BOOK BLAST: “Trust” by Aprille Canniff

BOOK BLAST

Book Title: Trust

Author: Aprille Canniff

Publisher: Page Publishing Inc.

Genre/s: Crime, Lesbian Romance

Trope/s: Forbidden love

Themes: Crime, trust, betrayal

Length: 119 679 words/ 328 pages

Heat Rating: 3 flames

It is a standalone book.

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When everyone has something to hide, who do you trust?

Blurb

In the military and law enforcement, the line between right and wrong is clear. Who you trust absolutely has never been questioned…until now.

Air Force Security Forces Master Sergeant Alex Thomas just got back from a rough deployment and already has a new assignment-to train a new team in everything she knows. Much to her dismay, her new team is not military but members of the Boston Police Department. When she finally meets them, she realizes why the military and local law enforcement don’t team up. Officer Jen Miceli doesn’t play by the rules and is all too willing to take risks. The two women are locked in a battle of the wills, but when the team comes across a large stash of weapons and drugs, their world is turned upside down by who it implicates. As members of the Boston PD are ambushed and friends are fighting for their lives, Alex must find a way to complete the mission and keep her team alive.

What do you do when the lines that you have always counted on become blurred? When you don’t know who to trust?

Excerpt
Her kidnappers grabbed her hair, pulled her head back, and lifted the bag off her face just far enough to take the tape off her mouth. “Yell and you will get hurt, cooperate and you will be let go.” The same voice that held the gun to her head earlier spoke into her ear. She couldn’t pick up an accent indicating where her attackers might be from, and all that she knew at this point was that they were silent, specific, and cold. Every move they made so far was deliberate, and she had no doubt that these people would follow through on any threat they made. She was getting scared. She mentally evaluated her situation—she could not feel her hands, her legs were tied together, she didn’t know where she was, and she was outnumbered at least three to one. If they would just take this damn hood off, I might be able to figure a way out of this.

“What is your name?”

“Jennifer O’Malley.”

“So you like to tell lies, do you?” the unknown voice asked with a hint of anticipation. “Do it.”

The chair was pulled out from under her, and the moment she hit the floor, she felt three punches, all landing in the gut. She was coughing and still trying to suck in air when she was lifted back up and on to the chair.

“What is your name?” Her captor’s voice was like the calm before a storm.

She took a minute to catch her breath and then sat straight up. “You already know, so why don’t you cut the crap and tell me what you want.” She spat out her words with as much venom and calm restraint as she could find.

“It looks like we have a lively one here.” He laughed a controlled laugh before continuing. “Okay then, what is your new sergeant up to these days?”

They are after the sarge? Not a chance in hell am I saying anything. “Who?”

“Sergeant Thomas, the woman who has been training you. What is she teaching you and why?”

She smiled. “I don’t know who or what you are talking about, asshole.”

“You will, little girl, you will. That you can trust me on.” The tape was put back over her mouth, and she was thrown back onto the floor before he even stopped speaking.

What felt like hours later, the only things that had changed were the number of times she was prodded in the ribs by someone’s boot and her temper. Fury replaced fear, and determination replaced doubt. They are not getting anything on the sarge no matter what. The “or what” was the part that she was trying to prepare herself for when she was grabbed again.

Tossed on the chair and tape ripped off again, she was asked, “What is your teacher teaching you?”

This time, she laughed. “Don’t know, I’m not a good student.”

After a short moment’s pause, her captor said, “Drink,” just before what tasted like water was forced into her mouth. “I am not going to poison you. I just want information, and how can I get that if you die of dehydration?” her captor said with a hint of humor in his voice. “Drink.”

She did her best to try and spit it out, but a hand pressed against her mouth, preventing her from being able to. For the next hour, she was made to drink water and asked the same

question. “What is she teaching you?” Jen changed her answers from simple laughter to blatant insults. “Well, I think I will just have to come back to her. Are her friends still upstairs?”

About the Author

Aprille Canniff is a deputy sheriff and member of the Air National Guard. Trust is her first published novel, which she wrote while deployed to Afghanistan. She currently lives in Virginia with her wife and “ninja” cat. When she isn’t writing or working, her passion is fishing and bragging about how big the one that got away was.

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AUDIOBOOK REVIEW TOUR: “T.A.G. You’re Seen” by A.G. Carothers.

AUDIOBOOK REVIEW TOUR

Book Title: T.A.G. You’re Seen

Author: A.G. Carothers

Publisher: Independently published

Narrator: Gomez Pugh

Release Date: February 5, 2020

Genre: BDSM, contemporary, mystery/thriller, suspense

Trope/s: Age Difference, Criminals & Outlaws, First Time, Forbidden Love, Hurt / Comfort, Interracial Relationship, May/December, Rescue, Reunited and it Feels So Good, Thrill of the Chase, True Love

Heat Rating: 5 flames

Length: 5 hours and 31 minutes

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Buy Links

Audible US | Audible UK

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Blurb

Attention: This book contains explicit sexual content between consenting assassins and not so innocent professors. There are depictions of masochistic masturbation, male chastity, breath play, watersports, humiliation, and torture by eighties hair bands with ginger sprinkles on top.

Phew! Now, that’s out of the way, Hi. I’m Mr. No, your friendly communications agent for The Assassins’ Guild AKA T.A.G.

I’ve been authorized by the head honcho himself, Mr. H, to release approved records from the agent files.

Agent Code Name Mr. W was recovering from a near death debacle by way of an easy assignment in a small mountain town. Red flags sprang up immediately around the seemingly innocent English professor. Determined to get to the bottom of the mystery Jacob Peters presented, Mr. W made plans to do what he did best, watch , wait , and then capture and interrogate.

But even the best laid plans can go awry…

Find out what brought Mr. W to his knees in this first release from the archives of The Assassins’ Guild.

About the Author

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

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

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

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

BLOG TOUR

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

Author: A.G. Carothers

Publisher: Independently published

Cover Artist: Samantha Santana

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

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

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

Themes: Blast from pasts, love vs self-doubt

Heat Rating: 3 flames

Length: 45 000 words/ 180 pages

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Buy Link – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Universal Link | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Blurb

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

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

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

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

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

Excerpt

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About the Author

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

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

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

Author Links

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Website

Facebook

Readers Group

Twitter: @ag_carothers

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BOOK BLAST: “Earnest Ink” by Alex Hall

BOOK BLAST

Book Title: Earnest Ink

Author: Alex Hall

Publisher: Nine Star Press

Published: October 14, 2019

Cover Artist: Natasha Snow

Genre/s: Queer Spec Fic, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Thriller/Suspense

Trope/s: Found family

Themes: Mystery/adventure

Heat Rating: 1 flame

Orientation: Asexual, Pansexual

Identity: Cisgender, Trans

Warning: Depictions of Trauma, Blood, Violence, Murder,

Eating disorders, Body hatred, Transphobia, PTSD, War

Length: 72 100 words/244 pages

It is a standalone book.

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Blurb

While twenty-year-old FTM Hemingway is making an excellent living as a tattoo artist in a near-future version of Hell’s Kitchen, the rest of the country is splintered and struggling in the wake of a war gone on for too long. Technology has collapsed, borders rise and fall overnight, and magic has awakened without rhyme, reason, or rule, turning average unwitting citizens into wielders of strange and specific strands of magic.

Hemingway’s particular brand of magic has made him a household name. Not only is he a talented artist, but his work comes to life. Literally.

When NYC’s most infamous serial killer—the East River Ripper—abducts Hemingway’s best friend, Grace, he has only days to save her. Hemingway teams up with his stoic cop roommate to hunt for the killer and rescue Grace before she becomes the Ripper’s latest victim. But as the duo chase clues to the serial killer’s identity, Hemingway begins to fear the magic he and the Ripper share might eventually corrupt him too.

Buy Links

NineStar Press | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Smashwords | B&N | Kobo

Excerpt

Earnest Ink

Alex Hall © 2019

All Rights Reserved

I work without speaking because that’s the way I prefer it. The vibration of my machine, the softer buzz of the fluorescent lights overhead, the tap of my foot on the pedal—it’s the best music in the world.

When I hit a ticklish spot, the girl I’m working on gasps, jolting in my chair.

“Don’t move,” I say. And then, with a salesman’s false cheer: “Almost done!”

The girl is sweating down the crook of her neck. She’s got silver glitter paint on her eyelids and cheeks, a new fashion trend I just can’t quite get behind. Under my lights the mix of perspiration and makeup looks like a blurry constellation.

She wanted a bee inked onto her collarbone, one of those tiny honeybees you find on good tequila bottles. Easily done, and she met the cash requirement. She’s eager, nervous, and breathing in and out in little puffs.

I can’t remember her name, but that’s fine. Customer relations is Eric’s job.

There’s another kid leaning over my glass counter, watching eagerly as I work. “Does it hurt?” he asks. “When the magic happens?”

The bee’s fat yellow thorax wriggles from side to side as it begins to wake, fighting the pressure of my needle, hungry for life.

“It looks like it hurts,” the kid says. I ignore him.

One minute more and—thanks to my peculiar magic—this bee will fly free.

I’m perched on a swivel stool, a wet paper towel in my hand to wipe away ink. It’s too hot in my studio, even with the industrial fans whirling overhead and the door propped wide open. Evening light slants in through the door and the north-facing, floor-to-ceiling window panes that look out onto West Forty-Sixth. It’s muggy, too warm for New York in October, and all of Hell’s Kitchen is wilting, including my client.

“What does it feel like?” the kid demands. He’s leaving greasy fingerprints on the surface of the glass as he strains to get a better look at what I’m doing. I study him out the corner of my eye, wiping sweat off my nose with the back of my wrist before it drips on my customer. He looks like one of the street punks who have taken to running in packs near the cruise terminals, sleeping in old, abandoned cargo containers and panhandling up and down the marina.

He’s skinny and tall, hair dyed an unsettling violet and styled into spikes all over his head. He’s got a silver ring in his septum and more hoops in his ears; his eyelashes are coated with purple mascara to match his hair. Green glitter paint sparkles on his lids. His T-shirt and jeans are torn and dirty, and he’s got a pack of black-market cigarettes rolled into one sleeve against his upper arm.

About the Author

Sarah Remy/Alex Hall is a nonbinary, animal-loving, proud gamer Geek.

Their work can be found in a variety of cool places, including HarperVoyager, EDGE and NineStar Press.

Author Links

Blog/Website| Twitter: @sarahremywrites

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RELEASE BLITZ: “Warrior’s Way” by MJ Calabrese. $10.00 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway Included! See entry below:

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Warrior’s Way, Coulter & Woodard 1

Author: M.J. Calabrese

Publisher: Self-Published

Cover Artist: Reese Dante

Release Date: December 3, 2019

Genre/s: Contemporary M/M Romantic Suspense

Trope/s: Friends to lovers

Themes: Crime solving

Heat Rating: 3 flames

Length: 55 771 words

It is a standalone story.

Add on Goodreads

Buy Links

Universal Link

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Will Eagle and Adam be able to stop a murderer while navigating their changing relationship?

Blurb

‘Hello, tall, dark and handsome.’ Out and proud gay Albuquerque Homicide Detective Eagle Woodard studied Dr. Adam Coulter, criminal profiler, with a clinical eye. ‘Slender build…narrow waist, but nicely muscled underneath that Hugo Boss suit. People think you work out, Kemo, but you don’t.’ Eagle’s dark eyes narrowed. ‘You know I hate that day old beard look, but you were probably too wasted to bother. Nice eyes, green when they aren’t blood shot. Flawless tanned skin except for that tiny scar through your left eyebrow.’ The former Army Ranger grinned. ‘I gave that to you accidentally when we were 8 years old. When you stood up for this Navajo kid in an all white school. We both got our asses kicked.’ Eagle sighed and shook his head. That was the day he’d fallen in love with 4 times married, 4 times divorced, current roommate, Adam Coulter.

Eagle and Adam are faced with their toughest challenge yet. They must find an active serial killer before he strikes again. With the powers that be not cooperating and the killer proving to be elusive, will Eagle and Adam be able to stop the murderer while navigating their changing relationship?

Excerpt

The cool wind attacked Eagle Woodard’s body as he fell head over heels. He tumbled, body tightly tucked as he cleared the modified Cessna, momentarily catching sight of the blue, cloudless horizon before stretching out to embrace the air. Below him, the rust toned surrealist canvas of desert and mountains began to take shape as he allowed himself to freefall through the biting tempest. The winds transformed his tanned face, warping it into a mad, Joker-esque grin.

The former Army Ranger set his plan into motion. Pulling his muscular arms tightly against his torso, the angle of his descent began to change. ‘I feel the need, the need for speed.’ If the wind hadn’t been so brutal, he would’ve laughed. How many times had they used those iconic words in training? At 38, it felt like a lifetime ago.

Eagle tilted his head down. He pressed his legs together with toes pointed toward the heavens, becoming a human bullet streaking through the atmosphere. He could feel the friction heating his head and shoulders. His dark, goggle covered eyes flickered to the left, quickly gauging his altitude in relation to the horizon. One…, two…, three seconds passed.

With an agility reminiscent of his aviary namesake, he arched his back, catching the horrendous pounding of the wind squarely on his upper chest, making it difficult to breathe. Deliberately spreading his arms and sinewy legs, he succeeded in capturing the furious gale, harnessing it. Using calculated care, he began slowing his descent from Father Sky toward Amá ni’, Mother Earth.

Eagle reveled in the multitude of sensations inundating his body. The angry roar of the wind deafened him. The white noise of the rushing air blotted out all sound except for the popping of the black, nylon jumpsuit. The wind strained the cloth protecting him almost to its limit. The powerful, talon-like turbulence threatened to shred his clothes, leaving him bare and unprotected from the tempest. The bee sting lash of his long, raven ponytail as it whipped against his neck and face revitalized and reddened his brown skin.

Four…, five…, six…, seven…, eight.’ With an eerie calm, Woodard counted the seconds. As he drew closer and closer to terra firma, his confidence in his abilities never wavered. Here he was master. Here he was the great bird of his people’s folklore. He was the embodiment of Atsáh, the Eagle, swooping with deadly accuracy toward his prey on the ground.

The Albuquerque homicide Detective didn’t need to see his altimeter. He knew he only had a few more moments of precious freedom. Reluctantly, his right hand moved reflexively to the left side of his chest. Gripping the cold metal ring, he tugged.

A grunt of air was forced from his lungs. The nylon straps crisscrossing his body suddenly tightened, drawing him up. Eagle grimaced as pain seared up his back. The sudden opening of his parachute at this rate of speed aggravated more than one old injury. Gravity, the purveyor of his discomfort, pressed his chin to his chest for an instant before the strain of rapid deceleration eased.

With skill born of countless jumps, Eagle maneuvered the billowing canopy toward his destination. Calculating the high desert cross winds, he made a last-minute correction which allowed him to plant his right foot firmly onto the center of the large, white cross target. As his left foot touched down, he leaned back, encouraging his chute to take the rest of the breeze until it collapsed and fell impotent to the sand. Instantly, the tall man began to gather the yards of thin ripstop nylon and cord into his arms, beating down any last show of resistance from the exuberant ram-air parachute.

Turning, Eagle reached up and pulled his goggles from his face just as his cell phone rang. Pulling it from his zippered pocket, he grimaced at the sight of the familiar number.

“I thought I was supposed to have a day off, Captain.”

“You do, but I’ve got an FBI agent here that needs to talk with you. Says you knew his brother. Here, talk to him.”

“Detective Woodard, my name is Kessler. Rick Kessler. I think you served with my brother, Dean, in the Army.”

The voice and the name triggered unpleasant memories of a time he had tried to bury. He couldn’t tell if it was his Spanish or Navajo side sending a warning chill up his spine. Suddenly, Eagle realized the man on the other end of the line was waiting.

“Yeah, sorry. Yeah, I remember Dean. He died in Afghanistan, didn’t he? Sorry.”

What Woodard remembered was what a closeted bastard the guy had been and how he’d used the knowledge of Eagle’s own closeted sexuality against him. Threatening to report him and risking dishonorable discharge at best…, or death if members of their team found out. He didn’t mourn Dean Kessler’s passing when he got word that some insurgents finished him. “Captain said you were with the FBI?”

“Yes. Detective Woodard, I’ve heard a lot about you and Dr. Coulter. I was very impressed when you apprehended Martin Devoreaux. I read the case report. You and Dr. Coulter are quite the team. The good doctor’s a legend at the bureau. His book on Ritual Behaviorism Among Serial Killers is mandatory reading now at the academy.”

“Oh, Adam would love to hear that.” Eagle rolled his eyes. The last thing Adam Coulter needed was something to bolster his ego.

“If it’s alright, I really need to talk with both of you about a case I’m working. I think you might be able to help me.”

“Today?”

“No. I’m still putting some final touches on a plan I’ve got in motion. How about tomorrow morning at your home? I want to keep this as low key as possible. Strictly, on a need to know basis, so I’d prefer it if your Captain and I met with you and Coulter privately.”

Eagle unzipped his jumpsuit from chin to navel. “What time?”

“0900?”

“Sure. Tell Cap to bring the creamer.”

Pocketing his phone, Eagle gathered his parachute from the ground and slowly made his way to his truck. Stowing the chute away, he unzipped his jumpsuit the rest of the way. Dragging it down off his shoulders, he revealed a tan-colored work shirt and jeans. He pushed the loose-fitting black nylon from around his narrow waist. Wrestling the last couple of inches of fabric over his shoes, Eagle jerked the material free and tossed it behind the driver’s seat completing his impromptu striptease. He looked up toward the sun before glancing at his watch.

“Yeah…, I know, I’m late.” He said to no one, but the wind.

About the Author

My mother now regrets her fateful words she offered the day I came home from our small town library in Palm Springs, California (yes, I’m a Cali girl) complaining that there were no more books to read. “Then why don’t you write some.”
My father never saw his old Remington portable until I entered college and they gifted me an IBM Selectric. By then I had produced at least two dozen unpublishable novels which make me cringe when I read them today.

I found inspiration in innumerable odd jobs (from migrant work as a Date palm pollinator to the person who cleans the washing machines at the launderette to professional Dominatrix) for stories. After a stint in Rehab for Alcohol and Heroin abuse (so when I write those scenes, I know what I’m talking about), I cleaned up and have stayed that way for 29 years. (Me and Sir Elton, LOL). My gypsy lifestyle gave me a unique perspective on the different people who inhabited the Washington, Oregon, Arizona, California, and New Mexico areas where I have lived.

After 3 very bad marriages to men, I finally figured out what was wrong and fell in love with a woman when I lived in Portland, OR 23 years ago. We’ve been married since 2008 (yes, it was legal in California at that time). We now live in Asheville, NC and love the people in this liberal and accepting corner of the mountains of North Carolina.

To learn all about my upcoming releases, news, and specials, please follow or like me at any of my links!

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BOOK BLAST: “Body Parts and Mind Games” by Jude Tresswell.

BOOK BLAST

Book Title: Body Parts and Mind Games (County Durham Quad Book 4)

Author: Jude Tresswell

Publisher: Self published

Release Date: November 4, 2019

Genre/s: Crime, LGBTQ

Trope/s: Sexual/asexual relationship; polyamorous relationship

Themes: Navigating ace/non-ace relationship; loyalty

Heat Rating: 2 flames

Length: 60 000 words/ 228 pages

It can be read alone, although it is 4th in the County Durham Quad series. Background information is provided for new readers.

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A crime to solve, a lover to save, and an ace-happy ending?

Blurb

Organ trafficking, types of attraction and far-right nationalism are ingredients in this tale about Mike, Ross, Raith and Phil, a gay polyamorous quad who live in North-East England.

Phil is a surgeon in Warbridge Hospital. A patient’s organs are harvested illegally. Are Phil’s colleagues involved?

Detective Nick Seabrooke returns to Warbridge to ask Phil to aid the investigation. Agreeing endangers the quad in more ways than one. How will Nick, who is asexual, react to meeting the quad again? How will they react to him?

This is the fourth story in the County Durham Quad series. Background information is included for new readers.

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Excerpt

From Chapter 2

“I hoped I’d never see him again.” Words that were being echoed three hundred miles away in London. Nick Seabrooke stood at the window of his flat and stared across rooftops to the dome of St Paul’s. He re-read Phil’s message. It was terse and to the point: Considered what you said. Will do it. Feel free to set a meeting up. Was it the answer he’d wanted? Yes, from one point of view. No, definitely not, from another.

He’d hardly believed what he’d heard the previous Monday. Nick was a detective with the NCA, the agency responsible for criminal investigations that went beyond national borders. Money-laundering involving forgery was his normal remit. He’d met the quad when Raith had been chief suspect in a case and he had been a sergeant. Now he was an inspector. So, he’d answered the chief superintendent’s call, expecting to be briefed about a fraud or a forgery. Instead, he was told about organ trafficking. But although trade in body parts was a crime that cut across borders, it seemed well outside his area of expertise. He’d tried to tell the chief so. Yes, the chief knew that, but whoever had requested Nick’s involvement knew that he had liaised, successfully, with Tees, Tyne and Wear Constabulary the year before and, more importantly, knew that he’d worked closely with a surgeon at the hospital at the centre of the enquiry.

“This doctor, Philip Roberts,” the chief had said, “would he be involved in something like this?”

“I very much doubt it, sir,” Nick had answered promptly. “I think he’d feel that it was beneath his ability and beneath his dignity. He’s totally focused on his own niche. He developed this graphene-based colorectal repair procedure almost single-handedly. He pioneered the research. He carries out most of the ops. I can’t see him whipping out a kidney or cornea when no one’s looking. And he’s conscientious. The ethics would bother him.”

“Money?”

“More than he needs and, I’d say, not particularly materialistic.”

“Then contact him,” he’d been told. “See if he’ll work with you on this. We need a medic inside that hospital. Eyes and ears and a way for you to get in and use yours. You stayed at his house, didn’t you, when you were up there last year?”

“No, sir. I stayed with one of the artisans. In Tunhead though. All the houses are owned by Roberts and the men he lives with. They rent them out to arts and crafts personnel. They call the venture BOTWAC—the Beck on the Wear Arts Centre.”

“BOTWAC?”

“Yes.”

“Interesting sense of humour. Well, see if you can stay there again. It’ll give you some safe opportunities to talk with this doctor without being overheard, and he can teach you all you need to know about proctology.”

Nick knew the meaning of ‘proctology’, but he was focusing on ‘safe’. Safe for whom? The chief misinterpreted his concerned look and his silence, and began to explain proctology.

“Yes, I know, sir,” he said, interrupting, and then he’d been politely dismissed, and tomorrow he’d have to phone Phil. Shit!

So that was what he’d done—phoned Phil, and now he had Phil’s answer.

He closed Messages and, almost reluctantly, opened Gallery. Should he scroll to it—the photo that he’d taken in Raith’s studio that last time he had met the quad? The photo of a portrait of Mike. He hadn’t looked at it for months. …………

………….. Mike had fascinated him, but he realised that he’d rarely even thought of County Durham, or Tunhead—or Mike—for weeks. He was over his crush or whatever it was. So it hadn’t been love. Couldn’t have been love. So, really, he should be able to bin the photo. It shouldn’t be a problem, should it? There was no good reason to keep it, was there? But, although he could resist opening the file, he couldn’t bring himself to press Delete. Couldn’t bring himself to execute that oh-so-final break-with-everything action. So, what did his reluctance, his cowardice, mean? Well, soon he’d have more than a photo in front of him. He’d have flesh and blood. It wouldn’t be so easy to avoid looking at the real thing. He wouldn’t be able to press a key and—abracadabra—delete Mike.

He was probably needlessly worrying. Professional concerns would dominate and there wouldn’t be time to give ex-inspector Michael Angells more than a quick hello and a passing thought. And, being the sensible man that he was, Nick picked up the folder marked Warbridge and re-read the chief’s background information.

About the Author

I’m married, I’ve grown-up children, I’m asexual (although a different sort of ace from Nick) and I do enjoy writing stories that aren’t constrained by hetero-norms.

The plots are always stimulated by something on the news – in this instance, reading that, in 2020, organ donation will become the default position where I live and, also, reading that enforced organ harvesting is carried out in some countries. I enjoy writing funny dialogue as well as dealing with serious issues, though, and I hope that some of the quad’s interchanges will make readers smile. And regarding the extract, I didn’t know the meaning of ‘proctology’ when I saw the word in a review of Book 3! (The term ‘colorectal’ is more common in the UK.) I couldn’t resist including a reference to it.

Author Links

Blog/Website | Amazon Author Page for all works

YouTube link to audio version of the short asexual/ sexual story Scar Ghyll Levels – available on Amazon Kindle.

(Audio version contains 200 photos of scenery)

https://youtu.be/M6xSuQ9utWg

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RELEASE BLITZ: “Their Special Agent” by Mel Gough.

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Their Special Agent (Thistle Hearts #1)

Author: Mel Gough

Cover Artist: Najla Qamber Designs

Release Date: October 24, 2019

Genre/s: Reverse Harem, romance/mystery

Themes: Polyamory (MMFM), crime solving

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Add on Goodreads

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US | Amazon UK

A murder. Three gorgeous men. One choice – Do your job, or follow your heart?

Blurb

On the eve of the Thistle Hearts reunion tour, the rock band’s manager is found murdered. When Special Agent Carrie McDonald arrives to assist with the investigation, the band has mixed emotions about the involvement of the FBI. Jay, Lou and Corey have everything riding on a successful comeback, and their manager’s violent death has thrown them into turmoil. The last thing they need is the wrong kind of press.

As Carrie delves into the case, the band’s complex history of desire and tragedy emerges. Their shared passion intrigues and excites her, and gradually, the men open up and draw her into their ménage.

But a killer is on the loose, and he’s not yet done with Thistle Hearts.

Can Carrie prevent another brutal crime and protect the men who offer her a future beyond her wildest dreams?

Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

The rain came down in sheets. Special Agent Carrie McDonald wiped her face on the sleeve of her black windbreaker. No use. Everything was soaked.

Special Agent Susan White joined Carrie at her lookout post by the cordoned-off stretch of highway. “Thank god that’s someone else’s mess to clean up.” She squinted at Special Agent Cortez talking to a Travis County Sheriff’s Deputy next to an SUV in the ditch with its wheels still slowly revolving in the air. He looked like a swarthy, drowned rat. Carrie felt sorry for him.

The San Antonio field office would take the rap for this clusterfuck. She tried not to feel relieved about that.

The scene on this stretch of highway was straight out of the latest installment of The Fast and the Furious. A pick-up and a black sedan lay upside down across the lanes, flattened and still smoking. The railings that SUV had crashed through were mangled shards of metal. A fourth vehicle lay out of sight in a deep ravine, curls of smoke marking its resting place. Everything was illuminated sideways by the setting sun. The ambulances were long gone, but the coroner’s van still idled nearby.

Three dead drug mules. Two civilians, on the way home from a choir recital, also dead. And three seriously injured Austin PD detectives made it a calamity beyond the usual drug bust.

Would they ever work out exactly what had gone wrong? Right now, the narrative was confused and short on detail. As far as the forensics team had worked out, one of the unmarked law enforcement vehicles had been en route to head off the suspects fleeing hell over leather from the sting op gone south in downtown Austin. That had been where Carrie and Susan had been detailed to cover one of the routes out of the city. The sedan, carrying two agents from the FBI’s San Antonio field office, was in hot pursuit. Poor visibility, a narrow stretch of road of hairpin bends and a car full of stressed-out perps under the influence had made for an explosive combination. The drug traffickers’ car had swerved on the opposite lane to overtake the SUV carrying a mother and teenage daughter just before another narrow curve. They’d met a car with three Austin detectives racing to aid the operation head on, and the world had exploded in screeching metal and glass.

Carrie gave a sigh. She nudged her partner. “Come on. Cortez says to call it a day.” It wasn’t like them getting soaked here made the slightest bit of difference. The hillside swarmed with LEOs from Austin PD, the Travis County Sheriff’s Department and the San Antonio field office. Two Criminal Investigation agents on loan from Baltimore were of scant use in the clean-up.

Susan nodded as Cortez’s angry voice carried up to them. “Let’s get out of here.”

Their rental sedan sat thirty yards back from the cordoned-off scene, and Susan pointed the keys at it. The lights flashed and the doors clicked open. Even in the middle of a crisis, she’d never leave a car unlocked that contained weapons and ammunition. Behind her back, Susan was sometimes called Agent Lily White. Carrie appreciated her partner’s uprightness. It was one reason they got on so well and she chose to work more with her than any other agent.

Thinking of Susan’s nickname made Carrie smile, but when she slid into the passenger seat and her gaze took in the carnage on the highway, the smile quickly faded.

Fucking hell, this one’s gone sideways.

“Gibbs’ll want a report.” Susan buckled up.

“Yeah.” Carrie sighed. She reached into the backseat where their luggage was stowed and dug in her carry-on for a towel. As she slid back into her seat, the wet windbreaker made a squelchy sound against the fake leather. She grimaced and wriggled out of the jacket, dropping the sodden thing in the foot space.

She quickly rubbed her short hair dry, then handed the towel to Susan, who took her time to undo the knot at the back of her head, wincing as the rubber band snagged on her long auburn tresses. She folded down the visor and tried to untangle the mess that the wind and rain had made of her do. Usually Carrie envied Susan her beautiful hair. Tonight, not so much.

She folded down her own screen and smoothed down the much shorter strands of her dark brown bob. She looked a fright, with chapped cheeks and a sodden collar. At least her hair would be as good as dry before they got back to the motel. “I hope they can give us our rooms back for one more night.”

“We were the only ones in that place for the last three days,” Susan pointed out from under the towel. “More likely they’ve gone bankrupt since we checked out. Maybe we should find somewhere else. Somewhere less—”

“Dank?” Carrie suggested. Susan snorted.

“Yeah.” She sighed. “Gibbs would flip his shit if we upgraded on the company dollar.” She chucked the towel in the back and started the car. “Back to the Bates Motel it is.”

About the Author

Mel Gough loves writing about love – but with a twist. Nominated for the 2019 Selfies Awards, her bisexual romantic suspense novel He is Mine is a typical Mel Gough story. She needs her HEA fix, but on the way there will be thorns and fire, and sometimes brimstone. All right, that might be over the top, especially since her stories are firmly based in the real world – though not always in the here and now.

Born in Germany, exploring other realities has been Mel’s siren call since she was young. Books opened up a plethora of worlds, and soon gave her a strong love of the English language. After an MA in Anthropology, field work in the middle of nowhere seemed like one adventure too far, so Mel settled in London, which, to misquote Dr. Johnson, she will never tire of.

Mel loves to bend genres – her romances are gritty and dark, and sometimes there’s a dead body. She’s been told that her prose is beautiful yet disturbingly real. She’s curious about bygone times, and hopes to speculate about the future in one of her next books.

Author Links

Blog/Website | Facebook | Twitter

Instagram | Newsletter Sign-up

Giveaway

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win one of three ebook copies of Their Special Agent

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Continue Reading RELEASE BLITZ: “Their Special Agent” by Mel Gough.

COVER REVEAL: “Their Special Agent” by Mel Gough

COVER REVEAL

Book Title: Their Special Agent (Thistle Hearts #1)

Author: Mel Gough

Cover Artist: Najla Qamber Designs

Release Date: October 24, 2019

Genre/s: Reverse Harem, romance/mystery

Themes: Polyamory (MMFM), crime solving

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Add on Goodreads

 

A murder. Three gorgeous men. One choice – Do your job, or follow your heart?

Blurb

On the eve of the Thistle Hearts reunion tour, the rock band’s manager is found murdered. When Special Agent Carrie McDonald arrives to assist with the investigation, the band has mixed emotions about the involvement of the FBI. Jay, Lou and Corey have everything riding on a successful comeback, and their manager’s violent death has thrown them into turmoil. The last thing they need is the wrong kind of press.

As Carrie delves into the case, the band’s complex history of desire and tragedy emerges. Their shared passion intrigues and excites her, and gradually, the men open up and draw her into their ménage.

But a killer is on the loose, and he’s not yet done with Thistle Hearts.

Can Carrie prevent another brutal crime and protect the men who offer her a future beyond her wildest dreams?

 

About the Author

Mel Gough loves writing about love – but with a twist. Nominated for the 2019 Selfies Awards, her bisexual romantic suspense novel He is Mine is a typical Mel Gough story. She needs her HEA fix, but on the way there will be thorns and fire, and sometimes brimstone. All right, that might be over the top, especially since her stories are firmly based in the real world – though not always in the here and now.

Born in Germany, exploring other realities has been Mel’s siren call since she was young. Books opened up a plethora of worlds, and soon gave her a strong love of the English language. After an MA in Anthropology, field work in the middle of nowhere seemed like one adventure too far, so Mel settled in London, which, to misquote Dr. Johnson, she will never tire of.

Mel loves to bend genres – her romances are gritty and dark, and sometimes there’s a dead body. She’s been told that her prose is beautiful yet disturbingly real. She’s curious about bygone times, and hopes to speculate about the future in one of her next books.

 

Author Links

Blog/Website | Facebook | Twitter

Instagram | Newsletter Sign-up

 

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Continue Reading COVER REVEAL: “Their Special Agent” by Mel Gough

BOOK BLAST: “Between Bloody Lips” (The Valentino Family – Book 2) by Sai Fox. Rafflecopter Giveaway Included! See below link to enter:

BOOK BLAST

Book Title: Between Bloody Lips (The Valentino Family, Book 2)

Author: Sai Fox

Publisher: Independently Published

Cover Artist: Samantha Garrett

Release Date: May 11th, 2019

Genre/s: Mystery/Thriller/Erotic M/M Romance

Trope/s: BDSM, best friends to lovers, forbidden romance,

Themes: how far will you go to save the one you love, redemption, forgiveness, unquestioning love

Heat Rating: 5 flames

Length: 64,000 words/ 370 pages

Add on Goodreads

 

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Blurb

Who is Nicolai Valentino?

Some think him a devoted son, a ruthless killer, a vicious monster. The heir of the infamous Valentino family, Nico is a man with blood-stained hands and a heart of ice.

To Gabriel Delatto, Nico is more than that: a childhood friend, a passionate lover, a misunderstood soul, a man whose cold, calculated outward exterior protects the broken man inside. Nico is his best friend, his lover, his other half—his better half.

But how much of that is true? And how much is just lies whispered between bloody lips?

New York to Tokyo—Gabriel is willing to follow his lover to the ends of the earth to find out what Nico is running from.

Or, maybe, what is Nico running to?

 

Excerpt

Nico was beautiful in his fear.

Nico’s hair was mussed, sweat dripping down from his hairline to the collar of his shirt, his pendant standing stark against his throat. There was blood splattered across his cheeks like macabre freckles, a dribble just below his nose making its way down his bottom lip.

Gabriel didn’t know if it was his or someone else’s, but it looked exquisite against his skin.

What would Nico’s blood have tasted like? What would Nico’s fear have tasted like?

It didn’t matter. Gabriel would have kissed it away if he could.

If he could, Gabriel would have done many things differently.

If he could.

If he could

This was all wrong.

“Stop, Gabriel.”

The air in the house was like an oven, nary a breeze to give either of them comfort. Despite the distance between them, a chasm that only seemed to grow wider, Gabriel could all but feel the heat from Nico’s mouth against his.

Nico was fire and Gabriel…

Gabriel was just the kindling.

They were so close—all Gabriel had to do was reach out. All it would take was a hand around Nico’s collar and he could crush his lips against Nico’s. They could fall into each other’s arms as they always had, always would.

That would have been right.

That would have been good.

But there was something pink and gelatinous smeared across the front of Nico’s shirt, something that Gabriel knew intrinsically belonged in someone’s head, not spread across Nico’s white button-up.

Nico’s hands shook like leaves on trees just before the hurricane ripped them off and scattered them across the sea.

When their eyes met, Gabriel turned away his head as though someone struck him.

Nico’s unbridled fear staring back at him through piercing dark blue eyes made his stomach churn.

That wasn’t how Nico was supposed to stare at him. That wasn’t what they had, that wasn’t who they were supposed to be.

Why was Nico so scared?

Why was Nico scared of him?

“Gabriel—Gabe—”

Gabriel could hear the words, feel the cold metal in his hand. He knew that there was something wrong with this scene, knew that this wasn’t how any of this was supposed to go. He could feel the heaviness of the gun, the cloying smell of blood and shit, the sweat on his brow, the panic clawing through his stomach—

“Gabriel—please. Please, listen to me. You don’t have to do this. I know you, Gabriel. I know you. This isn’t you. This isn’t you.”

“Get out of the way, Nico.”

It was his voice.

He could feel the hum of the words leaving his throat, how his lungs exhaled with every syllable. He could feel the way his lips touched, how they formed words, how his tongue clinked against his teeth.

He could feel it, feel all of it, just as he could feel the metal, hard and cold, gripped in his hand.

“You can’t do this. you have to stop—” Nico reached out for his arm, but it met nothing but air.

Gabriel tried to lower his hand, tried to loosen his grip on the gun, but he couldn’t.

He couldn’t.

“Don’t make me hurt you.”

“Gabriel—you’re better than this. You’re more than this!”

Was he?

“My hands are bloodier than yours.”

Gabriel wanted his hand to shake, but it was steady.

It was too steady.

“Baby. Please. If you do this… you can’t come back from this.”

He wanted to let go, wanted to scream, wanted to say something—anything.

Why couldn’t he stop himself? Why couldn’t he let go? Why did it feel as though he were a marionette, a puppet with someone else pulling his strings?

I don’t want this. I don’t want to do this. Please. Please. Nico—please—

“Gabriel… I love you.”

It was a whisper between bloody lips.

“I love you. Please don’t do thi—”

Gabriel pulled the trigger.

Bang. Bang. Bang. Bang.

Silence.

 

About the Author

Sai Fox was born and raised in New York City, so it doesn’t come as much of a surprise that there’s an ever-present coffee cup on her desk as she writes well into the night. A chronic insomniac, some of her best ideas come to her right before heading off to bed.

