Cover Reveal – Inheritance by Gail Z. Martin

COVER REVEAL

Book Title: Inheritance

Author: Gail Z. Martin

Cover Artist: Lou Harper

Release Date: October 22, 2019

Genre/s: Urban fantasy with romantic elements.

(Note—Characters from my Morgan Brice (MM paranormal romance) books make several key appearances in this book.

Also, a long-time committed MM couple figure prominently in the plot).

Trope/s: Established relationships, strengthening commitment, supportive partners, protective partners

Themes: Friendship, found family, loyalty, family always has your back, trust

Heat Rating:  0 – 1 flame (No sex, kissing/hugging for MF and MM characters)

Length: 66 000 words/ 222 pages

It is the fourth book in the series but can be read as a standalone.

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Can Cassidy and her friends find the demon box, stop the killer ghosts, and break the Pendlewood curse before Beckford’s murderous cousins and the vengeful demon destroy them all?

Blurb 

Cassidy Kincaide runs Trifles & Folly in modern-day Charleston, an antiques and curio shop with a dangerous secret. Cassidy can read the history of objects by touching them, and she teams up with friends and allies who use magic and paranormal abilities to get rid of cursed objects and keep Charleston and the world safe from supernatural threats.

Caribbean ghosts terrorize Charleston and start racking up a body count. Then Beckford Pendlewood, the heir to a powerful family of dark warlocks, shows up raving about a bound demon locked in a lost box and begs sanctuary. Can Cassidy and her friends find the demon box, stop the killer ghosts, and break the Pendlewood curse before Beckford’s murderous cousins and the vengeful demon destroy them all?

 

Buy Links 

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK

 

Excerpt 

From Chapter 1 

“I have a problem antique I’d like you to take a look at.” The man on the other end of the call sounded rattled. I recognized his name—Alfred Stone, from Stone Auctions—but I didn’t think we had ever spoken, let alone met.

“What kind of ‘problem’ does it present?” I asked. A number of possibilities came to mind. “Questionable provenance? Not sure how to authenticate?”

“I think it’s trying to kill me.”

Well, damn. That kind of problem. “All right, Mr. Stone. Try to stay calm.”

“I just told you, it’s trying to kill me. I heard you…know…about these things. Please, help me.”

Across the store, Teag Logan glanced up to make sure everything was all right. I nodded, and he went back to helping a customer.

“I can come now. Are you at the showroom?”

“Yes. Thank you. And…please…hurry.”

I ended the call and sighed. This might be the first time Alfred Stone had an antique try to kill him, but that made it just another day here at Trifles and Folly.

I’m Cassidy Kincaide, and I own Trifles and Folly, an antique and curio shop in historic, haunted Charleston, South Carolina. The shop has been in my family for more than three hundred years. While we’re known as a great place to buy high-quality antiques, the shop is also a cover for the Alliance, a coalition of mortals and immortals who save Charleston—and the world—from supernatural threats. I’m a psychometric, which means I can read the history and magic of objects by touching them. Teag is my assistant store manager, best friend, and sometimes bodyguard—and he’s also a talented Weaver witch. Sorren, my business partner, is a nearly six-hundred-year-old vampire. Together with some other friends with very specialized abilities, we do our best to keep the world safe from dark magic and things that go bump in the night.

“Problem?” Teag asked when the customer left.

“I’m not sure,” I replied. “Alfred Stone just called—from the auction house. He says he’s got an item that’s trying to kill him.”

“You want me to go with you?” Teag pushed a lock of dark hair out of his eyes. His skater-boy haircut and skinny jeans made him look younger than his late twenties. “Maggie can handle the store.”

On cue, Maggie—our lifesaver of a part-time associate—waved to agree from the other side of the store. She was sporting a new bright pink streak in her short gray hair, and it matched her sweater, a reminder—as if I needed one—that she believed in taking risks and living large.

I reached up to slick my humidity-frizzy strawberry blond hair back into a ponytail and shook my head. “Let me go see what the problem is, and I’ll figure out what to do from there. It’s not far away, in case I need to give a shout.”

 

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About the Author 

Gail Z. Martin writes epic fantasy, urban fantasy and steampunk for Solaris Books, Orbit Books, SOL Publishing, Darkwind Press, Worldbuilders Press and Falstaff Books. Recent books include Convicts and Exiles, Sellsword’s Oath, Inheritance, and Night Moves. With Larry N. Martin, she is the co-author of the Spells Salt & Steel, Wasteland Marshals, Joe Mack and Jake Desmet series. As Morgan Brice, she writes urban fantasy MM paranormal romance including the Witchbane, Badlands and Treasure Trail series. Recent books include The Rising, Flame and Ash.

Get a free complete short story, Catspaw here

 

 

Social Media Links

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New Release – We Still Live by Sara Dobie Bauer

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Book Title: We Still Live

Author: Sara Dobie Bauer

Publisher: NineStar Press

Cover Artist: Natasha Snow

Release Date: December 9, 2019

Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance

Tropes: Friends to lovers, hurt/comfort

Themes: Coming out, depression, anxiety, PTSD, mental illness

Heat Rating:  4 flames   

Length: 62 000 words

It is a standalone book.

