Release Blitz: Pain and Promise

BOOK BLAST

Book Title: Pain and Promise

Author: Lazlo Thorn

Publisher: MLR Press

Cover Artist: Melody Pond

Genre/s: Gay Romance / Erotica / Historical

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length: 73 000 words/230 pages

It is a standalone book

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Buy Links

Publisher/MLR Press

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Amazon UK

 

Blurb

June, 1981: The small town of Frentana on the Adriatic coast of Italy was the last place Bobby would have suspected that his titanic struggle with being gay would come to a head. But then he hadn’t reckoned on the town’s evil secret weapon – Dario, a Michaelangelo man with a missionary zeal for sex with men and the tightest trousers that Bobby had ever set eyes on. But then Bobby wasn’t the first Englishman in that bright land where the olive trees grew, to be dazzled and beguiled by a local boy. For there was another love story that had yet to be told. A hidden affair separated from Bobby and Dario by almost forty years. An inspiring tale of a great war time romance between two very special young men and one with which Bobby would become strangely linked.

 

Excerpt

August, 1969

Florence, Italy

As the short, strong stranger drew level with Bobby, this young man, still engaged in deep conversation with his friends, nonchalantly reached down and pulled at the front of his trousers, as if scratching an itch in his groin. For a split-second, time seemed to freeze, and Bobby became lost in a moment of furtive fascination as this Florentine beauty continued touching and prodding himself between his legs. Then, in complete disregard for the very public place in which they stood, he suggestively adjusted the contents of his trousers, in much the same way a shopper in a supermarket might casually rummage in a heavy bag of vegetables.

The encounter lasted only a few seconds, and then the young blood and his equally attractive gang of friends were gone, leaving Bobby strangely crushed at the thought that this beautiful creature hadn’t even noticed he was there. The clock on the tower above his head struck eight, and time started up again. When Bobby glanced back at his family, his father was pointing enthusiastically toward the corner of the square where, having finally spotted their destination, they went on to spend a very enjoyable evening at the restaurant, and he thought no more about it.

Bobby found coming home to England after such a great holiday in Italy quite depressing, particularly when he realised that school would resume the following week. So once again, he turned his attention to more mundane matters like his unfinished holiday homework, and all too quickly, the glittering streets of Italy seemed just a distant memory.

Until that day when he made his bitter discovery.

It was early evening, not long after returning home. Alone in his bedroom, he gazed out of the window at their back garden. The red summer roses were dying back, and the rain was drizzling down. Why the memory came to him then, he wasn’t sure. Perhaps he heard the clock in the hallway downstairs chime eight. But come it did and, for whatever reason, he suddenly remembered the attractive young men in the street outside the restaurant in Florence. In particular, the one with the very tight trousers and the bulging fly. The one who couldn’t have been less like a girl. And then the penny dropped. He had been admiring a man, and, he suddenly realised, it hadn’t been the first time. These days, he was often looking at men that way and in particular at the contents of their trousers. Furthermore, when he thought about it, he always had. The picture by his bed, the rugby players in the park and the rough cowboys on television, and, yes, he was marvelling at men because he liked the look of them and the way they made him feel when he captured them in his sights. He wanted them. He had gazed at those men in the street back in Italy the way other boys at school or indeed his brother Charlie talked about looking at girls. So, there in the bedroom that evening at the end of the summer, staring into the back garden through the window, Bobby finally made the connection. A moment forever fixed in time. There was a name for this. He was a homosexual.

 

About the Author

Lazlo Thorn published his first novel (The Signal Box) in 2018. In his work he explores themes about life, death, love and sexuality, set against the social mores and prevailing attitudes to gay sex at different times and in different places. Pain and Promise is his second novel and takes the reader to a small town on the Adriatic coast of Italy where two love stories, separated by almost forty years, become linked in an unexpected way. The author has lived and worked in various countries and travelled widely in Europe and beyond. Today, he lives in England with his husband, in a quiet seaside town on the south coast.

 

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Release Blitz: Brave For You Audio


Length: 9hrs 4 mins

Narrator: Iggy Toma

Cover Design: Simply Defined Art

Publisher: Tantor 

Blurb

Less than a year after moving to Hawaii, construction foreman Nate Ellison’s wife leaves him and their infant son for another man. Months into single-fatherhood, Nate meets Andrew “An” Hoang and is slowly drawn into An’s life. Through An’s friendship, he finds himself finally enjoying his new home in paradise.


