PROMO: Graham’s Rescue

Promo

Graham's Rescue - Hurri Cosmo

Hurri Cosmo has a new MM paranormal romance out, The Oletti Shifters Book 2: “Graham’s Rescue.”

“You’re pregnant, Graham.”

Wow. Life has tossed Graham a lot of curveballs, but he never expected to hear those words. Then, just as Graham and his fated mate, Hyden, are getting used to that amazing news, someone from Graham’s past returns and kidnaps him, threatening the very future they want to build. Talk about curveballs! Graham is an Oletti, a bloodline of wolf shifters that seems to be part of an ancient prophecy, one that speaks of a hidden magical spring of water that can restore the earth and all that is in it. A power some would kill to possess. Except, in the wrong hands, it can also turn humans and shifters totally away from what, and who, they truly love, tearing families and even fated mates apart.

Unfortunately, Hyden has been forced to drink this water so no one is coming to rescue Graham. It’s now up to him to not only save himself, his unborn child and his fated mate, but very possibly the world. Except superhero capes are hard to come by and he never liked himself much in tights. Still, with the help of his Oletti powers, this should be something he could do, right? Oh, Great Wolf, let this be something I can do…

Graham’s Rescue (Book 2)

Amazon | Smashwords

Hyden’s Law (Book 1)

Amazon | Smashwords

Mates, Inc (Book 1.5 – short story)

Amazon | Smashwords


Giveaway

Hurri is giving away a $20 Amazon Gift Card with this tour. Enter via Rafflecopter:

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Excerpt

Graham's Rescue meme

Dreven shuffled to stand before Hyden and Graham and Graham couldn’t help but gaze up at the man. Oh! Such a kind face. Plus, he was beaming ear to ear. But even bent over, this old man was taller, wider, broader built than Graham. He was quite impressive. However, that huge smile faded as he studied Graham. After a few moments Dreven sighed and shook his head. Graham shot a wide-eyed glance up at Hyden who frowned deeply. What was going on? Was there a problem? Was that problem Graham? Oh damn, were they not fated mates after all? Had that been a lie too? He tried to pull away from Hyden but Hyden just tightened his grip. “Hang on, pup,” he whispered.

The spiritual leader leaned over to kiss Graham’s forehead. Reaching up, he brought Hyden’s face down to kiss his forehead as well. Immediately, Hyden let out a breath and relaxed beside Graham which allowed him to breathe again. Evidently, it was some sort of ritual for accepting Graham into the pack, maybe announcing a mating. Whatever it was sent the room into a low roar of mutterings. The older man held up a hand then turned back to Graham when the room once again was quiet.

“Oh, little one, for most of us life consists of choosing paths. We are tasked with making many decisions every day that affect what we do and where we go. Some are obvious choices, like the jobs we are meant to do. Others not so clear, like who we are to mate with. Still others of us,” he glanced up at Hyden, “make choices that affect us all and we are glad for it.” He nodded at Hyden before returning his attention back to Graham. “For every path we take, many others continue to open to us. Paths of glorious joy, love, a chance at dreams. And sometimes deception and perhaps betrayal. And so it goes all of our lives.” The older man sucked in a breath and let it out slowly as he touched Graham’s stomach. “But for a few there is an ancient calling that will allow only one path.” He gazed into Graham’s eyes. “You, my pup, are about to witness greatness.” He glanced up at Hyden. “Take good care of them, Alpha. The child he carries will change our world. And… I see great trouble ahead.”

There were gasps all around the room, the questioning whispered words of ‘child’ and ‘could he be pregnant’ flowed like a gentle wave.

Dreven’s smile, although a bit sad now, resumed as he stepped back and turned to the crowd. “We are in the presence of a pivotal moment in the lives of shifters. This” – he gestured back at Hyden and Graham – “is a true fated, destiny-bound mating between our great leader, Hyden, and this young man, Graham. A mating, of which, I can do nothing but approve.”

There was a moment of hesitation but then a cheer rose loudly from the gathered pack members. Finally, Hyden raised his hand for silence. When the noise died down, he spoke. “I did not need for the Shaman to confirm that Graham and I are fated mates. But it is good that he sees it. Thank you, Dreven, and,” he bowed slightly toward the older man. “we obviously need to talk later?” The older man nodded once and stepped back into the crowd while Hyden spoke again. “I now want to introduce to you my fated mate, Graham, soon to be Solfang. Yes, he is one of the rare Oletti and he carries my child.” He gazed down at Graham. “No one was as surprised or pleased as I was to learn that very thing just this morning.” He returned his attention to the crowd. “That is the reason I wanted this meeting. I wanted to announce Graham and I will be joined as one under the next Mating Moon a month from tonight.”

The cheer that went up was wild and the pack crowded in around Hyden and Graham. Hyden held Graham tightly to his side as congratulations and slaps on the back and handshakes rocked them both.

Suddenly there was a shout from the living room and all attention turned to Myrk, who was standing on top of one of Hyden’s beautiful coffee tables.

And he was very obviously pissed.