Currently residing in Tokyo, Sai finds most of her time spent writing, reading, and wandering the strange and intoxicating streets that tell thousands of stories… with a cup of coffee. There is always a cup of coffee.

Sai has been writing fiction for well over a decade, enjoying the ability to push boundaries of society and sexuality through her work.

 

Author Links

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Twitter

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New Release: “A Body in the Bath House” by Brad Shreve

 

Author

I’d like to introduce a new author, Brad Shreve, an LGBT Fiction Author. Although, I typically feature Gay Romance novels, his book, “A Body in the Bathhouse” is of crime and mystery, which I am a huge fan of, featuring gay characters and theming. Mystery and Gay combined! I’m onboard and I had to feature his book.

Blurb:

This is a private investigator whodunnit mystery novel.

On the verge of bankruptcy private investigator Mitch O’Reilly takes any gig that comes his way while running his Eye Spy Supply shop in a forgotten Los Angeles strip mall. After two tours in Afghanistan, Mitch’s life amounts to running his store, coping with his fun-loving sister, Josie, and scoring with anonymous men he meets online. That changes when he gets a break. A beloved comedy scriptwriter is murdered at a bathhouse, and Mitch is hired to prove the innocence of the club custodian. Adapting from a two-bit gumshoe to a high-profile sleuth proves more challenging than he expected.

As if Mitch didn’t have enough to deal with, playful bathhouse operator Trent Nakos enters his life. After a heartbreaking past, the manager is the definition of a man the brooding P.I. actively avoids.

Following leads from sprawling mansions to sketchy hoods is demanding but becomes more troublesome when deadly threats jeopardize the biggest opportunity of his career.

This is a mystery novel.
While there is an element of romance it is definitely of the slow burn variety.

Amazon Link:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07N7MFV8V

Website: https://bradshreve.com

Facebook Group:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/bradshreve/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bradshreveauthor/

Excerpt:

Chapter One

“This case will be good for both of us,” Eve said. “If we get my client off, we look
like heroes. If we don’t, he’s just another Mexican in prison who’ll be
forgotten.”

“You’re one cold-hearted bitch.”

“Just honest, Mitch.”

Attorney Eve Aiken and I had worked together twice before. Once, I took pictures of a drug-abusing father in a custody battle. The second case involved a Pomeranian and suspicious bite marks.

“He’s probably an illegal. That’ll make it harder for us.” She pulled her gray suit jacket off, revealing a low-cut, black shell top. The skin above her breasts and down her arms was rough, wrinkled, and splotchy, making her look far beyond her fifty years. “I’ll give you the quick and dirty.”

I cocked my head and smirked. “Quick and dirty is the way I like it.”

She glared. “You probably know about the murder at that gay bathhouse yesterday.”

“It may surprise you to know there is no gay underground to disseminate information.”

“Don’t you watch the news?”

Before I could answer, a bell on the main door handle jingled. I rolled my desk chair to see the front of my store, Eye Spy Supplies. My twin sister, Josie, was showing up for work an hour late.

My desk, tucked in the corner of the cramped storeroom, is one of those heavy-as-hell, gray metal types the government used for decades after World War II. I placed my arm back on it, bumping a pile of paperwork to the floor where it mingled with more papers sorted in no particular order.

Eve scowled as she combed my shabby storeroom office with its dimmed fluorescent lighting and dark wood paneling. Stacked boxes slanted, ready to fall at any moment. A stool next to the desk barely balanced a mountain of bills on top, all stamped “past due.” I casually took a book off my desk and placed it on the pile. I had opened the store to be my own boss and get out of detective work. My plan was failing miserably. I still didn’t make enough from the store to stop being a private investigator, and I didn’t make enough as an investigator to close the store.

“You were saying?” I urged Eve on.

“A man was killed yesterday morning at the Club Silver Lake bathhouse,” she said. “Familiar with it?”

Familiar? It had been almost five years since I’d been inside, but I would never shake the lure of sheer self-indulgence that consumed my life after I left the army.

“I’ve heard of it. What happened?”

“A man by the name of Victor Verboom had his throat slashed while in a steam room. They have a suspect in custody—Ernesto Torres, a jilted lover who swears he didn’t do it. I’m defending him. That’s why I need your help.”

“Given your feelings towards ‘the gays,’ it’s surprising you took the case.”

“I work with you, don’t I? Anyway, it doesn’t matter which way the wind blows, as long as the cash is green.” She slid forward on my turquoise thrift-store couch and leaned toward me.

“They found Verboom’s body at 3:00 a.m. Apparently, he has a huge house in the hills, but he was known to sleep at the bathhouse several nights a week. Can you imagine

I could but didn’t say so. “What’s his story?”

“He was a staff writer for some TV comedy I don’t watch. It’s in the file.” She opened a manila folder that was in her lap. “Let’s see, it’s a show called Don’t
do That!
You ever see it?”

“I don’t watch much TV, but I can’t imagine you watching sitcoms. Is it even possible for you to crack a smile?”

Eve’s lips turned down, and she furrowed her brow. In an attempt to lean back, she forgot she was seated too far forward, which caused her to slump on the couch flailing her raised hands. Grunting and clearly embarrassed, she scooched up in her seat and straightened her gray, stained skirt. I was forced to grit my teeth and look away to maintain self-control.

She brushed aside a strand of her thin, black hair and crossed her arms. “Do you want this job, O’Reilly?”

“I’ll quit with the witty banter.”

“Witty? Don’t flatter yourself.”

Continue Reading New Release: “A Body in the Bath House” by Brad Shreve