There, I did it.

personal

The nagging of my conscience couldn’t do it, but a bit of extra public embarrassment worked. I wrote today!

Only 250-ish words, true, but that’s a couple hundred more words than I wrote yesterday.

Also, I’ve set myself a goal for my day off:

Saturday, I intend to finish formatting The Apex Mage. I will also complete the update on my website, and get the new version off my damn hard drive. It’s not doing anyone any good there, and the time is rapidly approaching when I need that sucker fully current and functional.

Oh, and by the way, because everything is online this year, I actually get to participate in Mile High Con! Yay for virtual author tables!

Randomness

personal, Random

I’ve been taking more writing classes again, and have come to the conclusion that I’m lazy. I keep whining to myself that I never get anything finished, yet I keep blowing off the daily writing thing. So I will now publicly embarrass myself by admitting it out loud: I play ESO when I should be writing!

There. I said it. Now to break the bad habit and start writing daily again.

Next bit of randomness: a smoky sunrise today. Never mind the dumpster, it insisted on being in the shot.

And the other bit of randomness: my camper got stolen. 😿 All that’s left is the wood I had the tongue resting on.

PROMO: All Or None

Promo

All or None - Aurora Lee Thornton

Aurora Lee Thornton has a new queer fantasy book out: “All or None.”

In a world where everyone has a soulmate, uniquely powerful mage Royiora and reluctant assassin Kalo collide in the worst of ways.

Royiora Daralkaen, the only mage alive able to use all five kinds of magic, has a near idyllic childhood in the country of Porescalia – before war breaks out with their antagonistic neighbors, Kloria.

Kalo Porla, a naturally magic-proof individual known as a Null, is trained to be as an assassin by the authoritarian empire known as the Domain.

When Kalo and his partner assassin are sent to kill a mage and his apprentice, it starts a journey neither man was prepared to begin.

Amazon | Universal Link | Goodreads


Excerpt

All or None

Is this our destination? Roy considered, but chose to wait to find out.

His assumption turned out to be correct, as Kalo sighed in relief when he saw it, leading the way right to the door and knocking.

A woman of Kalo’s race answered it, even with the same red skin and gray hair. She laughed and pulled his soulmate into a hug when she saw him, before pulling back and flicking his ear with something even Roy recognized as an admonishment.

The assassin replied something tiredly, walking past the woman with the slight limp he’d had for the past week or so.

Then she turned to the mage, and in perfect Porescalian said, “And you must be my brother’s soulmate. Hello, I’m Rela.”

Roy flinched in surprise, then cleared his throat and shook the proffered hand, “Yes, uh… I’m Royiora.”

“Do you shorten it?” Rela asked, ushering him inside, “I read most Porescalian men do.”

“Um, yes,” the Porescalian man replied, “I usually go by Roy.”

The horned woman nodded, half pushing him past high vaulted halls into another room, “You must be freezing – come on, let’s get you something warm to drink. I’m sure you have plenty of questions Kalo couldn’t answer.”

Roy didn’t get a word in until after Rela had taken the borrowed coat and replaced it with a surprisingly warm blanket, sitting him at a table in what appeared to be a study or classroom with the promised hot drink.

“There are warmth runes inside the stuffing,” someone said, and then a strange looking man with six arms and blue skin hung down from the ceiling. Unlike Rela and Kalo, he had purple glowing eyes, and held out one of his arms, “Hello, I’m Xia – Rela’s one of my soulmates, and this is our home.”

“Uh, hello,” the mage said, shaking as he looked up at the rest of the man’s insectoid body clinging to the ceiling, “I’m… Roy.”

“Nice to meet you, Roy,” Xia said, skittering over a bit to lower himself to the ground, “Rela and I took the trouble of learning your language some time ago, as our other two soulmates appear to be Porescalian as well.”

“And Kalo asked me to translate his soul writing when we were kids,” Rela said, sitting across from Roy, “He was so very excited to meet you, you know. Though, judging by the state of the two of you, I’m guessing it wasn’t under happy circumstances.”

“Not… exactly, no,” Roy said, feeling comfortably warm for the first time in a while. He took a sip of the drink – it was oddly nutty, but enjoyable nonetheless, “Uh… what… is Kalo?”

Rela snorted, “A bit of a pain in the ass, honestly.”

Xia laughed, and went over to the chalkboard in the room. He cleared it with a bit of arcane magic, and started drawing, “Kalo is what we call a ‘null’ – magic doesn’t affect him, and he can absorb it to fuel pseudo-magic abilities of a limited range.”

The strange insect man pulled back to reveal the celestial star, with words written underneath each point.

