New Release – The Good Ship Lollipop by Patrick Benjamin #KindleUnlimited

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Book Title: The Good Ship Lollipop

Author: Patrick Benjamin

Publisher:  KDP Publishing

Cover Artist: Rebecca Covers

Genre/s: Contemporary M/M Romance, Comedy

Trope/s: Love triangles, Frenemies

Themes:  Moving on, learning to love again

Heat Rating:  3 flames    

Length:  140 000 words/430 pages

It is a standalone book.

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Kyle must choose between the love of his past and the man he could love in the future

Blurb 

For fifteen years, Kyle and Dustin seemed like the perfect couple. That was until Kyle came home to discover Dustin in bed with a yoga instructor half his age and twice his flexibility. Two years and countless therapy hours later, Kyle has almost put the incident behind him. Being nearly forty and single makes a man bitter, but he’s making do.

Yet, when Kyle’s best friend asks him to be her Man of Honor, on her ten-day Caribbean wedding cruise, Kyle finds himself in a most uncomfortable situation. He ends up trapped on a seafaring vessel for ten days with the man who practically destroyed him.

Face to face with Dustin for the first time since the breakup, unresolved feelings float to the surface, and Kyle and Dustin both begin to wonder if their story is as over as it seems.

While navigating unchartered waters with Dustin, Kyle also meets Jax, a sexy Australian who likes to cruise in more ways than one. Kyle is more than happy to let Jax distract him for ten days. Still, when Jax suggests that he might want more than just a few days of fun, Kyle must choose between the love of his past or the man he could love in the future.

Excerpt 

No, absolutely not!” I nearly choked on a spinach leaf.

“You have to come,” Sapphire insisted. “I want you to be my Man of Honor.”

“A) That’s not a thing. B) The answer is still no.”

“I can’t get married without you.”

“Sure, you can. There’s no law against it. People do it all the time.”

When Sapphire offered to take me to lunch, I should have suspected something treacherous was afoot. Sapphire and I were like sisters. Sisters of different races and one of them with a penis, but sisters, nonetheless. Our relationship was something enormous and incomprehensible to most people. On paper, we had nothing in common. We had completely different backgrounds and cultural experiences that cultivated entirely different perspectives of the world around us. Despite those differences, we had found each other.

As close as we were, the girl had never offered to buy lunch. She seldom volunteered to pay for anything. That should have been warning number one. When she suggested my favorite Italian restaurant, Armando’s, that should have been warning number two. When she volunteered to foot the bill to attend her destination wedding cruise, I should have known to prepare myself for the Armageddon of bad news.

“You spent fifteen years with the man. What are ten more days?” She spoke with her hands. A piece of chicken flung off her fork and onto the table beside us. The senior couple, who were trying to enjoy their eighteen-dollar salads, glared at us like we each had two heads.

“I’m so sorry,” I mouthed to them.

“I can’t believe you would miss your best friend’s wedding over a tiny, little, uncomfortable inconvenience like this.”

“A cockroach infestation is a tiny inconvenience. Gonorrhea is uncomfortable. What you’re asking me to do is far worse.”

“Don’t be dramatic,” Sapphire said, waving her hand. “Dustin is not that bad.”

“Isn’t he?” He was too tall, too fit, too classically pretty, and all too aware of the fact. He was narcissistic and untrustworthy, but he was also charming and exceptionally good at putting on an innocent act. He could flash his white teeth and his dimples and get people to believe anything he wanted. Still, if you looked into his eyes, you could tell he was soulless.

“Why would you want everyone to join you on your honeymoon, anyway?” I shifted focus. “I hate to tell you this, but if you can’t stand to be alone with Justin for ten days, you probably shouldn’t marry him.”

“Very funny,” she said dryly. “I want everyone there because I want my wedding to be an experience. An amazing memory we can all look back on together.” 

 “I am not spending ten days, on a tiny boat, in the middle of the Caribbean, with him.”

“It’s a cruise ship,” she corrected. “Besides, you won’t be with Dustin. You’ll be with me.”

“Lies!” I wasn’t buying any of it. “I know exactly what will happen. You and Justin will be too busy enjoying your Caribbean honeymoon to spend any time with me. Then I’ll be trapped, in the middle of the ocean, with no one to talk to except Beelzebub’s concubine.”

“He’s not going to be the only other person there, you know. Several other people will be in our group. You can make one of them your wingman. My father loves you. You can hang-out with him.”

“Honey, don’t take this the wrong way. If I’m on an exotic vacation, and the only man who wants to spend time with me is your sixty-five-year-old arthritic father, I might drown myself in a bathtub.”

“Don’t be silly,” Sapphire dismissed. “You’ll be surrounded by water. There’d be no need to draw a bath.”

I did not look amused.

“I can’t believe you’re still so angry. It’s been over a year.” It had been eighteen months since the breakup, and yes, I was still harboring, hurting, and hating. 

I hadn’t seen or spoken to Dustin since the incident. As instructed, he had been gone when I returned to the apartment. With Sapphire’s help and some very strategic planning, I had avoided him throughout the entire decoupling process.

I left yellow Post-it Notes on everything he could take and was extremely vindictive about it. He could have the Blu-ray player, but not the discs or the TV. He could take the kitchen table, but not the chairs. I even kept the Keurig, though I permitted him to take his pods. What kind of monster drank decaf anyway? I also instructed Sapphire to guard the jazz record collection with her life. I detested jazz music, and we both knew it. I planned to pawn or destroy the albums later.

