Pursuing Happiness by Jessie Pinkham

A big welcome to Jessie Pinkham as part of her blog tour with Gay Book Promotions for Pursuing Happiness.

BLOG TOUR

Book Title: Pursuing Happiness

Author: Jessie Pinkham

Publisher: Jessie Pinkham

Cover Artist: Katia V. Michelet

Release Date: July 12, 2018

Genre/s romance, contemporary, gay

Length: 53,000 words

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Blurb

A repressive childhood casts long shadows.

Growing up in a reactionary religious household left Matt Aldridge socially inept and woefully underprepared for life in the wider world. He’s still trying to figure himself out when he meets his hunky new neighbor, Collin Moravec. Matt likes him at first sight, and miraculously, Collin feels the same.

When his cousin Levi shows up needing a home, Matt doesn’t hesitate to take him in, even as it throws his own world into disarray. He’s determined to save his younger cousin some of the struggles he faced. But taking on this responsibility brings up old anxieties, and in his terror of failing Levi, Matt pushes Collin away. He has to move beyond his fearful upbringing once and for all, or he’s going to end up miserable – and alone.

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Excerpt

“Now, about that sexual to-do list. I’m dying to know what’s on it.”

An adorable blush blossomed on Matt’s cheeks. “I think there’s a lot of potential for fun with a can of whipped cream.”

“I’m completely on board with that.”

Finally Matt relaxed. “You’re a very good boyfriend,” he remarked.

Collin figured that meant he’d said the right thing. Good. He took Matt’s hand and laced their fingers together. “So are you, and if I hadn’t already known that my coworkers made sure to tell me yesterday.”

“How did the grant application turn out?”

“Well, it doesn’t scream ‘thrown together at the last minute,’ so it could be a lot worse.”

“I know nothing about grants,” said Matt, “but I have plenty of personal experience in the red parts of the state, where you said you want to do outreach. Maybe this is weird pillow talk, but…”

Collin interrupted. “Our pillow talk can be whatever we want.”

“Okay. Have you considered how much tougher it will be to go out and talk about LGBT acceptance with people in very conservative areas? I mean really thought about the ruling mindset there?”

They certainly weren’t going in blind. Regardless he wanted to hear Matt’s opinion, if for no other reason than to understand his boyfriend a little better. “We expect to be called a lot more nasty slurs.”

“That’s obvious. It’s not just the insults, though. The thing is that a lot of these people – not all, but a definite majority – are not even going to consider what you have to say. The religiously inclined, which again will be a good percentage, will consider it a given that you’ve been deceived by Satan. So there’s no reason for them to even consider what you have to say, see? Anything they don’t like can easily be written off as inspired by Satan. It’s a very neat system if you don’t like thinking too hard. And it makes us very easy scapegoats for anyone, religious or not, who doesn’t like how the world is changing.”

“There are going to be some people who remain homophobic no matter what we say or do,” acknowledged Collin.

“Some might become more tolerant with personal contact, when the LGBT community isn’t something abstract and instead they know someone who isn’t heterosexual. Then there are the people like my family.”

“Bastards. But we know that. What we want to do, at the very least, is give some hope to LGBT people who feel isolated.”

“They certainly need it. Here’s the thing, though. It’s easy to be anonymous in the city. People can go to Ted’s Place without anyone they know having a clue about their visit to an LGBT center. In rural areas it’s not the same. If somebody stops to talk with you or takes pamphlets or whatever you’re doing for outreach, they’ll be recognized and before long half the town will know. The smaller the community, the worse it gets in that regard.” Matt sighed. “I’m not trying to discourage you, I’m just being realistic. I would never have dared talk with anyone doing LGBT outreach. Far too dangerous.”

“That’s depressing. It’s good to know, though. Obviously this has to factor into our plans.” He lacked ideas on how to work around this very serious roadblock. Well, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Collin would share this perspective with his colleagues and go from there. “Any suggestions for us to get around that?”

“I’m afraid I don’t have any brilliant solutions. The internet is good. My family was unusually restrictive in that area, but it probably helps a lot of other kids. Just keep in mind that in some of these conservative areas, you’ll be entering enemy territory.”

“War metaphors?”

“Not a metaphor. They will literally see you as the enemy. Inspired by Satan, remember? It’s spiritual warfare and you’re the advanced guard. That’s how a lot of people will see you.”

“Damn,” said Collin. He imagined an army wearing sparkly rainbow uniforms, armed with lube and condoms, maybe doing something stereotypical like singing show tunes. “Here I thought I just wanted people to live in a way that makes them happy, and now I find out I’m in Satan’s gay army.”

Matt frowned. “I’m serious, Collin.”

Oops. His last comment had clearly been too flippant. “Sorry. I was going for lightening the mood with humor but clearly missed the mark. This is important to know. And honestly, it speaks to how strong you are that you were able to escape that.”

“I’m not sure being kicked out counts as escaping.”

“You could’ve gone to conversion therapy, pretended to be cured, and lived the rest of your life miserable and accepted by your family. You chose the harder option.”

“True,” said Matt. “Totally worth it.”

Collin traced random patterns on his boyfriend’s chest. “I’m glad to hear it. If you didn’t think it was worth it after that blowjob, I’d have done something terribly wrong.”

This time Matt let him lighten the mood. He winked and said, “No worries there.”