“You!” he pointed at Graham. “You husband stealer!” Myrk glanced around the room and then down to the elders who were sitting, stunned, on the couches. “You all know Hyden was to mate with me. And not this… this… imposter who somehow bewitched Hyden into believing he’s an Oletti. He’s no Oletti! He only claims that because he knows that’s what I am, and he thinks to trap Hyden with his fantasy of being pregnant. You can’t let this happen. You just can’t. Hyden is mine. He said so. You have to make him honor that.”


Author Bio

Hi, my name is Hurri Cosmo. I live in Minnesota where I hold tight to the idea that here, where it’s cold a good part of the year, I won’t age as fast. Yep, I avoid the truth as much as I avoid mirrors. But one of the reasons I love writing is reality doesn’t always offer up a “happily ever after” and being able to take control of that is a powerful lure. Being a happy ending junkie, writing just makes them easier to find.

Oh, I don’t mind “real life” and I do try to at least keep it in mind when I write my stories, but I truly love creating a wonderful couple, knowing they will fall in love and have their HEA every ―single ― time. And, of course, that is exactly the reason I love writing this genre, too.

Give me a glass of red wine, some dark chocolate, and my computer, whether I am reading or writing, and I can entertain myself for hours. The fact that I actually get paid to do it is Snicker bars on the frosting on the cake.

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

Author Facebook (Personal): https://www.facebook.com/hurri.cosmo

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

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6466687.Hurri_Cosmo

Author QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/hurri-cosmo/

Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Hurri-Cosmo/e/B00IZNFSXS

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PROMO: Skythane

Promo

Skythane - J. Scott Coatsworth

J. Scott Coatsworth has a new queer sci fi book out, Liminal Sky: Oberon Cycle Book 1: “Skythane.”

Jameson Havercamp, a psych from a conservative religious colony, has come to Oberon—unique among the Common Worlds—in search of a rare substance called pith. He’s guided through the wilds on his quest by Xander Kinnson, a handsome, cocky skythane with a troubled past.

Neither knows that Oberon is facing imminent destruction. Even as the world starts to fall apart around them, they have no idea what’s coming—or the bond that will develop between them as they race to avert a cataclysm.

Together, they will journey to uncover the secrets of this strange and singular world, even as it takes them beyond the bounds of reality itself to discover what truly binds them.

Get It On Amazon


Giveaway

Scott is giving away your choice of a $25 Amazon Gift Certificate or a signed first edition of the Liminal Sky: Ariadne Cycle Trilogy (USA only). Enter via Rafflecopter:

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Excerpt

Skythane Meme

Prologue

And we fairies, that do run

By the triple Hecate’s team,

From the presence of the sun,

Following darkness like a dream.

–William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Quince sat at her desk by the window of her flat, staring off into the distance through the floor-to-ceiling plas window.

Outside, the storm was coming. It had roared out of the Pyramus Mountains that morning, causing flooding all the way down to the Gildensea, and now the vast tempest was approaching Oberon City. The angry purple clouds stretched up to at least 30,000 feet above sea level, and great multiforked lightning bolts lanced down from the sky.

She was tired of everything—the city, the attitudes. A winged skythane woman among all these wingless lander men.

The streetscape of the city lay spread out below her, thousands of amber lights running in strings along the main roadways where the ground transportation rumbled among the mostly industrial buildings.

In the distance beneath the clouds, she could just make out the blue shadow of the Pyramus Mountains, their peaks a sharp-toothed wall of darkness along the eastern edge of the world. Above them, in a break in the clouds, the stars swam in the deepest night, thickest overhead.

Neither Hermia nor Lysander, Oberon’s two moons, was up to challenge the stellar dominance of the night sky. Somewhere out there, Titan Station tracked slowly across the heavens.

She watched it all from her small apartment, perched halfway up one of Oberon’s great arcos—ten two-hundred-story residential-commercial habitats that housed most of the population of the city.

In her mind’s eye, she could see the waters of the Argent Sea on another world, lapping at the rocks far below her bedroom window, half a lifetime ago.

She closed her eyes and remembered the day it had all begun.

Quince was all alone in the forest just outside Ballifor, searching for hoarberries to take back home to her uncle’s house. She walked under the great redoak trees, the sunlight filtering pink through the branches and leafy canopies down to the forest floor.

Something cracked behind her, and she spun around, catching her foot on a root and falling hard to the ground. When she looked up, winded by the fall, the most beautiful creature stood there, looking down on her.

It was a nimfeach. She… or was it a he? It, she decided. It looked like a luminescent butterfly as tall as a human being, its gossamer wings trailing off into a shower of soft sparks, golden in the darkness under the trees. Its features were humanoid, but its eyes were far larger, and its face was heart shaped.

The nimfeach had existed here for as long as humanity. There were legends about them going back to the first skythane settlers. Some said they brought luck; others that they were tricksters.

Quince was unafraid. She stood and approached the creature. Its large eyes regarded her with what she could only interpret as curiosity.

It held out a glowing hand with three fingers, and she lifted up her own so that they met.

Quince.

She nodded.

I have come to find you.

Quince broke contact, surprised. How could such a beautiful creature know someone as lowly as she, let alone want to speak with her?

