New Release Blitz ~ Trapped by Doubt by Jayce Carter (Excerpt & Giveaway)

Trapped by Doubt by Jayce Carter

Book 2 in the Dark Sanctuary series

Word Count: 83,619
Book Length: SUPER NOVEL
Pages: 307

GENRES:

BONDAGE AND BDSM
CONTEMPORARY
EROTIC ROMANCE
MÉNAGE AND MULTIPLE PARTNERS
REVERSE HAREM

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Book Description

It will take three Dominants to drag this submissive out of her safe little rut.

After a chaotic childhood, Ell uses routine and order to feel safe. When she goes to Sanctuary, a well-known BDSM club, the last thing she expects is to run into anyone she already knows, let alone three Dominants who are all too willing to mess up her perfectly ordered life.

Clint, Ethan and Fox have gone to Sanctuary for years, but after a bad experience with a submissive, they’re gun-shy about taking on anyone else. However, when they see Ell there, they can’t resist the pull to the sweet, stubborn woman.

When Ell is attacked in her home, the men help her move into an apartment in the same complex as them, which lets them explore each other—and their own wants—that much more. But there’s Ell’s trouble with trust, the men’s doubts about her commitment and mounting suspicions about the attack on her to deal with.

The quartet will have to learn how to let go of their pasts and trust one another to have any hope of finding happiness—and staying alive.

Reader advisory: This book contains scenes of violence and abduction, and mentions of child abuse.

Excerpt

There was something about the courthouse that Ell both loved and hated. She loved the clear rules and the regimented way it ran. There was never a question about what the next step should be, about what was and wasn’t allowed and about how a person went through those steps.

However, another part of her remembered coming as a child and the crushing disappointment that happened no matter how it went. Being there as an adult was different, gave a person a sense of power, but as a kid?

She recalled sitting beside a social worker, trembling, never sure how it would go or what that meant for her. Would they hand her over to her mother? Her father? Some relative she’d never met who wanted good karma points for taking in the poor, destitute child? Or would she take the gamble that was foster parents?

It was terrifying—always.

Which was exactly why Ell handed a closed cup of hot cocoa to the boy sitting on the bench in one of the many long hallways.

Donnie Denton, the first case she’d ever been assigned on her own. She could still remember walking in to see him, black eye but ready to take on anyone he needed to to survive. It had broken her heart to see him like that, to know he’d lived a life where he’d needed that hard edge.

He took the hot cocoa and offered a rough thank you. While other case managers had had trouble with him—they claimed he lied and was disrespectful and labeled him a lost cause—Ell had taken to him right away. She still smiled each time he went to respond with cursing but stopped himself, as if he knew it wasn’t appropriate to say in front of her.

At fourteen, Donnie stood taller than her and had started to put on more bulk. Even still, she couldn’t help but see the kid he’d been when she’d first met him.

“I’m sorry,” he muttered softly, holding the cup between his hands.

“You don’t need to apologize.” Ell took her seat beside him.

“Yeah, I do. I fu—I screwed up. You shouldn’t have to waste your time cleaning up my messes.”

Ell shook her head. “I know you—if you got into this fight, you had a good reason, right?”

The color leeched from his lips as he pressed them together, the universal signal for ‘I’m no snitch’ that he got whenever she questioned anything. Then again, he was going to have to go back to that life, to those streets, and the sorts of people who existed in that world didn’t forgive betrayal.

“I’m not trying to find out who it was,” she pressed, gesturing at his split lip and his black eye, all signs he’d taken a hell of a beating. “I’m just saying, I know you have a good heart. You wouldn’t be out there attacking random, innocent people. So for this to happen, you had a good reason.”

He let out a long breath before taking a sip of the drink. He held it in his mouth for a long moment, as if thinking, then swallowed. “Someone wanted me to do a job, but they didn’t tell me the real job. When they did? I told them to fu—I told them no. Well, he didn’t take no very well.”

Ell set her hand on his back and rubbed, knowing there wasn’t much she could do for him. It was like his path had been made for him before he’d ever been born, and no matter how hard she tried, she had no idea how to get him off it.

The creaking of a door caught Ell’s attention, and sure enough, Jeff Jadzen walked out of his office. Exactly the man she’d been waiting for.

Ell rose to her feet after nodding at Donnie, her way of assuring him she’d handle it.

Jeff took one look her way and walked faster.

Too bad Ell was perfectly fine with running in heels.

“Jeff, I need a minute—”

“Sorry, Ell, but I’m really busy. Set something up with my secretary.”

“I tried. I haven’t heard anything back in a week, and I’ve called every day.”

“Like I said, very busy.” He reached the men’s room, then smiled like he’d won some prize. “It was nice to see you. Call the office and we’ll try to get together next week.” He ducked into the bathroom, his voice floating out as the door swung closed.

Next week would be too late. The pretrial was set for Friday of this week, and she shuddered to think about Donnie ending up in juvie, of how quickly the rest of his options could float away.

Which was the exact thing that had her walking into the men’s room. She’d been in far worse places in her life for far less noble reasons.

“Please tell me you didn’t follow me into the men’s room.” Jeff spoke through a closed stall door, the annoyance palpable.

“I wasn’t finished talking with you. At least now, you can’t leave.”

The longest sigh came from the stall. “Which charity case are you here about this time?”

“Donnie Denton.”

Him again? Come on, Ell, you run yourself ragged and for what? Donnie isn’t some six-year-old who needs you to save him—he’s basically an adult in his world. Stop seeing him as something he isn’t.”

“He’s fourteen—that’s still a kid. He isn’t a bad kid, either.”

“You say that because you didn’t see the other person in the fight. Donnie shattered his eye socket with a bat.”

That took her off guard, the level of violence new. Still, Ell shook her head, reassuring herself that she knew Donnie. He didn’t lie to her. If he didn’t want to tell her something, he just wouldn’t, but he didn’t lie.

“You know what it’s like for people who live in that area.”

“Yeah, I know, because I see what happens to the victims.”

“Some victim. They wanted Donnie to do a job that was bad enough he turned it down once he knew the details.”

“Is that what he told you? Well, his ‘turned it down’ moment ended up being inside someone’s house as they robbed it. Did he leave that part out? That the woman walked in and saw them there.”

Ell cringed at the little detail that, well, yeah, Donnie had left out. Still, it didn’t change the rest. “Well, did Donnie touch the woman?”

Silence let her know she was right.

There was the flush of a toilet, then Jeff walked out and headed for the sinks. “No. According to her, Donnie’s friend pulled a bat, and when Donnie objected, the two got into a fight. Scared the poor woman half to death, and when Donnie won, when the other man took off, Donnie said sorry and escaped through a window. We caught him down the street.”

“You see? He was trying to help.”

Jeff dried his hands, then turned to face Ell. “You see the best in people, Ell, and that’s great, but it’s going to get you killed. These kids you help, they aren’t innocent and fragile. By the time they hit their teenage years, a lot of them are already killers. They’re dangerous, and they’re manipulative, and if you’re not careful, it’ll end you.”

How many times had she heard that sort of warning? People who told Ell that she should pick a safer job, that she should do something else?

It didn’t matter. She knew exactly why she did what she did. “Donnie has a shot. If you throw him into juvie, you’re just going to solidify this path for him. Prison doesn’t rehabilitate kids. It just makes them into better criminals.”

Jeff rubbed the corners of his eyes. “What do you want me to do? He broke into a woman’s house and put someone else in the hospital. I can’t just look the other way with that.”

“Community service.”

“What?”

“He needs to see there are options for him, that there’s a life he can still have that isn’t on the streets. Assign him community service hours, and I’ll make sure to find him a place to work them where he can do some good, where he can see a different life is possible.”

Jeff’s expression twisted the way it always did when he was in thought, when he was trying to see all the possible outcomes. His job had jaded him, but he wasn’t a bad man.

Finally, he nodded. “Okay. I’ll get it all drawn up and present it to his public defender. Make sure he understands that this is it, though. This is his one big shot. If he gets involved in something else like this, you won’t be able to save him again.”

Ell agreed, thanked Jeff, then exited the men’s room. A quick conversation with Donnie outside let him know the details, and even though he wasn’t the sort to admit to being nervous, the shuddering breath he released said he had been. He thanked Ell, then took off.

She would have driven him home, but Donnie was used to using the bus system. He always refused when she tried, saying he’d meet her wherever it was.

A glance at her watch told Ell that she didn’t have another appointment until later, which gave her time to gather herself. When she slung her bag over her shoulder and turned, however, she ran directly into someone else.

Hands grasped her arms to keep her upright, and Ell glanced up to find a familiar face grinning down at her.

Ethan Jaymes, a detective she’d dealt with more than a few times. He was tall, dark and handsome—all the things that made her certain he was also trouble, especially when he smiled at her the way he always did. His green eyes danced with an amusement that his voice mirrored. “Aren’t you in a hurry?”

She pulled away, extracting herself from his strong grasp. “You were the one standing far too close.”

“I said your name, and you didn’t hear me. Distracted?” He lifted an eyebrow.

“Well, believe it or not, my world doesn’t revolve around you.”

He let out a soft laugh, the way he always did when she soundly rejected him. It was odd, because sometimes it seemed the meaner she got, the more Ethan liked her.

And, just like clockwork, Ethan’s shadow came around the corner.

Clint Faire, Ethan’s partner, and an unnerving presence who had always made Ell fidget under his intense stare. He peered at her, no pleasure or surprise showing in his hazel eyes. He had a light brown beard and mustache, both well groomed, but shaved his head. If he weren’t dressed so well, she’d no doubt think he was some muscle-head up to no good. “Ms. Hayden,” he said, his tone as respectful as always.

Ell nodded back, still trying to calm her racing heart from her surprise at seeing Ethan. It shouldn’t have surprised her that much—the two detectives were often at the courthouse—yet they always managed to make her feel out of control.

Which was about the worst feeling she could imagine. Ell was the sort of woman who preferred everything in its place, everything well-regulated and scheduled. Ethan and Clint managed to make her feel the opposite, as if she couldn’t quite get a hold of all the pieces of her life, as if she couldn’t make sense of it all.

And why, she had no idea.

She’d known the two men for years, though never well. She wouldn’t call them friends by any stretch of the imagination, but they’d worked together from time to time—both on the same side and not so much.

“So who are you harassing today?” Clint asked in his matter-of-fact way that always made Ell’s cheeks heat.

“I wasn’t harassing anyone. I was doing my job.”

“And who did your job require you to harass today?” Clint pressed.

“No one.” Ell crossed her arms and tapped her foot, trying her best to make her annoyance as clear as possible.

“She followed me into the men’s room,” Jeff answered as he walked past, not slowing down to talk, seeming more than happy to rush across the hall so he could hide in his office again.

Ethan let out a hard laugh at that, and the fact he accepted her actions without question annoyed Ell. Yes, she was dedicated, but he could have had a second of ‘Are they being serious? Would she really do that?’ doubt.

“I needed to discuss something important with him, and he wanted to hide in the bathroom.”

“You’re going to get yourself into trouble one day,” Ethan said as he caught his breath from his laughter. “It’s good to go to bat for your kids, Ell, but be careful that you don’t put yourself in a position you don’t want to be in.”

His words ran through Ell like they always did, tinged in something she tried so hard to ignore. Why was it that Ethan managed to get beneath her skin like this? His voice was like honey, something sweet enough to draw her closer, but also sticky enough she feared it might trap her.

