New Release Blitz: A City of Abundant Opportunity by Howard Leonard (Excerpt & Giveaway)

Title:  A City of Abundant Opportunity

Series: Seattle City Limits, Book Two

Author: Howard Leonard

Publisher:  NineStar Press

Release Date: 12/12/2023

Heat Level: 2 – Fade to Black Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 67400

Genre: Contemporary, Diverse relationship structures, age disparity, interracial, over 40, therapist, gay, cisgender, gender queer

Add to Goodreads


Becoming single in middle age was difficult for Alan, until a seemingly ordinary day turns extraordinary, when it presents him two very different but promising paths forward. On that day, Alan unexpectedly runs into a prior lover, moments after a new acquaintance offers him an unusual proposition.

One man provides youthful comfort and enthusiasm, and the other, the task of forming intimacy with a person who was raised from a lineage quite removed from his own. Either man might lead to a fortunate future, yet each inevitably requires tender navigation. Knowing he must make a decision, Alan eventually chooses and is then faced with new challenges, insights, and a struggle to obtain and hold onto what he hopes his future will become.

In this follow-up novel to A City of Hopes Unrealized, familiar characters re-emerge with the maturity of time, and new characters add a depth of diversity, creating a need to explore potential challenges and rewards, often accompanied by intergenerational, cultural, and racially diverse relationships.


A City of Abundant Opportunity
Howard Leonard © 2023
All Rights Reserved

On an unusual summerlike weekend in early June, which brought crowds of underdressed men to the normally empty outdoor cafes on Seattle’s Capitol Hill, I was enjoying a rare and refreshing sidewalk brunch with my best friend, Mica, and Mica’s husband, Lyle. Time had passed since Mica and Lyle had nearly ended their long-term relationship, a relationship I had a part in fucking up. Time had also passed since I had begun my own frantic search for a new partner, a quest which followed the breakup of the relationship I had created in my twenties. Having dated, slept with, or at least had coffee or a drink with an embarrassing number of prospects, I was finally beginning to believe my worth was not dependent on meeting Mr. Right. That may suggest my transition into being unexpectedly single was a natural one, but my move into singledom had been anything but smooth.

It took three years, but life was finally getting easier. I was now able to go out, not driven by compulsion, but instead only when I genuinely wanted to get out, and my mood walking home was no longer determined by a chance meeting, or the lack thereof. I was neither running toward, nor away from therapy with Dr. Goldberg, nor was I obsessed with Marley, the man who most stood out in the crowd of men I’d tried to couple with since Teddy ended our long relationship. With only a few exceptions, most of the people I’d dated, other than Marley, were seemingly erased from my memory. I was finally becoming more confident about my work as a primary care doctor, and for some reason, my practice was also easier to manage.

In recent years, the Off, a smallish bar and restaurant on Capitol Hill, had become both my home away from home and my habit. At times I fit right in, while at other times I felt unseen there. I always worried my age created a creeping invisibility, as I and my peers in the over-fifty afterwork crowd cleared out in time each day to be replaced by younger and objectively cuter arrivals as the sun set and the evening’s darkness approached. Although today, yard work was calling, and after finishing brunch, I wanted to enjoy the weather and walk by the Off before heading home. In Seattle, one was never certain if or when there would be another warm Sunday.

Being the middle of the afternoon, the Off was busier than I would have expected. The mix of age, look, and dress was also diverse compared to the familiar men I’d see during the work week. Of course, it was the men in tanks and shorts, or just shorts or onesies, who were having the best time, while those of us standing off at a respectable distance, looked ill at ease as we fixated on the young bare-skinned among us. I didn’t immediately see anyone familiar, but recent months had made it more okay than ever to stand by myself on the periphery with my rum and cola, and simply enjoy the view. Practice also lowered my self-consciousness, allowing me to notice that I was not the only man who was alone in the crowd.

Lost in my own head and unfocused ruminations, it took a moment to become aware that someone was trying to engage me. I think the man introduced himself as DeVon. Not wanting to be taken as rejecting, my first words were of apology for being obtuse, and I extended my hand. “Hi. Sorry. I’m Alan. I guess I was lost in my own head.”

“DeVon here,” which confirmed his name and helped me continue the conversation.

“Actually, you are Noah. At least you look exactly like the Noah I’ve been telling my coworkers I’m seeing. I know all this might sound crazy, but have you ever had the experience of being the only one at work, or anywhere, I guess, who’s single?”

“Oh, God, yeah,” I nearly yelled, while scrunching my face into a well-practiced, disgusted frown, which I’d recently perfected to replace the look of apology I used to carry for being single.

“Well, a few months ago, I made up a new boyfriend to get my coworkers off my back. I told them I was seeing this guy, Noah, and we were getting pretty serious. I know this is weird, but you look like the personification of this imaginary man I’ve been describing to them. Handsome, smart, friendly, Semitic. So, that’s my story,” DeVon explained with the cute, embarrassed expression of someone admitting how contrived this all might sound.

Only random murmurs escaped my lips, as I really didn’t know how to respond.

DeVon, following up seemingly with intention to recapture control, or perhaps fearing coming across like someone who was trying to pull something over on me, turned to fully face me, and he gently touched my arm. “I know this is strange and maybe it’s the beer talking, but I’ve got this major work event in a couple of weeks, and my coworkers have been unrelenting in telling me that I have to bring Noah. But there is no Noah, so might I bring you, Alan, as Noah?”

I stammered, not knowing exactly what I was thinking, let alone how to respond. Fortunately, DeVon rescued me. “Like I was saying, I know this is strange, but if you’d let me take you to dinner tonight, I’ll explain it all. My treat. Will you meet me for dinner?”

Once I said “Yes,” the awkwardness between us began to dissipate. I nursed my drink as a subtle sign meant to convey my desire to extend the conversation, even if we were going to meet up again for dinner in only a few hours. We talked about what it was like to be middle-aged and single in a coupled world, or at least a world that made those who were single work harder to feel okay about ourselves. But beyond sharing the commonality of being single, I had no idea who DeVon was, nor did we ask anything substantive about the other. I made a conscious decision to save the details about my life for the evening’s dinner. He might have figured the same, though I wondered if he even wanted to know me, or if I was just a potential prop to get him through some undefined work event. We did discuss the unusual June weather and the gifted view of male skin the warmth had unleashed. And as gay men do, we bantered through sexual innuendos that bring that pseudo-intimacy which our straight friends envy, given they’re denied the liberty of sexual banter, especially upon first meeting. The comfort that was forming between us had me looking forward to the night’s dinner, and I became a bit aroused by the unknowns of this man.


NineStar Press | Books2Read

Meet the Author

Howard Leonard earned his PhD in Clinical Psychology in 1981. Dr. Leonard and his partner moved to Seattle, Washington, in 1983, where he began a private practice which he maintained for thirty-five years. He chose Seattle in part due to his belief the region would allow two men to legally create a family through the use of surrogacy, something largely unchallenged by gay men in the eighties. He has two daughters, now adults, and one grandchild. Howard and his husband, Robert, live in Palm Springs, California. Writing has become an important part of his life since retiring from clinical practice. A City of Hopes Unrealized is the first novel in the “Seattle City Limits” series.  You can find Howard on Facebook.


One lucky winner will receive a $50.00 NineStar Press Gift Code!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Button 2

New Release Blitz: Heart First by S.B. Barnes (Excerpt & Giveaway)

Title:  Heart First

Series: Hudson Valley Murder Mysteries, Book One

Author: S.B. Barnes

Publisher:  NineStar Press

Release Date: 12/05/2023

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 90800

Genre: Contemporary, contemporary, gay, mystery, murder, campus, town/gown, professors, auto mechanic, family drama, classism, class difference

Add to Goodreads


Daniel Rosenbaum leads a predictable life. He’s a professor at Lobell, a small liberal arts college in the Hudson Valley, where he spends his days teaching classes and doing research alongside his friends and fellow professors, Colette and Mario. The biggest change Daniel’s routine has seen in years is when car trouble leads him across the Hudson and into an unexpected romantic encounter with local mechanic Tony.

