RELEASE BLITZ: “717 Miles” by Sophia Soames. Author’s first novel will be FREE on all Amazon platforms!



RELEASE BLITZ


Book Title: 717 miles

Author: Sophia Soames

Publisher: Self published

Cover Artist: Miriam Latu

Release Date: April 30, 2019

Length: 104 969 words/ 371 pages

Genre/s: Contemporary M/M Romance

Heat Rating: 4 flames 

Trope/s: New adult

Themes: Coming of age, Au pair (Manny), Travel, Family, Airline Industry, 

London, UK, Oslo, Norway, School. Enemies to lovers. Bisexuality. Gay. Out and Proud.

TRIGGER WARNINGS:

Deals with serious bullying. 

For US readers, this story is set in the UK where the age of consent is 16. 

The MC’s are 17 and 19. Mature content.

It is a standalone story.



Blurb

The calculated flying distance from Oslo to London is equal to 717 miles which is equal to 1153 km. If you want to go by car, the driving distance between Oslo and London is 1732.79 km. If you ride your car with an average speed of 112 kilometres/hour (70 miles/h), travel time will be 15 hours 28 minutes.

Adam Vik Solheim should not be in London. He’s not supposed to be anywhere near the British capital, because Adam Vik Solheim, age 19, is supposed to be on a beach in Bali. He is supposed to be on the first stop on an Asian backpacking trip of a lifetime. That was the plan. That is where he is supposed to be. Not here. Alone in a weird house in a strange city, being paid to look after some troubled 17-year-old.

Felix Haugland has to survive the final 3 weeks of school. Make it through 21 more days of hell. Then he is going to hide out in his room for the rest of the summer until he can figure out how to get his life back on track. Find a school far far away, where he can start over and not make mistakes.

He doesn't need a flipping babysitter. He just doesn't. His life is messed up enough as it is.


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Excerpt

I don’t notice him at first, wrapped up in a blanket sitting on the sofa. The house is dark and quiet and if it wasn’t for the light from his phone, I wouldn’t have noticed him at all. He just looks up and meets my eye for a second. Looking a little bit sad.

“Where is your mum? I thought you were going to hang out today?”

“Gone to her boyfriend’s. Not sure when she will be back. Didn’t check. She left you money on the side there.”

“Oh.”

I don’t know what to say. Apart from that I’m sorry she is a bit of a shit mum. I mean she left him here alone, whilst she’s gone off to see her bloke. Then, I kind of think that we are all adults. Well, Felix might be. I am not. I still don’t know what to say.

“Philip went on the group chat. I got bored.” Felix gets up from the sofa. Walking over to the kettle and flicking the switch. At least it fills the silence, the kettle humming quietly as the water heats up.

“I saw that, it was funny. Really good.” I pretend to check my phone.

Felix gets a cup down. Pulls out a teabag. Tilts his head towards the coffeemaker.

I get a coffee pod out and load it whilst Felix gets another cup. Nudging my hand as he places it in the brewer, which makes me jolt back. I don’t know why. I just don’t know how to act around him when we are alone. Like this.

He is leaning back against the counter. Chewing on his bottom lip with his arms crossed over his chest. Wearing joggers that are slung low over his hips, and a hoodie that just doesn’t quite cover the blond fuzz on his stomach.

I am standing there biting my nails and fiddling with the envelope on the counter. I try to catch his eye. Staring at his lips and thinking dirty thoughts. Then, looking away the minute he looks up.

It’s different flirting with girls. If Felix was a girl, I would be all charming and touchy-feely and wink and compliment her and we would both know where things would end up in the end.

With Felix, I haven’t got a clue. I don’t know where he falls, whether he is straight or gay or whatever he defines as. He might just think of me as some big brother figure. Someone who makes him feel safe. Someone who he kisses and clings to and cuddles. He seems as confused as me. His hand shaking a little as he pours the boiling water in the cup. Stirs with a teaspoon. Spills a little on the side.

I try to be helpful. I mean, I try to wipe it up with a tea towel, only to nudge his arm with my elbow which makes us both jump. I spill half of his tea. The cup spinning on the worktop. Felix’s hand touching mine, as we both try to catch the cup before it falls. Me catching it and Felix jolting back like he has been burnt. He is sucking his finger into his mouth. Catching my eye and not looking away. He just looks at me, all eyes and hurt and feelings and… I don’t know. I suppose it’s heat. Desire.

It makes me a bit crazy. I mean, I am already crazy, but I think I must be crazier than should be allowed, because I grab his face with both hands and launch at those lips. Just smashing my mouth on his. Walking him backwards until he is being squashed against the kitchen table that is creaking and scratching along the floor under the weight of us.

I am panting. Hard. Being the worst kisser in the world. There is nothing sensual or soft about me and my kissing. Not like I would kiss a girl. I am kissing Felix because I need to. Because I am desperate and because his hands are fisting the hair on my head, pulling and scratching my scalp whilst he catches his breath. Letting his forehead rest against mine, breathing hard and fast against my lips.

Then, he starts to kiss me. Properly kiss me. The way I should have been kissing him. Lips and tongues and more than a little bit of teeth, hard and hot and making me feel lightheaded. I am not breathing properly. Not getting enough oxygen to my brain. Grinding against him. Rutting and jerking whilst he is whimpering and panting and making all these little sounds that just egg me on.

I don’t know what I am doing. I don’t know what got into me. I let go. I let him go. Pull my hands back and step away from him. Wiping my mouth with the back of my hand. Stumbling backwards and blinking into the light like I have just woken up.

“I shouldn’t have done that.” I mumble. Well I shouldn’t. I wasn’t supposed to do that.



About the Author

Sophia Soames should be old enough to know better but has barely grown up. She has been known to fangirl over tv-shows, has fallen in and out of love with more pop stars than she dares to remember, and has a ridiculously high-flying (un)glamourous real-life job. 

Her long suffering husband just laughs at her antics. Their children are feral. The Au Pair just sighs. 

She lives in a creaky old house in rural London, although her heart is still in Scandinavia. 

Discovering that the stories in her head make sense when written down has been part of the most hilarious midlife crisis ever and she hopes it may long continue. 

Miriam Latu is a Norway based artist, specializing in hand drawn pencil portraits. She works with old-school pen and paper, and more of her work can be found on Instagram

 


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Little Harbour, my first novel, will be FREE on all Amazon platforms from April 30 until May 4.

Go grab it if you haven’t already read it!





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Release Blitz: “Saint Unshamed” by Kerry Ashton. Rafflecopter Giveaway Included!

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: SAINT
UNSHAMED: A Gay Mormon’s Life

Healing from the Shame
of Religion, Rape, Conversion Therapy & Cancer

Author: Kerry
Ashton

Publisher: Lynn Wolf Enterprises

Cover
Artist: Kerry Ashton

Release Date: April
17, 2019

Genres: A Gay Memoir
featuring M/M Romance & some hardcore sex

Tropes: Forbidden
love, Rape, Mormon Religion

Themes: Coming out,
Forgiveness, Overcoming Religion, Rape, Police Surveillance & Arrest,
Conversion Therapy including Electric Shock Treatments, and a 16-year battle
with rare cancer

Heat Rating:  5
flames

There are many erotic
passages—most are hard core, erotic and explicit passages, all M/M. Many
deal with scenes of sexual humiliation, degradation, group scenes, S&M
and/or the gay male leather scene.

Length: 120 000 words
/348 pages incl. 14 pages of B&W photos from author’s private collection.

Add
on Goodreads

“A
TRIUMPHANT MEMOIR!”
Clarion Books

Blurb

The first paragraph of Kerry Ashton’s new memoir explains a lot: “I told this story once as fiction
in the 1980s, but this time I tell the truth. I even tell the truth, in #MeToo
fashion, about being violently raped by another man when I was 18, with a knife
held to my throat—a secret I kept from everyone, including myself, for over 40
years. The rape, like other experiences I endured while a student at Brigham
Young University, where I came out in the early 1970s, had a profound impact on
my later life. But this story is not so much about my rape or my coming of age
at BYU, as it is about the lifelong effects of shame itself, not only about how
I internalized and inherited a wounding shame from my Mormon upbringing, but
also how I eventually unshamed myself. It is about the journey of a
lifetime, finding spiritual growth, self-discovery and healing along the way,
while encountering many miraculous events that pushed me forward through
darkness toward the light.”

