Book Blitz: Lace Lovers by LJ Hamlin (Excerpt & Giveaway)

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Title:  Lace Lovers

Author: L.J. Hamlin

Publisher:  Torquere Press

Cover Artist: Kris Norris

Release Date: 6/16/16

Heat Level: 3

Pairing: M/M (With F/F Secondary Characters)

Length: 36K

Genre/Tags: Contemporary, M/M Romance, Erotic Romance

Synopsis

Brenton is a famous rock start. He’s also bisexual and closeted, despite the band’s very open nature. When Zeke comes to work for them, Brenton can’t help but be tempted by him. However, he has far bigger problems when he finds a picture that’s been shoved under his door. The band has dealt with stalkers before, but this time Brenton seems to be the focus.

Zeke has a hidden life that’s also captured the stalker’s interest. Can Brenton put his baggage aside to win over Zeke and survive the stalker who wants to do them harm?

Excerpt

“Not that he told his parents. He came out a few years ago, but he doesn’t seem to have an issue with his sexuality. That was another reason why Chris and I thought him being around the band could be a good idea. Everyone’s either gay, bi, or totally accepting of gay people. I think it’ll be a good environment for him,” Jamie says, and Brenton’s careful not to react. He can’t lie to himself that he hadn’t wondered this evening if Zeke were gay, but he doesn’t know how it makes him feel.

Because what does it mean? It means, if Brenton wasn’t an emotionally retarded closet case, he could date Zeke. But dating a man, that would mean telling everyone he likes men. First, the band would know, then the media, and inevitably his family would know, and they would never talk to him again and despite their faults, Brenton loves them.

“Don’t you want Jed to watch out for him? They have more in common, both being gay,” Brenton says, feeling like a fraud.

“Jed is my best friend, but he’s so confident, so outgoing. He was never the shy kid in class. I think you and Zeke would have more in common. And I trust you to be a good influence. God knows I love Drew too, but I don’t want him telling Zeke to party all the time and bed-hop from partner to partner. You’re a little more sensible,” Jamie says reasonably.

Brenton is kind of touched. Jamie trusts him to look out for her family, to help a guy who might have some troubles, has already admitted he’s not confident, and he knows this job is supposed to help with that.

“I’ll be extra nice to him,” Brenton promises.

“I know it’s asking a lot, but just do a few things with him. Get him to do errands with you. I’m not saying you have to be his best friend. I just, I like him, and his mom is worried. They’re family, in a different way than you guys are family. I was hoping that maybe one side of my family could help the other.” Jamie sighs.

“I’ll spend some time with him. I’ll try and help him out of his shell a little,” Brenton promises, hoping he won’t regret it.

“Thank you.” Jamie smiles, and Brenton wants to help her out. She’s done enough for the band over the years.

Brenton joins the rest of the band to say good night and gets driven to his apartment. When he opens the door, there’s an envelope on the floor in front of him, a large square that has been slipped under his door.

He picks it up, closing the door behind him. He assumes it’s from someone else in the apartment building, but Brenton gets a shock when he opens up the envelope. It’s a picture, just one picture, of Brenton sleeping in his bed, in this apartment.

Brenton flips the image over to see if it says anything, and it does.

Watching you…

Putting down the picture and envelope on the small table by his door, Brenton sets his security system. He’s always had one because of overeager fans, but he got a better one when Jed was being stalked.

Stalked… Is he being stalked? It’s one picture, one very creepy picture. Brenton doesn’t know what to do.

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Torquere Press

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Meet the Author

L.J. Hamlin is a twenty-something (getting older every day) author, who has been writing all her life, mainly in notebooks no one else ever saw. Then she discovered M/M groups online and was encouraged by friends to share her stories. After a while (and with a lot of pushing) she grew brave enough to attempt getting published. Now she shares her stories with others and hopes never to stop. L.J. loves cats and pretty much all animals, is a collector of many things, often weird, but most of all books.

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Book Blitz: Orion’s Way by DC Juris (Excerpt & Giveaway)

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Title:  Orion’s Way

Author: DC Juris

Publisher:  Torquere Press

Cover Artist: Kristin Norris

Release Date: 6/15/16

Heat Level: 5

Pairing: M/M

Length: 10,000

Genre/Tags: BDSM, Paranormal, Vampires, Romance, Erotic-Romance, M/M Romance

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Synopsis

Orion is a vampire with a tragic past. After running away from abusive parents at the tender age of sixteen, he was turned by a ruthless elder vampire and forced to torture and sexually abuse human feeders and submissive vampires. Though that’s all behind him now, he still lives in the shadow of what he was, and it’s cost him the loyalty of Xavier, the human feeder he loves. Malagan is Orion’s closest friend–the vampire who saved him from brutality all those years ago. Malagan knows the dominant side of Orion–the side Xavier needs–is still there, lurking below the surface. But if Orion’s going to find his way back to who he ought to be, he’ll need help. And Malagan is just the man for the job.

Previously published by Breathless Press.

Excerpt

Freak. The word went straight to Orion’s guts and set a shiver of hatred running up his spine. He pushed his shoulders back and stood taller, towering over Clay, but to no effect. Clay didn’t back down, didn’t turn away, didn’t show one single sign of submitting.

Clay laughed and snapped his fingers in Orion’s face. “Look at you. Size of a fucking giant, but the balls of a three year old. You’ve got no spine, Orion. You’re nothing but a simpering weakling who hides behind Malagan.” He turned away and moved to the bar.

“Don’t turn your back on me,” Orion warned, tempting fate.

“Why not?” Clay called over his shoulder. “What are you going to do about it? You going to beat me senseless and take what you want? That’s what you were good at, wasn’t it? Why don’t you come over here and try it, freak? That’s right, come on over here. I won’t even turn around. I’ll let you have the first hit. That’s all you need. Just that first hit to get you going. And then you’ll bloody me up, right?”

“I’ll do what I must to get Xavier away from you.” Orion took a deep breath and stood his ground, unmoving. He wasn’t about to back away, but he wouldn’t do anything rash either.

Clay rounded on Orion and smirked. “You don’t have the guts.”

The door opened behind them, and Orion turned to see Malagan standing in the opening. Elation and anger warred within him. He wanted to smile and gloat to Clay that now things would go his way, but another part of him hated Malagan for showing up, for stealing his thunder. For proving Clay right.

“He may not,” Malagan murmured. “But I do.” He swiveled his head to look at Orion, sent a knowing, compassionate look Orion’s way. “Xavier and I will meet you back at the lair.”

Heart pounding, Orion swallowed his pride and nodded. He left Clay’s house, the sounds of breaking glass and Clay’s yelling echoing down the path. He stopped at his car and turned back toward the house. This wasn’t Malagan’s fight — Malagan hadn’t started it, after all, and Malagan shouldn’t be the one finishing it. Orion took three steps up the path and froze as his guts knotted up and a wave of nausea assaulted him. Gagging, he pressed the back of his hand to his mouth and stumbled back, colliding with the front of the car.

Frustration tore at him. Self-loathing and worthlessness wrapped their claws around him and pulled him under. Orion whirled and brought both fists crashing down onto the hood of his car. Again and again, until he’d left a bloody dent. Exhausted, lightheaded, he straightened and choked on a throat full of tears as he ran his fingers over the ruined hood. Why did he break everything he touched?

