BLOG TOUR: “The Aztec Alphas” by F.R. D’Angelo

BLOG TOUR

Book Title: The Aztec Alphas Lost & Found (The Aztec Alphas #4)

Author: F.R D’Angelo

Publisher: Self-published.

Cover Artist: Rainbow Danger Designs (Zoe Perdita)

Release Date: June 27, 2020

Genre/s: Shifter Paranormal MM Romance

Heat Rating: 5 flames

Length: 72 500 words/182 pages

It is not a standalone book.

Goodreads

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

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Blurb

Catch up with The Aztec pack, as four traitors are found Azkin offers a compromise in order to save the packs Omegas, will the traitors take him up on it or will they run?

Aztec Warriors Angel and Brad are not happy to sit this one out, in order to keep many omegas safe, they agree. Many first rescue omegas are now much stronger and have been training with Warrior omega Scotty in secret.

The omegas want equality and too fully train with the main Aztec protectors and warriors, the only way to allow that is to go head to head in war games with the Aztec protectors, as mate is pitied against mate will the omegas back down?

The pack is attacked from all sides by a force of Theta wolves, attempting to steal pregnant omegas, Azkin puts a kill order on those who dare come onto Aztec pack lands.

Stragglers from packs across the United States start to arrive in a pitiful condition, Azkin turns to the Ancestors for guidance.

As the prophecy looks like it will unravel, The Warriors need to prepare to enter the Callum Medical Facility to bring home Joe’s mate, Adam, though surprise awaits Joe inside the facility.

Follow the Aztec pack, as each new rescue brings heartache, pain, and hope. More twists and turns as some loopholes are closed and others are opening up.

Excerpt

Azkin closed his eyes. He imagined he was looking at the red wolf in shifter form. Calling on all his strength as an Aztec shifter, in his mind’s eye, he projected to Zain so he could also see the very skinny young shifter, around twenty-one years with shocking red hair, very pregnant, and very much alone.

Zain knelt, placed his hand on the wolf’s foreleg, and whispered, “Shift. We know you’re pregnant. We won’t hurt you, but you’re going to harm your cub if you don’t.”

This seemed to kickstart the wolf’s self-preservation, and he shifted. Then, he scurried along on his ass toward the wall, trying to make himself appear small.

“Zain heal him. I’ll hold his arm. Please, before he goes into shock and we lose him.” Zain leaned forward as the smaller, almost feral shifter, growled at him.

“Alpha Zain is going to do a healing on your cub now. And then, we are taking you back to the Aztec pack lands.”

The shifter gasped and settled instantly. Something shifted behind his eyes, and he sighed.

Forcing all the Alpha pheromones, Alpha energy, and calming pheromones Zain could to the smaller shifter, Zain started the healing. From the color of the healing, they knew he was a feral omega from a lab. They needed this young one alive. Even just to birth his cub.

Feral wolves were wolves that had been in shift more than three months. This young one had been in shifter form a lot longer than that.

As Zain started to heal him, he could see his cub, hanging on to a need to survive, a tiny white wolf.

Tears prickled on Zain’s face. Healing with cubs involved brought this reaction from Zain, and each time Azkin witnessed empathy in his mate, it brought him joy.

About the Author

I live in Northern Ireland. Mom to two kids, totally crazy goings on in our house so it’s not surprising I write gay romance, paranormal shifters. Archangels and angels.

I love to channel the characters who waltz into my mind, they refuse to leave until I write their story.
The magic of the spirit/other world is in the books I write. I am a Spiritual and Psychic medium, and we all need a little magic in our lives. I am a spiritual teacher I walk many roads.

I am often found with my head a book, or earphones on as I listen to a book, or I am writing.

The biggest challenge so far has been the dyslexia. I have a set routine, and many people do not run on the same timeline as me, it’s been frustrating. Though lots of coffee seems to help, the animals in my life ground me.
My passion lies with the paranormal of our world, as well as a love of Sci-fi.

I have a rescued cat Theodore, the rescue advertised looking for homes for black cats no one wanted them. I also am mom to three Boxers, Dante, Khaleesi, and Sorcha. And nanny to my daughters two dogs, boxer Aria litter sister to Khaleesi, and brother Dante. Also a little mongrel Riley.

I love showing dogs this takes me out of my head and away from the computer, it brings out the competitive in me. It also helps me hone the vision of boxers for the future helping to promote the breed.

This gives me something to do outside of sitting in front of the PC, Training the dogs in protection as well as the showring. I am looking forward to 2020 in the showring, and 2020 for personal writing goals.

Author Links

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BLOG TOUR: “Till Death do us Part” by Dieter Moitzi

BLOG TOUR

Book Title: Till Death Do Us Part (Poireaut & Di Angeli, Book 1)

Author: Dieter Moitzi

Publisher: Self-published

Cover Artist: Dieter Moitzi

Genre/s: Cozy Murder Mystery

Trope/s: M/M romance, enemies to lovers, slow-burn, HFN, holidays

Themes: painful past, Egypt, cozy, slow romance, holidays

Heat Rating: 2 flames

Length: approx. 101 750 words/approx. 305 pages

It is a standalone book.

Goodreads

Buy Links

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Come on board the Queen of Egypt and discover this new murder mystery full of witty dialogs, funny situations, and blooming love! Already short-listed for the French Gay Book Award 2020!

Blurb

When Auntie Agathe invites Raphaël Poireaut, a young Parisian bartender, on a Nile cruise, he isn’t really thrilled. To stare at old stones together with a bunch of old codgers—why, thanks for the gift. Unsurprisingly the trip starts off badly enough. Not only does Raphaël have an unnerving confrontation with a handsome but standoffish and haughty Italian guy, but he has barely stepped on board the cruise ship when he stumbles upon a tourist… who has been stabbed to death.