“That’s a relief.”

“You know that saying about praise going to your head? They’re talking about the head on top of your neck.”

“How do you know?” countered Collin.

Matt opened his mouth to protest, then paused. A second later he admitted, “That’s actually a good question.”

Score one for being a smartass.

About the Author

Jessie writes M/M romance and loves a rich fictional universe as much as a good happy ending. Her published works include the novel Survivors and the Tea and Empathy series, and her work has been included in anthologies by Evernight Publishing and JMS Books.

She’s usually writing more than one new book at a time, and frequently rushing out at the last minute because she got lost in her own fictional world.

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The Children’s Game by Max Karpov

A big welcome to Max Karpov as part of his blog tour with RABT Book Tours for The Children’s Game.

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Thriller/Espionage/Spy
Date Published: April 2018
Publisher: Arcade/Skyhorse Publishing

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A frighteningly plausible, fast-paced thriller about a Russian cyberattack on America, involving fake news and anonymous hackers.
The CIA has learned that the Kremlin is about to launch a sophisticated propaganda operation aimed at discrediting and disrupting the United States and ultimately restoring Russia to great nation status. Intercepted intelligence suggests that the operation will hinge on a single, breaking news event in Eastern Europe, supported by a sustained campaign of disinformation and cyberattacks. Code-named the “Children’s Game”–a chess stratagem that leads to checkmate in four moves–it was probably conceived by a Russian billionaire and former FSB officer named Andrei Turov. For years Turov has been developing the infrastructure for a new kind of warfare that exploits weaknesses in western democracies and manipulates public opinion. His organization offers the Kremlin plausible deniability.
But the United States has its own secret weapon: Christopher Niles, a former CIA intelligence officer, who understands Turov’s ambitions and capabilities. It falls to him and his small team–composed of his journalist half-brother Jon, a special forces operative he would trust with his life, and Anna Carpenter, a resourceful US senator with deep roots in the intelligence community–to unravel Turov’s plot and restore truth to a world spiraling into chaos.

Advance Praise

“Max Karpov has produced a cleverly conceived thriller that … captures perfectly the mentality of Vladimir Putin’s Russia … And, on top of it, the book is near impossible to put down. A must read.” – Michael Morell, Former Acting Director and Deputy Director, CIA
About the Author

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Max Karpov is a journalist and novelist who has written for The Washington Post and elsewhere. Max Karpov is the nom de plume of James Lilliefors, whose past fiction writing includes two critically acclaimed geopolitical thrillers, The Leviathan Effect and Viral , as well as the Bowers and Hunter mystery series.
 
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Release Blitz – The Omega’s Second Chance by Kenna Grace

A big welcome to Kenna Grace as part of her release blitz with Gay Book Promotions for The Omega’s Second Chance.

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: The Omega’s Second Chance (Bundle of Joy series, Book 2)

Author: Kenna Grace

Publisher: Self-Published

Cover Artist: Ana J. Phoenix

Genre/s: Mpreg MM gay romance

Length: 52, 000 words

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Blurb

Two best friends reunite and discover they could be something more in this mpreg, gay-for-you, second chance romance.

Cody

I left home a decade ago to get away from my crush on my straight best friend. Traveling the world helped me get over him, and now that I’m back to take care of my uncle, I should be immune. Except I’m not. I want him as much as I did before, but this time is different. This time, he seems as interested in me as I am in him, but how can that be when he’s straight? Soon enough, his baby is inside me, but that drives us apart instead of bringing us together.

Derek

Cody was my best friend, and I always ignored any feelings that were more than friendly. It was easy then, since I was about to marry my childhood sweetheart. In the years since, I’ve learned there’s nothing sweet about Heidi, weathered a divorce, and the loss of my NFL career. I’m home again and ready for something more. Cody is just what I want, but when he gets pregnant, I know it can’t be mine because I’m infertile. Aren’t I?

Excerpt

I squinted my eyes from the sun as I tried to make out his facial features. His hard hat cast a shadow along his face that made it difficult to make out. He looked so familiar, but I couldn’t quite place him yet. It wasn’t until he took off the hat to wipe the sweat from his face that I immediately recognized him. Derek.

Just then, a car behind me leaned on the horn. I looked up to see the light had changed to green, and Derek and the other construction worker looked over at the commotion in my direction. I knew I should have just continued on my way to Pete’s, but I couldn’t resist the urge to catch up a little with Derek.

Against my better judgment, I pulled off the road and into the construction site. Derek and the others watched as I put the car into park and stepped out. I immediately recognized his voice as he called out to me.

“Hey, you can’t park here. This is a construction zone.” He passed one of the other workers the clipboard and started heading towards me.

Derek hadn’t immediately recognized me, but I couldn’t blame him. It had been ten years since I’d been back and we’d seen each other in person. Besides, it took me a few minutes to recognize him when I first saw him. I didn’t say a word as he continued to approach, but I could feel a smile starting to form on my face.

It wasn’t until he was only a few feet away that he seemed to place me. “Cody?” he asked, still sounding unsure. He froze in his spot and removed his hard hat from his head. He raised his brows as he gave me a look over. “Cody Lawton?” He still looked like he didn’t believe what he was seeing.

