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Book Blast – The Awakening by A. Drew #supernatural #horror #suspense #paranormal #LGBTbooks

BOOK BLAST

Book Title: The Awakening (Dark Terror Series #2)

Author: A. Drew

Publisher: Drew Publications

Genre/s: supernatural horror, LGBT, suspense, paranormal

Heat Rating: 0 flames  

Length: Approx 30 000 words

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Blurb

A near-fatal incident stirs an awakening of an adolescent’s ability to connect with entities from the deep and dark hidden world, that which is beyond our natural awareness. A world of lost souls, both good and bad, all trying to reach out to the boy now that they are aware of his surreal capability. 

Coming to terms with his psychic ability that he neither asked for nor knew how to wield it, he is unwittingly drawn into solving a grisly mystery from beyond the grave. This will become the greatest test of his faith in himself.
Will he survive?

 

 

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Excerpt

On Phil’s fourteenth birthday in 1974… Miserable simply did not describe how he felt. He couldn’t wait to be discharged from the mid-century built community hospital. The building was covered in dark gray walls which had seen better days, cloistered by gardens that struggled to survive. Phil reflected on the state of the hospital and pondered upon whether it matched his own mental state because he was convinced something was seriously wrong with his head since the accident.

He desperately tried to keep his eyes firmly shut, doing his best to relax and with a bit of luck, bring his heart rate down to a respectable level. Praying for the morning to arrive, he beseeched, “Dear God. I’ll never try to impress Jason again …or anyone else for that matter. I’m so sorry that I tried to show off by jumping into the river.”

Tragically, it was this birthday, his fourteenth one, when he nearly drowned after he jumped off the tree. That day would be forever etched in his memory. He trailed along with his friends who hung out with the older kids from school as they cooled off in the river.

Jason who was one of the oldest in the group brought out a long rope from his backpack and deftly tied it around a strong looking branch off a tree as it extended over the river. The dare was simple. Each boy had to swing over the river as far as he could in readiness to release their hold of the rope just before it started to return to the shore.

Phil did his best to hide his attraction towards Jason, after all, if anyone found out that he liked boys, he’d be in deep trouble. As he thought of the consequences for his attraction of other of his own sex, he couldn’t help himself as he gave a furtive glance at the object of his desire.

Jason was considerably taller than Phil and had lustrously dark curly hair. His shoulders were so broad, developed over many years of playing rugby, in fact far more than he should have instead of studying, but he certainly didn’t care. The sports star was the coolest and the most successful player on the field. Even the way he smiled was cool, reminding him of an Elvis Presley impersonator.

While the boys got ready to impress the girls, Phil secretly hoped to gain Jason’s undivided attention. Whoever jumped the farthest in each round, would be rewarded by a kiss from sweet Emily-Lou. She was one of the hot cheerleaders, and it was generally whispered by the boys that she only rewarded tough boys, usually with a kiss on the school grounds. Phil joined the group with only one goal in mind. To be alongside Jason but he didn’t dare let anyone know about it.

Bolstered more by Jason’s gaze on him as he climbed the tree rather than the girls’ attention, from the safety of a thick branch, he held on to the rope with all his might, but something made him freeze. It was pure and simple unadulterated fear. He was so high up on that sinewy tree, perched precariously on the branch. His only savior was the greasy rope, slippery from the countless instances when other children had gripped it firmly before launching themselves off and into the river.

Right now, getting Jason’s attention was no longer was on his priority list, but hearing the taunts from some of the boys shook him up enough to help him take a deep breath. He quickly looked around and noticed Jason and a few of the kids did not take part in the jeering but watched him with some concern.

He wrapped the rope tightly around his hand before shouting bravely, albeit somewhat awkwardly and not feeling very much like the older boys at that moment. In pure fear and with his eyes firmly shut, he jumped, praying that he had swung high enough to release his grip on the rope, effecting a perfect entry into the slow running river rather than slamming into terra firma.

Despite all hopes of swimming majestically in front of his friends after what he thought was a great swing into the river, Phil, in fact, woke up feeling the hard dirt on his back. He wasn’t sure what happened, but the urge to breathe was strong enough for him to push away the frantic hands that prodded over his chest. He felt confused, reeling in pain and completely out of sorts.

His first impulse was to cough and retch while trying to push away a hand that was trying to turn him onto his side. Phil decided to sit up, but darkness quickly enveloped him again, before eventually waking up in the community hospital.

He wasn’t sure how long he had been in the hospital, but Phil seemed to continually repeat cycles of lucidity before lapsing into unconsciousness for the whole time he was there. He didn’t verbalize it, but he wished that all the whisperings stopped around him so he could get some decent sleep.

He wasn’t sure how long it had been, but sometime later when he was fully awake, his gaze was drawn to the familiar sight of his parents who stood before his bed. Their faces said it all, through their deep frowns and pale complexions. This was a worrisome time for them.

His mother tearfully asked as she rushed to his side, “Phil darling, how are you feeling?”

“I’m okay, I think. Not sure what happened though.” He responded, smacking his lips and trying to lubricate his mouth. He was so thirsty. It felt like it had been days since he had a glass of water.

His mother frowned, looking indignant as she sharply responded to him, “What happened? Young man, you nearly drowned! That’s what happened! We told you so many times not to go near the river to swim. That river has many unexpected currents coursing through it! How many times do we need to remind you that many people have tragically died in that river?”

Some things never change. Phil might have nearly died on that occasion, but that still didn’t stop him receiving a lecture from his mother even though he was laying on his hospital bed.Give me a break Mom. I just wanted to impress the others.

What complicates things more was not the shame of being rescued and puking in front of all the kids, particularly Jason, but it was the fact that from the time when he was able to open his eyes, Phil noticed shadows streaming across the walls of his cold room. These shadows seemed to be urgently whispering incoherent words. He couldn’t understand what they were saying, because they all talked over each other, but nevertheless, it was constant chatter.

It was eerie to see them but even more frightening to witness their urgent whispers. Phil had been embarrassed to mention these things to the treating doctor who came to check on him later that afternoon, in case he might have thought Phil was losing his mind. The man spoke like a pompous old schoolmaster, despite his youthful appearance. Phil tried to explain to him about the shadows and their whispers when the man abruptly interrupted him.

 

About the Author

Lily Lamb aka A. Drew is a Turkish Australian multi-genre indie author. She works as a nurse by day where she feeds her soul by caring for others. At night she tends to her imaginative alter-ego by writing tales involving love, passion, mystery and LGBT romance.

 

Author Links

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Twitter: @1LilyLamb

 

Giveaway

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win 2 ebooks The Dowling House & The Awakening (for 3 winners)

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Release Blitz – Irresistible Indigo (D’Vaire, Book 9) by Jessamyn Kingley

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Irresistible Indigo (D’Vaire, Book 9)

Author: Jessamyn Kingley

Cover Artist: LJ Anderson, Mayhem Cover Creations

Genre/s: M/M Fantasy Romance, M/M Paranormal Romance

Heat Rating:  3 flames

Release Date: November 15, 2018

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Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

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Blurb

A young wizard, a noble duke, and the potion that changes D’Vaire forever.

Since arriving at the Draconis Court of D’Vaire at the age of sixteen, Idris has done everything he can think of to make his new family proud of him. After five years of challenging work, he is finally poised to reach the highest rank within the Spectra Wizardry. The only glaring thing missing is his mate. While he may be young, Idris wants to share his heart with his other half, so he asks Fate to send him a nice dragon who will be kind to him and his familiar. He does not want to be demanding but Idris knows without him he won’t be complete.

Duke Macardle “Mac” Stenetdraconis’s days are centered around his amazing grandparents who raised him. When his grandfather suggests he apply for a new duke position at Court D’Vaire, he is intrigued. It is a place that has opened its doors as a sanctuary and he’s drawn to the idea of helping others. When he arrives, he finds himself with a small dragon familiar on his lap. Minutes later, the owner of that familiar saunters through the door and Mac’s heart is instantly hooked on the irresistible wizard. Determined to make Idris his, the pair soon find themselves tested by life. Their love turns out to the anchor Mac cannot do without while Idris opens the door to a new future for his family.

 

 

Excerpt

“Does anyone have a ball or anything?” Mac asked.

Idris lifted a hand and within seconds, an indigo sphere appeared. He tossed it to Mac, who bounced it in Greggory’s direction. When the familiar used his head to return it, Roger flew off his shoulder and landed on the floor, so he could play too. Two of the young men Mac was sworn to protect were sitting at a round table placed in the office designed for Delaney and Idris. The sorcerers were painstakingly going through the two boxes of warlock books and scrolls found in the Arch Lich’s library. Dra’Kaedan insisted the two get first crack at everything since they were still seeking research ideas. Duff was presumably in his room working on his own studies.

It left Mac with barely anything to do. When Mac discovered how little he knew of sorcery, he went to Aleksander and explained his problem. He wasn’t content to spend his days sitting around. If he was going to oversee the protection of two wizards, he needed to be able to assist them in some way. Aleksander agreed and called the Prism Wizard. Vadimas was receptive to the problem, and Mac was expecting his own box, full of basic magic books, to arrive soon. He might not be able to cast but he could learn, and he was determined to be an asset to Delaney and Idris. If they weren’t trying to reach the pinnacle of their education and power, he would’ve asked them for help, but Mac wasn’t going to get in their way.

In the meantime, Mac could be close to them and entertain the cute dragons who were taking to playing with the ball Idris provided with enthusiasm. He tossed it again and cringed as the two familiars crashed into each other and wiped out. “Sorry, guys,” he offered. Growls were hurled in his direction, but they allowed him to help them off the floor and both waited patiently until he threw their toy again.

“I think I might’ve found something interesting,” Idris announced.

“What is it, sweetheart?”

“It’s written in archaic warlock. I need Dra’Kaedan to translate some of this. It’s a language I’m still learning, but what I can read is really intriguing.”

“Are you going to tell us why?” Delaney inquired.

“Not until I’m sure I am reading this right,” Idris remarked as he stood. “I’m going to go find him.”

“I’m coming too,” Delaney said.

“We’ll play ball later,” Mac told his scaly friends. Roger soared up to his shoulder as soon as Mac was on his feet, and Greggory flew behind them all as they headed toward the office down the hall which housed the Coven of Warlocks. Inside they found Dra’Kaedan, his twin, and his familiar.

“Do you have a minute, Dra’Kaedan?” Idris asked with the scroll held protectively in his hand.

“For you guys, always. What’s up?”