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Orion's Way SquareMeet the Author

Romance author, sci-fi fan club Captain, cosplayer, reigning Queen of Monkeyland, and random menace. Yep, we’re talking about DC Juris. She’s a cupcake-making, football-watching, rubber-duck-collecting, drag-show loving, full-of-fabulous-with-a-capital-F kinda gal. She’s also an ordained minister and an amateur photographer. She lives in Upstate New York with her husband, three dogs, and three cats. When she’s not writing, you can find her in her favorite chair watching Star Trek and Supernatural repeats on Netflix, or surfing the web for porn. Er…research. Surfing the web for research. She may speak softly but she lives and loves loudly. Just ask the neighbors. ::wink::

 

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http://dcjuris.blogspot.com

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Guest Post & Giveaway: Breathing Betrayal by Bellora Quinn & Sadie Rose Birmingham

Breathing Betrayal BannerTitle:  Breathing Betrayal

Author: Bellora Quinn and Sadie Rose Bermingham

Series Title and Number: Elemental Evidence, Book One

Publisher:  Pride Publishing

Cover Artist: Emmy Ellis

Release Date:  June 7th,  2016

Heat Level: 3

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 96,902

Genre/Tags: Crime and Mystery, Erotic Romance, Paranormal

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Synopsis

Jake Chivis is the descendant of Fire Elementals with a gift for psychometry, the ability to see memories from touching objects. After a bad breakup and trouble at work, Jake gave up his career as a detective in Detroit and moved to England to join a research program studying Elemental gifts at University College London. It seemed like the perfect way to escape his past and start over, and this time he’s vowed not to fall into the trap of dating a coworker. At least that’s the plan, until he meets Doctor Ilmarinen Gale.

Mari Gale is blond, sexy, relentlessly academic and comfortable in his own skin in a way Jake envies. After a handful of embarrassing encounters, Jake is ready to resign himself to staying under the radar, but when a colleague’s brother goes missing, he and Mari must work together to find him. As they dig into the inexplicable disappearance, Jake is impressed with Mari’s competence and unique skills, and even more impressed by his ability to wrap Jake around his finger. Together the unlikely pair discover murder, betrayal, secrets and just how high Mari can fan Jake’s flames.

Excerpt

Rain pink-pink-pinked against the window pane and drip-drip-dripped into the pot that Jake had placed under the leak in the hallway. Murky gray morning light greeted him when he opened his eyes. Another drizzly day. He had thought that was just some persistent stereotype, a comic exaggeration—about how rainy it was in London—but so far, this month, it was turning out to be true.

Jake was steadily getting used to the weather. It really wasn’t all that different from his native Michigan. He had been told by his colleagues this was an unusually wet November and that when winter finally kicked off, it wouldn’t be as severe as he was accustomed to. That was something to be glad about, at least.

The weather was not the only thing he’d had to get used to after moving a little over three and a half thousand miles away from the only place he’d known. London was worlds away from Detroit. It was still alive for one thing, not a dying husk. It was cleaner too, even with more than ten times the population. London had its crime and its dangerous places just like any large city, but even the urban degeneration here had a certain vibrancy to it that was unlike the desperation and decay of Detroit.

Enough of that.

Thinking about home was a guaranteed way to put him in a bad mood. At least he didn’t hate his new abode.

The apartment was small and leaky but it was clean and bug free and he didn’t have a lot of stuff anyway. Four rooms—kitchen, bathroom, small living room and a closet-sized bedroom that was barely big enough to hold a double bed and the armoire. The kitchen was equally tiny. A small fridge, sink and an ancient two-burner stove. There was just enough counter space to plug in his coffeepot. He was not complaining. The small space made it easy to keep warm and clean and discouraged clutter. It was also paid for, which was another big plus.

He hadn’t liked that idea at first. He thought the university should just pay him outright and let him figure out how to deal with the rent and utilities, but he had to admit that having them take care of the bills took some of the worry off his mind. Unfortunately he still had plenty of other things to worry about.

No, he told himself firmly. He was not going to start off the day thinking about home and everything he’d deliberately left behind when he got on the plane. That was over.

Jake dragged himself out of bed and across the living room to the bathroom. After a quick slash, he washed his face, finger-combed his hair with wet hands then threw on some sweats and he was ready for his morning run. There would be time for a shower and food later. Back in Detroit, he would have started his day by driving to the track or the gym to work out before heading to the station house. Here he could walk or use public transportation to get just about anywhere he needed to go. At first the idea of not having a car, of not being able to just hop in and drive wherever he had to go, any time he wanted, had given him more of a panicky, trapped feeling than being an ocean away from everyone he knew and everything familiar. A car was the very first thing he’d asked about, after moving his meager belongings into the apartment. The research assistant who’d been assigned to ensuring he got settled in and had what he needed had told him to give it a week or two and, if he still wanted to purchase a car, the university would arrange it. At the time, Jake had thought there was no possible way he could survive for so long without a vehicle at his disposal, but by the end of his first week he had explored the Tube, the cabs and the buses, got himself an Oyster card and found he could get around remarkably well without having to fight through traffic behind the wheel. He hadn’t brought up the need for a car again.

There was a small park only one street over from where he lived, and several right around the university, but they were little more than decorative green space—compact garden squares hemmed in by the tall, dark façades of houses and office buildings—nice for a picnic maybe, but not big enough for a run. Fortunately Regent’s Park was fairly close to where he lived and the paths and trails there were perfect. The park was never truly empty but this early in the morning, especially on such a wet, gray day, only the dedicated were out. They all had little earbuds or headphones on and their eyes were fixed forward, everyone in their own private bubbles. No one stopped to say good morning. No one drew him to one side to ask if he could touch their grandmother’s wedding ring and tell them if she’d hidden cash somewhere in the attic. It was great. It was almost perfect, except for one thing.

There was one other person from the university that liked to run the same route he did and while Jake didn’t see him every morning, it happened often enough that he’d started looking for the guy while he ran. That annoyed him. Running was his time to clear his head. It was meditative. He could tune out and think of nothing. Or at least he could until he started paying more attention to the people he passed than he did the simple rhythm of putting one foot down in front of the other. Now during his morning runs, he was distracted by looking around to see if he’d catch sight of a particular slender figure whose long legs ate up the distance like the wind.

Jake told himself that he was only looking so that he could avoid him, and thereby avoid having to make polite conversation. It definitely wasn’t because of the way the ridiculously tight Lycra leggings he wore outlined every muscle in his lean thighs or the way his perfect ass looked so tasty in them. No, not at all.

Jake never had been very good at lying to himself. Even so, admiring that sexy little derrière from a distance was all he would do. He had learned his lesson about getting involved with coworkers. Anyway, it was unlikely he’d see him today, given the dismal weather. He could stop looking around and just concentrate on pushing himself.

* * * *

The park was usually Mari’s first call of a morning, though he sometimes gave his running a break when the weather was this grim. Today the rain was that fine, persistent drizzle that evaded umbrellas and invaded just about all items of clothing that weren’t a wetsuit. He was used to it, having spent almost the last three of his twenty-seven years here, at UCL, but after the sunshine of his previous job in Barcelona, it was still kind of a comedown to walk out of his front door on a morning like this.

Fortunately the park was just around one corner, and the university campus just around the other, one of the perks of living in town. Papi had wanted to pay for a place out in the countryside, arguing that it would be more peaceful, but his Mama would hear none of it. The London house had been her grandmother’s then her father’s. He had been renting it out for years while the family lived abroad but now it was finally useful, even if the reason behind its new purpose was a less than happy one. Plus, Mama argued successfully—because no one, not even Papi, would dare to fight with her right now—it was also a short cab ride to the hospital, not an ungodly trek through the suburbs every time she had treatment or saw her oncologist.

He pushed those thoughts away, determined not to dwell on what might be, knowing she would not thank him for it. She had not wanted him to come to London at all, but on that point he had dared to defy her and anyway, he’d already been offered and had accepted the post at University College London. It was a decent job, even if London was not Barcelona.

There was no one quite like Tomas here, but maybe that was a good thing too.

Mari put his head down and pushed on into the clinging miasma of the chill London rain. Tomas Arregui was something else he would rather not think about right now. With the clarity of hindsight, perhaps it had been for the best that the job had come up with UCL when it did. Given longer to chew over the frustration of his on-again, off-again lover, he might well have been driven to do something he would most certainly regret.

Damn it, though! The memory of Tomas was like a persistent tic that wouldn’t let go of his hide once its nasty little fangs had sunk in.

He was glad of the distraction presented in the form of another early-morning loper and his spirits perked up even more when he was able to make out the familiar form and easy gait of the new guy who was working with the Web Security Team. Mari had spotted him striding through the park before, though they had never spoken. Lester in the print room said he was American, though Mari thought there was a slightly Hispanic look to his rough-cut, thick black hair and darkly handsome features. Maybe Romani, even? He couldn’t be sure.