The first few weeks after the breakup, Dustin tried tirelessly to communicate with me. He sent me text messages that I didn’t answer and left voice mails that I refused to listen to. Dustin tried everything short of smoke signals. He even sent me an old-fashioned letter, which I didn’t open and burned immediately. I had nothing to say to him and had no desire to hear what he had to say to me. I had never been an incredibly trusting person, and his betrayal had reinforced all those walls that I had been trying, for years, to dismantle.

Being the forgiving person she was, Sapphire tried to convince me to give Dustin a second chance. Still, I refused, steadfast in my determination that he’d had his chance. Since then, she had been careful not to mention him. Even though I knew full well that she saw him regularly. He was her fiancé’s twin brother. She had to remain cordial. I did not and had no intention of ever being so.

“You simply have to come. We’re going to so many beautiful islands: Turks and Caicos, Bonaire, St. Thomas, and Aruba. You’ve always wanted to go to Aruba.”

That was true, but still, “If you put us on a ship together, I promise you, I will throw him overboard.”

She smiled wide, her teeth gleaming white against the contrast of her chocolate skin. “That’s fine! Just promise you’ll make it look like an accident.”

“Duh,” was the most mature response I could muster. “I don’t want to end up someone’s bitch in a Caribbean prison.” 

“Don’t you, though?”

Dirty, prison sex would have been the most action I’d seen in a while. Thirty-nine may have been young by hetero standards, but in the queer world, I was practically a spinster. Being classified as an elder gay meant that my dating pool had been reduced to a few categories. First, those men who were so weird or creepy that nobody wanted them, or second, those who were so bitter and jaded by relationships past that dating them was like trying to build a house out of straw. I was a card-carrying member of category two.

Of course, there was always a third group. Younger men. They were excellent in theory, with their zero percent body fat and their permanent erections. However, too often, their perfect bodies and sexual appetites only camouflaged the fact that they lacked any real substance. If brains were dynamite, most of them couldn’t blow their nose. There were always exceptions. Old souls that knew how to converse about more than just Rhi-Rhi’s new album or T-Swizzle’s latest boyfriend. Those younger men wanted more than sugar daddies. Though, I still couldn’t imagine having enough in common with someone who hadn’t even been alive during the original run of Friends.

It wasn’t that I couldn’t get a date. Even close to forty, I was still cute. Not as attractive as I was at twenty, but I wasn’t a hunchback or anything. My deep green eyes matched my red hair, which I kept cropped short to avoid the bozo-clown-realness it would become if left to grow-out. I was tall and still decently shaped, a little thicker in some places than I’d prefer, but that came with age. At least, that’s what I told myself. I had a good understanding of where that put me in the queer hierarchy. Guys would still bang me; they just wouldn’t brag about it anymore. 

Admittedly, the realization that I was no longer prime real estate took some getting used to. Before Dustin, I had been a penthouse in Manhattan, but after fifteen years in couple-town, I was shocked to discover I was now a brownstone in Queens. Next stop? Condemned building in Jersey!

That being said, I was optimistic about my life, even if it meant spending it alone.

“The ship is huge,” Sapphire was still talking. “You won’t even really have to see each other. There are also excursions at every port: zip-lining, snorkeling, hikes, surfing. Come on. You can orbit around each other for ten days without committing a violent felony.”

“Great, so I can spend the entire time by myself?”

“There’s going to be thousands of people on this ship. It’s a floating city. If you’re so worried about being by yourself, you could always try making friends.”

“You’ve known me for twenty years. Am I the type of person who makes friends?”

I was about to find out.

About the Author  

This is Patrick Benjamin’s second novel. He was excited to try his hand at something lighter and more humorous than his debut novel (The Road Between). Patrick can most often be found spending quiet evenings at home with his husband, Jarrett and his puppy, Dax. When he’s not writing, Patrick can often be seen performing on stage as his glamorous drag persona Tequila Mockingbird. He also volunteers on the Board of Directors of a non-profit organization that has proudly served the LGBTQ2S+ community for 45 years.

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New Release – All Screwed Up by Beth Bolden & Brittany Cournoyer #KindleUnlimited #giveaway

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Book Title: All Screwed Up

Author: Beth Bolden & Brittany Cournoyer

Publisher: Self-Published

Cover Artist: Cate Ashwood Designs

Release Date: November 6, 2020

Genre/s: Contemporary m/m romantic comedy

Trope: Enemies to lovers

Themes: Starting over, learning to work together

Heat Rating:  3 flames  

Length: 55 000 words

It is a standalone story.

Goodreads


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All’s fair in love and remodeling.


Blurb

Griffin Caldwell can’t wait to make a fresh start: new job, new town, new house. He’s even realized the lifelong dream of owning his own home. Except when he arrives, nothing is what he expected, and Griffin’s celebration turns from triumphant to terrible.

Not only is his “cute bungalow” a derelict heap, it needs major remodeling work to be livable. And it turns out there’s only one person in town who’s even willing to commit to the project.

The first time David Webber talks to Griffin about his disaster zone of a house, he’d like nothing better than to hang up the phone. But he’s stuck. All his grumpy behavior has gotten him is a whole stack of bad reviews online and no clients.