The young Venetian Stefano di Angeli agrees to spend his vacation in Egypt with his best friend Grazia. He hasn’t had holidays for six years. But his first encounter with a young, angel-faced, curly-haired Frenchie brings back painful memories. Besides, what could be worse to start a Nile cruise than to discover a murder has been committed on board? Cazzo—fate seems to bear him a grudge!

While the Egyptian police led by Colonel Al-Qaïb are investigating the murder, Raphaël and Stefano find themselves swept away by the events… and by the blooming feelings that inexorably draw them closer. Will they manage to sort out the truth from the lies and find the murderer? Will they be able to resist this mutual attraction that seems to overwhelm them against their wills?

A new, funny and light adventure by the author of “The Stuffed Coffin”, the French version of which has won the French Gay Murder Mystery Award 2019.

Excerpt

The young guy hears my quiet steps, or he senses my gaze. He turns around.

Oh, hel-lo, man! My heart does a backwards flip. In my job I meet handsome guys aplenty. But this one is a class of his own. His face could be that of a male model, I kid you not. As if one of those unreal guys had stepped out of the glossy pages of Vogue Homme or GQ. Manly features, sensual mouth. Square chin, Roman nose, neatly trimmed designer stubble. His forehead is bare, his dense hair styled backwards and falling behind his left ear in a natural, lazy wave as if doing it spontaneously.

Alas, my immediate interest isn’t shared. On the contrary, he reacts as if suddenly facing a monster. He should be thankful the rail in his back prevents him from moving too far back and falling into the Nile.

Quite a boost for my self-esteem.

The handsome cretin pulls himself together at the last moment and scans me from head to toe. His cold gaze hovers over my naked chest, and he frowns, his eyebrows bushy but perfectly drawn. I notice that his whole body-language exudes barely concealed distance and aversion.

Despite his hostility, I murmur, “Hi”. Somewhat coolly perhaps, but still. I was raised like that. All right, I add “Asshole!” in my head, because, hello?

The young man answers with a nod. A black lock falls over his eyes, he puts it back in place. He seems to hesitate, then turns his back on me again.

Okay, asshole. Go ahead, continue your moody brooding, I don’t care. I don’t need no mens, even if they’re handsome as fuck.

HALF AN HOUR LATER, THE sun has started its race across the pristine sky for good; the heat has risen as well. The hipster slash asshole is still sulking in his corner when I sit on a shady deckchair. Our meeting was unpleasant, but he and the guy in pink belie my initial prognosis, and that’s a good start. We’re at least three on this boat to contemplate our sixties from below.

With the back of my hand, I wipe off the sweat trickling down my chest and soaking my chest hair. I realize I’m thirsty. There’s a bottle of water in the fridge in my cabin. Let’s go get it. You always need to stay hydrated, as Auntie would say. Granted, she means drinks, as in alcoholic beverages, but that doesn’t make it wrong.

The man in the pink tracksuit has apparently seen enough, too. When I get to the top of the stairs, he’s on the last step.

He’s waiting downstairs, holding the door for me.

“Thank you,” I say.

“It’s beautiful, isn’t it?” he remarks in an affable tone.

I look up in surprise. His beautifully low voice doesn’t match his puny physique and the mousey face. He makes an affected hand movement. “The landscape, I mean. The light.”

Automatically, I think, Oh. Family. “Very beautiful indeed,” I reply. “And ‘splendid things gleam in the dust’…”

Recognizing the Flaubert-quote, he laughs good-heartedly.

The swinging door closes behind us. Another door slams softly somewhere down the corridor. In the first cabin, I hear a woman say heatedly, “… I think he got it. He won’t bother you anymore, tweety.”

Tweety! Smirk. I really wouldn’t want to be pet-named tweety.

We pass other cabins; the vague noises of conversations, no more than murmurs, drifting out. I can hear showers running as well. The ship is waking up. A nice smell wafts through the corridor, a woody, leathery perfume for men that strikes me as familiar. The pink, mousey guy in front of me must have sprinkled himself with it.

A few doors before mine, the young man stops. “See you later,” he says.

“See you later,” I reply. When I pass behind him, I get a whiff a his pronounced citrus perfume, very fresh, very pungent. Oh. He’s not the source of the leathery perfume smell…

He turns the key and opens the door. “Mon chéri—are you awake?” he asks. The door closes behind him.

I was right. Mon chéri, not ma chérie. He is family. I’m not the only gay guy on this ship.

I walk to my door while rummaging in my shorts pockets. Let’s see… mobile… pencil… notepad… h-m. Where have I put my keys? Did I take them? Damn—don’t tell me I locked myself out…!

And then—

Suddenly—

A YELL. “AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!”

I JUMP, turn around, gaze down the empty corridor. What was it? Who was it? Where was it? What am I supposed to do?

“MY GOD! MICHEL!”

Michel?

A bad feeling bubbles up in my guts.

For a longer excerpt, please visit my author page: http://dietermoitzi.com/till-death-do-us-part

About the Author

Born in the early 70s, I grew up in a little village in Austria. At the age of 18, I moved to Vienna to get my master’s degree in Political Sciences, French, and Spanish. Today, I’m living in Paris, France, with my boyfriend and work as a graphic designer.

In my spare time, I write, read, cook fancy recipes, take photos, and as often as I can, I travel (Italy, Portugal, Morocco, Egypt, the UK, and many more places). My literary tastes are eclectic, ranging from fantasy, murder mysteries, gay romances to dystopian novels, but I won’t say no to poetry or a history book either. I’m more a hoodie/jeans/sneakers kind of guy than a suit-and-tie chap.

