Series Tour – The Sky Nymph Trilogy by Charlie Godwyne #kindleunlimited

SERIES INFORMATION

The Sky Nymph trilogy is an MMM romance that is best read in order, featuring spirituality, found family, and falling in love with one’s best friend. Although the Sky Nymph series takes place in the same magical Vienna as the Augarten pentalogy, this series can be read as a standalone.

The Sky Nymph series is about finding one’s way in the world, and reconnecting with nature and the spirit. As Ollie searches for meaning, he turns inward toward his Higher Self, and solidifies his bond with two men who are also on the path.

Author: Charlie Godwyne

Genre: Contemporary MMM Romance with spirituality and magical realism.

Trope: Best friends to lovers

Themes: Finding home, finding family

There are no cliffhangers. Each book ends happily, with a happily ever after at the end of the trilogy.

The books should be read in order.

Overall Heat Rating for the series: 4 flames (Detailed, but slow burn to set up.)

BOOK DETAILS

BOOK 1

Book Title: Infinite

Cover Artist: Kanaxa

Length: 50 000 words / 186 pages

Release Date: March 24, 2021

The start of a trilogy that is best read in order.

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I’m on the run, leaving behind everything I’ve ever known.

I’m on the run, on a blessed path that leads me straight into their arms.

Blurb 

In 2026, Oliver Smith emigrates from the United States to Austria, to start a job as an editor for Boutique Press. Anxious, tired and broken, he hallucinates an angel comforting him on the plane. Ollie assumes it was a dream, but the Catholic contract lawyer Moritz who picks him up at the airport assures him that angels are real.

As Ollie builds a new life on the other side of the world, working his job while trying to keep himself together and hold his shadows at bay, he meets Bryn, a young man who practices a secret magic and sings gentle prayers to the sunset. Bryn is married to Moritz, the same contract lawyer who helped Ollie settle in and who keeps showing up and cooking for him in the evenings. But things have gone wrong: Bryn and Moritz are separated, pending divorce.

Ollie and Bryn fall fast together, becoming best friends, and as Ollie gets to know Moritz’s caring heart he realizes he has feelings for this beautiful man, too. It’s clear that Bryn and Moritz still love each other. As Ollie works to bring them back together, he finds himself being healed in return and drawn into their loving embrace.

Infinite is the first book in the Sky Nymph series and is a 50,000-word MMM romance with magical realism, patient angels, typewriters on bicycles, and lots of espresso. Although Infinite takes place in the magical Vienna of the Augarten series, it can be read as a standalone.

BOOK 2

Book Title: Nebulae

Cover Artist: Kanaxa

Length:  37 500 words / 152 pages

Release Date: September 8, 2021

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I pray, Angel, please keep my lovers safe…

Blurb 

In 2027, one year since emigrating from the United States to Austria, Ollie has settled into a happy life in Vienna with his two boyfriends, Moritz and Bryn. He has handled nearly all of his lingering debt, and is excited to embark on the next stage of life with his partners.

But on the eve of Fasching, Vienna shuts down. The Schöner Himmel coffee shop is forced to close, and with the mandatory ambulance service and the military deployed, Bryn and Moritz are called up. As his loved ones fall to illness and injury, Ollie works himself to the bone, helping his friends keep the Schöner Himmel, the Buchinger book bindery, and the tailoring shop running. With nowhere else to turn, he prays to his guardian angel, eager to seek spiritual refuge in dark times.

Instead of giving comfort, the angel challenges him to face what he is running from. Alone, without the support of his lovers, Ollie can no longer deny his greatest fears and must accept the test his angel has set for him. To awaken to the mystery and the forest of a myriad ways, Ollie must stand and fight what chases him.

He has found his home. Now, he must find the way forward.

“The path lies open before you,” the angel says. “Will you take it?”

Nebulae is a 37,500-word MMM romance featuring magical realism and endurance through hard times. It is the sequel to Infinite and is thus best read in order. Although the Sky Nymph series takes place in the same magical Vienna as the Augarten pentalogy, this series can be read as a standalone.

BOOK 3

Book Title: Etheric

Length: 35,000 words / 146 pages

Release Date: December 15, 2021

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 Come what may, I have what it takes to hold us together.

Blurb 

Two years after the events of Nebulae, Bryn, Moritz, and Ollie are enjoying peaceful days and continuing to build on their relationship. Meanwhile, Milly—Bryn’s sister—and her wife, Grace, have always wanted children, and as planned, Milly starts trying to conceive with Ollie’s help. Bryn never thought he’d become a parent or even an uncle, but seeing everyone around him so happy at the prospect of children, he is doing his best to open his heart to the fruitful gifts that life can bestow.

Then circumstances take a turn, and Bryn is left holding the reins of an exhausted and stressed-out family. With Moritz working non-stop at a local law firm, Ollie’s panic disorder rearing its ugly head, and the addition of a little bundled-up blessing who had a rough start coming into the world, suddenly everyone is relying on Bryn to lead. Yet Bryn’s intense self-doubt leaves him feeling like he isn’t anywhere near good enough—or strong enough—to be all that his two men and their fragile baby need.

As magical forces become active in Vienna, Bryn must make a choice: refuse his role and watch his family fall apart, or invoke his higher self and come into his own to navigate the spiritual and magical flow of the world.

Etheric is a 35,000-word MMM romance featuring magical realism and the cutest baby ever. It is the third book in the Sky Nymph series, which is best read in order. Although the Sky Nymph series takes place in the same magical Vienna as the Augarten pentalogy, this series can be read as a standalone.

About the Author 

Charlie Godwyne lives in Vienna and loves to walk at Augarten and shop at book binderies. A translator by trade, Charlie loves to take train trips around Europe and hopes to one day learn how to play the banjo.

Sign up for Charlie’s release-only newsletter and get a free short story from Equinox, in which Gabriel, Florian, and Solomon take a dip in the Danube. 

Author Links

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New Release – Townies by W.S. Long

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Book Title: Townies

Author: W.S. Long

Publisher:  JMS Books

Cover Artist: Written Ink Designs

Release Date: November 6, 2021

Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance

Tropes:  Friends to lovers

Themes: Coming out, forgiveness, first time

Heat Rating: 4 flames  

Length: 45 000 words/ 151 pages

It is a standalone story and does not end on a cliffhanger.

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Can a secret crush who rejected Johnny be someone he can trust? And why would the richest teenager in town be interested?

Blurb

Johnny Cunningham had a secret crush on the high school quarterback, Zach Carpenter. Because of fear and anxiety, he didn’t do anything about it. A chance meeting after high school brings their paths together again, and sparks fly. 

Zach Carpenter was born into the richest family in town, but since 10th grade he has been attracted to Johnny Cunningham and wasn’t sure if Johnny liked him too. When they meet again after high school, Zach cannot deny his strong attraction to Johnny and pursues him, even though Johnny is a Townie and dirt poor and Zach’s parents have already determined Zach’s path in life. 

