Release Blitz · Reviews

Legendary Loves 2: release blitz & review

 

Legendary Loves must be the most delightful collection of stories you could curl up with this Halloween. ‘Tis a hat-trick of treats not to be missed. Three charming tales steeped in legend and lore; each featuring a lesser-spotted (not least in fiction) shifter at its heart…

 

🎃🎃🎃🎃🎃

 

RELEASE BLITZ

Collection Title: Legendary Loves Volume 2

Publisher: JMS Books, LLC

Cover Artist: Written Ink Designs

Length: 71 700 words

Release Date: October 19, 2019

Add on Goodreads

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07Z7G17JM/

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07Z7G17JM/

 

Blurb

JMS Books’ Trios are themed collections of three gay romance stories by a trio of authors. Each story is available separately, but readers can get all three for a discounted bundle price.

Legendary Loves Volume 2 contains three paranormal shifter M/M romances just in time for Halloween!

It contains these stories:

In My Arms Again by Nell Iris: Oxen is lonely, feeling like he’s waiting for something, and can’t focus. But when a very ill stranger collapses on his doorstep, everything changes. The stranger, Vinge, is a Pegasus unable to transform. Both men feel an instant connection that swiftly grows deeper. The questions surrounding Vinge are many. Why is he so familiar? What will it take for the depth of their connection be revealed?

The Murky Depths by Kassandra Lea: Tired of the daily grind of his job, Keston heads out for a weekend at his family’s cabin in Kona Woods. Turns out he isn’t alone, though, as there are others lurking in the shadows. When a near-death experience brings Ness waltzing into his life, everything Keston thought he knew is turned upside down. Will facing what scares him bring to Keston’s life what it’s missing most?

Weekend at Bigfoot’s by Addison Albright: There’s nothing about perky — twinky? — Oliver Hughes that would make Sensational News’ (Never Fake! We Swear!) reporter Wilson Banks think Bigfoot actually exists. But while pursuing soundbites for a tabloid story about Bigfoot, Wilson witnesses something he wasn’t meant to see. In Wilson’s new reality, is there room for love with someone whose dreams are as big as his … er … feet?

Buy Links

The books will all be 20% off at the publisher’s site through October 25.

Legendary Loves, Volume 2

Publisher | B&N | Kobo | iBooks

Amazon US | Amazon UK

 

BOOK 1

Book Title: In My Arms Again

Author: Nell Iris

Publisher: JMS Books, LLC

Cover Artist: Written Ink Designs

Length: 21 809 words

Release Date: October 19, 2019

Genre/s: M/M Historical Paranormal Fantasy Gay Romance

Trope/s: Soulmates, age difference, hurt/comfort

Themes: Finding your soulmate, reunited, family conflict, acceptance

Heat Rating: 3 flames

It is a standalone story.

Add on Goodreads

Buy Links

Publisher | B&N | Kobo | iBooks

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Two strangers. An unexpected familiarity. Instant connection.

Blurb

Trapped in a growing sense of restlessness, Oxen the hunter is lonely. Feeling like he’s waiting for something—or someone—he’s unable to focus on getting ready for winter. But when a handsome and very ill stranger collapses on his doorstep, everything changes.

Vinge is from a Pegasus family but has never been able to transform. As soon as he awakens in Oxen’s care, both men feel an instant connection, which grows deeper as Oxen nurses him back to health. Something profound within each man calls out to the other, but neither knows what it is.

The questions surrounding Vinge and their deepening relationship are many. Why is Vinge so familiar to Oxen when they have clearly never met? Why are they both reluctant to take the first step to a real commitment? And what will it take for the true depth of their connection be revealed?

 

Excerpt

His eyes are still closed when I kneel next to the bed again, but I can tell he’s awake by the way his head tracks my movements.

“I will lift your head and help you drink,” I explain before touching him again, and he tilts his chin down, giving me permission. I slide my hand around his neck, cup the back of his head, and ease it off the bed. He drinks in deep gulps until the bowl is empty, and when I lower him back down to the pillow, he sighs.

“Thank you, Hunter.”

I stiffen at his words. “Do you know me?”

Slowly, he moves his hand from his side and lays it on his chest. “I feel you,” he says.

“How?” My head is spinning with all the questions this man’s arrival has brought. For every passing hour, they multiply, and I can no longer keep track of them all.

The stranger doesn’t answer my question—somehow I knew he wouldn’t—so I try another approach. “I am afraid you have me at a disadvantage. I know not who you are.”

His pries his eyelids open, long eyelashes fluttering like a hummingbird’s wing. Even in the dim light of the cabin—cast only by the flames in the hearth—I can make out the color of his eyes: so dark they’re almost completely black, generously sprinkled with flecks of gleaming gold, and despite the obvious tiredness, his gaze is bottomless and intense. It pulls me in and settles some of the restlessness in my chest at the same time.

And when he looks at me, I understand what he’s talking about.

I can feel him, his presence. As though his heart beats next to mine in my chest. As though his breath mingles with mine when it leaves my mouth, as though I see myself through his eyes. As though I know him.

“My name…” His voice falters.

“…is Vinge,” I finish, a gasp escaping at my own words.

“Yes.”

REVIEW

In My Arms Again is all that a story from the head and heart of Nell Iris promises to be. Beautifully written and told with genuine warmth, drawing you into a world where people are pure of heart and noble of spirit, no matter what fate thrusts in their path. They suffer but never become bitter. There is a rare grace in her stories which makes them sing, a calibre of character as seductive as a roaring fire on a frigid night. Men who encapsulate the very essence of: ‘Nothing is so strong as gentleness. Nothing is so gentle as real strength..’ 

There is a weight in words that flow with the life giving force of a mountain spring, their warmth as irresistible as the glisten of sunlight off its surface. 

In My Arms Again is every bit as magical as the mythical creature at its heart. A tale of two kindred spirits who had lost all faith in themselves and the value of their existence.  Soulmates who see their best selves reflected in the eyes of one another and strive to honour that image. Theirs is a story of acceptance and the power of affirmation upon self. Of hearts made whole and encapsulated in a single sentence:

‘I’ve finally found somewhere I belong…’

As beautiful as it is brilliant. 

🧡🧡🧡🧡🧡

 

BOOK 2

Book Title: The Murky Depths

Author: Kassandra Lea

Publisher: JMS Books, LLC

Cover Artist: Written Ink Designs

Length: 20 106 words

Release Date: September 19, 2019

Genre/s: M/M Paranormal/Urban Fantasy

Heat Rating: 1 flame

It is a standalone story.

Add on Goodreads

Buy Links

Publisher | B&N | Kobo | iBooks

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Who…or what is lurking in the shadows?

Blurb

While Keston enjoys his occasional video game tournaments with the kid across the hall, he’s grown tired of the daily grind of his job. With a bit of a push from his boss, he heads out for a weekend at his family’s cabin in Kona Woods. A little time away from the hustle and bustle sounds like just the thing he needs.

Turns out he isn’t alone, though, as there are others lurking in the shadows. When a near-death experience brings Ness waltzing into his life, everything Keston thought he knew is turned upside down, and he runs in fear.

But will facing what scares him bring to Keston’s life what it’s missing most?

 

Excerpt

“Crap,” he growled. Keston scrambled for the paddle as the first fat raindrop landed on his cheek, coursing down like a year he didn’t remember crying. The once gentle rocking was becoming stomach upsetting and mixed with his actions threatened to capsize him. “Crap, crap, crappity.”

Why didn’t you check the weather forecast, you fanned fool? Instead of being a sitting duck for an electric charge you could be sitting safely before a fire while letting the storm rage on. Even sticking to his original plan would have had better results, he’d simply have raced back through the woods with prayers of no branches falling on his head. Being soaked head to toe he could accept.

Which might happen sooner than he hoped.

