Release Blitz – Match Me Perfect by Jessica Ames

A big welcome to Jessica Ames as part of her release blitz with Enticing Journey Book Promotions for Match Me Perfect.

Title: Match Me Perfect
Author: Jessica Ames
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: February 8, 2019
Putting love on the line…
Sadie thought her love life was DOA after she was left high and dry at the altar. Devastated and humiliated she tries to rebuild what’s left of her shattered pride. She never expected to fall for anyone again, but there is something about Callum she can’t shake. There’s only one problem: she’s never met him.

Online dating is not something Callum ever thought he would try, but living on an island with a population of a hundred and two means options are limited. He never expected to find love again after the death of his wife, but Sadie isn’t like any other woman he’s come across. She’s funny, driven and he’s drawn to her in a way he can’t explain, but can science really find your perfect match?

Jessica Ames was raised in a small market town in the Midlands, England. She lives with her crazy mongrel terrier and when she’s not writing she’s playing with crochet hooks. From the moment she was old enough to hold a pen she created fantastical stories and by the age of 17 had written her first full-length novel: a fantasy story about an exiled boy king. It was a cliched mess, but she realised she could, in fact, write and finish a book!
Knowing she needed to make money, she found work in the publishing world. Over the next decade, she honed her skills and worked hard to learn everything she could about writing. In January 2018, in a moment of insanity, she quit her job in magazine publishing to write books full time.
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Naomi’s Birthday Party – Sale at Dreamspinner and its imprints 7-10th February

Dreamspinner Press and its imprints are having a sale from 7-10 February to celebrate Naomi’s – their social media coordinator – birthday.

Use the code “SEIZETHEDAY” to get $4 USD off order of $10 USD or more.

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Release Blitz – My Anti-Valentine Collection by DJ Jamison

A big welcome to DJ Jamison as part of her release blitz with Signal Boost Promotions for My Anti-Valentine Collection.

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UKExclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow with Kindle Unlimited

Cover Design: Garrett Leigh @ Black Jazz Design

Blurb

My Anti-Valentine: Jaded by relationships gone wrong, Bret throws an anti-Valentine’s Day party to celebrate being single and burn his ex-boyfriends’ belongings. Bret’s low interest in sex has destroyed every relationship he’s had and tarnished his view of romance, but a cute blond guy at the party who says all the wrong things inspires him to hope for more.


My Anti-Boyfriend: Brad has everyone fooled. He’s the casual, sexy friend. The fun-time guy who sleeps around. Except not really. There’s one man who holds his heart: his best friend — with benefits — Riley. Too bad Riley has no interest in a relationship, and as far as Brad can tell, never will. But once Brad acknowledges his feelings for Riley, he can’t continue to ignore them. Riley’s days of having his cake and eating it too are over. Then again, maybe Brad is tasty enough to keep a man satisfied.


My Anti-Marriage: Love has never been a good bet for Chris, so going on a Vegas wedding trip for his friends is bittersweet. Especially when Ant, the last man to break his trust, is suddenly along for the ride. Which explains why Chris wakes up in his hotel room with the mother of all hangovers. Not so much why Ant is in his bed … or worse, wearing a matching wedding band.


EXCERPT FROM MY ANTI-VALENTINE


Bret pointed an accusing finger. “No couples! This is anti-Valentine’s Day. You can take your cards and your candies and your flowers and go to one of the bajillion places celebrating loooove tonight.”


“Ew, no,” Darla said with a laugh. “Harry is my cousin, not my boyfriend. I wouldn’t break your rules, anti-love guru!”


Bret did love the name Harry, mostly when applied to a boy wizard with a lightning bolt scar on his forehead. He gave Harry another onceover, noticing his sky-blue eyes and perfect cheekbones. Nope. Still didn’t like him, especially the frown that was twisting his features.


“Someone must have done a number on you,” he said.


Bret bristled. “Why do you say that?”


“I mean, to be this bitter about Valentine’s Day? It’s hard to imagine you really hate the commercialism of the holiday that much. I bet if you had a girlfriend it would be a different story.”


Bret rolled his eyes. “It really wouldn’t. Romance is a manufactured concept, you realize that, right? You might love someone, but if you do, you should appreciate them every day, not once a year with the most predictable gifts ever. That’s without even getting into the origins of Valentine’s and how very un-romantic it actually is.”


Darla grabbed a drink from the counter and swatted Bret’s butt playfully. “I’m going to leave you boys to it. If you get over your romance phobia, Harry’s on the market, and he hasn’t landed a nice guy in ages, so he’s pretty much a sure thing.”


“Darla!” Harry shouted after her, his cheeks turning bright red. “What the hell? Jesus, that’s not how I usually …”


“What?” Bret asked, feeling uncomfortable.


He’d thought he was engaging in friendly debate with a straight guy, only to discover he’d been bantering with someone cute, available, and gay. And that wasn’t at all the point of this party.


“Um, you know. Tell people I’m gay, or that I’m available. I definitely try not to go the ‘I’m so desperate I’ll take anyone route,’ but Darla seems to have taken care of that for me.”


He cracked a smile. It was crooked, a smidge embarrassed, and way too charming for Bret’s well-being.


“I’m not interested,” Bret said stiffly. “This is an anti—”


“I know!” Harry said, holding up his hands. “I’m not actually desperate.”


Bret stopped short, frowning. Was Harry implying he’d have to be desperate to like Bret? Ouch. He wasn’t Abercrombie and Fitch material like Harry, but he didn’t think he was that bad.


“That came out wrong,” Harry rushed to say. “You’re cute in that nerdy hipster way.”


“Unbelievable,” Bret muttered under his breath.


“I mean it,” Harry said, misunderstanding the reason for Bret’s shutdown. “I would totally do you.”


Bret avoided his gaze. “Thanks, but no thanks.”


He made a quick exit from the kitchen, more than ready to get the real party started now that everyone had arrived.


“Hey, who wants to burn some shit?” he called out, grinning when a round of cheers went up.


EXCERPT FROM MY ANTI-BOYFRIEND


Brad had everyone fooled.


He wore his sexuality like a disguise. The short shorts, making his ass look fine and flashing perfectly tanned skin 12 months a year? The mesh shirts, the halter tops, the extra-tight T-shirts that showed his lithe form and nipple rings? Yeah. It was all the equivalent of his bat ears, cape and tights.


Well, tights worked for every disguise. But that wasn’t the point, he reminded himself. It’s just that tights can be so distracting, and Brad — like a playful kitten — could be easily distracted by shiny objects or balls of … well, not yarn. More like balls of Riley.


Too bad he couldn’t fool himself.


Brad watched Riley grinding on another slender guy with platinum blond hair and sultry lips on the dance floor of Club Ozone. A guy who wasn’t him. And his heart panged.


Fucking panged.


He threw back another shot to drown that feeling ASAP and flashed a grin at the two guys at the table with him.


He’d come out with his regular circle of friends. For the past few years, he’d met up with Riley, Chris and Harry for a few drinks before they each went out to pick up a man. Then Harry met Bret, his boyfriend of a little more than a year now, and he gave up their regular nights out.


Tonight, he and his boyfriend were both there, having been guilted to attend, so Brad had to put on a cheerful face. Just one more element of his disguise.


