Once Upon a Rainbow by Various Authors: Exclusive Excerpt & Giveaway!

Exclusive Excerpt from Morning Star

by Sydney Blackburn

Tariq ducked his head and murmured, “Yes, master.” He understood exactly what his master wanted him to do, even if he did not understand why. Magic had its reasons. Malik was a saahir of great renown and Tariq was fortunate to be his apprentice. One day, he too would know the mysteries of sihr and the healing blessings of barakah.

His unquestioning obedience was rewarded with a careless caress as Malik’s elegantly long fingers brushed through his dark hair, lingering a little too long. Or so Tariq imagined.

His feelings for his master and mentor were wrong. He knew that. Malik, great sorcerer that he was, would be horrified to know the wayward thoughts and unnatural desires of his apprentice.

Tariq was embarrassed when those fingers then moved lightly over his ear, sending a tremor of desire through his slight frame. He resisted the urge to push his head into the touch. His cheeks were burnished with shame when Malik lifted his chin so that they were eye to eye.

“It’s not just about stealing a perfume jar, my boy. It’s about the future. Our future.”

Tariq swallowed as his heart beat a little faster. “Y-yes, master.”

Malik smiled warmly at him and released his chin to take his hand. He slipped a brass ring, still warm, onto Tariq’s finger and then closed both hands over Tariq’s. “This ring holds a spell of finding and returning. It will take you to the treasure room and bring you back safe to me.” He released Tariq’s hands and reached into the folds of his robe again, this time pulling out a small sandglass. “Set this upon your arrival. When the sands run out, the ring shall transport you back here, so waste no time staring at the marvels you may see. You are there for one thing only.”

Tariq reached for it, accidentally brushing Malik’s fingers with his own. Power seemed to spark through him until the ring, loose on his finger, rattled against the sandglass and whatever spell that might have woven vanished.

“The perfume jar that weighs empty. It shall be as you desire, master.”

Tariq collapsed in a heap, coughing and choking and clutching at the thick carpet beneath him as if he might fall off the very floor. The magic of the ring that had transported him had torn him apart and put him together in a rough fashion that left him nauseated and dizzy.

Awareness of the soft wool beneath his cheek helped steady him. Thank goodness it wasn’t dusty. Why had Malik not warned him of the effects of the ring? Perhaps a saahir such as Malik was able to use it without ill effect. Belatedly, he recalled the sandglass and carefully set it on the floor.

The room was cavernous and dimly lit by rays of sun piercing small decorative openings at the top of the thick walls. Tapestries were hung at odd angles. Ornately carved tables and chests filled the room, their surfaces covered with enamelled vases and precious statues. Smaller boxes spilled out jewels that glinted and cast a rainbow of coloured sparks over the smooth sandstone walls. The carpet he’d landed on was but one of several stacked on the floor, golden threads capturing stray beams and winking at him from delicate arabesques.

The sand was falling rapidly. He had no time to admire the many fine riches surrounding him. Where might one store perfume jars in such a room as this…? He turned slowly around, seeking shelves or cabinets. There, to his right, in the corner closest to the great doors most people would use to enter the treasure room, stood a large cabinet with girih-patterned doors.

There were clear, if narrow, paths around the piles of forgotten treasures, and Tariq took care in his haste to find what his master needed. He threw open the doors of the cabinet and saw half a dozen shelves laden with perfume jars of every description: coloured glass, smoothly gleaming metal, glass and silver, glass and gold, bejewelled, or merely intricately filigreed.

Cautiously he picked up one of the vessels. It was a blue globe with a simple silver stopper, and he raised it into the light. It was opaque, and he realized he had no idea what the difference was between a full jar and an empty one. He touched the stopper, hesitating. Malik had told him not to open the one that weighed empty. What if this was the very jar he’d been sent to find? And if it is not, he thought, Malik will be terribly disappointed in me. Continue reading

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Categories: Book Promo, Excerpts, Giveaways, LGBT, Published in 2017 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Book Review: Desperately Seeking Santa by Eli Easton

Reviewed by Morgan 

Title: Desperately Seeking Santa
Author: Eli Easton
Heroes: Gabe Martin/Mack McDonnall
Genre: MM Contemporary Holiday
Length: 225 Pages
Publisher: Eli Easton
Release Date: November 22, 2017
Available at:  Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb: Journalism student Gabe Martin gets his first professional assignment—to write about a Christmas charity dinner that benefits a children’s home. It sounds like a total snooze-fest until Gabe learns that the event’s Santa is a mystery man. He shows up in costume and no one has a clue who he is. Uncovering Santa’s identity sounds like the perfect angle to turn a fluff piece into serious journalism.