So far, I’ve published two short-story collections as well as four poetry collections. My first murder mystery novel “The Stuffed Coffin” featuring Damien Drechsler and the dashing Greek student Nikos has been released on January 6, 2019 and is also available in German and French. The French version has won the prestigious French Gay Murder Mystery Award 2019 (Prix du roman policier – Prix du roman gay 2019). You can also find me on Rainbow Book Reviews, where I write book reviews under the pseudonym of ParisDude (for French reviews, have a look at my review site livresgay.fr).

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BLOG TOUR: “To Target the Heart” by Aldrea Alien. Rafflecopter Giveaway Included! See entry link below:

BLOG TOUR

Book Title: To Target the Heart (Spellster Series Book 2)

Author: Aldrea Alien

Cover Artist: Leonardo Borazio

Release Date: April 15, 2020

Genre/s: M/M Fantasy Romance

Trope/s: Hurt/Comfort, Man in Peril, Cultural Differences,

Big Bottom/Little Top, Bear Bottom, Dysfunctional Family, Opposites Attract

Themes: Love, Attempted Suicide, Engagement Challenge

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length: 226 000 words

It is a standalone book.

Add on Goodreads

 

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

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How can he win with the odds stacked against him?

 

Blurb

Prince Hamish has no interest in fulfilling his duty of marrying. Not to a woman, at least. That doesn’t stop his mother, Queen Fiona, from presenting him with every eligible noblewoman that enters their castle. He’s certain it’ll be no different with the representative of the Udynea Empire.

So when they do arrive, Hamish is relieved the imperial prince, Darshan, is not the woman everyone expected. Until the man kisses him and Hamish is confronted by the very emotions he has been forced to conceal or be punished for. Emotions he is eager to explore.

But the kiss proves to be a little too public and leads his mother to take drastic measures to ensure Hamish adheres to her family vision. The contest of arms will force Hamish to make a choice: give up his happiness for convention’s sake or send the kingdom spiralling into civil war for the right to love his own way.

 

Excerpt

The whole pub seemed to grow still the longer Darshan stared at the man, his expression blank.

“Bill,” Hamish hissed at the dockmaster. “That’s enough.” The man must have realised it would be the grandsire of all bad ideas to piss off someone capable of setting things on fire with a thought.

Ignoring Hamish, Billy continued to give the spellster a smarmy smile.

Darshan returned the grin, his tongue snaking out to run along the underside of his teeth. He calmly unhooked his glasses from behind his ears. “Hold these, will you?” he asked, waving the frames in Hamish’s general direction.

Hamish took a cautious step backwards. He couldn’t be certain if Darshan was merely posturing or actually planned to attack the man, but it would be better if he stayed out of it. After all, he couldn’t haul Darshan back to the castle if they were both unconscious.

He delicately reached for the glasses.

Darshan barely waited for Hamish to properly grasp them before he swung at Billy, clearly aiming for the man’s head.

Billy jerked back, too late in mounting a defence against the attack.

The spellster’s fist—heavily bedecked in jewelled rings—connected with Billy’s face like a hammer. The definite snap of breaking bone was almost an exhalation.

The dockmaster fell back, howling. Blood poured from beneath the man’s fingers, staining his blonde beard. At first, Hamish thought the ambassador had only broken Billy’s nose, until he caught sight of the dockmaster’s jaw. One side bulged alarmingly, whilst the right, the side Darshan had hit, was caved in.

The two men flanking Billy lunged at the spellster.

Sneering, Darshan flicked both his hands as if brushing the dust from his outfit. The men went flying, smashing into the walls. Neither one got up.

More men jumped up from their seats, agog. One ran out the door screaming. Not a one of them seemed to know what to do about the spellster who had made short work of three men; a foreigner who still stood over Billy without a care as to the bleeding state of his hand. Hamish wasn’t entirely certain it was even Darshan’s blood. Surely, with the force he’d hit the dockmaster, he must’ve broken something.

Darshan turned. He squinted at Hamish, then held out his bloodied hand. The fingers and knuckles seemed normal enough. No twists or swelling that suggested any harm had come to them. “My glasses, if you please?”

Hamish returned the item in question back to their owner. “I think this might be the best time to leave.” There’d be trouble once word of this got out—and a lot of questions Hamish wasn’t looking forward to answering. But if they returned to the castle now, then Gordon might be able to help him wrangle a more palatable version of events for his mother.

With the glasses once more firmly in place on his face, Darshan glared at Billy. “One moment.” He strode over to the howling man and grabbed his head. “Do not move or I will leave you injured. And I would advise against trying to talk.”

Billy stilled. Panic and fear flashed in his tear-redden eyes.

It had been some years since Hamish had last been in the presence of healing magic. But he’d been in no position to objectively watch either. Seeing the man’s face slowly reform to its previous state was something he’d never thought he would witness.

Billy’s cheeks shifted alarmingly, like a bubbling pot of porridge. The skin constantly changed colour, from the pinkish-red of freshly-struck to the bruised rainbow hues of blue, purple and green, then fading to trout-brown before regaining its natural wrinkled and heavily-tanned state.

Throughout it all, Billy’s eyes grew wider. He whimpered and fisted at his trousers. If Darshan hadn’t already stipulated stillness, he likely would’ve bolted from the spellster’s grip.

When Darshan was done, he released Billy’s head and let the man tumble onto the floor. “Call me that again and I shall do the same,” he snarled as he bent over the dockmaster. “Only next time, you can keep the broken jaw. Understood?”

Billy nodded. “Aye, your lordship.” He back-crawled across the flagstones, pausing only to rub his jaw and standing once Darshan was well beyond physical reach.