When tragedy strikes in the form of Mario’s murder, Daniel’s orderly life is thrown into chaos. Not only is his friend dead, it seems Mario was keeping secrets that could cause rifts in Lobell’s close-knit community. At first, Daniel’s intensifying relationship with Tony is the only way he can find solace from his grief and confusion. But all too soon, the trail of Mario’s secrets leads Daniel to the same place he’s been seeking comfort: Angel Automotive, the auto repair shop run by Tony’s family.

Before long, Daniel is forced to question everything: his friends, his job, the way he lives his life, and the relationship he’s not even sure he’s in yet. Only one thing is for sure: Daniel is falling heart-first—in love or into mortal danger.


Heart First
S.B. Barnes © 2023
All Rights Reserved

Hello?” Daniel calls out into the seemingly deserted garage. “I, uh…I brought my car in?”

He winces at himself. Of course he brought his car; it’s an auto repair shop. What else would he have brought? A tricycle? There’s something about places like this that make him acutely self-conscious of his own ignorance. There’s probably nothing seriously wrong with his car, and he’s already bracing for some guy with a mustache and a baseball cap to tell him condescendingly he could have easily fixed it himself.

“Just a second,” a voice calls back, much closer than Daniel expects. He flinches and looks around, trying to find the source.

There’s a clanging noise, like someone dropped a tool on the floor, immediately followed by the sound of wheels scraping over asphalt. From beneath the sleek black car parked to the left, a guy in a pair of washed-out jeans and a stained white tank top emerges.

He has a mustache.

Daniel called it.

Granted, he also has a beard, which makes the mustache less out of place, but still.

“Hi,” Daniel says and waves awkwardly.

“Hey,” the guy says. “Wasn’t there someone at the front office?”

“There was.” Daniel bristled a little. “She told me to come here.”

The guy rolls his eyes and pushes a strand of hair out of his eyes. The rest of it is in a short ponytail at the back of his head, with the once close-shaved sides grown out a bit. With the mustache, it’s an intense look.

“Fuck,” the guy says. “Uh, sorry. I’m guessing she didn’t give you any paperwork?”

Daniel shakes his head. Mostly, the goth girl at the front desk snapped her gum and said “Uh-huh” when he tried to describe the sound his car started making this morning on the drive over from Rhinebeck. When he finished, she pointed him wordlessly toward the garage. She didn’t look up from her phone once during the interaction.

“I wish I could fire her,” the guy mutters to himself, wiping sweat off his forehead with his forearm.

It gives Daniel an unobstructed view of his arms, which are really nice.

Not the time, he chastises himself. Hitting on a mechanic in an auto shop in a dinky little town in upstate New York sounds like a neat way to get himself in trouble, and anyway, making a move on someone while they’re at work is just bad manners. Besides, that mustache is really something, and while it does suit the man’s face, Daniel’s not sure how he feels about it.

“Sorry, I’m Tony. I should probably have led with that.”

Daniel grins. “Hi, Tony. I’m Daniel, and I’m having trouble with my car.”

“Well, you’re in luck. I happen to be a mechanic.”

“Wow, what are the odds?”

Tony shrugs and gestures to the rows of different-size chains hanging on the wall. “You walk into a setup like this, it’s an even split—mechanic or sex worker.”

It shocks a laugh out of Daniel. He gets the impression he doesn’t need to worry about homophobia here if Tony’s using respectful language, which is a relief.

“So, what’s wrong with your car?”

Daniel winces. “It’s been making this weird noise all morning. Like a kind of irregular clunking?”

“All the time or just when you go over a bump?”

“Um…” Daniel considers. The roads are pretty shitty between Rhinebeck and Lobell College anyway, so he wasn’t exactly sure how frequent the noise was. He didn’t hear it much on the better-paved way into Kingston, but he was also focused on finding the garage and wasn’t really paying attention.

“Your muffler might be loose,” Tony tells him when he fails to answer the question.

“Okay,” Daniel says slowly. “And that’s…bad?”

Tony blinks. “Not a car guy, huh?”

“No,” Daniel says quickly. “Computers guy. Classic literature guy. Fourth season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer guy. Very much not a car guy.”

A frown line draws tight on Tony’s forehead. “That’s a really bad season, which, okay, no one’s perfect. Here’s what we’ll do. Technically, we’re booked totally full today, but you’re here now, and I don’t feel great about sending you away when we don’t know for sure what’s wrong with your car. I’m gonna take a quick look at it to see what’s wrong.”

“That would be amazing,” Daniel says. “Thank you so much. I’m sorry to put you out.” It figures they’d be busy. He chose this place because it’s the only auto shop in a twenty-mile radius that takes walk-ins, and he couldn’t quite work up the motivation to call somewhere. He’s probably not the only one.

Tony waves a hand. “Don’t worry about it. Just don’t tell my boss or Mrs. Cooper when she comes to pick up her car in an hour.” He nods toward the car he’s been working on, and Daniel taps the side of his nose.

For a long moment, they grin at each other widely. Tony has really nice eyes. Daniel’s always thought brown eyes exuded warmth, and Tony has exceptionally long eyelashes. There’s something kind in there, in the crinkles around the corners. He must laugh a lot.


NineStar Press | Books2Read

Meet the Author

S. B. Barnes attended college in the Hudson Valley, studying English Language and Literature and Anthropology (although unlike her characters, her time there was not interrupted by crime-solving). She grew up split between the USA and Germany, attending university in both countries before eventually settling in Germany. Today, she works as a teacher and lives with her husband and two cats in an apartment with too little shelf space. Fiction has always been one of her greatest loves, as a reader, as a teacher, and as a writer. While S.B. has been writing for most of her life, this is her first foray into publishing her work.

Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr


One lucky winner will receive a $50.00 NineStar Press Gift Code!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Button 2

20th Annual A Very Changeling Christmas Celebration

‘Tis the season of giving! That means it’s time for our 20th Annual
A Very Changeling Christmas Celebration

Are you on Santa’s naughty list? Worried you won’t receive presents this year?
Well, at Changeling Press we’ll be giving gifts to some lucky readers.

Want to know more?

Naughty Nights of Christmas:

  • Twelve Changeling recipients will receive one e-book download of your choice from

Free Books For A Year:

  • Three Christmas 2023 recipients will each receive one e-book download of your choice per month from —
    Three recipients, twelve e-book downloads each for 2024 from
  • Two Christmas 2023 recipients will each receive one e-book download of your choice per week from —
    Two recipients, fifty-two e-book downloads each for 2024 from

No entry form. All you have to do is buy any Christmas themed book at between November 24th and December 30th, 2023.

The Not So Fine Print:

  • Naughty Nights of Christmas gift recipients are eligible to receive more than one Christmas Gift.
  • Christmas Gift recipients will be chosen randomly from purchases of books in the Christmas Theme at made between November 24th and December 30th 2023 and will be announced December 31st on the Changeling Bar and Grill (, and the Changeling Facebook Page (
  • Weekly and Monthly Christmas Gift e-book downloads will expire if not used within 30 days.

Shop For Christmas Books HERE


New Release Blitz: Lose Me to Love You by Chloe B. Young (Excerpt & Giveaway)

Title:  Lose Me to Love You

Author: Chloe B. Young

Publisher:  NineStar Press

Release Date: 11/28/2023

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 64000

Genre: Fantasy, contemporary, gay, romance, urban fantasy, paranormal, suspense, magic/magic users, slow burn, tattoos, depression, grieving, second chances, religious parallels/subtext

Add to Goodreads


At the bottom of a downward spiral of alcohol, sex, and risky behaviors, Matty Hill discovers that magic is real and that a mysterious man will teach him how to wield it if he can deal with the trauma of his past and present.