All the reasons it was a bad idea had gone through in her head on nights when she stayed up thinking about him, even about Clint. She had her life in order. She’d perfectly crafted each part of it, fitting the pieces together, making exactly the picture she wanted. The idea of anyone else coming into that, of them possibly tearing apart everything she’d worked so hard to put into place, terrified her.

Life was hard and scary and dangerous, but if she kept the pieces in their spots, if she made sure everything went where it belonged, she could avoid the pain and fear she’d known so well as a kid.

So Ell offered a quick goodbye before she risked falling any further into either man, before she risked everything she’d built, her perfect house of cards.

The last thing she needed was to let either of these men blow down all the hard work she’d put in.

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About the Author

Jayce Carter

Jayce Carter lives in Southern California with her husband and two spawns. She originally wanted to take over the world but realized that would require wearing pants. This led her to choosing writing, a completely pants-free occupation. She has a fear of heights yet rock climbs for fun and enjoys making up excuses for not going out and socializing. You can learn more about her at her website.

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New Release Blitz ~ The Billionaire’s Appetite by L.A. Day (Excerpt & Giveaway)

The Billionaire’s Appetite by L.A. Day

Word Count: 24,700
Book Length: NOVELLA
Pages: 102

GENRES:

BILLIONAIRE
BONDAGE AND BDSM
CONTEMPORARY
EROTIC ROMANCE

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Book Description

She wanted funding—he needed submission. He would give her more than she asked for.

Charity’s father pulled the funding for her research, but she may have found the perfect replacement. Silas is a billionaire and he agrees to meet to discuss her proposal. After an embarrassing first encounter with the gorgeous but elusive billionaire, she didn’t expect him to help her.

Silas Radford is intrigued by the beautiful and brainy scientist. She asks for funding, but he wants a partnership—and not just in business. Sparks fly between them the moment they meet, but there are a few issues to set to rest before he can close the deal.

But Charity doesn’t realize Silas is friends with the father she feels betrayed her. And even if they can get past that, he still has to show her the full extent of his darker appetites…

Excerpt

Today was the day. Finally, I had been granted an interview with the elusive Mr. Silas Radford. I paced as I looked over my notes and waited for the ride service. Radford Towers dominated the downtown skyscape, so I knew I would have been able to find his office, but that downtown traffic would have shaken my nerves. If I wanted to get funding for my research, I couldn’t get rattled. I needed to project a calm, confident image.

I tugged at the hem of my suit jacket. I was wearing my best, black power suit. A full-control bodysuit helped contain my overly abundant curves and give me a professional look. I eyed myself critically in the hall mirror. There really was no taming “the girls” but at least they didn’t bounce when I moved. I took a deep breath and practiced my walk. Frowning, I looked at my sensible shoes. Unfortunately, I could only trust myself with two-inch heels. Anything higher and I would almost certainly land on my more-than-prominent ass. It was fine. I was a scientist, not a model.

A text alerted me that my ride had arrived. I took one more look to make sure my messy bun was still in place and I hurried out of the door. My interview wasn’t for an hour. I had given myself plenty of time in case of an emergency. Twenty minutes later I was seated in the lobby. No way was I going to his office forty minutes early.

People-watching was a hobby of mine and this lobby was like an anthill, busy people running every which way. A tall, muscular man strolled through the door like he owned the place. His dress shirt was partially unbuttoned and his chestnut hair looked like someone had run their fingers through it, but even slightly rumpled he still exuded raw masculine power. I wondered if he’d enjoyed a tryst at lunch. I licked my lips. I could picture him bending a petite female over his desk, lifting her skirt and paddling her bottom before ravishing her from behind. A shiver rode up my spine. Obviously I’d read too many steamy romances lately.

I nibbled my lip as my eyes roamed over every delicious inch until I met sparkling blue eyes brimming with amusement. Caught! Heat traveled up my neck to my cheeks. The alarm on my cell alerted me that it was time to head upstairs. Saved by the bell, I stood, grabbed my portfolio and strolled toward the elevator. This time I was the one being scrutinized. Mr. Hottie was deep in conversation with a security guard but his eyes followed me as I walked across the lobby. Chin up, shoulders back, I strode confidently. A man like that wouldn’t be interested in a nerdy girl like me. In actuality, he probably would be for a night. I’d lost count of the number of men who had told me they fantasized about titty-fucking me. The ridiculous thing was that they thought I should be flattered. Can’t live with them, but if science keeps progressing, we might be able to live without them. I would love to find a man who appreciated more than my breasts and ass.

The elevator dinged on the next-to-top floor of the tower. The doors opened to an impressive lobby. A smiling, middle-aged receptionist greeted me. “Hello, Dr. Jones. Please have a seat.” She waved her arm at a couple of tufted yellow accent chairs. “Mr. Radford will be available shortly. Would you like coffee or a bottle of water?”

“No. Thank you.” I smiled and perched nervously on a chair. The next twenty minutes could make or break my project. I ran through my proposal in my head.

“Mr. Radford will see you now. Right this way.” The receptionist led me down a short corridor and opened one of two mammoth wooden doors.

I stepped into a lavishly decorated room that reeked of old money. Taking a deep breath, I plastered on a smile and approached the massive leather-topped mahogany desk as the executive chair spun to face me.

Frozen, I watched Mr. Hottie rise from the chair. A sexy, knowing grin tugged at his lips. I stared with mouth ajar. It couldn’t be. Dammit, I cursed inwardly. Well, I’d lost any chance at this funding.

He approached, holding out his hand. “Dr. Charity Jones, I’m Silas Radford. It’s very nice to meet you.”

My hand was engulfed in a warm, firm grip. “It’s nice to meet you too,” I muttered. How could this be Silas Radford? I’d heard my father mention him in passing and had assumed he was much older.

His blue eyes sparkled. “Come,” he commanded in a whiskey-rough voice. He waved me forward and I wondered about his choice of words. I really needed to get my mind out of the gutter, but this man stirred something dark and foreboding inside me.

Two plaid wing-backed armchairs faced his desk and I took a seat and crossed my legs, trying to regain my composure. I could probably secure the funding in exchange for sexual favors, but I didn’t mix business with pleasure. I cleared my throat. “Thank you for agreeing to meet with me.”

“The pleasure is all mine, I assure you.” He’d retaken his seat, crossed his hands and cocked his head to the side. “I read your proposal. I believe you’re seeking money for…”

“I am inquiring about funds for my research. I am a scientist.”

He glanced down. “Right. I’ve read it and conducted my own research. You have an impressive professional portfolio as well as an interesting project.” His eyes rose from the folder to meet my gaze. “I recognized you downstairs. I’d intended to introduce myself before I got waylaid.”

My cheeks flushed under his scrutiny. I realized he’d brought up the incident to unnerve me. “I’m a people-watcher. I enjoy observing…”

“I noticed. It’s probably the hormones.”

I blinked. “What?”

“You enjoy examining human interactions.” He arched a dark brow. “Your research is on hormones, correct?”

“Oh yes, it is.” This man was sharp. He was fucking with me and enjoying it. “My research is on hormones and hormone replacements. I read a publication recently on how today’s women prefer more feminine men and dad bods. I found it interesting.”

His chuckle was deep, dark. “I’m sure a certain type of woman does. But there’s another type of woman who prefers more of a take-charge, physical, dominant male, wouldn’t you say?”

I arched my brow. “I couldn’t say. That’s not my area of expertise.”

“You’re looking to replace current hormone therapy for menopausal women.” He flipped through my proposal.

“Yes. Current HRT, while effective for many, also has dangerous side effects. Aging women still want to feel like women but not risk their lives to do so.”

“Are you looking for a little blue pill for women?”

I smiled tightly, refusing to be intimidated. I was certain I’d already lost the funding so… Fuck it. I tipped my chin up defiantly. “Certainly, women’s sexual arousal is part of it. The scientific community has spent an enormous amount of money on erectile dysfunction. Don’t you think women deserve the same? After all, won’t men benefit from it as well, or maybe men don’t really care if women enjoy intercourse.”

Mr. Radford threw back his head and roared with laughter. “I like you. You aren’t intimidated easily. You may have heard I’m controlling and I like to get my way, but sometimes I like a challenge.”

“Thank you. I believe in standing up for oneself. And I hadn’t heard that about you, so thanks for warning me.”

One brow rose. “Really? What have you heard?”

I eyed him warily, sensing a trap. I had the feeling he was toying with me and that this was all a game to him.

“Out with it. You won’t hurt my feelings.”

At this point, there was no reason to hold back. “I heard you were an acute businessman by day and a cold-hearted womanizer by night. Were they wrong?”

His gorgeous eyes locked onto me in a way that made my insides quiver. “I like to think I have a head for business.”

“And the rest?” I grinned, awaiting his reply.

“The women I entertain know the score, but that might be changing. I could fund your research if you agree to my terms.”

“Mr. Radford…”

“Call me Radford.”

I sighed. I was sure his terms involved me on my knees, and that just wasn’t happening. Not that he wasn’t knee worthy. He absolutely was, but I wouldn’t sell myself for money.

“Radford, I don’t know what your terms are but…”

He leaned ever so slightly closer. “I want you to pretend we are involved.”

“Excuse me?” I straightened in my chair.

“If you want funding, I need something in return.”

That answer took me by surprise. Why would a man as powerful and gorgeous as Radford need a fake girlfriend? “May I ask why?”

“You said yourself, I’m known as a womanizer, but I have a new venture in mind, which will require me to appear to be in a serious, committed relationship.”

The hairs on the back of my neck stood up. “It will be pretend? I won’t sell myself for funding.”

“Of course not!” His smile was wicked. “I would never expect a professional woman such as yourself to barter your, uh, goods.”

His voice had dropped a level and I shifted uncomfortably. That tone alone made my blood zip through my veins. Once again I had to wonder why he would need any help finding an appropriate woman. “I don’t understand. I’m sure you are acquainted with women who would be willing to play the role of girlfriend. After all, you’re attractive in a non-feminine, non-dad bod way.” I smirked. “Plus, you’re a billionaire.”

“Is my money what you first noticed about me?” He watched me through a hooded gaze.

I remembered feeling his presence before I’d seen him, then being robbed of my breath by his sheer physical authority. “Initially, in the lobby, I didn’t know you had money. I noticed your…” I licked my lips slowly. “Smile.”

He lowered his eyes to my assets. “The first thing I noticed about you was the mischief that sparkled in your eyes.” One eyebrow rose, as if he dared me to question his words. “But to answer your question, the women I know might want to make the position permanent. After all, as you mentioned, I am a billionaire.”

“You don’t think I’ll want the position permanently? I mean, there is all that money!”

“I think you are dedicated to your profession and have little time for a relationship.”

He had me there. I cleared my throat and delved into the details of his proposal. “What would be involved in this deal, and for how long would you need my services, so to speak?”

“Dinner engagements, social functions, I’m sure you know the drill. I’m thinking a few months should be sufficient.”

“I wouldn’t want this to look like a quid pro quo, like I sold myself for funding.”

“Of course not! We will convince everyone that we met and fell madly in love.”

Madly in love?”

“I will be totally smitten with you and you will be with me as well. Can you do it?” There was challenge in his eyes.

I swallowed hard and nodded. “I’m sure I could appear smitten.” I was positive it wouldn’t be hard to act smitten. The trick would be not to fall for the man.

“Of course, we will have to project an intimate relationship.”

“How intimate?”

“Hand holding, hugs, kisses the type of touching lovers do in public.”

“If I consider this there can’t be other women. I won’t be made to look like a fool.” Was I really considering this?

“Agreed.”

I furrowed my brow as I looked at him. Was he sober? “You’re going to go months without sex?”

His eyes twinkled. “We’ll see.”

“What does that mean?”

He shrugged. “I could decide to end the deal sooner, but of course you would still get the funding.”

“Will that be in the contract?”

“Of course, but you might decide to enjoy the rewards of being my girlfriend.”

“I already said I wouldn’t sell myself.”

“Understood. Any sexual relationship arising from our agreement wouldn’t be part of the agreement and would have to be initiated by you.”

Under his scrutiny, I squirmed in my chair. He had a way of getting under my skin with those penetrating eyes and that sexy voice. “That won’t happen.”

He leaned back and shrugged. “Then you have nothing to worry about.”

“This whole thing is crazy.” I jumped to my feet.

Slowly, he rose from his chair. “You need funding. I need a fake relationship. We both get what we want.”

Seated he was hot as hell, but standing he projected confidence, dominance, and something in me reacted to him in a way I wasn’t entirely comfortable with. I let out a shaky breath. “Yes. But…?”

“Are you afraid you won’t be able to keep your hands off me?” A sexy smirk curved his lips and devilry blazed in his eyes.

I tugged on the bottom of my blazer. “Absolutely not! I never mix business with pleasure.” I sounded more confident than I felt.

“Are you worried I might make advances toward you?”

“Hardly! I doubt I’m your type, and let’s not forget I might then get designs on your money.”

He grinned. “I do have one question. Why did your father pull his funding?”

“How do you know he did?”

“I do my research,” he replied.

Of course, I thought. Any astute businessman would question why my funding had been canceled. “It was a family issue. He wanted too much control.”

“He wanted to dictate your research?”

“No. My life.”

“Ahh, family issues.”

“Yes.”

“Fine then.” He held out his hand and I grasped it firmly, doing my best to ignore the sizzle of awareness his touch aroused.

I considered my options. They were limited. This was a better option than humbling myself before my father. What’s the worst that could happen? He’d already jump-started my dormant libido. If I was foolish enough to encourage his advances, I’d probably get the best orgasms of my life out of a tryst with him. What if I tore my clothes off, begged him to fuck me and he said no? Unlikely, he was a womanizer. I could handle this, I thought, then I took another look at his smile and wasn’t so confident. “For the record, this is a horrible idea.”

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About the Author

L.A. Day

L.A. Day is a multi-published author of erotic romances. Her heroes might be bikers, shifters, vampires, aliens, time-travelers, barbarians, billionaires, or CEO’s but they are always strong, assertive men! Her heroines might be tough or submissive but they are always sassy, funny, and sarcastic. In real life, Laura is a wife, mother, and dog lover. She loves to collect pottery and you can often find her at antique and resale shops. Her friends are often SHOCKED that their seemingly sweet friend writes dirty books.

Follow L.A. Day on Instagram and check out her website.

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Book Blitz: Boundaries by AJ Graham (Excerpt & Giveaway)

Title:  Boundaries

Author: AJ Graham

Publisher: Changeling Press LLC

Release Date: May 27, 2022

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Female, Male/Male, Male/Female/Male (No Male/Male interaction)

Length: 190 pages

Genre: Romance, BDSM, Paranormal, Dark Fantasy, SciFi, Bisexual Multisexual & Pansexual, Dark Desire, Gay, Multiple Partners

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Synopsis

Sacrifices of the body cannot compare with the ecstasy that comes from sacrifices of the heart.

Bound by Blood: For centuries, sacrificial offerings have kept peace between humans and the immortal Kin who feed on their blood. When his sister is chosen, Daniel offers himself in her place. Daniel has grown up believing the Kin to be heartless monsters. He never imagined the Kin lord’s touch would stir hiss body and heart, would make him crave the very thing he’d always feared: the sweet, sharp burn of fangs in his neck.

Bound by Desire: Keelie al’Trega marries Lord Kalen to secure peace between their two planets. Then she learns the terrible truth — becoming his mate will create an unbreakable psychic bond between them, a bond so intense and powerful that it can drive a person insane. Is Kalen worth the risk?

No Shame: Paul’s never told anyone about his fantasies of being spanked and flogged, until he meets Kade — a sensual, experienced man who offers to fulfill his every hidden desire. But Paul soon realizes that he might be in over his head…

Flesh and Spirit: Rose has always dreamed of serving Kalia, the goddess of healing and pleasure. But in order to become a priestess, she has to complete a ritual in which she casts aside all inhibitions and enters a trance of sexual ecstasy. Gabe and Rafe are more than happy to help her complete her Initiation. But can Rose handle what they have in mind?

Publisher’s Note: Boundaries (Box Set) contains the previously published novellas Bound by Blood, Bound by Desire, No Shame, and Flesh and Spirit.

Excerpt

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2022 AJ Graham
Excerpt from Bound by Blood

Daniel sat upright in the saddle, wrists bound, as his horse plodded forward. The coarse ropes chafed his skin, and fear twisted his guts into knots, but he kept his face calm and expressionless. He would hold onto his dignity, he promised himself, no matter what happened. It was all he had left.

Moonlight silvered the leaves of the forest as the procession rode single file down the narrow path. A guard rode behind him, and another in front to keep him from running away. They needn’t have worried. He did not intend to escape. If he did, his sister would suffer in his place.

He tried not to think of what awaited him at the end of the path. Instead, he thought of Sara safe and alive, baking bread with their mother, riding her favorite mare through the fields, picking wildflowers.

The procession stopped in a large, round clearing. Daniel’s two escorts dismounted. They were both men from the village, men he knew. They wouldn’t look him in the eye. Tom — the village baker — looked around, the whites of his eyes flashing like those of a frightened horse. His tongue darted out to wet his lips. “They’ll be here any minute,” he muttered.

“Aye,” replied Ben, the other escort. He glanced over his shoulder at Daniel, looked down, shook his head, and dropped his voice to a whisper. “I tell you, Tom, I hate this arrangement. It ain’t right, offering our young men and women to these blood-suckers. Sometimes I think it was better in the old days, when we hunted –”

“Shhh! You want them to hear you?”

“They can’t hear us,” he said, irritation creeping into his voice. “They aren’t here yet.”

“You don’t know that,” Tom shot back. “One of ’em could be standing right next to you, and you wouldn’t know it unless he spoke.” He glared at Ben. “None of us like this arrangement, but it’s the only way. In the old days, people died. The offerings keep things peaceful. Keeps the blood-suckers from our village. As for the offerings… well, it’s the price we pay. It’s not like they kill them.”

“No.” Ben lowered his voice even more, but Daniel could still make out the words. “But what they do to them is probably worse.”

“Hush!”

Daniel’s hands clenched, nails pressing into his palms. “It’s all right,” he said. Despite his efforts to keep his voice steady, it trembled. “I’m not afraid.” It was a lie, and they all knew it. Ben and Tom exchanged guilty glances.

They waited. Daniel’s ears caught the thump of approaching hoof beats. He tensed.

At the edge of the clearing, a black horse emerged from the shadows. It was huge, muscular; its coat sleek and glossy. The rider wore dark, close-fitting trousers, which showed off his long, lean legs, and his black cloak billowed in the wind. Beneath it was a tight shirt of black leather, molded to the contours of his body. He was slender but hard, all sculpted muscle, his abdomen flat and trim. His skin was white, as if it had never seen sunlight… and he was stunningly, unnervingly beautiful, as beautiful as a woman, though it was impossible to mistake him for one. A breeze ruffled his short hair, which gleamed a pale silver, like moonlight on water. And his eyes…

Daniel’s heartbeat quickened as he stared into those ruby eyes. He had never seen one of the Kin face to face. That pale face was as cold and expressionless as a statue’s. There was no trace of feeling in those blood-red eyes. They flicked over the two cowering escorts, then focused on Daniel.

“Is this the offering?” The Kin lord’s voice was deep and full. It seemed to reverberate in the pit of Daniel’s stomach, in the marrow of his bones.

Tom took a deep breath and straightened. “Yes, my lord.”

“I was told that the offering this year would be a young woman.”

Tom glanced at Daniel and cleared his throat. “Aye, that was the intent. But this young man — Daniel — volunteered to take the place of his sister.”

Silver brows lifted. He looked at Daniel. “Is this true?”

Daniel swallowed. “Yes.” His voice sounded very small.

“How old are you, Daniel?”

“Twenty.”

For a long moment, the Kin lord stared at him. That ruby gaze held him immobile. He couldn’t breathe, couldn’t think. He felt as though those eyes could see straight into his head, as if they were examining every particle of his soul, weighing and measuring unseen qualities. At last, the man nodded. “Very well. Unbind his hands and let him dismount.”

With shaking hands, Tom unbound Daniel’s wrists. Daniel dismounted. His heart knocked like a fist against his chest as he walked toward the huge, black horse and the silver-haired man. He looked over his shoulder, but Tom and Ben would not meet his gaze.

“You two may go,” the silver-haired man said. “Take his horse with you. He won’t need it.”

Still avoiding Daniel’s gaze, they turned their horses and walked them out of the clearing. Daniel’s mare followed. He took a deep breath and approached the Kin lord.

Ruby eyes stared down at him. The man stretched out a hand. Daniel took it — the skin was smooth as marble — and the Kin lord pulled him onto the horse. Daniel gasped. There was no saddle. He gripped the horse with his thighs.

“Hold on to me,” said the Kin lord.

Daniel hesitated, then placed his hands gingerly on the man’s shoulders.

“Not like that.” There was a touch of gentle amusement in his voice. “Put your arms around my waist.”

Daniel bit his lower lip. Slowly, he wrapped his arms around that dagger-slim waist. His chest pressed against the man’s hard back. The Kin lord gave his mount a light tap with his heels. The horse snorted, tossed its head, and began to walk.

“My name is Vale, but you may address me as Master.”

“Yes, Master,” Daniel said quietly.

Vale looked over his shoulder. His crimson eyes reflected Daniel’s face. There were no discernable pupils, just two solid, ruby disks that seemed to burn with their own inner light. “You volunteered to take your sister’s place, didn’t you?”

“Yes.”

“Why?”

Daniel hesitated. “She’s younger than me by four years. She’s in love with a man whom she’s planning to marry one day. And my parents adore her. The whole village adores her. So do I. She’s always treated me with more kindness than anyone else. When she was chosen as the offering, everyone was devastated. I could not bear to think of her being taken away from all those who love her.” He remembered the moment of sinking dread as a village elder had read Sara’s name from the scrap of paper he’d drawn, blindfolded, from a wooden box.

“And you? Will they not be devastated by your loss, as well?”

Self-conscious, Daniel dropped his gaze. “I…”

“Look at me.”

Daniel looked up and met those cool, expressionless eyes. “No, Master, they won’t miss me much.”

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Meet the Author

AJ Graham has a passion for cold weather, unusual beers, and anything otherworldly. Dragons, demons, shapeshifters and psychics have always populated their imagination, but sometimes the real world can be just as fascinating and mysterious. And no matter the genre, AJ has always loved stories about soulmates connecting. Whether it’s instant, explosive passion or a slow burn, the power of two (or more) minds and bodies coming together to form a greater whole is always a story worth telling. AJ lives in the Chicago suburbs with their husband.

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New Release Blitz ~ The Devil You Know by S.J. Coles (Excerpt & Giveaway)


The Devil You Know by
S.J. Coles

Word Count: 98,131
Book Length: SUPER NOVEL
Pages: 402

Genres:

BILLIONAIRE
CELEBRITIES
CONTEMPORARY
CRIME
CRIME AND MYSTERY
EROTIC ROMANCE
GAY
GLBTQI
THRILLERS AND SUSPENSE

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Book Description


The law is about how you represent the truth. Love is no different.