The voice persisted. There is a task we must ask you to perform. It will not be easy, and it will profoundly change your life.

Quince considered. Her life was dull beyond words, living here in a small village away from Gaelan and the Court. Maybe it was time it changed for the better. She nodded. “What do you want me to do?”

The creature smiled, and Quince was flooded with warmth. When the Queen of the Gaelani calls for you, you must go. She has borne a child….

Shortly after, she had been summoned by the Queen. Apparently Robyn had gotten a visitor too.

A loud crack of thunder startled her out of her reverie. She had been so young then. Sometimes she felt she’d lived a century in these past twenty-five years.

These storms had grown worse these last few months. Her time here was growing short.

The last message from Robyn had arrived in a tube tied to the scaled leg of an imprean along with a vial of pith, a delivery method so antiquated it made her smile.

The news inside had not.

The King was dead. Whether by natural causes or the machinations of the invaders, it wasn’t clear. But what was clear was that their quarter-century wait was at an end.

Coincidental or not, the crisis they had anticipated was upon them.

With luck, they would be reunited soon, and the years-long occupation of Gaelan would come to an end. All their carefully laid plans were coming to fruition at last, but there were so many things that could still go wrong.

She tapped the side of her head, activating her cirq. “Ari, where is Davyn?” she asked quietly. It had taken Quince a long time to get used to the tech of the Common Worlds, so different from how simple things had been back home, so inherently invasive, and yet, so convenient.

Her personal assistant responded immediately. “Xander is at home. All vital signs seem normal, though he does appear to be in a state of some excitement.” The voice was warm and professional.

Quince chuckled. I’ll bet he is. “And Lyrin?” He’s finally coming home.

This time it took longer.

While she waited, Quince went over her contingency plans. She had to get the two of them together, and soon. The fate of both worlds depended on it.

She recited Elyra’s prophecy—written seven hundred and fifty years before—that she had long ago committed to memory:

Tempest comes with clash and thunder,

Skies alight with rainbow’s blood,

When the sunlight runs to red,

Comes the reaper for the dead.

One with wings as black as night

One with wings of golden light

Spin the worlds back into one

To save them from the murdering sun.

It looked like the end time was finally here.

Ari broke into her reverie. “Jameson is on approach—he has arrived at Titan Station and is expected in Oberon City by shuttle this afternoon at 13:20.”

“Thank you, Ari.” Everyone said personal assistants were just bioware, that they had no true feelings, but it cost her nothing to be polite. One never knew.

“You’re welcome, Quince.” Ari sounded satisfied.

Quince closed her eyes and sat back, thinking about all the things that could’ve gone wrong up to this point. Thinking about Robyn with her long dark hair, her eyes alight with mischief….

She shook her head. This was no time for fanciful daydreams. “Ari, access protocol ‘clear screen.’”

There was a slight pause. “Are you sure?”

“Yes, I’m sure. Please run the protocol.”

“Running protocol ‘clear screen.’”

In five minutes, all record of her time here would be erased from Oberon’s grid. Even in the virtual jungle, it was best to cover one’s tracks.

She stared off toward the edge of Oberon City for a moment longer. Beneath the approaching storm, the neat, geometric lines of the city scrambled and snarled in the Slander, where the Syndicate held sway.

Quince stood and took one last look around the small, sparsely furnished room. It wasn’t much. She had chosen it mostly for the view, which had astonished her when she had first arrived in this thriving, decadent metropolis so many years before. The room held a bed, a small writing desk by the window, and a couple chairs.

There was an open carry sack on the mattress, filled with the few possessions she cared to take with her.

The apartment was impersonal, and yet it had been hers for these twenty-five long years.

She closed her eyes. She was tired of fighting. So tired. She sighed, resigned to the fact that her life was about to change once again, but soon enough it would all be over.

She checked the contents of her carry sack once more, then ran her hand over the edge of the bag to seal it seamlessly. She snapped the straps over her shoulders, letting the sack rest between her white-feathered wings.

She closed the door closed behind her, leaving the place empty.

As if she had never been there at all.


Author Bio

J. Scott Coatsworth

Scott lives with his husband Mark in a yellow bungalow in Sacramento. He was indoctrinated into fantasy and sci fi by his mother at the tender age of nine. He devoured her library, but as he grew up, he wondered where all the people like him were.

He decided that if there weren’t queer characters in his favorite genres, he would remake them to his own ends.

A Rainbow Award winning author, he runs Queer Sci Fi, QueeRomance Ink, and Other Worlds Ink with Mark, sites that celebrate fiction reflecting queer reality, and is a full member member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA).

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

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Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8392709.J_Scott_Coatsworth?from_search=true

Author QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/j-scott-coatsworth/

Author Liminal Fiction (LimFic.com): https://www.limfic.com/mbm-book-author/j-scott-coatsworth/

Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/J.-Scott-Coatsworth/e/B011AFO4OQ

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PROMO: Prince Ivan, A. Wolfe, & A Firebird

Promo, Uncategorized

Prince Ivan, A. Wolfe & A Firebird - Eric Alan Westfall

Eric Alan Westfall has a new queer fairy tale out: Prince Ivan, “A. Wolfe & A Firebird.” And there’s a giveaway!

