Blog Tour & Giveaway: Enemy Within by Tal Bauer

Title:  Enemy Within

Series: The Executive Office, Book 3

Author: Tal Bauer

Publisher:  Self-Published

Release Date: 3/28/2017

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 176K

Genre: Romance, Thriller/Suspense

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Synopsis

The White House, infiltrated.
The president, running for his life.
A traitorous general, intent on burning the world to the ground.

When everything falls apart, who do you trust?

President Jack Spiers fled Washington DC on the heels of a devastating attack on CIA headquarters, masterminded by one of America’s own, former General Porter Madigan. While the world believes Jack was killed in the bombing, he embarks on a wild infiltration mission, smuggling himself into occupied Russia to rescue the love of his life: former Secret Service Agent and First Gentleman Ethan Reichenbach.

Reunited, Jack, Ethan, and deposed Russian president Sergey Puchkov, along with President Elizabeth Wall—the only person left in Washington DC who Jack trusts—must work together. They piece together a desperate plan, hunting Madigan to the ends of the earth and the bitter frigidity of the Arctic, where Madigan’s world-shattering doomsday plan comes together.

Outnumbered, outmaneuvered, and outgunned, Jack, Ethan, Sergey, and the rest of the team struggle to put a stop to Madigan and his army. In the desolate extremes of the Arctic, their resolve, their strength, and even their love is tested, pushed to the absolute limits as choices must be made: choices that pit the fate of the world against the love in their hearts, and the loves of their life.

As the world crumbles around them, Jack and Ethan find themselves waging a war on two fronts—against an enemy they can see, and another, hiding within their ranks.

Who can be trusted when the enemy is within you?

Excerpt

The sounds of the convoy coming alive in the frosty morning started clattering through their patch of snowy forest. Grumbled Russian, slamming doors and squeaky metal hinges, the crackle of logs in a fire, and the clang of pots and pans that Vasily insisted on bringing from Volga.

Jack nuzzled at Ethan’s neck, and the roughness of his beard, grown thick in the five days they’d been on the road, scratched over Ethan’s skin just before Jack dropped a kiss beneath his jaw. “Morning, love.”

Ethan smiled down at him, de-cocked his pistol, and slid it into his hip holster beneath their blankets. He wrapped both arms around Jack as Jack turned and faced him. “How are you? Are you warm enough?” As Ethan spoke, his breath clouded the air between them.

“I’m good.” Jack peeled off his gloves beneath the blankets and snaked his warm hands up under Ethan’s jacket and sweater. His gentle, searching fingers found the long line of ragged stitches in Ethan’s side.

Ethan flinched.

“Sorry. You know we need to check them.” Carefully, Jack felt around the stitches, testing the skin, and then rested his palm over the top of the mostly-healed wound. “No heat. No swelling. No pus. No infection.” He smiled. “You had me worried after yesterday.”

Ethan ducked his head, his cheeks warming. While rummaging through an abandoned barn, he’d walked right through a rotted-out baseboard and fallen into a cellar, into the rough, loose earth. Not his finest moment. They’d wrangled some supplies, but he’d come away filthy and bruised, his ego smarting. Jack’s worried eyes and his gentle ministrations after they’d stopped for the night had helped sooth the ache.

Jack’s gaze darted over Ethan’s face, searching. He frowned. “Did you get any sleep?”

“Some.”

“Liar.” Arching an eyebrow, Jack sat back but kept his hands under Ethan’s clothes and on his skin. “You should let me watch over you at night, too.”

“I’d rather do it. I have you close to me.” He patted his hip and his holstered weapon. “I have constant protection on you all night long. There’s no way anyone can get to you. Not without going through me.”

“Literally.” Jack smiled, but it faded fast. “I’ll drive during the day again. Rest, and let me watch over you.” He squeezed Ethan’s hip as if to emphasize his point.

Ethan nodded, and the corners of his lips quirked up. This was new, this give and take of caretaking and watching out for each other. In DC, at the White House, there had been their jobs and their duties and the world to react to. They took care of slights and wounds inflicted by the press, their suits and ties a kind of armor against the world. Out in the wilderness, in the forest, they’d fallen into a different kind of caretaking. A sharing of two lives, each supporting the other’s existence. It was primal, in a way, how they had fused together. Half of his life was in Jack’s hands, and instead of feeling vulnerable, it was the most natural feeling in the world. “Deal.” Leaning forward, he pressed a kiss to Jack’s lips.

A question hovered in the forefront of Ethan’s mind, weighing on his thoughts. Every morning, he felt the weight of his secret resting over his heart: two rings, made before the world fell apart around them. Some moments, asking Jack was on the tip of his tongue, ready to tumble from his lips with his next breath. He forced himself to swallow the words. Not yet. It wasn’t the right time. Not yet.

Jack leaned into Ethan, and his hands wound around Ethan’s back beneath his sweater. “At some point, we won’t be sleeping in this jeep anymore,” he whispered into their kiss. “We’ll have room to stretch out… share a sleeping bag…”

Smiling, Ethan pulled off his gloves and brought his hands up to Jack’s face, his thumbs caressing Jack’s cheeks. “We don’t need a sleeping bag…” One hand snaked around Jack’s neck, and the other dropped to his hip.

In a flash, he flipped Jack, laying him on his back across the bench seat. Jack wrapped his legs around Ethan’s waist as Ethan slid his hands through Jack’s blond strands.

Jack grabbed his shoulders and pulled Ethan closer, his legs tightening and holding Ethan in place. He captured Ethan’s lips, kissing greedily as his hips rocked upward. Even through the layers they wore, Ethan felt Jack’s hard cock, pressing against his own.

“I want you,” Jack breathed.  “I want you to make love to me.”

Ethan’s blood burned, searing through his body from his head to his toes, and part of him wanted to tilt Jack’s head back and ravage his throat, work his way down, unwrap him like a present until he found his cock. Suck him deep. Work him open with his tongue until Jack begged for more, and then sink his cock into Jack’s warm, tight body. Jesus, he wanted Jack. So much.

The springs on the jeep’s suspension squeaked with their rocking, and the tires groaned and crunched against the snow on the ground. In the distance, low chuckles sounded, and one catcall.

Deflating, Ethan dropped his forehead to Jack’s chest. He rode Jack’s deep, heaving breaths and listened to his racing heartbeat. “I don’t want an audience when I make love to you again.”

Jack’s legs dropped, one falling over the back of the front seat, and the other squishing against the window. His hands stroked over Ethan’s back and tangled in his hair. “I don’t want to have to be quiet.”

“Jesus.” Ethan gripped Jack and surged against him, thrusting against his hard cock once more. “That’s not helping.”

Smiling, Jack rocked his hips up once and then scooted backward, propping himself up on his elbows as Ethan sat back and tried to straighten out his clothes. A prominent bulge strained the front of his cargo pants. He ached, nearly painfully hard for Jack.

From the center of the camp, Scott called, “Coffee’s ready if you are!”

Rumbling laughter, deep and throaty, from nearly all the men.

Shaking his head, Jack started to pull himself together next to Ethan and fished out his balaclava from the pocket of his cargo pants. Outside of the jeep, he wore a full-face balaclava and, on their drive, he kept everything but his eyes covered. Ethan insisted, and Scott and Sergey both backed him up. The members of their convoy, of course, knew who Jack was, and just after Jack had shown up, Sergey had delivered a scathing speech in Russian to his people that had had even Ethan flinching, though he didn’t understand a word that had been said. But, they were traveling through a war zone, parts of Russia that were contested in the coup, under attack from Moroshkin’s forces, and that had been bombed by the United States and other nations, all trying to stop Moroshkin.

Who knew what was out there, or who was out there. Jack was, to the world, brain dead in Bethesda Naval Hospital. A front-page picture of him alive and well in Russia would go over as well as a nuclear bomb.

“Scott came by?” Jack tucked his undershirt into his pants, taking a moment to readjust. His cheeks were dusted crimson, a faint flush that Ethan wanted to nibble.

“Yeah.” He tore his eyes away from Jack and fanned the bottom of his sweater, trying to cool his body.

“How’d the scouting go?”

“The route is clear for the morning. More abandoned villages. They found fuel and some supplies. Vasily is cooking eggs.” Ethan reached out, and his fingers traced Jack’s spine through his sweater and jacket. “And you should talk to Sergey.”

Turning, Jack stared at Ethan.

“I think Scott’s worried about him.” A tight, strained smile, curved his lips. “And that’s saying something.” Scott’s trust in Sergey, and in their Russian allies, extended from meal to meal. Day to day, hour by hour. If everything came apart, Scott would be the first to say “I knew it”.