“I found something I can only read parts of. Can you translate the rest?”

Dra’Kaedan took it from Idris’s hand. The small blond’s eyes grew wide with shock as they moved down the parchment in his grasp. When he was finished, he handed it to his brother. Dre’Kariston’s reaction was the same as his twin’s; then it was passed to Renny.

“This can’t be real,” Renny declared when he was done. “I mean really. This can’t be fucking real. How’s this possible? Because if it is, my brain’s going to explode.”

 

About the Author

Jessamyn Kingley lives in Nevada where she begs the men in her head to tell her their amazing stories which she dutifully writes it all down in what has become a small mountain of notebooks. She falls in love with each couple and swears whatever book she wrote last is her absolute favorite.

Jessamyn is married and working toward remembering to start the dishwasher without being distracted by the scent of the magical detergent. For personal enjoyment, she aids in cat rescue while slashing and gashing her way through mobs in various MMORPGs. Caffeine is her very best friend and is only cast aside briefly for the sin better known as BBQ potato chips.

Visit her website 

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She loves to engage with readers there.

 

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Giveaway 

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win one of five

copies of any ebook (reader’s choice) from the D’Vaire series (1 – 8)

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Release Blitz – To Be Honest by SM James

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: To Be Honest (#lovehim series book 3

Author: S. M. James

Publisher: May Books

Cover Artist: Story Styling Cover Designs

Genre/s: YA LGBT romance

Length: 81,000 words/380 pages

Heat Rating: 1 – 2 flames

It is a standalone story.

Release Date: November 15, 2018

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Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

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Amazon AU

Paperback US 

Paperback UK

Paperback AU 

 

Blurb

2400 miles. Four friends. One big secret.

Angus Reid is pretty sure he’s being catfished. 

After spending the last half of junior year talking online to the guy of his dreams, Angus wants to meet. In person. So when Scotty brushes it off with excuses of not being ready, red flags go up.

Determined to either catch Scotty out, or take a shot at real love, Angus embarks on a summer road trip with his adorkable roommate, Tyler. But as summer stretches on, and mixed messages fly between them, Angus finds his heart torn.

His potential catfisher?

Or his straight best friend?

And while their road trip takes them across the country, Angus is headed for one destination.

Either a happily ever after … or a broken heart.

All books in the #lovehim series are stand alones. The series number is recommended reading order.

 

 

Excerpt

I pull out of the parking lot and Tyler directs me to the campsite. The ground is rough as anything, and it’s lucky it’s summer, because I can just imagine that in winter we would be driving on ice.

“Just here,” Tyler points to a space ahead, confirming it on the map the campsite admin handed us.

It’s reasonably busy and we’ve had to drive a bit further down. There’s forest pushing in all around us and I can only spot two other tents. Not that those monstrous things could be called tents.

“Just do you know,” I say as I put the car in park and follow Tyler out. “If I get killed, I’ll hold you personally responsible.”

“If you get killed, I promise I’ll make it up to you.”

“I’ve got to tell you though, I’m not planning on dying a virgin.”

He throws a smirk at me over the roof. “Don’t worry, neither am I.”

I open the trunk and start shifting some of our stuff into the front while Tyler lays down the back seats. When I climb in, a thrum of electricity passes over my skin and I have to remind myself to cool it. We’re just friends. Tyler slides in after me.

“Here.” He hands me some blankets and we set to work making it comfortable before lying back, heads rested at the opening.

It’s so peaceful. The night is still and quiet, holding the warmth of the day, and the stars stretch out above us endlessly, smudges of silver blurring them together. I fold my hands behind my head as Tyler takes off his glasses and tosses them in the front.

“And that right there,” Tyler says in a nasally voice, pointing through the back windshield of the open trunk. “Is the ubulla majorious.”

I give him the side eye, not sure if he’s joking or not. “Oh yeah, and what’s that?” I point to another cluster.

“The fibrosious enema.

“And that?”

Ursulla’s Uranus.

I snort, rolling onto my side to look at him. “You are so full of shit.”

“I swear.” He lays a hand over his heart. “See? There’s Angusius’s Titianus.”

He finally gets a laugh out of me and I shove his shoulder a little. “I think your brain’s broken.”

“Nope. It remembers everything, remember, Angus?”

“I do remember. Which is why I wouldn’t be surprised if you knew all the actual names of the constellations and were just goofing around.”

He tries to hold back a guilty smile.

We lapse into a comfortable silence, him staring up at the stars, and me staring at everything but him.

I hesitate. “Thanks for not bailing on me.”

“Are you kidding? It was a choice between this and going home. Trust me, it was a no brainer.”

“I’m honored.” I roll my eyes.

He chuckles softly and pokes me in the bicep. Two fingers. Just like the first day we met. “You should be. You’re always my first choice.”

My cheeks heat and my stomach twists painfully. I’m well aware of his teasing tone but somehow my body completely misses it. “I mean, I wouldn’t say you’re my first choice. At least second or third, though.”

“Ho-oh!” He hangs his head back, showing off his long neck. “You’ve wounded me.”

“Need mouth to mouth?”

He cracks up. “I’d probably enjoy it too much.”

He’s teasing. Teasing. But damn it, if I don’t get this flirting under control it’s only a matter of when not if our friendship implodes.

I’m dying to trace my lips over that long, smooth stretch of skin just below his ear.

He rests his head to the side, looking at me, and a chunk of hair flops down in his eyes. “Have you heard from Scotty yet?”

The lust dries up as worry kicks in. “No, actually. I’m trying not to think about it.”

“I’m sure he’s fine.”

“If he’s done something—”

“No. He wouldn’t have. From what you’ve told me it was his choice, you can’t think like that.”

I scrub a hand over my face. “I basically forced it on him though.”

“Hey.” Tyler’s fingers circle my wrist and he tugs my hand away. “Nope. We’re not doing this. You don’t control other people’s choices. Not today, not tomorrow, just don’t.”

“If only it was that simple.” I sigh.

“It is.” He’s so certain I almost believe him. Instead I reach out and pull the back door closed.

“I’m tired,” I say, tucking up my legs. And if my legs are too long for the space, Tyler’s definitely will be.

With the door closed the outside world is cut off. Tyler turns back to the window, looking up at the sky, and for the thousandth time this year, I wish I had someone to share my feelings with. It sounds lame as hell but I could really use a hug. I just want somebody to be my somebody.

And with Scotty gone, I’m further from that than ever.

 

About the Author

S. M. James writes books for teens about squishy sweet characters.

While not writing, SM is a readaholic and Netflix addict who regularly lives on a sustainable diet of chocolate and coffee.

​​Unapologetically dishing out HEAs for LGBTQ characters.

 

Author Links

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Giveaway 

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win one of the following:

$30 Amazon gift card (AU or US only)

2 x paperbacks international (That Feeling When or To Be Honest)

3 x eBooks international (That Feeling When or To Be Honest)

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Release Blitz – A Kiss Before Christmas by A E Ryecart

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: A Kiss Before Christmas

Author:  A E Ryecart

Publisher: A E Ryecart

Cover Artist: Tammy Clark

Genre/s: Contemporary gay romance, Christmas story

Heat Rating:  2 flames

Length:  37,200 approx words

It is a standalone story.

Release Date: 15th November 2018

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Blurb

Christmas is looming and Jack De Lacy needs a solution to one hell of a fix.

Dumped by his boyfriend in favour of his best friend, Jack’s been busy bragging about the hot new man in his life.

A hot new man who doesn’t exist.

With an important function to attend where he’ll come face-to-face with his ex, Jack knows he’ll be a laughing stock when his boasts are exposed as nothing more than wishful thinking. He’s desperate but time, like his options, is running out.

Rory Kincaid is scared he won’t last another night sleeping rough on London’s frozen, snowbound streets. With all the homeless shelters full, Rory seeks refuge in the first empty doorway he stumbles across.

Finding Rory shivering in the sub-zero temperatures, Jack can no more send him away than kick a puppy out into the cold. A shower, shave and hot drink later, and the grubby street kid is transformed into a beautiful young man.

As the attraction between them grows, so does a plan that will get Jack out of the mess he’s in and give Rory a warm, safe home for Christmas. Sweet and adorable, Rory will make a great fake boyfriend for the holidays – the problem is, neither Jack nor Rory is sure where the make believe ends and the truth begins.

Warning: this 37k novella contains a camp Christmas tree, a drag queen Christmas fairy called Doris, way too many jugs of eggnog, a closet posh boy, and the sweetest Kiss Before Christmas ever.

 

 

Excerpt

Jack swung around. “Wait.”

The kid stopped and looked back over his shoulder, his body braced against the buffeting snow.

What am I doing? It was madness, but the feeling that he was kicking a puppy or leaving a kitten in a bag to die, weighed on Jack.

“You can come upstairs and have a have a cup of tea while you wait out the worst of the weather.” What the hell have I just done?

The kid shifted his weight from one already soaked foot to the other. “No, but thanks. I’ve caused you enough bother already. And you gave me some money – thank you. I’ll go—”

“I might be able to run to a sandwich as well.” What next? A bed for the night?

“I don’t know. . .”

“Well, make your mind up, and do it now. I’m not standing out here freezing my bollocks off for much longer. A cup of tea and a sandwich is the offer, and then you’re on your way. Take it or leave it.”

Jack turned and unlocked the door, the warmth from the hallway a welcome caress against his cold skin. It had been a rash offer but a good one on a night like this. Well, the kid had turned it down, so he’d have to take his chances on the streets.

“Yes. Please. If you’re sure?”

Jack looked over his shoulder. The wind had picked up, and huge snowflakes swirled around. Enough snow had already fallen to cover the black-and-white-tiled path, and it wouldn’t be long before there was a whole lot more. Jack jerked his head, and the boy retraced his steps, following Jack inside and up the stairs.

“No offence, but you really smell.” The words tumbled from Jack’s mouth, his nose wrinkling as he closed the door to his top-floor flat. The kid had only just walked over the threshold, but he was already stinking the place out. In the cold, outdoor air, Jack hadn’t smelled the tangy, ripe aroma but up close and in the warm. . . He sniffed and coughed as his throat closed up. Christ, it was horrible. He’d offered food and drink, but a shower was top of the list.

“Sorry, but I’ve run out of my usual cologne, so I’ve had to splash on Eau de Homeless.”

Jack froze, his arms half in, half out of his coat sleeves. He stared down at the stranger, the stinking, smelly stranger he’d let into his home. And what was the kid doing? Giving him lip. Which Jack knew he deserved. He carried on peeling off his coat and hung it on a hook on the wall. Yep, he’d deserved the comeback because he hadn’t been exactly tactful.

“Sorry. That was a bit – well, you know.” Jack glanced at the kid, but the brief flare of spirit had been doused, leaving him as cowering as he had been on the doorstep. “Look, I’ll sort you out a towel and some clean clothes. I’ve got some old clothes I was going to take to the charity shop, but you might as well have them. I’ll get you a spare razor, too.” Old enough for dark scruff to shadow his skin, Jack thought, so maybe not such a kid after all. Jack turned away, then stopped. A vital piece of information had been omitted.

“I’m Jack, by the way. What’s your name?”

“Rory.”

 

About the Author

I love all kinds of MM romance and gay fiction, but I especially like contemporary stories.  Born and raised in London, the city is part of my DNA so I like to set many of my stories in and around present-day London, providing the perfect, metropolitan backdrop to the main action. I write at home, in the gym, in cafés – in fact any place I can find a good coffee!

 

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Giveaway

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win one of 2 copies of the ebook of A Kiss Before Christmas.

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New Release – His Two Leading Men by Aidan Wayne

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: His Two Leading Men

Author: Aidan Wayne

Publisher: Self-Published

Cover Artist: Aidan Wayne

Genre/s: Contemporary sweet gay romance, menage

Heat Rating:  2 flames 

Length: 57,000words/ 205 pages (309 in kindle format, 296 in PDF)

It is a standalone story.

Release Date: November 9, 2018

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Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

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Blurb

Broadway star Skye’s whole life is an act.

On the surface, he’s living the New York Dream – acclaimed by critics for his stunning debut, playing to packed audiences every night.

They don’t know the truth.

Battling crippling anxiety, every show is a struggle for Skye. Only one thing gives him the courage to step into the spotlight every performance – the steady, calming support of costumer Russell. But Skye can’t burden Russell with all his demons…

When wealthy patron Brent takes an interest in Skye, everything the actor knows is turned upside down. Charismatic and confident, Brent is everything Skye isn’t… and just what he needs. But how can he choose between gentle Russell and magnetic Brent? Russell means so much to him, but the chemistry between Skye and Brent is undeniable.

Or does he have to choose at all…?

 

Excerpt

Quick changes, Skye decided as he scrambled offstage yet again, were the worst part of any show. It was the start of full-dress rehearsal week for the Broadway debut show Child’s Play, so he was figuring out how to get into and out of his costumes–and in time to scale the ladder to the height of center stage so he could descend from the ceiling. He’d botched it twice already, not making it in time for his cue, and he was a mess of nerves trying to get decked out in his light-up tuxedo while he paid attention to the music.

“Hey,” his quick-changer murmured as he affixed Skye’s mask. “You’ve got this.”

Right. Skye nodded and hurried over to the ladder.

After rehearsal was over and the cast was undressing and taking off makeup, Skye decided to track down the quick-changer. His calm amidst the storm had really helped, and Skye wanted to say thanks.

It had been chaotic and dark, but Skye didn’t have a problem remembering what he looked like. Taller than Skye, with dark brown skin and kind eyes.

He found him fixing costume pieces on their hangers, and seeing him in full light–he looked more like someone who should be modeling clothes, over making them. “Hi,” Skye said, trying to sound more confident and less shy. “Uh, I’m Skye. I don’t think we’ve been introduced?”

The quick-changer chuckled, a low, throaty sound, and held out a hand. “Russell,” he said. “And I know who you are. Hard to miss the Power Prince.”

Right. Skye was still in full makeup. He, at least, was easy to recognize. He ruefully rubbed the back of his neck. Skye tried his best to get to know the stage crew, but between them and the cast there were a lot of people to keep track of. Once the show was up and running for a few weeks he’d definitely be better at it, but people sort of stayed in their little boxes during rehearsals. They didn’t meld properly into one complete unit the show actually started. But Russell he wasn’t going to forget. “I just wanted to say thanks.”

“What for?”

“For, you know, encouraging me back there. I really needed it. And it helped a lot.”

Russell smiled at him. “Happy to help.”

“Yeah, uh–” It didn’t feel like enough, just saying thanks. And he didn’t know the guy yet–but it’d be a good idea to get to know him. Especially considering he’d be the one helping Skye strip down and then dress back up twice a show. “Are you busy, now that rehearsal is done for the day?”

Russell shook his head. “Just need to finish prepping this all for tomorrow. Shouldn’t take me long. Why?”

“You want to grab a bite to eat together?”

“Sure.”

“Want to meet by the back door when you’re ready? I have to take all this off anyway.”

Russell chuckled again. “I might be done before you are, but sure, yeah. Meet you then.”

Skye grinned. “Great.”

He left to go peel off his costume, unpin his wig, and take off all the stage makeup. In the end, he just wiped off as much as he could manage. He was pretty sure all Broadway actors had perpetually lined eyes at this point. Well, it wasn’t like he minded that much–it did make his eyes pop.

When he was dressed in real-people clothes again, he grabbed up his bag and left for the backstage door. A few people were still milling around, but Russell was standing a little off to one side. Not checking his phone or anything, just watching what was going on around him.

Skye went up to him. “Hey,” he said. “Thanks for waiting. Looks like you were right; you were done before I was.”