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Buy Links

NineStar Press  |   Amazon UK  |  Amazon US  |  Paperback 

 

To escape the past, accept it.

Blurb 

Running from a scandal that ruined his life, Isaac Twain accepts a teaching position at Hambden University where, three months prior, Professor John Conlon stopped a campus nightmare by stepping in front of an active shooter.

When John and Isaac become faculty advisors for the school’s literary magazine, their professional relationship evolves. Despite the strict code of conduct forbidding faculty fraternization, they delve into a secret affair—until Simon arrives.

Isaac’s violent ex threatens not only their careers, but also John’s life. His PTSD triggered, John must come to terms with that bloody day on College Green while Isaac must accept the heartbreak his secrets have wrought.

***WE STILL LIVE is a standalone M/M friends-to-lovers romance featuring detailed adult content, graphic violence, hurt/comfort, and mental illness.***

 

 

Excerpt

Close as they were to the foyer, Isaac was the first to notice the front door opening. A student walked inside. The kid dragged a heavy-looking suitcase behind him. Dressed as he was in a slim-fitting button-down, Isaac immediately assumed preppy, although that assumption altered and changed when taking into account the tight black jeans, Converse sneakers, and shaggy hair the color of caramel and chocolate—a mass of waves and curls that fell down the back of his neck but not quite to his shoulders. 

The kid pushed his hair out of the way and looked up, eyes finding Isaac and flashing a moment of panicked nonrecognition before seeing Tommy.

“Um.” Isaac pointed toward the new arrival.

Tommy turned and shouted, “John! My man!”

Not a student, then.

Tommy wrapped John in a hug that actually lifted his feet off the ground. Isaac imagined it wouldn’t be difficult. The new guy might have been average height, but he was gangly, skin and bones. 

Tommy ruffled his hair. “Have you lost weight?”

John grumbled and scratched his face with his middle finger. “What are you freeloaders doing in my house?” His voice was surprisingly resonant for someone Isaac considered “pretty.” At John’s pronouncement, crows of approval rang from every direction.

“Come meet Isaac,” Tommy said.

John wiped his palms on his jeans before reaching out to shake, and Isaac’s large hand dwarfed his. 

“Isaac Twain is the newest addition to our special corner of Hambden hell. Isaac, this is John Conlon.”

John brushed more hair out of his face. “Nice to—”

“John Conlon?”

John and Tommy froze.

Isaac jerked his thumb over his shoulder. “The books on the shelf. Those are yours?”

John’s face, immobile in what looked like dread a moment before, melted into relief, tinged with a bit of blush. “Oh, yeah. You’ve read?”

“No, but I should. You’ve published a lot of books. You must be good.”

John’s nose wrinkled, and he looked away. 

Tommy shook him by the shoulders. “John is an amazing writer. He had a story published in The New Yorker when he was, like, five. Are you working on anything right now?”

John glanced at the bookshelf. “Not lately.”

“You need a drink,” Tommy said.

John’s eyes widened on a big breath. “God, yes, I do.”

“Nice to meet you,” Isaac said, but John just nodded quickly, smile thin, before allowing himself to be herded farther into the house toward the sound of quiet laughter and clinking bottles.

Isaac felt it then—an outsider’s emptiness. He became a nervous-looking coat rack in the corner, a terrified tree waiting for the ax. As the party doubled in auditory volume, he bemoaned his spilled wine. Was it okay for him to leave? It wasn’t like he was supposed to make a speech. He was only there because he figured it was the easiest way to meet everyone before the first official faculty meeting, but he’d been standing around too long. He wanted to run.

Out of curiosity, he reopened John’s book from earlier and read the front flap. It was a coming-of-age story about a gay kid in the Midwest. He flipped to the back, and a picture of John stared back at him. He’d assumed the guy was tired when they first met, but no; apparently, John had perpetual bedroom eyes, and his hair was always an artful mess. He skimmed…creative writing professor at Hambden University…gay rights activist…Converse-wearer and “old-people music” enthusiast.

All arrows pointed to John’s probable sexual preference for men. A spark of interest flickered but quickly went out. True, John Conlon was what most people would consider beautiful, but he wasn’t Isaac’s type. John was the kind of man butch guys fought over in gay clubs, but he was too small for Isaac, too fragile-looking, girly. After all he’d been through, the last thing Isaac wanted was someone feminine.

A thin figure ducked into the library and literally hid against the doorframe. He took a long drink of something brown and leaned his head back. “It’s not good when you want to hide in your own house.”

“Library is the best place for it,” Isaac said.

John kicked away from the wall. “Tommy mentioned you just moved here? I’ve been in Lothos forever, so if you need anything…” He examined Isaac from his brown boat shoes to the top of his blond head. John’s large eyes, dark green, seemed bottomless—drowning pools of intellect and soul—only slightly overshadowed by his thick eyebrows.

 

About the Author  

Sara Dobie Bauer is a bestselling author, model, and mental health / LGBTQ advocate with a creative writing degree from Ohio University. She lives with her hottie husband and two precious pups in Northeast Ohio, although she’d really like to live in a Tim Burton film. She is author of the paranormal rom-com Bite Somebody series and Escape Trilogy.