An Hoang hasn’t had a real relationship in years. With his pediatrics practice and a niece to care for on his days off, he doesn’t have the headspace for more than a simple roll in the sack. But when he meets Nate – who just happens to be the gorgeous construction worker he encountered in the lobby of his apartment building – something about Nate makes it impossible for him not to care. When Nate needs An’s help with his son, An doesn’t refuse.


What happens when Nate’s past and An’s old-fashioned parents interfere just as the two men begin to fall for each other? Will they find the means to be brave and give their love a chance to flourish?

Crystal Lacy lives with her loving family in Hawaii, where it is always either drizzling or sunny and never snows—which is a shame, because she prefers being cold to being damp and hot unless it’s for Very Good Reasons. She writes queer romance, mainly M/M, but also some F/F. She has aspirations to one day write a YA novel about cats.


Crystal is a long-time fangirl and writes slash fanfiction for the Harry Potter and NBC Hannibal fandoms. She has a deep love for fandom culture, and can be frequently spotted on Twitter and Tumblr reblogging pretty fan art.


Join Crystal’s readers group on FB for sneak peeks, bonus content, and ARC opportunities or subscribe her newsletter for monthly book giveaways, recs, news, and more! You can also follow Crystal on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook.


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Release Blitz and Review: Christmas Prince

 

 

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Length: 40,000 words approx.


Cover Design: Meredith Russell


The Christmas Angel Series
Christmas Angel – Eli Easton – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Summerfield’s Angel – Kim Fielding – Amazon US | Amazon UK
The Magician’s Angel – Jordan L. Hawk – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Christmas Homecoming – L.A. Witt – Amazon US | Amazon UK
A Soldier’s Wish – N.R. Walker – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Shrewd Angel – Anyta Sunday – Amazon US | Amazon UKBlurb

Prince Raphael, the youngest son of the Montaunoit royal family, is the custodian of his country’s history. At a Sotheby’s auction, he outbids Marc on an item he doesn’t even want. Just because he can.

Meeting the museum curator turns Raphael’s world upside down, and when lust turns to love he knows he has to change.

Can Marc be the one to show Raphael that he doesn’t have to stay the lonely prince forever, and that love is always an option?

This story is one of seven stories which can all be read and enjoyed in any order.

 

Review

 

It was a lovely book. It’s the firs I read from the author and it was a great first impression. I liked how different things were for both main characters. How, for Raphael, was instant attraction and he felt so intrigued by Marc. And in Marc’s case he felt so mad at Raphael that he was defensive for such a long time.

It felt a little slow paced, but it was pleasant to read. I liked the plot and the fact that there’s no angst on it. Both main characters are interesting. I loved how passionate they both are about history. They make a beautiful couple. The relationship doesn’t feel like love at first sight, at least not in Marc’s case. It took them a little to get there, but I end up believing they loved each other.

One of the things I liked about it was the secondary characters. They weren’t important for the plot development, but I found the moments when Raphael was not only a prince but a friend, a brother or a son, very charming. I would love to read more about the family interactions.

The book was well written, lighthearted, hopeful and romantic. It had the joy expected in holyday stories. Definitely recommend it to anyone who likes M/M romance. Especially to the ones that enjoy holyday romances.

 

The Christmas Angel Series

In 1750, a master woodcarver poured all his unrequited love, passion, and longing into his masterpiece—a gorgeous Christmas angel for his beloved’s tree. When the man he loved tossed the angel away without a second thought, a miracle happened. The angel was found by another who brought the woodcarver True Love.

Since then, the angel has been passed down, sold, lost and found, but its magic remains. Read the romances inspired by (and perhaps nudged along by) the Christmas angel through the years. Whether it’s 1700s England (Eli Easton’s Christmas Angel), the 1880’s New York (Kim Fielding’s Summerfield’s Angel), the turn-of-the-century (Jordan L. Hawk’s Magician’s Angel), World War II (L.A. Witt’s Christmas Homecoming), Vietnam-era (N.R. Walker’s Soldier’s Wish), the 1990’s (Anyta Sunday’s Shrewd Angel), or 2018 (RJ Scott’s Christmas Prince), the Christmas angel has a way of landing on the trees of lonely men who need its blessing for a very Merry Christmas and forever HEA.

 
 

Dec 2 – Megan’s Media Melange, Lelyana’s Reviews, Dec 6 – Cupcakes & Bookshelves, Dec 8 – Mainely Stories, Dec 10 – Bookaholic & Kindle, Dec 12 – Mirrigold, My Fiction Nook, The Secret Ko, MM Good Book Reviews, Dec 14 – Valerie Ullmer, Xtreme Delusions, Sexy Erotic Xciting, Open Skye,Rainbow Book Reviews, Amy’s MM Romance Reviews, Dec 19 – Bonkers About Books, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Dec 21 – Momma Says: To Read Or Not To Read, Making It HappenLillian Francis, Bayou Book JunkieWicked Reads, Two Chicks Obsessed

USA Today bestselling author RJ Scott writes stories with a heart of romance, a troubled road to reach happiness, and most importantly, a happily ever after.

RJ Scott is the author of over one hundred romance books, writing emotional stories of complicated characters, cowboys, millionaire, princes, and the men who get mixed up in their lives. RJ is known for writing books that always end with a happy ever after. She lives just outside London and spends every waking minute she isn’t with family either reading or writing.

The last time she had a week’s break from writing she didn’t like it one little bit, and she has yet to meet a bottle of wine she couldn’t defeat.

She’s always thrilled to hear from readers, bloggers and other writers. Please contact via the links below:

Email RJ rj@rjscott.co.uk
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Release Blitz: Love Blooms

Title: Love Blooms

Author: Stephanie Hoyt

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: December 10, 2018

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 61800

Genre: Fantasy, Santa, elves, magic, holiday

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Synopsis

Nico Hamurişi is the one and only son of Santa Claus. All his life, Nico has known he’s expected to fall in love and find lifelong commitment by the Christmas of his thirtieth year—like every other heir before him. But knowing and accepting are vastly different things, and as the final countdown begins, Nico has yet to embrace his fate. His once great enthusiasm for eventually becoming Santa has been dimmed by uncertainty over how the Santa Line will be affected when he marries a man.

With only a year left, will Nico have time to find love and commitment all while learning how magic will transform the family line to accommodate who he is and who he loves?

Excerpt

Love Blooms
Stephanie Hoyt © 2018
All Rights Reserved

Chapter One
The sun hasn’t even begun to brighten the sky when Nico reaches the family estate. He shuts his car’s engine off in front of his childhood home and waits, staring at his watch as the seconds tick by. The hour hand strikes five and snow starts to fall. His father must have made his first delivery right on time. Nico sighs, relief washing over him at having successfully avoided the annual Christmas conversation for the next twenty-something hours. For the moment, no matter how fleeting, he can go inside without bracing himself for confrontation.

The snow falls soft and cold on his face as he walks to the door, and for an instant, Nico thinks it may have been worth coming home earlier to avoid the snowfall. He laughs, short and bitter, as last year’s predelivery family dinner flashes in his mind and he remembers what avoiding the snowfall entails. He’d much rather deal with this cold, wet mess than the disappointment in his father’s eyes at another year passing by without him fulfilling his obligations as heir apparent. If last year was bad, this year will be infinitely worse. His father had been disappointed then, but now with the deadline looming so close, Nico can imagine how his father’s mood will have shifted to something far worse than disappointment.

He wipes his feet on the welcome home mat and opens the door. He takes a deep breath as he steps inside and tries his best not to let this place get the better of him. It stopped being home years ago, but he can do this. He can. Except, the utter lack of even a shred of welcoming quality fills him with dread. This house has been the site of nearly every argument he’s ever had with his father and he knows he’s opened the door to yet another lecture on the expectations and obligations that come along with being the son of Kristoff Hamurişi.

This year won’t be any different, especially since the final year of the countdown begins at midnight. If he’s being realistic, which he hates to do, any discussion of his failings is going to be much more tense than they’ve ever been before. But for now, the lights inside are off, save for the Christmas tree, his father is out for more than a full day’s worth of deliveries, the rest of the house seems to be fast asleep, and Nico can slip upstairs to his childhood bedroom without being noticed.

At least, that’s what he was counting on.

Unfortunately for him, someone had different plans for his arrival. He opens his bedroom door to a lit room and a ball of limbs and hair curled up in the middle of his bed. He sets his suitcase down with a loud thud and the ball moves, revealing the face of Noelle, the youngest of his four older sisters.

“My dear little Santicholas,” she says, words and laughter both swallowed in a yawn. “I can’t believe you thought you could sneak in here unnoticed.”

Nico rolls his eyes. “You know I hate when you call me that.”

She untangles herself and pushes up on the tips of her toes to wrap her arms around Nico in a big, tight hug. “It’s hard to believe you do when you’re smiling so big.”

Nico’s words get muffled by her hair and his own laughter. “Yeah, yeah. I missed you, too.”

She lets him go, shaking her head as he starts to yawn. “You should’ve come home at a decent hour if you wanted to be well rested.”

Nico narrows his eyes. “If it’s such an indecent hour then why are you up?”

Noelle lets out a short huff of air, annoyed. “I wanted you to see a friendly face before…”

Nico closes his eyes. Here it comes. He should have known better than to think he could avoid confrontation, even for a moment, even from his closest friend and sibling. When he opens his eyes again, Noelle’s sitting on the edge of the bed and her face has softened in a way that makes Nico feel worse.

He smiles but it does nothing to wipe the gentle expression off her face; she knows him too well, knows he wears it as a shield.

“You don’t have to pretend with me. I know failing is what worries you.”

“Failure isn’t my concern here, Noelle.” Not entirely true. “I’m worried about what will happen if I don’t fail.” Unbearably true.

Noelle raises her eyebrow, confused, and Nico’s stomach clenches. Am I actually doing this? He plows on before she can interrupt and he loses his nerve. “And I’m angry! I’m so incredibly angry I even need to be concerned by all this shit in the first place. I don’t want to think of heirs and continuing a family legacy and everything else riding on me falling in love when I don’t even know how who I love will affect any of this.”

Noelle blinks, breathing out a barely audible “Oh.”

Nico’s heart skips, his pulse is erratic.

“I’m gay.”

Noelle blinks again, and again, and again, and then, after what feels like an eternity of his stomach turning over in knots, she smiles. “Okay.”

“Okay?”

“Yes, okay.”

She motions for Nico to sit next to her, and he does, knocking his shoulder against hers. “I was expecting a little more than an okay, if I’m being honest.”

Noelle laughs, embarrassed. “I didn’t think I should start quizzing you on if you’re seeing anyone, so okay seemed, well…okay.”

Nico smiles, and this time it’s not a shield. He feels lighter and more at peace in this house than he has in years. It’s such a relief to have finally shared such an important part of himself with such an important person in his life.

“Who all knows?”

Nico doesn’t answer immediately, and Noelle asks, “Oh, am I the only one who knows?”

“No, it’s not exactly a secret. I mean, everyone I know who doesn’t know this family knows. So work and friends from college and yeah. I’m basically out to everyone except the family.”

Noelle appears confused and curious. “Not even Joy? She knows how—”

Nico cuts her off. “No, not even our dear lesbian sister knows. Only you.”

Noelle hums an acknowledgment but doesn’t say anything else for a long while—Nico can tell she’s working through what to say next.

He has an idea of what she might be thinking and supplies an answer, “I haven’t told Mom and Dad because, even though it wasn’t a thing when Joy came out, what if… I mean it’s got to be different when you don’t have to produce an heir.”

Nico can’t keep the disdain out of his voice. For as long as he can remember, the heir has been his biggest concern regarding his father and, in turn, his mother finding out his sexuality. “There’s all this added pressure surrounding me finding someone to love. I know they don’t have a problem with queer people, but what if they have a problem with me being gay. There’s a lot riding on my love life.”

“Okay,” Noelle nods. “Well, yeah. I can’t deny there is a lot of pressure put on you falling in love. But I’ve got your back here. No matter what happens, I’ll help you find out how this affects you being the heir apparent to the Crimson Sleigh.”

Nico bursts out in laughter. “God, shut up. Why do you insist on calling it that?”

Noelle smiles, pleased as can be. “Because it makes you laugh.”

Nico purses his lips, trying to stifle his laughter. “You’re ridiculous, you know?”

“Yes, obviously. But I am also wonderful and magical and dearly beloved by you.”

“I guess.” He draws the word out, teasing, and Noelle shoves him, laughing. “Though I wouldn’t consider magical one of your finer qualities since we all are.”

Noelle crinkles her nose. “If you got it, flaunt it.”

Nico sighs. He wishes he was pleased with the extra magic they have, but it’s different—like everything else—when the full extent of his own powers is contingent on falling in love. “I’d much rather have no magic at all, but that’s probably just me.”

“Yeah, it’s got to be just you.” She pauses, furrowing her brow in thought. “Is it even possible to have no magic, though? Everyone’s got some when it comes down to it, even the Immunes. Magic’s everywhere little bro; it’s a fact of life.”

“I’d gladly trade with anyone who doesn’t have a love stipulation placed on their magic.” He doesn’t mean to sound so wishful, but so much of his life since college has been spent wondering how his life would be if he didn’t have all this extra pressure resting on his shoulders. He’d much rather be gifted with any other sort of magic; no need for the frills of Santahood. “Besides, I’m not much more powerful than anyone but Dad as it is. Since love eludes me.”

Noelle’s eyes light up. “So you’re not seeing anyone?”

Nico shakes his head, chuckling. He can always count on Noelle for poor segues and making him laugh. “Have you been waiting this whole time to ask me?”

“No, of course not; that’d be absurd. But since you’ve brought it back up…”

“I didn’t exactly bring it up.”

Noelle waves her hand, dismissing his words. “Yeah, yeah. But you gave me the perfect opportunity to ask, so.”

“So, what?” Nico knows what she means, but he wants to mess with her, make her work for the answer.

“So”—she draws the word out, her warm brown eyes twinkling with familiar mirth—“are you or are you not seeing anyone?”

“No, not at the moment.”

Noelle seems surprised, and Nico supplies an answer before she can ask, “It’s not necessarily a coincidence I pursued a career in something that affords me the opportunity to travel so much—I’m not entirely sure I want to settle down or fall in love.”

It’s the unfortunate truth of his life, but Noelle’s face falls. She isn’t pleased with the answer.

“Oh, Nico. You can’t deny yourself love because of the things expected of you. That’s not fair to yourself.”

Nico shrugs. He wishes it were that simple, but his obligations are always at the back of his mind, and it only gets worse when he meets a man who has the potential to be something more. Noelle smiles, soft and sympathetic. She gets up and ruffles his hair like she has since they were children; her fingers catch at the end where it’s starting to curl, and she clucks her tongue. It’s annoying and comforting all at the same time, as it always has been, and more of Nico’s tension slips away. Noelle’s always been such a good friend. “Mom will be up soon enough, and the rest of the house won’t be much longer after that.”

Nico yawns and Noelle continues, hand on the door, ready to leave, “The kids missed you last night so you might want to nap and get a story ready for why you didn’t arrive with everyone else because I’m sure they’ll pester you for one. Especially Timmy. Belle says he’s become quite the inquisitive little boy as of late.”

Nico motions for the door. “Will you stop fretting over me and go already. You said I need a nap. So let me nap.”

“Okay, okay. I’m going,” she says, but before she closes the door, she peeks her head back through and says, “I’m going to help you figure this all out, Nico. I promise.”

She shuts the door and Nico, for the first time in a long time, feels calm and relieved and a tad hopeful since he’s told Noelle. She’s right: he shouldn’t deny himself love. There might be a deadline and a world of responsibilities, obligations, and powers that come with being the heir apparent to the sleigh, but at the very least, he can’t let this change what he wants. He can’t let a part of his life he has never had a say in control his happiness.

He wants to fall in love; he wants to settle down; he wants to open his heart and build a life with someone else. And honestly, Nico thinks, as he starts to doze off, Santa be damned if being gay will change any of that.

Purchase

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Meet the Author

Thematically, Stephanie likes magic and spies and magical spies. Aesthetically, she likes glitter and gold and pineapples. She wants to put more soft, sweet bi representation into the world so that people like her teen-self can see themselves in their favorite genres and know that who they are is nothing to be ashamed of.

She currently lives in the Great White North (Wisconsin) with her husband, daughter, and three dogs. The only thing getting her through these Midwest winters is the soothing sound of Tim Riggins saying “Texas forever” and the prospect of one day moving back there.

She loves a good astrology twitter but ultimately only believes in it when her husband calls her stubborn and then her response is: “Well, I am a Taurus.”

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Release Blitz: A Very Vampire Christmas and Midnight Angel

Books Sold Separately

Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: December 10, 2018

Title: A Very Vampire Christmas
Author: Mark Lesney
Heat Level: 2 – Fade to Black Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 21600
Genre: Paranormal, vampire, romance writer, humor, Wild West, Christmas

Stuck for ideas on what to get his wealthy, blind, vampire lover for Christmas, Kevin comes up with the idea of recovering Danton’s long-lost but much-favored glass eyes from their home in a Wild West museum. But one touch of the eyes and Kevin is swept by his developing clairvoyant powers into a psychic nightmare of the old Wild West the eyes ‘witnessed’ while still in Danton’s head. The journey reveals a gunslinger Sheriff Danton, brings to light the lingering threat of Danton’s violent vampire ex-lover, and ultimately seals a new bond between Kevin and Danton in a Christmas to remember.

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Purchase: NineStar Press | Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Meet the Author

Mark Lesney is a single gay man of a certain age, living with the obligatory cat. His only fiction credential before “Interview with the Kevin” is a semi-comic steampunk M/M romance novelette, “The Golden Goose,” published in the “Steamed Up” anthology, sadly now out of print.

His non-fiction writing credits, however, are extensive. Currently, he is the managing editor of two medical newspapers, for which he also writes routinely. For over 6 years, his science and history articles appeared monthly in two newsmagazines, for which he was a writer/editor at the American Chemical Society. His credits also include science articles published in Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact. He has a PhD in plant pathology and a second PhD in the history of science.

He has worked as a research scientist and university professor. But his love has always been reading and writing fiction—with science fiction/fantasy, mystery, paranormal romance, and historicals all grappling for his affections. He is now determined to pursue that dream intensely.

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Title: Midnight Angel
Author: Kevin Klehr
Heat Level: 1 – No Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 10500
Genre: Fantasy, angel, new year’s eve, holiday, contemporary

Dinner is overcooked. The guests haven’t arrived.

Luke is sitting alone at his dining table on New Year’s Eve. He was hoping to romance Nathan, one of the people he invited for this intimate evening meal.

As midnight draws closer, it seems an angel, who has magically appeared in Luke’s apartment, is the only person to drink champagne and watch the fireworks with.

But this angel has other ideas. He’s about to grant Luke the New Year’s Eve party he thought he wanted.

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Purchase: NineStar Press | Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Meet the Author

Kevin lives with his long-term partner, Warren, in their humble apartment (affectionately named Sabrina), in Australia’s own ‘Emerald City,’ Sydney.

From an early age, Kevin had a passion for writing, jotting down stories and plays until it came time to confront puberty. After dealing with pimple creams and facial hair, Kevin didn’t pick up a pen again until he was in his thirties. His handwritten manuscript was being committed to paper when his work commitments changed, giving him no time to write. Concerned, his partner, Warren, secretly passed the notebook to a friend who in turn came back and demanded Kevin finish his story. It wasn’t long before Kevin’s active imagination was let loose again.

His first novel spawned a secondary character named Guy, an insecure gay angel, but many readers argue that he is the star of the Actors and Angels book series. Guy’s popularity surprised the author.

So with his fictional guardian angel guiding him, Kevin hopes to bring more whimsical tales of love, life and friendship to his readers.

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Release Blitz: LV48

Title: LV48

Series: The Cassie Tam Files, Book Three

Author: Matt Doyle

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: December 10, 2018

Heat Level: 1 – No Sex

Pairing: Female/Female

Length: 66400

Genre: Science Fiction, futuristic, lesbian, private detective, Sci-fi

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Synopsis

New Hopeland City may be the birthplace of Tech Shifter gear, but it isn’t the only place that likes to blend technology with folklore. Now, a new nightmare is stalking the streets…

When PI Cassie Tam is attacked on the way home one night, she expects the police to get involved. What she doesn’t expect is to be forced into acting as bait to lure out a lunatic in a tech-suit that’s literally out for blood. But past actions have consequences, and doing so may be the only way she can get a clean slate from the city’s law makers.

If only that didn’t mean having to face down a wannabe vampire.

Excerpt

LV48
Matt Doyle © 2018
All Rights Reserved

“Nei hou gaau siu.”

When Lori smiles like that, her eyes take on a slight twinkle, making their pale blue tone feel warm and welcoming. That being the case, it takes me a moment to realise I didn’t understand a word she just said. Am I so drunk already? “Uh, sorry. What?”

Lori giggles and repeats, “Nei hou gaau siu.” When I stare blankly, she frowns and asks, “Is my pronunciation off? I was sure that was right.”

“What were you trying to say?”

“I was trying to tell you that you’re funny in Cantonese.”

And at that, the laughter spills out of me, uncontrolled to the point I have to bury my face in the table to muffle the sound. If we’d been in our usual haunt, Northern Main Street’s late-night café-cum-alternative hangout Tourniquet, I’d have let loose uninhibited. The people there look like an odd bunch when you’re viewing things from the outside, but if you spend enough time there, you soon realise they’re all really nice people with tastes and hobbies that fall outside the mainstream. Seeing as we’ve opted for Cartwright’s on Dunstone Avenue, though, I’m trying to hold back. Honestly, I am. I’m just not doing a good job of it.

The staff in Cartwright’s are lovely, but the clientele is a little less raucous than those at Tourniquet, and so I’m already drawing some confused looks by the time I wipe the tears from my eyes. “I’m sorry,” I say, “I’m sorry.”

“I’ve never been much good at languages. Oh God,” Lori sighs and shoots me a now far more nervous smile. “Put me out of my misery. What did I say?”

I shrug. “You probably told me I was funny in Cantonese.”

Lori tilts her head and says, “Okay, now I’m confused.”

“I don’t speak Cantonese.”

“Yes, you do.”

“I really don’t.”

“You really do. I mean, you can’t seriously be telling me you’ve been using diu in the Taiwanese sense?”

“No, no…,” I reply, waving my hands in frantic motions. “Wait. What does it mean in Taiwan?”

“It was old slang for cool.”

“Oh, right. No, I’m definitely using it the way you think.”