“Been a while, Derek. I’m surprised you recognized me,” I said, my lips now tugging into the smile I felt coming on. As much as I’d thought it was a mistake to pull over and talk to him, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little taken back that he recognized me. It had been a long time since we were face to face and nothing about the way I looked was the same as it was ten years ago. My hair was longer than before and slicked back, and I’d been hitting the gym pretty regularly. I was nowhere near as buff as Derek, but I was still in better shape than I was ten years ago. My clothing style had changed a little as well—for the better. I’d taken to watching a few episodes of The Omega’s Wardrobe and soon found my own closet going through a little bit of an upgrade from the loose graphic tees I used to always sport.

Derek said nothing for another moment, still in shock that it was actually me. Finally, a smile spread across his own face as he let out a laugh. “Well, I never thought I’d see Cody Lawton in Concord again.”

“You and me both,” I added. “Won’t be around long, though. Heading back out in a few hours.”

Derek’s smile faded as he nodded. “Going to see your Uncle Pete?” The excitement had left his voice and was now replaced with a more comforting tone.

The shift in tone from Derek’s voice surprised me a little. Pete hadn’t told me he let anyone else know about his condition, but Derek and I had been best friends since kindergarten, so it wouldn’t surprise me if he’d shared the information with him as well. “Yeah. He’s waiting for me now, so I should probably start heading back over. I saw you standing out here, so I figured I’d drop a quick hello.”

“Well, I appreciate it. Tell Pete I hope he’s feeling better.” He licked his lips before continuing, “And Cody, it was nice seeing you again. Really.”

I gave him a nod. “I’ll let him know, Derek. And it was nice seeing you again as well.”

“Alright then,” Derek said as he placed the hard hat back on his head and adjusted it a little. He gave me a smile and began walking back towards the other men.

Just as I opened the car door and took a seat, I heard him call out my name again. “Cody?”

“Yeah?” I inquired, pushing the door open a little wider so I could see him.

Derek walked back over and swung one arm over the door. “I know you said you don’t think you’ll be in town long. But if you’re feeling up to it, I was thinking of maybe grabbing a beer later at Moll’s Bar. I should be finishing up here in an hour or so. Would just need to go home and clean up a bit first.” He motioned his hand towards his body. A thin layer of dust and debris clung to his clothing. “I know you have a long drive ahead of you, though, so don’t sweat it if you can’t make it.”

I thought about it for a moment before agreeing. “Yeah, I can make it. Might be nice to catch up a little before heading home.” As soon as the words left my mouth, I regretted the decision, but it was too late to take them back now.

Derek’s face lit back up with a smile. “Well, alright then. I’ll see you there.” He leaned back off my car door and closed it shut for me.

As I started the car and pulled out of the construction zone, I rolled down my window and waved to him. Derek waved back and returned to the men still huddled over the clipboard. The rest of the drive, I tried my best not to think about Derek and how much I was still attracted to him.

About the Author

Kenna Grace is a small woman with a huge personality. By evening, she can be found writing, reading, and getting lost in her wild imagination.

In her other life, she’s a behavioral analyst and devoted partner, but writing about men falling in love and their happily-ever-after is so much more exciting!

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The Bridal Chase by Robert Downs

A big welcome to Robert Downs as part of his blog tour with RABT Book Tours for The Bridal Chase.

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Mystery/Suspense
Date Published: 5/12/2018
Publisher: Black Opal Books

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Elisha Crimson thought her wedding day would be the happiest of her life. But losing her fiancé to two thugs in a dark sedan wasn’t part of the plan. She, along with the rest of the wedding party, can do nothing to stop the abrupt abduction, so she pursues at the first opportunity, navigating the West Virginia interstate in a white wedding dress behind the wheel of a pickup truck. But will she catch the sedan in time to save her one true love?
Ronnie Washington had known his past would catch up with him, eventually, but he hadn’t expected it to happen on his wedding day. He hates enclosed spaces, and now he’s bouncing around in the trunk of a car after being abducted from the ceremony. His only hope is to talk his way out, but the thugs don’t seem inclined to listen. He knows Elisha will come after him, but, even if she catches them, what can she possibly do against men like these?
Can these two unlikely heroes save the day, and the wedding, or is their life together over before it even starts?
About the Author

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Robert Downs aspired to be a writer before he realized how difficult the writing process was. Fortunately, he’d already fallen in love with the craft, otherwise his tales might never have seen print. Originally from West Virginia, he has lived in Virginia, Massachusetts, New Mexico, and now resides in California. When he’s not writing, Downs can be found reading, reviewing, traveling, or smiling. To find out more about his latest projects, or to reach out to him on the Internet, visit the author’s website: http://www.RobertDowns.net. THE BRIDAL CHASE is his seventh book and second novella.
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Another One by Tony Faggioli

A big welcome to Tony Faggioli as part of his blog tour with RABT Book Tours for Another One.


Supernatural Thriller
Date Published: Nov 30th, 2017
Publisher: Atticus Creative, Inc.