Mack “The Mountain” McDonall, at 6’10”, is University of Wisconsin-Madison’s enormous star wrestler. When Gabe first claps eyes on him at a wrestling match, it’s lust at first sight. Gabe’s friend, Jordan, sets up the pair on a date. But when Gabe chatters on about his plans for outing Santa, Mack goes cold, and their first meeting becomes an epic fail.

As Gabe researches the children’s home, he learns that Mack has secrets a guy famous for being a brute wouldn’t want the world to know. Can Gabe find his holiday spirit, write a killer article, win the heart of a surly giant, and give everyone a very merry Christmas?

NOTE: This 50,000 word short novel features a new couple but includes Jordan and Owen, from the author’s book “Superhero”. It can be read as a stand-alone.
Continue reading

Categories: 4.5 Star Ratings, Book Review, LGBT, Morgan's Reviews, Published in 2018 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Book Review: Broken Sun by B.D. Roca

Reviewed by JustJen

Title: Broken Sun
Author: B.D. Roca
Series: City to City #2
Heroes: James Morgan/Luc Sinclair
Genre: MM Contemporary
Length: 286 Pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: November 13, 2017
Available at: Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb: James Morgan: outlaw in a ruthless biker club, the Bastard Legion. Willing to do whatever he must to claw his way to the top of the club’s hierarchy.

Two things stand in the way of his ambitions: his heroin-addicted brother and his bisexuality. In Morgan’s world, his attraction to men is a death sentence, and he has no desire to pursue it… until he tangles with Luc Sinclair.

Luc Sinclair: fellow Bastard Legion biker. Tattoo artist. Rebel who wants out of a club he’s grown to despise.

Luc has a sister he’s protecting from a Legion ex-boyfriend. Saving her makes him a target. Morgan intervenes, and all bets are off. The sex is as fierce and passionate as it is dangerous. But when Morgan’s junkie brother learns of the relationship, he sees a way to advance in the Legion and take out a brother he hates. Their three worlds collide—one is left for dead, another fighting for life, and the bond between them broken.

In a dark and violent world where it’s every man for himself, finding their way back to each other and the only truth they’ve ever found will be a long, hard fight.
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Categories: 4 Star Ratings, Book Review, JustJen's Reviews, LGBT, Published in 2017 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cover Reveal: Never Love Series by Robin Covington

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Never Love Series

by Robin Covington

Reader Friends –

I am so excited to reveal the covers for my next series. Aren’t they gorgeous?

An edgy romantic suspense set in in Baltimore, MD (one of my favorite cities) this series revolves around a foster family – a thief, a killer, a liar, and a stranger – who are dragged into the fight against a violent threat in their city. This battle will test their family, their futures, and their hard-won personal honor. And in midst of the chaos, they’ll meet the people who will become the reason they fight – for their lives and for the love that makes it all worthwhile.

I can’t even tell you how excited I am to bring this series to you but it gets even better! I’ve partnered with TOGETHER WE RISE, a group dedicated to helping foster kids all over the country. They provide duffle bags to kids in the system (no more carrying around their belongings in garbage bags), bikes for kids who’ve aged out of the system to help them get to jobs and school, and scholarships to help them continue their education. I’m proud to pledge a portion of the net royalties of each book in this series to this amazing group and their support of kids in foster care. You can check them out www.togetherwerise.org.

This series will hit your e-readers in February, May, July, and October 2018 . . . you can add the first book to your Goodreads TBR shelf.

xxRobin

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About Never Love Series

A Thief. A Killer. A Liar. A Stranger.

When it comes to love. . . never say never.

Baltimore, Maryland

Billionaire philanthropist and businessman, George Tarras, was not a man who tolerated excuses of any kind. Not from himself. Not from his employees and not his son. When sixteen-year-old Alek indulged in a little youthful hacking of government websites and theft, George decided to let him fully experience the consequences of his actions: two weeks in a juvenile facility and one year of community service.

Always one to lead by example, George volunteered during this time at the local community center and got to know the three youths who befriended his son: a thief, a grifter, and a killer. In spite of their pasts he saw something special in all of them: hope and a future full of promise.

