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

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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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Twitter: @ag_carothers

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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

Social Media Links

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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A choice of 1 ecopy from Dakota Skies, Secret Of The Manor or 5 shorts from Taylin – 5 winners

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

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.

Author Links

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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BLOG TOUR: “Flame and Ash” by Morgan Brice. $10.00 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway Included! See Rafflecopter entry below:

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Book Title: Flame and Ash (Witchbane #4)

Author: Morgan Brice

Cover Artist: Lou Harper

Release Date: September 5, 2019

Genre/s: Urban Fantasy, MM paranormal, MM romance

Trope/s: Second chance, established couple, hurt/comfort, monster hunting, supernatural creatures, magic, ghosts

Themes: Learning to trust, navigating a new relationship, sticking together when the going gets rough

Heat Rating: 4 flames

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This time, the hunters become the hunted when the witch knows they’re coming to get him, and has deadly plans of his own. When their lives are on the line, will love be enough?

Blurb

One hundred years ago, a sheriff’s posse killed dark warlock Rhyfel Gremory, but his witch-disciples escaped, and their magic made them nearly immortal. To keep their power, each year one of the witch-disciples kills a descendant of one of the men in the posse, a twelve-year cycle that has cost dozens of lives, including that of Seth Tanner’s brother, Jesse

Seth rescued Evan Malone from one of the witches, and they’ve fallen in love despite the danger and chaos, going on the road to complete the quest and bring an end to the ritual murders. Their relationship is new, their emotions are raw, and the danger is real. It’s a challenge to find their way as a couple while they’re on the road together in the close quarters of Seth’s RV, training in magic and combat skills to fight off a supernatural killer.

In pursuit of the next witch-disciple, Seth and Evan team up with older hunters Milo and Toby as their quest to stop a century-long killing spree takes them to a small town in the Blue Ridge Mountains. They’re ahead of the sacrifice cycle, with plans to stop the murders and kill the dark witch. Only this time, the hunters become the hunted when the witch knows they’re coming to get him, and has deadly plans of his own. When their lives are on the line, will love be enough?

Flame and Ash is the third novel in the Witchbane series. It is a MM romance intended for readers 18 years of age and older.

Excerpt

After all, Evan thought, what value do I bring to the situation? Six months of training had improved his skills, taught him a few more rote spells, and helped him understand more about the kinds of things that went bump in the night. Despite it all, Evan knew he had a long way to go before he could match Seth’s abilities, and he worried that he could be the weak link that cost Seth his life.

The trip from Pittsburgh to Boone would take most of the day, and while Evan offered to take a turn behind the wheel, he knew that Seth preferred to drive. When he wasn’t chasing down loose ends about the Boone situation on his computer, Evan planned to doze in the passenger seat, but dark dreams woke him more than once, earning him worried glances from Seth.

“Hey.” Seth’s voice roused Evan from his thoughts. “Whatever you’re thinking—let me in. Don’t keep it to yourself.”

“I just don’t want to let you down,” Evan admitted.

“You won’t.”

“You don’t know that.”

“I know that you’ve saved my ass more than once,” Seth replied. “And that was before we spent the last three months doing more training.” He reached out to take Evan’s hand. “I trust you. I believe in you. There’s no one I’d rather have beside me in a fight. And I love you.”

Evan’s throat tightened. “I love you, too. And I want to be here, doing this, with you. It’s just…I’m not really the action hero type.”

Seth chuckled. “And I am?”

“You were in the army. You’re a soldier. So, yeah.”

Seth sighed. “I went into the army to get away from a bad breakup. Not exactly the most noble reason. I did okay, I guess. I was lucky enough to come home. But I knew I wasn’t going to make a career out of it. Some guys, they get in, and they know that’s where they’re supposed to be. It becomes their home and family, like they were born for it.” He shook his head. “It was never that for me.”

“I made okay money, working at the bar.” Evan looked at the road instead of at Seth. “But something was always missing, you know? What I did didn’t really matter. This…” He gestured to mean the two of them, hunting, the search for the witch-disciples. “It makes a difference. Saves lives. Stops a hundred years of killing. It just seems like fate could have picked someone who was better prepared.”