Sean Wildgust, Matty’s new teacher, is as secretive as he is fascinating. But when those secrets come back to haunt them both, Matty must decide if obsession is the same thing as love.


Lose Me to Love You
Chloe B. Young © 2023
All Rights Reserved

Matty gasped awake.

He opened his eyes, then closed them immediately when the light pouring in the grimy window burned. Recoiling from the light set off a chain reaction of aching muscles tensing, nausea roiling, head pounding, and there was nothing he could do to keep from throwing up.

The desperate lurch of his uncoordinated limbs had him puking off the side of his makeshift mattress instead of on himself. Though he wasn’t particularly happy about it while choking on stomach acid.

He’d never understood why people said it was better to throw up. Sure, his nausea wasn’t dragging him through the dirt anymore, but he had to deal with a dozen other smaller discomforts. When it was over, he flopped to his back again, his throat burning and his ribs sore from uselessly trying to suppress the inevitable. He blinked the tears out of his eyes, stinging from the sun and the force of his gagging.

When he’d rubbed most of the crud out of his vision, he looked around.

Nate’s house. Weird. They’d started at a rave with a lot of people Matty didn’t know. He knew Nate, and Nate knew everyone else, so he supposed it made sense that they’d all crashed at his tiny two-bedroom house.

Not all, it seemed. He could only see two others, and bits of flickering footage from last night told him the living room had been a lot more crowded before he’d passed out.

Carefully, so he didn’t upset his stomach’s tentative equilibrium, he pulled his feet out from under the strange bunk bed he and a stranger had made from the couch. The other guy was still sleeping on top of the bare springs while the cushions sank almost to the floor under Matty’s ass.

Getting up was a multistage process that took anywhere from ten minutes to half an hour. He couldn’t be sure. Had he fallen asleep in child’s pose between stage three and four?

Eventually, he made it to his feet and took a few cautious steps to test whether the floorboards stayed under him, giving the mess a wide berth with a silent promise to return and clean it up before he left.

The other person in the room was dead to the world, curled up tight in a sagging armchair, her jeans wormed down so low she was basically naked. Matty didn’t recognize her from the ratty mess of her hair and the bare expanse of her back.

A pattern of goosebumps traveled up her spine.

The sweater hanging on a hook near the front door was way too big to be hers, but it wasn’t Nate’s either, so no one would miss it, probably. When Matty draped it over her, it covered everything she would have wanted to be covered, and he hoped it was warm.

He found Nate in the kitchen but didn’t say anything and, instead, unscrewed the cap from a bottle of clear alcohol. Vodka, he guessed from the blurry red logo. It took two small swigs to chase away the sweet, metallic taste in his mouth. He rolled the liquid across his tongue like mouthwash and swallowed it down instead of spitting it into one of the plastic cups on the table.

Blue cups, not red. They were sophisticated, postcollege wastrels, after all.

The clock on the microwave told him it was earlier than he thought…until he spotted the clock on the stove. He looked at the microwave again and then at the stove as if staring at the glowing red numbers would help him decide which one to believe.

“Is one of those right?” Matty asked, his voice wrecked. (One of the least shocking discoveries he’d made today.)

Nate looked up from the pot he was watching and glanced at both of the clocks, then nodded. “Yep.” He jerked an elbow at the one next to his hip. “That one.”

That meant it was 1:36 in the afternoon, a fact Matty didn’t have any particular opinion about, other than surprise he’d slept so long on pillows about as soft as a pack of printer paper.

Nate tapped a dry spoon against the rim of his pot. He leaned on the counter, away from the glowing element. He was so skeletal-skinny Matty had no problem reading the clock past him. Had he always been that way, or had Matty not noticed until now?

Matty laid his arm on the cool counter and squeezed his wrist. He’d always been taller than he was broad, but was he thinner? Undoubtedly. The new hole in his belt told him so. But was he skin and bone, like Nate?

He couldn’t tell anymore. Like Nate, he didn’t have anyone to tell him to eat more solid meals or get some sleep while the sun was down.

The problem with eating was it required a few things Matty hadn’t had in months: an appetite and a base level of concern for his continued existence.

Sleep though. That was different. He wished he could sleep. He’d gladly put his ear to the sheets if it meant everything would just…stop. For a little while. But it didn’t work like that, and if avoiding a REM cycle meant avoiding all the bullshit that came with it, he’d never count sheep again.

“What are you doing?” Matty asked, standing on tiptoes to try to see what was sloshing around in Nate’s battered pot.

“Water for jello.”

A visceral memory of the time Matty had found out how gelatin was made sent a rippling shudder through him—not unlike a wiggling cube of set jello, actually. “Really? That’s your idea of brunch?”

Nate’s spoon didn’t falter. “Jello shots, dude. For tonight.”

“What are you—fourteen?”

Nate’s bony shoulders lifted and fell under his T-shirt as he kept stirring, not sparing Matty’s derision a look. “Never too old for fun. You coming?”

Matty had forgotten that the weekend wasn’t over yet. What was the end of a week when he didn’t have a Monday grind to return to?

He looked around the kitchen at the abandoned cups and bottles in various stages of emptiness. The overflowing ashtray. The smudges of pale powder under a potato chip bag Matty didn’t want to think about very hard.

It was crazy to think that in a few hours, the place would be as clean as it had been on Monday. Nate was a hell of a cleaning machine when he was on a bender. It wouldn’t be spotless, but garbage bags would bulge on the porch and none of the surfaces would be mysteriously sticky, which was all Nate’s friends seemed to care about.

“Yeah, probably,” Matty answered, leaving room for bowing out so Nate wouldn’t get on his case if he decided to stay home and stare at his ceiling instead.

“Do you remember last night?” Nate finally stopped stirring long enough to toss something at Matty’s face.

He flinched but caught it. It was a bag of plastic shot glasses. Four hundred of them. He ripped it open and started lining them up on the available counter space. The popping noise they made as he put them down was nice, and the neat rows satisfied something childish in him.

“Not really,” Matty said. “I remember leaving the rave, but once we got here, it’s kind of fuzzy.”

“Man, you missed out. Don found a playlist of trippy screensavers on YouTube, and we all got high and watched them.”

“You’re a true party animal, Nate.”

“It was awesome.”

Matty tuned out of the play-by-play, getting into the rhythm of shot glasses coming out of the package. Slide, tap. Slide, tap. Slide, tap.

“And then you did a line,” Nate added, “and you were singing too.”

Plastic cracked under Matty’s hand. “Fuck off,” he blurted. “No, I didn’t.”

“Yeah,” Nate answered, placid as always rather than offended. “It was my stuff. Why would I lie about it?”

Out-logicked by a guy who watched screensavers for fun. If Matty didn’t know about Nate’s engineering degree and valedictorian plaque, he would’ve thought he’d hit a new low, which would’ve stung all the more, considering the record had only been reset twelve hours ago.

“Shit,” Matty said, dropping the crushed plastic cup next to the good ones. “I don’t—”

No, he did remember. It was in snatches, but the longer he thought about it, the more his own memories filled in the gaps: the offer, the temptation, the refusal, then another offer, and the tone of the evening changing.

The intensified blast of the giant, flashing neon sign that read in two-foot-high letters shone over every decision he’d made last night:


Nate took the pot off the stove and set it down next to the lines of plastic soldiers. He tore into a box of red jello. His yellow-stained fingers were obviously working more carefully than he was used to, but he still managed to spill pink powder all over the counter.

It was kind of pretty. It sparkled in the afternoon daylight, like snow, but wrong.

“I’m going home,” Matty said, and he chucked the half-full bag of shot glasses onto the biggest available space.

“See you tonight?”