“He hasn’t wanted to talk to me.” Swallowing, Jack leaned back with a sigh. His hands dropped to his lap, and he picked at the wool fibers of the balaclava. “He’s kept his distance since Volga. I’m not sure I’m the person he wants to see right now.”

Nodding slowly, Ethan frowned. Sergey’s harsh accusations, thrown at Jack at Volga air base, had been the last direct contact the two had. “After all this time, you think he’s pulling away because of…”

Because of their love? Because he and Jack were together? Because Sergey had been loved by a gay man? Was this some kind of reaction, a fear that falling in love with another man “was contagious”, as he’d hurled at Jack?

“He’s pulled back before.” Jack sat forward, slipped the balaclava over his head. He tugged it down around his neck. “I want to do the right thing by him. I don’t want to piss him off.” He frowned, deep lines furrowing his brow. “But, no matter what else is going on, he’s devastated about losing Sasha. I remember what it felt like when I thought you were dead. I can at least try to talk to him about that.”

Ethan’s chest constricted, and his heart almost seized. Was it only a week ago that he’d thought Jack was dead and gone as well? Never, ever, again. He’d do everything in his power to keep Jack safe, keep him from ever coming to harm. And, he’d never lose faith like that again, either. The darkness that had swallowed him on his race from Saudi Arabia to Russia. The emptiness, the silent scream within his soul. The way he had wanted to die, had begged the world to kill him.

Together. They’d face everything together from now on. No matter what.

Adjusting the balaclava, Jack leaned over and pressed a chaste kiss to Ethan’s lips. “Time to face the music, love.”

Ethan pulled out his own balaclava, tugged it down around his neck, and gripped the door handle. They piled out of the back of the jeep, and Ethan caught the smothered grins and barks of laughter sent their way. Scott raised a dented metal mug toward them both. Jack headed for him, and for the small fire on which Vasily was cooking.

One of the Russians who went out with Scott every morning, Aleksey, slid up to Ethan. Middle-aged, Aleksey had been a federal police officer in Sochi and had fought back with Sergey against Moroshkin and Madigan’s forces the night of the coup. Now, he was one of Sergey’s officers in the insurgency. He had a small beer gut and a thick salt and pepper mustache beneath ruddy, pockmarked cheeks, a quick, sharp smile, and perpetually messy hair.

His eyes glittered as he clapped Ethan on the back. “You are good Russian lover!” he crowed. “Quick!”

Others laughed, and Ethan spied Jack smothering his grin and rolling his eyes as he took the coffee Scott offered. Scott shrugged and hid his smile in his next sip.

Ethan clapped Aleksey on the upper arm, smiling along with the others. When he and Jack had first met the men in Sergey’s insurgency, they’d worried about how they would be received. Two men in love in a country where only months before, Sasha had almost been killed for being gay. Another man, Evgeni Konnikov, had been murdered.

Sergey’s men, however, had been nothing but accepting. They were believers in Sergey’s government, after all, and Sergey had made equality a foundational platform of his politics and administration.

They just showed that acceptance through good Russian ribbing and teasing. The more ribald the better.

“If we had actually got going,” Ethan began, winking first at Jack and then sending Aleksey a grin, “we’d be here for days.”

More laughter. Aleksey wagged his finger in Ethan’s face and squeezed his elbow before handing him a cup of bitter, sludgy coffee. Vasily waved him and Jack over, and he scooped the last of the eggs into a scavenged plastic bowl they shared. “I save for you,” Vasily said, pointing to them both.

Jack thanked him. As they ate, Ethan spotted Sergey standing in front of his jeep, his hands resting flat on a spread-out map of Russia draped over the hood with his head bowed low. He looked up, and his piercing gaze fell on Jack. There was a moment where his face flickered, something dark passing through his eyes, but it was gone before Ethan could catch it.

And then, Sergey folded up his map and climbed into the driver’s side of his jeep. He kept his eyes downcast, not once looking at Jack again.

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Meet the Author

Tal Bauer is an award-winning and best-selling author of LGBT romantic thrillers, bringing together a career in law enforcement and international humanitarian aid to create dynamic characters, intriguing plots, and exotic locations. Tal is a member of the Romance Writers of America and the Mystery Writers of America.

Pronouns: They/them & he/him

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | eMail

Tour Schedule

3/27     Sinfully 

3/27     Love Bytes Reviews

3/28     Joyfully Jay

3/28     Gay Book Reviews

3/29     Oh My Shelves 

3/29     Back Porch Reader  

3/30     Divine Magazine 

3/30     MM Book Escape 

3/31     Alpha Book Club

3/31     Bayou Book Junkie 

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Blog Tour: Say I’m Yours by Corrine Michaels

Source: InkSlinger PR

 

SIY Available Now

SayYours AmazonFrom New York Times Bestseller, Corinne Michaels, comes a new second chance standalone romance.

I spent twenty years waiting for Trent Hennington to open his eyes and see me. But it was all for nothing. He chose to keep himself guarded and let me walk away, proving that my time and efforts were wasted.

I’m done being invisible.
It’s time to move on.

A single dance sets my new reality into motion, and I welcome it. After all, Cooper Townsend is perfect. He’s kind, sexy, and attentive–everything a girl could want.

I thought I got it right this time.
That my heart could mend, and I would be happy.
Apparently, some things really are just too hard to walk away from.

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1 SAVE HIM FINAL

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Corinne Michaels is the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestselling author of The Salvation Series (Beloved, Beholden, Consolation, Conviction & Defenseless), Say You’ll Stay, Say You Want Me, and Say I’m Yours. She’s an emotional, witty, sarcastic, and fun loving mom of two beautiful children. Corinne is happily married to the man of her dreams and is a former Navy wife. After spending months away from her husband while he was deployed, reading and writing was her escape from the loneliness.

Both her maternal and paternal grandmothers were librarians, which only intensified her love of reading. After years of writing short stories, she couldn’t ignore the call to finish her debut novel, Beloved. Her alpha heroes are broken, beautiful, and will steal your heart.

 

Newsletter | Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest | Amazon Author Page | Corinne Michaels Facebook Group

 

 

Blog Tour: Wicked Beast (Wicked Ever After #2) by Nazarea Andrews

Series:
(Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)Source: InkSlinger PR

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WICKED BEAST is the second book in the Wicked Ever After series by Nazarea Andrews! This is an erotic, fairy-tale novella series! Get it now for just .99 cents!

You can sign up for Nazarea’s newsletter for exclusive materials and information on the series.

 

teaser

WICKED EVER AFTER SERIES BLURB:

It’s the dirtiest fairy tale of all….
Charm. Beast. Wolf.
Everyone in the Kingdom–an exclusive, decadent BDSM club–knows the three friends and business partners.
But no one has ever gotten close enough to touch them.
Sex is easy, even when it hurts. It’s all any of them wanted.
Love is off the table.
Love is the thing none of them ever saw coming.
In the Kingdom, control is everything. Who wields it and who surrenders.
But some things even they can’t control.
Welcome to the Kingdom, where every happily ever after hurts in the most wicked of ways.

 

Beast Final

WICKED BEAST by Nazarea Andrews

PURCHASE ON AMAZON

 

Blurb:

James “Beast” Lutz isn’t like his friends.
He doesn’t crave control the way Charm and Mal do, and he doesn’t play the games Wolf thrives on.
He lives on his knees, all of his strength bent to the will of his Domme.
He’s never regretted that, until now.
Now, when he’s trapped in an arrangement serving a Domme who can’t keep a sub.
Now, when he’s not sure how to trust a woman wrapped in mystery and less sure he wants to.
But the more he gets to know the Domme everyone knows as Beauty, the more Beast realizes everything he thought he knew was wrong.

 

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Wicked Charming final

WICKED CHARMING (Wicked Ever After, #1)

PURCHASE ON Amazon | Kobo | BN

Blurb:

He’s at the top of the world.
He’s rich, sought after, and in control.
And he’s bored.
A string of one-night stands have left Samul Charming increasingly dissatisfied. When his mother pushes him to settle down, his best friends come up with a brilliant plan:
Audition the submissives at The Kingdom.
The problem is, Charm knows who he wants: the only girl to challenge him, while submitting as naturally as breathing.
But he can’t have her.
With the entire club watching and his parents expecting him to marry soon, Charm decides to settle.
But love in the Kingdom is never simple and it is never painless.
And Charm is about to be reminded of that.