Dusting his hands, the ambassador returned to Hamish’s side. “As entertaining as that was, I think you are right, we should return to the castle.”

 

 

 

About the Author

Aldrea Alien is an award-winning, bisexual author of fantasy romance with varying heat levels. Born and raised in New Zealand, she lives on a small farm with her family, including a menagerie of animals, who are all convinced they’re just as human as the next person. Especially the cats. Since discovering a love of writing at the age of twelve, she hasn’t found an ounce of peace from the characters plaguing her mind with all of them clamouring for her to tell their story first.

 

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an ebook copy of In Pain and Blood or

one of two ebook copies of An Unexpected Gift

 

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Continue Reading BLOG TOUR: “To Target the Heart” by Aldrea Alien. Rafflecopter Giveaway Included! See entry link below:

BLOG TOUR: “You or No One” by Oliver Bosman

BLOG TOUR

Book Title: You Or No One

Author: Olivier Bosman

Publisher: Rocket Man Press

Cover Artist: A Pradipta

Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance

Tropes: Royalty/ Fairytale

Themes: Opposites Attract/Fish Out of Water/Cinderella Story

Heat Rating: 2 flames

Length: 42 000 words

It is the first part of the Doggerland trilogy

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Buy Links

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Is the world ready for an openly gay king and his prince consort?

Blurb

Joel is happy, confident and working class.

Eric is shy, insecure and a member of one of the oldest aristocratic families in Europe.

When they meet in university sparks fly.

They say opposites attract, but when Joel discovers that Eric is the crown prince and future king of Doggerland, he starts having doubts.

They want to get married. They think their greatest battle will be convincing the King and the Prime Minister to give their consent. But estranged relatives coming out of the woodwork, intrusive tabloid press, and the traditional, stifling lifestyle of the aristocracy conspire against them.

Are Joel and Eric secure enough in themselves and each other to overcome a world which is not as tolerant as they thought?

Excerpt

I got up early that morning. I entered the breakfast room five minutes after it opened. I wanted to beat Eric to it. I wanted to be the one to tell him to fuck off when he pulled up a chair at my table. I sat at my table at five past, sipping coffee and nibbling on a croissant. I was engrossed by that croissant. How did they make them so delicious? I was busy dissecting the different pastry layers when a voice suddenly spoke to me.

“Mother never taught you not to play with your food?”

It was Eric, towering over me. His rosy face looked freshly scrubbed, his hair tightly combed, his white silk shirt freshly ironed, his beige chinos pressed. Before I could do anything to prevent it, he pulled up a chair and sat down before me.

“Where is Petra?” I asked.

“She’s gone to her friend’s hen do. Probably won’t see her again till Christmas.”

He lifted his arm and clicked his fingers at the waiter. “Coffee, please. Black. And… um… eggs. Scrambled.” Then he shooed the waiter away with his hand.

How rude, I thought. This was a side of Eric I hadn’t seen before.

“How was your little drive yesterday?” I made no attempt at hiding the bitterness in my voice.

“It was good. We drove along the coast and had a long good chat.”

“What about?”

“About you, as it happens.”

“Me?”

He sat up and cleared his throat. “I… um… I want to ask you a question. I wanted to ask you last night in your room. But you were sleeping.”

“What do you want to ask?”

He hesitated for a few beats. Then he blurted it out. “Would you like to marry me?”

Well! I don’t need to tell you that I was shocked. I gaped at him silently. Perplexed..

“This isn’t a proposal, you understand,” he added hurriedly. “I’m not asking you to marry me. Not yet. I can’t without the permission of my father and my government. But I’m asking you whether marrying me is something you would consider.”

“Are you serious?”

“Yes. I had a long chat about it with Petra. She said she talked to you last night. She likes you. She said you’d make a good partner for me.”

“But we only talked for about ten minutes.”

“Well, she’s a good judge of character. She saw the same good qualities in you as I did.”

“What good qualities?”

“Your confidence. Your self-assuredness.”

“But I have no confidence.”

“Of course you do. I mean, look at you. You’re poor, you’re Welsh, you’re not particularly good looking, and yet you’re sitting here in the smartest hotel in Brighton as if you had every right to do so.”

“Wow! You really know how to sweep a boy off his feet!”

“No, you don’t understand. These are things that I like about you.”

“That I’m not particularly good looking?”

“What I meant was…” He shook his head. “This conversation isn’t going at all the way I planned it. What I mean was that you’re grounded. You’re down to earth. You don’t care what people think of you. Otherwise you wouldn’t be wearing that.”

“What?”

“That hoodie. This is the Pavillion Hotel, not a hip-hop bar in Brooklyn.”

“Do you want me take it off?”

“No. You don’t understand. I like that about you. I like that you snubbed the nice clothes I bought for you and chose to wear your council estate gear instead. I like that you come down for breakfast without even bothering to comb your hair. I like your ordinariness. Your earthiness. You’re a working class kid with the balls and intelligence to break out of your environment and compete with us rich kids. And you outshine us. Not with your clothes, or your wit, or your family name, but by being yourself. That’s what I like about you. And that’s what I want standing beside me when I’m king. Petra thinks so too, and she’s an excellent judge of character.”

I was flabbergasted. Never had I felt so insulted and complimented at the same time! I’d read Petra wrong.

“Well?” Eric asked.

“What?” I’d long forgotten what the original question was. I was still reeling from his speech. You outshine us. That was the nicest thing anyone had ever said to me.

“Would you consider marrying me?” he said. “Or rather, what I’m asking is whether you’d be willing to be my right hand man. We’d be the first gay royal couple in history. We’d do all those things that you talked about in the car. Be ambassadors to gay rights and so forth. But it won’t be easy. We’ll be hated by many. There’ll be insults, ridicule, maybe even death threats. And that’s only if our marriage is approved by King and parliament, which will be a whole battle in itself. But one I’m willing to fight if you are by my side. So what do you think? Will you consider it? Will you be the next Prince Consort of Doggerland? Will you be my husband?”