The wind picked up, forcing the trees to dance and tearing the leaves from their branches. Keston pitched dangerously to one side and narrowly avoided taking an unwanted swim by shifting his weight the other way. His belongings slid back and forth along the bottom of the canoe. Lightning. Thunder. His pounding heart prodded by fear and adrenaline. And then it hit, the deluge of rain, almost like having a bucket of water dumped over his head, or perhaps this was how coaches felt after the end of a great game when thee players got all excited and doused them in Gatorade or whatever.

He was soaked instantly.

And it was a cold rain, one that dropped the temperature significantly in a matter of seconds. Gone was the beautiful autumn day replaced with a chill that left each breath as a puff on the wind. Keston shivered, somehow managing to wrap his fingers around the paddle. He gripped it tightly and dipped one end into the lake, which by now was tossing him about as if he was a rubber ducky in a child’s bath.

The waves were getting worse.

REVIEW

 

The Murky Depths by Kassandra Lea 

This might be the shortest story, but therein lies a lot of plot. A feat in itself to one who can scarce cram a dinner date into twenty thousand words. Better yet, the legendary creature at its centre is one I never imagined I might encounter in a romance; a fact so splendid I was seduced from the start…and there is lots to love. A quirkiness of character I found enchanting; creatures of legend and lore, living their lives, going about their business, every bit as credible as they are incredible. 

‘Little did he realize he was being watched, had been since the second he turned down the barely two lane road that wove like a scar through the mostly untouched landscape…the forest abuzz with the arrival of a human. There was a ripple of concern on what he planned to do, how long he’d stay and if he knew. Those who remembered him as a youngster questioned if he recalled any of the events that transpired when he was a child. 

Minds were more easily manipulated back then, more willing to believe in the magic that tried its best to remain hidden.’

As an adult, I’ve held firm to that belief; never quite relinquishing the hope that I’ve simply become too damnedly grown up to share in secrets too sacred to be sullied by adult sensibilities. 

 ‘Shall we be on with our adventure then?’                                                                                  ‘Um, one tiny problem, dear, we’ve no boat to get me there…’

Boat schmoat...it was wonderful to spend a wee while in a world where such matters are mere mundanities when setting forth on life’s great adventure with your soulmate.

 

🧡🧡🧡🧡🧡

 

BOOK 3

Book Title: Weekend at Bigfoot’s

Author: Addison Albright

Publisher: JMS Books, LLC

Cover Artist: Written Ink Designs

Length: 29 800 words

Release Date: September 19, 2019

Genre/s: M/M Contemporary Paranormal Gay Romance (with a pinch of Mystery and Comedy)

Trope/s: Meet Cute, Forbidden Love, Fling Turns into More

Themes: Love (or at least lust) at first sight, secrets, paranormal surprise

Heat Rating: 3 flames

It is a standalone story.

Add on Goodreads

 

Buy Links

Publisher | B&N | Kobo | iBooks

Amazon US | Amazon UK

 

It wasn’t supposed to be REAL!

Blurb

It wasn’t supposed to be REAL! Bigfoot doesn’t actually exist. Yetis, shifters, creatures of the night … none of those exist. Right? Right?

There’s nothing about perky—some might even say twinky—Oliver Hughes that would make a skeptic like Sensational News’ (Never Fake! We Swear!) reporter Wilson Banks think otherwise. But while pursuing soundbites for a tabloid story about Bigfoot, Wilson witnesses something he wasn’t meant to see.

In Wilson’s new reality, is there room for love with someone whose dreams are as big as his … er … feet?

This fun novella has a paranormal twist, a hint of mystery, and a flavorful dollop of romantic comedy. Mix it all together for a satisfying HEA!

 

Excerpt

Wilson’s gaze traveled lower, and if possible, widened further. Because holy mother of Sasquatch, Yeti, and the Abominable Snowman, Emma Pearson had not been exaggerating when she’d insinuated that Bigfoot was well-hung. If anything, she’d underplayed it.

Bigfoot—that’s who he had to be—squawked again with a noise that had an admonishing tone, as if calling out Wilson’s rudeness for gawking at his junk, then covered said junk with his massive hands.

“Sorry,” Wilson muttered. It was reflexive and seemed weird in the circumstances to be calmly apologizing to Bigfoot. Why the hell wasn’t he freaking the fuck out? Most normal people would be.

A vision of Mark screeching, “I don’t think I’ve ever once seen you get worked up over anything,” flashed through Wilson’s head. Apparently Mark had a point.

Wilson blinked. There would be absolutely no way to get the mouth and flaring nostrils of this…creature so perfect in such a close inspection if he wasn’t real. He was real.

And if this was the ultimate test of pragmatism, then—Wilson straightened his back—he was going to pass it with flying colors.

 

REVIEW

 

Weekend at Bigfoots by Addison Albright

I adore Addison Albright. If that were not true, I may never have come across this treasure trove of tales as I rarely read shifter stories. That matters not; some authors are exceptions to all such customs. A truth that has reaped rich rewards along the way and gifted me one of my very favourite trilogies. I had never read a castaway tale before, nor imagined that I might. 

I devoured the ‘Vows’ box set (Til Death do us part, From This Day Forward, To Love & To Cherish) for all the world as if I’d been marooned for five years with nary a book to feast on in the interim.  

If informed that I might salivate in anticipation of a Bigfoot tale, I would have scoffed. Rather than scoffed it with relish. The latter proved true…I never doubted for a moment that it would. I’d already delighted in being stranded in scorching sunlight without a stitch to my name, and figured (for some reason) that I was about to freeze my bits off with the abominable snowman in Alaska. I may have got super(natural)heroes in a muddle. No matter, off I set; snowbooted and suited to brave the elements. Instead, I found myself transported to Tallbear, Northern California to reside among the finest townsfolk I’ve encountered for many a moon; as quirky as their tourist town is quaint.

How I loved this story. How I laughed. I hadn’t reached the foot of the first page before I was cackling away to myself like a crazy ol’ cat lady on the subway. This, on accounts that our hero, Wilson—none too keen on the prospect of said trip—was offered the following alternative: 

“You want to interview all the victims of the chimney shitter in Bosie?”

Chances are, I’d have delighted in the shitter’s story just as much, had its author elected to immerse me in it.😋 Shitters or shifters…like I said, it matters not a jot.

I may have fallen in love with Oliver the moment we met. Swiftly after being bedevilled by jam. Jam is my very favourite word. (This is partially Eddie Izzard’s fault. Never has the word Jam been uttered with such luscious relish and to such chuckle-fest effect).

Strawberry with lemongrass—perchance you were wondering—the latter adds ‘tang’ promised its purveyor. The allure of Oliver can be attested to by his attention snaffling proclivities from said preserve. 

‘But what really made him stand out was his bearing–the “I’m going to be me and I don’t care what anybody thinks” jut of his chin that came across more as a life philosophy than as a challenge to all comers.

Okay, maybe the  shoulder-length black hair with sparking streaks of silver, gold, and purple stood out too. And the azure-blue eyes that seemed too brilliant to be real–yet Wilson sensed they were…’

Wilson may not be a supernatural being, but he is far from your bog-standard sort of scribe. Despite working for a tabloid newspaper, his cynicism is infused with a warm humour that never belittles his subjects. He is never cruel or careless in pursuit of his prey; instead he radiates a charm that never feels forced. Even his innermost musings are free from ridicule in the face of the unfeasible…no matter how unlikely the claims of his interviewees, or their steadfast insistence upon them.

🧡🧡🧡🧡🧡

Pegasus, Ness and Bigfoot unleashed in a five star Halloween treat t’die for.

 

🎃🎃🎃🎃🎃

 

About the Authors

Nell Iris

Nell Iris is a romantic at heart who believes everyone deserves a happy ending. She’s a bona fide bookworm (learned to read long before she started school), wouldn’t dream of going anywhere without something to read (not even the ladies room), loves music (and singing along but let’s face it, she’s not Celine Dion), and is a real Star Trek nerd (Make it so). She loves words, poetry, wine, and Sudoku, and absolutely adores elephants!

Nell believes passionately in equality for all regardless of race, gender or sexuality, and wants to make the world a better, less hateful, place.

Nell is a 40-something bisexual Swedish woman, married to the love of her life, and a proud mama of a grown daughter. She left the Scandinavian cold and darkness for warmer and sunnier Malaysia a few years ago, where she spends her days writing, surfing the Internet, enjoying the heat, and eating good food. One day she decided to chase her life long dream of being a writer, sat down in front of her laptop, and wrote a story about two men falling in love.

Nell Iris writes gay romance, prefers sweet over angsty, and loves writing diverse and different characters.

Author Links

Blog/Website | Facebook Author Page | Facebook Profile

Twitter: @nellirisauthor | Instagram: @nell_iris | Goodreads

QueeRomance Ink | BookBub

 

 

Kassandra Lea

Born to a military family, Kassandra Lea has been reading since she could hold a book. Growing up she wanted to be Batman, then she discovered writing and realized she could be whatever she wanted if she lived vicariously through her characters. When not writing, she can be found hanging out with her dog, pursuing her love of horses, and cheering on the Packers. She lives in southern Wisconsin in an old house with her mother, a gang of furry monsters, and a ghost.

Author Links

Facebook | Twitter: @Cheddarsgal | Instagram | Goodreads

 

Addison Albright

Addison Albright is a writer living in the middle of the USA. Her stories are gay romance in contemporary, fantasy, and paranormal genres. She generally adds a subtle touch of humor, a smidgen of drama/angst, and a healthy dose of slice-of-life to her stories. Her education includes a BS in Education with a major in mathematics and a minor in chemistry. Addison loves spending time with her family, reading, popcorn, boating, french fries, “open window weather,” cats, math, and anything chocolate. She loves to read pretty much anything and everything, anytime and anywhere.

Author Links

Blog/Website | Facebook Author Page | Facebook Profile | Twitter

BookBub | QueeRomance Ink | Amazon

Newsletter sign-up | Instagram: (@addison.albright) | Audible

 

 

Giveaway

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win

your choice of ebooks from each author’s backlist (3 books for each of 3 winners)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

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

 

Legendary Loves Vol 2 - 4 Covers with Taglines 1600x1200.png

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

 

 

Guest · Release Blitz

Special Guest: Maggie Blackbird

Hiya, 
My very special guest today is the wonderful Maggie Blackbird with her latest release: The third book in her fabulous Matawapit Family Series – Sanctified.

***

Sanctified

The Matawapit Family Series Book 3
by Maggie Blackbird
Genre: Inspirational Contemporary Romance
In the midst of a battle for leadership at their Ojibway community, two
enemies of opposing families fall in love…​
After suffering a humiliating divorce, infuriated Catholic Jude Matawapit bolts to his
family’s Ojibway community to begin a new job—but finds himself
thrown into a battle for chief as his brother-in-law’s campaign
manager. The radical Kabatay clan, with their extreme ideas about
traditional Ojibway life, will stop at nothing to claim the
leadership position and rid the reserve of Western culture and its
religion once and for all, which threatens not only the
non-traditional people of the community, but Jude’s chance at a
brand-new life he’s creating for his children.
Recovering addict Raven
Kabatay will do anything to win the respect and trust of her older
siblings and mother after falling deep into drug addiction that
brought shame and anger to her family. Not only does she have the
opportunity to redeem herself by becoming her brother’s campaign
manager for chief—if he wins, she’ll have the reserve’s backing
to purchase the gold-mine diner where she works, finally making
something of herself. But falling in love with the family’s sworn
enemy—the deacon’s eldest son, Jude—will not just betray the
Kabatay clan. It could destroy everything Raven believes in and has
worked so hard for.
sanctified teaser 1.png

Excerpt

Jude shouldn’t care if Raven was about to undress. He’d seen many students remove their outerwear in class. But the down parka on Raven didn’t swallow her ballerina-lithe body like a garbage bag. The coat was the fashionable snug style, silhouetting her supple form. Long strands of black hair lay against her sharper-than-razors cheekbones.

Her perfectly applied winged eyeliner gave her slanted black eyes a mysterious cat-shape appeal. Rich burgundy lipstick, matching the shade of his tie, plumped her lips to a sensual pout, or maybe her mouth naturally retained a pucker. As she stood to drape the parka over the chair, she gave him a nice view of the skinny jeans painted on her slender thighs and gently rounded butt.

She whipped her head around, peeking at him through the fringe of her super-long lashes.

Heat climbed onto Jude’s face. He shoved the pen back into his mouth and chewed on the cap. Adult or not, she was a student—his student. Maintaining a professional distance was a must.

Raven’s moist-looking mouth tugged at the corners. A hint of triumph flashed in her eyes. Well, well, she’d stolen a look purposely, expecting him to check her out. A hot coal flared in Jude’s chest. He rounded his desk, ensuring to move slowly, heels clicking one after the other on the floor. She’d get the hint he meant business.

“Why don’t you catch up on your lessons. There’s no point in reviewing the next one until you’re finished those.” He used his pen to point in her direction. Traditionalist or not, she could suck up his supposed rudeness. In his world, pointing told another a man wasn’t screwing around or willing to play games.

Raven sat. She flipped open her textbook and binder.

“Which lesson are you working on?”

“History. A pity. We are the First People, but it’s all about…those who sailed over here.” Her husky voice, deeper than most women’s, with a light scratch to the tone was sensual nails grazing Jude’s skin.

He gripped and re-gripped the pen. “At my former school, we were building the curriculum into the current courses.”

“Did you teach high school or elementary? You taught for the Catholic Board of Education, didn’t you?”

“Elementary.”

“I see.” Raven lowered her head. Her black hair veiled her face. Not narrow like Clayton’s hawkish looks. The hollowed cheeks, delicate long nose, and tapering chin complemented Raven’s smoky eyes and wide mouth. A traditional diamond-shaped face like the Indigenous people of the old days.

No wonder she’d stolen a glimpse at Jude when she’d removed her parka. Raven was probably used to men gawking at her wherever she went. If the fashion designers ever took a chance on hiring Indigenous women to model, they’d be scrambling to photograph Raven.

Why was he still thinking about her anyway? This was ridiculous.

Jude plopped in the chair. If she didn’t require assistance on her lessons, she should’ve finished her assignments at home. All Raven had done was make him stay late.

