NEW RELEASE: “Alexis vs. the Afterlife” by Marcus Alexander Hart

I discovered a new author, Marcus Alexander Hart, and this is his first book in the world of LGBT Fiction. This man is kind, charming, and above all, funny!

“Alexis vs. the Afterlife” is an urban fantasy comedy, which features a lesbian protagonist. 

AUTHOR BIO

Marcus Alexander Hart is a novelist, karaoke star, and default awesome dude. His credits include Disney Channel’s Wizards of Waverly Place and Disney XD’s Lab Rats. Marcus has been a roller-derby skater, a real-life quidditch player, and an undercover water-gun assassin. He once won a long-distance road rally driving a fake ice cream truck.

Follow his adventures at OldPalMarcus.com.

BLURB

Alexis McRiott is a foul-mouthed guitar goddess with a passion for hair-metal and groupies of the fairer sex. You’d never recognize this strung-out Hollywood dirtbag as the squeaky-clean kid wizard she used to play on TV.

And that suits her just fine.

But when Alexis is killed in a freak accident, her sitcom past comes back to haunt her. On her first day as a ghost she destroys a rampaging poltergeist using a hex from her old show that, for some reason, actually works.

Impressed by her powers, a deceased medieval prince tries to recruit Alexis in his crusade against otherworldly evil, but she refuses to be his clichéd “chosen one” magical heroine. That is, until she meets his sister-in-arms—a smokin’ hot Chinese railroad worker duty-bound to protect the living from supernatural threats.

Pursued by soul-collecting reapers, this motley crew must stop a paranormal apocalypse that Alexis might have been kinda, sorta, completely responsible for unleashing. But can two dead lesbians and a seven-hundred-year-old tween save the world with sitcom magic?

They don’t stand a ghost of a chance.

 

EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT

I slouch on a stool at the end of a dive bar, feeding a sticky tumbler of peach schnapps to tomorrow’s hangover. Lucky for me, nobody ever cards in this part of Hollywood. Or maybe I just look more burned out than any nineteen-year-old girl has a right to be.

A twee pop duo are ukulele-and-tambourining their way through their set on a stage behind me. The assembled drunks try their best to tune them out, but the singer’s piercing warble refuses to be ignored. Six acts are performing here tonight, each of us getting twenty-five bucks to show off our talents. Most are being grossly overpaid.

I shoot the rest of my drink and signal the bartender—a rough-edged minx with a shirt cut so low it could double as a tip jar. She shakes her head as she refills my glass. “You might wanna cut back a little, chica. Your bar tab is about to eclipse your gig payment.”

I shrug. “Eh. No money, no problems.”

She raises a pierced eyebrow. “Tell you what, how ’bout I hold onto a few bucks and grab a little something special for you?”

My heart races at her wry smile. Is she . . . flirting? Holy shit, she’s flirting! I sit up straighter and smile back. “A gift, eh? What do you have in mind?”

“Some deodorant. Girl, you smell rough.”

Not flirting. Definitely not flirting. But she’s actually talking to me, so I go for broke. “Well, you know what they say: Girls who smell rough feel the best on your muff.”

The bartender shakes her head. “Hard pass. I’m not into the whole ‘vagrant chic’ thing. Or vaginas. Or, you know, you.” Wow, straight and vicious. I can really pick a winner. “Besides, you already have a girlfriend.”

She nods at the empty stool beside me.

“Um, what?”

“Your date. Alexis.”

“I, uh . . . what?”

She leans over and points at my guitar propped against the next barstool. It’s an abused old Strat-type thing I stole from a yard sale when I was a kid. A previous owner slathered it in crappy yellow house paint which I’ve spent the past decade covering with stickers—bands I like, banana labels, poison warnings I picked off bathroom cleansers. One night, after a deep and introspective heart-to-heart with a bottle of Baileys, I thought it would be a good idea to scratch my name into it with a screwdriver. You know, so nobody would steal it. Deep black gouges in the wood now scream “ALEXIS.”

“Oh! No. I’m Alexis,” I say. “Alexis McRiott.”

“Why does that name sound familiar?” She sucks a breath and snaps her fingers. “Wait! You’re Sierra Specter!”

Just hearing the name tenses my shoulders and tightens my jaw.