Hilary Whyte believes that he has left his teenage troubles—and the person who embodied them—in the past. He has spent a decade building his career as a defense solicitor, believing that despite his troubled past, even the worst human beings deserve justice.

Now he has a promotion on the horizon as well as a fairytale wedding to his film star fiancé. On paper, life couldn’t be better.

But now he is being made to represent Dom Gosford, the boy who made his adolescence a living hell, on a double murder charge, and Hilary can’t be sure he is innocent. As the trial approaches, the two men are forced to travel a road of discovery, only to find that the truth of their connection goes much deeper than the question of who killed Lizzie and Dean Wood.

Reader advisory: This book contains a graphic description of murder and references to suicide, pedophilia, blackmail, pre-marital infidelity, and child pornography.

Excerpt

Hilary took a deep breath. His shirt, new on that morning, was sticking to the small of his back. He looked up at the Hart-Gosfords’ Mayfair townhouse and told himself, yet again, that it was just another case.

You can do this.

He straightened his back, let out the breath and pushed the intercom.

“Yes?”

“Hilary Whyte from Gunnerson and Gains to see Mr. Hart-Gosford.”

The gate buzzed and swung open. Hilary transferred his briefcase from one hand to the other so he could wipe his palms on his trousers as he climbed the steps to the front door. Before he could knock, it was opened by a short, stiff-necked man with a smart suit and a grim expression. The scar of an old piercing marred one eyebrow and another, more jagged, bisected the fleshiest part of his neck. The marks, combined with the crew-cut, made him more look like private security than house staff, though it didn’t surprise Hilary that the Hart-Gosfords felt the need for both.

“This way.”

Hilary resisted staring at the minimalist paintings and crystal sculptures as he followed the butler into a well-appointed parlor. It was best not to appear daunted by such things, even though just one of these pieces was probably worth more than he made in a year, even now.

Tall windows flooded the room with weak spring sunshine. Two women with the same shade of platinum hair looked up as he entered. The younger, who sat on the edge of a mauve love seat, wore a carefully schooled expression, the sort executed best by those who spent a lifetime practicing it. But Hilary detected strain in her slate-gray eyes. The older woman managed to look down her nose at Hilary, even though she barely grazed five feet in her thin-heeled patents. Her eyes, a shade paler than her daughter’s, were sharper than cut glass.

“Mr. Hilary Whyte, ma’am…for Master Dominic.”

“Thank you, Merriweather,” the younger woman said, her accent crisp. “Some coffee, I think. Coffee, Mr. Whyte?”

“Yes, thank you,” Hilary said, finally spotting the other figure in the room. Dominic Hart-Gosford stood with his back to them as he poured whiskey into a tumbler on a chrome sideboard. Even at this distance, Hilary could see that his hair had darkened since school, now a brown just this side of black. He’d also added yet more muscle to his six-foot-three frame. Hilary fought to keep his face neutral.

You’re the solicitor Walter recommended?” the older woman said, examining Hilary like he was something she’d just stepped in.

“That’s right.”

“This is simply not acceptable—”

“Mother—”

“No, Amelia,” the older woman cut her off. “This simply will not do. You…Mr. Whyte. How old are you?”

“I’m twenty-nine, Mrs. Hart.”

She lifted an eyebrow. “I was not aware Walter Gunnerson had a sense of humor—or that he would have such poor taste as to use my son-in-law’s murder trial as a chance to exercise it.”

“I can assure you, Mrs. Hart, I am a fully qualified solicitor with years of experience in criminal defense.”

“How can you possibly have years of experience?”

“By dedicating almost every waking hour to my profession since I was eighteen years old,” Hilary replied without inflection. “Mr. Gunnerson supplied you with my trial record, I believe?” Mrs. Hart narrowed her eyes. “If that is not enough to reassure you, you are more than welcome to apply to the senior partners for a change of counsel. But, in the meantime, there is rather a lot to be done. So, if you don’t mind…” Hilary indicated the open door.

“I suggest you don’t get too comfortable,” Mrs. Hart said, then swept from the room.

“I’m sorry for my mother,” Amelia said, standing and clasping her manicured hands together. “This is a trying time.”

“I understand,” Hilary said with a careful smile. “But it will take at least a few hours for your mother to try to have me removed from this case. In the meantime, my time is best served speaking with your husband.”

“Yes, of course.” She glanced back at Dominic. He stood, gazing out of the window, his drink untouched in his hand. Hilary took in the broad shoulders, the trim waist, the controlled stillness in his stance and hurriedly suppressed the memories that threatened to surface before they could show on his face.

Amelia stepped forward, lowering her voice. “My husband is innocent, Mr. Whyte. Whatever you think you know, you must believe that.”

Hilary smiled but did not speak. Amelia left as Merriweather appeared with a silver tray of coffee and china cups and set it down.

“You sure you don’t need me, sir?” he said, his eyes on Hilary.

“I’m fine, Merriweather. Thank you.”

Merriweather withdrew, closing the door behind him, and Hilary fought the impression that the room had shrunk.

Dominic finally turned around. Hilary had told himself many times in the last few weeks that he’d forgotten what this man looked like—that he’d successfully wiped the image from his mind, along with the sound of his voice. But as he took in the eyes, blacker than midnight, the hard, almost cruel set to a jaw that would otherwise be considered handsome, it was like Hilary was again sprawled on the PE changing room floor, that same face hanging over his, bloodied lips twisted and mocking, his fist raised for another blow.

“So, it really is you.” Dominic didn’t speak loudly, but it was like a stone had dropped into the silence of the room. “I could have laid a considerable amount of money on never seeing you again.”

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About the Author

S. J. Coles

S. J. Coles is a Romance writer originally from Shropshire, UK. She has been writing stories for as long as she has been able to read them. Her biggest passion is exploring narratives through character relationships.

She finds writing LGBT/paranormal romance provides many unique and fulfilling opportunities to explore many (often neglected or under-represented) aspects of human experience, expectation, emotion and sexuality.

Among her biggest influences are LGBT Romance authors K J Charles and Josh Lanyon and Vampire Chronicles author Anne Rice.

Find S. J. Coles at her website and follow her on Instagram.

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New Release Blitz ~ Blood Omen by Kegan Tyler (Excerpt & Giveaway)

Blood Omen by Kegan Tyler

Book 1 in the Blood Crusades series

Word Count: 34,844
Book Length: SHORT NOVEL
Pages: 142

GENRES:

CONTEMPORARY
EROTIC ROMANCE
GAY
GLBTQI
PARANORMAL
WERESHIFTERS

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Book Description


In the dark of the night…

Thomas is a lone shapeshifter living in a world where vampires and lycans are known to man. He has the unique gift of shifting into any living being, but he feels lost and alone.

Then he meets André, the alpha of the Bramwell pack of lycans, who offers him a new life—and a home. Gunter, the pack beta, sees something in Thomas. Their attraction is magnetic and undeniable. Their primal desires take hold and Thomas falls for this beautiful man—hard.

But when a coven of vampires arrives, showing great interest in shapeshifters, Gunter must protect the one he’s grown to love.

Reader advisory: This book contains scenes of smoking, the discussion of past sexual abuse, the accidental turning of someone into a werewolf, violence, character death, and scenes of sex whilst in a werewolf-shifted state.

Excerpt

Thomas Allen Wright ascended the steps to the front entrance of his apartment building, sopping wet from the relentless rain and craving a cocktail. He realized as he entered the passcode into the security pad that he’d be walking into an empty apartment, and he would spend the night alone for the first time in a week.

His ongoing affair with Jonathan Greer, a corporate snooze with money and a raucous lifestyle, had come to a screeching halt as of late. For a long while, Jonathan had stayed with Thomas in his apartment, and was always there after Thomas’ late shift at the café. Thomas reminisced fondly about the countless nights they’d shared in each other’s company, all the hot lovemaking they’d indulged in. Jonathan liked to call it ‘fucking’ as he was still putting up a straight-acting façade for his black-tie boys in the office, which, much to Thomas’ discomfort, translated into Jonathan’s day-to-day life as well. And, somehow, it translated to the bedroom.

But perhaps that was why Thomas had been so drawn to him. Jonathan’s macho disposition coupled with his impossibly sculpted tan body made him irresistible. So much so that Thomas had found himself in the most ridiculous situations to be at Jonathan’s beck and call. He was too devoted, and for what? A good lay?

All this swirled in his head as he progressed down the hallway and to the elevator at the far end of the building. He slapped the Up button and waited for it to descend. He set his briefcase down on the checker-patterned carpet and ran his fingers through his dark brown hair, wringing out the excess water dribbling down his leather jacket.

Thomas knew deep down that he was an attractive man with his cerulean eyes and timid smile. But he didn’t believe it himself. He’d often stare at his feet when good-looking men walked past him, or when girls smiled and winked at him on the street.

Like his mane of brown hair, his loafers were unkempt—scuffed, scratched and faded—and their age clearly showed. He looked about thirty, but he never disclosed his real age to anyone, not even his closest lover.

He was a shapeshifter. The animal he transformed into most commonly was a wolf, though he could take on many forms at any given moment. He’d once been a panther, which was his second-favorite creature to shift into. He so often chose a werewolf for the obvious reason—if anyone in the area were to see him in his animal form, he’d not be blinked at more than twice. Werewolves were accepted as part of society now, no longer a myth. If anyone had come across him as a panther, he’d be on the local news and, more than likely, a hunt would be called. How unusual it would be to see an exotic animal that was most prominent in the jungle in the Great Lakes. Lycans had been ‘out’ to the world for about ten years at this point, so he figured he’d blend in posing as one.

Perhaps the most useful part of his unique gift was the ability to not just shift into an animal but to shift into another person. He had first discovered this when he was twelve, in the bathroom stall of his middle school. A bully, whose name he’d long since forgotten, had maneuvered him into the girls’ room and was taunting him, shouting obscenities at the top of his lungs and banging on the stall door with his meaty fists. Desperate for an escape, little Thomas had shifted into Becca, a classmate he was friends with, and pranced out of the girls’ room, laughing under his breath at the look on his bully’s face when she exited the stall instead of him.

This became a fun little game in his youth, and it had expanded in adulthood. By now he’d adopted the appearances of some ten or eleven figures, a couple of them celebrities, and he had found it amusing to trick and confuse those around him. He quite enjoyed living someone else’s life now and then.

The result of this special ability was that he had an alter ego. Evan Winston was his name, and he was a British scholar from Edinburgh on visa in the United States to study biology at the University of Wisconsin in Oshkosh. Or so he told people. A completely fictional character with an appearance Thomas had appropriated from a fashion model in the UK, Evan was blond-haired, blue-eyed, and had a nice large cock which was useful in bed. Thomas’ own was a bit smaller with a modest girth, and this, paired with his prominent ass, meant that he bottomed all the time…in his true form. As Evan, he enjoyed the pleasure of being on top and having a sizable eight-inch cock. What a dream it was to be Mr. Evan Winston.

Jonathan did not know Evan, and Thomas intended to keep it that way. As a personal rule, he never used his trickery on those closest to him. Presently, the two people that met that criterion were Jonathan and his best friend Shalese.