Seth laid his hand on Evan’s thigh, solid and warm. “Hunting doesn’t work like that. You’ve talked to Travis and Brent and Mark. They didn’t train to be a hunter from the time they were kids. They lost people, and it changed them. And from that point on, they learned on the job,” Seth said. “Just like you.”

Evan managed a wan smile. “If this were a TV show, I’d want to skip to the finale, where we ride off into the sunset.”

“I wish we could,” Seth admitted. “But I’m afraid there’s no fast-forward on real life.”

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.

Other books include Witchbane, Burn, Dark Rivers, and Badlands, Lucky Town, and The Rising, plus Treasure Trail. Watch for more in these series, plus new series coming soon!

I’ll be a Featured Author at GRL in October and also at Coastal Magic in February!

Join my Worlds of Morgan Brice Facebook Group! Get the early scoop on upcoming books and new series, see new covers first, enjoy insider news and special contests and giveaways! Plus it’s where I get my beta readers and launch team!

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BLOG TOUR: “Him Improvement” by Tanya Chris. Rafflecopter Giveaway Included! See link below:

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Book Title: Him Improvement

Author: Tanya Chris

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: Alexandria Corza

Release Date: September 3, 2019

Genre/s: Contemporary M/M Romance

Trope/s: enemies to lovers, opposites attract, millionaire, age gap

Themes: gentrification, compromise

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length: 60 000 words/ 161 pages

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Blurb

The course of true love runs through every neighborhood….

Only one thing stands between Gregory MacPherson II and his dream revitalization project for the gritty neighborhood of Ball’s End: a rinky-dink, run-down used bookstore called Hailey’s Comic. But when master negotiator Mac shows up to make a deal with the owner, he comes face-to-face with quirky, colorful Hailey—unexpectedly good-humored about Mac’s attempted eviction and, also unexpectedly, a hot guy.

Hailey won’t give up his lease, no matter how much money Mac offers. When it comes to consummating their mutual attraction, though, he’s a lot more flexible. Soon Mac has as hard a time prying himself out of Hailey’s bed as he does prying Hailey out of the building. But Hailey doubts Mac’s plans serve Ball’s End’s best interests, and he insists Mac give him a chance to prove his case. If they’re going to build a happy ever after, one of them will have to be remade….

Buy Links

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B&N | Apple | Kobo | Google Play

Excerpt

Chapter One

GREGORY MacPherson II didn’t have the time or the patience to make a personal trip to a bookstore, but here he was. Alone.

No patrons roamed the narrow aisles formed byoverstuffed bookshelves. No clerk waited at the vintagecash register sitting on top of a linoleum-covered counter barely capable of holding its weight. No one rushed to greet him from behind the tawdry multicolored curtain hanging at the back of the store.

From where he stood only a few feet inside the doorway, leery of allowing anything in the dusty hodgepodge to brush against his suit, he could see straight down the center aisle all the way to the back of the store. It was a thirty- foot-by-sixty-foot shoebox, longer than it was wide, oneof four retail spaces on the ground floor of the six-story brick building and the only one still open. Which was whyGregory MacPherson II, commonly referred to as Mac, had personally dragged himself down here.

How the place could stay in business without any workers, never mind customers, was a mystery he didn’t intend to solve. He was there to shut the place down, not rescue it, though in the few short minutes he’d been exposed to Hailey’s Comic, he could already list a half-dozen ways to improve its profitability.

That sign out front, for instance. It was a purple whirlwind of planets, well done if you were going for an acid-trip vibe, but the name implied there’d be comics, and the sign implied there’d be comets. Or drugs. And from what he could see, there were neither. If an establishment wanted to bring in customers, it needed to make clear theservices it provided and establish confidence that it wouldprovide them well.

Then there was the matter of actually waiting on the customers you did bring in. A bell had tinkled as he’d entered, but apparently only for its own enjoyment.

“Hello?” He raised his voice to a level that couldn’t be ignored and had a brief moment to wonder if he really was completely alone before a head and a hand appeared around the edge of the curtain.

“Mercy, you scared me,” the head said. It belonged to a young man and had a mop of brown hair piled on top of it, a few shades lighter than Mac’s own reddish brown.“Sorry, I didn’t hear the bell. Give me a minute. I’m sort of in flagrante delicto.” The head disappeared.