Matty went through the living room to get to the door and saw that the girl hadn’t woken up or moved. Her hair, though, managed to look even more of a disaster from a new angle. Where it wasn’t a mess, it was blond and straight, though neither of those things came naturally, he was pretty sure.

It was basically the antithesis of Matty’s hair; the only thing it shared was it hadn’t seen a comb in too long. They were visual opposites, like he and—

He left Nate’s behind. He hadn’t cleaned up the floor, which he figured to be Nate’s punishment for offering him blow when he was drunk, but he had turned the guy on the couch over, so he wouldn’t choke on his own vomit.

Good friend? No. Great friend.

No one should have to ride in an ambulance with someone who was already as good as dead. Not even Nate.


NineStar Press | Books2Read

Meet the Author

Writing is just one of the many ways Chloe gets her storytelling fix. In her other life, she sings and acts to fulfil the urge, and is never far from a stage.

When not writing, Chloe cooks with too much garlic, sharpens her eyeliner to a deadly point, and tries to accept that she’s turning into one of those people who only wears one color. (Pink.)

Website | Facebook | TwitterInstagramTumblr


One lucky winner will receive a $50.00 NineStar Press Gift Code!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Button 2

Book Blitz: A Barista for Christmas by J Hali Steele (Excerpt & Giveaway)

Title:  A Barista for Christmas

Author: J Hali Steele

Publisher: Changeling Press

Release Date: Dec 8, 2023

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 64 pages

Genre: Romance, Christmas Romance, Gay, Second Chance, Age Gap

Add to Goodreads


With a lot of hard work, Aspen Ferris’ dream of owning his own coffee shop has finally come true. Unfortunately, renovations are almost complete on a nearby mall that will house a chain coffee establishment. Not only that, Christmas is a few weeks away! When the electricity goes out at the mall, the construction company’s owner visits Asp’s store. Insulting the pushy brute gets Aspen thoroughly told off and… kissed! A kiss he can’t forget.

Dandridge St. Clare speeds to his worksite to handle an electric outage and misses his morning coffee. Locating a place to grab his caffeine fix, he’s offended by the barista at Your Coffee Cup. Anxious and upset, Dan pulls the man over the counter and can’t resist kissing the handsome jackass. On top of that, he enjoys the best cup of coffee ever. More unsettling still, he can’t erase the taste or feel of the man’s mouth. Dandridge returns for more of both.

The holidays are approaching and neither man expects much. Both get more than they bargained for.


A Barista for Christmas
J. Hali Steele
All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2023 J. Hali Steele

Three stores from the corner, a wall of plate glass gave Aspen Ferris a great view all the way to the end of the block. He removed his net cap as he watched a big silver pickup emblazoned with a Rayburn & St. Clare Construction logo tool around the corner, causing a car to slam on brakes in the intersection. Tires screeching turned pedestrians’ heads. “Did you see that?”

“Wow!” Eric Winters, Asp’s oldest friend and partner, gawked over the counter. “Close call.”

“Animals. They’re animals.” Asp finished restocking the sugar packets in the ceramic bowls on each table, checking napkin holders and filling glasses with wooden stirrers as he made his rounds.

“Asp, don’t stoop to the level of name calling.”

“It’s true.” His mood darkened under Eric’s scolding. “They’re stone-aged he-men.”

“For goodness sakes. Stop.”

Almost complete, the renovations to the stores in the nearby strip mall included competition Aspen resented. The Bean and Leaf had already opened, and they were hanging dreadfully festive Christmas decorations all over the damn store. Aspen hated Christmas. Morning rush at his shop, Your Coffee Cup, had dwindled to a crawl. Staring out the window brought him no comfort. “Can you believe The Bean and Leaf is already prepared for the holidays? Thanksgiving is less than two weeks away and I haven’t even purchased decorations.” Malls nearer the city were probably alight with holiday cheerfulness and teeming with shoppers Asp had no wish to join. It seemed a trip to Walmart was in his future as he’d volunteered to shop for decorations, thinking it might help him get a handle on his angst regarding Christmas.

“At least business was brisk this morning.” Air huffed from Eric’s mouth. “Get prepared, Asp. It is our first winter open and people will decorate all around us. I know it’s not your thing.”

Not anymore. Aspen ignored his partner’s hint. “Traffic is picking up. It looks like the whole town is heading to grab a fancy cup of coffee and factory-produced pastry.”

Eric wiped around the coffee pot he had filled before coming to stand at a table near Aspen. “Most travel past here to get on the highway into Philly. You know that.”

“They’re going to kill our business just when we hoped to hire permanent staff.” Open twelve hours a day, six days a week, Aspen and Eric took turns working Saturdays with help of part time high school students. Sundays they were closed. “If we only had a few more months to get established. Why did the section of the building housing The Bean and Leaf have to be finished with its renovations before other shops?”

“Asp, Rayburn & St. Clare Construction provides jobs for struggling families in town.”

“We can’t compete with chain shop prices.” Asp sat on the windowsill. Pulling his legs up, he tucked knees under his chin.

“Don’t put your dirty shoes up there!”

“Sorry.” He settled his feet back on the floor. “Our coffee is better. Richer.”

“More expensive. Lowering prices, we might scrape by until people discover Your Coffee Cup serves the best in town. For now, Asp, we could buy pastries in bulk and forego homemade from the bakery across town. Maybe we should consider staying open later.”

Your Coffee Cup is not a restaurant, Eric. We agreed six in the morning to get the early traffic and close at two. Now we’re coming in at five to set up and staying after five cleaning up since we serve food until four.”

“Business is better.”

“I yielded to your suggestion of salads and sandwiches along with a soda fountain, but this is a coffee house and we’re green. Doesn’t the environment mean anything?”

“Adding food, I don’t know if we’re just a coffee shop anymore. Our bottom line has improved with regular customers stopping in for meals to take home.” Eric sighed. “Hell, I don’t know if the idea of serving only coffee was ever feasible.”

“Our salads have become popular and most folks seem to appreciate our meats are sliced fresh for each sandwich.” Shaking his head, Asp added, “They’ll want french fries and a pickle next.”

“You’re right. We better order potato chips.” Eric laughed so hard, the table he rested his hip on squeaked against tile.

“Smart ass.”

Eric sighed. “If we had a dime for every time someone asked for a carryout coffee cup…”

Your coffee cup. Bring your favorite travel container or we provide mugs they can use should they remain on site. And we do have carryout cups.”

“Go-green paper cups which sometimes spring a leak before they get out the door. And I’m doubling them to alleviate complaints.”

“I hoped we could make a difference.”

“I hoped to entice more of the workers from the site to at least see what we have to offer,” Eric shot back.

“Last thing we need. A bunch of rowdy construction workers tracking in.”

“If I recall correctly, big with an air of rowdiness is just your type. Anyway, they’ll be gone soon enough.” Eric winked. “Your loss. You need to get laid, my friend.”


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

Meet the Author

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

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. A winning ex-quarter mile drag racer, J. Hali often angles to get her butt back in the driver’s seat!

Multi-published, best-selling 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 her favorite beverage of the moment.

Website | Facebook | Goodreads


One lucky winner will receive a $10.00 Changeling Press Gift Code!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Button 2

New Release Blitz: Sugar and Ice by Eule Grey (Excerpt & Giveaway)

Title:  Sugar and Ice

Series: Kitten and Blonde, Book 1.5

Author: Eule Grey

Publisher:  NineStar Press

Release Date: 11/21/2023

Heat Level: 1 – No Sex

Pairing: Female/Female

Length: 26100

Genre: Holiday Paranormal, Contemporary, paranormal, lesbian, British/Yorkshire, holiday/Christmas, news bloggers, mystery, witch, ghost hijinks, bakers, holiday baking, humorous, over forty, disability-confident, neurodivergence

Add to Goodreads


Sugar, ice, and bumps in the night…

After a thrilling year of ghost-whispering, monster-chasing, and blogging for the Echo, Mave Kitten is keen to abandon her witchy hat for a well-earned break. Snowflakes are drifting in; the office is stuffed with fruit cake. How to win the pub karaoke without cheating (too much) is all that’s left to worry about.

Aside from fiddling the office’s debts and choosing a suitable karaoke costume, Lisa Blonde is also ready for the party season, not forgetting a crate of beer. As long as Mave’s happy, Lisa’s happy.

But best-laid plans can come unstuck for witches and their leather-clad familiars. The ghost of Jacky Frost blows in with the snow, demanding a playmate. How can Mave and Lisa say no to the dancing queen of ice? Even ghosts deserve a Christmas.

The playful ice queen goes viral, and the Echo unexpectedly gains hundreds of readers. Only a few gremlins remain: What of the Echo’s overdraft? Who’ll win the karaoke? Where’s Lisa’s motorcycle?

Kitten and Blonde: Holiday Baking Hijinks Mostly Paranormal. Sometimes alien. Always gentle.


Sugar and Ice
Eule Grey © 2023
All Rights Reserved

Chapter One
The first fluffy snowflakes floated past the office window on Friday afternoon three weeks before Christmas. Mesmerised by crystalline sugar bombs descending in battalions of tiny white parachutes, bursting with glee, I hurried to the window.

“Eeeeee. Ooooo. Snowwwww.”

The weightless descent of the snowflakes eased the tension gnarling up my muscles. My shoulders—hunched past my ears from stress—relaxed for the first time in months.

I’d always loved the snow and everything it brought. Frozen puddles, frost-stiffened leaves, snow angels, death-defying sledges, snowball fights, hot chocolates heaped with marshmallows, and sweet kiddie choirs.

During the annual festivities the Echo was due to close for two weeks, and I couldn’t wait. Everyone was reeling from a long and arduous year, including yours truly. Fifteen hauntings, two monster searches, an alien brothel, and a tryst with the lizard lady of Ladybower Reservoir had fallen into my pile of to-dos during the last twelve months. Consequently, I was ready to hang up my witch toolkit for a few days of well-earned rest.

“Oo, Lise, look!”

The boss held up one finger, rigid with tension. “Two minutes.”

I held my breath.

The root of our anxiety was the financial report Lisa had all but completed. Compiling the lengthy document had taken months of work and required much patience from each member of the Echo’s employees—me, Lisa, and Penelope.

Our workforce enjoyed an equal distribution of labour. My contribution had been to make tea and to keep the biscuit jar filled to bursting. Lisa’s had been to manipulate monetary figures through a sweary haze, one eye closed. Penelope snoozed, paws in the air, perhaps dreaming of overdrafts.

Finally, at three anxious minutes to two, Lisa furiously poked one finger against her keyboard before heaving an expansive sigh that probably reached the northern pole. “Finished. Delivered. I doubt we’ll still be in business by Easter.” She pulled her Medusa face and made the slit throat gesture. “Accountants, ugh. Why must they be puritanical about zeros? It wasn’t like I meant to mix up the thousands with the tens.”

I was too relieved to listen well. The report had been on my mind since autumn when the accountant had unexpectedly appeared, brandishing threats of closure. Now it was finished, my brain demanded a rest. “Mm. Easily done. Well done, babe.”

It had been fifteen months since my employment commenced at the Echo. A day hadn’t passed without Lisa proclaiming the tiny newspaper where we worked debt-ridden and doomed. And yet, the journal continued churning out local stories and offering a home to our resident kitty, Penelope Sardine. Somehow, we three made the Echo work. My blogs about the paranormal and Lisa’s ‘cunning’ grant proposals brought in enough revenue to continue another month and then another, even if our wages had plummeted to the frugal depths of bugger all. With all of my heart, I trusted Lisa to secure the necessary dosh—she was leather-clad, six feet tall, and oozing with grr.

There were other concerns to think about. Lisa’s Christmas present, Dad’s arthritis, and—elixir of life—the fast-approaching Christmas karaoke showdown at The Grouse. Lisa and I had won the big prize back at Easter but later lost the Halloween crown to the vampire sisters of Whitby. Heck, I was bitter. A free tankard of Witches Tipple ale was not to be belittled. With finances tricky, any win was a grin, especially when accompanied by thunderous cheering. Even the pub gremlin, Pat, had admitted our rendition of “Bat out of Hell” had been impactful enough to shatter glass, though the stingy bastard hadn’t said we were good. Huh.

A firm grip on my shoulders saved me from the murky world of memories and brought me back into the office. I loved Lisa’s shoulder massages, often coinciding with a wee cuddle.

She pushed aside my hair and tickled my neck. “I’m on edge now. What’re you dreaming about, Mauvery? Is it me?”

I answered honestly; my voice turned mushy from the intimate pressure of her hands against my skin and the subsequent promise of spending the night at hers. “Always.” Lisa filled most of my waking hours and most of my sleeping time. “Forget about the report. It’s done, and there’s nothing more we can do. What are we going to sing at the karaoke? Only three weeks till the big day.” I couldn’t help a soupçon of yippee from entering my voice. “We’d better get cracking with rehearsals if we’re going to beat the fanged sisters.”

She nibbled my neck. “True. Did you know you taste of gingerbread?”

We hugged into Friday afternoon, a cherished time to forget niggly worries and welcome in the heady pleasures of pub singing. Lisa and I adored karaoke. Our weekly practice precipitated a wealth of welcome shenanigans, such as snogging and boogie-boogie. Both were vital components of a healthy life.

As Lisa’s nibbles reached the point of no return, more substantial snowflakes floated down in ever-increasing battalions.

I waved my pen towards the window. “Have you seen the forecast?” Because we both biked to work, we scrutinised the weather like meteorologists. A patch of black ice could potentially mean a broken wheel or worse. In our mountainous part of the north, snow could mean a total shutdown of roads and passes. At the first hint of snow, Yorkshire folk took up arms. Bus drivers refused to leave the depot, trains remained safely at stations, and workers hurtled through the white to get home however they could.

I wasn’t worried about a little white stuff. Lisa would take care of things, and her cottage was only a few miles from the Echo. We could walk to hers during heavy snowfall and snuggle up with Tom, her younger brother, for the weekend.

She blew a raspberry on my neck. “Meant to be a flutter today and then nothing till next week. The gritters have been out. He’s a devil in disguise.”

My poor brain—scatty at times—struggled to follow the conversational thread from ice into devils. I naturally assumed the devil to whom she referred was the accountant who’d chastised Lisa for glossing over the size of the Echo’s overdraft. “Disguised as what?”

Lisa perched her lovely self on the only posh stool we possessed—pink, transparent, bought from Salts Mill, no less—and squinted into the snowflakes gathering on the window ledge. “Oh? I never thought of costumes.” An irresistible energy lit her face. She rubbed her hands together gleefully. “Now you’re talking! We’d need wigs, and you could get away with a sexy white suit.” She flashed her molars. “The vampire sirens won’t stand a chance. You’re a genius, Mauve Mave.”

By then, I’d exited the arena of confusion and skidded right into the land of clueless. The only answer written on Lisa’s face was a glowing excitement you didn’t see enough of anymore. People were more often pinched about money and how to heat the house. The pursuit of fun for no other reason than its own sake seemed to have passed into yesterday, along with other stalwarts such as yo-yos.

I willingly dived into the glee shining from her eyes. Weary of the stresses and strains of life, I, too, ached to forget about adulthood, if only for a while. To live within a moment rather than being hammered by the past and the future.

So I agreed to her suggestions though I had no clue what she was on about. “Yeah! Wig and white suit.”

Lisa leaped to her feet and punched the air energetically. Her top rode up to reveal a very kissable belly button. The spectacle was marvellous, and I’d rather have turned into a toad than crush her enthusiasm. Hence my mini Friday dance. In the heady chaos, I clean forgot to worry about the dreaded report or if we’d have a job come January.

Just as a sprinkle of pure magic illuminated the afternoon, Lisa had to throw a figurative spanner into my happy cauldron. In a sexy, lasso-like action, she deftly threw me my coat.

“C’mon, chick. We’ve done enough work for one day. Let’s visit Jalila. There’s something you need to see. The roads are meant to be okay until Sunday. If we run, we’ll catch the twenty-past bus.


NineStar Press | Books2Read

Meet the Author

Eule Grey has settled, for now, in the north UK. She’s worked in education, justice, youth work, and even tried her hand at butter-spreading in a sandwich factory. Sadly, she wasn’t much good at any of them!

She writes novels, novellas, poetry, and a messy combination of all three. Nothing about Eule is tidy but she rocks a boogie on a Saturday night!

For now, Eule is she/her or they/them. Eule has not yet arrived at a pronoun that feels right.

Website | Facebook | Twitter


One lucky winner will receive a $50.00 NineStar Press Gift Code!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Button 2

New Release Blitz: sub/Dom by Rab Green (Excerpt & Giveaway)

Title:  sub/Dom

Author: Rab Green

Publisher:  NineStar Press

Release Date: 11/14/2023

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 25000

Genre: Contemporary BDSM, businessmen, bears, dark, sex in public places, BDSM

Add to Goodreads


Twelve hours wearing his collar—that’s how it starts. But where does it lead when you give yourself over to what you want the most? From sessions on cam to real-life meets, from twelve hours to three nights to nine years, handing over control can bring satisfaction and frustration in equal measure, and maybe something deeper than you could ever have hoped for.


Rab Green © 2023
All Rights Reserved

I can’t do this.

We’ve only just entered the club, walked down the stairs, haven’t even got to the coat check at the bar, but this feeling in my gut is… What? What is it?

The half dark and bar lights, the men standing around, talking or checking each other out, voices raised against the thumping background music. And this feeling in my gut is—a thread, yanking me back to the first time I ever set foot in a gay bar. Standing here now, full-grown man, the years of experience and confidence I’ve built up are wiped away like all that time didn’t matter. Overwhelmed and exposed, desire laid bare to be judged.

I’d assumed tonight would be a fetish night, and tho there are a few guys stripped to the waist, one or two stripped down to their underwear, everyone else is dressed in their street clothes. And I see them, looking at him in his leather chaps and jeans, and looking at me, more like them, in plain jeans and T-shirt, except for what I’m wearing round my neck: the leather collar he put on me.

He’d said the walk from the apartment to the club was only five minutes. He either lied or got lost; we took the long scenic route. He took us through the busiest, well-lit streets of a Friday night in the city, so the collar round my neck could be seen by everyone and anyone who cared to look. And with him walking beside me—the sheer fucking leather horniness of him—I felt obvious and on show. By the time we got to the club, my brain felt fried and exhausted.

Out of the corner of my eye, I see him watching me, and I know my panic is starting to show.

“I have to go.”


“I have to leave, I have to go—”

I stop myself from saying home because that would make me sound like a child, even tho that’s where I want to be.

“I want to go back to the apartment.”

“I don’t.”

He takes a slight step away from me, looks me up and down, and waits for me to admit—

“I can’t do this. Can I have the key?”

“To the apartment?”

There’s a small padlock on the collar; he has that key too.

“Yes, the apartment key. Can I—?”


“But I want—”

“I don’t want to leave. There’s only one key, and I’m not giving it to you. I’m not going to waste my night wondering if you’ll still be awake to let me in or if you’d even still be there when I get back.”

“So what am I—?”

“You have your phone and your wallet. If you want to leave, find somewhere else to stay.”


Is this it?

“My bag is at the apartment.”

“You can pick it up in the morning.”

Our first proper meet, ending like this.

I touch the collar.

“But what about—?”

“The key’s back at the apartment.”

“So I have to wear it? I can’t take it off if I leave?”

He shrugs.

“It’s leather. It’s not metal, it’s not welded on. If you want to take it off, you’ll take it off.”

I see it all fall away.

The engulfment of me, by him, that I’d willingly stepped into, gone.

Nothing’s keeping me here; he’s not keeping me here. I could leave, get a room in one of those dingy hotels round the station, stay there, get my bag in the morning, get the train home, all done, all doable—and it’s horrible to imagine.

He steps back towards me, hooks two fingers under the collar, pulls my face close to his.

“Twelve hours wearing my collar—that was the deal. I’m not the one going to break it.”

There’s a long bench attached to the wall to the side of the stairs we came down. He walks over and takes a seat, sits there, watching me, with his hands on his knees, legs wide apart, heavy boots planted solidly on the ground. And I know that position. It’s how he sat in the chair in the apartment earlier this evening.


NineStar Press | Books2Read

Meet the Author

Rab Green is a Scottish writer and artist living in London. He can be contacted via Twitter and his personal website.

Website | Twitter


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Button 2

New Release Blitz: Bitten by the Bond by Elaine White (Excerpt & Giveaway)

Title:  Bitten by the Bond

Series: Surviving Vihaan, Book 2.5

Author: Elaine White

Publisher:  NineStar Press

Release Date: 11/14/2023

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 21900

Genre: Paranormal, bonded mates, friends to lovers, hurt-comfort, MM Romance, rescue mission, road trip, slow burn/UST, wolf shifters

Add to Goodreads


Travelling to Dnara to find the exiled Vihaans sounded like a great idea. Except…Dnara is nothing like home. Homesick, bored, and confused by the way Jude’s eyes keep drifting over him, being in Dnara brings only chaos and uncertainty into Gale’s life.

With Jude doing everything but climbing into his lap to make his attraction clear, yet putting on the brakes at the strangest times, it’s up to Gale to make the first move and claim his mate. Men might never have been on his radar before, but Gale isn’t about to ignore the true mate bond he thought he would never find.

Jude can fight all he wants, but no one denies the bond. Not when his words bark ‘back off’ and his eyes scream ‘claim me’. Besides, Gale never was any good at doing what he was told.


Bitten by the Bond
Elaine White © 2023
All Rights Reserved

Chapter One

“What fucked up weather is this?” Gale frowned, extending a hand past the shelter of the front door. The raindrops hit like tiny ice needles.

Drew handed him an umbrella. “Rain.”

It didn’t look like any rain Gale had ever experienced. This was his first trip to Dnara and he didn’t like what he’d seen so far or how it made him feel.

Rolling his eyes, Drew opened the umbrella and walked out in a three-layered top, tight jeans, and ankle boots to stand under the contraption.

Gale adjusted the weird coat that crinkled with every movement. “I’ll wear the damned coat but I’m not using an umbrella.” He stepped outside to the side of the front door onto the path extending in a slope on the left.

Jude didn’t look any happier as he emerged in his jacket and pulled up the hood. Behind, Isaac hugged his stomach and slipped under Drew’s umbrella.

Janet walked out in little more than a tank top and tight jeans. “This isn’t rain,” she complained with a sniff. “It’s a good piss.”

Jude snorted, following Drew along the path from the fraternity house, wide enough for two to walk side by side, the surrounding ground a mushy swamp where the grass gave way to mud.

Gale hated the poor way Dnarans cared for the earth, the weather, and the multitude of devices they couldn’t live without, like the mobile gadgets that controlled every detail of their lives. Give him an armchair by the fire, a warm bed and solitude during the rain seasons, freedom to walk outside on the first day of sunlight to a refreshed land, and good company over a home-brewed beer.

When Keon had asked for volunteers to travel to Dnara and recover those Vihaans exiled from their packs, Gale thought it would be easy. He didn’t expect it to take weeks.