 

 


wicked-wolf-final

WICKED WOLF (Coming February 27)

PRE-ORDER ON AMAZON

Blurb:

Charles Wolf Blackwood likes the game. He likes chasing a new girl every week, loves seducing them and earning their trust. He doesn’t like to keep them.
Until he meets Scarlet.
The chase has never been quite as intoxicating as it is with her, the feisty sub with an innocent streak a mile wide. And for the first time, he wants to keep her, but Scarlet already has a Dom, and Hunter has no intentions of giving her up.
Both Wolf and Hunter are in for a surprise when they realize Scarlet doesn’t want one of them.
She’s playing to keep them both.

 

—————————–

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

 

nazareaandrews

Nazarea Andrews (N to almost everyone) is an avid reader and tends to write the stories she wants to read. Which means she writes everything from zombies and dystopia to contemporary love stories. When not writing, she can most often be found driving her kids to practice and burning dinner while she reads, or binging watching TV shows on Netflix. N loves chocolate, wine, and coffee almost as much as she loves books, but not quite as much as she loves her kids. She lives in south Georgia with her husband, daughters, spoiled cat and overgrown dog. She is the author of World Without End series, Neverland Found, Edge of the Falls, and The University of Branton Series. Stop by her twitter (@NazareaAndrews) and tell her what fantastic book she should read next.

AUTHOR LINKS:

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Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr | Instagram | Street Team

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About Nazarea Andrews

Nazarea Andrews (N to almost everyone) is an avid reader and tends to write the stories she wants to read. Which means she writes everything from zombies and dystopia to contemporary love stories. When not writing, she can most often be found driving her kids to practice and burning dinner while she reads, or binging watching TV shows on Netflix. N loves chocolate, wine, and coffee almost as much as she loves books, but not quite as much as she loves her kids. She lives in south Georgia with her husband, daughters, spoiled cat and overgrown dog. She is the author of World Without End series, Neverland Found, Edge of the Falls, and The University of Branton Series. Stop by her twitter (@NazareaAndrews) and tell her what fantastic book she should read next.

The Russian Obsession (Foreign Affairs #3) by Nikki Navarre

Series:

 

To uncover the truth, Max and Christa must win their toughest battle yet. 

The battle of hearts between them.  

 THE RUSSIAN OBSESSION

Foreign Affairs #3

Nikki Navarre

Releasing Feb 21, 2017

 

Christabel Orlova remembers nothing before the night she woke in a Turkish bazaar with two passports, two governments on her tail, and no memory of her shadowy past. Armed only with keen wits, survival instincts and mad skills in the research lab, Christa has three goals. Stay alive. Stay one step ahead of her hunters. And find a cure for the Ebola bioweapon whose secret is locked in her brainbox—before it wipes out the human race. Gypsy, loner and wild child, her first rule of survival is never to trust.

Ex-Russian fighter pilot Max Vasylko is a gun-for-hire smuggler who’ll fly contraband cargo anywhere in the world, no questions asked. But he can’t fly far enough to forget the wife and daughter who died in an Ebola outbreak. When a bioweapon from a rogue U.S. program is to blame, Max’s mission turns personal. Find the scientist responsible for designing the super virus—and make her pay. The last villain he expects is Christa: a smart, sexy, scrappy survivor in hiking boots who’s lost her own brother to the virus.

Now Max is flying high above the African jungle with enemy agents in his six and a sweet redhead he’ll risk his backside to protect. Christa’s tempted to trust this hot-as-hell jet jockey with his wildcat courage and Mafia past. But the vaccine isn’t the only secret locked in her head. To uncover the truth, Max and Christa must win their toughest battle yet. The battle of hearts between them.

Top Five Facts about Author Nikki Navarre

Subject under Surveillance:

                                           

Nikki Navarre          Alias: Laura Navarre

Globetrotting author of sexy spy romance with a dangerous past.

Warning:  State secrets have never been this sexy.

Character Briefing:

  • In her other life, Nikki Navarre is a diplomat who works on weapons of mass destruction issues. In this capacity, she meets many of the world’s most dangerous men.
  • Nikki lived in Moscow, Russia for five years and is a fluent Russian speaker.
  • Nikki’s real-life bodyguard was the inspiration for Nikolai “The Maestro” Markov, ex-KGB hit man turned protector in The Russian Temptation, Book Two in Nikki’s Foreign Affairs series.
  • Nikki’s innocent twin, Laura Navarre, writes historical and paranormal romance set in the Tudor period for Harlequin/Carina. Laura’s Tudor fallen angel romance Magick by Moonrise won the Pacific Northwest Writers Association romance award. Still, she’s secretly jealous of Nikki’s success!
  • Nikki’s Foreign Affairs series is under consideration for episodic television in Holllywood.

Release Day Blitz & Giveaway: The Black Sheep and The Rotten Apple by K.A. Merikan

Title:  The Black Sheep and The Rotten Apple:

Author: K.A. Merikan

Publisher:  Acerbi&Villani ltd.

Release Date: 7th of February 2017

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 140,000 words

Genre: Romance, Thriller/Suspense, Historical – 18th Century Cornwall, Highwayman, Kidnapping, Forbidden love, Violence

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The Black Sheep and the Rotten Apple is the kind of book that just needed to be written, despite our already tight schedule. The idea first came to us when we watched a documentary about highwaymen, but we promised ourselves to wait. And then we went to Cornwall for a month, and initial plans collapsed. As we walked through the woods, watching the lush nature and the old stone cottages peppered on both sides of a valley where we were staying, the characters and story steadily came to us. Our aim was to write a historical book that provides as much excitement as readers learned to expect from our contemporary romance.

RELEASE DATE: 7th February 2017

If you want to see our inspiration photos for this book, check out the ‘Black Sheep and the Rotten Apple’ Pinterest board:

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The Black Sheep and the Rotten Apple is our baby. It’s been a year since we started working on this book, and to celebrate its release, we’re organizing a quiz for readers who follow The Black Sheep and the Rotten Apple blog tour. Answers to all questions will be provided in the blog posts, and we will then randomly pick the lucky winners. You can win:

  • a signed paperback of The Black Sheep and the Rotten Apple + a selection of Cornish treats (main prize – for one person)
  • 3 ebooks of choice from our backlist + a surprise treat from Cornwall (will go to 3 more people)

For a chance to win, follow the instructions in blog posts and solve the quiz, which will be published on our website on 1st February 2017. Please, send answers to kamerikan@gmail.com with ‘Black Sheep Quiz’ in the subject line of the email.

 

Winners will be randomly chosen from readers who sent us correct answers by 17th February 2017.

LINKS TO ALL POSTS:

02/01 THE QUIZ

02/03 Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

02/06 We Three Queens

02/07 Boy Meets Boy Reviews

02/08 Prism Book Alliance

02/09 The Novel Approach

02/09 Joyfully Jay

02/10 The Zipper Rippers

02/10 The Book Bella

02/11 Divine Magazine

02/12 Bayou Book Junkie

Blurb

“How does one start a relationship with another man when it is forbidden?”
“One needs to decide that the other man is worth dying for.”

Cornwall, 1785

Sir Evan Penhart. Baronet. Highwayman. Scoundrel.

Julian Reece. Writer. Wastrel. Penniless.

No one forces Julian Reece to marry. Not his father, not his brother. No one.

When he is thrust into a carriage heading for London to meet his future bride, his way out comes in the form of an imposing highwayman, riding a horse as black as night. Julian makes a deal with the criminal, but what he doesn’t expect is that despite the title of baronet, the robber turns out to be no gentleman.

Sir Evan Penhart is pushed into crime out of desperation, but the pact with a pretty, young merchant’s son turns out to have disastrous consequences. Not only is Evan left broke, but worse yet, Julian opens up a Pandora’s box of passions that are dark, needy, and too wild to tame. With no way to lock them back in, rash decisions and greedy desire lead to a tide that wrecks everything in its way.

But Julian might actually like all the sinful, carnal passion unleashed on him. How can he admit this though, even to himself, when a taste of the forbidden fruit could have him end up with a noose around his neck? And with highway robbery being a hanging offense and the local constable on their back, Julian could lose Evan before he can decide anything about the nature of his desires.

POSSIBLE SPOILERS:

Themes: highwayman, abduction, ransom, forbidden love, self-discovery, danger, crime,
Genre: Dark romance, historical
Erotic content: Explicit scenes

Length: ~140,000 words (standalone novel)

WARNING: Adult content. Contains violence, distressing scenes, abuse, offensive language, and morally ambiguous protagonists.