Dear Reader,

What do you get when you combine a greedy Great Tsar, his two cheating, bullying older sons, his youngest esser (shh! no saying that aloud) son, stolen gold apples, a Firebird quest, A. Wolfe who has the power t’assume a pleasing shape, a magickal sandstorm, as well as two bands and a full Symphony of Gipsumies?

A rollicking, roisterous Russian Fairy Tale, with vigorous esser activities in tents, halls, bedrooms and alcoves, with and without the assistance of PSTs. Plus princely parades, a duel over Gus, new lyrics to an old drinking song, and the possibility of bits of blood, gobs of gore or moments of mayhem. As required by CORA (the Code of RFT Authors), should these occur, your author will give you timely warning.

Ah. Still not ready to part with your kopek-equivalent? Consider the fun you’ll have reading chapters like:

  • “To Kvetch, Or Not To Kvetch? A Reader’s Choice”
  • “Ivan Has A Close Encounter Of The F-Word Kind”
  • “Second Direction Questers vs. The Caliph’s Sayer Of Sooths”
  • “Will Sasha Succeed In Seducing Prince Ivan?”
  • Bad Prince Ivan! No Touch Cage!”
  • “A Travel Pause For Gratuitous Sex In The Tent—Which Does Not Advance The Plot—At The Insistence Of The Characters”
  • “A Necessary Interlude To Consider The Age-Old Questing Question: What The [Expletive Of Your Choice, Dear Reader] Do We Do Next?”

If you buy it and try it, you’ll like it, or so says your most talen…er…humble author.

p.s. If Karrie Jax and I have covered you and blurbed you to buy, look for “Dear Reader, Along The Way, Did You Happen To See The Allusion To Olivier?” in the TOC. It’s a spot-the-allusions chance at gift cards of $25, $15, or $10.

166,000 words of story fun and frolic, plus a 2160-word teaser from another MM fairytale: The Tinderbox.

Amazon | Smashwords | Universal Buy Link


Giveaway

Eric is giving away a $20 Amazon gift card with this tour. Enter via rafflecopter:

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Excerpt

Prince Ivan, A Wolfe & A Firebird meme

IVAN PUTS HIS HORSE AT RISK, AND MEETS A. WOLFE

“A wolf who talks,” Ivan said, his voice all full of surprise.

“I am not a wolf, Prince Ivan, I am A. Wolfe.”

Ivan lifted an eyebrow, in his long-perfected “inquiring princes want to know what you mean” mode, while wondering what effect it might have on such an enormous beast. Well, not a beast, exactly, since it could talk.

No reaction, except the bright gold eyes—so like one of his father’s apples, well-polished after plucking, or the gold circles in the Firebird’s tail—stared back, unblinking.

Since his eyebrow inquiry failed to a verbal response, it was Ivan’s turn to talk. Politeness had worked with the Firebird, when used in place of “I am royal, hear me roar” arrogance, and might be best for Ivan’s well-being in the current situation, conversing with a wolf, the top of whose head was above Gus’ shoulder.

“‘A wolf who talks,’” yes. My exact words, Sir Wolf.”

The wolf opened his mouth. Wide. No mere flash this time. Ivan was fully fanged. As they had only just met, he could not tell whether he was being fang-grinned for a reason he could not fathom, or fierce-fanged to frighten him. If it was the latter, there was a glimmer of starting-to-work happening.

But the wolf’s voice was neither fierce nor fun-filled when he hid most of his fangs and talked again. His tone was a goblet of great size, filled not just to the brim but overflowing—with more coming from somewhere so the over kept on flowing—with…patience. The kind of patience you use for, with, and on, those who are not very bright. Indeed, those who are so dim that if their brains were used to provide light for reading at night they’d be as effective as an inch-tall stub of a quarter-inch wide candle, set in a candlestick in the bowels of a cavern on the far side of a mountain range five-and-a-half eighths of a continent away.

“When you bathe, do you clean your ears, Prince Ivan?” [See above for how he said it.]

“Uh…what?”

A sigh was heard.

Ivan wished he’d brought along a sigh that big, but then, since it was a large wolf letting it loose, accompanied by, Ivan was almost sure, a hint of a scent of pasta, pesto, garlic and butter, Ivan might not have been able to use it with the same effect. The sigh might almost have been designed to complement the show-patience-to-the-afflicted voice.

“Do. You. Clean—”

“I heard you the first time, Sir Wolf. I just don’t understa—”

It was the wolf’s turn to interrupt. “It’s clear you don’t understand, young prince. I was trying to ascertain whether your inability to understand plain Russian was based on a physical defect—stuffed ears, whether unclean or for another reason, bad hearing, something of that sort—and if not, on some mental lack which in theory requires me to be considerate and gentle.”

There was a tiny pause, so infinitesimal Ivan would have had no chance to get a syllable of a word in edgewise, sidewise, upwise, or downwise, even had he tried. “You do understand kindness and gentleness are not traits associated with a wolf, and especially not A. Wolfe?”

At the end of this series of insults, the Great Tsar would have raged, calling on his ever-present Imperial Guards to “Rid me of this wolf!”