Telling about his experiences during his four years at BYU—the
rape, falling in love for the first time, police surveillance, harassment and
arrest, while enduring three years of conversion therapy and electric shock
treatments—provide the structure of Kerry’s memoir. But intermittently, the author
shares memories from his childhood, growing up Mormon in Pocatello, Idaho, and
later from his adulthood, as well as from
his professional career as an actor and writer, both in L.A. and NYC,
describing encounters with Barbra Streisand, Elizabeth Taylor, Bette Davis and
Julie Harris, while detailing his experiences with Tennessee Williams and his
brief affair with Stephen Sondheim. Lastly, he talks about the 12 years he
spent in therapy, about his 16-year battle with cancer, how he eventually rid
himself of the shame internalized from his Mormon youth, sharing glimpses into
his sexual journey from his innocent youth through S&M and the gay leather
scene in mid-life to the loving monogamous relationship he now enjoys.

Buy Links

Author’s Website

Amazon US

Amazon
UK

Barnes
and Noble

Indie Bound

Excerpt

PART ONE

I told this story once as fiction in the 1980s, but this time I
tell the truth. I even tell the truth, in #MeToo fashion, about being violently
raped by another man when I was 18, with a knife held to my throat—a secret I
kept from everyone, including myself, for over 40 years. The rape, like other
experiences I endured while a student at Brigham Young University, where I came
out in the early 1970s, had a profound impact on my later life. But this story
is not so much about my rape or my coming of age at BYU, as it is about the
lifelong effects of shame itself, not only about how I internalized and
inherited a wounding shame from my Mormon upbringing, but also how I eventually
unshamed myself. It is about a lifetime journey of spiritual growth, self-discovery
and healing, including many miraculous events along the way that pushed me
forward through the darkness toward the light.

Growing up in Pocatello, Idaho in the 50s, in the heart of Mormon
Zion, was like growing up in Oz, where Mormons kept me on a religious path the
way the Munchkins told Dorothy to follow the yellow brick road. Most American
families felt pressure in those years to appear like the perfect U.S. family
seen in TV shows likeFather Knows Best and Ozzie and Harriet. But in our
insulated Mormon community in southeastern Idaho, the expectations of appearing
like a perfect family increased dramatically.

With a population of 35,000, Pocatello was Idaho’s second largest
city in the 1950s. It is now twice that size if you count the suburbs. Home to
Idaho State University, Pocatello was and still is very LDS—as members of The
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints call themselves.

In Pocatello, like all LDS communities, church membership divided
into wards. My family and I were members of the Pocatello 15th Ward, one of
several wards within Alameda Stake, and among the more than 40 LDS wards in
Pocatello. As LDS Brothers and Sisters, we proselytized Gentiles—as we
preferred to call non- Mormons—but we never socialized with them, since the Prophet
had warned us “to avoid the mere appearance of evil.”

To survive in my LDS family and Mormon community, I had
to pretend to be a perfect Saint the way my parents did.
Both of my parents were raised dirt poor during the Great Depression. Mom was
barely 17 and Dad only 20 when they married during his military furlough, prior
to Dad shipping out

with the Navy to serve in the South Pacific during World War II.
After Dad returned from the war, my parents had four babies in six years. The
firstborn, my oldest brother Dennis, was expected to be the responsible one.
When he couldn’t live up to all that was expected of him, he became the family
scapegoat. My sister Denise was assigned the role of Daddy’s little girl, his
perfect Mormon princess, and the sweetest of all of us. Craig would later make
Dad proud as a popular athlete in school and in his later and highly
successful career in public education. Without knowing it, Dad had claimed
the first of his three children as his own. So when I came along, being the
youngest and Mother’s last chance, she claimed me entirely for herself. As my
New York therapist noted decades later, “Whether you were a boy or a girl, she
knew she would name you Kerry, since she expected you to carry and meet her
emotional needs from then on.”

Both of my parents had dormant and repressed shame boiling within
each of them. Sometimes, as my siblings and I made our way down the LDS yellow
brick road, my parents’ shame came sailing at us like the fireballs thrown by
the Wicked Witch.

I don’t know how old I was when Mom lay me out naked on a changing
mat, as I waited for a new diaper. I only remember that when she wiped down my
genitals, my “little pee-pee,” as Mom called it, sprang to attention. “Oh,
dear!” Mother exclaimed, removing her hand from my penis as though she had just
touched a hot poker. What Mommy had been doing to my pee-pee had felt
pleasurable. I wanted the feeling to continue, but when I reached down with my
right hand, to rub the spot that had felt so good, Mom smacked my hand away.
“No, Kerry Lynn!” she said. “You mustn’t do that. That’s naughty!”

My little hand stung and I cried, but the real pain was in the
shame I had just internalized. It was sinful to give myself pleasure! The next
time I remember being shamed happened when I was

five. My father Allan Ashton, an insurance salesman, was 35 at the
time. My mother Millie Jane Ashton was a 32-year-old homemaker. At 11, my
oldest brother Dennis was already a bully. At ten, my sister Denise was the
saintliest among us. At seven, my brother Craig already fit in the way he was
expected to. And I was Mom’s “baby.”

Getting in our car after spending hours in church, I announced my
true feelings from the backseat: “I hate church. It’s so boring!”

Enraged, Dad turned to face me in the backseat. Looking directly
into my eyes, he gave me a dire warning: “Kerry, I don’t ever want to hear you
speak that way again about our Church!”

“I’m sorry, Daddy,” I whimpered, already repentant for my out-
spoken honesty, behaving like the best little Mormon boy in the entire world.
Yet, it was not my father’s rage but the look of disapproval on my mother’s
face that had me cowering.

My mother was the only source of love I knew or had ever known. I
could no more live without her approval than the earth can live without the
sun. Clearly, I was trained from an early age not merely to be her baby boy,
but to behave like her exclusive property. Not that Mom or anyone in my family
would have seen it that way; her complete commandeering of my psyche and all that
I was, of my very soul, was not something that she was aware of consciously,
any more than any member of my family was consciously aware of their assigned
roles in our dysfunctional family system. But the fact that I was my mother’s
personal slave is true nonetheless.

Mom had trained me well: A lifted eyebrow meant she was dis-
pleased with me, that my only source of love and companionship might abandon
me. At five, I had already learned the truth: To survive, I had to lie; I had
to become inauthentic and false.

When I was six, I performed in a church play with my family on the
stage of our LDS ward’s reception hall. It was my first appearance on stage and
I was nervous. Some little girls giggled backstage as Mom stripped me out of my
clothes for a quick costume change. Naked and mortified, I was Mother’s
property to do with as she pleased. Once dressed, I stifled my tears and made
my entrance holding my owner’s hand.

That same year, our family visited my Aunt Ruth and her family at
their home in Ogden, Utah. Aunt Ruth had a little girl named Carrie who was
just my age and, like me, loved to sing and dance. After Carrie got up on the
kitchen table and sang, “On the Good Ship Lollipop,” we all applauded.

Wanting me to have my turn in the spotlight, Mom encouraged me to
sing “If I Were King of the Forest” from The Wizard of Oz, since I did a good
impression of Bert Lahr’s performance, complete with dialogue and dance steps,
and I always got rousing applause. “Go on, Kerry Lynn!” she said, nudging me
onto the kitchen table. “Sing the Cowardly Lion’s song!”

I got up on the table, but when I sang, “It’s hard believe me
Missy, when you’re born to be a sissy,” Dad yelled, “Stop singing that song!”

“What?” I asked, surprised as everyone else.

“Get off that table, young man!” he hollered. “No son of mine is
going to perform on a table like a … like a …”

“Like a what?” Mom interjected, getting up in Dad’s face.

Dad shouted back at her, “Millie Jane, pack up! We’re leaving!”

Before I knew it, we were in the car driving home. Sitting in the
backseat, I knew Dad was ashamed of me, but I didn’t understand why. “Why
didn’t you let me finish my song, Daddy?” I asked.

As I began to cry, Dad warned, “That’ll be enough, Kerry Lynn! I
don’t want to hear any more about it!” Dad gave my mother a warning glance.
“This is your fault, Millie Jane!”

“My fault?” Mom retorted. “Why? Because I stand up for him against
you and all your bullying?” Clearly, I was the reason for their fight, but I
still didn’t understand why.

As my parents fought over me, I cried even more.
“Stop crying, young man,” Dad shouted, “or I’ll give you

something to really cry about!” But the more I tried to repress my
tears, the more I sobbed.

“That’s it!” Dad shouted, pulling the car to the side of the road.
“You’re getting a beating, Kerry Lynn!”

Wild with shame, Dad jumped out of the car. Deciding that his belt
was not harsh enough, he went along the road and tore a two- by-four from a
nearby fence. Bringing the board back with him, he dragged me out of the car.