When Johnny discovers that Zach suffers from bipolar disorder, and that Zach’s parents have other plans for Zach that don’t include Johnny, can they overcome these obstacles and make their love last forever?

Excerpt 

The drive to their mom’s Waffle House shouldn’t have taken long but stop and go traffic going to the restaurant added several minutes to their drive.

As they rounded Memorial Park, some campaign signs lined the road.

“I can’t believe they have election signs up already. It’s still a year off.” Johnny eyed one small sign. Pete Buttigieg.

“That’s the gay guy, right?” Colton asked.

“Yeah. I heard people still don’t know how to pronounce it.”

“He’s not going to win. Look how many Trump 2020 signs there are here.”

“He won this county last time.” Johnny sighed. “He won the whole state, I think.”

“Could you imagine if a queer man won? Holy hell?” Colton laughed. “Here we are.” Colton pulled up, and parked.

Johnny and Colton walked quickly into the restaurant and were greeted by Gladys. Their mom soon appeared from the back.

“Hey you two, happy birthday!” Sharon beamed. “Take that booth over there.” Their mother pointed to the corner and Colton and Johnny took the seats quickly with Johnny taking the seat that faced the entrance.

Gladys came up to them with a coffee pot in her hands. Johnny turned the cup over on the saucer and let Gladys pour. “I can’t believe you two are nineteen. High school graduation was just days ago, not a month or so.” She chuckled as she poured a cup for Colton.

Sharon smiled, and placed her hand on Johnny’s shoulder. “Glad you could make it Conn — I’m sorry, Johnny. God that’s going to take time getting use to calling you what your grandpa called you. Your brother said you were like the dead this morning.”

“Yeah, why sweetie? It took me how many years to tell you two apart, now you got be called Johnny now?” Gladys laughed.

“What did the boys want?” Dwayne, Gladys’s husband yelled.

“The usual, right” Sharon asked.

“Yes, ma’am,” Johnny said.

“Yeah,” Colton. “Me too.”

Johnny kicked Colton underneath the table.

Sharon put her hands on her hips and glared at Colton. Johnny nudged his shoe against Colton.

“I’m sorry.” Colton’s face flushed. “Yes, ma’am.”

“That’s better.” Sharon relaxed her arms. Gladys chortled as she went back to the counter to take care of a customer who wanted to pay his bill.

“I bought a small cake for you two from Publix to have before you leave. I have to work until nine tonight. So, we’ll just have to a birthday dinner another time. Raincheck?”

“That’s fine, Mom.” Johnny smiled. “Chocolate cake? Yellow cake?”

“It’s yellow cake with fudge icing.” She held her finger out. “I’ll be right back.”

The door opened with a small bell ring, and Zach Carpenter walked in with an older man.

Johnny instinctively slunk down in his seat.

Colton’s eyebrows knitted together, “What?” Colton twisted his body to where Zach stood

Zach was scanning to see where they should sit.

“You can sit anywhere you want honey!” Gladys shouted, as she took the customer’s twenty and made change from his bill.

“Hey, Zach!” Colton shouted.

Johnny’s neck heated.

“Hey, Colton, Connor, what’s up?” Zach Carpenter walked toward them; his companion followed him too. Zach stood at least six feet three inches, and when Colton stood up to greet Zach, it was noticeable that Colton was a couple of inches shorter.

Zach had three days or so of light brown stubble that contrasted with his unruly ash brown hair. The grey shirt he wore seemed painted on his sculpted chest. The shirt further tapered into a V-shape, showcasing his small waist. The pink shorts he wore showed off Zach’s thigh muscles. Johnny didn’t know what brand of moccasins Zach was wearing but he was sure he didn’t buy it from Wal-Mart.

The man next to Zach was shorter; thinning salt and pepper gray; the man’s eyeglasses balanced at the end of the gentleman’s nose.

Before Zach or Colton could say anything, Sharon appeared, holding the cake in one hand, and another tried to keep the candles on the cake from blowing out.

“It’s your birthday?” Zach asked, staring at Johnny, who nodded quietly slightly embarrassed when their mom started singing.

“Our birthday,” Colton corrected.

Luckily for them, Gladys took over when their mother faltered in staying in tune, and Gladys’s golden voice, trained from years of choir practice at the local A.M.E. church, got other patrons to clap at the end, right before the twins blew out the candles. Zach and the older man next to clapped hard.

Dwayne came out with grilled cheese and fries and gave the plates to Gladys who in turn placed them in front of the boys.

Sharon hugged her boys and went back to the back office while Gladys and Dwayne went back behind the counter.

“This is my uncle, Roderick,” Zach said. “He’s visiting from Boston and saw this restaurant from across the bridge from his hotel on Gulfside.

“We don’t have them in Massachusetts.” Roderick eyed Johnny and Colton’s plate as he scanned the cooking area. “I remember as a kid going to them in Pennsylvania. We would stop after summer camp in upstate New York just to try the grits. I haven’t had grits in so long.”

“Well, uncle, I can tell you’re hungry so let’s take a seat.” Zach waved goodbye at Colton, Johnny, and Sharon as Gladys passed with two fresh plates for the cake.

Johnny relaxed when Zach and Roderick sat in a booth several feet away and not in the empty booth right next to them.

About the Author 

Immigrant, military-brat, gay veteran, and former theme park employee, among other things, W.S. Long upon leaving the military became a lawyer. During the day, he practices law but at night he reads and writes male-male romance under this pen name. Once in a while W.S. Long travels or dreams about traveling to wonderful places with his wonderful husband, a mild-mannered college professor. 

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Remember When by BL Maxwell #kindleunlimited #giveaway

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Book Title: Remember When 

Author: BL Maxwell 

Publisher and Cover Artist: BL Maxwell

Release Date: November 11, 2021

Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance

Tropes: Friends to lovers, small town, holiday romance 

Themes: Secret crush, secrets revealed

Heat Rating: 2 flames

Length: 50 500 words

It is a standalone story and does not end on a cliffhanger.

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A night to remember, a confession, and a lifetime of love in this small town, friends to lovers Christmas romance.

Blurb

Andrew Lawson’s life in Sacramento has turned from being everything he dreamed of growing up, to a lonely place where finding someone special to share his life with is impossible. When the first person he meets on returning home for Thanksgiving is his childhood friend Link, it’s a reminder of happier times when his whole future lay in front of him. Agreeing to a drink before heading to his parent’s place is a way to reconnect, and a great way to start the holiday.  

Link Stanton never considered leaving the small farming town he grew up in, but he misses Andy more than he’ll ever admit. Secretly lusting after a friend is bad enough but being in love with him is so much worse. One drink with friends seems harmless enough, after all, catching up on old times can’t be a bad thing, until beers turn to shots, and Link reveals how he really feels. 

Everything could change, and if Andy doesn’t remember Link’s heartfelt confession, they could carry on as friends. But if he does remember, this could be either the worst, or the best, Christmas of all. 