He was well built without looking chunky, except when he was bundled up in several layers of damp running gear, and almost as tall as Mari’s six-foot-two-inch frame, which was a plus. It got embarrassing trying to flirt with men who were forced to look up at him all the time.

Not that he had any idea if Mr. Tall, Dark and Handsome was even that way inclined. But that never stopped him testing the waters. Alicia in his department said that one day some guy was going to punch his lights out for flirting the way he did, as if every man in the world was automatically gay and, by definition, hot for him.

He’d made her laugh with his mock-horrified response. “You mean they aren’t?”

Breathing Squared

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Meet the Authors

Bellora Quinn: Originally hailing from Detroit Michigan, Bellora now resides on the sunny Gulf Coast of Florida where a herd of Dachshunds keeps her entertained. She got her start in writing at the dawn of the internet when she discovered PbEMs (Play by email) and found a passion for collaborative writing and steamy hot erotica. Soap Opera like blogs soon followed and eventually full novels. The majority of her stories are in the M/M genre with urban fantasy or paranormal settings and many with a strong BDSM flavour.

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Sadie Rose Bermingham: A storyteller since before she started school, Sadie also enjoys reading, photography, live music and long walks on the beach. Sadie has worked as a bookseller, a pedigree editor for the racing industry and a local and family history researcher. Originally from the north of England, she has been working her way across the UK ever since. She currently resides on the south east coast with her long term partner, where she hopes to buy a mobile home and establish a whippet farm.

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Blog Tour: Unbidden Dragon by Louisa Kelley

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Title:  Unbidden Dragon

Author: Louisa Kelley

Publisher:  Loose-Id LLC

Cover Artist: Syneca Featherstone

Release Date:  May 24 2016

Heat Level: 3- 4

Pairing: F/F

Length: approximately 50,000 words

Genre/Tags: Paranormal Romance, Lesbian Fantasy Romance, Urban Fantasy

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Synopsis

Two Dragons:

Maeven is on a mission. One big and bold enough for her coming-of-age quest called the Fieri, and important enough to gain her a trip off Dracan, the secret, hidden sanctuary of the dragon shape-shifters.

Success in her once-in-a-lifetime challenge means everything – respect, honor, and the bestowal of her full magical powers. Not to mention doing something vital for the survival of her species.

She’s given strict rules of behavior while living in earth society. Rule number one: keep her true nature hidden. Rule number two: no emotional involvement with humans, despite the age-old, near irresistible attraction between the two races.
Then Maeven meets plucky, devious, adorable Frankie living in Portland, Oregon. Who, as it turns out, accidentally, shockingly, shape-shifted – the night before. Ah. So much for the rules.

Frankie is frustrated with her oddly larcenous life not going anywhere in particular. One fateful weekend, she camps alone in the mountains to gain fresh perspective – with a little help from a baggie of something special. That afternoon, in a crazed, furious confrontation with hunters, Frankie shape-shifts into a dragon. And discovers a race of magical beings who insist she’s one of them, too. Especially the shining, gorgeous, red-head – who promises to teach her so much.

Excerpt

Maeven shut the door, turned, and regarded her. A clench of something tightened Frankie’s stomach. Maeven exuded a dangerous sensuality that both promised and threatened, fueling Frankie’s sense that Maeven carried the greater danger.

She eyed the door. How fast would she have to move, to keep Maeven from catching her? And where were these thoughts coming from?

“Would you like more tea?”

Frankie glanced down at her empty mug. “No, thanks.” The silence lengthened, and she concentrated on the sounds of the wood hissing and burning and tried to avoid Maeven’s questioning face. And not stare at her lush lower lip and slashes of dark eyebrows arching over green eyes.

Oh hell.

Maeven sat next to her and gave her hand an unexpected squeeze where Frankie clenched it on the table. “What do you remember? Anything?”

Her fingers twitched, enclosed in the surprising heat of Maeven’s skin. Warmth sank into her cold hand, yet after a few seconds, she slid her hand away. Too soon to trust. Even if the woman looked like the goddess Athena. With red hair.

The sense that she needed to get out, to run, flee danger, continued to prickle. She eyed the door again. Ingrained habits of distrust, learned from painful lessons of betrayal, rose to nearly choke her. She shook her head in an effort to dispel her foggy, post-high state.

 

“I’m not sure,” Frankie said. “Only flashes here and there.” She swallowed against the sudden taste of bile in her throat, and a wave of nausea hit her, potent reminders of the drug use from yesterday. The baggie of mushrooms she’d been warned not to consume all at once. Which she did, of course. Why, why did she continue to make such stupid choices?

The lingering effects of her trip probably contributed to how weird she felt. Or not. Arghh. Why was she such an idiot? Her decision-making abilities were coming undone.

She really did need to get out of here, get home, and recover her senses. How to manage that seemed impossible. She dropped her head into the flat of her arms crossed on the table. “I am so fucked.”

“I’m sorry.” Maeven’s voice floated somewhere above her, faint, like an angel’s. “I know this must be confusing.”

Frankie jerked at the touch of Maeven’s hand on her shoulder and shot to her feet. Her head wouldn’t clear. Maeven seemed both angel and devil in the space of seconds. The sense of wanting to go sharpened. She couldn’t shake the feeling they didn’t want her to leave, for reasons they weren’t admitting. Maeven watched her so closely she seemed to see everything, know what Frankie wasn’t saying.

Paranoia filled her. She didn’t care if she slept in the woods overnight. She wanted out. Space. These people scared her, and she pushed away the fact that they also aroused her as unimportant to the plan of action.

“Yeah,” Frankie said, hating the tremble in her voice. “I feel pretty weird. I’m just not quite…sure what happened, but thanks so much for the clothes and tea and stuff.”

“Of course, it’s the least we can do,” Maeven said. She leaned back and ran her fingers through her hair in a nervous gesture. Frankie watched, fascinated despite herself. The light caught and shimmered on the various shades in Maeven’s hair. A strand along her cheek shone like a rose in the soft cabin light.

Stop that, Frankie chastised herself. No distractions. Her decision solidified. Go, at the first opportunity. Run, hide… She fought her anxiety. Where would she go? And in the dark?

No matter. Her jaw clenched. She’d been a champion long-distance runner in high school, and she’d stayed in shape. But could she outrun the totally buff goddess?

 

 

SHADOWS CLIMBED THE rough wood walls of the cabin. The flickering candles cast a soft glow as day faded into evening, bathing the room in golden tones. Maeven looked down and realized her blue aura was mingling with the candlelight. She quickly doused the shine. Pesky shape-shifter light. Hardest thing to hide from humans. And impossible to explain. She flashed a look at Frankie, hoping to see more blue light, but Frankie’s pale face seemed even more taut and white.

Frankie avoided her eyes and radiated a palpable sense of unease. Made it hard to breathe, hard to keep a clear head, on multiple levels. Her predator’s instincts salivated; the hunting instinct activated with the enticement of Frankie’s anxiety. Maeven struggled not to react.

Frankie cleared her throat. “Okay if I use the bathroom?”

“Sure, of course. Through that door by the bed.” Maeven pointed in the direction of the bath, then tapped her fingers on the table while she waited. Fieri. Yes. The path coursed in her blood; a sense of rightness sent adrenaline racing through her body. Finally. Her doubts fell away. The course was set, even if she was full of unanswered questions. Taranis and Alwen had not forgotten her. How could she forget them? Listen, listen, listen…

Good. Yes! her sister-self cried, tuned as always to the nuances of Maeven’s thoughts. Want her. Go. Now!

Her sister meant fly with Frankie. The thought caused her heart to pound. “Fly?” she asked inwardly. “So I’m right?”

No coincidences. The Draca believed life unfolded according to the plans of Taranis and Alwen, gods of Draca, the divine beings who loved their shape-shifting children above all else. Her Fieri continued as planned, shaped by the ones who ruled her magical world. Trust. Did she?

