Series Tour – Demon’s Blood by Shari Sakurai @ShariSakurai #KindleUnlimited #giveaway

SERIES TOUR

Demon’s Blood Series by Shari Sakurai

The stories are best read in the following order:

Demon’s Blood (Demon’s Blood #1)

Never Change (Demon’s Blood short story)

Demon’s Life (Demon’s Blood #2)

Genres: Paranormal/vampires, LGBTQ, gay fiction

Overall Heat Rating for the series: 1 flame 

Publisher: Farnhurst Publishing

Cover Artist: Farnhurst Publishing

BOOK 1

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

Author: Shari Sakurai

Length:  302 pages

Release Date: January 23, 2014

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Buy Links – Available in Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US  | Amazon UK  

Blurb

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

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

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

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

BOOK 2

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

Author: Shari Sakurai

Length: 47 pages

Release Date: December 1, 2018

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

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Buy Links – Available in Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US  | Amazon UK 

Blurb

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

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

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

BOOK 3

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

Author: Shari Sakurai

Publisher: Farnhurst Publishing

Length:  322 pages

Release Date:  November 4, 2019

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Buy Links

Amazon US  | Amazon UK 

Blurb

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Koji! Koji!” 

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About the Author

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

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

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

Author Links

Blog/Website  |  Facebook

Twitter  |   Instagram

Giveaway 

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win

one of three ebooks from Shari’s backlist 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

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

New Release and Series Tour – The Pizza Chronicles by Andy V. Roamer

THE PIZZA CHRONICLES SERIES TOUR and BOOK 3 NEW RELEASE

SERIES BLURB 

The books in the Pizza Chronicles series follow the main character, RV, through his high school years, as he tries to answer his many questions about life, God, prayer, sexuality, being the son of immigrants, and staying loyal to his heritage while carving out his own life and relationships. 

The stories should be read in order.

Book #1: Why Can’t Life Be Like Pizza?

Book #2: Why Can’t Freshman Summer Be Like Pizza?

Book #3: Why Can’t Relationships Be Like Pizza?

Overall Heat Rating for the series: 1 flame

NEW RELEASE

BOOK 3

Book Title:  Why Can’t Relationships Be Like Pizza? 

Author:  Andy V. Roamer 

Publisher:  Nine Star Press 

Length: 58 000 words/ 272 pages

Release Date:  March 15, 2021

Genre:  Young Adult Contemporary 

Trope:  Forming relationships 

Themes:  Maintaining relationships through difficulties/helping friend through tragedy 

This is a continuation of Book #2 of The Pizza Chronicles

Buy Links  

Nine Star Press  |   Amazon US  |    Amazon UK

In Why Can’t Relationships Be Like Pizza?, Book #3, RV begins sophomore year in high school, though his relationships create more questions than answers.

Blurb 

RV is trying to maintain his newfound friendship with Bobby, but it’s becoming harder and harder. Bobby seems a different, more distant, person. RV’s friend Carole is distracted with the ups and downs in her relationships with the French boyfriends she met during her summer in Paris. RV’s new friend Mark is focused on his family’s troubles.  School is a mixed bag.  But Mr. Aniso, RV’s former teacher and mentor, is there to lean on, especially when near tragedy strikes and RV needs Mr. Aniso’s counsel to stay strong and provide help where it’s needed most.   

Excerpt from Why Can’t Relationships Be Like Pizza? 

Chapter 7

 “Hey, RV! Long time no see.”

“Hey, Bobby!”

“Can I sit down?”

“Sure.”

This was the school lunchroom, not Joe’s Pizza, but it was still nice to be sitting there with Bobby. It feels like ages since we’ve had any time together. Another one of the Big Guy’s tricks? Last year Bobby was my Biology partner. I got to know him and really like him. And I think he liked me. This year I hardly ever see him. Even at lunch. I know he’s busy on the varsity football team, but that excuse is getting pretty old. So, are we not supposed to like each other anymore? Is that what you’re telling me, Big Guy?

I tried to push the Big Guy out of mind and concentrate on Bobby. He asked me how I was doing.

“Fine,” I said. “How are you doing?”

“Fine.”

Bobby and I sat there in silence for a bit. “How’s football?” I asked, just to keep the conversation going.

Bobby started telling me about the game last week. He was excited because he caught a long pass for a touchdown.

“That’s great!” I said.

“Yeah. My first varsity touchdown for Latin!”

I raised the can of Coke I was drinking. “Go Bobby! Here’s to more touchdowns!”

“Thanks.” Bobby raised the soda he was drinking, and we clinked cans.

“I’m really happy for you,” I said. “Latin’s hero.”

“Thanks,” Bobby said again, though I could see he was a little embarrassed by my compliments.

Was he blushing? Remembering what had happened in the woods, I had a sudden urge to touch his face. I wondered if Bobby would ever let me do that again.

There was another small moment of silence as Bobby looked away from me and focused on his sandwich. “So, what’s new with you?” he asked, still chewing on his food.

“Nothing much,” I answered. “I’m studying hard, waiting for my PSAT scores, trying to stay out of trouble.” I told him about the Halloween party. “I wish you’d been there. We had a great time.”

“Yeah, I heard.” Bobby looked away again. “I—I was tired. Practice takes a lot of out of me, so I need to rest.”

“Yeah, I guess it does.”

“Sorry I wasn’t there though. It sounds like it was good.”

“Yeah, it was.” I told him about what Mr. Felucci said. That the teachers would help us out with anything we were doing on climate change.

Bobby nodded. “That’s great.”

Why did I get the feeling Bobby was just nodding to agree with me? That his mind was on other things and he didn’t care one way or the other what I was saying?

We were silent again. Bobby finished his sandwich, cleaned up his area, and stood up suddenly. “Gotta go, RV. I’m late. Nice to catch up with you.”

“Yeah. Good to catch up.”

“See you soon.” He turned back around as he was leaving. “At another game maybe?”

“Yeah, sure.”

And he was gone.

I felt more and more depressed as he walked away. I’ve never spent any time with Bobby that felt so awkward. Not knowing what to say to each other? When did that happen to Bobby and me? What did it mean?

Something definitely has changed in our friendship. And it makes me very sad. And I don’t know what to do about it. I suppose Mr. Aniso would tell me I need to talk to Bobby. Do I have the guts to do that? What would I say? And what would Bobby say back? Just thinking about that gets me so scared.

CHECK OUT THE FIRST TWO BOOKS IN 

THE PIZZA CHRONICLES SERIES

BOOK 1

Book Title: Why Can’t Life Be Like Pizza?

Author: Andy V. Roamer 

Publisher:  Nine Star Press 

Cover Artist: Natasha Snow

Length:  55 100 words/ 208 pages

Release Date: March 30, 2020 

Genre: YA Contemporary 

Trope:  Son of immigrants 

Themes: Coming Out 

It is a standalone story. 

Add on Goodreads

Buy Links

NineStar Press  |  Amazon US  |  Amazon UK 

In Why Can’t Life Be Like Pizza? RV begins freshman year at demanding Boston Latin School, doing his best to keep up and fit in while wrestling with his immigrant heritage and his sexuality.  

Blurb 

Wrestling with his sexuality, along with a lot of other things, RV thinks all is okay when he starts going out with Carole.  But things get more complicated when RV develops a crush on Bobby, a football player in his class, who admits he may have gay feelings, too.  Bobby is African American and facing his own pressures.  Luckily, RV develops a friendship with Mr. Aniso, his Latin teacher, who is gay and always there to talk to when the pressure becomes overwhelming.  

BOOK 2

Book Title:  Why Can’t Freshman Summer Be Like Pizza? 

Author: Andy V. Roamer 

Publisher:  Nine Star Press 

Cover Artist:  Natasha Snow 

Length: 50 200 words/196 pages

Release Date:  June 1, 2020

Genre:  Young Adult Contemporary

Trope:  Summer Vacation 

Themes: Obstacles to exploring sexuality and enjoying summer 

This story is a continuation of Book #1 with the same characters 

Goodreads

Buy Links

Nine Star Press  |   Amazon US  |   Amazon UK 

 In Why Can’t Freshman Summer Be Like Pizza? RV and Bobby have survived freshman year and are looking forward to spending a wonderful summer together. But life has other plans.  

Blurb  

RV and Bobby’s summer is not what they wish for.  They hardly have time to spend with each other.  Bobby is busy at football camp and working at a job his father has pressured him into taking. RV is busy with a summer job, too, and also has to help his parents pass their U.S. citizenship test. His friend Carole jumps at the chance to spend her summer in Paris. As always, Mr. Aniso, RV’s Latin teacher is there to talk to when RV gets too lonely. He’s also there when RV inadvertently spills one of Bobby’s secrets, and Bobby is so angry at him RV is afraid he’s ready to cut off the friendship. 

About the Author 

Andy V. Roamer grew up in the Boston area and moved to New York City after college. He worked in book publishing for many years, starting out in the children’s and YA books division and then wearing many other hats. This is his first novel about RV, the teenage son of immigrants from Lithuania in Eastern Europe, as RV tries to negotiate his demanding high school, his budding sexuality, and new relationships. He has written an adult novel, Confessions of a Gay Curmudgeon, under the pen name Andy V. Ambrose. To relax, Andy loves to ride his bike, read, watch foreign and independent movies, and travel.

Social Media Links

Blog/Website  |  Facebook   |   Instagram:  andy_v_roamer 

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

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

Series Tour – Weeps Indigo by J.K. Jones #KindleUnlimited

SERIES REVIEW TOUR

BOOK 1

Book Title: Weeps Indigo

Author: J.K. Jones

Publisher: Self-Published

Length: 370 pages

Release Date: May 18, 2019

Genre/s: Dark M/M Romance, Murder Mystery, LGBTQ horror and tragedy

Trope/s: Forbidden love, underage love, infidelity, mental illness  

Themes: Coming out, forgiveness, cheating, lies, secrets, prostitution, 

psychological abuse, physical abuse, unreliable narrator

Heat Rating: 3 flames      

It is not a standalone story.

Goodreads

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK 

A FALL FROM GRACE

Blurb 

The Sheriff of Byrmonville, Richard Clayson, has a dark secret.

That night he found Beau walking down the familiar bleak streets, he knew exactly what he was doing. Watching him in the interrogation room, his eyes coveting the way that cigarette easily slid between his lips, the way the tattoos wrap easily around his flesh. Those eyes haunting and familiar, awakening something in him long since beaten dead.

He knew exactly what Beau’s nighttime occupation was.

It was his job. To investigate the things unknown, the things hiding in the darkness. He loved a good puzzle piece, a good riddle he could unravel.

Richard wasn’t a cop for nothing.

This is dangerous. Reckless. He could lose everything, hunting Beau like this.

So why can’t he stop?

Excerpt

It’s all about a boy.

A boy who changed his life. He’s not just any kind of boy. Not someone of social status or unforgettable features. Not a boy that throws tantrums or is the sort to excel at everything.

Richard bets he isn’t particularly athletic, nor is he quick when it comes to arithmetic. However, he isn’t ordinary. In retrospect, there’s absolutely nothing ordinary about him. For one thing, his attitude is foul, so much so that half the guys in the office cringe when he opens his mouth.

He’s rough around the edges with a boorish attitude which does nothing to inspire the idea that the youth of today will amount to much in the world. However, there is something incredibly striking about his pitch black, thick curly hair, his long straight nose, thin lips, dimpled grin and a beauty mark hovering the corner of his upper lip.

Richard mentally runs through the Blackwell’s sordid history in town. His brother’s been arrested more times than he can count and it seems Beau was headed in that same direction.

Beau smokes too much, drinks too much, swears too much—hell, he does everything he shouldn’t do in abundance.

Richard even spots a couple tattoos peeking out from underneath his shirt, and is immediately repulsed. How old is he anyway?

Beau takes out a packet of smokes, slides one between his thin lips, tilting his chin up exposing that beauty mark in a way that makes Richard feel things—things long since beaten dead.

BOOK 2

Book Title: Cage The Night

Author: J.K. Jones

Publisher: Self-Published

Length: 600 pages

Release Date: November 20, 2020

Genre/s: Dark M/M Romance, Murder Mystery, LGBTQ horror and tragedy

Trope/s:  Forbidden love, underage love, infidelity, mental illness  

Themes: Coming out, forgiveness, cheating, lies, secrets, prostitution,

psychological abuse, physical abuse, unreliable narrator

It is part two in the Weeps Indigo series. Book 3 is due for release in September 2021.