“Allan Ashton!” Mom exclaimed. “You are not going to beat our
child with that two-by-four! I will not allow it!” But Dad already had my pants
down and was paddling me when Mom got between us. “Allan, that’s enough! What
is wrong with you?”

Undeterred, Dad continued my beating as the drivers passing by
looked on in horror.

That incident was so emotionally painful for me that I blocked out
any memory of it. It was only after years spent in therapy decades later, and
only after my sister Denise shared with me her memory of the entire event, that
I finally faced the truth.

Regardless of what had made my father so angry that day, he made
it clear to me then that I was a source of shame for him, one he either had to
ignore or obliterate.

******

The Holy War, as I have come to think of it, began on a hot day in
early September 1971, the day I left Pocatello to drive four hours south to
Provo, Utah, to attend Brigham Young University. As in all wars, whether holy
or unholy, it would not be without its casualties.

I spent the morning packing things in my ‘56 Chevrolet, parked in
the spot on the lawn where our driveway would have been had my parents ever had
the money to pave it. A yellow-and-bronze, two- door coupe with cream interior,
a huge cream steering wheel, and black dashboard, the car had class, which is
why I named it Oscar— after the Academy Awards I hoped to win one day.

About the Author

Raised in Pocatello,
Idaho as a Mormon in the heart of Mormon Zion, Kerry attended BYU in the early
70s, where some of the most dramatic events recounted in his memoir took place.

Always interested in
pursuing a career as both an actor and writer, Kerry wrote his first play, BUFFALO HEAD NICKELS at the age
of 17, and published it at 18. Since then, he has published several works,
among them most prominently THE
WILDE SPIRIT
, a one-man play with music, in which Ashton starred as Oscar
Wilde, and also wrote the play’s book, music and lyrics. The play won Kerry
critical acclaim for both his writing and performance, and three 1977 L.A.
Civic Star Awards for Best Actor, Play and Direction. The play ran for three
consecutive seasons in Provincetown, MA from 1990-1992, and was produced
Off-Broadway in 1996, winning Kerry a National Award of Merit from ASCAP. The
author now makes his home with his partner Victor Ramirez in South Florida. For
more info, visit www.KerryAshton.com.

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Release Blitz: “The Gathering Storm” by Tricia Owens

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: The Gathering Storm (Book 2 of Juxtan)

Author: Tricia Owens

Publisher: Self-Published

Cover Artist: Tricia Owens

Genre/s: Fantasy, M/M romance

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length: 50 000 words

Release Date: April 22, 2019

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Buy links – Available in Kindle Unlimited

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Amazon UK

Blurb

After betraying the only man he ever loved, Hadrian ni Leyanon waits for death amid the ruins of a sorcerous battle. Before that can happen he is recruited by the Council of Elders which governs the use of magick in Juxtan. The Council needs him to track down his evil sorcerer father and force him to face a justice they aren’t powerful enough to inflict on their own. Wracked with guilt, Hadrian agrees to join the mage-led mission in the hopes it will allow him to redeem himself. But when Caled, the handsome mercenary whom Hadrian betrayed, insists on joining the mission, too, Hadrian discovers that redemption needs to come from the man who hates him most.

This book was previously published as The Gathering.

Excerpt

The mercenary tightened his fingers around Hadrian’s wrist in response. For a brief instant Hadrian was transported back in time, when Caled held his arm this way because he was leading Hadrian back to the Bell and Buckle for a midday roll and they were trying to be discreet while excitement quickening their pulses. The memory was so sharp and the ache it caused so painful that Hadrian let out a whimper of longing before he could stop himself.

Caled turned his head at the sound, his glorious blue eyes still full of a hate that seemed to age him. But there was something else which lurked in those sapphire depths, something…

“Please,” Hadrian said, the word holding a thousand meanings―it was up to Caled to decide which interpretation to take. “Please.”

Caled had brought them to a mudroom off the main entrance that afforded some privacy. In the semi-darkness, surrounded by hanging cloaks and furs, Caled released Hadrian’s arm and turned around. He herded Hadrian back against the nearest wall, Hadrian clumsily moving his feet out of the way to avoid being stepped on.

“It’s too late for that,” Caled told him grimly. “It’s too late for pleas, for forgiveness. It’s too late, Hadrian.”

Hadrian found himself pressed into the scratchy fabric of wool cloaks. Damp mud on their hems brushed the backs of his bare calves, making him shiver at the cold. But if he needed heat, all he needed to do was look into Caled’s eyes.

“I understand you’re going to kill me,” Hadrian began, his voice stronger than he expected. “I deserve your justice.” The lines around Caled’s eyes deepened. “But I want you to know, Caled. I want you to know―it wasn’t a deception. What we shared―it was real. It was real for me.”

About the Author

Tricia Owens has been writing m/m fiction since 2000, after stumbling onto the term ‘slash’ and thinking it referred to horror stories. She is the author of the Sin City, A Pirate’s Life for Me, and Juxtapose City series, among several others. She lives in Las Vegas.

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Release Blitz: “Tainted Love” by T. S. Hunter. Rafflecopter Giveaway Included! See entry form below:

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Tainted Love (Soho Noir #1)

Author: T.S. Hunter

Publisher: Red Dog Press

Cover Artist: Red Dog Press

Release Date: April 18, 2019

Genre/s: Cozy Crime, Noir, Novella, Amateur Sleuths

Trope/s: Historical discrimination, burgeoning gay scene in London in the 80s, friendship among queers, solidarity, community.

Themes: 1980s murder mystery, coming together, coming out, discrimination.

Heat Rating: 1 flame – It’s all murder and crime solving, though there is a love interest.

Length: 125 pages

It is a standalone story. The first of a series of 6.

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Direct from publisher

Some relationships are just murder

Blurb

It’s 1985, and Joe Stone is excited to be joining his old school friend, and lifelong crush, Chris, for a long weekend in London’s Soho—home to a vibrant, developing gay scene, and a million miles from the small town Joe and Chris grew up in.

When Chris is found brutally murdered, the police write his death off as another rent boy fallen foul of a bad hook up. But Joe knows his best friend was killed deliberately, and joins forces with former police detective, Russell Dixon—Chris’s flatmate—to find out why.

Spiralling debt, illicit sex, blackmail, spurned lovers and hard-nosed gangsters all play their part, but who among the celebrities, fashionistas, drag queens, ex-lovers and so-called friends is Chris’s killer?

A noirish whodunit set in 1980s London, with all the big hair, electro-pop, shoulder pads, police discrimination and lethal killers that the era had to offer.

Tainted Love is the first book in the Soho Noir series of cozy crime novellas.

About the series

The Soho Noir series is set in the decade of big hair, shoulder pads, pastel suits and bright, cheesy pop, in a part of London which, on the surface at least, seemed to accept and adore people from all walks of life—a melting pot of gender, sexuality, colour and race, where celebrities rubbed up against the average Joe in cafes, bars and hair salons on every street.

But the 1980s had a darker underbelly, even in Soho. This was a time when gay rights were hard fought, where the police actively targeted gay men as easy victims for arrest and extortion, the government deliberately restricted gay rights and the tabloids screamed about The Gay Plague—the AIDS epidemic. And yet, gay icons who would go on to endure lasting fame and success were springing up all over the pop and fashion world.

The 1980s forms a strangely fitting, sometimes nostalgic, always entertaining backdrop to this colourful series of cozy crime stories.

Noirish, sexy and delicious.

Excerpt

Chapter 1

SOHO, LONDON. 1985.

THE DANK WINTERY STREETS outside were a distant memory now. Tonight, this hot, sweaty, neon-lit club was Joe’s whole universe. Music pulsed through his body like a brand new heartbeat. London was already changing him.

Sweat sticking his T-shirt to his ribs, arms raised high above his head, grinning wildly, hips pumping to Frankie’s repetitive calls to “Relax”. Joe hardly recognised himself and he was happier than he’d ever been.

It had been a night of Bronski Beat, Sister Sledge, Culture Club and Madonna—the kind of upbeat pop Joe usually hated. He was into more brooding, melancholic stuff—miserable shite, according to his friend Chris—and yet these pulsing, happy beats felt like they defined him right now. The new him. His new start.

This whole weekend had been like none Joe had ever known. He’d always been the quiet one, never even daring to come down to London on his own. Not confident enough to admit who he really was. This year was different already.

His oldest friend from school, Chris Sexton, had called him out of the blue to invite Joe to join him in London for a long weekend. A friend is having a party, he’d said. It’s going to be wild. You should come.

Chris had been the only person Joe had stayed in touch with from his school days. His first and only love, though he knew that particular accolade was one-sided, and Joe had long since given up hope of anything happening between them, even if he was still—and always would be—a little besotted with Chris.

