Release Blitz – Against All Odds by Elle W Silver

A big welcome to Elle W Silver as part of her release blitz with Gay Book Promotions for Against All Odds.

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Against All Odds (Eternal Soulmates Series Book 2)

Author: Elle W Silver

Publisher: Self-Published

Release Date: November 19, 2019

Genre/s: Paranormal M/M Romance

Trope/s: Hurt/comfort

Themes: Overcoming adversity, finding lost love

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length: about 80 000 words

It is a standalone story.

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Buy Links

Amazon US | Amazon UK

 

After 260 years apart, can their love survive the on-coming supernatural onslaught?

Blurb

Will he find them before it’s too late?

Jamie struggles with an illness no doctor can diagnose; one that keeps him from living a productive life. Until he meets a witch who promises him a cure for a price. But when his target says he knew him in a past life, Jamie is conflicted.

260 years after they lost their soul mate, Riley struggles to hold his imbalanced relationship with Ben together. He grows more powerful even as his reasons for living shrink. His immortality came at a steep price, but when Jamie shows up out of nowhere, he may have to pay it to keep him.

Ben knows Riley loves him, but Jamie was the glue that held them together. Without him, life is unbearable even for an immortal Vampire. Until Jamie shows up one day, the same but different and he realizes they will have to fight to keep him.

Can Jamie, Riley and Ben survive the new threat to their lives? Will Jamie survive the supernatural?

Against All Odds is the second book in the Eternal Soulmates Series; a sexy saga of stories about vampires, witches, werewolves and the humans unfortunate enough to cross their path. If you enjoy steamy, emotional and action-packed romantic adventures, this story is a must-have for you.

 

Excerpt

Ben saw Riley’s office in his sightline as the elevator doors open. But the exhaustion that came with the Blood Ritual already took hold and he felt almost too tired to walk the tiny distance to the man he loved. Preparations for Festival Week didn’t help. He felt like he hadn’t seen Riley in a week, even though it couldn’t have been that long.

He pushed past Thom who may or may not have offered a greeting, only sighing in relief as soon as he found Riley’s comfortable couch. Riley was on the phone. The conversation was high energy, Riley yelling at whoever it is that was on the other end. Festival Week brought out the worst in everyone, even Riley.

Ben closed his eyes, letting his man’s voice soothe him. He didn’t look up when he heard Riley hung up the phone. He didn’t need to say or do anything; being close to Riley was all he needed. And when everything became too heavy to bear, he would come here when he knew Riley was alone, just to sit here and feel his protection, his love.

This week would be tough for all Vampires. Born-Vampires like his brothers would have it the hardest, their bodies growing weaker the longer they denied themselves the life-giving blood they needed. Made-Vampires like him lasted a little longer on the blood-bags, but eventually, they needed fresh blood from the vein.

This was the whole purpose of Festival Week. Humans saw it as the party of the century, limited tickets making it even more attractive. But to Vampires it was a once-a-year opportunity to get the fresh blood they needed to survive. Some were lucky enough to find a human soul mate who continued to provide the much needed nourishment. But Festival Week continued to become a necessity. It was also a lot of fun, when someone else was planning it.

Riley moved from his desk to the couch and Ben sighed when the familiar hand through his hair. His eyes remained closed, even as he turned his body towards his soul mate, “I’m so tired.” He hadn’t meant it for it to sound so whinny.

Riley kept the perfect pressure on his skull, rubbing with enough pressure to make his headache go away, “Of course you are. Festival Week sucks.”

Ben opened his eyes, “But you don’t look tired.”

Riley smiled before pulling Ben closer, “I run on magic and I have an endless supply.” He nodded towards the door, “Can’t say the same for poor Thom out there.”

“Send the guy home. He’s always here.”

Riley looked at his watch, “He should leave in a few minutes. How’s Bello Locus?”

Ben snuggled into his arms, “if you’re asking if we’re ready, I think so. But Adam keeps saying we don’t have enough alcohol.”

“He’s the expert.”

“There’s just so much to do. The stage guys at the ground had a mishap and they must work through the night to get it ready.”

Riley nudged him to look at him, “How are you doing?”

“I wish I didn’t have to take blood from a stranger. But other than that…”

Riley avoided talking about the subject and Ben couldn’t blame him. The Blood ritual was a very erotic affair, and no one wanted to see their man unable to control their urges in the arms of another. If only they could find Jamie.