Eliseo had done his best to prepare them, letting the fraternity brothers handle the electronic tasks, leaving them to do the leg work. But Gale missed home, the simplicity and ease of the pack, of knowing every member, their history, and their story, as well as he knew his own. Here, everyone was a stranger. The fraternity brothers acted, behaved, and functioned as a pack, but they weren’t m’weko.

They weren’t home.

Gale nudged Jude and raised an eyebrow at his new roommate. “You got a smoke?”

Patting the jacket pockets, Jude pulled out a packet and handed over two long rolls of Vihaan fottai, a special herbal mixture.

“Fuck!” Gale grabbed him by the neck to kiss his temple. “You’re my new favourite person.”

Jude shook his head in exasperation and tucked the packet into his jacket, making sure to zip the pocket. Extracting a lighter from his jeans, he lit Gale’s smoke then took the other and inhaled deeply.

He closed his eyes at the mix of herbs, the sense of home. The smell was unequivocally Vihaan. The pine of the trees from E’Boolou’s largest forest, the shaved wood of working with timber, the juniper of his favourite beer, a salty aroma from cooked rosson over a spit. Home.

He sighed in approval. “I owe you.”

“Don’t make promises you can’t keep,” Jude cautioned, eyes glazed with the same reminiscence.

Gale didn’t argue. For this, no price was too high. There was nothing like having a piece of home when he was far from it. He’d take what he could get in case he was unlucky enough not to make it back. At least he still had Jude, his roommate, the guy he’d spent countless missions with. The man he’d spent weeks alone with, in a tiny boundary hut, taking their turn to protect the pack borders. The kinship and family bond bred by serving together, in isolation, didn’t compare to what he felt now.

There was nothing brotherly about what shot through his head every time he felt Jude’s eyes on him. Gale had never known a connection like this.

Janet and Marlan were home too but in a different way. A way that didn’t leave his nerves buzzing and heart thumping.

Whatever Dnara had done started something he had no idea how to finish.

“Here we are,” Drew called, distracting his attention from the fottai between his lips.

“What is this?” Janet asked, disgust dripping from every word.

Their guide frowned at the window that showcased a mass of humans standing at various counters. “A bar,” Drew replied in confusion. “You know, a place to drink? With friends.” He glanced between them for a sign of recognition.

Eyeing the building, Gale took another puff. “Why do you need a building to meet friends for a drink?” He didn’t understand Dnara. The rules, the insistence of creating special events or places or inventions when nature already provided what they needed. If they didn’t want to get wet, they should stay out of the rain. If they wanted to meet for a beer, what was wrong with their homes or the forest?

Laughing, Drew opened the door and stood within its shelter to lower the umbrella. “I’ll explain later. The guy is, according to his Facebook page, a bartender. He lives in the city, so this is the best time and place to find him,” he reasoned though half those words didn’t make sense to Gale.

He’d learned what those white signs with red lines meant though. It’s place on the bar door made Gale plant his feet. “No.” He smiled when Drew frowned and took another drag. “I’m not stomping out a fottai because there’s a sign on a fucking door. You can’t get fottai outside of Vihaan.” He held out the smoke for Drew to see.

Drew spoke under his breath. “God help me.” When he looked Gale in the eye, he nodded. “Fine. You stay with Jude to enjoy your smoke. Janet and Isaac will come with me to help this non-Vihaan recognise a native Vihaan.” He held the door open for the others. “I wish I could say I had a better way to spend my time, but this is for Keon,” he mumbled as he stepped inside.


NineStar Press | Books2Read

Meet the Author

Elaine White is the author of multi-genre MM romance, celebrating ‘love is love’ and offering diversity in both genre and character within her stories.

Growing up in a small town and fighting cancer in her early teens taught her that life is short and dreams should be pursued. She lives vicariously through her independent, and often hellion characters, exploring all possibilities within the romantic universe.

The Winner of two Watty Awards – Collector’s Dream (An Unpredictable Life) and Hidden Gem (Faithfully) – and an Honourable Mention in 2016’s Rainbow Awards (A Royal Craving) Elaine is a self-professed geek, reading addict, and a romantic at heart.

Website | Facebook | TwitterInstagram | Pinterest


One lucky winner will receive a $50.00 NineStar Press Gift Code!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Button 2

Book Blitz: In Too Deep by Alex Winters (Excerpt & Giveaway)

Title:  In Too Deep

Series: The Deep End 1

Author: Alex Winters

Publisher: Changeling Press

Release Date: Nov 3

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

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

Length: 95 pages

Genre: Romance, New Adult, Contemporary Women’s Fiction, Second Chance, Multiple Partners


Quinn Hampton can hardly believe his eyes when he sees his former lover, Dash Thatcher, buying beer at the Quick Pik in their quiet little hometown of Lost Lake, Tennessee. It’s been three years since they last saw each other at high school graduation, but it doesn’t take long for the two to catch up. A few beers lead to an invitation to spend the night at Quinn’s family lake house while it’s being restored for the summer. The two wake the next morning and eagerly make up for lost time, naked and writhing in each other’s arms.

But Quinn and Dash aren’t the only two ex-lovers reuniting this summer. As they saunter into Brickhouse Brewery for a little hair of the dog the next morning, the two run into Haley Newcomb, former classmate and, unbeknownst to the men, each one’s former lover.

As the day unfolds, secrets are revealed, old flames are reunited and Quinn, Dash, and Haley must confront the 600-lb gorilla in the room — their longing for one another and how right it feels to share. At the same time. Together. And, once the idea of a threesome is finally spoken aloud, it’s not long before the ex-lovers are reunited in more ways than one. In more positions than one. As often as they can, for as long as they can. Now all they need to know is if they want this reunion to last.


In Too Deep (The Deep End 1)
Alex Winters
All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2023 Alex Winters


Quinn Hampton murmured drowsily, wriggling closer to the warm, dewy skin nestled against his own as if wriggling beneath a cozy comforter. He slowly opened his eyes, although his eyelids felt as lazy as the rest of his body, blinking at the early morning sun as it shined in through the bay window under which he lay.

Correction. Where they lay.

“Finally,” a familiar voice next to him said, warm breath washing against his throat as Quinn shivered with sudden, unquenchable desire.

Quinn turned his head atop a soft, puffy pillow to find Dash Thatcher lying beside him, sinewy body as long and lean and sexy as ever. “The hell?” he asked dreamily, still half-asleep and far from alarmed. “Personal space, much?”

Dash let out his warm, familiar chuckle, as sweet as the sultry breeze drifting through the open window above and the dewy look in his rich, brown eyes. “I don’t hear you complaining, baby,” he said before glancing down the length of Quinn’s bare torso. “I don’t see you complaining, either.”

“Damn!” Quinn marveled at his own erection, stiff and pointed straight up at the dilapidated roof of the family lake house. Then again, he shouldn’t have been so surprised. He always got hella horny whenever he drank; stiff, straining morning wood was his own personal version of a hangover.

“You finally noticed.” Dash nuzzled Quinn’s cheek as he inched closer, the king-size mattress squeaking in protest as their bodies synced like the ragged jigsaw puzzle they’d formed so often back in school.

“Finally? How long has it been like that?”

They lay on their backs in the middle of the big, comfy bed, side by side and hip to hip. Dash eased his ankle over Quinn’s as if to hold him in place. Quinn didn’t mind. Hell, he hadn’t felt this turned on in years.

Dash touched the tender flesh just below Quinn’s chest, the flat space above his newly fluttering belly. “Ten minutes, give or take.”

“You’ve been watching the whole time?” Quinn shivered as Dash moved his hand lower. His long fingers were more than familiar with his old friend’s skin and he knew just how to make Quinn squirm and sweat beneath his expert touch.

“I mean, it is kind of mesmerizing,” Dash teased, as he circled a single finger around Quinn’s belly button, making him quiver and wriggle anew as he gripped the sheets beneath him as if to keep from melting straight onto the floor.