“Divine magic gives him self-regenerative abilities and invisibility,” Xia said, pointing to Radzmia’s crystal throne, then moved on to Pelzz’s obelisk, “Arcane provides mental acuity and teleportation,” onto Ruelop’s spring, “Physical resistance and enhanced senses,” Guulruf’s nine-pointed star, “Physical strength and shadow walking,” and finally, Forea’s whirlpool, “And physical speed and water breathing.”

“They identified him and our cousin when they were five,” Rela said, smiling, “We were all so excited – the government provided us stipends for their education and care. Us, a little provincial family of no repute.”

“So it’s an…” Roy struggled to keep up as the warmth and stillness worked on relaxing him to the point of drowsiness.

“That’s what they told us,” the woman snorted, taking a drink, ears flicking, “But when they were twelve, they went to the Institute.”

“Where they train them to be tools of the Trinity,” Xia sighed, coming back to the table.

“The… Trinity?” Roy asked.

“Our leaders, Frezians like Xia,” Rela supplied, then shook her head. She looked up at the mage, “Let me tell you about what happened to my brother.”

Kalo

Kalo was so glad to finally lay down on a pad and sleep without worrying about being attacked. Rela had said she’d talk to Royiora, explain things, and he trusted her to do so.

His sister and Hult might be the only people he trusted anymore.

The null didn’t know how much time had passed before there was a gentle touch on his shoulder, and his soulmate saying his name softly.

Kalo sighed, forcing himself to sit up and turn to look at the mage.

Royiora frowned at him, then his eyes lit up gold and he hesitantly reached up and laid a hand on the null’s cheek.

The assassin understood, but still hesitated himself before kissing his soulmate. It wasn’t like the time when he’d had to stop Royiora from killing them both by causing a cave in – it was slow, deceptively intimate.

He only took enough to heal his current injuries before pulling back.

The mage was still frowning at him. Royiora’s gaze fell – to the arm which used to have Kalo’s soul writing on it.

The assassin sighed, and unwrapped it. What did you go and tell him, Rela?

Kalo held the arm out, rough, burnt skin obviously clear of writing on display.

His soulmate reached out hesitantly, gentle fingertips brushing over the scarred skin. Then he took a sudden breath, hand jerking back as if he were the one burned.

Kalo looked up to see the other man crying. He shook his head, reaching out without thought to cup his soulmate’s face and brush away the tears with his thumbs, “No, don’t – don’t cry over me. I don’t deserve that.”

Royiora stared up at him, and something like resolve seemed to enter his eyes. He pushed up, barely hesitating before kissing Kalo himself.

At first, the null didn’t know how to react. This wasn’t an exchange, it wasn’t necessary. It couldn’t be affection – so what was it?

And then Royiora’s hand brushed over his burns again, and it clicked – sympathy.


Author Bio

Aurora Lee Thornton

Aurora is a nonbinary, asexual writer with a new goal in life: to write the queerest books possible. (And yes, xe means gay, but also weird is good too.)

Xe loves dragons and fantasy, and someday hopes to complete a (soft) science fiction novel as well. Currently, xe lives with xyr two cats.

Author Website: https://www.auroraleethornton.com

Author Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/AuroraLeeThorntonBooks

Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/Aurora_T_Books

Author Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/auroraleethornton/

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16358225.Aurora_Lee_Thornton

Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Aurora-Lee-Thornton/e/B078QTVKQP?ref_=dbs_p_ebk_r00_abau_000000

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PROMO: New Release! Brains and Brawn

Promo

Brains and Brawn - R.L. Merrill

R.L. Merrill has a new MM rock and roll book out: “Brains and Brawn.” And there’s a giveaway!

Billy “Brains” Brennan has achieved rock stardom in not just one, but two chart-topping bands, but events from his past have him convinced he’s living on borrowed time. Brains and his brothers-in-Hush are ready to take the last cross-country Warped Tour by storm…until the actions of two drunk dudes with bad attitudes set off a chain of events that leave him incapacitated…and face-to-face with a handsome stranger who inexplicably feels like home—and not the home Brains fled at sixteen.

Chief Petty Officer Paul McNally has spent his 25-year career as a Navy Corpsman responding to emergencies and caring for wounded soldiers. When fate has him in the right place to provide aid to a fallen rock star, it sends his life spiraling on a trajectory he never planned for. Instead of concentrating on his impending retirement and a second career, he’s now playing nursemaid to a fascinating younger man…and falling in love—a fact he can’t seem to figure out how to explain to his adult son.

A health scare, band drama, and pain from both of their pasts threatens to end Brains and Paul’s fledgling relationship. Fate brought them together. It will take trust, honesty, and hope to keep them together.