Excerpt

The sun was high up in the sky by the time the desynchronized orchestra left Julian’s skull. There wasn’t enough space to properly lie down anywhere in the carriage, but he managed to obtain a comfortable position by resting his legs up the wooden wall while his upper body occupied one of the benches. He still felt like the filling of an enormous rattle as the carriage bent in all possible directions on the uneven road leading away from the coast.

Horace didn’t even make an attempt to hold back his disapproval, but after delivering several biting comments and a lengthy speech about duty, he at last leaned against the side of the carriage in the seat across from Julian and closed his eyes. It was difficult to say whether he was truly in need of a nap or if it was Julian’s face that he didn’t wish to look at.

With his headache out of the way yet not quite well enough to read, Julian opened the curtains in hope of amusing himself with the views, but so far, he merely got to see the side of a narrow gully—all dirt and grass.

He couldn’t understand why Father was being so implacable about having his youngest son marry a title. Couldn’t it wait a fortnight so that Julian could finish that new novel he came up with last night? This one could truly be the breakthrough Julian had been waiting for, the one that would make the Reece family known for more than fabric trade.

Inspiration was a moment in time when Julian’s friend Martin emerged from the darkness of an alley behind the tavern. In that very second he had not resembled himself but a man made of bronze, dreamlike and yet of substance, with strong hands that could crush Julian if they wanted. The novel would start with a similar encounter somewhere in the narrow back alleys, just off the Colosseum. Haunted by the ghost of an ancient gladiator, the protagonist would be believed to be slowly descending into madness, when in reality his awareness of the supernatural would become a vehicle for truth.

Julian was not yet certain of the exact message he wished to convey, but the events would be presented from several points of view, through letters written by the protagonist, his friends, and an official of some sort who’d represent the stale world order.

He’d already had several beautifully evocative ideas for metaphors describing the gladiator himself, but they became somewhat blurry after a night of cards and drink.

Oh, if only he could travel to Rome to let the atmosphere of the city soak him all the way to the bone—without a wife fighting for his attention and pulling him away from work because of feminine fancies.

He looked out of the window with growing disdain. Who in their right mind traveled on Sunday, and so early at that? Julian would have much preferred listening to a sermon at church to spending the day in what was effectively a hearse carrying one of the brightest literary talents just waiting to be discovered.

Now that Julian was feeling better, he was upset with himself about not asking for a day’s delay on religious grounds. He’d never been as devout about prayer as he was about his art, but if the Christian faith could postpone his commitment to a woman he never met, he would gladly kneel and pray. And Miss White wasn’t even a woman but a girl of fifteen, quite pretty in the portrait Julian had been shown, and a viscount’s only daughter at that, but surely as hungry for her intended’s attention as the bawdy house wench who’d become sweet on Julian some years ago.

Back then, he still visited Madame Canard’s establishment to do what everyone else did when they visited a school of Venus. These days, Julian had neither the overwhelming desire nor patience to handle a cunt, no matter how lovely the lady it was attached to. He still enjoyed having a drink with the harlots, and no card table within twenty miles was as lively as the one at Madame Canard’s, but at twenty-five he’d much rather handle needs of the flesh in solitude.

Sweet perfume made his nose itch, the act itself made him unpleasantly sticky—with his sweat and hers—and while he would not dare to ask, it was his suspicion that the friends who usually accompanied him to the brothel were only whoring so much because of pride and bravado. It was a sign of status to be able to afford women and decent wine daily, and so fucking and gambling was the thing you did as a social activity.

Julian’s eyes darted to Horace, who slept with his head thrown back and leaning against the side of the carriage. His wide-open mouth was asking for a distasteful prank, but Julian was far too upset to think of amusing himself at Horace’s expense. So far, the day’s joke was on him.

In the years past, he’d been mocked by his father and siblings over not taking on a profession that they deemed worthy of a gentleman, but with the family being very prosperous, Julian saw no reason to divert his focus from his one true calling.

Despite frequent threats, he’d hoped that Father—having four willing sons and three daughters—wouldn’t push Julian into marriage, but it seemed a lost cause. Soon it would be a wife nagging Julian to stop wasting his time following intellectual pursuits and instead turn his attention to practical matters. As the head of his own family, maybe he’d even be pushed to join the family trade, one step farther from traveling abroad to meet the great artists of the continent.

The carriage started a steep climb up a hill, and Julian cursed, pushing the soles of his boots against the wall to keep his body from rolling off the narrow bench. How long would it take for them to reach London at this pace? It was over two hundred miles away, so a week perhaps? The last time Julian had made the journey, he was so intoxicated most days that he couldn’t properly count them.

But out of nowhere, as the slope of the hill became gentler, the ugly dirt and grass that had been Julian’s only source of entertainment for the last half an hour were replaced by lush greenery of tree tops. He grinned and glanced at Horace, but the fat sod was too busy snoring to notice the change in scenery.

A wicked plan was starting to take shape in Julian’s head, and he quietly removed his feet from the side of the carriage and lowered them to the floor. Pulling himself upright was easy enough after that, and he stalled, eyes transfixed on the permanently flushed face of his brother that was an unappetizing contrast with the white wig he wore, and made him look like a man many years his senior. Julian might be less inclined to business, less sedate than his siblings, but at the very least he had good taste and flair most of Julian’s family lacked, buried deep in the stern world of pretense and money.

Horace didn’t even stir. The old pig was fast asleep, and if that wasn’t Julian’s chance to save his life, he didn’t know what was. Careful not to make any sound, Julian gathered his valise and the coat he’d earlier taken off because of the heat, stilling when the carriage came to a halt. His eyes immediately darted to Horace, but his brother only smacked his lips in his sleep. Hunt could have stopped to relieve himself. What an opportunity this was!

Julian could feel his heartbeat in his throat when he softly pressed on the door handle. Still distinctly aware of his brother being close enough for their knees to touch, were Julian not careful enough. He opened the carriage and left it in a soft stride before closing the door with care.

A warm breeze combed through his hair, wiping away the unpleasant wetness of sweat, and his lungs filled with fresh air, but he didn’t get to enjoy it.

The shining muzzle of a pistol was grinning at him from inches away.

Despite the warm weather, Julian’s whole body was shaken by a chill when his gaze met a pair of eyes so dark they might as well have been lacquered coals. The man had a tricorn hat pulled low over his forehead, and a black scarf obscuring the lower half of his face.

This can’t be happening.

“Don’t try to scream, or I will blow your brains out.” The man squinted and lowered his gun to Julian’s pupil. “Through the eye.”

Julian opened his mouth as his throat closed, robbing him of breath. He wanted to look back, suddenly wishing Horace weren’t such an easy sleeper, but Hunt was nowhere to be seen either. Heat washed over Julian’s body, making him stiffen as if he were made of clay. Had this man hurt their coachman? If so, where was the body?

“What do you want?” Julian whispered, resting his hand on the door handle when his knees softened.

“These.” A hand in a leather glove gripped Julian’s sweaty fingers and slipped off his rings. “And all your other valuables.” The man didn’t even blink, his voice dark as if dragged through tar.

Julian stared, and his mind finally came up with the answer for what this was. “You’re a highwayman…”

“And you’re cork-brained to travel on a Sunday when the roads are empty.” The man’s gaze drifted away to Horace for a split second, but he must have judged him as no threat, and when Horace snored from inside the carriage, the highwayman chuckled quietly.

Julian’s lungs emptied, and a silly grin emerged on his face, encouraged by the highwayman’s amusement. “Ah, I should have gone to church after all.”

The smile died on his lips when the robber poked Julian’s temple with his gun.

“Your valuables,” he urged.

Julian clenched his teeth when they threatened to clatter. He needed to keep calm. His father believed his friends to be villains, so he could handle one. “I’ve been taken out of the tavern this morning with nothing but the clothes on my back. I lost everything at the tables. You should try my older brother. He’s Father’s heir. He should have a healthy sum on him.”

The highwayman gripped the front of Julian’s waistcoat and pulled him forward so hard Julian stumbled straight into the man’s arms. He was much taller than Julian, with wide shoulders that were so strong their size couldn’t be just padding. His clothes smelled of leather and horse sweat, and Julian found himself staring into the eyes above the black scarf.

Before he could say a word, the man turned him around, and pressed the gun to the side of his head.

“Go on, wake up your brother.”

Julian breathed in and out, stiff with discomfort at the warm body pressed against his back as if the highwayman was seeking warmth. The gun provided some relief against heated skin. Its presence made Julian’s blood speed through his veins. It wouldn’t go off. Murder wasn’t in the robber’s interest, but if that was the case, then where the hell was Hunt?