By the end of that fateful year, George had put into motion the opportunity to change their lives if they dared to take it. A gift—freely given—but carrying responsibility and consequences.

But, what he really gave them was the one thing they all needed the most…a family.

Brothers and a sister—they would do anything to protect each other.

But, danger is coming. Secrets and lies will test their bonds, challenge their courage, and test their definition of family and love.

To win, they will have to resurrect their pasts and revisit demons buried long ago.

To survive, they will have to rely on bonds formed not by blood but by loyalty.

To love, they will have to risk everything.

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About Never Love a Thief

Stealing is easy. Love is dangerous.

Rescued from the streets at sixteen, former thief, Carmen “Mina” Salazar, is a law-abiding citizen who no longer indulges in her favorite pastime: freeing the wealthy from the burden of their belongings. Now Mina spends her days and nights running St. Nick’s, her bar in the Fell’s Point section of Baltimore. Abandoned by her father for reasons she doesn’t understand, trust doesn’t come easily for Mina. But a sexy, dangerous cop in her bar with a reckless proposition tempts her to take a chance.

The son of a former Baltimore police officer, FBI Special Agent Declan McGregor has spent his entire life trying to outrun the scandal of being the son of a drunk, dirty cop. But years of undercover work and living in the bowels of the dirtiest of organized crime networks has left him with a dead partner and relief he can only find at the bottom of a bottle.  The man in the mirror looks a lot like his old man and a failed marriage and crumbling career testify to just how close to the bottom he really is.

Declan wants retribution for the death of his partner and Mina is the key. When her long-lost father turns up in the bed of the head of the mob responsible for the murder, Declan offers Mina the one thing she can’t pass up: the chance to find out why her father left her. All she has to do is what she does best . . . break, enter and steal her way into the inner circle of the syndicate. Danger fuels their intense attraction and soon the lines between revenge and lust are blurred by emotion and tested by betrayal. When lives are in the balance, there is only one question . . . is it ever safe to love a thief?

Add it to your Goodreads shelf!

Never Love a Thief is scheduled to be released in February 2018!

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And the moment you’ve been waiting for! The Never Love series cover reveal… Continue reading

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Audio Review: Afraid to Fly by L.A. Witt

Reviewed by Susan65

Title: Afraid to Fly
Author: L.A. Witt
Narrator: Nick J. Russo
Series: Anchor Point #2
Heroes: Travis Wilson/Clint Fraser
Genre: MM Contemporary
Length: 9 Hours, 22 Minutes
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: August 31, 2017
Available at: Amazon, Audible and iTunes
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb: Once a fearless fighter pilot, Commander Travis Wilson is now confined to a desk. It’s been eight years since the near-fatal crash that grounded him, and it still rules his life thanks to relentless back pain.

Lieutenant Commander Clint Fraser almost drowned in a bottle after a highly classified catastrophe while piloting a drone. His downward spiral cost him his marriage and kids, but he’s sober now and getting his life back on track. He’s traded drones for a desk, and he’s determined to reconcile with his kids and navigate the choppy waters of PTSD.

Clint has been on Travis’s radar ever since he transferred to Anchor Point. When Clint comes out to his colleagues, it’s a disaster, but there’s a silver lining: now that Travis knows Clint is into men, the chemistry between them explodes.

It’s all fun and games until emotions get involved. Clint’s never been in love with a man before. Travis has, and a decade later, that tragic ending still haunts him. Clint needs to coax him past his fear of crashing and burning again, or their love will be grounded before takeoff.
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Categories: 4.5 Star Ratings, Audio Review, LGBT, Published in 2018, Susan65's Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Vampire Claus by Robert Winter: Exclusive Excerpt & Giveaway!

Blogger_Exclusive Excerpt

Exclusive Excerpt from Vampire Claus

by Robert Winter

On a cold winter’s night, Taviano scaled what passed in America for an historic building. From its roof, he hurtled to the belfry atop St. Stephen’s Catholic church. Rising out of a crouch, he turned slowly to survey the Boston streets below.

A recent snowfall had left rooftops and trees in the park across the road limned in white. Strands of lights wove in and out of metal window guards and dripped from ledges like icicles. Gold tinsel crowns and stars dangled from lampposts. Through windows, Christmas trees glistened.

Moved by the season—and sentimentality, he supposed—Taviano had come to a place he’d never before visited in many decades of wandering. As happened in recent years, though, when Christmas neared he longed for his childhood in Naples. In the nearby town of Quincy, he’d overheard references to Boston’s Little Italy. He therefore found himself in the North End to seek out those descended from his erstwhile countrymen.