Goodreads

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK 

A BATTLE WITHIN

Blurb 

What happens when the hunter becomes the hunted?

When instead of running he is being chased? Richard doesn’t understand when or how things turned. He just knows the tightness in his chest intensifies, the demon is growing restless.

All he wants to do is go back in time and stop this whole thing from happening. Starting with the first day when he saw Beau in the interrogation room, Richard wants to stop himself from becoming mesmerized by those haunting emerald eyes and that otherworldly face.

He would stop the world from turning, the heavens opening up and beaming sunlight down on them. He would stop his heart, his lungs, and all the creatures in the world just so that he would never ever have to meet Beau.

Excerpt

By the time he makes it to the Blackwell residence the blood is pounding in his ears.

He can barely see straight. The rage is boiling over and there isn’t anything stopping the demon from tearing its way through.

The house comes into view, dilapidated on the hillside, crumbling piece of shit that Richard loathes more than anything. He presses harder on the gas, dirt and debris flies everywhere as he drives recklessly up the pathway. Sirens blare loudly, as he slams his foot on the brake, nearly crashing into the front porch. Richard flies out of the vehicle, leaving the door hanging wide open and stumbles up the porch with his gun heavy in hand.

There is nothing, white noise, air bustling in his ears and the tunnel vision of paralyzing vehemence. It’s dark, raw and savage, the demon’s lips curl, breathing fire and brimstone as he clatters his way up the stairway of the Blackwell property.

The M1191 is secure in his grasp, fingers tightening around the trigger because there will be nothing, but brutality, sickening violence of blood and guts and gore.

Wooden stairs creak and groan under his foreign weight, the screen door is hanging off its hinges and he knows, that there is something very very very wrong here.

About the Author

Heaven and hell, demons and angels. J.K Jones has always had an affinity for other worldly things. From her debut novel it’s easy to see she loves all things crawling in the shadows. As it so happens, J.K Jones is the author of a gritty, fun, action-packed, soul-rending novel. Her characters are so dark and twisted they defy the dimensions of this world. She is an avid reader, poet and LGBTQ activist. She is a York University graduate with a BA in Sociology, also has a TESOL certificate for teaching English as a Second Language.

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

Series Review Tour – Death’s Embrace by H.L. Moore #giveaway

SERIES REVIEW TOUR

Death’s Embrace Series by H.L. Moore

Series Blurb

Doran had a problem, and it wasn’t that he’d been stabbed.

Doran Ó Seanáin, leader of the Black Lung Gang and former Foreman of the mines, is at war with Iole’s City’s tyrannical ruler for his brutal treatment of the miners. Doran is losing, badly, and he fears his relationship with his estranged daughter Grace will never heal following the death of his wife two years prior.

Nathaniel Morgenstern, an apotheker with a mysterious past to whom Doran owes his life, seems to offer salvation. But Nathaniel has secrets of his own that may just tear them apart before they have a chance to give in to each other. 

The stories are best read in order.

BOOK DETAILS

BOOK 1

Book Title: Heart of Dust

Author: H. L. Moore

Publisher: Self- Published

Cover Artist: Designed by Damonza

Length: 59 000 words / 250 pages

Release Date: February 19, 2018

Genre: Fantasy M/M Romance

Trope: Slow Burn

Themes: Revolution, Addiction

Heat Rating: 2 flames

It is book 1 in the series.

Goodreads

Buy Links 

Special offer – Heart of Dust reduced to 99c for a limited time

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK 

Kobo  |  Abbey’s

Doran had a problem, and it wasn’t that he’d been stabbed.

Blurb 

Iole City is in turmoil. Doran Ó Seanáin, leader of the Black Lung Gang, is determined to bring the Lord Archon – Iole’s tyrannical ruler – down for his brutal treatment of the miners. But Doran has more to deal with than getting stabbed, a stalemate and city-wide lockdown that’s seeing his gang of ex-miners being slowly starved out of their base – his daughter Grace has turned against him, and the weight of his wife’s death two years prior haunts them both.

Things start to look up when he’s inexplicably drawn to Nathaniel Morgenstern, the apotheker with a mysterious past he owes his life to, but Doran is in way over his head. The fate of the mines hangs in the balance; the clock is ticking and the Archon is closing in. Doran’s plan to break the cycle may very well be his last.

Excerpt

Heart of Dust

Everything hurt.

This wasn’t out of the ordinary; Doran was accustomed to waking up any given morning with his head aching, his body bruised, his feet swollen, his bones fractured and muscles torn. But this time he couldn’t move, not even to open his eyes. He dimly wondered if he was hungover.

He felt someone prodding at his body. He grunted and forced his eyes open, regretting it immediately at the resulting implosion of pain in his head.

The culprit was a young man – a child, really – who yelped and jumped backwards with wide eyes, clutching a bandage.

“Sir?” the boy called out, over his shoulder. Doran flinched, the sound reverberating through his skull, and clenched his eyes shut again. “Sir, he’s waking up.”

“Leave us.”

The boy’s voice responded. “But –”

“Gerald.”

A heavy sigh. “Yes, sir.”

He could hear murmuring somewhere in the background but he couldn’t focus on the words. Instead he let the subtle but heady scent of pinewood and elderflower calm his aching mind. 

There were light footsteps – the boy, Gerald – shuffling indignantly up a staircase somewhere to the right, then there was nothing but the sound of his own breathing.

His mind was so sluggish that an eon and a half had passed by the time he felt a cool glass press gently against his lower lip. A strong hand moved under the back of his head to guide him up. He managed a few sips of sweet, crystalline water. It tasted like it was sent from Lady Sionann herself to soothe his parched and aching mouth.

Doran swallowed, then gulped. Water spilled from his hungry lips and the glass was pulled away. He protested, or tried to, but the hand supporting his head guided him back down. 

He realised he was lying on a table. It wasn’t hard enough to be stone, or cold enough to be metal. He could feel the grains of smooth wood beneath the tips of his fingers and against his skin, and his head rested on something soft. A jacket, perhaps, or even a pillow. 

Consciousness filtered back to him, not quickly enough for his liking. Finally he managed to pry his eyes open.

The man leaning over him couldn’t have been more than a few years older than Doran, in his early forties perhaps, but if Doran thought he carried his own age badly, this man outrivalled him. 

The stranger’s brown hair was peppered grey, completely silver at the temples; his face was hard, weathered and lined from years of trauma or poor life choices. A scar extended from the corner of his right eye to the middle of his cheek, destroying any chance of symmetry. Doran couldn’t call him good-looking, not by a long shot, but there was something incredibly striking about his features, in an offensive sort of way.

Doran swallowed thickly. “How long…” he tried to say, the words coming out in a harsh whisper.

“All night.”

The man had a low, coarse voice, like a miner after years of inhaling cigarette smoke and coal dust, but his words were soft.

“Shit.” Doran pushed himself to a sitting position. “What time is it?”

“Early, still,” the man replied, pressing his hand to Doran’s shoulder. His hand was bound in a black band of mourning, not unlike the one Doran wore around his upper arm. “Move slowly. You don’t want to tear those stitches.”

“Stitches –?” 

Doran glanced down at himself, and his memory of the previous day flooded back in an instant. 

His hand found his side, and instead of a gaping wound his fingers met a firm bandage. He also couldn’t help but notice a distinct lack of blood and – apart from his underwear – clothing.

“…You helped me,” Doran said.

“You were bleeding all over my doorstep.”

“Ah. Apologies.”

The man grunted, though whether this was in dismay or to brush off the apology, Doran couldn’t tell. “Stab wounds do that. You’re lucky it wasn’t deeper.”

Doran thought of Rhian, bleeding to death in his arms while their daughter wept. “Yeah,” he echoed. “Lucky.”

The man moved away, then returned with a bowl of steaming broth and two slices of bread. Doran accepted the meal gratefully. The broth was hot but not enough to burn his tongue. He found himself draining the bowl with desperate gulps, then attacking the bread like a starving wolf. It was better than anything he’d eaten in moons. The bread was warm and fresh, and he used it to soak up the last of the salt and rosemary broth from the bowl. 

The man offered Doran a bundle of clothes when he was done.

“These should fit you,” he said, passing them over. “I had to burn yours.”

Doran’s heart seized, a spike of pure panic gripping his body. His hand shot to his chest to clutch for the chain around his neck, calming only when his fingers curled around the locket. He exhaled.

The man’s head tilted at the sudden movement, a small frown creasing his brow as the flash of bronze caught his eye, but the locket vanished underneath the shirt Doran hastily pulled over his body.

“Thanks.” Doran swung his legs over the edge of the table, wincing when he moved too quickly. 

“I’d tell you not to engage in strenuous activity for at least a week, but I doubt you’ll listen and the Archon won’t care,” the man said. “Try not to reopen the wound when you’re working the mines.”

That told Doran two things – there had been no revolution, and the mines were still open.

He swallowed his disappointment. “What makes you think I’m a miner?”

“Hands.”

Doran glanced down at his hands, the cuticles of his nails and the skin of his palms permanently stained black. He clenched his calloused fists together and tried to keep his tone non-committal. “I hear it’s a hard life.”

“One I don’t envy.”

BOOK 2

Book Title: Soul of Ash

Author: H. L. Moore

Publisher: Self-Published

Cover Artist: Designed by Damonza

Length:  85 000 words/ 336 pages

Release Date: September 2020

Genre/s: Fantasy M/M Romance

Trope/s: Slow Burn

Themes: Addiction, Dark Pasts, Atonement, Forgiveness

Heat Rating: 2 flames

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Buy Links – reduced to USD$4.99 for a limited time

Amazon US  |   Amazon UK

Kobo  |  Abbey’s

You can run, but you will never be free.

Blurb 

Half a year after the events of Heart of Dust, Doran Ó Seanáin now finds himself trapped between two worlds while belonging to neither. Held in contempt by the upper class for the turmoil he caused during Archon Bryson’s reign and resented by the miners for selling out, Leonora Darkwater’s bid to purchase the mines from the crown may be his salvation. But the offer is far more complicated than it appears, and the only person Doran trusts is the same man who threw his life into chaos.

Haunted by his past, held hostage by his debt to the Archon, and a slave to the poison that keeps him alive, atonement feels perpetually out of reach for Nathaniel Morgenstern. Too much damage has been done and too much has gone unsaid for time alone to heal the wounds between him and Doran.

Unfortunately, time is the one thing they don’t have as their lives collide once more. There are vipers in Arajon; the mines aren’t finished with Doran, and the sand in Nathaniel’s hourglass is running out.

Excerpt

Soul of Ash

He was led down a mining shaft illuminated by coal-lit lamps, until they began pushing through a crowd of murmuring men and women held back by other miners. As Lien and Nathaniel were permitted to pass, he heard a hoarse, slightly damaged voice murmuring reassurances beside a derailed dumper tractor raised off the ground by a few metal supporting bars. 

“Just hold on,” he heard Doran saying, from where he knelt beside the tractor. “He’ll be here any moment –” 

“Doran,” Lien said. 

Doran turned. 

The past few months had seen Nathaniel frequent the mines to deliver his wares or receive miners in his shop where he would be asked to render assistance. Trivial things, usually – scrapes and cuts, the occasional broken bone or beginnings of black lung. But since that day in winter, Doran himself had not returned to the shop, nor had Nathaniel seen Doran in the mines, no doubt by design. 

“Good, you’re here,” Doran said when he saw Nathaniel. It was a warmer welcome than Nathaniel had expected or hoped for. “Can you help her?” 

On the sooty ground, a woman, with half of her right leg pinned under the full weight of the truck, groaned. 

If a woman’s leg been crushed under a truck in the glistening streets of the Bronze, the citizens would probably have thrown up or fainted or run away screaming. At the back of the cavern, the doctor was surrounded by men and women of the mines. They didn’t flinch at the horror scene that was her crushed leg; they’d seen worse. By the looks on their faces, most didn’t expect a happy outcome. 

“I’d say good morning,” Nathaniel said as he too knelt beside the doctor, “but you don’t seem to be having one.” 

The doctor had dark skin, betraying her as a member of the upper classes like the Harringtons, whose ancestors had emigrated not from the Valley but from the equatorial nations of Pontecorvo and Kedrossos, south of Vaison. She wore a circlet bracelet depicting the Lady Sionann, like many of the descendants of secular immigrants who’d made their fortunes did, embracing the culture of Arajon and generating both prosperity and poverty, while earning the disdain of the Valley population who clung to the old ways out of tradition or spite.  

The doctor assessed Nathaniel as he set his bag down and pulled out the sterile cloths and alcohol.  

“I don’t recognise this man,” she said to Doran, one hand braced against the tractor looming over her head, the other gripping the thigh of her right leg. Sweat beaded on her clammy forehead. “I know every person who has – nngh – passed through medicine at the Conservatorium. Who is this?” 

“This is Nathaniel Morgenstern,” Doran replied. “He’s an apotheker in Methyr – the one who produces our remedies. He’s the closest thing to a healer we could find, given the urgency.” 

“Morgenst— an apotheker?” the doctor spat. She arched her neck to glower at Doran through her tears of pain. “You’ve b-brought me some Helvetian herbalist! Are you mad? Those backwards fools didn’t even learn how to wipe their asses until a century ago!” 

She was oddly coherent for a woman whose leg was currently crushed under a tractor. 

“My mother had surgical training in Haderach,” Nathaniel said. “Her people discovered hygiene thousands of years ago. You’ll live.” 

If anything, the doctor’s expression turned fouler. “A mev,” she muttered.  

Doran’s hand clamped down hard on his shoulder. 

“Mr Morgenstern is here to save your life,” he said, tersely. “Adrian, bring Doctor Lancaster some water.” 

The one named Adrian scurried away. 

Nathaniel felt Doran’s eyes burning into his shoulders as he examined what he could of the crushed leg under the twisted metal of the tractor. He cut the pant fabric from around Lancaster’s knee, and prodded his finger into the exposed flesh of the leg just below the kneecap, avoiding the bone jutting out like shards. There was no return of blood to her dark skin, and the doctor didn’t jerk with pain. 

No blood flow. No feeling. The leg below the knee was as good as dead. 

“Well?” Doran asked quietly. 

Nathaniel shook his head. Doran uttered a soft swear. 

“It would be better if the truck could be lifted so I can remove the limb safely,” Nathaniel said. “This area isn’t sterile.” 

“We tried,” Doran said. “It’s too dangerous. The whole thing could collapse on her and crush her in an instant. She needs to be freed first before we can safely dismantle it.” 

“All right.” 

“How long will the procedure take?” Doran asked. 

Nathaniel tilted his head at Lancaster. “Forty-odd years ago, the barber-surgeons in the Helvetic would hold down a patient and hack off their limb in thirty seconds. This was before numbing agents had been introduced, of course – time was of the essence for the patients, to minimise the pain so they wouldn’t go into shock. The wound would then be cauterised with either hot iron or boiling oil.” 

“You barbarian,” Lancaster choked, “don’t you dare.” 

Barbarian. That was a new one. 

Surgery wasn’t his forte. He hadn’t lied – he could amputate limbs. In his time, he’d successfully amputated both limbs and heads, though the appendages usually belonged to different people and certainly hadn’t been for the purpose of saving their lives. If one was strictly speaking about life-saving amputation, his mother had taught him the technique and guided his hand through the procedure.  

On cadavers. 

When he was twelve. 

“I can do it that quickly,” Nathaniel said, “but you’ll either bleed to death or die of shock. Caution over speed is preferable. Do you want to be unconscious, or numbed?” 

“Numbed,” Lancaster said. “You have done this before, haven’t you?” 

“Six times.” 

“How many of your patients died?” 

Nathaniel pulled out Professor Kaufman’s tome on Human Anatomy and Physiology from his bag and opened it to the chapter on amputation techniques. “They were all already dead.” 

About the Author

H.L. is an Australian writer of LGBT+ fiction. She holds a Master of Arts in International Relations (2015) and a Bachelor of Media in Communications and Journalism (2012), both from the University of New South Wales.


She is a lesbian of Jewish and Middle Eastern (Egyptian) heritage, and is an #OwnVoices writer. She has been writing stories since she was old enough to hold a pen. She is the author of M/M fantasy romance novels Heart of Dust and Soul of Ash, Books 1 & 2 of the Death’s Embrace series.

She has had two short stories published: “The Collector” in the 2014 Future Times Award Collection A Tick Tock Heart, and “Entente” in the 2020 Twisted Stories Award Collection Just Alice.

Author Links

Blog/Website  |  Tumblr  |   Facebook  

Twitter  |   BookBub  |  Goodreads

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Beyond the Realm: Remember #KindleUnlimited #giveaway

SERIES REVIEW TOUR

BEYOND THE REALM: REMEMBER

Beyond the Realm: Remember is a multi-author series. 

Each book is set in its own world and can be read as a standalone novel. 

Join eight authors on eight very different, romantic, and magical stories as each one writes their own take on the same concept. 

“There’s no time. Remember…”

There are eight separate release dates.

All the books are available for pre-order and available on Kindle Unlimited.


Book 1: Rueberry Orchard by Michele Notaro – October 6th

Buy link 

Blurb

“There’s no time. Remember Rueberry Orchard.”

A beautiful man in strange clothing starts invading my dreams, and even though I know he isn’t real, the dreams—mind-links, according to him—are so vivid it’s hard to imagine this man doesn’t exist. After a few of these nightly visits, I start looking forward to meeting him and listening to his smooth voice as he tries to convince me to go to Rueberry Orchard. 

To my surprise, the place really exists, but I know it would be crazy to go there when it’s ten hours away… right? 

When the visits don’t stop, some deep desire inside me knows I have to listen to this dream man, even if it’s absolutely insane. I follow his instructions to Rueberry Orchard, and nothing in this world could’ve prepared me for what I find. Or for the wild adventure I’m about to embark on. 


Book 2: Willowhope Manor by Sammi Cee – October 8th

Buy link 

Blurb

“There’s no time. Remember Willowhope Manor.”

All Chance wants is a change of pace and a little excitement, so opening a B&B in a town surrounded by ghost stories sounds like the perfect solution.

Throw in Jett, the super-sexy handyman, who is as willing to work him over as he is to help return the manor to its former glory, and Chance knows he made the right decision.

On the surface, the renovation is moving along perfectly. Then Chance asks questions that were better left buried, and the manor is quickly overrun with restless spirits.

Will Chance have to sacrifice his dreams, tuck tail, and run, or will Jett stand by his side to face-off with the ghosts of Willowhope Manor?


Book 3: Copper Creek by Jacki James – October 13th

Buy link 

Blurb

“There’s no time. Remember Copper Creek.”

From the moment Dimas met Hazzard they had a bizarre connections, it was like a mating bond but not quite. Something was missing. Imagine their surprise when that something turns out to be a someone.

An owl, a wolf, and a bear. All three mates and all three fit together perfectly. Now if everything else in Copper Creek were going as smoothly as their mating.

Unfortunately, an anti-shifter group is getting close to finding the psychotropic salamanders whose toxin can prevent a shifter’s animal from surfacing. Join these three as they work with the rest of the Copper Creek clan to find the salamanders and make sure they don’t fall into the wrong hands.


Book 4: Marcellus by Michelle Frost – October 15th

Buy link 

Blurb

“There’s no time. Remember Marcellus.”

Since the Null’s defeat, the land of Ferron had known peace under the guiding hands of the Conservatory of Mages.

After he earned his name in battle, Vian the Scarred set out on every mission the Conservatory put before him. Yet, no amount of hunting monsters or fugitive Nulls could quiet the fitful yearning of his heart.

Until Marcellus came and imbued Vian’s life with his golden glow…for a time.

Set on the path of an unknown monster, Vian hunts with a ferocity that feels misplaced while vivid flashes of golden hair catch at the edges of his dreams. Fulfilling the Conservatory’s orders has always been his life’s work, but this time the demands of his heart might win out if only he could remember.


Book 5: Amos Ridge by BL Maxwell – October 20th

Buy link 

Blurb

“There’s no time. Remember, I love you.”

It all started with a discovery. A cave beneath a waterfall that held a crystal. Two boys—best friends—embark on a journey they’re told will help all mankind. As the years go by, their friendship turns to love, and their adventure turns into a battle.

Drew Langly is the keeper of the crystal. With his contact, the crystal allows them to jump to different timestreams and help, if they can, to further that society or fix anything that improves their lives. When he’s ripped from the timestream, it’s the beginning of what will change everything they’ve come to know about how the different timestreams function.

Colby Adams is Drew’s boyfriend, fellow traveler, and jump partner. When Drew is left vulnerable after a failed jump, he’s there to help and try to figure out what went wrong. They soon discover another team of travelers is in trouble, but they’ve been warned against trusting them. The more they learn, the more they realize everything has been a lie. To rewrite a history that’s been full of deceit, they’ll need to put their trust, once again, in strangers. Can they rewind it all and begin again? Experience the history they were always meant to? With some unconventional help, maybe…


Book 6: The Manuscript by J.D. Light – October 22nd

Buy link 

Blurb

“There’s no time. Remember the Manuscript.”

Omi has had vague but vivid dreams his whole life but would forget them within minutes of opening his eyes. When he started writing the dreams down as soon as he woke up, he suddenly realized the significance when things in those dreams would pop up in his daily life. A broken toaster that caused a ridiculous automobile accident that was thankfully not fatal to anyone. A pop can that exploded in the middle of class and covered his least favorite teacher in orange soda.

Omi’s dreams about a man with sunflower eyes were his favorite and enough to fill the pages of a manuscript. He couldn’t help but fall madly in love with the man, even if he never had a name. But the beautiful stranger never appeared like the other objects in his dreams and with every day that he didn’t, Omi became more and more depressed until he finally had to lock the manuscript away and stop writing about the man.

Six years have passed since Omi has touched the manuscript, but he would recognize the man that shows up at his favorite coffee shop anywhere, even before he gets close enough for Omi to see his sunflower eyes. How is a guy supposed to react to seeing the man he’s been in love with from the time he was eighteen in real life for the first time? Probably NOT how Omi does.

Canton knows that Omi is his oracle the moment he sees him… just like he knows that Omi is his mate from the very beginning. But that is impossible, since fate weavers haven’t had mates in centuries, and it is absolutely forbidden to mate your oracle.

Canton has waited for his oracle for two hundred long years, and he desperately wants to finish his work, but the more time he spends with the feisty man, the harder it is to remember to keep his distance emotionally. How can he possibly spend endless hours with a man he wants so much and not get to treasure him like he wants?

The answers to that just might be found in the pages of a manuscript Omi isn’t sure he wants to share.


Book 7: Amethyst Isle by Wren Kenzie – October 27th

Buy link 

Blurb

“There’s no time. Remember Amethyst Isle.”

Never trust a stray cat that follows you around and stares at you like it knows your darkest secrets. Especially, when that cat shows up perched on the shoulder of a huge man who demands I meet him on an abandoned pier at midnight if I don’t want to die. A man who also exposes those dark secrets right there on the street in front of my office.

My parents warned me to fear anyone who knew what I was. I should run away, but I can’t make myself do it. I’m drawn to him, and I need answers. I have to know how he knows. And just maybe he can explain the nightmares that have been ruining my nights. Explain why I feel like I’ve known him my entire life. But you know what they say about curiosity killing the cat, except this time, it’s the cat himself that might kill me.


Book 8: Imaginary Lover by Morgan Brice – October 29th

Buy link

Blurb

“There’s no time. Remember your imaginary lover….”

Cory Caldwell woke up by the side of the road with no memory of how he got there. He pieces together who he is but has no idea what happened to him.

Dark visions haunt him—flashes of blood, magic, and a brutal fight. Scorching dreams of a faceless lover offer no clues. His gut warns that something urgent is eluding him, and that time is running out. Worse is the sense of bone-deep grief, as if Cory is missing part of his soul.

Desperate for answers, he hops a bus for Fox Hollow, a town famous for psychics, mediums, and those with supernatural abilities. Then a stranger calls Cory by name and casts a furtive glance around him. “There’s no time,” the man says. “I need your help. Remember…” Can Cory unlock his missing memories and rescue the stranger before it’s too late?