Then an idea illuminated Julian’s mind. “I have a proposition, Mister—”

The highwayman stilled. He’d be lying. Of course. “Noir,” he said in the end. “What kind of proposition can you have, pretty boy? With no money in your pockets.”

Something about Noir’s tone sent a hot shiver through Julian’s ribcage, but he ignored the condescending words and slowly looked back into the blackest eyes he’d ever seen. “I don’t have much on me, but you must know my father. He’s William Reece, the cloth merchant. You could take me and ask for ransom. We could split it between us like two gentlemen,” he whispered and gave Noir a polite nod. Appealing to the highwayman’s self-importance should do the trick. His kind were known for a love of opulence and status they didn’t deserve.

He must have managed to surprise the thief, because Noir’s grip on him faltered. “How much could I ask for a son who hates his father?”

Julian exhaled in relief when he felt Noir’s aggression turn away from him. “A lot. He needs me. I’m worth more than you can imagine,” he said with a small smile.

Noir stole another glance at Horace sleeping in the back of the carriage, and his gloved hand slid to Julian’s neck, squeezing around his nape in a way that had Julian rising to his toes. “You better be. You scream, or try to run, and I will kill you.”

Julian swallowed against the warm, soft leather. It felt surprisingly expensive. Might have been snatched from a gentleman. “I don’t doubt that,” he lied. “However, we share a common goal, friend.”

“Call me ‘friend’ once this is all over.” Noir shook his head and pushed Julian behind the carriage, where a gloriously jet-black stallion awaited its rider, and watched Julian with eyes as dark as Noir’s.

“I hope you haven’t hurt our driver. He’s a good fellow,” said Julian, smiling at the huge beast in front of him.

“He’ll live. Your brother will find him once he wakes up.”

Julian was sure there had to be a hint of a smile under that black scarf. When Noir put the gun inside his coat, Julian tried to assess the man more thoroughly.

The black leather riding coat was worn but of good quality. Could have been stolen too, but the clothes underneath, as black as everything the man wore, were clean, suggesting the highwayman wasn’t sleeping rough somewhere. Unless he dressed up for robbery.

Julian opened his mouth to comment on the beauty of the horse, but Noir spun Julian around and pulled back his hands.

“Good heavens. We’re partners,” Julian whispered with distaste. Hot and cold sweats were hitting him in rapid waves, and he couldn’t tell whether he was scared or excited about this new development. Once he got out of this, he could write a novel about the peril of travellers attacked by rogues while driving through a dark, rainy forest, and with a bit of poetic license, call it a true story.

“I haven’t decided on that yet,” said Noir, and a cold shiver went down Julian’s back at the proficiency with which the man tied his hands. A former sailor perhaps? That wouldn’t bode well, as those types rarely possessed the intellectual capability for complicated schemes. His speech was also far too refined to have been only recently acquired. Damnation!

“Mr. Noir. I’d much rather ride with my hands free. You see, I’ve been incapacitated by gin just this morning, and I don’t feel secure enough without my hands to assist me yet. I assure you, I am harmless.”

Once Noir had tied Julian’s hands, he turned him around. “Now you are. Up.” And just as Julian was wondering how exactly he was supposed to climb atop the tall beast, the scoundrel grabbed his legs and picked him up. Julian barely refrained from screaming. It was no way to handle a gentleman, and yet he couldn’t help but be amazed by Noir’s physical prowess.

Definitely a sailor. A naval officer, perhaps.

Julian’s face flushed with heat when he imagined his bottom sticking out like a whore’s ass at a party. Good grief, what had he gotten himself into? What was next? Being kidnapped by pirates?

His foot found the stirrup, and he exhaled with relief, pushing his other leg over the horse’s hindquarters until he straddled its back. “I see no reason for this kind of treatment, considering it was I who came up with a most lucrative opportunity for you.”

“Keep that up, and I will gag you.” Noir was quick to get on the horse himself as soon as he’d attached Julian’s coat and valise to the saddle. Julian felt completely overwhelmed when the man reached for the reins, all but embracing him.

Julian shuddered and curled his shoulders to not be in the way, though no matter what he did, the shape of the saddle brought them close together. “You’re a scoundrel. Another man in your profession would have treated me right.”

Noir laughed darkly. “You are correct, sir. How could I have forgotten.” Even though the mockery had him exaggerate the polite accent, Julian was becoming certain that Noir’s natural speech was not that of someone uneducated.

Before Julian understood what was happening, Noir pulled a burlap sack over his head.

“I will scream,” whispered Julian, staring through the dots of light in the smelly thing. He squeezed his hands into fists and pushed them hard against Noir’s stomach. His mind was rattling again, as if the drunkenness returned with full force.

“No one will hear you where we’re going.”

“Julian?” came a sleepy voice from the carriage.

Noir’s thighs tensed, and he must have urged his mount to rush, as it went almost straight into gallop.

Julian screamed at the top of his lungs. “Horace!”

The stallion flew forward, and without the aid of his hands, Julian was forced to hang on to it with his legs alone, shaken like a rattle. The rapid gait moved him back and forth over the front of the saddle, making Julian stiffen and push back against the firm chest behind him. Without seeing where they were going, Julian tried to hold on to anything he had on hand, and as it happened, it was probably Noir’s waistcoat. If the horse tripped, at least they would stumble and break their bones together. Or maybe the villain would cushion Julian’s fall in a well-meaning act of God.

It was Sunday.

 

Meet the Author

K. A. Merikan is the pen name for Kat and Agnes Merikan, a team of writers, who are mistaken for sisters with surprising regularity. Kat’s the mean sergeant and survival specialist of the duo, never hesitating to kick Agnes’s ass when she’s slacking off. Her memory works like an easy-access catalogue, which allows her to keep up with both book details and social media. Also works as the emergency GPS. Agnes is the Merikan nitpicker, usually found busy with formatting and research. Her attention tends to be scattered, and despite being over thirty, she needs to apply makeup to buy alcohol. Self-proclaimed queen of the roads.

They love the weird and wonderful, stepping out of the box, and bending stereotypes both in life and books. When you pick up a Merikan book, there’s one thing you can be sure of – it will be full of surprises.

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Audio Tour: Deathless & Divided (Chicago War #1) by Bethany-Kris

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(Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)Source: IndieSage PR

Deathless & Divided

by Bethany-Kris
Chicago War #1
Narrator: Roberto Scarlato
Publication Date: December 2016 (Audio Edition)
Genres: Audiobook, Mafia Romance, Organized Crime

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Amazon Audible: http://amzn.to/2jUBxum

Synopsis: Lies and love. This is how a war starts.A life for a life. That’s the mafia way. Damian Rossi owes his life to a man who is ready to collect. That payment comes in the form of an arranged marriage to the daughter of another leading family in the Chicago Outfit. He’s ready to follow through, even if that means making sure Lily knows she’s his.

Lily DeLuca isn’t being given a choice. Forced home to marry a man she doesn’t know and back into a life she’d rather forget, her world is full of half-truths, buried pain, and uncertainty. But Damian is nothing like she expects. His motives aren’t clear. Her beliefs are being tested.

When it comes to this world, no man can be trusted. Someone is ready to flip the Chicago Outfit on its side all for the promise of something better. But no one runs a clean game and these men play for keeps. When blood begins to paint Chicago red, four families will be divided by loyalty, hatred, and revenge. There is no hiding. There is no safety.

No one is deathless.

No one.

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REVIEW:

This was one of the lowest angst Mafia romance stories I’ve listened to in a while. The plot was just as front and center as the romance. Bethany-Kris did a really good at intertwining the character’s plight with the Outfit (the mafia) with the love story. The narrator Robert Scarlato did a great job with the various voices. His accent and intonation was authentic and entertaining. I felt eased into the story by the way he chronicled the character’s journey.

Lily DeLuca had been kept out of the mafia spotlight by her brothers Dino and Theo. Unfortunately, Lily was born into the family and eventually had to take her place as a mafia princess. Lily was so resentful when she discovered that her brother Dino has arranged for her to marry The Outfit’s enforcer Damian Rossi.

Damien was an orphan like Lily, but his allegiance was to the outfit. This marriage was just another task he was willing to accomplish for the outfit…or was it?
I liked Damian the most in the story. He worked and kept his head down. He wasn’t overly ambitious and he was loyal. Though he was a deadly assassin, he had a soft spot that was hidden to almost all. He was sexy, faithful and steadfast.