About the Author

Born to Dutch parents and raised in Colombia and England, I am a rootless wanderer with itchy feet. I’ve spent the last few years living and working in The Netherlands, Czech Republic, Sudan and Bulgaria, but I have every confidence that I will now finally be able to settle down among the olive groves of Andalucia.

I am an avid reader and film fan (in fact, my study is overflowing with my various dvd collections!)

I did an MA in creative writing for film and television at the University of Sheffield. After a failed attempt at making a career as a screenwriter, I turned to the theater and wrote and produced a play called ´Death Takes a Lover´ (which has since been turned into the first D.S.Billings Victorian Mystery). The play was performed on the London Fringe to great critical acclaim.

I am currently living in Spain where I make ends meet by teaching English.

Author Links

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BLOG TOUR: “T.A.G. You’re Heard” by A.G. Carothers. $15.00 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway Included! See entry below:

BLOG TOUR

Book Title: T.A.G. You’re Heard (The Assassins’ Guild Book 2)

Author: A.G. Carothers

Publisher: Independently published

Cover Artist: Samantha Santana

Genre/s: Action Adventure, BDSM, Contemporary, Mystery & Thriller, Suspense

Trope/s: Age Difference, Big Character / Little Character, Everyone is Queer, Hurt / Comfort,

May/December, Office / Workplace Romance, Rescue, Smartass Twinks, True Love

Themes: Blast from pasts, love vs self-doubt

Heat Rating: 3 flames

Length: 45 000 words/ 180 pages

Add on Goodreads

Buy Link – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Universal Link | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Blurb

Hello again, Mr. No here, communications agent for T.A.G. and your inside source to your favorite agents.

Our next file is on Operation Gingersnap and none other than Agent Code name Mr. Kr, aka Connor Foley Turgenev, our snarky and hyperactive computer genius.

Connor gets hit with a blast from the past that he’d thought was long dead. Yoshi and the rest of Upper Management must scramble to save him before his situation turns dire.

In the meantime, will nearly losing Connor push our gentle giant of a Chef, Asbjorn Sternberg, to open himself up to Connor and truly be the Daddy and partner that Connor wants and needs? Or will he let injuries obtained while serving in the Norwegian Army fuel his self doubt?

Find out this and exciting news that might change the face of T.A.G.’s future in this next installment from the archives.

Excerpt

I had been fantasizing about the time I finally got Oz to bend me over his knee and spank me. It was during Yoshi’s promotion party. A few months after we’d gotten Dmitry back Dad promoted Yoshi to Mr. C. It wasn’t unusual to have two agents with the same rank/codename. It happened frequently in the lower ranks, but in upper management it was rare. This led to Yoshi being called Mr. C2 around HQ to avoid any confusion.

Dad wanted Yoshi to start learning more about management as soon as possible. He still wasn’t planning on stepping down for another few years, but he wanted to spend more time with Nigel than over paperwork. No one could blame him. I took the opportunity to get a little tipsy and tease Daddy.

We were in the main dining hall and the music was going, drinks were flowing. I enlisted the help of Karl and Ricky to add a dash of jealousy to my tease. I got them both stacks of ৳10 banknotes. The pink bills were perfect for stuffing in places they shouldn’t be. One of the DJs from The Black Dragon was there, and I had conspired with him earlier in the week to play a song for me. I practiced for weeks the routine I was going to do. I wasn’t the best dancer, but I could shake my butt. I was determined to Magic Mike the fuck out of Daddy and seduce him to my bed.

The song right before my song was almost over, and I climbed up on the table in the center of the hall. Oz was talking to Dad and Nigel and not paying any attention to me. That was about to change. I had on a clean white tank top and my black break away jogging pants with dark green briefs with white trim underneath. I had thought about wearing one of my lace booty shorts underneath, but I didn’t want all the other guards and agents to see what belonged to Daddy. I knew there was a fine line between naughty and disrespect.

The beat started slow and hard. My hips popped and my body rolled. My eyes locked on the hulking form still across the room. Whistles rent the air. My body dropped to the table, and I ground against the surface, popping my butt up and down. More people gathered around the table, both men and women, cheering and shouting. Pink, blue, and green bills spilled across the table. Daddy was standing at the end of the table with his arms crossed over his chest. They bulged and flexed under the baby blue shirt he wore. His hair was down, but half the side was braided against his skull in several braids and then left loose. There were a few braids in his luscious beard. He was a Viking god with black eyeliner and blue sparkled eye shadow that matched his t-shirt.

I hopped back up to my feet and whipped my tank top off, tossing it wherever. I rolled and thrust my way down the table. Daddy’s gaze burned through me the whole way down. I beat slow and spread my legs wide, crouching low as my hips continued to roll. I put my hands on my thighs and gripped the fabric tightly. I licked my lips and stared Daddy right in his crystalline blue eyes. We both knew what was coming next, and he slowly shook his head.

I thrusted up hard and ripped my pants off in one smooth motion as the music crested. The cheers got louder, and I twirled around. I bent over and twirked my squat booty right in Daddy’s face. I knew he wouldn’t miss the “Daddy’s” spelled out in white letters across my ass. Before I knew what was happening, I was spun around and flung over Daddy’s shoulder. Whistles and cheers followed us as Oz almost jogged out of the hall.

About the Author

A.G. Carothers is actually a dragon very cleverly disguised as a human. They are a non-binary author of LGBTQIA Romance and Urban Fantasy, who enjoys writing original and entertaining stories. They are very excited to share the worlds they’ve created with you.