Chris wasn’t the kind of guy who went around falling in love, though. Handsome, confident, reckless, funny and the bravest man Joe knew—Chris had left a trail of broken hearts behind him of those who’d fallen for him before they realised he’d never settle down.

So Joe and Chris had stayed friends, meeting up less frequently now that they had both left their respective universities, and Joe had secured a boring but well paid job with the council back in their old home town.

Chris, on the other hand, had moved to London seven years ago to study Fashion at St Martin’s College. Two fingers up to his father, who’d wanted him to join the family accountancy firm. Maybe he’d go back to it, when he’d settled down a bit. Though there was no sign of that happening any time soon.

After college, Chris had hooked himself up in a partnership with a couple of other young designers, and had been making a name for himself on the fashion scene ever since.

He was renting a flat in the heart of Soho and seemed to have a wide circle of friends of all shapes and ages. Joe wished he had Chris’s life. Or his talent. Or his looks. Any one of those would do.

Joe laughed as his friend bounced across the floor in a series of typically ostentatious dance moves, deliberately bumping into a tall, skinny, blonde guy—exactly Chris’s type—and planting a sly kiss on his cheek before sashaying away again. Oh, for that confidence.

Joe hadn’t even come out to his family yet. In fact, Chris was the only person he’d ever confided in, though he was sure others knew.

His oldest sister suspected. She’d asked him outright once, but he’d just changed the subject. It was none of her business. She was like the mirror of their mother. She wouldn’t understand. She would just worry.

All of that felt a lifetime away right now. Here in this club, Joe had found his spiritual home. This was living. This was who he really was. “Like a Virgin” by Madonna blasting out of the speakers, bodies bouncing and writhing together, very few of them remotely like a virgin.

About the Author

Claiming to be only half-Welsh, T.S. Hunter lived in South Wales for much of his latter teens, moving to London as soon as confidence and finances allowed. He never looked back.

He has variously been a teacher, a cocktail waiter, a podium dancer and a removal man, but his passion for writing has been the only constant.

He’s a confident and engaging speaker and guest, who is as passionate about writing and storytelling as he is about promoting mainstream LGBT fiction.

He now lives with his husband in the country, and is active on social media as @TSHunter5.

Author Links

Blog/Website

Facebook

Twitter: Red Dog or TS Hunter

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Release Blitz: “Indulge Me” by Beth Bolden. $25.00 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway Included! See entry form below:


RELEASE BLITZ


Book Title: Indulge Me (Kitchen Gods #4)

Author: Beth Bolden

Publisher: Beth Bolden Books

Cover Artist: AngstyG LLC

Genre/s: Contemporary MM Romance

Heat Rating: 4 flames 

Length: approx 80 000 words

It is a standalone story.




Buy Links - Available on Kindle Unlimited






Blurb

Throughout the restaurant industry, Chef Bastian Aquino is a notorious control freak. For two very long years, Kian Reynolds has worked for Bastian as his special assistant, doing whatever he and his restaurant needs. The toughest part isn’t even all the impossible tasks he expects Kian to complete flawlessly—it’s the hopeless, endless love he feels for his older boss.

Falling for someone so far above him might be agonizing, but at least his feelings aren’t unrequited. Bastian fell in love right alongside him, but at the very beginning, they made the choice to abstain for logical, smart, professional reasons.

But love isn’t logical, it isn’t smart, and it definitely isn’t professional. It defies containment, even by Bastian. While he watches Bastian struggle with their attraction, Kian finally comes to the conclusion that he’s done.

He’s done standing off the side, done not getting any of the credit, done letting Bastian define the boundaries of their relationship. Most of all, he’s done waiting.


Excerpt

“I’m sorry,” Bastian said quietly. “I’m sorry I gave Xander the sous job, not when you deserved it.”

Kian had been dying for this apology for six months, but even the tender, apologetic look Bastian swiftly shot him wasn’t enough.

He wanted more. He wanted Xander’s old job. He wanted more than just the fleeting touch of Bastian’s fingers on his cheek. He wanted another kiss. He wanted even more than that.

It didn’t matter that it was dangerous or that Bastian had said it was impossible. It didn’t even matter that a part of Kian believed he was right, because there was another part of him that was actively rebelling. That part wanted more, and was not going to be placated with less.

“And you’re still going to try to convince him to come back?” Kian said incredulously. He didn’t need Xander back; they both knew it. Bastian could promote Kian and the kitchen would probably run better, not worse.

But Bastian couldn’t have looked more surprised than if Kian had been the one to walk out in the middle of prep.

“I don’t think you understand,” Bastian began, and Kian knew him well enough, knew his mental gymnastics well enough by this point that he knew exactly what he was going to say. I don’t apologize to anyone, and I’m apologizing to you. You’re special, you’re important, and you need to stay exactly where I’ve put you.

Kian had liked that place, but even at the beginning, it hadn’t quite felt like enough, and by now, two years in, Kian was tired of it and bored.

“I understand,” Kian cut him off. “More than you realize.”

Bastian’s hand dropped to his side and he flexed it, like he was trying to forget the way Kian’s skin had felt under his fingertips. Even if he never forgot, it wouldn’t be enough. Kian wanted to weasel his way under his skin, until there was nothing else between them. Until Kian didn’t know where he stopped and Bastian began. He loved him. Why had he ever thought this sort of half-relationship would ever be enough?

“I guess you do,” Bastian said slowly.

“I need to check on the soup,” Kian said and walked away.

He wanted to be shocked and incredulous that in one breath, Bastian would tell him that Kian should have had the job that was Xander’s and in the next, tell him he was getting Xander back. But the truth was, Kian wasn’t, at all.

He’d known the person Bastian was for a long time now, and he’d loved him anyway. Believing that his mother’s advice was solid, he’d loved the good and the bad parts of him, and that wasn’t going to change, at least not anytime soon. But he was done tolerating Bastian’s shit and he was done giving in.

Most of all, Kian was done being jealous of Luc for having things he never would.




About the Author 

A lifelong Oregonian, Beth Boldenhas just recently moved to North Carolina with her supportive husband. She still believes in Keeping Portland Weird, and intends to start a chapter of Keeping Durham Weird.

Beth has been writing practically since she learned the alphabet. Unfortunately, her first foray into novel writing, titled Big Bear with Sparkly Earrings, wasn’t a bestseller, but hope springs eternal. She’s published eleven novels and four short stories, with Indulge Me, the last book of the Kitchen Gods series, releasing in spring 2019.


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Release Blitz: “Outshined” by Clancy Nacht & Thursday Euclid.



RELEASE BLITZ


Book Title: Outshined

Author: Clancy Nacht & Thursday Euclid

Publisher: Eine Kleine Press

Cover Artist: Thursday Euclid

Release Date: April 16, 2019

Genre/s: 90s (late 20th century) M/M Romance

Trope/s: figuring out he’s gay

Themes: Mental illness, first love

Heat Rating: 3-4 flames 

Length: 79 000 words/ 266 pages



Buy Links - Available on Kindle Unlimited



 


Blurb

Fall 1993.

Well, it isn't his Plan A...

At his surgeon father's insistence, premed bad boy Cameron Lord transfers from the massive University of Texas to tiny Tall Thicket State University in small-town East Texas. After the scandal of seducing the dean’s son during their sophomore year in Austin and being diagnosed with bipolar disorder, Cameron needs a fresh start. Dr. Lord insists Cameron's lucky any school still wants him, but Cameron's more concerned with whether a certain gorgeous blond undergrad is interested.

After spotting Tim Sullivan through the plate glass window of Big Cheeser's Pizza, Cameron can't resist the opportunity to apply for a job there. Angelically handsome, Tim's also frontman for popular local cover band the Angry Goats, proving there's more to him than polo shirts and shy smiles. When Tim reveals he's on Prozac for severe depression, Cameron's convinced they understand each other. But with Tim's evangelical upbringing, the terror of the AIDS epidemic, and the casual homophobia of Tim's bandmate, will virgin Tim be brave enough to acknowledge his growing interest in worldly, reckless Cameron?



Excerpt

Tall Thicket, Texas. Home to Tall Thicket State and Woodpeckers football, for those who even fucking cared. Texans or not, most Thicketers knew the Woodpeckers sucked. No one with any talent came to East Texas to play ball, and honestly, the student body didn’t care. In 1993, they had other things on their minds.

Cameron Lord definitely did. Transferring junior year from the massive University of Texas hadn’t been his Plan A, but after the way he fucked up sophomore year in Austin, well, he needed a fresh start. His dad insisted he was lucky Tall Thicket wanted him, and Cameron had argued enough with his dad recently.