Her sister-self beat an excited rhythm in her head. “Kisskiss,” she said. The sly other half of her never missed a twinge of lust. She gave her sister a mental kick.

“Stop it.” No lusting after the potential main objective. Frankie had found her way here despite layers of magical protections. Therefore, Frankie must possess Draca blood. It was the logical conclusion.

 

Maeven glanced at the closed bathroom door. It had been at least ten minutes. No sounds of water running or toilet flushing. Uneasy, Maeven stood up. “Frankie? You doing okay in there?”

No answer.

“Frankie?” she said louder and knocked on the door. When silence continued, she turned the knob. Locked. She rattled it. “Frankie?” Maeven thrust her hip against the wood a few times with no result. “Oh, blast it to the ninth hell,” she muttered and, with a fierce grip, tore the handle off and, with easy Draca strength, crashed through the pine door.

The window swung wide open, curtains blowing in the cold breeze. “No!” She rushed over and stared into the surrounding yard. Even with the moon, it was so dark Frankie could easily be hiding close by. Why, why was she running?

Maeven raced through the house, her sister-self agitated with excitement. “Chase!” she cried. An irresistible challenge to a Draca.

“Find her,” she said. “Find Frankie.” Predator instincts kicked in; her eyesight changed and cleared; the ability to see in the dark took over. She sniffed the air and caught the scent.

“Fly?” Maeven’s shoulder blades ached where her sister-self strained at the constriction of flesh.

“No, not yet. Run. Fast!” Maeven’s command to her sister-self ignited her into action.

She took off, inhaling the earthy, delicious traces of Frankie’s scent as she raced to catch her. Through the darkened, dense forest of spruce and pine, she dodged fallen logs and trampled through bushes of thorny blackberries, ignoring a hundred spiky digs. In the distance the sounds of Frankie’s panicked breathing carried on an obliging breeze. Maeven ran like a deer, the moonlight guiding the way, with light feet that bounded over any obstacles, nothing slowing her pace. Frankie’s gasps grew closer.

“Frankie! Stop…please! I just want to talk to you.”

“I’m fine,” Frankie yelled. “Leave me alone. I’ll find my own way out!”

Maeven picked up her speed. There—less than ten feet in front of her. Frankie threw a frightened glance over her shoulder, and then her foot hit a stump and she went flying, arms splayed just as Maeven dived to tackle her.

They went down in an explosion of grunts and shrieks. With a nimble twist, Maeven landed on top, spread-eagled over Frankie. She pinned her wrists to the ground and held firm while Frankie bucked and kicked.

“Get the hell off me! What the— Umpff…” Her last words were muffled as Maeven cupped her hand over Frankie’s mouth.

“Frankie,” Maeven said, yanking back on her emotions like taming a tightrope snapping in the wind, “I only want to talk. Please. For God’s sakes, I’m trying to help you.” She lifted her weight up a little but stayed put, knees on either side of Frankie’s hips, and tried not to notice the riot of sensation caused by the soft, shapely body under hers. Her sister-self’s excited cries increased in volume until Maeven could hardly think.

Frankie glared at her and went still.

“Okay?” Maeven asked and raised her hand from Frankie’s mouth while keeping a grip on her wrists. Ignoring her sister-self keening “mineminemine” was impossible. They had chased, they had caught, and her sister demanded reward.

“Fine,” Frankie spit out. “Now get the fuck off.”

Yet Maeven didn’t move, and Frankie remained still and unresisting. Puffs of white breath circled in the growing cold, and she knew they had to get going. Frankie’s eyes gleamed in a shaft of moonlight with anger…and something else. As if caught in a dream spell, she hesitated, unable to take her eyes off Frankie’s lips.

Her Dracan instincts threatened lusty takeover, and Maeven whimpered with conflicted need. The moon had risen to full height in a black sky, and the forest was flooded with brilliant lunar light. Magic. The sanctuary overflowed with aroused shape-shifter sensuality.

Words didn’t have to be necessary for Maeven to find the answers she sought. There were other ways. No. Get up now. Really. She tried to make her muscles move, and nothing happened. Blast it!

She heard Frankie’s indrawn breath like an invitation. Coherent thought fled. She leaned down and pressed her lips to the outline of Frankie’s mouth. For a few seconds, Frankie’s lips softened, opened, and then a small, hard fist shot out and punched Maeven’s cheek. Shocked, she slid off, reeling, into the cold mud and leaves.

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Meet the Authors

Romance and science fiction took firm hold of Louisa Kelley’s imagination at age nine, when she read the books Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott, and the Narnia series, by C.S. Lewis. She is convinced that the genre paranormal romance, which developed years later, came into existence purely for her benefit. After all, it’s what’s been in her heart all these years.

She resides in Portland, Oregon where, in a strangely perfect combination of rainy winters and urban skyline, her writing inspiration abounds. Meet the sexy world that’s been evolving in her fevered brain…She’d love you to join her in some over-the-top erotic adventures with the Draca; dragon shape-shifters of a very different kind.

Member of Romance Writers of America
Member of Rose City Romance Writers

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June 4 – Prism Book Alliance 
June 6 – Dawn’s Reading Nook
June 7 – Love Bytes Reviews
June 8 – Diverse Reader
June 13 – Augusta Hill
June 14 – Queer Sci-Fi

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Book Blitz: Love off the Radar by A.J. Llewellyn & D.J. Manly (Excerpt & Giveaway)

 

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Title:  Love Off the Radar Collection

Author: A.J. Llewellyn & D.J. Manly

Publisher:  Torquere Press

Cover Artist:

Release Date:  6/8/16

Heat Level: 5

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 119K

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Synopsis

Love off the Radar features fourteen tantalizing, otherworldly tales of love, romance, passion, and mystery, by the best-selling team of A.J. Llewellyn and D.J. Manly. In Chaos, a fallen god looks for love at a truck stop. A young man hovers between love and death in Hardsex. Before Morning is an erotic, romantic, volcanic vampire tale set in Feudal Japan – with a serious twist. Mojo Rising is a scandalous tale of same-sex love set in the South Seas.

D.J. Manly addresses BDSM in Disciplining Baron, and the two authors join forces for the paranormal title story Love off the Radar. Which will kill Mo Dingley first? Love, or a curse? Speaking of curses, Have you ever read the personal journals of a werewolf, or a vampire? Now’s your chance! We’ve also got two very different love stories set in the time of Atlantis, and the sad but sweet Clean Monday, a coming-out story with a surprising hero. There are sexy, spicy tales involving zombies, where boys meet boys and almost…eat them. We have it all because love is love, and can’t always be wrapped up in a neat little bow.

Excerpt

From the title story Love off the Radar:

Mo should have suspected the universe was about to hose him when he arrived at the office and found the receptionist sniveling over her laptop. He’d assumed she was having some personal crisis. He felt a little guilty now that he’d uttered a brusque “Good morning” and had walked right by her.

When Jonathan Sampson personally buzzed Mo and invited him into the conference room for coffee, he’d assumed—again, stupidly—that he was about to be given a raise. He’d played the imaginary conversation in his mind as he quickly combed his thick, sandy-colored hair, straightened his bolo tie, and had run his fingertips over his unruly eyebrows.

He’d walked in, full of smiles, hoping to be commended for the brilliant job he’d done designing and overseeing a synagogue completely built out of recycled materials and powered by solar energy. It had appeared on the evening news, and Architectural Digest was featuring it next month.

Mo suspected that the big-bucks job hadn’t impressed Buckley and Sampson because the synagogue was a GLBT one. And gay didn’t go down too well in the company, even though their lone gay architect had, in three short months, brought them almost four million dollars in revenue.

No. What he got was a year in fingle-fangled Japan. It beat his last job where he’d spent a year in Kentucky designing the same ergonomic office spaces over and over again.

Mo stared into his still full cup of coffee, prepared for him by the sniveling receptionist. He wondered if she’d wept into his cup.

“Well?” Sampson asked.

“May I think it over tonight?”

Mr. Sampson looked disappointed. “I’ll give you twenty-four hours. You’ll need to leave by Monday.”

Mo swallowed. Hard. “What about the accounts I’m working on?”