A.G. currently lives in Tennessee with their platonic life partner, who is not a dragon. They yearn to live back in Europe and will some day. In their spare time they are addicted to losing themselves in the lovely worlds created by other authors

A.G. is committed to writing the stories they see in their head without restrictions. Love is blind and doesn’t see gender, race, or sexuality.

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BLOG TOUR: “Loose Ends” by Morgan Brice. Rafflecopter Giveaway Included! See entry link below:

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Book Title: Loose Ends (Badlands Book 4)

Author: Morgan Brice

Cover Artist: Natania Barron

Release Date: December 30, 2019

Genre/s: Urban Fantasy, MM paranormal romance

Trope/s: Spooky supernatural suspense, hurt/comfort, dark magic.

Themes: Trust, loyalty, commitment, partnership

Heat Rating: 4 flames

It is part of a series but can be read as a standalone and

features an evolving, established romantic relationship with all the feels.

Intended for readers 18 years of age and older.

Length: 62 000 words/ 220 pages

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As a deadly trap closes around them, can Simon and Vic tie up the loose ends to stop the threat, or will they become the newest ghosts of the Grand Strand?

Blurb

Cold cases, old enemies, ex-lovers, and vengeful spirits are making life dangerous for psychic medium Simon Kincaide and his boyfriend, homicide detective Vic D’Amato.

The ghosts of Myrtle Beach are restless, trapped by love, secrets, scandals, and spells, keeping Simon busy protecting the living from the unhappy dead. Someone from Vic’s past is out to destroy him and everyone he holds dear, and the high-profile trial of the first case Simon and Vic worked together puts them in the spotlight—and put a target on their backs. As a deadly trap closes around them, can Simon and Vic tie up the loose ends to stop the threat, or will they become the newest ghosts of the Grand Strand?

Loose Ends is an urban fantasy MM paranormal romance with spooky supernatural suspense, hot sex, hurt/comfort, feisty friends, found family, ghosts galore, and dark magic. It is part of a series but can be read as a standalone and features an evolving, established romantic relationship with all the feels. Intended for readers 18 years of age and older.

Buy Links

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo | Nook

Excerpt

“I’ve been poking around on the Buccaneer story since the place shut down,” Josh said. “My team’s visited probably a dozen times. Plus, I knew people who worked on the construction and dismantling, and who ran the rides when it was open.” He leaned forward, dropping his voice. “They won’t talk on the record, or to the police, but I’ve heard all their stories. And the rumors that got out? They’re just a fraction of how fucked up that place was.”

Simon sat back in his chair, settling his lanky body and long legs as best he could. He warmed his hands on the hot paper cup and tucked a strand of long chestnut hair behind one ear. “Tell me.”

“One of my sources was a crane operator when they were installing the Riptide Roll steel coaster,” Josh confided. “He saw one of the workmen fall from the top of the first hill when they were assembling the ride. Says the guy died on impact. The company paid to hush it up. Same thing happened when another worker was crushed to death. A load of steel pipe shifted, and he ended up underneath it.”

“Jesus.”

“That’s not all of it. The place was only open for barely two seasons, but the ride operators had stories that would curl your hair. Riders got whiplash, one girl lost a couple of fingers, and a kid died from head injuries when his ride car came loose and crashed. Not to mention the operator who got electrocuted when he had to run his ride in the rain.”

“If the owners had to cover all that up, no wonder they went bankrupt,” Simon said, shaking his head. “I can’t believe they didn’t get shut down.”

“Their rides continued to pass inspections from the state office—or maybe someone got paid off. Still, they closed suddenly before the end of their last season,” Josh said. “Whistleblowers went to the media. The situation was going to be ugly. But then it turned out to be even worse.”

Simon remembered the end of the story. Investors clamored for their money back when the park abruptly shut down, only to find out that the accounts were empty, the books had been cooked, and the profits were never real. Before it could turn into a media circus and authorities asked for serious jail time, Ellington killed himself, and Stevens skipped town.

“Any clue about who’s haunting the place?”

Josh chewed on his lip and looked at Simon. “I was hoping you’d come over with us this afternoon and help me figure that out. I’m doing my best to learn, but my skills aren’t as powerful as yours, and I don’t know how to really use them. I can sense when spirits are nearby, and I see them better than the average person, but having a conversation is beyond what I can do.”

About the Author

Morgan Brice is the romance pen name of bestselling author Gail Z. Martin. Morgan writes urban fantasy male/male paranormal romance, with plenty of action, adventure and supernatural thrills to go with the happily ever after. Gail writes epic fantasy and urban fantasy, and together with co-author hubby Larry N. Martin, steampunk and comedic horror, all of which have less romance, more explosions. Characters from her Gail books make frequent appearances in secondary roles in her Morgan books, and vice versa.

On the rare occasions Morgan isn’t writing, she’s either reading, cooking, or spoiling two very pampered dogs.

Series include Witchbane, Badlands, and Treasure Trail. Watch for more in these series, plus new series coming soon!

Read a copy of my Badlands short story Restless Nights here for free

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Facebook Group | Pinterest (for Morgan and Gail) | Twitter: @MorganBriceBook

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BLOG TOUR: “Hathonatum” by Taylin Clavelli. Raffle poster Giveaway Included. See entry below:

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Book Title: Hathonatum

Author: Taylin Clavelli

Publisher: MLR Press

Genre/s: Science Fiction, Contemporary M/M, Interracial (Alien/Human), Inter-dimensional, Reincarnation. Multi-Verse, Historical elements.

Heat Rating: 3 – 4 flames

Length: 89 000 words

The story can be read as a standalone. It is the first book in the Pelethus Series. The next book involves different main characters that are connected to those in Hathonatum.