***

Redeemed

The Matawapit Family Series Book 2
Genre: Contemporary Inspirational Romance
A single woman battles to keep her foster child from his newly-paroled
father—a dangerous man she used to love.
Bridget Matawapit is an Indigenous activist, daughter of a Catholic deacon,
and foster mother to Kyle, the son of an Ojibway father—the
ex-fiancé she kicked to the curb after he chose alcohol over her
love. With Adam out on parole and back in Thunder Bay, she is
determined to stop him from obtaining custody of Kyle.
Adam Guimond is a recovering alcoholic and ex-gangbanger newly-paroled.
Through counselling, reconnecting with his Ojibway culture and
twelve-step meetings while in prison, Adam now understands he’s
worthy of the love that frightened him enough to pick up the bottle
he’d previously corked. He can’t escape the damage he caused so
many others, but he longs to rise like a true warrior in the pursuit
of forgiveness and a second chance. There’s nothing he isn’t willing
to do to win back his son–and Bridget.
When an old cell
mate’s daughter dies under mysterious circumstances in foster care,
Adam begs Bridget to help him uncover the truth. Bound to the plight
of the Indigenous children in care, Bridget agrees. But putting
herself in contact with Adam threatens to resurrect her long-buried
feelings for him, and even worse, she risks losing care of Kyle, by
falling for a man who might destroy her faith in love completely this time.
redeemed teaser 1

***

Blessed

The Matawapit Family Series Book 1
Genre: Contemporary M/M Inspirational Romance
It’s been ten years since Emery Matawapit sinned, having succumbed to
temptation for the one thing in his life that felt right, another
man. In six months he’ll make a life-changing decision that will
bar him from sexual relationships for the rest of his life.
Darryl Keejik has a decade-long chip on his shoulder, and he holds Emery’s
father, the church deacon, responsible for what he’s suffered: the
loss of his family and a chance at true love with Emery. No longer a
powerless kid, Darryl has influence within the community—maybe more
than the deacon. Darryl intends on using his power to destroy Deacon
Matawapit and his church.
Hoping to save the church, Emery races home. But stopping Darryl is harder
than expected when their sizzling chemistry threatens to consume
Emery. Now he is faced with the toughest decision of his life: please
his devout parents and fulfill his call to the priesthood, or remain
true to his heart and marry the man created for him.
This is very erotic book about a spiritual journey.

blessed teaser 2

 

blessed teaser 3
An Ojibway from Northwestern Ontario, Maggie resides in the country with
her husband and their fur babies, two beautiful Alaskan Malamutes.
When she’s not writing, she can be found pulling weeds in the
flower beds, mowing the huge lawn, walking the Mals deep in the bush,
teeing up a ball at the golf course, fishing in the boat for walleye,
or sitting on the deck at her sister’s house, making more wonderful
memories with the people she loves most.
Follow the tour HERE
for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!

 

Release Blitz · Uncategorized

Fighting Chances: Release Day

Hiya,

Today I am celebrating the release of Fighting Chances: a Charity Anthology of Enemies-to-Lovers MM Romance by 10 fabulous authors.

❤🧡💛💚💙💜

Each book sale at $2.99 gives the org about $2, which is what costs to feed a child healthy meals for a week.

fightingchances_ebook

Blurb:

An opportunity to put his hands around his enemy’s… neck.

What can a man do when the spark of hate ignites the fire of passion? Can desire bridge the gap between two men on opposite sides of a fence? A kitchen isle? What about a war? 

Can love heal years of resentment and little hurts? And is the line between hate and love really all that thin?

In these almost 200,000 words of stories by well-loved M/M authors united by a common cause, you can find men in conflict with each other and with themselves… ready to give love a fighting chance.

 

Guest · Release Blitz

Guests: Quin&Perin – Rich Kids 2

 

Hiya…

I couldn’t resist hosting today’s guests. I adored Quin-Perin’s recent release – Black – and am partial to a taboo tale. Thus, without further ado…

 

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Rich Kids 1+2 (Role Play)

Author: Quin Perin

Publisher: Quin Perin

Release Date: July 11, 2019 (Rich Kids 2)

Genre/s: Taboo, Dark, M/M Romance

Trope/s: Brocest, Forbidden love

Heat Rating: 5 flames

Length: 60 000 words/ 200 pages

Rich Kids 1: HFN

Rich Kids 2: HEA

Add on Goodreads

This is a role play by Quin&Perin. Please check the warning section inside the book.

“Rich Kids” features detailed adult m/m content

 

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Rich Kids 1 – 99c for a limited time

Rich Kids 2

 

 

Forbidden lust. Forbidden love.

Blurb

My name is Nathaniel Preston. Second son of the Preston estate.

I’ve been raised to be perfect, to be ahead of every game, not to do wrong. Sem, my crass and vain older half-brother, is the complete opposite of me. All he seeks is his next high. To get there, he cheats, blackmails, and seduces.

Which wouldn’t be a problem, if one day he didn’t decide to tape me in a very compromising position…

 

RichKids3Excerpt

PART 1

With a last drag on my cigarette, I pushed the door to the kitchen open. And once I did, silence broke. I could hear something. Sounds that sparked flames inside my gut, twitching to life. The kitchen’s old chimney was connected to the one on the upper level, the one in father’s bedroom.

I heard moans, grunts; I heard furniture move, scrape across the hardwood floor. Goosebumps spread across my skin, making me forget what I was here for. I put out my cigarette and tossed the rest of it into the sink. Someone was fucking in his house, in our father’s bedroom. I just had to find out who.

With a grin in place, I took off, back down the hallway, up the stairs. I used the railing to pull myself up faster. I felt like a child, so fucking excited that my mind raced to all kinds of options. Perhaps it was one of our maids or the gardener. But Jesus, in my father’s bed? That was quite bold. I loved it. So forbidden. So taboo. My favorite kind. I couldn’t stop grinning as I headed down the hallway to his bedroom. My heart thundered in my chest as my hand closed around the door handle. I counted to three, listening in on the lewd noises that were so much clearer now. So much louder. Unhinged. Like in a really dirty dream. Or a porno.

In one quick move, I yanked the tall door open, and my heart almost stopped. Jesus Fucking Christ. There were three men in the middle of the bed. Two blonds, lean, tanned, on either side of…Nate.

PROMOTION POSTS

PART 2

I needed Nate, and he needed me.

To breathe, to stay somewhat sane. Which was funny because before we began seeing each other, we’d both been running around like headless chickens. Or cocks? Roosters. Anyway. Now, almost two years later, we’d settled into a routine. Something I thought I would hate. Routine. But with him, it was never predictable. Never boring. Nate kept me on my toes. Ever the brat I left behind. And while he’d begged me not to go and called me crazy for telling him to fuck other guys, I knew better. Nate was a cockslut. My cockslut, but one nonetheless. He would venture out eventually, most likely when we were fighting, which happened rather frequently. Then he’d fuck around and crawl back on his hands and knees when he was done — begging for forgiveness.

It was how he worked. How he functioned.

He loved sex, but he craved the control he could gain from it.

To hurt me. To make me mad. To be the hunter, not the prey.

So, I figured, I’d best give him rules, make it less taboo, a game we both played, before he could act out and destroy both of us in the process. He was allowed to fuck anyone if (1) he told me about it, (2) live streamed or recorded it, and (3) played safe. No one was going bare with him. No one.

 

About the Authors

As a pair of genre rebels, Quin and Perin—from the US and Germany—are constantly maneuvering time zones and plot bunnies to whip up Gay Novels. Expect plenty of heat and elevated smut. With a dash of drama, a pinch of sweet, and a hefty amount of kink on the side, they serve up stories that will leave you full and satisfied.

 

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Release Blitz

Charity Anthology: Come Play

Out now…a wonderful anthology of stories to support the most worthy of charities:

All proceeds will be donated to

https://www.thetrevorproject.org

💜💙💚💙💚💙💜

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Come Play – An MM Erotica Charity Anthology

Authors: Quin Perin, A.G. Carothers, E.M. Denning, Emma Jaye, K.C. Wells,

Lynn Van Dorn, Luna David, Sara Dobie Bauer, T.M. Chris, T.S. McKinney

Cover Artist: Morningstar Ashley

Release Date: June 11, 2019

Genre/s: M/M Erotica, M/M BDSM

Trope/s: Including hurt/comfort, first time, forbidden and others

Themes: Anthology includes BDSM and erotica.

It has a wide variety of tastes/themes

Heat Rating: A mix of 4 and 5 flames.

This anthology features a collection of erotic MM short stories.

Add on Goodreads

 

Blurb

Watch and Learn if the Coach’s Little Kitten can be Tamed.

Follow the Doctor’s Orders and read all about Brotherly Love.

Understand Abstract Love and then take a peek at A Kink Chronicles Short.

It’s all about Pretty Boys, The Kiss, and Particular Tastes bundled up in this must-have erotic anthology.

 

Come, play with us.

Abstract Love by Sara Dobie Bauer

A Kink Chronicles Short by Luna David

Brotherly Love by Lynn Van Dorn

Coach’s Little Kitten by Quin Perin

Doctor’s Orders by Emma Jaye

Particular Tastes by T.S. McKinney

Pretty Boy by E.M. Denning

Tamed by T.M. Chris

The Kiss by A.G. Carothers

Watch and Learn by K.C. Wells

💜💙💚💙      💙💚💙💜

 

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

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Facebook Link for each Author

Quin Perin

A.G. Carothers

E.M. Denning

Emma Jaye

K.C. Wells

Lynn Van Dorn

Luna David

Sara Dobie Bauer

T.M. Chris

T.S. McKinney

 

💜💙💚💙      💙💚💙💜

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Guest · Release Blitz · Reviews

Special Guest: Addison Albright

 

I couldn’t be more chuffed to participate in the Release Blitz of Addison Albright’s new novel The Best-Laid Plans

I am a huge fan of her writing, which never fails to whisk you to whichever world you are fortunate to find yourself in.  I was delighted to find that a follow-up to The Contingency Plan was on its way as I’d longed to learn what fate had in store for our newly wedded Princes…

Review 

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

The Best-Laid Plans picks up where the first story left off and sweeps you to its faraway kingdom with the warmth of a familiar friend. Addison Albright has a true gift for storytelling. No matter whether we are castaway on a desert island or whisked to a world realms away from this, it is a place inhabited by characters who feel as real as their stories are resonant. The Best-Laid plans is an enthralling adventure that seems far more realistic than many a more mundane tale. Characters who are relatable despite their lofty status, crafted with a depth that far exceeds its length. I adored Prince Marcelo, whose self-perceived flaws make him braver than he believes and as believable as he is beautifully written. Prince Efren is magnificent; a hero as compelling as he is charismatic. The Best-Laid Plans is the perfect follow up to The Contingency Plan; a thrill ride of derring-dos and developing love that delivers far more than a fairytale happy ever after. I loved it.

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

 

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: The Best-Laid Plans (Plans, book #2)

Author: Addison Albright

Publisher: JMS Books, LLC

Cover Artist: Written Ink Designs

Genre/s: M/M Fantasy Romance

Tropes: abduction, hurt/comfort, princes

Heat Rating: 3 flames

Length: 28 130 words

Release Date: June 1, 2019

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Blurb

A death that wasn’t what it seemed…
A kidnapping that isn’t what it seems…
Time is running out.

The morning after his wedding night, Prince Marcelo thought he’d be embarking on a journey to his own personal fairytale happily ever after with his husband, Efren, the crown prince of Zioneven. But when news arrives indicating his sister’s death wasn’t as accidental as previously thought, that journey becomes fraught with danger.

Enmeshed in political intrigue, death, and a kidnapping that might not be what it seems, will Efren untangle the web of misleading clues in time to save the naïve young man he’s already come to admire, or will Marcelo dig deep to discover a previously untapped inner strength and determination to facilitate his own survival?

The Best-Laid Plans - Addison Albright - Square Teaser Quote 02 - 628x628.png

Excerpt

Chapter 3: …Oft Go Awry

Efren

Efren blinked rapidly as he came awake with a start. He stared into the darkness and mentally shook the cobwebs from his mind. What had awoken him? Marcelo lay softly breathing in his arms, as relaxed and peaceful as only the innocent can truly be.

Around him, the night was silent. Too silent? He strained to hear the patrols rustling through the grasses, or the faint trills of their signals to each other.

A breeze swirled through the branches of the trees in the distance, rippling the leaves. Crickets chirped, apparently unconcerned about whatever either was or wasn’t going on in the meadow.

And footsteps. Quiet, approaching footsteps. It must be time for the shift change. That’s what had awoken him. Efren relaxed and nestled Marcelo tighter against him. One at a time, the guards would come in and wake their replacements.

Except—Efren tensed, then maneuvered his arm out from under Marcelo’s head and eased himself from under the blankets—the footsteps, furtively stopping and restarting, were approaching from multiple directions.

Efren shivered as goosebumps rose on his naked skin in the chilled night air and soundlessly slipped his broadsword and knife from their leather scabbard. He glanced at Marcelo, still sleeping, although less serenely with the sudden loss of the warm body next to him.

Guilt pinged his core as he shook off a strong desire to waken and forewarn Marcelo, but he pushed it down. Marcelo, completely untrained in warfare, would be safer in here. He seemed a heavy sleeper, likely incorporating outside noises into his dreams, unused to a need to be readily alert. He might even doze through the skirmish.

Or was that just wishful thinking? Because there’d be no hope that Marcelo could escape unseen, if it came to that.

Surely it would be better for such an innocent to be killed in his sleep, or with scarcely a brief moment of shock beforehand than to spend minutes quaking in terror, unable to defend himself.

Efren shook off his doubts and quickly pushed out the weighty flap, sword raised ready, and opened his mouth to yell an alert to awaken any of his warriors who hadn’t already sensed the looming danger, same as he had. But the breath he drew to strengthen his voice instead choked him.

He’d never before smelled these fumes, but the pungent, wet-dog odor had been described to him. The material of their tents was heavily treated to keep the toxin producing that odor from permeating the walls and closed flaps.

Icy apprehension slithered across Efren’s skin before settling in the pit of his gut. This was a completely unexpected development. The alchemists from the kingdom of Proye who’d developed this toxin—and unfailingly guarded the recipe—called it “Knockout.”

As Efren’s sword arm dropped, followed swiftly by his eyes rolling back in his head and his body slumping in a boneless crumple, a corner of his brain recognized how fittingly it was named, and hoped that enough of it had entered the tent through the briefly opened flap that Marcelo would succumb before Proye agents executed whatever they had planned. They’d been married for less than two days, and already he’d failed his innocent, young husband.

Copyright 2019 Addison Albright

The Best-Laid Plans - Addison Albright - Square Teaser Quote 01 - 628x628.png

About the Author

Addison Albright is a writer living in the middle of the USA. Her stories are gay romance in contemporary, fantasy, and paranormal genres. She generally adds a subtle touch of humor, a smidgen of drama/angst, and a healthy dose of slice-of-life to her stories. Her education includes a BS in Education with a major in mathematics and a minor in chemistry. Addison loves spending time with her family, reading, popcorn, boating, french fries, “open window weather,” cats, math, and anything chocolate. She loves to read pretty much anything and everything, anytime and anywhere.

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3 winners will each get to choose 2 ebooks from Addison’s backlist

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Read how the story began…

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Guest

Guest: Jackie Keswick

 

💙 Today I’m delighted to welcome the lovely Jackie Keswick to my blog 💙

Her own may be found here – ’tis a fabulous read 

💙💙💙💙💙

 Without further ado…the wonderful 

Book Title: Healing Glass

Author: Jackie Keswick

Cover Artist: Pavelle Art

Release Date: May 13, 2019

Genre/s: Fantasy, M/M, Fantasy romance

Trope/s: friends to lovers, two against evil

Themes: fighting oppression, personal responsibility, love is stronger than tyranny, never piss off a man who has something to protect 😉

Heat Rating: 3 flames

Add on Goodreads

 

 

Blurb

A dying city.

An ancient, forgotten accord.

And two gifted men caught in a web of greed and dark magic.

Despite belonging to different guilds, glass master Minel and warrior captain Falcon are friends. Their duties keep them apart, but when Minel falls ill and chooses death rather than the only known cure, nothing can keep Falcon from his side.

As their friendship grows into more, old wrongs and one man’s machinations threaten the floating city and leave both Minel and Falcon fighting for their lives. Can they learn to combine their gifts to save the city and its magic, or will everything they know and love perish before their eyes?

Healing Glass is an LGBT fantasy adventure with its head in the clouds. If you like medieval backdrops, impressive world-building, three-dimensional characters and a touch of magic, then you’ll love Jackie Keswick’s socially-conscious adventure.

Buy Healing Glass to visit the floating city today!

 

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Excerpt

Half a mile above the surface, a deep, rumbling groan rattled through Favin’s bones and turned his guts to water. The elevator jerked and shuddered—long enough for Favin to wonder whether he’d left his errand too late—before it resumed its stately progress up towards the floating city.

The groans and jerks came more often these days, on almost every journey. Despite the trickle of ice-cold fear, Favin welcomed the noise and stuttering ascent. He’d raised the alarm weeks earlier, but no one had believed the word of a servant. No one but Councillor Teak, who now clung to the transparent wall on the far side of the elevator, face grey and eyes wide.

The City Council would believe Teak.

“Is… this… why you wanted me to accompany you?” Teak spoke louder than necessary in the tight confines of the chamber bearing them aloft.

“Yes, Councillor. I reported it several times, but—” Favin stopped, loath to criticise the council. “I felt you had to know what’s happening.”

Teak, resplendent in a well-cut black coat and lace cuffs under his scarlet robe of office, didn’t belong in an elevator filled with rows of stacked crates, bins of cloth, and rolls of parchment, even when Favin hadn’t packed the space as full as he usually did. The councillor didn’t need the experience of a full cargo run, of squeezing into a gap just large enough to get in and out of. Never mind that he wouldn’t have fit. The servants joked that were the councillor hollow, one of them could fit inside his frame with space to spare.

Teak enjoyed his food as much as he enjoyed his status and privileges, but he hadn’t lost all sense of his responsibilities. When Favin had asked for his help, he’d only grumbled a little before agreeing to investigate the matter. Now here he stood, pressed against the transparent wall, gaze riveted to the crate in front of him, not daring to look down.

Favin watched the sea and the sky over Teak’s shoulder, wishing—as always— that he could see the city as they made their way towards it. The freight elevators didn’t allow for such a view, and Favin’s work rarely left him the leisure to sit on the beach.

Four levels of squat glass tiers and elegant spires connected by sweeping stairs and graceful bridges, suspended high above the waves by a raft of near-invisible columns… the floating city had stood waiting at the edge of the ocean when the Craft Guild arrived in need of shelter. Nobody knew its builders. Nobody quite understood how it worked. The city kept its occupants warm and dry, the glass walls closing or receding depending on the weather. Fountains supplied water in every square, and in all the buildings. The middle tier of the city—a wide, level space between the double-story, flat-roofed dwellings of the lower level and the skyward-reaching spires of the top tier—had been given over to growing food. All other goods the inhabitants needed came via the trade guilds and the Merchant Guild. The craft masters could have anything that fit into one of the eight large elevators, whether it came by land or sea, while men like Favin ensured the goods arrived where they were needed.

The groan came again, more of a pained shriek now, like the death cry of a material used too long and too well, as an abrupt slip downward hurled both Teak and Favin to their knees.

Then the sounds stopped.

The downward movement stopped.

And the elevator resumed its unhurried climb.

Sweat pearled on Teak’s brow and upper lip by the time the transparent cabin reached its goal. “Can we… not use this elevator?” He stepped off the floating disk before he turned to ask.

“It will delay deliveries, Councillor.”

“How many journeys do you make in a day?”

“Some days as many as fifty.”

“And the noise and the… jerking… have been getting more frequent?”

“Yes. I’m told the other elevators show the same signs of trouble. And in the upper city, the glass is said to be weeping.”

“Weeping?”

“That’s what I’ve heard, Councillor. I’ve not seen it.”

“No, of course not.” Servants of Favin’s class had no access to the upper levels. “Thank you, Favin, for bringing this to my attention.”

Favin bowed to the councillor before he set about unloading the cargo into the hands of the waiting servants. The council would decide whether to shut down the elevator or keep it running. He’d done as much as he could do, given his station. He’d said his piece and had had a councillor listen.

He continued with his work, until words drifting through a half-open door stopped him on his way to deliver rolls of parchment and ink to the council chamber.

“Weeping is the only way to describe it, Wark. I’ve never seen anything like it.”

“And you think it’s going to be a problem?” The clipped tones were the regent’s and Favin froze where he stood, listening.

“Of course, it’s a problem,” Teak argued. “Go and see for yourself if you don’t believe me. There’s liquid glass welling up out of the column and trickling down its length. What do you think will happen if the glass wears away doing that? Or if the whole column turns to liquid? Will it continue to support the upper level in that state, or will it run into the sea and disappear?”

“Calm yourself, Teak. I’m sure there’s no need for panic.”

“You would know, of course.” Teak said snidely. “But I say you should listen. There’s more than one of those weeping spots in the upper city. The freight elevators jerk and groan, and servants are buying out their contracts, happier to make a life elsewhere than work here.”

Then it is serious, Favin thought, glued to his spot. More serious than I knew.Positions with one of the three gifted guilds were hotly sought. Only the king’s court paid better wages, and with the high prices in the royal city and port of Allengi, those wages didn’t go nearly as far.

“We must deal with this, Wark. Before it is too late.”

“Repairs to the city’s fabric are the task of the glass master. I will make sure he attends to the problem.”

“Minel is an outstanding craft master.” Teak bristled as if he had heard something in Wark’s comment that Favin had not. Something he disagreed with. “Most sought after, despite his youth. His list of commissions is near endless and he earns—”

“There are no other glass masters in the guild. Minel is our only choice if we want to fix the problem you’ve brought to my attention.” Regent Wark sounded oddly gleeful.

“No. You can’t— What if—?”

“You can’t have it both ways, Teak. You can’t bring me a problem and then object when I solve it. Minel’s work and his designs pay a large part of the city’s debts. I’m not so stupid I’d interfere with that. But if the fabric of the city fails, all the money and favours we’re owed will be no use to us. It’s fortunate that Minel cares about nothing but making glass. He doesn’t have the stomach for confrontation. I think… I think this will work out very well. Minel will accept that we direct his work and we can add another treasure to our collection. I have waited long enough.”

 

About the Author

Jackie Keswick was born behind the Iron Curtain with itchy feet, a bent for rocks and a recurring dream of stepping off a bus in the middle of nowhere to go home. She’s worked in a hospital and as the only girl with 52 men on an oil rig, spent a winter in Moscow and a summer in Iceland and finally settled in the country of her dreams with her dream team: a husband, a cat, a tandem, a hammer and a laptop.

Jackie loves unexpected reunions and second chances, and men who don’t follow the rules when those rules are stupid. She blogs about English history and food, has a thing for green eyes, and is a great believer in making up soundtracks for everything, including her characters and the cat.

And she still hasn’t found the place where the bus stops.

For questions and comments, not restricted to green eyes, bus stops or recipes for traditional English food, you can find Jackie Keswick in all the usual places.

 

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Giveaway

Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for a chance to win one of FIVE ebooks from Jackie Keswick’s backlist.

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Tour Tales

Trilogy Tour

Hiya,

I’ve pressed ‘publish’ so with a bit o’luck, it should go live tomorrow and I will be able to make it free from mon-fri.  I’ve booked a mini-tour with the wonderful gay book promotions and will be here, there ‘n’ everywhere with the very lovely people listed below. Thank you so much, in advance, for having me.

THE DUKE SCHEDULE

I’ve updated the cover a tad, to differentiate it from The Prince & The Prowler a mite more, while staying true to the heart of the story, as ’twere. The cravat pin appears in all three books, so it felt the perfect cover for the trilogy.

TRIL1

 

❤🖤❤

 

 

Uncategorized

The Duke & Dandy Trilogy

Hiya,

I’ve almost finished readying the Duke & Dandy Trilogy for release. ‘Twas written as a complete novel, but 100,000 words felt a tad daunting to attempt as a first foray into self-publishing. I simply wished to have some stories available for free & on KU, so releasing it as a trilogy seemed the best way to test the waters. Both in terms of familiarizing myself with Kindle Create & also offering a snippet of something that is…a mite Marmitey.

In the intervening months I have, many times, wondered if I should try to dilute my writing. I’m not sure ‘twould be possible, even if I wanted to. Every word I write echoes the way I think, so I’d need to rewire my brain first…a feat I’ve spent too long attempting in IRL to wish it upon my inner world, too.

covers - Edited

Anyhoo…The Duke & The Dandy Trilogy, which has been revised & re-edited, is on its way. This is version I’d hope people had in their hands when they began the book.

Gay Book Promotions have kindly agreed to host a three day tour for me. Chances are, I may drop dead before then, largely on accounts of deeming it a damned fine plan to send off copies for reviewers. I fear the worst; from the dodgy formatting of those PDF’s to the contents therein. The finished book will have italics and dialogue where they should be, I promise. 😳 As ’tis a tadalot late to worry about that—or indeed, my marbles—this may well be the last blog I’ll foist upon you…

 

TRIL1

Guest

Guest Book: Outshined

Hiya,

The moment I read the blurb I suspected that I would love this story. It was everything I hoped…and more. True tenderness entwined with intensity, and characters as fabulous as they are flawed. My holy trinity for five star reads.

Cameron & Tim’s mental health issues were intrinsic parts of their characters, rather than tacked on top to add tension or heft. Influencing the way they related to the world and functioned within it, rather than serving as a dramatic device to create depth where none exists.

Outshined will take its place on my shelf alongside ‘Beneath The Stain’ as a beautifully written & much beloved rock read.

 

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Outshined

Author: Clancy Nacht & Thursday Euclid

Publisher: Eine Kleine Press

Cover Artist: Thursday Euclid

Release Date: April 16, 2019

Genre/s: 90s (late 20th century) M/M Romance

Trope/s: figuring out he’s gay

Themes: Mental illness, first love

Heat Rating: 3-4 flames

Length: 79 000 words/ 266 pages

 

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

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Amazon UK

 

OUTSHINED BLURB.jpg

Excerpt

Tall Thicket, Texas. Home to Tall Thicket State and Woodpeckers football, for those who even fucking cared. Texans or not, most Thicketers knew the Woodpeckers sucked. No one with any talent came to East Texas to play ball, and honestly, the student body didn’t care. In 1993, they had other things on their minds.

Cameron Lord definitely did. Transferring junior year from the massive University of Texas hadn’t been his Plan A, but after the way he fucked up sophomore year in Austin, well, he needed a fresh start. His dad insisted he was lucky Tall Thicket wanted him, and Cameron had argued enough with his dad recently.

Besides, TTSU had a great psych department. So that worked out, probably. When Cameron had graduated high school near the top of his class, everyone figured he’d become a surgeon like his dad, but now…

Well. Fuck it. Just, fuck it, right? Psychologist was close enough, and it’d be less pressure, and he kind of knew about the field firsthand now.

What seemed entirely unfair, honestly, was that despite how much money Cameron’s dad was saving by sending him here, he expected Cameron to hold down a part-time job. On one hand, that was great. Cameron liked his independence, and he hated his dad, so not having to ask him for much suited him fine. On the other hand, if these meds didn’t pan out…

Ha.

If these meds didn’t pan out, Cameron would be losing a lot more than a part-time job. Like, oh, his mind?

After two months on them, he felt different. Not better, just different. More detached. Less moved by emotions. That was probably okay, but Cameron couldn’t tell otherwise.

Living off-campus would be nice, at least, right? He’d been in the dorms his two years at UT; at least now he had some space. His therapist, Lynette, had suggested to Dr. Lord that Cameron have somewhere to get away from over-stimulating social situations, so while he still had a roommate, he had his own bedroom with a lock on the door.

Of course, she’d also suggested he walk everywhere because he maybe shouldn’t drive on his current chemical cocktail, but Cameron refused to give up his chopper. He and his dad had built matching ones together when he was sixteen, and it was all he really had left of that part of his life, now he’d blown up their relationship. At least he still had a cool ride.

For all the good it would do him.

His apartment was a stone’s throw from campus, and walking would’ve been easier than driving a bike in the January-molasses kind of traffic moving across the sprawling grounds. By the time he’d done orientation, gotten his books, and settled in, he was convinced he should have bought sensible walking shoes instead of his heavy Doc Martens.

His dad was always telling him to choose substance over style, but what about when style had the most substance? Sometimes form followed function. Wasn’t that better than ugly practicality?

Which seemed to prove Cameron wasn’t cut out for a surgeon’s job. Psychology seemed like a better fit, personal understanding of mental illness aside.

To emphasize the point, Cameron had observed Tall Thicket was home to some improbably good-looking student bodies. The boy who’d been ahead of him at the bookstore had stolen his breath for a good ten seconds and left him light-headed. A girl who sat beside him at orientation had flustered him until he dropped his pencil. Overall, it was a pretty, pretty school—spectacularly landscaped grounds notwithstanding.

Too bad the meds he was on kind of killed his sex drive, along with numbing any other excitement he might feel. Some would argue that was for the best.

With classes starting next week, there was little for Cameron to do with his weekend besides hunker down and settle in, familiarize himself with the town. It wasn’t as dinky as the one-stoplight towns around these parts, but it was a lot smaller than Austin. He’d still been finding cool new spots there when he left. Here, a bike ride down the main drag would take him past just about everything that mattered.

Might as well get out there.

“Going out?” Mike, Cameron’s new roommate, asked as Cameron strode out his bedroom toward the front door.

Cameron grunted in Mike’s direction and shrugged. What did the guy want from him? They had to live together, and if Cameron had his way, that would mean a lot of ships-in-the-night action, not a buddy flick.

“Have fun.” Mike seemed untroubled by Cameron’s attitude and turned his attention back to his grainy recording of Seinfeld.

With two raised fingers, Cameron saluted briefly and headed out. Within moments he was pulling his long hair back into a low ponytail and settling a black helmet on his head. Then he was on his bike and pulling out of the parking lot, turning onto University and then blazing toward the four-lane highway with a roar. Within moments he’d left behind the landscaped campus for the endless rows of mom-and-pop shops intermingled with chain shops.

Clusters of students milled along the sidewalks and waited at corners to cross. Cameron watched them hungrily, the numbness inside growing teeth and gnawing at him. He longed for the belonging of kids hand-in-hand striding over the crosswalk at least as much as he despised it. Easier to dismiss it altogether, though.

Easier never to want what he couldn’t have. Better. Safer.

Lynette talked about comfort zones and stepping outside them, but Cameron wasn’t certain he could survive that much change all at once. Not right now.

Waiting at the stoplight, he caught a glimpse of golden hair through the plate glass window of a pizza place and his chest seized up. Was that bookshop guy?

Oh man, it was.

Bad idea, right? Such a bad idea. Cameron wasn’t hungry, and that guy was probably straight, and this was East Texas.

The NOW HIRING sign beckoned, and Cameron sighed and gave in. He had only so much willpower to get him through a day, and most of that was focused on basic human tasks like not driving into oncoming traffic and keeping his balls clean.

He eased across traffic and parked diagonally right in front. He wiped suddenly sweaty hands on his ripped jeans and plaid shirt and then hung his helmet from the ape-hangers.

So what if he was going to mix work and play a little?

So what if he was purposely attempting to get a job somewhere with a devastatingly attractive co-worker who’d fuck his head right up?

Self-destruction was in vogue. He’d wear it well. More to journal about, right?