Imaginary Lover is full of dangerous magic, hurt/comfort, brave monster hunters, dark curses, sincere psychics, found family, and forever love.



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Series Review Tour with a Kindle Fire #Giveaway – The Asylum Fight Club by Tibby Armstrong and Bianca Sommerland

SERIES REVIEW TOUR

The Asylum Fight Club by Tibby Armstrong and Bianca Sommerland

Fated. Forged. Forever.

A place where men live and love by their fists—and ropes are for more than just the ring—The Asylum Fight Club isn’t the easiest place to live or work, but it’s a haven and a home for three men who’ve put their livelihoods—and lives—on the line to build a members-only gay sanctuary.

At the heart of The Asylum, Lawson Gaumond, Noah Leonov, and Curtis Smith, are three ex-lovers with one mission: to protect those they care for at all costs in an often unforgiving world of violence and vice.

They are three men, with one vision. Their bonds forged in blood. Fated to be together. Forever.

Genre/s: Contemporary M/M Romance

Overall Heat Rating for the series: 4 – 5 flames

Note: Depending on the book it could be either 4 or 5 but they aren’t erotica, so the sex is detailed, but part of the story, rather than the focus of the story.

 It’s best to read the stories in order.

Publisher: Self-Published

Cover Artist: I’m No Angel Designs

Goodreads Series Link  |  Amazon Series Link

***

INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHORS

  1. How long have you been writing for, and what inspired you to start writing?

Bianca: I’ve been writing since I was about five and my grandmother really gave me a love of reading, then encouraged my writing in a way that made it even more special to me than it already was. From the first time she read one of my stories of a family of unicorns (it was actually kinda dark for that age lol) I just never stopped putting the words on page. There were always new stories to tell.

  1. Tell us about your new release. What inspired you to write it?

Tibby: Uneven Justice is Book 7 in The Asylum Fight Club series. Bianca and I had always been interested in exploring the Glam Grenade backstory from Hard Justice, and bringing in the other band members seemed like a fun way to take a bit of a break from the more intense storylines in a few of the more recent books. Shea and Jacks were intriguing from the first moments on the page in the third book too, so we didn’t need much of an excuse to explore how they and Danny might fit. All in all, it turned out to be some of the most fun we’ve had in this world!

  1. What are you working on at present? Would you like to share a snippet?

Bianca: Right now we’re working on Stolen Justice (The Asylum Fight Club Book 9). It’s hard to share a snippet without spoiling it, but let’s just say, for fans of the series, you’re in for a few surprises. Some familiar, unfamiliar names. 😉

  1. Do you have any advice for other writers?

Bianca: Take all the advice you’re given…and then set it aside. Learn the rules so you know how to break them. Tell the story that you’re most passionate about and both you and your readers will be excited to be along for the ride.

  1. Are there any genres you prefer to write and if so, why?

Tibby: I prefer to write Romance because the opportunity to take two people who under normal circumstances would kill each other and force them into a high pressure situation together so they have to work out their differences is fascinating to me. Yes, I’m a bit of an evil god in my worlds, but it’s all for the greater good. Right?

  1. Do characters and stories just pop into your head, or do you take your time thinking about and planning them?

Bianca: The characters come to me, sit me down, and show me exactly who they are. The stories it can go either way. Sometimes I can see the scenes simply by following the characters. Other times me and Tibby throw things at them to see what they’ll do next. It’s always an awesome journey and experiencing it like the readers do is the best feeling in the world.

  1. Are you a cat person or a dog person? Tell us about your pets.

Bianca: Both. Right now I have one dog, Shelby, who has decided all three cats are part of her pack. They do not agree.

  1. If you had access to a time machine just once, is there anything you’d go back and change? Either on a personal level or an historical event?

Tibby: Does all of 2020 count?

  1. If you could choose any superpower or magical ability, what would it be and why? What would you do with it?

Tibby: Time travel. That can totally be magic, right? I would go back in time to chat with my favorite authors. And probably buy a lottery ticket or two. Not gonna lie!

  1. If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things (or people) would you want there with you?

Tibby: Electricity, internet, and my laptop! I can order everything else off Amazon that way, right?

***

Webp.net-gifmaker

***

BOOK 1

He’ll either take down ‘The Law’. Or fall for him.

Book Title: Flawed Justice (The Asylum Fight Club Book 1)

Length: 370 pages

Release Date: October 24, 2019

Trope/s: Enemies to lovers

Themes: Found Family

It can be read as a standalone

Goodreads

Buy Links

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Blurb

If there were an emergency number for adulthood, Matt Kincaid would have dialed it months ago. Raising his kid brother alone is already an uphill battle, nevermind when an ugly gang initiation lands the teen in lockup. Again. Only, this time for a hate crime against a local fight club, where settling debts isn’t taken lightly. When the club offers to let Matt risk everything in a long-shot match with a man who’s as brutally handsome as he is tough, he jumps at the chance.

If Matt wins, all will be forgiven. If not? Well, he might as well move in, because ‘The Law’ will own his ass…for a very long time.

There are no limits to what Lawson ‘The Law’ Gaumond will do to protect the club he and his former lovers built. An inner-city sanctuary where Anniston Falls’ gay leather culture thrives, The Asylum Fight Club isn’t an easy place, but it’s home. Taking on a local hothead whose younger brother vandalized the space isn’t high on his priority list, but there’s something about Matt that cries out for a firm hand.

Lawson’s never backed down from a fight, and he’s not about to start when there’s no way he can lose.

When renewed gang violence erupts, spilling blood over The Asylum, Lawson and Matt must confront their pasts to find a way forward. Gunshots and knives should be harder to survive than this rough love, but coming to the ring armed with nothing but the truth is their greatest challenge of all.

BOOK 2

 The most important fight is for the truth.

Book Title: Beyond Justice (The Asylum Fight Club Book 2)

Length: 394 pages

Release Date: December 24, 2019

Trope/s: Friends to lovers

Themes: Found Family

Goodreads

Buy Links

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Blurb

Raised and trained by The Asylum Fight Club’s most infamous owner, Reed Dane is almost untouchable. Might sound dope, but there are disadvantages to his ‘privileged’ status. His guardian’s reputation makes a serious relationship impossible—turns out the club’s members are addicted to breathing—and the one man Reed truly wants sees him only as a stray his former lover brought home.

An endless string of one-night stands lacks the intimacy Reed craves, but at least edgy post-fight hookups distract him from what he’ll never have. Until he takes a wrecking ball to the walls that set him apart.

Curtis Smith is a lot of things—MMA fighter, club owner…son of a drug lord—but one thing he’s not is prepared to face temptation exploding past his carefully built boundaries. Reed is forbidden, to him most of all, but resisting what they both want becomes impossible with the sub challenging him at every turn. And with his past threatening everything The Asylum has been built to protect, Curtis can’t afford to be addicted to Reed’s brand of candy coated sin.

He can’t deny himself one taste before his stolen time runs out. Because when it does, all that will be left behind for Reed is a memory…

And his heart.

BOOK 3

He thought he’d had it rough, but he has a lot to learn.

Book Title: Hard Justice (The Asylum Fight Club Book 3)

Length: 570 pages

Release Date: February 24, 2020

Goodreads

Buy Links

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Blurb

Scandalous headlines threaten to turn Jamie Kent from a pop star to a pariah on the regular, but this latest one is a little too close for comfort. The Asylum Fight Club seems like a good place to hide out…until he has to prove he belongs—deep in a lifestyle with a contract and rules he breaks within the first five minutes. Staying means complete surrender, but a lifetime scripting love songs didn’t prepare him to give his heart to the one man who claims everything he has to offer.

The day he returns from prison.

Reputation has its own kind of power in a place where pain and pleasure depend on who’s in control. Entangled in the lives of those he’d give anything to protect, Noah Leonov rarely takes chances, but the hardened fighter refuses to abandon the vulnerable new sub to vultures who could tear his life apart with a camera flash. With the cage where he spent two years fresh in his mind, Noah won’t trap the man he loves in his brutal world. Jamie deserves the glamour and fame, where he can have more than a broken man can provide.

He belongs in the spotlight.

Neither man ever had the choice to decide their own destiny. Imprisoned by the roles they’re forced to play, their key to freedom might be to do the unexpected.

Refuse to let go.

BOOK 4

One game cost him his freedom, now all he has to lose is his heart.

Book Title: Cold Justice (The Asylum Fight Club Book 4)

Length: 510 pages

Release Date: March 24, 2020

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Blurb

Breaking a few rules didn’t seem like a huge deal.

With his name on several government assasination lists, Wren Gibson’s prison sentence might’ve been the shortest in hacker history, until an unlikely rescue lands him behind the sturdy brick walls of The Asylum Fight Club. Where everyone can game the rules, yet he’s forbidden from even placing his piece on the board.

But one Dom tempts him to gamble everything.

The Asylum’s resident, on-call medic, Jared “Doc” McCleod is familiar with the histories of every man who crosses the club’s threshold. Their pain, their fear… Of them all, only Wren has held on to his secrets, a fascinating contrast with how completely he gives up control. As the general on the front lines of The Asylum’s internal and external battles, it’s Jared’s duty to make certain the quiet sub with soulful brown eyes doesn’t fly under his radar for long.

Showing his hand could cost them both.

When Jared takes on the task of helping Wren recover from an unexpected injury, Wren begins to wonder. While the Dom is tending to everyone else, who is there for him? To show Jared he can be the sub he needs, he would willingly light himself on fire. For an ex-con with a target on his back, risking that kind of notice is a dangerous strategy, but…

Sometimes, getting what you want requires going all in.

BOOK 5

He never thought he could be more exposed.

Book Title: Raw Justice (The Asylum Fight Club Book 5)

Length:  525 pages

Release Date: May 21, 2020

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Blurb

Ambition can be deadly.

The right kind of exposure is all porn star Keiran Stone needs to reach his ultimate goal of opening his own restaurant, until an ill-fated audition ends with a near-deadly confrontation on the doorstep of Anniston Falls, New York’s infamous gay fight club. Rescued by one of the club’s members, Kerian is offered a job as The Asylum’s chef, and taken under the club’s protection.

He finds more than a recipe for success.
Top-tier fighter, Dallas Stephens, enjoys a variety when it comes to play outside the ring. As a switch, he finds satisfaction at both ends of the whip. Commitment never appealed to him with relationships or careers, but Keiran’s sweet temptations whet Dallas’s appetite for more than a one-night-stand. Inside and outside of the sub’s kitchen.

Ordering off the menu can be dangerous.

As Keiran fights to establish his own place within The Asylum, threats to the club’s foundation leave both men caught in the crossfire. Love and loyalty show them they’re exactly where they belong, in the most important battle either will ever face.

​Surviving it is another story.

BOOK 6

Temptation can be deadly.

Book Title: Dark Justice (The Asylum Fight Club Book 6)

Length:  514 pages

Release Date: June 25, 2020

Goodreads

Buy Links

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Blurb

Gravity is just another force to overcome.

Renowned aerial artist Avery Dylan has a secret. He’s not who he seems to be. A mercenary by trade, he’s been activated by his handlers in a desperate move to bring down an impossible-to-reach target inside the infamous Asylum Fight Club.

When his high wire act proves easier to execute than one elusive submissive, Avery must resort to more than slithering silks and suggestive moves to breach the club’s defenses. Infiltrating its security requires sneaking past its most carefully guarded boundary—Rhodey Leonov’s heart.

But this is one drop that could kill.

When emotions distract from a mission, it never ends well. For the other guy. There are more headstones in Rhodey Leonov’s past than notches on his belt, which is a track record he lives with. Literally. Being unstoppable keeps his family safe. They may hate his methods, but so long as they’re in one piece, he can live with that.

Until an attack on The Asylum’s newest member reveals a weakness Rhodey can’t let stand. Having Avery recover in his bed for a few days could be a lethal mistake, though Rhodey’s not quite ready to reach for the shovel… Unless it’s to dig himself into the dark pit he’s escaped for so long. With a sub whose sweetness might be nothing but venom.

For both men, love isn’t an option, because falling only leads to one place…

A shallow grave.

NEW RELEASE – BOOK 7 

The show must go on.