Buy Links – Coming Soon

Publisher: MLR Press | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Hathonatum is a love story that spans time, dimension, universe and death.

Blurb

Have you ever wondered if that little voice inside you is actually your voice?

Egypt captivates Benjamin. As an adult, he immerses himself in his chosen profession, as an archaeologist in the ancient city of Abydos. For Ben, the hieroglyphs, and paintings unlock dreams of a time long lost.

The dig Ben works on is financed by Ashari Hathonatum. For many years, the man has been looking for the one who completes him. He initially saw his heart’s match from a distance. But that was a long time ago and from an alternate universe. When Ashari encounters Ben, he wonders if he is the reincarnation of the man he saw, through another’s eyes, all those years ago. Will the secrets Ashari hides about his heritage stop their love blooming, or will others from his dimension, determined to keep Ashari from his heart’s match, rule the day?

**The story is written with British spelling/grammar. **

Excerpt

Though Ben loved the thought of studying Seti, he was part of a small crew concentrating on Narmer (3180-3120 BC), whose tomb was located to the west of the dig, almost as far away from Seti as a tomb could get. Not much was known about the first pharaoh of the combined kingdoms, and Ben wanted to help discover something new. He wanted to shed light on a life that no one knew about—a new phenomenon to capture the imagination.

Ben had been on-site for a little over a week when he saw an intriguing man talking to Terry, his dig leader. Judging by his skin, Ben suspected the man to be local, but it was difficult to tell. Other than his face, the only other exposed part of him was his hands. The rest of him was covered with clothing designed to keep out the worst of the sand—layered, lightweight, loose, and black.

When the man locked gazes with him, Ben found himself staring into a vibrant blue sea of lapis lazuli, framed with black lashes and dark eyebrows. It wasn’t until a fellow worker walked between them that the connection was broken. When Ben sought to re-establish contact, the other had his back to him. Ben returned to his work, clearing out a trench of sand. The heat and excitement over what his group might find overshadowed any musings concerning the stranger.

At the end of the day, Ben was so tired he clambered onto the city-bound truck with as much grace as a stumbling mummy.

That night, while lounging on his bed, images of dark blue assaulted him. The event was rare for him, considering Egypt was his prime…prime everything.

Every day, the journey to the ruins was like being transported back in time. Ben could close his eyes and almost feel like he was there, in ancient Egypt. Often, he imagined he could see a partial image of the hustle and bustle of the ancient civilization continuing around him. At other times, he was in the quiet solitude of a temple. The images were odd, considering ancient Abydos was a graveyard.

From the drop-off point the next day, Ben made his way to tombs B17 and B18—the tombs attributed to Narmer. He worked there all morning with his small, square trowel and brush, slowly moving away the sands of eons.

As lunchtime approached, he relocated to the edge of the main dig and took his break. From there, he would imagine life in ancient Egypt.

Daydreaming, he chose to walk back to his station.

Suddenly, an alarm sounded. It was the warning for a sandstorm. It was similar to what his grandparents had described as the air raid warning from the war.

There was a flurry of activity while people efficiently covered artefacts and other areas of importance. Ben glanced around, noticing the storm was a lot closer than he’d originally thought. It had come out of nowhere. What crept toward the dig seemed like a moving wall of cloud, dense enough to shield the view and engulf anything below it. If it wasn’t for the cottonlike plumes of wheat colours, Ben could have believed a curtain of rain was heading his way. The screen of rapid shadow was making quick progress toward the dig, swallowing all in its path. Briefly, Ben went rigid, unable to move. When the sound of hissing reached his consciousness, and sand stung his feet and face, he dashed toward shelter. He was running a losing race.

Abruptly, he was grabbed and pulled to the floor behind a shallow wall. In a spell of activity as sleek as the sandstorm, a mask was put over his face, and his body along with that of his saviour rolled together. Over and over, they turned. Coming to a halt, and dizzy, Ben found himself cocooned, head to toe in a thick blanket. From the outside, the two of them probably resembled a fat, discarded mummy.

As Ben regained his senses, he could feel a wall to his back and secure arms around him. The only thing between them was his messenger bag containing the bottles of water he was required to keep on him to prevent dehydration in the desert sun.

Panting, he opened his eyes to a familiar sea of lazuli.

About the Author

I am proud to be British and proud to be an author of gay romance stories from varying genres. I write under the pseudonym Taylin Clavelli, not because I don’t want my real name out there, but because I think my real name is unmemorable for an author. The name came about from a night of Skype and a lot of wine.

My first published work – a comedy called Boys Toys and Carpet Fitters – came out in 2012. It was part of a Dreamspinners anthology called Don’t Do This At Home. Since then, I have produced a further two novels and five short stories, not including Hathonatum.

As well as being married for close to thirty years, and have a grown-up family, who I adore – I work part-time at a Manor Hotel, where I am also the resident historian. I am a book reviewer, too for a well-known site.

Not being a spring chicken anymore, I have a few hobbies that over the years have come, gone and resurfaced again. I am an experienced horse rider, and 2nd Degree Black Belt in Taekwondo. I help my husband with DIY projects, upcycle as much as possible and love my garden. As for those simple things that make me stop in my tracks. The dawn chorus, baking bread, lasagne, and the scene where Shadowfax makes his screen entrance.

Author Links

Blog/Website| Facebook| Twitter

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Continue Reading BLOG TOUR: “Hathonatum” by Taylin Clavelli. Raffle poster Giveaway Included. See entry below:

BLOG TOUR: “Inheritance” by Gail Z. Martin. Rafflecopter Giveaway Included!