They’d first come up with Festival Week two decades after Bastian had tried to usurp the Vampire throne in 1957; partly for the revenue the Festival brought to the island and also for the Vampires survival. Every year, the party grew bigger than the last, attracting more humans. But to Ben and Riley, this was just something else they had to do without Jamie.

“Are mother and Grandma coming?” Ben asked to keep himself and Riley from thinking of Jamie more than was healthy.

“She said they would try to make it by the last day. But Edie will be here.”

Riley’s hand was back in his hair and although he was exhausted, Ben was aroused by the proximity. When Riley pulled on his hair, he turned to him to find the same aroused look in his lover’s eyes.

Riley ran a finger over his lips, “Do you know what I thought the first time I saw you?” The finger passed across his lips, dipping inside his mouth as soon it was open.

“You hated me?” They’d had this conversation so many times over the years, and Ben loved where it was going.

Riley chuckled, his own heavy breaths betraying the state of his arousal, “I thought, you were the most beautiful person I had ever seen.” He pulled his finger out of Ben’s mouth, “But I was standing next to the most beautiful person in the world.” He placed a single kiss to Ben’s lips, “You confused me. I wanted you so much.”

Ben tried to chase his lips, moaning when Riley kissed his neck instead. He tilted his head, giving Riley room to continue his pleasurable assault, “So, you hated me?”

Riley’s hand reached under his shirt, pulling it away from his already heated body as he tried to reach for Ben’s sensitive nipples, “I had never wanted someone the way I wanted you, not even Jamie. I still want you so much.”

Riley captured his lips in an overpowering kiss before Ben could confess his own overwhelming need. Ben straddled his lap as the delicious kiss invaded all his senses. Riley’s hands grabbed his ass and pulled him even closer to his already aroused cock. Ben wanted to be naked, but he wanted this kiss, the tight embrace more than he needed Riley’s cock. That changed when Riley pulled on his belt, undoing his pants all in one move without breaking the kiss. He pushed pants and underwear out of the way and grabbed his bare ass, pulling him even closer.

Ben moaned into Riley’s mouth when his bare cock brushed against Riley’s clothed body. He wanted to be naked and when he started to undo his shirt, Riley relented long enough to allow him to undress.

He stood before Riley battling to get his clothes off, breathing hard. When his shoes, socks and pants were off, he noticed that Riley wasn’t too keen on getting naked. Instead, he leaned back on the couch, arms behind his head as he watched Ben undress.

Riley’s gaze moved up his body, making him shiver, “You are so beautiful.” When Ben attempted to move back on to his lap, Riley shook his head, “Touch yourself for me.”

 

 

About the Author

Growing up Elle was the girl sitting in a corner with her nose in a book. For as long as she could remember, she would journey to different destinations around the world with the characters she met in the many books she read.

So when she turned fifteen, it was not surprising that she found herself ready to create her own world of characters. The Paranormal world was particularly intriguing, especially immortal vampires and the humans sharing their fascinating existence.

Her first book was not published and got lost somewhere in the midst of her life. Her love of stories- literature, Movies, and TV, only intensified as she got older, becoming a major part of her life.

Soon, she would find herself working as a freelance writer (a girl has to pay her bills) all the while sharing her life with voices in her head that screamed for an outlet. She saw an opportunity to give life to her characters when she stumbled on self-publishing and her first Paranormal romance series- The Eternal Flame Series was born.

A tea addict, Elle also has a powerful love for Music and her ever-expanding Family. She is overjoyed to share her love for Romance with all her readers and grateful for their unending support.

 

Social Media Links

Blog/Website | Facebook Group | Twitter | Newsletter Sign-up

 

Giveaway

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card

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Follow the tour and check out the other blog posts and reviews here

 

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

 

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Release Blitz – Hometown Christmas by Garrett Leigh

A big welcome to Garrett Leigh as part of her release blitz with Signal Boost Promotions for Hometown Christmas.


Length: 40,000 approx.

Cover Design: Black Jazz Design

Blurb

Yani Nicolaou is sworn off love for good. After fleeing a bad break-up in London, the only blood, sweat, and tears he has left are for his gyro stall at the Christmas market. Rebound fling? No thanks. He’s sticking to one-night-stands.


Ex-army vet Gavin Richie has even less capacity for romance. Managing a homeless shelter while recovering from injury keeps him far too busy. So what if he’s often alone? He’s content being single, or so he thinks until a chance meeting lights a spark he can’t ignore.


Yani is the warmth and affection Gavin hadn’t known he was missing. As Christmas lights up the city, their lives entwine in more ways than one. Falling for each other is easy. Holding on is harder, unless a hometown Christmas proves their love can last longer than the festive season.

Garrett Leigh is an award-winning British writer and book designer.


Garrett’s debut novel, Slide, won Best Bisexual Debut at the 2014 Rainbow Book Awards, and her polyamorous novel, Misfits was a finalist in the 2016 LAMBDA awards.


When not writing, Garrett can generally be found procrastinating on Twitter, cooking up a storm, or sitting on her behind doing as little as possible, all the while shouting at her menagerie of children and animals and attempting to tame her unruly and wonderful FOX.


Garrett is also an award winning cover artist, taking the silver medal at the Benjamin Franklin Book Awards in 2016. She designs for various publishing houses and independent authors at blackjazzdesign.com, and co-owns the specialist stock site moonstockphotography.com with renowned LGBTQA+ photographer Dan Burgess.


Website: http://www.garrettleigh.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/garrettleighauthor/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Garrett_Leigh

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Pre-order Blitz – A Picture Perfect Christmas by J.P. Uvalle

A big welcome to J.P. Uvalle as part of the pre-order blast with Yours Truly Book Services for A Picture Perfect Christmas.

***PreOrder Blast***
A Picture Perfect Christmas by J. P. Uvalle – A contemporary romance Christmas short story
PreOrder NOW for ONLY 99¢Preorder link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07YYR1QW3

Add to your TBRGoodreads link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48348839-a-picture-perfect-christmas

Blurb:You never forget your first love. No matter how hard you try.

Darren Hayes, her once-best friend has been gone longer than Melody Boyer, can remember. Well, that’s a lie. He’s been gone four years, eleven months, three weeks and two days. Since Christmas Eve, the night they took their friendship to the next level. He rocked her world, made all her fantasies come true only to leave her behind in Hudson Heights to see the world through his lens.

And now he’s back, Mr. famous photographer walking into town like he didn’t destroy her world years ago. Melody does everything she can to avoid running into him. Until he shows up on her doorstep asking for forgiveness and a chance to be friends again now that he’s home for good. But friends don’t kiss like he kisses her goodbye … and when he proposes they become friends with benefits and see what develops, Melody can’t help but wonder what the negatives are. Can she agree to these terms and have the best sex of her life anytime she wants, no strings attached? Or will Darren capture her heart only to break it all over again?

If you like over-the-top romance with a hint of Christmas and some tantalizing sexy times in between then this delicious treat is for you.

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Undercover in Jenns Cove by Marc Sanderson

A big welcome to Marc Sanderson as part of his blog tour with Silver Dagger Book Tours for Undercover in Jenns Cove.

Undercover in Jenns Cove
by Marc Sanderson
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Small-town Jenns Cove, nestled in a pristine coastal environment, faces trouble they don’t know exists. Titan Minerals Corporation has it in the cross-hairs. The Department of Justice asks Jake Weston to investigate what may be a fraudulent environmental impact statement, which dovetails perfectly with his mission to find his institute a project site.
The small-town lawyer he meets, Maggie Gallagher, is a single mom. The attraction is deep, but both fight the undertow for their own reasons. Maggie isn’t ready for a love ‘em and leave ‘em fling. And though Jake can tell her about his project, the rest must remain confidential.
When the major landowner’s nephew returns to Jenns Cove, he’s in the corporation’s pocket and has an old score to settle with Maggie. The eye of the storm is about to descend on Jenns Cove.

**Only .99 cents!!**

Marc Sanderson’s love of stories grew up alongside his love of science and history. Unable to decide which was most fascinating, he studied science, literature, history, education and law, all of which pop up in his writing. Currently a full-time writer of romance and fantasy, he loves finding ways to infuse his passion for learning and the natural world into his stories. When he’s not reading or writing, he can be found studying the ecology of the local streams, restoring the eelgrass beds of the local estuary, hiking up mountains, watching documentaries or indulging in romantic comedies. Lately he’s taken up cooking as a hobby and is trying diligently not to poison his wife.
What is an “eco-romance”? These are contemporary romances with ecological themes running through them. I hope the stories will help raise awareness of the vital part our environment plays in all our lives and convey the urgent need to reform environmental policy on the federal, state and local levels.
Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!
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Release Blitz – The Light of Distant Suns by Lauren C. Sergeant

A big welcome to Lauren C. Sergeant as part of her release blitz with RABT Book Tours for The Light of Distant Suns.