Excerpt 

Sunday morning came and I slept in. The past few days, including two nights of drinking, had finally caught up with me. I’d stayed up late the night before texting with Link about anything and nothing at all. Like always, that was just how it was between us.

Around ten I rolled out of bed and checked my phone. A few clients had messaged hoping to get in sometime before Christmas. They were smart to book it now. Even though it was a month away, by the end of this week there wouldn’t be any openings.

It was a perfect Sunday, I didn’t leave the house and got everything ready for the week. This week would be the beginning, and it wouldn’t let up until Christmas Eve. I normally worked it, but after this year I’d decided it was time to start taking it off.

I was just settled down on the couch and turned on the TV when my phone rang. “Hello?” “Hey.” I’d know that smooth deep voice anywhere.

“I was just thinking about you.” It wasn’t a lie, since I’d left home Link had been on my mind constantly.

“Good thoughts I hope.”

“Always. It was great seeing you again. I know it hadn’t been that long but it really was nice to catch up again.”

His words brought a smile to my face, and I pictured his blue eyes crinkling at the corners with a grin. “So, are you going to give me any clues?”

“Do you need a clue?” he taunted, and he knew he taunted. I would have sworn I could hear his smirk through the line.

“Link, you know I need a clue. I’ve been racking my brain since Friday trying to remember anything that might help. Why did you let me drink so many shots?”

“Hey, you were having fun, we were all having fun. Who was I to ruin anyone’s good time? And once you started you were all in. Then we were dancing, and well it was a lot of fun.”

Oh god, he was right. It wasn’t unusual for us to all get together before a holiday and have a few drinks, there was nothing that would make me not go all in. “It was a lot of fun, it’s been a while since I’ve gone out.” I wanted to mention his confession, and how he kissed me. But I wasn’t sure how to bring it up, and it felt like something we should talk about in person.

“I’ve wanted to kiss you for years,” he whispered, and I would have sworn I could feel his breath on my neck.

“I think you said that the other night.” My own voice was soft and breathy. I wasn’t sure exactly why, but the mood had changed, and I didn’t want anything to break the spell his words had woven around us.

“Did I?” He played coy, something that was new between us. But I found I was quite drawn to.

“You did, right before you kissed me.” He was quiet then. Too quiet, and I checked the phone to be sure we were still connected. “Link?”

About the Author 

BL Maxwell grew up in a small town listening to her grandfather spin tales about his childhood. Later she became an avid reader and after a certain vampire series she became obsessed with fanfiction. She soon discovered Slash fanfiction and later discovered the MM genre and was hooked. 

Author Links

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New Release – Red’s Wolf by Beth Laycock #kindleunlimited #giveaway

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Book Title: Red’s Wolf

Author: Beth Laycock

Publisher: Rainbow Romance Press

Cover Artist: Free To Be Creative Co

Release Date: November 10, 2021

Genre: Paranormal romance

Tropes: Friends to lovers, age gap, snowed-in together 

Themes: Found family, learning to accept yourself

Heat Rating:  3 – 4 flames  

Length: approx 28 000 words

It is the first book in a series of standalone books/novellas and does not end on a cliffhanger. 

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A fairy-tale retelling with a paranormal twist!

Blurb

Concerned for his gran’s health, Red braves the snow-covered forest to ensure she’s safe in the worsening weather. After several encounters over recent months, Red is both hoping to run into the huntsman again whilst also dreading he might because he knows their friendship can’t lead to more, no matter how much he wishes it might. 

A glimpse of his huntsman distracts Red and he stumbles away from the safety of the woodland path straight into the danger known as the wolf of Bowland. Shaken, but unharmed, Red manages to escape to the safety of his gran’s cottage to recover. 

Despite Red’s reservations, the pair grow closer after they end up snowed in together at the huntsman’s cabin, but can Aldrich help Red accept there is nothing wrong with who he is? Or will Red let his secret and insecurities come between them? Especially when he finds out his huntsman is hiding a secret of his own.

This M/M romance from Beth Laycock features friends to lovers, an age gap, snowed-in together, shifters and witches, and of course a HEA.

Excerpt 

I stopped as I reached the twisted oak and drew in a deep breath, and then slowly blew it out in a plume of white vapour. Hope warred with trepidation. I didn’t know the man all that well, we’d met a handful of times over the last few months in the woods to stop and talk, but I knew enough that I liked the man and wanted to discover more about him. 

And those encounters in the secluded woods had left me wanting more. More glimpses of the toned body that was hinted at beneath his clothes. More opportunities to listen to his lilting, almost musical voice as we chatted about everything and nothing. More chances to lose my senses in his intoxicating musky scent with that spicy hint of cinnamon. 

And didn’t that just spell trouble with a capital T. Looking forward to seeing the huntsman could only lead to heartache. I doubted one night with him would be anywhere near enough. And I didn’t do relationships. Couldn’t

With a brush of my palm over the twisted oak’s trunk, I veered off to the right and towards Gran’s. The hairs on the back of my neck lifted and as I raised my gaze…there he was. As if thinking about him had conjured him out of thin air, and I sucked in an icy breath.

Crouched in the distance, blurred by the snow that had begun to fall again, but I’d have recognised him anywhere. I took a step towards him. Adrenaline surged through my veins as excitement and anticipation spurred me closer. I couldn’t drag my gaze off him as he reached out a hand to the snow. 

What is he doing? 

Too engrossed by the vision of the huntsman, I must have wandered to the edge of the path because I stumbled over a small boulder hidden beneath the blanket of snow. I cried out as I fell, throwing out my hands to break my fall and to try to keep me on the path as my gran’s warnings rang out in my head. Never leave the path, Red. It’s not safe in the woods if you’re not on the path, that’s the only place I can protect you out there

But it was too late. As my elbow connected with the ground, it was cushioned by the soft earth of the forest floor instead of hard stone. Pain ripped through my body, and every bone ached as the curse took hold of me. 

I rolled onto my side as my hands morphed into paws, claws flicking out, and grey fur sprouting over every inch of my skin. My eyes shifted position and my vision dimmed to only muted colours as my sense of hearing heightened—the scuffle of some small animal scurrying away along a branch, the whisper of the snow falling on the ground, the slow, deep breaths of the huntsman in the distance—and my ears twitched.

My fangs dropped from my gums to replace my useless regular teeth, and my nose lengthened into a snout as the smells of the forest overwhelmed me. I could scent the huntsman even from this distance. And that tug I felt in my chest every time I saw him intensified to the point I almost threw my head back and howled.

The cinnamon tang of him had saliva dripping from my fangs, and I shuddered at the thought of sinking them into his warm, soft flesh. I shook my head, trying to rid the idea from my mind as I scrambled to my paws, but I could almost feel the give of his skin beneath my fangs as they sliced through him. 

My wolf did not control me. I would not bite a human. My heart throbbed at the thought, especially at the notion of harming the huntsman. It seemed wrong somehow, even though it was in my wolf nature to kill, and I couldn’t deny that weird urge—bite, bite, bite—whenever I was around him. 