One other secret that Thomas carried with himself was that he could never visibly age past where he was. His real age was sixty-two, though every time he shifted back to himself, he looked about thirty. He had the most coveted ability in all human existence—immortality, or at least that’s what he considered it. He had the pleasure of watching the world evolve around him, passing through multiple generations while maintaining an appearance much younger than all he interacted with. He’d see friends age and once they noticed that he looked the same as he did when they first met him, it was time to pack up his life and relocate. He’d traveled from New York City, where he was born, to Sacramento and all places in between. For a brief time, he’d lived on the Mediterranean coast, but had decided that the community was too closely knit. Others looked at him with suspicion, and he suspected that several of the city residents knew what he was. He had lasted five months there.

When Thomas touched a living being, the DNA of that life form would transfer to him, and his body would keep a record of that form at that point in time—the age, the shape… Everything about that being as it was when he touched it, he would transform into. He could shift into a variety of life forms, such as a snake, a dove and a Northern cardinal.

He’d never forget the time he met his childhood crush, Ava Charlotte, in person. A superstar pop icon, she had been much more reserved and humble than he’d imagined. He’d shaken her hand, and she’d given him the warmest smile in passing. She was thirty-four at the time, so whenever he shifted, she looked the same as she was that day. He carried the memory with him fondly and would shift into her physique every now and then to remember it.

He’d seen all kinds of men from all parts of the United States, and he’d gotten pretty good at guessing what their cocks looked like. He estimated he’d slept with close to seven hundred men throughout the country. His favorite were the solid boys with a southern drawl and an appetite for ass. They always had the nicest cocks. It was the Jersey boys and the surfers that had the most obnoxious personalities, and the smallest penises.

Thomas reached his apartment door and dug into his pocket for his keys, brushing against the head of his half-hard cock. He fumbled for the right key and, as he slid it in, it reminded him of the times he’d don Evan Winston and slide into those beautiful country boys. He overheard a conversation between a police officer, Thomas’ landlord and the tenant of apartment five. The man was irate, shouting something about an intruder shattering his balcony door. The officer asked if anything was stolen, to which the man said no, not that he could see. The landlord muttered a comment about not paying for the damages. When the man’s voice raised an octave, Thomas took that as his cue to hide.

He flung the door open and closed it behind him, then shed his clothes, tossing them to the floor. He slumped down onto the black sofa and played with himself, fantasizing about Jonathan and the way he so expertly made Thomas come while giving him oral.

Thomas was aware of the fact that he lived in Jonathan’s shadow, and no amount of pity or self-reliance could change that. His mind was always glued to Jonathan’s body, to his full, pink lips, to his sizable prospect too often concealed behind slim jeans. When he came on himself, he ran his fingers through the fresh hot cum and imagined Jonathan’s sensual hands sliding along his torso. Then he envisioned Jonathan spreading his ass and nuzzling his crevice into Thomas’ face. As he fantasized about licking Jonathan’s tight hole, his eager hand traced his abdomen and reached for his cock again, working it until he came a second time.

In a daze, he rolled off the couch and grabbed his nearby shirt, using it to clean himself off. Then he grabbed his other forgotten clothes and stashed them in his laundry basket just inside the bedroom. He dipped into the bathroom and indulged in a hot shower, all the while letting Jonathan’s hypnotic trance take over him.

After he’d stepped out of the shower and dried off, he wrapped the damp towel around his waist then reached into the pocket of his jeans in the basket for his phone. He looked up Jonathan’s contact and dialed.

Four rings later, he was greeted with a melancholy woman. “Your call has been forwarded to an automated voice message system…” He pressed the End button and tossed the phone onto his bed in a mild fit of annoyance. Of course, whenever he wanted to get ahold of Jonathan, he was never available. But the second Jonathan wanted to get ahold of him, Thomas answered at the first ring.

He knew he was too tied up in this delusion that he and Jonathan were meant to be, or rather that they were good together, which in itself was a fallacy. He knew for a fact that Jonathan couldn’t give a damn about him and what he spent his time doing. He guessed that if Jonathan knew that he thought of him so often, he’d probably either shrug it off or ditch him altogether. This thought ravaged Thomas’ mind as he made himself a vegetable stir-fry.

As he was about to dish up the food, his cell phone rang. Eagerly, he bolted into the bedroom and answered. The rough, sexy voice on the other end was unmistakable.

“What’s up?”

“Hey, Jonathan,” Thomas said with a sigh. “What are you doing tonight?”

“I just got back from a twelve-hour day,” Jonathan grumbled. He sounded worn. “Mounds of paperwork and bitchy clients. My head fuckin’ hurts.”

“I bet it does,” Thomas sympathized. Then, feeling ballsy, he said, “Would a blow job help?”

Jonathan sighed, and there was a brief pause. Then he said, “Yeah, it would. I’ve been thinking about your ass all day. I want it.”

“Come over. I’m making stir-fry.”

Another sigh. “I can’t drive.”

“Why is that?”

“I’m a little drunk,” Jonathan confessed.

“Already? When did you get home?”

“Yeah, already. About an hour ago. Downed five shots and I’m on my second beer.”

“How about I bring the food over to you?”

“Mmmmh,” Jonathan moaned. Thomas imagined he was biting his lip. “Sex and free food. Sign me up.”

“I can be there in twenty.”

“Make it fifteen.” Click.

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About the Author

Kegan Tyler

Kegan Tyler was born in Pennsylvania in 1993. He has always been a creative—at the age of eight, he created a comic book series, and he wrote his first novel at age fourteen. His love of vampires and werewolves paired with his love of gay erotica resulted in his passion project, The Blood Crusades.

He enjoys pop music, horror flicks, Halloween, science fiction, the works of Stephen King, and video games. In his writing, he strives to represent LGBTQIA+ individuals. You’ll find his works full of LGBTQIA+ characters living their lives passionately and with conviction.

He lives in Wisconsin.

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New Release Blitz: Cursed by J.P. Jackson (Excerpt & Giveaway)

Title:  Cursed

Series: Magus Malefica—The Coven Series, Book Two

Author: J.P. Jackson

Publisher:  NineStar Press

Release Date: 05/24/2022

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male, Male/Male Menage

Length: 96600

Genre: Paranormal, LGBTQIA+, fantasy, gay, magic, fae, werewolf, shifter, witches, coven, gods, polyamory

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Description

Cam Habersham is having a hell of a time keeping up with his fae studies in the Ancestral Lands because a certain werewolf constantly interrupts his thoughts. Everton Lilch is the wolfen beast who follows Cam around, but he pushes Cam away every time things get steamy.

The queen of the fae has had enough and tasks Cam with an impossible feat, an undertaking only Everton can help him accomplish.

Without his coven, Sparks Gemmell is a lost witch. In desperation, he casts a spell, hoping to reunite his brothers. But he doesn’t count on the wayward route magic often takes. He finds himself wrapped up in a mandate of the horned god and inserted into his Shadow Brothers’ relationship in order to protect his city from the darkest elements of the Shadow Realm.

As the darkness of the Shadow Realm descends, Cam and his werewolf, along with Sparks and his coven brothers, confront wraiths, mutant werewolves, and witch law enforcement. Chaos erupts in an effort to please queens and gods.

After all, it comes down to the ley of the land.

Excerpt

Cursed
J.P. Jackson © 2022
All Rights Reserved

“I am not wearing this.”

Cam tossed the skimpy garment onto his sun-dappled bed while Sen, his man-in-waiting, a Kijimuna tree sprite, wrung his long-boned but tiny hands. Sen glared at Cam, but his nervous hand wringing never stopped. Cam returned the stare, hoping his stubbornness would win.

Eventually, Cam broke the connection and focused his sights on the far wall of his room. A new tendril wove its way up the wall.

Everything the fae used or constructed was in harmony with the environment. The bed had been crafted from woven tree roots. The mattress pillowed from being stuffed with a combination of dried grasses, tufts from animal pelts, and down. All the textiles were handwoven, and when the summer night air had a chill to it, more skins were brought in for comfort. Extra blankets hadn’t been necessary this summer. Despite the bed’s lumpy appearance, Cam had never slept so well. Although he still wasn’t used to the massive horns on his head or the protruding wings from his back.

The walls and the furniture were constantly changing, but when one lived inside a massive tree, one had to expect the unexpected. As the tree continued to grow, so did the interior of his assigned bedchamber.

“Your Grace, the loincloth is traditional clothing. You were scheduled to meet with the queen, and certain conventions must be upheld. You need to get down to the court room.” Sen tried his best, but Cam’s tenacity would eventually wear out the tree sprite.

“It’s nothing more than a jockstrap and I am not parading around in front of the entire Royal party in nothing but a G-string!” He pointed to the discarded underwear while scrunching his mouth to one side and crossing his arms.

“But Your Grace—” Sen licked his lips while he continued to rub his hands together.

Poor thing. Cam hadn’t made his summer an easy experience. The tree sprite had been assigned as Cam’s manservant as part of an international exchange program meant to expand the knowledge of cultural traditions and court customs from various fae clans around the world. Cam had seen and met Chaneques from southern Mexico, and Menehune from Oceania. Sen’s vibrant red hair, a characteristic of his tribe, contrasted starkly with his paper-birch complexion. Sen’s frame imitated the slender branches of a sinewy willow, so slight Cam mistakenly judged him to be frail, but he discovered otherwise. Fae could be inhumanly strong and there had been more than one occasion when Sen had managed to wrestle and hold Cam still during his magic training.

Sen’s Japanese ancestry meant his tolerance did not allow for the wild range of temperatures inherent in a Canadian prairie summer. Cam had witnessed the creature either shivering to death on the rare cool summer evening or wilting in the August heat which regularly coalesced beneath the dense forest canopy. Sen’s homelands were far more temperate and kinder on a body. Despite Sen’s constant battle with the elements, his elongated limbs and fine features meant he was nimble and quick, which made him an excellent tutor for Cam’s induction in the ways of the fae. Escaping wild and out of control fae magic spells gone awry required additional agility. The fae were supposed to be nimble, graceful, and eloquently able to slip in and out of the shadows when required, a magical talent Cam had not mastered, along with several others. Sen’s intelligence, however, proved the Eldritch clan fae outwitted and outsmarted Cam’s constant manipulations.

Cam struggled with his fae classification and history. The amount of concentration required to take in the volumes of documentation given to him bested his attention span. The antiquity of the clans spanned the course of human existence, and beyond.

Each fae belonged within one of four houses, although there were multiple species within each camp. Earth fae belonged to the clan of the Eldritch, like Sen and Cam. Air fae were the Aethers and Corvins. Their feathered wings and skin made for unusual flying creatures who lived above the clouds. Cam latched on to the name for water fae because he found out Atlanteans were real. But he couldn’t recall what fire fae were called, and at this point he simply didn’t care.

Cam had made the first few weeks frustrating for them both. He refused to study, and his wayward use of fae abilities had resulted in wanton destruction within the village, which landed him in hot water with the Ancestral Lands queen, Lady Aine.

In his defence, Cam had demonstrated his ability to become invisible, and he regularly used probability spells to favour his penchant for doing nothing in the hot August afternoons.

Cam stood beside his bed, naked, staring at the wall and contemplating how he had managed to get here. He had his best friend in the whole wide world to thank for all of this. Devid Khandelwal and his cockamamie summoning board had been the catalyst in forever altering Cam’s humanity, and subsequent captivity within the Ancestral Lands of the forest fae. Granted, his home in Edmonton wasn’t far away, but until Cam had, at a bare minimum, mastered the art of a human disguise, Lady Aine would never let him leave.

Grasping the concept and maintaining the illusion proved inordinately difficult. He had to completely change his new horned and winged form into the way he used to be. That meant being able to maintain the image he wanted to project in his mind’s eye, all while holding conversations, or carrying out mundane tasks like household chores or visiting the local market. Illusions proved to be impossible for Cam, but public appearances with massive, curved horns and a slender furry tail would expose the Shadow Realm and its inhabitants to the mundane world. Exposure was something the entire magical community, fae, witches, beasts, and spirits alike, avoided at all costs.

Cam’s membranous wings sputtered. The appendages had a life of their own, and often reflected his emotional state.

“May I point out you’re not wearing anything right now, and yet I’m here. What’s so different between your nudity right now and satisfying the queen with your presence in clothing which is customarily worn by males?”

“Sen, you’ve seen me naked every day, several times a day. You bathe me, not my choice. You dress me, not my choice. You wake me in the morning, also not my choice. And speaking of morning, where is my required cup of coffee?” Cam’s tail flicked from side to side as he glanced around his room, his wings flapping in annoyance. Camila, Cam’s alter ego and super bitch, showed up when the caffeine levels were bottoming out. The fae folk didn’t consume coffee, and Cam hadn’t had a good cup of velvety deliciousness in weeks. His irritability lately had known no bounds, but the community had made exceptions considering his most unusual initiation into the Ancestral Lands—coffee being one of them. The elders of the Ancestral Lands had commented on Cam’s oddness. His fae body held on to the addiction of caffeine when his stomach no longer tolerated anything more than meat. Protein, and lots of it, was a daily requirement.

In short, Cam moped and perpetuated his miserable mood to everyone around him. His normal routine had been turned upside down, his dating life had been non-existent, and as much as he had relied on Dev for so much of his past life, he had to cut the guy some slack. Dev was going through his own adjustments, what with becoming a witch and getting a boyfriend in the deal.

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NineStar Press | Books2Read

Meet the Author

J.P. Jackson is an award-winning author of dark urban fantasy, paranormal, and even paranormal romance stories, but regardless of the genre, they always feature LGBTQ main characters.

J.P. works as an IT analyst in health care during the day, where if cornered he’d confess to casting spells to ensure clinicians actually use the electronic medical charting system he configures and implements.

At night, the writing happens, where demons, witches and shapeshifters congregate around the kitchen table and general chaos ensues. His husband of 22 years has very firmly put his foot down on any further wraith summonings and regularly lines the doorway with iron shavings and salt crystals. Imps are most definitely not house-trainable. Ghosts appear at the most inopportune times, and the Fae are known for regular visits where a glass of wine is exchanged for a good ole story or two. Although the husband doesn’t know it, Canela and Jalisco, the two Chihuahuas, are in cahoots with the spell casting.

J.P.’s other hobbies include hybridizing African Violets (thanks to grandma), extensive traveling and believe it or not, knitting.

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New Release Blitz ~ The Baron’s Saving Grace by Raven McAllan & Cassie O’Brien (Excerpt & Giveaway)

The Baron’s Saving Grace by
Raven McAllan & Cassie O’Brien

Book 2 in the The Scots and the Sassenachs series

Word Count:  40,362
Book Length: SHORT NOVEL
Pages: 151

Genres:

HISTORICAL
ROMANCE

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Book Description


A daring rescue plan leads to unexpected consequences. Could it also lead to love?

Grace Foston concocts an audacious ruse that will enable her sister to marry her one true love. However, it goes awry when she finds herself misguidedly rescued by the chivalrous intervention of George Armstrong, Baron Renfrew. Grace is not impressed and tells him so. She needs neither rescuing nor saving and doesn’t appreciate his interference.

George is intrigued by this feisty lady and determined she won’t fall into the clutches of scoundrel Adrian Corbett. When Grace informs him just why she is with Corbett, George realizes they need to work together to foil the man. Love and life work in mysterious ways, and they manage to achieve what they set out to do.

Falling in love wasn’t on their agenda. How could it be? When Grace is already married…

Excerpt

The inn was well presented, had a good menu and served excellent ale. To say nothing of providing a supply of whisky he was certain had never been within scent of an exciseman.

George Armstrong, who following the death of his father now bore the title Baron Hexham, winced at the squawk the feet of his chair made as he pushed it back a few inches to allow him to cross one knee over the other and not upturn the nearby table. He sniffed the spirit in his glass, savoured the peaty aroma with appreciation and took a sip.

“Douglas, ‘tis as good as ever,” he said to the anxiously awaiting landlord. “You are a genius in securing something so special. What I wouldn’t do for a cask of this at home.” He laughed at the landlord’s agonised expression. “No, I will not ask you to facilitate that. I imagine it is fraught enough getting sufficient for your needs.”

“That it is, indeed, my lord. But if you wish I…”

George took pity on the man. He had been only half-serious when he’d said he wished he had some at home. It would have put the noses out of joint of the people who worked on his estate and had their own stills secreted away. They may lie south of the border, but their appreciation—and copying—of the water of life was alive and kicking. He had no idea where they secreted the still whose results he regularly acquired, but he hoped it was never discovered by the powers that be. The resultant whisky was as good as the one he now savoured. “Do not worry yourself. It’s another good reason to visit you. Along with your wife’s cooking and a comfortable bed on my journey.”

“That’s grand. May I ask how t’house is comin’ on?”

George sighed. His Corbridge home had been razed to the ground by his laudanum-addicted father, and his addlepated sire had perished in the blaze. “Slowly, Douglas, very slowly. The one redemption from the whole sorry state is no one but the late baron was hurt when he ventured too near the flames.” He chose not to mention the man had been as naked as a jay and waving a bottle of port, or that he could never forgive himself for not remembering that whilst under the influence Gordon, his late father, had been irrational and likely to fall into a rage. The conflagration had been because George had foiled his parent’s plans to ruin a man whose long-dead ancestor, his father had believed, had caused a curse to be laid upon the Armstrong family. In his drug-clouded mind, Gordon had invented a ruinous theory of the curse being broken by way of a marriage between the two families, and had stooped to the lowest form of blackmail to bring this about. That was the manner of man he had been. George hoped and prayed he had none of the man’s unpleasant traits in him. “He thought he saw someone or something inside.” A lie, but who was to confront him over it?

“Ah, good man, sorry ending.” The landlord shook his head in sorrow. “Life must go on though, eh? You off north?” Douglas’ voice penetrated George’s mind, and he brought himself back to the present.

George nodded. “To the Trossachs, to see a good friend who lives there. Then I’m away to the Tay for the fishing before the season ends.”

“Then I’ll wish ye well,” Douglas replied. “I’d not be wantin’ to go so far m’sen but I know you gentry folk are happy wi’ all t’travel. Will you be using the private parlour later this evening?”

Amused at the idea that only those higher up the social ladder travelled, George blinked at the change of topic and considered the question, while pondering the types of people who also travelled. What about salesmen? Servants changing jobs? Drovers, herders and itinerants? The list could be endless. He mentally laughed at himself and let the thoughts go.

As to his present abode, he was comfortable where he was. The room was aptly named the snug. Three tables, two benches and four high-backed armchairs with padded seats. Set in front of a crackling fire with a bell pull for service. What more could he want? Except for a warm and willing body and that was as unlikely as a Stuart returning to the throne. “Not if you need it for someone else. I’ll be as happy here.”

“Then I’ll tell the gentleman who wishes to use it with his ward that he may.” The landlord sounded relieved. “The lass has had a touch of nausea after travelling, so they’re biding the night. Last two rooms, they got. We’re mighty busy this day. The sheep sales, you know.”

George nodded. Not that he did know a lot, but he’d intended to take a look at the sales and see if anything there interested him. His estate in the Cheviots would stand a few additions to the flock and Callum, his shepherd, was due the following day to look the animals over. They’d been told some of a flock with  outstanding pedigrees would be up for auction. A couple of rams and an ewe or two wouldn’t go amiss.

George would leave everything to Callum, hand him the cash they had decided on and keep well away. Callum was an unknown in the area—George himself was not. He wouldn’t put it past some farmers to collaborate to push the prices up if it were known he was bidding. His father hadn’t shown their family in a good light in the area. George accepted he would have an uphill struggle to rectify it.

He settled down in front of the fire, legs crossed at the ankle, and steepled his hands on his chin. Deep in thought, he studied the flames for a while and pondered on how fire could be both good—here at that moment—and bad—the way his home had ended up as ashes.

With another dram and several of the landlady’s famed-throughout-the-area singing hinnies, he contemplated all he needed to do in the next few weeks. Singing hinnies, sweet griddle cakes, which George, along with a large percentage of the local population, were partial to, were a local favourite, and everyone guarded their own specific recipe jealously.

George’s mind moved from the future to the past as he mused over the previous twelve months. They had been frenetic, worrying and, thankfully at times, uplifting. With the exception of the fire and the tragedy of his father’s death, there had been more positives than negatives, and at last George felt his life was on an even keel.

Apart, of course, from his still being unwed. Not something that had overly bothered him in the past, but now seeing new—but good—friends happily settled, he was aware he thought he would like a wife. Children. A family. An heir.

How he was to achieve that he had no idea. A season paying court to the well-brought-up young ladies on the marriage mart held little appeal—even if he’d been so inclined. His father’s antics, plus his own once well-deserved but no longer relevant reputation as a rake, would ensure no parent worth their salt would consider him a good bet as a husband for their daughter.

He sighed and stared into his tankard of ale as if it had all the answers.

It didn’t. He took one mouthful, twisted the tankard around and watched the contents froth. How long before it fell flat? A bit like he felt at that moment.

George was not the sort of person to think every solution was found in the bottom of a jug of ale or a flagon of whisky, and had no idea how long it was before he became aware of voices from the adjoining room. Seconds probably. He put his drink down and debated whether to scrape his chair over the floor to show the occupants the private parlour, it seemed, wasn’t exactly private.

Whether it was due to the way the chimneys met and merged or doors ajar he had no idea, but two voices could be clearly heard.

“I told you I’ll come with you and marry you, so why all this farridaddle?” a female voice asked. “If you don’t think I’ll be true to my word, lock me in my room. Try to make me share yours, and I’ll bring the roof down and cause such a scandal you won’t have a hope of your plot succeeding. Your choice.”

“You better be on the level.”

George decided not to announce his presence and narrowed his eyes, as if by doing so he could see though walls or even identify the speaker. Did he know him? He certainly had never heard the female voice before, but the deeper baritone sounded familiar.

“I am as on the level as you are,” the lady—he was certain she was a lady, a gently reared female—continued. “I would do nothing to harm my family, even if you are not so scrupulous. I will not let any scandal stick to Papa or the memory of my late mama, and you know that fine well. Otherwise, you wouldn’t have thought up this insidious plan. One, I might add, only a scoundrel would choose to carry out. Now, kindly go and locate the landlord and discover which room I have been allocated so I may retire for the evening. Alone.”

For a few seconds there was silence, then the male answered.

“Very well. Wait here. But remember…” The tone George supposed was meant to be menacing had more than a hint of a whine in it. And now he recognised it.

Adrian Corbett, by God. The blaggard! What is he up to?

“Oh, I remember it all. You can be sure I will go to my room, but do not think to accompany me to it, because if you do, I will…” There was a pregnant pause. “Create. A. Scene.”

George mentally applauded the lady. Not many well-bred females of his admittedly limited acquaintance would have the sense—or temerity—to act in such an assertive way.