Book Title: Uneven Justice (The Asylum Fight Club Book 7)

Author: Tibby Armstrong and Bianca Sommerland

Length: Approx 500 pages

Release Date: July 25, 2020

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Blurb

Life in the wings has its disadvantages…

One-time third-wheel in the boy-band Glam Grenade, Danny DiMarco’s existed just shy of center stage for as long as he can remember—a supporting player to two best friends who depended on him to pull their weight. While they made bank, he’s left reeling when his father’s death tangles his future in the red tape of empty contracts and drained accounts.

But the show must go on.

Jackson ‘Jacks’ Turner wears many hats, most of them gathering dust. An ex-model and an in-denial fashion designer, what he doesn’t plan to accessorize with is a newbie sub who shows up on his front doorstep looking for an introduction to the world of D/s inside Anniston Falls’ exclusive gay, members-only club.

Shea Warren is no stranger to covert ops. A Navy SEAL, he knows the ins and outs of hiding in plain sight. When Danny runs afoul of the club’s most powerful cliques on his first…and second…night as his roommate’s guest, the mission becomes clear. Protect the sweet, unassuming sub before he becomes a casualty of Jacks’ wear-em-once style.

There’s no rehearsal for this next set.

The Asylum might be more accepting of sequins and spandex than most, but Danny’s not coming to come out. In fact, with sponsors whose conservative ties pay his bills, it’s more than undesirable. It’s impossible. Except, sometimes Cupid has other plans.

Just when Danny needs to hide most, he’s headed for the last place he ever wanted to be…

In the spotlight.

 

 

About the Authors

Tibby Armstrong is a Contemporary, Paranormal, and LGBTQ Romance author who also writes Urban Fantasy.

​When she’s not busy avoiding the gym, Tibby can be found munching on chocolate, sipping coffee, and scouring local bookstores for her next binge read.

Author Links

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Bianca Sommerland, author of the award winning Dartmouth Cobras series, was born and raised in Montreal, Quebec. After hitting the USA TODAY Bestsellers list, and being invited to teach several classes on writing in the sports and BDSM genre, she retreated to her writing cave and can still be found there, doing what she’s always done. Which is writing whatever the characters tell her to.

When not reading neurotically or writing as though the fate of the world rests on her keyboard, she is either watching hockey or teaching her daughters the beauty of a classic, steel pony while reminiscing about her days in Auto Body Mechanics. Her dream is to one day own enough land to park a few junkers on so she can work on restorations in her spare time. She also wants a pony. And while we’re sharing her wishlist, owning a tank is somewhere around number 5. Not that she would use it unless there’s a zombie apocalypse, but she does like to be prepared.

Her time is balanced with utmost care between ‘normal’ family life, and being lured into the fictional realm where her characters reside. For the most part, she succeeds.

Author Links

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Series Review Tour – Serial Investigations by Rhiannon D’Averc #KindleUnlimited #giveaway

SERIES REVIEW TOUR

Serial Investigations by Rhiannon D’Averc

Serial Investigations follows a private detective duo, Will and Ram, through tricky cases, mortal danger, and the horror of (maybe) unrequited love for your best friend – with plenty of demons to battle along the way.

The stories need to be read in order.

Overall Heat Rating for the series: 2 flames

Goodreads Series Link 

Warning: All books contain depictions of alcoholism, anorexia, and violent crime/murder.

 

BOOK 1

Book Title: Bloodless

Length: 70 000 words/ 240 pages

Release Date: April 29, 2019

Genre/s: M/M Crime/thriller

Trope/s: Slow burn friends to lovers

Themes: Identity struggle, murder, unrequited love

Goodreads

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 How do you solve a murder…

… When you’re the prime suspect?

 Blurb

A body cut up into pieces and left in Highgate Wood. It sounds like the most exciting case that private detectives Ram and Will have had to deal with since leaving their FBI training and returning to London.

As each new body is piled up amongst the trees, the stakes get higher – and Serial Investigations London embraces their first real challenge.

But Ram’s lifestyle – staying out all days of the week, drinking too much, and having sex with a different man every night – soon catches up with him when the police realise there’s just one link that connects the bodies.

And it’s him.

Will faces a battle around the clock to prevent his best friend from being put away for life – and while the two of them face their own demons, there’s a secret hanging over their heads that might just bring it all crashing down.

If you’re a fan of BBC’s Luther, Jo Nesbo’s Harry Hole, or sharply witty gay men, you’ll love Serial Investigations. Jump into the action from the very beginning with Bloodless, the first book in a series you won’t dare to put down.

 

BOOK 2

Book Title: Blood Evidence

Length: 63 000 words/ 200 pages

Release Date: August 15, 2019

Genre/s: M/M Crime/thriller

Trope/s: Slow burn friends to lovers

Themes: Coming out, murder, unrequited love

Goodreads

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 A missing person’s case…

… A murder investigation?

Blurb

Private detectives Ram and Will got their name in the news by catching a high-profile serial killer, and now they’re getting more clients. When they’re hired to find a missing person, all they’re worried about is having to spend a night away from home. They go to check his last known sighting in Kent, staying in a quaint country inn.

Little do they expect that Serial Investigations London are about to get thrust into a new murder investigation – one that happens right under their noses.

A confession seems to solve the case, but is it genuine? With suspicions running high, the duo still have to find time to sniff out the whereabouts of their client – and avoid getting arrested themselves.

With Ram hitting the bottle harder than ever and Will fighting to stay in control, they might be about to lose more than just the case.

 

BOOK 3

Book Title: Blood Alcohol

Length: 60 000 words/ 173 pages

Release Date: November 30, 2019

Genre/s: M/M Crime/thriller

Trope/s: Slow burn friends to lovers

Themes: Coming out, murder, inner demons

Goodreads

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 A horrific torture case with a ticking clock.

All he can see is the bottle.

 Blurb

Private detectives Ram and Will thought they’d wrapped everything up when they found Ray Riley’s body in Sevenoaks. But it turns out that things aren’t what they seemed – and Riley may be the latest victim of a torture-happy murderous duo.

For the second time, Serial Investigations London are called in to assist as civilian consultants with DI Alex Heath’s team at the Met – but they have their own personal problems getting in the way of clear thinking.

Will has something to get off his chest, and it’s related to that kiss they shared – the one they both tried to forget. But Ram can’t stop drinking to push away the confusion, and this time he’s going to land himself in more trouble than ever before.

Can they get over their issues for long enough to stop another murder – or even keep themselves alive?

 

BOOK 4

Book Title: Blood Sucker

Length:   65 000 words/ 191 pages

Release Date: March 28, 2020

Genre/s: M/M Crime/thriller

Trope/s: Slow burn friends to lovers/misunderstandings

Themes: Conflict, murder, trust and loyalty

Goodreads

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 A dead body posted on social media.

A vampire stalking the streets of London?

 Blurb

Will and Ram’s private detective partnership seems to be unravelling. After they ended up sleeping together, the tension between them is at an all-time high – and the unsolved Simon Shystone case is haunting them and their police contacts.

DI Alex Heath normally wants their help, but when a murderer posts images of his victim on social media, the chase is on to trace his digital footprint. With his superiors breathing down his neck, he might not be able to bring Serial Investigations London in on one of the biggest cases of their career.

They should be focusing on the artist who seems to have disappeared without a trace from his home studio. Could his latest commission have something to do with it? And will they be able to handle finding another client turned up dead?

Things are spiralling out of control for Will and Ram – and this time, they might not have each other to rely on.

 

BOOK 5

Book Title: Blood Sport

Length:  164 pages

Release Date: June 30, 2020

Genre/s: M/M Crime/thriller

Trope/s: Slow burn friends to lovers/misunderstandings resolved

Themes: Murder, kidnap, vanquishing the big bad

Goodreads

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A copycat killer who knows every detail.
A locked room with no escape.

Blurb

Serial Investigations London is officially closed for business – with private detectives Will and Ram still not talking to one another after an explosive argument. Even when a copycat killer springs up, seemingly targeting only their own cases, they can’t see eye to eye.

Little wonder, given that they both have something more important on their minds. Someone knows about San Francisco – about the man who died on a rooftop at their feet. Who has discovered their deepest secret? And what will they do to keep it buried?

That’s when another mystery piles up on top of the rest: a traditional trope that every seasoned detective must face, the locked room. But this one has a deadly twist, and if they don’t come to terms with their differences and work together, one of them might not live to regret it.

Will and Ram face the most pressing and personal danger yet – but the question is, who’s behind it? And will they realise they’ve been set against one another before it’s too late?

If you’re a fan of BBC’s Luther, Jo Nesbo’s Harry Hole, or sharply witty gay men, you’ll love Serial Investigations. The story continues with Blood Sport, a nail-biting series of twists and turns that will have you questioning how they’ll ever survive.

 

Excerpt 

Bloodless – Chapter One

Unlocking the door to your new home for the first time is supposed to be exciting. I guess it was the jet-lag, but I couldn’t even force myself to smile as we walked in. Not even for Ram’s sake.

We crashed in hungover and out of it, the sparkling wine and whisky of the plane no longer seeming like such a good idea. I chose a bedroom and dragged my suitcases inside. It felt good to no longer have all of my worldly possessions attached to my person. Without the weight of my backpack on my shoulders, I could feel just how much strain the muscles had been under.

I found Ram still standing at the wide windows of the living room. He was looking out of the clean, fresh glass into the grey and drizzling London of December. It felt like a jolt to look out and see not palm trees, but old Victorian factories and blocks of flats as far as the eye could see.

But then again, no one has ever mistaken Whitechapel for California. It was always going to be a bit of a culture shock, coming back home again.

I shook him by the shoulder, trying to ignore the pit in my own stomach. Maybe if I could get him to snap out of this weary daze we had both fallen into, he would be able to wake me up in return.

“Ram?” I asked, after a moment. He simply swayed under the movement of my hand, like a doll. I wasn’t even sure he was actually looking out at anything.

He turned and looked at me when he heard his name. It was like he was looking at someone he didn’t recognise from a long distance away. If I had felt uneasy before, that expression made my scalp itch with worry. Of the two of us, Ram is the calm and centred one. Even when he’s so drunk he can barely walk, he doesn’t lose it. Not like me. But I’ve never seen him like this before.

“I’m going to take a shower,” he said, after a moment, seeming to rouse. He shrugged off my hand and walked away, leaving me stood watching the place where he had been stood watching. I felt like a sentinel. Something had left us behind and we were plunging into a bowl of cold water, too confused to even try to hold onto the side. I wondered if it would even wash away what we had on our hands.

I was alone, without the option of distracting myself by looking at him. The only thing I could do was to keep moving. I heard the sound of the shower turn on, and I guided my weary feet into my new room. It felt like midnight, but the sun wasn’t even at its midday apex. I went from task to task, like an automaton, letting the cogs turn by themselves to keep my mind empty. Suitcase unzipped; clothes pulled out; find hangers; one by one, up on the rail. Knick-knacks. Decorations. Picture frame.

The flat came furnished, but now I realised that on our hasty flight out of San Francisco we forgot to take a few things into account. The beds had mattresses, but no pillows or sheets. The drawers in the kitchen held no cutlery, crockery, or mugs for tea. Even if they did, there was no kettle, no bags of tea, no instant coffee machine.

I ran out of things to do but I had to find something. I stalked from room to room, tablet in hand, stabbing the pages of an online shopping site. Kettle — black, chrome, retro. Tea bags — Earl Grey, Caramel Rooibos, Herbal Blend. Bed set — plain blue, reverse check, king size. Next.

Ram’s room. Suitcases still locked, black leather bag slung onto bare mattress, leather jacket discarded next to it.

He wouldn’t mind. It’s not like we have any secrets from each other.

Or many, at least.

Open the suitcase (correctly guess the code on the lock). Take out clothes, one by one, to string them up on hangers and leave them waiting for him. Personal items. Books stacked by the bed. Jewellery case. Boots on the floor by the door. Leather jacket hung up last, finally, the only thing left untouched.

I wondered how long it must have been now.

A long time, surely, but all I could hear still was the water hitting the shower tray. Over and over, the same hiss in the same tone.

A long time for Ram to be in there, on his own, with those thoughts swirling around in his head.

With razors and scissors and other sharp things.

“Ram?” I shouted, pounding on the locked bathroom door.