“Uh, no. I’m Alexis McRiott.” I slide my finger along the scrapes in my guitar. “Say it with me now. A-lex-is.”

The bartender hoots and gives her hands a sharp clap. “Oh man! I can’t believe it. Come on, you gotta say it for me. Give me a ‘sheerio bluzdink!’

Heat bristles through my scabby cheeks as I look away and pick at my guitar’s strings. Apparently it isn’t enough for her to just shoot me down and step on my heart. She has to take a big steamy dump on me too.

“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” I mutter.

“Yeah you do. Don’t lie. It was your catchphrase. You were that wizard kid on That’s My Boo.

I shrug. “Is that like, a TV show or something?”

“Ugh. Really? You gonna make me bring YouTube into this?”

She taps at her phone then holds the screen in front of my eyes, showing a video bootlegged off an old Whimsy Channel broadcast. Some kind of giant octopus-werewolf thing attacking a thirteen-year-old girl in a purple leather jacket. The kid throws out her hands and screams sheerio bluzdink, and the monster vanishes in a lavender flash.

The bartender holds the phone up next to my face. “The eyes are a dead giveaway. Purple? Come on. That’s you.”

I sigh. There’s no denying it. The kid on the screen and I have the same purple eyes. But besides that, I look nothing like her anymore. Her hair is in perfect blonde ringlets. Mine looks like it’s been used to mop up a gas station bathroom and then stuck out a car window to dry. Her round face is flawlessly camera-ready. My gaunt features are pitted with zits and acne scars. And I’ve long since traded that purple leather jacket for a few regrettable tattoos.

I shove her phone out of my face. “Fine. You got me. In a past life, one million years ago, I used to play a sorceress on a dumb kiddie sitcom. Does that earn me a free drink?”

“Uh, no. I think a big TV star can afford her own drinks. I bet those big Whimsy paychecks got you set up for life down in Malibu. Am I right? Or are you a Beverly Hills gutter punk?”

“Surfridge, actually.”

“Never heard of it. Westside?”

I sip my drink and nod. “It’s a very exclusive community.”

On stage, the twee boy solos on a vintage kazoo while the girl yodels like she doesn’t care if anyone’s listening. The bartender winces and scratches a note on a clipboard.

“Ugh. Jimmy & Sprinkles are officially on my blacklist.” She reaches for the TV hanging over the bar and mashes her thumb on the volume-up button in an attempt to drown them out.

“—unveiling of a new treasure at the Hayes Tower Casino.”

I squint up at the screen. The eleven o’clock news is on, showing some gala event at a Las Vegas casino full of priceless art treasures. So much bling. I feel it calling out to me. Begging me to steal it. My old court-appointed psychologist used to call this the impulse. He said it just like that. In italics. Like my kleptomania is an unspeakable parasite in my brain, forcing me to do evil things.

On the TV, camera flashes flicker against an old guy in a tuxedo. He whips a cover off a podium, revealing a ring with a gemstone the size of a golf ball. The light glints and dazzles off its surface like something Ryan Seacrest should be dropping over Times Square on New Year’s Eve. My guts simultaneously tighten and twist, wringing cold sweat from my pores.

The ring.

I shake my head. Don’t be an idiot. It isn’t the ring. It’s a ring. The ring is locked up somewhere in Nebraska. And so is the guy who gave it to you. It’s all ancient history, but my hand still trembles as I take a steadying swig of my drink.

“This dazzling gemstone has not made a public appearance since it was entered into evidence during the Simon Fax murder trial three years ago.”

I cough peach schnapps through my nose. It is the ring. The fuse on the bomb that blew That’s My Boo to smithereens. And I had been the one who lit it.

The TV drones on. “With the appeals process closed, the ring went up for public auction, where it was purchased by billionaire casino magnate Cooper Jackson Hayes for one-point-seven million dollars.”

I just stare, frozen. My drink dribbles down my chin and onto my tattered T-shirt.

One. Point. Seven. Million.

A thousand what-if scenarios explode through my mind. What if I hadn’t turned in the ring? What if I’d sold it? That thing would have bought enough studio time to record an album. To record ten albums! I could have bought back everything they took from me. And more. If I hadn’t run to the cops like a little bitch.

I clench my eyes and remind myself I did the right thing. There had been a very good reason to turn over that ring.