From the moment they collide over a busted toilet, sparks and snark fly. The only thing that might be hotter than their mutual animosity is their intense chemistry.

Neither of them wants to admit it at first but as the project evolves and their lives intertwine, maybe what they’re working on isn’t just a house. It might even be proof that a caring partnership can build a strong, long-lasting foundation–and an even fiercer love. 


Excerpt 

“What are you doing?” he asked when he stepped inside and spotted David ripping into a wall.

“Baking a cake,” he responded dryly before muttering to himself, “what does it freaking look like I’m doing? Knitting a damn sweater?”

“What flavor?” Griffin asked, choosing not to respond to the rest.

“The best flavor—chocolate.”

“I beg to differ. Chocolate is good, but nothing beats a super moist red-velvet cake with delicious cream cheese frosting.”

David stared at him, crowbar in one hand, sledgehammer in the other. “Are you saying chocolate cake can’t be moist? Because if so, you’re having the wrong cake.”

“No, not at all. I’ve had some decent chocolate cake. It’s just more dense than other flavors.”

David snorted. “Was there anything else you needed? Or did you just stop by to tell me my choice in cake is dense?”

Griffin crossed his arms over his chest. “You brought up the cake conversation, not me. All I did was ask what you were doing.”

David sighed and looked toward the sagging ceiling, as if searching for a way to respond to Griffin. The ceiling was another thing that had given up in that house. The entire thing looked like it’d just had enough standing up in the battle against the elements, animals, and trespassers. And had definitely gotten tired of doing so alone—since it’d sat empty for so long. It’d given up, finally waving the white flag as tree roots took over and the crushing weight of snow had caused certain parts to cave in. The thought of seeing the house in such despair and feeling the sadness among the walls hurt Griffin’s heart, and he hoped all the time, money, and arguments with David were worth breathing new life into the house. It deserved a chance to shine in all its glory, and even though it didn’t look like much now, the bones were still solid. It just needed some love.

“When I get asked a question where the answer is obvious, I can’t help but respond with sarcasm.”

“What was that?” Griffin asked, startled by David’s voice. He’d been so lost in thought about his depressing home that he’d forgotten he was in the middle of a conversation with David.

David sighed loudly and muttered under his breath again. “Did you need something? I’m a bit busy here.”

He waved his arm around the room, the one Griffin intended to be his master bedroom, to indicate the piles of drywall he’d ripped down.

“Just wondering if you need any help.”

“We’ve already had this conversation more than once, Griffin. Right now, it’s best if you stay out of the way until I have the basic demolition finished.”

Griffin pursed his lips as he tried not to stare at the way Griffin’s sweaty T-shirt clung to him like a second skin and his jeans hugged his thick thighs like they were drawn on him. Jesus. He could crack walnuts with those thighs.

Even though it was still fairly early in the morning, the sun was already high in the sky and the humidity was even higher. And just walking outside to collect the morning paper would cause sweat to bead on your upper lip and temples. And while Griffin hated it, he had to give his thanks to the weather gods since David had taken his shirt off more than once while doing work. And Griffin couldn’t help but accept the gifts in the form of his bulging, sweating muscles, eagerly. It’d be rude not to, after all.


About the Authors

Beth Bolden

A lifelong Oregonian, Beth has just recently moved to North Carolina with her supportive husband and their sweet kitten, Earl Grey. Beth still believes in Keeping Portland Weird, and intends to be just as weird in Raleigh.

Beth has been writing practically since she learned the alphabet. Unfortunately, her first foray into novel writing, titled Big Bear with Sparkly Earrings, wasn’t a bestseller, but hope springs eternal. She’s published twenty novels and six novellas.

Author Links

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Brittany Cournoyer

Brittany was born in Enterprise, Alabama and moved to a small town in Indiana when she was thirteen. And, even though the town is named Kokomo, it’s nothing like the Beach Boys song. During her free time, she loves to read amazing books, watch mindless television, and spend time with family and loved ones. Oh, and squeeze in writing some time throughout the day as well. She is also the mom to an adorable, yet precocious, Border Collie named Delilah. When not doing any of those fun-filled activities, she works at a hospital as a switchboard operator. 

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New Release – Sort of Dead by Rob Rosen #giveaway

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Book Title: Sort of Dead

Author: Rob Rosen

Publisher: JMS Books

Cover Artist: Written Ink Designs 

Release Date: October 31, 2020

Genre/s:  Contemporary M/M Romance, Paranormal M/M Romance,

M/M Romantic Comedy, M/M Mystery

Trope/s: Ghost story

Themes: Redemption, unfinished business

Heat Rating:  3 flames  

Length: 65 200 words/ 182 pages

It is a standalone story.

Goodreads 


Buy Links

JMS Books  |  Amazon US  |  Amazon UK 


Because sometimes it takes dying to have the time of your life.


Blurb

Nord wakes up to find himself sort of dead. Well, that is to say, he’s dead, alright—murdered, in fact—but not in heaven, at least not yet. In this limbo-like state, he meets Max and learns that everyone there is waiting for the final poof, hopefully to a better place. Only, with unfinished business back in the real world, like bringing his murderer to justice, Nord’s poof is nowhere in sight. And so, he and Max set out to find the killer and make things right again. Of course, that’s easier said than done when you’re nothing more than a couple of randy spirits.

With the help of Voltan, a diminutive mystic with a predilection for turbans, and Clark, a nerdy computer geek eager to shed his loner past, plus a ghost accountant, Bruce, Bruce’s drag queen brother, Eve O’Destruction, and Nord’s kick-ass mom, the newly enamored pair set out to hunt for the murderer, and are quick to discover how much they’d taken for granted when they were alive. 

In this hysterically funny and often poignant mystery about fate and love and family, it ultimately takes dying for our heroes to have the times of their lives.


Excerpt 

I woke with a start and stared up at the ceiling. “That’s weird,” I said. “Where’s my ceiling fan?” I blinked. I blinked again. I thought to make it a trio, but then realized I hadn’t blinked the first two times—which is to say, I blinked but there wasn’t that whole ceiling, no ceiling, ceiling, no ceiling thing, which is what happens when I blink and I’m staring up at my ceiling. Not that what I was staring at was a ceiling to begin with, but still.

I continued staring up. I supposed what I was staring at was white, given that it looked white, and I supposed that what I was staring up at was a ceiling because, give or take, most ceilings are white, mine included, but the white I was staring at sort of shifted around a bit. FYI, my ceiling didn’t do that, except perhaps when I was drunk.

“Did I get drunk last night?” I asked myself. Only, I couldn’t remember last night. I couldn’t remember going to sleep, even. I remembered waking, but that was it. And I didn’t feel drunk. In fact, I felt great. Better than great, actually. Blissful would’ve been a good word for it. Light, too. As if I’d been weighed down and now I wasn’t. “Free at last, free at last, thank God almighty—”

“You can try, but He doesn’t seem to listen,” I heard, then jumped in place.

My head whipped right. Nothing. My head whipped left. “Um, how did you get in my…” My what? This wasn’t my room. This wasn’t my ceiling. Was what was above me a ceiling anyway? “Wait, who doesn’t seem to listen?”

The man to my left grinned. He looked about my age, early thirties, give or take, nice looking guy, too. Very Bradley Cooper like, stunning blue eyes and all. He was prone. He was lying next to me. He was naked. I stared down at my body. I, too, was naked. I continued staring down. There was no bed. There was my body, there was his body, there was that shifting white. “Don’t freak out,” he said.

My heart wasn’t madly pumping in my chest and I wasn’t sweating, but I felt like I was freaking out, nonetheless. Especially because my heart should’ve been madly pumping and I generally start to sweat when I’m freaking the fuck out. All that is to say, I was FREAKING THE FUCK OUT!

“I’m freaking the fuck out!” I shouted his way. “Who are you? Where are we? Why is the wall and ceiling and floor shifting?” I blinked. It felt like I blinked, but I didn’t get the right effect again. “And where are my fucking eyelids?”

“You get used to that,” he replied.

I sat up. That is to say, I tried to sit up. Only, I didn’t think I was actually lying down, and you can’t sit up if you’re not lying down to begin with. “Stop the ride,” I squeaked out, “I want to get off.”

I was still staring at him. He was still grinning. “Give it a minute,” he said. “Takes about five minutes for all of it to right itself.”

“All? What all?” I continued staring. It seemed like a minute went by. I was no longer lying there. I was standing. He was standing next to me. The not-a-ceiling was now not-a-wall, and it was still shifting, and I was, duh, still freaking out, fuck and all.

“You were lying down before you got here, so it seemed like you were lying down when you arrived. Get it?” He said it very comfortingly. I felt less than comforted. Very. 

“Dude—”

“Max.” He held out his hand. I shook it. I felt his hand in mine. There was indeed comfort in that.

“Nordstrom,” I said.

He laughed. He had a nice laugh. He had a nice grin. Max seemed nice. “Did your mom have a penchant for upscale shopping?”

I shook my head. “I was born in one. And my mom had a penchant for making sure I was teased well into adulthood.” I let go of his hand. “Nord. My friends call me Nord. Otherwise, they don’t get a Christmas present.”


About the Author 

Rob Rosen is the a author of the award-winning novels Sparkle: The Queerest Book You’ll Ever Love, Divas Las Vegas, Hot Lava, Southern Fried, Queerwolf, Vamp, Queens of the Apocalypse, Creature Comfort, Fate, Midlife Crisis, Fierce, And God Belched, Mary, Queen of ScotchTed of the d’Urbervilles, and Sort of Dead, and editor of the anthologies Lust in Time, Men of the Manor, Best Gay Erotica 2015, and Best Gay Erotica of the Year, Volumes 1, 2, 3 and 4.



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New Release – Ted of the d’Urbervilles by Rob Rosen

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Book Title: Ted of the d’Urbervilles

Author: Rob Rosen

Publisher: JMS Books

Release Date: January 18, 2020

Genre/s: Contemporary M/M Romance, Comedy/Humour, Erotic Romance, Dark Comedy, Gay/Straight romance

Themes: e.g. Personal growth, poor to rich

Heat Rating: 4 flames   

Length:  63 600 / 195 pages

It is a standalone story.

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Love is Love—though who they will find it with remains a mystery until the very end!

Blurb

Ted is an orphan, a young gay man living on the streets following the death of both his parents. Hope seems futile, though hope is exactly what he finds when a surprising email informs him that an unknown wealthy relative has died, that a reading of a will is soon to occur clear across the country. Ted will inherit something, but what that something is remains to be seen. 

Benny is a young, homeless drug addict, straight except for when cash is involved. Benny has never had a reason to be hopeful about anything until a chance encounter with Ted. 