The snap of a twig made me flinch. It was so loud and brought my surroundings back into sharp focus. A glance over my shoulder confirmed my worst fears. The huntsman was headed straight for me. 

I bounded away in the other direction, dodging between trees in the hope of shaking him off my trail. Of course, I didn’t. He was a huntsman and he easily tracked my paw prints in the snow despite the fact he couldn’t match my pace.

I circled back to where I’d stumbled off the path, crossing over my original paw prints to throw him off my tail. My tongue lolled out despite the cold nip in the air. I darted behind the twisted oak tree, my ears twitching as I listened for the huntsman. Nothing. 

I hung my head and drew in a breath. The big bad wolf escapes his hunter.

About the Author 

Beth Laycock’s books are influenced by her time living overseas as well as the gritty, urban landscape of the north of England where she grew up. She has been reading romance since she was old enough to tell herself that line every book lover does—just one more chapter.

As a teenager, she attempted to write her first novel, and many more since then are still gathering dust on her bookshelf. It wasn’t until she discovered the M/M genre that her muse showed up and refused to quit telling her stories about beautiful men finding love together. She hasn’t stopped scribbling them down since. Beth’s muse usually shows up when she is in the shower, is allergic to cleaning, rarely lets her watch TV, and insists she drinks copious amounts of coffee so she can turn caffeine into words.

 Beth’s books range from sweet to sexy, long to short, contemporary to paranormal, but a HEA is always guaranteed.

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an ebook from Beth’s backlist plus a $10 Amazon gift card

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The Yakuza Path 6: Wrapped in Screams by Amy Tasukada

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Book Title: The Yakuza Path: Wrapped in Screams

Author: Amy Tasukada

Publisher:  Marcarons & Tea

Cover Artist: Natasha Snow

Release Date: November 4, 2021

Genre: Gay thriller, Contemporary M/M Romance

Tropes: Bad boys, hurt/comfort, boss/secretary, slow burn romance

Themes: Friends to lovers

Heat Rating:  4 flames

Length: 37 500 words/ 184 pages

Though the story is self-contained, it is best enjoyed if read as part of the series.

It does not end on a cliffhanger.

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A gunshot. A bloody note. And a relationship that might not survive…

Blurb

Now that the war with the Korean syndicate is behind him, all Nao Murata wants is a vacation and a chance to nurture his new relationship with Aki Hisona. They can punish those who abandoned the family later.

After six weeks trapped in a hospital bed, a quiet vacation is the last thing Aki wants. Ready to prove himself to Nao and the rest of the family, Aki’s desperate for some action. And not just the yakuza kind…

When Aki hears a gunshot, he knows the dust has far from settled. Nao says it can wait, but Aki’s unable to understand why they can’t tie up those loose ends. 

Between Aki’s constant pushing and Nao’s uncompromising focus on what he thinks is best for them both, are they too stubborn for their fragile relationship to last?

Find out in The Yakuza Path: Wrapped in Screams, the sixth installment of The Yakuza Path thriller series. If you like gritty Japanese crime, complex characters, and a high dose of gay romance, then you’ll love Amy Tasukada’s latest novel.

Buy Wrapped in Screams to get your taste of romantic revenge today!

The Yakuza Path Series

BOOK 1 – Blood Stained Tea

BOOK 2 – Better Than Suicide

BOOK 3 – One Thousand Cranes

BOOK 4 – The Deafening Silence

BOOK 5 – Flowers of Flesh and Blood

BOOK 6 – Wrapped in Screams

Excerpt 

“Of course I want you to sleep with me.” Aki placed a hand suggestively on Nao’s thigh.

Aki couldn’t think of anything else that would make him happier than having Nao’s cock rip him in half. Though Aki doubted he could get his up even if he wanted to. Skipping the pain meds to get his libido back was the next thing on his to-do list. The hospital had only given him a two-week supply. So far he hadn’t hurt too much and they’d mostly made him tired. It would still probably take a few days for the narcotics to completely leave his system, but he and Nao could mess around until then.

“We need to be careful.” Nao brushed Aki’s hand away.

Tightness gripped Aki’s chest and clawed at his throat. Nao pushed him away again. After everything Aki had been through, after everything Aki had done for him, it was like nothing had changed between them.

“We couldn’t even kiss yesterday without you becoming breathless,” Nao added.

It sounded so cruel. Why did it have to hurt so much? Aki looked away, but Nao cupped Aki’s face. The gesture lessened the pain, but it still stabbed.

Nao’s eyebrows drew together. “I don’t want you hurt because of something I did ever again. There’s a whole list of things you can’t do.”

“The doctors were being cautious.”

“There’s a gaping hole in your chest.”

“It’s six centimeters. That’s hardly gaping.”

“I don’t want you back in the hospital because of an infection. It can happen to anyone. It happened to me when I didn’t listen to my doctor.”

“And because you weren’t taking your antibiotics.”

“That’s true.” Nao laughed.

“Are you going to kiss me at least?”

Nao leaned over until their lips touched. He was cautious at first as if asking permission. Aki opened his mouth, and Nao’s tongue entered. Aki’s muscles relaxed, and he willed his fears to subside. Nao wasn’t going to bend him against the nearest surface and screw him raw like in Aki’s fantasies, but Nao wasn’t saying it would never happen. All Aki had to do was convince Nao he was fine, and in a few days, they’d be banging like rabbits.

Nao licked at Aki’s bottom lip before pulling away. He pressed their foreheads together.

“Do you understand what I’m trying to say?” Nao asked.

Aki nodded. “You’ll at least help me change my bandages, right?”

“You’ll have to teach me.”

Aki pulled off his undershirt, hiding a grimace of pain in the cloth. He wanted to be alluring. Nao had seen him shirtless plenty of times, but it would be the first so close. Aki glanced over his shoulder suggestively, but Nao was focused on taking the bandages out of the plastic bag.

Aki sighed. Changing his bandages wasn’t sexy, but he’d hoped the undressing part would be.

About the Author 

International best-selling author Amy Tasukada writes thrilling times of crime, love, and gore. Readers who crave diverse characters, unique settings, and edge-of-your-seat action will devour her Yakuza Path series. Readers who seek less blood and more love will swoon over the Yakuza Path Romance and Would it Be Okay to Love You? Series. Amy is an atheist, queer author who enjoys drinking tea, Japanese street fashion and visual kei music.  Her calico cat, O’Hara, is never far from her side. Amy lives in North Texas, but is always planning her next trip to Japan.

Author Links

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New Release – Finishing Last by Rob Browatzke

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Finishing Last 

Author: Rob Browatzke 

Publisher: Sisyphus Press 

Cover Artist: Alexandria Corza 

Release Date: Halloween

Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance 

Trope. Friends to lovers

Themes: Found family

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length: 70 000 words/ 245 pages

It is a standalone story within a series

Goodreads – River City Romances Series 

Buy Links

Amazon US   |  Amazon UK  

Mitch Morris is a nice guy – and you know what they say about them.