He listened for a reaction from the passersby some thirty feet below. No one had noticed his body soaring overhead. Not surprising, since the Christmas bustle caught up most of the people crowding the streets. With any luck, he’d be able to relax for one night. He’d like to avoid whatever vampire claimed the area as its hunting ground, and continue to dodge the attention of any humans.

Low temperatures had everyone below on Hanover Street bundled in coats and scarves. His own thin black shirt and trousers—ideal for quick movement but not for passing unseen—would invite comment should someone spot him. A single observer would pose no trouble. He’d simply modify a memory or two and be on his way. But using preternatural gifts meant relaxing his tight control on the demon that shared his body. He hadn’t fed it in a few days for lack of a deserving victim. Hunger would make it more difficult to influence.

Far better if he could escape notice in the first place.

From inside St. Stephen’s voices rose, singing their devotion. It was “Silent Night” though he’d learned the song with different words. It was barely eight-thirty and he could identify forty-seven adults and children in the nave below. The scent of incense drifted to him, mixed with candle wax, communion wine, and boughs of evergreen.

Christmas customs had greatly changed over the decades. That was something he knew mainly from spying through windows and listening to radio and television programs. Even the rituals of Mass were different than when he’d last been inside a church. Lurking on the outside was as close as he could come. But other traditions had changed only slightly. He imagined the altar draped in white and purple as the priest led the celebration of the Nativity.

Peering down through a glass window of the belfry to see if he was right, he caught his own reflection. Thick black hair lay mussed from the bitter wind, and dark eyes glittered unnaturally like chips of obsidian. His full lips looked mischievous, belying his reserve.

Scruff perpetually darkened his cheeks. He’d been three days without shaving the night he was turned into the creature that stared back at him. Even if he bothered with a razor, the beard returned promptly. He’d heard often when he was alive that he was handsome. Still, symmetrical features and olive skin did not disguise that he was something other than human.

No, even if entering a church were not forbidden, he didn’t belong there anymore. No matter how much he missed it. Continue reading

Categories: Book Promo, Excerpts, Giveaways, LGBT, Published in 2017 | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Book Review: Snow Angels with Bear by Bonnie Dee

Reviewed by Nikyta

Title: Snow Angels with Bear
Author: Bonnie Dee
Series: Love Off Leash #4
Heroes: Eric & August
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Length: 92 pages
Publisher: Self-Published
Release Date: November 16, 2017
Available at: Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb: Can this romance stand a snowball’s chance in hell?

Hitting a dog in a snowstorm is a heck of a way to meet a guy. When August Long rushes an injured stray to the vet, he’s blown away by the gruff yet sexy doctor. August never intended to hook up with a small-town local, but Eric Grover woos him with snowmobiling, cross-country skiing and a passion hot enough to melt the winter snow.

No one seems to know why an ex-military surveyor has moved into Hopewell Springs and Eric is intrigued by the stranger. Tall, handsome August lights his fire while filling a need for companionship he hadn’t realized he lacked. Spending time with August and Bear, his recovering German shepherd, makes Eric begin to believe love is possible.

But there’s a shadow threatening their budding romance. August fears telling Eric everything his job entails and keeps the secret until the truth detonates, nearly destroying them. For the two men to reconcile their differences, it may take a Christmas miracle—and the intervention of an adorable dog or two.
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Categories: 4 Star Ratings, Book Review, LGBT, Nikyta's Reviews, Published in 2017 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Honorary Blogger Cheryl Headford: My Writing Process + Excerpt & Giveaway!

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My Writing Process

by Cheryl Headford

To me writing is like breathing. I can’t live without it. I get restless and unhappy if I am unable to write for any lengthy period of time and I am never happier than when lost in my own words. Writing has got me through tough times.

I do most of my writing sitting on the sofa in my tiny living room, surrounded by cats and balancing my laptop on a rickety old Ikea lap table) not the one that sits on your lap but the one that has one leg with a splayed foot at the bottom that you slide under the chair) It’s so old and rickety that I can’t even put my coffee cup on in next to the laptop anymore because it slides right off.