“You guys ready to get your dance on?”


Harry looked at Bret, and his boyfriend shrugged. Bret was a real cutie, and he could crack up a whole room at a board game night or house party, but put him around a bunch of sweaty, half-naked men and he went quiet.


“Maybe in a few,” Harry said with a smile.


He leaned in and kissed Bret’s cheek. Gag. Who needed that kind of affection, right?


Pang.
Brad jumped up. “Okay, party poopers. Catch you on the other side!”


He stormed onto the dance floor, ready to burn away his sudden onset of melancholy. A good adrenaline rush and an erection rubbing against his ass would take care of him in short order. After all, why should he care that Riley was sexing up his next conquest on the dance floor? That’s what he did. That’s what they both did.


They agreed years ago that hearts and flowers were not for them. They were friends, wingmen and occasional fuck buddies.


But that was all.


EXCERPT FROM MY ANTI-MARRIAGE


“We’ll take off the rings. Problem solved.”


“No, problem not solved. We’re still married.” Chris’s breathing sped up. “We have to undo it!”


Ant guided him to the bed and pushed him down on the edge. Squeezing his shoulders, he met Chris’s eye.


“Come on now. Maybe this isn’t what it looks like.”


Chris laughed harshly. “I know that line is like your bread and butter as a player, but it’s always what it fucking looks like. Why the fuck else would we be wearing wedding rings?”


“I don’t know,” Ant growled.


“Do you remember last night?”


“Some,” he said grudgingly. “I remember hitting every casino we passed on the strip and taking a few shots at each one. You were hell-bent on checking out wedding venues for Brad and Riley. Maybe we took that too far, huh?” Ant smiled wryly. “What about you?”


“Not much after you found me at the fountain,” Chris admitted. “You were playing the responsible sober guy card with me, trying to get me to go to dinner. So, how the hell did we end up here?”


“My guess? You were totally unreasonable,” Ant said.


Chris huffed. “Sure, it’s my fault. I made you follow me around like a muscled-up bodyguard.”


Ant rolled his eyes. They were getting off-track. “So, we both have a few memory gaps,” he said, massively understating the issue. “I’m sure I’ll remember eventually. Or you will.”


Chris sighed. “What now? Everyone’s waiting on us downstairs.”


Ant shook his head. “Brunch first. Try to act normal. No one has to know. Divorce can wait for dessert.”


“Annulment,” Chris corrected. “Annulment makes it like it never happened, right? I want that one.”


Author Bio


DJ Jamison is the author of more than a dozen m/m romances, including the Ashe Sentinel series and the Hearts and Health series. She writes a variety of queer characters, from gay to bisexual to asexual, with a focus on telling love stories that are more about common ground than lust at first sight. DJ grew up in the Midwest in a working-class family, and those influences can be found in her writing through characters coping with real-life problems: money troubles, workplace drama, family conflicts and, of course, falling in love. DJ spent more than a decade in the newspaper industry before chasing her first dream to write fiction. She spent a lifetime reading before that, and continues to avidly devour her fellow authors’ books each night. She lives in Kansas with her husband, two sons, two fish and, regrettably, one snake.




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Release Blitz – The Pickup by Nikki Ash

A big welcome to Nikki Ash as part of her release blitz with Enticing Journey Book Promotions for The Pickup.

Title: The Pickup
Series: Imperfect Love Book 1
Author: Nikki Ash
Genre: Sports Romance Standalone
Release Date: February 7, 2019

Somebody once said we don’t decide who we love. The world decides for us. But I disagree.

I believe love is a decision.
Who we love, how we love.
It’s in our control–in our hands.
I grew up having no clue about the true meaning of love. Money. Cars. Houses. Status. Fame. That’s what love means to the people around me.
It wasn’t until the woman I picked up in a bar came back into my life and showed me love can be so much more.
So, what’s the problem?
The woman I’m falling in love with believes in fairytales. She compares everything to a storybook and wants the happily-ever-after.
So while she’s stuck on recreating stories that have already been told, page by page, I’m showing her it’s time we write our own book.
Nobody ever said the journey of falling in love would be easy, just that it would be worth it.

>>CLICK HERE<<
TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY ON FACEBOOK

“I am so in love with this author. Nikki Ash writes another home run with this amazing book!” – Justmyloveforbooks blog


Wow!!!!! I devoured this story in one day. I was hooked from the first page read to the last one. An amazing storyline combined with amazing characters.” – TDC Book Reviews


“Nikki Ash never fails to bring out all my emotions with her writing.” – Red Hatter Book Blog


“A delightfully captivating sports romance, The Pickup by Nikki Ash was absolutely heart melting!” – Up All Night With Books

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In His Sights by LA Bryce

A big welcome to LA Bryce as part of her tour with Signal Boost Promotions for In His Sights from JMS Books.

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UKJMS Books
Publisher: JMS Books

Length: 104,000 words approx.

Blurb

Meet two men who need each other’s help but don’t realize it until it’s almost too late.


Noah is gay and terrified someone might find out. So much so that when he was blackmailed with pictures of himself with another man, instead of coming clean, he left his SEAL team without a word.


The other man is openly gay Mason, a former Marine and now part of the FBI’s Joint Terrorist Task force. It takes eight years after their first meeting in the desert for a chance event bring the two men together again. Now Noah must decide if he’s ready to accept who he is or if it’s easier to cut and run. Can they navigate the obstacles in their path to build a relationship? And why does the thought of that scare them more than investigating a group of terrorists?


Excerpt

Nausea racked his body again, but this time Mason couldn’t ignore it. He jumped up and ran to the bathroom. He made it just in time. Puking his guts out with a raging headache was the last thing he wanted to be doing, but he wasn’t given much of a choice. Every time his thoughts went back to what had happened, he ended up perched over the toilet. It hadn’t taken long for all the ingredients in his stomach to be lost to the porcelain gods, followed by the dry heaves that kept him in a bent over position. As he wallowed in self-pity, he heard something that had him standing straight, positioned ready to fight. Someone was in his house.

His hand moved to his holster, but it wasn’t there. Dammit. He looked toward his closet, then at his bedroom door that now hung partially open. If he went to get his gun and anyone came down the hall, they’d have a clear shot at him at his safe. He couldn’t risk it. He needed to be on the offensive. He looked around the room to see if he could find a weapon. Shit. It wasn’t the best, but it’d have to do. He picked up the plunger from behind the toilet. He’d use the rubber part as a grip.

His abdomen cramped as he moved. He took a deep breath and held the air in for a second. The pain subsided. He crept to the door, sliding it open enough to secure a better view out. He hadn’t spotted anyone or anything that appeared out of the ordinary. But right then, whoever invaded his home made their presence known. Mason couldn’t believe the intruder hadn’t heard Mason puking up his guts. But the fact they weren’t trying to stay quiet said they thought they were alone.

Mason slipped out of the bedroom door. He held still, checking if his opening the door wider had alerted anyone to his presence. Reassured he had gone unnoticed, he continued to the end of the hall. Once there, he peered into the living room. The area stood empty, and again, nothing seemed out of place. He paused to listen, all his senses on alert. The noise came from the kitchen. Mason tiptoed toward the room. Once at the door, he stopped dead. He could see the person’s shadow. But that’s not what made him stop. What rendered Mason immobile was the fact the culprit in his kitchen was now singing. Singing. What the fuck? Rob a house, sing a song? It hadn’t made sense. He hadn’t cared. Again, he took a step and froze waiting until the shadow got closer — then he attacked — slamming the wooden stick toward the head of the intruder. He came in contact with skin and bone and the wooden handle broke and fell to the floor. The man shouted, and Mason recognized the voice. His stomach roiled and nausea burned the back of his throat.

Instead of running for the bathroom, he opened up the French doors and ran outside. He made it to the grass just in time. It surprised Mason that something actually came out, but before long he was back to the dry heaves, his stomach cramping. Before realizing Noah had moved, he stood outside next to Mason. Noah placed his hand on Mason’s back and rubbed, and Mason body went rigid. What the hell was he doing there? Why couldn’t Mason remember? Part of him wanted to know, and the other wanted Noah to just leave. Mason knew that thought was bullshit before it fully formed. Deep down, he was glad Noah was there, no matter the reason.

Mason pushed himself up, closing his eyes while the blood rushed to the rest of his body. Cinderblocks crushed down on his head. Noah helped hold him up. Mason wanted to shake Noah’s grip off. But he also wanted to grab it and wrap it around himself. Mason stayed still and did neither.


About The Author

LA writes m/m romance with a splash of suspense. She loves her men to work hard, play hard and love hard. It doesn’t matter what their walk of life, although she has a special place in her heart for Military heroes, those that put their life on the line every day to keep us safe, trouble always seems to find them—whether it’s a homicidal maniac, someone with a grudge against the country, or an ex who’s seeking out revenge—LA’s guys aren’t always faced with just fighting for love, they often have to fight for their lives.

LA has always lived in the North East and has recently stretched her boundaries and moved further North—the more relaxed life style giving her more time to write—in theory anyway.

Among the things she loves besides writing and her family are her friends, those she writes with and those she writes about, reading, games (the kind with boards, not in love), playing poker, her dogs, Nutella and Bok Choy, and of course, the men and women from the Military, past and present, who keep us safe.

When she finds herself stuck at the keyboard, her fingers refusing to move, her characters refusing to talk, she likes to take a break, blast some music, and dance like no one is watching her or sing her heart out into her hairbrush microphone.

She’s living her happily ever after and wants the same for all her characters. LA believes love comes in all different packages and each should be wrapped in a ribbon and cherished.


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Book Blast – Bad Deal by Ember-Raine Winters & Faith Ryan

A big welcome to Ember-Raine Winters & Faith Ryan as part of their book blast with Gay Book Promotions for Bad Deal.

BOOK BLAST

Book Title: Bad Deal (Belikov Crime Family 1)

Author: Ember-Raine Winters & Faith Ryan

Publisher: Self-Published

Cover Artist: Always Inked

Genre/s: Dark Erotic Romance, Mafia/MC

Heat Rating: 5 flames

Length: 40 000 words

It’s the first in a series but stands alone

Add on Goodreads

Blurb

He’s a Russian devil and he owns me.

JR Richards

What’s worse than wanting the one person you can never have? How about finally getting them. Don’t get me wrong the sex was great, but everything that came after? Yeah, it’s like they say, be careful what you wish for.

Ruslan Belikov

My brother made a deal that didn’t go as planned. Now I have to get back what’s ours and pretty boy Jacoby is the tool to make that happen. I’ll torture and use him until I get what I want, then I’ll toss him aside like the rest.

A motorcycle club and a Mafia family shouldn’t make deals. Someone’s bound to lose. Family, friends and hearts, nothing’s safe in a world fueled by drugs, money and sex.

WARNING: Ruslan Belikov and Jacoby Richards may not be for everyone. They are two dominant men thrown into an impossible situation. Some readers may find their story makes them uncomfortable. If you don’t like dark and dirty mafia bosses who use torture and sex to get their way turn back now. You have been warned.

Buy Links

Amazon Universal Link

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Excerpt

I follow behind them quietly as Demitri shoves him toward the bathroom. I notice Jacoby wince as Demitri squeezes his shoulder. I file that information away for later when the fun really begins. As I enter the bathroom, I remove my suit jacket folding it over the counter and rolling my sleeves up to my elbows.

I see Jacoby shiver as Demitri blasts the cold water on him not bothering to let him remove his underwear. “Leave us.” I bark. Demitri jumps as if I’ve startled him, but does as told and scurries from the bathroom shutting the door firmly behind him. Jacoby’s eyes watch me as I move closer. I’m not sure if it’s fear or something else in his eyes as he glares at me. There was no heat behind it. “You like this, don’t you?” I wave a hand over my body. Jacoby nods. Good, no point in lying to me when I could see it written all over his face. My cock is painfully hard and I decide it’s time for some relief. “On your knees.” My thick accent becomes even thicker the more aroused I become. When he does nothing but drop to his knees and await my instructions, my hands go to my belt unbuckling it and pulling the leather slowly from my slacks. His breath catches in his throat when I pull myself out stroking once, twice before stepping forward and grabbing a fistful of his hair.

“Open,” I growl shoving myself down his throat. He gags and his eyes water as I start my punishing pace. Both my hands are in his hair pulling it roughly as I piston my hips. It only takes him a second to acclimate and stop gagging. I push harder and move faster. The feel of absolute control feels like heaven and has me coming like a river down his throat. This kid is the perfect submissive. Too bad I can’t keep him. As soon as I find my drugs, I’ll have to get rid of him. The thought has me pausing momentarily. No matter, I’ll enjoy it while it lasts.

Once my cock is sated, I close up my pants and walk out of the bathroom without a word. Demitri gives me an odd look as I exit the room and make my way down the hall. “Hang him up by the hook for the night, Demitri.” I never turn as I give the order. I hear Demitri’s grunt of understanding and continue to my apartment above the club.

About the Authors

Ember-Raine Winters

Ember-Raine Winters lives in sunny California with her two beautiful kids and a wolf. Also known as Apache her pure white Siberian Husky. She loves writing romance and reading just about anything she can get her hands on. And, football! She loves watching football and going to games. It’s one of her favorite ways to unwind. She dislikes the super-hot temperatures in her city and exercise. She hates to exercise but somehow her sister still gets her to do it every day. She also thinks it’s completely awkward talking about herself in third person. Ember loves connecting with readers so don’t be afraid to stalk her and drop her a line on social media.

Author Links

Blog/Website

Facebook

Twitter

Faith Ryan

Faith Ryan is wife to a handsome bearded man and mother to three, yes three, teenage girls. She lives in a small town in Ohio and is an avid reader of romance and frequently finishes several books in one day. A coworker once told her that people who read romance are considered smarter than others, Faith totally agrees and thinks this doubly applies to romance authors. Everyone needs a little bit (or a lot) of romance in their life!

Author Links

Facebook

Instagram

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Still Breathing by E.A. Fournier

A big welcome to E.A. Fournier as part of his blog tour with RABT Book Tours for Still Breathing from Acorn Press.

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Women’s Fiction
Date Published:  November 17, 2018
Designer: Damonza
Publisher: Acorn Publishing
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Newly widowed and on the threshold of seventy, Lizzie Warton questions the value of her remaining years. Uncharacteristically, she decides for the first time in her life to do what she wants, instead of what everyone expects.
Against the wishes of family and friends, she sets out for Africa to work at a Ugandan middle school. When she lands at night in the Entebbe airport, her hosts are not there to meet her. Near panic, she hires a local taxi. The driver drugs her, steals everything, and dumps her limp body in a slum. Waking in the dark, she feels someone tugging off her shoes.
Without money, a passport, clothes, or medications, Lizzie is forced to start over and find a way to survive.
Soon she learns that nothing in Africa is as it appears. The grind of daily life in the third-world is beyond anything Lizzie imagined. Nevertheless, encouraged by budding friendships in surprising places, and against every sensible instinct she’s ever developed, Lizzie’s own personal search for meaning becomes the grand adventure of a lifetime.
About the Author

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Originally from South Minneapolis, Gene Fournier earned a BA in Philosophy & Literature from St. Louis University followed by a Masters in Film from USC. Gene is a member of the Writers Guild of America West (WGA) and worked as a screenwriter and editor in Hollywood, but sadly, he never got that big break.
Seeking a return to his roots after twelve years in California, he accepted a Director of Media position with a multinational company headquartered in the Midwest. For thirty years he wrote, directed, edited and distributed corporate video programs around the world, managed live presentations, and orchestrated the creative elements for national and international meetings.
Retired now, with his seven children grown, and a dozen grandchildren to distract him, Gene is finally able to write down the stories he’s been carrying in his head all these years.

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Book Reviews – Bad Valentine Series


Bad Valentine #1
Publisher: Self-published
Pages: 38
Characters: Derrick/Oliver
POV: 1st
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, with a touch of fantasy

Blurb:
“The day I met Derrick while playing my violin in the park was magical. Unfortunately, magic and love together don’t always mix.”

Oliver met Derrick while busking in the park, and they hit it off from the start. At first, Derrick’s “mysterious magician” vibe was intriguing, but after two botched dates, Oliver was ready to call it quits.

Fearing he lost his chance with Oliver, Derrick makes a last-ditch effort to win Oliver’s heart with a romantic Valentine’s date. But when love and magic collide, things tend to go awry. Will these two guys make it through the date unscathed?

Buy Link

Review

I love stories where one of the characters is a musician, and even more so when there is a touch of magic involved. As an aside, I loved the explanation for the magic in the story, and although it wasn’t quite what I was expecting, it didn’t disappoint. As an added bonus, the explanation was something I love in fiction, so it made me very happy, especially when Derrick shows Oliver his ‘magic’.

Telling the story from Oliver’s POV means that the readers are guessing as to what is going on with Derrick, and find out the same time as he does. I think telling it another way would have taken something away from that, as I was trying to figure out what was going on with Derrick the whole way through. He’s obviously a nice guy so why is he taking off during most if not all of their dates?

Both men are very likeable, I loved them together, and I became invested in wanting them to get their HEA very quickly.

Love Magic is a lovely light low angst read. I’d recommend it to readers who enjoy a short romantic story that pulls you in, and leaves you with a warm fuzzy feeling at the end. The ‘magic’ was a lovely added bonus for me. 5 out of 5 stars.


Bad Valentine #2
Publisher: Self-published, JCP Books
Pages: 77
Characters: Dixon/Yuri
POV: 1st, alternating
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Fantasy

Blurb:
What if the words you wrote came true?

Spellcraft isn’t exactly a respectable business, but it does pay the bills. At least, it should. Unfortunately, Dixon Penn failed his Spellcraft initiation. Instead of working in his family’s shop, he’s stuck delivering takeout orders in his uncle’s beat-up Buick.

Winning a Valentine’s Day contest at the largest greeting card company in the tri-state area would be just the thing to get his life back on track—but something at Precious Greetings just doesn’t add up. And despite numerous warnings to quit pestering them about his contest entry, he just can’t stop himself from coming back again and again.
It doesn’t hurt that the head of security is such a hottie. If Dixon had any common sense, he’d be scared of the big, mysterious, tattooed Russian.

To be fair, no one ever accused him of being too smart….

Quill Me Now is part of the lighthearted Bad Valentine collection, along with Love Magic by Jesi Lea Ryan, Hidden Hearts by Clare London, and Temporary Dad by Dev Bentham.

Buy Link

Review

I loved the world building in this story, with the Scriveners and Seers, and how important words are to the spells that they work. It’s a lovely, and very clever, look at writing as an art. Or in this case, a magical art. An added word, or a missing one, can make all the difference as to the power of a spell, and how it can ensare someone—or set them free. The

Dixon and Yuri are both interesting characters, from very different backgrounds. I enjoyed how Dixon’s family plays into the story, and Sabina in particular. The story had me guessing at first as to who the bad guy was, and I loved how the cockatoo ended playing an important part. I thought the fate of the bad guy was nicely done, and justice in a poetic sense of the word, which is apt considering the storyline. He really was a nasty, greedy piece of work.

I got invested in Dixon and Yuri, and their story, quickly, and read it in one sitting as I couldn’t put it down so I was very happy to discover that this is only the beginning of a series, and am hanging out for more.

I’d recommend Quill Me Now to readers who enjoy a light, low angst contemporary fantasy with interesting characters, and a plot that keeps you turning page. 5 out of 5 stars.


Bad Valentine #3
Publisher: Self-published
Pages: 43
Characters: Ethan/Kel
POV: 3rd
Genre: Contemporary, Romance

Blurb:
Accident-prone Ethan has a dating history that reads like a disaster movie script. Strong and silent Kel can’t seem to master the necessary small-talk on a proper date. When they both get signed up anonymously for a Valentines’s night event—”for those with an adventurous spirit but an open diary”—they never imagined they’d be matched. They never imagined the romantic sparks would fly. To be honest, they never imagined they’d survive the week.

A catalogue of disasters dogs the footsteps of their blossoming romance, including a coffee date with food allergies as an added extra, an intimate dinner that strays too close for comfort to chopped chillies, and a sensual massage with hot wax candles that threatens to alert the local fire brigade.

But if they can hold tight to their sweet, surprising, yet single-minded attraction – they might just survive this Valentine’s Day with something very special to look forward to.

*******
This is a totally standalone romantic comedy of 17.5k words in the BAD VALENTINE series. These are lighthearted Valentine’s Day shorts by four different authors, each story written with the same opening line: “Nothing good ever came of a Valentine.” Check the series page for details of the other stories by Jordan Castillo Price, Dev Bentham and Jesi Lea Ryan.

Buy Link

Review

This is a feel good sweet story about two opposites who are perfect for each other. The stories of poor Ethan and Kel’s dates made me smile, and were very amusing, although poor Ethan didn’t think so. He’s certainly very accident prone and that added to his appeal. Kel was perfect for him with his unflappable responses to all the chaos going on around them.

I also loved the supporting cast who round out the story. Pips deserves a mention of his own, and I was happy that he got his own HEA. Kel’s family are wonderfully supportive and came across as very real—I love stories with a family feeling as well as the romance.

I’d recommend Hidden Hearts to readers looking for a sweet, but not sappy, romantic read with likeable characters, a great supporting cast, and two guys who are perfectly matched if they can survive their first few dates. 5 out of 5 stars.


Bad Valentine #4
Publisher: Self-published, Love is a Light Press
Pages: 83
Characters: Nick/Dylan
POV: 3rd
Genre: Contemporary, Romance

Blurb:
Nick Compton owns a small but mighty fashion magazine. He already has enough on his plate, between work and, well, work. There’s no room for a kid in his life but when his sister drops her seven-year-old daughter for an extended stay, he has to figure it out. Just before his niece arrives, Nick meets a blazing hot firefighter. They get on like a house a fire and the sex—scorching. Too bad the he disappeared in the morning. Like smoke. Now Nick’s stuck with a kid he doesn’t know how to manage and without the man he’d love to get his hands on again.

Dylan Gil wishes like hell he hadn’t taken his roommates advice and lied about who he was. He’s finally met someone he really likes and can’t stop thinking about. But now he’s too embarrassed to confess that he’s just a second-grade teacher, not a manly firefighter. Good thing that work gets distracting, particularly when one of his brightest students goes to stay with her uncle and all hell breaks loose. Some people shouldn’t be allowed to have kids.

If the term “dad pants” means anything it’s that taking care of children and fashion aren’t compatible. Does that mean these two doomed? Or is this the beginning of forever?

A contemporary gay romantic comedy by Dev Bentham, Temporary Dad features mistaken identity, opposites attracting, a one night stand and some steamy mm romance.

Temporary Dad is part of the Bad Valentine collection, along with Hidden Hearts by Clare London, Quill Me Now by Jordan Castillo Price and Love Magic by Jesi Lea Ryan

Buy Link

Review

I loved this story about a clueless uncle in way over his head, and the teacher who helps him out. Both men were interesting characters, focused on their work, and starting a relationship with a lie is never the way to go. I loved their first meeting, and poor Dylan thinking no one would be interested in the real him, while it was obvious that was exactly what Nick was looking for, and needed. The chemistry between them was instant, and I knew that this wasn’t going to be a one night stand, despite them trying to fool themselves it was.

The two complement each other nicely, and I liked how Dylan stood his ground in regard to Ruby’s needs. It is obvious with the first glimpse of him in his classroom that he’s passionate about his work, and a good teacher who cares about his students.

Nick really is quite clueless about Ruby’s needs, and not just the ADHD. But then parenting takes time and experience, and he’s been thrown in the deep end with neither. I thought his sister should have left him with more information, but then with his memories of her fad diets while they were growing up, I wonder if he would have taken it all on board before seeing the effects of not doing it for himself.

I enjoyed watching them get to know each other as they bonded over Ruby, and had to put acting on their attraction on hold. I enjoyed Ruby’s part in their romance too, and thought she came across very realistically for her age. Vince and Jude rounded out the supporting cast nicely, both adding to the misconceptions Nick and Dylan had about each other at first.

I’d recommend Temporary Dad to readers who enjoy a sweet, light romance with interesting quirky characters, and a satisfying HEA. 5 out of 5 stars.

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Release Blitz – Shattered Reflections by Reily Garrett

A big welcome to Reily Garrett as part of her release blitz with Enticing Journey Book Promotions for Shattered Reflections.

Title: Shattered Reflections
Author: Reily Garrett
Genre: Romantic Thriller
Release Date: February 3, 2019

Strong-willed and stubborn, Kathryn Nugle enters a man’s profession, untested, inexperienced, and determined to solve a decade-old puzzle.
Intuition flagged her client’s deception but didn’t explain the mystery of his jacket’s crimson stain, yet blood doesn’t lie. When the victim leaves damning evidence behind, fate throws her into a cascade of events that will challenge her survival skills.
Mathew McAllister is the eldest of six siblings, all current or former detectives. Practical jokes and pranks are part and parcel of his daily life. The newest addition to the family fold is a wisecracking hacker who mangles his strained equanimity and tests his patience in Morse code, security breaches, and invasion of his cherished privacy.
When a vicious assassin paints a target on one of their own, the McAllisters close ranks to ferret out the twisted intentions of a serial killer. For fans of Sandra Brown and Lee Child, Shattered Reflections is an exciting thriller with a romantic twist.

Indistinct shadows slithered along the ground to capture Denny’s attention, their fluid movements chipping away at his prospects for survival. The long-abandoned playground had inspired a certain insipid blandness during daylight, so contrary to the invisible fingers now tapping out death’s toll along his vertebrae. Its steady beat echoed the blood roaring in his ears. The few minutes of procrastination at the building’s corner permitted observation of the men waiting to greet him.

“About time you showed up. We’ve been standing here with our thumbs up our asses. Damned ironic you’d select this abandoned school… a nerd to the last thread.” Condescension entwined with impatience forced a new sentiment to infiltrate the atmosphere. One not associated with that voice in prior years.


“Larry? The past decade has been kind to you. Didn’t know you were brining Mitch…” Denny swallowed hard and stepped farther from the building’s dubious concealment. Fragmented swaths of moonlight playing hide-and-seek with the clouds illuminated his contact’s eyes, narrow and calculating.


“Wouldn’t miss this for the world, D. Didn’t want you spooked by the desolate setting and the two of us.” Mitch’s attire matched his counterpart with the exception of the long trench coat. Leather wings flapped about his calves in the strengthening breeze. The larger shadow glided on the extension of arrogance to stand abreast of Larry.


Years of disuse and neglect splintered paint on the once colorful roundabout separating Deny from whatever fate awaited. The thick metal disk had warped over time, its handles covered with rust and bird droppings. Decades ago, he’d played on this very structure with these men who’d shared his childhood dreams. His girlfriend had suggested the location to rekindle old feelings.


Long leather jacket in late August. He’s concealing weapons. “Why would I feel spooked among friends?” Swelling anxiety more accurately descried the gnarled, twisting apprehension snaking through his gut.


“Hmm.” Larry latched onto the u-shaped bar and gave the carousel a spin, the kaleidoscope of tainted colors blurring, distracting. “You’re not exactly the corporate spy type. Do you have the finished formulas? My contacts are anxious to measure the devastation and parameters of your weapon.”


“It’s not on me. You were supposed to bring cash, and yet I see no duffle bag.” Denny back-stepped, his intuition warning him to placate the predators while assembling a plan B. The hunters knew his nerdy brain compartmentalized data in neat little boxes, so might anticipate his moves.


“Cash is in the van. Shall we? I’m ready for a vacay on some sunny, remote island in the South Pacific.” Larry extended his right arm to indicate the lone vehicle along the deserted road behind him. “After you’ve inspected the payment and give us what we came for, we part ways.”


They intend to kill me. “Sounds good. I’m ready to leave these shores and never look back.”


Larry nodded his agreement.


Mitch’s flehmen reaction mimicked a horse’s curling upper lip exposing straight white teeth, the difference being a slight whistle instead of a deep inhalation. The swath of black hair escaping its elastic and drifting across his face couldn’t conceal the innate evil dwelling within his gaze. Decades of hard living had molded the bygone acquaintance into a formidable brick wall. They’d grown up brutal and remorseless.