And there are one-point-seven million good reasons to have kept it.

The unfairness of it all pulls the pin on a rage grenade deep inside me, and I know there’s only one way to diffuse it. I shoot the rest of my drink, grab my guitar, and jump on stage with the manic pixie dream band. The girl stops mewling and gapes at me.

“Hey! We’re not done yet!”

“Yeah, you are.” I snatch her tambourine and fling it into the crowd like a Frisbee. She squeaks and runs after it, followed by her dainty boyfriend. I plug my busted-up guitar into the bar’s busted-up amp, releasing a piercing squeal of feedback.

“Hey, I’m Alexis. Doing the right thing sucks. Here’s a song.”

Fury surges from my fingers, through the guitar, and out into the world as I grind out the chords of my newest jam, “Champagne (Make it Rain).” My eyes close and the vocals rip through me.

 

You think you’ve got a good deal, then they tear off the seal.

You’re gonna reach the top, but then the cork goes pop.

You fall down, the bottle breaks. The party turns into heartache.

But I’m not gonna kill myself. Gonna climb right up to that top shelf.

Then I’m gonna make it rain.

Gonna turn my pain to champagne, champagne, champagne!

 

My set takes on a life of its own, a frenzied blur of noise and sweat and catharsis. I don’t think about what happened before or what happens next. I am here. I am now. My guitar is a shield against all the bullshit of the world, and as long as I keep playing I am safe.

No, I am invincible.

I become aware of barflies whistling and clapping and generally rocking out around me. No big shock. The manic screech of my guitar is a grease fire of ecstasy that scalds everyone in earshot. In this moment I’m not a has-been child star. I’m a goddamn metal goddess, living loud and kicking ass. High on music. High on life.

This high never lasts.

 

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SERIES REVIEW TOUR: “A Series of Fates” by C. C. Dado. Rafflecopter Giveaway Included!

SERIES REVIEW TOUR

A Series of Fates Series and Anthology

Easter Valley is a place for shifters to thrive, protect each other, and be themselves. It’s also a place for friendships, laughs… and love. From the Alpha, to the shyest of pack members, these mates find their way into each other’s arms in this trio of romantic comedy tales, and while the path to love can be bumpy when fate is involved, the endings are always happy.

The stories should preferably read in order but can be read individually as they have their own main characters and HEA.

Author: C.C. Dado

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: Brooke Albrecht

Genre/s: Paranormal Comedy, M/M Romance

Trope/s: Fated Mates

Themes: Shifters

Overall Heat Rating: 2 flames (my stories are intended to be more comedy romance, bordering on young adult)

Add on Goodreads

BOOK 1

Book Title: Denying Fate

Length: 23 500 words/ 83 pages

Release Date: August 31, 2018

Blurb

A Series of Fates: Book One

Fate is a funny thing. Some try to cut its threads, while others wrap themselves in it like a blanket.

Young wolf shifter Max is cocky and crass. Unlike others his age, he has yet to discover a talent that will serve his pack. Since childhood, he’s been convinced the pack alpha is his mate, but Alpha Christian cannot envision unfiltered and directionless Max taking the place of his elegant mother at the head of the pack. As Max begins to build a life with his best friend, he also begins to see that maybe what he thought was inevitable was all in his head, and it’s time to move on.

Or are they both denying fate?

Buy Links

Dreamspinner Press | Amazon US | Amazon UK

BOOK 2

Book Title: Embracing Fate

Length: 27 222 words/ 91 pages

Release Date: October 26, 2018

Blurb

A Series of Fates: Book Two

Sometimes you just have to embrace your fate.

Seth has a secret: he has a crush on the human next door. His brilliant plan to meet Jack, the man of his dreams who happens to be an animal trainer? Take wolf form and ask his best friend, Max, to take him next door for training. Seth is the only one surprised when things go horribly awry.

Still, can this shy wolf and a human meet their fate as mates?

Buy Links

Dreamspinner Press | Amazon US | Amazon UK

BOOK 3

Book Title: Fearing Fates

Length: 21 250 words/ 71 pages

Release Date: December 14, 2018

Blurb

He is a fearless protector by nature and in his heart. But nothing’s ever simple with love… or fate.

At nearly seven feet tall, Zeus’s role had always been to protect the pack—but his newest charges need him more than most. Kimber and Kron are transplants from another pack, and they have a dangerous stranger on their tails. Zeus is determined to do his duty and drive the human out of town. But when he confronts Toren, his wolf has other ideas….

Something isn’t right, but should a huge, tattooed wolf with a secret soft heart fear his fate—to love a man with secrets of his own?

Buy Links

Dreamspinner Press | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Excerpt from Embracing Fate

Seth walked down to the bakery to get the ovens warming and opened the window behind the sink so it didn’t get too hot. It was still early morning, but it was already at least seventy degrees out. He could smell the morning dew burning off under the sun. He spent the next few hours preparing the backup set of baked goods for the display cases. Max had come in a little while ago to get the front ready for another busy Saturday. Seth was really glad they had high school kids helping out in the afternoons now, so they didn’t have to put in such a long day. Seth was on his last batch of cupcakes. He’d grabbed the muffin tin off the cooling rack and started filling the paper cups with batter when he heard a commanding voice pierce through the window.

“Sit.”

Seth was unable to control his response as he dropped his spatula and sat his butt hard onto the floor. What the hell was that? Not even his alpha had that type of control over him. His premonition of undecidedly awful things coming ran through his mind—this is it. He barely registered the squeak of the swinging half doors as Max walked into the kitchen from the front.

“Whatcha doing there?” Max asked, leaning across the kitchen island.

Seth stared up at Max, his eyes blown wide. “I have no idea,” he said, the cupcake tin he had somehow managed not to drop still held awkwardly in the air.

“Lie down.” The voice came through the window again.

Max looked at Seth questioningly as Seth instantly fell onto his back.

“Okay…,” Max said, obviously trying to stay calm. “That was weird, right? Did you just lie down because someone outside said to?”

Seth whined, lying on the floor of the bakery in shock, scared eyes staring toward the ceiling.

Max came around the island, rushing to help Seth up.

“Okay, I don’t know what’s going on, but I’m calling Christian.” Max pulled his phone out of his pocket.

“Wait,” Seth said, needing a moment to process.

“Umm, no. We should call Christian.” Max leaned over the sink to see out the window into the backyard. “There’s a guy out back at the house next door. I think it’s the new neighbor. Maybe he’s an evil wizard or something. Is that a real thing? Oh….” He paused. “He’s pretty hot, but like not really my type. I like them with a little more muscle, to the point where their shirts stretch just a bit across their chest and shoulders, like Christian’s do. But he’s not bad, lanky, brunet too,” he said, sounding disappointed. “I prefer blonds, and he has on glasses. Can’t say I’ve ever been a fan of a man in glasses, but they fit on him.”

“Are you seriously checking out my neighbor right now?” Seth demanded, his anxiety starting to lower from DEFCON 3 as he took calming breaths.

“No, I mean yes, but not for me. Sorry, okay. Focus. Let’s get you up off the floor. We’ll call Christian and Zeus.”

Seth let Max help him up off the ground, and he peeked out the window. “Wait,” he said again, stopping Max’s hand as he reached for the phone in his pocket. “I’m not scared anymore.”

“What do you mean, you’re not scared anymore? You just laid down on the ground because someone told you to.”

“I know. And it scared me at first too. Normally I’d still be having a full-blown panic attack in the corner, probably crying a little, but I’m not.”

“Okay, so, you don’t want me to call Christian because you’re not freaking out anymore that someone is controlling your mind?” Max sarcastically summarized.

Seth shook his head at his friend. “I meant, I’m not panicking. The voice, it makes me feel different, like in a good way, peaceful almost.”

“I don’t know what’s going on, but you’re obviously not thinking clearly. You’ve lost the ability to make your own choices. I’ll have Christian’s lawyer draw up papers. I’ll be your legal guardian from now on.”

“If you’re ever the rational one out of the two of us, we’re both screwed, and I’m not insane, just curious, I guess. I don’t want to tell them yet.” Seth looked out at the stranger again. He was tall, his dark brown, wavy hair fell just past his shoulders, his nose was a little too big for his face, and Seth thought it was perfect. “Handsome but not too perfect.” His earlier words to Max about his preferences played back through his mind, making him take a deep breath.

Max leaned in next to him a bit to get a better look. “What is he doing out there?” Max attempted to whisper, watching intently out of the window.

“Zeus said he was a trainer.”

“Oh, Seth,” Max said, pausing to choke back a laugh with his fist. “He’s a dog trainer.” He snorted, apparently unable to hold it in any longer, “And you’re… you’re obeying his commands.”

Seth could barely make out what Max was saying past his laughter.

“Shit, I think I may die,” Max said, bent over the counter, holding his side. “This might be the best thing that has ever happened in my life.”

“I hate you,” Seth said, focusing his attention back out the window. Recalling his conversation with Zeus, the new neighbor was a dog trainer. Seth watched as the man knelt down in the grass and patted his leg for the dog to come. The chocolate lab bounced his way across the yard, ramming into the man.

“That’s a good boy.” The man’s purr sent chills over Seth’s body. His wolf was definitely awake, pulling at him to get closer.

About the Author

I write about painfully awkward, usually embarrassing, romance because long confident gazes followed by sexy dancing NEVER happens to me. I am a native of the Pacific Northwest, and will probably never leave. I’m like a hypochondriac sundae, with claustrophobic sprinkles, and a big cherry of anxiety on top, so I don’t travel much. I read to relax my mind, so I love getting lost in someone else’s story, even if it is only for a little while.

Author Links

Twitter: @C_C_Dado

Giveaway

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win your choice of ebook from the A Series of Fates trilogy.

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

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Book Blast: “M/M Romance Christmas Boxset” by Isobel Starling

BOOK BLAST

Award-winning author Isobel Starling presents

The M/M Romance Christmas Box Set containing four funny, kinky seasonal romances

Book Title: The M/M Romance Christmas Box Set

Author: Isobel Starling

Publisher: Decent Fellows Press

Cover Artist: Isobel Starling

Genre/s: M/M Romance, comedy, puppy play

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length: 46,193 words/262 pages

This is two novellas and two short stories, all with a Christmas theme.

Add on Goodreads

 

With the holidays approaching Isobel Starling presents

The M/M Romance Box Set

containing four delightfully humorous and kinky seasonal romances.

This box set is available as an e-book;

you can read it free in Kindle Unlimited

or listen to the exceptionally funny audiobook by award-winning narrator Gary Furlong.

 

The stories in the box set are:

Fred & Ginger
Chris Miller, a patisserie chef for Big Boy Cupcakes has to rush the last minute order of cock cupcakes for the party of a celebrity, but in his haste to deliver, he falls foul of an over-keen chocolate labrador named Fred, and his handsome owner…

The Christmas Bonus
The Investobank Christmas shindig at the Lorien Hotel puts Jake Walters, and the object of his lust in the same place at the same time… and it’s Christmas!

Daddy Christmas (Daddy Kink short story) NEW!
Ryan Sutherland, a side character from ‘Detective Fox and the Christmas Caper’ at last gets the happy ending he deserves.

Back Where He Belongs (M/M Puppy Play Novella)
Kier Campbell returns to Scotland from Australia to spend Christmas with his family. What he finds there is a gift that is worth more than money could buy.

Please note: These stories are gay romance stories and contain graphic depictions of sex.

 

The total word count is approximately 46k, the audiobook is just over 4 hours long. These stories have all the Christmas feels to give you a warm glow inside.

 

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US


Amazon UK

 

Audiobook

Listen to a sample here

Audible US

Audible UK

 

About the Author

Isobel Starling is an award-winning author of gay romance. Isobel spent most of her twenty-year professional career making art in Ireland. She relocated to the UK, and faced with the dreaded artist’s creative block, Isobel started to write and found she loved writing more than making art.

The Shatterproof Bond series is an Amazon Gay Romance bestseller and has been translated into French, German and Italian.

“As You Wish” (Shatterproof Bond #1), narrated by Gary Furlong, won the Audiobook Reviewer Award, Romance Category 2018. Isobel and Gary have produced ten audiobooks together, including whole Shatterproof Bond series.

Isobel will release the first book in her thrilling new fantasy series The Quiet Work in March 2019.

Please sign up to my newsletter here

 

Author Links

Blog/Website

Twitter: @isobel_starling

Goodreads

Amazon Author Page

 

Decent Fellows Press

 

BOOK BLAST SCHEDULE

 

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

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