Anatol would have ranted about the presumptuousness of peasants who did not know or stay in their proper place, probably forgetting who had just offended his sense of propriety.

Vlad would have grabbed his sword, and whether from horseback, or following a grandiose leap to the ground which displayed his awesome athleticism for the admiration of any viewers lurking in the vicinity—it was his policy to always act as if he was being viewed with admiration—would have started hewing and hacking away.

In part because Ivan suspected the outcome would have been the same with all three of those scenes—dead soldiers, dead royal family, likely including bystander youngest prince—Ivan chose the fourth door…and laughed.

He couldn’t say why he saw—thought he saw—a twinkle of humor in the great golden eyes. But he must have been right, because the wolf didn’t leap up, all howling, growling and slavering, and drag him off Gus before doing the devouring which would logically follow offending laughter.

Ivan forced a halt to his own humor. With gasps interrupting his initial words, he said, “My apologies, Sir Wolf. I was not laughing at you. It was an image in my head of my family’s reactions to your words, and yours to theirs. However, with all the respect to which you are entitled, which seems to be at least a reasonable amount”—Ivan was willing to be reasonable, but not obsequious—“I have no mental or physical defect which interferes with my hearing or my understanding. Perhaps the, ah, flaw lies in your explanation of what you mean? Or, you might consider, the lack of one?”

Ivan gave the wolf a princely grin of satisfaction with his response.

Wolfe gave the prince back a wolfeish huff. “I’ll entertain the possibility you might be right, if you’ll entertain the possibility you are not listening as well as you should.”

Ivan nodded.

“Very well. Repeat after me, ‘A wolf is not the same as A. Wolfe.’”

“A wolf is not the same as a wolf.”

Wolfe sighed again. He apparently had an inexhaustible supply, in a wide range of sizes.

“A wolf is an animal, Prince Ivan. It resembles me, but is far smaller, roams the forest, howls from time to time for various reasons, and at times for no reason at all. Perhaps because it doesn’t reason. I am a wolfe—with an ‘e’ at the end. Which means I have magickal skills. My name is: A…full stop…Wolfe.”

Ivan grinned again. “Your first name is Afullstop? What an unusual name. Not Russian, is it?”

No. Not an ‘uh’ sound, but a long a-sound, which rhym… You’re teasing.”

Ivan learned another lesson in wolfe-prince relations. A wolf-with-an-e-at-the-end could grin, without his fangs looking all fearsome.

Ivan widened his own grin. “I am. So what does long-A stand for?”

“Aleksandr.”

“A handsome name for a handsome wolf-with-an-e.”

Ivan paused. He shouldn’t, he really shouldn’t, but he decided he would, anyway. “Sir Wolfe, now that I know your name is A. Wolfe, and since we are being so precise with our pronunciations, are you really quite certain I shouldn’t call you ‘A. Wolfie?’ To be sure the final ‘e’ gets its just and proper due?”

Ah. So that’s what a Wolfeish glare looked like with a fillip of fang.


UNIQUE CONTENT!

A Pause to Provide a Reassuring Response for the Horse Kvetchers in the Crowd

The author extends his apologies, dear reader, for this interruption. But the kvetchers in the crowd, whinging on and on about the horses, are a probable distraction for other readers who, unlike you, are incapable of fully focusing on the tale while extraneous noise is being made. So, if you will be so kind as to bear wi—

The horses belonging to the princes. As you will recall, the horses were…

Oh. You don’t.

Ah.

Well, in that case, this interruption will serve as a reminder for those who perhaps don’t care as much as they should about tales which seem to include the abandonment of two fine animals to an unknown, and potentially dire fate, given the RFTness going on. This will also be a reassurance for those more vocal in their concerns over the possibility of off-page horse endangerment.

As it so happened—and as you know, you may trust the author to true-tell all this tale’s events occurring on and off the pages—not long after the brothers were swept up and swirled away by the sandst…

No. There has not been a precise allocation of the passage of a particular amount of time sufficient to serve as a definition of “not long.” Suffice it to say—and with all the authorial respect appropriately due to the kvetchers in the crowd, when this author decides something sufficeth, more than a mere sufficiency of sufficing has thereby been accomplished—the not-longness was not short enough to make subsequent events even more improbable than they already are because of the fairy taleness occurring, but also not long enough for the horses to experience more the mildest need for something to eat or drink.

If the author may now proceed?

Thank you.

As the author was saying, not long after the brothers were swept up and swirled away by the sandstorm, a band of Gipsumies happened by.

A happenstance of any form, of course, is by its very nature naturally nothing more than an alternative form of coincidence, but one which carries with it far less sheerness.

The Gipsumies—sometimes referred to by the ignorant as Roaminies, which they find offensive—were experienced travelers and well aware they were well beyond the far edge of All The Russias in the third direction.

Their band arrived at the site of the happenstance—the location of two saddled, bridled, Imperial warhorses—with all its instruments in tune, and being played with vigor, especially the violins, and with the men, women, and other genders, dancing with spectacular (of the non-Russian-axe variety) leaps and bounds, swirls and twirls and intricate steps. The perfect-pitch singers sang a series of songs during the course of the happening-by arrival, with also-perfect timing so they all finished simultaneously with a final stamp of the dancers’ feet, and a long-lasting high or low note from the singers.