Besides, TTSU had a great psych department. So that worked out, probably. When Cameron had graduated high school near the top of his class, everyone figured he’d become a surgeon like his dad, but now...

Well. Fuck it. Just, fuck it, right? Psychologist was close enough, and it’d be less pressure, and he kind of knew about the field firsthand now.

What seemed entirely unfair, honestly, was that despite how much money Cameron’s dad was saving by sending him here, he expected Cameron to hold down a part-time job. On one hand, that was great. Cameron liked his independence, and he hated his dad, so not having to ask him for much suited him fine. On the other hand, if these meds didn’t pan out...

Ha.

If these meds didn’t pan out, Cameron would be losing a lot more than a part-time job. Like, oh, his mind?

After two months on them, he felt different. Not better, just different. More detached. Less moved by emotions. That was probably okay, but Cameron couldn’t tell otherwise.

Living off-campus would be nice, at least, right? He’d been in the dorms his two years at UT; at least now he had some space. His therapist, Lynette, had suggested to Dr. Lord that Cameron have somewhere to get away from over-stimulating social situations, so while he still had a roommate, he had his own bedroom with a lock on the door.

Of course, she’d also suggested he walk everywhere because he maybe shouldn’t drive on his current chemical cocktail, but Cameron refused to give up his chopper. He and his dad had built matching ones together when he was sixteen, and it was all he really had left of that part of his life, now he’d blown up their relationship. At least he still had a cool ride.

For all the good it would do him.

His apartment was a stone’s throw from campus, and walking would’ve been easier than driving a bike in the January-molasses kind of traffic moving across the sprawling grounds. By the time he’d done orientation, gotten his books, and settled in, he was convinced he should have bought sensible walking shoes instead of his heavy Doc Martens.

His dad was always telling him to choose substance over style, but what about when style had the most substance? Sometimes form followed function. Wasn’t that better than ugly practicality?

Which seemed to prove Cameron wasn’t cut out for a surgeon’s job. Psychology seemed like a better fit, personal understanding of mental illness aside.

To emphasize the point, Cameron had observed Tall Thicket was home to some improbably good-looking student bodies. The boy who’d been ahead of him at the bookstore had stolen his breath for a good ten seconds and left him light-headed. A girl who sat beside him at orientation had flustered him until he dropped his pencil. Overall, it was a pretty, pretty school—spectacularly landscaped grounds notwithstanding.

Too bad the meds he was on kind of killed his sex drive, along with numbing any other excitement he might feel. Some would argue that was for the best.

With classes starting next week, there was little for Cameron to do with his weekend besides hunker down and settle in, familiarize himself with the town. It wasn’t as dinky as the one-stoplight towns around these parts, but it was a lot smaller than Austin. He’d still been finding cool new spots there when he left. Here, a bike ride down the main drag would take him past just about everything that mattered.

Might as well get out there.

“Going out?” Mike, Cameron’s new roommate, asked as Cameron strode out his bedroom toward the front door.

Cameron grunted in Mike’s direction and shrugged. What did the guy want from him? They had to live together, and if Cameron had his way, that would mean a lot of ships-in-the-night action, not a buddy flick.

“Have fun.” Mike seemed untroubled by Cameron’s attitude and turned his attention back to his grainy recording of Seinfeld.

With two raised fingers, Cameron saluted briefly and headed out. Within moments he was pulling his long hair back into a low ponytail and settling a black helmet on his head. Then he was on his bike and pulling out of the parking lot, turning onto University and then blazing toward the four-lane highway with a roar. Within moments he’d left behind the landscaped campus for the endless rows of mom-and-pop shops intermingled with chain shops.

Clusters of students milled along the sidewalks and waited at corners to cross. Cameron watched them hungrily, the numbness inside growing teeth and gnawing at him. He longed for the belonging of kids hand-in-hand striding over the crosswalk at least as much as he despised it. Easier to dismiss it altogether, though.

Easier never to want what he couldn’t have. Better. Safer.

Lynette talked about comfort zones and stepping outside them, but Cameron wasn’t certain he could survive that much change all at once. Not right now.

Waiting at the stoplight, he caught a glimpse of golden hair through the plate glass window of a pizza place and his chest seized up. Was that bookshop guy?

Oh man, it was.

Bad idea, right? Such a bad idea. Cameron wasn’t hungry, and that guy was probably straight, and this was East Texas.

TheNOW HIRINGsign beckoned, and Cameron sighed and gave in. He had only so much willpower to get him through a day, and most of that was focused on basic human tasks like not driving into oncoming traffic and keeping his balls clean.

He eased across traffic and parked diagonally right in front. He wiped suddenly sweaty hands on his ripped jeans and plaid shirt and then hung his helmet from the ape-hangers.

So what if he was going to mix work and play a little?

So what if he was purposely attempting to get a job somewhere with a devastatingly attractive co-worker who’d fuck his head right up?

Self-destruction was in vogue. He’d wear it well. More to journal about, right?

Cameron wasn’t dressed for success, but what did it even matter? It wasn’t Wall Street. They probably weren’t picky, even if he could just hear his dad moaning over the situation.

Inside, the place was filled with customers. How had Cameron even spotted the golden boy from the road past all these people? Friday night dinner had to be prime time.

The blond man stood in front of the ovens, behind the counter. He held a metal spatula that he clanged against something metal above him before he shouted. “Bell, large supreme pie.”

He then slid a box on the counter in front of him. A woman, presumably Bell, joined the line at the cash register. The man squinted past the heat lamps into the lobby. Their eyes met and his brows rose briefly before he gave a quick nod and then spun around to retrieve another pizza out of the oven.

The place was slammed. As soon as one phone was answered, another rang. The woman answering the phones looked older than the rest of the staff, as if she was in charge. She handled putting people on hold with brutal efficiency, taking down orders on paper slips she stacked until someone came from the back to snatch them away, apparently to fulfill them.

For a second, Cameron considered backing out. Just turning around and walking out. He’d worked at the video store during high school, and Friday nights had been like this, but... Man, food service seemed like a whole other animal. Way more intense.

Though fewer shouting matches so far, at least.

As much as Cameron wanted to bail, the way the blond guy seemed to recognize him—had he, though, or was Cameron reading in?—galvanized him. He stood his ground, waited until he was at the counter, and then licked his lips, suddenly nervous. If he hadn’t been medicated, it would’ve been too much. As it was, he copped a swagger and grinned at the folks behind the counter.

“Saw y’all are hiring. Need help?”

“Oh, um.” The young lady at the front counter crouched down, shuffling papers. She pulled out a pad of job application forms with the company logo in the corner. Ripping one off, she handed it to him and gave him a wide, toothy smile. Her lashes fluttered over her pinkening cheeks. “Need a pen?”

The woman at the phones slung one on her shoulder as she leaned forward, squinting at Cameron. “Hey, kid, you eighteen?”

“Twenty,” Cameron countered with a smile he didn’t feel and a challenge he did. He took the application from the girl and held out his hand for a pen, although he had the sense the manager was inclined to skip to the part where she stopped being short-handed.

The metal clang rang out again as the blond man shouted another name and order. A box appeared on top of another. He paused, looking between Cameron and the manager, then whirled around to grab another pizza out.

“Can you start now? Wash a dish or fifty?” The woman smiled. There was a gap between her front teeth. Her hair was frizzy, probably with the heat and humidity. “Minimum wage, but all the pizza you can eat.”

The blond man dropped the pizza on the table, then ran a roller slicer through with lightning speed. His lithe muscles flexed under the fitted golf shirt. It was probably just the heat that made his cheeks rosy. Or was it?

“Yeah, sure, I can wash dishes tonight. I need a uniform for that?” Cameron tried his best not to stare at the hot boy, especially not in front of potential colleagues. What was he even doing?

Why was he doing this to himself?

He’d never even washed dishes, except at home. The video store had been more with the Be-Kind-Rewind and less with the suds.

“Nah, but you’ll want an apron. Tim, you got an extra apron back there for our new hire?” She glanced over at the blond guy who gave a quick nod before shouting another name.

He peeked into the back and then back to his boss. “Yeah, there’s one on the dough table. Might also need boxes later if this keeps up.”

“Shoot.” She grimaced but set the phone on the stand and then threw open the door to the right of the counter. “Well, you’re hired, um… What’s your name?”

“Cameron.” He stepped through the counter door and sized up the other employees. At least his dad couldn’t ride his ass about this now. He met the manager’s gaze and shrugged one shoulder. “Thanks, um...?”