Mr. Sampson couldn’t look at him. “We’re going to hand them over to some of our junior executives.”

“But those are my accounts. My relationships brought in those deals.” Asshole. I just figured it out. They used me to get the contracts, now their straight account executives are going to complete the projects. They’ll never do the job I could do.

He left the office for the meeting he’d scheduled with the rabbi. He adjusted his black Stetson on his head, straightened his bolo tie and used a bristle brush to clean his black suit. Not that he needed it.

It was always good to make sure though. Sometimes when he morphed back into human form, he forgot himself and wolf hairs stuck to him.

Damned curse.

He stared down at his black cowboy boots. He’d come to California with three pair and these were his favorite, lucky boots. Well, they weren’t so lucky this morning.

Mo drove to West Hollywood in a daze, trying to imagine not being here anymore. He was surprised when he hit the turnoff on the ten for La Cienega Boulevard and headed south. On Pico, he found street parking and almost didn’t pay for the meter. Just out of spite. But it would be just his luck if a parking ticket haunted him across the Pacific.

He slid his credit card into the meter, paid for two hours, not that he thought he’d need it, then stood back to survey his golden beauty. From the outside, the synagogue looked very utilitarian. Inside, it was cozy, temperate, and gorgeous. As he strode into the building, he admired once again the carpet that had been fashioned by his ex-lover, Andrew, out of recycled jeans.

Each and every item used in the construction of the Temple Ruth Center had been a labor of love for Mo, and the artisans he’d brought in to help him with the project. Though not Jewish, he admired the rabbi, Beth Cohen, and the synagogue’s motto of ikkun olan (repair the world).

He believed in beautiful spaces. He believed in being responsible and being accountable. Even as he shook the rabbi’s hand and greeted the reporter from Architectural Digest, he knew his time in LA was short. He could sniff it out, like a coming Santa Ana wind and knew.

Mo Dingley was going to Japan.

He slept badly, falling into a restless snooze on the sofa whilst watching a design program on HGTV. He awoke to canned laughter and raised his head from the cushions tucked under his arm. Somehow he’d rolled over onto the remote and he’d hit an obscure cable station. An old episode of Seinfeld was playing. He’d never seen this one before, but in it, Kramer was renting out drawers in his bedroom bureau to stranded Japanese tourists. He watched as Kramer tucked them into their makeshift beds, wishing them a good night’s sleep.

I can’t sleep in a drawer! Are beds really that small there?

He hit the Internet and checked the address that Sampson had written down for him. He was astonished at how wonderful it seemed. The apartment, located in the neighborhood of Akasaka (Red Hill in English) in the Minato-ku district, was right near his new office, and two blocks from the American Embassy. According to the blogs he read, foreigners gravitated toward this area because of its international supermarkets. Almost everybody spoke English. During the day, it was a hard-working business area. At night, its restaurant and clubs ensured a busy evening, as well. Weekends, according to his research were much quieter, because the working men went to their own neighborhoods.

The ancient streets featured some geisha houses, which tickled him. He wondered if there were gay ones. How far was it from the gay district? And what was it called, anyway? He checked. Shinjuku Ni-ch?me. Popularly known as Nich?. Now that looked really cool. Saunas, coffee shops, bars. Beautiful men.

As long as he could escape into solitude each full moon, he’d be fine.

I think I could live there. He studied the apartment building. The Akasaka Tower building was so tall it made him dizzy looking at him.

This ain’t no mustang ranch, sport. He took a deep breath. He was able to view an apartment via virtual tour. It looked very modern and clean, with granite countertops in the kitchen and surprisingly huge windows overlooking the city.  The bedroom looked  big enough. It sure beat the heck out of being unemployed.

He eyed the time on his VCR/DVD player. Ten fifteen P.M.

On the TV, as Jerry and Elaine acted shocked about Kramer renting the Japanese tourists his bedroom drawers, Kramer defended himself by saying, “Have you ever seen the business hotels in Tokyo? They sleep in tiny stacked cubicles all the time! They feel right at home!”

He sighed at the racist overtones to the plotline. Maybe this was his opportunity to offer his input into ikkun olan. Maybe he could help in some way make a contribution to repairing the world.

Mo picked up the phone and called Jonathan Sampson. He wasn’t surprised when the man answered.

“I’m in,” was all Mo said. And then he started to pack.

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Torquere Press

Euphoria SquareMeet the Author

 

A.J. Llewellyn

A.J. Llewellyn’s obsession with myth, magic, love, and romance might have led to serious stalking charges had it not been for the ability to write. Thanks to the existence of some very patient publishers, A.J.’s days are spent writing, reading and dreaming up new worlds. A.J. has definitely stopped Google-searching former boyfriends and given up all ambition to taste test every cupcake in the universe to produce over 200 published gay erotic romance novels.

A.J. wants you to read them all. A.J. can be found lurking on Facebook and Twitter—part-time class clown being another occupation. When not writing or reading, A.J.’s other passions include juggling, kite-boarding, and spending a fortune buying upgrade apps for Pearl’s Peril and Farm Heroes Saga.

D.J. Manly

I write not only for my own pleasure, but for the pleasure of my readers. I can’t remember a time in my life when I haven’t written and told stories. When I’m not writing, I’m dreaming about writing. Eroticism between consenting adults, in all its many forms is the icing on the cake of life but one does not live by sex alone. The story of how two people find love in spite of the odds is what really turns me on.

 

Social Media Links:

Amazon Author Page:

www.amazon.com/A.J.-Llewellyn/e/B002DBJBC2

Facebook:

www.facebook.com/aj.llewellyn

www.facebook.com/dante.manly

Pinterest:

www.pinterest.com/ajllewellyn

Twitter:

www.twitter.com/ajllewellyn

www.twitter.com/djnovels

Website:

www.ajllewellyn.com

www.djmanlyfiction.com

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Book Blitz: Euphoria by Scott J Kramer (Excerpt & Giveaway)

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Title:  Euphoria

Author: Scott J Kramer

Series Title and Number: Territory Novel #2

Publisher:  Prizm, a Torquere Press Imprint

Cover Artist: Kris Norris

Release Date:  6/1/16

Heat Level: 1

Length: 58,000 words

Genre/Tags: Fantasy, Science Fiction

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Synopsis

The kingdom of Faldoa has thrived under its new queen. Euphoria has changed the land, yet evil lies in wait. During a mission to dispose of the last pieces of the magic mirror, she is attacked by a dark elf assassin using a mysterious box. Taylon, her captain of the Royal Guard is able to fight off the assailant, but not before damage is done to the queen.

Deep in the Territories, a strange prophecy comes forth from the elves, and Council Member Gantha is sent on a mission to find a wizard of races. Little does he know that this little foretelling speaks of resurrection of pure evil.

Taylon, with the help of a local medicine woman, seeks out a cure for the queen’s sickness in the far reaches of the kingdom, while the pieces of the magic mirror cause their own havoc.

Excerpt

Euphoria’s dark, chocolate-brown hair flew wildly in the wind as the horse freely galloped beneath her. She held back a laugh, enjoying the ride, trying to let her emotions regarding the kiss go. But they would not be suppressed.

Ever since she attained this body upon the cracking of the mirror, life had been strange. No longer trapped inside a necklace, Rose possessed someone else now. Euphoria. She didn’t understand the magic behind it. Her husband Guilaud would have, but he…

The horse jumped a fallen log, jostling her thinking into disarray.

The feelings alone of being alive again were extraordinary. But at what price? Her true husband was dead centuries ago. I am queen. A vibrant, beautiful woman. But even with all of that, Rose felt that something was missing. Sure she was attracting handsome young men, in a different time, in a different land, posing as someone else. As happy as she was, sadness rooted deep within.

Taylon knew the truth, of course. They had been through the wraith ordeal together. And they were even closer now. She felt their attraction, and she wanted it. But was she betraying Guilaud?

Her horse swiftly took the corner and a tree brushed her shoulder. Thoughts scattered again. Taylon pulled up beside her as the trail widened.