Nothing but the sibilant hiss of the water.

I threw my shoulder into the door, felt it bounce back against me, sending a shockwave through from the impact. Again. The door rattled, the lock unable to give. Again. Again. As many times as it took, again, ignoring the flower of pain blooming out across my shoulder and back. Once more, and I was stumbling forward into the room, momentarily disorientated as the momentum carried me onwards.

The glass of the shower door was all steam, except for a patch near the bottom where the spray of the water was heavy enough to keep it clear. I saw his legs, sprawled across the floor, and I could barely breathe for the fear that I had realised too late.

I wrenched open the door and saw him, and for a moment I understood nothing. He was whole — yes. No blood. But he was lying naked under the water, letting it hit his face and open eyes without blinking, not even reacting to my appearance.

“Ram?” I said again, but his eyes didn’t even flicker in response.

I reached in and grabbed his shoulder, ignoring the water. It quickly drenched my shirt through to the skin, spreading up over my chest and into my eyes as I shook him.

Slowly, like he was caught in a time lapse, his face swivelled around. His eyes looked at me, but they were empty. I don’t think he even saw me.

“Everything’s going to be alright,” I said, reaching up and turning the shower off. I didn’t know if it was the truth, but he was alive. For the time being, that was enough.

He stirred a little when the water stopped hitting him, but only for a moment. His shoulders slumped back down and he rested, resigned, still looking fixedly at nothing.

I grabbed a towel from my bathroom, thankfully one of the few things I did remember to bring with me. I ran back to find him still sitting in the same place. It was like there was no one left inside to notice that he must be cold and uncomfortable. I pulled him out of the shower and into my waiting arms. He came willingly, falling against me like a doll. I towelled him dry as best I could and held him tight, like we were kids again, trying to take some small comfort from one another. His head slotted under my chin, and it felt right but so wrong, because Ram is supposed to be the strong one.

“Everything’s going to be fine, Ram, I promise,” I said, closing my eyes and praying that I was telling the truth.

 

About the Author

Rhiannon D’Averc is a crime writer based in the UK. She works as a ghostwriter and author under her own name as well as under pseudonyms. As a professional writer for over a decade, she also keeps herself busy as Chief Editor of London Runway, an indie fashion magazine. Her short stories have been published in Litro, Devolution-Z, Storgy, Literati, and more.

 

Author Links

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full set of ebooks for Serial Investigations

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Series Review Tour – The Midwest Series by Brigham Vaughn #KindleUnlimited #giveaway

SERIES REVIEW TOUR

The Midwest Series by Brigham Vaughn

 It was more than a decision, it was serendipity. 

Blurb

A former college hockey stars decision to come out of the closet and reunite with his high school boyfriend does more than change the direction of their lives.

It sets into motion events that will lead to their respective best friends, a former hockey player and a psychology major, being stuck on a summer road trip together. 

They cross paths with another old friend, an injured pro baseball player whose been forced to move in with his physical therapist. Old hurts are healed and the six become close friends.

When a night out for the guys leads to their meeting an Olympic hopeful swimmer who is fascinated by a drag queen it’s clear that none of their lives will ever be the same.  

They are standalone stories featuring four different couples. Reading in order is helpful but not required.

Overall Heat Rating for the series:  4 flames: Detailed love scenes, graphic description of anatomy and of sexual acts.

Publisher: Two Peninsulas Press (self-published)

Cover Artist: Brigham Vaughn

 

BOOK 1

Book Title: Bully & Exit

Length: 78 986 words/ 264 pages

Release Date: First edition – July 9, 2015 Second edition – June 30, 2020

Genre/s: Contemporary M/M Romance, Bisexual Romance, Sports Romance

Trope/s: Jock/geek, opposites attract, second chance

Themes: Coming out, forgiveness

It is a standalone story.

Goodreads

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Bully & Exit to free from June 30-July 4th

Blurb 

Nathan Rhodes has put hockey first for most of his life, but as graduation looms, he has a different goal in mind. He needs to come out and reclaim his first love. If only Caleb will believe him…

Theater geek Caleb Stockwell gave up on love when his boyfriend chose the closet over being with an openly bisexual guy. Now, he hides his heartbreak behind a string of casual hookups. He loves the drama on stage, but he’s done with the drama of Nathan Rhodes. For good.

Nathan is determined to right the wrongs of four years ago, but the clock is ticking.

One month until he and Caleb go their separate ways. One month to take a final shot at winning Caleb’s heart back.

Win or lose, everything is on the line.

 

BOOK 2

Book Title: Push & Pull

Length: 91 467 words/ 316 pages

Release Date: October 24, 2018

Genre/s: Contemporary M/M Romance, Bisexual Romance, Sports Romance

Trope/s: Opposites attract, enemies to lovers, road trip

Themes: Coming out, acceptance

It is a standalone story.

Goodreads

 

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 It was just supposed to be a road trip.

Blurb 

Former hockey player Brent Cameron has a plan now that he’s out of the closet. He’ll take a summer road trip, find a job, and settle down with a fellow jock. Lowell Prescott is not part of that plan, but when Brent’s travel companion bails, he’s the only option.

Out and proud, Lowell has a love of sports, a flair of fashion, and a disdain for anything conventional. Burned by past relationships, he’s wary of jocks who want to change him—and that includes Brent Cameron.

Tempers flare and sparks fly as the miles disappear behind them. Just as it seems they might be on a journey to something more than Lake Superior, Brent receives a phone call that could change everything.

Will Brent stay with Lowell and ignore a friend in need, or go sit by the bedside of the man who broke Lowell’s heart?

The stakes are high when you play for keeps.

 

BOOK 3

Book Title: Touch & Go

Length:   101 817 words/ 410 pages

Release Date: September 27, 2019

Genre/s: Contemporary m/m romance, bisexual romance, sports romance

Trope/s: Opposites attract, hurt/comfort

Themes: Redemption, pride, coming out

It is a standalone story.

Goodreads

 

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 It was supposed to be a secret fling.

Blurb 

Micah Warner spent his whole life dreaming of pitching in the big leagues. Signing with a minor-league team near Chicago puts him one step closer to making that a reality. But there are no out players in pro ball, so any involvement with a man must be discreet.

Physical therapist Justin Lamb loves his job with the Cougars. A romantic at heart, he wants to find lasting love—with a man or woman—but traveling with the team makes it difficult to maintain a long-term relationship.

Micah offers Justin a no-strings-attached way to blow off some steam, and Justin reluctantly agrees. It doesn’t take long before they’re both in over their heads but falling in love will risk everything.

With their careers and relationship hanging in the balance, they have one last play to make.

It’s time to take a swing for real and lasting love.

 

BOOK 4

Book Title: Advance & Retreat

Length:  105 980 words/368 pages

Release Date: July 14, 2020

Genre/s: Contemporary m/m romance, sports romance, bisexual romance

Trope/s: Opposites attract, age gap

Themes: Acceptance, coming out

It is a standalone story.

Goodreads

 

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Olympic-size dreams come at a price.

 Blurb

Openly gay college swimmer Ian Harrington feels like he’s fighting against a current of tragedy. He’s grieving the loss of his parents and best friend, and now he’s dealing with a toxic coach and judgmental brother. But he won’t let that stop him from chasing his dream: Olympic gold. 

Ricky Chavez has just about everything he wants in life: a great career, a supportive family, and a side gig as drag queen Rosie Riveting. The only thing he’s missing is a partner to share it all with. 

When the two men connect after Rosie’s performance, they’re immediately drawn to one another. But it’s never that simple. Ricky isn’t the type of man to hide, and with Ian’s coach breathing down his neck, he can’t openly love a drag queen without making waves. 

They’ll have to brave deep waters to make it to the finish line.

 

Excerpt from Bully & Exit

Nathan’s voice was soft when he spoke, gentle like it’d always been. “Caleb Stockwell. I’ve been looking for you.”

Caleb cleared his throat and ignored him, tipping the bottle up for another long drink. He licked the spiciness from his lips as he debated making another run for it. There was a shrub blocking his way in one direction and a hockey player in the other. Even if he hadn’t been drinking, the odds weren’t in his favor. “Nathan Rhodes,” he managed.

“Damn I can’t believe it’s you!” Nathan leaned in and Caleb pulled back, uncomfortable with him being so close.

Caleb laughed bitterly. “It’s me. Now that you’ve satisfied your curiosity, you can run along.” He motioned with his hand, encouraging Nathan to leave.

“It’s really good to see you,” Nathan said, ignoring him. He took a seat on the pile of discarded construction materials, his knees brushing Caleb’s as he lowered himself down. Caleb pulled away as if scorched. 

“Yeah? Too bad I can’t say the same,” he muttered, his head swimming as the alcohol began to hit him. He eyed Nathan’s long, long legs and the way he was pinned in by them, remembering the way they’d felt tangled with his as they came, panting shallowly against each other’s skin. It brought it all back; the scent of Nathan’s cologne, the taste of his skin, the way Caleb’s heart raced in his chest when Nathan held him close. It brought back the memories the ones he’d worked so hard to run from. The good and the bad. The sharp, intense happiness of falling for Nathan. The aching, crushing hurt that paralyzed Caleb for months after Nathan was no longer in his life. Everything he’d buried four years ago and vowed never to touch again.

He caught the first glimpse of doubt on Nathan’s face. “Are you okay, Caleb?”

“Oh, I’m mother fucking peachy,” he snarked and took another long drink. “I’ve made it through four fucking years trying to ignore the fact we’re on the same campus and with barely a month left in my senior year, I thought maybe I’d managed to pull it off. But nooo, Lowell had to drag me to this goddamn party, and of course you showed up too. Just my fucking luck.”

He raised the bottle again, but Nathan wrapped a hand around the neck and tugged. He was stronger than Caleb, so Caleb let go, afraid he’d end up getting pulled into Nathan’s lap if he didn’t. Nathan took a drink and passed the bottle back, licking the taste of rum off his lips before he spoke. “You’re so angry at me.”

“Ya think?” Caleb snarled. “Didn’t it ever occur to you I would be? What the hell makes you think you can waltz in here and pretend like all the shit that went down between us didn’t happen?” He tried to stand, but Nathan’s dark denim-clad knees were on either side of his, pinning him in place. He pried the bottle from Caleb’s suddenly limp fingers and set it aside. 

“I don’t think that,” Nathan protested. “I was just glad to see you and I … I wanted a chance to apologize. I didn’t … I wanted …”

Caleb’s lips parted in surprise as cool fingers framed his face and for the first time in four long years, Nathan’s lips were pressed to his again. Involuntarily, Caleb closed his eyes, feeling a rush of heat wash over him, taking him right back to the first time. Before Nathan broke his heart.

 

About the Author

Brigham Vaughn is on the adventure of a lifetime as a full-time author. She devours books at an alarming rate and hasn’t let her short arms and long torso stop her from doing yoga.  She makes a killer key lime pie, hates green peppers, and loves wine tasting tours. A collector of vintage Nancy Drew books and green glassware, she enjoys poking around in antique shops and refinishing thrift store furniture. An avid photographer, she dreams of traveling the world and she can’t wait to discover everything else life has to offer her.

Her books range from short stories to novellas to novels. They explore gay, bisexual, lesbian, and polyamorous romance in contemporary settings.

 

Author Links

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Series Review Tour – Gods of Earth Series by Nina R Schluntz #KindleUnlimited #giveaway

SERIES REVIEW TOUR

Gods of Earth Series by Nina R Schluntz

Genre: Contemporary M/M Supernatural Romance

Overall Heat Rating for the series: 4 flames

Publisher:  Independently published

Cover Artist: John Molinero

A single book from the series could be read on its own. There is an ongoing story that spans all the books, but each has a couple who receive their happy ending at the conclusion of the book.

Gods of Earth Series on Amazon

 

BOOK 1

Book Title: Influence of a God

Length: 141 pages

Release Date: January 1, 2019

Trope/s: Casual hookup to serious relationship / getting over an ex

Amazon  | Goodreads 

 

Blurb

Jesse has a type-the heartbroken. He doesn’t hide this fact, he’s even tattooed a damaged heart on his chest. His partners love the people who left them, which means there’s no fear of them getting attached to him. He showers them with the affection they have been deprived of and in return, he gets no string attached hook-ups.