“In flagrante delicto doesn’t mean naked, you know,” Mac told the air where the head had been. “It means you were caught doing something you shouldn’t have been.Something sexual.”

“Now, now. It’s never wrong to masturbate. There.” The head reappeared, this time attached to a body that gave Mac a startlingly clear vision of how it would look masturbating. The man was stringy, taller than Mac’s six- foot frame, but lean and underdeveloped—the body of aperson who spent a lot of time reading. Or jerking off.

“What can I help you with?” He was in his midtwenties,so perhaps ten years younger than Mac, dressed in jeans laddered with intentional rips, each the same two inches wide, running down his thighs like claw marks. His face was clean-shaven, fresh with his youth, and Mac wondered how his skin would react to having Mac’s tightly trimmed beard rubbed all over it.

“You’re free to browse around, even if I’m not out here.”

Mac added lax security to the mental list he was pointlessly compiling. “I need to speak to the owner.”

Hailey Green, owner of Hailey’s Comic, was the only thing standing in the way of his plans to revitalize this misbegotten section of Ballhaven, which plan started with this very brick building and would ultimately lead to Ball’s End—as everyone called it; he’d have to do something about the branding—becoming the newest hot spot for millennials to eat, drink, shop, and live. Urban revitalization was Mac’s business, and Hailey Green was Mac’s problem.

“Still me,” the man said, tilting his head to the side asif to take in Mac’s appearance more carefully.

Mac hadn’t changed clothes before driving down to Ball’s End, though he could’ve guessed the place would bedirty. He’d been reading a report on the effort to clear 502 Main Street of its tenants and had made an abrupt decisionto come down and take care of ridding the building of its final holdout himself.

About the Author

Tanya Chris writes feminist-friendly romance in a variety of sub-genres and pairings–most especially M/M. Born on the West Coast and raised on the East Coast, she’s fact-based but thirsty for justice, and her books often include an examination of a current social issue, even when they’re set in the past. As a lifelong genre-hopping reader herself, she admires character-driven work with a message, regardless of the form it takes.

Tanya is an avid rock climber, a long-distance runner, and a participant in her local community theater where she has tackled most roles, including playwright, actor, director, producer, and stage manager. Her travels, both for climbing trips and for cultural exploration, have brought her to places as fascinating as Egypt and as beautiful as the Dolomites, though there’s no place like home.

Tanya is best known to readers for having written Aftercare and to writers for the quote “Writer culture is researching what degree is needed to be a paleontologist so your shapeshifting vampire dinosaur erotica will be authentic.” Her website features dozens of free stories, including the aforementioned (and highly authentic) shapeshifting vampire dinosaur erotica.

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BLOG TOUR: “Last Call in Wonderland” by Rob Browatzke.

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Book Title: Last Call in Wonderland

Author: Rob Browatzke

Publisher: Self-Published

Cover Artist: Alexandria Corza

Release Date: August 4, 2019

Genre/s: Contemporary gay fiction

Length: 62000 words/330 pages

It is a standalone story.

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Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

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Last Call Is Coming

Blurb

Wonderland is the hottest club in River City, but it’s time to close. It’s a different world now, and club owner Chester doesn’t see Wonderland having a place in it. What will that mean for resident bartender and hotty bottom Brandon Sweet? Or for headliner, the Queen of Hearts? Or customers like Jesse and Colton, whose open relationship and threeways are the stuff of legend? This group of friends navigate the changes in their lives until one night when everything changes for good.

Excerpt

Brandon Sweet’s first thought on waking up was this isn’t my room.

His second thought was oh god, who is this?

He rolled over, facing away from the stranger next to him, in this strange bed in a strange room. He hadn’t even had that much to drink really. At least, not compared to a weekend night.

It’s the tequila, he thought. I need to stop with the tequila.

“Morning,” the twink next to him said with a moan.

Brandon rolled back over and took him in: brown curls and blue eyes and a smooth slender torso with a whisp of hair on abs that disappeared into the white sheets tangled around his waist. Whoever he was, he was certainly Brandon’s type.