“How long have you been up?” Quinn risked a glance at his old lover, spying Dash’s glance his way, the look as syrupy as his Southern twang.

“You know I can never sleep after a night of drinking,” he replied. “Especially with you, babe.”

Quinn grinned almost bashfully, recalling how they’d run into each other at the Quick Pik Shop downtown the night before, rushing to beat the clock and snatch up that last six-pack of beer before stores stopped selling them promptly at 2 AM. Quinn hadn’t just been surprised to see Dash back in town after three years apart, but elated! After a few minutes of nervous chitchat and harmless small talk while cashing out, it had only felt right to invite him back to the lake house for a beer or two and to, uh… catch up.

When a beer or two turned into the whole six-pack, it had only felt right to invite Dash to stay the night. Why risk driving home and getting a DUI on his first night back in town, right? Better to spend the night in the big king-size bed Quinn had dragged into the living room while the family lake house was being renovated instead.

Together, naturally.

Somehow, they’d managed to fall asleep without getting handsy, but Quinn didn’t feel like it was an accident that he’d woken up with a raging hard-on the first time he’d slept with Dash in years.

“What time is it?” he murmured, not really caring but not quite sure what else to say at such an awkward moment. Their handful of times together back in high school had always been rushed affairs; stolen kisses and frenzied hand jobs in questionably private spaces, neither of them having the luxury to linger the next morning in each other’s arms, naked and hard and hungry for more. To say that Quinn was nervous, suddenly, to find Dash in his bed, both of them hard as wrought iron, would have been a gross understatement.

Dash seemed to sense that Quinn was just making small talk and slid his hand lower to riffle through Quinn’s thick, untended pubic thatch. “Time for a trim, babe.” He twirled several tendrils of thin black hair around his fingers and tugged playfully as Quinn winced with the bittersweet sensation of being teased by someone he knew so well and, yet, hardly knew at all.

Quinn glanced sideways, nodding at Dash’s dirty blond hair, long and loose and straggling around his bare shoulders. “You’re one to talk,” he murmured just before Dash gripped the base of his straining cock as a slow smile crept across his lips.

“I think we’re done talking here, Quinn.” Dash squeezed gently as Quinn ground his bare ass helplessly into the lumpy mattress beneath them, using the leverage to push slightly deeper into Dash’s loving grip. “That is, unless you’d like me to narrate what I’m about to do to this pretty little prick of yours, hmmmmm?”

Dash chuckled lazily, little flutters of warm, sexy breath washing across the blush of Quinn’s throat as he watched, helplessly, as Dash glided his long, expert fingers up and down his swollen shaft. He moaned appreciatively, the white sheets falling away from his bare thighs as he spotted the plaid boxer shorts he’d worn to bed dangling precariously off one ankle.

Dash noticed too, while reaching the swollen tip of Quinn’s cock and clasping the puckered, sensitive flesh gathered just beneath. “Yeah, you kicked those off while you were tossing and turning in your sleep last night,” he explained before giving Quinn’s bare throat a soft, tender peck that sent shivers coursing through his skin.

“Must have been dreaming,” Quinn said as Dash expertly gathered the drizzles of precum dotting his spongy cock tip and used them to slather moisture back down the length of his smooth, compact shaft. Quinn knew he wasn’t the biggest dude in the locker room, but Dash had never complained about his diminutive size. Instead, he’d always seemed to enjoy the compactness of Quinn’s sturdy six inches, as if in contrast to his own banana cock.

“Dreaming about what, babe?” Dash murmured, slowly stroking Quinn’s morning wood as if they were still back in high school, meeting up for late night hookups in the woods, empty, ramshackle barns or, that one time, in the backseat of Dash’s car.

Quinn turned to find Dash peering over at him. “You, naturally.”

They kissed then, soft, wet lips growing full and loud in the quiet stillness of an early summer morning. Dash had always been a good kisser. He knew just when to part those full, ripe lips to slide in a tongue and when to hold back, caressing Quinn’s own tongue until Quinn begged for more and, just as quickly, got it.

They’d been down-low lovers, once upon a time. In a tiny town like Lost Lake, Tennessee, as conservative as it was Southern, they had had to be. Sneaking away when they could, late nights or early mornings, booty calls at 3 AM and hot, sticky hand jobs in deserted dugouts as the sun rose and gave their swollen knobs a golden sheen just before they burst all over each other, fluttering bellies drizzled in blasts of youthful jizz that both embarrassed and thrilled them in equal measure.

Dash kissed him breathless, stroking him lazily all the while, his touch as electric as it was patient, as if he, too, was remembering the hot, hectic times back in school with Quinn. As if Dash, too, was enjoying the luxury of lying next to each other in an actual bed, one they’d never had the good fortune to enjoy back in school where a single slipup would have brought their carefully closeted worlds crashing down all around them…


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

Meet the Author

Alex Winters is the pseudonym of a busy restaurant manager whose curious young staff would love nothing more than to follow him around the dining room reading his steamiest, most romantic passages aloud! When not writing romantic holiday stories of various heat levels, he enjoys long walks with his wife, scary movies and smooth jazz. Visit him online to see what stories are brewing up next!

Website | FacebookGoodreads


One lucky winner will receive a $10.00 Changeling Press Gift Code!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Button 2

Book Blitz: Starting Strong by Lou Kelly

Title:  Starting Strong

Author: Lou Kelly

Publisher: Kindle Unlimited

Release Date: November 1, 2023

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 265

Genre: Romance, MM Romance, Sport Romance

Add to Goodreads


Can a closeted football superstar and a small-town sheriff make their relationship work?

When Kieran McKinney moves from being a third-string backup to becoming the starting quarterback for the Birmingham Hammers, he thinks all his dreams have come true. He finally has the support of his team, and he’s moved from being despised to becoming a fan favorite. But being cast as the face of a franchise comes at a cost. Kieran must work with a new, cut-throat PR specialist who’d like nothing more than to come between Kieran and Travis, and the more popular Kieran gets, the more his position places him in the spotlight. As the season progresses, the stakes only get higher both on and off the field. Will success in his career cost Kieran what he values most?

Travis Harris loves his boyfriend and he’s thrilled when the rest of the world finally catches on to what Travis has known all along: Kieran is incredible. He’s kind, talented, and drop-dead gorgeous. Now that Travis has come out to his family, there’s nothing to keep them apart, right? When the pressures of fame impact Travis’s family, their support starts to erode. Add in a national scandal, Kieran’s emotionally abusive grandfather, and too much time apart, and the strain threatens to destroy what once seemed unstoppable.

• This MM Romance is a sequel to the novel Backup Plans, but it could be read as a standalone. It has a HEA and no cheating. This book features an older/younger couple, hurt/comfort themes, found family, kitten rescues, fanatic football fans and a hot couple experimenting in the bedroom!

Purchase at Amazon

Meet the Author

Lou Kelly loves a good romance. Having honed her skills as an author through a decade of writing and publishing, she discovered m/m fiction and fell in love. What does she like best? The slow burn.

“No insta-love for me. I adore a well-developed full-length novel with characters who are believable and sympathetic. My favorite relationships are the kind where suppressed desire sizzles with sexual tension struggling for release. Give me a strong Alpha male who has to fight for his mate, or enemies who are shocked when hate turns into love, or a mysterious stranger who doesn’t want his secrets revealed … I crave books that keep me up past my bedtime.”

When she isn’t writing, Lou Kelly loves to travel. Sadly, most of her traveling these days happens between the pages of books, but top on her wish list is a trip to Greece. Followed by New Zealand, Ireland, Scotland, and Iceland. *sigh* Someday she hopes to explore them all. Until then, you can find her reading!

Lou Kelly loves her fans, so please visit her on Goodreads: Lou Kelly or Facebook: Lou Kelly

Or e-mail your questions or comments to:

Website | Facebook | Goodreads | eMail



Blog Button 2

Load more