Blurb

Mitch Morris is starting over in a new apartment when he meets a handsome new neighbor. Dan Murphy is starting over in a new city when he meets a handsome new neighbor.

They DON’T hook up.

Instead, they become friends, and slowly, more than friends. But when they both start dating other people, it’s increasingly obvious there’s something between them. Nice guys don’t cheat though, and besides, who would risk a friendship on the chance of something more?

Excerpt 

“It doesn’t matter,” he told Dan. “We are not running Sunday —and I don’t care how many times you say Kyle McFall,” he added, sticking his fingers in his ears. “Sunday is Halloween, and that means we will both be far too hungover from Saturday’s Halloween parties to even think about running.”

“We could just not get drunk, you know. That’s a thing. That people do.”

“Not my people!” Mitch said. “Halloween Saturday is my literal favorite day of the year.”

“That’s what you said about Gay Day,” Dan said. “And about Pride. And about the day Duncan had his two-for-one special.”

“You know, I get that we’re friends, but sometimes, I really wish you didn’t pay so much attention to everything I say. You’ve got this annoying habit of throwing my own words back in my face, and it really is the most unattractive thing you do.”

Dan shrugged, grinning. “What’s so special about Halloween?”

“What’s so special about Halloween? What’s so special about Halloween?” Mitch forced his voice to screech.

“I don’t know. That’s why I asked.”

“Oh, you little tiny gayby,” Mitch said. “What did they teach you back in that backwater town of yours?”

“Isn’t your hometown like five hundred people?”

“Yes,” Mitch said, “and every single one of them celebrates Halloween. But that doesn’t even

matter, because you see, Halloween is something more for gay people. It’s like Christmas and your birthday and the best blowjob ever all rolled into one.”

“Do you ever worry that your constant exaggerating ever builds things up to a point where people are let down?”

“Did I let you down about Pride?” Mitch asked. Dan shook his head. “Or about that two for one special?” Dan let out a laugh. “See? I never steer you wrong. Now, what are you being?”

“Like, for my costume? I have no idea.” “Daniel! It is only two weeks away.”

“Do you already know what you’re doing?”

“Since July,” Mitch said. “I have to say, I’m outdoing even myself this year.”

“What are you doing then?”

“No! A magician never reveals his secrets.”

“But, you just asked me!”

Mitch chuckled. “Oh, Dan,” he said. “Poor little gayby Dan. You are many things but you’re not a magician.”

It was a brave front that Mitch was putting on, because the truth was, he had no idea what he was going to be. He and Kent had normally done a pair of costumes, which hit a brilliant new level a few years before when they’d actually gone as a pair of pears. But this year, Kent and Dylan were doing a couples costumes, because of course they were that kind of couple, and it was probably going to be something super lame, like Romeo and Julien or some shit. But Mitch was idealess.

He was never idealess on Halloween. He had suggested to Ellis that they do a couples costume, which he normally hated; best friends together was fine, but boyfriends matching was just gay, and not in the good buttsex sense of the word. But Ellis was going as Black Panther.

“Why don’t you tell me what to go as?” Dan asked suddenly. “Since you’re the expert and all.”

Intrigued, Mitch gave that a ponder. Sometimes it was easier to dress someone else, and maybe that would give Mitch the inspiration he needed for himself. It had to be different. Most of the people at The Torch were just going to be slutty superheroes or slutty animals or slutty somethings, anything for an excuse to be out for a night in as little clothing as possible. This wasn’t something Mitch minded, overly. In fact, he looked forward to the beautiful men, but when it came to his own, he usually wanted a bit of commentary. After all, there was a thousand dollar grand prize on the line, and who couldn’t use that?

About the Author

Rob Browatzke doesn’t believe in writing what he knows – that’s why he delivers gay romance with happy endings! Equal parts sarcasm and kindness, he has been writing as long as he can remember. When not writing, he can be found actively involved in local queer nightlife, where he has made a career since the late 1900s. He lives in Edmonton Alberta, but don’t hold that against him. Feel free to stalk him on social media.

Author Links

Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter @robbrowatzke  | Instagram @robbrowatzke

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Wheels Down (Food Truck Warriors #5) by Beth Bolden #kindleunlimited #giveaway

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Wheels Down (Food Truck Warriors #5)

Author: Beth Bolden

Publisher: Beth Bolden Books

Cover Artist: Cate Ashwood Designs

Release Date: September 30, 2021

Genre: Contemporary gay romance

Tropes:  Friends to lovers, forced proximity, found family

Themes: Forgiveness, acceptance, friendship

Heat Rating:  4 flames     

Length: 76 000 words

It is not a standalone story. It is the fifth book in the Food Truck Warriors series.

Goodreads

Buy Links – Available in Kindle Unlimited

Universal Link  |  Amazon US  |  Amazon UK 

Shaw isn’t his friend—until Ross discovers he’s so much more.

Blurb

Ross Stanton is having a bad week—a bad month—really, a bad year. But the last thing he wants, after the betrayal of his friend and business partner, is for anyone else to know just how much he’s fighting for survival.

He’s struggling to keep his food truck and to maintain appearances, but what Ross doesn’t realize is that Shaw Finley, the bartender from the Funky Cup, has seen right through his charade.

Shaw offers the couch in his apartment over the bar, suggesting that saving money on rent might help salvage Ross’ failing prospects.

Even though he doesn’t really consider them friends, Ross discovers that Shaw is great to talk to, easy to look at, and he likes him. Late nights and lazy mornings and evenings with only the polished wood of the bar between them lead to an attraction that Ross can’t deny—and that Shaw doesn’t even try to.

But falling in love isn’t as easy as falling into bed together, and Ross isn’t even sure what he feels is love, until he figures out that it couldn’t possibly be anything else.

Excerpt 

Shaw removed his glass, replaced it with a full cup of water and ice, and then a moment later he was back, with a plate full of delicious-smelling food.

“Steak and mushroom hoagie, with horseradish aioli,” Shaw said, depositing it in front of him, “and our famous sweet potato fries.”

“They’re famous?” Ross wondered, even as he realized he had heard people talking about them.

“According to our Yelp reviews,” Shaw said. “Can I grab you anything else?”

Ross was about to ask for napkins, because the sandwich looked absolutely delicious but also messy, but then one appeared next to him, like Shaw had known he’d need it.

“I think I’m good, thanks,” Ross said, and picked up the sandwich. It had a surprising heft to it, and he had to give Jackson and Shaw credit—they’d revamped the kitchen and the work they’d put in showed. When he took a bite, he was even more impressed, half a dozen flavors exploding across his tongue as he chewed spiced sliced steak working in perfect complement to the earthiness of the mushrooms.

“You’re nodding over there,” Shaw said, his voice teasing. “Is that a good or a bad thing?”

Ross finished chewing and swallowed. “Really good,” he said. “I’m impressed.”

“Wow,” Shaw said, looking surprised. Too surprised.