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Detective Evan Parker is being haunted by the past. After two tours in the Afghanistan War, he thought the horrors that he witnessed there were behind him. But the death of his partner has now opened a dark hole of memories that are threatening to swallow Parker alive. Desperate to maintain his grip, he focuses on the last unsolved case his partner left behind: the brutal murder of Hymie Villarosa.
Father Bernardino Soltera is being destroyed by the present. After ministering to the gang ridden streets of East L.A. for over twenty years, he’s unable to see past the pain and suffering that drugs and violence have wreaked on his neighborhood; he’s ready to give up. But when a young girl confesses that she’s pregnant and her boyfriend will hurt her if she doesn’t get an abortion? Father Soltera decides to make one more stand.
Hector Villarosa is being mocked by the future. After being released from jail he discovers the love of his life is with another man. As the leader of his gang, losing face could mean losing his life, and the fact that detectives are now asking questions about the death of Hector’s cousin, Hymie, isn’t helping. But Hector’s bigger problem is the demon that has followed him out of jail and on to the mean streets of East L.A.
Three men, one neighborhood. All about to discover that the veil between this world and the next is razor thin.

About the Author


Tony Faggioli was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and raised in Los Angeles, California. He graduated from the University of Southern California, where he majored in Public Administration and interned in Washington, D.C. at The White House. After college, he transitioned to corporate America before deciding to start his own business. One day, he realized that nothing brought him anywhere near the amount of joy as the writing he did from grade school through high school. So, at age 35, he decided to rekindle his passion. Since then he’s written five novels (listed below) and begun his sixth. He’s a happily married father of two kids, two dogs and a pretty awesome goldfish.
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Audiobook – With a Kick Collection #1 by Clare London

A big welcome to Clare London as part of her audiobook tour with Gay Book Promotions for With a Kick Collection #1.

AUDIOBOOK REVIEW TOUR

Book Title: WITH A KICK Collection #1

Author: CLARE LONDON

Publisher: JOCULAR PRESS (self published)

Narrator: JOEL LESLIE

Cover Artist: LOU HARPER

Genre/s: MM Contemporary Romance

Length: 8 hours and 40 mins (75,000 words/170 pages)

Release Date June 20, 2018

The first 2 standalone romances in a series set around the same alcoholic ice cream shop.

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Blurb

This collection includes Clare London’s first two charming London-based novellas of the With A Kick series – A Twist and Two Balls, and Slap and Tickle. Also included are two short stories featuring the characters in these books.

WITH A KICK

A new and enticing ice cream franchise, with a unique blend of full flavour, mischief and romance. Patrick and Lee are struggling to make a success of their alcoholic ice cream shop in the centre of tourist London. At the same time, their business partnership may take a turn towards the personal – if either of them can find the time and nerve to go for it! Meanwhile, they cater to the wild and wonderful range of customers in the area, many of whom have their own romantic agenda. Will ice cream be the final ingredient they’re all looking for?

Each story is a self-contained romance, but will follow the history of the shop throughout.

A TWIST AND TWO BALLS

Eduardo Mancini is going to be a star of the London stage. Unfortunately, his alter ego Eddy March hasn’t got further than a bit part in a TV series. One ghastly day, he’s late for an audition, can’t pay his taxi fare, and is chased across Soho by the irate driver, Nuri. But maybe being caught by Nuri is exactly what Eddy needs.

SLAP AND TICKLE

Bryan is an accountant who admires order and self-discipline. When he literally bumps into Phiz outside With A Kick, Phiz’s lifestyle and behaviour appear totally chaotic. But they each recognise something in the other that they need. Bryan needs a lover who welcomes his secret desire, and Phiz needs a firm hand–in every way. They both agree that Bryan may be just the man to provide it.

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About the Author

Clare London took her pen name from the city where she lives, loves, and writes. A lone, brave female in a frenetic, testosterone-fueled family home, she juggles her writing with her other day job as an accountant.

She’s written in many genres and across many settings, with award-winning novels and short stories published both online and in print. She says she likes variety in her writing while friends say she’s just fickle, but as long as both theories spawn good fiction, she’s happy. Most of her work features male/male romance and drama with a healthy serving of physical passion, as she enjoys both reading and writing about strong, sympathetic, and sexy characters.

Clare currently has several novels sulking at that tricky chapter-three stage and plenty of other projects in mind… she just has to find out where she left them in that frenetic, testosterone-fueled family home.

Clare loves to hear from readers, and you can contact her on all her social media.

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Rainbow Place by Jay Northcote

A big welcome to Jay Northcote as part of his blog tour with Signal Boost Promotions for Rainbow Place.

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Length: 54,000 words approx.

Cover Design: Garrett Leigh @ Black Jazz Design

Blurb

Can Jason find the courage he needs to be the man Seb deserves?


When Seb Radcliffe relocates to a seaside town in Cornwall, he feels like a fish out of water. He misses queer spaces and the sense of community he enjoyed when he was living in the city, and decides to open an LGBT-friendly cafe–bar.


Jason Dunn is the builder Seb hires to help renovate the rundown space where the cafe will be housed. Jason is also gay, but unlike Seb, he’s deep in the closet. He’s never had a relationship with another man—only allowing himself the occasional hook up with guys who are prepared to be discreet.


The attraction between the two men is instant and impossible to ignore. But while Seb is out and proud, Jason is terrified of being exposed. With the grand opening of Rainbow Place approaching, tension is growing among some locals who object to Seb’s plans. When things escalate, Jason is forced to choose whether to hide in the shadows and let Seb down, or to openly support the man he’s fallen so hard for.


Although this book is part of a series, it has a satisfying happy ending and can be read as a standalone.