I love that the author allowed Damian to win Lily’s heart. He didn’t just go all alpha male and insist Lily will marry him to fulfill the contract. Bethany-Kris added a layer of cultivation to Damian by making him appear more compassionate about Lily’s reservations. They were a well-suited couple and I enjoyed how they were able to bond to each other outside of mafia politics and hidden agendas.

The mafia side of the plot was also very intriguing. This book had the usual crime, murder, takeovers and betrayals we have come to expect in such novels. I found myself trying to figure out the puppet master and their game. I am hoping audiobook 2 will be available soon.

AUDIO EXCERPT

ABOUT BETHANY-KRIS

Bethany-Kris is a Canadian author, lover of much, and mother to three young sons, one cat, and two dogs. A small town in Eastern Canada where she was born and raised is where she has always called home. With her boys under her feet, snuggling cat, barking dogs, and a hubby calling over his shoulder, she is nearly always writing something … when she can find the time.

To keep up-to-date with new releases from Bethany-Kris, sign up to her New Release Newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/bf9lzD

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ABOUT ROBERTO SCARLATO (NARRATOR)

Scarlato grew up in a small suburb of Chicago. He has a deep, rich voice that is easily manipulated for multiple characters. He is married to his high school sweetheart. They have a three year old daughter.

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About Bethany-Kris

Bethany-Kris is a Canadian author, lover of much, and mother to three young sons, one cat, and two dogs. A small town in Eastern Canada where she was born and raised is where she has always called home. With her boys under her feet, snuggling cat, barking dogs, and a hubby calling over his shoulder, she is nearly always writing something … when she can find the time.

Blog Tour: Prince & Pirate by Elliot Cooper

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Oh My Shelves welcomes author Elliot Cooper to the blog with his latest release Prince & Pirate. Along with an giveaway he’s also brought an exclusive excerpt of Prince & Pirate! Please welcome him aboard!

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Prince & Pirate: by Elliot Cooper
Release Date: November 28, 2016
Pages: 120
Published By: NineStar Press
Purchase Links:
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Blurb

Prince Gavin is powerless to refuse when his father demands he secure an alliance with a distant kingdom. At first, he sees the journey as a chance to prove his worth and indulge in the grand adventures of his dreams. Yet nothing seems right about his father’s paranoid insistence he travel by merchant ship while disguised as a diplomat. Once out on the open sea, Gavin learns he’s been tricked into boarding an infamous pirate ship: the Ebon Drake.

Captain Marcas Drake is delighted to discover the courtier he’s kidnapped is really a prince. Acquiring such a hefty ransom will prove once and for all he’s a brilliant pirate in his own right, not riding the coattails of his father’s fame. And using his charms to seduce his prisoner makes for an entertaining pastime. But unfortunate events turn the Ebon Drake’s crew against their captain before the ransom can be carried out.

Marooned, Marcas and Gavin’s new equal footing turns the pirate’s sensual game into something else entirely. However, being stranded on a tiny island becomes the least of their worries when rescue arrives in the form of the bloodthirsty Crimson Queen, a pirate who’s been chasing Marcas for years. Working together to escape the queen is their only hope of freedom and a chance their growing love might outlast their misadventures.

Exclusive Excerpt

The distinct smell of smoke woke Marcas from an already fitful sleep. At first, he wasn’t sure if he was imagining the smell, but then Morris burst through the doors to his cabin in a panic.

“Cap’n! Cap’n! There’s a fire on deck! Fire!” Morris squawked, his voice cracking as he shouted.

“Damn it, boy! Get out there and help put it out!” Marcas commanded. He jumped to his feet and didn’t bother to put on his shirt or coat.

He chased after the cabin boy and saw a coil of rope near the mizzenmast was ablaze. The remnants of a shattered lantern were strewn off to the side of it. Kerosene. Some idiot had dropped the lantern. Or maybe the wind? Whatever had happened, Marcas decided while shouting orders to all hands on deck, he would find the culprit if there was one and give them twenty lashings. There was no question about his mood this night.

“The wind’s makin’ it spread!” Morris shouted, still panicked and not doing much to help save the ship or his fellow crew members.

“Stow your gab and help Canker and Bones with the bloody buckets!” Marcas shouted, gesturing angrily. He shoved the boy towards the line of pirates pulling water up from the waves before joining them himself. He wouldn’t lose his ship because of some adolescent who wasn’t worth a damn in a crisis. And he wouldn’t lose his ship to some damn fire!

A calm in the wind allowed the men to douse the final embers. The coil of rope and much of the deck were soaked, but the fire was no more. A cheer sounded on board as Mr. Dawkins shouted back down the line.

“She’s saved! Good work, mates!”

“Excellent work!” Marcas shouted. But any relief he felt was hidden by the rage still evident in his voice. “Now! Who’s responsible for this mess?”

The crew looked around at one another. Some busied themselves with checking the damage done to the ropes while others set about cleaning the mess itself. No one spoke.

“Did no one, not a one of you, see what started the fire?” Marcas snarled. Someone had caused the fire, accidentally no doubt, but that recklessness would not be tolerated. He had his suspicions, but he wanted a confession. He was not in the habit of punishing the wrong crew member.

“Most’ve us were below decks, takin’ our turns to sleep, Cap’n,” Bones said. He shrugged apologetically at his captain.

“Most,” Marcas parroted his bosun. He looked around at his crew again, attempting to look each one of them in the eyes as he spoke. “I know whose watch it was, so don’t count your captain a fool! If it was an accident of the wind, just speak the truth and be done with it. I can’t fault nature for her whims any more than I can the sea!”

Some of them laughed, but a good majority didn’t. An awkward silence settled on board until, finally, Morris walked up to his captain with his head bowed.

“I uh… ’Twas me, sir. I tripped an’ dropped my lantern. I din’t mean—”

Marcas grabbed him by the throat and lifted him up off the deck, cutting short whatever apologies he’d been trying to make.

“The next time I ask whose fault it is,” Marcas growled through his teeth, “I expect the culprit to answer me straight away. I have no time for blundering fools who bite their tongues!”

Morris whimpered and made a strange coughing sound. Captain Drake dropped him and let him splutter for all of two seconds before pointing at the bosun and the quartermaster.

“Bones! Mr. Dawkins! Give young Mr. Morris here twenty lashes!”

The boy cried out and then shoved his fist against his mouth. He knew he’d earn more lashes if he made so much as another sound.

Marcas wasn’t interested in watching the proceedings. He knew the boy would be days recovering, but it would be well worth keeping him below decks and out of everyone else’s way. The boy was a hazard, not only to himself, but to everyone on board. If he kept it up, he’d be dropped off at the next port with his cut of the gold they had, which was nothing to crow about.

Author Bio:

elliot-cooper

Elliot Cooper writes speculative fiction featuring queer characters. His novels and novellas come with hopeful and happy endings, though his short fiction runs the gamut of styles and genres. He strives above all to make his readers feel, while also increasing positive representation of LGBTQ characters and their stories.

Website:www.elliotcooperwrites.com

Twitter:@elliotwrites

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Blog Tour + Giveaway: Kiernan by Toni Griffin

Oh My Shelves welcomes Toni Griffin to the blog. She is promoting Kiernan, the 4th book of The Atherton Pack.  She comes baring a excerpt of her newest released on October 19, 2016 and a Rafflecopter Giveway! Please welcome Toni Griffin!!!

Exclusive Excerpt

“What the hell’s going on?” Kieran asked as Corey opened his front door. Corey took one look at him and smiled, then opened the door wider and motioned for Kieran to come in.

“Well, if it isn’t the pack’s newest Beta.” Corey grinned at him.

“Shut up,” Kieran replied, annoyed at his friend as he stepped past him. He wasn’t here to talk about his recent promotion. They had bigger fish to fry.

Corey sighed. “I fucked up.”

“Ya think?” Kieran asked sarcastically, then took a deep breath and let it go as he flopped down onto the couch. “I thought you were smarter than that.” He tilted his head and watched as Corey closed the door behind him, then made his way through the living room and collapsed into one of the recliner chairs.

“I did too.” Corey closed his eyes and rested his head against the back of the chair.

“How’d it happen?” he asked gently. “You didn’t give me any specifics when I was here yesterday. I realize you’ve probably been over this a million times with Ben and everyone, but this virtual shit storm seems to be bigger than expected.”