No. There is no definition of how long the last notes lasted.

Great Tsar’s War Hammer, as named by Vlad—the horse much preferred his actual name, Nikki, but he answered to the other one because he had no choice—had seen a Gipsumy arrival before in Moscow and was impressed. Unaware this was only a rehearsal, he rose a bit on his back legs, and slammed his front feet down, giving them his stamp of approval.

Gleb, who answered to Anatol’s choice of Imperial Storm Racer, had seen that Moscow arrival alongside Nikki, but was less impressed with this one. He gave it only a modest half-stamp of a left foreleg of approval.

Rehearsal and arrival complete, the members of the band swiftly put their instruments away, stripped off their costumes and handed them over to the cleaners, and donned working garb in dull, drab colors, designed to make them easily overlookable in civilized circumstances. That done, the pre-selected men and women—it was the other genders’ turn for a day off from this task—spread out to investigate this most excellent finding in many a happening-by.

What the surroundings said to the Gipsumy investigators in subtle signs was threefold.

First fold, “There’s no one anywhere around who might claim to be the owner of the horses.”

Second fold, “There are some owner-type footsteps leading from the horses to the edge of the desert, but there are no steps indicating an owner’s desire to return to two valuable horses before anyone happens upon them and concludes they were abandoned. There are no signs of steps to the right of the desert line, nor steps to the left, or steps out into the desert. Therefore, the only conclusion to a reasonable degree of Gipsumy investigatorial certainty, is that the owners stepped out onto the sand and were likely sucked down.” (One lithe, elegant, more fey than the Fae, Gipsumy man sighed at the thought of such a sad ending to a sucking.)

Third fold, “Inasmuch as horse abandonment is a clear sign of intent to relinquish ownership thereof to anyone who thereafter happens by, and we, having thereafter happened by, it unquestionably follows the horses, and everything on them, are ours.”

Experienced in avoiding ownership confusions caused by returning persons denying horsical abandonment, the members of the band took the time for a brief meal and taking care of those needs which cannot be mentioned. After hitching Nikki and Gleb to the back of the chief’s caravan, and storing the saddles, bridles, saddlebags, and everything else in secret compartments scattered throughout the rest of the band’s caravans, they left the scene of the happenstance.

Some time later—

No!

they reached actual civilization, and thanks in part to the parchment provenance carefully crafted on the way, the Gipsumies made a more than healthy profit off an investment of the few rubles spent keeping the horses healthy and happy on the journey.

As paid-up members of GAPCHBOP—the Gipsumy Association for the Prevention of Cruelty to Happened-By Beasts and Other Property—this band took more than the minimum amount of time mandated by GAPCHBOP rules to ensure that the new owner of both horses would treat them with love, care, and good food, water and grooming.

The author adds his personal assurances that many years after the events in this tale were concluded, Nikki and Gleb died of comfortable old age, surrounded by several herds’ worth of horsical friends, acquaintances and a great many descendants, the pair having been most active in their post-prince years.

Moving along, dear readers, moving along…


Author Bio

Eric Alan Westfall

Eric is an American Midwesterner, and as Lady Glenhaven might say, “He’s old enough to have sailed with Noah.” In the real world he writes for a living, with those who would claim what he writes is fiction. His partner of thirty years—who died unexpectedly in 1995—enthusiastically encouraged him to try to get his writing published (mostly poetry back then, plus some short stories), but he didn’t have the guts to do so until 2013. At this point he’s not sure which was officially first, The Song, or Like a Mountain, Waiting.

Starting then, he’s published 13 novels and novellas, 1 poetry collection, 2 short story collections, and 3 short stories. God willin’ and the crick don’t rise, 2020 will also see The Tinderbox out and about. But since real life is, as we all know, a pain in the (anatomical site of your choice)…no guarantees.

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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:

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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! 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:

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

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

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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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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

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: Hearts Ablaze

Promo

A.D. Ellis has a new contemporary MM romance out: “Hearts Ablaze.”

Chase Steele and Xander Copperfield are down on their luck, as similar as they are different, and ready for a love they didn’t even realize they’d been waiting on their whole lives.

With two gorgeous “tough guys” discovering and exploring their true selves, Hearts Ablaze is a steamy, slow-burn, friends-to-lovers, opposites attract, bisexual awakening romance.

*This is the first book in the Forged in the City series.*

Amazon | QueeRomance Ink | Goodreads

About the Series:

Love will find you whether you’re ready for it or not. Join the men of the Forged in the City series as they navigate the twists and turns of falling in love when it’s least expected. This series contains steamy, M/M age-gap, opposites-attract, friends-to-lovers romance tropes.

Series Link


Giveaway

A.D. is giving away a $20 Amazon gift card with this tour. Enter via Rafflecopter for a chance to win:

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Excerpt

Hearts Ablaze Meme

As I quietly opened the door, I was overcome with nervous anticipation. Sage and Bode were nice, they invited me to stay, there was no reason to feel like I was intruding or needed to sneak around.