June 15My Fiction Nook, The Way She Reads, Gay Book Reviews, OMG Reads, June 18Cupcakes & Bookshelves, Two Chicks Obsessed, The Geekery Book Review, Jim’s Reading Room, June 20Love Unchained Book Review, June 22Bonkers About Books, Kimmer’s Erotic Book Banter, Wicked Faerie’s Tales & Reviews, V’s Reads, June 25Mikku-chan, Katie’s Book Corner, June 27MM Good Book ReviewsJuly 4Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Wicked Reads July 6Nicole’s Book Musings, Xtreme DelusionsJuly 9Diverse Reader, July 11Drops Of Ink, Book Lovers 4Ever, Making It Happen, July 13Queerly Reads, Mirrigold, Valerie Ullmer, Bayou Book Junkie, Books That Are A Must Read, Lillian Francis


Author Bio


Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England. He comes from a family of writers, but always used to believe that the gene for fiction writing had passed him by. He spent years only ever writing emails, articles, or website content.


One day, Jay decided to try and write a short story—just to see if he could—and found it rather addictive. He hasn’t stopped writing since.


Jay writes contemporary romance about men who fall in love with other men. He has five books published by Dreamspinner Press, and also self-publishes under the imprint Jaybird Press. Many of his books are now available as audiobooks.


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Release Blitz – Nectar and Ambrosia by E.M. Hamill

A big welcome to E.M Hamill as part of her release blitz with IndiGo Marketing and Design for Nectar and Ambrosia from Star Bard Books.

Title:  Nectar and Ambrosia

Series: Amaranthine Inheritance #1

Author: E.M. Hamill

Publisher:  Star Bard Books

Release Date: June 30, 2018

Heat Level: 1 – No Sex

Pairing: Male/Female, Male/Male

Length: 81576

Genre: Fantasy, urban/mythical

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Synopsis

Callie, a Classics major, flees home to protect her family from a monster straight out of mythology.  Visions lead her to Nectar and Ambrosia: the weirdest pub on Earth, where inter-dimensional travelers with attention seeking issues get drunk in between the A-list celebrity lives they create. They can’t pretend to be gods anymore—not since a treaty with the current Supreme Deity promising they won’t intervene in human affairs.

The Doorkeeper of this threshold, Florian, rides herd on the rowdy Amaranthine and offers her shelter and a job. Callie likes the lonely, mysterious bartender more than she should. For Florian, her presence is a ray of light in the gray monotony of his sentence behind the bar, but he keeps a cautious distance—the truth of how he became Doorkeeper could change Callie’s perception of him forever. 

When angels show up for a war council over Zeus’s irrational mutters about a comeback, Callie has uncontrolled visions of an apocalypse.  Ex-gods realize she’s the first Oracle Priestess in generations. All Callie wanted was keep her parents safe, and now it seems she must sacrifice her future to keep the rest of humanity safe, too. Ambrosia could be the key to harnessing her visions— or it could cost her life.

War is coming. The threshold between worlds has never been more fragile. Callie must discover who is pulling Zeus’s strings and avert the final battle—before the immortal vying to become the next Supreme Deity kills her first.

Excerpt

Callie turned away, trying to decide if Florian and all his clientele were delusional or if it was some kind of big role-playing game for rich people. Folks could have a thing about dressing up in furry animal costumes. She supposed they could pretend to be gods and goddesses too. If it was a mythology RPG, they weren’t concerned with the classical part, except for the guy she saw yesterday afternoon. She was relieved to have a rational explanation for the horns.

Something moved outside the glass front door. Her heart seized in momentary panic. What if the monster still lurked out there?

Strange, visible turbulence seemed to ripple the panes. Callie squeezed her eyes shut to clear her sight and prayed it wasn’t the aura of an oncoming seizure. Cool relief extinguished the rising sparks of panic as the effect dissipated.

The door opened and revealed a spiky-haired, punk rock kid years too young to be in any bar. Callie was forced to squint in order see him clearly as he strode in, his outlines strangely blurred and soft. Sullen teenaged fluidity rolled in every line of his body. He surveyed the bar, narrow kohl-ringed eyes settling on the heavily intoxicated Zeus. A sneer comprised of equal parts contempt and satisfaction flickered over his mouth.

“There he is, the great king of the gods,” he muttered. He moved toward the bar, a glare of disdain sweeping over the other patrons. His eyes widened in appreciation as they passed over Callie, a little smirk growing as his gaze lingered too long on the front of her college t-shirt.

Despite her confusion on how he’d arrived, she gave him a thin smile and a cool nod, crossing her arms over her chest. He stopped short, an expression of shock on his face. Then a quick, sunny grin took over. His blurry outlines sharpened as he drew closer and she relaxed her squinted eyes, no longer struggling to focus on him. She decided it was a trick of the neon-tinted lights hanging in garish advertisement on the walls of the bar.

“My, my, my. Who have we here?” His voice, thick with Cockney vowels, dipped to an intimate tone as he approached. His body language changed to something more unsettlingly mature. He was older than he appeared. “Who do you belong to?”

“I’m Callie. I don’t belong to anybody, but I work for Florian,” she corrected him politely. “Can I get you something?”

“Well, for starters, tequila.” He smirked suggestively. “And your undivided attention.”

Callie resisted the urge to roll her eyes. No matter where she worked, the pickup lines were the same.