Corey sighed. “It had been a long night. Tommy went into labour, Ben wasn’t coping; emotions were running high. It was late by the time we got home, then Ethan muddled my brains several times before we passed out…”

“Oh really?” Kieran asked in his most pervy voice. He waggled his brows at Corey, who laughed at him and threw a cushion in his direction. “Thanks, man,” he said as he snatched the square pillow out of the air and tucked it behind his head.

“Piss off, you. Just you wait ’til you settle down with your mate.”

Kieran cringed, and Corey noticed. His friend’s eyes narrowed at him, and Kieran knew he wouldn’t hide anything from his closest friends.

“What’s with the wince?” Corey asked him.

Kieran waved him away. “In a minute. We were talking about your monumental failure first.” This time Corey winced, and Kieran felt bad for causing his friend any hurt or distress, but he really did want to know the details.

“Fine. God knows why I thought it would be a good idea to get up early that morning and register Joseph’s birth. My head wasn’t in the right place. Hell, my entire body wanted to be back in bed curled around Ethan. I should have listened. Instead, I hacked the system like I’ve done so many times before and got careless. This time, I left a footprint that they were able to trace back to Atherton. I don’t think they’ve been able to pinpoint me as the culprit just yet, but it could just be a matter of time. That guy that was here yesterday with Damon Kelly seems to have a hard-on for me.”

Kieran groaned. He couldn’t help it. Having his mate’s name said in the same sentence as hard-on had images of the previous night flashing through his mind. He closed his eyes and tried to slow his rapid heartbeat. His wolf was growling within him, not liking another man talking about his mate like that.

“Okay, what the fuck was that about?” Corey asked him. Kieran opened his eyes and found his friend staring right at him. “I can practically smell your arousal from here.”

Kieran took a deep breath and grimaced. “I guess you know after last night that Damon is my mate.” Kieran was having trouble getting over the fact that his mate was investigating Corey.

Corey sighed. “Yeah. I figured he might have been when they came ’round here yesterday. The way he was acting, there was only one possibility other than Ethan, and that was you. Last night at the pub kinda confirmed everything. Sorry I didn’t mention anything.”

Kieran took that all in, then nodded. He wasn’t sure if he would have liked a heads-up or not. The situation they found themselves in was pretty fucked up as it was. “No worries, man.”

“So, how are things with you and Detective Kelly?”

“Who knows? Things are weird. This isn’t exactly what I pictured it would be like when I finally met my mate, you know?”

Corey smiled wanly at him. “I’m sorry.”

“Don’t sweat it. man. Plus, if it weren’t for you and the mistake you made, then I would never have met him. Who knows when or if we ever would have run into each other?”

Corey smiled. “So really, you could just call me a matchmaker, then.”

Kieran laughed. “Fuck off.” He pulled the cushion out from behind his head and threw it back at his friend who caught it, laughing.

The door opened unexpectedly, causing them both to stop mid-laugh. Kieran twisted himself so he could see who was coming in. One deep inhale, and he relaxed as he recognized Corey’s little brother, Daniel. He didn’t recognize the scent of the person with him though.

They didn’t have to wait long. Daniel soon strode into the room, holding the hand of a lovely young woman. She looked to be in her mid-twenties, roughly five-foot-seven or -eight, and she wasn’t all skin and bones, which Kieran liked. He hated women who seemed too scared to eat in case they gained a little weight. Her wavy brown hair had been pulled back in a long ponytail at the nape of her neck. A few long strands had escaped and were cascading down over her face, hiding it a little. She seemed timid and nervous, and Kieran’s heart ached as he realized the extent of what he was scenting between the two of them.

Corey stood as Daniel came to a stop in the entrance of the room.

“Hey, bro, I have someone I want you to meet,” Daniel said as he turned to smile fondly at the woman by his side. The expression on her face told Kieran all he needed to know.

“Melanie, this is my big brother, Corey.” Daniel turned back to Corey, his grin massive. “Bro, this is Mel, my mate.”

 

About the Book.

kieranKiernan: by Toni Griffin
Series: The Atherton Pack, #4
Release Date: Ocotber 19, 2016
Length:84,651 words • Format:eBook
Published By:Mischief Corner Books
Purchase Links:
Mischief Corner Books AmazonAReAppleKoboBookstrand

Blurb

“You need to go to Atherton,” they said. Easy for them. The higher-ups at headquarters don’t have their whole world on the line. When Detective Damon Kelly’s bosses send him across the state on a “simple” cyber fraud case, he never thinks he’d meet his mate, then risk losing Kieran by doing his job. No matter what other possible angles Damon works, his partner Grant Davis is sure Kieran’s best friend Corey’s their guy, and Grant is bent on bringing him in.

After the birth of their Alpha’s son, the Atherton Pack needs another beta. Kieran Baxter couldn’t be happier to accept. What Kieran doesn’t expect is for all hell to break loose his first week on the job. Clashing with his mate at every turn, and fighting a human cop who wants to arrest Corey for hacking a government database, wasn’t part of the plan either.

As more evidence piles up, a bigger, scarier picture comes into focus that could threaten not only the Atherton Pack, but everything the world knows.

Rafflecopter Giveaway

Tony is giving away two $20 Amazon gift cards via Rafflecopter. The sweeps runs from 10/16 to 11/6.

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Author Bio:
toni-griffinToni Griffin lives in Darwin, the smallest of Australia’s capital cities. Born and raised in the state she’s a Territorian through and through. Growing up Toni hated English with a passion (as her editors can probably attest to) and found her strength lies with numbers.

Now, though, she loves escaping to the worlds she creates and hopes to continue to do so for many years to come. She’s a single mother of one and works full time. When she’s not writing you can just about guarantee that she will be reading one of the many MM authors she loves.

Feel free to drop her a line at info@tonigriffin.net anytime.

Author Links:
Website: http://www.tonigriffin.net/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/toni.griffin.author
Twitter: https://twitter.com/tonigriffinau
Email: info@tonigriffin.net

Blog Tour/Guest Post: Wade Kelly

Oh My Shelves welcomes author Wade Kelly to the blog to chat about her new book, Bankers Hours – releasing from Dreamspinner Press, Friday, March 25, 2016 – and about character creation. Wade also has a generous giveaway on all blog tour spots! Make sure to check out the info after the jump!

* * * * * *

Creating a Character, part 1.

I find my characters in people I know, meet, or randomly see somewhere.

I hope you all stopped by my character interview on the 18th over at MM Good Book Reviews because it was about Grant Adams, my main character. What I may not have mentioned before is that Grant was based off a guy I saw in my bank. The “random” bank guy! He was so freaking cute, an entire novel popped into my head based on a handful of sightings. I have to call them sightings because I really only talked to him twice. He was nice, and polite, but I really know nothing about him except his first name. I took what I saw and described a character.

He wore a pink shirt a couple times I was in the bank, so Grant had to wear pink! (I discussed the colors on the cover over at my first blog stop at Prism Alliance.) The bank guy also had dark blond hair, blue eyes, and a really sweet smile. Since he seemed rather straight-laced, so in my imagination I felt the need to hook Grant up with a muscular, motorcycle driving, auto mechanic. And boom! my book blossomed in my mind solely based on a cute guy in the bank.

This also happened with a character in my very first short story, which is now out of print and soon to be rewritten into a full-length novel. The main character in that one, David Gilden, was born from standing in line to get on the Mega Bus in New York and the man in front of me inspired a story. He was a cute med-student and I just could not stop thinking about him in New York falling in love with a mysterious stranger who turned out to be a vampire. HAHA.

And lastly, I will say that Rob McAvoy, from my JOCK Series, was inspired by a guy I know. His looks, his mannerisms, his musical ability, all became a part of the guy created to be Ellis Montgomery’s best friend. In fact, I just signed a contract for JOCK 3, and Rob plays a much bigger role in that book. I hope you all will be excited to read it later on this year.

Again, this is Wade Kelly stopping by Oh My Shelves to talk about my up coming novel, Bakers’ Hours.

Before I go, here is a short excerpt. Context: It’s at the bank and Grant assumes Tristan is straight.

Excerpt:

By Friday, Tristan must have waited long enough. After handing me his stack of disorganized bills and checks, he asked again about the beer. “I waited for that text. Either you don’t want to have a beer with me, or you lost my number. Either way is fine, but you could have said you weren’t interested. I’ll still talk to you, even if you don’t want to hang out.”

How should I word my answer? It wasn’t as if I didn’t like him. It was the thought of spending time with him outside the bank that made me nervous. I had difficulty controlling my anatomy. What if, while we were chatting, I popped one? His voice did wash over me in the way a hot cup of tea does on a snowy January Sunday. It soothed. How could I go out with him for a beer, which I had never drunk, and talk, when I still could not think of him solely as a friend?