Amazon | Universal Buy Link


Giveaway

R.L. is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card with this tour – enter via Rafflecopter for a chance to win:

a Rafflecopter giveawayhttps://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js


Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b60e8d47143/?


Excerpt

Brains and Brawn meme

Paul’s head whipped around when he heard the first scream. He watched in horror as the tent Bowie had just been standing in front of—Hush’s tent—collapsed and a crowd of people fell.

Without hesitation, he ran for the tent. Then he spotted Bowie standing over some big guy.

“You okay?” he yelled to him.

Bowie nodded, his big blue eyes wide as he looked back at the disaster.

Security began barricading the area around the tent and moving the screaming fans away from the scene. Adults attempted to pull the kids out of harm’s way.

That’s when Paul saw the tabletop on the ground and a pair of black-clad legs sticking out from underneath.

Oh God.

Guys in bright yellow security shirts lifted and pulled the rest of the tent out of the way. Paul rushed toward the broken table and sank to his knees next to Brains.

“Can you hear me? Are you with me?”

Brains locked gazes with him, and Paul felt pain in his right hand. He looked down to see Brains squeezing the life out of it.

“Please don’t leave….”

Medical staff approached in blue cargo pants and polos and swarmed the members of the band and their staff, several of whom were on the ground. Two women approached Brains with medical kits, and Paul started to move back, but Brains’s grip grew tighter.

“Please don’t leave me!” Brains said again, more insistently. He was panting, his face losing color, and Paul feared he was going into shock. He glanced at the table on his legs and at the staff who were preparing to lift it off him.

Paul worried perhaps the worst had occurred, but the fact that Brains was still squeezing the shit out of his hand was a good sign.

Brains coughed as he brought his other hand up to grasp Paul’s. “Please!” His appeals were growing in urgency.

Paul leaned a little closer to his face and pressed his free hand to Brains’s cheek. “I’m not going anywhere, okay? But they’re going to lift the table now. You ready? Try not to move.”

Brains nodded—another good sign—but Paul pressed a hand to his shoulder. “Stay still.”

The staff guys counted to three, and then they lifted the table.

Brains let out a guttural shout, and tears streamed down his face as he winced in agony.

Paul breathed a sigh of relief to not see any blood or rips in Brains’s pants. He half expected to see a bone shard sticking out. But they weren’t out of the woods.

“Brains, listen to me, okay?”

“Billy.”

Paul frowned. “Billy?”

“My name is Billy. Please—”

“I’m not leaving you, but these medics here are going to look you over, and they’re probably going to poke and prod you a bit.” He nodded to the young women in Rock Medicine shirts who stood by, hesitating to approach. Paul heard sirens in the distance, which meant better-trained professionals were on their way, but Brains—Billy—needed to be assessed immediately.

“Sir, we need you to move—”

“He’s not going anywhere!” Brains shouted at them.

Paul addressed the one with the first-aid kit. “My name is Paul McNally. I’m a Navy corpsman, and I’m trained in triage and emergency medical treatment.” And I’m not leaving his side.

The young women looked to each other and then crouched down next to Billy. One of them placed a hand on Billy’s arm.

“I’m going to touch you, okay?”

“He’s staying with me, you got it? He’s staying.” Billy’s chin quivered as he spoke to the medics. The two women looked at each other with eyes wide.

Paul was losing circulation in his hand, but he wouldn’t have left Billy if the entire venue burst into flames. The way he was reacting… Paul had been through countless emergencies and could recognize when there was a psychological issue at work that needed attention.

He looked around for Bowie and saw him with Dimples, watching from a distance. Relieved that he hadn’t been hurt and seemed to be doing okay, Paul turned his full attention on Billy.

One of the women took Brains’s vitals, and the other ran her hands over his body, checking for injuries. She barely spoke to Brains, and Paul was perturbed at the way they were assessing him.

“Billy, can you wiggle your toes for me?” Paul asked.

Brains nodded, and then Paul looked at his Vans-clad feet. Thankfully, he saw movement on both.

Paul smiled down at Brains. “You’re doing great. You know what today is?”

“A fucked-up day? I had a bad feeling this morning….”

“Seems like it was warranted.”

Brains’s deep blue eyes fixed on Paul, and his breathing seemed to slow for just a moment. Paul hoped that meant he would maybe be able to relax—

“Sir, I’m going to need to put a collar on you.”

Brains flinched when the medic touched him. “I’m fine, just let me up—”

Paul placed a gentle hand on his shoulder, and it was enough to keep Brains from trying to sit up. “Billy? It’s important that you lie still and let them put a collar on you. With this sort of accident, they need to keep your spine aligned to avoid any further injury, okay?”

Brains began to pant and tugged Paul’s hand as though he wanted to try to pull up, but when he tried to move his legs, only the right one moved, and he screamed in pain.