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Book Title: Inheritance

Author: Gail Z. Martin

Cover Artist: Lou Harper

Release Date: October 22, 2019

Genre/s: Urban fantasy with romantic elements.

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

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

Themes: Friendship and established relationships

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

Length: 66 000 words/ 222 pages

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

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

Blurb

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

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

Buy Links – ebook and paperback

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Excerpt

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

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

“I think it’s trying to kill me.”

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

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

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

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

“Yes. Thank you. And…please…hurry.”

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

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

“Problem?” Teag asked when the customer left.

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

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

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

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

About the Author

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

Get a free complete short story, Catspaw here

Social Media Links

Blog | Website | Facebook | Facebook Group | Twitter @GailZMartin | Pinterest

Newsletter Sign-Up | Instagram | BookBub | Goodreads | Amazon Author Profile

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BLOG TOUR: “A Fluid State” by Rob Browatzke

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Book Title: A Fluid State

Author: Rob Browatzke

Publisher: Self Published

Cover Artist: Alexandria Corza

Release Date: January 3, 2020

Genre/s: Contemporary M/M Romance

Trope/s: Gay for You/Out for You

Heat Rating: 5 flames

Length: 70 000 words/272 pages

It is a standalone book.

Buy Links

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Patrick and Andrew find themselves faced with a chemistry they cannot deny

Blurb

Patrick returns from a tour of duty to find his son very different. Peter is dressing in girl’s clothes, and his hair is too long, and he’s obsessed with drag queens. None of that sits well with Patrick. Patrick then meets the drag queen Ann Moore, and starts to hang out with them.

Andrew is one of River City’s best drag queens. As Ann Moore, he dazzles adults and children alike. When one of those children’s fathers wants to find out more about what his son is enjoying, Andrew is happy to guide him. It doesn’t hurt that Patrick is ridiculously hot. Hot and straight though.

The friendship that forms is unlikely, and even more unlikely, Patrick and Andrew find themselves faced with a chemistry they cannot deny.

Excerpt

“So,” Andrew said, when they were relocated back to the couch, sitting facing each other, beers in hand.

“So.”

“First off, let me, well, set you straight on something. Kent and I aren’t dating, so don’t feel bad about that.”

“Good,” Patrick said. “I’d hate to have some gay guy come at me for hitting on his boyfriend.”

“Is that what it was? You hitting on me?”

Patrick looked away. “Honestly, I don’t know.”

“Well, what’s going on in that head of yours?”

“You,” he said. “You’re going on in my head. You and only you. Ever since we met. I thought it was all about Peter, but no, it’s about me. You’ve gotten under my skin, Andrew, and I don’t know how to get you out of me.” Their eyes locked. “And honestly, I’m not sure I want you gone.”

“But you’re straight.”

“I’ve always thought that. I’ve never been attracted to a guy before this.”

“Never? Not even in school? Some guys experiment, you know.”

“Never. I’ve looked back and there’s never been anything to make me think I’d ever be into a guy.”

“So you’re into me?”

Patrick’s face turned pink and he looked away. “I don’t know. Yes. Yes, I am.” He swallowed hard and looked back at Andrew. “Look, I know this is out of the blue, and I know what you said at the pool, and-”

“What did I say at the pool?”

“That, you know, that you’re not attracted to me.”

It was Andrew’s turn to blush and look away. “Well, since you’re being honest, I guess I should be too. Patrick, of course I’m attracted to you. You… well, look at you. I just said that to set your mind at ease. I was enjoying hanging out. I am enjoying it. I didn’t want you to freak out thinking I found you attractive or worried that I was going to try to jump you.”

“And it ended up being me that jumped at you.”

Andrew looked at him and grinned. “Seems that way.”

“So.”

“So.”

“Here we are then, both attracted to each other. What do we do now?”

About the Author

Rob Browatzke has been writing for as long as he can remember, and is pretty darn excited for someone else to be reading his stuff finally! When it comes to gay bars and booze and drugs and drama, he knows what he’s talking about. He came out in the mid-90s, and liquor and drama went hand in hand. He has 20+ years of experience working in gay clubs in Edmonton, Alberta, and you’ll always find his love for his other career permeating the stories he tells. Rob is now 9+ years clean and sober, although there’s still a bit of drama once in a while, for old times’ sake.

Rob loves the growing market for gay fiction and m/m romance. There are some incredible authors out there, and it’s important to be able to see in print (or on the screen) stories about people just like us. Coming out, our relationships, the issues we face, we all have stories to tell. And this book is just one of the stories coming out of Wonderland.

Feel free to stalk him online. He’s on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @robbrowatzke.

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Website | Facebook | Twitter @robbrowatzke | Instagram @robbrowatzke

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BLOG TOUR: “We Still Live” by Sara Dobie Bauer

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Book Title: We Still Live

Author: Sara Dobie Bauer

Publisher: NineStar Press

Cover Artist: Natasha Snow

Release Date: December 9, 2019

Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance

Tropes: Friends to lovers, hurt/comfort

Themes: Coming out, depression, anxiety, PTSD/post-traumatic stress, mental illness

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length: 62 000 words

It is a standalone book.

Add on Goodreads

Buy Links

NineStar Press | Amazon UK | Amazon US | Paperback

To escape the past, accept it.

Blurb

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

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

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

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

Excerpt

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

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

“Um.” Isaac pointed toward the new arrival.

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

Not a student, then.

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

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

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

“Come meet Isaac,” Tommy said.

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

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

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

“John Conlon?”

John and Tommy froze.

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

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

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

John’s nose wrinkled, and he looked away.

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

John glanced at the bookshelf. “Not lately.”

“You need a drink,” Tommy said.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About the Author

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

Photo credit: Bill Thornhill

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