“Am I really that notorious?” Ross asked, before he thought better of it. He ate a handful of sweet potato fries and they were really good too. “That picky?”

He didn’t really want to hear the answer; he really didn’t want to hear Shaw’s answer.

“Not exactly notorious,” Shaw said, returning to slicing his lemons.

“Then what exactly?”

Shaw sighed and put down the knife.

“You’re gonna get me in trouble,” he said with resignation.

“I am?”

Ross almost told him to forget it. After all, hearing the truth was probably not going to be all that enlightening and might actually make the next few months of living together uncomfortable.

Shaw smiled then, and it wasn’t the same smile he gave to all the random guys at the bar. It was softer, sweeter, more genuine somehow. Ross had never seen it before, and it hit him somewhere deep, a place where he hadn’t felt much of anything in years.

Maybe the last time had been when his grandmother had smiled at him, over pots and pans and pie dishes.

“You gotta know that you’ve got the best food at that whole lot,” Shaw said. “Objectively. The other food there is good, don’t get me wrong, but those guys? You know why they keep you at arm’s length? They’re all terrified of you, though they’d rather die than admit it. You’re brilliant. You should be working in the best, the fanciest, the most expensive restaurants, and instead you’ve got this food truck and it’s just amazing. Every time I go to Basket, I’m blown away.”

“And,” Shaw continued, leaning over, his blue eyes twinkling again, and Ross’ breath caught in his throat, “you’re gonna get me in trouble, because Jackson would have my ass for not thinking Alexis serves the best food on the lot.”

About the Author 

A lifelong Pacific Northwester, Beth Bolden has just recently moved to North Carolina with her supportive husband. 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-three novels and seven novellas.

Author Links

Blog/Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |   BookBub

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When We Were Young Series Tour by Maggie Blackbird #giveaway

SERIES TOUR

Series Title:  When We Were Young by Maggie Blackbird

  I thought I saved you, but maybe you saved me too.

Series Blurb

 At their Ojibway community, Billy Redsky, a drug-dealing punk, and René Oshawee, the chief’s haughty son, must walk the “red road” to finally confront their biggest fears:  conquering the self-imposed obstacles in their path, if they are to have what they long for above anything else—to finally be together.

The stories need to be read in order.  None of the books are standalones.

BOOK DETAILS

RECENT RELEASE  – BOOK 4

Book Title: Real Warriors

Author: Maggie Blackbird

Publisher: Extasy Books

Length: 77 760 words/273 pages

Release Date:  August 13, 2021

Genres: New Adult, multicultural, contemporary, LGBT romance

Tropes: First Time, Embracing Your Culture,

Themes: Coming out, coming of age, forgiveness

Heat Rating: 3 flames

Goodreads

Read an excerpt from Real Warriors here

The courage of a warrior is a must on their new path, or they’ll never grasp their happily ever after.

Blurb 

Just when eighteen-year-old Billy Redsky believes he’s holding his happily ever after in the palm of his hand, he must practice what he’s learned in ceremony to face two more tests—share with the world his love for René, and let go of the past.

But that’s not so easy. René is terrified of exposing their secret to anyone but his family. As for Billy’s brother, he has no intention of changing his criminal ways.

Only a miracle can help Billy reach his final destination on the “red road” his Ojibway ancestors once walked. For his dream to come true, he must look deep inside himself and trust the creator he follows.

Buy Links  

Extasy Books 

Amazon US  |   Amazon UK  |   Amazon CA  |  Amazon AU

Kobo  |   Barnes and Noble  |  iBooks  |  Google Play

 

There’s 40% off Maggie’s Backlist right now,
including Two Princes, Toy Soldiers, and Knight Moves.

BOOK 3

Book Title: Knight Moves

Publisher: Extasy Books

Length:  75,000 words/269 pages

Release Date: April 16, 2021

Genre/s: Young Adult, New Adult, multicultural, contemporary, LGBT romance

Trope/s: Break His Heart to Save Him; Long Distance Love’ Tortured Heroes; Family Disapproval; Friends to lovers

Themes: Coming out, coming of age, forgiveness

Heat Rating: 2 flames

Goodreads 

Although they’re torn apart, they still hold a piece of each other’s heart.

Blurb

After receiving his grade twelve diploma and marking his eighteenth birthday, René Oshawee cannot fight the temptation seventeen-year-old high school junior Billy Redsky blatantly offers now that what they share has become taboo.

When their secret romance is blown into the open, Billy’s foster parents send René to Toronto to complete the last of his schooling under the supervision of a family friend, leaving Billy behind at their Ojibway community.

Now Billy and René must make the biggest decision of their lives—fight for the true love they know they’ll never find with anyone else, or go their separate ways.

Buy Links

Extasy Books

Amazon US  |   Amazon CA  |   Amazon UK  |   Amazon AU

Kobo  |   Barnes and Noble  |   iBooks  |   Google Play 

BOOK 2

Book Title: Toy Soldiers

Publisher: Extasy Books

Cover Artist: Martine Jardin

Length:  70,349 words/244 pages

Release Date:  October 2, 2020

Genres: Young Adult, multicultural, contemporary, LGBT romance

Tropes: Friends to Lovers; Forbidden Love; First Love; Betrayal

Themes: Coming of age, self-discovery

Heat Rating: 1 flame

Goodreads

Once a thief, always a thief, and if he can’t win the heart of the boy he loves, he’ll steal it.

Blurb

Billy Redsky’s made one of his biggest dreams come true, but there’s a problem. Even though the boy he loves is mere footsteps across the hall from his bedroom, they might as well live a country apart because claiming René Oshawee’s heart is more difficult than Billy anticipates.

Much to Billy’s disgust, René can’t accept his true self, so he’s incapable of loving someone else. And all he cares about is living a life the chief and his wife foresee for their youngest son.

If Billy is to finally have what he truly desires, he must stop René from running away from who he really is and face the man in the mirror, or what they share will never blossom into true love.

Buy Links 

Extasy Books  

Amazon US |  Amazon CA |  Amazon UK | Amazon AU

Kobo  |  B&N |   iBooks  |  Google Play | Smashwords 

 BOOK 1

Book Title: Two Princes

Author:  Maggie Blackbird

Publisher:  Extasy Books

Cover Artist:  Martine Jardin

Length: 67 345  words/235 pages

Release Date:  Friday, June 12, 2020

Genres: Young Adult, multicultural, contemporary, LGBT romance

Tropes: Rich boy, poor boy; Popular boy, outcast; musician and artist

Heat Rating: 1 flame

Themes: Coming of age, self-discovery

Goodreads

To win over the chief’s haughty son, a drug-dealing punk from a dysfunctional family must risk the only two things he has: his reputation and freedom.

Blurb

Billy Redsky, a rebellious punk who loves art and nature, is saddled with a welfare-leeching, alcoholic mother and criminal older brother who are the joke of their Ojibway community. Sick and tired of being perceived as a loser, Billy deals drugs for his older brother to earn quick money. He hopes if he buys a dirt bike, he’ll finally impress the chief’s popular and aloof son, René Oshawee.