“Morning,” Brandon said, sitting up in bed, letting the sheet drop to his lap. He looked down at his own body, comparing it to the twink beside him. Not bad, for thirty-one, but oh, to be twenty-one again! When he was twenty-one, he could’ve handled twice the tequila he’d had last night, and woken with half the headache. He knew he could have, because he had done just that. Week in, week out, for a decade.

Too early for that train of thought, he told himself.

“I had a really good time last night,” Twink said.

“Me too, me too. Hey, where’s my phone?” He looked on the floor for his clothes.

“Other room. You stripped off as soon as we got here,” Twink said with a smile. “So hot.”

“Hey, what can I say? I know what I want.” Don’t know your name, mind you, but I do remember how badly I wanted to get laid.

He did love a good Thursday night fuck.

“I can’t believe I finally got to fuck THE Brandon Sweet.”

Brandon smiled at him as he stood up. “Hope it was everything you expected.”

Twink reached across the bed to run his hand over Brandon’s abs. “And more!”

Brandon smiled again. “I’m going to get dressed then. Work night.”

“I’ll walk you out.” The twink stood up and yes, Brandon remembered that impressive appendage. Young, hung, and hard – check, check, check.

Had they gone to Brandon’s last night, if he’d woken up with home turf comfort, he’d be pushing Twink back into the bed and climbing aboard to go again. Here though, in a room he didn’t know, with a guy he didn’t know, he suddenly felt vulnerable.

Once he’d slid back into underwear and jeans, it was a bit better. But his phone had 3% power, 32 notifications and it was halfway through the afternoon. He had to get home.

“Hey, my phone’s dead. Can you call an Uber for me?” He hated to ask but…

“Really?” Twink asked. “You said last night you only live a couple blocks away.”

That rang no bells, but Brandon was professional. “Oh yeah, I remember now,” he said, pulling his shirt over his head. “Will you be out later?”

“It’s Friday,” Twink said. “Of course.”

As Twink walked him to the door, Brandon took in the apartment, trying to find something to jog his memory. It was simple, sparse, and wholly unfamiliar. Luckily, as he bent down to tie his Converse, he happened to glance at the fridge, where a photo radar ticket was held by a magnet. With his name in black and white.

“Ok, well, I’ll see you later then, Billy,” he said.

Twink laughed. “You don’t know my name, do you?” he asked. “Billy’s my roommate.”

Fuck. Brandon swallowed and smiled. “Sorry. Tequila. What was it again?”

“Derek.” Twink grabbed Brandon by the belt and pulled him closer, taking his hand and guiding it down. “You’ll remember this at least,” he said.

Brandon smiled again, kissed Derek’s cheek, and bolted out the door.

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 his current Wonderlounge is every bit as amazing as Alex’s Wonderland. Rob is now 8+ years clean and sober, although there’s still a bit of drama once in a while, for old times’ sake.

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BLOG TOUR: “Just Like Heaven” by T.L. Bradford. $10.00 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway Included! See link below for entry:

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Book Title: Just Like Heaven

Author: T.L. Bradford

Publisher: T.L. Bradford

Cover Artist: Photo by Neospot, design by T.L. Bradford

Release Date: September 4, 2019

Genre/s: Contemporary M/M Romance

Trope/s: Opposites attract / friends to lovers

Themes: Coming out, PTSD, Revenge

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length: 181 000 words/ 479 pages

It is a standalone book.

Add on Goodreads

Buy Links

Amazon US | Amazon UK

What do you covet?

Blurb

Noah Sinclair
Noah Sinclair is best described as an egotistical, pompous, anal retentive, asshat. And those are his better qualities. Lately, Noah has lost touch with his playboy character “Jace” on the show Americana and can’t quite put his finger on why. The studio decides it is time to shake up his character by making him an offer he can’t refuse, literally. They will introduce a new love interest for his character “Jace.” Only this time, there’s a twist.

Josh Hill
Josh Hill is up a creek and sinking fast. He’s got no job, no money, no credit and is about to be kicked out of his apartment. Opportunity comes in the form of a job offer from the show Americana. Everything should be perfect; only there is one hitch. He will be the new love interest for Noah Sinclair’s character on the beloved show.

So, opposites are supposed to attract, right? Not so fast. No one said life was that easy. Both actors find themselves in untested waters. Will they be able to play a same-sex couple with no prior experience authentically? Well, they say practice makes perfect.

Carefree, fun-loving Josh and uptight, overbearing Noah, realize they need to make the best of their bad situation and are forced to find common ground. Over time, their roles in each other’s lives become blurred. Is their attraction fake, or is it real? To top it off, Noah has a dark skeleton in his closet that can prevent them from ever moving forward.

Can they get on the same page and save both of their careers and their relationship?

Or will they end up yesterday’s tabloid fodder?

Excerpt

Chapter 1

It’s been almost 10 minutes. Five to go. Fuck.

I have no clue what this meeting is about, and I am not in the mood to be dealing with Steph and Genie’s crap today. Some random stagehand just came back here to let me know my attendance was required. I try to think back and wonder if I personally offended anybody yet today. Hmm… Nope. Not today, anyway.

Four minutes.

Steph and Genie are the producers for the show I star on called Americana. It’s a newer concept in programming. The show streams daily on Netflix as an evening drama. Small town life under a microscope is the idea. It’s a modern-day spin on a soap opera really, but there is no way on earth I am admitting to working on a soap opera. The show itself is heavily ingrained in social media where the characters have taken on a life all their own. It’s been almost two years now since they cast me, and the show has been live.

Three minutes.

I graduated from college several years ago. After that, I spent a couple of years bar tending and serving. With good parts so scarce, I was lucky to get this opportunity. The show has been a ratings winner, and the entire cast is becoming well known.

What drew me to the part was its unique take on the dissection of America and how different communities have changed over time. Our show takes place in America’s heartland. It focuses on the lives and loves of the residents of Greenfield, Indiana.

My character, Jace, is the town barkeeper. He was a great role to play early on because he had a lot of interaction with the main cast. Lately, though, something has changed, and I’m not feeling in touch with the character as much as I once did. It’s showing in my performance, so I’m sure that’s what this meeting is about.

Two minutes.

I’ll bet it has to do with me flubbing lines lately. I haven’t been able to focus, and it looks like they have noticed. My part is getting reduced to nothing. Maybe this is the kick in the pants I need to move on. Ash, one of my castmates on the show, mentioned that they are having open auditions for a new show on FOX. Who knows, it may work out for a season or two. The only thing is that FOX has a bad reputation for short-term junky shows.

One minute.

Maybe they aren’t going to renew my contract. Oh god. I’m being sacked. I can see it now. Gah, I’m already planning my pity party table for one.

I reluctantly get up from my chair, padding out of the room, trying hard not to make eye contact with anyone. I arrive at the end of the hall and hold my hand on the doorknob. “Okay here it goes,” I say to no one in particular.

I enter the room and see Genie and Steph seated across from each other around a large square glass table. Steph is probably in his early 40s, (never can tell for sure in Hollywood), smallish frame with short sandy brown hair, mischievous eyes and a car salesman smile. He is kicking back with his half-eaten Subway sandwich hanging out of his mouth.

Genie looks up to see me. She has her requisite Starbucks Spiced Vanilla Chai Latte and is eating some salad that looks unhealthier than Steph’s meatball sub. “Noah, right on time, per usual.”

“Hey, guys.” I’m hoping to keep good vibes flowing.

Steph says, “Come on in and take a seat. Shut the door behind you.”

Oh boy, that doesn’t sound good. I move toward the desk, taking a chair next to the window, moving it in close next to Genie. The smell of the eggs on her salad is strong. Steph takes a napkin to his lips to wipe the marinara sauce off and starts talking.

“Noah, you’ve been here for over a year, right?”

“Uh, yeah, almost two years next month.”

“So, you’re up for contract negotiations then, right?”

“Yeah, I haven’t talked with my agent about it yet.”

“Well, that is what Genie and I would like to discuss.”

I swear the smell of the eggs is getting stronger. It is permeating the entire atmosphere.

“You know we get the daily stats on the show’s overall performance and having talked; we decided we are going to have to make some changes.”

It’s coming. I feel it. With the show being purely streaming, it is easy for the showrunners to pull up all types of analytics on the show, like what age group is watching, and income bracket. Annoyingly, they can also track what parts of the show are being watched and skipped over. A favorite character will have higher click averages than a third tier one. With my part being scaled back so much, I’m fairly sure my numbers are in the gutter. For sure I’m getting the boot. I start sweating.

Genie jumps in and says, “Your numbers have been pretty consistent, but not growing at the pace we would like to see.” All I can smell now is the nauseating stench of eggs. I am going to puke. Right here. Right now. Right on their fancy $3000 glass table.

Genie looks at me with concern in her eyes. “Are you okay? You don’t look so hot. Would you like a glass of water?” She jumps up from the table to grab me a glass. Her dark hair is nearly falling out of the messy bun at the back of her head.

“Yeah, that would be great.” She comes back and sets the glass down in front of me. I pick it up and drink slowly. My throat is constricted, and I nearly choke. She is still concerned and looks over to Steph. She pushes her black-framed glasses up on her nose and turns back to me.

Sensing my stress, she quickly says, “We are thinking of taking your character into a new direction.”

“A new direction? Okay, what were you guys thinking about?”

Steph says, “We’ve done some marketing research and have found some niches that we think will work well for our show.” He crams in another mouthful of sub.

Ever the tag team, Genie says, “It’s a direction that may be more challenging, but we think given your range that you would best be able to play the role.”

“What’s the direction you were thinking?”

She looks over to Steph, then back at me. “Your character, Jace Alexander will enter into a relationship with a new character, named Max.”

“Max? Well, what is Maxine’s backstory?” I let out a huge breath. They had me there for a minute.

“It’s just Max, not Maxine. Specifically, Max Shephard,” Steph says.

Slowly my head starts to wrap around what they are saying. “So, wait, Max is a guy?”

“Yep,” they say in unison.

“You made him gay?”

“Look, Noah, I know this is a real shock, but think of it this way. You will have a unique storyline, and it will get people back into your character again,” says Steph. “It’s been what, a year now since Jace broke up with Gracie? The character has just been drifting, and we need to get that viewership back.”

“Are you kidding me? How the hell am I supposed to play gay? This is so far out of my league. I—”

“I’m going to be honest with you,” Steph says, finally having put this sub down. “Genie and I had to go to bat for you to keep you on the show. They were ready to cut you. We pulled this idea out that we had a little while ago and they went for it. So basically, you stay on the show on the condition that you accept this storyline. Otherwise, they are releasing you at the end of your contract.”

I sit back in my chair, dumbstruck. I look between the two of them and see there is no way out. I have no words.

Genie says, “I know you feel blindsided and I don’t blame you for being upset but think about this rationally. This is the opportunity you have been waiting for. A chance to stretch your acting skills.”

“Yeah, but…”

Then she pulls forward in her chair, she grabs my hand and looks me in the eye. “You don’t have to answer right now. Think about it over the weekend, and we can all talk about it again on Monday.”

I don’t say a word, still unmoving and dazed.

“We have an audition video for the actor we have in mind. Why don’t you take this copy and see if you think you can make this work?”

Wordlessly, I take the flash drive and get up to leave. I go back to my dressing room and finally lose the contents of my stomach.

About the Author

T.L. always hated math, so it was a good thing she had a way with words. Since she was a shy and quirky kid; words were her best friends. She would imagine entire worlds in her head and talk to herself endlessly. Her mother wondered if she was speaking with ghosts for a while.

Her older sister was a voracious reader of trashy romance novels and would pass them down to her after she had finished them. T.L. was the only 10-year-old kid sitting in class reading “The Stud” by Jackie Collins during reading time. Oddly enough, she never got called out on it.

As she grew older, her tastes evolved, but one thing held fast; her undying attachment to love stories. One day out of the blue, she decided to write the love stories she always wanted to read instead of searching for her story. Since then, writing has been a dream fulfilled for her and she could not be happier.

She enjoys writing about love, regardless of gender and is a proud supporter of the LGBTQ community.

T.L. calls the Pacific Northwest her home and enjoys the quiet rural life of her little oceanside home with her playful/crazy husband and their giant dog Noah.

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