 

Photo credit: Bill Thornhill

 

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New Release – Sleigh Duty by L.M. Brown #KindleUnlimited

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Book Title: Sleigh Duty

Author: L.M. Brown

Publisher: Self Published

Cover Artist: Studioenp

Release Date: December 7, 2019

Genre/s: Paranormal / Shifter M/M Romance

Themes: Family ties, Christmas

Heat Rating:  1 flame out of 5

Length: 13 974 words/ 44 pages

It is a standalone story.

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Buy Links – Available in Kindle Unlimited

Universal Link 

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK

 

Can a reindeer shifter find love this Christmas?

Blurb

Being called upon to pull Santa’s sleigh is an honour for any reindeer shifter, but for Dashiel the timing couldn’t be worse. 

Stuart was looking forward to his Christmas Eve date with Dashiel, only to have him cancel at the last minute.  He puts his disappointment aside and instead focuses on making his younger brother’s Christmas as wonderful as it can be, despite the loss of their parents the previous winter. 

While flying over his home town, Dashiel spots a young boy on the streets, and he knows he has to help. When the young runaway turns out to be his date’s little brother, he brings him on board the sleigh, determined to see him safely home to Stuart. 

Can a reindeer shifter pull Santa’s sleigh, reunite two brothers, and find love this Christmas?

 

Excerpt 

“Dashiel, you’re up next,” the elf in charge of fittings called. “Get your hooves moving, you’re holding everyone up.”

Dashiel wondered who had first depicted Santa’s elves as cheerful little toy makers. He had yet to see one smile. They seemed even more miserable than he was right now. Of course, he hadn’t met many, and it was the most stressful time of year for them. Not to mention they hadn’t seen daylight in three months. That would make him grumpy too. Still, there was no need for them to prod him in the rear quite so hard to get him moving. 

The next few hours were spent being trained in how to respond to the reins. Dashiel didn’t mind learning how to pull the sleigh, he just wished they could leave off the bells until they were in the air. The constant jingling was driving him up the wall. 

Then came the flying lessons. Yuri must have seen Dumbo recently, because he was giving them a loud rendition of the song about elephants flying, but substituting reindeer instead. Apparently teasing the first timers like Dashiel was the highlight of his night. There were three shifters who had never been summoned before, Dashiel being the youngest of the trio.

The first time Dashiel’s hooves left the ground he almost panicked. Thoughts of flying off into space nearly had him hyperventilating, even though the others assured him that no matter how hard he tried, he would never even reach the height of a plane. 

Finally, they were as prepared as they could be. Dashiel took his place beside Fred. Yuri and wife were in front of them, the couple taking the lead.

Everyone went quiet when Santa arrived. He was just as Dashiel had pictured him, though he had never seen him in person. Unlike the couple in front of him, Dashiel’s parents had never been summoned on the same night, so he had never been brought to the North Pole with them. 

As they took off into the sky, Dashiel glanced below and saw how large the toy factory truly was. It was so much more than a single building. There was an entire village, with every house decorated for Christmas. 

“Isn’t it beautiful?” he said to Fred. 

“I’ll take your word for it,” Fred replied.

“You’re not scared of heights are you?” 

“I’ll be fine as long as I don’t look down.”

Dashiel snorted. “I’d rather look down at the ground, than at Yuri’s arse all night.”

“I heard that,” Yuri replied. “I’ll have you know, my arse is the envy of reindeer the world over.”

Dashiel couldn’t laugh properly in his reindeer form, but he was starting to feel the Christmas spirit now. Chances were, he would be required to do sleigh duty again in the coming years, but there were those who were only summoned once in their life, and since he didn’t know if he would be called again, he intended to make the most of tonight.

 

 

About the Author 

L.M. Brown is an English writer of gay romances. She believes mermen live in the undiscovered areas of the ocean. She believes life exists on other planets. She believes in fairy tales, magic, and dreams. Most of all, she believes in love.

When L.M. Brown isn’t bribing her fur babies for control of the laptop, she can usually be found with her nose in a book.

Social Media Links

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New Release and #Giveaway – Warrior’s Way by M.J. Calabrese

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Book Title: Warrior’s Way, Coulter & Woodard 1

Author: M.J. Calabrese

Publisher: Self-Published

Cover Artist: Reese Dante

Release Date: December 3, 2019

Genre/s:  Contemporary M/M Romantic Suspense

Trope/s:  Friends to lovers

Themes:  Crime solving

Heat Rating:  3 flames   

Length: 55 771  words

It is a standalone story.

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Buy Links

Universal Link 

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK

 

Will Eagle and Adam be able to stop a murderer while navigating their changing relationship?