A door creaked open and footsteps sounded on the wooden boards of the hallway outside the snug. George considered not just the words he’d overheard but also the disdain and loathing in the female’s voice. Whoever the lady may be, she was obviously being coerced into a marriage against her natural inclination. She had sounded feistily determined to stand her ground, but would her words be enough to hold a man like Adrian Corbett at bay should he decide to enter her room after imbibing a couple of brandies?

The thought turned George’s stomach. The man was certainly foul enough to physically force his presence on a slighter-built female. He would probably excuse himself doing so without a second thought if she was destined to be his wife. It was not to be borne. No female should be forced into marriage. With anyone. George set his glass on the table, walked quickly to the door and left the room.

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About the Authors

Raven McAllan

After 30 plus years in Scotland, Raven now lives near the east Yorkshire coast, with her long-suffering husband, who is used to rescuing the dinner, when she gets immersed in her writing, keeping her coffee pot warm and making sure the wine is chilled.

With a new home to decorate and a garden to plan, she’s never short of things to do, but writing is always at the top of her list.

Her other hobbies include walking along the coast and spotting the wildlife, reading, researching, cros stitch and trying not to drop stitches as she endeavours to knit.

Being left-handed, and knitting right-handed, that’s not always easy.

She loves hearing from her readers, either via her website, by email or social media.

Cassie O’Brien

I love:

Being with family and friends.

Writing and having the freedom to do so now child four of four has passed her driving test and is off to uni later this year.

I Like:

Any excuse to throw a party.

Any excuse to open a bottle of fizz.

Shoes in vast quantities – the higher the heel the better.

Ambitions:

To write many more books.

To own a pair of Louboutin’s.

To never go near an iron or a hoover again.

You can find Cassie on Facebook and follow her on Twitter: @cassieo_author

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Book Blitz: Thirst by J Hali Steele (Excerpt & Giveaway)

Title:  Thirst

Author: J Hali Steele

Publisher: Changeling Press LLC

Release Date: May 20, 2022

Heat Level: 5 – Erotica

Pairing: Male/Female

Length: 67 pages

Genre: Erotica, Urban Fantasy, Dark Fantasy, Dark Desire, Vampires, Voyeurism & Exhibitionism

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Synopsis

Feeling thirsty?

Thirsty: Monique has finally found a place where she can live out her fantasies. Little does she know the den of iniquity she’s walked into is more than just a theme club. Omen’s is the playground for every type of monster in the world.

A Thirst to Die For: When Nolan gives life to Amanda’s carnal fantasies, his own life changes. Hell is coming to pay him a visit, and he’s about to lose control.

Bane of Existence: One night spent in a human woman’s arms brought Bane, a son of Satan, as close to heaven as he’ll ever get. Now the only way he can have Iris is to convince her she wants him as much as he needs her.

A Vampire’s Thirst: Once Nolan gave all souls moderation in everything. He was good at his job, and he called heaven home — until he fucked the wrong seraphim! Now he’s a vampire slayer serving the devil, keeping an eye on Omen’s, and babysitting Lucifer’s son. Not a job he expected to hold for damn near eight hundred years…

Publisher’s Note: Thirst (Razor’s Edge Box Set) contains the previously published novellas Thirsty, A Thirst to Die For, Bane of Existence, and A Vampire’s Thirst.

Excerpt

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2022 J. Hali Steele
Excerpt from Thirsty

“Must be a cold day in hell. You haven’t come here alone in ages. Losing your touch or what?”

Since Nolan had been asked to keep an eye on the club, and on the devilishly handsome man behind the bar, he almost never visited without someone to make his evening more exciting. Giving Omen’s owner, Peris, a long, appraising look, Nolan’s cock twitched in regret. He’d been too busy lately.

“You asking to be touched? ‘Cause I can do that, and make you like it.” Nolan sat on his normal stool at the end of the long, shiny wooden bar, and eyed too many empty tables. “Where is everyone?”

“Resting up from their wicked weekend. And you wouldn’t know what to do with that cold dick up this hot ass.”

The sound of the swinging door distracted them both.

God damn, the woman was striking. Tall, curvaceous, with dark brown hair to her ass. An ass that cried out to be fucked. Christ. Nolan’s cock came alive. So did every other part of his body, which took a lot of doing, considering he’d been dead too many years to count.

Peris chuckled from the other side of the counter, giving his balls a noticeable squeeze. “Looks like a live one to me. I might make a play for her myself.”

“Not unless you’re looking forward to visiting relatives.” Peris had connections to the hierarchy below, but with the dark one’s permission, Nolan would send the young man to Hell in a heartbeat.

Nolan had been called lots of things — dead, undead, bloodsucker, motherfucker — and he lived up to every one of them. He was a Slayer, and he was the best. “Get the lady a beer. Let’s see what she does with it.”

Watching the woman make her way to the bar, he took a deep breath. Human. Omen’s wasn’t a place humans popped into often, and for good reason. The cloying feeling of imminent danger was prevalent, a vibe even the shallowest human sensed the minute they entered the establishment.

This one ignored it, so she must be looking for something. Or someone. The blood pulsing through her gorgeous body would soon be running through his veins. Wouldn’t kill her. Vamps didn’t do that anymore. Okay, some did, but they were the ones he took out of play, and he enjoyed every minute of it.

She slid onto a stool at the opposite end of the bar, and it felt like she’d plopped into his lap. Cum slipped from the slit on his dick, which jerked violently inside his designer slacks. He reached up to loosen a button or two at the collar of the stark white silk shirt he wore. Getting into her panties, if she wore any, was going to be pure joy. After fucking her senseless, he’d taste her — just a little bit if she was worth another ride. If not, he’d have a full meal before sending her home.

Peris delivered a cold brew and a glass and turned away, pretending to straighten the bottles of liquor on display. Nolan, adjusting his heightened vision, gazed right into her eyes when she looked his way. One hazel, one brown — not something he saw often. Tipping the bottle toward him, she smiled and nodded before putting it to her lips. No glass! Excellent. A cock sucker, and he’d bet every year he had lived she was a good one. When her pink tongue darted through painted red lips, wrapped around the top of the bottle and licked it clean, he made his move.

Easing into her mind, he sifted through all the day’s clutter. Such tiny panties. With a groan that lodged in his throat, he backed out, sniffing at the air. Sweet. What he’d unearthed in her mind made his dead heart beat like a drum. Fantasies should be played out, and he intended to help with hers.

Purchase

Changeling Press LLC | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes

Meet the Author

J. Hali Steele wishes she could grow fur, wings, or fangs, so she can stay warm, fly, or just plain bite the crap out of… Well, she can’t do those things but she wishes she could!

Multi-published and Amazon bestselling author of Romance in Paranormal, Fantasy, and Contemporary worlds which include ReligErotica and LGBTQ stories where humans, vampyres, shapeshifters and angels collide-they collide a lot! When J. Hali’s not writing or reading, she can be found snuggled in front of the TV with a cat in her lap, and a cup of coffee.

Growl and roar — it’s okay to let the beast out. — J. Hali Steele

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New Release Blitz ~ In His Hands By Hannah Murray (Excerpt & Giveaway)

In His Hands By Hannah Murray

Book 3 in the Perfect Taboo series

Word Count: 71,221
Book Length: SUPER NOVEL
Pages: 277

GENRES:

BONDAGE AND BDSM
CONTEMPORARY
EROTIC ROMANCE

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Book Description

Consent is everything…and with consent, everything is possible.

Olivia has one wish—to find a partner who will do consensual non-consent scenes with her. She thought she’d found the perfect man, but he turned out to be more dud than Dom. When their relationship implodes, she moves out, and moves in with her friend Cade. He’s happy to have her, but living with him won’t be easy. It was easier to ignore her feelings for him, and the fact that he’d always been her ideal Dom, when she’d had a boyfriend. But he’d stopped doing CNC after a scene had gone wrong, so she’d set her sights elsewhere.

Cade has his own problems. He’s been in love with Olivia since they met, but when she started dating someone else, he put his feelings aside and focused on being her friend. But now that she’s single again, he’s not going to let opportunity pass him by. He’s happy to set her straight about his feelings on CNC play—totally still into it, but won’t do casual scenes—and more than eager to make all her kinky dreams come true.

Olivia finally has the kind of kinky relationship she’s always wanted, and her feelings for Cade only grow stronger as time goes on. But when her ex reappears to explain why he ended their relationship, she wonders if she’s mistaking her happiness with their CNC play for love—and worries that Cade might be doing the same…

Reader advisory: This book includes scenes of consensual non-consent, as well as RACK, role-play, sexual fantasy, blood play and rape fantasy.

Publisher’s Note: The story told in this book begins on the same day that Sharing His Submissive ends, and before the events of Show Me Something Good.

Excerpt

Olivia stared at her boyfriend in disbelief. “Are you serious?”

Kyle raised one blond eyebrow, which unfortunately added a layer of smug condescension to his Generically Handsome White Guy face. “Do I look serious?”

“Yes.” His usual affable smile was missing, his mouth pinched tight. “You look very serious.”

“Well, then.” Kyle took out a pen and tapped the thick sheaf of papers on the table between them.

“You’re telling me if I don’t sign that, we’re done.”

“That’s what I’m telling you.”

This didn’t make any sense. “I don’t want a Master/slave relationship, Kyle. You know that.”

He laid the pen on the table. It was the fountain pen she’d given him for his birthday last month, she noted. It was made in Germany, by some company that was apparently the world leader in fancy fountain pens, and had cost almost as much as her share of the monthly rent. It had a black lacquer finish, gold trim, and a gold nib that squirted ink all over her fingers every time she used it.

“It’s not about what you want, but rather, what you need,” Kyle said, and Olivia narrowed her eyes. He only used words like ‘rather’ when he was trying extra hard to be taken seriously.

“I don’t need a slave contract—which, by the way, is not in any way legally enforceable.” She paused to take a calming breath. If she started yelling, he’d just shut down, and they’d never get anywhere. “I need you to talk to me. I don’t understand where this is coming from.”

“There’s nothing to talk about.” He leaned back in his chair and folded his arms, his expression shuttered. He looked the way he did when he was trying to bluff his way through a crappy hand at the poker table, or when someone disagreed with some political talking point he was repeating. Like he knew he was fucked and wanted to walk away, but his pride wouldn’t allow it.

She knew that pride. It was stubborn and immovable and her biggest obstacle to figuring out just what was behind this ridiculousness.

She switched tactics. “Kyle, this is something we have to talk about. You can’t just spring a contract on me like this.”

“Actually, I can.” He arched an eyebrow again. “I’m the Dom, and I make the rules.”

That was such pile of verbal crap that she momentarily lost the power of speech, and while she was gaping at him, trying to figure out what the hell he was thinking, he stood up.

“I have to pick up Andy for the game.” He crossed the room and scooped his keys out of the bowl on the table next to the door. Her bowl, her table. “I expect that contract to be signed when I get back.”

The bafflement and shock that had held her frozen since he’d first tossed that contract on the table was fading, replaced by an incredulous fury that made her feel like she was breathing sulfur. “Or?”

“Or you can pack your things,” he replied calmly. “It’s your choice.”

He twirled his keys around his finger—another nervous tell—opened the door and walked out.

Olivia stared at the closed door for a moment, then looked down at the contract. It was at least twenty pages, held together with one of the bright pink binder clips she kept in the kitchen junk drawer to use on bags of chips or frozen vegetables. Kyle’s name was in bold type at the top, right in front of the words, “hereafter referred to as Master”, and her name, bolded but not capitalized, right before “hereafter referred to as slave”, and the remainder of her disbelief disintegrated in a flood of pure rage.

She stood up, shoving back from the table hard enough to make it wobble, and stalked to the bedroom. She pulled her suitcases from the back of the closet, laid them on the bed, and began to pack.

She worked methodically, rolling her clothes to minimize wrinkling and maximize space. When the dresser, the closet, and the nightstand on her side of the bed were empty, she walked across the hall to the guest room-office to gather the clothes she had stored there.

There wasn’t a lot—the cocktail dresses she rarely had occasion to wear, a formal gown she’d bought on a whim when a local dress shop had gone out of business, and the plastic storage bin with her corsets. When she pulled the bin down from the top shelf, the dust coating the lid made her sneeze. It had been months since she’d worn one, though she and Kyle went to a kink event nearly every week. It had just seemed like too much trouble, and Kyle hadn’t cared one way or the other.

“That should’ve been a fucking clue,” she muttered, and sneezed again.

Back in the bedroom, she crammed the dresses into the already full suitcases, then zipped them closed and wrestled them to the floor. She pulled the duvet off the bed, then the sheets, and added the pillow she’d broken in how she liked it to the pile before heading into the bathroom for her toiletries.

She needed a box for the kitchen, and found one in the office, full of Kyle’s tax files. She dumped them without remorse onto his desk chair and packed it tight with utensils, measuring cups, and the egg timer in the shape of a cow—and she took the pink binder clip off the damn contract, too. She pulled a garbage bag from under the sink for the potholders and dishtowels, then added her bedding, towels, and every spare sheet from the hall linen closet.

The sonofabitch had been sleeping on a bare mattress when she’d moved in, and he could damn well do it again.

She gathered her laptop and tablet from the living room, her extra phone charger and the blanket her aunt had crocheted for her in college. The electronics went into the tote she used as a purse, the blanket into the garbage bag. Then she dragged everything to the front door and took a last tour of the apartment.

She made a list of all the things she’d need to come back for. The prints and photos on the walls, the table by the front door. Her stand mixer still sat on the kitchen counter, her dishes in the cabinets. There were pieces of sculpture and statuary she’d collected over the years scattered throughout the apartment that would need to be carefully wrapped and packed, as would her reproduction Tiffany lamp. Her grandmother’s mirror hung above the entry table, and the chair and dresser that were the only pieces of furniture she’d kept when she’d moved in with Kyle.

She quelled the twinge of anxiety at the thought of leaving so many of her things behind and grabbed her keys. It took three trips and some creative arranging, but she managed to get everything into her ancient Camry. By the time she climbed the stairs for the last time, she was sweating, her tank top sticking to her back. She’d retrieved one of the hair ties she kept on the stick shift of her car, so her hair was off her neck. But sweat trickled between her breasts and down the backs of her legs, and the only thing keeping her moving was righteous rage.

Back in the apartment, she hefted her tote with a grunt, and started to take the front door key off her key ring. She wanted to leave it right in the middle of his damned contract where he couldn’t possibly miss it, but she hesitated. She had to retrieve the rest of her things, and if she left her key behind now, she’d have to go through Kyle to do it.

“The hell I will,” she muttered, and palming her keys, turned to go. Then she caught her reflection in the mirror over the entry table and winced. She was a mess. Half her honey-blonde hair had fallen out of its hastily constructed topknot to hang, limp and damp with sweat, to her shoulders. She’d sweated off her makeup except for a solid smudge of mascara under each eye—which, except for the faint flush of exertion on her cheeks, was the only color on her already pale face. Even her eyes looked dull.

Dull and beige. It was a good way to describe her relationship with Kyle. And now, over.

She hitched her bag higher on her shoulder, and her gaze landed on the chain encircling her neck. The everyday collar was only slightly longer than a choker, with a tiny key charm that nestled in the hollow of her throat. The necklace’s standard clasp had been removed and replaced with silver rings that attached to the charm, turning a standard removeable chain into a permanent one. The only way to get it off was to break it.

She stared at it, remembering how she’d felt when Kyle had fastened it around her neck. She’d been so happy, so full of hope. Now, staring at the tiny key that had meant so much, all she felt was anger and sadness.

She dropped her bag to the floor and grabbed the necklace in both sweaty fists. The little silver rings gave way easily, pulling free with barely a twist, and the key fell with a musical clink to the floor at her feet.

She picked it and stared at it, small and insignificant in her palm, the broken chain dangling from her fingers. A year of her life in two broken pieces of silver, she thought, her throat tight, and wanted to rage and scream at the waste of it all.

Instead she walked to the table, dropped the charm and the necklace on the contract, then walked back to the mirror and pulled it off the wall. With the heavy tote on one arm and the mirror tucked under the other, she walked out.

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About the Author

Hannah Murray

Hannah has been reading romance novels since she was young enough to have to hide them from her mother. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband—former Special Forces and an OR nurse who writes sci-fi fantasy and acts as In-House Expert on matters pertaining to weapons, tactics, the military, medical conditions and How Dudes Think—and their daughter, who takes after her father.

Find out more about Hannah at her website and blog.

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New Release Blitz: Spark by Elizabeth Tybush (Excerpt & Giveaway)

Title:  Spark

Series: The Fire of Felwing, Book Two

Author: Elizabeth Tybush

Publisher:  NineStar Press

Release Date: 05/17/2022

Heat Level: 2 – Fade to Black Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 107300

Genre: Fantasy, LGBTQIA+, bisexual, pansexual, magic, dragons, slow burn, magic users, friends to lovers, mythical creatures, royalty, redemption, past mistakes, portals

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Description

Immediately following the stunning Halloween reveal in Flicker…

Prince Solin Felwing’s exile on Earth went from tranquil to dangerous with a spark of magick. Now, severed from his redemption and his friends at the soup kitchen, Solin is left to sort out his unstable powers, his guilty conscience, and the realities of pursuing a relationship with a certain charming barista. At least his human friend Sam stuck around, although he’s getting tailed by his ex and his tech is going haywire, so things aren’t going great for him either.

As the holidays draw near, Solin discovers his name on someone’s Naughty List. With a protection detail of ghosts from his past, and a growing threat from the rogue humans of the Shadowfall Alliance, Solin must keep his worlds from colliding without losing what few friends he has left. Because those hunting him no longer care about collateral damage; they’ll torch everything he’s built, and anyone who gets in the their way will be consumed by the flames.

Excerpt

Spark
Elizabeth Tybush © 2022
All Rights Reserved

2017

Polaris, New York

The new ringtone I’d applied to Sam’s number echoed in the kitchen. I paused the television and glowered at the phone from the sofa. What now? Another blip notifying him of a portal from Cydrithenna? A warning that agents from the Shadowfall Alliance were on their way to kill me? Or had he merely hacked into my phone and heard what had happened with Brida on Halloween?

I’d already scolded myself enough for that. I didn’t deserve to have any semblance of my powers back, nor anyone’s kindness. Not after the terror I instilled in someone I cared about, someone who never did anything wrong and who did not betray me. I had betrayed her. I had become my worst nightmare. I hadn’t changed at all.

The phone ceased ringing. A minor pause. It blared again.

“Fine.” If this curse was going to fade on me, then I might as well make use of my powers. I continued lying on the sofa and willed the phone toward me with telekinesis. It floated unsteadily. With illusory magick, I transformed it into a tablet, then a chair, then a dog. Easy enough. I returned it to its original state and answered.

“What.”

“Did I wake you? You sound pissed.”

“What do you want, Sam?”

“I want you to get out of there and come hang out with me.”

“Goodbye, Sam.”

The phone rang again the moment I hung up.

“Sam. I mean it. I’m not interested. And since when do you call me again? I thought those friends of yours had gotten access to your phone.”

“Line’s safe again. Trust me,” he said over the sound of clanking glasses and laughter. “And hey, whatever’s bothering you, I promise, it’s not going to—yeah, two more of those, and a round for that table over there, yeah, thanks—sorry. It’s not going to bother you anymore, I promise.”

I rubbed my forehead. Although my powers had returned, the ability to erase tension headaches eluded me. “Are you at a bar?”

“Yes, and you should be here too. I’ll text you the address.”

The thought of drinking made my stomach churn. “I’ll pass.”

“Don’t hang up again. Look, what do I have to do to get you to come out tonight?”

“Perhaps tell me why it’s so urgent.” I’d abstained from drowning my guilt in liquor last night, despite my slightly improved constitution. I’d woken up on the floor of my bathroom too many times early in my exile, and I didn’t care for it. With Sam, I’d be putting myself in that compromising situation again, and risked deepening the hole I had dug myself into.

“There’s someone here you need to meet. Oh—what? Oh, okay. Gotta go, Solin. Bye.”

I sneered at the phone in my palm and let it rest on my chest. Sam’s message lit up the screen. I barely lifted the phone and stared at the address until the screen decided I’d been idle too long. Its light faded.

As did my judgment.

Sam might’ve actually heard my desire to help humanity more than one meal at a time and brought in someone new for me to work with. I had no intention on slogging my way back to the kitchen again. I’d already lied to Victoria about being ill for today’s shift, and she blamed a hangover that I wish I’d had as punishment for lying to her. But what of tomorrow, when Brida and I would be there together?

Would Brida even show?

Would I?

I could not let Brida leave a place she loved. This was her workplace first, not mine.

I changed out of what I’d fallen asleep in last night, choosing gray pants and a plain casual sweater with sleeves that had trouble staying rolled up. I threw on a light coat and headed to the address. I didn’t mask, but being so vulnerable, and apparently recognizable, to at least one person in Polaris made me paranoid. How long until Gaian technology, as primitive as it was, encapsulated my digital image and fed it through a mystical algorithm to determine my identity? In my prime, I’d been able to fool cameras, but I doubted that ability had returned yet. I glanced at the storefront windows as I walked. At least I could manipulate reflections again.

I arrived at the bar, passing through the outer gate of smokers and their toxic cloud into an upscale dive of wood, warm light, and rock music. Athletes graced the screens, and few patrons paid any attention to the newcomer. Sam knew what he was doing.

I found Sam at a high top table flirting with a woman I didn’t recognize. He whispered something to her that had the effect of politely shooing her. I was relieved he hadn’t called his non-friend out to hook up with a stranger.

“Aren’t you in a monogamous relationship, Sam?” I said, taking a seat on the stool across from him. I hung my coat on a hook beneath the tall table.

“We’re kind of experimenting with this whole ‘she isn’t monogamous right now, and it’s all my fault’ thing.”

“I’m…sorry?”

“It’s been an ongoing experiment. Actually we broke up before you arrived. Not here. Tonight. But here. You know. Here. Earth.”

“I understa—”

“And then we got back together again. And broke up. Last week. I think.” He shook his head. “Anyway, feels good to get your ass out of bed, doesn’t it?”

“I wasn’t in bed.” Never mind that I’d been lying on the sofa.

“You sounded pretty perturbed.”

“I was watching something.”

“What?”

“Star Trek.”

He blinked at me. “You were watching…” He leaned over the table, eyed me like I were a specimen, then leaned back. “Okay, hold on. You were watching Star Trek. Which one? Go.”

“The episode with—”

“Sorry, not episode, I mean series.”

I blinked at him. “I don’t understand.”

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Meet the Author

Liz plays way too much Minecraft and dreams about producing a television series. She loves an old-fashioned film noir and, unlike her character Solin, takes her coffee with a healthy dose of milk. Recent accomplishments include a 2019 fellowship at the Storytellers’ Institute and the book you’re about to read.

Flicker is her debut novel with NineStar Press. To learn more about The Fire of Felwing series and other upcoming stories, visit Liz at elizabethtybush.com.

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