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Children of the Glaring Dawn, Book 1
Young Adult Fantasy
Published Date: November 19, 2019
Publisher: INtense Publications LLC
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Ihva is horrified to find out she might be the most dreaded individual in all of Gant, but before she can discover the truth, she is whisked away on a rescue mission. Prince Jasper’s fiancee has gone missing. As they chase his betrothed all over the continent, Jasper is hiding secrets of his own, and he’s willing to risk his life to keep them. Is Ihva the feared harbinger of the world’s doom? Will Jasper find a way to save his bride and his kingdom? Only time will tell the answers, and then it might be too late.
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About the Author

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Lauren C. Sergeant is a poet, a founding contributor for the Auburn-Opelika Moms Blog, a writer, and the author of Light of Distant Suns, the first book in the Children of the Glaring Dawn series. Her writing career began in junior high with composing poetry, and by age 26, she started on her first novel. She has always had a passion for fiction as a means of both escape and reconnection to the world around her. Her fascination with world customs, her deep interest in personal relationships, the plethora of spellbinding stories she has read and watched, and her enthusiasm for the fantasy genre combine in wondrous ways in her engaging debut novel. Shaped by these influences, she creates compelling cultures and fascinating, relatable characters in lush imaginary realms.
In her spare time, when she is not writing, you can find her curled up on the couch with a good book, whether it be fantasy, history, physics, or calculus. She lives in Opelika, Alabama with her beloved husband and dear son, though she grew up in Southern California and never imagined calling the American South home.
It seems the unanticipated things in life are sometimes the most delightful, though.
Contact Links
Website  
Purchase Link
RABT Book Tours & PR
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Love Bytes Monthly Blog Post – Republishing Journey – Slow Dreaming

This month’s blog post at Love Bytes Reviews is another about my continuing journey to becoming a hybrid author, and also has a sneak preview of the new cover by M Designs for Slow Dreaming.

You can read the post here

Posted in Lacedragon Publishing, love bytes reviews, Slow Dreaming | Leave a comment

Beware Mohawks Bearing Gifts by SA Collins

A big welcome to SA Collins as part of his blog tour with Other Worlds Ink for Beware Mohawks Bearing Gifts from NineStar Press.

Beware Mohawks Bearing Gifts - SA Collins

SA Collins has a new queer alt-earth sci fi book out, book one in the Cove Chronicles: “Beware Mohawks Bearing Gifts.”

It’s 1847, New York. William Matthias Hallett is a fashionable dandy of the Manhattan social set. His life is laid out before him: a world of soirees, riches and luxury. Yet all he wants to do is find an adventure so deliciously wicked that it would satiate his soul for an eternity.

So, disguised in a lower-class manner, into the notorious Five Points he goes, seeking that spark of adventure. That is until it greets him in the form of his old schoolmates from Dartmouth College – a pair of Mohawk warriors who will up-end his world and all he knew it to be forever.

Series Blurb:

Set in an alternative Earth that deviates from our own known timeline, William Matthias Hallett, a Mohawk/British New York socialite and dandy, who wants very little to do with his upper-crust Manhattan set, sets out to the notorious Five Points, seeking an adventure so decidedly wicked to satiate him for a lifetime. He gets far more than he bargains for when he crosses paths with two Mohawk warriors from their days at Dartmouth college.

Thrust into an unseen war that the Mohawks and the rest of the Haudenosuanee Confederacy has been fighting for over 600 years, William must come to terms with his maternal heritage that is pressing ever forward as their newly created sovereign nation rapidly expands, isolating the burgeoning United States along the eastern seaboard and now reaching a boiling point with the new Americans.

Central to this sci-fi adventure is the creation story of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy where myth becomes reality in ways that William can scarcely imagine.

NineStar Press | Amazon eBook | Amazon Paperback | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords | Goodreads


Giveaway

SA Collins is giving away a $20 Amazon gift card with this tour. For a chance to win, enter via Rafflecopter:

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Excerpt

He leaned against the doorway with a slight smile upon his face and placed the message from my sister onto the desk nearest the door.

“So, are you planning to sleep upon the floor, or will you nest down in the kitchen?”

“Just be glad the bed I have in your room is large enough for us both. You will just have a bed mate until we can rectify the situation downstairs.”

“I could always sleep on your sofa in the receiving room, Will.”

“Certainly not. If I am anything, I am a superb host. I will not have you attempting to recline on a sofa that isbarely sufficient to sit upon, let alone gain some much-needed rest.”

“Fancy little Indian, are you not?” He indicated the quality of my nightshirt and dressing robe.

“I walk in two worlds now; allow me my fashionable proclivities,” I replied as I began to change out of my clothing and into the nightshirt. For a few moments he stood there shaking his head and smirking at my nightly routine, though I did detect a blush moving across his face as I got down to my undergarments. As I pulled my shirt over my head, I noted he had slipped into the spare bedroom.

I carried the nightshirt and robe over to the spare room to join him as he began to slip off his leggings and mocs. After he shucked his shirt, I paused to appreciate the simple utility of the Haudenosaunee male wardrobe. Moments later, Joss changed from the comfort of his daily outfit into a simple loincloth suitable for sleeping, and here I struggled with overgarments, shirts, pants, undergarments, and various pieces that served only as ornamentation. I began to question for the first time the intelligence of my way of dress.

::But you wear your clothing so well. I do not judge your choice of them. This is simply what I know and have grown comfortable using. Why are you curious as to our way of dress?::

::Well, I suppose I should gain a better understanding of our people’s ways. I feel I know so little about my Mohawk life. I assume I can lean on you for that. Unless you find me a lost cause.::

::Will, have no doubt. You are Mohawk; your lineage is clear. You just have not had much in the way of guidance in our way of life. You can always turn to me for that.::

“Thank you. I cannot tell you how much that means to me. Since I came into this whole new world of the Guardians and Flintlings, I have felt little more than a leaf upon the raging river, with little hope of purchase with which to grant me some sense of security. You have provided the security I desperately need.”

“Wait here…” He gated out of the room, though to where, simply wearing his loincloth for protection against the elements, was beyond me. I did not have to wait long as he returned within a few moments with a beaded side bag in his hand. He threw it upon the bed and began to rummage through it. He extracted a beaded belt and a tightly rolled piece of blood-red cloth.

“Get out of that precious royal swaddling you have encased yourself in,” he chided me as he unrolled the cloth, revealing it to be about the length of the loincloth he was wearing. I realized he had retrieved his spare clothing, though from where I was uncertain.

Reading my musings, he replied, “I have spare clothing set aside in various places. I can retrieve them whenneeds arise. These shall be yours now.” He indicated the bag on the bed as much as the belt and loincloth he held.

“Oh, Joss…” I gasped, filled with awe at his offering, knowing that to refuse would deeply mar our new relationship. Not something I was willing to risk, given our being inextricably bound to each other.

Forgetting my near nakedness, I knelt upon the bed, running gentle fingers over them, and watched as he completed the folding around the back of the belt. A small smile broke over his face, bringing his eyes to light.Clearly, he was most happy in his offering. I only wished I had something to offer in exchange. As if hearing mythoughts, he had a reply. “Just your wearing it will be more than enough,” he murmured as he

handed me the garment. “Come, let us have you try it on.” “I am afraid you will have to help me out a bit.”

Shortly thereafter, I found myself wearing my first Mohawk loincloth. My slightly burnished alabaster skin, witha dusting of freckles along my muscular shoulders that mellow as they wend their way over my bare torso, standing in stark contrast to the rich colored fabric of the loincloth.

He placed two gentle hands on my shoulders as we regarded my reflection in the mirror. I felt him course along our link with such gratitude and care that I was undone by his gesture.

Joss beamed, watching me take root in my heritage, pleased he could do this for me. After sheathing myself in some of the finest material and clothing the world could offer, I was amazed at how much comfort, both in movement and luxury, this simple natural garment afforded me.

He pulled out the leggings, a pair of mocs, and a shirt. After another few moments, I was fully clothed in my maternal heritage clothing. A sense of pride seemed to swell within me that I had not anticipated. I nearly wept from thesensation. I know Joss did not miss my eyes misting up from the transformation at his hands.

“Joss, I never knew just how comfortable these really are.”

“You wear them well; as if you were born to them,” he added with a bright grin, no doubt pleased with himself.

I paused, turning this way and that, before bringing Joss into a tight embrace, so thankful for his offering. He moved his head from my shoulder to place my forehead against his, his hands on either side of my face, gently holding me there.

::Like this, Ohnehta’kowa. When it matters most, this is how we share that moment.::

I nodded, thankful for his teaching and his generosity. I knew, being so linked with him, our intimacy would be something I needed to embrace and let flow. It was a part of who we are. If I were truly honest, I longed for it to go on into the night; spending this singular touching moment with him and to share it thusly shattered what I knew about myself and the world around me. Joss sensed this and gradually broke contact between us. I felt bewildered and in aslight stupor for the loss of him. I needed to regroup.

“Yes, well, now to bed, eh?”


Author Bio

SA Collins - Beware Mohawks Bearing Gifts

SA “Baz” Collins hails from the San Francisco Bay Area where he lives with his husband and Zorro, a character of a cat. A classically trained singer/actor (under a different name), Baz knows a good yarn when he sees it.

Based on years of his work as an actor, Baz specializes in character study pieces. It is more important for him that the reader comes away with a greater understanding of the characters and the reasons they make the decisions they do, rather than the situations they are in. It is this deep dive into their manners, their experiences and how they process the world around them that make up the body of Mr. Collins’ work.

You can find his works at sacollins.com, violetquillredux.com and as a co-host of the wrotepodcast.com series.

Author Website: www.sacollins.com

Author Facebook (Author Page): www.facebook.com/sacollinsauthor

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

Author Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sacollins.author/

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/11881481.S_A_Collins

Author QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/sa-collins/

Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/SA-Collins/e/B00RQ93PXC

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Never Retreat by Bonnie McCune

A big welcome to Bonnie McCune as part of her blog tour with Enticing Journey Book Promotions for Never Retreat.

Title: Never Retreat
Author: Bonnie McCune
Genre: Sweet Romance
Release Date: October 22, 2019




A feisty single mom clashes with an ex-military, macho corporate star at a business retreat in the wild Colorado mountains, where only one can win a huge prize. But when a massive flood imperils  their love and survival, they learn the meaning of true partnership.

Years ago, Ramona (‘Raye”) Soto faced harsh reality when a roving con man knocked her up. Now at thirty-something she’s concentrating on her career in a major telecommunications firm and funding college for her teenaged son. Enter Desmond Emmett—a fast talker and smooth operator. New to the office, the ex-serviceman possesses every negative quality for a guy Raye should avoid.

Thrown together at a corporate retreat in the wilderness, the reluctant duo struggles to complete management’s extreme mental and physical tests for a huge reward. But only one can win the prize, and Des needs the money to underwrite medical treatments for his adored younger sister.

See-sawing between attraction and antagonism, the mismatched couple, Raye and Des, face their biggest challenge: learning the meaning of true partnership. When a massive flash flood sweeps down the rocky canyon and threatens their love and survival, they must put aside their difference to rescue their colleagues—and their future as a couple.


“I won!” Raye’s handful of lottery scratch tickets, fanned out on the staff room table in front of her, glowed in a multitude of bright colors. She plucked the one nearest to her. “Forty dollars!” 
Julia failed to respond. “He’s gorgeous. Just gorgeous.” Her unfocused eyes and neglect of the bear claw pastry in one limp hand showed how absorbed she was in telling Raye Soto about the new man striding around corporate headquarters in Denver. 
“Didn’t you hear me? My winning ticket must be an omen I’ll get a big prize. You know how much I need it to cover Andy’s college. No student loans! Whoo-ee!”
“Not necessarily. You’ll have better odds at happiness if you notice a male hunk in front of your face. You haven’t even had a date in years.”
“Wouldn’t start with a good-looking guy. He’d be the most dangerous type. Anyway, you’ve never won awards for your taste in men,” Raye teased back. Her quick survey of the modest dining area showed no other people on break, so she geared up her joking. “Wasn’t your last crush the barista over at Java Hut? The one who drew your initial with cream on the top of your cappuccino, then pocketed the change you were due? And the one before rode a motorcycle and crashed at least once a month?”
“You’re one to talk!” Julia returned to consciousness, leaning back in her chair and tapping her index finger, this week manicured in turquoise blue with tiny spangles, on the veneer-topped table. “Your ex-, who hardly qualifies as an ex since he was only around for a few months, partied so hard and so often, he forgot to come home at night.”
“Let’s not get into odious comparisons. I got Andy from the experience, and that’s enough for me.” Raye pushed back her chrome-wire chair, stood, and began wrapping the remains of her meal. 
“This guy, his name’s Des Emmett, would be perfect for you. If you’d drop the attitude.” 
“How old do you figure he is?”I can’t possibly be considering Julia’s suggestion, can I? Raye thought.
“I’d say thirty-six, thirty-eight. He mentioned eight years in the service, and I know from his resume, which passed through my grubby paws when he transferred here, that he has a solid ten years in the corporate world. Most recently, at the highest levels.”
“And he’s not married?” With her free hand, Raye stuffed the winning lottery ticket in her pocket, then grabbed the remainder in a fistful jumble.
“No.”
“Why not? What’s wrong with him? Is he gay? Abusive?”
“Wait a minute,” Julia said. “You’re thirty-four and not married.”
“But I have been.” She considered the super-sized fruit yogurt she now balanced. The treat wasn’t finished yet, so she covered the container to tote to the staff refrigerator. “I admit he’s good-looking. Those ice-blue eyes, the casual dark curls.” In fact, he’s too good-looking. I wouldn’t trust him as far as I could throw him, she thought.
“Those molded lips, the bottom one a little fuller than the upper. The brooding brow.” Julia gathered her snack leavings, then walked to the refrigerator and leaned against the open door next to Raye to continue. “I think you’re ticked off because he treats you like an employee, not a woman. He shouldn’t be snubbed for that.”
“Absolutely wrong! I learned long ago not to trust charm and good looks. Anyway, why are you pushing him on me? Don’t you want to try your luck?”
Julia looked up at the ceiling tiles. “I haven’t told you, but things are getting serious between me and Eric. We’ve been talking about marriage.”
“Eeek!” Raye’s shriek echoed from inside the refrigerator. She pulled her head out. “That’s wonderful.”
“Nothing’s definite yet, so don’t mention it. I’m entertaining the idea because I hate to see a guy as nice as Eric go to waste. Or get picked off by a sneaky man-eater, like Krystle.”
“I remember two years ago when Krystle got tipsy at the holiday party. She kept rubbing her hands all over Eric, then tried to pull him into the hall for a necking session,” 
Julia sniggered. “Fortunately he refused to surrender. That’s when I first guessed I could trust him.”
“Yeah, and he’s been hanging around you ever since,” said Raye. “That’s going somewhere permanent?”
“I sure hope so. The huuuge barrier right now to any kind of development is that car loan my folks took out and now can’t pay. Can’t get married, can’t even move in together because I have to help the family out. Anyway, a more cheerful subject, I first saw the new director of security this morning before he even got in the office. I was walking down the sidewalk past the entrance to the parking garage when he buzzed by on a motorcycle, tall and solid as a soldier. . .”
“A motorcycle!” Raye slammed the refrigerator door closed. “You know how much I hate those. You’re not building a case for my becoming besties with Mr. Desmond Emmett with that bit of information. Smelly, noisy, dangerous machines.”
A stricken look passed over Julia’s face. “I’m so sorry. I totally spaced on what happened to your brother.” Wrapping both arms around her friend, Julia hugged hard, and Raye let her. “You still miss him, don’t you?” Julia whispered.

“Like the devil. Every day. Even though it’s been years. Damn his infatuation with motorcycles! I hear about the Broncos winning, and I think, ‘boy, that’ll make Carlos happy,’ then I remember he’s not here. Or the first snow, I want to run in and wake him up so we can walk in the park, until I remember there’ll be no more times like that. He’ll never know his nephew graduated at the top of the class, or that Dad and Mom both have new romances going.” Raye stepped back after a final squeeze. “Thanks for not hesitating to mention him. That helps.Many people act like he never existed.”


Bonnie McCune has been writing since age ten, when she submitted a poem about rain rushing down the gutter to the Saturday Evening Post (it was immediately rejected). This interest facilitated her career in nonprofits doing public and community relations and marketing. She’s worked for libraries, directed a small arts organization, and managed Denver’s beautification program. 

Simultaneously, she’s been a free lance writer with publications in local, regional, and specialty publications for news and features. Her civic involvement includes grass-roots organizations, political campaigns, writers’ and arts’ groups, and children’s literacy. For years, she entered recipe contests and was a finalist once to the Pillsbury Bake Off. A special love is live theater. Had she been nine inches taller and thirty pounds lighter, she might have been an actress.

Her true passion is fiction, and her pieces have won several awards. Never Retreat is her third novel and her fifth book of fiction. For reasons unknown (an unacknowledged optimism?), she believes one person can make a difference in this world. Visit her at www.BonnieMcCune.comBonnie@BonnieMcCune.com, twitter.com/bonniemccune, facebook.com/authorBonnieMcCune.

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Book Review – Tangled Web by Gail Z. Martin


Deadly Curiosities #3
Publisher: SOL Publishing
Pages: 230
Characters: Cassidy/Kell, Teag/Anthony, Sorren
POV: 1st
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Series

Blurb:
Cassidy Kincaide runs Trifles & Folly in modern-day Charleston, an antiques and curios shop with a dangerous secret. Cassidy can read the history of objects by touching them and along with her business partners Teag, who has Weaver magic and Sorren, a 600-year-old vampire, they get rid of cursed objects and keep Charleston and the world safe from supernatural threats.

When zombies rise in Charleston cemeteries, dead men fall from the sky, and the whole city succumbs to the “grouch flu,” Cassidy, Teag, and Sorren suspect a vengeful dark witch who is gunning for Teag and planning to unleash an ancient horror. Cassidy, Teag, and Sorren—and all their supernatural allies—will need magic, cunning, and the help of a Viking demi-goddess to survive the battle with a malicious Weaver-witch and an ancient Norse warlock to keep Charleston—and the whole East Coast—from becoming the prey of the Master of the Hunt.

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Review

I love this series, so buy it in hardcopy as I’m able. The world building is fabulous and detailed. I enjoy the mix of contemporary urban fantasy/paranormal set against the rich supernatural history of Charleston. Sorren brings his own history into the mix too, as do the visions Cassidy has.

The supernatural threats feel very real, and very dangerous, which makes the story a page turner. Although, being a series brings with it character backstories, I never feel as though the author is info dumping for new readers, and this story opens with Cassidy and Teag in the middle of trouble and a fight with a dangerous supernatural.

I like how the characters grow with each new story, and how their friendships and relationships deepen over the series. It’s not only the main characters who come with a full fleshed out background but their expanding group of friends and allies too. I enjoyed seeing more of Kell in this story, and his and Cassidy’s relationship growing. Teag is one of my favourite characters in this series, so I was very happy that his weaver magic played a big part in it. I felt for Anthony in the way he’s been thrown into all of this because of his relationship with Teag. I love them together as a couple.

Archibald Donnelly is an interesting character and I love the idea of the Briggs Society. Father Anne rocks, as do Mrs Teller, Chuck, Alicia, Rowan, Lucinda, and Maggie. I like how they work together, and look out for each other. I liked seeing more of SPOOK, the paranormal investigation group that Kell is head of, in this story too.

I love how well researched and detailed the supernatural foes are, and how the story comes together for the final showdown, with everyone playing their part to bring down the bad guys. I very much like how there are consequences for using magic, and that they don’t come through these fights unscathed.

I’d recommend this story to readers who enjoy urban fantasies set against a rich history of myths and legends with fabulous world building, interesting characters, and a story that keeps you turning pages. 5 out of 5 stars.

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Book Review – Sanguineous by Diana Waters


Publisher: eXtasy Books
Pages: 20
Characters: Niccolo/Felix
POV: 3rd
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal

Blurb:
Niccolo, a vampire-turned-private detective, is living peacefully in New York with his lover, Felix—until, on the eve of a certain holiday, a late-night visitor from his past comes calling…

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Review

Although this is a very short story, I thought it was wonderfully atmospheric and character driven. I loved the world building, and this particular take on vampires. It amused me that Niccolo sets himself up as a PI, then discovers it’s not like the noir movies at all! I found the writing style very visual, and I had a clear picture in my head the whole time I was reading. I thought it was a great glimpse of an already well fleshed out world, and it left me satisfied with the story, yet wanting to read more about Niccolo and Felix, and their world. 5 out of 5 stars.

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