Blurb

‘Hello, tall, dark and handsome.’ Out and proud gay Albuquerque Homicide Detective Eagle Woodard studied Dr. Adam Coulter, criminal profiler, with a clinical eye. ‘Slender build…narrow waist, but nicely muscled underneath that Hugo Boss suit. People think you work out, Kemo, but you don’t.’ Eagle’s dark eyes narrowed. ‘You know I hate that day old beard look, but you were probably too wasted to bother. Nice eyes, green when they aren’t blood shot. Flawless tanned skin except for that tiny scar through your left eyebrow.’ The former Army Ranger grinned. ‘I gave that to you accidentally when we were 8 years old. When you stood up for this Navajo kid in an all white school. We both got our asses kicked.’ Eagle sighed and shook his head. That was the day he’d fallen in love with 4 times married, 4 times divorced, current roommate, Adam Coulter.

Eagle and Adam are faced with their toughest challenge yet. They must find an active serial killer before he strikes again. With the powers that be not cooperating and the killer proving to be elusive, will Eagle and Adam be able to stop the murderer while navigating their changing relationship?

 

Excerpt

The cool wind attacked Eagle Woodard’s body as he fell head over heels. He tumbled, body tightly tucked as he cleared the modified Cessna, momentarily catching sight of the blue, cloudless horizon before stretching out to embrace the air. Below him, the rust toned surrealist canvas of desert and mountains began to take shape as he allowed himself to freefall through the biting tempest. The winds transformed his tanned face, warping it into a mad, Joker-esque grin.

The former Army Ranger set his plan into motion.  Pulling his muscular arms tightly against his torso, the angle of his descent began to change. ‘I feel the need, the need for speed.’ If the wind hadn’t been so brutal, he would’ve laughed. How many times had they used those iconic words in training? At 38, it felt like a lifetime ago.

Eagle tilted his head down. He pressed his legs together with toes pointed toward the heavens, becoming a human bullet streaking through the atmosphere. He could feel the friction heating his head and shoulders. His dark, goggle covered eyes flickered to the left, quickly gauging his altitude in relation to the horizon. One…, two…, three seconds passed.

With an agility reminiscent of his aviary namesake, he arched his back, catching the horrendous pounding of the wind squarely on his upper chest, making it difficult to breathe. Deliberately spreading his arms and sinewy legs, he succeeded in capturing the furious gale, harnessing it. Using calculated care, he began slowing his descent from Father Sky toward Amá ni’, Mother Earth.

Eagle reveled in the multitude of sensations inundating his body. The angry roar of the wind deafened him. The white noise of the rushing air blotted out all sound except for the popping of the black, nylon jumpsuit. The wind strained the cloth protecting him almost to its limit. The powerful, talon-like turbulence threatened to shred his clothes, leaving him bare and unprotected from the tempest. The bee sting lash of his long, raven ponytail as it whipped against his neck and face revitalized and reddened his brown skin.

Four…, five…, six…, seven…, eight.’  With an eerie calm, Woodard counted the seconds. As he drew closer and closer to terra firma, his confidence in his abilities never wavered. Here he was master. Here he was the great bird of his people’s folklore. He was the embodiment of Atsáh, the Eagle, swooping with deadly accuracy toward his prey on the ground.

The Albuquerque homicide Detective didn’t need to see his altimeter. He knew he only had a few more moments of precious freedom. Reluctantly, his right hand moved reflexively to the left side of his chest. Gripping the cold metal ring, he tugged.

A grunt of air was forced from his lungs. The nylon straps crisscrossing his body suddenly tightened, drawing him up. Eagle grimaced as pain seared up his back. The sudden opening of his parachute at this rate of speed aggravated more than one old injury. Gravity, the purveyor of his discomfort, pressed his chin to his chest for an instant before the strain of rapid deceleration eased.

With skill born of countless jumps, Eagle maneuvered the billowing canopy toward his destination. Calculating the high desert cross winds, he made a last-minute correction which allowed him to plant his right foot firmly onto the center of the large, white cross target. As his left foot touched down, he leaned back, encouraging his chute to take the rest of the breeze until it collapsed and fell impotent to the sand. Instantly, the tall man began to gather the yards of thin ripstop nylon and cord into his arms, beating down any last show of resistance from the exuberant ram-air parachute.

Turning, Eagle reached up and pulled his goggles from his face just as his cell phone rang. Pulling it from his zippered pocket, he grimaced at the sight of the familiar number.

“I thought I was supposed to have a day off, Captain.”

“You do, but I’ve got an FBI agent here that needs to talk with you. Says you knew his brother. Here, talk to him.”

“Detective Woodard, my name is Kessler. Rick Kessler. I think you served with my brother, Dean, in the Army.”

The voice and the name triggered unpleasant memories of a time he had tried to bury. He couldn’t tell if it was his Spanish or Navajo side sending a warning chill up his spine. Suddenly, Eagle realized the man on the other end of the line was waiting.

“Yeah, sorry. Yeah, I remember Dean. He died in Afghanistan, didn’t he? Sorry.”

What Woodard remembered was what a closeted bastard the guy had been and how he’d used the knowledge of Eagle’s own closeted sexuality against him. Threatening to report him and risking dishonorable discharge at best…, or death if members of their team found out. He didn’t mourn Dean Kessler’s passing when he got word that some insurgents finished him. “Captain said you were with the FBI?”