Cameron wasn’t dressed for success, but what did it even matter? It wasn’t Wall Street. They probably weren’t picky, even if he could just hear his dad moaning over the situation.

Inside, the place was filled with customers. How had Cameron even spotted the golden boy from the road past all these people? Friday night dinner had to be prime time.

The blond man stood in front of the ovens, behind the counter. He held a metal spatula that he clanged against something metal above him before he shouted. “Bell, large supreme pie.”

He then slid a box on the counter in front of him. A woman, presumably Bell, joined the line at the cash register. The man squinted past the heat lamps into the lobby. Their eyes met and his brows rose briefly before he gave a quick nod and then spun around to retrieve another pizza out of the oven.

The place was slammed. As soon as one phone was answered, another rang. The woman answering the phones looked older than the rest of the staff, as if she was in charge. She handled putting people on hold with brutal efficiency, taking down orders on paper slips she stacked until someone came from the back to snatch them away, apparently to fulfill them.

For a second, Cameron considered backing out. Just turning around and walking out. He’d worked at the video store during high school, and Friday nights had been like this, but… Man, food service seemed like a whole other animal. Way more intense.

Though fewer shouting matches so far, at least.

As much as Cameron wanted to bail, the way the blond guy seemed to recognize him—had he, though, or was Cameron reading in?—galvanized him. He stood his ground, waited until he was at the counter, and then licked his lips, suddenly nervous. If he hadn’t been medicated, it would’ve been too much. As it was, he copped a swagger and grinned at the folks behind the counter.

“Saw y’all are hiring. Need help?”

“Oh, um.” The young lady at the front counter crouched down, shuffling papers. She pulled out a pad of job application forms with the company logo in the corner. Ripping one off, she handed it to him and gave him a wide, toothy smile. Her lashes fluttered over her pinkening cheeks. “Need a pen?”

The woman at the phones slung one on her shoulder as she leaned forward, squinting at Cameron. “Hey, kid, you eighteen?”

“Twenty,” Cameron countered with a smile he didn’t feel and a challenge he did. He took the application from the girl and held out his hand for a pen, although he had the sense the manager was inclined to skip to the part where she stopped being short-handed.

The metal clang rang out again as the blond man shouted another name and order. A box appeared on top of another. He paused, looking between Cameron and the manager, then whirled around to grab another pizza out.

“Can you start now? Wash a dish or fifty?” The woman smiled. There was a gap between her front teeth. Her hair was frizzy, probably with the heat and humidity. “Minimum wage, but all the pizza you can eat.”

The blond man dropped the pizza on the table, then ran a roller slicer through with lightning speed. His lithe muscles flexed under the fitted golf shirt. It was probably just the heat that made his cheeks rosy. Or was it?

“Yeah, sure, I can wash dishes tonight. I need a uniform for that?” Cameron tried his best not to stare at the hot boy, especially not in front of potential colleagues. What was he even doing?

Why was he doing this to himself?

He’d never even washed dishes, except at home. The video store had been more with the Be-Kind-Rewind and less with the suds.

“Nah, but you’ll want an apron. Tim, you got an extra apron back there for our new hire?” She glanced over at the blond guy who gave a quick nod before shouting another name.

He peeked into the back and then back to his boss. “Yeah, there’s one on the dough table. Might also need boxes later if this keeps up.”

“Shoot.” She grimaced but set the phone on the stand and then threw open the door to the right of the counter. “Well, you’re hired, um… What’s your name?”

“Cameron.” He stepped through the counter door and sized up the other employees. At least his dad couldn’t ride his ass about this now. He met the manager’s gaze and shrugged one shoulder. “Thanks, um…?”

“Nina. Cameron, great name. Don’t think you’ll need a hat for dishes, but we’ll get you one of those, and the shirt and apron. Pants are just plain black. Docs are good; anything with support will do for shoes.” She started toward the back, giving the phones a swift glance. “I’ll just show you the back quick.”

She pointed at the blond guy. “That’s Tim. At the counter is Lisa.”

She walked back to behind the ovens where a harried looking young lady was frantically making pizzas. “This is Heather. Heather, Cameron. He’s going to do dishes.”

Heather looked at Cameron briefly, went back to her pizzas and then looked back again, eyes roving more slowly. “Cool.”

There was a man facing the back wall shoving dough into a machine. It came out oblong. He ran it through again and the dough was round.

Nina scooted past him. “That’s John.”

John turned. His eyes were bloodshot like he’d been smoking not too long ago, but he seemed to be working industriously. “Great, someone else to suck up hours.”

Nina rolled her eyes. “He’s real fun.” She showed Cameron the bathroom, then the walk-in fridge, then around to the sink. Beside it stood a pile of pizza pans almost as tall as he was.

There was a clank from the front and Cameron caught a glimpse of Tim dropping another pan in a growing stack. He gave Cameron a brief smile and gestured with the metal spatula at a table against the wall where an apron lay. “There’s a dishwasher apron in the bathroom that’s more heavy duty. Just gets hot. Up to you. It’s clean.”

“Hot enough already. Thanks.” Cameron shot Tim a look, half-searching and half-bitter. He already kind of hated him. Tim. What a fucking wholesome sounding name. He was probably a real nice boy.

If Cameron had learned anything, it was to mistrust nice boys. You thought they were your friend. That you could trust them. Be real.

Then they freaked out on you and threw you to the wolves.

Turning his back on Tim, Cameron beelined for the apron and pulled it on before rolling up his sleeves and remaking his ponytail at the base of his neck to keep the wild, wavy strands under control.

“Great. Ask Tim if you’ve got questions. Soap’s up top. Sprayer powers out most everything. Don’t burn yourself. Gotta get back to the phones.” Nina flashed him a smile as she patted his shoulder. “Get you to fill out the paperwork later so we can get you paid. I’ll show you the time cards too.”

If Tim was offended by the cold shouldering, he was too busy to show it. He turned to the ovens and got back to work. A radio played the college radio station. It wasn’t loud enough to be heard in the lobby; it was barely loud enough for Cameron to hear over the sprayer.

What he could hear was the rhythmic clank of metal on metal when Tim pulled out a pizza, signaled he was calling a name, and the thump of another pan dropping into the pile. He could also hear Tim calling a name pretty clearly, which was surprising, given how loud everything was. Pretty good projection. Probably a jerk.

Jerk with a good voice though. Strong. Clear.

Cameron couldn’t help being a little intrigued, especially when he glanced over at every call to see Tim moving nimbly around his station, his muscles stretching and bunching under his uniform shirt. He looked way better in it than he had any right to.

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About the Authors

Clancy Nacht
Clancy Nacht is a bisexual genderqueer person who lives in Austin. Clancy has published several bestselling romances. Many of her books have been honored with Rainbow Awards; Le Jazz Hot won for Best Bisexual/Transgender Romance & Erotic Romance. In 2013, Black Gold: Double Black was a runner-up for a Rainbow Award. In 2015, Gemini won an Honorable Mention for Gay Erotic Romance and in 2016, Strange Times won an Honorable Mention for Science Fiction. Wyatt’s Recipes for Wooing Rock Stars was a finalist in the highly competitive William Neale Award for Best Gay Contemporary Romance. The Phisher King won second place in the Rainbow Award for Romantic Suspense, 16th for Gay Book of the Year.

Thursday Euclid
The Thursday Euclid is a strange and elusive creature dwelling in the Texas Gulf Coast region. Frequently mistaken for Bigfoot, Chupacabra, or the monster of the week, he is, in fact, a 30-something black sheep with a penchant for K-pop, geekery, and hot and sour soup. When he’s not playing Dragon Age or SWTOR, he’s probably watching B-movies or talking to his best friend and frequent collaborator Clancy Nacht. You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, or email him at thursdayeuclid at gmail dot com.

 

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