“I’m sorry, I’m busy working. I’ll ask Florian for your tequila. On the rocks, or a shot?”

“On the rocks, love.”

“I’ll need to see some ID first.”

“You are new here, aren’t you?” He flipped two fingers out, a driver’s license between them.  She took it. No stranger to fake ID’s, this one appeared to be real, and passed him as twenty-one. Still…

“John Smith, huh?”

He captured Callie’s fingers as she returned the license and kissed the back of her hand in old-fashioned courtliness, sea-colored eyes glinting in mischief. An odd, visceral twinge from her early warning system made her startle as his lips touched her skin. Goose bumps flecked her arms. A totally alien sensation overwhelmed her senses: it was as if something crawled off her skin toward his mouth. She shivered in response and tried to pull her hand away. His grin widened as he tightened his grip, apparently delighted by her discomfiture.

“Oh, ho. That’s a lovely surprise. Don’t mind me. I’m incorrigible. Call me Puck.” He scribed an expansive circular gesture with his free hand. “Welcome to the watering hole of the damned bored.”

Callie forced a smile. “Thank you. Now, if you’ll let go of my hand, I’ll get your drink.”

Puck made a mocking bow over her hand and released it, smirking again as he backed away, still admiring her in undisguised interest. Between them, a well-dressed man stepped directly into Callie’s path. He swerved with a graceful spin and apologized as Callie’s sneakers squeaked to an abrupt halt on the concrete floor.

“Sorry, hon. Good evening, gods and goddesses!”

“Herm!” came a shouted group greeting from the room at large.

“And fairies,” the man belatedly added, nodding at the punk rocker.

Puck offered him an extended middle finger and a dangerous smile. Callie’s mouth fell open, recognizing the Armani-suited guy from the previous afternoon.

“Jeeze, homophobic much?” she muttered.

“Trust me love, I am all fairy and he is far from homophobic. Sexual orientation has nothing to do with him being a prick.” Puck glared at the man’s back with undisguised hatred before another lightning-quick mood change and a devilish grin took over. “Make that tequila a double.” He winked at her, eyes making another head to toe rake of her body before he disappeared into the clump of huge Scandinavian-looking, Corona-swilling dart players.

Callie’s hair still prickled on the back of her neck even after Puck left, and she rubbed it, troubled. She turned back to the room, stopped short, and stared. More customers sat at tables and in the shadows of the booths, each group just a little stranger than the last. None of them used the door.

And the Armani guy—he’d stepped into her path. Right out of the air.

Something intensely freaky was happening that she couldn’t rationalize away, no matter how hard she tried.

Was Florian telling the truth?

Instead of fear, a deep, visceral excitement flip-flopped in her abdomen, butterflies on steroids.

She never pinpointed exactly when wonder began to crowd out her reservations. Rushing between the cooler and the tables, she caught snatches of conversation and shouted greetings when others appeared. Having to bite back questions when she delivered their beverages replaced the urge to roll her eyes. She fought to keep a professional demeanor rather than fangirl all over herself when Florian introduced the Armani guy to her as Hermes. Hermes! One of her favorite characters in Greek mythology.

Three hours into the shift, she took a quick bathroom break. Her back against the door, Callie put her hands over her mouth and muffled something that sounded suspiciously like a shriek. Whether it was fear or excitement, she couldn’t quite say. Her breath came fast and short until she got dizzy. She spun the tap on the sink and the shock of cold water on her face helped bring her back down.

“What the hell, Callie? Are you really going to believe this?” she muttered to herself in the mirror. She grabbed a paper towel to blot the moisture away and waded back out into the crowded bar.

Purchase

Star Bard Books | Amazon Kindle | Amazon Paperback |Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes

Meet the Author

Elisabeth “E.M.” Hamill is a nurse by day, unabashed geek, chocoholic, sci fi and fantasy novelist by nights, weekends, and wherever she can steal quality time with her laptop. She lives with her family, a dog, and a cat in the wilds of eastern suburban Kansas, where they fend off flying monkey attacks and prep for the zombie apocalypse.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | eMail

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Book Review – Demon Familiar by Bellora Quinn and Sadie Rose Birmingham


Wanted #1
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Pages: 250
Characters: Malachai/Neil
POV: 3rd
Sub-Genre: Urban Fantasy, Alternate Reality

Blurb:
Sometimes when you don’t know what you want, life gives you what you need.

When Neil Markovic witnesses the murder of his mother by Bone Men his world is thrown into turmoil. On the run from the assassins that killed her, his sorcerer father and the police, Neil finds help in the form of a tall half fae alchemist named Malachai. Mal seems more accepting than most of Neil’s demon bloodline, but curiously immune to his charms.

Malachai Valentine, disgraced scion of a noble Leprechaun clan, back in the Old Country, is happy living as an anonymous scrap dealer. Using his talent for alchemy to make fuel and potions, most days he doesn’t even think of his ruinous past. When a scared young man with a fancy car crashes into his life, at first, Mal thinks he can do without the hassle. But as Neil begins to get under his skin, Mal starts to reassess his hopes and ambitions.
Harassed by megalomaniac fae and stalked by sorcerous killers at every turn, Malachai and Neil must fight to be free, and to find what they both truly wanted.

Reader advisory: This book contains scenes of violence, murder and non-consensual sex.