Yet, I found myself just outside of the kitchen eavesdropping on Sage and Bode. I hadn’t meant to slink in the shadows and listen to their conversation, I just wasn’t exactly sure where I wanted to be and their words caught my attention. Before I knew what was happening, I was spying like a damn spying spier.

“Think about it. It’s like fate. Remember when you didn’t want me to move in here? You did everything you could to convince the guys to pick someone else. But you ended up with me and it turned out to be fabulous.” Sage’s words were low and persuasive. “Ginny finds her long-lost nephew, he discovers his aunt and a sister he never knew, and it looked very much like he and Xan are totally hitting it off.”

“Babe, he’s a complete stranger.” Bode’s words were gruff.

“Ginny had his records checked. You checked his records—even had Mark check them which I’m still not okay with. We could run a complete check for employment.” Sage paused and I heard the soft noises of a gentle kiss.

Bode groaned.

I was a total perv hiding in the shadows and getting turned on knowing Sage and Bode were kissing.

“We need an employee. We have an extra room.” Sage was laying it on thick. “We could help bring two siblings together and maybe even strike a love connection.”

Bode began to speak, but I missed what he said because I nearly shit myself as Rosie gripped my hand and basically screamed, “Whatcha doin? Why you hidin?”

Sage and Bode stuck their heads out of the kitchen and I prayed to melt into a puddle right there. Rosie shrugged when she realized it wasn’t a game and went back to playing with Oliver.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to listen in.” My words poured from me like the pathetic excuse they were. “Really, I came for coffee, heard Sage and didn’t want to interrupt. By the time I realized you were talking about me, it was too late and I was frozen.” I ran a hand over my face, my cheeks on fire. “Shit, I’m so sorry.”

“Don’t sweat it,” Sage assured and waved a dismissive hand in the air. “Coffee?”

Since I wasn’t lucky enough to die on the spot, I nodded and entered the kitchen. “Yes, please.”

“Well, what would you think?” Bode leaned against the counter.

“About?” I stammered.

Sage beamed at Bode. It was clear Sage had won. Something told me Sage often won when it came to winning over Bode.

“Sage is right. We do need an employee at The Lizard. We lost quite a few people to college graduation or busy school schedules.” Bode shrugged. “We planned on inviting you to be around as much as possible to build a relationship with Rosie. If you’d be willing to have a complete background check, the position and room are yours.”

I stared at him for years. Decades even.

“What’s wrong with him? Did I break him?” Bode scowled and spoke out of the corner of his mouth to Sage.

Sage chuckled and moved closer to me. He pushed my jaw up. “Close your mouth, sweetie.” He stepped between me and Bode. “Chase, would you like a job at The Salty Lizard? It’s not glamorous or exciting.” He frowned. “Actually, it can be kinda exciting sometimes. And it’s always fun. Great people.” He dipped his head to catch my eyes. “Chase? Job? You want it?”

I nodded and tried to work my sandpapery thick tongue. “Yes, yes, of course, I want it.” I tried to breathe, but my lungs seemed to be faltering.

“We have a room here. You’d pay rent, but it’s a decent price. We’d set some ground rules. You’d have to be okay living with kids.” Sage spoke slowly as if trying to explain quantum physics to me. “Would you like the room?”

“I, um, I just can’t. I mean, yes, of course I’d want the room, but I can’t ask you guys to give me a job, give me a room, and let me hang with my sister. It’s too much.” I moved to the right and leaned against the sink.

“Want to talk about the rent and salary? Make a decision from there?” Sage patted my arm.

I nodded mutely.

Sage went to check on the kids and set them up with crayons and coloring books along with Kidz Bop on a tablet.


Author Bio

A.D. Ellis is an Indiana girl, born and raised. She spends much of her time in central Indiana as an instructional coach/teacher in the inner city of Indianapolis, being a mom to two amazing school-aged children, and wondering how she and her husband of almost two decades have managed to not drive each other insane. A lot of her time is also devoted to phone call avoidance and her hatred of cooking.

She loves chocolate, wine with friends, pizza, crocheting and naps along with reading and writing romance. These loves don’t leave much time for housework, much to the chagrin of her husband. Who would pick cleaning the house over a nap or a good book? She uses any extra time to increase her fluency in sarcasm.

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

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

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

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

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8068864.A_D_Ellis

Author QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/a-d-ellis/

Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/A.D.-Ellis/e/B00K0YJ8CW

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PROMO: Warrior’s Way

Promo

Warrior's Way - M.J. Calabrese

M.J. Calabrese has a new Gay/Bi mystery thriller out: “Warrior’s Way.” And there’s a giveaway!

Friends since childhood, Albuquerque detective Eagle Woodard and criminal profiler Adam Coulter are dragged into a serial killer case. Gay couples are being murdered and tortured and the FBI needs their help to capture the sadistic murderer.

Deciding to implement a plan to trap the killer, Adam and Eagle go undercover as an involved gay couple. Or is it really pretend?

Faced with their toughest challenge yet, they must find the 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?