“Yes. Detective Woodard, I’ve heard a lot about you and Dr. Coulter. I was very impressed when you apprehended Martin Devoreaux. I read the case report. You and Dr. Coulter are quite the team. The good doctor’s a legend at the bureau. His book on  Ritual Behaviorism Among Serial Killers is mandatory reading now at the academy.”

“Oh, Adam would love to hear that.” Eagle rolled his eyes. The last thing Adam Coulter needed was something to bolster his ego.

“If it’s alright, I really need to talk with both of you about a case I’m working. I think you might be able to help me.”

“Today?”

“No. I’m still putting some final touches on a plan I’ve got in motion. How about tomorrow morning at your home? I want to keep this as low key as possible. Strictly, on a need to know basis, so I’d prefer it if your Captain and I met with you and Coulter privately.”

Eagle unzipped his jumpsuit from chin to navel. “What time?”

“0900?”

“Sure. Tell Cap to bring the creamer.”

Pocketing his phone, Eagle gathered his parachute from the ground and slowly made his way to his truck. Stowing the chute away, he unzipped his jumpsuit the rest of the way. Dragging it down off his shoulders, he revealed a tan-colored work shirt and jeans. He pushed the loose-fitting black nylon from around his narrow waist. Wrestling the last couple of inches of fabric over his shoes, Eagle jerked the material free and tossed it behind the driver’s seat completing his impromptu striptease. He looked up toward the sun before glancing at his watch.

“Yeah…, I know, I’m late.” He said to no one, but the wind.

 

 

About the Author 

My mother now regrets her fateful words she offered the day I came home from our small town library in Palm Springs, California (yes, I’m a Cali girl) complaining that there were no more books to read. “Then why don’t you write some.”
My father never saw his old Remington portable until I entered college and they gifted me an IBM Selectric. By then I had produced at least two dozen unpublishable novels which make me cringe when I read them today.

I found inspiration in innumerable odd jobs (from migrant work as a Date palm pollinator to the person who cleans the washing machines at the launderette to professional Dominatrix) for stories. After a stint in Rehab for Alcohol and Heroin abuse (so when I write those scenes, I know what I’m talking about), I cleaned up and have stayed that way for 29 years. (Me and Sir Elton, LOL). My gypsy lifestyle gave me a unique perspective on the different people who inhabited the Washington, Oregon, Arizona, California, and New Mexico areas where I have lived.

After 3 very bad marriages to men, I finally figured out what was wrong and fell in love with a woman when I lived in Portland, OR 23 years ago. We’ve been married since 2008 (yes, it was legal in California at that time). We now live in Asheville, NC and love the people in this liberal and accepting corner of the mountains of North Carolina.

To learn all about my upcoming releases, news, and specials, please follow or like me at any of my links!

 

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WARRIOR'S WAY BLURB

 

New Release – Waxing Poetic for Christmas by Mara Townsend #KindleUnlimited #Giveaway

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Book Title: Waxing Poetic for Christmas

Author: Mara Townsend

Publisher: Self-published 

Cover Artist: Mara Townsend

Release Date: November 29, 2019

Genre/s: Contemporary New Adult Holiday MM Romance

Trope/s: Established relationship, first time kink exploration/BDSM, holiday romance

Themes: Trust, love, balance, excitement, holiday, sexy

Heat Rating:  4.5 – 5 flames (BDSM play and multiple sex scenes)

Length: 10 – 12k words/ 60-70 pages 

It is a standalone story.

Add on Goodreads

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK

Universal Amazon Link

Blurb

Casey loves sitting in Santa’s lap.

That is, his holiday-obsessed boyfriend Nick is wearing nothing but a Santa hat and wants to know what Casey wants for Christmas. There is one thing, but it’s something Casey’s been holding back on. Melting candle wax stirs a burning desire in him. All he wants for Christmas is to experience the hot drip on his body…if he can find the courage to finally ask for it. All the sugar cookie-scented candles are making it hard to resist adding a kinky request to his wish list of gifts from his sexy St. Nick.

With the holiday spirit driving him on, Casey asks Nick to give him a hot present he’ll never forget. It’s the season of giving, after all, and this will be a gift they can share. Will Nick become Casey’s personal naughty Santa and fulfill his secret fantasy? 

Waxing Poetic for Christmas is a steamy holiday MM romance featuring kink discovery, wax play, holiday sweaters, and a sugary fireside HEA perfect for the holiday season.

 

Excerpt 

Nick breaks out in laughter, pressing it to Casey’s temple in hot puffs that brush over his ear. Nick gives him a squeeze. He backs away from Casey and waves around a lone tube sock.

Casey raises an eyebrow. “Really, Nick?”

“What? The tube sock method is a tried and true classic.” Nick winks and flips the sock in the air once, catching it with a flourish. He’s so dramatic, but Casey loves it. “We don’t have to live on campus to utilize it.”

“I thought you just said we didn’t have to worry about your roommates,” Casey points out.

“I know. I did tell them we wanted some space for the night, but this is just a little extra precaution. Just in case they do end up coming up for air from their science project.”

Casey watches Nick dance down the hallway swinging the sock around.

“Grab the ice and the bowl of cold water, will you?” Nick calls.