When the two are forced to serve detention together, a friendship blooms, but much to Billy’s frustration, René keeps putting him on ice. To make his biggest dream come true if he finally wants to call René his own, Billy must make a huge decision that could cost him everything.

Buy Links

Extasy Books

Amazon US  |  Amazon CA  |  Amazon UK  |  Amazon AU 

    Kobo  |  B&N  |  Apple |  Google Play |  BookStrand  

About the Author

An Ojibway from Northwestern Ontario, Maggie resides in the country with her husband and their fur babies, two beautiful Alaskan Malamutes.  When she’s not writing, she can be found pulling weeds in the flower beds, mowing the huge lawn, walking the Mals deep in the bush, teeing up a ball at the golf course, fishing in the boat for walleye, or sitting on the deck at her sister’s house, making more wonderful memories with the people she loves most.

Author Links

 Web Site  |  Facebook Page  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads 

BookBub  |  Linked In |  Amazon Author Page 

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a $15.00 Gift Card from Extasy Books

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New Release – Remedy (A Tulip Farm Romance) by Alex Hall #giveaway

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Remedy (A Tulip Farm Romance)

Author: Alex Hall

Publisher: Madison Place Press

Cover Artist: Rebecca Slather

Release Date: September 2, 2021

Genre:  Contemporary M/Nonbinary romance

Tropes: Sports romance (equestrian), friends to lovers

Themes: Acceptance of change in circumstances, rehab to recovery

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length:  90 000 words/ 240 pages

It is a standalone story and also book one of a series. It does not end on a cliffhanger.

Goodreads

Buy Links

Amazon US  | Amazon UK

Reed helps Peter realize that there is life and love after a life and career-changing accident.

Blurb

At just 28, Peter is one of the youngest athletes ever to secure a spot on Team USA’s Show Jumping roster for the Paris Summer Olympics. With the support a large, equestrian-centric family behind him Peter’s a shoo-in to win individual gold—

—until a freak on-course accident badly injures Peter and the talented mare he’d been riding. Dreams of success in Paris quickly coming apart, he holes up at the family complex, Tulip Farm, to rehab and re-assess. His parents and three siblings try to keep his spirits up, but it’s hard to focus on the future when by night he’s plagued by reoccurring headaches and by day he can barely walk without pain.

Reed Androku has recently chosen to follow their passion: holistic equine rehabilitation. Tulip Farm – an immaculate facility run by the famous McAuley-Griffin clan – seems the perfect place to chase that dream, and when the family unexpectedly opens up Barn A to boarders, Reed jumps at the opportunity. They’ll happily take advantage of roomy stalls, heated arena, and state-of-the-art footing even if it means putting up with Peter Griffin, the family’s youngest son and ex-Olympic hopeful.

Peter needs healing, and a reason to hope. Reed’s got a knack for rehab and a soft-heart for hard cases, but they also have a dangerous secret. Fate throws Peter and Reed together, sparking a passion that could turn into something deeper, but first they must weather Peter’s recovery, the McAuley-Griffin family’s obsessive need to meddle, and Reed’s violent past.

Excerpt 

As far as Peter was concerned, the only thing of worth he could ever be was an Olympic show jumper.

He’d been born into it, after all. His mum was a McAuley. County Kildare stock, and for as far back as anyone bothered to keep track, the County Kildare McAuleys had been horse people. Peter’s maternal grandfather and granduncle had made their fortunes breeding and racing thoroughbreds in Ireland. Peter’s mum, Aine McAuley, was a track rat grown into Ireland’s most decorated eventing star. And Peter’s dad, though no County Kildare McAuley, had plenty of horse chops of his own. Gabe Griffin had ridden to team gold for Great Britain in Barcelona, the same Olympics Aine had tried—and failed by the slimmest margin—to bring home an individual medal for Ireland.

She always said she’d regretted the miss for exactly forty-five seconds, the time it had taken to dismount after her stadium round, toss her reins at her cousin and stand-in groom, Finley, and glance past her disappointed family at the young man with the salt-and-pepper hair watching from the shadows of the ingate.

That young man was Peter’s da. He’d come over from the Olympic stables to get a glimpse of the McAuley winning machine at work and instead found himself captured by a pair of wide violet eyes over a petulant, spoiled mouth. Gabe had already heard more than a few things about Aine McAuley. Her easy way with horses, her exacting eye for breed lines. Her tendency to collect suitors like candy and toss them away again, half-consumed. And her—possibly obsessive—drive for excellence in all things.

“Bad luck,” he’d famously dared say with typical British aplomb and specific Gabe Griffin bluntness as those furious violet eyes attempted to flay him from a distance for the sin of witnessing a McAuley nonperformance. “But not entirely your fault. He’s off in the right hind, don’t you know, just the barest whisper but enough to send him flat over the last three and cost you the time faults.” Hands in his pockets, he shrugged when all three McAuleys glared at him in disbelief. “Like I said, just the barest whisper, easy for even the best of us to miss, but I saw it from up in the risers. If I were you, I’d have him looked at immediately.”

“What the hell do you know about it?” Aine’s father and coach, Shane, had blustered. Gabe was quite clearly wearing the track jacket of a British Olympian and a color-coded tag on a lanyard around his neck that meant he had unrestricted access to the Olympic barns, but that wasn’t necessarily a point in his favor. Quite the opposite, in fact. “And why in God’s name should we listen to the competition?”

Gabe shrugged again. He hadn’t reached so far in life by backing down. “For the horse’s sake, I imagine. He’s a brave fellow, and bold. No matter the gruff show you put on for the papers, Shane McAuley, we each of us know the animal’s welfare comes first, and a bit of healthy competition won’t change that.”

At last those remarkable violet eyes softened.

“The Olympics are hardly ‘a bit of healthy competition,’ Mr. Griffin,” Aine said softly, her accent rolling pleasantly with the music of Ireland. “But you’re not wrong. Oh, stop snarling, Da. I felt it when we landed fence six. A stinger, and after that he couldn’t balance up. Poor Ross.” She stroked the chestnut gelding’s neck. The horse, still blowing hard, sniffed hopefully at her gloved hand in search of a sugar cube. “Let’s hope it’s not lasting.” She tugged a sugar cube from her breeches pocket, smiled a challenge at Gabe. “Right hind, you say? Well. Why don’t you come back with me to the warm-up ring and we’ll look him over.”

They were married less than a year later, and just like any sport horse carefully bred to succeed, Peter’s fate—and that of his three older siblings—was sealed.

***

“Beautiful day for a ride,” Kate Griffin told Peter cheerfully, smoothing long dark hair back from her forehead and securing it into a high ponytail with an elastic slipped from her wrist.