“Look at me,” Paul said, getting closer to his face. He needed to distract him, to make Brains focus on him. “Brains, they need to take you to the hospital—”

“No. No, no, no, please,” he whispered. “I can’t go, please, Paul, please—”

“I’m not going to leave you. I won’t let them hurt you, okay? They need to take you in for X-rays to make sure nothing’s broken.”

Brains’s voice sounded like that of a frightened child. Something was seriously wrong. He pulled on their joined hands again, and the medic placed a hand on Brains’s chest to keep him from moving.

“Sir? You may have a spinal injury, so we have to place you on this backboard with a collar to protect you. If you won’t cooperate, we’re going to have to sedate you.”

“Can you give us a minute?” Paul asked the medics, irritation clear in his voice.

“We need to get him to the ambulance,” the medic closest to him said, and then was distracted by the band’s manager. She gave the medic Brains’s information and shot a worried look Paul’s direction. His full name was Billy Brennan.

Paul ground his teeth together and took a breath to calm himself. “I understand. Will you give me a moment to speak to Mr. Brennan? I’d like to avoid the use of sedatives.”

She nodded, and they stood and backed away a few feet to confer.

Paul squeezed Brains’s hand and placed the other on his forehead.

“Hey, man. The sedatives are a drag. This will all go better if you let them collar you and get you on the backboard. Hopefully everything is fine. The fact that you’re moving your toes and strangling my fingers leads me to think your spine is just fine, but it’s procedure. I swear I’m staying with you.”

Billy swallowed hard, his eyes wild. “I know I’m acting crazy. There’s a reason, I just… please.”

Paul smiled at him. “You haven’t seen crazy until you’ve got a wounded Marine pulling his pistol and pointing it at your face while you try to remove a sliver from his other hand.”

Brains’s eyes bugged out. “A sliver?”

Paul shrugged. “It was a four-inch piece of shrapnel, but I’d still call it a sliver.” He winked, and Brains barked out a laugh. Good, keep that smile. “You going to let them collar you and take you for a little ride?”

Brains’s smile faded. “Just please stay with me. Can you? Will you?”

If Paul hadn’t already been 100 percent in on this mission, he was now.


Author Bio

R.L. Merrill brings you stories of Hope, Love, and Rock ‘n’ Roll featuring quirky and relatable characters. Whether she’s writing about contemporary issues that affect us all or diving deep into the paranormal and supernatural to give readers a shiver, she loves creating compelling stories that will stay with readers long after.

Winner of the Kathryn Hayes “When Sparks Fly” Best Contemporary award for Hurricane Reese, Foreword INDIES finalist for Summer of Hush and RONE finalist for Typhoon Toby, Ro spends every spare moment improving her writing craft and striving to find that perfect balance between real-life and happily ever after.

She writes diverse and inclusive romance, contributes paranormal hilarity to Robyn Peterman’s Magic and Mayhem Universe, and works on various other writing and mentoring projects that tickle her fancy or benefit a worthy cause.

You can find her connecting with readers on social media, educating America’s youth, raising two brilliant teenagers, trying desperately to get that back piece finished in the tattoo chair, or headbanging at a rock show near her home in the San Francisco Bay Area! Stay Tuned for more Rock ‘n’ Romance.

Author Website: https://www.rlmerrillauthor.com

Author Facebook (Personal): https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100005746815103

Author Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/rlmerrillauthor

Author Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/rlmerrillauthor

Author Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rlmerrillauthor

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9828914.R_L_Merrill

Author QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/r-l-merrill/

Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/R-L-Merrill/e/B00PI6Q1LI

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PROMO: Cover Reveal! The Apex Mage

Promo, Writing

Hey, check it out! I have another cover reveal post today. And this one’s got something unusual going for it: it’s mine! Can you imagine that? I finished something!

Unfortunately, I haven’t actually finished the blurb, so all I’ve got for you is the cover. Go figure, a cover image for a cover reveal post…

The Apex Mage is coming soon to an ebook retailer (e-tailer?) near you! Better get a copy, or I’ll sick Talisha (the mage on the cover) on you. 😉

PROMO: Cover Reveal! Brains and Brawn

Promo

Brains and Brawn - R.L. Merrill

R.L. Merrill has a new MM rock and roll book coming out, and we have the cover reveal: “Brains and Brawn.” And there’s a giveaway!@

Billy “Brains” Brennan has achieved rock stardom in not just one, but two chart-topping bands, but events from his past have him convinced he’s living on borrowed time. Brains and his brothers-in-Hush are ready to take the last cross-country Warped Tour by storm…until the actions of two drunk dudes with bad attitudes set off a chain of events that leave him incapacitated…and face-to-face with a handsome stranger who inexplicably feels like home—and not the home Brains fled at sixteen.