Buy Link

Review

I’m already a fan of the authors’ Elemental Evidence series so when the opportunity came up to read the first book in a new series I grabbed it. It didn’t disappoint, and now I’m hanging out for book two. I got hooked into this book less than a chapter in.

The world building in Demon Familiar is fabulous. It’s based on our world, but isn’t as this one has plenty of demons, fae, and the ilk amongst its population. The descriptions are very visual, and I could feel the overhanging darkness, which is accentuated by the Bone men and shadow/dark magic. This first book in the series sets up the world nicely without info dumping and left me wanting more.

The action scenes are edge-of-your-seat. I could feel Neil’s desperation not to be caught. I also loved the descriptions of magic, which added to the tense, exciting fight scenes, and in particular the mix of demon and fae magic.

The characters, however, both main and supporting bring their own version of light. I love that, despite what Neil is, he’s naive, and a bit of an innocent. It’s a good twist on what I’d usually expect. Mal is an interesting character with more to his past than he’s letting on just yet, and I’m hoping we learn more about his experiences—and his wings—as the series progresses. Neil and Mal complement each other well, and I liked that they doubted that each other felt the same way, and that Neil had to learn about the human side of himself in that regard. Merc is an interesting character. I liked how he was the voice of reason, not entirely trusting Neil at first, which is realistically what I would expect.

I’d recommend Demon Familiar to readers who enjoy fantasy with fabulous world building, interesting characters, and a story that keeps you reading and leaves you wanting more. 5 out of 5 stars.

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The Closer You Get by L.A Witt

A big welcome to L.A. Witt as part of her retro tour with Signal Boost Promotions for The Closer You Get.

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Length: 68,000 words approx.

Blurb

The virgin isn’t the only one with something to lose…


Self-described manwhore Kieran Frost is loving the single life. Two years after moving to Seattle, he still has his friends with benefits, Rhett and Ethan, plus a never-ending supply of gorgeous, available men wandering through the bar where he works. A relationship? Spare him the drama and heartbreak. He’s got no complaints about his unattached lifestyle.


When Rhett’s daughter introduces him to newly-out-of-the-closet Alex Corbin, Kieran’s interest perks up. After all, the quiet ones are always the freaks in bed. But Alex isn’t just shy and reserved. He’s a virgin in every sense of the word, having never even kissed anyone else.


Kieran is no one’s teacher, and his first instinct is to run like hell in the other direction. But his conscience won’t let him throw the naïve kid to the wolves for someone else to take advantage of. The plan is to introduce Alex to his own sexuality, pull him out of his shell, then go their separate ways.


It’s the perfect, foolproof plan…assuming no one falls in love.


Excerpt

“I still think it’s a travesty that Alex is gay.” Beth’s voice drew me out of my thoughts and into the conversation going on in the car. From the passenger seat, she glanced back at me. “No offense.”


I waved a hand. “None taken.”


Lisa, Sabrina’s other friend, said, “I’m telling you, if that man was straight, I would date him in a heartbeat.”


“I second that,” Beth said. “I swear to Christ, every hot man at school is either gay, taken, or a complete asshole.”


“Some are probably all three,” I said.


“Bastards,” Sabrina muttered.


I chuckled. “What do you care? Your dads won’t let you date until you’re thirty anyway, remember?”


Beth and Lisa laughed aloud, and Sabrina’s cheeks darkened.


“So, this Alex guy,” I said. “I assume he’s single?”


“Oh, yeah,” Beth said. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen him date anyone.”


“Is he cute?”


“Uh-huh,” all three girls said in unison.


“Cute?” Sabrina clicked her tongue. “He’s gorgeous.”


Well, that was a plus. Good-looking. College. No one had ever seen him date. Probably meant any guy he’d “dated” was gone by sunrise. My kind of man.


“Don’t you have a picture of him on your phone?” Lisa asked.


“Oh, you’re right.” Sabrina reached into her purse. “I’d forgotten all about that.” She pulled out her phone and scrolled through a few pictures. “Ah, here it is.”


I took the phone from her.


Oh, hello. Maybe I could be persuaded to stick around for a while tonight after all. The lighting and resolution didn’t let me get a very good look at his eyes, but what I could see of him was certainly attractive. Clean cut, clean shaven, with dark hair that was just long enough to run fingers through. Or get a good grip on.


Settle down, Kieran. Meet the guy first.


I cleared my throat and handed the phone back. “Nice-looking guy.”


“God, yes.” She put her phone back into her purse. “Just wait ’til you see him in person.”


“True that,” Lisa said. “But then, all gay guys are cute.”


I shook my head. “Oh, my dear, you only say that because you’ve never spent any time dating gay men. I assure you, there are plenty of unattractive men batting for my team.”


“Not many,” Lisa said. “You guys get way more hotties than we do. It isn’t fair.”


“Yeah,” Beth said. “Even Sabrina’s dad and stepdad are hot.”


Sabrina wrinkled her nose. “Oh, eww, don’t talk about my dads that way.”


“What?” Beth said. “Face it, girly girl, for two old guys, they’re—”


“Shut. Up.”


I laughed to mask my sudden panic at Rhett and Ethan being brought into the conversation, as if someone might catch on to what we had going on. Sabrina didn’t need that. Neither did I.


I quickly changed the subject back to Alex. “So, how did you meet this guy, anyway? He in some of your classes or something?”