“Nina. Cameron, great name. Don’t think you’ll need a hat for dishes, but we’ll get you one of those, and the shirt and apron. Pants are just plain black. Docs are good; anything with support will do for shoes.” She started toward the back, giving the phones a swift glance. “I’ll just show you the back quick.”

She pointed at the blond guy. “That’s Tim. At the counter is Lisa.”

She walked back to behind the ovens where a harried looking young lady was frantically making pizzas. “This is Heather. Heather, Cameron. He’s going to do dishes.”

Heather looked at Cameron briefly, went back to her pizzas and then looked back again, eyes roving more slowly. “Cool.”

There was a man facing the back wall shoving dough into a machine. It came out oblong. He ran it through again and the dough was round.

Nina scooted past him. “That’s John.”

John turned. His eyes were bloodshot like he’d been smoking not too long ago, but he seemed to be working industriously. “Great, someone else to suck up hours.”

Nina rolled her eyes. “He’s real fun.” She showed Cameron the bathroom, then the walk-in fridge, then around to the sink. Beside it stood a pile of pizza pans almost as tall as he was.

There was a clank from the front and Cameron caught a glimpse of Tim dropping another pan in a growing stack. He gave Cameron a brief smile and gestured with the metal spatula at a table against the wall where an apron lay. “There’s a dishwasher apron in the bathroom that’s more heavy duty. Just gets hot. Up to you. It’s clean.”

“Hot enough already. Thanks.” Cameron shot Tim a look, half-searching and half-bitter. He already kind of hated him. Tim. What a fucking wholesome sounding name. He was probably a real nice boy.

If Cameron had learned anything, it was to mistrust nice boys. You thought they were your friend. That you could trust them. Be real.

Then they freaked out on you and threw you to the wolves.

Turning his back on Tim, Cameron beelined for the apron and pulled it on before rolling up his sleeves and remaking his ponytail at the base of his neck to keep the wild, wavy strands under control.

“Great. Ask Tim if you’ve got questions. Soap’s up top. Sprayer powers out most everything. Don’t burn yourself. Gotta get back to the phones.” Nina flashed him a smile as she patted his shoulder. “Get you to fill out the paperwork later so we can get you paid. I’ll show you the time cards too.”

If Tim was offended by the cold shouldering, he was too busy to show it. He turned to the ovens and got back to work. A radio played the college radio station. It wasn’t loud enough to be heard in the lobby; it was barely loud enough for Cameron to hear over the sprayer.

What he could hear was the rhythmic clank of metal on metal when Tim pulled out a pizza, signaled he was calling a name, and the thump of another pan dropping into the pile. He could also hear Tim calling a name pretty clearly, which was surprising, given how loud everything was. Pretty good projection. Probably a jerk.

Jerk with a good voice though. Strong. Clear.

Cameron couldn’t help being a little intrigued, especially when he glanced over at every call to see Tim moving nimbly around his station, his muscles stretching and bunching under his uniform shirt. He looked way better in it than he had any right to.



About the Authors

Clancy Nacht

Clancy Nacht is a bisexual genderqueer person who lives in Austin. Clancy has published several bestselling romances. Many of her books have been honored with Rainbow Awards; Le Jazz Hot won for Best Bisexual/Transgender Romance & Erotic Romance. In 2013, Black Gold: Double Black was a runner-up for a Rainbow Award. In 2015, Gemini won an Honorable Mention for Gay Erotic Romance and in 2016, Strange Times won an Honorable Mention for Science Fiction. Wyatt’s Recipes for Wooing Rock Stars was a finalist in the highly competitive William Neale Award for Best Gay Contemporary Romance. The Phisher King won second place in the Rainbow Award for Romantic Suspense, 16th for Gay Book of the Year.

Thursday Euclid

The Thursday Euclid is a strange and elusive creature dwelling in the Texas Gulf Coast region. Frequently mistaken for Bigfoot, Chupacabra, or the monster of the week, he is, in fact, a 30-something black sheep with a penchant for K-pop, geekery, and hot and sour soup. When he’s not playing Dragon Age or SWTOR, he’s probably watching B-movies or talking to his best friend and frequent collaborator Clancy Nacht. You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, or email him at thursdayeuclid at gmail dot com.

 

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Release Blitz: “Ace in the Picture” by Jude Tresswell

 
 
RELEASE BLITZ
 
 
Book Title: Ace in the Picture
 
Author: Jude Tresswell
 
Publisher: Rowanvale Books
 
Cover Artist: Billie Hastie
 
Genre/s: contemporary M/M/M/M, crime/mystery
 
Heat Rating: 2 flames
 
Length: 63 000 words/ 251 pages (paperback format)
 
It can be read as a standalone, but is also the third book featuring the County Durham quad
 
Release Date: March 31, 2019 
 

 

 

 

An art fraud, a polyamorous suspect, an asexual detective…

Blurb

Polyamory and asexuality meet in this third tale about a north-east England quad.

The police suspect Raith Balan of faking a painting. So do money-launderers who sink profits into art. Mike, Ross and Phil, the three men in Raith’s life, must prove his innocence. They’re hampered by their certainty that a member of the Fraud Squad is corrupt.

The senior investigating officer is Detective Sergeant Nick Seabrooke. He knows he is asexual, but is he aromantic too? As Raith’s lovers struggle to keep Raith safe and find the fraudster, the sergeant struggles to understand why the quad is often in his thoughts.

Excerpt

Chapter 1

Raith stood in the kitchen in front of the calendar. His gaze shifted from the naked figure depicted on ‘October’ to the highlighted ‘Thursday 12th’ and back again. He pressed a fingertip to his lips, transferred a kiss to the mid-point of the figure’s shoulder blades and ran his finger down the spine—Mike Angells’ spine.

The real-life Mike walked into the room and filled the kettle.

“What are you admirin’?” he asked. “The model or the artist?”

Raith was the artist. “The artist,” he replied. “He’s classy. The model’s okay, I suppose.”

“Cheeky!” Mike admonished.

Changing the subject, Raith asked, “You know what day it is in two days’ time, don’t you?”

“In two days? Well, let’s see… difficult one… It must be Thursday. Aye, that’s right. It was Monday yesterday, so—”

“Stop teasing me! Do you think he’s forgotten?”

‘He’ was Phil Roberts, the man Raith had married 364days earlier.

“Don’t be daft. Of course not. You know Phil. His middle name’s ‘No fuss’.”

“That’s two names.”

“And that’s two cups of coffee. One for you. One for me,” said Mike, handing over a mug.

“None for me?” asked a third man who, yawning, had entered the kitchen. He hugged the two men already there.

“Sorry, Ross,” Mike apologised. “I didn’t make you one. I thought you were still asleep.”

“No. Just dozy,” said Ross sleepily. “I heard Phil’s car. Is it an emergency, Raith?”

“Not exactly,” Raith replied. “He went in early to cover for a colleague.”

Phil had helped to pioneer a form of rectal surgery that used nanocarbon patches to reconstruct torn tissue. He was a respected consultant at the hospital an hour’s drive away in Warbridge, County Durham.

“I’d better get sorted and get out myself,” said Ross. He was, amongst other things, a gallery proprietor in Gateshead, and his journey to work took longer than Phil’s. He yawned again.

“Are you feelin’ okay?” asked Mike, alert to Ross’s tone of voice. “It’s not like you to sound so unenthusiastic about work.” In fact, it wasn’t like Ross to sound unenthusiastic about anything. He was always lively—he personified keenness.

“I’m dead tired cos I didn’t sleep well. I had a strange text late on. You were already asleep. I don’t think you heard the phone buzz. Strange. Unsettling.”

“Oh?”

“How do you mean?” asked Raith. “We’re not going to get involved with more criminal activities, are we? I had enough of crime fighting last time!”

Even though Mike was no longer a detective with the Tees, Tyne and Wear Constabulary, the four of them were involved in a surprising amount of crime fighting. ‘Last time’ had involved an illegal immigrant, and the tensions that had arisen had threatened the survival of the quad.

That’s what they were: a gay, polyamorous quad. They lived in Tunhead, a hamlet in Weardale in the Durham hills. Once, Tunhead had rung to the sound of workers’ hammers hitting stone. In a way it still did: Ross had turned it into an arts centre full of smiths, sculptors and potters who wanted to escape the North East’s towns.

“Well, we’re not, are we?” Raith repeated.

“No.”

“Good. Well, my creations won’t create themselves. I’d better get off, too.”

In Raith’s case, ‘getting off’ simply meant walking twenty yards to his studio, a converted storehouse.

“You sure he hasn’t forgotten?” he asked Mike again before he left.

“I’m sure.”

“Okay then.”

“What’s that about?” asked Ross after Raith was gone.

“He’s bothered that Phil’s forgotten their anniversary.”

“He hasn’t.”

“I know he hasn’t. He’s takin’ him off on a trip sumwhere—but you know Raith. He needs everythin’ crystal clear and written in capital letters. And sumtimes, so do I. What was this message about?”

Ross pulled a face and explained. When he’d done so, Mike could understand his concern.

“He wouldn’t be so stupid, Ross… Would he?”

“Not stupid, Mike, but he’s gullible. He doesn’t always think. I just don’t know.”

***

The message stayed in Ross’s mind during the forty-mile drive to the gallery and he couldn’t forget about it once he was there. Some of Raith’s paintings hung on the gallery walls. They were mainly of Weardale’s waterfalls. After heavy rain, the falls transformed from gentle trickles into rushing, gushing powerful forces of nature that the four men knew could kill. They’d seen them kill.

Raith loved to paint the waterfalls. From a distance, his torrents looked alive. The effect was linked to his use of colour. Raith was a tetrachromat; he could see a host of hues in what, to most people, was a single shade. He painted for himself, though, not for fame or money—he had plenty of both, due to his skill with clay not brushes. Several of his wares were on show at the gallery, most tagged ‘sold’ with a price that would feed and clothe all four men for a long, long time. His sensually erotic sculptures, modelled on Mike and Phil, were always in demand and beautifully, lovingly executed. But today, Ross gave Raith’s erotica a miss. He stared, instead, at the waterfalls.

What might induce Raith to produce a piece of work “with intent to deceive”, as the legal phrase was?

That was what the worrying message had suggested. That Raith’s were the hands and eyes behind a painting that the police were interested in. They thought it was a fake. For the umpteenth time, Ross asked himself why?

Raith didn’t need fame and he didn’t need fortune, but did he need the challenge of outwitting the experts? Of copying another artist’s work so accurately that no one would notice the difference?

Surely not. Momentarily, Ross’s dark mood lifted. The only challenge Raith was likely to rise to was the one of finding ways to spice up the quad’s evening meals. Two nights ago, he’d ‘accidentally’ stumbled near the saucepan with a teaspoon of chilli flakes in his hand.

“Oh, look! They’ve fallen in,”he’d said apologetically.

Ross smiled when he thought about it, but anxiety soon returned. Could Raith be feeling resentment? Sometimes, that was the driving force behind a fraud. Failed artists whose work had been refused once too often. Failed artists who took I’ll show them!literally.

No. All Raith’s resentments were little ones that quickly blew over—feeling nagged for not doing his turn on the house-keeping rota, being yelled at for leaving clay-covered dirty washing on top of the pile of clean laundry. Raith took umbrage easily, but he’d be smiling again within the hour. And anyway, he wasn’t a failed artist. He was a very successful one.

He was a strange mixture though. That complexity was part of his attraction. It was part of what made him Raith. His skill was undeniable, but his mental health was fragile— ‘bloody unhinged’ was how Mike would describe Raith in less charitable moments. He could be unpredictable. He could be very violent. He had another side, though, and it was what Mike and Phil and Ross adored about him. Canny, clued up, an ex-con hard as nails… but at the toss of a coin, as loving, as sweet and as trusting as anyone they had ever met. Mike was as loving, and often as sweet, but trusting? No. Mike was ex-CID. It wasn’t in his nature to be trusting.

Which was why Mike was already making phone calls.

About the Author 

I’m not Nick Seabrooke, the ace in the picture, but there are some firsthand truths peeping through the fiction. Like Nick, I’m ace and happy with it, but also, like Nick, I’m wavery on that ro/aro line–and that can cause some soul-searching. If the picture painted in the story is a very narrow one, it’s because I didn’t want to stray too far from what I know. The quad, however, are totally imaginary.

I blog at https://polyallsorts.wordpress.com. There are posts about asexuality, polyamory, beer, tattoos, book covers, and many other story-related items. There are photos of the Durham countryside, the setting of the stories, too. I’m always happy to receive and respond to comments. Well, if they’re friendly ones!

 
 

 

 
 
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Release Blitz: “Trusting Him (The Retreat Book 2)” by L. M. Somerton.

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Book Title: Trusting Him (The Retreat #2)

Author: L M Somerton

Publisher: Pride Publishing

Release Date: April 9, 2019

Genre/s: Contemporary M/M BDSM

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length: 59 495 words

It is a standalone story within The Retreat series.

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Blurb

Luke Redding’s military background is an asset when it comes to managing The Retreat, but it hasn’t helped him find the submissive he longs for. A secluded life in the New Forest, witnessing a stream of happy couples playing out their fantasies, doesn’t provide much opportunity to develop a relationship either. When a friend’s manipulations lead to him taking on silver-haired Skye as a trainee sub, Luke finds it hard to trust in his own ability to provide the guidance Skye needs.

Skye Ingham wants to explore his submissive nature but the noise and crowds at The Underground are overwhelming. He can’t believe his luck to be taken under Luke’s wing and offered a job at The Retreat. As Luke tests his boundaries, Skye trusts him implicitly, but how can he convince his new Dominant to have faith in himself?

Amid the bustle and excitement of a big house party at The Retreat, Luke and Skye edge their way towards a deeper understanding of each other’s needs and desires. But it will take a final leap of faith to secure their future and open a path to love.

Excerpt

It wasn’t dignified, but Luke twisted around in his seat to take a look at his potential employee as he wound his way between the tables. He hadn’t formed an impression of what Skye might look like, but the reality was better than anything Luke’s imagination could have conjured. Skye was slight, delicate, maybe five feet six or seven, no more. His skin was lightly tan, a coloring that Luke guessed came from his heritage rather than the sun. He had no tattoos that Luke could see and considering that all he wore was a short leather kilt, that didn’t leave much room to hide any. The wavy hair Luke had assumed was pale blond was in fact silver-gray, though the boy’s eyelashes and brows were a much darker shade, which made Luke wonder if the silver was natural.

Skye stopped in front of the table facing Luke and Carey. He clasped his hands behind his back and ducked his head. “Gordy said you wanted to see me, Mr. Hoffman.” Skye’s voice was so soft Luke had to concentrate to catch his words.

“I did, Skye. You remember I spoke to you about a job at The Retreat in Hampshire?”

Nodding, Skye darted a quick look at Luke. Luke caught a glimpse of violet-blue eyes before Skye focused his gaze on the carpet once more.

“Well, this is Mr. Redding. He’s in charge of The Retreat. I want you to wait on us over lunchtime and show him what you can do.”

“Hello, Skye,” Luke said, keeping his voice low and trying to project reassurance. “I hear you’ve had excellent training. We have a mixture of guests staying at The Retreat, but they all have something in common. They love their food. We have a dedicated chef and customers can pick their own menus and eat as much as they want. That means a lot of serving both at table and in the guests’ rooms. Do you think you can handle that?”

Skye scuffed his bare toes into the carpet. “Yes, Sir.”

“And you understand that The Retreat caters for men who are in the BDSM lifestyle, just like here at the club?” Skye nodded and a light pink flush bloomed on his cheekbones. “Sometimes, you might be required to wear very little or nothing at all. Does that worry you?”

“No, Sir.” Skye’s response was barely audible.

Luke wanted to make eye contact with the shy young man but Skye kept his gaze lowered.

“Remove your kilt, Skye,” Carey ordered.

Luke tightened his grip on his drink. He expected Skye to bolt but instead he undid the buckle at his hip, let the leather garment drop to the floor then stepped out of it.

“Hands behind your back,” Carey instructed.

Luke glanced around the restaurant. Almost every man in the place had turned to watch. Skye stood absolutely still, clad only in the mesh thong that was issued to all the serving staff at The Underground to wear under their kilts.

“Fetch two menus, please.”

Luke watched, entranced, as Skye walked away, hips swaying. He might as well have been naked for all the coverage his underwear gave him. He had natural grace and if it weren’t for the slight tension in his shoulders, Luke might have believed he was entirely comfortable following Carey’s orders.

“You’re testing him. Why?” Luke didn’t take his eyes away from Skye as he collected two menus and returned to the table.

“Because you need to be confident that he will do as you ask, when he’d prefer to run and hide.”

“He’s attracting a lot of attention.”

“Are you surprised?”

“Not at all. He’s stunning.”

Carey’s smile turned into a smirk. “Then you can handle him from now on.”

About the Author

LM lives in a small village in the English countryside, surrounded by rolling hills, cows and sheep. She started writing to fill time between jobs and is now firmly and unashamedly addicted.