Chief Petty Officer Paul McNally has spent his 25-year career as a Navy Corpsman responding to emergencies and caring for wounded soldiers. When fate has him in the right place to provide aid to a fallen rock star, it sends his life spiraling on a trajectory he never planned for. Instead of concentrating on his impending retirement and a second career, he’s now playing nursemaid to a fascinating younger man…and falling in love—a fact he can’t seem to figure out how to explain to his adult son.

A health scare, band drama, and pain from both of their pasts threatens to end Brains and Paul’s fledgling relationship. Fate brought them together. It will take trust, honesty, and hope to keep them together.

Amazon | Universal Buy Link


Giveaway

R.L. is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card with this tour – enter via Rafflecopter for a chance to win:

a Rafflecopter giveawayhttps://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b60e8d47142/?


Excerpt

Brains and Brawn meme

Paul’s head whipped around when he heard the first scream. He watched in horror as the tent Bowie had just been standing in front of—Hush’s tent—collapsed and a crowd of people fell.

Without hesitation, he ran for the tent. Then he spotted Bowie standing over some big guy.

“You okay?” he yelled to him.

Bowie nodded, his big blue eyes wide as he looked back at the disaster.

Security began barricading the area around the tent and moving the screaming fans away from the scene. Adults attempted to pull the kids out of harm’s way.

That’s when Paul saw the tabletop on the ground and a pair of black-clad legs sticking out from underneath.

Oh God.

Guys in bright yellow security shirts lifted and pulled the rest of the tent out of the way. Paul rushed toward the broken table and sank to his knees next to Brains.

“Can you hear me? Are you with me?”

Brains locked gazes with him, and Paul felt pain in his right hand. He looked down to see Brains squeezing the life out of it.

“Please don’t leave….”

Medical staff approached in blue cargo pants and polos and swarmed the members of the band and their staff, several of whom were on the ground. Two women approached Brains with medical kits, and Paul started to move back, but Brains’s grip grew tighter.

“Please don’t leave me!” Brains said again, more insistently. He was panting, his face losing color, and Paul feared he was going into shock. He glanced at the table on his legs and at the staff who were preparing to lift it off him.

Paul worried perhaps the worst had occurred, but the fact that Brains was still squeezing the shit out of his hand was a good sign.

Brains coughed as he brought his other hand up to grasp Paul’s. “Please!” His appeals were growing in urgency.

Paul leaned a little closer to his face and pressed his free hand to Brains’s cheek. “I’m not going anywhere, okay? But they’re going to lift the table now. You ready? Try not to move.”

Brains nodded—another good sign—but Paul pressed a hand to his shoulder. “Stay still.”

The staff guys counted to three, and then they lifted the table.

Brains let out a guttural shout, and tears streamed down his face as he winced in agony.

Paul breathed a sigh of relief to not see any blood or rips in Brains’s pants. He half expected to see a bone shard sticking out. But they weren’t out of the woods.

“Brains, listen to me, okay?”

“Billy.”

Paul frowned. “Billy?”

“My name is Billy. Please—”

“I’m not leaving you, but these medics here are going to look you over, and they’re probably going to poke and prod you a bit.” He nodded to the young women in Rock Medicine shirts who stood by, hesitating to approach. Paul heard sirens in the distance, which meant better-trained professionals were on their way, but Brains—Billy—needed to be assessed immediately.

“Sir, we need you to move—”

“He’s not going anywhere!” Brains shouted at them.

Paul addressed the one with the first-aid kit. “My name is Paul McNally. I’m a Navy corpsman, and I’m trained in triage and emergency medical treatment.” And I’m not leaving his side.

The young women looked to each other and then crouched down next to Billy. One of them placed a hand on Billy’s arm.

“I’m going to touch you, okay?”

“He’s staying with me, you got it? He’s staying.” Billy’s chin quivered as he spoke to the medics. The two women looked at each other with eyes wide.

Paul was losing circulation in his hand, but he wouldn’t have left Billy if the entire venue burst into flames. The way he was reacting… Paul had been through countless emergencies and could recognize when there was a psychological issue at work that needed attention.

He looked around for Bowie and saw him with Dimples, watching from a distance. Relieved that he hadn’t been hurt and seemed to be doing okay, Paul turned his full attention on Billy.

One of the women took Brains’s vitals, and the other ran her hands over his body, checking for injuries. She barely spoke to Brains, and Paul was perturbed at the way they were assessing him.

“Billy, can you wiggle your toes for me?” Paul asked.

Brains nodded, and then Paul looked at his Vans-clad feet. Thankfully, he saw movement on both.