“Next town is only a little farther. We can stop there.” He flashed a smile. It soothed her worried mind.

Thunk!

One moment Taylon was there, and the next only his horse. Euphoria brought back the reigns. Her horse neighed, threw its head back in retort but quickly heeded the command. Taylon lay in the dirt clutching his shoulder, a crossbow bolt protruding.

What was…?

But those were the only two words she could muster before a scream filled her head. A piercing wail, shattering active thought. Suddenly, pain flooded her body. Fire, burning, scorching agony ripped through her heart. Her own voice echoed the scream.

A force jerked her out of her saddle and she fell to the hard-packed ground. Her eyes wildly danced about, unable to focus through the tears. She heard Taylon, but another torturous scream erupted from within her. Something like needles traveled through her skin, poking and tearing. She swung her arm up, expecting to see cuts, blood, but there was only dirt and pain.

Euphoria thrashed, arms and legs splaying out at all angles, trying to shake away the pain. Chaos convoluted her senses, a taste of something foul, putrid; an aroma of burning wood, and an obnoxious odor filled her nose. Above her, sky and forest blended into one.

“Euphoria!” Taylon was over her, his brow creased, and his eyes roaming erratically over her. In a second between bursts of agony, she locked eyes with him, pleading. She heard someone laugh from the trees.

“What have you…?” But the rest was lost as her own banshee cry drowned all else out. Death would be a terrific release for her.

Seconds, minutes, maybe hours passed as she released her pain through tears and screams. Why? Who? When? All were questions that briefly formed before they were shattered, lost.

As suddenly as it’d begun, it stopped.

Swords clashed near her, but Euphoria barely registered it. Every cell throbbed and waited, anticipating the next wave of pain. Her mouth hung open, ready to scream. But nothing came.

Except someone did scream.

For a moment, Euphoria thought the pain was back and she had yelled. But it wasn’t her. Turning her head, black spots danced about her eyes. The cry stopped and now someone yelled words. To her? Was it Taylon?

And he appeared at her side, fresh blood dripping from a cut on his cheek.

“My queen!”

She looked up, trying to answer him. The dark spots grew and she felt herself slipping away. She wanted to say thank you, and even I’m sorry. She wanted to say so many things, yet her mouth wouldn’t respond.

Her eyes closed as the darkness took her.

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Torquere Press

Euphoria SquareMeet the Author

Author Bio PicEver since Scott’s mother denied naming him Scott Fitzgerald Kramer, writing has been in his blood. He watched his grandfather use an old-fashioned typewriter to compose memories about his grandmother. Finding out quickly that typewriters didn’t like him, Scott began carrying a scrap of paper and a pencil. Word processing changed his fate.

Scott lives in Cincinnati with his beautiful wife and two adorable little girls. During the day, Scott as Mr. Kramer terrorizes sixth grade students, forcing them to read and write. Slowly, they come to realize that reading is fun and writing is something they have to do to pass his class.

Euphoria is Scott’s second novel in the Territory Series. Soon the conclusion Taylon will be published. The first book is Kara.

You can visit Scott at on WordPress

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Book Blitz: Cinnamon and Cigarettes by Samantha Kate (Excerpt & Giveaway)

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Title:  Cinnamon and Cigarettes

Author: Samantha Kate

Publisher:  Torquere Press

Cover Artist: Kris Norris

Release Date:  June 1, 2016

Heat Level: 3

Pairing: F/F

Length: 88,800 words

Genre/Tags: Contemporary, Bisexual, Lesbian Romance, New Adult

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Synopsis

Sara Clarke, recent college grad, is sweet, demure, and cautious in all things, but especially romance—until she meets Moira Estrada, a bold amateur pilot and patron at the library where Sara works. Their intimacy blooms rapidly as they share everything from a sudden medical emergency to Christmas with the Estrada family. With her dashing new girlfriend by her side, Sara learns to overcome some of her greatest fears, whether they be acknowledging her own bisexuality, flying across the sky in a Cessna, or falling in love for the first time.

But Sara’s fear of confrontation is harder to conquer. When asked about her relationship, she finds herself lying to her family, pretending to date a man so she can avoid conflict with her straight-laced and image-conscious parents. But her attempts to please everyone cannot last forever and could result in far worse than her parents’ disapproval: she might lose the respect of her new friends at the library, or become estranged from her sister—or, worst of all, Sara might lose the only person she’s ever truly loved.

Excerpt

Moira pulled her key-ring out of her pocket, plucking out a large silver key from her collection. “Fasten your seat belt. We’re starting the engine now.”

She inserted the key; the plane gave a small lurch as the engine burst to life beneath Sara’s feet, and the propeller began to spin. This engine was nothing like the smooth start of a car; it ignited with a roar, like a motorcycle gunning to maximum velocity, and within moments that sound was pierced with sharp, rhythmic bursts from the propeller’s increasing oscillation. The sound was cacophonous; Sara put her hands to her ears, to block out a fraction of the din.

Amid the noise, she heard Moira speaking into her microphone. “Fairways Air Control, this is Lamassu. Oil pressure gauge is green, transponder is on. Are you receiving transmission?…Okay, thank you. Requesting permission to taxi to Runway Three…You’re the man, sir.”

Sara smiled faintly at her pilot. Moira’s combination of aviation jargon and casual slang was, admittedly, really endearing. So was the way her eyes widened as she scanned the blinking lights and bright monitors in front of her, grinning gleefully, looking simultaneously mischievous and reverent.

“Hang on,” Moira said, removing one hand from the controller and fumbling around by her feet. “I forgot to give you your intercom.” She withdrew another pair of headphones, handing them over. “These will help with the noise.”

Sara put on her headphones; the cacophony was quelled into the distance, now just a background ambiance. In the forefront now was Moira’s voice, smooth and sanguine, every word spoken directly in Sara’s ears.

“Removing parking brake now,” Moira said, a hand reaching out to pull the brake knob near Sara’s knee. The plane slid forward, and Sara gulped, hoping to keep her stomach from lurching as well. “Beginning taxi.”

They slid along the main “road” at a slow crawl. Sara noted each white stripe that passed by until they’d arrived at one of the runways; they did a slow 90-degree turn until they faced the open road. It was barely wide enough to accommodate the plane’s wings, and the forest was perhaps a mile ahead. Was that really enough space for them to take off? Even in such a small aircraft? Wouldn’t it take a massive amount of acceleration to lift them into the air? Was this even possible? Was it—

“Trim and flaps set,” said the voice in Sara’s ear, shaking her out of her fretting. Moira had a more “official” tone now, like one might hear over an automated line, with measured rising and falling inflections. “Engine temperature normal. Wingtip strobes on. Airspeed indicator reads zero.”

Sara fidgeted with the boom mic on her headphones. “That’s a lot of things to know about,” she whispered into it.

Moira turned her head, smiled, and put one hand on Sara’s knee. “That it is. But I’ve had my license for almost four years now, and if I were a shit pilot, they wouldn’t let me waltz back in those doors.” She grinned. “I’m going to bring you home safe, Sara. I promise.”

Sara nodded slowly.

“Okay,” Moira continued, pulling her hand back and gripping the throttle, “Lamassu departing now.

She pushed the throttle in, gradually but firmly, and they lurched forward, slowly at first, but soon they were gathering speed—the pine trees lining the runway lost the detail of their branches and needles, and soon they were a blur of dark teal and mossy green, punctuated by open field—and Sara’s stomach was shoved down and back into the seat; she felt like where she once had flesh and sinew and blood there was now only a void, an empty space filling itself with nothing but the rush of incoming air—

“Okay, Sara, we’re going to lift off—now!

Sara hadn’t known what it was like to lose the ground beneath her until this moment, when Lamassu’s nose flicked up and an anchor tied around her feet her whole life came undone, evaporated, dissipated into the afternoon sunlight—she realized it existed only when it ceased to exist. Suddenly there was space around her in every direction; she was now bound by nothing. The seat belt wrapped snug around her waist, the windshield ahead, the pane of glass a few inches from her right cheek—they seemed trivial, insignificant, incapable of truly binding her when the space beneath her feet was exponentially expanding.