Sabrina nodded. “He just transferred in at the beginning of the year from another state.”


Mercifully, the conversation stayed safely in the realms of Alex and school for the rest of the drive. Rhett and Ethan weren’t mentioned again, thank God.


“Here we are.” Beth turned on her signal and slowed down.


I barely kept myself from groaning when she pulled into the parking lot of one of those places that was like a pub-sports bar hybrid. The type of place that probably had a house country band some nights, football other nights, and a jukebox that still played vinyl. My favorite kind of place.


On our way in, we passed a row of neon beer signs and walked in through a tinted glass door that had tarnished sleigh bells banging against the window. Seattle had banned indoor smoking years ago, but places like this still always managed to have a hazy atmosphere, like the air had never quite cleared after decades of cigarettes.


The bar was lined with customers whose belt buckles were probably at least six inches across. Some quietly drank, others made animated gestures with their beers as they yelled at an umpire on one of the grainy TVs above the bar. Frying grease crackled faintly in the background, and the thick smell of all things fried and salty hung as heavily in the air as the haze.


Through that haze, I made eye contact with one of the bartenders, and his eyes widened with both recognition and horror as the color slipped out of his cheeks. It only took a second or two for me to place him: he was a frequent patron at the gay bar where I worked. We’d flirted a few times, and I was pretty sure he and one of the bouncers had been sleeping together for the last few months.


If his expression was any indication, I was the only one in this establishment who knew about any of that, and he desperately wanted to keep it that way.


I pretended not to notice or recognize him, and followed the girls to the back of the room. Their friends—maybe a dozen or so guys and girls—greeted Sabrina with hugs and birthday wishes. They’d commandeered a few booths by the pool tables, and the beer was already flowing.


For a twenty-first birthday, though, they kept it pretty mellow. There were bottles, glasses, and pitchers of beer on tables, the odd mixed drink here and there, but the booze wasn’t the center of attention. The group had obviously been here awhile, having settled into a couple of lively games of eight-ball, but no one was visibly drunk.


I could see why Ethan and Rhett weren’t all that worried about Sabrina tonight. Her friends weren’t a wild bunch, from what I could see. Besides, she was a smart kid, had her head screwed on straight—clearly nature over nurture, I often teased her dads—and she was the one who’d chosen this place for her birthday instead of one of the racier clubs downtown. A few beers in a place with neon Budweiser signs and pool tables instead of a potentially dangerous binge under flickering disco lights. She actually stood a chance of remembering her twenty-first birthday party.


“Where’s Alex?” Sabrina asked the group. “Tell me he didn’t bail on me.”


Someone gestured with a pool cue. “He’s playing cricket with Shane and Cory.”


“Oh, good.” She put her hand on my elbow. “Thank God, he actually showed up.”


“Were you concerned he wouldn’t?”


Her cheeks reddened. “A little.”


I shot her a glare but then followed her.


“He’s just really, really shy,” she said as we crossed the mostly empty club. “Took me forever to even get his name out of him. He’s—oh, there he is.” She pointed at the dartboards, where one guy was getting ready to throw while two others watched.


I furrowed my brow, looking at each of the guys in turn. Two of their backs were to me, which kept me from matching anyone up with the face I’d seen on Sabrina’s phone.


“Which one?” I asked.


“Gray T-shirt.”


My gaze shifted to the one she’d indicated, and I suddenly had a feeling this evening would be worth the sacrifice of leaving Rhett and Ethan with a bed and a bottle of Patrón.


The gray T-shirt Sabrina had used to identify him rested over a set of broad shoulders, and his tight-but-not-too-tight jeans clung to deliciously narrow hips. From here, I guessed he was an inch or two taller than me, which was also a bonus. I wasn’t a fan of having to crane my neck up or down to kiss someone. Nothing threw cold water on a kiss or a hot fuck like a damned neck cramp.


Of course, Sabrina had only brought me here to coax him into Seattle’s gay lifestyle, but there wasn’t a man alive I didn’t automatically size up in terms of whether or not I’d sleep with him. Even when I wasn’t dying to get laid. Some people said that made me a slut. Hey, if the shoe fits…


Sabrina nudged me toward him. “Come on, I’ll introduce you.”


Oh, yes, please do.

July 2Mirrigold: Mutterings & Musings, Rainbow Gold Reviews, Mainely Stories, July 3Katie’s Book Corner Reviews, MM Good Book Reviews, July 5Southern Babes Book Blog, July 6Reading In Sarah’s Corner, Bayou Book Junkie, Drops Of Ink


About The Author


L.A. Witt is an abnormal M/M romance writer who has finally been released from the purgatorial corn maze of Omaha, Nebraska, and now spends her time on the southwestern coast of Spain. In between wondering how she didn’t lose her mind in Omaha, she explores the country with her husband, several clairvoyant hamsters, and an ever-growing herd of rabid plot bunnies. She also has substantially more time on her hands these days, as she has recruited a small army of mercenaries to search South America for her nemesis, romance author Lauren Gallagher, but don’t tell Lauren. And definitely don’t tell Lori A. Witt or Ann Gallagher. Neither of those twits can keep their mouths shut…


Website: http://www.gallagherwitt.com
E-mail: gallagherwitt@gmail.com
Twitter: @GallagherWitt
Blog: http://gallagherwitt.blogspot.com

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