Russell blinked at him and then laughed. “So that’s what you look like when you’re out of makeup. I’ve been wondering.”

“You have?”

Russell shrugged. “I mean, I’ve seen everyone’s playbill headshots, but by the time I get to most of you, you’re all in makeup, if not costumed.”

“I thought you were one of the costumers.”

“Yeah, but that mostly means I’m sewing or repairing or washing. I just get put on the quick-changes once we get into dress shows. I’ve got fast fingers.”

Skye laughed. “Okay, good to know. And, I mean, I appreciated them. You’re going to be the one working with me?” Hopefully he didn’t sound to eager.

“Yup. For the changes on that side of the stage that need an extra pair of hands, I’m your guy.”

Skye smiled. “Nice to hear.”

“So where we headed?”

“Oh, uh,” Skye might not’ve thought that far. “What are you in the mood for?”

“You pick. You were the one who did the inviting, after all.” Russell grinned at him.

Skye tried not to panic. He wasn’t so great at choosing things. “Um.” There was that burger joint a block away that he and the others frequented a lot, that might be a good place. But maybe that was too fast-foody? There was a sushi bar pretty close by too, but Russell might not like that. Maybe–

“Actually,” Russell said after what was probably too long a pause on Skye’s part, “I could really do with a burger. That sound good to you?”

Crisis averted. Second time that day Russell had done that. “Yeah.” Skye smiled. “That sounds great.

 

Meet the Author

Aidan Wayne has been publishing LGBTQ+ fiction since 2016. While they usually stick with contemporary romance (both adult and YA), some soft sci-fi/fantasy has been known to sneak in as well. They primarily write character-driven stories with happy endings, because, dammit, queer people deserve happy endings too.

 

Author Links

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Facebook

Twitter

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Anniversary Blog Tour – Why I… Series by Colette Davison

BLOG TOUR

Book Title: Why I Left You, Why I Need You, Why I Trust You

(available individually or in an omnibus edition)

Author: Colette Davison

Publisher: Self-Published

Genre/s: gay contemporary romance

Heat Rating: 4 flames      

Length:  Why I Left you: 296 pages; Why I Need You: 320 pages; Why I Trust You: 300 pages.

They are a loosely linked series, but can all be read as standalones.

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Blurb

Why I Left You

Jamie is struggling with university, money and depression. The last thing he needs is for Brett—the guy who left him four years ago—to walk back into his life. Yet it could be just what he needs.

Ever since Jamie left him, Brett has been running away from commitment. But when he meets Jamie again, he’s forced to re-examine every aspect of his life.

Brett and Jamie are drawn back together by an undeniable spark, but unless they can come to terms with the past, their relationship won’t survive the present.

 

 

 

Why I Need You

Following the death of their parents, Fin put his life on hold to raise his little sister. He’s convinced her well-being is all that matters, even if it’s at the expense of his own. A chance meeting with Noah opens his eyes to the possibility of happiness. A happiness that could shatter the moment Noah discovers Fin has an eight-year-old in tow.

Noah has been living a lie for years. When he gets publicly outed, he gets kicked out of his parents’ home and business. Although he’s angry at being disowned, Noah knows it means he’s finally free to love whomever he wants. But in order to have a fulfilling and lasting relationship, Noah has to get past his repressed upbringing and inhibitions, before Fin walks out of his life.

In order to stay together, Fin and Noah have to be brave enough to be honest with themselves and each other.

 

Why I Trust You

Martin is the larger than life funny guy, the one who’s quick to soothe other’s pain, whilst hiding his own. He wants nothing more than to find ‘the one’, but his love life consists of a string of break-ups. He’s close to giving up on love, until he meets Ryan online, the artist whose work speaks to his soul. There are just two problems: Ryan already has a boyfriend and he lives in California, which is one hell of a long way from England.

Working with Martin to develop a game is supposed to be purely business; a way for Ryan to earn the money to leave his abusive boyfriend. Except, he finds himself falling for the enigmatic Englishman. Wondering what kind of spark there might be if they were in the same country is one thing, escaping his boyfriend is another.

Wounded by their past relationships, Martin and Ryan have to learn to trust each other in order to have a chance at building a future together.

**These stories contain mature language and scenes, including descriptions of sex, depression and domestic abuse**

 

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Why I Left You

Why I Need You

Why I Trust You

Why I… Omnibus

Excerpts

Why I Left You

“You’d get drunk faster on spirits,” Brett said, wandering up to him.

Jamie glowered at him and then fixed his gaze on the dance floor. “Thanks for the tip, but I’m good.” He sipped more slowly at the new pint.

Brett didn’t move. “I didn’t think you were into guys anymore.” The question sounded casual, but his body was full of tension as he leaned against the wall beside Jamie.

“What the fuck would you know about it?” Jamie tipped his head back against the wall, closed his eyes and breathed in and out. Just Breathe. “Sorry. I don’t want to fight with you, not tonight.” He pushed his hair back and took a good-sized gulp of his beer. “I just want to hang out and relax. If you’re not gonna help me do that, would you please get lost?”

Brett’s eyes widened. “Help you? How would I be able to help you?”

Jamie shook his head. “Forget it.”

Except he couldn’t get the thought of kissing Brett out of his head, which was totally fucked up. He decided it was the drink talking, stirring up long-forgotten feelings. He glanced at Brett and knew instantly he shouldn’t have done. Brett’s blue eyes seemed more intense under the ultraviolet lighting, almost supernaturally so. They bored into him, trying to understand what he’d just said. And damn if that gaze didn’t make his legs weak and his stomach flip over, the way it always had done when they were younger.

He knocked back the rest of his beer and then put the plastic cup down on the floor beside his feet. He straightened up too fast and swayed. Brett reached out and grabbed him by the shoulders to steady him.

“On second thoughts, I guess you’re already well on the way to being plastered,” Brett said.

Before he had time to regret even thinking about it, Jamie did something stupid. He stepped in to Brett and kissed him.

 

Why I Need You

“I’m staying at a friend’s house for now,” Noah said, trying to inject lightness into his voice. “Martin. He’s cool. You should meet him sometime.”

“Just a friend?” Fin asked, his eyes narrowing ever so slightly. Was that curiosity playing across his face?

“Yes,” Noah said. “We went there once, in high school, but we’re really not into each other. What about you? Have you got a boyfriend?” It was a stupid question, really. They wouldn’t be out together if either of them was involved with someone else.

“No.”

“Really?” Noah acted surprised. “I can’t believe someone as cute as you is available.”

Fin let out a short laugh. “I’d have thought you’d have been snapped up quickly, too.”

Noah ran his finger around the rim of his pint glass. “I’ve been keeping a low profile. I had to keep up appearances for my parents and all that. Now, I’m free. What’s your excuse?” He was sure he saw panic flit through Fin’s eyes. They certainly darkened for a couple of seconds, his irises becoming almost indistinguishable from his pupils.

“I’ve been too busy, I guess. Too much work and study.”

“You know what they say,” Noah said. “All work and no play makes Fin a dull boy.”

“I’m dull, am I?”

“Not from what I’ve seen. Yet. But you’re in danger of it,” Noah said in a knowing tone. “You should definitely get out more.”

“Oh, yeah?” Fin asked, his voice lower than it had been moments before. He leaned towards Noah, resting both elbows on the table. “And who would I do that with?”

Noah leaned towards him as though there were some sort of invisible tug coming from Fin. He could tell by the way Fin’s eyelids were a little heavy and the lazy curve of his lips that he’d welcome a kiss in that moment. Noah found he wanted to. He wanted to feel the texture of Fin’s lips against his own, wanted to taste him. His hands became clammy. It felt like the few people in the bar were all staring at them. It didn’t matter whether it was true or not; he could already feel the blood pounding in his head. His stomach lurched at the thought of prying eyes watching what should have been an intimate moment. So, instead of doing what he knew they both wanted, he leaned back.

“I’m sure you can find someone,” he said in what was supposed to have come out as a cocky, laid-back tone but actually sounded really dumb.

 

Why I Trust You

As Martin spoke, Ryan drew as quickly as he could. He wasn’t aiming for anything of beauty, just the gist contained in a series of incredibly rough sketches. It was impossible not to get caught up in Martin’s vision. The childlike excitement in Martin’s voice encouraged Ryan to smile as he drew, visually realising the story that was beginning to unfold in Martin’s rambling and often chaotically organised sentences.

“And that’s it,” Martin said. “I talked too fast, didn’t I? You should have stopped me.”

The truth was, Ryan had loved listening to Martin’s deep, smooth voice. He’d loved being able to switch off from everything else to focus on nothing but Martin’s words and the sketchpad and pencil. He used his phone to snap a few photos of his rough sketches and emailed them straight to Martin.

“I sent you a present,” he said. “And, no, you didn’t talk too fast.”

“Got it,” Martin said. “Holy shit. You drew these while I was talking?”

“Yeah, they’re kind of rough.”

They were more impressions than clear drawings. Bold lines used to create the suggestion of vast detail. But despite that, Ryan was confident that the content of each sketch was clear.

“I’ll obviously need to translate all these ideas into digital format and pick a style that’ll work across platforms without pixelating on larger devices or looking too visually cluttered on smaller screens. I’ll work on some solid graphics ideas over the next few days.”

“These are amazing,” Martin breathed. “I just… wow.”

Ryan felt a warmth surge through his chest. It felt so good to be really, truly appreciated by someone. The fact that it was a guy he’d never met and who lived several thousand miles away only made it hit home how truly miserable he’d become. But that awareness didn’t stop the guilt from seeping into every fibre of his being. He was sneaking around behind Zane’s back, talking to another guy. A guy whose voice he liked. A guy who made him feel appreciated. If Zane found out, he’d flip out and accuse Ryan of cheating. He gripped his pencil tightly, to the point of almost snapping it in half.

“I’d better go,” he said, his voice suddenly weary. “I’ve got work in a few hours, so I’d better get some sleep.” Not that he was convinced he would be able to sleep, as his thoughts were so mixed up about the way Martin made him feel.

“Yeah. Sorry I kept you up.”

“No problem. It’s been fun.” It really had been. That was the thought Ryan wanted to take away with him, rather than the guilt, but he knew the guilt would win.

 

About the Author

Colette’s personal love story began at university, where she met her future husband. An evening of flirting eventually led to a fairytale wedding. She lives in the north of England with her husband, two beautiful children, a crazy dog and a lazy cat.