Please Note: This is the first book in an ongoing story arc. Although the case is solved, the relationship ends on a cliffhanger. Contains graphic violence and scenes of torture.

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CAN | QueeRomance Ink


Giveaway

M.J. is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card with this tour. Enter via Rafflecopter for a chance to win:

Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b60e8d47125/?


Excerpt

Warriors Way Meme

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.

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.


Author Bio

Warriors Way author logo - M.J. Calabrese

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.

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

Author Facebook (Personal): https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100043704531611

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

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

Author Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mj.calabrese/

Author QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/m-j-calabrese/

Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/M-J-Calabrese/e/B082VDNB6T/

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PROMO: Far Away

Promo

Far Away

Bryan T. Clark has a new contemporary MM romance out: “Far Away.” And there’s a giveaway!

First love can save you … and ruin you …

Eighteen-year-old Noah Rothenberg spent the perfect summer with his first love, the charming and seductive Spiro. He fell head over heels in love from what started as a clumsy crush.

But that was twelve years ago. His relationships since have been spectacular failures because of how things ended with Spiro. If he has any hope of moving forward, he needs to find Spiro and get some closure … even if he has to fly halfway around the world to do it. Too bad he instead finds himself falling—again—for the man who ruined him for all other men.

Love isn’t an emotion Spiro Papadopoulos entirely trusts anymore. He’s far too pragmatic for that. His focus these days has to be on his art and caring for his ailing mother. Being with Noah again is easy and feels so right … but is it love? Spiro isn’t sure. Besides, with his entire life being tied to Greece and Noah’s to New York, love might just be a luxury neither of them can afford.

Can Spiro and Noah overcome the oceans and years between them—or will their second chance at love end as badly as their first?

Amazon | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | QueeRomance Ink


Giveaway

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

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Excerpt

Far Away meme

“Good morning, Mr. Rothenberg.” Eros put a hand on his knee to steady himself as he stood. Aloof in the shadows, Spiro held his gaze on him. Noah couldn’t look away as Spiro’s eyes washed over him from head to toe. Were they brown or green? Afraid he’d stared too long, he broke eye contact, his eyes sweeping past the visitor’s long dark sideburns that cupped his ears.

“Sorry to disturb you.” Noah’s voice cracked. He cleared his throat and tried to put on a cool and collected face, not wanting to seem like the dork that he was. “I was hoping you could help this morning with the rowboat.” His thumb pointed to the boathouse, but his eyes remained on Spiro. Face-to-face, Eros’s nephew was… beautiful. A statue of beauty.

Noah tried to look away but couldn’t. Yes, Spiro was a hair taller than he. His square jawline, straight nose, and jade eyes rimmed in gold were mesmerizing. Noah’s heart sped as he broke eye contact. Excitement swirled in his gut at the proximity of this Adonis.

“Sure.” Eros tossed his hammer into his box of tools. Noah’s eyes followed Eros as Eros turned and spoke to his nephew.

Noah’s eyes drifted to Spiro’s bow-shaped lips before moving up to his eyes. Their eyes met, causing Noah’s heart to skip a beat. Noah had no idea what he saw in those cat eyes that were staring intensely back at him and caused his heart to flutter. It wasn’t disdain, dominance, or dismissal, the usual looks his peers gave him upon meeting him for the first time. It was… he’s really looking at me.

Everything about Spiro enthralled him. No longer wishing away the next two months before he could escape to Harvard, he was cautiously excited about the summer.

“Hi, I’m Noah.” He felt the heat of a blush on his cheeks as he extended his hand. Spiro looked directly at him; his deep stare instantly pinned Noah. His dark locks of hair, jet black, ran the length of his neck and curled at the nape of his neck. Noah tried to release a breath quietly. Adrenaline pumped through his veins like the multiple streams that fed into Lake Winnipesaukee. He’d never acted this boldly when it came to meeting someone. The way Spiro looked at him gave him the boost of confidence that he could actually stand here and talk to him. This was a first, and it surprised him.

Spiro shook Noah’s hand. “Um, my English is not so good. My name is Spiro.” A deep voice cast from his full lips. Spiro saying his own name sounded more exotic than when Noah’s grandmother said it.

Geeze Louise, his teeth are perfect, too. They’re so freaking white. Noah stumbled over his own words as he searched for something to say. Spiro’s gaze kept Noah from looking for more than a second before lowering his head.


Author Bio

Bryan T. Clark

Bryan T. Clark is a multi-published award-winning author of gay romance, and contemporary books.

In his early in life, Bryan learned that he was different from everyone else in his world. As a young African American boy, he was the second to the youngest of seven children. Long before hormones kicked in and the realization of same sex attraction, it was his light skin and blond hair that made him different from those around him. Teased within his own race for being lighter than everyone else, the kids on the playground called him “Cornbread”.

As a writer, Bryan has taken back the power once given up to those schoolyard bullies. He is committed to bringing his readers stories of real life, with multicultural characters, riveting plots, and where the underdog always wins. He is the founder of Cornbread Publishing: the name empowers him and is a constant reminder that life can have a Happily-Ever-After.

Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Bryan and his husband of thirty-six years has made their home and life in the Central Valley of California.

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

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