Retrieving the last of their safety supplies, Casey trails after Nick into his bedroom. Nick admires his sock-hanging handy work like it’s a Michelangelo in a museum.

“Ohh, ahh,” Casey deadpans. He hoists the bowl of water. “Here.”

Nick takes it from him and sets it on the nightstand by a small fire extinguisher and pile of washcloths.

“Do you really think we’ll need that?” Casey gestures to the extinguisher.

Nick throws him a boyish grin. “Fire safety first. Boy Scouts, dude.”

The snowman monstrosity of a shower curtain is open and spread across the floor, the cheerful pattern winking up at Casey. He sets the bag of ice down.

“Okay, last checks,” Nick announces. He ticks off his fingers one by one. “Bathroom, protein bar, shaved?”

Casey nods along with each one. His stomach somersaults, but he’s ready.

“Did you pick a safeword?” Nick raises his eyebrows seriously.

“Just use stop lights.”

Nick nods in agreement. “Alright. We won’t make this too long, either. I want to feel out what your tolerance is slowly without tiring you out too much.”

“What about what I said? I want to take it.” Casey’s cheeks burn with the truth of that statement. “Whatever you want to give me.”

“And slow and steady is what I want to give you.” Nick reaches out and threads his fingers through Casey’s hair. “Got it?”

“Yeah,” Casey breathes.

“Get undressed. Leave your underwear on.”

It’s a command, not a request. Nick’s gaze heats with it, pupils going dark with desire. Casey’s stomach bottoms out and he exhales a shaking breath before yanking his t-shirt over his head and flinging it at the bed. His flannel pants follow. Nick picks up and toys with a bottle of oil.

As Casey strips, Nick grabs his fluffy Santa hat and sets it on his head so it sits askew. It pushes some of his wavy fringe into his eyes and he watches Casey as he waits for Nick’s command.

Nick waves to the shower curtain. “Kneel down in the middle. Hand on your thighs.”

Casey’s quick to follow directions, dropping to his knees. The plastic curtain crinkles and it sounds as loud in Casey’s ears as his breathing. A shiver ripples through his body. His nipples harden. It’s cold in the room, even with the building’s heat on.

While he waits, Nick lines up a few candles and a lighter.

“First things first,” Nick murmurs. “I want you to watch me.”

Nick doesn’t even have to ask for that. Casey’s gaze is already glued to him as he lights one candle and lets the wax pool once it begins to melt.

He holds the candle so it hovers over his exposed wrist. His gaze flickers to Casey.

“Are you watching, Case?”

“Yes,” Casey whispers, eyes wide.

“Good.”

Nick waits a beat, moving the candle just enough so the flame dances. Then he allows a drop of melted wax to fall onto his wrist. Nick inhales through his nose and hums. The wax skips down, hardening into a pearly line across Nick’s tan skin.

“Nice,” Nick murmurs. “Want me to do another test drop?”

In his head, Casey says yes.

What happens aloud is a sound that’s some approximation of an affirmative that half-lodges in Casey’s throat. He sucks his lips between his teeth, eyes trained on Nick’s wrist. They’ve barely started and already his chest is expanding, pulse thrumming beneath his skin in anticipation. Casey swallows thickly and resists the urge to shift on his knees, keeping still under Nick’s gaze.

 

BookBrushImage246

 

About the Author 

Mara Townsend is a bisexual indie author of LGBTQ+ romances. She loves to explore intimate relationship development of the feels-inducing variety to invoke the eternal just kiss plea from the reader, as well as crafting strong platonic friendships with heaps of heart and soul. Her stories showcase diverse representation, love stories with realistic emotions—never mindless fluff, a healthy dose of humor, and a side helping of her favorite tropes.

She hangs out in fan communities online and learned how to write the kind of stories that she’s passionate about through experimental character-driven fiction based in her favorite worlds. When not writing, she can be found soaking up sunshine at the beach, traveling the world to fill in her passport, perpetually collecting plants, and reading as many fake-dating romance books as she can find.

Author Links

Blog/Website  |  Facebook |  Twitter

Instagram  |  Newsletter Sign-up  |  Pinterest

Giveaway 

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win one of five ebook copies Waxing Poetic for Christmas

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Follow the tour and check out the other blog posts and reviews here

 

Book Blast – Body Parts and Mind Games by Jude Tresswell #KindleUnlimited

BOOK BLAST

Book Title: Body Parts and Mind Games (County Durham Quad Book 4)

Author: Jude Tresswell

Publisher: Self published

Release Date: November 4, 2019

Genre/s: Crime, LGBTQ

Trope/s: Sexual/asexual relationship; polyamorous relationship

Themes: Navigating ace/non-ace relationship; loyalty

Heat Rating: 2 flames

Length: 60 000 words/ 228 pages

It can be read alone, although it is 4th in the County Durham Quad series. Background information is provided for new readers.

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A crime to solve, a lover to save, and an ace-happy ending?

Blurb

Organ trafficking, types of attraction and far-right nationalism are ingredients in this tale about Mike, Ross, Raith and Phil, a gay polyamorous quad who live in North-East England.

Phil is a surgeon in Warbridge Hospital. A patient’s organs are harvested illegally. Are Phil’s colleagues involved?

Detective Nick Seabrooke returns to Warbridge to ask Phil to aid the investigation. Agreeing endangers the quad in more ways than one. How will Nick, who is asexual, react to meeting the quad again? How will they react to him?

This is the fourth story in the County Durham Quad series. Background information is included for new readers.

 

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US | Amazon UK

 

Excerpt

From Chapter 2

“I hoped I’d never see him again.” Words that were being echoed three hundred miles away in London. Nick Seabrooke stood at the window of his flat and stared across rooftops to the dome of St Paul’s. He re-read Phil’s message. It was terse and to the point: Considered what you said. Will do it. Feel free to set a meeting up. Was it the answer he’d wanted? Yes, from one point of view. No, definitely not, from another.

He’d hardly believed what he’d heard the previous Monday. Nick was a detective with the NCA, the agency responsible for criminal investigations that went beyond national borders. Money-laundering involving forgery was his normal remit. He’d met the quad when Raith had been chief suspect in a case and he had been a sergeant. Now he was an inspector. So, he’d answered the chief superintendent’s call, expecting to be briefed about a fraud or a forgery. Instead, he was told about organ trafficking. But although trade in body parts was a crime that cut across borders, it seemed well outside his area of expertise. He’d tried to tell the chief so. Yes, the chief knew that, but whoever had requested Nick’s involvement knew that he had liaised, successfully, with Tees, Tyne and Wear Constabulary the year before and, more importantly, knew that he’d worked closely with a surgeon at the hospital at the centre of the enquiry.

“This doctor, Philip Roberts,” the chief had said, “would he be involved in something like this?”

“I very much doubt it, sir,” Nick had answered promptly. “I think he’d feel that it was beneath his ability and beneath his dignity. He’s totally focused on his own niche. He developed this graphene-based colorectal repair procedure almost single-handedly. He pioneered the research. He carries out most of the ops. I can’t see him whipping out a kidney or cornea when no one’s looking. And he’s conscientious. The ethics would bother him.”

“Money?”

“More than he needs and, I’d say, not particularly materialistic.”

“Then contact him,” he’d been told. “See if he’ll work with you on this. We need a medic inside that hospital. Eyes and ears and a way for you to get in and use yours. You stayed at his house, didn’t you, when you were up there last year?”

“No, sir. I stayed with one of the artisans. In Tunhead though. All the houses are owned by Roberts and the men he lives with. They rent them out to arts and crafts personnel. They call the venture BOTWAC—the Beck on the Wear Arts Centre.”

“BOTWAC?”

“Yes.”

“Interesting sense of humour. Well, see if you can stay there again. It’ll give you some safe opportunities to talk with this doctor without being overheard, and he can teach you all you need to know about proctology.”

Nick knew the meaning of ‘proctology’, but he was focusing on ‘safe’. Safe for whom? The chief misinterpreted his concerned look and his silence, and began to explain proctology.

“Yes, I know, sir,” he said, interrupting, and then he’d been politely dismissed, and tomorrow he’d have to phone Phil. Shit!

So that was what he’d done—phoned Phil, and now he had Phil’s answer.

He closed Messages and, almost reluctantly, opened Gallery. Should he scroll to it—the photo that he’d taken in Raith’s studio that last time he had met the quad? The photo of a portrait of Mike. He hadn’t looked at it for months. …………

………….. Mike had fascinated him, but he realised that he’d rarely even thought of County Durham, or Tunhead—or Mike—for weeks. He was over his crush or whatever it was. So it hadn’t been love. Couldn’t have been love. So, really, he should be able to bin the photo. It shouldn’t be a problem, should it? There was no good reason to keep it, was there? But, although he could resist opening the file, he couldn’t bring himself to press Delete. Couldn’t bring himself to execute that oh-so-final break-with-everything action. So, what did his reluctance, his cowardice, mean? Well, soon he’d have more than a photo in front of him. He’d have flesh and blood. It wouldn’t be so easy to avoid looking at the real thing. He wouldn’t be able to press a key and—abracadabra—delete Mike.

He was probably needlessly worrying. Professional concerns would dominate and there wouldn’t be time to give ex-inspector Michael Angells more than a quick hello and a passing thought. And, being the sensible man that he was, Nick picked up the folder marked Warbridge and re-read the chief’s background information.

 

About the Author

I’m married, I’ve grown-up children, I’m asexual (although a different sort of ace from Nick) and I do enjoy writing stories that aren’t constrained by hetero-norms.

The plots are always stimulated by something on the news – in this instance, reading that, in 2020, organ donation will become the default position where I live and, also, reading that enforced organ harvesting is carried out in some countries. I enjoy writing funny dialogue as well as dealing with serious issues, though, and I hope that some of the quad’s interchanges will make readers smile. And regarding the extract, I didn’t know the meaning of ‘proctology’ when I saw the word in a review of Book 3! (The term ‘colorectal’ is more common in the UK.) I couldn’t resist including a reference to it.