Paul smiled down at Brains. “You’re doing great. You know what today is?”

“A fucked-up day? I had a bad feeling this morning….”

“Seems like it was warranted.”

Brains’s deep blue eyes fixed on Paul, and his breathing seemed to slow for just a moment. Paul hoped that meant he would maybe be able to relax—

“Sir, I’m going to need to put a collar on you.”

Brains flinched when the medic touched him. “I’m fine, just let me up—”

Paul placed a gentle hand on his shoulder, and it was enough to keep Brains from trying to sit up. “Billy? It’s important that you lie still and let them put a collar on you. With this sort of accident, they need to keep your spine aligned to avoid any further injury, okay?”

Brains began to pant and tugged Paul’s hand as though he wanted to try to pull up, but when he tried to move his legs, only the right one moved, and he screamed in pain.

“Look at me,” Paul said, getting closer to his face. He needed to distract him, to make Brains focus on him. “Brains, they need to take you to the hospital—”

“No. No, no, no, please,” he whispered. “I can’t go, please, Paul, please—”

“I’m not going to leave you. I won’t let them hurt you, okay? They need to take you in for X-rays to make sure nothing’s broken.”

Brains’s voice sounded like that of a frightened child. Something was seriously wrong. He pulled on their joined hands again, and the medic placed a hand on Brains’s chest to keep him from moving.

“Sir? You may have a spinal injury, so we have to place you on this backboard with a collar to protect you. If you won’t cooperate, we’re going to have to sedate you.”

“Can you give us a minute?” Paul asked the medics, irritation clear in his voice.

“We need to get him to the ambulance,” the medic closest to him said, and then was distracted by the band’s manager. She gave the medic Brains’s information and shot a worried look Paul’s direction. His full name was Billy Brennan.

Paul ground his teeth together and took a breath to calm himself. “I understand. Will you give me a moment to speak to Mr. Brennan? I’d like to avoid the use of sedatives.”

She nodded, and they stood and backed away a few feet to confer.

Paul squeezed Brains’s hand and placed the other on his forehead.

“Hey, man. The sedatives are a drag. This will all go better if you let them collar you and get you on the backboard. Hopefully everything is fine. The fact that you’re moving your toes and strangling my fingers leads me to think your spine is just fine, but it’s procedure. I swear I’m staying with you.”

Billy swallowed hard, his eyes wild. “I know I’m acting crazy. There’s a reason, I just… please.”

Paul smiled at him. “You haven’t seen crazy until you’ve got a wounded Marine pulling his pistol and pointing it at your face while you try to remove a sliver from his other hand.”

Brains’s eyes bugged out. “A sliver?”

Paul shrugged. “It was a four-inch piece of shrapnel, but I’d still call it a sliver.” He winked, and Brains barked out a laugh. Good, keep that smile. “You going to let them collar you and take you for a little ride?”

Brains’s smile faded. “Just please stay with me. Can you? Will you?”

If Paul hadn’t already been 100 percent in on this mission, he was now.


Author Bio

R.L. Merrill brings you stories of Hope, Love, and Rock ‘n’ Roll featuring quirky and relatable characters. Whether she’s writing about contemporary issues that affect us all or diving deep into the paranormal and supernatural to give readers a shiver, she loves creating compelling stories that will stay with readers long after.

Winner of the Kathryn Hayes “When Sparks Fly” Best Contemporary award for Hurricane Reese, Foreword INDIES finalist for Summer of Hush and RONE finalist for Typhoon Toby, Ro spends every spare moment improving her writing craft and striving to find that perfect balance between real-life and happily ever after.

She writes diverse and inclusive romance, contributes paranormal hilarity to Robyn Peterman’s Magic and Mayhem Universe, and works on various other writing and mentoring projects that tickle her fancy or benefit a worthy cause.

You can find her connecting with readers on social media, educating America’s youth, raising two brilliant teenagers, trying desperately to get that back piece finished in the tattoo chair, or headbanging at a rock show near her home in the San Francisco Bay Area! Stay Tuned for more Rock ‘n’ Romance.

Author Website: https://www.rlmerrillauthor.com

Author Facebook (Personal): https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100005746815103

Author Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/rlmerrillauthor

Author Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/rlmerrillauthor

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PROMO: Cover Reveal! Summer of Hush

Promo

Summer of Hush - R.L. Merrill

R.L. Merrill has a hot new MM Rock ‘n Roll romance out, and we have the cover reveal: “Summer of Hush.” Plus there’s a giveaway!

Hush is back… and it’s about to get loud. After two years grieving the death of his best friend, Silas Franklin is back on the road with his metalcore band, Hush. With a new member, a brilliant new album, and a headlining spot on the last cross-country Warped Tour, life couldn’t be better—unless Silas could meet the intriguing music blogger known only as the Guru.