 

 

Author Links

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Giveaway

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Book Blast – The Signal Box by Lazlo Thorn

BOOK BLAST

Book Title: The Signal Box

Author: Lazlo Thorn

Publisher: MLR Press

Cover Artist: Lex Valentine

Genre/s: Gay Romance / Erotica with some BDSM themes

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length:  34,000 words / 75  pages

Release Date: April 5, 2018

It is a standalone book.

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“When you tie me like that, when I’m sure I can’t get free,

well it’s like everything becomes still.

I’m still. Everything is calm.”

 

Blurb

Autumn, 1913. Wiltshire, England. Davy Buckland, a boiler cleaner in the engine shed at the local railway station, was nineteen when he took a shine to the signalman at nearby Oakwood Junction. He didn’t know much about Nathaniel, but he recognised a man who could show him the ropes and how the isolated signal box in the Edwardian countryside where he worked, could provide the perfect hideaway for their clandestine games. By the time the Great War had started and these two ordinary men had become lovers, it wasn’t only the trains that were greased up and running on a good head of steam. But just how long could they keep this affair a secret? And what would the consequences be, if their unusual sexual liaison was ever discovered?

 

Buy Links

MLR Books

Amazon US 

Amazon UK 

B&N 

 

Excerpt

He bounded up the steps enthusiastically and entered the signal box still dressed in the dirty overalls he’d worn while working on the engine that morning. By contrast Nathaniel Bixby, the signalman, looked clean and very smart in his dark black railway uniform, white shirt and company cap with the copper SWR badge. He was a tall, clean shaven man with hair the colour of a rusty firebox, handsome in an ordinary way. His uniform suggested broad shoulders and enhanced his capable bearing. His military background made him used to wearing a uniform well and his only concession to civilian life was a loosened tie. As Davy entered, he stood proudly by the rack of eight tall metal levers, some red, some yellow and some black, each the height of his chest, that dominated the area in front of the big window. He had a dirty rag draped over his shoulder. He looked at Davy then checked the time using the big pocket watch he kept in his waistcoat.

“You’re early,” he said.

“Sorry, Mr Bixby. I thought I’d come straight here,” Davy replied.

“So I can see,” Nathaniel said, studying the dirt all over Davy’s face and overalls. “Throw a log on the fire. The pot’s hot. Make yourself a cup of tea. Let me get the thirteen-twenty out of the way and then we’ll get started.”

Nathaniel dutifully returned to his job and using the old rag to improve his grip began pulling some of the levers to switch the points and set the signals, taking particular care to set the stop signal on the branch line to ensure a clear passage for the impending express that would shortly reach the junction.

Davy opened the small, black stove in the corner of the signal box, poked the embers and put another log in it from the nearby basket. Then he brewed a cup of tea in a stained tin mug. He observed as the older man deftly made light work of the heavy-duty engineering in his office. A couple of bells rang a rhythmic beat in code with a message from a neighbouring signal box along the line. Nathaniel responded in kind. With the rack set, he waited, leaning casually on one of the levers while looking up the line for signs of the express. Then right on cue and with a piercing whistle the train he had been preparing for came thundering round the bend, past the box and into the cutting. The windows rattled and the surrounding trees vanished in volcanic clouds of steam as the fire-breathing monster made off into the distance and once again the little clearing in the woods was quiet. Nathaniel returned the levers to their original settings and, as was his custom, hung the old rag over the one on the end. He turned to Davy.

“It’ll be quiet now for a bit,” he said with a grin.

Nathaniel took off his waistcoat and company cap, put them on a nearby chair next to the desk in the corner of the room and locked the door. Next, he rolled up his sleeves revealing the strong, hairy forearms that gave him the strength to make such light work of the heavy, clunky levers in the box.

Davy gulped down the rest of his tea while Nathaniel retrieved an old canvas rucksack from under the desk. He unfastened the bag and took out a short length of rope. Davy lay face down on the hard, wooden floor and—in a by now well-rehearsed routine—placed his hands behind his back where Nathaniel bound them. First his wrists and then his ankles. Then more rope, longer this time, firmly around his upper body and shoulders and finally that cruel ligature that drew his ankles right up to his wrists rendering Davy immobile and blissfully helpless. Davy watched as Nathaniel stood up and studied his handiwork for a moment. Then he replaced his waistcoat and cap before he silently returned to his post at the lever rack.

Lying motionless on the floor, Davy could feel the rough floorboard against his cheek. He glanced over to where Nathaniel was standing with his back to him, watching out of the window and vigilantly minding his station. From this angle, Davy could see the scratches in the heels of his well-worn black leather boots and the backs of his tall, strong legs. After a moment, Davy tested the ropes, but as usual Nathaniel had been very thorough, careful to put the knots out of the reach of his nimble fingers and to place the coils around his body where the contours of his own muscles blocked any prospect of easy slippage. He rolled. Now, he was facing the back of the box. Once again, he tried flexing his arms and legs, pushing against the ropes but if anything, the struggling only seemed to make everything feel even tighter, even more of a tangle. So, he wrestled with the restraints some more, relishing the sensation. He knew from experience that being tied up like this it would take him hours to get free. He was a prisoner, just the way he liked it.

 

 

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.

His forthcoming novel (Pain and Promise), due for release shortly, 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.

He has nursed an ambition to be a writer for a number of years, but has only recently been able to make sufficient space in his life to begin committing some of his ideas to paper. 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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