Both men are soon traveling together from state to state, making ends meet however they can, rushing to the reading of the will that may or may not change both their lives forever. An unexpected friendship quickly forms, and then just as unexpectedly blossoms into something more as their adventure ultimately leads them to their fates. 

At turns darkly funny and tragic, deeply erotic and poignant, Ted of the d’Urbervilles uniquely shines a light on the phrase Love is Love—though who they will find it with remains a mystery until the very end. 

 

 Excerpt 

I found myself in a tangle of trains. Not passenger trains, but the kind that carries stuff. Coal, lumber, crates. No train cars. Nothing I could hop into so much as on. I wasn’t counting on this. I thought I’d slide open a door and bum a ride. But a ride to where? Even if I could hop on, where would I wind up? I clearly hadn’t given it enough thought. To be fair, my head was full of Chuck at the time, a peg missing its hole. It was, as analogies went, a fine one.

I needed to travel east. East I could figure out. East was away from the Rockies. But all the trains were parked. Which way were they headed once they left? And what if I hopped on and the train never stopped until its destination? What if we started east and then headed south?

I sat on the track. My salvation was somewhere in front of me. Eeny, meeny, miny, which one would the mo choose?

“Where you headed?”

I jumped. I fell backward. I stared up, shielding my face with my hand. A guy stood there staring down at me. He was on the dirty side, young, like me, gaunt, shorter by a foot. I’d seen men like this around San Francisco. I avoided men like this. You wound up homeless for a lot of reasons. You also stayed homeless for a lot of reasons. This guy either started or wound up that way because of drugs. His hand twitched. His right eye did the same. Manic would’ve been a good word for it. Or a bad one.

“Just looking,” I said as I righted my butt back on the tracks. “I like trains.”

I turned away from him. I hoped he’d take the hint. Sadly, he sat down next to me instead.

“You can’t hop them,” he said. “They check. They’re watching you right now even.” He pointed up to a lamppost. I could see the camera. It didn’t matter; there was nothing to hop into. And even if I could make it on top of a car, it would be crazy dangerous. And windy. And cold. Not an adventure so much as an ordeal. “Benny,” he said, holding out a hand. He had long nails. Dirty nails. His current state had always been a possible future for me. I seemed to always be running from it. But in which direction, away or towards?

I didn’t shake his hand. I nodded his way instead. “Ted.”

He put his hand by his side. He frowned. I felt bad. I was homeless. He was homeless. It wasn’t a bond so much as a prison sentence we shared. “Where you headed?” he repeated.

“New York.”

“That’s where I started.”

My heart pulsed. If he started from there, he knew which way to head. I pointed in front of me. “Which one goes that way?”

His grin returned. His teeth were in need of a brushing. He looked like a scrawny, shorter, pimplier Justin Bieber—if Justin Bieber hadn’t showered in a week or had a haircut or shave in ten. I felt bad for Benny. I felt scared of Benny. Were people scared of me when they saw me? I was judging a book by its cover, but covers are a pretty good indication of what’s inside. I sensed Benny was rotting from the inside out, that all he had left was a tattered cover. I didn’t want to be a part of Benny’s story, but our plotlines had intersected just the same.

In any case, he shrugged. “Been in Denver a month. My train has long come and gone.” Again, he pointed. “That one goes east.”

“How do you know?”

The shrug hadn’t moved. “That terminal is a dead end. Trains enter that way and go back the way they came. That train came from the east. Do you have any drugs on you?”

It was an unsettling segue. Benny was unsettling. You could turn a bend and wind up like Benny. Benny had no hope. You could see it in his eyes. That is to say, you couldn’t see it. “I don’t do drugs.”

“Smart.”

“You shouldn’t do drugs.”

He rested his head on his knee. “Yep.”

“It’s not that easy though, right?”

He turned his face my way. He’d been cute once. You could see it if you tried. How many people still tried? “Nope. Any money for drugs? I could trade you.”

I knew what he had to trade. I had the same thing to trade. “I have less than six dollars on me.”

He sighed. He turned his face back to the starting position. “Figures.” We sat there in silence. The trains didn’t budge. Maybe this was a graveyard of sorts. Maybe trains came here to die. Maybe Benny came here to die. Me, I had other plans.

 

About the Author 

Multi-award-winning and best-selling author/editor/anthologist Rob Rosen is the author of Sparkle: The Queerest Book You’ll Ever Love, Divas Las Vegas, Hot Lava, Southern Fried, Queerwolf, Vamp, Queens of the Apocalypse, Creature Comfort, Fate, Midlife Crisis, Fierce, And God Belched,  Mary, Queen of Scotch, and Ted of the d’Urbervilles. His short stories have appeared in more than 200 anthologies. You can find 20 of them in his erotic romance anthology Good & Hot. He is also the editor of Lust in Time: Erotic Romance Through the Ages, Men of the Manor, Best Gay Erotica 2015 and Best Gay Erotica of the Year, Volumes 1, 2, 3 and 4.

Please visit him at 

Blog/Website  |  Facebook

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A Series of Fates by C.C. Dado

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A Series of Fates 

Easter Valley is a place for shifters to thrive, protect each other, and be themselves. It’s also a place for friendships, laughs… and love. From the Alpha, to the shyest of pack members, these mates find their way into each other’s arms in this trio of romantic comedy tales, and while the path to love can be bumpy when fate is involved, the endings are always happy.

The stories should preferably read in order but can be read individually as they have their own main characters and HEA.

Author: C.C. Dado

Publisher:  Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: Brooke Albrecht

Genre/s: Paranormal Comedy,  M/M Romance

Trope/s: Fated Mates

Themes: Shifters

Overall Heat Rating: 2 flames (my stories are intended to be more comedy romance, bordering on young adult)

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BOOK 1

Book Title:  Denying Fate

Length: 23 500 words/ 83 pages

Release Date: August 31, 2018

Blurb

A Series of Fates: Book One

Fate is a funny thing. Some try to cut its threads, while others wrap themselves in it like a blanket.

Young wolf shifter Max is cocky and crass. Unlike others his age, he has yet to discover a talent that will serve his pack. Since childhood, he’s been convinced the pack alpha is his mate, but Alpha Christian cannot envision unfiltered and directionless Max taking the place of his elegant mother at the head of the pack. As Max begins to build a life with his best friend, he also begins to see that maybe what he thought was inevitable was all in his head, and it’s time to move on.

Or are they both denying fate?

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BOOK 2

Book Title: Embracing Fate

Length: 27 222 words/ 91 pages

Release Date: October 26,  2018

Blurb

A Series of Fates: Book Two

Sometimes you just have to embrace your fate.

Seth has a secret: he has a crush on the human next door. His brilliant plan to meet Jack, the man of his dreams who happens to be an animal trainer? Take wolf form and ask his best friend, Max, to take him next door for training. Seth is the only one surprised when things go horribly awry.

Still, can this shy wolf and a human meet their fate as mates?

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BOOK 3

Book Title: Fearing Fates

Length: 21 250 words/ 71 pages

Release Date: December 14, 2018

Blurb

He is a fearless protector by nature and in his heart. But nothing’s ever simple with love… or fate.

At nearly seven feet tall, Zeus’s role had always been to protect the pack—but his newest charges need him more than most. Kimber and Kron are transplants from another pack, and they have a dangerous stranger on their tails. Zeus is determined to do his duty and drive the human out of town. But when he confronts Toren, his wolf has other ideas….

Something isn’t right, but should a huge, tattooed wolf with a secret soft heart fear his fate—to love a man with secrets of his own?

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Excerpt from Embracing Fate

Seth walked down to the bakery to get the ovens warming and opened the window behind the sink so it didn’t get too hot. It was still early morning, but it was already at least seventy degrees out. He could smell the morning dew burning off under the sun. He spent the next few hours preparing the backup set of baked goods for the display cases. Max had come in a little while ago to get the front ready for another busy Saturday. Seth was really glad they had high school kids helping out in the afternoons now, so they didn’t have to put in such a long day. Seth was on his last batch of cupcakes. He’d grabbed the muffin tin off the cooling rack and started filling the paper cups with batter when he heard a commanding voice pierce through the window.

“Sit.”

Seth was unable to control his response as he dropped his spatula and sat his butt hard onto the floor. What the hell was that? Not even his alpha had that type of control over him. His premonition of undecidedly awful things coming ran through his mind—this is it. He barely registered the squeak of the swinging half doors as Max walked into the kitchen from the front.

“Whatcha doing there?” Max asked, leaning across the kitchen island.

Seth stared up at Max, his eyes blown wide. “I have no idea,” he said, the cupcake tin he had somehow managed not to drop still held awkwardly in the air.

“Lie down.” The voice came through the window again.

Max looked at Seth questioningly as Seth instantly fell onto his back.

“Okay…,” Max said, obviously trying to stay calm. “That was weird, right? Did you just lie down because someone outside said to?”

Seth whined, lying on the floor of the bakery in shock, scared eyes staring toward the ceiling.

Max came around the island, rushing to help Seth up.

“Okay, I don’t know what’s going on, but I’m calling Christian.” Max pulled his phone out of his pocket.

“Wait,” Seth said, needing a moment to process.

“Umm, no. We should call Christian.” Max leaned over the sink to see out the window into the backyard. “There’s a guy out back at the house next door. I think it’s the new neighbor. Maybe he’s an evil wizard or something. Is that a real thing? Oh….” He paused. “He’s pretty hot, but like not really my type. I like them with a little more muscle, to the point where their shirts stretch just a bit across their chest and shoulders, like Christian’s do. But he’s not bad, lanky, brunet too,” he said, sounding disappointed. “I prefer blonds, and he has on glasses. Can’t say I’ve ever been a fan of a man in glasses, but they fit on him.”

“Are you seriously checking out my neighbor right now?” Seth demanded, his anxiety starting to lower from DEFCON 3 as he took calming breaths.

“No, I mean yes, but not for me. Sorry, okay. Focus. Let’s get you up off the floor. We’ll call Christian and Zeus.”

Seth let Max help him up off the ground, and he peeked out the window. “Wait,” he said again, stopping Max’s hand as he reached for the phone in his pocket. “I’m not scared anymore.”

“What do you mean, you’re not scared anymore? You just laid down on the ground because someone told you to.”

“I know. And it scared me at first too. Normally I’d still be having a full-blown panic attack in the corner, probably crying a little, but I’m not.”

“Okay, so, you don’t want me to call Christian because you’re not freaking out anymore that someone is controlling your mind?” Max sarcastically summarized.

Seth shook his head at his friend. “I meant, I’m not panicking. The voice, it makes me feel different, like in a good way, peaceful almost.”

“I don’t know what’s going on, but you’re obviously not thinking clearly. You’ve lost the ability to make your own choices. I’ll have Christian’s lawyer draw up papers. I’ll be your legal guardian from now on.”

“If you’re ever the rational one out of the two of us, we’re both screwed, and I’m not insane, just curious, I guess. I don’t want to tell them yet.” Seth looked out at the stranger again. He was tall, his dark brown, wavy hair fell just past his shoulders, his nose was a little too big for his face, and Seth thought it was perfect. “Handsome but not too perfect.” His earlier words to Max about his preferences played back through his mind, making him take a deep breath.

Max leaned in next to him a bit to get a better look. “What is he doing out there?” Max attempted to whisper, watching intently out of the window.

“Zeus said he was a trainer.”

“Oh, Seth,” Max said, pausing to choke back a laugh with his fist. “He’s a dog trainer.” He snorted, apparently unable to hold it in any longer, “And you’re… you’re obeying his commands.”

Seth could barely make out what Max was saying past his laughter.

“Shit, I think I may die,” Max said, bent over the counter, holding his side. “This might be the best thing that has ever happened in my life.”

“I hate you,” Seth said, focusing his attention back out the window. Recalling his conversation with Zeus, the new neighbor was a dog trainer. Seth watched as the man knelt down in the grass and patted his leg for the dog to come. The chocolate lab bounced his way across the yard, ramming into the man.

“That’s a good boy.” The man’s purr sent chills over Seth’s body. His wolf was definitely awake, pulling at him to get closer.

About the Author

I write about painfully awkward, usually embarrassing, romance because long confident gazes followed by sexy dancing NEVER happens to me. I am a native of the Pacific Northwest, and will probably never leave. I’m like a hypochondriac sundae, with claustrophobic sprinkles, and a big cherry of anxiety on top, so I don’t travel much. I read to relax my mind, so I love getting lost in someone else’s story, even if it is only for a little while.

Author Links

Twitter: @C_C_Dado

 

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New Release – The Duke & The Dandy Highwayman Trilogy by Zakarrie Clarke #freeread #giveaway

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Book Title: The Duke & The Dandy Highwayman Trilogy

Author: Zakarrie Clarke

Publisher: Self-published

Release Date: May 6, 2019

Genre/sHistorical M/M Romance (Regency), Comedy/Humour

Trope/s: Forbidden Love, Highwayman/Duke

ThemesDuty, Expectations of Society, Redemption Tale

Heat Rating:  4 flames

Length: approx. 100,000 words

It is a standalone story

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AVAILABLE FREE FOR A LIMITED TIME

FROM MON – FRI THIS WEEK

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Blurb

‘The Most High, Noble and Potent Prince, His Grace Padraic, Duke of Waterford.’

After enduring the Ducal Grand Entrance, one might be forgiven for thinking that an evening could only improve. One would be wrong. Padraic was then duty bound to find an amiable miss to romance and dance attendance upon. In truth, the Duke was rather more partial to establishments that promised charms he would ne’er find in the arms of a Lady. Such dalliances did add a dash of decadence to his life of ducal drudgery, but time was tick-tocking and a blue-stocking bride must be wooed, and wed…

Raff of the Rookeries. The most afeared rake-hell to have haunted the highways since Darkin denied them the pleasure at the gallows…by stepping off the ladder before they could whip it from under his feet. Raff had fought his way up to rule the roost with instincts as razor-sharp as his dirk. His sword skills, fists, and wily wits had stood him in good stead, but none had proved as invaluable as the weapon he’d ne’er needed to tend. His fury. A rage every bit as lethal as arsenic—deadlier than brawn, brains, or bravado—Raphael had carried it like a toxic plague. Until, he became Raff of the Rookeries. Unleashed upon the underworld, it was the most formidable foe in London. Two men from two different worlds…a mere few miles apart. That is, until the fateful night when The Duke was halted in his tracks by a very Dandy Highwayman…

 

 

Excerpt

Mayhaps twenty minutes later, the air turned decidedly rank; a stench that came accompanied by random street sounds and the odd drunken shout. They were, beyond any shadow o’doubt, heading for some godforsaken part of town. A logical assumption, further embellished by the aroma of decaying cabbage and other, far less salubrious odors.

If the Devil himself intended to demoralize the poor, he could not find a means more agreeable to his plans, than the London slums.

“Nearly there, Yer Grace,” The scoundrel called over his shoulder as they slowed to a trot.

“Where is ‘there’?” Padraic dared to wonder.

“My humble abode. It’s where you’ll be staying awhile; leastways until someone coughs up for yer safe return.” The highwayman’s voice sounded harsher, colder while imparting this, as if his words were poisoned by the rancid air as they fell from his lips.

“Whereabouts are we?” Padraic asked, curious as to whether his rogue would answer.

“The Strand.”

It was as he’d expected. They were in the warren of narrow, filthy streets and alleyways in the densely populated slums. Home to one of London’s most notorious Rookeries. An utterly lawless labyrinth of squalid living, gin dens, bawdy houses, and brothels. Popular legend told of a traveller who had entered Portugal Street on his way to The Strand and never emerged. His ghost was, apparently, still searching for a way back to civilization. Padraic would just have to hope to fare rather better than he.

The Duke had e’er been horrified that people were forced to live this way, right under the refined noses of the ton. Poles apart, but virtually overlapping in proximity. Padraic had poured thousands into funding an orphanage and school for foundlings, when he came into his inheritance. He visited them oft, choosing the staff himself to ensure that no child was ill-treated, but there was only so much he could do. With all the will in the world, there wasn’t a great deal to be done, as long as those in power turned a blind eye to the suffering of others.

“Whoa…” When Demon clattered to a halt on the cobblestones, the Duke reluctantly relinquished his grip about his captor’s person. The scoundrel shifted in the saddle and with one sharp tug, the kerchief was gone, alongside a fair few strands of hair that were tangled into its knot. The Duke scarce felt the sting as his hungry gaze guzzled the sight it had been denied for the duration of the ride. ’Twas with a devilish wink that the highwayman threw a leg over the horse’s head, before lightly dismounting.

“Billy, m’lad!” He hailed a youth seated on the front steps of a large dilapidated townhouse, holding a lantern aloft. An endearing grin lit up his grimy face as he sprang to his feet.

“Yer all right, Raff?” he chirped, in very genuine cockney tones.

“Too right I am. We ’ave ourselves a guest m’friend. Yer Grace, this is Billy—he ain’t got another name—so I can’t tell yer that. Billy, this ’ere is His Grace, The Duke of Waterford, so yer better mind your p’s ’n’ q’s, like I taught yer.”

“Hello Billy, it’s a pleasure to meet you,” Padriac greeted him.

“Lawks! I can’t fink why, Yer…Grace?” Billy glanced at the man he’d called Raff, seeking reassurance for his form of address, and received an approving nod.

“I can’t think why ’twould not be.” Padraic smiled. Billy looked puzzled for a moment—as if trying to make sense of something he’d patently understood—then just beamed instead and reached for Demon’s halter.

“See that he’s rubbed down and well-fed, won’t you, Billy? I need to get our guest settled in.”

“Righto. C’mon Demon, let’s be ’avin yer, there’s oats awaiting and some fresh hay.”

“After you, Yer Grace…” The rascal sketched a bow, waving his hand with a flourish as he bent extravagantly low, before straightening up to push open the front door. It was painted black; blistered, peeling and desperately in need of a fresh coat. A large, dimly lit hallway lay beyond it, with a wide staircase ascending on the left.

“Raff! I’d almost given up ’ope on ya. Thought you’d gone a-whoring,” announced a stocky, bow-legged man, with close-cropped hair and forearms like lamb shanks. His broad grin revealed several missing teeth, the remaining ones having seen better days. Several decades ago.

Despite having tugged his kerchief down when they entered, Padraic was still unable to drink his fill of Raff’s face, for much of it was cast into shadow and the rest, obscured by a tangled fall of hair.

“Not tonight Bluff, I was off procuring us a guest,” he smirked.

“Crikey, you’ve nabbed a right nob. Who the ’ell is he?”

“This ’ere’s The Duke of Waterford.” Raff declared, inclining his head with divine insolence.

“Lawks! A Duke? Couldn’t yer find a Prince ’anging about then?” Bluff gaped.

“’Fraid not, we’ll just ’ave to slum it…” Raff tutted, with a fulsome sigh.

“I hope yer don’t expect me t’curtsy. I ain’t got the legs for it.”

“You ain’t got the legs for owt except sitting on ’orseback,” Raff retorted, about a breath before his tone darkened to a deadly rasp. “Bluff. See to it that no one. But no one. Lays a finger on him.” He added nary a dire threat, nor had he raised his voice. Raff had, in fact, lowered it to a lethal lash of sound that sliced the air like a whip—but it was the glint of green he levelled at Bluff that made the man swallow visibly while nodding several times.

“Will do, Raff. He’ll fetch a pretty price, won’t he?”

“Too bloody right, he will. I’ll have to keep him up top with me—Duke he might be—but he ain’t above being too ripe and ready by ’alf.”

“A dark ’orse is he? I ain’t at all surprised, now you mention it. Beggin’ yer pardon, Yer Dukeness. Right, I’ll just wait for Billy an’ lock up then.”

“Thanks, Bluff. ’Night.”

“’Night Raff…’night yer Dukeness.” Bluff doffed an imaginary cap at Padraic, who inclined his head with ducal gravity, so as not to disappoint him. The amiable miscreant was chuckling away to himself as he took his leave of them, before disappearing through a door further down the hallway.

“Right then, Yer Grace, up yer go. Right to the top,” Raff instructed, gesturing towards the staircase with a regal sweep of his hand.

“Are you locking me in the attic?” Padraic asked, as he clasped the bannister.

“I am, indeed. Yer can’t get up to any mischief up there.”

The Duke thought it might be wise to hold his tongue and make his way upstairs, afore the scoundrel decided to shove him in the coal cellar instead. Padraic’s brain was abuzz with demon steeds, daft monikers, and bandy-legged blackguards. A boy with only one name and a heart of gold.

 

About the Author

After moving to London at eighteen and flitting about for far too long, Zakarrie settled, as blissy as can be, by the sea. ’Twas here that her castaway dreams resurfaced and she began to write; stories that are, in truth, better at being her than she’s ever been. Her one hope now is that someone, somewhere, will enjoy the misadventures of her miscreants as much as she loves writing them.

 

 

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