She loves the English weather, especially the rain, and adores a thunderstorm. She loves good food, warm company and a crackling fire. She’s fascinated by the psychology of relationships, especially between men, and her stories contain some subtle (and some not so subtle) leanings towards BDSM.

LM is winner of the National Leather Association’s Pauline Reage Award for best novel and the 2016 and 2018 Golden Flogger Awards for best BDSM novel in the LGBT category. She has received multiple Honorable Mentions in the Rainbow Awards and won the Action and Adventure category of Divine Magazine’s Book Awards.

You can track her down online here:

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Release Blitz: “Cameron & Rylan” by Valerie Ullmer. $25.00 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway Included!

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Book Title: Cameron & Rylan (A Chance Meeting Novel Book One)

Author: Valerie Ullmer

Publisher: Self-Published

Cover Artist: Valerie Ullmer

Genre/s: Contemporary Gay Romance

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length: 66 000 words

Release Date: March 26, 2019

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  Blurb Cameron Hayes believed himself to be a dedicated friend and a good son but destined to be alone. Because in his twenty-one years, he’d never fallen for anyone. Dating never appealed to him when he would rather spend a night at home. Despite his friend’s best intentions for Cameron to find a hookup for the night, he stayed at the bar as he nursed a beer. And that’s when Cameron spotted him and everything he knew evaporated with one look. Rylan Ellis wanted one night out without complications. To forget about his overwhelming responsibilities and stress at home. He loved to lose himself in the music and ignore everyone around him. But when he happened a glance at the bar and spotted the tall, broad, and sexy-as-sin man, he felt drawn to him. Soon, Cameron and Rylan learn about each other and establish their lives together. They also have to deal with a group of well-meaning friends, loving parents, and unexpected friendships. But most of all, a dangerous threat that could tear their lives apart. Will a chance meeting turn into something more?   This novel contains heavy attraction at first sight and first-time gay sex between two men. There is no cheating or cliffhangers and ends with a happily ever after. *Contains a brief mention of a prior sexual assault and violence in later scenes.   Excerpt #1 This wasn’t his scene. Along with the loud music came the dancing bodies, sharp and piercing howls of laughter, but most of all the flirting. He’d known what the night held when his friends insisted on going out and despite his hesitation, Cameron had agreed. He wouldn’t say he was lonely since he was the one who quit the football team the year before and secluded himself using any excuse he thought of to avoid social interactions. But from time to time, he missed his friends. The music blared from the various speakers around the crowded club, but it had a good beat as it blended from one track to another. He nodded toward the bartender as he handed him a new beer before he turned toward the crowd, scanning the dance floor. Cameron didn’t hold in a laugh as he spotted Tim, one of his best friends, dance up to a girl with a huge smile on his face. When she rolled her eyes, he reversed the other way with a friendly a wave. That was Tim. He let nothing get to him, even such an obvious rejection. Unlike his friends, Cameron had no interest in finding a date for the night. But he watched his friends as they maneuvered around the bar amongst the gyrating bodies having a great time. As his gaze landed on Aaron, who had a blonde wrapped around him as they swayed back and forth, a small hand landed on his chest before a compact body pressed up to his side. Cameron blinked down at the beautiful woman who smiled at him. Her eyes traveled over him, down and back up again, unable to keep her predatory gaze from his body. Cameron sighed. She wasn’t the first person who thought he was available for a good time, but she was the first to touch him without permission. Attraction was fleeting. At this point in his life, Cameron had no desire to pursue a physical relationship with anyone. Temporary attachments made his skin crawl for a reason he never understood, and he knew as she spoke she wouldn’t be more than that. “Wanna head to my place? It’s quiet and we can talk.” “No, thanks.” He supposed people thought he was a typical jock, looking to score around every corner. Although he’d been told he was attractive, he knew attraction was subjective. His six foot three height, wide shoulders, and lean muscles resulted from years of conditioning and training. His parents gifted him with great genes, his light brown hair, and hazel eyes completed the package. But for him, he wanted something substantial. #2 “Would you like to dance, Cameron?” He couldn’t help his pause at the question. “I would love to, but I’ve never had a lot of rhythm and I’ll trample you.” Rylan laughed and Cameron liked the scratchy, tinkling sound. He gifted him with something precious and rare because Cameron smiled as he realized Rylan’s laugh matched his soft, masculine voice. “Don’t worry. I’ve got you.” Rylan slid his hand into Cameron’s bigger one and he allowed Rylan to pull him onto the dance floor. As the other man led the way, Cameron’s gaze roamed over Rylan’s form. He loved how his hair, even when damp from the exertion of dancing, looked soft. He wanted to run his hands through it to see if it was as downy as it looked. The blond of Rylan’s hair was a little darker than his own, but it brought out the color in his eyes. Rylan’s skin shimmered under the lights and Cameron had the strong urge to lean down and lick a swath along his delectable neck, tasting him. Because of his thoughts, he flushed when Rylan turned back to him and moved his hands to Cameron’s hips. “Close your eyes.” Cameron, trusting this man he’d met, he complied with his request. Cut off from one of his senses, sensations thrummed through him when Rylan tapped out a beat with his fingers against his waist. He’d somehow burrowed his hand underneath his tee and Cameron could the pads of his fingers on his bare skin. “Are you paying attention?” Rylan laughed when Cameron’s head jerked up and caught his gaze.    

About the Author

Valerie writes romances.

Contemporary, Paranormal, Erotic, and Gay.

She lives in Denver, Colorado with her wonderfully supportive husband and their funny and wise black lab, Maddie. Valerie is addicted to coffee, crime shows, and reading and writing character-driven romances.

As a voracious reader, she’s believes that all writers are rock stars, and she hopes that people enjoy her stories as much as she loves the romance novels she’s devoured over the years!

 

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Release Blitz: “Rewind” by Rowan Shaw. Rafflecopter Giveaway Included!

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Book Title: Rewind

Author: Rowan Shaw

Publisher: Self-published

Cover Artist: Molly Phipps

Genre/s: MM Romance

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length: 73 350 words/ 343 pages

Release Date: March 18th, 2019

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Tagline Were Enzo and Florian truly meant to get a second chance or were they doomed from the start? Blurb The day Enzo Chevalier lost his hearing, everything changed. Forced to rebuild his future and fight for his dreams, Enzo refused to let anything take him down…until the man of his life walked out on him and shattered his heart. Florian Beaudry had his whole life figured out. His business was flourishing and everything was settling down at last. Or so he believed…until he walked in on his girlfriend and best friend. Still on the rebound and unable to trust another man, Enzo never expected a chance encounter with Florian. The one person he thought he would never see again. The one person he missed the most. Were they truly meant to get a second chance or were they doomed from the start? REWIND is an MM romance novel set entirely in France. Though part of a series, it is a standalone story without a cliffhanger. Excerpt I stared at Enzo, unsure what to do or how to react. I hadn’t seen him in such a long time. When I smiled at him, the deep scar on his left cheek carved into his skin as he replied with a grin of his own, along with a shy wave. I gaped like a moron. He was even more breathtaking than he used to be, taller and stronger too. My eyes caught on the gorgeous male with his arm around Enzo’s shoulders. Something inside me sank. I could either be a coward and ignore Enzo, or I could be the bigger person and ask him to join me for a drink—even if that meant watching him flirt with that hot guy all evening. Enzo was staring back at me without moving, so I took that as my cue to beckon him forward. The man next to him raised a questioning eyebrow, but Enzo signed at him, explaining I was someone he used to know in high school. The guy crinkled his forehead and glared at me with eyes so green, I couldn’t help but stare. Even their hypnotizing tint wouldn’t soften the warning in his glower. Enzo chuckled at the guy’s reaction and grabbed his hand, leading him toward me. I had also forgotten how beautiful he was when he laughed. Even in my fondest memories, he had never looked as good as he did now. The scar on his face only heightened his splendor, especially since I knew what it represented. I tried hard not to gawk, but it felt so good to see him again and get confirmation he was well. Enzo kept smiling at me shyly, but before he could reach my level, the other guy stood in the way. “Florian, is that it?” he asked with a hint of hostility. “Yeah.” I held out my hand to shake his, but he snubbed me, leaning forward instead, blocking Enzo’s view. “I don’t remember Enzo telling me about any friends in high school. If anything, I only remember him talking about his bullies.” I clenched my teeth at the threat under his tone. “I’m not going to hurt him if that’s what you’re implying.”

About the Author

Rowan Shaw is a human being from Planet Earth (originally from the country of France). She’s also the queer author of Rewind, an MM romance series set entirely in her home country. Addicted to reading and writing, Rowan can usually be found with a book in her hands or sitting in front of her computer typing some kind of story while listening to music from the 80s.

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