“You’ve taken flight, dear.”

Soon the white lines beneath them vanished as well, as the runway shrank down, becoming a tiny part of a tiny complex that was quickly passing beneath and behind, no longer required, no longer relevant. She needed nothing in the air, only that constant whir of propeller oscillation, the humming of the engine, and the whipping of wind through the microscopic crack between the window and the fuselage. She almost thought she might float above her own seat, no longer subject to earth’s gravitational force.

“How are you feeling?”

Even Moira’s voice was distant now.

“I’m fine,” she said, in a tone that was half hummed, half spoken. She reached one hand up to the windowpane, tracing random curves along the glass with a couple of fingers. “I…I’m flying.”

“That you are.” Moira dropped her professional tone, her voice wrapping snugly around Sara’s head again. “And how does it feel?”

Even the trees were shrinking away now, becoming indistinct clusters of viridian mixed with a soft palette of mossy and earthy hues, separated by strips of gray asphalt drawing mechanical grids along the earth. She looked ahead, and for the first time took in the sky; its cerulean blue spread out infinitely across the horizon, accented with a few wispy cirrus clouds and an occasional burst of gold light reflecting from nearby lakes.

“It’s liberating.”

“Perfect.” Moira pressed a few more buttons, and the plane gently pitched forward, sliding into a consistent altitude. Within a few minutes they leveled off, thousands of feet above the earth, the bustling metropolis a mere memory behind them.

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Meet the Author

Samantha Kate works as a paralibrarian (that’s library support staff) for her day job. In her free time, she tries to pursue more creative projects than is humanly possible. Cinnamon and Cigarettes is her first novel; her short story, “Bottom of the River,” was published in Torquere Press’ Twisted Fables anthology in February 2016.

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Book Blitz: Becoming Rory by Ashavan Doyon (Excerpt & Giveaway)

Becoming Rory1000x400Title:  Becoming Rory

Author: Ashavan Doyon

Series Title and Number: College Rose Romances 4

Publisher:  Torquere Press

Cover Artist: Kris Norris

Release Date:  6/8/16

Heat Level: 3

Pairing: M/M

Length: 75K

Genre/Tags:  New Adult, Contemporary, M/M Romance

becomingrory1400Synopsis

Rory Graeble returns to college determined to reinvent himself. Too many years have been wasted with masks, but becoming a student leader is a step Rory isn’t sure he’s ready for. A new identity takes more than just a new nickname, and Rory knows he has to take the chances that his old self would never risk. When that chance is a party that ends with an anonymous hot skater’s tongue down his throat and a phone number in his pocket, Rory knows what he has to do.

Danny Smits never expected to see stuffy lit geek Rory Graeble trying to be out, trying to be proud, trying to be… Rory. It’s damned sexy, and too much for the entrepreneurial skater to resist. When Rory calls him back the day after the party, Danny knows Rory has changed. But will Danny’s haunted past deter Rory? Or will Rory embrace the chance to experience everything the closet had stolen away? Danny believes in keeping things real, in a brutal honesty he knows means Rory will run screaming.

But this time Rory isn’t running.

Excerpt

It was quiet. Rory knew that wasn’t normal. He gazed out the windows. The angle of the building meant that one side was faced toward the campus, a miniature city full of towering buildings scattered in clumps, the other faced the mountains and woods. Two contrary images. It appealed to his poetic soul. That was a part of Lawrence he had no intention of letting go. It spoke to his core, that love of words.

Rory opened a window against the heat. Wentworth was an older building, and Rory half expected in winter that he’d have to keep the window open just to breathe. For now though, with no air-conditioning and a fan that did nothing except when pointed at bare skin, an open window was a welcome reprieve from the late August heat. There wasn’t enough of what he wanted Rory to be, not yet, for him to be comfortable with naked skin—at least not his naked skin.

His dorm room was taking shape. The books were on the bookshelf, two deep. An index card on the end of each shelf cataloged the books on the back row. They were books he wouldn’t want often, but when he wanted them, they’d be easy enough to find. Each shelf had a theme. On each shelf his favorites were in alpha order in front, and those he’d brought only out of fear his dad wouldn’t… Rory closed his eyes and took a long breath. There were reasons for his rebirth as Rory, and not all of them were here at school.

The boxes for the books were broken down and in the back of the closet. His clothes were hung up or carefully folded and in drawers. They spoke of Lawrence, not Rory, but they were what he had. It would be easy to fall back into wearing these. He’d have to for a little while. Clothes cost money, and for the first time in his life, Rory was not confident a call home would yield any more, not even for clothes. Especially not for clothes. What’s wrong with the clothes you’ve got? It’s what his dad would say. Probably his mom too.

With three beanbag chairs, the chair for his desk and the bed, that meant seating for five, at least. Anything over ten was considered a party. Not that he had any real hope of filling even the five spaces he had. Rory chuckled at himself. He could hope, but it wouldn’t happen. Still, he might get Stacy and Barry to join him. He walked up against the window, pinned between the steady whir of the fan and the tiny breeze from the window. It was comfortable. Well, not yet. Not really. But it would get more so over the course of the semester. He had to believe that.

On the desk next to his laptop, too hard to ignore from where he stood at the window, was his student leadership packet. The college had found some money somewhere. The portfolio wasn’t the cheap paper folder he’d expected. The mock-leather portfolio marked with the school seal—embossed on the cover, not just ink—had come with a lapel pin and a school pen. Okay, so the pads of paper inside were cheap, but that the school had done that for all the student leaders who arrived early? The communications major in him couldn’t help but analyze it for the message, and it wasn’t hard for him to guess. Take this seriously; they want us to take it seriously.

Rory wondered if they knew that the fledgling leaders were coming back in an hour as the sun finished its descent with the makings of a party. He wondered if Barry knew. Bronzed. Fit. Popular. Of course Barry knew. Rory glanced at the door he’d left open. He tried to pretend it was for something as mundane as airflow, but in his heart where the dull ache of the afternoon’s discussion still sat like a leaden brick, he knew better.

“This is where you do something stupid, Lawrence,” he whispered to himself. He knew what he wanted to do. Want is a strong term. Maybe it’s just the only way you know how to deal with it. And your name is Rory, dipshit. Lawrence is dead.

He looked again at the pile of leadership materials. How had Aidan talked him into this again? Oh, right. There was no one else. Aidan and Michael, they were gone. John Simmons was gone. All they had was a scattered and broken community.

Rory looked out at the slowly illuminating lights in the buildings across campus. It wasn’t like it would be when classes started. Right now it was just dots of light here and there. Athletes. Student government. Student organization leaders. It was getting dark. The party would start soon. As a leader, he’d been invited, quietly, with everyone else. Would the athletes be there to make him feel inadequate? Rory let out a breath, slow. Lawrence would never have gone. Maybe that meant Rory needed to.

He sat down at the desk and quickly flipped through the packet. Even on a cursory glance it was clear that the real requirement was to be present for the workshops throughout the week. The administration had scrupulously left the evenings to the students. It was a kindness, he noted, they had not extended to the residence life staff. He’d seen Becky and Barry earlier, making door tags for each of the residents. It would take them hours to do, and he’d wondered at the time why they’d started so early. But if Barry knew about the party… Rory sighed. Why did it matter if Barry was there? He wasn’t interested.

He’s comfortable. I’ll know someone. It’ll be bearable.

Rory closed the portfolio and pushed it away. His thoughts turned to how he could almost see skin under that too thin shirt of Barry’s. Also pretty uncomfortable.

He stood up and walked over to his closet. They were nice clothes, but they all fit into a particular mode. He pushed the hangers aside one by one. White shirt. Blue shirt. Pastel shirt. All of them button fronts. Then cardigans. One after another. Trousers and corduroys. Tweed jackets. Two business suits his parents had bought him for interviews. At least one of them was sleeker and more modern.