Silas has followed his blog for years and feels the Guru might be the only person who “gets” him. For years Krishnan Guruvayoor has reported on the metal scene as an anonymous blogger, and he’s just landed an internship on the Warped Tour as well as a potential position with a well-respected music magazine.

His best friend arranges for him to meet singer Silas Franklin—but only as Krish the Intern. Their chemistry is instant, and Krish is thrilled to get to know the man behind the music. The rock star and blogger quickly go from meet-cute to cuddle session, but secrets, overprotective bandmates, meddling media, and a terrible accident all conspire against them.

Can their romance survive the summer of Hush?

This is a rerelease.

Get It On Amazon


Giveaway

R.L. is giving away a $10 Amazon gift card with this tour. Enter via Rafflecopter:

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Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b60e8d47140/?


Excerpt

Summer of Hush meme - R.L. Merrill

Krish’s finger hovered over the Play button.

What if it’s not enough?

Krish sat in his bedroom. His last final was this morning, meaning he’d unceremoniously finished college. He came straight home from school to start his new adventure. But before the insanity started, he had something very important to listen to—an album he’d been waiting two whole years to hear. The band was Hush. The album, Sunrise, was their fifth studio album since their founding in 2008.

It would break his heart to give a negative review to his favorite band. His alter ego, the Guru, was known for his brutally honest metal reviews. He had a million subscribers on his YouTube channel, where he posted weekly animated shows, five hundred thousand Twitter users who followed his musical and political rants, and his blog posts were often mentioned on such popular sites as Metal Hammer, Loudwire, and even HuffPost. He owed his readers an accurate review, even if he was conflicted.

What if losing their guitarist meant the end of Hush? He’d loved them since his brother introduced him to music—specifically metalcore—and though he loved them best, he tried to be impartial to all of the bands he reviewed, from live performances and new albums to whatever he felt the need to riff on.

And then there were his posts about social issues, namely mental health and the LGBTQ community. Those tended to get really personal, and after Gavin West committed suicide, his love of music and his personal life intersected. The blog he wrote about Gavin’s death was his most viewed ever and the one he almost didn’t post.

“Krish, darling, did you want anything to eat? You didn’t have lunch, sweetheart. I am worried about you.”

Krish’s mom stuck her head in his room and found him in the same position—earbuds in, finger over the button, and holding his breath.

“Is it the new album from Hush?”

Krish nodded.

“How is it?”

“I’m afraid to play it.”

His mom patted him on the shoulder. She knew how devastated he had been by the death of one of his favorite musicians nearly two years prior. She’d cried alongside him, just as she had a year before that when they lost his brother.

“Whatever they’ve done, it will be beautiful. They’re talented boys.”

Krish smiled up at his mom. How he managed to land the coolest Indian mom on the planet was a mystery he’d yet to solve. She indulged his every passion, from music to politics to books and his guilty pleasure, video games. Her own childhood had not been so free, so she was determined her boys would be able to do whatever they wanted with their lives. For Vivaan, that meant joining the Marines after college. For Krish, it meant a career in music journalism, and now that he’d finished his degrees, he was anxious to get started.

“Have you finished packing?” she asked him.

Krish swallowed hard. Warped Tour. The other benefit of his blog was that he’d caught the attention of Alt-Scene magazine. Their assistant to the editor in chief had arranged for Krish to join the tour. He’d remain anonymous and only the tour office manager would know who he was and why he was there. To everyone else he was just her intern. He’d post his blog as usual but also work on a piece for the magazine. If the magazine liked how he covered the tour, there was a full-time position waiting for him at the end of it.

“Mostly. Jake’s not picking me up until Friday morning. That means I have one more day to stress over what I can and can’t fit into the one duffel bag I’m allowed to bring on the bus.”

She smiled at him and tugged on his shaggy curls. “A whole summer on a bus. I hope you made room for air freshener and hand sanitizer.”

“There will be women on the bus. I’m sure between them they’ll have something that smells nice.”

“It’s been wonderful having you home,” she said, her voice softer. “I’m going to miss you.”

“I’ll miss you too, but it’s only two months,” he answered. Krish had moved home when they received the devastating news about his brother, and he’d commuted to UC San Diego for the remainder of his time there, needing to be near his parents as they all worked through their grief. Now that he’d graduated, it was time to start the next chapter in his life, and he’d been given the opportunity of a lifetime.

“The first two months of the rest of your life. This is an exciting time for you.”

He heard the tears behind her voice. He couldn’t look at her or he’d be lost.