Except for Ben.

No matter what Jesse does, when he gets drunk, its always Ben’s porch he ends up on. Which is fine, because Ben is still deeply in love with his ex-wife, even though she’s already remarried.

It might have all stayed fine, if Ben hadn’t met Cooper, the twelve-year-old stepson of Ben’s ex. He knows things he shouldn’t. He has a weird quirk of disappearing for hours. He even predicts future events with uncanny luck. And Cooper has a plan for Jesse. He wants himself and Ben’s daughter to live with Jesse and Ben. Which is a problem, because Jesse doesn’t do relationships.

To Cooper that just means Jesse needs to learn things the hard way.

 

BOOK 2

Book Title: Prophet of a God

Length: 199 pages

Release Date: September 22, 2019

Trope/s: Fated love / destined love

Amazon  |  Goodreads

Blurb

Isaiah has heard voices in his head his entire life, so it’s ironic when his brother declares that he has been chosen as a prophet for a god. Isaiah assists his brother in his search for the messiah and quickly discovers the god chose his brother in an effort to get closer to Isaiah.

The messiah isn’t shy at all in declaring that Isaiah is fated to be with him. But the voice in Isaiah’s head is skeptical and easily finds errors in the god’s claims.

Cooper is a god, one of many on Earth, but he is approved to pose as a messiah. He warps the path he’s supposed to follow in an effort to get closer to a man that is supposed to be his lover for only one night. Doing so has consequences, because Isaiah is not the man he expected. For one, he cuts himself in an effort to deal with the darkness of his past. And second, there’s the pesky sprite that loiters on Isaiah’s shoulder, whispering advice that Cooper would rather it didn’t.

 

BOOK 3

Title: Muse of a God

Length:  256 pages

Release Date: February 1, 2020

Genre/s: Supernatural M/M romance

Trope/s: Reluctantly falling in love / clinging to an old lover

Amazon  |  Goodreads

 

Blurb

Lawrence, who prefers to go by Laurie, is one of those gifted performers that everyone envies because he always gets the lead role.

Carter is a god with a shaded past. He created a planet… and then helped parasite type symbiotes destroy it. His current time on Earth is to prove he is rehabilitated.

He isn’t.

But he is good at manipulation. He wants to stay close to the two scientists who will discover a means to save Earth once Carter brings the symbiotes to it. One of them is Laurie’s roommate in college. Which means Laurie is Carter’s best means to befriending the scientists.

A not so chance encounter and some mocking, gets Laurie to join the lacrosse team Carter is on. Seducing him is easy enough, but Laurie quickly proves refreshingly unpredictable and his quick tongue makes Carter reconsider his choices to stay loyal to his previous love who controls the symbiotes.

But can Carter’s growing affection toward Laurie be enough to convince him to save Earth rather than destroy it?

 

BOOK 4

Title: Enemy of a God

Length: 151 pages

Release Date: May 17, 2020

Genre/s: Supernatural M/M romance

Trope/s: Falling for a friend’s boyfriend, Forbidden love

Amazon  |  Goodreads 

Blurb

The world is ending and the gods are abandoning Earth. A strange woman arrives at the same time the parasite symbiotes do. She has no memory of who she is and the question remains, is she an ally to save earth or the enemy of the gods here to destroy them? 

Jayson is the first to find her and he forms an immediate friendship with her. They are both outcasts with a dark past. He makes a deal with a god, Cooper, in an attempt to learn more about his alien friend. He doesn’t expect to fall in love with Cooper and worse, learn that his alien friend must die in order to save Earth. 

 

BOOK 5

Title: Symbiote of a God

Length:  101 pages

Release Date: June 15, 2020

Genre/s: Supernatural M/M romance

Trope/s: Friends to lovers / refusing to come out as gay

Amazon  |  Goodreads

Blurb

Stephen, Nick, and Lawrence have been best friends since college. Stephen and Nick are scientists, tasked with finding a cure to the symbiotes which have invaded Earth and use humans as hosts. Removing the symbiote kills the human, and a human doesn’t live long once infected.

Months after the initial invasion, Lawrence becomes infected and seeks the help of his friends. The rush to find a cure is now paramount, but something is strange about Lawrence’s infection. He is still in control of his body, and he can now understand the symbiotes. Nick and Stephen realize he may hold the cure to finally ridding the world of the symbiotes. 

 

BOOK 6

Title: Resurrection of a God

Release Date: July 6, 2020

Length:  115 pages

Genre/s: Supernatural M/M romance

Trope/s: Reluctant hero / Love triangle

Amazon  |  Goodreads

Blurb

Earth is the second planet Carter has created, and now the same symbiotes that destroyed his first planet, are here, destroying Earth. Afraid he will only aide in Earth’s destruction, since it’s his soulmate and lover behind the invasion, he goes into hiding. 

Jayson knows Carter is the only god who can save Earth and he is done waiting for him to come back. He resurrects the god and saves the planet, but its something not just any human can do. Jayson realizes there’s more to his relationship with Carter than he thought. He’d assumed he was Cooper’s soulmate, he loves Cooper, but when he keeps running into Carter he realizes the truth. A god has a different soulmate on every planet, and on Earth, he is Carter’s soulmate. 

But Carter doesn’t want him. His soulmate from his first planet was destructive and Carter fears what Jayson will become if he bonds with him. Jayson has to convince the god that he is different, and that your past does not determine your future.

 

 Excerpt from INFLUENCE of a GOD (Book 1)

“You shouldn’t want him to love you,” Jesse muttered to himself. He dropped the cigarette that he didn’t remember smoking and smashed the burning embers out with his heel. He went in the back door of the house. He could already hear the woman—the Nicole—speaking to Ben.

“I can’t believe you let some whore into this house with our daughter,” Nicole said. Jesse reached the end of the hall and stood in the doorway to the living room.

Nicole was wearing a large winter coat, so Jesse was unable to properly assess if she was fat. He had really hoped she was a fat, ugly thing. Her hair was cut into a cute bob. Her face was, well plain, but then again, she’d been woken at one in the morning, so who bothered with make-up at that hour?

Ben was standing behind the kitchen island, using it as a shield to protect himself from her. He’d never looked so small before. He was a pathetic puppy who had disappointed, yet again, the woman he loved.

“Who are you?” Nicole asked. She put her hands on her hips and aimed her dagger-filled gaze at him.

“This is Jesse,” Ben said, speaking meekly. “He came over to—”

Jesse didn’t want to listen to whatever lie Ben had in mind. “I’m the whore,” Jesse said. “The whore who scared your little girl.” He turned his head so the head of the snake on his neck was visible to her.

Nicole’s eyes bulged. A look of disgust passed on her face. She looked back at Ben.

“You’re gay.” The words didn’t come from Nicole. They came from another member of the party that Jesse hadn’t even noticed. A boy, early puberty age, maybe twelve, sat on the couch to Jesse’s left. He was a slender thing, a stick of a kid who was swallowed up in his big winter coat. He was pale and so still, Jesse wondered if he had actually been the one to speak. The kid sat there, an amused look on his face. “Ben is gay,” the boy repeated, speaking the words while Jesse looked at him, confirming that he was indeed the speaker.

“And you are?” Jesse asked.

“Cooper,” the kid said. He nodded at Jesse. “And you’re a sinner.”

“This whole family is full of flattery,” Jesse said. He crossed his arms and looked at Ben. “You have two kids?”

“She’s my stepmom,” Cooper said. His tone was even. There was a hint of amusement, but otherwise it stayed emotionless.

“I can’t believe you let our little girl see you having sex with a man,” Nicole said.

“She didn’t see us doing shit,” Jesse said. He stepped to block the entire hall as she moved to pass him.

“The tattoos,” Ben said. He took a small step forward. “The snake and… she saw the Jungle Book the other night and…”

“Tattoos? Plural? What else is there?” Nicole asked. She looked Jesse over from head to toe.

“There’s a lot more,” Jesse said. “Want me to show you?”

A wave of revulsion crossed her face and she waved him away. “No, I do not. Let me pass. I want to see Maggie.”

He stepped to the side and let her dart down the hall. Ben quickly followed after her. He paused as he reached Jesse. “I told you to leave.”

“I’m not leaving you to deal with this by yourself,” Jesse said.

“You aren’t helping,” Ben said. The door to Maggie’s room opened and Ben slipped past Jesse to assist in calming their daughter. Jesse looked to the other occupant left in the room. The kid—Cooper—was staring at him.

“Are you a God-fearing man?” Cooper asked. He pushed the hood of his coat down and short blond hair jutted out. The hair was so light it almost looked white. The whole white hair/pale skin thing might not have looked bad on him, except for the dark brown eyes. It made him look—odd. As if all the pigment in his body were focused at that one point of his body.

“No,” Jesse said. “Are you?”

“No,” Cooper said. “Why aren’t you?”

“You first,” Jesse said. He walked into the kitchen to look for some aspirin.

“My answer won’t be one you’d like,” Cooper said. “Did you reject God because he doesn’t approve of your way of living?”

Jesse pulled out a bottle of over-the-counter pain relievers and popped the cap. He shook out four pills. “Which way of living is that?”

“All of it,” Cooper said. “The premarital sex, excess use of drugs, alcohol, lying with a man, adultery, marking your body with—”

“Whoa kid, that’s a lot of judgment. You just met me.”

“It’s not judgment if I’m simply listing the facts. You have done and will continue to do those things. I am asking if you have forsaken God to free yourself from those rules so you can live a lifestyle that brings you immediate gratification.”

“You don’t know that those are facts.”

“You deny them?” Cooper’s eyes went to the floor. “You lie. To everyone, even yourself.” His eyes shot back up and looked into Jesse’s. Those dark brown, practically black, eyes seemed to look directly into Jesse’s soul.

“Why are you here, tonight? In this house?” Jesse asked.

“I think I’m here to meet you,” Cooper said. “But to answer it in the way you meant, I’m not allowed to be home alone. Nicole had to bring me.”

“And why’s that? Why can’t you be home alone?”

“I have a tendency to not stay where people leave me,” Cooper said.

Jesse couldn’t help but grin. This kid was amusing. Egotistical and fighting a hell of a god complex, but still amusing.

Nicole came into the room, holding Maggie to her chest. The girl was bundled in a coat, her face buried against her mother. Ben came after, holding a backpack with a Hello Kitty symbol on it. A little blue bunny’s ears were visible under Maggie’s blond locks.

“We’re leaving,” Nicole said. “Cooper, take the bag.”

“The roads have gotten icier,” Cooper said. “It’s not safe. We should wait.”

Nicole aimed her daggers at Cooper. “I’m the adult, Cooper, and I say we are leaving. Take the bag and get in the car.”

Cooper rose and took the bag from Ben. “For the record, Jesse,” Cooper said. “I don’t view the things you do as sins. And you should forgive yourself, for Angie.”

A chill ran up Jesse’s spine. How the hell did the kid know about Angie?

“Sorry. He does that,” Nicole said. She freed an arm and pushed Cooper toward the door.

“He should start a psychic show. He’d be good,” Jesse said.

 

About the Author

Nina Schluntz is a native to rural Nebraska. In her youth, she often wrote short stories to entertain her friends. Those ideas evolved into the novels she creates today.

Her husband continues to ensure her stories maintain a touch of realism as she delves into the science fiction and fantasy realm. And their three cats are always willing to stay up late to provide inspiration. 

You can find Nina on Goodreads, Facebook, and Twitter.

Her blog, mizner13.wordpress.com, has updates on any current or upcoming novels, plus her thoughts on her most recent reads and movie viewings. 

 

Author Links

Blog/Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter: @Mizner13 

 

 

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The Speakeasy Series Review Tour – K. Evan Coles and Brigham Vaughn #giveaway

THE SPEAKEASY SERIES REVIEW TOUR and BOOK 4 NEW RELEASE

The Speakeasy Series 

Media mogul Jesse Murtagh and bartender Kyle McKee decide to go into business together and open Under Lock & Key, a speakeasy on the upper West Side of Manhattan. The bar, with its secret passphrases and craft liquor cocktails, becomes a sanctuary for Jesse and Kyle’s circle of friends, who gather once a month to catch up with each other and share their experiences.

Under is both hang out and haven for the men who spend time within its walls and their friendships build family ties that are sometimes missing from their own lives.