Strangely, when I’m writing on my laptop, I have to have quiet. I can’t listen to music or watch television. I don’t have a television anymore, since my son took to his room (or should I say cockpit as it looks more like the bridge of The Enterprise than a bedroom) I usually have a couple of PC games open, like Fantasy Mosaics or logic puzzles, that I do in between writing if I get stuck or need a moment out of the scene. Otherwise I don’t really have much awareness of the room around me because I’m living the story with my characters. In fact, that continues even after I stop writing. I often channel one or other of the characters for most of the time I’m writing the book, and sometimes for a period afterwards. That’s why I love to write characters like Draven because he is so much fun to be. I had an absolute blast making jam sandwiches the Draven way, but my son was not impressed.

I’m not happy to only write at home, though. When I had to catch a train to work, I would write (in my head) on the way to the station, (in a book) on the station and on the train, and (in my head) from the station to work. These days, my son is at college and I spend a lot of time waiting for him in a coffee shop, and of course I write. I like to write with ink pens. Sometimes, if I’m doing research, I like to keep notes of the research in a book, with plastic pockets, summarized by a visual essay. I can tell at a glance at the visual essay what the notes in that pocket are about. Quite often, I write the essay if not the notes with dip pens and coloured inks.

I am a total pantser and I don’t plan anything before I start writing. I usually have one or two scenes in mind, and maybe a loose storyline, and of course the characters. I then open a word document and just start writing. I see where things take me. If the story is strong enough, it will simply carry me along. Because I am living it, seeing what the characters see, hearing what they hear, feeling what they feel, it’s easy to let the story flow and so what if I don’t know where it ends until I get there because that just makes it more fun writing it.

Sometimes I come to a situation where I know where I want the story to go, but I don’t know how to get there. Then, I have to figure out scenarios and test out hypotheses to find a way that fits the story and the characters. Occasionally I have to re write earlier bits for continuity and to make better sense, but I’d say situations like this only crop up once or twice a book. It’s easier when writing fantasy because you don’t have to logic test everything. Magic is a great means of getting fantastical, even impossible things done. Continue reading

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Book Review: Unbroken Hearts by K-Lee Klein

Reviewed by Susan65

Title: Unbroken Hearts
Author: K-Lee Klein
Series: Unbreak My Heart #2
Heroes: Brett Taylor/JT Campbell
Genre: MM Contemporary
Length: 187 Pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: October 11, 2017
Available at:  Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb: Country singer turned rancher Brett Taylor fought his way out of the bottle so he could have JT Campbell in his life. JT’s patience, intelligence, and humor broke through Brett’s walls of depression, and now the once-isolated rancher and his young California guy in search of himself are together on Brett’s Texas ranch.

While Brett and JT are more in love than ever, they’re still dealing with past baggage and learning how to move forward. Brett’s former lover casts a long shadow over their lives—one JT tries to pretend doesn’t bother him. Can Brett soothe his fears with the sort of sappy, sentimental Valentine’s Day JT was taught to shun growing up—but secretly always wanted?

When Halloween rolls around, a costumed night out at the local bar might lead to another romantic first. And on Christmas morning, JT awakes to some sweet loving and the most meaningful gift he could ever imagine. The New Year truly brings a new beginning—ushered in by some silly, sparkly, and sexy fun.

One year. Four important holidays. Two men who have worked hard for the love and trust they share and the bright future that’s finally within their grasp.
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Categories: 4 Star Ratings, Book Review, LGBT, Published in 2017, Susan65's Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Book Review: Ante Up by Kim Fielding

Reviewed by Nikyta

Title: Ante Up
Author: Kim Fielding
Series: Dreamspun Beyond
Heroes: Ante & Peter
Genre: M/M Paranormal
Length: 220 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: November 15, 2017
Available at: Dreamspinner Press & Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb: Love is a high-stakes game.

A century and a half ago, Ante Novak died on a Croatian battlefield—and rose three days later as a vampire. Now he haunts Las Vegas, stealing blood and money from drunken gamblers and staying on the fringe of the powerful vampire organization known as the Shadows. His existence feels empty and meaningless until he meets beautiful Peter Gehrardi, who can influence others with his thoughts.

An attraction flares instantly, bringing a semblance of life to Ante’s dead heart. But the Shadows want Peter too, and they’re willing to kill to get him. As Ante and Peter flee, they learn more about themselves and each other, and they discover that the world is a stranger place than either of them imagined. With enemies at their heels and old mistakes coming back to exact a price, how can Ante and Peter find sanctuary? Continue reading

Categories: 3 Star Ratings, Book Review, LGBT, Nikyta's Reviews, Published in 2017 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment