different than most native English speaking authors’, and that’s not only due to me having a foreign language as my primary language, but also how I’ve been taught to write and read. (See what I did there at the end, I’ll come back to this in a bit.)

Now some might ask how, what does having a foreign first language (mother tongue) have to do with English. English is English you say? Sure there is differences in American English vs British English. But all grammar rules should still apply!

And this is still true.

Let touch on the bit I had there in brackets up above. I suffer from dyslexia; it was never addressed during my upbringing because of the way things were seen almost 20 years ago in South African households. In South Africa it was brushed off and hoped upon that by working hard and doing well in school, dyslexia would just weed itself out, in and through school. It didn’t, not for me at least, thus, sometimes, I switch my words around. Normally one would say “read and write,” it’s easier on the mind’s tongue and flows better. It was worse in the past, I use to confuse my left and right, my b with d’s and vice versa. I tended to learn easier via visual examples, demonstrations, experimentation, and observation. You couldn't just throw a book at me and tell me to learn what was written there, I’d be bored in the first five min.

This changed how I perceived the world, and eventually how my thought process worked.

This surely influenced how I write.

Now let's bring in the language, being a native Afrikaans boere boy, I tend to think in Afrikaans first then translate it into English and that can caused a bit of a train smash. See, sometimes in the Afrikaans language things tend to be backwards, especially in more complex sentences, we have different verb order and make use of double negatives.

Here’s a quick e.g.
Afrikaans: Môre werk ek in die skool.

English: I will be working at the school tomorrow.

Lit. translation: Tomorrow work I in the school.

Wulfy’s translation: Tomorrow, I’ll be working at the school.

Afrikaans: Hy het gesê, dat hy dit gedoen het.

English: He said that he did it.

Lit. translation: He has said, that he it did has.

Wulfy’s translation: He had said, that he had done it.

But it’s not only the grammatical and sentence structure differences that plays a part in my writing, it’s the language itself and how it shaped my perspective of thinking. For primarily English speakers, readers and writers, this can be a difficult concept to grasp. But this is prevalent to all languages. The tongue we speak shape our perspective of thinking. Our very langue defines so much about our thought process, how we solve problems, and how we view and perceive the world around us.

To learn more about this topic, which is extremely fascinating and interesting as Lera Boroditsky explains it, take a look at his video:

So what does this have to do with my first chapters being confusing, I use a lot of figurative writing and undertone. (please, this is by no means a “how to read my (wulfy’s) books,” this is merely a view into how my mind and writing works.)

I’ll take two examples here from two of my works. (Please note; prologues don’t apply here.)

The first thing to note is how much thought goes into my opening line. I believe personally, and I feel that my opening line should be able to sum up my entire story within that line.

E.g. 1) Of Gods and Monsters: Komainu.

“A pitch-black pit lay in front of him, reaching through the darkness to pull him down into its depths.”

Let’s interpret this.

We know this is Hades.

Pitch-black; a darkness, this could be PTSD, depression, some unwanted predicament or struggle he needs to face that’s lying ahead of him. It might have happened already, or may still come to pass.

Pit; aka a hole, empty and vast, the unknown, uncertainty yet inevitable in its existence.

Reaching through the darkness: what is reaching? We don’t know yet, but it has darkness at its core, death maybe? A dark state of mind, uncertainty of the future? Past sins reaching, catching up with him? Darkness; bad, dismay, wickedness, evil.

To pull him down: inevitable, something is definitely coming or will come, falling to one's own darkness, down aka depressed.

Depths: note here how the word is plural, we don’t know how deep it is, how many levels of darkness there are, again the unknown and darkness comes into play.

By this short sentence we can gather that some of the prominent themes throughout the story will be darkness, the unknown, sinking in, pulled down, becoming one’s own darkness.

For those who have read Komainu now knows how the story goes, knows how these themes play into each other and what the ultimate outcome is.

E.g. 2) The Wulf Chronicles.

“I was going to die.”

We know this is the protagonist speaking by it being in first person point of view. He’s going to die? Well, we can’t really tell because this is past tense with the word ‘was’. Is he being over dramatic? Maybe he’s a teenage, cause they tend to be way over dramatic at times. But die, death? Why is he going to, or believe that he is going to die. Death also insinuates fear. Now for those who have read The Wulf Chronicles know Fear and Death are two major recurring themes with in this story.

Why do I do this then? Because it's what I grew up on, Afrikaans literature is riddled with undertones, we are taught to dissect an entire prescribed book and fish out its deeper meanings. Afrikaners tend to write and tell stories very metaphorically and colorfully, making use of figurative symbols, double negatives, litotes, oxymoron, personification, hyperbole and poetry, to name a few.

However creative this can be, it can also hinder clarity sometimes. Another reason I do this is for readers to slow down and pay attention to what they are reader. More often than not, we tend to complete a sentence we read in our minds, before our eyes had even reach the last word.

So there you have it a small insight into how my brain word words.


Wulf Logo
They come to me in the night, creeping into my head. Their voices are all different, their stories all dissimilar, but they keep saying the same thing...
“Show us, tell us to the world. Bring us into yours, and make us known.”

Then I sit and they take over. They tell their tales of love, loss and sinister misfortune, not all of them get a happy ending, but they are pleased when their part is written.
I sometimes find myself lost in my own mind; a world very similar to our own yet so different. Things don't go bump in the night—they squeal, and crawl under your skin, making you grind your teeth, and your stomach turn over and put your nerves on edge. Then there's the drama. Oh, the drama!
I write because I must! There is so much inside of me that needs to get out. So many stories to tell, characters that want to be heard, and hearts lost and won. Words and art are my way of bringing my world to others. I enjoy telling tales of the human condition but working in elements of the supernatural. Werewolves, Vampires, Zombies, Witches and the unexplainable all set against the human world or worlds of their own.
Wulf Francú Godgluck hails from South Africa. His work is not for the faint-hearted! In his books, you'll find... all the beasties with their nasty claws and teeth, and some you didn't even know existed. But the monsters aren't all real. Some live inside us. Who knows what he will make you discover about yourself, lurking in your heart, behind the closed walls of the deep, black recesses where no light penetrates? Wulf will steal your heart and never give it back. More than likely, he'll pin it to the wall with a bobby pin and sit there sipping his tea while you writhe and squeal on the floor... STILL sure you want to read a Wulf Godgluck book?


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Release Blitz + Giveaway: Thief of Hearts by Ruby Moone

Thief of Hearts by Ruby Moone is out from JMS Books! Celebrate with the author and Signal Boost Promotions! Enter in $15 Amazon gift card giveaway!

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | JMS Books

Length: 72,000 words approx.


It’s 1806 and aristocratic, bastard born jewel thief, David Lambert has few rules in his life. Never bed the staff, never bed a man more than once, and never kiss. In the space of one weekend, all his rules are shattered by a stunning, violet eyed footman with a secret.

Jeremy Naylor thought he had found the man of his dreams. Thought he had found the one person that might, just might, understand him. But in one shocking moment his dreams are destroyed, and he is forced to run for his life.

When Jeremy is flung into Newgate for a crime David committed, it’s a race against time to get him free and David is forced to face up to his past, his family, and accept that he might have a future if he has the courage to fight for it.


David hammered on the door of Charnley’s Grosvenor Street mansion and, finding the door unlocked, let himself in. He strode through the hallway, boot heels ringing on the marble floor, and was met by a flurry of agitated staff.

“Get me Charnley. Now.”

The butler emerged and addressed him in condescending tones, but David brushed him aside. “Where is he? Study?” he stalked across the hallway and headed for the study door with the staff flapping behind him. He threw open the door, but there was no-one inside.

“Charnley!” he bellowed. “Get out here now.”

The flurry of footmen was swiftly replaced by burly, determined looking grooms, so David pulled out a brace of pistols from the back of his breeches and aimed them.

“Hold it right there,” he said, and the men stopped. “I have no quarrel with you, but I will see Charnley. Anyone who tries to stop me will be shot. Those of you who know me know I will do it.” He raised the pistols and waited. No-one moved.

“So, where is he?”

“What in God’s name is going on?” Charnley appeared, leaning over the gallery balcony, then running lightly down the stairs wearing only his shirt sleeves and waistcoat. “Lambert, why are you causing ructions in my home? For God’s sake, man, put the pistols down.”

“First, call off your lap dogs.”

With a flick of a hand, the staff were dismissed, but David held onto the pistols. “Shall we?” he asked, nodding towards the study. He slammed the door shut behind them with his boot.

“Get him out. Whatever you want from me is yours, just get him out.”

Charnley frowned. “What the hell are you talking about?”

David stalked across the room, gun in hand and put the muzzle against Charnley’s chest. “You have until the count of three to tell me you will get him out. If you do not, I will shoot you and get him out myself.”

Charnley staggered back and held up both hands. “What … who are you talking about? Get who out of where?”


“Lambert, I do not know what…”


“God… man will you … Oh Christ. Not Naylor?” A look of genuine shock on Charnley’s face surprised David.

“Three. Yes.” He pushed against Charnley’s chest.

“Yes, yes… of course I will help. Just put the fucking gun down.”

David lowered the pistol slowly, and Charnley backed away, one hand going to his throat. Sweat stood out on his brow.

“Get your coat, get down to Newgate, and undo whatever lies you told to put him in there. Now.”

Charnley lifted both hands. He was a little taller than David, and heavier having a few years on him, but he was treating him with a healthy respect. “Now, listen to me.”

“I’m listening. Get your coat.”

“David, I will do everything in my power to get Naylor out, but we have a serious problem here.”

“Which is?”

“He is not there because of anything that I did. I did not order his arrest.”

My name is Ruby Moone and I love books. All kinds of books. My weakness is for romance, and that can be any kind, but I am particularly fond of historical and paranormal. I decided to write gay romance after reading some fantastic books and falling in love with the genre, so am really thrilled to have my work published here. The day job takes up a lot of my time, but every other spare moment finds me writing or reading. I live in the north west of England with my husband who thinks that I live in two worlds. The real world and in the world in my head...he probably has a point!

Facebook Page -

Twitter - @RubyMooneWriter


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Blog Tour + Giveaway: Nectar and Ambrosia (Amaranthine Inheritance #1) by E.M. Hamill

E.M. Hamill and IndiGo Marketing visit on the Nectar and Ambrosia (Amaranthine Inheritance #1) blog tour! Read the exclusive except from the new urban fantasy and enter in the Nectar and Ambrosia eBook giveaway! Up to five lucky winners!

Title:  Nectar and Ambrosia
Series: Amaranthine Inheritance #1
Author: E.M. Hamill
Publisher:  Star Bard Books
Release Date: June 30, 2018
Heat Level: 1 - No Sex
Pairing: Male/Female, Male/Male
Length: 81576
Genre: Fantasy, urban/mythical

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Callie, a Classics major, flees home to protect her family from a monster straight out of mythology.  Visions lead her to Nectar and Ambrosia: the weirdest pub on Earth, where inter-dimensional travelers with attention seeking issues get drunk in between the A-list celebrity lives they create. They can't pretend to be gods anymore—not since a treaty with the current Supreme Deity promising they won't intervene in human affairs.

The Doorkeeper of this threshold, Florian, rides herd on the rowdy Amaranthine and offers her shelter and a job. Callie likes the lonely, mysterious bartender more than she should. For Florian, her presence is a ray of light in the gray monotony of his sentence behind the bar, but he keeps a cautious distance—the truth of how he became Doorkeeper could change Callie's perception of him forever.

When angels show up for a war council over Zeus's irrational mutters about a comeback, Callie has uncontrolled visions of an apocalypse.  Ex-gods realize she’s the first Oracle Priestess in generations. All Callie wanted was keep her parents safe, and now it seems she must sacrifice her future to keep the rest of humanity safe, too. Ambrosia could be the key to harnessing her visions— or it could cost her life.

War is coming. The threshold between worlds has never been more fragile. Callie must discover who is pulling Zeus's strings and avert the final battle—before the immortal vying to become the next Supreme Deity kills her first.​

Exclusive Excerpt

While Florian tended to Big Z, Callie interrogated Hermes in search of validation for her burgeoning acceptance. They sat together in one of the booths out front and the former messenger, who claimed to now be a lawyer for the gods, indulgently fielded her rapid-fire questions as he ate the remainder of the olives from Florian's garnish tray. His funnel-shaped glass overflowed with green spheres and a token amount of alcohol.
"You might try a drink with your olives, sometime. That's a pretty serious habit you have there," Callie noted.
"Silence, mortal scholar. I'm allowed my vices. I don't have many others." He popped more into his mouth. "So what other burning questions do you have?"
"So, why would gods bother taking on a human form at all, or an animal one? I always wondered about that."
He shrugged. "In our native form you'd be unable to perceive us as anything but bright lights or energy. We take on whatever appearance will get us where we need to go, or in Zeus's case, incognito to avoid pissing off Hera."
The last part of the sentence emerged sotto voce, and Hermes looked over his shoulder as if expecting Hera to appear. She giggled, glancing with cautious guilt at Zeus's back.
"Interacting with humans is more practical in a corporeal body. We can be male or female—or both, depending on the situation. It makes it easier for you to relate to us, and there are distinct advantages in the field of biology." He waggled his eyebrows suggestively, and Callie snorted, amused.
"Yes. Rather prolific advantages, as I remember."
"Not so much, anymore." He shifted, and became serious. When he spoke again, his voice held gravity. "There are rules in place now that make it less practical to procreate with humans. We can't intervene in our children's lives in any way that would alter their destiny so the decision should be given more consideration than it gets. Conception happens without fail unless we take some pretty drastic precautions. In most cases, it's a temporary decision and a temporary body, but we become governed by emotions that aren't the norm for our kind when we take on a permanent human form. We're not big on humility or love or being good parents unless we're constrained by the human condition."
Hermes went silent for a moment, an odd, wistful expression on his face as he regarded her. "Every now and then, we decide to live out a human lifespan just for kicks. But biology can't be cheated. When we truly become human in this world, eventually that persona is going to die of old age or as a result of abuse to which the body is subjected. Like that one did." He jerked his chin at the drunken Zeus, still disguised as a now-dead rock star. "Losing this identity has been exceptionally hard. Nobody's ever seen him like this. He didn't even mourn losing Henry the Eighth this badly."
"So, the cult of celebrity has become the new worship?"
Hermes looked impressed. "Score one for the lady. You worked it out in no time at all."
"Not that hard to see. Some of those celebrities are too perfect, or too weird to be human. Tom Cruise?"
"Trust me, not one of ours. The celebrity or rock star status works for some of us. Me? I prefer to be the normal everyday Joe with power, money, and good taste that everyone else wants to be." He saluted her with his martini. "Envy and imitation work almost as well as fame, without the paparazzi. They suck."
"So how many are professional athletes?"
"Not as many as you might think. There are a lot more porn stars."
"Eww." Callie wrinkled her nose.
"We take attention where we can get it."
"Don't take this the wrong way then, but Hermes was always one of my favorites." Her face heated up and she covered her eyes, confused at her own reaction. "Oh my God, I sound like I’m fangirling."
Hermes laughed. "Thanks, but I have a boyfriend. I'm flattered. Don’t worry, your admiration is appreciated for what it is."
"When I was little I loved the story about stealing Apollo's cows. Dad read it every time I asked, even though he must have been sick of it. I know it's probably allegorical."
"Oh, no, that one's relatively accurate. It didn't take much to impress people back then, but making cows walk backward isn't as easy as it sounds."


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Meet the Author

Elisabeth "E.M." Hamill is a nurse by day, unabashed geek, chocoholic, sci fi and fantasy novelist by nights, weekends, and wherever she can steal quality time with her laptop. She lives with her family, a dog, and a cat in the wilds of eastern suburban Kansas, where they fend off flying monkey attacks and prep for the zombie apocalypse.​

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