 

Author Links

Blog/Website | Amazon Author Page for all works

YouTube link to audio version of the short asexual/ sexual story Scar Ghyll Levels – available on Amazon Kindle.

(Audio version contains 200 photos of scenery)

https://youtu.be/M6xSuQ9utWg

 

 

Follow the tour and check out the other blog posts and reviews here

New Release – Awakening by JJ Harper #giveaway

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Awakening (Wild Oak, Book 1)

Author: JJ Harper

Publisher: Self-Published

Cover Artist: Tammy Clarke

Release Date: November 26, 2019

Genre/s: Contemporary M/M Romance, MM shifter romance

Trope/s: Wolf shifter, mild fantasy,  mention of Mpreg

Themes: Coming of age

Heat Rating: 3.5 flames

Length: 60 000 words/ 240 approx. pages

Add on Goodreads

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Universal Amazon Link   |  Amazon US   |  Amazon UK

Blurb 

A prophecy, a True Alpha, and fates mates. Can Ascha accept that his life has changed forever?

At twenty-one, Ascha Stanton has it all: a wonderful family, great friends, a long-term girlfriend, and a promising career as an NFL star. 

The appearance of three unknown men in his small town changes everything. Not only his life and future but also what he always thought himself to be: straight. Why then is he attracted to the handsome auburn-haired Thaddeus? How can Ascha hear his thoughts? And even more intriguing, what does the mark on both their chests mean?

Thaddeus explains a new path has been paved for him, one with the Wild Oak pack, who has been waiting for seventy years for the True Alpha to show himself and fulfill the prophecy. 

Will Ascha accept that Thaddeus is the man he’s destined to be with, and will the rival pack accept him as their new leader?

Awakening is an MM wolf shifter book with elements of fantasy and mention of Mpreg. It includes some sexual content and is suitable for adult readers.

Excerpt 

I stomp through the house, dodging my friends, and out to my truck. I slow down as I get closer. The dark-haired guy with the cold eyes I saw earlier is here, leaning against the side of the flatbed.

“Nice truck,” he says and rights himself. He’s taller than my six foot, but not by too much.

“Thanks. Do you mind moving away? I like to get going.” The guy gives me the creeps, and I remember Jared’s words. In my head, I try to reach out to Thaddeus, although I don’t why. Why would I trust him? I don’t even know if I can. “He’s here,” I tell him. I feel dumb, but it’s done. I reach for the handle of the cab.

“Hey, Ascha, you forgot your coat,” a voice behind me calls out. I look over my shoulder. Thaddeus is running toward me, holding a leather jacket I’ve never seen before. The dark-haired guy lets out a hiss and curses under his breath.

“Thanks, man.” As I take it from him, my fingers graze over his, and fireworks shoot up my arm. “Get out of here. I’ll get rid of him.”

“Sure, no problem. See you around,” Thaddeus says.

I drive straight home and park in my usual spot next to Dad’s BMW. Mom’s Prius is parked closer to the house. I climb out, but instead of hurrying inside, I stand still for a minute. I’m not alone. Someone is watching me. I can’t see anything in the pitch black surrounding me, but I know it, sense it. Tiny pinpricks are piercing my skin. The clammy feeling is all over me again. I’m burning up. I stagger inside and stumble through the kitchen. I need to get to my bedroom and my bed. If I lie down, I’ll feel better.

“Ascha? Are you okay?” It’s my dad, but I can’t see him properly. My vision is cloudy.

“No, it hurts. Every-fucking-thing hurts. I’m so hot.” I pant.

My mom lays her hand on me. I pull my arm away. Her touch is soft but still painful on my burning skin. “It’s happening, Tom. Dear lord, it’s happening to Ascha. I thought it was too late, that it had passed him by. What should we do?” Her voice is laced with worry, and tears fill her eyes. I wobble past them and make it to my bedroom, where I tear my clothes off. My T-shirt weighs too much on my skin, and I rip it from my chest. My jeans are next. They are too thick, too coarse, hurting me. Then another wave of pain overwhelms me. The pressure on my chest is like a branding iron, stamping marks on my skin, so hot, so deep, but it’s coming from inside me.

What’s happening? What the fuck is happening? I cry out, but it sounds more like a howl. My throat tightens. Too much pain, too much… my legs buckle, and I collapse, landing on my hands and knees. I cry out again. “Thaddeus.”

About the Author 

You will normally find her in the living room—typing away—with her dogs, Maud and Siddiqi. As a hopeless romantic, JJ dives into her stories, always falling in love with her men, making sure they get the happy ever after they deserve, even if they do have to work hard for it.

As a bona fide bookaholic, coffee-addicted, wine-drinking and swear-like-a-sailor type of girl, she has yet to work out how to act her age!! LOL. And she has no intentions of growing up or growing old gracefully.

JJ lives in a small, very quiet, village in Lincolnshire, UK, with her husband and dogs, and spends all day dreaming up stories full of really hot men.

Social Media Links

Blog/Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Instagram

Newsletter Sign-up  |  Pinterest  |  BookBub  |  Amazon Author Page

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Giveaway 

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card

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Follow the tour and check out the other blog posts and reviews here