“They’re all Lawrence. All of them,” he muttered. He rested his forehead in one hand, massaging his scalp with his fingers to try to stall the oncoming headache. His eyes opened wide. “Maybe…”

He went back to the desk, trying to stay calm, and pulled out his laptop. Two quick searches and he’d found it: what good-looking fashion models could do with a cardigan. It wasn’t Lawrence at all. That was good. But could Rory pull it off? He was no top model.

He looked back at his closet. “Better than locking myself into being Lawrence again all year.” He combed his fingers back through his hair and closed his eyes again. “I can do this. I can choose to be Rory.”

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Becoming Rory SquareMeet the Author

Ashavan Doyon spends his days working with students as part of the student affairs staff at a liberal arts college. During lunch, evenings, and when he can escape the grasp of his husband on weekends, he writes, pounding out words day after day in hopes that his ancient typewriter-trained fingers won’t break the glass on his tablet computer. Ashavan is an avid science fiction and fantasy fan and prefers to write while listening to music that fits the mood of his current story. He has no children, having opted instead for the companionship of two beautiful and thoroughly spoiled pugs. A Texan by birth, he currently lives in New England, and frequently complains of the weather.

Ashavan went to school at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, getting his degree in Russian and East European Studies, with a focus in language and literature. He has two incomplete manuscripts from college that he goes back compulsively to fiddle with every so often, but is still not happy with either of them. He still loves fantasy and science fiction and reads constantly in the moments between writing stories.

Ashavan loves to hear from readers and can be reached at ashavandoyon@gmail.com.

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Book Blitz: Blood Visions by L.J. Hamlin (Excerpt & Giveaway)

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Title:  Blood Visions

Author: L.J. Hamlin

Publisher:  Torquere Press

Cover Artist: Kris Norris

Release Date: 5/25/16

Heat Level: 4

Pairing: M/M

Length: 68K

Genre/Tags: Contemporary, M/M, Paranormal, Erotic Romance

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Synopsis

Private detective Ronan Bayne is a former cop who now runs his own agency specializing in all things paranormal. After several women have gone missing, Ronan gets called in by the police chief.

Dustin McPherson is a psychic who’s worked with the police in the past. After having a vision of one of the missing women, he meets Ronan. Together, they must solve a case more complicated than either of them expected.

Excerpt

It was too real to just be one of his nightmares. Dustin had learned to tell the difference between his dreams and a vision while he was asleep by the age of twelve, and he is twenty-one now. Dustin sits up in bed carefully, his head swimming a little, his ears still ringing with the girl’s heart-wrenching sobs.

He gets out of bed and goes to the bathroom. He takes some Tylenol out of the cabinet and washes it down with a glass of water. He hopes that will help with his headache, and he won’t have to take the tramadol his doctor has given him.

Dustin looks at himself in the mirror above his sink. He looks pale even for him, and sweaty. His dyed purple hair is matted, some of it slicked down, stuck to his head, and other bits are sticking up wildly. The whites of his bright blue eyes are a little bloodshot, but there is no blood below his nose this time, so that’s something.

Splashing some water on his face to try to wake himself up a little, Dustin dries off his face with a towel, and then heads back to his bedroom. Dustin sits on the edge of his bed and pulls out the sketchbook he keeps there, and the charcoal.

He starts sketching the girl from memory. He can remember what she looked like, but Dustin can’t remember anything about the room she had been in, only that it was dark and cold. She’d been chained up; her wrists were bleeding. Dustin had been able to feel her fear; she’d been terrified.

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Blood Visions SquareMeet the Author

L.J. Hamlin is a twenty-something (getting older every day) author, who has been writing all her life, mainly in notebooks no one else ever saw. Then she discovered M/M groups online and was encouraged by friends to share her stories. After a while (and with a lot of pushing) she grew brave enough to attempt getting published. Now she shares her stories with others and hopes never to stop. L.J. loves cats and pretty much all animals, is a collector of many things, often weird, but most of all books.

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Book Blitz: No Place Like Home by DC Juris

No Place Like Home Banner Title:  No Place Like Home

Author:  DC Juris

Series Title and Number: Soulmates #2

Publisher:  Torquere Press

Cover Artist: Kristian Norris

Release Date:  May 25, 2016

Heat Level: 5

Pairing: M/M

Length: 13,822 words

Genre/Tags: M/M Romance, Erotica, Fantasy

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Synopsis

Calliph and Mateo are back! The peace of the shifter pair’s calm, quiet life is shattered by a visit from one of Calliph’s old pack members. Calliph must travel to the town of his birth, Naolassel, to speak on behalf of his twin brother, Rupos, who has been charged with murder. But Calliph’s decision will endanger his beloved kitten…not to mention their relationship. Can Mateo reconcile with who Calliph was–and what he did–during the war, or is the truth of his wolf too much to bear? Previously published by Noble Romance.

Excerpt

Mateo sat next to Calliph as the carriage rolled and bumped along. Calliph held himself rigid and tense, jaw tightly clenched. Across from them was Paular, with his legs crossed and his hands folded in his lap. He and Calliph hadn’t stopped staring at each other since the journey had begun. Mateo had tried to make small talk at first, but the wolves’ disinterest had quickly become obvious. Though Calliph had indulged him with a few answers, they had been short and terse, and Mateo had given up.

Outside the snow fell, sticking to the windows and sliding down to collect in an ever-growing ledge of white. Mateo could barely see out the window to his left, but what he could make out alarmed him: high-banked drifts of snow. The carriage moved slower and slower, and by the time the blackness of night had enveloped them, they were forced to stop.

Paular’s human driver dismounted and came to the door, tugging it open with a grunt. “The snow is too thick for the wheels,” he explained, forced to yell over the howling winds. “I’m going to unhook the carriage, and tie the horses under the trees. I’ll stay here. You’ll have to continue on foot if you want to keep going.” He surveyed the three of them. “Or paws, I guess.”

Calliph left the carriage first and helped Mateo down. He unfastened his cloak and slid it around Mateo’s shoulders over Mateo’s own. “You will stay with the horses.”

“No.” Mateo shook his head as he pulled the cloak tight. “I’m going with you.”

“Naolassel is still hours away. It’s a treacherous journey for you.” Calliph took him by his upper arms and looked into his eyes. “And you know why.”

Mateo frowned. All Paular and Calliph had to do was shift and continue — their thick, furry coats would keep them warm. However, unable to hold his panther form for long, Mateo didn’t have such an option. While running wasn’t nearly as strenuous as fighting, he would be able to go only so far until he’d be forced to revert to his human form. And humans didn’t do well in the cold — he was already shivering.

“I’ll send a carriage for you when we reach Naolassel.” Calliph turned and strode away to speak with Paular, who was helping the driver with the horses.

Mateo’s frown deepened. The prospect of spending a frozen night huddled in the carriage with the human, surrounded by the stench of horses wasn’t one he relished. He grabbed Calliph’s arm as the werewolf walked by. “I’m going.”

Calliph stopped and looked down at him. “Kitten…”

“Don’t ask me to stay behind without you.” Playing on something he knew Calliph wouldn’t be able to ignore — his fear of being alone — he leaned into Calliph and laid his head on Calliph’s chest. Manipulation wasn’t a talent he was particularly proud of, but it would get him to Naolassel with Calliph. “Please.”

The tension melted from Calliph’s body and he relaxed into the embrace as he slid his arms around Mateo. He pressed a kiss to Mateo’s forehead. “You’re a manipulative little bastard, you know that?”

Mateo nodded. He went back to the carriage and rearranged their clothing into one bag, had the human strap the bag to his back, and they were off.

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Meet the Author

Romance author, sci-fi fan club Captain, cosplayer, reigning Queen of Monkeyland, and random menace. Yep, we’re talking about DC Juris. She’s a cupcake-making, football-watching, rubber-duck-collecting, drag-show loving, full-of-fabulous-with-a-capital-F kinda gal. She’s also an ordained minister and an amateur photographer. She lives in Upstate New York with her husband, three dogs, and three cats. When she’s not writing, you can find her in her favorite chair watching Star Trek and Supernatural repeats on Netflix, or surfing the web for porn. Er…research. Surfing the web for research. She may speak softly but she lives and loves loudly. Just ask the neighbors. ::wink::

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