“Now, you’ll be a rich man able to go anywhere and do anything you want. I should’ve known you’d find a way to weaponize the generation of liquid solar fuel.” Mitch scanned the perimeter, his restless gaze taking in everything, dissecting, qualifying, evaluating.


“It wasn’t my intention from the beginning.” His audible gulp boomed in his ears.


Caught in the shadows like a mouse awaiting the falcon to swoop low and spear him with sharp talons, Denny expected the hounds of hell to descend when the grind-squeak of the carousel pitched lower then fell silent. The toy of old coming to rest signaled the time for loitering over. He should have purchased a gun.


All remained quiet.


Hesitant steps carried no sound in circumventing the obstacle. He stopped outside of Larry’s reach.


“Let’s go.” Mitch’s sly murmur crackled in the silent night.


Frigid chunks of icy fear formed a barrier between thought and action. It wasn’t until falling into step behind Larry that a defensive strategy began to form. Like the squid skirting the jaws of a hungry shark, he’d propel himself just out of reach.


Mitch paced him from behind, staying outside of striking distance. Neither predator would expect the mollusk to grow such sharp teeth.


Unlike modern jungle gyms constructed from sturdy resins, PVC, and rope—metal pipes and plank wood shaped the old fortress which had filled his life with adventure so long ago. Decay and termites weakened the castle to the point several rotten stakes lay strewn in grass long overdue a trim.


A vestige of innate self-preservation forced Denny to dive for a wooden picket once part of the balcony’s railing as a whoosh sounded overhead.


Mitch’s hands closed on thin air.


The hyperextension of two fingers didn’t alter Denny’s focus despite pain shooting into his hand. Gymnastics had never been the nerd’s strong suit, but his southpaw grip on the crude weapon held tight through his tumble. Timeworn and jagged, it made the perfect lightweight weapon, a spear.


Fear focused his attention on the final outcome. Survival. He could feel it now, the hate that flowed from old friends. It tasted foul on the back of his tongue and coiled low in his belly.


A snort of disbelief escaped Mitch after the clumsy evasive maneuver. “Death doesn’t have to be slow and painful, but I can make it that way.” Moonlight gleamed off the blade extending from his hand, slicing the atmosphere in a figure-eight motion. “You were never one to buck fate. Why start now?”


A subdued guffaw from Larry preceded the admonition, “Not until we get the details, Mitch.” Cold, clipped words, so foreign to his previous demeanor.


“Not in this lifetime, you shits.” A snap kick to Mitch’s knee yielded a satisfying crunch and gasp along with his blade dropping to the ground.


“Ahhh…” As the leg buckled, Mitch windmilled his arms for counterbalance. Shock mingled with anguish hardened his jaw and squeezed his eyes shut.


In a daring move belying lack of fitness, Denny jammed the jagged edge of wood into Mitch’s stomach, both relieved and horrified with the resultant blood spilled. Crimson rivulets defined gravity’s path, following a line of least resistance over shaking hands as Denny stifled dry heaves. The sour taste of vomit filled his mouth. He was a chemist, not a contract killer.


Mitch grabbed the picket, preventing more than superficial insertion, his face a mask of hatred, rage, and promise of revenge. Like sociopaths, he viewed laws as basic guidelines.


Larry started forward but crashed to the ground with a forceful leg sweep. The horrific scene solidified into a future nightmare even as Denny reached for the discarded blade and stood. It flitted through his slippery fingers twice before he locked it tight in his grasp.


“Pricks. I knew I shouldn’t have trusted you. Now, you’ll get nothing. I have another buyer lined up.”


Larry jumped to his feet and circled to approach his partner who balanced on one leg and clutched the crude spike impaling his gut. “Fool. You’ll never live to spend a cent. We have the backing to track you anywhere, through any country.”


“No.” A soft, frightened sound filled the space between them. It took several heartbeats to realize the small-animal note came from Denny’s own throat.


The click of a switchblade heralded Larry’s determination to see his threat complete.


“Your backing won’t like it if you leave a bloody trail linking to them.” Denny stepped back, his fingers slipping on the wet knife. He nodded toward the groaning partner. “How long do you think it would take them to find you once his body is discovered? Won’t they eliminate any threat to their motives and actions coming to light?” Point to the biggest nerd.


A small seed of doubt flourished in Larry’s eyes as he reached to steady his bleeding partner. The gravely snarl torn from Larry’s chest silenced when Mitch started to crumble.


“Not now, Larry. We can track him later. I need help.”


A calculated gleam crossed Larry’s expression, fleeting but indicative of a mind weighing options.


Denny backed away, knife at the ready. After ten steps and seeing his path clear without pursuit, he turned and raced for the copse of trees where he’d hidden his car. The night hadn’t turned out as planned, but he could work out another strategy.

Reily is a West Coast girl transplanted to the opposite shore. When she’s not working with her dogs, you can find her curled up with a book or writing her next story. Past employment as an ICU nurse, private investigator, and work in the military police has given her countless experiences in a host of different environments to add a real world feel to her fiction.

Over time, and several careers, many incidents have flavored the plots of her stories. Man’s cruelty and ingenuity for torment and torture is boundless, not contained by an infinite imagination. Witnessing the after-effects of a teenager mugged at knifepoint for a pair of tennis shoes, or an elderly woman stabbed repeatedly with a screwdriver for no apparent reason, left an indelible impression that will forever haunt her subconscious. In counterpoint, she has observed a woman stop her vehicle in severe, snowy weather to offer her own winter coat to a stranger, a teenager wearing a threadbare hoodie. Life’s diversities are endless.

Though her kids are her life, writing is Reily’s life after. The one enjoyed after the kids are in bed or after they’re in school and the house is quiet. This is the time she kicks back with laptop and lapdog to give her imagination free rein.
In reading, take pleasure in a mental pause as you root for your favorite hero/heroine and bask in their accomplishments, then share your opinions of them over a coffee with your best friend (even if he’s four-legged). Life is short. Cherish your time.

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Blog Tour & Book Review – Abaddon’s Locusts by Don Travis

A big welcome to Don Travis as part of his blog tour with Other Worlds Ink for Abaddon’s Locusts from DSP Publications.

Review

I haven’t read anything by this author before, and I now need to play catchup. Although there are a couple of relationships in the story, romance isn’t the focus; the mystery/detective part of the story is. In saying that, I liked the glimpses of BJ and Paul’s relationship. It was obvious they loved each other, yet there is a hint of insecurity from time to time which added a touch of realism. The scenes from BJ’s POV are told in 1st person, and the others from 3rd. I thought this worked well as it gave insight into BJ’s mind, yet allowed other narratives to happen in the story, rather than the reader only knowing what he knew. This didn’t detract from the suspense, but added to it, as I often knew the danger other characters were in before BJ did, and it also allowed more character growth in the supporting cast, particularly Jazz.

The title is very apt, and well chosen. I thought it fit the theme, and tone of the story well.

The story hooked me in immediately. I loved the main characters, and the supporting cast felt very real too. I have to give a shout out to B.J. and Paul’s neighbour, an older lady who is a retired DEA agent, and someone I wouldn’t want to get on the wrong side of. She totally rocked. I thought the characters worked well together as they put all the clues together and put a plan in place. I liked that they didn’t always make the right decision, and in one case actually tipped off the bad guy, and that even when they discovered who they were up against, it still took a while to take the ring down, and find proof that would hold up in court.

The author doesn’t pull punches in showing how the victims of these horrific trafficking rings are enticed and then caught in a trap of drug dependency. The lengths these people go to in order to safeguard their operations was chilling, as was the depth of corruption which spread to those who are supposed to be charged with bringing these trafficking rings down. I also liked the insight into the Navajo Nation, and the way that the author showed that every society is made up of good and bad, and the prejudices people hold against others who are different to themselves.

Despite the theme of the story, I found it to be a fast read, as I kept turning pages, wanting to find out what happened next, especially as the tension rose when the bad guys realised they needed to take action or risk having their entire operation taken down.

I’d recommend Abaddon’s Locusts to readers who enjoy a complex mystery detective story with interesting characters, loads of action, and a plot that doesn’t pull punches. 5 out of 5 stars.

Abaddon's Locusts - Don Travis

DSP Publications author Don Travis has a new gay mystery book out: Abaddon’s Locusts.

When B. J. Vinson, confidential investigator, learns his young friend, Jazz Penrod, has disappeared and has not been heard from in a month, he discovers some ominous emails. Jazz has been corresponding with a “Juan” through a dating site, and that single clue draws BJ and his significant other, Paul Barton, into the brutal but lucrative world of human trafficking.

Their trail leads to a mysterious Albuquerquean known only as Silver Wings, who protects the Bulgarian cartel that moves people—mostly the young and vulnerable—around the state to be sold into modern-day slavery, sexual and otherwise. Can BJ and Paul locate and expose Silver Wings without putting Jazz’s life in jeopardy? Hell, can they do so without putting themselves at risk? People start dying as BJ, Paul, and Henry Secatero, Jazz’s Navajo half-brother, get too close. To find the answer, bring down the ring, and save Jazz, they’ll need to locate the place where human trafficking ties into the Navajo Nation and the gay underground.

About the Series:

BJ Vinson, a gay former-Marine, ex-cop licensed private investigator tries to pick his cases carefully, but prior loyalties or his sense of justice or something always gets in his way. He finds himself traveling all over his beloved state of New Mexico with his companion Paul Barton to mend other people’s problems.

DSP Publications (eBook) | DSP Publications (paperback) | Amazon | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | QueeRomance Ink | Google Play

Don Travis’s most recent novel, Abaddon’s Locusts, deals with the growing problem of the sex trade traffic. When B. J. Vinson, confidential investigator, learns his young friend, Jazz Penrod, has disappeared and has not been heard from in a month, he discovers some ominous emails. Jazz has been corresponding with a “Juan” through a dating site, and that single clue draws BJ and his significant other, Paul Barton, into the brutal but lucrative world of human trafficking.

Their trail leads to a mysterious Albuquerquean known only as Silver Wings, who protects the Bulgarian cartel that moves people—mostly the young and vulnerable—around the state to be sold into modern-day slavery, sexual and otherwise. Can BJ and Paul locate and expose Silver Wings without putting Jazz’s life in jeopardy? Hell, can they do so without putting themselves at risk? People start dying as BJ, Paul, and Henry Secatero, Jazz’s Navajo half-brother, get too close. To find the answer, bring down the ring, and save Jazz, they’ll need to locate the place where human trafficking ties in to the Navajo Nation and the gay underground.

The book is told in the first person when BJ is the viewpoint character; third person when others serve that capacity. The following excerpt is the first time we see Jazz.

Excerpt

“Hey, wake up. Need to ask you something.”

Jazz roused from a dream as Juan shook him roughly. “Lemme alone,” he mumbled, seeking to recapture the reverie. Water Sprinkler and some other Navajo Yé’ii were in it. He grew surly when he realized the details escaped him. Wouldn’t have mattered much even if he could recall. He wasn’t raised on the old legends like most guys his age and didn’t understand a damned thing about that side of his blood. Water Sprinkler was the rain god—that much he knew. So likely that meant his parade was going to get rained on. Big time.

“Man, that crack shit’s taking you over. All you do’s fuck and bitch. Come on, man. Wake up.”

Jazz pushed himself against the headboard and tried to focus. The sheet fell away to reveal his naked torso. Seemed like he was always naked nowadays. Juan reached out and stroked his pecs. Jazz had liked and encouraged his touch …once. Now not so much. He shrugged the hand away. “Lemme alone. I finally got to sleep and you wake me up. I need a pipe, okay?”

“A shower’s what you need. Silver wings wants to meet you tonight.”

Jazz’s stomach did a flip-flop. “I don’t like him.”

“Well, he digs you. Think he’s gonna want you to move in with him.”

The idea was a crowbar jammed into the gears of an Jazz’s mind. His thinking came to a halt. He needed a pipe. That was the only good thing about Silver Wings. Jazz always got good crack before the man arrived. “Smoke,” he mumbled.

Juan shoved two photos at him. “Later. Right now, I need you to look at these pics.”

Jazz struggled to focus as he scanned the photos. They were the same handsome man, one with a shirt, the other without. His stomach cramped and he felt itchy. “Who’s this?”

“You tell me. He says he knows you. Says you told him about me?”

“I did?”

“You know him?”

Jazz blinked a couple of times and moved one picture back and forth until it became clearer. Struggling to get his mind to work, he rubbed his eyes before taking another look. The guy seemed familiar. But Jazz associated him with someone else. Someone he liked. Admired.

“Dude lives here in Albuquerque,” he said at length. “Don’t remember his name.”

“Does the name Paul mean anything to you?”

“Yeah. That’s it. Paul.” Jazz had no idea if that was correct, but it was easier to agree with Juan.

“Paul what?”

“I dunno. Just Paul.”

“You tell him about me? Send him my photo?”

“He says I did, I guess I did,” Jazz mumbled, sliding back beneath the thin covers. His eyes were closed as Juan left the room with a warning they’d have to leave for the meeting with Silver Wings in an hour.

But Jazz was struggling to think. Make connections. Paul. Barton! That was the guy’s last name. And they’d never exchanged Emails or pictures. He’d only seen the good-looking dude once. In Farmington. In some motel room. Had they got it on? Could be. He wrinkled his nose. Had he gotten with so many men he couldn’t remember them all? He shook his head emphatically. No, he wasn’t like that. He only went with guys he….

Jazz came upright in the bed as a shadowy figure flitted just out of reach in his head. BJ! BJ’s Paul was talking to Juan? Was the fucker two-timing BJ? His skin crawled as he shook his head again. No” No, Paul got in touch with Juan because… because BJ was looking for him! But how did he know about Juan?

Jazz lay back and battled his emotions. Henry musta given BJ his laptop. A flush enveloped his whole body as he imagined BJ reading his mail and looking at the photos. His blood pressure rose, sending beads of sweat down his sides. “Fuckers!” he muttered aloud. Shouldn’t be looking at his private stuff.

He let out his breath and the pressure eased. He had ventured out of his comfort zone for the promise of a steady connection. A loving, intelligent, exciting man of his own. Looking for what BJ had with Paul. It was all right at first. Practically everything he’d dreamed of. But it all turned to ashes. Pipe ashes.