“I’m sorry. I do want to have that beer. I was going to text you… but then I didn’t.” It wasn’t a lie. I had punched his numbers in my phone and saved them, I just hadn’t used them.

“Oh. Okay. Well, what are you doing Saturday night?” Tristan asked, tucking his receipts into his wallet.

“I work until noon, then I’m helping my mother hang some shelves on her wall. It’ll probably take all day, and she offered to make me dinner.”

His lips moved but could not quite make that half smile I was used to. He was disappointed, and I felt bad for allowing it to happen. He was trying, but I had not. “I’m free Sunday,” I offered.

There’s that dangerous smile I sooo should not love!

“Okay. Sunday.”

I took out my phone after glancing around for anyone who could fuss at me for texting during work. “Just so there’s no doubt”—I pressed send—“I sent you a text.”

“You saved my number,” he marveled.

“Of course I did.”

I heard his phone chime. He took it out and smiled. “Thanks. I was convinced you threw it away after I gave it to you at the gym, thinking I was a deranged stalker.”

“Nope. I intended to text. But time slipped away, and here we are on Friday.” Time, and the fact I didn’t know how to be friends with a straight guy who turned me on with his smile. I was so screwed.

“I know how it is. I get very busy myself. Well, I guess I’ll see you on Sunday, since you’ll be working while I’m at the gym.” Did he really sound disappointed, or was that me?

“Yup. Sunday.”

Tristan walked away, and another customer walked up to my window before I had a second to run over our conversation in my head. He had seemed different this time. Happier. I waved off the notion and punched in the account numbers. I couldn’t think about Tristan. It was dangerous to think about Tristan. It was wrong to think about Tristan. He was my friend. I could handle one beer without crying myself to sleep over the irony of finding the perfect guy only for him to be straight. No, I would amend that. All the perfect-looking guys I’d ever met had happened to be straight. The only ones who’d been interested in me were the imperfect ones with more flaws than I had.

Just once, I’d like to find a perfect gay man!

 

Join me at the next stop for more. I’m trying to keep the excerpts short and not have too many spoilers.

Even though bankers’ hours leave long weekends for romance, cosmic intervention is Grant’s only option when money doesn’t buy happiness and he’s got virginity in spades.

Grant Adams is a twenty-six-year-old bank teller who’s unlucky at love, yet hopelessly hopeful. After years of horrific first dates, he’s convinced he’s saving himself for true love. Surely he has bad taste in men because it couldn’t possibly be his persnickety nature that’s sent them packing.

Tristan Carr has been in a holding pattern since his daughter was born fifteen years ago, which suits his workaholic lifestyle just fine. This ex-Navy turned auto mechanic never wanted anyone interfering with being a weekend dad. For Tristan to rearrange his perfectly orchestrated life, a guy will need to be special. Or in the case of the newest employee at his bank, the guy will need to be adorable, shy, and open to the prospect of forever when it shows up at his window.

 

Tour Stops & Dates: 

February 24Prism Book Alliance

March 18MM Good Book Reviews

March 22Long and Short Reviews

March 23My Fiction NookBankersHours_Blog Tour Banner

March 24Oh My Shelves

March 25Divine Magazine

March 25Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

March 28Love Bytes

March 29Gay Book Reviews

March 30The Novel Approach

For official LINKS to all the stops, hop over to WADE KELLY’S BLOG.

And the prizes:

I have several giveaways. Leave a comment on this blog for a chance to win an Amazon gift certificate. I am going to take ALL the names, from all the comments, from all the blog stops, and put them in a drawing. I have 10 stops including this one. The more comments you make then higher your chances of winning. I will have 3 winners of a $10 Amazon gift certificate to be announced when the tour ends! Additionally, for those who comment on ALL 10 STOPS, I will enter each of them into a grand prize drawing good for:

 

  • An eBook from my backlist of your choice, OR the next book I publish this year. (*Excluding Bankers’ Hours)
  • A $10 Amazon gift certificate,
  • A Wade Kelly Spoon in the colors of your choice,
  • One autographed paperback copy of the novel of their choice, OR the next book I publish this year. (*Excluding Bankers’ Hours)
  • A special Promo Code for you to download a copy of the audiobook: Misplaced Affection

Note: I am willing to mail things to other countries so don’t let that stop you! Please, post on ALL the posts. I had fun with this last time. J


BankersHoursLG

Bankers’ Hours by Wade Kelly
Release Date: March 25, 2016
Pages: 290 
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAmazon ARe

Even though bankers’ hours leave long weekends for romance, cosmic intervention is Grant’s only option when money doesn’t buy happiness and he’s got virginity in spades.
Grant Adams is a twenty-six-year-old bank teller who’s unlucky at love, yet hopelessly hopeful. After years of horrific first dates, he’s convinced he’s saving himself for true love. Surely he has bad taste in men because it couldn’t possibly be his persnickety nature that’s sent them packing.
Tristan Carr has been in a holding pattern since his daughter was born fifteen years ago, which suits his workaholic lifestyle just fine. This ex-Navy turned auto mechanic never wanted anyone interfering with being a weekend dad. For Tristan to rearrange his perfectly orchestrated life, a guy will need to be special. Or in the case of the newest employee at his bank, the guy will need to be adorable, shy, and open to the prospect of forever when it shows up at his window.

 


 

 

 

About Wade Kelly

Wade Kelly lives and writes in conservative, small-town America on the east coast where it’s not easy to live free and open in one’s beliefs. Wade writes passionately about controversial issues and strives to make a difference by making people think. Wade does not have a background in writing or philosophy, but still draws from personal experience to ponder contentious subjects on paper. There is a lot of pain in the world and people need hope. When not writing, she is thinking about writing, and more than likely scribbling ideas on sticky notes in the car while playing “taxi driver” for her three children. She likes snakes, can’t spell, and has a tendency to make people cry.

{Blog Tour} Caprion’s Wings by T. L. Shreffler

{Blog Tour} Caprion’s Wings by T. L. Shreffler

{Blog Tour} Caprion’s Wings by T. L. ShrefflerPages: T. L. Shreffler
By the age of nineteen, all Harpies know how to fly—except Caprion. He has yet pass the test of the Singing and gain his wings. His family has disowned him in shame and people are beginning to talk. Now an evil voice haunts his dreams, taunting him, drawing out his worst fears—that he will remain wingless forever.

Caprion decides to find the root of this insidious voice, no matter what it takes. He journeys to the secret prisons of the Harpy underground, where he meets a young slave named Moss. In those sunless, decrepit cells, a forbidden friendship is formed. Can Caprion and Moss find the source of the voice? And can Caprion save Moss from a terrible fate?

Join young Caprion as he journeys down, down into the earth, finding his wings and forging a friendship that will change him forever.

*Caprion's Wings is a companion story to The Cat's Eye Chronicles. As a novella, it will be between 40,000-50,000 words long.

Shreffler

T. L. Shreffler lives in Los Angeles, CA. She loves diversity, fantasy, romance, iced tea, long walks, philosophy, and thrift store shopping. She recently graduated with a BA in Badass (Creative Writing) and her poetry has been published consecutively in Eclipse: A Literary Journal and The Northridge Review. She is author of The Cat’s Eye Chronicles(YA/Epic Fantasy) and The Wolves of Black River (PN Romance.)

Author links ~
~ Website
~ Facebook
~ Twitter
~ Goodreads
~ Amazon

 

Caprion’s Wings blog tour schedule and links:
2-23-14 | Spotlight Mimsey Style | Please Don’t Feed the Mimsey
2-24-14 | Spotlight/Excerpt | The O’Raven Chronicles
2-25-14 | REVIEW & Theme Song |  Lindsay and Jane’s Views and Reviews
2-26-14 | Spotlight/Excerpt | Oh My Shelves
2-27-14 | Character 5Q Q&A Caprion | Intisar Khanani
2-28-14 | REVIEW & Would you Rather w/Caprion | TTC Books & More
3-01-14 | Spotlight/Excerpt | A World of Words
3-01-14 | REVIEW & Spotlight | Genieva’s Book Blog
3-02-14 | REVIEW & Author top 10 | Becca Anne’s Book Reviews
3-03-14 | REVIEW & This OR That with Moss | Paranormal Book Club
3-04-14 | REVIEW & Guest Post | Alina Popescu Writes
3-04-14 | REVIEW & Interview | Inkspelled Faery 


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