“So you do speak Cantonese then.”

“No, I swear in Cantonese. I couldn’t hold a conversation in it. My dad had a thing about me swearing. He hated it, even when I was an adult. It was the one thing that always made him roll his eyes at Mom. Anyway, he spoke Mandarin, English, and a little French, so my options for big kid words were kinda limited. I went to school with a guy named Tom Huang; he spoke Cantonese, so I got him to teach me the cool words. Dad probably got the gist of what I was saying, but I think he appreciated the ingenuity of it.”

And now, Lori laughs and buries her face in her hands. She shakes her head and says, “I am such an idiot.”

“Nah, it’s not like I’ve ever spoken Mandarin around you, so how would you know? Honestly, I know enough Mandarin to get by, but we always spoke English at home, so I just picked that up easier. Let’s see, though…you would have meant nǐ hěn gǎoxiào. Or if you wanted to be really over the top with it, nǐ jiӑng shénme dōu néng bӑ wŏ lè huài le. That’s ‘everything you say cracks me up.’”

Lori shakes her head. “I think I’ll stick to English.”

“I am sorry for laughing,” I say, taking her hand. “It was really sweet of you to try learning something in another language for me. Why that phrase, though?”

Lori lets out a short, gentle laugh, and replies, “Every time we’re together, you either do or say something to make me laugh, so I figured it was something I could guarantee I’d get to use.”

“I’ll get us another drink,” I blurt, and whip myself to my feet and away towards the counter. It was just a compliment, but still… Did I move quick enough to stop her seeing how red my cheeks are?

“Nǐ hěn gǎoxiào,” Lori giggles in broken Mandarin.

I guess I was too slow. Diu.

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Meet the Author

Matt Doyle is a speculative fiction author from the UK and identifies as pansexual and genderfluid. Matt has spent a great deal of time chasing dreams, a habit which has led to success in a great number of fields. To date, this has included spending ten years as a professional wrestler, completing a range of cosplay projects, and publishing multiple works of fiction.

These days, Matt can be found working on multiple novels and stories, blogging about pop culture, and plotting and planning far too many projects.

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Release Blitz: Chasing Forever

 

Old wounds, new directions, and a forever worth chasing.

 

Chasing Forever by Kelly Jensen

Series: This Time Forever #3

 

Publisher: Riptide Publishing

Release Date (Print & Ebook): 12/10/18

Length:
Ebook: Word Count: 88,163
Print: Page Count: 333

Subgenre: Queer contemporary romance

Reading Warnings: References to child abandonment, neglect and abuse. Depression. Physical disability. All other warnings and tags can be found at:

Order now: https://riptidepublishing.com/collections/author-kelly-jensen/products/chasing-forever

About Chasing Forever:
Old wounds, new directions, and a forever worth chasing.
Malcolm Montgomery was a history teacher and track coach until an accident left him with two broken legs. He’ll recover, but life has knocked his feet out twice now. He’s not sure if he’s ready to try again, especially when it comes to love—and slick guys like Brian Kenway. Still, he needs help mentoring the school’s LGBTQ society, so he asks Brian to take some responsibility.
Brian has been hiding behind his reputation as a liar and a cheat for so long that he actually believes he’s that guy—until his nephew, Josh, turns up on his couch, tossed out for being gay. Brian has never considered being a father, but he knows all about being rejected by loved ones. Now Brian wants to be more: a partner for Mal and a role model for Josh.
But when Mal’s recovery is set back and the sad truth of Brian’s past is revealed, the forever they’ve been chasing seems even further from their grasps. It’ll take a rescue effort to revive their sense of worth and make Brian, Mal, and Josh into a family of their own.

Kelly Jensen talks Chasing Forever: This story is all about new directions. Brian and Mal will both be confronted with challenges that will encourage them to channel their energy into something worthwhile. For Brian, it’s stepping out from behind his substantial wallet to make a difference. For Mal, it’s about learning to live out loud. For both of them, it’s about forming a family of their own, and chasing a forever neither thought they might find.

 

***

Excerpt :

Brian limped toward his nephew. “What the actual fuck, Josh? I’ve been all over Morristown looking for you. Why are you here? You could have left anytime this week. Why tonight?”
Because he’d gone out?
He’d been out nearly every night this week.
“I couldn’t pay my tab.” Brian’s hands flailed upward, following some weird urge to get all explain-y. “I actually thought you might have burned the house down. I was worried. You don’t get to worry me, okay? Or take my stuff. Just what the fuck?”
Josh answered with a deep, hollow cough.
“Did you even pack the medicine I bought you?”
Josh shook his head, but coughed again, and damn, he was pale. And shivering. And sweaty.
“Shit.” Brian got down on one knee, hissing as his sore toes protested, and put a palm to Josh’s damp forehead. “How long have you been here?”
“I was going to catch the ten thirty train.”
“Well, you missed it.”
Josh coughed and shivered.
“Goddamn it. You were nearly better, Josh. How could you do this?”
No answer.
“C’mon, you need another hot shower and bed.”
“I want to go home.”
Fuck. Half-standing, Brian swung his ass sideways and slid onto the bench next to Josh. “I can . . .” He shook his head, pushed his hands through his hair, and glanced at his nephew. “I don’t think that’s a good idea.”
“I can’t stay here.”
“Why not?”
Josh managed an eye roll before he had to lean forward and cough again. “You made it pretty clear you don’t want me around.”
Not having a wall close enough to hit his head against, Brian mentally slapped himself. “Listen, I’ve been checking out options for you, but it’s hard over the holidays . . .”
“Then I’ll go home.”
Brian winced. “And live in the shed?”
“Maybe she’ll let me in if I’m sick.”
A burn crept up the back of Brian’s sinuses. “I . . .” Should he lie? Would it be kinder to lie? He pulled out his phone. “I don’t think so.”
Josh stared at him, eyes still wide and a lot red. He wasn’t well enough to be out in the cold.
“Maybe we should wait until we get back to my place.”
The kid didn’t move.
Brian accessed his call log. He showed the screen to Josh, scrolling through the twenty-some calls he’d made to Ellen since Christmas Eve. “That’s how many times I’ve called your mom. I got a text back tonight. One. To tell me you weren’t there.”
“You called her?”
“I was worried when I couldn’t find you.” Irritated, angry, seriously pissed off. “I needed to know you were somewhere safe.”
“Like you care.”
“Josh, I’m forty-eight. I’ve never been with someone who was interested in having kids and never figured it was something I wanted for myself. I’m not warm and fuzzy. I’m sometimes not very nice. I told you I was an asshole. But that doesn’t mean I don’t care.” He paused to let that sink in for a second before delivering the bad news. “I really don’t think your mom does. I don’t know what her deal is.” Yes, you do. “But I do think going back there is a bad idea.”
Coughing, Josh frowned down at his hands.
“Come home with me.”
Josh shook his head, but Brian could see his resistance was crumbling.
“You can stay as long as you want. I’ll stop looking for another place. You can stay either until we work something out with your mom or . . . until whenever.” Brian drew in a not-so-deep and somewhat shaky breath. “You’re family, okay? Probably the only family that wants anything to do with me. So, let’s stick together. See how it goes.”
“You sure?” The hope in Josh’s eyes was painful.
Brian nodded. “But there’ll be rules.”
“Like what?”
“No stealing my stuff. You need something, you ask for it.”
Josh nodded.
“And school. You need to go to school.”
Not a suggestion met with excitement. Then again, who would be excited about school? Professors might be.
Warmth briefly tickled Brian’s cheeks. He felt the touch of an all-too-brief kiss against his lips. Reluctantly, he shoved the memory aside.
“And I need to know where you are. I’m not going to put you under house arrest, but if you disappear on me again, shit will come down, okay?”
That apparently warranted a cough. A deep, dragging sound that rocked Josh’s thin frame. But he didn’t say no.
Brian stood and held out a hand. “C’mon. Let’s get you home and warmed up.”
Josh hesitated before standing, and the hand he slid inside Brian’s was too warm and too cold at the same time. Brian nearly pulled him into a hug. Instead, he picked up Josh’s bag and slung it over his shoulder. “How long did it take you to find the station?”
Josh shot him a quizzical frown. “It’s at the end of your street.”
Brian’s smile felt weak. “See, you’re settling in already.”

 

About Kelly Jensen:
If aliens ever do land on Earth, Kelly will not be prepared, despite having read over a hundred stories of the apocalypse. Still, she will pack her precious books into a box and carry them with her as she strives to survive. It’s what bibliophiles do.

Kelly is the author of a number of novels, novellas and short stories, including the Chaos Station series, co-written with Jenn Burke. Some of what she writes is speculative in nature, but mostly it’s just about a guy losing his socks and/or burning dinner. Because life isn’t all conquering aliens and mountain peaks. Sometimes finding a happy ever after is all the adventure we need.

Connect with Kelly:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/kmkjensen/
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Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/kellyjensenwrites/
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Blog: https://kellyjensenwrites.com/blog/
Website: https://kellyjensenwrites.com/
Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/czGhYz
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Giveaway: Any ebook from Kelly Jensen’s back catalog!

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