“I wish he were here,” Krish said quietly. His brother should be having his own adventures while cheering on his little Guru. But Krish was on his own now, and it was time to think about not only starting a career and leaving the nest, but standing on his own without his biggest supporter.

“I’ll come down in a second.” Krish hugged her waist and exhaled a shaky breath.

“I’ll heat up some dinner.”

“Is there any of that tandoori chicken left?” he called to her.

“I’ll heat some up for you. Don’t get lost up here. Just push Play.”

She totally understood him. “Thanks, Mom.”


Author Bio

R.L. Merrill

R.L. Merrill brings you stories of Hope, Love, and Rock ‘n’ Roll featuring quirky and relatable characters. Whether she’s writing about contemporary issues that affect us all or diving deep into the paranormal and supernatural to give readers a shiver, she loves creating compelling stories that will stay with readers long after.

Winner of the Kathryn Hayes “When Sparks Fly” Best Contemporary award for Hurricane Reese, Foreword INDIES finalist for Summer of Hush and RONE finalist for Typhoon Toby, Ro spends every spare moment improving her writing craft and striving to find that perfect balance between real-life and happily ever after.

She writes diverse and inclusive romance, contributes paranormal hilarity to Robyn Peterman’s Magic and Mayhem Universe, and works on various other writing and mentoring projects that tickle her fancy or benefit a worthy cause.

You can find her connecting with readers on social media, educating America’s youth, raising two brilliant teenagers, trying desperately to get that back piece finished in the tattoo chair, or headbanging at a rock show near her home in the San Francisco Bay Area! Stay Tuned for more Rock ‘n’ Romance.

Author Website: https://www.rlmerrillauthor.com

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Another ESO House

ESO Housing

Okay, I confess: I don’t like vampires. I have never played a vampire character in an Elder Scrolls game. Every time one of my characters has accidentally gotten infected, I haul ass to find a cure.

But…

I bought the big vampire house in ESO.

I know, out of character and all that. But I don’t care. Because the thing is in Blackreach! I’ve always loved Blackreach, and wanted to live there. Now I can. So what if the house is an overgrown vampire’s dream, it has magnificent glowing mushrooms! And the architecture, although gloomy, is pretty cool. And right after I bought it, I had a dream that showed me what to do with the thing: turn it into a big, beautiful garden, with lots of glowy things. Reality confirmed that this is the right thing to do by having the luxury furnisher offer a bunch of glowing plants this weekend. 😀

So here are pics of the empty, naked vampire house, Bastion Sanguinaris. This one will actually get worked on pretty quickly because one of my guilds is having a housing tour next weekend and I signed this place up for the tour. Deadline! Must get to work!

Housing Stuff Is Happening!

ESO Housing

ESO housing stuff, that is. Naturally. My real-world dwelling is still a crappy old apartment.

I took five days off as a birthday gift to myself. Needless to say, I’ve done nothing much productive, and spent a whole hell of a lot of time gaming. (I actually did some 3D artwork. Shh, don’t tell anyone I accomplished something!) And, wonder of wonders, I’ve started sorting out some of my housing disasters! Despite the frustrations of lag, frame drop, and miserable low frame rates brought on by the release of the latest chapter.

So. Two places got minor updates a few weeks ago that I completely forgot about until I used them for fast travel and surprised myself. Here they are, Linchal Grand Manor with its new purple-flowering trees, and Potentate’s Retreat with a big statue that has an amazingly bright light.

Stuff I actually did this weekend, as opposed to stumbling across by accident, was a whole ton of gardening. Daggerfall Overlook was a big mess up until a couple days ago. There were a couple things inside, and the big barn outside was packed with plants.

Yes, as a matter of fact, those big trees do stick right through the roof. I tossed ’em in there for storage. But they’ve all come out now, and found nice places to grow in. The inside of the house is still super empty, but I made one small improvement, something that goes along with the backstory of the family that currently owns the estate. The ancestor that earned enough money to buy the place killed a dragon, you see…

The other place to have a dramatic change was the Thieves’ Oasis. This overgrown and thoroughly awesome place is going to be a shared home base for all of my characters, at least the ones I have now. I plopped some random things in there a while back, and made, of course, a mess.

Today I used the house to travel to and discovered that I’d made an even bigger mess outside.

Once again, I dropped all the future landscaping in a big pile and ignored it. Today, encouraged by my success with the other big pile of plants, I dove right in and started planting. Then I even managed to start organizing the stuff inside.

And yes, I know. It’s downright ridiculous to plant big trees on rooftop terraces. But that’s where I want them, and that’s where they’ll stay!

There you have it, folks, the result of me finally getting organized enough to do something with my virtual houses! Who knows when they’ll be finished, but at least they’ve been properly started.