It was the same thing his older sister said before every first round, the same thing she’d said when they were children and he’d ridden his pony, Cricket, for the first time at Devon while she stood at the ingate, all pigtails and wide eyes and quiet confidence, and he’d won the class blue. It didn’t matter whether they were indoors or out, whether he was showing first thing in the a.m. or after dark in the p.m., whether the sun was shining, or they were in the middle of a blizzard. Horse people were a superstitious sort and the Irish a superstitious people, which meant Kate and Peter Griffin were superstitious twice over and just fine with it.

“Remember,” Kate continued as she stepped sideways to avoid being trampled by Annie’s eager, dancing trot. “Six and Seven come up quick, balance her back. And Five will take some leg, what with the Liverpool, and we know how she feels about water in the indoor, poor Annie. She’s not alone. Other people are having trouble.”

About the Author 

Sarah Remy/Alex Hall is a nonbinary, animal-loving, proud gamer Geek. Their work can be found in a variety of cool places, including HarperVoyagerEDGE and NineStar Press.

Author Links

Blog/Website  |  Twitter: @sarahremywrites 

Giveaway 

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an ebook copy plus a $50 Amazon Gift Card.

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Feral Hearts: Book 1 by Melissa E Costa #kindleunlimited #giveaway

BLOG TOUR

Book Title: Feral Hearts: Book 1

Author: Melissa E Costa

Publisher: Self-Published

Cover Artist: Vanesa Gorkova

Release Date: August 19, 2021 

Genres: Paranormal/Urban Fantasy M/M Romance. 

Tropes: Friends to Lovers. Childhood friends. Gay for you. Omegaverse. Hurt/Comfort. Fated Mates. 

Themes: Soul Mates, classism

Heat Rating: 2 flames

Length:  68 683 words/176 pages

This is book one in the Feral Hearts series. 

The book does not a cliffhanger, per se, but the story’s conclusion won’t be reached until the end of book 3.

Goodreads

Buy Links – Available in Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK 

To save the one he loves, he must face the beast within.

Blurb 

Alex isn’t a traditional alpha—he’s gentle, awkward, and caring. He also has no desire to assume leadership of the Black Moon Pack once his father steps down.

Talen is an omega stray, taken in by Alex’s parents and raised as his brother. He’s also straight, emotionally damaged, and the love of Alex’s life.

Now of age, Talen is forced into the role of an omega—those treated little better than slaves. Worse yet, the monster inside of Alex has awoken and set its sights on Talen. The beast will stop at nothing to get what it wants, even if it takes the whole world down to do it.

Alex must face his worst nightmares if he ever has a chance at protecting Talen. Is he strong enough to bring them together, or will he lose Talen along with the pack?

This three-book series tells a continuous story with a resolution at the end of book three.

Excerpt

Alex couldn’t believe they were going to flog Talen. Eben stood to the side of the pillar with his back to Alex. He had been able to get Alex out of doing the whipping.

Etched into the pillar were symbols from the old language. A loop made of rope was attached to a minor ledge higher up in the stone. Its purpose was for this very thing. The shaman placed a large wooden block at Talen’s feet and had him step up onto it. Even elevated, he still wasn’t tall enough to fit his wrists through the loop, so they told him to hang onto it instead.

Talen wasn’t wearing a shirt. His arms above his head stretched his torso and made visible the taunt muscles of his abdomen and chest. Tiny beads of sweat gathered on his collarbone before they rolled down his back. Whether caused by anticipation or the blistering heat, Alex didn’t know. Talen’s left arm was no longer hidden by his sleeve, making the slight bow in his wrist apparent for anyone who knew where to look. A nearly unnoticeable tremble shook his shoulders. He looked so small then, fragile, even though Talen was anything but.

One of the shamans began making a speech. Her loud voice carried on the wind. “To speak out against your betters is the greatest disrespect you can show to your pack.” She was lecturing Talen, but she also looked around as if talking to the crowd, making an example out of him. A wave of nausea washed over Alex as his anger rose. “When you disrespect your pack, you’re disrespecting yourself.”

“Stupid bitch,” Alex grumbled. “Get off your high horse.” Even though he hadn’t wanted to watch the whipping, his feet moved on their own until he was close enough to see Talen’s face clearly.

“Talen, for your disobedience, you will be punished by thirty slashes to your back to be carried out by the pack leader.”

Eben held a medium-sized bullwhip.

“Do you have anything to say for yourself?” the shaman continued. “To say to Roman, who you have disrespected by your behavior?”

For one moment, Talen looked like he would say something, and it wouldn’t be nice. That fire burned behind his dark-hazel eyes.

Alex remembered his father’s words at dinner. If Talen doesn’t go through with this, he might have to find himself another pack.

As cowardly as it seemed, Alex prayed that Talen would keep his mouth shut. Please, don’t say anything. Please, Talen. Please don’t say anything.

Talen closed his eyes, and the tension left his body.

“Only to apologize for my insolence.” His words carried on the mild breeze that made standing outside on this humid hot day bearable. But Alex couldn’t care less about the wind or how good it felt against his skin. Instead, his attention focused only on Talen. Even though Talen bowed his head, and his words sounded a bit hollow, there was a fire to them—Talen’s voice, his spark. His energy. His will to fight. Talen amazed him. His ability to stay himself, to not give into fear, regardless of the hell he had been through. Alex envied him. Talen might have been an omega, whereas he was an alpha, but there was no doubt that Talen was the stronger of the two of them.

His father got in position and raised the whip. With a loud crack, it singed between Talen’s shoulder blades, leaving an ugly red gash. Talen’s breath hitched. He clenched the rope, baring his teeth. Every taunt muscle on his body writhed with each slash that marred his back. He wasn’t crying out, though. Talen was a proud one.

Another crack.

Alex tightened his fists.

Each crack grew louder and louder. Alex’s claws dug into his fists until tiny droplets of blood trailed down his palms.

Ten slashes into the punishment, Talen’s visible ribs heaved with each breath. His lithe frame trembled. Then his wolf surged, forming a white aura. It didn’t stretch out into a shadow—mostly that was an alpha thing—rather, it surrounded him like a sphere as it had done before with Roman—a white wolf seemingly chasing its tail in an endless figure eight. Its hazy white color made Talen appear blurry. It wasn’t large enough to affect Eben, only a whip length away.

It reeked of agony, hurt, anger, but mostly pain—Talen’s.

Alex turned away. His stomach clenched in knots. Something dark grew inside of him. Blacker, thicker. As he looked back at Talen, all Alex felt was rage.

Talen let out a scream before he bit his lip and a trail of blood spilled down his chin. Finally, he lost the battle, and he started crying out with each lash.

Alex’s fangs elongated. He wanted to kill them. All of them. His dad included. How fucking dare they lay one hand on Talen? On his Talen.

About the Author  

Melissa writes character-driven fiction, and any genre is fair game. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading, anime, manga, and gaming. Living by the motto of trying all things twice, Melissa has jumped out of a perfectly good plane, swum with manatees, dived headfirst into Alice’s rabbit hole, and seduced classy ladies in 6-inch heels. A free-spirited bohemian, she currently lives in artsy St. Petersburg, Florida, with her soulmate and their two adorably needy cats.

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