Overall Heat Rating for the series:  4 flames

The stories can be read in order or as standalones.

TBR  Goodreads

BOOK 1

Book Title: With A Twist (The Speakeasy Book 1)

Author: K. Evan Coles and Brigham Vaughn

Publisher: Pride Publishing/Totally Entwined Group

Genre/s: Contemporary, Romance, Gay

Heat Level: 4 flames

Length: 95 295 words/ 263 pages

Release Date: September 25, 2018

Add on Goodreads

Love, served with a twist.

Blurb

Nursing a broken heart when his ex-boyfriend, Riley, leaves him for the love of his life, Carter, Will Martin throws himself into teaching at NYU and writing. An invite from Riley to a speakeasy called Under helps Will begin to heal, and he finds himself enjoying both the drinks and the company.

Soon after, he’s shaken by news of his father’s cancer diagnosis and Will reluctantly returns to Long Island to see the man who disowned him after he was outed.

Sparks fly when Will meets his father’s mentee, Republican Senator David Mori, who is both mixed race and openly gay. Will is looking for a no-strings-attached fling and David is leery of getting involved with his mentor’s son, so they keep their affair a secret.

As his father’s health worsens, Will elects to remain in Garden City and his relationship with David grows beyond casual sex. Now, both men must decide how to bridge the divide between them.

Buy Links

Amazon US  | Amazon UK  |  iTunes  |  B&N  |  Kobo  |  Google Play

24 Symbols  |  Thalia  |  Bol.de  |  August Roberton  | Mondadoristore

BOOK 2

Book Title: Extra Dirty (The Speakeasy Book 2)

Author: K. Evan Coles and Brigham Vaughn

Publisher: Pride Publishing/Totally Entwined Group

Genre/s: Contemporary, Romance, Gay, GLBTQI

Heat Level: 4 flames

Length: 88 944 words/ 345 pages

Release Date: March 26, 2019

Add on Goodreads

Love, served extra dirty.

Blurb

Jesse Murtagh loves his life as a wealthy bisexual businessman dedicated to the pursuit of pleasure. With a circle of friends he trusts implicitly, he enjoys a successful career in his family’s business and as co-owner of Under, an uptown speakeasy, with his friend with benefits, Kyle McKee.

Music teacher and part-time DJ Cameron Lewis lives modestly in a DUMBO loft and isn’t interested in serious relationships. However, he’s always up for some casual fun.

Doing a favor for his friend Carter Hamilton, Jesse meets Cam and is immediately charmed. When Jesse discovers Cam’s other life as a DJ, he is further intrigued. Viewing Cam as a challenge, Jesse pulls out all the stops, but his usual methods to avoid serious relationships fail. Though Cam has no intention of becoming attached, he begins to fall for Jesse, unaware that Jesse’s feelings are changing.

Afraid of heartbreak, Cam pulls away, leaving Jesse bewildered and hurt. They remain friends until a series of misunderstandings widens the rift to breaking point. When Cam steps in to help Jesse through a family crisis, they realize they care for each other more than they’ve been willing to admit. Jesse and Cam don’t want a traditional relationship, but can they build a future that makes them both happy?

Buy Links

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK  |  Apple iStore  |  B&N  |  Kobo  |

BOOK 3 

Book Title: Behind the Stick (The Speakeasy Book 3)

Author: K. Evan Coles and Brigham Vaughn

Publisher: Pride Publishing/Totally Entwined Group

Release Date: August 20, 2019

Genre/s: Contemporary, MM, Romance, Interracial, Erotic Romance

Trope/s: Bad Breakup, Hurt/Comfort, Interracial Relationship,

Sex Buddies Become Lovers, Found Family 

Themes: Family, Friendship, Family Conflict, Racial Intolerance, Forgiveness

Heat Rating: 4 flames   

Length: 97 045 words/370 pages

Add on Goodreads

Love, served behind the stick.

Blurb 

Kyle McKee lives a charmed life. He co-owns Under, an uptown speakeasy, where he is chief mixologist. Friends poke fun at Kyle’s tiny one-bed apartment in Chelsea, but they’re the best support system a man could ask for. Unfortunately, Kyle’s lackluster love life has led him to take a break from dating.

Harlem resident Luka Clarke is a lieutenant with Engine 47, the Pride of Morningside, where he carries on his father’s legacy with the FDNY. Luka, who is mixed race and bisexual, has his eye on Kyle, whom he met at a local burger joint and he just needs to make time to visit Kyle’s bar.

Before work one evening, Kyle is trapped inside the luncheonette when a fire breaks out. Luka’s firehouse answers the call and he connects with Kyle again under the most unexpected of circumstances. When Kyle gratefully invites Luka and the firehouse squad to Under, the flirting between the two men leads to a date.

Kyle and Luka quickly grow close, but Luka’s mother and sister distrust Kyle for being both white and gay. Luka believes his family will come around and accept Kyle in the end, but Kyle is not optimistic and hides his disquiet as attraction blossoms into love.

Kyle and Luka’s near-idyllic bubble is shattered one evening after a hate crime leaves them scarred, inside and out. Shaken, they put on a strong front but struggle inwardly against fear and personal demons. As the emotions seething beneath the surface finally come to a head, both men must decide if they have the strength to find love enough to conquer hate.

Reader advisory: This book contains references to non-nurturing parenting; homophobia; racism and racist slurs. There are references to recreational drug use. This book also contains scenes of mmmm ménage and characters caught in fire.

Buy Links

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK

  B&N  |  Apple  |  Google  |  Kobo

NEW RELEASE

BOOK 4

Book Title: Straight Up (The Speakeasy Book 4)

Author: K. Evan Coles and Brigham Vaughn

Publisher: Pride Publishing/Totally Entwined Group

Length: approx 94 217 words/ 267 pages

Release Date: June 9, 2020

Genre/s: Contemporary, Erotic Romance, Gay, Ace Spectrum, GLBTQI

Trope/s: Opposites Attract, Bi-Awakening, Coming Out, First Time, Found Family

Themes: Acceptance, commitment, family conflict, denial,

closeted kink, taboo, experimentation/first time, sexual awakening. 

This book can standalone or be read as part of the series.

Goodreads

 

Buy Links

Choose Your Store  |  First For Romance

Amazon US   |  Amazon UK 

 

Love, served straight up.

Blurb 

Malcolm Elliott has been keeping secrets. Helping his mom through a financial crisis has nearly emptied his bank account and his kitchen cupboards, despite his thriving career with Corporate Equality Campaign. Malcolm is also bothered by his inability to tell the most important people in his life that he identifies as gray ace.

Stuart Morgan has a secret of his own. Though years have passed since the tattooed chef fled the Mormon church in Utah for New York, he’s never truly come to terms with the kink that ruined that rigid but outwardly perfect life. Experience has also taught Stuart that keeping his love of lacy things under wraps is safer than telling the truth.

After Malcom’s boss, Carter, hires Stuart’s restaurant to cater a gala fundraising event, the strait-laced Malcolm is thrown together with badass biker Stuart. Despite their differences and a couple of false starts, the men discover they work well together and a friendship quickly forms.

As Malcolm’s feelings for Stuart deepen, his sexuality awakens, but he remains tight-lipped about his problems. And though Stuart grows more and more attached to Malcolm, he remains fearful of confessing his kink.

When both of their secrets are finally exposed, they find themselves at a crossroads in which they must choose between playing it safe or finally coming clean to the person they love.

Excerpt

From Straight Up, The Speakeasy #4

“Crap, crap crap.” Malcolm took the subway stairs two at a time, muttering under his breath.

He’d arranged the Thursday meeting with Chef Morgan at Lock & Key, expecting forty-five minutes would be plenty of time to commute up from Midtown. However, a mechanical problem had plagued his train and he’d spent the crawling ride exchanging messages with his mom, trying to get her to apply for job openings he’d found in the neighborhoods around Staten Island. Now Malcolm was nearly fifteen minutes late and almost sprinting along Broadway in his loafers and business casual duds, messenger bag bumping his hip. 

Malcolm hated being late, particularly when it came to his job. He’d texted the chef with a heads-up he was running behind, but still felt wretched and unprofessional. He also knew this would make a poor impression on a man who had high expectations of the people around him. Stuart had been friendly—even charming—when he’d introduced himself to Malcolm, tattoos peeking out from beneath the chef’s white jacket. His demeanor had changed the moment the talk had turned to food, however, shifting into a thorough confidence that was reflected in the quality and plating of the food he’d put in front of Malcolm. Everything had been luscious—both esthetically and in taste—and Malcolm had known from the first bite that the chef and his staff at King’s would do impeccable work for the CEC fundraiser.

The steel in Stuart’s expression as he’d spoken about food and his work had reassured Malcolm. He understood how to interact with a man who was all business. He’d been less sure of how to handle the moments when Stuart had smiled at him, however, and the way that warmth had made his brown eyes dance. The chef’s touch had tingled against Malcolm’s skin when they’d bid each other goodbye, too and…well. Malcolm really didn’t know what to make of that.

He caught sight of a huge motorcycle parked by the curb as he neared Lock & Key and slowed to a walk. It was a beautiful machine, gleaming black and chrome in the late afternoon light, and Malcolm could imagine the kind of man who rode it, clad in a leather jacket with tattoos on full display.

I’ll bet Stuart Morgan wears a leather jacket.

Malcolm nearly tripped into Lock & Key’s door. Where the hell had that come from?

Seconds later his errant thought literally came to life and Malcolm blinked at the sight of the chef seated at Lock & Key’s bar, a tall glass of water in hand and motorcycle helmet by his elbow. Stuart wore a black leather jacket, just as Malcolm had imagined, and a scowl so mighty he looked almost like a stranger. Malcolm’s stomach flipped.

“I’m sorry I’m late,” he said in a rush. Moving quickly, Malcolm waved hello to the bartender, then pulled the strap of his bag over his head and stepped up beside Stuart. “I meant to be here to meet you, Chef, but the train—”

Stuart cut in, his voice gruff and grumpy as Malcolm had expected. “I get it. Public transportation sucks.”

“It’s unpredictable,” Malcolm replied. “Anyway, Under’s head bartender is waiting for us downstairs.”

“Downstairs?” Stuart waved at the room around them with one hand. “Downstairs from here?”

“Um, yeah. This is Lock & Key. Under’s located in the basement.”

“I thought you said the event would be happening on the roof?”

“It will be. Under and Lock & Key will be part of it, too though. Sort of.” Heat flashed over Malcolm’s cheeks when Stuart rolled his eyes. “Sorry, let’s …” He blew out a breath and squared his shoulders. “Let’s start again.”

Stuart’s expression softened by a degree. “Okay. I’m listening.”

About the Authors

K. Evan Coles

K. Evan Coles is a mother and tech pirate by day and a writer by night. She is a dreamer who, with a little hard work and a lot of good coffee, coaxes words out of her head and onto paper. K. lives in the northeast United States, where she complains bitterly about the winters, but truly loves the region and its diverse, tenacious and deceptively compassionate people. You’ll usually find K. nerding out over books, movies and television with friends and family. She’s especially proud to be raising her son as part of a new generation of unabashed geeks.

K.’s books explore LGBTQ+ romance in contemporary settings.

Author Links

K. Evan Coles

Blog/Website  |   Facebook  |   Facebook Author Page  | Facebook Reader Group

Twitter  |  Pinterest  |   BookBub   | Instagram 

Goodreads  | Newsletter

Brigham Vaughn

Brigham Vaughn is on the adventure of a lifetime as a full-time writer. She devours books at an alarming rate and hasn’t let her short arms and long torso stop her from doing yoga.  She makes a killer key lime pie, hates green peppers, and loves wine tasting tours. A collector of vintage Nancy Drew books and green glassware, she enjoys poking around in antique shops and refinishing thrift store furniture. An avid photographer, she dreams of traveling the world and she can’t wait to discover everything else life has to offer her.

 Her books range from short stories to novellas. They explore gay, bisexual, lesbian, and polyamorous romance in contemporary settings.

Author Links

Brigham Vaughn

Blog  |  Facebook  |   Facebook Author Page  |   Fan Group (Brigham’s Book Nerds)  

Twitter  |  Newsletter sign-up  |  Instagram  |   Pinterest  

 

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