Why had he let Juanito talk him into smoking crack? His new life was good without that crap. But Juanito promised him the pipes would make things even better. And they were—for a bit. Then it changed. He changed. The world changed. Now he pleasured men in exchange for the pipes. Men? Well, Juanito and Silver Wings. But he knew there would be more men one day. Probably when they took that trip to Mexico Juan talked about.

His frazzled mind called up the image of BJ. BJ was a detective. He’d find him and drag his ass out of this tangled mess. His heart soared until it nearly burst before abruptly slowing, leaving him woozy. Did he want out? Yeah, it would be good to go home. See his mom and Uncle Riley. Henry. His father. But if BJ got him out, the man he idolized would see what he’d become. He musta already seen the things he’d written to Juan. And the pictures. The last one was bad. Showed him manipulating himself as he smiled at the camera. His stomach plummeted as something drove him to bury his head beneath the bedcovers. Probably shame.

Jazz sobbed and willed his heart to stop. To cease. To spare him anything that lay beyond this moment, this room, this bed. But Coyote refused to throw a rock into Black Water Lake to summon death, so his heart ignored his wishes and thudded against his ribs in a stubborn, determined beat.


Giveaway

Don and DSP Publications are giving away a $10 DSPP gift card with this tour. For a chance to win, enter via Rafflecopter:
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Excerpt

Abaddon's Locusts banner

Prologue

Two men gazed down at the sleeping youth sprawled across the mattress. The older, his pleasant features blemished by a glint of cruelty in his dark eyes, smoothed silver wings of luxuriant hair at his temples before handing over a number of $100 bills to a young Hispanic almost as handsome as the boy on the bed.

Now fully clothed, Silver Wings exuded the authority of a player, of someone who counted. “Fucking beautiful. How old did you say he is?”

“Eighteen. Barely. Know that’s older’nyou usually like. But he’s a rare one, no? As lindaas a woman and as macho as a man. He took care of you, huh?”

Silver Wings rubbed his eyes as if remembering the last hour. “Fantastic. Must have worn himself out. Does he usually go comatose?”

“Ah, that is the drug. He claims he gets a bigger bang by charging up. But you benefit as well, no?” He eyed his companion. “He is yours for $25,000.”

Interest flickered and died. “Tempting. But my household isn’t set up for that kind of arrangement. I prefer to call when I feel the need. Even if that means sharing him.”

“You don’t take him, then we move him south.”

“South? To Mexico, you mean? Juárez?” That wouldn’t be too bad. El Paso was a short hop, and Juárez lay just across the border.

“At first, but then we gonna trade him up.”

Silver Wings understood the human trafficking language of trading up, but it was unusual to move members of the “family” out of country these days. “In Juárez? Sounds more like trading him down.”

¡Órale! There’s some big money in Juárez. But a bigwig in the Middle East went apeshitover the kid’s pics. He wants him. And for a lot more than twenty-five. I only give you that price to let you know how much we ’preciateyour help.”

“Middle East, huh?” Silver Wings licked his lips. “Put off that transfer while I see if I can work something out.”

“Two days. Then I gotta move him. You know, easier to ship him overseas from Mexico than from the States.”

Silver Wings’ voice hardened. “You can do better than that. Give me a week to reorder my life. I’d like to visit him a couple of times. Usual fee, of course. That gives you reason enough to hold him here.”

“Okay, but not no more’n a week. I got people to answer to, you know.”

“I’d like him again tomorrow night, but it will have to be late. I have a dinner meeting.”

Hispano lowered his head. “As you wish. All you gotta do is call me.”

Silver Wings left the motel reluctantly. What would take place in that room now that they were alone? Just thinking about it raised a bead of sweat on his upper lip.

His mind returned to the offer he had received. The boy was expensive, and the economy was still struggling to recover from the Great Recession of 2008… but it was only money.

Chapter 1

Monday, August 9, 2010, Albuquerque, New Mexico

I parked the Impala in front of my detached single-car garage and sat for a moment trying to figure out the cacophony on the radio. I’d failed to reset the station after Paul and I went for a rare game of weekend golf at the North Valley Country Club. Paul Barton was the sun in my sky, but I still struggled to understand my companion’s taste in music. Now something called “Alejandro” by a gal proclaiming herself to be Lady Gaga committed assault on my classical-music-loving ears. As I switched off the noise and stepped from the car, a high, uncertain voice snagged my attention.

“Yoo-hoo, Mr. Vinson. BJ!”

Mrs. Gertrude Wardlow, the late-afternoon sun catching in wayward strands of her white hair, waved at me from the foot of her driveway. She had lived in the white brick across the street for as long as I could remember. Mrs. W. and her husband, Herb, had been with the Drug Enforcement Administration from the time it was formed in 1973 until their retirement. Some ten years ago, Herb passed on to his reward—an urn on his widow’s mantelpiece. I walked out to meet her in the middle of Post Oak Drive.

“I’m so glad I caught you.” She fiddled with frilly lace at the neck of her lavender blouse. “A man on a Harley has been driving up and down the street. He stopped at your place twice. Rang the bell and then rode off.”

No doubt she was recalling the time when two thugs on another motorcycle attempted to gun me down. When she’d yelled to distract their murderous attention, they shot up the front of her house, scattering her husband all over the carpet.

I touched her shoulder. “Don’t worry, I’m not involved in any gang disputes at the moment. Not that I know of, anyway.”

Her smile turned impish. “That was an interesting day, wasn’t it? I just thought you should be aware someone was trying to contact you.”

“Thank you, Mrs. W. I’ll be on the lookout.”

After exchanging pleasantries, we parted. I mounted the steps to my front porch and paused to enjoy the welcoming aroma of tea roses my late mother planted. No evidence of a note on the door or in the mailbox. That meant the mysterious biker would probably return. I went inside and forgot the matter as I removed one of Paul’s casseroles from the fridge and got out a pan of rolls. I enjoyed their yeasty aroma almost as much as I liked their yeasty taste. Our household mantra was Paul Barton, freelance journalist, whips up gourmet meals; B. J. Vinson, formerMarineand ex-cop turned confidential investigator, burns toast.

We planned to stay home tonight and watch an episode of a new gumshoe program on the tube called The Glades. Matt Passmore, the guy who played the detective, was a way-cool customer who Paul claimed should be my role model. I’d no sooner set the dishes to heating than a rumble on the street caught my attention. A moment later the doorbell rang.


Author Bio

Don Travis is an Okie turned New Mexican. Each of his B. J. Vinson mystery novels features some region of his beautiful adopted state as prominently as it does his protagonist, a gay former Marine, ex-cop turned confidential investigator. Don never made it to the Marines (three years in the Army instead) and certainly didn’t join the Albuquerque Police Department.

He thought he was a paint artist for a while but ditched that for writing a few years back. A loner, he fulfills his social needs by attending SouthWest Writers meetings and teaching a free weekly writing class called Wordwrights at the North Domingo Multigenerational Center, an Albuquerque community center.

Author Website: http://www.dontravis.com
Author Facebook (Personal): https://www.facebook.com/donald.travis.982
Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/dontravis3

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